Ghost buff

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Lone_Isle
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Ghost buff

Post by Lone_Isle »

I'd like to repeat my petition for a buff to Ghosts. I feel they do too little for their cost and while I'd like to see a more substantial buff, I'd like to propose a cautious change so people will get behind it:

20g > 19g

4-3 arcane > 3-4 arcane

The latter damage change has the effect decreasing daytime dmg by 1 and increasing it by 1 at nighttime.

More significantly, against drakes & woses, damage is increased from nighttime 18 to 20(drained life goes from 9 to 8 due to rounding, so something is lost as well).

The increased hits allow a ghost to do one of its primary jobs alot better: to finish off low-hp units from hard-to-reach hexes.
Also it brings it more into conformity with spectres, which is a small boost flavor wise.

The biggest problem with Ghosts is that they are abit too weak for their cost, and they have to be leveled for their value to be unlocked. Getting ghosts early invariably leads to lack of firepower in the early game on small maps and increased likelihood of having to cede villages and temp early on.

I don't think that currently they really swing any matchup to the UD's favor, and so I think we should encourage their use abit more.
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Sapient
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Re: Ghost buff

Post by Sapient »

Wouldn't a price decrease upset the Ulfserker vs. Ghost balance?
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Reepurr
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Re: Ghost buff

Post by Reepurr »

Ghosts are, to my knowledge, scouts. They have the second highest movement speed in the Undead, the ability to deal easily with any terrain that isn't water, and they can provide minor offensive ability when you don't need scouts any more. They can hold villages pretty well too.

They're always useful when you don't want bats - zero combat capability against an actual human enemy, and they're ridiculously easy to get rid of on villages. I almost always go for ghosts to scout instead of bats.


20 > 19 cost: I think these guys pay for themselves by being scouts that can deal good damage and survive for a while.

4-3 > 3-4: The improved night bias sounds interesting in a way for the faction's flavour, but I think drain is more of a hold-out-against-offence thing, and so needs to be handy against enemies at daytime too.
It may bring it into conformity with wraiths -> spectres, yes, but it brings it out of conformity with shadows -> nightgaunts.
Lone_isle wrote:The biggest problem with Ghosts is that they are abit too weak for their cost, and they have to be leveled for their value to be unlocked.
I kind of like this for its flavour, actually.
Lone_isle wrote:Getting ghosts early invariably leads to lack of firepower in the early game on small maps and increased likelihood of having to cede villages and temp early on.
Depends what your strategy is and how you want to use them.
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Lone_Isle
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Re: Ghost buff

Post by Lone_Isle »

If you choose to see them as as scouts, then they are the slowest with least combat capability but most expensive.

In many situations their survivability is worse than that of a conventional elf scout or orc wolfrider, arguably on par with foot pads, and definately worse than cavalry.

I find it hard to believe that you would get Ghosts instead of bats at the beginning of a 1v1. This is a sure fire way to ceding villages early on. Bats also have much better reach than ghosts and allow you to force opponents to keep units near some of their villages if not occupying them.


@Sapient:

I'm not sure what you mean by a ulf vs Ghost balance. Ghosts kill ulfs at night, ulfs (mostly) kill ghosts during day. Apart from this they serve widely different roles in their respective factions, and I am simply saying that Ghosts are currently over-costed for the real effect they have in-game, especially against elves, orcs and loys. They should cost less to encourage their use.
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Re: Ghost buff

Post by cookie »

Lone_Isle wrote: @Sapient:

I'm not sure what you mean by a ulf vs Ghost balance. Ghosts kill ulfs at night, ulfs (mostly) kill ghosts during day. Apart from this they serve widely different roles in their respective factions, and I am simply saying that Ghosts are currently over-costed for the real effect they have in-game, especially against elves, orcs and loys. They should cost less to encourage their use.
I don't quite see why you need ghosts to be cheaper actually. It's not a unit where it's needed a lot during gameplay. It was not created for such.
If you want the cheaper alternative, then for speed buy bats.
When against elves I predict the woses would be a use for the ghosts. Buy adepts instead.
With Orcs and Loys use the same advice. Bats and adepts instead and also skeleton archers. They just do as well.
When against Orcish archers and mages, go with melee from ghoul or skeleton.
As for against Ulfs, I'm quite sure ghosts aren't the unit that can kill it. Just don't leave adepts open to Ulf attacks.

To sum up, Lone_Isle: Use the alternatives if you are concerned about cost.
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Lone_Isle
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Re: Ghost buff

Post by Lone_Isle »

You make a good point: Ghosts are not units you ever need too much of.

I proposed lessening the cost more as a weak buff - so you have more g to spend on other units.

Ok this is what I really want: 4 hits. Increase resistance to fire to 20%. Cost stays at 20g.

There are many ways to go about improving them. The changes I propose are about their ability to last-hit better, and to increase their survivability.

About your last point on using alternatives: that's exactly the problem... Ghosts are just not cost-effective enough most of the time. Drake burners are not worth getting vs Loys and in mirrors but have a good role to play in all the other 4 matchups.

Ghosts on the other hand have one decent niche in the vs Knalgan and Drake match-up but are sub-optimal in every other matchup, and I think this is abit of problem.
Last edited by Lone_Isle on May 23rd, 2011, 10:01 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Ghost buff

Post by cookie »

NO, 4 hits are way to many. You forget that the main melee character in undead are the skeletons and they only have 3 strikes if I recall correctly.
It is also extremely too much considering it has drain whereas other units need the extra strike. Its not only about changing this. If you change this unit to what you want it may overpower the fraction and ruin the already close balancing in wesnoth.
It's really fine the way it is considering its resistances.
Perhaps the user might just be using it wrong. You shouldn't risk much with this unit. For example, making the ghost open to the mage because you believe the mage will miss even if its around 70% hit.
Lone_Isle wrote:About your last point on using alternatives: that's exactly the problem... Ghosts are just not cost-effective enough most of the time. Drake burners are not worth getting vs Loys and in mirrors but have a good role to play in all the other 4 matchups.

Ghosts on the other hand have one decent niche in the vs Knalgan and Drake match-up but are sub-optimal in every other matchup, and I think this is abit of problem.
Wait hold on, Why isn't it worth getting against loys? Drake burners are great against loys. I think the problem here is the incorrect use.
Secondly ghosts are used for UD against skeletons as well so they are quite good there.
Against loys and elves, well for their mages and ranged units
Last edited by cookie on May 23rd, 2011, 10:10 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Lone_Isle
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Re: Ghost buff

Post by Lone_Isle »

cookie wrote:NO, 4 hits are way to many. You forget that the main melee character in undead are the skeletons and they only have 3 strikes if I recall correctly.
It is also extremely too much considering it has drain whereas other units need the extra strike. Its not only about changing this. If you change this unit to what you want it may overpower the fraction and ruin the already close balancing in wesnoth.
I don't understand why 4 hits is way too many. How does it follow that ghosts getting 4 hits would make them better than skeletons? Would UD stop recruiting skeletons if Ghosts suddenly start doing 3-4 instead of 4-3? I don't think so, especially since arcane is a weak dmg type.

Why is the change to drain significant? currently every ghost hit drains for 2 if it hits for 5(at night), because 2.5 is rounded down to 2. This kinda short-changes ghosts. Also most decent players already prefer killing ghosts with ranged units anyway, where drain is irrelevant.

Also you haven't said anything to back up the so-called "close balancing in wesnoth", and why a buff to Ghosts would upset it. Are ghosts a major unit in any of the UD matchup like DAs are? Do you know of any plausible strategy using ghosts that make them anything close to imbalanced? Do you know whether that in ladder play most UD players are punished for getting early ghosts(which I think is true)? Do you know how ladder players feel UD are the worst faction currently?
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Re: Ghost buff

Post by cookie »

Lone_Isle wrote:
I don't understand why 4 hits is way too many. How does it follow that ghosts getting 4 hits would make them better than skeletons? Would UD stop recruiting skeletons if Ghosts suddenly start doing 3-4 instead of 4-3? I don't think so, especially since arcane is a weak dmg type.
Did you consider what it does at night? Did you consider what it does for Woses? Drakes? Loys? Skeletons?
I didn't think so.
Lone_Isle wrote: Why is the change to drain significant? currently every ghost hit drains for 2 if it hits for 5(at night), because 2.5 is rounded down to 2. This kinda short-changes ghosts. Also most decent players already prefer killing ghosts with ranged units anyway, where drain is irrelevant.
Also you haven't said anything to back up the so-called "close balancing in wesnoth", and why a buff to Ghosts would upset it. Are ghosts a major unit in any of the UD matchup like DAs are? Do you know of any plausible strategy using ghosts that make them anything close to imbalanced? Do you know whether that in ladder play most UD players are punished for getting early ghosts(which I think is true)? Do you know how ladder players feel UD are the worst faction currently?
No its their already high resistances + high movement + melee attack with 3 strikes at DRAIN + ranged attack + high terrain defence. And Considering the Ghost Hp is 18 i consider 2 hp a lot. You also said that ghosts can win over Dwarf ULF at day and I think that says a lot by itself. You also don't get that 1 extra strike will make it impossible for ulfs to win at day. EVEN harder for dwarfs to kill a ghost as they dont have powerful ranged units.
And UD match ups in LADDER IS RELIANT ON THE ADEPT HITS. Thats why they are considered worst fraction. Get your facts right.
Many of my close ladder player friends usually get Bats. I suggest you guys get it too.
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Lone_Isle
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Re: Ghost buff

Post by Lone_Isle »

cookie wrote:
Lone_Isle wrote:
I don't understand why 4 hits is way too many. How does it follow that ghosts getting 4 hits would make them better than skeletons? Would UD stop recruiting skeletons if Ghosts suddenly start doing 3-4 instead of 4-3? I don't think so, especially since arcane is a weak dmg type.
Yea. I did. 3-4 turns into 4-4 at night. 1 more damage compared to 5-3 (current ghost damage at night).

How is 1 damage balance-breaking?

On your addendum for woses and drakes, I already said that it turns 6-3 into 5-4 in my first post. 2 damage buff. How is this balance breaking?


Your point about ulfs make more sense... I concede that ghosts would turn from doing 2-3 to 2-4 at day vs Ulfs. I question the assumption however that it should be natural for a ghost to be defeated outright all the time by a unit cheaper than it.

It may turn out for this reason that 3-4 may not be the way, but I do think it's a unit that needs improvement, and that "you should just ignore them and get bats" isn't a good enough rebuttal, because you'd either not recruit ghosts at all, or be forced to because there's no other choice for an over-costed mobile village defender that isn't good at anything till you level it.
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Re: Ghost buff

Post by cookie »

Lone_Isle wrote:
It may turn out for this reason that 3-4 may not be the way, but I do think it's a unit that needs improvement, and that "you should just ignore them and get bats" isn't a good enough rebuttal, because you'd either not recruit ghosts at all, or be forced to because there's no other choice for an over-costed mobile village defender that isn't good at anything till you level it.
Thats not what I implied. You recruit the bat for initial scouting. Once you discover what your enemy is then you can use your own judgement to if you should recruit it or not. I think thats how everyone plays on random. Recruit first then once you discover the enemy race then recruit accordingly.
And its true, I prefer not to play UD but at least I can play them well enough to realize how some things should be done.
Perhaps you should ask ladder players what they prefer. I know some really good ones that do like to play with UD
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Rigor
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Re: Ghost buff

Post by Rigor »

hi there. you know, the main problem isnt that a ghost would be more useful with this one more strike that u suggest, but more that the ghost would level much earlier like that. imagine how hard a lvl2 ghost is to get rid of, and with more damage from ghosts this would happen much earlier and more reliably (although, getting 2 kills and a bit fighting xp isnt that hard as it is already - the ghost can just die easily).

so imagine u somehow manage to level up a ghost in early game around turn 8 and u face lets say orcs. can u imagine how super-annoying it is for orcs to even hurt lvl2 ghosts with a lot of hp during day? thats not nice. talking about ur buff now, ok this guy will be just a better fighter - alright that would be nice and wouldnt hurt so much. but consider the implications for the mid and lategame now. when u thought about it for, lets say, two days and tried to level ghosts as they are in some games u tell me how much u would like to see more of the scary lvl2s so easily.

Kolbur
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Re: Ghost buff

Post by Kolbur »

Why would that change make ghosts lvl any faster? They still need the same number of xp to lvl. I don't even think that the 3-4 attack makes them better finishers since the target also needs lower hp to get killed by one hit.

I definitely support the gold cost decrease. Ghosts are far too overpriced right now for their limited combat abilities and their average (in many cases inferior) scouting abilities. Yes, lvl 2 ghosts are pretty cool but it's a pain to get them.

Edit: I just checked the numbers and a 3-4 attacks seems to be better at day but worse in the night than 4-3 vs most opponents.

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Rigor
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Re: Ghost buff

Post by Rigor »

faster in the way that they would be more reliable to really do the kill with the additional strike. of course u cant take the ghost and just put him anywhere u want, hes a very special unit. i think the word that describes him best is NASTY INSECURITY FACTOR :lol2:

im trying to imagine that during the first night u might make one kill if ur opponent is careless and in the subsequent fights u might lvl him already during the second night. facing dwarves a cheaper ghost is not only a pain but is also very hard to remove. apart of that i support the argument that its kind of unfair to remove the 20g unit easily with a 19g one. but there are other examples where this works pretty well, just think :)

perhaps it would be cool to see some games with this changes in a test-era for the pros and cons.

Lone_Isle
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Re: Ghost buff

Post by Lone_Isle »

just wanted to correct myself earlier.

If ghosts were changed from 4-3 to 3-4, their daytime damage vs ulfs will actually change from 3-3 to 2-4, 1 damage worse.

Dawn/Dusk damage would be unchaged at 3*4 or 4*3 = 12.

Night time damage would go from 5-3 to 3-4, which is in fact a nerf, but arguably an acceptable one because I don't think UD would particularly mind ghosts become somewhat weaker vs ulfs but becoming better at dealing finishing blows overall.

@Rigor

Your objection that ghosts would level faster is exactly the same reason why I think something like this should be done: lvl 2 ghosts are exciting and rarely seen right now and we should see more of them to get a better idea of the real balance effect they have. I do not think that they are "scary" as much as "I finally get a pay-off for the 20g I spent".
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