The Declaration of RIPLIB

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Elvish_Pillager
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The Declaration of RIPLIB

Post by Elvish_Pillager » August 25th, 2005, 5:03 pm

rezaf wrote:However, if you have the urge to discuss this in depth, start your own thread. :)
Given a rather large amount of ambiguity concerning what it means for a unit to violate RIPLIB (Reducing In Power Levelling Is Bad), I would like to lay out some ground rules:

1) A unit violates RIPLIB if, when it advances, it has no possible advancement which does not make it inferior in at least one way.
1a) The unit's effectiveness on the whole does not pertain to this definition. If any stat of the unit is decreased, and the advancement is a better and more powerful unit, it still violates RIPLIB.
1b) It does not generally make sense to say that a unit violates RIPLIB based on anything that applies to all units, for instance upkeep and experience-to-the-enemy. However, if the upgrade in a unit's attack is so slight that it is often better to do less damage and give less experience, then it DOES violate RIPLIB.
2) A unit may be said to violate RIPLIB if it is an advancement of a unit which violates RIPLIB as per rule 1.
3) A unit may NOT be said to violate RIPLIB even if it is inferior in any way to any unit it advances from, if the unit(s) it advances from do(es) not violate RIPLIB as per rule 1.

What constitues an inferiority:
1) A lack of an equal or superior attack to every attack of the original.
1a) A significant decrease in either the number of swings or amount of damage. If the decrease is very slight (e.g. 7-4 -> 6-6) then it can generally be ignored, but if an attack goes from 8-3 to 3-15, it is a problem.
1b) An attack being increased slightly and changing damage types. A large enough increase, on the other hand, overrides the potential inferiority of the damage type.
1c) An attack gaining a detrimental ability (e.g. Charge) or losing a beneficial one (e.g. Marksman). The one exception is if a damage-boosting ability is removed and the unit does enough damage to make up for it, for instance losing charge and doubling the amount of damage.
2) A loss of an ability.
2a) A non-beneficial ability does not count. Illuminates may be lost in a campaign which contains only neutral units, for instance.
3) A gain of a detrimental ability. Illuminates may not be gained in a campaign which contains lots of Lawful enemies, for instance.
4) A decrease in movement or HP.
5) a decrease in a defense or a resistance.
6) an increase in the movement cost in a terrain, provided the unit's movement is not increased enough to match.
7) Any other loss of an unobvious situation-specific capability that occurs in a fairly common situation.

List of RIPLIB violators in Wesnoth v1.1: (*s denote very minor problems)
*Elvish Druid (Elvish Shyde-10% weakness to Impact & gains magical on melee)
*Elvish Sorceress (Elvish Sylph-10% weakness to Impact & gains magical on melee)
*Knight (Paladin-2 damage decrease in twilight, Grand Knight-1 move decrease)
White Mage (Mage of Light-Illuminates)
*Mermaid Priestess (Mermaid Diviner-Illuminates)
*Mermaid Enchantress (Mermaid Siren-gains magical)
*Demilich (Dread Lich-loses 5 damage per melee strike)

Questions? Comments? Suggestions? Instances of pointing out to me an item on which I am incorrect?
Last edited by Elvish_Pillager on January 12th, 2006, 9:28 pm, edited 10 times in total.
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Post by scott » August 25th, 2005, 5:15 pm

Power increase should be considered an intrinsic property, not an extrinsic property.

That's why I am hesitant about illuminates being termed a power decrease since it is only meaningful in an external context, but it is obviously detrimental in certain contexts. Same goes for damage type.

Perhaps these units should have AMLA available in addition to the upgrade.
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Post by Tomsik » August 25th, 2005, 5:17 pm

if mage of light with his illuminate is problem i think another advancment should help for example 'fallen mage' or 'cleric'.

P.S.: if somebody dont know RIPLIB - Reducing In Power Levelling Is Bad

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Post by Elvish_Pillager » August 25th, 2005, 5:32 pm

tomsik wrote:P.S.: if somebody dont know RIPLIB - Reducing In Power Levelling Is Bad
Thanks for pointing that out. I have edited my first post to make a note of it.
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Post by rezaf » August 25th, 2005, 5:54 pm

:shock:

EP, happen to be lawyer in real life? :P

"This unit violates §1.1a, §1.3 and §3.2a of RIPLIB." :lol:

Seriously, though. If it's refined to be a bit more ... readable, I think a definition like that should be added to the wiki. :)
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Post by Casual User » August 25th, 2005, 6:00 pm

Actually, the mage of light is more powerful in every possible stat than the white mage. The illumination thing is hardly a problem since white mages are almost always paired up with lawful units, or neutral ones, and are lawful units themselves. Thus they get the equivalent of a +25% at crepuscule/night, and other units in their army either get the same or nothing at all. So, I would say it is only in very strange conditions that illuminates can e detrimental.

P.S. I once proposed a 'bless' or 'charm' special which would just give a straight 25% bonus to all allies around regardless of level, but I think illuminates is a lot better for mages of light.

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Post by Elvish_Pillager » August 25th, 2005, 6:33 pm

Casual User wrote:Actually, the mage of light is more powerful in every possible stat than the white mage. The illumination thing is hardly a problem since white mages are almost always paired up with lawful units, or neutral ones, and are lawful units themselves. Thus they get the equivalent of a +25% at crepuscule/night, and other units in their army either get the same or nothing at all. So, I would say it is only in very strange conditions that illuminates can e detrimental.
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Post by squasher » August 25th, 2005, 8:53 pm

Great definition! This is obviously a good step in discussion ;)

In an other topic,
I wrote:mmm, time for a little thought experiment...

Suppose a lvl 1 unit having bad melee and bad ranged attack (both 2-2), 26 hp, 6 mp neutral alignment. Offer this unit 2 upgrade parts. The 'close combat' path has 6-4 melee attack but no range, the 'ranged' path has 6-4 ranged attack but no melee. Both upgrades have 42 hp, 7 mp and do advance to some lvl 3 unit.

This upgrade would clearly violate RIPLIB, though i doubt many would prefer the lvl 1 unit.

My point/question: isn't RIPLIB a little too extreme to be a good - or even reasonable - condition to judge units advancements in general?
As Scott wrote, i exaggerated this example on purpose - hey, that's where a thought experiment is used for!.

Unlike what he wrote, my conclusion would not be "RIPLIB sucks!" but rather: "RIPLIB violation is not a sufficient reason to judge an unit advancement as good or bad", not even when a unit looses e.g. its melee attack.
To refine my thought experiment, suppose a lvl 1 unit with 4-2 melee and 3-2 ranged attack having two branches: Melee based 6-4 no ranged and Ranged with 2-3 melee and 7-3 ranged.

both upgrades violate RIPLIB, that is out of question. The question that actually matters is: Does it matter that these upgrades violate RIPLIB?"
In other words, is Reducing In Power when Leveling Aways Bad?

I tend to answer this question with a "No".
I think it is not bad when a branch of units is DESIGNED to violate RIPLIB in order to offer more, and extensive choices to the player. (Choice is - in general - a good thing). It could be bad when it happens 'accidently' due to unit balancing. IMO a (huge) gain -- Druid --> Shyde for example -- allows a (minor) loss

Turning to your examples, Elvish Pillager, I think Elvish Druid, Lieutenant and Demilich are good examples of bad RIPLIB. They just don't make sense.
The White Mageand Mermaid Priestess are quite a different discussion, it is rather about the value of Illumination.
Knight --> Grand Knight is an 'intelligible' RIPLIB, it does make sense, though it is quite annoying to loose an MP
Longbowman --> Master Bowman is a great example of RIPLIB violation which is bad against high defensive values while it is great when used against low defense.
Finally, like my thought experiment, the Ghost-->Wraith/Shadow upgrade is a good example of a nice, choice offering RIPLIB situation. I don't think this is bad per se, though it might require some balancing in (favour of the Shadow, as long as this does not make the wraith worse)
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Post by Darth Fool » August 25th, 2005, 9:28 pm

squasher wrote: both upgrades violate RIPLIB, that is out of question. The question that actually matters is: Does it matter that these upgrades violate RIPLIB?"
In other words, is Reducing In Power when Leveling Aways Bad?
Yes!
I tend to answer this question with a "No".
I think it is not bad when a branch of units is DESIGNED to violate RIPLIB in order to offer more, and extensive choices to the player. (Choice is - in general - a good thing). It could be bad when it happens 'accidently' due to unit balancing. IMO a (huge) gain -- Druid --> Shyde for example -- allows a (minor) loss
To counter your example of the weak mixed fighter unit that levels to either a much stronger ranged or melee only unit. Since the player has no choice about the unit leveling, he is forced into a unit that he may not want. Maybe he wants only a mixed fighter. If you add a third option, that it levels to itself, in other words a choice for it not leveling at all, then I think it is an acceptable unit advancement tree. To quote you, "choice is in general a good thing." When a unit violates RIPLIB, then choice is removed from the player, not added.

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Post by squasher » August 25th, 2005, 10:35 pm

Darth Fool wrote:
squasher wrote: both upgrades violate RIPLIB, that is out of question. The question that actually matters is: Does it matter that these upgrades violate RIPLIB?"
In other words, is Reducing In Power when Leveling Aways Bad?
Yes!
Why?
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Post by turin » August 25th, 2005, 11:02 pm

squasher wrote:
Darth Fool wrote: Yes!
Why?
Lets take an example you used: A unit that is 7-4 going to a unit that is 6-6.

If there is a unit on the level that only has 7 health left, but does enough damage to kill your unit in one blow, you would prefer not to level, because then one hit from you kills him, and so he only has to miss once for you to have a chance to kill him, but if you level and become 6-6, he has to miss twice, and you hit twice, which is more unlikely. So, in that case, you wouldn't want to level up. That should never be true, and it only is if RIPLIB is violated.

The basic definition of RIPLIB is that, if such a situation as I describe exists, the 7-4 unit violates RIPLIB.
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Post by telly » August 26th, 2005, 1:12 am

Maybe I'm not quite on topic but if the intention is that levelling should always in every circumstance be beneficial, shouldn't there be an option not to gain a level at all? Its not really an issue in sp or something the computer could really take advantage from, but in multiplayer its a somewhat common tactic to level an enemy unit deliberately for the extra experience points.

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Post by turin » August 26th, 2005, 1:19 am

telly wrote:Maybe I'm not quite on topic but if the intention is that levelling should always in every circumstance be beneficial, shouldn't there be an option not to gain a level at all? Its not really an issue in sp or something the computer could really take advantage from, but in multiplayer its a somewhat common tactic to level an enemy unit deliberately for the extra experience points.
That is a possibility, however, experience-given-to-enemy and increased-upkeep by convention do not violate RIPLIB, and are considered the only acceptable mali resulting from leveling... I think that leveling being bad in ONLY THOSE CASES is acceptable.

[edit]
BTW, how do you pronounce RIPLIB? I say ripple-ib, because the RIPL is one part of the statement (the reduction-in-power-when-leveling), and the IB is another (is bad). I can see pronouncing it rip-lib, but that implies that it is grouped reduction-in-power leveling-is-bad.
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Post by Glowing Fish » August 26th, 2005, 3:22 am

I think the Lieutenant, at least, is a special case: it is there for role playing purposes as much as strategy purposes. In most campaigns I know of, the Lieutenant is not a widely recruitable unit. In the two "official" campaigns that use them, they are an important character for plot reasons, and there is only one of them. I think that this makes them slightly different than other units.
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Alignment?

Post by Glowing Fish » August 26th, 2005, 3:24 am

And another question is, would a change in alignment be considered detrimental?
I know of only one unit tree that changes alignment as it raises, but that doesn't mean there couldn't be some in the future.
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