[UMC] Allow recalling dead L3 units

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Caphriel
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Re: Allow recalling dead L3 units [split from Such a shame]

Post by Caphriel »

Just speaking as a single player, I only find level 3 units fun because they are exceptional. When your entire army consists of high level units, and you have so many of them that you can afford to lose them, and the enemy is fielding exclusively high level units, they're really no different from level one units. They have bigger graphics, shinier attack animations, more special abilities, and higher numbers, but the feel of the game doesn't change.

Level 3 units are only special in contrast to the lower level units surrounding them, on both sides of the field. I suspect that the biggest draw for many players about level 3 units is they can do things lower level units can't: teleport, illuminate, sometimes fly, sometimes gain new attack types or healing. Sure, hewing your way through an army of level one enemy units feels good the first time, but it gets boring by the third or fourth.

I think that players want to use more level 3 units because they feel they're special, because they don't get to use them a lot and the game makes them look special. I suspect that once the "new" wore off of being able to field tons of higher level units constantly, they'd start wanting new levels of advancement, because the game would have essentially become like Zarel's idea number 1: no leveling system.

Also, level 3 units are certainly not useless. They can bring greater force to bear per hex, hold hexes more effectively, and occasionally do things lower level units can't. And, of course, they can stand up unit-to-unit against enemy level 3 units more effectively. I think of level 3 units as specialist support units, generally, be that support leadership, being able to kill anything with massive magic damage, or being able to hold a hex and anchor a line. I don't see it as my army of level one units supporting a few level 3 units.
Velensk
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Re: Allow recalling dead L3 units [split from Such a shame]

Post by Velensk »

Zarel wrote: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
Level 3s are not useless. Despite being more expensive they are actually quite usefull for increasing the amount of gold you get because they allow you to finish the sceanrio more quickly. I would credit my victory in TRoW on hard to a team of silver mages and a lancer. I don't think I need to tell you how much having a single elvish marshal improves your lower level units (or any lvl3+ leader). In other scenarios you just need a unit that can hold the line against three lvl2s at their time of day for a turn, then another to replace him when you retreat for healing. On the final scenario (and even sometimes when it is not the final scenario) of most campaigns where you have little care for how deep into debt you go and your enemy is throwing overwhelming hordes at you, you will want all the lvl 3s you can recall because at the price of 20 gold, they have much much better fighting ability for gold than any lvl 1). Finally, some campaigns limit your ability to recruit (example, the meremen in TRoW or anything in War of the Dragon), which forces you to try to keep your units alive and when it comes to it, lvl 3 units are better at surviving.
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chaoticwanderer
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Re: Allow recalling dead L3 units [split from Such a shame]

Post by chaoticwanderer »

Another argument on the thematic side: Dave may have said only 20-30% of units defeated are actually killed, but that's not to say that those 70-80% who aren't dead are going to be able to fight again. What if they were maimed? Lost an arm or a leg? Suffered bone damage? Taken prisoner or killed by enemies? Even if a unit isn't dead, that's not to say they're going to be in battle again; at least not in the scope of the campaign.

"Resurection" is especially implausible in scenarios where you are being pursued by enemies. It seems strange that someone who fell in combat not only survived, but also evaded capture by enemies, and in their wounded state managed to meet with the main party again.

Earlier, you mentioned other inconsistencies in Wesnoth, such as only six units being able to attack another unit and such, which is no more implausible than revival. However, I think something that needs to be mentioned is that Wesnoth is an abstract strategy game. Just as a house represents a village, a spearman, for example may not necessarily represent a single spearman, but perhaps a small squad of units, with the "unit's" name being the name of the squad leader, or something along those lines. This may not be the case for all scenarios, but it does make some of the larger "battle" scenarios a bit more realistic. Revival, as mentioned above, is harder to justify, and also takes away from the seriousness of many campaigns, knowing you can bring back a unit that was killed because you were careless or reckless with it, for example.
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Zarel
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Re: Allow recalling dead L3 units [split from Such a shame]

Post by Zarel »

Velensk wrote:Level 3s are not useless. Despite being more expensive they are actually quite usefull for increasing the amount of gold you get because they allow you to finish the sceanrio more quickly. I would credit my victory in TRoW on hard to a team of silver mages and a lancer. I don't think I need to tell you how much having a single elvish marshal improves your lower level units (or any lvl3+ leader). In other scenarios you just need a unit that can hold the line against three lvl2s at their time of day for a turn, then another to replace him when you retreat for healing. On the final scenario (and even sometimes when it is not the final scenario) of most campaigns where you have little care for how deep into debt you go and your enemy is throwing overwhelming hordes at you, you will want all the lvl 3s you can recall because at the price of 20 gold, they have much much better fighting ability for gold than any lvl 1). Finally, some campaigns limit your ability to recruit (example, the meremen in TRoW or anything in War of the Dragon), which forces you to try to keep your units alive and when it comes to it, lvl 3 units are better at surviving.
Okay, so "useless" was an exaggeration. They become specialist support units, and the L3 versions of "fodder" units like the Grunt are still useless.

Noy has convinced me that this is not that bad of a situation, so I guess I won't try to push this into mainline further. I do want to see someone do this in a UMC and see how the gameplay "feel" changes.
chaoticwanderer wrote:Another argument on the thematic side: Dave may have said only 20-30% of units defeated are actually killed, but that's not to say that those 70-80% who aren't dead are going to be able to fight again. What if they were maimed? Lost an arm or a leg? Suffered bone damage? Taken prisoner or killed by enemies? Even if a unit isn't dead, that's not to say they're going to be in battle again; at least not in the scope of the campaign.
Magic, my friend. That's why it costs so much to get the unit to a condition where it can fight again.

"Magic can resurrect" isn't game lore that I wish to introduce. But "Magic can heal injuries" isn't exactly without precedent.
chaoticwanderer wrote:"Resurection" is especially implausible in scenarios where you are being pursued by enemies. It seems strange that someone who fell in combat not only survived, but also evaded capture by enemies, and in their wounded state managed to meet with the main party again.

Earlier, you mentioned other inconsistencies in Wesnoth, such as only six units being able to attack another unit and such, which is no more implausible than revival. However, I think something that needs to be mentioned is that Wesnoth is an abstract strategy game. Just as a house represents a village, a spearman, for example may not necessarily represent a single spearman, but perhaps a small squad of units, with the "unit's" name being the name of the squad leader, or something along those lines. This may not be the case for all scenarios, but it does make some of the larger "battle" scenarios a bit more realistic.
I used obvious inconsistencies. Here's a closer match: L'isar is the only unit that can surrender, and only when AI-controlled. Units can't decide who's affected by their ZoC on a case-by-case basis. These are inconsistencies at roughly the same abstraction level as a revival mechanic: Careful roleplayers can explain them away by modifying their narration and gameplay, and everyone else just doesn't care.

For scenarios where you are being pursued by enemies - you can't fight, but you can still be carried. Otherwise, careful roleplayers can simply decline to revive units that were defeated in situations where they believe revival is infeasible.
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chaoticwanderer
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Re: Allow recalling dead L3 units [split from Such a shame]

Post by chaoticwanderer »

Well...overall, I'll say this- I don't necessarily think it's a bad feature, but I wouldn't want to see it in any existing mainline campaigns. As you suggested, it might be interesting to see in a UMC campaign.
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Speedbrain
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Re: Allow recalling dead L3 units [split from Such a shame]

Post by Speedbrain »

chaoticwanderer wrote:Well...overall, I'll say this- I don't necessarily think it's a bad feature, but I wouldn't want to see it in any existing mainline campaigns. As you suggested, it might be interesting to see in a UMC campaign.
Congrats on 100 posts, by the way. :)

I personally think it would be interesting to see someone modify a campaign like HttT with this, since that seems like it could be the ultimate example of bringing back level 3 units when needed later.

However, I don't care enough to do it myself. :P
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chaoticwanderer
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Re: Allow recalling dead L3 units [split from Such a shame]

Post by chaoticwanderer »

Speedbrain wrote: Congrats on 100 posts, by the way. :)
Thank you. :D
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pixnaps
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Re: Allow recalling dead L3 units [split from Such a shame]

Post by pixnaps »

FWIW, I'd love to see this feature (whether in a UMC or Mainline campaign). I guess I'm one of those "bad players" who finds it more fun to use high-level units. This naturally leads to save-scumming when units perma-die. Reviving defeated units at higher cost would make the game much more fun (and challenging) for me, as I could play in my preferred style without resorting to save-scumming.

(I gather that the pros would prefer all players to instead use the 'proper' strategy of spamming low-level units, but it seems weirdly paternalistic to insist that the game must be played a certain way, regardless of what the player personally finds most fun.)
Velensk
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Re: Allow recalling dead L3 units [split from Such a shame]

Post by Velensk »

You can play the game anyway you want. You just cannot win honestly if you cannot learn how to use the system. The basic idea of this change is 'people want the system to be different so that they can play anyway they want and still win'. The developers say 'We made this game the way we want, and if you want to win you have to figure out how to use it as it is'.

Now it's entirely plausible that you could play with a style which does use mostly leveled units and if you can win with this fine, however they aren't going to change the system just to accommodate you.

A ridicules but conceptional similar example would be if you had a campaign with many oriental units including ninja. A large number of ninja fans wanted it to be very easy to win recruiting just ninja because they think ninja are and should be awesome however the gameplay doesn't really support this. Being severely disappointed by the inability to simply blast through the scenarios with ninja the fans ask the developers to make ninja stronger so that they can. The developers say 'no'.
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pixnaps
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Re: Allow recalling dead L3 units [split from Such a shame]

Post by pixnaps »

Not really. I mean, it isn't a difficulty issue (I'm not complaining that the game is "too hard to win" with my preferred style of gameplay, or anything like that) -- as the OP pointed out, the proposed changes would not make the game any easier. They would simply make it less frustrating for those who get attached to their high-level units and can't bear to see them perma-die. The hefty revival fee would still severely penalize players who were excessively reckless with their high level units.

Of course, if I were the only person in the world who wanted such a change, it wouldn't be worth anyone else bothering. But if there are lots of people who would like it, it might be a cool idea for someone to implement in a campaign some day. Just sayin'.
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Re: Allow recalling dead L3 units [split from Such a shame]

Post by fabi »

pixnaps wrote:Not really. I mean, it isn't a difficulty issue (I'm not complaining that the game is "too hard to win" with my preferred style of gameplay, or anything like that) -- as the OP pointed out, the proposed changes would not make the game any easier. They would simply make it less frustrating for those who get attached to their high-level units and can't bear to see them perma-die. The hefty revival fee would still severely penalize players who were excessively reckless with their high level units.

Of course, if I were the only person in the world who wanted such a change, it wouldn't be worth anyone else bothering. But if there are lots of people who would like it, it might be a cool idea for someone to implement in a campaign some day. Just sayin'.
I have enabled the recruitment of level two units from scenarios 7 on of the campaign called "The Legend of Wesmere".
So players that have a quick rush style (Blitzkrieg) of playing and loose some of their precious leveled units but gather enough gold because of massive
early finish bonuses have the chance to invest their mountains of gold in advanced units.

I don't want to suggest that every mainline campaign should follow that approach because that won't fit to the storyline in every case.
In case of LoW it fits since Kalenz does have the support of the elvish Council at that time, and I think there must be some experienced elvish veterans around
the capital of all Elf-kind on Irdya.

Let's see if that new policy works out well and solves some of the problems discussed in this thread.
Caphriel
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Re: Allow recalling dead L3 units [split from Such a shame]

Post by Caphriel »

pixnaps wrote:But if there are lots of people who would like it, it might be a cool idea for someone to implement in a campaign some day. Just sayin'.
Go ahead :wink: If you really wanted to, you could mod Wesnoth and add this, but it'd probably be a huge heap of work.

(This is not entirely directed at pixnaps, but also at players using similar argument forms)
You seem to have missed Velensk's point , so I'll try a metaphor using a different genre. FPS games almost always have rocket launchers. Everyone loves rocket launchers. Some players would prefer to play the game using the rocket launcher exclusively because explosions are fun. Unfortunately, there isn't enough rocket launcher ammo for them to kill everything, or even most things, with the rocket launcher. The players petition the developer to change the game so that the rocket launcher can be used exclusively. The developers, understandably, say no, but point to the infinite ammo cheat and tell the players to suit themselves.

Level 3 units are the rocket launcher, obviously. There are ways to get through any campaign without losing your level 3 units. Use debug mode, save-load, whatever. What this comes down to is a matter of taste. The game is not designed to be played with top-heavy armies. This is not to your taste, and you are asking that the game be changed to accommodate your taste.

This is not paternalistic, and you're not a bad player. However, Wesnoth is not a commercial game, which means that the developers do not have to adjust their creative vision to suit the playerbase. I am not a "pro player" - in fact, I pretty much hate the campaigns (I play multiplayer, if you're wondering why I'm hanging around on the forum.) I have no actual interest in the way the single player game works, beyond this:

If the game worked the way you want it, I would argue the other side using the same arguments. The developers, being unpaid volunteers, ought to implement their creative vision as they see it. If they no longer like the game they are creating, what incentive do they have to work on it? I am not anti-change, or anti-suggestion, but players ought not to argue core gameplay mechanics from personal taste, or on the basis of making the game "better", which is subjective, but ought to read the Wesnoth design philosophy and goals, and argue their ideas based on how their suggestion would bring Wesnoth closer to that. Suggesting that central gameplay mechanics should be changed based on personal taste is basically like asking that the developers create your game instead of theirs.

Sorry for the rant, but as an aspiring game developer, I've been finding the recent spate of suggestions on the forum that the game be significantly changed a bit discouraging and insulting. If I were to build an FPS for free, with a challenging single player campaign requiring conservation of ammo and tactical thought, and the player base by and large just wanted to blow stuff up with the rocket launcher, I'd probably throw up my hands in disgust and move on to working on another game I wanted to work on that people actually liked.
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Zarel
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Re: Allow recalling dead L3 units [split from Such a shame]

Post by Zarel »

Caphriel wrote:(This is not entirely directed at pixnaps, but also at players using similar argument forms)
You seem to have missed Velensk's point , so I'll try a metaphor using a different genre. FPS games almost always have rocket launchers. Everyone loves rocket launchers. Some players would prefer to play the game using the rocket launcher exclusively because explosions are fun. Unfortunately, there isn't enough rocket launcher ammo for them to kill everything, or even most things, with the rocket launcher. The players petition the developer to change the game so that the rocket launcher can be used exclusively. The developers, understandably, say no, but point to the infinite ammo cheat and tell the players to suit themselves.
I think you kind of missed, like, a significant part of my OP post.

Permanent loss, or loss of a significant amount of effort, does not make a game fun. I outlined three ways to prevent this:

1. There's nothing to lose. 2. Anything that can be lost can be easily gotten back. 3. The game ends when you lose the permaloss item (and players are required to reload an old savegame or start a new game).

Your FPS example is a direct application of method 2 (you can wait for the rocket launcher ammo to respawn, then pick it up). It doesn't address pixnaps's or anyone else's concerns at all, which is that Wesnoth implements none of these three solutions.
Caphriel wrote:Sorry for the rant, but as an aspiring game developer, I've been finding the recent spate of suggestions on the forum that the game be significantly changed a bit discouraging and insulting. If I were to build an FPS for free, with a challenging single player campaign requiring conservation of ammo and tactical thought, and the player base by and large just wanted to blow stuff up with the rocket launcher, I'd probably throw up my hands in disgust and move on to working on another game I wanted to work on that people actually liked.
As an actual game developer, I don't think your appeal to authority is going to do much here. :P

When a game gets popular enough, there will always be users who request major changes. Some of those requests are really stupid. Some of those requests are actually good ideas. Games who don't want to throw the baby out with the bathwater generally have an "Ideas" forum. Often, developers get jaded, and start telling the majority of the idea suggesters to go screw themselves (except in nicer terms) - to be honest, I've done this a few times on the Warzone forums, too. But you do recognize the difference between a user with an entitlement complex, and a user who genuinely wishes to improve the game, and will understand if the developers disagree with his viewpoint. You want to encourage the latter type of user, since you can't improve without good ideas.

(For reference, Wesnoth developers have implemented some of my ideas, and I've implemented some of Warzone users' ideas. Even with all the noise, there's still enough signal for it to be worth it to everyone involved.)
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Velensk
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Re: Allow recalling dead L3 units [split from Such a shame]

Post by Velensk »

pixnaps wrote:Not really. I mean, it isn't a difficulty issue (I'm not complaining that the game is "too hard to win" with my preferred style of gameplay, or anything like that) -- as the OP pointed out, the proposed changes would not make the game any easier. They would simply make it less frustrating for those who get attached to their high-level units and can't bear to see them perma-die. The hefty revival fee would still severely penalize players who were excessively reckless with their high level units.
I don't happen to agree with the origional poster that it wouldn't make the game easier. It gives you an additional ability while taking nothing away. Even if you make it so that it is rarely practical it is still an addtional capability. It would also (IMO) be somewhat lame to include this if it is never practical. "Oh you can avoid sentimental damage at the cost of making it harder to actually win" just seems a little off to me and also rather unintuitive.

It also seems like a needless complexion that would cause ripples in whatever feel the story has. It becomes "Oh that unit didn't really die(and none of them every do unless you want them too), he was just wounded and left alive or "We have magical resurrection and healing that for some reason cannot be applied to leaders or story important enemies". Either case feels cheap.

As a result when you say it's not a matter of difficulty it's hard for me to take you seriously (especially when you say that you do alot of save-scumming, how do you know it isn't difficult when you simply reroll till you get a satisfactory result). If it isn't a matter of difficulty then the only thing that I can see would be that you want your battles to (metaphorically) be nice and clean affairs where the only good guys who die are red shirts. This is not an inherantly bad thing but rather a difference in prefrence. To me the very fact that nobody dies unless I 'allow it' makes everything feel very cheap (even if it is expensive).
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Re: Allow recalling dead L3 units [split from Such a shame]

Post by Yogibear »

Velensk wrote:It gives you an additional ability while taking nothing away.
From what i understood this is not true, it takes away your gold.
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