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  Click here to go to the first staff post in this thread.   Thread: Why nerf Backbiters?

  1. #41
    Backer KRD's Avatar
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    Did anyone seriously think a single rank 1 backbiter, even specced at 12/12 and low exertion, was impossible (or even difficult) to handle? If your answer is no, do you not agree that lowering their max strength by two makes them weaker in every way when they're the only backbiter on a team? Would you not also agree then that after this nerf, they are further away from being balanced (when compared to other raiders) than they were before, at rank 1 at least?

    If their rank 3 run through was what caused concerns, that's what should have been looked at. The range of the ability could have been reduced by one square at all ranks. The armor break component of it could have been made dependent on their armor break stat, like it was with the siege archer's slag and burn. On top of that, to tackle shield wall stacking in those pesky 4x (now 3x) builds, the backbiter's max armor could have been lowered by one or two points, all this without really compromising their usefulness as the kamikaze maimers (never really killers, not against skilled players) of low armor units*. Which is what they make sense to be, as opposed to the ridiculous burst armor breaking tanks with a dagger that they will evolve into now. Derp.

    Just because this nerf seems to have roughly brought the unit in line doesn't mean that it was handled the right way, by addressing the things that really made backbiters too powerful or at least too easy to play.

    * By far not only archer slayers, backbiters were also pretty much the only line of defence (metaphorically speaking, maai and all that) to dual high strength warriors that I ever found to be effective.
    Last edited by KRD; 03-16-2013 at 08:32 AM. Reason: Adding daggers to injury.

  2. #42
    Superbacker piotras's Avatar
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    12/12 + shieldwall + 2 armour break made them much easier to play and boringly overused by types hoping for easy wins, thus some sort of nerf had to be in place but I was also hoping for making their run through be dependent on the their actual break stat (-1), which wouldn't allow for making them the jack of all trades (at least at rank 1). All these changes would make more sense to me if warriors would have so high strength in the first place.

  3. #43
    Junior Member Micahh's Avatar
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    The nerf was just about spot on.

    A 10 strength BB does an effective 12 str hit for 1 willpower, which is one less than you'd get from one of the other raider types (12 str + 1 WP), but you also get 2 points of broken armor, so you're trading 2 armor for 1 health, not a bad trade. The post-nerf BBs hitting power is pretty much right where it should be. You also don't have to pay the design points for the 2 points of strength, allowing you to max out their armor and still have a couple of points to play with at rank one.

    Once that's accounted for you have to examine the BBs special in comparison with the other raider types, and I think you'll find that it's doing exactly what it should be, which is granting mobility. The occasional chance for a bonus armor break on a second run-through rewards good setup and positioning as it should. Clearly the RM has a different niche entirely, and the thrasher is a good low-health unit (though 2 armor break and a swing really isn't that far off from the thrasher's 3 randoms and a swing.)

    Does this possibly mean that 3x BB builds aren't that viable anymore? Maybe, but that's how it should be. The BB is supposed to be a specialty anti-squishy unit, not an all-purpose killer. Would you complain that you got crushed by your opponent's tanks when you bought an army of antiaircraft guns in a war game?

  4. #44
    Quote Originally Posted by Micahh View Post
    The nerf was just about spot on.

    A 10 strength BB does an effective 12 str hit for 1 willpower, which is one less than you'd get from one of the other raider types (12 str + 1 WP), but you also get 2 points of broken armor, so you're trading 2 armor for 1 health, not a bad trade.
    You are forgetting that he's trading his entire ability to get that two armor break and one less Strength damage, and also is dealing with a lesser chance of doing any damage at all against Armor 12+ enemies.

    In comparison, the Thrasher ability lets him use a minimal Armor Break stat for more overall points and then ignore armor to do small damage to Armor and Strength. The Raidermaster ability lets him have super armor and allows him to act as a shield in the way of other units.

    The BB's ability now lets him engage in dangerous movement and burn Willpower to get a worse attack than if he didn't use the ability at all. The Backbiter now has a non-ability that will sometimes result in a glorious death when the enemy moves out of attack range of your other units in order to kill the lone BB. If he's lucky, he might do slightly more total Armor Break damage in the battle than if he hadn't use his ability at all and just saved his Willpower for Armor Breaking.

    Right now, the uses of Run Through against two units that would be tactically advantageous occur in maybe one out of three games. Situations where you are going to be able to Run Through more units and justify the use of Willpower on the ability are going to be even less.

    Quote Originally Posted by Micahh View Post
    Once that's accounted for you have to examine the BBs special in comparison with the other raider types, and I think you'll find that it's doing exactly what it should be, which is granting mobility. The occasional chance for a bonus armor break on a second run-through rewards good setup and positioning as it should.
    Extra mobility is both costly and dangerous, so I'm not entirely sure why you are talking about it as if it's entirely positive. Burning Willpower on movement is Willlpower you don't have for armor break and Strength damage, and moving too far from your other units works against your Shield Wall power for you and others and makes it impossible for other units to back you up.

    Quote Originally Posted by Micahh View Post
    Does this possibly mean that 3x BB builds aren't that viable anymore?
    It's clear that any build with BBs is no longer viable. Thrashers are now the clear superior in every way, and Raidmasters are second with their niche tactical use.
    Last edited by Kazthefirst; 03-16-2013 at 08:36 PM.

  5. #45
    Superbacker piotras's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kazthefirst View Post
    Right now, the uses of Run Through against two units that would be tactically advantageous occur in maybe one out of three games. Situations where you are going to be able to Run Through more units and justify the use of Willpower on the ability are going to be even less.
    Could you post a link to the statistical data you used to make this claim?

    BBs at higher ranks are the most mobile units in the whole game capable of most cost-effective armour break. I'm sorry you got used to you 12 strength BBs, just get over it and learn to play a proper tactical game not dependant on high strength mobile units. Saying that no builds with BBs are no longer viable is just ridiculous. Could you share with us what was your previous build that made 12 strength BBs so crucial?

  6. #46
    Senior Member Yellow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kazthefirst View Post
    It's clear that any build with BBs is no longer viable. Thrashers are now the clear superior in every way, and Raidmasters are second with their niche tactical use.
    oh my... the level of "no-sence" is strong in this one....

  7. #47
    Quote Originally Posted by piotras View Post
    Could you post a link to the statistical data you used to make this claim?

    BBs at higher ranks are the most mobile units in the whole game capable of most cost-effective armour break. I'm sorry you got used to you 12 strength BBs, just get over it and learn to play a proper tactical game not dependant on high strength mobile units. Saying that no builds with BBs are no longer viable is just ridiculous. Could you share with us what was your previous build that made 12 strength BBs so crucial?
    First, you need to defend how spending all of your Willpower for one turn of mobility is an asset. It seems like a heavy and often fatal trade-off to me. Heck, even running with the base six Willpower to make it possible is going to hurt your stats unless you want to hope that the horn is refilled enough by the time you need it.

    Second, Run Through is only the most efficient Armor Break under ideal conditions with the maximum units affected for the Willpower expended. If you affect one less unit than the max possible for the Willpower expended because enough didn't line up or one was a Warrior, it's a total Armor break of equal or less than adding the same amount of Willpower to your base 3 Armor Break.

    Third, spreading out Armor break is far less tactically useful than focusing it. Spending three Willpower to do a six point Armor Break to a high Strength Warrior so that your next unit can damage it down to a manageable Strength is far more tactically useful than spreading out two points of Armor Break to four units each even in the unlikely situation where four units lined themselves up for you. You'd be lucky to find four units in the last half the battle. You'd even be lucky to get a situation where two points of Armor break even matters considering that most people tend to just maim enemies to very low Strength to keep the turn order filled with near-useless units.

  8. #48
    Two of the play styles that were effective before (tanking 12/12 and flanking ./12) no longer work, and I have yet to find another use for BBs...but I wouldn't go as far as saying that.

    It's clear that any build with BBs is no longer viable.
    I thought the tanky style was overpowered but really enjoyed the flanking, which could be used to intimidate warriors and archers alike. It's a shame that's gone (as 10 strength is no threat to warriors and raiders and little threat to archers). Anyway, I think Stoic made a good call, but it seems like the BB's identity is gone.

    You make a good point about mobility not always being good. I didn't really think about it until I tried them out and found myself skipping a run through just to stay out of a warrior's range. Frequently this just means I'll hold back or waste one or two wp (maybe one for walking; one for a standard attack)...and wish I had brought a different unit.

  9. #49
    The thing to me thats important is that biters serve their designed function. Which I think is most clearly stated in game where it talks about them hunting archers or other wounded/weak units. I'm almost 100% I didnt dream that up but if Im wrong Im sorry. Before, Biters were able to go toe to toe with nearly everyone and were great armor breakers( I would honestly like to see them worse at this myself, but better vs low armor as if their ability didnt break/only broke and their stab was based on def lvls like pierce is)and damage dealers and tanks...

    Anway Im running a 10/10 biter with 3 extersion and 4 will power, 2 armor break. Just one of them seems to do me just fine and while im by far not good/great at this game if I can get it to work you good players should be able too. Being able to add 3 to my movement then pop a run for my last WP is huge. Its not always the best idea of course but the option is nice. I think its a good thing yo have to pick when to extend and when not too.

    I run a very heavy extersion/will power build with 2 8/12 thrashers and they and the biter just work like missiles punching right through an area going for weak units. My warleader/SS/ and sheildbreaker seem to do ok with what they are there for too. Maybe its just biters are not as generally good now, and to me thats a good thing. They still function very well in their niche. If anything Id like to see WH and WM nerfed down a bit and see how things stand.

    edit: and a 10/10 IS a threat to even full armor/hp archers imo. Its 5 damage to a unit that has 7 hp most of the time. Thats a HUGE drop in effectiveness and if they were damaged/armor broke just by 2 points they can out right kill them. Non archers like wise suffer the same fate when damaged. They just dont smash into full armor and full hp melee units as well as they use too. But again, their text seems to say they are not suppose to. IMO, there are too many ways to one shot something in this game. 8/12 thrashers, 17hp WM, 16 hp warhawks, and Im sure there are more I dont know. A unit that is built to take out weakened units is nice.
    Last edited by Gramalian; 03-17-2013 at 02:35 AM.

  10. #50
    Junior Member Micahh's Avatar
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    BBs are the most mobile unit in the game to start out with, the fact that you can blow heaps of WP to make them moreso is mostly besides the point, you will only do so if you botched your positioning or if you see a great opportunity to exploit. And while armor break across multiple units is generally worse than a focused break I'm actually often happy to have the combo str/armor damage on the BBs main target.

    Also, mobility IS always good in capable hands, the fact that it allows a greater variety of bad plays is kind of beside the point.

    Saying a 10 str BB is no threat to a warrior is often wrong, as it heavily depends on the warrior's stat distribution. A 9/17/3/1/1 warmaster actually comes out of a one on one fight with a 12/10/4/2/1 BB at 1 armor, 6 str and 0 WP if the BB gets the first hit in and spends all his WP on run-through attacks. (This is assuming the warrior doesn't miss his 90, 80 and 70% attacks, any misses mean one less strength and an even worse chance for the next swing.) Change it to a 9/16/3/2/1 warmaster and the BB will actually win barring some crazy good luck on the warrior's part. I believe an 8/17/3/2/1 WM takes an autoloss to the BB in a duel. The warriors do way better with a higher armor stat, but people generally favor strength builds since that's the warrior's niche.

  11. #51
    Quote Originally Posted by Gramalian View Post

    edit: and a 10/10 IS a threat to even full armor/hp archers imo. Its 5 damage to a unit that has 7 hp most of the time. Thats a HUGE drop in effectiveness and if they were damaged/armor broke just by 2 points they can out right kill them. Non archers like wise suffer the same fate when damaged. They just dont smash into full armor and full hp melee units as well as they use too. But again, their text seems to say they are not suppose to. IMO, there are too many ways to one shot something in this game. 8/12 thrashers, 17hp WM, 16 hp warhawks, and Im sure there are more I dont know. A unit that is built to take out weakened units is nice.
    First, full armor on archers is 9 or 10. This means that the current ten Strength BB can do exactly 2-3 damage to a full armor archer who has not taken any armor break if they use Run Through and 4-5 if they blow three Willpower and have the stat for that. That's not archer-killer territory by a long shot.

    It's like archer-pesterer. Maybe archer-botherer. Archer-annoyer.

    Second, is there a need for a "kills weakened units" role? Keeping weakened units on the enemy team helps fill their turns with weakened units. Even if there was, isn't the Warhawk or Thrasher better at it? Heck, aren't weakened units the ones that are easy to kill by literally everyone?

  12. #52
    Quote Originally Posted by Micahh View Post
    Also, mobility IS always good in capable hands, the fact that it allows a greater variety of bad plays is kind of beside the point.
    It isn't beside the point.

    The Backbiter was nerfed because the devs think that the Backbiter's mobility was a big deal. It can be a big deal if the RIGHT opportunity comes up, but the fact that the vast majority of opportunities that come up are BAD choices doesn't seem to be something that they considered. Run Through is designed to put you on the other side of the enemy and far way from your other troops, and that kind of highly-dangerous mobility needs to be factored in.

    Second, I don't think anyone fears the Warriors running around with Armor of 9 and Strength 17. You can drop their Strength to a reasonable level with just about any two units before they ever get a chance to do anything. It's the 11/15 ones like Warhawks who are next to raiders and boosted to Armor 13 who scare the crap out of me because they'll actually get a chance to attack with a large Strength score (maybe even hitting two units) unless I devote three units. When they can rank to 3, that's going to be a lot more common of a problem.
    Last edited by Kazthefirst; 03-17-2013 at 04:26 AM.

  13. #53
    Junior Member Micahh's Avatar
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    ...And then the 5 strength archer does what, exactly to the backbiter? If some other unit doesn't come deal with the backbiter the archer is either dead or totally crippled next turn after doing some armor damage. And if that unit isn't a warrior it'll probably actually take the archer's turn plus a second unit to neutralize the biter. (And when I say "neutralize" I mean getting his stats to where the "lightly injured" archer is, around 7/5)

  14. #54
    Quote Originally Posted by Micahh View Post
    ...And then the 5 strength archer does what, exactly to the backbiter? If some other unit doesn't come deal with the backbiter the archer is either dead or totally crippled next turn after doing some armor damage. And if that unit isn't a warrior it'll probably actually take the archer's turn plus a second unit to neutralize the biter. (And when I say "neutralize" I mean getting his stats to where the "lightly injured" archer is, around 7/5)
    Yeh, that second unit will come over and smack you because people keep archers on the other side of their own units to keep them protected and often also keep them with other archers. The BB's mobility just took him into the wrong side of archer territory (the other side of the archer), so the unit that protects the archer can disengage from the main melee to kill the BB with the archer and/or the other archer can kill him with Puncture.

    The fact that the BB probably just spent all of his Willpower on movement means that he can't get back to his own units before he gets double-teamed and rendered harmless and his total damage for the whole battle was a few points of damage to the archer.

    Running across the battlefield to engage an archer sounds a lot better in people's head than the actual situation would play out in a match.

  15. #55
    Senior Member Yellow's Avatar
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    oh for god's sake stop talking no-sence about BBs... i could not have made it to rank 11 on "most wins" if the 10/10 BBs where as useless as u people claim they are, unless am a demi-god who can win 100+ games with 2 complete useless units on my team....
    Seriosly people, its insulting and anoying the amount of crap and whining i see on this thread......

    PS: cant this thread just get closed?
    Last edited by Yellow; 03-17-2013 at 05:18 AM.

  16. #56
    Quote Originally Posted by Gramalian View Post
    if I can get it to work you good players should be able [to] too.
    Yeah, that's not true, of course. Some builds that are viable at lower ranks don't hold up as well against good players. Then again, I see Tirean still running two BBs on his stream right now...

    @Micahh: Yes, sacrificing a BB in the early or mid game just to take an archer to 7/5 is not worth it. And the BB will be killed or maimed with certainty if he does that. Saving him for the late game (where run through really does pay off, as long as he still has good strength), warrior-style, also doesn't seem worth it, based on my experience running two BBs against two-RM and two-TS teams.

    @Yellow: Please do continue to ridicule me by saying "no-sence" and citing your number of wins

  17. #57
    https://www.twitch.tv/tirean/b/378853480 my test with 2 BB came up against a huge obstacle of double RM!!

    Not 100% sure how I feel about running 2 BB together now.. however I think running 1 is perfectly fine just for the fact that runthrough is still really good.

  18. #58
    Developer raven2134's Avatar
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    A 12/10 BB that lies in wait for the midgame and uses the mobility to control territory is pretty nice. I've seen it in play and it works quite well.

  19. #59
    Backer KRD's Avatar
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    Doesn't work that great when you're already lying in wait with a warrior... or two...

  20. #60
    Quote Originally Posted by franknarf View Post
    Yeah, that's not true, of course. Some builds that are viable at lower ranks don't hold up as well against good players. Then again, I see Tirean still running two BBs on his stream right now...

    @Micahh: Yes, sacrificing a BB in the early or mid game just to take an archer to 7/5 is not worth it. And the BB will be killed or maimed with certainty if he does that. Saving him for the late game (where run through really does pay off, as long as he still has good strength), warrior-style, also doesn't seem worth it, based on my experience running two BBs against two-RM and two-TS teams.

    @Yellow: Please do continue to ridicule me by saying "no-sence" and citing your number of wins
    It is most assuredly true. It doesn't have to be my build, but the unit as a whole should retain viability so long as its niche remains useful/needed regardless of rank. Higher ranks would drop off mostly do to ease of use issues but even a sub par unit( not saying it is) in the hands of a good player should be viable if harder to use.

    A unit, who has the largest movement range, does armor and Hp damage with its ability and has similar stats to other raiders should be viable. If its not, then you have to ask if its an issue with its design, or if other builds are overly easy to use such as the warriors WM/WH classes taking the finisher niche from him or making insta killing or ignoring armor break to easy to do.

    Especially as more lower stat units enter the game( the mage units especially) their range+ability should increase in value. 10/10 or 12/10 or whatever build it ends up being that has the most viability at higher ranks should find itself a nice niche once some of the other classes are lowered in general effectiveness or raw power along with more classes entering where they might match up better.

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