Fallen Enchantress: Armies

By on June 23, 2011 10:20:04 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Derek Paxton

Join Date 03/2003
+118

                Units matter.  Fallen Enchantress comes with several base units already in the game, each designed to look unique and interesting for their faction.  We want to make sure new players find units and see enemy units that look nice.  We had some fun picking some starting traits for these base units, archers start with a trait that improves their accuracy.  Defenders start with Ignore Pain, a trait that allows them to last longer in combat (all Tarth units get +10 to Defense when they are under 50% of their hit points, making their defenders even harder to take out), etc.

                But that doesn’t mean we don’t support unit customization.  Players can still design the armies they want to train.  If you want to create archers faster, make a cheap version without the precision trait.  Or make some elite units by loading up on your favorite armor and weapons.  Just remember that units have an encumbrance limit based on their strength, so you have to make hard choices between massive shields, big weapons and heavy armor.  Especially if you are playing one of the smaller races (each faction has different starting stats).

                Traits are new to Fallen Enchantress and are so much fun to design units we have some unlocked from the beginning of the game.  Initially the design required the player to have certain techs before they unlocked traits and trait slots.  But now players start with a trait slot and a small selection of traits they can use.  Later techs unlock new traits and additional trait slots, so late game units can really specialize.

                One of my favorite new features of the unit design system is upgrades.  When you design a unit you can pick the weapon or armor it will have.  Or simply select for it to get the best possible of that type.  Defenders, for example, always try to get the best armor that player can produce.  So whenever you train some defenders they will have the best armor available at that time.  Players can also upgrade their units, so that if new armor becomes available the player can upgrade his existing defenders (for a moderate cost of course).

                Design your own units, and watch them grow with your empire.  Leveling up champions is fun, but players that decide to rely more on their armies have lots to do too.

 

 

ps. the above screenshots are just me messing around with unit design.  I'm sure the artists are going to give out a long sigh when he see my screenshots (sorry Paul and Akil!) since I didn't match armor or include full sets.

 

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June 23, 2011 10:38:30 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Wow another journal already! Your really churning them out now.

 

Traits and encumbrance really seem like they transform the bland unit design from WoM into something cool and interesting to use.

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June 23, 2011 10:51:16 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Yeah, this looks great guys. Can't wait to play this game.

If FE is as good as it looks to be, I shudder to think of what Game 3 is going to do to my productivity.

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June 23, 2011 10:59:47 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

The ability to upgrade existing units is going to make a world of difference. No more disposable units. But it would also mean than whenever the AI decides to spam a cheap unit(which it actually hasn't since 1.2b) early on, at some point, it'll be able to pump them up to something really dangerous.

 Hmm, any plans of adding upkeep for units?

 

Can't wait for the Magic journal. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for backfiring spells and consequences to meddling with the primordial forces of nature.

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June 23, 2011 10:59:57 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Loving the new armors.

When is this releasing, now? I can't wait to get my hands on it.

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June 23, 2011 11:02:00 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting unacomn,

 Hmm, any plans of adding upkeep for units?

Pretty sure they already have an upkeep. When I was playing last, I was in my budget window and noticed a "Wages" entry. I assumed this was army wages.

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June 23, 2011 11:04:40 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

nice work!

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June 23, 2011 11:08:51 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Krantos,
Quoting unacomn, reply 3
 Hmm, any plans of adding upkeep for units?

Pretty sure they already have an upkeep. When I was playing last, I was in my budget window and noticed a "Wages" entry. I assumed this was army wages.

 

Forgot about those. But what if it were more than money?

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June 23, 2011 11:11:31 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Fantastic!

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June 23, 2011 11:15:54 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting unacomn,
Forgot about those. But what if it were more than money?

I'd just be happy if the gold cost scaled with the original building cost, like GC2.

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June 23, 2011 11:33:34 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting unacomn,
The ability to upgrade existing units is going to make a world of difference. No more disposable units. But it would also mean than whenever the AI decides to spam a cheap unit(which it actually hasn't since 1.2b) early on, at some point, it'll be able to pump them up to something really dangerous.

Only if it has the cash to do so.  Since there's a "moderate cost" to upgrade, it could actually end up being quite expensive if you have a bunch of low-level troops, so one strategy could be to try and slow the AI down economically so that it can't mass upgrade its armies.

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June 24, 2011 12:18:39 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

21 Different traits... Got me blood'a goin

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June 24, 2011 12:20:52 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

this is cool and all, but i worry that the game will just be about teching up to a more powerful weapon.  i understand that this is gonna happen to a certain degree, but i was really wanting the weapons to have different strategic uses.  an example would be daggers.  i don't want daggers to just go away because you got swords now.  i want a reason to have daggers over swords.  maybe a bump in speed or dodge or something.  maybe have shadow daggers that blind a unit on a hit and make them lose some attack value.  so that the wielder of these daggers can move around the tactical map quickly blinding people. please tell me its not gonna turn into a cold war.

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June 24, 2011 12:24:59 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Great, the races will be differentiated from each other.

if you are playing one of the smaller races (each faction has different starting stats).

Tarth units get +10 to Defense when they are under 50% of their hit points, making their defenders even harder to take out

I wonder if the different races will have access to unique weapons or battle tactics for their armies?

  • Will wraith armies have an option to attack their enemies at night?, This would reduce the site range and attack range for all units, thus limiting the usefulness of ranged attacks, unless the defender casts a daylight spell.
  • Will Trog units have access to extra heavy maces, weapons that the smaller races cannot easily wield.
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June 24, 2011 1:45:56 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

This looks great and really promising. Just make sure that the AI helps compliment all the great features and design choices. Fantastic content is not worth much if the AI cannot put up a good fight!

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June 24, 2011 1:51:14 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Again, looks good, very good.

 

So when does the beta start? I really have to know, if FE is really as good as it seems to be. There is a constant fear of dissapointment and i wanna get rid of it.

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June 24, 2011 2:55:29 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Frogboy said it would maybe start near end of July. I think it's going to take more time.

The traits seem fun, I hope they're all interesting like Defenders and not just "unit has +1 attack". And it sounds VERY interesting to be able to pick more than one later in the game.

Does leveling up units provide any sort of possibility to pick a new trait as reward for experience?

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June 24, 2011 4:10:13 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Looking good but the 4 HP looks to be a concern. Hope FE won't have the glass canon units of WoM.

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June 24, 2011 4:54:00 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Looks cool.

Do units need Charisma or Intelligence?

Also agreed with Das123 - hope units have a bit more longeivity than in WoM.

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June 24, 2011 4:57:23 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting TheProgress,
<snip>Fantastic content is not worth much if the AI cannot put up a good fight!

 

I've got to disagree.  Master of Magic's AI was crap, but nearly everyone here (me included) wants to have it's baby.  Good AI is helpful to make a stellar game, but not nearly as important as, frankly, everything I've been hearing about what they've been actually focusing on.  Fwiw, I do hope that the AI is very good, since it will definitely make for a better game. I just disagree that fantastic content only has value in the context of a strong AI.

 

That said, EWOM's release AI (and tactical to this day) was so poor that it could, in fact, bring down fantastic content, so it's all relative Fortunately Brad is going to be much more centrally focused on AI for much longer this time around.

 

TL;DR: Fantastic content trumps good AI to make a beloved game (within limits).

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June 24, 2011 5:02:25 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Great news. Traits are a great idea: there is a reason i think why almost every RPG system ends up having a feats, perks or traits system (or something similar). I also love the new interface and all the art that is coming into the game generally.

I am however, more used to trait type features for characters rather than units. It’s important that they are exceptions to the rules, rather than the basis for the game. I’d hate them to become the equivalent of gear in WoW, which due to inflation ends up making a more basic system (levels) redundant. Likewise, it would be bad for the game if a player compares the stats of his unit and the enemies and attacks, expecting to win, but looses because the enemy has a trait which gives him 50% more attack on a Tuesday.

As much as possible, i think it’s better to do things within game mechanics. Would it not be simpler, for example, if Tarthans had higher DEX, which improved their defence scores across the board? If default archers are going to be more accurate, would it not make sense to just improve the strength of the bow, and then add a trait for “conscripts” that decreases effectiveness and cost if players want to do that. IMHO traits are better for things like “special ability: form phalanx” or “trackers: no loss of movement through woods.” Ie, things that are not covered by the normal mechanics, rather than things that are.

Ideally, if the stat system was well done it could make the races play differently without the need for special rules and tech trees, which have always seemed like a cop out to me. If each race has one stronger stat and one weaker one, it allows for a lot of variation.

Str for carrying capacity and attack bonus

Dex for archery bonus and defence bonus

Con for HP bonus

Int for initiative and income bonus

Cha for morale, prestige bonus and recruitment decrease

Essence for Magic resistance

Then your spells can work within that framework too.

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June 24, 2011 6:05:21 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

There's a squirrel trait? Let me guess, "The unit is an expert at collecting acorns and can regain lost hp when located in a forest".

 

I'm also a bit worried about the low HP. Unless something is done to attack/defense rolls, we will have glass cannons again.

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June 24, 2011 6:10:21 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

The Trait UI right now doesn't seem to display what the trait you're selecting does. That's just a work in progress oversight, right?

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June 24, 2011 7:11:54 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

This sounds really great... but I'm surprised you took this long to add it in to the game. Having played Moo2, this seems like the most basic feature to add to a TBS game that allows you to design units. (both upgrade and traits).

The trait system is basically like the special systems in Moo2, while the shields, weapons and engines more closely mirrors the armor and weapon system of Elemental. 

 I suggest you consider adding traits that give active abilities in combat, such as a healing spell or an attack that stuns enemies. These abilities should have limited use or cooldowns. This will make the combat even more interesting than simple stat changes. 

 

The game looks a lot better, I think i will actually buy FE.

 

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June 24, 2011 7:12:13 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Wow, great work.

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June 24, 2011 7:57:27 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Sethai, I cannot express properly how much I disagree with you. Special traits SHOULD change how a unit fights or acts. These boosts to unit statistics that you suggest is exactly what makes E:wom stats such a boring and static system.

Let there be a hundred different traits, and 3000 different combinations.

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