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View Full Version : Promoting units could use a change discussion.



Vexbane
03-05-2013, 05:33 PM
Hey Vex back again, ha. This game is so fun. Just saying.

Wanted to open this discussion as I feel it is a good one. It gets really hard to make sure certain units get certain kills. Especially since, if you have the same non named units, you have no way to know which one has what amount of kills in battle. It becomes really hard on units like shieldbangers. What it also does is promotes the behavior that many are doing in creating weak teams and fighting new players (like me) and others to get easier wins. Heck I admit I do it too. It is the only way to level units with relative ease. It becomes much harder the more teams get leveled to get that new guy where he needs to be. Yes you can spend 100 renown, but that should not be the best way imo. As ranks get higher it will only get worse. This also negates the negative behavior of people surrendering or killing themselves in fire so you do not get kills. I had one guy surrender right before we were just about to get into the thick of battle. After 5-6 minutes of play and positioning. I got renown sure, but my units lost the chance to promote which is just as important. The battle was essentially a waste of time. Changing the way units are leveled discouraged this and rage quits too.

Some unit types will naturally get more kills than others. It is just the way it will be. I think it limits your group tactics, and has caused me a few losses, trying to make sure unit x gets the kill. My shieldbanger that sacrificed himself so I could win deserves a promotion just as much as my archers who rack up kill after kill. Why? Because without shieldbangers and other units they would not be able to kill that enemy. Why should they be left out?

I still feel kills should be kept track of on units and maybe count towards something else. Like how about skins? Get 100 kills unlock x new skin. Make it cool and different.

So how best to promote units without drastic changes? Several suggestions:

Option A-
Allow kills to be distributed like xp on any unit after a battle. This is probably the easiest way. Yes it will allow someone to rank 1 a unit after 1 battle if they wanted, but when you are trying to get that new guy leveled it will help and discourage "noob" hunting. If you are starting out, you still need the renown to level them so having 5-6 units waiting to be leveled is going to be common anyway.

Option B-
Add in a new combat stat, called Valor. This is more difficult, but would add more depth. Valor could be distributed like xp as well as be earned on individual units. You would get x valor after a battle that falls into a category that can go to any unit. Individual units themselves could earn valor during battle too. Maybe by killing units, doing x amount of armor/str dmg in a match, using their special x amount of times. Killing an enemy with a special attack, opening hit, last unit standing, etc.. You could come up with tons of ways to earn it. This is much more difficult to code of course, but separates kills from acts of valor which would be cool.

Either way I feel the current way to promote units will only be abused to make it easier/harder for people instead of being a cool mechanic.
My 2 cents,
Vex.

RomanLegacy
03-05-2013, 05:44 PM
I think the core issue is that the amount of kills a unit can get varies wildly by playstyle. I don't have enough promoted units to participate in the real high level play, but at rank 3 teams at least my Shield-Banger units still get quite a few kills, they do have fairly decent strenght after all. (I use 2 of em') Others report that their archers never get many kills, while still others are drowning in kills. Some people burn off all their warriors strength in the begining of the match, and others have them hang back to decisively end a match.

I'll not comment on your system, although it does seem thought out. I will say that yeah, some mechanism should be brought out to keep high level players from grinding on low level players when they need a new unit.

All of that being said, I think this advice falls under the umbrella of this discussion: Early on in your Banner Saga career, recruit a few extra low level guys, and swap em out when your other unpromoted units get a bunch of kills. Then you can train em up while the rest of your team is still weak, instead of worrying about training them when you are fighting 5 other promoted units.

Of course this will change a bit with the new ranking systems for extra abilities, but its still good for getting your units the first 5 kills they need, and a little extra beyond. I'm now sitting on a small pool of raiders that I can upgrade whenever I want to try out a new promoted class.

raven2134
03-05-2013, 10:56 PM
I am not for another kind of experience pool to distribute among units. I brought this up during beta and when you reflect on things, you realize that kills=renown is your XP pool. And the way that kills act as a hurdle for particular units is a deliberate difference of the progression mechanics. Note also that the kills you need to promote are 10x less than the renown you would use.

Now, I do however agree that kills may not be the best way to implement this kind of mechanic. What I was thinking to suggest was an MVP for the battle. The winner gets to award a single unit as being the hero of the fight - whether it killed stuff or not, or survived or not. Maybe this MVP could be worth 1 kill.

Well, just to be less confusing and be able to award even that frontrunner who ends up getting killed without having achieved much else besides going first - perhaps we could call this system Valor, like the previous suggestion. But as described here, have it work like kills.

I think it's a handy compromise.

Vexbane
03-06-2013, 07:36 AM
Hey Roman thanks for the reply. I will agree that play style has a lot to do with kills with unit types. I also agree, and have been doing exactly that, that trying to get multiple units to the 5 kills to promote is a good idea. I have quite a few waiting to be promoted while I earn the renown.

Raven thank you for your reply as well. I can respect not wanting another form of xp. That is why I think the kill/valor allocation system is a quicker and perhaps better overall idea. I get that the kill progression mechanic is deliberate and some kind of leveling mechanic should happen. I think it should not be single unit kill based. My intent was to make valor work exactly like kills, except be the new way to level units. The MVP idea is a good one. Even if it is just a few extra kills anything helps.

This is what I am thinking. Currently when you finish a fight you get a screen that shows you a list of the renown earned with all bonuses etc.. You would still see all that and it would not change at all. Instead of where it shows kills that would be changed to valor. There could be a few new bonuses (like MVP) added as well. This does not change or add any new type of xp/currency to the game. It is still just renown. Some valor bonuses do not have to reward renown, like mvp, for example. This allows you to have lots of bonuses for leveling, but keep the renown gain where you want it.

Then after the fight you would get to take this valor and apply it to your units that you used in that battle. Every unit would have to have at least 1 given to them before any extra could be distributed. This helps to prevent units leveling to fast. Then any extra could be given to any unit. This prolongs the end game sequence a little, but allows for a smoother leveling tool that supports any type of strategic play or group composition by the player and allows their team to grow at an even rate.

On an unrelated note. Every time I go to make a reply I have to relog in before I can post it. I also cannot do quick replies. It is like it logs me out every time I hit reply to or make a thread even though it shows me logging in at the top. Very weird and annoying.

gaelvin
03-06-2013, 01:42 PM
Here's another idea... Right now there are only two types of unit available in the Meadhall; raw recruits who have 0 kills, and experienced fighters with full kill-counts (costing 10 and 50 renown, respectively). Seems like there's room a few mid-experienced units who could start with more than 0, but less than 5 kills.

Have trouble getting kills with Shieldbangers? Hire one who already has 3 kills for, say 25 renown; you'd be using renown to basically "buy" kills this way.

On a related note, I've been wondering if excess kill-count on units will carry over to the next stages of promotion (Levels 2 & 3).

Wordplay
03-06-2013, 04:26 PM
Is anyone actually finding that they have a pile of renown, and units that are struggling to get the kills necessary to promote them? If so, I'd be interested to know why. It seems unlikely to me that there are that many quitters. I really have not found the kill cap something to worry about - I had most of my squad to that point before I broke my first 50 renown, and I wasn't particularly focusing on it.

I could understand maybe getting to your first 50 renown say, and finding the unit you'd like to promote isn't ready, but I can't understand getting to that level and having no-one ready to promote, particularly as you start the game with bloodied units, with kills. Equally, I find it difficult to understand getting to the second set of 50 renown, and having no third unit to promote.

Archers, raiders and warriors can all really rack up kills, depending on playstyle. So maybe the kill cap is a good thing - in that it forces you to experiment with different playstyles.

Also, sometimes moving a unit's place in the initiative order can make a big impact on how many kills they make (and playstyle).

I admit Shieldbangers are somewhat disadvantaged - but my Strongarm at the moment is reliably averaging 1 kill per battle, so I can't forsee any problems with future promotion. I think that kill cap will only be a problem if the kill cap for rank 3 is especially high.

Flickerdart
03-06-2013, 05:10 PM
Personally, I find that Raiders are the hardest to score kills with - the fat armour and attack disincentive of Shieldbangers makes them survivable, and the power of Warriors lets them score easy kills, while Archers are usually protected through the early game and combine that with puncture to destroy everything. The 9/9 spread on a Raider makes them disappointingly fragile and weak even when used as archer hunters.

But then you can just grind up 50 renown and buy an experienced one - it's only about 5 battles.

Vexbane
03-06-2013, 06:20 PM
To me the point is not can you get kills with the units. Yes you can. I am looking ahead and with my knowledge of games seeing that this method is not the best way to do things. Some battle groups rely on a certain strategy to be most effective. Sometimes that strategy means you cannot "save" a kill for another unit, especially when they ranks go up. So what do people do? They play lower ranked games to make the matches easier, which is not good.

Getting 5 kills is not that hard with the units. That's not the immediate issue. Yes you can buy rank 1 units. That is not a reason to not consider change or look at the bigger picture. How many kills will you need for rank 2? For rank 3? What if you need say 50 kills for rank 2 (and therefore 500 renown) for rank 2? Some units will naturally level slower than others based on your group composition and strategy. Right now we are seeing the beginning. I am looking ahead. When all units have rank 3 etc. Forcing the unit to get his own kills I feel will hamper players strategy as they level rather than promote strategy since they have to play a different way to level the unit rather than the strategy they wanted to play and designed for their group.

franknarf
03-06-2013, 06:40 PM
@vex: My current rank-1 team members are all at 30 kills, give or take. I've been really surprised to see my Raidmaster and Provoker routinely surviving 'til the end.

At rank 0, I agree that it may be "natural" for certain units to get all the kills (while raiders die early :(), but that does not remain true once you can customize your team.

If you give your Warhawk kills at twice the rate of your other units, well, what's so bad about playing the other ones until they're all ready to level up? If you don't want to play twice as long with that team, you could even put the slow-levelers on a new team. You know, try something new.

Jawbone78
03-06-2013, 06:42 PM
I agree with you, Vexbane. Counting kills toward promotion encourages the idea that all units should acquire kills - which basically funnels all strategies down into one aggressive bumrush. The strategies that count on certain units to block up the board, soak up damage, and cripple opponents should have equal footing, but in the current system they probably don't. This is not fully apparent at the current level cap, but it will be a lot more so when people want to start promoting to level 2 and 3.

Another reason it will get worse once the higher level units appear is that, in the early going especially, the first units to level up to 2 or 3 will likely be the damagers. A level 1 or 2 tank will be at a distinct disadvantage against level 2 or 3 damagers, and getting the required kills to promote will become even harder still.

Which leads back to the only solutions under the current rules being to farm kills at lower ranks, to hoard experience in the hopes of recruiting a unit with enough kills to promote (which has the undesirable side effect of leaving a bunch of extra unpromotable and unusable tanks in your barracks), or to use units (like the shieldbangers, especially) in damager roles that they're not suited for, because a better and more winnable strategy (on a single-match level) handicaps their long-term progression.

mrpresident
03-06-2013, 08:14 PM
Why not instead of # of kills to promote, it could be # of battles fought in/won?

A unit that's been in a dozen fights is still an "experienced" unit even if he's gotten no kills.

RobertTheScott
03-07-2013, 03:58 PM
Why not instead of # of kills to promote, it could be # of battles fought in/won?

A unit that's been in a dozen fights is still an "experienced" unit even if he's gotten no kills.

+1000

Vexbane
03-07-2013, 08:47 PM
Why not instead of # of kills to promote, it could be # of battles fought in/won?

A unit that's been in a dozen fights is still an "experienced" unit even if he's gotten no kills.

This is an option, but remember that they sell promoted units. So this just promotes that more. After the patch and the lowering of the costs. It makes much more sense for 20 more renown to buy an experienced unit with 5 kills than to try and get 5 kills in who know how many games. This saddens me, but for now it seems that is how they want to do things.

Getting to ranks 2 and 3 will be even more difficult (20 and 30 kills respectively) since the higher you go the harder it is to adapt your strategy to get kills on a unit. Part of being good with a team is being repetitive in play. The more times you do something the better you get (well most of the time at least). Having to keep changing your overall strategy to level units will make you less effective when you finally get there instead of being able to practice your strategy and level at the same time.

Vexbane
03-08-2013, 08:15 PM
Shameless bump.

I would really like to know more peoples thoughts on this especially after the patch. Any other Mod/dev discussion would be great as well. Or am I just crazy about this idea?

sweetjer
03-08-2013, 08:35 PM
Maybe a good solution would be promoting based off accumulated damage? That way a breaker who doesn't usually kill could promote based off reaching x total break across all battles. Each unit could have a metric for each stat where once you each either (x break or y strength dmg) you can promote. This takes the emphasis off total kills and quantifies overall contribution to the team, without making it based off a weak stat (ie. not performance-based) like battles fought. They would have to start tracking these stats on the units though, which could take some hooking up. Would be a cool stat to have for meta-analysis of builds either way though.

Vexbane
03-08-2013, 09:58 PM
The problem from that Sweetjr is once people know how it works for each unit they can easily prevent you from doing so. What if a unit gets killed fairly early on? Or is maimed early and not able to do much anymore? Once more it is usually the unit you are trying to level that dies first/contributes the least. I had mentioned to an opponent that I was leveling my raider as friendly conversation. So he did his best to make sure that raider was dead rather quickly, for example. Yes that was my own fault for mentioning it, but just goes to show you how people think.

If you want to base it on dmg/ab for leveling then it would have to be just a pool of either instead of a separate stat for both. For example a raider needs 25 "dmg" to level up. This could be armor break or strength damage. Instead of: A raider needs 25 str dmg to level up. This way no matter how you build your unit (when going to 2 and 3) or how you use them they will level at a steady pace.

sweetjer
03-08-2013, 10:14 PM
Yeah sure, a pooled stat would make sense. Jorg brought that up in main chat. Re: the opp stopping you from getting the upgrade: that's his job as your opponent. He doesn't want your unit to be effective in the battle, cause if it is it means he's less likely to win the match, regardless of promotions.

Vexbane
03-08-2013, 10:23 PM
Thanks for the replies Sweetjr!

I wish there was a way to combine the two ideas as that would be fun. Having to attain a certain amount of "dmg" to level, but also able to supplement that with a valor type mechanic as well. Either way the current method I feel needs to change.

Also what about the extra skins for units when they obtain certain achievements? Obviously not a priority, but something to think about while deciding whether to implement a new level system. Maybe a new skin if you get 100+ kills for that warrior. Or a shieldbanger that has taken over 200pts of armor dmg? Perhaps a title too? Ok I am getting off topic now....

Lekkit
03-09-2013, 04:14 AM
I don't really get the whole "opponent doesn't want me to promote my units" thing. If I face a player, it doesn't really matter if he's training a Raider to be a Backbiter. If his Raider is in a position that I can take advantage of, I'll probably do mean things to him. But I'm not going out of my way to kill him just to be mean. A lot of people seems to have that impression. I doubt that people kill your training units just to mess with you, even if it may feel like it.

Vexbane
03-09-2013, 12:08 PM
I understand that Lekkit and I agree for the most part. My point is that needing kills to level units should change as the system for promotion.

sweetjer
03-09-2013, 12:37 PM
When I say opp doesn't want you to upgrade I mean that indirectly. He doesn't want you to kill his units or as it would be in my proposal, do any sort of damage to either stat. So indirectly, opp doesn't want you to get your upgrade as that would mean he's successful in combat against you in one way or another.

Lekkit
03-09-2013, 12:57 PM
To once again compare this game to Fire Emblem. Support units gain EXP from doing that. Supporting. In FE7 you have this guy who gains one level every mission you field him in. Of course, that is an EXP based system, and this is not. I'm not sure "battles fought" is the best way to earn your way towards promotion. Maybe a hits landed? Although that wouldn't really be fair either.

I do believe that however Stoic decides to do it, there will be some people who will raise complaints. There always are.

[EDIT:] sweetjer, I get that, but I've still seen some comments about people who think the enemy is gunning for their guys so that they can't ever be upgraded.

sweetjer
03-09-2013, 03:36 PM
Oh word, I wasn't sure if you were responding to me or not cause Vex and I said similar things with different meanings XD

Vexbane
03-17-2013, 05:31 PM
Another reason I feel that a change in the way promoting works (and renown gain for that matter) is without kills being the way to level up you could redo the surrender function. Right now it is too much of a detriment because kills are the main way to gain renown and level up in a match.

So if someone loses a match say mid game (sometimes all it takes is one false move and you cannot recover) instead of being able to say GG surrender and start a new match you have to play a losing game for another 5-10 min trying to maybe get a kill and get a little bit of renown (I am not saying to take an easy way out. You can comeback sometimes, but there are other times when you are just outmatched, outplayed, or get a build that just slaughters yours). I have been on both sides of this and all it does is drag the match out longer than it needs to be because of the way units level and renown is gained. So I propose several things:

- As I have been saying kills per unit needs to change as the leveling aspect of the unit. Just making a way to get a rank 1 unit cheaper is not a solution to the issue.

- Give more non kill based renown rewards in battle.

- Change the way surrendering works. When someone surrenders they should get all of the earned renown they have received so far in battle. The winner should get full kill renown. This will help matches move along and stop most rage quits. Some people get mad/frustrated because they lose and just close the game (I have had this happen to me several times). Making the winner wait. Since they lose all renown either way if they surrender "rage quitting" is actually a preferable way for these type of people instead of regular surrendering just to say FU to the opponent (since they planned on losing all renown anyway). Allowing you to keep your earned renown would lessen this behavior and speed battles up by quite a bit. It is a win win imo.

This would however, make units harder to level up, which is why either remove the kill requirement for leveling or change it to something else. The benefits to this are great and would allow the above function to work better. Either way I feel changing the way surrendering works to streamline games would help.

Tatski
03-17-2013, 06:07 PM
Yeah I agree! The promote system needs some tweaking... 2 Raiders were the first batch units i upgraded to Raidmasters... I'm around 100 games and they still have 15-16 kills..