Balancing Age of Heroes

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Scatha
Posts: 111
Joined: March 29th, 2008, 2:55 pm

Balancing Age of Heroes

Post by Scatha » March 13th, 2012, 8:54 pm

There seems to be a widespread agreement that Age of Heroes is unbalanced. I'd suggest that it would be valuable to try to improve upon the balance, even if the result is not quite as finely honed as Default.
Advantages and Disadvantages
This would have advantages:
- Age of Heroes is part of the mainline, so this would (slightly) improve the quality and professionalism of the game as a whole.
- Age of Heroes is fun as a variation of Default, but the balance issues make it less enjoyable to play (at least for some players).

It might have disadvantages:
- It would need some work, and in particular informed opinions and testing, to get the balance as good as possible. (But I think there are some simple changes which would at least improve it.)
- One balancing tool available is to make some units not recruitable, which would reduce the elegance of the era.
This has had a bit of discussion in the past, but not much. See, for example:
http://forums.wesnoth.org/viewtopic.php?f=15&t=13651
http://forums.wesnoth.org/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=32508

This thread asks two questions:
- Do most people agree that it would be worthwhile tweaking the era to improve balance?
- Is there a consensus among experts about what kind of changes are needed?
Problems and Tools
It is probably beyond me to give a complete list of problems, but here are a couple which seem to stand out:
- The Silver Mage is too strong as a leader
- Some recruitable scout units can get 10 movement, which allows for village stealing on several of the default maps.

There are a number of methods of tools available for balancing the era without making any changes to Default:
- Changing the price of Level 2 units
- Restricting which units are available as leaders
(- Perhaps removing the ability to recruit certain Level 2s)
Proposals
- Remove the Silver Mage as an option for a leader. This is actually an obvious consequence of the normal rule which doesn't allow units with more than six movement to be leaders. The Silver Mage effectively has more than six movement.
- When playing Age of Heroes, the default settings should perhaps have slightly more (25?) gold, and slightly higher income or gold/village, to make it play differently from Default. (I'm not actually sure if this is possible within the current game architecture.)
- Examine how much of an issue the village stealing opportunities are. If necessary, increase the price of the scout units which are capable of this until it's no longer a powerful strategy, or remove them from the recruitment lists.

Those proposals are just a first guess. I think there are more informed opinions than mine on these forums, and I'd love to hear them (if other people think this is a worthwhile thing to pursue). Of course if we had a reasonable guess as to what changes would be best, one might create a new era to test these.

Scatha
Posts: 111
Joined: March 29th, 2008, 2:55 pm

Re: Balancing Age of Heroes

Post by Scatha » March 18th, 2012, 4:28 pm

Five days and over fifty views but no replies; I'm mildly surprised. Should I have put this in the ideas forum? Did I manage to avoid saying anything controversial, but also fail to say anything exciting? Or are people simply apathetic about Age of Heroes?

Let me attempt to be a little more controversial, then:

I think it would be reasonable to submit a bug report about the availability of the Silver Mage as a leader in Age of Heroes. So far as I'm concerned this is a bug, since it effectively violates the main criterion used for the legality of different units as leaders.

Moreover I think it would be fair to submit a feature request asking for default settings to add 25 gold and 1 gold/village to Age of Heroes games. More gold would help to encourage the use of some level 2s, making it more than Default-with-level-3-leaders. But adding to the general value of armies without making villages correspondingly more valuable risks making games too defensive.

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alexanderthegre
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Re: Balancing Age of Heroes

Post by alexanderthegre » March 18th, 2012, 5:24 pm

Scatha wrote:Five days and over fifty views but no replies; I'm mildly surprised. Should I have put this in the ideas forum? Did I manage to avoid saying anything controversial, but also fail to say anything exciting? Or are people simply apathetic about Age of Heroes?

Let me attempt to be a little more controversial, then:

I think it would be reasonable to submit a bug report about the availability of the Silver Mage as a leader in Age of Heroes. So far as I'm concerned this is a bug, since it effectively violates the main criterion used for the legality of different units as leaders.

Moreover I think it would be fair to submit a feature request asking for default settings to add 25 gold and 1 gold/village to Age of Heroes games. More gold would help to encourage the use of some level 2s, making it more than Default-with-level-3-leaders. But adding to the general value of armies without making villages correspondingly more valuable risks making games too defensive.
Well... You wrote a very long post saying things that everyone already knew. And then only suggested two things.
Not that I don't think that silver mages shouldn't be leaders, (quite the contrary, in fact, I fully agree with you), but just saying how we could balance the AoH, doesn't actually have anything to discuss on the topic thereof.

Regarding adding gold, that can't be done, as gold is map-specific.

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