I apologize if this is already mentioned.
I've been pondering the ability to teleport armies all over the map. As it stands now, the player can warp their zerg army destroying everything. This allows instant focus fire anywhere on the map and provides huge flexibility in defense/offense. I think this may make programming the AI rather difficult as the AI may not see a threat and then whammo, threat instantly on border.
To borrow from a popular fantasy book series the Wheel of Time, I recommend the following developmental path (or something like it) for teleportation, especially when moving armies:
- Rand's ability to move quickly throughout the world started out with portal stones and Waygates. These were fixed positions in the world that allowed travel to another world where time and space was measured differently. Development of alternate worlds would be outside the scope of any near term upgrades so this is probably out of the question (although it would be cool later on).
- Only later did they rediscover Traveling from the Age of Legends - akin to Teleportation.
- Portal stones and Traveling required huge strength in magic to move armies. The size and/or power of the army should factor into the cost of the spell or intellect ability.
In thinking through the natural progression, it makes sense to me to do the following:
- First traveling discovery should be by building Waygates <or whatever we'd like to call it> within cities. This would add another building choice and gives players the option of strategically placing doorways for quick movement. The power to move all over the map would be constrained by city locations and the ability to finance and support building the gates. First Waygate should be in Capital and then it allows, by default, the spell Return and the building of additional Waygates in other cities.
- Higher up the tech tree should allow building Waygates outside of cities - strategic choke points, etc. I imagine defensible locations at chokepoints protected by magical and physical defenses. This probably goes hand in hand with the ability to build anything on the map outside cities and resources (Waygates, fortresses, etc) - not sure if that is ever planned but if it is it will be awesome to use all those empty map tiles somehow.
- Highest level of tech tree should allow the full strength teleportation spell giving full freedom of movement.
I imagine the AI could be programmed to gauge and react to player movement with fixed Waygates more easily than trying to anticipate when a player army is going to warp on their border from across the map and zerg their cities. Just something to think about - wanted to get this out there if not already done so. Thanks for listening.