Main Factions Balance

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Mawmoocn
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Re: Main Factions Balance

Post by Mawmoocn » June 6th, 2019, 7:20 pm

radarsu wrote:
June 6th, 2019, 3:50 pm
Out of curiosity - how much is it worth for you? Would you pay let's say 10 out of 100 starting gold if that could make all your units neutral instead of chaotic/lawful?
It’s worth 1g, I wanted to be cheap and win cheap :lol: :P.

Well jokes aside, It’s tactical advantage loses worth, when faced with the same alignment and if you fail to plan well.

I think i’ll pay 30-50g more to make them neutral, I like stability vs waiting for time of day.

I would’ve paid 100g but that would be hard to win....
radarsu wrote:
June 6th, 2019, 3:50 pm
33-34 hp 50% defense with -20% resistances is no meat shield. Skeleton being called "meat shiels" is something to laugh at.
I partly avoid using this strategy but meat shields are baits/sacrifices/some thing to mitigate damage, that’s aimed for your vulnerable unit.

Meat shield advantage is limited(???) compared to keeping units alive, not unless its a part of a big gamble to win.
On certain situations, like when cornered or on a losing a battle, using desperate or aggressive tactics, would probably increase your likelihood to win, if your about to lose, due to many factors involved.

It could be used to buy time or lure, for 1 turn or more if you’re lucky.

Other experienced players don’t attack to preserve hit points.

Walking corpses could work as cheap meat shields? That depends on play style.


Skeletons resistance, is superior when faced with Slash and Pierce damage, they have 40% slash resistance and 60% pierce resistance.

Skeletons fighting against arcane damage, is rare within level 1 units, not unless you use undead units that have this damage type. That’s what makes undead vs undead, a dangerous fight...

Skeletons works best against enemies that use slash/pierve damage on bad terrain, as they have good slash and pierce resistances.

Anyways, I’d like to think undead as a defensive faction :lol:...
They can’t move fast without Chocobone, Ghosts and Bats. Dark Adept is 50/50 chance, but they aren’t quick by default.

Ghosts and Vampire/Blood Bats don’t have high killing potential if they aren’t leveled, and lack adequate power to do offensive manoeuvres, without high risk of death.

Small maps might work differently from the rest, as room for movement is necessary for retreating safely.
radarsu wrote:
June 6th, 2019, 3:50 pm
My vision of changes could apply to single player, but doesn't have to. Changes are small enough to not break balance of any campaign, so it would be ok to apply it, but singleplayer doesn't need to be fair - it's PC on other side.
Let’s say a player could cheat anyway, why did you assume that it could be disregarded? I think you’ll have a lot of complaints, if you don’t explain it well.

Anyways I think human players are the worst (or best) at exploiting things, but AI sucks at exploiting what human can do(as of the moment).


Since I didn’t understand your initial goal or vision, I’ve assumed your vision based on your other replies to other people.
radarsu wrote:
June 6th, 2019, 12:37 am
The point of augur change is to make him not-die to single grunt/dwarf attacking.
radarsu wrote:
June 6th, 2019, 3:50 pm
We should care about unit being killed by other unit in single shot.
radarsu wrote:
June 6th, 2019, 3:50 pm
Making games slightly less often decided by fate and more by skill is a good thing
Correct me if my assumptions of your statements are false or misleading.

I assume you want all level 1 units, to survive 1 vs 1 battle, regardless of RNG?

If the statement is true, what are the exceptions to the rule?

Does it adjust to take day of time, into account?

Berserk and Charge, depending on circumstances, could kill any unit if conditions are met. What are your plans for this?

Dwarvish Thunderer could also kill any unit within 25 hit points (more if they have vulnerability for it), changing hit points would directly affect it’s killing power. Would you disregard this situation or make an exception?

There’re more examples but I don’t think I’ll be able to find them easily.
radarsu wrote:
June 6th, 2019, 3:50 pm
Fast games and balance are not conflicting ideas.
I made a mistake there, it should be balance of survivability.
If it isn’t tested, I assume you can use units that have better all around options, except for specialized units.
The conflict is fast vs survival.





Xalzar wrote:
June 6th, 2019, 6:50 pm
I think we need an automated tool which checks deeply online matches: what factions win more, which units are more used, how do they fare, which maps are more used, how factions behave in them, at all level of skill.
This will fail since it needs to be independent based on map composition?
Another reason is unintended disconnections and no accurate measurement of skill based on play style. What if you change to defensive to offensive play and use it interchangeably? How can you measure change of intention?
Xalzar wrote:
June 6th, 2019, 6:50 pm
I think we need some incontrovertible evidence of these unbalances, to address the sensations that regularly reemerge in the forums only to be shut down by the "guardians" of the balance.
Xalzar wrote:
June 6th, 2019, 6:50 pm
I think we need a balance team which collects and analyzes the data and takes the opportune measures.
What is your vision for balance?
If vision doesn’t exist, balance can’t be accurately measured...
Play style kills any type of "balance", when left unchecked.

Xalzar wrote:
June 6th, 2019, 6:50 pm
About this matter, I'm a believer in a balance in flux: there should be balance changes (tested of course) in every version of the game,
How can we make it easier to check things that you mentioned?
Xalzar wrote:
June 6th, 2019, 6:50 pm
TL;DR: I propose a tool is to be made (if feasible), to collect data about balance. A balance committee should have the responsibility to eventually address found problems. Balance is not a finish line, it is a road which we have stopped to walk in a while.
What is the criteria for assessing the members of the committee?
How can we asses impartial decisions?
Who will maintain this structure?
How do you know which suggestions are "valid" when picking one from thousands of comments?
How long do these members stay on their role?
How can we produce results without taxing the minds of the members?
How big should the committee be?
What is the criteria for reoccurring opening date for choosing members?

I think I have more questions but I think the most important things must be answered first...
Last edited by Mawmoocn on June 6th, 2019, 8:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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radarsu
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Re: Main Factions Balance

Post by radarsu » June 6th, 2019, 8:23 pm

I think i’ll pay 30-50g more to make them neutral, I like stability vs waiting for time of day.
I'm quite sure you wouldn't win a lot of games vs decent players if you paid 30-50g just to switch your units from chaotic/lawful to neutral.
Skeletons works best against enemies that use slash/pierve damage on bad terrain, as they have good slash and pierce resistances.
Skeleton fighting enemy that he "counters", thanks to his HUGE RESISTANCES has only about 47 hp (34 * 1.4). That's not much more than base HP of grunt, troll or spearman with resilient & strong traits. And enemy might have resistance to blades as well, plus very likely they got blunt/fire damage in store to remove skele in single strike. So the skeleton resistances are only useful when he attacks a unit that has only piercing/blade type of damage in store.

It's good to understand that unit with 0% all resistances is much better in general than unit with 20% against some popular attacks and -20% against other popular attacks - especially if it's low hp or low defense target.
Anyways, I’d like to think undead as a defensive faction :lol:...
Hmm, in all tutorials & guides for undeads everyone says they're offensive. And they even need to be more offensive than for example orcs at night to beat them. And they need to be offensive because they don't have tanky units that can handle an attack and survive. Maybe all those guide-authors are wrong.
Correct me if my assumptions of your statements are false or misleading.

I assume you want all level 1 units, to survive 1 vs 1 battle, regardless of RNG?
That's partially correct. I want them to have decent likelyhood of surviving 1 vs 1 battle. Of course, if you hit 3/3 strikes with only 30% chance - that's ok for unit to die. Or if day & vulnerabilities help. But likelyhood of such events should be minimized when possible, as they too often decide a game-over in single action. Do you like 3 turn games decided by RNG? I don't.

Rider is high-risk high-reward units that either do something good or die for nothing. Berserk cannot kill anything if he doesn't find exposed target. Those are special-types of units and that's their ability.

Thunderer could be changed to 9-2 to decrease RNG, but that's anti-lore change and I don't think 18-1 can kill any lvl1 unit as far as I know.

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Hejnewar
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Re: Main Factions Balance

Post by Hejnewar » June 6th, 2019, 8:41 pm

Xalazar I feel that you are right but not entirely.

Wesnoth doesn't have a problem with balance of statistics, units usually are ok for thier cost with few exceptions. What is its actual problem is "design of balance" so how some matchups play out. Good example is Drake Vs Ud. This is very fast matchup that gives huge advantage to side that strikes first. That is why most of changes are not as easy as "+1 hp" and in case of this particular matchup i don't know if there is a way to change it without affecting other factions much. It would need to be done very carefully and you also by extension would need to fix balance of statistics again and that is already well done here. People usually just change statistics but if you really want to fix things you need to go step deeper, step that is often very hard to make, especially if something is already created.

Data doesn't help much when there is a commonly known design problem, data might help with balancing unit statistics (but this is already easy to do). If team is needed for something then it's for thinking how to change sometimes key elements of factions and at this point it's more than balance you need to also worry about lore.

Another thing that i feel is simplified here is term of balance itself.
It seems that here it's just something like "let's just collect data and buff what is weak / nerf what is strong". In reality that might just cause more problems. That is why i'm against changes like ones proposed in this topic.
Balance is desing, is statistics, is whole factions.
Design of balance is how factions should work, how should they fight different enemies, what weaknesses should they have and what are thier strongest points, how every unit should work and what role should they fulfill.
Balance of statistics is there to make sure units aren't too good in what they do, that they aren't too good late game units, that they are not op rush units, this is especially important when talking about units with abilities.
Finaly balance of whole factions is there to make sure that, faction is not broken in any way, it's probably easiest to spot mistakes there and is often overlooked but non the less it's important and exists. You can have faction of balanced units that work together so well that they are trully unstopable.

You might disagree I'm talking from expirience after all, but there for sure should in my opinion be better awareness that balance is not an one dimensional thing, there is so much more to it and that simple solutions will not always change things for better.

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sergey
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Re: Main Factions Balance

Post by sergey » June 6th, 2019, 9:27 pm

Xalzar wrote:
June 6th, 2019, 6:50 pm
This topic exemplifies quite accurately how not to discuss about balance. :hmm:
Totally agree. That's so interesting and important topic. I would like to ask participants - don't led it flood.

@radarsu by the ladder you mean this website https://wesnoth.gamingladder.info ? Are there other Wesnoth ladders? What do you think about asking guys listed here https://wesnoth.gamingladder.info/ladder.php to join this discussion? Or even more ladder players, but I don't know how to find them.

I know that there is no official Wesnoth ladder. However, experience of ladder players may be used to improve the game :)

I found this quote in the ladder rules:
Currently the only legit era is the Default one. No other eras are accepted. Once a Ladder Era is created it will be used for Ladder games.
(https://wesnoth.gamingladder.info/faq.php#mrules, Game setup section, item 7)

Do you know any information about the "Ladder Era"? Have you discused it with the ladder organizers? If the "Ladder Era" will show much better statistics than the current one, then it will be a different discussion.
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radarsu
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Re: Main Factions Balance

Post by radarsu » June 6th, 2019, 9:49 pm

I think we need some incontrovertible evidence of these unbalances, to address the sensations that regularly reemerge in the forums only to be shut down by the "guardians" of the balance.
I think we need an automated tool which checks deeply online matches: what factions win more, which units are more used, how do they fare, which maps are more used, how factions behave in them, at all level of skill.
I think we need a balance team which collects and analyzes the data and takes the opportune measures.
We cannot rely on dated, incomplete, or even unproven information like the ones reported in this topic by one side or the other.
TL;DR: I propose a tool is to be made (if feasible), to collect data about balance. A balance committee should have the responsibility to eventually address found problems. Balance is not a finish line, it is a road which we have stopped to walk in a while.
I agree, but I also think what you're asking for is not doable. Before I opened topic I was looking through many resources that could provide some data, searching through wesnoth wiki for some statistics etc. In the end - I couldn't find ones - so I decided to open the thread based on what we have.

The problem with such information is that it means tons of work of somebody who can access data. Probably months. I'm not sure if opensource game like wesnoth can afford it. Especially in current state. So what, we should give up on making any changes and keep telling balance is perfect, as we cannot provide incontrovertible evidences?

@Mawmoocn
You're asking tons of questions and not providing any answers. That's not too helpful. Game somehow became balanced to it's current state. Without tons of data and statistic tools, without checking every possible scenario, map, factor that can affect the game. And it works. Many of top game producers make it simple - ask best players what they think, group proposals, decide in a development team what to buff/nerf. That's it. Arbitrary decisions made one after another in the end lead to pretty good balance.

@Hejnewar
Wesnoth doesn't have a problem with balance of statistics, units usually are ok for thier cost with few exceptions. What is its actual problem is "design of balance" so how some matchups play out. Good example is Drake Vs Ud. This is very fast matchup that gives huge advantage to side that strikes first. That is why most of changes are not as easy as "+1 hp" and in case of this particular matchup i don't know if there is a way to change it without affecting other factions much. It would need to be done very carefully and you also by extension would need to fix balance of statistics again and that is already well done here. People usually just change statistics but if you really want to fix things you need to go step deeper, step that is often very hard to make, especially if something is already created.
That's true, but the goal of this thread and proposed changes is not to make game perfectly balanced. It's an attempt to fix "as much as possible" doing "as small changes, as possible". You know, 90% of success can be achieved by doing 10% most important things. We don't have to reinvent matchups. Even if drakes vs undead is matchup "who strikes first - wins" - it's once drakes, once undeads. So even if it's not fun or skill based - it might be balanced.

Small changes that I proposed aim to reduce 42-54% variations to 48-53%. That's it. Not making every matchup fair and fun.
Last edited by radarsu on June 6th, 2019, 10:04 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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josteph
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Re: Main Factions Balance

Post by josteph » June 6th, 2019, 9:58 pm


Mawmoocn
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Re: Main Factions Balance

Post by Mawmoocn » June 6th, 2019, 11:21 pm

radarsu wrote:
June 6th, 2019, 8:23 pm
But likelyhood of such events should be minimized when possible, as they too often decide a game-over in single action.
I’d like you to clarify single action. Do you mean in a single turn, or you mean in a 1 vs 1 single action, or group attack to kill 1 unit?

My interpretation of single action is 1 vs 1 unit fight.
radarsu wrote:
June 6th, 2019, 8:23 pm
Do you like 3 turn games decided by RNG? I don't.
It would make games quicker.

Though I’d like to ask, do you want fast conclusions or long battles? Maybe something else I have’t considered?
What type of battles do you consider fun?
radarsu wrote:
June 6th, 2019, 8:23 pm
Thunderer could be changed to 9-2 to decrease RNG, but that's anti-lore change and I don't think 18-1 can kill any lvl1 unit as far as I know.
I messed up there, I thought about the level 2 unit.....
radarsu wrote:
June 6th, 2019, 9:49 pm
You're asking tons of questions and not providing any answers. That's not too helpful.
I asked those questions to get a general insight on how far they may have thought about their idea. The problems I asked are things I thought would be a major impediment for their idea to work.

Comparing and defining the reason for victory/loss, would be helpful if we’re able to quantify what needs to be considered for a win/loss. We can possibly automate this process, with some margin of error... is what I think...
radarsu wrote:
June 6th, 2019, 9:49 pm
Many of top game producers make it simple - ask best players what they think, group proposals, decide in a development team what to buff/nerf. That's it.
Best players don’t mean it’ll be fun for all. Balance and fun are two things that may conflict if we balance it to the whims of what "some" players think is the "best".

Fun and balance may co-exist, but what’s fun for me, may not be fun for others.

Should we listen to beginners or the other minorities, even if they’re aren’t the best players around?

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Pentarctagon
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Re: Main Factions Balance

Post by Pentarctagon » June 7th, 2019, 1:36 am

There will never be an outcome that all people agree with, nor will you ever be able to ask everyone's opinion on a particular topic. Ultimately, what gives any change (balancing or otherwise) the best chance of being accepted and implemented is when there's a person or group of people with a particular goal in mind who are also willing to put in the time and effort to make it happen and show why their goal is worthwhile. The Dunefolk renaming and the current Dunefolk overhaul/rebalancing is an excellent example of this.

As far as making balance changes to the Default Era factions, I don't think it's correct to say that they are 100% perfectly balanced, and I doubt that's something which is really possible to achieve. If someone believes there is an imbalance though, whether through some statistical analysis or other means, the best way to convince others of this is to be able to provide replays showing how a particular strategy can consistently give the person using it an unfair advantage beyond what can be accounted for by skill or luck. Otherwise, what would you even be fixing?

As an example, from the first post the statistics:

Code: Select all

Drakes - 54.91%
Loyals - 53.33%
Northeners - 49.31%
Knalgans - 48.43%
Rebels - 48.43%
Undead - 42.36%
are interesting, but not enough is said about why this is the case. If the Undead are truly the weakest faction, then there should be one or more other factions that they are simply unable to play quite as well against. If that is the case, then replays of that happening can be provided, analysed, and solutions thought of.

Slightly tweaking the stats of multiple units in every Default faction however, is simply too wide-ranging and unfocused to have a very likely chance of being accepted.
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Re: Main Factions Balance

Post by name » June 7th, 2019, 4:23 pm

Pentarctagon wrote:
June 7th, 2019, 1:36 am
Ultimately, what gives any change (balancing or otherwise) the best chance of being accepted and implemented is when there's a person or group of people with a particular goal in mind who are also willing to put in the time and effort to make it happen and show why their goal is worthwhile. The Dunefolk renaming and the current Dunefolk overhaul/rebalancing is an excellent example of this.
However, a key ingredient you are leaving out is general popularity. From what I gathered, originally the Undead were not considered by the core developers of the early wesnoth project to be right for mainline inclusion. Yet there was such wide support for the concept of an Undead faction from the community that they ultimately became a core feature. The same likely might be said for the Drakes, the faction where you get to play as Dragons. Something all the default factions share (besides the excellent balance, on that I agree) is they execute already well known and wildly popular fantasy concepts. The dunefolk/khalifate always failed to fully embrace a One Thousand and One Nights high fantasy theme or something similarly well known and fun.

Of course, the UMC ecosystem is another situation entirely, where weird ideas can find their niche.
Pentarctagon wrote:
June 7th, 2019, 1:36 am
If the Undead are truly the weakest faction, then there should be one or more other factions that they are simply unable to play quite as well against. If that is the case, then replays of that happening can be provided, analysed, and solutions thought of.
If there is an imbalancing weakness to Undead it may very well be due to excessive weakening of the bat. The Undead are an offense oriented faction but are currently somewhat lacking in the combat power of their scouts. The ghost mostly fills this role but its expensiveness and weakish attacks against more mundane units may leave room for a light combat role previously filled by the bat.

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Re: Main Factions Balance

Post by ghype » June 7th, 2019, 5:19 pm

I just want to point out that this thread is nerve-wrecking to read and follow.
Perhaps the author can outline or reorganise the main post and collect some thought which were discussed so far?

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radarsu
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Re: Main Factions Balance

Post by radarsu » June 7th, 2019, 7:55 pm

@Pentarctagon
Slightly tweaking the stats of multiple units in every Default faction however, is simply too wide-ranging and unfocused to have a very likely chance of being accepted.
It's not wide-ranging and unfocused. Focus is one to make win-rates of all factions averaging 42-54% => 48-53%.

I've identified problems about some factions that have too big or too low win-rate and applied minimal changes to units that I believe have biggest impact on making balance imperfect. Adjusted changes after hearing peoples opinion in game and here and... That's what we've got in 1st post.

Yes, we do not have tools and thousands of analyzed matches. Neither author of game who initially balanced default era had, but somehow he made it pretty well balanced. Just by testing & checking things out - or even based on common sense.

@ghype
I've added TL;DR section. Also I've minimized some changes reducing +2 hp to +1 hp due to many people speaking how "tiny changes like +1 hp can destroy balance".

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Re: Main Factions Balance

Post by Krogen » June 8th, 2019, 12:30 am

So I will go over every single point in detail.


“General Overview
After many years of playing and a lot of conversations with extremely experienced players I've decided to open the thread to discuss main factions balance.

I know game purists will say "balance is perfect" or "there are too many factors to measure balance". That is wrong. We have win-lose statistics, we have opinions of very experienced players and many more indicators of imperfect balance (no game has perfect balance!).”

So where are these players? Who are they? Are they responding in this thread? There is no way to verify your claim, it looks like you are trying to give yourself some kind of a phantom support of the tacit majority of “experienced players”. The top players definitely do not agree on all the things that should be changed, if they even want any changes.

And saying that no game has perfect balance is not really true, a game can have perfect balance but only if both players have identical opportunities, same “factions” and there is no difference in the starting positions. Such systems however would be less interesting than one where you have a variety of factions and strategies you can employ, like in wesnoth. You should try to approach perfect balance but cannot achieve it in games like Wesnoth.


“Important Clues
1. Most of experienced players agree, that Undeads are weakest. Next to them are Rebels.”

Again, what players specifically? Did you make statistics with all the players you consider „experienced” about what they think is the weakest faction?


“2. Statistics from 2015 say (viewtopic.php?t=42803):
Drakes - 54.91%
Loyals - 53.33%
Northeners - 49.31%
Knalgans - 48.43%
Rebels - 48.43%
Undead - 42.36%”

The original source of these statistics is this:
http://tour.wesnothlife.ru/stats.php

The problem with these statistics is that the majority of players in the tournaments and ladder games on wesnothlife aren’t very good, like maybe 70-80%. It is a fact that there is only a few really good players who win every tournament and are at the top of the standings. And it isn’t very surprising, it is expected that only a few players in such a relatively small community would be good.
I know that from statistics and experience of players who actually participated in their tournaments.


“3. Drakes are hugely impacted by RNG and get easiely countered by loyalists & undeads. Their mobility is not so useful on small maps which are most popular, therefore their high win ratio on ladder from 2015 can be ignored/should be adjusted by some negative value.”

That’s a massive oversimplification, why are they hugely impacted by RNG, more than other factions? Explain please.
Loyalists are strong vs drakes bur on the other hand are rather weak against saurian, against loyalists you should focus on saurian instead. It is not easy to counter saurian as loyalists.
The matchup against UD is a bit complicated, but in general unless the map is particularly small the drake has a good chance against undead if he utilizes its mobility, and on some maps that are particularly friendly to flying units drake might even have an advantage.
The key idea is to have the initiative and give up villages to undead and counterattack later, trying to hit exposed adepts and gang on lonely undead units.

But from what I read in your post you seem to be an exclusively isar player (correct me if im wrong), so you probably don’t know how the matchups are played on 1v1 maps.
Factions were never supposed to be balanced especially for isar, they are just designed that way, so why should we change them just because isar became popular along the way


“4. The purpose of changes is to make more game-styles playable. Currently it's common for players to recruit the same units over and over - a bit overpowered ones, while others are rarely seen and usually fall off quickly..”

Many strategies are playable on 1v1 maps. When saying that its common for players to recruit one unit over and over, I think you mean isar. Isar is a special map and due to how small and closed it is, it will favor certain units and strategies.


“Suggested Balance Changes

Drakes
Saurian Augur: +1 gold cost, +3 hp | 22 hp unit can too easiely die to a single enemy attacking and losing augur is quite often too devastating for drakes army to handle.
Saurian Skirmisher: -1 gold cost, -1 hp | Probably the weakest drakes unit that could simply get some love and provide drakes with cheap - 14g unit.”

3 Hp for +1 gold? I would never make that tradeoff, 3 HP is not worth +1 more gold.
And your idea doesn’t really help that much against grunts, a quick intelligent augur would have 24 hp, meaning it dies to 2 hits from any grunt at night, and any 28 hp augur would die to 2 hits from strong grunts as well. It makes stronger augurs more likely, and some of them would need 2 hits to die, but the main problem with this change is that it creates imbalance in other matchups (if we went with just +3 hp increase, and no cost increase).
Augur is arguably the best level 1 healer and its not really supposed to be exposed too much, its strength is mobility, defense, damage and the heal.
And it is very easy to level up, it is very important, if it’s intelligent it requires just 2 kills to level up, all the other similar units that can level up after 2 kills don’t have magic, so it’s harder to make kills with them.
The change would make it significantly stronger vs loyalists, and saurians are already strong vs them because they are resistant to pierce and hard to kill at night on good defense.
It would also make them stronger vs elves, and elves already have a tough time against drakes.
It would make them better vs dwarves, drakes are already strong vs dwarves.

Skirmisher buff faces similar problems as augur buff, except it’s probably even a bit stronger. Skirmisher is strong if on good defense, weak if on 40% and arguably it’s the best level 1 skirmisher in default, better than fencer. It is a pretty good unit.


“Loyalists
Archer: +2 hp | Archer being only 6-3 is a lot worse buy than a spearman. He cannot get trait to get boosted to 7-3 and has 3 hp less. Probably worst and least bought loyalist unit.
Merman Fighter: -2 hp | Merman Fighters being a bit too tough give loyalists huge advantage on water grounds, what makes them unarguably one of the strongest factions.
Spearman: -1 hp | This unit is simply too reliable. Kills drakes easiely, great damage vs most of units, even those resistant to pierce. A little overpowered.”


" Archer: +2 hp | Archer being only 6-3 is a lot worse buy than a spearman. He cannot get trait to get boosted to 7-3 and has 3 hp less. Probably worst and least bought loyalist unit."

Comparing ranged damage to melee damage should be done with caution and its not that simple. Ranged damage in general is a bit stronger than melee damage since way less units can retaliate. But yeah spearman's 7-3 is quite a significant advantage since often the pure damage output is what matters to kill units as fast as possible, but this is more an issue of how loyalist is often played, you need melee units (spearmen) to cover mages and help cavalry or horsemen, so archer is often neglected. But it in itself is not a bad unit and can be a very useful support unit vs drakes, or even vs any faction if you want to just defend against an attack (so you don't need pure damage output of 9-3 at day


“Merman Fighter: -2 hp | Merman Fighters being a bit too tough give loyalists huge advantage on water grounds, what makes them unarguably one of the strongest factions."

Advantage against what? Against orcs? What are you comparing the merman with, merman hunter is a bit weaker than either naga or merman fighter, so the only other fair comparison is comparing it with naga.
Compared with naga, naga has 4 less hp and slighty less damage, but in exchange it gets +1 mp and significantly better defense and movement on rough terrains. It is worth the tradeoff and is balanced. Moreover if you come from a position of an isar player - I don't really understand this proposal since naga is quite clearly stronger than merman on isar just because of the 7 mp which means that it can always take the opponent's water village (no need for quick trait)


"Spearman: -1 hp | This unit is simply too reliable. Kills drakes easiely, great damage vs most of units, even those resistant to pierce. A little overpowered. "

Compared to other similiar fighter units it is rather balanced. It is the core of loyalist army, and if loyalists are slighty too strong (they might be) then the problem is not with it but with other units like horseman, and the leaders like lieutenant.


“Knalgans
Dwarvish Fighter: -2 hp | Dwarf fighter is a unit that most of people choose as "the best". Gains +20hp on level up (which requires only 23 exp on intelligent dwarf) along with high resistances, huge hp pool and 60% defense on mountains.”

60% defense on mountains? What? dwarvish fighter and dwarvish thunderer have 70% defense on mountains, I think you got this wrong.


"Dwarf fighter is a unit that most of people choose as "the best"."

Most people? Where are these people you are talking about? Who it is? Are they in this thread? Seems like you are trying to pat yourself on the back by giving yourself some imaginary, unproven support of the majority.
And the best unit where? You are talking only about the isar map aren't you? Isar is not the only map in Wesnoth, dwarvish fighter might indeed be the best unit on that map but that is only because of the campy and closed nature of the map, on any other normal map (like 1v1 maps) it isn't underpowered.


“Northeners
Orc Grunt: -1 hp | Too high HP pool for a 12g unit makes it too hard to kill. This unit is simply too profitable and a bit "too good" choice over other units.”

Faction balance. Orcs having no magic, only poison, and dealing the lowest damage per hex out of all the factions, they need such an unit to be balanced.


“Troll Whelp: -2 hp | Too high HP pool for a 13g unit that counters hell-a-lot of units. Recruiting troll whelps is too simple strategy to win vs any undead.”

Troll OP, that’s new. Actually I think it might be the best unit on isar (even though dwarf might be a bit better in the long run because it has more options), but on normal 1v1 maps it is definitely not nearly as strong.
The problem is that it deals significantly less damage than grunts and is slower, so it is worse for rush, also it is countered by drakes. But it is an unit orcs need for defense and vs undead, else undead would destroy them. And undead can still beat trolls using adepts and defending, even though its not easy.
Overall it is balanced


"Elvish Fighter: +1 hp | Elf Fighters are by far the weakest "fighter" unit."

It is the weakest unit because it has fairly strong ranged attack and also good defense on forest, and its blade attack is very useful against almost any type of unit (especially if strong). It does lack 3 hp when compared to spearman, but as I said it has other advantages to compensate, like forest defense and ranged attack.
If intelligent it levels up in 3 kills and the level 2 elvish captain is amazing, one of the best level 2s in the game because it has leadership.
Compared to other similar units these advantages compensate the lack of hp and it is rather balanced.


"Elvish Scout: +2 hp | Elf Scout is considered the worst scout due to majority of games being played on small maps, small HP pool, low damage, poor defenses, high cost. Additional hitpoints should balance it out."

You could use the same argument against any scout unit, then why you single out the scout? Even if it is true that the majority of games are played on small maps like isar (this is an unproven assumption, even if it turned out to be true), then it cannot be the reason to buff elvish scout, or any other scout unit for that matter, maybe you just shouldn't recruit it on isar?


"Merman Hunter: +2 hp | This merman is much weaker than loyalist's Merman Fighter due to low hp pool that makes it die surprisingly quick and 5-3 damage (which cannot be boosted to 6-3 due to traits).”
It is one way to buff merman hunter, which is indeed slighty too weak, even though it doesn't make a very big difference in the gameplay and the unit is playable. It is one of the very few changes that would probably be good, though it is hard to predict the effect of a change on all matchups.


“Undeads | Generally the problem with undeads is small hp pool of it's units while having significant vulnerabilities to blunt and fire and units very hard to lvl up (and still not hard to kill at lvl 2).”

Units like skeletons do have a bit less hp than similiar living units, but they compensate for it with resistances, and yeah, they do have vulnerabilities but the vulnerabilities are less severe than the resistances they get. Also they get special fungus defense and movement and defense in water. To deal with counters to skeletons/ghouls you need to mix in units like adepts and, of course, try to engage at night
Both skeletons are supposed to work together with adepts, if they are alone they will perform poorly

Also I don't see how they are harder to level up, undead units in general are about as hard to level up as the living units, living units can get traits like intelligent but units like skeletons require a bit less xp. In the end you can level most units after 3 kills (and some atttcks) anyway

Level 2 revenant has a reasonable amount of hp (it is less than say swordsman, but still its ok), but deathblade usually is better, it deals the most raw damage per attack out of all level 2 units (ignoring specials like magical or berserk) and has 6 mp. It is easy to kill but if you don't let it die it deals a lot of damage. Level 2 archer could use a bit more hp, but 40 is not the end of the world. Wraith is one of the best level 2 units in the game because of drain.

Anyway, the balance of level 2 units can vary a lot since it depends a lot on "faction balance" and balance of matchups


“Corpse: 6-2 => 4-3 | Corpse is high RNG unit that should be important in undead army to provide some "meat". Quite often you buy them, leave enemy unit on 1hp and if you miss, not only you haven't killed enemy unit - but your corpse is dead and probably by losing ability to create army of corpses you very likely already lost the game as well.”

Corpse is already the best level 0 unit because of plague, im not sure if killing with 4-3 would be easier than with 6-2 since it may often happen that you cant kill in one hit with 4-3 and you can with 6-2, I think 6-2 is slighty more reliable but they are roughly equal.


“Ghost: -1 gold cost | 20g for a unit that can easily fall even to 3 melee fighters is too much, and the ghost is quite often crucial unit for undead success.”

Ghost could use some buff yes, -1 gold may be good, but again, its hard to predict all the effects on the matchups. For example, ghost buff will make it better vs dwarf and vs trolls. Still, it would probably be good, but it is still a bit risky and making the change would require reliable tests, and these are not easy to do.
This change may be good, but -1 gold is a huge buff, and considering that ghost is a counter unit, it is a bit dangerous, it could use some buff against factions like elves or even dwarves (even though in that matchup dwarf might have only a slight advantage), but against orcs, orcs struggle against defensive ud, so it is a bit questionable.
And it could be better vs drakes which is also a concern.


“Ghoul: +1 hp, -3 exp to lvl up”

It doesn’t do anything except maybe making it slighty harder for orc to kill them (which may not be that good in the end). Vs elves it doesn’t really make a difference, mages deal 8 damage, woses 16 damage at day, it all amounts to 32 damage and ghoul is left with 1 hp. Whether it would be left with 1 hp or 2 hp doesn’t matter.


“Skeleton: +2 hp, -3 exp to lvl up”

That is a significant buff, may be good, may be bad depending on matchup, might be more good than bad but not sure what would happen.


“Skeleton Archer: +2 hp, -3 exp to lvl up”

Skeleton archer is arguably the best archer in the game, with more hp it would destroy loyal even harder than it does now.


You should play some 1v1 on proper 1v1 maps before trying to balance the game. Besides, this is my ladder account: http://wesnoth.gamingladder.info/profil ... ame=Krogen
"A lion doesn't concern himself with the opinions of the sheep." - Tywin Lannister

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radarsu
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Re: Main Factions Balance

Post by radarsu » June 8th, 2019, 3:46 am

@Krogen
You should play some 1v1 on proper 1v1 maps before trying to balance the game. Besides, this is my ladder account: http://wesnoth.gamingladder.info/profil ... ame=Krogen
But from what I read in your post you seem to be an exclusively isar player (correct me if im wrong), so you probably don’t know how the matchups are played on 1v1 maps.
Factions were never supposed to be balanced especially for isar, they are just designed that way, so why should we change them just because isar became popular along the way
I've already dropped "Isar thing" and removed it absolutely from my calculations. Some stats you have copied are not actual. I've played a lot on other maps than Isar in the past. I also remember your name very well.
And saying that no game has perfect balance is not really true, a game can have perfect balance but only if both players have identical opportunities, same “factions” and there is no difference in the starting positions. Such systems however would be less interesting than one where you have a variety of factions and strategies you can employ, like in wesnoth. You should try to approach perfect balance but cannot achieve it in games like Wesnoth.
Ech... I even stated that there are exceptions in the discussion...
There are some exceptions like mirror-real-time games.
But I really hoped nobody will bring it out. Are you this type of human-being that, during discussion, tries to undermine every sentence said, instead of focusing on understanding what other person says even if she is not 100% specific? And only way to discuss with you is replying with 100 pages book that has every minor tweak, exception etc. marked?

Do you think, that if in current state of game troll did have 2 hp less and skeletons would have 1 hp more and I would advocate to switch those stats - you would agree? I'm 100% sure you would say the changes requested are bad and game is balanced.

Be my guest - propose what balance changes you would make to the game. I believe you are experienced enough to be able to propose at least one positive change.
That’s a massive oversimplification, why are they hugely impacted by RNG, more than other factions? Explain please.
Because drakes are low defense, high vulnerabilities and high cost. That means - you can easily get great damage from enemy and lose an extremely expensive unit. The same goes for almost all scout units, but drakes are whole faction affected by that kind of RNG.
Loyalists are strong vs drakes bur on the other hand are rather weak against saurian, against loyalists you should focus on saurian instead. It is not easy to counter saurian as loyalists.
"Rather weak"... Well, spearman vs saurian fighter during 0% day/night cycle on 50% vs 60% def is more likely spearman win. Maybe with an exception of strong saurian. And saurian is supposed to counter him. I don't think a skeleton fighter could win a single battle vs HI. Saurians are very weak counter for spearmans in comparison to most of counter-situations in game.
The matchup against UD is a bit complicated, but in general unless the map is particularly small the drake has a good chance against undead if he utilizes its mobility, and on some maps that are particularly friendly to flying units drake might even have an advantage.
The key idea is to have the initiative and give up villages to undead and counterattack later, trying to hit exposed adepts and gang on lonely undead units.
Yes, that's exactly how Drake vs UD matchup goes. But do you think it's 50% fair? 48%-52% for undeads? Give me any values based on your experience. Can you please?
It doesn’t do anything except maybe making it slighty harder for orc to kill them (which may not be that good in the end). Vs elves it doesn’t really make a difference, mages deal 8 damage, woses 16 damage at day, it all amounts to 32 damage and ghoul is left with 1 hp. Whether it would be left with 1 hp or 2 hp doesn’t matter.
Soooo... You never encountered a situation that your ghoul could survive some attack if he had 1 hp more? Are you sure you played so many games?

To summerize your opinion
We have no data and no ability to tell anything about balance of the game, so it's perfect and leave it as-is forever.

If you think I'm not expert enough about the game to propose any balance changes - do it yourself. Or choose an expert that could do that. Don't just discard all the proposals because "we cannot tell anything".

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Krogen
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Re: Main Factions Balance

Post by Krogen » June 8th, 2019, 5:55 am

„I've already dropped "Isar thing" and removed it absolutely from my calculations”

What calculations?


“Some stats you have copied are not actual”

Stats I have copied that are not actual, well then, you must mean some of the stats you used, like dwarvish fighter having 60% mountain defense.


“But I really hoped nobody will bring it out. Are you this type of human-being that, during discussion, tries to undermine every sentence said, instead of focusing on understanding what other person says even if she is not 100% specific?”

I didn’t try to undermine every single sentence you said, it just so happened that you weren’t correct most of the time.


“And only way to discuss with you is replying with 100 pages book that has every minor tweak, exception etc. marked?”

If what you weren’t wrong you would be right. And then I wouldn’t point out the errors.


“Do you think, that if in current state of game troll did have 2 hp less and skeletons would have 1 hp more and I would advocate to switch those stats - you would agree? I'm 100% sure you would say the changes requested are bad and game is balanced.”

What is your point? Are you saying that you think im some kind of a fanatic who could never be convinced that something is imbalanced? If so then im disappointed, maybe just the changes you proposed are bad.


“Be my guest - propose what balance changes you would make to the game. I believe you are experienced enough to be able to propose at least one positive change.”

I have said about your merman hunter change that it would probably be good, so I could go with that. Talking about balance and which changes I think would be good and why is a massive topic, and I would rather not go too deep into it here. People have talked about default balance on the forum since forever, this is just another thread that proposes questionable balance changes.


“Because drakes are low defense, high vulnerabilities and high cost. That means - you can easily get great damage from enemy and lose an extremely expensive unit. The same goes for almost all scout units, but drakes are whole faction affected by that kind of RNG.”

Doesn’t low defense (and also high hp) make them less vulnerable to rng, and therefore harder to kill just through a series of lucky hits? And if you have a lot of one type of units vs a lot of other type of unit, the influence of RNG decreases.

I think what you mean is that drakes are vulnerable and they take a lot of damage, it is true, they are vulnerable to certain damage types like pierce and cold, and they do often take a lot of damage in general, but their balancing factors are their mobility, which allows them to choose engangements more easily, their high damage output, and their raw hp which means that even though they will take a lot of damage, they can then run away and heal in villages or with help of augurs, basically hit and run tactics.
They are expensive and not very survivable for the cost, but nevertheless their raw stats are very high, and they have the mobility to attack whenever they want and wherever they want.


“"Rather weak"... Well, spearman vs saurian fighter during 0% day/night cycle on 50% vs 60% def is more likely spearman win. Maybe with an exception of strong saurian. And saurian is supposed to counter him. I don't think a skeleton fighter could win a single battle vs HI. Saurians are very weak counter for spearmans in comparison to most of counter-situations in game.”

Whether spearman would win such fight depends on saurian traits, but even if they lose this fight (I think only if saurian has bad traits, but it would be nice if somebody checked how will it actually go, maybe Hejnewar), its alright since skirmisher has skirmish and spearman doesn’t, so just because of this it should be weaker.
Also skirmisher can level up easier than spearman, if intelligent it has 18 xp vs 24 xp of the spearman, meaning it can level up after 2 kills and 2 fights, its an important advantage. Augurs also level up very fast, if you mix both and manage your xp well you will get level 2s way faster than your opponent.

Saurian is definitely not as hard a counter to spearman as HI is to skeletons, countering spearmen and beating them is not their only job.
In Wesnoth units don’t fight alone, skirmisher has skirmish and so can attack spearmen from more sides or can block them. And lets take your hypothetical situation as an example, say that spearman on 50% attacks the saurian on 60%, they trade roughly equally, with spearman taking a bit more damage, what happens next? Saurian runs away, its night and other saurian like augurs attack spearman and kill it and take its position, loyal loses the fight in this scenario.


“Yes, that's exactly how Drake vs UD matchup goes. But do you think it's 50% fair? 48%-52% for undeads? Give me any values based on your experience. Can you please?”

Hard to say, it depends a lot on map and skill of the players. If drake outmaneuvers undead they win, if undead rushes and kills a lot of drakes they win, there are too many uncertainties.


“Soooo... You never encountered a situation that your ghoul could survive some attack if he had 1 hp more? Are you sure you played so many games?”

No, can’t think of any at the moment.
And if you want to you can check my ladder or look for my games in the tournaments if you don’t think I played enough games. Do you think you played more games than me then?


“To summerize your opinion
We have no data and no ability to tell anything about balance of the game, so it's perfect and leave it as-is forever.”

What a strawman, im really disappointed
I definitely do not think the balance of Wesnoth is perfect and anybody who has seen my posts in other balance threads knows this. But im not going to start talking about it in detail here, nothing would come of it. Don’t put words into my mouth.


“If you think I'm not expert enough about the game to propose any balance changes - do it yourself. Or choose an expert that could do that. Don't just discard all the proposals because "we cannot tell anything".”

Do you even have a ladder account? I don’t think you have, yet you do think you are “expert enough” to propose balance changes. Many ladder players have talked about balance since a long time, and people still don’t agree on everything, this shows that balance is not simple.

And I didn’t discard all the proposals, if you look through my post again you will see that I was actually favorable towards your merman hunter change, and said some positive things about the ghost change.

Balance is a very vast topic and it is not as easy as just proposing some random changes. About proposing some changes myself – this is a thread about your proposed changes, and just because I can’t or don’t want to propose any changes doesn’t mean that you by just proposing some changes are better. Or that they are good changes and they should be implemented.
"A lion doesn't concern himself with the opinions of the sheep." - Tywin Lannister

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Pentarctagon
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Re: Main Factions Balance

Post by Pentarctagon » June 8th, 2019, 6:15 am

radarsu wrote:
June 7th, 2019, 7:55 pm
@Pentarctagon
Slightly tweaking the stats of multiple units in every Default faction however, is simply too wide-ranging and unfocused to have a very likely chance of being accepted.
It's not wide-ranging and unfocused. Focus is one to make win-rates of all factions averaging 42-54% => 48-53%.
You are proposing changes to multiple units in every single faction in Default. That each change is only a small tweak by itself is not really relevant in this case simply because of how many changes there are, and even small changes can have unintended consequences.

I would recommend first reducing the scope of your changes to a single faction that you believe the Undead have trouble with, at a minimum. Also, frankly, you're going to need to provide more evidence than you have so far.
99 little bugs in the code, 99 little bugs
take one down, patch it around
-2,147,483,648 little bugs in the code

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