Elemental: Special Abilities

By on July 11, 2010 2:37:35 PM from JoeUser Forums JoeUser Forums

Frogboy

Join Date 03/2001
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One feature that players haven’t gotten to really see yet because they’re mainly applicable in tactical battles only are special abilities.

Special abilities could be likened (and are actually implemented) much like a spell.

For instance, a spider might have an ability where it can poison a unit. A ghoul might be able to send a unit into panic for a turn.

image

The way it works is that in tactical battles, you will want to click on the various opponents to see what special abilities they have.

The good news for beginners is that early monsters have none. They just have tooth and fang. But as they get more lethal, they start to have increasingly powerful abilities.

For modders, the above screenshot shows how they work. Most of it is self explanatory but let me explain the others:

  • Range determines how far away the target has to be be used on them.
  • Spell Level is how advanced the caster’s faction must be in arcane knowledge. For monsters, this works out to the monster spawn level.  This way, we can keep bringing in spiders wargs or whatever and allow them to get nastier over time.
  • The Spell Class is important. The AI isn’t hard coded on what spells to use. Instead, it will look at whether a spell is offensive or Defensive and whether the target is itself, friends, or EnemyUnits.
  • The GameModifier is something modders will become very familiar with because it’s our universal system for changing something in the game.

The whole thing will need to be surrounded by <Spells> </Spells>

So you’d save this in say “MySwellSpell.xml” and put it in my documents\my games\elemental\units

Then you’d make a spell book.

image

And save this as say MySwellSpellBook.xml.  You could also put this all together in one file too but I like to keep them separate. Then put this into your \my documents\my games\elemental\units directory also.

Now, next time you load the game those spells are in there.

If you want to be really tricky, you can even go to your \my documents\my games\elemental\units directory and open up one of your created sovereigns in there and give him the spell book.

Of course, it won’t do much good until tactical battles.

 

If you want it to be a strategic spell (one you can cast on the main map you’d need to add that tag:

image

This is the XML for the summon familiar. 

You could go and take this spell and make your own spell book put it in your my documents\my games\elemental\units directory, add it to your custom sovereign’s xml and in theory be able to summon some new spells.

Here’s some other units you can try it with for fun:

(replace UnitCall’s entry with one of the below)

  • Umderdroth
  • AirShrill
  • Lurk
  • Garrote

Note that I haven’t tried this with the public beta build that streams a lot of its content but it should work. If not, you still have gotten some hands on practice for modding.

So how will you share these?

In the modding betas, you will get access to a beta version of Impulse::Reactor that will let you upload and download mods. At first, these mods will be specific to Elemental (maps, units, spells, items, etc.).  But eventually, total conversion mods will be supported too (we just need to come up with a package format for that to give to the Impulse team.

You won’t have to monkey around with anything to get this stuff to work because it just goes into your my documents\my games\elemental directory which is read in.  The names of the files are irrelevant. It only cares about the XML tags.

For anyone who’s interested in modding, be sure to show them this.  I am hoping users are starting to see just how different an animal Elemental is and why Stardock is able to make so many changes to the same so quickly and easily.  90% of our work was on making this kind of thing possible so easily.

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July 11, 2010 3:10:41 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Thanks for the programming lesson, this makes me happy to see that it will be so easy to use this as a backbone for our own MODs! I was just wondering if this could be used to call data from a spreadsheet of different summons? It really seems like in the last few weeks we have had much more to do as beta testers, and I am looking forward to more testing!

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July 11, 2010 3:11:24 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Another thing that adds to the strategy   good work. (though I probobaly won't mod until after the release, if at all)

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July 11, 2010 3:24:52 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

So feasibly, using those tags, you could assign special 'Books' for all of the Champion classes, then at certain levels or levels of arcane knowledge abilities would unlock?

 

Would it be possible to have a 'weapon' that added a book of a weak type to certain higher end units?

E.g. have a 'Book of Healing' that would only have the Spells - Healing(say level 3 knowlegde);Regen(level 9); Area heal(level 15).

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July 11, 2010 3:34:06 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

thats a thing i was really expecting!

 

special abilities made the fortune of kings bounty while they werent really available on mom(just a weak and bad version)

 

hope elemental can get a nice variety and fun out of them to make tactical battles intriguing like kings bounty and evolve the combat of mom into something even better

 

are these available in next beta with the first tactical battles ?

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July 11, 2010 4:23:08 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

wait, does this mean that in overland autoresolve battles units won't be using any abilities in the fights? that all auto resolve battles are physical attack back and forth only?  if this is true then that's a big negative for auto resolve.

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July 11, 2010 4:24:26 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Nice, I hope custom created units also have a lot of abilities to choose from.

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July 11, 2010 4:40:14 PM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

Quoting Marks1381,
Nice, I hope custom created units also have a lot of abilities to choose from.

I dunno. I don't really like the direction they are taking with custom created factions, races and units. It's basically an "in-place mod". It seems like it could easily be wildly unbalanced and the custom factions was something that I liked for Multiplayer. Sure, certain combos would undoubtably be better than others. But if there are ONLY TEN GODDAMN INITIAL FACTIONS then how can you have 16 man multiplayer? Plus, I'm sure some are going to be wildly better than others. 

They took the one super-unique and best part of this game, in my opinion (custom creation of soverign and faction) and took it away and buried it under modding. I don't like it at all and I hope they go back. That was one of THE things about this game that I loved and now it's gone > 

And mods will be OP and no one will use them in multiplayer so it'll only be for single-player when you want to roflstomp the AI. "fun"? 

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July 11, 2010 4:51:14 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Stmorpheus,
wait, does this mean that in overland autoresolve battles units won't be using any abilities in the fights? that all auto resolve battles are physical attack back and forth only?  if this is true then that's a big negative for auto resolve.

No. We mean you don't see them.

Auto-resolve just runs tactical battles under the covers with it being AI vs. AI.

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July 11, 2010 5:03:34 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

How do we give the special abilities to units? Is it something trainable, or do you have to mod them (and to mod them I assume you modify the unit's XML to add a reference to the ability?)?

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July 11, 2010 5:04:01 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Frogboy,

Quoting Stmorpheus, reply 5wait, does this mean that in overland autoresolve battles units won't be using any abilities in the fights? that all auto resolve battles are physical attack back and forth only?  if this is true then that's a big negative for auto resolve.
No. We mean you don't see them.

Auto-resolve just runs tactical battles under the covers with it being AI vs. AI.

ok i see, does that mean when you go and look at the autoresolve log, it will show that unit a used special ability A, or champion cast spell B?

my concern here is that if i have unit stack A with a combat rating of 30, and it has water damage which is effective vs unit stack B, which has a combat rating of 40 that is also weak against water damage will this be represented in the combat logs?  such as showing that unit A did water damage to unit b?

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July 11, 2010 5:09:02 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting OMG_BlackHatHedgehog,



Quoting Marks1381,
reply 6
Nice, I hope custom created units also have a lot of abilities to choose from.


I dunno. I don't really like the direction they are taking with custom created factions, races and units. It's basically an "in-place mod". It seems like it could easily be wildly unbalanced and the custom factions was something that I liked for Multiplayer. Sure, certain combos would undoubtably be better than others. But if there are ONLY TEN GODDAMN INITIAL FACTIONS then how can you have 16 man multiplayer? Plus, I'm sure some are going to be wildly better than others. 

They took the one super-unique and best part of this game, in my opinion (custom creation of soverign and faction) and took it away and buried it under modding. I don't like it at all and I hope they go back. That was one of THE things about this game that I loved and now it's gone > 

And mods will be OP and no one will use them in multiplayer so it'll only be for single-player when you want to roflstomp the AI. "fun"? 

 

I don't even care about Mplayer to be honest, but if Starcraft and Warcraft can have 2 sections of Mplayer I don't see why this game can't do the same. What I mean is you can join a real game with sandbox settings and do a ladder or whatever and be as balanced as possible or the other section "Custom"... I always played Customs on Bnet it's also how DotA got so big. Not saying Elemental is anything like those games in the slightest but there might be a similar approach.

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July 11, 2010 5:11:11 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

No. We mean you don't see them.

Auto-resolve just runs tactical battles under the covers with it being AI vs. AI.

 

really? not some stupid total war auto resolve stuff (basically it just compared army strength but did not actually run a real combat)? doesn't this slow the game down when there are huge armies colliding and i choose auto resolve?

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July 11, 2010 5:14:16 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Stmorpheus,



Quoting Frogboy,
reply 8

Quoting Stmorpheus, reply 5wait, does this mean that in overland autoresolve battles units won't be using any abilities in the fights? that all auto resolve battles are physical attack back and forth only?  if this is true then that's a big negative for auto resolve.
No. We mean you don't see them.

Auto-resolve just runs tactical battles under the covers with it being AI vs. AI.


ok i see, does that mean when you go and look at the autoresolve log, it will show that unit a used special ability A, or champion cast spell B?

my concern here is that if i have unit stack A with a combat rating of 30, and it has water damage which is effective vs unit stack B, which has a combat rating of 40 that is also weak against water damage will this be represented in the combat logs?  such as showing that unit A did water damage to unit b?

I would guess if you add a special ability it just increases the overall Combat Rating of the unit. So a Peasant with say "Poison Strike" now has a combat rating of 5 instead of 3 if it didn't have the special ability. One of the big points of Autoresolve is to keep is simple right?

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July 11, 2010 5:25:55 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting tesb,

No. We mean you don't see them.

Auto-resolve just runs tactical battles under the covers with it being AI vs. AI.
 

really? not some stupid total war auto resolve stuff (basically it just compared army strength but did not actually run a real combat)? doesn't this slow the game down when there are huge armies colliding and i choose auto resolve?

Computers have gotten dramatically faster since that kind of fast combat shortcut was common. With a new engine like Elemental made for those computers, the shortcut isn't needed.

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July 11, 2010 5:40:32 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

[quote who="OMG_BlackHatHedgehog" reply="7" id="2678204"]
I dunno. I don't really like the direction they are taking with custom created factions, races and units. It's basically an "in-place mod". It seems like it could easily be wildly unbalanced and the custom factions was something that I liked for Multiplayer. Sure, certain combos would undoubtably be better than others. But if there are ONLY TEN GODDAMN INITIAL FACTIONS then how can you have 16 man multiplayer? Plus, I'm sure some are going to be wildly better than others. /quote]

First of all, Starcraft only has 3 factions and I've never had a problem playing with more then 3 people.

They took the one super-unique and best part of this game, in my opinion (custom creation of soverign and faction) and took it away and buried it under modding. I don't like it at all and I hope they go back. That was one of THE things about this game that I loved and now it's gone >

Custom sovereigns are in the game right now, I just made one. I'm not sure where custom factions are, but presumably they'll turn up before release. Galciv 2 had that, I don't think it'd go away now.

And mods will be OP and no one will use them in multiplayer so it'll only be for single-player when you want to roflstomp the AI. "fun"? 

What makes you say that? People play other games with mods all the time. Much like anything else, there will be good mods and bad mods.

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July 11, 2010 6:10:46 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

tridus, in one of frogboy's posts he stated that the custom factions are being moved to the modding area, so for 0.806 are disabled, but will be back for beta 4.

harpo

 

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July 11, 2010 6:17:01 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

This sounds seriously Awesome, chief. Well done

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July 11, 2010 6:17:46 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Ah. Must have missed that one. Thanks for the heads up.

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July 11, 2010 8:37:15 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

You won’t have to monkey around with anything to get this stuff to work because it just goes into your my documents\my games\elemental directory which is read in. The names of the files are irrelevant. It only cares about the XML tags.

Important question: How do we package our mods? For instance if I want to play Jimmy's LotR mod one day, then play ElementalExpanded the next, then do work on my own mod, are all of these files in the same directory or do they have sub-directories?

How do I choose which mod I'd like to play? Is that an option in the main game menu?

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July 11, 2010 8:56:38 PM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

Quoting Tridus,

I dunno. I don't really like the direction they are taking with custom created factions, races and units. It's basically an "in-place mod". It seems like it could easily be wildly unbalanced and the custom factions was something that I liked for Multiplayer. Sure, certain combos would undoubtably be better than others. But if there are ONLY TEN GODDAMN INITIAL FACTIONS then how can you have 16 man multiplayer? Plus, I'm sure some are going to be wildly better than others. /quote]

First of all, Starcraft only has 3 factions and I've never had a problem playing with more then 3 people.

Competitive RTS. Single-player focused TB 4X. I would expect most RTSs to have 3-5 races tops (the one I currently play has 5 and is going to expands one more each year). Simply because balance is so important in that game. Compare to Civ, where the racial differences are much smaller in comparison to Starcraft. 

Additionally, I believe that it'll be "no doubles". There isn't an issue going Terran v Terran in Starcraft. I do not think two of the same nation will be allowed in Elemental, which makes 16 player MP a little more difficult, eh? 

 

They took the one super-unique and best part of this game, in my opinion (custom creation of soverign and faction) and took it away and buried it under modding. I don't like it at all and I hope they go back. That was one of THE things about this game that I loved and now it's gone > 


Custom sovereigns are in the game right now, I just made one. I'm not sure where custom factions are, but presumably they'll turn up before release. Galciv 2 had that, I don't think it'd go away now.

They are removing custom factions, as said above. Basically, instead of custom factions being like D&D with "builds" you will be forced to play with a subset of certain factions (in multiplayer). If you want to use your own custom faction, you'll have to load it as a mod. The good news is that makes modding even better. The bad news is now MP is restricted to the 10 base factions unless you want to host a custom server. 

 


And mods will be OP and no one will use them in multiplayer so it'll only be for single-player when you want to roflstomp the AI. "fun"? 

What makes you say that? People play other games with mods all the time. Much like anything else, there will be good mods and bad mods.

Well, mods are fun. I don't have an issue with mods. However, if you have a "design your own race as a mod" aspect to the game, what prevents you from just having the very first technology in the tree be "unlock super sword!" That's what I meant. Unless they keep the entire point system and somehow universalize the "custom faction mods" I don't see how you could possibly balance it. 

 

I'm taking all this from this post: 

Custom Factions.

This is something that I think people will like a lot more in practice than they will like on paper.  Simply put, we want to let people do a lot more customization on RACE creation and faction creation than can realistically be done in the setup of a game. We’d like to see race creation and subsequently, faction creation to be something much more involved and interesting than it currently is.  As a result, we’re moving it to the Workshop area (modding aera).  Thus, you won’t have to create factions in the middle of setting up your game but rather can create them at your own pace outside the game and then use them as you see fit.  This also allows us to make the race creation a lot more custom and less cosmetic (i.e. we can have Elves and Orcs and other templates in the modding that players can then create their own custom technology trees for and their own custom tiles for, etc.).

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July 11, 2010 10:36:48 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Every time I come here there is a surprise... Thank you Frogboy, and Stardock... Very much!!!!

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July 11, 2010 11:07:25 PM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

In the modding betas, you will get access to a beta version of Impulse::Reactor that will let you upload and download mods.

Nice - that's exciting stuff!

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July 12, 2010 6:08:13 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting OMG_BlackHatHedgehog,

Competitive RTS. Single-player focused TB 4X. I would expect most RTSs to have 3-5 races tops (the one I currently play has 5 and is going to expands one more each year). Simply because balance is so important in that game. Compare to Civ, where the racial differences are much smaller in comparison to Starcraft. 

Additionally, I believe that it'll be "no doubles". There isn't an issue going Terran v Terran in Starcraft. I do not think two of the same nation will be allowed in Elemental, which makes 16 player MP a little more difficult, eh?

Why not? Long as they change the colors on the map it really shouldn't matter a whole lot.

They are removing custom factions, as said above. Basically, instead of custom factions being like D&D with "builds" you will be forced to play with a subset of certain factions (in multiplayer). If you want to use your own custom faction, you'll have to load it as a mod. The good news is that makes modding even better. The bad news is now MP is restricted to the 10 base factions unless you want to host a custom server. 


I'm taking all this from this post: 


Custom Factions.
This is something that I think people will like a lot more in practice than they will like on paper.  Simply put, we want to let people do a lot more customization on RACE creation and faction creation than can realistically be done in the setup of a game. We’d like to see race creation and subsequently, faction creation to be something much more involved and interesting than it currently is.  As a result, we’re moving it to the Workshop area (modding aera).  Thus, you won’t have to create factions in the middle of setting up your game but rather can create them at your own pace outside the game and then use them as you see fit.  This also allows us to make the race creation a lot more custom and less cosmetic (i.e. we can have Elves and Orcs and other templates in the modding that players can then create their own custom technology trees for and their own custom tiles for, etc.).

Yeah... that sucks. This is one of these things like in 3A where snaking improvements suddenly came back that I just sit there being baffled at the reasoning behind it.

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July 12, 2010 6:15:34 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

explodey forums, double post

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July 12, 2010 8:52:25 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Raven X,
This sounds seriously Awesome, chief. Well done

Indeed!...and modding [editing .xml files] looks like easy thankfully.

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