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Morgenstern72
02-26-2013, 06:52 AM
First let me say that I love Factions! I love the strategy, the possibilities, the art, the animations, the sound...its really my thing.

But on the front page the developer state that "When you win, it's because you were better".
Well, that's not true. Especially with the Trasher.

I have seen so often that the Trasher misses or devastates the enemy. In my last game my Trahser did hit 6 strength points, killing the other unit. It could have done 2 Armor, one Strength and then a miss too. That is pure luck and I only won the game because of my lucky hit.

Same with units that have a miss chance. The fight is to short to really feel this chance. I always strike with a 90% hit chancen and I always hit. Seen opponents that did not hit with 90% three times a row. Sure you can better your chance with reducing armor but it's still luck.

I would be happy if these luck based chances would be eradicated.

netnazgul
02-26-2013, 07:19 AM
Luck only comes to those who are better, hence the phrase ;)

piotras
02-26-2013, 07:22 AM
The current state of the Trasher's bloody flail is the outcome of a lot of balancing issues we had in the beta (especially 4-5 trasher teams).

But I do agree with you about the randomness of his hits, he went from being my favourite unit to the most annoying unit in the game. It's the most disappointing thing to work hard to achieve 3-side flanked formation just to miss on the last hit of the bloody bloody flail!

I had a campaign of trying to persuade the devs in changing him (for example always do 4 hits, but start with 25% chance of inflicting strength damage when solo and get 25% increased chance for every adjacent ally unit OR do armour break as base attack, but do a guaranteed strength attack per adjacent ally, either way always 4 total damage). I believe that the mechanic of extra damage in the last hit was what made him too strong when in large groups, a mechanic which exponentially increases their effectiveness in large numbers.

The current system supposed to make it less likely to happen on average of hundreds of hits, but putting the theory aside and looking at it in practice you end a game feeling that with those 2-5 hits that your Trasher did this last game he was either super duper lucky (leaving your opponent pissed off) or super duper game-changingly unlucky, leaving you pissed off.

mcloud357
02-26-2013, 07:32 AM
who dares, wins.

Morgenstern72
02-26-2013, 08:02 AM
Piotras, that's exactly what I mean.
I will never build a trasher again since you cannot rely on his last hit but rely on everbody elses special ability (so far as I know). As know I really like the guy who can get behind enemy lines, doing strength damage while going through and then hit from behind. Sorry I dont remember his name right now...

raven2134
02-26-2013, 08:16 AM
I think it's ok not to like the thrasher. You may feel the game relies a lot on chance because the thrasher is a starting unit for new players.

It's a matter of playstyle if you want to be relying on chance or going for guaranteed shots. Some random chance is good too, don't forget, or the game would be much less unpredictable, more stale, and there would be less gutsy comebacks.

Morgenstern72
02-26-2013, 08:24 AM
Raven, you are half-right. Half, because you cannot choose your opponents units.

Since I had only a few fights (have now a rank 4 team) I am still stuck with my trasher (since I need 4 small warrirors for my style) and it frustrates me to see him miss and my opponents to see him kill a wounded but highly armored warrior with one blow.

And new players will judge the game based on their first few fights. And the trasher can highly frustrate anyone that relies on good tactics just to see him fail because of bad luck.

raven2134
02-26-2013, 08:32 AM
I see. That's also a valid point. Though it doesn't make it any less viable to go for sure hits using the thrasher instead of the ability.

The ability isn't mean to always be used or relied upon. Most abilities are a matter of timing and situation.

Morgenstern72
02-26-2013, 09:19 AM
The ability isn't mean to always be used or relied upon. Most abilities are a matter of timing and situation.

Which other ability is there you cannot rely on (except your oppenent blocks it with good strategy or you block it yourself with bad strategy)?

Shiri
02-26-2013, 09:28 AM
Speaking as someone who dislikes randomness of this nature in games generally, the old thrasher didn't offend me too much. 3 armour + final hit 3 strength was generally worse than 6 strength total, but eh. Now, though, the miss makes him absurdly swingy. The best case/worst case scenarios with the ability used in the exact same situation are too disparate.

I guess that's the same with willpowered shots into higher armour, but I always saw that mechanic as just being there to reduce the likelihood of silly stalemates where you both have 10 armour and 1hp and have to spam grind the armour down before you can finish each other off, which would be anticlimactic. The side effect is that it's often important for archers to take 90% shots at each other because of their armour levels, but I think treating that would cause more problems than it would solve for the aforementioned reasons so I'm willing to let it go.

Ziggy
02-26-2013, 09:30 AM
The "luck" aspect is just a part of the tactics - knowing it's unreliable means you have to account for the potential to fail within your plan. While I can't think of other abilities with similar functions, there are any numbers of examples of risk/reward situations were you make an attempt and need to plan for both success and failure.

erom
02-26-2013, 09:46 AM
It's tough to think of how we would change the thrasher to remove the randomness - we tried it without a miss chance on the last hit and it was totally overpowered, and before that we tried it without the miss chance or bonus damage on the last hit and they were kinda weak. If you reduce the randomness, they'll need to be nerfed in some other way, and it's really easy to make them too weak and everyone will just migrate to raidmasters and backbiters.

Morgenstern72
02-26-2013, 09:58 AM
erom, how about to base the last hit upon the opponent? Could be everything you see fit: Varls, Archers, hihigh/low armor, units that have/give shield bonus and so on. Something you can build yout tactics on and something your opponent can try to block your abilitiy.

I would like a trasher that hits at the last strike with x times the shield bonus a unit has, done as armor damage. Would make him kind of a breaker of shield rows. And I FAVOR shield rows for my units ;)

Shiri
02-26-2013, 10:09 AM
Morgenstern, that would make the ability overspecialised. When there are way more units in this game, a much smaller proportion of them will have shield wall bonuses, so the unit would stop making sense in that context. When it's dependent on his OWN shield wall, it's modular, so it can go well with any setup.

Tirean
02-26-2013, 10:16 AM
Bloody flail works the same way as % chance shots work. Its a risk vs reward factor. The skill in using both of those is in future planning "if this misses/hits the thing I don't want it to what would the outcome of the game be." It takes experience to know when you should and shouldn't be doing something. If you are swinging BlF constantly and noticing you are losing because of the "randomness" maybe you should looking at using the unit differently and only using BlF in situations which give you much greater reward vs the risk of missing.

piotras
02-26-2013, 10:26 AM
Piotras, that's exactly what I mean.
I will never build a trasher again since you cannot rely on his last hit but rely on everbody elses special ability (so far as I know). As know I really like the guy who can get behind enemy lines, doing strength damage while going through and then hit from behind. Sorry I dont remember his name right now...
You mean the backbiter :)

I largely agree with you Morgenstern72, I don't like the Trasher's current iteration, but I need to admit that he fills a role that other units don't (my point is that it maybe could fullfil it in a less annoying way). Before we jump on the hate-wagon, consider this before removing the Trasher from your rooster:

- if build for survival, he is your best bet to win a high armour/low strength situations at end-game
- if build for damage, he is less-likely to become maimed due to the fear or his special which potentially can generate up to 7 damage even at 1 strength (and the fact that he can rest or generate WP through the horn-associated kills), thus due to being dangerous at any point in the game he is bound to die early, giving you the turn advantage

I need to admit that I still use him in the many builds that I play and he can be of use. I think about him as I do about a vaccination - hate it, but sometimes there's no other way ;P For example, for a build I made yesterday I needed a raider who will work in concert with my frontline Raidmasters; block, disrupt, soak up damage and eventually die after doing a bit of damage in time for my damage dealers to get into range (although I hope his spot will be taken up by a different raider in the future...)

To not go bonkers over the misses I advise to consider this - if the armour is low enough, you tend to go for strength damage, if the armour is too high, you armour break, right? So:

- if you want guaranteed 3 armour break on your raider than choose a reliable option of the Raidmaster or Backbiter
- however, if you want guaranteed 3 damage with 50% chance of some of it being directed to strength and a 66% chance that there will be a 1-3 extra damage bonus for just 1 WP, than take the Trasher

Dysp
02-26-2013, 11:31 AM
Admittedly, my free thrasher has missed nearly 60% of his last hits, but still I like how the new Bloody Flail works. Blood Flail is a special case ability that is meant to be used to deal strength and/or armor damage against targets that have equal or higher armor than the thrasher's strength. With no adjacent teammates it can do anywhere from 0-4 strength damage, 0-4 armor damage, or a combination of the two less, 4 or less. For the one willpower, the thrasher has a chance to deal equal damage vs a high armor unit as if he were to use 3 willpower for a 4 damage attack, at matched strength vs armor. If you want to specifically armor break, the thrasher could be spec'd to use 3 willpower and 2 armor break to get a 5 armor break for sure, spending 2 more WP and stats you might want in armor or strength.

If you want something sure, break and spend a lot more willpower. When armor is still high, I think it should be a gamble for the units trying to deal strength damage.

Wordplay
02-26-2013, 04:01 PM
Well, Thrashers are pretty useful even without Bloody Flail - they're probably the most flexible unit in the game, along with the Backbiter.

+1 to Piotras' suggestion. That miss chance really annoys me. I still field thrasher heavy teams, and I agree that the nerf was necessary, but I really wish that the nerf had taken another form. Feels too luck based.

I'd even be in favour of removing the bonus to Bloody Flail that the Thrasher from adjacent units. That was the problem really. In fact I'd prefer four hits, last hit always hits strength, each hit doing only one to strength or armour. That way strength damage is capped at four for BF. Still a bit of chance in it, but not too much.

tnankie
02-26-2013, 04:22 PM
Luck only comes to those who are better, hence the phrase ;)


who dares, wins.

Um WTF are you two talking about? Roll and you will win seems implied. Forget tactics just take chances and the game will reward you.


The "luck" aspect is just a part of the tactics - knowing it's unreliable means you have to account for the potential to fail within your plan. While I can't think of other abilities with similar functions, there are any numbers of examples of risk/reward situations were you make an attempt and need to plan for both success and failure.
yes....and no. While this is a practical way of dealing with the current situation I don't think that is what the OP is about. This is a philosophical discussion about the place of luck in the game.



Some random chance is good too, don't forget, or the game would be much less unpredictable, more stale, and there would be less gutsy comebacks.

Like chess. [/sarcasm]
Sorry Raven you set yourself up for that one too nicely, I had to tempest it, I couldn't help myself. ;)

I also hate the thrasher, and increasingly growing to hate the WP/exhertion through armour shots.

If I were to put my junior game developer hat on I'd change the through armour chance to be inversely related to the current proportion of armour/max armour. I.e if they still have full armour you have no chance of damaging them if you don't have equal or better strength. But if they have half armour you have 50% chance of penetrating if your strength is lower than their armour.

Actually I'd then make the thrasher roll against those same chances...only gets 2 hits. Does normal armour break with his first hit then does strength if he rolls and pens (or over matches armour with strength) other wise does 1 armour damage.

ie a 10/12 3 break thrasher using flail against a shield breaker with 14/10 does normal break with first hit leaving 11/10 SB then the second hit over matches and does 1 strength damage.

but against a 16/10 SB does 3 break leaving 13/10 SB but then has a 3/16 chance to do one strength damage with the second hit and if that misses does one more break.

mind you against a 3/9 raider (that originally had 9 armour) the first hit would strip all armour and the second would kill....so maybe that is a bit overpowered. Although the same thrasher could just normal hit that raider and kill them so maybe not.

Grits
02-26-2013, 05:11 PM
I always had an issue with the luck aspect of the TH. Doesn't fit. But I live with it :)
Why not just make it a guaranteed 2 STR. +1 for adjacent guys.

trisenk
02-26-2013, 05:42 PM
I'd prefer the last hit to be more like preceding ones - 1str/1arm, no chance to miss, and +1 when you have 2 adjacent allies. No additional bonus for third ally. This way it's nerfed compared to older variant, but it's not that dependent on luck.

The New Romance
02-26-2013, 06:26 PM
I've got nothing against the randomness per se, but of course the statements "You win because you're better" or "real choice over random art" are a little - misleading, maybe. They're not lies, far from it, but they're not exactly true. There may be luck involved, and it may well cost or win you a match, since these tend to be close affairs.

raven2134
02-26-2013, 08:25 PM
:p Tnankie, the game is like chess, but it isn't chess. RoA, right where it hurts. :p (just joking in the spirit of things). If the game were too similar to chess, simply iterating turns would dictate the course of the game.

I don't mean to say the current iteration of the Thrasher is the best, and by no means do I believe I'm absolutely correct on it's balance. Look at the SA, I think it's underpowered, and discussed it in beta, many think it's alright where it is now :). Some people think the TH is too random now, I feel as a player I can work with it. It's a good discussion, and people will have different opinions and perspectives.

I just mean to address in some way the idea that the game is too random, which I think it's not. There is and can be randomness involved, but this doesn't trump skill. In the highest levels of play, between two evenly matched players, putting yourself in a position to take the win with 90% or come back at 80% is thrilling and both players can acknowledge at times, (calculated) risks may need to be taken.

Now you might argue there's too much randomness or luck involved for less experience or skilled players...not necessarily true. It's all a part of learning. Newer players will realize randomness can sometimes give them wins, but conversely, it will also not be consistent, because it is random. I don't think it really provides a big impact, and in general, learning how to tactically use the chance hits and when to take those chances, means precisely that the game isn't dictated by chance (it's not depending on the dice constantly and playing the probabilities to your favor) - because you don't always should be taking it and need to decide if you want to, when you want to. (I realize the way I'm writing this makes it seem chance is huge, it's just enough to make a difference is what I'm pointing out, but not too big to always want to take the chance.)

I think this is a major difference to chess. And well, if we wanted to be playing chess...there's chess. We don't need a 2nd chess :).

Who knows tho. I do like the idea that the max damage the Thrasher's last attack does is 2 to str (and can't miss) no matter how many allies are beside as long as there is an ally adjacent . And I think it would make sense if rank 2 is +1 for another ally beside, and rank 3 is another +1 for another ally beside :)...would this lead us back into the old situation? Maybe, but at least the thrasher couldn't do what he used to with only 1 willpower.

tnankie
02-26-2013, 09:26 PM
well there isn't chess with vikings and partial damage. (Take or not take in chess...)
But my point was actually that chess is purely deterministic and that people still play it, in rebuttal of too predictable and stale. Hell I see people playing chess in the street I usually stop and watch a game or two.

You say calculated risk...I say games decided by random number generator. I have been in situations with both the thrasher and the chance to hit, where a hit wins the game and a miss dooms you. Have both players made mistakes leading to that point? Absolutely! Could play have gone differently so that this luck roll did not determine the game? Yes. Does chance balance itself out over 1000s of games? yes! But I've played 40 games, and that is not a big enough sample for luck averaging to take effect. (Nor is 100). But that is beside the point, that game I am playing right now this game of skill, gets settled by chance.

I feel it cheapens my wins as much as it frustrates me when I lose to it. When I win because I got a lucky roll, it doesn't feel like I won. It feels like the server assigned the win to me.

Alex
02-26-2013, 09:37 PM
Interesting response to the Thrasher. I don't believe its fair to throw up our hands and say that the whole game isnt about skill because one unit out of 12 has a random chance special attack. The thrasher is meant to be that one wildcard. Not much to complain about when facing him either - the change to make his last attack random has only made melee teams that relied on the Thrasher's previously overpowered output easier to defeat. when I play the thrasher I tend to use his 3 exertion to much greater advantage, there are several viable stat builds you can make with him.

XCOM gave every single attack a chance to miss and that can be fun, too. I dont get the impression this one exception is really throwing off the balance of the game. Personally, we like a small amount of chance involved, and we designed it that way on purpose. A win is still hugely dictated by skill.

raven2134
02-26-2013, 09:54 PM
I also personally feel games that place everything in the players control more static. Yes people play chess, there's an audience for it, it is deterministic. But, I don't like chess. I find chess boring and lacking in emotion. At this point, it is a matter of preference I realize, but for the same amount of frustration there is for losing because I missed or because my opponent hit, I also feel the highs of clinching the win due to it. Not everyone will like it. But I think we have an exciting and fair mix with the game right now. Wins are hugely dictated by skill. A small amount of chance makes things exciting. Some may feel the game assigns the win on chance actions...but then I have personally never viewed myself as being in control 100% of the time.

Slimsy Platypus
02-26-2013, 09:56 PM
I have to agree that the Randomness of the Thrasher (in my opinion) isn't throwing a wrench in the overall structured tactical gameplay in Factions. It's true that their are times when it feels like a Thrasher simply won the game due to luck. But in truth, in the absense of the Thrasher there are these same moments. Just off the top of my head I'd recon that I encounter the late game high armor attacks probably more frequently than a late game Thrasher hitting for high STR.

The arguement boils down to whether or not the randomness in the game is negative or positive. I definately remember games where Thrashers ended it against me with what seem like improbably luck but you know what, I also remember these matches where I overcame what felt like inprobable odds and it was awesome! I think it kinda sucks to lose to, but is also very cool to win with. I think these moments are a huge positive, especially considering the alternative where when half your units are dead, you just know you can't win but have to dredge through the final moments.

I recall one match with Tirean; he missed 3 90% hits in a row giveing me the win just barely! This was more than 3 months ago and I still remember it as an epic overcoming of the odds! (he was not as estatic :) )

And also as a final note, matches where a Thrasher hitting for a couple extra STR wins the game are always very close ones. I would imagine even if there Thrasher didn't get the nut draw with STR some other unit would bang or bust on a high armor hit.

Oh and X-COM, amazing game - but exceedingly frustrating when your units die on the first hit to the weakest units in the game. I have loaded many a save game due to that randomness and find Stoic's take much more fun to play with :)

GreenDread
02-26-2013, 10:03 PM
Huh, actually I like to have that rather small influence of chance into the game. If you're losing, you can still go risky and do some 70% shots or something like that.
Generally, some chance is also reducing the frustration of losing, because the loser can think to himself "Man, this could've been ended differently, if that thrasher had hit less strength."

tnankie
02-26-2013, 10:22 PM
Firstly, much like my matchmaker concerns I don't think this affects the majority of games. I also understand that pragmatically a cost benefit analysis might suggest it is more effort to fix/change things than it is worth.
So I would say, 90%< games are decided by skill alone. This is deffinitely not a pure luck game, this is a discussion about how much of a role and when, luck plays its part.


XCOM gave every single attack a chance to miss and that can be fun, too.

X-COM built the whole game around chance, so you are much more likely to have the averaging effect to take place in a single encounter. This (factions) is different as often there are only 3 or for chance rolls in the game and I feel those rolls have too much influence on win/loss.



The arguement boils down to whether or not the randomness in the game is negative or positive. I definately remember games where Thrashers ended it against me with what seem like improbably luck but you know what, I also remember these matches where I overcame what felt like inprobably odds and it was awesome! I think it kinda sucks to lose to, but is also very cool to win with. I think these moments are a huge positive, especially considering the alternative where when half your units are dead, you just know you can't win but have to dredge through the final moments.

I recall one match with Tirean; he missed 3 90% hits in a row giveing me the win just barely! This was more than 3 months ago and I still remember it as an epic overcoming of the odds! (he was not as estatic :) )

And also as a final note, matches where a Thrasher hitting for a couple extra STR wins the game are always very close ones. I would imagine even if there Thrasher didn't get the nut draw with STR some other unit would bang or bust on a high armor hit.

Oh and X-COM, amazing game - but exceedingly frustrating when your units die on the first hit to the weakest units in the game. I have loaded many a save game due to that randomness and find Stoic's take much more fun to play with :)

So you save scum to avoid luck in other games but are ok with the level here? I do agree this is a philosophical discussion, I don't think there is a right or wrong answer. But for all the examples, especially the Tirean example....you didn't overcome the odds, the server said you win and that really annoys me.


Huh, actually I like to have that rather small influence of chance into the game. If you're losing, you can still go risky and do some 70% shots or something like that.
Generally, some chance is also reducing the frustration of losing, because the loser can think to himself "Man, this could've been ended differently, if that thrasher had hit less strength."

I am prepared to take full responsibility for my mistakes, I can't take responsibility when the server decides against me. Mind you I don't gamble (real life) for these reasons. Don't get me wrong losing still hurts, but I am pissed off with myself for playing badly not with external luck deciding the game.


Finally :) for the staleness of determinism, I find the infinite variety of both the human brain [defensive player, super aggressive, likes archers, all melee], and the external factors [is my opponent drunk and playing poorly for them, merry and playing with gay abandon bold dancing moves big flanks etc? bad day at work and trying to smash anything?] affecting it to be quite sufficient in providing me with enough variation provided there is sufficient complexity and emergence in the initial system. (I watch a chess game, but won't bother with draughts/snap/tic-tac-toe)

raven2134
02-26-2013, 10:33 PM
You can also get mad at yourself for playing in such a way that you end up being in a position where someone can luck win against you...or you need luck to win against someone. I have felt this way, and in some ways this is still myself claiming responsibility for having to rely on luck :).

Slimsy Platypus
02-26-2013, 10:47 PM
The concept of "the server said you win" can be perceived in a host of different ways, some of them not as negative. Randomness isn't always negative. People play Yahtzee. And I'm sure some people have fun doing so.

It definatley is less fun to lose than win, and even less fun to lose due to some aspect you feel you can't control. I'm not sure that that means we should be capable of controling everything, or not be able to effectively control anything. Most likely the most fun option is somewhere in between. One thing I am absolutely sure of is that the Banner Saga Factions is fun. Yes, there are times when it feels like I was not able to control the outcomes of my matches, but I have come to terms with that and for me personally, the game has remained fun (even in lieu of those events). Others might not have the same experience.

Veringatorix
02-26-2013, 10:48 PM
I agree with raven in that when I lose to chance I believe the fault lies with me not playing well enough to prevent such a situation from occurring. As another point of note, if you feel such a unit in your enemy's lineup has the ability to throw such a game-changer into the mix, target him and limit his ability to do that damage. I personally do not like leaving Thrashers alive past the mid-game for this very reason, they tend to cause all kinds of havoc in the late game using flail.

tnankie
02-26-2013, 11:03 PM
this is not a random = bad thought on my behalf, I think games that are about managing random events/chance to be quite entertaining, poker for instance (but not for real money). My feeling is that in those games chance falls both ways and often enough to balance itself out. This is true in factions as well if looking at the meta game (Elo Ranking). I think I am probably much more focused on the individual matches, perhaps chance in factions is simply something I've not been able to come to terms with...yet? ever?

bro1017
02-27-2013, 12:11 AM
I think random chance is quite fun, depending on how it's built. TF2 random crits are quite annoying, although I do think it helps the cause of melee weaponry (wich has about a 10% higher chance to crit than ranged weaponry). Of course, there I also usually play on no crit servers, so the frustration of that is left behind, and I can play the game I want.

Also, because nobody here nas mentioned it yet, Battle for Wesnoth is completely chance-driven, yet it is totally one of my favorite games overall. They just allowed me to feel my actions controlled the flow of battle, while also implementing chance correctly.

Conundrum
02-27-2013, 03:05 AM
Part of the skill of the game is attempting to mitigate luck.

Thrashers are capable of sometimes dealing very large damage. Solution? Kill them, or keep your vulnerable units away until they can no longer BlF. When I'm playing against thrashers, I use a Shieldbanger to block them. That way, they can't BlF my shieldbanger without taking high Armour damage themselves, and they can't get at my other guys to even get a SHOT at a lucky BlF. If the thrasher didn't have that luck-based special ability, it would reduce that level of tactical thinking.

Same goes for high armour shots. If the archer has 3 WP and 3 exertion left, maybe you're better off killing her instead of maiming her, just in case she manages to hit that 3-WP-boosted shot on you. Mitigate the luck.

EDIT: Like with Slimsy's game vs Tirean. If Tirean missed 3 90% shots in a row, he probably had a chance to break armour instead and then take a 100% hit chance shot. He chose not to mitigate the luck, and unfortunately paid the price in that scenario.

I think the luck adds depth, and adds opportunities to be more skillful, rather than takes them away.

djangoc
02-27-2013, 11:01 AM
Ok so I'm a new player... mmm fresh meat... Should I not bother using Threshers right now? At least till I understand more about how units work with each other.

raven2134
02-27-2013, 11:20 AM
You get a thrasher in your first team. Use him as much as you'd like. If you like him, keep him. If you don't, change him out for something else ;).

Shiri
02-27-2013, 11:24 AM
I also personally feel games that place everything in the players control more static. Yes people play chess, there's an audience for it, it is deterministic. But, I don't like chess. I find chess boring and lacking in emotion. At this point, it is a matter of preference I realize, but for the same amount of frustration there is for losing because I missed or because my opponent hit, I also feel the highs of clinching the win due to it. Not everyone will like it. But I think we have an exciting and fair mix with the game right now. Wins are hugely dictated by skill. A small amount of chance makes things exciting. Some may feel the game assigns the win on chance actions...but then I have personally never viewed myself as being in control 100% of the time.

There are other ways than randomness to prevent games being easily "solvable" (which is the "static" problem you're complaining about - people just following a pattern.) Skyseeker's ability is an example of that.

eAZy
02-27-2013, 11:41 AM
While the discussion is all well and good about randomness, and I feel both sides make good arguments, I simply think the Thrasher is now (after nerf to last hit being able to miss) TOO random of a unit in general. Randomly hitting either strength or armour was often fine whichever way it went before the nerf. However, it now feels that even choosing to run a Thrasher at all means the player is going for a luck build. There's no reason to take him over the other Raider options in a dedicated plan.

The only reason to run him would be if your plan ONLY requires that you do a total of 3 strength or armour, with anything else being extra. Although this is pretty exciting and can be a fun build (and I personally run 2 Thrashers myself), it is not sound teambuilding.

GreenDread
02-27-2013, 12:14 PM
I simply think the Thrasher is now (after nerf to last hit being able to miss) TOO random of a unit in general. Randomly hitting either strength or armour was often fine whichever way it went before the nerf. However, it now feels that even choosing to run a Thrasher at all means the player is going for a luck build. There's no reason to take him over the other Raider options in a dedicated plan.

I second this. I'm wondering, if it wouldn't make sense to reduce the count of flails by one, but cut the miss-chance, which is a too strong nerf, imho.

Ziggy
02-27-2013, 12:23 PM
There's no reason to take him over the other Raider options in a dedicated plan.
You pick him because the risk/reward goes both ways. As an opponent, leaving a Thrasher free and alive is a gamble because, sure, he could ineffectually whittle a little armour off of that guy but he might equally drop your precious archer. You either drop him, using up one of your turns and removing a crippled unit from theirs, or let them throw the dice, which is pretty poor planning.

You don't actually have to do the damage to be a threat.

Alex
02-27-2013, 01:16 PM
Even in terms of risk/reward, Thrasher fills a role. When seriously crippled, he can spend 1 will to do 3-6 damage of some variety. Used against an enemy who you don't mind whether you take off str or arm, it's an excellent output, and if you're lucky it can be devastating. I almost always kill Thrashers first chance I get.

RobertTheScott
02-27-2013, 01:39 PM
Huh, actually I like to have that rather small influence of chance into the game. If you're losing, you can still go risky and do some 70% shots or something like that.
Generally, some chance is also reducing the frustration of losing, because the loser can think to himself "Man, this could've been ended differently, if that thrasher had hit less strength."

I definitely had a game like this. I think my exact quote, to my opponent, was "man I'm glad I've missed all these 90% hit-chance shots, because otherwise I'd have to credit your superior skill."

RobertTheScott
02-27-2013, 01:42 PM
On a personal level, though, while I think bloody flail is generally a bit excessively luck-oriented, I love the percent-miss chances. I try not to rely on luck, but there's nothing like the exuberance when you hit that 40% chance shot with three exertion.

Morgenstern72
02-27-2013, 01:48 PM
Even in terms of risk/reward, Thrasher fills a role. When seriously crippled, he can spend 1 will to do 3-6 damage of some variety. Used against an enemy who you don't mind whether you take off str or arm, it's an excellent output, and if you're lucky it can be devastating. I almost always kill Thrashers first chance I get.


If you are lucky. Or your opponent is unlucky. And not because you play better/worse. That's exactly what I had to say about the trasher in my first post. I jsut do not feel rewarded when my Trasher hits high because it is pure luck. I do feel rewarded when i poistion my units good, when I lure my opponent to attack the "wrong" units, when I plan the way of my Backbiter and my opponent is either forced to break his rows or let me go through. And this just makes me a little(!) sad because otherwise this game is extemeley rewarding good strategic thinking.

eAZy
02-27-2013, 01:55 PM
I agree that they are great when crippled, probably the best of any crippled unit. But the difference between a crippled Thrasher and a crippled raider is quite small: 3-6 unreliable for 1 willpower versus (most likely) 3 armour break + 1 for the same willpower.


Used against an enemy who you don't mind whether you take off str or arm, it's an excellent output, and if you're lucky it can be devastating.

It's safe to say you almost always, barring a next-turn puncture, want to hit strength.

I think a simpler way to look at it is like this: you are paying 1 willpower for 3 guaranteed damage. This poses a few questions:

Is this balanced in relation to the other raider abilities?
In what circumstances would a Thrasher be better than the alternatives? What is the Thrasher's role?
What sort of team would a Thrasher complement best?

Thinking about these personally is making me want to experiment with them more.

Alex
02-27-2013, 02:51 PM
If you are lucky. Or your opponent is unlucky. And not because you play better/worse. That's exactly what I had to say about the trasher in my first post. I jsut do not feel rewarded when my Trasher hits high because it is pure luck. I do feel rewarded when i poistion my units good, when I lure my opponent to attack the "wrong" units, when I plan the way of my Backbiter and my opponent is either forced to break his rows or let me go through. And this just makes me a little(!) sad because otherwise this game is extemeley rewarding good strategic thinking.

Again, I don't disagree that some players don't like rolling the dice with Thrashers. We like having one unit who is a wildcard, he can be played smartly, and he fills a role. I understand that some people want to have 0 randomness in the game, and we limited it to 1 character for this reason. We don't feel that he's unbalanced to play against, or unbalances the game as a whole. We think it's fun! Opinions vary, of course.

Pelkrock
02-27-2013, 03:08 PM
I don't agree with the argument that if you miss the server decided that you were to lose and all your skill was for naught. It seems to me that a thrasher would be someone that you would not want to "Maim" and leave with low health as he still remains a potential threat on the board. Which would involve skill in mitigating how much of a threat he is compared to what other threats are left and who should be your priority. Also saying any game should have no luck is makes no sense even physical games between humans like basketball can be determined by luck, but a good coach knows how to mitigate that luck and skill into a win. Your the coach these are your players these, are your opponents use your intelligence and skill to win. Thrasher seems like a good addition that adds some depth as it's nice to have a piece that is still viable with low WP and low Str allowing me to pull back from a potential loss. You could say I was lucky or you could say he underestimated the threat my thrasher posed

tnankie
02-27-2013, 05:50 PM
I don't agree with the argument that if you miss the server decided that you were to lose and all your skill was for naught. It seems to me that a thrasher would be someone that you would not want to "Maim" and leave with low health as he still remains a potential threat on the board. Which would involve skill in mitigating how much of a threat he is compared to what other threats are left and who should be your priority. Also saying any game should have no luck is makes no sense even physical games between humans like basketball can be determined by luck, but a good coach knows how to mitigate that luck and skill into a win. Your the coach these are your players these, are your opponents use your intelligence and skill to win. Thrasher seems like a good addition that adds some depth as it's nice to have a piece that is still viable with low WP and low Str allowing me to pull back from a potential loss. You could say I was lucky or you could say he underestimated the threat my thrasher posed
Find the 'enter' key, then use it.
Secondly where is the luck in basketball? No really where? Unless you are talking about things humans are bad at/cant judge and calling that 'luck'.
Thirdly kill is not always an option.
Fourthly this is not about a unit that is low strength being a threat this is about random chance that is in-calculable.

Make the thrasher do damage inversely proportional to strength, cool totally down with that. I am not cool with random chance.....although I guess if I knew which machine was generating the random numbers and the random seed used I could calculate what the roll would be and then it wouldn't be random...

Actually what if the thrasher and hit through armour chance was shown as a certainty....as in not random, but variable. That is you know the result of the next 5 random rolls, so both players know what the next bloody flail and/or hits through armour are going to do. Still variable still has all the end game saving etc, avoids staleness, just not a dice roll.

raven2134
02-27-2013, 07:22 PM
That's an interesting compromise tnankie.

I think the previous poster just mean even luck still plays a part in athletic sports. Can't deny that victories in real life are a combination of talent, effort, and luck.

tnankie
02-27-2013, 07:55 PM
Actually I can deny it.

Although I suspect again this is a definition thing. IMO what you are referring to as 'luck' in an athletic context, is not 'luck' in factions. One is a hugely complex deterministic system that is so emergent it is almost impossible for humans to predict in real time and the other is random chance/hidden information.

I don't consider decisions made on incomplete information to be luck. I consider decisions based on complete information of a system that contains random elements to be lucky.

-----------------------------

Semantics aside, knowing the results of rolls in advance could be interesting, though I think it could be a tricky thing to include in the UI....how to get that information across?

Although it could be a bit much....suddenly not only are you juggling turn order but also juggling random roll order.....'ooh look at that pair of 90s coming up, how do I use them before my opponent does and how do I deal with the 10 that needs to be used before the 90s?'

:) Bring it on! Too much complexity is never enough right? (Complexity not complication, you can always have too much complication)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Complex_system
http://softwarearchitecturezen.blogspot.com.au/2010/07/complex-systems-versus-complicated.html

Finjinimo
02-27-2013, 08:53 PM
I like the thrasher the way it is. He is my wildcard. Even on 1 strength, he is dangerous. I am not able to predict exactly how much damage he might output, but neither can my opponent. That's in part what makes him so dangerous.

I usually use him as a kind of kamkazi unit, precisley because he can still be dangerous on 1 strength. My opponent has to choose wether to take him out (and possibly give me a turn advantage) or leave him loose to run around and causing a variable (but not completely random) amount of damage to his units.

It adds an interesting dynamic to the game that the other units do not, but not in a game breaking way and not to a degree that makes him entirely exploitable. And that really, is why I like the thrasher as is.

JustaLackey
02-28-2013, 12:40 AM
I just lost a game where 4 misses in total occurred. None of which were from a Thrasher and two of which were back to back.

Having a turn wasted for no reason is pretty frustrating, especially if it's in a competitive environment. When I'm putting my wits to the test against another player, I expect a fair match and then win or lose I can end the game with the knowledge that my victory or loss was entirely my own. That is the most gratifying feeling a player can have in a competitive game in my opinion.

So why on earth is there a completely hidden hit/miss system deciding whether I win or lose a game? At the very least, having the hit chance numbers visible would greatly inform a strategic decision rather than just having it be a total toss-up at any given moment, but honestly why can't strategy be the sole factor in who wins? Strategy deciding games rather than luck is all I ask for.

My opponent by the way, missed none of his attacks, so while in theory we're playing on equal ground, the end result is that one player benefits from the system for no reason while the other loses because of it.

tnankie
02-28-2013, 01:01 AM
ah, unless the latest build introduced a bug, you can see the chance to hit through armour (I presume that is what you are talking about?).

That information is displayed in (above?) the red circle when selecting to attack armour or strength.

mrpresident
02-28-2013, 01:10 AM
So why on earth is there a completely hidden hit/miss system deciding whether I win or lose a game? At the very least, having the hit chance numbers visible would greatly inform a strategic decision rather than just having it be a total toss-up at any given moment, but honestly why can't strategy be the sole factor in who wins? Strategy deciding games rather than luck is all I ask for.


The miss chance numbers are visible. They're right next to the str/arm buttons when you're choosing which to attack. You're not the first to not notice them though... maybe they should be highlighted more or something.

The chance to miss is 10% for every point of strength less than the target's armor. So if a unit with 5 strength attacks a unit with 10 armor, they have a 50% chance to miss.

van
02-28-2013, 01:19 AM
I must agree with Morgenstern72 and tnankie, the luck factor found in trasher's bloody flail has been the single, most irritable and illogical thing found in Saga's gameplay so far. There's nothing worse than a toin coss in strategic games. I honestly can't find anything else that would bother me besides this.

I would entertain the idea of entirely removing percentage hit and slightly nerfing trasher in another field, yet still making him viable even if that would require redesigning his ability completely. I realize this has been done in the pre-steam release, but I'm sure there must be a better way to balance him. The whole wild card aspect shouldn't appear in highly competetive games, and with trasher being the first promoted unit of most players, it's 'out there' from the very beginning.

Caropel
02-28-2013, 05:49 AM
Again, I don't disagree that some players don't like rolling the dice with Thrashers. We like having one unit who is a wildcard, he can be played smartly, and he fills a role. I understand that some people want to have 0 randomness in the game, and we limited it to 1 character for this reason. We don't feel that he's unbalanced to play against, or unbalances the game as a whole. We think it's fun! Opinions vary, of course.

Alex, i totally agree with you. We must not cry for randomness, we must embrace it.
On an real fight, many fates have the luck factor on it. It is normal and it is part of this funny thing which is life.
Just Deal With It.:cool:

Morgenstern72
02-28-2013, 05:53 AM
Idea
After he used his ability, attacking completely normal, if the Trasher hits he does lower the armor of his opponent for 4/6/8 armor, as long as he and the opponent(s) are adjacent. (Maybe: Any unit that gives this opponent shield bonus gets halve of this temp armor reduction.) This would give a deep strategic meaning to the trasher. If you let him move first on an enemy that moves last your units will have an easy target.

Zordian
02-28-2013, 11:08 AM
I like the thrasher the way it is. He is my wildcard. Even on 1 strength, he is dangerous. I am not able to predict exactly how much damage he might output, but neither can my opponent. That's in part what makes him so dangerous.

I usually use him as a kind of kamkazi unit, precisley because he can still be dangerous on 1 strength. My opponent has to choose wether to take him out (and possibly give me a turn advantage) or leave him loose to run around and causing a variable (but not completely random) amount of damage to his units.

It adds an interesting dynamic to the game that the other units do not, but not in a game breaking way and not to a degree that makes him entirely exploitable. And that really, is why I like the thrasher as is.

Very good reasoning.

I like a strategic game that gives clear ways to play, but I find that this is more of a tactical game. And tactics must be able to adress the unforseen. Having a unit as the Thrasher creates unpredictability in managing you troops. I makes me feel nervous and excited and that is a feeling I like since it corresponds with real life.

Real life that in my opinion is about marshalling your resourses (units) setting goals for your self (strategy/tactics) and learning to handle the gamechangers that will come your way (the Thrasher).

I´d rather get better at handling or managing the unpredictable and grow as a player than have this sometimes annoying but scary unit removed or changed.

There will always be unit configurations that some players prefer and others don´t. So maybe the Thrasher is not for everyone. I for instance expect it to be challenging for me to lear how to properly use the special abilities of the Warleader and the Provoker. Maybe even so that they will be the last two units I promote to. But they as the Thrasher will shorly keep me sharp when on the opposing side.

Impaler
02-28-2013, 01:40 PM
Hello. I'm new to the game and have played around 30 matches. It's very interesting and contains great depth, however the randomness really concerns me.

I don't think chance-based outcomes have a place in a game like this. It would be vastly improved if these elements were removed and/or replaced with something more creative than just a random number generator.
Is it fun to play lottery and sometimes come up on top? Is it exciting for some individuals? Sure. But in no way, shape or form are you involved with the outcome. This becomes a problem when everything else can be predicted and relied upon. Sure, you can make statistical projections and attempt to "work around" these chance-based situations. That does not change the fact that games can be decided by this number generator alone. Would you flip a coin to determine the outcome of bishop captures queen in Chess? I wouldn't, and this makes it hard for me to take this game seriously.

The whole chance-based luck element feels very gimmicky. While it does allow for some "unexpected comebacks" - I find they're absolutely worthless since they were brought out from luck and not skill or out-maneuvering your opponent (which is deserving of praise and a sense of accomplishment - unlike that of winning via pure luck). I would much rather win and lose games because of strategy, tactics, thinking-depth and positioning.

I know this isn't Chess. This seems like a great game to me, holding much promise. This is only my personal opinion.

Bracket
02-28-2013, 02:28 PM
Hello. I'm new to the game and have played around 30 matches. It's very interesting and contains great depth, however the randomness really concerns me.

I don't think chance-based outcomes have a place in a game like this. It would be vastly improved if these elements were removed and/or replaced with something more creative than just a random number generator.
Is it fun to play lottery and sometimes come up on top? Is it exciting for some individuals? Sure. But in no way, shape or form are you involved with the outcome. This becomes a problem when everything else can be predicted and relied upon. Sure, you can make statistical projections and attempt to "work around" these chance-based situations. That does not change the fact that games can be decided by this number generator alone. Would you flip a coin to determine the outcome of bishop captures queen in Chess? I wouldn't, and this makes it hard for me to take this game seriously.

The whole chance-based luck element feels very gimmicky. While it does allow for some "unexpected comebacks" - I find they're absolutely worthless since they were brought out from luck and not skill or out-maneuvering your opponent (which is deserving of praise and a sense of accomplishment - unlike that of winning via pure luck). I would much rather win and lose games because of strategy, tactics, thinking-depth and positioning.

I know this isn't Chess. This seems like a great game to me, holding much promise. This is only my personal opinion.

Agreed. I love the art, I love the non-P2W freemium model, I love the gameplay. The randomness is honestly my only complaint. And I don't think "It allows for dramatic comebacks which are fun" is a valid explanation. The POINT of dramatic comebacks is that they require great skill or big mistakes or something. The best dramatic comebacks come from someone making a really big mistake and then using their great skill to come back. That's why they're dramatic. If you can get a major comeback solely through really extreme luck, it's just an unfortunate comeback.

I really really hope they remove the randomness. Or, I dunno, have an alternate no-randomness server. Units should do 1 str damage with no chance to miss if their str is lower than enemy armor.. ... and maybe adding extra damage in such a case should cost 2 exertion instead of 1. Probably not. Using so much exertion SHOULD get you good rewards.

Bloody Flail could do 3 str damage followed by 1 armor damage (+1 for adjacent allies). This would keep the thrashers' intimidation role and threat even at low HP, so they would still be killed first, but they wouldn't be random. And they would still get hilariously murdered if they flailed at that shieldbasher upgrade who can deal 2 armor counter damage per hit.

I'm really curious as to how well those changes would work.

erom
02-28-2013, 04:19 PM
3s/1a(+1 for adjacent) is kinda strong. If I was removing randomness from the thrasher (which I don't think is a good idea, but just as a thought exercise) I would start it doing 3 hits, alternating str and arm (so 1s, 1a, 1s) and then add more hits in the pattern for more adjacent allies (so with two allies he would do 1s/1a/1s/1a/1s)

That has a nice symmetry with the warmaster (2s1a on solo targets, more with good positioning - in the thrashers case it would be ally positioning, in the WM's case enemy)

Bracket
02-28-2013, 04:22 PM
Yeah okay I like that idea better. I talked briefly with Tirean and so now I'm wondering what effect your idea would have upon Thrasherspam teams.

They would still get roflstomped by Shieldmaster + Archer combos, sure.

Conundrum
02-28-2013, 04:49 PM
The POINT of dramatic comebacks is that they require great skill or big mistakes or something. The best dramatic comebacks come from someone making a really big mistake and then using their great skill to come back. That's why they're dramatic. If you can get a major comeback solely through really extreme luck, it's just an unfortunate comeback.

As a thought exercise, it wouldn't be a problem if someone lost because they left themselves open to a Warhawk's Tempest, right? They make a mistake in judgement and/or positioning, leave the Warhawk alive and give him a path to hit their units where it hurts. Or for a less extreme and potentially more similar example, a Warmaster's special ability - the WM is maimed, the person leaves all their units adjacent to each other, the WM moves in and capitalises on the poor planning / decision making. Comeback acquired, all good, right?

Now replace the WM with a Thrasher. The player has let the Thrasher win, they've failed to block the Thrasher from getting to their vulnerable units. The thrasher moves in and Bloody Flails, capitalising on the poor planning/decision making. The difference here is that the Thrasher *might not* affect the comeback, based on how well he rolls. But if he rolls well, it can hurt. There's an element of risk, but the Thrasher is also easier to maneuver, so there should be some tradeoff in exchange for being easier to get into position.

Personally, I'm sticking to my "mitigate the randomness" mantra. They can't take advantage of good rolls against you if you don't let them.

Dhramund
02-28-2013, 05:26 PM
QFT

Personally, I'm sticking to my "mitigate the randomness" mantra. They can't take advantage of good rolls against you if you don't let them.

I am new to this game as well, but I just don't understand all of the people complaining about the amount of randomness in the game. Unless I am missing something, there are only two things. Attacking the STR of a unit that has more armor than your attack STR, and the Thrasher's ability. I think that both are good for the game. I agree with the statements of the Thrasher being a wildcard, along with he can be dangerous even if left with low strength. That is just something you have to account for when you are playing. I will often give the other player the turn-advantage to drop a thrasher that is threatening vital units. I stopped playing him since I don't like his randomness, just my preference. I might start playing him again, I do like his psychological effect on my opponent.

Slimsy Platypus
02-28-2013, 05:31 PM
I think there have been great arguments for why the Thrasher's randomness is good, and great arguments for why it's bad. In reality, does a thrasher hitting for 4 extra strength during a single turn win a match? No. But are there moments when it feels like it does? Yes. Likely early game mistakes or play that led to a close end-game played a more significant role than a single lucky 4 STR hit.

Also, consider that 4 STR is much more useful in the very final turns of the game than in the initial turns. If I ran my Thrasher straight up to you on turn 1 when your team had full health and hit for 4 STR damage would you feel like you lost the match? You probably would not. But when I do the same thing when there are only a couple maimed units left it feels absurdly overpowered. To me, that's the beauty of a Thrasher.

At times the Thrasher can certainly be a annoying unit. But so can Warhawks... and Skystrikers... and Provokers. I think one of the reasons the Thrasher gets so much hate is that he is an easy out for why you lost a match. In games where I've made many mistakes, it's still easy to blame that Thrasher that came up and got a great hit in the end-game against me which turned the tides to my opponent's favor. It's not nearly as easy to blame the Rain of Arrows I walked into.

tnankie
02-28-2013, 06:13 PM
As a thought exercise, it wouldn't be a problem if someone lost because they left themselves open to a Warhawk's Tempest, right? They make a mistake in judgement and/or positioning, leave the Warhawk alive and give him a path to hit their units where it hurts. Or for a less extreme and potentially more similar example, a Warmaster's special ability - the WM is maimed, the person leaves all their units adjacent to each other, the WM moves in and capitalises on the poor planning / decision making. Comeback acquired, all good, right?

Now replace the WM with a Thrasher. The player has let the Thrasher win, they've failed to block the Thrasher from getting to their vulnerable units. The thrasher moves in and Bloody Flails, capitalising on the poor planning/decision making. The difference here is that the Thrasher *might not* affect the comeback, based on how well he rolls. But if he rolls well, it can hurt. There's an element of risk, but the Thrasher is also easier to maneuver, so there should be some tradeoff in exchange for being easier to get into position.

Personally, I'm sticking to my "mitigate the randomness" mantra. They can't take advantage of good rolls against you if you don't let them.

Perhaps, the difference is that the warhawk is a certainty. The thrashers has a) far more positions to manouver to b) far more uncertainty, according to that other thread there are about 5 different cases that need to be accounted for with the thrasher.

Finally I've never had a comeback with the warhawk, my opponents may have seen it that way but I've always been planning on creating that gap and wrecking them. I have given up substantial early game advantage to secure that opportunity. i.e not a comeback.

A come back is when the 1 str thrasher 4 hits through 12 armour to kill the varl that was about to win the game. Yes both sides could have played better (not made mistakes) to avoid this situation, but ultimately the server is deciding the fate of this game.

A thrasher gives up nothing in the early game to be effective in the late game.

However
a) Stoic have shown no inclination to change these random factors, they have their reasons.
b) this argument has gone round again and again, as I said earlier it is a philosophical one.
c) The game is the way it is at the moment.


TL : DR same old stuff, I cant be bothered with this anymore.

franknarf
02-28-2013, 06:59 PM
I don't know. Whenever I think I'm losing, I'll take risks I otherwise wouldn't to see if I can turn it around. I'm sure this is irritating to those who believe the game is essentially deterministic (as I did when I started) and even more for those who think that it should be (as the folks keeping this thread going do).

Despite my team's rocking a Thrasher, my attempts at a turn-around usually involve an archer at the extreme of her exertion, not a Bloody Flail. Besides, late-game, my Thrasher (if he's still alive) rarely has a good ally or two to stand next to. When I'm playing for a lucky die-roll, I'll probably put him to work breaking armor to improve my archer's chance to hit, especially if his life is at risk (as it usually is :)) and he has more than one WP left -- better to burn it asap, not one a time.

erom
02-28-2013, 09:20 PM
Agreed, my big risks are always those 70% to hit with 3 willpower riding on it archer shots, I rarely if ever use flail.

JustaLackey
03-01-2013, 05:00 PM
After a long intense match, I have one archer left with 7 armor and 3 hp left. My opponent also has one archer, but he only has 4 armor and 1 hp. My turn first, I take the shot for a 90% chance to hit and I miss. My opponent has a 40% chance to hit and he uses the last two of his horns and he kills my archer to win the game, ending my win streak of 4 games. This is not mentioning the other times where he hit ridiculous attacks in one instance as low as 30%.

Earlier in this thread, I complained of a system that relies on luck, but after reading some of the responses, I decided to hold back on my complaints and give the game another go and did pretty well for myself. However, this sort of random gameplay is simply inexcusable for a strategy game. I outplayed my opponent, played the odds and still lost.

At the end of the game, my opponent gave me some helpful advice:

"You shouldn't attack armor so much, just go for health."

This mindset that banks on luck to win games does NOT belong in a strategy game that hopes in anyway to be competitive.

Morgenstern72
03-01-2013, 05:46 PM
JustaLackey, I agree completely. I think there should be a willpower restriction if you have a chance to miss. Like max willpower 3 for 90%, max 2 for 80%, max 1 for 50-70% and nothing from 10-40%.

djangoc
03-01-2013, 05:50 PM
I personally hope they move the balance more towards chess and being able to do simple math, and strongly away from random chance. I like to gamble, but not every game should be gambles... especially tactical/strategy games.

trisenk
03-01-2013, 06:41 PM
However, this sort of random gameplay is simply inexcusable for a strategy game.
So what's your proposition of handling situations like that? What should happen when strength is lower than armor?


At the end of the game, my opponent gave me some helpful advice:

"You shouldn't attack armor so much, just go for health."
It's hard to judge anything by just this quote. Maybe instead of using BB's run-through ability to instakill or severely maim an archer, you attacked her armor, leaving her with full health to attack next round? An extreme example, but I just wanted to illustrate an idea. I see many situations when he is very right.

On the other hand, it's not feasible to base your strategy on on 30-40% hits, because (by definition) you will miss more that hit, and you'll quickly run out of willpower. And if someone tries and gives his units tons of WP and 3EX, there won't be enough points for ARM and STR.

Also, and I don't want to sound derisive, but I can hardly call a two maimed archer standoff outplaying your opponent :)

djangoc
03-01-2013, 07:15 PM
trisenk most well played games seem to be, and please correct me beta players if I'm wrong, down to 1v1 or 1v2 very wounded units. Also seems to skew towards archers or raiders surviving the longest. (yes there are exceptions, we're only discussing the average well played game)

Right now whomever gets the lucky shots win in this scenario.

sweetjer
03-01-2013, 07:33 PM
I rarely take chance-to-miss shots. The only times I take them are when it's absolutely necessary or I can spare a missed turn. When it's absolutely necessary, it means I was likely outplayed or outbuilt. in the case that I can spare a missed turn, I'm looking to push an advantage a little further. If it comes down to both of us taking %chancetomiss shots, I consider that a close and a GG. I've played 600+ matches, and I'll tell you, even the 90% is not a safe shot. 1/10 has to happen sometime. It's not "random chance deciding the game" it's "i was outplayed and now random chance is a factor." Conundrum was saying earlier "it's about mitigating the randomness", +1 to that. Random chance does not in any way reduce the strategic elements of the game, and in fact adds a factor that makes the outcomes of matches less deterministic (ie. if you are outbuilt or outclassed, you still have a chance to win with smart play and measured risks).

Wordplay
03-01-2013, 10:50 PM
Perhaps, the difference is that the warhawk is a certainty. The thrashers has a) far more positions to manouver to b) far more uncertainty, according to that other thread there are about 5 different cases that need to be accounted for with the thrasher.

Finally I've never had a comeback with the warhawk, my opponents may have seen it that way but I've always been planning on creating that gap and wrecking them. I have given up substantial early game advantage to secure that opportunity. i.e not a comeback.

It's no different for us thrasher players. I think about every probability when I commit a thrasher. It takes considerable effort and planning to put a unit into a position where a BF can kill it. I may be rolling the dice, but I've usually stacked them in my favour by putting my opponent in a position where whatever the roll, it's good for me, and bad for them.

It's true that there are more probabilities to consider. That's true for the thrasher user as well as the thrasher's opponents. Those probabilities still have to be tracked, if you're going to be effective.

There's the once in a blue moon type of comeback you mention, where yes, it is effectively the servers that decide the winner. I admit, it's happened to me (I outline the story below). In my experience, these comebacks are very rare. Usually, if you're in a position to be killed by a thrasher, your opponent was working hard to put you there. After all, that's why they're often partnered with high strength Warriors - to create those openings for BF.

I admit, I have won a last stand with a lucky Bloody Flail. I have to say, I had made some pretty bad mistakes, and had to play like a daemon to get to the point where I even had a chance to win. My opponent had some kind of Shieldbanger class with 5 armour 3 strength, my thrasher had 3 armour and 5 strength, no WP. I had just got one WP in the horn from killing a Skystriker. I ran my thrasher over the coals in the Great Hall to BF my opponent's Shieldbanger. This was before BF had a miss chance on the last hit. By using BF, I was guaranteeing my Thrasher would have no armour for the next hit, so the Shieldbanger type would kill him if it survived (lots of WP in the horn, no way for my thrasher to penetrate its armour).

I'd played poorly to be put into a position where all I had was a maimed archer (SS?) and thrasher, but I played very well to get back in the game (think they killed 3 units between them). It was a really fun moment, and the alternative would have been to jockey for position around the great hall for 20mins.


@JustaLackey: Was that match against me by any chance? Sometime in the last couple of weeks? I remember a match where my opponent's last unit was an archer. I think I had 3 units left. My crippled archer had a lucky escape as you describe, and then I took a cheeky % miss chance of my own, using spare willpower from the horn, and got a lucky hit.

I then advised my opponent something along the lines of 'You shouldn't attack armour so much, go for health'.

If that's the match I'm thinking of, I agree, it was very unlucky of you not to get the archer, and very lucky that the other archer got the kill.

If it wasn't that match, and it wasn't you, my apologies. I would be interested either way, if you can remember.

netnazgul
03-02-2013, 02:43 AM
I rarely take chance-to-miss shots. The only times I take them are when it's absolutely necessary or I can spare a missed turn. When it's absolutely necessary, it means I was likely outplayed or outbuilt. in the case that I can spare a missed turn, I'm looking to push an advantage a little further. If it comes down to both of us taking %chancetomiss shots, I consider that a close and a GG. I've played 600+ matches, and I'll tell you, even the 90% is not a safe shot. 1/10 has to happen sometime. It's not "random chance deciding the game" it's "i was outplayed and now random chance is a factor." Conundrum was saying earlier "it's about mitigating the randomness", +1 to that. Random chance does not in any way reduce the strategic elements of the game, and in fact adds a factor that makes the outcomes of matches less deterministic (ie. if you are outbuilt or outclassed, you still have a chance to win with smart play and measured risks).
As somebody've said in forum chat AFAIR, "Random chance miss is a good excuse of playing badly" :)

eduran
03-02-2013, 05:10 AM
So what's your proposition of handling situations like that? What should happen when strength is lower than armor?

What about willpower boosting chance to hit instead of damage in that situation?
Example:
unit with 2 strength attacks unit with 3 armor --> 90% chance to do 1 damage
use 1 point of WP --> 100% to do 1 damage
use 2 points of WP --> 100% change to do 2 damage

Morgenstern72
03-02-2013, 05:13 AM
What about willpower boosting chance to hit instead of damage in that situation?
Example:
unit with 2 strength attacks unit with 3 armor --> 90% chance to do 1 damage
use 1 point of WP --> 100% to do 1 damage
use 2 points of WP --> 100% change to do 2 damage

The problem is, that an opponent does not have to choose WP and then plays only with luck. It's unsatisfying to win or loose because of luck in this kind of game.

eduran
03-02-2013, 06:36 AM
Agreed, chance will still play a role, but the effect will be smaller. A 1+3 damage shot from an archer has a higher chance to be game deciding than a one damage shot. My suggestions is meant to be a compromise. Something that is probably easy to implement, does not upend the game's current balance too much and reduces the impact random chance has.

samyam
03-02-2013, 08:10 AM
After having played quite a few games with and against a Thrasher, I dont see his randomness affecting the outcome of matches much. He is already a part of the overall strategy by being a wildcard that he is. The general rule is to kill off all thrashers ASAP. Maiming does not work with these guys. So there! he is actually a very good piece in the whole setup. I use the Thrasher to harass and chip away at Varls or Raiders. He is usually a sacrificial piece who can be really irritating to the opposing player if left alone, and I make sure I use him that way. There is no better satisfaction than seeing your Trasher surviving a hit with 1 or 2 str left, because I know I am going to make my opponent pay for it. That Trasher is there to attract attention. And he does it really well till his last point of str.

So in short I treat him as a piece who is not dependent on his str. Infact any good break character does not need str. He is just like the backbiter, except that he is a bit theatrical in the way all the damage numbers fly and he has a random chance of inflicting str damage.

As for imbalance concerns I have none. Eventually he doles out 3 or 4 effective damage, which I think is the same a backbiter deals with his 3 break + 1 will.

JustaLackey
03-02-2013, 09:49 AM
@JustaLackey: Was that match against me by any chance? Sometime in the last couple of weeks? I remember a match where my opponent's last unit was an archer. I think I had 3 units left. My crippled archer had a lucky escape as you describe, and then I took a cheeky % miss chance of my own, using spare willpower from the horn, and got a lucky hit.

I then advised my opponent something along the lines of 'You shouldn't attack armour so much, go for health'.

If that's the match I'm thinking of, I agree, it was very unlucky of you not to get the archer, and very lucky that the other archer got the kill.

If it wasn't that match, and it wasn't you, my apologies. I would be interested either way, if you can remember.

Not me. The game I was talking about was a 1 vs 1 situation and it happened pretty much the night I posted about it.

If the opponent had the advantage by two characters, I wouldn't bother posting about it. The point that I'm making is that when you get a good game, a game that's a real competition between two well-matched players, the deciding factor becomes the random number generator.

It's not just a matter of "play better". There is an eventuality that all players will end up having a close game. If you were to run a tournament and had your grand finals match that's precisely what you want for the audience to see, a close game, not a steamroll. However when players are well-matched then a stroke of luck is what wins the game rather than a stroke of brilliance.

Frankly, how could you take a tournament seriously as a competition of skill if the finals ended up being decided by one player missing a 90% shot and the other hitting the 40%?

franknarf
03-02-2013, 10:28 AM
@JustaLackey. That's an interesting point, that we miss out on interesting endgames because of randomness.

However, percent shots are just built into the game; I think you'll need to design a game of your own from the ground up if you want to remove the randomness.

Also, close endgames are not so great to watch/play in chess, either. Often, when you're down to one or two units on each side, it's just a matter of going through the motions. In TBS:F as in chess, you often need to look earlier in the game to find decisive moves. If you're thinking of two top competitors playing perfectly the whole game through, well (i) I've never seen that happen and (ii) I think they would be fine with regarding it as a draw (in spite of the matter of bookkeeping in which one of them must be the victor). If there were a draw option and they used it, you'd probably also (as a spectator) feel cheated.

Galactimus
03-04-2013, 08:07 PM
I ended up with 52 wins in a row using 2 Warhawks and 4 Thrashers. If wins were determined by a Thrashers lucky or unlucky hit I would be in far worse shape then I am. Only twice out of 130 games did it come down to a 1 vs 1 game of lucky strikes. That's not a ratio to complain about when comparing luck versus skill.

Besides, the Flail ability allows the Thrasher to be deadly even in the late game. It doesn't matter if they miss the last hit with Flail - you shouldn't be relying on that hit if the enemy has 11 armor and you have 1 Strength. The whole point is that you have an ability that will deal at least 3 total damage, with 100% accuracy, even when you only have 1 HP left. That guaranteed damage is a huge advantage over other units near the end of a match.

By the way: Backbiters miss their last attack just as often as Thrashers.

erom
03-04-2013, 08:58 PM
Minor point: Backbiter's miss is based on the normal armor/strength calculations (Miss chance is 10%*(arm-str)) while Thrashers is a flat 33%.

Galactimus
03-04-2013, 09:08 PM
Minor point: Backbiter's miss is based on the normal armor/strength calculations (Miss chance is 10%*(arm-str)) while Thrashers is a flat 33%.

Ah my apologies; it seemed like both classes relied on the armor/strength calculations for their abilities.

Zahar
03-05-2013, 02:36 AM
Maybe the Thrasher could have 2 modes for thrash.

Armor (100% hit for all attacks) and Strenght (miss percentage based on armor of the defender like any attack to strenght?

At least that would allow people to choose to go random or not. I got used to taking changes to str attacks, but in a game wehre armor attacks NEVER miss it feels really weird.

Impaler
03-06-2013, 03:34 PM
This mindset that banks on luck to win games does NOT belong in a strategy game that hopes in anyway to be competitive.

I can only agree with this sentiment.

The devs should start proposing alternative solutions to penalize attacks on relatively high armor, and the trasher ability should be de-randomized and possibly branched out to allow for different strategical decisions, but simply closing your eyes and swinging wildly, hoping to land a huge hit isn't really fun or rewarding for either side (unless you're a gambling addict!).

Morgenstern72
03-06-2013, 04:19 PM
I have won a game today because I did hit wit my last unit on a 20% chance. His unit would have been next, guaranteed hit. Sure, you could argue: he could have saved willpower to have a greater range. Not in this truly epic fight. On the other hand, his trasher had tremendous luck before felling my varl.

Both occasions where not satisfying, but I would not have gifted him the victory after this incredible hard fight and the luck he had with his trasher before.

I think, instead of a miss chance on high armor it should jsut be possible to hit armor until you have no miss chance. I see armor as no value with my team, since I go in with a big shield row and hit direct on my opponents strength. Works most of the times real well, since then he has too high miss chances.

To be able to hit only armor with a lower strength than armor would
1. enhance armor
2. make (new) abilities possible, like the trasher still being possible to hit strength with bloody flail
3. reduce any luck through miss chances and replaces it with strategic thinking, on how much armor you have to break before rush the opponent with your units.

The trasher is easy:
After the first three hits, you get a bonus hit for
one adjacent units: 1 Str
two adjacent units: 1 Str & 1 Armor
three adjacent units: 1 Str & 1 Armor (same as two)

Thats exactly what happens now statisticly over thousand of matches: 33% chance to hit str, 33% to hit armor, 33% to hit nothing. Nothing really changes, only luck goes away.

Impaler
03-28-2013, 11:17 AM
Trashers ability is severely overpowered. The only thing keeping it in check is the randomness. In other words, luck decides whether your unit is OP or not. What happened to winning games by skillful play, clever positioning and simply outplaying your opponent? Truly beautiful play? Now we have situations where a lucky strike can decide the outcome of a match. It's a real shame.

netnazgul
03-28-2013, 11:37 AM
here we go again... :p

Impaler, how many games of yours were decided by Thrasher RNG? And I mean - ONLY his ability, not anything else. Enemy moves, your moves, any actions, build disproportions, starting positions...

d2r
03-28-2013, 02:38 PM
Was the bump really necessary? :p

Arnie
03-28-2013, 07:39 PM
Just lurking...pretty interesting read! :)

Impaler
03-28-2013, 09:08 PM
B-but I like this thread... :(


It has been decided many times. I've faced 4 Trasher teams that just spam this skill wildly, entirely reliant on luck. Fun? No. What if I went 4 trashers against them too? Let's just close our eyes and click a button, let the random number generator decide the outcome of the game.
Sure you can only have 2 trashers now, but it's still a nonsensical skill and completely unrewarding to be on either end of it. I don't want to win because I rolled a certain number on a dice. I want to win because of skill, and preferable also lose because of my opponent's skill.

I've also had games where everyone was on high armor and low str. Everybody just kept missing. What's the point, really? I'd much rather see a more "deterministic" and reliable system. That doesn't mean it needs to be one-sided, maybe the skills can be branched out to allow for more options, but they shouldn't be random. If you could select the outcome of a flail then it would be ridiculously OP. Doesn't it tell you something when you balance a skill around randomness? I really don't think it's the right way to go. It's an easy solution, but you can do better than that. For instance, it could be based on the positioning of your other units etc. Something more clever than a random generator. Same goes for armor. A better solution is needed.

Kletian999
03-28-2013, 10:58 PM
Impaler, if you read the thread, or follow the tutorial, you'll be aware that armor can be broken, in as much as 4-6 in a single attack, regardless of your character's strength, but on their armor an exhertion stats that you can control once you upgrade them out of base class. This means someone can ensure that every STR attack they make will hit 100% and do more than 1 damage per swing, no matter how high the starting armor of that unit- this someone will win 99% versus someone that only makes STR attacks and prays.

This also means that the opposing team can systematically break and kill each thrasher on the team without using thrashers themselves. With use of shieldmasters this becomes INCREDIBLY easy.

netnazgul
03-28-2013, 11:31 PM
It has been decided many times. I've faced 4 Trasher teams that just spam this skill wildly, entirely reliant on luck. Fun? No. What if I went 4 trashers against them too? Let's just close our eyes and click a button, let the random number generator decide the outcome of the game.
Sure you can only have 2 trashers now, but it's still a nonsensical skill and completely unrewarding to be on either end of it. I don't want to win because I rolled a certain number on a dice. I want to win because of skill, and preferable also lose because of my opponent's skill.
My games never have been decided by Thrasher's Bloody Flail in any way. Yes, you can run 3 Thrashers (don't know where have you got 2. Maybe you just don't play too much to know the basic stuff in the game?), they are pretty strong force to be reckoned with, but they still can be beaten. If 11/12 - they are on low exertion and are too slow, allowing my force to break them so that they become a nice target for BM, whom they can't reach. If they are on high exertion - they are either weaker, or having less armor, so I can even hit them with other units. Bloody flail does not determine much of the game there, and especially it's useless against shieldbanger class varls.

I've also had games where everyone was on high armor and low str. Everybody just kept missing. What's the point, really? I'd much rather see a more "deterministic" and reliable system. That doesn't mean it needs to be one-sided, maybe the skills can be branched out to allow for more options, but they shouldn't be random. If you could select the outcome of a flail then it would be ridiculously OP. Doesn't it tell you something when you balance a skill around randomness? I really don't think it's the right way to go. It's an easy solution, but you can do better than that. For instance, it could be based on the positioning of your other units etc. Something more clever than a random generator. Same goes for armor. A better solution is needed.
Sorry, but this "low str units keep missing" thing only shows that you have low experience of the game and just use RNG as an excuse for it. If you have not dealt a sufficient armor break in the early game and/or have no units to do the early break later - then you played wrong and can't rely on RNG to be the decisive factor here. Some RNG hits can be used here and there, but they are rather an exception than a rule.

Arnie
03-29-2013, 09:04 AM
We really, really need to put the miss chance mechanic in the tutorial and make it bold. Our fault. Gah.

InfiniteNutshell
03-29-2013, 09:13 AM
We really, really need to put the miss chance mechanic in the tutorial and make it bold. Our fault. Gah.

Arnie I've been telling you since Beta, adding one more turn to the tutorial where you have to break the chieftain's armor before finishing him would let you talk about most of the key mechanics that aren't yet covered extensively. I think explaining miss chance fits naturally as part of this addition.

Impaler
03-29-2013, 01:47 PM
I'm perfectly aware of how the mechanic works, both for armor and for flailing. I just think it's an incredibly boring one.

netnazgul
03-29-2013, 01:54 PM
I'm perfectly aware of how the mechanic works, both for armor and for flailing. I just think it's an incredibly boring one.
Then you should probably try another game

Impaler
03-30-2013, 12:43 PM
Yeah, I don't play this anymore. It was fun the first few games until you started discovering these underlying random mechanics. I really like everything about the game except that part. Too bad.

franknarf
03-30-2013, 02:12 PM
Too bad for us that you keep coming back to bump this thread. ;)

Skaer
03-30-2013, 08:12 PM
Registered just to post here because this has really been on my mind for a while. Just in case the devs will read this.

Please, please reduce the combat randomness! In a competitive dueling game it's very discouraging that chance can matter more than player skill.

The thrasher's ability could be changed so that his last swing always lands. If it is too too strong that way, you can just remove one of his starting swings to compensate. Making those swings non-random, with an ability to select attack type, or without it, would also help.

Another thing that really needs help is the random strikes against high armor. It's made even worse by the exertion, making it possible to land 3-4 damage hits with extremely low chances - a pure lottery. Whether it's changed to 100% chance to deal 1 dmg or to inability to deal strength damage, it would be a large improvement either way.

Here's a video of a single unit winning against two units, purely by landing 3 lucky shots in a row:
http://youtu.be/l0FZAiwvSNE?t=15m20s

Surely, the BM player showed fine skill and understanding, but still, this victory had about 33% chance of occuring and would never happen if it was not possible to deal 3 damage despite having strength well below the target's armor.

I strongly believe that in a game where winning means that "you were better" such victories should not be possible.

Impaler
03-30-2013, 09:27 PM
Skaer. I must applaud you for bringing some logic and reasoning to the table.

Impaler
03-30-2013, 09:30 PM
Too bad for us that you keep coming back to bump this thread. ;)

If people even bother to come to these forums to complain about something then that means they care about the game and want it to improve. I wouldn't trying to push my viewpoint if I didn't think it would better the game. Let's pretend randomness was removed from the game, would anyone complain and want it back? I don't really think anyone would. But now you have people complaining and want it removed, so you just don't care and leave it be because you want to "differentiate" this game from other games, such as chess. Adding randomness is not the solution for that. You can come up with something way more interesting!

docjesus
03-30-2013, 10:15 PM
The problem is that you're speaking as if a completely unskilled player can win games purely due to chance, which just isn't true. In basketball a player can toss the ball from the other side of the court without looking in the final seconds of the match and score. Do they not deserve to win? Should shots like that be disallowed because it was "pure luck"?

The player in Skaer's example won because he looked ahead and executed his moves perfectly, not because he got lucky.

A good player should take hit chance into account when planning their next move. Only an inexperienced player would rush in counting on their opponent's shots missing.

It's a gamble both ways. That's what makes it balanced.

evacpod
03-31-2013, 01:26 AM
Let's pretend randomness was removed from the game, would anyone complain and want it back? I don't really think anyone would.

Sorry, but I would. I love dice rolls. I love X-com, Jagged Alliance, and BloodBowl. I think TBS has a good balance of Luck and Skills. 90% shots are useful, but risky. 60-80% shots are your last resort.

netnazgul
03-31-2013, 03:45 AM
If two-three people complain about randomness that costed them a game or two - it is not a good reason for changing the core mechanics of the game, that would possibly (even highly likely) bring some other serious issues.

I've won 2-3 games with percentage shots. I've lost some with the same percentage shots against me. The other 95% of games were played without them.

HeadOpener
03-31-2013, 04:04 AM
This is a skill based game with some randomness thrown in. There are plenty of random games with skill thrown in take poker for example. There percentage shot mechanic of this game is just fine as it is occasionally you will win or lose due to a random shot the vast majority of the time you will win or lose based on who played better.

A small percentage of randomness stops staleness in my opinion, thinking of all the chess openings I have learn and played over the years because there is no randomness at all. I think the balance here is just right, with maybe the thrasher ability being the annoying one but otherwise I love this.

franknarf
03-31-2013, 09:17 AM
@Impaler: I, too, wasn't crazy about the randomness when I first realized it was there in miss chances months ago, and had really expected/hoped for a game with less of it. At this point, however, I don't think you can design the game without it. I'd be interested in trying what you come up with (assuming you are making your own game), but the current mechanics are fun and suitable for use in single-player and a competitive environment (just like poker and whatever else, as others have said), so you can't really expect the devs to redesign the game from the ground up.

Besides Bloody Flail and standard attack misses, if you're militant about eliminating randomness, you'll have to find a solution to where SnB coals land as well. Personally, I'm surprised more people don't whine about the "randomness" of the rain of arrows. I've seen that decide far more games than a lucky or unlucky flail.


What really sucks is the devs choice to implement these random factors into the game. I've stopped playing because of games being decided by random elements like miss chance on higher armor and hit or miss with trasher's flail.

The game looked promising, but from a competitive stand-point it's a joke to have the outcome of a match decided by a random number generator.

Okay, so you've said this enough times now, haven't you? We get it: you're in an excellent position from which to condescendingly judge the devs and the game, and have now done so several times. I don't know. I've done the same thing (chiming in several times with my top wishlisted items, like unit info and replays), but (i) your tone isn't helping and (ii) I think this is a lost cause (and one I'm no longer convinced is worth fighting for, besides).

Axiom92
03-31-2013, 10:00 AM
RNG FTW......enuf said :P

P.S. Only use the thrasher if you have the balls to gamble, thats what the thrasher is to me, a mere dice roll, an agent of chaos!!... after all, what is strategy but a series of calculated gambles?

Skaer
03-31-2013, 11:54 AM
The player in Skaer's example won because he looked ahead and executed his moves perfectly, not because he got lucky.

I'm sorry, but this is a blatant lie. The player in question indeed did good planning and made the best of what he had, but had any of his rolls fail, he would not have won that game.


It's a gamble both ways. That's what makes it balanced.

It is balanced indeed. All I'm saying is, gamble is the exact opposite of "if you won, it's because you were better".

I personally dislike it when RNG wins or loses a game for me. I prefer playing my games by myself.

d2r
03-31-2013, 11:57 AM
I admit it can be frustrating, but it's also a distinct minority of games where RNG is absolutely decisive. If the greater proportion of them are won by skill alone or virtually alone, then I call that a success.

sweetjer
03-31-2013, 12:01 PM
Gambling is not the exact opposite of "if you won it's because you were better." The presence of RNG is not only balanced because it affects both players, it's balanced because both players know about and can account for %chancetomiss. Measured risks are still good plays. There's a bit of a gamble in all sorts of competitive games. To be honest, I don't get the big fuss on this one. I rarely even take %chancetomiss shots. I see it as either a way to lean on an advantage or hail mary pass. It's just not part of normal play for me. The same goes for the thrasher...if I use him the last strike is icing on the cake, not the meat of the ability. In sum: %chancetomiss is rarely if ever a factor and even less often a deciding factor in whether you win or lose.

delta_angelfire
03-31-2013, 12:05 PM
If you want a "pure" strategy game, play chess or go. a little bit of luck makes the game fun, exciting, and gives it replayability. Taking the chance shots allows risky maneuvers that may pay off... or very well may not. There's alot less luck in this game than most, but still enough to make it interesting. If you have many and multiple games being decided on a coin toss, well... maybe you're just not as good as you think you are.

I'm fine with "If you won, there's a 90% chance it's because you were better"


The game looked promising, but from a competitive stand-point it's a joke to have the outcome of a match decided by a random number generator.

Man, you must hate games like Magic: the Gathering with a passion then. Yet it's still ridiculously successful... hmm...

Skaer
03-31-2013, 12:20 PM
Gambling is not the exact opposite of "if you won it's because you were better."

It is exact opposite in the way that winning does not prove that you were better. Maybe you were better at calculating and planning those chances, or maybe it's just that the rolls were in your favour. It can be either way. Of course if the game is made right, win rate will still depend on player skill, but there also will be rounds won or lost purely due to lucky rolls. Perhaps not many, but why let it happen at all?

It's not that games with RNG have no right to exist. I too like Xcom very much, especially the original game. It's just that there are plenty of RNG-induced games and very few competitive ones without RNG and with deep gameplay mechanics. It would be nice if Banner Saga added variety instead of being "another one", especially if comparisons to chess are being made.

docjesus
03-31-2013, 12:33 PM
had any of his rolls fail, he would not have won that game.

And had any of his planned moves failed, he wouldn't have won the game either. What's your point? If you gamble and miss, you've wasted an entire move, and possibly willpower too. You can take chances in every game - by gambling that your opponent won't see what you have planned.


All I'm saying is, gamble is the exact opposite of "if you won, it's because you were better".

Again, if you don't take the possibility that your opponent can gamble on a hit and land it into account, you're not "playing better" anyway. You're leaving your strategy up to chance.

Honestly, it just sounds like you've lost a couple of games because instead of planning effectively and taking all possibilities into consideration, you left things up to chance and lost. And instead of rethinking your approach, you're blaming the game. And it's getting real tiring watching people complain about that.

netnazgul
03-31-2013, 12:37 PM
Too much complains about ingame RNG mechanics, but surprisingly few (or shall I say "not a single"?) ideas of how to change the game to not include that RNG. Until you enlight the community with this - you can whine till the Ragnarök comes.

Skaer
03-31-2013, 12:54 PM
And had any of his planned moves failed, he wouldn't have won the game either. What's your point?

I'll try to explain... You see, moves don't "fail". They execute the way you plan them, so long as the RNG involved. For example, if your line in chess goes not as you expected, it's not because "your moves fail", it's because you fail making the right moves. That's where you can prove that you're a better player by winning.


You can take chances in every game - by gambling that your opponent won't see what you have planned.

That is true, except that the chance will be based on your opponent making a mistake. The cause of the outcome still lies within the two players, not within some third entity that is RNG.


Again, if you don't take the possibility that your opponent can gamble on a hit and land it into account, you're not "playing better" anyway. You're leaving your strategy up to chance.

That is true. However, even if you take everything into account, whether or not the hit in question lands still is not based on either player's skill. It's based on RNG.

Skaer
03-31-2013, 12:58 PM
Too much complains about ingame RNG mechanics, but surprisingly few (or shall I say "not a single"?) ideas of how to change the game to not include that RNG.

Apparently my little message (http://stoicstudio.com/forum/showthread.php?1028-When-you-win-it-s-because-you-were-better-would-be-nice&p=19141&viewfull=1#post19141) was lost among the others.

erom
03-31-2013, 12:59 PM
I actually see the randomness as an important comeback mechanic - when you are leading in a game, you have very little reason to not play it safe, but when you are behind, taking that 70% shot with a bunch of willpower riding on it lets you take a chance to bring yourself back in the game. And I think that those kinds of mechanics (that allow comebacks for trailing players, thus closer and more interesting matches) are generally useful to making better games.

netnazgul
03-31-2013, 02:08 PM
Dealing guaranteed 1str damage would make maimed units highly overpowered. Dealing no damage to higher armor would make the opposite.

Skaer
03-31-2013, 05:44 PM
How is 1 guaranteed str damage more overpowered than 80% chance to deal 3 str damage? If anything, it would be weaker, not stronger than the current system. To clafify: I'm also proposing that exertion should increase the strength of attack, as opposed to the current system where it increases the damage dealt. So striking 5 str vs 7 armor with 2 exertion would result in a 100% chance to deal 1 damage instead of 80% chance to deal 3 damage.

As for dealing no damage, said units could still deal armor damage, which is usually prefered to str damage attempts anyway. And besides, maimed units are supposed to be a burden to their team, that's the whole point of maiming.

franknarf
03-31-2013, 06:55 PM
I'm also proposing that exertion should increase the strength of attack, as opposed to the current system where it increases the damage dealt.

Yeah, that's what I was expecting it to do. I bet Stoic tried that out at some point...I wonder how/why they ended up with the current system. Maybe they'll chime in.

Ninjineer
03-31-2013, 09:20 PM
I bet Stoic tried that out at some point...I wonder how/why they ended up with the current system. Maybe they'll chime in.

If I had to guess, I'd say applying willpower straight to damage makes the system more interesting for 2 reasons:

1) It prevents a big slowdown in the endgame. Sometimes you can end up with several high-armor, low-strength units whittling each other down without good break. Willpower currently serves as a (risky) way to break that stalemate and cause tension that would otherwise bleed away as units kept on missing each other or doing 1 break a turn, with minimal influence from the horn as well.

2) When the target's armor is only 1-2 points higher than the attacker's strength, the current system allows the player to take the risk of missing in order to get that influential, higher-impact shot in. Otherwise for a given attacker and target, there would always be a single best choice between strength or break.

I welcome enlightenment from the devs as well, of course. :)

Skaer
04-01-2013, 01:05 PM
1) It prevents a big slowdown in the endgame. Sometimes you can end up with several high-armor, low-strength units whittling each other down without good break. Willpower currently serves as a (risky) way to break that stalemate

Apply the willpower to your low armor break and you end the stalemate just the same, only without randomness. In fact, the chance to deal direct str damage despite swinging against high armor is what causes the stalemate in the first place, because when it's a low chance to instantly win, you still take the chance. So instead of steadily going towards the end, two units with 1 str/10 armor will be constantly swinging against each other, hoping to get that lucky swing.


Otherwise for a given attacker and target, there would always be a single best choice between strength or break.

There always is a single best choice for each particular situation, reguardless of whether it's chance-based or strict. Only difference is, if there's no RNG involved, you win by making the right moves. With RNG, you sometimes can still lose even if you play the situation perfectly, purely due to bad luck.


I actually see the randomness as an important comeback mechanic

A comeback based on RNG can be amusing to watch, but it has very low value for the players. I personally don't like getting cheap victories just because RNG decided to bless me today.

Leartes
04-01-2013, 01:29 PM
A comeback based on RNG can be amusing to watch, but it has very low value for the players. I personally don't like getting cheap victories just because RNG decided to bless me today.

It is not cheap if you know you did your best to maximize those odds. Games that are decided by randomness go both ways. "You only won due to rng luck" is not equivalent to "without randomness I would have won" it is equivalent to "if I had more luck I would have won".

Tirean
04-01-2013, 02:02 PM
Winners make their own luck.

That is all :)

Ninjineer
04-01-2013, 05:25 PM
Apply the willpower to your low armor break and you end the stalemate just the same, only without randomness.

It takes an extra move, though - the option is there to try to speed things up by taking that risky shot and score a hit NOW. It's not necessarily the optimal move but players have that choice. Your dislike is not sufficient reason to take that choice away.


In fact, the chance to deal direct str damage despite swinging against high armor is what causes the stalemate in the first place...

In some cases yes, but other situations can reasonably create a few armored-but-maimed unit: a Warmaster alpha-strike, dueling archers, Bloody Flail, etc. It is generally in a player's best interest to avoid this sort of free-for-all in the endgame, but that doesn't mean the rules can't be used to create an interesting situation out of it when it does happen.


There always is a single best choice for each particular situation...

That depends partially on how you evaluate the RNG-based part of the situation. Since you destest the RNG I assume you'd value those options very low, but others like the - relatively minor - uncertainty it adds, and Factions is just as much for them as it is for you.


To quote another's post:


Winners make their own luck.
Wise words indeed. While I'm sure everyone understands the value of playing well enough that one NEED NOT pull the RNG lever to win, I think some of the disdain for the randomness comes from not also understanding the value of playing so well that the opponent CANNOT pull the RNG lever to win, either.

sweetjer
04-01-2013, 06:40 PM
While I'm sure everyone understands the value of playing well enough that one NEED NOT pull the RNG lever to win, I think some of the disdain for the randomness comes from not also understanding the value of playing so well that the opponent CANNOT pull the RNG lever to win, either.

not as succinct as what tirean said, but perfectly stated.

Skaer
04-02-2013, 03:53 PM
Your dislike is not sufficient reason to take that choice away.

If you check this thread you'll find that the dislike is not just mine.


that doesn't mean the rules can't be used to create an interesting situation out of it when it does happen.

"Interesting" is subjective. To me for one, it's not interesting to have RNG play my game for me.


While I'm sure everyone understands the value of playing well enough that one NEED NOT pull the RNG lever to win, I think some of the disdain for the randomness comes from not also understanding the value of playing so well that the opponent CANNOT pull the RNG lever to win, either.

That could be true if maiming was not usually the best way to win. If it was so, you could indeed try to remove those 1str units from the board so that they cannot abuse the random mechanics. However, in most cases that is a far less efficient approach, partially because the chance to hit is low, thus statistically you will win more by letting the opponent take those chances and fail. And to play so well that no amount of luck can save the opponent from losing requires a rather big gap in skill between the two players.

The fact that there are random mechanics means that players can force their opponent to deal with these mechanics. And the way things work now, you have to sacrifice efficiency to remove randomness, so it's basicly not an option.

Haeso
04-02-2013, 05:09 PM
Earlier today I lost an 18 armor provoker to units that never had above a 30% hit chance throwing willpower at him. It made me very sad. I still managed to win that game, but having a unit die to just added willpower damage and 4 30% or less swings was... well. It sucked. Lol. He died with 18 armor, poor guy.

While not quite random, it's also out of the control of the opponent and prevents real counterplay: The strike trap. I lost another game earlier today where I had 4 different paths to two different targets that my BB would have killed, one of the four paths had a trap. I just happened to walk onto the path with a trap.

True it's not random in it's placement, but it was essentially random to me as I have no way of knowing where it went, only where it could be. I could have chosen a different path but there was no effective way to evaluate which path was best. The best option was simply guessing which is little different from hoping those willpower boosted attacks with low hit chances will hit in my eyes.

At least for me I'd rather the game have no random elements, but I've only lost two games so far out of about 70 due to the random elements so I can't complain too much.

HeadOpener
04-02-2013, 05:40 PM
I have to say today seems like the rng has been hitting more than missing for once in most of the matches I have played. Not sure if they changed something or its a bug? But I had the same a 16 armour dieing to a 1 str foe with 3 wp to hit him for 4 to kill him :(

Ninjineer
04-02-2013, 08:48 PM
@Skaer:
Our respective opinions regarding the RNG are now known; I don't feel it would be productive for either of us to continue in the same vein. I don't wish to come off as dismissive though; if you want to continue along those lines I'd be happy to come to an arrangement.


...to play so well that no amount of luck can save the opponent from losing requires a rather big gap in skill between the two players.
This is a fair statement, and if true would bear looking at. I certainly wouldn't want luck to be the deciding factor in a large fraction of matches; I haven't had this experience from my time in Factions though. I can't speak for you, but neither of us has the whole picture - only the developers could say for sure how their playtesting caused them to choose the current system over other, similar ones.


...the way things work now, you have to sacrifice efficiency to remove randomness, so it's basicly not an option.
That depends entirely on the return for your sacrifice. If you leave a weak unit standing to waste an enemy turn and they win the lottery with it, then you have my condolences. But if you could have killed that unit to ensure a (slower) win for yourself and you chose not to do so in the name of efficiency, then you erred. While I can't say that you "deserved" to lose in those circumstances, you accepted the risk when you made your choice.

----------


Earlier today I lost an 18 armor provoker to units that never had above a 30% hit chance throwing willpower at him... He died with 18 armor, poor guy.

You, sir, have my condolences. :p

Kletian999
04-02-2013, 08:53 PM
It's simple really, a unit with unspent will is like a unit with high natural break and is worth killing over maiming. Getting the low break units to spend all their will, then keeping them alive, while killing break units with their will leftover will usually result in a win.

netnazgul
04-03-2013, 01:15 AM
Earlier today I lost an 18 armor provoker to units that never had above a 30% hit chance throwing willpower at him. It made me very sad. I still managed to win that game, but having a unit die to just added willpower damage and 4 30% or less swings was... well. It sucked. Lol. He died with 18 armor, poor guy.


You won there cause your opponent was too dumb throwing all his willpower on %% strikes rather than breaking armor with it. Provoker did his job perfectly - aggregating all the hits from enemy, allowing your other units to wipe them out.

Greix
04-03-2013, 11:12 AM
I personally like the Thrasher as a desperado type character. A strategy I've seen performed is for the enemy to strip most, though not all, the health of your squad. This is done so that weaker characters still clutter up the initiative, and stronger remaining characters don't gain more attacks per rotation.

The Thrasher is the anti-thesis of this strategy. You cannot really ignore him, even at low health, because he has an ability that's dangerous regardless of how weakened he is. He is the only character who is a chaotic dice roll to keep things interesting.

To be honest, the game makes every effort to inform you of the very few moments when probability is a factor, such as the Thrasher attack and when a foe's armor rating is great enough to risk missing entirely. Since I'm aware of my chances, I don't feel like I was cheated. I could have done something more sure-fire, like strip a foe's armor. But I chose chance.

Haeso
04-03-2013, 12:59 PM
You won there cause your opponent was too dumb throwing all his willpower on %% strikes rather than breaking armor with it. Provoker did his job perfectly - aggregating all the hits from enemy, allowing your other units to wipe them out.

Four attacks to kill a provoker is not why I won, poor positioning on his part is why I won. I had one unit left by the end since I lost my provoker so much earlier than I should have. It was two already maimed raidmasters that did it. I never had an opportunity to finish them off sooner that wouldn't have resulted in even more damage that wouldn't have had a % miss attached to it.

Impaler
04-03-2013, 04:32 PM
I'm not arguing about this because I win or lose due to the mechanic. I could not care less. The mechanic inherently just sucks! Why would you leave anything up to chance? Why even invite, let's say a grandmaster finals, to be decided by the accumulation and/or immediate net effect of random events? Skill will be statistically predominant if the game makes any sense at all (which it currently does) , but even then, those luck factors are in there to skew the outcome.
Yes, you can circumvent this x-factor. But why even have it in there if you're supposed to side-step it? Don't worry, I know perfectly well how this crept into the game. The devs were having "friendly matches" that seemed so boring because one of them was better than the other. And what happens then? He's got a snowballs chance in hell of doing a comeback. So why not give him a little crutch? Let's give him a 5% chance of making a comeback with the aid of a RNG. Suddenly, there's a smile on both faces as this exciting new mechanic made the battle more evenly matched. This made me think about having RNG as a selectable option in friendly games but off for competitive/ranked ones!

Tirean
04-03-2013, 04:35 PM
Sometimes I feel like I am playing a completely different game to some other people :(

Could this thread get closed? its going nowhere fast!

docjesus
04-03-2013, 05:56 PM
Sometimes I feel like I am playing a completely different game to some other people :(

+1


Could this thread get closed? its going nowhere fast!

+10

Skaer
04-03-2013, 10:27 PM
only the developers could say for sure how their playtesting caused them to choose the current system over other, similar ones.

Only reason I started voicing my concerns here is the posibility that the mechanics aren't set in stone yet. If that's not the case, then this thread indeed is pointless.



if you could have killed that unit to ensure a (slower) win for yourself and you chose not to do so in the name of efficiency, then you erred

Of course efficiency implies the surest way to win, not the quickest since you don't get anything for making fewer moves :)

Skaer
04-03-2013, 10:42 PM
Could this thread get closed? its going nowhere fast!

Trying to silence the people who don't share your opinion? Petty.

docjesus
04-03-2013, 11:02 PM
Trying to silence the people who don't share your opinion? Petty.

No-one's trying to silence anyone. But both points of view have been expressed every which way and it's getting tiresome.

netnazgul
04-04-2013, 01:32 AM
Yup, expressing concerns on the core mechanic that would never be changed anyway can be done forever here. Just go and play another game if you don't like it, as currently is seems that the sole purpose of invading the forums for you guys is to troll about RNG.

Leartes
04-04-2013, 02:35 AM
Trying to silence the people who don't share your opinion? Petty.

It is not like Tirean didn't repeatedly win tournaments with 20+ winstreaks proving that randomness does not work vs him. The skill-gap that can be overcome by random luck is pretty small if strong players can reliably win vs other strong players.

Aleonymous
04-04-2013, 03:52 AM
Gentlemen (weird referring to blood-thirsty vikings no?), the forum is no place for such battles. There's Strand for that!

As for democratic procedures, how about a poll (no posts, just votes) with a question like "How much do you feel that luck (RNG) affects your chances of winning a TBSF match?" Or, more specifically, vote among 4-5 dominant ideas about how STR-damage should work:
(a) as is
(b) alternate formula for probability (less/more likely to hit)
(c) zero-damage (impossible!) when STR is below ARM
(d) randomness affecting amount-of-damage (not probability of it) ***
(e) ... other(s) ?

*** Requires reworking a lot of stat-data, so it's too far away, imo.

Leartes
04-04-2013, 05:03 AM
The problem about polls is, they promote the few of inexperienced players. Sure, it is always nice to know what they think, but it is a mistake to include all the "I haven't read the tutorial, there is too much miss chance vs full armor targets" votes. It only tells us that the tutorial is not working as good as expected. Currently there are several groups of players:
a) I don't know the rules, too much randomness
b) I don't know the rules, I don't care about randomness
c) I'm an experienced player, too much randomness
d) I'm an experienced player, randomness is fine
e) I'm really high skilled player, randomness loses me games vs worse opponents
f) I'm really high skilled player, I win vs worse opponents despite randomness

In player numbers a+b dominate c+d dominate e+f. In a poll either a+b or c+d dominate since manynew players don't the forum. What does a result tell us? Not much and the same holds true for most postings on the topic.

Group a+b can only be served by better tutorials/explanations. But even group c and d are not neccessarily right as they lack the really deep understanding. A problem migt be that those groups can be your final standing in the community. Many players will never rise to the skill level of e+f. Should those players make decisions that potentially harm higher groups? Higher groups are smaller, but harming their play makes incentives to not improve for everyone else. On the other hand there might be solutions for many problems that don't harm anyone. For this I'd like critics to propose thought out changes. Additionally, it would be helpful if they streamed some games pointing out situations where their changes improve the game.
Be warned though, I doubt the devs will change the base rules. The game works well, changing it has great risk of losing establishedp layers while making a lot of work. Stoic has repeatedly stated that they consider the game to be out of beta. To me this means they consider the rules done and only work on future content + balance patches.

netnazgul
04-04-2013, 05:26 AM
For this I'd like critics to propose thought out changes. Additionally, it would be helpful if they streamed some games pointing out situations where their changes improve the game.
This part made me laugh, sorry :D

Tirean
04-04-2013, 05:42 AM
Trying to silence the people who don't share your opinion? Petty.

How about this. You add me on steam and i'll give you 2-3 lessons on how to play this game. After that we will see if you still think RNG is a huge factor in winning/losing in TBS

Haeso
04-04-2013, 05:53 AM
I don't believe anyone's said it's a huge factor, me personally I dislike any random factors influencing my games no matter how small. I've won one game because of the RNG and lost two so far, that's not too bad for how many games I've played, but it's still more than necessary. Could those games have gone my way if I had played better prior to the point of RNG determining the final outcome? Sure! But that's not the point. However if the devs prefer things as is that's fine, not exactly a big deal, it's their game after all they certainly aren't beholden to us lol. But talking about it on the forums isn't hurting anyone is it? Just don't join the discussion if you believe it's pointless. Nobody is forced to read our thoughts on these matters much less do as we say =) The game's still fantastic even if there are a few things I don't like about it. I've yet to play a game where I like everything about it, not even the two I worked on!

Skystriker traps being invisible, flail and the way death and initiative gives teams that lose a unit 'extra' turns are the only things I don't like that I've seen so far. The latter is integral to the game and not a random factor so I've never brought it up. I'm sure the design is intentionally like that so whether or not I like it's pretty irrelevant heh.

raven2134
04-04-2013, 07:07 AM
Impaler has repeatedly implied he no longer plays the game due to RNG. I believe this is a good enough implication that some consider RNG a huge factor. Not that I agree with the view.

HeadOpener
04-04-2013, 07:18 AM
Impaler has repeatedly implied he no longer plays the game due to RNG. I believe this is a good enough implication that some consider RNG a huge factor. Not that I agree with the view.

If you look through his post history with the exception of his very first post which was a nice enough complaint about the RNG. The rest however have been nothing but pure hatred criticisms rather than thought out feedback on either the Bf ability of the Thrasher or the % shots, which you do not need to make anyway.
Whilst I appreciate everyone is entitled to their views and I respect that entitlement, I do not have to respect those views when not backed with either evidence or constructive suggestions. I wrote a rather lengthy post on another thread about this and went back and edited it because I myself was beginning to rant so removed it before you got to it Raven ;)

All I will say in the matter is every game pretty much has some element of randomness in it, there are some exceptions but as pointed out a number of times, the amount the RNG effects this game is minimal unless you are very low in the ranks playing newer players who seem to like taking risky shots.

Arnie
04-04-2013, 07:51 AM
Skystriker traps being invisible, flail and the way death and initiative gives teams that lose a unit 'extra' turns are the only things I don't like that I've seen so far.

Skystriker traps being invisible? You mean the enemy should see them? Or that they appear under your dead units so you can't see them yourself?

Shiri
04-04-2013, 07:55 AM
Some people treat mind game hidden info abilities as functionally the same as random (and it's true that you can sometimes get 50/50s with skystriker, though not nearly as often as you'd think as different squares usually give different payoffs.)

Rensei
04-04-2013, 08:42 AM
The one and only time I have lost a game because of RNG was when my SS was facing an enemy warrior - both on 7 armor and little hp. Since I prefer my SS to have 0 armor break the only thing I could do was to try and get him down by landing 3 shots, and since he had a bit more hp he decided to play along.

He won, but we both had good laugh. We both got some renown. No kittens were hurt.

Haeso
04-04-2013, 08:46 AM
Skystriker traps being invisible? You mean the enemy should see them? Or that they appear under your dead units so you can't see them yourself?

I don't think as-is the enemy should be able to see them, they'd be too weak in my opinion without some other change if that were the case - I just don't like how things end up working because of it.

x = trap
y = enemy
z = your unit
. = empty



.............
.y...zx..y...
.............


I had a similar situation happen to me the other day.

Assume Z can kill either unit, they're both archers, one a skystriker with 7 str, the other an SA with 7 str. Neither have armor or willpower, that trap was the skystriker's last shot. BB has 10 str and 4/12 armor.

He can run in a straight line to either archer and kill them. He has a 50/50 chance to eat a trap, and die OR kill one, gain a horn charge, then use his special ability to get into range of the archer while preventing puncture from doing enough to prevent him from killing the other archer.

It's admittedly rare, out of all my games, maybe a fourth of them have skystrikers. And only twice have I been screwed over by it. But that's a pretty good illustration of a situation where it's literally 50/50 on who wins. It's entirely possible that the lone BB's player could have played better to where it didn't come down to luck, but that sidesteps the point I'm making.

It's also possible the SS in this situation could have just shot the BB for 4 damage with willpower reducing him to 6 and winning anyway but for the sake of the scenario assume he decided to trap instead. I could create a more complex map/scenario that doesn't rely on the SS doing something sub optimal but I believe that should highlight my point. Late game the SS traps are all about luck, early game they're really good, you trade a turn of your SS not shooting to block a varl from doing anything for a turn and possibly also dealing 1 str damage - it's a cool ability at the start where there isn't tons of open space. But late game it's a crapshoot who wins from time to time because of it.

The best alternative I can think up without changing the entire function of the unit: Make the traps visible, make R2 drop an extra trap, R3 two extra. Perhaps have it also inflict 1-2 str damage on top of the basic STR hit since a single visible trap would obviously be weaker. Once one trap is triggered the other two disappear. That would all require testing to figure out the sweet spot - as is I definitely think a visible trap would be too weak, it'd need some other change as well.


Impaler has repeatedly implied he no longer plays the game due to RNG. I believe this is a good enough implication that some consider RNG a huge factor. Not that I agree with the view.

My apologies then, I didn't see that. That's too bad for him then, I wouldn't worry too much.

Aleonymous
04-04-2013, 04:02 PM
The problem about polls is, they promote the few of inexperienced players. Sure, it is always nice to know what they think, but it is a mistake to include all the "I haven't read the tutorial, there is too much miss chance vs full armor targets" votes. It only tells us that the tutorial is not working as good as expected.

Well, that point is true, but its really not up to "us" to get the final telling on what is the game gonna be like. To me, that's up to the developers and design team of Stoic. And, of course, TBS being somewhat more particular due its KickStarted nature, kind off limits its deviation-potential.

I'm not sure how this forum-based feedbacking should work for Stoic, but one fact is true: There's been (some) complaints about randomness, and not any about the the lack of it (determinism). In view of this, its only logical that Stoic decided to shift the game towards determinism:

In my opinion, the randomness is well harnessed in TBSF with the hit-probability rule of -10% per unit-{STR-ARM}-difference, and the 20% floor-value. Personally, I'd have had even more randomness in the game, e.g. I'd follow a rule more consistent with the core damage mechanic: Prob=STR_att/ARM_def (This latter rule gets really low probabilities when both units are at low STR & ARM). Nevertheless, I'm sure Stoic & beta-testers considered and dumped this idea, exactly due to the shift-towards-determinism. As to determinists, like Impaler, what would he have? A zero-damage when ARM>STR?

As a conclusion, I'd say its up to Stoic to validate/weight the following influences in order to answer to such questions as "what is this game about? where is it going?"
-- Their proper intuition
-- The commitments made to KS-backers
-- The feedback from beta-testers & "TBSF Gurus"
-- The average feelings of proven immersed players (that's the forum's majority)
-- The average opinion of casual/random players (forum's minority & semi-active players)
-- ... the rules of marketing craving for sex, blood, explosions, fast-cars etc

Skaer
04-05-2013, 12:00 AM
How about this.

This and some other messages indicate that I still conveyed my point. Let me try again: I am not saying that RNG affects winning propability hugely. I'm saying that it should not affect said probability at all. In other words, the problem is not that RNG is a big factor, the problem is that RNG is a factor.

Or, to put in a simpler way: you should never (ever) win or lose because of the RNG.

I hope this is simple enough.

Skaer
04-05-2013, 12:19 AM
2 Haeso

And that's why I think SS is the strongest random-bearing unit in the game. Thrasher with his modest ability is nowhere near.

If the trap was changed to become visible, I think the better form would be to have rank 1 mark two squares, but only fire one regular shot, hitting the first enemy to enter either of the squares. And subsequent levels could increase the number of shots fired or the number of squares marked.

Leartes
04-05-2013, 02:40 AM
The funny thing is, SS is not random. I have not met a single player that fired it randomly. It is fired with very specific strategic considerations in mind. Therefore a) it is fired at a specific spot where it is unavoidable (if the opponent pursues the tactic you want to prevent or b) it is fired in a spot with high traffic where you hope to catch someone out. Even this arrow is not random. It is a test of mind reading skills. Sure it is nothing you can calculate easily, it is something where you have to evaluate your opponents skill level, his mindset and his overall approach to the game. Then you can deduce well were it is save to move and where not.
Obviously the SS user does the same, so in the end it comes down to who has the better pattern recognition skills, not who is more lucky.

Anyway, since the topic is done to death I will give a short list of reasons what randomness brings to the game.
- comeback mechanic: In a game with no surrender (which can't be introduced due to renown/kill-farming, lets face it, the game will not get changed from the ground up) it is important to keep games interesting as long as possible. This includes a chance to come back after suffering a blow in the early/mid game. Without this the majority of the playtime will be super boring due to already decided gamestates.
- diverse player skill-set: To be good in TBS:F you have to master more diverse skills than in other turn-based strategic games. You have to be good in reading the game tree, you have to be good in anticipating the opponent, you have to evaluate when to go for randomness. Removing randomness and removing hidden information removes two of these skill requirements and makes bannersage a boring chess-variant.
- maimed units and initiative: Maimed units in TBS are often useless if they don't have a very high break and clutter up your initiative order. Removing randomness makes them, in a binary way, either much better (e.g. 1 guaranteed dmg) or much worse (always miss vs higher armor).
- other approaches clutter up the ui: The option to spend wp on increasing hit-chance to me is the only reasonable approach with several mentioned draw-backs. If there are two rows of stars it clutters up the ui and it will rarely get used anyway since +1 dmg has much higher expected value than +10% hitchance. If you can only increase hit-chance and not damage we lose out on the above features (no comeback mechanic, maimed units suck more)
- pacing and intuition: The game is ment to be played fast paced without long thinking time to calculate optimal moves. It is designed to be played in an intuitive manner unlike chess with its endless game-trees of variations. If we push the game in a more chess-like direction we will lose a lot of casual players; and the chess-lovers play chess anyway. (e.g. if I want to play a deterministic, strategic game to think I will start up my Go-Client, if TBSF is in the same niche I will never play it)
- cost: don't get me started on the cost of calling a released game back, changing and debugging it all over again and then start the balancing again only to go in an alpha state, then in a beta state before coming back where we are now. Just to realize the game is too different to be comparable to the current game so that you don't even know if you improved the game.

Rensei
04-05-2013, 03:48 AM
Concerning the Skystriker:
On my level using her sometimes feels like 50/50 shot - the enemy knows theres a trap somewhere within her walking range circle, but has a lot other options, he can take other path or attack other targets. I can try to play mindgames and trap the alternative route but my enemies either ignore the protected target completely, hurting my other troops or just walk straight to it. Either way I end up thinking I could have just made a regular shot.

While watching some vids of Tirean however I saw that on higher levels it is no longer the case - in a game of Warhawks, where everything is counted down to a single square, there are no alternative routes, no alternative targets - You either loose a turn or get trapped and take the very important (game deciding) first hit.
Maybe the complainers simply didn't get there yet?

I hope one day I will end up in a game like this, till then - like Leartes said - the only thing that matters is to stay to the very end and get as much renown as You can while still having fun. The guessing game is fun. So is a duel of high armor, low hp warriors.

Haeso
04-05-2013, 07:06 AM
The funny thing is, SS is not random. I have not met a single player that fired it randomly. It is fired with very specific strategic considerations in mind. Therefore a) it is fired at a specific spot where it is unavoidable (if the opponent pursues the tactic you want to prevent or b) it is fired in a spot with high traffic where you hope to catch someone out. Even this arrow is not random. It is a test of mind reading skills. Sure it is nothing you can calculate easily, it is something where you have to evaluate your opponents skill level, his mindset and his overall approach to the game. Then you can deduce well were it is save to move and where not.
Obviously the SS user does the same, so in the end it comes down to who has the better pattern recognition skills, not who is more lucky.

You just completely ignored what I wrote. There's no mind reading skills, there's no evaluation in that situation. I've given you a situation where it is in no uncertain terms luck that determines the victor, my game against global anarchy there were four paths to two targets, either were killable. It was 25/75 I hit a trap or killed a target, the game ended up close enough that I would have won had I not lost that turn - I don't know why you don't see this. I can't break it down any simpler.

Any of the four paths were equal, each led to the death of a unit. There were no other units for the trap to be potentially hit by so none of the four squares had a greater value for him to choose.


Concerning the Skystriker:
On my level using her sometimes feels like 50/50 shot - the enemy knows theres a trap somewhere within her walking range circle, but has a lot other options, he can take other path or attack other targets. I can try to play mindgames and trap the alternative route but my enemies either ignore the protected target completely, hurting my other troops or just walk straight to it. Either way I end up thinking I could have just made a regular shot.

While watching some vids of Tirean however I saw that on higher levels it is no longer the case - in a game of Warhawks, where everything is counted down to a single square, there are no alternative routes, no alternative targets - You either loose a turn or get trapped and take the very important (game deciding) first hit.
Maybe the complainers simply didn't get there yet?

I hope one day I will end up in a game like this, till then - like Leartes said - the only thing that matters is to stay to the very end and get as much renown as You can while still having fun. The guessing game is fun. So is a duel of high armor, low hp warriors.

Early game the SS is very much turn denial where the paths are so full of units that usually you either sit and wait or in turn get hit by the enemy yes. I have no issue with the SS in most early game situations, however by the late game there's generally enough space that it's an issue of luck - are there sometimes 'better' locations that are superior SS trap targets? Yes, so you have to evaluate then, at that point it becomes do you go for the high value target and hit the trap or do you think he'll protect the high value hit and instead go for a lower value hit. Even then it's still luck, unless you know your opponent so well on a personal level you can 'read' them what they'd be most likely to do, but that's fairly unlikely.

All the same my point is there are some situations where it is observably luck, there is no arguable position of otherwise. It's rare, but it's still there and does occasionally determine a game.

You can try and suggest it rare enough that it's acceptable as is - that's a reasonable argument to make. But you can't try and say there are never any situations where the location of an SS trap is no more than rolling a die to see who wins rather than skill.



All of this said I don't feel like it's an often enough a problem to make me not want to play the game or something, I merely feel the game could be better with an alternative. 3 out of almost 120 games have been decided by luck - 2 against my favor and 1 in my favor. That's not bad enough that I'm going to quit over it by any means, I don't think anyone should. I just know I enjoy matches with skystrikers less than any other, I would prefer a change to them so i advocate for it. I'm more than agreeable to the notion that it's rare enough that it comes down to luck that keeping it as-is because of it's impact on the early/mid game before it comes down to luck is a respectable option - I won't begrudge anyone that feels that way.

Just don't try and tell me it never comes down to luck when I've shown a way that it can in no uncertain terms.

Kletian999
04-05-2013, 07:13 AM
@Leartes re:will for accuracy.
Maybe there's a compromise here that using 1 will on a 70% hit could do either guaranteed 1 damage 30% or 2 70% of the time. With 2 will either 1-3 or 2-3 could be the range, not sure what's fairer. Maybe just prohibit more than 1 will on a percent chance shot so we aren't getting swinging 4 hits.

While there is a comeback mechanic in the current system, there's really no coming back from a roster full of low break maimed units. I don't have a problem with the current RNG, but an adjustment making the maimed units more dangerous and will a more valuable stat could help some people.

franknarf
04-05-2013, 07:30 AM
I fully support more complaining about SS randomness (and I'm not being sarcastic). I had a match that hinged on the opponent's unlucky RoA last tourney, too. (It might've been vs GA? I remember telling the opp. to "guess his path" when firing his RoA just before my Warrior...)

Here are play styles that I find annoying in order of decreasing annoyingness:

Taking 80% shots in the opening.
Firing chancy SS shots at crucial points in the mid-game.
Taking 80% shots in the mid-game.
Slavishly following the break-first dictum. (I've gotten in the habit of focus-firing breakers in response.)


I feel like these are mostly noob-ish, but the first three can affect the outcome of a game between folks of similar ability. The % shots in the game can't be altered, and I like the SS ability. I just dislike that the first three tactics can be employed without leading you to lose a lot more often (e.g., successful 80% shots in the opening and midgame might give you an edge over folks you normally wouldn't have such a good chance against).

Arnie
04-05-2013, 08:43 AM
It was 25/75 I hit a trap or killed a target, the game ended up close enough that I would have won had I not lost that turn.

I would have rested. :p

Haeso
04-05-2013, 09:10 AM
Haha, I don't think it was the 1 str damage that did me in that game from the trap. But I suppose doing nothing is also technically an option. And technically correct is the best kind of correct!

Impaler
04-05-2013, 03:41 PM
Randomness as a comeback mechanic?! How about using skill, strategy and positioning to make a comeback. Or is that impossible in this game?

Also, when someone surrenders, why not make it so the victor can deal out "kill points" across the characters, instead of robbing him or her of those kills?

Leartes
04-05-2013, 04:39 PM
You don't really read the rules do you? The winner gets his stuff if someone surrenders, but the loser gets nothing. Therefore surrender is rarely an option.

Also in deterministic games with high skilled players there are rarely options for a legit comeback by skill alone. One mistake loses the game. Under the assumption that this mistake is equally likely in every move, then 50% of playtime will be in a boring lame-duck situation. Again, chess and go circumvent this with early surrender (or early remis in case no one makes a blunder in chess). For TBS:F surrender is no manly option. :)

And I wanted to not post in this thread again -.-

Skaer
04-05-2013, 11:52 PM
there are no alternative routes, no alternative targets - You either loose a turn or get trapped and take the very important (game deciding) first hit.
Maybe the complainers simply didn't get there yet?

Or maybe seeing that you just can't allow your warhawk to end up in the middle of the enemy gang without landing that hit, you are practicly forced to ignore the possibly trapped route, which pretty much gives the SS player a free pass to trap something else, however less powerful it may be?

But wait, seeing this line, you may think "oh hey, he thought that and put the trap somewhere else, I can still use this warhawk!" since there's a really high chance of it being true. And there you are back at guessing games.

Skaer
04-05-2013, 11:59 PM
in deterministic games with high skilled players there are rarely options for a legit comeback by skill alone.

This is true. However, it does not mean that one bad move loses you a game. You get your comeback rather easily: your opponent gives it to you by making a mistake. Which is just as likely as you making a bad move which put you into the position where you need the comeback in the first place.

Notice how exactly 100% of that is skill-based and not coming from RNG having a bad mood. That's when you can say "if you win, it's because you were better".

Leartes
04-06-2013, 06:36 AM
Which is just as likely as you making a bad move which put you into the position where you need the comeback in the first place.

The thing about TBS:F is, due to the first hit advantage making the first mistake can only be countered by making a much larger mistake later. Obviously it can happen but it is rather depressing to play along and hope for a wonder.
In contrast to that random elements allow to shoot for lucky comebacks. To prevent them the leading player can play save which might also be enough to allow for a comeback. I think it is a pretty elegant solution that works great in this game. In other games it might be a different story.

loveboof
04-06-2013, 09:09 AM
I can't believe people are complaining about the SS!

RoA has nothing to do with luck in almost every case it is used... It may feel unlucky if you had multiple paths to your target and walk onto their trap, but that is your problem. They may have got lucky or they may have properly anticipated your actions - but that instance is not really where the ability is designed to be used. If you are relying on luck to win games then you are just not going to be a particularly good player.

__
In my last game I accidentally hit ready when deploying my units which left 2 of my guys in laughably bad positions; I spent my first moves trying to correct the problem (I now wish you could just click un-ready, but oh well). My opponent's first hit was a 40% chance from an archer with 3 willpower behind it!

I felt seriously unlucky at this stage and was sure I would lose, but as the game developed a little further it became apparent that my enemy relied on the percentage chances as he continued to take hugely risky shots.

I won the game in the end by out-manoeuvring his 2 slow varls with my archers... I am not a great player by any means, but this is an example of beating the randomness by just playing better.

Haeso
04-06-2013, 10:22 AM
It may not be how it's designed to be used - that's the point I'm getting at - the way it's meant to be used is fine. But it can be used in other ways that are luck centric that's the problem. Yes sometimes I win because I get lucky, sometimes they do. But I don't want luck to ever be a factor. You're right you beat that guy because he was bad, yet even though he was bad he got close to beating you because of luck then threw away his advantage.

franknarf
04-06-2013, 01:02 PM
but that is your problem.

Indeed! Why didn't anyone bring that up before? [/sarcasm]

My point in emphasizing the SS was this: if you're going to complain about randomness, put her at the top of your list. In my experience, chancy RoAs are a lot more decisive that dinky little Bloody Flails.

@Haeso: I guess this may be part of how it's designed to be used (for mind games).

loveboof
04-06-2013, 02:36 PM
Indeed! Why didn't anyone bring that up before? [/sarcasm]


My point was that just because you feel unlucky, does not mean 'randomness' caused it!

To a large extent, we make our own luck. As I said before, walking on a RoA trap can seem unlucky, but luck had nothing to do with it if your opponent properly anticipated your move (which happens the vast majority of the time - that is why they placed it where they did).

Luck is not a tangible thing; we cannot measure it.

The kind of chance involved with a successful RoA is not the same kind of chance involved with hitting that 40% shot or connecting for str damage with all your 'bloody flail' hits... It involves player choice.

Think about it for a second - as you said, RoA can be about mind games as much as anything else. We have all experienced players just skipping turns because they don't want to risk getting trapped - in this capacity it doesn't matter where you place the RoA! (I have purposefully walked on my own traps before when my targeted enemy has avoided it, just so they still think it is out there)

LEVEL 5 DWARF
04-06-2013, 02:38 PM
It's probably fair to say what most people call luck in this thread, is really just statistical probability, and if anything imo it requires a bit more thought than queen takes pawn.

i think the element of chaos, a luck based thrasher, adds even more depth to the strategy of the game. As stated before, you have to make tough decisions based on some odds rather than just 1+1=2 type of thought. I love them, i use 3 most of the time.

loveboof
04-06-2013, 02:53 PM
You're right you beat that guy because he was bad, yet even though he was bad he got close to beating you because of luck then threw away his advantage.

Yes, but the kind of luck he liked to rely on was low hit percentages - he didn't have an SS in his team. In the end, it turned out to be a more enjoyable game for me because I overcame the odds to win...

I get what you are saying though, and I might agree (personally I haven't decided if it adds something worthwhile to the game or not yet). What I am surprised about is people complaining about the SS in the same vein! Totally different imo.

franknarf
04-06-2013, 03:49 PM
@loveboof: Yes, I have thought about it for a second. And I'm pretty sure we're talking past each other. :) I'm not complaining that a risky SS trap has gotten me numerous times. The most salient chancy SS trap in my experience went my way. I certainly did not "feel unlucky" in that instance. I just think playing with chancy SS shots like this is lame, and would like people who are inclined to complain to direct their complaints in that direction as well as/instead of at thrashers. ;) Also, no one has really embraced the I-hate-random-coal-placements-too sentiment yet.

Your observation that RoA is not *inherently* random misses the point. The vein of this thread was (I thought) "let's whine about big risks that can determine games," and this fits right in. If you see no relation between the risk taken (sometimes) with an RoA and the other types of risks mentioned in this thread, well... I have no intention of pressing the point further, either way.

Arnie brings up a good point (that you can just rest), though...and, of course, you can plan ahead in anticipation of lame SS moves.

FYI, repeatedly saying "I can't believe people say x!" or "What I am surprised about is people saying x!" is a pretty poor way of engaging in a discussion.

Shiri
04-06-2013, 04:10 PM
The random coals even having a chance to be placed are pretty rare (since usually you're just getting the 2 on a varl's corner), and then when you use it on a single unit it's sometimes rank 2-3, and THEN when you use a rank 1 slag the unit has to not be standing next to anything, and THEN he needs to not basically have a clear route to the SA whether a coal goes left or right of him, and THEN you can get a random chance to add 1 strength damage to a move that's already kind of annoying.

The luck involved there is neither as blatant nor as dramatic as in thrashers, and skystrikers aren't really luck based because you can get so much work out of evaluating MANY experientially different scenarios and attempting to read your opponent's evaluation. (You can get 50/50s sometimes but they're a lot rarer and some people might not even notice them.) So it is not at all surprising to me that SA coals do not get a lot of complaints.

franknarf
04-06-2013, 04:20 PM
Sure, not surprising, but ... if they did complain about the coals, maybe they would lay off the thrasher. ;) Also, if they want to say "let me redesign the game without randomness for you because it's easy and your design is just lazy and/or not as clever as mine", they need to add this to their list of things to adjust.

loveboof
04-06-2013, 04:22 PM
@Frannarf,

I don't think expressing my opinion is a poor way of contributing to a discussion. It's not like the only thing I said was about my 'surprise' either.

I understand what you are saying better if we're talking about the risk/reward of a given action as opposed to luck. For me luck is determined by many things which are not necessarily anything to do with the gameplay mechanics. For example, when I accidentally clicked 'ready' in the match I previously mentioned, it could be said my opponent got a bit lucky...

You cannot eliminate 'luck' from a game like this (maybe even any game), however, that is a different concept to 'randomness' or RNG. IMO the placement of RoA is the complete opposite of random - 1 tile is purposefully marked as a trap. There may be an element of luck involved in whether your opponent triggers it, but there are different reasons for placing the trap in the first place - and it very rarely comes down to just 'I hope he walks this way'...

Also, I couldn't disagree more that there is anything lame about RoA. By far the most interesting ability (again this is just my opinion), and it creates complex strategies beyond hit this / avoid being hit by that.

So I suppose I may be engaging poorly with this discussion, but then you are arguing for your opinion in an equally poor way as you are not even slightly convincing me of your argument. As I said in my post to Haeso, I haven't made up my mind yet.

sweetjer
04-06-2013, 04:24 PM
This game is about contigencies. You absolutely need to plan ahead so you don't get trapped by RoA or your game doesn't come down to an RNG-off. I think both those complaints come from myopic playing. It's a highly competitive game, and as someone else stated I think Tirean is a good example of a top-tier player who plays contingencies so well RNG is a non-issue in the vast majority of his games (to the point that he's won two tourneys - consistency). I think if RNG were removed (or RoA made visible on the map) the game would be a lot simpler, a lot more deterministic, and frankly, less interesting. I pick up bloodbowl every now and again and ultimately quit due to the huuuuge RNG factor in that game. It bothers me. It makes my blood pressure raise. But I'm not going to say that the game needs an overhaul because RNG. I'm going to say I don't enjoy the mechanics and it's not for me. And then I'll go back to it cause for some reason it always pulls me back in... Point is, that game is built around RNG and it's still competitive...it's just not for everyone. I don't mean to sound like "hey if you don't like it get out" but there are other games out there that can suit your strategy needs. Not a lot cause, well...RNG is in most of them except chess.

franknarf
04-06-2013, 04:38 PM
@loveboof: Here's what I meant. Civilized discussion 101: don't discount or insult anyone's argument or point of view. And I don't mean to do that to you by mentioning this. If I fail to convince you, fine, but that's an entirely different matter.

Here's an example of what not to do "I can't believe that some people equate ridiculing others' opinions with stating their own opinions! Totally different imo."

Haeso
04-06-2013, 05:50 PM
Being better than your opponent to the extent that the limited impact luck can have on the game is irrelevant does nothing to address the fact that there is luck involved, sweetjer.

Like I said I respect that some people enjoy these elements - just don't try and tell me it's not luck from time to time that determines a game because that's demonstrably the case is all I ask.

As far as playing something else - I still play chess frequently. I just know this game would be better to me if it were even more deterministic, determinism to me is the pinnacle for competitive games, I do not enjoy competing in games heavily determined by random elements. This game has luck based elements, but they're not so common/powerful that most games are swung one way or the other by them in too often so I'm okay with it. I just know I would prefer the game without those elements, I respect that other people like those things though.

raven2134
04-06-2013, 09:41 PM
I feel that the thread is now generating subtler discussions and nuances on the idea of luck and random number generator in the game. In this light, I'd like to summarize and delineate the discussion.

OP and Original discussion of the thread:
1. Randomness of Bloody Flail
2. Chance/dice rolls/RNG of str<armor attacks

The thrasher's ability was the focus of discussion for a while, and people had differing opinions/feelings on how much this could determine the game. The main response to this was that the thrasher's ability should not be played or depended upon to win the game.

A parallel discussion to this was whether the thrasher ability rewarded tactical positioning. This may or may not occur due to the miss chance on the final hit affected by a bonus condition. However, the threat and potential is there.Without the bonus damage, the ability is still willpower efficient and good effective damage, especially when TH is maimed.

Bottomline for TH: The unit's nature is random. Working as intended. No need to buff the unit.

On the dice rolls for chance strength attacks, people were voicing how the damage of chance willpower shots was too much when the target was hit. Also, they voiced how a critical luck shot could win the game.

The response to this was,
1. The mechanic is not consistent enough to allow a player who only gambles to win consistently or at a good rate.
2. The mechanic is open to both players
3. It speeds up the game and allows for comeback
4. There has been no working and comprehensive suggestion of how to change this (yes some have suggested having total miss or willpower-accuracy, however these have not fleshed out the actual benefits to the game, besides changing the chance to hit mechanic. This must answer how it makes the gameplay better, besides "so it's more deterministic". How would the game play in general, compared to now?)

This aspect of the discussion has revolved around the degree of determinism in the game. The long and short of it is, the game is highly deterministic. So much so that at least 90-95% of matches are determined without any chance mechanics, based on anecdotal evidence and player experience. However, the issue boils down to player preference.

I am of the opinion that the discussion of chance mechanics vs competitiveness of the game holds no/little water. There are a number of real world established games that involve high degree of chance, besides skill (poker is 1 example, MTG TCG is another). This generally means TBSF can be competitive even with chance mechanics, so long as the design and implementation are good and it works.

An emerging discussion is the Sky striker and RoA placement. This has been likened to RNG when the using (defending) player and the approaching (attacking) player have a % chance to succeed with their respective play. This is expressed as 1/x paths where they may be caught in the trap. There are varying scenarios, but I will leave it at that for simplicity.

When there is 1 path the defender achieves 100% success in blocking/defending that area of approach and access to target (the attacker has 0% to achieve his desired play). When there are 2 or more paths, the defender has a 1/x chance (say 1/2 or 50%) to trap the approaching player, and the approaching player has 50% chance to reach his target.

Now, I believe this is a different and more nuanced discussion of chance in TBSF.

We should be distinguishing elements of randomness/luck/chance where the system/server is the one deciding the outcome - i.e. RNG, and also elements where player choice, and chaos give rise to chance play situations.

The difference is that in the second case, it is not some program dictating what happens. It is really real life chance. The same can be said to apply to the rest of the game. Which of the 6 units or however many are currently on the board/in range will be attacked? It often happens there is the chance the enemy attacks another unit which is better for you.

If we were to try to express this quantitatively, this would look like 1/x (target units on the board), but with a rubric/weights also for whatever decision process the attacking player is doing internally. This is subjective (yes there may be an optimal move, the one that should be taken, there is no guarantee this will be the one chosen, as this requires perfect information. Decision tree and expected outcome are tools used due to the reality of imperfect information. Point is, because this is subjective and the player is only approximating the best move, the targeting can be seen as chance).

Any game, in the end can be broken down into whatever statistics that could make sense. At the end of the day however, whatever game it is, is usually more than numbers, and the danger is abstracting too far.

TLDR: This thread discusses 2 veins of chance in TBSF, 1. RNG 2. Chance in situational plays. I am of the opinion determinism is never 100%. And the discussion is boiling down to preference. I am also of the opinion we should be keeping RoA and the SS out of this discussion.

Luck/chance is a part of the game. I believe Jer is trying to say, it does not determine the game. No need to go into technicality about how many matches end up being determined by luck (even freak occurrences happen in deterministic games, cos it's still human beings playing - we're not computers playing each other). I am also feeling that while this discussion is interesting, if this is going to boil down to player preference, I'll be closing this thread soon. I would have preferred the thread drift off naturally, but we can be discussing other more productive things. Yes, player preference is important, but if the suggestion/change will only benefit 1 portion of players to the detriment of another portion (because it's a preference) then we'll never have an end to this discussion. We can be focusing on whether it's degree is acceptable to the majority of the playerbase, and if not, how to make it acceptable.

No more RNG/determinism black and white, please.

raven2134
04-06-2013, 09:57 PM
And yes. I think a visible RoA is pointless. No one would ever be caught in it if that was the case. People get caught in it now because:

1. They didn't know it was there/forgot it was there (obviously)
2. They needed to make sure where it was, to enact a critical play.

The second becomes void if you no longer need to "fish" for the trap. I needn't say anything regarding the first.

Haseo, I don't understand at all how this suggestion would be workable for the skystriker's ability. I would only see this be usable if rank 2/3 shot muliple arrows, but showed you where they trapped.

loveboof
04-06-2013, 11:12 PM
That is a very balanced summation Raven, and I completely agree with everything you have said. :)

____

Whenever I think I'm losing, I'll take risks I otherwise wouldn't to see if I can turn it around.

percent shots are just built into the game; I think you'll need to design a game of your own from the ground up if you want to remove the randomness.

I, too, wasn't crazy about the randomness when I first realized it was there in miss chances months ago, and had really expected/hoped for a game with less of it. At this point, however, I don't think you can design the game without it.

Personally, I'm surprised more people don't whine about the "randomness" of the rain of arrows. I've seen that decide far more games than a lucky or unlucky flail.

@loveboof: Here's what I meant. Civilized discussion 101: don't discount or insult anyone's argument or point of view. And I don't mean to do that to you by mentioning this. If I fail to convince you, fine, but that's an entirely different matter.

@Franknarf,

I am not discounting your argument, simply stating that I don't find it persuasive because I disagree with you that RoA ultimately comes down to 'randomness'.

It seems that your position in this is that you are resolved to having an element of randomness in the game, and have even brought it into your play style on occasion. So why are you drawing an issue with the SS's ability?

As I said, I don't think RoA is particularly comparable to other random abilities or moves, and brings it's own unique strategic aspect to the game which is interesting and wholly beneficial...

franknarf
04-06-2013, 11:45 PM
Anyway, for the record, (i) yup, you do understand my position; and (ii) I do agree with you, raven, et al that RoA is not "random" but "risky" and as such somewhat fits in with complaints like the OP's (that skill does not always determine the outcome).

I was saying the RoA was chancy and maybe I also said random outside of quotes somewhere, but I really should have referred to it as risky. I reckon that the critics in this thread would probably endorse a statement like "In a game where skill always determines the outcome, risk can have no role!"

I have no objection to leaving it out of this conversation, but think it a little more interesting than the discussion preceding it, which mostly amounted to folks saying "take out the randomness" or "you can't take out the randomness", with me in the latter camp as you've noted :). Long ago (like November-ish), I was resigned to the presence of randomness. Lately, I appreciate that element of the game. My third quote there was meant as an expression of sympathy with newcomers who may have had the same early impression I did.

EDIT: Just to clarify, when someone puts a word in quotes, like "this", they don't mean for the word to be taken literally. In the third quote above, I put quotes around "randomness" to indicate that some might refer to RoA as random, but I didn't want to endorse that usage. Maybe that threw you off my meaning.

Haeso
04-07-2013, 12:11 AM
And yes. I think a visible RoA is pointless. No one would ever be caught in it if that was the case. People get caught in it now because:

1. They didn't know it was there/forgot it was there (obviously)
2. They needed to make sure where it was, to enact a critical play.

The second becomes void if you no longer need to "fish" for the trap. I needn't say anything regarding the first.

Haseo, I don't understand at all how this suggestion would be workable for the skystriker's ability. I would only see this be usable if rank 2/3 shot muliple arrows, but showed you where they trapped.

1 Arrow at R1, visible. 2 arrows at R2, once one triggers all disappear. 3 arrows at r3. Without any strength bonuses or 100% hit chance as this is significantly more likely to stun someone.

raven2134
04-07-2013, 12:37 AM
As I said, what would be the point of rank 1 besides blocking 1 square? Same as the other 2 ranks. It's not a trap, it would be a blocker. You may as well just make it make the square impassable, cos a rational player who knows where the trap is will have no reason to walk over it.

If we went with the visible route, I was envisioning, rank 1, 1 arrow invisible. rank 2 +1 visible arrow. rank 3 +2 visible arrows.

Whether all come down or not when the single tile triggers could work.

I personally don't see the issue with this kind of "risky" play being possible in the game, where you have a 50% or greater chance of making it to a target vs getting caught in an RoA.

It's like a buzzerbeater hail mary 3 point shot in basketball, and they're not changing the rules to disallow that.

Haeso
04-07-2013, 01:22 AM
As I said, what would be the point of rank 1 besides blocking 1 square? Same as the other 2 ranks. It's not a trap, it would be a blocker. You may as well just make it make the square impassable, cos a rational player who knows where the trap is will have no reason to walk over it.

If we went with the visible route, I was envisioning, rank 1, 1 arrow invisible. rank 2 +1 visible arrow. rank 3 +2 visible arrows.

Whether all come down or not when the single tile triggers could work.

I personally don't see the issue with this kind of "risky" play being possible in the game, where you have a 50% or greater chance of making it to a target vs getting caught in an RoA.

It's like a buzzerbeater hail mary 3 point shot in basketball, and they're not changing the rules to disallow that.

Why does it need to block more than one square to be effective? With good positioning blocking one square is denying the enemy an attack, much like the provoker does, it's immensely powerful. And I have no problem with strong abilities, what I have a problem with is elements that are out of my control deciding my fate.

Your analogy is off, that's far more akin to pillage rules than anything. Plus what does basketball even have to do with the game to begin with? Do you want me to list the changes they've made over the years to basketball? Or another sport?

It's perfectly fine if they want to leave things as is, it's their game and it's not a big enough issue for me to not enjoy the game - it's fine that you enjoy luck based elements in your game, I however do not. That's all I'm saying.

raven2134
04-07-2013, 02:06 AM
You misunderstand both my points.

I am saying the ability is a trap. A trap is meant to catch a target. Something walks into RoA and is thereby caught. If you make the arrow visible, then it ceases to be a trap. It becomes only a blocker. It renders the tile impassable. The ability should be re-worked therefore to reflect this.

You may argue why not keep it the way it is...cos people can walk into it. And I was saying...what possible rational scenario could there be, to purposely walk into a stunning arrow? There is none. Which means the ability would work so that the opponent cannot move over the specified tile instead.

In terms of ability balance, arguably acting as a blocker (i.e. like a wall/post) may be just as effective and still good compared to a trap (which causes the turn loss). The trade-off between the 2 is the certainty and how this affect gameplay.

I am speaking from a design perspective Haseo, regarding the change.

On the second point, I am attempting to illustrate how in other real life games/sports, there is no such thing as 100% determinism. If you're stuck in a situation where 50% chance you reach target, kill it, or 50% chance you get trapped, and then get killed, it feels to me it's not much different from taking that hail mary last second shot in a basketball game which makes the 1 point difference and wins you the game.

Is that a sure shot? No. Do you have an advantage because the ball/turn is in your possession? YES, you do.

I do not think my analogy is off. In the same vein, if we wanted more determinism in that major gamble situation in basketball, then you'd change the rule to say "no more 3 point shots" or even further, "no more shots outside the semi-circle." Well there you go, we've limited the area in which shots count and such an action can win the game.

Same way in which if we show where RoA is, similar "chance play" (I am not referring to RNG/server determined actions) will no longer be of concern.

Part of what I was getting at however, was questioning the extent to which we want to apply this "determinism."

In my breadth of time with the game (since day 1 of beta), I have also been in situations where I know what unit my opponent needs to attack to win the game. But he still has 2-3 choices. In such a scenario he has at least a 33-50% chance to get it right and win. He attacks one and subsequently wins/loses. I do not see the difference in the way RoA can and does work, in uncertain situations.

Does this mean we should also be making this more deterministic? I can understand when the element we are talking about is system determined (RNG). But aren't we going too far when we're also calling player created situations, actual strategy, also chance elements one ponders removing?

Let's look at even another game. Starcraft/Starcraft II, one game which is I think is very deterministic and highly skill dependent. There are various builds and strategies for the game. And each with its inherent pros and cons. Arguably one will say "well, if you scout, then you know what to do."

Well, yes and no, this hasn't stopped the highest level of play go with the riskiest and craziest strategies from time to time, from surprise rushes, forward barracks/infantry, early expands, specifically timed attacks, which all still rely both on skill (scouting, macro, micro, etc.), and chance (going by on the imperfect information sometimes - and yes people have done counters by build-feinting).

Haeso
04-07-2013, 02:19 AM
You misunderstand both my points.

I am saying the ability is a trap. A trap is meant to catch a target. Something walks into RoA and is thereby caught. If you make the arrow visible, then it ceases to be a trap. It becomes only a blocker. It renders the tile impassable. The ability should be re-worked therefore to reflect this.


You may argue why not keep it the way it is...cos people can walk into it. And I was saying...what possible rational scenario could there be, to purposely walk into a stunning arrow? There is none. Which means the ability would work so that the opponent cannot move over the specified tile instead.

I step on traps all the time on purpose, the reason? To get closer to my target. Generally speaking it only deals 1 str damage, often times it's worth taking the 1 damage to get several squares closer rather than resting.


In terms of ability balance, arguably acting as a blocker (i.e. like a wall/post) may be just as effective and still good compared to a trap (which causes the turn loss). The trade-off between the 2 is the certainty and how this affect gameplay.

I am speaking from a design perspective Haseo, regarding the change.


Who isn't? I wouldn't propose an alternative just for the sake of an alternative.


On the second point, I am attempting to illustrate how in other real life games/sports, there is no such thing as 100% determinism. If you're stuck in a situation where 50% chance you reach target, kill it, or 50% chance u get trapped, and then get killed, it feels to me it's not much different from taking that hail mary last second shot in a basketball game which makes the 1 point difference and wins you the game.

Why is this desirable to you? What is interesting about the ability to skew the results of a match that is independent of the skill of the two players?


I do not think my analogy is off. In the same vein, if we wanted more determinism in that major gamble situation in basketball, then you'd change the rule to say "no more 3 point shots" or even further, "no more shots outside the semi-circle." Well there you go, we've limited the area in which shots count and such an action can win the game.

Your analogy is more akin to simply limiting the options to attack or not attack. I'm not proposing you take away the ability for the SS to do anything but attack. I'm proposing a different attack.


Same way in which if we show where RoA is, similar "chance play" (I am not referring to RNG/server determined actions) will no longer be of concern.

Part of what I was getting at however, was questioning the extent to which we want to apply this "determinism."

In my breadth of time with the game (since day 1 of beta), I have also been in situation where I know what unit my opponent needs to attack to win the game. But he still has 2-3 choices. In such a scenario he has at least a 33-50% chance to get it right and win. He attacks one and subsequently wins/loses.

Does this mean we should also be making this more deterministic? I can understand when the element we are talking about is system determined (RNG). But aren't we going to far when we're also calling player created situations, actual strategy, also chance elements we should be removing?

To me, under no circumstance should a match be determined by a coin toss Raven. Whether the computer or the player is making the toss is irrelevant. You cannot know where the RoA is, you can only guess. Are some squares more likely to be trapped than others? Of course. Does it make it any less of a guessing game? Nope.

It's just... wrong. It would be like having an invisible pawn in chess. There's no reliable way to counter it unless the 5x5 area around the skystriker leaves only one possible location. It's simply not fun to play with or against as an invisible trap.

Perhaps if you're determined for it to be invisible and not a blocker, remove the stun element and instead increase the damage. Have it inflict 2/4/6 armor break then a regular strength hit. It would give you your coin toss and weaken the ability to the point where it's no longer so easy to change the course of an entire game with it.

I'm more than happy to accept the situation as is if Arnie and the rest of the guys prefer it this way, I'm just offering some basic information and an opinion derived from them. The game is not wholly deterministic. I would prefer that it were.

Played another 20~ games today, so it's not like it's ruining the game for me or anything, I merely aim to share my thoughts on the matter. What the devs do with these thoughts is fine either way. I certainly don't expect any changes.

raven2134
04-07-2013, 03:00 AM
Haseo, why would you step on it if you knew exactly where it was. If I were trying to reach my target I would step on the square before the trap.

On the second point, why bother keeping the ability a trap, if it's not a trap, but a blocker. This is an intuition thing. We had so many details in the game change just cos of "does it make intuitive sense." I am saying if you're proposing to make the RoA visible, we should change how things display. It should just act like a post. It should no longer permit people to path over the tile at all. Again for the reasons I have laid out.

(*You're feelings regarding the RoA mechanic are also subjective: "not fun to play with/against", they're how you feel, not necessarily how the rest of the playerbase does. Should we want to verify this, a survey/poll would be ideal - you may of course be right or not).

Third, it's an analogy. It's mean to be similar but not exactly the same. The same analogy actually also applies to the % chance willpower attacks.

Fourth, how is skill still not involved? In a basketball game, who has the ball in those last 5 seconds to make that clutch shot? It's either your best player or your best shooter. Same vein, if I'm a skilled player and I can't cover all my approach paths, I will deduce and use my intuition to try to predict where to place my RoA to catch my opponent. Alternatively, if I'm on the approach, I will try to predict how my opponent is placing the RoA. Yes, it does boil down to a mindgame. And yes, at the highest level of play, this is the same as having equal chances on all approaches. Well I don't see this much different from widely popular and competitive sports outside of TBSF (the reason I keep illustrating these is to point out there may be NO NEED to change RoA - there's also little need to keep on with the counterpoints if you're fine with it as is, as you've been saying). In other sports, it's as much as a toss-up whether that star player will pull-off that clutch play. Sometimes they will, sometimes they won't. It's still those players that have the best chance to do it.

And I would still argue, there are factors affecting games, outside the game itself which affect the game's outcome. There's never really pure determinism. Who can predict if an injury will occur in any sport? Or weather conditions? Or even player condition?

I will also caution, TBSF isn't chess. We compare it a lot because of many similarities. But it's betterthat the 2 games are different. Cos hey, if you wanted to play chess, you'd go off to play chess, right?


To me, under no circumstance should a match be determined by a coin toss Raven.

If 2 players have exactly the same skill, make no mistakes, and end up playing evenly...the game will eventually boil down to who has more luck. Even if all that "luck" was who started first.

And seriously man, you would have hated MTG, instants and traps abound in that game, you can have trash starting hands and a sequence of poor draws, and yet it's one of the biggest and most fun games out there :).

Skaer
04-07-2013, 05:44 AM
The thing about TBS:F is, due to the first hit advantage making the first mistake can only be countered by making a much larger mistake later.

I believe you are overestimating the first hit advantage. It largely depends on which units you expose to the possible first hit and you can further control it by making builds specificly tolerant to being crippled by the first hit.

For example, I play dual warrior/dual raidmaster team. My raidmasters have their ability to largely absorb incoming damage, and if the enemy still manages to maim them with the first hit (for example, using a really strong warrior with exertion) they still remain useful with 3 armor break.

My warriors, while being very sensitive to taking the first strike, have exertion to avoid it and have the raiders to block possible attackers. These two factors pretty much eliminate the possibility of them taking the first hit, and making a mistake in this avoidance is rather unlikely because of the simple and reliable mechanics involved.

And the bottom line here is that unless your opponent plays reckless, you have to extend to land the first hit. Whichever unit you extend becomes a subject to focus fire and that can be just enough to cripple the unit far more than it crippled its target, and without having to expose anything to do so.

Leartes
04-07-2013, 08:46 AM
Skaer, I just lost my reply to your post. Suffice to say I think your team has no problem at all with randomness and is therefore irrelevant to this discussion.



If we were to try to express this quantitatively, this would look like 1/x (target units on the board), but with a rubric/weights also for whatever decision process the attacking player is doing internally. This is subjective (yes there may be an optimal move, the one that should be taken, there is no guarantee this will be the one chosen, as this requires perfect information. Decision tree and expected outcome are tools used due to the reality of imperfect information. Point is, because this is subjective and the player is only approximating the best move, the targeting can be seen as chance).


I think this is much more important and error. The assumption "x options and one move to block 1 equals 1/x chance" is completely off for a couple of reasons. First you can usually maximize your move to block several path. Then every path has different number of spots that block it. The resulting problem is non-trivial. I guess doing the proper math and assigning correct weights accourding to success probability of all path it boils down to "doesn't matter what you choose" but a) humans are bad random number generators and b) no one can do the math in 45s. So in the end there is significant space for skill on choosing the correct spot and choosing the correct path. (both algorithmically)

Then there is the other level of reading human patterns. I doubt anyone in this game has random.org open during play uses it to properly randomize their moves. In many games it is worth it, here it isn't imo. This tells me 2 things. a) being not worth it to use proper randomness, this randomness can't be too influantial in this game and b) every players has behavioral patterns that a skilled player can exploit. Skilled here means "skilled in reading and guessing human patterns".
e.g. I played several games vs new players that used a SS. I know they were knew because they had bad stats on units and made the obvious bad opening moves. When I see this on a player I play for the first time I assume he will do the straight forward strategy and I can abuse that. In all except one games vs such players with SS I could evade all arrows by guessing their position correctly and moving around them/not moving. Then there was one such player, he was not good in general, but he moved his SS and shot likely and unlikely spots alike. He hit me 3 out of 3 times. First time I moved closer then neccessary for the spot he chose and I ran into it. From that point on I kept attention and really tried to guess the spot correct, he was just better than me. When I assumpted he trapped the only attack path for my varl it turned out he didnt but protect his backfield from my backbiter. Then I thought he blocked a tricky strong move and instead he just blocked the obvious move. I don't think this was luck all along. Despite being bad at the basic tactics he outwitted me really hard with the sky striker.

For reference, there are people that consistently have an above average winrate in games like rock-paper-scissors. People that consistently outwit others in fighting games. People that just do better in picking an appropriate sc2 strategy before they have sufficiant scouting information. Poker has a amount of strategies that require you to fold/call/raise with some % chance to obfuscate your strategy while maximizing value. This is a skill that can be tested and it is not random at all.

loveboof
04-07-2013, 08:53 AM
Just to clarify, when someone puts a word in quotes, like "this", they don't mean for the word to be taken literally. In the third quote above, I put quotes around "randomness" to indicate that some might refer to RoA as random, but I didn't want to endorse that usage. Maybe that threw you off my meaning.
No. What threw me off your apparent meaning was not the use of quotation marks, but rather the use of your fully fledged sentences:


I fully support more complaining about SS randomness (and I'm not being sarcastic).

if you're going to complain about randomness, put her [the SS] at the top of your list.

Now if you could stop being so patronising I would appreciate it. Maybe you could add that to your 101 course on 'civilised discussion'? ...

raven2134
04-07-2013, 09:00 AM
Leartes, I realize the mathematical representation is inaccurate/overly simplified. It was a means of illustrating the point in the simplest manner. Which is why I said I'd keep it simple/just consider that scenario.

Second, I'm not suggesting humans act like computers. I was pointing to the fact that if we were to take this discussion to the extreme, you could based on some criteria for weights/scoring, and whatever other proper modeling, turn the game (and many other games), into math. And I was going for, where do we draw the line?

And yes Leartes, that's also what I'm getting at with how RoA play and gameplay behavior isn't really "random" and we have so many cases of games where similar things occur, like the ones you gave :).

franknarf
04-07-2013, 09:20 AM
@loveboof: That's why I said "maybe." It wasn't meant to be patronising, though I can see how it looks that way. It was actually a throwaway thought after re-reading your post (hence the "EDIT"). I'm not trying to start a fight here (though I would welcome one in-game!), but to reiterate: I thought it wasn't helping your arguments to routinely attach "I can't believe these guys over here say such things" at the beginning or end. I was hoping to improve the tenor of the conversation by dissuading you from using such empty and dismissive comments. Obviously, you disagree, so please go ahead and continue doing it.

I wasn't sure it threw you off, but I thought it might've done. I agree that I used "random" and "chancy" wrongly, though I didn't trawl my old quotes to see exactly how and just went off of the quotes you provided.

loveboof
04-07-2013, 10:12 AM
@Franknarf,

Well fair enough - I'm no Grudgewielder! lol

I said I was surprised people were complaining about the SS in this thread because... And then went on to explain how I see her ability as not random. It seems we now somewhat agree on that point and overall our opinion on the issue of randomness in the game at all is not so different. So I guess we have come to a sort of accord?

franknarf
04-07-2013, 10:24 AM
Accord reached. You may now return to your regularly-scheduled on-topic conversation!

sweetjer
04-07-2013, 01:57 PM
And I have no problem with strong abilities, what I have a problem with is elements that are out of my control deciding my fate.

As it pertains to RoA, and imo RNG as well, you are certainly in control of your fate. You can see the SS on the board. The UI even tells you a trap is down when its fired. You can think ahead to avoid a game-changing RoA play by your opponent. This entire argument (that RoA is random and thusly reducing the competitive potential of the game) seems to neglect the fact that we aren't just running numbers and concepts against each other. You have the ability to think ahead and, most importantly, position your units in a way that accounts for these contigencies. This isn't "bypassing the randomness" it's learning, understanding, and adapting to the inherent mechanics of the game. I think these sort of risk/reward/contingency considerations are, frankly, the best part. The RoA mindgame is one of my favorite emergent scenarios. It really sounds like you're weighing the validity of TBS:F as a competitive endeavor against chess or go, and in the world of computer strategy games it's simply not effective. If you can provide me an example of a competitive strategy title that does not have a similar risk/reward mechanism re: traps/RNG/etc, please let me know. I'd like to try it. That said, I can think of 10 strategy titles off the top of my head that implement RNG in a less elegant way and still remain competitive (Civilization stacks seems like a good example here to me). I'm not trying to discount your argument but, as I've said and as raven reiterated, this really seems to boil down to personal preference rather than an inherent design flaw that invalidates competiveness.

Haeso
04-07-2013, 02:00 PM
Haseo, why would you step on it if you knew exactly where it was. If I were trying to reach my target I would step on the square before the trap. because you can't know the exact location only the general idea. Again... It's invisible remember, guessing game.


On the second point, why bother keeping the ability a trap, if it's not a trap, but a blocker. This is an intuition thing. We had so many details in the game change just cos of "does it make intuitive sense." I am saying if you're proposing to make the RoA visible, we should change how things display. It should just act like a post. It should no longer permit people to path over the tile at all. Again for the reasons I have laid out.
Because as a trap you still have the option to go over it, if it simply makes the square impassable it becomes infinitely more powerful. With the trap you can step on it and be a square closer, impassable means 2 SS can make 2 of the maps impossible to move around on for varls. Also you know the player who fires the ROA can move over it as a trap, right? Plus abilities like the SRM's knockback can eat traps without wasting a turn, only taking one damage.


(*You're feelings regarding the RoA mechanic are also subjective: "not fun to play with/against", they're how you feel, not necessarily how the rest of the playerbase does. Should we want to verify this, a survey/poll would be ideal - you may of course be right or not). I never suggested everyone else feels this way, I've been very careful to repeatedly say this is my opinion not everyone's opinion. I don't wish to speak for anyone but myself.



Fourth, how is skill still not involved? In a basketball game, who has the ball in those last 5 seconds to make that clutch shot? It's either your best player or your best shooter. Same vein, if I'm a skilled player and I can't cover all my approach paths, I will deduce and use my intuition to try to predict where to place my RoA to catch my opponent. Alternatively, if I'm on the approach, I will try to predict how my opponent is placing the RoA. Yes, it does boil down to a mindgame. And yes, at the highest level of play, this is the same as having equal chances on all approaches. Well I don't see this much different from widely popular and competitive sports outside of TBSF (the reason I keep illustrating these is to point out there may be NO NEED to change RoA - there's also little need to keep on with the counterpoints if you're fine with it as is, as you've been saying). In other sports, it's as much as a toss-up whether that star player will pull-off that clutch play. Sometimes they will, sometimes they won't. It's still those players that have the best chance to do it.
I see it plenty different from wildly popular popular and competitive sports - there's no invisible players in basketball, if someone's going to try and take a shot you can block him from taking that shot and you can block him from passing to another player who might take that shot.

You know where the ball is in a sports play, you don't know where they're going to go beforehand yes, but you can see them as they do it. The RoA is like a player disappearing from vision for multiple seconds then appearing somewhere else. Sure you can guess where he might go... but that would be hilariously unfair all the same.


And I would still argue, there are factors affecting games, outside the game itself which affect the game's outcome. There's never really pure determinism. Who can predict if an injury will occur in any sport? Or weather conditions? Or even player condition? And in TBSF your starting lineup gives you an advantage or disadvantage depending on the opponents team as well, no denying certain units are better than others in certain situations and there's no way to predict what your opponent will field. That's an integral part of the game, it's not a minor thing. It's in the same vein while yes the starting lineups have advantages/disadvantages against certain compositions, the alternative isn't realistic. Simply changing RoA by comparison is a small change and within the realm of possibility.


I will also caution, TBSF isn't chess. We compare it a lot because of many similarities. But it's betterthat the 2 games are different. Cos hey, if you wanted to play chess, you'd go off to play chess, right? I do.




If 2 players have exactly the same skill, make no mistakes, and end up playing evenly...the game will eventually boil down to who has more luck. Even if all that "luck" was who started first. Luckily two people almost never have exactly the same skill. My whole point is that several elements are luck based, RoA however is the worst offender and easiest change. Though I would advocate for willpower strength to add accuracy if below armor instead of straight damage as well, it's rarely if ever as game changing as an RoA.


And seriously man, you would have hated MTG, instants and traps abound in that game, you can have trash starting hands and a sequence of poor draws, and yet it's one of the biggest and most fun games out there :).
I played MTG for years mostly because my friends played, I never really enjoyed it as much as I enjoyed the excuse to hang out. I had a deck that could win on turn 1 or 2 20%~ of the time. Had another deck ages ago that was circle of protection, after about a dozen turns I was generally invincible against my opponent, especially if I tailored the deck to their colors in a 1v1. Most people don't have enough disenchants to counter the CoPs and my own counterspells.

Magic was and is a broken game. I can see why people enjoy it, I however do not. There are too many variables for it not to, I had more fun building my decks than playing the game really.

Haeso
04-07-2013, 02:03 PM
Sweetjer you can't avoid losing a turn due to trap on greathall or whichever one has those 4 corner posts, on the other maps it's less obnoxious, but there it's easy to either force a varl to rest or get stunned. Either way it costs a turn or a turn and one damage of a varl for a turn of an SS which is inherently less valuable. Plus a 1 str SS is just as effective at preventing the turn of said varl as a full str one.

sweetjer
04-07-2013, 02:27 PM
I try not to flaunt my experience in these types of conversations, but I'm going to do so because you seem to be responding as though I don't understand how the game works or the mechanics I'm addressing in my response...so here are my credentials: I held the top spot in beta during a number of builds of the game (not as consitently as Tirean or Raven, but I was there nonetheless). I have 700 games under my belt and 500 hours of client time. I know the maps and the mechanics. I am speaking with that knowledge in mind. I still disagree with your assessment. Proper positioning and play can mitigate the RoA's "game-changing" potential. That's the crux of the argument, and I maintain it.

Haeso
04-07-2013, 03:39 PM
I try not to flaunt my experience in these types of conversations, but I'm going to do so because you seem to be responding as though I don't understand how the game works or the mechanics I'm addressing in my response...so here are my credentials: I held the top spot in beta during a number of builds of the game (not as consitently as Tirean or Raven, but I was there nonetheless). I have 700 games under my belt and 500 hours of client time. I know the maps and the mechanics. I am speaking with that knowledge in mind. I still disagree with your assessment. Proper positioning and play can mitigate the RoA's "game-changing" potential. That's the crux of the argument, and I maintain it.

You're ignoring what the ability can do by saying 'don't put yourself in a position where it can be used like that'. As if you're playing against a fixed opponent who cannot do anything but follow a choreographed set of moves. You're playing against a human opponent, not a predictable AI. Your opponent can put you in a position where you cannot avoid it. Namely on the fire pit map and the one with the four pillars. The best option in many cases is simply to not attack because of this ability. But that's fine, I'm arguing for that. You'd read my posts I'm talking about the late game where it's not about that. It's about when there are tons of open spaces and it's a guessing game about where he put it rather than a logical location like it is in the early game where space is at a premium.

If you want to tout your experience as saying this isn't accurate, then there's no discussion left to be had with you. I've shown situations where it's essentially a coin toss who wins or lose because of the ability, if your entire argument that says this is okay, is to just play so much better than your opponent that losing an entire turn to a maimed SS isn't able to determine the course of a game then I can't have a reasonable discussion about the efficacy of the ability.

"Be so much better that the problem isn't a problem." Isn't a solution. Even if you are so good that it cannot impact the outcome of the game it does not change the power of the ability in the late game to flip a coin and cost a unit a turn without any recourse just a guessing game.

Leartes
04-07-2013, 04:05 PM
A couple of things: Magic might not be the game for everyone, but it is a game played by a huge competitive scene with big events all over the world. I don't think it is a broken game just because it has a little bit of randomness. You won't win any tourney with your 20% first turn win quota.

Now RoA in late game. Honestly, it is a pretty weak ability in most lategame sitations. With lots of possible path picking the correct one consistently requires imba reading skills - I might well say it is impossible to consistently win end-game with RoA. Even winning once with it is not really that easy. You have to keep in mind, you give up a move and a wp for the chance to stop someones turn. If he does not step on the arrow you lost out completely. In contrast to that you can just shoot for a few str dmg or you can break armor for 2+ in that turn. RoA someone in lategame for the win is a super rare desperation move that can make an awesome comeback. Doing that consistently is pretty much impossible. (In contrast to e.g. kiting varl with a siege archer in lategame for the win).
Finally, if you still think placing/evading arrows is no skill I can make plenty of examples where picking good moves is neither random nor trivial.

franknarf
04-07-2013, 04:08 PM
I think at this point y'all should record and comment some games if you want to win folks over to your point of view.

@Haeso: Maybe this is the sort of game where you can never say "I can force a win from this position," but instead is always about odds. If you want to increase the odds that you win from 90 to 95%, you'd better find a way to take out that SS before she can do stuff. If you can't eliminate that threat, in a sense you haven't won yet; you're still in too-close-to-call territory.

In fully deterministic games with full information (meaning you can see all of your opponent's moves) like chess the endgame is just about going through the motions. This is not one of those games, but that doesn't mean it cannot be regarded as competitive; plenty of competitive games have random elements and imperfect information. Go best of three or best of five to determine the better player.

Haeso
04-07-2013, 04:13 PM
A couple of things: Magic might not be the game for everyone, but it is a game played by a huge competitive scene with big events all over the world. I don't think it is a broken game just because it has a little bit of randomness. You won't win any tourney with your 20% first turn win quota.

I wasn't saying it was imbalanced that you could do it (though I think it is.), I was saying it wasn't fun. Either to play against or with.



Now RoA in late game. Honestly, it is a pretty weak ability in most lategame sitations. With lots of possible path picking the correct one consistently requires imba reading skills - I might well say it is impossible to consistently win end-game with RoA.You're missing my point, sorry if I was unclear. I know it's not a very good ability late game Leartes, I'm not saying it's overpowered! I apologize if that was how this appeared. I think it's a terrible ability late game! A 1/4 chance at best of landing late game without ranged taunt or an SRM knockback to ensure it is awful. But that doesn't mean that the 1/4 chance of it working being entirely game changing should be acceptable. I don't think an invisible trap can ever be anything but obnoxious to balance. You'll lose the majority of games playing like that, just like you will lose the majority by trying risky willpower boosted STR hits! But that doesn't make the games you win by doing it acceptable to me.



Even winning once with it is not really that easy. You have to keep in mind, you give up a move and a wp for the chance to stop someones turn. If he does not step on the arrow you lost out completely. In contrast to that you can just shoot for a few str dmg or you can break armor for 2+ in that turn. RoA someone in lategame for the win is a super rare desperation move that can make an awesome comeback. Doing that consistently is pretty much impossible. (In contrast to e.g. kiting varl with a siege archer in lategame for the win).

It's not how often you win with it leartes, it's that it can enable you to win when you otherwise should not be able. Again I apologize if I have made it sound like I think the ability is too good. I don't. I think it's not very good at all late game, I simply take issue with it's potential power - I don't think how rare it is it work is a fair trade off. Yes you'll lose most games trying to play like that, but you'll win some of them by getting lucky occasionally as opposed to outplaying your opponent. I dislike that mechanic a great deal.


Finally, if you still think placing/evading arrows is no skill I can make plenty of examples where picking good moves is neither random nor trivial.
I too can look at the 5x5 area around a SS and determine the rough probability of each square having the RoA in it - but that doesn't change I cannot know and it is still a guessing game. Does this not make sense?

sweetjer
04-07-2013, 04:29 PM
IMO if you are being trapped by RoA in the lategame you did something wrong. You didn't bait her WP or you didn't kill the unit off entirely as you should have. You allowed a situation where the RoA gives advantage for another unit to follow up, etc. I've played a lot of late-game RoA matches, most of the ones I've won I won because of a miscalc by my opp (when I'm the trap thrower), and I've rarely if ever been in a situation where an RoA trap thrown by the other guy costed me the game. That's my experience. And I have a lot of it. That's the point. You're saying be better isn't a solution. But it is. It truly is. Re: "win when they shouldn't have"...I don't understand why they shouldn't have won. They outplayed you in that situation. Personally I think you're "ignoring what the ability can do" by the very nature of your argument. If you know what it can do, use your resources to prevent it. You can. It sounds like I'm simplifying it, but that's because it really is that simple.

mindflare77
04-07-2013, 04:36 PM
Disclaimer: I am by no means that good of a player. I have maybe 60 games, and have only recently broken the .500 win/loss.

I've been following this discussion for the past week or so, and found it extremely interesting. However, I'm still not quite understanding how the Rain of Arrows is luck lategame. To me, it seems more Game Theory than a coin flip or anything of the sort. I've used it effectively late game (Thrasher took the theoretically suboptimal path to the SS, ignored the Strongarm, and took an 8 Strength trap thanks to Puncture), but I've also had it used against me effectively. Neither are luck, in my opinion; they are thinking ahead, considering what the opponent is likely to do, and then acting accordingly. I could very well be missing something here, though.

loveboof
04-07-2013, 04:43 PM
@ Haeso,

I love the SS and have always used her in my team. I would definitely not use her if RoA was visible! It's as simple as that.

I think that will be the case for everyone else as well. What you are proposing is the elimination of the whole class - she would be completely redundant!

(That applies to RoA not ending the enemy turn too....)

sweetjer
04-07-2013, 04:44 PM
Mindflare, I completely agree with the assertions in your post. That's a clear summation of my position (I'm a bit of a windbag :D), thank you.

Haeso
04-07-2013, 04:46 PM
I think at this point y'all should record and comment some games if you want to win folks over to your point of view. It's not really about that anymore, as I'm not suggesting the SS is an exceptionally powerful unit, I don't think it's a strategy that will result in a positive W/L reliably. I just think that the ability to pull games you'd otherwise lose out of the fire through sheer luck via multiple avenues of approach and he just happens to pick the one you threw a trap on is a gimmicky mechanic that adds little to the game. I really enjoy the way the RoA works early game where space is at a premium, I just think late game it's an obnoxious element.


@Haeso: Maybe this is the sort of game where you can never say "I can force a win from this position," but instead is always about odds. If you want to increase the odds that you win from 90 to 95%, you'd better find a way to take out that SS before she can do stuff. If you can't eliminate that threat, in a sense you haven't won yet; you're still in too-close-to-call territory. Again this doesn't address the point I'm making, I understand that strategy, I do. Believe me I understand how to play the game. I'm saying it's late game far too powerful and it's balanced by being so rare to land - I'm saying I don't like that sort of mechanic. It's rolling the dice to be effective. It fails the majority of the time, but when it works it's incredibly potent.


In fully deterministic games with full information (meaning you can see all of your opponent's moves) like chess the endgame is just about going through the motions. This is not one of those games, but that doesn't mean it cannot be regarded as competitive; plenty of competitive games have random elements and imperfect information. Go best of three or best of five to determine the better player.
That's not true at all, and this game you can see all of your opponent's moves except RoA. It's the one exception to the rule. Everything else you can see and plan for reliably. You can attempt to mitigate RoA but you can never remove it's potential to stop a unit short of killing it.

Again, I'm fine with it creating a blocking point, I'm not fine with it's power in the late game being very high but completely unreliable. I don't want to win 4/5 games against someone that relies on this strategy only to lose the fifth even when I've outplayed him but he happens to get lucky finally. That's not fun to me.

If people prefer that, that's perfectly acceptable to prefer. I'm not saying you aren't allowed to enjoy that, all I'm saying is that I do not.


IMO if you are being trapped by RoA in the lategame you did something wrong.
This is wholly inaccurate.

You didn't bait her WP or you didn't kill the unit off entirely as you should have. or my opponent isn't terrible? Why is it my failing for not killing the unit rather than my opponent's good play of preventing it? This is a terrible way to frame an argument. I'm not playing against the AI where I know what it will do, I cannot reliably eliminate the SS cost effectively every game. Neither can you or anyone else.


You allowed a situation where the RoA gives advantage for another unit to follow up, etc. I've played a lot of late-game RoA matches, most of the ones I've won I won because of a miscalc by my opp (when I'm the trap thrower), and I've rarely if ever been in a situation where an RoA trap thrown by the other guy costed me the game.
Two out of 150~ games I've lost because of it, I'm not saying it's reliable. I'm saying the ability for it to win a game even if it's only one in a hundred, isn't a good thing because there's no reliable counterplay available to an invisible trap. They either get lucky or they do not. (Excluding the early game where space does not allow for multiple avenues, in which case it already functions like a blocker generally speaking.)


That's my experience. And I have a lot of it. That's the point. You're saying be better isn't a solution. But it is. It truly is. Re: "win when they shouldn't have"...I don't understand why they shouldn't have won. They outplayed you in that situation. Personally I think you're "ignoring what the ability can do" by the very nature of your argument. If you know what it can do, use your resources to prevent it. You can. It sounds like I'm simplifying it, but that's because it really is that simple.
If in a situation they lose 9 of ten games because they rely on luck, and win the tenth. Is that right? I don't think it is. I don't think the option to play badly and win rarely via luck should ever be possible. It's fine that you prefer it is. I do not. I'm not suggesting it's overpowered, I'm not suggesting that it needs to be nerfed. I'm saying it needs to be more consistent in the late game rather than usually useless and occasionally extremely powerful. I do not enjoy such a variance, especially one based on luck.

I've had plenty of lucky hits from an RoA stop a unit, but again, only twice has it cost me the game as I usually am better than my opponent by such a degree that it doesn't matter. That doesn't make it less annoying however. It doesn't make the potential less. Powerful balanced by unreliability is not a fun mechanic to me. Even if they lose the majority of their games by doing it, the fact that they can win any of them by doing it is undesirable.

Haeso
04-07-2013, 04:57 PM
@ Haeso,

I love the SS and have always used her in my team. I would definitely not use her if RoA was visible! It's as simple as that.

I think that will be the case for everyone else as well. What you are proposing is the elimination of the whole class - she would be completely redundant!

(That applies to RoA not ending the enemy turn too....)

There are many ways to change the RoA and making it effective visible.

1: Multiple traps that disappear once one is triggered. This is arguably even stronger, but a more consistent mechanic. I'd be fine with that.

2: Make the visible traps more than one turn, maybe 2/3/4 based on rank - this way they might trigger them on purpose to prevent a wall being created.

Do not either of those abilities appeal to you? I would use both of them more than I use the SS currently as I'm not a gambling man.

I could offer more alternatives if people would like to see them. I'm quite certain you can make a similar and effective ability would like to use that isn't relying on a guessing game mechanic.

franknarf
04-07-2013, 05:04 PM
Fair enough, but "not true at all" is a little silly. As you've identified, in this case there is indeed one place where there's imperfect information. Hence, it's true. New units may well introduce it in other places.

(As I've probably already made apparent) I think if you put yourself in a position where your opponent can eek out a win 1/5th of the time, it is what it is. You haven't played so well as to consistently beat that player. Still, I personally don't enjoy that sort of play either. Really, when a player near my ability opens with a couple successful wp-boosted 80% shots on my archer(s), that's distinctly un-fun.

sweetjer
04-07-2013, 05:05 PM
or my opponent isn't terrible? Why is it my failing for not killing the unit rather than my opponent's good play of preventing it? This is a terrible way to frame an argument. I'm not playing against the AI where I know what it will do, I cannot reliably eliminate the SS cost effectively every game. Neither can you or anyone else.
Your argument is getting nuanced to the point that you're actually contradicting yourself. If they prevented you from killing a high-asset unit, weren't you outplayed? Same as if they prevented you from maiming a WM, cornered another unit to prevent pillage, and exploited a turn advantage to decimate your team? How is it different? I think the difference is that the SS is perhaps less effective in late game, as we've all noted (i think she's pretty awesome there, but that's a different topic), you thusly underestimate her, and lose a fraction of your games as a result.


This is wholly inaccurate.
Agree to disagree. I can refute your argument with a write-off statement like that as well, but as far as rhetoric goes it just doesn't work. It doesn't contribute anything to the discourse.

Haeso
04-07-2013, 05:46 PM
Fair enough, but "not true at all" is a little silly. As you've identified, in this case there is indeed one place where there's imperfect information. Hence, it's true. New units may well introduce it in other places. I was referring to chess being 'going through the motions.



(As I've probably already made apparent) I think if you put yourself in a position where your opponent can eek out a win 1/5th of the time, it is what it is. You haven't played so well as to consistently beat that player. Still, I personally don't enjoy that sort of play either. Really, when a player near my ability opens with a couple successful wp-boosted 80% shots on my archer(s), that's distinctly un-fun.

Indeed, I'm not a fan of that stuff either. I'd much prefer willpower adding strength to the calculation rather than damage directly so it increases accuracy first.


Your argument is getting nuanced to the point that you're actually contradicting yourself. Ehm? I'm not. At all, unless you choose to take the words I'm using to mean something other than what they're intended to.


If they prevented you from killing a high-asset unit, weren't you outplayed? Four equal approaches to a varl, only one can be trapped. 1/4 chance of hitting a trap, you mean to tell me it's 'outplayed' to hit a 1/4 trap? That's silly, Sweetjer. Just silly.


Same as if they prevented you from maiming a WM, cornered another unit to prevent pillage, and exploited a turn advantage to decimate your team? How is it different?

Because there's counterplay to all of those things, the warhawk tempest hitting two units? You can avoid that with good play. The RoA can be mitigated with good play, never truly avoided.


I think the difference is that the SS is way less effective in late game, as we've all noted (i think she's pretty awesome there, but that's a different topic), you thusly underestimate her, and lose a fraction of your games as a result.

I don't underestimate her at all. Late game she's almost completely useless aside from puncture. Like I said I've only lost two games out of well over a hundred because of it - it's hardly ever an issue and the majority of traps used against me result in no hits - just because it usually results in a loss for my opponent doesn't mean I like it. The majority of games that my opponent relies on luck to win - they will lose. I simply don't like that they have the option to win due to luck at all.

sweetjer
04-07-2013, 06:05 PM
RE: my perception of you contradicting yourself was when you said "they didn't deserve the win" and then a post later said that you couldn't prevent the unit cause the player was good enough to stop you. I think if they were good enough to preserve the SS and make a huge endgame RoA play that either threw you off your plan or caused you to wander into a 1/4 chance trap, then you were outplayed. They deserved the win. That's the contradiction to which I refer. Correct me if I'm wrong in my interpretation of your assertion.


I don't underestimate her at all. Late game she's almost completely useless aside from puncture.
There's another contradiction right there. I disagree she's useless. Not as effective? Maybe. Played smartly, very useful. Sounds like you're underestimating her to me.

That said I think I'm going to disengage from this conversation as we are now going in circles and again discussing what amounts to preference. personally I don't like the thrasher. Do I think he's broken? Not anymore, no. Personal preference. Thanks for responding to me so promptly and thoroughly. Interesting conversation, though I don't think either of us gained much ground convincing the other party of their view. See ya on the battlefield!

Arnie
04-07-2013, 07:06 PM
Of Note: RoA Does get puncture if she doesn't move. It's late game where I've hit enemies for 11 damage at Rank 1 and been hit for 8 before. With Rank 3 it's insta kill late game.

Haeso
04-07-2013, 09:17 PM
R3 being 6 damage minimum anyway makes R3 plenty potent enough to kill most people. I killed a full armor provoker (18+2 from nearby raiders.) by punting him with an SRM into it. That was funny.

Leartes
04-08-2013, 01:42 AM
I will ignore the rest of the discussion because I think it boils down to personal preference. Imo a game where players have winpercentage unequal 0 or 1 is much more desirable than clear cut better player always wins. It is better for new player and it makes high level play more interesting as well. If you want to find out who is the true best player you can always make tournaments with a lot of matches and possibly bo3/bo5 double eliminiation/swiss or similar. Salvaging a bad game to a 20% win chance requires high skill in many situations. I think the option to turn it around to 100% is overkill and the option to have a guaranteed loss is bad as well. 20% is much more nuanced as with different skill levels it could well be 10% or 30% and therefore preferable.



I too can look at the 5x5 area around a SS and determine the rough probability of each square having the RoA in it - but that doesn't change I cannot know and it is still a guessing game. Does this not make sense?

Now here the fun starts. Assume you want to play perfect. You assign a probability to every square. Then you compute the probability for all path that they succeed. Then you discount cost (e.g. you need wp for some path or you put yourself in worth positions if you get trapped on them). Now you can compute an optimal path that has the lowest cost.
Your opponent can do the same for you. If you valuations are equal he will adjust his probabilities to trap the path you are most likely to take. If your valuations differ the resulting outcome will not be optimal in the sense that the player with the worse valuation becomes exploitable. This is standard poker strategy btw. Now assume both players have set on a probability distribution. They have to pick one move out of the many. In a 5x5 square there are most likely only a handful of true options with probability > 0%. Now both players must load random.org and make a random choice. (Humans are bad rng-generators. If you don't use a good rng source you are exploitable if you play the same player several times - which is likely in the top competitive level).
This is good play and highly dependent on your valuation skills, your opponents valuation skills and both players skill to estimate the expected valuation of the opponent. Sure you are not 100% save. But if you edge out 1% winrate by being better at this stuff, then it is only fair that you get this 1% more wins. Your opponent might complain on the forums that it is not fair, but in the end he was worse and deserved to lose more often.

This is no chess concept, though I have used it in playing go. It is standard in a ton of competitive games for a reason. It is good for new players, it is good for spectator sports and it doesn't decide the outcome of big events like tournaments.

Haeso
04-08-2013, 09:12 AM
You're ignoring my point again Leartes. The majority of RoAs do not land against me. That's not the issue, Win rate because of it is not my point. I don't know how to explain this any simpler but I'll give it one more go.

It is the possibility to possibility to luck their way into a win one in ten games against me. I'm pretty sure this isn't a spectator sport, furthermore I'd rather it never becomes one. Design choices should never be made for the spectator instead of the player.

If someone is better than you, you shouldn't have the option to make a bunch of risky plays that will result in you losing a significant portion of the time against them but win rarely. That's my whole point. I've never lost against someone significantly worse than me in chess. The ability to gamble your way to win even if it results in a significant majority of losses for you is just not fun to play against. It completely ignores the depth of strategy the game has to offer and instead beats you over the head with the RNG. I don't even care about my record, I let friends beat me by doing silly things and practicing stupid builds with them just for fun - my problem is it's no fun to lose by someone who isn't playing strategically, I don't care that I'll beat them the majority of my games against them. I don't like that they can win at all by playing in a way that just sidesteps strategy and rolls some dice, it doesn't matter how unfavorable the dice roll to them is.

Leartes
04-08-2013, 09:40 AM
If they can abuse random elements to achieve 10% winrate vs you then you are obviously not as strong as some other guy that can win 100% despite that randomness. If it is impossible for the best player in the world to beat some guys ultra-random-strat regardless of the outcome of all roles, then it is still no problem as long as the winrate is too low to win a tournament.
You don't win every hand in poker and you don't win every game in a fighter, starcraft or magic. This is no problem as long as you know you will win more often if you are the better player. All these games have huge competitive scenes with large events and prize money. As long as you don't win the event by being lucky it is fine.
Honestly, when I start a game and someone walks is archer up to me to take a +3wp shot at my warrior (totally legit at 80% or 90% to hit) for 4 strength, then I walk up the the archer and kill it. It is a bad move in general. If it is not bad move, then I fucked up my positioning.
Same holds true for SS in lategame. If I didn't do something about the archers I played bad/worse than my opponent. Doing nothing, walking back are totally legit vs SS and usually pure win moves. In the super rare case they are not and your opponent has a chance to beat you, then you never had a legit win. You only had a some % number win. You deserve to lose some of those games since he really played well.


If someone is better than you, you shouldn't have the option to make a bunch of risky plays that will result in you losing a significant portion of the time against them but win rarely. That's my whole point. I've never lost against someone significantly worse than me in chess. The ability to gamble your way to win even if it results in a significant majority of losses for you is just not fun to play against.

I'm fine with games where the best player vs the worst player is no 100% win. In TBS:F this is not the case. If someone is significantly worse than you are, then you beat him every time. Regardless of luck. He can go high wp % attack on all his moves and hit all of them, you will still win if you are better by a significant margin.


It is the possibility to possibility to luck their way into a win one in ten games against me. I'm pretty sure this isn't a spectator sport, furthermore I'd rather it never becomes one. Design choices should never be made for the spectator instead of the player.

There are a couple of streams out there already. Depending how big the game becomes spectators might well be important.

raven2134
04-08-2013, 09:51 AM
Upsets occur in real life all the time as well. Even when you have a team that will beat another team, in sports/games/whatever maybe 99/100 times, sometimes it just happens that the stronger team loses that 1/100 time. And it can be any number of factors from the other team "lucking out" to having a surprising and unconventional strategy.

(This is clear in history as well, in many battles - whatever the reason you give for one side winning or losing, some great reversals/upsets were due to a combination of superior strategy, and luck against overwhelming odds).

I think it is rather realistic that you can win against a good player a low % of the time using a risky strategy. Otherwise, the game is stale. Why is it stale? Cos even before the match starts, you already know the stronger player will win. There is no chance for the weaker one to pull the game through, no matter the kind of play or choice he makes.

Haeso
04-08-2013, 10:47 AM
If they can abuse random elements to achieve 10% winrate vs you then you are obviously not as strong as some other guy that can win 100% despite that randomness. But that's not my point Leartes...


If it is impossible for the best player in the world to beat some guys ultra-random-strat regardless of the outcome of all roles, then it is still no problem as long as the winrate is too low to win a tournament.
Why is it not a problem unless it can cause a tournament win? Why is it not a problem if it can cause a win at all that isn't strategic but rolling dice? I don't understand why this is desired.


You don't win every hand in poker and you don't win every game in a fighter, starcraft or magic. This is no problem as long as you know you will win more often if you are the better player. All these games have huge competitive scenes with large events and prize money. As long as you don't win the event by being lucky it is fine.
Again, why is the potential to win by rolling the dice instead of playing strategically acceptable as long as the win rate is unfavorable? I do not understand.


Honestly, when I start a game and someone walks is archer up to me to take a +3wp shot at my warrior (totally legit at 80% or 90% to hit) for 4 strength, then I walk up the the archer and kill it. It is a bad move in general. If it is not bad move, then I fucked up my positioning.
I'm not arguing against that at all that to allow him to do it without forcing him to be in a position where he'll pay for it is your fault, absolutely right! But just because there's a counter to it doesn't mean it should work that way. Just because something can be beat does not mean it is in a state that it should be in. Otherwise lets go back to starcraft - every strategy could be beat in that game. Even the most blatantly overpowered ones that were over time nerfed could be beaten with the proper counter, yet they were still nerfed. The ability to beat those strategies did not mean they were at an acceptable power level. Keep in mind the win rate using these luck-based strategies is awful and I know that, I simply don't think it's acceptable that you can win at all by doing it, not that you win any meaningful amount by doing it.


Same holds true for SS in lategame. If I didn't do something about the archers I played bad/worse than my opponent. Doing nothing, walking back are totally legit vs SS and usually pure win moves. In the super rare case they are not and your opponent has a chance to beat you, then you never had a legit win. You only had a some % number win. You deserve to lose some of those games since he really played well. Again, this isn't a proper argument. Refer to my last point, just because it can be beaten does not mean it is where it should be as far as balance goes. I don't know how to make that any more salient. It was my job for years to balance the game I was working on, we never had a strategy that could not be countered but by that same token I still needed to weaken some and strengthen others.





I'm fine with games where the best player vs the worst player is no 100% win. In TBS:F this is not the case. If someone is significantly worse than you are, then you beat him every time. Regardless of luck. He can go high wp % attack on all his moves and hit all of them, you will still win if you are better by a significant margin. I'd be willing to bet if you played a large enough sample size someone doing mostly willpower boosted str hits would beat you eventually just by doing a little math. It would be an absolutely atrocious win rate, but he would beat you eventually unless he straight up made errors.




There are a couple of streams out there already. Depending how big the game becomes spectators might well be important.
Putting the spectators ahead of your players was the reason for much frustration to the competitive scene of the original broodwar transitioning to SC2. You're making a game not selling advertising space, your goal should be to make the game as enjoyable as it can be to your players - if you can make it entertaining for spectators at the same time? Go ahead and do it. But you shouldn't be hurting your gameplay and players for the sake of the people watching.



Upsets occur in real life all the time as well. Even when you have a team that will beat another team, in sports/games/whatever maybe 99/100 times, sometimes it just happens that the stronger team loses that 1/100 time. And it can be any number of factors from the other team "lucking out" to having a surprising and unconventional strategy.
One of the things I enjoy about Chess and the majority of my games in Banner Saga is that nothing is surprising. I can see (almost) everything that they can choose to do and it's up to me to make more optimal choices than them. The only thing that will ever continue to be a surprise other than RoA is their opening setup as you cannot know that ahead of time. Though things like SRM first WH second tend to be a tad... transparent. I'm fine with them using a strategy I was unaware of - the first time I saw an SRM was also the first time I saw a WH go after him. I laughed as I lost the game on the second turn. I've never fallen for it again though. But I'm aware of the strategy behind late game RoAs, I'm saying I don't like how it currently works. I love the way RoA works early/mid game, I think it's fantastic. If it were visible it would still be just as good at screwing up fat varl movement options. It's only the late game where you roll some dice to pick a path and usually win but rarely lose because of it I take issue with.


(This is clear in history as well, in many battles - whatever the reason you give for one side winning or losing, some great reversals/upsets were due to a combination of superior strategy, and luck against overwhelming odds). We're not emulating a war here, but yes this is true. Misinformation or just preventing them from learning what you are planning is one of the most powerful tools in a war. In a real war you are not an omniscient being that looks down upon the battlefield and things happen far too quickly to employ an optimal strategy at all times. But this is a turn based game not a war simulator.


I think it is rather realistic that you can win against a good player a low % of the time using a risky strategy. Otherwise, the game is stale. Why is it stale? Cos even before the match starts, you already know the stronger player will win. There is no chance for the weaker one to pull the game through, no matter the kind of play or choice he makes.

I'm not sure what you mean by realistic. Realism in the sense of actual combat? The game's decidedly not an accurate depiction of that heh. I disagree that the game would be stale and in turn suggest it's a logical fallacy to state you already know who will win before the match begins unless there is a very large disparity in skill level or power ranks of the teams. The game has too many possible openings/moves for it to become that simple, you aren't giving the depth of the game outside of the random elements nearly enough credit.




I'm not sure I have anything left to say on this, I believe I've covered everything I can adequately. I've enjoyed the discussion thus far though, for the most part people have their opinions and those are unlikely to change, but I think both sides of the objective argument have been covered thoroughly:

You can choose to make risky plays and lose most of your games if you rely on it, but rarely you can win. To me this is an undesirable mechanic, to others it is. Nothing more nothing less.

raven2134
04-08-2013, 11:03 AM
I disagree that the game would be stale and in turn suggest it's a logical fallacy to state you already know who will win before the match begins unless there is a very large disparity in skill level or power ranks of the teams. The game has too many possible openings/moves for it to become that simple, you aren't giving the depth of the game outside of the random elements nearly enough credit.


One of the things I enjoy about Chess and the majority of my games in Banner Saga is that nothing is surprising. I can see (almost) everything that they can choose to do and it's up to me to make more optimal choices than them. The only thing that will ever continue to be a surprise other than RoA is their opening setup as you cannot know that ahead of time. Though things like SRM first WH second tend to be a tad... transparent. I'm fine with them using a strategy I was unaware of - the first time I saw an SRM was also the first time I saw a WH go after him. I laughed as I lost the game on the second turn. I've never fallen for it again though. But I'm aware of the strategy behind late game RoAs, I'm saying I don't like how it currently works. I love the way RoA works early/mid game, I think it's fantastic. If it were visible it would still be just as good at screwing up fat varl movement options. It's only the late game where you roll some dice to pick a path and usually win but rarely lose because of it I take issue with.

So...which is it?

Alex
04-08-2013, 11:19 AM
RoA is my favorite ability in the game. So far this thread has been about how it's unfair in a game like Factions that there is any randomness. Whether RoA adds "randomness" or not, we've said repeatedly that this is all intentional. We literally sat down and made a game that we like. Since then we've made tons of new systems and redesigns based on feedback and we've made balance changes like crazy but we won't be stripping all randomness out of the game. We've designed the randomness to be something you can influence and react to, and not just complete chaos. Just to clarify here: RoA is staying, Bloody Flail is staying and miss chance is staying.

Haeso
04-08-2013, 11:20 AM
So...which is it?

You can't just quote a large block of text and ask a question with limited context. I see three distinct possible things you could be referring to. My suggestion that it's a logical fallacy that total knowledge of the board means you know who will win before the first move is played? Chess obviously shows that's not the case.

The idea that because the rest of the game is deep means RoA and it's usage late game is irrelevant?

That the opening setup being unknown is an unknown yet I enjoy it? (The maps are large enough that any opening strategy can be reasonably countered since you know their turn order ahead of time.)

You'll need to be more specific for a proper reply.


RoA is my favorite ability in the game. So far this thread has been about how it's unfair in a game like Factions that there is any randomness. Whether RoA adds "randomness" or not, we've said repeatedly that this is all intentional. We literally sat down and made a game that we like. Since then we've made tons of new systems and redesigns based on feedback and we've made balance changes like crazy but we won't be stripping all randomness out of the game. We've designed the randomness to be something you can influence and react to, and not just complete chaos. Just to clarify here: RoA is staying, Bloody Flail is staying and miss chance is staying.

It's a fun ability in most cases, and I certainly don't think it's overpowered or anything. As for me I only don't like how it works once the field is empty. I fully expected it to stay, same with flail, I wasn't sure of the team's opinion on willpower adding damage versus adding str to the calculation though. Sounds like that is set as well. Good to know.

If it was unclear I've never thought any of those abilities were unfair, maybe others have though. I think they'll never give you a good win rate if you rely on them outside of relatively sure chances (80-90% hit rate/preventing a varl attack via blocking only possible path, punting into a trap, etc.) and in those cases I don't mind at all. Indeed in those latter two cases I enjoy RoA a great deal.



Also, on a similar note I'd like to restate I've never liked everything about a game, even the one I worked on for several years. Despite the little things in this thread that I don't care for I still love the game, I enjoy it even more than chess and I've loved chess since well, as long as I can remember. I recommend the game at every chance I get to friends with my highest praise. Just because I've entertained this discussion for so long doesn't mean I've got anything but love for the game and what you guys have done/are doing.

I've noticed in the past that expressing a negative about anything tends to give the impression that I dislike the whole when that could not be further from the truth. To that end I genuinely appreciate making the game you want to play bit - I wish I could have done that so believe me I understand that. I'd never want you guys to tailor the game to what I'd prefer over what you guys do, it's your baby as it were not mine and I respect the hell out of that.

loveboof
04-08-2013, 12:39 PM
RoA is my favorite ability in the game. So far this thread has been about how it's unfair in a game like Factions that there is any randomness. Whether RoA adds "randomness" or not, we've said repeatedly that this is all intentional. We literally sat down and made a game that we like. Since then we've made tons of new systems and redesigns based on feedback and we've made balance changes like crazy but we won't be stripping all randomness out of the game. We've designed the randomness to be something you can influence and react to, and not just complete chaos. Just to clarify here: RoA is staying, Bloody Flail is staying and miss chance is staying.

Thank you! I am so happy to hear this... I was concerned some of you devs might have actually been influenced by the opinions in this thread :P lol

___
Edit:
@ Haeso, the one thing I still don't understand about your objection is that if there is a 1/4 chance of losing due to RoA, then you are the one making the gamble if you choose not to rest or retreat! You are choosing the risky 75% option (3/4)...

I know you said it doesn't happen to very often, but in that example scenario both players have decided to gamble! (not just the one using the SS)

Kletian999
04-08-2013, 01:11 PM
Haseo, any negative perception isn't really your fault, you had the bad luck of using a thread created by someone who was angry at the game rather than your own nuanced view. The moderators wouldn't have like a separate thread either.

Impaler
04-08-2013, 06:32 PM
We literally sat down and made a game that we like.

Like I said from the start, it's pretty obvious you made a game with a bunch of friends, just sitting down having a good time while throwing random ideas around on how to make the game less stale from your point of view. Does it suck for your friend to be put in a situation where he's very unlikely to win unless you put a 'magic bullet' into the game? Yes, it kinda does, doesn't it? So let's add some chaotic comeback-mechanics to make things more unpredictable! All of a sudden this friend can now put out high-risk moves and every now and then he wins and you all laugh about it. Exciting? Yeah. Did he deserve to win? (Hell no, but don't tell HIM that. I mean it's just for fun, right?)

Then there's the public release. Now you have people actually competing. It's about life or death on the virtual arenas! ;)
Now some people are getting frustrated by this mechanic, since every now and then you get effed over by it. And sometimes you win because you exploited these risk-takings, but somehow.. you still don't feel satisfied regardless of whether you won or lost.
A, admittedly very small, fraction of the games you lost or won didn't come down to any of your human cognition abilities - they were decided by an outside random factor - a Random Number Generator.

In theory, this influence is so small that it averages out over a significant amount of games, hence the percentual win rates remain correlated to the individuals skill levels. So where's the problem then? As poor Haeso has tried to already convey in multiple ways ad nauseam - the problem is that matches can be decided by the RNG at all. No matter how small the likelihood of it actually happening is.

It becomes difficult to exactly evaluate how the accumulation of various random effects affect the outcome of different games, but the more you randomize the abilities - the worse it becomes.

I can understand how elegant and simple this solution (by adding some randomness) looks from your perspective (especially regarding armor). It is true that many other games employ similar features and that uncertainty is a natural part of many sports. Why not let that uncertainty come by not knowing what your opponent is going to do next? If your opponent out-thinks you, or explores a different move tree than you do, then there's some interesting uncertainty going on? Let's surprise each other by clever plays, tactical positioning and sheer calculation strength - instead of letting it come down to a RNG?

The key here is 'player choice'. The actions we make should decide the games. Ideally I would like to see randomness reduced to a minimum with the end goal of having them completely removed. As it seems, the devs have already set their views in stone, which brings us to the next point:



we won't be stripping all randomness out of the game. We've designed the randomness to be something you can influence and react to, and not just complete chaos. Just to clarify here: RoA is staying, Bloody Flail is staying and miss chance is staying.

While it's true that the randomness per se is manageable to some degree, in terms of side-stepping, avoiding it entirely or even tailoring the position so that the enemy is forced to make low percentage moves etc. The fact remains that once the RNG activates, it is an element we, as players, have absolutely zero control over. Even if we're excellent at making probabilistic estimations - it all comes down to luck in the end. In the larger perspective, this is obviously irrelevant since it's not a consistent strategy, but the fact that you can take a high risk and skew a game's result with the aid of a RNG is just an incredibly boring and uneventful feature to me. It leaves me greatly unsatisfied when I win with it, and greatly disappointed when I lose from it.

In other words, I don't get the point at all. There should be better solutions. Haven't you had any alternatives that still didn't result in 'stale play'?

hreinnbeno
04-08-2013, 06:55 PM
In other words, I don't get the point at all. There should be better solutions. Haven't you had any alternatives that still didn't result in 'stale play'?

To have the match not random. Every team must have 6 identical units. The same stats. Have two matches every time, were one starts first game and the other starts the next game. The same surrounding every time. Then there is no random wuuuhuuu.

P.S even though this is like it is it still would be random as chess even can be random at times (both players can be deadlocking but in the end somebody has to end the deadlock and will probably lose, thus random).

Impaler
04-08-2013, 08:27 PM
hreinnbeno: The randomness I'm referring to is the type that isn't dictated by player action, i.e. RNG. So let's try to distinguish between the two.
Believe it or not, I don't have any trouble accepting the type of randomness that stems from active player choice, i.e. starting positions etc.

Ninjineer
04-08-2013, 10:35 PM
As poor Haeso has tried to already convey in multiple ways ad nauseam - the problem is that matches can be decided by the RNG at all.
If the RNG has no influence on the outcome at all, that's just another way of saying that no amount of randomness is acceptable. That's a matter of opinion and will get us nowhere. Again. :rolleyes:


Let's surprise each other by clever plays, tactical positioning and sheer calculation strength - instead of letting it come down to a RNG?.
This is a false dichotomy - plenty of interesting strategy and tactics occur in Factions independent of the RNG. The game has room for both strategy and human-independent luck, as do many other games such as poker or MtG TCG, mentioned previously by others. And while you may disagree, mitigation of risk is a type of strategic play.



I don't get the point at all.

OK I'll bite, on the low-probability chance you're being sincere. :p

Deterministic games such as Chess, Go or even StarCraft 2 or Street Fighter involve a lot of pattern recognition and memorization of board positions (and timing) in order for players to be considered skilled, which is fine if you like that sort of thing. However, once a deterministic game is solved, it is solved forever and it is no longer fun. When's the last time you wanted to play a tense round of Tic-Tac-Toe or Connect 4? Very complex systems avoid this by being very difficult to play optimally, so players are (almost) always making non-optimal moves.

Factions has a moderately complex system but it's far from unmanageable if the player base were to put the effort into solving it (which occurs slowly as we play anyway). Once that happens there would be one best build and one best start - or perhaps a few rock/paper/scissors solution sets - and the game would be done. That is the 'stale play' that non-determinism avoids.

Furthermore, non-determinism opens up the game to new players more easily because there is less to memorize in order to compete. This is vital since Factions doesn't exactly have the player base of Chess - nor the millennium or so it'd take to obtain it. While a non-deterministic game may not have longevity for you personally, it is better for Factions in the long run.

hovercraft
04-09-2013, 12:47 AM
hreinnbeno: The randomness I'm referring to is the type that isn't dictated by player action, i.e. RNG. So let's try to distinguish between the two.
Believe it or not, I don't have any trouble accepting the type of randomness that stems from active player choice, i.e. starting positions etc.

Every randomness is dictated by player action - you have control over your positioning, but don't have over your opponents. It's the same with flail, RoA etc. they also come from active player choice you don't have to do it if you don't want to (use flail, walk over RoA) and you don't have control over your opponents actions, like you don't have over his positioning. You don't even have control over the units opponet uses and the map you compete on. You have to adjust to all of it.

Let's go further - you don't know what your opponent will do next - from your point of there's also element of chance/risk connected to every action, even if not direct. So is really direct randomness here and there that different?

Skaer
04-09-2013, 01:45 AM
Skaer, I just lost my reply to your post. Suffice to say I think your team has no problem at all with randomness and is therefore irrelevant to this discussion.

First off, you said that first hit gives a huge advantage. I gave you a counterexample. Thus it is not irrelevant.

And second, even without having any RNG-based abilities, this team is still a subject to the low chance exertion strikes, which I think is by far the biggest source of randomnes in the game.

Skaer
04-09-2013, 02:25 AM
I think it is rather realistic that you can win against a good player a low % of the time using a risky strategy.

What does "realistic" have to do with anything? :D


Otherwise, the game is stale. Why is it stale? Cos even before the match starts, you already know the stronger player will win. There is no chance for the weaker one to pull the game through, no matter the kind of play or choice he makes.

Well, first off, this is a competitive game. Competitive games are where you say "no, I'm better than you and I'll prove it by beating you!". If you instead say "you're better than me" from the start, then indeed, you may as well just give up (although by saying that you already have) and go away.

And second. However good, any player makes mistakes. And the nature of mistake is that it is unexpected. It's something you wouldn't normaly do. A mistake of a strong player is something that a strong player wouldn't do. It may be something a much weaker player would do. So even if you're playing against a truely stronger player, he may make this mistake, and you may still win by exploiting it.

But in the core you are right, this is what skill-based games are and what "if you win, it's because you were better" means: if you have skill, you win. If your skill is inferior, you lose. Skill-based. It requires you to try harder, to learn the game, to think. Much more interesting than RNG-based, which barely even requires your presence. Indeed, RNG could just decide the winner even without you doing anything. It makes your effort, your skill, irrelevant. It's like giving a bot your name and having it play for you. Boring.

Leartes
04-09-2013, 02:35 AM
hovercraft: the difference is, that you can account for all possible options. With randomness you end up playing slightly overdefensive if you expect the worst outcome on every move. But honestly, in TBS:F I think you can expect worst random result in every move and play still compete on the highest level.

The elegant part of the implementation to me is, if you are strong you don't utilize randomness much. If your opponent is strong, he does the same. High variance games only occur between total noobs. And it is fine since they can't read the game anyway.



But in the core you are right, this is what skill-based games are and what "if you win, it's because you were better" means: if you have skill, you win. If your skill is inferior, you lose. Skill-based. It requires you to try harder, to learn the game, to think. Much more interesting than RNG-based, which barely even requires your presence. Indeed, RNG could just decide the winner even without you doing anything. It makes your effort, your skill, irrelevant. It's like giving a bot your name and having it play for you. Boring.

Nice write up, but the fact remains that tbsf is not only rng. Randomness is what makes tbsf greater than chess to me. If you remove it, I could just go play some other deterministic game and start memorizing gamestates. Randomness is another dimension of strategic thinking that combines with all the others to make a greater game. It is not only boring positioning and reading game trees. I have done that for years, I want more than that. Randomness pushes the game from a reading game towards a valuation game. How much do I value this chance, how likely will I succeed if I move there. Can I leave my 2 str unit open to the bloody flail. Or I have two path, one is more dangerous, the other cost me wp. Is he the type of player that traps for the perfect combo or is he the type of player that plays for least exploitive situation? Am I leading, is it in my interest to increase or decrease variance? These are super great strategic considerations and you remove a huge part of the game if you remove that. What remains is another boring turn based game.

Yth
04-09-2013, 03:58 AM
I would offer the following thoughts on random factors in Factions:

The following systems are truly random:
-Thrasher ability
-% chance hits on higher armor targets
-Which game map you get for your battle (unless playing an arranged friends game)

The following are non-deterministic / variable:
-Enemy units (types, stats, placement, initiative order)
-Enemy actions
-Your units (etc)
-Your actions

Compare to chess, where the only non-deterministic variable is your actions and your opponent's actions.

A single point change in a Warhawk's stat setup (2 exertion vs 1, for example) can completely change the flow of a game. So can the initial unit placement. So can the initiative order of your units versus his units.

So a large part of the "skill" involved in playing Factions includes such things as unit selection, initiative placement, and unit placement before the match starts. I have played some games where I knew I would have an incredibly difficult time, simply because of choices I made in the barracks!

The end effect of this is that Factions has a very high "K" factor (or "random" factor, if you choose to call it that) based on these issues. Regardless of if you think this is bad or good for the game, it is certainly true that this "random" factor exists. Personally I love the variability this brings to the game and I wouldn't change it at all.

As the "random" factors are so large and broad reaching just considering lineup and unit placement, I don't think small matters such as the thrasher's 75% hit chance or the % chance to hit on high armor targets are at all important. The game has a large in-built system of non-deterministic gameplay, and is still enjoyable.

Haeso
04-09-2013, 11:07 AM
There's no way for this game to be fully deterministic without the random elements of RoA/thrasher/Willpower damage instead of strength because of the variance in starting lineups and positioning. Your argument isn't even realistic. Otherwise why does the winner of tournaments in SC2, chess, or any other game keep changing? Because your assertion is flawed, as are the conclusions you've derived from it.

Shiri
04-09-2013, 12:09 PM
There's a huge, HUGE difference between stochastic elements like the thrasher and elements you can't perfectly predict and control from minute 1 like your opponent's behaviour or stat setups. I don't understand why you're even lumping the two in together - if anything they ought to be considered opposites. Varying experiences are not the same as randomness.

Tirean
04-09-2013, 12:27 PM
Mentioning sc2 :D you know that game has a lot of luck factors involved with build order wins correct? Which play a HUGE role in the high level scene and tournament winners :D

As for Chess.. White has huge advantage from the start I believe? And as for reasons black can usually beat white in the high level? Because black is the stronger player/has more theory. Chess with the computer era is going to make it more about a game of memory than a game of tactical skill. This means the winner will be determined by who has the better computer/memory.

Randomness is good if you have some form of control in it like you do in TBS. Now lets take a game X-com where every single one of your hits is a % shot. You can't control the outcome of the game if your guy misses 10 70% shots in the game now can you? Pretty sure if you even thought about playing TBS like X-com then you can complain randomness is to much in the game. Now if you play TBS like TBS then... :)

Leartes
04-09-2013, 03:09 PM
So many great contributions recently. First Yth perfect analysis and now XCOM. You should seriously play it, then you should play it some more and then you should try iron man impossible. THEN you know something about range and something about strategy. It is an awesome game where every shot is random and good strategy has a high chance of winning, and average strategy fails miserably.

In chat blood bowl was mentioned. Now this is a game I quite due to rng. But it a great game! It is awesome what strong players can do to plan for a bad rng result on every single move.
For all that are not familiar, you have a team of 11 players that move all in the same turn one after the other. You set the moveorder. And a very large number of actions fails with pretty high probability. If an action fails your turn is over and you cannot move any other unit! One bad roll can lose you the game if you plan your turn badly. Two or three bad rolls can cripple your team for the next matches as well.

Haeso
04-09-2013, 03:36 PM
Mentioning sc2 :D you know that game has a lot of luck factors involved with build order wins correct? Which play a HUGE role in the high level scene and tournament winners :D

As for Chess.. White has huge advantage from the start I believe? And as for reasons black can usually beat white in the high level? Because black is the stronger player/has more theory. Chess with the computer era is going to make it more about a game of memory than a game of tactical skill. This means the winner will be determined by who has the better computer/memory.

Randomness is good if you have some form of control in it like you do in TBS. Now lets take a game X-com where every single one of your hits is a % shot. You can't control the outcome of the game if your guy misses 10 70% shots in the game now can you? Pretty sure if you even thought about playing TBS like X-com then you can complain randomness is to much in the game. Now if you play TBS like TBS then... :)

XCOM isn't competitive by any stretch of the imagination. It does have versus, but it's terrible and largely regarded as a joke. As a single player game the motivations for playing it are entirely different. Also different is permanent death and lasting injuries.

On top of all that, the game is easy to mod. At one point I did a playthrough where all shots hit or missed, any accuracy over the hit threshold increased damage. Modded it myself.

As neither I nor you are a computer, comparing computers playing chess to humans playing chess is a flawed analogy. Unless you know something I don't and we're all going to turn into cyborgs sometime soon.


So many great contributions recently. First Yth perfect analysis and now XCOM. You should seriously play it, then you should play it some more and then you should try iron man impossible.

It's actually fairly easy, though depending on how the random events play out if the second UFO takes too long to appear you can fall too far behind to be able to win due to panic. By unable to win I mean literally impossible, it will snowball no matter what choices you make due to t he game mechanics if you don't get that second UFO in time to loot it and use it's resources. Impossible mode seemed like a bit of an afterthought or they just never balanced it properly.

Mind you barring the bad luck on that second UFO it wasn't particularly difficult after you'd learned the mechanics of the game.

Skaer
04-10-2013, 01:49 AM
If you remove it, I could just go play some other deterministic game

Give me the name of the game, I'll go play it for you. Problem is, there are dozens after dozens of games with randomness included, and very few ones where it takes small or no part at all in this genre.

Banner Saga of course could just add to the mainstream of roll-the-dice games, but instead it can create something that the gaming industry is lacking.

Skaer
04-10-2013, 02:12 AM
As the "random" factors are so large and broad reaching just considering lineup and unit placement, I don't think small matters such as the thrasher's 75% hit chance or the % chance to hit on high armor targets are at all important. The game has a large in-built system of non-deterministic gameplay, and is still enjoyable.

I personally only have a problem with the factors that you have keenly categorized as "truely random" (except the map selection which should not cause any problems so long as the maps are designed well, which they seem to be so far). Those directly interfere with the immediate gameplay. The thrashers ability is indeed a minor factor and can be easily managed. I only dislike it from the user point of view where I can't rely on it dealing certain damage type and can get a failure instead of the last hit, all of which is easily fixed by not using thrashers. The hits against low armor, however, create opportunities for huge gamble which, as I have explained earlier, usually cannot be prevented without sacrificing efficiency.

My main point is that non-deterministic factors should not be capable of completely turning the tables against all odds, like in the example video I linked before. With the current mechanics, positioning and builds can only have such severe effects in the few obvious cases, like positioning your archers on the frontline against a team that has a first turn and a warhawk that moves first, or having your frontline units have excessive willpower, low mobility and low armor. This is fine by me because as long as you play smart, you can manage all of this and either use it to your advantage, or exclude its effects from your matches if that's what you prefer. The problem with low armor lucky shots is that you virtually cannot consistenly avoid facing them and having to use them.

Leartes
04-10-2013, 02:14 AM
It's actually fairly easy, though depending on how the random events play out if the second UFO takes too long to appear you can fall too far behind to be able to win due to panic. By unable to win I mean literally impossible, it will snowball no matter what choices you make due to t he game mechanics if you don't get that second UFO in time to loot it and use it's resources. Impossible mode seemed like a bit of an afterthought or they just never balanced it properly.

Mind you barring the bad luck on that second UFO it wasn't particularly difficult after you'd learned the mechanics of the game.

There are far more spots to lose the game hard. Bad luck on many maps can just whipe you out and snowball into a loss (occurs rarely in lower than impossible though). e.g. you can get destroyed on the first terror mission and if you lose your squad you might not come back from this.
The way you write I suppose you go for a mass satelite strategy early (only build I know that gets completely screwed by the ufo). You can well go another build and win more securely (though the game will be tougher for a longer amount of time).
Anyway it is a fun game and you don't win every time just because you are just that skilled.



Give me the name of the game, I'll go play it for you. Problem is, there are dozens after dozens of games with randomness included, and very few ones where it takes small or no part at all in this genre.

Not sure if you like the answer, but I'd go play chess, shogi or go. More abstract and much more focused on the core aspect. Bannersaga has a higher immersion and to accomodate that immersion there is randomness reflecting the chaos of battle.

Skaer
04-10-2013, 02:30 AM
As for Chess.. White has huge advantage from the start I believe?

This is proven false even by the statistics. Which also may be shifted towards white victories by the psychological factor.


Randomness is good if you have some form of control in it like you do in TBS.

Sometimes, some control does not suffice.