[.805+][Suggestion]Why everything(cities, champions, spellbooks, etc) should have Levels/traits/skills.

By on July 4, 2010 1:18:36 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums


Join Date 02/2008

In several other threads Frogboy has discussed the potential of having On-Level perks/traits skills for cities/champions/etc.

This thread will then be(hopefully) a collection of improvements, ideas, and sound reasoning behind why in a TBS + 4x + RPG the idea of leveling and unit customization should be a wholly embraced and expanded upon feature.


  • Why is leveling/perking good for a game like Elemental?
  1. It gives the Player a sense of investment in the welfare of each 'unit'.
  2. It allows more synergy at all levels of play(tactical/strategical/economical)
  3. It increases replayability.
  4. It can easily be managed by an 'Advisor' function for those that don't enjoy the nitty-gritty.
  • What all Should level?
  1. Sovereign(Obviously) - as the Avatar or Main Char of his own Kingly/Imperial story
  2. Champions - the Supporting Cast and your Generals/Governers
  3. Cities - To guide the growth of your empire in the direction you are most happy with
  4. Spell books - Would allow a greater variety of skills/abilities/wildcards without making a Caster OP if they also had to weigh Gain-Time instead of just cherrypicking favorite spells.
  5. Possibly Special Units/Scions

Which brings out the question how

  • Sovereign - He needs 2 'Tabs' for Leveling, He is a Dual class after all, and the only one in the game. For he is Soverieng/XJob(warrior/warlord/merchant) and it should be reflected as such).
  1. The Sovereign class would level just as now perhaps with some modification for xp split with combat classes.
  2. The Secondary Class would play out a bit differently.  Because to be frank it makes no sense to become a better merchant by killing ppl .
  • Merchant - xp by kingdom/empire profitability and financial acheivements.  Perks of better trade foreign and domestic, improved caravans, and more return on financials.
  • Warlord - xp by leadership/troop success.  Better morale perks, maybe even upgraded fortifications and prebattle placements at high levels
  • Royale- xp by prestige and city size(my empire is bigger than yours ).  Perks of special units or diplomatic advantages(you get 25% more than the other guy from deals)?
  • Farmer - xp by food :}. Perks of better food efficiency. Possibly 'secret gardens' appear for him.
  • Etc.

Thus the 'personality' of the of it ruler would to a degree guide the empire.

  • Champions/Governers - There needs to be a split.  I.E. Make each of these Ladies/Gents HALF of a sovereign's awesome.
  1. Champions - The Warrior/sorcerer/thief/priest of RPG lore.  They would emphasize Combat in the tactical view.
  • Warrior - perks of def/hp/defend others
  • Thief - acquisition of others items and rapid combat movement perks. "Your HP or your GP!"
  • Sorcerer - perks toward becoming a mini-'tactical only'-soveriegn
  • Etc.

2. Governor - The merchant/loremaster/engineer/farmer.  Special ability appoint, assigning 1 Governer to each city.     Thus assigned he/she would gain xp and levels based on the city performance in the governing category.

  • Merchant - city only cost reductions, more gildar from city and pop.
  • Engineer - production, less to build units/buildings, better fort
  • Loremaster -  research, chance of rare unlock, forbidden lore, etc


  • Cities - Allow some more control over the shape of your empire both logistically and strategically.
  • Recommend 2 splits with X categories at first split at level 2 and 2 at second at 4. (names are just silly examples)
  1. Population: Grand City -> Population: Metropolis  ||  Prestige: Capital
  2. Food: Farm belt -> Food: Agropolis  ||  Military: Provisioning center
  3. Military:  Warcamp -> Defense: Bastion  ||  Offense: Warbase
  • Upon leveling Cities would get 'points' to spend just like anything else, based on class. Would also gain special structures as well maybe.

Will make more later... need to think!

So please fill in pros/cons and ideas you think are better while I arrange spells in my head.

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July 5, 2010 6:50:58 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Example Governer: 

  • Bob the Farmer: Every level Bob causes 1 more food production in the city he governs and is able to choose 1 pick of a special ability, with new abilities unlocking at higher levels.
  1. Level 1: Bob gives the city he is in + 2 food(like current)
  2. Level 2: Choice between 2 skills: Frugal(-10% food requirement for all buildings in his city) OR Composting(+1 food per production facility in city)
  3. Level 3: Frugal/Composting 1(i.e. rank 2 is locked till level 4) OR Rotation(+10% more food productions
  4. Level 4: Rotation/Frugal/Composting 2 available
  5. Level 5: Hardy Wheat(Adds a Wheat resource with 4 food  with 0 tile cost to city)
  6. Level 6: Provisions Pack(Adds troop regen to all troops)
  7. Level 7: Waste Not Want Not(City gains food bonus based on population
  8. Etc.

As you can see, with a little fleshing out of skill trees, you would care as much about Bob and his levels as you would about Jane the Adventurer who is leading 1 of your armies.  Losing Bob or Jane would be a major PITA, although more recoverable than the Sovereign.

That level of concern and customization is what differentiates RPGs and 4x's.  A good example would be the Capital ships in Sins.  I went ballistic whenever I lost a Level 6 or higher capital ship, but you could raze 2 planets and get a 'meh'.

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July 5, 2010 7:00:22 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Sounds great.  Mutually exclusive abilities and/or limited points - so you could never get all the good traits, but careful choice could enable you to mold your Sovereign, warrior, non-combat NPC, city etc. the way that suits you and your overall goals. 

Best regards,

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July 5, 2010 4:22:33 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

On the topic of Spell books, I know Brad mentioned this: Book Levels

Having Levels to the books could also be a way to enhance or expand upon the specialist: I.E. Aquamage/Firemage

  • Having traits at each book level encourages specialization, without leaving the generalist out in the cold.  Example
  1. Level 1 Fire: +Burning: 1 damage a turn for Int/5 turns
  2. Level 2 Fire: Increased area to fire spells
  3. Level 3 Fire: Strengthens all fire spells by multiplying Int by 1.25 when casting fire magic.
  4. Etc.
  • The Generalist caster could still fight back, simply by knowing 'Oh look a firemage, let me whip out Protection from Flames and water based suppression spells'.  However you would have to be making strategically sound research decisions as the generalist instead of just 'research everything
  • Additionally having 'Book Levels' would give you something to pour SP into if you were either Capped out on spells, or below the next major 'research threshold'

Just some ideas.  Feel free to add more.

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