Level 4 for normal units

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silene
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Level 4 for normal units

Post by silene »

This could be a poll, but I don't want it to get polluted by not-explained votes. It is also intended to be a developer only thread. Please refrain from posting if you are just playing the game and never contributed anything major!

Now for the problem at hand. A few days ago, Jetryl committed into the CVS the Grand Marshal. It was a level 4 unit intended to be the advancement of the human General. Afterwards, there have been a few discussions about the relevance of this unit on IRC, but it never was really significant. Indeed IRC is kind of a real-time media and we all live in different time zones. So let's use the forum to clearly state our opinions and try to reach a consensus.

What do you think the Wesnoth experience tree should look like? Should we go toward more and more high-level units?
silene
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Post by silene »

Since I asked for opinions, I should at least give mine on the subject.

I don't think there should be any level 4 normal unit. Until recently there was only the Archmage, and it was already annoying me a bit. But since he was supposed to be an old and overpowerful magic user, I was kind of agreeing for him to be level 4. But now have come an elvish unit, and another human unit, that are level 4. And Jetryl intends to continue to add level 4 units to each race/faction.

I don't agree with such an evolution of the experience tree. I think Wesnoth should stay centered around low-level units. If level 4 should be added, it should only concern unique characters like campaign heroes.
cedric
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Post by cedric »

This, indeed, sums up quite well my feelings on the recent evolution in the units area.

The game (I'm mostly concerned with campaigns here) loses much of its savour with überunits all around. I didn't like the Sylph being added to what was an interesting tree, and now it seems this unfortunate "trend" is spreading. :?

Fourth level must really be exceptionnal and reserved to special units, and even then, should be used with great care. Any campaign with more than a dozen scenarios becomes boring, when you have four completely leveled permanent heroes and many tanks in your recall list. Units should not be invincible. The risk of them dying is a great part of the fun, and incidentally campaigns are fun mostly at the begining, when heroes are a still a few special cases (who can die and are not overpowered) and most of the game is played with lower level units. This makes intense battles, and you really care about that special unit and use it wisely, because you don't have dozens in reserve and it still has weaknesses.

Let's not spoil this fun.
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Jetrel
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Post by Jetrel »

As previously stated, the grand marshal is not in the recruitable unit tree for any of the existing campaigns.

The only time he appears as a player-controllable unit in campaigns is as a special unit - Gweddry.

Thus, he does not present the aforementioned problem.


As for the Sylph, she does no more damage than the Sharpshooter. Her differentiating abilities are:

She is very mobile, and can cross deep water. She does cold damage, which is more pervasive against many enemies that can brush off piercing and blade attacks.

She, however, costs a great deal of XP to get, XP that could give you several level-2 units instead, who would be much more generally effective.



The purpose of these level-4 units is NOT to mindlessly add level-4s of normal units.

It is to add level-4s of unique units which would not be good in general combat, and are very hard to get. They exist to support a base army of regular troops, they cannot replace it.

A fool who tries to fight a level with nothing but sylphs or great mages will vaporise his investment - and one cannot recruit anything levelling into the grand marshal in campaigns.


These are not über-units, I never intended to make über-units. These are unusual units - bad for regular combat, but capable of unique abilities which make them useful - sometimes very valuable - in limited situations.

It is worth noting that I deliberately made the Grand Marshal to have very large stats so that he would match the Royal Guard and Master Bowman - the last time I proposed stats, people got all over my case about how weak they were. I would quote something about serving two masters and pleasing none here. Besides the point, I knew that there was next to no chance of the stats not being changed.

I suppose what I should have done would have been to make the attacks 1-1 - to make the fact that they were placeholders obvious. I must have given you guys the wrong impression, but I had hoped we were above such petty banter. I had hoped you would come and talk to me, before cursing intentions which are not my own.
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Jetrel
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Post by Jetrel »

or more accurately, "please don't put words in my mouth".

Besides the point, have any of you guys actually seen these units in-game?
(and please be honest).

Please play into a campaign, like HttT, and see how they fare - THEN complain about them. You may find them to play quite differently than you expected.

If I had done something silly like making a l4 elvish fighter, then we might have a problem - but this is altogether different.
cedric
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Post by cedric »

Jetryl wrote:A fool who tries to fight a level with nothing but sylphs or great mages will vaporise his investment
Unfortunately, you can't prevent fools from playing Wesnoth. :P Once upon a time, I played half of the Heir to the Throne campaign only recruiting shamen, and nothing else, for the sheer challenge, and to see how powerful this tree was. They are powerful, trust me. I did the same attempt with archers only, and I encountered far more difficulties than with the Shyde line.
Jetryl wrote:These are not über-units
If you say so.

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silene
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Post by silene »

Jetryl wrote:or more accurately, "please don't put words in my mouth".
Here is a quote from IRC, so that you don't say I'm putting words into your mouth.
[04-10-07 07:07] <Jetryl> miyo: each race/faction would only have one RECRUITABLE "non-special" unit like that
And please note that I'm not the one who uppercased recruitable to emphase it.
Jetryl wrote:Besides the point, have any of you guys actually seen these units in-game?
(and please be honest).
Yes, I have several Archmages in my HttT campaign.
Jetryl wrote:Please play into a campaign, like HttT, and see how they fare - THEN complain about them. You may find them to play quite differently than you expected.
I'm not complaining about how powerful they are. Where did you read that? I'm complaining that they are level 4 units. This is what this whole thread is about. Please stay on subject. My point is that this level should be reserved to special units.

So I repeat my question: What do you think the Wesnoth experience tree should look like? Should we go toward more and more high-level units?
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Jetrel
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Post by Jetrel »

I don't think there is any reason to simply reserve level 4 for ... what we should term "campaign unique" units (Konrad, Gwiti, Kalenz).

I think that the trees should look like this:
Mostly level-3.
Some 2. These would be either branches like the lancer - for immediate power but lack of long-term options. Or, like the goblins/saurians - for beings of weak form which cannot become very powerful by nature.
And a very few level-4's, which add interesting abilities but are very expensive to get (etc.).

Please correct me if I am wrong, but do you, silene, simply wish to reserve an experience level for "campaign unique units," for no other reason than using the number of that level to indicate that it is a "campaign unique unit"?
silene
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Post by silene »

Jetryl wrote:Please correct me if I am wrong, but do you, silene, simply wish to reserve an experience level for "campaign unique units," for no other reason than using the number of that level to indicate that it is a "campaign unique unit"?
You are wrong. As I said, I want Wesnoth to remain a game where you roll on low-level units. I don't want it to become a game where normal units can become high-level. I don't want each race/faction to get a level 4 unit.

I already expressed my opinion, you already expressed yours; it's quite clear our opinions won't change. So please let's just wait for other developers to express themselves.
scott
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Post by scott »

Campaign-unique units and heros should also be level 3 (or less)
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Neoriceisgood
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Post by Neoriceisgood »

I vote for more level 4 base-units, Though they'd have to be a logic addition to the faction/race; we don't want level 4 orcish archers, though we can imagine orcs being able to get a level 4 melee unit; and ofcourse drakes and dwarves would get combat focused level 4 units aswell if they would get one.

While at the other hand elves, undead(necromancers) and humans would preferably get level 4 mages or the likes.


I would vote against it if elves would get another level up for the elvish champion as it's already kinda overpowered in melee for an elf; and Jetryls Dwarven runesmith tree is something I didn't entirely like because dwarves are one of the least magical races as I know it.
caranha
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Post by caranha »

I don't know. I'm a little afraid of this proliferation of lv 4 units. Why do we need lv 4 units? Just because we can?

There is a term I use with some friends we call it the '"more" principle'. That when a movie/game/story starts having nowhere interesting/new to grow to, it justs starts to add "more power" to whatever it had before, in order to be "cooler". In time, these things will eventually get old too, and they'll need to make them even bigger to keep the novelty, without adding anything really new.

So we had lv 3 as a cap for unit development, and a few higher level units for campaigns. Now there is a push for lv 4 recruitable units.... eventually, someone will call for lv 5 campaign units, since they're special and should be above normal units, and then we'll have more lv 4 normal units... until some suggests a lv 5 recruitable unit... you know where I'm getting to :-/

Something like that seems to already be happening in the "how many units" front... Now, its true I don't know closely all the factions, but I'm kinda afraid that with so many news units coming out, it will get to a point where there will be units that are no different from each other but by their graphics.
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miyo
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Post by miyo »

*Miyo appears as Silene summoned him*

I concur with Cedric and Silene.

Opinions:

* using 1st level units should be encouraged
* adding new higher level units does not help with 'losing units is expected'
* we should not start adding new units with all these cool features and abilities
* If fourth level units would be added, then we should give one more level for all existing units (4th level units would still be only as strong as 3rd level units are now - so actually we would be adding new units in the middle of the unit tree)
* no uber units, not even if they are hard to get
* 4th level leader unbalances things (even if it is hard to get) +75 % bonus for 1st level units under his leadership, not to forget he will be able to give +25% bonus to already powerful 3rd level units.
* we should not allow powerful/cool units with just high cost and/or high experience requirement

*Miyo returns to shadows*

- Miyo

ps. I will be following this thread.
Ayin
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Post by Ayin »

I don't like overpowered units either. Orcs should not have a level 4 melee-unit, for example: orcish warlord ar troll warriors already are extremely powerful units; I don't see the point of making even more powerful versions of them.

Regarding level 4s; they currently represent kind of a unit speciality. Such unit heals, such one teleports, such one has marksmanship, such one can go to level 4. I strongly object to generalization of factions, be it for multiplayer "faction balance" or whatever. Factions should have traits that make them unique, and should not be, basically, clones of each another with different graphics. "Having level-4 units" is, IMO, identical to "Having a level-1 healer", or "having most units vulnerable to holy"; it is a distinctive feature of a faction. Such ones should not be added lightly.

(PS: yeah, and Biggerism Is Bad. Should be a design principle for Wesnoth, along with KISM :p)
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Post by autolycus »

OK, I admit it. I'm not a developer and I have never contributed any big thing to Wesnoth except play it a lot and think of funny things to say about it. I'm not allowed to post to this thread.

That said, I'm posting my 2 cents' worth... :(

Here is what I have believed about BfW units. I thought that if you worked really hard, you would get L2 units, and if you worked really really hard, you would get L3 units, and you should be happy if you got L3 units.

But Delfador is an L5 unit!

Well, he's an honorary unit. No real unit EVER gets to L5. L5 means this unit has a history so long and unique that no player unit would ever get there except by scenario developer's fiat.

What about L4 then?

It never existed. L3 was the max, L5 was to show you had something you could never reach from L3, hence unique.

And then came Jetryl. :wink:
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