Trait idea: Belligerent/Pugnacious (was 'Aggressive')

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irrevenant
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Trait idea: Belligerent/Pugnacious (was 'Aggressive')

Post by irrevenant »

I have what I think is a genuinely new trait idea:

Agressive: Aggressive units like to fight their battles on the enemy's turf and become demoralised if they're located defensively.

Units with this trait gain a bonus to damage if they are located closer to an enemy keep than to their own starting keep. They gain a malus to damage if the distance to their starting keep is less than half that to an enemy keep (ie. if they're less than 1/4 of the distance to an enemy keep).

Defensive: Defensive units are homebodies and become demoralised if stationed too far from home.

*EDIT* This was the opposite of Aggressive : It was a net disadvantage so I've removed it */EDIT*

Note: Malus = a penalty: the opposite to bonus.
Last edited by irrevenant on March 9th, 2006, 11:19 am, edited 4 times in total.

Mustelid
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Post by Mustelid »

I'm pretty sure that Wesnoth doesn't distinguish 'your' keep from enemy keeps; you can recall on any keep, and the only code distinction is where your leader starts.

Even if you worked around this (e.g. linked it to leader starting hex), Defensive would be a serious disadvantage in campaigns, since the great majority of campaign scenarios strongly favour a quick assault on the enemy keep(s). Traits are meant to be straightforwardly positive.

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Post by irrevenant »

Mustelid wrote:I'm pretty sure that Wesnoth doesn't distinguish 'your' keep from enemy keeps; you can recall on any keep, and the only code distinction is where your leader starts.
Yes, it would apply to your starting keep. The idea is that the unit is happiest 'fighting the foe on his own turf'. He's perfectly happy to do that from a captured castle in enemy territory.
Mustelid wrote:Even if you worked around this (e.g. linked it to leader starting hex), Defensive would be a serious disadvantage in campaigns, since the great majority of campaign scenarios strongly favour a quick assault on the enemy keep(s). Traits are meant to be straightforwardly positive.
I was of two minds about defensive. I left it in because it would be very useful in some circumstances (ie. when you're being besieged), but you're right; it's a net disadvantage and thus not an appropriate trait.

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Post by Sapient »

This idea does have some potential, but I think it does raise a UI issue. Maybe his path/footstep hightlight becomes different colors as it crosses into the demoralized/normal/bonus zone?
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Post by Soliton »

What about free for all games? (ie games with several sides)
What about maps with several keeps anyone is supposed to use? (like king of the hill for example)
Also aggressive gives an advantage if you're already winning, I don't think that's a good idea.
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Post by Garion »

It could be tweaked so that it would apply if a unit was closer to an enemy leader than he was to a friendly one. That'd remove the issue of keeps entirely.

Of course, it would also make an aggressive, intelligent mage into a terrible enemy, indeed.

This might actually make a good unit ability for Assassin-type units.

What if the trait were changed to apply to a unit that was already losing?

Aggressive units would get a bonus if they were outnumbered. 25% if two or more enemies are adjacent. One enemy per ally is not counted (eg if he's next to one friendly unit, it takes three enemies to earn him the aggressive bonus; if he's next to two friendlies, it'd take four enemies).

This would make them harder to lead and harder to heal than other units, but more powerful on the front line or as scouts.

It's unique, and not particularly unbalancing, but it's kind of complicated when compared with the other traits.

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Post by WTL »

You could give aggressive units a bonus when attacking but not when defending. That would have the same feel as a unit that likes taking ground but not standing his ground.

Aggressive: When attacking this unit gains +x damage.

You'd have to be really careful about it though, because +1 damage would just be a less useful version of Strong, where as with +2 damage, an Aggressive, Strong unit would be a slaughter machine when attacking.

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Post by irrevenant »

Soliton wrote:What about free for all games? (ie games with several sides) What about maps with several keeps anyone is supposed to use? (like king of the hill for example)
It works exactly the same in free-for-all games: If you're closer to any enemy keep than your starting keep, you get a bonus. Yes, this means that more of the map is considered 'enemy territory' in a free-for-all. Presumably all sides would have similar numbers of Aggressive troops so this balances out.
Soliton wrote:Also aggressive gives an advantage if you're already winning, I don't think that's a good idea.
You have a good point. I hadn't thought of that.

Certainly it should be noted that "Aggressive" actively penalises a side that's "bunkered down". A player should never feel disadvantaged when they recruit a unit with a certain trait (though they may have preferred something other than eg. a Mage with the Strong trait).

For this reason the malus on 'home turf' should be dropped. A player may not be in a position to bring a particular unit's advantage to bear (much as if all his 'quick' units were trapped behind the main line), but it's not a disadvantage.
Garion wrote:It could be tweaked so that it would apply if a unit was closer to an enemy leader than he was to a friendly one. That'd remove the issue of keeps entirely.
I considered this variant and rejected it. It would make it disadvantageous to include your leader in the assault force, because his presence would penalise all the Aggressive units.
Garion wrote:What if the trait were changed to apply to a unit that was already losing?
Aggressive units would get a bonus if they were outnumbered. 25% if two or more enemies are adjacent. One enemy per ally is not counted (eg if he's next to one friendly unit, it takes three enemies to earn him the aggressive bonus; if he's next to two friendlies, it'd take four enemies).

This would make them harder to lead and harder to heal than other units, but more powerful on the front line or as scouts.

It's unique, and not particularly unbalancing, but it's kind of complicated when compared with the other traits.
That's a very cool idea: Link the bonus to the number of opponents a unit is facing. I actually don't think it's that complicated; just phrased in a complicated way. If I understand you correctly, the trait is "If adjacent enemies outnumber the unit and adjacent allies, the unit gains a +25% bonus".

The name "aggressive" is less suitable for this case though. How about a rename to something like "Headstrong", "Audacious" or "Vehement". Something with a "When the going gets tough, the tough get going" sentiment. "Gung-ho" would be perfect if it wasn't so anachronistic. :(


P.S. this thread is a great example of why I don't think we should be too quick to dismiss ideas: even if the original idea isn't superb, people often have better ideas while thinking about why it isn't superb.

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Post by WTL »

"Gung-ho" would be perfect if it wasn't so anachronistic.
And that is why the internet god invented Thesaurus.com!

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Personally I'm liking Unyielding, Unbreakable, Tenacious, or Sturdy.

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Post by irrevenant »

WTL wrote:
Irrevenant wrote:"Gung-ho" would be perfect if it wasn't so anachronistic.
And that is why the internet god invented Thesaurus.com!
Yeah, that was my first stop. :)
WTL wrote:boxy, brawny, [...] vigorous, withstanding
Personally I'm liking Unyielding, Unbreakable, Tenacious, or Sturdy.
None of those really capture the "let me at 'em!" feel of 'Gung-ho', though. "Pugnacious" or "Belligerent" would be good.

But lets not get too caught up in the name and forget the idea: IMO, a blend of yours and Garion's would be good:

"If adjacent enemies outnumber this unit and his adjacent allies, he gains +2 to damage". It's more potent than strong, but applies less frequently, so it should be balanced. And it introduces an interesting tactical balance: To what extent should you allow your Belligerent/Pugnacious unit to become outnumbered?

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