[mainline] Balance separation

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Ranger
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[mainline] Balance separation

Post by Ranger »

It's been quite a while since I began to play Battle for Wesnoth. I've finished most of the mainline campaigns (some more than once) and, I dare say, know this game's mecchanics pretty well. During that I noticed how different it is from most mainstream fantasy games. It was refreshing.

But after a while I began to wonder how could I improove it: thinking of an idea which seemed good enough I looked up in these forums hoping to find out why it isn't in the game. Some of them were just unoriginal, others overcomplicated. But most of them were rejected for one single reason: they spoiled polished multiplayer balance.

Pity...unless we would have found a way to keep singleplayer and multiplayer balances separate. I think some of you already know what I'm talking of:
  • We need a specific multiplayer Era in which we could preserve all the unit's stats from current balance of fractions, leaving to the campaigns more customization of units and overall variety.
I believe it would give the Wesnothian universe immense long trem gain leading to the union of polished multiplayer and various and interesting campaigns development. I wont lie, I'm not the first who thoght of this idea, I took it myself from most popular RTS of nowdays: Starcraft II. I humbly finish this post and submit it to the community's judgement.
Last edited by Ranger on March 20th, 2013, 6:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Calling a spear a spoon and then saying "our spoons are different, WINR," is kind of unsatisfying, isn't it?

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zookeeper
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Re: [mainline] Balance separation

Post by zookeeper »

Well, campaigns can customize the core units they use, so I don't think there's that much need to preserve unit stats specifically for multiplayer; core units can stay as they are, and simply be modified in campaigns. Of course it makes it unwieldy to implement a change to a core unit in all campaigns, but I'd think that such changes shouldn't apply across all campaigns anyway but rather be considered for each campaign individually.

I can't promise campaign maintainers to be enthusiastic about any particular idea unless it really strikes their fancy, but I think the idea of giving standard units new abilities or other stats changes which mesh well with the story and scenario design in a given campaign is largely unexplored territory.

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Re: [mainline] Balance separation

Post by Ranger »

zookeeper wrote:Well, campaigns can customize the core units they use, so I don't think there's that much need to preserve unit stats specifically for multiplayer; core units can stay as they are, and simply be modified in campaigns. Of course it makes it unwieldy to implement a change to a core unit in all campaigns, but I'd think that such changes shouldn't apply across all campaigns anyway but rather be considered for each campaign individually.

I can't promise campaign maintainers to be enthusiastic about any particular idea unless it really strikes their fancy, but I think the idea of giving standard units new abilities or other stats changes which mesh well with the story and scenario design in a given campaign is largely unexplored territory.
I understand. I see that its more complicated than I thought. But I still believe that carefully implemented changes that would destroy, or on the opposite side, would be completely useless in MP can meld pretty well with most of campaigns I played. I see the campaign mode like a sort of TacticalRPG more then Turn-based Strategy game (like HOMM 3).
The difference between these two is: in our case the player cannot just take money and hire a paladin. This would take from it all the beautiful RPG element. Player's goal, as I see it, is to forge, fighting through scenarious, from his army a group special units to do the things that his main 1lvl's army could never do (i guess Nick Fury would say it better :) ).
Like when you play DiD and you make advance a few Shadows to silently kill enemy leader in the next scenario. Make no mistake: I am not proposing to give the player the possibility to recieve super units (I've seen several proposals like this in the older posts :shock: ) that could kill any unit in 1 turn, fly, and be always invisible, but specialists, a warrior/mage that is very good at something but nothing more.

Example:
The Elvish Avenger is reaching his first ALMA, he can now choose one (or more but I fear the OPess fo the unit) path of perfecting his skills:
  • 1) Turn to a path of an meele fight: begin to train at Backstab. First it wouldn't be the same as classic skill of the thief, let's say it would boost the damage just by 15%, but after 2nd ALMA it would grow to 25% and after 3rd to its final level (40% for example). It may be not as good as the skill of those who trained it all their life(or unlife :D ) but still coupled with ambush and another Ranger/Avenger would make him exellent killer of fast&fragile units in the woodland.
OR
  • 2) Give him new ability: I've heard you were considering to give human Ranger selfheal ability based on his knowledge of herbology which would allow him to restore some of his health each turn. I wonder: if a human could master this ability, wouldnt it have more sense that an elf could be even more skilled at this. So as I see it (Herbology skill): Gives the unit ability to restore 2|4|6hp extra while he rests.
OR
  • 3)...something else...
Every unit line would get his own special ALMAs, but its not sad that every line will have them.
Now you see what am I talking about: in the MP these would be pretty much useless (considering the amount of time/exp needed), but in campaign it would grant the player a choise: levelup more 3lvls or train more his few commandos :D. This idead could be implemented in pretty much everywhere the elves appear as your units.

This would also benefit the developers, removing the influence of this UMC's from the multiplayer and keep'em in much more flexible camapaign balance, but still gaining them for the mainline campains for all to try.

Hufff...I getting tired of typing this much... :oops:
Last edited by Ranger on March 20th, 2013, 8:12 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Calling a spear a spoon and then saying "our spoons are different, WINR," is kind of unsatisfying, isn't it?

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Dugi
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Re: [mainline] Balance separation

Post by Dugi »

Some time ago, I made an era named RPG AMLA Era that was based on adding various specific advancements instead of the usual boring AMLA, and it was quite popular on wesnoth 1.8, but although I ported it to 1.10, it never drew any attention.

Later, I used the [advancefrom] tag to create a bunch of level 4 units (for Loyalists, Elves, Outlaws, Dwarves and a few more units) that advanced from level 3 units (or level 2 or level 4, just what was normally the maximum level), and I could add any advancements to them without any issues in my campaign. You can get them if you want, but it might not be trivial because I needed some hacks for optimalisation. They are all animated, but the animations are not great.
Excessive usage of advancefrom to make normal units get AMLA:
The advancements can be also added by replacing all max level units in a post advance event by imitations of them with added AMLA.

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Ranger
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Re: [mainline] Balance separation

Post by Ranger »

Dugi wrote:Some time ago, I made an era named RPG AMLA Era that was based on adding various specific advancements instead of the usual boring AMLA, and it was quite popular on wesnoth 1.8, but although I ported it to 1.10, it never drew any attention.

Later, I used the [advancefrom] tag to create a bunch of level 4 units (for Loyalists, Elves, Outlaws, Dwarves and a few more units) that advanced from level 3 units (or level 2 or level 4, just what was normally the maximum level), and I could add any advancements to them without any issues in my campaign. You can get them if you want, but it might not be trivial because I needed some hacks for optimalisation. They are all animated, but the animations are not great.
Excessive usage of advancefrom to make normal units get AMLA:
Yes I know it. It hasnt quite satisfied me but I appeciate your efforts. I do not try however to simply create custom advancements for the units. I want to give the existing units more customizable developement to revigorate the game we love.

Anyway, this aint that much about new ALMAs, but about separating campaigns balance from multiplayer's one.
Spoiler:
Last edited by Ranger on March 20th, 2013, 9:03 pm, edited 3 times in total.
Calling a spear a spoon and then saying "our spoons are different, WINR," is kind of unsatisfying, isn't it?

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Dugi
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Re: [mainline] Balance separation

Post by Dugi »

I edited my reply, informing you about a way to do it, but its code might not be completely trivial: The advancements can be also added by replacing all max level units in a post advance event by imitations of them with added AMLA. Changing the unit_type with modify_unit will do the trick.
Generally the easiest way to add it to a campaign is to create clones of all units to modify them as you wish. It can be quite a lot of repetitive work, though.
Reply to your spoiler:

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Dixie
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Re: [mainline] Balance separation

Post by Dixie »

Three points:

1) If it is about adding new units or modifying recruit lists, no worries there, it's already largely done in SP.

2) If it's about changing stats or adding specials and abilities to existing units (especially LV1s and Lv2s), I'd be rather against. People who are new to the game will invariably start with SP to get the ropes. What if all the reflexes and strategies they learn there, based on some units, prove to be totally irrelevant when those units are different in MP? It would be very frustrating...

3) About the AMLA thing... I am not against per se, but I don't think this should be generalized because it changes the focus of the game. Wesnoth (as I perceive it) is not a Tactical RPG, it is a Turn-Based Strategy (TBS) game with mild RPG elements. If all units could AMLA, it would lead beginners to boost a small team of super units... and invariably get smashed because the game requires that you get troops, cannon fodder, meat shields... But then again, select heroes could have such an AMLA system. Or maybe it could be for loyal units in general, but even there...

But of course, if it is for an add-on or your very own campaign, feel free to go wild with these ideas :)
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Ranger
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Re: [mainline] Balance separation

Post by Ranger »

Dixie wrote:Three points:

1) If it is about adding new units or modifying recruit lists, no worries there, it's already largely done in SP.

2) If it's about changing stats or adding specials and abilities to existing units (especially LV1s and Lv2s), I'd be rather against. People who are new to the game will invariably start with SP to get the ropes. What if all the reflexes and strategies they learn there, based on some units, prove to be totally irrelevant when those units are different in MP? It would be very frustrating...

3) About the AMLA thing... I am not against per se, but I don't think this should be generalized because it changes the focus of the game. Wesnoth (as I perceive it) is not a Tactical RPG, it is a Turn-Based Strategy (TBS) game with mild RPG elements. If all units could AMLA, it would lead beginners to boost a small team of super units... and invariably get smashed because the game requires that you get troops, cannon fodder, meat shields... But then again, select heroes could have such an AMLA system. Or maybe it could be for loyal units in general, but even there...

But of course, if it is for an add-on or your very own campaign, feel free to go wild with these ideas :)
OK, lets drop for now this ALMAs discussion. This thread is about campaign/MP balance of BfW.
I see your point in point 2 ( :) ) but there is a possiblilty to solve this. Lets say we would have a Default Era, which takes all stats from current mainline units, and the Classic Era balanced specifically for multiplayer. Everyone could still play a skirmish with the known campaign unit stats but the more balance refined Classic Era would have been used for competitive gameplay like tournaments. Thats the way I see it.
Calling a spear a spoon and then saying "our spoons are different, WINR," is kind of unsatisfying, isn't it?

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Re: [mainline] Balance separation

Post by Drakefriend »

What do you mean with seperating the balance of campaigns and multiplayer?
Changing specific units within the scope of a campaign can, as has been said, already be done, and (in most cases, in the context of advancing further), it actually does happen even in mainline campaigns.
Or do you mean more balanced for all campaigns? i see no way how this could be possible, as campaign balance is far more subjective than multiplayer balance and it would be impossible to balance for all campaigns, as every campaign will have (possibly VERY) different requirements than other campaigns. So what is seperation between MP and Campaign balance supposed to mean if there is no specific campaign balance?
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