Fallen Enchantress - Faction Differentiation

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

Frogboy

Join Date 03/2001
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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 13, 2012 6:35:55 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Frogboy,


We''re not looking to pepper each faction with a hundred little things but rather have a handful of big obvious things. 

If you're just looking big obvious things, then how about these ideas:

+ One faction generates mana equal to 50% of the experience of their troops slain in battle

+ One faction can hire both Kingdom/Empire champions

+ One faction is not penalized while moving through rough terrain

+ One faction can produce pioneers of any size less than or equal the total number of citizens available in that city (in other words, these pioneers could take 50 citizens away from one city and start a new city with 50 citizens)

+ One faction can generate resources from resource tiles without building the resource improvement

+ One faction can use diplomacy to force a trade with any opponent who has more than them of something

+ One faction's champions automatically learn whatever spells are cast during combat

+ One faction gets a market to trade any resource for any other resource

+ One faction can trade techs

 

 

 

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March 13, 2012 7:05:38 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums


Great to read the news. I hope the next beta will be more stable for me.

...about differentiation

For me important is the way they speak to me so the 'character', abilities of faction as well as current strategic situation (+ and - in attitude) should influence the diplomacy options and flavor.

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March 13, 2012 7:13:49 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums


One thing I always loved in MOM was having unded units raise after a battle if you had gouls (I think it was gouls?!?)  That was alot of fun!

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March 13, 2012 7:27:50 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Frogboy,

Quoting Gammit10, reply 94
 

  Because I am such a visual person, I would most prefer to see the faction differentiation.  To alter the cities or surrounding land for each faction would be awesome.  While the kingdom versus empire land and building differences are already a start, I would ideally like to see some differentiation in the city's buildings.

 

You're going to get both. SEE and PLAY.

For...example...ONE of the faction gains population by defeating people on the battlefield. That is, non-champions who fall on the battlefield (who are sentient) become slaves and are added to their population.

Another faction can claim land via magic rather than having to build outposts.  

We''re not looking to pepper each faction with a hundred little things but rather have a handful of big obvious things. 

Kickassome.

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March 13, 2012 7:49:57 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Gah, why Umber so unpopular? 3%?

I blame Kulan, worst Sov in the game and he has stupid hair.

Redo him into something that makes sense. (Not a high Dext, low Int mage/warrior.)

 

*Updated my urxen post

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March 13, 2012 8:04:32 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Stupidity10,
Gah, why Umber so unpopular? 3%?

I blame Kulan, worst Sov in the game and he has stupid hair.

Redo him into something that makes sense. (Not a high Dext, low Int mage/warrior.)

 

Which is kinda funny cause right now umber has the most OP insta win strategy in the game.

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March 14, 2012 3:20:34 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

1) The factions can be differentiated from one another by having different expansion styles.

- spam, spam, spam

- spam until x cities, then go after chosen victory

- one huge city

- a few large cities

- pyramid (slow sustained but snowballing growth) can be narrow (largely vertical) or wide (largely horizontal)

- spam until x cities, grow until size/time y, spam again

etc. (I'm sure you're imagination is MUCH better than mine...)

These should be blended with the factions other traits/units/buildings as to what is most suited.

(Seanw3 has a suggestion above for how to get Gilden to have one or two large cities by building differentiation alone, for example, which tailors with their production abilities.  There is no reason why we couldn't have 3 per faction buildings, I guess?) 

A human player can play any faction any way but for the CPU it should be the most advantageous expansion style given the factions other propensities.

 

2) Keep in mind that a faction gets bonuses from 3 different areas

- race (=biological)

- faction (=cultural)

- sovereign (=political)

There is no reason why every race should be able to access every cultural or political trait, etc.  Extremely unbalanced mixes can be prohibited.

Having three independent customisable sources of differentiation (as long as none are overpowered) leads to lots of replayability and interesting combinations.

The AI needs to be able to cope with custom mixes.  There could be a checkbox on custom faction creation for expansion style so that the CPU knows how to play the faction if it ever gets to.

 

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March 14, 2012 6:02:43 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Trojasmic,

Quoting Frogboy, reply 97

We''re not looking to pepper each faction with a hundred little things but rather have a handful of big obvious things. 

If you're just looking big obvious things, then how about these ideas:

+ One faction generates mana equal to 50% of the experience of their troops slain in battle
Resoln

+ One faction can hire both Kingdom/Empire champions
Altar

+ One faction is not penalized while moving through rough terrain
Tarth

+ One faction can produce pioneers of any size less than or equal the total number of citizens available in that city (in other words, these pioneers could take 50 citizens away from one city and start a new city with 50 citizens)
I'm not feeling this one. I don't see how it could work well mechanically.


+ One faction can generate resources from resource tiles without building the resource improvement
Doesn't fit anyone well unless there's fluff I'm missing.

+ One faction can use diplomacy to force a trade with any opponent who has more than them of something
That would be extremely unfun to play against.

+ One faction's champions automatically learn whatever spells are cast during combat
Horribly imbalanced.

+ One faction gets a market to trade any resource for any other resource
Gilden, but might be thematically better if it's the result of a faction building.

+ One faction can trade techs
Not sufficiently interesting to be worth the coding and interface work.

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March 14, 2012 8:41:01 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Interesting. I thought Elemental didn't wanna go for the classic Good-Evil / Chaotic/Lawful route and stay with Kingdom-Empire none of which are necessarily good or evil. It's a bit of a surprise but I guess at least people are familiar with the good-evil concept from other games.

 

But, Gilden is lawful good? Seriously? These guys love money and mining. It's been a while since I read Destiny's Embers but if I remember right Gilden's leader went into a forest, got lost, and emerged with a new (shady) wife. He also loves money. Gilden and his leader's characteristics are nothing like lawful good or paladins. I always thought Procipinee as lawful good. At least she "looks" lawful good.

 

Same goes for some other factions. I love the fact that every faction will get different trais, equipment, etc. but unless you rewrite or rethink the history of Elemental some of these good/evil lawful/chaotic "assignments" don't make sense. I think it would be better to stay with just Kingdom/Empire and a fuzzy concept of semi good/evil.

 

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March 14, 2012 10:21:41 AM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

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

 

Please allow us to also customize the custom faction to make them different as well. Maybe take some elements from the normal factions such as city art from one faction but army look from another and tech tree from a third etc.

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March 14, 2012 10:25:35 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Building on the stuff I posted earlier in the thread about Mangar abilities, listed below:

Taskmaster. Strategic ability. Deal 1 damage to each unit in the army (e.g., a stack with 9 guys would take 9 damage), the army gains 1 additional move this round. Usable on your armies only. Does not affect Sovereign. 

Slavedriver. Tactical ability. Deal 1 damage to each unit in stack, affected stack gains +5 initiative. May not be used on your Sovereign.

Anyway, Magnar are clearly a bunch of slavers and I'd like to see that in the game more. So, what I'm thinking is have a Trait that you can give to troops:

Slave. Trait. This stack of units has been pulled from the local slave pits and forced to fight in the service of Mangar.

  • Advantages: The unit cost is free (traits included), so the only costs are for the actual equipment they wield. 
  • Disadvantages: When outside a city, another unit in the army must have a Master's Scourge to ensure obedience. At the end of a season, if this condition is not met, the unit disbands. If all units with a Master's Scourge die during tactical combat (or autoresolve), all units in the army with the Slave trait disband immediately.

The Slave trait would interact with the Master's Scourge equipment, below:

Master's Scourge. Melee Weapon. A unit with a Master's Scourge keeps slaves in the army from deserting. The Master's Scourge also allows the unit to use Taskmaster and Slavedriver abilities on units with the Slave trait (see the spoiler, above, for info on those). This item does little damage and is expensive.

The effect this would have on Magnar's armies would be:

The player would need to balance Magnar's army composition between slaves (which can be strong, depending on which traits you give them, and are pretty cheap) and masters. Since the Master's Scourge sits in the weapon slot, it will be visible to the opposing amry, Since it is expensive and does very little damage, the player will have to choose who will wield the weapon wisely.

  • Giving it to a sovereign / champion can ensure that the slaves will stay in line (since it'll be hard to kill a lv 9 champion), but it'll seriously reduce the champion's damage output. 
  • Giving to regular, trained units will result in a more vulnerable slave master, but will preserve the power of your champions.


It will also change the strategies of Magnar's opponents. The opponents will have to choose between destroying the slaves and taking out the master(s) based on army composition.

  • For example, if there are many slaves and one master, it would make the most sense to use magic / ranged attacks to assassinate the master, which will automatically disband all the slaves.

 

Edit:  Cleaned up formatting.

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March 14, 2012 10:26:04 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

For each faction

-> 1 equipment piece and 1 building OR 2 equipment pieces OR 2 buildings

(depends on the faction. For instance Magnar, Capitar, (gilden?) and Kraxis would get 2 buildings, while Trogs or Tarth would get 2 equipment pieces.)

-> 2 or 3 powerful (and multipurpose) faction traits.

 

Example: Resolyn

Wraith Blade/ Vampiric Blade -> An equipment for troops to 'leech life' via melee combat.

(Damage increases the attackers health ... perhaps kills will increase the Nation's Mana?? )

Hall of the Dying Dust -> -0.5 growth, +0.15 mana per population, +5 spell resistance for built units, (1 or 2) gold maintenance. +0.1 growth per each use of the Blight spell(?).

 

Death Worship-> extra death spells (current), unlocks Path of the Necromancer, attitude bonus with fellow Death Worshippers, penalty for non worshipers. No unrest in any city for 10(?) seasons after Blight has been cast.


Magical Savants -> +20% magic research, -10% warfare research


Caste System-> (not certain)

 

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March 14, 2012 10:34:36 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Another problem with faction differentiation is that it was said most of it would come from the tech tree. But it is hardly the case : most games, everyone fight with about the same techs, as most of the fighting that matters happens between shortbowmen and spearmen. There is very little room for differenciation there either, especially when we even have to go through the most boring of all trees, the civic tree, to research any advenced item in warfare (and we have to go to the semi boring mundane warfare tree to unlock many items of the magic tree).

 

If the tech tree was reworked and made not boring (and really offer several different ways to play the game), maybe it would be much less of an issue, as  two subsequent playthroughs would not be identical.

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March 14, 2012 11:29:23 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I'm super happy you're making faction differentiation a focus now. I have a feeling the current lore and leaders though are going to hamper this somewhat since they were originally designed to not be that different. I would suggest killing a few of them off and creating a few new races with much more obvious differences to play around with. A few races with different terrain and resources would add a lot of replayability and I can't really see that happening with the current choices.

To try and use what we have though, I'd like to see maybe Kraxis using a lot of spider related stuff. Different levels of spiders to be trained along their tech tree, spider mounts instead of horses/worgs, and a lot of poisoning options for the units, I'm not sure that fits but IIRC they have a spider as their icon so that's as good a place as any to start.

Probably even farther from established lore, but I'd like to see Magnar dealing with a lot more fire. Give them a scorched terrain with lava and volcanoes, add fire to their units in various ways (fire weapons, fire based racial attacks, etc.) and a fire related mount of some kind (fire lizard/drake/beast). I could also see giving them a way to convert nodes into fire (like what's-her-name can do with death nodes) and building some civic buildings that add enhancements based on the number of fire nodes they control (so it's not just better spells). I base that all only on their skin being red and their name sounding like magma.

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March 14, 2012 12:07:08 PM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

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

 

They should be

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March 14, 2012 12:18:55 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Stupidity10,
Gah, why Umber so unpopular? 3%?

I blame Kulan, worst Sov in the game and he has stupid hair.

Redo him into something that makes sense. (Not a high Dext, low Int mage/warrior.)

 

*Updated my urxen post

I like Kulan--one of my favorite games was when I played as him.

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March 14, 2012 12:33:52 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting KingHobbit,
I like Kulan--one of my favorite games was when I played as him.

Maybe, but he is contradictionary and really only exists because SD knew that the Assasin Sov he should be would be unplayable due to thier terrible implementation of assasins.

 

1.He is a cruel warlord(already underpowered trait at 10%), so he gains extra exp from champions but has fewer champions  than normal.

2.He is described as a rounded character who could be either a mage or warrior. Rounded characters are horrible in FE, especially when their specialty is the broken dexterity stat.

3.His schools of magic are water, earth, death, The buff/curse schools. He has low Int though so is in fact a horrible curser and without fire/air he cant just become a evoker abuser like every decent mage in the game.

Im hoping hes a placeholder while they fix the game.

 

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March 14, 2012 12:39:25 PM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

Quoting Cruxador,
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.

 Actually they are more interesting or have the potential to be more interesting using the D&D Alignment system.

I think this a a step in the right direction Kudos on the alignment grid Frogboy

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March 14, 2012 12:48:43 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Apparently Frogboy was just using the old D&D meme to get the discussion started. Please do not take it as written in stone. It is obviously made from the perspective of one of the Kingdoms, probably Gilden. They probably would like to see themselves as Lawful Good. Maybe Lawful Greed.  

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March 14, 2012 12:52:03 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Sanati,

To try and use what we have though, I'd like to see maybe Kraxis using a lot of spider related stuff. Different levels of spiders to be trained along their tech tree, spider mounts instead of horses/worgs, and a lot of poisoning options for the units

...

Probably even farther from established lore, but I'd like to see Magnar dealing with a lot more fire. Give them a scorched terrain with lava and volcanoes, add fire to their units in various ways (fire weapons, fire based racial attacks, etc.) and a fire related mount of some kind (fire lizard/drake/beast).

I like this.

Umber -> Umberdroths, Magnar -> Skaths (or fire lizards), Kraxis -> Spiders.

Perhaps they can use normal horses + Wargs, but I think they should have a level 3 city option (under the Fort Speciality) that allows them to train their favored beast mount

Equally, Magnar having Volcanic/fiery terrain would be awesome. (they already have the fire crystal for +1 fire damage iirc)

 

 

 

Quoting Stupidity10,

[Quoting KingHobbit, reply 116I] like Kulan--one of my favorite games was when I played as him.[/quote}
Maybe, but he is contradictionary and really only exists because SD knew that the Assasin Sov he should be would be unplayable due to thier terrible implementation of assasins.

 

1.He is a cruel warlord(already underpowered trait at 10%), so he gains extra exp from champions but has fewer champions  than normal.

2.He is described as a rounded character who could be either a mage or warrior. Rounded characters are horrible in FE, especially when their specialty is the broken dexterity stat.

3.His schools of magic are water, earth, death, The buff/curse schools. He has low Int though so is in fact a horrible curser and without fire/air he cant just become a evoker abuser like every decent mage in the game.

Im hoping hes a placeholder while they fix the game.

 

 

I think Warlord Kulan could be an interesting character as is ... although he could also be re-worked into the Honorable Grand Emperor Kulan of the Kulan dynasty. (political ruler, prestige and administration focus).

Kulan as the warlord however ... I think he should have high Intelligence (for buffs/curses), good strength, average constutition, and low dexterity.

If we want to go in the direction of an Intelligent (yet ruthless) Warlord that takes more after Sun Tzu than Genghis Khan.

 

Alternatively, if you wanted him on the front lines more ... he could have high dexterity, good strength, good/average intelligence, and average constitution. Front lines Kulan would probably be focused on Ruthless and Bloodthirsty. Perhaps starting with Impulsive as well?

Meanwhile back-lines Kulan would instead rely on Strategist, Tactician, etc (probably still Bloodthirsty tho)

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March 14, 2012 1:36:29 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Tasunke,
I think Warlord Kulan could be an interesting character as is ... although he could also be re-worked into the Honorable Grand Emperor Kulan of the Kulan dynasty. (political ruler, prestige and administration focus).

Not really fitting the Umber image of a cunning, migratory, snake worshipping, savage people.

Quoting Tasunke,
Kulan as the warlord however ... I think he should have high Intelligence (for buffs/curses), good strength, average constutition, and low dexterity.

So far, all Sov have the base stats of their race plus whatever traits they start with. Even if you gave him Int traits he would still be no wraith and i'd like to avoid completly rehauling all Urxen stats. Kulan as a tactician more than a fighter could work and i'd love to see his dexterity actually put to work as a playable Assasin.

Quoting Tasunke,
Magnar -> Skaths

Skath are aquatic lizards, not fire lizards and Umberdoths are bone ogre tough.

Quoting Sanati,
I'd like to see maybe Kraxis using a lot of spider related stuff. Different levels of spiders to be trained along their tech tree, spider mounts instead of horses/worgs, and a lot of poisoning options for the units, I'm not sure that fits but IIRC they have a spider as their icon so that's as good a place as any to start.

Kraxis isn't really a "Spider Team" they just have a spider flag to symbolize their craftyness. I'd be down with them getting Spider mounts and monsters though they shouldn't be 1 dimensional "Spider People".

Quoting Sanati,
Probably even farther from established lore, but I'd like to see Magnar dealing with a lot more fire. Give them a scorched terrain with lava and volcanoes, add fire to their units in various way

I'd give magnar some bonus fire spells and maybe fire resistance to bring out their fiery nature. But like the kraxis the Magnar are more than just fire people, most additions should reflect their romanesque empire.

 

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March 14, 2012 2:22:53 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Does the alignment parts have any influence on the game play?

 

Lawful <-> Chaotic: generally represent the need to regulate with laws. Maybe some buildings could not be built because they are designed around laws. Maybe some diplomatic treaties cannot be established or are simply less powerful because they cannot follow rules efficiently.

Good <-> Evil: Generally represent the tendency to think about the others or yourself. So maybe in could influence diplomatic treaties because evil players always want more for themselves.

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March 14, 2012 2:35:02 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Gilden being both the owner of natural resources and greedy being seen as lawful good along with the World of Elemental being a world that has suffered a cataclysm in which only white people have survived is a true Republican fantasy world. 

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March 14, 2012 2:37:41 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I think Scaths could easily be turned into a type of fire lizard if need be.

However, assuming Scaths are to remain aquatic, they could be the 'specialized mount' for the other two fallen races

(or could still be for all fallen races if Spider/Firelizard/Umberdroth is shot down)

 

 I could see the Urxen (as a highly populous, socially ordered nation), having some sort of "Imperial" leader along some sort of Confucian-esque lines (within their own social hierarchical politics and perhaps as an ancestor-worship type of spiritual leader). However having their in-game ruler should likely be the 'Warlord Kulan' who is a nephew of the Emperor or similar.

Their close relationship to beasts and serpents could be a fallen version of 'harmony with nature.' Which is one aspect of a nation that strives for social order (at least internally).

Now, the outcasts and shamed could be simply wild urxen that migrated off the path of the primary group (likely due to being shamed for breaking the rules of Urxen society). Due to the high birth rates of the Urxen, the wild urxen could easily become almost as populous as the 'proper Urxen' or Umber peoples.

However to an ignorant outsider, their social structures could often go unnoticed, wild Urxen indistinguishable from proper Urxen, and they would be seen (by outisders) as a wandering mass of wildlings.

Quoting Stupidity10,

Kulan as a tactician more than a fighter could work

Yes, I would like for Kulan to consider 'martial intelligence' as superior to brute strength yet still be willing to use his superior numbers to his advantage. I think he would rather surround the enemy and have them to surrender rather than destroy them. (as opposed to the Yithril/Trog philosophy of kill kill kill).

Kulan would probably focus on army buffing traits, as well as enemy-army debuffing traits. And to a lesser extent, spells that do the same (buff and debuff)

While I still think his profession/title should be warlord, I could see him taking either path of the assassin or path of the defender to complement his high dexterity. (though I don't think his stats should necessarily have to be tied to the racial)

 

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March 14, 2012 2:48:47 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Lord Xia,
Gilden being both the owner of natural resources and greedy being seen as lawful good along with the World of Elemental being a world that has suffered a cataclysm in which only white people have survived is a true Republican fantasy world.

 

Except for almost all of the Empires?

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