Techtree Contest #15 - Results

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Contestants were to create a techtree themed around a chosen Warcraft hero/character. The submission must fit the theme of the hero and ideally capture a style of gameplay attributed to them.




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  • 1st place: 75 reputation points
  • 2nd place: 50 reputation points
  • 3rd place: 25 reputation points
  • Entry: 15 reputation points
  • Judge: 15 reputation points per entry
The three winning teams will receive an award icon, representing the winning entry.




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Theme
How well the various elements of the Faction (including aesthetics, gameplay & design) fit together in a thematic manner such that they feel like they are representative of the given Faction, as well as that of the chosen Contest Theme. Well-fitting & polished aesthetics which complement a cohesive theme will be graded well; poorly-considered or lacking thematic elements will result in a poor score./25

Gameplay
How well the various elements of the Faction work together to achieve the tactical synergy & gameplay style the Faction has, as well as how efficiently each element performs its particular function. Strategic systems that endow an identity to the Faction, comprehensive & well-though-out roles which complement a cohesive Faction will be graded well; ill-considered, insufficient or over-compensating roles will lose points./25

Balance
Indicates how comparable the Faction is in terms of 'playability'; i.e. the ideal Faction should win/lose 50% of the time against default races. Overpowered or Underpowered units/heroes/abilities/etc. will result in a poor score; properly balanced elements will result in a good score./20

Creativity
How original the design of the Faction is in terms of innovative ideas, clever implementations, or creative concepts. Innovation and creativity will be rewarded; extensive re-use of existing elements in vanilla factions & poor originality will result in a poor score./30

/100


  • Judgement: 70%
  • Poll: 30%
FinalScore = (30*Reached_Votes/POSSIBLE_VOTES) + (70*Average_Judge_Score/POSSIBLE_SCORE)



Bangsgaard received a 5% malus for self-voting.


64/100

Theme: 20/25
I don't get the sense of a sea faring people art wise from the buildings. I can see you were heading there with the Foundry and Tent. Your core combat units from the Barracks aren't terribly creative with abilities, but they do fit a sea aesthetic well. Ditto for those from the Mage Tent. The Enchanted Shipyard does a much better job of providing visually and functionally unique units that fit your theme. Jaina having Talents was a nice touch, although they too could have been less generic. Overall I don't attribute this with "Jaina's army."

Gameplay: 15/25
There's not a strong style I could identify. Generically spells rely on water. There are certainly all the specific roles represented, but as far as a tactical synergy it's mostly a case of spamming ranged units.

Balance: 14/20
Daughter of the Sea is basically a flying hero unit. I was able to decimate a T3 Tauren army with one. The Alliance Bombard similarly does incredible damage. I was able to defend my base indefinitely by block the entrance with two Barracks and placing six of them behind the wall. Kirin Tor Guardians costing zero food despite their ability roster meant I could spam them over cliffs to the enemy gold line. I'm assuming this was an oversight. The Admiral's Guard is a good example of the core issue with this race: most units hit way too hard for their cost. He does 56 damage at T3 while providing Command Aura, with 8 armor, a chance to reduce armor on attack, and only costs 2 food. I tried a number of unit compositions and was always able to win fights by a-moving with fewer units.

Creativity: 15/30
In text and visuals you brought some originality. In function most spells are simple alterations on vanilla spells. The tech tree is also extremely similar to the Human tree. I think there was an opportunity for the sea to be more integrated into upgrades, or just the addition of non-standard upgrades. You did some of this with the Talent system, but again there was nothing innovative beyond the concept.


54/100

Theme: 14/25
It takes some time to understand where the differences are as you must train Arthas, kill units, and then give souls to another unit. There are no visual differences in the buildings to indicate something has changed. Until you upgrade units there's no connection to Arthas, and that is the major flaw in this commander: if you don't kill you don't experience him. As I experimented with upgrading every unit there was no theme to the improvements. For example if I isolate the Plague Fiend there's nothing about it that says: "Arthas made me."

Gameplay: 16/25
You have a clear strategic system for Arthas: kill, collect, upgrade. Unfortunately this creates a few bad situations. Early game I was creeping quickly and upgrading Ghouls and Fiends which snowballs fairly quickly due to the significant armor, damage, and ability bonuses. I got a few upgraded units and then hit the AI, which they had trouble recovering from as I gained more upgrades during the rush. In another game I saved the souls and spent those upgrading T2 units, just in time for an attack. I lost most of my forces, which do not drop souls, and fell back to using standard units. As the game progressed and creeps dried up I had a few bad engagements with the AI and for the remainder of that game I was basically using vanilla units as there just weren't that many units dying. The AI also seems to view the soul gems as enemy units and will attack them, but they appear to have 100% evasion, and they disappear after a time without any indicator.

Balance: 10/20
Early game this system can be abused and it does not scale over time. I expected higher tier units to provide more charges for Arthas to work with. Killing a Chimaera and getting the same reward as a Archer felt bad. The new Graveyard upgrades are way too powerful for their costs. 25% melee life steal for 200/200 is amazing, as are all the upgrades.

Creativity: 14/30
The system itself is interesting but the associated gameplay is lackluster. For how complicated it is to gather souls the units provided are simple stat upgrades with vanilla spells and abilities. I don't feel that Arthas created these units or that they are a cohesive force that compliments each other. The Fallen Priest and Revenant also don't add much and don't relate to Arthas, they are variations on vanilla units.


72/100

Theme: 20/25
You have a cohesive idea here. It is missing elements though that leads to having few viable strategies. Raiku Leaf's design could have been more integrated and/or easier to access. You did well aesthetically as its clear enough I'm dealing with something related to Druids when looking at my base.

Gameplay: 18/25
Maybe I'm missing something, but until I researched Emerald Gift there was no way to gather lumber. The first play through I about got myself into a place where I couldn't afford the lumber cost, that should really be a given ability. Similarly Raiku Leafs should not be an upgrade. The Dream Tower was a powerful defensive structure, but again it wasn't clear that a Druid had to be in it to deal damage. There's also no cargo indicator to indicate how full it is, which appears to be a max of three. The Circle of Ownership is interesting, but really disrupts base building as you don't control where it spawns (it can go over cliffs too). There is synergy with the units, but there are notable roles missing such as any siege unit until the Savage Beast late game. Having to return to my base to get Raiku Leafs was also disruptive to pushing an advantage after winning a fight.

Balance: 12/20
Slab of Rock being a single active use is crazy for 1000 gold. Dream Tower can be incredibly lethal. For example placing three max tech Druid Acolytes in one means 77-257 damage until killed, but then you have to kill the units inside as well. If I place an occupied Druid Farm nearby the tower becomes near un-killable due to the regeneration rate. The downside of Dream Power is potentially crippling, especially if you happen to start in a location where the circle is exposed. This structure almost steals game focus as the swings it can potentially bring may be game ending. I also don't like that it deals no base damage. Savage Beast is more appropriate since it has so many pre-requisites; although the base movement speed is so high hero surrounds were guaranteed. It also comes so late in the game I can't imagine it would see much use. When I discovered Bulky Protection I immediately purchased three and stacked them on my 50 food army, which made my army deadly. Elune's Dream is useful only in two situations I can think of and really should be a hero ability: fleeing a battle, repositioning to attack once it stops. More so it can be stacked so the game can simple stop for minutes at a time.

Creativity: 22/30
I haven’t seen a passive AoE heal style bunker ability before so the Druid Farm is interesting. Having any unit load into towers to increase damage was interesting, if problematic. Where it falls short is the application of the few unique ideas across the tech tree.


75/100

Theme: 20/25
While the Pathfinder was at first a strange unit to me it started to make more sense once I saw it was integrated into siege weapons. Many units have attack based buffs, which feels at home in a race based on aggression. Aesthetically everything fits. Shared abilities also tend to create a unifying sense so Battlefury paid off here. Unfortunately the theme suffers from complexity in spells.


Gameplay: 20/25
Starting with only one builder threw me off, especially since you lose the worker for the build duration. Rushing is basically not an option. I love the aggression focus of the race. It starts to become cumbersome though as there are so many buffs and debuffs to track it's a mess for both players. The Status bars on some units were maxed fairly often. Even the T3 items for sale add more buffs to the mix. Otherwise it was a fairly standard race to play. Juggernaut acting as a sort of passive talent system was fun, and in general I enjoyed attacking with him.

Balance: 15/20
As interesting as it is requiring a Pathfinder to get use of siege weapons creates a phantom requirement, and means I need to make two units just to deal damage. I'm not a fan of paying for a unit I then can't use. Black Shrine is an incredible late game upgrade structure. Having a race-wide unit replacement upgrade is pretty neat, although I worry that it would be very startling to an enemy player if you happened to be in combat when it finished. The Spellhunter Ward is a great idea, although my issue with wards in general is how fast they get nuked down. Stygian Cuirass is incredibly good for its mana cost and duration. The Supply Kodo is a powerful plus for this race as it provides instant expo benefits. That makes up for the higher cost of some upgrades as well since there is little investment cost in expansions vs other races. Having a permanently invisible unit is also concerning, although by T3 everyone has detection.


Creativity: 20/30
Despite balance and gameplay concerns you're spell ideas are original in their implementation. Juggernaut in particular allows me to add an enjoyable level of complexity to hero abilities. The siege weapons felt lazy compared to the rest of your units, and I was disappointed that Mannoroth's Blood didn't change them (although it makes sense).


69/100

Theme: 22/25
It's clear aesthetically this is a Blood Elf based race. There is an abundance of healing and damage spells on various units that indicate elven magics. You've captured the theme of your commander well enough I can imagine her leading these forces into battle.

Gameplay: 18/25
This race plays similarly to standard races. I wasn't clear at the beginning which hero to train first, meaning if I had not seen the map entry page I may have not even trained Lady Liadrin. The Blood Crystal ended up being helpful because of Magical Energies but in the real match a human player will nuke it down as soon as they see it. Players would need to hide it away which sort of negates the passive bonus. Overall I don't see an identity beyond heavy healing.

Balance: 17/20
I'm mainly concerned there's too much healing, and some units have too much utility. The Blood Knight has a strong single target heal, a very cheap attack/movement speed buff, and a AoE damage buff which makes them one of the best units in the game for her cost. Holy Arrows is an incredible upgrade for mid/late game when races depend on mana. In terms of unit stats though nothing stood out as way out of line. I felt the AI's comparable army was evenly matched.

Creativity: 12/30
This race has a few interesting notes such as Mount Arcane Golem, and the secondary hero abilities. Overall though there are many re-skinned vanilla spells. I'm not sure some units are necessary, particularly Dragonhawk Rider vs Sky Guardian. The Ballista checks the box for a basic siege unit, but nothing more. The Arcane Golem for all the requirements and upgrades is a Mountain Giant with Shockwave. I expected something more integrated than the Blood Crystal for a force meant to channel retribution. The T3 items were a letdown.


82/100

Theme: 23/25
This is definitely a heavy pandaren theme. So much fresh cool ale! You defined the thematic elements extremely well, and they are present in most of the tech tree. As far as Chen goes he fits the army well.

Gameplay: 19/25
The logging camp is a great unit. I enjoy not having to always worry about worker harass, the refund ability is good for expansions, and the cart provides a nice visual touch but also allows the enemy player to understand what is going on. Bamboo Stalks are a similar well done mechanic that's easy to understand, and provides a meaningful bonus. The Pathfinder is an interesting take on the Dragonhawk Rider. I think the main issue is I'm not attacking while the spell is channeling. Unlike Cloud the intended target(s) are not immobile so this unit can easily be outmicroed. This is a similar issue with Heat Wave, it should really be an under eight second cast time otherwise I'll end up canceling it before then as the player moves their army away. This race suffers from too many chance buffs though. Every unit aside from the Storm and Fire Casks has a % based buff/debuff. Even your two premier items have chance based designs. That's a lot of random chance even for War3 and more so for a player to track on either side. The idea for specialized towers is a good one but I'd rather see this implemented as one building with researches to unlock Eye of the Storm and Taunt, it's less tedious for a player. I'd rather see Ingredients Sphere as an ability that is learned with Exotic Ingredients, and keep in mind that the game can only display 16 pings on the mini-map at a time.

Balance: 15/20
The other side of Bamboo Stalks is they provide infinite lumber, which is bad. Transmute is the only ability that expressly generates resources from "nothing" and it's an ultimate. Six Bamboo Huts means 30 free wood every minute. Exotic Ingredients is such well imagined spell, but it's simply overpowered. The drop rates are way too high and after a couple major engagements I had a super-Panda that just melted enemies (101-111 damage, 57/34/32 SAI, 1650 HP). As much as I love the Floating Cask the elemental upgrades are incredible for the associated mana costs, especially Fire Energy. I made a small army of them and absolutely wrecked an attack wave. Ale Rain is also a hard call as they are a difficult to kill healer, but I think the self-damage makes up for it. Tiller's Union is something I think Human could use, although a 50% gold rate increase is madness. 1-2 gold is substantial.

Creativity: 25/30
I love the Floating Cask. It's a simple unit but fun to use and Volatile Hop is a useful upgrade I've not seen on a suicidal unit before. The way you integrated it with the elements as well makes it scale well, and then used a similar structure for his Chen's ultimate. Ale Rain is also a simple and useful spell that fits well with the unit. As well thought out as many of the spells are too many of them rely on ale. It is certainly part of Pandaren lore, but it's not their only pursuit. Granite Embodiment is a good example of where I think more of the race could have drawn from. You came up with a number of interesting units, and then provided upgrades and interactions for them that made me want to explore your tech tree.


85/100

Theme: 21/25
There's nothing that screams Kel'thuzad about the buildings, or most of the aesthetics. They are all appropriate for an Undead race though. What really comes through are how the various abilities and spells work together to create the sense of a coming Undead surge that I associate with Kel'thuzad from the campaigns. The myriad of ways to spread blight, and the active role it takes in combat and expansion is compelling. You also nailed his Talents both in variety and overall design.

Gameplay: 22/25
Starting off was a bit confusing with being unable to harvest or mine until you build a Catacomb. You could get yourself into a bad position if you weren't paying attention to your starting gold. Catacombs also need a smaller footprint for the low amount of food they provide. The Necrolyte is an interesting unit, but ultimately I didn't want to take them into combat because when one dies all their associated summons die. I ended up making six of them, summoning a giant army in my base, and then overwhelming the AI. The Blight Spreader is a compelling unit, it's interaction with Necrolyte summons is fantastic and really gives a feeling of a hoard of undead rushing you. The Banisher/Bone Breaker/Sky Darkener transition allowed me to make army composition decisions after engaging an enemy, which as a mid-tier player is something I appreciate. I'm not a fan of units that rely on taking damage to perform, which leaves the Cold Wraith out in the cold.

Balance: 14/20
Dredges create an incredible weakness for this race. I can only have six from one Catacomb, meaning to have a standard optimal resource income I need at least two. Further thinking of worker harass it's unlikely I can't micro my Cultists away for long without losing my economy, and they are 100 gold. Instead of limiting the Blight Spreader to one I would increase the cost and/or adjust stats to allow for multiple on the field. Blight Spread is critical for this race to function properly, particularly on larger maps. Darkening Bolt has a bug I think, it dealt over 3800 damage to a Bat Rider according to the text. Summon Grave should have a skeleton limit in addition to a time limit. Its way too good for 75 mana, I got 7 summons out of one grave. Banishing Nova is also incredible, banshing AoE with 50% reduced movement for 75 mana for 12 seconds! The 50% damage reduction on Unholy Armor is again way too good, even for 175 mana. Across the board there are spells that are nearly or at hero level: Tenderize being a forced engagement spell, Unholy Orb providing un-counterable damage, Plague Cloud again with massive slowdown, and Predeator Instinct making the Carrion Bird incredibly hard to kill. On the other side Activate Fade is a great idea but the mana drain makes it an extremely short lived spell, and it's so late in the game everyone would likely have detection. Overall you need to tweak numbers, and bring some of the affects in line with more standard unit stats.

Creativity: 28/30
The Blight/summon relationship is quite well done. You created one of the most interesting variations on the Necrolyte I've seen. Even the more "boring" units like the Carrion Bird and Plague Wagon have unique and useful abilities. I don't think I've seen an Orb of Reanimation before, and it's a fantastic idea. While I'm not a huge fan of the economic system is also rather new. It was a frosty surprise to play Kel'thuzad.


50/100

Theme: 12/25
Buildings and workers give me the sense of an elven race rather than forces associated with Jaina. Units are better in that regard, but for example if you look at the Elven Catapult it's a bit generic.

Gameplay: 10/25
You have all the boxes ticked as far as unit roles. Should Spread turned out to be quite useful as you have three units with summon spells to rely on. Overall though I wouldn't say there was a tactical synergy here, nor a strategic system that screams Jaina.

Balance: 18/20
You don't have a lot of crazy outliers here so I felt evenly matched with the AI. Heavier Harness is actually a really good upgrade as it takes you from 200% damage from piercing to 75%. My main issues are with your heroes. Aspect Essence at level three on a level eight hero, assuming full mana, heals 2190 per unit in the AoE - insanity. Precision Shot is unclear on damage, and after casting on a Frost Wyrm it was perma-stunned. Dragon Form is incredible as it's a flying hero unit with Chaos damage and a AoE passive slow. It absolutely needs a timer. Mana Shield was good but it would not be terribly useful against Night Elf.

Creativity: 10/30
Outside the three heroes there isn't much going on with unit abilities. They are mostly reskinned vanilla spells. Upgrades are a little better due to how you made some of them common for certain units. Units themselves are fairly standard. The Dalaran Construct and Mana Crystal are probably the most out there. Mana Shield was a more unique take on building defense which I enjoyed. Ice Storm was a fun spell as well that really fits Jaina's personality.


80/100

Theme: 22/25
Aesthetically there's not much here to insinuate a connection to Uther. I think where your entry shines is the heavy integration of Uther into the tree. This is the most thorough out of the entries in the regard and really brings out the commander part of the design brief. Faith provides motivation to explore the race, and the Talents had me playing very aggressively to get to my next unlock. Visually the race needs work, but mechanically you're there.

Gameplay: 18/25
Why would I ever deactivate Shield of Faith on my Peasants? The Talent UI was a smart way to communicate to the player their options, past choices, and future options. Holy Bomb is a neat upgrade but the cast duration and healing amounts are off, I'm rarely going to be able to sit in the same place for 60 seconds. There's not a great deal of complexity in the standard combat units, which is appropriate because the Paladins are micro intensive. I do wish there was a more fleshed out tree though as there are only five combat units, but again it makes sense given the complexity and thoroughness in your heroes. The end result was enjoyable, although I do wish you could relearn talents. I'm not a fan of artificial limits on unit counts as well; I think the better solution would be to make Altars more expensive. I would need to play the race a few dozen times to master the quantity of talents and how they relate to each race matchup, so there is a learning curve there. That's not negative but worth mentioning.

Balance: 17/20
Shield of Faith is probably too good. Enemy players need to waste a significant percentage of their damage output just to start dealing damage. Although if I'm playing against Night Elf in particular I'm going to get Detonated into oblivion. Your standard units are all fairly on par with what I expect and held up well in combat. Some of the hero abilities are too good though, Hammer of Justice providing a 9 second stun is an eternity.

Creativity: 23/30
The Hero structure with "lesser" heroes is a great way to take advantage of the commander design. I was impressed by how integrated the system is in all aspects including Faith. I think this also presents a problem though as the standard units don't feel nearly as interesting. In SC2 this tends to be fine since my army is going to be enormous, but in War3 50-60 food armies are about where things top out in 1v1 so a little more micro is ok. I would have liked to see your take on a heavy siege unit. Again I think you missed out on visuals as well, there are a number of effects that would have made my base feel more holy.


72/100

Theme: 19/25
I'm not sure it's possible to communicate "Lord Garithos" though buildings, but you captured the explosive hatred in his heart across the spells and abilities. You've also got the recurring idea of execution or on death effects which were quite fitting. Overall I think you captured Garithos, but this needs work on the visuals to support that.

Gameplay: 21/25
I appreciated the unit hints, although your initial message makes me think you've been hanging out in the Tavern too much with the Brewmaster. I'm not sure of the purpose behind Swiftness other than microing in your base faster during an assault. The Garrison was one of the more useful units, allowing fats expansion without having to worry so much about worker harass. It really needs five slots though, and should accept lumber as well otherwise I'm not having to build two structures to take advantage of an expansion. Challenger, while a fun idea, seems to remove some player control which should be used sparingly. Side note: I got a lot of crashes on his map when attacking units and had to use some sorcery to get through.

Balance: 17/20
Scouts provide perma-invisibility and detection, and can eventually see over cliffs. For 75 gold this is way too effective at information gathering. There wasn't a great deal of issues I saw, I felt evenly matched with the AI's. Orb of Judgement is extremely good; it should probably be a lower percentage.

Creativity: 15/30
Your version of Demolition is actually something I have not seen before and in practice I love it. Tar pool is also an interesting take on liquid fire. Garithos has some interesting abilties. Vanguard is perfect for him, and it combos well with Marshal's Might. Unfortunately there isn't much more depth to the race. Most of the abilities are alterations on vanilla spells. There isn't much to say for upgrades either. The Garrison is interesting.


Theme: It's really difficult to imagine the Kel'Thuzad theme being any different to this. It captures it phenomenally well, and makes you really feel like you're playing in the role of the Archlich himself. Custom soundsets and theme music are a very nice touch – although it is a mild shame the music doesn't seem to loop. It does, however, come back when it decides to, and when it does, I am in flavour town. 25/25

Gameplay: For what little difficulty arises from handling the use of Blight just to keep your army from timing out, it's done in such a way that makes it compelling to manage. Granted, by the time you start merging units together, you effectively bypass that mechanic entirely, but on that same token the race offers more than just a single gimmick to its arsenal. This is not only performed well, but adds a much needed layer of diversity that a lot of factions often find themselves lacking. 25/25

Balance: The faction is mostly balanced, although there are some questionable elements, such as having two workers costing only 1 food between them. Furthermore, they don't seem to obey the “required Blight to be alive” rule which does make them thoroughly effective free scouts. Other than that, anything that could be overpowered has relatively compensating features. Kel'thuzad is naturally more powerful than most heroes would be, but given that the map for this entry doesn't even have a Tavern for said heroes to be available, that balances out rather well. In the event of a Tavern being present, I would like to see the use of such heroes limited. Overall, a solid job on balance, with some fine tuning ahead. 18/20

Creativity: What can I say? This entry oozes with creativity. It casually throws out compelling ideas like they're no big thing, and weaves them together to create an intricate whole. This gives off the distinct impression of being a labour of love for the contestant. With the Archlich returning for free but with a longer time requirement, the use of Raise Undead and Blight mechanics in new and compelling ways, leading into combining units to create more powerful units, and having unique one-off units that help aid the playability of the race, it's hard to imagine that I haven't even covered the tip of the iceberg. And the contestant was actually hard on themselves for not including all of the features they wanted? To say I'm impressed is an understatement. 30/30

Total: 98/100

Theme: This has some potential when it comes to interesting ideas. Named paladins as demi-heroes could have been a great path to go, especially with better execution. The Talents mechanic is… serviceable as a base idea, although it is difficult to quantify with the way it is implemented. The Faith mechanic could be a nice addition if it did either a little more or just something else. As it stands, the overall theme is rather lacking, with some gold nuggets here and there which could be expanded upon. 8/25

Gameplay: This is like playing the ingame Human faction with a severe handicap. Most of the units are considerably weaker, crippling you until you manage to get 100% Faith, and even then the oversaturation of mana shield on every unit makes your entire army Feedback bait. Granted, I do like the analogy that historically in Techtree Contests, Faith mechanics have not performed well against Feedback. Unfortunately, this doesn't aid the gameplay aspect. It's far too difficult to play for how simple some of the executions are. 0/25

Balance: A lot of the balance problems have been partially touched upon in Theme and Gameplay. Oversaturation of Mana Shield doesn't work well, since there's a few good counters that will bend your entire army over in a seedy back alley. The sequential walk of shame isn't much fun, either. Uther and other (rare) “casters” being overly reliant on Mana Shield further serves to cripple them as well. Unfortunately, you're effectively forced to spam Footmen for the early game since Riflemen don't do as much as their cost promises anymore. In some respects, I recommend taking advantage of Tavern heroes being available rather than using Uther, and making an entire army out of nothing but Mercenaries. 0/20

Creativity: There's some potential with some of the ideas here, but they're sorely lacking in being expanded upon. Unfortunately, Mana Shield has everything hinged on it being such a penultimate feature, when in reality it's not served to make the race more compelling to play or more intriguing. My recommendation would be to take a look at the potentials of how the Paladins were used, and maybe incorporate that a little bit further. There's potential to take that further, and maybe do something inspired by the way Tychus plays in co-op commanders. As it is, for all I will say against Mana Shield being used like this, there are some implementations that I would hope to expect from this, such as upgrades improving Mana capacity, Faith mechanics (which should be implemented differently, but are creative enough nonetheless), and… that might be about it. There's an abundance of ingame abilities being used here, too. Uther's ability roster is just Holy Light, Storm Bolt, Resurrection and an ability written entirely in Russian that lets you make buildings stronger for a bit. 4/30

Total: 12/100

Theme: An excellently conveyed Pandaren theme. In many instances, when I see a Pandaren race done (all two times), they are often done… well, blandly. There are some issues here in the higher tier where it falls into similar trappings, but everything else is… well, it's damn near perfect. Tier 1 is an absolute blast as you get to beat up creeps with alcoholic pandas as they attempt to instil teachings of self restraint. After all, material possessions are fleeting, but alcoholism is forever. Bamboo adds a nice layer to the entry, Chen's own personal playstyle is compelling, and the backing music is nice. Accompanying AI lets you see how the computer will play the faction, and it actually works with the lumber mechanic. The AI will turn any 2v2 into a 2v1, however, but it's still a nice touch that is worth mentioning, even if it technically doesn't help with the score. The top tier is unfortunately where there is a bit of blandness, and there could be more inspiration from Chinese mythology (they are an untapped source of fun and crazy shit), but overall this is a job well done. 20/25

Gameplay: Only a few complaints here. The bamboo mechanic, while interesting, does make healing a little difficult to make full use of. Unfortunately, it also seems that due to the nature of how it works, queuing up a Tiller to chop them all down for some quick lumber will see the order queue cancelled after reaching the second Bamboo shoot. There's not a lot of reason to get to tier 3, although this isn't necessarily a bad thing. Some factions are more early to mid-game orientated, and this is definitely one of those. Unfortunately, the Wild Dog is a bit superfluous in its role, although there is an attempt here to separate it out it just sort of feels like it's not really needed. With a lack of meaningful healing beyond a couple of tricky sources, and some of the later game roles being a little strange, these are definitely areas that can be improved upon. I'm also skeptical of Ale Elementals being flying, but am open to the requirement for more flying units. Personally, I would replace the Wild Dog with a Chinese Dragon Rider or something of that nature, have the Ale Elemental as a ground unit with a somewhat more defined role, and make the Pathfinder available at tier 2. A tier 3 hippogryph seems… perplexing. 20/25

Balance: Chen becomes overpowered – and this works fine, you can't get access to any other heroes and so you resort to collecting ingredients to buff Chen up as much as you can. The real balance issue comes from the units. Tappers are so cheap, and yet they have stats that make Riflemen blush. Their slightly slower attack speed somewhat mitigates this, but when you add in the tier 2 upgrades that cause their attacks to have a chance of making an enemy unit's attack miss 100% of the time for 5 seconds, you mostly just attack move to see how many enemies you can disorient. Occasionally, an enemy hero will come around, and killing them will give you a guaranteed ingredient drop. More power for Chen, which is always nice to have. Ultimately, I found you can win entire matches with nothing but Tappers. If you lose a Tapper, it's not even that big of an inconvenience – they cost only slightly more than a Night Elf Archer while being superior to the Dwarven Rifleman in every conceivable way. The Bamboo as a healing mechanic causes issues, as you cannot stack the effects (unfortunately), and the compensating upgrade requires tier 3 to get. Not to mention to make the most of it, you often need to return back to your base, or you can build all your food production across the map. I'm not quite sure why, but the Tillers also get an upgrade to increase the rate at which they can gather gold. This is also accessible at tier 2, which is where you really find the faction comes into its stride by spamming a tier 1.5 unit. It's… definitely an area that needs a lot of reworking, especially since both the tier 1 units only cost 2 Food while being worthy of 3 Food units. Personally, I recommend upping the Brawler's stats a bit as well as the cost to make it more fitting for a 3 food role, while increasing the costs of the Tapper and bumping that up to 3 Food as well. 5/20

Creativity: Fantastic entry on a creative level. Lots of great ideas, but tier 3 is still a lot of untapped potential. This is where it falls a little short, unfortunately, but everything else is premium. You've done a great job with this entry, and a lot of the ideas are a step in the right direction. Chen's ultimate, however, is the same as the Pandaren Brewmaster's. Bit of a shame, but it also serves as the perfect analogy for this entry in general – everything else is designed really well, it's just towards the later game that it is sort of lacking. 24/30

Total: 69/100

Theme: Angry Orcs becoming more powerful in direct confrontation is the name of the game, and I would expect nothing less from a Grom Hellscream entry. A lot of the gameplay is nice and simple for the user, having a lot of the potential complexities relegated to passives. Lovely stuff. The grand finale of touching upon Grom drinking Pit Lord fluids serves as the cherry on top – it's like every game you play as this guy perfectly captures those few missions you get to with play alongside Grom, play directly as Grom, or even play against Grom, melting it all down and mixing it all up seamlessly. Cannot praise you enough on this. 25/25

Gameplay: The tactical synergy achieved here is fantastic. You get to play as a hyper aggressive race that gets all of its population from unit production structures, all while direct confrontation makes you stronger. The siege weapons require the use of you Pathfinders to make proper use of, while the casters are relegated mostly to support roles – you wouldn't want them to do too much direct fighting on their own. This puts a great emphasis on the Barracks units, which is the bread and butter of Grom and perhaps Orcs in general. If your enemy manages to survive long enough for you to reach Tier 3, you get to bring the Reign of Chaos down upon them. Strangely enough, areas that could have caused some potential issues are actually mitigated by the race's overarching playstyle – Pathfinders being required for constructing structures can be a potential deficit, but they also serve as a potential assisting force to your military. I would like to see their role improved a little here, and perhaps expanded further, but the use of them with Siege Weapons is serviceable enough. Lack of flying could be a pain, but it sort of feels like flying would only serve to ruin the theme of the faction as it is. There's basically no garbage here, everything has a function, with some tweaking required here and there. 23/25

Balance: Could be a little testy here. Overall, there are some deficits to the entry that were addressed with compensating features. There's no flying, and only one anti-air unit, so that anti-air unit is mental against any air. However, it doesn't become /too/ overpowered because your primary military force is going to consist of melee skull crackers, since the ranged units aren't as spectacular against ground as these guys are. You'll need to find a good balance of units, with a heavy emphasis on the melee, and direct confrontations in prolonged battles will always favour you – being picked apart by cowardly ambush tactics will spell your doom. There's some areas that are relatively questionable in balance, that can be improved, but overall the race is really self-regulating and… phenomenally well designed. 18/20

Creativity: What I find most amazing about this is that while the gameplay is simple, the ideas are creative as hell in making it simple and accessible to the player. This is exactly what you'd want for an Orc race done with a hyper aggressive playstyle. Everything here is an absolute treat, and ties in very well with one another. Even the Siege Weapons which you might not use too much of due to the nature of the race are sort of a nice mobile implementation of Orc Burrow tactics, which also results in the destruction of these units spawning however many Pathfinders you crammed into them. Having followed some of the previous entries by this contestant, this feels like it could be the entry where they had the most fun, which is where a lot of great ideas were put together, some whacky and hilarious but all tying back to the original theme. Everything is a caricature of Orc aggressiveness done right. 30/30

Total: 96/100

Theme: For this entry, Arthas finds himself wielding Frostmourne around as he consumes the souls of the living to amplify his Undead thralls. Does he do this well? Reasonably so, yes. The implementation of this theme will have you purging the living just to make your armies more powerful, but beyond that it's sort of the only real following of the theme that is going on here. A lot of what's left is fairly stock standard Undead mechanics such as summoning buildings, haunting gold mines, unsummoning buildings and, of course, Blight. None of it is really expanded in those areas, but the implementation of collected souls is a considerable addition and impossible to ignore. 15/25

Gameplay: For this entry, you will be playing a watered down melee Undead race with less-than watered down additional variations for each unit. The tactical synergy achieved here is questionable at best – ultimately, you will be scrolling through the three alternate variations of each unit to discern which is the most broken to use. That being said, going around killing things to make your army stronger is in line with what I once read as being “Undead gameplay”, and it takes that to a hilariously impractical nth degree that drips in charm. 14/25

Balance: When you do succeed in finding the most broken combinations, you will decimate entire enemy armies. Corpse Wagons, Brood Fiends and a couple of Frost Fiends will spell doom to any enemy army. You'll be using these units to fight enemy armies with constantly respawning summons, while the Frost Fiends are just there to pick on weak stragglers trying to run away. The heroes themselves are… not overwhelmingly powerful, probably because they are the exact same as the ingame heroes. A lot of the existing units are also exactly the same as ingame units, and the only real broken aspect of the game comes from using souls to amplify your units. As such, this can be potentially pay-walled, but you also end up with way more souls than you can ever spend in one game so that is usually when the game kicks it into being imbalanced. Given the use of ingame units, there is some balance to be found here – although this will cost dearly when it comes to Creativity. 5/20

Creativity: We're looking at a real mixed bag here. You get Arthas, Kelthuzad and Anub'Arak with this entry – all using their ingame hero abilities. Most of the unit roster is just ingame Undead with a number of units missing. Variations for each unit, however, adds a whole layer of creativity that should not be permissible. If you want to play a whacky entry with little to no concern for “balance” that takes ingame units and makes them hilariously fun to play around with, this is the entry for you. I personally love that, but creatively speaking in a contest setting… even the variations mostly use ingame abilities, with some notable exceptions here and there. Custom researches is a nice touch, the lack of Attack and Armor upgrades is confusing. This is close to being split right down the middle. 14/30

Total: 48/100

Theme: Right off the bat, you'll have a whole host of “humanity first” mantra vibes about this faction. The higher you climb in the tiers, the more war crimes you can commit, and Garithos becomes more xenophobic and abrasive to the “sub-humans”. It is at this point, I realised this is the entry for me. Visuals a nice, the minimalistic design actually aids in just how poor off Garithos is with his “humans only” ideology where he had all of two units to pick from in the campaign (until he “rescued” some disgruntled Dwarves from the slums). Tossing Elven heads in what can only be described as the most impractical siege weapon of all time clinches it for me. 25/25

Gameplay: With the minimalistic design comes a necessity for careful design of each unit. This entry is very… interesting, with some choices being a little subpar in practicality but amazingly hilarious by compensation. Your primary fighting force will consist entirely of Javelin Throwers. They cost 3 food, but are dirt cheap at the start of the game, with some end game upgrades designed with the intent of making them on par with other late game units. Some of these upgrades go as far as to increase the cost of these units, so be careful when you get these ones. Ultimately, the tactical synergy isn't the most practical in some respects, as some aspects of the faction are more suited to a defensive playstyle, and yet you'll be playing on a more aggressive front to get in a good enough position for those late game Javelin Thrower upgrades. This entry can be a bit all over the place, but oozes charm in its playstyle, giving players a lot of fun options to play around with. I would recommend this to all my friends. 17/25

Balance: It can't be said that the contestant didn't know what they were getting into here balance wise. Many of the decisions implemented here make some options impractical to use, and the most practical options available lean towards being completely overpowered. Some of the compensating aspects are easily worked around, while some units are far too expensive for what little they can do. Of course, the Citybreaker is still worth the expense just to put those filthy elven vermin back in their place, and costing 260 lumber just means you'll have to deforest their homes more efficiently. I would like to see Mercenaries for this faction relegated to the roles of severely underpaid immigrants that need to be kept in line with nearby Enforcers, as well as the potential for capturing enemy units to give explosives and send off on their death march. Perhaps this would make the entry more “balanced”. For now, there were definite attempts that in some capacities were misguided, but in others create one of the more… interesting entries. 5/20

Creativity: There were other ideas that could have been implemented here, that much is for sure – but the ideas that were implemented were a lot of fun, and while coming from a newbie approach, were rather compelling to play. For what the race lacks in balance, it more than makes up for in sheer hilarity of what you can get away with – Iron Riders running line a line and taunting enemy units into a direct confrontation, while Javelin Throwers somehow improve their damage vastly with range. Far be it from me to question how throwing an Elf head causes it to explode into a pit of tar, but I do know that this entry has a suitable amount of war crimes, with room for a few more. A job well done. 28/30

Total: 75/100

Theme: An obscure society consisting (almost) entirely of druids sets the theme rather well for this particular entry – although the lack of lumber costs may seem a little bizarre, it also seems rather friendly with nature. You'll be collecting your lumber in what can be described as “a severe learning curve via bankruptcy”, as you require a research to make lumber gathering even function and by then you'll probably learn you put all of those structures in the wrong place. Nevertheless, this falls perfectly in line with what I'd want to see from a MyPad entry, although I would have liked to see a few more units here and there. It seems that even by minimalistic standards, this might actually have less unit options than is required for the contest. 18/25

Gameplay: This is yet another masterpiece of obscurity on behalf of MyPad, and for fans of such a style, you are in for a treat. The Druids Of The Harpy effectively replace Archers in the role of your early ranged fighters, which can later take to the skies so long as they have over 50% health. You have an early melee tank unit, a magic damage dealer, and later on in the game you have Bears that snorted several lines of cocaine. While there is a lack of conventional caster upgrades, both the Druid Acolyte and the Moon deaconess double in their capacity for casting spells. Effectively, this creates a dynamic where you feel every unit you have is capable of at least a little magic, while the unit roles are effectively filled up. This also falls in line with what you'd expect a secret druidic society to play like, as uncanny and bizarre as the gameplay elements are. On the downside, it does need some degree of accessibility to it. Strangely enough, though, a lot of the base unit roles actually appear to be covered, where you have your flying assault, your melee tank, magic damage, casters rolled into them and siege damage… terribly potent siege damage. More on that later. 17/25

Balance: This is where the entry takes a turn for the worst. A lot of the facets of this entry are obscenely powerful, most notably when you get access to Bear Form on your Villagers. A unit with that much health dishing out /that/ much DPS in the form of Siege Damage for the ripe cost of 75 Gold and 1 Food is nothing short of overpowered. Granted, this mostly kicks in towards the late game, and as such you'll be using Druids Of The Harpy to harass the enemy until you can get these out. Play your cards right, and you'll get an obscene amount of lumber income that you can never spend with how over reliant the faction's early game is purely on gold alone. There's a lot of work that needs to be done here. 2/20

Creativity: This entry oozes creativity. Factions like this make me a fan of the minimalist design when done right, and this does it rather well – it doesn't rely on a lack of units to get away with implementing less ideas, but instead it incorporates a lot of ideas to make those few unit options available to you work well. I would like to see more of it as the faction branches (get it?) out, but as it is there's a lot of fun ideas here to play around with. 27/30

Total: 64/100

Theme: This sort of captures the theme of the Blood Elves decently enough. In some aspects it is rather bland, but that is also in some respects what the Blood Elves (or High Elves in general) are inclined to be. It would be nice to see some new ideas incorporated here to tie it all together in a nicer fashion, but as it is the entry is serviceable enough. The UI graphics are a nice touch, although a little… overbearing in some respects. Most of the units being casters is an… interesting touch, which somewhat falls in line with the theme. 16/25

Gameplay: This is basically vanilla modding in a nutshell – the faction itself plays a lot like a relatively simplified melee faction, with some ingame abilities implemented in “balanced” ways. It's a style that's been around since the days of Reign Of Chaos, and with good reason. The faction here has a higher than average number of caster units available to them, which works well for Blood Elves, but the emphasis does not fall on them – it falls on the Archers, which also kind of works for Blood Elves. Striking a balance here, however, would make for a more effective stratagem – creating incentive to mix Archers with the ingame casters would be key, and as it is it falls short of that. A good start with plenty of room for improvement. 15/25

Balance: Just get Archers. They cost very little, despite requiring 3 food (I never did understand what that was supposed to be about), and once you hit tier 3 they are able to decimate multiple smaller units and larger single units at the same time. Holy Arrows dishes out Searing Arrows damage so long as your archers have mana, and Triple-Shot sees them dishing out damage against everybody else at the same time. If any of them dies, let them – they're dirt cheap to replace, and it's not worth investing in healing for them. The only real counterbalance to this is you need tier 3 to make the most of these. 3/20

Creativity: This entry makes use of some ingame units, such as Dragonhawk Riders and Spellbreakers. While it does some new things with them, it also keeps some vanilla things with them as well. The use of the swordsman and archer combination is an oldie but a goldie, as well as the use of the Ballista – the biggest let down here is it doesn't go too far with implementing new ideas for them. Magic Defense is a nice touch for the Swordsman, but doesn't go far enough – the abilities for the Archer, while brokenly powerful, are relatively simple. Even when it comes to the oversaturation of casters, a lot of the spells used are simply existing ingame abilities. My primary suggestions for creativity here would be to rather than make multiple units use mana with abilities to the point of having more casters than any ingame faction, would be to come up with ways in which the emphasis on using a smaller number of casters makes them more integral to the inherent gameplay of the faction as a cohesive whole. Overall, though, this is a relatively solid entry. 15/30

Total: 49/100

Theme: This is a rather bizarre one for me, as it seems to start with High Elves and moves on to implementing magic users. The mixture of sub-factions is a nice touch, and the way Jaina gets implemented is interesting. Mana Shield on buildings is… serviceable, but could be better implemented. For the most part, this is an entry that follows a more classic convention of Warcraft 3 modding, which is very nice but also doesn't date /completely/ with the Techtree Contests – effectively creating a great template to work from. Two units using the same icon is a bit of a no-no for me. Definite potential here, needs to be expanded upon. 13/25

Gameplay: A nice callback to a simpler time, this entry has a relatively simple and straightforward gameplay to it. Your workers are workers (with no additional features, unfortunately) and as such you'll be training units in much the traditional way as well. Unit roles are well covered, with some added in for a bit of variety. Still, what is somewhat disappointing here is that the most prevalent stratagem this race has to offer will revolve entirely around Archers rather than casters. It's a shame, as for a Jaina themed Kirin Tor faction, it would be nice to see it expand into more summoned units and magic wielders as the centre of attention. 12/25

Balance: Get Archers. Tier 2 is the optimal tier for you here, as you'll get Improved Bows, Agility Training and Arcane Arrows by then. Basically, you'll have a longer ranged attacker with Searing Arrows, that is dirt cheap and easily replaced for costing 3 food. They're also decently bulky with 410 health, befitting of its role as a 3 food unit, but with the cost and abilities… you'll win with just these. 1/20

Creativity: There's definitely some creativity here. Despite appearing to have Blizzard as a vanilla ability, it's actually implemented in a creative way that makes use of the whole “Frozen” mechanic Jaina can implement. This is definitely a solid entry, but there's a plenty of room for improvement. While I'm rather happy to see some units implementing upgrades rather than relying on unlocking abilities, quite a few of them are just ingame researches. There are a lot more ideas that could be explored here. 14/30

Total: 40/100

Theme: In between the custom soundsets and the background music, this entry wastes no time in setting the pace for what you can expect. While having a nice old seadog vibe to it without presenting itself as a band of ruthless pirates, it strikes a great balance here. Unfortunately, some aspects could have been refined a bit further for the theme, with a few more Kul Tiran aspects implemented and less so delving into… gnome fighters and riderless gryphons. Aside from those aspects, it does a rather serviceable job. Would have been nice to see more sea terrors, though. 20/25

Gameplay: Some units, unfortunately, appear to have overlapping roles. Admiral's Guard is basically a Kul Tiran Marine with Command Aura, both the Alliance Bombard and the Cannon seem to fall under the same roles as one another and the Mechagon Fighter is… very muddled. There is a lot of room for improvement here, such as relegating one of the siege unit roles to a flying (or enchanted) battleship for the potential of some tier 3 air-based siege damage. That being said, there is also some nice synergies that can be accomplished within the faction as it is. Tidesages support your army rather nicely, while Kul Tiran Marines are considerably hardy front line attackers potentially rivalling even Orc Grunts. Definite room for improvement. 16/25

Balance: There are some questionable choices here that seem to be relatively unintentional. The Mariner, for whatever reason, has 160 health. Still, it costs 140 gold and 25 lumber, so I don't recommend getting this unit. Quite a few of the unit abilities can leave a bit to be desired, such as what the Mechagon Fighter is sporting. The Kul Tiran Marine, on the other hand, only costs 2 food despite requiring 180 gold, having 600 health and dealing out 18-19 damage at a slightly slower attack rate than the ingame Footman. With research, it can get both Defend and the ability to Sunder Armor, making it very effective at taking down defensive tanks. Combining this with Tide Sage presents a powerful synergy, but perhaps a slightly imbalanced one. However, tactical synergy is still needed to win with this entry, and most of it is relatively balanced. 16/20

Creativity: For the parts that are creative, there's a lot here for a nice, solid entry. There's definitely room for more, as the contestant fully well knows in accordance with a lack of time allocated to this entry. Such is a shame, as what is presented here so far is very nice, and makes good use of Reforged assets to convey itself. Abilities implemented are all within theme, and make for a nice cohesive whole. Would have been nice to see quite a few of the more questionable areas tightened up, and a few more options for scaring the landlubbers. 23/30

Total: 75/100

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Assigned Staff: Mythic

Contest | Poll
 
Congratulations, everyone! <3

Thank you to the participants and judges.

Judging said:
It really needs five slots though, and should accept lumber as well otherwise I'm not having to build two structures to take advantage of an expansion.
The Garrison slots increase upon researching Tiers 2 and 3 of Enhanced Armaments. I didn't allow it to receive lumber because I thought it'd be overpowered, given how strong it is against non-siege when fortified.
Judging said:
I'm not sure of the purpose behind Swiftness other than microing in your base faster during an assault.
I missed the opportunity to make a tip about that one. It's for faster travel between your main base and expansions. Once upgraded, it also allows you to maximize gold harvesting with only four workers, instead of five.

 

Wazzz

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Thought I would be the last for sure.
Congratulations, @SgtWinter, @Riki, and @xYours Trulyx

Your entry was a lot of fun :)

Congratulations to the winners. A few honorable mentions I would also like to make would be towards @Footman16 and @Moonman, as throughout the contest they demonstrated a great level of community spirit in offering to help other contestants despite competing with them. It was very nice to see.

It was also very nice to see such a remarkable turnout for the contest.
 
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Thanks for reviewing! I'll be taking these into consideration for the future races I'm going to be making. I also wanna congratulate everyone else who participated! A lot of the entries were really fun to play and I hope ya'll had fun working on them too.

Also, took a while to post the results huh? I hope you're all staying safe during the pandemic.
 
Congratulations to the winners!

Apologies for not being very active this time, there really were great entries worth commenting.
And yes I did get a bit drunk playing @xYours Trulyx faction, as promised with a few asian beers. Absolutely worth it!
 
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Had fun with this contest however I'm not gonna lie, i really dont get the judging criteria at all. Especially when entries that are incomplete somehow mark higher than an entry that is. So whilst I enjoyed participating and appreciate the Judges for their time I think this has made me realise these contests aren't for me.

Thats just my opinion though. Congratulations to the winners!
 
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Thanks to all participants for a wonderful competition. It was great to get an opinion on my work. I want to commend @Footman16 for a short review, it is very valuable for me and @Kam , for a detailed detailed review, it will help for the future development of the commander for my project.
I consider the opinion and assessment of @Wazzz a deliberate mockery of other people's creativity, and Mr. @Wazzz himself is a complete asshole.
 
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I think it is already impossible to fix anything, and I do not want to spoil the results of other contestants. I only petition that you no longer be involved in judging in competitions. It seems to me that you are biased towards refereeing, the question is - why?
 

Wazzz

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Accusations of bias are a serious matter, and you can absolutely put them through the aforementioned appropriate channels. As for a petition to remove me from being involved in judging, that is certainly doable if you find me to be in violation of any of the judging parameters. Alternatively, some valuable criticism concerning where my judging may have been considered flawed would also be of use, as it may help improve judging results later, similar to how criticism from a judging perspective may also help contestants produce better content in future contests.
 

Wazzz

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I suppose that, from my perspective, no Techtree Contest entry is going to be inherently "completed". The concept of such contests is to see what contestants can produce within a given time frame, and the final result, regardless of how complete or incomplete some contestants may view their work, is what gets judged.

After the contest, the entry can be further expanded upon, balanced or reworked in whatever way is needed. Contestants can, of course, choose to take on board the judge's feedback and correct their entries where they can accordingly, or they might choose to disregard such feedback and seek to fulfill their own criteria for making the techtree more complete.

As for what entries are incomplete in contrast to others, I admittedly have no idea what is being talked about there.
 
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@MyPad, I am not my quote.
@Mythic, I'll try to explain.
1. The final assessments of the judges differed radically. No matter how creative the competition was, the judges of the other contestants agreed on an assessment of +/- 20, this is normal, and even up to 40. But 80 and 12, how is that?
2. Outrageous statements that are in no way an assessment:
- "This is like playing the ingame Human faction with a severe handicap",
- "In some respects, I recommend taking advantage of Tavern heroes being available rather than using Uther, and making an entire army out of nothing but Mercenaries"
3. Balance score - 0, does this extreme score mean that the army always wins or always loses? Everything may not be so bad, at least 1 point I still deserve.
4. Gameplay score - 0. Here is a more subjective indicator. However, according to the description of this parameter, I had at least uniform features of the army.
5. Creativity was not applied in the creation process, okay 4/30. Theme - thanks for 8.

No need to overestimate the contestants. I just want to point out the unprofessionalism of one and the judges.
 
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Wazzz

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What I find particularly interesting is that when there is a discrepancy regarding the scoring between two judges, you seem to automatically veer in on that one that scored you lower as being unprofessional.

Now, when it came to delivering the 0's, they were from my perspective warranted. Granted, if I were to provide a 1 in each of those parameters, that might bump you up to a 14, so I'm not sure if that really addresses the real issue.

As for statements that are in no way an assessment, I don't really know what to tell you. The unit lineup was the ingame Human faction effectively slashed in half, and the way in which mana shield was used ensured that you started off with your units at a lower performance rate to ingame factions. The only way to overcome this is by building up your Faith as quickly as possible, and that's not an easy investment to make.

Kam's judging of the entry in question was radically different to my own. I am baffled by the notion of him having played the entry and not only being able to make it function for him, but being able to make it function to the point of assessing that it might be too powerful in some instances. He might just be a better player than me, and I in no way would invalidate his assessment - it's a very different perspective to my own that, when calculated for the results, provides a more balanced middle ground for the final score.

I would like to ask, though, what aspects were actually unprofessional? Out of two judges, you observe there is a massive difference in scoring for your entry, yet from what I can see, you automatically accept the results that provide you with a high score. This could be a personal bias from your own perspective, but it should be said that this in no way says anything against what you would do for your own personal project - this is judged from the setting of a Techtree Contest.
 
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Do you want to drag @Kam into conflict? He behaved kindly and deserves to stay out of this conflict. He put his marks, you yours. But he did not say that instead of a non-standard race, it is better to play with a hero and troops from a tavern and a mercenary camp, this is outrageous. Disrespect, accusations, caustic humor. I don’t think that in this conversation we will come to any decision. An asshole is an asshole.
 

Wazzz

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I think you might have been the one to drag Kam in there? You mentioned the two judges, anyway, so it seemed fitting to talk about both the judges in particular.

I am having a very difficult time determining what you're taking issue with, but I would advise you refrain from the name calling. It's definitely not going to help reach a meaningful conclusion.
 
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Do you want to drag @Kam into conflict? He behaved kindly and deserves to stay out of this conflict. He put his marks, you yours. But he did not say that instead of a non-standard race, it is better to play with a hero and troops from a tavern and a mercenary camp, this is outrageous. Disrespect, accusations, caustic humor. I don’t think that in this conversation we will come to any decision. An asshole is an asshole.

Um, excuse me sir. This isn't my problem but I'd like to point out that Wazzz didn't mean any insult. It's the judge's own opinion and their own experience. Not everyone will have the same experience as everyone plays differently. Saying Wazzz did "Disrespect, accusations, caustic humor" is false as he's been nothing but cordial from the moment this contest started and even complimented your W.I.P previews. In my opinion, your entry was decent and I can tell you put in effort, but that doesn't mean you should insult someone for having a different perspective on things.

Apologies if I'm overstepping a bit. Just thought I should clear things up.
 

Wazzz

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Um, excuse me sir. This isn't my problem but I'd like to point out that Wazzz didn't mean any insult. It's the judge's own opinion and their own experience. Not everyone will have the same experience as everyone plays differently. Saying Wazzz did "Disrespect, accusations, caustic humor" is false as he's been nothing but cordial from the moment this contest started and even complimented your W.I.P previews. In my opinion, your entry was decent and I can tell you put in effort, but that doesn't mean you should insult someone for having a different perspective on things.

Apologies if I'm overstepping a bit. Just thought I should clear things up.

Not at all, I think you presented your perspective very well and I don't feel you overstepped at all :)
 
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@SgtWinter, Maybe @Wazzz is right and my commander is really squalor? I will gladly hear an opinion from the outside
I think Uther is fine as an entry. He's just a bit similar to the basic Human techtree I guess, which can turn some people off since they've probably played the same race a million times already and are expecting something new.
The Faith and Talent mechanics provided a lot of options for gameplay and offers replayability (Not to mention they're clean AF)
Shield of Faith is darn good too at keeping your units alive, although its basically Mana Shield.
Would be great too if Uther had more unique unit types since he's kinda lacking in that area. Most of his units are more or less the same as their Human counterparts, which is understandable as the main focus is right on Uther and his Paladins, who have a lot going on for them.
The units are initially weaker without Faith so I can see why taking Mercenaries would be an effective approach early on, but I wouldn't replace the heroes with Tavern Heroes considering Uther's Paladins are just way too good. I do think Wazzz giving you a 0 on gameplay is a bit too much however. You definitely worked hard on Uther and while there's certainly areas you can expand on with this commander, it definitely doesn't deserve such a low score.

Well, that's my own personal opinion at least.
 
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I, in turn, will say that I "exploded" precisely because of the scores of 0 points. I will continue to work on my "flawed" project.
But I will not take part in such competitions anymore.
Thank.
Mhm, yeah the low scores are a bit too much considering how much thought was put in Uther so I don't blame you, I'd be pissed too if all my effort was treated like that. But every work is flawed, so don't beat yourself up over it. I hope you continue mapping despite all this!

Edit: ahh i dont mean to say treated as in a purposefully bad way, more as just misunderstood!
 

Wazzz

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I think Uther is fine as an entry. He's just a bit similar to the basic Human techtree I guess, which can turn some people off since they've probably played the same race a million times already and are expecting something new.
The Faith and Talent mechanics provided a lot of options for gameplay and offers replayability (Not to mention they're clean AF)
Shield of Faith is darn good too at keeping your units alive, although its basically Mana Shield.
Would be great too if Uther had more unique unit types since he's kinda lacking in that area. Most of his units are more or less the same as their Human counterparts, which is understandable as the main focus is right on Uther and his Paladins, who have a lot going on for them.
The units are initially weaker without Faith so I can see why taking Mercenaries would be an effective approach early on, but I wouldn't replace the heroes with Tavern Heroes considering Uther's Paladins are just way too good. I do think Wazzz giving you a 0 on gameplay is a bit too much however. You definitely worked hard on Uther and while there's certainly areas you can expand on with this commander, it definitely doesn't deserve such a low score.

Well, that's my own personal opinion at least.

Now this is something I can work with.
The Talent mechanic I had a bit of trouble getting to work for me at first, but after a while I was able to find out how to use it, I definitely agree that they're phenomenally clean. Granted, I found some of the options were... a little difficult to quantify from a melee gameplay standpoint.

The biggest issues I had with Mana Shield on everything is there's a few things that will be hard counters to the entire faction as such, and due to the nature of the implementation, every unit produced starts with a mana value based upon how much Faith you have, which in the early stages of the game is not a lot. When a unit's health is tanked to accommodate this sort of mechanic, it leaves it phenomenally vulnerable until you get enough Faith - but I might be the only one with that experience, and I am not sure how people managed to overcome this. It should also be noted that this mechanic extends to Uther and the Paladins themselves, so in the early game of getting Uther, he starts off with near 0 mana, which is a huge detriment.

Now, when it comes to a 0 for gameplay, this is where I'm considering there might be some flexibility. The primary reason I gave it zero in the first place was because of how the parameter was described:

How well the various elements of the Faction work together to achieve the tactical synergy & gameplay style the Faction has, as well as how efficiently each element performs its particular function. Strategic systems that endow an identity to the Faction, comprehensive & well-though-out roles which complement a cohesive Faction will be graded well; ill-considered, insufficient or over-compensating roles will lose points.

Looking at the faction itself, the unit roster being the ingame Human faction with half its roster cut out, it definitely tanks the score for the well-thought-out unit roles, and the way in which mana shield was incorporated with the Faith mechanic also caused it a setback, but perhaps there are other areas worth inspecting in this area? It's definitely something I'd like to refine.



In response to the consideration of abandoning Techtree Contests in accordance with provided results, it has been said before that the results can be adjusted provided there are reasonable enough grounds to do so. My primary interest is in following the presented formula provided for the contest itself to the best of my abilities, but it should also be stated that there is a definite learning curve with judging such entries - in situations where the provided feedback is purely inflammatory and any attempts to improve the quality of scoring are rejected, it ultimately leaves no room for resolution. In the event that a contestant feels actively discouraged from participating in future because of said scores, it ultimately falls onto them when every opportunity for reevaluation was presented.
 
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I doubt the change of score influences the final victors, but I think it won't hurt to see some adjustment. We also need a more clear ground on some definitions for judging as well it seems. However, it seems to be something common in tech-tree contests to have these kinds of problems, at least these two last contests seem to always have this problem for some reason.
 

Wazzz

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I doubt the change of score influences the final victors, but I think it won't hurt to see some adjustment. We also need a more clear ground on some definitions for judging as well it seems. However, it seems to be something common in tech-tree contests to have these kinds of problems, at least these two last contests seem to always have this problem for some reason.

Yeah, definitely. There's always going to be contestants that are unhappy with at least some of the results, but the judge's guide is very clear on such matters:

When a review gets publicly posted it will most likely stay final. In case users blame you for being biased, unqualified, too harsh, or what ever, please act calmly. Try to understand the user, check the issue. If the matter is minor, the score will not change, since we're all human beings. If a big mistake was made, such as one affecting the final ranking, you may consider a change. Such a situation will always require feedback from the appointed moderator, before ranks are changed after public result.

So, while it is most likely to stay final, if a case could be raised of there being a big mistake, there could definitely be grounds for reevaluation. Unfortunately, so far the only real points raised so far are:
  • Some of the scores given went as low as 0 in specific fields
  • There is a huge difference in the score that I provided in contrast to the one Kam provided for the entry in question
Now, when it comes to the difference in scores, that in itself is not grounds for an accusation of bias - the same could be said that Kam had a bias in favor of the entry, but in reality the accusation comes across as being little more than a knee jerk reaction against a negative review while the positive review is seen as faultless. As for the rationale behind the scores I gave, I am more than happy to divulge in that to explain where I came from, and consequently determine if an issue existed as such.

Ultimately, the working perspective I had to come from was that the entry itself had some interesting ideas that had some interesting UI mechanics, while the implementation is what caused it to suffer so poorly in the scoring. The over reliance on Mana Shield as a core mechanic has been mentioned, but it should also be noted that due to the nature of the Faith mechanic that could have been an interesting implementation, it reduces the amount of Mana each unit starts with unless you get your Faith up. This doesn't just happen for the units - this happens for Uther himself, where he actually starts the game with 0 Mana, as opposed to all the other heroes in the game that get to start the game with maximum mana.

Comments I made concerning the race being the ingame Human faction with a severe handicap were no exaggeration - you are looking at an identical unit roster with tanked stats and 6 units removed. As for Uther's Paladins themselves, which are to be the center of attention for the faction, they also suffer from the Mana Shield + Faith mechanics where to use any of their spells they have to sacrifice their Health substitute, but on top of that, each named Paladin is effectively a Footman clone with maybe one stat changed to distinguish between them. They do have their own spells, and the Talent options provide the capacity for getting more abilities in their arsenal, but this becomes a bit of an issue to use any of the castable abilities as you are relying on Mana Shield to give you any chance of survival, while the stats leave them hitting very ineffectively. On top of this, there is actually quite a rampant use of ingame abilities - one of the named Paladins has "Dispel Magic", another has the slightly renamed "Wave of healing". Each Paladin has an aura, too, one of them outright being Devotion Aura.

Unfortunately for Gameplay and Balance, this had to be judged based on the overall cohesion of the entry itself in the roles each element played in addition to how well it performed against existing factions. Since an ingame faction was taken and effectively nerfed from a Balance perspective, this put all the semblance of hope on the Paladins themselves, which were, from what I could gather, incapable of performing adequately as a unit, let alone for how much they cost. From a Gameplay perspective, a lot of the elements of the existing ingame faction were similarly removed. The Talent UI was very nicely done, but I can't exactly judge a techtree based on that.
 

Shar Dundred

Hosted Project: LoA
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I would very much suggest to stop the public witch hunt and provide feedback through the proper channels instead.
We have had enough contests that are going into the state of becoming a public drama after the results are out.

My congratulations to the winners. I feel sorry that this kind of drama kind of tainted this thread.
 
Disrespect, accusations, caustic humor. I don’t think that in this conversation we will come to any decision. An asshole is an asshole.
Criticism should not be taken personally. Please refrain from personal attacks and focus on the subject.
This thread *is* one of the proper channels, though.
Indeed, I'd prefer the discussion be held here.
 

Wazzz

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Admittedly I would be happy for the discussion to happen at all, instead of the contestant in question resorting to name calling without raising an actual case.
For the users who have actually expressed their viewpoints and thereby contributed to such a discussion, though, I definitely appreciate it. It does help to know where people are coming from while also being able to express where I have been coming from :)
 
Yeah, definitely. There's always going to be contestants that are unhappy with at least some of the results, but the judge's guide is very clear on such matters:



So, while it is most likely to stay final, if a case could be raised of there being a big mistake, there could definitely be grounds for reevaluation. Unfortunately, so far the only real points raised so far are:
  • Some of the scores given went as low as 0 in specific fields
  • There is a huge difference in the score that I provided in contrast to the one Kam provided for the entry in question
Now, when it comes to the difference in scores, that in itself is not grounds for an accusation of bias - the same could be said that Kam had a bias in favor of the entry, but in reality the accusation comes across as being little more than a knee jerk reaction against a negative review while the positive review is seen as faultless. As for the rationale behind the scores I gave, I am more than happy to divulge in that to explain where I came from, and consequently determine if an issue existed as such.

Ultimately, the working perspective I had to come from was that the entry itself had some interesting ideas that had some interesting UI mechanics, while the implementation is what caused it to suffer so poorly in the scoring. The over reliance on Mana Shield as a core mechanic has been mentioned, but it should also be noted that due to the nature of the Faith mechanic that could have been an interesting implementation, it reduces the amount of Mana each unit starts with unless you get your Faith up. This doesn't just happen for the units - this happens for Uther himself, where he actually starts the game with 0 Mana, as opposed to all the other heroes in the game that get to start the game with maximum mana.

Comments I made concerning the race being the ingame Human faction with a severe handicap were no exaggeration - you are looking at an identical unit roster with tanked stats and 6 units removed. As for Uther's Paladins themselves, which are to be the center of attention for the faction, they also suffer from the Mana Shield + Faith mechanics where to use any of their spells they have to sacrifice their Health substitute, but on top of that, each named Paladin is effectively a Footman clone with maybe one stat changed to distinguish between them. They do have their own spells, and the Talent options provide the capacity for getting more abilities in their arsenal, but this becomes a bit of an issue to use any of the castable abilities as you are relying on Mana Shield to give you any chance of survival, while the stats leave them hitting very ineffectively. On top of this, there is actually quite a rampant use of ingame abilities - one of the named Paladins has "Dispel Magic", another has the slightly renamed "Wave of healing". Each Paladin has an aura, too, one of them outright being Devotion Aura.

Unfortunately for Gameplay and Balance, this had to be judged based on the overall cohesion of the entry itself in the roles each element played in addition to how well it performed against existing factions. Since an ingame faction was taken and effectively nerfed from a Balance perspective, this put all the semblance of hope on the Paladins themselves, which were, from what I could gather, incapable of performing adequately as a unit, let alone for how much they cost. From a Gameplay perspective, a lot of the elements of the existing ingame faction were similarly removed. The Talent UI was very nicely done, but I can't exactly judge a techtree based on that.

I am not surprised with score differences though. Given there is more than one judge, there will be a potential for a span of spectrum difference. We have multiple contests with similar results, given Judges can have varying degrees of evaluation over each matter.

Anyway, as for the particular entry in question, I cannot say much since it's based on HD Reforged, something I cannot touch on. This also applies to some entries from Reforged that I skimmed. If memory serves well, I have tested all non-reforged entries. If it's SD, I can give my fair share of view and if the judging is definitely 'justified'.
 

Wazzz

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I am not surprised with score differences though. Given there is more than one judge, there will be a potential for a span of spectrum difference. We have multiple contests with similar results, given Judges can have varying degrees of evaluation over each matter.

Anyway, as for the particular entry in question, I cannot say much since it's based on HD Reforged, something I cannot touch on. This also applies to some entries from Reforged that I skimmed. If memory serves well, I have tested all non-reforged entries. If it's SD, I can give my fair share of view and if the judging is definitely 'justified'.

Definitely, yeah. It's where I really like not only having two judges, but having the judging having such a strong difference in scoring for at least one entry. The end conclusion is that the score ends up becoming a middle ground between the two, and that's still not a bad score for what the entry was.

The restriction of HD is a shame, too. I suppose it can /technically/ be played in SD, but there'll be missing resources and the like, which is a shame.
 
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I will no longer discuss my work, I realized that its price is 0.

1. Obviously, in order to improve the quality of judging, there should be an order of magnitude more judges, then there will be more reviews. A deliberate overstatement and understatement of estimates will be correlated.

2. Another requirement for competitive entries emerged from your dialogue. Game requirement - SD or HD graphics only. Obviously, HD graphics are not overgrown with as many models in the public domain as SD graphics. The creation of HD models itself is very time consuming, which reduces time and other aspects of development. Even the effects need to be carefully selected for HD graphics.
This is not a modeling contest, but it directly affects the aesthetics of the non-standard race, which means the assessment of Theme and Creativity.

3. Balance score is a very clear indicator.
0/20 points - the player controlling the race always wins or loses; 20/20 - 50% win rate.
In this case, all 4 standard races must be taken into account.
How it happened that the race balance was equal to 0 raises a huge question, beyond the familiar arguments of Wazzz there is no justification for the points.

4. Gameplay. The main criticism of the Wazzz is the Alliance race with the severed eggs. At the same time, the conditions of the competition spoke of the presence of 1 hero, 6 units and 6 buildings, they are fulfilled, what is the reproach? Here the goal is to find out how the units interact with each other, it turns out that there was no interaction. For example, a priest and a tank of the alliance (treatment is not able to interact with vehicles) is 0 points. I understand it turned out to be just such a case.

5. Mr. Bangsgaard was downgraded to vote for himself, but there was no such rule in the competition rules. If there is a rule, you should specify it.

6. Creativity. Quite a subjective indicator, however, it is clear that copy-past is not encouraged. It is clear that Mr. Wazzz did not like it at all, so 4/30, the idea is there, the implementation is shit.
Perhaps you need clearer parameters for assessing creativity, or a justification for the assessment.
For example, we take 15/30, the golden mean, we begin to add and subtract points to it.
- Copy-past of the swordsman without changing the parameters (-1 point)
- Non-standard unit model (+2 points), etc.
Based on the Wazz score, the non-standard race is 85% standard with no changes.

7. Theme. I think Wazz handled the score based on the logic of a castrated race with a few tweaks. Even somehow a lot, as much as 8 points out of 25 possible. The score from point 6 of my reasoning could also clarify the score in the category.

8. The final score looks like a couple of ideas with a shit sauce, i.e. complete complete mediocrity. At the very least, it is humiliating.

I thought it was a fun competition in a friendly community with no place for negativity. It turned out to be an admission to a large IT company for the position of a senior game designer.
 
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Definitely, yeah. It's where I really like not only having two judges, but having the judging having such a strong difference in scoring for at least one entry. The end conclusion is that the score ends up becoming a middle ground between the two, and that's still not a bad score for what the entry was.

It leaves a lot of questions though when the score is from one spectrum end to another spectrum end, however, which will scream "we need explanation" problem. Had it been a 60:40 or 80:50 I think it is within logical bound. But this particular one is interesting and does attract a lot of questions. In reverse, we can question @Kam assessment as well. How come it gets such a high score in his view?

I apologize but I'm going to question this as I feel this particular scoring is a pretty weird one here. It just screams that something is weird here. As I said, I find how both yours and Kam being an end to end spectrum score is interesting.

I'll try analyzing both judging and see if I can find some interesting stuff there. This might be a ripple though.

5. Mr. Bangsgaard was downgraded to vote for himself, but there was no such rule in the competition rules. If there is a rule, you should specify it.

@AMarkov For self-voting matter, I recall it has been mentioned in the Poll thread on the first post.
 

Wazzz

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Messages
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I will no longer discuss my work, I realized that its price is 0.

1. Obviously, in order to improve the quality of judging, there should be an order of magnitude more judges, then there will be more reviews. A deliberate overstatement and understatement of estimates will be correlated.

2. Another requirement for competitive entries emerged from your dialogue. Game requirement - SD or HD graphics only. Obviously, HD graphics are not overgrown with as many models in the public domain as SD graphics. The creation of HD models itself is very time consuming, which reduces time and other aspects of development. Even the effects need to be carefully selected for HD graphics.
This is not a modeling contest, but it directly affects the aesthetics of the non-standard race, which means the assessment of Theme and Creativity.

3. Balance score is a very clear indicator.
0/20 points - the player controlling the race always wins or loses; 20/20 - 50% win rate.
In this case, all 4 standard races must be taken into account.
How it happened that the race balance was equal to 0 raises a huge question, beyond the familiar arguments of Wazzz there is no justification for the points.

4. Gameplay. The main criticism of the Wazzz is the Alliance race with the severed eggs. At the same time, the conditions of the competition spoke of the presence of 1 hero, 6 units and 6 buildings, they are fulfilled, what is the reproach? Here the goal is to find out how the units interact with each other, it turns out that there was no interaction. For example, a priest and a tank of the alliance (treatment is not able to interact with vehicles) is 0 points. I understand it turned out to be just such a case.

5. Mr. Bangsgaard was downgraded to vote for himself, but there was no such rule in the competition rules. If there is a rule, you should specify it.

6. Creativity. Quite a subjective indicator, however, it is clear that copy-past is not encouraged. It is clear that Mr. Wazzz did not like it at all, so 4/30, the idea is there, the implementation is shit.
Perhaps you need clearer parameters for assessing creativity, or a justification for the assessment.
For example, we take 15/30, the golden mean, we begin to add and subtract points to it.
- Copy-past of the swordsman without changing the parameters (-1 point)
- Non-standard unit model (+2 points), etc.
Based on the Wazz score, the non-standard race is 85% standard with no changes.

7. Theme. I think Wazz handled the score based on the logic of a castrated race with a few tweaks. Even somehow a lot, as much as 8 points out of 25 possible. The score from point 6 of my reasoning could also clarify the score in the category.

8. The final score looks like a couple of ideas with a shit sauce, i.e. complete complete mediocrity. At the very least, it is humiliating.

I'll address these in order of appearance.

1. For a long time it's been hard enough to get one judge in these particular kinds of contests, let alone two. Unless you want to throw your own hat into the ring and try your hand at judging one of these, it's very unlikely that such a change is going to occur overnight, as there is often a lot of people who would like for there to be more judges but aren't willing to do it themselves.

2. At no point did I critique the models used.

3. I suppose by that merit, nothing I say can, according to your perspective, justify the score given, as at any instance I attempt to open discussion concerning this, anything I say to explain where I was coming from is dismissed, yet no meaningful reasoning is given for it to be higher than 0. It's all well and good to say it's a harsh score, but I'm going to need a little more to go on than that alone to explain why a different score should be given.

4. Correct, the conditions are to have the presence of at least 1 hero, 6 units and 6 buildings. At no point did I criticize the entry for the lack of units in it. The critique was that it used existing ingame units, in many instances without any changes to their statistics beyond the addition of mana and a drastic reduction in health, and that in using such units that were a part of a larger, more coherent faction, it inherently left gaps in the unit roles. This is an area that could definitely be refined, though, and through appropriate feedback I can ideally develop means for providing more suitable scores.

5. This rule was explicitly stated in the poll thread itself, and it has always been an existing rule. Generally speaking, in such circumstances, it might also be advised to ask whether or not a user can vote for themselves.

6. I have no idea what was said here.

7. Actually, the Theme I explored the idea itself as it was presented, which is a very interesting one - Uther and his Paladins has a lot of potential as an idea. I found the execution to be unfortunately lacking, but to certain extents the idea is a very good starting point. I think further elaboration is required, sure, but you've definitely got some nice ideas. My primary critique would be to take them further, you definitely seem capable with executing some intricate systems. I also think that the Shield Of Faith was a bit overdone, unfortunately, racial abilities like that can be a bit hit-and-miss, primarily when every unit shares the same ability. Definitely something to take care with.

8. I hope it's not too humiliating of an experience. There's been quite a few techtrees in past where some entries were certainly not up to scratch, including my own. Inevitably, I have to look at the idea of the techtree itself as it is presented. It also pays to keep in mind that my scoring is based on the Techtree Contest setting - I wouldn't want you to think this is inherently a poor reflection of your own personal project as a whole.

Also, be careful of the double post. The competition itself is a for fun contest with ideally no place for negativity, but so far this complaint seems to be coming from the person who did make their first appearance in this thread resorting to aggressive name calling.

@Daffa it's definitely an anomaly to me as well. Personally, I don't know where Kam's scores came from, but inevitably it seems our judging results provide an ideal counterbalance to each other. The overall score ended up being... 46 I think, when split down the middle?
Mind you, I'm not entirely sure I see the conspiracy myself behind the difference in scoring.
 
80/100

Theme: 22/25
Aesthetically there's not much here to insinuate a connection to Uther. I think where your entry shines is the heavy integration of Uther into the tree. This is the most thorough out of the entries in the regard and really brings out the commander part of the design brief. Faith provides motivation to explore the race, and the Talents had me playing very aggressively to get to my next unlock. Visually the race needs work, but mechanically you're there.

Gameplay: 18/25
Why would I ever deactivate Shield of Faith on my Peasants? The Talent UI was a smart way to communicate to the player their options, past choices, and future options. Holy Bomb is a neat upgrade but the cast duration and healing amounts are off, I'm rarely going to be able to sit in the same place for 60 seconds. There's not a great deal of complexity in the standard combat units, which is appropriate because the Paladins are micro intensive. I do wish there was a more fleshed out tree though as there are only five combat units, but again it makes sense given the complexity and thoroughness in your heroes. The end result was enjoyable, although I do wish you could relearn talents. I'm not a fan of artificial limits on unit counts as well; I think the better solution would be to make Altars more expensive. I would need to play the race a few dozen times to master the quantity of talents and how they relate to each race matchup, so there is a learning curve there. That's not negative but worth mentioning.

Balance: 17/20
Shield of Faith is probably too good. Enemy players need to waste a significant percentage of their damage output just to start dealing damage. Although if I'm playing against Night Elf in particular I'm going to get Detonated into oblivion. Your standard units are all fairly on par with what I expect and held up well in combat. Some of the hero abilities are too good though, Hammer of Justice providing a 9 second stun is an eternity.

Creativity: 23/30
The Hero structure with "lesser" heroes is a great way to take advantage of the commander design. I was impressed by how integrated the system is in all aspects including Faith. I think this also presents a problem though as the standard units don't feel nearly as interesting. In SC2 this tends to be fine since my army is going to be enormous, but in War3 50-60 food armies are about where things top out in 1v1 so a little more micro is ok. I would have liked to see your take on a heavy siege unit. Again I think you missed out on visuals as well, there are a number of effects that would have made my base feel more holy.

Theme: This has some potential when it comes to interesting ideas. Named paladins as demi-heroes could have been a great path to go, especially with better execution. The Talents mechanic is… serviceable as a base idea, although it is difficult to quantify with the way it is implemented. The Faith mechanic could be a nice addition if it did either a little more or just something else. As it stands, the overall theme is rather lacking, with some gold nuggets here and there which could be expanded upon. 8/25

Gameplay: This is like playing the ingame Human faction with a severe handicap. Most of the units are considerably weaker, crippling you until you manage to get 100% Faith, and even then the oversaturation of mana shield on every unit makes your entire army Feedback bait. Granted, I do like the analogy that historically in Techtree Contests, Faith mechanics have not performed well against Feedback. Unfortunately, this doesn't aid the gameplay aspect. It's far too difficult to play for how simple some of the executions are. 0/25

Balance: A lot of the balance problems have been partially touched upon in Theme and Gameplay. Oversaturation of Mana Shield doesn't work well, since there's a few good counters that will bend your entire army over in a seedy back alley. The sequential walk of shame isn't much fun, either. Uther and other (rare) “casters” being overly reliant on Mana Shield further serves to cripple them as well. Unfortunately, you're effectively forced to spam Footmen for the early game since Riflemen don't do as much as their cost promises anymore. In some respects, I recommend taking advantage of Tavern heroes being available rather than using Uther, and making an entire army out of nothing but Mercenaries. 0/20

Creativity: There's some potential with some of the ideas here, but they're sorely lacking in being expanded upon. Unfortunately, Mana Shield has everything hinged on it being such a penultimate feature, when in reality it's not served to make the race more compelling to play or more intriguing. My recommendation would be to take a look at the potentials of how the Paladins were used, and maybe incorporate that a little bit further. There's potential to take that further, and maybe do something inspired by the way Tychus plays in co-op commanders. As it is, for all I will say against Mana Shield being used like this, there are some implementations that I would hope to expect from this, such as upgrades improving Mana capacity, Faith mechanics (which should be implemented differently, but are creative enough nonetheless), and… that might be about it. There's an abundance of ingame abilities being used here, too. Uther's ability roster is just Holy Light, Storm Bolt, Resurrection and an ability written entirely in Russian that lets you make buildings stronger for a bit. 4/30

Total: 12/100

Theme How well the various elements of the Faction (including aesthetics, gameplay & design) fit together in a thematic manner such that they feel like they are representative of the given Faction, as well as that of the chosen Contest Theme. Well-fitting & polished aesthetics which complement a cohesive theme will be graded well; poorly-considered or lacking thematic elements will result in a poor score. /25
Gameplay How well the various elements of the Faction work together to achieve the tactical synergy & gameplay style the Faction has, as well as how efficiently each element performs its particular function. Strategic systems that endow an identity to the Faction, comprehensive & well-though-out roles which complement a cohesive Faction will be graded well; ill-considered, insufficient or over-compensating roles will lose points. /25
Balance Indicates how comparable the Faction is in terms of 'playability'; i.e. the ideal Faction should win/lose 50% of the time against default races. Overpowered or Underpowered units/heroes/abilities/etc. will result in a poor score; properly balanced elements will result in a good score. /20
Creativity How original the design of the Faction is in terms of innovative ideas, clever implementations, or creative concepts. Innovation and creativity will be rewarded; extensive re-use of existing elements in vanilla factions & poor originality will result in a poor score. /30

Not wanting to put this on you guys' throats to be honest @Wazzz @Kam but since we are talking about future of judging, I might be inclined to question both sides.

The theme judging gives me an interesting question. How do we define 'well-fitting & polished aesthetic'? This is something that I am inclined to ask because both judging differs greatly on the exact same work. One side considers the whole theme integration is well done, while the other said it is far from sufficient. I'm not sure how the Talent system is implemented in this particular entry, so I'm out of clue, since you both mention it but have extremely differing opinion on it.

Next is the gameplay. The mana shield problem, I wonder if Kam does not notice it being a potential breaker or if Wazzz over-addressed this problem that lead to a great diminish of score into Gameplay aspect than it should. Let's see...
Human: Spell Breaker + Arcane Tower
Orc: N/A (I don't recall any unit with anti-mana ability)
Undead: N/A (I don't recall any unit with anti-mana ability)
Night Elf: Wisp (Detonate) + Demon Hunter
So far, I'd say it is concerning. However, I don't think that merits more than 10 point loss and only problematic in a Paladin vs Human/NE battle. Spell breaker is also weak to melee attacks due to their Medium armor. Wisp needs heavy microing to even be an effective mana breaker. It does not merit a full score of cleansing. Speaking of Taverns, we might need to discuss this particular thing in future tech-tree contests.

The balance part is weird to me. Kam seems to address things being overpowered (9-second stun) while Wazzz seems more on being underpowered (Footmen vs Riflemen). @Wazzz @AMarkov can I get footmen and riflemen statistic in this entry? Mana Shield shouldn't cost both Gameplay and Balance this much point. I mean the whole breaker should be a balance thing, and in gameplay more into how it goes with the whole synergy of the faction.

Last is Creativity. I'd say Faith is an overused term (we have that in TC#14 too, and I'd say it's cursed to use in TC entries I tell ya). Mana Shield being a breaker while being a core feature should cost a lot, but the demi-hero concept Kam should be appreciated as well, given it is a creative approach.

I'd say Kam 80 is questionable given how the addressing of the mana problem, but Wazzz 12 is unwarranted as well, given there indeed some creative aspects that seems to be overlooked in the entry.

In short, I argue this particular entry can use another evaluation. For future contests, we need to have a way to properly ensure Gameplay and Balance are not hitting each other, making it a dangerous potential double-point reduction.

EDIT:

It indeed is middle ground when summed then divided, but middle ground from two end to end number gives too much questions to people's head :p

EDIT:

That faith thing should be a meme. I think every entry with Faith suddenly suffers during judging for some untold reason :p
 
Last edited:

Wazzz

Map Reviewer
Level 33
Joined
Feb 5, 2009
Messages
4,460
80/100

Theme: 22/25
Aesthetically there's not much here to insinuate a connection to Uther. I think where your entry shines is the heavy integration of Uther into the tree. This is the most thorough out of the entries in the regard and really brings out the commander part of the design brief. Faith provides motivation to explore the race, and the Talents had me playing very aggressively to get to my next unlock. Visually the race needs work, but mechanically you're there.

Gameplay: 18/25
Why would I ever deactivate Shield of Faith on my Peasants? The Talent UI was a smart way to communicate to the player their options, past choices, and future options. Holy Bomb is a neat upgrade but the cast duration and healing amounts are off, I'm rarely going to be able to sit in the same place for 60 seconds. There's not a great deal of complexity in the standard combat units, which is appropriate because the Paladins are micro intensive. I do wish there was a more fleshed out tree though as there are only five combat units, but again it makes sense given the complexity and thoroughness in your heroes. The end result was enjoyable, although I do wish you could relearn talents. I'm not a fan of artificial limits on unit counts as well; I think the better solution would be to make Altars more expensive. I would need to play the race a few dozen times to master the quantity of talents and how they relate to each race matchup, so there is a learning curve there. That's not negative but worth mentioning.

Balance: 17/20
Shield of Faith is probably too good. Enemy players need to waste a significant percentage of their damage output just to start dealing damage. Although if I'm playing against Night Elf in particular I'm going to get Detonated into oblivion. Your standard units are all fairly on par with what I expect and held up well in combat. Some of the hero abilities are too good though, Hammer of Justice providing a 9 second stun is an eternity.

Creativity: 23/30
The Hero structure with "lesser" heroes is a great way to take advantage of the commander design. I was impressed by how integrated the system is in all aspects including Faith. I think this also presents a problem though as the standard units don't feel nearly as interesting. In SC2 this tends to be fine since my army is going to be enormous, but in War3 50-60 food armies are about where things top out in 1v1 so a little more micro is ok. I would have liked to see your take on a heavy siege unit. Again I think you missed out on visuals as well, there are a number of effects that would have made my base feel more holy.

Theme: This has some potential when it comes to interesting ideas. Named paladins as demi-heroes could have been a great path to go, especially with better execution. The Talents mechanic is… serviceable as a base idea, although it is difficult to quantify with the way it is implemented. The Faith mechanic could be a nice addition if it did either a little more or just something else. As it stands, the overall theme is rather lacking, with some gold nuggets here and there which could be expanded upon. 8/25

Gameplay: This is like playing the ingame Human faction with a severe handicap. Most of the units are considerably weaker, crippling you until you manage to get 100% Faith, and even then the oversaturation of mana shield on every unit makes your entire army Feedback bait. Granted, I do like the analogy that historically in Techtree Contests, Faith mechanics have not performed well against Feedback. Unfortunately, this doesn't aid the gameplay aspect. It's far too difficult to play for how simple some of the executions are. 0/25

Balance: A lot of the balance problems have been partially touched upon in Theme and Gameplay. Oversaturation of Mana Shield doesn't work well, since there's a few good counters that will bend your entire army over in a seedy back alley. The sequential walk of shame isn't much fun, either. Uther and other (rare) “casters” being overly reliant on Mana Shield further serves to cripple them as well. Unfortunately, you're effectively forced to spam Footmen for the early game since Riflemen don't do as much as their cost promises anymore. In some respects, I recommend taking advantage of Tavern heroes being available rather than using Uther, and making an entire army out of nothing but Mercenaries. 0/20

Creativity: There's some potential with some of the ideas here, but they're sorely lacking in being expanded upon. Unfortunately, Mana Shield has everything hinged on it being such a penultimate feature, when in reality it's not served to make the race more compelling to play or more intriguing. My recommendation would be to take a look at the potentials of how the Paladins were used, and maybe incorporate that a little bit further. There's potential to take that further, and maybe do something inspired by the way Tychus plays in co-op commanders. As it is, for all I will say against Mana Shield being used like this, there are some implementations that I would hope to expect from this, such as upgrades improving Mana capacity, Faith mechanics (which should be implemented differently, but are creative enough nonetheless), and… that might be about it. There's an abundance of ingame abilities being used here, too. Uther's ability roster is just Holy Light, Storm Bolt, Resurrection and an ability written entirely in Russian that lets you make buildings stronger for a bit. 4/30

Total: 12/100

Theme How well the various elements of the Faction (including aesthetics, gameplay & design) fit together in a thematic manner such that they feel like they are representative of the given Faction, as well as that of the chosen Contest Theme. Well-fitting & polished aesthetics which complement a cohesive theme will be graded well; poorly-considered or lacking thematic elements will result in a poor score. /25
Gameplay How well the various elements of the Faction work together to achieve the tactical synergy & gameplay style the Faction has, as well as how efficiently each element performs its particular function. Strategic systems that endow an identity to the Faction, comprehensive & well-though-out roles which complement a cohesive Faction will be graded well; ill-considered, insufficient or over-compensating roles will lose points. /25
Balance Indicates how comparable the Faction is in terms of 'playability'; i.e. the ideal Faction should win/lose 50% of the time against default races. Overpowered or Underpowered units/heroes/abilities/etc. will result in a poor score; properly balanced elements will result in a good score. /20
Creativity How original the design of the Faction is in terms of innovative ideas, clever implementations, or creative concepts. Innovation and creativity will be rewarded; extensive re-use of existing elements in vanilla factions & poor originality will result in a poor score. /30

Not wanting to put this on you guys' throats to be honest @Wazzz @Kam but since we are talking about future of judging, I might be inclined to question both sides.

The theme judging gives me an interesting question. How do we define 'well-fitting & polished aesthetic'? This is something that I am inclined to ask because both judging differs greatly on the exact same work. One side considers the whole theme integration is well done, while the other said it is far from sufficient. I'm not sure how the Talent system is implemented in this particular entry, so I'm out of clue, since you both mention it but have extremely differing opinion on it.

Next is the gameplay. The mana shield problem, I wonder if Kam does not notice it being a potential breaker or if Wazzz over-addressed this problem that lead to a great diminish of score into Gameplay aspect than it should. Let's see...
Human: Spell Breaker + Arcane Tower
Orc: N/A (I don't recall any unit with anti-mana ability)
Undead: N/A (I don't recall any unit with anti-mana ability)
Night Elf: Wisp (Detonate) + Demon Hunter
So far, I'd say it is concerning. However, I don't think that merits more than 10 point loss and only problematic in a Paladin vs Human/NE battle. Spell breaker is also weak to melee attacks due to their Medium armor. Wisp needs heavy microing to even be an effective mana breaker. It does not merit a full score of cleansing. Speaking of Taverns, we might need to discuss this particular thing in future tech-tree contests.

The balance part is weird to me. Kam seems to address things being overpowered (9-second stun) while Wazzz seems more on being underpowered (Footmen vs Riflemen). @Wazzz @AMarkov can I get footmen and riflemen statistic in this entry? Mana Shield shouldn't cost both Gameplay and Balance this much point. I mean the whole breaker should be a balance thing, and in gameplay more into how it goes with the whole synergy of the faction.

Last is Creativity. I'd say Faith is an overused term (we have that in TC#14 too, and I'd say it's cursed to use in TC entries I tell ya). Mana Shield being a breaker while being a core feature should cost a lot, but the demi-hero concept Kam should be appreciated as well, given it is a creative approach.

I'd say Kam 80 is questionable given how the addressing of the mana problem, but Wazzz 12 is unwarranted as well, given there indeed some creative aspects that seems to be overlooked in the entry.

In short, I argue this particular entry can use another evaluation. For future contests, we need to have a way to properly ensure Gameplay and Balance are not hitting each other, making it a dangerous potential double-point reduction.

EDIT:

It indeed is middle ground when summed then divided, but middle ground from two end to end number gives too much questions to people's head :p

Now this, this I like. Asking questions on both sides, getting to the bottom of things, this definitely opens up a more meaningful discussion that is far less of a witch hunt.

When it came to Theme, the aesthetic itself, I suppose, on a basic level does come, at least in part, from the look of the race. This might include custom content, but can also be achieved with the use of ingame resources. When it comes to HD entries, the restraint in content without making your own is a very real issue, and even in SD there might not be resources that inherently match a vision. Nonetheless, that is part of the theme. The rest is the way the gameplay factors into it, and as well as the overarching ideas and design philosophy integrated into it. So, this would factor in added gameplay elements (which in this case the biggest feature that was advertised as such as Shield Of Faith, which was... Mana Shield), but also design philosophies such as the incorporation of the Paladins. This then further expands into execution. For example, the idea of the Paladins themselves was a very good idea, and I think most people would generally agree that this is a nice place to start, but for me the execution shot itself in the foot and left a lot to be desired. I feel it's important to clarify that I don't think the overall idea is terrible, and I also don't think Amarkov is a terrible person. I don't know Amarkov, so I wouldn't know whether or not he's terrible. He could be, for all I know, but I don't.

The gameplay area is definitely an interesting one, and definitely one I'd like to discuss in greater detail, maybe get my own head around it to see if I was overly critical in some aspects. From what I've seen of the entry itself, aside from the nicely executed Talent System UI, the actual gameplay of the race itself is... very lacking. It takes an existing race, but removes a lot of it, and seems to hinge entirely on Mana Shield being an overarching feature. I certainly looked at the unit roles, but perhaps there was another angle to look at it from that might have earned some points here from my end? It's hard to say at this stage. One thing I would clarify, though, was that with the overabundance of Mana Shield (and my apparent incapability of winning a dang game as this entry, or even coming close) also came a hit to the health values of the units themselves. From what I could gather, it didn't seem to really present anything... special, if that makes sense. The Talent UI System I found served to restrict access to the actual new content of what was otherwise a vanilla race presented as an original entry. The Mana Shield mechanic inhibited the actual gameplay itself when in combination with how the Faith mechanic worked, as your units would start off with a penalty in the early game, including the hero. It should... also be mentioned that in using the Paladin's Seal abilities, I found that at least one of them seems to, inexplicably and seemingly inconsistently, drains the mana of the target unit in question, nullifying their Mana Shield entirely. I have no idea if this is a bug or what, since the ability doesn't say it does anything like that.

The 9 second stun... that was definitely a thing. Yet I found it was very rare I had the instance to use such an ability as I just seemed to get nuked at every turn with this entry. The riflemen would die suuuper fast, even when fully upgraded with mana buffs, and yet... I hear that people have actually been able to win with this entry. I've tried, I just find myself incapable of it at present. I'd definitely be intrigued to see how other people accomplish victory with it, though. I think this one might be too tough for me.

That's actually where the points for Creativity came from for me. The demi-hero idea was a decent enough one, but it should also be noted that a lot of the abilities used aren't just reskins of vanilla spells and abilities - they are straight up vanilla spells and abilities. Uther himself has Holy Light and Resurrection. Fragmentation Shards is still in use for the Mortar Team. Healing Wave, Dispel and Devotion Aura make their appearances on the Paladin demi-heroes. The Paladin Demi-Heroes themselves have unedited stat fields from the Footman, with one stat exception per Paladin (one has 500 health instead of 420, another deals 16-19 damage instead of 12-13, that sort of thing). These Paladin Demi-Heroes, keep in mind, cost 350 Gold, 150 Lumber and 3 Food each. They actually cost /more/ Lumber than a second hero would, and only 75 less Gold. In hindsight I should have probably put this part in the balance section but it's already here and moving things is... eh.

Now, you asked for stats? I've got some stats for you <3

Silver Hand Recruit (still referred to as Footman in the tooltips):
Health - 300
Mana - 200
Initial Mana - 10
Damage - 12-13
Defense Base - 2
Gold Cost - 135
Instead of Defend, this unit can be upgraded to learn Prayer, which is a castable ability that instantly restores 50 Mana. All in all, there is a slight improvement to the starting health value if you can get their mana up, but their other stats are still purely Footman and they won't be dealing much damage out at all.

Rifleman
Health - 225
Mana - 150
Initial Mana - 10
Damage - 18-24
Defense... unedited
Gold, Lumber and Food costs... also unedited, so 205, 30 and 3
Instead of Long Rifles, these fellas can be upgraded with a Blinding Shot ability that lets them target enemy units with an ability that gives them a very small chance to miss their attacks. Unfortunately, this is a farcry from the original Rifleman, which starts at 520 health for the same cost, so the nice bulky dwarven ranged unit, from my perspective, has become very, very fragile. Mana and Health put together at their maximums would sit at 375 before upgrades to mana shield.

It's actually safe to say that attack values except for one of the named Paladins went entirely unedited. The Dragonhawk Rider deals magic damage instead of pierce, which does add a much needed damage type to the faction, and with double the attack range. Actually... the Dragonhawk Rider has the same base health, the same cost, the same... everything, except it doesn't have its abilities and instead has Mana Shield, Energy Prison (which... is just Aerial Shackles with 18 levels) and Divine Steed (a Mana boosting variant of the Animal War Training upgrade). Maybe the Dragonhawk was the key to winning all along?
 
Now this, this I like. Asking questions on both sides, getting to the bottom of things, this definitely opens up a more meaningful discussion that is far less of a witch hunt.

When it came to Theme, the aesthetic itself, I suppose, on a basic level does come, at least in part, from the look of the race. This might include custom content, but can also be achieved with the use of ingame resources. When it comes to HD entries, the restraint in content without making your own is a very real issue, and even in SD there might not be resources that inherently match a vision. Nonetheless, that is part of the theme. The rest is the way the gameplay factors into it, and as well as the overarching ideas and design philosophy integrated into it. So, this would factor in added gameplay elements (which in this case the biggest feature that was advertised as such as Shield Of Faith, which was... Mana Shield), but also design philosophies such as the incorporation of the Paladins. This then further expands into execution. For example, the idea of the Paladins themselves was a very good idea, and I think most people would generally agree that this is a nice place to start, but for me the execution shot itself in the foot and left a lot to be desired. I feel it's important to clarify that I don't think the overall idea is terrible, and I also don't think Amarkov is a terrible person. I don't know Amarkov, so I wouldn't know whether or not he's terrible. He could be, for all I know, but I don't.

The gameplay area is definitely an interesting one, and definitely one I'd like to discuss in greater detail, maybe get my own head around it to see if I was overly critical in some aspects. From what I've seen of the entry itself, aside from the nicely executed Talent System UI, the actual gameplay of the race itself is... very lacking. It takes an existing race, but removes a lot of it, and seems to hinge entirely on Mana Shield being an overarching feature. I certainly looked at the unit roles, but perhaps there was another angle to look at it from that might have earned some points here from my end? It's hard to say at this stage. One thing I would clarify, though, was that with the overabundance of Mana Shield (and my apparent incapability of winning a dang game as this entry, or even coming close) also came a hit to the health values of the units themselves. From what I could gather, it didn't seem to really present anything... special, if that makes sense. The Talent UI System I found served to restrict access to the actual new content of what was otherwise a vanilla race presented as an original entry. The Mana Shield mechanic inhibited the actual gameplay itself when in combination with how the Faith mechanic worked, as your units would start off with a penalty in the early game, including the hero. It should... also be mentioned that in using the Paladin's Seal abilities, I found that at least one of them seems to, inexplicably and seemingly inconsistently, drains the mana of the target unit in question, nullifying their Mana Shield entirely. I have no idea if this is a bug or what, since the ability doesn't say it does anything like that.

The 9 second stun... that was definitely a thing. Yet I found it was very rare I had the instance to use such an ability as I just seemed to get nuked at every turn with this entry. The riflemen would die suuuper fast, even when fully upgraded with mana buffs, and yet... I hear that people have actually been able to win with this entry. I've tried, I just find myself incapable of it at present. I'd definitely be intrigued to see how other people accomplish victory with it, though. I think this one might be too tough for me.

That's actually where the points for Creativity came from for me. The demi-hero idea was a decent enough one, but it should also be noted that a lot of the abilities used aren't just reskins of vanilla spells and abilities - they are straight up vanilla spells and abilities. Uther himself has Holy Light and Resurrection. Fragmentation Shards is still in use for the Mortar Team. Healing Wave, Dispel and Devotion Aura make their appearances on the Paladin demi-heroes. The Paladin Demi-Heroes themselves have unedited stat fields from the Footman, with one stat exception per Paladin (one has 500 health instead of 420, another deals 16-19 damage instead of 12-13, that sort of thing). These Paladin Demi-Heroes, keep in mind, cost 350 Gold, 150 Lumber and 3 Food each. They actually cost /more/ Lumber than a second hero would, and only 75 less Gold. In hindsight I should have probably put this part in the balance section but it's already here and moving things is... eh.

Now, you asked for stats? I've got some stats for you <3

Silver Hand Recruit (still referred to as Footman in the tooltips):
Health - 300
Mana - 200
Initial Mana - 10
Damage - 12-13
Defense Base - 2
Gold Cost - 135
Instead of Defend, this unit can be upgraded to learn Prayer, which is a castable ability that instantly restores 50 Mana. All in all, there is a slight improvement to the starting health value if you can get their mana up, but their other stats are still purely Footman and they won't be dealing much damage out at all.

Rifleman
Health - 225
Mana - 150
Initial Mana - 10
Damage - 18-24
Defense... unedited
Gold, Lumber and Food costs... also unedited, so 205, 30 and 3
Instead of Long Rifles, these fellas can be upgraded with a Blinding Shot ability that lets them target enemy units with an ability that gives them a very small chance to miss their attacks. Unfortunately, this is a farcry from the original Rifleman, which starts at 520 health for the same cost, so the nice bulky dwarven ranged unit, from my perspective, has become very, very fragile. Mana and Health put together at their maximums would sit at 375 before upgrades to mana shield.

It's actually safe to say that attack values except for one of the named Paladins went entirely unedited. The Dragonhawk Rider deals magic damage instead of pierce, which does add a much-needed damage type to the faction, and with double the attack range. Actually... the Dragonhawk Rider has the same base health, the same cost, the same... everything, except it doesn't have its abilities and instead has Mana Shield, Energy Prison (which... is just Aerial Shackles with 18 levels) and Divine Steed (a Mana boosting variant of the Animal War Training upgrade). Maybe the Dragonhawk was the key to winning all along?

Not the best time for me to reply but eh, whatever. I'll start typing this at 6:27 PM, though by the time of the post already far ahead of that.

I don't think it merits to punish the whole idea completely with a severe amount of loss of points here. The concept is there, and it should merit a good amount of value in my perspective. But eh, this is not the biggest concern yet for me, since Balance and Gameplay is a much bigger sortie to talk about.

Now, for Gameplay, I do think the UI usage is something to appreciate. Can't win the game? That reminds me of TC#14 contest with Faith system, which I personally cannot win, but I don't think that completely justifies the whole not acceptable frame. There might be a steep learning curve that should be addressed, and presumably, a multi-role unit might be there. Given how you mention how Talent restricts, it might be relevant to abuse the Faith mechanic itself (just like how Human loves to abuse their Rifles :p).

I think the whole idea of Riflemen might be different than the one used in original. The stats you bring out indicate them being Archer level unit. So, yeah, use them like you use Archers. Footmen seems like Ghoul without harvest, so use them as such. I think it might be something related to playstyle that hinders the whole potential of the race, as if it has sort of specific patterns to follow.

Could possibly be, at least try it? :D
 
@Wazzz @Kam Please stop mentioning dragons. I know it certainly fits very well with a Pandaren race, but dragons has nothing to do with Chen Stormstout.

Congratulations, everyone! This was an interesting contest, no doubt.
And, uhh, getting kinda hot in here?

EDIT:

That faith thing should be a meme. I think every entry with Faith suddenly suffers during judging for some untold reason :p

I have lost faith in Faith.
 

Wazzz

Map Reviewer
Level 33
Joined
Feb 5, 2009
Messages
4,460
@Wazzz @Kam Please stop mentioning dragons. I know it certainly fits very well with a Pandaren race, but dragons has nothing to do with Chen Stormstout.

Congratulations, everyone! This was an interesting contest, no doubt.
And, uhh, getting kinda hot in here?



I have lost faith in Faith.

Ahh now that is a fair point. Unless it's a drunken dragon, then we need to draft it up immediately.

Not the best time for me to reply but eh, whatever. I'll start typing this at 6:27 PM, though by the time of the post already far ahead of that.

I don't think it merits to punish the whole idea completely with a severe amount of loss of points here. The concept is there, and it should merit a good amount of value in my perspective. But eh, this is not the biggest concern yet for me, since Balance and Gameplay is a much bigger sortie to talk about.

Now, for Gameplay, I do think the UI usage is something to appreciate. Can't win the game? That reminds me of TC#14 contest with Faith system, which I personally cannot win, but I don't think that completely justifies the whole not acceptable frame. There might be a steep learning curve that should be addressed, and presumably, a multi-role unit might be there. Given how you mention how Talent restricts, it might be relevant to abuse the Faith mechanic itself (just like how Human loves to abuse their Rifles :p).

I think the whole idea of Riflemen might be different than the one used in original. The stats you bring out indicate them being Archer level unit. So, yeah, use them like you use Archers. Footmen seems like Ghoul without harvest, so use them as such. I think it might be something related to playstyle that hinders the whole potential of the race, as if it has sort of specific patterns to follow.

Could possibly be, at least try it? :D

The concept being there is where a lot of the score for the Theme came from, for me at least :p

Gameplay is where I am a little iffy, but it's also where I look at the overall design where it's... basically the ingame Human faction with a skeleton crew. Still, UI usage was nice, and while I wouldn't grade it from a coding standpoint (that's a separate contest), in certain capacities it can be praised for its incorporation? Unfortunately, it's also where the execution just falls it right back, since it stonewalls most of the few actually custom abilities that exist within the faction, making an otherwise interesting idea become a roadblock to getting to the actual custom content of the entry.

I think I have tried to use them like an Archer level unit, but it should be mentioned that these still cost exactly the same as the regular Riflemen, food cost and all.

Think I might give it another whirl, though, I'm determined to get at least one win with this dang thing lol.
 
So other than the inflammatory name calling which is unnecessary it seems that theres an interesting discussion going on.

If it helps when if i get some time today ill see about doing a write up on my thoughts about the judging etc to see if it helps with future contests :) as for my mention of "incomplete" entries i perhaps should've said unfinished which whilst subjective if things like 90% of the tooltips are wrong or missing then thats a good telltale sign that the person did not finish the entry since they never got round to fixing a simple aspect of the race.

Anyway like I said ill give a full write up later maybe as I got a 1/20 in balance which is interesting.

EDIT: One thing I'm really trying to not do is make comparisons to other entries by name other than general statements since I dont think thats fair and could just cause more issues with people.

Techtree Contest Feedback Response

Ok so to start off as I've already said I'm going to avoid naming other entries in comparisons with for a couple of reasons; the biggest being that every entry is marked
independently of the others (or at least as far as I'm aware). This means that the marks awarded to one entry don't affect the others. Another reason is that the crux of what I'm writing about is more to be my thoughts on the response to my entry and I don't really want other people feeling attacked for example if I believe my entry did something better than another's which for a large part is subjective.


General
So going into this contest I was quite excited and nervous. On the one hand this theme seemed perfect to allow me to create whatever race I wanted and I had some very cool ideas off the top of my head. It also seemed to be a techtree contest where the resulting race would have to fit in with the existing ones quite well making it traditional.

I chose Jaina and the Kirin Tor Offensive which to anyone who knows WoW lore don't need much of a description but for those who do: they are a combination of Vereesa Windrunners Silver Covenant (High Elves) and the Kirin Tor (Dalaran and the mages).

Going into it I had a few things I cleared up. The main one being does there only need to be one hero. A large reason for this is that hero choice can massively impact the balance and flow of a game. For example a Human Player choosing Paladin vs Demon Hunter will have a much different game to Archmage vs Demon Hunter. If the opponent knows you'll always have the same hero they will merely develop the optimal counter every game.

I was nervous as well though. As a trend it seems that generally gimmicks win contests. What I mean by that is whether something is implemented well, or even if its workable were it tweaked is secondary to whether something new and completely unique is there or not. One could argue that it is merely uniqueness that people are looking for and I am not against unique mechanics. Far from it, its what makes the original races unique. However, a lot of mechanics will just not work in competitive play whether its too easy to counter or too easy to abuse most will simply be exploitable. There are a couple of entries with unique harvesting mechanics which I think are done really well and are the best examples of unique mechanics that work and should be commended. On the other hand it does seem like people just don't know how melee works with a lot of mechanics that are in my opinion unworkable being present in some entries.

Alas, this isn't about those entries this is about mine ;) so I think I'll start with an overview of the judges points.

Kam

Theme 12/25
So the only thing that's pointed out here is the presense of Elves and how that's not very Jaina-y except as I've mentioned Jaina is the commander of the Kirin Tor Offensive a large part of whom are Elves so I'm not sure how they don't fit. More of an explanation would be welcome here. The only other thing mentioned is the presence of the Elven Catapult being generic but again I'm not sure why in this specific case the Catapult is Generic but Elven Archer isn't.


How these two things translate to a 12/25 I'm not realllly sure tbh. 12/25 is half which to me suggests kinda mediocre. To me the theme of Elven units backed up by fast moving mounted casters along with some eccentric Kirin Tor constructs and spells seemed quite apparent to me.


Gameplay 10/25
Again a very low score that suggest the gameplay was quite bad. So let's look at the comments.

Kam points out how all the unit roles are present and that there is a spell that synergy with the other units that have summons. Which is all fair.

Then he mentions that "Overall though I wouldn't say there was a tactical synergy here, nor a strategic system that screams Jaina." I mean this seems paradoxical. Most units spells were designed to have playstyles associated with them either with the use of other units or other spells in combination. For example if you go for squishy ranged units then the Magi unit has burning boulder to block and damage melee that tries to get close or can also be used to surround units. The summoner has Soul Spread that can be combined with Water Elementals to tank and heal units. The mana crystal restores mana and heals so can be used to enable your Archers to use their arrows for longer. You can go for healing builds, air builds, casters or supports.

It's kind of ironic since I created every unit and spell with ideas of how it could be used and combined with other units and specifically for all the different strategies it could be used for in melee.


Balance 18/20

A very good score for balance which I greatly appreciated after all the tweaks and changes made after multiple plays against the AI.
Kam points out the usefulness of Heavier Harnesses which forces the enemy to change their anti-air tactics by design.
He has an issue with Aspect Essence saying at full mana it heals 2190 per unit in the AoE but seems to be missing the point that spell will probably not be active for that entire time as well as counters such as mana burn. I did test Aspect Essence extensively and it should only be used in large engagements where it is powerful but not OP. When used late game it will very quickly drain mana. I mean technically speaking Immolation could do just as much damage in its AoE if used from full mana in contact.


He mentions Precision Shot being unclear on damage which I suppose is a fair criticism of the tooltip. I will say that tooltips in most other entries were severely lacking and/or unchanged in some cases. As for the mentioned perma-stun I'm not sure how that occurred as there's nothing in the WE that suggests that should happen.

Dragon Form is powerful as all ults are, similar to Robo-goblin and Demon Hunters Demon Form :)

Also the comment about Mana Shield? I'm confused as no unit or hero has mana shield and Mana Burn doesn't work on buildings AFAIK.

Creativity 10/30
Now this is a bit of an ouch moment for me. "Outside the three heroes there isn't much going on with unit abilities." This kinda stung I appreciate that some of the abilities are alternative uses of vanilla abilities but they're definitely not just re-skins with edits made to how the abilities work and operate. For example Burning Boulder can hardly be described as a "re-skin" of Healing Ward considering they have vastly different uses. Also a couple of the unit abilities are triggered.

Then the rest of the comments are either neutral or positive but again the score really makes me wonder what was so terrible or un-creative. Things like the Mana Crystal, the Heroes spells the base defence. The Dragonhawk spawning upon the parent units death. I feel like a lot of the creativity either when unnoticed or unappreciated but that's just my opinion.

Overall 50/100
So based on the total score it would appear my entry was pretty underwhelming. Looking at it I suppose in some ways it could be if you were looking for big in your face unique mechanics. In my entry they're not there and that's by design. When I make a custom race I want it to be useable alongside the other 4 vanilla races. Hence why I strive to make the uniqueness in the units and their available toolkits along with how that toolkit interacts with the other units and heroes of the factions.

This has been something that always been the case in these contests: traditional 5th race entries are just not what they're about or what the judges are looking for which is fine. However, that's just not what they purport to be or the impression you get from reading the descriptions. of the marking criteria etc.

Wazz

Theme 13/25
So again a middling mark for theme. Again mentioning the presence of High Elves in the Kirin Tor Offensive. As I talked about earlier Wazz mentions the classic conventions that were stuck to and seems to think this is at odds with the contests as a whole. This would be fine if this was true, and the common consensus, however this doesn't seem to be the case.

He mentions two units using the same icon which isn't the case (I even opened the WE and checked just to be completely sure) unless I'm completely blind.

"Definite potential here, needs to be expanded upon." This line here confuses me considering the race actually has more units than the standard rosters and all units and Heroes have complete sets of abilities. Therefore the only way I think the race could be expanded is by adding a "gimmick" so to speak. Some mechanic that makes the race stronger. However, I feel this is completely unneeded and unwarranted considering the absence of such a gimmick from the other 4 races.

Also since High Elves were mentioned twice by both Judges I will point out that out of the Human units excluding workers only two are actually Human the rest being Elves or Dwarves.

Gameplay 12/25
In terms of gameplay Wazz first points out how traditional it is which I appreciate and also how there's no unique harvesting mechanic. In this case I fully agree that when it comes to workers and harvesting there's a lot of room for cool new and unique mechanics to be implemented so I fully accept this critique.

The next part I am a bit confused about since this about gameplay and not balance. If Wazz chose to go solely with archers every game then fair enough but to not even touch upon the amount of caster options and variety is a bit strange especially considering the amount of abilities and synergies on offer. He mentions he'd like it to expand more into summoned units and magic wielders despite two of the unit production buildings being dedicated to them. Like I said before Jaina commands the Kirin Tor Offensive and thats what's on offer. If the race was all casters it would be impossible to balance and I struggle to think what spells caster no. 4 could have.

Balance 1/20
So the Archers net a 1/20 with no mention of the other units. They're 3 food which makes a massive difference early game to the size of army you can field not to mention that 410 is not bulky when compared to 535 for Rifles and 550 for Crypt Fiends. If anything they're weaker than every single 3 food equivalent except when it comes to damage when upgrades are applied yet they still do less damage than a Crypt Fiend at max upgrades and less max damage than a Rifleman initially.
Yes you can win with just the Archers mainly because the AI is terrible and doesn't perform any kind of strategy or creepjack or harass which would all be good counters. The AI also creates a mish-mash of every unit which is abysmal against specialised armies. I'd like to see how this strat would perform against other real players and not the AI where Undead nukes as well as mass bears would slaughter them.


One point I would give you is their cost gold and lumber-wise. They're not "dirt-cheap" but also not as expensive as the other ranged units but again that's because they are very weak.

Creativity 14/30
"There's definitely some creativity here. Despite appearing to have Blizzard as a vanilla ability, it's actually implemented in a creative way that makes use of the whole “Frozen” mechanic Jaina can implement." I really appreciated this bit :) although I'll have to confess Jaina's abilities are the work of JAKEZINC from this very site's spell's section.

Wazz says its a solid entry with lots of room for improvement but I'm struggling to see where. Does he mean in terms of units? There's a full roster. Abilities? Every one is custom. Heroes? There's 3. The only room for improvement that I can justifiably see would be a unique harvesting or building mechanic but that's not been mentioned here. Again the standard War3 gameplay of upgrading researches is taken as a negative. There is one unique tech-tree item though that seems to have been ignored is that if you pick Jaina as your hero it changes the third unit in the Arcane Sanctum which is pretty unique with hero choice changing the tech-tree :)


Overall 40/100
Ouch 40/100 is less than half, so maybe not that solid an entry as the comments would suggest.

The biggest thing that stands out to me in Wazz's reviews is that he probably doesn't play melee :p (correct me if I'm wrong). There does seem to be this strange divide between the comments that aren't wholly negative and the scores which are mediocre.

This does feel however like the problem of whether traditional tech-trees are welcome in this contest which it appears they are not.


Final Thoughts
So in the end I think the Judges didn't really get the whole Jaina Leader of the Kirin Tor Offensive theme as well as the sticking to the more vanilla designs for a 5th race which I guess one could argue whether that's my fault or a fault of the descriptions and philosophy behind these contests.

So going into this contest I'll be honest I wasn't expecting to win. I played through all but maybe 1 or 2 of the other entries and I was expecting to fall anywhere from 2nd to 4th depending upon how the wind blew.

Instead I came second last which was admittedly quite disheartening to see after the amount of time and effort I put in thinking of ideas and making models and skins to go along with it as well as custom soundsets. The amount of time and polish I put into it was painstaking in terms of making sure every tooltip and button position was correct. As well as some smaller details like the passive icons on all the Heroes giving some context and background. I made what I fully believed to be a Jaina themed entry for this contest which was of a very high quality.

What has become apparent is that perhaps the quality wasn't really the issue but my notions of what this contest was even after I thought everything had been clarified in the lengthy contest discussion beforehand. This all comes back to what I've noticed across all the contests. Gimmicks win. Whether implemented rightly or wrongly they win and the distinction comes down to simply how cool does this Gimmick feel.

To be clear this isn't an issue. I'm not saying this as a kind of "GRRRR appreciate my traditional tech-tree design" but just more as an analysis and awareness of what the aim and priority of these things are and how we should be under no illusions about it.

This is why its doubtful I'll ever join another because my design and judging philosophy differ wildly and really quite starkly with how the judges of these contests are operating.

Just in case anyone also makes any mistakes about my feelings on this matter let me be clear. @Kam and @Wazzz are as far as I can tell pretty great guys they give up their time and experience to do this and their opinions are perfectly valid. This isn't an attack on them at all and I truly truly want more contests. Maybe I will get involved again but my final point is just that I went into this with a very different philosophy and there's not really anything wrong with that other than perhaps my disappointment at not doing as well as I thought I would.

TL;DR: These contests need clearer descriptions :p

Also when writing this the colours, sizes and fonts would change sometimes and screw up
 
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Wazzz

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So does this mean gold medal? :peasant-cool:

Might do, might do. Alcoholic dragons are very shique

So other than the inflammatory name calling which is unnecessary it seems that theres an interesting discussion going on.

If it helps when if i get some time today ill see about doing a write up on my thoughts about the judging etc to see if it helps with future contests :) as for my mention of "incomplete" entries i perhaps should've said unfinished which whilst subjective if things like 90% of the tooltips are wrong or missing then thats a good telltale sign that the person did not finish the entry since they never got round to fixing a simple aspect of the race.

Oh boy, I think I know which one you're referring to there, definitely some anomalies in where I'm thinking.

Now this is a very valuable post, it absolutely opens up potential for a valuable discussion.

For the units using the same Icon, this is where it occurred:
Kirin Tor.jpg


By further expansion, I refer more so to the expansion of ideas, and the way they are incorporated. More units and buildings would... definitely not be the answer here. Rather, there's a lot of room to expand upon the core concept itself. It's where the entry itself is a very solid starting point, or a baseline, for a very solid traditional faction, but you can also go further with exploring new ideas. Not inherently new mechanics, granted, as there is plenty of ingame content to play around with.

Gameplay wise I did look at every unit, being able to summon Elementals with the casters was definitely a nice boon, but in the end the primary focus is drawn back to the elven components. This is where I'll address that part of theme as well - the problem isn't the inherent use of Elves within the faction, the issue more so falls along where the emphasis inevitably falls. The humans certainly have a lot of non-human units, only really sporting the Peasant, Footman and Knight (Militia, too, if you would include that as a separate unit), with two human heroes. In this instance there's Jaina in the heroes roster, and then two elf-ish heroes. With the baseline of pure elf units in the tier 1 game, and then the Elven Catapult for... some reason, it gives off a very strong High Elf faction vibe. There was definitely wiggle room for something else here that touched upon the magical aspects of the faction a lot more, like... off the top of my head, if you kept the High Elven Swordsman but changed it to a "Battle Mage" where it could be upgraded with some spell-like abilities to compliment its capabilities in melee combat, and perhaps instead of an Archer you had a Water Elemental as the basic ranged unit. The Elven Catapult could be replaced with a Fire Elemental or Lava Spawn or something like that to dish out Siege damage, drawing on abilities like Liquid Fire while changing it up. Definitely a lot of room to branch out while keeping it a more traditional entry.

The Archers were... an interesting area. For some reason, they cost 3 Food, but their Gold and Lumber costs were... definitely not like that of a 3 food unit. Unfortunately it sits it in a relative purgatory where it's not quite fitting into either category, but with 410 health it would look, on paper, to be a more fragile unit. In practice, with the upgrades available to it, they are an absolute powerhouse. The argument against them being "dirt cheap", though, does have some merit, as it's really the abilities that make them stand out and with how readily replaceable they are they do tend to dominate. The cost itself is such a strange area for a 3 food unit, even one that's intended to be a little weaker. With Arcane Arrows, you can dish out a lot of DPS all at once, and if one is nearing death it's more effective to replace it with a new one since it comes with a fresh batch of mana for dishing out the hurt.

When it comes to room for improvement, it's more along the lines of the expansion of ideas, and less so about building mechanics or anything of that sort. If this lineup was applied with a more frivolous design towards building construction, resource gathering or unit production, it would still fall into a lot of the trappings that persist at present. It's where traditional entries are certainly appreciated, at least by me, but there's a lot of room to put in some fun new ideas with a more traditional entry that are less restricted.

Now, as for whether or nor I play melee, you are right, I do not. I do sometimes enjoy watching Grubby play melee, though, which is always an interesting area to look at from when a professional plays the game :)

Vanilla designs are definitely a difficult beast to master, especially in a contest design. I think when it comes to scores given, from my end, there's definite room for improvement, but when it comes to the comments there's also not a lot to say that's inherently negative about your entry. It sort of also falls under the lines of there isn't a huge amount to say in its favor in many areas, either. It's definitely a great starting point, where a lot of the layout is nicely handled with only one icon repeated. There's just a lot more fun to be had with delving into the idea. I should also mention that the Mana increase on structures, via upgrade, is only 10%, so something like the Arcane Sanctum, for example, will only see an increase of 30 Mana. It's a bit of a shame where it doesn't really add that much to the buildings.

I hope this helps clarify things out a bit, and I do hope you decide to join future contests again, but can also understand if the setting itself isn't for you. The bar certainly gets raised a /lot/ over the number of contests that have been, and while I am very welcoming of traditional entries, the standard is still a fairly high one.
 
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