The Kingdoms vs. The Empires

By on May 10, 2010 12:26:26 PM from JoeUser Forums JoeUser Forums

Frogboy

Join Date 03/2001
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BG22_Fire For beta testers, only the Kingdoms have been exposed.  The Kingdoms play much like a traditional 4X game.  You build city improvements to get benefits to your city. You train up soldiers hoping they’ll get better and better. It is a civilization based on laws and rules.

The Empire has taken a different path…

In War

Their soldiers don’t gain experience. Such a concept of thinking about individual soldiers is anathema to the Empire.

As such, there is no such thing as a veteran Imperial soldier. However, they can train up special, powerful units (Guardians, Enforcers, and Sions).  These powerful individuals will routinely demonstrate the inherent flaw in trying to train groups of soldiers to be more effective. Greatness is born. Not learned.

In Peace

There is no tradition of civics in the Empire. Moreover, the concept of bee keeping or fruit orchard harvesting and what not is completely foreign. The Empire looks at the Kingdoms with absolute contempt that they would waste time harvesting such things.

Of course, it also means the Empires can harvest fewer special resources in the world. To make up for this, the Empire can build hog farms adjacent to their farms. That’s real food. Pathetic Kingdoms.

The Empire also scoffs at the Civics concepts of markets. Deals are made on the basis of leverage alone. Instead of relying on institutions, the Empire relies on leaders of capitalism to deal with it. Players can build Financiers (until we have a better name, feel free to suggest a better one) who enhance the city’s money making.

Similarly, there is no formal education system in the Empire. Schools? Universities? These concepts are worthless. The Kingdoms foolishly entrust their futures to special interests. In the Empire, players can create Sage units who can be sent where they are needed to boost knowledge production.

There are no pubs in the Empire. No Inns.  Such decadence is forbidden. Prestige is generated by showing respect to those who have seized power such as statues to great figures such as Lord Kir-Tion and Curgen the Dred’nir.

In Magic

Again, letting something as important as magic be taught by a special interest is another weakness of the Kingdom that the Empire has no part of. The Empire instead has its own magic commissars – the Lore masters who study the ancient texts to discover the correct spells needed to dominate the world. These units can be built and sent where needed.

Adventuring? I don’t think so

The Kingdoms have an entire knowledge field called “Adventuring”. There is no such concept in The Empire. Adventuring implies a light hearted search for excitement. This is why the Empire has dominated the world, it has no use for pointless wandering.

The Empires focus on Domination. Finding and re-learning knowledge scattered throughout the world. 

The Kingdoms, dominated by cowardly men, like to stay in their schools and temples. The Empire, dominated by the races of the Fallen and the lone race of men with the strength to embrace the philosophy of the Empires (Kraxis) gain knowledge and strength from going out into the world and seizing it from others. Dangerous places have great knowledge and the Empire is particularly skilled in finding that knowledge.

The Empire will rule

The fact is, the Empires are the dominant form of social organization in the world. The Kingdoms, with their weak, so-called concepts of liberty, social contracts and obsession with the rights of individuals is an absurd, artificial creation that violates the laws of nature.

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May 10, 2010 12:31:00 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I'm sorry, but that just sounds freakin' cool!  Ahhhh, I can't wait for this game to be released (yes I have the beta but I just like taking sneak peeks, I want to save my first full-on games for the finished masterpiece).

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May 10, 2010 12:34:23 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

. . .Do want. Do, freaking, want.

 

I love what you folks are doing here.

 

Also, depending on the back-lore: (Black) Marketeers, Profiteers, Merchant Speculators, Taxitors

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May 10, 2010 12:35:35 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I understand the concept of making the Empires feel different from the Kingdoms, but this seems a little...I don't know, limiting? Maybe I'm getting the wrong impression but it seems to me the Empires (if they follow this outline) will all be war-like, which isn't a bad thing necessarily, but would lead to them all playing the same with little distinction between them. Maybe I'm jumping the gun on conceptualization, it just looks that way to me.

It does sound fun though provided they are fleshed out and have some other options aside from "Kill, Kill, Die Die!!!". As much fun as that is, if that's all the Empire factions do it will get pretty boring playing as one (which saddens me greatly as I prefer playing Evil characters). Just because something is Evil doesn't mean it should lack depth or options or other ways to win.

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May 10, 2010 12:41:44 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Raven X,
I understand the concept of making the Empires feel different from the Kingdoms, but this seems a little...I don't know, limiting? Maybe I'm getting the wrong impression but it seems to me the Empires (if they follow this outline) will all be war-like, which isn't a bad thing necessarily, but would lead to them all playing the same with little distinction between them. Maybe I'm jumping the gun on conceptualization, it just looks that way to me.

It does sound fun though provided they are fleshed out and have some other options aside from "Kill, Kill, Die Die!!!". As much fun as that is, if that's all the Empire factions do it will get pretty boring playing as one (which saddens me greatly as I prefer playing Evil characters). Just because something is Evil doesn't mean it should lack depth or options or other ways to win.

 

I think what's actually happening here is they believe in essentially "Empowerment/Power by Right\Birth" or (to steal the hell out of certain things) "Peace Through Conquest"

So instead of being heavily reliant on buildings to provide their resources (IE Knowledge) they rely on strong willed, powerful individuals to bring about the will of their lords.

They don't need to teach the common, filthy, powerless masses to do magic, or be intelligent. All they're needed for is hard labor and on occasion, cannon fodder.

So you build a special unit (I really liked Brad's use of the idea of a magical commissariat) to provide these 'improvement resources' because "Will to Power" is a serious concept and belief in the Empire.

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May 10, 2010 12:44:24 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Empires in Beta 2, right?

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May 10, 2010 12:45:03 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

The Empire has taken a different path…

In War

Their soldiers don’t gain experience. Such a concept of thinking about individual soldiers is anathema to the Empire.

As such, there is no such thing as a veteran Imperial soldier. However, they can train up special, powerful units (Guardians, Enforcers, and Sions).  These powerful individuals will routinely demonstrate the inherent flaw in trying to train groups of soldiers to be more effective. Greatness is born. Not learned.

Interesting idea. I like it.

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May 10, 2010 12:51:09 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Raven X,
I understand the concept of making the Empires feel different from the Kingdoms, but this seems a little...I don't know, limiting? Maybe I'm getting the wrong impression but it seems to me the Empires (if they follow this outline) will all be war-like, which isn't a bad thing necessarily, but would lead to them all playing the same with little distinction between them. Maybe I'm jumping the gun on conceptualization, it just looks that way to me.

Hm, but this is also true about the Kingdoms if you think a bit. Basically we gonna have 2 very different "sides" - Kingdoms & Empires. The factions / specific side won't be very different with regard to gameplay mechanics.

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May 10, 2010 12:51:46 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

*Sets up a machine gun in the doorway and dares someone to come ruin this beautiful idea for an entirely second game within the first*

 

I do have a single question on the idea, though.

 

"Of course, it also means the Empires can harvest fewer special resources in the world."

 

What's the mechanical effect of this, precisely? If you can say at this point.

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May 10, 2010 12:55:28 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

This sounds great! I love how it seems like the Empires are going to play completely different from the kingdoms. Great idea with the building of specialized units in warfare and magic as well. Can't wait to get my grubby little hands on these Empires

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May 10, 2010 1:00:12 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Orvidos,

I think what's actually happening here is they believe in essentially "Empowerment/Power by Right\Birth" or (to steal the hell out of certain things) "Peace Through Conquest"

So instead of being heavily reliant on buildings to provide their resources (IE Knowledge) they rely on strong willed, powerful individuals to bring about the will of their lords.

They don't need to teach the common, filthy, powerless masses to do magic, or be intelligent. All they're needed for is hard labor and on occasion, cannon fodder.

So you build a special unit (I really liked Brad's use of the idea of a magical commissariat) to provide these 'improvement resources' because "Will to Power" is a serious concept and belief in the Empire.

It's just a shiny way of playing the game, essentially.

Indeed, I see that as well. I'm just worried they'll all play the same with different looking units. I explain a little below in my reply to Tormy. (see below)

Quoting Tormy-,

Hm, but this is also true about the Kingdoms if you think a bit. Basically we gonna have 2 very different "sides" - Kingdoms & Empires. The factions / specific side won't be very different with regard to gameplay mechanics.

That's true, But, the Kingdoms don't %100 Have To Concentrate on War. The Kingdoms can "Win" through Diplomacy and forming Alliances, it can win through Magical Research, I'm sure there are other ways a Kingdom faction can win as well, Without NEEDING to Rely On Warfare. That's all I'm afraid of. I don't want the Empire Factions to HAVE TO RELY on nothing but Warfare as that seems very limiting.

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May 10, 2010 1:03:12 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Double Post...oops. Slow ass forums...

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May 10, 2010 1:07:43 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

After reading this dev journal I get an impression that the differences between individual Kingdoms and Empires will be minor, so we'll have only two really different "factions". It's not much, but I guess more of them will be added in expansions (and mods, of course ).

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May 10, 2010 1:09:47 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Sounds pretty sweet.

Quoting ,

The Empire also scoffs at the Civics concepts of markets. Deals are made on the basis of leverage alone. Instead of relying on institutions, the Empire relies on leaders of capitalism to deal with it. Players can build Financiers (until we have a better name, feel free to suggest a better one) who enhance the city’s money making.

You're right, "Financier" isn't a great name for such an important role. It sounds too much like a fat cat Kingdom banker sitting behind a desk pushing paper to get deals done.

I prefer something like "Magnate" (a person of great influence, importance, or standing in a particular enterprise, field of business, etc.: a railroad magnate). It suits a person of such stature better.

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May 10, 2010 1:12:41 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Raven X,

That's true, But, the Kingdoms don't %100 Have To Concentrate on War. The Kingdoms can "Win" through Diplomacy and forming Alliances, it can win through Magical Research, I'm sure there are other ways a Kingdom faction can win as well, Without NEEDING to Rely On Warfare. That's all I'm afraid of. I don't want the Empire Factions to HAVE TO RELY on nothing but Warfare as that seems very limiting.

I don't see why the Empire couldn't win through magic. The "how" is what's different in this case, you won't build magical research towers to study the secrets of the spell of making. You'll take your great sages and tell them to figure it out.

I don't think we're going to get into a situation where you see a faction with warfare as the only viable victory condition, while another faction has so many others.

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May 10, 2010 1:15:08 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Raven X,
Double Post...oops. Slow ass forums...

 

(It's shorter than quoting your entire response. )

 

I think it's going to turn out to be deeper than minor differences in gameplay through individual units.

 

I foresee, depending on unit production mechanics for the Empire, being able to ambush or kill specific resourcing units in transit to disrupt the Empire players.

 

That's what I think could happen. But I dunno. We'll have to see when they introduce them into our build.

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May 10, 2010 1:16:48 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

After reading this dev journal I get an impression that the differences between individual Kingdoms and Empires will be minor, so we'll have only two really different "factions".

By that reasoning, then Civilization and Age of Empires and such games only have one faction.

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May 10, 2010 1:22:51 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Xan,
By that reasoning, then Civilization and Age of Empires and such games only have one faction.

Yes, most of the historical strategy games don't have big differences between factions. But fantasy games, for example MoM and the Fall from Heaven mod for Civ4, have them.

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May 10, 2010 1:27:40 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Yes, most of the historical strategy games don't have big differences between factions. But fantasy games, for example MoM and the Fall from Heaven mod for Civ4, have them.

The Fall from Heaven mod is a great mod but from what I remember, each faction doesn't have completely different game mechanics.

The different factions in Elemental will be fairly distinct from one another but it'll be based on what talents and other faction strengths/weaknesses. Those choices can result in significantly different gameplay experiences (or will in the final).

 

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May 10, 2010 1:40:55 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Financiers = Guildsmen

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May 10, 2010 1:52:48 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I like that. Guildsmen. I also like Magistrate or something too.

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May 10, 2010 1:56:15 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Some of the FFH civs do have different game mechanics.  One of the dwarven civs has its happiness tied to its treasury.  Another civ was limited to only 4 cities but they were super cities.  There's a vampire civ I never played, but you basically fed off your city's population.  That sort of thing.

The take-away for me on this is actually somewhat reminiscent of Civ4's great people.  Except, instead of getting one when you've developed enough points, you can breed one.  I also don't see this as saying the Empire can only exist at war.  If you wanted to, you could breed several sages, stash them all in the same city and create a super-magic city.  I can also envision several different types of great people.  For instance, a proseltizer to go forth and spread the word of might makes right, increasing your influence in neighboring lands.  Instead of being based on buildings, like the Kingdoms, you are more interested in breeding great people that would allow you customize cities in several different ways. 

I also agree that Financier doesn't really grasp at the concept you are shooting for.  You could borrow heavily from other sources and make up a word or just snag a powerful sounding word.  Archon of Trade or something like that.  As it stands, I kind of hope one the resources you can trade in with the Empire will be slaves.  The Empires, from what you've written, sound like they would have a huge slave trade that would do everything from strip mining to serving as cannon fodder or perhaps even food for some of the more hungry beasts you could employ in war.

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May 10, 2010 1:59:07 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Let's see...bad guy money name....here we go!

Moneylender

Money changer

Debt collector

Factors [from our friends in Medici Bank (1397–1494)]

 

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May 10, 2010 2:01:52 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Frogboy,
The different factions in Elemental will be fairly distinct from one another but it'll be based on what talents and other faction strengths/weaknesses. Those choices can result in significantly different gameplay experiences (or will in the final).

So the differences between Kingdoms and Empires will be qualitative, while the differences between specific factions will be quantitative (like bonuses and penalties to some things, as when customizing a GalCiv2 race). That's good enough for me, I don't want to sound like criticizing your design decisions.

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May 10, 2010 2:06:03 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Guildsmen of Coin (financier), Magistrate of Mana (magic), Minister of Knowledge (sage)

I like the idea of focusing on People instead of Buildings for the economy, as well as having Statues be the main contributer of prestige. (too bad the empire can't have decadence tho)

 

What I wonder, is how we would breed such "great people" ... like if their are GP points ripped from Civ 4, or if breeding costs resources in some way (like Starcraft's Zerg).

Also, I suppose higher technology could increase the rate of breeding (so you get more), or if it makes them better (qualitative).

 

I like how the Empires and Kingdoms have gigantic qualitative differences, while I would still like some small qualitative difference among certain unique factions (kind of like warrens/more units, Gold = happiness/prestige, terrain effects movement and output, different scaled tech costs for each branch) ... although obviously MOST of the differences between factions (within Kingdom/Empire) will be quantitative. Also, too much qualitative difference can become repetitive or cluttered, so only a few selective qualitative differences among the (say) Kingdom factions would be needed.

For instance, one Kingdom faction gets far less penalties in wintry northern lands/ movement bonus in ice and snow.

One Kingdom could buy mercenaries at a cost dependent on their overall prestige (low prestige = higher merc costs than normal, high prestige = lower merc costs than normal)

One kingdom could have their relative prestige output dependant on treasury (low treasury = prestige penalty, high treasury = prestige bonus)

Meanwhile ...

One Fallen could have bonuses (or less penalties) on the Swamp terrain (and another Faction could have the same for deserts)

One Fallen faction could have 25%, 50%, or 100% more soldiers per unit (thus more soldiers per cost).

One Fallen faction could have the breeding threshold depend on relative prestige (low prestige = more expensive breeding, high prestige = cheaper breeding)

One Fallen faction could gain extra goodies by sacrificing population

One Fallen Faction could have the potential to build some buildings, while having breeding more expensive.

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May 10, 2010 2:18:46 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

"Guilders"

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