Let's make Heavy Infantries useful!

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Blueblaze
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Let's make Heavy Infantries useful!

Post by Blueblaze » January 4th, 2008, 8:56 pm

There seems no reason to recruit these unless you're facing a heard of skeleton warriors/archers, as it's the only impact unit. 19 gold for a unit that can only kill two units effectively for it's price isn't that great of a deal. Seems to me they could use a price reduction of about 3 gold, bringing them down to 16 gold. They're far to slow, can't dodge at all, can't move through terrain well, and can't do too much well. I guess they might be good in Isars? Even still, they'll probably just get stuck in the water there. Heavy Infantry is a pretty useless unit, so let's atleast make it a cheaper useless unit.

The HI is very similar to the Wose, so compare;

HI
19 gold
-Cannot Ambush
11 - 2 Damage

-10% Cold
-10% Fire

+10% Impact
+20% Arcane
+40% Pierce
+50% Blade

Wose
20 gold
-Can Ambush
13 - 2 Damage

-30% Arcane
-50% Fire

+0% Blade
+10% Cold
+40% Impact
+60% Pierce

Well, one would say, the HI is like a Wose, except that his resistances are better (or not as bad in Fire/Arcane anyway). Their resistances in told are about the same for their positive 4s. The only real advantage the HI has over the Wose as they won't get burnt or arcaned decently hard.

But, let's take that into consideration, what units can generally produce fire or arcane attacks? These are units that the Wose can probably retal and kill by himself (or with a little help from a unit). So if the Wose can survive against sorcerery attack, most likey the Wose can kill that mage by himself with no help at day anyway.

As well, the Wose has Ambush, which can really ruin strategies and catch troops off guard if used well.

Movement is where the Wose can excel as they actually do move well for a 4 MP unit.

Wose | HI movement
2 --- 4 Snow
1 --- 1 Castle
2 --- 2 Sand
1 --- 1 Village
1 --- 1 Grassland
1 --- 2 Forest
2 --- 3 Hills
3 --- 99 Mountains
2 --- 4 Swamp
2 --- 2 Mushrooms
3 --- 2 Cave
2 --- 4 Shallow Water

So lets take a look at these results:

According to this, basically it is impossible to move consecutive hexes with in the Swamps, Shallow Water, Mountains, Snow and Hills with a HI. So, basically any map that has lot of that, the HI will be quite useless.

Wose's movements are far superior, as it only suffers in the Mountains (but the HI can't even go to the mountains!) and the Caves.

Differences in Defense
Castle:
HI 50%
Wose 20%

Village:
HI 40%
Wose 20%

Grassland
HI 30%
Wose 20%

Hills
HI 40%
Wose 30%

Mountains
HI 20% (no movement here anyway)
Wose 30%

Swamp
HI 10%
Wose 30%

Mushrooms
HI 40%
Wose 30%

Cave
HI 40%
Wose 20%

Shallow Water
HI 10%
Wose 20%

You can't deny the fact that the HI does dodge well, almost always it's only by 10%. Even so, the Wose beats the HI in defense in swamps, water, and mountains, which appear a lot more frequently than caves and mushrooms. I think the value of having better evasion on those terrains make up for the fact that he HI can defend better on some mushrooms that appear on 3 hexs out of 500 on a map.

Let's break down to me the biggest difference between these two units. Health says it all.

-Woses have 54 Hitpoints
-Woses automatically recover from poison
-Woses will gain +8 hitpoints per turn

-Heavy Infantrymen have 38 Hitpoints
-Heavy Infanrtymen are very slow and will take ages to get to a village to recover poison.
-Heavy Infantrymen are very slow and will take ages to get to a village to recover health.

Unless you pick the WM as a hero, Loyalist don't have a healer, so most likely the HI will almost completely useless. Just poison an HI and he's basically done for the entire game. By the time it takes to get to a village, he'll probably be done to near 1 hps, then it'll take 3 or 4 turns to heal the HI to a decent amount of hps, then it has to march all the way back to battle, which could take forever, especially if there are mountains, swamps, or water in the way.

The Wose dominates the HI in almost every field, and is only one gold more. Taking things to a wider prospective, the HI is almost immobile in every map. The Loyalist probably have a better alternative vs. every single unit in Wesnoth except when facing a skeleton archer or regular skeleton warrior. My oh my, a unit that can kill two whole units in Wesnoth is worth 19 gold. I think not, please consider changing this.

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F8 Binds...
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Post by F8 Binds... » January 4th, 2008, 9:20 pm

Woses in particular are weak to blade... and although this is only 0%, combined with the wose's low defense it adds up.

Although HI don't see mp use, I think a heavy change of 3 gold is... not well thought out. It severely alters loyals vs undead, possibly against other factions but drakes. 11-2 is 22 damage for 16g, by the "new price", or 22/16, 11/8. Compare this with the spearman, 21 damage for 14g. that's 3/2. It still seems the speaman has a strict advantage, until you realize the HI has much greater resistances, more hp, and impact damage. Then the HI becomes the standard village holder, the spearman becoming a drake + cavalry specialist unit. Factions without fire or cold damage... (knalgans?) are weakened due to the time it takes for these factions to eliminate HI. And those that can are weakened because they cannot effectively kill them without hoards of mages and such units, which are effectively eliminated and outnumbered by your prosperous HI and few cavalrymen, spearmen, and horsemen. This is pretty radical, but not far from the truth.

Just not 3g. Please make it a 1g drop to 18 (if that's correct) if anything. HI are indeed a specialist unit and thus are priced like one.
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grrr
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Post by grrr » January 4th, 2008, 9:32 pm

16g .... that means loys are overpowered vs. knalgans at least, not to mention you can counter each adept with one HI vs UD, which screws the balance in that match-up too. Oh and northies need some 13g trolls or 14g archers to wound HI, so even there a 16g HI would be hard to kill. Only faction with no new imbalance is loys I guess, since HI counters HI.

What about dropping the HI altogether? Give cavs a secondary 8-2 impact weapon instead, and no one could possibly miss the HI.

The main point is the slowness. It makes the HI moving around half-dead most of the time. The village layout on most maps prevents effective healing of HI, whereas the wose is back on the battlefield quite fast if you fail to kill it.

Oh btw, I dont think you should compare wose vs. HI. Try the same with troll and HI, and you see the +6g is not worth it to recruit a HI most of the time, if at all.

Experienced players have shown loys have other units to beat UD even if there are lots of skeletons.

Another idea: make the HI neutral. Since it is too slow to attack/retreat according to TOD anyway, it would at least cover your retreat a bit more effectively if neutral.

All in all, i tend to agree: the HI sucks.

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krotop
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Post by krotop » January 4th, 2008, 9:49 pm

I don't like the HI that much myself because he has troubles to follow the push and pull wave due to his limited mobility and because the zombi increase is becoming a problem to make the HI really worth the recruit against undeads.

Though, you might shoot yourself in the foot by proposing 3 gold reduction, it's really a lot. And the HI is not that bad at the right place, at the right time.

EDIT : and comparing unit to unit is a bad idea as well, as was mentioned in the archer thread.
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whatnoth
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Post by whatnoth » January 4th, 2008, 10:56 pm

the advantage the heavy infantries have is that they are good on "civilized" terrain like villages and castle. wose are weak on these terrains.

i think part of the problem with heavy infantry is that their low movement type combined with their inability to move on certain surfaces makes them useless as generalist units in the field. there is a misconception that the heavy infantry is just a "high class" level one melee generalist, but in fact this is not so. the extremely poor movement makes it a niche unit. i happen to think it is particularly cruel to have 2 cavalry units and the heavy on one faction, when neither of the three can move through mountains at all. this seriously limits the loyalists. if i could do anything to the heavy, i would give it 3x mountain movement and 40% defense, same as hills basically. i would also drop the shallow water to 3x.

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Post by Velensk » January 4th, 2008, 11:40 pm

I would not mind seeing the price reduced by 1 however they are far to good a tank to be as cheap as 16. 50% damage to piercieing/bladed makes a large % of the units you will see frequently ineffective against them.

Also, as always, factions are balanced against factions not units vs units.
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Blueblaze
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Post by Blueblaze » January 4th, 2008, 11:49 pm

Well, the -3 gold was a suggestion, but in generally my main point is something needs to be done about the HI.

As grr mentioned, let's do a quick compare the Troll Whelp and the HI then.

Price:
Heavy Infantry 19 gold
Troll Whelp 13 gold

Health:
42 - Troll
38 - Heavy Infantry

Specials:
Troll has ability to regenerate and cure poison.
Troll has trait Fearless, allowing it to possibly overcome ToD
Heavy Infantry has nothing :( :( :(

Movement Points:
4 MP the same.

Terrain Movement:

-Heavy Infantry

Snow 4
Castle 1
Sand 2
Village 1
Grassland 1
Forest 2
Hills 3
Mountains 99
Swamp 4
Mushroom 2
Cave 2
Shallow Water 4

-Troll Whelp

Snow 2
Castle 1
Sand 2
Village 1
Grassland 1
Forest 2
Hills 1
Mountains 2
Swamp 2
Mushroom Grove 2
Cave 1
Shallow Water 2

The troll is equal or superior in every catagory

Attack:
HI: 11-2
Troll: 7-2

Resistances and Defense:

The troll has much higher defense in every place, but the Heavy Infantry has better resistances in most areas. I believe these two would roughly counter out, if not favor the troll whelp.

Advancement:

-Require EXP
29 - Heavy Infantry
25 - Troll Whelp

-Advance To
Heavy Infantry -> Shock Trooper

Troll Whelp -> Troll OR Troll Rocklobber

As well, when the troll whelp levels up, it will gave one more MP, making it even more versitile.

With all this in mind, let's look at the price once more.

Heavy Infanatry - 19 Gold
Troll - 13 Gold.

Honestly, the troll is a far better deal. If you match the Troll Whelp's attack to the Heavy Infantry and price them at 19 gold, the Troll Whelp will almost always get picked up over the Heavy Infantry in every situation.

There is a problem with the Heavy Infantry's usefulness to the price you pay for it. With these problems in mind we see a poor showing on the Heavy Infantry's part. Whatever solution you have, the problem must be corrected.

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Blueblaze
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Post by Blueblaze » January 4th, 2008, 11:52 pm

Please don't forget that Heavy Infantries are not that great against impact. Thus Knalgans can counter it with Dwarf Fighters, Footpads, Thugs without problem.

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Post by F8 Binds... » January 4th, 2008, 11:59 pm

Although one loophole is through impact, you gotta realize only foodpads for the knalgans have ranged impact. that means you'll have to keep piercing it with ranged which can take awhile, even if properly done. Doing such against larger numbers is an issue. That means dwarvish fighters and other melee impact units do take the 11-2 retal, although lower for dwarves due to the resistance.

Making them neutral is an interesting concept. perhaps that combined with 5 mp, or that combined with a lower price would make sense, or some movetype mumbo jumbo to make them a little quicker.
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Mabuse
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Post by Mabuse » January 5th, 2008, 2:40 am

make HI fearless not neutral - else the HI lose the additional damage at day
- in such a good armor i wouldnt be afraid of too much. :D

maybe also -1 gp dont harm too much.

it shouldnt get any better though ;), and even then it will still be a niche unit ;), i wouldnt spam HI becasue its one gold cheaper - but thats quite ok in my opinion.

i dont know where the sense is to boost HI i a way that it will dominate the entire Loyalist strategy, its a niche unit and it should stay a niche unit.

so my sugegstion:

HI get -1gold (18 total) and fearless

that would be quite use- and powerful if you ask me, then you really could consider getting one of thse guys "by default" or even more - almost a replacement for spearman then

should be tested in a development version if oyu ask me ;)

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JW
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Post by JW » January 5th, 2008, 2:50 am

Actually......I really like this idea. Well done.

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TL
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Post by TL » January 5th, 2008, 3:20 am

Wouldn't cutting its cost by 3 create a pretty heavily imbalance in loyalist vs. undead? I mean, OK, maybe it's only really good against two units. But it is really good against those two units.

And it's definitely not just those two units either. Heavy infantry stops most northerner units cold, especially the all-important grunt. Orcish archers can hurt heavy infantry with their fire arrows, but that's a fairly modest vulnerability that northerners can only exploit by using a fairly weak unit, and really when it's not nighttime it's not even an especially noticeable weakness (8-2 damage? oh please, I'm shaking in my solid steel boots!) except compared to how badly most units fare against HI. If you can use heavy infantry to goad the northerners into over-recruiting on orcish archers and assassins, you can mow them down during daytime using your other units (e.g. spearmen). It can be a very worthwhile investment.

I find heavy infantry decentish against rebels, but loyalists against rebels is not a strong match-up for me. Again, though, rebels can't effectively deal with HI except with mages and woses--both specialist units which are even more expensive than HI. Plus, chances are good that when mages/woses get a good opportunity to attack the HI it won't be during daytime, so the HI is less likely to have to face the full brunt of their attacks. My biggest headache taking loyalists against rebels is swarms of elf fighters and archers; heavy infantry by itself is hardly a fix-all solution for fighting elves as they will eventually plink all its HP away with their bows, but it stands them off much better than anything else loyalists can put up.

Drakes... OK, drakes all resist impact and most of them have fire attacks. So no heavy infantry against drakes.

And against knalgans? A faction with no fire or cold attacks at all? Sweet deal! Sure, they have impact. So what? Dwarf fighters can do 7-2 vs. heavy infantry or 7-3 vs. spearmen. Which one is going to hold off an attack for longer? Spearmen get you more bang for your buck overall and should be the mainstay of your force, but as a defensive specialist the heavy infantry is great against knalgans. They've got their 19g guardsmen, you have your 19g heavy infantry. Chances are you can kill their guardsmen a lot more easily than they can kill your infantry.

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Post by IB » January 5th, 2008, 4:02 am

-1g possibly, -3g never.

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Aethaeryn
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Post by Aethaeryn » January 5th, 2008, 4:14 am

Mabuse wrote:make HI fearless not neutral - else the HI lose the additional damage at day
- in such a good armor i wouldnt be afraid of too much. :D

maybe also -1 gp dont harm too much.

it shouldnt get any better though ;), and even then it will still be a niche unit ;), i wouldnt spam HI becasue its one gold cheaper - but thats quite ok in my opinion.

i dont know where the sense is to boost HI i a way that it will dominate the entire Loyalist strategy, its a niche unit and it should stay a niche unit.

so my sugegstion:

HI get -1gold (18 total) and fearless

that would be quite use- and powerful if you ask me, then you really could consider getting one of thse guys "by default" or even more - almost a replacement for spearman then

should be tested in a development version if oyu ask me ;)
Don't even do that much, just make HI like trolls and give fearless in the trait pool, that in itself probably wouldn't affect the balance too much, makes some sense, and makes them a little more useful.

I also agree with a suggestion made earlier on to give them some sort of movement over mountains. These two ideas combined probably makes the HI slightly more useful, but without doing something that affects the factional balance drastically like reducing gold price.
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Post by Weeksy » January 5th, 2008, 8:43 am

FFNUU

Faction v. Faction, not Unit v. Unit.

The HI is basically there to fight skeletons. It's a crap niche, but the loyalists need an answer to skeletons so the balance doesn't dissapear. They're not very useful except for a particular situation, and then you need them. Changing them to be useful in non Loy-UD matches would mess with the Loy-UD match, either making it a noneffective counter, or making it too good of a counter. The balance is pretty good as it is, and that's what matters most IMO.

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