[UMC] Allow recalling dead L3 units

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Zarel
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Re: Such a shame

Post by Zarel »

Velensk wrote:Do you have any idea how many scenarios there are where that is just not plausible? Examples would be 'Home of the North Elves' from HttT. Then there's scenarios like the one in UtBS where the player spends the entire scenario outrunning a wall of death. There are plenty of these scenarios throughout the various campaigns.
"Home of the North Elves" is a scenario in which you try to outrun a wall of death. In those scenarios, it's entirely plausible that anyone caught in the crossfire would be rescued by nearby other allies.
Velensk wrote:Aside from that, if by defeated you mean incapacitated then considering how long wesnoth battles last it dose not seem plausible that anyone critically wounded would survive till they can be recovered after the battle.
Then explain why casualty rates were only 20%-30% as Dave cites earlier?
Velensk wrote:There are also plenty of situations where simply being incapacitated is not plausible (a lone unit sent off to hold off a few units for a short while, while other units retreat or attack can be recovered just as easily as if he had died while holding a front alongside other units.
I don't think it's necessary to explain every situation. There are many other worse suspensions of disbeliefs in a Wesnoth game - why can only six people surround an enemy at a time? Why do people take turns to attack each other? A strong roleplayer could simply refuse to resurrect those units he/she believes were truly killed.
Velensk wrote:On top of that, doing it this way means that effectively nobody dies. Everyone is merely 'defeated', as though the entire battle were some big tourney. Everyone that you ever hired to fight for you is waiting there to be put back together once you decide the price is worth it (even if it will never be). To me that would remove any sort of seriousness to the engagement.
Actually, it means that all of the losing side, and all L1's of the winning side (which will be a fairly large number, if you're playing well) dies, which doesn't seem much like a big tourney at all.
Velensk wrote:It is simpler and more intuitive that all destroyed units be dead and be done with it.
It may be, but is it fun? That should really be the first consideration. My proposal tries to keep the game as simple as possible while addressing what appears to be the most common source of frustration for new players.
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Yogibear
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Re: Such a shame

Post by Yogibear »

Realism is a good thing and we try to accomplish it whereever it makes sense. But gameplay always trumps realism.
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Caphriel
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Re: Such a shame

Post by Caphriel »

Zarel wrote:It may be, but is it fun? That should really be the first consideration. My proposal tries to keep the game as simple as possible while addressing what appears to be the most common source of frustration for new players.
Do we really want the devs to change one of the foundational game mechanics to make the game more appealing to beginners? A better solution would be a more thorough tutorial and an explanation of what kind of game Wesnoth is, in my opinion. Wesnoth is about resource management, and units are a resource to be managed. Additionally, it would actually make the game harder if the cost for revival was anything significant, as has been mentioned before.

Someone who thinks this is a good idea should make or mod a campaign to operate like this as proof of concept, though :P
Noy
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Re: Such a shame

Post by Noy »

Caphriel wrote:
Zarel wrote:It may be, but is it fun? That should really be the first consideration. My proposal tries to keep the game as simple as possible while addressing what appears to be the most common source of frustration for new players.
Do we really want the devs to change one of the foundational game mechanics to make the game more appealing to beginners? A better solution would be a more thorough tutorial and an explanation of what kind of game Wesnoth is, in my opinion. Wesnoth is about resource management, and units are a resource to be managed. Additionally, it would actually make the game harder if the cost for revival was anything significant, as has been mentioned before.

Someone who thinks this is a good idea should make or mod a campaign to operate like this as proof of concept, though :P
As I've said to you before Zarel, this is my preferred approach for all the reasons raised by Caphriel and the realism issue. Better tutorial and balancing for a new player on easy would be a far better approach to this issue.
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Zarel
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Re: Such a shame

Post by Zarel »

Caphriel wrote:Do we really want the devs to change one of the foundational game mechanics to make the game more appealing to beginners? A better solution would be a more thorough tutorial and an explanation of what kind of game Wesnoth is, in my opinion. Wesnoth is about resource management, and units are a resource to be managed. Additionally, it would actually make the game harder if the cost for revival was anything significant, as has been mentioned before.
This change will not change anything nearly as fundamental as you suggest. Think of it as being able to recruit an L2 unit for each L2 unit that died last round (which should really only be 1 every few scenarios). Anyone who tried to rely on this method to not have to keep units alive would quickly find themself out of gold (or was in no danger of losing in the first place).

The critical fact here is: "Testing has revealed that for the recruit price, lower level units are more powerful than higher level units." This means that the change does not change game balance.

Because this change does not change game balance, it cannot possibly change the fact that Wesnoth is a game about resource management (and it does not change that). Because this change does not change game balance, it changes nothing but how fun the game is. And because this change does nothing but give an additional option to the one single player, it can only increase how fun the game is (since people who don't like it can elect not to use it).
Caphriel wrote:Someone who thinks this is a good idea should make or mod a campaign to operate like this as proof of concept, though :P
Oh, man, that means I gotta learn WML. Can someone else do this for me? In return, I'll implement any at-least-somewhat-reasonable feature request for Warzone! :P
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Velensk
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Re: Such a shame

Post by Velensk »

It changes the fact that if you want to be able to use your level 3 units again you have to keep them alive. That seems like a pretty substancial change to me.
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Yoyobuae
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Re: Such a shame

Post by Yoyobuae »

Zarel wrote:*snip*
The critical fact here is: "Testing has revealed that for the recruit price, lower level units are more powerful than higher level units." This means that the change does not change game balance.

Because this change does not change game balance, it cannot possibly change the fact that Wesnoth is a game about resource management (and it does not change that). Because this change does not change game balance, it changes nothing but how fun the game is. And because this change does nothing but give an additional option to the one single player, it can only increase how fun the game is (since people who don't like it can elect not to use it).
*snip*
If it really doesn't change the balance and if lower level units are more powerful than higher level ones by recruit price, wouldn't players that recruit their slained veterans just be shooting themselves in the foot?
Caphriel
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Re: Such a shame

Post by Caphriel »

Zarel wrote:Anyone who tried to rely on this method to not have to keep units alive would quickly find themself out of gold (or was in no danger of losing in the first place).

The critical fact here is: "Testing has revealed that for the recruit price, lower level units are more powerful than higher level units."
This is part of why I think it's a bad idea. We already have a problem with players failing because they're approaching the game with too much emphasis on high-level units. Adding unit revival would just encourage that. Players will waste their gold reviving units, run out of gold, come to the forum and complain, and be told "stop losing units/accept your losses and recruit new ones." It won't address the problem of players approaching the game wrong at all; it'll just make it worse.

Edit: What Yoyobuae said. That'll teach me to go afk in the middle of writing a post :eng:
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Zarel
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Re: Such a shame

Post by Zarel »

Velensk wrote:It changes the fact that if you want to be able to use your level 3 units again you have to keep them alive. That seems like a pretty substancial change to me.
It changes it from "you have to keep them alive or train a new one" to "you have to keep them alive, train a new one, or pay lots of money to resurrect an old one". It's not that substantial of a change in the long run - what it mainly does is decrease frustration.
Yoyobuae wrote:If it really doesn't change the balance and if lower level units are more powerful than higher level ones by recruit price, wouldn't players that recruit their slained veterans just be shooting themselves in the foot?
They would be playing suboptimally, yes. And for some reason, some people find that fun. Some people also find it fun to play multiplayer games against people of their approximate skill level, even though they're shooting themselves in the foot by not playing AIs on low difficulty settings, who they can easily win against.

Playing games is about more than just winning, you know. I can't stress this enough: Playing games is about having fun.

So what if they're not playing precisely how you think they should? It seems to me a significant number of new players would rather play this way. Heck, it's a singleplayer change, so it's not like their fun is preventing you from having your fun!

Here's a quote from the game manual:
But remember, the aim is to have fun! You may have different tastes than the developers, so do what you enjoy most! If you enjoy loading the saved game every time you make a mistake, looking for the perfect game where you never lose a unit, by all means, go right ahead!
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Rya
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Re: Such a shame

Post by Rya »

They would be playing suboptimally, yes. And for some reason, some people find that fun. Some people also find it fun to play multiplayer games against people of their approximate skill level, even though they're shooting themselves in the foot by not playing AIs on low difficulty settings, who they can easily win against.
Although this is true, the people that keep complaining about loosing their high level units are generally bad players that can't win the campaigns, so making it even harder for their playing style will just cause many complains about how hard Wesnoth is.
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Yogibear
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Re: Such a shame

Post by Yogibear »

Rya wrote: Although this is true, the people that keep complaining about loosing their high level units are generally bad players that can't win the campaigns, so making it even harder for their playing style will just cause many complains about how hard Wesnoth is.
*Yogi points to the idea of dynamic difficulty again*
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Zarel
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Re: Such a shame

Post by Zarel »

Rya wrote:Although this is true, the people that keep complaining about loosing their high level units are generally bad players that can't win the campaigns, so making it even harder for their playing style will just cause many complains about how hard Wesnoth is.
Hi. I'm a fairly decent Wesnoth player. I know all about the best strategies. I can use them to win campaigns. And y'know what? I don't enjoy it. I'd rather fly around with a bunch of sylphs than spam shamans and fighters. Why does Wesnoth even have L3 units, if they're worse than L1 units? The answer, at least for me, is because they're more fun to use. And I suspect many other players feel the same way.

But the threat of losing them (and all the effort taken to level them up) permanently detracts from that fun.

I had a long discussion with Noy about the issue yesterday. It was inconclusive. But I raised a few points I want to raise here:

Playing multiplayer/early-campaigns with L1's is just like L3's, with one exception: You can't buy back L3's at cost if you lose them. Which, in turn, means that losing them is a bigger deal in late campaigns than in early ones and multiplayer. And that screws with strategy for what an acceptable sacrifice is. It turns a death from "some money" to "some money, and a lot of effort leveling up the L3, and lose access to the L3 for several scenarios while you make a new one". So playing with L3's adds frustration, and nothing else.

In a standard strategy game, any individual unit should be expendable. Leveling plus permadeath screws with that too much - there should really be either one or the other. Most other games deal with that one of three ways:
1. No leveling system, or level cap easy to reach - i.e. you can get many units to max level in a single scenario (most RTSes and TBSes - e.g. Advance Wars, StarCraft "no leveling", C&C Red Alert "easy level cap").
2. No permadeath (some RPGs - e.g. Pokemon).
3. Unit death is easily avoidable, and/or loading from earlier savepoints is encouraged (most RPGs - e.g. TES Morrowind).

Now, I believe it is a flaw of Wesnoth's design choices that Wesnoth does not implement one of these three solutions. That's why I'm proposing the second solution, since it's the one that would require the fewest changes to Wesnoth gameplay, and fortunately doesn't screw with game balance, and is easily avoidable for players who don't like it. The first solution is such a drastic change that few would agree to it. The third solution merits a bit of discussion, though:

"Unit death is easily avoidable" does not make for a good strategy game - there's simply little strategy in a game where none of your units die. So the current solution is to mix units that don't permadie (L1s) to be used as sacrificial fodder, with units whose deaths are easily avoidable (L3s, when protected by aforementioned L1s). This is the emergent strategy that comes from the current game design, and it really illustrates why: The fun of playing a game with a leveling system is to be able to use powerful high-level units. But in this emergent "best" strategy, the "powerful" high-level units do nothing but hide behind weak L1s, and in fact are completely superfluous - the L1s by themselves can and do win games.

This kind of emergent strategy attracts the type of player of the "I'm so hardcore, I don't need the high-level units offered by the game to win" type. Which is fine, but many game players are not like that, and I think we should try to attract some of those players as well. We can keep all our previous players by having them not use the new feature, so there's no problem there. So this is really about broadening Wesnoth's appeal.

And yes, I know I've been repeating the words "fun", "frustration", and "avoidable", since these are important points.
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Max
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Re: Such a shame

Post by Max »

i for example mostly enjoy leveling units. once a unit reaches it's maximum level i really don't care anymore - i usually don't even bother recalling it unless i really have to.

what i care about are loyal units - you'll get at least 2 or 3 in most mainline campaigns. loosing them is something where i'm really tempting to reload...
Noy
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Re: Allow recalling dead L3 units [split from Such a shame]

Post by Noy »

Okay this is my last post on this subject. Zarel I believe my argument was conclusive, you're just continuing to argue your case in the hope that it will be implemented. I think the chances of this being implemented in a mainline campaign is extremely low. This isn't about a failing in our system of gameplay as you suggest it is Zarel; it is a conscious design choice based what developers believe is a core aspect of game design.

Among developers involved in this area we believe that the majority of this issue revolves around new players who are not familiar with how to play the game properly. For higher level players this should not be a concern, as its a challenge for them at their appropriate difficulty levels. Instead of dealing with that issue, you're proposing a solution that would alter gameplay. This has two issues

Realism and established gameplay: Currently if you lose a unit its dead, much like in real combat. Your solution also breaks established convention with all the other campaigns, and create serious inconsistencies among core content. As others have noted, its not a stretch to say that people will ask for this to be applied to other campaigns. This is all to cater to a narrow band of players who do not understand or refuse to learn how to play. On that note....

Encourages Bad Player behavior: Players are not forced to learn how to play the game within a acceptable band of gameplay. Instead they can keep playing with bad habits and win. Maybe this ia an acceptable approach for other games, but we don't believe thats the case for our game.

If the issue is players lack of exposure to how the game is meant to be played, then that is an issue we should rectify. Thus my preferred solution would be to improve dialogue in the early level of easy campaign of HTTT to give a new player a better sense of how to play the game. This would inform them about how to approach the game (Time of Day, Defence, offense, other basic decisions.) That fosters better players and builds our community, in a more constructive manner than to radically alter gameplay just to suit a vocal minority that is not willing to play the game as it is intended to be.

I'll probably work on this issue over the summer to improve how new players learn how to play.
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Zarel
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Re: Allow recalling dead L3 units [split from Such a shame]

Post by Zarel »

Noy wrote:Among developers involved in this area we believe that the majority of this issue revolves around new players who are not familiar with how to play the game properly. For higher level players this should not be a concern, as its a challenge for them at their appropriate difficulty levels. Instead of dealing with that issue, you're proposing a solution that would alter gameplay. This has two issues
And that's the problem. It is still a concern, for higher level players.

Like I said: Higher level players play by protecting their L3's with L1's, and not actually using the L3's to a point where they actually matter. It really just boils down to "spam L1's". I think "L3's are useless" is neither an intentional nor a desirable emergent property of the design decision you allude to.
Noy wrote:Okay this is my last post on this subject.
Okay, I relent. We don't necessarily implement my solution. But I still think that's a problem, and it's not a problem that can be fixed solely by user education.

Do you have a better solution for the problem I name here? If we continue this discussion, I'll help you implement your solution where I can.
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