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 Post subject: How much has Melee changed in price over time?
PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2007 1:45 am 
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The discussion on power creep has got me thinking about a related topic:

The "cost" of Melee Attack.

We know that there's no formula, but we also know that the disadvantage of Melee Attack was underestimated, and it's now resulting in a bigger discount than in earlier sets.

But how much?

Ideally, there would be a figure with very similar stats and abilities between an old set and a newer one, with little but a change in price.

But I can't think of a couple good examples.

Any ideas?


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2007 3:22 am 
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Not really any ideas on it or have any examples, if there were any you would already know them.
I think in the end it comes down to this is it good for the game? Now everyone is going to have different opinions on this so member's please do not knock other opinions on this just state your own opinion and reasons.
For me i think it's a good thing, because at the moment there are only a few melee characters i use ( i think you can draw your own conclusions as to whom) so now i mite start using more.
Even though there are some character's in this set i am disappointed in i still think this will be one of the best sets to date for melee characters, now if WOTC would just stop putting multiple version of unique character in the same set and give more over to the less represented factions it would be grate. I mean 1 less Han & 2 Less Luke's in this set would have been wonderful.

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 Post subject: Re: How much has Melee changed in price over time?
PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2007 7:47 am 
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NickName wrote:
We know that there's no formula,


We know no such thing. Rob has said on several occasions that it's not a "hard-and-fast" formula, but there is a formula. He said in an online chat that the Stormtrooper weighed in at 5.8, so they're using something to determine that.

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but we also know that the disadvantage of Melee Attack was underestimated, and it's now resulting in a bigger discount than in earlier sets.


My guess is that they didn't anticipate the community-at-large running their Jedi characters headlong down the battlefield where ranged attackers could pick them off. I remember my early games of Rebel Storm, even the occasional skirmish. Luke JK was a favorite choice of mine, but I kept him hidden as much as possible and relied on his 22-in-cover defense to keep him alive. Once he entered combat if he faced high HP enemies, then yeah, he had problems. But he was a great Stormtrooper killer back then.

Alot of the other people I played against when they used melee characters such as Darth Vader or even Mace Windu or Yoda relied less on walls and low objects and just hoped more on the luck of the dice. Those players tended to get beat on a regular basis in those situations.

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But how much?

Ideally, there would be a figure with very similar stats and abilities between an old set and a newer one, with little but a change in price.

But I can't think of a couple good examples.

Any ideas?


Back in the day, I came up with a rudimentary formula for character design. While I won't bore everyone with the details, I was able to develop something that seemed fairly accurate for what we have. Every ability and force power had a cost, and there were costs for stats, and linked costs for stuff that had synergy (Careful Shot + Deadeye, for example). When Bounty Hunters came out, that system went out the window because of all the damage-changing effects (a Dengar that could do 30-40 on a normal attack, for one).

As far as melee goes, I started it out at -4. By the time Universe came out, it was up to -6. The Jedi Weapon Master reset it to -8 (even with the faux pas removal of Unique from his card), and from the looks of things in FU, I would say it will likely fluctuate between -6 and -8 from now on. Some of that may be an overcost on my part of the new Force powers, and some of it may be based on balance-in-set, meaning that ranged and melee still have to be balanced against each other in the set in order to provide stability. The better ranged is, the better melee Jedi need to be to compete.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2007 11:07 am 
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We know no such thing. Rob has said on several occasions that it's not a "hard-and-fast" formula, but there is a formula. He said in an online chat that the Stormtrooper weighed in at 5.8, so they're using something to determine that.


By formula I mean 'each subcomponent of the charcter stats has a cost then you mathify them all together to end up with what the final cost of the character is'. We know they do not use a formula by that definition.

They use playtesting and comparison to existing figures to price then adjust as necessary based on estimating the value of new concepts.

I would expect it's more of a percentage. (For example, I have a hard time putting Ewoks at 7 before Melee.) Is your number based on a character roughly priced at 30?


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2007 11:18 am 
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NickName wrote:
I would expect it's more of a percentage.


I completely agree with this, especially in the early days (RS, CS). The question they probably asked as they were designing was: "What percentage of your squad should an Ewok (or Stormtrooper or Rebel Trooper) be?" Other factors for squad design came through in determining how many other characters should benefit (or suffer) from Commander Effects, how strong a character should be on its own, and how it interacts with the rest of the squad percentage-wise.

Of course, this is something we have discussed - at length - before. Because the standard skirmish is based on a 100 pt. system, each piece IS a percentage number. That number gets divided in half at the 200 point level. (Meaning if the game had been designed at 200 points, Stormtroopers would have either cost 3 points or had a special ability to bump them back up to 5.)

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(For example, I have a hard time putting Ewoks at 7 before Melee.) Is your number based on a character roughly priced at 30?


Not sure what you are asking me here.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2007 11:51 am 
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Boris, he's saying that based on your first post, Ewoks would have a base cost of 7, then -4 for Melee to put them at their final cost of 3.

I was looking at a few things and here's one that I noticed: Rebel Trooper vs. Weequay Mercenary. Only 1 set apart, and all of their stats are the same, just different abilities. So, the negative cost of Melee Attack balances out Double and Mercenary (though perhaps Merc is a negative too, not sure).

However, if you compare the Elite Rebel Trooper and the Aqualish Assassin, it does seem like there's a bigger difference (although, admittedly, it seems as though the AA was aggressively costed on top of any affects of Melee on the cost). The AA has 2 more defense, but the same in other stats. Then Melee, Stealth, Opportunist, and Black Sun. So, as a higher point character, he has more abilities to offset the negative aspect of Melee Attack.

OK, how about a higher point comparison. Chewie of Kashyyyk and Guri. Both Unique, both have Double. But Guri has higher HP, higher Defense, higher Attack, Cunning, Mobile, Stealth, and Xizor's BG in place of Chewie's extra 10 damage, and Momentum. Guri's Droid and being Fringe likely affect the cost in opposite ways, so they kind of cancel each other out. So, she gets a hefty bonus for having the Melee restriction.

It's interesting too that in all 3 of these examples that I found, the Melee character is a Fringe piece, which typically has meant they cost a little more because of their versatility. So that also shows how much Melee Attack drives down the cost of a unit.

It's hard to say whether it's changed though. I think it kind of goes to what NickName's said about powercreep in general though. Without figures with the exact same stats from one set to the next, it's tough to determine how it's changing. I would say though that Melee units in general are getting better, and it's not just the JWM. Things like the Mistryl Shadow Guard, Ayy Vida, Tamtel Skreej, the new Vos, Luke COTF, Advance Scout....they're all better than similar older pieces. However, that doesn't mean they've powercreeped the old ones either. Most of the time those older Melee pieces just don't have as much Synergy with other newer pieces. For instance, in a one on one battle, Luminara and Vos Infiltrator would be fairly evenly matched, if they were just duking it out with Melee Attacks. Their different abilities, and how well those mesh with the current meta is what makes Vos appear to be worth much more.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2007 12:12 pm 
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Using the Rebel Trooper is a poor example, it is an outlier (crappy), the stormie is an outlier (godly). Besides, all comparisons need to be done within the factions. Being a Fringe piece is normally worth a few extra points (of course, there are... exceptions).

It will be difficult to try to find an 'average' piece between sets to compare each to. It seems that there are bargains in each set and then there are avoid like plague pieces as well.

The question instead should be this: When you want to field a melee piece, what are the go to ones? Are they based on some SA/CE exploit (say San + Cunning does not make much sense, so Opportunist seems to be the goto SA for use with San). What is the goto piece for 3 points? 4? 5? etc... Granted, some point levels there really is not much of a choice, but do you understand the question?


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2007 12:30 pm 
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emr131 wrote:
Using the Rebel Trooper is a poor example, it is an outlier (crappy), the stormie is an outlier (godly). Besides, all comparisons need to be done within the factions. Being a Fringe piece is normally worth a few extra points (of course, there are... exceptions).

It will be difficult to try to find an 'average' piece between sets to compare each to. It seems that there are bargains in each set and then there are avoid like plague pieces as well.

The question instead should be this: When you want to field a melee piece, what are the go to ones? Are they based on some SA/CE exploit (say San + Cunning does not make much sense, so Opportunist seems to be the goto SA for use with San). What is the goto piece for 3 points? 4? 5? etc... Granted, some point levels there really is not much of a choice, but do you understand the question?


Sorry that's not a good argument at all. If there was a point system used by WOTC at all there would be no crabby or godly characters at all.
I always find these topics total bazaar because if someone point out the painfully obvious it always a poor example. in your eyes. Then you go on to give an equally poor example to prove your point.
This is something you all are guilty of both on this site and wotc,
If there were a proper cost system this sort of topic would never have arisen.
Take the old republic commander then compair him to the Rebel strike leader which is best? Both shooters, both commanders, both faction based, both UC characters, There is 6 point difference in there cost . But the rebel Strike leader is far better & cost less. But i suppose this is just another POOR example. As for Melee compair the Yong Jedi Knight to the Old Republic ones big differance. or is that another poor exsample.
It is not unreasonable to compair the rebel trooper to the stormtooper. they came out in the same set and cost the same.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2007 1:07 pm 
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If there were a proper cost system this sort of topic would never have arisen.


A "proper cost system" is a pipe dream though. WizKids uses a formula (in theory, a "proper cost system") to determine the point values of their figures. The same imbalances in figure quality per point occur.

You just shift the human error from a macro level (figure A in comparison to figure B) to a micro level (subcomponent A in comparison to subcomponent B). There's no way to perfectly price Force Lightning vs Accurate Shot any more than there's a way to perfectly price Mas Amedda vs Lord Vader.

(We can leave personal assessments of other posters out of the discussion please. EMR is entitled to sharing his opinion without personal attacks. You can explain why it's a poor example without bringing in anything beyond that and we can avoid a WotC-board style snipefest. It's up to us to keep this board different from the WotC one.)

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It will be difficult to try to find an 'average' piece between sets to compare each to. It seems that there are bargains in each set and then there are avoid like plague pieces as well.


True enough. That's the core of my "no powercreep" argument but you have to start somewhere.

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The question instead should be this: When you want to field a melee piece, what are the go to ones?


Except that's a different question. That's very applicable to squadbuilding, but doesn't really answer my core question. We know Melee today is being priced differently from Melee from 2004. But how much differently? And can using the imperfect example pieces we have available give us any valid info in this regard?


Last edited by NickName on Tue Oct 16, 2007 1:14 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2007 1:10 pm 
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emr131 wrote:
Using the Rebel Trooper is a poor example, it is an outlier (crappy), the stormie is an outlier (godly). Besides, all comparisons need to be done within the factions. Being a Fringe piece is normally worth a few extra points (of course, there are... exceptions).

It will be difficult to try to find an 'average' piece between sets to compare each to. It seems that there are bargains in each set and then there are avoid like plague pieces as well.


!00% agree with you there. We only can only compare what we have. And that's what I did. Whether the Rebel Trooper or the Stormtrooper or whatever are outliers, the examples aren't really that bad.

emr131 wrote:
The question instead should be this: When you want to field a melee piece, what are the go to ones? Are they based on some SA/CE exploit (say San + Cunning does not make much sense, so Opportunist seems to be the goto SA for use with San). What is the goto piece for 3 points? 4? 5? etc... Granted, some point levels there really is not much of a choice, but do you understand the question?


Hmm, that's going to be a little subjective, and certainly based on what type of squad you are building. Right now, the only time I can think of where I know I want to field Melee pieces is in an Ithorian Commander squad. Most of the time though it's more that I want to field certain Melee pieces, and decide to throw in appropriate Commanders to help them.

At the various point levels though, for sake of argument, I'll look at some of the options (comparing only pieces in the same faction when possible).

    3 pts: As long as you don't need Satchel Charge, the Ewok is definitely the go-to. It's even better than a Geonosian Drone, even though it's Fringe. So, obviously being Fringe doesn't hurt the Ewok's point cost that much.

    4 pts: Gran Raider about 90% of the time for me. Stealth more than makes up for the +3 Attack difference. Only time I think I'd use the Tusken is in the Ithorian Comm swarms.

    5 pts: Weequay Merc (only choice anyways ;))

    6 pts: Again, Stealth wins out. So Adv Scout or Ithorian over the other two. Even without Stealth though, I think I'd still pick these.

    7 pts: Aqualish Assassin, duh.

    9 pts: Wookiee Commando. This is the first I'm seeing an inbalance between equally costed characters. But, we got another Gammorrean in the A&E set, so that would be reverse powercreep, lol.

    10 pts: Tough choice, but Bodyguard must be worth a good chunk of the Twi'lek's cost to balance against the Adept's Force powers, because all the other stats are identical. Honestly though, spanning all the current sets (RS to A&E) I don't see any change here in the cost of Melee.

    13 pts: Weequay Leader seems to be perhaps a tad bit better costed than the Wampa, though the Weequay does have 2 less Defense and 10 less HP. The CE is moderately helpful. So, the Weequay might be costed a bit more agressively than the Wampa

    22 pts: I'm torn on this one. Gundark and Rampaging Wampa don't seem that different to me. The Gundark certainly is better in terms of the hp and Defense. That difference easily off-sets the difference in abilities, IMO. Gundark can do 40 dmg a round, Wampa can do 60. However, with Kun, the Gundark can do 80 and the Wampa, 100. For 20 HP less and 4 less defense, the Wampa only gets 20 more damage per round. Seems pretty even to me.

    29 pts: I think Agen Kolar and Even Piell seem pretty even to me. Piell takes a hit on his HP in exchange for Mettle and Double. Probably slightly biased in Piell's favor, but honestly not by much.

OK, I think that's all the ones were 2 or more pieces have Melee and are in the same faction (except for the 26pt category, because analyzing the JWM is kind of a moot point). Anyways, it seems to me that things haven't changed all that much. In most all the cases where the decision isn't 100% clear, the reasons most people choose one over the other is like I said before: synergy with other pieces that are established in the current meta. Oh, and I didn't compare any minis that were in the same set together.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2007 1:36 pm 
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NickName wrote:
Quote:
If there were a proper cost system this sort of topic would never have arisen.


(We can leave personal assessments of other posters out of the discussion please. EMR is entitled to sharing his opinion without personal attacks. You can explain why it's a poor example without bringing in anything beyond that and we can avoid a WotC-board style snipefest. It's up to us to keep this board different from the WotC one.)


Quote:
It will be difficult to try to find an 'average' piece between sets to compare each to. It seems that there are bargains in each set and then there are avoid like plague pieces as well.


True enough. That's the core of my "no powercreep" argument but you have to start somewhere.

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The question instead should be this: When you want to field a melee piece, what are the go to ones?


Except that's a different question. That's very applicable to squadbuilding, but doesn't really answer my core question. We know Melee today is being priced differently from Melee from 2004. But how much differently? And can using the imperfect example pieces we have available give us any valid info in this regard?


My post was no more personal than EMR's was. Every time someone give a valid answer its always a poor example, so basically he is rubbishing there idea. Now i am sure EMR did not mean that statement as a personal attack, and neither was any of my comments in my post. If you did that say more about you than it does me. :) Sorry could not resist that . ( OK a bit childish i know)

But the fact still remains that comparing the rebel trooper to the stormtroopers is a fair compassion as they both came out in the same set & both are shooters. ( proberbly the fairest comparison there is)
I do believe it is possible to have a fair cost system for each power or ability. Yes of cause mistakes will happen that is human nature, but most would have been right. It's just to late now as you can not go back and correct old sets you only can improve new ones to be fairer

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2007 1:52 pm 
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dreadtech wrote:
My post was no more personal than EMR's was. Every time someone give a valid answer its always a poor example, so basically he is rubbishing there idea. Now i am sure EMR did not mean that statement as a personal attack, and neither was any of my comments in my post. If you did that say more about you than it does me. :) Sorry could not resist that . ( OK a bit childish i know)

I hope you know that I think the costing system in this game is a joke. I have implied they use a blindfold and dartboard to finalize costs. Unlike Nickname, I believe there is a way to perfect costs, however I do understand it is next to impossible to achieve logically. It would be much easier to do it if the system were online and constant recosting could be done. I had this argument before, I see no reason to get into the argument again.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2007 1:59 pm 
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emr131 wrote:
dreadtech wrote:
My post was no more personal than EMR's was. Every time someone give a valid answer its always a poor example, so basically he is rubbishing there idea. Now i am sure EMR did not mean that statement as a personal attack, and neither was any of my comments in my post. If you did that say more about you than it does me. :) Sorry could not resist that . ( OK a bit childish i know)

I hope you know that I think the costing system in this game is a joke. I have implied they use a blindfold and dartboard to finalize costs. Unlike Nickname, I believe there is a way to perfect costs, however I do understand it is next to impossible to achieve logically. It would be much easier to do it if the system were online and constant recosting could be done. I had this argument before, I see no reason to get into the argument again.


OK i must have misinterpted your post. For that i will apologise.
Like you i to think there cost system is a joke but it has not ruined the game for me. I just chose the character i think are reasonable. That's why i never play Han, Luke & Vader from RS ( well after Universe came out anyway)as i think later ones were just better value.
Again i must apologise if i misunderstood your post.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2007 2:05 pm 
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Apology accepted Captain Dreadtech!!!

I figured we were somewhere on the same wavelength, unfortunately it was a digital signal, a bit of hazy conditions, and misinterpreted! Onward to the next virtual battlefield!


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2007 2:14 pm 
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emr131 wrote:
Apology accepted Captain Dreadtech!!!

I figured we were somewhere on the same wavelength, unfortunately it was a digital signal, a bit of hazy conditions, and misinterpreted! Onward to the next virtual battlefield!


Captain!! General Dreadtech if you please LOL :) 8)

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dreadtech wrote:
emr131 wrote:
Apology accepted Captain Dreadtech!!!

I figured we were somewhere on the same wavelength, unfortunately it was a digital signal, a bit of hazy conditions, and misinterpreted! Onward to the next virtual battlefield!


Captain!! General Dreadtech if you please LOL :) 8)


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2007 2:18 pm 
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The Agen Kolar comparison works with him and Depa as well.

Agen gets +30HP, an extra FP and Force ability. But Depa gets an extra attack, Vaapad. If anything, maybe Depa should be a bit cheaper. You could argue Depa's about the same as Anakin, JK, (who is perhaps on par with Even Piell as well).

Maybe comparing the two Maul's would give a better indication. If they were released in the same set, the CotS version would undoubtedly be higher costing. Qui-Gon, Jedi Master appears to have gotten a bit of a discount as well although you could argue the different uses each of their Force abilities offers, as they're fairly different in their use.

Vader, CotS has only +1 attack over Dark Jedi Vader, -1 FP, so that evens out a little bit. But CotS Vader has a couple of defensive abilities in block and deflect. And is costed 5 less.

Seems that the melee isn't being costed much less than what it used to be, but a lot of the newer pieces seem to usually have a few more tricks up their sleeve to give them a bit more staying power. There usually isn't too big a difference in the base stats, but characters just have more abilities.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2007 2:31 pm 
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Wow....I agree with EMR again. :P If the entire system were online, then they could update it periodically and such, a la Warcraft. But it isn't. And I feel like they do get things pretty close. But there are some figures that make it painfully obvious (Komari Vosa) that there are some oddballs out there.

I think as far as NickName's questions go though, there doesn't seem to be in my mind that much of a difference in the costing. Take Darth Vader, from ROTS, and Luke Champion of the Force. Only 2 points difference. Luke does seem to be more powerful up front, but all of Luke's abilities focus around his Melee Attacks. Vader has a couple other options, not to mention 30 more HP.

Another problem in comparing one mini to another si that I think a mini's point cost is also partly determined by the faction it is in, and what other abilities affect it. I honestly do not think that there's a perfect algorithm or formula that could be used to cost every piece. If there was, then WotC, or someone on the forums, would have figured it out by now. The influence of faction on a character's point cost is pretty big. On top of that, we know that there are some instances where it seems that a piece may be priced 1-2 points higher just so that certain combinations are not possible in a given point format. So, there's always the chance the points are arbitrarily added/subtracted to a piece in order to affect certain potential squads.

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