The Dwarven Dilemma

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Cackfiend
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The Dwarven Dilemma

Post by Cackfiend »

Dwarven units (fighters, thunderers, guardsmen) have easily the biggest handicap in the game; 4 mps. Many top ladder players dislike them the most because of this fact. With only 4 mps you lack the ability to perform basic strategies in a competitive game of wesnoth; the ability to attack and retreat effectively, chase a retreating army, having a fresh recruit reach the fight, and the ability to properly maneuver (positioning). This is an even larger issue vs the matchups that require you to make guardsmen and thunderers (vs loyalist and drakes) due to them being two of the fastest races in the game.

Some may say this is largely a map problem due to dwarves being known as doing very well on smaller maps (den of onis, sablestone delta) and terrible on larger maps (fallenstar lake, new hamlets). The problem with this thinking is that if all maps were balanced around 4mp dwarves there would be very little variety with the most competitive maps. I believe there is a solution to this problem, and at the very least there should be something, ANYTHING, done to help out the slow paced dwarves.

The other main issue with dwarves is their ability to deal with Poison, particularly from the orcish assassin since ulfs>ghouls. Healthy trait was added into the dwarven pool to combat this initially by cutting down how much poison damage there was on a unit with the healthy trait. The main problem with this idea was, and still is, that by adding a 5th trait you're lowering the chance of a dwarven unit getting the all-important Quick feat (Not to mention Strong on guardsmen and ulfs are incredibly important).

When I made a thread a long time ago to get healthy changed to a mini 2hp regen even if the unit is attacked I did not realize the devs were at the same time going to nerf the healthy trait to make it no longer effective vs poison. I believe this was a mistake and this is evident by how easily knalgans are dominated by Orcish assassins still.

This is a list of what I would like to see changed with dwarves and I will list my ideas from most likely to be accepted to least likely. Some of these ideas will overlap eachother and I am only really saying 1-2 of these ideas need to be implemented.

Please consider the following carefully:

1 of the following for the poison dilemma:
Change healthy trait again by adding the property to it that cuts poison damage down to 4dmg/rd. This alone would help the Dwarf vs Orc matchup tremendously.

OR

Add "Hardy" as a natural trait to all dwarven units (like undead units get the Undead trait). The hardy trait would make it so ALL dwarven units recruited would only receive 6dmg/rd from poison.

AND 1 of the following for the mp dilemma:
Remove healthy from the trait pool altogether. As it stands now its the worst trait in the game (and probably would remain so even with the buff i recommended) AND it robs dwarves from the crucial quick trait.

OR

Remove resilience from the trait pool altogether. I know I might get some backlash for this suggestion, but think about it. Dwarves are already resilient so its really a bit of a redundant trait. For the most part healthy is almost as good as resilient and sometimes even better. healthy gives 2 hps AND +2 hp regen where as resilience just gives a flat +5 hps. Cutting the trait pool down to 4 traits would just mean more quick dwarves which is the main idea here.

OR

Remove quick from the trait pool altogether, make all dwarves base 5mp. They would also need to be changed to 2mp to move thru forest and maybe even a 1-2 hp nerf to all their dwarf units. This is obviously the least likely change to be implemented, but think about it; this would be amazing for dwarves. It would give all dwarf units the ability to attack and retreat effectively, chase a retreating army, recruit units that can actually reach the fight in time, and give them the ability to properly maneuver. It would instantly solve all map imbalances for dwarves. And since dwarves are only exclusively recruited over outlaws in matches versus loyalist and drakes it gives the dwarves the ability to compete with those races massive mps. The only real potential issue I could see with this is dwarven fighters being OP vs elves, but tbh thats a matchup that needs to be reanalyzed all on its own with fighters/ulfs/gryphons being so hard for elves to deal with.



Please consider these ideas thoroughly as I have. I look forward to hearing your response after you've discussed this thread with some of the other devs (Noy, wintermute)

Thanks for your time.
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csarmi
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Re: The Dwarven Dilemma

Post by csarmi »

What about leaving the healthy trait unchanged, but give it to the dwarves on top of the other two traits they normally receive?

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Re: The Dwarven Dilemma

Post by Cackfiend »

well this would do nothing vs poison and it would effectively give every dwarf unit a mini regen so its unlikely to happen

im hoping for the complete removal of the healthy trait and add the hardy trait to all dwarves making them only take 6 dmg from poison, but giving ALL dwarves 5mps would be awesome too :)
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Re: The Dwarven Dilemma

Post by Gallifax »

Imo Knalgans are fine as they are, they only faction that suffers a lot from healthy trait is elves with al their low hp fighters.

Healthy made dwarfs so strong , they do not have to fear any faction aynmore.

From what I have seen in your replays ,its your playstyle and your recruitment choice that doesnt go too well with Knalgans.

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Re: The Dwarven Dilemma

Post by tekelili »

I have thought quite time about this match up. I have no definitive conclusions, but my current point of view is that I am more worried about how knalgans can beat a defensive line of trolls in maps like den of onis than about assassins who can be ulfed. In large maps looks to me darves have more chances by playind defensive early game and developing a higer quality army than orcs for same upkeep in long term. It looks to me easier get adventage of gryphs and ulfs when orc cant deploy a perfect line of trolls.

In an early attack darves will be dominated by poison, but imo thats not what darves must do vs orcs.

In defense ulf an assasin use to be good bussiness. 2 gold you will lose are largely compesated by breaking orc offensive removing suddenly 2 units from field (assassin and ulf killer), orc probably would have payed those 2 gold as upkeep while his units were in path to your territory. You will be also the guy that stack xp after this trade.
Be aware English is not my first language and I could have explained bad myself using wrong or just invented words.
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Cackfiend
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Re: The Dwarven Dilemma

Post by Cackfiend »

Gallifax wrote:Imo Knalgans are fine as they are, they only faction that suffers a lot from healthy trait is elves with al their low hp fighters.

Healthy made dwarfs so strong , they do not have to fear any faction aynmore.
wait, so you think the healthy trait has made dwarves STRONGER? I think you might be the only one
Gallifax wrote:From what I have seen in your replays ,its your playstyle and your recruitment choice that doesnt go too well with Knalgans.
While I'll be the first to agree with you that dwarves are my worst race, this is largely due to the fact that I prefer actually recruiting dwarves instead of outlaws regardless of the map when I play vs loyalist, drakes, and orcs.. but my playstyle isn't really the point. The point of the entire thread is to highlight the shortcomings of having 4mp units in wesnoth and the fact that the near useless healthy trait (that doesnt even help vs poison anymore) just makes even less quick dwarves
tekelili wrote: In defense ulf an assasin use to be good bussiness. 2 gold you will lose are largely compesated by breaking orc offensive removing suddenly 2 units from field (assassin and ulf killer), orc probably would have payed those 2 gold as upkeep while his units were in path to your territory. You will be also the guy that stack xp after this trade.
While I do appreciate your input, I don't think talking about the strategy for matchups is the point of the thread. That being said, if you wanna post the best strategy for dwarves vs loyalist and drakes in the strategies forum I would definitely read it :P
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tekelili
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Re: The Dwarven Dilemma

Post by tekelili »

Cackfiend wrote: The other main issue with dwarves is their ability to deal with Poison, particularly from the orcish assassin
Be aware English is not my first language and I could have explained bad myself using wrong or just invented words.
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Great_Mage_Atari
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Re: The Dwarven Dilemma

Post by Great_Mage_Atari »

Cackfiend wrote:wait, so you think the healthy trait has made dwarves STRONGER? I think you might be the only one
Well, yeah. It kinda has made them a bit stronger. More health combined with some minor regen and already impressive resistances make for one good tank unit. So he's not the only one who believes that the healthy trait does make Dwarves stronger, if only a bit. I think he means stronger health-wise though.
Cackfiend wrote:While I'll be the first to agree with you that dwarves are my worst race, this is largely due to the fact that I prefer actually recruiting dwarves instead of outlaws regardless of the map when I play vs loyalist, drakes, and orcs.. but my playstyle isn't really the point. The point of the entire thread is to highlight the shortcomings of having 4mp units in wesnoth and the fact that the near useless healthy trait (that doesnt even help vs poison anymore) just makes even less quick dwarves
A couple things here:
First off, your play style does matter a lot given your topic of this thread. I can play very well with Dwarves and see no problem with them. 4mp doesn't even phase me if I can play well with the unit I recruited. You're complaints about Dwarves' mp's and regen do rely heavily on the fact that you don't play as well with them as you would other races. The point of the healthy trait was not to be an extremely effective trait against poison, but +2 hp per turn regardless of movement. Pretty sweet, right? It's better than nothing if you ask me.
Cackfiend wrote:tekelili wrote:In defense ulf an assasin use to be good bussiness. 2 gold you will lose are largely compesated by breaking orc offensive removing suddenly 2 units from field (assassin and ulf killer), orc probably would have payed those 2 gold as upkeep while his units were in path to your territory. You will be also the guy that stack xp after this trade. While I do appreciate your input, I don't think talking about the strategy for matchups is the point of the thread. That being said, if you wanna post the best strategy for dwarves vs loyalist and drakes in the strategies forum I would definitely read it
As tekelili pointed out, you already stated that in your prior post. Let's check our posts before getting defensive, shall we ^_^
I honestly don't want the Dwarves' to be improved any further than they already are. They have excellent resistances and great attacks as it is. And the healthy trait is pretty rare anyways, so it's not that big of a deal.

EDIT: Ninja'd

The Black Sword
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Re: The Dwarven Dilemma

Post by The Black Sword »

Some stats from tek's add-on, though there's really too few games to be relied upon yet.
Only 2 games vs most factions so I'll ignore those.
6 games vs orc with a 50% win ratio bodes well.
More alarmingly, 8 games vs drakes with a 25% win ratio.

I admit, dwarves are probably my least experienced faction and I think I was outnumbered before when I said I didn't feel they're weak. But I really feel you're greatly exxagerating this issue.

Dwarf vs Orc is the problem matchup with poison and I think its often felt that the orcs have an advantage here due to a combination of banking with a good defense and poison. I think I'd disagree with this, perhaps the Orcs are easier to play which gives this impression but I've felt that between 2 good players the dwarves are very hard to break down and can attack well with ulfs. Rarely a game-winning attack but they can get a unit or 2 or a vill and retreat and gradually these advantages can build up. The stats above appear to agree with me though again, there's too few games to be sure.

Since the Undead matchup is not a problem for the dwarves, I don't think this "inability to deal with poison" is fair.

The rest of your ideas, surrounding increasing the speed of the dwarves, I don't really like as they cut down on the dwarves theme of a slow resilient race.
If the dwarves do need help, and I'm still a bit skeptical of that fact, then I'd prefer it happened without hitting that theme.

If we can agree that the orc matchup is ok, loys and drakes are the 2 remaining possible problem matchups. The cav is a bit of a nerf for the loyals here, so I had a quick check of the WTT games in 1.9, I think Loyals are beating dwarves 6-1 so far. Again not enough games to be sure, but a bad sign. Most of those games were between quite good players.

I've been thinking about these matchups for a bit and there's a few things I could say but I don't think it would be very coherent. In summary, I am not 100% convinced dwarves have a problem here(from my own experiences) but the stats and talking with other people suggest you're right. My suggestion is to buff the poacher (or maybe the thunderer, but he's already quite good) somehow. For a concrete and controversial selection, give him the dextrous trait :P . These are the 2 matchups which would be most affected by that.
Your solutions have the potential to unbalance the other matchups IMO in addition to affecting the dwarvish theme.

Btw, I'd say that healthy is just as useful as the other dwarf traits with the exception of quick. Quick dwarves do rock :wink: .

PPS. I'm pretty sure when Cackfiend says he doesn't play as well with dwarves as other races, that still means very very well indeed.

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Re: The Dwarven Dilemma

Post by Cackfiend »

How dare you ninja my thread :P
Great_Mage_Atari wrote:
Cackfiend wrote:wait, so you think the healthy trait has made dwarves STRONGER? I think you might be the only one
Well, yeah. It kinda has made them a bit stronger. More health combined with some minor regen and already impressive resistances make for one good tank unit. So he's not the only one who believes that the healthy trait does make Dwarves stronger, if only a bit. I think he means stronger health-wise though.
Well he clearly doesn't mean stronger health wise since his actual quote is "Healthy made dwarfs so strong , they do not have to fear any faction aynmore." which is clear to me that he means makes dwarf units so strong that they dont have to fear any faction anymore... which I think is just ridiculous because less quick dwarves means they have to fear the biggest obstacle even more; playing against very fast races (loyalist, drakes) that easily out maneuver them
Great_Mage_Atari wrote:
Cackfiend wrote:While I'll be the first to agree with you that dwarves are my worst race, this is largely due to the fact that I prefer actually recruiting dwarves instead of outlaws regardless of the map when I play vs loyalist, drakes, and orcs.. but my playstyle isn't really the point. The point of the entire thread is to highlight the shortcomings of having 4mp units in wesnoth and the fact that the near useless healthy trait (that doesnt even help vs poison anymore) just makes even less quick dwarves
A couple things here:
First off, your play style does matter a lot given your topic of this thread. I can play very well with Dwarves and see no problem with them. 4mp doesn't even phase me if I can play well with the unit I recruited. You're complaints about Dwarves' mp's and regen do rely heavily on the fact that you don't play as well with them as you would other races. The point of the healthy trait was not to be an extremely effective trait against poison, but +2 hp per turn regardless of movement. Pretty sweet, right? It's better than nothing if you ask me.
You can play dwarves really well and have no problem with them? Who exactly do you play? Are you part of the ladder and playing the top players on a regular basis? When I think about balancing wesnoth I only take into consideration when expert players play eachother, not when mediocre players play vs eachother or a good one plays a mediocre/bad one because this proves nothing from a balance stand point. No offense meant here; I'm not saying you're mediocre but I have no idea if you're a good player due to the fact that you don't have a ladder account (or do you?). If 4mp isnt phasing you then you were either playing on a very dwarf friendly map or not vs drakes and loyalist because 4mp is a HUGE detriment to basic wesnoth strategy.

My complains about dwarves stems from years of playing this game and constantly seeing the same issues from games ive played as dwarves, games ive played vs dwarf players, and from observing games where dwarves are on of the factions and the players are highly ranked. I have had lengthy discussions many times with many top ranked players about this. It is not my opinion alone.

The point of the healthy trait WAS indeed to be effective vs poison as originally thats what it did before I essentially got it changed. +2 hp per turn is hardly sweet imo, rarely do I find it to be very useful at all. Better than nothing? When is nothing even an option? It a pool of traits, if you don't get healthy you get something else that is much more useful. No, i'm not sure you understand just how much dwarves are robbed from getting other traits because of healthy being in the trait pool.
Great_Mage_Atari wrote:
Cackfiend wrote:tekelili wrote:In defense ulf an assasin use to be good bussiness. 2 gold you will lose are largely compesated by breaking orc offensive removing suddenly 2 units from field (assassin and ulf killer), orc probably would have payed those 2 gold as upkeep while his units were in path to your territory. You will be also the guy that stack xp after this trade. While I do appreciate your input, I don't think talking about the strategy for matchups is the point of the thread. That being said, if you wanna post the best strategy for dwarves vs loyalist and drakes in the strategies forum I would definitely read it
As tekelili pointed out, you already stated that in your prior post. Let's check our posts before getting defensive, shall we ^_^
I honestly don't want the Dwarves' to be improved any further than they already are. They have excellent resistances and great attacks as it is. And the healthy trait is pretty rare anyways, so it's not that big of a deal.
But it IS a big deal =]

healthy trait is certainly not rare, and when almost all of your dwarf units get it you will know what I mean. Did you play wesnoth before healthy trait was even in the game? Its a fairly new trait. Dwarves were just fine before it and I don't believe people fully realize just how big of a mistake diluting the dwarven trait pool is.

The history went something like this:

1. Orcs had a hard time vs Dwarves so the orcish assassin's ranged ability was changed to Marksman so they could actually poison fortified dwarves in hills/mountains
2. This ended up being a bit too much in a lot of peoples eyes as Orcs now just poisoned dwarven units like crazy
3. healthy trait was invented to take less damage from poison
4. I and many others complained about there being a 5th trait in dwarven trait pool that really only helped vs orcish assassins and to a much lesser degree ghouls
5. healthy was changed to +2 rest heal regardless if attacked/being attacked AND poison dmg reduction was removed from the trait

I knew at the time buffing the healthy trait in this way was only a minor fix but at least it was something. I definitely preferred if it was just removed from the game altogether. What I did not know was that the devs removed the poison reduction from the trait when they buffed its regen.
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Re: The Dwarven Dilemma

Post by Cackfiend »

TBS: thanks for your post. Your replies are always very informative and very well respected.
The Black Sword wrote:Some stats from tek's add-on, though there's really too few games to be relied upon yet.
Only 2 games vs most factions so I'll ignore those.
6 games vs orc with a 50% win ratio bodes well.
More alarmingly, 8 games vs drakes with a 25% win ratio.

I admit, dwarves are probably my least experienced faction and I think I was outnumbered before when I said I didn't feel they're weak. But I really feel you're greatly exxagerating this issue.
Unfortunately tek's addon will not really tell you anything for a very long time most likely. But his idea is nice and I hope something does come of it.

Dwarves being your least experienced/worst faction is absolutely no surprise to me. I think it is most peoples that are highly ranked on the ladder. I believe this is largely due to the 4mp issue :)
The Black Sword wrote: Dwarf vs Orc is the problem matchup with poison and I think its often felt that the orcs have an advantage here due to a combination of banking with a good defense and poison. I think I'd disagree with this, perhaps the Orcs are easier to play which gives this impression but I've felt that between 2 good players the dwarves are very hard to break down and can attack well with ulfs. Rarely a game-winning attack but they can get a unit or 2 or a vill and retreat and gradually these advantages can build up. The stats above appear to agree with me though again, there's too few games to be sure.

Since the Undead matchup is not a problem for the dwarves, I don't think this "inability to deal with poison" is fair.
In a dwarf vs orc matchup its really dependant on the players skill level. Good orc players that know well how to use orcish poison can do some serious damage. I remember recently playing a game vs elido on HGB where I made 5 assassins and several trolls and it was pretty brutal to see so many 1hp poisoned dwarves trying to get away.
The Black Sword wrote: The rest of your ideas, surrounding increasing the speed of the dwarves, I don't really like as they cut down on the dwarves theme of a slow resilient race.
If the dwarves do need help, and I'm still a bit skeptical of that fact, then I'd prefer it happened without hitting that theme.

If we can agree that the orc matchup is ok, loys and drakes are the 2 remaining possible problem matchups. The cav is a bit of a nerf for the loyals here, so I had a quick check of the WTT games in 1.9, I think Loyals are beating dwarves 6-1 so far. Again not enough games to be sure, but a bad sign. Most of those games were between quite good players.
I don't think asking for the removal of the healthy trait is cause for alarm to being a threat of cutting down on the dwarves theme of a slow resilient race. Asking for all dwarves to be 5mp is though :)
The Black Sword wrote: I've been thinking about these matchups for a bit and there's a few things I could say but I don't think it would be very coherent. In summary, I am not 100% convinced dwarves have a problem here(from my own experiences) but the stats and talking with other people suggest you're right. My suggestion is to buff the poacher (or maybe the thunderer, but he's already quite good) somehow. For a concrete and controversial selection, give him the dextrous trait :P . These are the 2 matchups which would be most affected by that.
Your solutions have the potential to unbalance the other matchups IMO in addition to affecting the dwarvish theme.

Btw, I'd say that healthy is just as useful as the other dwarf traits with the exception of quick. Quick dwarves do rock :wink: .
Buffing the poacher is something i've tried to get done for a long time. I'd love to make more poachers but the math just forces me not to. A 4-4 dmg poacher will never take advantage of drakes -10% pierce resist, for instance, and thunderers do 22-1 dmg to cavs/horsemen whom have 44 hps when strong/resilient.

I don't see the potential to unbalance other matchups with the removal of the healthy trait. Again its a fairly new trait and before it was added matchups were not unbalanced.

I'd disagree with you fully and whole-heartedly that healthy is just as useful as the other dwarf traits. Strong on a guardsmen or ulf is a huge boost and a pretty decent on to the fighter.
The Black Sword wrote: PPS. I'm pretty sure when Cackfiend says he doesn't play as well with dwarves as other races, that still means very very well indeed.
Thanks, I still win plenty of games as dwarves, I am certainly not bad with them. That being said I have lost 4 of my ladder matches since my return as Dwarves and I felt in each of those matches quite hopeless due to the lack of quick dwarves.
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Re: The Dwarven Dilemma

Post by Great_Mage_Atari »

Cackfiend wrote:You can play dwarves really well and have no problem with them?
Actually, I said that I see no problem with them. That doesn't mean that I don't have my slight issues with them :wink:
Cackfiend wrote:Who exactly do you play? Are you part of the ladder and playing the top players on a regular basis? When I think about balancing wesnoth I only take into consideration when expert players play eachother, not when mediocre players play vs eachother or a good one plays a mediocre/bad one because this proves nothing from a balance stand point. No offense meant here; I'm not saying you're mediocre but I have no idea if you're a good player due to the fact that you don't have a ladder account (or do you?). If 4mp isnt phasing you then you were either playing on a very dwarf friendly map or not vs drakes and loyalist because 4mp is a HUGE detriment to basic wesnoth strategy.
Who are you, the Dalai Lama of Wesnoth players? Lot's of people are very successful in strategies with Dwarves who are not part of the ladder. Not all experts play on the ladder. I consider myself experienced player (played since v1.0 and never made a ladder account), though not an expert by any means, and can win most battles with Dwarves. Being a part of the ladder or not being a part of it has nothing to do with the conversation at hand anyhow. Most of us have some more important things to do. How about we stop throwing crap like monkeys and use our evolutionary sense :wink:
Cackfiend wrote:The point of the healthy trait WAS indeed to be effective vs poison as originally thats what it did before I essentially got it changed. +2 hp per turn is hardly sweet imo, rarely do I find it to be very useful at all. Better than nothing? When is nothing even an option? It a pool of traits, if you don't get healthy you get something else that is much more useful. No, i'm not sure you understand just how much dwarves are robbed from getting other traits because of healthy being in the trait pool.
You're on a critical role today! Dwarves aren't being treated unfairly. Hardly the case, given that they have resistances to everything. I would rather have a few extra hp and some regen at the beginning of my turn right after a fight then not get any at all! Dwarves can get any other trait, and adding healthy into the pool isn't a "Holy **** my Steelcad is healthy! I'm doomed!" type deal. If you were more experienced with Dwarves you wouldn't find it so unappealing. Next you'll be saying that the Elves are too strong with their dexterous trait.
Cackfiend wrote:But it IS a big deal =] healthy trait is certainly not rare, and when almost all of your dwarf units get it you will know what I mean. Did you play wesnoth before healthy trait was even in the game? Its a fairly new trait. Dwarves were just fine before it and I don't believe people fully realize just how big of a mistake diluting the dwarven trait pool is.
I also remember when everything was extremely geometric with no shading, and I'm pretty happy for that to have changed. Maybe you should revamp your argument to make me feel as if I will be doomed to Wesnoth shame if I get a healthy Dwarf.

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Re: The Dwarven Dilemma

Post by Pentarctagon »

I think everyone needs to calm down and stop trying to speak for players other than themselves :annoyed: .
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nani
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Re: The Dwarven Dilemma

Post by nani »

Except the fact that this might better be discussed in private with the responsible devs,
I tend to agree that in a "higher-class" 1on1 on the current mainline maps, except
the ones that are often called stalematish lately (SDelta,Onis), Dwarves are often having difficulties
against Drakes,Loys,Orcs and I remember I had a similar (private) proposal before the healthy trait
was introduced. Nonetheless it might be useful to keep an eye on tekelili's work.
Maybe some of us are just Dwarf-Noobs. :augh:

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Re: The Dwarven Dilemma

Post by Great_Mage_Atari »

Yeah I'm no "expert" (got a rude PM from a member trying to discredit all I said prior because of it :doh: ) but I do agree with Cackfiend on one thing. I do think that poison should be counter-effected by the healthy trait. I wouldn't say nerfing the damage by 4hp takeaway, but rather reduce it by 2hp to give poison a 6hp damage to healthy units. Therefor poison is not so useless against Dwarves and still does moderate damage.

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