Hero Mages

Hero Mages Community Boards => Game Balance => Topic started by: Kenjun on May 09, 2012, 06:30:55 AM MT



Title: First Player Advantage / Map Balance?
Post by: Kenjun on May 09, 2012, 06:30:55 AM MT
Was testing a match vs. AI and my Mage was killed even before I get to play my 1st turn!

Map : Crystal Palace
No. of players : 3 (Me & 2 A.I.)
Teams : Free For All

The AI who went first has a starting position next to me (there's only 4 possible starting positions for teams, akin to 4 parties having a dinner around a square table). Its Sorceress rounded the corner, apparently sprinted, and blasted some spells at me, killing my Mage before I even get to start my turn.

Regrettably I was distracted and was forced to quit the game. I didn't manage to see clearly what was thrown at me, but what I was sure was that I have not even started to play. Didn't manage to capture the game log too. Yes losing your mage is not losing the game, but you must agree that the player who loses a mage face an uphill task, all other factors being equal. Furthermore, this is a case where I didn't even get to play yet.

Just wondering if anyone encountered this before? From what I observed so far there seems to be no 'balance' (negative incentive etc) for the First Player.
I read a thread dated 3 years ago discussing this, but I still feel the First Player has too big an advantage.


Title: Re: First Player Advantage / Map Balance?
Post by: diesbudt on May 09, 2012, 10:35:49 AM MT
First off you played on a map that allows first turn attacks on a Mage.

Secondly, since it requires a Mage to sprint to try and get in line of sight to attack said Mage (may not get enough sprint).

Third he must have the spells available to do enough damage in 1 turn. Which would be rare on the first 7 card hand.

Fourth, the dice would have to be very generous and luck would be big to do all 6 hp in 1 turn.

First player doesn't have near the advantage you believe. Being second can be just as advantagable, you just need to know how. You will have to just trust me on that, I don't give away all my secrets.


Title: Re: First Player Advantage / Map Balance?
Post by: diesbudt on May 09, 2012, 11:08:49 AM MT
And without looking for it I can guess what topic you are talking about.

The issue back then, was that disentigrate hit much harder and teleport only costed 1 mana, so a fighter Mage (most defensive and 4 dice attack Mage) could teleport, attack, mana surge and use disentigrate. Usually doing 5-6 damage.

However with teleport cost increased to 2, no Mage besides the wizard can do that now. And disentigrate has less dice.

The sad truth is it has been 2-3 years and I still remember that thread topic...


Title: Re: First Player Advantage / Map Balance?
Post by: Kenjun on May 09, 2012, 01:44:13 PM MT
First off you played on a map that allows first turn attacks on a Mage.

Secondly, since it requires a Mage to sprint to try and get in line of sight to attack said Mage (may not get enough sprint).

Third he must have the spells available to do enough damage in 1 turn. Which would be rare on the first 7 card hand.

Fourth, the dice would have to be very generous and luck would be big to do all 6 hp in 1 turn.

First player doesn't have near the advantage you believe. Being second can be just as advantagable, you just need to know how. You will have to just trust me on that, I don't give away all my secrets.

Hmm I have mixed feelings about a game's design whereby the mage (a crucial character) can be killed in the first turn. IMHO that will be too dependent on luck.


As for "... Being second can be just as advangtagable .... ", correct me if I' m wrong, can't the first player just click "End Turn"? Then he/she will become the 2nd player anyway. Not only that, he get to tune his starting hand discarding the unwanted ones.


Title: Re: First Player Advantage / Map Balance?
Post by: Kenjun on May 09, 2012, 01:46:03 PM MT
And without looking for it I can guess what topic you are talking about.



That will be an issue, surely. Glad that it's been fixed.


Title: Re: First Player Advantage / Map Balance?
Post by: Ross Przybylski on May 09, 2012, 02:38:08 PM MT
Kenjun,

I think you have some valid points. The nature of some maps does (with lots of luck) allow for first turn mage kills, which, as you've pointed out, is incredibly detrimental to strategy moving forward - especially before you have any chance whatsoever to act.

This problem is even more prominent in 8-player FFA, especially on Circle of Slaughter, where your entire team could easily be wiped out before you have the opportunity to do anything.

I'm open to suggestions. Maybe there is a "first round" protection that keeps units safe or shielded in some way until that player has a chance to act.


Title: Re: First Player Advantage / Map Balance?
Post by: diesbudt on May 09, 2012, 03:11:10 PM MT
First off you played on a map that allows first turn attacks on a Mage.

Secondly, since it requires a Mage to sprint to try and get in line of sight to attack said Mage (may not get enough sprint).

Third he must have the spells available to do enough damage in 1 turn. Which would be rare on the first 7 card hand.

Fourth, the dice would have to be very generous and luck would be big to do all 6 hp in 1 turn.

First player doesn't have near the advantage you believe. Being second can be just as advantagable, you just need to know how. You will have to just trust me on that, I don't give away all my secrets.

Hmm I have mixed feelings about a game's design whereby the mage (a crucial character) can be killed in the first turn. IMHO that will be too dependent on luck.


As for "... Being second can be just as advangtagable .... ", correct me if I' m wrong, can't the first player just click "End Turn"? Then he/she will become the 2nd player anyway. Not only that, he get to tune his starting hand discarding the unwanted ones.

Again, I said it could be an advantage, same as being first even w/o doing damage is an advantage (unit placement). Both have advantages, just very different in how they have an adantage. A lot of my duel wins, I did just ended the first turn. As I said, my secrets.

Again, it sounds like you ran into the worst case scenario. If you pick one of the MANY maps that are not starting so close, you solved that issue. Also, it takes tons of luck on the first turn, as I stated.

If you move your mage to a position however to allow a 1 turn kill, then that is a strategy fault of the player.

Honestly I, even myself playing, have yet to see a first first turn kill, since FM teleport assaulting was removed.


Title: Re: First Player Advantage / Map Balance?
Post by: diesbudt on May 09, 2012, 03:13:58 PM MT
Kenjun,

I think you have some valid points. The nature of some maps does (with lots of luck) allow for first turn mage kills, which, as you've pointed out, is incredibly detrimental to strategy moving forward - especially before you have any chance whatsoever to act.

This problem is even more prominent in 8-player FFA, especially on Circle of Slaughter, where your entire team could easily be wiped out before you have the opportunity to do anything.

I'm open to suggestions. Maybe there is a "first round" protection that keeps units safe or shielded in some way until that player has a chance to act.

No, because then itd be the worst thing possible to go first, as you can't pressure the opponent with a summon going in and doing a point of damage, or a seeker missile, or something. Meaning, really all this just makes the 2nd player with all the advantage.

Then in an FFA, will all players have shields for plaeyrs that go before them, making the 8th person in a circle of slaughter invincible?

Honestly, game works fine as is. Otherwise you are trying to fix a d10000 to prevent the 1 from being rolled.

(for those that dont get it, I am basically saying a situation like this is 1 in 10000)


Title: Re: First Player Advantage / Map Balance?
Post by: Ross Przybylski on May 09, 2012, 05:41:28 PM MT
Honestly, game works fine as is. Otherwise you are trying to fix a d10000 to prevent the 1 from being rolled.

Well, that makes my job easy ;)

Back to programming async multiplayer. BTW...you guys are going to love the new features in the next update... ;D


Title: Re: First Player Advantage / Map Balance?
Post by: Kenjun on May 10, 2012, 01:12:33 AM MT
Kenjun,

I think you have some valid points. The nature of some maps does (with lots of luck) allow for first turn mage kills, which, as you've pointed out, is incredibly detrimental to strategy moving forward - especially before you have any chance whatsoever to act.

This problem is even more prominent in 8-player FFA, especially on Circle of Slaughter, where your entire team could easily be wiped out before you have the opportunity to do anything.

I'm open to suggestions. Maybe there is a "first round" protection that keeps units safe or shielded in some way until that player has a chance to act.

Yes I was wondering about the starting positions of the 8-player maps too, but have yet to test them out. I was thinking were they restricted to only team battles? Or else I think it'll be pretty chaotic in FFA (and how to make it balanced for all players?)

As it is, I'm still progressively testing Hero Mages, starting from 2-player games to 3-player games etc... My 1st 3-player game got me to the 1st-turn kill...


Title: Re: First Player Advantage / Map Balance?
Post by: Kenjun on May 10, 2012, 01:24:34 AM MT

Again, I said it could be an advantage, same as being first even w/o doing damage is an advantage (unit placement). Both have advantages, just very different in how they have an adantage. A lot of my duel wins, I did just ended the first turn. As I said, my secrets.

Again, it sounds like you ran into the worst case scenario. If you pick one of the MANY maps that are not starting so close, you solved that issue. Also, it takes tons of luck on the first turn, as I stated.

If you move your mage to a position however to allow a 1 turn kill, then that is a strategy fault of the player.

Honestly I, even myself playing, have yet to see a first first turn kill, since FM teleport assaulting was removed.


I'm not into statistics, but I have played less than 10 games and this happened.

Anyway, it just bothered me a bit that such a thing can happen in a game. I don't claim to be a strategy/board game guru, but in my humble gaming experience I've really never encountered such a potentially huge first game advantage.

Go has the Komi to balance and remove first-turn advantage.

Chess' white has a certain advantage, but you don't, say, lose 2 rooks in your first turn. (Further, Chess also disallow "passing", since your counter-strategy seems to be built around reacting the the first player's move. But Hero Mages do allow "passing" just by clicking "End Turn")

I don't wish to bring in a war on "this is a casual strategy game with certain elements of luck so it shouldn't be compared to Chess and Go", then consider even the widely popular Magic: The Gathering which certainly has an element of luck. The first player do not get to draw. Once again, this has been calculated so that the first-turn advantage is taken care of. Furthermore, no matter how lucky a player is, the 2nd player do not lose 7 Life points (out of 20) in the first turn too.

Just sharing my opinion by referencing these popular games...


Title: Re: First Player Advantage / Map Balance?
Post by: Kenjun on May 10, 2012, 01:29:21 AM MT

Honestly, game works fine as is. Otherwise you are trying to fix a d10000 to prevent the 1 from being rolled.

(for those that dont get it, I am basically saying a situation like this is 1 in 10000)

Ross, I appreciate that you are so open to suggestions to new players like me, but that being said, I'm new and probably have not tested the game enough so maybe let's see how it goes.

Diesbudt, I think you're much more experienced than me in this game, so I assume it's safe to assume that I really had some freak luck in that game (since you've never encountered it in all your games, and you estimated the probability to be 1 in 10000..... maybe I should go buy some lottery)

And judging from the forum posts over the years, I don't think other players encountered this problem (or felt this is a problem enough to raise an issue), so maybe it really is just fine the way it is.


Title: Re: First Player Advantage / Map Balance?
Post by: Trasd on May 10, 2012, 04:58:20 AM MT
Depending on my card draw (and if I happen to go first - which has literally been only 1 out of 6 games), I have fun trying to take an enemy toon out on the first round (I've never gotten close to taking a mage out, though - I have taken out enemy mages on my first round, but this was the game's second turn).  Ever since I had my pally taken out on round 1, I try to return the favor when possible.  I figure if I can do this to the opposing team (I'm still playing 2 player, though occasionally play 3 player), I have to accept the fact it can happen to me - it's a double edged sword.  I have to admit, though, if I lost my mage in round 1, I might very well concede.  I have successfully won losing a guardian on round 1, at least....

Unfortunately, I believe, if mages were protected on round 1, round 2 would be worse.  This would give the opposing team time to line everything up and concentrate specifically on your mage bombarding it with damage in a crossfire.


Title: Re: First Player Advantage / Map Balance?
Post by: diesbudt on May 10, 2012, 07:05:32 AM MT
Trust me when I say I know the feeling of killing and having a Mage die in first turn. But this was back when teleport assaults ruled, and all it required was a good hand on first turn to win.

Since that has changed its rare to even see a unit die in a first turn. (if a unit dies in a first turn it takes extreme luck, as every unit has 5-7 hp, and each dice is less than 50% chance to hit, meaning 6 hp 13 def unit would probably need 16+ dice rolled on him to die in one turn at a 50% ratio)

That is a lot of dice in 1 turn. Especially first turn when most guardians can't help in the assault cuz of line of sight and distance between teams.

Now if a unit is killed in first turn, usually it's a map fault (crystal palace, and that fire 4 person map is bad, horrible balanced.)

BUT in free for all map faults are fine as the major part of free for all is politics and making temporary alliances, backstabbing. Etc.

And in games like circle of slaughter, it's suppossed to be chaotic, that's the fun of it. Though 15s turn time skittles is still my favorite, cuz first player gets screwed as he spends half his turn trying to find his units.


Title: Re: First Player Advantage / Map Balance?
Post by: diesbudt on May 10, 2012, 07:11:34 AM MT
And I base my answers only on what I observe and "qualifications"

-1200+ games played
-unofficially the heromages champion with a rediculously high rating
-world of Warcraft character theory crafter and statistician
-gaming since age 3 playing galaga



Title: Re: First Player Advantage / Map Balance?
Post by: MagicMissle on May 19, 2012, 07:13:39 AM MT
With the FM, I have killed 5 enemy NPC mages and a whole bunch of guardians by my second turn, because I went first. I think that is a little excessive.


Title: Re: First Player Advantage / Map Balance?
Post by: diesbudt on May 19, 2012, 04:04:49 PM MT
Not really, he had a chance to defend himself or not move in a position to not be killed that easily.

But since it is the A.I. cant really say much on that.

I have killed many heros on a 2nd turn (of game) or 3rd turn of game. Hence which I was popular for back when I played alot.

But it is never because of who went first, its all because cards were just right, or (usually in my case, as my hands are never amazing, just average) they hero was stopped in a bad spot to allow something like that to happen.


Title: Re: First Player Advantage / Map Balance?
Post by: MagicMissle on May 20, 2012, 05:33:17 PM MT
I have noticed that winning the game means you have cards, and a mage. Yes, you can win without one, but you are at a major disadvantage.I really think guardians should have a little more spell power. Such as the Pallys being able to use Healing Touch, or the Soul Reaver could use Touch of Death. Like each character could have one card it can use, even if the mage is dead (for the same valor cost of course)


Title: Re: First Player Advantage / Map Balance?
Post by: Archie on May 30, 2012, 02:45:21 PM MT
I have to say I win quite a lot without a mage - especially against the computer.

I almost always use the Paladin and Bard. I find the game less interesting to play without a mage though and I would put forward the idea of the mages having two extra health points at the start of every game.


Title: Re: First Player Advantage / Map Balance?
Post by: diesbudt on May 30, 2012, 06:57:40 PM MT
I have to say I win quite a lot without a mage - especially against the computer.


Good luck doing that against me! haha



Title: Re: First Player Advantage / Map Balance?
Post by: Archie on May 31, 2012, 05:25:55 AM MT
lol! It would be an honour to try...but let's duke it out with a full team on both sides just so I can lose slower than otherwise!!


Title: Re: First Player Advantage / Map Balance?
Post by: Ross Przybylski on July 01, 2012, 02:59:03 PM MT
Was testing a match vs. AI and my Mage was killed even before I get to play my 1st turn!

Map : Crystal Palace
No. of players : 3 (Me & 2 A.I.)
Teams : Free For All

The AI who went first has a starting position next to me (there's only 4 possible starting positions for teams, akin to 4 parties having a dinner around a square table). Its Sorceress rounded the corner, apparently sprinted, and blasted some spells at me, killing my Mage before I even get to start my turn.

Regrettably I was distracted and was forced to quit the game. I didn't manage to see clearly what was thrown at me, but what I was sure was that I have not even started to play. Didn't manage to capture the game log too. Yes losing your mage is not losing the game, but you must agree that the player who loses a mage face an uphill task, all other factors being equal. Furthermore, this is a case where I didn't even get to play yet.

Just wondering if anyone encountered this before? From what I observed so far there seems to be no 'balance' (negative incentive etc) for the First Player.
I read a thread dated 3 years ago discussing this, but I still feel the First Player has too big an advantage.

I've adjusted the map for better balance. See https://heromages.com/forums/index.php?topic=504.0 (https://heromages.com/forums/index.php?topic=504.0)


Title: Re: First Player Advantage / Map Balance?
Post by: Archie on August 06, 2012, 12:35:56 PM MT
I'm having an absolute blast designing my own maps at the moment (best $10 I've spent in a while) and I'm working really hard to eliminate any first round advantage.

My base rule is that no mage starts being able to walk, summon a creature and have that creature reach an opposite team. The only way a mage can do so is to sprint which leaves them exposed.

It's hard to do but the only way to prevent cheap hits that sometimes just ruin a game (4 points of damage from an Ice Golem is no way to start a ranked game and frankly comes under 'so unlucky it isn't fair' in my books.

If the map is to be played unranked then it's open season and a deliberately unbalanced map can be fun!

(I do long for terrain tiles though Ross...+1 attack dice to the archer hiding in the woods...)


Title: Re: First Player Advantage / Map Balance?
Post by: Gorstak on September 09, 2012, 03:20:52 PM MT
solace is bad map,i yust lost  a game cas he(no matter whu) used psi to sprint on left side and he used psionic blast and then he used mind control to drag my warior down then he used a spell that lowers armour by 4 and hekild him  with mage and  samurai,sow i didnt even get a turn and my warior was down,thats really cheap way to loose,and thats not first time  that someone kild other hero by using same strategy on that map.


Title: Re: First Player Advantage / Map Balance?
Post by: IveGotACaseOfTheMage on September 09, 2012, 03:28:33 PM MT
Tis true.  I'm the culprit in question.  I've actually noticed a few maps that you can exploit an advantage if it's your turn first.  Esepcially with a psion/sammi combo.


Title: Re: First Player Advantage / Map Balance?
Post by: Ross Przybylski on September 09, 2012, 10:27:32 PM MT
Ha, that's my brother's strategy EXACTLY. He always uses the Psionist on Solace to pull heroes to the center. I should note that I did win each of those games, despite the initial hero pull, because the tactic puts you in vulnerable position if the kill is unsuccessful.