(Original Post moved here)
Sooooo, I have a few things I'm trying to get ready for prime time (2x Strategic Move Mod, Minor Terraform spells, new City Hub Idea, etc., yeah I get distracted easily), and for some reason when I was making a female undead Sov, I decided I wanted more of a Banshee Sov...
Anyways, meet my Banshee Sov!
She is currently functional ingame, and I'm in the middle of working out the finer points. I'm thinking about creating a special profession, so that said Banshee can choose new powers as she advances in levels. I discovered that you can pre-set Sov professions, so that's the plan...
I'll probably borrow some concepts from a few other mods for the level upgrade traits, with appropriate balance tweaks. Something along the lines of a Mage, but the Summons will be more undead-oriented. This profssion will a little different from a 'regular' Necromancer I think.
Anyways, this will be a 'pre-built' Sov. The Banshee 'race' Sov ability thing might come along at some point, but for now I'm good with her being a unique leader for the Empire Of The Dead. The Undead city-building model is an appropriate fit for such a Sov.
Being an Ethereal being, well most weapons and equipment simpy shouldn't be able to be used (she can't pick them up or wear them 'cuz there's no bones or structure...). I named her model type type Banshee originally, not realizing that Banshee has been assigned to several weapons, clothing, and armor categories, and I then spent several hours trying to figure out how to NOT ALLOW such equipment to be equipped. Turned out to be real easy (re-named the model type Banshee2, which 'broke' all of the weapons and armor, not allowing them to be equipped, which is what I wanted).
This particular Banshee has just a bit of a bind to the corporeal plane, so it is only 95% resistant to physical damage. I plan to keep attack power appropriately low, to balance the defensive abilities. I am also thinking that Banshee's aren't really team players, so I've incorporated a reduction in Army size into her stats (currently -1, may bump to -2). Also a -10 empire-wide penalty to unrest sounded about right. Them Banshee B*****s be crazy!
This is a Sov that can actually function pretty well on it's own in the early game, so I'm thinkiing that it would be appropriate to nerf the starting units as well. Since most other units don't fly, but Banshees do, army stacks just slow them down...
Interesting playtesting story: during some testing, my Banshee Sov singlehandedly took on a troll with a 6 regen, and my attacks would max out at 8 damage, averaging 5-6, while my hit points were slowly dwindling. I finally had to summon another creature to deliver enough additional damage to whittle down and eventually kill the troll.
Anyways, this Sov will likely need to have some unique equipment (spiritual weapons, etc.) created, since most weapons and armor are off limits, and of course it still will still be able to use accessories. If I could figure out how to make the Banshee Staff transparent, that'd be cool, but I have no idea how to do that... I recolored it at least so it isn't so 'glaring'.
Watching the Banshee float and orbit around ingame is fun!
See what happens when I get sidetracked?
(End Original Post, 2nd Post begins)
I was thinking that, due to a 'normal' Banshee's regular ingame speed (4), that mounts were probably off limits as well. As mounts are accessories, I might have to figure out how to 'fill' the mount. I did notice, when looking over the code for 1.6, that some of Heavenfall's background stats seem to have crept into the game (is undead, is immortal, etc.), and I remember Heavenfall having a tag for 'is mounted'. Where the Banshee2 'model' doesn't exist (the meshes are assigned separately from model type), well mounts aren't assigned to that model currently, so that may solve part of the problem. At least, with my monster champions (Sirius The Ice Wolf, Ice Golem Zero, etc.), I've not been able to assign mounts to them, and I'd imagine that a Banshee2 would be the same (haven't tried equipping a mount yet, been focused on getting powers working ingame).
As for her hovering, the Banshee animation pack does that. She bobs about even in the Sov selection, shop, etc. windows, and does the whirling dervish thing on the map. Pretty cool, huh!
Balancing will be the big thing to consider (lots of physical damage resistance needs to be balanced for, with consideration of not making her TOO weak should other attacks be employed), which is why I'm thinking along the lines of smaller armies, slower production rates, slower growth, etc.
I'm also thinking along the lines of ensuring that more creatures have non-physical damage adders (fire, etc.), so that they aren't as big of pushovers for this particular Banshee. Such as putting more interesting weapons and armor in the hands of bandit leaders and such... certainly 1 point of damage a turn is better than 0 damage, but there need to be some 'surprises' out there... Yeah, this won't be a 'simple' mod...
I suppose the 'more interesting creatures/monster enemies' could be it's own mod, as a Bandit Archer packing an Ignys Bow would be a fun new twist for someone looking to spice things up in Elemental! See, THIS is how I get sidetracked from being sidetracked!
Specifically, if I get as far as creating regular Banshee 'units', I'm figuring that those will use up a LOT of population, so you just don't build them willy nilly. I could also restrict 'true' Banshees via the Summoning parameter (i.e. you can have one active Banshee summons at a time). Hmmm, I wonder if you could have the Banshee summons maintenance cost population instead of mana...
I started work on the Banshee Mage profession tree, and I have Necromancy Revamped handy for some ideas. I'm thinking that some of the Banshee's powers will be similar to the Spectre that is included in the Necromancy mod , although the Banshee tree will be closer to the Mage tree I think (Banshees are ghosts, not liches). I really liked the 'charge through enemies and steal lifeforce' that is part of the Necromancy mod, but I dialed it down a bit in my testing. I'm planning on this one (Death Flight) to be one of the pickable traits as the Banshee Mage levels up.
This mod will certainly require DLC04, and parts of Necromancy Revamped (wouldn't feel right just 'stealing' from that mod). I need to look at Improved Undead again to see what's there, and this may be a fun excuse to tie a couple of mods together (with the appropriate credits/mod links, of course!).
I also learned a new thing... [calc] can only handle two paramaters at a time. I was trying # of shards + caster level + a number in the same line, yeah that didn't work. It took a few hours of 'change code/reload game/find a battle/nope didn't work' to notice/figure out why calc 1, calc2, and calc3 are used in some spells... it's that only 2 variables at a time thing! I haven't spent a lot of time making spells up to this pont, so this was new information to me!