Dunefolk Rework - Changes In Unit Lines & Base Units

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ghype
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Dunefolk Rework - Changes In Unit Lines & Base Units

Post by ghype » March 25th, 2019, 8:26 pm




Update #1

Update #2

Update #3



As the titles give away, we don't just changes unit stats, but we also changed some concepts in the unit line designs. We decided to formulate those conceptual changes into phrases so we don't have to clutter the section, where we just post the concrete stats. We are providing a short summary of this post at the very end, but we strongly advise to at least read "Changes In Unit Lines" as only that way you can follow the ideas and reasons for those changes.




Changes In Unit Lines

Skirmisher Origin & Leadership/Skirmishing Special Replacement


Rover To Skirmisher Makes No Sense
  • Not only does it make no sense conceptually, it also seems to have missed what the original designer was intended and instead feels like an odd afterthought. Thats why the Skirmisher no longer lv ups from Rover, but instead from the Soldier.
    • Conceptional, the Rover is a unit that starts with a shield, an axe and a bow. The Explorer and Ranger are special units, that are capable of shooting arrows with their bows while holding the shield in the same hand as the bow. Not only is how Sleepwalker planned this unit to be after he reworked the sprite in 2012 but it is even historically accurate. This makes this unit line indeed special. Why would the rover have a 2nd unit line, which not only ignores the specialty of this unit line, completely changes the concept and get rid of everything the Rover was known for? All weapon were dropped and even the armour type is changed.
    • Visually, it is hard to believe that the Skirmisher is supposed to come from the Rover unit. While visually some unit lines do have incongruities in them (for example spearman line) it is ideal to avoid this. The armour it wears reminds much more to the Soldier then Rover, especially since it wields a sword and not an axe. The helmet and the chainmail are very close to the Soldier.
    • Visually the skirmisher's stance also indicates more that he would have leadership rather than skirmishing. The current unit's sprite doesn't really look as if it is supposed to be a skirmisher at all.


Leadership Instead Of Skirmish
  • The second reason to change the Skirmisher is that it would be easily the strongest skirmishing unit because of its physical resistance armour type. Skirmishing would get replaced with Leadership special.
    • It doesn't make sense for a unit that starts without skirmisher to gain it on level up. On the other hand leadership is definitely an ability which can be gained as you advance in experience.
    • We did many test games and it turned out that such a skirmishing unit with +10% blade/pierce res is plain broken.
    • Furthermore we believe it would be more valuable thematically to have a leadership unit in this faction for both future DF campaigns, and for the development of the DF lore which would make sense for a militarised faction such as Dunefolk.
    note: By changing the unit concepts from a skirmishing unit to a leading unit, we suggest to find new names for the lv2 and lv3 unit.


Healer Problem #1: Apothecary

We are dealing with an Apothecary which has 1 too many specials. We believe that such a unit would be too strong for any occasion. The combination of regeneration and healing is unusual and combined with greater hp and attacks makes it considerably stronger than its level 1 predecessor. However, most important is the fact that the most powerful healer in the game also becomes a tank with this advancement. That is why we were dedicated to find a more traditional and better balanced way to implement all these abilities.




Redistribute Abilities:
The best and most straightforward way dealing with this is to introduce a lv3 advancement for the Apothecary. This way we could have the herbalist have its original +8 heal, the Apothecary would keep its +8 heal and cure, but only the newly added lv3 unit would gain some sort of regeneration (even though the term regeneration is complicated, but more on that later). This would be a very traditional approach and would not affect the balance in any bad way.

That seems good so far, but we realised that in a PVP situation, there is not enough incentive for a player to lv up a herbalist. There is no longer the reward of having an Apothecary which can heal and regenerate himself at the same time, unless you would be fighting undead or orc enemy using a lot of poison. If you want another +8 healer, you can simply recruit one. You don't have to recruit a +4 healer and then advance it to a lv2 with +8 heal (as with other factions). For that reason, we came up with a new lv2 advancement to give players reason to use it and lv it up.


  • The "Poisoner":
    The goal was to bring in a reason/reward for leveling up Herbalist while at the same time adding more flavor and thematic possibilities for the DF faction. That was the time when the forum discussed to introduce a venomous naga unit. During that discussion it was brought up if there would be a venomous/poison-dealing unit in Dunefolk - it certainly should be the Herbalist line.
    • If Herbalist's healing is based on herbs and organic recourses, than it wouldn't be far fetched that he could create poisons using the same materials. But a poisonous mace seems odd. So we had to think of what kind of weapon he would use the poison on. If we would make it a melee weapon, we would face new balancing issues and a bow would seem just odd. Afterall, we decided to go for a blowpipe which would fid the alchemists theme the most.
    • The interesting thing about this concept is that a player now would have to decide wether he wants a unit that decently heals friendly units and cures their poisonous status or that heals himself and deals poisonous damage to enemy units...
      It would have the same sort of regeneration as the lv3 Apothecary.
    • This, as with many changes to the higher level unit lines, is in an effort to add more uniqueness to the DF faction. Currently their are a number of units in every faction that have separate advancement lines or unique abilities at higher levels. The addition of the Poisoner to the DF faction would add to the gameplay and also bring greater depth for future campaign development.

  • Self-Heal, not Regeneration:
    We generally wanted to stay away to introducing new abilities, but we found it important to express that the initial regeneration from the Apothecary felt very odd terminology-wise. This special was mainly used by Trolls and Woses in mainline due to their natural sped up process of healing skin and wounds - which human don't have.
    • Mainline is missing an ability which expresses the ability of not only healing surrounding units, but itself as well - even though it is nowhere stated that "regenerates" special is truly reserved for Trolls and Woses. Neither the Troll/Wose description nor the special description specifically indicates that it cannot be used by humanoids. However, over the years and the one thing we connect these units with is regeneration and the lore of these units has shaped in such a way that it would seem odd to many for 'regeneration' to be possible for humans.
    • Just as people argued against having the name 'marksman' as a melee weapon special because of its connotations and thematic role, we believe it is important not to have the name 'regenerates' for a human skill in healing.
    • Furthermore, this new ability (Self Heal) is intended to be +4 HP not +8 as regenerates currently is. While technically we could use the regenerates special it would create a warrior out of this healer because regenerates is so powerful and that would easily be over powered without significant stat changes in other areas.


The original idea of +8 regenerates was intended to surpass the herbalists healing abilities. While thematically it could be argued that this is a good idea, healers are notoriously weak in HP (unlike the Herbalist line) in order to balance their ability. This unit has proved OP because it not only has one of the best lvl 2 healing abilities in the game but now is also the hardest healer to kill (because of regenerates). This survive-ability combined with its melee focused attack allowed it to be an effective fighter and healer simultaneously and OP.


Different Approaches:
[*]Another approach would be to maintain the current set up of regeneration in the engine, but expand its meaning to humans by simple changing its name. If the herbalist can heal +8 using herbs and other mages can heal allies +8 using magic, why shouldn't they be able to heal themselves as well (if they wanted to). So instead of changing the ability, it only changes it name - "Regeneration" for non-human entities and "Self-Heal" or anything else for humans that use herbs or magic.

Further more, so far the Wesnoth default engine knows the difference between heals +4 and heals +8. Well we have a regenerates, which heals also +8. If we don't want to introduce a new ability such as "self-heal" then why don't we recode regenerates ability as in the title "regenerates" is or the same for regen +4 and regen +8 but only the description clarifies which of the two it exactly is. If we were gonna do this way, then we would probably have to add a sentence or two to the ability.



note: By adding two new advancements to this unit line, it would require two new unit titles - one for the lv3 apothecary and one for the lv2 alchemist themed poisoner.





Healer Problem #2: "Movable Regeneration Station"

The title.. thats the code name for our problem regarding the lv1 Herbalist. As funny as it seems, it appeared to be very serious problem. Currently it literally acts like as if all unit around it would have regeneration or would sit on villages except poisoned units wouldn't get cured. Theoretically, that would be worth a lot of gold which would make the Herbalist very expensive. There however are a couple of approaches on how to make it work.

Raised Upkeep:
The idea is to make the lv1 Herbalist 2 upkeep and reduce its xp cost so there is a buffer until it pays off to have the Herbalist as the lv ups would loose 1 upkeep. Lv2 would have 1 upkeep cost and lv3 would have 2 upkeep costs. In theory, that sounds ok, but it is a very experimental approach to balance this unit and will require a lot more test games. It might be also very confusing as it a subjective price increase based upon time on battlefield instead of actual unit value. This creates an easy imbalance based on map sizes. Most importantly it still allows the DF to be super campy and have a "mobile regeneration station". So no, this is not an option.

Limited Mobility:
As the Dunefolks were very good and fast in engaging combats, it would be good to have the Herbalist somewhere in the second row where the battle happens, so units get healed on start of next turn. Well, thats exactly what makes the herbalist so strong. In the version we present, you will see that the 4mp version of an Herbalist is the one we consider the most balanced. The 4mp would be capped, it means the unit line no longer is capable to get the quick trait, which would mean that the Herbalist is no longer capable to participate at hard rushes agains opponents, but would be better on defending opposed rushes.
The capped movement could be explained (lore-wise) by the fact of him relying on physical objects, not like mages which rely on magic, to heal. That would require some sort of equipment, which had to be carried in some way. On top of that, the unit sprite and portrait suggest that he is not the fittest as he appears to be a little bit chubby.
However, this is not the best solution either. We would not have get rid of the "mobile regeneration station" and the capped mobility would only encourage camping. This unit would also become not keep up with fast manoeuvring in rushes and retreats. It will always stay behind and mostly not even fight. So this ain't an option either.


Heal +4 Instead Of Heal +8:
The presented Solution on the paragraph earlier are too exotic, certainly. Why not going traditional and make the herbalist the 3rd default unit with +4 heal instead of +8. Well, it is possible and here are what concepts would be possible

There would be two ways we could have handled this:
  • make it weak healer like the other two healers
  • make it a battle healer (not battle mage)
If we go with the first option then we would have to create a unit that is either useless in dealing damage or is dying in one turn in combat against most default units. Dunefolk and mp Wesnoth doesn't need another unit such as that. Now we could make it a battle healer, a unit that is capable of fighting in the front rows. For that it has to deal some sort of damage, be resilient enough to not deal in its first combat and of course to heal it's allies. If that herbalist would have an ability like ... let's say
"self-heal" (or regenrate +4) then it could be considered somewhat resilient.
The shaman can slow enemy units and disrupt enemy rushes and retreat. The augur has strong magic special and attack type which becomes more then useful in it's faction. Both of these healers have also really good defences. Both have something special to it. "Self-heal" is what the herbalist could stand out. And that's also what we are using in our published version.


Swordsman, Bladesmaster - Removal Of Slow & New Special
  • Removal Of Slow From Shield:
    The shield attack with slow on this unit's line was a gem for DF, but the one strike it used to have made it very unreliable attack and was close to never used for that reason. It went trough multiple versions until we decided to remove it. Some developers expressed deep wishes to keep the slow on that unit, but there are two reason why it shouldn't stay.
    • Balance:
      Initially became from 10-1 to 5-2 but multiple test games were showing that, as on unit itself it not balance breaking, but if you were to get the Swordsman as a leader from the start, then it could significantly throw off balance. It could potentially break the retreating of an opponent, who just rushed you as DF - matter if the rush was successful or not. Factions like drake, orcs or undead with early rushes can suffer a lot if one of their units gets trapped by a lv2 swordsman, who then can deal a lot of dmg on the turn. You could say that shammy could disrupt such a retaliation as well, but a shammy wouldn't be able to deal such a dmg - maybe in combination with lawful wose. Well, swordsman is both in one unit. For the time, we were forced to take swordsman out as leader to maintain balance, but that's something we were trying to prevent.
    • Lore:
      On top of everything, it was firmly discussed on the old forum thread, how slow special should be associated with entanglement or similar status - such as shammy entangle or mermain's net. Swordsman would not correspondent with such an description.

  • New Special:
    Our goal was to make Swordsman and his advancements work without shield and slow combination. We had an ideas to make it 12-2 shield, but that would make the Swordsman resemble to much with the Dwarf Steelclad. As we were scouting new Abilities that are mainline but not used in multiplayer factions, we stumbled upon 3 potential abilities that could work.
    • UtbS - Shock:
      " This unit’s melee attack can overwhelm the defenses of enemies, preventing them from retaliating as effectively."
      Now this one is one that looked more promising and which doesn't seem to be too strong to affect balance in a noticeable way. After testing this ability, it became clear that if we were going to replace slow with a new special, it would UtbS's Shock. The exact stats of final Swordsman/Bladesman can be found in the Base Unit section.
      • The first argument for replacing the slow special was paradoxical conflict between the balance breaking ability to trap enemy units and the uselessness of a low damage or single strike slow attack. This would no longer be an issue and this special would allow the shield to instead represent an alternate damage attack (which is impact). Instead of focusing on a weak damage slow the stronger damaging impact attack combined with the additional benefit of lowered retaliation makes this an interesting alternate attack.
      • This new special would no longer be over powered and also would be useful in a larger range of circumstances. It would in particular make this unit stronger against units that strike only a few number of times. These units with 2 strikes (such as trolls, gryphons, horsemen, HI, and grunts) would on average lose approximately 1/4 retaliation damage on flat terrains. Furthermore a strong impact attack would give this unit an advantage against all skeletal units.
      • We also believe that this would make the unit more unique compared to the alternate Spearman advancement (which also only has a 2 strike melee). Previously the shield attack had only a very specific use and was very under-used. It was effectively non-existent because of its 1 strike design and the few situations in which slowing a unit is better than dealing high damage. Now instead the shield attack is a notable factor in the unit design and adds thematic interest to this unit.
    We also considered other options for the shield instead of the shock special as listed below, but none would work balance-wise.
    • DW - Stun:
      " This unit is able to stun its enemies, disrupting their zones of control."
      This was another option we considered . But stun is known to be very overpowered and hence balance breaking. So this was not an option.
    • UtbS - Daze:
      " When hit with this attack, an enemy suffers a 10% penalty both to their defense and chance to hit for one turn, except for magical attacks."
      In UtbS we found many new specials, this was another one that could be potentially associated with a shield attack. This not being as OP as stun, still had a lot of impact on balance would need many test games and fine tuning for this to work. It potentially needed also some adjustments in the coding to make it more balance-able. So this was an option, but not an optimal one. It also had the downside of adding complication to the default mainline era which could cause problems for new players.

Rider Advancements
  • Since we decided to remove the Piercer as a base unit from Dunefolk // link to (5) //, we had to decided what we are going to do with their sprite and the general concept for the DF mounts.The original concept was quite unique, where the Rider and Piercer could lv up to the Raider/Marauder. And while that wont be possible anymore we believe the 3 advancement lines should be kept.

    Note: ghype played around with the old lv2 and lv3 Piercer sprites and turned them into new units wielding blades and shooting arrows instead of wielding lances and maces. This is due to the new overhaul which will be further elaborated on.
    • Weapons:
      By default we have the Rider which could level up to the Swiftrider and Raider. The Swiftrider being mainly a ranged unit and the other a hybrid unit. If we would add the overworked lv2 Sunderer, we could say that it also has is a ranged attack, but is mainly a melee unit. That would mean we now have 3 advancements for the Rider units.
      One with strong melee dmg and weak ranged dmg (Sunderer), another one with normal melee dmg and normal ranged dmg (Raider) and a last one with weak melee dmg but strong ranged dmg (Swiftrider). This would be a very unique advancement option which we believe would improve the DF faction, while at the same time not encroaching on the loyalist faction's theme as 'The horse faction', which was raised as a complaint against the DF in the past.
    • Alignments:
      Taking this concept further, we have the Swiftrider which always has been liminal and which always gonna will remain liminal. Meanwhile the lv2 Sunderer works quite well as a lawful unit. It would also make sense lorewise and visually, since that unit resembles a lot to the DF Soldier which also is lawful.
      What about the Raider? Firstly it is named the 'Raider' so we believe it would fit well into a chaotic theme. Furthermore it's darkened clothing/armour, concealed face and black horse could suggest that this is a unit that would rather raid villages, camps or ambush enemy outposts at night. It This would make sense thematically if it would have chaotic alignment.
      It was mentioned that there shouldn't be any chaotic units in Dunefolk. But since this unit is a lv2 unit and not a base unit, it could be acceptable. You are not forced to lv up your liminal Rider to a chaotic Raider if you do not want to. But we think it can open up very interesting match ups and new strategies for scenarios or campaigns if one sees potential in using a chaotic Raider over a lawful Sunderer or liminal Swiftrider.
    In order to wrap this up, in the end, the Riders advancement would be like this:

    Sunderer: lawful, focus melee
    Raider: chaotic, hybrid
    Swiftrider: liminal, focus ranged

    note: There is still a naming problem coming from the 1.14 version of DF because the lv2 Sunderer and lv3 Cataphrakt have cool sounding names, but do not sound "wesnoth"-ish. We could discuss some new names for these units as well since we started doing this for others ones as well.

New Armour Set-Up, New Roles For Burner / Rover




Normalised Armour Set-Up:
  • Probably the hardest aspect of the rework was the unique armour Dunefolk had. Previously all infantries were vulnerable to impact with 10% and resistant to blade with 10%. The Soldier was an exception as he act's as tank. We think that a unique armour setup is fitting for a faction like Dunefolk, but with -10% impact and +10% blade many match-up problems were created. We were meaning to fix this, so we had to come up with else which still is unique.
  • Dunefolk important units are Soldier, Rover, Herbalist, Rover and Rider. That means we have 1 tank, 3 infantry units and 1 mount.
  • The Rider received an armour update which is similar to other unarmored mounts such as Wolf Rider or Elvish Scout. It now has the most essential characteristic of those type of units which is the -20% pierce. It's advancements become units of different armour classes depending on their unit role.
  • The Soldier was not changed the resistances worked quite well for such an armoured unit.
  • The Rover now became as much of an main unit as the Soldier as we gave him 0/0/0 physical resistances. This act's like a gameplay buffer as the Rover now has no real strengths or weaknesses and is fit for every match-up.
  • About the Herbalist and Burner ... We still wanted to maintain some unique elements, but the initial set up created too many disadvantages. Instead of -10% impact and +10% blade, we changed it into 0% impact and -10% blade. Now this doesn't seem as much of an improvement but it gives balances out as the Soldier and Rover are stronger then before. Units with impact damage usually are very tanky and strong (HI, Troll, Wose). This gives the Burner a higher chance of survival against the units it is supposed to fight against. This change also improves the DF matchup against the Knalgan alliance as a whole. Formerly the Knalgans were able to deal a lot of damage because of their many options of impact attacks, now this is not a factor (note: this is particularly important for balance because of the weakening of the Soldier in this matchup, now that it no longer has marksman).



Burner Now Cold Tank:
  • Initially the Burner was a very specialised unit - dealing fire damage on every attack. It might be very efficient against units with fire vulnerability or with large physical resistance. However, this also meant the Burner is useless against certain other units. This is one of the reasons why it's melee was changed from fire to blade. Moreover, as mentioned in the matchups section, the Burner previously slaughtered the Wose. Now it is still very good against it but not so OP (also note that the change in DF armour has compensated in the Wose matchup by improving the faction's resistances against impact).
  • Also note that in the UD matchup the Burner is now slightly worse. This is not an issue, however, because of the fact that the Burner is now cheaper (it is also now better in the Drake matchup as a result of the Blade damage, whereas formerly it was useless).
  • On top of that, Dunefolk is missing a unit that tanks cold damage and which other unit would be better then the Burner. The Burner's primary weapon which is a flamethrower would allow such resistance against cold, effectively acting as a heat source for the unit.



Rover Versatile Unit:
  • Note that the changes to the Rover modify its role. Firstly the added resistance allows it to be more useful in a variety of matchups (including against UD). Secondly the cheaper cost and slower movement makes it less of a specialist unit (because it really wasn't very special before). Thirdly the Rover's range attack has been increased by 1 damage (notice the change in the liminal alignment +25% instead of 0% and no change to the Rover's ranged attack stats which will now make the attack 6-3 at most times of day). While it does reflect a slight disadvantage against blade units this is entirely compensated by its advantage against impact units (in particular Troll which dominated the DF faction previously).
  • Even though it now has only 5mp and has a reduction in HP, we don't feel the Rover has lost any of its ability in combat. The reduction in movement was necessary because such a cheap unit can be spammed easily and this avoids the potential to overrun certain matchups. It now plays the role of cheap mixed fighter because of its ability to combat in every situation. Unlike formerly when it was inferior in every situation, with the reduced cost and increased ranged attack it is actually effective in most matchups.





Base Units

Disclaimer:
This is the part, where we are gonna showcase the concrete stat changes for every base unit and their new lv ups. They will be displayed using the code function and underneath every single change will be commented on. Some changes are happen for the entire unit line, so they will be commented only once. We will also provide a short summary for each units changes. If a commentary ends in f.a.lv. it means that the comment is valid for all lv-ups of that specific unit.


Soldier Line


Soldier Lv1

Code: Select all

	- remove fearless
	- remove marksman	
	- melee: from 9 - 2 to 11- 2					 		
	- hills def. from 60% to 50%		
	- mountains def. from 40% to 50%	
	- new advancement, removal of skirmisher			
  • fearless trait turned out to be problematic, it promotes camping vs certain matchups (f.a.lv.)
  • reasons for marksman not working on a lv1 unit were discussed in earlier sections (f.a.lv.)
  • increased Soldiers damage output to make Soldier stronger after marksman removal (f.a.lv.)
  • 60% hills doesn't fit his role as a tank, hence the decrease (f.a.lv.)
  • 40% mountain must have been a mistake, hence the increase (f.a.lv.)
  • leader role as advancement fits this unit line much better then a skirmishing one


Swordsman Lv2

Code: Select all

	- remove fearless				
	- remove marksman			 	
	- removed as random leader		
	- blade: from 13 - 2 to 15 - 2		
	- shield: from 10 - 1 to 10 - 2
	- slow removal / new special: shock	
	- hp from 58 from 55				
	- hills def. from 60% to 50%		
	- mountains def. from 40% to 50%			
  • no longer available as random leader, its a very strong leader (f.a.lv.)
  • initial shield was never used, this way new strategies open up (f.a.lv.)
  • new special was discussed in section earlier (f.a.lv.)
  • hp reduced due to balancing (f.a.lv.)



Bladesmaster Lv3

Code: Select all

	- remove fearless					
	- remove marksman			 
	- removed as leader			 	
	- hp from 70 from 67				
	- hills def. from 60% to 50%		
	- mountains def. from 40% to 50%				


Summery:
The soldier line now comparing to its predecessor with marksman has now two main goals: dealing and tanking dmg. Besides its attack, only the HP was lowered by 1 and hill defense lowered to make it killable on hills for factions without magic.
The main change is removing marksman and increasing the melee damage by 2.
What it does is it makes the soldier good vs units on flat and only slightly weaker vs units on 60% defense. Now soldier is effective vs units on low defense and its resistances make it strong on flat terrain. The damage it was dealing before was too low to kill many units, especially for its 18g cost. Soldier was the core of dunefolk army and the changes make it more effective.

The Swordsman/Bladesmaster biggest change were the shield which is now much more effective. In fact, with the new shield it can now either deal a lot of dmg or attack a unit without receiving much of dmg on retaliation and trap the given unit on top of it. It makes it a highly versatile unit such a unit surely deserves to be called a real soldier. It is so good, that as leader, the player might have some advantages in early game due to the slow. Hence we this unit is no longer available as random leader.

Soldier Lv Ups

Spearguard Lv2

Code: Select all

	- melee: 15 - 2 to 16 - 2		
	- new ranged: 9 - 1 pierce			
	- pierce res. from 20% to 30%		
	- hills def. from 60% to 50%		
	- mountains def. from 40% to 50%				
  • dmg increased to differ from swordsman
  • feels more natural for this unit to have such a ranged attack (f.a.lv.)
  • res buff for every lv up to differ from swordsman (f.a.lv.)



Spearmaster Lv3

Code: Select all

	- melee: 15 - 3 to 23 - 2			
	- new ranged: 13 - 1 pierce		
	- pierce res. from 20% to 40%		
	- hills def. from 60% to 50%		
	- mountains def. from 40% to 50%		
  • removed strike, increased dmg to differ from bladesmaster


Summery:
In comparison to the Swordsman/Bladesmaster, the Spearguard and Spearmaster not only deal piercing damage, but are now more equipped against pierce dmg. Archers now have to fear their strong javelin as well.



Skirmisher Lv2

Code: Select all

	- melee: 9 - 4 to 7 - 4	
	- removed skirmisher				
	- added leadership				
	- removed as random leader		
	- mp from 6 to 5				
	- hp from 46 to 45				
	- hills def. from 60% to 50%		
	- mountains def. from 40% to 50%		
  • adjusted attack to new liminal (f.a.lv.)
  • skirmish/leadership change was discussed earlier, fits sprite and faction much more (f.a.lv.)
  • leadership + soldier is a strong combo, so this unit should be available as leader. (f.a.lv.)
  • decrease of one mp makes the leadership less abusable(f.a.lv.)
  • hp reduced due to balancing (f.a.lv.)


Harrier Lv3

Code: Select all

	- melee: 10 - 5 to 7 - 5	
	- removed skirmisher				
	- added leadership				
	- removed as random leader		
	- mp from 6 to 5					
	- hp from 58 to 57				
	- hills def. from 60% to 50%		
	- mountains def. from 40% to 50%			


Summery:
The old Skirmisher, now a leader, functions as officer on the battlefield. He shares the same movetype like the soldier is a bit more slower and weaker since he is better at tactics and commanding then killing enemy units. It is also no longer available as random leader due to early game advantage in combination with soldier.

Note: the lore of this unit should be rewritten accordingly.


Rover Line


Rover Lv1

Code: Select all

	- melee: 5-3 to 4-3 
	- mp from 6 to 5 				
	- hp from 32 to 29 						
	- xp from 44 to 43					
	- cost from 15 to 14				
	- removed advancement			
	- blade res from 10% to 0%			
	- impact res from -10% to 0%		
	- pierce res from 10% to 0% 		
	- fungus def from 40% to 50%			
  • adjusted to new liminal, with strong trait it can become 5-3 (6-3 at liminal)
  • with 6mp this unit would have been too squishy to be usefull
  • new hp has max. 35 / min 27,55
  • new xp is 30,1 xp at 70% with intelligent
  • gold reduction for more cost efficiency
  • skirmisher did not fit this unitline
  • normalise armour (f.a.lv.)
  • normalise armour (f.a.lv.)
  • pierce res for this hybrid unit useless, pierce buff on lv ups, normalise armour
  • fungus buff for some map advantages (f.a.lv.)


Explorer Lv2

Code: Select all

	- ranged: 6-4 to 8-3			
	- hp from 49 to 46					
	- blade res from 10% to 0%		
	- impact res from -10% to 0%	
	- fungus def from 40% to 50%		
  • adjusted ranged
    • scales much better to lv3
    • emphasis melee weapon more since, sprite makes us believe he is a axe wielder
    • with the new liminal it can no longer reach max. dmg output of 8-4
    • 6-4 would be 7-4 at liminal and 7-4 would be 9-4 at liminal which is to much
  • 17hp gain on lv up instead of 20



Ranger Lv3

Code: Select all

	- hp from 65 to 62			
	- blade res from 10% to 0%		
	- impact res from -10% to 0%	
	- pierce res from 10% to 20% 	
	- fungus def from 40% to 50%				
  • adjusted hp for balancing
  • it now has pierce buff on max lv


Summery:
Main function of the Rover now became to weaken units with its ranged attack or to hold villages as a cheap unit . It was made more resilient and cheaper but its attacks got a bit weaker. The reductions improve the overall units balance by making it stronger and more affordable as a cheap unit. The damage is reduced to compensate for the bonus ToD and do not reflect a notable weakening in the unit.
Just like the soldier, the rover and its advancements do know how to make use of their shields. This is reflected in their pierce resistance which makes them effective against other archers and spear fighters.


Burner Line


Burner Lv1

Code: Select all

	- melee: fire to blade				
	- melee: 8 -2 to 7 - 2				
	- xp from 44 from 40				
	- 17g instead of 19g				
	- hp: from 31 to 34				
	- cold res from -20% to 10%		
	- blade res from 10% to -10%		
	- impact res from -10% to 0%		
	- fungus def from 40% to 50%	
	- strong trait introduced		
  • melee fire too strong against undead/wose, useless against drake (f.a.lv.)
  • adjusted melee dmg
  • new xp is 28xp on 70% with intelligent
  • gold reduction for more cost efficiency
  • hp buff for better performance (f.a.lv.)
  • cold vulnerability makes no sense, this works quite well balance wise (f.a.lv.)
  • normalise armour (f.a.lv.)
  • normalise armour (f.a.lv.)
  • fungus buff for some map advantages (f.a.lv.)
  • strong trait was missing for some reason (f.a.lv.)


Scorcher Lv2

Code: Select all

	- melee: fire to blade				
	- melee: 10 -2 to 8 - 2				
	- ranged: 8 - 3 to 9 - 3				
	- hp from 44 from 47				
	- cold res from -20% to 20%	
	- blade res from 10% to -10%		
	- impact res from -10% to 0%	
	- fungus def from 40% to 50%
	- strong trait introduced				
  • adjusted melee dmg
  • increased ranged dmg so unit becomes better archer (f.a.lv.)



Firetrooper Lv3

Code: Select all

	- melee: fire to blade				
	- ranged: 9 - 4 to 10 - 4			
	- cold res from -20% to 30%		
	- blade res from 10% to -10%		
	- impact res from -10% to 0%		
	- fungus def from 40% to 50%
	- strong trait introduced						


Summery:
We wanted burner to be cheaper and better vs other factions so that it could be more versatile. Its melee fire attack was problematic vs woses and other fire-vulnerable units. 

Arguably it makes it weaker vs skeletons, though the cost reduction compensates for it.
 There were also non-balance reasons for the change.
 According to the original creator of the burner its ranged attack is supposed to be the flamethrower not the melee one.
 Also some people didn’t like the idea of a melee flamethrower and preferred the ranged version.
The change doesn’t make DF weaker vs undead because the main problem in the matchup were adepts and how hard to kill they were, the skeletons were second. Since the Burner and its advancements now function as cold tanks too, this should be more balanced now.

Rider Line

Rider Lv1

Code: Select all

	- melee: 5-2									
	- ranged: 7-3 to 5-3				
	- mp from 7 to 8				
	- cost from 16 to 18	
		
	- pierce res. from -10% to -20%		
	- blade res. from 10% to 0%	
			
	- cave mov. from 4 to 3			
	- cave def. from 20% to 30%		
	- fungus mov. from 4 to 3			
	- fungus def. from 30% to 40%		
	- mountain mov. from 4 to 3		
	- mountain def. from 30% to 60%
	- castle def.  from 40% to 60%					
  • melee 5-2
    • technically did not changed
    • now is 6-2 at liminal opposed to the old 4-2 at liminal
    • with strong trait it will be 6-2 and 7-2 at liminal
  • ranged adjusted to new liminal, 6-3 at liminal
  • mp increase for proper scouting
  • gold cost increased since it was too strong for such a price
  • pierce/blade res adjusted to be similar to other unarmored mounts (f.a.lv.)
  • cave move/def unrealistic, impossible to navigate in caves, bad for pvp (f.a.lv.)
  • fungus move unrealistic, same cost like water/swamp (f.a.lv.)
  • fungus def was buffed since other DF units fungus def were buffed as well (f.a.lv.)
  • mountain/castle move/def normalised to be similar to other scout riders (f.a.lv.)


Swiftrider Lv2

Code: Select all

	- melee: 7-2 to 6 -2				
	- ranged: 9-4 to 7-4	
        - hp from 39 to 42
	
	- pierce res. from -10% to -20%		
	- blade res. from 10% to 0%
									
	- cave mov. from 4 to 3			
	- cave def. from 20% to 30%		
	- fungus mov. from 4 to 3			
	- fungus def. from 30% to 40%		
	- mountain mov. from 4 to 3		
	- mountain def. from 30% to 60%
	- castle def.  from 40% to 60%			
						
  • melee/ranged adjusted to new liminal (f.a.lv.)
  • hp buff for balance


Windrider Lv3

Code: Select all

	- melee: 8-3 to 7 - 3				
	- ranged: 10-5 to 8- 5	
	
	- pierce res. from -10% to -20%		
	- blade res. from 10% to 0%	
									
	- cave mov. from 4 to 3			
	- cave def. from 20% to 30%		
	- fungus mov. from 4 to 3			
	- fungus def. from 30% to 40%		
	- mountain mov. from 4 to 3		
	- mountain def. from 30% to 60%
	- castle def.  from 40% to 60%								


Summery:
Without falcon rider becomes a proper 8 MP scout, its ranged attack is a bit weaker than before but its melee attack got stronger. Overall it is bit a bit weaker with attack changes and the price increase, before the change for 16g it it was close to being overpowered.


The armour set up of this unit did followed default standards, so it was normalised. And the movetype was terrible at times for pvp maps, so that has to be improved as well.

Rider Lv Ups

Raider Lv2

Code: Select all

	- mp from 7 to 9		
	- hp from 48 to 45			
	- alignment lawful to chaotic		

	- pierce res. from -10% to -20%		
	- blade res. from 20% to 10%	

	- cave mov. from 4 to 3			
	- cave def. from 20% to 30%		
	- fungus mov. from 4 to 3			
	- fungus def. from 30% to 40%		
	- mountain mov. from 4 to 3		
	- mountain def. from 30% to 50%
	- castle def.  from 40% to 60%								
  • more mp for making this the scour advancement of all lv ups (f.a.lv.)
  • hp buff for balance
  • alignment change to distribute more alignments upon lv ups (f.a.lv.)
  • too much armour for such a unit, but a bit is ok (f.a.lv.)
  • cave move/def unrealistic, impossible to navigate in caves, bad for pvp (f.a.lv.)
  • fungus move unrealistic, same cost like water/swamp (f.a.lv.)
  • fungus def was buffed since other DF units fungus def were buffed as well (f.a.lv.)
  • mountain/castle move/def normalised to be similar to other scout riders, a bit less def since armoured (f.a.lv.)
  • pierce res adjusted to be similar to other unarmored mounts (f.a.lv.)


Marauder Lv3

Code: Select all

	- melee: 10-3 to 11-3
	- ranged: 9-3 to 10-3	
	- mp from 7 to 9
	- alignment lawful to chaotic

	- pierce res. from -10% to -20%
	- blade res. from 30% to 20%
	
	- cave mov. from 4 to 3
	- cave def. from 20% to 30%
	- fungus mov. from 4 to 3
	- fungus def. from 30% to 40%
	- mountain mov. from 4 to 3
	- mountain def. from 30% to 50%
	- castle def.  from 40% to 60%	
  • melee/ranged buffed for better performance


Sunderer Lv2

Code: Select all

	- old weapons removed
	- new weapon: melee blade 9-3
	- new weapon: ranged bow 4-3
	- hp from 50 to 52
	- mp from 6 to 7

	- pierce res. from 0% to -10%
	- blade res. from 20% to 10%
	- cold res. from -20% to -10%

	- cave mov. from 4 to 3	
	- cave def. from 20% to 30%
	- fungus mov. from 4 to 3	
	- fungus def. from 20% to 30%
	- castle def.  from 40% to 50%	
	- mountain mov. from 99 to 4 
        - mountain def. from 0% to 50%	

  • removal/new weapons for redesign purposes (f.a.lv.)
  • buff for better performance
  • increased mp so it works more like a mounted tank
  • pierce/blade res was too much armour for such a lv 2 mounted tank
  • cold vulnerability not justified anymore
  • cave move/def unrealistic, impossible to navigate in caves, bad for pvp (f.a.lv.)
  • fungus move unrealistic, same cost like water/swamp (f.a.lv.)
  • fungus def was buffed since other DF units fungus def were buffed as well (f.a.lv.)
  • reduced castle def. for gain or armour
  • mountain cost/def no longer passable so it is coherent with Rider lv1


Cataphract Lv3

Code: Select all

	- old weapons removed			
	- new weapon: melee blade 11-4	
	- new weapon: ranged bow 7-3		

	- impact res. from 10% to 20%	

	- cave mov. from 4 to 3			
	- cave def. from 20% to 30%		
	- fungus mov. from 4 to 3			
	- fungus def. from 20% to 30%	
	- hills def. from 50% to 40%
        - mountain mov. from 99 to 4 
        - mountain def. from 0% to 40%
						
  • impact buff for proper tanking
  • hills/mountain def reduction as unit gains even more armour.


Summery:
As discussed earlier, Rider's advancements got very overworked. Where the Windrider function as skilled mounted archer, the raider and marauder works as a hybrid scout, since it gets one more mp then the Windrider. We also thought to develop its Lore further, where it this units is used to raid enemy camps at night, while they sleep, and hence weaken generally the enemy armies. That is the reason why we chose it to be chaotic over anything else. We know that this could be controversial since we would introduce a third alignment to this faction, but it is neither a recruitable unit nor a unit available as leader. Furthermore, it can open up new strategies on certain matchups and generally make the Dunefolk rider just more of a complex unit.

Now, we thought that the old sprites for the sunderer and cataphract looked very good with the chainmail on the horses, so we decided to add a third advancement to the rider. Not as a piercer, but as a bladed mount- just as discussed earlier.

Note: the lore of this unit should have a paragraph added, where it is made clear how versatile a Dunefolk Rider actually can be - that he can have such complex advancements.


Herbalist Line

Herbalist Lv1

Code: Select all

	- melee: 6 - 2 to 4 - 3
	- hp from 26 to 28			
	- blade res from 10% to -10%
	- impact res from -10% to 0%
	- fungus def from 40% to 50%
        - heals +4 instead of +8 
        - new ability: self-heal
	- new advancement								
  • small buff to melee
  • hp buff for balancing
  • normalise armour (f.a.lv.)
  • normalise armour (f.a.lv.)
  • fungus buff for some map advantages (f.a.lv.)
  • heals +4 is the most appropriate solution for balance
  • new ability to make this unit differ from other +4 healers, explained in section earleir
  • new advancement spreads abilities upon multiple lv ups


Apothecary Lv2

Code: Select all

	- melee: 7 - 3  to 6 - 4
	- blade res from 10% to -10%
	- impact res from -10% to 0%
	- pierce res from 0% to 10%
	- fungus def from 40% to 50%
	- no longer regeneration 
	- new lv3
  • new melee
    • buff melee for being melee only
    • stronger melee then new lv2 Poisoner, which is ranged too
  • pierce buff due to shield, every lv up gains buff, similar to rover
  • new lv3 helps to balance all the strong abilities Apothecary used to have


Summery:
Herbalist and Apothecary really weren't touched a lot. Their armour setup is the same as burner with the difference that the Apothecary got a boost on pierce too (just like the rover - for the same reason). Also, the Apothecary now became actually OK in melee combats - it can tank a bit of damage against speared units and archers. It no longer regenerates health which too is a good thing.



"Healer" Lv3

This unit is new addition, the reason its stats will be presented slightly different.

The "Healer" being the advancement of the Apothecary, it naturally has similar stats. This was mostly because we decided the other advancement to not have a lv3 advancement. At least one of them should have a lv3 advancement.

Code: Select all

	- hp: 48
	- mp: 5
	- ability: heal +8, cure

	- same move type like Apothecary
	- pierce res. from 10% to 20%

	- melee: 9 - 4 	


"Poisoner" Lv2

This unit is new addition, the reason its stats will be presented slightly different.

The "Poisoner" is Apothecarys counter part. Where the Apothecary decides to heal allies, the "Poisoner" decides to heal him self and use his alchemist recourses to poison enemies.

Code: Select all

	- hp: 41
	- mp: 5
	- amla: default
	- ability: self-heal

	- same move type like Herbalist
	- fungus def from 40% to 60%

	- melee: 9 - 3
	- new ranged: Blowgun, 7 - 2, Poison 
	



Summery

As promised, here is a short recap of the changes explained in the two sections of this thread. This will however not replace reading the main points. If you skipped directly to this part, you might not get an subjective opinion on these changes.
The major unit line changes are outlined as follows (full explanations can be found after the introduction):
  • Swordsman line removal of slow (replaced with UTBS shock)
  • Herbalist now heals +4 allies and himself instead of +8
  • Herbalist line given alt lvl 2 and a lvl 3 (now balancing ability specials)
  • Skirmisher line removed (Rover no longer advances to skirmisher)
  • Rider line changed to advance to all 3 horse units
The major unit stat changes are outlined as follows (full details can be found at the bottom of this post):
  • Soldier - Marksman removed - 11-2 melee (instead of 9-2)
  • Soldier given new advancement line (with leadership ability)
  • Rover - cost decreased to 14 (instead of 15)
  • Burner - melee damage = blade (instead of fire), acts as cold tank
  • Rider - cost increased to 18 (instead of 16) - MP buffed to 8MP (instead of 7MP)

Last edited by ghype on June 27th, 2019, 9:27 pm, edited 7 times in total.

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Re: Dunefolk Rework - Changes In Unit Lines & Base Units

Post by Celtic_Minstrel » March 26th, 2019, 1:00 am

ghype wrote:
March 25th, 2019, 8:26 pm
It doesn't make sense for a unit that starts without skirmisher to gain it on level up. On the other hand leadership is definitely an ability which can be gained as you advance in experience.
Um what? Why would that not make sense?
ghype wrote:
March 25th, 2019, 8:26 pm
note: There is still a naming problem coming from the 1.14 version of DF because the lv2 Sunderer and lv3 Cataphrakt have cool sounding names, but do not sound "wesnoth"-ish. We could discuss some new names for these units as well since we started doing this for others ones as well.
Um, Cataphract is a real historical thing from the Middle East, so I think that should override any concerns of it not sounding "Wesnoth-ish".

Now onto the actual changes...
  • Generally speaking I don't care much about changes to numerical stats; I might make an exception here and there though.
  • I don't really care about the removal of the fearless trait.
  • The removal of melee marksman is kinda disappointing. I understand your reasoning for removing it on the L1 unit, but couldn't it be added on L2 or L3? Doesn't necessarily need to be on the Soldier line, though in my opinion it would fit the Bladesmaster quite well thematically.
  • I wish you'd explained better what the "shock" special does actually does (yeah, I know I can look it up in UtBS); also, the name doesn't feel like it fits for a shield bash effect.
  • I don't think I'd call the Spearguard's ranged weapon a javelin... I mean, do they carry a bundle of javelins plus a normal spear?
  • Skirmisher new name should probably be something indicative of a higher rank, such as Marshal, General, even Sergeant or the like; but ideally picking something with a Middle-Eastern theme. The level-up would of course follow the same theme.
  • Removal of Harrier is a bit disappointing for some reason.
  • You never mentioned what advancement was removed from the Rover line in the details area. Yeah, I can just look it up, but...
  • I guess the removal of fire melee is fine for the Burner line... at least they still have their flamethrower or whatever it is.
  • It doesn't make sense for a mounted sword/bow fighter to be called a Sunderer. Furthermore, this creates rather a major lore problem as cataphracts are known specifically for using a lance. Basically I don't support the weapon changes to this line. Or rather, while I guess they're fine units in their own right, these are no longer a sunderer and cataphract, and I would like to see the cataphract kept around.
  • The idea of a branching advancement tree for the herbalist is kinda nice, so I support that idea. I'm not sure how to feel about the changes to their healing, though. (Also, for terminology, I think we shouldn't have "self-heal" and "regenerates" as separate abilities. I'd prefer to see "regenerate +4" and "regenerate +8" or "self-heal +4" and "self-heal +8".)
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Re: Dunefolk Rework - Changes In Unit Lines & Base Units

Post by The_Gnat » March 26th, 2019, 2:31 am

Celtic_Minstrel wrote:
March 26th, 2019, 1:00 am
ghype wrote:
March 25th, 2019, 8:26 pm
It doesn't make sense for a unit that starts without skirmisher to gain it on level up. On the other hand leadership is definitely an ability which can be gained as you advance in experience.
Um what? Why would that not make sense?
Very good question. If you consider other units (such as thief or ghost) you will see such a transformation happen. But for the thematic role we saw in the Rover we decided that it would be best to not shift the unit line as much as the lvl 2 Skirmisher did.

In regards to this specific quote it is perhaps better stated that we felt it valuable to give leadership to the faction, we felt that the Rover unit should not lose its ranged attack which was a key part of the unit, and we felt that if the Rover did keep its ranged attack this lvl 2 mixed fighter would be OP with either skirmisher or leadership given to it.

Furthermore, since we decided it necessary to reduce the Rover to 5mp for balance we thought it best not to create a 5mp Skirmisher which would be less effective. And in accordance with the addition of other Skirmisher unit (the Shield Breaker) there was effectively no value in adding skirmisher to this unit line.


Um, Cataphract is a real historical thing from the Middle East, so I think that should override any concerns of it not sounding "Wesnoth-ish".
Again this is merely a matter of preference. It is good to get other perspectives and we appreciate your feedback. Personally we felt that Cataphract was not in the same style as the other unit names in the DF faction but that is up for debate.
  • The removal of melee marksman is kinda disappointing. I understand your reasoning for removing it on the L1 unit, but couldn't it be added on L2 or L3? Doesn't necessarily need to be on the Soldier line, though in my opinion it would fit the Bladesmaster quite well thematically.
It certainly could be left on the L3 unit. We just went with consistency in this case and also many in the community and on our team expressed a dislike with melee marksman. Balance for higher level units is less important but most likely (since the L2 is a leader option) it would be best to leave it off the L2 for the same reasons as the L1 (and there are a LOT of reasons as you probably noticed ;) ).
[*]I wish you'd explained better what the "shock" special does actually does (yeah, I know I can look it up in UtBS); also, the name doesn't feel like it fits for a shield bash effect.
Ghype would be the best one for this explanation. From reading the code it looks like it reduces enemy strikes by 1 to a minimum of 1. So if I attack the elvish fighter he attacks back with only 3 instead of 4 strikes.

EDIT:

Code: Select all

#define WEAPON_SPECIAL_SHOCK
    # Canned definition of the Shock ability to be included in a
    # [specials] clause.
    [attacks]
        id=shock
        name= _ "shock"
        description= _ "When this attack is used on offense, the opponent will retaliate with one less strike than normally, to a minimum of one strike."
        sub=1
        active_on=offense
        apply_to=opponent
        [filter_base_value]
            greater_than=1
        [/filter_base_value]
    [/attacks]
#enddef

[*]I don't think I'd call the Spearguard's ranged weapon a javelin... I mean, do they carry a bundle of javelins plus a normal spear?
What would you suggest? I imagined that, because throwing your main spear would be dumb ^_^
[*]Skirmisher new name should probably be something indicative of a higher rank, such as Marshal, General, even Sergeant or the like; but ideally picking something with a Middle-Eastern theme. The level-up would of course follow the same theme.
Good idea. Possibilities could include Captain, Ruler, Chieftain, Conqueror, Mogul, (I would avoid names that have Lvl 1 connotations such as Sergeant).

[*]Removal of Harrier is a bit disappointing for some reason.
I understand that. I personally was not fond of the loss of the unit either. But with the addition of two units from the removal: the SB skirmisher and the addition of a L2 leadership unit, I feel that the faction has improved and not lost from the change.
[*]You never mentioned what advancement was removed from the Rover line in the details area. Yeah, I can just look it up, but...
Good point. I will ask ghype to update that. :)

[*]It doesn't make sense for a mounted sword/bow fighter to be called a Sunderer. Furthermore, this creates rather a major lore problem as cataphracts are known specifically for using a lance. Basically I don't support the weapon changes to this line. Or rather, while I guess they're fine units in their own right, these are no longer a sunderer and cataphract, and I would like to see the cataphract kept around.
That makes sense. Our main issue with the entire pierce line was the fact that it had such a frustrating lance attack. The idea was unique, but I personally didn't find it very fun. Perhaps others have a different opinion.
[*]The idea of a branching advancement tree for the herbalist is kinda nice, so I support that idea. I'm not sure how to feel about the changes to their healing, though.
Yeah the poisoner is just a great idea 8) :D

Balance-wise it is imperative that the Herbalist no longer have heals +8. At the same time the addition of regen +4 makes it still the most powerful lvl 1 'healer'. We felt this was the best attempt to keep the theme while also retaining balance and interest.
(Also, for terminology, I think we shouldn't have "self-heal" and "regenerates" as separate abilities. I'd prefer to see "regenerate +4" and "regenerate +8" or "self-heal +4" and "self-heal +8".)
[/list]
We agree. :)

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Re: Dunefolk Rework - Changes In Unit Lines & Base Units

Post by Celtic_Minstrel » March 26th, 2019, 3:41 am

The_Gnat wrote:
March 26th, 2019, 2:31 am
Um, Cataphract is a real historical thing from the Middle East, so I think that should override any concerns of it not sounding "Wesnoth-ish".
Again this is merely a matter of preference. It is good to get other perspectives and we appreciate your feedback. Personally we felt that Cataphract was not in the same style as the other unit names in the DF faction but that is up for debate.
The_Gnat wrote:
March 26th, 2019, 2:31 am
[*]It doesn't make sense for a mounted sword/bow fighter to be called a Sunderer. Furthermore, this creates rather a major lore problem as cataphracts are known specifically for using a lance. Basically I don't support the weapon changes to this line. Or rather, while I guess they're fine units in their own right, these are no longer a sunderer and cataphract, and I would like to see the cataphract kept around.
That makes sense. Our main issue with the entire pierce line was the fact that it had such a frustrating lance attack. The idea was unique, but I personally didn't find it very fun. Perhaps others have a different opinion.
Cataphracts seem to be Persian (Iranian) in origin, so they fit the Middle-Eastern theme very well. The similarity to the loyalist horsemen is unavoidable, as cataphracts may have influenced the medieval knights as well, but I don't think this is a bad thing.

Does the problem lie in the incredibly high damage of the lance attack? (I have to say that 29-1 and 44-1 do seem pretty extreme.) Would reducing that help make it more fun? I'm not as attached to the mace attack (though it does serve to give it a different flavour than the loyalist horsemen), but if there's any way the lance can be retained, I think it should be. Or, what if they were neutral instead of lawful? I have no idea if that would make any difference though. (I wouldn't make them chaotic or liminal; it wouldn't fit the theme.)
The_Gnat wrote:
March 26th, 2019, 2:31 am
It certainly could be left on the L3 unit. We just went with consistency in this case and also many in the community and on our team expressed a dislike with melee marksman. Balance for higher level units is less important but most likely (since the L2 is a leader option) it would be best to leave it off the L2 for the same reasons as the L1 (and there are a LOT of reasons as you probably noticed ;) ).
I think I'd like to see it kept on the L3 at least - it really puts the "master" in Blademaster. ;)
The_Gnat wrote:
March 26th, 2019, 2:31 am
[*]I don't think I'd call the Spearguard's ranged weapon a javelin... I mean, do they carry a bundle of javelins plus a normal spear?
What would you suggest? I imagined that, because throwing your main spear would be dumb ^_^
I dunno... but anyway, it turns out the loyalist spearman already has the same setup, so I retract this objection.
The_Gnat wrote:
March 26th, 2019, 2:31 am
[*]Skirmisher new name should probably be something indicative of a higher rank, such as Marshal, General, even Sergeant or the like; but ideally picking something with a Middle-Eastern theme. The level-up would of course follow the same theme.
Good idea. Possibilities could include Captain, Ruler, Chieftain, Conqueror, Mogul, (I would avoid names that have Lvl 1 connotations such as Sergeant).
Maybe Captain for the L2 and Emir for the L3? A curious effect of this new line is that the sole L4 Dunefolk unit suddenly becomes less of a "glorious leader" unit.

(By the way, the warmaster wasn't mentioned in this thread for whatever reason, but I think the idea of it becoming a duel-wielder is cooler than retaining its shield.)
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Re: Dunefolk Rework - Changes In Unit Lines & Base Units

Post by The_Gnat » March 26th, 2019, 4:37 am

Celtic_Minstrel wrote:
March 26th, 2019, 3:41 am
Cataphracts seem to be Persian (Iranian) in origin, so they fit the Middle-Eastern theme very well. The similarity to the loyalist horsemen is unavoidable, as cataphracts may have influenced the medieval knights as well, but I don't think this is a bad thing.
True, but the faction is less associated with the Middle-East since the renaming. I feel like either way is arguable.
Does the problem lie in the incredibly high damage of the lance attack? (I have to say that 29-1 and 44-1 do seem pretty extreme.) Would reducing that help make it more fun? I'm not as attached to the mace attack (though it does serve to give it a different flavour than the loyalist horsemen), but if there's any way the lance can be retained, I think it should be. Or, what if they were neutral instead of lawful? I have no idea if that would make any difference though. (I wouldn't make them chaotic or liminal; it wouldn't fit the theme.)
That is one of the problems but there are also a number of others. I don't know if you have had time to read the Piercer removal section (it is long so if you haven't yet that is fine :) ) but in that section it outlines the main reasons including: Damage, MP, Thematic issues, Role, and more. These issues largely apply to the rest of the Piercer line as well, and are why we have decided to remove it.

If you want the unit to retain a lance at higher levels, though, I would be interested in discussing possibilities. But further discussion about the Piercer probably should be continued on the other thread. :)


I think I'd like to see it kept on the L3 at least - it really puts the "master" in Blademaster. ;)
I agree. :D

The_Gnat wrote:
March 26th, 2019, 2:31 am
Good idea. Possibilities could include Captain, Ruler, Chieftain, Conqueror, Mogul, (I would avoid names that have Lvl 1 connotations such as Sergeant).
Maybe Captain for the L2 and Emir for the L3? A curious effect of this new line is that the sole L4 Dunefolk unit suddenly becomes less of a "glorious leader" unit.
Yes I do think captain fits well for the level 2. As for Emir that has negative connotations in my mind :mrgreen: but if other people like it I wouldn't be entirely opposed. Another possibility could be commander or grand captain. Though those names don't have much uniqueness.

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Re: Dunefolk Rework - Changes In Unit Lines & Base Units

Post by Celtic_Minstrel » March 26th, 2019, 12:52 pm

The_Gnat wrote:
March 26th, 2019, 4:37 am
True, but the faction is less associated with the Middle-East since the renaming. I feel like either way is arguable.
I disagree, the renaming didn't cancel out the Middle-Eastern theme. It maybe made it a little less in-your-face, at most.
The_Gnat wrote:
March 26th, 2019, 4:37 am
But further discussion about the Piercer probably should be continued on the other thread. :)
Eh?
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Re: Dunefolk Rework - Changes In Unit Lines & Base Units

Post by Xalzar » March 26th, 2019, 2:39 pm

Nice solution with the cavalry lines. I liked the converging level ups of Rider and Piercer we had before, but this new version is IMO even better: with only one level 1 cavalry unit it doesn't copy the Loyalists, and still feels original with the three possible advancements and conserves the theme of eastern horse cultures with the range of cavalry choices.
About the Sunderer/Cataphract: I too weep for the loss of the lance, and I propose to get rid of the bow instead, which is far too weak - weaker than the level 1! (is it possible in advancements?) - to really be a weapon of choice, and in level ups I want choices!
What I envision is a horse archer line, the marauder branch with bow and mace and the cataphract branch with sword and lance.
The sword is justified because it's present in the level 1, the lance is the conversion of the ranged pierce weapon (the bow) with a melee pierce weapon (the lance). I can see it function like a sort of fast, less resilient Drake Clasher, with the ability to choose the best weapon for combat but the loss of ranged retaliation.
Improvised stats for the Sunderer lance: 10x2 or 7x3 if you want to keep the number of piercing attacks of the level 1. Surely not one attack because it's frustrating to have such rng damage on melee as we said.

IMO the Spearguard could lose the ranged attack, it's too similar to the Spearman that way. If it needs to be buffed elsewhere to compensate, there are many solutions. I said in another topic that a spearbearer unit like the Spearguard should be more logically advancing from the Shield Breaker line which has also spears, instead of a blade-armed Soldier. Maybe we can discuss this.

The new Leadership branch is good but the other line goes to level 4 and it's strange to have such high level unit without that ability. Could be a quirk of the faction, but if we keep things like this maybe the discrepancy should be explained better in the lore.

Nice work everyone! :D

Edit:
Celtic_Minstrel wrote:
March 26th, 2019, 12:52 pm
The_Gnat wrote:
March 26th, 2019, 4:37 am
But further discussion about the Piercer probably should be continued on the other thread. :)
Eh?
Since the Piercer is a "removed unit", the topic is this one. This one is for confirmed units. :eng:

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Re: Dunefolk Rework - Changes In Unit Lines & Base Units

Post by Caladbolg » March 26th, 2019, 7:39 pm

I'm mostly fine with these changes, nice job :D A few comments:

I like that you put Skirmirsher as an advancement of Soldier, makes for more consistent unit trees, esp. visually. Also, while I prefer him having skirmirsher over leadership flavor-wise, I do think that giving him leadership is a better option in terms of balance, and I can't really complain about the loss of skirmirsher as it fits the new Shield Breaker unit.

However, this makes the Swordsman/Blademaster/Warmaster line kind of weird. I think the lore behind that line was that they were the leaders (hence the lvl 4 also), albeit they didn't have the leadership ability. Even with the new sprites, that line seems more leader-y than the Skirmirshers. So it comes off as a bit confusing.

Visually, the Swordsman line gave the faction a dose of that arabian nights feel, more adventurous; the new sprites are more bulky, with a military feel, and maybe some of the flavor was lost there. This is not purely art-related - it's also due to the new swordsman line having a more prominent shield attack while losing the marksman usually associated with finesse of some sort. But I acknowledge that having a dual sword wielder with lighter armor as opposed to a well-armored warrior with a shield is a personal preference and that the revised Swordsman line might grow on me.

NB, I support removing the marksman special, but along with other changes to the unit, it changes the whole impression in a way I'm personally not a huge fan of. I do like the shock special instead of slow for the shield attack though.
Celtic_Minstrel wrote:
March 26th, 2019, 1:00 am
Removal of Harrier is a bit disappointing for some reason.
Same. But for some odd reason, I can't put my finger on why exactly :hmm: Maybe it's the name? In any case, I'd propose the name Harrier to be given to one of the new Shield Breaker units then, as it also fits their role.

About the Burner line, I was iffy about losing fire on melee, but if it works well with the other changes to make the faction more balanced, I'm ok with it. Giving them cold resistance is a cool touch.

Riders having three advancements is good, and I can see the Raider line being chaotic opening up a lot more strategic possibilities.

I was one of the people in support of removing the Sunderer line because of their very limited functionality due to their risky lance attack and relative cost. But the Cataphract did fit very well thematically. Now that the Rider has three advancements, I think that Sunderer/Cataphract could be worked into that nicely even if they have a lance (though not a single strike, but sth with more strikes). So in that regard, I'll echo Celtic's and Xalzar's thoughts on the matter: maybe revert some of the changes to the Sunderer, possibly by removing the bow, and giving it a 10x2 or 7x3 lance in adition to the sword. Some kind of a critical hit special might also work here (even if only for lvl 3), so it doesn't seem too similar to a Knight.
As the Sunderer no longer comes from the lvl 1 Piercer, there's no issue of it being too expensive to use; now it's just one more option you can take upon leveling. It can also be slower and more bulky than other options. This way you would have Swiftriders as scouts/ranged, Raiders as mixed attackers and ToD specialists due to chaotic, and Sunderers as pure melee and/or scout/tank hybrids. I've seen your explanations for removing the Piercer and I agree with that, but now that this type of unit is no longer recruitable, and that Rider has alternative advancement options, I think there's nothing wrong with having the Sunderer be a mobile tank (even if it's neither here nor there) with a lance, especially if we fiddle with its stats some more.

Splitting the Herbalist line was really clever. As for self-heal, I agree with Celtic_Minstrel that it should be renamed to regeneration +4 or that regen should be self-heal+8, but that's a minor thing. Blowdarts as a weapon is also quite unique.

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Re: Dunefolk Rework - Changes In Unit Lines & Base Units

Post by The_Gnat » March 26th, 2019, 8:08 pm

Celtic_Minstrel wrote:
March 26th, 2019, 12:52 pm
Eh?
:lol: Actually I guess it does fit for this thread. The main thing is I wanted to make sure you understood the problems we saw in the Piercer and its advancements. And I assume you have taken the chance to read that so it is fine.

Xalzar wrote:
March 26th, 2019, 2:39 pm
Nice solution with the cavalry lines. I liked the converging level ups of Rider and Piercer we had before, but this new version is IMO even better: with only one level 1 cavalry unit it doesn't copy the Loyalists, and still feels original with the three possible advancements and conserves the theme of eastern horse cultures with the range of cavalry choices.
Thank you for your comment! It is nice to hear people like what we have done! :)
About the Sunderer/Cataphract: I too weep for the loss of the lance, and I propose to get rid of the bow instead, which is far too weak - weaker than the level 1! (is it possible in advancements?) - to really be a weapon of choice, and in level ups I want choices!
Perhaps if you read the Piercer section in the REMOVED UNITS doc you will get a better understanding for the issues we had with it. The lance could certainly be added back though if the community wants that. It doesn't really effect balance too significantly on the higher levels.
IMO the Spearguard could lose the ranged attack, it's too similar to the Spearman that way. If it needs to be buffed elsewhere to compensate, there are many solutions. I said in another topic that a spearbearer unit like the Spearguard should be more logically advancing from the Shield Breaker line which has also spears, instead of a blade-armed Soldier. Maybe we can discuss this.
That is interesting. Yes the Spearguard line still doesn't quite fit so I think we would be open to hear what the community would like to do with it. I expressed in the NEW UNITS thread a few reasons why it might not be best to add it to the Shield Breaker. But overall it would fit better than coming from the Swordsman.
The new Leadership branch is good but the other line goes to level 4 and it's strange to have such high level unit without that ability. Could be a quirk of the faction, but if we keep things like this maybe the discrepancy should be explained better in the lore.
I would support giving the Leadership line lvl 4 as well 8)


--------------------
Caladbolg wrote:
March 26th, 2019, 7:39 pm
However, this makes the Swordsman/Blademaster/Warmaster line kind of weird. I think the lore behind that line was that they were the leaders (hence the lvl 4 also), albeit they didn't have the leadership ability. Even with the new sprites, that line seems more leader-y than the Skirmirshers. So it comes off as a bit confusing.
Perhaps the Swordsman line could only advance to lvl 3 and the Leadership line could go to lvl 4?
Caladbolg wrote:
March 26th, 2019, 7:39 pm
Same. But for some odd reason, I can't put my finger on why exactly :hmm: Maybe it's the name? In any case, I'd propose the name Harrier to be given to one of the new Shield Breaker units then, as it also fits their role.
Good idea. Also for me the removal of the harrier was disappointing because it was a unit that filled some role I had always envisioned for a desert warrior. Perhaps a lone warrior stalking the sand with his sword in hand. It was just a cool unit 8) That said, balance wise the pierce on the Shield Breaker is better.
Caladbolg wrote:
March 26th, 2019, 7:39 pm
As the Sunderer no longer comes from the lvl 1 Piercer, there's no issue of it being too expensive to use; now it's just one more option you can take upon leveling. It can also be slower and more bulky than other options
Okay so I guess there is agreement on this. :D I would be happy to see the spear re-added.
Caladbolg wrote:
March 26th, 2019, 7:39 pm
Splitting the Herbalist line was really clever. As for self-heal, I agree with Celtic_Minstrel that it should be renamed to regeneration +4 or that regen should be self-heal+8, but that's a minor thing. Blowdarts as a weapon is also quite unique.
Thank you! Yes I also really liked the change. 8)

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Re: Dunefolk Rework - Changes In Unit Lines & Base Units

Post by Celtic_Minstrel » March 27th, 2019, 1:04 am

Xalzar wrote:
March 26th, 2019, 2:39 pm
The new Leadership branch is good but the other line goes to level 4 and it's strange to have such high level unit without that ability. Could be a quirk of the faction, but if we keep things like this maybe the discrepancy should be explained better in the lore.
I really don't mind this oddity. Not every unit intended to function as a leader in lore needs to have the leadership ability - the Elvish Lord doesn't have leadership, for example.
Xalzar wrote:
March 26th, 2019, 2:39 pm
Since the Piercer is a "removed unit", the topic is this one. This one is for confirmed units. :eng:
Yet you're talking about the same unit here too. :P

EDIT: I do want to add that I don't see a problem with adding the charge special to the cataphract, if it fits lore-wise and doesn't upset the balance. The fact that the loyalist horseman has this ability does not, to me, suggest that the cataphract cannot also have it. Certainly the cataphract is more like the horseman than the cavalryman (given that the former levels up to knight). That doesn't mean that I think it should have charge though
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Re: Dunefolk Rework - Changes In Unit Lines & Base Units

Post by The_Gnat » March 27th, 2019, 5:42 am

Celtic_Minstrel wrote:
March 27th, 2019, 1:04 am
EDIT: I do want to add that I don't see a problem with adding the charge special to the cataphract, if it fits lore-wise and doesn't upset the balance. The fact that the loyalist horseman has this ability does not, to me, suggest that the cataphract cannot also have it. Certainly the cataphract is more like the horseman than the cavalryman (given that the former levels up to knight). That doesn't mean that I think it should have charge though
Yes the cataphract definitely could have a charging lance. Though I still think it would probably be best not to have only 1 strike. What do other people think? :)

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Re: Dunefolk Rework - Changes In Unit Lines & Base Units

Post by Celtic_Minstrel » March 27th, 2019, 12:55 pm

Yeah, I agree – two strikes would be better.
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Re: Dunefolk Rework - Changes In Unit Lines & Base Units

Post by Xalzar » March 27th, 2019, 1:13 pm

The_Gnat wrote:
March 27th, 2019, 5:42 am
Celtic_Minstrel wrote:
March 27th, 2019, 1:04 am
EDIT: I do want to add that I don't see a problem with adding the charge special to the cataphract, if it fits lore-wise and doesn't upset the balance. The fact that the loyalist horseman has this ability does not, to me, suggest that the cataphract cannot also have it. Certainly the cataphract is more like the horseman than the cavalryman (given that the former levels up to knight). That doesn't mean that I think it should have charge though
Yes the cataphract definitely could have a charging lance. Though I still think it would probably be best not to have only 1 strike. What do other people think? :)
I can see it having the charge, after all only loyalist cavalry has this special (among core units) so it should be fitting for other human horsemen.
Celtic_Minstrel wrote:
March 27th, 2019, 1:04 am
I really don't mind this oddity. Not every unit intended to function as a leader in lore needs to have the leadership ability - the Elvish Lord doesn't have leadership, for example.
You're right. But the right examples are not the Elvish Lord/High Lord and the Elvish Captain/Marshal, since they both stop at level 3. Better examples are the Elvish Captain/Marshal and the Elvish Sorceress/Enchantress/Sylph: the latter goes up to level 4 but has no Leadership. Granted, they are two different lines instead of advancement brancesh like in the Dunefolk faction, but there's a precedent nonetheless.
So I retract my observation about the Leadership.

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Re: Dunefolk Rework - Changes In Unit Lines & Base Units

Post by ghype » March 27th, 2019, 1:27 pm

Celtic_Minstrel wrote:
March 26th, 2019, 1:00 am
  • The removal of melee marksman is kinda disappointing. I understand your reasoning for removing it on the L1 unit, but couldn't it be added on L2 or L3? Doesn't necessarily need to be on the Soldier line, though in my opinion it would fit the Bladesmaster quite well thematically.
  • I wish you'd explained better what the "shock" special does actually does (yeah, I know I can look it up in UtBS); also, the name doesn't feel like it fits for a shield bash effect.
We actually planned to introduce a new unit line (only available as leader) which was doing exactly that. melee marksman from lv+2. Don't know why haven't thought about removing it only for the lv1. If we introduce marksman back on lv2 and lv3 (probabyl only lv3 thought), we could consider to drop the new "shock" special as well as I't wouldn't feel necessary at that point. The old slow and the suggested "shock" were just specials to expand on soldiers tanking functions. So instead of those we could boost armour slightly and thats it.
Celtic_Minstrel wrote:
March 26th, 2019, 1:00 am
  • I don't think I'd call the Spearguard's ranged weapon a javelin... I mean, do they carry a bundle of javelins plus a normal spear?
deal
Celtic_Minstrel wrote:
March 26th, 2019, 1:00 am
  • Skirmisher new name should probably be something indicative of a higher rank, such as Marshal, General, even Sergeant or the like; but ideally picking something with a Middle-Eastern theme. The level-up would of course follow the same theme.
  • Removal of Harrier is a bit disappointing for some reason.
  • You never mentioned what advancement was removed from the Rover line in the details area. Yeah, I can just look it up, but...
Well the skirmisher is no longer skirmishing as the it was too strong with such resistance. If you wanted a skirmishing unit it would have to be at least 0 physical or semi-elusive. But such a unit wouldn't make sense to lv up from a tank with has 20% blade/pierce. This talking from the perspective from skrimisher now coming from the soldier and not rover.
Obviosly Rover's Skimrisher advancement was removed as it is now to be found on the soldier line.

I guess the only way the old skirmisher/harrier could is if we re-design it's sprite so it looks more alike the rover and not like the soldier. But that would render the Shield Breaker pointless which has DF needs for some melee pierce
Celtic_Minstrel wrote:
March 26th, 2019, 1:00 am
  • It doesn't make sense for a mounted sword/bow fighter to be called a Sunderer. Furthermore, this creates rather a major lore problem as cataphracts are known specifically for using a lance. Basically I don't support the weapon changes to this line. Or rather, while I guess they're fine units in their own right, these are no longer a sunderer and cataphract, and I would like to see the cataphract kept around.
we are working on introducing the sunderer/CTP back.
Celtic_Minstrel wrote:
March 26th, 2019, 3:41 am
Maybe Captain for the L2 and Emir for the L3? A curious effect of this new line is that the sole L4 Dunefolk unit suddenly becomes less of a "glorious leader" unit.

(By the way, the warmaster wasn't mentioned in this thread for whatever reason, but I think the idea of it becoming a duel-wielder is cooler than retaining its shield.)
as mentioned in the art thread, we planning to do exactly that. making him more glorious and weild two blades.

Xalzar wrote:
March 26th, 2019, 2:39 pm
IMO the Spearguard could lose the ranged attack, it's too similar to the Spearman that way. If it needs to be buffed elsewhere to compensate, there are many solutions. I said in another topic that a spearbearer unit like the Spearguard should be more logically advancing from the Shield Breaker line which has also spears, instead of a blade-armed Soldier. Maybe we can discuss this.
I commented on this problem in the last section of my comment here

Xalzar wrote:
March 26th, 2019, 2:39 pm
The new Leadership branch is good but the other line goes to level 4 and it's strange to have such high level unit without that ability.
I think I mentioned also somewhere not every "king" is a good tactical leader on battle field.

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Re: Dunefolk Rework - Changes In Unit Lines & Base Units

Post by Xalzar » March 27th, 2019, 6:35 pm

@ghype: your answered me but you skipped my last post :P
You can read it above, but just to reiterate:
Xalzar wrote:
March 27th, 2019, 1:13 pm
So I retract my observation about the Leadership.
About the Spearguard, I'll respond in the appropriate topic.

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