Main Factions Balance

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

Moderators: Forum Moderators, Developers

Post Reply
User avatar
radarsu
Posts: 18
Joined: November 14th, 2018, 5:49 pm

Main Factions Balance

Post by radarsu » June 5th, 2019, 9:20 pm

General Overview
After many years of playing and a lot of conversations with extremely experienced players I've decided to open the thread to discuss main factions balance.

I know game purists will say "balance is perfect" or "there are too many factors to measure balance". That is wrong. We have win-lose statistics, we have opinions of very experienced players and many more indicators of imperfect balance (no game has perfect balance!).

Important Clues
1. Most of experienced players agree, that Undeads are weakest. Next to them are Rebels.
2. Statistics from 2015 say (viewtopic.php?t=42803):
Drakes - 54.91%
Loyals - 53.33%
Northeners - 49.31%
Knalgans - 48.43%
Rebels - 48.43%
Undead - 42.36%
3. Drakes are hugely impacted by RNG and get easiely countered by loyalists & undeads. Their mobility is not so useful on small maps which are most popular, therefore their high win ratio on ladder from 2015 can be ignored/should be adjusted by some negative value.
4. The purpose of changes is to make more game-styles playable. Currently it's common for players to recruit the same units over and over - a bit overpowered ones, while others are rarely seen and usually fall off quickly.

Suggested Balance Changes

Drakes
Saurian Augur: +1 gold cost, +3 hp | 22 hp unit can too easily die to a single enemy attacking and losing augur is quite often too devastating for drakes army to handle.

Loyalists
Archer: +1 hp | Archer being only 6-3 is a lot worse buy than a spearman. He cannot get trait to get boosted to 7-3 and has 3 hp less.
Heavy Infantryman: -1 gold | HI is one of weakest units - due to his low mobility and low defense, he falls easily to any drake, to mages/adepts/augurs or orc archers. He isn't doing his job well - as a "counter" to skeletons or grunts - cause removing him is way too easy.
Merman Fighter: -2 hp | Merman Fighters being a bit too tough give loyalists huge advantage on water grounds, what makes them unarguably one of the strongest factions.
Spearman: -1 hp | This unit is simply too reliable. Kills drakes easiely, great damage vs most of units, even those resistant to pierce. A little overpowered.

Knalgans
Dwarvish Fighter: -1 hp | Dwarf fighter is a unit that most of people choose as "the best". Gains +20hp on level up (which requires only 23 exp on intelligent dwarf) along with high resistances, huge hp pool and 60% defense on mountains.
Dwarvish Steelclad: -5 hp

Northeners
Orc Grunt: -1 hp | Too high HP pool for a 12g unit makes it too hard to kill. This unit is simply too profitable and a bit "too good" choice over other units.
Troll Whelp: -2 hp | Too high HP pool for a 13g unit that counters hell-a-lot of units. Recruiting troll whelps is too simple strategy to win vs any undead.

Rebels
Elvish Scout: +2 hp | Elf Scout is considered the worst scout, small HP pool, low damage, poor defenses, vulnerabilities, high cost. Additional hitpoints should balance it out.
Merman Hunter: +2 hp | This merman is much weaker than loyalist's Merman Fighter due to low hp pool that makes it die surprisingly quick and 5-3 damage (which cannot be boosted to 6-3 due to traits). Does good job only versus drakes.

Undeads | Generally the problem with undeads is small hp pool of it's units while having significant vulnerabilities to blunt and fire, units very hard to lvl up (and still not hard to kill at lvl 2) and expensive scouts that do not provide any attack power to this offensive faction.
Bat: -1 gold cost | Too fragile unit for 13g.
Corpse: 6-2 => 4-3 | Corpse is high RNG unit that should be important in undead army to provide some "meat". Quite often you buy them, leave enemy unit on 1hp and if you miss, not only you haven't killed enemy unit - but your corpse is dead and probably by losing ability to create army of corpses you very likely already lost the game as well.
Ghost: -1 gold cost | 20g for a unit that can easily fall even to 2 or 3 melee fighters that he is supposed to "counter" is too much, and the ghost is quite often crucial unit for undead success.
Ghoul: +1 hp, -3 exp to lvl up
Skeleton: +1 hp, -3 exp to lvl up
Skeleton Archer: +1 hp, -3 exp to lvl up

TL;DR - Discussion Thoughts Summary
1. We need a tool to analyze match-ups and units performance (maybe through replays). | I believe it's just a dream, we would need development team to work on that for months. Not gonna happen.
2. We should choose one map (or create new one and adjust it) and balance the game towards it. That map would be the template for other maps telling "how maps should be designed to provide perfect balance for all faction matchups".
3. There are too many factors impacting game to measure them all. We should rely on win-rate statistic as "ultimate" value to measure.
4. We could create & test "Ladder Era" that would be the fork of Default - and when it works better than Default era - replace Default era with Ladder.
Last edited by radarsu on June 19th, 2019, 2:39 pm, edited 14 times in total.

User avatar
EarthCake
Posts: 350
Joined: March 29th, 2019, 1:57 pm
Location: Dragonstone

Re: Main Factions Balance

Post by EarthCake » June 5th, 2019, 9:57 pm

I play this game for six years, and what I have found out is that I have the same chances to win if I play every faction. (Of course, I calculated my skill and skill of the opponent.)

The undead surely isn't the weakest faction, considered that they have ghosts, ghouls and skeletal units. If the player plays well with them, he can easily win against every opponent.

The loyalists have great units, whatever told, the archer is a lot bought. The archer is the only ranged units loyalists can buy except mage. Mages have too low HP but have great damage. I prefer buying the archer if I can. (Of course, I won't buy archer if the undead are the enemy).
Spearman: -1 hp | This unit is simply too reliable. Kills drakes easiely, great damage vs most of units, even resistant to pierce. A little overpowered.
The spearman is base unit of the loyalists. You have that unit everywhere, and it needs to be overpowered.
Rebels=Elvish Fighter
Knalgans=Dwarvish Fighter
Undead=Skeleton
Drakes=Drake Fighter
Northerners=Orcish Grunt and Troll Whelp
Rebels
Elvish Fighter: +1 hp | Elf Fighters are by far the weakest "fighter" unit.
Elvish Scout: +2 hp | Elf Scout is considered the worst scout due to majority of games being played on small maps, small HP pool, low damage, poor defenses, high cost. Additional hitpoints should balance it out.
Merman Hunter: +2 hp | This merman is much weaker than loyalist's Merman Fighter due to low hp pool that makes it die surprisingly quick and 5-3 damage (which cannot be boosted to 6-3 due to traits).
Elvish Fighter is far the strongest unit along with Archer that the rebels can have. It is neutral, which means that it gives the same damage all the time, it has very good defenses.
About scout, that is totally untrue. Couldn't you say that for Wolf Rider, Gryphon Rider, Cavalryman, Drake Glider, and Ghost? This unit is supposed to be weak. To compense that it has great MP, and good defense.
Undeads | Generally the problem with undeads is small hp pool of it's units while having significant vulnerabilities to blunt and fire and units very hard to lvl up (and still not hard to kill at lvl 2).
Bat: +1 hp, -1 gold cost
Corpse: 6-2 => 4-3 | Corpse is high RNG unit that should be important in undead army to provide some "meat". Quite often you buy them, leave enemy unit on 1hp and if you miss, not only you haven't killed enemy unit - but your corpse is dead and probably by losing ability to create army of corpses you very likely already lost the game as well.
Ghost: -1 gold cost | 20g for a unit that can easily fall even to 3 melee fighters is too much, and the ghost is quite often crucial unit for undead success.
Ghoul: +1 hp, -3 exp to lvl up
Skeleton: +2 hp, -3 exp to lvl up
Skeleton Archer: +2 hp, -3 exp to lvl up
Why do you want to lower the bat price? Isn't it worth 10 MP (or 9, I can't recall)? You usually recruit only one bat in whole game. You don't need to even recruit it.
Walking Corpse is totally useless if you haven't superior numbers on the battlefield, and when you have the superior numbers on the battlefield, you don't need WCs.
I would agree that the Ghost is important unit, but that is the reason it doesn't need to have lowered price. If it is crucially unit, then you should watch and shield it. It can have the same purpose as Bat, but has greater damage and drain. If you compare their price, 13 and 20 g, the Ghost should have higher price.
Ghould doesn't need any HP more. It already has great resistances.
About XP, they already have small XP, because there are small chances that you will encounter the drakes, and even then, just use ghouls; cure for the drakes.
...make him a great choice vs undeads, which is highly unfavorable matchup for drakes.
That is not true. Drakes actually have advantage against the undead. They have their high damage and high mobility and fire damage.
I know game purists will say "balance is perfect" or "there are too many factors to measure balance". That is wrong. We have win-lose statistics, we have opinions of very experienced players and many more indicators of imperfect balance (no game has perfect balance!).
Who we? You may find ten players who would agree on that, but on every ten players you have a hundred that would say the opposite.

User avatar
radarsu
Posts: 18
Joined: November 14th, 2018, 5:49 pm

Re: Main Factions Balance

Post by radarsu » June 5th, 2019, 10:43 pm

I play this game for six years, and what I have found out is that I have the same chances to win if I play every faction. (Of course, I calculated my skill and skill of the opponent.)
Statements like that indicate you have no totally 0 knowledge about maths, statistics or - about an obvious statement - that no game is perfectly balanced. There are some exceptions like mirror-real-time games. Saying you have always same chances to win with every faction is a statement that is always false. Also, I've provided statistics from 2015, so you know how they look like. Those are facts.
The undead surely isn't the weakest faction, considered that they have ghosts, ghouls and skeletal units. If the player plays well with them, he can easily win against every opponent.
Statistics and every good player I met so far says otherwise. If it's not undead - which faction is weakest than? Can you tell me? Do you have some statistics, research done at that matter? I've done my homework and I've done as much research as I could. I could open that thread 5 years ago, but I decided to look into everything once again because of people like you, who can't find answers to questions and criticize people, who do find them or at least try.
The loyalists have great units, whatever told, the archer is a lot bought. The archer is the only ranged units loyalists can buy except mage. Mages have too low HP but have great damage. I prefer buying the archer if I can. (Of course, I won't buy archer if the undead are the enemy).
The archer isn't a lot bought and when he is - it is usually due to noob playing. Please don't talk in thread if you're not an expert in game.
The spearman is base unit of the loyalists. You have that unit everywhere, and it needs to be overpowered.
Rebels=Elvish Fighter
Knalgans=Dwarvish Fighter
Undead=Skeleton
Drakes=Drake Fighter
Northerners=Orcish Grunt and Troll Whelp
Agreed. And I leave it overpowered, just balance it better. Why spearman has by average~40 hp and not 50 hp? Why not 60? 50 would be overpowered just like 40, so is there any difference? For you - it seems there is none.
Elvish Fighter is far the strongest unit along with Archer that the rebels can have. It is neutral, which means that it gives the same damage all the time, it has very good defenses.
Being neutral is not an advantage nor disadvantage, so bringing it out is pointless. It is indeed strongest unit considering cost and everything. But compare it to dwarvish fighters and consider, that majority of games are played on small maps (1h games) - which is one of reasons I suggest balancing things in certain direction.
About scout, that is totally untrue. Couldn't you say that for Wolf Rider, Gryphon Rider, Cavalryman, Drake Glider, and Ghost? This unit is supposed to be weak. To compense that it has great MP, and good defense.
35 hp would still be weak. Elvish Scout just has not enough to offer. Cavalry has some resistances, Rider can nuke any piercing-vulnerable unit on low ground or mages, Grypho is just strong (if he has resilient trait at least, so he is 40+ hp instead of 32), Wolf Rider - well, this one might be a bit underpowered too, but it levels quickly, Drake Glider is very decent as well as ghost. You act like I suggest giving units +10 hp, not +1 or +2. Do you know the meaning of "MINOR CHANGE" and do you know what's the purpose of minor change? It seems to me you didn't read values I proposed.
Why do you want to lower the bat price? Isn't it worth 10 MP (or 9, I can't recall)? You usually recruit only one bat in whole game. You don't need to even recruit it.
Most of players good players will tell you that ghost is generally 10x better choice than buying bat. I suggest decreasing it's cost to 12 to increase the dilemma when choosing bat/ghost as scout.
Walking Corpse is totally useless if you haven't superior numbers on the battlefield, and when you have the superior numbers on the battlefield, you don't need WCs.
If you say Walking Corpse is totally useless it seems to me like you play only campaigns or huge maps. This is multiplayer development section.
I would agree that the Ghost is important unit, but that is the reason it doesn't need to have lowered price. If it is crucially unit, then you should watch and shield it. It can have the same purpose as Bat, but has greater damage and drain. If you compare their price, 13 and 20 g, the Ghost should have higher price.
The thing is - this crucial important unit can fall of to anything. Even melee attackers like trolls or nagas quite often kill the ghost during night. He has only 50% defense everywhere (that's not huge). When you attack with him - he ends up with 12-14 hp and can die to anything. Enemy often doesn't even need to counter it with range damage or fire, anything will do. Also, the reason I suggest decreasing cost by 1 gold is that undead has 42% win rate, which is drastically below average. They need a buff.
Ghould doesn't need any HP more. It already has great resistances.
Ok, so why ghoul is 33hp and not 32hp? It already has great resistance, why it needs that 1 hp more? And why even 32, not 30 for example? If you do not know answers to such questions and you therefore could never decide on your own how to balance game - why you even respond in minor balance changes thread?
About XP, they already have small XP, because there are small chances that you will encounter the drakes, and even then, just use ghouls; cure for the drakes.
Ghouls as a counter to drakes? You're kidding me. Ghouls are vulnerable to drakes fire damage, they die pretty quick and poison is not deadly to dragons - they got huge hp pool & can retreat to heal quickly. And they have augurs. But undeads vs drakes is easy anyways - just recruit adepts which 1-shot any drake or saur later on.

Undeads are rareliest faction to lvl up any unit. For a reason. They always need 25 exp minimum, while every other faction has some units requiring just 15-20 exp or simply being tough enough to survive long. Skeletons fall extremely fast, acquiring 25 exp is a great challange. Usually it's easier to lvl up adept (which requires tons of exp) or ghost, not a skeleton.


To sum up - you could do one of few things:
1. Keep saying that balance is 100% perfect - which is unfortunately false according to statistics.
2. Agree to the statistics and tell me what would be your balance changes to fix the minor issue with balance, as you seem to not agree with my proposal.

Otherwise you bring nothing to the topic except critique.

User avatar
Pentarctagon
Forum Administrator
Posts: 3984
Joined: March 22nd, 2009, 10:50 pm
Location: Earth (occasionally)

Re: Main Factions Balance

Post by Pentarctagon » June 5th, 2019, 11:30 pm

Isar's Cross as a map is not considered to be balanced, so using it as a highlight of something to have the factions be balanced around is problematic.
99 little bugs in the code, 99 little bugs
take one down, patch it around
-2,147,483,648 little bugs in the code

User avatar
radarsu
Posts: 18
Joined: November 14th, 2018, 5:49 pm

Re: Main Factions Balance

Post by radarsu » June 5th, 2019, 11:42 pm

Isar's Cross as a map is not considered to be balanced, so using it as a highlight of something to have the factions be balanced around is problematic.
That's true, although statistics are not from Isar's Cross. Also - my main reason to balance the game A LITTLE more towards smaller maps is because they're a majority of maps being played at all.

But my minor changes can be considered general, I don't think they're good just for Isar's Cross. They're tiny, based on statistics from other maps and mostly just making "decision making" of recruits to pick a bit harder along with improving general faction matchups experience.

I could present exactly the same balance changes, maybe switching +2 hp to +1 hp at some units - if I designed it without the thing in mind, that majority of players don't play 4-hour long games on huge maps. They play 1-2h games on small to medium ones.

One more time - if you read my suggestions they're all tiny, changing the balance of game at a very reasonable, almost invisible scale.

User avatar
Hejnewar
Posts: 55
Joined: September 17th, 2016, 11:01 am

Re: Main Factions Balance

Post by Hejnewar » June 5th, 2019, 11:50 pm

I mosty just watch games and am focused on creating and (I hope) helping community but I will comment on things that i think are important and all of balance changes.
Important Clues
3. Most played map is Isar's Cross and other maps that can be played in less than 1 hour, which favors slow & tough & cheap units. Most of experienced players say Northeners are best there. We should balance game a bit more towards games that are being played most.

5. The purpose of changes is to make more game-styles playable. Currently it's common for players to recruit the same units over and over - a bit overpowered ones, while others are rarely seen and usually fall off quickly.
3. I will once again (today) say that nothing should be balanced around map. Maps should be created with balance in mind.

5. Almost every unit is played. Heavy Infantryman is not played much / at all. Pretty much every other unit is played.
Suggested Balance Changes

Drakes
Drake Glider: 6-2 => 7-2, +2 hp | Glider falls off too fast and boosting his damage by 1 could make him a great choice vs undeads, which is highly unfavorable matchup for drakes.
Saurian Augur: +1 gold cost, +3 hp | 22 hp unit can too easiely die to a single enemy attacking and losing augur is quite often too devastating for drakes army to handle.
Saurian Skirmisher: -1 gold cost, -1 hp | Probably the weakest drakes unit that could simply get some love and provide drakes with cheap - 14g unit.
Drake Glider is one of top 2 scouts in this game. Increase in damage doesnt help him much vs Ud since he will be killed if hit two times by adept anyway (19-2 at night, strongest Glider has only 38hp).

I dont really see point of this Augur change, it doesn't change much balance vise and you will protect him more now because of higher cost.

This change on the other hand might turn Skirmisher into a nightmare to fight in some matchups (looking at loyalist). It would certainly increase power level of this unit but i think right now this unit is well enough balanced.
Loyalists
Archer: +2 hp | Archer being only 6-3 is a lot worse buy than a spearman. He cannot get trait to get boosted to 7-3 and has 3 hp less. Probably worst and least bought loyalist unit.
Merman Fighter: -2 hp | Merman Fighters being a bit too tough give loyalists huge advantage on water grounds, what makes them unarguably one of the strongest factions.
Spearman: -1 hp | This unit is simply too reliable. Kills drakes easiely, great damage vs most of units, even those resistant to pierce. A little overpowered.
Archer :shock: HI was completely forgotten it seems.

Merman is in ok spot. (Its really hard to think about why something is good or bad when change is so simple, it just is sometimes.)

Spearman combining these two changes will create pretty much the same Loyalist but with Archers instead of Spearmans.
Knalgans
Dwarvish Fighter: -2 hp | Dwarf fighter is a unit that most of people choose as "the best". Gains +20hp on level up (which requires only 23 exp on intelligent dwarf) along with high resistances, huge hp pool and 60% defense on mountains.
Dwarvish Steelclad: -6 hp
Never ever nerf or buff lvl 1 unit because of its lvl up. You can however buff lvl 2+ units if lvl 1 from the same line is a bit too weak to compensate.
Rebels
Elvish Fighter: +1 hp | Elf Fighters are by far the weakest "fighter" unit.
Elvish Scout: +2 hp | Elf Scout is considered the worst scout due to majority of games being played on small maps, small HP pool, low damage, poor defenses, high cost. Additional hitpoints should balance it out.
Merman Hunter: +2 hp | This merman is much weaker than loyalist's Merman Fighter due to low hp pool that makes it die surprisingly quick and 5-3 damage (which cannot be boosted to 6-3 due to traits).
Elvish Fighter, I can agree that he is the weakest level 1 main unit, but other units compensate for that in this faction. Woses are one of the best late game units and Arches can provide very good support together with Shammys.

Elvish scout again together with Glider is in top2 scouts of this game, and again balanced>maps.

Merman Hunter is the weakest them that's true, but performance of this unit is good enough. In 1v1 on water units dont die if not damaged first and if you want superiority you just need to invest more into water (and investing too much will lose you the game so even 3 water units can be too much gold to spend just on water).
Undeads | Generally the problem with undeads is small hp pool of it's units while having significant vulnerabilities to blunt and fire and units very hard to lvl up (and still not hard to kill at lvl 2).
Bat: +1 hp, -1 gold cost
Corpse: 6-2 => 4-3 | Corpse is high RNG unit that should be important in undead army to provide some "meat". Quite often you buy them, leave enemy unit on 1hp and if you miss, not only you haven't killed enemy unit - but your corpse is dead and probably by losing ability to create army of corpses you very likely already lost the game as well.
Ghost: -1 gold cost | 20g for a unit that can easily fall even to 3 melee fighters is too much, and the ghost is quite often crucial unit for undead success.
Ghoul: +1 hp, -3 exp to lvl up
Skeleton: +2 hp, -3 exp to lvl up
Skeleton Archer: +2 hp, -3 exp to lvl up
Bat in past was nerfed for a reason.

Corpse, well RNG is part of this game, and 6-2 is better in my opinion there is just more targets with 6 hp than with 4.

Ghost should be approached very carefully because it can easily break vs Dwarf matchup.

Ghoul, you don't lvl up ghouls in MP.

Skeleton is a good unit buffing him will break balance quite a bit, same goes to Skeleton archer.

Undead have very good level ups that is why they are a bit more expensive.

Mawmoocn
Posts: 98
Joined: March 16th, 2019, 3:54 pm

Re: Main Factions Balance

Post by Mawmoocn » June 5th, 2019, 11:59 pm

radarsu wrote:
June 5th, 2019, 10:43 pm
Being neutral is not an advantage nor disadvantage
It’s an advantage. You can fight at any day of time, though it has consequence of increase damage of retaliation.

If it doesn’t have an advantage, why is fearless trait removed years ago from some units?

The reason? because it’s imbalanced having no damage reductions when you have units that are lawful or chaotic.

Neutral has a large advantage especially for well planned attacks.
radarsu wrote:
June 5th, 2019, 10:43 pm
He has only 50% defense everywhere (that's not huge).
That’s a huge advantage!

You have the initiative to set the place of battle.
Ghost’s are supreme defensive unit, if you exploit their inherent characteristics, you’ll have a huge advantage. Though normally, they suck against orcish archer and mages and well drakes that can use fire....

Ghosts should be hard to kill, if you’re using them effectively.
radarsu wrote:
June 5th, 2019, 10:43 pm
I suggest decreasing cost by 1 gold is that undead has 42% win rate, which is drastically below average. They need a buff.
The common thing for undead is? Movement speed.
Undead units that lack a trait, will lack movement speed.
This also is a problem with dwarfs without outlaws.

Movement combined with map terrain, affects everything.

5 move speed, lack 1 move speed while the terrain move cost is 2 for that terrain... Can you see the problem?
radarsu wrote:
June 5th, 2019, 10:43 pm
Ghouls are vulnerable to drakes fire damage
They’re vulnerable against long range attacks. All melee or range units, have this problem

Fire resistance of Ghouls is the same as Ghosts, which is +10%.
radarsu wrote:
June 5th, 2019, 10:43 pm
Undeads are rareliest faction to lvl up any unit. For a reason. They always need 25 exp minimum, while every other faction has some units requiring just 15-20 exp or simply being tough enough to survive long.
That’s because traits will matter and undead(skeleton/ghouls), lacks additional movement and exp boost. Which traits do affect.
radarsu wrote:
June 5th, 2019, 10:43 pm
Skeletons fall extremely fast
It’s because, skeletons aren’t great for retreating if the terrain isn’t fast for them to do so.

They’re vulnerable against drakes for this reason alone.
radarsu wrote:
June 5th, 2019, 10:43 pm
2. Agree to the statistics and tell me what would be your balance changes to fix the minor issue with balance, as you seem to not agree with my proposal.
I don’t.

Play style changes everything.

A quick metaphor, how can an elvish slyph, move as fast as a horseman?


Well basically your data is for experienced players.

What about beginners?

Sphericalsphingosine
Posts: 1
Joined: February 19th, 2019, 10:41 pm

Re: Main Factions Balance

Post by Sphericalsphingosine » June 6th, 2019, 12:32 am

Im not experienced in multiplayer but I have played this game for many years and I think factions are balanced, I dont think the changes you proposed are good

I think undeads are a strong faction if you have a good mix of skeletons and ghouls, ghouls can poison units and then they will slowly die and you can finish them with skeletons, and walking corpses are a good unit if you use them properly


Drakes:

-Glider
Its not very strong but its fast and you can trap units with it, and sometimes its good for taking villages. But You don't need to recruit gliders, you can recruit clashers and burners who are strong units

-Augur
its a healer, you should keep it behind clashers/burners, thats how its supposed to be used, and it can heal a lot of hitpoints if it doesn't die

-skirmisher
Its for trapping units (I think its better in that role than glider) and they have good defense on hills/forest, but you shouldnt recruit too many of them

Loyalists:

-Archer
it has less hp than spearman but ranged attack is valuable, it needs cover of spearmen or heavy infantry to deal damage

-Merman
If you move it to shallow water its hard to kill, I think it should be used as a tank

Knalgans:

-Dwarf fighter
im not sure about this one, well yes its strong but if you have a lot of mages they can kill it or you can outmaneuver it because its slow

Northeners:

-Orc grunt
I think grunt is worse than troll whelp, I think already troll is a unit people recruit way more often so if you weakened it further nobody would recruit it

Rebels:

-Elvish fighter
I dont think its the weakest fighter unit, you have to put it on forest or village and use its bow if other fighters attack you, its a bit like dwarf fighter

-Elvish scout
I don't recruit this unit often so im not sure about it, but its fast, it has 9 MP so I think you are supposed to take advantage of that

Undeads:

-Bat
It costs no upkeep so I think it shouldn't be changed, and it already has a good level up

-Corpse
Im not sure about this,, maybe it would be better this way

-Ghost
If you level it up its really strong, i think this is why it should cost 20 gold

User avatar
radarsu
Posts: 18
Joined: November 14th, 2018, 5:49 pm

Re: Main Factions Balance

Post by radarsu » June 6th, 2019, 12:37 am

@Hejnewar
3. I will once again (today) say that nothing should be balanced around map. Maps should be created with balance in mind.
Yes, but majority of players starting Wesnoth do not have 4-8 hours to play. That's why small to medium sized maps are more popular. If we cannot balance Wesnoth for every map (or if you prefer - if we cannot create maps that will be small & perfectly balanced), then we should focus on the most popular ones to provide the best Wesnoth experience to the most players.
5. Almost every unit is played. Heavy Infantryman is not played much / at all. Pretty much every other unit is played.
Yes, I was thinking about HI adjustment as well, but because he is good counter to some units - I didn't have a good plan how to fix him. You're right that every unit is played. More or less. But there is a reason why some units are played less, and some more - and there are many games where a player can win recruiting 1 type of a unit, which is boring. My minor adjustments should aim to improve overall gamestyles to make it more various, while not undermining importance of core units like frontlane ones.
Drake Glider is one of top 2 scouts in this game. Increase in damage doesnt help him much vs Ud since he will be killed if hit two times by adept anyway (19-2 at night, strongest Glider has only 38hp).
That one change was my doubt as well, we could discard it or switch damage-increase into higher hp pool? Or better cold resistance, just like clasher has piercing resistance 0%.
I dont really see point of this Augur change, it doesn't change much balance vise and you will protect him more now because of higher cost.
The point of augur change is to make him not-die to single grunt/dwarf attacking. You can place augur on good ground and still due to RNG it can die from anything with some bad luck. Even if you did good decisions, you can lose a very valuable unit to a single attacker and for drakes, which require attack-power, losing 1 or 2 units because of RNG is totally devastating.
This change on the other hand might turn Skirmisher into a nightmare to fight in some matchups (looking at loyalist). It would certainly increase power level of this unit but i think right now this unit is well enough balanced.
I don't think it would turn him into a nightmare. Loyalists have great power against drakes as well, and making skirmisher a little more useful would also increase viability of fencer and HI, which are rarely bought.
Merman is in ok spot. (Its really hard to think about why something is good or bad when change is so simple, it just is sometimes.)
I wanted to nerf a little "navy" because so many factions have no real good units to protect water villages. They have to put some units on 20% or 40% defense to guard it and on many maps having merman that can protect water village gives huge advantage that can simply win the game alone. Invading enemy water villages etc. Making him just a little more killable could balance things better.
Spearman combining these two changes will create pretty much the same Loyalist but with Archers instead of Spearmans.
Not true. That will make dilemma - if to recruit spearman or archer. If you think archer will become "replacement" for spearman - your very wrong. Spearman can have a trait "strong", which makes him 8-3 instead of 7-3. Archer is always 6-3. Add day-night system and 8-3 spearman is still superior in comparison to archer. I'm 100% sure spearman would remain main fighting unit.
Never ever nerf or buff lvl 1 unit because of its lvl up. You can however buff lvl 2+ units if lvl 1 from the same line is a bit too weak to compensate.
Dwarf steelclad is by far one of the best lvl 2 units. Huge hp, huge resistances, huge damage. Can beat any lvl 2 unit with 90% chance of success. Even lvl 2 ghost which should counter him. Definitely overpowered. I find -2 hp for dwarvish fighter and -6 hp for steelclad reasonable anyways. They are too tough and have 20%-30% resistances to all the most popular damage types. They counter almost everything.
Elvish Fighter, I can agree that he is the weakest level 1 main unit, but other units compensate for that in this faction. Woses are one of the best late game units and Arches can provide very good support together with Shammys.
The problem with fighter is - you place them to defend other units and with just a little good luck enemy goes through them easiely, exposing or instantly killing weaklings hiding behind them. You're neutral. Your frontlane units should be able to handle some enemies during day or night, as long as you're in forest. That works for dwarves. And as elf - even staying in forest ~30hp "fighter" falls too fast. Only good luck can save him.

But well... We are talking about +1 hp change.
Elvish scout again together with Glider is in top2 scouts of this game, and again balanced>maps.
I believe game currently is balanced towards big maps, campaigns especially - and those sized maps are least played on multiplayer for good reasons. There has to be a map that is "template" for a perfect map and game should be balanced towards it. Otherwise we cannot balance the game at all.
Merman Hunter is the weakest them that's true, but performance of this unit is good enough. In 1v1 on water units dont die if not damaged first and if you want superiority you just need to invest more into water (and investing too much will lose you the game so even 3 water units can be too much gold to spend just on water).
With additional 2 hp performance of this unit will be still "good enough". It won't be overpowered for sure. And I am convinced it still will be considered "weak water unit just to cap village". My changes also aim to make game less punishing by RNG. Merman Hunter is a good example of unit that can make you lose 15g for nothing.
Bat in past was nerfed for a reason.
If you say so, we could leave him as-is or remove 1 movement speed in exchange for 2hp points/-1 gold cost. That would adjust him well to suit small-to-medium-sized maps instead of campaign-sized.
Corpse, well RNG is part of this game, and 6-2 is better in my opinion there is just more targets with 6 hp than with 4.
Decreasing corpse RNG means reward for players that secure a kill for corpse would be bigger and RNG would punish them less. That would make undead faction more stable and less vulnerable to total-fuckup & quick lose due to corpse failing to do his job.
Ghost should be approached very carefully because it can easily break vs Dwarf matchup.
That's why I gave him +1 hp and not +2 hp.
Skeleton is a good unit buffing him will break balance quite a bit, same goes to Skeleton archer.
Skeleton is definitely not as good unit as grunt, spearman, dwarvish fighter or troll. And he costs 15g! Only dwarf fighter is more expensive. Actually, he falls super-easiely to 2 trolls (13g units) or 2 dwarvish fighters attacking him, while returning very low damage. The only units he is good against are light-armor units with blade or piercing damage - fencer, poacher, augurs. Those aren't most popular picks in multiplayer games, are they? I'm not even sure if he can beat grunt at night in most cases.
Undead have very good level ups that is why they are a bit more expensive.
They have worst level ups except outlaw units. Lvl 2 skeletons die very, very quickly and provide 16 exp to enemy. Compare it to lvl 2 dwarves. Those are solid lvl ups. Even orcs that are cheaper units, easier to lvl up and with better movement have better lvl ups.
60hp 11-3 grunt, 60hp 15-2 troll vs 39 8-5 or 47 8-4.
Remember - undeads have no traits.

@Mawmoocn
It’s an advantage. You can fight at any day of time, though it has consequence of increase damage of retaliation.
It's an advantage, but it has consequence... So it's advantage or not? I believe it more or less evens out.
Ghosts should be hard to kill, if you’re using them effectively.
Exactly. And currently they are not hard to kill. Trolls, grunts, dwarvish fighters - I see those units killing ghosts all time. 20g for a "tough, mobile unit that counters physical damage" that turns out to not be tough at all and to die to physical damage a lot. That's one of reasons undead's are 42% win rate.
The common thing for undead is? Movement speed.
Undead units that lack a trait, will lack movement speed.
This also is a problem with dwarfs without outlaws.

Movement combined with map terrain, affects everything.

5 move speed, lack 1 move speed while the terrain move cost is 2 for that terrain... Can you see the problem?
I agree. But changing movement speed of many units is not something I would consider "minor change". That's why I prefer to compensate for their low mobility and lack of traits with increased hp pool/faster lvl ups.
They’re vulnerable against long range attacks. All melee or range units, have this problem

Fire resistance of Ghouls is the same as Ghosts, which is +10%.
Yeah, but not all melee tank-units are 33 hp. Plus other tank-units usually have 60% def on forest/mountains which are common.
It’s because, skeletons aren’t great for retreating if the terrain isn’t fast for them to do so.

They’re vulnerable against drakes for this reason alone.
And to mages. And adepts. And dwarvish fighters/trolls with fast trait (or even without, cause there are a lot of mountains that slow skeles but not trolls or fighters). And footpads. And orcish archers too. Yeah, you found a source of a problem. Either we have to make them more mobile and make a huge change that may break balance a lot or compensate them with 2 hp and everything is fine. I prefer second option.
Well basically your data is for experienced players. What about beginners?
Generally, if game gets balanced towards experienced players - it's usually better balanced towards everyone. Especially if game is not reflex-based.

@Sphericalsphingosine
I know very well how certain units are designed to play, how they should be used etc. But that doesn't make them perfectly balanced. Look, mage is only ~24hp and 20g cost! And yet, I do not advise any changes to him.
-Augur
its a healer, you should keep it behind clashers/burners, thats how its supposed to be used, and it can heal a lot of hitpoints if it doesn't die
I'd argue about that. It's cold mage damage. His healing is usually secondary value to his attack, as drakes have huge hp pools (40+) and healing them up for 4 hp when every enemy deals like 10-3 dmg with 60-70% chance to drakes is like nothing. If you'd like to play drakes with augurs as "only healers hiding behind other units"... Well, good luck.
-Orc grunt
I think grunt is worse than troll whelp, I think already troll is a unit people recruit way more often so if you weakened it further nobody would recruit it
That's not true - grunt has 60%-50% defense in village and deals much bigger damage at night. And it's faster and cheaper. Not to mention - I know some very good players who just recruit grunt spam and keep winning. But according to advises of some experienced players who have reviewed my changes I added "-2 hp troll whelp" change as well, trolls are too tough and they can usually be spammed vs undead for a free win.

Mawmoocn
Posts: 98
Joined: March 16th, 2019, 3:54 pm

Re: Main Factions Balance

Post by Mawmoocn » June 6th, 2019, 1:47 am

radarsu wrote:
June 6th, 2019, 12:37 am
It's an advantage, but it has consequence... So it's advantage or not? I believe it more or less evens out.
Offensive advantage.
You have that innate potential to wreck havoc any time of the day.

The risk is something to think about, if you decide to pursue your enemy on bad day of time. It could be worth risking battles if you have a plan.
radarsu wrote:
June 6th, 2019, 12:37 am
And currently they are not hard to kill.
They’re hard to kill alone.
Especially on melee units.

Position your Ghost well....

Ghosts don’t have a good offence but that doesn’t mean their bad.
radarsu wrote:
June 6th, 2019, 12:37 am
But changing movement speed of many units is not something I would consider "minor change". That's why I prefer to compensate for their low mobility and lack of traits with increased hp pool/faster lvl ups.
Any change, is not "small", so make your case well!
radarsu wrote:
June 6th, 2019, 12:37 am
Yeah, but not all melee tank-units are 33 hp. Plus other tank-units usually have 60% def on forest/mountains which are common.
Hard to say, they aren’t tanks but a mobile "poison me to death" unit....

Undead have many damage options and meat shields to choose from.
radarsu wrote:
June 6th, 2019, 12:37 am
Either we have to make them more mobile and make a huge change that may break balance a lot or compensate them with 2 hp and everything is fine. I prefer second option.
Skeletons have submerge ability, which doesn’t help?, if they aren’t quick to take advantage of it.
Hit points probably won’t help, on certain occasions, if you can’t retreat successfully. Can’t say for certain...

You can’t use retreat on slow units, but I think there should be an veteran guide for undead, as they work differently from the rest.
radarsu wrote:
June 6th, 2019, 12:37 am
Generally, if game gets balanced towards experienced players - it's usually better balanced towards everyone. Especially if game is not reflex-based.
What’s your vision for balance?

I included beginners because there’s a learning curve, before you are called an experienced player.

Hypothetically, fast games are due to map size, move speed and bad terrain evasion, which can make a game fun or horrible, depending on where you look.

Fast games and balance are 2 conflicting ideas.

If some of your suggestions go through, should it also apply to single player?

User avatar
The_Gnat
Posts: 2071
Joined: October 10th, 2016, 3:06 am
Contact:

Re: Main Factions Balance

Post by The_Gnat » June 6th, 2019, 2:20 am

radarsu wrote:
June 5th, 2019, 9:20 pm
Drakes - 54.91%
Loyals - 53.33%
Northeners - 49.31%
Knalgans - 48.43%
Rebels - 48.43%
Undead - 42.36%
Hello, Firstly I would like to say I agree with your assessment. This ranking is very close to how I also find the teams to be balanced, and your comments are very true.
3. Most played map is Isar's Cross and other maps that can be played in less than 1 hour, which favors slow & tough & cheap units. Most of experienced players say Northeners are best there. We should balance game a bit more towards games that are being played most.
The solution to that would be terrain changes not faction rebalancing :)

5. The purpose of changes is to make more game-styles playable. Currently it's common for players to recruit the same units over and over - a bit overpowered ones, while others are rarely seen and usually fall off quickly.
While I agree variety is necessary it is important to consider that if a unit is good against another faction (as some units will inevitably be in order for factions to be unique) then that unit will be recruited more. The main solution to a unit being spammed is probably not making other units better (because that would throw off other balances). Instead it could be considered if there are ways to make the faction being attacked less vulnerable to the attacker.

Recently (over the last 6months) I have been involved in the rework of the khalifate/Dunefolk balance. You probably know how terribly balanced it was before. So I speak from a point of experience when I say that small changes can have large unexpected effects ;)
Glider falls off too fast and boosting his damage by 1 could make him a great choice vs undeads, which is highly unfavorable matchup for drakes.
Consider the fact that the drakes are one of the most mobile factions and that is why their scout is weaker than average. Also I don't know if I agree that the matchup is 'unfavourable for Drakes'. The cold weakness is easily compensated with the highly mobile saurians. The healer gives the drakes an ability to hold lines. The prevalent fire damage renders many UD units very weak. The mobility of the drakes allows for much faster deployment and village taking. etc.

I will respond further when I have time :)

Overall I definitely agree that work can be done to improve the balance of the factions. I might focus on one particular faction (the worst balanced) first. That way you can systematically solve the problems in a way that avoids side effects, is able to be play-tested, and can presented convincingly to allow the general audience and developers to implement your suggestions. Good luck! :D

User avatar
Hejnewar
Posts: 55
Joined: September 17th, 2016, 11:01 am

Re: Main Factions Balance

Post by Hejnewar » June 6th, 2019, 10:28 am

Yes, I was thinking about HI adjustment as well, but because he is good counter to some units - I didn't have a good plan how to fix him. You're right that every unit is played. More or less. But there is a reason why some units are played less, and some more - and there are many games where a player can win recruiting 1 type of a unit, which is boring. My minor adjustments should aim to improve overall gamestyles to make it more various, while not undermining importance of core units like frontlane ones.
HI would probably require rework to work nicely. Win by recruiting one type of units happens on isar not on regular 1v1 maps.
That one change was my doubt as well, we could discard it or switch damage-increase into higher hp pool? Or better cold resistance, just like clasher has piercing resistance 0%.
Changes to resistances need to have some lore reason behind them. I will generally be against buffing already strong units.
The point of augur change is to make him not-die to single grunt/dwarf attacking. You can place augur on good ground and still due to RNG it can die from anything with some bad luck. Even if you did good decisions, you can lose a very valuable unit to a single attacker and for drakes, which require attack-power, losing 1 or 2 units because of RNG is totally devastating.
^
Despite that augur is present in every matchup except vs Ud. Still better that losing ulf when you have 97% ctk. RNG is part of this game, you can usually find unit that can otk your unit, should we then care about that when balancing this? I dont think so.
I don't think it would turn him into a nightmare. Loyalists have great power against drakes as well, and making skirmisher a little more useful would also increase viability of fencer and HI, which are rarely bought.
Fencer is already used enough, (depends on playstyle mostly, i like to use him) Hi is waste of money in this matchup. You need to use cavs and spearmans, fencers are also ok. And if your opponent is aware that you are loyalist (trivia: there is more picked loyalist than any other faction) you suddenly need to deal with one more skirmisher one turn earlier.

I wanted to nerf a little "navy" because so many factions have no real good units to protect water villages. They have to put some units on 20% or 40% defense to guard it and on many maps having merman that can protect water village gives huge advantage that can simply win the game alone. Invading enemy water villages etc. Making him just a little more killable could balance things better.
Again this is mostly isar note i think. If faction doesnt have water unit then it has flying unit and they are much more versatile than water units.
Not true. That will make dilemma - if to recruit spearman or archer. If you think archer will become "replacement" for spearman - your very wrong. Spearman can have a trait "strong", which makes him 8-3 instead of 7-3. Archer is always 6-3. Add day-night system and 8-3 spearman is still superior in comparison to archer. I'm 100% sure spearman would remain main fighting unit.
I remembre 2 examples of simmilar changes one of them was in PYRA it was different change but power level of both these units shifted in similar fashion. Archer immediately replaced spearman. I know that this is a different format but i also know that this tactic was done using only loyalist units in some variants so i think it counts. Second example is Dune Rover despite lack of only melee unit "alfa" damage, he still was and is the number one unit. "Alfa" damage is a bit less important that people think for factions that need to defend first.
Dwarf steelclad is by far one of the best lvl 2 units. Huge hp, huge resistances, huge damage. Can beat any lvl 2 unit with 90% chance of success. Even lvl 2 ghost which should counter him. Definitely overpowered. I find -2 hp for dwarvish fighter and -6 hp for steelclad reasonable anyways. They are too tough and have 20%-30% resistances to all the most popular damage types. They counter almost everything.
As long as they stay in favourable terrain. Also nerfing fighter will make this faction so much weaker in any matchup and it already is not the best faction.
The problem with fighter is - you place them to defend other units and with just a little good luck enemy goes through them easiely, exposing or instantly killing weaklings hiding behind them. You're neutral. Your frontlane units should be able to handle some enemies during day or night, as long as you're in forest. That works for dwarves. And as elf - even staying in forest ~30hp "fighter" falls too fast. Only good luck can save him.

But well... We are talking about +1 hp change.
There was ladder player who did not use fighters at all and was able to win games anyway. I feel like you underestimate how tanky elves really are, great example of that is their archer on forest, pretty much any archer / mage type of unit dies to ulf on their best terrain but elvish archer kills ulf usually if on forest. Even some experienced players make mistake of not checking ctk with ulf vs archer because they think their ulf will easily win. Woses are not the best early game recruit but if you get one anyway, surprise factor and their huge hp makes them again, pretty effective when trying to stop rushes. Fighters are good on forest but there are units that can utilise forests better. Weak, fast intelligent fighters are great lvl up candidates.

Top players are very sensitive, and can exploit even small changes for some period of time.

I believe game currently is balanced towards big maps, campaigns especially - and those sized maps are least played on multiplayer for good reasons. There has to be a map that is "template" for a perfect map and game should be balanced towards it. Otherwise we cannot balance the game at all.
Amm, I think that they are balanced around maps like Freelands and they are not big or something.
With additional 2 hp performance of this unit will be still "good enough". It won't be overpowered for sure. And I am convinced it still will be considered "weak water unit just to cap village". My changes also aim to make game less punishing by RNG. Merman Hunter is a good example of unit that can make you lose 15g for nothing.
There are mods that reduce rng. Hunter can interact with land units in much safer way when on land than regular Merman can.
If you say so, we could leave him as-is or remove 1 movement speed in exchange for 2hp points/-1 gold cost. That would adjust him well to suit small-to-medium-sized maps instead of campaign-sized.
I honestly don't know from where that "balance around big maps" came from. If that was the case then drakes would have no chance on regular maps probably according to your logic.
Decreasing corpse RNG means reward for players that secure a kill for corpse would be bigger and RNG would punish them less. That would make undead faction more stable and less vulnerable to total-fuckup & quick lose due to corpse failing to do his job.
It costs only 8g, if you are relying only on corpse to win then good luck winning, some players were able to come back even after losing ghost early.
Ghost should be approached very carefully because it can easily break vs Dwarf matchup.
That's why I gave him +1 hp and not +2 hp.
Its harder to establish effects of -1g than +1hp, +1hp would give ghost just additional hit in many situations.
Skeleton is definitely not as good unit as grunt, spearman, dwarvish fighter or troll. And he costs 15g! Only dwarf fighter is more expensive. Actually, he falls super-easiely to 2 trolls (13g units) or 2 dwarvish fighters attacking him, while returning very low damage. The only units he is good against are light-armor units with blade or piercing damage - fencer, poacher, augurs. Those aren't most popular picks in multiplayer games, are they? I'm not even sure if he can beat grunt at night in most cases.
Sperman. It's obvious that unit dies quickly to its counters. Fencer is very popular in Loyalist vs Ud, Augur often is recruited in your firs recruit, poacher is poacher. Skeleton is providing Ud with brute force and is meat shield for your adepts, not ultimate winning force, because of its resists positioning can be the key since both your counters have only 4 mp without traits and it can give you advantage while playing as Ud.
They have worst level ups except outlaw units. Lvl 2 skeletons die very, very quickly and provide 16 exp to enemy. Compare it to lvl 2 dwarves. Those are solid lvl ups. Even orcs that are cheaper units, easier to lvl up and with better movement have better lvl ups.
60hp 11-3 grunt, 60hp 15-2 troll vs 39 8-5 or 47 8-4.
Remember - undeads have no traits.
Since when Outlaw lvl ups are bad? Rogue is great lvl up and Outlaw gains quite a bit of stats for his xp cost. DB is also great he has so much damage when used correctly DB can melt enemy frontline or units on villages. 40 dmg is huge Revenant is not as good but still very decent. UD are balanced around not having traits.

User avatar
EarthCake
Posts: 350
Joined: March 29th, 2019, 1:57 pm
Location: Dragonstone

Re: Main Factions Balance

Post by EarthCake » June 6th, 2019, 1:03 pm

Agreed. And I leave it overpowered, just balance it better. Why spearman has by average~40 hp and not 50 hp? Why not 60? 50 would be overpowered just like 40, so is there any difference? For you - it seems there is none.
Ok, so why ghoul is 33hp and not 32hp? It already has great resistance, why it needs that 1 hp more? And why even 32, not 30 for example? If you do not know answers to such questions and you therefore could never decide on your own how to balance game - why you even respond in minor balance changes thread?
Ok, if you want that way, why Elvish Fighter (for which you say has a bad HP), doesn't have 50 HP? Why does it matter? 15 HP ,ore or less, it doesn't change almost anything, and it only balances the game, doesn't' it?
The archer isn't a lot bought and when he is - it is usually due to noob playing. Please don't talk in thread if you're not an expert in game.
That is exactly what would a noob say. Expert players recruit every unit and learn to play with them. That is exactly what defines an expert.
If you say Walking Corpse is totally useless it seems to me like you play only campaigns or huge maps. This is multiplayer development section.
If you are such an expert, why don't you win a game with only WCs? Why do you recruit other units if you say that WCs are that good units?
Most of players good players will tell you that ghost is generally 10x better choice than buying bat. I suggest decreasing it's cost to 12 to increase the dilemma when choosing bat/ghost as scout.
Isn't that exactly what I said?
Statistics and every good player I met so far says otherwise. If it's not undead - which faction is weakest than? Can you tell me? Do you have some statistics, research done at that matter? I've done my homework and I've done as much research as I could. I could open that thread 5 years ago, but I decided to look into everything once again because of people like you, who can't find answers to questions and criticize people, who do find them or at least try.
As I said, the factions are very similar, if not equal. But let me sort them by my favorite:
1.The Rebels
2.The Northerners
3.The Undead
4.The Knalgans
5.The Loyalists
6.The Drakes

No, I can't tell which one is the weakest, because of upper.
About your statistics, first of all they were done in 2015, as you said, and many things changed from then. But also, do you and your friends have the same skills about playing each faction? Are you always fully concentrated? Your researches can never be accurate.
People like me? Did I told you that you are a noob and that you don't know maths? I didn't. But now I say you this: you are right about something, some things need to be balanced, but your statistics about winning are totally false and everyone can say that. Your research can never be accurate, are you the best player of this game in the world so you can say so? Are your friends?

User avatar
radarsu
Posts: 18
Joined: November 14th, 2018, 5:49 pm

Re: Main Factions Balance

Post by radarsu » June 6th, 2019, 3:50 pm

@Change Log
The solution to that would be terrain changes not faction rebalancing :)
I'm dropping out point "3" from clues, removing glider changes and decreasing some HP changes accordingly to some opinions.

@Mawmoocn
Offensive advantage.
You have that innate potential to wreck havoc any time of the day.

The risk is something to think about, if you decide to pursue your enemy on bad day of time. It could be worth risking battles if you have a plan.
If being neutral is advantage - means you can convert it to "gold" and it will be a positive value. Out of curiosity - how much is it worth for you? Would you pay let's say 10 out of 100 starting gold if that could make all your units neutral instead of chaotic/lawful?
Undead have many damage options and meat shields to choose from.
Skeletons have submerge ability, which doesn’t help?, if they aren’t quick to take advantage of it.
33-34 hp 50% defense with -20% resistances is no meat shield. Skeleton being called "meat shiels" is something to laugh at. Just like their submerge ability which is absolutely useless.
What’s your vision for balance?

I included beginners because there’s a learning curve, before you are called an experienced player.

Hypothetically, fast games are due to map size, move speed and bad terrain evasion, which can make a game fun or horrible, depending on where you look.

Fast games and balance are 2 conflicting ideas.

If some of your suggestions go through, should it also apply to single player?
My vision of changes could apply to single player, but doesn't have to. Changes are small enough to not break balance of any campaign, so it would be ok to apply it, but singleplayer doesn't need to be fair - it's PC on other side.

Fast games and balance are not conflicting ideas.

@The_Gnat
Consider the fact that the drakes are one of the most mobile factions and that is why their scout is weaker than average. Also I don't know if I agree that the matchup is 'unfavourable for Drakes'. The cold weakness is easily compensated with the highly mobile saurians. The healer gives the drakes an ability to hold lines. The prevalent fire damage renders many UD units very weak. The mobility of the drakes allows for much faster deployment and village taking. etc.
Whenever you send your awesome "highly mobile saurians" and your drake army to kill - let's say, ghoul & adept - 4 undead adepts that are still alive will kill 2 of ur drakes and a saurian, as they all get damage like 19-2/15-2 from cold with 70% chance. Generally if you don't win in a single strike against undead army of adepts covered by some ghouls - therefore making them lack attack power to payback - you lose. Of course, extreme luck and adepts missing all shots for a round could make you win as well, but in no-luck scenario you stand no chance.

Also - I wouldn't change anything about undeads if the statistics were perfect 50% for everyone.
That way you can systematically solve the problems in a way that avoids side effects, is able to be play-tested, and can presented convincingly to allow the general audience and developers to implement your suggestions. Good luck! :D
I'm completely aware of that. I've been creating and balancing games myself. Although things that I propose - generally like +1 hp to unit generally considered weak won't break balance.

@Hejnewar
HI would probably require rework to work nicely. Win by recruiting one type of units happens on isar not on regular 1v1 maps.
I don't think HI so bad, but changing his HP by minor values wouldn't fix him, I don't want to change mobility of units, so the only option I could suggest is decreasing his cost to 18g (maybe along with -1-3 hp). Might be worth giving a try. What do you think? What minor change can make him a little better recruit at least to some degree?
Despite that augur is present in every matchup except vs Ud. Still better that losing ulf when you have 97% ctk. RNG is part of this game, you can usually find unit that can otk your unit, should we then care about that when balancing this? I dont think so.
We should care about unit being killed by other unit in single shot. Why? Because most played maps have 75-100 starting gold. Losing one unit due to RNG is severe loss, losing 2 or 3 is quite often game over. Making games slightly less often decided by fate and more by skill is a good thing, don't you think?
Fencer is already used enough, (depends on playstyle mostly, i like to use him) Hi is waste of money in this matchup. You need to use cavs and spearmans, fencers are also ok. And if your opponent is aware that you are loyalist (trivia: there is more picked loyalist than any other faction) you suddenly need to deal with one more skirmisher one turn earlier.
Do you worry about drakes vs loyalists matchup? You know it's one that drakes hate most and loyalists love most along with undeads matchup? I don't think we should worry about poor loyalists meeting saurian 1 day earlier. It seems to me like a perfectly good thing for balance.
Again this is mostly isar note i think. If faction doesnt have water unit then it has flying unit and they are much more versatile than water units.
I would need to count how many maps have water village that is important and/or hard to defend, but I'd prefer to be able to safely keep my water village instead of having "flying versatile unit" and losing my village for free or sacrificing my "flying versatile unit" to keep it one day longer. I don't think it's just "isar thing". I encounter same problem even on maps that are played "players versus AI".
I remembre 2 examples of simmilar changes one of them was in PYRA it was different change but power level of both these units shifted in similar fashion. Archer immediately replaced spearman. I know that this is a different format but i also know that this tactic was done using only loyalist units in some variants so i think it counts. Second example is Dune Rover despite lack of only melee unit "alfa" damage, he still was and is the number one unit. "Alfa" damage is a bit less important that people think for factions that need to defend first.
Show me what these changes about archer/spearman were and I'll tell you why they were stupid. If they changed something else than hp points, then they certainly could be stupid, because any change bigger than 2 hp could do that. 2 hp change I proposed is considered by me one that would make dilemma of recruiting spearman-archer be at maximum - a little in favor of spearman - as it should be.
There was ladder player who did not use fighters at all and was able to win games anyway. I feel like you underestimate how tanky elves really are, great example of that is their archer on forest, pretty much any archer / mage type of unit dies to ulf on their best terrain but elvish archer kills ulf usually if on forest. Even some experienced players make mistake of not checking ctk with ulf vs archer because they think their ulf will easily win. Woses are not the best early game recruit but if you get one anyway, surprise factor and their huge hp makes them again, pretty effective when trying to stop rushes. Fighters are good on forest but there are units that can utilise forests better. Weak, fast intelligent fighters are great lvl up candidates.
You're very right! You don't need fighters to be tough to win as elves. You need them to be lucky. Just like archers, which can happily replace them. Elves are dodge-based, not hp-based, but the thing with dodging is it is based on RNG and forests. Rebels are second weakest faction. If I'm making attempt to make them "50% win rate" balanced - my best shot is giving fighter +1 hp - so that enemies won't pass through elvish defense line & kill shamans hiding behind too quick - and I see that taking place quite often.
Top players are very sensitive, and can exploit even small changes for some period of time.
Yeah, so what? We should leave thing unbalanced forever, even when statistics or experienced players see some problem? Because giving any unit additional +1 hp might become an exploit? I don't think so.
Amm, I think that they are balanced around maps like Freelands and they are not big or something.
Exactly from maps like Freelands we're having statistics which say undead's are not too well balanced.
There are mods that reduce rng. Hunter can interact with land units in much safer way when on land than regular Merman can.
Hunter on land is much easier target, as usually most of units are melee and enemy can easily hit him without getting damaged. Plus hunter damage is much lower than merman. If both factions had an option to recruit merman-fighter or merman-hunter - no good player would ever choose a merman hunter, maybe except when fighting drakes. Actually - I'm quite sure people would still chose merman fighter over merman hunter even if merman hunter would cost the same as fighter - only 14g.
I honestly don't know from where that "balance around big maps" came from. If that was the case then drakes would have no chance on regular maps probably according to your logic.
According to statistics drakes win 54% matches, even more than loyals. And their main advantage is mobility. While undeads which generally have slow units are 42%. So, don't you think that's a little indicator that game is balanced towards mobility? Strongest faction = most mobile faction, weakest faction = least mobile faction. That's what statistics say.
It costs only 8g, if you are relying only on corpse to win then good luck winning, some players were able to come back even after losing ghost early.
The problem with corpse is - if it doesn't finish off his opponent - not only you dont kill 16g unit, but you also lose 8g. By finishing off enemy with a corpse from last available spot - you actually risk by average 24 gold (16 from not killing enemy unit, 8 from losing corpse) and 12 exp (8 from not killing opponent, 4 from losing corpse). And you don't get a corpsified enemy which is worth 8g (or even more, cause it's already on good position in middle of battlefield). Plus you lose ability to snowball with corpse army - and recruiting and bringing another corpse to battlefield is often impossible. Personally I like playing undeads very much and I prefer to lose ghost over missing every shot with corpse in crucial moments.
Its harder to establish effects of -1g than +1hp, +1hp would give ghost just additional hit in many situations.
Yes, but with ghost the case is - it shouldn't get stronger than it is. It should be just a little less painful for undeads if they lose it due to RNG. Remember, they are currently 42%. Providing them with 1 more gold per ghost could be nice thing and undead vs dwarf matchup is pretty tough for undeads already. Dwarves are high hp, a lot of blunt damage, mobility units that fight well at night.
Since when Outlaw lvl ups are bad? Rogue is great lvl up and Outlaw gains quite a bit of stats for his xp cost. DB is also great he has so much damage when used correctly DB can melt enemy frontline or units on villages. 40 dmg is huge Revenant is not as good but still very decent.
That's it! "For his XP cost". You just said it. It's not great in general - it's great "for his XP cost". Footpad or thief can easiely lvl up due to low xp cost, high mobility and high defense. But they don't gain +10% all resistances, +20 hp and a lot of other stuff on level up. The dwarvish fighter does.

Quick comparison of lvl ups
Skeleton Fighter (25 exp required on 70%): +5 hp, +1 movement speed, +19 damage | +13 hp, +11 damage
Dwarvish Fighter (23 exp required on 70%): +19 hp, +11 damage of 2 types, +10% resistances to physical damage

See the difference? Plus - dwarvish fighter can still have one additional trait and is generally much easier to level up due to toughness, lack of vulnerabilities, and possibly better mobility if it's fast. At level 2 killing Dwarvish Steelclad is extremely costly and painful for any opponent, while Skeleton lvl 2 can be taken down by single blunt or fire attacker.
UD are balanced around not having traits.
42% win ratio while most of factions are around 49% is not well balanced.

@EarthCake
That is exactly what would a noob say. Expert players recruit every unit and learn to play with them. That is exactly what defines an expert.
Yes, experts try things. But that doesn't mean, that in the end, when tournament comes, they pick random stuff "to learn". No, then they pick the best stuff they found during all the "research".

According to what you say - in all popular games tournaments there are noobs playing, because in the Pick & Ban phase almost all the Pro Players ban the same, overpowered champions and pick the same, overpowered champions to play with. Why is that? Can you explain me why they all play same champions during certain patch if it's not because of imbalance of game?
If you are such an expert, why don't you win a game with only WCs? Why do you recruit other units if you say that WCs are that good units?
In my suggested balance changes - I actually suggest kind of boosting them, so I never said they're "so good", "best". Currently they're very risky and that's why many people don't recruit them at all. Also, they are kind of unit that you cannot recruit more than 1-2. And only at the beginning.
Isn't that exactly what I said?
Yes, that's exactly what you said. But you say "Ghost is 10x better than bat". And you are still against fixing the issue and increasing the dilemma between scout-choosing. Are you not? Feels like you are "against" bat changes just because we argue and you love being in the opposition to the talker.
About your statistics, first of all they were done in 2015, as you said, and many things changed from then.
Uhmm... When it comes to main factions units statistics - almost nothing.
But also, do you and your friends have the same skills about playing each faction? Are you always fully concentrated? Your researches can never be accurate.
your statistics about winning are totally false and everyone can say that.
Statistics are from same skill level tournaments and not from "me and my friends".
Actually most of people with well known names that I've seen in Wesnoth 5 years ago and I still see them around everyday asked about opinion replied: "That's more or less what I felt like about the balance."
People like me? Did I told you that you are a noob and that you don't know maths? I didn't. But now I say you this: you are right about something, some things need to be balanced, but your statistics about winning are totally false and everyone can say that.
I'm sorry, but I am getting annoyed by few kinds of people. One of them is "you cannot say males are by average taller than females, because my female friend is 2m tall".

User avatar
Xalzar
Posts: 290
Joined: April 4th, 2009, 10:03 pm
Location: New Saurgrath

Re: Main Factions Balance

Post by Xalzar » June 6th, 2019, 6:50 pm

Oh well... This topic exemplifies quite accurately how not to discuss about balance. :hmm:
On one side we have a player who advocates many little changes to default factions (but it is known that even small corrections could cause serious unexpected unbalances, expecially when they are so many), based on alleged opinions of expert players (where are they? why don't they intervene in this topic to support his position?). The intentions are noble, the method is a bit amateurish.

On the other side we have other players ready to pounce on every slight proposal of change, insisting that "all is balanced", even resorting to velated insults. They dismiss every proposal, they're ready to judge and they close any space of discussion.

In general, many here speak in absolutes, when the reality is often in the middle.

I think we need some incontrovertible evidence of these unbalances, to address the sensations that regularly reemerge in the forums only to be shut down by the "guardians" of the balance.
I think we need an automated tool which checks deeply online matches: what factions win more, which units are more used, how do they fare, which maps are more used, how factions behave in them, at all level of skill.
I think we need a balance team which collects and analyzes the data and takes the opportune measures.
We cannot rely on dated, incomplete, or even unproven information like the ones reported in this topic by one side or the other.

About this matter, I'm a believer in a balance in flux: there should be balance changes (tested of course) in every version of the game, because even if the game hasn't changed (and we know that's not true, the Dunefolk are coming and are not a small addition), players have, and so their strategies.
At least, it is to be hoped for: if players are the same and play the same, the game risks being stagnant and that doesn't bode well.
Perfect balance is surely not achievable, balance is the road you travel towards it. I think us players have been too content of the state of the game balance, in fear of change.
If this stasis in due to the current balancing of the Dunefolk faction (so we are waiting to solidify them before touching the others), this situation could be justified; but seeing the low interest about that topic I doubt this is the case.

TL;DR: I propose a tool is to be made (if feasible), to collect data about balance. A balance committee should have the responsibility to eventually address found problems. Balance is not a finish line, it is a road which we have stopped to walk in a while.

Post Reply