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Hiding king upgrades

Discussion in 'Balance Discussion' started by sea212, Nov 19, 2020.

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Should king upgrades (and the mythium spent for it) be hidden from the opponent?

  1. Yes

    1 vote(s)
    50.0%
  2. No

    1 vote(s)
    50.0%
  1. sea212

    sea212 Member

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    Hello everybody,

    Introduction as a new player
    This is my first post and like the major fraction of the playerbase, I played LTD on WC3 first and then was happy to see that a standalone version exists. The game differs in many aspects from LTD. Putting aside any expectations (that it should be like LTD), it looks very nice, feels good (for example, it feels like the position of the units have a higher inpact on the outcome than in LTD) and is overall promising to become a well-rounded game. I think I had good start because of my LTD knowledge, feels like I am usefull in classic matches, but then again I had to play like 30 matches against medium bots until I was able to consistently play on this level and higher.

    The question
    I am wondering why the enemy team sees king upgrades. It's great that the sends are shown, that way one does not have to count every sent unit. When it comes to king upgrades, my opinion is that those should be hidden. The reason is that they can be used strategically.
    For example, by putting oneself in the possible disadvantage to spend the mythium after each income payout or by just simply saving mythium (which in case king ups are not shown is delivered as identical information to the oppenent, id est 0 mythium sent) one gains the advantage of uncertainty on the opponent site. Should they risk it and push one more worker, knowing that a potential next send would produce higher cost than the gain from that one worker? Should they up king? Should they save and (counter) send?
    My current observation shows that most players I have played with assume early sends are useless. As a newb, I disagree strongly. In long lasting games like the original LTD, I think that is true. But in a variant like LTD 2 where games are that short, I am sure that early leakes can have a major impact on the game, just like a lot early income. High ranked players told me this: Don't send early (before 10). This leads to a very boring early game, during which most of the time everybody just maxes out his mythium and sends + ups king. My conjecture is that if king ups are not shown, players get motivated to try different early game strategies. This is a consequence of the fact that both teams have less information and therefore less certainty.
    Besides all of that, it feels like king upgrades and the role of the king in general have a low impact on the game.
    Please share your opinion.

    Have a nice morning/day/night
     
    foliesseer likes this.
  2. Jules

    Jules Developer Staff Member

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    Welcome to the game, sea! Appreciate you taking the time to share feedback, especially as a new player.

    King ups need to be shown for gameplay clarity. Gameplay clarity is the primary reason. It's a bit weird not knowing your opponents have fully upgraded the king, and then when you leak them 80% on wave 13, you don't win. Also, king upgrades are supposed to be similar to mercenary sends in terms of mythium --> income, but giving up pressure. There is already so much uncertainty and risk-taking around mythium (are they saving? when are they sending? what mercenaries are they sending, or are they upgrading the king?), that it seems right to reveal when mythium is used on king upgrades.

    There was actually a bug for a while where mythium spent on the king would not show up on the cave. A bunch of my friends were new players, and when the enemy team upgraded the king every wave, my friends assumed they were saving and didn't hire any workers. They kept excepting a huge mercenary send to come, but it never did. That type of situation is something we'd want to avoid.

    I'm not sure who told you this, but I don't think it's true. Sending mercenaries early game is a big part of the game, especially at high Elo. High Elo players push workers aggressively, which means you want to punish them by sending mercenaries to break them. In lower Elo games, players tend to overbuild, so king upgrades are admittedly stronger. Income sends (Snail, Lizard, Dino, etc.) are also stronger in those games. Early game sends can be perceived as "useless" in some games if your opponents always have high fighter value early game. However, you should always win those games late game by having higher income and outscaling them. When playing against players that push their limits and occasionally underbuild (to get more workers), early game mercenary sends become highly important.

    Based on the way you think about the game, as a new player, I think you'll be really good! Awesome to see this level of insight and feedback.
     
    sea212 likes this.
  3. sea212

    sea212 Member

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    If I understand this correctly the desired effect of the current design decision to make the spent mythium on both sides completly transparent, is that every possible action regarding mythium is fully calculatable and therefore no circumstance in the game is based on randomness or luck. Since every player knows how much mythium was spent before each wave and if mythium was not spent, a player can prepare a defense and/or counter send for any incoming wave. I understand that there is still much uncertainty about when the mythium is used. For example, the saved mythium could be spent on strong waves, weak waves, randomly, etc. Guessing wrong is still penalized by either missing income or leaking units. I guess I can live with that, it makes sense. I assume the alternative would be to hide king upgrades but make them less worh, like 4 mythium or something. I guess what you meant with uncertainty about "are they saving?" is whether they began to save after a send, right? Because as soon as the next wave starts and 0 mythium was spent it is clear that mythium was saved. Is there any scenario where partially using mythium and therefore simultaneously partially saving mythium is advantageous?


    About the high ranked player hint:
    My bad, putting this statement out of its original context was rather misleading. I was told this in classical games. I watched some high elo ranked games and early sends occur more frequently.

    Thank you, I appreciate your commendation. I am looking forward to prove your assumption.
     
  4. Jules

    Jules Developer Staff Member

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    The intention is to make mythium usage after-the-fact completely transparent. We want saving mythium to create tension, then have that tension be relaxed when a player spends mythium, either on king upgrades or mercenaries.
    This is a reasonable alternative. The reason we didn't go for this is that we believe king upgrades have a clear identity (use them if both you and your teammates will leak next wave, or use them if you know you can't break your opponents in the next few waves). Uncertainty whether a player upgraded the king last wave or saved was not a goal.
    Absolutely! I do this all the time, almost 100% of my games. Ask high Elo players, and most of them will say the same thing. Some examples where it's advantageous:
    • Spending only just enough mythium to afford something the next wave, then saving the rest. For example, let's say you need 18 gold for a certain fighter or another worker. You send just a Fiend, then save the rest for a future wave.
    • In the early game, sending a Snail this wave, then sending full the following wave. You know the 20 mythium isn't enough for them to push an additional worker, and if they do (they might be tempted to), you can leak them with the full send next wave.
    • Sending an important mercenary, then saving the rest. For example, a Hermit on wave 15 can be just enough to force a miniboss leak for some extra gold in some situations.
    • Saving the remaining 20 mythium in cases where a Snail won't help much. For example, against Pyro, if you have 100 mythium, you might send Hermit or 2x Dragon Turtle, then save the remaining 20 for a future wave.
    • Partially saving to afford an important mercenary the following wave. For example, a Dragon Turtle on wave 4, partially saving 25 mythium, then resending a Brute on wave 5.
    • Mind games. They can guess it was a partial send, but they won't always know for sure.
    This is mostly true in classic games because everyone just chain-income sends every wave. Because games tend to go to late game, income is more important than leaking your opponent early game. It's a bit of a chicken-or-the-egg situation. Income sending is good because everyone else income sends. Many players in classic love playing more casually and just enjoying the fantasy of maxing out income and workers. I'm pretty sure if there were a competitive 4v4 tournament, we'd see a lot of saving and aggressive early game sends.
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2020
  5. sea212

    sea212 Member

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    Thank you for the great insights, Jules!