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Balancing the dread saurian

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  • 2twoto2twoto Posts: 36Registered Users
    edited October 11


    Well, you are wrong in most assumptions you made, but let me just address this one. I am not really interested in how it performs in tournaments, but rather mostly about ladder matches.
    Tournaments function differently, mostly there is counter picking and/or picks and bans.

    You will almost never see Beastmen or Bretonnia or Vampire Counts vs Lizardmen matchup in tournaments, but Dread Saurian makes those matches even more skewed in favour of Lizardmen. Those matches will, however, happen on ladder. Honestly, I don't want to have to face Saurian all the time in those matches, plus a few more where it can be a decent pick.

    It is a very extreme unit and needs to be balanced like Steam Tank - a decent pick in a few niche matchups. If you ever buff Steam Tank to a point that it is good against Wood Elves for example, it will become absolutely broken against Dwarfs (where it is already useful enough). Saurian needs to be like that, ie. a decent pick in a few niche matchups and that is it.
    Ideally, MP should be free of such extreme designs, which is why units like that should not be in MP, and especially not in Lizardmen roster, where it is pretty much redundant.

    I do want to point out that, despite your argument that the DS skews the aforementioned match ups in favor of the LM, of the 9 games where the match up was such (vs Chaos 2 games, vs HE 1 game, vs BM 1 game, vs VC 1 game, vs Norsca 2 games, and vs Bretonia 2 games), it was still only brought twice and only against Norsca (i.e. a 22% pick rate for favorably skewed match ups). That doesn't lend much evidence to your claim that it is picked, as you put it, almost "all the time in those matches." Also note that these skewed matchups account for a little under 1/3rd of total tournament play for the LM (9 out of 31 games, or ~29%). That's not "almost never" as you put it: if anything, I'd argue that places the occurrence at "regular" (though not the majority).

    As for the preference for using Tournament statistics over ladder, the problem with using ladder matches is that we have significantly restricted data on said matches, no guarantee/realistic expectation of relatively high skill level in any given match, and the casual nature makes it difficult to verify if one or both players are giving the match their all (and not, for example, testing out a new build, distracted, or otherwise not at their A game). As such, I must contend that tournament or otherwise competitive event data should be the primary source for justifying statements about the power of a given unit: while it is a limited pool and is admittedly not perfect, it is a higher quality of evidence, easier to verify and analyze, and comes with some guarantees that allow for more objective analysis. Hence, your disregard of tournament data seems flawed.

    As for your second point, the argument that the DS is extreme really doesn't pan out in comparison to other monsters: For example, by comparison to a Star Dragon, the Feral DS has 4000 more health, 20 more armor, 170 more WS, and costs 100gp less in exchange for 10% less missile resistance, 20 less leadership, 20 less speed, 8 less MA, 0.2 longer attack interval (i.e. it takes longer to attack), 28 (!) less MD, 15 less charge bonus, no breath attacks, no flying, no fire attacks (niche, but still), and can rampage (which, admittedly, is not as big a hindrance much on the LM roster, but is still a drawback that has to be prepped for). Again, save you want to argue that all such units (including dragons, mammoths, ancient steggadons, steam tanks, sphinxes, and the like) should be banned from multiplayer, you cannot make the argument that the DS is unreasonable to balance.

    As for it's niche, again, that's not a unique problem: animated hulks struggle to have their place on the VP roster, as mornguls and/or crabs generally do the same job but better. However, going hypothetical and arguing for a niche, the DS seems to be designed to be somewhere between a carnosaur and steggadon: it's worse at killing Large, low model count units than the former and inferior at chewing through infantry (or even sustaining through them) than the latter, but it does better than either at fighting cav or when fighting their respective weaknesses (i.e. better vs infantry than carno, better vs large than steggadon). As such, it can serve as a generalist ap unit when you are unsure what the opponent is going to bring, and ideally could perform ok when fighting against armored units but will under perform by comparison to specialized ones fighting their intended targets (i.e. carnisaur and steggadon).

    Edit: clarified last paragraph a little bit
  • SarmatiansSarmatians Posts: 3,248Registered Users
    2twoto said:


    Well, you are wrong in most assumptions you made, but let me just address this one. I am not really interested in how it performs in tournaments, but rather mostly about ladder matches.
    Tournaments function differently, mostly there is counter picking and/or picks and bans.

    You will almost never see Beastmen or Bretonnia or Vampire Counts vs Lizardmen matchup in tournaments, but Dread Saurian makes those matches even more skewed in favour of Lizardmen. Those matches will, however, happen on ladder. Honestly, I don't want to have to face Saurian all the time in those matches, plus a few more where it can be a decent pick.

    It is a very extreme unit and needs to be balanced like Steam Tank - a decent pick in a few niche matchups. If you ever buff Steam Tank to a point that it is good against Wood Elves for example, it will become absolutely broken against Dwarfs (where it is already useful enough). Saurian needs to be like that, ie. a decent pick in a few niche matchups and that is it.
    Ideally, MP should be free of such extreme designs, which is why units like that should not be in MP, and especially not in Lizardmen roster, where it is pretty much redundant.

    I do want to point out that, despite your argument that the DS skews the aforementioned match ups in favor of the LM, of the 9 games where the match up was such (vs Chaos 2 games, vs HE 1 game, vs BM 1 game, vs VC 1 game, vs Norsca 2 games, and vs Bretonia 2 games), it was still only brought twice and only against Norsca (i.e. a 22% pick rate for favorably skewed match ups). That doesn't lend much evidence to your claim that it is picked, as you put it, almost "all the time in those matches." Also note that these skewed matchups account for a little under 1/3rd of total tournament play for the LM (9 out of 31 games, or ~29%). That's not "almost never" as you put it: if anything, I'd argue that places the occurrence at "regular" (though not the majority).

    As for the preference for using Tournament statistics over ladder, the problem with using ladder matches is that we have significantly restricted data on said matches, no guarantee/realistic expectation of relatively high skill level in any given match, and the casual nature makes it difficult to verify if one or both players are giving the match their all (and not, for example, testing out a new build, distracted, or otherwise not at their A game). As such, I must contend that tournament or otherwise competitive event data should be the primary source for justifying statements about the power of a given unit: while it is a limited pool and is admittedly not perfect, it is a higher quality of evidence, easier to verify and analyze, and comes with some guarantees that allow for more objective analysis. Hence, your disregard of tournament data seems flawed.

    As for your second point, the argument that the DS is extreme really doesn't pan out in comparison to other monsters: For example, by comparison to a Star Dragon, the Feral DS has 4000 more health, 20 more armor, 170 more WS, and costs 100gp less in exchange for 10% less missile resistance, 20 less leadership, 20 less speed, 8 less MA, 0.2 longer attack interval (i.e. it takes longer to attack), 28 (!) less MD, 15 less charge bonus, no breath attacks, no flying, no fire attacks (niche, but still), and can rampage (which, admittedly, is not as big a hindrance much on the LM roster, but is still a drawback that has to be prepped for). Again, save you want to argue that all such units (including dragons, mammoths, ancient steggadons, steam tanks, sphinxes, and the like) should be banned from multiplayer, you cannot make the argument that the DS is unreasonable to balance.

    As for it's niche, again, that's not a unique problem: animated hulks struggle to have their place on the VP roster, as mornguls and/or crabs generally do the same job but better. However, going hypothetical and arguing for a niche, the DS seems to be designed to be somewhere between a carnosaur and steggadon: it's worse at killing Large, low model count units than the former and inferior at chewing through infantry (or even sustaining through them) than the latter, but it does better than either at fighting cav or when fighting their respective weaknesses (i.e. better vs infantry than carno, better vs large than steggadon). As such, it can serve as a generalist ap unit when you are unsure what the opponent is going to bring, and ideally could perform ok when fighting against armored units but will under perform by comparison to specialized ones fighting their intended targets (i.e. carnisaur and steggadon).

    Edit: clarified last paragraph a little bit
    Well, I am arguing that it doesn't need buffs. I WANT it to remain a niche a pick in a few matchups.

    That fact that it has 10.5K health and 750 WS on top of 100 armour and splash attack means it can take on a unit of demis and come out on top, without being much worse for the wear. Star Dragons can't do that, Shaggoths can't do that. It is even worse vs Blood Knights, or Grail Knights. It is a single entity monster that defeats units that are supposed to counter it. So, you either need massive ranged fire or other SEM that are very good at dealing with SEM.

    Beastmen, for instance, have trouble finding either of those options.

    It affects other matchups. Let's say I want to take a melee WE build vs Lizardmen. I can use Trees as blocker and AP spears as damage dealers to deal with dinos. It is not optimal, but it can be done. I can do that vs stegs and carnos but not vs saurian because it can kill a few models of treekin with a single attack, and leaves me with pure infantry to get bowled over. So, it forces me to always go for archers spam to be sure. Sure, I can deal with it, but is it good for the game?
    That is what extreme design means - it requires very specific counters. Such units should never be buffed to a point that they're viable even when facing their counters. That just means they're extremely good without those counters, especially against factions with limited access to counters from the get go.
    If they get too efficient, they start to dominate the meta and then playing against that faction (in this case Lizardmen) becomes a rigid, paint by numbers deal.

    It is a new unit, many players will want to pick because it is new and cool (most powerful monster in Warhammer world, woo-hoo) and they bring it in matchups they shouldn't, they use it in the wrong way and they don't support it properly. That creates the impression the unit is bad.
    Give it some time, let it stew, then revisit it.

    I can give the example of the Steam Tank, because it is a similar type of unit. It is good in certain matchups, on certain maps, against certain opponents and within certain builds. If everyone suddenly started bring Steam Tanks in all matchups, you'd see its win rates go through the floor, and you would have those people coming to the forum and saying Steam Tank is crap (ooh, Wood Elves destroyed Steam Tank in seconds, what crap unit!!! Buff it!!! It needs Gold Shield and/or missile resistance and/or 2K health more!!! And we actually do get such threads from time to time.). And we both know (at least I hope we both know), that if steam tank ever gets buffed to be good pick vs Wood Elves, it will become absolutely broken in some other matchups.

    Then we get to the point that Lizardmen have quite a versatile roster and probably highest number active and passive AOE resistances. Just put it next to Mazdamundi - that's 27% missile resistance. 3000 HP buffer, that's half a Shaggoth's HP pool.

    I'm not sure whether people don't understand that or don't want to understand it, because they so want to have a Dread Saurian in their army and click and kill everything with it.

    Anyway, I think my point is clear. Only those incapable or unwilling to understand are not clear on it by this point. So, you boys have fun, I'm out of this thread.
  • 2twoto2twoto Posts: 36Registered Users
    Well, while I understand that you've abandoned this thread, I'm still going to respond to your arguments just in case another takes them up:


    Well, I am arguing that it doesn't need buffs. I WANT it to remain a niche a pick in a few matchups.

    That was not all that you were arguing for: you explicitly contended that the unit to be removed from multiplayer and that anyone who thought otherwise about the DS was "clueless" and just making a ruckus on the forums. I'm not necessarily arguing that it needs buffs, but rather attempting to refute these aforementioned claims.


    That fact that it has 10.5K health and 750 WS on top of 100 armour and splash attack means it can take on a unit of demis and come out on top, without being much worse for the wear. Star Dragons can't do that, Shaggoths can't do that. It is even worse vs Blood Knights, or Grail Knights. It is a single entity monster that defeats units that are supposed to counter it. So, you either need massive ranged fire or other SEM that are very good at dealing with SEM.

    I double checked your claims here. Admittedly, I only did one test of each scenario (so not perfectly definitive), I didn't even bother trying to cycle charge save for the final test, I always rear charged with the Star Dragon, and I had problems making sure the AI didn't send the unit to attack whatever I put on the ground (to prevent the flying penalty; ended up going with the prince as the AI didn't immediately seek to charge him), but still, here are the results:

    Star Dragon vs. Royal Altdorf Gryphites using 1 breath attack:
    Star Dragon vs RAG without breath attack:
    Feral DS vs RAG:
    SD vs Blood Knights using 1 breath attack (Note: for these tests the game ended immediately after the BK died, so I can't provide a definitive health value):
    SD vs BK no breath attack:
    Feral DS vs BK:
    SD vs Grail Knights using 1 breath attack:
    SD vs GK no breath attack:
    FDS vs GK:
    And finally, just for fun, I did FDS vs SD (Note: I did, as previously stated, cycle charge during this test and used all 3 dragon breaths):

    Again, although not definitive, it does seem like you are incorrect in your assessment here, at least to some degree: while it is true that the Dread Saurian dealt more damage to the cav than the star dragon did, the cav stayed fighting longer vs the FDS than the SD (i.e. they didn't route as quickly). Likewise, the SD performed equal to or greater than the FDS when using its breath attacks (which, to be fair, is being used against targets you'd realistically want to use breath attacks on in battle). Feel free to submit evidence against this if you believe that I'm wrong or these tests are the result of some mistake of mine (which, I will admit, is fully possible).


    That is what extreme design means - it requires very specific counters. Such units should never be buffed to a point that they're viable even when facing their counters. That just means they're extremely good without those counters, especially against factions with limited access to counters from the get go.
    If they get too efficient, they start to dominate the meta and then playing against that faction (in this case Lizardmen) becomes a rigid, paint by numbers deal.

    I agree with this, but I disagree that the DS has been proven to be any more capable against its counters than most other armored SEM is: besides the aforementioned tests, the almost everyone facing lizardmen prepares heavily in anti-large for fighting them (including ap ranged missiles, spears, halberds, and the like), yet steggadons, batilladons, and carnisaurs are still brought and considered viable in all those match ups (DWF, EMP, DE, etc.), despite the presence of counters. Likewise, the example you gave is not convincing: sure, it'll perform better than a carno vs Treekin fighting with spears, but worse vs a Treeman or forest dragon fighting with spears, hence there are still variable counters and builds. Also, don't forget that, in either case, the carno will be significantly easier to cycle charge and pull out with, meaning it can still perform well against treekin if microed properly, whereas the DS's size will make such tasks more difficult and cause it to take more damage as it does this. As mentioned in a previous post, I do think most large entities need a rework, but singling out the DS as particularly egregious or restricted in counters is not valid by comparison to other SEM's.


    It is a new unit, many players will want to pick because it is new and cool (most powerful monster in Warhammer world, woo-hoo) and they bring it in matchups they shouldn't, they use it in the wrong way and they don't support it properly. That creates the impression the unit is bad.
    Give it some time, let it stew, then revisit it.

    Hence why I used tournament data: it helps alleviates a good deal of the problem here. Likewise, if you're going to argue this, then the vice versa must also be accepted: don't call for nerfs or a ban from multiplayer until it's been given more time.

    The problem with your steam tank argument is that you haven't been arguing that the DS should be as niche as the Steam Tank or Star Dragon: you've been arguing that everyone has the wrong impression of the DS (basically, that it's OP and everyone thinks is UP) and that it should be excised from multiplayer completely. For the first one, I do want to point out that if even high-level players rarely use it (16% pick rate overall), that does indicate, at minimum, that someone is not clueless for looking at this evidence and thinking that the DS is not OP. Likewise, the derpy behavior when surrounded could easily be used to argue that it needs some help, and thus it's not clueless to claim that it could use a buff (it is debatable and they may be wrong, but they are not idiots for saying as much).


    I'm not sure whether people don't understand that or don't want to understand it, because they so want to have a Dread Saurian in their army and click and kill everything with it.

    Anyway, I think my point is clear. Only those incapable or unwilling to understand are not clear on it by this point.

    Again, there is enough evidence pointing to the contrary that one can soundly defend the Saurian (especially the Howdah version) as being UP: Of the 5 times it was brought, the SoL was brought twice and the Feral version the other 3 times. The Howdah version was never used. Again, whether or not this argument is correct is, itself, a debate, but there is enough evidence backing it that it seems unfair and invalid to straw-man their arguments as them wanting "to have a Dread Saurian in their army and click and kill everything with it." There are legitimate complaints from those thinking that the Saurian is UP, backed by more evidence than those arguing that the Saurian is OP, that have led to this and the other 3-4 posts on the Saurian.

    Likewise, it's unlikely that anyone has trouble understanding these points or isn't clear on what is being said. Rather, there are many, myself included, who argue that these claims are unsupported and invalid: if you are arguing the Dread Saurain's removal from multiplayer, then it is on you to prove definitively and thoroughly that it is sufficiently difficult to balance insofar as it cannot exist in multiplayer (so far, the "DS is OP" camp has not done so with any argument that does not also lead to the exclusion of many other SEM monsters like the Star Dragon). If you're arguing that it is OP, then it is on you to prove that, at the highest tier of play, it dominates several match ups and is more egregious than other units within its category (again, the "DS is OP" camp hasn't done so, and tournament-based evidence does not support such a conclusion). And finally, if you are going to accuse people of being clueless and making a ruckus, you should be able to provide ample evidence, analysis, and explanation to this point. To be absolutely blunt, this has not been achieved: the feral version hasn't been demonstrated to be any more effective against its counters than the Star Dragon (despite similar price points), the Howdah version has not even been demonstrated as viable or niche (and it's lack of even a single appearance in tournaments further emphasizes this point), and the SoL, though it's seen some use in tournament play, has not been shown to be obviously OP or cost-effective. Thus, one cannot soundly or rationally conclude that arguments for buffing these units is inherently devoid of any critical analysis and just people being "clueless" and causing a rucks, as the evidence does not obviously and conclusively demonstrate as much.

    In conclusion, don't call people clueless and argue for the removal of units from MP: there is no sound argument or basis for this.
  • ParmigianoParmigiano Posts: 750Registered Users
    Add some extra cav to that test if you want to see the actual difference in battles.

    CA doesn't need to water down the assymetry, Saurian will probably get the performance it deserves now, keep in mind players giving it so much support when it does well.

    It is a broken unit in some matchups, if it is now more balanced across all matchups so be it, but Lizardmen should have received nerfs then.
  • Lotus_MoonLotus_Moon Posts: 7,781Registered Users

    Add some extra cav to that test if you want to see the actual difference in battles.

    CA doesn't need to water down the assymetry, Saurian will probably get the performance it deserves now, keep in mind players giving it so much support when it does well.

    It is a broken unit in some matchups, if it is now more balanced across all matchups so be it, but Lizardmen should have received nerfs then.

    Its just more borken in some match-ups now....hopefully the 750 more HP gets reversed.
  • Meteor18Meteor18 Posts: 69Registered Users
    edited October 12
    while it is true that the Dread Saurian dealt more damage to the cav than the star dragon did, the cav stayed fighting longer vs the FDS than the SD (i.e. they didn't route as quickly)


    Heh, I wonder whether that 750 points HE Noble has something to do about that.
    Post edited by Meteor18 on
  • dge1dge1 Moderator Arkansas, USAPosts: 18,657Registered Users, Moderators, Knights
    Several posts with inappropriate comments removed.
    "The two most common things in the universe are Hydrogen and Stupidity." - Harlan Ellison
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  • ZafrasZafras Posts: 109Registered Users
    edited October 16

    Add some extra cav to that test if you want to see the actual difference in battles.

    CA doesn't need to water down the assymetry, Saurian will probably get the performance it deserves now, keep in mind players giving it so much support when it does well.

    It is a broken unit in some matchups, if it is now more balanced across all matchups so be it, but Lizardmen should have received nerfs then.

    Its just more borken in some match-ups now....hopefully the 750 more HP gets reversed.
    Shredder should always have highest hp pool in the game because he's the largest unit, when mammoth had more hp than him it made no sense. It still should have a bit more hp than the mammoth but atleast he's top of the list like he should be.
  • ystyst Posts: 6,073Registered Users
    Zafras said:

    Shredder should always have highest hp pool in the game because he's the largest unit, when mammoth had more hp than him it made no sense. It still should have a bit more hp than the mammoth but atleast he's top of the list like he should be.

    Still one of the worst unit in game, just no by that legendary margin anymore. Just pretty much burning bad balancers, expect to see more buffs on them in the future, simply an insanely overpriced unit, at least $500 more to go after the ror got at least $500 worth of buffs this patch. Hp and -100 is almost a solid $375 already, +3000 and some animation, they still need more, way underpowered unit
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  • Lotus_MoonLotus_Moon Posts: 7,781Registered Users
    Zafras said:

    Add some extra cav to that test if you want to see the actual difference in battles.

    CA doesn't need to water down the assymetry, Saurian will probably get the performance it deserves now, keep in mind players giving it so much support when it does well.

    It is a broken unit in some matchups, if it is now more balanced across all matchups so be it, but Lizardmen should have received nerfs then.

    Its just more borken in some match-ups now....hopefully the 750 more HP gets reversed.
    Shredder should always have highest hp pool in the game because he's the largest unit, when mammoth had more hp than him it made no sense. It still should have a bit more hp than the mammoth but atleast he's top of the list like he should be.
    yeah thats fair enough, just cost up than.
  • ystyst Posts: 6,073Registered Users
    edited October 17

    yeah thats fair enough, just cost up than.

    Nah way overpriced still, by the looks of it the ror still holds the #1 most overpriced and worst unit in game. $3700 lol what a joke. Afterall they r the second only unit to ever receive buffs over or $500 ish worth, they might rival my luminarks record of $1000 which of coz even that uve fail ppl saying they r op prior.

    Saurian mass per size ratio is still on the very low side, their hitbox easily more than double close to tripling that of mammoth. Still a very underperforming unit, overpriced by $1000, $500 given, $500 more to go
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  • ZafrasZafras Posts: 109Registered Users

    Zafras said:

    Add some extra cav to that test if you want to see the actual difference in battles.

    CA doesn't need to water down the assymetry, Saurian will probably get the performance it deserves now, keep in mind players giving it so much support when it does well.

    It is a broken unit in some matchups, if it is now more balanced across all matchups so be it, but Lizardmen should have received nerfs then.

    Its just more borken in some match-ups now....hopefully the 750 more HP gets reversed.
    Shredder should always have highest hp pool in the game because he's the largest unit, when mammoth had more hp than him it made no sense. It still should have a bit more hp than the mammoth but atleast he's top of the list like he should be.
    yeah thats fair enough, just cost up than.
    Cost is already up. 3700 big boys, 2500 for the soul crusher.
  • ystyst Posts: 6,073Registered Users
    edited October 18
    Yep exactly, long way to go at the minimun needs another another $500 cut or value worth added. Even then $2500 vs $3200 still a stupidly no brainer overpriced. Soul crusher have insane small hitbox when u compare it with missile-magnet-autohit garbage saurian. Their hitbox is so ridiculously big that regular archers with standard calibration lietrally cant miss since their hibox is larger than their calibration itself lol.... at max range u be hitting like 80-90% again, frikking MAX range.

    Then uve basic melee contact, its so frikking huge u can surround it with like 4 regiments from each side, perma rear attack all the time, the feral one is just lousy crap with 60 ld. Ridiculous for something like that to be running with just 60 ld, at that size ud thought they come unbreakable

    And no strider lol.... yep big liz got stuck by a foot-long plant. Sadly that ror still the worst possible unit ull ever find in this game.
    Post edited by yst on
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  • ZafrasZafras Posts: 109Registered Users
    yst said:

    Zafras said:

    Shredder should always have highest hp pool in the game because he's the largest unit, when mammoth had more hp than him it made no sense. It still should have a bit more hp than the mammoth but atleast he's top of the list like he should be.

    Still one of the worst unit in game, just no by that legendary margin anymore. Just pretty much burning bad balancers, expect to see more buffs on them in the future, simply an insanely overpriced unit, at least $500 more to go after the ror got at least $500 worth of buffs this patch. Hp and -100 is almost a solid $375 already, +3000 and some animation, they still need more, way underpowered unit
    Removing his stagger to missile was also big, before when focused by ranged units he could barely move or attack.
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