Human Mage

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Froobloops
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Human Mage

Post by Froobloops »

Hey everyone,

I've been putting some time in as loyalists (I like the variety of units) and I am having trouble finding the value in their mage.

With their hefty price of 20g and low hit points, I can never manage to get one to level - it always gets killed off as it has low hitpoints and becomes prime target once it decides to attack.

Is there a strategy that makes this unit worthwhile, or is it simply underpowered?
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Cackfiend
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Re: Human Mage

Post by Cackfiend »

the unit is definitely not considered underpowered, in fact some would say its overpowered.

The general tactic of this unit is to use it on high defense units, usually units in villages, and attack with it first to weaken the defender enough for your other units to finish it off. If you are succesful you can generally zoc your opponent down to either none of his units being able to reach the mage next turn or maybe just 1.

Also, try to avoid using the units at night... 5-3 at night compared to 9-3 at day is a huge difference in damage. Don't count on leveling it up as it rarely happens in multiplayer... yes it needs a lot of xp but you rarely use it to finish a unit off since its main purpose is to weaken units.
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PsychoticKittens
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Re: Human Mage

Post by PsychoticKittens »

how about we fix up the "use it first" with a "use it to land the kill" then take the village with something else. Using it first puts it in jeopardy if you fail to kill the unit on the village. Of course, its preferred that you have a spare space incase your mage fails. So that you can land the kill with something else.
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Froobloops
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Re: Human Mage

Post by Froobloops »

I still cannot find too much value in the Mage other than a utility unit.

When you compare it to a Dark Adept..

Mage:
24 hit points, 20 gold, 42 xp to level, 5-1 melee impact, 7-3 fire ranged

Dark Adept:
28 hit points, 16 gold, 34 xp to level, 10-2 cold ranged, 7-2 arcane ranged

In the end you pay more for a unit that is more expensive, easier to kill, harder to level, and only has a space as a utility unit.

I know the Dark Adept is a backbone unit and the mage is supposed to be more of a utility, but it still really bugs me because the mage levels into some really useful stuff that I never get to utilize. I always feel like there is something more useful i can put my money into unless i need that exact 7-3 fire attack.

If anyone wants to argue for its use I wouldn't mind a replay of it being used effectively :D
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Yoyobuae
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Re: Human Mage

Post by Yoyobuae »

7-3 is a nice damage for a level 1 unit. If you get favorable time of day it turns into 9-3 which is rather nasty.

And then there's the fact that mage a magical attack with that damage. 27 dmg magical, that must be real nasty.

Dark adepts, on the other hand, only get 12-2 at night, 24 dmg.

I wish drakes had 7-3 fire damage too (well at least fighter has 7-3 blade).

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ancestral
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Re: Human Mage

Post by ancestral »

There was talk of lowering the XP requirement to get to level 2. (I thought that was planned for 1.7, yet it appears that hasn't happened yet…) I know Jetrel was vocal about this at one time.

http://www.wesnoth.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=15&t=25287
http://www.wesnoth.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=15&t=24349

I'd be curious to hear from the devs if this is still happening :)
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Pentarctagon
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Re: Human Mage

Post by Pentarctagon »

one of the things that i like about the mage is that it has 3 strikes, 1 more than the DA's 2. while each strike does less damage, it is far less likely to miss every time compared to a dark adept, which is very useful when you are trying to finish off a low-hp unit on good terrain. plus it at least has a melee attack to retaliate with, so it can do some minor damage, and in tight battles whether a unit lives or dies can be decided by that tiny 1 or 2 hp.

the high xp reqs are definitely annoying though, i never recruit a mage with any expectation for it to level up. in most 1v1 matches, it either doesn't survive long enough or (more likely) it simply isn't able to safely kill anywhere near enough units for it to lvl up.
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Froobloops
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Re: Human Mage

Post by Froobloops »

It can be useful for previously mentioned strategies, but it even retaliation attacks alone bring the mage down quickly. I'd like to note that leveling is useful with other units because they return to full health (rarely see that benefit for mages). Maybe the only intent is for it to be a utility, but I still have the desire to use the units it can become at level 2. 3 classes yes? Red Mage, White Mage, Silver Mage(lvl3*edit*-still another branch).
Last edited by Froobloops on September 7th, 2009, 4:04 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Pentarctagon
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Re: Human Mage

Post by Pentarctagon »

silvermage is lvl 3 actually.
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Sorrow
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Re: Human Mage

Post by Sorrow »

Its a very powerful level 1 unit if used properly. Thats pretty much just that. Stat comparison will get you nowhere.
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Araja
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Re: Human Mage

Post by Araja »

I'm unsure how helpful it is to post just to say "your not using it properly, stop comparing stats".

The problem I find with the Mage is that if you attempt to use it in a contested area, then there's no way it's going to survive as it suffer from being mobbed.
Also, if you can block enemy units being able to reach the Mage, then you basically have control of the area already.
It's only real use seems to be in removing pockets of resistence when you take an area, or as a spearhead which weakens the enemy frontline. But of course, the only way the Mage will survive that is if you have alot of other units ready to protect it.
Considering it's high cost, and the way they die very easily if you havn't already killed everything the area, they seem to enforce a victory you already have, as opposed to helping you get it in the first place.

I'm not saying they're useless, I'm saying if you have a situation where a Mage is important, then your a few turns away from winning that fight anyway. Unless your fighting Undead, then they become a real unit.

Mabuse
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Re: Human Mage

Post by Mabuse »

well, mages are the utility unit that you want to have if you want to deal some REAL damage to a high defense unit.
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anakayub
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Re: Human Mage

Post by anakayub »

Mages are always "important" - The at least 9-3 at day with 70% cth is nothing to sneer at, Undead or otherwise. It's not just to weaken the frontline - If possible/efficient, it's to eliminate it, so that the juicy insides are vulnerable to your other units (and to give cover).
Also, if you can block enemy units being able to reach the Mage, then you basically have control of the area already.
Not necessarily. When your mage attack fails, and you cover the other hexes of attack, you don't have control of the area yet, even though the mage is relatively safe (usually 1 hex of attack won't kill your mage the next turn); control of the area depends on the ability of the defender to mount a counter-attack e.g. think of a failed mage assault in a loy-loy matchup. Of course the enemy will try to kill your mage, as it's one of your most potent offensive units; hence the need to cover with direct + zoc protection.

Cack explained well how to use the mage. And comparing stats are useless, as stat balance depends on the dynamics of the faction + faction-faction matchups anyway, not individual comparisons.
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krotop
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Re: Human Mage

Post by krotop »

Froobloops wrote:I still cannot find too much value in the Mage other than a utility unit.

When you compare it to a Dark Adept..

Mage:
24 hit points, 20 gold, 42 xp to level, 5-1 melee impact, 7-3 fire ranged

Dark Adept:
28 hit points, 16 gold, 34 xp to level, 10-2 cold ranged, 7-2 arcane ranged

In the end you pay more for a unit that is more expensive, easier to kill, harder to level, and only has a space as a utility unit.

I know the Dark Adept is a backbone unit and the mage is supposed to be more of a utility, but it still really bugs me because the mage levels into some really useful stuff that I never get to utilize. I always feel like there is something more useful i can put my money into unless i need that exact 7-3 fire attack.
The dark adept is purposedly more cost efficient as far as I can tell. As you started to imply, that's partly because the loyalist faction and the undead faction are designed to be played differently, that's one good exemple of "balance is made factions against factions, not units against units". If you compare the skeleton warrior to the spearman, as another instance, you could conclude something similar to your backbone/utility note.
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Yoyobuae
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Re: Human Mage

Post by Yoyobuae »

Don't forget the deterrent factor.

Against a chaotic faction, a couple of mages in the back lines will make the enemy think twice before attacking as dawn approaches. Which is specially useful to re-gain the terrain lost during nighttime and get some kills if the enemy was sloppy (which would balance out the lost income from stolen villages).

There's a double benefit, the chaotic enemies will be unable to counter attack without being exposed to massive damage in return (while doing reduced damage if morning already).

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