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Topic: Balancing around the tempo tournament

king_of_nowhere
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Posted at: 2020-04-26, 18:18

the tempo tournament is now finished. it turns out getting heroes is faster than I would have thought possible.

most important, though, there are strong differences between the tribes. especially those needing worker experience and those who don't.

most of those can be achieved while skipping basic economy, and I believe we all agree that's not how the game is supposed to be played.

So, it's time to discuss balance in the light of those results.

Goals:

1) every tribe should need a fully working economy - or close enough - to be able to create heroes.

2) every tribe should need a similar amount of time. I think 30 minutes should be a reasonable target?

If we accept those goals, then it means slowing down those tribes that can go faster. Slowing down by removing wares that are preemptively given in the starting stock, so that one has to make the relevant buildings.


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king_of_nowhere
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Posted at: 2020-04-26, 18:19

reserved for important reminders about atlanteans

Edited: 2020-04-26, 18:43

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king_of_nowhere
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Posted at: 2020-04-26, 18:19

reserved for important reminders about barbarians

Edited: 2020-04-26, 18:43

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king_of_nowhere
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Posted at: 2020-04-26, 18:19

reserved for important reminders about empire

Edited: 2020-04-26, 18:44

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king_of_nowhere
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Posted at: 2020-04-26, 18:19

reserved for important reminders about frisians

Edited: 2020-04-26, 18:44

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king_of_nowhere
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Posted at: 2020-04-26, 18:19

reserved for important reminders about amazons

Edited: 2020-04-26, 18:44

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king_of_nowhere
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Posted at: 2020-04-26, 18:43

discussing atlanteans

atlanteans do it faster because they can skip so much economy. they don't need farms, iron mines, spider farms, sawmills, and i'm sure they can also skip some more buildings i'm forgetting.

To slow them down I see some things to change:

  • reduce their stock of corn, flour and bread, so that one has to make farms and blackroot farms

  • reduce starting iron, so one has to make an iron mine

  • reduce spider silk, so one has to make a spider farm

Reducing the starting allotment of cloth and silk increases the risk of deadlocking oneself, but I propose a further solution: remove the cloth building cost from the farm, and put it in the blackroot farm. doesn't alter the game or the balance, but no more risk of deadlocking. and more freedom to remove cloth from the start.

I would also decrease planks and add an equal value in logs; that part about atlantean start has always struck me as odd

discussing barbarians

barbarians are fine enough as it is, mostly because they cannot speed up the experience for their blacksmith. Perhaps I'd remove some logs from their start, to force them to build up their wood economy better.

discussing empire

they must be given less bread and wheat derivatives. they should not be allowed to skip farms. they also must be given less iron, like atlanteans.

their marble economy is also awkward: they need wine for marble, but they need lots of marble for wine-producing buildings. this creates the perverse incentive to skip marble economy to just strip-mine with quarries and use the saved marble for victory.

to improve on this, I would rework their building costs: i would mostly or completely remove the marble cost from wineyards and wineries, and add it instead to bakeries and breweries. it would also make the tribe more forgiving: having a shortage of marble could be fixed up more easily.

I would further remove some wood and planks. this because they need very little of them compared to other tribes.

On the plus side, i would reduce the marble cost of the colosseum, which is incredibly expensive. together with fixing their bug of mines producing less marble, it should be a rework and not a bashing on the tribe.

discussing frisians

frisians are slow because they need experience for the blacksmith. i would reduce that value to 12, to bring it in line with other tribes.

On the other hand, i would remove most of their starting allotment of stuff. they don't even need any food economy, and this cannot be allowed.

I would also remove the master seamstress from the starting stock. on the other hand, i would reduce the cost of the fur garment to 1 fur instead of the actual 2. or perhaps 3 fur for 2 garments. that's to keep leveling up the seamstress from being too obnoxious.

discussin amazons

they are close to target, and yet they are the harder to adjust, because there's no clear way to do it. their limiting factor is rare wood availability, and their stock cannot be removed because they need it for most buildings too.

but perhaps food also can be used. they have enough rations in the starting stock. remove them, force them to use coal to get their mines working from early on, and it should slow them down.

if needed, also removing a couple of gold from their starting stock can have a deep impact on them.


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Nordfriese
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Posted at: 2020-04-26, 18:50

king_of_nowhere wrote:

discussing empire

they must be given less bread and wheat derivatives. they should not be allowed to skip farms. they also must be given less iron, like atlanteans.

their marble economy is also awkward: they need wine for marble, but they need lots of marble for wine-producing buildings. this creates the perverse incentive to skip marble economy to just strip-mine with quarries and use the saved marble for victory.

to improve on this, I would rework their building costs: i would mostly or completely remove the marble cost from wineyards and wineries, and add it instead to bakeries and breweries. it would also make the tribe more forgiving: having a shortage of marble could be fixed up more easily.

How about instead making marble mines consume beer instead of wine and replacing beer with wine in iron mines?

I would further remove some wood and planks. this because they need very little of them compared to other tribes.

On the plus side, i would reduce the marble cost of the colosseum, which is incredibly expensive. together with fixing their bug of mines producing less marble,

+1

discussing frisians

frisians are slow because they need experience for the blacksmith. i would reduce that value to 12, to bring it in line with other tribes.

On the other hand, i would remove most of their starting allotment of stuff. they don't even need any food economy, and this cannot be allowed.

I would also remove the master seamstress from the starting stock. on the other hand, i would reduce the cost of the fur garment to 1 fur instead of the actual 2. or perhaps 3 fur for 2 garments. that's to keep leveling up the seamstress from being too obnoxious.

I know that this would make sense balancing-wise but I really hate it. Experience is a concept that is very nice but when balancing something the first impulse is always to reduce experience. That is why I strongly favour this balancing rework blueprint here: https://github.com/widelands/widelands/issues/3843


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king_of_nowhere
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Posted at: 2020-04-26, 19:07

Nordfriese wrote:

king_of_nowhere wrote:

discussing empire

How about instead making marble mines consume beer instead of wine and replacing beer with wine in iron mines?

right, that's an even better idea! same effect, but smaller change.

although wine is more expensive to produce than beer. buildings are slow and require space. it could affect balance significantly. then again, empire needs plenty of marble and also plenty of iron, so it should not make a difference.

I now support this instead of my earlier suggestion

discussing frisians

frisians are slow because they need experience for the blacksmith. i would reduce that value to 12, to bring it in line with other tribes.

On the other hand, i would remove most of their starting allotment of stuff. they don't even need any food economy, and this cannot be allowed.

I would also remove the master seamstress from the starting stock. on the other hand, i would reduce the cost of the fur garment to 1 fur instead of the actual 2. or perhaps 3 fur for 2 garments. that's to keep leveling up the seamstress from being too obnoxious.

I know that this would make sense balancing-wise but I really hate it. Experience is a concept that is very nice but when balancing something the first impulse is always to reduce experience. That is why I strongly favour this balancing rework blueprint here: https://github.com/widelands/widelands/issues/3843

on the other hand, experience is a very awkward concept, and it has many pitfalls.

So I have all the materials I require for the big project, but I cannot do it. Why? Because of programmer's fiat, basically. To me, it feels an artificial way to stop development. It's like those rpg games where you completed all the plot but you need to gain 100 levels to enter the next area and so you stop following the main plot, or even the side quests, and just wander aimlessly the wilderness killing everything in front of you for experience. I HATE that kind of games. They make NO sense. Then they advertise "80 hours of game!". Of which 10 of actual game and 70 of grind. Hey, let's half the experience rate, so now the game will be 160 hours long! brilliant.

So, currently the best play with frisians is to produce 18 buckets. because they are cheaper. and then you can make advanced swords. how does it make sense?

I'm not for removing experience entirely, but I would not want it to be a strong limiting factor. But having your economy fully working and still be forced to wait for the advanced sword just because you have to hit a counter? that would be the equivalent of those games I hate.

And you'll notice my first impulse here was not reduce experience to hasten frisian heroes. I instead suggested to remove wares from all other tribes starting stock to slow down their heroes. And I also suggested to remove the honey bread and strong beer from frisian starting stock, so they'd have to make taverns and bakeries. reducing experience wouldn't even be required for balance.

the part about reducing experience comes solely because i feel it is not fun to be forced to make 18 buckets. or even 18 short swords.

Edited: 2020-04-26, 19:14

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hessenfarmer
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Posted at: 2020-04-26, 20:06

Haven't seen all the replays yet so I'd rather keep calm.
Furthermore we have plenty of time to discuss all of this as nothing would go into b21.

First impression: we can take the results of the tournament as starting point however some of the results are not far from having a hero at the cost of being stuck.
I agree with the goals that KoN has provided though.

Only thing I know for sure is I disagree with the blueprint mentioned by Nordfriese. I'll try to explain why in the next time.


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