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123lac

Metawatch article highlighting the total lack of balance

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16 hours ago, 123lac said:

https://www.warhammer-community.com/2020/10/22/metawatch-warhammer-age-of-sigmar-1-list-building-with-dan-street/

If AoS were a video game, no one would play it given the current imbalance. Can you imagine dota/league/sc2 having the following 'meta':

XPdb6PhPS6Z8hVXK-1024x792.jpg

This is just embarrassing on behalf of GW's rules writers.

You have at least 10 factions placing well (cutoff could be lower and include more). That’s a pretty healthy meta. It also covers all the major play styles. 
 

with so many factions and the nature of slow turn around in a tabletop game that’s actually really impressive. 
 

games like SC have 3 factions thousands of ladder games played every day and still have to be constantly patched. 
 

true balance is impossible to achieve even a game like chess with equal pieces and rules  favours white due to starting with tempo. 
 

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48 minutes ago, SleeperAgent said:

Nighthaunt isn't on there either. FeelsSpookyBadMan :(

If it makes you feel better, the LoN first place was apparently Legion of Grief.

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I'm more excited that gw is paying any attention to this kind of thing at all. Yes it's a pretty incomplete analysis, but the fact that they are tracking the meta and openly talking about it is a huge improvement. For example, it means they may identify tzeentch, kharadron and seraphim as outliers and adjust them for the Christmas faq. They are even aware of some of the more of more problematic combos like ziflin+spell in bottle+warp lightning. 

So yes, stats and power could use some work etc, but this is their front community page aimed at all readers including the newest ones! Stats are hard to discuss well even in the best of times. It isn't hard to imagine they did more on the back end then they are showing us out front, which is tailored to be friendly and readable.

I assume the unmentioned factions (nighthaunt, sylvaneth etc) just didn't podium.

Big win in my mind, but not for the reasons ppl are discussing here.

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For those comparing to computer games, don't forget most computer games have not only got VAST amounts of data compared to GW; but they also have complete data breakdowns. GW has a lot of noise in any balance data breakdown in terms of variations in player skill - eg is one army doing poorly because it was weak in a previous edition and the good players avoided it and now its still doing poorly because only lesser skilled players are using it. 

That aside GW has for a long time mostly treated balance as an optional nice thing; they've never taken strict balance seriously. So them doing things like meta-watch might actually be a sign that, slowly, some cogs are turning in the background. With generals handbooks; fast FAQ/Errata releases and more GW is at least giving themselves the tools to improve things. 

 

Heck I recall when armies sometimes got errara/FAQ on the same month that an edition ended. So yep you finally got clarification and updates and then BOOM it was mostly invalidated by a new edition. 

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I think the OP is overreaching. This is a reflection on what lists are winning based on what armies are currently being played. The top players will start designing lists to deal with these heavy hitters and the top dogs will change. The fact that so many armies achieved a top five placing reflects positively on the balance.

Often, the top players anticipate what armies others will be bringing to a tournament and build armies that defeat these. This is not StarCraft, you can’t build your list during the game to respond to what your opponent is doing.

 

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10 hours ago, Skreech Verminking said:

So they were afraid to show those armies (sylvaneth and Boc) because they haven’t won a single game.

wasn’t there this one guy who made it with his 15-20 cockatrice beastlist  to the top 5 at that one tournament

If I can find enough bird bits to make that many cockatrices I will give that a few tries for sure!  

 

Why are Kharadrons so good right now, just bunches of guns and flying ships?  Didn't they already have all that when they supposedly stunk?  

Edited by Lord Krungharr

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2 hours ago, Lord Krungharr said:

If I can find enough bird bits to make that many cockatrices I will give that a few tries for sure!  

 

Why are Kharadrons so good right now, just bunches of guns and flying ships?  Didn't they already have all that when they supposedly stunk?  

KO have an extremely oppressive alpha strike build that contains most of the winning lists. The zilfin first turn drop with WLV is very strong, and it's unbeatable if it double turns someone first to second.

 

It's still good without the oppressive zilfin list, but not quite as.

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16 hours ago, jeremym said:

Too many unknown factors, what other armies were played at the tournament. what match ups they got, what scenarios, etc. LoN is definitely a weaker army in comparison to current meta heroes. but they're far from being unplayable. A good player can win the attrition war 

Too many ways to ignore battleshock these days. Attrition wars are long dead:( 

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I think only kroak who need a 100 points increase is overpower.

 

Yes there are strong armys but only kroak is really overpower

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5 hours ago, stratigo said:

KO have an extremely oppressive alpha strike build that contains most of the winning lists. The zilfin first turn drop with WLV is very strong, and it's unbeatable if it double turns someone first to second.

 

It's still good without the oppressive zilfin list, but not quite as.

Oh wow, I remember reading somewhere they can take any endless spell on someone and plop it down, even if it's an army specific wizard only spell.  So the Warp Lightning Vortex then?!  I wish the Blue Scribes could cast that one!

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On 10/23/2020 at 12:03 AM, Baron Klatz said:

that you can have two similar mass tourney sizes and an army that ended up in 17th place for one and 1st in another speaks of remarkably decent balance to me

It‘s not balance if the army only has one build and maybe three units that can make it work.

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Zilfin is a popular build but there are other ones and different unit compositions that have won top spots too.

Top-Kharadron-Overlords-Lists-1.jpg

2 hours ago, Lord Krungharr said:

Oh wow, I remember reading somewhere they can take any endless spell on someone and plop it down, even if it's an army specific wizard only spell.  So the Warp Lightning Vortex then?!  I wish the Blue Scribes could cast that one!

What an age we live in that duardin are the magic envy of Tzeentch!  xD

Priffa Dreng!

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4 minutes ago, Baron Klatz said:

Zilfin is a popular build but there are other ones and different unit compositions that have won top spots too.

Top-Kharadron-Overlords-Lists-1.jpg

What an age we live in that duardin are the magic envy of Tzeentch!  xD

Priffa Dreng!

Agreed its early days, but at least the above shows that GW is pretty good at balancing a faction internally. This is not like OBR. Any of the skyports can hit like a sledgehammer. 

I've been a KO player for a while so I'll be the first to admit they've gone from the ridiculous to the perverse. Almost every major warscroll has seen an uplift of range of shooting (up to a 12" increase on one), uplifts to hit and wound characteristics, and the Ironclad has seen their sky cannon damage going from D6 to  a straight 6. Then there's the uplifts to bravery and save characteristics on the key models too. 

That's without the alpha strike ability that means you go pretty much anywhere on the table and can chicken-out of melee; that's without the endless spell in the bottle artefact that auto casts, or the aether gold ability where you can spend triumphs (sure it has a cost, but a small one), and our dwarfs can now shoot and fight when embarked on our alpha-striking boats.

We've had nerfs but only to abilities that weren't that great anyway (Khemists, and weapons options for our companies). It's not a surprise that KO are top tier by a long shot. They are a WH40k army in a world of swords and sorcerers so I would expect them to win more than in those AoS1.0 days of woe. Which is why I understand the defensiveness of KO players. We've had it bad for so long, it feels good to go to the tabletop knowing we're no longer the underdogs.

Unbalanced? Well only if there really is no way of countering the above. Time will tell... but very much expect nerfing to come. Just worried to the extent that will happen...

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54 minutes ago, Mcthew said:

GW is pretty good at balancing a faction internally.

In General, as you have put it, It does not.

Daughters of Khaine, Idoneth Deepkin, Cities of Sigmar, Slaves to Darkness,  Legions of Nagash, Orruk Warclans and Skaven beg to differ.

Maybe they‘ve gotten better lately with KO and Tzeentch idk, but the previous tomes were definitely not balanced internally.

 

my point on balance is, that an army is not balanced just because it can have one build that catapults it to place 1.

You‘d also have to consider how many good builds an army can create, otherwise you are not saying anything about army balance at all, you are talking about cross-faction strongest list balance.

Edited by JackStreicher
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There's some pretty thin defenses of GW here.

Yes, it's a small sample size. But it's the same picture with a larger sample size and has been for years. In December 2019, for example, when we had a full month of tournaments before coronavirus began to creep in, there was around a 30% difference in win rate between the top and bottom armies, even discounting those that barely played (Tzeentch 72.7% wins; Khorne 42.4%, and those aren't isolated cases). 

Also, the 'video games isn't a fair comparison' argument is straw-clutching. It's not being made because of the intricacies of game design. It's being made because it's a rank order of competitors. It could just as well be a comparison of snail racing, or thumb wrestling, or the annual Sit Down on a Chair Quickest championships. 'Um...actually...AoS doesn't even involve...' is missing the point completely. 

Ultimately, we have a massively skewed meta and, up to now, it's been a deliberate function of GW's game design. It's no accident that Tzeentch smashed 2017, Daughters and Legions smashed 2018, etc. The Design Studio aren't doing this by accident. Ben Johnson is one of the best players out there. He can see what a book is going to do on release. It's no coincidence that the army/armies with a mysterious advantage in the current meta is always the newest one(s). It's a deliberate move to sell new stuff. And I think it's probably fair enough. 

The world of online FAQs allows them to do it. 

In years gone by, if you put out filth, it was filth for years, until that book got replaced. Now, they can FAQ it. When they announced the FAQ process, we rejoiced. It would allow them to reign in outliers and keep the game in some sort of balance. Fantastic! Sadly that has not been the case. Firstly, GW have been far too heavy handed with their FAQing. Rather than tweaks, we get almost complete rewrites of books, invalidating our lovely hardbacks. Secondly, it allows for ridiculous sales-inducing rules at launch, because they know they can nerf them a few months later. 

This isn't a conspiracy theory, it's just GW using a new tool (the internet) to boost sales. They can control the meta in real time. Again, it's totally fair enough. It just means, for me, it's the illusion of a competitive game. Much as I love AoS, and I love AoS tournamenting, there's a massive degree of expensive meta chasing if you want to compete. That said, if you don't want to go to a tournament to win or you're a club / home gamer, it's a great game and there's a load of armies around that 'fat middle'.

Last thing, I said earlier that this had been the case 'up to now'. Maybe an article like this, highlighting win ratios, is a sign of a change in the air. Maybe we'll going to get more transparency in future. Maybe GW are actually going to shoot for a balanced meta in future (and if they do, I'll be racing back tournament play). Or maybe they're just desperately trying to keep the competitive players interested while the tourney scene is on hold for Covid. We shall see... 

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I think I am missing something in the posts defending GW and saying this is a poor sample.

GW posted this themselves...on their website....as their meta.  Isn't that GW saying this means what is says it means?

 

 

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2 hours ago, hobgoblinclub said:

There's some pretty thin defenses of GW here.

Yes, it's a small sample size. But it's the same picture with a larger sample size and has been for years. In December 2019, for example, when we had a full month of tournaments before coronavirus began to creep in, there was around a 30% difference in win rate between the top and bottom armies, even discounting those that barely played (Tzeentch 72.7% wins; Khorne 42.4%, and those aren't isolated cases). 

Also, the 'video games isn't a fair comparison' argument is straw-clutching. It's not being made because of the intricacies of game design. It's being made because it's a rank order of competitors. It could just as well be a comparison of snail racing, or thumb wrestling, or the annual Sit Down on a Chair Quickest championships. 'Um...actually...AoS doesn't even involve...' is missing the point completely. 

Ultimately, we have a massively skewed meta and, up to now, it's been a deliberate function of GW's game design. It's no accident that Tzeentch smashed 2017, Daughters and Legions smashed 2018, etc. The Design Studio aren't doing this by accident. Ben Johnson is one of the best players out there. He can see what a book is going to do on release. It's no coincidence that the army/armies with a mysterious advantage in the current meta is always the newest one(s). It's a deliberate move to sell new stuff. And I think it's probably fair enough. 

The world of online FAQs allows them to do it. 

In years gone by, if you put out filth, it was filth for years, until that book got replaced. Now, they can FAQ it. When they announced the FAQ process, we rejoiced. It would allow them to reign in outliers and keep the game in some sort of balance. Fantastic! Sadly that has not been the case. Firstly, GW have been far too heavy handed with their FAQing. Rather than tweaks, we get almost complete rewrites of books, invalidating our lovely hardbacks. Secondly, it allows for ridiculous sales-inducing rules at launch, because they know they can nerf them a few months later. 

This isn't a conspiracy theory, it's just GW using a new tool (the internet) to boost sales. They can control the meta in real time. Again, it's totally fair enough. It just means, for me, it's the illusion of a competitive game. Much as I love AoS, and I love AoS tournamenting, there's a massive degree of expensive meta chasing if you want to compete. That said, if you don't want to go to a tournament to win or you're a club / home gamer, it's a great game and there's a load of armies around that 'fat middle'.

Last thing, I said earlier that this had been the case 'up to now'. Maybe an article like this, highlighting win ratios, is a sign of a change in the air. Maybe we'll going to get more transparency in future. Maybe GW are actually going to shoot for a balanced meta in future (and if they do, I'll be racing back tournament play). Or maybe they're just desperately trying to keep the competitive players interested while the tourney scene is on hold for Covid. We shall see... 

You legend. Summed up everything I wanted to say on the topic and more.

Thank you.

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6 hours ago, hobgoblinclub said:

Also, the 'video games isn't a fair comparison' argument is straw-clutching. It's not being made because of the intricacies of game design. It's being made because it's a rank order of competitors. It could just as well be a comparison of snail racing, or thumb wrestling, or the annual Sit Down on a Chair Quickest championships.

Since I assume that's aimed at me, I'll respond. :P

The original claim was "If AoS were a video game, no one would play it given the current imbalance. Can you imagine dota/league/sc2 having the following 'meta':..."

This implies that we're taking DOTA, League and/or SC2 as our model of "good balance", and that they are generally regarded as well-balanced games.

So how are we measuring balance in those games, in order to compare it to AoS? For something like League or DOTA, we'd have to look at something like champion pick/ban rates in major tournaments (we have to work with the statistics we have).

I haven't played League for a long time, so I'm going on reports like Worlds 2020 Champion pick rates, win rates, and bans. Right at the start, they note that balance - in the sense of the variety of champions picked across the competition - was enormously increased over previous years, where only about 10-15 champions had a notable presence. 2020's Worlds had 78 different champions played, so that's pretty good variety, right? Note, however, that League has 151 champions on its roster - almost half of those were not even played once. That's more or less a direct equivalent to "not appearing in this chart"-tier armies like Sylvaneth... except that we might presume Sylvaneth did get played, they just didn't get a top-5 finish. We know for a fact that there were 73 champions not played at all.

We then move very swiftly into some eyebrow-raising stats, such as Ornn and Orianna each having a 91% win rate. Given that AoS players were up in arms about Slaanesh armies when they were sitting around a 65% win rate (and yes, that was a problem!), that seems pretty over the top to me.

So given that we're looking at some champions winning 9 out of 10 games, and that nearly half the champions are considered to be garbage-tier unplayable at the tournament level, I can only see two possible interpretations:

  • League is "balanced" in some other sense that can't be directly compared to AoS in a meaningful way; or
  • League is way less balanced than AoS.

Which is it? My initial post charitably went with the first, noting that in my opinion they weren't comparable. If people insist they are comparable, then let's have an honest comparison. Explain how a 90% win rate for certain picks represents "good balance", but AoS has "bad balance".

I'm not saying that AoS has good balance. I'm saying that it's remarkably well balanced considering how difficult it is to balance a game like this. If you look through the forums of any of these "well balanced" video games, you'll find hundreds of threads with these same complaints - the balance in the game is terrible, nerf this, buff that, why can't the devs see that such-and-such is OP, etc. Any critical analysis of the highest levels of play will find imbalances that are just as severe, if not way more severe, than the imbalances that exist in AoS.

Basically, GW's chart looks bad on the surface, but actually represents a significant achievement - it's honestly surprising that the balance in AoS is only that bad, and not far worse. In our darkest nightmares, balance in AoS could be as bad as the balance in League of Legends! Imagine Kharadrons sitting at a 90% win rate and literally not even one person playing a Chaos or Death army in any major competition.

Edited by Kadeton
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The point is that GW don't understand his game. In the actual state of the game Death and Destruction don't have any tools to defend themself of the Ordertide meta. This two alliances are powerful in the two things that are countereable: Magic and Combat. Meanwhile the summoning of Chaos permits to survive the Ordertide and the Order is now powerful in all the no countereable states of the game and, in some cases, makes the Magic so powerful that the Magic becomes impossible to countereable for the others alliances.

 

And this state is not new. This state of the game become like that since March. If you follow the TTS tournaments, the classic armies were destroyed in all the tournaments, with Death of Destruction been less represented every week passed. The actual state is the evolution and it is going to worse because the missing armies don't have any tool to fight the top tiers.

If you expect an antimeta revolution in the follow weeks, sorry but it's impossible that it happens.

Edited by Nezzhil

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Back in Fantasy Chaos was unstoppably, ridiculously obviously the most powerful. It didn’t stop anyone I knew enjoying the game because the point was the grimly dramatic story and the beaut models, not endless formulaic rules minutiae...

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But then came Ward's Asur with their Dragon Banner that completely crushed them and everything else. xD

Say what you will of the current balance but at least we're past those dark ages.

AoS is far from perfect but nothing is really unfair. Even with cases like Daughters, and Tzeentch for launch powers we got Maggotkin, Gloomspite & Sons of Behemat which certainly weren't tourney dominators at their start but still a ton of fun.

4 hours ago, Austin said:

I think I am missing something in the posts defending GW and saying this is a poor sample.

GW posted this themselves...on their website....as their meta.  Isn't that GW saying this means what is says it means?

 

 

It's more a sales gimmick and made for kneejerk reactions (which it's certainly caused). Players see it without looking at the other info like how tiny those amount of tourneys are that leave out a large amount of other forces while having players with multiples of the same army and immediately jump on the bandwagon.

With how much the article is promoting Lumineth I suspect it's a subtle way to get more people on them as a shooting & magic meta but I'm also hopeful it means more Kharadron releases in the future from GW cherry picking those best results for them. :D

Edited by Baron Klatz
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15 hours ago, Saxon said:

Too many ways to ignore battleshock these days. Attrition wars are long dead:( 

Yea, but if its a small tournament, it could be far fewer armies participating 

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6 hours ago, Kadeton said:

Basically, GW's chart looks bad on the surface, but actually represents a significant achievement - it's honestly surprising that the balance in AoS is only that bad, and not far worse. In our darkest nightmares, balance in AoS could be as bad as the balance in League of Legends! Imagine Kharadrons sitting at a 90% win rate and literally not even one person playing a Chaos or Death army in any major competition.

I have a different interpretation. Balance in GW games matters a lot more because adjusting to a new meta is very costly. Knowing this, they should be extremely conservative with balance decisions. However, they most certainly aren't, with top tier armies and bottom tier switching completely in some cases (knights in 40k, DoK in AoS).

When a video game like LoL or others shake up the meta, it may not necessarily be a bad thing. Having a pool of 150 options and rotating the good ones might not be "bad" if the goal is to have "seasons" of options that are good. It may actually be a design choice.

In GW games a lot of people have "main factions" they like to collect and build up over the span of years. Switching around things is a crappy thing for all of them. And expensive! I do not think GW does a good job at balancing the rules, like at all; in competitive play we see massive changes over the span of months. I do believe it is by design, but it is strictly "bad" for many players.

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The worst balance at the moment is magic. I am forced to take a disgustingly trash battle mage or nurgle sorcerer in every game just to have the minimal chance at a dispel of some uber powered endless spell. 

A lot of armies at the moment have basically no good magic or absolutely overpowering face melting magic control that destroys your entire army turn 1. Endless spell were a great well to sell cheap plastic. But they have destroyed the magic phase in aos completely.

The next necroquake should be a void null explosion and destroy magic in the realms. 

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7 hours ago, 123lac said:

You legend. Summed up everything I wanted to say on the topic and more.

Thank you.

Thanks!

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