Fire / Cold dilemma

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thissneppah
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Fire / Cold dilemma

Post by thissneppah »

I have though about this idea for some time and I tried to find already discussed threads on this subject but to no avail. So hear we are:

Type......................| Blade | Cold | Fire | Holy | Impact | Pierce |
----------------------+--------+-------+-------+-------+---------+---------+
Drakes.................|.....y.....|....y.....|.....y....|....N....|......y......|.....y......|
----------------------+--------+-------+-------+-------+---------+---------+
Knalgan Alliance|.....y....|....N....|....N...|....N.....|......y.....|......y......|
----------------------+--------+-------+-------+-------+---------+---------+
Loyalist................|.....y.....|....N....|....y.....|.....*....|......y.....|......y......|
----------------------+--------+-------+-------+-------+---------+---------+
Northerners........|.....y.....|.... N...|.....y....|....N....|......y.....|......y......|
----------------------+--------+-------+-------+-------+---------+---------+
Rebels.................|.....y.....|....*.....|....y.....|.....*....|......y.....|.......y.....|
----------------------+--------+-------+-------+-------+---------+---------+
Undead...............|......y.....|.... y....|... N...|....N....|......y.....|......y......|
----------------------+--------+-------+-------+-------+---------+---------+

Key:
y - Faction has level 1 unit(s) capable of such damage
N - Faction does not have any unit capable of such damage
* - Faction only has unit(s) above level 1 capable of such damage (i.e. White Mage, Paladin, Elvish Sorceress)

This table shows all the damage types that a faction can field in the mainline era. As you can see while pierce, blade and impact damage types can be fielded by all factions fire and cold can not (I am excluding holy type from this discussion as there seems to be change already taking place). With exception of the Drakes faction no other faction can field both fire and cold damage types from the very beginning of a game. This I believe to be a flaw as with inability to use certain attack types leaves you incapable of exploiting your opponents weaknesses to a said damage type.

i.e. Drakes (generally) have -50 resistance to cold but Knaglan Alliance, Northerners and Loyalists can not exploit that in any way shape or form.

i.e. Woses have -50 resistance to fire but Undead and Knaglan Alliance can not exploit that in any way shape or form.

This is apposed to, say, the skeletons -20 resistance to impact that every faction can exploit.

I have though of some possible solutions to this, however I am hoping that a better idea can be produced as I do not see any of my ideas as ideal. My ideas are as follows:

1) Probably the most strait forward idea.
Add additional units to factions that lack certain damage types: The attacks should not be overly powerful as to not drastically change the feel and the strategy used by factions. The obvious bad point to this is that it means more work for everyone as there will be need for new art as well as stats and balancing (this I am given to understand is a nono).

2) Variation of the before.
Add different attacks to already implemented units: This seems to cut out all the extra work on the art and could be explained by the fact that there is no good reason why a mage can’t summon freezing glacier any more then a fireball. However this will still need rebalancing and could over power certain units by making them over versatile.

3) This seems more like a “for the time being� solution.
Make every units cold and fire resistance to be about the same: This should be, in my eyes, easer to balance then the before ideas and require no further changes to the factions. The down sides are that this seems very untidy and Knaglan Alliance would still not have a solution for this problem.

4) An evolution from the previous.
Combining fire and cold damage in to an elemental damage type: This is seems much neater then the previous solution and it seems like a KISS way to include electricity / lightning damage and the like in to the mainline era. This has of course the problem of having to jam two resistances in to one and I assume some work in the code or some such (my understanding of programming is very limited and I have very little idea of how this game engine works).

I apologies if this has already being discussed, if so could you give me the link to the discussion.

Please be nice.

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turin
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Post by turin »

The main problem with this entire argument is that there's no reason for a faction to be able to field every damage type in order to be effective against other factions. As you'll see in a few minutes when someone more MP-adept than me comes along, the factions are already considered balanced against one another.
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Jew unit
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Post by Jew unit »

Well if all the factions are balanced against each other then there is no need to make a change. That being said your analasys (SP) lacks a bit. First off all desptie that all factions can take advantage of the skels -20 vs impact all factions are like wise hindered by skels blade and perice restances
i.e. Drakes (generally) have -50 resistance to cold but Knaglan Alliance, Northerners and Loyalists can not exploit that in any way shape or form.
Loyalists and Alliance both have nice peirce and the Northerns are balanced vs drakes despite their lack of cold.

I'd go into more detail but as long as all factions are balanced against each other (or at least belived to be) I see no point.
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Post by martenzo »

My idea to solve the problem is to remove some units. So that not all factions can exploit a certain weakness. I mean, why does every side need to have impact? The reason is that once players complained that the factions are unbalanced, because they kept losing in situations with a certain factions (i.e Rebels and Northerers kept losing to Undead)
Here's my vision how the table should be:
Type......................| Blade | Cold | Fire | Holy | Impact | Pierce |
----------------------+--------+-------+-------+-------+---------+---------+
Drakes.................|.....y.....|....y.....|.....y....|....N....|......N......|.....y......|
----------------------+--------+-------+-------+-------+---------+---------+
Knalgan Alliance|.....y....|....y....|....N...|....N.....|......y.....|......*......|
----------------------+--------+-------+-------+-------+---------+---------+
Loyalist................|.....y.....|....N....|....y.....|.....y....|......y.....|......y......|
----------------------+--------+-------+-------+-------+---------+---------+
Northerners........|.....y.....|.... N...|.....*....|....N....|......y.....|......y......|
----------------------+--------+-------+-------+-------+---------+---------+
Rebels.................|.....y.....|....*.....|....N.....|.....N....|......y.....|.......y.....|
----------------------+--------+-------+-------+-------+---------+---------+
Undead...............|......y.....|.... y....|... N...|....N....|......*.....|......y......|
----------------------+--------+-------+-------+-------+---------+---------+
NOTE: In my table, * means that only one unit branch has it

The game is long overdue for a general reduction-in-force. I mean, there could be an official era where the current table is valid, but also a downpowered era.
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Noyga
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Post by Noyga »

You know, some factions have some damage type, but the units that use it aren't very powerful with it :
- Undead impact (Skeleton archer, mage melee and WC line) : those units are quite weak with impact
- Drake impact (glider line) : it isn't strong either. At least having impact helps a little the glider to have some usefullness vs undead.
- and to a lesser extent: Northerner pierce (goblins & archers) : they start to deal decent damage to the drake but they aren't a decent counter alone.

Balance don't rely on only the damage types, some faction (Knalgan & Northerners in particular) can counter some unit without always using the optimal damage type.
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irrevenant
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Post by irrevenant »

Martenzo, use the tags to make your tables more readable. eg.

Code: Select all

Type............| Blade | Cold  | Fire  | Holy  |Impact |Pierce |
----------------+-------+-------+-------+-------+-------+-------+
Drakes..........|...y...|...y...|...y...|...N...|...N...|...y...|
----------------+-------+-------+-------+-------+-------+-------+
Knalgan Alliance|...y...|...y...|...N...|...N...|...y...|...*...|
----------------+-------+-------+-------+-------+-------+-------+
Loyalist........|...y...|...N...|...y...|...y...|...y...|...y...|
----------------+-------+-------+-------+-------+-------+-------+
Northerners.....|...y...|...N...|...*...|...N...|...y...|...y...|
----------------+-------+-------+-------+-------+-------+-------+
Rebels..........|...y...|...*...|...N...|...N...|...y...|...y...|
----------------+-------+-------+-------+-------+-------+-------+
Undead..........|...y...|...y...|...N...|...N...|...*...|...y...|
----------------+-------+-------+-------+-------+-------+-------+
I'd suggest creating it in an editor with a non-proportional font (Gedit, Kate, Notepad or whatever) then copy-pasting into your post.

That said, I agree with the others - a lot of different factors go into balancing factions against each other - damage dealt, damage type dealt, resistances, defence on various terrain, amount of HP per unit, etc. Even speed is important (Knalgans are tough and strong, but reaching the field of battle in time is a serious issue for them). Damage type is only one very small part of the equation.

Players often complain that factions are unbalanced when they get spanked by a particular faction. But the really expert players seem to agree that the different factions are pretty closely balanced - you just have to know how to leverage each faction properly...

thissneppah
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Post by thissneppah »

- a lot of different factors go into balancing factions against each other -
I appreciate that and realize this, however my argument is not so much balance but rather strategic. If you do not have the units capable of exploiting the weakness then the weakness that is required for balance might as well not exist.
there's no reason for a faction to be able to field every damage type in order to be effective against other factions
.

I would like to beg to differ. Let’s say you’re playing Northerners against Drakes. From hence you have no way to use there weakness to cold against them, so for that match their resistance might as well be set to 100 instead of -50. I have all faith in the fact that the factions are balanced. I will admit to not being practically skilled or experienced in multiplayer, but the fact that you are limited in your choices from the very start of the game seems incorrect me. Yes you might be still able to use piercing against them (Drakes) but it’s the fact that you are restricted in the choice of weak spots to utilize that I have the problem with.
My idea to solve the problem is to remove some units
Doesn’t this seem counter evolutionary? Taking Undead as an example (the faction I am most experienced with). I wouldn’t want a single unit removed as I use all of them, except maybe WC (Walking Corpses?) and I think that is because I think I haven’t really figured out how to use them yet.
You know, some factions have some damage type, but the units that use it aren't very powerful with it :
Yep, I though of that too but did not show this in the table as I though it will complicate it. Although I think that you missed the point of my argument. I’m not suggesting that we should add fire and cold attack types to factions because they feel left out. It is to give the player more options against any opponent with any faction.

It would also seem to me that some of the complaints about, for example, Undead being painfully ineffective against Undead could be fixed this way. As I said I am not very experienced with multiplayer and I have all the trust in you that the factions are balanced, I just though that the last point was worth mentioning.

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Post by Noy »

Give specific examples of matchups and I'll tell you how they are balanced

thissneppah
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Post by thissneppah »

Sorry, this must be my bad English. I have never being good with languages, even with my mother tongue (embarrassingly so). Perhaps I should have avoided mentioning balance or specifically state that this not directly to do with balance.

This is not to do with balance!

I simply hoped to bring your attention to a way that the player strategic options could be enlarged. By allowing all factions to take advantages of all the attack types you will allow them to exploit all the weaknesses of there opponent. This will in effect increase the number of tactical choices you can make in a game. I see this as a good thing adding more variation on the tactics employed and early strategic choices.

Hope this clears up things. Sorry for the misunderstanding.

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Post by bert1 »

Hi Thissneppah

I understand completely this isn't a balance issue, and I have had similar thoughts to the ones you've had. One thing that makes Knalgans perhaps a little easier to play than other factions is the lack of strategic possibilities to confuse one. (I'm sure about fifty people disagree with that.)

I quite understand seeing this as a negative point, but I personally see it as positive. I like the fact that one just has to make do with the natural limitations of the factions. It's part of what gives them their flavour, and makes the stategies for each one so different. I'm against any move to make the factions more similar to each other. In fact, the bigger the differences while still maintaining balance, the better.

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Post by turin »

I think you don't understand what the word balance means. :? From what I can tell, what you are saying has everything to do with balance.
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Noy
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Post by Noy »

thissneppah wrote:Sorry, this must be my bad English. I have never being good with languages, even with my mother tongue (embarrassingly so). Perhaps I should have avoided mentioning balance or specifically state that this not directly to do with balance.

This is not to do with balance!

I simply hoped to bring your attention to a way that the player strategic options could be enlarged. By allowing all factions to take advantages of all the attack types you will allow them to exploit all the weaknesses of there opponent. This will in effect increase the number of tactical choices you can make in a game. I see this as a good thing adding more variation on the tactics employed and early strategic choices.

Hope this clears up things. Sorry for the misunderstanding.
No, what you're saying is you'd like to see all factions have the same sort of options. In reality that makes the game bland.. as everybody would have their mage, tank, archer, scout, and special unit. Bert is right on the money with the knalgans example. The difference between the factions actually gives each more flavour. With no magical or unique attacks (fire/cold) you need to use what the faction gives you. Personally I like the fact that you can do everything in that faction with 4 units, something that usually takes 8 or 9 for others. Its an intended part of the game design.

Now if the faction was at a disadvantage to others, then yes a point might be made about balance, but it is balanced with other factions, so therefore no change is needed.

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Post by Jetrel »

Yes; it's a major design feature that wesnoth's different factions are actually different from each other; so much so, that to even compete, you have to drastically change your playing style.

This is a good thing, because it's like 6 games in one, rather than 1 game with six sets of graphics. Not only can you enjoy rediscovering how to play, when playing as a different team, but you can also choose a faction that suits your playing style (tanking with knalgans, vs. zerging with orcs).

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Post by Zhukov »

Jetryl wrote:...zerging...
This word seems to come up a lot. What does it mean?

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Post by Maeglin Dubh »

Wiki on my Trillian (too lazy to actually use Wikipedia) wrote:Zerging describes a tactic, originating in MMORPGs but used in many different computer games, that roughly equates to the archetypical tactics of the Zerg (from ''Starcraft'') that is only effective in large numbers. Normally this is a derogatory term, characterized by hurling vast quantities of troops at the enemy with no consideration for tactics. Despite its specific origins, Zerging is used in many games, from ''Warhammer'' (regarding horde armies) to ''Everquest'' (describing a raid in which participants are hurled against the opponent). A guild that mass recruits players primarily to have more numbers than any other is termed zerg guild.

Despite its effectiveness in many games, Zerging is generally considered unbalanced and unsporting, as it allows a less skilled player to overcome a more skilled player or very difficult obstacle by weight of numbers and sheer tenacity.

A body of players or an army (in tabletop wargaming) that uses Zerging tactics is collectively referred to as a Zerg, while a player who participates in Zerging (is part of the Zerg) is often called a Zergling, referring to the basic, cheap, expendable infantry in ''Starcraft''.
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