Minotaur Faction : The Era Of Strife

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SirEbrum
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Slug's test game: 3 unit case studies

Post by SirEbrum » March 26th, 2008, 4:35 pm

Slug wrote:Hi there - I'm really interested in this faction and think that it has a lot of potential so me and some friends decided to play test it earlier today vs the default factions.
Hi there. I was part of Slug's test of your new faction, and he asked us all to try to help balance it. As Slug and other have said, the Minotaurs are overpowered at the moment compared to the default factions. If I understand the concept of your faction correctly, they are ageless, inherently magical beings who tend to be "slow but sturdy." Since they have some very cool special abilities, balance will require that their other stats be slightly inferior. Nice artwork, by the way.
One across-the-board faction equalizer I considered was a vulnerability to arcane attacks, similar to the other magical races (drakes, woses, elves). Sorry if lots of people have already suggested it. I skipped about 15 pages early in the thread.

I've looked at three of the more basic units in the faction: the gore, gnoll, and shaman - and compared them to some default units. In all three cases the minotaur unit was far more powerful for its cost.

The Gore: cf. orcish grunt, dwarven fighter
HP: 37 (with +3 regen)
MP: 4 (move cost as the dwarf except in sand)
Atk: 7-4
Cost: 17
The basic concept for this unit appears to be a slow, very powerful melee unit whose defense odds aren't garbage. Personally, I would play up the slow and powerful aspect by changing its attack. 7-4 is simply too powerful for a level 1 unit. I would change it to maybe 11-2 (the orcish grunt has 9-2) or even 20-1. In any case, a single blow from a minotaur ought to be heavier than one from an orcish grunt, in my opinion.
As for the movement, I would change it so that forests and mountains cost 2 mp (same as orcs) and see how that works. I have trouble imagining a big, sturdy, half-bull moving through a forest at twice the speed of a poacher. In default, as far as I'm aware, only elves, woses, dwarves, and flying units can move through forests for 1mp per hex. As for hill movement, I'd keep it at 1mp/hex. At 4mp, they can't afford to be too much worse.

The Gnoll: cf. poacher, elf archer, orc archer, loyalist archer
HP: 35 (with +3 regen)
MP: 6 (move cost superior to the dwarf except for sand)
Atk: 4-5 (5-2 melee)
Cost: 15
The concept for this units seems to me to be at odds with that of the overall faction. With 5 attacks, the gnoll is apparently faster and more graceful with a bow than even a level 2 elf archer, if not as powerful. Combined with this unit's sheer speed, incredible defense, and low cost the unit is a prime candidate for spamming. I also like the idea of the melee being a pierce attack. Make those horsemen think twice before charging this unit.
The Minotaur faction probably needs a moderately cheap unit though, so I would recommend weakening the gnoll, rather than raising its cost. To start with, I would change the move cost and defense on hills and mountains. I have trouble picturing a unit whose job is to hunt and hide in swamps being completely at ease and at home in high mountains. Saurians apparently live in the swamps, but even saurians can't hide in them. The swamp prowl ability hints at a clever and very specialized creature. I suggest mp costs of 3 for mountains, 2 for hills and 2 for forests (same as the poacher and the loyalist archer) and lowering the defenses to 60% for swamps and 50% for forests. It will still be unbalanced, but it'd be an improvement.

The Shaman: cf. saurian oracle, mage
Normally I would say that this unit should have its HP cut in half. But given the basic concept of the Minotaur faction, in which their bodies are magical and their physical robustness is derived from their relationship with their deity, it actually makes sense that the shaman is tougher than the regular infantry. Let me compare the Minotaur Shaman with the Saurian Oracle:
Shaman
HP: 40
MP: 4
Melee: 8-2
Range: 8-3
Cost:25

Oracle
HP: 29
MP: 6
Melee: 4-3
Range: 8-3
Cost: 27
Overall, the shaman has poorer defense but better healing and resistances than the oracle. I would change the move cost for forests & mountains to 2mp, as with the gore. The cost will have to go up even higher, though. This is basically a level 2 unit that can be recruited as a level 1.

Those three units are the only ones I looked at very deeply. I would suggest toning down the centaur as well, somehow. In the hands of an intelligent player, a skirmishing charging unit is a terrifying weapon.

I guess I don't even need to mention the berserk unit.

Best of luck to you with the Minotaur faction.
Last edited by SirEbrum on March 26th, 2008, 5:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Quietus
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Re: Slug's test game: 3 unit case studies

Post by Quietus » March 26th, 2008, 5:21 pm

SirEbrum wrote: The Gore: cf. orcish grunt, dwarven fighter
HP: 37 (with +3 regen)
MP: 4 (move cost as the dwarf except in sand)
Atk: 7-4
Cost: 17
The basic concept for this unit appears to be a slow, very powerful melee unit whose defense odds aren't garbage. Personally, I would play up the slow and powerful aspect by changing its attack. 7-4 is simply too powerful for a level 1 unit. I would change it to maybe 11-2 (the orcish grunt has 9-2) or even 20-1. In any case, a single blow from a minotaur ought to be heavier than one from an orcish grunt, in my opinion.
As for the movement, I would change it so that forests and mountains cost 2 mp (same as orcs) and see how that works. I have trouble imagining a big, sturdy, half-bull moving through a forest at twice the speed of a poacher. In default, as far as I'm aware, only elves, woses, dwarves, and flying units can move through forests for 1mp per hex. As for hill movement, I'd keep it at 1mp/hex. At 4mp, they can't afford to be too much worse.
Just like to say thankyou for playtesting and giving us feedback. The only way we can balance things is if people playtest them :) . Ok, firstly the gore is being toned down in the new version. He isnt as slow as the orc, so we decided to go for an 8-3, rather than an 11-2 as you suggested. As for defence values, the whole faction needs to be oberviewd and moderated, but they are intended to be forest fighters, though i can see you're point about movement through the forest. im sure a 2mp through forest and perhaps 3mp through mountains wont hurt.
SirEbrum wrote: The Gnoll: cf. poacher, elf archer, orc archer, loyalist archer
HP: 35 (with +3 regen)
MP: 6 (move cost superior to the dwarf except for sand)
Atk: 4-5 (5-2 melee)
Cost: 15
The concept for this units seems to me to be at odds with that of the overall faction. With 5 attacks, the gnoll is apparently faster and more graceful with a bow than even a level 2 elf archer, if not as powerful. Combined with this unit's sheer speed, incredible defense, and low cost the unit is a prime candidate for spamming. I also like the idea of the melee being a pierce attack. Make those horsemen think twice before charging this unit.
The Minotaur faction probably needs a moderately cheap unit though, so I would recommend weakening the gnoll, rather than raising its cost. To start with, I would change the move cost and defense on hills and mountains. I have trouble picturing a unit whose job is to hunt and hide in swamps being completely at ease and at home in high mountains. Saurians apparently live in the swamps, but even saurians can't hide in them. The swamp prowl ability hints at a clever and very specialized creature. I suggest mp costs of 3 for mountains, 2 for hills and 2 for forests (same as the poacher and the loyalist archer) and lowering the defenses to 60% for swamps and 50% for forests. It will still be unbalanced, but it'd be an improvement.
The gnoll is being considerable toned down in the next version. Points cost will stay the same, though shots should be lowered to 4 ( so a bit more like the poacher). The movement in the mountains i defeinately agree with. I didnt even notice it when playing lol. Something like 3mp should be fine. I think 70% in swamps is fine, but reduction on other defences might be worth looking into.
SirEbrum wrote: The Shaman: cf. saurian oracle, mage
Normally I would say that this unit should have its HP cut in half. But given the basic concept of the Minotaur faction, in which their bodies are magical and their physical robustness is derived from their relationship with their deity, it actually makes sense that the shaman is tougher than the regular infantry. Let me compare the Minotaur Shaman with the Saurian Oracle:
Shaman Oracle
HP: 40 29
MP: 4 6
Melee: 8-2 4-3
Range: 8-3 8-3
Cost: 25 27
Overall, the shaman has poorer defense but better healing and resistances than the oracle. I would change the move cost for forests & mountains to 2mp, as with the gore. The cost will have to go up even higher, though. This is basically a level 2 unit that can be recruited as a level 1.
The shaman line is the one that needs the msot work IMO. What i dont see is that the mystic stays relatively powerful, but gains little over the Warlock. So in theory with the lvl 3 option people would always pick the warlock. HP like you said should be reduced. 34 should still be in keeping with the overal faction. I think range should be reduced in damage by one point, to make up for the additional HP.
SirEbrum wrote: I guess I don't even need to mention the berserk unit.
lol ironically i find him the most balanced out of the faction. But his lvl 2 needs a little weakening.

Thanks for the feedback, keep it coming as it is all appretiated

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Re: Minotaur faction : 0.1.8 on add-ons list

Post by Espreon » March 26th, 2008, 5:46 pm

Thank you SirEbrum for playtesting these, I will take your suggestions on balancing these beasties.

Elerias
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Re: Minotaur faction : 0.1.8 on add-ons list

Post by Elerias » March 26th, 2008, 5:51 pm

i just wanna say its sad to choose warlock over mystic all the time because i like mystic much more. Isnt it possible to add lvl 3 for mystic?

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Re: Minotaur faction : 0.1.8 on add-ons list

Post by Quietus » March 26th, 2008, 6:05 pm

Elerias wrote:i just wanna say its sad to choose warlock over mystic all the time because i like mystic much more. Isnt it possible to add lvl 3 for mystic?
It is a possiblity. What i would prefer is removing the heal +5 from the shaman and the cure from the warlock and elder. And give the mystic the +5 along with the teleport ability. Obviously damage would have to be reduced for this to stay balanced. But at least then there is a choice between a teleporting healer, or a damaging mage.

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Re: Minotaur faction : 0.1.8 on add-ons list

Post by Valenwood » March 26th, 2008, 7:25 pm

I totally agree with changing the Gore's melee from 7-4 to 11-2, to give that BANG kind of feeling when they hit :) Maybe the Gnoll could have 2 strikes as well, instead of their current 5? Strong shooters, but not very quick at reloading? 10-2, or 9-2? Seems like a good idea to me, to go with the Gore strike changes :)

EDIT: Fixed some typos.

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Re: Minotaur faction : 0.1.8 on add-ons list

Post by Espreon » March 26th, 2008, 7:51 pm

Quietus wrote:
Elerias wrote:i just wanna say its sad to choose warlock over mystic all the time because i like mystic much more. Isnt it possible to add lvl 3 for mystic?
It is a possiblity. What i would prefer is removing the heal +5 from the shaman and the cure from the warlock and elder. And give the mystic the +5 along with the teleport ability. Obviously damage would have to be reduced for this to stay balanced. But at least then there is a choice between a teleporting healer, or a damaging mage.
Well I saw the Mystic as the flying, more striking, better at healing type of unit. If we gave him Teleport I would probably have to remove his levitation to keep him balanced, but I like the Mystic flying.

So I saw the choice of advancement between much more ranged power, more ranged attacks and better healing, levitation and more strikes and better melee damage

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Re: Minotaur faction : 0.1.8 on add-ons list

Post by Weeksy » March 26th, 2008, 9:44 pm

Keep in mind that you should compare faction to faction, not unit to unit. Orc archers are fairly crappy, but the northies have melee swarm to make up for it, and so on.
If enough people bang their heads against a brick wall, The brick wall will fall down

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Re: Minotaur faction : 0.1.8 on add-ons list

Post by Quietus » March 26th, 2008, 11:43 pm

Espreon wrote:
Quietus wrote: It is a possiblity. What i would prefer is removing the heal +5 from the shaman and the cure from the warlock and elder. And give the mystic the +5 along with the teleport ability. Obviously damage would have to be reduced for this to stay balanced. But at least then there is a choice between a teleporting healer, or a damaging mage.
Well I saw the Mystic as the flying, more striking, better at healing type of unit. If we gave him Teleport I would probably have to remove his levitation to keep him balanced, but I like the Mystic flying.

So I saw the choice of advancement between much more ranged power, more ranged attacks and better healing, levitation and more strikes and better melee damage
Hmm ok, well teleportation aside. I still believe that the warlock and elder should loose their +8 heal, and the mystic should be seriously weakened in magic power. He currently has a 10-4, which is actualy more than the warlock. Something almost similar to the shaman, like 8-3, but having the +8 which gives users an option to evolve to him.
Valenwood wrote: I totally agree with changing the Gore's melee from 7-4 to 11-2, to give that BANG kind of feeling when they hit :) Maybe the Gnoll could have 2 strikes as well, instead of their current 5? Strong shooters, but not very quick at reloading? 10-2, or 9-2? Seems like a good idea to me, to go with the Gore strike changes :)
nah the gnoll bows arent very well made according to the "bluff", so i cant see them being very damaging, but the gnolls have become accustomed to them and are able to reload quickly.

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Re: Minotaur faction : 0.1.8 on add-ons list

Post by Valenwood » March 27th, 2008, 12:14 am

Quietus wrote:nah the gnoll bows arent very well made according to the "bluff", so i cant see them being very damaging, but the gnolls have become accustomed to them and are able to reload quickly.
Okay! I see :) Hmm. Well, what about maybe giving them 3-5, then? Should be an okay damage, considering their price, regeneration, HP and good defences? Maybe lowering cost to .. 14?

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Re: Minotaur faction : 0.1.8 on add-ons list

Post by Darth Jordius » March 27th, 2008, 10:38 pm

Valenwood wrote:
Quietus wrote:nah the gnoll bows arent very well made according to the "bluff", so i cant see them being very damaging, but the gnolls have become accustomed to them and are able to reload quickly.
Okay! I see :) Hmm. Well, what about maybe giving them 3-5, then? Should be an okay damage, considering their price, regeneration, HP and good defences? Maybe lowering cost to .. 14?
Oh please Q, don't give them 4 strikes! The Minotaurs are becoming just like the Knalgans! Turning Gnoll into Poacher, Gore into Fighter, Eagle into Gryphon, Behemoth into Ulfserker, and so on. I agree you should weaken the Gnoll but not so muchas to reduce a strike. Add some to the price and take away high defenses on mountains and plains.

To Espreon:
The Savage's kusarigama does pierce damage, and they have a sword, not an axe.
The Chieftain's kusarigama does 0-1 damage.

Thanks for coding them as always!
Quiz wrote:You are a Dwarvish Fighter. You're surly and handy with an axe. Go chop some trees.
Check out Quietus's Minotaurs!

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Re: Minotaur faction : 0.1.8 on add-ons list

Post by Darth Jordius » March 31st, 2008, 1:28 am

By the way Quietus, why would a Gore take the trouble to learn how to wield a sword when he levels only to trade it in for an axe when reaching level 3?
Quiz wrote:You are a Dwarvish Fighter. You're surly and handy with an axe. Go chop some trees.
Check out Quietus's Minotaurs!

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Re: Minotaur faction : 0.1.8 on add-ons list

Post by Quietus » March 31st, 2008, 2:54 pm

Ok im back and now with all coursework completed have plenty of time to do minotaur stuff :D and start my new faction (which hopefull with go with the minotaurs and create a new era, which is planned to have 6 factions in). Though before i start the new era i want to get the minotaurs upto a good standard. i.e one attack and defence frame per unit.
Darth Jordius wrote:By the way Quietus, why would a Gore take the trouble to learn how to wield a sword when he levels only to trade it in for an axe when reaching level 3?
because origionally i wanted the savage line to have a sword, but then i decided to evolve him into the king, who has an axe. Maybe i'll change the savage to have an axe. hmm :hmm:

Im not sure when the next version will be coming out though, its upoto espreon.

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Re: Minotaur faction : 0.1.8 on add-ons list

Post by Espreon » March 31st, 2008, 7:02 pm

0.2.0 Released.

Updates:

Some units weakened for the sake of balance.
Warlocks and Elders no longer heal or cure or slow the effects of poisoning.
Some grammar corrected.
The Chieftain's kusarigama attack bug fixed.
The Savage's kusarigama attack bug also fixed.
Gnoll and Sharpshooter graphics implemented.

Quietus could you send me the TC-fixed images of the Shaman, the Mystic and Elder as I accidentally deleted them...

Also should I extend the swamp prowl ability to allow concealment in Swamp Villages?

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Re: Minotaur faction : 0.1.8 on add-ons list

Post by Valenwood » April 1st, 2008, 2:09 am

Even though you said you fixed it, the Giant Eagle and Roc still has ABILITY_DIVINE_SKIRMISHER, which is not defined! :) Change it to ABILITY_SKIRMISHER, or remove it?

Just to remind you, below is a quote of my original message, concerning this:
My message from a while back, wrote:Hi folks!
Me and Slug decided to further investigate the Eagle and Roc, so we hosted up a game and fooled around with the units a bit, both of us getting various OOS messages while recruiting and attacking with these two units. After the game was finished, I decided it was time to actually check out your .cfg files for these units, and so I did. It seems like these units are supposed to have a ability called DIVINE_SKIRMISHER, which is not defined in abilities.cfg. Maybe you were intending to give them ABILITY_SKIRMISHER, but accidently typed ABILITY_DIVINE_SKIRMISHER instead? Either that, or you must just have forgot to define the ability. Either way, I think this might be a reason for them creating OOS messages.
As a sidenote, the Giant Eagle and Roc are still not neutral :)

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