Drakes against thunderers?

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Kalis
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Post by Kalis »

Doc: I'd be very interested in playing you 1v1.

What time(s) are you on?
The reason why I say it is because I've yet to come across a great 1v1 drakes player.
I've been looking for one, but...

Every good player I find seems to have mastered a several factions, and are decent with others - but nobody seems to have mastered drakes (or maybe I'm on at the wrong times for watching great 1v1s).

I found that knalgans, due to their slow speed, are beatable on some of the 1v1 maps (e.g. Blitz). But on others where outmanuevering may not be possible, I'm at a loss.
And when it comes to drakes vs loyalists, assuming both sides are really good players, I just haven't seen a game of that being balanced when both players are good. :/

Note all this refers to 1v1s of course.
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Post by Lunar2 »

In a countless number of threads, Doc likes to claim superiority over anyone's opinion with the "I know more than you ever will about X, Y, and Z, how dare you claim this you neophyte" trump card. Frankly, it's annoying - if you want to offer counterargument, that's fine, but just going about like he's so wrong that it's not worth your time to discuss is a waste of a reply.

"Is there some reason that you think you're right about this, when top players don't agree with you, and think that this match is perfectly even?"

Ok, so it has to be inherent/default that any opinion that claims something is unbalanced contradicts the opinion of most/all "top players" (highly subjective)? Tell me why unit balances continue to occur, then, or why map balances continue to occur. It's because there is disagreement, and always will be disagreement until such a date where all factions are identical, first turn/last turn advantages don't exist, and all maps are symmetrical - which will never happen.

Sorry if I come off harsh here, but I'm getting tired of reading thread after thread of put downs. If he is so obviously wrong, the proof of that should be easy to state as well.
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Doc Paterson
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Post by Doc Paterson »

Lunar2 wrote:In a countless number of threads, Doc likes to claim superiority over anyone's opinion with the "I know more than you ever will about X, Y, and Z, how dare you claim this you neophyte" trump card. Frankly, it's annoying - if you want to offer counterargument, that's fine, but just going about like he's so wrong that it's not worth your time to discuss is a waste of a reply.

"Is there some reason that you think you're right about this, when top players don't agree with you, and think that this match is perfectly even?"

Ok, so it has to be inherent/default that any opinion that claims something is unbalanced contradicts the opinion of most/all "top players" (highly subjective)? Tell me why unit balances continue to occur, then, or why map balances continue to occur. It's because there is disagreement, and always will be disagreement until such a date where all factions are identical, first turn/last turn advantages don't exist, and all maps are symmetrical - which will never happen.

Sorry if I come off harsh here, but I'm getting tired of reading thread after thread of put downs. If he is so obviously wrong, the proof of that should be easy to state as well.
You're right when you say that I probably shouldn't waste the time replying- What tends to happen is that I become so annoyed by what I perceive as arrogance on the part of inexperienced players, arrogance guiding them into an "I know best attitude." Of course, in replying to these people, it makes me look like the arrogant one; but if you take a look at my posts, I never say anything along the lines of "I am better than you." No, it's more like "Your opinion is the opposite of that held by players that you know are better than you at this game. Why do you think that is? Do you really think it's productive for you to jump into a there's an imbalace! stance?"

Lunar2, this cycle just goes on and on and on- Inexperienced player thinks they know best, inexperienced player spouts challenges, inexperienced player realizes that they were wrong. Start the cycle again with another player, and another, and another. I guess I'm just hoping that at some point we'll see an increase in the number of players willing to say "You know, maybe I should look at my own playing before assuming that the fault is with the game- Maybe these people do actually know better." At its core, my message to to those who assume that the MP devs are wrong is not "I'm better than you, we're better than you, so shut up." It's "You should humble yourself and spend more time looking at your own play choices." In my experiece, it is the humble players that become the best players, as they shy away from a "this-is-unfair" attitude and approach their problems as issues that they have control over. It is the more egotistical players that generally end up blaming the game, blaming luck, blaming the map and storming off in an indignant huff.

Just to fill you in regarding "map balances and unit balances-" I am the sole person balancing maps (Bec balances some of his maps, but has been away for a long time). I'm also one of the "unit-balancers." Changes to maps don't occur because of "disagreements;" they occur because
1.) I think of a way to make the map more dynamic or fun. (most common reason for a change)
2.) A previously undiscovered factional issue needs to be adjusted.

Feel free to search the forums for long arguments involving official map designs that were unbalanced. The process of map balancing is less like a debate and more like an easter egg hunt ("aha- here's something small that we didn't see..."). This does not mean that I accept every complaint at face value- I investigate any claim, and make my decision based on the available facts.

In regards to your other statements, let me give you an immediate example of the sort of situation I often find myself in:

So, there's this guy who calls himself Lunar2. I've seen him on the server a few times, testing/using/promoting scenarios of his own design. Now, I cannot help but form an opinion about this guy and his scenarios, which I see as being completely unbalanced, which in my mind, suggests a poor understanding of the basic game. People can, afterall, put the units into any sort of playpen/unit-modifying environment that they want, but a poor understanding of those units' mobility, resistances, core distinctiveness, etc, will generally lead to imbalances, much like those I observed. At any rate, I form a particular opinion about this guy's understanding of the game, then talk to him a few times, perceive a certain cocky self-righteousness, and add that to my impression. Later on, he criticizes me on the forums and makes a comment about how there will "always will be disagreement until such a date where all factions are identical, first turn/last turn advantages don't exist, and all maps are symmetrical." Now, everything in his statement here depicts his unfamiliarity with real multiplayer games and maps. How does one respond to this? Is spending hours of your personal time trying to explain the thousand and one points of a balanced map or the true and complex nature of the 1st and 2nd player relationship or the basic philosophies of factional construction or the fallacies of symetry in map design the right move? Is this what I'm expected to do, on a weekly basis, whenever someone that has a problem winning match xy blames it on the game?

There is a point of exhaustion, and there is a point where you want to give an answer without writing a treastise on, for example, how to beat Knalgans with Drakes on a given 1v1 map (a very complicated, learned skill).

You want to talk about "the proof of someone being wrong being easy to state?"

Is it really, after all is said and done rude for me to tell you that these things are not simple, that they cannot be broken down into a nice little paragraph, and to have some faith in the beliefs of more established players? Is it really rude or self-righteous to ask someone to not assume to understand an aspect of multiplayer better than players who have proven their strong understanding of the game time and time again? Should I really use hours upon hours of my personal time playing games with players who need to be convinced of something, or writing out page-long explanations of complex points that they think are fairly simple? Is there some way for me to convey this to someone, without that person thinking that I am the one with the ego?
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Post by Lunar2 »

Good, a civil post. I'll be honest when I say I wasn't expecting one. Ok...
So, there's this guy who calls himself Lunar2. I've seen him on the server a few times, testing/using/promoting scenarios of his own design. Now, I cannot help but form an opinion about this guy and his scenarios, which I see as being completely unbalanced, which in my mind, suggests a poor understanding of the basic game. People can, afterall, put the units into any sort of playpen/unit-modifying environment that they want, but a poor understanding of those units' mobility, resistances, core distinctiveness, etc, will generally lead to imbalances, much like those I observed. At any rate, I form a particular opinion about this guy's understanding of the game, then talk to him a few times, perceive a certain cocky self-righteousness, and add that to my impression. Later on, he criticizes me on the forums and makes a comment about how there will "always will be disagreement until such a date where all factions are identical, first turn/last turn advantages don't exist, and all maps are symmetrical." Now, everything in his statement here depicts his unfamiliarity with real multiplayer games and maps. How does one respond to this? Is spending hours of your personal time trying to explain the thousand and one points of a balanced map or the true and complex nature of the 1st and 2nd player relationship or the basic philosophies of factional construction or the fallacies of symetry in map design the right move? Is this what I'm expected to do, on a weekly basis, whenever someone that has a problem winning match xy blames it on the game?

There is a point of exhaustion, and there is a point where you want to give an answer without writing a treastise on, for example, how to beat Knalgans with Drakes on a given 1v1 map (a very complicated, learned skill).
First off, if you're describing an actual situation...I haven't met you online to my recollection, unless you were concealed under another alias (not saying that you were, just that it's common). I do not have much of a way with words, and I admit this. I'm a currently untreated "severe depression" case (as diagnosed by multiple doctors at Ohio State U) with two suicide attempts in the last year, who's father committed suicide himself, and with severe shyness. Not that you need to know that about my personal life, but it gives a bit of backdrop as to why I am what I am.

There is pretty much no such thing as a perfectly balanced game. I am not trying to claim that it is a problem specific to Wesnoth, but rather a problem it shares with nearly every other MP game.

First turn/Last turn advantage, on a "standard" 1v1 map: You probably compensate for the income/tempo advantage of Player 1 with a non-symmetrical layout, in particular with villages. However, assuming the map negates first turn advantage, then he have the last turn advantage problem - Player 2 knows what Player 1 has recruited (with or without Fog on, it should be assumed that Player 2 knows, since he can know if he wants to). Thus, Player 1 generally has to make a balanced force unless he wants Player 2 to exploit a weakness. Player 2, meanwhile, can recruit as he wishes.

If the map were symmetrical, then Player 1 could simply make a non-move to enjoy last turn advantage for himself. But if it is symmetrical, then first turn advantage exists and generally supersedes it, as shown in virtually every 1v1 MP match, we don't see Player 1 skipping his first turn.

Factions do not have identical stats and therefore are not perfectly balanced. This should be self-evident. Yes, a better player can win the worst side of a match up, and yes, said player may only have to be a tiny bit better, which makes imbalance harder to fix. And that's without mentioning attack accuracy.

You suggest that, due to the scenarios you've observed me make in 1.2/1.3 (I assume that you have not seen any I've made in 1.1.x or 0.8.x or 0.7.x, but correct me if I'm wrong), I am lacking a basic understanding of the game. I suggest that I am open to suggestion regarding balance issues in any of my maps. Also, yes, it is true that I am very disinterested in what I call mainline Wesnoth. I grew up on games such as Master of Monsters, and honestly, that style of play bores me, so any subtleties in play, especially since 0.8.x which is the last time I played mainline maps with any regularity, are lost on me. However, WML allows me to make all kinds of games with far less time/effort than it would take from scratch in C++/Java/RESOLVE/Ti-8X/BASIC, the languages I am used to programming in.

The image you are portraying me in, regarding my works, is very similar to how I see you in how you are defending "your works", mainline maps. Keep that in mind.
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Kalis
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Post by Kalis »

Doc: I'd like to mention that in my case, it's more that I have yet to find a good drakes player in 1v1s.

For example, I believe Gallifax is a very good 1v1 player, yet even he has a lot of trouble with drakes (as shown by those 2 loyalist vs drake films I posted)
Or put another way, I feel like I've reached a limit in personal self-improvement with drakes. I am very interested in improving my skill with them, but haven't found anyone who could show me how. I asked for hints in my previous thread about Drakes vs Loyalist, and Mythology kindly wrote out a long post, but I haven't been able to apply it at all. Hence the request for some matchups against you :)
Films are a very useful tool for improving.

Now for example, knalgans vs drakes.
The comments here were about "luring the thunderers off mountains". Well, to do that, I found there were 2 ways:
1. Assassinating the enemy king
2. Moving into assault position (which puts you at 30% terrain).

The first is often not possible on 1v1 maps. Blitz is an exception of course due to the big lake.
The second, in general, is suicide. Offering units up for shots with drakes is pretty much asking to lose a part of your army with no retaliation damage dealt.
In fact, on a small map, I seen games which showed that it's possible for dwarves to outmanuever the drakes! Or at least cap their movement so the drakes can't go around or avoid part of the knalgan army.

I'm really searching for answers. Especially for sablestone delta with the mass castles for 60% thunderer defense, and a few mountains for 70%. I suppose sheer frustration made the previous posts sound like I'm screaming "this is imbalanced!" That was not my intention.

edit:
Just a few additional comments Doc. In your previous posts, you were basically trolling (quoting my posts, highlighting areas where (I admit) I was exaggerating, and then responding very sarcastically). It forced me into a firmer stance to guard my position and explain why I felt the way I do. And after I tried to explain, the gist of your response was that "I'm new, unskilled with suboptimal play, and therefore wrong".

I'll also mention that a few points I raised up as balancing issues (if minor) were implemented as changes (in particular, elvish shaman upgrades).

I know I'm not as skilled as some of the players here. However, I also know that I'm not as "newb" as you imply. More importantly, I have played a lot of turn based strategy games, which has given a very good background for playing Wesnoth, and understanding balance and such in the game.

To be fair, I do understand the "exhaustion point" you mentioned, which is why I requested a few games with you when you're on. :D Playing games is the most entertaining and simpliest method, is it not?

Finally, on a side note, I'll mention that Mythology has wrote in the Loyalist vs Drakes thread that:
"Fighting a spearmen rush with drakes is one of the matchups I hate the most because it can be a big problem for the drake player - massing spearmen gives them at least 10% more strenght per gold than anything you can muster"
Speaking with Nordmann in-game has led to him mentioning that Drakes do need a bit of luck in 1v1s.

Now, both of them do mention that their mobility can make up for it, and I have found that to definitely be true in 2v2s, but I've yet to be able to apply that with any consistency in 1v1s.
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Post by irrevenant »

Doc Paterson wrote:Lunar2, this cycle just goes on and on and on- Inexperienced player thinks they know best, inexperienced player spouts challenges, inexperienced player realizes that they were wrong. Start the cycle again with another player, and another, and another. I guess I'm just hoping that at some point we'll see an increase in the number of players willing to say "You know, maybe I should look at my own playing before assuming that the fault is with the game- Maybe these people do actually know better."
On the premise that show is better than tell, perhaps we could create an archive of replays that show how to play effectively in different factional matchups. Then when a newbie posts a post like that you can just go "here, look at these".
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Post by bert1 »

irrevenant wrote:
Doc Paterson wrote:Lunar2, this cycle just goes on and on and on- Inexperienced player thinks they know best, inexperienced player spouts challenges, inexperienced player realizes that they were wrong. Start the cycle again with another player, and another, and another. I guess I'm just hoping that at some point we'll see an increase in the number of players willing to say "You know, maybe I should look at my own playing before assuming that the fault is with the game- Maybe these people do actually know better."
On the premise that show is better than tell, perhaps we could create an archive of replays that show how to play effectively in different factional matchups. Then when a newbie posts a post like that you can just go "here, look at these".
Yes, I'd love to see some good replays.

I had a trawl through the archive thread a while ago, but most of the drake/knalgan replays were unrepresentative (due to suboptimal play) or incompatible with 1.2.

I also remarked that drakes have a tough time versus thunderers, from my relatively noob perspective. I am quite sure that Doc and the other MP devs are quite right that it's balanced. But I would still like to see some examples of good players playing drakes vs knals and the drakes winning. Just for interest.

May I say that there will always be new players, and these new players will all go through a 'Drakes suck' phase. That's OK isn't it?

Wesnoth is a free publicly available game, and the forums are public. Unreasonable people will download it, play it and comment on it in a foolish way. Week after week after week. It's not going to stop. Doc can get annoyed every time if he wants....
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Post by IB »

Kalis wrote:For example, I believe Gallifax is a very good 1v1 player
I think we can question Kalis judgement :D
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Post by F8 Binds... »

Idea- Play a game with doc, or noy, soliton, perhaps pietro, and JW. Spam thunderers against them and see how they react- If they win a fair match, it is balanced- If they lose a fair match, this issue could use some balancing. So try this out- you're bound to see one over the next few weeks. If not, ask one. I do know doc cannot be on that often- I occasionally see soliton or noy on. (haven't seen the rest on, except doc once)
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Post by Cackfiend »

heres a replay of me and training dummy last night

i picked drakes, he picked loyalist

was prolly the best DvL game ive seen
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Post by Doc Paterson »

Lunar2 wrote:Good, a civil post. I'll be honest when I say I wasn't expecting one. Ok...

I do not have much of a way with words, and I admit this. I'm a currently untreated "severe depression" case (as diagnosed by multiple doctors at Ohio State U) with two suicide attempts in the last year, who's father committed suicide himself, and with severe shyness. Not that you need to know that about my personal life, but it gives a bit of backdrop as to why I am what I am.
I'm very sorry to hear all of this, and I'm especially sorry if any of my comments caused you sadness.

As far as Wesnoth and Wesnoth balancing issues go- Just use the game in whatever way makes you happy. :)
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Post by Elvish Scientist »

I just finished a game with drakes against knalgans, and I won with only 3 units getting killed (I killed 14). Granted, it was against AI. He tried a few thunderers, and got only twice the opportunity to shoot. I just killed them (with fighters and clashers before the could fire).
Drakes give you the opportunity to fight where and when you want, with a number of units that always exceeds that of your opponent.
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Post by Thrawn »

Elvish Scientist wrote: Drakes give you the opportunity to fight where and when you want, with a number of units that always exceeds that of your opponent.
Umm, drakes are expensive...unless your opponent gets really expensive units, you shouldn't be able to "exceed" their number of troops. With saurians and fighters you can make it more even, but your units are primarily more expensive as drakes.

A few more comments (some stuff rehashed and said by other people) commone sense style

:Don't think of terrain as something to help you: think of it as something to disadvantage your enemies.
--Although grabbing mountains doesn't really help you, it does prevent the dwarves from using them. And saurians DO get an advantage on them.
:Use speed
Dwarves are slow. Drakes can be fast and fly. Saurians are fast too. Use speed to disadvantage your opponent. Seize more villages, fortify key points, and make sure you keep the pressure on them. Don't tlet them settle down and get comfy: once dwarves get entrenched, it is hard to get them out.
:You choose the Battles Per capita drakes are the strongest race. If you get to attack when you want against enemies that are where you want, you should be able to wreck havoc easily. By stealing the good terrain and using your mobility, there is no reason why you should let them decide when to fight.
:Augers heal ZOMG, a fast unit with relatively good defense % and a magical attack and healing. That means that they can be used to back up your battle lines, healing units as well as picking off wounded enemies. And if attacked by one enemy, has a good chance of surviving. Even if they have low hp, get a few. They resist pierce too (granted, this is more useful against elves, but). Don't be afraid to have one or two.
:Drakes are not Orcs! despite their good attack, you can not just throw them at enemy lines and try to power your way through. Your units are too costly to be equally trading hits: attack when you have the advantage.

Hope this helps a tad, especially in less advanced games (where your dwarven opponents won't think you have a chance)
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Post by Velensk »

I think that he meant that you can get more units into anyone front quickly.
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Post by nebula955 »

The thing is, even if you "pick your place to fight", the dwarves can pick their defensive positions. Then, assuming that the dwarf player isn't stupid, they will try to keep their units on either hills, mountains, or castles. Most maps have enough such hexes that they can jump from one to another. Statistically, it takes more than 3 clashers in daylight to kill just one thunderer then while 2 thunderers can seriously wound any drake unit. So even if you attack first, the counter attack will be stronger than ur initial attack. And the relatively cheap cost of thunderers simply make them more efficient. (there's more of them than there are of you)
Can you people elaborate how "maneuvering better" helps? Like, if an army is marching towards you on decent terrain, how does speed help you at all?
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