Khalifate gameplay thread (feedback on balance and bugs)

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Rigor
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Re: Khalifate feedback thread

Post by Rigor »

throwing axes would also make sense since they fight with axes in melee as well and it would fit nicely into the lore. giving desert people a cold malus (-10%) would solve many problems at once, too. we would be able to see more interesting day/night cycles against the ud and drakes (similar to loyalists being attacked by saurians during the night). we could easily continue balancing from there.

if you dont mind, not only suggestions how to do it help the discussion, but numbers. different people imagine different things, so lets try to keep it specific.

as for the 2v2, i think it showed what needs to be adressed next (cold) in order to make the matchup more undead-friendly. i hope we will keep the 2v2 rps coming.
Atz
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Re: Khalifate feedback thread

Post by Atz »

Rigor wrote:throwing axes would also make sense since they fight with axes in melee as well and it would fit nicely into the lore. giving desert people a cold malus (-10%) would solve many problems at once, too. we would be able to see more interesting day/night cycles against the ud and drakes (similar to loyalists being attacked by saurians during the night). we could easily continue balancing from there.
-10% cold resist seems like a good place to start, with the option to go up to -20% if the undead still struggle.

With regard to changing the Jundi's ranged attack to blade, it just struck me that this might also make matches against Loyalists less prone to stalemate, since it would make them much less effective at picking off cavalry. It definitely seems worth considering, particularly when you take into account that cavs have been nerfed in 1.9.6. I'm a little concerned about the effect against woses, though, since the ranged blade would be much more effective and possibly eliminate the need for the naptha guys.
DrakeKing
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Re: Khalifate feedback thread

Post by DrakeKing »

Im curious as to how effective woses would be in the first place vs Khalifa considering all the blade and the fire arrow archer? Doesn't seem a logical buy to me in the first place imo
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Skrim
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Re: Khalifate feedback thread

Post by Skrim »

Atz wrote:
Rigor wrote:throwing axes would also make sense since they fight with axes in melee as well and it would fit nicely into the lore. giving desert people a cold malus (-10%) would solve many problems at once, too. we would be able to see more interesting day/night cycles against the ud and drakes (similar to loyalists being attacked by saurians during the night). we could easily continue balancing from there.
-10% cold resist seems like a good place to start, with the option to go up to -20% if the undead still struggle.
The cold weakness is an excellent idea. I strongly feel a -10% pan-faction cold resist should be implemented except on the Falcon, and then tested. And then ramped up to -20% if it's still not enough.

As for the Jundi being turned into a Khalifate version of the Dwarf Scout, I'm ok with that although the art and unit desc. would have to be altered a bit - I'm writing new unit descrips as such, so I can change that if it must be done for balance.

Scatha wrote:
Wintermute wrote:Thanks for the thoughts. I want to be clear that balancing things comes before lore - we can explain about anything after the fact, but it isn't balanced then what's the point. At this stage in the game, the focus is on balance, and issues like "why is it like that" can be dealt with later. If we start inventing reasons for why things are the way they are, then suddenly there are a whole bunch of constraints on what we can or can't change for balance - and balancing is hard enough without all that stuff on top of it. But unit descriptions will eventually be added and updated, and themes will be worked in, never fear.
Thanks, this makes a lot of sense and I essentially agree with you. I think I got caught up a bit in detail, but I was trying to make the following general design point which goes a little the other way: there are a lot of dimensions available for balancing, so some can be used for flavour (as long as they don't obviously introduce balance problems). Changes of this type cannot sensibly be made after the faction is well-balanced (because as you say balancing trumps lore), but there is an opportunity to make some simplifying modifications in terms of unifying resistances and movetypes (and simplicity is good for the players when it's not removing depth from the game) a little bit across the faction at this point, without upsetting delicate balance (because it doesn't exist yet) or making it any harder to balance.
I agree with Scatha's proposal to simplify the resistance profiles of the Khalifate, albeit without changing the balance much at the moment.
The faction could do with 4 resistance profiles:
Light Infantry (Naffat, Hakim, Jundi): 20% arcane, 10% blade, -10% cold, 0% fire, -20% impact, 0% pierce
Heavy Infantry (Arif): 20% arcane, 20% blade, -10% cold, 0% fire, -10% impact, 20% pierce
Cavalry (Khaiyal, Rami): 20% arcane, 20% blade, -10% cold, 0% fire, 10% impact, -10% pierce
Falcon: 20% arcane, -20% impact, neutral otherwise

The Hakim would lose its fire weakness which presently comes into play only very rarely, and the Jundi would be slightly weaker to impact - which is slightly better news for Gliders, WCs, HIs, Woses and Trolls.
The cavalry units would be unified so as to remove the anomaly with the Qanas level-up, and be more easily dealt with by the standard anti-cavalry units (spears, archers, clashers) that take on Loyalist and Rebel cavalry, and balance out the rest of the faction being impact-weak.
The others are largely unchanged, except gaining that 10% cold weakness.

The horse movetypes would also be unified - presently, they're strangely different, and also suffer from the Qanas anomaly.
Here's a possible unification that doesn't alter much: (in terrain-defense%-movecost format)
Castle - 40% - 1
Hills - 50% - 2
Mountains - 40% - 4
Swamp - 20% - 3
Coastal Reef - 30% - 3
Forest - 40% - 3
And in the other terrains they're already the same and would be unchanged.
That would basically reduce their hill-tanking ability a little bit (60 to 50) and virtually not affect the balance otherwise.

And one more thing - the Arif only gets 40% on mountains. Is that intentional? Or is that just a bug when it should be 60%?
Atz
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Re: Khalifate feedback thread

Post by Atz »

DrakeKing wrote:Im curious as to how effective woses would be in the first place vs Khalifa considering all the blade and the fire arrow archer? Doesn't seem a logical buy to me in the first place imo
All Khalifa except the Khaiyal are weak to impact, so woses do extra damage; they already have terrible defence, so the Arif is essentially just an overpriced grunt against a wose; and the Jundi's axe attack draws retaliation and deals relatively low damage. Also since they're lawful the only way to minimise retaliation damage is to attack from good terrain.

In other words, the wose deals pretty good damage, and your opponent may want to buy an expensive naffat to help deal with it. They can cut it down with their other units, but only by risking severe retaliation. Naffat are not especially useful against other Rebel units, so if you didn't need them to deal with woses, you probably wouldn't use them - the existence of woses forces your opponent to be slightly inefficient.

Giving Jundi a ranged blade would let them whittle (pun intended) the wose down without retaliation. This would make naffat less needed, and may make it too easy for Khalifa to deal with woses since they will typically have several Jundi.


That said, I've not tried Khalifa vs Elves myself and watched it only once, and that was with the previous version where naffats were cheaper and stronger. It may be that nobody likes woses in this matchup, but it seems like they would be somewhat useful to me.
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Horus2
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Re: Khalifate feedback thread

Post by Horus2 »

Thinking about modifying a damage type is a very drastic tweak, hence should only do such if no other options remained. Both decreasing ranged damage and increasing unit cost sound viable, but i put my vote on increasing it's price by 1 for two reasons: because it is said that actually the rotating of jundis is the problem which represents that the problem springs from quantitive issues, and it's no good to take away the unique "totally equal ranged and melee" taste of the unit.

Also the usage of the bow is a cultural character for the Khalifate. If you read the Rami's description it states "look, kalifa people are so adept at archery that some of they can fire it even on horseback" so it's obvious they utilize it frequently in combat by infantry units too. Let's leave something so androgenous like axethrowing for the Dwarves. :D

However i also wholeheartedly agree with the cold-sensitivity (-10% in general and maybe more for the nafta guy). Not only fits their character but it could help out the UD and the Drakes, so why not after all?
KK_Me
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Re: Khalifate feedback thread

Post by KK_Me »

Cold sensitivity is a good idea and will support the Drakes nicely. But you should watch out and not make cold damage too good, otherwise ghosts will be worth their money despite there being a powerful Khalifate fire unit and the undead match up will suffer a balance penalty.

BTW: Does cold really fit the Khalifate as a characteristic weakness? As far as I know every desert gets incredibly cold at night.
bloodymarx
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Re: Khalifate feedback thread

Post by bloodymarx »

Sorry to derail the discussion a bit, but first off, a bit of feedback. I very much like the faction: it's a breath of fresh air into the game, and it's good to have something new to play with in vanilla MP. Of course, there's still plenty to be done before it's going to be ready for mainline, but keep up the good work!

Now, about balancing. I'm quite concerned about falcons. In my opinion, as they are now (even with the 11g price), they've become the new Number 1 Village-grabbers. For starters, I too suggest that they should have the feral trait. However, even if they had that, they'd still be better than bats in almost every way. For a quick comparison, see these references: Vampire Bats vs Falcons.
The differences may not seem big at first, but when you consider all of them put together, and the fact that falcons are 2g cheaper than bats are, I think it's clear that they're unbalanced for a Level 0 unit.
In my opinion, if they had the feral trait, 16-17 HP, -20% impact resistance (or maybe -10%) and cost 12-13g, they'd be more balanced than they are now.

I also agree that it might be better if Jundi dealt blade ranged damage instead of piercing. To be honest, I feel that the latter makes horse archers a bit less useful for the faction, especially in Drake matches. Yes, it'd be quite a drastic change, but better to discuss and perhaps do those now when the faction's still in development than later on.

Oh, and +1 for cold sensitivity. And yep, as far as I know, it does get very cold at night in deserts - and Khalifate units do fight worse at night, so cold weakness could even be said to fit with that theme.
Last edited by bloodymarx on May 11th, 2011, 8:14 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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negusnyul
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Re: Khalifate feedback thread

Post by negusnyul »

Horus2 wrote:However i also wholeheartedly agree with the cold-sensitivity (-10% in general and maybe more for the nafta guy). Not only fits their character but it could help out the UD and the Drakes, so why not after all?
I strongly agree with this, -20% for the naphtha guy and -10% (or maybe -20%?) for everyone else (except the falcon).
Exasperation
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Re: Khalifate feedback thread

Post by Exasperation »

I think the only confusing thing about the Khalifate cavalry movetypes is that the Khaiyal has the heavy cav. movetype. If you look at the sprites, all the units with barding have the heavy movetype, and all the units without barding have the light movetype except for the Khaiyal. If the Khaiyal were switched to the light movetype, the difference between the movetypes would be both consistent and visually obvious. No idea what it would do to the balance, though.
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Skrim
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Re: Khalifate feedback thread

Post by Skrim »

Or you just fuse the movetypes, like I suggested. It barely changes the balance. Heck, if you want, keep the 60% hill defense until there is more balancing pressure to remove. But the two movetypes are confusing.
unrest
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Re: Khalifate feedback thread

Post by unrest »

The name "Khalifate" (Caliphate) brings to mind politico-religious issues that are causing violence and heated debate in the real world today. Are you sure this name is a good fit with the Tolkienesque fantasy world of Wesnoth, where religious elements so far have been mostly absent?

You could change the name and still keep the general flavour.

Also, you have a unit named "Muharib". I would advise you to look up Moharebeh on Wikipedia.
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Re: Khalifate feedback thread

Post by Noy »

Okay people, enough.

This thread isn't about your views about what this faction should or should not be. It isn't about what you think the movetypes should be, nor is it what your ideas about its themes. Its distracting to us who are trying to accomplish something here.

We want assistance with balancing. That means if you find a major issue in a game, post a replay and we can discuss it. That doesn't mean your idle speculation based on your experience. We've been working on this faction for six years. Thats more than most of you have been playing for. So suggestions like "lets add an axe" when we've got most of the art completed is just plain ridiculous... most of you know better.

unrest wrote:The name "Khalifate" (Caliphate) brings to mind politico-religious issues that are causing violence and heated debate in the real world today. Are you sure this name is a good fit with the Tolkienesque fantasy world of Wesnoth, where religious elements so far have been mostly absent?
Yes.
unrest wrote:Also, you have a unit named "Muharib". I would advise you to look up Moharebeh on Wikipedia.
And what does Muharib mean?
I suspect having one foot in the past is the best way to understand the present.

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Deusite
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Re: Khalifate feedback thread

Post by Deusite »

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Wintermute
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Re: Khalifate feedback thread

Post by Wintermute »

I don't really have time to respond to all points. I do think it's important to keep the replays coming as they are really useful.

top replays wanted right now:

2v2
vs UD
vs Drakes
on high-water maps vs all factions (how does the falcon work/not work?)

But all others are good too. Hopefully I can get a final OOS fix out tonight and fix some of the bugs mentioned. For balancing I have a bunch of things that have been talked about here and on the server:

falcons + some gold for now and continue thinking and testing how to handle them.
consolidate some movement types, or at least look at it.
add cold weakness to some units (naffat for sure)

Now would be a great time to pick an issue that you think see as a problem "Jundis are too good against drakes" for example, and post up some replays where you play both sides of the matchup on a map. IE, you and opponent play the matchup on sullas ruins or whatever and then swap sides and play again, and then do it again on another map. Seeing that kind of detail would be FANTASTIC but even one or two replays would be helpful. Surely there are some issues out there of this type, but it's hard to do anything about them without good data.
"I just started playing this game a few days ago, and I already see some balance issues."
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