View Full Version : Raidmaster discussion

04-29-2013, 09:00 AM
I've been seeing a lot of chat room rumblings or side comments in other threads about the Raidmaster. Since the audience for chatrooms is limited compared to the forum, I'm hoping a dedicated discussion here could be held.

Questions I've seen asked:
1. Are the Raidmasters "too low risk"?
2. Is their ability too powerful?
2b. How should it be nerfed if it was too powerful?
3. Are they too popular, can you "win without one"?

I invite those with opinions on the topic to purpose other questions as well. For now I'll state my thoughts on the above.

1. Raidmasters can generally move where they please without fear of reprisal except from cetain units- Sky traps and Provokers tend to completely nullify them while Shield masters, breaker Warhawks, and Warmasters can sometimes find value in scratching through their defense. Should their strength be depleted they almost always have 3 break meaning keeping them alive is generally bad for your opponent. This is certainly a low risk setup.

The question is how proportional is the reward for this long risk.

Raidmasters could have 12 Strength, but the cost to their armor tends to make it impractical above 10. This lower Strength means they'd only do significant damage to low armor archers, heavy broken units, and/or requiring some exertion spent. This leaves your team dependent on other units to deal Strength damage for them while they break. Thrashers can easily hold 12 strength while also using their power to damage until death. So as a Strength unit, your reward is lower than a Thrasher.

In the role of primary breaker, you can consider the opportunity cost of Backbiters who can add Str damage to a small break and movement, or making comparable 3+ breaks without their power. So as a breaker, you give up some things as well.

When their guard is up, they can stand to block units, especially high strength Varls, from making great moves. This functionally is on par with the Skystriker trap except replacing uncertainty and damage for being visibly there, positioned to counterattack, and more durable than a Skystriker herself. A shieldmaster can also act as blocker, but has less flexibility from size, move speed, and exertion. The power of a 1 square block is thus the hardest to replace, though admittedly it's value varies on the map and the preferred formations of both active teams.

Based on the above, I don't think the "low riskness" of the Raidmaster is a problem. There will always be "the least risky" thing in a set of comparable things, and the opportunities lost by taking the Raidmaster appear to be in line with the benefits you gain.

2. Their ability makes it either impossible or wasteful to attack them most of the time. In trade off they don't attack the turn they use it and they are burning their willpower. On larger boards during the approach, you can retreat forcing their power use to be wasted. As long as you land a 3+ break while the shield is down, it generally stops being useful past the midgame (though it did help win a pillage versus an archer once). You'll certainly not win the game spamming this power like some other nerfed powers. What it can do is make a great wall for archers to stand behind if you team lacks backbiters, Strongarms, or archers of your own. In these circumstances, the path to victory is to take a step back and wait out the willpower. There seems to be enough ways around the power to keep it from being a problem as is.

2b. I don't believe it should be nerfed, but I'll throw out some ideas and why I don't like them. The Resistance could be flatly reduced, to say 2/4/6 with level. If this was done, I think Raidmasters would further dump Str for armor, which really wouldn't make them that much more survivable. They'd keep breaking but their ability to post a giant Varl would be compromised. Since high Strength Varls are arguably Omni-present, I'm wary of reducing a good counter to them. Another thought I read was to "time delay" the damage prevented, but I don't see spending willpower to do nothing but delay the inevitable for a turn to be useful.

3. I've certainly lost to teams who lacked them, I generally use 1 myself, but only 1. There have been plenty of past Tournament winning builds relying on more brute strength in their units.

I think having a Raidmaster is essential for preventing stalemates where the person that moves forward first will always lose. If this statement is itself, the problem, then I suggest we need other ways of stalemate breaking rather than reduce Raidmasters- otherwise competitive play is going to become a slog.

04-29-2013, 09:34 AM
With the way most folks are playing them these days (overextending and not resting the RMs), 2xRM is easy enough to handle, though very annoying. A good player can make them a serious problem, but they're far from an automatic win.

3xRM might be a bit too tough; I saw a couple of Echlir's games on stream against that recently. I think it was backed up by 2xBM.

I guess I don't see it as a serious problem right now, though. Maybe Stoic could drop the raider max from 3 to 2 once new base classes are introduced.

04-29-2013, 09:58 AM
I hate the stupid things, but I don't think nerfing the ability would make the characters better. At the moment they are such binary units. You lose 2-3 armor and the ability becomes worthless. I complain but at the same time I don't know what I would do with them to alleviate the issues either.

04-29-2013, 10:21 AM
You guys already nerfed my favourite unit, Backbiter. Leave my Raidmasters alone!
Everytime i are going to loose a battle to someone who knows how to use his units you're going to brag about nerfing this and that on forums?

Just go and use provokers/ high str warriors.

04-29-2013, 10:28 AM
Well, so far the nerf talk has mainly been in the chatbox or over twitch streams. Since I disagree (and disagreed with the similar Siege archer nerf) this forum thread will get the arguments more into the open where they can be analyzed and understood by both sides.

04-29-2013, 12:19 PM
Kletian are you referring to the last SA nerf or the armor one a ways back?

04-29-2013, 12:32 PM
I have made a suggestion to Raven about making the RM the reverse of a BB. Meaning he would have maximum of 10 armor 12 strength.

What do people think of this idea?

04-29-2013, 12:35 PM
The power nerf. Lowering SA armor was fine- it made them one of the most killable of units which countered their ability to be dangerous with low strength. As of the power nerf, it's very rare to find a situation where using the power is a better deal then making a 5 point break (the more direct damage you deal, the less coals you drop), and if the only good move they can make is a 5 point break, then you are better off with a raidmaster or a bowmaster who can also make them and doing other things.

But that's ultimately off topic. Tirean, can you elaborate what setting armor and strength to those values would do? Is that supposed to hurt them by lowering their max armor? 10 isn't bad with their power and they can already use 12 STR if they want.

04-29-2013, 12:46 PM
It means strength classes can actually harm them early on, it wouldn't hurt the armor break but it means you can almost maim them. That's what I would assume anyways.

I understand that point of view but dropping 2/3 + coals for 3 WP multiple times was just so broken.

04-29-2013, 12:54 PM
The idea is make the raidmaster an aggressive pusher who aim is to get into the enemy lines and cause a lot of damage.

Right now you don't really want to stat him like that and you would prefer to give him 11-12 armor instead. I am sure the people who are using 10 armor 10str/12str Raidmasters can confirm that they are still very useful however they are easier to deal with for the enemy.

For now the raid master with its high armor and at rank 2 being able to stat 12 armor 10 str is making the raidmaster the strongest raider in the early game, the mid game and the end game. (lacks a little manuevability compared to the other 2 raiders though due to how you stat them) It isn't surprising to come into the end game with 1 of your raid masters still at max armor and strength.

The change proposed now allows for warriors and shieldmasters to deal with the raidmasters more effeciently. Warriors can hit them directly for a good amount of str now without needing to use WP, shieldmasters can damage the armor a lot more so archers can begin to hit the raidmasters strength much earlier.

04-29-2013, 10:37 PM
I have almost always played my RMs at 10/12/4/1/3 (r2), to great effect. I'm not sure they are easier to deal with for the enemy... you sometimes have to burn 1 more wp on stonewall to keep him from taking a bit hit, but then your opponent will have all his positioning screwed making sure the RM doesn't get to the squishies to do a 13 hit.

05-03-2013, 12:33 AM
RM doesnt need a nerf, just need to adjust your lineup according to meta. now that everyone uses RM, I put a PK in my lineup. I really think all units are more or less balanced, no need for nerfs. Yeah BB might be weak, but he's not UP, just like BM is strong but not OP.