Balance Patch 2021 gold release notes SE

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  • If players decided that they would rather take dryads or forest guard scoring units, or cav of one type over the archers, then ofc the decision will remain as the 2.5 shots will not tilt anything. Honestly I did not think anyone even considered them until Razons post above.

    In reality, cross book comparisons should be made more often, since if you take a list of archers you will loose to most other similar choices in other books.

    The archers will be worth it when you will be able to spam enough units to cloud up or for additional models to be cheap enough to make these units you take have a higher expected output/more roles.

    One or two units for bunker purposes might be used once they drop to 20ppm.
  • Well, 50% switching is not equal 50% utilizing. I don't know the numbers, but if for example current situation is like:
    25% of core is used for archers, and suddenly there comes a 50% on top, those 75% is certainly too much for anyone to consider it as a healthy internal balance.

    The decision what is considered as iconic and what is considered as healthy balance, is in RT hands. The statistical approach alone will target towards an equal distribution between the different units in core (a mixture between total points and number of units). The RT is then deciding whether the goal deviates from an equal distribution, and how large the step change should be to reach that point. As a general rule of thumb, the steps are intended to be even smaller, just for the sake of being on the safe side and not massively overshoot.

    The mentioned situation "point changes are large enough to allow for squeezing in an additional unit", is certainly overshooting.
  • Not sure whether I get your point. Numbers are just examples, so don't hook up on specifics. I'll try to avoid giving too explicit references now.

    If army XYZ has 4 core units availible, the DA (data analysis team) goal is to bring them all to 25%. Of course those units are inherently different in price, that means the 25% is a mixture of absolute unit numbers and absolute points spent (that means light cavalry as being cheaper will show up more often than 25% but consume less points than 25%).

    On the first layer of consideration, it doesn't make a difference between
    - one fourth of players using each 4 times unit A and 3 fourths of players using zero A
    - all players using unit A once
    The average of unit A is the same 25%. Of course a large diversity in lists is nice, so the first case would be slightly better a situation. But this is only second layer of balance consideration.

    But the decision what to change is in RT hands, and their goal can deviate from DA's. They can say unit A is so iconic, we want to see it 30%. That's okay. And the goals are normally not even as explicitly formulated, but more like "current situation is too much or too low".

    And then the decision for change is made with the current situation and the desired situation in mind. Here again, the goal is not to change each individual player's list, but only to shift the large average.

    If current situation is like 20% and RT's desired situation is about 30%, then the point change will have to be rather small. Because it is sufficient to:
    - convince some very few players to use some additional models of unit A
    - convince some very few players of switching from having 4 times unit B to having 4 times unit A
    - convince some very few players currently having 1 unit A to go for 2 unit A

    If the point change is too large, the number of "few players" in each of those sub-groups will be larger than desired, and the total average will maybe end up at 40% or even higher. Still, many players will be in none of the three groups, but that's not required anyway. It is about average, not about individual players.

    To avoid a permanent fluctuation between point increase and point decrease, RT is conservative in their decisions. If not sure about the consequence (and you never can be sure about average decisions of a large group of people), and your goal is 30%, it is better to end up at 25% than at 35%.

    The post was edited 1 time, last by arwaker ().

  • I'm not sure I see your points either. I've not spoken about how large or small balance changes should be, only about targeted play share. Of course a 5% change won't drastically change lists, but it will shift what is most optimal to play. Never pretended the opposite :)

    arwaker wrote:

    If army XYZ has 4 core units availible, the DA (data analysis team) goal is to bring them all to 25%.
    This is doubly (tiply, even) wrong. Tournament (not data) analysis team has no such goal. It's goal is to aggregate and present data as it is, not to bring anything to anything. Secondly, even for the person who's goal it actually is, it's not true in general. Which unit has which share of the meta is entirely a design decision and there is no inherent correct value.
    As I said before, in my personal view, Sylvan archers would definitely have twice the share of Heath riders. But this or the opposite aren't technically more wrong or right than the other, it's a design decision.

    This is unlike external balance where the goal is entirely fixed and mathematic, and where hence no design takes place.

    HR Team

    ID LAB Coordinator


  • SmithF wrote:

    At the risk of going against the flow here, I fear that the treefather move opens up a huge balance issue that we closed three years ago.

    I don't know if you still remember the 3 treefather lists, but they were horrible to face. Sure, things have changed since then, but there are still a lot of armies that cannot bring tools to deal with three fighter treefathers. And before anyone argues that the TFA + Avatar + Treefather build was still available (and was doing well enough), I'll point out that it's not the same having to spend 1300+ points off your character allotment for that build, compared to just 600.

    I guess time will tell, but I think that's a blunder - even though the ACS' efforts are commendable.
    I had one game last night with triple Treefather, 5 thicket beasts + shepherd and full shooting pack, supported by Druidism against my usual “sparring partner” who is used to face my 18 thicket beasts or lists full of rangers supported by shooting. We both agreed that, although competitive enough, the list is not the optimal configuration for a sturdy SE list. The list is weak in the scoring compartment if you want max shooting you need to take some risks to get the objective. He didn’t feel the list was problematic at all and neither did I.

    I will keep testing both options, triple tree with full shooting and tree based lists to see if there is anything which might be OP but so far during my list building I haven’t really found anything that will over-shine thicket beasts fir tree based lists.
  • Serwyn wrote:

    I'm not sure I see your points either. I've not spoken about how large or small balance changes should be, only about targeted play share. Of course a 5% change won't drastically change lists, but it will shift what is most optimal to play. Never pretended the opposite :)

    arwaker wrote:

    If army XYZ has 4 core units availible, the DA (data analysis team) goal is to bring them all to 25%.
    This is doubly (tiply, even) wrong. Tournament (not data) analysis team has no such goal. It's goal is to aggregate and present data as it is, not to bring anything to anything. Secondly, even for the person who's goal it actually is, it's not true in general. Which unit has which share of the meta is entirely a design decision and there is no inherent correct value.As I said before, in my personal view, Sylvan archers would definitely have twice the share of Heath riders. But this or the opposite aren't technically more wrong or right than the other, it's a design decision.

    This is unlike external balance where the goal is entirely fixed and mathematic, and where hence no design takes place.
    Well, having been head of DA, I can tell you that this is the conceptual goal of the balancing process itself. But this has nothing to do the the RT goal which certainly often deviates. DA is just people collecting data and doing the hard math work, with not a real opinion about the final RT decision about goals. At least not having an opinion being in DA role (there is of course a personal opinion).

    Having some kind of internal discussion about goals could be a welcome thing. I bet there are lots of different opinions about specific units.
  • Prety much what I said, yes, except Data analysis doesn't exist anymore and is now Tournament Analysis.

    I want to stress that taking the number of entries in a category is not a meaningfull way to set a goal of internal balance, even though doing so can't give results that are way too far of an ideal goal.

    The SE core is a perfect example. There are 4 units, from which you deduce that each should have 25% share. But suppose that in the next update, for clarity (Layout, RCT), Heath Riders and Heath Hunters are splited into two units, without having any other change in game or in building list. This change doesn't affect the game in any way and is purely technical.
    But now, if we follow the same approach, heath riders and heath hunters should each have 20% share, while they each had 12.5% before!

    But changes that only affect layout and not the game itself should not modify ideal internal balance. Hence we need to conclude that this way of deciding if internal balance is achieved can't be correct, CQFD.


    Do you get my point ? The other two things are just not really interesting technicalities.

    HR Team

    ID LAB Coordinator


  • I get your point, and this is the very part where it comes down to design and decision of how to write a book. Of course there is controversy behind, but yes, in general it is that wa. Splitting Heath Riders in two would for example result in a points shift (both ex heath riders becoming cheaper, other core becoming more expensive) to compensate for the new equilibrium. But after data, there is of course the second layer of human RT decision to deviate the goal.
  • Sure, the final decision for points change is in human hands, data just give you the hint. But it is a usual tool in book design to decide for focus of the arm on specific play styles.

    Here in SE for example we have two rather similar units in pathfinders and sentinels. You could easily merge them into one unit in LAB. But when we want to have SE to be focused on bow shooting, it is reasonable to keep them separated, because this decision makes them both cheaper (in comparison to other options from special).
  • arwaker wrote:

    Sure, the final decision for points change is in human hands, data just give you the hint. But it is a usual tool in book design to decide for focus of the arm on specific play styles.

    Here in SE for example we have two rather similar units in pathfinders and sentinels. You could easily merge them into one unit in LAB. But when we want to have SE to be focused on bow shooting, it is reasonable to keep them separated, because this decision makes them both cheaper (in comparison to other options from special).
    Yes but even after five years of data gathering and point reductions Pathfinders still don't see the table... something does not work does it?

    I do applaud the data gathering efforts and that they are used as a guide for decisions and for army ranking, even this is a bit wobbly because the data is not independent. This is why you can not get normally distributed data and why the central limit theorem has no basis here. Still it's used as a guide, which is good, and then finally human feelings come in and it seems good enough. (stats is not my forte though but it seems like a good job has been done).

    What bothers me is these yearly updates. The way that the internal balance is done to try and create unit balance is disturbing. Units don't all have the same role, some should be more present based on fluff, such as sylvan archers, or based on mechanics of what is support and what is main battle line. You don't really need equal amount of support units as you do main units and not all support units should be present in all lists, and so equal presence should not be used. Also most support units are light troops and so the amount of light troops present has increased. Then somehow the changes are very small and not always in the right place. It's often just frustrating and sad to see hopes dashed. It all flows in the right track but often little tweaks to rules in books can create a better game, and then it does not happen and the game does not improve as much as it could. This game is close to being very very good and then somehow it does not get better as fast as possible.
  • Bogi wrote:

    arwaker wrote:

    Sure, the final decision for points change is in human hands, data just give you the hint. But it is a usual tool in book design to decide for focus of the arm on specific play styles.

    Here in SE for example we have two rather similar units in pathfinders and sentinels. You could easily merge them into one unit in LAB. But when we want to have SE to be focused on bow shooting, it is reasonable to keep them separated, because this decision makes them both cheaper (in comparison to other options from special).
    Yes but even after five years of data gathering and point reductions Pathfinders still don't see the table... something does not work does it?
    I do applaud the data gathering efforts and that they are used as a guide for decisions and for army ranking, even this is a bit wobbly because the data is not independent. This is why you can not get normally distributed data and why the central limit theorem has no basis here. Still it's used as a guide, which is good, and then finally human feelings come in and it seems good enough. (stats is not my forte though but it seems like a good job has been done).

    What bothers me is these yearly updates. The way that the internal balance is done to try and create unit balance is disturbing. Units don't all have the same role, some should be more present based on fluff, such as sylvan archers, or based on mechanics of what is support and what is main battle line. You don't really need equal amount of support units as you do main units and not all support units should be present in all lists, and so equal presence should not be used. Also most support units are light troops and so the amount of light troops present has increased. Then somehow the changes are very small and not always in the right place. It's often just frustrating and sad to see hopes dashed. It all flows in the right track but often little tweaks to rules in books can create a better game, and then it does not happen and the game does not improve as much as it could. This game is close to being very very good and then somehow it does not get better as fast as possible.
    The decision of what to do after knowing the data is in RT hands. They can for example have the opinion that Sylvan Archers are iconic and should be more that 25%. Also what happens after knowing data of Pathfinders is in RT hands. I don't know why which specific decision was made, I can just tell you about the data driven part of the process.
  • @arwaker The process could be very good, it is just too slow to tell, and if they have confidence in the process that they use, would it not make sense to approach it more assertively? The current process is very safe, so safe that it suggests a lack of confidence in it.

    The triple tree approach seems very brave on the other hand. I think that list works does not work, but I would love to be wrong and that it dominates at events.
  • It makes much sense that it is safe. The process has already existed for quite some time and there are a lot of reasons to believe that balance is as good as it has ever been. I believe that most armies are within 5% of an ideal 50% win rate. And balance changes on the scale of 5 to 10% may have more impact than you realise.
    Do you play online video games? From my experience, developpers of competitive games make balance changes of similar magnitude.

    The process is not especially safe because of a lack of confidence in it, changes are small simply because larger changes may be likely to overshoot the target. Also, while a single underpowered unit affect mostly itself, an overpowered strategy or unit ruins all the others.

    HR Team

    ID LAB Coordinator


  • SmithF wrote:

    At the risk of going against the flow here, I fear that the treefather move opens up a huge balance issue that we closed three years ago.

    I don't know if you still remember the 3 treefather lists, but they were horrible to face. Sure, things have changed since then, but there are still a lot of armies that cannot bring tools to deal with three fighter treefathers. And before anyone argues that the TFA + Avatar + Treefather build was still available (and was doing well enough), I'll point out that it's not the same having to spend 1300+ points off your character allotment for that build, compared to just 600.

    I guess time will tell, but I think that's a blunder - even though the ACS' efforts are commendable.
    I've heard that reasoning before which is why I was surprised at the response.

    Could you explain why you think 3 monsters inc 2 Treemen is significantly more problematic than the 3 or 4 other armies can bring not eating up their character allowance significantly?

    Not trying to argue, just to understand different points of view better.

    The post was edited 1 time, last by Hachiman Taro ().