Balance of the game

General feedback and discussion of the game.

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Eagle_11
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Re: Balance of the game

Post by Eagle_11 »

bad luck with random rolls means that your level 1 units will die
what does this have anything to do with the faction ? its always so.

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Gyra_Solune
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Re: Balance of the game

Post by Gyra_Solune »

xhh2a wrote:Based on purely single player experience with Undead:

I think the mobile Undead units are very hard to level up compared to other factions at level 1. Their units are much more fragile. They do have the ghoul which has lots of health but that unit moves slowly. On the other hand, I absolutely loved the Spectre after they leveled up in Single Player due to their drain ability. The Spectre is strictly better than Nightgaunt due to survivability in a no-loss single player campaign against most factions. Long movement ranges and very hard to kill. The Draug is also pretty good due to high health.

Other notes:
Because of the way maps work, submerge generally isn't a useful ability to have.
The bat in my opinion is strictly worse than the ghost because the ghost has decent movement as well, doesn't start at level 0, and can level up to Spectre while the bat can only get to level 2. Also as a level 0 unit it simply can't hold the villages it can reach.
Also against heavy hitting early game factions (like Orcs or Trolls) bad luck with random rolls means that your level 1 units will die. Similarly at higher levels the only reliable units are draugs and necromancer/lichs as the spectre can still die.
Indeed, submerge is generally not that great, but it has its potential. It's sort of to make up for how they really don't have a good aquatic unit? Since ghosts explicitly move slowly over water. On island maps, where undead will be at a great disadvantage to encircling marine units, a handful of skeletons can catch them off guard and trap them.

The bat is almost solely a scouting unit. The ghost is better in combat, yes - it also costs 7 more gold and an additional 1 gold per turn, while also being slower anyway. Most of the time you use bats to see around the map and take isolated villages whereas ghosts are more useful to bolster defensive lines. I tend to think of them as somewhat like a Dwarvish Guardsman with less overall resilience but more movement to make up for it.

Also in general it ought to be noted that Undead units on the whole take very little XP to level up. Both Skeletons and Ghouls need only 35, less than the vast majority of footsoldiers (though any one of them who is Intelligent will be less), Ghosts and the level 0s take even less. Adepts still take a lot but they're budget mages. Actually in general what you have to keep in mind with Undead is that their core conceit is that they have an extremely cheap and powerful mage who isn't resisted by almost anything in the game. The rest of their units are outclassed by other factions as a whole but Dark Adepts form the core of their offense, which well makes up for their lack of mobility. They don't really need much mobility - they can effectively just punch right through fortified locations.

howwitty
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Re: Balance of the game

Post by howwitty »

fabi wrote:
Ben24626 wrote:Soooo was anything done about this or?
I would like to see the ladder people change the unit stats to their needs and gather more statistics.
Then we can talk about changing the default era.

Most likely they are the most profound mp balancers out there right now.
Changing unit stats isn't that hard, I can help a bit if needed.

That includes coding more abilities if needed.
I've noticed that units in the undead unit tree branch out in ways that can turn ladder matches one way or the other. The units in the recruit list have attack specials, like drain and magical. But without the fearless trait of the ghoul I don't see how undead could compete on small maps where skirmishes often take place (throughout different Times of Day).

Considering that traits are static, it will be tricky to implement changes to any faction without affecting gameplay for all factions. I think this is why some games seem to develop at a slow pace, with a core group of developers and very few editions. The khalifate were implemented during a period of time when I spent very little time on the server. However, this faction requires little adjustment on the players' part because it does not introduce new traits or attack specials.

Asking ladder players to participate in the collection of statistics would certainly help. Although much of what can be made objective and useful is already being seen in 2v2 statistics, win lose rates aren't the only factor. Ladder players, among others, know what units are most effective in which matchup. The statistic I am interested in right now is how efficient my recruiting is, per unit. Level 0 units such as vampire bats and zombies can be very cost effective, yet they are rarely recruited on the same scale as level 1 units because of the risk involved. I see this as analogous to picking up a staple food at the store which isn't very tasty, but still balances out your shopping list.
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xhh2a
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Re: Balance of the game

Post by xhh2a »

Gyra_Solune wrote:
xhh2a wrote:Based on purely single player experience with Undead:

I think the mobile Undead units are very hard to level up compared to other factions at level 1. Their units are much more fragile. They do have the ghoul which has lots of health but that unit moves slowly. On the other hand, I absolutely loved the Spectre after they leveled up in Single Player due to their drain ability. The Spectre is strictly better than Nightgaunt due to survivability in a no-loss single player campaign against most factions. Long movement ranges and very hard to kill. The Draug is also pretty good due to high health.

Other notes:
Because of the way maps work, submerge generally isn't a useful ability to have.
The bat in my opinion is strictly worse than the ghost because the ghost has decent movement as well, doesn't start at level 0, and can level up to Spectre while the bat can only get to level 2. Also as a level 0 unit it simply can't hold the villages it can reach.
Also against heavy hitting early game factions (like Orcs or Trolls) bad luck with random rolls means that your level 1 units will die. Similarly at higher levels the only reliable units are draugs and necromancer/lichs as the spectre can still die.
Indeed, submerge is generally not that great, but it has its potential. It's sort of to make up for how they really don't have a good aquatic unit? Since ghosts explicitly move slowly over water. On island maps, where undead will be at a great disadvantage to encircling marine units, a handful of skeletons can catch them off guard and trap them.

The bat is almost solely a scouting unit. The ghost is better in combat, yes - it also costs 7 more gold and an additional 1 gold per turn, while also being slower anyway. Most of the time you use bats to see around the map and take isolated villages whereas ghosts are more useful to bolster defensive lines. I tend to think of them as somewhat like a Dwarvish Guardsman with less overall resilience but more movement to make up for it.

Also in general it ought to be noted that Undead units on the whole take very little XP to level up. Both Skeletons and Ghouls need only 35, less than the vast majority of footsoldiers (though any one of them who is Intelligent will be less), Ghosts and the level 0s take even less. Adepts still take a lot but they're budget mages. Actually in general what you have to keep in mind with Undead is that their core conceit is that they have an extremely cheap and powerful mage who isn't resisted by almost anything in the game. The rest of their units are outclassed by other factions as a whole but Dark Adepts form the core of their offense, which well makes up for their lack of mobility. They don't really need much mobility - they can effectively just punch right through fortified locations.
In my (again single player based) experience bats are strictly worse than ghosts and many other factions scouts. The way RNG rolls out you will lose bats almost always in the initial skirmish. I never bother buying them in single player ever even for scouting, ghosts are just strictly better. The thing is that you need around 2 level 0 bats to accomplish what 1 ghost can do. This is to rush a village and actually HOLD it against the other faction's scout units. A single bat will die before your reinforcement units arrive. The need for an additional unit is strictly worse because you have a limited amount of recruits per turn. Sending out 2 scouts per village means less units you can recruit for reinforcing the scouts. Lastly having scout combat experience be divided among two units means wasted experience on units that may or may not be dead. A level 1 bat is more expensive than a level 1 ghost (and many other scout units) and performs worse than the ghost short term and long term. There is zero value to scout units on small maps past the initial rush stage, so thus bats are useless. Likewise on larger maps past the initial scout phase, the movement of Ghosts (or upgraded ghosts) plus their survivability (Wraiths will pretty much survive attacks from 2-3 units by themselves) means there is no reason to recruit a bat. The only maybe exception is on maps with fog of war. Even then during the initial scout phase the ghost will probably survive any ambushes enough to limp back if needed while a bat is more or less guaranteed wasted gold

Per https://www.wesnoth.org/units/1.12/main ... nline.html
Level 0 Bat Cost: 13
Level 1 Bat Cost: 21

Level 1 Ghost Cost: 20
Level 1 Footpad Cost: 14
Level 0 Ruffian Cost: 6
Level 1 Fencer Cost: 16
Level 1 Cavalryman Cost: 17
Level 1 Drake Glider Cost: 16
Level 1 Wolf Rider Cost: 17

I would recommend bumping up the levels of bats, increasing the cost at each level by 3-4, getting rid of drain on the lowest level of the bat, and increasing its' health pool (to compensate for less drain). Drain is almost always useless at level 0, more health would make it survive the initial combat and be worthy as a scout unit.

On the topic of Dark Adepts, yes they are far better than Mages. They are very powerful at level 2 compared to similar tier 2 magic casters (worse than Wraith overall because Wraiths can double as scouts and they perform ridiculously well on the defensive). At level 3 though I prefer White Mages or Elvish Shyde for the illuminate/team synergy. Despite having marginally more health and far more damage, you are still equally likely to trade units with the enemy due to their low survivability. Due to their Chaotic alignment meaning they are particularly vulnerable to counterattack during the day. Also quite a few Chaotic factions have heavy hitting units that are around the same cost and can survive a round of attacks by the mage. I feel like Elvish Shaman is easier to feed experience to because of the Slow attribute and because their alignment is Neutral. It's more likely that your Dark Adept will die on the counterattack than a Elvish Shaman dying.

For example, against the Orcs, they can choose to use their scout unit, Wolf Rider. It's cost is 17, about the same as Dark Adept. Dark Adept has maximum damage of 20 (assuming both hit). Wolf Rider has maximum damage of 15. Wolf Rider has health 32. They also have greater range, which means they can pull out and cycle in another unit after the round of combat is over and they survive the fight while the Dark Adept is at 13. The orc player can send in any of their other heavy hitter units like Orcish Grunt (cost 12, health 38, max damage 18). Or, more likely, given the slow movement of Dark Adept, it's the initial fight vs the grunt followed up by death to the scout unit. If you as a player choose to go all Dark Adepts (to ensure there is number parity) then it means you lose the scout phase of the map, and you are down in gold. If you have a balanced team, that's no different than playing any other faction and trying to feed experience to the mage unit. Because the Undead have worse units, trying to feed experience is harder because it is harder to protect the Dark Adept. The Dark Adept is better at finishing off enemies though.

Dark Adept Cost: 16, HP: 28
Elvish Shaman Cost: 15, HP: 26, Slows, Heal +4
Mage Cost: 20, HP: 24 (Yes Mages are awful, but they level up well, White Mage changes the balance completely at night)

Velensk
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Re: Balance of the game

Post by Velensk »

I'd suggest that you don't try to apply your single player experience to multiplayer when it comes to balance. The system may be the same but the dynamics are very different.

As it happens, in multiplayer bats are generally much more useful than ghosts. Due to the importance of village control, bats actually give you a decent amount of pressure to keep your enemy pinned back. Ghosts are significantly less mobile and cost quite a bit despite being very likely to not last very long or do very much damage. Despite what some people say, I do believe that ghosts have their uses but as a multiplayer scouting unit it's a rare circumstance when they're more worthwhile than a bat.
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howwitty
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Re: Balance of the game

Post by howwitty »

A lot of scouts have weaknesses across factions. For example, if you're playing a ladder match on Caves of the Basilisk, gryphons have increased movement cost on mushroom groves. Ghosts have increased movement cost on water. But water is a pretty common land feature. In a lot of maps I see landscapes such as rivers and mountain ranges which are meant to reflect the nature of the real world counterparts. The terrain is as its direct counterpart outside of legend. I noticed in the Ageless Era is that across factions, there were new abilities and attack specials. For instance, plague might generate a new kind of unit which may not make much sense, because plague is a disease. The idea of plague is accessible due to zombies being common ground across legends of different cultures, also a lot of work was put into different types of walking corpses.

The changes implemented in factions in Ageless Era aren't balanced with default factions' abilities, such as berserk and first strike. Keeping in mind that default factions are more balanced and more robust statistics exist for them, the swamp ambush ability translates more easily to a new faction. You don't have to play the Era of Strife to know what swamp ambush means because it combines terrain and an old ability from the Rebel faction in Default Era.

While many players who use ghosts in mp will find it easier to assign different traits among unit trees, new players would probably not object to a new unit being introduced. So let's keep an open mind. I am not familiar with Celtic or Norse mythology. There are generally some applications or ideas there for units with swarming attacks, attacks which may be used only on either attack or defense and so on.
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taptap
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Re: Balance of the game

Post by taptap »

xhh2a wrote:The Spectre is strictly better than Nightgaunt due to survivability in a no-loss single player campaign against most factions. ... I never bother buying them (bats) in single player ever even for scouting, ghosts are just strictly better.
Whenever I read "no loss" I wonder whether the person is even playing the same game. Even if you only play singleplayer imagine 1) playing without recalls (as in multiplayer), suddenly ghosts don't look as great anymore. 2) maps with 2 gold per village as in single player, suddenly bats pay for themselves very fast by just stealing a village for two turns. 3) using scouts for scouting not combat. 4) how valuable a threat to steal villages can be, when it makes the enemy waste units for garrison duty to prevent you from stealing villages (the upkeep alone) ...

Original topic:

I would say winning ratios from from 42 to 55% are already pretty good. Improve on that, if possible, but I wouldn't go around with these stats to claim a horrible imbalance. E.g. the difference of playing Black or White (without komi) in the game of Go is greater.
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Freem
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Re: Balance of the game

Post by Freem »

taptap wrote:
xhh2a wrote:The Spectre is strictly better than Nightgaunt due to survivability in a no-loss single player campaign against most factions. ... I never bother buying them (bats) in single player ever even for scouting, ghosts are just strictly better.
Whenever I read "no loss" I wonder whether the person is even playing the same game. Even if you only play singleplayer imagine 1) playing without recalls (as in multiplayer), suddenly ghosts don't look as great anymore. 2) maps with 2 gold per village as in single player, suddenly bats pay for themselves very fast by just stealing a village for two turns. 3) using scouts for scouting not combat. 4) how valuable a threat to steal villages can be, when it makes the enemy waste units for garrison duty to prevent you from stealing villages (the upkeep alone) ...
5) an AI is actually a lot more dumb than most players, probably even than many beginners (that's why it have that many gold in WC. If it was smart, even the 1st scenario would not be doable in nightmare.). A human will see a ghost in his lines, he will just send 2 cheap units to hold it (a ghost is 20gp for recruiting) and killing it quickly. Town or not. Or better, a human will send a single unit which can do fire or arcane damages and will thank you for the 8xp. 6) 8xp are a lot more meaningful in non-campaigns because units needs less xp (70% against 100%). Also, you have less gold in single player than in the middle of a campaign, so you can't afford to waste 20gp in a ghost that will be sent to die behind enemy lines. I see them more useful as flankers, for example when your army is on a coast: then they are able to surround an ennemy. Also, they can protect weaker units mages after those units just killed something, by taking the place of the killed.

About the topic of imbalance... well, which kind of game would be imbalanced?
1 vs 1 on small map? On medium map? Big map?
team vs temp on... size of map?
1 vs 1 vs 1 vs 1?
Campaigns (multiplayer or not)?
Survivals?
All those games have different ways to play. For what I know, ladder is mostly 1 vs 1. Me, I prefer survivals, coop campaigns and rpg.

Undeads are slow, ok, but they do not cost a lot, and they are really reliable. They lack hp? But their skeletons have great resistances to frequent damages: 40% to swords, 60% to pierce. It means that archers (which usually do not deal high damages) are almost useless against them. Swords are quite inefficient. You need to use bludgeons or magic, and that's all.
Then you have ghosts: 50% defense, drain on melee, execpt for fire and arcane: 50% resistance (70% for cold, but there are not a lot of units able to use that...). Ghouls resistances are weaker, ok, same for the mage. But the mage have more hp than the human one, for more 4gold less in price (sure, they lack the melee attack, but they do have really powerful ranged ones, more powerful than the mage since they can choose the best one).
Now, undeads can deal almost all kinds of damages for cheap. They have, in fact, all physical damages for cheap to very cheap, and they only lack fire, while being the only ones able to deal cold damage. Cold damage is highly efficient against drakes while being one of the most efficient damages against everything. Their arcane damages are usable in melee, too, which is nice against elves and drakes.

If you want to make undeads stronger without removing what makes them actually controllable for elves, then just reduce the zombi cost.
This will allow for zombi waves, which can be quite efficient: no upkeep, low cost, and they can produce other zombies when you kill some ennemies. You could also allow to recruit horseman zombies, so that the speed problem would be reduced. But giving undeads chocobos or death knights does not really seems a great idea for me: chocobos are knights which resist piercing damages. How do you usually deal with scouts? With bows. Death knigts... well, imagine undeads with lvl 1 leaders. Undeads actually have 2 units lvl 0, on which the leadership would be useful. Unlike loyalists and elves. And the death knight is actually by far stronger than other leaders.

The fact that chocobos and death knights are very strong units is not actually a problem, because you can't build them (at least not on standard era), they are mostly used in campaigns and scenario. Introducing them to normal games would require a high nerf, which would then require to modify all maps in which they previously appeared.

The way I see the undead faction is: hordes of unstoppable non-living creatures slowing destroying everything on their passage. On wesnoth, I think it's quite successful.
Plus, in the first messages we could see that drakes had the highest win rate. I am both surprised and not surprised: any decent player know that a drake is powerful. But also, any decent player knows that they are the most expensive faction, which is really weak against pierce and arcane. Well, not that weak in fact, since the saurians resist those. But still, the high drake cost imply that you hardly can afford to lost one. Drakes' cheapest units are their scout and their warrior: 16 and 17 gold. The saurians are 15 and 16, but you won't hold a line with them, they are tactical tools, not tanks.

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nuorc
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Re: Balance of the game

Post by nuorc »

Freem wrote:undeads ... being the only ones able to deal cold damage.
Well, plus the Saurian Augur line.
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DwarvenWarrior
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Re: Balance of the game

Post by DwarvenWarrior »

whats win rate of drakes vs undead in isars cross?

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