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League Balance?

 
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 21, 2005 4:13 am    Post subject: League Balance? Reply with quote

After playing the game more, I think it needs a bit more work with regard to league balance. Gameplay breaks down after a while. Basically, the league degenerates into:

One great AI clan, one human clan, and 58 mediocre clans
In my current game, Might of Chaos, the number one clan in the league, went 97-0 before I beat them in the seventh season. They never lost in six and a half seasons. This weakens the sports atmosphere of the game, IMHO. The reason one clan gets so good is simple: once a clan wins the Glory Cup they get a ton of gold, and once they do that they can add a fighter or two to their roster. In the early going, a one- or two-fighter advantage is huge and so they subsequently win Division One, which gets them even more money, which gives them even a greater edge in the second season. The whole thing steamrolls until you get one awesome clan that so distances itself from the rest of the league that the entire point of 60 clans vying for a league championship is trivialized.

Thinking about clan strength, it's like having one clan at 100, and the next closest clan at about 50. The problem with this is when the human player gets to the level where they can beat all the other AI clans except one, each season turns into 10+ games of tedious slaughter and then one challenging game against the best clan in the league. In my current game, I've won every match except for the four cup matches I've had against the #1 clan in Division One. I'm something like 90-4 over six and a half seasons. This is probably exceptional because I quickly went to the overpowered archery model. But even if I had not done that, in any game the human player will eventually get to the point where his clan lies in that huge gap between the best clan and the second best clan, and is playing entire seasons just for those 1-3 matches against the best clan.

In short, I think the game would be better if it addresses: 1) the huge gap in AI clan quality that lies between the number one clan in the land and the "rest" and 2) the lack of turnover at the #1 spot in Division One. These are distinctly different things.

I don't have any problem with how hard it is to beat the best clan in the league. Actually, itís been great fun trying to beat them. I just wish there were another 10-15 clans that were close to their level as well, and that it was possible for other AI clans to beat the best AI clan.

The upcoming patch will address the archery issue and address the clan AI issue, which should help greatly. However, I think it might be a good idea to look at the structure of league prize money and cup money to both close the gap between the best clan and the rest of the clans and to make it possible that the number one clan in the land will not keep mauling everyone else in the league year after year.
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Godzilla Blitz
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Joined: 12 Aug 2005
Posts: 30

PostPosted: Sun Aug 21, 2005 4:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Humm...

Didn't mean to post the above as a "guest".

Must have forgotten to log in first.

Whoops.
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Godzilla Blitz
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Joined: 12 Aug 2005
Posts: 30

PostPosted: Sun Aug 21, 2005 5:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

One thought I had to address the above issue:

I'm not sure it's a good idea to lower the prize money for the Glory Cup winner, for example. If we lower the Glory Cup money, the best team will simply get worse, which makes it more likely that the human player will beat them earlier in the game.

I think it would be possible to raise the ability of the second tier of teams by getting more cash into their hands. I would probably look to raising the prize money substantially for the Glory Cup runner up (to say 30,000 gp) and give 15,000 to losers in the semi-finals.

I would also give excellent season-ending money to the top four teams in Division One, the top three teams in Division Two, and the top two teams in Division Three.

Something like this:
Division One
1st Place: 40,000 gold (not sure what it is now, but I assume it's something like this)
2nd Place: 30,000 gold
3rd Place: 20,000 gold
4th Place: 10,000 gold

Division Two
1st Place: 30,000 gold
2nd Place: 20,000 gold
3rd Place: 10,000 gold

Division Three
1st Place: 20,000 gold
2nd Place: 10,000 gold

This would get a ton more money into the hands of the next best 6-8 teams, and make it much more likely that the top team could get overthrown. Also, the top ten teams or so in the league would have an ever bigger talent advantage over the human team by the time it gets to division three that the game would be more challenging against all AI teams in the upper levels.
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Tertsi
Mitorah Games Studio Head


Joined: 29 Aug 2004
Posts: 331
Location: Finland

PostPosted: Sun Aug 21, 2005 5:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Have you tried game mode B for example? As it gives more 'ticket money' even to the losing clan (and more other winning money) and should have more balanced clans. In game mode C the clans are most balanced.

I will see what should be done about the game mode A's (or possibly all game modes') winning prizes for the 1.02 version.
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Godzilla Blitz
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Joined: 12 Aug 2005
Posts: 30

PostPosted: Sun Aug 21, 2005 6:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ah...I was wondering about whether things would be different under the different start settings.

I'm going to play my current game until I win the first division. Then I'll probably wait for the patch. I'll try my first game after the patch on game mode B. Thanks for letting me know that things are different with different startups.

I'm really enjoying the game, by the way. Very addictive, and I like how I can play a season in about an hour or so.
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AtmaVegeta
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Joined: 02 Jun 2005
Posts: 106
Location: Statside Finally

PostPosted: Sun Aug 21, 2005 3:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Its also pretty much like this in Division 2. The Daelgyn are god like while I can pretty much beat another other clan (a few are a bit tought, but only like 1 or 2).

Also like his "Might of Chaos" my "The Daelgyn" did the same thing winning tons of games in a row. The last time they last (besides that AI bug about not putting units vs "dead" clans) was probaly the second or third year (in like 8th or 9th now). They are getting weaker now though, as the last few years they hardley lose units, they have probaly lost more this year than last few (and only like 4th game into season), but they still win fairly easy.

This is Game Mode B. Smile
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Tertsi
Mitorah Games Studio Head


Joined: 29 Aug 2004
Posts: 331
Location: Finland

PostPosted: Mon Aug 22, 2005 10:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

1.01 version now also has smaller resurrection costs which should make it a bit harder for clans to become total losers.

Formerly resurrecting a unit costed the unit's base cost (= 20 * salary) * 0.037 + 75 gp + minus health factor.
Now it costs unit's base cost * 0.027 + 65 gp + minus health factor.

Minus health factor used to be: HP below 0 * unit's base cost * 0.002.
And is now: HP below 0 * (unit's base cost * 0.0006 + 2 gp).
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Tertsi
Mitorah Games Studio Head


Joined: 29 Aug 2004
Posts: 331
Location: Finland

PostPosted: Thu Aug 25, 2005 6:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The following league balancing changes were already made for the 1.01 version:

* The leagues and cups were balanced in a way that the top clans will now be better and much closer to be as tough as the best AI controlled clan. These league balance changes haven't been tested much though so it could be that they will be further balanced in the next version. The relevant changes are listed below.
* The small clans' cup's runner-up's award money was increased by 33.33% to be half of the winner's award money.
* The Cup of Glory's runner-up's award money was increased by 66.66% to be half of the winner's award money.
* Now even the losers of Cup of Glory semi finals are awarded with a gold sum which equals 18.75% of the Cup of Glory grand prize
and the winners get only 70% of that because they'll get more on the next cup round.
* The clan which is ranked second in the first division at the end of the season now gets 75% of the gold the #1 clan gets.
Third in 1st. division gets 50% of the gold the #1 clan gets.
Fourth in 1st. division gets 30% of the gold the #1 clan gets.
The same formula applies to division 2 and division 3.
* The second division winner now gets 25% more gold.
* The third division winner now gets 37% more gold.
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AtmaVegeta
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Joined: 02 Jun 2005
Posts: 106
Location: Statside Finally

PostPosted: Thu Aug 25, 2005 1:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This sounds good, I'm eager to test this out (havne't played much just started school, have 20 hours so I'm loaded).

I'm glad to see other teams in division get gold finally, instead of just first, that will be the best improvement I believe.
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Godzilla Blitz
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Joined: 12 Aug 2005
Posts: 30

PostPosted: Thu Aug 25, 2005 5:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sounds great!

Looking forward to giving them a try.
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aran
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Joined: 18 Aug 2005
Posts: 5
Location: New Jersey, USA

PostPosted: Fri Aug 26, 2005 6:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow... how awesomely responsive of you, tersi!

Thanks a lot for addressing this concern so quickly and effectively Smile. Hopefully it works as well in game as it sounds on paper.
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Barrrt
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Joined: 12 Aug 2005
Posts: 12

PostPosted: Wed Jan 25, 2006 10:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good point, the financial system could certainly use some ballancing.
For instance in the lower leagues, I quite often encouter hopeless clans that have gone bankrupt, and can not afford any weapons and/or clan members anymore. Which is good for my clan, but does not give interesting battles.
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