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  Click here to go to the first staff post in this thread.   Thread: Unit Cap Idea/Suggestion/Request

  1. #21
    Backer KRD's Avatar
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    Good posts all around, I like. In addition to backbiter max armor coming down a point or two, the devs have already mentioned they're considering a decrease of one point on warmaster max strength as well, so they're definitely on the case already. Might be a good first step that'll let us all evaluate if further changes are warranted.

    Quote Originally Posted by sweetjer View Post
    I was thinking that Run thru AB should be equal to base AB for the unit. So if you assign 1 break, run thru does 1 break. Additionally I'd like to see BB break capped at 2. That way you have to spend points to get the current run thru value, and BB's are no longer the most effective raiders for breaking.
    Alternatively, but in that general direction, how about that old idea of distributing the biter's armor break stat across all units that he runs through? So a backbiter with 3 in armor break running through two units would deal 1 AB on the first one and 2 AB on the second one before stabbing it for normal strength damage. On the other hand, a backbiter with only 1 in armor break running through two units would deal 0 AB on the first one and 1 AB on the one getting stabbed.

    This does present the problem of backbiters with 3 AB dealing all of it on a single unit, making them even more amazing archer (and low armor warrior Varl) slayers, though. Hmmm... maybe they should go down to 2 max armor break on top of that, but then their ability wouldn't be as godly at higher ranks anymore either...

  2. #22
    Junior Member NonToxic's Avatar
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    While I agree with the philosophy that no team is unbeatable, I can also see that certain compositions will reliably lose to certain other comps. I have a two archer team that I like to use, and it is a fun and fair match against everything except a line-up including 4 BBs. Even on the larger maps, positioning myself as far back as possible, these BBs will be on me in 2-3 turns and it won't end well. 4 Raidmasters is doable and 4 Thrashers is doable, but after losing some 15 not-even-close matches to 4 BBs, seeing that at the load screen really breaks my spirit. Similarly, I have a different two warrior team that loses very badly to 4 archer setups, but feels fun and fair against everything else.

    None of these teams are invalid or unfair, and these very poor match-ups are rare, but it is a No Contest when they do occur. What I unrealistically want is the ability to tag in Team B when I see myself matched against a No Contest composition, though it is really obvious how badly that would complicate matchmaking.
    Last edited by NonToxic; 03-05-2013 at 02:02 AM.

  3. #23
    Superbacker piotras's Avatar
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    Very good thread. To sum up, more than 3 of the same class might gives a slight advantage to the player, but the actual problem in probably in how BBs can be spected. Stoic has suggested that some changes might be coming but I guess they were hoping thing will not turn ugly just yet, but I'm afraid that gimmicky builds are popping up at a alarming pace and we need to be a bit more verbal about it.

    I really like this suggestion that would keep AB for run through fair:
    Quote Originally Posted by Slimsy Platypus View Post
    As a suggestion, perhaps Run Through could be adjusted so that it uses the Backbiter's break stat to determine it's ARM damage (I'm thinking a break stat of 1 deals no ARM damage while running through, break of 2 deals 1 ARM, and 3 deals 2 ARM).
    If that would be coupled with a minimum exertion for BBs set to 1, we probably wouldn't have to change any max on strength and armour because to have a BB with 12 strength and 2 armour break on run through he could only have a max of 9 armour (ar 9/st 12/wp 4/ex 1/ab 3). If someone would decide to drop armour break in general we would end up with 12 strength and 11 armour, which isn't too much even with shieldwall from other raiders in the light of having to outsource armour breaking to other units in the team. A minimum on exertion might be of use since as the distance that a BB can run through gets bigger BBs will not only get more stats but they will be able to drop exertion and maintain the same effective range.
    Last edited by piotras; 03-05-2013 at 04:39 AM.

  4. #24
    Senior Member Yellow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by eAZy View Post
    Frankly, it is far too early in the game's life to make such drastic balance dynamic changes. Nothing against you OP, but do you think you know enough about the game having played it maybe a few dozen times to be 100% sure this is a problem? I would wait and see what builds come out for at least a few months before jumping to big changes.
    I have 100+ games played, that ain't exactly little, i have used all units to a fair amount, and i can pretty much tell u, that 4 BB or 4 trashers are unbalanced....

    Quote Originally Posted by sweetjer View Post
    I have to say, I've become a proponent of identical unit cap as of late. 4 bb spec for armor and str seems to reduce the skill the player needs to win and unfairly increase the skill opponent needs to counter it. I have written at length regarding skill level to play vs skill level to counter in the past, and I'd like to agree that (at least when it comes to identical raiders, specifically BB and TH), this is still a balancing issue that we should take a look at.

    To clarify, in response to Anodai, I am supporting a cap to how many of the SAME unit not same base class you can have in the team. Ie. 4 BB would be illegal but 2 TH 2 RM would not.
    yes Pirotas suggested that already, and i agree with the idea, facing a team of 2x + 2x is ok, now when it comes down to 4x and even in most cases 3x of the same it gets quite nasty....

    Quote Originally Posted by sweetjer View Post
    4 Archers isn't an issue in my opinion, I think that team is easily countered, so not sure why that is tacked onto this thread.
    as i have previosly said a few times already, i added it cos i have seen people complaining about it, not because any personal exprience, it would be unfair to ask for 1 particualar unit to get a cap while other dosen't from my point of view, so its on the thread to be fair with the other people i have seen complaining...
    Last edited by Yellow; 03-06-2013 at 04:54 AM.

  5. #25
    I am all for the change of the system however I feel you should allowed people to play 4 archers or 4 raiders 2 varl if needed. However I do feel maybe a cap should be put on how many of each class you can bring to the table.

    What id suggest is that you could bring 2 of any same type archer class, 2 of the same type of raider class and 1 of the same type of varl class. This way you can still use many many different tactics however you can't just stack 1 unit over the other because its stronger.

  6. #26
    Senior Member sweetjer's Avatar
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    Yellow, I am aware that someone else recommended it (it's been recommended before in beta), that's why I said that I supported it. Regarding the archer balance: maybe. There are seemingly arbitrary composition limitations in the game already: 5 humans. 2 varls. Those limitations aren't actually arbitrary though. They're there for balancing purposes. 4 Archers can be very strong, but you also have to know how to play it. Even if you know how to play it, there are some fairly obvious strategies for countering. Just a thought... not saying unique unit cap across the board (including Varls) would be a terrible thing anyway. But if it's not a mass limitation across all units, I would have to say I disagree that Archers need a cap like that.
    that which does not kill you often leaves you handicapped

  7. #27
    Junior Member eduran's Avatar
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    I think unit limits should be kept to a minimum. Every new limitation removes compositions from the game and decreases variety. If some units are overpowered when stacked, like BBs and maybe Thrashers, these units need to be adressed. It's pretty clear to me that a 12/12 BB who is extremly mobile, very durable and both a fantasitc killer and breaker just isn't right. Of course that problem is going to be even bigger if someone fields four of them. But arbitrarily forbidding such a team only cures one symptom of the underlying issues, instead of attacking the actual cause.

    Bottom line: don't remove OP compositions, balance them instead. Consider this thread. Read the last paragraph. It'd be a shame if that team would have been kept from coming together like it did.
    Last edited by eduran; 03-05-2013 at 05:25 AM. Reason: typos

  8. #28
    Backer Zahar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sweetjer View Post
    Yellow, I am aware that someone else recommended it (it's been recommended before in beta), that's why I said that I supported it. Regarding the archer balance: maybe. There are seemingly arbitrary composition limitations in the game already: 5 humans. 2 varls. Those limitations aren't actually arbitrary though. They're there for balancing purposes. 4 Archers can be very strong, but you also have to know how to play it. Even if you know how to play it, there are some fairly obvious strategies for countering. Just a thought... not saying unique unit cap across the board (including Varls) would be a terrible thing anyway. But if it's not a mass limitation across all units, I would have to say I disagree that Archers need a cap like that.
    I tend to agree. Unit class caps usually mean the game is not properly balanced, and true balance should be pursued, not a way to fake it.

    About archers, very subtle changes could make them more relevant, namely slight armor or str debuffs to raider advanced classes (maybe along with one more movable point for raidmaster so he has slightly better stats to balance his defensive special skill).
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  9. #29
    Senior Member Jorgensager's Avatar
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    I don't see limiting teams to only 3 of one base unit as a good idea. It would force an archer and a raider base class on all teams.

    It is not a problem that people can build homogeneous builds of one unit which can be very effective against certain other builds ~ it's a problem if, say, a 4 BB team always gives an unfair advantage.

    The whole idea of being able to be creative with team construction gives the game a lot more depth, and that's not worth taking away (at least not immediately... try balancing it in other ways first). In an ideal system, a homogeneous build would typically not be very effective, except for against some compostitions.

    I.e. the problem is not (necessarily) with the team distribution, but rather with stat/ability tweaking (as others have pointed out).

  10. #30
    Superbacker piotras's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zahar View Post
    I tend to agree. Unit class caps usually mean the game is not properly balanced, and true balance should be pursued, not a way to fake it.
    True balance = identical units. It's impossible to truly balance a game into which you're allowed to bring different mix of units. We can either start diluting units so they start to look more alike or draw a line somewhere. If getting rid of the exponential benefits of having 4+ identical units is 'the line' than I would advise going for that.

  11. #31
    Okay, so we have...promoted unit caps and BB nerfs?

    I don't think either of these address what I see as the core problem: mostly-melee teams can sacrifice exertion and willpower in favor of higher strength and armor, and be stupidly strong. I suspect such builds do take skill to use, but much more skill to counter.

    Then again, I'm not speaking from experience: I have gone up against a four-BB team once and gotten whupped. Maybe I just wasn't prepared, and it wouldn't be too hard to counter a second time, though...

    I don't know how Stoic can/should address that issue we think we see here, but maybe higher ranks and new units will naturally resolve it. Anyway, I wouldn't object to a promoted-human or promoted-raider cap of three, but I don't think it would make teams like this less popular and generally like the idea of leaving team-composition rules as open as possible.

    Finally, archer-heavy teams have never been a problem for me (except when used by a particular beta player); leave 'em alone!

  12. #32
    Developer raven2134's Avatar
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    Hmm, let's go about this another way...

    One suggestion I made before to balance mass raider teams was to suggest a nerf to shieldwall. Shieldwall is one reason why high str, high armor raiders are that much harder to kill, and clearly, the more raiders you bring, the greater the shieldwall effect there is for everyone - because you have more raiders to generate the effect, fit in formations, and stack.

    Now, the problem with just straight up nerfing shieldwall, like for example if shieldwall instead has a flat effect of +1 armor instead of the +2 when its raider to raider, is that this kind of nerf significantly affects low raider composition teams, like if someone only brings 2 raiders. What if instead we introduce a cap to how much shieldwall can stack instead? Let's say shieldwall can stack up to +3 only, for any unit. This means that sticking 4 raiders beside a varl only increase the varl's armor by +3 (1 armor less), and if you have a line of 3 raider's the center raider also only gets +3 (1 less). Putting a raider behind to form a T does not give the center raider further protection either. This also servers to keep low raider compositions viable, since majority of situations will see formations of 2-3 units only with a bonus of 2-3 armor only.


    Now, 1 armor is probably still not enough of a change. The point that bringing a mass of any single unit increases the strength of a single dimension so much and so creates imbalance is I feel correct and hits the nail on the head. Similar to the balance issues seen with the old SA and the QA tested SA (which was reported by stoic but never entered my or other players' hands), who could blow stuff up to overpowered proportions/burn everything the more you had.

    The issue is that for people to naturally not want to bring too many of a single unit, but keep these wacky builds an option and playable/viable (not OP or UP), the units and what they can do need to see diminishing returns. There are a number of great examples for this already in the game.

    1. SS - bringing more than 1 does allow more traps. But each trap is less damage output
    2. RM - bringing more gives you more blockers, But each RM blocking is not doing damage, and additionally they have less WP to do damage as their ability drains it. Not to mention they're less effective as damage dealers due to their effective stats.
    3. Mass archers in general - yes you can break and puncture...but you lack the defensive wall. 1 blocker goes down and the archers are toast.

    Now...on a side note but related subject, the thrasher nerf was interesting. The randomness came to be a pretty much blanket solution. Being random, theoretically a solo TH could be as effective as mass TH because even the user couldn't predict when or if BlF would miss. It is funny, but the thrasher follows 2 points which can contradict each other:

    1. You can bring 1 thrasher and limit your randomness but also make use of it when the opportunity arises (you take a risk but hedge your bets).
    2. You can bring 4 and look for x4 the chance to luckout on a wicked flail (you take the maximum risk with the unit, but the numbers can also work to your advantage).

    Whether perception or reality however, effectively reducing the guaranteed damage for flail, allowing misses, and creating a perception that the thrasher is more manageable has also made dealing with 4 thrasher teams more manageable to fight against (unless someone would disagree? I at least think its much more manageable than before).

    Can we specifically balance the BB like the thrasher was balanced? We can try. Nerfing total armor on the unit is clearly needed, as it was never intended to be able to tank as well as it can. The ability feels too weak at 1 break, but too strong on multiple units at 2 break. Linking the unit's break and ability together is a good solution.

    Perhaps, we can tweak the ability description and the way it links to break. Run-through will do the BB's Break-1 and attack for the BB's strength. This creates incentive to invest into break for the ability. And if someone does want to go for high armor/high hp, no break BB, then the BB with 1 break does no AB on his ability. Does this make the BB too effective on tearing thru armor on level 3 run through (up to 4 tiles for -2 armor each target)?

    ...well how many people would line up that many units? I don't think it's that different from WH tempest rank 3; and if a full str WH swings at 4 targets with his 15-16 str...just how much damage do you think he's doing for 3 WP?

    If it's really an issue, just limit the number of targets affected by the run-through break in my opinion, only the last two targets are ever affected by the break.

    Thoughts?
    Last edited by raven2134; 03-05-2013 at 08:56 AM.

  13. #33
    Backer Zahar's Avatar
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    Shield wall could also receive an indirect debuff in the form of slag and burn buff (and it would make having at least one archer more relevant), i.e.; thing is, we discuss balance without being able to test rank 2 and 3 stuff, and we have no way to avoid it. Maybe simply slag n burn rank 3 could be enought, maybe it needs a buff indeed (I personally feel the AoE should be more powerful, not only the target in the main square should lose more armor and str).

    ATM the only real AoE we have comes from Warriors (WH and, to a lesser degree, WM) - and that's one of the reasons they are so vital to every team. Should it change, small units that tend to cluster will obviously lose value.
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  14. #34
    Senior Member Yellow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by piotras View Post
    True balance = identical units. It's impossible to truly balance a game into which you're allowed to bring different mix of units. We can either start diluting units so they start to look more alike or draw a line somewhere. If getting rid of the exponential benefits of having 4+ identical units is 'the line' than I would advise going for that.
    +1 that is pretty much my take on it.

  15. #35
    Superbacker piotras's Avatar
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    I agree with Zahar that shieldwall will have more counters as we grow in ranks and removal of shieldwall bonuses will remove a nice mechanic out of the game, however +1 for every extra raider rather than another +2 sounds interesting.

    Maybe imposing higher exertion and WP minimums for TH and BB would make them less tanky (by decreasing the stat points available for strength and armour, so people would have to choose what they prefer). The base AB-1 for run through would make things different as well!

    EDIT:
    although that would have to come with the suggested lower strength maximum for WM, or else they would die like flies when not in a multiple-raider build.
    Last edited by piotras; 03-05-2013 at 09:39 AM.

  16.   This is the last staff post in this thread.   #36
    Art Director Arnie's Avatar
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    We've often toyed with the idea of capping units to 3. We will continue to look into this.
    We're trying to be careful about overbalancing as we think that the next ranks of the current characters will do a lot to change tactics and also we know there are certain future classes we'll be launching that will change current builds. Basically we're of the mind to slightly adjust right now to let the game evolve with the updated ranks and units. We're aware of the all melee builds being powerful right now.

    My build is RM/TH/SRM/WL/SA/SS and I can say I lost a day ago to a 3BB/1TH/PK/WM build but it came down to 1v2 and his two units had 1 and 3 str left when he won. So...it was a dang close match and he was not a poor player.

    Great thread.

    As a side note, we are going to be balancing certain classes again, like the Backbiter and Warmaster soon.

  17. #37
    Senior Member Yellow's Avatar
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    Hi Arnie thanks alot for taking a look at the thread and answering, also thanks to Raven for pointing it out

    Its really good to know that u guys have been toying around with the idea already for a wile, and that a closer look will be taken into the issue. Keep up the great work!

  18. #38
    Superbacker piotras's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arnie View Post
    We've often toyed with the idea of capping units to 3. We will continue to look into this.
    We're trying to be careful about overbalancing as we think that the next ranks of the current characters will do a lot to change tactics and also we know there are certain future classes we'll be launching that will change current builds. Basically we're of the mind to slightly adjust right now to let the game evolve with the updated ranks and units. We're aware of the all melee builds being powerful right now.

    My build is RM/TH/SRM/WL/SA/SS and I can say I lost a day ago to a 3BB/1TH/PK/WM build but it came down to 1v2 and his two units had 1 and 3 str left when he won. So...it was a dang close match and he was not a poor player.

    Great thread.

    As a side note, we are going to be balancing certain classes again, like the Backbiter and Warmaster soon.
    So glad to hear that! I'm all for tightening restrictions if that is supposed to save different classes and their skills from being 'diluted'.

    I understand that you try to preserve player choice, but sooner or later players find what works best or is simply easier to play (it will happen at higher ranks too) and incentive to win will make this game boring. Like the whole BB/TH all-melee situation which is getting a bit toxic. I don't have anything against all-melee, shieldwall stacking should be a tactic like all other (after all they sacrifice range and mobility) but maybe min/max stats for raiders should be redistributed so they can't be treated as mini-varls when they get into a formation.

    Anyway, looking forward to the changes, the current situations made me completely hate my 2x RM, 2x TH, STR, WM build
    Last edited by piotras; 03-06-2013 at 04:06 AM.

  19. #39
    Backer KRD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by eduran View Post
    I think unit limits should be kept to a minimum. Every new limitation removes compositions from the game and decreases variety. If some units are overpowered when stacked, like BBs and maybe Thrashers, these units need to be adressed. It's pretty clear to me that a 12/12 BB who is extremly mobile, very durable and both a fantasitc killer and breaker just isn't right. Of course that problem is going to be even bigger if someone fields four of them. But arbitrarily forbidding such a team only cures one symptom of the underlying issues, instead of attacking the actual cause.
    Stoic are already arbitrarily forbidding certain team compositions, clearly this is something they're okay with doing in the name of keeping the game fun and balanced and, most importantly, diverse. If you removed the Varl limit for example, a lot of people would run six warhawks; more freedom does not equal more variety, not in practice, not in this case.

    Furthermore, the problem really doesn't lie in backbiters and thrashers being unbalanced when they're part of an all-around team. No experienced player would complain about a backbiter slaying their out of position archer, that's what they're designed to do, if you let them do it, you have yourself to blame. But since we all agree that they can be played more easily and effectively when they group up and move as four, balancing them in this case obviously implies making them weaker. Doing this without making them too weak when part of a balanced team (as they were once before in beta, at least compared to pre-nerf thrashers) is likely impossible. Hence the proposition for stricter unit caps.

  20. #40
    I could feel a warmaster nerf coming in my bones, this is why I went warhawks instead.

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