Wesnoth economy and levels....a wishlist:

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JW
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Wesnoth economy and levels....a wishlist:

Post by JW »

So I dreaded making this topic and part of me doesn't want to. I fear that one of the following will happen:

1) People will see the idea as too big of a change, dismiss it without thinking through the implications, and perhaps some name-throwing will come my way.
2) A semblance of thought will go into the idea, but people will just think "different is bad" and the idea will be ignored. Then perhaps it is implemented a year later when an MP dev thinks it's a good idea and claims credit for it.
3) People will go off-topic and kill the thread through distraction or locking.

Anyway, if I were to change something about Wesnoth, this would be one of the things I would change (multiple steps for one goal):

:arrow: ONE: increase the level of all units by 1 level
:arrow: TWO: increase the xp to level of all old level 1 units by 100%; level 2 units by 50%; level 3 units by 33%; level 0 units....to be determined...probably 100% or slightly more.
:arrow: THREE: rewrite the code so that level 1 units now have no-zoc to act as they did when level 0 units (I believe this is trivial as in changing a number?)
:arrow: FOUR: increase gold given by villages by 100% to counter the new upkeep costs


The combined effects of these changes:
:arrow: recruitable units are level 2, but require the same number of villages for upkeep and kills (to level) from similar level units as before
:arrow: old level 0s now require minimal upkeep (instead of none), and give out minimal experience (instead of none other than on a kill)
:arrow: higher level units grant less relative xp to lower level units and require less relative upkeep than before

Personally I see all of these effects as positives, and if I were create a fork of Wesnoth I would be sure to implement these changes. Whether or not this community likes the ideas - that's another story. I may have tangentially mentioned this idea somewhere in the distant past (I'm sure I did lost in some old thread), but I don't think I ever laid it out clearly or fully. It has been eating at me recently though.

I'm sure there will be a lot of clamors exclaiming "well what about balance! This game is too balanced to mess around with!" Well to that I argue:

1) Balance will probably not change drastically, if noticeably for MP. I expect this change would only effect stalemate-esque games where one side begins spamming an old level 0 unit when the other side could not (the effect being the spammer cannot succeed as easily); and recruited units that level and then are subsequently killed will not give as large of an advantage swing to your opponent. I see both of these and positive changes.
2) Arguing against a positive change just because it will require work is like arguing against new graphics. Would anyone argue that artists should not be working on new work to improve the game? Then why would someone argue against changing parts of gameplay that would benefit gameplay but would reqquire a little bit of work to implement correctly? (Of course this assumes the change would be positive, which I have already wholeheartedly stated I think it is.)

I don't see SP as a major concern here. Unlike MP, which has potential balance issues that can be addressed in only so many ways, SP can use any number of limitations and alterations (using WML in scenarios) to get around many changes in the game to get a desired effect. It would probably take some work to get all campaigns aligned with the proposed system if it were to take effect, but again, how many years of work has this game already had invested in it? I think some of the changes this system would make would be addressing parts of Wesnoth gameplay that need addressing: those being relative power between levels and the xp given, and the upkeep system for level 0s.

Keep comments and questions constructive.

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TL
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Re: Wesnoth economy and levels....a wishlist:

Post by TL »

Hmm. Level 0-equivalent units have nonzero upkeep and give nonzero experience in combat... sounds reasonable. It's not really much of a problem as it stands, but it is a minor nagging issue.

Level 0 units have to pay fully half as much upkeep and give half as much combat experience as level 1 units... iffy. The current crop of level 0s would probably need some slight buffs to let them pull their weight with such disadvantages. 1/3 or 1/4 would be more in line with what they offer, but that's considerably less elegant to implement.

Level 2 and higher units level up faster in general... neato! They'd effectively be leveling up 33% faster than before, assuming they're sponging up xp from level 1 recruits... not fast enough to be a big issue, but fast enough that level 3s might actually be seen in standard MP now and then.

However, level 2 and higher units giving less experience and requiring less experience proportionate to level 1 recruits... :? Leveling a unit up is already a fairly decisive event; do leveled units actually need to be made better?

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Re: Wesnoth economy and levels....a wishlist:

Post by Yogibear »

JW wrote:Then perhaps it is implemented a year later when an MP dev thinks it's a good idea and claims credit for it.
[moderator's note]
I wish you would stay away from statements like this.

Please note, that doing so you actually call for the trouble you want to avoid (although i admit it is a rather weak call at the moment), and therefore risk to discard the support your idea might get right from the start.

If this originates out of an unsolved past conflict, please solve that first (in private), but i suggest not to make it an issue within threads that are not related.
[/moderator's note]

Apart from that, i would like to know what made you throw in this idea. Do you think that units level too easily? And what are your desired implications considering gameplay? I suppose you are aiming at MP mostly.
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JW
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Re: Wesnoth economy and levels....a wishlist:

Post by JW »

Yogi Bear wrote:Apart from that, i would like to know what made you throw in this idea. Do you think that units level too easily? And what are your desired implications considering gameplay? I suppose you are aiming at MP mostly.
I've never liked that level 0 units can be stacked infinitely, and only 2 factions have them: the Undead and Northerners. In addition, no experience is received from fighting them, which also seems rather unintuitive. When I added the Devling faction to the EOM this created a gigantic problem that has been hard to address - the faction is all L0 units and one L1. Balancing around a faction whose concept structures them around giving no xp AND having no upkeep makes it very difficult. As I said, it isn't a *major* concern for MP, yet I find it something that bugs me every time I think about it.

And yes this is generally for MP, as most of my suggestions are, though I have never like how people can milk xp in campaigns so easily from higher level units that can't retaliate either. This would decrease the ability to do that, as well as the minor MP concern I mentioned earlier.

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JW
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Re: Wesnoth economy and levels....a wishlist:

Post by JW »

TL wrote:Hmm. Level 0-equivalent units have nonzero upkeep and give nonzero experience in combat... sounds reasonable. It's not really much of a problem as it stands, but it is a minor nagging issue.
Indeed. And to address your concerns:
Level 0 units have to pay fully half as much upkeep and give half as much combat experience as level 1 units... iffy. The current crop of level 0s would probably need some slight buffs to let them pull their weight with such disadvantages. 1/3 or 1/4 would be more in line with what they offer, but that's considerably less elegant to implement.
I'm not sure, but the WCs have been boosted quite a bit from what I remember. The bats were also OP for a time. Perhaps the goblins may need some help if this were implemented, but such a change couldn't be too hard to find.
Level 2 and higher units level up faster in general... neato! They'd effectively be leveling up 33% faster than before, assuming they're sponging up xp from level 1 recruits... not fast enough to be a big issue, but fast enough that level 3s might actually be seen in standard MP now and then.
Hmm...this is a side effect I hadn't considered, though their xp could be increased slightly moreso than what I mentioned. You are correct that in standard MP games this is not an issue however. If only for campaigns it would probably have to be changed though.
However, level 2 and higher units giving less experience and requiring less experience proportionate to level 1 recruits... :? Leveling a unit up is already a fairly decisive event; do leveled units actually need to be made better?
Regardless of whether or not the xp is as I originally stated, or a little higher, I still doubt levelling more than once in MP (again, standard settings) would be even an occassional occurrence.

Thank you for the insight though. That's the kind of feedback I'm looking for. :)

edit---
ps, I think I may have forgotten something...prices of units may have to be doubled as well? Otherwise the additional income would be twice as much coming in after upkeep. I think that's the case. I'm a little too tired to actually think it through ATM.

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Re: Wesnoth economy and levels....a wishlist:

Post by Soliton »

JW wrote:ps, I think I may have forgotten something...prices of units may have to be doubled as well?
That's one issue. Another is that you need to double upkeep provided by villages as well.
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Re: Wesnoth economy and levels....a wishlist:

Post by Ken_Oh »

Unless I'm missing something, it seems like this wouldn't be hard to make (though would entail some busy-work). You would just have to remember to set village gold to the correct value.

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Re: Wesnoth economy and levels....a wishlist:

Post by Doc Paterson »

Maybe we could have a "Team Battle-ish" 1v1 tournament between people who think L0s are a problem, and those who think they aren't. Those in favor of a change could try to abuse L0s to the max, and the other team would play as they normally do.

I have a bit of extra time in upcoming weeks, so I'd certainly sign up.

(Though I realize the idea is also kind of silly.) :P
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Re: Wesnoth economy and levels....a wishlist:

Post by Zlodzei »

Doc Paterson wrote:Maybe we could have a "Team Battle-ish" 1v1 tournament between people who think L0s are a problem, and those who think they aren't. Those in favor of a change could try to abuse L0s to the max, and the other team would play as they normally do.

I have a bit of extra time in upcoming weeks, so I'd certainly sign up.

(Though I realize the idea is also kind of silly.) :P
I would sign up as well :) Also i think it is a time to check whether all-goblins > all-shamans.
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Re: Wesnoth economy and levels....a wishlist:

Post by MDG »

This somewhat related topic may be of interest (or might not...).

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Re: Wesnoth economy and levels....a wishlist:

Post by JW »

Soliton wrote:
JW wrote:ps, I think I may have forgotten something...prices of units may have to be doubled as well?
That's one issue. Another is that you need to double upkeep provided by villages as well.
I think I mentioned that above, but yes.
Ken_Oh wrote:Unless I'm missing something, it seems like this wouldn't be hard to make (though would entail some busy-work). You would just have to remember to set village gold to the correct value.
I agree. Perhaps some rebalancing would need to be done as well, but I imagine not too much.
Doc Paterson wrote:Maybe we could have a "Team Battle-ish" 1v1 tournament between people who think L0s are a problem, and those who think they aren't.
They're not so much a "problem" as an annoyance and an unintuitive part of the game. The level 0 units are supposed to be:
1) useful in battle, yet
2) give no experience for fighting them unless killed, and
3) cost no upkeep
Adding 1&2 or 1&3, they seem to leave a loophole in terms of MP balancing. Perhaps the loophole is sufficiently small where it cannot be abused other than the vast minority of situations (like an otherwise stalemated game), but the loophole does still exist.

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Re: Wesnoth economy and levels....a wishlist:

Post by Dave »

If we really think level 0 units are a problem -- which seems to be the main thing this suggestion is aimed at -- then I suggest we make rules specifically regarding them, rather than change units of all levels. I don't think that getting no experience from fighting them is really a problem. Usually most experience is gained by kills anyhow. If we wanted we could make it so you get 6 xp for killing one instead of 4, but I don't think that's really necessary.

If we think no upkeep is too beneficial, then we can make it so that you pay half a gold in upkeep for each one of them you have, rounded up.

But I'm really not sure level 0 units are that much of a problem anyway.

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Re: Wesnoth economy and levels....a wishlist:

Post by KingdomAmericaCMG »

i dont think its broken.

when they made the current crop of lvl 0 units they considered their power reletive to the game. Undead have Walking corpse which can only level up to a lvl 1 unit. Dies to just about every fighter based unit in the game from other factions and even has some negative resistances. Consider the goblin spearman from northerners, same thing comes to mind, can only level up to a lvl 1 unit. When I see alot of lvl 0 units comming at me, what usually happens is I kill many of them off get 4 xp per unit and most likely level my side.

I have yet to see where having all lvl 0 units will win the game and for the most time lvl 0 units are best used as thow away units that soak up your opponents attacks from other units. They have no ZoC so they cant hold a line, they are best against a your opponent who has expensive units fewer then your units and basicly you can expend your units as they cant.

unlimited numbers you say, thats only partly true. You still have to control villages and fight for your area of influence. Im not even sure what kinda map would give this as a pure advantage that would be abused. From the point of view of the game makers assume you only have the Default era and default maps. and I have to say that the default maps are balanced for the purpose of gameplay. Your example of EE and EoM is the era's fault for abusing such lvl 0 units and if there is a need for better balance maybe go after the era i.e. the lvl 0 vampires are sometimes abused because of how cheap they are. Default lvl 0 units are balanced mainline.

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Re: Wesnoth economy and levels....a wishlist:

Post by JW »

To everyone confused about my level 0 argument (especially Kingdom):
JW wrote:I'm sure there will be a lot of clamors exclaiming "well what about balance! This game is too balanced to mess around with!" Well to that I argue:

1) Balance will probably not change drastically, if noticeably for MP. I expect this change would only effect stalemate-esque games where one side begins spamming an old level 0 unit when the other side could not (the effect being the spammer cannot succeed as easily); and recruited units that level and then are subsequently killed will not give as large of an advantage swing to your opponent. I see both of these and positive changes.
To Dave: That would address one of the issues I have, but it would leave unaddressed another problem (as I see it): the relative experience received from fighting higher level units. Milking xp becomes very noticeable when fighting level 2 units and beyond.
-of course, if a change were made addressing either issue I would see it as an improvement, though -of course- I would rather see them addressed at the same time. That being said I don't expect anything to happen, hence why this is entitled a wishlist.

And MDG's proposal in the thread he linked would take care of, I think, all of the issues I have without creating another unintuitive part of the game: that being recruits mainly starting at level 2 (which I see as a smaller issue than the ones mentioned in this thread). It would also allow for UMC to use such functions without affecting mainline - which I think most people would root for.

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Re: Wesnoth economy and levels....a wishlist:

Post by Doc Paterson »

JW wrote: 1) Balance will probably not change drastically, if noticeably for MP. I expect this change would only effect stalemate-esque games where one side begins spamming an old level 0 unit when the other side could not
Eh? speak up, sonny! I'm a little hard of hearing.....
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