Alternate Era Version 2

Discussion of all aspects of multiplayer development: unit balancing, map development, server development, and so forth.

Moderators: Forum Moderators, Developers

The Black Sword
Posts: 373
Joined: October 13th, 2008, 4:35 pm

Alternate Era Version 2

Post by The Black Sword » November 27th, 2011, 11:33 pm

Alternate era is the default era except with 3 new leaders for each race, the previous standard lvl 2 leaders are removed.

The main goal of the era is to cut out one of the biggest(IMO) imbalances left in default which is the random leader. Each leader has only 5mp to both facilitate this goal, since in most cases a 6MP leader will be much better than 5MP alternatives, and to make map-making easier.

The era is essentially an expanded version of this project: http://forums.wesnoth.org/viewtopic.php?f=15&t=28949.
Big thanks to Araja, Blarumyrran and especially Wintermute for their work, it has made this an awful lot easier for me.

That said, I have made some changes to that original idea. The biggest is probably a general decrease in the leader power levels. I want to encourage attacking play so my aim is to balance these leaders slightly below the current best leaders in default(such as lieutenant or marksman).

So I've made 3 different leaders for each faction, with a lot of the artwork taken from campaigns or old sprites. Thanks to Doc for sending me a HUGE list of images to use, unfortunately no way to use them all. :P
I think they're pretty varied and, each should have a unique feel that fits with the faction. Just a note on some of my choices;
IMO, neutral(or opposite alignment to your faction) is better than chaotic or lawful for a leader so there might be a few cases where you see chaotic or lawful being slightly better than similar neutral units, this is the reason.
Additionally I don't want any leader to be weak in any particular matchup so that might explain some other stats you think weird at first.
The HP might be a bit random atm, some of them I thought about carefully, others I didn't

Anyway, all comments are welcome especially regarding but also, art, unit descriptions or anything else.

Next things on my to-do list;
Originally Elvish Lord had leadership but I decided to take it of him, I think he could use a small buff somewhere.
Thinking of changing Dwarf Ruler to Runesmith. Problem is I don't use the cool sprite :( .
Add a 4th leader per faction, I have ideas for most, others are welcome:
2-shot dwarf thunderer, de-luminate lich, orcish shaman with hex, a couple of others I'm not so attached to.

As I don't forsee myself working on it until next week, I decided to release it now. :)
EDIT: On the 1.8 add-ons server, I never remember to mention that :wink: .

User avatar
jb
Multiplayer Contributor
Posts: 487
Joined: February 17th, 2006, 6:26 pm
Location: Chicago

Re: Alternate Era Version 2

Post by jb » November 30th, 2011, 4:58 am

Interesting to see this idea resurface. I was a strong advocate for it. (Though I wanted a single generic leader, rather than a choice of three.)

I think after the addition of quick dwarfs and the removal of 4mp units like Shock Trooper, this problem was "solved enough" that momentum for it died out.
My MP campaigns
Gobowars
The Altaz Mariners - with Bob the Mighty

csarmi
Posts: 286
Joined: August 13th, 2007, 1:57 pm

Re: Alternate Era Version 2

Post by csarmi » December 1st, 2011, 10:24 pm

I think that you need to change the White Mage leader's name an maybe the sprite too. Soemthing like Priest? Now he shares the name of the white mage unit which is confusing.

You may have to consider that these units have different movetypes os 5 moves isn't the same.

So many leadership units are boring in my opinion. What will their impact be on 2v2? Attacking with ledarship + adepts might be scary, for example. Not to mention leadership+slow with ulf :P

I suggest ranged focus and melee superiority for Elvish Lord :)

The Black Sword
Posts: 373
Joined: October 13th, 2008, 4:35 pm

Re: Alternate Era Version 2

Post by The Black Sword » December 2nd, 2011, 4:25 pm

@jb, solved enough is probably correct. I think after that happened people generally had bigger things to complain about. However there are still problems with the current leaderset, besides the obviously OP marksman and lieutenant et al that everyone wants, UD leaders(apart from the Deathblade) and Orc leaders are in general weaker than Drake and elf leaders. In addition you have the very wide variety within each faction and per each matchup. While other problems are debateable now IMO, I don't think anyone would disagree that there's a problem here, even if it may not be so big.

@csarmi Agreed on the white mage, I was a bit lazy there.
I've been thinking about that Dwarvish Witness all week and I think I have to remove him, slow + ulf does indeed seem OP however I change him.

I think I'm going to stick to 3 leaders per race. It seems hard enough to get good enough variety and balance in each matchup as it is without adding another 6. Might also allow me to scrap some of the leader units.

As I said, I don't see movetypes as such a problem right now but eventually I plan to make the good movetype units slightly weaker in other areas. I really think 6mp + HI movement is better than 5mp Drake movement for a leader.

The Black Sword
Posts: 373
Joined: October 13th, 2008, 4:35 pm

Re: Alternate Era Version 2

Post by The Black Sword » December 5th, 2011, 12:37 am

I've released another version, changes:
Dropped Dwarf Witness, included Dwarf Warden(Thunderguard guy).
Dropped Orcish Cheiftain, included Orcish Shaman.
Changed White Mage sprites and name.
Tinkering with Elvish Lord, Phantom, Troll, Great Drake.
Changed some of the hp's.

I'm happy enough with most of the factions now besides drakes. I think I want to change the swordsmaster to a clasher-like guy and maybe give him leadership and give the fire-breather more damage instead. Down to 4 leadership units as well which feels a bit nicer.

Again, any comments appreciated, particularly regarding balance.

The Black Sword
Posts: 373
Joined: October 13th, 2008, 4:35 pm

Re: Alternate Era Version 2

Post by The Black Sword » December 12th, 2011, 8:43 pm

I updated this to remove the option for the thunderer to upgrade to the Dwarvish Warden.
Don't know how I missed this in the first place :oops: .

I'm pretty sure this is what was causing the thunderer OOS errors so let me know if you are still receiving them.

The Black Sword
Posts: 373
Joined: October 13th, 2008, 4:35 pm

Re: Alternate Era Version 2

Post by The Black Sword » January 8th, 2012, 10:25 pm

Another update.
Apparently this was conflicting with ageless era, so I've changed all the prefixes to ALT instead of AE.
There's also been another few minor changes to a couple of units.
I've removed the Drake Blademaster, who's been bugging me, and put in Drake Custode, a leadership arbiter.
If anyone has any suggestions for making the Great Drake a bit more different to the flare that would be nice.

I was talking to some people who said they'd prefer if the leaders were a bit weaker. I'm sort of partial to this view myself, since weaker leaders encourages more attacking play. However, the problem is that the other units have to be as good as the ones with leadership.

You might notice that the leadership units here are a bit weaker than similar default ones, while the non-leadership ones are usually stronger.

Anyway, I have 2 questions for anyone interested;
1.Do you think the non-leadership units are as good as the leadership ones in this era?
2.Would you prefer the leader level to be a bit weaker than it currently is?

Leadership seems a very characterful ability for a leader, so I'm reluctant to drop it. However that is one option. The other idea I had was to give people inspire(+10%) instead.

Gallifax
Posts: 131
Joined: October 23rd, 2006, 5:36 pm
Location: Who cares?

Re: Alternate Era Version 2

Post by Gallifax » August 20th, 2012, 12:14 pm

Moving this up again, might be of more interest again.

I like what you have done so far and I want to see it in use on ladder soon. To smooth out any imba that might have remained.

Liek the footpad change Cackfiend suggested for example.

The Black Sword
Posts: 373
Joined: October 13th, 2008, 4:35 pm

Re: Alternate Era Version 2

Post by The Black Sword » August 21st, 2012, 3:59 pm

Yeah, I've been thinking about putting the other suggested unit changes in there, along with the new leaders, as evidenced by the Poison Shaman. I should probably take that out again anyway though :wink: .

Hopefully I'll get a chance to discuss the leaders with you on the server sometime.

Gallifax
Posts: 131
Joined: October 23rd, 2006, 5:36 pm
Location: Who cares?

Re: Alternate Era Version 2

Post by Gallifax » August 22nd, 2012, 9:05 am

I think we should try out the shamans for a while.

The Black Sword
Posts: 373
Joined: October 13th, 2008, 4:35 pm

Re: Alternate Era Version 2

Post by The Black Sword » September 7th, 2012, 6:09 pm

I just released a new version with some unit changes for testing:

Vampire bat: no intelligent trait
Ghost: 19g
Poacher: dextrous trait included
Spearman: 5-1 ranged
Wose: 0% cold resist

Most of the changes have been discussed on the ladder council forums and you can have a look there at the reasoning behind them. Ask away if you're interested in anything in particular though. They are all IMO an improvement for some matchup or another.

Any comments welcome.

The Black Sword
Posts: 373
Joined: October 13th, 2008, 4:35 pm

Re: Alternate Era Version 2

Post by The Black Sword » September 20th, 2012, 9:27 pm

I'm going to collect all of my 1.8 replays and add them to this post. Tbh, most aren't that helpful, its the one game where everything goes wrong that tells you something useful but at least it shows stuff has been tested :wink: . Unfortunately I had a lot of 1.8 games too but I've lost them all.

Anyway, first two games I played today, I'll probably add the others tomorrow.

EDIT: More replays added, I think I still have a few more on windows.

EDIT 2: And another. I thought I had more but that seems to be it so far.

EDIT 3: Played another game today for the person who is DL'ing these. :P
I got lucky vs plk2 on arcanclave, I made a mistake and left a very good ctk open on my drake adventurer leader, after he suicided a lot of units on that the game was probably over.
Attachments
ALT_Elf_Legend_vs_Drake_Adventurer.gz
(25.06 KiB) Downloaded 116 times
ALT_Elf_Legend_vs_Undead_Noble.gz
(25.79 KiB) Downloaded 115 times
Alternate Era Replays.zip
(147.58 KiB) Downloaded 133 times
Alternate Era replays.7z
(36.81 KiB) Downloaded 119 times

The Black Sword
Posts: 373
Joined: October 13th, 2008, 4:35 pm

Re: Alternate Era Version 2

Post by The Black Sword » January 17th, 2013, 10:57 pm

Image

Alternate era rises up once again. :)
The aim has now definitely changed from just new leader units to improving MP balance as a whole and there are some big plans afoot for this in the future. For now I have a few more changes added below and the poison shaman has been reverted as this has turned a bit more serious.

Footpad: -10% cold resist
Skeleton Archer: 15g
Saurians: 20% pierce resist -> 30% pierce resist
Orc Archer: reverted to 5-3 bow

I recently used L8 to collect some stats for myself on some matchups and that's partly what these changes are inspired by.
I never quite believed people who said that UD had an advantage vs loyals and drakes but the stats bore this out so the skeleton archer is the obvious choice to try fix this I think.
Similarly I saw drakes still had problems with loyalist so I'm trying out the saurian change. Of all of them, this is the one I'm least firm on and will need to test, another option would be to just give the bonus to the skirmisher.
After many games with the cav nerf, I'm not convinced the buffed orc archer was necessary also and it had some undesireable effects in other matchups, see the ladder forums for more discussion on this one. Maybe there could be some middle ground but I also don't want to change the archer in a way that would effect UD vs Orcs.
Finally, the Flagship change is the footie's cold resist, UD still have big problems in this matchup and I think many of the other suggested changes have flaws. The only other matchup this will effect is Drakes, where the footie isn't that important IMO, and the effect isn't too large.
I would still like to try give the dwarves another bit of a buff that doesn't effect the elf and UD matchs but hard to decide what.

Any thoughts/ideas/replays then just chime in(or more likely, talk to me on the server, no-one seems to like posting here :P ).

The Black Sword
Posts: 373
Joined: October 13th, 2008, 4:35 pm

Re: Alternate Era Version 2

Post by The Black Sword » February 14th, 2013, 10:38 pm

Hope people don't mind all my multiple posting here. Just posting the 7 replays I've got in since my last post, based on the previous download counts people are interested in them.

Interestingly two victories for the orcs over loyals with the reverted archer, I'm liking this, cav armies are still possible but don't seem too powerful.

Btw, I had released another small update in the meanwhile, giving wose his 10% cold resist back but -40% arcane resist instead. This has a very similar effect 8/10/12 dmg vs 7/10/12 dmg from adepts, small boost for the ghost as well and the resists feel a bit better I think.

I'll be setting up a tournament in a separate thread either tonight or tomorrow. I will be dropping the saurian pierce resist back to 20% for this, since I'm still not sure about it, but the rest of the changes will stay.
Attachments
ALT Replays.tar.gz
(185.61 KiB) Downloaded 91 times

Gallifax
Posts: 131
Joined: October 23rd, 2006, 5:36 pm
Location: Who cares?

Re: Alternate Era Version 2

Post by Gallifax » February 15th, 2013, 8:17 am

I had no doubt about Orcs vs Loyals not being a problem after archer change was reverted. The mainissue were all those high hp cavs and thats not the case anymore.

If you want we can play games on the Drake vs Loyals matchup with and without the resistance change and see how it goes. Pm me if you want.

BTW your replay archive doesnt work for me. No Idea if its a problem at my end or yours.

Post Reply