Suggestion: Balance Pass

Discussion in 'Bugs / Suggestions / Support' started by Trapsinger, Nov 27, 2018.

  1. Trapsinger Major

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    So I've been thinking about some discussions we had a few weeks ago, about how freelancers, dregs, ghouls, and while they weren't included in the discussion at the time, i think fanatics now also, are somewhat undesirable, and I think maybe I have an idea why.

    In tabletop, henchmen could only advance each stat once, and heroes had a maximum level they could attain. Which means that without reaching the maximum possible stat line, eventually they would all stop advancing around the same time, and therefore their starting balance had a direct relation to their ending balance. In Warband Skirmish there is no maximum level, you can just keep going.

    Now I don't think that we should we should add a maximum level to Warband Skirmish (although that would solve the problem). But we do need to make sure that the the starting balance of a unit is maintained in it's ending balance, in some way. Making sure that all (non-leader) units had access to the same number of skill trees would be a big step in that direction (in which case freelancers, ghouls, and dregs all need one more skill line). Or making sure that their starting advantages are maintained when they get close to the end game would also help (like the ogre having an increased stat line).

    I have some specific suggestions for each of those units, but I really want to separate my ideas on how to fix from the general idea that something is wrong, and needs to be adjusted. I think we have all agreed in the past that those units are lackluster and worth avoiding. So I'm going to take my suggestions on fixing each of them, and put them in a reply below this, and hopefully you guys can either add to the list of things you think are unbalanced, and offer suggestions to fix it below. Or perhaps some of you have ideas about another way to making a sweeping change like a maximum level (but not that) that would solve the problem in general way.
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  2. Trapsinger Major

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    Dregs:

    To maintain their starting balance, without having them fall further behind, I think that dregs should have access to Speed skills, but that they should only get 6 weapon skill advances, instead of 8. They need something that keeps them a little behind other humans, because the vampire is a little ahead, but they also need to not fall further behind as they level up.

    Ghouls:

    Every single other unit in the game has some way to bypass or reduce armor, and I think that ghouls desperately need some version of the Perfect Assassin skill that the skaven get. Obviously it needs a different requirement. Personally I would make it a strength skill that required WS 40 and S 40, and call it something like Relentless Assault, or Pummel, or Can-Opener Teeth. Also in the interest of giving them a third viable skill line, I think that their Combat skill tree should give them access to Strike to Injure, Combat Master, and Step Aside. Obviously expert swordsman and web of steel don't make sense.

    Freelancers:

    Adding a third skill tree is an obvious solution, and a pretty good one. The problem is that giving them Speed skills makes them advance to exactly the same place as a pit fighter, which is less interesting. Giving them Shooting skills would fill a good niche balance wise, as discussed in my other thread, but it's not the most lore appropriate solution. Since their starting advantage is gear, it would cool if their ending advantage was also gear. It's a more development heavy solution, but it would be neat if they had access to some Freelancer only gear upgrades like one handed Lances with extra long reach, super heavy one handed hammers that were advanced weapons that also gave crit like the hammer of sigmar, or swords that gave max enemy defense as a stat with parry also.

    Fanatics:

    We didn't really discuss Fanatics before as they are still pretty new, but i think they fall behind also. Their leadership advantage is nice early game because it gives them some staying power early, that you normally can't get until very high level with Combat Master and Fearsome. The problem is that since you can get those skills anyway (and since it's possible for any unit in this game to cap leadership and be immune), and they also can't wear armor, they end up having less staying power in the end game than other units, which means that like Ghouls, and Dregs, they fall further behind as they level up. To address this, I think the place to look for a solution is back to tabletop. Flagellants in tabletop had bonus strength and leadership immunity like our fanatics, but they also had bonus toughness. So I think it would be nice if our Fanatics could take the Resilience skill to tier two like a ghoul, to bring them more in line with where flagellants were in tabletop. (maybe step aside also, since leadership has less effect on this game, or start them with 15 base defense like a ghoul).
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  3. Oscar Junior Programmer

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    Thanks for the detailed feedback - I will discuss these ideas with the rest of the team and see what changes can be made to these characters
  4. Trapsinger Major

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    In regards to balance, I also really think you guys need to fix the automatic success scenario across the board. I really don't think you should have 100% chance to do anything, whether it's hit a stunned opponent, pass a leadership test, or in the Vampire's case pass an Armor test. There really needs to always be a chance to fail.

    And from the thread on dreg and ghoul balance, I think that limiting hired swords to 1 of each type like table top is something we should do, to stop the "ogre spam" problem, but also to maintain the individuality of each warband.

    also if you are going for "true to tabletop" then skaven should be able to hire warlocks.
  5. Sean Private

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    Hmm, I like some of your ideas Trapsinger, but disagree with others!
    I like the extra flexibility of having multiple hired swords..what would a band of all ogres look like? What would be the strengths and weaknesses of an all War-priest band? So I wouldn't like a limit on the number of hired swords. With warlocks available to all the human warbands save Witch Hunters, they have enough coverage without being available to skaven too.

    However, I agree fanatics could get the Resilient skill to compensate for their lack of armour, and Ghouls need a version of Perfect Assassin. My Freelancer, though, with Field Plate and a Full Helm, is the most resilient member of my Witch Hunters band, and I don't think they need any more buffing:)

    Oh, and my preference would be for Dregs to be able to take a skill like fanatic that grants access the Speed skills, and a second skill for accessing the remaining Ballistic skills. That way it isn't something all Dregs can do, and it requires a little investment, but it would improve the Undead's ranged capability. (And isn't the idea of a Dreg with a crude pistol rather fun? Maybe prevent them from getting Hochland long rifles or Repeating Rifles!)
  6. Trapsinger Major

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    I mostly disagree with you, but please understand that it's a thought exercise for me only, and I enjoy the debate.

    Warrior priests (and vampires) are already limited to 1 in this game, and in tabletop all hired swords were limited to 1, and that limit to one Priest works well which is the origin of my suggestion. So you already can't have an all Warrior Priest Warband, and the problem with contemplating what an Ogre Warband would look like is that you aren't signing up to play an Ogre Warband, you are signing up to play Middenheimers (or whatever) and making Ogre Warbands now precludes the possibility of making an actual Ogre Warband later, with different kinds of Ogres for different roles. (Or a Pit Fighter Warband which was actually a thing in a tabletop, although Ogre Warband wasn't).

    I also don't particularly feel like adding Warlocks to the Skaven is a necessary change. The Sorcerers fill that role well. However, they have in the past stated that they are aiming for the feel of tabletop as a goal, and trying to be true to that source material, and getting directives from Games Workshop to match it as closely possible, which is the only reason why I mentioned it.

    A Freelancer should not be the toughest thing in your warband, both the Captain, and the Warrior Priest should get all the same armor except the helm, and many more survivability skills. But it's not really the regular warband members I meant to compare to him to, but rather the Pit Fighter, who starts with more skills, gets more skills to choose from as he advances, can get all the same gear, and costs half as much. Between the two there is no reason you should ever be choosing the Freelancer. He's basically just a Dreg that starts with his armor (and costs more than a dreg + armor).

    I like your idea for the Dregs a lot! They would be much more interesting that way, and having some shooting would be a huge boost to the undead. The only problem is, as I said above, the tabletop source material. The balancing point for the undead (especially the vampire) being better in hand to hand, was that they got no shooting in tabletop either, which was also true of the Sisters of Sigmar, and the Cult of the Possessed. If Legendary does decide to go the direction of giving shooting to dregs, I think they should probably be limited to just bow skills, as there are models for that in tabletop, if I remember correctly, and not the other shooting weapons.
  7. Shangular Major

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    You've mentioned a lot of good topics for balance.

    1) Maximum Stat/Level: Since this is an open-ended campaign, you will get maxed out warriors. But I think the maximum paragon stat achievable should be the same for everyone (i.e. 65 maximum initiative for a Merc, 75 max for Skaven, 95 max for Vampire, etc.). In a separate thread we learned that older players can have higher maximum stats that current players. So this would be a good place to start if we want to achieve balance.

    2) Automatic Success: To get in the spirit of the TT game and Games-workshop games in general, agree that nothing should be 100%. The max should be 99% success rate. The chance of failure is always part of the fun.

    3) Hired Swords: To match the TT game, limiting to 1 of each type can make sense. Although the problem now is what to do with all the players who've purchased more than 1. I don't think Legendary would want to issue refunds but perhaps there could be other options to discuss on what would be acceptable. In a way, I would support this change from the perspective to make this game better (even though I have purchased multiple ogres). This will also force warbands to play and feel more unique versus, let's hire 3-4 ogres.

    4) Dregs: Honestly, I think the dregs are fine where they are at. A levelled up dreg can hit hard, it's just a matter of strategy so that you can time their attacks properly. Also I like the challenge that you have to balance the Vampire with the Dreg. And have to disagree above when you say vampire is a "little ahead". They are far quite ahead :)

    5) Ghouls: Agree they could use a damage boost. Adding strike to injure and step aside makes sense.

    6) Freelancer: Although I see your point about needing additional skills, the shooting skills just doesn't seem right with the feel of the freelancer. I know my view is skewed by looking at my TT freelancer model, but I think adding advanced starting skills can help support this. I guess if we wanted to add shooting skills, perhaps limit them to crossbows and blackpowder? I'd like to reserve the bow for any future release of the Elf ranger

    7) Fanatic: Since they have access to both Strength, Speed, and Combat skills I think they're fine skillwise. Theoretically, they can get sprint and hide and thus get the alpha strike. Yes, they are weak armored when attacked back but that's what balances them out. What is lacking however, are the unique weapons that make them viable as you progress. The flail is obviously designed for them, but it does become obsolete quickly. Hate to see everyone using a comet maul on their fanatic.
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  8. Trapsinger Major

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    from above, and I'll skip the ones where I just agree with you:

    1. I don't mind an old small advantage being grandfathered in. With the death rates in this game, eventually that will go away, or the player with the bonus will have to dish out a ton of fate, which means cash to Legendary, which also sounds good to me. Also the differences tend to be less than 5%, which is pretty small and you can usually work around it. (except for initiative order, which is a good point).

    2. I wouldn't have said 99%, I probably would have gone in the 90-95% range, since tabletop was a six sided die, so one chance of failure was more like 15%, (which is incidentally the chance to crit in this game).

    3. See number 1. I'm okay with grandfathered in bonuses since they will die off or cost a lot of money.

    4/7. My thoughts on dreg/fanatic balance is that in my head I keep comparing them to a Middenheimer warrior, which gets the same skills I'm suggesting for the dreg, and that the fanatic already has. I want to preserve their individuality, but I don't want them to feel like they are useless compared to another model. dregs are not terrible, I agree, but they are way worse than other humans, especially if you can just hire an Ogre with the same skills and way better stats (see number 3 also). So in line with you suggesting that everyone have the same max stats, why not say that dregs have a lower max WS/BS than humans, and that they are a different race, but then give them access to a similar skill set? I don't know, maybe it's not the right solution, but they are under utilized now, so something...but just reducing the number of ogres and forcing people to use them seems like a cop out.

    6. I don't really like shooting on them either, it's more like a quick and dirty fix to give them a purpose. I talked about it in the other thread about them, but if they had shooting skills then a Freelancer is a Reiklander Hired Sword, a Pit Fighter is a Middenheimer Hired Sword, and the Elf Ranger would be the Marienburger Hired Sword (+/- 10 points of BS and blackpowder use). At least from a skills perspective. I'd much rather see them with improved stats like an ogre, custom gear, or a set of special skills/virtues like the sisters of sigmar or the bretonians, but any of those solutions would take a lot more development time away from getting me the Sisters and Possessed sooner, whereas giving them shooting skills is more like a toggle.
  9. FlaminGallahs2089 Corporal

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    For a Ghoul and Fanatic, I beleive as I have stated before a magic resistance.
    Make them have a magic debuff affect as such, where them being around a speel caster makes the spell caster more likely to fail.
    I feel even though this doesnt make them equal, it makes them useful.
    Giving them a role/niche in all warbands, even high level.

    Dregs IMO are fine,
    Vampire is a killing machine, Dreg is a pin cushion, thats how its supposed to be in my eyes and wprls great for overall balance (your forced to get 3 normal characters in the undead warbands and often its 3 dregs, because they are superior to ghouls long term by far which I feel ins a problem)

    Freelancers I always thought should get something like,
    A discount on purchase prices when they in your warband?
    Equipment such as a elite halbeird, or an 'reinforced plate of armour'.
    I feel they are strong, but yeah in late game get left behind so they do need a buff, but I see the only way to do that as by adding a new mechanic/ items that they have uniquely
  10. Trapsinger Major

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    Hey, so, Legendary likes us to all agree on things before they make changes, so I'm going to pull out the things that we all seem to agree on, and if it looks good to the rest of you I'll make a new thread in a day or two with our consensus, so they dont' have to dig through our debate here. Also gonna pull some of our agreements from other threads.

    1. It should be impossible to automatically pass any roll in the game. Failure chance should be at least 1% on every roll, but possibly as high as 10%, including armor and leadership tests.

    2. Hammers are over used, and many other weapons are under used, not because anything is wrong with the weapons, but because armor is too good, possibly due to automatic 0 damage at 100 armor. A good solution would be to add the tabletop rule that strength over a certain value reduces enemy armor (probably strength over 40 at 1 to 1, so strength 50 would be -10).

    3. Ghouls need a boost badly. Some more melee skills, and a way to penetrate armor.

    4. Crossbows need a way to penetrate armor (especially handbows which look cool on witch hunters, but pale in comparison to pistols).

    5. Freelancers need a boost, preferably to make them better at what they already do, either through a baseline stat increase or exclusive gear. Shooting skills would make them worthwhile to hire, but it feels wrong.

    Also these are not exactly balance issues, but we also all seem to agree that some things should be added/adjusted for Aesthetic Value so we see them in the high end games such as:

    A. An improved Flail
    B. An improved Stove Hat
    C. An improved Faction Shield
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  11. Shangular Major

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    Agree with 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, and the A-C section.

    7. I still don't think resilience or magic resistance needs to be added, especially if they are getting an improved flail. They are supposed to be a glass cannon, similar to skaven. There defense against damage should be the WS, ability to avoid stuns, and proper timing on using them. Believe me if you were to arm these guys with a comet maul, they can do a good amount of damage.

    Since you don't have a #3 above :), I'd propose this as a #3

    3. Standardize all paragon stats to the same maximum for all players.

    I'm asking for this not because I have any problems beating older warbands with higher stats in PVP (so far I've always won), but a concern about grandfathering these old warbands is that it could create frustration for new players joining and enjoying the game. So older players are allowed to operate on a different rule set than new players? Increasing player base should be a key priority and win-win for everyone. Imagine a new player who thinks they know the rules of the game only to find out against one opponent that maul wielding warrior has a higher initiative than their ithilimar sword wielding warrior with max initiative. First impression could be is this guy using a hack?

    This same example also applies if there is a change in the limits of hired swords and older warbands are grandfathered in. A new undead player who has 1 ogre then faces an opposing undead warband who has 3 ogres. Again, first reaction would be wtf? I'd put this as #8 but I know this probably requires more conversation before a consensus can be made.
  12. Trapsinger Major

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    oops....hehe...no number 3...i'll fix that.

    Your idea to penalize the older players with grandfathered stats, isn't necessarily a bad one. We just don't all agree on it, which is why it isn't on the list. The counter point being that the problem with being nice to new players is that you have to be mean to loyal players, both sides have valid arguments. Same with limiting hired swords to 1 each, which I personally like, but people disagree about.

    I thought we all agreed about resilience to Fanatics, since it was a small change that made them more in line with Flagellants, but since we don't seem to, i'll take it out.
  13. Shangular Major

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    I understand the argument with the grandfathering concept. The way I look it is not to penalize older/loyal players. Heck I'm spent tons of fate on Ogres, Legendary can check my account to verify. I see it as creating a new metagame. This is common in many MMO games that have PVP. Every so often, new standardized changes are made which requires a all players to re-discover the new meta. Examples in other games are increase in max level cap and restructuring of skills, etc. Since we're proposing some significant mechanically changes already such as #1 and 2 above, perhaps we work on redefining mechanics for a "Mordheim 2.0"?
  14. Trapsinger Major

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    well it sounds like a reasonable request to me, and I don't have any characters like that so i have no investment in it either way, I just don't want to call it a consensus point if it isn't.
  15. Trapsinger Major

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    Would it be fair to add:

    D. Faction Shields for Undead and Witch Hunters?
  16. TheRoyalOwl Private

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    I'd said just give it to the Witch Hunters as a fraction shield for undead seems kinda unnecessary when their are already shields for Morr.
  17. Sean Private

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    The trouble with this is that the dregs will die, or get so injured that they will be removed. At which point you end up with an Undead band of necromancer, vampire and Ogre (s), which is probably not what you want. At least one of dregs or ghouls should be comparable with a reiklander guy.
  18. Trapsinger Major

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    So here's the thing with the dregs, and I could go either way on whether or not they need improvement. They have all the same melee damage, and survivability, and skills, and stat caps as a reiklander already. Reiklanders just also get shooting skills and the dregs don't, but that doesn't effect melee. The dregs start a little lower than a reiklander, but they can take more advances to catch up, so it takes them a little longer to get the same point. but they do the reach the same point. So is that enough to make them good? or do they need more than that? I think it would be cool if they got the shooting skills for the shooting weapons they can already get (throwing weapons and bows, plus related skills) it would give them more versatility and build options, and a definite niche in the warband if they were the only ones that got ranged skills. but it's a little anti lore.
  19. Igenham Corporal

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    I was thinking one way to make ghouls work long term would be to give the special "Claw Skills" (this is basically a re-hash of what has been said previously)

    Examples (these would all need some kind of pre-requisite, and the would be mutually exclusive):
    • Rending Claws: Reduce enemy defense by 15
    • Barbed Claws: Increase crit by 15%
    • Poisoned Claws: Apply some kind of poison buff to melee
    Etc... I also agree to giving them non-weapon based skills.
    I agree with all other points, except maybe for the dregs as they are supposed to be a little bit less strong than normal humans. If we could only get 1 mercenary per type, it could work, but you could just ogre-spam to get around them in the current setting...
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  20. Double Misfire Private

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    Great thread! Some thoughts:

    All the complaints about ghouls, zealots and weapons that aren't hammers not being worth using in the endgame are centred on armour. All the examples listed are great options with less experienced warbands who's opponents haven't had the chance to buy eight suits of heavy armour (I'm currently finding four attack ghouls paticuarly scary while I level up my Witch Hunters!), and so surely we should be asking the devs to tone down or overhaul armour instead of the rest of the game?

    Armour in the original tabletop game was famously rubbish and overpriced, with Tumoas Pirinen even going on to say that this was largely deliberate on his part, with armour intended as more of a status item, and a very heavy suit of full plate not being the optimal piece of kit for adventurers stealthily exploring and climbing their way through a ruined cityscape. I feel that the nature of a video game you can play as often as you want (as opposed to a tabletop game you have to arrange with your opponent prior and are probably only able to play a couple of times a week) would make increasing the price of armour redundant, players would just work doubly hard to outfit their entire warband with it. Instead I'd propose giving serious drawbacks to wearing suits of heavy armour - slap an initiative penalty on it, similar to the ones full helmets have (I don't care how strong you are, there's no way you're going to be as agile as someone not dressed as a tin can), and nerf the Armour Training skill to only reducing weight by 1, making choosing to equip armour a choice when building your warband and not a default no brainier.


    Dregs should by all accounts be worse than their human mercenary equivalents. Undead warbands have the Vampire, Necromancer and pet slots over mercenary warbands, and you're only ever going to have three ghouls/dregs in a "maxed out" undead warband, so they can take the hit. It also stands to reason thematically that at creepy, probably quite malnourished, hunchback walking blood-bag with a sack of body parts slung over one shoulder and no formal combat training wouldn't be able to go toe-to-toe with a seasoned professional soldier.


    Something a little bit out of the box re: Freelancers, that won't go all the way towards fixing them but would at least give them a distinct niche. In the tabletop game the Freelancer's main hire point was that he rode a horse. I doubt we'll ever see mounts in game (certainly not soon), but when the expanded rules for mounts and mounted combat were released in Town Crier magazine, one of the the prerequisites for being able to ride a mount was the Animal Handler skill. Why not give Freelancers access to the animal handler skill, allowing them to get an extra Wardog into a human mercenary warband without having to hire a squishy Warlock to do it.

    If the above (or similar) penalties to armour were implemented, Freelancers could also be given a unique skill, allowing them to ignore some or all of the penalties for wearing heavy armour, giving them a solid niche and defining them as well... knights I guess.

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