Strong mages/shamans/etc.

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Bardagh
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Joined: February 19th, 2020, 8:20 pm

Strong mages/shamans/etc.

Post by Bardagh »

Sorry if this is an old/oft-tread topic; I'm relatively new to the game.

Strong mages/shamans/etc. aggravate me to no end, to the point where I will sometimes start a scenario over if I get one. (Dark Adepts are potentially an exception if I plan to use necromancers' plague staffs extensively.) If my mages/shamans are attacking or being attacked in melee, I'm doing something wrong - the trait is almost entirely useless for them, with the only exceptions I can think of being the aforementioned necromancers and potentially mages of light with their 3 melee attacks. Is there a compelling balance reason why the Strong trait should be on the list for mages at all?

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Ravana
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Re: Strong mages/shamans/etc.

Post by Ravana »

In fact, dark adepts do not get strong. https://github.com/wesnoth/wesnoth/comm ... 3d2d32cd71

Zrevnur
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Re: Strong mages/shamans/etc.

Post by Zrevnur »

Bardagh wrote:
March 3rd, 2020, 7:20 pm
If my mages/shamans are attacking or being attacked in melee, I'm doing something wrong - the trait is almost entirely useless for them,
(I am assuming you mean campaign play vs AI - I have no experience with MP.)
For Shaman line (especially Sylph) I dont agree with you. While its not the strongest trait I usually consider it better than 'intelligent'. You may want to look at my posts in Elvish Shamans vs Mages in HttT for a different perspective. Some notable use cases:

1) Sylph vs low level units: You end up fighting them in melee to some degree. In general its simply not efficient to avoid melee fights. You do what gives the best expected net results.

2) Unit with 'slow' vs dangerous enemy - you slow them and they will in their turn attack in melee.

3)Tanking/blocking with mage units. Higher level mage units (esp Sylph and Great Mage) can make good tanks especially vs ranged units. These will often attack with melee attack. And Sylph on forest is one of the strongest blockers in the game. Sylph also has 3 magic attacks which means the expected benefit of 'Strong' for melee is 2.1. A unit with 4 attacks (Elvish Avenger for example) vs most units on forest (if they have 50% defense) only gets an expected benefit of 2.0 out of 'Strong'.

otzenpunk
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Re: Strong mages/shamans/etc.

Post by otzenpunk »

Bardagh wrote:
March 3rd, 2020, 7:20 pm
If my mages/shamans are attacking or being attacked in melee, I'm doing something wrong - the trait is almost entirely useless for them,
I tend to think that strong isn't that bad on shamans. I'd rather say, if your shamans aren't ever attacked in melee, you probably don't use them to their full extent, and just as (mediocre) healers. First, although they do have a very low number of hitpoints, 70% defense in forests is good enough to not get crushed regularly, at least as long as they aren't exposed on three or more sides. And if one really gets killed, because two grunts unluckily hit 3 out of 4, well, they're just one gp more than a fighter, right? The second reason why shamans regularly get attacked with melee is slow. As long as you don't kill a slowed enemy immediately, you're definitely standing right beside him, and he will probably attack you in his turn, and percentage-wise, strong strengthens a shaman's melee power by full 33%, more than any other unit! The latter is btw also useful when trying to feed them xp.
Zrevnur wrote:
March 3rd, 2020, 9:31 pm
While its not the strongest trait I usually consider it better than 'intelligent'.
I don't agree with this, either, at least it depends on the length of the campaign. Sure, in a long campaign you reach the maximum level at some point, and from then intelligent is worthless, but in short campaigns like Orcish Incursion it's definitely worth it. Especially because shydes are level 4 and it really takes a while to reach that. I'd rather not level intelligent shamans into druids, though.

In my opinion resilient is the worst trait. 3 hitpoints more than strong is kind of a joke in my view, except maybe to mitigate the penalty on quick units.

Bardagh
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Re: Strong mages/shamans/etc.

Post by Bardagh »

otzenpunk wrote:
March 4th, 2020, 12:29 am
Bardagh wrote:
March 3rd, 2020, 7:20 pm
If my mages/shamans are attacking or being attacked in melee, I'm doing something wrong - the trait is almost entirely useless for them,
I tend to think that strong isn't that bad on shamans. I'd rather say, if your shamans aren't ever attacked in melee, you probably don't use them to their full extent, and just as (mediocre) healers. First, although they do have a very low number of hitpoints, 70% defense in forests is good enough to not get crushed regularly, at least as long as they aren't exposed on three or more sides. And if one really gets killed, because two grunts unluckily hit 3 out of 4, well, they're just one gp more than a fighter, right? The second reason why shamans regularly get attacked with melee is slow. As long as you don't kill a slowed enemy immediately, you're definitely standing right beside him, and he will probably attack you in his turn, and percentage-wise, strong strengthens a shaman's melee power by full 33%, more than any other unit! The latter is btw also useful when trying to feed them xp.
Zrevnur wrote:
March 3rd, 2020, 9:31 pm
While its not the strongest trait I usually consider it better than 'intelligent'.
I don't agree with this, either, at least it depends on the length of the campaign. Sure, in a long campaign you reach the maximum level at some point, and from then intelligent is worthless, but in short campaigns like Orcish Incursion it's definitely worth it. Especially because shydes are level 4 and it really takes a while to reach that. I'd rather not level intelligent shamans into druids, though.

In my opinion resilient is the worst trait. 3 hitpoints more than strong is kind of a joke in my view, except maybe to mitigate the penalty on quick units.
I see your point re shamans; mages are more expensive, however, and don't have 70% defense anywhere. Mage on a village is about as good as you're going to get in that respect.

Resilient is 4+level-1, so a level 3 unit has 5 points more than strong, not 3. A level 4 (great mage etc.) has 6. It makes a difference pretty often, especially on low HP characters like mages for whom +4 HP is 1/6 of their normal HP max.

Zrevnur
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Joined: January 11th, 2020, 12:04 pm

Re: Strong mages/shamans/etc.

Post by Zrevnur »

otzenpunk wrote:
March 4th, 2020, 12:29 am
In my opinion resilient is the worst trait. 3 hitpoints more than strong is kind of a joke in my view, except maybe to mitigate the penalty on quick units.
Bardagh wrote:
March 4th, 2020, 1:15 am
Resilient is 4+level-1, so a level 3 unit has 5 points more than strong, not 3. A level 4 (great mage etc.) has 6. It makes a difference pretty often, especially on low HP characters like mages for whom +4 HP is 1/6 of their normal HP max.
'Resilient' is 4 + level, a 'Resilient' + 'Strong' Shaman has 32 HP instead of 26. I remember there being some wrong overlay descriptions for 'Resilient' in the game (in some campaign I think but not sure in which one/s or if its still in in the current version) though.

Bardagh
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Joined: February 19th, 2020, 8:20 pm

Re: Strong mages/shamans/etc.

Post by Bardagh »

Zrevnur wrote:
March 4th, 2020, 5:43 am
otzenpunk wrote:
March 4th, 2020, 12:29 am
In my opinion resilient is the worst trait. 3 hitpoints more than strong is kind of a joke in my view, except maybe to mitigate the penalty on quick units.
Bardagh wrote:
March 4th, 2020, 1:15 am
Resilient is 4+level-1, so a level 3 unit has 5 points more than strong, not 3. A level 4 (great mage etc.) has 6. It makes a difference pretty often, especially on low HP characters like mages for whom +4 HP is 1/6 of their normal HP max.
'Resilient' is 4 + level, a 'Resilient' + 'Strong' Shaman has 32 HP instead of 26. I remember there being some wrong overlay descriptions for 'Resilient' in the game (in some campaign I think but not sure in which one/s or if its still in in the current version) though.
Or I could have misremembered. Good to know.

otzenpunk
Posts: 79
Joined: February 11th, 2018, 5:32 pm
Location: Hamburg / Germany

Re: Strong mages/shamans/etc.

Post by otzenpunk »

Bardagh wrote:
March 4th, 2020, 1:15 am
I see your point re shamans; mages are more expensive, however, and don't have 70% defense anywhere. Mage on a village is about as good as you're going to get in that respect.
Yes, I was referring to shamans only. Regarding mages, you're probably right. With their 5x1 staff they only get half as much out of strong than shamans. And because they don't have access to dexterous, they more often get quick, and they also probably need that more than shamans, because of their worse movement type, and then resilient is a good addition.

Also, mages really aren't supposed to engage in melee combat, as you said in your first post, but shamans are, at least defensively. Mages are damage dealers, and whenever you send them to the front, you normally want to kill enemies, and then use the gained ground to protect your mage with more robust troops. Shamans are different. Because of slow and their low damage output, they aren't really much help to kill units in one turn, because while slowing the enemy, they don't do much damage, but occupy one square afterwards allowing at least this slowed unit to strike back in the opponent's turn. And often, you don't want to attack this unit at all with your other troops, but e.g. slow one unit and then concentrate your archery on another.

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