Idea for Explorable, Close-Up Areas

By on February 19, 2010 5:27:30 PM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

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EDIT: I have radically modified the below idea. Please see Reply #19 for my modified idea.

 

After reading one of Frogboy's Elemental journals (I forget which one), I began pondering how you could explore the viliges, cities, and certain other locations in the Elemental world. The solution I came up is to have a party comprised of a small number of skilled characters (somewhere in the neigborhood of 1-6) would explore a isometric version of the place in question. You'd be able to walk around, converse with people, take part in various events, such as auctions and combat tournaments, fight enimies, etc. The reason I chose an isometric view to represent it is because on minimum-spec computers, everything could be represented by resource-light images while being shown in true 3-D, albeit still in the isometric perspective, on more powerful systems. Also, regarding combat at this level, you'd be able to fight battles in a turn-based style similar to Fallout 1 & 2. The locations would be constructed on a grid and would probably be created procedurally.

My above-discussed idea does have some foreseeable problems. Just to list a few, how will custom assets be properly translated into images? Could locations that look great and have good gameplay be generated procedurally? If so, could they be generated on a minimum-spec computer? And, for those times when you get caught inside a city/fortress during a siege, could a minimum-spec computer handle a massive battle, even in the previously-discussed isometric enviorments? Clearly, should my idea be implemented in some form - which if they were, I'd be shocked and amazed - these and any other problems that should show up.

Should any Stardock employee working on Elemental read this, as well as anyone else, thanks for taking the time to read my idea!

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February 20, 2010 3:02:24 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

This idea has gotten a few mentions before but hasn't really gotten any traction. While it is a great idea, and would be fun, it really does narrow down your focus. Why run around with a couple folks, when you have 10,000 soldiers waiting outside the village and an empire with over a billion citizens waiting on your every command? Small scale is nice, but it dosen't really feel right.

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February 20, 2010 7:32:41 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Cerevox,
This idea has gotten a few mentions before but hasn't really gotten any traction. While it is a great idea, and would be fun, it really does narrow down your focus. Why run around with a couple folks, when you have 10,000 soldiers waiting outside the village and an empire with over a billion citizens waiting on your every command? Small scale is nice, but it doesn't really feel right.

Maybe for Dungeons or Towers or something the idea "could" work. You can't exactly fit 10,000 men into a tiny Dungeon to fight off 3 Trolls. I could see in situations like OP describes having a General/Hero and a small group of hand picked soldiers forming a "Adventuring" party and you using them in a small squad based fight in a dungeon or building.

Anyway, OP, you should copy this idea to the "Idea's" section and I'll add it to the list.

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February 20, 2010 11:28:31 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Its cool if there are small areas, but keep in mind that i intend to have a zombie army. I have no problem cramming them into a building like sardines and smothering the trolls to death in zombies, or just tearing down the building wholesale. If there is a reasonable excuse for why we can't bring our entire army along, then sure, i would love this, but i can't think of any situation that i can't solve by throwing more zombies at it.

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February 21, 2010 3:59:27 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

but i can't think of any situation that i can't solve by throwing more zombies at it.

 

That about sums it up.

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February 21, 2010 3:59:29 PM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

Quoting Raven X,



Quoting Cerevox,
reply 1
This idea has gotten a few mentions before but hasn't really gotten any traction. While it is a great idea, and would be fun, it really does narrow down your focus. Why run around with a couple folks, when you have 10,000 soldiers waiting outside the village and an empire with over a billion citizens waiting on your every command? Small scale is nice, but it doesn't really feel right.



Maybe for Dungeons or Towers or something the idea "could" work. You can't exactly fit 10,000 men into a tiny Dungeon to fight off 3 Trolls. I could see in situations like OP describes having a General/Hero and a small group of hand picked soldiers forming a "Adventuring" party and you using them in a small squad based fight in a dungeon or building.

Anyway, OP, you should copy this idea to the "Idea's" section and I'll add it to the list.
I would gladly do that, Raven X, but I've no idea where the Ideas section is as it's not pinned. If you could reply in this post and please give me a link to the Ideas section, I'll make a reply there with my idea.

Quoting Cerevox,
Its cool if there are small areas, but keep in mind that i intend to have a zombie army. I have no problem cramming them into a building like sardines and smothering the trolls to death in zombies, or just tearing down the building wholesale. If there is a reasonable excuse for why we can't bring our entire army along, then sure, i would love this, but i can't think of any situation that i can't solve by throwing more zombies at it.
I partially agree with you on this, Cerevox. In my mind, you'd be able to destroy buildings/dungeons with an artifact in it without going in and spamming units. However, the artifact would most likely be destroyed; this could work out in your favor if the artifact in question would be worhtless in your hands but would give the enemy a major advantage. However, in the case of seriously powerful artifacts, you'd lose the ability to capture the artifact - if it even remained in the game world; you'd also incur a nasty curse by trashing their containing structure. The curse's effects would range from the besieging units being instantly killed to a full-scale assault on your kingdom by powerful magical beasts. Also, many artifacts which, albeit not worth putting a curse over anyone who should dare destroy their containing building/dungeon, are valuable enough to be properly defended would be spam-proofed by some booby-traps that activate should you attempt to bring your army/armies in after the artifact. Thus, these nasty defences would require you to go in and get it yourself with a small group instead of your comparatively-almighty army. Otherwise, you could indeed go in with your army and kill some monsters!

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February 21, 2010 5:27:58 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Not meaning to nitpick but nasty traps? sounds like a job for more zombies. And if the artifact was so awesome it was worth nearly anything and was in a super-fortified building, i would have my channeler take the time to dismantle the defensive spells, then have my zombie work crews dismantle the building piece by piece till i can get the artifact.

The only situation that i can think of, that would restrict the amount of force i can use, would be if someone had a hostage, but considering the fact that my channeler is going to be a lord of evil and darkness, that wouldn't even effect me. Perhaps a good channeler might care about hostages.

My point though is that the only real way to restrict the number of troops i can use would be to arbitrarily declare it to be so, which would murder the immersion. I would love to be wrong, and for there to be situations that require small teams of units, but i simply can't think of any.

 

And the ideas section is right here.

http://forums.elementalgame.com/

Look in categorys, its the 4th one down.

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February 21, 2010 5:50:55 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

While I've heard Frogboy mention that the Kumquat engine could be programmed to run RTS and action games, but adding it into the main game is likely low of thier priority list.

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February 21, 2010 6:24:30 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Not talking about RTS or action games. Talking about combat situations similar to what you got in xcom. It is more like turn based tactical rather then TBS. Real time should stay at a nice long distance from this game.

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February 21, 2010 7:16:59 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Expack,

I would gladly do that, Raven X, but I've no idea where the Ideas section is as it's not pinned. If you could reply in this post and please give me a link to the Ideas section, I'll make a reply there with my idea.

The Idea's section is part of the forums here. I keep a master list of all ideas posted that I update once a week or so. This makes it a little easier for the Devs to find our ideas by Type when they have time to incorporate new things.

Quoting Cerevox,
My point though is that the only real way to restrict the number of troops i can use would be to arbitrarily declare it to be so, which would murder the immersion. I would love to be wrong, and for there to be situations that require small teams of units, but i simply can't think of any.

I don't think you're being very imaginative my friend. Imagine this....

A dungeon is built into the side of a mountain with a vast network of underground caves and passages. One of these "passages" is barely big enough for two men to stand side by side. There are 20 defenders barricaded inside guarding a powerful artifact. They are well stocked and provisioned and could hold out for months before starvation is a risk. If they fight in shifts seeing as how only two could fight at a time anyway, they can fight indefinitely.

You can only fit so many zombies down there and they can only attack two at a time because of the closeness of the cave walls. The walls are solid rock. You can't just blow the place apart with magic because that may destroy the artifact you're trying to get. Throwing more zombies at them won't do much. You would have to kill them one by one from virtual exhaustion or wear out their months of supplies. They would die off slowly costing you far more in zombies. No matter how many zombies you throw at them you can't kill them off any faster then 1 or 2 every other turn.

(think along the lines of a 300 scenario for a historical example)

A small band of well trained warriors in a confined space can hold off hordes of mindless zombies in a small corridor.

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February 21, 2010 7:48:02 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Start a fire at mouth of cave, suck breathable oxygen out? teleport spell? Tunneling dwarves? Or just wear them out. I will live for centuries, what are a few months to me?

If they have spells protecting their air or preventing teleports or tunneling in, i can just dismantle those spells. I am a channeler, rivaled only by the dragons in my magic powers. Why can't i just inflict a horrible plauge on them and let them die?

Or fill the tunnels with toxic gas, it won't bother my zombies, will kill the defenders. If they are machines i can fill the tunnels with corrosive gas. It will kill my zombies too, but if i lose a couple thousand of them, i simply don't care.

The problem with that situation is that it assumes i need to get that artifact quickly and that i care about losses. I live a very long time and most likely my cities are geared to maximize production of cannon fodder for my armies so i can afford absurd losses.

the only reason i would need to hurry would be if an opposing army was coming to get it, at which point i would just deal with that army and then come back for the artifact later. But i would leave gaurds at the entrace to keep them from resupplying and to smash the whole complex along with the artifact if the other nation won the fight.

When you have the full resources of an empire to call on, 20 people simply can't stop you, no matter how well dug in they are if you are willing to spend the time and effort to dig them out.

 

And on the 300, it was actually the 300 + their thousands of slave-soldiers. The movie just glosses over that part. Not the best example.

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February 22, 2010 12:57:17 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Cerevox,
Start a fire at mouth of cave, suck breathable oxygen out? teleport spell? Tunneling dwarves? Or just wear them out. I will live for centuries, what are a few months to me?

If they have spells protecting their air or preventing teleports or tunneling in, i can just dismantle those spells. I am a channeler, rivaled only by the dragons in my magic powers. Why can't i just inflict a horrible plauge on them and let them die?

Or fill the tunnels with toxic gas, it won't bother my zombies, will kill the defenders. If they are machines i can fill the tunnels with corrosive gas. It will kill my zombies too, but if i lose a couple thousand of them, i simply don't care.

The problem with that situation is that it assumes i need to get that artifact quickly and that i care about losses. I live a very long time and most likely my cities are geared to maximize production of cannon fodder for my armies so i can afford absurd losses.

the only reason i would need to hurry would be if an opposing army was coming to get it, at which point i would just deal with that army and then come back for the artifact later. But i would leave gaurds at the entrace to keep them from resupplying and to smash the whole complex along with the artifact if the other nation won the fight.

When you have the full resources of an empire to call on, 20 people simply can't stop you, no matter how well dug in they are if you are willing to spend the time and effort to dig them out.

 

And on the 300, it was actually the 300 + their thousands of slave-soldiers. The movie just glosses over that part. Not the best example.

Very true, you can do all those things. I wasn't saying you couldn't. I was just pointing out that there are some things "throwing endless zombies at" can't fix. All those other options are viable.

I would like to hope that no matter how many zombies you throw at a elder Dragon, they'll never be able to kill it. Even if it's some insane number like a million, the Dragon will just breath fire on them, fly away when he's tired, fly back for more fire, etc etc = a million burnt zombies.

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February 22, 2010 1:22:50 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Oh, ya. I would expect a dragon to lolPWN any number of zombies. He could kill them in his sleep. But that would not be a small scale fight anyway. My issue is that in small scale fights are pointless because i can just bring in endless hordes. On a large scale, its your horde vs my horde.

For a dragon you would want to use as much force as you can get your hands on. Same in all situations. Any small scale combat  is pointless, because that maximum force would involve thousands of soldiers. No reason to ever tone it down and go small numbers.

And in the cave situation, zombie spam was still a workable option. Its in the list you quoted.

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February 22, 2010 3:14:39 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

As far as the small areas, maybe you can only take in certain unit sizes. So, for instance, you happen to have only legions with you, you might could only Enter the Cave or Dungeon with Companies or lower (about 10 units or so).

So even if you have a huge army, you would have to enter the map piece by piece ... and therefore targetting the player audience to WISH that they had a small band of highly elite soldiers to acompany a Hero on a Dungeon Crawl, as opposed to sending many tiny mobs of weak creatures, wasting time with battles or autoresolve, as it couldn't be done all at once.

Of course, you also (I suppose) have the option of destroying it and allowing the strong baddies from the site to simply spawn atop the map, with almost no hope to get the reward item. And certainly not complete any related quests.

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February 22, 2010 4:21:56 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

No, thats my point. I would just tell it to auto-resolve the fight and order my thousand zombies to go in. As always, WHY can i only take 10 units in? It makes no sense. I don't mind if my zombies have to go in one by one and it takes a month to get them all in there. There is no situation in which a small force is preferable to a large force.

And why would i not get the reward item? I am not blowing the dungeon up. I would have work crews carefully dismantle the entire building. I would get the artifact AND a bunch of precut stone to build my own stuff with. Defensive spells are the same thing, i can have my channeler carefully disable them.

 

After thinking about this for a bit, i realized there was one huge flaw we were overlooking. Any map that had enough arbitrary restrictions on it so that you actually wanted to use a small force, would be horribly boring to play. The cave with 20 defenders for example. Do you really want to spend your time moving your elite team down a 50X2 map? sounds like a horrible grind-a-thon to me.

I would love for their to be some way to have small scale tactics. I spent thousands of hours playing xcom apoc. But there is simply no situation in which i would want to handicap myself by limiting the forces i use. When i go to a battle, i go to win.

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February 22, 2010 8:10:54 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

It makes PERFECT sense. Think of a map 100 x 100 hexes, only the Chasm's are only 3 hex's wide, and there are strange restrictions like only 3 units per tile or something ... Or to go SUPER crazy, only one person per tile (doubtful, but probably like, u can have a squad on one tile, and a hero on another tile type of deal). Now, on a normal battle I wouldn't want tiles to restrict movement at all, but on these small maps, essentially I would want the soldiers to be LARGER in PROPORTION compared to the map, to give the feel of being zoomed in, in a cave.

You just don't like questing, I feel like, and I don't think your revilement of a feature should be enough for it to be removed. You can make a "god mode" later or something, or you can simplify the quests. Besides, most likely there would be techs along the Adventure path that Benefit small squads of adventurers, while Military techs would increase equipment, and some military techs would focus on large-scale battles and using massed infantry.

 

Maybe your huge squad of Zombies is possible through a combination of Military Techs + Necromancy Spell book, or maybe all it takes is alot of Mass-raise-dead spells from the Necro spell book. And if its not there? and even if it is? There will probably be an economic and time-based things. What you propose ... about taking zombies to tear the place down brick by brick ... I would say would require at least 1000 zombies in the area to maximize the speed at which you would slowly be dismantling the Dungeon. This should take about 10 turns. Well, maybe the Dev's will allow for an option to be checked for "short quests" in which each quest simply culminates into a large battle (if any fighting at all) like they do in King Arthur. However, if someone wants to explore the Dungeon, to get maximized, I say let them explore the corridors of dungeon, and let them do this all in "one turn". And if they don't want this, they can go the short-cut, to do a large on-map battle, against all the cave's inhabitant's at once or something, or they can simply destroy the Lair to no effect other than summoning the Biggest Boss of the Dungeon to fight you. Maybe throw in some random extra bosses in there as well (on an RNG) to make things interesting.

I personally want to be able to wander around with my Sephiroth-esque Sovereign (or Kefka-esque Sov) backed by a Cloud or Yuki esque Champion, trowling around Cave-corridors, or through rooms in a dungeon, blasting apart enemies with mind-boggling spells, or simply having McCloud hack n slash at the various baddies, enhanced by buff magics.

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February 22, 2010 8:56:42 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

No, that makes no sense at all. That is exactly the thing i am arguing against. If we have small squad actions, i want there to be a Plausible, In-Game reason. Not an arbitrary reason.

Think of a map 100 x 100 hexes, only the Chasm's are only 3 hex's wide, and there are strange restrictions like only 3 units per tile or something ... Or to go SUPER crazy, only one person per tile

This is Exactly what i mean. Why is it only 100 x 100? why only a certain number of units per tile? All completely arbitrary reasons. All break the immersion of the game. I might have a vast army with me, but they can't enter the fight because the map is only 100 x 100? That is flat out arbitrary.

You just don't like questing, I feel like, and I don't think your revilement of a feature should be enough for it to be removed.

I love questing. Of the quests that frogboy posted in his op at this thread http://forums.elementalgame.com/372222 every single one has a reasonable requirement that is explained in game. However, you will notice, that only the incidental quest restricts the total number of forces you can use. Which makes sense. It is a small inn, and you are only killing rats. That is a good reason to only involve your hero.

The other 2 examples are taking a castle and fighting a demon. In both of those cases, the only restriction is that you need a hero with you, which makes perfect sense. If you want to bring your whole army along, all well and good. I don't plan on fighting a demon or seizing a castle with just my hero.

 

Maybe your huge squad of Zombies is possible through a combination of Military Techs + Necromancy Spell book, or maybe all it takes is alot of Mass-raise-dead spells from the Necro spell book. And if its not there? and even if it is? There will probably be an economic and time-based things. What you propose ... about taking zombies to tear the place down brick by brick ... I would say would require at least 1000 zombies in the area to maximize the speed at which you would slowly be dismantling the Dungeon.

The zombies are just an example. Any unit you can make lots of could work there. Instead of zombies you could use any cannon fodder unit. Peasants with sticks,  spearmen, basic infantry, anything. I just say zombies all the time because they are by far the coolest cannon fodder unit. It dosen't even have to be a cannon fodder unit. Any large army would work.

 

Ok, since my postion is still not obvious, let me clarify.

I love small squad combat. I love small squad combat. I LOVE SMALL SQUAD COMBAT.

 I just want there to be a good reason for why i can't bring in my massive army. Thats all i ask for. That is all i want.

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February 22, 2010 11:16:22 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Its not arbitrary if the area is smaller!!!

Im not sure how you can say "entering a cavern" is arbitrary, and then you give a highly extrapolated work-around for dismanteling the ENTIRE MOUNTAIN stone by stone by laborers and magical means as your "morale/logical reasoning" that it makes no sense to have to enter the Cavern on the basis that its too small ... cause in your mind you can simply blast a giant hole in the mountain, or carefully dismember a Mountain or Castle ... all as elegedly feasable and Cost Appropriate ways to avoid crowding your army in a tiny cavern? There are traps, pitfalls, who knows what else, sure you could send in minor players in tiny squads (necessary because the very essence of the Lair is small, narrow, and winding) and gain losses by the thousands due to some simple pitfall that is unfortunately un-navigable by mundane means or projectable magics, meaning you would need a magical user physically present nearby.

"Your army is too big" is not an arbitrary restriction. If a place is too small or narrow for your mobs to keep formation, then you are, by the laws of nature, physics, gravity, and Military basics, forced to send in smaller squads, or allow the unit to Completely break formation (breaking formation allows for freedom of movement, but takes away control (only basic AI commands, you can't specifically order a mob of broken formation individuals) and highly decreases their combat effectiveness and overall organization.

I can see a possibility of killing off 2000 peasants by sending in large units of 500 with broken formation, and while maybe clearing half of the Dungeon, you have a pile of human bones so high, and blood soaking the ground so deep, that at this point the COST of your exploration has far outweight the benefit, and your people will woe that you are their sovereign. In THIS case, it might be more wise to use small elite squads in order to avoid squander of men. Or at the very least separate your Peasant Rabble into small organized Squads, so that they can die more efficiently.

I can see reasons where you might be inclined to Waste several hundred of your peasants for a trivial matter your Champions could easily mop up ... but usually only in dire situations where your CHampions are spread thin over the map in various campaigns, and you believe that this small advantage will be worth the countless lives of Red-Shirts.

Is THIS the option you are looking for? Sacrifice Red-Shirts in order to accomplish the same goal, at a far greater price? If this is so, then I see no reason why we are arguing.

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February 23, 2010 12:00:33 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

In such a case, if it did act as a small scale battle, and i had an army of cannon fodder sitting outside the dungeon/cavern, any time one of my cannon fodder units died i would expect a new one from the army outside to enter the battle field immediately. And like i have been saying all along, i would expect to lose heaps of cannon fodder. Luckily, i intend to be a very evil sov, so cannon fodder losses would be no big deal.

For the most part though, i am happy. My arguments got picked apart which is kinda what i hoped would happen. I really do want to see small scale combat that makes sense.

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February 23, 2010 4:59:55 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

OK, I know this is going to be a shocker, but I have decided that because Cerevox's argument on huge armies has proven rather uncounterable, and because I can't come up with a counter-argument, my idea needs serious reconstruction. I've thought it over, and here is my new idea on how to let people explore towns, castles, and other locales:

 

When you enter a town, castle, or other populated area, you're shown a window that shows a picture that gives you the area's situation at-a-glance, a fancy, book-like description that states that you've entered the area, tells you in more detail the area's situation, and gives you at least two options: talk to elder/mayor/duke, and trade. The first is self-explanatory, while the other allows you to exchange gold for whatever the locals are willing to sell to you in trade. Depending on what's available, you'll be given additional options, such as enter tavern, enter auction house, and visit jail. You'll be able to do various things at these locations, like recruit new soldiers and/or heroes, bid on various items (should you decide to join an auction), and provide bail to prisoners. All small-scale combat will be automatically fought; all large-scale combat will be treated like a normal combat situation.

 

When it comes to those infamous dungeons, towers, and locations holding artifacts, you'll be presented with a window similar to the one discussed above: you're shown a picture of the outside of the location, a message describing your current situation, and various actions you can take based on what units you have present: Besiege, available if you have siege equipment or troops who can assemble siege equipment, Assault, effectively an instant battle, Dismantle Spells, available if you have a channeler or sufficiently powerful magic-wielder and the place is protected by defensive spells, and Disassemble Building, available if all spells are dismantled.

In the case of Besiege, you'll be given an ignorable warning should the building still be defended by defensive spells; in the case of Disassemble Building, there will be an adjustable maximum amount of soldiers working on the disassembly process in order that the remaining soldiers can defend them from any monsters that should be encountered. Also, while disassembling a building, there's a chance that the boss monster could escape, thus causing it to reek havoc on the game world. This chance would be based on the quality and quantity of troops that are defending the working troops.

 

So, there be my new idea. Please feel free to comment on it.  

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February 23, 2010 5:05:11 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I like it.  . Gives everyone the option to take the method they prefer.

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February 23, 2010 5:48:40 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Hmm, I see. Yes that post covers all of the non-small scale options. Im sure there will be options to take only a small group on a Zoomed out Map if you want to, as well as to personally fight the small-scale battles if you want to. These small-scale ordeals will usually be the *most* fun if you actually have any Champions or Heros available to fight in the small-scale battles. In addition, small-scale battles can be the result of Espionage-type situations, or Alternative completion of quests.

For instance, the giant castle guarding the Treature X. You can either assault the entire castle like you suggested, or you can find X, Y, Z, and/or Person C in order to sneak you into the basement through an alternate passage, and you scour through the Basement in a dungeon like setting with the small number of soldiers you were able to sneak in with. Usually a Champion or Two, with an elite Squad or two.

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