There's one thing we really hate of this game.

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zookeeper
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Post by zookeeper »

Any serious attempts at introducing more determinism would be for a new game, mod or something separate from mainline Wesnoth.

I think if someone comes up with alternative gameplay rules, it would probably be possible to implement those in WML with relatively few little modifications to the game engine itself (so you might only need to convince one decent coder to help). A mod to Wesnoth MP (could be done as an era, for example) implementing different gameplay rules isn't such a bad idea. Of course first you'd need to come up with what the new rules would be like.
Magister wrote:Full deterministic is usually good only if the game is perfectly balanced, perfectly mean perfectly, if not the system would create deterministics exploits who can bring to a deterministic victory, and that's bad.
Well, this also only applies in a game where the player has all the information, like a fogless Wesnoth match. Or when the gameplay is otherwise such that you can't win by set strategies alone. How much can you say, for example, about what the balance of the initial starting positions of Diplomacy is? Not much, IMO, since the game somehow seems to balance itself out: if someone would have a supply center or two more that he could claim in the beginning, everyone else would gang up on him and suddenly that supply center advantage would not work to your advantage and you'd end up having to promise not to claim them all. Of course if Diplomacy was a 2-player game (which probably most Wesnoth matches are?), then you would have fixed sets of optimal moves and the aforementioned wouldn't apply anymore. But anyway, I think there are ways to have a deterministic game which doesn't deteriorate to simple sets of optimal moves. One way to do this to Wesnoth would be diplomacy or random factors that aren't by themselves beneficial. One example off the top of my head would be to allow each player to draw a card each turn and also play one card per turn. Cards would be hidden from other players, and each would have some special effect, like making a unit invisible for one full turn or allowing one unit to move twice, or anything. Then, you'd usually need to adjust your playing style based on what cards you've gotten (since each card would boost one kind of move, manouver or tactic), and your opponent would do the same. Then, while the game would be deterministic, you'd constantly need to work on imperfect information and make guesses about whether your opponent is feinting, does he have a card to close that opening in his defense he seems to have left open, etc. Of course the rest of the game might need to be simplified a bit as to bring the chances of actually thinking of a good strategy taking almost all possibilities into consideration viable. This kind of "randomness" would be radically different from an RNG which just spits out the outcome of a battle and wouldn't be nearly as frustrating.

EDIT: I could have just said "card games". :roll:

I think deterministic "full information" (what's the proper term for that?) games are fun if they're simple enough, like go (or chess, but I haven't played that). Something like a fogless Wesnoth match would be too complex for me to have fun with if it was completely deterministic as well, since then preset strategies would work but they would become so complex that at least I wouldn't find figuring them out much fun anymore.
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Post by Doc Paterson »

To the "luck rules over all" crowd:

Will single matches ever tell you, beyond a shadow of a doubt, if you're better than your friend, or if your friend is better than you? No; that's just not the kind of game that Wesnoth is. Like most card games and many board games, relativity of skill becomes more and more pronounced over the course of a series of games that you play with a person or persons.

Try "lucking" your way into a tournament title. I mean hey, if you're right about the huge influence of luck, you ought to be able to do it sooner or later, right?

Signups for the next 1v1 tournament go up soon, so start sharpening your swords.

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Ways to lessen randomness

Post by Glowing Fish »

Everyone who says that randomness isn't the deciding factor in every game is right.

Of course, it does decide some games. I actually think that is the good thing...even after you play for a while, and you get good, you always have to be a little worried, because you could have a streak of bad luck and get at a disadvantage against someone who is not as good of a player.

But, if you want to lessen randomness, the easiest way to do it is to play on a bigger map, or with more starting gold, or both. Its much less likely that 10 units will all have unlucky encounters than 7 will. Of course, these longer games can get tedious...which is why most people prefer shorter games, even if they might be "unfair"
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Post by Yogibear »

I play this game for about 2 years now. Not as regularly as others, but still. Enough to consider myself a decent player and still be humble. I can't give you exact numbers but here are my experiences:

I have seen excessive luck quite a bit, but it rarely decided the game. I can remember about 4 or 5 games that i won or lost due to pure luck. For the rest, i can always point on an error me or my opponent (or both of us) made. I have almost never seen a "perfect game" that was finally decided by the random number generator.
On a side note: I remember a game where i fought a beginner, completely overrunning him. Then my final attack for his leader failed, he leveled and his one surviving unit killed my own leader. It was with 30% xp level. And it was excessive luck, indeed, maybe a chance of 1% or less. But in the end it was my fault. There was no need to expose my leader, i could have just stayed safely in my keep, have my troops do the job and wait for my luck to finally come.

If you look at tournaments, you see that always the same players are left in the end. They mostly start playing best of 3, than best of 5 or 7 in later rounds. If your assumption is right, then in the beginning at least one of the champions has a good chance to stumble. I have never seen it happen.

Sauron has made a mod where you can set the influence of chance from 0% to 100% (100% being the current state for wesnoth). All the rest is identical to wesnoth. Sounds like this is exactly what you are looking for.
I tried the mod (with 50%) and it was an interesting experience. You are less motivated to take bigger risks (obviously). Some say that this is good, others say it takes away the fun. For me it's just a little different, neither better nor worse.
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Post by Darn Penguin »

The luck seems to balance out well to me.

Just the other day I had a merman survive an attack by two ghosts by the skin of its teeth, because of a string of good luck. My teammate Airmax predicted the merman was going to die the next turn, but after checking the experience levels of my units, I made my own prediction that my elvish fighter and merman would level up on my turn.

My turn came, and when I used my fughter to weaken the already injured ghost, he did indeed level. However, my merman's luck chose that exact moment to run out, and he missed every attack he made. The ghosts finished him off the next turn, a couple turns later than they should have, but without any additional losses.
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Post by F8 Binds... »

My opinion on "randomness".

Think of WAR. Real-life, people dying, crying. screaming, yeah. Now compare the strategies of war to wesnoth. Who said in war everything went your way? Heck, there's some strategy in it- like wesnoth, but luck is mixed in as well. What about Napoleon's forces in russia? He came in with a deadly 600,000 men. He actually made it all the way to the capital, Moscow, and captured it. Yet only half made it there. Much less made it back. The weather decided to "turn against him", with winter storms ferocious and widespread, and when he DID make it back, nearly all of his remaining men died from sickness and starvation. A mere 4-7 thousand men made it back. What if he said "LUCK!" Is that appropriate, mature, and a civilized thing to do? That's why I absolutely laugh at those noobs that think I pwn them through luck, when really, it's a lack of depth perception and common sense. Sermon ended.
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Post by Darn Penguin »

That's true. No leader, no matter how skilled, can ever prevent his soldiers from occasionally screwing up. You're a military commander in this game, you give ORDERS, but DO NOT guide the hands and eyes and minds of the innately imperfect troops you lead.
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Post by Konrad II »

F8 Binds... wrote:My opinion on "randomness".

Think of WAR. Real-life, people dying, crying. screaming, yeah. Now compare the strategies of war to wesnoth. Who said in war everything went your way? Heck, there's some strategy in it- like wesnoth, but luck is mixed in as well. What about Napoleon's forces in russia? He came in with a deadly 600,000 men. He actually made it all the way to the capital, Moscow, and captured it. Yet only half made it there. Much less made it back. The weather decided to "turn against him", with winter storms ferocious and widespread, and when he DID make it back, nearly all of his remaining men died from sickness and starvation. A mere 4-7 thousand men made it back. What if he said "LUCK!" Is that appropriate, mature, and a civilized thing to do? That's why I absolutely laugh at those noobs that think I pwn them through luck, when really, it's a lack of depth perception and common sense. Sermon ended.
Hmph. Comparing to real-life really isn't, I mean, it has nothing to do with the subject. Who cares if there's luck in Wesnoth and also luck in Real life so it really sounds realistic to have luck in Wesnoth etc etc. What is cared about is how you can and will sometimes lose due to extreme unluck, and it's usually really frustrating - even if you win with extreme luck, anyway. "Luck" matches are what annoy me the most in this game.

But luck is one of those things that define Wesnoth, you won't change it and I personally wouldn't like it changed... It would make things kind of duller, imho.
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Post by Yogibear »

Thesis:
"Most games have luck in it, but are not decided by it. We think so however because we best remember those lucky moments."

Think of a game that you remember as being extremely lucky, no matter if for or against you. Post the replay here and we will see if luck really decided that game.

I start with one i pull out of my memory, remembering it as being "decided by luck". Note that i haven't analyzed it after playing, it's just what is left in my memory. Also note that XP is set pretty low, 30% or 40% i think. So this game is supposed to be luck dependent even more.


It starts pretty normal, leave alone the fact that player1 recruits 3 nagas, which is rather uncommon but not a stupid thing in its own for Blitz.

Turn 5 sees the first fight. I built up a defensive line, putting a resilient unit at the edge. I take 14 damage more than expected and my unit dies. Luck against me.
It's night and i am one unit and one village behind against Northerners. So i just steal the village and don't fight at all. Was it a mistake by player1 to give away the village? Hard to tell, killing a unit seems a fair tradeoff at least. Especially as villages are still even now.

Turn 6 he attacks my archer in "his" village. Again he deals more damage than expected (6-7) and it almost dies. I know my archer will die but i want him to do the most damage and hold out as long as possible. So i shoot the naga, being on bad defense. Still all trumps are in his hands. Damage dealt is still pretty much as it is supposed to be. I take and deal more damage than expected, so luck is pretty much even here.

Turn 7:
Player1 doesn't want to loose the initiative. He feels like he is on top and can decide the game right away, so he continues pushing. He kills my archer and almost the HI as well. Luck is almost perfectly balanced out during his turn.
It's dawn and so i start to march. I try to achieve the impossible in leveling the HI that is so badly wounded. So i attack the naga and even manage to kill it. However it's still 2 XP needed for the HI to level. I also attack the naga in "my" water village, having a bit of luck there to kill him. I deal 20 more damage than i should have, taking 2 less at the same time. Luck for me this time. Overall luck is pretty much balanced out now.

Turn 8:
Player1 continues attacking, he wants to kill the HI before it levels. His chances are 99.2% to kill the guy. He fails 4 times and the impossible happens: The HI levels. Again luck is on my side with about 20 damage altogether. The rest is history.

Clearly this game was decided by luck, wasn't it? 40 damage difference altogether in two side turns and a chance of 99.2% failing.
Well, i say no, for 2 reasons mainly.

1.
Influence of night and day is often underestimated. It was turning day and player1 still continued attacking. You can do that but only if your forces are so much stronger that it more than evens out the time-of-day advantage of the loyalists. He clearly had a stronger force and with normal luck he probably would have succeeded. But i doubt that my forces on the right wing were so much weaker at day like it looks at first glance.

2.
He never scouted on the left wing. Doing so he would have noticed that there was only 1 land unit holding position where he had 2 (or 3 if that archer in the middle had decided to go left). He could have easily overrolled me there.

I say this game was decided by mistakes. My mistake was not to secure my water village in time. His was to not take his chances on the left wing. And maybe to continue attacking at day though i am not sure about that.

Of course "if" i had take the water village in time and "if" he had taken all his chances: Then maybe the game would have been decided by the first strike of luck he had. But believe me: It's very few games that are being decided this way. At least from what i have seen.
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Post by zookeeper »

F8 Binds... wrote:Think of WAR. Real-life, people dying, crying. screaming, yeah. Now compare the strategies of war to wesnoth. Who said in war everything went your way?
Your argument doesn't make any sense, for obvious reasons.
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Post by irrevenant »

Chris NS wrote:But expecting Wesnoth to be made into a deterministic game is like expecting randomness to be introduced into Chess.
Just for the record:
http://www.sjgames.com/knightmare/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Knightmare_Chess
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Post by Yogibear »

Oops, forgot to attach the replay :oops: .

Here it is.
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Post by eyu100 »

But if you lost the HI, would you have won?
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Post by Taurus »

zookeeper wrote:
F8 Binds... wrote:Think of WAR. Real-life, people dying, crying. screaming, yeah. Now compare the strategies of war to wesnoth. Who said in war everything went your way?
Your argument doesn't make any sense, for obvious reasons.
With all respect zookeeper, I beg to differ. I agree with F8 Binds in that the luck factor has a very important role in real life war - and that Wesnoth reflects this. Sure, this is a game - but to me anyway, the more the battle aspect of it reflects real life, the more fun it is.

I also agree with Yogi Bear that luck has an important part, but the most important aspect is a person's skill level.
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Post by JW »

Taurus wrote:
zookeeper wrote: Your argument doesn't make any sense, for obvious reasons.
With all respect zookeeper, I beg to differ. I agree with F8 Binds in that the luck factor has a very important role in real life war - and that Wesnoth reflects this. Sure, this is a game - but to me anyway, the more the battle aspect of it reflects real life, the more fun it is.

I also agree with Yogi Bear that luck has an important part, but the most important aspect is a person's skill level.
I don't understand how luck plays a factor in real life war....perhaps you mean weather conditions???

I define luck as something that one cannot control: such as a dice roll, or say, the weather conditions. Shooting a gun requires skill. Knowing the enemies location requires scouting (satellites, etc). Misdirection by the enemy does not mean you were unlucky to not hit your real target - the outmanuevered you.

So where does luck come into play in real war??
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