Spearmen Balance

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Safreti2
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Spearmen Balance

Post by Safreti2 »

Hi,
Not sure if this is a new issue or this has been the case for a while, but it seems to me like Spearmen are ridiculously overpowered. They cost only 14, but have 36 health and 7-3 attack with their spears. This means they have almost as much health as clashers can do even more damage, even though clashers cost 19. For comparison, saurian skirmisher, which costs 15, has LESS health (25) AND does less damage (4-4). Essentially, Spearmen are ridiculously cost effective - they cost as much as most light/subpar units, but can easily go to toe with main line units. I guess I'm asking to please nerf.

Wussel
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Re: Spearmen Balance

Post by Wussel »

Never noticed that in the past decade. You have to take defense and movement into account too. Moreover the issue is not so much to balance units but to balance factions. Same could be said about the dwarfish fighter or the skeleton I suppose. Main medium infantry units seem to be cheaper compared to tanking and melee hitting than other units.

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Heindal
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Re: Spearmen Balance

Post by Heindal »

Note that the spearman has a pierce attack and so they are perfect counters for drakes (like any unit with pierce). Playing drake faction isn't so easy. You must be aware what you do. To believe that a 19 unit can rock everything, isn't smart. Its like complaining that the bat or the ghosts are weak, when oposing let's say a mage.

Every faction has a frontunit like this. For the humans its the spearman, for the undead the skeleton and for the drakes its the saurian skirmisher, which has a decent better ranged attack from the start and the skirmisher ability to retreat out of any trouble.
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Safreti2
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Re: Spearmen Balance

Post by Safreti2 »

Wussel - Sorry, but I don't understand what " cheaper compared to tanking and melee hitting than other units." means

Heindal - I am aware that playing Drakes (or any faction) isn't a cakewalk, and I don't expect a 19 cost unit to be able to curbstomp everything, but the costeffectiveness of the spearman in general is ridiculous. I guess for drakes in particular, there doesn't seem to be anything that's even a soft counter against them. Also, for drakes, the saurian skirmisher doesn't really work as a front/mainline unit- they're way too squishy (26 hp)

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Re: Spearmen Balance

Post by Battlecruiser_Venca »

Drakes' frontunits are Clashers/Burners for most MUs. The saurians lack damage, HP and/or resistances for a frontline unit, they're only used in that manner only vs loys because of their pierce resistance.

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Cackfiend
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Re: Spearmen Balance

Post by Cackfiend »

years ago when there was serious discussion on the ladder forums on what to do with the spearman most agreed either upping the cost to 15g was the best idea, or at the very least nerfing its ranged damage
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Aldarisvet
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Re: Spearmen Balance

Post by Aldarisvet »

Spearman is the main unit of loyalists.
You cannot compare it with saurian skirmisher which have skirmisher ability and more turns or drakes who simply can fly so they are far more mobile.
Compare it with elvish fighter.
Would you compare, you will find that elvish fighter is better with same price - 14. He have 60% at forest, he have more melee+range damage sum, 29 vs 27. Well, he have 3 more less hp, but elves are neutral that is better than being lawful in team play because you can permanently sit where you fortified and do not have to retreat.
So I am against weaking spearmen because in that case elves will dominate over loyalists.
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Velensk
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Re: Spearmen Balance

Post by Velensk »

I really don't think you can claim that the elvish fighter is better than the spearman, not for multiplayer at least. In multiplayer sitting around on your favored terrain and enjoying your lack of ToD penalties will generally get you killed if your opponent is not neutral and has built his army to break defenses. You will either have to leave the forests and stand in the open to attack while your opponent is weak in which case your troops are notably more fragile, or you will have to deal with boosted damage every time you engage at which point you are doing less damage and as all non-neutral factions have access to magic and/or extreme damage you can be beaten through. Spearman may not have as much damage total but they have that damage all in one place and are not neutral which makes them much more effective on offense.

I can agree with the OP's assessment that spearmen are the most efficient general purpose infantry in the game (grunts are also most efficient in a slightly different way). The thing is, that's not actually inherently a problem. TBH, the other comparisons that he makes show that he does not actually understand how the balance of the game works as some of the other comparisons are somewhat ridiculous. Loyalists work on the huge general efficiency of their units, particularly their cavalry, and their diverse specialists to help them through the fact that the extent of their 'zone' of strength is 'when it is day'. Every other army has specific strengths that they can exploit and generally so long as they can use those to be in position to attack the humans while it isn't day the humans will fall apart.
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Aldarisvet
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Re: Spearmen Balance

Post by Aldarisvet »

Well, imagine a spearman attacking an elf in the forest at a day.
3*9*0.4=10.8 average attack
In best case that spearman attacking from hill/forest and not from plain, so he have 50% defence
4*5*0.5=10 average attack. Just a bit less. And its a day!

And I am speaking about Isar where elves are really easely can fortify at the center in the forest. Same about dwarves in the hill with 60% defence.
So in Isar a spearman is not so great, but still is the unit that must be recruited mostly. You may say that Isar is not a good map and so on but people just play Isar.
Last edited by Aldarisvet on January 14th, 2016, 4:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Battlecruiser_Venca
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Re: Spearmen Balance

Post by Battlecruiser_Venca »

Isar isn't well balanced map. BTW have you thought about double Drakes vs double Loys there?

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Aldarisvet
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Re: Spearmen Balance

Post by Aldarisvet »

Battlecruiser_Venca wrote:Isar isn't well balanced map. BTW have you thought about double Drakes vs double Loys there?
I heard it several times but still no one told which race is so unbalanced there? What is the worst race in Isar?

And about 2 drakes vs 2 loyals... It depends on drake's leaders. If they both would have flying leaders, I think that 2 drakes can early win even 2 loyals easely because they are so mobile that can fall on one of loyals 2 vs 1. So it is not about races, but about of mobility of leaders mostly. Additional 2 level2 flying drakes create too great pressure while leaders of loyals would not be so mobile to help each other. You can get luck and get cool leader or can get some bad leader. Dwarvish Stalwart is one of most useless leaders. Only 4 MP, he can not fast go to the battle and fast return to recruit and have a too low attack, like level1 spearman.
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Velensk
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Re: Spearmen Balance

Post by Velensk »

All races are imbalanced on Isars. The imbalance on Isar's isn't so much about one races being stronger than the other (though that is a problem as well) so much as the entire maps dynamic.

The biggest problem of the map is that it throws all sides into a situation and there isn't a lot of room to change the situation once you are in it. The situation will rarely be equally favorable to all sides. This basic idea is actually common to most Wesnoth maps however, the difference is that in most maps there are more ways to work around it. The small size also throws some of the individual race match-up balances out the window (this may or may not be a huge problem depending on what the other two races are), for instance: in a normal wesnoth map, Woses although a large obstacle for undead are not unsurmountable. So long as the undead don't let themselves be overly intimidated there are ways to outmaneuver and bring them down at night. Most of this, simply doesn't work on Isar's. Drakes vs Loyalists is another case though this is not as strait forward as it may seem. In 1vs1 matches, drakes primarily play as saurians vs loyalists with a few drakes as support, in a 2vs2 there's generally a different dynamic which depends on what the other players allies are but Isar's compresses whatever that new dynamic into a small space. If the drakes can't rely on saurians (for instance if the other opponent is undead and has adepts backing the loyalists up) then even with leader help, drakes should just be out traded by loyalists with mermen and spearmen most of the time. Other than vs drakes, loyalists generally are weaker on Isar's because unlike almost every other 1vs1 map and to a larger extent than most 2vs2 maps,the fighting on Isar's Cross happens on terrain and as you mention, the other races are better at fighting on rough terrain.

The concept of balance actually requires that you pick a set of standard assumptions and the dynamics of Isar's just are not close enough to the ones Wesnoth has chosen to work as an argument. The fact that you describe the elvish fighter as being not only equal but superior to spearmen is actually pretty strong evidence of this in effect except that you're evaluating the strength of the elvish fighter from the perspective of the situation on Isar's where both being neutral and terrain dependent are good things and not weaknesses as they'd typically be considered in 1vs1.
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iceiceice
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Re: Spearmen Balance

Post by iceiceice »

Aldarisvet, part of the problem is the water villages that are in contention. Somehow it is extremely important in Isar for the east and west sides to be able to hold these water villages. If one team can attack and hold the enemy water village, and defend their own, there is tremendous pressure on the other team to somehow break out in the middle or otherwise do something. But some factions have incredible difficulty to fight around the water village, for instance Knalgans have very little ability to defend it. And in the case where Drakes have to defend the water village from Loyalists, they are very hard pressed to do so because the merman fighters are so strong and cost effective. Essentially they never should be able to do so against a good player unless they have a lot of luck. If they get enough augurs they can still win but it isn't likely to get to that point. So usually the drakes need to adopt some kind of radical strategy in that situation, imo.

Another problem is that the water village can be stolen so easily. A quick merman fighter can reach it on turn 2, and for northerners, a naga can always reach it. The map is very unfriendly to beginners in this way -- a good player knows they must open in such a way that they can put tremendous pressure on that village at turn 2, or they may simply lose the game before it has started.

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Re: Spearmen Balance

Post by Yomar »

Yes, I too wrote sometime ago, that on Isar naga can always reach water villages in the first turn.
As for the spearman, well he is the unit that actually keeps Loyals on par with the other factions, considering that they don't have a dedicated terrain (All others have one).
And someone said that neutral factions don't have magic units, that's not true, Elves have more than one actually.
Regarding to the Saurians, well they are very good units, they can have magic, heal or skirmish, they resist to pierce and have 60% def on most terrains (even swamps), so that makes up for the low Hp, plus they need little XP to advance to Lv2, the magic user can hit realiably, and the skirmishers beign also quick units can threaten any mage or even Leaders, take villages and run away when wounded, with his earned Xp.

name
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Re: Spearmen Balance

Post by name »

Aldarisvet wrote:So I am against weaking spearmen because in that case elves will dominate over loyalists.
But do Loyalists currently dominate over Drakes? And is that match up fun to play or is it Spearman spam?

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