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Topic: early advanced soldier gameplay balance

king_of_nowhere
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Joined: 2014-09-15, 18:35
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Posted at: 2018-09-21, 18:17

Ever since it was discovered the micromanaging to get a fully promoted soldier early in the game, and how such a soldier is infinitely more effective than the same amount of resources spent in weaker soldiers, balance has been strongly affected.

Initally, every tribe could get a fully promoted soldier in about one hour and a half, and that was ok. However, new improvements in shortcuts (and especially realizing that armor promotions weren't really important) allowed to get an imperial soldier in about 60 minutes, and an atlantean soldier in about 35 minutes. Barbarians still lag behind, as they need time to train master brewers and master blacksmiths. So now tribes are fairly unbalanced, with atlanteans being stronger. And let's not even talk about frisians; I don't know them, but I'd bet they take even longer.

Something from a different thread gave me a good idea to tackle that problem, though: having trainers who need leveling.

Say that a basic trainer only gives promotion to level 2, and a master trainer gives all promotions. Now it becomes impossible to make a fully trained soldier without spending a lot of resources on weaker soldiers first, which should ensure no early game shortcuts to supersoldiers are available, and most important, it should equalize tribes muchh better. Also, I think the game will have more variety if we give half-promoted soldiers a reason to exist again.

Note that only promotions that cost metal should give experience to trainers, otherwise it would be easy to train them with the cheap evade promotions.

I also proposed that armor promotions are increased in effectiveness. So far, getting all of them only makes the soldier capable of surviving one single extra hit. They may not even be worth their cost. both atlantean defence promotions are not worth their cost in an atlantean vs atnaltean match, and neither are the empire armor 4 promotions worth. If the amount of healt gained was increased from roughly 15 to 30, armor promotions would become important again.

I'd be especially interested in worldsavior's opinion, since he's the best expert of balance and optimization.


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einstein13
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Posted at: 2018-09-21, 21:23

I think that this idea is very nice. But... (always it is a "but")

What about Atlanteans? Since they don't have any upgradable/ experience anywhere? Will it stick to this idea? Can you make an explanation to them: why they should level up? If so, I will be 100% for this to implement in B21.


einstein13
calculations & maps packages: http://wuatek.no-ip.org/~rak/widelands/

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hessenfarmer
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Posted at: 2018-09-21, 22:22

king_of_nowhere wrote:

I also proposed that armor promotions are increased in effectiveness. So far, getting all of them only makes the soldier capable of surviving one single extra hit. They may not even be worth their cost. both atlantean defence promotions are not worth their cost in an atlantean vs atnaltean match, and neither are the empire armor 4 promotions worth. If the amount of healt gained was increased from roughly 15 to 30, armor promotions would become important again.

From my experiments today to get better balance for the frisians the defence value is as useful as every other value. In this experiments the effect of a 2 % upgrade (from 34 to 36 OR 38 to 40) made a difference of 10% winning chance for Frisians against Barbarians Level 10 soldiers. As this is a percentage value it is especially valuable against high attack values ( in the case above 2 % meant 113 hit points less on average per hit as the average fight lasts 5 hits this sums up to 500 hit points). In the current balancing scheme taking one more hit is really the difference between 50 % and up to probably 70 %. So I won't say that armor is useless in the current game.

However I am in favor of having a learning curve for the trainers. However this might be implemented.

I'd be especially interested in worldsavior's opinion, since he's the best expert of balance and optimization.


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king_of_nowhere
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Posted at: 2018-09-22, 00:35

hessenfarmer wrote:

From my experiments today to get better balance for the frisians the defence value is as useful as every other value. In this experiments the effect of a 2 % upgrade (from 34 to 36 OR 38 to 40) made a difference of 10% winning chance for Frisians against Barbarians Level 10 soldiers.

I think barbarian attack and frisian defence were carefully calibrated to be meaningful at all levels. But atlantean vs atlantean, or atlantean vs empire, it takes the same number of hits to kill a soldier with no shield or with both shields. And empire vs empire or atlantean the armor 4 promo doesn't make a difference.

Barbarians have a higher attack that was calculated specifically so that it would make sense to get the higher promo against them (I helped with the calculation myself). I don't remember frisian stats, though I had a hand in choosing them too. But without frisian and barbarians (and both are the weaker tribes in the current meta, because they can't get a high level soldier fast), several promotions are useless.


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dreieck
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Joined: 2018-08-25, 11:48
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Posted at: 2018-09-22, 12:28

king_of_nowhere wrote:

hessenfarmer wrote:

From my experiments today to get better balance for the frisians the defence value is as useful as every other value. In this experiments the effect of a 2 % upgrade (from 34 to 36 OR 38 to 40) made a difference of 10% winning chance for Frisians against Barbarians Level 10 soldiers.

I think barbarian attack and frisian defence were carefully calibrated to be meaningful at all levels. But atlantean vs atlantean, or atlantean vs empire, it takes the same number of hits to kill a soldier with no shield or with both shields. And empire vs empire or atlantean the armor 4 promo doesn't make a difference.

Barbarians have a higher attack that was calculated specifically so that it would make sense to get the higher promo against them (I helped with the calculation myself). I don't remember frisian stats, though I had a hand in choosing them too. But without frisian and barbarians (and both are the weaker tribes in the current meta, because they can't get a high level soldier fast), several promotions are useless.

I am sometimes wondering what is the sense to make this so complicated (instead of having just one thing to train comparable between all the tribes), but this is a game design decision.


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anotherwidelander
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Joined: 2018-08-28, 20:06
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Posted at: 2018-09-23, 10:37

einstein13 wrote:

I think that this idea is very nice. But... (always it is a "but")

What about Atlanteans? Since they don't have any upgradable/ experience anywhere? Will it stick to this idea? Can you make an explanation to them: why they should level up? If so, I will be 100% for this to implement in B21.

+1, It seems sad to introduce leveling in a tribe without it at all.
It exists tons of ways to nerf without making tribes "the same".
For instance, increase the building cost of the training site ?
Need of 2 trainers by site, one of which have a tool needed to be build in the workshop in the first place ? (conceptually, I like this solution=> it stick to the "Atlanteans need more staff")

dreieck wrote: I am sometimes wondering what is the sense to make this so complicated (instead of having just one thing to train comparable between all the tribes), but this is a game design decision.

Game design indeed. Imho the most differences there are between tribes, the most interesting it is. Even if that means balancing is harder. Otherwise, why having different tribes to begin with ?

Edited: 2018-09-23, 10:39
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WorldSavior
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Joined: 2016-10-15, 04:10
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Posted at: 2018-09-23, 16:24

king_of_nowhere wrote:

Ever since it was discovered the micromanaging to get a fully promoted soldier early in the game, and how such a soldier is infinitely more effective than the same amount of resources spent in weaker soldiers, balance has been strongly affected.

Initally, every tribe could get a fully promoted soldier in about one hour and a half, and that was ok. However, new improvements in shortcuts (and especially realizing that armor promotions weren't really important) allowed to get an imperial soldier in about 60 minutes, and an atlantean soldier in about 35 minutes.

But now armor/shield promotions are important again, or have you discovered a new issue? And I think that the empire can be faster / fast enough.

Barbarians still lag behind, as they need time to train master brewers and master blacksmiths.

I don't think that the difference is that big.

So now tribes are fairly unbalanced, with atlanteans being stronger.

I don't think so... At least I don't see there a need for changes, except for Frisians of course.

And let's not even talk about frisians; I don't know them, but I'd bet they take even longer.

Yes they do, probably because their smiths and brewers still need (too) much experience. But if one reduces that they could be comparable to other tribes, as long as their huge barley growth times don't hold them back (or other disadvantages).

Something from a different thread gave me a good idea to tackle that problem, though: having trainers who need leveling.

Say that a basic trainer only gives promotion to level 2, and a master trainer gives all promotions. Now it becomes impossible to make a fully trained soldier without spending a lot of resources on weaker soldiers first, which should ensure no early game shortcuts to supersoldiers are available, and most important, it should equalize tribes muchh better. Also, I think the game will have more variety if we give half-promoted soldiers a reason to exist again.

Note that only promotions that cost metal should give experience to trainers, otherwise it would be easy to train them with the cheap evade promotions.

I also proposed that armor promotions are increased in effectiveness. So far, getting all of them only makes the soldier capable of surviving one single extra hit. They may not even be worth their cost. both atlantean defence promotions are not worth their cost in an atlantean vs atnaltean match,

Why do you think so? If a "hero" without shields attacks a "hero" with them, his win chances are only 36%. So if hundred of them battle each other at the same time, the shield-users have suddenly almost twice as much soldiers as their opponents...

and neither are the empire armor 4 promotions worth.

I think that they are. If an empire "hero" attacks another one which has no health training his win chances are 85%.

If the amount of healt gained was increased from roughly 15 to 30, armor promotions would become important again.

Changing the values again would be much work and I don't see there a gain...

I don't like the idea to change trainers in a way that they need experience. It would change the game too much and I don't think that it will improve anything...

I'd be especially interested in worldsavior's opinion, since he's the best expert of balance and optimization.

Thank you, best expert of making special maps face-wink.png

king_of_nowhere wrote:

hessenfarmer wrote:

From my experiments today to get better balance for the frisians the defence value is as useful as every other value. In this experiments the effect of a 2 % upgrade (from 34 to 36 OR 38 to 40) made a difference of 10% winning chance for Frisians against Barbarians Level 10 soldiers.

I think barbarian attack and frisian defence were carefully calibrated to be meaningful at all levels. But atlantean vs atlantean, or atlantean vs empire, it takes the same number of hits to kill a soldier with no shield or with both shields.

No

And empire vs empire or atlantean the armor 4 promo doesn't make a difference.

No

Barbarians have a higher attack that was calculated specifically so that it would make sense to get the higher promo against them (I helped with the calculation myself). I don't remember frisian stats, though I had a hand in choosing them too. But without frisian and barbarians (and both are the weaker tribes in the current meta, because they can't get a high level soldier fast), several promotions are useless.

No face-wink.png

dreieck wrote:

king_of_nowhere wrote:

hessenfarmer wrote:

From my experiments today to get better balance for the frisians the defence value is as useful as every other value. In this experiments the effect of a 2 % upgrade (from 34 to 36 OR 38 to 40) made a difference of 10% winning chance for Frisians against Barbarians Level 10 soldiers.

I think barbarian attack and frisian defence were carefully calibrated to be meaningful at all levels. But atlantean vs atlantean, or atlantean vs empire, it takes the same number of hits to kill a soldier with no shield or with both shields. And empire vs empire or atlantean the armor 4 promo doesn't make a difference.

Barbarians have a higher attack that was calculated specifically so that it would make sense to get the higher promo against them (I helped with the calculation myself). I don't remember frisian stats, though I had a hand in choosing them too. But without frisian and barbarians (and both are the weaker tribes in the current meta, because they can't get a high level soldier fast), several promotions are useless.

I am sometimes wondering what is the sense to make this so complicated (instead of having just one thing to train comparable between all the tribes), but this is a game design decision.

Well, we have weapons in the game and armors. So it's logical that there is not only one thing...

Edited: 2018-09-23, 16:24

“It's a threat to our planet to believe that someone else will save it.” - Robert Swan

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king_of_nowhere
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Joined: 2014-09-15, 18:35
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Posted at: 2018-09-23, 19:21

WorldSavior wrote:

Why do you think so? If a "hero" without shields attacks a "hero" with them, his win chances are only 36%. So if hundred of them battle each other at the same time, the shield-users have suddenly almost twice as much soldiers as their opponents...

and neither are the empire armor 4 promotions worth.

I think that they are. If an empire "hero" attacks another one which has no health training his win chances are 85%.

And empire vs empire or atlantean the armor 4 promo doesn't make a difference.

No

Huh? If that's the case, why we never used atlantean shields or empire armor 4 in our matches? You make too many calculations for it to be a mistake.

Now, 0 armor vs 4 armor makes a difference, 0 armor dies in 3-4 hits from full attack, 4 armor dies in 5 hits. but armor 3 also dies in 5 hits. Do I remember wrong?

Barbarians have a higher attack that was calculated specifically so that it would make sense to get the higher promo against them (I helped with the calculation myself). I don't remember frisian stats, though I had a hand in choosing them too. But without frisian and barbarians (and both are the weaker tribes in the current meta, because they can't get a high level soldier fast), several promotions are useless.

No face-wink.png

This also surprises me. I remember very well myself arguing for increasing barbarian healt value by +1 per level and attack by +1.5 so that there would be some specific numerical condition. Maybe it was that barbarian could skip attack 5 because they still killed with the same number of hits, and with higher attack they get some chance to kill in less hits, so the promotion is now worthy?


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WorldSavior
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Posted at: 2018-09-23, 19:41

king_of_nowhere wrote:

WorldSavior wrote:

Why do you think so? If a "hero" without shields attacks a "hero" with them, his win chances are only 36%. So if hundred of them battle each other at the same time, the shield-users have suddenly almost twice as much soldiers as their opponents...

and neither are the empire armor 4 promotions worth.

I think that they are. If an empire "hero" attacks another one which has no health training his win chances are 85%.

And empire vs empire or atlantean the armor 4 promo doesn't make a difference.

No

Huh? If that's the case, why we never used atlantean shields or empire armor 4 in our matches?

Because we played in build 19 where shields are not that useful. But in trunk they are again, because atlantean/empire attack has been increased.

Now, 0 armor vs 4 armor makes a difference, 0 armor dies in 3-4 hits from full attack, 4 armor dies in 5 hits. but armor 3 also dies in 5 hits. Do I remember wrong?

Maybe in build 19, but in trunk not anymore.

Barbarians have a higher attack that was calculated specifically so that it would make sense to get the higher promo against them (I helped with the calculation myself). I don't remember frisian stats, though I had a hand in choosing them too. But without frisian and barbarians (and both are the weaker tribes in the current meta, because they can't get a high level soldier fast), several promotions are useless.

No face-wink.png

This also surprises me. I remember very well myself arguing for increasing barbarian healt value by +1 per level and attack by +1.5 so that there would be some specific numerical condition.

I've written "no" because every promotion in a "emp and atl only" match seems to be useful.

Maybe it was that barbarian could skip attack 5 because they still killed with the same number of hits, and with higher attack they get some chance to kill in less hits, so the promotion is now worthy?

I think that in build 18 the attack of barbarians was too low, it's possible that their highest attack training was not so useful. But already in build19 the barbarian attack is higher again.


“It's a threat to our planet to believe that someone else will save it.” - Robert Swan

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king_of_nowhere
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Joined: 2014-09-15, 18:35
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Posted at: 2018-09-24, 01:14

Ah, so I'm not up to date and those issues I mention about attack and defence values were already solved.

As for the part about trainers, the atlantean issue could be fixed by having the master trainer be a different worker that has to be made from top level military gear. so atlanteans would still need to make 2 sets of high level gear before they could promote any soldier to full.

I still do believe it's best for the game balance if we stop the ways to get early supersoldiers. the game is made with many different shades of soldiers, and it is a shame to skip through all of them. Plus, it would be much easier to get balanced tribes if we didn't have to worry about the advantage of having the supersoldier 10 minutes before the opponent.


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