Fallen Enchantress - Faction Differentiation

By on March 12, 2012 8:38:04 PM from JoeUser Forums JoeUser Forums

Frogboy

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The Beta 2 series of Fallen Enchantress is where we begin to introduce the bread and butter differences between the different factions.  Beta 2-B, which, I’m sad to say, won’t be out until at least the 22nd, will reintroduce players to Magnar and Gilden.   We’ll be talking a lot about the differences in an upcoming journal.

Broadly speaking, each faction will receive unique equipment, weapons, armor, items, improvements and abilities.  While most of our focus will be on making each faction distinct in how you play, we will be working to make them visually different as well. A Wraith city will look different from a Trog city which will look different from a Krax city and so on.

In the meantime, let us know which faction you tend to play as the most and how you would like to see them differentiated from the others. What would make them feel special to you?

Vote here:

http://www.elementalgame.com/journals

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March 12, 2012 6:52:18 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Please make Umber unlikable, tough as nail, unfriendly, nasty bastards that will survive where others would falter Thats how they play inside my head. This could be done by:

 

Having extra cost for recruiting (as it is today)

Need less food per population (we eat of the ground, what others throw away), a small bonus to growth as we attract all the scum that roams

Extra constitution, but slightly lower intelligence on average

Negative diplomatic skills (others think us filthy and disgusting)

Lower tax income. Money pahh.. who needs it

Standard units have the skill that gives attack bonus when health is below 50%

 

 

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March 12, 2012 6:53:27 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Umber can build cities without grain and would get a 2 mat/2 grain on any tile that is not normally suitable for settling

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March 12, 2012 6:58:15 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I only ever play a custom faction, therefore I will abstain from voting.

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March 12, 2012 6:59:19 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting joasoze,
Please make Umber unlikable, tough as nail, unfriendly, nasty bastards that will survive where others would falter Thats how they play inside my head. This could be done by:

 

Having extra cost for recruiting (as it is today)

Need less food per population (we eat of the ground, what others throw away), a small bonus to growth as we attract all the scum that roams

Extra constitution, but slightly lower intelligence on average

Negative diplomatic skills (others think us filthy and disgusting)

Lower tax income. Money pahh.. who needs it

Standard units have the skill that gives attack bonus when health is below 50%

 

that could work.

Quoting joasoze,
Umber can build cities without grain and would get a 2 mat/2 grain on any tile that is not normally suitable for settling

that would just make them broken. and everyone would play it to exploit just how broken it is

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March 12, 2012 7:01:50 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums
I love the direction you guys are taking things, and the fact you are willing to take as much time as necessary to make FE a great game! To me, the most interesting way to make factions different would be to have several unique buildings for each faction, which none of the other factions can make. This would go a long way toward giving the cities of each faction a distinct feel. For example, maybe Procipinee could build Magic Academies which would grant cities some sort of magical protection from attacks (like the barrier around Hogwarts in the last Harry Potter movie), or unlock new spells. I'd love it if Wraith cities could build Graveyards, which would add skeleton defenders to fight alongside the city militia.
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March 12, 2012 7:03:16 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I already posted my thoughts on Tarth here. The only other thing that might be interesting is a bonus attack against beasts as a race trait. 

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March 12, 2012 7:03:22 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting ,


Broadly speaking, each faction will receive unique equipment, weapons, armor, items, improvements and abilities.  While most of our focus will be on making each faction distinct in how you play, we will be working to make them visually different as well. A Wraith city will look different from a Trog city which will look different from a Krax city and so on.
In the meantime, let us know which faction you tend to play as the most and how you would like to see them differentiated from the others. What would make them feel special to you?

what you already told is enough imo, what i love especially is differente gameplay but if that comes from some race spell/ability or from different armies is irrelevant

also it is cool like already told to have visually different cities (and maybe armies too)

my order of preference

- racial spells/skills/traits

-unique creature/beast/troops

- (few) different buildings for faction

-items, either in shop for champions or to use for your army

-maybe some research but im not sure about this

 

 

 

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March 12, 2012 7:04:24 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

2 mat/2 grain does not a successful city make. If you spam them, they would hardly ever grow. There are antispam mechanics in the game already. I would much prefer to find a "real" spot, but could fall back to the 2/2 if not. Would be fun to try methinks.

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March 12, 2012 7:10:15 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I thought fallen weren't evil, and kingdoms weren't good?

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March 12, 2012 7:16:30 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

They said that for a while. But they ended up making them that way anyway...

 

Also... Where is Carrodus?

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March 12, 2012 7:22:03 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I also play Umber but have to say they get the worst Sov in the game. His description is that he is a well rounded character but elemental is not a game that rewards well roundedness. You either try for warrior or mage you cant be both well ass every Int/Mage trait is less Str/Warrior traits. Also as Umber is the highest dexterity race could you please make Dexterity a balanced trait and Assasins more than a joke path. Really he shouldn't be a warrior/mage champion but an assasin one, I would bet the reason he isn't is because Assasins as stands arn't playable.

Quoting joasoze,
Having extra cost for recruiting (as it is today)

Hate this mechanic for Umber because their Sov is a warlord, this already underpowered specialization gets even worse when you have less champions. This combined with the Umbars Sov's roundedness makes me custom Sov everytime.

Quoting joasoze,
Lower tax income. Money pahh.. who needs it

Everyone, seriously a hit to income is a big deal need something to balance it.

Quoting joasoze,
Need less food per population (we eat of the ground, what others throw away), a small bonus to growth as we attract all the scum that roams

I agree that Umbar should have a growth rate bonus, because they are the most populous race and have a history of migration, not because they eat garbage.

Quoting joasoze,
Standard units have the skill that gives attack bonus when health is below 50%

Quoting ddd888,
- racial spells/skills/traits

Yes, all the races need a built in special trait, they should be differentiated by more than just stats. Some examples are: Poison/Fire/Blunt resistance, Fast healing, No Movement Penalties over forests, rivers, swamps, wastelands or hills,  Dmg vs Beasts or twisted, Fire/Water/Lightning dmg bonus on spells.

 

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March 12, 2012 7:22:57 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Carrodus would be a true neutral as well.

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March 12, 2012 7:25:19 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Awesome.  I can't wait to read the journal that gets into the bits and pieces of differentiation.

I voted for Resoln, so I'll briefly talk about them since the wraiths are near and dear to my black, rotten heart.

I'd really like to see their population / recruitment controlled by mana and spells rather than prestige.  From how I interpret the lore, Ceresa bound all of her subjects to her with a powerful spell.  Why, then, does her population increase via prestige just like all the other suckers in the world?  I'm not sure how this system would work exactly, but maybe some of the Ceresa Spells would be like:

Ritual of Binding.  Strategic spell.  X mana to cast (based on opposing army strength).  Ceresa strips the life from an army on the strategic map, damning them to an eternity as wraiths.  The army is now under her control.  Cannot be used against an army led by a sovereign.

Call from Beyond.  City Enchantment spell.  X mana to cast.  1 upkeep.  Enchanted city is infused with Dark Magic and gains 1 + 1 / Death Shard population each turn.  

Wake the Dead.  Strategic spell.  250 mana to cast.  Target city gains 25 population.

 

Perhaps buildings would be in order:

Necromancer Cabal.  Ceresa's necromancers work tirelessly to capture and convert the living.  +X population per season in the city in which this is built.  There could be a basic cabal and stronger versions could be city improvements that you get when your city levels up.  

Throne of the Wraith Queen. From her dark throne, Ceresa contemplates eternity.  Could be a "one per faction" building that provides one death energy and some population.



Faction Penalties:

Do Not Suffer the Living.  When the wraiths take over a city, they kill or capture everyone.  Cities that are captured by the wraiths have their population reset to 1.

Land of the Dead.  Ceresa has altered the very lands in her empire to support her semi-living thralls.  While within their borders, wraith units require no upkeep.  However, when wraiths venture beyond the mists surrounding Ceresa's lands, she must constantly feed them mana (1 / stack?  Not sure how the balance would work here). 

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March 12, 2012 7:28:16 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I like Tarth, feel like a ranger or wood elf type faction.  I'd like some kind of "nature" type bonuses for them i.e. nature magic bonus, special animal soldier type (spider riders who have a poison attack?), longer scouting range, bonus in forest, special bow weapon, etc.

 

I would also like to see each monarch be able to choose a hereditary unique weapon/armor as their bonus that becomes available at, say, level 10, that has a unique type of attack that fits that factions theme.  Before that level they would be too weak to use/wear it.  (Maybe an enchanted gladiator mask for Tarth?)

 

Just some thoughts.

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March 12, 2012 7:28:35 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I don't think the wraiths are actual undead at all.

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March 12, 2012 7:33:12 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting ,
Broadly speaking, each faction will receive unique equipment, weapons, armor, items, improvements and abilities.  While most of our focus will be on making each faction distinct in how you play, we will be working to make them visually different as well. A Wraith city will look different from a Trog city which will look different from a Krax city and so on.

There goes memory usage, I guess? Good news though, even if it gets me doomed to play medium maps at best to avoid OOMs. It also means more stuff for modders so what's not to like?

I like to fiddle with customs but my favourite canon is Tarth and second would be Pariden.

Tarth has history of gladiators, rebels, harsh training, "hostile" enviroment... One of their strengths can be based on a bigger than normal selection of talents for their units. For what I remember of the Hiergamenon of my WoM, tarthans are not many or they would be the strongest human army, so unit talents can fit that well as they would get less units (if the player actually invests on the talents) but they would be more "elite". Gladiatorial training (weapons like nets, tactics, resistances), guerrilla tactics (ability/talent to retreat from battle, special weapons/traps, special movement in terrains) and stuff like that. Economy wise quite humble (some kind of balance lore wise for poor land with rare resource that gives them great income... and that cannot be reflected in random maps?), at least in the sense of not making loads of money as Capitar.

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March 12, 2012 7:40:48 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Huzzah for alignments! Are all MOBS going to be given an alignment, too? If so, this will greatly increase the number of spells and skills possible!!!

Gilden:

Wow! I'm surprised to see them as lawful good. Sounds good!

In that case, I assume they are no longer the merchants, as that is taken by Tarth with their roads and caravans.

Gilden:

Faction Bonuses/Penalties:

  • Bonus to growth/prestige due to their adherence to values of justice and honor; Everyone wants to live in such a safe environment.
  • -10% unrest by default, and specialized buildings to reduce unrest. Everyone is more willing to pay taxes!
  • Standard units are willing to work for lower wages, because it is their honor to serve their kingdom. Specialized units are more expensive, because they are cocky, arrogant jerks!
  • -30% research; Creativity is not as highly valued in a lawful-good kingdom.
  • +15% grain and production; Everyone works hard!

Faction Units:

  • Knights: Requires plate armor and horses. They ride forth, mounted on horses, and armed with lances. Bonus damage against large/huge creatures; bonus defense against arrows (but not crossbows, if you implement them); Skill: Trample: Unit can move through an enemy unit, inflicting trample damage. This damage increases depending on the number of tiles moved. HIGH maintenance cost.
  • Paladins: Requires plate armor, life magic (and appropriate research in magic sphere); Can cast a couple of life spells such as healing, protection from evil, and regeneration; Bonus damage and defense against EVIL units. HIGH maintenance cost.
  • Royal guard: Requires at least chain armor. These units have a larger zone of control, and take damage in place of the sovereign or champion if they are positioned adjacent to them in battle. Cannot be mounted. HIGH maintenance cost.

Faction Spells:

  • Protection from evil: Target unit gains bonus defense and dodge against EVIL units.
  • Conversion: Target unit resists or joins Gilden, becoming lawful good.
  • Bless: All units on the battlefield gain a small bonus to hit, dodge, and defense.
  • Hands of God: Target champion is healed of one battle wound (high mana cost).
  • Holy avenger: Summons an angel to do battle on earth for the Sovereign (high cast and maintenance cost; most powerful summons for Gilden).
  • Holy fire: Casts a ray of holy light, damaging target EVIL unit for 5*INT Bonus*LIFE-shard-count points of damage.
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March 12, 2012 7:45:06 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Galwinganoon,
Awesome.  I can't wait to read the journal that gets into the bits and pieces of differentiation.

I voted for Resoln, so I'll briefly talk about them since the wraiths are near and dear to my black, rotten heart.

I'd really like to see their population / recruitment controlled by mana and spells rather than prestige.  From how I interpret the lore, Ceresa bound all of her subjects to her with a powerful spell.  Why, then, does her population increase via prestige just like all the other suckers in the world?  I'm not sure how this system would work exactly, but maybe some of the Ceresa Spells would be like:

Ritual of Binding.  Strategic spell.  X mana to cast (based on opposing army strength).  Ceresa strips the life from an army on the strategic map, damning them to an eternity as wraiths.  The army is now under her control.  Cannot be used against an army led by a sovereign.

Call from Beyond.  City Enchantment spell.  X mana to cast.  1 upkeep.  Enchanted city is infused with Dark Magic and gains 1 + 1 / Death Shard population each turn.  

Wake the Dead.  Strategic spell.  250 mana to cast.  Target city gains 25 population.

Nice stuff! Why not just tie the spells to prestige bonuses? Clean and easy!

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March 12, 2012 7:48:11 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Umber: A populous and Migratory people, they served under the most cunning of the titans who controlled the most land. Have highest dexterity.

The urxen should be good at expanding and growing their cities, this combined with their history of betrayal and their savage nature should give them poor diplomacy. They should be aggressive and savage, with more in common with their beasts than their neighbours. They should however respect strength. For all thier savagery the Urxen should have a ruthless and cruel cunning to them and a strong natural philosophy, as seen with their love of poisons and beasts. The Urxen should be an aggressive race that expand early and fast, always watching for a weak neighbouring border. With slow research but great at expansion and producing cheap soldiers that punch above their cost, they aim mostly for a conquest victory (maybe quest).

The Urxen should have not only an Assasin Sov but unlock special items to allow them to create troops that utilize dexterity, numbers, inititiative, curses and poison to bring down more powerful/armored enemies. Late game they should be using drakes,ogres and other beasts in the place of heavy knights and Magi.

 

Strengths: Light Armors/Spears/Daggers/Poisons/Curses/Population Growth/Monsters

Unique light armors (Naja Scale)(Ophilian Scale)(Drake Scale)

More Posions (Arrow)(Slow: -Initiative)(Toxin: High Dmg)(MindRot:-Intelligence)(Fever Poison: -25% fire resistance)

Special Daggers and Spears(+50% poison dmg)(50% armor penetration)(Dispel)(Dmg Bonus from Dext)

Skath Mounts (No movement penalty in Swamps)

Curse Stone: Special item for Magi Units that attempts to Curse target on hit.

Blood Curse: -Spell Defense -Def -Poison Resistance. Cannot be resisted, Damages caster

Wild Rage: Unit may strike adjacent allies.  +15% Str  +15% Dext   +15% Con   +2% per shard

Testing Ground (Urxen Arena): - 0.5 Growth. All units trained in this city gain + 1 Dex +1 Init and Bloodthirsty

Wild Symbiosis Techs: # of monsters trainable per lair increased 33%. Second lv 66% and rounds up (2ogres/drakes a lair)

 

Weaknesses: Diplomacy/Late Game Research/Fortifications/Low metal

 

The main problems with Urxen in .86 are dexterity, poison(glitchy stack) and Assasins(Dext based, no good traits) are underpowered.

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March 12, 2012 7:51:41 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I would like to see the factions divided between tall and wide like in Civ5. Tall factions are good at building a few populous cities while wide factions get a bonus to having lots of cities. This adds some variety to map, because not every faction would be spamming cities and the largest faction wouldn't necessarily be the toughest. 

I would also like to see less % bonuses for faction traits. Instead look at the faction traits in games such as Civilization and Rise of Nations. They had racial abilities that allowed for unique strategies and made every faction unique and interesting to play against. You shouldn't just think traits should just be noticeable to the person playing the faction, the enemies traits should be obvious to you as well. I have a list of some cool trait ideas here.

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March 12, 2012 7:55:24 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

D&D alignments don't even work well for their intended purpose, I'm not sure seeing them here is a positive thing. If your factions and characters can fit onto that grid, that should indicate by itself that your factions are uninteresting. Declaring a faction "evil" says "these are the bad guys, you shouldn't like them" while calling a faction "good" implicitly simplifies them into something less interesting. It also imposes an outside morality on these complex societies when realistically they should all consider themselves to be the good guys, and the implication that this morality is official reduces immersion.

One thing that might be slightly more helpful would be the noblebright/grimdark grid which is intended to categorize settings based on the demeanor of the people and the harshness of the world. But that's not a great fit for this situation either. There exists a grid with which you're likely familiar that has civil liberties on one axis and economic liberties on another, and that would be the best fit to describe governments but it doesn't cover a lot of aspects of the society. Really, no tool of that nature is going to be prefect for the situation.

 

As for my preferred faction, I've said this elsewhere, but saying it again is easier than finding it. I play mostly Yithril, although not exclusively. I see the Trogs as hard working and straightforward. They thrive under hardship, as the text in your image suggests, and expect others to work hard and persevere as well.  I see them as hard working folk who do what they have to but (as Empire) are more willing to accept that things won't always work out for everybody, and will take hardship as it comes. And of course they're vicious and brutal in war.

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March 12, 2012 7:59:32 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Custom Faction is definitely missing from that poll...

As I always base my custom faction on the Tarth I put Tarth but the abilities etc. of my faction are totally different. I hope that we stay flexible in designing custom factions and do net get limited by the Race we base them on.

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March 12, 2012 8:01:50 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Galwinganoon,
Awesome.  I can't wait to read the journal that gets into the bits and pieces of differentiation.

I voted for Resoln, so I'll briefly talk about them since the wraiths are near and dear to my black, rotten heart.

I'd really like to see their population / recruitment controlled by mana and spells rather than prestige.  From how I interpret the lore, Ceresa bound all of her subjects to her with a powerful spell.  Why, then, does her population increase via prestige just like all the other suckers in the world?  ...
 

Perhaps buildings would be in order:

Necromancer Cabal.  Ceresa's necromancers work tirelessly to capture and convert the living.  +X population per season in the city in which this is built.  There could be a basic cabal and stronger versions could be city improvements that you get when your city levels up.  

Throne of the Wraith Queen. From her dark throne, Ceresa contemplates eternity.  Could be a "one per faction" building that provides one death energy and some population.





Faction Penalties:

Do Not Suffer the Living.  When the wraiths take over a city, they kill or capture everyone.  Cities that are captured by the wraiths have their population reset to 1.

Land of the Dead.  Ceresa has altered the very lands in her empire to support her semi-living thralls.  While within their borders, wraith units require no upkeep.  However, when wraiths venture beyond the mists surrounding Ceresa's lands, she must constantly feed them mana (1 / stack?  Not sure how the balance would work here). 

 

I like these ideas. Very interesting.

Almost reminds me of the Ceyah of the Kohan series of games. The Ceyah could always support their maximum unit upkeep with "free" zombie units, but the zombies did terrible damage. The major appeal of the faction was that it could field an army very fast, but that you had to tactically maneuver the zombies to engage other units while your squishy damage dealers could flank the opposing army.

 

It made them fun to play, but balanced. Pros: big defense force. Cons: combined attack and defense of that defense force equaled the strengths of the smaller armies other factions could field.

 

Perhaps a low upkeep "zombie-like" unit is in order for Resoln? Obviously something that fits with the lore, but has the same features: low base damage, moderate to high hp and extremely cheap to produce and maintain. This unit would form the backbone of the Resoln army, but could be countered by an opposing player's strategy if the Resoln player did not mix his/her units effectively. 

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March 12, 2012 8:04:19 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

For some inspiration on faction differentiation, I suggest everyone on the design team be made to play 'Battle Realms'. There were three factions in that game that were so distinct, it made you feel like you were playing three different games. Granted, they had only three to deal with, and so they had time to put more effort into each, but it wouldn't hurt to take a few pages from their book.

 

The most distinguishing part of any race or faction will be the technologies and spells that they use to achieve domination. In a game like FE, I think systems, technologies and spells will create more differentiation than having different unit types (which would also be good). For example, an evil faction might gain certain advantages by sacrificing some of its' people to the shards it controls. A neutral faction might sink some land in it's own territory to gain a benefit.

The main area that designers get into trouble in, is where they try too much to equate abilities between factions. For example, good factions get horse mounts, whilst evil factions get wargs. While this is not necessarily bad, when it is over done it just makes the player feel like they're playing the same factions but in different colours. The way it should be done is, for example, let one race build 'sky-bridges' between their cities, but don't try to give any other faction an equivalent 'teleport' or 'quick transport' option to balance it out. Instead, give each race their own non-equivalent advantage that the other races don't get, such as a remote 'nuke' type option for one race, a city forcefield for another, in-map and in-battle cannibalism to create stronger units for another race, every unit has a default magical ranged attack for a particular race, etc. etc.

There should be numerous unique advantages such as the above mentioned for each race. I think this more than anything else will keep players coming back for more, as they experiment with combinations and tactics that can only be employed uniquely by each race.

 

Cheers.

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March 12, 2012 8:07:19 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I agree. I don't like this grid. And I don't like explicit evil/good. It's so cliche and ultimately uninteresting.

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