Default+Dunefolk era balance

Discussion of all aspects of multiplayer development: unit balancing, map development, server development, and so forth.

Moderators: Forum Moderators, Developers

User avatar
Forum Administrator
Posts: 3373
Joined: March 22nd, 2009, 10:50 pm
Location: Earth (occasionally)

Re: Default+Dunefolk era balance

Post by Pentarctagon » April 15th, 2018, 9:59 pm

Another replay here. Also another loss for me, but I think I'm getting better, at least.
99 little bugs in the code, 99 little bugs
take one down, patch it around
-2,147,483,648 little bugs in the code

Posts: 92
Joined: March 16th, 2008, 6:39 am

Re: Default+Dunefolk era balance

Post by Computer_Player » May 10th, 2018, 3:04 pm

Ah so this is the official Dunefolk balance thread :D

I know I haven't been as active lately as I would have liked, but I would like to commend everyone for you guy's efforts in how far the Dunefolk have come.

I see there's been some stat changes for the Dunefolk (and made in time for the 1.14 release to boot! wow.) I'll try to get some replays here.

Posts: 92
Joined: March 16th, 2008, 6:39 am

Re: Default+Dunefolk era balance

Post by Computer_Player » May 11th, 2018, 7:12 am

As promised here are some replays. Unfortunately, not too good quality, except perhaps the Clearing Gushes which is decent. They did let me have some preliminary feel on the new stats (and refresher from the wesbreak)

The fearless improvement is a game changer and I feel more confident in the loyal match up (but still not enough by a long shot IMO, the cost is prohibitive and what if you don't get fearless on your first recruit?). Potential problem in the knalgan play (does it restrict them to only the guardsman strat?). Rebels would have to fear the night even more now, but not so much that its too lopsided IMO.

I like the cold damage modification which puts more flavor in the undead match up. However I don't feel it helps balance the drake match better compared to a fire vulnerability but we will see (since augurs are very killable, even more now); I need more data to state anything more definitely.

Piercer has been buffed, however the core issue hasn't been addressed; that is, of there being no niche for it in the army as there are better and cheaper units for its role in any match up (even more now that Arif / Soldier has been buffed). Perhaps have it use Glaciers of Ice as its lance for Cold damage? Does that make sense for Dunefolk? Or maybe give them skirmisher + 1 g cost (in that they plow through enemy lines with brute force instead of nimbly dodging through lines of defense)

Rider nerf is good (could have also removed the hill 60%, but that's neither here or there)

Finally Falcon line still needs buff.

Thats it for now until I have more and better data

P.S. Just as I wouldn't trust some AI* with the military, I don't trust Wesnoth AI** to provide reliable data / replays for balancin
* Unless its the Wargames AI
** Unless it gains sentience, travels back in time to before the robot apocalypse in order to battle humans; cleverly masquerading as a dunefolk loving, genuine homo sapiens yet sardonically using the Wesnoth AI name to point to its true nature.
2p — Clearing Gushes replay Dunefolk vs Rebels.gz
(21.35 KiB) Downloaded 10 times
2p — The Freelands replay Dunefollk vs Loyalists.gz
(11.67 KiB) Downloaded 13 times
2p — Weldyn Channel replay Dunefolk mirror.gz
(13.08 KiB) Downloaded 11 times

Posts: 92
Joined: March 16th, 2008, 6:39 am

Re: Default+Dunefolk era balance

Post by Computer_Player » May 11th, 2018, 9:47 am

Sorry for triple posting but here's a new replay:

Knalgan vs Dunefolk.

I think in this match up, Dunefolk have great advantage in the mid game with soldier spam and healer. It remains to be seen if its imba (need more data, EoZ says you could use guardsman to guard vils but then it would always be a +30 turn campfest). I'm leaning on a 20% impact vulnerability for Soldier if it is proven imbalanced.

Speaking of which, I thought of a lore for the reason why Dunefolk live in the dunes, don't weild magic, and are vulnerable to impact and resistant to pierce!

It is because their armor is made of an alloy from a metal unique to their homeland. Khalcium sand (hehe see what I did there?) can be mined underneath the dunes of their homes and the deposits are one of the primary reasons why the various Dunefolk tribes war with each other. Khalcium has the peculiar property of being able to efficiently distribute localized force inside itself (hence pierce resist). However should the force be simultaneously applied in a wide area (i.e. impact) the redistribution causes the build up of force in the center of the area sometimes creating splinters / shrapnel. But what makes armor / clothes / buildings laced with it so ubiquitous with the Dunefolk is its ability to dissipate the desert heat extremely well (but making wearers vulnerable to cold based attacks); it is also a key metal used in the creation of naptha by the secretive Naptha Guilds, and the science of the Alchemy guilds.

What makes Khalcium truly precious though and why it is the one of the major trade exports of the Sandy Wastes (?) is its effect on the magical, capable of disrupting all manner of ethereal energies. This anti-magic effect of the metal is why it is very rare that a mage emerges from the Dunefolk; not for lack of skill, but rather their culture and technology is so permeated with it that the talent is seldom even discovered, much less cultivated. Eventually this evolved in the Dunefolk an active disdain and avoidance of magic, something they don't have much use for in their lives anyway.

So why is this relevant in the balance thread you ask? Well:

This combination of point force redistribution and anti-magic is harnessed by the elite cavalry of the Dunefolk people. Forging powerful alloy lances from the metal, those called Dune Pierces ravage the enemy lines with their famed Khalcified lances.

20-1 Arcane damage. (we adjust this based on Rebel and Undead balance, perhaps increase cold vulnerability to 30%, but at its cost I doubt its needed.)

We can nerf Naptha melee by 1 or 2 points to help balance the Rebel match up.

BOOM! Niche made!

P.P.P.S. This also has the nice effect of justifying liminal -> its the optimum temprature for khalcium thread woven clothing (i.e. the clothing expends its energies dissipating heat at day making it less flexible perhaps, and late at night the wearer is negatively afffected by the cold desert; the culture then revolved around this similar to the Spanish siesta) . Speaking of which, I quite like liminal in the Dunefolk, precisely because they play very differently than the other factions in terms of operational level gamestyle. Its not just another pseudo-loyals with gimmicks, but is closer to Drake in how radical its gamestyle is compared to the other factions (Drakes were misunderstood too when they first came out). It's just a matter of getting used to and making the gamestyle balanced and fun.
2p — The Freelands replay Dunefolk vs Knalgan.gz
(26.45 KiB) Downloaded 11 times

Posts: 92
Joined: March 16th, 2008, 6:39 am

Re: Default+Dunefolk era balance

Post by Computer_Player » May 16th, 2018, 5:14 pm

Ok. Here's new replays, incomparable in quality to the ones before. I've been lucky in my games so far in that by this point I've managed to cover a faction / map per replay.

Dunefolk vs Northerners (the best one yet) ends predictably but key points of discussion
- This is one map where water control gives advantage (Krogen didn't capitalize on this too much, but a glimmer of it in the later part of replay)
- Krogen could have finished this faster by recruiting more trolls earlier. Trolls are just damned hard to kill (at day, with level 2 Marauder + 2 naffat, didn't manage to kill troll on hill with good RNG)
-Krogen consistently played better, but I had some good moments I think.

Balance suggestions: without touching mainline (14 g troll was suggested), an expansion:

Burner - 17 - 18 g (Melee : 5 - 2 Fire, Range 7 - 3 Fire)
Piercer - 19 - 20 g (Melee: 20 - 1 Arcane, 6 - 3 Impact)

This is to help damage per hex vs trolls ; balance Rebels so that you don't have to risk suicide everytime you Wose a Burner at day; give Piercer niche / playability ; stop UD match from being a Burner spam (now you have to get Piercer to help deal with archers more efficiently), stronger burner range = better guardsman killer (I feel we don't need to buff Dunefolk vs Knalgan tho) ?
2p — Fallenstar Lake replay Dunefolk vs Northerners.gz
(49.47 KiB) Downloaded 6 times
Clearing Gushes replay Dunefolk vs orcs.gz
(15.69 KiB) Downloaded 7 times

User avatar
Posts: 148
Joined: January 1st, 2013, 3:43 pm

Re: Default+Dunefolk era balance

Post by Krogen » May 16th, 2018, 10:57 pm

I support the suggestions above.
To anyone who thinks the arcane spear is too extreme and hard to explain in the lore: People talked about how they want the Dunefolk to become part of the main Default when it's finally balanced enough. If you want any chance for that to ever happen, well, then balance has to be the first concern all the time, above everything else. Otherwise that has zero chance.
These changes might fix the Northerner matchup, which is clearly imbalanced at moment. It should be tested to see.
But there is still that Loyalist matchup. We should play that too someday to see how bad it is.

Also idk if CP forgot it or just didn't think it's important, but here is a Drakes vs Dunefolk match we played a few days ago. I think it shows that there is no big problem with that matchup.
Dunefolk test game.gz
Drakes vs Dunefolk on Sablestone Delta
(39.67 KiB) Downloaded 6 times
"A lion doesn't concern himself with the opinions of the sheep." - Tywin Lannister

Post Reply