You think a faction is overpowered? Come here!

Share and discuss strategies for playing the game, and get help and tips from other players.

Moderators: Forum Moderators, Developers

Locked
User avatar
Faello
Posts: 441
Joined: June 7th, 2005, 9:01 am
Location: Holy Office

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

Post by Faello » August 18th, 2009, 2:49 pm

In my opinion, thieves and poachers doesn't level up as often as augurs (altough I'm not saying they doesn't level quite quickly).

Still, both poacher and thief are not as versatile as augur thus saying that they need about as much xp as augur kind of only proves my point as valid.

Obviously, I'm not discussing augurs ability of holding the territory against UD's in the night.
The yellow jester does not play
but gently pulls the strings
and smiles as the puppets dance
in the court of the Crimson King.

Radament
Posts: 136
Joined: January 14th, 2007, 12:50 pm
Location: Germaica

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

Post by Radament » August 18th, 2009, 3:16 pm

I agree with Faello that Drakes might need a slight nerf.

I read cmonyiman's thread concerning Flares (http://www.wesnoth.org/forum/viewtopic. ... re#p338890) but think the problem is not the existence of Flares as a possible level-up, but them being a leader option.

- Flying allows for efficient deployment of leadership, even overseas, as opposed to the Liutenant. The offset of using leadership, which would be not being able to buy, is not as pronounced with drakes, considering they have expensive units and you sometimes have to accumulate gold anyway.
- The units that get leadership already are strong, and the augur is promoted from a support unit to a serious offensive caster.
- The mobility of Drakes makes it even easier to converge around the Flare and use the full potential of leadership.

Moving on to augurs, i think they have the most impact on Northerners vs. Drakes. With already low ranged damage output on the side of Northerners, Clashers become a real pain with their high retaliation damage. I think it should be a viable option to use assasins (which may still be debatable considering Drakes have many units with 3-4 attacks), but a single augur can provide a cozy retreat for several poisoned units. Not to mention that they eat trolls, at night. Levelling is not that hard with Northerners as opponents, and they level fast anyway. I agree that augurs might not look as powerful, but their synergy with Drakes is worth a discussion and maybe a revision.

@Caphriel: I think it is much harder to level a poacher due to the limited mobility - you need to be at the right place at the right time. Thieves are a unit relying on backstabbing - not always easy to pull off. Augurs can be deployed in a more versatile fashion and make some of the easiest levellers in my experience.

cmonyiman
Posts: 28
Joined: October 5th, 2008, 2:05 pm

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

Post by cmonyiman » August 18th, 2009, 3:16 pm

Augurs can't coordinate well with a drake attack, because of them attacking at day, which means if augurs attack at night they are alone with skirmishers-and the pierce resistance isn't useful as defense because melee is blade/impact usually (which they have -20 along with very low hp) and noone will range it. They don't survive that well because at day they do low damage and at night they are alone. Normal augurs need 3 kills, but not only augurs are fast-levelled units, poachers, thieves, assassins, archers, lucky shamans are all in the same pack... Saurians may be overpowered at isar's or morituri because of small space (I am sure it's because of those maps you came here) but at large maps they aren't as dangerous because they risk dying quickly. The only matchup worth telling I think is v Loyalist where saurians can indeed by nightmarish.

User avatar
Skrim
Posts: 312
Joined: June 10th, 2009, 7:19 am

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

Post by Skrim » August 18th, 2009, 4:12 pm

Radament wrote:I agree with Faello that Drakes might need a slight nerf.

I read cmonyiman's thread concerning Flares (http://www.wesnoth.org/forum/viewtopic. ... re#p338890) but think the problem is not the existence of Flares as a possible level-up, but them being a leader option.

- Flying allows for efficient deployment of leadership, even overseas, as opposed to the Liutenant. The offset of using leadership, which would be not being able to buy, is not as pronounced with drakes, considering they have expensive units and you sometimes have to accumulate gold anyway.
- The units that get leadership already are strong, and the augur is promoted from a support unit to a serious offensive caster.
- The mobility of Drakes makes it even easier to converge around the Flare and use the full potential of leadership.

Moving on to augurs, i think they have the most impact on Northerners vs. Drakes. With already low ranged damage output on the side of Northerners, Clashers become a real pain with their high retaliation damage. I think it should be a viable option to use assasins (which may still be debatable considering Drakes have many units with 3-4 attacks), but a single augur can provide a cozy retreat for several poisoned units. Not to mention that they eat trolls, at night. Levelling is not that hard with Northerners as opponents, and they level fast anyway. I agree that augurs might not look as powerful, but their synergy with Drakes is worth a discussion and maybe a revision.

@Caphriel: I think it is much harder to level a poacher due to the limited mobility - you need to be at the right place at the right time. Thieves are a unit relying on backstabbing - not always easy to pull off. Augurs can be deployed in a more versatile fashion and make some of the easiest levellers in my experience.
I think the Drakes need their combination of high mobility and great attack power. They can't match anyone else in a stand-up brawl and cannot hold a battle line, so their only option is to attack rapidly, do a lot of damage, and pull back just as quickly to heal. Flares help them in doing this.

The Augurs and the easily-leveled Soothsayers are also a necessity for them. The Drakes, with their pathetic evasion and weaknesses to 3 attack types, take large amounts of damage very quickly in any heated engagement with the enemy, and survive only because they have a ton of raw HP. After that, it takes ages for them to heal back to full health again. Augurs and Soothsayers offset this turnaround time to an extent by being able to provide healing support to the Drakes during the battle itself.

The one unit that I've never found useful is the Saurian Oracle. What's the point of sacrificing +8 Heals and Cures just so that you get a whole 6 points worth of extra damage? :annoyed:

User avatar
anakayub
Moderator Emeritus
Posts: 518
Joined: May 3rd, 2007, 12:44 pm
Location: Malaysia
Contact:

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

Post by anakayub » August 18th, 2009, 4:16 pm

The one unit that I've never found useful is the Saurian Oracle. What's the point of sacrificing +8 Heals and Cures just so that you get a whole 6 points worth of extra damage?
Nuking other drakes in a mirror comes to mind.
Take a breath.

Radament
Posts: 136
Joined: January 14th, 2007, 12:50 pm
Location: Germaica

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

Post by Radament » August 18th, 2009, 10:21 pm

Thanks for the input guys, but there's still some question marks in my mind.

Cmonyiman, of course i'm not taking isars or morituri as a reference! I do like those maps but I also think that they're not the optimal size for a solid game. Besides that, it's actually easier to deal with Drakes, considering almost any unit can cross half the map in a turn or two, offseting Drake mobility and disadvantaging their high cost, because it definitely is worth more to concentrate all that expensive but huge firepower on some remote spot in a big map, where reinforcements are far away and the lines are stretched thin.

Augurs don't survive well, I agree, but at day they're usually behind big ugly drakes, and at night they usually operate in packs and definitely are not alone - if they are, no sane player would attack. After 4-5 turns though, you usually have several of saurians. Good players will arrange decent cover too, which is not that hard with skirmishers and other healthy drakes (of course all I said is obsolete when facing undead!)

As mentioned before, there are other units which level nicely, but I still think augurs have an edge over them, given they're so friggin' fast (meaning they can reach lotsa targets) coupled with magic and the rarely resisted cold damage.

Loys indeed do have a difficult time against them, but at least they can hold against drakes at day. What about Northies?

Yo Skrim, what you're saying is right (mobility & firepower), but I believe Drakes do real fine even without Flares. Usually, whenever a couple of Drakes loose hitpoins (i know, they really do eat away those hp's), the other sides looses at least one unit. I rarely see any chaotic unit except undead chasing after wounded Drakes. Poachers usually can't keep pace, thieves have their own issues, footpads are crappy against them, and northerners have difficulties taking down melee Drakes and at the same time stay fit for the coming onslaught at day.

Besides, you have those pesky lizards to screen them, and back at your turf you have those Slashers etc. which provide lotsa meat withouth really needing to heal.

Actually I think it's fine that augurs heal 4hp, it's not that much, but the poison-negating effect is probably unnecesarry. After all, your opponent has to buy 17 gold assasins or forfeit adepts to get poison.

Caphriel
Posts: 994
Joined: April 21st, 2008, 4:10 pm

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

Post by Caphriel » August 19th, 2009, 2:27 pm

I'm pretty sure heals is attached to negating poison damage in the code.

I've seen drakes play against the northerners without augurs, or with insufficient augurs, and poison tears them apart. The northerners can poison one unit per assassin per turn, and usually cover the assassins with cheap, thick-skinned grunts, or cheaper goblins. If the drakes persist in attacking, the poison wears them down quickly. Drakes have less units than most other factions, so it's easier to poison a larger percent of their army. Even with augurs, poison is a potent weapon against the drakes.

Without augurs, the drakes only reasonable option for dislodging a ghoul from a village (or anywhere else) is burners. With average luck, it will take 3 burners attacking during the day (or 5 during twilight, or more likely, 2 burners and another unit during the day) to dislodge one from one of their villages, and if they do that, the burners won't be able to reach the undead force at night. Sacrificing a ghoul to prevent the drakes from mounting a meaningful assault for a day, either through poisoning several fighters, or keeping the burners backward. Alternatively, as a defense on an UD village, it keeps their units tied up attacking something else, when those units could have been more useful attacking adepts or skeletons. Augurs are the only thing that lets the Drakes killing ghouls in a cost-effective manner without accumulating unbearable amounts of poison.

Also, cold damage is generally considered the 'worst' magical damage type. Loyalist cavalry resist it, wose resist it, undead units resist it, and not much is weak against it. Drakes, saurians, and HI are weak against it. Fire is only resisted by drakes and mage lines, or is a low resist on a couple undead units. Arcane is resisted by all human units and the ghoul, but drakes, elves, trolls, and the rest of the undead units are weak against it.

Augurs are definitely one of the best units in the Drake faction; I'm not disagreeing with you about that. But I believe they're a necessary part of the faction. They have their weaknesses, as has been pointed out. They're the most fragile level 1 unit in the game, and against certain damage types, they're comparably as fragile as level 0 units. They have the low damage output, magic or no magic.

If you want to prove your point, post replays of yourself as drakes winning without using augurs against competent opponents. That's the only real way to demonstrate that they're an unnecessary part of the faction. You'll find that they fill several critical roles, though. Preventing poison damage is important when drakes often have to yield many villages at night. Healing, for the same as above. Magic damage, for obvious reasons. Chaotic, which lets them fight against the loyalists and some nighttime assaults from neutral factions. All of these roles are necessary.

Tryptic
Posts: 8
Joined: August 19th, 2009, 4:14 pm

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

Post by Tryptic » August 19th, 2009, 4:27 pm

This discussion is very good, helps me to understand Drakes so much better. I played my second game ever of Wesnoth as the northerners against the drakes, and poison saved me. My opponent got an oracle, and that thing was a pain, but I'd managed to get a level 3 wolf rider so he went and mauled the oracle.

I have another question though, if you guys are okay with changing the topic.

I play undead almost all the time now, and my friend plays the dwarves. I'm better than him to begin with, but I want him to get better and have a good time, so I've been giving advice. My conclusion so far: dwarves vs undead is a terrible combination! They have no good ranged attack vs undead, unless you can level a footpad and even then it's not much. Their fighters are okay, but I can just run circles around them during the day and maul them at night. A ghost can beat an ulfserker, sometimes even in daylight! Stalwarts, poachers, and thunderers do piercing damage (so no damage at all) and while griffins put up an okay fight, they easily get overwhelmed because there's nothing able to back them up.

Is there a strategy he can use? Because I can't find it and I don't want him to quit.

-Tryptic

Velensk
Multiplayer Contributor
Posts: 3988
Joined: January 24th, 2007, 12:56 am

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

Post by Velensk » August 19th, 2009, 4:35 pm

I wrote quite a bit about this over time. Look up the Knalgan guide thread, and the thread in ideas about the mathematical formula for balancing.

EDIT: also, be sure to tell him that in general he want's to play defensively.
"There are two kinds of old men in the world. The kind who didn't go to war and who say that they should have lived fast died young and left a handsome corpse and the old men who did go to war and who say that there is no such thing as a handsome corpse."

Caphriel
Posts: 994
Joined: April 21st, 2008, 4:10 pm

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

Post by Caphriel » August 19th, 2009, 5:59 pm

Footpads clobber skeletons and do pretty well against skeleton archers, too. They also have the only damage type that ghouls aren't resistant to. A couple fighters aren't bad, but I mostly use footpads and some ulfs, plus a couple of thieves for helping with ghosts and adepts, and a gryphon. Ghosts and skeletons can kill an ulf, but an ulf can kill anything else the undead field, and ghosts are expensive and a skeleton will come out wounded and easy prey for your footpads. This certainly isn't the only way to play Knalgans against undead, but it does provide the advantage of mobility, quantity of units, and the ability to wear their units down. Frequently, the match comes down to the Knalgan player's ability to apply ulfs vs. the Undead player's ability to make them ineffective.

Radament
Posts: 136
Joined: January 14th, 2007, 12:50 pm
Location: Germaica

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

Post by Radament » August 19th, 2009, 6:36 pm

Caphriel wrote:I'm pretty sure heals is attached to negating poison damage in the code.
I think you're right.
Caphriel wrote:I've seen drakes play against the northerners without augurs, or with insufficient augurs, and poison tears them apart. The northerners can poison one unit per assassin per turn, and usually cover the assassins with cheap, thick-skinned grunts, or cheaper goblins.
You usually can't cover an assasin that's just poisoned an enemy given the fact that they, well, need to stand next to an enemy while doing so :) Cover is near impossible with skirmishers anyway.
Caphriel wrote:Without augurs, the drakes only reasonable option for dislodging a ghoul from a village (or anywhere else) is burners. With average luck, it will take 3 burners attacking during the day (or 5 during twilight, or more likely, 2 burners and another unit during the day) to dislodge one from one of their villages, and if they do that, the burners won't be able to reach the undead force at night.
As undead vs Drakes I would almost always prefer an adept over a ghoul. Maybe one or two for those spots you definitely don't want to retreat from. In my experience Skeleton archers work real fine as blockers, with their resistanes to most Drake melee weapons and retaliation to the fire spitting.
(I first thought you meant to remove the Ghoul with augurs (40% cold resistance!), but I see your point, they allow for melee attacks without tons of poison damage)
Caphriel wrote:Also, cold damage is generally considered the 'worst' magical damage type. Loyalist cavalry resist it, wose resist it, undead units resist it, and not much is weak against it.
Given the entangled checks and balances in BfW i think its hard to say which damage type is superior over the other. Cold is crap against ud, sure, but good against Dwarves (only 10%), devastating against Drakes etc. For the units you mentioned Drakes have tons of pierce/blade/fire to deal with.
Caphriel wrote:Augurs are definitely one of the best units in the Drake faction; I'm not disagreeing with you about that. But I believe they're a necessary part of the faction. They have their weaknesses, as has been pointed out. They're the most fragile level 1 unit in the game, and against certain damage types, they're comparably as fragile as level 0 units. They have the low damage output, magic or no magic.
Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't go as far as to propose to remove Augurs :augh: It's just that Faello's points about them struck a chord with me. Anyway, I'm more interested in what people think of the Flare as a Drake leader.

Btw, welcome to Wesnoth, tryptic. The guides of Velensk are the medicine your friend needs, they're really good.

EDIT: minor addition

Yoyobuae
Posts: 408
Joined: July 24th, 2009, 8:38 pm

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

Post by Yoyobuae » August 19th, 2009, 7:30 pm

Hmmm, I certainly didn't expect seeing someone complain about Augurs.

They do combine quite a lot of useful aspects, but they still are the most fragile unit drakes have (and share such title with drake glider, when defense % is considered). Now, truth is the other mages aren't that resistant either, probably the same or worst than augurs (once defense % is considered).

I personally think that saurian skirmishers also have some of that OPness themselves:
- Chaotic in mostly lawful faction
- Skirmish ability (duh!?!?), combined with 6 MP and great movement type.
- Pretty good HP (Thief has less)
- Very convenient Resistances (only -10% and -20% weakenesses, and nearly opposite from what drakes have)
- Cheap (when compared to drakes, that is)

Now compare that with other elusive units (Fencer, Footpad, Thief, Orc Assasin) and it certainly seems OP. But remember: "factions are balanced as a whole, not individual units against their counterparts".

In that sense, probably saurians are used to somewhat fill in the weaknesses of the drake unit types. I doubt that drakes would really be a complete faction without the saurian augur/skirmisher being as they are.

Perhaps one reason the saurians are rather powerful (despite how weak they appear to be) is that there are only 2 saurian unit types. Perhaps with one more unit type, the other two wouldn't need to be the "jack of all trades" units they are now.

*** EDIT ***
BTW, that +4 healing is more useful used on skirmishers, rather than drakes. Putting it simply, +4 HP means 15% of max hp for a skirmisher but only around 10% for drake burners, clashers or fighters.

User avatar
Faello
Posts: 441
Joined: June 7th, 2005, 9:01 am
Location: Holy Office

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

Post by Faello » August 19th, 2009, 7:50 pm

Caphriel wrote: If you want to prove your point, post replays of yourself as drakes winning without using augurs against competent opponents.
I'll gladly search whole 1.6 replays archive if somebody will pay me for it.

And speaking seriously, even if somebody will do it and bring you the replays (because they're there, I still remember some Gallifax game when he teared apart loyalists controlled by a decent player easily on Freelands using augurs&skirmishers as offensive force with very limited use of other units).

If it's going about 2vs2, recent TGT game of SPaM vs Noob Leavers shows effectiveness of augurs - still, it can be said that SPaM could have played better and maybe prevail.

Healing is stopping a poison that can hurt drakes, but with massive augurs usage, it not only stops the poison but also makes the assasin somewhat like upkeep burden for orc player because with large amount of hp's, drakes can already allow themselves to be exposed to the assasin attacks for some short period of time and count that damages can be covered. With massive augur support, assasin is almost useless, which can't be said about augur that can be still used as a strong attack unit.

I also don't buy the "cold being the weakest dmg type". It's abviously a false statement considering augur effectiveness in attack. Again, I'm not pointing at Drake vs UD matchup, because it would have no sense.

Augurs may seem to be fragile but, considering ways they're used, they're usually survivors on the battlefield. Last SPaM vs Noob Leavers TGT game, showed that even during the night, only 1 out of 8 or 9 augurs that were used in the battle, died, while they were still offensively used, prolonging drake powerphase, with a territory gained by them quickly captured by a stronger units (like clashers) and augurs, again, protected after finished attack.

That's how augurs are used, thus saying simply that "augurs are fragile" is understatement, because mages are too. Still, to kill the mage you might usually need to kill his bodyguards first. Good luck with killing the augurs bodyguards after drake prolonged powerphase will hit you.

And yeah, I'm interested in making augurs more balanced only, not in erasing them from the drakes roster as someone suggested that I want to (please, read more carefully next time :) )

For me, the obvious thing which should be changed is the experience amount augurs need to lvl up. It should've been risen definitely, casters such as mage or adepts need much more experience. Levelling up augur (and saying that only intelligent augur needs 15xp is, again, not a valid point since you have usually more than 1 augur in your army so you'll probably get such :roll: ) should be more difficult.

Alternatively, I could also propose division of this unit to 2 branches - one, a healer, with no magic attack advancing to the Soothsayer, second, auxilliary attacker, with magic attack and no healing. Both with their xp cap to lvl up increased accordingly (but I know that it may go too far).

Still, I'm sure that augur thing will be eventually corrected, even if some of you have unreasonable doubts about it. If not now or in the near future, someday definitely, balance issues can't last forever.

Regarding Drake Flare as a leader - doesn't matter on the bigger maps with opponents keeps separated from each other by a large chunk of terrain but becomes notorious in a close keep placement maps, and may be considered as imbalanced in such situations.

Generally speaking, Drakes, being so much different from the other factions are sometimes far superior on the maps that work for a standard, less mobile factions and balancing these maps equally for this faction too, might be impossible.
The yellow jester does not play
but gently pulls the strings
and smiles as the puppets dance
in the court of the Crimson King.

Velensk
Multiplayer Contributor
Posts: 3988
Joined: January 24th, 2007, 12:56 am

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

Post by Velensk » August 20th, 2009, 2:43 am

I have to say, that even if I agree with the general trend of what you say: the way you say it comes off as being slightly arrogent and your specific propositions don't feel right to me.

Also: I know what you mean about Gallifax. I agree that some kind of help might be needed for the loyalist. I will also say that you can learn to counter that style of play (somewhat).

Personally I think that a good deal of the problem is that one of the loyalists better counters for augers (cavalry who can also work decently against skirmishers at day especially if not in good terrain) can't safely persue them at day because the drakes primary defence at day (clashers) dices them up very well. Fencers have the same problem except that unlike cavalry, they can't run them down.
"There are two kinds of old men in the world. The kind who didn't go to war and who say that they should have lived fast died young and left a handsome corpse and the old men who did go to war and who say that there is no such thing as a handsome corpse."

User avatar
Faello
Posts: 441
Joined: June 7th, 2005, 9:01 am
Location: Holy Office

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

Post by Faello » August 20th, 2009, 7:41 am

Velensk: if you mean my reaction at a proposal of searching replays, it might sounded like that because I consider it one of the worst counterarguments in the whole balance discussion.

How much replays someone need to see to be convinced about balance issues ? After whole hard work of looking for satysfying amount of replays (God only knows what "satysfying" means) and seeking games you've seen couple months ago (like that Gallifax game on Freelands) and showing them here, you might be always replied in the "drake opponent could play better" fashion, so I won't go that far. Everybody has a real life and vast majority of players doesn't have time to search whole archive and prove their point to the 100% extent. At least I don't, still I want to help with feedback.

If rest of my posts were considered as "slightly arrogant", I want to say sorry to everybody that felt that way while reading them, I'm living under some stress in the real life right now and try to cut every problem with a swift reply so it indeed may be seen like that. Once again sorry :)

Yes, I understand that some of my propositions may seem to be not right in view of the others but that's the point of whole discussion - some aurea mediocritas can be worked out :)

Btw. During this whole discussion I meant loyalists and northeners problem in facing the drakes mainly.

Cheers !
The yellow jester does not play
but gently pulls the strings
and smiles as the puppets dance
in the court of the Crimson King.

Locked