I am trying to summarize ideas I’ve initiated/posted so far, pre-beta. So far SD devs has shown EWOM is promising, I just try to express the kind of game I want to play & stuff I’ve not seen them mentioning here yet. Most of these ideas are small modification to the existing TBS genre, but I hope it’ll open up many new possibilities.
A. Racial Settlement Type
(This is the preparation mechanism of non-human/fallen races in future)
Den is the Racial Settlement Type (RST) of the race of Bear, Lion, etc; while Fallen’s RST is the Castle. All settlements allow the standard set of buildings inside, e.g. barrack, granary, farm etc. And there should be race specific unique buildings too.
Each Racial Settlement Type (RST) has its own specific map tile requirement, for example:
- Castle requires low hills, plains or grassland tile (Human/Fallen/etc)
- Den requires a forest, low hills, mountain, or underground tile (Bear/Lion/etc)
- Undersea Palace requires the ocean tile; (Mermaid/Lizardmen)
- Treetop Village requires the forest tile;
- Nest requires high mountain or the forest tile;
- Avian city requires the sky or cloud tile;
- Tomb can be located anywhere except sky or cloud; (Undead)
If a Lion race player captured the Bear’s Den, the lion race can then make full use of the Den because they share the same RST. However, when the Fallen captures the same den, they are incapable to make full use of it because Den is not their RST.
When a player controls a RST that is different to his starting race,
1. New (Bear) units are recruited at a reduced rate of 25%(require play-testing)
2. New (Bear) settlers are recruited at a reduced rate of 10% (i.e. discourage Fallen sprawling Dens)
3. New buildings are built at a reduced rate of 20% (require play-testing)
4. 1% chance of Civilian Revolt (CR) every turn
For any settlement being razed, it can only be rebuilt to same settlement type. So the Fallen cannot convert the den to its preferred RST castle at the same tile.
Any foreign settlement type is by-and-large a place to recruit units.
There are many reasons why this is a very nice mechanism.
1) Each race requires their own specific tile to settle, there will not be edge to edge urban sprawl of Human/Fallen castles
2) Races sharing the same RST will compete rigorously for land
3) Requires player maximize their use of native race well. Foreign recruits can help by only so much, as their production is quite limited. I don’t want to see all armies are UN armies.
4) Foreign settlements act as an extremely flexible recruitment structure from SD’s bestiary
5) Map tile composition affects the power balance/available room of expansion of players, due to RST tile requirement
6) Assuming there are tile affecting spells, it sure will allow some interesting strategy
I believe this RST concept does not conflict with BoogieBac’s comment. Essence has to spend on a grassland tile to make it livable.
Remember, in Elemental, one of your choices is to use your Essense to 're-seed' the land to make it livable for a settlement.
If a player wants to 'colony rush', then they can, but only to the extent of their magical ability and then they'll be too weak to put up a fight. Cities also have to be built upon and around 'Fertile Land' tiles, so players wanting a slower 'Expansion' phase can tweak down the amount of fertile tiles in their world.[q]
Regardless of the cataclysm or not, I want the map populated with many (AI) players, according to their preferred habitat. That means there should be different B. Shades of diplomacy.
- All units can trespass its border
- Allow fighting, including capture of rival settlement
- Needs to be in “Conflict” for a random 5-10 turns before turning to “War”
- All units can trespass its border
- Allow fighting, but rival settlement cannot be captured
- Caravan pays a toll to trespass
- Other units cannot trespass
- Caravan and other units pay a toll to trespass
- All units trespass for free
- Allow road building within mutual border
- Map shared, Allow building on ally’s land or changing tile type & more
- Declaring War/Conflict to one of the ally is effectively to both of them
- Needs to be “Friendly” for a random 5-10 turns before “Alliance”
- Stay as “Friendly” for a random 5-10 turns after breaking “Alliance”
Border is a circular 20/15/10 hexes surrounding a settlement (map size depending)
- When two player borders overlap, the game determines the exact border location, it is somewhere close to their midpoint.
- Border expands slowly but indefinitely towards its closest city the same player owns, even if the closest city is located beyond its default 20/15/10 hexes limit.
- Border expands on any terrain, including the sea.
[Toll is automatically calculated, to reduce micromanagement]
Disallow backstabbing, helps inter-fraction caravan trade.
B. Quest Generator
Sovereign/Hero stacks visiting other player’s settlement with diplomatic relation of Peaceful or higher, is allowed to recruit new units (except settler) at by paying 2X material/price to the player, reducing its stockpile.
Tavern can be built in any settlement, which offers hero quests. Quests are generated by an automatic quest generator; one quest is generated per player per month. When any hero accepts the quest, new quest will not be generated until it is failed/completed/expired some time later. Quest reward will not be reducted from the treasury.
These 2 features above, allows RPG like gameplay; allows heroes only gameplay.
From the perspective of the Sovereign, he has the option to generate the monthly quest manually to fulfill his strategic need indirectly, by ‘summoning’ some hero stacks. The player can request them to capture known city, guard an area/structure, kill certain hero, explore unknown area, etc.
When the quest is completed successfully, the agreed amount will be paid from the treasury to the hero. The game will always suggest the minimum gold amount needed for the quest. If the Sovereign tops up the bounty, a stronger independent hero stack will emerge to improve the odd & compete with other heroes trying. The Sovereign always see whatever the quest hero sees when the hero is questing. The Sovereign has no control on that stack though; the game AI is doing its best.
C. Victory Conditions (VC)
VC are somewhat easier to achieve in most cases (compared to the standard last man standing victory); and more importantly it is more fun to players because player has to use alternative strategies to win.
Depending on mapmaker/RMG, any game can have 0 to 2 VCs. I want all VCs hidden to others until a player reaches 75% progress. It will then be announced to everyone. Sample VCs:
a. Alliance with all players at the same time
b. Keep all essence nodes Razed for 3 turns
c. Cast "spell of Mastery"
d. Keep the ultimate artifact for 20 turns.
- Its location is automatically shown to all players once discovered
1e. consecutively win 50/40/30 battles (depend on map size)
1f. Surrender all battles for 30 turns consecutively (Assume all units die when surrendering)
Some of the AI player will just want to mind their own business, (& do not want to win the game) etc. The Victory condition listed below will influence how a particular AI behaves.
Victory condition: Stay Peaceful
- Player with this VC maintains “Peaceful” diplomatic relation with all players all the time
- So, Player with this VC can only fight with independents
Victory condition: Stay Neutral
- Player with this VC maintains “Neutral” diplomatic relation with all players
- Will accept “War” or “Conflict” to other player ONLY when other initiate that
Victory condition: Stay Barbaric
- Player with this VC is at “War” with all players all the time
These VCs & the RST mechanism should allow games that have strong Neutral/Independent non-winning fractions act as the backdrop
D. Global Quest is a quest available to ALL players to participate/compete. Some are co-operative, some are competitive. The reward/punishment is always significant to most players. Some examples:
I. Collect N mcguffins amongst all N players before turn 100, or else 10000 demon units will invade
II. If there is more than N global spells maintained at any time, magic cease to function for all N players
III. “World Unmake quest” is now available for all players, anyone who complete it win the game
IV. (Darko) All deceased monsters/units will come back to life every 50 turns, raiding players randomly
V. (Darko’s 2) Any player can cede their empire, if he lost a victory of fate duel
VI. 50 Archangel are granted to any player who first controls 50 Angels
VII. Whoever annihilate player X, will then be the only one who can cast global spells
VIII. Sea level will raise and destroy all lowland cities, unless all dungeons are explored by turn 50
IX. All units has 80% chance to be killed by a sudden epidemic, whenever any player is annihilated
X. All units will turn to undead, if there is any undead on the map at turn 50,100,150,200… etc
XI. (landisaurus) All players lose, if magic is somehow used in a bad way
There may be many ways to get these Global quests, the mapmaker/RMG can assign them at turn 0. Maybe there are “Global Quest” stones that any player who collects 2 of that will randomly change/start the quest. Maybe it’s a big spell call “Enable a Global Quest”.
E. Limit unit's walking, flying, swimming range and simulating Supply Line
Most units should have a limited range of activity on the map. Most units should not be allowed to walk across an XXXL map, or fly across ocean without proper Food supply. Below is a simple and elegant method to implement that
Units can carry a maximum of M units of food, currently hold Y units of food, consume X units of food per turn, and is able to forage Z units of food per turn. Each turn, Y unit of food is consumed. The turn after Y=0, they gain the status of “Exhausted”.
Exhausted units will have ATT, DEF greatly reduced & movement speed halved. These units can still keep pressing forward, but the risk of defeat is huge. Generally speaking, exhausted units should retreat, but it is a choice up to the AI/Gamer. The fun thing about Exhaustion is, since it is a status, it can be removed by spell/item/heroes' skill when appropriate.
Exhaustion applies to any modes of transport, including walking, swimming, flying, seafaring and etc. Swimming unit is drowned when it is exhausted.
A land tile carries a maximum of W units of food. Any unit that does not involve in any combat nor damaged previous turn will automatically forage a % of Z food units. This % is terrain dependent. If it is a dessert/ocean tile, this % equals to 0. If it is a city tile, this % can be well over 100%. For most if not all land tiles, food will be replenished automatically to W units many turns later.
50% * M food units is automatically ‘ordered’ to reach the adventuring stack whenever Y drops below 50% (for example) of M. Caravan of food travels from its closest city, & the amount of food ordered equals to any excess over the city's emergency food surplus. If one city does not have the food to cover the 50% * M amount, another food caravan is ordered from the next closest city.
When the caravan arrives, food is equally distributed amongst all units automatically. But there will be UI for distributing food (or transfer items) btw units of the same stack or adjacent stacks.
F. What should happen when you capture a Settlement?
Attacker who managed to annihilate all garrisoned unit will have to following options
1. Raze Settlement
- Random 30-80% chance of having a Civilian Revolt (CR)
2. Raid Settlement
- Settlement ownership remains unchanged
- Raider loot all resources production for the coming X turns
- Settlement produces nothing for 2X turns
3. Capture Settlement
- Random 1-5% chance of CR
- Settlement produces nothing for X turn
- Random 10-70% of the building will be destroyed
4. Migrate to the Settlement type that you already have
- Random 5-10% chance of CR
- A Settler has to reach this new Settlement to do the migration
- Settlement produces nothing for X turn
Civilian Revolt (CR) means:
- Barbarian stack that is 0% to 100% strength of the last raiding party will appears around the Settlement (in 0-5 turns) trying to attack the raiding party "OR" join the nearest Settlement of the attacked player for half price
- This stack may have a new hero leading them
I hope this is a good long read! Hopefully devs will implement most of it!