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The Declaration of RIPLIB

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squasher
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Post by squasher »

scott wrote:I'm saying the lead developer has both defined RIPLIB in this way and prescribed it as the standard for unit advancements. I'm not proving the axiom, I'm proving my claim that it is one ;) .
It's not an axiom. Axioms are ... well... things that no rational agent would dispute, which cannot be proven or refuted.
I'm afraid RIPLIB just works, but can easily be shown to be a 'stupid' rule. 'Stupid' because it does not offer the (IMO) necessary flexibility.
Dave wrote:IMO one of the rules for creating advancements is that there should always be at least one possible advancement choice which dominates [1] the advancing unit type.
Dave wrote:[1] 'dominates' means 'equal or better in every possible respect'
This would be a perfect rule onse 'always' was substituted by 'in general' for reasons i stated above and in earlier posts
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rezaf
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Post by rezaf »

Correct me if I'm wrong, but nobody forces campaign designers to obey to RIPLIB in user campaigns, right?

So it only applies to official units, and I get the impression that these are unlikely to be added in the first place.
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Post by Doros »

I don't understand why Mage doesn't violate RIPLIB. Mages are lawful, and so they get a bonus on their 7-3 (which I believe makes it a 9-3). Red mages are neutral, so, during the day, their 8-4 has less damage per hit than a mage's attack. White mages are lawful, but the attack type changes to holy, which weakens it against some enemies. I've found many situations in which a mage can be nicer than a red mage, especially with Elvish Captains around.
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Post by Elvish_Pillager »

rezaf wrote:If you're concentrating on developing your power in one way, neglecting another one, you will slowly loose skill/strength in the other area. Depends a bit on what we're talking about, though.
You will lose strength in the other area only as quickly as if you were not training at all. Since there is no skill decay in Wesnoth, this does not make sense.
squasher wrote:mmm, this forces one to develop brances that include silly, weak units - to avoid RIPLIB violation.
turning back to my infamous thought-experiment

Code: Select all

lvl 1 2-2 melee; 2-2 ranged; 26 hp, 5 mp
---> lvl 2 3-2 melee; 3-2 ranged, 28 hp, 5 mp (no further advancements)
---> lvl 2 6-4 melee, 42 hp, 6 mp 
     ---> lvl 3
---> lvl 2 7-3 ranged, 38 hp, 6 mp
     ---> lvl 3
would not violate RIPLIB?
But it DOES violate RIPLIB. Option 3 loses melee damage, option 2 loses ranged damage, and option 1's power increase is so slight that the additional experience to the enemy is more powerful than the additional damage to him.
squasher wrote:That silly unit, which would never be used, would drain art resources etc etc, just to avoid a 'not so smart' rule.
That's only a reason not to make stupid advancements. In the situation, the obvious solution would be to give advancement option 3 a 5-2 melee attack. (and ditch option 1.)
squasher wrote:'Stupid' because it does not offer the (IMO) necessary flexibility.
I know of no unflexibility. Unless you want to point out anything useful in particular you'd like to do that RIPLIB contradicts?
Doros wrote:I don't understand why Mage doesn't violate RIPLIB.
Oh, it does. Both advancements do less damage on their first swing during the Day. I'll go add that now... The added benefit of leadership is also mildly important in this case (a Mage actually has more chance to kill a Deathblade at full HP in the day with an adjacent level 2 leader)
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Post by squasher »

Elvish Pillager wrote:But it DOES violate RIPLIB. Option 3 loses melee damage, option 2 loses ranged damage, and option 1's power increase is so slight that the additional experience to the enemy is more powerful than the additional damage to him.
Well, even if it was 5-2,5-2, option 1 would be a very bad choice, though not violating RIPLIB.
EP wrote:That's only a reason not to make stupid advancements. In the situation, the obvious solution would be to give advancement option 3 a 5-2 melee attack. (and ditch option 1.)
And what if i don't want to?
EP wrote:
squasher wrote:'Stupid' because it does not offer the (IMO) necessary flexibility.
I know of no unflexibility. Unless you want to point out anything useful in particular you'd like to do that RIPLIB contradicts?
As i've said before, specializing units would be useful. I just 'hate' Elvish Rangers, they are way too much an all purpose units.
There is now only ONE way to specialize units, by making their lvl0/1's not having (powerful) ranged or melee attack. THAT is what i would call an inflexibility.

Want an example?
take a powerful
lvl 1: 4-3 melee; 4-3 ranged

any lvl 2 needs 4-3 melee and powerful ranged or vice versa. That is inflexible. What i would like is the possibility (to avoid the use of ability) to strip down either ranged or melee attack without having troubles with RIPLIB. (Not that i think this should not violate RIPLIB, but i think it is not bad that it violates RIPLIB)
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Post by scott »

squasher wrote:This would be a perfect rule onse 'always' was substituted by 'in general' for reasons i stated above and in earlier posts

An axiom is a basic assumption that is accepted without proof. You're right about it not being an axiom I guess since you don't accept it, but my approach was to be heavy-handed. If it's your game, you get to set the basic assumptions and force them to be accepted.

If you do an arduous search, you might come across a post by me arguing your position to EP about the Paladin upgrade losing damage (because the Grand Knight existed by then).

I have since jumped on board the RIPLIB bus. I suppose I boil it down this way: if I want a melee unit, I recruit a thug. If I want a ranged unit, I recruit a poacher. If I want versatile, I recruit a footpad. I don't want to have to recruit 2 footpads to retain the versatility rather than be forced in one direction. Do you recruit a unit, or do you recruit a unit tree? Maybe the answer is that you recruit capabilities, encapsulated in interesting ways as units.

Edit: besides, the game currently tolerates some minor RIPLIB violations. I predict that they will be allowed to remain rather than go through some ugly convolutions to get rid of all of them. Adding a damage type to the Paladin or the Javelineer unit to the tree are easy fixes, but I have no idea if all fixes will be so easy.
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Post by Glowing Fish »

Doros wrote:I don't understand why Mage doesn't violate RIPLIB. Mages are lawful, and so they get a bonus on their 7-3 (which I believe makes it a 9-3). Red mages are neutral, so, during the day, their 8-4 has less damage per hit than a mage's attack. White mages are lawful, but the attack type changes to holy, which weakens it against some enemies. I've found many situations in which a mage can be nicer than a red mage, especially with Elvish Captains around.
Well, I posted up above about whether an alignment change qualifies as, but no one answered. An alignment change, theoretically, balances itself out.
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squasher
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Post by squasher »

Glowing Fish wrote:An alignment change, theoretically, balances itself out.
in exactly or less the same way 8-4 and 4-8 theoretically balance out...
Some argues that this do not balance out (and I agree) so alignment change does not balance out either.

Scott, I recruit the same way you do, that's not the problem.

The problem I see is something like this.
Suppose a new race, starting with lvl 0 units only.
These lvl 0 units have both melee and ranged attacks (a small catapult and using their walking sticks)

When they advance, they take up a longbow (requires two hands) for ranged attack or grab a big piece of wood as melee (impact) (also two handed)
Obviously, they cannot have two attack types, but this idea, although nice (IMO), is a dead-end, due to RIPLIB
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Post by Elvish_Pillager »

squasher wrote:
EP wrote:That's only a reason not to make stupid advancements. In the situation, the obvious solution would be to give advancement option 3 a 5-2 melee attack. (and ditch option 1.)
And what if i don't want to?
Well... in that case, I'd have to say you'd just be being stupid if you also aren't willing to make a decent compromise advancement.

squasher wrote:As i've said before, specializing units would be useful. I just 'hate' Elvish Rangers, they are way too much an all purpose units.
Well, Wesnoth just isn't like that. In Wesnoth, advancements are almost always a simple power upgrade with potentially a somewhat useful ability added; The only exceptions I can think of are Mage->White Mage, Mage->Silver Mage, Elvish Fighter->Elvish Captain, Drake Burner->Drake Flare, and the Ghost upgrades[1], since they change the role of the unit. On the whole, we don't hate Elvish Rangers.

[1] IMO those are unbalanced (if they weren't they wouldn't be in the list)
squasher wrote:There is now only ONE way to specialize units, by making their lvl0/1's not having (powerful) ranged or melee attack. THAT is what i would call an inflexibility.
It's not like there are many level 1 units with powerful melee AND powerful ranged attacks...
squasher wrote:Want an example?
take a powerful
lvl 1: 4-3 melee; 4-3 ranged
That is not powerful! Why are all your examples so weak?
squasher wrote:any lvl 2 needs 4-3 melee and powerful ranged or vice versa.
That is not true. Only one of its advancements needs a >4-3 melee and >4-3 ranged attack. Given that, you can have another advancement with 20-5 melee, no ranged, 2 moves, 200 resistance against everything, and 90% defense on all terrains, and it won't violate RIPLIB one bit.
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Post by turin »

squasher wrote:any lvl 2 needs 4-3 melee and powerful ranged or vice versa. That is inflexible. What i would like is the possibility (to avoid the use of ability) to strip down either ranged or melee attack without having troubles with RIPLIB. (Not that i think this should not violate RIPLIB, but i think it is not bad that it violates RIPLIB)
You're still misunderstanding the basic tenet of RIPL-IB, which is that ONLY ONE of the units must be Strictly Superior.

It is fine that you think it is not bad, but you are Wrong. Period, end of story. It's fine for you to make a user campaign that violates RIPL-IB, but such a campaign would violate RIPL-IB, so wouldn't become official.

In any case, you're putting way too much emphasis on flexibility. As I've said before, options are bad, flexibility is bad, the game should only do what it is meant to do, no more, and so on...
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squasher
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Post by squasher »

Elvish Pillager wrote:
squasher wrote:As i've said before, specializing units would be useful. I just 'hate' Elvish Rangers, they are way too much an all purpose units.
Well, Wesnoth just isn't like that. In Wesnoth, advancements are almost always a simple power upgrade with potentially a somewhat useful ability added;
<...>
On the whole, we don't hate Elvish Rangers.
That's why i placed hate between '' ;)

Of course Wesnoth is about unit specialization. That's why one can choose to recruit Elvish Archers or Elvish Fighters, to begin with. And that's why the Archers branch offers Marksman v.s. Rangers, Shamans become Druids or Sorceress etc.
I just want to extend this diversity a little, I doubt that is stupid.

edit: can't find any RIPLIB troubles with Elvish Fighter --> Elvish Captain, but maybe i'm not looking carefully enough.
Same applies to red mage --> silver mage, also both upgrades of the Drake Burner are strictly better than the Burner itself
EP wrote:
squasher wrote:There is now only ONE way to specialize units, by making their lvl0/1's not having (powerful) ranged or melee attack. THAT is what i would call an inflexibility.
It's not like there are many level 1 units with powerful melee AND powerful ranged attacks...
What I mean is that if you want a lvl 0/1 unit evolving in either a strong melee unit or a strong ranged unit, you cannot start with a lvl 0/1 unit that is equally powerful in both, unless it is equally bad in both ;)
EP wrote:
squasher wrote:take a powerful lvl 1: 4-3 melee; 4-3 ranged
That is not powerful! Why are all your examples so weak?
Weak? I would rather say balanced ;)
Nay, you're right. it would be pretty weak, though i'm thinking about elusivefoot units, combined with the new proposed, but not much discussed couraging ability. Having a high defence should compensate for their relative weakness (which is compensated by couraging anyway)
EP wrote:
squasher wrote:any lvl 2 needs 4-3 melee and powerful ranged or vice versa.
That is not true. Only one of its advancements needs a >4-3 melee and >4-3 ranged attack.
Though > 4-3 (say 7-3) ranged is pretty good for a melee focussed unit
turin wrote:You're still misunderstanding the basic tenet of RIPL-IB, which is that ONLY ONE of the units must be Strictly Superior.

It is fine that you think it is not bad, but you are Wrong. Period, end of story. It's fine for you to make a user campaign that violates RIPL-IB, but such a campaign would violate RIPL-IB, so wouldn't become official.

In any case, you're putting way too much emphasis on flexibility. As I've said before, options are bad, flexibility is bad, the game should only do what it is meant to do, no more, and so on...
Your final remark hits the nail on the head.
Good to hear you think I am wrong when i think that violating RIPLIB is not always bad, bad enough stating your opinion again and again does not convice me. That's mostly because i think flexibility is a GOOD THING, as long as it is very KISS
The game would still do what it is meant to do, it would not do anything more, or less. The only thing that would change is that a unit branch is not necessarily strictly conform RIPLIB (but only if there is a good reason not to obey)
IMHO RIPLIB is not a game rule, it's an auxiliary rule, guiding (but not kidnapping) when creating and balancing units. As usual, you need compelling reasons not to follow a guide. Sometimes things are getting worse when you think you know better (been there, done that), sometimes it is indifferent and sometimes not following a guide proves to be a brilliant idea. Using RIPLIB as a 'law of nature' simply stops all brilliant idea's beforehand. I rather see RIPLIB as a descriptive law, not as the prescriptive law you take it to be.
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Post by Elvish_Pillager »

Squasher: You seem to have misunderstood every single one of my arguments. Unfortunately, I don't have time right know to explain. Maybe I'll get back to you tomorrow.
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Post by squasher »

Elvish Pillager wrote:Squasher: You seem to have misunderstood every single one of my arguments. Unfortunately, I don't have time right know to explain. Maybe I'll get back to you tomorrow.
Might be. I've been rereading your post and i found two arguments.
the first is that Wesnoth just is not about units specializing in either melee or ranged attack.
What do you mean? Is it that Wesnoth does not bother much about how a unit exactly advances, as long as it is advancing according to RIPLIB and not becoming too powerful? (Id est: specialization is okay, as long as it does not mean to loose ranged or melee attack) Or do you want to say that there are no specialized units?
I doubt you would mean the latter, since there are many units that specialize in melee attack.
the first might be, but the fact that Wesnoth does not aim on specializing units blah blah does not mean that units in Wesnoth cannot specialize. (p --> q -/-> q --> p)
Besides, there are units that are specialized, they just didn't lose a more or less pathetic ability. In other words, i think this first argument is not very strong - if not just false.

Your second argument is that as long as there is one unit advancement that is strictly better than the unit it advances from, the other advancements do not violate RIPLIB.
Well, i do understand this argument, but i'm afraid your argument - like turin's argument - just does not address the problem we (or I) discuss (or try to)
My problem is NOT "aaaah, this unit violates RIPLIB because it looses ranged attack!". I am fully aware that there is no RIPLIB as long as there is at least one upgrade possibility that makes a strictly better unit.

The problem I have is that I fail to see why RIPL is always bad. (In fact, I mean to say: I think RIPL is not always bad)
As far as I understood EP and turin RIPL is Bad because it (sometimes) gives players a bad feeling when a unit advances, because it looses some feature.
I think there is nothing wrong with losing a feature (dealing 7 damage instead of 8), as long as a unit gains some other, better feature (3 hits instead of 2). When an enemy unit has exactly 8 HP left, you've bad luck. If he has 9 left, it is better to have 7-3 than 8-2. Sure, having 8-3 is still better, but overpowered as well. Why should this be deterministic while (almost) all other parts of the game are random?
Sometimes the lost feature would be welcome, sometimes (and likely more often) the gained features are very welcome. *shrugs* that's live. Nothing is perfect, all units can get killed and the dice determinates who's to live, who's to die.
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Post by scott »

RIP-LI-NAB
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Post by Cuyo Quiz »

AFAIK is just a design decision, it is the rule that guides wesnothian units into the path that the Devs consider to be safe and correct.

The philosophy just ensures that units advance at least in another unit that is strictly superior to the other, ensuring that it can replace it in any job and function the previous unit could had.

It's not about not "trading" things when leveling up. It's a rule that IMO ensures units can do what i described in the second paragraph.

I think its a good rule, and it makes its job well. As a rule, it is deterministic, but you can't hope to just throw things and make a game that works as you want, so i think this is where the rule comes into place.
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