Speed of undead units

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UngeheuerLich
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Speed of undead units

Post by UngeheuerLich » December 26th, 2009, 7:53 pm

In the current situation undead is powerful, but has a disadvantage when it comes to speed:

dwarven units for example, when they have the quick trait have a great tactical advantage over all undead units.
Especially dwarven ulfserker and outlaws outrun undead and make their game hard.

Solutions:

Different options i could see working:

1. Buff walking corpses.
An easy way to do this would be giving them a slightly better movetype and a 10% resist to impact. (A trait that no other undead unit has)
OR
Having them start with a random trait and fearless. (Also inherit a trait of the killed unit)

OR

2. Buffing the movespeed of ghouls to 6. (their movetype is worse than that of skeleton, they are used for defensive mostly and not really killer units you can go hunting with)

OR

3. Pick a terrain and change skeleton movespeed to 1. Maybe mushroom grove. It would then be the undead´s Mountain/Forest
Skeletons already have a good movetype, but on open terrain they get into troubles. And often you lack a move to get into the desired ground. Most other factions have movespeed cost of 1 in their native terrain.

edited to make it clear that i suggest one of the possible soluitions... not all of them!
Last edited by UngeheuerLich on December 26th, 2009, 10:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.

michchar
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Re: Speed of undead units

Post by michchar » December 26th, 2009, 8:02 pm

I believe that is the whole point of undead. Slow, but powerful.

UngeheuerLich
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Re: Speed of undead units

Post by UngeheuerLich » December 26th, 2009, 8:12 pm

Yes, as you see above, i generally don´t want to change it.

Especially in matches vs dwarves, there are very hard counters on both sides. Dwarves however can take a lot of advantage out of their movement types.
A reduction of skeleton movement on mushroom would not make them faster, but makes them less slow on their home terrain. Imagine dwarves would need 2 mp for a mountain square. Or elven archers on forest (Which do start with 6 movespeed and the possibility of quick... and are more powerful by far)
Even orcs and goblins have 1 movespeed on mountains.

edit: Also mushroom grove is a rather new terrain. And when you compare defenses, it looks like it was invented for undead. (Even when its actually the bats worst terrain... which is a cool feature)

I also add another suggestion:

4. Ghost movespeed on shallow water: 1, Skellis on deep water: 2

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F8 Binds...
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Re: Speed of undead units

Post by F8 Binds... » December 26th, 2009, 9:06 pm

I don't really see the point of altering the intended dynamic of undead's limited mobility. It is not unbalancing for them to be slower than other factions as they make up for this with other strengths. To supplement the supposed weakness, in their recruit list they indeed even possess two of the most mobile units in the game, the bat and ghost. On their own, they obviously lack the shear power of the faction's main units as nearly all scouts do, yet they are more than efficient when it comes to mobilty, feinting, and stealing villages.

Undead don't need to be mobile as that is one of their critical weaknesses. Yes, it can be taken advantage of, just as rebel's fragility and drakes' poor defense. Look at undead's strengths. They're one of the heaviest hitting factions, including the very efficient adepts as we know them. They have also a decent variety of resistances and nearly all damage types. While undead indeed do have many weaknesses this is only to counter their many strengths.

If there's one thing I'd like to conclude with, it is this: do not look at a faction's weaknesses with resentment- the thought process that 'oh, look undead is slow, let's make them faster' does not work with wesnoth. Undead are in my belief balanced as is- to have them lose one of their critical weaknesses would actually unbalance the game, not stabilize it. Not to mention that I couldn't understand why shambling corpses should walk faster than the average human or elf. I just think that you're thinking a little too concretely- the dynamic and thematic errors with your suggestions I feel outweigh any possible gains otherwise.
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UngeheuerLich
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Re: Speed of undead units

Post by UngeheuerLich » December 26th, 2009, 9:33 pm

You know, actually i know all of what you say...

1. Ghouls in D&D are fast

2. Walking corpses are still always slower than the units they are made from

3. Zombies in D&D are resistant to impact

4. And last but not least: i know of advantages and disadvantages of undead. And i am rather on the side: undead are fine as they are but just need a slight (as in very minor) speed enhancement. There was a suggestion that undead should get 1 mp on mountains which I feel is out of place.

Actually i was not the one starting this debate... i just thought about where you can actually do this tweak without unbalancing too much... and where it fits a bit thematically...

so ghouls, walking corpses and skelli are my favourite... (And the ghost change is only there, because of gryphon riders on large pool of water are very very devastating and there is nothing undead can really do against them)

edit: i even thought about a slow attack on a unit...

but this would only fit on ghouls or adepts and i feel it is overpowered on both... maybe on zombies. (a secondary attack with 1-1 slow or something) but this would still make them too good for their cost...
so a little speed enhancement throuh mushroom could be ineteresting. (Terrain which slows bats, but allows skeletons to pass through rather quickly, like cave for dwarves and griffons)

Edit:
I don´t see the point of new development edition if you don´t dare to change anything! Wesnoth is balanced quite nicely, but as you can see in the last development release, minor adjustments are made

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F8 Binds...
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Re: Speed of undead units

Post by F8 Binds... » December 26th, 2009, 10:18 pm

D&D is not wesnoth though. The developers have chosen their own depictions of the ghoul and walking corpse. Again, this thinking is too concrete- the thought that because D&D depicted their undead in a certain way, that all other games must follow this depiction. Again, wesnoth doesn't need to cater its design like other games.

Corpses moving slower than their living counterparts is completely accurate according to the wesnothian standard. Why should a being whose mind is deteriorated and whose body is decrepit run faster or move through trees better or climb rocks better than its living counterpart?

Yes, you've stated that undead's mobility is a problem. You've stated that quick dwarves are faster. But why is this a problem? Sure, other units can move faster. But factionally speaking this is not the issue you're making this to be.

In response to your last statement- no need to be frustrated. But changes are only made when proven beneficial. I'm not sure you can consider wesnoth becoming more like D&D an improvement.
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UngeheuerLich
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Re: Speed of undead units

Post by UngeheuerLich » December 26th, 2009, 10:34 pm

I am not frustrated. Just a bit over your responses...

Try reading more carefully:

Corpses should not be faster than their living counterparts... as you can read above... never said something different... but go on...

The ghould idea is the worst one, i admit, but there are precedences where Ghouls are fast... only braought it up because you asked for the reasoning...

I know of the developers mindset and they have good reasons not to make drastic experiments... the change from holy to arcane was very long debated, but it was changed because undead vs undead was more than boring...

But as you may have seen: in the development edition some changes were made: one significant was reducing the village grabbing ability of the bat... reducing the threat of them a lot. Also the improvement of the drake scout was a change not done lightly which made the bat again worse...

Also the adition of the fearless trait to the clasher improved theplay on smaller maps... So drake was buffed relative to undead in the last versions.
So is it too much too ask to consider a very minor speed upgrade to one of the undead units... not all of them....

maybe you didn´t understand me right...

only one of those proposals should be implementes maximum, not all of them: this would indeed be overpowering...

I have reread my post: it is indeed not clear that those proposals are alternatives... i now can understand your rather strong reaction... sorry...

If you had understood it as alternatives, then I however can´t understand your reaction...

Yoyobuae
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Re: Speed of undead units

Post by Yoyobuae » December 27th, 2009, 12:11 am

UngeheuerLich wrote:But as you may have seen: in the development edition some changes were made: one significant was reducing the village grabbing ability of the bat... reducing the threat of them a lot.
This only affects villages on flat. Whenever a village terrain is combined with another terrain (Village,Hills for example) bats still get 60% def.
UngeheuerLich wrote:Also the improvement of the drake scout was a change not done lightly which made the bat again worse...
Drake gliders still have as little HP as other "weak" lv1 scouts (wolf rider, elvish scout). I think they are arguably the most fragile of scouts (no good defense anywhere) still.

Compared to other drakes it's attacks are very weak. I guess impact can be useful against skele archer spam, but only in that single case.

Before gliders were rarely recruited at all. Now at least drakes can have a scout around without being held back too much by their weak stats.
UngeheuerLich wrote:Also the adition of the fearless trait to the clasher improved theplay on smaller maps... So drake was buffed relative to undead in the last versions.
This idea was rejected in that same thread were it was suggested. Only the glider change made it to mainline.


Are you sure it's not a problem on your side? You have said it yourself: "so ghouls, walking corpses and skelli are my favourite...". But as far as I know, the ghost is one units dwarves have the a lot of problems with. Maybe you're not using them as much as you should?

I can see an undead player running into problems using mainly skeles/ghouls/corpses against dwarves with their hammers.

UngeheuerLich
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Re: Speed of undead units

Post by UngeheuerLich » December 27th, 2009, 1:06 am

1. Thanks for correcting me with the fearless trait on clashers...

2. Not recruiting gliders was ok,because they were not really helpful in defending vs bats... which of course have still 60% on non flat villages as defense is usually calculated for the best terrain d´oh!

3. And no, walking corpses are not my favourit so I only recruit them... Why do you assume such things? My proposal for changing walking corpses or skellis are my favourite proposals... :/

And yes, i am sure it is not a problem on my side. I win vs most casual players, but in every game i play vs a certain map developer on larger maps... who btw told me that he believes undead have a speed problem... used this weakness to my disadvantage...

I still believe it is not that bad really, he is just better than I am, but his statement made me think about it.

I don´t even think drake vs undead is as unbalanced as he thinks. I am much more concerned about the dwarf - undead matchup

So I thought i try starting a discussion... what i get here however are slightly insulting responses. I would not have started the discussion if there won´t be new develeopment releases for a new version soon. 1.8 is nearly done and not that badly balanced on the maps we have.
But i believe map designers won´t be that sad if they had some options to speed up undead on larger maps without making bats too good.

Thus the proposal: make mushroom terrain cost only 1 mp for skellis only. A simple change. Doesn´t change a lot on current maps, but could be quite useful.
Questioning my playstyle doesn´t do any good to a discussion. You don´t give reason why this is a terrible idea.

edit: and to make sure that you understand what i consider insulting: telling me things i can read about in the wesnoth guide. Like bat defenses or HP. This has nothing to do with the proposal.

Or this Mr Obvious:
"I can see an undead player running into problems using mainly skeles/ghouls/corpses against dwarves with their hammers"

If you need an analysis of undead vs Knalgan, there is a good thread in the forum although it neglects the use of griffons. The ghost could need better movement on water mainly changes this aspect. On land footpads are already faster.
And actually if you use nearly only dwarves with hammers, om the open skellis at night will take them out easily... so better think about your recruit...

Yoyobuae
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Re: Speed of undead units

Post by Yoyobuae » December 27th, 2009, 1:30 am

Well, I'm sorry to have misunderstood. Good luck with your suggestions.

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Aethaeryn
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Re: Speed of undead units

Post by Aethaeryn » December 27th, 2009, 2:36 am

UngeheuerLich wrote:Actually i was not the one starting this debate... i just thought about where you can actually do this tweak without unbalancing too much... and where it fits a bit thematically...
You can't. Factions have strengths and weaknesses in general, and if you get rid of the weaknesses without dulling a strength, you get an overpowered faction. If you get rid of the weakness and a strength, you get a boring faction.

I love Drakes. I would love if Drakes had better terrain defense, but they're not going to get defense above 40% because that would make them too good: they have lots of HP, movement, and attack, but their built-in racial weakness is really poor dodge and it makes sense: they're giant beings. If you have them get better dodging, even by 10%, you're going to throw the balance of the game. (The one exception here is the Glider, which wasn't used enough because it was too fragile; the extra dodge buff both makes lore sense and gameplay sense here.)

Similarly, Undead are slow... for both flavor and balance reasons. Their weakness gives them a different playstyle than Drakes, and that's part of the challenge of the game. To improve upon their weakness, you're going to make the faction more boring if not overpowered. Even slight tweaks have big consequences in terms of balance.
UngeheuerLich wrote:I don´t see the point of new development edition if you don´t dare to change anything! Wesnoth is balanced quite nicely, but as you can see in the last development release, minor adjustments are made
Just because it can be changed doesn't mean it should be changed. Perhaps the MP developers are a bit on the conservative side these days, but the game balance is finely tuned and even slight changes could create major imbalances. It makes sense to take an "if it ain't broke don't fix it" approach this late in Default Era balancing, because if you do changes for the sake of changes and not to fix an imbalance, you're going to create a whole new string of imbalances, and MP might have that for several releases (over a year).

We're also in a feature freeze right now in preparation for the new stable version, so for the next month or so all the developers are going to do is fix current bugs and try to get it stable. This is perhaps bad timing to suggest significant changes.

And no, you're probably not going to persuade the MP developers. Other developers who have been with the game for years would probably have trouble persuading them to make a flavor change that would greatly affect balance.
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Caphriel
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Re: Speed of undead units

Post by Caphriel » December 27th, 2009, 5:49 am

For what it's worth, my experience (watching, not playing) with undead versus knalgans shows heavy use of DAs, some ghouls and ghosts, some corpses, and very few skeletons. The knalgans have a lot of trouble with both ghouls and ghosts, and the DA's magical attack negates one of the primary strengths of the knalgan faction: their very high evasion rates when on terrain of their choosing. Also, because DAs have no melee attack, they are more likely to get the quick trait, and more of them have it than don't, usually.

In response to your suggestions:
1) Walking corpses don't need a buff. They're fearless and 0-upkeep. Plague is a very powerful ability, and walking corpses already pick up the attributes of the original units.

2) 6 mp ghouls could be used to trap enemy units trying to retreat, catch and poison retreating enemy units, finish off wounded units, etc. Being faster would make them too versatile.

3) Being more like other factions is a good reason to not make a change, in my opinion. This would also complicate map balancing, but I'm sure the map developers would be up to the challenge.

Before providing solutions to a problem, you first have to convince the developers that there is a problem, and the only way to do this is replays. The undead are the slowest faction by intent; unless you can demonstrate that they're too slow, you're not going to get anywhere.

I don't mean to be insulting, but you're going to get hostile responses, because although you tried to start a discussion of how to fix the undead, your underlying assumption that they need fixing is not accepted as true.

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Re: Speed of undead units

Post by Aethaeryn » December 27th, 2009, 8:25 am

Caphriel wrote:For what it's worth, my experience (watching, not playing) with undead versus knalgans shows heavy use of DAs, some ghouls and ghosts, some corpses, and very few skeletons. The knalgans have a lot of trouble with both ghouls and ghosts, and the DA's magical attack negates one of the primary strengths of the knalgan faction: their very high evasion rates when on terrain of their choosing. Also, because DAs have no melee attack, they are more likely to get the quick trait, and more of them have it than don't, usually.
Oh, it's a very vicious cycle: ulf kills adept, skeleton kills ulf, dwarf fighter kills skeleton, adept kills dwarf fighter. :P

(Obviously it's oversimplifying to only cover these units, but it's the most fun part of this match.)

The only bloodier match the Undead can do is vs. Drakes. Undead never disappoint with odd/interesting matches (even mirrors).
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Re: Speed of undead units

Post by silent » December 27th, 2009, 9:03 am

I'm quite amazed the topic starter's speed problems with UD come from the knalgan matchup

To me, the problem of the undead units being slow is most evident when playing vs loyalists or drakes. Although I assume it's balanced, it's extremely difficult for the UD to come close to either faction when they can hit hard, then run away before dusk starts

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Re: Speed of undead units

Post by hiro hito » December 27th, 2009, 9:47 am

silent wrote:I'm quite amazed the topic starter's speed problems with UD come from the knalgan matchup

To me, the problem of the undead units being slow is most evident when playing vs loyalists or drakes.
So you think loyalist are less slow than knalgan! :shock:

Did you ever try Footpad, Griphons or even HODOR play style against undead?

If not, you should try them: they make nightmare of undead..... and speed is their advantage!
silent wrote:Although I assume it's balanced, it's extremely difficult for the UD to come close to either faction when they can hit hard, then run away before dusk starts
Try ghost and bats (if the other units are well placed) to ZOC them before they can run away :wink:


For me, the only thing that really miss to Undead is 2 moves for all Skeletons on all water hex....
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