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Undead Unit Balance  
folder icon   03-12-2005, 03:07 AM
Undead Unit Balance Post #1
Forzan

Abomination


Joined: Sep 16 2001
Posts: 648 pos

Undead mana based units benefit from no upkeep. Additionally, Frost Wyrms offer a good offense/defense at a reasonable 10:1 damage:land ratio.

Translated Gold Values of Undead Units and Imagined Upkeep Values:

Ghoul - 2 / 1 - 12 Mana - 30 Gold - 6 Gold Upkeep - 1 Food - Attack Ratio of 2, Defense Ratio of 1 - 15g Per Attack, 30g Per Defense

Skeleton Warrior - 1 / 2 - 12 Mana - 30 Gold - 3 Gold Upkeep - 1 Food - AR 1, DR 2 - 30g Per Attack, 15g Per Defense

Skeleton Archer - 1 / 5 - 24 Mana - 60 Gold - 6 Gold Upkeep - 2 Food - AR 0.5, DR 2.5 - 60g Per Attack, 12g Per Defense

Abomination - 8 / 4 - 12 Mana - 30 Gold - 3 Gold Upkeep - 3 Food - AR 2.67, DR 1.33 - 3.75g Per Attack, 7.5g Per Defense

Cold Wraith - 10 / 3 - 55 Mana - 137.5 Gold - 13.7 Gold Upkeep - 2 Food - AR 5, DR 1.5 - 13.75g Per Attack, 45.75g Per Defense

Gargoyle - 40 / 5 - 225 Mana - 562.5 Gold - 56 Gold Upkeep - 4 Food - AR 10, DR 1.25 - 14g Per Attack, 112.5g Per Defense

Frost Wyrm - 100 / 100 - 1100 Mana - 2750 Gold - 275 Gold Upkeep - 10 Food - AR 10, DR 10 - 27.5g Per Attack, 27.5g Per Defense.


It might seem easy to argue that Undead Units should be more expensive than other units, and they should have a lower attack ratio and higher gold per point cost. However, the removal of upkeep doesn't do too much for the undead.

First, the Undead must dedicate land for the translation of Gold -> Mana. To build an effective army, one should have at least half as many Alchemy buildings as they have Blight. This means an approximate dedication of 1/3 of their land is just for transmuting. I reccomend more, but this is a safe estimate I think everyone can agree with.

If that 1/3 of land were instead dedicated to more Blight and Acolytes, the Undead player would generate 25%-50% more gold early on, and in the later game, 5%-10% more gold. Furthermore, the Undead player would not have to juggle between gold and mana needs, as both the nation and army would be able to use funds from the same pool.

This cripples the Undead in the early game, while providing a slight advantage later (only if the Undead player manages to overcome other races).

Let's look at a few of the best Human unit values for comparison.

Footman - 5 / 5 - Attack/Defense Ratio of 2.5 - 25g per Attack/Defense
Knight - 15 / 15 - Attack/Defense Ratio of 3.75 - 26.67g per Attack/Defense
Crusader - 25 / 25 - Attack/Defense Ratio of 5 - 28g per Attack/Defense
Dragon Hawk - 15 / 10 - Attack Ratio of 5, Defense Ratio of 3.33 - 18g per Attack, 27.5g per Defense

It would, at first, appear that the humans have inferior units to the Undead, especially when they are compared to Frost Wyrms and Gargoyles. However, early in the game (the first few hundred turns), a human player can build and support forces much larger than the crippled Undead player. The Human player is receiving 25-50% more gold, and spending only 10% for upkeep, since he has Peasants and Farms instead of Alchemy buildings.

So long as the Undead are kept from growing, an easy feat, other players can maintain dominance over them through the entire game.

Additionally, this turns the Undead into a primarily defensive race, instead of aggressive as intended. Their best ratio unit is one with no upkeep and an equal amount of attack and defense. Undead players aren't encouraged to attack and use their units because they cost nothing per turn.

Suggestions to make the Undead more aggressive while reducing their early game cripple:
-Increase the output of Reverse Alchemy Refineries so they produce more mana, then make Undead mana based units pay a gold upkeep value. This would encourage Undead players to build massive attack forces and use them quickly, making them a more aggressive race. As a counter, it reduces the defensive capability of the Undead when they are attacked and cannot build a quick defense. It would also make juggling Gold/Mana more difficult.

-Fix Abominations and Ghouls by removing the 12 mana cost to make an Abomination, and replace it with a 3 Ghoul cost. Reduce the food cost for Abominations from 3 to 2 to give them more reasonable Attack Ratios for the multiple turns it will take to build them. (Attack Ratio would change from 2.67 to 4, Defense from 1.33 to 2. It's still much lower than a top of the line unit, and they'll comparitavely cost 11.25 gold per attack, 22.5 gold per defense then.) To add to flexibility and the necessity of maintaining a Ghoul population, allow Ghouls to also transform into a 2/8 2 food unit for rapid defense needs. You could call it "Failed Abomination", and it could behave like a large glob of stinky, immobile fat.

-Turn Spirit Towers into the buildings that transmute Gold - > Mana, remove Reverse Alchemy Refineries. Increase mana output and add an upkeep to units, as mentioned above.


Basically, the Undead should be able to produce units cheaply, but pay massive amounts for a standing army. It's difficult work- sewing up zombie arms, reattaching extra limbs, and ensuring your troops don't shamble off or eat each other. Anyone can pull a zombie out of a grave and make him obey their commands, but few can keep a zombie's attention deficit disorder under control without expensive prescriptions.

Last edited by Forzan on 03-12-2005 at 04:19 AM.
Posts: 648 pos
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