[Gameplay] Captured enemies as resources

By on July 5, 2010 7:34:15 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums


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This is, in part, related to capturing champions/heirs.  I would take that much further.  I'd like for players to capture soldiers, villagers, livestock, women and children, you name it, and do with them what you will.  Ideally, you would be able to round up whole city populations and march them to camps back in your territory.

This is also inspired by the sacrificial altar building, which as of now just provides a bonus and costs prestige.  I'd like to be able to sacrifice captives on that altar.  Make it more like a powerful enchantment that requires human souls to fuel.  Maybe the bonuses it imparts keep getting more powerful the more people you kill on it.  It could even prefer innocent people, like farmers or women and children.

Morality in games is sort of a trend now, but you don't often see opportunities to roleplay a truly evil character.  There are opportunities to impart some sense of moral consequence through scripted pop-up messages, AI faction reactions, anything you can script.  It would be nice to have even more of that, but the important point of this idea is to just let the player be evil.

Think of all the ways captives could be used as resources:

- Require X captives for the construction of a gladiator arena

- Require X captives for the construction of a slave galley

- For the construction of slave caravans

- For the construction of a Vlad the Impaler-style wall of crucified and beheaded corpses around your city

- For transforming into mindless zombies or monsters

- For the construction of a harem

- For use as live training dummies to level your soldiers

- For developing intelligence (X enemy soldiers to use an Interrogation Room building)

- Many more posibilities


This could also be a way to differentiate factions or races.  Think how much easier it would be to justify hating the evil races if you knew that only they were capable of doing such evil things (though even the "good" races would hold captives for ransom and other medium-evil things).

Once you have a system of taking captives and counting them as a resource, you open up a ton of possibilities.  From there, though, you could expand it to rescuing captives, using an enemy's captives against them (e.g., slave uprisings), tracking the captivity experience of individual champions... All this to give the good guys some gameplay value out of it, too.  Giving some players the opportunity to be evil gives others the opportunity to be good.  And it enables all sorts of interesting things to happen.

Imagine some of the stories that could develop out of this.  Wouldn't it be sad to learn that your heir was captured by the enemy and sold into slavery, but then awesome if he himself led the slave uprising that brought down the enemy's capital city?

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July 5, 2010 7:41:32 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Well you do make some good points about Good vs. Evil in the fantasy genre and how it could relate to Elemental  - but obviously the actual act of setting up this evilness would still not be extremely graphically depicted.  Probably just the text (for sacrificing people - just put them on the Altar and they disappear) and for slaves, a believable but subtle change in the way they look.

Best regards,

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July 7, 2010 9:29:52 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

The problem with such a system will come with the increased ESRB rating.  If it gets into the M or A range, the number of sales would be adversely effected.

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July 7, 2010 9:37:54 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Yes, good point.

Best regards,

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July 16, 2010 3:24:11 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Game concepts rarely increase ESRB ratings, it's usually graphical depictions and language that get them increased.  Medieval 2 had executions of prisoners and people being burnt at the stake, and it managed a teen rating... the concept of slaves wouldn't knock up the rating.


Problem is, this would be a difficult mechanic to effectively implement, and adding slaves as another quantifiable resource isn't really practical, particularly at this stage of development.

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July 16, 2010 3:38:00 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I love all the ideas and wish we could power trip even if it's just text! -Jeremy Sr.

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July 16, 2010 4:18:02 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I definitely agree that you should have the ability to do whatever you want with the town after you capture it. Albeit, raze, loot or migrate the townsfolk (capture them or enslave them). The city would need to take a huge penalty after capture though.

I think it would be a difficult juggling act with using population as a resource. I played a 500 turn game with one city on an island today just looking at how the city grows and spells and et cetera. The problem is that the game at around 500 turns up to 1000 turns or more levels out. The population as a resource would really no longer be as effective as it was before and it may negate the time it took to add this feature.

It also adds more strategy to an rpg world which is what is unique about this game.

My opinion is that the more I am forced to rely on my main character throughout the game the better. Otherwise the rpg element slowly dissolves away and Im forced to just manage instead of explore.

This is prevalent is the technology tree with questing versus building but after those few hundred turns it all fuses together into a strategy anyway.

I like your ideas, I simply am much more of a rpg or first person shooter fan with a mix of strategy included. A few games are starting to allow that. I loved in Dragon Age you had your castle to upgrade, KOTR you had your ship, Fallout 3 you had your apartment which I wish was the entire hotel I could manage while there were frequent baddies always attacking, Gothic 3 really screwed their rpg/strategy system up, mount and blade could use a better story but is one of the only first person/strategy out there that has made it fun, assassins creed 2 was interesting with your own 15th century fort but not enough rpg, neverwinter nights had your own fort but it was implemented too late in the game.

The point is, I could see that the amount of time it takes to create new graphics and textures while implementing them may equate to making the game more rpg. More rpg gives the player the, "Get away from my castle," feel to it. Because its home, not much an expendable.

The more the developer can push rpg the more Ill be pleased. I do know though that this is a strategy in an rpg world and I hope someone will make the other sometime in the future. This game will hopefully be a look see for other devs.

Good ideas!


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July 17, 2010 5:37:25 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Modding can easily bring in RPG aspects, and probably will.  Quite possibly an RPG mod will form that does exclusively RPG aspects (certainly right now, while not necessarily viable in a competetive environment, is certainly possible to never build a city).

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July 17, 2010 10:47:56 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I think it would be cool if captured champions or children could be used as hostages that could be used as a resource to either improve your influence in that court or used as 'diplomatic capital' (whatever that is).


There is a pretty strong precedent for rulers holding the children of other rulers hostages to help cement positive relations. You could even make or modify a trait to make a sovereign immune to such attachments to their children.

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