My analysis of humanoid unit resistances/armor/HP

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Sapient
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Post by Sapient »

JW wrote:The thing is, some resistancies don't seem realistic when compared to each other like the mages 0% compared to the thiefs -30 and -20%s.
The thief is a tiny runt. He can't take as many direct hits with a sword, which makes sense. But, gamewise this isn't a problem since he dodges better.

A better example might be the Fencer. Normally the Fencer has more HP than the Mage. (28 vs. 24) But, looking at the Fencer, he seems to be someone who could take the same number of swordblows as a mage.

We do some simple math to check the Fencer's "effective hp" against blades and get: (28 * 70%) = 19.6

So, a Mage has a higher effective HP against blades than a Fencer. (24 vs 19.6) Therein lies the problem. Damage resistance is only relevant for comparison in context of maximum hp.
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Post by Cuyo Quiz »

Define it, then balance it accordingly. If resistances are armour (artificial or natural), and defenses are skill and maneuverability over terrain, then what are hitpoints?.
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Post by Becephalus »

Well to try to take back control of a thread I started, I would like to say I think a lot of you are missing the point.

First off in response to Mustelid's/Sapient's comment about new user accessability. I do not think its a good idea to just abstract everything posible into HP because it harms new players. Most new players start on elves and loyalists and when they come to MP they get royally slayed in large part because they do not understand resistances (could this perchance be because they do not really have to know resistances with these factions?). Maybe I will come off as elitist but it is my sneaking suspicion that a player who doesn't bother to look at/learn resistances isn't someone who is going to play Wesnoth very long or contribute to the community. Resistances are a fundemental mechanic in the game and probably something someone should learn the importance of within the first half hour of playing. I know I for one was initially confused by the resistances as I could not decern a rational framework.
Mustelid wrote: most of the difficulty between killing person X and person Y will come from the difference in their skill level. I'd prefer to think of HP not as physical ability to sustain injury but rather as an aggregate of general fatigue, confusion, fear, minor injuries, armour damage and so on - which eventually add up enough for a fatal mistake. A really experienced warrior will usually take longer to wear down; a trained soldier (spearman) survive better than someone with no real combat training (mage). Of course, this rationalisation is full of gigantic holes too - for instance, it would suggest that Heavy Infantryman should have very low HP, because carrying all that heavy plate makes you tire quickly.
I am curious why you even bring this argument when you admit it is full of holes fencers/spearman, spearman/HI, etc. etc. etc. Presumably everyone in the Wesnoth combat field has some familiarity with combat and a modicum of training. Who is to say the spearman are not untrained levies and the fencer lifelong devotees of their craft for example.

Basically the arguement is for an unprincipled status quo on the basis that it is the status quo.

@ JW I appreciate the interest, but personally am not too interested in maintaining current HP values or their HP + resistance proxies. So your caculations while useful are kind of off point in my mind :).
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Post by Becephalus »


What I am interested in establishing some sort of systematic and principled framework from which to extrapolate unit resistances and HP. Basically I want the resistance system to be internally consistent, to make sense.

Now regarding unit defense we have three things to work with DEF, (ability to avoid damage/combat) HP (ability to sustain damage/combat) and resistances (which indicate special modifiers to units' suseptability to damage types).


I tend to think the DEF values more or less make a lot of sense as they are currently. Perhaps if all this was changed some might need to be tinkered with a bit for balance, but they seem fine.

Regarding HP I would think it simplest and easiest to just think of it as the amount of damage in general required to kill the unit. I would assume this is going to be fairly similar for units of the same races.

Why I propose to include armor in resistances instead of HP is that A: it makes things more clear, B: It is already accounted for there in some/large part, and C: You cannot just (to use someone's example) lower a Mage's hp because it has -20% against all melee attacks because it will be disproportionally vulnerable to the non melee damages then.

So without further ado let me post some of the figures I have been kicking around. I really do think starting from a principled framework and then making exceptions for balancing etc. is a better way in the long run compared to just assigning resistances willy nilly. (Perhaps even one day we could get an automated unit creater where you input gear and it spits out a resistance level, of course then its DEF and cost would need to be balanced accordingly).

I am just going to leave off the cold/fire/energy? resistance as I am not sure where that is heading and am less clear on what the effects of armor race etc. should be on these dmg types.

Spearman
30HP for human +10B 10P from light metal armor +10B 10I 10P from small shield

So thats 30HP 20B 10I 20P instead of to 36 0B 0I 0P

Heavy Infantry
30HP for human + 3HP for above average physique +30B 20I 30P for heavy metal armor + 30B 20I 30P from large shield

so thats 33HP 60B 40I 60P instead of 38 50 30 40

Fencer
30HP for human -20B -10I -10P from clothing

so thats 30HP -20B -10I -10P instead of 28HP -30B -20I -20P
Obviously I can tell this makes for a significant buff for fencer, you could increase its cost or add something to unit description giving a reason for added penalties etc. The point to keep in mind is lets do the unit concepts first.

Mage 30HP for human -3HP for physique -20B -10I -10P from clothing

so that is 27HP -20B -10I -10P instead of 24HP 0I 0B 0P

Bowman
30HP for human 0B 0I 0P for leather armor

so the same except for 1 more HP

Cavalry 30HP for human 9HP for mount +20B 10I 20P from armor +10B 10I 10P for small shield +20I -50P for medium mounted

so that is 39HP 30B 40I -20P instead of 38HP 30B 40I -20P

Horseman 30HP for human 9HP for mount +10B 10P from armor +10B 10I 10P for small shield +30I -50P for large mounted

so that is 39HP 20B 40I -30P instead of 38HP 20B 30I -20P

So I have worked out values for other races (which I can post later) and general equipment ratings see below. A lot fo things are not even that different but I feel like this systematic approach is a better way to go about balancing things. Maybe people will like it maybe they will hate it, but this is just my opinion.

cloth/naked armor -20B -10I -10P
leather/hide armor 0B 0I 0P
light metal armor 10B 0I 10P
medium metal armor 20B 10I 20P
heavy metal armor 30B 20I 30P
royal metal armor 40B 30I 40P
small/buckler shield 10B 10I 10P
medium/wooden shield 20B 10I 20P
large/metal shield 30B 20I 30P
small mount (wolf) +10I -40P
medium mount +20I -50P
large mount +30I -50P

Obviously we could debate or argue about those numbers. Basically I assumed that armor is not as effective against impact as other types of dmg. I am more interested in talking about the proposal in general right now than individual numbers.
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appleide
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Post by appleide »

Eh... Nice!

(Actually Appleide was apparently confused by the numbers displayed by Becephalus and still didn't get his point... But he'd still like to congradulate Becephalus on his hard work.)
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Post by deserter »

appleide wrote:Eh... Nice!

(Actually Appleide was apparently confused by the numbers displayed by Becephalus and still didn't get his point... But he'd still like to congradulate Becephalus on his hard work.)
It was perfectly clear in my opinion... :?
And I like to say that I am happy with those numbers. Not that my opinion counts for very much... :roll:
Mustelid wrote:The HP of a unit can be seen without opening up the unit description; its resistances cannot.

Maybe this could be solved! We could have resistances shown in UI similar to unit description in the statusbar/sidebar... (don't remember what it's called)

EDIT: sorry for the off-topic... I'll keep it here whatsoever and post it to ideas forum, where it can be discussed. It can be found here: http://www.wesnoth.org/forum/viewtopic. ... 159#130159

(I hope that this is not considered spamming.)
Last edited by deserter on January 27th, 2006, 9:44 am, edited 1 time in total.
jonathantan86
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Post by jonathantan86 »

Wow...I think Becephalus has something there. :-) Actually with his idea it might be *easier* for newcomers to jump in, since they can just understand that certain kinds of armour or items helps to prevent certain kinds of damage. You can just tell them that mounts make the unit more vulnerable to pierce and increases the unit's HP, for instance.

However things might be a bit difficult because of rounding (this was brought up in an earlier post), not only balancing but if you have attacks with low damage (e.g. Elvish Fighter 4-4 or 5-4) you might not even see any effect from the different resistances of different units.
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Post by JW »

Grah. Your idea's too good. I feel like my input's non-valuable now. :cry:

:p

That's a compliment btw. It looks pretty good. :p

You could also then define racial traits (hp, moves, resistancies):
Human: 30hp, 5m, 0s
Elf: 28hp, 5m, 0s
Dwarf: 35hp, 4m, 10B, 10I, 10P
Orc: 32hp, 5m, 0s
Goblin: 25hp, 4m, 0s
Troll: 42hp, 4m, 20B, 20P
Drake: 39hp, 5m, 10B, 20I, -10P
Saurian: 22hp, 6m, 10P
Mermen: 31hp, 6m, 0s
Wose: 52hp, 3m, 40I, 60P
Naga: 33hp, 7m, 0s
Skeleton: 30hp, 5m, 40B, -20I, 60P

This would give you a template with which to work in creating new units. Of course, this would just be a guideline, as a hard-and-fast rule would severely limit creative options. Take a race, add armor, special characteristics, and voila! You've got a character (attacks, advancement, and art would all fall under "special characteristics" :wink: ).
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Post by Yogibear »

Hmm, interesting :) .

Reading this thread, different things come to my mind.
*Yogi starts brainstorming*

1.
Looking at the idea from a logical perspective: Yes, it makes a lot more sense then the current system.

I started playing "A New Order" last week and it appears to me that those new unit stats have some similarities with the Akladians (less hitpoints, increased resistances). Playing these guys feels --- different.

2.
There is not so much difference between frontline and supporting units. Almost every unit survives one turn at the front, if you take a little care.

3.
Villages become more important, since units need fewer turns to heal.

4.
In the aforementioned campaign there is one scenario with saurians. Man, i can tell you, those tribalists are very annoying, i had to make sure to kill them fast or they rip you apart. And if you face a soothsayer - good luck. I know you said you are not looking at fire/cold/holy attacks at the moment. I am just throwing in some experience that you may find useful. If i am not completely wrong these attack types will need some rebalancing.

5.
Skirmishing will become even more annoying (if that is possible :P ). Healing will become more important (cool :) ). Terrain will become more important.

6.
Killing units is harder altogether, i think (i am not sure about this, maybe it appears to me because Akladians are not balanced yet). Breaking through a line will be more difficult either, then.

Having said all that, well, i think i like it :D .
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Post by Sapient »

Yogi raises a good point about healing power. It seems magic offense and magic healing would become more powerful.

One of the key drawbacks of units like the Heavy Infantryman is the amount of time it takes to heal them.

Also, by agreeing that units gain HP upon level-up, you have already agreed that HP is an abstract concept.
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Becephalus
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Post by Becephalus »

I never said anything about levelup, and I agree it is an abstract concept, all the game mechnics are abstract consept, but that doesn't mean we can clean it up a bit.
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Post by Noyga »

In fact, HP is +/- a sort of hidden healing/poison resistance.
Take two units for example, one with twice the HP but half the resistance of the other :
- they will be the same versus all type of damage
- the second one (less HP) will heals/poison faster
That's why it is interesting to play with the max HP value to take this in consideration.
For humans, there wouldn't be huge differences through.
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Post by jonathantan86 »

The HP range can easily be changed if healing/poison becomes too powerful or weak (just increase/decrease the average attack damage to compensate). I also think HP *should* be increased upon levelling up (together with better attacks etc., of course) because the experience should give the unit better physical capacities like stamina. The resistances can remain the same unless the unit somehow gains better/worse armour (e.g. Horseman -> Lancer).

Also, magi can have much lower HP than the average human soldier, no problem. They aren't "real" soldiers, after all.

Remember that terrain defences can also be used to alter racial characteristics. For instance, elves can have the lowest HP but a relatively high terrain defence (since they are presumably agile). This might create a problem with magic though since there's always a 70% chance to hit.
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Post by Sapient »

jonathantan86 wrote:I also think HP *should* be increased upon levelling up... because the experience should give the unit better physical capacities like stamina.
Right, and how is this different from the justification for L1 units having significant differences in HP?

While the concept of armor granting HP is non-intuitive, it makes sense when you consider the variety of factors which form the concept of HP.

However, I do agree that the situation changes in effective HP for unarmored smallfeet and elusivefeet are non-intuitive. In other words, I agree as Becephalus said that the damage resistances could use some cleaning up.
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Post by theCAS »

Noyga wrote:In fact, HP is +/- a sort of hidden healing/poison resistance.
Two (minor, i think) modifications to game engine would eliminate the problem and allow much more flexibility: custom poison resistance and healing rate for each unit.

This way we can get rid of some incongruence of Wesnoth, like self-regenerating high level trolls that take longer to completely heal than a farmer or scheletons and undead units that regain health like a living being.
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