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Problems with level 0 units

Discussion among members of the development team.

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quartex
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Post by quartex »

So it seems like if we can't make level 0 units cost upkeep, than the solution is to remove their ZoC and make them very weak. I like the idea of level 0 units having okay attacks, but having terrible resistances to certain attack types, thus making them easy to kill if you have pierce, or impact, or blade or whatever.
Fortify
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Post by Fortify »

Level 0 units should have no upkeep. That is what makes them different. They should have ZOC or they are practically useless.

They should have enough attack power to make a difference. Preferably 2 attacks otherwise they are often dead before they get thier hits in.

Cost has to stay reasonalble.

So these great features above have to be balanced with poor Resistances, poor HP limited upgrades (only to level 1). They should have enough HP to survive 1 attack from all but the strongest L1 enemy.

Currently HP for L0 are
Vampire Bat 14
Goblin Spearman 16
Walking Corpse 18

are these too high? I don't think so. Many L1 units can do base 7X3 or better dammage.

That means only cost and resistance can be modified.

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Fortify
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telly
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Post by telly »

Lowering level 0 unit's hp or resistances would make not much difference on its own. It'd arguably even make them more effective.
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Post by Fortify »

telly wrote:Lowering level 0 unit's hp or resistances would make not much difference on its own. It'd arguably even make them more effective.
I said HP are currently low enough.

All else being equal how would making L0's easier to kill make them more effective? Are you saying that they could provide ZOC coverage, attack(and die after getting some hits in) leaving an open space for a 'real' unit to move in for the kill? Seems unlikly and very situational. I normally want my L0's to live as long as possible because once bought they are free.

Cheers,
Fortify
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quartex
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Post by quartex »

No, no, quite the opposite; I'm trying to make them less effective so they aren't so heavily used. I agree that hp are probably low enough. I think level 0's are essentially cannon fodder, they exist to make a few attacks on an enemy and then die. Keeping them alive should be difficult, they're weenie units. If they are going to be zero upkeep, then making them have no Zone of Control, is a good way of keeping them from having a large effect on the battlefield. But this brings us back to the problem of people being confused why some units exert ZoC and other's done.

I suppose level 0 units could have a "wimpy" ability, which would prevent them from exerting a ZoC.
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Post by Elvish_Pillager »

Fortify wrote:Are you saying that they could provide ZOC coverage, attack(and die after getting some hits in) leaving an open space for a 'real' unit to move in for the kill? Seems unlikly and very situational.
Play Muff Malal's Peninsula and you'll see how it helps. That's a VERY powerful effect.
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quartex
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Post by quartex »

Elvish Pillager wrote:
Fortify wrote:Are you saying that they could provide ZOC coverage, attack(and die after getting some hits in) leaving an open space for a 'real' unit to move in for the kill? Seems unlikly and very situational.
Play Muff Malal's Peninsula and you'll see how it helps. That's a VERY powerful effect.
Or in valley of death. The problem is that each walking corpse would attack and then die, allowing the walking corpse behind it to take it's place and do the same. Rinse and repeat 20 times in a turn, and even the strongest paladin can be killed. The ability to attack and then die allows many more than 6 units to gang up on one enemy. It's probably as close to a suicide attacker as we get.
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Post by Invisible Philosopher »

One of the useful, legitimate (IMO) uses of cheap L0 units is to provide ZoC coverage for more important units. Whereas having ZoC isn't as useful in a pure swarm of them. I don't see how removing their ZoC is a good solution.
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dms
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Post by dms »

I like this option:
Darth Fool wrote:6) Attacking 0-level units do not cause you to lose your attack if you have any movement left, but you lose 1 movement.
I don't think special rules for level-0 units is a problem, since having no upkeep is pretty special already.
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Post by telly »

Another solution would be to multiply all gold in the game by 10. So that for instance orc grunts would cost 120 gold and you'd pay 10 gold upkeep a turn for a level 1 unit. So then all you need to do is set a lower upkeep value for level 0 units like 4 gold or something and problem solved.
Last edited by telly on December 12th, 2004, 9:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.
quartex
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Post by quartex »

telly wrote:Another solution would be to mulitply all gold in the game by 10. So that for instance orc grunts would cost 120 gold and you'd pay 10 gold upkeep a turn for a level 1 unit. So then all you need to do is set a lower upkeep value for level 0 units like 4 gold or something and problem solved.
Although some people might find it odd to pay 120 gold for a level 1 unit, multiplying the wesnoth economy by 10 would allow us to have decimal upkeeps, they just wouldn't be decimals anymore. That way, level 0 units could cost 5, level 1 units 10, level 2 units 20, level 3 units 30 and so on...
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Post by turin »

dms wrote:I like this option:
Darth Fool wrote:6) Attacking 0-level units do not cause you to lose your attack if you have any movement left, but you lose 1 movement.
I don't think special rules for level-0 units is a problem, since having no upkeep is pretty special already.
having 0 upkeep is not a special rule. it is the natural result of the level=upkeep rule.

special rules are MUCH different from rules that result in certain units being unique.
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Post by Elvish_Pillager »

turin wrote:having 0 upkeep is not a special rule. it is the natural result of the level=upkeep rule.

special rules are MUCH different from rules that result in certain units being unique.
The 4-Xp rule, which is quite odd, since that type of thing happens nowhere else in Wesnoth.

(not grammatical, but I'm tired)
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quartex
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Post by quartex »

Elvish Pillager wrote:
turin wrote:having 0 upkeep is not a special rule. it is the natural result of the level=upkeep rule.

special rules are MUCH different from rules that result in certain units being unique.
The 4-Xp rule, which is quite odd, since that type of thing happens nowhere else in Wesnoth.

(not grammatical, but I'm tired)
I don't think it's that odd. Level 1 gives you 8, level 2 16, level 3 24. Level 0 should give you 0 xp based on that sequence, but the probably thought even level 0 units should give some XP, so they chose 4 instead.
dms
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Post by dms »

turin wrote:having 0 upkeep is not a special rule. it is the natural result of the level=upkeep rule.

special rules are MUCH different from rules that result in certain units being unique.
Yes, of course. I wasn't very clear. I was trying to say that the level=upkeep rule results in level 0 units being _very_ unique.
i.e. I think having no upkeep is advantageous enough to justify a special rule to balance them.
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