Is undead strategy unidimensional?

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whatsagoblin
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Is undead strategy unidimensional?

Post by whatsagoblin » January 2nd, 2008, 2:27 am

When playing as the different factions in wesnoth multiplayer I noticed that almost each faction can be played in many different ways and almost no units usage was mandatory. Sure some units were more effective than others but most factions had at least some overlap so that there is choice involved.
The thing is when playing undead you are almost required to go adepts as no other unit deals nearly as much raw damage, it seems as though when you play as undead your main units are always dark adepts while every other unit is cast in a supporting role. This really limits strategy in what is otherwise one of the more interesting factions.
For example I remember reading on these forums that when woses were introduced every faction had a way or several to deal with theme except for undead at the time, this was because dark adepts did poorly vs woses and so ghouls had to be introduced. Balancing undead for the most part seems to be making sure that no opposing unit can take advantage of dark adepts.
I'm not saying the undead are unbalanced right now, they seem to be balanced fine its just that maybe there could be some additions to allow undead players to branch out a bit strategically and not be forced to constantly rely on dark adepts.
Another telling example is that when undead play undead it is one of the most bonecrushingly dull games with little strategy, however when other factions play mirror matches its not nearly as bad since each of the other factions have a diverse array of units that are used with abilities and weaknesses that differ, while undead rely on one unit... the dark adept.
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Weeksy
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Post by Weeksy » January 2nd, 2008, 3:54 am

many matchups it's possible to use a lot more skellies... post some replays and we can try to tell you other approaches you could have used to what your opponent was doing.

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Post by Radament » January 2nd, 2008, 9:07 am

Attacking is only part of the game, and that's where adepts shine. But try to defend/distract/support with them, and you'll see that they blend in just fine with all the other units.

Besides, how could a faction with walking dead ever be unidimensional? :P

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Post by Velensk » January 2nd, 2008, 1:52 pm

Adepts have great offencive firepower, thus when you need offensive firepower they are generaly your first choice, skelotons accualy do more damage than adepts, however adepts are ranged and magical making them more deadly than skelotons.
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whatsagoblin
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Post by whatsagoblin » January 2nd, 2008, 8:44 pm

Adepts have great offencive firepower, thus when you need offensive firepower they are generaly your first choice, skelotons accualy do more damage than adepts, however adepts are ranged and magical making them more deadly than skelotons.
Thats true and is sort of my point, with undead adepts are necessary but for example with knalgans you can make a strategy that doesnt use say fighters or guardsmen
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JW
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Post by JW » January 2nd, 2008, 9:38 pm

whatsagoblin wrote:
Adepts have great offencive firepower, thus when you need offensive firepower they are generaly your first choice, skelotons accualy do more damage than adepts, however adepts are ranged and magical making them more deadly than skelotons.
Thats true and is sort of my point, with undead adepts are necessary but for example with knalgans you can make a strategy that doesnt use say fighters or guardsmen
I never use Guardsmen pretty much. But yeah, Undead rely on Adepts in every matchup. Not only do they hit hard, but they are cheap too. I see your point, but I don't have a major problem with it as the rest of the faction is more fluid in different matchups.

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Post by whatsagoblin » January 2nd, 2008, 10:30 pm

I never use Guardsmen pretty much. But yeah, Undead rely on Adepts in every matchup. Not only do they hit hard, but they are cheap too. I see your point, but I don't have a major problem with it as the rest of the faction is more fluid in different matchups.
well it will become an issue sooner or later as more factions and units are added and inevitably there will be some that adepts will have a hard time dealing with

I've been discussing it with some other people in game and a nice idea would be some sort of lvl1 with nightstalk to emphasize undeads dominance at night and act as a good finisher unit.
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Aethaeryn
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Post by Aethaeryn » January 2nd, 2008, 10:57 pm

More factions and units aren't going to be added to default anytime soon. The balance is very fine-tuned and it's not changing in a major way. I don't even think they're accepting any new units until the graphics are done on all the current ones, and then the new units will require a complete set of graphics. So there isn't even going to be a chance of adding a new unit probably at least for a year, and after then it will be very rare.

I personally like the unique feel of UD - doesn't make all factions carbon copies of each other. It makes sense that the Undead have the Dark Adept as the most important offensive unit and the rest are mindless supporting units thematically. Any complaint about imbalance, suggestions of new units or expanding current lines, etc., are almost universally rejected. If you don't like the feel of the Undead faction, don't play them.

I don't know who you've been talking to, but if you like abilities so much play user-made eras or even play Age of Heroes so you can recruit Shadows.
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TL
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Post by TL » January 2nd, 2008, 11:11 pm

whatsagoblin wrote:Thats true and is sort of my point, with undead adepts are necessary but for example with knalgans you can make a strategy that doesnt use say fighters or guardsmen
Knalgans are actually fairly unique in that they generally have a lot of flexibility. Most factions really don't, though. Sure, you can gamble with an odd deployment and maybe get lucky and win on the sheer WTF factor, but against a competent player you're unlikely to have much success if you try playing, say, northerners without using orc grunts. Or rebels without elf fighters, loyalists without spearmen, etc. Yes, you can use other units to compensate for the lack of these staple units, but that's usually a losing proposition.

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Post by whatsagoblin » January 3rd, 2008, 11:06 pm

Well I've been playing undead in the (new dev)up to date version and with the changes in Bats and WC's they seem much more interesting though some people are actually complaining that bats are OP(never thought I would see the day)
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Caeb
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Post by Caeb » January 4th, 2008, 12:44 am

actually, I believe in earlier versions, bats were underpriced and could be spammed to easily grab a quick economic advantage...

back on topic, it does seem that Undead tend to play more straightforward than most factions, but that's part of their own uniqueness... perhaps more than any other faction except drakes, UD flow with momentum and ToD... (in that respect, they sort of remind me of a slower version of drakes, although I know tactically they're at opposite ends of the spectrum...) also, skeletons and ghouls are less limited by terrain combat-wise because of their resistances, at the cost of their mobility... (while bats and ghosts make up for the lack of speed without giving up the terrain flexibility like loyalist horses do...)

additionally, playing UD forces your opponent to change his strategy to react to what you're doing because of the threat of skeletons that half his units are ineffective against... once he knows what he's up against, his safest option is to go for impact/fire units, so you'll know what the biggest threats he can send are once you know his faction and plan accordingly... adepts and skeletons are the "boring" bread and butter of UD, but I think it's pretty nice to have two units that are effective against everything out there... then throw in:

-a melee poisoner that can survive an attack from (almost) any lvl 1 at their preferred ToD (what's an ulf...?)
-a piercing ranged night"mare" for horses (had to throw in some cheese...)
-an inexpensive all-purpose body that can pay for itself with each kill
-a fast, flying terror that may be able to level in one kill but is bothersome to get rid of either way without magical
-a harassment unit given all the right tools to stick around and become a game-changing killer when it levels

and you've got yourself a blue-collar costume party for the working undead... meanwhile, all the other factions have to take time to plan for things like getting dwarves and outlaws to work together, reading the Swiss army knife instruction manual (loyalist reference), or making sure drakes and saurians don't stay out past their curfews... wait, I just realized I probably could've just directed you to JW's stuff instead of writing a mini-guide on the spot here... oh well, bit by the writing bug...

in short, part of the fun of UD for me comes from seeing how much carnage I can wreak at night, and how long I can hold my ground during the day to cause even more damage the next night... (this is oversimplified, and thought needs to be put into positioning and how far you're willing to push a main attack force that's so relatively immobile...) oh, and leveling a ghost is always interesting too if you're looking for more variety, since either option results in more happy times... 8)

whatsagoblin
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Post by whatsagoblin » January 4th, 2008, 2:12 am

@ Caeb

I have read JW's guides, very informative.

I too like the focused feel of undead but the problem I see is that the staple unit of undead (Dark Adept) is basically a cheaper, slightly more specialized mage(and mages are support units for all the factions that have them). Before the most recent version that left you dependent on the adepts damage but now with the changes to bats and WC's I can see a little more wiggle room strategically with UD.
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Post by F8 Binds... » January 5th, 2008, 11:12 pm

Playing undead perhaps is unidimensional since every faction has a set of certain given counters and less room for different strategy because of the undead's natural resists and weaknesses. Thus every loyalist or rebel player should have mages, perhaps woses and HI, drakes will have burners... if that's what you mean.

However, I've seen some sick combos of spearmen, fencers, mages, and horsemen, with some fish perhaps. (Yes, no HI.) I had to redefine my strategy more and use more skeletons, specifically the archer, seeing as my skeletons and ghouls were finished off by mages leaving the adepts open to fencers and horsemen, with no viable counter for each that wouldn't make itself a target. So the strategy for undead isn't quite unidimensional.

For instance, some people tend to go more for the ghoul-WC-adept route, with few skeletons, while others tend to be more skeleton heavy. Others like bats more than ghosts, vice versa, and implement them into their strategy. I say it's all a matter of what decisions you have and how your taste of strategy influences them.
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