Steelhive Faction feedback/balancing

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Re: Steelhive Faction feedback/balancing

Postby Shawer » August 11th, 2009, 11:05 am

Hey guys!
Sorry that ive been so long, ive finnaly started testing.
I really like the way you can make the lightshifter imitate a leader, with that i see so many strategies opening up :)
I cant see any problems, but i havent gone indepth yet, its late and i need to go to sleep.
Ill see what i can find when i get back from school tommorow.
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Re: Steelhive Faction feedback/balancing

Postby StDrake » August 11th, 2009, 3:32 pm

i can see one problem at least - the cone. one this that it doesn't meet its description (it moves! wth?) another..what is leadership on level 1? especially if you only got the lighshifter on lev 0 to benefit, might think about making it a recruitable lev 2, wee bit more hp (30-40?) and 3 xp to level instead of one (that would make it a bit more realistic that a tiny shock doesn't activate it at once, it's not that easy to kill it with one attack vs 20 hp either and it heals up and levels instantly after in the current fashion)
since its not supposed to move i propose to give it teleportation and an "issue" trait - letting it be "summoned" into its final position once per battle, then if that position is a village the teleportation would allow it to travel between guardposts

the lightshifter is neat, though its attack in a changed form behaves odd. maybe im just paranoid but this one might need more testing

oculus seems ok but its higher level versions..im sceptical about the strenght of that single shot. Compare it to a dwarf thunderer and its levelups. Steelhives have higher damage values and use electricity (fire) which is less commonly seen among unit resistances than piercing

of all the most i like the slasher line, if they even need some tweaks its just very minor changes, but overally are fun, effective and fair in the balance. Good job on that :eng:
maybe just add some defence on frozen terrain - those spiky limbs should be quite beneficial to keeping balance on ice

overally for the whole faction - i see it needing a look into the resistances. They're quite non-robotical at the moment. Start with physical resistances - judging by the fluff they should be slightly resistant to slashing (due to their metal construction) perhaps some 10-20% (rather 10), quite solid versus piercing (At least the more slender units - look at the sharp shape of the vorpal, arrows would just slide off it without a good surface to penetrate) kindof like the skeletons 30%, and maybe a bit more vulnerable to impact. A good blow can do ugly things to such a slender skeleton and the stress isnt too good for the inside electronics either.
Well ok so it has the -10%, consider -20 a little though
on to cold vs fire - differ two types of units, the more mechanical should quite suffer from cold, extreme low temperatures making the metal less elastical and thus brittle - prone to breaking under the stress of movement or even under its own weight, for electronics however all it can do is let electrical signals flow better in metal..maybe semiconductor parts wouldnt like it that much. As for high heat it probably wouldnt do much to the mechanical parts - in battle conditions it works too short to cause any significant changes in the metallic structure, however electronics don't like burning.
What it means? High cold resistance for units with less moving parts at the cost of fire weakness, even 50%/-40% and opposite to those more mechanical (whole slasher line)
astral..hard to tell, but since you mention them not caring about magic much it could be higher than 30%
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Re: Steelhive Faction feedback/balancing

Postby Zerovirus » August 11th, 2009, 4:32 pm

StDrake wrote:i can see one problem at least - the cone. one this that it doesn't meet its description (it moves! wth?) another..what is leadership on level 1? especially if you only got the lighshifter on lev 0 to benefit, might think about making it a recruitable lev 2, wee bit more hp (30-40?) and 3 xp to level instead of one (that would make it a bit more realistic that a tiny shock doesn't activate it at once, it's not that easy to kill it with one attack vs 20 hp either and it heals up and levels instantly after in the current fashion)
since its not supposed to move i propose to give it teleportation and an "issue" trait - letting it be "summoned" into its final position once per battle, then if that position is a village the teleportation would allow it to travel between guardposts

The thing with upgrading is supposed to be like that. When it detects hostile units attacking it it transforms into a stronger form. Deploys, you might say. And, actually, I don't know how the leadership effect works theoretically but it works with nearby LV1 units even when not deployed, so I don't see a problem there.

Increasing its XP? Well, we could do that and increase its HP but then it becomes more... Powered, I guess. I was going for a fragile unit that you have one shot to kill before it turns into something a bit stronger.
StDrake wrote:the lightshifter is neat, though its attack in a changed form behaves odd. maybe im just paranoid but this one might need more testing

I would have liked to have the Lightshifter be only be discernable by the player that controls it so that you can see where your fake units are, but we didn't know how to WML that. Its attack is always its default, Light Ray 2-3. Don't believe what it tells you on the combat screen.
StDrake wrote:oculus seems ok but its higher level versions..im sceptical about the strenght of that single shot. Compare it to a dwarf thunderer and its levelups. Steelhives have higher damage values and use electricity (fire) which is less commonly seen among unit resistances than piercing

Erm... I'm not sure I get your problem here. What's wrong with having fire damage? None of the units have fire damage yet. Are you saying that we made the Oculus line overpowered?
StDrake wrote:of all the most i like the slasher line, if they even need some tweaks its just very minor changes, but overally are fun, effective and fair in the balance. Good job on that :eng:
maybe just add some defence on frozen terrain - those spiky limbs should be quite beneficial to keeping balance on ice

I don't think of it that way... Imagine walking on ice using stilts with nails on the bottom.

Walking on spikes wouldn't be good on ice because usually you can't split ice with a blade unless you use lots of effort. Thus, you have two legs with extremely small areas of traction. You'd end up slipping everywhere.

If you don't believe me try walking on ice with stilts that are about as thick as chopsticks.
StDrake wrote:overally for the whole faction - i see it needing a look into the resistances. They're quite non-robotical at the moment. Start with physical resistances - judging by the fluff they should be slightly resistant to slashing (due to their metal construction) perhaps some 10-20% (rather 10), quite solid versus piercing (At least the more slender units - look at the sharp shape of the vorpal, arrows would just slide off it without a good surface to penetrate) kindof like the skeletons 30%, and maybe a bit more vulnerable to impact. A good blow can do ugly things to such a slender skeleton and the stress isnt too good for the inside electronics either.
Well ok so it has the -10%, consider -20 a little though
on to cold vs fire - differ two types of units, the more mechanical should quite suffer from cold, extreme low temperatures making the metal less elastical and thus brittle - prone to breaking under the stress of movement or even under its own weight, for electronics however all it can do is let electrical signals flow better in metal..maybe semiconductor parts wouldnt like it that much. As for high heat it probably wouldnt do much to the mechanical parts - in battle conditions it works too short to cause any significant changes in the metallic structure, however electronics don't like burning.
What it means? High cold resistance for units with less moving parts at the cost of fire weakness, even 50%/-40% and opposite to those more mechanical (whole slasher line)
astral..hard to tell, but since you mention them not caring about magic much it could be higher than 30%


We haven't fine tuned resistances yet. However, your comments are very useful and I appreciate them lots. We're currently cutting back on resistances because we haven't completely made or balanced all the units and we might unbalance the faction even more if we jumped to resistances before we did the units that the resistances apply on.

@Melinath: Make the Steel Sparkgazer's melee animation NAO. And, maybe add the Steel Sentient into the faction too. Should we make the Steel Sentient a recruitable Lv2 or just a normal Lv1?
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Re: Steelhive Faction feedback/balancing

Postby melinath » August 11th, 2009, 5:12 pm

Cybercone: We could perhaps lower the hp to 15 or 12 to make it at least possible to kill. At 20, you basically can't get it with a single hit.

Fire weakness: Since all electrical attacks are fire, as well as welding torches, it makes sense for the steelhive faction to have a fire weakness - though this doesn't translate well to things like fire arrows... hmm...

Light Ray: That was 2-3? I implemented it as 3-2. Whoops. Will be fixed.

Lightshifter: I could have it pop up a message telling you a unit is a shifter when you select it, but that might be more annoying than useful.

Oculus line: It's probably overpowered right now. However, keep in mind that it has weaker melee than the thunderguard and does less total damage than the elvish sharpshooter.

Zerovirus wrote:@Melinath: Make the Steel Sparkgazer's melee animation NAO. And, maybe add the Steel Sentient into the faction too. Should we make the Steel Sentient a recruitable Lv2 or just a normal Lv1?


Give me stats and I'll add it. :-) Let's make it level 1. Can be a really expensive level 1 if necessary.
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Re: Steelhive Faction feedback/balancing

Postby Zerovirus » August 11th, 2009, 5:36 pm

As per your requests now I will tell you the stats of the Sentient and the Drone(to be implemented later). Any stats I don't tell you, do as you see fit. I'm still not sure how I'll get the Queen line into the faction, so I'll delay that for a bit.

Oh, and I'd like to change village defense % on all units back to 60%. I think I've brought that up a few times before.

Steel Sentient
Lv1 Neutral
Cost: 23 (We might have to tweak this a bit)
HP: 30
XP: 8
Attacks:
Collide(How else are we supposed to do a melee with this... UFO thing?) 3-3 Melee impact
Sear 3-3 Ranged Arcane Fire
Resistances as usual.
Terrain Defense same as Oculus- this guy's flying after all. (I need to make him a custom shadow. For now use one of the generic spherical shadows from the Amniote line.)
Upgrades:
AMLA (the choices have to be tweaked a bit- I'm not sure whether it's balanced.)
Upgrade HP: +10 HP
Upgrade Melee: +2 damage
Upgrade Ranged: +2 damage
Upgrade Speed: +1 move point (this choice might get cut out. We'll see how effectice it is.)

Steel Drone: (all units in this line can move through water and swamp with 1 movepoint. They also have 60% defense in all aquatic settings. All other resistances/movement is same except they take 2 move points to move on non-water or swamp terrains of any sort.)
Lv 1 Chaotic
Cost: 15
HP: 32
XP: 25
Submerge
Attacks:
Beam 5-4 Ranged fire
Movement: 7

Steel Scout
Lv2 Chaotic
Cost: 34
HP: 46
XP: 54
Submerge
Attacks:
Ionblade 5-5 Ranged fire, Nightstalk
Movement: 8

Steel Recon
Lv3 Chaotic
Cost: 56
HP: 55
XP: 80
Submerge
Attacks:
Ionblade 5-6 Ranged fire, Nightstalk, Marksman

Aannnnd that's it folks.

Note: I tested for a bit with the Steelhive, 3v3 teams, all players AI. I watched with 3 Undead versus 3 Steelhive and the Undead got owned. I think that's partly due to the fire damage that all Oculus units deal now. They also won against Rebels (the AI used too many Woses, dead meat for fire attacks...), but got beat when they played against knalgans.
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Re: Steelhive Faction feedback/balancing

Postby StDrake » August 11th, 2009, 5:44 pm

Zerovirus wrote:The thing with upgrading is supposed to be like that. When it detects hostile units attacking it it transforms into a stronger form. Deploys, you might say. And, actually, I don't know how the leadership effect works theoretically but it works with nearby LV1 units even when not deployed, so I don't see a problem there.

Increasing its XP? Well, we could do that and increase its HP but then it becomes more... Powered, I guess. I was going for a fragile unit that you have one shot to kill before it turns into something a bit stronger.


by default leadership gives +25% damage per positive level difference between leader and unit. That means level 1 cone gives no bonus to level 1 units, only to level 0..however when i looked into the wml funnies it seemed like the "level" is encoded in the trait not taken from the unit O.o if i didnt see things that might be an override, but a confusing one for users.
As for strenght and leveling speed i just thought that it would be better if the cone didnt get paranoid over any random pinch, but rather turn on its defensive system when the danger is real. But of course to ignore insignificant hits it would need a little buffing to make sure it survives the pinches unless they are lucky/organised enough. Also note that usually people play with an xp modifier unless it's a campaign, but 1xp will always be 1xp unless you go mad with 200%.

Zerovirus wrote:Light Ray 2-3. Don't believe what it tells you on the combat screen.

i was just wondering why it dealt 4 damage to a skeleton during testing
Erm... I'm not sure I get your problem here. What's wrong with having fire damage? None of the units have fire damage yet. Are you saying that we made the Oculus line overpowered?

a little bit, im saying that since its fire damage it should be a bit weaker since its less likely to be reduced by resistances. right now its stronger than that of the thunderer line (except for level 1, the oculus itself seems ok, just its upgrades got a point or two too many)
I don't think of it that way... Imagine walking on ice using stilts with nails on the bottom.


theoretically it means putting more weight on a smaller surface, thus punching a deeper hole which makes a difference to the surrounding ice offering some more friction. well that is assuming applying the weight more or less vertically. Look at iceskates, looking sideways they have just as much area as a nail, they dont move much sideways, only forward and backwards to where they are wider(well.. longer) and curved
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Re: Steelhive Faction feedback/balancing

Postby Zerovirus » August 11th, 2009, 5:53 pm

Theoretically yes. But with such a small, sharp point that you make the hole with you probably can't get much traction. Not enough surface area to make use of that traction after all.

And, finally, balance. The Steelhive is a hypersophisticated hivemind mechanical army, but I doubt their algorithms could handle that much potential of imbalance. Chaos theory.

Whatever. Let's get off this subject.

I don't really mind the whole Cybercone thing... Surprisingly, 20 Damage is very often dealt in a single attack by a Lv2. The player just has to do a bit of coordination to get these guys off guard.

The Oculus line might be a bit overpowered... The AI does tend to recruit more of them than the slashers. however slashers are worth a lot less so maybe it's justified? If worst comes to worst we can raise the cash because I hate not having a strong unit to attack with. Maybe once we finish the Welder line we can remove the fire damage from some of the attacks.
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Re: Steelhive Faction feedback/balancing

Postby StDrake » August 11th, 2009, 6:07 pm

Zerovirus wrote:Surprisingly, 20 Damage is very often dealt in a single attack by a Lv2.


usually it will run into level 1's though, which have a harder time at that and that's the point, level 3 is a lethal threat, should immediately activate additional defences, lev 2 is a mediocore threat, but if its alone there's hope that the other units can get it off, if not better activate, lev 1's are dangerous in groups, usually will need 3 or more to kill another lev1, 2 if lucky. Im just suggesting to fit the cone to those numbers.

as for the spike, if you apply it to a flat surface there will be hardly any friction, if it dents even a tiny hole it starts bracing against its walls - deeper hole = more wall surface to brace against, this is what im about
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Re: Steelhive Faction feedback/balancing

Postby Zerovirus » August 11th, 2009, 6:24 pm

Alright, sure. Let's say that you have some friction. That leaves the problem of balancing on two leg appendages that are about the thickness of chopsticks at the very end.

Balance is still a problem.

Alright, maybe we'll compromise. I'll see if Melinath thinks your idea is good.
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Re: Steelhive Faction feedback/balancing

Postby melinath » August 11th, 2009, 7:29 pm

light ray is currently arcane. I had to choose the damage type myself. Also, as I said, I have it set to 3-2. That's why it's dealing 4 damage to a skellie.

I'll give them all 60% on illages, but I prefer the slipping-on-ice... they need to have *some* weaknesses.

In the end though, balancing is for balancing reasons and the fluff must follow.
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Re: Steelhive Faction feedback/balancing

Postby StDrake » August 11th, 2009, 7:41 pm

hmm those "illages" reminded me of something: how about if the steelhive 'corrupted' villages? as in turning them to their own type of terrain, offering a less friendly enviroment to non-robotic units? something small like decreasing healing offered perhaps to 4 instead of 8. Those robots neet to have a reason to be feared :)...and some way to undo the change :P

and well balancing to balancing i was thinking some originality (yes im stubborn) but well i guess we cant have everything
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Re: Steelhive Faction feedback/balancing

Postby melinath » August 11th, 2009, 9:00 pm

I can code that (the village idea) if Zero likes it and draws them.
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Re: Steelhive Faction feedback/balancing

Postby Zerovirus » August 11th, 2009, 9:06 pm

Erm...

How does one draw villages anyways? The stuff in Mainline doesn't look like it was done in MS Paint. I suppose you use GIMP to do a large village and then you shrink it or something?
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Re: Steelhive Faction feedback/balancing

Postby melinath » August 11th, 2009, 10:09 pm

I mean... the mainline sprites aren't done in MS paint either. It's the same principle, though. 72px hex; put a building in it. What looks different about them to you?
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Re: Steelhive Faction feedback/balancing

Postby wesfreak » August 12th, 2009, 3:46 am

think about snow: half of the guys weight would go on to a small patch of snow on the first step. it would sink right in, and be almost completely stuck. and there is also that fear of meltwater shorcircuiting the guy. and with ice the unit would need to really stomp down to make enough of a hole to not go sliding everywhere, which would really slow it down and make it harder to dodge (feet trapped). snow rabbits have big feet for a reason. if anything they should be worse then humans on ice.

try taking an existing village (i'd suggest the human one with the red roof) and adding those glowy blue lines and stuff to make it more futuristic. i might give it a shot, and i'll post it if it's any good ( don't get your hopes up).


20 hp would be fine for the cybercone: most units could kill it in one go if lucky. i'd say making it 3 xp, so that it would need 2 at 70%, which is the standard for multiplayer. as for teleport instead of movement like StDrake suggested: no. it wouldn't be able to move out of the castle to a village if completely replacing and will take a while to reach places that are far from villages in a long time.

as for the amniote: the description says its movement is just 3, but it's really 6. change either one or the other.

don't u think the drone does alot of damage? i mean, the same as an elf fighter, and thats for a scout. i suggest nerfing it to 5-3, and raising the sentient damage to that as well. this way it starts of bad, but becomes stronger soon. i'd price it at 18, because its xp would go up too. i mean, you normally don't include a portion of the value of a units lvl ups in the price of the unit, do you? for only 20 gold a mage can become a good healer that cuts through undead even at night, or a tank that does tons of damage, or teleport.

i suggest adding 8 xp and 16 xp alternately between lvls, and making it so that the first lvl keeps the unit as a lvl 1. i mean, it's not very fair making you pay 2 gold a turn for a guy that does 5-3 damage ( assuming you take the damage upgrade and don't accept my suggestion of making it do 5-3 normally). and that unit would feed a ton of xp to the enemy if it dies. this way it has takes 2 half lvls to reach one full lvl.
what do u think?
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