Dunefolk balancing rework ideas - discussion.

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The_Gnat
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Re: Dunefolk balancing rework ideas - discussion.

Post by The_Gnat » December 16th, 2018, 5:56 am

Thank you for reminding me it will be edited

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Re: Dunefolk balancing rework ideas - discussion.

Post by Celtic_Minstrel » December 16th, 2018, 6:49 am

name wrote:
December 16th, 2018, 2:20 am
3) Naga are highly serpentine, and in mythology half cobra (probably king cobra). Wesnoth's naga likely do have fangs.
For the record, I don't think Wesnoth's nagas have any cobra in them; but fangs, probably.
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Re: Dunefolk balancing rework ideas - discussion.

Post by The_Gnat » December 16th, 2018, 8:31 am

Also just wondering, has the 8MP Rider been approved?

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Re: Dunefolk balancing rework ideas - discussion.

Post by Caladbolg » December 16th, 2018, 4:32 pm

I'm fine with Pentarctagon's latest proposal.

As for name's / The_Gnat's, I still think that spear is preferable lore-wise. Biting attacks would require the attacker to expose their head to blows, which is something sapient beings would probably want to avoid at all costs. I don't think Nagas would take such a risk, especially if they're physically frail and their bite doesn't do significant damage. If bite stays, I think it'd make sense for it to be stronger but with less strikes, like 5 x 2. Though I still prefer the idea of poison injecting spears...

Ranged attack can stay as 'chakram', I think it's a fairly well known weapon. Low dmg with more strikes is interesting but keep in mind that there will be advancements. With 5 strikes, you kinda lock yourself in with regards to number of strikes, as advancements would need to have as many, but 6 is a bit much. Maybe it'd be better to start with 4 x 4 and add another strike plus some dmg on lvl 2? With these changes I'd be fine with this proposal as well.

So I'm undecided on which one is better. Maybe a hybrid of those two?

Code: Select all

name=Naga Poisoner
hp=28
xp=35
cost=17
moves=7
alignment=liminal

attack1:
    name=spear
    specials=poison
    type=pierce
    strikes=2
    damage=5

attack2:
    name=chakram
    type=blade
    strikes=4
    damage=4
(movetype and resistances as before)

Then have it branch off at lvl 2 into a solid, balanced fighter with good melee (3 strikes -> higher poison chance), and a ranged oriented chakram thrower with low melee and chance to poison, but better movement and ranged attack. At final lvl, melee oriented one could get firststrike on spear, and ranged oriented one marksman on chakrams. And/or one branch could be capped at lvl 2 to make the tree more dynamic.

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Re: Dunefolk balancing rework ideas - discussion.

Post by Pentarctagon » December 16th, 2018, 4:41 pm

The_Gnat wrote:
December 16th, 2018, 8:31 am
Also just wondering, has the 8MP Rider been approved?
That and changing the burner line's melee to blade damage would be changes I could commit pretty easily if they're agreed upon.
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Re: Dunefolk balancing rework ideas - discussion.

Post by name » December 17th, 2018, 5:13 am

The_Gnat wrote:
December 16th, 2018, 3:29 am
Resistances:
Impact=-20%
Pierce=-10%
Blade=-10%
It is better to go either for the full negative resistances of the elusive foot move type units, or have neutral resistances like the existing naga while using a lower hit point total to make it sufficiently vulnerable (as is the relationship between merman fighter and merman hunter). Also, these resistance stats mainly work to dissuade use of fire, cold and arcane attacks against the naga, but why do that?

By the way, does anyone know off the top of their head how damage resistances are rounded? If you have -10% resistance to blade, and receive a 5 point blade strike, does it do 5 or 6 damage? What if the blade damage is 3, 4, 6... any number less than 10?
Caladbolg wrote:
December 16th, 2018, 4:32 pm
Biting attacks would require the attacker to expose their head to blows, which is something sapient beings would probably want to avoid at all costs.
I think that is too big of an assumption. Among the largest brained animals of the real world, humans are unusual in a our lack of jaw-based natural weaponry. So it may seem counter intuitive to us (as there is almost no advantage to it), but just the opposite for the even larger brained orca.

The naga also fights primarily in the seas and waterways, so the circumstances of combat will be quite different. Water easily carries or suspends much heavier impurities like mud and silt that can make visibility less than arm's length. Battle in moderately deep water is effectively three dimensional, so defensive lines and holding the enemies at bay with a spear would not be as effective when you have so many flanks.

In these conditions, it could be the fighting style of some naga evolved towards very close quarters fighting with grappling techniques and venomous bites to the back and tail/fluke/feet where counter attack is difficult or impossible (and the bites do not need to hit vital organs directly since blood flow will deliver the venom to them).

Finally, while staying out of reach of danger is an important factor in combat, it very often is overruled by other factors. That is why you see not every unit using exclusively ranged weapons and why you do see thieves, thunderers and orcish assassins attack with daggers instead of spears.
Caladbolg wrote:
December 16th, 2018, 4:32 pm
I think it'd make sense for it to be stronger but with less strikes, like 5 x 2.
That would make it the most unreliable poison attack of any recruitable unit. Water units almost always are facing each other with 60% defense regardless of positioning. You want the poison special to be a legitimate threat.
Caladbolg wrote:
December 16th, 2018, 4:32 pm
Ranged attack can stay as 'chakram', I think it's a fairly well known weapon. Low dmg with more strikes is interesting but keep in mind that there will be advancements.
I do not know, there are quite a few units that never get additional strikes. The troll, skeleton archer, halberdier, ghoul, wose, saurian skirmisher, etc.

I am not against a 4x4 attack necessarily though. It is just that such is identical to the 16 point damage output of the existing naga (which has only one type of attack, melee), so I thought maybe a bit weaker of an attack was better. The 3x3 with poison for melee is not a minor consideration either. That is more base damage than the merman hunter's melee which lacks poison. And 4x4 ranged edges out the 5x3 ranged attack of the merman hunter. So you do what to consider how this unit should compare with its water control competitors.

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Re: Dunefolk balancing rework ideas - discussion.

Post by Celtic_Minstrel » December 17th, 2018, 5:25 am

name wrote:
December 17th, 2018, 5:13 am
It is better to go either for the full negative resistances of the elusive foot move type units, or have neutral resistances like the existing naga while using a lower hit point total to make it sufficiently vulnerable (as is the relationship between merman fighter and merman hunter).
As a starting point I'd recommend using the existing naga's resists. Any deviation from them should be backed up by some justification in lore (either something the new naga has that the fighter doesn't or something that the fighter has but the new naga doesn't).
name wrote:
December 17th, 2018, 5:13 am
By the way, does anyone know off the top of their head how damage resistances are rounded? If you have -10% resistance to blade, and receive a 5 point blade strike, does it do 5 or 6 damage? What if the blade damage is 3, 4, 6... any number less than 10?
I'm not 100% sure, but I think rounding is either towards zero (ie, truncate) or half-to-zero (ie, add 0.5 and truncate).
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Re: Dunefolk balancing rework ideas - discussion.

Post by Edwylm » December 17th, 2018, 6:09 am

name wrote:
December 17th, 2018, 5:13 am
I think that is too big of an assumption. Among the largest brained animals of the real world, humans are unusual in a our lack of jaw-based natural weaponry. So it may seem counter intuitive to us (as there is almost no advantage to it), but just the opposite for the even larger brained orca.

The naga also fights primarily in the seas and waterways, so the circumstances of combat will be quite different. Water easily carries or suspends much heavier impurities like mud and silt that can make visibility less than arm's length. Battle in moderately deep water is effectively three dimensional, so defensive lines and holding the enemies at bay with a spear would not be as effective when you have so many flanks.

In these conditions, it could be the fighting style of some naga evolved towards very close quarters fighting with grappling techniques and venomous bites to the back and tail/fluke/feet where counter attack is difficult or impossible (and the bites do not need to hit vital organs directly since blood flow will deliver the venom to them).

Finally, while staying out of reach of danger is an important factor in combat, it very often is overruled by other factors. That is why you see not every unit using exclusively ranged weapons and why you do see thieves, thunderers and orcish assassins attack with daggers instead of spears.
as with your 1st part irl humans do use bite attacks. reason why we don't do it much is because humans don't need to, due to having tools. tools make the job easier and safer. but humans do bite if its a last resort.
it doesn't matter about how big brains are. also you should not compare a tech based creature to a creature that doesn't use tech. this logic doesn't make much sense as the 2 are completely different. nagas use tech and thus need to be compared to other creatures that use tech. otherwise you start losing the civilization/social structure of a fictional civilization.

the 2nd part not really its possible nagas could sense water pressure or electric currents created by living creatures. remember we were talking about weapons that can be used in both water and in air. also the logic of a spear in water is still effective as it gives reach to keep your enemy at bay. as game mechanics are limited you do not see a 3d warfare and its limited to small engagements. if we were talking about something like total war style. having a group form a ball shape would be best strategy spear tips in every direction. but even on land if you are by yourself and outnumbered you still have the same problems of being flanked as if you are in water.
very close quarters fighting in most combat tactics is used as a last resort. i'm not saying i'm for or against having fangs as a weapon but you need to have some way why they would put themselves in a dangerous position.

the last phrase doesn't make much since... thieves and assassins need to conceal their weapons so small weapons are preferred. thunderers well you are carrying a weapon that needs 2 hands and is heavy, daggers/short-swords are a good backup weapon if you need to react fast (also note there is no ammunition for range attacks). but it also depends what roll a unit has irl example you don't want to use your longbow units in melee fighting because training with longbows took a long time. they would only use melee tactics only if they need to.

However there are examples of civilizations using melee weapons/tactics only. However most times if there is a better/efficient way kill your enemy you will use it. the only times they don't is because of traditions.

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Re: Dunefolk balancing rework ideas - discussion.

Post by Caladbolg » December 17th, 2018, 1:28 pm

name wrote:
December 17th, 2018, 5:13 am
By the way, does anyone know off the top of their head how damage resistances are rounded? If you have -10% resistance to blade, and receive a 5 point blade strike, does it do 5 or 6 damage? What if the blade damage is 3, 4, 6... any number less than 10?
I seem to remember reading that it is rounded towards whichever number is closer to base damage.
name wrote:
December 17th, 2018, 5:13 am
I think that is too big of an assumption. Among the largest brained animals of the real world, humans are unusual in a our lack of jaw-based natural weaponry. So it may seem counter intuitive to us (as there is almost no advantage to it), but just the opposite for the even larger brained orca.
But considering orca's size, strength, and the kind of animals it usually encounters, its brain probably won't be damaged by an attack to the head. Animals that bite as a primary mode of attack usually either have no better modes of attack (e.g. strong claws) or have a bite powerful enough to deal serious damage or even kill, thus lowering chances of counter-attack.
This is all beside the point though. Once a being is capable of using weapons, there is no reason to prefer using one's body. Even if naga had poison much more powerful that standard Wesnoth-poison, overall it is much more advantageous to store it and use it in a weapon of some kind, than to stick their head in enemy's close range. It is an entirely unnecessary risk.
name wrote:
December 17th, 2018, 5:13 am
That would make it the most unreliable poison attack of any recruitable unit. Water units almost always are facing each other with 60% defense regardless of positioning. You want the poison special to be a legitimate threat.
I don't think it's that big of a deal. As far as I understood, we want a water-control unit, and it'd be nice if it had poison. It doesn't need to rival an assassin in terms of poison potential. Though you do have a point that other water-control units (loyalist and rebels' mermen and northeners' naga) will have pretty high defense by default. Then again, drakes, gryphon riders and bats don't have as high water defense. Ghosts are immune to poison anyways. Hmmm... I'm still not sure.
name wrote:
December 17th, 2018, 5:13 am
I am not against a 4x4 attack necessarily though. It is just that such is identical to the 16 point damage output of the existing naga (which has only one type of attack, melee), so I thought maybe a bit weaker of an attack was better.
Good point. 3x5 is ok then

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Re: Dunefolk balancing rework ideas - discussion.

Post by josteph » December 17th, 2018, 7:03 pm

Isn't poison a meaningful threat even if it's only two strikes? After all, it's two strikes per battle and the unit will be battled several times. Loyalists and Knalgans don't have any water units with ranged attacks so their water units (Gryphon Rider / Merman Fighter) will be poisoned every time they try to kill the new unit. If three Merman Fighters team up to kill a single Naga Poisoner in one turn, it's a safe bet that at least one of them will be poisoned.

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Re: Dunefolk balancing rework ideas - discussion.

Post by The_Gnat » December 18th, 2018, 12:14 am

So as I understand from the current argument we have established :
  • Both fangs and a spear are arguably reasonable weapons for the naga
  • Both two strikes and three strikes are viable for poisoning
So in order to reach a conclusion we need to consider what matters most.

I think we all can agree story and theme is not as significant as balance, so the primary weapon and poison delivery method is irrelevant until we actually determine what are the best for balance.

In order to determine balance we should consider three things:
  1. Water control.
In order to achieve this the unit must be effective against other water units.
  • Poisoning role.
It's role as a poisoning unit is important for the whole faction and if done properly will help improve the balance of the loyalists match up.
  • Being overpowered.
Lastly it is important to ensure the unit is not OP because poison is very powerful. Other poisoning units are vulnerable or slow or weak in damage.
Overall considering these I would recommend the ranged attack is reduced in power because the current unit is certainly OP. Compared to the assassin and ghoul this naga has better damage and more mobility. I would propose reducing the ranged attack to 2-5 or 3-4. This would then also allow for a three strike poison attack greater emphasising thr key role of the unit. And allow it to be more effective at water control because it would be a hard unit for enemies to overrun.

Further for the loyalists match up I believe the resistances should be 0% allowing the unit to not receive a disadvantage against the faction. Then hp should be reduced accordingly to balance the naga.

New proposal :

Code: Select all

 
name=Naga Ringcaster
hp=26
xp=35
cost=17
moves=7
alignment=liminal

Resistances:
Impact=0%
Pierce=0%
Blade=0%

attack1:
    name= fangs
    range=melee
    type=pierce
    damage=3
    strikes=3
    specials=poison

attack2:
    name= chakram
    range=ranged
    type=blade
    damage=2
    strikes=5

terrain defense,movement costs:
    castle=50%,1
    coastal reef=70%,1
    deep water=50%,1
    flat=40%,2
    forest=50%,3
    fungus=50%,2
    hills=50%,3
    mountains=40%,5
    sand=50%,1
    shallow water=70%,1
    swamp=70%,1
    village=40%,1

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Re: Dunefolk balancing rework ideas - discussion.

Post by name » December 18th, 2018, 6:37 am

Celtic_Minstrel wrote:
December 17th, 2018, 5:25 am
As a starting point I'd recommend using the existing naga's resists. Any deviation from them should be backed up by some justification in lore (either something the new naga has that the fighter doesn't or something that the fighter has but the new naga doesn't).
I agree.
Caladbolg wrote:
December 17th, 2018, 1:28 pm
This is all beside the point though. Once a being is capable of using weapons, there is no reason to prefer using one's body.
The drake burner and glider strike with their claws and feet, respectively. The drake thrasher and enforcer attack with a head-butt. The wose crushes opponents with its limbs, as does the troll whelp and rocklobber. Et cetera.
The_Gnat wrote:
December 18th, 2018, 12:14 am
I would propose reducing the ranged attack to 2-5 or 3-4. This would then also allow for a three strike poison attack greater emphasising the key role of the unit. And allow it to be more effective at water control because it would be a hard unit for enemies to overrun.
How about reducing melee to 2x3 and range to 3x4. Now both attacks do slightly less than the equivalent attacks of the merman hunter, to compensate for the merman hunter's lack of poison.
The_Gnat wrote:
December 18th, 2018, 12:14 am
terrain defense, movement costs:
castle=50%,1
coastal reef=70%,1
deep water=50%,1
flat=40%,2
forest=50%,3
fungus=50%,2
hills=50%,3
mountains=40%,5
sand=50%,1
shallow water=70%,1
swamp=70%,1
village=40%,1
I would prefer if these improvements were more targeted for specific terrain types. That is, start with the existing naga fighter's terrain defenses and move costs as a base, and boost a few specific tiles that help it stand out in desirable ways for this faction.

So improve sand defense to 60%. Improve fungus defense to 60% (that solves the fungus dilemma too). If that is not enough for some reason, then improve marsh to 70%. But otherwise keep it the same as the existing naga fighter.

The naga fighter's movement and defenses are already quite different from everything else in the game. Quite agile too. And this new naga unit is far apart from the naga fighter in terms of attacks and durability without such a far reaching modification of movetype.

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Re: Dunefolk balancing rework ideas - discussion.

Post by The_Gnat » December 18th, 2018, 8:35 am

name wrote:
December 18th, 2018, 6:37 am
The naga fighter's movement and defenses are already quite different from everything else in the game. Quite agile too. And this new naga unit is far apart from the naga fighter in terms of attacks and durability without such a far reaching modification of movetype.
Yes that is true. I would say sand and fungus and flat are the only ones that really need improvement. I suggest flat at 40% as well so it is viable at poisoning land units and works on maps without water.
name wrote:
December 18th, 2018, 6:37 am
How about reducing melee to 2x3 and range to 3x4.
If we reduce its defences as mentioned above then we could say 2-3 or 3-3 melee and 3-4 ranged and that should be balanced.
name wrote:
December 18th, 2018, 6:37 am
The drake burner and glider strike with their claws and feet, respectively
Exactly, depending on the story that we make up we can explain either fangs or a spear.

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Re: Dunefolk balancing rework ideas - discussion.

Post by Edwylm » December 18th, 2018, 6:37 pm

name wrote:
December 18th, 2018, 6:37 am

The drake burner and glider strike with their claws and feet, respectively. The drake thrasher and enforcer attack with a head-butt. The wose crushes opponents with its limbs, as does the troll whelp and rocklobber. Et cetera.
headbutting is ok because you can hit and back away easy. compared to fangs you have more steps; open your mouth, bite, release, and back away. this tends be more harder for armored units as you don't want to bite steel and break your teeth. Also biting you the prey needs to be less struggling for it to be safer. unless the prey is bigger and the naga is smaller.

since we want the naga to be more frail, having brute strength isn't much of a reason for it to use fangs. the naga would have to be small to reduce the chance of injury. This would be the only option why fangs would be usable.

when you look at the other unit descriptions it makes it more clear. they have brute strength.

now compared to using a spear its in and out 2 steps, compared to fangs.

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Re: Dunefolk balancing rework ideas - discussion.

Post by Xalzar » December 19th, 2018, 12:15 am

On the topic of bite attacks, my 2 cents consideration is that other mainline units which use fangs to attack have usually 2 strikes. It makes sense: such method of attack is normally powerful but not repeated often (better finish your enemy quickly and not risk injuring your head).
The only units with 3+ "bite" attacks are the Ghast (which has many mouths), and - maybe surprisingly - the wolves. The latter ones though I can understand that they have no other meaningful way to hunt their prey so they bite relentlessly. I'm not sure if Nagas should be put on the same level.
So for the weapon I still prefer a tool capable of storing venom for now. It can be artificial or natural in origin: right now I'm imagining them using venomous stingers obtained from underwater/swampy/desert creatures or plants (for example a giant urchin). It's maybe not a serious proposal - and perhaps it doesn't fit the Indian theme of this unit -; you can work on it or not, as you want. Just throwing my idea in the mix since we're brainstorming.

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