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Thread: LongJohn -- real affect of weap con\'t.

  1. #1
    Sideswipe feature king Member shingenmitch2's Avatar
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    LongJohn ---

    You said, "This is why each honour upgrade costs 40% more than the previous step, because that is roughly the increase in fighting power."

    Is each Honor step really a 40% increase in power MORE THAN THE LAST STEP? If I got you correct about this ... then YIKES!

    If combat power builds off the power of the previous step, then this does not simply add 40% more power to each unit for each honor upgrade. It EXPONENTIALLY adds 40%. THIS WILL THROW THINGS WAY OFF:

    As I understand it STW does NOT work this way: A simple additive %, but it only builds off the H0 of 100% in even 40% steps:
    H0 = 100%
    H1 = 140% (40% increase over 100)
    H2 = 180% (29% increase over 140)
    H3 = 220% (22% increase over 180)
    H4 = 260% (18% increase of 220)
    .... on up to ...
    H8 = 420%
    H9 = 460% (10% increase over 420)

    H9 is 4.6 times more powerful than H0. That would be a lot. I personally think no single unit's high-end should be more than about 3 x its low-end. Also in this situation, Low Honor units get more help from an Honor increase H0 to H1 gains 40%, H8 to H9 only 10% more power.

    But the important thing here is that the top end is only 460% better than the low.
    --------


    What I think you were telling me is that STW calculates each step as 40% more than the previous step:
    H0 = 100%
    H1 = 140% (40% more than 100)
    H2 = 196% (40% more than 140)
    H3 = 270% (40% more than 196)
    H4 = 380% (40% more than 270)
    ...on up to...
    H8 = 1,475%
    H9 = 2,066% (40% more than 1,475)

    H9 is 20 times more powerful than H0! (not including Weap/Arm upgrades.) The only good thing about this is that Honor increase power evenly for each step. H1 is 40% more than H0, and H9 is 40% more than H8.

    Am I correct in thinking this is how it works?

    The price structure absolutely works this way. If the power structure reflects the price structure, this should seriously be rethought. In this scenario you've got honor making a unit 20 times better than the low end. Too much.

    With an exponential system it seems problematic to have 9 steps at 40% each step.

    If the game works this way, the only reason the game isn't totally out of whack is that everyone is able to upgrade units to about the same Honor level. And then some units are inherrently set up to beat other units. But this would explain why upgrading an Ashi to H8/9 is so powerful.



    [This message has been edited by shingenmitch2 (edited 03-08-2002).]
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  2. #2

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    That's exactly how it works.
    A H9 units costs 20 times as much, so it doesn't matter that it is 20 times as good.
    In fact you're much better taking 2 honour 7 units, instead of 1 honour nine, since they'll fatigue at a lower rate, and whike the h9 unit is killing one of yours, the other charges into its rear for a nice big bonus. Similarly 4 H5 units would be even better, and 8 h3 units better than those etc.
    Also h9 units are vanishingly rare in the strategy game. You only really get them in high koku single battles.

  3. #3
    Lost Ashigaru Member Whitey's Avatar
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    thats true, the highest honour unit you can reliably get in the campaign game is hon6 with general and building upgrades...and who wants to play the games when you get hon9 units online...

    Its really more of a theoretical maximum in my opinion, honour six being more the roof - with hon 7,8, and 9 being more options for people to play around with in tests...

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  4. #4
    Sideswipe feature king Member shingenmitch2's Avatar
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    Thanks for the reply.

    It does make a difference tho... I understand that cost is commensurate to power(but not always -- see how the Ashi incriment up their cost/fighting power and compare that to other units). But I guess I don't understand the rationale for having that much of increase in the first place.

    From a reality perspective (since this game does its best to model reality in all other aspects), why would you ever be able to train any unit that much? Why have a unit get to 20x? Why not 5 honor steps, or half the upgrade increment? Isn't a triple fighting power enough for a great veteran unit? (I do, however, like the steps up for the Morale aspect -- how they stand and fight as Honor increases.)

    In warfare, training and experience of troops is important (and double [200%] combat power is SIGNIFICANT), but equally important factors (perhaps more important)have always been mass (numbers--in STW double-teaming) and firepower (weapons/armor/and their use -- in STW this becomes Unit TYPE).

    By having a unit swing that much in power based on a Training factor, you allow for situations in which firepower (unit type) becomes ancillary. H3 Nodachi vs. H7 Ashi (yes the Ashi cost more --not by a lot--, but the point is you've got peasants with pitchforks defeating supposed samurai trained in H2H -- and beating them soundly)


    In terms of on-line balance -- you will almost always buy troops to fill all your slots, because 2 on 1 is so powerful (as it should be) but the way people upgrade, some units will be at H0 and others H8. That means you can really mess with the balance between unit types and what they are designed to be / do.

    (I could be off, but my my calcs at 753 koku, I can buy an H7 Ashi which is significantly more powerful than a 823 koku Nodachi--not including its charge bonus, just straight fighting)

    [This message has been edited by shingenmitch2 (edited 03-09-2002).]
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  5. #5
    the goldfish Senior Member tootee's Avatar
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    Base on what longjohn has provided, YA at H8 has 10 pts (5 att + 5 def), while ND at H5 has 9 pts (8 att + 1 def), with charge bonus ND5 hs 17 pts (8 + 1 + 8).

    If you can somehow nullify the ND charge bonus, e.g. attack 1st while ND still standing, then YA has a 1 pt edge relatively over the ND. But if the ND succeeds at charging at the YA, the 1st two second killing (kills about 8-10 YA) is enof to tilt the advangtage to ND.

    For cost-on-cost comparsion, at 823 koku, the best YA fighting unit is H8W1 at 793 koku giving it 11 pts, 2 pt advantage over the ND.

    Yes the YA definitely is stronger at equal koku value. The only justification for paying extra for the ND is for his charge bonus and higher morale, which overall still balances the game.

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  6. #6
    Senior Member Senior Member Cheetah's Avatar
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    Does the troopstats file show unit values for H2 or for H0 units?
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  7. #7
    Nur-ad-Din Forum Administrator TosaInu's Avatar
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    Konnichiwa,

    H7 YA aren't rare in 5,000 koku online battles. While the weapon and armor upgrade system makes things a bit worse, superYA were and are a problem in the original STW.

    A H2 YA costs 100 koku, a H9 1054. A H4 no-dachi costs 823 Koku (a H6 Nod is more expensive than a H9 YA). The H9 YA beats the H5 Nod easily. The H9 YA also beats the H6 1152 koku Nod. Only a H7 1613 koku Nod can beat the YA. But only by losing 50% of his own. (No weapon or armor upgrades are used).

    When I started playing STW over 2 years ago, I thought Honorupgrades only effected the morale, the willingness to fight. Armorupgrades added armor which protects a unit more against arrows and add a bit defense. Weapons made HTH units fight better.

    I was shocked to see H8 YA beating my H3 Nods in online fights. Only some 6 months ago, I readed about the true nature of the upgradesystem. It adds 1 combat for every unit. The YA pays about 40 koku for H2->H3 (1 point). A wm pays >200 koku for the same 1 point. Now I see that's even worse than that: 2 points.

    This seems not a big issue in campaigngames, it is in online games.

    Thank you very much for discussing this with us Longjohn sama.

    Cheetah san, the stats show them for H0. Fighting with H0 units is the only way to fully use the Rock Paper Scissor. Too bad you start buying units at H2 (which causes honorsellbackproblems).

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  8. #8
    the goldfish Senior Member tootee's Avatar
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    Konnichiwa Tosa san,

    The troopstat.txt values are for honour0 unit? gee I have always thought they're for honour2.

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  9. #9
    Sideswipe feature king Member shingenmitch2's Avatar
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    Tosa --

    don't forget, each 1 increase is an exponetial increase (the relative increase is the same, but the ACTUAL combat power can be a huge jump.)

    ex.:
    H0 = 1.0
    H1 = 1.4 (1 step adds 0.4 of H0)
    H2 = 2.0 (1 step adds 0.6 of H0)
    H3 = 2.7 (1 step adds 0.7 of H0)
    H4 = 3.8 (1 step adds 1.1 of H0 -- the jumps are starting to get bigger, already at H4 we have a unit almost 4 times more powerful than H0)

    So the low end isn't too bad, but remember this is an exponentially increaseing curve.
    It gets worse at the top end:

    H7 = 10.6 (BTW this is 11 times more powerful than H0)
    H8 = 14.8 (in 1 step adds 4.0 x H0)
    H9 = 20.7 (in 1 step adds 7.0 x H0)


    If we added only 2 more Honor Steps, at H11 it would be 40 TIMES more powerful than H0.


    fatigue, flanking, charge, slope only mitigate this problem. It helps to mask what is essentially too steep a curve at the top end. It doesn't cure the problem.


    -----

    The MORALE system works great, it should increase as "skill/honor" increases. It should go from "flees easy" to "everyman fights to the death." This I REALLY LIKE about the Honor system H0 - H9.

    Morale, should be separate from SKILL/EXPERIENCE which affects COMBAT POWER.
    Skill should not be able to increase a unit's CP by more than 3 or 4 times AT MOST.

    This will prevent the breaking of Paper/Scissors effect and keep units in more appropriate roles. They become more effective with experience, but not stupidly so.

    ------------------
    ******************

    Here's an easy fix for MEDIEVAL TW.

    Have honor only upgrade to H4 or H5. Then just re-calibrate the MORALE bonus so that H5 "stands tough" maybe 90% death of unit and H0 is "flees easy."
    ----
    or Decrease the Combat Power incriment to
    10 or 20% instead of 40% and keep the 9 incriments (with Morale acting the same way)
    ----
    Or separate out the morale, have that scale in 9 steps as it does now (which is nice) and then have Skill (combat Power scale differently - 4 or 5 small steps)

    [This message has been edited by shingenmitch2 (edited 03-09-2002).]
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  10. #10
    Senior Member Senior Member Cheetah's Avatar
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    I completely agree with Mitch. (too bad that my agreement counts very, very little

    Just one more idea. It would be nice to be able to upgrade the stamina of the units(i.e. the rate with which they gettting tired). After all, traninig is not just about improving your skills.
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  11. #11
    Nur-ad-Din Forum Administrator TosaInu's Avatar
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    Konnichiwa,

    It takes hours and hours of training to improve your fighting skills, anyone who practices martial arts can confirm that. Yet killing a couple of enemies on the field increases the fighting skill of a unit. I agree that it should boost its morale/fightingspirit, I disagree that that would increase the skills.

    While the example from http://www.totalwar.org/Stats.html uses combatskills in the Honorupgrade, it would be much better to make it morale only. And yes, the tiring rate/stamina is something that should be in the stats too. And any stat should be definable for upgrade. What could limit this is hardwarelimitations (game can't be executed or runs slow). In that case things MUST be simplified. First things first. The yari vs cav bonus upgrade is a must. Decision can be to deny combatupgrade for archers/guns and give them only morale. Morale of a missileunit could determine its accuracy, something that's supposed to be the case now, but which is hardly measurable.

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  12. #12

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    I think you are all off your rocker with this complaining at how honour works in the game.

    It's a Japanese flavoured label for unit experience, end of story. Almost every RTS, TBS, Wargame, etc. that's come out in the past four years implements some form of individual unit experience which grows with combat. That said, this is the first game that I've ever seen anyone care enough to puzzle out exactly what each point of experience yielded and, worse, then to complain about it.

    I agree that the 9 point scale is problematic for unit type balancing in multiplayer but, in spite of this forum's bias, the focus for the game design should be the campaign and how it plays. In the campaign, no unit starts at higher than level three experience, and no unit ever gets beyond six or seven with leader bonuses, and you sure as heck never see H9 YA in campaign play... It's an artifact of a system designed for a campaign that was adapted to skirmish rules, it is definitey not grounds for changing the way experience (oops, "honour") works.

    It's a game, units should become better at fighting through combat, how else do the detractors propose they get better? What you guys seem to think honour should be about is what morale already covers. Honour is just a catchall for unit experience which covers morale, attack, and defense and that is exactly what unit experience should involve. I don't care about the real-life facts of training in martial arts, I care about a fun game.

    The problem is that you can purchase H4+ units in mp, not how the combat system itself works. Eliminate the ability to purchase units that would almost never be available in campaign play and your arguments go out the window. Rip the guts out of honour like you propose and the fun of watching units get more and more effective in single player goes bye-bye. You all want to change something that has no negative effect in single player to something that would have a most negative effect in single player all so that the 15 people who show up on any given night don't have to wonder why the 7000K YA can beat an 8000K ND, something which no one among the vast majority of Shogun players even knows about or cares.

  13. #13
    the goldfish Senior Member tootee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Sword_Monkey:
    That said, this is the first game that I've ever seen anyone care enough to puzzle out exactly what each point of experience yielded and, worse, then to complain about it.[/QUOTE]

    That only goes to show how fun STW is! As long as our moan and groan don't piss DT till they drop MTW and beyond! LOL


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  14. #14
    Nur-ad-Din Forum Administrator TosaInu's Avatar
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    Konnichiwa,

    I wouldn't care about how it works if it worked properly. I discovered that it didn't work by playing online, not by juggling with numbers.

    We are not COMPLAINING we try to prove (each in his own way) that the game we love to play has flaws in the upgradesystem.


    I like it very much that each man in a unit has it's own stat, and I like that killing on the field upgrades that 1 man. I don't agree that it increases his skills right there. Killing should increase the morale right there, and more morale should motivate the unit to train more and improve his skills once it returns home(note that each turn is 3 months in the campaign, more than enough to train skills).

    The combatsystem is great, the upgradesystem is not.

    SP campaigns won't suffer from a better one.




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  15. #15

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    tootee,

    The troopstats.txt shows the parameters for H0 units. An H0 YA is -1/-1, att/def. Now we know that each honor upgrade adds +1 to attack and +1 to defend which means they are each improved by 20%. That's why longjohn made the cost of an honor upgrade 40%. An H8 YA adds +8 to att AND +8 to defend. That would make it a 7/7, att/def. However, the cost calculation starts at H2. The H8 YA is six 40% cost steps above H2, and that is 753 koku. The H5 ND is +5 added to 5/-2 which gives 10/3, and the cost is three 40% steps above H2 which gives 823 koku.

    Now, if you neglect charge, when these two units fight you would have 7 - 3 = 4 when a YA man strikes at an ND man. That's 1.2**4 = 2.07 times the base probability to kill. When the ND strikes at the YA you have 10 - 7 = 3. That's 1.2**3 = 1.73 times the base probability. The YA has a 20% advantage, and it didn't cost as much as the ND. In addition, the YA has it's yari bonus against cav, and nice foot speed. The only aspects it's inferior to the ND is in charge and morale. The morale problem is largely overcome at the higher honor levels. It all adds up to the high honor YA being a very effective unit that basically replaces the ND and WM units, and it starts coming into play at around 10k koku games.

    longjohn,

    The saga of the weapon and armor upgrade is a case of not understanding the system. The community here the org asked for these upgrades to be added. They were added, and the original prices of 20% for a weapon and, I believe, 30% for armor should have been correct, except they were not tied into your purchase system correctly. The three upgrades are figured separately with the cost of the H2 unit being the base price. Thus, if I added a weapon to an H8 YA, it only cost an additional 20 koku instead of 0.2 * 753 = 150 koku as it should. The players complained that these additional upgrades were too cheap, and they were right, except we didn't know why. The fix which CA provided in the v1.01 patch was to increase the cost to 40% for a weapon and 60% for armor. This helps, but it is not the correct fix.

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    [This message has been edited by Puzz3D (edited 03-09-2002).]

    [This message has been edited by Puzz3D (edited 03-10-2002).]

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  16. #16
    Nur-ad-Din Forum Administrator TosaInu's Avatar
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    Konnichiwa,

    I was one of those who asked for this. That was long before I played online and wasn't aware of the nature of the upgradesystem. I saw Morale, armor and weaponupgrades. It seems logical to think that Morale affects willingness to fight, weapon adds attack, and armor defense and missileprotection.

    Much later my Nods were killed by H8 YA in online battles. At first I thought I missed something, but soon I discovered that high honor YA were the most nasty unit of all.

    The weapon and armor upgrade adds to this, but it's not the only responsible. This simplified system of adding 1 attack to any unit could have been acceptable if Honor would be morale only, the 3 weapons melee and the 3 armor defense and missileprotection.

    Thus a H7W2A2 unit would only be 1 melee 1 defense 10 honor. A H2 Nod would 5 -2 would have some change to kill it.

    I would vote for a safer system though.

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    [This message has been edited by TosaInu (edited 03-09-2002).]
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  17. #17

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    Quote Originally posted by TosaInu:
    The weapon and armor upgrade adds to this, but it's not the only responsible. This simplified system of adding 1 attack to any unit could have been acceptable if Honor would be morale only, the 3 weapons melee and the 3 armor defense and missileprotection.
    [/QUOTE]

    I really think you are missing the point that "Honour" is nothing more than a Japanese flavoured word for "Experience". Experience improves all aspects of a unit's fighting and skill, not just morale.

    Morale from Palace's in the game is the equivalent of program to increase one's self-confidence which makes you believe in your skills that much more.

    The weapon upgrades are just that, one fighter with a master crafted katana versus one with a crude sword will usually win all other things being equal.

    Armour is similarly self explanatory.

    But experience covers all things. When I learn new skills in battle, I am better able to spot your weak spot and strike with my sword, I am better able to block your sword blow, and I am more confident. Honour as what it is: experience, has nothing to do with real life Honour which would be nigh impossible to implement in the game except as they already have.

    I don't have a problem with an improved system but what you are arguing against isn't flawed in my mind. Units should have some sort of catchall experience system, not only is it more realistic as you don't learn to attack or just defend better, defense and attack go hand in hand and the subsequent confidence boost follows right along. The problem was they called it "honour" versus "experience" and somewhere this lead to misperceptions in how it should function in your mind.

    So fine, let's not have units get their honour/experience boost in the field, make these additions only occur after a battle similar to how a general's rank functions. Let's make honour upgrades more expensive if that's what you want. Let's prevent people from buying units with 20X the skills of the base unit. But, I still fail to see the issue with experience doing what it does even if the game designers call it "honour".

  18. #18
    Member Member Gothmog's Avatar
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    What really escaped me is how the honour/experience works on ranged units.

    A seasoned archer should have better skill in using ranged weapon instead of H2H combat.
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  19. #19
    the goldfish Senior Member tootee's Avatar
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    Given all these, well I still think the online play is still very fun. Yes I met more players using strong YA (I started using them since 1.02 was released but dropped them after getting bored with them), but it seems the game play is still pretty balanced (not like the old musk problem).

    With the WM and ND charge bonus, they can still defeat the YA no problemo, just that I gotta use them right.

    In fact it make the games more challenging.

    The problem is not serious, but still its a problem, and we have identified the 'flaw' and suggested various improvement. just hope that longjohn or someone from DT/CA pick it up for MTW.



    PS: again.. I volunter for beta testing MTW if there is one to be I wanna take apart the whole engine

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  20. #20
    The Black Senior Member Papewaio's Avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by TosaInu:
    Konnichiwa,

    I wouldn't care about how it works if it worked properly. I discovered that it didn't work by playing online, not by juggling with numbers.

    We are not COMPLAINING we try to prove (each in his own way) that the game we love to play has flaws in the upgradesystem.


    I like it very much that each man in a unit has it's own stat, and I like that killing on the field upgrades that 1 man. I don't agree that it increases his skills right there. Killing should increase the morale right there, and more morale should motivate the unit to train more and improve his skills once it returns home(note that each turn is 3 months in the campaign, more than enough to train skills).

    The combatsystem is great, the upgradesystem is not.

    SP campaigns won't suffer from a better one.


    [/QUOTE]

    The other way to think of it is just a matter of applying the training and the confidence gained from winning the combats follows through there and then.

    Morale does make a huge difference in competitive sport. And I'm sure it is the same with elite units.

    The honour 8 YA would surely have impressed enough lords to be made samurai... it would take a while to get there in the campaign... so online there should be a max of 6 honour for YA anything higher is a samurai by default.


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  21. #21
    Senior Member Senior Member Cheetah's Avatar
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    Quote Orininally posted by Sword_Monkey:

    The problem is that you can purchase H4+ units in mp, not how the combat system itself works. Eliminate the ability to purchase units that would almost never be available in campaign play and your arguments go out the window. [/QUOTE]

    I don't think so. You can easily have H5 or H6 YA units in the campaign. It is true that the AI is less likely to have high honour units (for various reasons). So, you are less likely to notice the way these units unbalance the game (i.e. if you can beat the AI nodachi with your ashi, so what? Who cares? It just shows that you are a great general, aren't you?)

    Quote Orininally posted by Sword_Monkey:

    I really think you are missing the point that "Honour" is nothing more than a Japanese flavoured word for "Experience". Experience improves all aspects of a unit's fighting and skill, not just morale. [/QUOTE]

    This can be indeed confusing, but this is not the main problem. The problem is that the current upgrade system ruins the rock-paper-scissor relation between unit types. YA, which is supposed to be an auxiliary unit, is now an all-round fighter, it is a better shock-troop than monks or nodachi, faster than any of these units, and as a bonus can defeat any cavalry on the field.

    Quote Orininally posted by Sword_Monkey:

    So fine, let's not have units get their honour/experience boost in the field, make these additions only occur after a battle similar to how a general's rank functions. Let's make honour upgrades more expensive if that's what you want. Let's prevent people from buying units with 20X the skills of the base unit. But, I still fail to see the issue with experience doing what it does even if the game designers call it "honour".[/QUOTE]

    Well, if this all were done (properly) then no one would complain any longer.

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  22. #22

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    Mitch,

    Longjohn gave the formula probability to kill, p = 0.19 * 1.2 ** df where df = attack - defend + bonus. Assuming no bonus, if your H9 YA man [8/8]strikes my H0 YA man [-1/-1] you get df = 8 - [-1] = 9, and thus p = 0.19 * 1.2 ** 9 = 98%. That's just about a sure kill. If my guys get to strike yours, df = -1 - 8 = -9, and p = 0.19 * 1.2 ** [-9] = 3.7%. So, you have the probability range of 3.7% to 98% mapped onto -9 < df > +9 with the base that df = 0 represents at 19%. That is a difference of about 25x between the two units.


    MizuYuuki ~~~

    [This message has been edited by Puzz3D (edited 03-11-2002).]

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  23. #23

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    Quote Originally posted by Cheetah:
    I don't think so. You can easily have H5 or H6 YA units in the campaign. It is true that the AI is less likely to have high honour units (for various reasons). So, you are less likely to notice the way these units unbalance the game (i.e. if you can beat the AI nodachi with your ashi, so what? Who cares? It just shows that you are a great general, aren't you?)


    [/QUOTE]

    I'll take issue with this: if you can get an actual H5/6 YA unit in the campaign and not just an H3 + general bonus then you're spending too much time in the "game masturbation" department. It's doable in the same way that it's doable to make Biff and Flo in JA2 into crack killers,but it's an exercise in "let's see if I can do this", not a genuine strategy. For the amount of effort to babysit YA in the game such that they gain that sort of honour and not lose 80% of their men you could have been making H3 ND with legendary everything and kicking everyone's asses a while ago. So, if someone wants to go to that much effort in the campaign, more power to them, it doesn't show the system is broken, only that someone has grown bored of the "right" way to do things and is pushing the engine as far as it will go. Me, if I build YA at all, they're for pin cushions in my front line and mop up skirmishers, which is what they're supposed to be used for.

    There is a danger in altering game mechanics around what a handful of your total players do. You wind up making changes because of what a few exploiters do online and then everyone has to deal with the fallout. Blizzard, as an example, ruined the fun of Diablo 2 by patching one too many classes into mediocrity and took away perfectly valid skills for other classes in the name of "balance" based on what online players did. In the process, they damaged the sp game and took options away from friendly LAN/private mp games.

    I'm not against a solid combat system and a good multiplayer game is important for a subset of your audience. I'll give CA further kudos in that later patches have shown they recognise the difference between sp and mp and are willing to go the extra mile to see that one set of changes doesn't hose the other one. OTOH, I don't believe the problem is the base mechanic of Honour/Weap/Armour/Morale upgrading but rather the caps on it within the game. A better point system is needed both in SP and MP if you want to get away from the super army syndrome. But, even as implemented, it really doesn't matter except for the truly hard core who just care about winning. The cost differential between the super YA and the pumped up ND isn't that much, realistic or not, they have designed an elegant system which does have a pretty good economy for cost versus combat potential which is a lot more than the majority of games can claim. When I play mp, it's on a LAN with a friend, and the only thing that matters is screwing around for fun. The idea that one of us would just make an army of 8 muskets, 2 WM, and 6 super YA because it's strategically better is inconceivable. We're going to slap armies together that "cool" and "fun" and that's what most players are going to...

    ...that is until they get their ass handed to them by grizzled vets who have picked this game apart so much that they know they'll have 4.17% better chance with unit than unit so they choose versus every time. Then the newbie adopts the mathematically superior unit and the syndrome is propogated further and people cry for a better system. The problem isn't the system, it's people who are so competitive they find the ways to break the game. It happens with every game that has competitive multiplayer after a while, and even single player games with exploits can find themselves hurt by the widespread information of the internet. It's human nature and I doubt there is any game designer out there who can get away from it unless people just want to play multiplayer games where there's only one unit and results are decided by a purely random formula. It's why even a game like chess has become utterly formulaic and is so inaccessible for the average player - it's been analysed to death and only by memorising the mathematically proven strats can you hope to win.

  24. #24
    Nur-ad-Din Forum Administrator TosaInu's Avatar
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    Konnichiwa,

    Making upgrades more expensive doesn't solve the underlying problem: every unit gets the same upgrade and cheap units pay less for that same 1 point.

    This looks like a stat from a RPG:
    Con: 18
    Dex: 12
    Str: 10
    Wis: 15
    Int: 17
    Chr: 15
    I don't like those games, and different names might be used, but these fantasy games use more upgradable stats than the warsim STW? It's fine with me if players want the simplified mode for campaigns, I want advanced stats.

    What I tried to say in http://www.totalwar.org/Stats.html was that by putting every stat inside external text files and allow to define things like unitcost, upgradecosts and how upgrades should be, combined with a system where the host could choose stats (the host is also the offline player) anyone can play the games he wants.

    Talking about offline gameplay, I've made a scenario for STW WE/MI. It's called Ikki (revolt), in some battles I wanted simple farmers to attack a castle garnisoned by samurais. The idea was to slaughter these farmers. That's nearly impossible to do. Weak YA simply rout off the field, high honor YA are also strong fighters (because
    of the +2 combat for every honor) making it much harder to win. After many attempts to bypass this, I just changed the story.

    Just high morale YA could be weak, but very determined to attack (an outraged crowd). Revolts are part of the campaign game, right now you'ld have either a revolt that decides it can't win the battle and retreats or you have a very strong one. A 'catchall experience system' isn't flexible.

    Like Cheetah san says: 'YA, which is supposed to be an auxiliary unit, is now an all-round fighter, it is a better shock-troop than monks or nodachi, faster than any of these units, and as a bonus can defeat any cavalry on the field.' STW WE has only 21 units (STW only 11) the problems were appearant to some players. MTW will have 100.



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  25. #25
    Nur-ad-Din Forum Administrator TosaInu's Avatar
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    Konnichiwa,

    'There is a danger in altering game mechanics around what a handful of your total players do. You wind up making changes because of what a few exploiters do online and then everyone has to deal with the fallout. '

    This is simply not true. Even if MTW will only have one build in stat, the new upgrade system implies that any unit will stay inside the role it has. Example, the H0 YA has -2 normal combat and 8 points vs cav, a H4 YA has 6 combatpoints and still only 8 points vs cav (total vs cav 8 + 6, but the bonus is a fixed thing). Better would be to upgrade the vs cav bonus (be it 100% or 75%) so you get 0 combatpoints and 14 vs cav bonus. This way the YA is slightly better vs Nods and equal good vs cav as is the case now. The YA will get better in where it's made for not a kill all unit (which you wouldn't bother to make in the campaign anyway). This game has a great RPS system: spears beat cav, shock beats spears, missiles beat shocks, cav beats missiles. The simplified upgrade system swamps this.

    '...that is until they get their ass handed to them by grizzled vets who have picked this game apart so much that they know they'll have 4.17% better chance with unit than unit so they choose versus every time. '

    At this moment it's much worse than that. I don't say that the VETS don't have tactical skills, but players who spend >20 hours online weekly discover every pitfall in the system, 'newbies' with sound knowledge about how real life units interact get blasted away on the battlefield only because they don't know about SUPER YA killing anything.

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  26. #26
    Senior Member Senior Member Cheetah's Avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Sword_Monkey

    I'll take issue with this: if you can get an actual H5/6 YA unit in the campaign and not just an H3 + general bonus then you're spending too much time in the "game masturbation" department. It's doable in the same way that it's doable to make Biff and Flo in JA2 into crack killers,but it's an exercise in "let's see if I can do this", not a genuine strategy. [/QUOTE]

    Well, here I agree with you. It is certainly not a genuine strategy with which you can win a campaign. However, my point was that it can be done, i.e. it is not a problem limited to mp.


    Quote Originally posted by Sword_Monkey

    The idea that one of us would just make an army of 8 muskets, 2 WM, and 6 super YA because it's strategically better is inconceivable. We're going to slap armies together that "cool" and "fun" and that's what most players are going to...[/QUOTE]

    An other good point. This shows that one of the reasons why the super ashi army does not dominate the battle field is actually social pressure from peers, i.e. it is regarded as a dishonourable tactic (much like the monk rush). This is good, but it would be even better if the super ashi army won't exist at all. And this brings us to my last point. The solution to this problem, as proposed by you, Mitch or Magy, is so simple that there is no need to worry about it. Just limit the available honour upgrades for ashis in mp battles. This won't change the combat system, won't take away skills for other units, won't simplify the game in any respect. And yes, there are competitive players who try to exploit the system (and we should give some credit to them, since this improves our understanding of the system), and yes no game can be safe from these exploitations, but when an exploit became apperent I think it is a sensible thing to ask the elimination of it, even more, if it can be done so easily.
    Lional of Cornwall
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  27. #27
    Member Member Fadeyi's Avatar
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    I need to give experiment with these points. You guys always come up with interesting points.

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  28. #28
    the goldfish Senior Member tootee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Puzz3D:
    Mitch,

    Longjohn gave the formula probability to kill, p = 0.19 * 1.2 ** df where df = attack - defend + bonus. Assuming no bonus, if your H9 YA man [8/8]strikes my H0 YA man [-1/-1] you get df = 8 - [-1] = 9, and thus p = 0.19 * 1.2 ** 9 = 98%. That's just about a sure kill. If my guys get to strike yours, df = -1 - 8 = -9, and p = 0.19 * 1.2 ** -9 = 19%. That clearly can't be right for negative df. There must be a different function used that makes the 19% to 0% probability range available, and I would guess that -9 df would give you something close to 0% probability. So, if I'm right, you have the full probability range of 0% to 100% available and mapped onto -9 < df > +9 with the base that df = 0 represents at 19%. That would allow about 5x change in probability in either direction.

    MizuYuuki ~~~
    [/QUOTE]

    p = 0.19 * 1.2 ** -9 = 0.037 actually, so it's pretty realistic.

    Actually, what make the game fun is variety. I don't mind a H8 YA beating a H5 ND in a straight H2H, but if the ND has other bonus like +12 charge bonus, twice better morale, etc it even things out. It only means you gotta use the unit the right way. For simple SuperYA, it can be good or even deadly in frontal H2H, but if it does not have charge bonus, maybe walk slower, poorer morale (i.e. rout when unit is half size), it balances things out.

    Not pertaining to just MI (and more of gameplay over realism), if a unit is meant as a cav stopper, give it lots of bonus vs cav but lousy otherwise. If a unit is meant to be a flanker, give it lots of related bonus but make it mediocre in frontal h2h, etc..

    Then you have a nice scissor-paper-stone system. glory then to the best tactician on the battle ground.

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    [This message has been edited by tootee (edited 03-11-2002).]
    tootee the goldfish,
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  29. #29

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    tootee,

    Your right. 1.2**[-9] is 0.19. Thanks for catching that. I edited my post above so it is correct.

    MixuYuuki ~~~

    _________Designed to match Original STW gameplay.


    Beta 8 + Beta 8.1 patch + New Maps + Sound add-on + Castles 2

  30. #30

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    Sword Monkey,

    The problem is the system. It's not a mere 4.17% difference. And, the players didn't break the game. The cost of the units in the multiplayer game is independent of their cost in the single player campaign. If the cost of the unit was proportional to its power, there would be no exploit, and players wouldn't be wondering why they lost even though they used superior tactics.
    If you look at the basic h2h unit types: YA, YS, NI, ND and WM, you can see the imbalance:

    H9 YA cost = 1054 koku has 16 att+def points
    H7 YS cost = 1076 koku has 16 att+def points
    H5 NI cost = 1166 koku has 17 att+def points
    H6 ND cost = 1152 koku has 15 att+def points
    H4 WM cost = 1078 koku has 15 att+def points

    The YA is already superior to the ND and WM by 20%. When the weapon and armor upgrades are considered, the YA cost advantage further increases because those upgrades are cheaper for the YA than the other units.

    I don't think analyzing a game's mechanics, and pointing out how it could be improved is a bad thing. If the improvement is not properly implemented, then that's bad. Clearly, the weapon and armor upgrades are an example of what you are saying. They are not properly integrated into longjohn's system, and thus the multiplayer unit balance is worse with those upgrades.


    MizuYuuki ~~~

    _________Designed to match Original STW gameplay.


    Beta 8 + Beta 8.1 patch + New Maps + Sound add-on + Castles 2

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