Fire / Cold dilemma

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Higher Game
Posts: 171
Joined: August 16th, 2006, 1:01 am

Post by Higher Game »

Zhukov wrote: This word seems to come up a lot. What does it mean?
The Zerg race from Starcraft wins with mass numbers, as do the Northerners in Wesnoth.

bert1
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Post by bert1 »

turin wrote: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.
I think he understands it perfectly. Balance and equality of tactical opportunity are completely different concepts.

Of course, they are related. Balance does not entail equality of tactical opportunity, but equality of tactical opportunity is one way to achieve balance. If the factions were identical, the game would be balanced, albeit dull.

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Temuchin Khan
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Post by Temuchin Khan »

bert1 wrote:
turin wrote: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.
I think he understands it perfectly. Balance and equality of tactical opportunity are completely different concepts.

Of course, they are related. Balance does not entail equality of tactical opportunity, but equality of tactical opportunity is one way to achieve balance. If the factions were identical, the game would be balanced, albeit dull.
Exactly. And since we don't want a dull game, we prefer for the developers to balance the factions without equalizing their tactical opportunities.

thissneppah
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Joined: December 25th, 2006, 4:11 pm

Post by thissneppah »

I think you don't understand what the word balance means.
I understand balance to be something as follows: each force / faction has the same chances of success at the start of the game regardless of the force / faction chosen before the start of the game.

I think my issue is similar to what bert1 expresses. And I agree: factions should differ in game play and tactics from each other. Let me try to rephrase my point (we seem to be getting somewhere so I though I give it another try):

As an example, you are fighting a faction that has venerability to, lets say, cold and impact. Now your faction has only impact damage type units so if you choice to exploit there weakness you would have to use the impact type unit. What I’m saying is wouldn’t allowing them to have a cold attack type unit allow them to use a different strategy and/or tactic. So your choice would be between cold or impact units or a mixture of both. This aims to add variety in strategy and tactics with in one faction and hence increase the possible counter tactics / strategies. Basically make the factions more varying in what tactics they can employ.

And I also understand the point that by adding units from other factions to factions that lack that unit would make the game very same in game play. And I by no means suggest doing that. What I have in mind is adding units or attacks (if that is the best solution in the eyes of the developers) that are very different from each other.

i.e. Goblin Pillager has a fire attack and so does the Red Mage however their attacks are very different from each other: one is melee the other ranged; one is magical the other isn’t; one is on a generally fast unit the other isn’t; and so on.

I have some ideas of such units / attacks and I have no doubt that 90 % of them are not very good or simply impractical. But that is why you are the developers and I am a humble player.

Airk
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Post by Airk »

thissneppah wrote:As an example, you are fighting a faction that has venerability to, lets say, cold and impact. Now your faction has only impact damage type units so if you choice to exploit there weakness you would have to use the impact type unit. What I’m saying is wouldn’t allowing them to have a cold attack type unit allow them to use a different strategy and/or tactic. So your choice would be between cold or impact units or a mixture of both.
Yes. But, if all factions have a choice of all damage types, there is much less difference between the factions. As long as the factions are -balanced- (which, I'm relatively convinced that they are.) then the fact that the degree of stragetic depth for certain factions in certain matchups is different is, in fact, by design.
This aims to add variety in strategy and tactics with in one faction and hence increase the possible counter tactics / strategies. Basically make the factions more varying in what tactics they can employ.
Unfortunately, taken to its natural extreme, it makes the game less deep in terms of options because the factions start to play more similarly - essentially, every faction will say "Okay. I'm facing drakes, so I need to build my cold damage unit" because the optimal strategy will work out to be the same. Or at least, very similar. Or more similar than now, anyway.
And I also understand the point that by adding units from other factions to factions that lack that unit would make the game very same in game play. And I by no means suggest doing that. What I have in mind is adding units or attacks (if that is the best solution in the eyes of the developers) that are very different from each other.

i.e. Goblin Pillager has a fire attack and so does the Red Mage however their attacks are very different from each other: one is melee the other ranged; one is magical the other isn’t; one is on a generally fast unit the other isn’t; and so on.

I have some ideas of such units / attacks and I have no doubt that 90 % of them are not very good or simply impractical. But that is why you are the developers and I am a humble player.
Actually, I think you'd have somewhat better luck if you took things to a more specific level. Not changes to individual units, but rather, situations in which you feel there is a lack of tactical depth to the matchup and what options you feel could be added to make it more interesting.

Just coming out and generally saying "More factions need more different types of attacks" is going to get dismissed (and has been) as homogenizing the factions.

For example, there was a thread a while back discussing ways to make Undead vs Undead more interesting. Coming out and saying "I think Knalgans are boring to play against Drakes because all they do is build lots of Thunderers" might be more likely to be discussed (though it would also be wrong, but I couldn't come up with a -good- example.) rather than simply dismissed as a request for homongenizing the factions.

So far, I haven't felt like I've had a dearth of strategic options in any matchup so far, but I'm still pretty much a newbie and haven't explored all the possible combinations either.

bert1
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Post by bert1 »

Airk said
Unfortunately, taken to its natural extreme, it makes the game less deep in terms of options because the factions start to play more similarly
While I am sympathetic to thissneppah's desire for more options, I agree with Airk that the result may well have the opposite effect than the one intended. It's hard to say, though, without creating a set of factions and giving it a go.

And I think that's what would have to be done, as the game has pretty much crystallised into a final form, certainly with the default era factions. To get the developers to change these you'd have to do one of two thinigs:

1. Get a huge amount of support from other fans of the game, to persuade by force of numbers.

2. Come up with cast-iron evidence that a particular matchup is imbalanced on several of the official maps. Even then they would probably look at the map before the faction.

I know thisnneppah is not interested in 2, and 1 seems unlikely from the responses in this thread.

Best bet: create some factions or modify the existing ones yourself. A lot of work, I gather, but probably less work than changing the developers minds.

I suppose an argument might be had that playing, say, knalgans, is so boring that the faction should be changed. Personally, although knalgans are easier, I do not find them boring to play. In fact, I find the lack of specialised options a bit of a relief, compared to say drakes or undead, where the wrong recruiting choice can mean that I've crippled my game before I've even played a turn.

A faction might be frustrating in its lack of options. Many times I've wished I had a magic attack to blast a footpad out of a forest, but just didn't, or a fire unit to whack a ghost. But a frustrating game is an interesting game, and one that will hold our attention. I bet the developers don't mind if we get annoyed, they only mind if we stop playing.

How about a faction that only has cold, fire and magic attacks, with only perhaps a couple of rudimentary melee attacks of 2-2 or something? I know that's the opposite of what thissneppah was originally proposing, but it might be inetersting.

A Circus Firebreather, no clothing so appalling resistances, a single 12-1 attack, but good defences.

A Cloudbird who spits spiky icespit for a cold attack. Can double as a scout.

A Petty Arsonist, level 0 bloke with a tinderbox who throws handfuls of burning straw at people.

An escaped Powder-boy, the level 0 kid who follows thunderers around carrying his black powder. A 2-5 flash attack. Ooo-er matron, but you know what I mean.
etc...

Balancing such a faction, or an era with this faction in it would also be a huge amount of work. I guess that's why the developers, having got the default era pretty balanced on the official maps, are rightly so resistant to change.

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