Why people consider undead to be underpowered?

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

Moderators: Forum Moderators, Developers

Dude
Posts: 3
Joined: December 13th, 2009, 3:15 pm

Why people consider undead to be underpowered?

Post by Dude » December 15th, 2009, 12:02 am

I started playing Wesnoth a month ago, and i have noticed that people tend to consider undead players as noobs. Maybe is because the undead faction is considered underpowered?

I have only played about 20 games or so (won about half the time), but really, the only time i had trouble was against Rebels, simply because the woses are too strong.
Against other factions it was rather easy:

vs Loyalists: I have yet to lose against them. They mostly used heavy infantryman and mages, so i used skeletons, adepts, and ghouls at day. Since skeletons and adepts are cheaper than heavy infantryman and mages (14 & 16 vs 19 & 20) it was rather easy.

vs Knalgans: Not that hard. Adepts cut through their defense, and with a ghost nearby you can kill any ulfserker at night. Just make sure you bodyguard the adepts with skeletons
Poison the guardsmen, and they should die quickly.

vs Northeners: Being melee based, a ghoul works wonders here. Adepts kill trolls, and skeletons kill anything else. Just make sure to retreat at day, or else the trolls become too hard to kill.

Vs Drakes: Adepts wreak havoc upon them. Bodyguard them with skele archers and maybe a skeleton for saurians. Drakes are rather easy to beat

Thoughts?

PD: I only played at isar's cross

User avatar
Turuk
Sithslayer
Posts: 5283
Joined: February 28th, 2007, 8:58 pm
Contact:

Re: Why people consider undead to be underpowered?

Post by Turuk » December 15th, 2009, 12:09 am

While new or unexperienced players might think that the undead are underpowered, though are no less effective than any other faction in the hands of a competent player. The factions have been balanced over a long period of time through a great deal of testing.
Dude wrote:PD: I only played at isar's cross
This also voids any argument against imbalance, as it has been noted previously that this map is not balanced.
Mainline Maintainer: AOI, DM, NR, TB and THoT.
UMC Maintainer: Forward They Cried, A Few Logs, A Few More Logs, Start of the War, and Battle Against Time

Dude
Posts: 3
Joined: December 13th, 2009, 3:15 pm

Post by Dude » December 15th, 2009, 12:38 am

I actually think they are balanced, Im just wondering why most people think they aren't

User avatar
Turuk
Sithslayer
Posts: 5283
Joined: February 28th, 2007, 8:58 pm
Contact:

Re: Why people consider undead to be underpowered?

Post by Turuk » December 15th, 2009, 12:44 am

Dude wrote:I actually think they are balanced, Im just wondering why most people think they aren't
No, I know you were not saying that they were not, I am merely stating that those "most people" who think they are not balanced do not understand how to gauge that properly.
Mainline Maintainer: AOI, DM, NR, TB and THoT.
UMC Maintainer: Forward They Cried, A Few Logs, A Few More Logs, Start of the War, and Battle Against Time

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

Re: Why people consider undead to be underpowered?

Post by Velensk » December 15th, 2009, 1:15 am

Undead are less mobile than any other faction thus they are generally easier to outmaneuver or outrun than any other faction. This and their vulnerabilities are the reason people think they are underpowered.

I disagree that undead are generally underpowered however I do understand the frustration of being constantly on the run unable to catch your enemy or retreat fast enough in a cycle that it is hard to break. I find that this happens especially often against drakes. On the other side when undead are not outmaneuvered in this fashion then they have more ability to unroot and overrun than any other faction in the game. Their resistances also make certain units that would be more efficient or ideal less effective.

On Isars cross the fact that undead are less mobile is much less important. This factor and the imbalance is why isars cross is generally not considered a representation of competitive multiplayer.
"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."

silent
Posts: 244
Joined: February 20th, 2009, 5:53 am

Re: Why people consider undead to be underpowered?

Post by silent » December 15th, 2009, 3:14 am

Velensk wrote:Undead are less mobile than any other faction thus they are generally easier to outmaneuver or outrun than any other faction.
The primary reason I hated the undead with a passion. If only the skeleton rider was a default era multiplayer unit...
(sadly I am aware due to the difficulty of balancing that this is extremely improbable at best of happening)

I also really hate the ghost costing 20 gold for a rather weak unit, but sadly that won't be changed either.

Greep
Posts: 17
Joined: April 20th, 2008, 7:00 am

Re: Why people consider undead to be underpowered?

Post by Greep » December 15th, 2009, 3:35 am

ghosts do have their uses, though, especially against knalgans who can't really kill it effectively at night (not to mention killing ulfs almost for free is a plus). I personally would like to see it's cost reduced to 19, but I haven't played long enough to know if it'd be worth it.

I find undead difficult because of how fragile the skeletons can actually be. Against a mage, orc archer, or drakes they fall very easily due to their -50% vs fire.

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

Re: Why people consider undead to be underpowered?

Post by Velensk » December 15th, 2009, 12:05 pm

Eh, first of all it's actually a 10% resistance to fire (for ghosts) and only -20% for fire for skelotons. The low hitpoints and no traits is the other problem.

Second of all, it is easiest for knalgans to kill ghosts at night. That is when the outlaws hit harder and the outlaws are amoung your best tools for killing ghosts. The ghosts extra drain isn't enough to counter out the damage done by a backstabbing theif and is irrelevant vs ranged attackers.

Ghosts can be quite useful because in certain situations they are very hard to kill and they are pretty fast. I don't think that decreasing their price by one would be too much of a problem in most match-ups though. I think the biggest problem with the ghost is that under certain circumstances it does die very easilly (and not just relative to it's cost) without having the ability to do much damage before that or in return. More than that, the units that tend to be good killers of ghosts tend to be good killers of other undead too so you will likely see them around no matter what.

EDITED for correctness.
"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: Why people consider undead to be underpowered?

Post by Caphriel » December 15th, 2009, 3:14 pm

I generally don't like the ghost as a unit, and the only thing I use it for is flanking ZoC so that my slower units can catch the enemy. Using a ghost to trap the enemy at nightfall is usually worth losing the ghost. They also can be useful as village holders in areas the enemy doesn't have any ghost-killers.

Greep
Posts: 17
Joined: April 20th, 2008, 7:00 am

Re: Why people consider undead to be underpowered?

Post by Greep » December 15th, 2009, 8:45 pm

Velensk wrote:Eh, first of all it's actually a 10% resistance to fire (for ghosts) and only -20% for fire for skelotons. The low hitpoints and no traits is the other problem.

Second of all, it is easiest for knalgans to kill ghosts at night. That is when the outlaws hit harder and the outlaws are amoung your best tools for killing ghosts. The ghosts extra drain isn't enough to counter out the damage done by a backstabbing theif and is irrelevant vs ranged attackers.

Ghosts can be quite useful because in certain situations they are very hard to kill and they are pretty fast. I don't think that decreasing their price by one would be too much of a problem in most match-ups though. I think the biggest problem with the ghost is that under certain circumstances it does die very easilly (and not just relative to it's cost) without having the ability to do much damage before that or in return. More than that, the units that tend to be good killers of ghosts tend to be good killers of other undead too so you will likely see them around no matter what.

EDITED for correctness.

Wow, no wonder I sucked at undead, I thought it was -50 fire, -20 arcane only it's the other way around. Actually undead look very good in that light.

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

Re: Why people consider undead to be underpowered?

Post by Radament » December 17th, 2009, 4:16 pm

Note that ghosts are faster than most of the ghost-busters out there, and they hold their ground pretty nicely against run-off-the-mill troops like spearmen or grunts, which will make up the bulk of enemy forces. The counters to Ghosts are usually expensive, like burners or mages, and often they are also needed to deal with ghouls or skellies too. All in all i wouldn't say that they die too easily, just watch where you put them.

Add to that the fact that they're one of the yummiest units to level - 20gp are definitely worth it.

Tonepoet
Posts: 184
Joined: November 18th, 2005, 2:54 pm
Contact:

Re: Why people consider undead to be underpowered?

Post by Tonepoet » December 17th, 2009, 5:32 pm

The only reason undead might have to seem overpowered versus a faction like, say, Loyalists is that Undead have somewhat uniformly uneven resistances. This means that it's easier for a more intelligent player to pick off their units with a smaller subset of troops. This used to be especially true in the past, before ghosts had drain, as Undead had no reasonable counter against the impact damage type back then. Before then, despite their otherwise high rolls, getting an undead roll was like getting a death sentence since the achilles heel was so simple and obvious. This was especially so for when I first started playing, as the music used gave away your faction regardless of fog unless you were the last player. To compound matters, one of the only units in the faction that didn't share these weaknesses due to racial differences, the darkness adept, was considered a poor choice for mirror damages. This meant that a player would generally want to wait before recruiting an adept against a random faction, to avoid a 1/6 chance of being disadvantaged. (As a mildly related side note, I'd like to note that playing northerners were also much easier to play back then, in part because of this. This is because one could recruit assassins on their first turn without much worry, just so long as they had a few trolls to supplement them. This made recruiting overall much less difficult of a choice between ranged units, especially since the Orcish Archer's fire bow wasn't up to snuff at the time.)

In the modern era though, this can be offset by ignoring the skeletons in favor of recruiting more adepts, ghouls and perhaps a proportionately smaller number of ghosts in their place. Newbies who don't know this might recruit too many skeletons, leaving themselves particularly susceptible to impact and fire damage. This ill-thought strategy in combination with the older forum posts on the subject, may very well lead some novices into thinking Undead are terribly underpowered. They aren't though and with the adept serving as a hard and reliably hitting catch-all, I'd actually imagine they're closer to overpowered, albeit only very slightly. That opinion's somewhat outside the scope of this discussion though and I'm inexperienced with the most recent versions of Wesnoth, so I'll just leave it at that.

Addendum: Even if you don't recruit skeletons initially, a decent player will generally want to be ready for the possibility you might change your recruit style. Otherwise, they risk a large number of their units becoming potentially walled by a small handful of fresh recruits, in the event that you do. This means by using the adepts and ghouls, you not only leave yourself less susceptible, but also that your opponent's forces won't be quite so optimally equipped for the actual battles in progress. It's just an interesting psychological factor to consider.
Htonsew Rof Elttab Eht is just too cool for school. I've got no words to describe it. Have any of you guys tried it? ;-)

csarmi
Posts: 286
Joined: August 13th, 2007, 1:57 pm

Re: Why people consider undead to be underpowered?

Post by csarmi » December 18th, 2009, 4:03 pm

They don't.

csarmi
Posts: 286
Joined: August 13th, 2007, 1:57 pm

Re: Why people consider undead to be underpowered?

Post by csarmi » December 18th, 2009, 4:07 pm

Radament wrote:Add to that the fact that they're one of the yummiest units to level - 20gp are definitely worth it.
I disagree, I consider ghosts not worth levelling: its levelups die just as fast. They are interesting units, but still die way too easily.

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

Re: Why people consider undead to be underpowered?

Post by Caphriel » December 18th, 2009, 4:44 pm

I tend to agree; the wraith gets a really great drain attack, but it still gets creamed by ranged fire damage like mages, burners and orc archers, or ranged arcane damage like the dark adept, all of which are common units against the undead. The shadow is probably a better choice because of skirmisher and backstab, but it still dies quick, painful death against the same units. Add that to the fact that you need to feed them kills and they take a pretty hefty chunk of experience to level, and it just doesn't seem worth it.

That's a general aspect of the undead, though. Lack of the intelligent trait on most units makes it hard to get level 2 units, and the units that are easier to level don't gain as much. The units I see the undead leveling up the most are corpses and bats, followed by DAs, which don't gain much damage, although they do get a lot of HP and a melee attack. Given that corpses have plague, it doesn't seem worth it to try to feed experience to other units in many cases.

Post Reply