Discussion of changes to slow?

Discussion among members of the development team.

Moderator: Forum Moderators

Disto
Posts: 2039
Joined: November 1st, 2004, 7:40 pm
Location: Cambridge, UK

Post by Disto »

This is terrible, how will i take out the Yeti's?
Creator of A Seed of Evil
Creator of the Marauders
Food or Wesnoth? I'll have Wesnoth
User avatar
Elvish_Pillager
Posts: 8129
Joined: May 28th, 2004, 10:21 am
Location: Everywhere you think, nowhere you can possibly imagine.
Contact:

Post by Elvish_Pillager »

Let's see. Sensible effect for Slow, simple, strategically interesting, weakens the unit in combat, has no more than two effects, and helps beat Yetis. A tall order.

How about just halving movement, halving attacks, and halving ZoC? that would be easy enough for a human to understand, except for the little fact that it doesn't make any sense at all...

In actuality, I think we should go the route of not affecting the unit in the same combat, just like Poison. So we could go with halve movement and remove ZoC, and that would be good; or aha! How about halving movement and remove its ability to attack? (it would still retaliate, but can't initiate an attack until the next turn.)

I think ZoC removal should be reserved for a different ability, like maybe "Knock over." but that's not a good ability name, so we can use Stun...

So we could have the following abilities
Slow: On the victim's turn, it has half movement and cannot initiate an attack.
Stun: On the aggressor's turn, the victim has no ZoC and its first attack is removed. (on all combats FOLLOWING when it was stunned...)

So Slow would have all the your-unit-is-useless-on-your-turn factor, while Stun would have all the immediate benefits. I think this is nice, because there are so many ideas for what Slow could do, and we can't just pile them all on one ability...
It's all fun and games until someone loses a lawsuit. Oh, and by the way, sending me private messages won't work. :/ If you must contact me, there's an e-mail address listed on the website in my profile.
bruno
Inactive Developer
Posts: 293
Joined: June 26th, 2005, 8:39 pm
Contact:

Post by bruno »

I think for stun, you would want no movement, no zoc, and no initiating attacks until after its next turn.
Then maybe slow could have a unit's movement until it is cured.
User avatar
Cuyo Quiz
Posts: 1777
Joined: May 21st, 2005, 12:02 am
Location: South America

Post by Cuyo Quiz »

I support EP on those ideas. I am wondering the possibility of the Northeners' Pillagers having Stun (something more akin to a mount-propelled net), or maybe in the case of the Iron Mauler, where a hit could actually break a ZoC barrier.
Cuyo Quiz,where madness meets me :D
Turn on, tune in, fall out.
"I know that, but every single person nags about how negative turin is; it should be in the FPI thread "Turin should give positive comments" =)"-Neorice,23 Sep 2004
Ask_
Posts: 25
Joined: November 4th, 2005, 10:46 am
Location: Russia

Post by Ask_ »

Elvish Pillager wrote:Slow: On the victim's turn, it has half movement and cannot initiate an attack.
Stun: On the aggressor's turn, the victim has no ZoC and its first attack is removed. (on all combats FOLLOWING when it was stunned...)
Perhaps also, to comlement:
Entangle(bind?): Victim can not move and have no ZOC for the rest of it's turn (if the ability was triggered by defence) and the following turn, but can still attack nearby enemies.
User avatar
Elvish_Pillager
Posts: 8129
Joined: May 28th, 2004, 10:21 am
Location: Everywhere you think, nowhere you can possibly imagine.
Contact:

Post by Elvish_Pillager »

Well, Entangle would be a name that better fits the concept of my Slow. Although, that is a good idea for a name for Slow. :)
It's all fun and games until someone loses a lawsuit. Oh, and by the way, sending me private messages won't work. :/ If you must contact me, there's an e-mail address listed on the website in my profile.
blackjack
Posts: 177
Joined: February 11th, 2004, 11:12 am

Post by blackjack »

As a user, and one who hasn't seen the new slow ability, just some comments:

1. Slow is currently very useful against trolls, yetis etc with 2 attacks.
2. Slow is part of the game for a long time.

Suggest that if it is changed, a different name like stun be given to it to avoid confusion, esp. if it is only in 1.1.x.

Very hard for me to comment on the merits since there is no record of the discussion here.
A witty saying proves nothing.
-Voltaire
rogue
Code Contributor
Posts: 73
Joined: February 15th, 2005, 1:36 am
Location: Michigan, USA
Contact:

Post by rogue »

One of the first things I said after playing Battle for Wesnoth was "This is great. It's the first fantasy game I've ever played where "entangle" is actually useful." I'd hate to lose that.

I think the proposed changes to slow will greatly reduce the survivability of Elvish Shamans. The amount of damage they do is so small that it's not usually relevant if they attack first or not. If a strong enemy archer or mage gets all of it's attacks, the shaman will probably die. The fact that I got to do my attacks first is no consolation.

If the shaman is going to take full damage from enemies that she slows, then I can't use her in combat. If that is the case, then what's the point of even having slow? Or XP for that matter?


Why is slow being changed? Is it because it's usefulness varies against different units? Everything is better against some things than others. However, if people want to keep the power level of slow more consistent, just make it half attacks instead of subtracting 1. Rebalancing will be required, but the same is true for the wild and confusing changes being discussed above.


"A slowed units movement and attacks are halved until the end of it's turn."

Wow, it can be summed up in one sentence. Much better than an ability which requires a paragraph to summarize and still confuses me. I think the KISS rule is being violated.


Alternately, you could halve damage instead of number of attacks. I suspect a troll who swings his club more slowly would do less damage, so the flavor is still there.

Better yet, just leave slow alone.
<rcarello>
dtw
Posts: 478
Joined: September 27th, 2004, 1:32 pm

Post by dtw »

I think the proposed changes to slow will greatly reduce the survivability of Elvish Shamans. The amount of damage they do is so small that it's not usually relevant if they attack first or not. If a strong enemy archer or mage gets all of it's attacks, the shaman will probably die. The fact that I got to do my attacks first is no consolation.
That's what I was saying originally though I think you have put it better.

I think it is fair to say that the new slow is way too complicated, so complciated in fact that I am amazed it even got into the tree.

On a side note: halfing damage or swings has the same net effect does it not? BUT, given that your defense % is controlled by you (except with specials involved) you would always choose they have less swings.

How about removing specials? Slowed unit has no leadership, marksman, backstab, firststrike. That seems more like a confusion attack to me but I think EP is on the right track - there are too many interesting possibilities to just be covered by slow - we need more specials :)

If it is split into two abilities/specials the shamen could use one on melee and one her ranged attack...
Signature dropped due to use of img tag
Noy
Inactive Developer
Posts: 1321
Joined: March 13th, 2005, 3:59 pm

Post by Noy »

I'd just like to make this point... stop using the yeti argument. We balance and make ability changes primarily on the basis of Multiplayer (although single player does play heavy considerations on these things). And we certainly don't make balance according to the need to stop a unit that appears in only two scenarios in the entire single player (and aren't even associated with major scenario goals).

Now the original reason why slow was changed is that its a pretty anemic ability, particularly in regards to the shaman. Very few players use it in multiplayer, because it doesn't do much, removing one unit's attack at level1 or 2 is alot to spend 16 gold on. I like rogue's idea, which is halving the movement and attacks, because it makes it a bit more effective, but I don't think its going to tip anybody's balance to make it that much more effective. I like the last part: "an end of its turn" however we should see about how to program that.

For now I propose we change it more along the lines of:

"A slowed units movement and attacks are halved, and its zoc removed, until the end of it's turn"
I suspect having one foot in the past is the best way to understand the present.

Don Hewitt.
Disto
Posts: 2039
Joined: November 1st, 2004, 7:40 pm
Location: Cambridge, UK

Post by Disto »

Ok, fine, i'm switching to troll warriors :P
Creator of A Seed of Evil
Creator of the Marauders
Food or Wesnoth? I'll have Wesnoth
rogue
Code Contributor
Posts: 73
Joined: February 15th, 2005, 1:36 am
Location: Michigan, USA
Contact:

Post by rogue »

Noy wrote:I like the last part: "an end of its turn" however we should see about how to program that.
I thought that's how it already was.

Noy wrote: "A slowed units movement and attacks are halved, and its zoc removed, until the end of it's turn"
Sounds good to me. Removing ZOC could be useful in many situations, especially for allowing injured units to escape. Seems like the kinda thing the shaman would want to do.


If slow needs to be stronger yet, maybe slow could be made permanent like poison, and then require a village or a cure effect to remove it.
<rcarello>
ott
Inactive Developer
Posts: 838
Joined: September 28th, 2004, 10:20 am

Post by ott »

After discussing this with Noy, I'd be happy to support any balanced change that stops Slow messing around with opponent attacks during the current skirmish when the slowing attack hits the opponent.

The problem with analysing what is going on is removed if slow only affects "next skirmish", whether "this turn" or "next turn".

Of course, moving to "next skirmish", would have a large effect on a unit that is slowed while attacking. Currently an archer attacking a shaman will not really be affected, other than possibly losing one of its strikes (old slow) or having its remaining strikes reordered (slow in trunk). If we make slow effective on "next skirmish" only, then slow becomes a strong defensive ability: one will probably want to attack a shaman with melee attacks instead of ranged. So if we are 1) changing reduce-attacks-by-1 to halve-attacks or halve-damage, and 2) making slow-on-defend much more powerful, perhaps we don't need the no-ZOC ability? That could be reserved for higher level units.
This quote is not attributable to Antoine de Saint-Exupéry.
User avatar
JW
Posts: 5046
Joined: November 10th, 2005, 7:06 am
Location: Chicago-ish, Illinois

Post by JW »

I personally thought the old SLOW was easy to comprehend, as well as the latest version. Neither seems "right" to me, however.

It always bothered me that SLOW affected 2 swing untis heavily but 1 swing units (thunderers) not at all, and 3 or 4+ swing units very little. It didn't seem very well balanced, although it was still somwhat effective in the right situations.

The new SLOW, though the removal of ZoC is a wonderful idea, seems rather useless. Possibly delaying an attack will not comfort my shaman if she does not do enough damage to kill the defending unit, which is extremely hard for a shaman to do under most circumstances. This makes the shaman even more vulnerable than before and I cannot see it solving the problem of the shamans underuse in MP as the unit will die more frequently.

This being said, removing half of a units attacks seems too powerful of an ability. High level units with 4+ swings will now be easy targets (relatively) as their damage potential is drastically reduced; the same goes for reducing damage by half. If you are to choose one though, please make it the reduction of damage. I would hate to see 1-swingers maintain their effectiveness in spite of the effect - an issue that currently arises.

IMO, an effective, yet not overpowered, SLOW would reduce move by half, no ZoC, and reduce damage by half on the units first swing that hits until healed as per poison rules. By only affecting the first swing that hits you guarantee a reduction in damage given, but you don't overpower the effect for high level units. The ZoC removal and speed loss seem adequate enough.

I also envision a balanced STUN effect reducing movement to 0 and preventing the unit from attacking, not defending, for 1 turn. -taking away ZoC would render the unit useless as well would taking away its defensive strikes. Besides, ZoC removal would be covered under slow as I see it anyway, so why cross abilities?

Another ability could perhaps reduce damage by 50% on all swings until healed. It could be called DISEASE.

To recap:

SLOW: 50% move, no ZoC, 50% dmg on 1st attack that hits until healed.
STUN: 0 move, cannot attack (but can defend), lasts 1 turn.
DISEASE: 50% dmg until healed.

Thanks for the consideration.
Destructicus
Posts: 14
Joined: November 11th, 2005, 1:31 pm

Post by Destructicus »

What about having slow effect the chance to hit somehow? Like a reverse marksmanship. It makes sense. If I'm all tangled or sleepy and I'm literally slower it should be much easier for an opponent to dodge or block my swings. Maybe they will still do as much damage if they hit, but the chances of them hitting should be less. How about -20%? A well-defended character (elf in the woods) versus a disoriented or entangled opponent would likely have little to fear.

Maybe that should just be melee, and it should cut the number of ranged attacks in half. It wouldn't change the accuracy of my arrows, just my load time which in turn effects how many shots I can get off. It isn't too complicated to describe either:

-A slowed unit is 20% less likely to score a melee hit and has half as many ranged swings.
Post Reply