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Master of Magic - Implode's Multiplayer Edition • View topic - MoM IME Expanded

MoM IME Expanded

Anything else to do with MoM IME

Re: MoM IME Expanded

Postby elliott20 » Sun Apr 12, 2009 9:13 am

hmm... not too sure about those two abilities. While they would be a nice addition that doesn't overpower them too much, this also means you need to apply those abilities to units that are already similar to them, namely, giants. (And then you'd have to ask yourself if things like dragons, octopus or what whatever large creatures would also benefit from this kind of thing)

So really, I'd suggest against these two abilities unless you want to do a complete system re-vamp.

Instead, I think it would be easier to give Ogre units higher hits, higher attack, and higher defense that makes them a considerable threat to swordsman and the like. The trick here of making them a good melee race is to give their base unit better bang for the production buck. you can do this by making their standard unit basically a beefed up swordsman unit but with even MORE umph to it. This makes the ogre clubbers viable in early game, and good for quick occupation.

as for the new dragons... how about a book of tiamat that teaches you arcane spells to unlock some more powerful summons?
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Re: MoM IME Expanded

Postby Lucern » Mon Apr 13, 2009 8:30 am

There's that clarity again. I'm forced to agree - barring some kind of small revamp those two skills complicate things on a logical level. I might come up with an ability that gives a similar effect that makes sense for Ogres...but really, ogres are really big and strong. That's probably enough to differentiate them. I might give the Cyclops first strike anyway. That axe is longer than a horse and rider combined lol. My current thought for the clubbers is that they would start off more powerful than most races' swordsmen (at least at veteran experience), but that they'd start with a single unit of them - 4 or 5 figures of clubbers would be all that stand between the wizard and oblivion. If s/he can locate a nearby village, s/he should be able to take them on, and if they're a more evil race, that wizard should be well on their way to an ogre empire built on the backs of the weak. This balance will be worth playing with...a toned down clubber unit, but two units of them, might be the way to go, given a high power for the money kind of deal.

Were you thinking that this would be a tome that one finds or one that someone could choose to start with? It's an interesting conundrum of where to put new fantastic units. Though I like the idea of a little shelf of specialty magic books in the wizard creation page, my main concern is inadvertently boosting one of Life magic's deficiencies - monster summons. A wizard with lots of life books and good summons is just scary. If he has to find it...well, that tends to be towards the end of the game anyway, at least for me. It'd be a rare and interesting thing then, especially compared to the spells you'd get from a single chaos book or something. Spell balance is so complex, I fear altering it at all, even indirectly. That's not to say I won't cross that line - it'll just take some playing to see what effects any changes will have. Regardless, I'm going to make sure any fantastic unit I make will end up in the lists of creatures that can inhabit caves, nodes, or whatever is most appropriate for the sake of increased unit variety.

Overall, I think balancing this stuff will be a lot of fun, and I look forward to your continued input, Elliott.
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Re: MoM IME Expanded

Postby elliott20 » Mon Apr 13, 2009 9:35 am

hmm... well, like I said, all things equal (swords, shields, and hearts), the unit with fewer units will have the advantage in melee combat. So, to make Clubbers come out ahead slightly against a unit of swordsmen (at green), the whole unit needs 3 x 6 = 18 swords, 2 x 6 = 12 shields, and 6 hearts between the three. If you only have two figures, you're looking at 9 swords, 6 shields, and 3 hearts between EACH clubber. That's beastly! (That's about as good as a single berserker, actually)

I personally would say that you need to give them more figures, let's say, 4, and divide the total icons out more thinly. so, each ogre clubber, in my opinion, to be a match (a slightly better match) against a swordsman, should be around 4 swords each, 3 shields each, and can take 2 hits each. That means they'll have 16 attack total, 12 shields, and 8 hearts total. This is a pretty damn good swordsman unit, I think.

There is ANOTHER layer to this though. While in terms of melee having less figures for the same value is better, it's WORSE in terms of the unit's ability to function against magic that deals status effects and insta-death (like doombolts), since you get less chance to resist against the spell before your fighting capabilities start to drop. (And the drop is far more dramatic with less figures) so it ironically makes them WEAKER against magic spells. (against magical attacks, however, they regain their advantage against larger numbers again, except not as good, since you said ogres don't have good resistance)

Giving the cyclops first strike seems like a pretty good idea to me. first strike is one of those abilities that can pay ridiculous dividends against most units when you have a good attack value on it. I can't remember how does first strike interact with first strike. I think it just puts both sides on equal footing, which means that an ogre unit can go at the same time as the cavalry unit. (this makes them good exchange units against paladins, I think) And looking at the strength of the clubber, if that's any indication, cyclops seem like they're going to be quite the beast to deal with. If we're still going with 4 figures, I can envision them starting off with 6 swords each, 5 hits, and 6 shields. This makes them a very good match against paladins, actually, and they can also stand well against berserkers. (Actually, the first strike means they might decimate them, unless the berserker axe throw kicks in first.) Actually, if you REALLY want to make them ridiculous, add in negate first strike. They will first NEGATE the first strike from all of these ubers like elven lords, and THEN first strike them back before they can get a hit in. It's a very powerful ability combination, as it pretty much guarantees that cyclops go first ALL the time.

Most races also can get a cavalry and a pikemen unit. Would ogres get any of those? I don't think it would be necessary with their existing line up, personally. You could always put in some other interesting units like say, a troll unit that regenerates. (maybe a single figure, with a shit load of hits, and regens one heart per round)

oh yeah, warmage should be called "ogre mage". (Man, I love D&D)

I think the special book of summoning should ALWAYS be a hidden book and never one chosen at the beginning, as you have pointed out yourself, it encroaches on other colors territory. This is especially true if the creatures in them are actually POWERFUL. Let us not forget, the king of summoning should ALWAYS be nature. The special book of summoning, if anything, should be not invalidate the strength of nature summoning or else it will make nature that much less powerful. (there are other reasons why you pick green, but summoning is supposed to be their niche) So, that also means that any summons you get from the book of summoning should also not be as good as some of the better nature spells. i.e. green dragon, and all that should not be as awesome as great wyrm, or storm drake, or such. That is price you pay for being more accessible and user friendly.

Of course, if I were really dedicated to this idea, I should be arguing that you should add in extra drakes at all for general summons and instead just add it to different colors.

when it comes to balance, the best way is always to just watch competitive players take all the short cuts and dirty tricks they can think of, and then retro-fit around it. But we don't have that information right now, so we're just gonna have to speculate.

Adding a new set of summons by itself, depending upon who you add them to, changes the balance. We need to consider how each unit we add creates or overlaps a niche.

i.e. while nature is supposed to be the KING of summons, there are in fact a LOT of summons that are just dead summons and really do nothing more than take up space. i.e. sprites are basically useless beyond occupation and dealing with spearman. And so what happens in the end is that nature ends up having only maybe 3-4 summons that are actually useful. as such, I feel that if we need to add any new summons, nature would naturally be my first pick.

but anyway, this is a conversation for the balance thread. This thread is about expansion. So let's talk ogres.

what do you see the sword ogres' role to be?
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Re: MoM IME Expanded

Postby Lucern » Tue Apr 14, 2009 10:33 am

I'm thinking, like Trolls, most Ogre units will have 4 figures. Three is possible for particularly powerful ones, and 5 is possible for clubbers. It's an easy change to make if the numbers aren't quite right.

The Swordogres are heavy infantry, meant to be a bit more powerful than the halberders that most everyone will be making in the early-mid game, as well as being able to take the hits from archers and shamen on the way in to capture cities with enough left to make a dent in enemy forces (well, assuming you brought a few units). Once the player can build these, the clubbers, at least the ones who aren't at least veterans, can go back to guard duty because their role has been supplanted. The trio of Swordogres, Rock-Throwers, and, a little later, Mystics should comprise the bulk of middle game Ogre stacks. In most mid-game battles, Swordogres will be the advancing line, with rock throwers closing in to actually get some armor-negating (or halving...) hits in at closer range, with mystics casting a spell or two and then advancing with the line. Mystics I'm thinking of giving a spell to use, but I'm not sure what it will be. Could be something mild like confusion, something weaker like aura of fear, or something nasty like iron skin, depending on what can make sense, be interesting, and not be too much or too little. Whatever it will be, it'll be indirect, and mystics will not have a magic missile attack. They are, however, still large ogres with warhammers :)

For the cyclops (that's plural, I guess lol), the goal is to allow them to destroy others in melee...it's the most powerful unit in a melee-centric army, if you go toe-to-toe with it in the field, you've made a tactical error. They will not have low resists, unlike most of their ilk, but they will be vulnerable to being smote from the sky or at range. Again, though, they won't have low defense either. Cyclops, I hope, will be very straightforward and quite beastly warriors, which, if well supported, can be your gate-crashers, paladin-smashers, and your mana and arrow sponges. Whatever abilities they get will be geared towards that, but they'll like have either first-strike or negate first-strike and generous raw stats. I did smile imagining both of those abilities together...if these guys don't get the pair of abilities, someone else in the game has to, like Centaur Lancers (simulating speed and skill) or Sylvan Vinewhips (their limbs are 10 foot trippy vines lol).

The six units they have currently seems lean, but enough. I think gnolls actually only have 5 units. Cavalry would make the Ogres fast, and I prefer them slow. Plus, I'd have to invent a creature for them to ride...or put them on an oliphaunt lol. Their answer to cavalry will be to simply take the first hits and swing back...it'll be a manageable weakness for them, though the speed of the cavalry will make sure that they get to set the terms of their attack. As for other ogre units, go trireme!

As far as Ogre-(War)Mages, well, you saw the graphic right? Blue ogres mean only one thing to D&D players hehe.

Agreed on the spell-book as treasure. The creatures that go into that section will pretty well determine how we deal with it. It gives me a place to put some classic monsters into the game without tilting the balance of the main spellbooks too much (since you'll be spending 90% of the game without them, unless my experience is unusual). In the vein of expansion, I can think of a few other spell collections that could be interesting if done right. One way of doing them 'right' would be to limit the books one can find by the books in one's collection already. The life/death split ensures that this is doable, I think, in the editor. Like, perhaps the green drake could be found only by those with nature books, and since summons should be strong in nature, so is the green drake. Another possible route of dissemination could be via merchants to the very famous, though they'd be pretty expensive. Another balancer would be that only 1 book (or one of each spell) goes out in each game to one node-explorer, so it'd be even more of a prize. So many options...this game really is remarkably simple, yet thoroughly deep at the same time.
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Re: MoM IME Expanded

Postby elliott20 » Tue Apr 14, 2009 10:41 am

hmm.. I like the "extend your spell list" idea, actually. That means that you can further build on the strengths of a particular school of magic, AND ironically, because it is a book you can find, you can actually use that shore up your spell list if you decided to go the multi-school route, but don't have access to the higher level spells. but again, this means that you need to make sure that most of the spells are useful first so that there is incentive for pure school players to grab all the books, and not rely on the special books, as opposed to just getting say, 4 books in each, and rely on the special books to expand their spell list.
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Amazons

Postby Lucern » Fri May 01, 2009 7:41 am

Witches and Warlocks, it's time to expand the denizens of the planes yet again. I bring you a glimpse of this project's eighth race, the Amazons. This brings us to the graphics for 65 new units. This started with my curiosity about whether or not I could make the graphics of MoM's size appear gendered. The answer is yes, and I learned a few tricks along the way, though I may have ham-fisted it with the flowing hair. I'm not ashamed of my work :D Shalla the Amazon hero has been one of my favorites, and when I was considering the tactical possibilities of an ancient-Greece or Macedon styled army, it made sense to make them Amazons while I was at it. Ironic that they were one of the fabled barbarians among the Greeks, I think. In any case, Amazons fit into any broad fantasy-strategy game, but I don't think I've ever seen them in one. Oh, and I just looked...this mod is a year old as of April, when I made my first Goblin spearmen :D Thanks to Implode and those who give me reasons to continue pixellating.

http://s282.photobucket.com/albums/kk243/Lucern125/
(remember, bright green most likely corresponds to MoM IME's 14 wizard colors)

Amazons – Amazons are fabled societies of warrior women, known for their tactical feats as well as their aggressive responses to perceived slights. Amazon villages are true matriarchies: women hold political, military, magic, and social power, but of course, they do not all hold it equally. Land is passed down to women, and men are ideally tasked with the more domestic roles of life. In battle, amazons keep to the traditions of warfare developed by their ancestors – they hold long lines of spears in tight phalanx units while more mobile forces protect the flanks. Amazons have a variety of effective units, an average infrastructure, and adequate mana generation – they would say that they are at least the equal of their patriarchal counterparts. Indeed, the general who knows the true strengths of her army finds them capable of triumphing over any denizens of the planes. They suffer a poor reputation in certain parts of Arcanus, namely citing the myths of Amazons stealing the young of other races, cutting off of their right breasts to be better at archery, and being generally barbarous. Such is the fate of all races, it seems. Amazons tend to like, if mostly from a distance, Barbarians, Beastmen, Centaurs, Dwarves, and Nomads. They dislike High Men, Orcs, Goblins, High Elves, and especially Trolls and Ogres, all for entirely different reasons.

Warriors – Amazonian warriors fight as peltasts, wearing little armor but carrying light weapons and thrown weapons as a more mobile force, screening the light infantry of the enemy. Warriors have a high casualty rate, so Amazonian generals tend to only deploy Warriors in raids supporting Spearmaidens or for specialized support tasks with the main battle force.

Spearmaidens – Before they are selected as part of the Phalanx, Amazonian warriors learn the ways of warfare by protecting the flanks of armies and participating in raids. Spearmaidens are more mobile than phalanxes, fighting as skilled individual warriors with heavy one-handed spears, round-shields and dyed leather armor. Having not earned the right to land-ownership, they are eager to distinguish themselves in battle.

Archers – Amazonian archers are as skilled at their craft as most other denizens of the planes. Unlike their counterparts, however, Amazonian archers are well armored enough in thick boiled leather armor and brave enough to advance with the phalanx and shoot from up close.

Phalanx: "The fox knows many tricks, the hedgehog one good one." - Archilochus

The Amazonian phalanx is a relic of warfare reflecting many past conflicts on Arcanus. Amazons have decided to keep fighting in phalanxes to good effect - they field well trained and disciplined warriors, fighting with good weapons and time-tested tactics. For every figure within a Phalanx, each member of the phalanx gains 1 defense (pending this being possible). This makes the unit highly resilient to missile and melee attack, but much weaker as the unit is whittled down. Finally, the length of their long-spears grants them first strike.

Cavalry – Amazonian cavalry are probably why the Amazons never gave up the phalanx – only a few times has enemy cavalry bested them on equal ground and flanked the phalanx. Amazonian cavalry carry heavy lances, with which they are expert jousters – enemy cavalry has a hard time even staying atop their horses. This unit gets “negate first strike”.

Priestesses – Worshipers of an obscure goddess of water, Amazonian priestesses focus on the healing and cleansing power of the element as they lead their people spiritually. In battle, they may focus their power into ranged attacks, though they are ill-equipped for sustained combat, armed with only valuable golden wands.

Flamethrower – The preferred siege engine of the Amazons, the flamethrower is a long bronze tube designed to propel concentrated fire from up close, ensuring a fiery expulsion of most normal units from defensive positions. Unlike many siege engines, flamethrowers are small enough to allow two units into the same space. Like all siege engines, of course, they are vulnerable to attack by determined forces, especially at range and by magic. Flamethrowers are fire-breathing and have first strike to simulate the effect of their short stream of flame.

Strategically (talking about tech, gold, food generation, speed of growth), they're fairly average. They'll have a slight growth penalty (-10). There are some interesting tactical possibilities here. The theme is 'counters'. Archers, for example, will be able to defeat enemy archers better than most because they have better armor. Their cavalry are cavalry-killers, but they're not going to be wiping out good infantry with 4 figures and no first strike. The phalanx will be quite difficult to eliminate, but their attack isn't all that high. This means that you can use them to hold a line while more vulnerable units with higher damage potentials wipe out weakened enemy units when you need to do so quickly. Given enough turns, the phalanx will kill most infantry 1-1. The Flamethrower will be the gate-crasher, though the units resistant to fire-damage will keep it from being a one-trick-to-victory unit. The key, I hope, will be combined forces that slowly develop into powerhouses of experience, being much more powerful together than any one unit is apart. The Amazon-controlling wizard will be deciding more carefully than many where s/he can boost an advantage or minimize a weakness as s/he orchestrates victories. Even the AI will benefit from their higher defense in city assaults. Naturally, none of this is written in stone, or xml even.
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Re: MoM IME Expanded

Postby Iluvalar » Tue May 05, 2009 12:19 am

"Cyclopian Champions" hmm, I don't like that name. If I'm right the really last level of experience IS "champion". So if someone end up with warlord and crusade he might have some "Champion Cyclopian Champions".
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Re: MoM IME Expanded

Postby Lucern » Tue May 05, 2009 4:06 am

lol, good catch Iluvalar. I've only ever seen the champions once...must have slipped my mind :D

Cyclops it is. Apparently we get the choice between Cyclopes (classical Greek) and Cyclopses (common English) for the plural. Guess I'll go for Cyclopses.
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Re: MoM IME Expanded

Postby elliott20 » Mon May 11, 2009 10:28 am

I like the amazon write up, but I have some nitpicks.

1. longer spears by itself should NOT grant first strike. at least, philosophically, they shouldn't. Let's not forget, the first strike ability has almost always been given units that are known to be super mobile and uber fast like cavalries or heroes with some kind of rep for speed. If you're giving the phalanx first strike, you're basically saying that they are mobile units who can out move other units. Let's not forget the fact that longer arms are basically what gives a pikemen the ability to negate first strike in the first place.

now having said that, if you can still just give the phalanx first strike. It's just that, it would be totally out of convention.

2. your amazon cavalry, by default for being cavalry, should have first strike. They also have NEGATE first strike, which means, if I'm remembering this correctly, they will ALWAYS go first in battle. (Unless I'm mistaking how these abilities actually work in a fight. somebody familiar with the precise mechanics help me here)
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Re: MoM IME Expanded

Postby Tino Didriksen » Mon May 11, 2009 10:32 am

I agree that longer spears should not grant First Strike, but they should grant Negate First Strike.
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Re: MoM IME Expanded

Postby elliott20 » Mon May 11, 2009 8:28 pm

on the other hand though, I can understand why he was trying to give phalanx first strike. After all, just sticking them with negate first strike makes them about the same as any other pikeman unit that other races get. he was trying to give it some kind of umph there.
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Re: MoM IME Expanded

Postby Lucern » Tue May 12, 2009 4:37 am

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Re: MoM IME Expanded

Postby Tino Didriksen » Tue May 12, 2009 11:50 am

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Re: MoM IME Expanded

Postby Iluvalar » Thu May 14, 2009 1:32 am

Personnaly I'm not sure about flanking. This mean we'll have pretty much micro-management to do in battle. If we are up to change a bit the battle mecanism I would prefer some other things. Maybe
*Aura, exemple defensive aura +1 shield on adjacent units wich could lead to many new skills and tactical manoeuvre .
*Combo, each units that target the same one get a little bonus (which could lead to something close to flanking).
**Flankable, Give that "combo" ability to every one who attack him
*swap ability, two unit with swap ability that have move left can swap each other place.

Just thowing some ideas that could be less messy that creating a new "facing" system
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Re: MoM IME Expanded

Postby elliott20 » Fri May 15, 2009 7:12 am

I don't think putting in facing would be a good idea at all. Trying to implement facing mechanics would fundamentally change how battles are conducted, not to mention you'd have to put in control schemes for facing control, which is another layer.

to me, I think if we want to add new abilities, we really should start from adding things that are similar to existing abilities, but with slight modifications. btw, anybody know the precise method that the first-strike / negate first strike functions? maybe we can create some kind of "interim" ability that fits in between the two.
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