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 »

ghype wrote: November 27th, 2018, 9:38 pm
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.
Of course it will, but inevitably the fire attacks will have to be weaker (or it would be a fast burner) and that would mean less effective fire for a faction which can't afford to loose that.

ghype wrote: November 27th, 2018, 9:38 pm I don't see how this related to the removal of burner.
It is not since there is no fixed number of units a faction must have. But I do think it would be worth discussing if there would be an advantage in having the spear line start at level 1 and be recruit able. :)
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Re: Dunefolk balancing rework ideas - discussion.

Post by Celtic_Minstrel »

The burner is one of the two Dunefolk units that I really like (the other being the hakim), so I am not in favour of any proposal that removes it.

I am not super-attached to the use of the liminal alignment in the Dunefolk faction — the alignment itself is cool and it's nice to have actual mainline units that use it, but it's probably possible to convince me that it's not appropriate specifically for the Dunefolk. However, I do want to comment on what people have said about how it works for strategy. Has anyone considered using liminal units similar to how you would use neutral units, rather than using them as you'd use lawful or chaotic units?
The_Gnat wrote: November 27th, 2018, 9:23 pm Here is a potential placeholder :) from the War of Legends

Image
I think before proposing sprites for a L1 jinn you should take into account the sprite that was chosen for the L2 jinn.

Image
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Re: Dunefolk balancing rework ideas - discussion.

Post by ghype »

Celtic_Minstrel wrote: November 28th, 2018, 2:22 am I am not super-attached to the use of the liminal alignment in the Dunefolk faction — the alignment itself is cool and it's nice to have actual mainline units that use it, but it's probably possible to convince me that it's not appropriate specifically for the Dunefolk.
I think the liminal trait , no matter how inefficient it is compared to the other alignments, should appear at least at one or two wisely chosen units.
Celtic_Minstrel wrote: November 28th, 2018, 2:22 am I think before proposing sprites for a L1 jinn you should take into account the sprite that was chosen for the L2 jinn.
I saw this sprite yesterday allready, and even if the sprite looks great and gives an alternative meaning to how jinni could look like, it would need some adjustments and a lv1 sprite if it was to be added to DF, but I wasn't sure I were willing to do that.

I however found there are animations for this sprite and they look pretty neat. Afterall, I'd want to actually make it fid for DF.
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since you shared this sprite of the upcoming 1.15 release, I'd want to point something out regarding another unit you seemed to actually added to DF.
The wyvern-rider.

Image
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This unit is planned to be a lv1 floating unit. Theoretically, it should be capable of flying. But I am really concerned about the sprite size.
This is sprite is already bigger then the lv2 gryph master in his biggest (3rd) flying animation frame. If we would to animate this sprite one day, it would exceed the size of an lv3 sprite due to the size of wyvern wing-limbs.
I know that Kwandulin did some more sprites representing lv2 and lv3 of this wyvern rider. Those sprites are exceeding the lv2 gryph master even more.
I'd love to see this sprite being mainlined, but the sheer size of will result in problems once it is animated.

One way to solve this, is to take this unit is some sort of giant lizard rider by removing the wing section of it, hence there be no need for a flying animation. This would allow us introducing also the lv ups for this sprite. But that means also it wouldn be floating anymore and wouldn solve DF's water control situation.
It still is a great sprite though.
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Re: Dunefolk balancing rework ideas - discussion.

Post by The_Gnat »

Haha thanks for posting the Jinni picture it is quite different than the one from war of legends.

But now thinking about it more I agree that replacing the Burner seems like a bad idea. Realistically I don't think the dune folk would be balanced (even to the level they currently are) without it. And if the Jinni has powerful enough fire to compensate then it would be OP.

Also where is the lizard rider going to fit in? I personally don't see water control as the most important thing for the dunefolk.

I wonder would a cheap scout be a valuable thing for the faction? Removing the game Falcon is good in theory but because the units are fairly high priced it could prove a disadvantage because it is their cheap village grabber.

Also their other scout doesn't really move that fast can that be increased? Lack of mobility and bad defences is definitely a problem with the dune folk. But adding a new unit or multiple new units just seems like a complication not a improvement.

(note: I am not opposed to new units, just unconvinced as of yet)
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Re: Dunefolk balancing rework ideas - discussion.

Post by The_Gnat »

Celtic_Minstrel wrote: November 28th, 2018, 2:22 am I think before proposing sprites for a L1 jinn you should take into account the sprite that was chosen for the L2 jinn.
Here is a proper placeholder :D I have shrunk the sprite so it is clearly a lower level but didn't really change much else.
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Re: Dunefolk balancing rework ideas - discussion.

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The_Gnat wrote: November 28th, 2018, 5:53 am Also where is the lizard rider going to fit in?
in my opinion, currently nowhere.
The_Gnat wrote: November 28th, 2018, 5:53 am I wonder would a cheap scout be a valuable thing for the faction? Removing the game Falcon is good in theory but because the units are fairly high priced it could prove a disadvantage because it is their cheap village grabber.
in order it to be cheap, it means it wont be the most resilient one nor the strongest. which wouldn help DF much either.
The_Gnat wrote: November 28th, 2018, 5:53 am Also their other scout doesn't really move that fast can that be increased? Lack of mobility and bad defences is definitely a problem with the dune folk.
regarding to you statement about the cheap scout/falcon:
its not like its hard to give rider +1mp and reduce the mp costs from cave/fungus from 4 to 3, since 4mp costs can be at times very frustrating. esp for a scout unti.
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Re: Dunefolk balancing rework ideas - discussion.

Post by Celtic_Minstrel »

I want to note that the jinn and wyvern rider were not added to the faction on master, and they don't necessarily need to be added to the faction, though I wouldn't be opposed to it. At the moment they are just auxiliary units associated with the faction but not actually part of it.
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Re: Dunefolk balancing rework ideas - discussion.

Post by Caladbolg »

I agree with Celtic_Minstrel that Burner and Herbalist are the coolest Dunefolk units and I'd be against removing either of them. I'm not strictly against adding Jinn, but it'd need to have a good explanation considering the Dunefolk's dislike of magic. It'd probably have to be either a replacement for Burner (which I don't want) or for Falcon. So unless there's a really strong argument for replacing the Falcon with the Jinn (i.e. Jinn would preform Falcon's role better and fit in with Dunefolk lore and gameplay better) I'm not for it.

I'm not a fan of liminal and wouldn't mind it if it got removed, but I also didn't find the arguments raised against it compelling. While it gives an uneven bonus distribution over ToDs, I don't believe it is significantly harder to keep in mind or understand. Maybe more challenging to play, sure, but I don't think it is a good argument for removing it per se. Still undecided here.

If you had to describe your main gripe with liminal, what would it be?
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Re: Dunefolk balancing rework ideas - discussion.

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I personally agree with Caladbolg's opinion about the Burner and Herbalist.

My main gripe with liminal is the fact that their stats are strange but I believe that has already been fixed in the master so that they receive 0% at most times and +25% at liminal.

Other than that I don't like that there are not enough liminal units in the faction to really attack together. I believe the current units are Herbalist, Rider, and the Rover.

The rider and Herbalist are not really powerful attacking units but instead scout and healer and so overall the liminal really isn't that effective as an attacking wave.
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Re: Dunefolk balancing rework ideas - discussion.

Post by ghype »

The_Gnat wrote: November 28th, 2018, 9:22 pm Other than that I don't like that there are not enough liminal units in the faction to really attack together. I believe the current units are Herbalist, Rider, and the River.
This will be different when we start considering adding new units / replacing falcon / etc ...
The_Gnat wrote: November 28th, 2018, 9:22 pm My main gripe with liminal is the fact that their stats are strange but I believe that has already been fixed in the master so that they receive 0% at most times and +25% at liminal.
agreed
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Re: Dunefolk balancing rework ideas - discussion.

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The_Gnat wrote: November 27th, 2018, 9:44 pmOf course it will, but inevitably the fire attacks will have to be weaker (or it would be a fast burner) and that would mean less effective fire for a faction which can't afford to loose that.
Not necessarily. A core principle of wesnoth's balance is that factions are balanced against factions rather than units being balanced against units. As long as a unit design does not give its faction an unfair advantage over another, it is balanced.

So if the jinni unit was both a powerful fire wielder and quite agile and this combination was too effective against the undead for example, then giving it sufficient vulnerabilities to arcane and cold would allow UD to hard counter it with the ghost and adept. All while still keeping it effective against say, loyalists, that are said to trounce DF (in fact, maybe give the jinni a pierce resistance too for good measure).
Caladbolg wrote: November 28th, 2018, 4:01 pmbut it'd need to have a good explanation considering the Dunefolk's dislike of magic.
Well there really is no actual reason for the dunefolk to be against magic at this point. There's nothing thematic about it, as the real world cultures/mythologies they are inspired by have plenty of stories involving such things.

However, a lack of interest in magic by ordinary DF could be explained by (somewhat reliable) access to the talents of the jinn. That is, the jinn's mastery of magic means the DF are better off focusing on other useful skills. Similar to how most other factions have only one caste that concentrates on magic (mages, shamans, augurs, adepts).
Caladbolg wrote: November 28th, 2018, 4:01 pm I'm not a fan of liminal and wouldn't mind it if it got removed, but I also didn't find the arguments raised against it compelling. While it gives an uneven bonus distribution over ToDs, I don't believe it is significantly harder to keep in mind or understand. Maybe more challenging to play, sure, but I don't think it is a good argument for removing it per se. Still undecided here.

If you had to describe your main gripe with liminal, what would it be?
Well in addition to the arguments you have already read, there is also that there are just much more unique and fun to play features for a faction to have in the form of clever unit design. Liminal is held out as the thing that makes DF unique because this faction has only two or three particularly compelling units plus a number of pretty uninspired ones. So instead of relying on a gimmick like liminal, enhance or replace the more drab designs.

For a game mechanics example, the marksman ability is seen only very rarely in the existing factions. What if DF had not one, but two or even three recruitable units with this ability. Their environment and lifestyle might prohibit the development of large armies, so instead they emphasis developing the skill of each individual warrior to their greatest potential.

For a thematic example, what if DF had a unit that rode a "magic carpet" that is actually a paraglider or a crude oil fired hot air balloon. Or an armored siege engine. If they are meant to be more sophisticated or clever than wesnoth in terms of science and technology then make this more clear with a unique unit concept(s) that builds on such a theme. And/or something similarly unique and showy like a jinni or war elephant.

Replace the dull units with thematically and playwise unique concepts that simultaneously target the imbalances DF have against existing factions. Do not ask yourself whether removing liminal by itself is a good idea, but rather what ideas could replace its job of making the faction unique in more compelling ways.
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Re: Dunefolk balancing rework ideas - discussion.

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name wrote: November 29th, 2018, 6:57 am Liminal is held out as the thing that makes DF unique because this faction has only two or three particularly compelling units plus a number of pretty uninspired ones.
After thinking about your suggestions more I will respond in full, but I just had a quick clarification to ask.

Is what you are saying that you also don't have as much a problem with liminal as with the dune folk faction itself?

Then expanding on that, why do you think all the other factions work with relatively normal units and only rarely unique and inspired units?
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Re: Dunefolk balancing rework ideas - discussion.

Post by ghype »

name wrote: November 29th, 2018, 6:57 am Well there really is no actual reason for the dunefolk to be against magic at this point. There's nothing thematic about it, as the real world cultures/mythologies they are inspired by have plenty of stories involving such things.
Their knowledge of alchemy allows them to tame fire and wield it as a deadly weapon in battle. At the same time, this analytical mindset has distanced them from magical arts; to the rational mind, magic is uncontrollable, unpredictable, and hence unreliable. For this reason, the Dunefolk especially loathe the perversions of necromancy and the dark arts, even more so than other races.


As for now, their description talks references only necromancy or other dark arts. So there would be no reason to deny a collaboration between jinis as long as they wouldn use necromancy, which feels off anyway.
name wrote: November 29th, 2018, 6:57 am However, a lack of interest in magic by ordinary DF could be explained by (somewhat reliable) access to the talents of the jinn. That is, the jinn's mastery of magic means the DF are better off focusing on other useful skills.
This is probably the most natural explanation, why they would work with jinis and I'd totally support this approach if it would get sofar.

However, i want to come back to a different thing regarding their description.

Their study of herbal medicine keeps their warriors and workers fresh and healthy.


why herbal doctors of such a grade sure would know the use also from poisonous herbs. If we won't use the add the jini in the final version, we could consider to add some poisonous attacks. If not on a (maybe new) lv1 unit, than at least as an advancement of a unit.
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Re: Dunefolk balancing rework ideas - discussion.

Post by Celtic_Minstrel »

Yeah, I think adding a poison attack to one of the units would be good. Maybe even to the herbalist.
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Re: Dunefolk balancing rework ideas - discussion.

Post by Caladbolg »

name wrote: November 29th, 2018, 6:57 am However, a lack of interest in magic by ordinary DF could be explained by (somewhat reliable) access to the talents of the jinn. That is, the jinn's mastery of magic means the DF are better off focusing on other useful skills. Similar to how most other factions have only one caste that concentrates on magic (mages, shamans, augurs, adepts).
Hmm, true. The existing description only implies that they themselves wouldn't use magic.
name wrote: November 29th, 2018, 6:57 am Liminal is held out as the thing that makes DF unique because this faction has only two or three particularly compelling units plus a number of pretty uninspired ones. So instead of relying on a gimmick like liminal, enhance or replace the more drab designs.
True, but if you enhance unit designs etc. (which I think should be done to some extent anyways), then liminal wouldn't be the only thing that makes them unique so this wouldn't serve as an argument either for or against it.
While I'm still unsure about liminal, I think that lawful/chaotic/neutral gets a bit repetitive. It works when you have 6 factions, but with seven, some extra variation would be nice.

Has anyone thought about implementing ToD modifiers as race-specific traits? So that Dunefolk unit types wouldn't have fixed alignment, but each individual unit would have them randomly assigned? This wouldn't make awkward changes to existing alignments, would add some special flavor to the faction, and would open more strategic possibilities. Possible downsides being that it'd probably be hard to balance and your strategies would be more dependent on the traits your units get.
name wrote: November 29th, 2018, 6:57 am For a thematic example, what if DF had a unit that rode a "magic carpet" that is actually a paraglider or a crude oil fired hot air balloon. Or an armored siege engine.
The hardest parts of making a faction are making sprites and ensuring balance. While I wouldn't mind the sorts of units that you propose, they'd require a lot of new art to be made, in a consistent style. Considering that sprites already exist and are well done, I think changes to the roster should be minimal.
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