Sovereign creation process (Wall of Text (TM))

TL;DR: there is none. Just a wall of text.

By on October 5, 2009 9:32:20 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Wintersong

Join Date 07/2006
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TL;DR version: there is none. You are free to go now. Seriously.

So I'm bored and still some hours more of office ahead of me with no real job right now (I already have done the work for the wednesday so go figure). I have been writing about a possible mod and that includes writing a "Perfect World" draft about it. And I have decided that I want to know more about the Sovereign creation process and.. well, what do I want? What do you want? What does Stardock want?

So I'm posting here an unfinished Wall of Text (TM) of an idea of that "Perfect World" draft (copy&paste so it contains sillyness x 200, add warning of bad English too... maybe Engrish?). I'm not even sure I'd: a) post it, post it in this part of the sorum. But who knows, maybe it spawns some interest. *shrug* Anyways, I have to keep my habit of silly threads so here I go:

Crossroads

Every road has a beginning

At the beginning of the game we must create our Sovereign or select a premade one. For the purpose of explaining new options and mechanics associated with Dying Sun, we are going to talk from the point of view of a full new Sovereign.

Sovereign and faction creation come hand to hand and are created using the same perk points. In this way, for example, the user can focus on developing his Sovereign and have a weak faction or he can focus on his faction and have a weak Sovereign.

We can choose the name of our Sovereign. We can choose the name of the faction at this point too.

Once those are chosen, we advance to a main creation screen where we can see our perk points remaining and a list of options in which to spend those points. We can go back and forth between those options as tweak things as we need.

Blood Inheritance

In this screen we can select the species of our sovereign. The only basic species that we can choose by default is Human.

Once the species are chosen, we can select the race. Each race has an associated appearence that altough it's customizable, has some options not accesible due to race selection.

Life Inheritance

The Sovereign has a past of his own and in this screen we can shape it a bit while giving our Sovereign some soul, bones and meat.

Background

The Sovereign isn't a no one that popped out of thin air. He had a life before starting his journey as Sovereign. Maybe he was a hunter or maybe a merchant. Maybe he was nothing but a thief. To reflect this, the Sovereign can choose a single background.

Choosing a background for the Sovereign, paying it's cost in Perk Points, he gets access to exclusive set of Perks (maybe Skills too) that would to otherwise unavailable. It also gives extra bonuses to the common Perks that every Sovereign can select.

(Incomplete) Examples of Backgrounds:

  • Courtier: bonus in Diplomacy Skill, access to the exclusive Blackmail Skill
  • Merchant: bonus in Commerce Skill, grants +5% benefit in trades.
  • Mercenary: bonus to Resistance stat, -15% to the cost of mercenaries.
  • Peasant: farms produce a 10% more, Peasant Defense development for free.
  • Hunter: bonus to Sight, bonus to Movement.
  • Bard: bonus to morale and/or prestige to the city where the Sovereign stands.
Skills

These skills allow the Sovereign do some tasks with more efficency than someone untrained in them. They are not compulsory but they help. Some skills are only available with the proper background (some backgrounds can unlock some of the same skills).

(Incomplete) Examples of Skills:

  • Diplomacy: Provides extra bonus when dealing with the AI. At least with those who will listen to words and not actions!!!
  • Commerce: Affects the prices of trades, including those in the Diplomacy Screen.
  • Gambling: Allows you to play in the Casino and (maybe) earn some extra money (or lose it!!!)
Perks

Perks are traits that the Sovereign posses due to the species, race or other reasons. Each has a different cost in Perk Points and some might be unavailable due to species/race selection.

(Incomplete) Examples of Perks:

  • Lucky: You are lucky and good things happen to your more often than to the avergage John Doe. More probability of good events and less probability of bad events. Influences battle, spell casting and item creation too. Cannot purchase Unlucky (no unlucky enough to be allowed).
  • Unlucky: Just the opposite of Lucky to the point of giving you Perk Points for selecting it!!! Cannot purchase Lucky (not lucky enough to be allowed).
  • Blood of the King/Emperor: No matter your actual origin, you can trace your lineage to one of the Kings/Emperors of old. Increases the Prestige of every city you control and get and extra Prestige bonus in the one your sovereign currently is.
  • Blood of Ice: You are inmune to Ice Damage and resitant to Fire Damage.
  • Swan Song: When you die you can cast any spell available to you for free. Just one. Once. For free. If you survive the experience, you are set to level 1. Then this Perk won't work anymore.
  • Touch of Death: Any normal and low level unit the Sovereign touches in combat dies automatically. Special monsters, heroes and other Sovereigns receive damage proportional to the difference in levels. It lowers the population growth of any city in which the Sovereign is. Cannot buy Touch of Life.
  • Touch of Life: Can use a pesonal Spell of Life on any unit. Undead units receive damage instead. The population growth increases in the city in which the Sovereign is.

Social Inheritance

The Sovereign was part of a group (even if it was just for a time) and the most propable type of people to join him are those of similar type to him. In this option we can select the options for the civilization that the Sovereign will lead.

Here we can choose the specie/race of our civilization which doesn't need to be the same as the one of the Sovereign. This means you could have an Orc Sovereign leading an elf nation. But that doesn't mean that the rest of elven nations are going to see your Sovereign with good eyes. The main idea is that socialization (Social Inheritance) is more important that blood (Blood Inheritance) when molding the personality of the Sovereign.

Each species/races have some bonus of different kinds. Some might be better warriors while others might be better merchants. They also offer some bonuses to the Sovereign as a result of the education (of whatever type it was) he had with them. A complete list of Perks for the civilization allows to determine how the civilization is.

The appearence of buildings, possible technologies and similar things are affected by this selection. Altough it is possible to change the appearence of the buildings of your civilization, so your elven nation could use human buildings instead of their traditional elven ones.

(Incomplete) Examples of Civilization Perks:

  • Fertile: For some reasons or others, your civilization reproduces more quickly than the other civilizations (Dwarves and elves cannot purchase this perk, the Orcs can buy it at half the cost)
  • Infertile: For some reasons or others, your civilization reproduces more slowly than the other civilizations. You don't pay Perk Points for this Perk but instead get extra Perk Points. (Dwarves and elves get extra Perk Points if they select it)
  • Long lifespan: Your civilization members live longer than other civilizations'. Reduce the population growth of your civilization, get a bonus to Kingdom/Empire Stability (Happiness?), your units have a level cap higher than normal but a slight penalty to experience.
  • Short lifespan: Your civilization members live less than other civilizations'. Increase the population growth of your civilization, get a penalty to Kingdom/Empire Stability (Happiness?), your units have a level cap lower than normal but a slight bonus to experience.
  • Children of the Forest: you get a bonus to the production of wood and leather. If you have a forst near a city, that city gets a bonus to the food production and to Stability (Happiness?).
  • Children of the Void: None of your servants can be imbued with Essence. The good side is that they gain a good bonus against magic of any kind. Start thinking about hiring foreign heroes!!!
  • Children of Winter: All your servants get less damage from cold attacks (that includes the damage from traveling in snowed terrain).
  • Morons: Let's be honest here, your people isn't the brightest of the neighbourhood and will never be. Suffer a serious penalty in research and some penalty in diplomacy. This Perk gives Perk Points when selected.
  • Zealots: Your servants are zealots and hate anything that menace their life style and what they believe in. Get a good bonus to Kingdom/Empire Stability (Happiness?) and production bonus in all the cities when in war against any non neutral enemy. Suffer a serious penalty in diplomacy at all times (even with Kingdoms/Empires of similat attitude! After all, if they were like your people, they would join you instead of living under someone's else rule!).
  • Bred for war: farms? Bustling cities? Your people only care aboout war, battles... anything that sitisfies their bloodlust (be it of magical origin or pure depravation cultivated during generations). Forget about researching things like farms or imrpoved houses for your citizens. Instead, produce units faster, your units get a bonus to experience, you suffer a penalty to Kingdom/Empire Stability (Happiness?) when not in war but a really good bonus when in one, you have a bonus in any research that involves warfare and a serious penalty in any non warfare reseach (if not getting some branches directly banned) and unless your enemy has also Bred for war he suffers a penalty to Kingdom/Empire Stability (Happiness?).

For next thread I should add some kind of pics a la Elemental's beta. Something about unfun things, brain damage...

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October 5, 2009 11:36:28 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Very interesting!

What I'm picturing is something like this:

The player chooses their kingdom or empire first.

The next step is that they pick their sovereign.

The sovereign they choose merely sets up the defaults for that sovereign.

So the things they might change would be:

  • Magic related abilities (various abilities for magic)
  • Dynasty related abilities (abilities related to producing a family)
  • Governing related abilities (abilities related to running your kingdom or empire)
  • Adventuring related abilities (abilities related to your sovereign going on adventures)
Now, within these 4 general categories are where things you mention would show up. Farm bonuses would be under governing, commerce would fall under governing, etc.

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October 5, 2009 12:09:32 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Great post Wintersong.

@Frogboy: How about being able to change how our Sovereign looks? Hair length and color, color of robes and armor, that kind of thing. Aesthetics.

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October 5, 2009 12:42:28 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Raven X,
Great post Wintersong.

@Frogboy: How about being able to change how our Sovereign looks? Hair length and color, color of robes and armor, that kind of thing. Aesthetics.

 

I think that would be great, and would attract more female gamers as well.

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October 5, 2009 1:01:39 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Raven X,
Great post Wintersong.

@Frogboy: How about being able to change how our Sovereign looks? Hair length and color, color of robes and armor, that kind of thing. Aesthetics.

Yeah it would be cool to have a feature like this. It's not so important, but little details like this are raising the overall quality of the game imo.

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October 5, 2009 1:17:03 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I like the ideas in the civilization perks section. I like the perk system and I'd just like to see more choices and the more 'flavour' ones be free or have some synergy bonus (like unlocking other perks)

 



I think that would be great, and would attract more female gamers as well.

Not just female gamers, it helps anyone feel more connected to their character. I liked being able to choose the fur colour in champions of norrath: return to arms for example... although would have liked to have had a magic panther, not axe throwing one. And being stuck with a very limited asthetic choice makes the game feel broken sometimes, morrowind/oblivion with the initial lack of textures and things like limited vampire faces... had alot of work put into it by modders. Hopefully there'll be some nice choices, height/sex/hair/skin tone/uglyness (facial asymetry, bumps and boils) I don't really mind if we don't get many options yet, as long as the basics are there in the end and it can be easily added to.

...still, I'd like a few perks to have a cannon visual representation that's more than fluff... say a giant/troll like perk or fallen race with a larger sovereign with grey/green skin and bumps... or charismatic with the pretty textures unlocked. so you could see a sovereign in battle and think... she is very pretty, charasmatic perk. (with the two being mutually exclusive)

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October 5, 2009 2:59:41 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

@Frogboy: How about being able to change how our Sovereign looks? Hair length and color, color of robes and armor, that kind of thing. Aesthetics.

Don't forget gender. If we can't make a female sovereign, I'd be very disapointed...

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October 5, 2009 4:12:55 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Scorpiana,

@Frogboy: How about being able to change how our Sovereign looks? Hair length and color, color of robes and armor, that kind of thing. Aesthetics.


Don't forget gender. If we can't make a female sovereign, I'd be very disapointed...

Holy Crap guys someone let a girl on to the Internet?!?!?! No one move or say anything. Maybe if we all hold real still she'll talk about games before she bolts off like a dear into the woods.

.

.

.

..

...

lol just kidding Scorpiana. I'd love to see female Sovereigns as well. Perhaps two Sovereigns can have a alliance and make offspring together? Of course if two Sovereigns can mix to make children/heroes I'd like to see those be particularly strong(super?) heroes. Could be a great idea?

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October 5, 2009 5:08:31 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Frogboy,
Magic related abilities (various abilities for magic)
Dynasty related abilities (abilities related to producing a family)
Governing related abilities (abilities related to running your kingdom or empire)
Adventuring related abilities (abilities related to your sovereign going on adventures)

Ok, let's see if I understand it correctly. As you put it, it seems that the civilization cannot be changed. The only thing that can be changed is the Sovereign and how he influences the world and his civilization. I like the four categories you picture (I suppose that Warfare skills are in Adventuring?) because they seem to define quite well the most important roles the Sovereign can have in his Kingdom/Empire while at the same time allowing some rpg/background touch into it. But I'd miss not being able to customize the civilization per se. Maybe it's done with the proper editor (there was one for that, right?) and that's why you don't mention it. If it's not the case, I'd like to ask you to consider it.

About those four categories, the only one I have some trouble with is Dinasty and only because I have no idea of... well, which kind of abilities can go there appart from choosing things like patriarchy/matriarchy... er... loyalty of your lineage members? I'm sure it has the potential to have some of the most interesting options but right now I cannot think of them (need some sleep maybe).

Whenever you can let us know more aboout the system, don't be shy and share with us. Right now there aremore important issues like the unit production (and economy model?) but doesn't mean we don't feel curious about some other options of the game.

Oh, and I think Frogboy already said in this forum (BoogieBac if not?) that you could change the appearence of the Sovereign (or that it was the plan). Altough this is a TBS game and should remain as such, the more rpg elements that can be included to improve the experience, the better for me. In Gal Civ II I could spend much time just creating different races (go Tigran, go!).

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October 5, 2009 5:25:15 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Frogboy,
Very interesting!

...Dynasty related abilities (abilities related to producing a family)
...

 I so want to go there. I'm not going to go there, but I SO want to!

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October 5, 2009 5:26:59 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Wintersong,



Quoting Frogboy,
reply 1
Magic related abilities (various abilities for magic)
Dynasty related abilities (abilities related to producing a family)
Governing related abilities (abilities related to running your kingdom or empire)
Adventuring related abilities (abilities related to your sovereign going on adventures)



Ok, let's see if I understand it correctly. As you put it, it seems that the civilization cannot be changed. The only thing that can be changed is the Sovereign and how he influences the world and his civilization. I like the four categories you picture (I suppose that Warfare skills are in Adventuring?) because they seem to define quite well the most important roles the Sovereign can have in his Kingdom/Empire while at the same time allowing some rpg/background touch into it. But I'd miss not being able to customize the civilization per se. Maybe it's done with the proper editor (there was one for that, right?) and that's why you don't mention it. If it's not the case, I'd like to ask you to consider it.

About those four categories, the only one I have some trouble with is Dinasty and only because I have no idea of... well, which kind of abilities can go there appart from choosing things like patriarchy/matriarchy... er... loyalty of your lineage members? I'm sure it has the potential to have some of the most interesting options but right now I cannot think of them (need some sleep maybe).

Whenever you can let us know more aboout the system, don't be shy and share with us. Right now there aremore important issues like the unit production (and economy model?) but doesn't mean we don't feel curious about some other options of the game.

Oh, and I think Frogboy already said in this forum (BoogieBac if not?) that you could change the appearence of the Sovereign (or that it was the plan). Altough this is a TBS game and should remain as such, the more rpg elements that can be included to improve the experience, the better for me. In Gal Civ II I could spend much time just creating different races (go Tigran, go!).

The civilization cannot be changed, but you can create your own custom civ/faction/tribe.

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October 5, 2009 5:39:42 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Yeah, I know it's something like that somehow... but we know nothing about it (yet). I mean, come one, I just got (lucky with) Frogboy to share some bits of Sovereign creation here.

This topic will surely have to wait some time while more important things are sorted out (i.e. economy model) but I feel curious about how we can impact the game with the Sovereign and civilization choices.

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October 5, 2009 6:13:53 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Some pretty awesome ideas, Wintersong, and I hope they end up in the game.  As for adjusting the physical ascetics of  your sovereign, I think it would be even more impressive if some of those traits were passed on to your offspring (and some of your bride's qualities as well.)  In that vein of thought, you could add negative attributes to your sovereign; perhaps something like "dubious loyalty" which could be passed on to a son or daughter.

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October 6, 2009 6:08:20 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Not sure if it has been mentioned, but for further ideas in sovereign design I think the pretender creation in Dominions 3 is an excellent place to start.

Depending on the faction you play you have a large selection of different forms for your avatar (everything from dracoliches to gorgons to hags), you select your magic spheres, and you have options to change the "scales" of your land (are your people productive, organized, lucky, etc).

Once you get familiar with the game, the subtleties of your choices can have a major impact on how you play the game.  A mage with a little skill in all spheres of magic plays much differently than a red dragon for instance.

Some of those elements wouldn't necessarily work for Elemental, but I think it's an excellent example of a game that not only allows for a lot of customization, but makes the choices meaningful.

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October 7, 2009 2:09:38 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Some-how this thread reminds me of Erfworld .... just in the quote, "he did not simply pop out of thin air" because of course, in erf world people, leaders, and military units all "pop" from thin air as adults, and have no life expectancy, just life until death. Also, everyone is strictly required to follow orders, and thinking units like warlords have "duty" which requires them to use their own initiative to help out their supreme overlord. Also, overlords (or royalty) are the only ones with any free will!

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October 7, 2009 2:41:39 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Frogboy, is there any intention to have flaws you can select which give you more points to spend on other advantages and to help better define your soverign as an individual.

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October 15, 2009 1:59:23 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting econundrum1,
Frogboy, is there any intention to have flaws you can select which give you more points to spend on other advantages and to help better define your soverign as an individual.

I think I remember reading in the journal that Frogboy took MoO2 as an example for sovreign customization. This means, in a word, 'yes'. The word can also describe the whole thread. With the suffix of 'please'.

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