Exotic creatures and units

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Exotic creatures and units

Postby Groovy » Jan 2 2015, 18:42

The purpose of this thread is to present and discuss creatures and units that don't live in towns, dwellings or lairs, and that cannot be recruited or trained in the usual way. My goal with adding them is to increase the richness of the game’s creature/unit offering, and hopefully introduce novel strategies for playing the game.

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Elementals

Postby Groovy » Jan 2 2015, 18:42

To me, one obvious group of exotic units is Elementals. Now that I’ve given some thought to how I would like them to work, I’ve settled on having them created by spells, where their size and strength derive from the spell that spawned them. I still have to work out the exact details, but the basic idea is that they wouldn’t have a fixed level or attributes; these would vary depending on how many magicians created them, from what terrain, etc. They would be of limited duration, lasting until the end of the day/week. Their movement might also be constrained to compatible terrain, though this might prove too restrictive.

I have updated the terrain cards to indicate which elementals can be summoned from which terrain tiles.

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Midgets

Postby Groovy » Jan 2 2015, 18:44

Another group of exotic creatures that I’m planning to introduce is Midgets. These are essentially level 0 creatures – too weak to take part in combat, but with other talents that can make them highly desirable. They include Gnomes, Leprechauns, Fairies, etc. Their chief talent is town-based production of resources, but they can grant some other bonuses as well. So far, they can only be acquired at Markets.

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Archons

Postby Groovy » Jan 2 2015, 18:44

Archons are dedicated town defenders. They are bound to their town in the same way that neutral monsters are bound to their map location. An archon’s power is indicative of the town’s level of development. An archon is essentially a sum total of the town’s attributes – it can wield all of the weapons from the armoury, cast all of the spells from the mage guild, etc. If an archon has been killed, it will respawn at the beginning of next week.

The idea behind archons is to further differentiate towns from other map structures, and make them tough to capture without going into the intricacies of siege combat.

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Postby Panda Tar » Jan 5 2015, 11:54

I'll read carefully all this during the week. Returning to my work today, lots to do. Haven't checked anything during the small vacations I had. I simply turned off all internet stuff from my mind. :D
"There’s nothing to fear but fear itself and maybe some mild to moderate jellification of bones." Cave Johnson, Portal 2. :panda:

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Postby Panda Tar » Feb 13 2015, 21:18

Right, reading again here, these midgets, you would hire them in number and each one would increase production proportionally, or they would be a group, a symbolic group that you would hire and then, like a technology research in some strategy games, you hire them once and you get the benefits for the time being?
"There’s nothing to fear but fear itself and maybe some mild to moderate jellification of bones." Cave Johnson, Portal 2. :panda:

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Postby Groovy » Feb 14 2015, 15:04

Mostly the latter, but there will probably be exceptions. For example, if they teach you a spell or allow you to build a certain building, then having more of them won't make any difference. On the other hand, if they give you a war machine that they themselves must pilot, then more midgets will result in more war machines. So it comes down to whether what they give you is consumable or not.

Just bear in mind that I haven't given this a lot of thought yet, so it could well change with playtesting.

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Postby Panda Tar » Feb 14 2015, 18:41

Yeah, I was mostly reading things I couldn't before now, to see whether I could help you with anything or not. Hohohohoho

On another matter, the files you send me, I really don't know how to start documenting things from them. I'll have to do something myself and have you review it after that from what I can gather from those docs and from these threads, trying to find info and merge them in a way that can be expressed as documentation. How about that?
"There’s nothing to fear but fear itself and maybe some mild to moderate jellification of bones." Cave Johnson, Portal 2. :panda:

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Postby Groovy » Feb 14 2015, 18:58

That's cool.

You might also want to check out the first two scenarios that I played (here and here). This should make the core game behaviour pretty clear.

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Postby Panda Tar » Feb 14 2015, 19:49

Right, I'll do that.
"There’s nothing to fear but fear itself and maybe some mild to moderate jellification of bones." Cave Johnson, Portal 2. :panda:

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Postby Groovy » May 18 2015, 14:37

The latest Elemental design deviates quite a bit from my original description. They now result from a merger of a Morg creature with other creatures that are closely associated with the Elemental’s terrain. They behave like forces of nature – they trample enemy units by moving over them, and they regenerate on their native terrain. They are permanent (normal) units with fixed attributes. They are not faction-specific, though each faction has its own way of combining creatures to create them.

I'll add other Elementals as I work on other faction designs.

Image

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Postby Groovy » May 18 2015, 15:09

I’ve changed my mind about Archons. I’ve decided to implement them as personifications of their faction, a collective consciousness of sorts. That looks more interesting to me and easier to manage manually than the earlier town guardians concept.

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Postby Groovy » May 18 2015, 15:10

I’ve also changed my mind about Midgets. With resources out of the picture, so are the Midgets. At least for now.

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Postby Groovy » May 18 2015, 15:30

A new type of specialised unit that I’ve introduced with the 8th design iteration is Wall. Walls fulfil the engineering function that I had originally envisaged for war machines – serving as towers, cranes, bridges, etc. They cannot attack, so they play a purely supportive role – they strengthen other units and give them new abilities.

Wall features come in three flavours:
1. The restrictions that they apply to a unit as it is climbing up the wall
2. The bonuses that they give a unit while it is stationed on top of the wall
3. The bonuses that they give a unit while it is descending from the wall

On a map, players make use of these features by moving unit tokens on top of (larger) wall tokens.

Players can respond to enemy walls by either attacking them directly, or by attacking the units stationed on them.

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Re: Exotic creatures and units

Postby Groovy » Oct 10 2015, 18:59

A new type of specialised unit that comes with the 9th design iteration is Guardian. Guardians are dedicated defenders of all significant map locations. They are unable to move. Their level is determined by the level of the map structure that they are defending. This in turn determines their remaining attributes.

L denotes the guardian's level on the images below.

Image

Starting with the 9th design iteration, unit damage no longer persists; all units heal at the end of turn. This means that players will have to swarm enemy units in order to kill them. Because Guardians will generally not be able to swarm their opponents, it is important for them to produce other effects (fire, poison, etc) with which to hamper a player's army. Otherwise attacking guardians would pose no danger to the player.

The motivation for introducing Guardians is two-fold:
  • Regular units were sometimes two powerful in this role (Panther Rider, for example, with attack range of 4 tiles), causing the player to become seriously bogged down trying to overcome them
  • Populating the map only with dedicated neutral units leaves no doubt as to which units belong to the player and which do not. This renders unit faction markers unnecessary and speeds up game play
The choice of which guardian to place on the map is made based on the surrounding terrain.


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