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MadMage
04-28-2013, 07:59 AM
I'm having a hard time finding any patch notes on class changes and wanted to see how balancing was coming along - I stopped playing altogether some time ago when the developers decided to min-max Backbiters' stats to balance the fact that they made the ability too powerful (removing the armor break would have been a far easier fix, the thing didn't need to do damage, armor break and mobility) and ended up nerfing the class to uselessness; I am hoping they realized their error and don't have any classes with all of their 'max' points in willpower at this point. Is there a listing of class changes somewhere that isn't hidden amongst technical logs?

Honestly, I was excited about this game but if the devs cannot balance abilities without crippling classes I'm just going to forget about this game.

raven2134
04-28-2013, 08:33 AM
Hi there, you can see this link: http://stoicstudio.com/forum/forumdisplay.php?22-Patches-amp-Updates

This is the only list available for changes/patches.

BBs are just one class among the 12 we have right now. I would suggest you look at other units as well ;). Your feedback regarding the BB would be welcome though. If you have a discussion laid out (explain your points, the pros and cons, how it would work) then I would encourage you to post in the Factions discussion area.

Kletian999
04-28-2013, 08:48 AM
It does certainly feel like putting points in Willpower is weaker than putting the points anywhere else. I can still say the backbiter is a great unit as long as they have their 3 break to fall back on. Reducing their natural break in exchange for more Strength and Armor might be an interesting trade off though.

MadMage
04-28-2013, 09:17 AM
@raven: so, the statement is "Sorry we killed that unit. Why not try one of the other 12?"; obviously with the assumption that if this is how one admittedly needed tweak was handled then others won't be as ham-fisted? If the person/people responsible for balancing units can't look at a unit that needs to be dialed back a bit and come up with something other than "let's just dump useful stats into willpower, that'll fix EVERYTHING!", then you need to find someone else to do the balancing.

My suggestion for re-balancing the Backbiter would be to put their max strength back up around 11 or 12 and remove the armor break from their ability. As it is right now the ability does too much, makes the class' armor break stat useless (since the ability's AB is static regardless) and provides mobility. It's too good on it's own, which is why the class needed balancing. But lowering base strength completely skirted the issue and made the class hopelessly weak.

@Keltian: Problem is they lowered the maximum for everything else. As the class with the highest willpower, this means they have the lowest possible stats overall; they can never be as good with such low base stats as any other class, regardless of how you distribute them.

Lowering strength especially is crippling because it doesn't just effect power (which is all the class needed lowered); it effects survivability, as well. Which is made even worse by the fact that the Backbiters' ability effectively leaves them isolated on the field after a single use, often leaving them to be killed or nullified easily. So they're a weak one-shot that the developers swear will be 'amazing' at higher levels with greater range - which I have repeatedly stated will only end up getting them into more trouble and they don't even pack a punch for the sacrifice.

MadMage
04-28-2013, 09:25 AM
Hi there, you can see this link: http://stoicstudio.com/forum/forumdisplay.php?22-Patches-amp-Updates

This is the only list available for changes/patches.
I was hoping for a more complete list on a single page. I'd have done the patch update notes differently - put the notes themselves into a single thread and just posted the notes into it so people could scan the entire list at once and possibly post a new thread noting when an update is released linking back to this post.

netnazgul
04-28-2013, 09:43 AM
I am now running rank1 backbiter in my p12 tournament team and he really fits nicely there, being able to do break when needed and also scaring archers across the battlefield. I also run 2BB team taking experiments in p6 quickmatching, they are also of high use there. Also I can say I wasn't running backbiters prior to their nerf as I was finding it hard to play them so just moved to other units; now I'm implementing more of them in my plans.

For a balancing discussion - I wonder whether is it interesting to have backbiter deal no break on his ability but rather hit for strength+2 on it? As a bonus for nerfing that armor break, he can either be upped to 11str, or have 100% hit chance on his ability.
Though saying that - dealing break on run through is what makes him feared by opponents trying to not line up their units and breaking shieldwalls. Stripping backbiter of this would seriously damage half of his ability perception.

No Leaf Clover
04-28-2013, 12:40 PM
dealing break on run through is what makes him feared by opponents trying to not line up their units and breaking shieldwalls. Stripping backbiter of this would seriously damage half of his ability perception.

I'm talking P6 here.
Well, actually people line up their shieldwalls like they just don't care, because with 10 strength units shieldwalling have more armour than the BB can efficiently break. So sure he's a good archer hunter, but dies right after. If you try to attack anything else, you end up hitting shieldwall and being useless.
BB needed a nerf though.
When you compare a RM to a BB, stats and ability wise, well, the calculation is really fast to do.

franknarf
04-28-2013, 01:29 PM
if this is how one admittedly[-]needed tweak was handled[,] then [why should we assume**] others won't be as ham-fisted? If the person/people responsible for balancing units can't look at a unit that needs to be dialed back a bit and come up with something other than "let's just dump useful stats into willpower, that'll fix EVERYTHING!", then you need to find someone else to do the balancing....But lowering base strength completely skirted the issue and made the class hopelessly weak.

First of all, simple != ham-fisted. Most game balancing is not about redefining units (as you suggest), but about tweaking stats. I'm sure you can see that your insults towards the devs are not really called for here. Second, I like the BB on my team, and I win with some regularity. Oh, and he has AB of 3. RMs are better, but I feel that the imbalance is less than before.

** This is my best attempt at salvaging the grammar here.

Kletian999
04-28-2013, 02:26 PM
I'm using a rank 2 BB in my builds. The trick with BBs is you shouldn't run forward early in the game. You should either let another target set up a break for massive damage, and/or use a runthrough that makes the BB either safer, blocking a great move of your opponent, or just 1 of two+ targets instead of "the only unit that's behind enemy lines".

I do agree that rank 3 has never seemed that useful to me. I think lowering max break to 2, making the break of the power stat dependant, then increasing max str to 11 will make the unit more "killer" than "breaker" without being quite as super powerful as it used to be.

MadMage
04-29-2013, 12:29 AM
First of all, simple != ham-fisted. Most game balancing is not about redefining units - as you suggest - but about tweaking stats. I'm sure you can see that your insults towards the devs are not really called for here. Second, I like the BB on my team and I win with some regularity; and he has AB of 3. RMs are better but I feel that the imbalance is less than before.

** This is my best attempt at salvaging the grammar here.
My grammar is better than yours. You should have used hyphens around your side comment 'as you suggest' and added an unnecessary comma after 'like the BB on my team' and 'RMs are better' as well as starting a sentence with 'Oh,'; you should have separated the two sentences with a semicolon.

You are right, simple is not always ham-fisted; in this instance I do believe the tweak was, however. A unit that often ends up isolated being easier to kill and packing less punch is ham-fisted. The problem with the unit was that the ability did too much and was subsequently too powerful, and thus needed to be slightly redefined; the threat is about being able to hit back-line units your opponent wants to protect, not armor breaking an entire line of units - and currently the ability does both. The devs need to pick one and not nerf the unit's core stats to make up for the power doing too much.

No Leaf Clover
04-29-2013, 01:49 AM
My grammar is better than yours. You should have used hyphens around your side comment 'as you suggest' and added an unnecessary comma after 'like the BB on my team' and 'RMs are better' as well as starting a sentence with 'Oh,'; you should have separated the two sentences with a semicolon.

You are right, simple is not always ham-fisted; in this instance I do believe the tweak was, however. A unit that often ends up isolated being easier to kill and packing less punch is ham-fisted. The problem with the unit was that the ability did too much and was subsequently too powerful, and thus needed to be slightly redefined; the threat is about being able to hit back-line units your opponent wants to protect, not armor breaking an entire line of units - and currently the ability does both. The devs need to pick one and not nerf the unit's core stats to make up for the power doing too much.

While you certainly have a point, I don't think agressivity is the way to go here.
If you look to units' buffs/nerfs, you'll see that devs changed things for the shieldbanger classes, and did not make them overpowered but managed to take them up to the rest a bit.
I'm saying this to underline that while you don't agree with the BB nerf, and clearly I understand your statement, you should keep in mind that they tend to make good moves as well, as the SB shows.
I play two BBs at P6. I'm not a top player. I agree they could be tweaked a bit as to render them less of a one-shot unit, I certainly agree they're not on par with the overabused raidmaster.

Yth
04-29-2013, 02:39 AM
The change to BBs was signifigant. Whether it should be considered ham-fisted is up for debate. In my opinion, BBs were too strong and their usage was too simple: max out stats, ignore break, move up and dive in as soon as you have access to a squishy target. The damage return you would get was disproportionately large compared to the time and effort invested in using a BB.

So you could say that BBs were two steps too strong, and that lowering their str cap made them two steps weaker.

The change to BBs forces you to change how you use them: now instead of going in at every opportunity, it is only worth it to go in when other units are there to support them, or when the enemy has to choose between several high priority targets. In this regard I think the change was good, as it forces you to use the BB in a subtle manner and have the proper timing, instead of using him as a big hammer that you smash things with without thinking.

It can be argued that the correct usage of BBs is too situational or niche, especially compared to the awesome all-around Raidmaster. But I disagree that BBs are too weak, or even that they are weak.

HappyRaccoon
04-29-2013, 03:43 AM
Just to chime in, whoever thought BBs got nerfed to oblivion really makes me wonder about your evaluation on any class balancing. 12 str BBs would have been absolutely insane on every level. If you watch my games in the p12 tourney you can see me use them to good effect.

MadMage
04-29-2013, 06:27 PM
Just to chime in, whoever thought BBs got nerfed to oblivion really makes me wonder about your evaluation on any class balancing. 12 str BBs would have been absolutely insane on every level. If you watch my games in the p12 tourney you can see me use them to good effect.
Why would it be insane?

The question isn't rhetorical; I want to know why you feel the BB having 12 strength is worse than any other class? I'll help you out - the only thing that really differentiates the classes is the abilities, so I'm going to go out on a limb and say you feel that way because you feel the ability plus a strength level on par with a parallel class is too much. Now, we know from the other classes that the strength itself isn't the issue - so it would be fair to infer that the problem resides in the ability being unbalanced, correct? So a proper balance would be to address the ability that makes the class overpowered, not the baseline stats which would otherwise be perfectly acceptable.

I'm just not sure why this very simple logic evades thinking individuals.

franknarf
04-29-2013, 06:47 PM
@MadMage: Raccoon may think that the point can be better made by demonstration than with logic. At least, after seeing how he/she uses them, you might no longer believe that Stoic "killed that unit". The videos are on the third post down in this thread: http://stoicstudio.com/forum/showthread.php?1568-Vigrid-Tournament-1st-Edition-p6-and-p12-ONGOING!

HappyRaccoon
04-29-2013, 07:18 PM
@MadMage: Saying 12 str BBs are balanced is like saying that 2/3 SnB Siege Archers were balanced. The ability doesn't inherently make them broken. Backbiters still occupy a very threatening position and fill out their intended role quite well. The argument they need more strength and a worse ability actually just makes them MORE binary. It means that they would have even less options when maimed. At 10 strength the ability is strong but never feels broken. At 12 strength the ability is broken, and you could remove the 2 break from it. That just serves to make the ability less interesting, why bother? You're just expecting that balance should come at one angle when the current take is acceptable.

raven2134
04-30-2013, 12:30 AM
Since this discussion is underway, I will be moving this thread to the proper area.

Aleonymous
04-30-2013, 03:11 AM
I am inclined to agree with MadMage's general POV, i.e. tweaking the ability and not the base-stats of the units. For instance, I'd have all raiders with more-or-less the same min/max stats, and then add the abilities to "flavor/specialize" them. When something is found OP, I'd tweak the ability, just like what was done w Slag-n-Burn. I think this is easier to handle when there are so many units in the game.

In the particular example, having a 12STR BB should came at a cost of low armor. And so the deal was: BBs killed/maimed archers in one move, but soon after perished. A fair trade, if you consider that all units are equivalent. Personally, I don't feel that BBs were so OP, but rather that they thwarted the "traditional OP'ness" of archers (http://stoicstudio.com/forum/showthread.php?1579-Compilation-of-suggestions-amp-remarks-(just-small-amp-medium-scaled-ones-this-time!)&p=20634&viewfull=1#post20634)! :) Now, seriously, from what I've read in this thread, to nerf the BB, I'd have gone for removing entirely the AB from the Run-Through; just being able to pass through enemy-lines (and obstacles!) is too much.

Tirean
04-30-2013, 03:30 AM
If you removed the armor break from the BB runthrough you have made him exactly like he is now. He will do the exact same damage on a runthrough without having the added bonus of allowing your other units to do damage.

So try thinking about that :) why would you then bring a BB to the table when instead you could bring a TS or a raidmaster who would both perform much better with 12 str than the BB would without having armor break.

Think a bit more clearly people :)

raven2134
04-30-2013, 03:43 AM
I think what the analysis is missing is how first hit factors into that scenario. Balancing factors can come before or AFTER the unit does what the player wants it to do. When it comes before then measures can be taken to counter the scenario. When it comes after, there is less "counter" and more mitigate.

Migitating damage is always the comparably worse course of action than preventing it, obviously.

This, I believe, can be seen to the case with a fair share of balance tweaks that have gone into the game.

1. WL SA super combo (old SnB and FA nerf). The issue of this synergy was that it could not be defended against without extreme measures. The damage was off the charts and best way to defend vs this was to run a hard counter build.

2. SA ability and armor nerf. The SAs were too tanky at 10 armor, and it was incredibly hard to prevent 1 more cycle of break from them. In addition, the ability was too damage efficient. As others have described, if struck by mutliple rank 3 shots (using multiple archers), then the hobbling this created nullified the combined threat of the enemy team.

3. BB str nerf. With the large mobility of the ability, there was an effective positional disadvantage because a BB could hit anything (warrior/archer) with impunity, before being maimed or killed.

4. SB buff. The SBs could not do what they needed to do before being struck (again and again). In other words they were over-countered.

It is true one route to go with the BB tweak was to nerf the ability. But I also think given their prevalance pre-tweak, 12 strength +2 break was too strong. Using the no break on the ability but keeping 12 str is also imo a poor solution, because all it takes is 1 Bloody flail or a couple of ignore armor HP chip hits to render run through completely useless. Perhaps, an 11 str max would be ideal for the unit, like it was when the BB was initially introduced. If ability range is too strong, then perhaps the ranged needs to be reduced, but the max number of squares that can be run through is the same (meaning that the BB can move 1 square, then run through to the 6th (the max range is the same).

However, I think this issue of units acting freely with minimal countermeasures is still something we will actively be looking at.

Right now the primary candidates for careful consideration are RMs and BMs.

Note, if we nerfed BBs to less run through range, nothing would reach a rank 3 BM with 1 blocker.

hovercraft
04-30-2013, 04:58 AM
I don't think BB are to nerfed. I even started running 2 of them a week ago, instead of RM and SS. Combining their ability and break is good enough to run them in a team as they're versatile and make your enemy cautious. With 12str I'd probably run three of them. With all the tweaks made i think units are prety balnced now, as I can run various builds with similiar success rate. People complain a little on RM being powerfull, but there's a tradeoff with their ability, as except for WL it's only ability that can't deal damage/break.

Rensei
04-30-2013, 05:38 AM
So, mister MadMage, You left the game after a nerf that You didn't agree with, to a unit You clearly don't understand*, has been made?

That is great. That is exactly why I love this game - it manages to confuse all the "Tibia" kids so fast. One question though - why did You come back?

*Your solution, 12str for no break would hurt the raiders so bad, they would go into extinction - start with 12str attack for no willpower or 100% first strike 12str attack for 1 willpower with no option to further increase the damage, become useless right after - if You think this is good, You might want to take a look at the Thrashers :P
On the other hand giving them 12str right now would effectively turn them into 14str bombs and blow a lot of "low armor, high strength warrior is the key" builds, out of the window (wait! I wouldn't mind that at all ^_^).

loveboof
04-30-2013, 07:25 AM
My suggestion for re-balancing the Backbiter would be to put their max strength back up around 11 or 12 and remove the armor break from their ability. As it is right now the ability does too much, makes the class' armor break stat useless (since the ability's AB is static regardless) and provides mobility. It's too good on it's own, which is why the class needed balancing. But lowering base strength completely skirted the issue and made the class hopelessly weak.


As Tirean and Rensei have pointed out, what you suggest would be way more of a nerf than the current -2str solution!

As it stands now, the BB is still a very versatile unit. Your 'solution' to the issue would make their run through attack do the exact same damage it does now (post nerf) from only a full strength BB, but then render the ability practically worthless (except for some niche positional moves) after they have taken a little bit of damage...

Obviously a terrible idea! You should probably leave the balancing to the devs who actually know what they're doing. (Either that or check your attitude at the door...)

Any input can only improve the game because the devs actually read these forums, but you've been needlessly aggressive and confrontational. Coupled with the fact your own idea is horrendous, I'd quite like to see a little humility in your next reply! :)

Yth
04-30-2013, 07:53 AM
I am inclined to agree with MadMage's general POV, i.e. tweaking the ability and not the base-stats of the units.

I disagree with this.

Right now, units can be balanced against each other on 3 different fronts:
1) Overall stat totals (including movement)
2) Allowable stat distribution (mins and maxes for each class)
3) Abilities

All classes from the same type (for example, raiders) already have the same overall stat total. So you are down to 2 available factors to balance the various types of raiders against each other. If you reduce this to a single balancing factor, it becomes necessary to make each ability exactly mathematically equal to the others in power, or else the system would not be balanced.

In terms of balancing options, it makes more sense to allow a class to have an "overpowered" ability balanced out by restrictive or sub-optimal stat maxes. This is very much how the warriors (and to a lesser extent, the archers) are balanced against each other, for example.

Aleonymous
04-30-2013, 08:02 AM
Even though I, too, feel that the MadMage's forum-manners could be less sharp (but then again, how could humility be required from a Viking? :rolleyes:), I still see his point about tweaking the ability. It's not like removing the AB from RT is the only way to tweak it. For instance, some ideas about tweaking the RT could be:


Reduce the RT-AB from 2 to 1
Make the RT-AB equal to the unit's AB
Exchange the RT-AB for an STR-damage (constant, or ARM/STR dependent)
Give the RT-damage an RNG-dependence, e.g. a 25% chance of 1AB+1STR/2AB/2STR/Miss
Make the RT-damage only applicable to "intermediate(s)" or "target" unit (not both)
Give the final attack a 100%-hit-chance and/or a +1 bonus (like Sundering Impact)
Boost the final attack if landing in (or starting from) a tile with adjacent allies, just like the Bloody Flail
Make Rank-scaling do more damage, not cover more tiles
...combinations of the above

... and I'm sure there are many more.

I'm not expecting critique/commnets on these suggestions, I'm just saying there's many ways to do it, while keeping the unit-stats constant across-the-base-class. Also, please note that none of the above suggestions is "too complex" and neither do they break the RT's "spirit", that is breaking the enemy-lines. Also note that the BB's ability is actually quite opposite to the main spirit of raiders (i.e. shieldwalling), thus automatically making him "weaker", i.e. mitigating his damage (as Raven abstracted it). Both RM & TH abilities profit from adjacent allies, why should the BB ability differ?

In any case, I agree that the BB is quite fun just as he is now and that the devs probably know better :) That said, as Raven's flashback pointed, I agree that the RM & BM are more pressing matters!

Aleonymous
04-30-2013, 08:29 AM
In terms of balancing options, it makes more sense to allow a class to have an "overpowered" ability balanced out by restrictive or sub-optimal stat maxes.

Well, here is my turn to disagree! At least, I hope we all agree that all this talk just comes down to game design/development "choices" :)

Do I want a game with a few, very specialized units? Or, do I want a game with larger and more homogeneous armies? Do I want class uniformity, or can I allow units to deviate considerably from that (like the WL,BB,SRM,SA whose active abilities are contrary to their passive ones)? Do I want all builds to be potentially equal? Or, do I want particular builds to face specific counter-builds? All these are just choices, in my opinion. Not sure where Stoic draw their line. :confused:

But, returning to your point about "what makes more sense in terms of balancing", I believe that restraining the degrees-of-freedom of a problem, is always a means of making the system more stable. When leaving many options open, then it will become exponentially difficult to balance each class with every other; even more so when more classes/types are added. That's why I say "keep the spirit of the active ability and tweak its parameters", and keep the unit-stats uniform.

raven2134
04-30-2013, 08:33 AM
Don't you think Stoic is going thru the middleground, and it just so happens this was the approach for a single unit in this instance, the BB?

Look at the SS for example. The initial idea of her ability was multiple trap tiles. This became changed to a single tile doing a set amount of additional damage + puncture per rank.

MadMage
04-30-2013, 08:57 AM
My attitude only comes from frustration, so I apologize for that. I feel very strongly in the validity of my point and I think a lot of the dismissive counters I get are based more on a defense of the devs than a serious consideration of a different approach to balancing.

The primary problem is that I always felt the AB was unnecessary on BBs anyway - especially since it is static. So I never saw a point in putting anything into the BB's natural armor break because I could always just burn a single willpower to to both armor break and damage to a single target; it was always a better option than attacking or armor breaking outright, regardless of how maimed or healthy the BB was. And I still feel this is a problem with the class - the ability isn't just a 'jack of all trades, master of none' type attack, it's got all three possible aspects of attack rolled into one: range, armor break and straight damage after the fact. Instead of facing this reality and knowing that something needed to be done about it, going with lowering their max strength is just an odd choice - why avoid hitting the ability itself? Was it the lead dev's brain child or something? Removal of the AB doesn't ruin the ability at all; it's still a perfect ability for passing directly through existing units (heck, it would even open up being able to safely pass through your own units!) to hit archers on the far side and remains a valuable tactic for threatening units your opponent tries to protect.

The current solution leaves the class (as far as I know) with the highest max willpower, meaning the lowest possible states otherwise since stats into willpower is just an engine balancing drop-box. Even putting those points somewhere else would be a better option if it was felt they had too much punch; put them into armor or something. I think this alone can be looked at as undeniable proof that even the devs feel the ability is too strong, so they made the core class the weakest out of the lineup.

raven2134
04-30-2013, 09:01 AM
Seriously man? This thread is dismissive? The posts have explained their point =/. Not to mention they've also gone through the history of the balancing. More than half the posters here also have at least 100-200 games under their belt. You don't think there's SOME weight to their opinion?

Anyway, just want to point out your points is just as valid as theirs, no need to go into the "I'm being dismissed vein..."

HappyRaccoon
04-30-2013, 09:06 AM
My attitude only comes from frustration, so I apologize for that. I feel very strongly in the validity of my point and I think a lot of the dismissive counters I get are based more on a defense of the devs than a serious consideration of a different approach to balancing.

The primary problem is that I always felt the AB was unnecessary on BBs anyway - especially since it is static. So I never saw a point in putting anything into the BB's natural armor break because I could always just burn a single willpower to to both armor break and damage to a single target; it was always a better option than attacking or armor breaking outright, regardless of how maimed or healthy the BB was. And I still feel this is a problem with the class - the ability isn't just a 'jack of all trades, master of none' type attack, it's got all three possible aspects of attack rolled into one: range, armor break and straight damage after the fact. Instead of facing this reality and knowing that something needed to be done about it, going with lowering their max strength is just an odd choice - why avoid hitting the ability itself? Was it the lead dev's brain child or something? Removal of the AB doesn't ruin the ability at all; it's still a perfect ability for passing directly through existing units (heck, it would even open up being able to safely pass through your own units!) to hit archers on the far side and remains a valuable tactic for threatening units your opponent tries to protect.

The current solution leaves the class (as far as I know) with the highest max willpower, meaning the lowest possible states otherwise since stats into willpower is just an engine balancing drop-box. Even putting those points somewhere else would be a better option if it was felt they had too much punch; put them into armor or something. I think this alone can be looked at as undeniable proof that even the devs feel the ability is too strong, so they made the core class the weakest out of the lineup.

You're focusing way too much on stat totals. As the unit is now its perfectly fine and has a place in the game. IF you really think the devs were too heavy handed don't play. I'm sure you could nerf RT or tweak it all, but as it stands the unit is pretty powerful.

There are not a lot of units with the same threat range and having 3 AB on them mean's they can't just be left maimed.

MadMage
04-30-2013, 09:13 AM
So, mister MadMage, You left the game after a nerf that You didn't agree with, to a unit You clearly don't understand*, has been made?
Not immediately. I played for quite some time after the nerf, trying to adapt my twin BB build to the changes before building up different classes. I was beaten quite a few times by archer heavy builds and felt that my effective counter to them, the BB, was weakened too much to properly counter 3 archers in a corner.


That is great. That is exactly why I love this game - it manages to confuse all the "Tibia" kids so fast. One question though - why did You come back?
Tibia kids? I'm not even sure what that means. I didn't come back, I merely poked my head in looking for patch notes on how the classes were being balanced and couldn't find anything specific. I asked and cited the reason I left and my frustration with what seemed a poor choice.


*Your solution, 12str for no break would hurt the raiders so bad, they would go into extinction - start with 12str attack for no willpower or 100% first strike 12str attack for 1 willpower with no option to further increase the damage, become useless right after - if You think this is good, You might want to take a look at the Thrashers :P
On the other hand giving them 12str right now would effectively turn them into 14str bombs and blow a lot of "low armor, high strength warrior is the key" builds, out of the window (wait! I wouldn't mind that at all ^_^).
I didn't say to put them to 12 str, I said 'return them to the 11 or 12 area' and someone else said that 12 would be too much. I picked that out to make a point - there are other classes with 12 str; why are they acceptable and the BB isn't? Because the ability is too powerful and needed the nerf. Not the BB itself.

franknarf
04-30-2013, 09:24 AM
The current solution leaves the class (as far as I know) with the highest max willpower,

You can usually find up-to-date min and max stats here:
https://github.com/davemo/tbs-battle-planner/blob/master/app/js/data/unit_data.coffee
or http://bannersaga.wikidot.com/wide:unit-grid
If that's right, the BB and the RM both have min 4 WP; and the BB and TS both have max 13.

Before the BB nerf, everyone was expecting the nerf you propose (take away or reduce AB on Run Through). I think BBs are a lot less good at the old flank-and-gank now. Their fundamental character has changed as a result, but they're not useless and they're still a lot of fun compared to the other raiders. You talk a lot about how you used to play them...I think you might want to consider giving them another go and learning how to play them as they are now.

EDIT: Just saw your reply to Rensei saying you have been playing, so... consider playing some more :) and maybe check out Raccoon's games or other videos from the tourney.


I think this alone can be looked at as undeniable proof that even the devs feel the ability is too strong, so they made the core class the weakest out of the lineup.

Do you agree with others here (Aleo, I think) that archers are not well balanced against the other base classes, and should instead have (i) better stats and (ii) a worse passive or range? It's pretty clear that they're the "weakest out of the lineup", and yet they're still viable.

As you can already guess, I agree with Yth that it's more interesting to allow stats and abilities to balance each other out. If I were making the case that they should not, the Warleader and Skystriker would be at the center of it. The WL's min WP is too high, and his max Str is too low. The SS's min WP is too high, and her max AB is too low. From your perspective, are these also problems?

Slimsy Platypus
04-30-2013, 09:54 AM
I certainly agree that it’s difficult to track class balancing by looking through the patch notes. But, I’ve also play a lot of games… like A LOT, and patch notes for this game are of the same caliber as development teams with hundreds of people; and Factions is being supported by a couple guys that are spending their time working on a single player game right now. You definitely took the right approach by simply asking the community.

As far as balance is concerned, if you are trying to build a team now without putting stats into armor break then your Backbiter probably is going to suck (I’m not implying that that’s what you’re doing, just that that was the very popular way to spec them during their previous craze). To summarize the reasoning Stoic decided to balance the Backbiter in this fashion: firstly, Run Though in this state is fun and gives the backbiter a unique role (it’s definitely fun, and his mobility is certainly unique), and an in-balance presented itself in internal testing at Ranks 2 and 3 (this was prior to it being released to us). It’s interesting that you perceive the Backbiter as being “crippled” by his balancing, as some of the best players in this game are using them in their builds right now.

I can sense the constructiveness of your criticism at the heart, but understand that the non-constructive responses you’ve received probably stem from the fact that you posted in the game’s forums stating that “I quit the game because X was changed to Y”, which are commonly found in every single multiplayer game’s forums after a change is made. Right now when I play, I run the risk of encountering every unit and don’t face the same build or strategy every match, and (for me personally) that is the degree of balance I like to see. I’ve noticed that Factions has a very sensitive balance within a couple aspects of the combat, and at times things that have felt very unfair or “overpowered” have cropped up after existing within the game for months. I’m very satisfied with Stoic’s continued support regarding balancing. With any multiplayer game, we need to expect that things will change and prepare ourselves to try new things and adapt to what new players will bring to the table.

kgosser
04-30-2013, 09:58 AM
He's a Mage, and he's Mad!

loveboof
04-30-2013, 10:20 AM
My attitude only comes from frustration, so I apologize for that. I feel very strongly in the validity of my point and I think a lot of the dismissive counters I get are based more on a defense of the devs than a serious consideration of a different approach to balancing.
Apology accepted :) I did feel defensive for the devs because I think they have done a fantastic job so far, but I believe I explained my rationale for dismissing your solution. If your main gripe is that the BB's are too weak now, then your solution will not solve your own problem...


For instance, some ideas about tweaking the RT could be:


Reduce the RT-AB from 2 to 1
Make the RT-AB equal to the unit's AB
Exchange the RT-AB for an STR-damage (constant, or ARM/STR dependent)
Give the RT-damage an RNG-dependence, e.g. a 25% chance of 1AB+1STR/2AB/2STR/Miss
Make the RT-damage only applicable to "intermediate(s)" or "target" unit (not both)
Give the final attack a 100%-hit-chance or a +1 bonus (like Sundering Impact)
Boost the final attack if landing or starting from a tile with adjacent allies (like the Bloody Flail)
Make Rank-scaling do more damage, not cover more tiles
...combinations of the above

... and I'm sure there are many more.

I know you said you weren't expecting a response like this, but I'll give my thoughts anyway :)

1) Not a bad suggestion, but it could only work if the strength was raised back up again (otherwise that simply serves to further nerf the BB)
2)Too powerful imo. With the -2str, running a 3AB BB is easy (and probably the best set up for him now).
3)Do you mean a certain str increase to the RT attack? Difficult to balance this because the BB has to be able to main/kill an archer at full strength, but not be overpowered in the mid/late games.
4)Not a fan of this. Urgh! lol.. Putting your BB behind enemy lines for potentially no benefit?!
5)Maybe? need to think that one over a bit...
6)Seems the same a #3 to me
7)For me that doesn't make sense for his character, but aside from that, how would that help with balancing his ability?
8)Rank 2 is essential for a BB because of the added range! Perhaps rank 3 could increase damage instead of range, but perhaps that could be too powerful?
9)It's hard to reply to combinations of the above in one sentence lol. You need to iron out exactly what your problem is with the BB that you want to solve! Right now the BB is not at all useless (in fact he most one of the most versatile units in the game!), but can he be used as he was designed? questionable... that's what we need to focus on imo.

raven2134
04-30-2013, 10:27 AM
What if the ability did did 1 break on run through, +1 to str attack, and BB has 11 max str? This means they do less AB to high armor targets, but they are effective 12 str vs archers, and you get the similar 2 AB (effective +2 str) from the ability.

I duno though, this still seems crappier than 2 AB on run through to me.

QuatrolL
04-30-2013, 10:31 AM
One thing that we should consider when discussing class balancing is how individual classes affect the roles of other classes. This is especially relevant to the BB, as he now fits into a very specific role when compared to the other raiders. He doesn't have a very defensive ability, so he can't be a front-line breaker like the raid master. He also doesn't have a high enough strength stat to be considered a strength hitter like the thrasher. He can, however, reach archers and other squishy units easily. This, combined with his relatively good break stat, makes him prime at setting up back-line for easy kills later in the game. He also can act as a "bait" unit, forcing the opponent to make a choice between protecting their archers and ignoring the front-line or keeping the front-line and letting having their archers set up for kills. If had varying success with the BB (I'm not that good of a player, though I've had at least 100 matches), but all the times I had success with him post-nerf was when he was used as a breaker, setting up kills for my archers and warriors.

Another thing to consider is the balance between breakers and strength hitters. While many units can function as both (the Warleader, for example), some units function better as breakers or as hitters. The thrasher, for example, is a much better hitter than it is a breaker. When it had 12 strength the backbiter was an excellent hitter, but the role he was occupying on many peoples teams was making the Thrasher redundant. If you could have a unit that had similar stats to the Thrasher, but also had the advantage of easily hunting down archers, would you even consider using a thrasher on your team?

loveboof
04-30-2013, 10:44 AM
What if the ability did did 1 break on run through, +1 to str attack, and BB has 11 max str? This means they do less AB to high armor targets, but they are effective 12 str vs archers, and you get the similar 2 AB (effective +2 str) from the ability.

I duno though, this still seems crappier than 2 AB on run through to me.
So against high armour targets there would still be a miss chance for the final hit? Or would the 1str/1AB on RT be separate to the final strength based attack?

Doesn't seem like the worst idea either way, it makes the BB slightly stronger but also specialises their utility. (more in line with their intended design?)

That does seem messier than 2AB on RT, but it could be a decent compromise for all...

[although, doing 1str/1AB to multiple enemies when they are lined up could be too powerful! So perhaps the +1 str should only apply to the last unit which you intend to attack?]

raven2134
04-30-2013, 11:15 AM
Loveboof I meant the run would do 1 ab to units passed through, and the strike at the end to the "final unit" would do your strength +1 with chance to miss (str+1-armor). BB at 11 max str.

Aleonymous
04-30-2013, 11:16 AM
Yup. Raven's combination seems quite viable and faithful to the BB's spirit, without too much alterations.

@loveboof: About these suggestions... (since you started/continued it! ;))

#3# could be thought of as an "in-line" SnB or Tempest STR-damage. The former does a constant amount of damage to all units in a given tile-set, while the latter does a normal STR-attack to units in multiple tiles (minus the HI from the Warrior's passive). It's pretty straight if you think of it that way. Not sure how OP or weak, though...

#7# is meant as a boost of the RT ability when used along with raiders' passive, shield-walling. Stone-wall and particularly Bloody-Flail profit from this passiv; so, I was thinking that the BB could get a +1STR to his attack for each ally adjacent to the tile he lands (or starts?).

loveboof
04-30-2013, 11:41 AM
Loveboof I meant the run would do 1 ab to units passed through, and the strike at the end to the "final unit" would do your strength +1 with chance to miss (str+1-armor). BB at 11 max str.
Yeah ok. Well I do quite like that suggestion! It'll be interesting to hear a reply from one of the more critical people of the recent 'nerfing'...



@loveboof: About these suggestions... (since you started/continued it! ;))

#3# could be thought of as an "in-line" SnB or Tempest STR-damage. The former does a constant amount of damage to all units in a given tile-set, while the latter does a normal STR-attack to units in multiple tiles (minus the HI from the Warrior's passive). It's pretty straight if you think of it that way. Not sure how OP or weak, though...

#7# is meant as a boost of the RT ability when used along with raiders' passive, shield-walling. Stone-wall and particularly Bloody-Flail profit from this passiv; so, I was thinking that the BB could get a +1STR to his attack for each ally adjacent to the tile he lands (or starts?).
Hmm, I suppose you could be right on both counts in terms of 'fitting the character'. In terms of balancing, #7 would be fairly situational and so might not solve the issue, but could bring an interesting element to how the BB is used...

For #3 (as you clarified it for me in your last post), I think you would be right about it's comparable power to SnB or Tempest if it didn't end in an attack as well as the added movement range... Not sure it would help with the balancing issue :/

Aleonymous
04-30-2013, 12:02 PM
...might not solve the issue...
...not sure it would help with the balancing issue...

Fortunately (or unfortunately), this game is infinitely more complex than "black-or-white" (i.e. like Chess!), so small-changes and thorough-playtesting are necessary. Nevertheless, I'm sure there are several optimal solutions; so, in order to come down to one, there has to be some sort of "chosing"... Let the devs do it, its more their game than ours! :D

Alex
04-30-2013, 12:14 PM
Alright, I suspect this thread could go around and around. The initial complaint seems to be with Backbiter. We've made very slight adjustments to characters over loooong periods to see how the changes pan out. Factions is a game where just 1 point change across an entire team can make a big difference for the most dedicated players and we understand this.

Our primary goal has always been to prevent any one particular strategy or team from becoming un-fun to play against or unbeatable. This has been our guide with every change to balance.

If we're going to talk about balancing the backbiter or some other class, that's fine. If the conversation devolves back into "the whole thing is broken" then I respectfully disagree.

netnazgul
04-30-2013, 02:08 PM
I can just add that MadMage seems a bit Impaler of backbiters, if you get what I mean ;)

Kletian999
04-30-2013, 02:57 PM
Now now, lets not call him names. He does have a much more rational argument then Impaler's, even if the math of his suggestion last I checked would be a worse nerf than the unit already went through.

EriktheRed
05-03-2013, 06:50 AM
I think Siege Archers could maybe stand to get that 10 max armor back now that slag and burn is not so devastating. Right now they have no stat advantage over the bowmaster.

raven2134
05-03-2013, 07:01 AM
They're not supposed to have a stat advantage...

HappyRaccoon
05-03-2013, 10:22 AM
I think the idea is that they were dropped to 10 armor when SnB was broken. Perhaps reverting a past nerf now may make them a bit more popular? Though I still use mine...

Kletian999
05-03-2013, 04:09 PM
Stat advantage not meaning they have more points, but they have the potential to have a higher stat than Bowmasters that isn't max will.

Arnie
05-03-2013, 04:24 PM
I think Siege Archers could maybe stand to get that 10 max armor back now that slag and burn is not so devastating. Right now they have no stat advantage over the bowmaster.

And who could argue with a guy named Erik the Red?

roder
05-03-2013, 05:12 PM
I think the idea is that they were dropped to 10 armor when SnB was broken. Perhaps reverting a past nerf now may make them a bit more popular? Though I still use mine...

seems reasonable.

Tatski
05-05-2013, 10:23 PM
I think Siege Archers could maybe stand to get that 10 max armor back now that slag and burn is not so devastating. Right now they have no stat advantage over the bowmaster.
I would love to see SA with 10 armor again.. The other archers have a max of 17 str/armor, It would be nice if SA do too.