Dunefolk balancing rework ideas - discussion.

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Re: Dunefolk balancing rework ideas - discussion.

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Pentarctagon wrote: November 24th, 2018, 4:23 pm Regarding magic, a Jinn could probably work (and a level 2 one has already been added, so at least one additional sprite would be needed if one were to be recruitable), but their lack of magic use by humans is addressed in their race description:
The level 1 "Fire Guardian" sprite already in mainline is at least as good of an option. A simple recoloring of it would be as well.
Celtic_Minstrel wrote: November 24th, 2018, 4:41 pm A jinn certainly fits, of course. But the reason I feel the burner fits with a non-magical weapon is because of crude oil. While Greek fire is certainly a factor (making the technology plausible, for example), it's not the deciding factor for me. I don't know precisely how the dunefolk might have access to a supply of crude, but if they do, it seems reasonable that they'd find a use for it, and flamethrowers are surely a valid use, right?
For siege warfare, maybe. Wesnoth is not the kind of game where that is really a thing. It is primarily about battles between medium to small groups of warriors in the field. Trying to get people to hold still while your burn them alive with a cumbersome weapon at close range has never proven to be a very effective tactic, as you probably imagine. The role of fire in warfare has almost exclusively been to target large wooden infrastructure, like forts, towns or ships.
The_Gnat wrote: November 25th, 2018, 5:59 am Rebels - All neutral except the mage, wose, merman hunter. These are all units which encourage lawful attacks but because of there uniqueness and specific roles in the faction they do not really alter the neutral stance which is heavily focused on attacking the enemy during their weak ToD.
This is not a good analysis of rebels. The wose and mage are very important for breaking through lines of defense. Without them rebels would be crippled against undead, northerns and knalgans. Even the possibility of hidden woses pushes the loyalists out of their spearman spam comfort zone.
The_Gnat wrote: November 25th, 2018, 5:59 am Drakes - Lawful except their healer (who usually hides behind the lines) and the skirmisher who acts best as a scout unit and is brutal because of its long distance killing ability regardless of the ToD.
Saurians play a tremendous role in mirror and loyalist match ups. Important against rebels too. They are only really pushed into a support role against factions that are clearly more chaotic than the drake faction (taken as a whole).
The_Gnat wrote: November 25th, 2018, 5:59 am Knalgans - Neutral except the three outlaws (thief, poacher, footpad). This I believe is similar to the liminal situation. However, they have no powerful melee units but instead a variety of specialists but it still has potential for strategy and mutliple waves of attack.
Also, without them knalgans have no affordable mobility or ability to form defense lines over critical forest tiles.
The_Gnat wrote: November 25th, 2018, 5:59 amNortherners - All chaotic
For some reason the naga line is actually neutral.
The_Gnat wrote: November 25th, 2018, 5:59 amThe unique alignment situation of the dunefolk is unique and a key part of the value of the faction in my mind.
To the extent it is unique in the way you imagine, it is only so by forcing players to arbitrarily divide forces between two waves of generalist units to attack at more times of day. Which is a gimmick, since it does not change the strategies involved, it is just an extra step you have to do to play the faction well. Thoughtfully designed multi-alignment factions instead focus on making their units of each alignment quite different from those of their other alignment in terms of how they should be deployed and against what opponent types.

It is important to remember that uniqueness is very easily achieved and very little value by itself. You could have a faction with one very fragile unit, which instantly kills any other unit on the first successful blow regardless of HP. And that would certainly be unique, just terribly joyless to play with or against.
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Re: Dunefolk balancing rework ideas - discussion.

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name wrote: November 25th, 2018, 5:42 pm The level 1 "Fire Guardian" sprite already in mainline is at least as good of an option. A simple recoloring of it would be as well.
I think this wouldn't fit very well as a L1 to the L2 jinn that was added.
name wrote: November 25th, 2018, 5:42 pm
Celtic_Minstrel wrote: November 24th, 2018, 4:41 pm A jinn certainly fits, of course. But the reason I feel the burner fits with a non-magical weapon is because of crude oil. While Greek fire is certainly a factor (making the technology plausible, for example), it's not the deciding factor for me. I don't know precisely how the dunefolk might have access to a supply of crude, but if they do, it seems reasonable that they'd find a use for it, and flamethrowers are surely a valid use, right?
For siege warfare, maybe. Wesnoth is not the kind of game where that is really a thing. It is primarily about battles between medium to small groups of warriors in the field. Trying to get people to hold still while your burn them alive with a cumbersome weapon at close range has never proven to be a very effective tactic, as you probably imagine. The role of fire in warfare has almost exclusively been to target large wooden infrastructure, like forts, towns or ships.
True, using a flamethrower at close range probably isn't very effective. There are more effective ways to use fire at close range, though – look at the goblin pillager. Not sure if it makes sense for the dune burner line to be doing something like this, mind you.
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Re: Dunefolk balancing rework ideas - discussion.

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Celtic_Minstrel wrote: November 25th, 2018, 4:14 pm I'm not sure I understand your question? Why are you even asking what improvement jinn would have over the burner? There isn't any plan for jinn to replace burners... the added jinn unit in master isn't really comparable to the burner line.
Oh, :) the mention of the Jinni as a fire unit confused me. :P

Probably a more valid question is what role would the jinn be filling? Adding units is fun but could potentially lead away from the goal of balance.
name wrote: November 25th, 2018, 5:42 pm The wose and mage are very important for breaking through lines of defense. Without them rebels would be crippled against undead, northerns and knalgans. Even the possibility of hidden woses pushes the loyalists out of their spearman spam comfort zone.
Definitely, I agree the rebels would be crippled without them but I don't think they really shape ToD attacks of the faction. The fact that they are lawful just adds extra incentive to combat the chaotic factions during the day time. But you have to fight the northerners, undead during the day anyway so that is actually no change. As for the loyalist matchup most of my experience (limited as it is) I have found it is better to fight with the wose at neutral times of day rather than give the loyalists their prime damage. (thank you for taking the time to have a look at my analysis! :) )

name wrote: November 25th, 2018, 5:42 pm To the extent it is unique in the way you imagine, it is only so by forcing players to arbitrarily divide forces between two waves of generalist units to attack at more times of day.
Your point that the unit types seem arbitrarily liminal I will have to agree with. :) It is not entirely intuitive who is liminal and who is lawful. However, that is a problem with dunefolk not with the liminal alignment itself.

To take a moment to look at the alternative do you believe that the faction would be improved if it was mostly liminal?

Alternatively do you believe another mostly lawful faction would have any place in the default era?


name wrote: November 25th, 2018, 5:42 pm...since it does not change the strategies involved... making their units of each alignment quite different from those of their other alignment in terms of how they should be deployed...
I don't know if I agree with that entirely, because making units different in the ways they are deployed is similarly a way to force strategies upon players. Either direction the faction takes the strategies are preset. The only negative I see is that the strategy is not as logical as some other factions. For example with the Drakes it makes sense, use the lizards at the night because they are lizards ^_^ . Whereas for the dunefolk it is like use the archer scout during the dawn but use the melee scout during the day and why ...? :whistle:

Going back to my original point I don't believe it is a bad thing that the outlaws (cheap and chaotic) have a unique role in the knalgan faction. The role which he has been created for them thematically fits well in the faction. It creates a clear divide but it works well strategically.

I envision a similar balance can be achieved with the dunefolk. The units can be divided in alignment forcing strategies (like the knalgans) but at the same time this can be done in a balanced tactical manner that makes them a good faction. :D

name wrote: November 25th, 2018, 5:42 pm It is important to remember that uniqueness is very easily achieved and very little value by itself.
I will concede that the execution of the unique divide in the faction is not ideal. However, I do not believe that removing liminal solves anything except making the faction worse. Overall balance cannot be an aim in of itself. Otherwise we would all be played with spearman and bowman on a mirrored map. The point of having the dunefolk is the uniqueness that they bring to the table. Now that has to be tempered so that it is both intuitive and balanced.

I do not think that having a split in the alignment of the faction is a problem. Nor do I think that the liminal alignment over complicates things.
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Re: Dunefolk balancing rework ideas - discussion.

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The_Gnat wrote: November 26th, 2018, 12:55 am Probably a more valid question is what role would the jinn be filling? Adding units is fun but could potentially lead away from the goal of balance.
It won't affect balance at all. It was added for flavour, and isn't even recruitable.
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Re: Dunefolk balancing rework ideas - discussion.

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Celtic_Minstrel wrote: November 26th, 2018, 2:01 am
The_Gnat wrote: November 26th, 2018, 12:55 am Probably a more valid question is what role would the jinn be filling? Adding units is fun but could potentially lead away from the goal of balance.
It won't affect balance at all. It was added for flavour, and isn't even recruitable.
Wasn't there a discussion about a level 1 Jinni being added to the faction? :whistle:
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Re: Dunefolk balancing rework ideas - discussion.

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The_Gnat wrote: November 26th, 2018, 7:45 am Wasn't there a discussion about a level 1 Jinni being added to the faction? :whistle:
jinni would basically replace the falcon line if it would get that far. but no one is sure if anyone even wants that.
problem with Jinni is that I've seen no convincing sprite yet. so adding jinni to DF is still a far away dream - if its ok to say so.

I'd say we make the bird line work first and then discuss if another floating unit is really necessary
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Re: Dunefolk balancing rework ideas - discussion.

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The_Gnat wrote: November 26th, 2018, 7:45 am Wasn't there a discussion about a level 1 Jinni being added to the faction? :whistle:
I'm not sure... I don't recall such a discussion, but it's possible there was one. However, that has not been done on master (ie, upcoming 1.15.0). The only change to the Dunefolk on master is the change to liminal's mechanics, as far as I know. And it doesn't even really matter until it's released.
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Re: Dunefolk balancing rework ideas - discussion.

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Celtic_Minstrel wrote: November 27th, 2018, 1:22 am I'm not sure... I don't recall such a discussion, but it's possible there was one. However, that has not been done on master (ie, upcoming 1.15.0). The only change to the Dunefolk on master is the change to liminal's mechanics, as far as I know. And it doesn't even really matter until it's released.
Okay, in that case ignore my previous comments :lol:
ghype wrote: November 26th, 2018, 10:26 am jinni would basically replace the falcon line if it would get that far. but no one is sure if anyone even wants that.
problem with Jinni is that I've seen no convincing sprite yet. so adding jinni to DF is still a far away dream - if its ok to say so.
Yes that makes sense. Thank you for explaining! I can definitely see a Jinni fitting into the faction but I don't think it is necessary currently.
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Re: Dunefolk balancing rework ideas - discussion.

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ghype wrote: November 26th, 2018, 10:26 am I'd say we make the bird line work first and then discuss if another floating unit is really necessary
On that topic, Hejnewar's previous idea sounded interesting to me:
Hejnewar wrote: November 10th, 2018, 3:45 pm I do not think that will solve the problem. Dunesfolk already have better scout that is Rider and falcon does not provide almost any water control anyway.
In theory you could remove its atacks and give him lower gold cost and it could become uniquie and better unit.
So perhaps remove the Falcon's attacks and make it only cost 6(?) gold? I'm not sure there would be much of a point to having the Elder Falcon advancement in that case, though I suppose it couldn't hurt to leave it in either.
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Re: Dunefolk balancing rework ideas - discussion.

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Pentarctagon wrote: November 27th, 2018, 5:49 am So perhaps remove the Falcon's attacks and make it only cost 6(?) gold? I'm not sure there would be much of a point to having the Elder Falcon advancement in that case, though I suppose it couldn't hurt to leave it in either.
I really like this approach, we should keep this one in mind - if the roc line was ever to be removed.
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Re: Dunefolk balancing rework ideas - discussion.

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Not sure I like the idea of having a unit without attacks though...

If you did do that though, the Elder Falcon could still keep its attacks.
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Re: Dunefolk balancing rework ideas - discussion.

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ghype wrote: November 26th, 2018, 10:26 am problem with Jinni is that I've seen no convincing sprite yet.
Expecting a finished sprite before you have created and tested a unit is not efficient. You should use placeholders to test, and then once the role of that unit solidifies, base the artwork off of that.
ghype wrote: November 26th, 2018, 10:26 am I'd say we make the bird line work first and then discuss if another floating unit is really necessary
Probably not a good idea. The falcon has no power; it is exclusively a scout and village thief. No water control whatsoever.
It is also pretty dull thematically.
The_Gnat wrote: November 26th, 2018, 12:55 am Probably a more valid question is what role would the jinn be filling?
Replacing both the falcon and burner lines with a jinni would be a good thing to try. Melee fire, ranged fire and some water control in a single unit.

Quite a few thematically relevant and interesting features could be tried to make it stronger or weaker as needed, like magical attacks, low defense but high speed over water, limited HP, etc.
The_Gnat wrote: November 26th, 2018, 12:55 am To take a moment to look at the alternative do you believe that the faction would be improved if it was mostly liminal?
No, because liminal is not a true alignment, it is rather a damage modifier mixed with a difficult to use alignment system.

And there is nothing at all wrong with a split alignment faction.
In seeking a unique alignment combination without using liminal, it is worth noting that there is not yet any faction with all three alignments- lawful, chaotic and neutral. There is also no faction that is entirely neutral, so this too would be unique.
The_Gnat wrote: November 26th, 2018, 12:55 am I don't know if I agree with that entirely, because making units different in the ways they are deployed is similarly a way to force strategies upon players. Either direction the faction takes the strategies are preset.
Maybe "deployed" was lazy word selection on my part, so I will rephrase:

Wheres other split alignment factions offer split strategies for the player to mix and match as they believe the situations calls for (it gives them choice) to play dunefolk well the player needs to more thoughtlessly deploy both alignments (each with units relatively similar) and rotate them somewhat robotically based on time of day.
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Re: Dunefolk balancing rework ideas - discussion.

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name wrote: November 27th, 2018, 4:44 pm
The_Gnat wrote: November 26th, 2018, 12:55 am Probably a more valid question is what role would the jinn be filling?
Replacing both the falcon and burner lines with a jinni would be a good thing to try. Melee fire, ranged fire and some water control in a single unit.

Quite a few thematically relevant and interesting features could be tried to make it stronger or weaker as needed, like magical attacks, low defense but high speed over water, limited HP, etc.
I wouldn mind removing the burner line if that hypothetical jinni works as well as you described it.
Doing the sprite wouldn't be the problem for me.
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Re: Dunefolk balancing rework ideas - discussion.

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Celtic_Minstrel wrote: November 27th, 2018, 1:34 pm Not sure I like the idea of having a unit without attacks though...
I agree. Unique is good but that just seems a bit uninteresting.
name wrote: November 27th, 2018, 4:44 pm You should use placeholders to test, and then once the role of that unit solidifies, base the artwork off of that.
Here is a potential placeholder :) from the War of Legends

Image
name wrote: November 27th, 2018, 4:44 pm Replacing both the falcon and burner lines with a jinni would be a good thing to try. Melee fire, ranged fire and some water control in a single unit.

Quite a few thematically relevant and interesting features could be tried to make it stronger or weaker as needed, like magical attacks, low defense but high speed over water, limited HP, etc.
:D That actually sounds like a really good idea. I particularly like the idea of low defense and high speed over water. Most flying units just have good defense everywhere so that could be quite unique. As for low HP I would watch out that it doesn't become too similar to the lvl 1 ghost but I don't think that should be a problem.

The only issue I foresee is that if we combine a burner and a scout together we either get an OP unit or we get a unit which is not good enough with fire to actually fill the needed role of fire unit in the faction. What do you think? If that is the case we could always leave in the burner?

(note: if the burner is removed the faction would have less units so potentially we could act upon ghype's idea of rearranging the skirmisher and spear lines which seem a bit out of place)
name wrote: November 27th, 2018, 4:44 pm Wheres other split alignment factions offer split strategies for the player to mix and match as they believe the situations calls for (it gives them choice) to play dunefolk well the player needs to more thoughtlessly deploy both alignments (each with units relatively similar) and rotate them somewhat robotically based on time of day.
That is very well explained :) . However, I believe that this is an issue of the faction regardless of what alignments the units have currently. The problem is not liminal but as you say a lack of "mix and match as they believe the situations calls". I agree the dunefolk must deploy the units robotically (in the sense that it is more robotic than ideally it would be) but I believe that is a fault of the units which, as you describe, are "relatively similar".

I see the Jinni as a good first step in solving that problem, but see no need to remove the liminal alignment.
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Re: Dunefolk balancing rework ideas - discussion.

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The_Gnat wrote: November 27th, 2018, 9:23 pm The only issue I foresee is that if we combine a burner and a scout together we either get an OP unit or we get a unit which is not good enough with fire to actually fill the needed role of fire unit in the faction. What do you think? If that is the case we could always leave in the burner?
If we combine a burner and scout, then it will be made in a way that works.

optionally, you can just simply use the jinni to replace only the falcon/roc, since the burner is an easy fix if we consider that we could just simply a melee blade instead of melee fire.

The_Gnat wrote: November 27th, 2018, 9:23 pm (note: if the burner is removed the faction would have less units so potentially we could act upon ghype's idea of rearranging the skirmisher and spear lines which seem a bit out of place)
I don't see how this related to the removal of burner.

The_Gnat wrote: November 27th, 2018, 9:23 pm I see the Jinni as a good first step in solving that problem, but see no need to remove the liminal alignment.
I see no reason either.
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