- Oct 20, 2015

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I feel like monks are one of the rare mechanics in AoE that few people know much about and no one seems to know everything.

The only info available seems to be this Article as far as I'm aware: http://aok.heavengames.com/university/s ... ally-work/

Unfortunately, it seems to have stopped early and is talking about AoK balance. As I like to figure out game mechanics, I decided to spend some time figuring this out, though I might not have if I'd known from the start how much time it would take.

Unfortunately, due to the randomness involved, there is no way to confirm exact numbers (at least not without spending a few weeks on it). However, I think I can explain the basic mechanics and give rough numbers.

A few notes on how I came to my conclusions: First, I used AGE to look at the data files and see what I can find out that way. After that, I did my testing in the scenario editor.

I had a similar setup to Neilkaz, using a TC with villager production for timing. I have set up 200 monks with their respective targets (using an AHK script to speed up the target assignment).

I have done most of my testing on the HD edition, but I also compared it with normal AoC to make sure there were no changes. I will also talk about Forgotten Empires/African Kingdom additons.

I will also use monk secs and CI (conversion interval) in the same way he does.

So, basic conclusions first:

-The conversion mechanic itself as presented in the article is still valid, however, some numbers are off.

Basic units are converted after 10 monk secs (roughly 12 normal secs), not 12 as seems to have been the case in AoK, the minimum of 4 monk secs is still valid.

Scouts also seem to have a lower chance conversion than the 9.5% in the article, but I'll get to that in a bit.

-The length of a monk sec/CI varies. Interestingly, it seems to be just slightly longer on HD

(possibly because of worse performance?)

On AoC it's usually closer to 1s, on HD closer to 1.2s. There is a lot of variation though, so this is only noticable with long conversion times, especially for buildings.

-What do the techs affecting conversions do? The teuton bonus increases conversion min time by 1, max time by 2 and "conversion resistance" by 2.

Faith increases min time 2, max time by 4 and resistance by 3. The time increases are in monk secs.

Inquisition (the secondary spanish UT introduced in the forgotten) lowers min/max time by 1, building min/max time by 5 and building conversion chance by 5%.

-An important point: Switching conversion targets, or the target temporarily moving out of range does not reset the count of monk secs. This means that e.g. if a Monk converts a knight for 4 monk secs, the knight goes out of range, and then comes back, the knight can be converted immediately in the next monk sec instead of requiring another 4 monk secs minimum. This only stops if the monk stops chasing the unit because it is too far away (or you task it to something else).

This also applies when switching targets. If Monk A and Monk B convert Unit C together for 4 monk secs and Monk B then switches to converting unit D, unit D can be immediately converted instead of needing a min time.

This is why the monk micro tactic of tasking all monks on one unit, deselecting one monk, targeting the next unit etc. works so well - part of the min time is eliminated. However, unless you have theocracy, you should click the ground or stop to avoid all monks losing faith on a succesful conversion about every 4-5 seconds.

-The min/max changes are pretty straightforward, they change the limits how long a unit takes at minimum and maximum to be converted. However, conversion resistance isn't as simple unfortunately. I have a few ideas, but no perfectly fitting theory.

I tested a lot of different combinations of technologies and scouts, and I also used some data editing to test specific values of conversion resistance.

0 conversion resistance: The chance of being converted seems to be around 28% as in the aokheaven article. This is a bit curious, as monks have 25% accuracy in the data files. I set this to 100 to check if this is used for conversion, and indeed

all units got converted after the min time. There are two possibilities here: The chance is indeed 25% and the testing both of Neilkaz and me is just off, but that would be quite a string of bad luck.

The other possibillity would be for 0 conversion bonus to be a minor "penalty" due to the way it is implemented.

1 conversion resistance: No change from 0 resistance. The actual minimum in-game you can get is 2, so it doesn't matter, but it's good to keep in mind for an overall formula

2 conversion resistance (i.e. the teuton bonus): Chances of conversion are roughly halved, in my testings I've got around 13%

3 conversion resistance (i.e. faith): The chance is somewhere around 8-9%, so roughly a third of the original chance

5 conversion resistance (faith+teutons): I have around 6% in my tests. Saying it's a fifth of the original chance wouldn't be too far off (and there is still a significant margin of error in my testing, often between 1-2%)

You might have noticed a pattern here It seems that with x conversion resistance, the chance of a unit being converted would be 1/x of the original ~28%

This would also fit with 0 and 1 resistance being the same, as 1/1 is still 1.

What about Scouts and Eagles? They have 8 conversion resistance (yes, you've read that right), resulting in a chance of conversion somewhere around 4%.

So going up against those with monks has even got worse in AoC compared to the apparent 9.5% chance in AoK.

How do I know they have 8 conversion resistance? Well, I've discovered an interesting effect:

If you have scouts with faith researched, it can take longer than the supposed max time to convert them. There is a chance of maybe 10% that the scouts will resist the "guaranteed" conversion.

However, this does not happen with teuton scouts. I tried it with normal units and set the conversion resistance myself and the same effect happens at 11 conversion resistance, but not at 10. Simple math tells us that scout's resistance should be 8.

Above max time, the mechanic for resistance seems to be different - it's roughly a 10/x chance of your units getting converted.

Thus, if you ever have teuton ally, faith researched and use the scout or eagle line, even after the max time, there's only a 2/3 chance of one unit getting converted per monk sec. (And the chance of reaching max time is somewhere around 85% if I calculated correctly).

I doubt it ever plays a role, but it's an interesting fact to know^^

In the same way, I tested buildings (well, only lumbercamps, towers and barracks, but there's no reason to assume other buildings are different), and they have 3 conversion resistance, so roughly 9% conversion chance per CI.

Regarding buildings: They have a min time of 15 monk secs and a max time of 25 monk secs (on AoC that's roughly 16-27s, on HD it seems to be longer due to the slightly longer CIs I talked about, roughly 18-29s)

The teuton bonus and faith do both affect those min/max times and the conversion resistance as well.

There is one tech I haven't talked about yet, and that is inquisition, introduced as the second spanish UT in AoFE.

Inquisition lowers min/max times by 1, building min/max time by 5 and building conversion chance.

As the unit min/max time affects buildings as well (but not the other way around), it's -6/-6 total. So this tech mostly helps against buildings, not units.

The 5% increase is lower in practice due to the conversion resistance, it's more like a 1-2% increase. However, the decrease

in min/max times more than makes up for that.

Regarding multiple monks, they are all calculated individually. Three monks converting a unit means it will be converted as soon as one monk converts it,independently of the others.

This also concerns conversion resistance - If multiple monks would convert a unit at the same time,there is an individual 1/x chance for each conversion to go through. So for two monks, against a unit with two conversion resistance the chance for a conversion per monk sec would be (1/2*0.28)[chances of first conversion working]+(1-(1/2*0.28))*1/2*0.28[chances of first one not working, but second one working] = 26.04%.

I think that is all I can say about it. I hope this post is not convoluted, there's a lot to talk about here.

If you have any questions or something is unclear, please say so. I would've liked to be able to give a precise formula,

but I doubt that's possible without being able to look at the source code.