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B0rsuk the vile heretic

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B0rsuk
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B0rsuk the vile heretic

Post by B0rsuk »

Battle for control of villages, using variety of units which have advantages and disadvantages in different types of terrains and against different types of attacks. Units gain experience and advance levels, and are carried over from one scenario to the next campaign.

This description is misleading. The most important aspect of bfw gameplay is making your units more experienced and keeping them alive. Villages are not valuable enough ! Let's say you are trying to secure 4 villages with two 2level units. Controling them provides you with 4times2=8 gold per turn. This means 4 villages have to work 2 turns for thief, nearly 3 turns for archer, nearly 4 for horseman, and over 5 turns for a mage.

Conclusion: You won't benefit too much from controling extra 4 villages ... in short run. However, losing those precious 2level units in one turn is quite a disaster. It may make your army crumble. More villages won't allow you to outnumber enemy significantly if he has few more high level units !
Villages are secondary target in later scenarios. More villages won't make you win

Moreover, my calculations show that if you recruit 1 horseman to capture more villages for you, and you take 1 village each turn...
You have to capture 5 villages and wait 6 turns total to start actually GAIN gold ! (upkeep cost included)
Conclusion: +2-3 speed more is nothing when capturing villages, because capturing a village one turn earlier is of no significance (healing and defensive bonus is another story) CHoose some extremally cheap stuff instead, like thieves.

Presence of villages has little importance when choosing the path for your attackers.

I think that Easily available recalling spoils the fun in bfd
Losing several good units and completing scenario is your doom.
. I strongly suggest that you can recall only 3-5 units (depending on difficulty setting ) each scenario. If one of recalled dies, you could recall another one. I know that current campaign would need complete overhaul, so recall limits should apply to future, new campaigns. New campaings would be engineered in such way that some losses would be acceptable.

Feel free to flame me and ignore my argumentation. But realise that I play Bfd a lot.
Dave
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Post by Dave »

B0rsuk,

Thank you for your comments and feedback. Advancing units and building a bigger and stronger army is meant to be one of the fundamental parts of the game. However I do agree that at the current time, it does dominate too heavily over capturing villages.

I don't think that placing an arbitrary limit on the number of units that can be recalled is necessarily the way to solve the problem, however I do have some other ideas which I think that, combined, will help address the problem:

- Make it more difficult to advance units levels, and make higher level units slightly weaker. This will make lower level units more competitive with higher level ones.
- Add a 'courageous' attribute, which makes a lower level unit more powerful against a higher level units, to give lower-level units more of a chance
- I have come to realize that, as you have pointed out in the past, all units except for fighter, merman, and thief are overpriced. Reduce cost of other units by 20-30%
- add in a concept of villages 'supporting' units. You must have one village under your control for every unit fielded. Having more units than villages invokes hefty gold penalties and/or prevents you from recalling or recruiting new units until you capture more villages.

I think that a combination of some or all of these changes will help alleviate the kind of problems you are talking about.

Please let me know what you think.

David
B0rsuk
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Location: Poland

Post by B0rsuk »

Dave wrote:B0rsuk,

- Make it more difficult to advance units levels, and make higher level units slightly weaker. This will make lower level units more competitive with higher level ones.
I can't say If I like it, because I don't know what changes are you considering.
- Add a 'courageous' attribute, which makes a lower level unit more powerful against a higher level units, to give lower-level units more of a chance
Interesting, but it could be Intelligence Mark II - useless after reaching top level. I think that courageous unit which reached top level should gain some bonus, like +1 to attack damage...
Hmm I have an idea how it can work - if courageous low level unit (A) faces unit with stronger attacks (B), courageous unit has its attack increased to (A+B/2). Shouldn't(?) work on ranged attacks.
- I have come to realize that, as you have pointed out in the past, all units except for fighter, merman, and thief are overpriced. Reduce cost of other units by 20-30%
I think it may work
- add in a concept of villages 'supporting' units. You must have one village under your control for every unit fielded. Having more units than villages invokes hefty gold penalties and/or prevents you from recalling or recruiting new units until you capture more villages.
I prefer money penalties over hard limits. Otherwise I won't be able to finish Scenario3. Usually I have 10 or more units, and no way to defend initial (merman) villages. I can't afford to split my ground army into 3 parts ...
Dave wrote: I think that a combination of some or all of these changes will help alleviate the kind of problems you are talking about.

Please let me know what you think.

David
Another serious problem:

It is often counterproductive to use your high level units for killing, because experience boost would help low level units. So I use high levels mostly for wounding. I doubt if there's any fair way of fixing that, experience sharing for adjacent units or what ?
Sithrandel
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Balancing Etc

Post by Sithrandel »

Adding my tuppence worth :D

I do think that the experience gains should be shifted... killing of a hit and miss affair. Personally I think all hits which do damage should give equal experience whether they kill or not. Also hits vs beings of a higher level should give more exp than vs lower level.

Perhaps... and just a randon thought here... making upgrades either minor or with more specialisation might be useful. As an idea... e.g. Evlish fighter could have an option of gaining a magical melee attack (same damage) at the price of a weaker ranged or vica versa. Random Ideas I know.

I do like the upgrading (stops a complete fodder mentality), but I do agree that perhaps after a while losing higher units can become more problematic (especially for the high cost ones like mages) resulting in not using them to the full.

Having said that... this seems to be a problem in all strategy games with upgrading (and I do like upgrading),

Sithrandel
zas
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Post by zas »

Higher level units should gain in defense/hitpoints more than in attacks.
Currently, attacks are too powerful for high level units, imho.

Currently, it's hard to get a mage growing to higher level, and it's easy to loose it, but mage have a very effective ranged attack which become even more powerful on next levels, i don't think it's a good thing.

Recall should not be limited in number since it's already limited by gold. Just make the recall cost depends on unit type and level.
miyo
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Post by miyo »

zas wrote: Higher level units should gain in defense/hitpoints more than in attacks.
Currently, attacks are too powerful for high level units, imho.
I disagree... if we give more defense/hitpoints to advanced units we make them tanks.

I think we should do the opposite... reduce hitpoints for advanced units. Possibly we should also reduce their attacks/damage to balance the game.

And change the experience earning...

- Miyo
caranha
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Post by caranha »

Ok, this is a wild suggestion a little off the current feel of the game... but it might just work.

Maybe keep a cap of high level units based on the amount of lower level units in the game, perhaps of lower level units of the same type...

so, for instance, you could only recall/promote a level 2 elvish fighter (hero/captain), if you already have 3 elvish fighters, the second one would come after you have 6 fighters...

maybe 2 lower level units per higher level unit... I dunno.

Just food for thought, this idea might not work, but might spark some other idea that does.
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Dave
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Post by Dave »

B0rsuk wrote: Interesting, but it could be Intelligence Mark II - useless after reaching top level. I think that courageous unit which reached top level should gain some bonus, like +1 to attack damage...
Hmm I have an idea how it can work - if courageous low level unit (A) faces unit with stronger attacks (B), courageous unit has its attack increased to (A+B/2). Shouldn't(?) work on ranged attacks.
I still don't see what's wrong with intelligence. It's a tradeoff: if you're intelligent, you can get to higher levels easier, but once you get there, you're not quite as powerful as you would be otherwise.

I think that intelligence is probably the most powerful trait.

Courageous units would probably get a flat bonus. I'm thinking +2 damage to close range attacks and +1 to long range attacks against units on a higher level.

B0rsuk wrote: I prefer money penalties over hard limits. Otherwise I won't be able to finish Scenario3. Usually I have 10 or more units, and no way to defend initial (merman) villages. I can't afford to split my ground army into 3 parts ...
I'm currently testing the following:

- villages give one gold piece each.
- all units have an 'upkeep cost'. That cost is equal to their level.
- if you have equal to or more villages than your upkeep cost, then you pay 0 in upkeep. If you have an upkeep cost higher than the number of villages you have, you have to pay the difference between them in expenses to maintain your troops.
- there is a new trait: 'loyal'. Loyal units always have an upkeep cost of 1, regardless of their level. (And yes, this is rather like an inverse of intelligent, since it's useless on level 1, but more useful the higher level the unit gets).
- 'special units' (any unit which has a description) like Delfador, Konrad, etc, have an upkeep cost of 0.

So the formula for your income is now:

Code: Select all

2 + villages + maximum(upkeep - villages,0)
Whereas it used to be,

Code: Select all

2 + villages*2 - units
B0rsuk wrote: Another serious problem:

It is often counterproductive to use your high level units for killing, because experience boost would help low level units. So I use high levels mostly for wounding. I doubt if there's any fair way of fixing that, experience sharing for adjacent units or what ?
I don't see this as so much of a problem. Many strategy games and roleplaying games have contained this feature, and I think it adds to the strategy. The fighter can get help from the champion in order to get his kill, but it does have to be the fighter who gets the kill.

Sharing experience to adjacent units would not work well, because you would have fighters following champions around, standing next to them to leech experience, without doing any work themselves.
Sithrandel wrote: I do like the upgrading (stops a complete fodder mentality), but I do agree that perhaps after a while losing higher units can become more problematic (especially for the high cost ones like mages) resulting in not using them to the full.
I don't see this as such a problem -- part of the strategy of the game is risk management: deciding when to expose your higher level units to risk. If you risk them too much, they will die. Too little, and they will sit around useless, and you might as well not have them at all.

This is also very much a feature of real wars: In world war 1, Germany is thought to have used her fleet of warships too conservatively for fear of losing them, resulting in them being holed up in port for most of the war, rendering them useless.

Likewise, in world war 2, the major powers in the Atlantic Theater are all thought to have used their battleships too conservatively (with the possible exception of Italy), for fear of losing them, rendering these huge investments fairly useless.
Zas wrote: Higher level units should gain in defense/hitpoints more than in attacks.
Currently, attacks are too powerful for high level units, imho.

Currently, it's hard to get a mage growing to higher level, and it's easy to loose it, but mage have a very effective ranged attack which become even more powerful on next levels, i don't think it's a good thing.
We don't want to make it too easy for a player to hold onto their higher level units. There should be some genuine fear of losing them.

On the other hand, it is frustrating when you didn't notice a wraith could sneak around the back and attack your vulnerable white mage.

If anything, I'd tend to say that higher level units need a slight reduction in both attack power, and hitpoints.

David
miyo
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Post by miyo »

Dave wrote: If anything, I'd tend to say that higher level units need a slight reduction in both attack power, and hitpoints.
Agreed.

- Miyo
B0rsuk
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Post by B0rsuk »

Many strategy games and roleplaying games have contained this feature, and I think it adds to the strategy.
The fighter can get help from the champion in order to get his kill, but it does have to be the fighter who gets the kill.
So killing an enemy with single backstab makes you better warrior than long and exhausting battle. I think it's silly.
Not to mention how hard it makes Shamans to advance.
Many people said flying is impossible. Many people like Britney Spears. I don't think something is good just because "many...".
Sharing experience to adjacent units would not work well, because you would have fighters following champions around, standing next to them to leech experience, without doing any work themselves.
...Unless you include additional rule: only units which dealt damage this turn get their share.

About villages, cost and upkeep: be careful. Increasing upkeep cost may be deadly if scenario gives you free units. There's no way to dismiss, except for sending your troops to die. Konrad's campaign would have to be tweaked.
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Post by Dave »

B0rsuk wrote: So killing an enemy with single backstab makes you better warrior than long and exhausting battle. I think it's silly.
Not to mention how hard it makes Shamans to advance.
Many people said flying is impossible. Many people like Britney Spears. I don't think something is good just because "many...".
That many people like something is neither a necessary or sufficient reason to justify it being good, this is true. However when many games in a genre take a certain approach, then one can be assured that it is a well-worn and tested approach.

I can see the arguments both ways. I am interested in trying another way of doing it, to see how it works. However I do not think that it is fair to say the current system has 'serious problems'.
B0rsuk wrote: ...Unless you include additional rule: only units which dealt damage this turn get their share.
So an Elvish Fighter who stands back at long range and fires arrows at an ogre doing pitiful damage should then get rewarded when a champion finishes the ogre off?

Sithrandel's system is the most attractive suggested alternative, in my view. Units getting experience from damage dealt. It passes the simplicity test, and it may work well.

Another alternative is to modify the parameter's of the current system: instead of getting 10*level for killing an enemy, and 1*level for fighting an enemy, get 2*level or maybe 3*level for fighting, and just 5*level for killing. That way, killing does have some bonus, but only a small one. Most experience will have to be obtained from fighting, not killing.

It does have issues of its own though - should a fighter be able to get as much experience from safely shooting a troll warrior from long range, when it has the potential to do more damage at close range?
B0rsuk wrote: About villages, cost and upkeep: be careful. Increasing upkeep cost may be deadly if scenario gives you free units. There's no way to dismiss, except for sending your troops to die. Konrad's campaign would have to be tweaked.
As I said, special units do not have an upkeep cost. This includes any unit that has a description, which at the current time, includes almost all free units in the campaign. (I don't think it includes some free mermen at the Bay of Pearls, but I don't think there is any way anyone is going to be wanting to suicide mermen in that scenario).

David
B0rsuk
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Post by B0rsuk »

In which topic can I find Sithrandel's system ? I've been thinking about damage-based exp system a lot.

Some things that are absolutely true:
- exp for each attack is evil, (trolls, cuttlefish, etc)
- some attacks should give additional experience. For instance, Entangle. Best way would be to give it +2 extra experience, (only once for druid) and +1 each time an ally unit attacks slowed enemy.

I think that not only dealing damage, but also simply attacking and taking damage should give experience. The trick would be that dealing damage gives like 2times more exp than receiving, and missed attacks give 2times less exp than hits. Values may be wrong, but they're just for example.

(so it would be say 1 exp for each 7 damage dealt, 1 exp for 14 damage missed, 1 exp for 14 damage taken...)
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Post by Dave »

B0rsuk wrote:In which topic can I find Sithrandel's system ?
When I said "Sithrandel's system", I simply meant the concept of experience for damage inflicted.
B0rsuk wrote: - exp for each attack is evil, (trolls, cuttlefish, etc)
I concur.
B0rsuk wrote: - some attacks should give additional experience. For instance, Entangle. Best way would be to give it +2 extra experience, (only once for druid) and +1 each time an ally unit attacks slowed enemy.
Possibly. I think just the druid/shaman would get the experience, and each ally unit attacking the slowed enemy would get normal experience. If anything they'd get *less* experience, since attacking an entangled enemy is surely easier than attacking one that is unentanged.

Hmm.....perhaps we could make 'slow' more powerful by making slowed enemies have a guaranteed 70% chance to hit.
B0rsuk wrote: I think that not only dealing damage, but also simply attacking and taking damage should give experience. The trick would be that dealing damage gives like 2times more exp than receiving, and missed attacks give 2times less exp than hits. Values may be wrong, but they're just for example.
Yes, possibly.

I think that a system could be like this:

- 1*level for fighting a unit
- 4*level for killing a unit
- level*damage/5

So you get 1 experience for doing 5 damage to a level 1 unit, 2 experience for doing 10 damage, and so forth. Experience awarded at the end of the fight. If you do say 18 damage, you get 3 experience plus you get a 3/5 (60%) chance of getting a 4th experience point.

For getting hit, you could get maybe half or a third of the experience as you get for hitting.

Thoughts?

David
B0rsuk
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Post by B0rsuk »

Possibly. I think just the druid/shaman would get the experience, and each ally unit attacking the slowed enemy would get normal experience. If anything they'd get *less* experience, since attacking an entangled enemy is surely easier than attacking one that is unentanged.
I mean that druid could get +1 exp for each unit that attacks slowed enemy.

Ahh, and if you pretend to treat realism seriously, I suggest that exp for killing should be very dependand on how much hp was left before killing blow.(life left x 2, or 1.5). I don't think Elvish Fighter should get much experience for finishing badly wounded mountain troll with his mediocre bow skills.

I think that exp4damage is very good system if implemented well, because you'd get approtiate experience for different situations. When night is over and undead are weak, you'd get less experience for fighting them, because they miss/hit your units for less damage.

It's important that damage dealt should carry over to next battle. For instance if an unit has melee attacks 4-3 and hits three times (and lets say 1 exp is awarded for 5 points of damage) it is unfair, because 12 damage dealt gives same amount of exp as 10 damage. Hmm, but chance of gaining additional exp point seems simple and fair solution.

Attacks dealing 0 damage should give no experience, unless they provide some interesting bonuses like poison.

Should 0 damage attacks be poisoning ???

As for making slow more powerful, I'm not sufe if it reduces amount of attacks by percentage. It seems that it's just by -1.

Attacks aren't equal. I think it should be something like max(20%ofattacks, 1). Cuttlefish are too happy at the moment.

I think that there's no need to give more exp for fighting higher levels. Levels aren't equal. There's not much Elvish Fighter can learn about melee combat from White Mage.

If units are to get experience for damage received, and damage that they *could* receive but missed, elvish fighter would get more experience for fighting mountain troll in melee. Especially if the mechanism would compare damage taken/missed with creature's hitpoints !
This way Elvish Fighter would get more experience for fighting big fat troll, because
1) it can deal much damage
2) Elvish Fighter doesn't have much hp, and therefore risks a lot.

It may look complex, but "exp4damage taken/possibly taken" makes many things easier ! Entangled enemy would have less attacks, so it could potentially deal less damage, and as a consequence less exp would be awarded.

This would work much like "more exp for fighting higher levels"
=========================================

Summary:

- some exp for missing a creature (per damage)
= exp for dealing damage to a creature (again, per damage points; more exp if your unit has low chance to hit)
- Even more exp for killing blow, depending on how much hp was left (Horseman should NOT get sick amount of exp for killing troll whelp with 1 damage left)
= some exp for damage that enemy potentially can deal at the moment (so it's 0 if you attack melee creature from distance; more exp if enemy has higher chance to hit)
- manually fixed amount of experience for certain, especially low damage attacks, like poisoning, entangle
methinks
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Post by methinks »

Borsuk has a point here. I agree with him on most things. I believe that there should be NO bonuses on EXP for killing, nly for damage dealt. It would be totally unfair and unrealistic. No matter how other games implement that. Many games have set some standards that work but are untrue. We shall not be afraid of setting new standards. Just because something is good doesn't mean it cannot be better.

Experience is a very complex thing but here are some of my thoughts:
1. You should get exp for fighting, succesful dodge and for damage.
2. You should use some factor to determine difficulty and risk involved in a fight.
3. Idea introduced by Borsuk that damage dealt should be retained till next turn is fair.
4. All this should be simpled :]

Anyway we would gain some simplicity because of not looking whether damage has killed. There could be an exp bonus for fighting with someone fighting as we do (sword vs sword). Maybe you could multiply exp by enemy HP/our HP. Or sth. like this. Just proposing.
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