Making the Drakes less weird

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Sithrandel
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Post by Sithrandel »

I'm going to be boring here, re-inserting my mantra. :D

Drakes, as I recall, were created for a Drake campaign... do correct me if I'm wrong.

So what they should do is be perfect for that campaign.

I am concerned that there is too much desire to make all units fit multiplayer, so that they end up losing some of the distinctiveness which makes them good for campaigns.

Units do not need to be balanced. That does lead to boring shades of grey. They need to fit the campaigns well. If the concern is balance for multiplayer, then why not just create some additional units for that?
Doros
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Post by Doros »

Sithrandel wrote:I'm going to be boring here, re-inserting my mantra. :D

Drakes, as I recall, were created for a Drake campaign... do correct me if I'm wrong.

So what they should do is be perfect for that campaign.

I am concerned that there is too much desire to make all units fit multiplayer, so that they end up losing some of the distinctiveness which makes them good for campaigns.

Units do not need to be balanced. That does lead to boring shades of grey. They need to fit the campaigns well. If the concern is balance for multiplayer, then why not just create some additional units for that?
I think that Drakes are really close to working well in multiplayer, and it would be a shame to lose a whole faction because we didn't want to balance them.

Also, the same problems that we're having in multiplayer would be a pain in a campaign. I don't know how people make maps for the drake campagin. How do you make any real variety?
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Post by Neoriceisgood »

Sithrandel wrote:I'm going to be boring here, re-inserting my mantra. :D

Drakes, as I recall, were created for a Drake campaign... do correct me if I'm wrong.

So what they should do is be perfect for that campaign.

I am concerned that there is too much desire to make all units fit multiplayer, so that they end up losing some of the distinctiveness which makes them good for campaigns.

Units do not need to be balanced. That does lead to boring shades of grey. They need to fit the campaigns well. If the concern is balance for multiplayer, then why not just create some additional units for that?
The Drakes were made because I knew I could, If it wasn't for me drakes never excisted! I didn't make them for campaigns, Nor multiplayer BUT FOR MY OWN SATISFACTION YOU HEAR!? THEY'RE MY PRECIOUS BABIES! I DID WHAT NO-ONE ELSE MANAGED TO DO! I PUT AN ENTIRE FACTION IN THE GAME HAHAHAHAHAHAH!!
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Elvish_Pillager
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Post by Elvish_Pillager »

And his own insanity is reflected in them...

(off on a tangent) Really, my Drake trait suggestion is almost serious, and I've revised it: The ranged attacks of units with the "Mutant" trait do cold damage, and their cold resistance is 50%, Pierce 20%, and Fire 0%.

That would sort of balance their cold weakness... Mutant Drakes would be powerful weapons against Dark Adepts, but also they would be weaker against true Undead, so the weakness to Adepts and strength against Undead would be balanced somewhat. And chance-based problems would worsen somewhat.
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Jetrel
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Post by Jetrel »

Elvish Pillager wrote:And his own insanity is reflected in them...

(off on a tangent) Really, my Drake trait suggestion is almost serious, and I've revised it: The ranged attacks of units with the "Mutant" trait do cold damage, and their cold resistance is 50%, Pierce 20%, and Fire 0%.
That's even more crazy. Gah.

Really - stop hashing at neo for making the drakes, alright?

----
Elvish Pillager wrote:I'd like to make the drakes even more different than they are; However large part of the developers says no against custom resistances;
I don't - what do you suggest?
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turin
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Post by turin »

@SIthrandel: The thing is, its been almost a year and no drake campaign from neo has resulted. Face it, their main purpose now, even if it wasn't originally, is to be a faction in multiplayer, not to be a campaign faction, and certainly not to be a testament to neo's insanity.

Also, I think that this change would make the one drake campaign we have (by madmax) much more enjoyable. Right now I've played it, and it was boring because the terrain matters so little.

So, basically, this is not, IMHO, a proposition for balancing of drakes in MP; it is one for making them interesting to play, in SP and MP.
Neoriceisgood wrote:The Drakes were made because I knew I could, If it wasn't for me drakes never excisted! I didn't make them for campaigns, Nor multiplayer BUT FOR MY OWN SATISFACTION YOU HEAR!? THEY'RE MY PRECIOUS BABIES! I DID WHAT NO-ONE ELSE MANAGED TO DO! I PUT AN ENTIRE FACTION IN THE GAME HAHAHAHAHAHAH!!
Uh, yeah, interesting....
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Post by MadMax »

turin wrote:Also, I think that this change would make the one drake campaign we have (by madmax) much more enjoyable. Right now I've played it, and it was boring because the terrain matters so little.
It does matter in terms of defense, not so much as movement speed.
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turin
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Post by turin »

MadMax wrote:
turin wrote:Also, I think that this change would make the one drake campaign we have (by madmax) much more enjoyable. Right now I've played it, and it was boring because the terrain matters so little.
It does matter in terms of defense, not so much as movement speed.
But their defense is also rather uniform, and low. IIRC they have few to no terrains with >40% defense. That means they're very likely to be hit every time, so you have to basically assume that is what's going to happen, and work from there.

I don't know, terrain mgiht be more important than that even with drakes, but both when I play drakes in multiplayer and when I play drakes in your campaign, I think, 'OK, there are basically three terrain types: villages, land terrain, and water terrain. I don't have to worry about the differences between the different land terrains, or the different water terrains'. And this does not hurt me, I usually win MP scenarios a bit more often with drakes than with other factions.
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Dreadwing
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Post by Dreadwing »

I think all other drakes other then Drake Glider should get the downgrade on thier movement.Drake Glider is a scout so it shouldn't be as great I say give it this resistance:
Blade -10%
Pierce -20%
Because they are build for flying won't have tought skin or armor so all sharp weapons should hurt it alot....

So the new movement on them is what?
deep_water=2
shallow_water=2
swamp_water=1 (Swamp should be 2 too??)
grassland=1
sand=1
forest=2
hills=1
mountains=2
village=1
castle=1
cave=2 (i don't know about this don't they live in caves or are those only dragons...)
tundra=3

And their def I think should be like:

Sand - 40%
Grassland - 40% (should fight well in clear spaces)
Forest - 30% (block thier view)
Cave - 40%(maybe change to 50%)
Deep_water - 20% (all the water like terrain should be 30% they r flying on them not swimming in it??)
Hills 40%
Canyon - 60%(they should be only race that fight really well on them, so all drake type units should be able to move on them)
Swamp water - 30%
Village - 40%
Tundra - 10% (be very low in the snow I mean thy are weak vs cold)
Castle - 40%
Shallow_water - 30%
Mountains - 50% (being on high place should give them advantage)

That what I think.
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Post by Noy »

Sithrandel wrote:I'm going to be boring here, re-inserting my mantra. :D

Drakes, as I recall, were created for a Drake campaign... do correct me if I'm wrong.

So what they should do is be perfect for that campaign.

I am concerned that there is too much desire to make all units fit multiplayer, so that they end up losing some of the distinctiveness which makes them good for campaigns.
As it happens, I think that this is very much the wrong attitude to have. Maybe it was more appropriate when there wasn't a strong MP aspect to Wesnoth, but now its inappropriate. As someone above pointed out, there is only one drake campaign. Well in multiplayer on average 1 out of every 3 games features drakes in them. Maybe you could tell me the server statistics, but thats a lot of games of wesnoth, I'd wager thats far outstrips the number of games people are actively playing on the drake campaign at any one time.
Units do not need to be balanced. That does lead to boring shades of grey. They need to fit the campaigns well. If the concern is balance for multiplayer, then why not just create some additional units for that?
I think if anything MPers are quite aware of that, and wish to keep the distinctiveness of units. I argued this with the ulfzerker and keeping its unlimited turn berzerk. However there is a difference between "distinctiveness" and being "balanced." You can have distinctiveness and balance at the same time, just as you can have boring shades of gray and being unbalanced. For the most part I think Wesnoth has done a great job at balancing units and maintaining distinctiveness, when you look at the number of them, and how they fit in with each other. There are very distinctive strategies present for all the factions today, and they for the most part balance out. Upon speaking to MPers I think there is less than 10 outstanding issues that we would like to see addressed that come under the topic of balancing. Thats pretty good when all things are considered.

However there is something very wrong right now with the Drake faction. People aren't even buying drakes in MP; any Mp player worth half his salt are buying saurians, and implementing the saurian rush over and over again. I don't see how somebody can even claim that is balanced, or a good thing at all. Drakes for the most part are okay in my eyes, I don't have much of a problem at all with them.
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Post by khamul »

The problem I have with Saurians (mostly from TRoW) is that's there's very few terrains in which they're vulnerable.

The problem with their speed is not a move of 7, as I see it, but that they're moving at cost 1 on almost everything: compare that with elusive_foot, which is at move cost 2 on most of their highest defense terrains.

Coupled with that, skirmishers have great defense almost everywhere. They're at 40% on grassland - the same as most units - and the only place worse than that is tundra, not the most common terrain.

My standard approach with a hard-to-hit unit like a thief or assassin is either get them on grassland and hit with a high-power unit like a horseman, or hit them with a mage if I can't shift them from their home terrain. With lower move costs, and higher move, saurians can get away too easily, and with much better resistances, Saurians are too hard to kill when caught in the open.

I suggest the following changes:

shallow water: def 40% -> 20%
grassland: def 40% -> 30%
hills: def 60% -> 50%, moves 1 -> 2
mountain: def 60% -> 30%, moves 2 -> 3 (mountains are COLD)
swamp: moves 1 -> 2

keep cost and movement the same.

With decreased defense and increased move on hills/mountains, you can anchor your defensive line against them, making it much harder for the Saurians to get round.
Giving Saurians swamp move 1 is nearly as good as skirmisher all by itself on a map with swamp in - everything else is so much slower in swamp (except mermen/naga, who are slow on land instead). Increasing swamp move to 2 just brings it into line.

Thoughts?
If they need to be nerfed further, I'd suggest making them more vulnerable to blade/impact/pierce rather than decreasing move/cost. Have them fast but fragile, just like light infantry should be.

Dropping the ranged attack from 4-2 to 4-1 might also help, and be in keeping with other spearmen.
Ardonik
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Post by Ardonik »

I agree with most of the rest of your post, but disagree with these:
khamul wrote:swamp: moves 1 -> 2
And khamul also wrote:Giving Saurians swamp move 1 is nearly as good as skirmisher all by itself on a map with swamp in - everything else is so much slower in swamp (except mermen/naga, who are slow on land instead). Increasing swamp move to 2 just brings it into line.
I always figured temperate swamps were their native terrain, much in the same way it would be for a crocodile unit. In my opinion, they shouldn't have a hard time moving through shallow river muck (but this doesn't necessarily mean they can swim well in open waters such as lakes and streams.)
khamul wrote:Dropping the ranged attack from 4-2 to 4-1 might also help, and be in keeping with other spearmen.
This would weaken Saurian Skirmishers too much. The loyalist spearmen make up for their weak ranged attack with first strike.
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Post by Doc Paterson »

It's an unfortunate thing, but I've been feeling guilty whenever I use skirmishers. So then, this is my solemn vow. I WILL NOT USE THEM UNTIL THEY ARE WEAKENED.

This I swear by the holy book carried by the Saurian Tribalist.

:o
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Post by Saurian Bibleist »

Doc Paterson wrote:It's an unfortunate thing, but I've been feeling guilty whenever I use skirmishers. So then, this is my solemn vow. I WILL NOT USE THEM UNTIL THEY ARE WEAKENED.

This I swear by the holy book carried by the Saurian Tribalist.

:o
:D
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