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Thread: Is BM OP

  1. #21
    Junior Member K_B's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slimsy Platypus View Post

    • Can I leave the OP unit (Bowmasters) out of my group, and defeat a similarly skilled opponent that is using them?
    • Do the significant majority of active and experienced players use this overpowered unit(Bowmasters) in the same overall macro strategy?
    • When I play, do I see a variety of units and strategies (contrary to a dominant strategy bolstered by the capabilities of a single unit)?
    1. You can win without single BM of course, but you will lose more then win against similar skilled player. That's my opinion.
    2. Almost all my opponents in tournament used at least one. Glraven and Butters (First and second place in last tournament) were using quite similar strategy. (2 or 3 bowmasters and 3-4 breakers)
    3. I know how to win against that type of build but it is more like waiting for your opponent mistake than the pure strategy

    You have to start playing tournaments Slimsy, we are suffering from lack of players.

    Regards K_B

  2. #22
    I am curious about the tournament scene.

    How many people who compete in the tournaments feel they could beat a 3 BM 3 breaker team without the use of a raidmaster in your team?

  3. #23
    Junior Member glraven's Avatar
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    Wow~ lots of great comments!! Please forgive me for using everyone's great ideas without referring to the author.

    I have been using dual BMs perhaps since the second-ever tournament. I got my ass kicked by the SAs , but refused to play cheap and kept my dual BMs. It means quit a bit if I begin to think that BMs could potentially be OP. This is what often happens during my games:

    -Use the RM to get close and start taking down shields.
    -Shield breakers cannot be maimed since you do the same amount of AB (armor break) regardless of your health.
    - I don't want to abuse the system, but what generally happened is that even if I am playing 3 against 5, my opponent's shields are down, and my BMs are in a safe distance.
    - I have the distance advantage and turn advantage.
    - I puncture the opponents and win

    At this point, two reasons made me consider that the BMs need to be nerfed:
    1. I think you have to have a BM to counter other BMs.
    2. BM builds are becoming a bit too popular (it's the new SA+Warriors build)

    As a result, everyone's builds become less diverse. At this point, I think all melee units are equally good and balanced. However, in terms of archers, there are few SAs, some dual SS, and a lot more BMs.

    Please tell me what you think. I think this is a really important question.
    Meanwhile, I will be testing other builds against BM builds :-)
    Last edited by glraven; 05-20-2013 at 07:02 PM. Reason: typo

  4. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by Tirean View Post
    I am curious about the tournament scene.

    How many people who compete in the tournaments feel they could beat a 3 BM 3 breaker team without the use of a raidmaster in your team?
    I feel like it can be possible with lvl 3 BB and lvl 3 WL but i'd still prefer to use BM to counter my enemy's BM. And that's the main problem, underlined by glraven alredy. The best way to counter BM is other BM because BBs are too frail for being a counter though naturally they were one. I think nerfing them to 1 AB can be enough. The BMs+breakers are so painful now because if you go for breakers, you make BM move so often that their 2 "native" AB is enough to make a difference for whatever units the armor breakers didn't get. And you still want to kill those armor breakers for good because otherwise they set up your team for puncture. That's also why so many engames i face are BMvsBM. Everyone else is in their AB range and they get out of the game mostly.

  5. #25
    All this discussion of BM reminds me when people were asking if the RM was OP. The answer? Tirean described it well in his post, but even though you can beat BM with good positioning and good play, the BM is still what I consider overpowered. I think the best way we can understand how overpowered a certain unit is HOW WELL A TEAM CAN FUNCTION WITH MORE THAN ONE OF THAT VERY SAME UNIT. People forget with SA that it wasn't just the fact that one SA could "break" the game with guaranteed damage, but the fact that you could add more SA and you team would actually be STRONGER is something that we all have remember when dealing with the balance of such units. Let me be frank here. One of the aspects that makes the Banner Saga: Factions interesting is that every unit has a gimmick that they rely on in battle, creating fun possibilities and outcomes that differs it from games such as chess where every unit only has a limited role. Although it's fun to use these "gimmicks" what ideally should happen is that we should use a diversity of "gimmicks" thus a diversity of units in order to create a unstoppable team. Unfortunately, the reality is the exact opposite. As we can see with the history of mass BB, mass SA builds, mass RM builds, mass TS builds (not as badly) and now with mass BM builds is that their gimmicks are so strong that they can actually negate (not completely, mind you) most of the risks that come from relying on such a gimmick in the first place. Just because it takes skill to use a 3 BM team doesn't justify how safe the build can be in the hands of good player. If that doesn't make clear how strong the BM is right now I don't know how else to put it.

    That being said, what can we do to fix the BM? I've always been in favor of reducing the AB to 1. I've also suggested lowering the BM armor to 8. I can't tell you how many games were decided on my getting that critical 90% with my archer on the opponent's archer. 9 armor gets pretty BS sometimes and should really be nerfed. What about the ability BoP? I've got a lot of ideas, but I want to see the ab and armor change first before I want to make any suggestions.

  6. #26
    Senior Member Butters's Avatar
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    KD, you seem to imply that mass anything being viable is a bad thing ? You cite Tirean's argument, which was precisely that contrarily to the mass BBs and SAs, with which you could defeat better opponents with very little in the way of strategy, mass BMs require skill to work well. If a build needs skill to work, does it need to be addressed ..? I'm not a fan of the idea of making only the one-of-each builds viable - that sounds very boring.
    Also, hoping for both the AB and armor nerfs and expecting to then nerf BoP on top seems a bit extreme, doesn't it ?

    I'm however pretty in line with ojustme's line of thought, that BM's natural AB makes it possible to win with 3 BMs even after having your front line breakers taken down before doing enough armor break. I did not think of it this way, but indeed it is consistent with my experience. It would make more sense for breaker/BM builds to fail if the breakers are prevented to do their job fully. (note that this already happens to some extent, but that type of situation probably should be more difficult to recover from)

    A majority in this thread seems in favor of the AB nerf. Do we have a consensus ?
    Last edited by Butters; 05-21-2013 at 12:00 AM.

  7. #27
    -Use the RM to get close and start taking down shields.
    -Shield breakers cannot be maimed since you do the same amount of AB (armor break) regardless of your health.
    - I don't want to abuse the system, but what generally happened is that even if I am playing 3 against 5, my opponent's shields are down, and my BMs are in a safe distance.
    - I have the distance advantage and turn advantage.
    - I puncture the opponents and win
    Yes, this situation seems to show very well how it works and reducing 1 BM's break wouldn't make a great difference in this case. The way BMs are today it doesn't worth to have strength based melee fighters because all the break damage done by your melee units are used by your BMs to finish the targets. It seems not a problem to sacrifice breakers and protect archers at any cost. For the sake of sense, archers in real battles cannot do as much damage as melee fighers, but they have the range advantage so they are used to weaken and cripple units, what is happening now is the opposite. I'm quite new to the game so I'm not experienced to judge BMs but for me its pretty obvious that they are OP at the time, not by themselves, they are OP due to puncture damage, so I think puncture damage should get nerfed, BMs are OP because they can use it more frequently than the other archers.

    (sorry about my bad english =|)
    Last edited by Space_Ghost; 05-21-2013 at 02:18 AM.

  8. #28
    Skald Aleonymous's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Butters View Post
    A majority in this thread seems in favor of the AB nerf. Do we have a consensus ?
    My poor BMs... Just promoted both of them to Rank2, don't nerf them now! Actually, I'm always one-step too late (or too early?) with those changes: I purchased two SAs right before they got nerfed, and then I promoted some units to Rank2 right before the promotion-costs went down 125->80. Hope it won't get me fast this time!

    Nah, just kidding. My girls will do fine even with 1AB!

  9. #29
    Isn't leaving an opponent's 3 BM's alive until the endgame a failure of strategy and tactics? Make it 3 archers of any type. Make it 2 archers of any type. I dunno, I guess if my experience up to this point has taught me anything it's that archers are priority targets. They've got too much willpower and too high of an exertion to ignore, even before taking puncture into account. You leave them alive to your detriment.

    Being able to leverage your team, skill, and opportunities to handle archers is perhaps challenging. But I don't know that BM's are any more challenging in this regard than the other archers. It's probably a fine line between BM's maybe being a little overpowered and players learning the best ways to handle archers with any particular team they're using.

  10. #30
    Member Yth's Avatar
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    I would point out that there are 2 different aspects to this discussion, which are worth considering separately.

    1) Are BMs too strong compared to other archer types?

    2) Are BMs too strong compared to all other units in general?

    Regarding question 1), I believe the answer is yes.
    SAs brought an interesting space-changing ability to the battle (which required enemies to completely change their unit formations), but they have been nerfed. Now their ability is a little too weak to justify low-rank usage because they have to get so close. By reducing the power of their ability, SAs become sub-optimal BMs; used as armor breakers but less useful for lategame big damage hits due to lower str and range.

    SSs are in my opinion very much a niche archer type. Using your archer's action on a trap to prevent the opponent from taking an action is only truly useful for very specific team comps, or to counter specific team comps. Otherwise they are also sub-optimal BMs, due to a lower armor rating and lower range.

    Regarding question 2), I have no idea. I know that BMs are a strong choice when you stack them, but I would be just as happy having the ability to have 0 archers in my team... 3 BMs are strong and synergize with each other in much the same way that 3 RMs synergize. I still think that 3 BMs work best against slow / defencive teams, which became popular due to the strong recent buff to SMs.

    If BMs are only strong in comparison to other archer types, in my opinion it makes more sense to buff the other archers. At most 1 or 2 points of stat change (armor break, str, or armor; take your pick) would balance the 3 archer types against each other.

    If BMs are too strong in general compared to all units, then in my opinion it is really saying "archers are too strong" instead of "BMs are too strong". Archers are within 1 or at most 2 stat points of being balanced against each other-- if this is true, and BMs are noticably too strong, does it mean that all archers should be nerfed (BMs -2, others -1?)?

  11. #31
    https://www.twitch.tv/tirean/b/402625757
    https://www.twitch.tv/tirean/b/405494669

    To put some clarity on the discussion here is the recent vigrid tournament vs butters. I designed 2 teams which what I thought would fight the BMs straight up and if I didn't make mistakes that I would win easily.

    What really turned out to happen is that I could play versus the BMs with the build however it required butters to make some crucial mistakes to allow me to become victorious.

    That is what it is like at high level I feel. The team with more BMs decides who wins or loses by either playing well and winning or making mistakes and losing.

  12. #32
    Senior Member Butters's Avatar
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    Arggh, please don't use that match as reference, it was horrendous play on my part
    But yeah, Tirean's point stands, there is very little chance to win against a 3 BM played at high level if the BM player makes no mistakes. OTOH, as I understand it, this is what high level play in general is all about : the one who makes the mistake(s) loses. I'm not sure comparing builds by "who wins when played perfectly" is relevant ; the difficulty of playing that build perfectly should also be taken into account. I'm not saying BM-heavy builds are harder to play than the others, I don't know, but it's worth considering.

  13. #33
    Junior Member glraven's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Space_Ghost View Post
    Yes, this situation seems to show very well how it works and reducing 1 BM's break wouldn't make a great difference in this case.
    ........they are OP due to puncture damage, so I think puncture damage should get nerfed, BMs are OP because they can use it more frequently than the other archers.

    (sorry about my bad english =|)
    Nice message :-) I also thought about reducing the effectiveness of puncture from 2 armor per +1 to 3 armor per +1. However, I think they will unfairly nerf the other two archer types.

    At the same time, I think reducing BM's break damage WILL help out with balancing. The 2 points break ensure that:

    1. There is NOT another unit that can deal both 4-5 armor damage and 10+ strength damage and staying in a safe distance while doing so!
    2. I can take out a BB (the supposed counter archer unit) quickly even when hit.
    3. The break damage allows the BMs to be great in the beginning to the end game. Warriors can be easily maimed and are only useful when your opponent's shield is low.
    4. when there are 4 units vs my 2 archers, and one full health HW got close. I have the turn advantage to attack 3 times: usually 2 armor attacks and 1 puncture damages. That alone can reduce a full health HW to something completely useless.

    -glraven

  14. #34
    Developer raven2134's Avatar
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    thickenergy and Yth, I think what is also crucial to consider is the difference the range makes for the BM. For those who played the game before Pillage came in (not many active left I think), the BM plays the closest to this version of the game. The biggest difference between the other 2 archers and the BM is the range they can activate puncture from, and the impact this additional range and positional play has on the game.

    This additional range translates into anywhere from 1-2 sometimes even 3 additional turns (depending on the blocker scenario) to reach an archer and that much less risk for the said archer (a BM as opposed to an SS or SA) to be attacked.

    It is much more difficult to reach BMs when you need to get that crucial str or break attack in, if it takes 1 more turn of movement to reach them, as opposed to the other archers, who must generally be much closer to melee range in order to dole out damage.

    The total effect is that with turn advantage, plus the additional range forcing more turns of movement, and puncture, that BMs force your opponent out of formation as they stretch to reach BMs in the backline. If they do not stretch then the BMs remain at full stats and can enact kiting like how the game played before pillage. In the end game, the BM is the clearly superior archer compared to SAs and SS because they can shoot out of range, then take advantage of puncture as something approaches them, even archers.

    Based on my own experience, puncture feels about right when the archers in question are within that 5 tile range, because that also generally puts them in danger. This is why I don't think its right to nerf puncture, I feel the BM skews what players are experiencing. As thickenergy pointed out, when dealing with conventional 5 range, not having punished enemy archers in preparation for the endgame is a mistake. But at 7-9 range, punishing those archers while destroying your own formation is likely to cause you to self destruct.

    This is also partly why I do not feel nerfing BM to 1 break will do a lot. The reduction in overall team break does not seem that significant when it's the melee units that do most of the breaking, while BMs clean up. I would think this would just mean you switch out the 3rd BM for an SA. You keep 1 BM for puncture, and you're only reduced on break by 1 unit.
    Last edited by raven2134; 05-21-2013 at 06:17 AM.

  15. #35
    Senior Member Kletian999's Avatar
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    To Butter's point: all archers are great when played well. On the flip side, your opponents choice to not attack archers when the opportunity presents itself (or deny themselves the opportunity by engaging a wall of Varls) "is a mistake". This point isn't just true in Banner Saga, but in most tactics RPGs and even ancient warfare! Because of this I'm comfortable in saying "not attacking archers is a mistake" is not an indictment of overpowered archers.

    If someone loses to a BM from Turn advantage and kiting, it was their mistake to wait that long to maim the BMs. Just like it's a mistake to not maim Warriors before they get more than 2 hits off, or a mistake to kill a unit with low strength and only 1 break.

    3 RMs was a fad that passed without the devs needing to change anything. 3 Thrashers too. 3 SAs provoked dev action and now barely anyone uses them.

    If their's no avoiding a change to BMs, maybe lower their Exertion to 2. It makes my soul ache to use 3 will for a 4 point break, but I can tolerate using 2 will for a 4 point break.

  16. #36
    Developer raven2134's Avatar
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    I really have to disagree there Kletian. When a skilled players plays a BM, especially more than 1, it isn't a mistake that the BMs aren't maimed... cos that other player simply isn't going to let you touch the 1 he needs to finish the game. Were you outplayed? That is likely, but is it too easy to set this up? -- Yes I actually think so. And with 7 range on r1 BoP you're gonna get kited, no ifs or buts about it, that's the fundamentals of how to play a BM, stay still as long as possible to puncture, then kite. Now, kiting with 5 range, and kiting from 7 range, is the big difference.

  17. #37
    Junior Member K_B's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by raven2134 View Post

    This is also partly why I do not feel nerfing BM to 1 break will do a lot. The reduction in overall team break does not seem that significant when it's the melee units that do most of the breaking, while BMs clean up. I would think this would just mean you switch out the 3rd BM for an SA. You keep 1 BM for puncture, and you're only reduced on break by 1 unit.
    I think the main problem is endgame and that BMs with 2 armor break don't really need other breakers. Two BMs in a single turn can kill or make useless almost any unit. Maybe 1 armor break would prevent from that.
    Last edited by K_B; 05-21-2013 at 10:48 AM.

  18. #38
    Skald Aleonymous's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by K_B View Post
    I think the main problem is endgame...
    Concerning archers at the endgame, assuming WP is available:
    • BM with BoP (MoreRange+Puncture+100%) is ultra-lethal. Even without WP, the 2AB and Puncture can defeat most units (9ARM/8STR maxs)
    • SA with SnB (100%, 1STR@5tile + >1AB damage) is helpful, but not as much BoP imo. The basic reason is that SnB doesn't work with Puncture. Without WP, she's just a little worse than BM (7STR max).
    • SS with RoA is mostly useless (assuming that the terrain is quite empty, so trapped tiles can be more easily circumvented), so WP is better for compensating the AB penalty compared to the other archers.

    So, yeah, BM is certainly much stronger than the rest of the archers, and severely dangerous when left unharmed near the endgame (Puncture, BoP, 2AB).

  19. #39
    Junior Member glraven's Avatar
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    My Biased Summary of the Current Discussion

    Starting out, I thought BMs are good, but not OP. After reading everyone's post carefully, I've reached a different conclusion. To state my bias ahead of time, I will say that I think BM is not as OP as the previous SA, but they are still a little OP at the moment. Please note that I do not speak for the truth, and this is only my personal opinion. Please feel free to disagree with me tell me what you think :-) Also, I don't take credit for all the ideas that are in this post; many of them originated from other great members of the community.

    As an effort to summarized the current topic, I decided to break down the discussion into the following sections.
    I. What's the definition of being OP?
    II. Why are BMs OP?
    III. What should be done?
    IV. Is there a reason NOT to nerf them too much?

    I. What is the definition of being OP?
    I think the following questions are a good guide to evaluate the situation.
    1. does having BMs increase the chance of winning?
    Yes, I believe it is the case.
    2. are BMs being disproportionally favored by players or high level players?
    I believe yes, and yes. I think it is especially important to look at their usage by high level players consider that those players are the ones who really know how to test the effectiveness of each unit to its max.
    3. are BMs overall more powerful than other archers?
    Yes. There are not that many SAs at the moment, and SS are usually coupled with the Provoker or Strong Arm.

    As a result of the aforementioned reasons, I think BMs have reduced the diversity of the builds.

    II. Why are BMs OP?
    1. Too versatile. Some units such as RMs or Provokers can EITHER deal 4-5 AB (armor break) OR 10+ attack, but NOT pratically BOTH, depending on how you distribute the points. BMs can do (4-5 AB) + (10+ Strength) + (doing it in a safe distance). It has the longest range (3movement+3exertion+9BOP=15), and a 9 tile puncture range!! The second longest will be Rank3 BBs with a range of 11 (4normal+ 3exertion+ 4ability = 11)
    2. No effective Counter. A BB or a RM can probably only get 1 or 2 hits on 2 BMs if lucky - that means sacrifice one unit for only 1 hit or 2 hits at the most. If the BMs were protected by a Provoker~ good luck trying to get any damage through.
    3. Too effective for a particular type of build. BMs aren't that OP on their own. However, if you couple them with breakers they are extremely difficult to deal with as mentioned in previous threads (High Armor Break + Puncture + Distant Advantage + Turn Advantage).
    4. Good against everyone and no effective strategic weakness. Most builds have their weakness, but not so much with BMs + Breakers. Defensive teams don't have the movement to catch up. Offensive teams can be easily maimed. If BMs are protected by a Provoker who specialized in break damage, not even the best RMs or BB builds can get through.
    5. Statistically they are used more often by the top 5 players in the tournament. It's a chicken and egg problem. Do players winning because of BM builds or do good players find BM builds particularly useful? I think the answer to both questions is YES.

    III. What should be done?
    1. Reduce Armor Break to 1.
    I think this will in fact change a lot! Right now, BMs are a) effective early on for the AB, and later for the range and puncture. b) the ABs allow them to quickly kill the BB or RM, effectively eliminates any viable counter. eg. 2AB+2Will will give +2 puncture bonus, where as 2AB+1Will= +1 puncture bonus. c) allow them to win end games against other types of archers because they can break more effectively. d) couple with turn advantage, they can kill or reduce a full armor/strength HWs to nothing (AB+AB+Puncture) before he could attack.
    Changing the AB will solve or signficantly reduced those problems.
    2. Reduce Bird of Prey Range.
    This will work, but almost a bit too radical. THe BMs will have to expose themselves to greater danger, and they will face retaliation from warriors after an attack. However this nerf may create other problems.

    IV. Reasons NOT to nerf BMs too much
    1. Reducing the armor can be really bad. As OP as they are, I think their armor is not that powerful. Too many people archer vs archer end games were determined by the 90% shot that does 3-4 damages to an archer with full armor. I don't think reducing the armor helps. Instead it might just make BMs more defensive and camp more to the back. As a result, things can get worse.
    2. It's about balancing. Please correct me if you want, but at the moment, I believe BMs are the only effective way to deal with the "camping warriors". BMs seem to be the only balancing problem in the game. Before, I usually came out of the losing end of turn advantage when dealing with camping warriors. If BMs were nerfed too significantly, I think soon we are going to see increasing complains of the "camping warriors".

    Sorry for the very long message, I've written this report for the purpose of facilitating discussions and allowing the dev team to get a quick summary. Please be aware of its bias, but also understand that it means a lot for me to say those things consider that I've been running dual BMs ever since the second or third weekly tournament was ever held.

    Please let me know what you think, and let's all help the dev team to make TBS an instant classic when it comes out :-)

    -glraven
    Last edited by glraven; 05-21-2013 at 02:40 PM.

  20. #40
    Senior Member roder's Avatar
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    Well it's clear that the majority are in favor of some sort of nerf, but unsure if it would be 1AB, lower max armor etc.

    If you'd like to further the discussion, you can easily just test out the changes by setting your BM's AB to 1 and playing a test game lol Then you can work out if it is too much or too little of a nerf.

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