Factional jack or specialist?

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ParadiseCity
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Re: Factional jack or specialist?

Post by ParadiseCity »

1. I like to go random because I like variety and different challenges, even on survivals.

2. Since I play random I do play them all, though if i was forced to choose I would use northerners or drakes.

3. As previously stated, variety is a fun challenge. Random also has the effect of giving you and advantage in MP matches.
"The harder I work, the more luck I seem to have." -Thomas Jefferson
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i_like_cheese
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Re: Factional jack or specialist?

Post by i_like_cheese »

I personally prefer undead

1: because they are fun undead not boring human
2: skelles and ghosts resistants
3: and they make you go :augh:
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Yoyobuae
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Re: Factional jack or specialist?

Post by Yoyobuae »

Velensk wrote:I play random. It is the most varied experience and comes with the bonus of not telling your enemy what to recruit for.
silent wrote:[...] or as velensk said, to be random to not allow your opponent knowledge of the faction you pick.
Velensk wrote:I don't think anyone is equally strong with every faction. I do however think that you can be strong with every faction to the point where your enemy not knowing which faction you are is enough of an advantage to counter out even you weakest faction of play.
Thrawn wrote:[...]
3. I choose random so that I don't give a human opponent an advantage of knowing, and to get better at playing in general, rather than faction specific strategies. [..]
ParadiseCity wrote:[...] Random also has the effect of giving you and advantage in MP matches.
[sarcasm]
But didn't we agree there was no such advantage? Didn't we conclude that whatever advantage there is was perfectly balanced by the inability to choose the leader?
[/sarcasm]

Why should I be at a disadvantage right off the bat because of my preference for a faction? Why should I have to do a generic (inefficient) recruit while the enemy can recruit specifically against my faction?

I don't understand. All factions are balanced so that they're are equally fair choices, yet here we have one choice that is better than all of the above: Random.

I would rather see this advantage disappear from Wesnoth. Maybe reveal the faction of each player after game start? Hide all faction choices, random or not? But that ain't gonna happen, right?

I guess I'll have to deal with being at a slight disadvantage on the beginning of every single battle, as I'll continue to pick drakes. Always have, always will.

Can you do me a favor at least? Can we pretend this advantage doesn't exist? It's pretty annoying as it is already without people bringing it up over and over. kay thanks.
silent
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Re: Factional jack or specialist?

Post by silent »

Yoyobuae wrote:
Velensk wrote:I play random. It is the most varied experience and comes with the bonus of not telling your enemy what to recruit for.
silent wrote:[...] or as velensk said, to be random to not allow your opponent knowledge of the faction you pick.
Velensk wrote:I don't think anyone is equally strong with every faction. I do however think that you can be strong with every faction to the point where your enemy not knowing which faction you are is enough of an advantage to counter out even you weakest faction of play.
Thrawn wrote:[...]
3. I choose random so that I don't give a human opponent an advantage of knowing, and to get better at playing in general, rather than faction specific strategies. [..]
ParadiseCity wrote:[...] Random also has the effect of giving you and advantage in MP matches.
[sarcasm]
But didn't we agree there was no such advantage? Didn't we conclude that whatever advantage there is was perfectly balanced by the inability to choose the leader?
[/sarcasm]

Why should I be at a disadvantage right off the bat because of my preference for a faction? Why should I have to do a generic (inefficient) recruit while the enemy can recruit specifically against my faction?

I don't understand. All factions are balanced so that they're are equally fair choices, yet here we have one choice that is better than all of the above: Random.

I would rather see this advantage disappear from Wesnoth. Maybe reveal the faction of each player after game start? Hide all faction choices, random or not? But that ain't gonna happen, right?

I guess I'll have to deal with being at a slight disadvantage on the beginning of every single battle, as I'll continue to pick drakes. Always have, always will.

Can you do me a favor at least? Can we pretend this advantage doesn't exist? It's pretty annoying as it is already without people bringing it up over and over. kay thanks.
Is there a particular reason to remove the selection of random?

random is a well deserved advantage, when used correctly. If you've gone to the trouble of learning all 6 factions in default, to the point where you are comfortable with any choice, I think you would have earned the right to that advantage.

And I don't think you are at a disadvantage every battle. You have the advantage of selecting the faction you are strongest with, but it comes at the cost of giving your opponent the knowledge of what you are playing in advance, before turn 2-3.
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Re: Factional jack or specialist?

Post by Yoyobuae »

Heh, I guess I couldn't even have that little favor right. Fine.

Why does any player need any reward for learning all factions? That's just as silly as rewarding them on MP for the amount of hours spent playing, number of campaigns finished or ladder score.

All that is accomplished by that is to increase the rift between learning players and more experienced ones. Not only the new player needs to learn one faction, but he needs to learn all of them. Or else he is penalized by the game.

"Pick a card, any card; but it's better if you pick this one" What kind of choice is that?!?!

I hate it that this silly/arbitrary policy is trying to force my choice. I like one faction, Drakes. I deeply enjoy playing them, not for gameplay reasons but because I enjoy dragons/dragon-like creatures. Yet I'm being put at a disadvantage for this preference. And I hate it, severely.

Tell me, what do you think of any poll/democratic election/etc which has a strong bias towards a choice? It's rigged, right.

But then "Wesnoth is not like XYZ". Of course, the decision has been made. And I'll have to deal with it. But I don't have to agree that it is fair.

The advantages that are gained during battle, that I can accept. Anything else is just pure *********.
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Re: Factional jack or specialist?

Post by Velensk »

You do not think that it is fair that learning how to play all six factions excelently should allow you an advantage over one who plays on a single one excelently?
"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."
Eskon
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Re: Factional jack or specialist?

Post by Eskon »

Say, Yoyobuae, how often have you faced a loyalist (or rebel) player with a red mage versus your drakes? It happens, and the only reason it does is the existence of the Random choice. Drakes are weak to arcane damage, which is wielded by white mages. Random people cannot ever get white mages, and mages almost never level in multiplayer matches, let alone against drakes. The same goes for those that get Trappers as Knalgans instead of the vastly stronger quick dwarves. Then there's random Deathblades versus Drakes. Sorceresses against arcane resistant loyalists. The list goes on and on, not to forget player's individual preferences. As a random player, how often do I look at my leader and think "Whee, just what I wanted"? You only have maybe a 16-25% chance to get any particular leader, and most players tend to have one or maybe two favorites, if they have any. The overall chance for a Random player to get a leader they like rarely is more then 25%. Add to that the existence of true RNG screws in the pool, like, for instance, getting a trapper or an orcish slayer against undead, or a revenant and deathblade or a red mage against drakes, and you get a pretty sizable disadvantage going. One that also happens to be most prevalent in the early game, because the leader makes the most difference in defence at that point, but is always present depending on how the match goes; the less units on the field, the greater the advantage for the player who did have the opportunity to cherry-pick... Whereas the disadvantage associated with not knowing the opponent's faction tends to go up in a puff of smoke after turn 5 or 6 at the latest, once each side has recruited counters to the other's units and balanced forces are on the field.

Even if both sides know each other's factions, making one-sided recruits with the hope of hard-countering the enemy is always a gamble with low expected value. A balanced recruit will sometimes suffer from a disadvantage earlier on, but most one-sided recruits are so easy to counter that the advantage will quickly shift once the counters are recruited. Take an all-skeleton force for instance, used against an average loyalist (me) with mostly spearmen (generalist melee, tanks, pierce) and cavalry (sometimes tanks, always scouts, blade). With the cavalry, the skeletons are easily spotted, and given their slowness the loyalists are sure to be able to recruit one or two of heavy infantry (who often can clobber two skeletons on their own at night) and mages, with spearmen and cavalry (which are very, very decent against skeletons, thought not skeleton archers) serving as meatshield for the mages and sometimes heavy infantry. And if the undead player tries to get some adepts going to beat your heavy infantry, your cavalry and spearmen suddenly are back in the game. I am confident similar scenarios can be built for any one-sided recruit. There is a reason why you'll find most high level players not do that kind of thing even if they know the opponent's faction: Balanced recruits are the best choice regardless of the opponent's faction. One-sided recruits tend to succeed merely by luck or by the player reacting to them in the wrong way.

The one advantage that does exist is that players that know the opponent's faction sometimes are able to more easily put units into their inital recruits that would suck against certain factions, but are quite decent against others, and are useful in the village grab, such as the orcish assassin (suck against undead) or elvish archer (not very good against them either) or footpad (not really great against drakes) or ghost (tend to do badly against factions with fire or arcane damage, very decent against Knalgans). This is not mentioning the normal-speed specialist units such as mages or heavy infantry that also have their usefulness depend on the opponent's faction. Compare this one-time, slight advantage to the permanent, though often diminishing disadvantage of having a bad leader.

Matches are never decided in the matchmaking room, or by the turnout of the Random Faction RNG. They CAN be nudged pretty harshly in one direction by bad initial recruiting. That's the fault of the recruiting, i. e. the player, not the game.

Lastly (this part is even more subjective that the previous, if such a thing is possible), even assuming we come to the definite conclusion that the Random choice does give an advantage (mostly it's psychological one, and the fact that making a flexible initial recruit is not very straightforward), I wouldn't say it's a bad thing. This is fundamentally different from grinding of any form. Learning how to play with more than one faction is not grinding, it's learning how to play. Playing a strategy game is about learning. Grinding is boring, learning is not - if you find learning to be boring, why play a strategy game to begin with? If your wish is to restrict the learning you have to do - after all, as a drake specialist you only need to know six matchups and can ignore the other fifteen - then don't let anyone stop you (even though I personally do not share that wish and cannot understand it either). You can become a good specialist. If one will forgive me the reference to the ladder, the entity known as HODOR reached a top ten spot there not only playing not more than one faction (Knalgans), but also using a total of three units (thief, footpad, poacher), and pretty much announcing that choice upfront by being clearly distinguishable as the HODOR. You'll find plenty of specialists that rank quite far in front, and you'll also find plenty of former specialists who have since decided to learn how to play other matchups, because as you play the many, many matches you have to play to become that good, you'll be bored to tears if all you do is play one faction and six matchups.

And you'll find guys like me, players who choose Random and occasionally get creamed by specialists because in the end, it's many, many other things that decide who wins.

Tl,dr version: It's not nearly as bad as you make it out to be.
Yoyobuae
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Re: Factional jack or specialist?

Post by Yoyobuae »

I'm not convinced by your reasoning that some learning achievement should be rewarded in-game (you already have your reward, you can pick any faction!!!.

I'm also not convinced by some blown out of proportions reasons why Random is balanced. The case in favor of it is very fragile.

None of the so called disadvantages are a sure thing like the 100% sure denial of information to your opponent that choosing random yields.

But I'm not gonna convince any of you either. You guys are already set on your ways and would rather keep this advantage. Understandable, you like to win right?

I guess I'll just have to deal with it.
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Re: Factional jack or specialist?

Post by Velensk »

Your tone could use some work.

sarcasm/ Oh yes, I'm so addicted to winning that I want to keep some 'unfair' advantage. /sarcasm

I do not regard it as unfair. It requires more study to be used effectively thus although not 'balanced' it feels perfectly fair (and is also just more interesting IMO).

You just want to be able to use your favorite every single game without feeling like you're at a disadvantage because you do so. This might be reasonable but to me feels more like dedication to the faction and a set style of play rather than effort to improve you abilities for the game in general. I do not see why we should arbitrary balance between those who play like that and those who play with variety. The only way in which there is an imbalance is that it will take the player who picks 3 turns to figure out what the other player will know from after the game starts. This is sufficient to support much of your claim that it is imbalanced however there are drawbacks that you seem to dismiss. Would it not be imbalanced in just another way if we included random but it did not give any benefit other than variety? At that point random would never be used in competitive play as most everyone would specialize and stick with it except when playing casually. I would much rather the system encouraged players to master everything than just master one thing.

Although I can see your point of view I cannot agree with it. You are correct that you will just have to live with it. However, while you live with it please avoid implying that we care only for winning. I play for many reasons and I feel that winning isn't as important as getting better at the game.

You could join the NF clan (no fog) and play with complete information (and yes I know that isn't exactly what you are asking for however it does solve at least some of the problem).
"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."
Yoyobuae
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Re: Factional jack or specialist?

Post by Yoyobuae »

Velensk wrote:Your tone could use some work.
Oh, I'm trying really hard to contain myself, because letting it all out wouldn't help the discussion.
Velensk wrote:sarcasm/ Oh yes, I'm so addicted to winning that I want to keep some 'unfair' advantage. /sarcasm

I do not regard it as unfair. It requires more study to be used effectively thus although not 'balanced' it feels perfectly fair (and is also just more interesting IMO).
Yes, your opinion, just like whoever put it in Wesnoth in the first place. >_>

Why should "your" opinion be forced upon me?
Velensk wrote:You just want to be able to use your favorite every single game without feeling like you're at a disadvantage because you do so. This might be reasonable but to me feels more like dedication to the faction and a set style of play rather than effort to improve you abilities for the game in general. I do not see why we should arbitrary balance between those who play like that and those who play with variety. The only way in which there is an imbalance is that it will take the player who picks 3 turns to figure out what the other player will know from after the game starts. This is sufficient to support much of your claim that it is imbalanced however there are drawbacks that you seem to dismiss. Would it not be imbalanced in just another way if we included random but it did not give any benefit other than variety? At that point random would never be used in competitive play as most everyone would specialize and stick with it except when playing casually. I would much rather the system encouraged players to master everything than just master one thing.
Exactly. I hate everytime I see someone pick Random, I detest the dice icon at this point.

I frankly wouldn't be bothered if Random was at a disadvantage (obviously). But I would be ok if it was made a balanced option, just like the rest of the faction choices. Why should one choice be "encouraged"?
Velensk wrote:Although I can see your point of view I cannot agree with it. You are correct that you will just have to live with it. However, while you live with it please avoid implying that we care only for winning. I play for many reasons and I feel that winning isn't as important as getting better at the game.
I have my own reasons as well. I enjoy playing with drakes, it's a pleasure having a dragon-like race in a game. Not very frequently do games actually let you play as one. And I love that Wesnoth is one of those rare jewels.

If it were for gameplay reasons, I would've stopped playing drakes a long time ago. Their fragility can be such a pain, they're quite hard to learn. But I guess I enjoy the challenge also.

If you don't care for this (as previously said: slight) advantage, why do you defend it? If you like to get better by learning all factions, you're free to do so. Lacking that advantage won't change that (assuming random would indeed be balanced in that case).

The only thing that advantage accomplishes is to force everyone to play random (the only real counter, besides being a better player). Isn't it a bit selfish to have everyone adapt to your own ideals?
Velensk wrote:You could join the NF clan (no fog) and play with complete information (and yes I know that isn't exactly what you are asking for however it does solve at least some of the problem).
Actually I would prefer just the opposite: hide all faction choices.

Another idea would be to keep single factions visible, but split "Random" into "Random(lawful)" and "Random(chaotic)". With only 3 possible factions (of the same alignment at that) it would be somewhat easier to recruit against them. Yet there's still room for the uncertainty of the exact faction matchup.

But who am I kidding, right? Most of Wesnoth MP have already been coerced into using Random. I have to give it to whoever thought up how Random works, it's a very subvert and effective method at nudging players "in the right direction".
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Re: Factional jack or specialist?

Post by Caphriel »

Yoyobuae wrote:If you don't care for this (as previously said: slight) advantage, why do you defend it? If you like to get better by learning all factions, you're free to do so. Lacking that advantage won't change that (assuming random would indeed be balanced in that case).

The only thing that advantage accomplishes is to force everyone to play random (the only real counter, besides being a better player). Isn't it a bit selfish to have everyone adapt to your own ideals?
Because (which you seem to be ignoring), if random is equal in the game mechanics, then almost everyone will only play one faction and there will be less variety in Wesnoth. Clearly you value winning over variety of experience. Random is what encourages people to play outside their comfort zone. You're ignoring all the disadvantages of playing random (random leader, faction you may not like as much or may not be as good at). A slight advantage given to random is what makes it a balanced option, just like the rest of the choices.

Obviously your preferences and the developers preferences don't match, but why are you taking it so personally? Wesnoth is not, and cannot be, customized to match everyone's taste exactly. For example, the current system means that the majority of the Wesnoth community does not have a single favorite faction, which makes balance and strategy discussions a lot less partisan than certain other games, where every play specializes in a single faction.

If the game was developed with a goal of discouraging player specialization (which it may or may not have been, I don't know), then by playing only the drakes, you're playing the game in a way it was not intended to be played.
(Emphasis added to make conditionalness of above statement clear)

There is a simple solution to your complaint, though. Stop playing with people who play random. Host games and put "(no random)" in the game name. If anyone joins as random, ask them to choose a faction or whatever. I personally enjoy playing non-random games because it lets me pick a strategy based on my mood, rather than what the faction-RNG turns up. On the other hand, I can't say as I've ever really felt significantly disadvantaged by playing a chosen faction against random, and I frequently choose my faction just so I can choose my leader.
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Re: Factional jack or specialist?

Post by Yoyobuae »

Caphriel wrote:Because (which you seem to be ignoring), if random is equal in the game mechanics, then almost everyone will only play one faction and there will be less variety in Wesnoth. Clearly you value winning over variety of experience. Random is what encourages people to play outside their comfort zone. You're ignoring all the disadvantages of playing random (random leader, faction you may not like as much or may not be as good at). A slight advantage given to random is what makes it a balanced option, just like the rest of the choices.
If it is so balanced, please explain to me the answers several players have given to the original poster.
Caphriel wrote:Obviously your preferences and the developers preferences don't match, but why are you taking it so personally? Wesnoth is not, and cannot be, customized to match everyone's taste exactly. For example, the current system means that the majority of the Wesnoth community does not have a single favorite faction, which makes balance and strategy discussions a lot less partisan than certain other games, where every play specializes in a single faction.
Wesnoth may have not been particularly customized to my taste, but out of sheer luck "it hit the nail" with Drakes. How can I not take it personal when you guys are essentially saying:
Caphriel wrote:If the game was developed with a goal of discouraging player specialization (which it may or may not have been, I don't know), then by playing only the drakes, you're playing the game in a way it was not intended to be played.
(Emphasis added to make conditionalness of above statement clear)
With all the special treatment (ie: special list of random leaders) the Random choice has, it leads me to believe that this statement is true. (not to mention the sheer amount of players choosing random. I know not all do so for the advantage specifically, but it's hard to ignore the obvious pattern).

When I first found out about Wesnoth, I was impressed with the game design and strategy. But when I found about the Drake faction, it was love at first sight. I immediately decided to play them exclusively, forever. After a long time I've become very fond of this particular faction.

Then I started noticing Random. The more I learn about dealing with it, the more I became convinced that it had a clear (albeit slight) advantage. The reality was that my favorite faction, the one I intended to keep using forever, wasn't "the better choice".

How do you think that makes me feel? Of course I take it personal.

I was led to believe that all faction choices were equal (by reading all the faction "How to..." and such). That is not entirely true, though.
Caphriel wrote:There is a simple solution to your complaint, though. Stop playing with people who play random. Host games and put "(no random)" in the game name. If anyone joins as random, ask them to choose a faction or whatever. I personally enjoy playing non-random games because it lets me pick a strategy based on my mood, rather than what the faction-RNG turns up. On the other hand, I can't say as I've ever really felt significantly disadvantaged by playing a chosen faction against random, and I frequently choose my faction just so I can choose my leader.
Yeah, simple solution. Isolate myself from 80%-90% of the Wesnoth MP population. Or to try telling them what faction not to choose, isn't that just like what Random does? :annoyed:

Funny that in order to counter Random, I'm the one having to take extraordinary measures. This is what I hate about it. There is no recruit pattern/tactic/anything in-game I can do to counter it effectively.

It may not be the deciding factor, but it is a factor that is nearly always there. Each time I make my initial recruit, it's there. Whenever I find myself struggling to survive the first few turns, it's there.
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Re: Factional jack or specialist?

Post by Eskon »

Of course I take it personal.
Why the hell are you taking any of this personal?

I'll repeat myself: You can become a good specialist. You can be successful playing one faction exclusively. I am not saying this just to spite you. It is possible to play drakes in a way that gives you near-equal chances against a random player. If I had to name a name off the top of my head, it would be ps7 on the ladder.

Or maybe it isn't after all? Maybe you really are onto something? If you're struggling to survive the first few turns, instead of self-diagnosing the problem you could post some replays as an example to prove your point. Show us a game in which you chose drakes, your opponent chose random, you ended up borked because of it. Could be that we'll agree there is nothing you could have done, could be that there were alternatives after all, and we could actually talk about Strategies and Tips instead of whatever it is this thread has come to. As for issues of multiplayer design and factions, this game is called Battle for Wesnoth, not Saurians for Drakenoth. I'm absolutely in love with the Windsong faction of the Era of Myths, and do I make angry posts demanding they are put into the default era so I can play them on the ladder? I most certainly do not. (But if any developers read this, take this to heart: You could make a grown man cry with happiness).
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Re: Factional jack or specialist?

Post by Pentarctagon »

Eskon wrote:Or maybe it isn't after all? Maybe you really are onto something? If you're struggling to survive the first few turns, instead of self-diagnosing the problem you could post some replays as an example to prove your point.
the thing is, showing that random is/is not an advantage over being a specialist would require something close to perfect play on both sides. and then there would also need to be decently even luck throughout the whole match. this would then turn into a 'here's what you did wrong' session, not that this would be bad - im sure we would all learn good info about playing drakes, but it wouldn't contribute much to the intended topic in any case.

that being said, i do agree that the sheer number of people choosing random in mp matches is probably more than people who just want to get to know all six factions equally - in almost every match i play in that isn't a survival match i am often the only person that actually chooses my faction/leader (undead or elves, depending on my mood :lol2: ). my most annoying matchup: i play undead and my opponent randomly gets loyalist - leitenient (can never spell that right...)
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ParadiseCity
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Re: Factional jack or specialist?

Post by ParadiseCity »

Long Version
Of course I take it personal.
That statement alone would make most people not take any of your arguements seriously, especially those who could change this.
If it is so balanced, please explain to me the answers several players have given to the original poster.
Please do not take my post on my personal preference of choosing random over a faction out of hand. First of all it was on a totally different topic that we are on now. That was a relaxed statement in response to a question that someone had. If I had know that someone was going to quote me on it I would have editted it to say:
"Random also gives the effect of having a slight advantage in multiplayer matches if one is equally good at all factions (impossible) and if the other player chose his faction and at the same time did not recruit well."

I am pretty sure that most of the people who posted agree with me, and do not enjoy being quoted out of context by angry players.
I don't understand. All factions are balanced so that they're are equally fair choices, yet here we have one choice that is better than all of the above: Random.
Let's make one distinction here: random is not a faction, it is a choice that has both advantages and disadvantages. The same applies to choosing a faction.
I guess I'll have to deal with being at a slight disadvantage on the beginning of every single battle
Don't forget that you are also at both and advantage and disadvantages.
I'm also not convinced by some blown out of proportions reasons why Random is balanced.
I'm not convinced by you either by some blown out of proportions reasons that Random is imbalanced. Go figure.
But I'm not gonna convince any of you either. You guys are already set on your ways and would rather keep this advantage. Understandable, you like to win right?
Please, just because you are for some reason very angry (at a computer game may I mention) do not make false assumptions about people you have not met, played, or even had a decent conversation with.
Isn't it a bit selfish to have everyone adapt to your own ideals?
Why should "your" opinion be forced upon me?
Why should "your" opinion be forced upon anyone else? In case you havent noticed, this thread has turned into a debate about that topic, so you will have to prove your side of the arguement by more that just that.
Most of Wesnoth MP have already been coerced into using Random.
If people truely were coerced into playing random, I am surprised that more haven't said anything in this debate. Or maybe they tried it and actually realized that random is fine.
With all the special treatment (ie: special list of random leaders) the Random choice has, it leads me to believe that this statement is true.
The fact is, that it is not special treatment at all, because reasonable people who choose their factions would not choose most of the excluded leaders anyways, unless they were using a specific strategy. Would you choose a shocktrooper or a wose as a leader?

Short Version
1. Do not quote people out of context then use it as evidence in a debate.
2. There are advantages and disadvantages of Random
3. There are advantages and disadvantages of Choosing
4. You are unreasonably focusing on the advantages of random and the disadvantages of choosing.
5. Your claims of us being corrupted and only wanting to win is not true.
6. Please calm down.
"The harder I work, the more luck I seem to have." -Thomas Jefferson
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