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Author Topic: First Player Advantage / Map Balance?  (Read 22279 times)
Kenjun

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« 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.
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diesbudt

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« Reply #1 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.
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diesbudt

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« Reply #2 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...
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Kenjun

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« Reply #3 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.
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Kenjun

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« Reply #4 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.
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Ross Przybylski
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« Reply #5 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.
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diesbudt

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« Reply #6 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.
« Last Edit: May 09, 2012, 03:28:28 PM MT by diesbudt » Logged
diesbudt

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« Reply #7 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)
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Ross Przybylski
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« Reply #8 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 Wink

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

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« Reply #9 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...
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Kenjun

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« Reply #10 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...
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Kenjun

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« Reply #11 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.
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Trasd

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« Reply #12 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.
« Last Edit: May 10, 2012, 05:01:23 AM MT by Trasd » Logged
diesbudt

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« Reply #13 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.
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diesbudt

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« Reply #14 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

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