Dunefolk balancing rework ideas - discussion.

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Re: Default+Dunefolk era balance

Post by Pentarctagon » November 23rd, 2018, 8:14 am

name wrote:
November 23rd, 2018, 7:20 am
Pentarctagon wrote:
November 21st, 2018, 5:02 pm
that also goes along with their theme of being desert people, which I think is a greater benefit.
It maybe goes along with a theme of being misinformed about their own theme. That is, I suspect there is some serious confusion here between yearly temperature range and daily temperature range in the desert biome. A big 0 to 40 C (32 to 104 F) swing might happen over the course of a year, but a daily shift is a much more modest 16 C (28 F).

In other words, if it is hot during the day it will be pleasant late at night and you would be chaotic. If it is cold during the night then it will be pleasant during the day and you would be lawful. If it is between, the temperature is moderate at any time of day.
Yeah, fair enough.

I still disagree on the complexity argument, however. "Neutral except for Dawn and Dusk" is not a terribly difficult concept.
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Re: Default+Dunefolk era balance

Post by holius » November 23rd, 2018, 10:01 am

name wrote:
November 23rd, 2018, 7:20 am

It is not a fun or easily balanced design for the reasons outlined by Nobun above. On top of that it is unnecessarily complicating. The additional complexity might not be a bad thing if a new mechanic delivered game play value enough to offset said complexity. That just is not the case with liminal.

[...]

I think you are missing the point that the game already has quite enough mechanical complexity to confuse new players and surprise intermediate ones. Any further increase in the game's opaqueness needs to be justified by an equal value contribution in game play rather than a mere gimmick like liminal is.
I completely disagree with Nobun. The faction is Loyal+Liminal and its gameplay requires that you attack with a diverse group, during 4 consecutive periods out of 6, rotating the lines. The critic of liminal only being difficult to use to attack because the bonus is too short completely miss the point of transforming the liminal-only Khalifate to Loyal+Liminal (something that has been done a few years ago).

I think you hate liminal because you don't know how to play Dunefolk, so you call it a gimmick. I like the faction and its gameplay forcing mixed forces, I contributed to make liminal appear even simpler than before. I really only see trolling in calling it "opaque", when comparing to other combat mechanisms.

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Re: Dunefolk balancing rework ideas - discussion.

Post by Pentarctagon » November 23rd, 2018, 10:06 am

Let's avoid personal attacks, alright?

Also, @holius, I think you mean lawful rather than loyal?
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Re: Dunefolk balancing rework ideas - discussion.

Post by holius » November 23rd, 2018, 11:05 am

@pentarctagon, you're right, sorry for somehow derailing the thread. (confusing lawful and loyal comes from using the french translation)

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Re: Dunefolk balancing rework ideas - discussion.

Post by ghype » November 23rd, 2018, 9:51 pm

I am not here to comment on liminal, some point in future I will though.

There is however this ongoing discussion wether the burner line fids in wesnoth or not. Not only is the melee/ranged fire hard to balance (though you could give it a melee blade and balance problem solved), but many argue that a flametrhougher it self does not really fid in wesnoth lore, that it feels more UMC than mainline.
Personally, since dwarfs could tinker their thundersticks, why shouldn’t humans be able to spray flamable substances?

It comes down to the point that some preferred to remove the line completly and introduce magic instead, which i am strongly against and in my opinion should be the very last resorst.

what do you guys think about the burner line?

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Re: Dunefolk balancing rework ideas - discussion.

Post by Pentarctagon » November 23rd, 2018, 10:55 pm

Greek fire is a thing that existed even a fairly long time ago, even hand held varieties, so the Burner line doesn't really seem particularly out of place to me.
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Re: Dunefolk balancing rework ideas - discussion.

Post by The_Gnat » November 24th, 2018, 4:06 am

ghype wrote:
November 23rd, 2018, 9:51 pm
It comes down to the point that some preferred to remove the line completly and introduce magic instead, which i am strongly against and in my opinion should be the very last resorst.

what do you guys think about the burner line?
I am not against adding magic to this faction but I don't think drastic changes should be made because I like the shape the faction is at, I just believe it is unbalanced in some areas. :)
Pentarctagon wrote:
November 23rd, 2018, 10:55 pm
Greek fire is a thing that existed even a fairly long time ago, even hand held varieties, so the Burner line doesn't really seem particularly out of place to me.
I agree. Not only as a very unique unit (with fire melee) but also just because it is cool 8)
name wrote:
November 23rd, 2018, 7:20 am
On top of that it is unnecessarily complicating. The additional complexity might not be a bad thing if a new mechanic delivered game play value enough to offset said complexity. That just is not the case with liminal.
I agree with this. Complexity should not be added when it is possible to avoid it. However, I have never really had a problem with understanding liminal. For example many special abilities and units are more complex in of themselves then the liminal alignment is as a whole.

In my opinion the main complexity derives from the mix of lawful,neutral, and liminal units in the default dunefolk faction. This is, however, purely a strategic complexity which is reflected in the unbalance that the dunefolk has.

Basically what I am saying is the liminal alignment is not hard to understand, it is hard to use.

I can understand that it is therefore unfavorable for many people but I do not believe that hard to master tactics and strategy necessarily mean that this is a problematic mechanic in the game.
name wrote:
November 23rd, 2018, 7:20 am
Its uniqueness is likely due to it being a clearly inferior choice to the other three alignments given that there are only three largely even ways to divide a six turn day. It was not a stroke of genius to realize you could attempt to squeeze one last alignment out of the system by putting a weird emphasis on twilight. Rather it seems like an attempt to make the faction appear unique at face value by giving it yet one more alignment rather than relying on the worthwhile uniqueness that can be achieved through interesting unit design choices that exploit the mechanics already available.
You make a valid point and definitely agree that wesnoth has potential and is a great game without liminal. In fact wesnoth is a great game without the Dune Folk at all. But that really isn't the question. The question is whether the liminal alignment improves the faction of desert people who have already been added to wesnoth. IMO it does.

The uniqueness not only shapes the backstory of the khalifate faction but also is part of their foundation as a unique worthwhile faction. I do not think we need another loyalist group. Nor do we need more outlaws or orcs. The dunefolk are interesting thematically because of their alignment and as I mentioned previously they are interesting strategically because of the alignment.


name wrote:
November 23rd, 2018, 7:20 am
It maybe goes along with [url=https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File ... _Range.png]In other words, if it is hot during the day it will be pleasant late at night and you would be chaotic. If it is cold during the night then it will be pleasant during the day and you would be lawful. If it is between, the temperature is moderate at any time of day.
That is very interesting :D And definitely depending on the places that the Dune folk live the temperatures could be very different. From my research however I was led to believe that:

"Sand cannot hold heat but acts largely as a mirror amplifying the heat of the sun...

Because sand cannot hold heat, it needs a constant source of energy to stay warm (The Sun). Therefore, during the night when the sun is not shining the sand loses all its heat, making the desert night cold..."


name wrote:
November 23rd, 2018, 7:20 am
I think you are missing the point that the game already has quite enough mechanical complexity to confuse new players and surprise intermediate ones. Any further increase in the game's opaqueness needs to be justified by an equal value contribution in game play rather than a mere gimmick like liminal is.
Absolutely. :D But I neither see the liminal as a gimmick nor do I see it as a confusion.

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Re: Default+Dunefolk era balance

Post by name » November 24th, 2018, 3:48 pm

holius wrote:
November 23rd, 2018, 10:01 am
I completely disagree with Nobun. The faction is Loyal+Liminal and its gameplay requires that you attack with a diverse group, during 4 consecutive periods
[...]
I like the faction and its gameplay forcing mixed forces, I contributed to make liminal appear even simpler than before.
Your description of the the faction here does a good job of emphasizing why I call liminal a gimmick. As you said yourself it "forc[es] mixed forces". All factions require use of mixed unit groups to be played effectively. So trying to "force" this to happen (as liminal does) is redundant and silly.
holius wrote:
November 23rd, 2018, 10:01 am
I really only see trolling in calling it "opaque", when comparing to other combat mechanisms.
What I was actually saying was that adding yet another damage mechanic would make the game's damage calculations pretty opaque at this point. There are already so many things to factor when just deciding what kind of damage trading will take place between a pair of units, let alone half dozens of them.

If you want to add a new mechanic that makes the game more complicated overall, making it one which operates on the overburdened damage calculations is not the way to go.
ghype wrote:
November 23rd, 2018, 9:51 pm
It comes down to the point that some preferred to remove the line completly and introduce magic instead, which i am strongly against and in my opinion should be the very last resorst.

what do you guys think about the burner line?
Regarding the faction's relation to magic, I think it is worth pointing out that this may be a hold over from when the khalifate was an openly, puritanically religious faction based on the abrahamic tradition. Abrahamic religion takes a very dim view of older religious practices like shamanism or polytheism or the practice of "magic", which often seem to be viewed synonymously.

Without that abrahamic dogma, the only standing logic behind dunefolk being against magic is because dunefolk are against magic. In other words, circular reasoning.

Bringing this back to the burner line specifically, I wonder what better fits the near eastern theme of the faction-- a pretty exclusively greek/byzantine weapon or a jinn (a creature of smokeless flame from middle eastern traditions)?
Pentarctagon wrote:
November 23rd, 2018, 10:55 pm
Greek fire is a thing that existed even a fairly long time ago, even hand held varieties, so the Burner line doesn't really seem particularly out of place to me.
That is quite impressive given the materials available at that time for making gaskets. However, do note the fine print from the same article:

"""The illustrations of Hero's Poliorcetica show the cheirosiphōn also throwing the ignited substance, but such illustrations were narrative in intent, so that showing the device throwing the ignited substance may have seemed preferable to trying to clearly illustrate throwing the unignited substance and then igniting it."""
The_Gnat wrote:
November 24th, 2018, 4:06 am
From my research however I was led to believe that:

Because sand cannot hold heat, it needs a constant source of energy to stay warm (The Sun). Therefore, during the night when the sun is not shining the sand loses all its heat, making the desert night cold..."
If you look again at the map I linked to and specifically at the actual numerical temperature values in its legend, you will see that the issue is not that deserts have no greater daily temperature range than other biomes, but that their daily temperature range is not that harsh at all. Depending on the latitude of the specific desert you are in and the time of year, you will find only the day or the night or neither to have an extreme temperature. What makes deserts harsh, besides the lack of water, is how much their temperature changes between seasons, not times of day.

In short, the desert biome offers zero thematic support for liminal alignment.

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Re: Dunefolk balancing rework ideas - discussion.

Post by Pentarctagon » November 24th, 2018, 4:23 pm

Regarding magic, a Jinn could probably work (and a level 2 one has already been added, so at least one additional sprite would be needed if one were to be recruitable), but their lack of magic use by humans is addressed in their race description:
As a result of living in hostile environments for centuries, the Dunefolk have developed rational methods of enquiry through which they continue to improve their understanding of the world. Their study of herbal medicine keeps their warriors and workers fresh and healthy. Their knowledge of alchemy allows them to tame fire and wield it as a deadly weapon in battle. At the same time, this analytical mindset has distanced them from magical arts; to the rational mind, magic is uncontrollable, unpredictable, and hence unreliable. For this reason, the Dunefolk especially loathe the perversions of necromancy and the dark arts, even more so than other races.
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Re: Default+Dunefolk era balance

Post by Celtic_Minstrel » November 24th, 2018, 4:41 pm

name wrote:
November 24th, 2018, 3:48 pm
Bringing this back to the burner line specifically, I wonder what better fits the near eastern theme of the faction-- a pretty exclusively greek/byzantine weapon or a jinn (a creature of smokeless flame from middle eastern traditions)?
A jinn certainly fits, of course. But the reason I feel the burner fits with a non-magical weapon is because of crude oil. While Greek fire is certainly a factor (making the technology plausible, for example), it's not the deciding factor for me. I don't know precisely how the dunefolk might have access to a supply of crude, but if they do, it seems reasonable that they'd find a use for it, and flamethrowers are surely a valid use, right?
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Re: Default+Dunefolk era balance

Post by ghype » November 24th, 2018, 4:46 pm

name wrote:
November 24th, 2018, 3:48 pm
"""The illustrations of Hero's Poliorcetica show the cheirosiphōn also throwing the ignited substance, but such illustrations were narrative in intent, so that showing the device throwing the ignited substance may have seemed preferable to trying to clearly illustrate throwing the unignited substance and then igniting it."""
I think such fine differences can be ignored since we are in a fantasy environment. important is that this could have been possible, which only supports the existing of such an unit line such as the burner. Given the current DF race description, using them "naptha" makes now even more sense to me.
Pentarctagon wrote:
November 24th, 2018, 4:23 pm
a Jinn could probably work (and a level 2 one has already been added)
where can I find that unit?
also, wouldn't jinn be considered a magical creature? Which would mean that DF wouldn like to work with Jinns. Or does their hate against magic refer only on their own use?

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Re: Default+Dunefolk era balance

Post by Pentarctagon » November 24th, 2018, 4:55 pm

ghype wrote:
November 24th, 2018, 4:46 pm
Pentarctagon wrote:
November 24th, 2018, 4:23 pm
a Jinn could probably work (and a level 2 one has already been added)
where can I find that unit?
also, wouldn't jinn be considered a magical creature? Which would mean that DF wouldn like to work with Jinns. Or does their hate against magic refer only on their own use?
It's in data/core/units/monsters/. As far as magic use, it could be that Jinn are considered a special exception as fire spirits, or something like that. Keeping the Burner line and changing their melee to non-fire for balance is fine too though(and using liquid fire in hand to hand combat sounds pretty dangerous anyway), so it doesn't seem like there's a need to add in a Jinn to the faction either.
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Re: Default+Dunefolk era balance

Post by Celtic_Minstrel » November 24th, 2018, 6:44 pm

ghype wrote:
November 24th, 2018, 4:46 pm
where can I find that unit?
It hasn't been released yet; it'll be in 1.15.0 whenever that comes out.
ghype wrote:
November 24th, 2018, 4:46 pm
also, wouldn't jinn be considered a magical creature? Which would mean that DF wouldn like to work with Jinns. Or does their hate against magic refer only on their own use?
Yeah, I think jinn would be considered a magical creature. I figure there's a tense relationship between the jinn and the dunefolk.
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Re: Dunefolk balancing rework ideas - discussion.

Post by The_Gnat » November 25th, 2018, 5:59 am

name wrote:
November 24th, 2018, 3:48 pm
As you said yourself it "forc[es] mixed forces". All factions require use of mixed unit groups to be played effectively. So trying to "force" this to happen (as liminal does) is redundant and silly.
I actually disagree. Firstly I don't believe 'force' is an accurate assessment of the faction because the unique units and strategy fit reasonably well together IMO (though they do struggle with balance). Furthermore because of the theme of the dune folk and units I believe that the alignments make the potential for a mixed alignment faction logical.

Secondly many factions have mixed alignment but only the knalgans have a comparable mixed alignment. The other factions have merely specialist units.
Faction analysis
  • Rebels - All neutral except the mage, wose, merman hunter. These are all units which encourage lawful attacks but because of there uniqueness and specific roles in the faction they do not really alter the neutral stance which is heavily focused on attacking the enemy during their weak ToD. The wose adds some interesting dynamics because it is their tank, but because of its slow movement it really does not have much of an option to attack and retreat at certain ToD's
  • Drakes - Lawful except their healer (who usually hides behind the lines) and the skirmisher who acts best as a scout unit and is brutal because of its long distance killing ability regardless of the ToD.
  • Knalgans - Neutral except the three outlaws (thief, poacher, footpad). This I believe is similar to the liminal situation. However, they have no powerful melee units but instead a variety of specialists but it still has potential for strategy and mutliple waves of attack.
  • Loyalists - All lawful
  • Northerners - All chaotic
  • Undead - All chaotic
  • Dune folk

    - Liminal units: Herbalist, Rider, Rover
    - Lawful units: Burner, Piercer, Soldier
    - Neutral units: Falcon

    Very unique mix. Both lawful and liminal have strong units, scouts, and both ranged and melee.
The unique alignment situation of the dunefolk is unique and a key part of the value of the faction in my mind.

name wrote:
November 24th, 2018, 3:48 pm
If you want to add a new mechanic that makes the game more complicated overall, making it one which operates on the overburdened damage calculations is not the way to go.
Because alignment is already calculated into damage in the right hand menu and when you attack the actual calculation does not need to be done by the player.

I agree with your point about adding additional mechanics to consider but really liminal does not overburden the game. The statistical modification of alignment is not unique and every player automatically thinks to themselves: "I will plan around my factions Tod".

I don't understand how that is complicated enough to merit removal? I do agree it complicates having effective playing tactics, but the fact that liminal is harder to use is part of its uniqueness.
name wrote:
November 24th, 2018, 3:48 pm
Bringing this back to the burner line specifically, I wonder what better fits the near eastern theme of the faction-- a pretty exclusively greek/byzantine weapon or a jinn (a creature of smokeless flame from middle eastern traditions)?
I absolutely love the burner line. It is potentially my favorite unit in the whole game :D and so I would prefer it was not removed. However, I am not opposed to having magic in the faction because backstory can be re-written easily enough and balance is a more important aspect to be considered.


Celtic_Minstrel wrote:
November 24th, 2018, 6:44 pm
Yeah, I think jinn would be considered a magical creature. I figure there's a tense relationship between the jinn and the dunefolk.
Besides the fact that jinn's seem to be related to the desert due to their costume (and the fact that jinn's are cool) what improvement could it offer that the burner cannot? :)

name wrote:
November 24th, 2018, 3:48 pm
That is quite impressive given the materials available at that time for making gaskets. However, do note the fine print from the same article
While throwing flames is not commonly known as a tactic in the past I don't think that there is any physical impossibility with doing so. Nor do I believe it would be impossible to design some crude form of filtration device. In fact if anyone makes a mask that filters out things in the air it would probably be people who had to breath in the desert all day long ;)


name wrote:
November 24th, 2018, 3:48 pm
but that their daily temperature range is not that harsh at all.
:hmm: That which you say may very well be indicated on the map, but I am unconvinced that no deserts on the planet have both hot days and cold nights. NASA seems to have a different opinion about the average daily and nightly temperatures.

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Re: Dunefolk balancing rework ideas - discussion.

Post by Celtic_Minstrel » November 25th, 2018, 4:14 pm

I'm not sure I understand your question? Why are you even asking what improvement jinn would have over the burner? There isn't any plan for jinn to replace burners... the added jinn unit in master isn't really comparable to the burner line.

(By the way, the word "jinn" is grammatically plural. For singular you can use either "jinn" or "jinni".)
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