You think a faction is overpowered? Come here!

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Jodwin
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Re: You think a faction is overpowered? Come here!

Post by Jodwin »

Well, it has been often claimed that Wesnoth is not perfectly balanced on certain skill levels. For example, beginners often find drakes good, intermediate players find them not so good as they have learned to use terrain but might not have grasped the drake maneuverability while experts are able to handle that last aspect required to master drakes well. Also, you just now mentioned that AI tests are good for finding out whether units are balanced 1 on 1. Yes, this certainly is true, but that is not Wesnoth. Wesnoth has a lot of support units or other special rules. How would those tests work for elf shamans, for example, who are weak on their own but can get ridiculously good in a supporting role utilizing their heal and slow? That's something your AI tests won't be able to balance unless the AI itself is "perfect."
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Soliton
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Re: You think a faction is overpowered? Come here!

Post by Soliton »

p0ss wrote:Balance can be checked by the devs running strait ai vs ai battles. Sure the ai isn't the smartest player, but at least you know both sides are equally smart.
I'm sure if you think about it you can see that basing balance on "not smart players" is not going to work. Just because those players never find out an effective tactic doesn't mean it's not there and able to counter an alledged overpowered faction.

Nevertheless you're welcome to do the simulations. There are already some scripts somewhere on this forum to do this. It'll mostly tell you what the AI is good/bad at though and have little relevance to balancing discussions.
p0ss wrote: For my money, I think the more hits a unit has, the better value for money they are. because they have a greater chance to score any hits, and bonuses applied to each hit make a bigger overall difference.
Ok, heres an example. two units, one has a 5-2 attack, the other has a 2-5 attack. if both units recieve a bonus that allows them to deal %60 extra damage per hit, then the 5-2 becomes 8-2 (16) and the 2-5 becomes 4-5 (20). so not only are bonuses more effective for the unit with more hits, if they both had a %60 chance to hit then Mr 8-2 would most likely deal 8 damage, while Mr 4-5 would most likely deal 12.
A 2-5 attack becomes a 3-5 attack with a 60% bonus so it is infact inferior to a 5-2 attack in this case. Since in the end we're working with integers here I'm sure you can come up with examples where an attack with a higher number of strikes is advantageous though. Both variants have their advantages and disadvantages. (Just think about what happens with a -60% bonus...)
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p0ss
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Re: You think a faction is overpowered? Come here!

Post by p0ss »

but 1 is the lower limit right? so -60% would have no effect on it.

so a 1-10 attack would be the best of all worlds?
Jodwin
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Re: You think a faction is overpowered? Come here!

Post by Jodwin »

1-10 might not get negative effects, but it won't get positive effects either.
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Tondo
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Re: You think a faction is overpowered? Come here!

Post by Tondo »

Game balance also depends on the map... heavily forested maps give a huge advantage to elves, lots of mountains/caves favor dwarfs, open spaces with unrestricted movement are good for loyalists... and so on.

Wesnoth seems pretty balanced to me, with only obvious weakness of drakes vs undead. This could be easily fixed by decreasing drakes cold vulnerability to say 20% (or 30%) and removing saurian vulnerabilty to cold altogether. This would have little effect on drakes vs other factions, and would make drakes competitive against undead.

Drakes have no unit resistant to cold that you could use as shield against dark adepts. Plus adepts have magical attack, so forget any defensive positioning. Maybe you could use burners for shielding purpose, who would at least deal some damage back, but that is a pricey solution. Undead can use ghouls as shields, as they actually have some little resistance vs fire.
Undead are not so vulnerable to fire (-20%...nothing major), and a skeleton archer on 50-60% def would be a tough opponent for a drake burner, even at daytime.

Saurians with their cold and pierce attacks are practially useless, their limited role would be for healing/delaying poison and skirmishers could perhaps reach adepts hidden by another undead units. But you would get a lot less bang for your buck.

Low defense rating of drakes on all terrain (30-40%) is good for bats, who can then easily heal themselves. And arcane/cold attacking ghosts with 50% def across the board are a nice topping on the dessert.

Because of this I think that it is impossible for drakes to win vs undead, if the undead arent played by some total noob. If you would like to convince me to the contrary, Id be glad to play :)
JW wrote:For my money, I think the more hits a unit has, the better value for money they are. because they have a greater chance to score any hits, and bonuses applied to each hit make a bigger overall difference.
Yeah, the more hits, the better. But the difference only shows when you have to finish some unit that you can kill in a single blow anyway. A unit with 1-2 hp is more likely to get killed by elf fighter with 5-4 than say grunt with 10-2. But other situations the damage is equal, from the point of math and statistics. As for vulnerabilities and resistances... lets take elf archer with 5-4 pierce damage vs drake with 10% vulnerability to pierce. With 5-4 damage, you get 5.5 damage per hit, which is for some reason rounded down to 5, so nothing gained. If you had 10-2 base instead, you would get to 11-2. This could work either way.

Btw... how are damages rounded? It seems to me they always get rounded TOWARDS the base, like if you have 5 base damage and 5,5 after taking into account the 10% vulerability, you end up with 5. But if you had 10% resistance, 4,5 would also round to 5. Do you know how it is?

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michchar
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Re: You think a faction is overpowered? Come here!

Post by michchar »

More strikes do not ensure a greater chance to kill, just a greater chance to hit.
For example, a 10 hp unit on water (with 20% defence) is more likely to be killed by a 10-1 attack than a 1-10 attack. Likewise, a unit with 1 hp is more likely to be killed by a 1-10 than a 10-1.
svek
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Re: You think a faction is overpowered? Come here!

Post by svek »

A lot of the time dealing 5 damage is little better than doing none - so being certain to get at least one hit in return for a lesser chance to do some real damage is (imho) a bad trade, at least when attacking.
Two units with a 10-2 attack have 31% to kill a 30 hp unit on 50% terrain. If they instead have 5-4 the ctk is only 14%.
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Re: You think a faction is overpowered? Come here!

Post by MDG »

Tondo wrote:Wesnoth seems pretty balanced to me, with only obvious weakness of drakes vs undead. This could be easily fixed by decreasing drakes cold vulnerability to say 20% (or 30%) and removing saurian vulnerabilty to cold altogether. This would have little effect on drakes vs other factions, and would make drakes competitive against undead.

Drakes have no unit resistant to cold that you could use as shield against dark adepts. Plus adepts have magical attack, so forget any defensive positioning. Maybe you could use burners for shielding purpose, who would at least deal some damage back, but that is a pricey solution. Undead can use ghouls as shields, as they actually have some little resistance vs fire.
Undead are not so vulnerable to fire (-20%...nothing major), and a skeleton archer on 50-60% def would be a tough opponent for a drake burner, even at daytime.

Saurians with their cold and pierce attacks are practially useless, their limited role would be for healing/delaying poison and skirmishers could perhaps reach adepts hidden by another undead units. But you would get a lot less bang for your buck.

Low defense rating of drakes on all terrain (30-40%) is good for bats, who can then easily heal themselves. And arcane/cold attacking ghosts with 50% def across the board are a nice topping on the dessert.

Because of this I think that it is impossible for drakes to win vs undead, if the undead arent played by some total noob. If you would like to convince me to the contrary, Id be glad to play :)
You are talking about combat between the Drakes faction and the Undead faction, which means you've already discarded perhaps the most key element of the Drake faction strategically... MOBILITY. If you (as Drakes) are allowing an opponent playing Undead to choose the time and place of actual combat encounters between you (particularly the time), then you deserve to get pwned...

Rather than laying down a polite challenge, please post up some replays from your experiences in this area and let the MP experts (not me) give you any guidance and suggestions on how to better approach playing the Drakes faction. It's not their responsibility to convince you of anything I'm afraid.
Tondo wrote:
JW wrote:For my money, I think the more hits a unit has, the better value for money they are. because they have a greater chance to score any hits, and bonuses applied to each hit make a bigger overall difference.
Yeah, the more hits, the better.
Depends on the circumstances, large damage, low strikes units tend to get all their attacks, and therefore all their potential damage in before higher strike rate units have begun inflicting much potential damage. If that results in a kill, not much retaliation to deal with really. Each unit has it's own strengths and weaknesses (more importantly each faction does), 'better' is a word to be cautious about, it's quite a subtle, sophisticated game.
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JW
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Re: You think a faction is overpowered? Come here!

Post by JW »

I must agree with MDG that you are missing the most important element of Drake play vs. Undead: the retreat. As he said, you deserve to get pwnd. :p

And as for more strikes, those units deal more predictable damage which, IMO, is better for more styles of fighting in the game and therefore, arguably, better.*

*I must note that for magical attacks I prefer higher damage. Specifically the Adept.
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Thrawn
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Re: You think a faction is overpowered? Come here!

Post by Thrawn »

for what it's worth, I find that high numbers of strikes is better for reliable offense, while high damage, low strikes are better for defense. My reasoning is thus:

when using units to defend, You get to choose the terrain they have to fight you on. You you can plop your thunderer in a place where they have to attack from 30-50% defense, meaning there's a 70-50% chance of doing a straight 18 damage. However, if you had a poacher there, with it's 4-4 attack, it may hit more consistently, but the hits wouldn't be more useful. Lets say the thunder was attacked 100 times, and it hit exactly EV. that's 60 hits. Now we have a unit w/ a 6-3 attack. It would have 180 hits on average.

60x18=1080, where 180x6= 1080. It's the same, right? Not really. The spread of the 6-3 attack would be greater, meaning some units took 6, some, 12, and others the 18. Whereas with each hit, the thunderer deals 18.

when using units to attack, you face the opposite problem--you're dealing with units in a position where they have better terrain, usually. So in that case, you can attack with heavy hitters and hope for luck, or you can attack with multihit units, and whittle the people down much more reliably.
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TL
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Re: You think a faction is overpowered? Come here!

Post by TL »

Defense also makes it that much more important that you get your damage out quickly. If that thunderer is down to 10 HP and gets attacked by an enemy mage, you can shoot him for 18 damage before he has a chance to kill you. If a 10 HP poacher gets attacked by a mage, there's a decent chance the poacher may be killed having only had the opportunity to get off a single 4 damage shot. This effect is often useful when attacking too, but isn't as big an issue there since you have more control over your risk since you can simply choose not to use your 10 HP unit to attack a unit that can retaliate for potentially lethal damage.
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Re: You think a faction is overpowered? Come here!

Post by ElvenKing »

I've got to agree with MDG and JW. If you are losing that badly as Drakes in the Drakes vs Undead match-up, then you must be trying to attack/hold position during the night.

Retreating at your unfavourable time of day is one of the most important aspects of playing Wesnoth. There are very few exceptions to that rule, especially when you and your opponent have opposite alignment, which is the case with Drakes vs Undead. You have to retreat so that Undead will never be able to attack you at night, even if it means giving up villages. A village is worth a couple of gold a turn; a unit is worth much more, both in terms of gold and the fact that your opponent will get 8 XP for killing it.

Remember as Drakes you have a great mobility advantage over Undead. Use it to it's fullest extent; when you retreat try to get just out of range of your opponent, so that you will be able to use your greater mobility to catch your opponent when day comes.
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svek
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Re: You think a faction is overpowered? Come here!

Post by svek »

Thrawn wrote:for what it's worth, I find that high numbers of strikes is better for reliable offense, while high damage, low strikes are better for defense. My reasoning is thus:
[...]
when using units to attack, you face the opposite problem--you're dealing with units in a position where they have better terrain, usually. So in that case, you can attack with heavy hitters and hope for luck, or you can attack with multihit units, and whittle the people down much more reliably.
And this is the same reasoning why I prefer more damage on less strikes when attacking. Most of the time you won't be presented with a likely kill - so you'll need to deviate from the average.
If all I can hope to achieve with an attack is to whittle something down a bit there's a good chance I won't bother...
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JW
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Re: You think a faction is overpowered? Come here!

Post by JW »

svek wrote:And this is the same reasoning why I prefer more damage on less strikes when attacking. Most of the time you won't be presented with a likely kill - so you'll need to deviate from the average.
If all I can hope to achieve with an attack is to whittle something down a bit there's a good chance I won't bother...
I dunno. For me fewer strikes just leads to a greater chance of catastrophic failure. I'm a pretty decent player so I try not to rely on luck if avoidable. Most of the time I consider luck my secondary opponent.
svek
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Re: You think a faction is overpowered? Come here!

Post by svek »

Meh, I consider luck something to work with, not against... If average luck gets me results my opponent probably made a mistake. If bad luck is catastrophic I made a mistake.

(not really trying to derail this into a discussion on luck)
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