Gryphon Master too weak of an upgrade.

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Jetrel
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Gryphon Master too weak of an upgrade.

Post by Jetrel »

I think that the gryphon master, L2, should be more than he is now. The gryphon rider, L1, seems very well balanced, but in my experience, his upgrade is a bit too fragile, and/or not much better than his previous level, given his propensity to get hit when attacking (melee being his *only* option, unlike many other scouts).



Brainstorming:
• a significant HP increase, ~4-10 hp. He's currently at 46, which, given his 50% everywhere-but-mountains defense, isn't that good. Other race's L2 scouts have more readily available high defense terrain, and deal nearly as much damage.

• a changeup on his melee attack, from the current 15-2 to 12-3

• a ranged tomahawk attack ( 8-2 ? ), for which I'd be willing to do graphics. The ranged attack would act as a considerable defense, since it would mean "no more free hits on him" by L1 archers.

Or something else, or some combination of the above. The biggest problem he has, is that - unlike the dragoon, or the pillager, or the elven rider, or the wraith, or the sky drake (c.f a similar scout in every other race), if he needs to fight, he has to do it in melee. I think he should either be made "tough enough to take it," or be given a light ranged attack.

Just my 2¢.

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Tomsik
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Re: Gryphon Master too weak of an upgrade.

Post by Tomsik »

Jetryl wrote:• a significant HP increase, ~4-10 hp. He's currently at 46, which, given his 50% everywhere-but-mountains defense, isn't that good. Other race's L2 scouts have more readily available high defense terrain, and deal nearly as much damage.
I think 50% def on deep water, swamps, snow, etc. is good.
Jetryl wrote:• a ranged tomahawk attack ( 8-2 ? ), for which I'd be willing to do graphics. The ranged attack would act as a considerable defense, since it would mean "no more free hits on him" by L1 archers.
His melee attack and speed should be enough IMO.

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Noyga
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Post by Noyga »

I disagree.

Yes the Gryphon Master looks like a weak upgrade of the Gryphon Rider, but as a level 2 unit it is still a decent unit (especially compared to other L2 scout units like the Sky Drake, Elvish Rider, Dragoon).

Remeber this unit has 10 moves, with a still decent melee which makes it a good hit and run unit. It's simply the most mobile unit of the game.
With current damages, it's enough to assasinate few leader like a rogue (only with some luck through). With 12-3 it would be able to assasinate a lot of current leaders, thus the unit will be probably overpowered as an assasination unit.
Also 12-3 will have a minor RIPLIB issue since the levelup unit will make less damage per strikes. On a hit and run unit this is sometimes an issue.

About the HP/defense, the unit is not so bad :
- It's the most mobile unit of the game
- it still have 60% defense on mountains, and 50% on most other place ... that isn't a bad defense.
- it still has more or as much HP than a lot of other L2 units used as a scout : Sky drake, Saurian Ambusher, Goblin Pillager, Orcish Slayer, Naga Warrior (on water), Elvish Ranger, Elvish Rider , Merman Spearman, Merman Netcaster, Wraith, Shadow
And most of those who have more HP usually have a more frequent vulnerabilty.

Also i dislike giving him a ranged attack : it will result in all the scout being similar, which is IMHO a bad idea for game diversity.
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Jetrel
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Post by Jetrel »

Noyga wrote:Remeber this unit has 10 moves, with a still decent melee which makes it a good hit and run unit. It's simply the most mobile unit of the game.
Do you honestly think that I didn't know that?

Give me a little respect here; I've done my homework, and having played with this unit for the last two years, I do know its performance intimately. It has received very few changes in its time, and I think it has mostly been overlooked. The only things that have every changed from the original, were:

cost: 30 -> 37
melee: 14-2 -> 15-2
defOnMountains: 50% -> 60%

That's it, and I don't think it was sufficient. Please cut it with the hostile reaction - I'm trying to help.

Noyga wrote:With current damages, it's enough to assasinate few leader like a rogue (only with some luck through). With 12-3 it would be able to assasinate a lot of current leaders, thus the unit will be probably overpowered as an assasination unit.
C.F. Lancer
It has exactly the stats you're complaining about, except with arguably better resistances (20% to blade/impact, -20 to pierce, vs. 0% to blade/pierce, and -10% to impact). Plus it has charge, and Lawful, meaning it can potentially deal about 90 damage during the day. That's more hitpoints than any recruitable unit in the game has. If it connects on all three strokes, practically anything (sans some undead, or the pikeman) will die.

Yes, the GM has more mobility on non-grass terrains, but given how our MP maps are constructed, I don't think this is a valid concern. There are few "masses of tough terrain" that will slow down the average scout unit; in our current maps they are only 1 or two tiles thick, and often have grass going around them.

I think the lancer is perfect, and should not be changed.
Noyga wrote:Also 12-3 will have a minor RIPLIB issue since the levelup unit will make less damage per strikes. On a hit and run unit this is sometimes an issue.
The L1 deals 12 damage per strike. Has since long before 1.0.
I don't think this is a valid concern.
Noyga wrote:About the HP/defense, the unit is not so bad :
- It's the most mobile unit of the game
- it still have 60% defense on mountains, and 50% on most other place ... that isn't a bad defense.
It's also not a good defense. This is not an issue on other, similar units, because they have a ranged attack. An elvish rider can attack from either the forest or mountains, and enjoy a wonderful 70 or 60% defense. And not get retaliatory damage. The gryphon master can only get 60% on mountains, which weakens one of the primary uses of mobility; that being the ability to pick and choose the terrain from which you will fight - if all terrains are the same, then it makes no difference.

The gryphon master must attack in melee, and it will receive retaliatory strikes. Even weak units will get a few hits in; not to mention that many melee units have impact damage. This is what makes the gryphon master different from the other scouts - the gryphon master must take more damage.

The only way it can't take said damage, is if you're not ... using ... the unit for anything other than grabbing villages, which on a gryphon master is a rather bad use of an extremely expensive to buy, and expensive to keep unit.
Last edited by Jetrel on January 29th, 2007, 12:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Jetrel
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Post by Jetrel »

Of the suggestions I posted above, I'm most seriously proposing the change:

HP: 46 -> 51

I only listed the other ones in the event that someone didn't agree with the above.

I think, all other things about the unit considered, this would bring it in line with the knight/dragoon/Goblin Knight/Sky Drake in terms of the sum of its abilities.


I'm not planning on doing anything about this; just bringing it to your attention. Take your time, think about it. Maybe play a test game or two. I don't think the current state is grossly unbalanced, but I think that making the above change would be a subtle improvement. At least give it an honest try.

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Post by Imp »

I find Jetryl very convincing. :-)

However, I fear that improving the Gryphon Master may overpower it too much. The high mobility of the unit makes even a small improvement enormous since it is relatively easy to level compared to other units, all a result of its mobility allowing hit+run and keeping it alive. It'll be like having a mobile orcish warrior.

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Post by IB »

I think if you upgraded the upgrade you'd need to increase the experience needed to level. I find it very easy to feed gryphons kills.

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JW
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Post by JW »

I don't think Noyga was being hostile.

I used to think the Master was underpowered, then they increased the melee from 14-2 to 15-2. I didn't think that was enough. Perhaps if it were increased to 16-2?

Just a thought to stir the mix up a little more. It's only a 25% increase in power from the previous level, whereas most units gain 50% or even more. Yes, the benefit of 2 more moves is great, but the unit is really melee heavy compared to *almost all other level 1 units in the game*. I would think his melee would at least try to stay near that standard when levelling.

Level 1 units with more melee than Gryphon Rider:
Wose
charging Horseman
strong Clasher

total: 1 + 2 situational = 3

Level 2 units with more melee than the Gryphon Master:
Northies: strong Warlord, strong Naga, strong Knight
Undead: Revenant, Deathblade, backstabbing Shadow
Rebels: Hero, strong Captain, Wose
Loyalists: Lancer, Knight, Swrodsman, strong Pikeman, Shock Trooper, Merman Warrior
Knalgans: Steelclad, strong Berserker, backstabbing Rogue
Drakes: Warrior, Gladiator, Slasher

total: 12 + 8 situational = 20


Thoughts?

ps, also, I agree the xp could probably be raised from a meager 36, or 25 at 70%xp.

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Post by Glowing Fish »

I think that changing the Gryphon Master (too much) will take away its uniqueness.

Unlike the Dragoon, Elvish Rider, Goblin Raider, Sky Drake and Wraith, it doesn't have a ranged attack. But I don't think just the fact that everyone else needs one means it needs one too.

The defense of the Gryphon is its mobility...if it gets attacked, it flies far away to another village to recuperate. No unit can chase it down (besides an Elvish Rider with no difficult terrain). Yes, if it gets surrounded and ZOCed by two ranged units, it is in trouble, but that is part of learning how to use any Wesnoth unit. The gryphon is also powerful enough that it can kill most archers that are ZOCing it (someone can actually do the math on two archers vs. a gryphon master for me, but I think most of the time it would be able to kill one and escape before they could kill it).

So, the point of a scout is

1. To grab villages, either at the beginning of the game, or enemy villages at the end of the game.

2. To chase down and kill wounded enemy units.

3. To (sometimes) assassinate enemy leaders.

And the Gryphon Master can do all three of these. Changing the unit so that a player can use it like another unit, and not like a very specialized mobile unit, makes gameplay less interesting.
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Post by Velensk »

I am not a expert (I've olny been playing for 6 months) but here's my opinion griffin riders for me get classafied as combat capable scout this dose not mean that they are a front line unit. But unlike most other scouts (excpet horseman) they had the ability to do alot of damage when not in numbers. Their 12-2 attack seemed to make them ideal for killing wounded units with 12 HP or less and their speed and move type ideal for getting behind enemy lines to do so. The down side of this is if you wern't carefull that expencive griffion could easily be surrounded and killed. 50% defence is not great but it is not bad especialy when you consiter that this also applys to grassland and water. I think that the point of the griffin master was to have an upgrade for the rider.

Now as far as the suggestions, I think that giving it a ranged attack would not be a good idea, it dose take away some of the origionality and the method of attacking it without reciving retaliation. I don't see why giving it enough HP to take one more good hit without dropping would really kill the unit orginality or balance. I think that having it so that the griffon masters attack is more powerful would not hurt to much it would also give the griffion slightly more defencive power in that it would be even more risky to attack it, spreading it over 3 attacks would make assaination less of an issue.

Refering to the comment on increasing the exp requirement: as it stands griffion riders are easy to lvl up into a slightly more powerful griffion master, if we make the griffion master more powerful we should also increase the XP requirment. This will take away the easy lvl up ability but it would make lvling up more of an reward than "oh my griffion lvled up it now dose slightly more damage and has a few more hp".

Refering to the easyness of griffions to kill if double teamed. Yes that is an issue but then getting rid of it could create any number of balance problems. If you wanted a rather radical (probably unwize) change to solve that then you could make it so that the olny diffrence between griffion riders and masters is that griffion masters have more HP and the skirmisher ability. So that if the griffion manages to survive one turn it might be able to escape.
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Post by governor »

I both agree and disagree with Jetryl. Gryphon masters are not overly powerful and are extremely specialized. But, IMO, they don't need to be changed. Just as with all expensive units, use them cautiously. It should be hard to ambush a gryphon with 10 cell visibility.

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Post by im the one you think of »

Glowing Fish wrote:So, the point of a scout is

1. To grab villages, either at the beginning of the game, or enemy villages at the end of the game.

2. To chase down and kill wounded enemy units.

3. To (sometimes) assassinate enemy leaders.
1. Unless in AoH you can't buy a gryphon master, and even in AoH you may as well buy a gryphon if it's for grabbing villages.

2.Gryphons can do that, the upgrade to gryphon master doesn't increase it's ability to do so very much.

3. I wouldn't use a scout for that at all, a gryphon master possibly but the risk v reward would call for very specialized circumstances, e.g 14hp white mage running through water back towards his keep.
Glowing Fish wrote:And the Gryphon Master can do all three of these. Changing the unit so that a player can use it like another unit, and not like a very specialized mobile unit, makes gameplay less interesting.
Well the gryphon master's main purpose as i see it is just to be a slightly faster more powerful gryphon, and not to waste the xp given to gryphons, in fact it used to have no level up (a very long time ago) i think that it does need either a bit more health or damage, which won't make gameplay less interesting.

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Post by F8 Binds... »

If you think about it, is giving the GM a ranged attack all that bad? Maybe not 8-2, but something like 5-2 or 6-2? The Dwarvish Lord gets a ranged hatchet attack, MUCH MORE hp, and MUCH BETTER melee when it advances. The Lord gains 15 damage, whilst the gryphon gains a mere 6. Look at other scouts. Look at their level-ups. aren't they so much better than the L2 gryphon? sure, it gets to be the fastest/ most menouverable, unit in the game, but when do you need to cross 10 hexes of water IN COMBAT? And when is there 10 consecutive water hexes in the game? The Gryphon is better than other scouts, and OTHER UNITS at L1, and this balances because of th high price. Shouldn't the lvl-up be better too?
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Post by Glowing Fish »

F8 Binds... wrote:If you think about it, is giving the GM a ranged attack all that bad? Maybe not 8-2, but something like 5-2 or 6-2? The Dwarvish Lord gets a ranged hatchet attack, MUCH MORE hp, and MUCH BETTER melee when it advances. The Lord gains 15 damage, whilst the gryphon gains a mere 6. Look at other scouts. Look at their level-ups. aren't they so much better than the L2 gryphon?
Well, first off, the Dwarvish Lord is a Level 3 unit. It seems to be a little bit unfair to compare the Dwarvish Lord to the Gryphon Master.
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Post by Glowing Fish »

I think one of the biggest problems with this is that the various facets of a unit don't always commute in a way that is easy to explain.

I think about two years ago, or longer, I started a thread where I talked about a way to calculate the cost of a unit, by multiplying abilities together and what not. It was generally agreed to be impossible to find a simple "formula" to do so.

For example, skirmish is a useful ability. Berzerker is a useful ability. In mainline default, there is only one recruitable unit with each, and each is balanced against it, and still fairly expensive.

Can you imagine how valuable a unit with skirmisher and berzerker would be? I would think that it would be more valuable than just the two put together. Or imagine a unit with flying move type that had skirmisher. Or an elusive foot unit with charge. All of these units would be much more valuable than just the sum of their parts. (I hope the examples I used here weren't unclear)

So, I think you have to look at the Gryphon Master as more than just the sum of its parts. If you look at the question of whether a Gryphon Master can fight an Elvish Ranger, or Dwarven Steelclad, in a fight, it might come out as overpriced and underpowered. But if you look at what it can do across the entire battle field: grab villages, kill isolated units, dispell fog of war, and then escape to heal...I think it comes out quite strongly.
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