Between the Races of Man and the Fallen there are various races already planned for the game. This post is an attempt to offer a few suggestions for a way to make the game a bit more fun, and even a little more realistic (while realism needs to take a backseat to fun, it can take away from a game when stuff that doesn’t make sense happens). As I am not well versed in the mythology of Elemental yet (I tried the Beta at a friends place, but am waiting for the next invite group to get my own copy) I am going to use "Classic" fantasy races for these examples. Representing Empire Races will be Human, Elf, Dwarf and representing Fallen will be Orcs and Goblins. Also included are Lizardmen who represent the concept introduced below of Neutral Races.
I realize that this post is rather long so please bear with it. I thought about splitting it into other suggestions (in fact in some cases I did this and these should be popping up in the next few days as their own posts) but these ideas integrate as such that they really are more of one grand idea, even if each individual section could be applied on it’s own.
I’d love to hear from the guys at Stardock as well as the rest of you.
Main Concept: Cities are made up of population of the race(s) that live there. When the game begins the players city is made up of only their original race. As the players empire grows they will inevitably run into other races. When a city is conquered the population of that city shouldn’t just “change” races, or even “fall into line” as soon as it’s conquered.
To make things simple lets assume that the players core race is Human.
As the players human empire grows lets have them run into two empires - one led by Elves, the other by Goblins.
The player works out a treaty with the Elves, and goes to war with the Goblin empire.
After some warring the Player manages to conquer a Goblin City. The player would now have a choice of what to do with the goblin population, and would need to station troops in order to keep the peace. The player chooses to integrate the Goblin population into their empire.
After some time the Elven treaty becomes an alliance. The two kingdoms allow for migration between their Empires.
Both the Player and their Elven ally now have migration options in their cities for Humans, Elves, and Goblins.
The elven kingdom being more technological sets up a Goblin Ghetto in one of it’s cities to allow Goblins to live there (giving the city some of the advantages of having Goblins living there).
The Human player allows for Elves to migrate to one of their human cities, but disallows goblins. In the goblin city the player allows humans to migrate to the city giving a lot of unrest but allowing for some advantages.
A lot of time passes and the allied nations go to war with an Orc empire.
The human player now having humans, and elves living in their main city can now draft both races as soldiers. In the Goblin city they can recruit both Humans (who have migrated to the city) and Goblins.
The elven nation on the other hand did not allow humans to migrate, so can’t recruit any humans. They do have a Goblin Ghetto so they can recruit a small number of goblin troops.
The elven country forms a troop made up of Elves and Goblins. Because these races don’t get along well there is a higher than normal chance of desertion, and a moral loss.
The human on the other hand makes two troops – one made up of Humans and Elves, the other made up solely of Goblins. Humans and Elves get a long much better than elves and goblins so there is less penalty for doing this.
The human player is victorious in the war and captures an Orc city. The player chooses to exterminate the orc population. As there is no population to pacify there is no need for peacekeepers. They now control an empty (if crudely built) city they can migrate population to. The player is tired of the penalties for having Elves in their capital so changes the migration policies of the city to not allow elves, and to encourage emigration of elves. They set the migration settings of the newly conquered Orc city to allow only elves. Over time, elves will leave the capitol. Some will go to the Orc city, while others may return to the elven nation since the two empires still have a migration treaty.
As Elven settlers arrive in the orc city, they begin tearing down the Orcish buildings and replacing them with elvish ones. Over the course of time the city will become elvish aesthetically, although some Orcish buildings may remain (especially if the player doesn’t have the technology to replace it).
In the same war, the Elves meanwhile also manage to conquer an Orcish city. They opt to Enslave the population. This process takes many turns to they will need peacekeepers. Over time Orc Slaves will begin appearing in the Elven cities giving various advantages. The elves turn off migration entirely to the city so after some time the city will be emptied and they can remove their peacekeepers. Once the city is empty the Elves decide to Raze the city as it is too far from their empire.
After the war the players continue playing as normal. The human player runs into a Goodie Hut while exploring around their new Orc city and discovers a quest which leads them to a tribe of Lizardmen. The Lizardmen are a Neutral Race. The player decides as part of the quest to bring the savage Lizardmen into their empire and allow the Lizardmen to Migrate to their Goblin city.
Breakdown of ideas:
When the city is first conquered you should get a choice (options possibly based on researched technologies) giving you options such as Integrating the population into your empire (taking over the city as-is), enslaving the population, exterminating the population (and replacing it with citizens of your own race), exiling the population (allowing them to return to cities of their original empire), etc.
Unless you completely depopulate a city of hostile population (extermination or exile), regardless of race, you should require Peacekeepers to keep the population in line. When a city is newly conquered the people would not be friendly to you. You just came in, took over, and likely killed their friends and family in the process.
If the city is another race (like in this example) you would need to keep the peacekeepers there longer than if they were the same race.
Different races would have different tolerances to each other. Perhaps a scale of some sort - Elves and Humans would get along better than Dwarves and Goblins would for example, so Dwarves occupying a Goblin City might need peacekeepers for a very long time, while humans controlling an elven city might only need them for a handful of turns (not including other factors that might be added to increase or decrease this rate)
My idea of Neutral Races, are races that emerged after the cataclysm that destroyed the world. They are undiscovered and primitive, and as such cannot become starting empires. When one is found they can be traded with, integrated into empires, etc.
Diplomacy could be expanded to allow for migration between empires, treaties to outlaw slavery, and other such things. This would add a lot of extra depth to the diplomacy model.
Each race should get some bonuses that give them different advantages. Having a multi-racial empire would allow you to take advantage of this system, by allowing for different combinations of strengths. Say you conquered a Dwarves City, and an Orcish city. You could put the dwarven city to work making weapons, cutting stone, etc. Your orcs on the other hand might not be as good at these tasks so you could set them out hunting for food, and using them as troops in your army.
Multi-Racial cities should also be possible. Each city should have the ability to control it's migration policies. With more advanced technology this could be expanded upon further.
At it's most basic level, you should either be able to "Allow Humans" "Allow Elves" "Disallow Goblins" into a city. This way when population migrates, you have some control over where they go.
With multiple races in a city you could get the "best of both worlds" - Dwarven builders, with Human Farmers for example.
Just like with the empire as a whole, the more races in a city the more chances of revolt, and other disadvantages, especially if the races don't get along.
With higher technology, more advanced migration possibilities could open up. Setting up a Ghetto for example- Anyone who's played "Dragon Age" has an idea of what I mean here. You might have a Dwarven city with a Goblin Ghetto - Goblins live in the city, but don't co-mingle much with the Dwarves. This would allow you to take advantage of the Goblins specialties, without pissing off the Dwarven majority as much.
Armies containing multiple races can be either good or bad. If you put races that don't get along well, you will have moral bonuses, desertion, and other disadvantages.
A commander with a good amount of charisma might negate this somewhat allowing for more combinations with less penalty than otherwise possible.
On the other hand races that get along will allow you to combine advantages. Say Elves have a bonus to archery, and Dwarves to constitution. You could make Dwarven footsoliders with large amounts of hitpoints, with Elven bowmen giving extra damage per shot.
Slaves could become an important resource. They could require less resources to maintain than a citizen, could improve the moral of the controlling nation, and could be drafted as cheap (if less effective) soldiers. There would need to be some negatives to balance this out.
Slavery would require a specific technology to implement.
Having access to Slavery could also open up some interesting dynamics - trading slaves between empires (part of peace treaties?), releasing slaves to their original owners, etc.
There could also be a slaver type of unit that could be created that would allow for capturing slaves during battle without the need to capture entire cities.
I thought about multiple types of slaves, but this might overly complicate things. I have included the concept below.:
Captured Slaves (first generation): These are freshly caught slaves from other empires. They have a higher revolt risk than other slave types and are less productive.
Descendant Slaves (second and third generation): Descendant slaves are the children and grandchildren of captured slaves. They are less loyal than integrated slaves, but more so than captured ones
Integrated Slaves (fourth and subsequent generation): These slaves are the great-grandhildren (or later) of captured slaves. They have accepted their lot in life and are less likely to rebel and are more productive.
Racial Technologies: I’m not a fan or Racial technologies. I hate being restricted in what I research. If wanted to make an army of Dwarven Archers I should be able to. That being said, races should get bonuses to researching types of technologies. Elves for example could get a bonus allowing for quicker research of archery technologies than other races. If you have multiple races in your empire, your bonuses should be based on the percentage of your population that is a specific race. So if you start off with a Human empire, and allow elves to migrate to your to your lands if the elves make up 20% of your population, you should get 20% of the elven bonuses, and 80% of the human ones.
Racial based traits:
Having a system like this would also allow for some interesting character traits. For example a character could be a Bigot who dislikes people not of his own race, giving disadvantages to having other races under their control. Another trait might be just the opposite, being Racially acceptive and gives a reduction to penalties from having multiple races.