Character Based Strategy: A Discussion

By on June 20, 2010 7:28:58 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

MagicwillNZ

Join Date 01/2007
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Through the betas, I've noticed an increasing emphasis on characters, and not only as fighters. Merchants, scholars, and farmers are equally important if not more so than the adventurers you can recruit. For example, recruiting a scientist gives much more of a research lead than cranking out a study as fast as possible.

Characters were always going to be important in Elemental. But now we're taking things an entirely different direction. My feeling is that this direction has a whole lot of promise.

This isn't a suggestion, but instead a discussion. Right now, the way to implement and control the growth of characters is limited. Personally, I'd like to see a lot more talk on this subject. I have a few questions for you all:

1) Are characters balanced with non-characters (i.e. cities, troops) well? Are characters too important and should we put more emphasis on cities? Or should we make the game even more character-oriented?

2) How should character advancement and growth be implemented?

3) Right now, character recruitment is rather simplistic. There has been talk of the loyalty of your offspring. Should a similar loyalty system be in place for recruited characters?

My own ideas will be posted a little later.

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June 20, 2010 7:53:35 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

For character development, I have a pretty good description of how I think characters should impact the world, grow and evolve below.  Make the world a little more alive through NPC development.

http://forums.elementalgame.com/385079

 

With regards to a loyalty system, if you institute it for family you should institute it for people whose loyalty should be substantially less.

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June 20, 2010 9:58:29 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I think we should intergrate the elements of characters and city-building together. Right now, for example, schools and universities just provide us with a source of technology. I'd personally like to send my kids to school to gain skills as merchants, generals, and scholars and do something useful.

In addition, I'd connect prestige with character recruitment. Right now, prestige is only useful if you have room to grow. Now, I don't really even like the the prestige mechanic right now. I think population growth should be separated from prestige, and allow prestige as leverage to recruit champions.

Another path we could take is with noble titles. You could elect a champion as a lord, duke or baron of a city. In addition, buildings might allow their own noble titles, like building a Royal Treasury would allow the player to elect an Exchequer, for example. These lords might soon have their own families and have their own motivations. That'd be cool.

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June 20, 2010 10:28:51 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Another path we could take is with noble titles. You could elect a champion as a lord, duke or baron of a city. In addition, buildings might allow their own noble titles, like building a Royal Treasury would allow the player to elect an Exchequer, for example. These lords might soon have their own families and have their own motivations. That'd be cool.

Medieval: Total War (The first one) and Shogun both had titles which were granted to characters (Royals and Generals) and generally enhanced stats and loyalty.  I liked that system, and I think this is clever idea.  I don't know if we should worry with non-royal lines, especially since characters don't die-off naturally.

With regards to balancing character economies versus building economies, would it be reasonable to let characters with production abilities (Inventors, Loremasters, and Merchants) improve their "skill" on levelup in lieu of standard level-up options?  For example: a merchant levels, I can add a point to a stat, or improve my merchant ability by one "rank".

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June 21, 2010 3:10:07 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

We need more to do with champions right now.  That merchant that nets us two guildars a turn if we don't do anything with him should be able to be a better type of caravan for your empire once you hire him (who gradually levels up based on the amount of money he makes on the trade route).  Or designated as a governor that provides a trade bonus or monetary bonus for the city he is governing.  Then he gets traits dynamically as time goes on with him installed as governor.  Leaving him sitting at one of your cities earning two guildars a turn should be the least effective way to employ him.

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June 21, 2010 4:02:41 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Sareln,

With regards to balancing character economies versus building economies, would it be reasonable to let characters with production abilities (Inventors, Loremasters, and Merchants) improve their "skill" on levelup in lieu of standard level-up options?  For example: a merchant levels, I can add a point to a stat, or improve my merchant ability by one "rank".

This is exactly what I was hoping for actually, I thought that if I recruit a non-combat champ for many gildars I would be able to improve him in his non-combat role. I don't think that's possible right now, or have I missed something? Not as far as a separation of champion types, i.e. they're either combat or non-combat, but at least being able to improve his/her non-combat bonuses as easily as the combat stats.

I've only played a few days and couple of games so far but it seems to me that the researchers, merchants etc. are basically only an early bonus lead if you can get them but their bonus does not scale and thus loses importance after the early starting game. +2 gold is real nice at the start but once I built a few Merchants (think that's the name, the +6 gold houses?) , Palaces and have a few towns and caravans that doesn't seem to do much anymore. They are still nice to have but being champions it feels odd that in my test games they just become a passive stat bonus that loses importance and basically gets tucked away and forgotten since there's little point in pushing up their combat stats. I want a champion Lore Master to have an impact with their role that is felt across my empire!

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June 21, 2010 4:33:35 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting MagicwillNZ,
Another path we could take is with noble titles. You could elect a champion as a lord, duke or baron of a city. In addition, buildings might allow their own noble titles, like building a Royal Treasury would allow the player to elect an Exchequer, for example. These lords might soon have their own families and have their own motivations. That'd be cool.

I like this idea a great deal.

I think that all the merchants etc should give a bonus to the city they're stationed in, instead of a straight 2 gildar per turn or whatever. Maybe a 10% bonus if it's not their family holding, and a 30% bonus if it is.

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June 21, 2010 4:44:43 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I think they are a bit to strong right know.

Also i would like it more if that boni to research or income and such wouldnt be a set number but an % increase your city production.

Not +2 research points, but +20% research in the stationed city.

Not +2 Gildar, but +1 Gildar for each caraven arriving in the city.

a.s.o.

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June 21, 2010 4:48:39 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting OsirisDawn,
I think they are a bit to strong right know.

Also i would like it more if that boni to research or income and such wouldnt be a set number but an % increase your city production.

Not +2 research points, but +20% research in the stationed city.

Not +2 Gildar, but +1 Gildar for each caraven arriving in the city.

a.s.o.

That would be a good way of making them scale better so the champs' bonuses are of more use in the mid- and end-game

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June 21, 2010 4:56:03 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Ofoug,



Quoting OsirisDawn,
reply 7
I think they are a bit to strong right know.

Also i would like it more if that boni to research or income and such wouldnt be a set number but an % increase your city production.

Not +2 research points, but +20% research in the stationed city.

Not +2 Gildar, but +1 Gildar for each caraven arriving in the city.

a.s.o.


That would be a good way of making them scale better so the champs' bonuses are of more use in the mid- and end-game

And they wouldnt be so unbalancing at start. In my last game i had a charisma sov and could recruit 2 reseach heroes and a merchant in the first 10 rounds. Thats a great start in SP but might be very unfair to others in MP.

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June 23, 2010 6:50:36 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

yeah I agree with most of the above posts.

 

Although i also think that their should be trainable mini champions *low level champions that are built from a special resource* the resource could be some sort of potential or something pooled from each city to allow new champions to be trained from young potentials whom have great inate talent.

 

Kinda like how each academy army base etc. would generate afew points that eventually could be used to train new champions and a special kind of champion called a 'teacher' or 'trainer' similar to how in many legends their were men whom were weak on their own but were excellent because they could train others to their highest potential.

 

Or perhaps high level Characters could tutor others in their skills thus allowing a bonus to the points gain or to level up a character of their field with lesser level.

 

I hope that doesn't seem to complicated anyways thank's for your time.

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June 23, 2010 3:04:56 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

That is kind of where I'm going with the "NPC's should have lives where they actually do stuff seperate from the player, and retire" vein.  When they retire as successful adventurers, the building the build would be a spawn point for new NPC's to carry on the tradition (their kids, some student or apprentice who comes to learn from them, ect).

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June 23, 2010 3:28:36 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I guess we could use the Dynasty system and have the ability to create Married couples from the Recruited NPC Pool.

Currently I recruit a female NPC, and some of them come with the Marriage (Ring) icon/property.

Why not extend that out to the recruited NPC's, thus expanding the Dynasty game play mechanism greatly.

Take for example, I recruit a Male Farmer based NPC and a Female Merchant based NPC.

If I could marry them off to each other, then the pair could provide the Town they reside in, an inherent BONUS to both Food production (5% per each Town level gained thereafter) as well as an increase to either the local Market(s), she and her husband own a/the Farm that produces the Goods she sells, or say to the Towns Caravan system for that Town/City.

That would be cool.

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June 23, 2010 3:37:41 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Yeah that would.  That is the kind of interconnectedness which would make this game feel alive.

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