Problems with level 0 units

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quartex
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Problems with level 0 units

Post by quartex »

I've heard a lot of complaints about the new level 0 units, and that people can dominate by churning out hundreds of them. What worries me, is that these new units break basic game rules. The biggest problem is that they have 0 upkeep, which means they don't cost you a cent after you hire them. To balance this they only give 4 XP when they are killed, and 0 XP when the are battled.

I think both these changes are bad. Zero is a dangeous number, becuase 0+0+0+0+0+0 still equals 0. Where as .001 + .001 + .001 + ... + 0.001 will eventually amount to something. Fighting a level 0 unit breaks the rule that fighting an enemy will always give you some XP. I think it's important that any combat gives a unit some experience.

But even worse is the 0 upkeep. Wesnoth has been described a skirmishing game, where you lead small teams of units against an enemy, The addition of cheap units with no upkeep threatens to make overhwelming an enemy with tons of weenie units a dominant tactic. aka zergling rushes in starcraft. We've all seen how nasty the walking corpse undead player in Valley of Death was, when being attacked with 20+ walking corpses, it can be hard to survive. Upkeep is an important way to keep a player from being able to have a bloated army, I think breaking the upkeep rule make a huge difference in the strategy of wesnoth.

I know there is no easy way to resolve these issues, because of the urge not to go into decimals. But all things considered, I think making level 0 units cost 1/2 a gold in upkeep, and 1/2 an XP in combat is better than 0. Or else if people really hate decimals, why not make 1 the minimum in Wesnoth, make level 0 units have a 1 upkeep and give 1 XP when fighting.

Independent of the stats of these units, i think in terms of gameplay rules, have 0 upkeep or - XP is a bad idea, becuase it breaks some of the basic rules of the game.
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Post by XJaPaN »

*agrees*
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There is some talk of taking and alternat approach

Post by Shade »

There is some talk of taking and alternate approach. The 1/2 GP violates KISS, and even 1/2 or 1 XP would lead to XP farming in campaigns (and still violates KISS, IMHO). The most interesting suggestion I heard was to not give lv. 0 units ZOC... my thoughts on this were:

"The no ZOC strikes me as the most interesting:
-As it implies a unit incapable of projecting it's power (AKA lv. 0,
the meekest of the meek)
-It doesn't lead to half GP counting, and isn't as counter intuitive
as charging 1 GP for upkeep when the progression is 1,2,3.
-It strikes me as unique... as a genuinely interesting twist..."

The other idea was:
-Make it so level 0 units can't capture villages.

I'm somewhat opposed to that...
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Post by Elvish_Pillager »

Yeah, let's just make them like level 1/2 units in all ways.
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Post by quartex »

Eliminating a ZOC for level 0 units is just another way of weakening them. I admit that is they are terrible enough, people probably won't use them, no matter how cheap they are. But having a 0 upkeep still breaks one of the main rules for limiting the size of an army, upkeep is there for a reason. If decimals or fractions are voilating KISS, then I'd rather have 1 be the minimum upkeep, than start making special rules for level 0 units. I don't we should start giving different levels of units different abilities.
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Post by Shadow »

Rise the cost for recruiting make it equal to others at level 1
I mean you mustn´t pay upkeep and if they are attacked or killed the enemy doesn´t get much xp and you ´ll get the costs back fast
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Post by LibrarianBrent »

Why don't we just get rid of the entire concept of a "level 0 unit" and make them weak level 1 units with an ability that removes upkeep?
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Post by pg »

The real problem is the 0g upkeep. You can't make it 1g because then level 0s will be useless(in fact it'd probably be stupid to use them then). It's a problem because it makes games with them no fun. The basic strategy when massing level 0s is to drag out the game as long as possible because you will have an upkeep advantage.

Taking away their ZOC might weaken them too much because then they can't protect more important units which are needed for special abilities or offensive power.

Even if level 0s can be balanced better do we really want the gameplay they bring in multiplayer(tedious micromanagement which makes for long games)?
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Post by quartex »

At this point we only have, 3 level 0 units in the game. The vampire bat and the walking corpse used to be level 1 units. We could just make them weak, cheap level 1 units. It's true that with 1 gp upkeep, in the long term the 20 gold you pay over 20 turns dwarfs the savings of a cheap recruiting cost (which is why people would rather buy a expensive level 1 unit than a cheap level 0 unit that had an upkeep of one gold). But we could easily solve this problem by just abolishing level 0 units, even the goblin spearman could just be a weak level 1 unit. I think it's better that these units don't get used much at all, compared with being used so much that they break the normal strategy of wesnoth.
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Post by Woodwizzle »

Why not make something like 1gp of upkeep for every 2 or 3 turns?
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Post by turin »

Woodwizzle wrote:Why not make something like 1gp of upkeep for every 2 or 3 turns?
isn't that basically like a fractional upkeep? except phrased differently?
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Post by telly »

Alternatively make level 0 units cost upkeep like a level 1 but give no experience for killing them (or like 1 xp). That'd make them perfect cannon fodder but limit anyone's ability to mass them.

Making them into weak level 1 units doesn't sound so good to me and probably no one would ever recruit them at all.
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Post by Circon »

Steal from D&D, lvl 0 things act as lvl 1/2 for purposes of calculation.
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Post by Elvish_Pillager »

Circon wrote:Steal from D&D, lvl 0 things act as lvl 1/2 for purposes of calculation.
No need to steal from D&D, we can (and have) come up with that on our own. It's my suggestion.
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Post by Invisible Philosopher »

We have some choices, which will help in varying amounts.

Since upkeep is important, make them level 1. Since then they'd cost too much, balance it out by making their initial cost less.

Or make them so weak for their cost that they can't keep up the swarm forever. (like how Walking Corpses were before they were changed to be overpowered, or how Vampire Bats are now as a fighting unit)

Or take away their zone of control, which is one of the unreasonably powerful things you get from getting twice as many units for half the cost. Even this is a small violation of keeping the gameplay simple. To keep it simpler, it would have to be an "ability".

Too bad fractional upkeep isn't simple.

Or don't allow them to be recruited in multiplayer.
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