I welcome criticism. I regularly PM the harshest critics of Elemental and ask them to give me some feedback. This is no holds barred modding. If you hate something, feel free to complain. If we don't change it, yell some more. If we still don't, do it yourself for your personal game. We don't all have to agree. Not everyone has to drink the kool-aid. I don't want to stifle innovation at all. You are respectful and criticize politely. That's all I really require.
So you think Hp is undervalued as a defense stat? Okay, that is going to be a hard thing to sell, but I am listening. As to bears, my tinkerer just came up with a plan for that. We are moving Cave Bears to a new creature type called Great Beast. We will update all +damage vs. beast abilities to also do damage against this. We will not allow these types to be tamed. It will effectively limit many problems. I don't want to rag on the XML, but you would not believe the things we can't do because of buggy tags. Or maybe you can if you modded WoM. The devs aren't going to fix them, so we have to work around them. Wonder why Bears have 9 moves? Because we wanted to prevent bear kiting. Wonder why we didn't just add it to tactical? Because the xActions tag to do that is bugged. We could put it in a spell, but battleautocastspell is buggy too. We have to limit the number of those. I would rather we have Tac Moves and Strat Moves, but the devs didn't do it that way. So I gave bears 9 moves to fix the kiting issue. Monster AI is limited to 1 move per turn. Problem solved? But then the devs debugged Beastmaster and added Collar after that. I never use them, so I didn't see the problem. So yeah, everything is a work in progress and there is a ton of stuff we have not yet encountered. I'll enter the fix for the next build.
And since I am discussing the nitty gritty, we won't be working on making special units faction based. They are pretty much hardcoded to be based on race. I spent way too much time on it for no change. If someone wants to figure it out and send it to me, I will add it. Until then, races decide what you can train. The next update will cut out the training faction traits and balance the faction points. I notice that vanilla has set the default number to three. That means I need to remove the free point from the weakness options. 4 points would be insane. Fair warning, I don't play custom factions, so they are not going to be a huge focus of my work. If you run into imbalances or have an idea for some new traits, make them and we will consider it for the next build. I am mostly interested in adding new weaknesses. The sadist in me I guess.
Back to Hp. On turn one, you get units at 46Hp. You can have 3 and they are almost always killed in battle. The endgame has units with 300Hp and massive armor. That is the intended design. Where I am willing to change things is where a particular part of the game gets too easy or gives too much advantage to high Hp units. In truth, the imbalanced thing would be having lots of armor and Hp. There are probably a few points where you can make units far too strong by leveling. We are more than happy to release hordes of WTFPWN monsters on people at those points until balance is reached. Pacing monster strength is easily the most difficult thing to balance. Keep in mind though, that a level 5 Fortress trains units at level 7 with a Command Post. So even early game units you have been leveling are going to be near equals to a new army later in the game. Really, if we are going to make a change we need specific theory on why Hp is so much better.
For instance, A unit with 300Hp against an axe takes 5-10 damage. A unit with 150Hp and 10 armor takes 2.5-5 damage. That means they are of the same overall defense. Hp is only as good as the weapon that is being used. A spear is better against armor than Hp. A mace is best against Hp. The middleground is the axe, which can sunder armor down to 8 points and has a middle of the road attack value in cutting.
There are actually 5 types of defense if you count regeneration. Trolls are the weakest ones and get +8 per turn. That is equal to healing one attack from an early game unit. Considering that they have bash and do great damage, I would say they fit the early game challenge we designed them for. Troll Warriors get more Hp, armor and 16 regeneration. They are pretty great at reducing light and medium troops to piles of bloody bones. The difficulty of a troll army is that you have to focus all your attacks on one troll at a time. That means controlling the field so that you have all your attacks on one unit. If you get stuck in one on one situation, you are almost sure to lose to their regenerative powers. They are countered with fire. I don't see a hole in this balance. Less Hp would make them extremely easy. Even with more regeneration, mages would just wreck them too quickly. A mage counter is supposed to be several trolls rushing your mages while you hope and pray they die before getting a solid bash in.