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[gameplay] Cavalry archer speed adjustment
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Authored by ValihrAnt on Jan 20 2020, 4:10 PM.
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Summary

Reduces cavalry archer speed, due to them having the same movement speed as javelin cavalry. Because of this, early camel rushes will become more realistic to counter as now they can't easily escape from any javelin cavalry chasing them, whilst taking quick potshots in their retreat. With this change, the rushing player will need to also put some thought into their positioning as they won't be able to easily escape with some dodging and few, if any, losses. Obviously, this change does slightly increase their already high skill floor, but it doesn't affect their skill ceiling. When executing the camel rush I didn't feel like I could just do whatever I want to and get away with it, but also put in some more thought on making sure my opponent can't flank me or surround me. Whilst playing against them I could punish my opponent overextending or not paying attention to his surroundings, but if the unit is used well it will still be incredibly deadly.
In mass, the cavalry archers are still great. Spear cavalry are slightly more of a threat, but the civs which don't get spear cavalry will now be able to attempt massing up some javelin cavalry and cut off retreats more efficiently or even try to fight head-on.

Test Plan

Changes were tested on the balance mod.

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Event Timeline

ValihrAnt created this revision.Jan 20 2020, 4:10 PM
Nescio added a subscriber: Nescio.Jan 20 2020, 4:54 PM

Out of curiosity, why exactly 0.92, not 0.95, 0.90, or 0.85?

elexis added a subscriber: elexis.Jan 20 2020, 5:37 PM

Test plan: Changes were tested on the balance mod.

(I guess it takes a bit of time, but it wouldn't hurt to document the test sample (i.e. approximate number of matches, list of participating players who may be considered either capable of judging or capable of playing representatively for competitive players. If its easier, one could also just upload replays and perhaps a link to the mod. The purpose of the list of test participant would allow (1) the reviewers to determine in how far the patch was tested and (2) later consumers of the patches (a24 players and devs) to find identify which players were capable of judging, or what might have gone wrong or right in case it was a fail or success.)

Out of curiosity, why exactly 0.92, not 0.95, 0.90, or 0.85?

(Or 0.925 = 37/40 :P doesnt matter)

I guess RunSpeed doesnt need to be modified anymore as there is a multiplier in a24.

Could this make skirmisher cavalry rushes too strong?

Out of curiosity, why exactly 0.92, not 0.95, 0.90, or 0.85?

Initially, I did 0.90 but then they were slower than Heavy Skirmishers, which didn't feel too correct. When I tried 0.95 (in a single-player test environment) I didn't feel like the change was significant enough. So 0.92 was a nice middle ground.

(I guess it takes a bit of time, but it wouldn't hurt to document the test sample (i.e. approximate number of matches, list of participating players who may be considered either capable of judging or capable of playing representatively for competitive players. If its easier, one could also just upload replays and perhaps a link to the mod. The purpose of the list of test participant would allow (1) the reviewers to determine in how far the patch was tested and (2) later consumers of the patches (a24 players and devs) to find identify which players were capable of judging, or what might have gone wrong or right in case it was a fail or success.)

Changing just speed is my idea. Christmas wanted the changes to include a reduction to speed and range, but an increase to dmg. badosu suggested having a small (0.3 to 0.5) damage increase to make up for the reduced speed. Then lastly I have Boudica and Stockfish agreeing with how they are nerfed.
Test match wise I have participated in 8 matches were cavalry archers were used. Though, the matches were spread across the mod versions, which I only have the last one on hand. 2 of the matches had cavalry archers as the main army, in the others they were used for rushing.

Could this make skirmisher cavalry rushes too strong?

I don't see how this makes skirmisher cavalry rushes any stronger. Previously skirm cav struggled to get even 1 hit off on camels running away, now they should be able to fire off at least one shot. Still, when the camels are back at home they will simply be laying suppressive fire from the safety of the CC due to their vastly superior range.

Initially, I did 0.90 but then they were slower than Heavy Skirmishers, which didn't feel too correct. When I tried 0.95 (in a single-player test environment) I didn't feel like the change was significant enough. So 0.92 was a nice middle ground.

Then why not lower heavy skirmisher speed? Or raise cavalry javelinist speed? (Again, just curious.)
By the way, this makes elephant archers slower, since they have the horse archer as their parent. Also, keep in mind there are two cavalry speed technologies (+10% each), from which elephantry and infantry don't benefit.

Then why not lower heavy skirmisher speed?

Fewer to test, basically. An additional benefit of the change being more minor, which is something I aimed to do when balancing. Avoid making big sweeping changes and if a change turns out to be too minuscule it can be further adjusted in the future.

Or raise cavalry javelinist speed?

Obviously, this would make javelin cavalry stronger, which I think is very unneeded as they're in a good spot balance wise currently.

By the way, this makes elephant archers slower, since they have the horse archer as their parent. Also, keep in mind there are two cavalry speed technologies (+10% each), from which elephantry and infantry don't benefit.

Didn't actually realize that was the case, will fix it in the patch soon. Getting the first speed upgrade will actually restore cav archer speed back to slightly higher than initially.

Initially, I did 0.90 but then they were slower than Heavy Skirmishers, which didn't feel too correct.

That made me wonder, so I looked up the current walk speed numbers:

                      citizen , champion , hero
cavalry javelineer  : ×1.95   , ×2.25    , ×1.9425 (= 1.85 × 1.05) 
cavalry archer      : ×1.95   , ×2.25    , ×1.85
  patch proposal      : ×1.792  , ×2.07    , ×1.85
infantry javelineer : ×1.4    , ×1.75    , ×1
infantry archer     : ×1.1    , ×1.2     , ×1

The differences are especially pronounced for the infantry javelineer. (Maybe something to revisit in a future patch?)
Regardless, I wonder why champions are significantly faster than citizens. They have a lot more armour and health and can't gather (hunt). If anything, I'd expect champions to be slower or at most equally fast.
The current differencea between citizen and champion walk speed go back to rP20230, which introduced relative speeds (multipliers). Prior to that template_unit_cavalry.xml, template_unit_champion_cavalry.xml, and template_unit_hero_cavalry.xml all had a walk speed of 1.65; the commit message says: “No significant value change.”

I wonder why champions are significantly faster than citizens. They have a lot more armour and health and can't gather (hunt). If anything, I'd expect champions to be slower or at most equally fast.

I guess the argument would be that they are more trained and elite, but indeed that needs to account for the weight of the additional armor.

The current differencea between citizen and champion walk speed go back to rP20230

I remember that in previous releases champions had even more super powers (in alpha 17 roman sword cav champs had something like 70 attack IIRC)
rP16285 scythetwir <WalkSpeed>23.0</WalkSpeed>
rP15817 scythetwir <WalkSpeed>16.5</WalkSpeed>
rP13377 michael <Speed>26.0</Speed>

So I guess that could be explored, perhaps in a separate cycle.

fatherbushido added a subscriber: fatherbushido.EditedFeb 3 2020, 1:17 PM

Regardless, I wonder why champions are significantly faster than citizens. They have a lot more armour and health and can't gather (hunt). If anything, I'd expect champions to be slower or at most equally fast.
The current differencea between citizen and champion walk speed go back to rP20230, which introduced relative speeds (multipliers). Prior to that template_unit_cavalry.xml, template_unit_champion_cavalry.xml, and template_unit_hero_cavalry.xml all had a walk speed of 1.65; the commit message says: “No significant value change.”

I don't understand why you are speaking of rP20230 and why you are refering to the commit message.

The colored diff about changes is here https://code.wildfiregames.com/D930
And it appears that there is no significant value change (more than 1.0 difference).

The only changes were for the run speed but that was waiting for the run multiplier patch (which happened here https://code.wildfiregames.com/rP22197)... and it seems that was not understood here: https://code.wildfiregames.com/rP21954
(Apart from that, at the time, I pointed out some inconsistencies in the forum and even ping the person in charge of balancing / gameplay, cf https://wildfiregames.com/forum/index.php?/topic/21530-walkspeed-and-runspeed/ and also https://trac.wildfiregames.com/ticket/4352#comment:3 but anyway that wasn't the matter of rP20230.)

Nescio added a comment.Feb 3 2020, 6:28 PM

D930/rP20230 was the last time cavalry walk speeds were changed. I did not intend to imply there were no speed differences prior to that.

D930/rP20230 was the last time cavalry walk speeds were changed. I did not intend to imply there were no speed differences prior to that.

So when you say that:

The current differencea between citizen and champion walk speed go back to rP20230, which introduced relative speeds (multipliers). Prior to that template_unit_cavalry.xml, template_unit_champion_cavalry.xml, and template_unit_hero_cavalry.xml all had a walk speed of 1.65; the commit message says: “No significant value change.”

you don't mean that rP20230 have anything to do with "The current differencea between citizen and champion walk".

Pointing out those templates is misleading because they were probably (need to check) overwritten by more specific templates.

I don't want to appear annoying, but I had some bad experiences with players which told all and its countrary and blamed randomly, so I don't want to leave any doubt.

Nescio added a comment.Feb 3 2020, 9:39 PM

No, I stand by what I wrote earlier, with the emphasis on the word “current”. I browsed the revision logs and checked when the walk speed of the cavalry templates was last changed; that was rP20230. I'm not blaming anyone or anything.

badosu added a subscriber: badosu.Feb 24 2020, 9:34 PM

@elexis

If its easier, one could also just upload replays and perhaps a link to the mod.

@ValihrAnt

Though, the matches were spread across the mod versions, which I only have the last one on hand. 2 of the matches had cavalry archers as the main army, in the others they were used for rushing.

For reference, five of the aforementioned matches I posted replays on forum and casted on youtube if it helps: https://wildfiregames.com/forum/index.php?/topic/27531-valihrant-vs-feldfeld-series-of-5/

Nescio retitled this revision from Cavalry archer speed adjustment to [gameplay] Cavalry archer speed adjustment.Thu, Mar 19, 10:55 AM