HORROR MARKS. CURSES. INSANITY.

Please oh God no don't

By on February 9, 2010 9:27:38 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Ozar

Join Date 03/2003
0

Anyone who's played Dominions 3 should know what I'm talking about.

Now, see, contrary to what you might think, I am not saying, "Hey, I like this feature from this game, please includ-" NO! That is very wrong! That is the complete opposite of my intention!

I want to make sure that such things do not taint the game!

It boils down to this: If there is a permanent, irremovable by any means status ailment, I want it OUT OF THE GAME, or at least the ability to cure it.

I wanted to like Dominions, I really did, but this "NO, YOU WILL PLAY THE GAME OUR WAY AND NO WE WILL NOT REMOVE THEM QUIT ASKING" attitude turned me off time and time again.

It was especially ridiculous in Dominion's case since you played a pretender god (Note the 'god' part.) Does it not seem a tad absurd that a 1st level spell (Out of 9) could forever afflict your avatar, and not even a 9th level spell could remove it? And curses were just the starting point. Horror Marks were even worse. The more of these you got, the more often and more likely you were to be randomly attacked by Horrors that would eventually become overwhelming. And even if you raised your pretender, the horror marks remain.

And Insanity.. no, I've said enough.

 

Down with permanent status ailments!

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February 9, 2010 10:10:50 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

And there I was, thinking that this was going to be a thread about the consequences of playing the Beta.

It really sounds ridiculous that you can get curses (and be cursed) and no way to break them.

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February 9, 2010 10:50:17 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Yea, dominions always seemed pretty cool, I never bought it but that really sounds absurd. It sounds like a neat idea overall though (along with cures of course)

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February 9, 2010 10:54:53 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I'm actually fond of Dominions, slow-death afflicitons/curses/spells and all, but I agree that generals, family members and champions need to be less fragile in Elemental.

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February 9, 2010 12:58:27 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

If you've got some kind of "affliction" in a game there should ALWAYS be some kind of way to cure it. Not being able to break something like that is a plain out FLAW in game design. Whoever thought that up was a moron.

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February 9, 2010 1:07:53 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Irremovable curses? Definately not until the VERY end game, hopefully not even then (at least in terms of gameplay: irremovable cureses in the BACKSTORY sound like a good way to slip in ability penalties and "gamey" restrictions.)

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February 9, 2010 2:42:16 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Raven X,
If you've got some kind of "affliction" in a game there should ALWAYS be some kind of way to cure it. Not being able to break something like that is a plain out FLAW in game design. Whoever thought that up was a moron.
No no, see, it's a "design choice." Like not having a save option (Note: the game is ironman saves only.) Here's what their FAQ has to say:

Q: How do I remove the Curse?
You don't. Curse is permanent and will stay with the unit for the rest of the game. There is NO way to remove it. At all. Removing curses will NOT be added in a patch.

You can't make this stuff up, folks.

Q: How do I remove a Horrormark?
You don't. A Horrormark is just as permanent as Curse.

Q: How do I avoid getting my units horrormarked?
The same way you avoid getting them cursed. Pay attention and be careful. Mages with level 2 in Astral magic can cast a spell that horrormarks units and they tend to prioritize targets the same way mages casting Curse do. So avoid tangling with them.
In multislayer games, your SC is going to get horrormarked sooner or later when you run up against an opponent with access to Astral magic. That's a fact of life in Dom3.

It's a "fact of life"! Deal with it! It would be funny if it weren't so sad.

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February 9, 2010 3:59:35 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

 

Who would want to be a god that spends eternity fighting horrors until you die, return to life and do it all again....

 

I like the idea of non-permanent curses and afflictions.

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February 9, 2010 4:38:19 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

It seems like a matter of category to me. Truly permanent curses, 'marks,' or other trait changes should be very rare (expensive or just difficult) and probably should present some risks to the spell-caster attempting to inflict them. But in the abstract, rejecting them entirely seems like a baby-with-the-bathwater thing. It would rule out Elemental analogs of historical figures like Ivar the Boneless.

If we're lucky enough to have curses in the game at all, though, I expect most of them to have recovery options ranging appropriately from common counterspells to significant quests.

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February 9, 2010 7:20:02 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I agree with permanent curses, actually. The frequency that they arose in Dominions though was rediculous... and it wasn't as if they differentiated between lesser, curable curses and powerful, incurable ones.

I'm not in favor of the reverse, though. Having super powerful magic only inflict 30 second debuffs and not the bone-mangling life wrenching shish kebab magicks they should be is just weak.

In terms of Dominions though... the cruel afflictions I think are a counter to near invincible super-combatants. My big problem, as I said, is that they were way too common.

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February 9, 2010 10:45:26 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Having dangerous curses is nice, not being able to remove them is just silly. Where do they mark you? can't you just like, cut that limb off and regen it?

Actually, it would be cool if you could hardcore curse another player, but if they manage to strip it off, tehy can toss in some extra power and throw it back at you.

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February 10, 2010 1:41:14 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Cerevox,
Having dangerous curses is nice, not being able to remove them is just silly. Where do they mark you? can't you just like, cut that limb off and regen it?

 

They mark your soul *Cue creepy music*

 

All curses should be reversable, but the stronger the curse the harder to remove. Or make all curses unremovable, but all time limited, with the stronger curses lasting many turns. Or combine the two; all curses removable and time limited. Energy required to place the curse is dependant on the strength of the curse (eg does it make you clumsy or mega clumsy?), the duration of the curse and any protection against curses the target has (eg an amulet makes curses cost 1.5 times the energy). The energy required to remove the curse is directly proportional, excluding the protection multiplier.

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February 10, 2010 7:57:43 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Or curse that you can "maintain".

Each turn (or 10 turns or ..) you can spend some mana to make your curses last a little longer.

And why not fading curses ? When you cast a curse it has a level (from 1 to 10 for instance). Each turn (or 2 turns or ..) you make a roll for your cruses : if you get something lesser or equal to the curse level, then it degrades from 1 level.

For instance you cast a curse of level 4. Next turn you roll a 7. The curse remain level 4. Second turn you roll a 2, then the curse degrades and is now level 3 ... thus you can have curses that last for very longtime, but will always stop one day or another. And if you add the possibility to enhance curse duration ...

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February 10, 2010 9:38:23 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

The Ozar guy is not giving you people the whole story.

The developers of Dominions have never come out and given any attitude that would suggest NO, YOU WILL PLAY THE GAME OUR WAY AND NO WE WILL NOT REMOVE THEM QUIT ASKING.

The truth is very few Dominions players complain about horror marks, curses and especially insanity, so they didn't change it because the majority of players wanted it left in. They are up to version 3.23 of the game and all the changes are bug fixes, new content or changes suggested by the player base. So it is a bit unfair to call them "morons" because you got one side of the story.

Curses are permanent, but it is not the end of the world. In Dominions a curse makes you twice as likely to get an affliction than before. In my experience, investing in a level 1 magic item called "The Bark Skin Amulet" negates the curse, or at least lessens it. Using this level 1 magic item, I have avoided afflictions on my Pretender the entire game. BTW, you don't play as a god in Dominions, you play as a Pretender trying to rise to the level of god through persuasion (dominion) and conquest.

Horror Marks in Dominions meant that horrors would attack you as a special combat that happened more frequently as you received more horror marks. You were never "overwhelmed" by horrors since only one can attack you at a time, period. Many of the pretenders could be built by mid game to kill any horrors that attacked them, in essence making the horror attacks basically bonus exp. There is a mod that puts a spell into the game that removes horror marks btw.

Insanity. This is the most trivial of the three afflictions. You can only gain this affliction by using 1 cursed item that is unique, as an inherit ability on one of the most powerful units in the game or by fighting 1 nation out of the 60+ that spread insanity through their dominion. In most multiplayer games that nation is banned now because of the population killing dominion that it spreads in addition to the insanity, but before it was, often it was pretty easy to punch straight to their capital with certain nations such as Mictlan and Atlantis. In one MP game I was able to defeat them with only having two commanders get the insanity affliction 25% and 50%. Many of my troops received the affliction, but it has absolutely 0 effect on the game when a common troop receives it.

It's not bad design, it's just another end to your units besides death. By your reasoning, death in a game is a bad design decision. No unit is so important in Dominions that it cannot be replaced except for the Pretender, and I imagine the same will hold true for the sovereign in Elemental. 

Be careful not to dumb our game down too much with your complaining. The people who don't mind such things may not be as vocal, but we are probably as numerous as you and we deserve a game with at least a little bit of challenge, surely a balance can be struck between both camps.

Thanks.

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February 10, 2010 11:35:26 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

It's not bad design, it's just another end to your units besides death. By your reasoning, death in a game is a bad design decision. No unit is so important in Dominions that it cannot be replaced except for the Pretender, and I imagine the same will hold true for the sovereign in Elemental.

I won't lie... afflictions and curses were always quite annoying. Actually, for as annoying curses were, I thought diseases were just a ton worse. But you're essentially right. Permanent curses and afflictions were important to the overall balance of the game. And honestly they weren't really all that bad. If you didn't want your pretender to be at risk, you didn't use him. Nuff said.

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February 10, 2010 11:41:34 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Doesnt' change the fact that I don't like curses and the like that are unbreakable. And if such unbreakable things are important to the overall balance... uf.

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February 10, 2010 2:18:10 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Wintersong,
Doesnt' change the fact that I don't like curses and the like that are unbreakable. And if such unbreakable things are important to the overall balance... uf.

What is death but a permanent status affliction?

But seriously, none of the permanent status afflictions in Dominions actually influenced combat readiness that much if at all. Curses only cause other afflictions which are curable.

Honestly some things in that game were so friggin' powerful it was good to be able to slap a curse or horror mark just before you bit it. It made the continued use of that unit less likely... not less effective. Plenty of time to take your best stuff off the dude and summon/recruit someone else to take their place.

The worst thing about curses are the psychological impact on the player.

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February 10, 2010 5:49:15 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

 

Quoting jshores,
The Ozar guy is not giving you people the whole story.

The developers of Dominions have never come out and given any attitude that would suggest NO, YOU WILL PLAY THE GAME OUR WAY AND NO WE WILL NOT REMOVE THEM QUIT ASKING.
Not with such a hostile tone, but they DO come right out and say it in the FAQ!

The truth is very few Dominions players complain about horror marks, curses and especially insanity, so they didn't change it because the majority of players wanted it left in. They are up to version 3.23 of the game and all the changes are bug fixes, new content or changes suggested by the player base. So it is a bit unfair to call them "morons" because you got one side of the story.
A large number of players wanted normal save games, but the developers have no intention of adding them, either.

Curses are permanent, but
No. There is no "but." It's an untreatable affliction. That alone makes it odious to me. In a game where you wield world shaking powers and craft god-killing artifacts, there is a certain expectation of control over that world on top of what you normally expect out of a strategy game. When you take away that control, you are weakening the game.

Insanity. This is the most trivial of the three afflictions. You can only gain this affliction by using 1 cursed item that is unique, as an inherit ability on one of the most powerful units in the game or by fighting 1 nation out of the 60+ that spread insanity through their dominion. In most multiplayer games that nation is banned now*snip*
When you have to make house rules like this it suggests a lot about the game balance.

It's not bad design, it's just another end to your units besides death. By your reasoning, death in a game is a bad design decision. No unit is so important in Dominions that it cannot be replaced except for the Pretender, and I imagine the same will hold true for the sovereign in Elemental.
Except the Pretender can suffer all of these things without a way of mending them either, EXCEPT for death. What manner of being can transcend death but not a Level 1 Curse? It's absurd.

Oh, and as for death in general, two words: Raise Dead. In Age of Wonders for example, you could resurrect heroes.

Be careful not to dumb our game down too much with your complaining. The people who don't mind such things may not be as vocal, but we are probably as numerous as you and we deserve a game with at least a little bit of challenge, surely a balance can be struck between both camps.
Hey, if you want some hardcore mode, that's your business, I just want to make sure the rest of us aren't stuck playing your idea of the game to the exclusion of any other.

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February 10, 2010 5:51:50 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting MagicwillNZ,
If you didn't want your pretender to be at risk, you didn't use him. Nuff said.
Replace the word "pretender" with "sovereign" and imagine how fun Elemental would be like that.

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February 10, 2010 6:05:53 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Ya, in most fantasy games, death isn't permanent. Actually, for those of you who played ME2, its also not permanent in sci-fi either apparently. And TBH, i always assume that any game that only has ironman saves is a game too hardcore for me seeing as i am flesh and blood, not a cylon . I can see an optional ironman mode being included, but no should be forced to play that way.

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February 10, 2010 6:54:41 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Ozar,
 


When you have to make house rules like this it suggests a lot about the game balance.

 

To be fair I think that (those?, the Ermor and R'yleh both kill off population, R'yleh deal insanity as well) civ is in the "Late Epoch" and there are around 15-20 other civ's to chose from. I like it for two reasons, one is that playing single or multiplayer you can stop them from playing so if you don't like it just remove them; second reason is that in terms of story they are completely original. Ermor, the land of death where all population dies and undead spawn. R'yleh, land of void beasts, where all minds are eventually corrupted with insanity. Brilliant. Playing them was horrible because I hate micromanagement.

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February 10, 2010 6:59:05 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Ozar,

Replace the word "pretender" with "sovereign" and imagine how fun Elemental would be like that.

I'm suprised you even picked up curses and horror marks being a big problem. Mid-way into the Dominions game I'm into right now the big problem is all my researchers are dying of old age. Diseases are a lot more serious than any of those other status afflictions, there isn't a lot you can do with a sick and dying hombre. And you know... I'm cool with that.

I've been cursed a few times. But no horror marks so far.

I think you're exaggerating the impact that curses and horror marks have on the game. As I said, they complicate the use of a unit... they don't make them less effective. If they're a pretender most likely they can kill the horror. If they're soldiers I isolate them and seperate them from the rest of the army. If they're anything else they can be replaced.

I can see an optional ironman mode being included, but no should be forced to play that way.

This is a legitimate concern. I must admit though, games like Linley's Dungeon Crawl would simply not be the same with a save/load feature. I'm quite glad I play Dominions in "Iron-man mode". In a game of permanent consequences, I'd be too tempted to reload the game to save myself from  losing a leg or whatever.

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February 10, 2010 7:17:07 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

 

Curses are permanent, but

No. There is no "but." It's an untreatable affliction. That alone makes it odious to me. In a game where you wield world shaking powers and craft god-killing artifacts, there is a certain expectation of control over that world on top of what you normally expect out of a strategy game. When you take away that control, you are weakening the game.

So what if they cannot be cured? The effects sure can be avoided and cured easily, and through several different means including spells, an artifact and several units that can cure the afflictions of other troops. Also, many pretenders and units have recuperation and immortality which spontaneously cure afflictions. With a tiny bit of planning, you never have to suffer from ANY of the side effects of curses.

That surely gives you several easy options to beat a curse.

BTW, contrary to what you say, you can raise dead heroes in Dominions as well if they reach the Hall of Fame. 

It sounds like you didn't play Dominions much at all.

 

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February 10, 2010 8:40:18 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

http://dom3.servegame.com/wiki/Category:Unit

 

Who did the data entry for all that?

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February 11, 2010 10:27:26 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Ironman mode in Diablo II LoD f.e. is a good thing since otherwise me and many other would wuss out and just save all the time.

 

And restraining myself from saving is not an acceptable solution since we play by the rules but stretch them as far as we can.

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February 11, 2010 1:33:58 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Speaking as someone who beat xcom apoc on hardest difficulty by saving every second in order to save-load my way to victory(no joke, litterally every single frame, i saved) and as someone who had litterally 2000+ saves in oblivion/mass effect(oblivion starts breaking around 600+ saves in the save folder), i think saving should be left to the player. If you want to play in ironman mode, more power to you. I wimp out at the very thought of ironman mode.

So please, leave me my save anytime and let it re-seed every load.  

 

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