Remake Skeleton Warrior line

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Remake Skeleton Warrior line

Postby DwarvenWarrior » March 12th, 2017, 4:34 pm

This remake is inspired the unit description of both Deathblade and Revenant (I will put both description at the end of this post)

Death Blade attacks will change from 8-5 to 7-6 (total damage from 40 to 42 and from 50 to 54 at night, and stays 30 during the day)
to match descrition : "Though Frail, these monsters are much faster than the rest of their kind" and because they have 2 axes and are pretty quick

Revanent attacks change from 8-4 to 11-3 and Draug from 12-4 to 15-3 (total damage at night from 40 to 42 and from 60 to 57) to match the description saying "powerful Revanent" and "peace brought only by strength of arms" for Draug

can you give a thought and tell me what you think of EACH remake?

Here is the description:

Deathblade:
In life, the abominations known as ‘Deathblades’ were masters of combat, soldiers who were both lithe and deadly. Their new masters, recognizing this, outfit them to match the skills they once had. Though frail, these monsters are much faster than the rest of their kind, both on foot and with their blades.

Revenant:
Given false life to do battle once more, the creatures known as Revenants were clearly great warriors in their time, though the memory of that time is almost wholly lost to their undead selves. Even the sorcerers who raised them can only speculate on their past. Such questions aside, a Revenant is a powerful tool in combat: a fearless warrior that feels no pain and will fight to the bitter end.

Draug:
There is little left, in these towering ruins, of the men they once were. Warriors at heart, they are now lost in the dream of unlife; wandering through the battles of their memory and fighting desperately for release, for a peace bought only by strength of arms. And so they struggle; both unthinking, and unrelenting.
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Re: Remake Skeleton Warrior line

Postby beetlenaut » March 12th, 2017, 6:07 pm

Changing a unit affects the balance of the game. It is a big decision with lots of consequences, so there needs to be a really good reason for doing it. "The help description doesn't match very well," is not such a reason. If you think the description is not accurate, you should propose changing that instead of changing the units. That can be done much more easily without causing huge headaches.
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Re: Remake Skeleton Warrior line

Postby Gyra_Solune » March 12th, 2017, 7:23 pm

I don't think there's much of a need to change them? Especially there's no reason to buff the Deathblade's damage - that 8-5 already places it as, if I am not mistaken, literally the hardest-hitting level 2 unit in the game in terms of base damage (obviously the Lancer/Knight have higher damage using Charge). The paradigm for the two promotions is sort of unusual but it boils down to 'go for faster and higher damage, but barely any HP increase and no further promotion' or 'slower and not as powerful, but gets more resilient and can promote into an incredibly tanky level 3 unit', not that you typically see too many level 3s.
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Re: Remake Skeleton Warrior line

Postby DwarvenWarrior » March 12th, 2017, 10:27 pm

beetlenaut wrote:Changing a unit affects the balance of the game. It is a big decision with lots of consequences, so there needs to be a really good reason for doing it. "The help description doesn't match very well," is not such a reason. If you think the description is not accurate, you should propose changing that instead of changing the units. That can be done much more easily without causing huge headaches.


The description is fine, and matches the picture very well. This change is more about the concept of the unit and not the balance. It is more like why spear man have first strike: it is not because of balance but rather because spear is long weapon and can strike first. This is how the weapon works in reality. The same thing can be said about the elves and why elf fighters have 4 strikes because they are small and agile. the overall elf damage is still balanced with grunt.

It is same thing with this deathblade swift guy. it just fits him and his picture so well. it is just beautiful .

I am not sure why you guys would be very skeptical of the balance effect of this change. It only adds 2 damage overall and even at night it is only 4 more damage than usual. I thought about 6-6 but that would be much lower damage and I wanted similar damage output but more strikes. (for example if you compare grunts spearmen and elves, their damage is 18 20 and 21 respectively which is quite the same) I am pretty sure wesnoth team can change whatever to make it balanced. Maybe take 1 or 2 HP to make it feasible?

maybe you can break up these changes and look at each of them individually. Maybe you dont like the Revenant change? but what about deathblade? it is quite similar overall unit usability. or do you hate both suggestions?
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Re: Remake Skeleton Warrior line

Postby DwarvenWarrior » March 12th, 2017, 10:31 pm

Gyra_Solune wrote:I don't think there's much of a need to change them? Especially there's no reason to buff the Deathblade's damage - that 8-5 already places it as, if I am not mistaken, literally the hardest-hitting level 2 unit in the game in terms of base damage (obviously the Lancer/Knight have higher damage using Charge). The paradigm for the two promotions is sort of unusual but it boils down to 'go for faster and higher damage, but barely any HP increase and no further promotion' or 'slower and not as powerful, but gets more resilient and can promote into an incredibly tanky level 3 unit', not that you typically see too many level 3s.


I would see it as very necessary need. Revenant and deathblade having 8-4 and 8-5 are just too similar and feels redundant. You can even see spearman line: we could have made swordsman and pikeman exactly same strikes and damage, but slight tweaks and changes makes the game much more beautiful.


I get it that deathblade has 8 less HP and 1 more MP makes the units different, but more strikes and less damage also fits in here in the mixture.
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Re: Remake Skeleton Warrior line

Postby Gyra_Solune » March 13th, 2017, 7:40 am

A simple addition of 2 or 3 damage can actually have a lot of impact - for example, a Drake Fighter explicitly has just barely enough HP to survive two hits from a Dark Adept at night. As in, a base Fighter has 39 HP, a Dark Adept will do 38 (though you will have modifiers by traits - a Quick one will die unless it has Resilient, though a Strong/Intelligent Drake will be just +1 HP i believe). It's not enough to just send a single Adept to immediately one-shot the Fighter, it has to have support. Any slight buff to the Dark Adept's overall damage ends up being an enormous boon to the Undead in that matchup by making it easier to completely obliterate one of their basic units in a single round.

Adjusting stats to represent how units operate thematically is good, and usually they are designed specifically so that makes sense, but how that impacts from a balance perspective is first and foremost. If it was decided First Strike made the Spearman much too powerful, it would be removed - as it is, the ability is not just a neat appropriate thing but a core foundation of the unit's defensive ability in action, making it much riskier to attack it with a unit that is low on health.

Though if anything, I would say that the Deathblade is slightly TOO powerful and changing it to a 6-6 would make the promotion a much more meaningful choice in terms of promoting a Skeleton - as it is, 90% of the time people choose the Deathblade. Would slightly adjust its use to make it better as a pursuit unit to clean up fleeing problems as opposed to its current status as a blitzing glass cannon - though Undead lack a good fast heavy hitter otherwise so that might be on purpose. Shadow kind of can serve as one but it's limited by backstab and its removal in the role of a defensive unit and is a little more specialized.
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Re: Remake Skeleton Warrior line

Postby DwarvenWarrior » March 13th, 2017, 9:57 am

Gyra_Solune wrote:A simple addition of 2 or 3 damage can actually have a lot of impact - for example, a Drake Fighter explicitly has just barely enough HP to survive two hits from a Dark Adept at night. As in, a base Fighter has 39 HP, a Dark Adept will do 38 (though you will have modifiers by traits - a Quick one will die unless it has Resilient, though a Strong/Intelligent Drake will be just +1 HP i believe). It's not enough to just send a single Adept to immediately one-shot the Fighter, it has to have support. Any slight buff to the Dark Adept's overall damage ends up being an enormous boon to the Undead in that matchup by making it easier to completely obliterate one of their basic units in a single round.

Adjusting stats to represent how units operate thematically is good, and usually they are designed specifically so that makes sense, but how that impacts from a balance perspective is first and foremost. If it was decided First Strike made the Spearman much too powerful, it would be removed - as it is, the ability is not just a neat appropriate thing but a core foundation of the unit's defensive ability in action, making it much riskier to attack it with a unit that is low on health.

Though if anything, I would say that the Deathblade is slightly TOO powerful and changing it to a 6-6 would make the promotion a much more meaningful choice in terms of promoting a Skeleton - as it is, 90% of the time people choose the Deathblade. Would slightly adjust its use to make it better as a pursuit unit to clean up fleeing problems as opposed to its current status as a blitzing glass cannon - though Undead lack a good fast heavy hitter otherwise so that might be on purpose. Shadow kind of can serve as one but it's limited by backstab and its removal in the role of a defensive unit and is a little more specialized.


1-we can make wose 55 HP or reduce his HP in compensation for the buff.
2- How could it be decided if first strike is too powerful? spearman is slightly better than grunt with javelin and this ability, and cost 2 more gold. I think spearman is better than grunt all around (apart from tiny bit of HP), but since cost compensated this, it is fine. If you compare spearman with fighter, fighter have better ranged bow and better defense, whereas spearman have this first strike and +25% in the day, making the 2 units better than grunt and with similar value of 14 gold
3-Therefore probably balancing skele will be with adjusting XP needed to lvl up?
4-I didnt like 6-6 because it ends up with less damage than that of skeleton. Most units as you might already know, have a better all around upgrade when they lvl up. There are very few limited examples when units become slightly worse at one aspectin the upgrade. Namely: lich 1 less damage, Merman NetCaster from 9-2 to 8-3 and MerMan Steadfast guard from 10-3 to 15-2 (which is more damage overall sometimes) and 1 MP slower. Clasher to Arbiter (less strikes) and goblin upgrade. Elf shaman to sorceress lose heal. Even Javelineer have better melee strike than spearman. It can be understood if some benifits are given up in the upgrade, but the overall benefit must overwheigh it. for lich, you can see that 1 more strike is so OP, and Arbiter have much higher damage and better resistance. this is not the case with 6-6 skeleton
5- in fact being 6-6 will make deathblade more or less having as much damage output as Revenant anyway, and Deathblade will never be worth it. Yes he have better chance to kill 5 HP shaman at the woods, but thats about it. I would take 8 HP more for sure.


EDIT: wait wait, you gave me an idea now, maybe deathblade should have skirmisher? LOL
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Re: Remake Skeleton Warrior line

Postby Gyra_Solune » March 14th, 2017, 3:13 am

Damage per strike is less, yes, but that doesn't really matter aside from weird high-concept level calculations (and things like percent modifiers) and possibly subjective calls when it comes to whether you'd want a unit to deal its 18 damage in 3-6 (very useful if you are up against something with just 3 HP, you're almost certain to get the kill but you will almost never deal the full 18 damage) or all in one pile of 18-1 (runs the very real possibility of completely whiffing, but is also feasible to completely slough off 18 HP, making it a bad call to chase a very weak foe that you're hinging on tagging, but very dangerous in a straight-up slugfest and siege). The examples you listed were all alt promotions anyway and a change in damage structure is acceptable for side-promotions - there is always supposed to be a unit that is straight up a +everything modifier to the previous level, but alternate ones that change in fundamental utility can be whatever they want. The Revenant is supposed to be Skeleton But Better, Deathblade is supposed to be when you want a unit that's much better offensively than defensively instead.

Don't discount the +1 MP though, that's much more important than you'd think. The vast majority of land units are at 5 MP or below, it's the standard by which everything is held. If you have 6 MP you can pursue and block off a 5 MP unit - or you can run away without it being possible to be pursued yourself. 6 MP is the realm of core offensive units whose greatest asset is their speed relative to its front-line competitors - namely the Drake Fighter, the Jundi, and the Elvish Archer. At this speed or above, units start losing breaking power and start becoming either offensively weak scouts (bats, gliders, wolves, footpads), gimmicky effect units (Thief, Assassin, kinda Ghost), fragile light-tapping skirmishers (Saurian, Fencer), or extremely expensive blitz units (Gryphon, Khaiyal, Horseman). Only exception is the Cavalryman and that's an explicit feature of the Loyalists, that their primary scouting unit is also offensively dangerous (but to compensate it's sluggish for a scout, it can't fly or otherwise handle rough terrain, and it's pricey to boot). Very very few tough high-offense units get a +1 MP boost either, the Troll is the only level 2, and that's a move from 4 to 5, otherwise we're talking about Silver Mages, Rangers, Shydes/Sylphs, and the Lich. Strategically, an extra point of movement is worth multitudes more than an extra point of damage, to the point where arguably, even if the Deathblade remained at the Skeleton's 7-3, it might still be a better choice over the Revenant, purely because that speed is such a game-changer for the unit.
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