The Uselessness of the Merman Spearman

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tr0ll
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Re: The Uselessness of the Merman Spearman

Post by tr0ll »

Underwater a thrown net may not instantly capture an enemy as it does in air but a spread net would slow them down. That is the effect of the attack in Wesnoth so no need to change that.

The tail vs club is more of a flavour change for plausibility. Have you ever tried to swing a club underwater? Some larger marine creatures seem to use headbutting and tailswatting for combat. I couldnt say why (Wesnoth) mainline fish dont do it - but there arent many of those to start with. To me it just seems a more natural advancement for larger merman hunters to have, in addition to a better spear attack.

Definitely not wanting to nerf them. I think they lose some ability by dropping their spear. To summarize, instead of more spears like the other advancement line they could have a spear and a net and a tail attack.

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nuorc
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Re: The Uselessness of the Merman Spearman

Post by nuorc »

tr0ll wrote:To summarize, instead of more spears like the other advancement line they could have a spear and a net and a tail attack.
I'd be fine with a tail attack, but giving it three attacks/damage types would probably be overpowered.
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Colouredbox
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Re: The Uselessness of the Merman Spearman

Post by Colouredbox »

How did this thread drift from the uselessness of the merman hunters spear line, to making a huge overhaul to the netcaster line?
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nuorc
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Re: The Uselessness of the Merman Spearman

Post by nuorc »

Colouredbox wrote:How did this thread drift from the uselessness of the merman hunters spear line, to making a huge overhaul to the netcaster line?
I guess the merman hunters spear line is so useless, people don't even want to talk about it.

While 6-4 ranged isn't bad, I'd probably always get a few slowers first.
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Lord-Knightmare
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Re: The Uselessness of the Merman Spearman

Post by Lord-Knightmare »

Well, whenever I play Merfolk. I always level a Hunter to a Netcaster, because:
(1). they are faster
(2). Stronger
(3). Give rise to better tactics.

I remember that I had about 6:0 ratio Netcaster: Spearman in Dead Water.

But, Merman Spearman are useful to Drakes. They know how bring those Drake Warriors down, but the slow of the Netcaster also works for slowing down the massive amounts of damage dealt by Drakes.

My Conclusion: The Merman Spearman is an underused unit, and a suggestion would be to give an additional feature perhaps changing their ranged attack from 6-4 ranged pierce to just 7-3 ranged pierce poison. That would increase their usage in MP.. :twisted:

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beetlenaut
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Re: The Uselessness of the Merman Spearman

Post by beetlenaut »

I don't know what the balance guys would say about this, but I think adding something to the spearmen is a great idea. I prefer marksman over poison. It fits the flavor of the race more.
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Lord-Knightmare
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Re: The Uselessness of the Merman Spearman

Post by Lord-Knightmare »

beetlenaut wrote:I don't know what the balance guys would say about this, but I think adding something to the spearmen is a great idea. I prefer marksman over poison. It fits the flavor of the race more.
Marksman does sound much more appropriate. :)

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WARBOZZ
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Re: The Uselessness of the Merman Spearman

Post by WARBOZZ »

Oi seem ta be da only wun dat loiks da stabbin fishes more den da bashin wuns. Dey do lots more dakka den da smashin wuns, an sumtoimes ya jus need ta kill summin! Oid loik dem ta be a bit flashier, do; da bashin fishies gotz slow, so mebbe marksman wud be a gud ting fer da stabba ta get.

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Re: The Uselessness of the Merman Spearman

Post by Lord-Knightmare »

WARBOZZ wrote:Oi seem ta be da only wun dat loiks da stabbin fishes more den da bashin wuns. Dey do lots more dakka den da smashin wuns, an sumtoimes ya jus need ta kill summin! Oid loik dem ta be a bit flashier, do; da bashin fishies gotz slow, so mebbe marksman wud be a gud ting fer da stabba ta get.
Of what I have managed to make out of this: another user supports that marksman should be given to the Merman Spearman. :D

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WARBOZZ
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Re: The Uselessness of the Merman Spearman

Post by WARBOZZ »

Lord-Knightmare wrote:
WARBOZZ wrote:Oi seem ta be da only wun dat loiks da stabbin fishes more den da bashin wuns. Dey do lots more dakka den da smashin wuns, an sumtoimes ya jus need ta kill summin! Oid loik dem ta be a bit flashier, do; da bashin fishies gotz slow, so mebbe marksman wud be a gud ting fer da stabba ta get.
Of what I have managed to make out of this: another user supports that marksman should be given to the Merman Spearman. :D
I ain't one of tha guyz making tha game, but I'd like ta see my favorite fish get a bit more love; just somethin ta make him a bit more of a choice for people ta consider, ya know?

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wolkenwand
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Re: The Uselessness of the Merman Spearman

Post by wolkenwand »

Yeah, i think the netcaster always more useful than merman spearman because of the slow ability. when fighting stronger unit it's slow ability can safe the netcaster life. well, how about if the netcaster ability to advance to level 3 is removed? making it became one of the "prestige unit" like goblin pillager or the revenant. OR keep the netcaster ability to advance but increase the spearman ranged attack to 7-3 or keep the attack but increase merman spearman HP. Another alternative is reduce the damage of netcaster slow attack to make it balance with slow effect, most of level 2 unit's attack that have slow effect have low maximum damage which is only 12, maybe reduce net attack became 6-2?

Yubtzock
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Re: The Uselessness of the Merman Spearman

Post by Yubtzock »

Adding more damage to spearmer would make it TOO good vs drakes.
Making it's attack something like 8-3 marksman would not make them much more powerfull vs drakes and up their status as more offensive units. Drakes don't have more than 40% def anyway, and the damage would be 9-3 during dawn/dusk, 11-3 vs drakes at day - which is less that it was, but now has additional offensive capabilities vs saurians and other regular units from other factions.

Retaining 6-4 and adding marksman would make them really hard for drakes, because rebels already have archers and shamans for dealing with drakish units and fighters to deal with saurians. Making them an universal unit in that scenario, because they would be as terrifying to drakes as they were before and now additionally a valid choice to attack saurian units with.

8-3 would also put it in more comparable position with netmer.


Alternate idea is to explore its melee capabilities:
Adding 10% or 20% pierce resistance to spearmer on the basis of reach privilege (similar to advanced spear-based units) would not hurt either.
additional firstrike as well.

This, however, brings two issues:
1.netmer is the more melee-capable option already. Additionally, slapping firststrike on a weak attack of a spearmer is not really helping a unit which is supposed to be the more "offensive in range" option
2.would require to review fightmer line (for pierce res/firstrike).


One thing is sure, spearmer as it is now is a worse choice for all but those few rare scenarios where you are facing drakes and horse units exclusively, and even then you will most probably be adding few netcasters to the mix for their slowing capabilities.
Conforming to RIPLIB is important, but doing so, does not exempt the unit line in question from being a valid choice for at least some considerable amount of scenarios. Otherwise we could just follow the example given earlier in this thread and change the base unit to never need the alternate line anyway (even worse than Reduction in Power).

Chrysophylax
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Re: The Uselessness of the Merman Spearman

Post by Chrysophylax »

Spearmen have a very useful purpose - they do much better in battles against units that have high defence in water. For example, a Netcaster has a 36% chance to completely miss a unit with 60% defence, such as a Naga, and so relying on one is risky. A Spearman can reliably get a hit or two in at range. It's rather like the choice between Captains and Heroes - you want a small number of the unit with a useful ability, followed by a bunch of the high-damage unit. (I've tested this.)

Firststrike isn't really appropriate, since a javelin is a lot shorter than the tridents and spears used by the Fighter line. Marksman is poor flavour (have you ever tried to throw a javelin at a moving target?) and I don't think it's necessary. A better fix, if testing proves that one is needed, might be to increase the Spearman's melee damage.

Mermen don't swing clubs under water, they swing them above water. It's a pretty effective weapon, especially when you're more mobile than your opponent, and it's designed to be used in melee. A javelin, by contrast, is pretty hard to fight with effectively in water - spears work best en masse or when you can use them like staves. A lone spearman jabbing at you because he can't lower the butt of his weapon below waist height is not very threatening, especially when his spear is actually a javelin. The only way to really be effective with one would be to use it as a lance, putting the force of both arms and your legs into a lunging thrust. A merman would do this a lot better than a human, but would not have much of an advantage if he stayed still and jabbed. An extra point or two of melee damage would make most sense in terms of flavour if a fix is needed, with a point off the club's damage coming second (but being worse for game reasons).

ako
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Re: The Uselessness of the Merman Spearman

Post by ako »

In competitive play, the scenarios where spear would be advantageous are almost unimaginable, due in large part to the melee advantage Netcasters get. Even if the opponent can surround your lvl 2, you will still want to do as much damage as possible to melee attackers before going down. If you can reform with your army, the slow effect is a battle-changing asset. I like the idea of reversing the melee damages. People will then choose Netcasters if the opponent has strong melee fighters and Spears if they want to be able to kill things quickly. Even with this change, I'd expect Nets to be chosen at least as often as spears.

Chrysophylax
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Re: The Uselessness of the Merman Spearman

Post by Chrysophylax »

I neglected to mention that the movement advantage of Netcasters over Spearmen makes little sense (except that it lets the Netcaster get first strike more often). Giving both 7 movement seems like the first change to make.

It's pretty difficult to make them balanced in both multiplayer and campaigns. In a campaign scenario mermen are generally either necessary or useless, while in a multiplayer scenario you occasionally want a few, but not to use them en masse. The kinds of scenario where Spearmen and Javlineers excel (those wherein most of the fighting takes place in water, making them either reliable damage-dealers or gods of death, depending upon the enemies) are rare in multiplayer.

If changes are made, I recommend increasing the Spearman's movement, then adding up to two damage to the melee attack, and then turning the ranged attacks into 5-5 and 8-5 (making them better against high-defence enemies). It would also make sense (see my last post for context) to change the melee attack to blade - the merman isn't sitting still and jabbing, he's making a few lunging strikes, and it's reasonable to suppose that he'd use the edge of a javelin for this. After all, a lance has to be held diagonally when jousting to prevent collisions, and a javelin is much shorter than a lance. A merman's greater mobility is only helpful if he uses it - if he sits still and trades blows, he'll lose, because he's not meant to fight in melee and has no armour. This would also be useful in gameplay terms, as it would give mermen more than one source of blade damage, as well as differentiating the Spearman from the impact-only Netcaster.

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