Poison mechanic

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shevegen
Posts: 178
Joined: June 3rd, 2004, 4:35 pm

Poison mechanic

Post by shevegen » August 8th, 2018, 9:39 pm

Presently poison sort of works like this:

- Some units have the poison attack type.
- If they hit a target unit successfully, the unit gets poisoned (poisoned state, with that green icon on the top right of the unit description).

When a unit is poisoned, it constantly loses hp per turn, but it will not die.

This is all quite simple.

There are two parts I dislike about this, one minor, one major (in my opinion):

- The minor part is that it does not kill a unit. I understand this in regards to keeping the game simple, and poison not too powerful,
but I think after several turns of poison, the unit may have a chance to die. I don't suggest to make this too powerful; simply make
it something like "after 10 turns", there is a "5% chance to die", and add +5% chance to die per turn. That should give more than
enough turns for almost every scenario out there. So really, to me this is just mostly a conceptual thingy rather than a "game-breaking
change"..

- The other issue is more major to me. And that is that I can not get rid of the poison counter unless a heal-unit heals this unit
or when the unit is on a village.

I believe for the second part, there should be a way for a unit to get rid of the poison. I suggest standing still for 5 turns on
any square, should cure that poison.

I am aware that this contradicts the minor part that I mentioned, but either way I think the more important aspect to consider
is that the poison mechanic is not ... well, hugely realistic? Similar with infinite ammo, I'd like to see a tiny bit more realism into
the game. Of course there are numerous inconsistencies or oddities the more one looks (why is there an add-on campaign
where drakes fly into caves where there are dwarves that hunt dragons for sport...), but I am more concerned with a few
game mechanics that I don't think are "perfect".

On a side note, perhaps a few more healing features could be enabled. One may be a herbalist, who may regenerate
+2 hp if standing on a meadows/grass tile at the end of the turn. This is a bit like self-regeneration that trolls have,
but much weaker and limited to only certain tiles.

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Elvish_Hunter
Developer
Posts: 1371
Joined: September 4th, 2009, 2:39 pm
Location: Lintanir Forest...

Re: Poison mechanic

Post by Elvish_Hunter » August 9th, 2018, 9:13 am

Moved to the Ideas forum.
Current maintainer of these add-ons:
1.14: The Sojournings of Grog, A Rough Life, The White Troll (co-author)
1.12: Children of Dragons, Wesnoth Lua Pack
Active again until mid-October

Caladbolg
Posts: 137
Joined: January 1st, 2016, 4:40 pm
Location: Hopelessly trapped within the Submachine

Re: Poison mechanic

Post by Caladbolg » August 9th, 2018, 4:22 pm

If you are proposing this for mainline, I seriously doubt things will change. Balance is more important than realism and poison mechanic is a big part of balance in default. If it's for user-made content, this can already be done and there are a lot of eras with units that have terrain related self-healing, various poison/burning/freezing abilities etc.
shevegen wrote:
August 8th, 2018, 9:39 pm
- The minor part is that it does not kill a unit. I understand this in regards to keeping the game simple, and poison not too powerful,
but I think after several turns of poison, the unit may have a chance to die. I don't suggest to make this too powerful; simply make
it something like "after 10 turns", there is a "5% chance to die", and add +5% chance to die per turn. That should give more than
enough turns for almost every scenario out there. So really, to me this is just mostly a conceptual thingy rather than a "game-breaking
change"..
Currently, there are no delayed effects of this sort in mainline. If you want something like this, you need to add a timer next to a poisoned unit because you can't expect players to keep track of how long their unit can live if they have 3-4 units that have been poisoned at different times. Also, 5% chance looks really ugly. Currently, all percentages (defense values, resistance values, cth values for attack specials, etc.) are multiples of ten. Personally, I'd rather have a non-realistic poison mechanic than 5% values. You'd also need to account for XP. Who gets XP if a unit dies of poison? What if the unit was poisoned by multiple units? Does XP go to the first one who poisoned it or the last one? There's a lot of stuff that gets messy if you do this.
shevegen wrote:
August 8th, 2018, 9:39 pm
- The other issue is more major to me. And that is that I can not get rid of the poison counter unless a heal-unit heals this unit
or when the unit is on a village.
I believe for the second part, there should be a way for a unit to get rid of the poison. I suggest standing still for 5 turns on
any square, should cure that poison.
I mean... if you can afford keeping the poisoned unit still for 5 turns without healing it or having it attacked, then you could just as easily keep the still poisoned unit safe. Keep in mind that you don't have healing (otherwise you wouldn't keep the unit still for 5 turns, you'd just heal it) so after that unit is unpoisoned, it'd have at least 40 hp less than before (40 if it starts resting immediately after getting poisoned). Including the damage it received on the attack that poisoned it and any attacks in the meantime, it would likely be at around 1 hp. As you don't have healing, it won't get better. How is that significantly different than having a still poisoned unit at 1 hp? It seems to me that this might be useful in a very small minority of cases but complicates the mechanics with timed effects.

It could be useful if 1) your unit has high hp & 2) you pull it back and start resting immediately after it gets poisoned & 3) it doesn't get attacked in the meantime & 4) you can keep it safe for a few more turns to rest-heal some more. But if you can ensure all of those, than your army is strong enough to deal with opponent even without this unit. Or at least strong enough to capture a village and get your unit to it before poison wears out so this effect wouldn't even kick in.

Tl;dr: The first proposal brings a lot more issues that unnecessarily complicate the game and the second one is not as bad but I think the situations where it would kick in are so rare that it's really not worth it.

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