Anjovi's take on realms 2.0

For Wizard Kings (and higher) to discuss the Realm Editor and the creation of realms.
Wed Aug 17, 2016 4:40 pm

  • So not the biggest fan of starting an alternate thread based on my singular opinion but i feel like i need to bundle all of the little observations about the game together as i feel like just suggesting things all dettached just seems to trigger people. lol

    Anywho's heres some observations about realms. I think generally the game has alot of potential, i wasn't initially sold on the presentation or concepts but my perspective has changed. My general thought process is more along the lines of taking whats here and tweaking it as opposed to completely revamping things...although alot of my suggestions veer into that territory.

    realms mode:
    -Villagers
    --Recruiting
    The mechanics behind recruiting villages seems sound. A currency (Kudos) which you obtain
    by killing wizards. Though due to RNG of marauder wizards this can easily render an other
    wise meticulous placement of villages imbalanced.
    --Village spawn rate/Upgrading
    The difficulty mitigation from no village to 1 village is too high. Otherwise when defending
    a location after recruiting the difficulty of defending/facing a wizard without wizard present
    too high. This dynamic should probably brought into the middle ground somehow. Perhaps
    more of an arsenal to the totem while possibly scaling back the creatures or making them
    take longer to generate, create more upgrade tiers (less units at tier 1)


    --Totem Fights
    The dynamic of recruited villages acting as 1)Extra Pawns and 2)A few cards for a starting hand
    for a battle is interesting. I think the idea blending different villages in a region
    like some sort of mix of booster packs (think of it like a booster pack of a few mini's and a few cards if playing some kind
    of miniatures skirmish game or deck building in card/board game) is interesting but it is currently not balanced to make it fun.

    The amount of creatures that each village provides tier 1 is simply too high and totally
    discredits what i believe is a brilliant idea (the adding cards to a totem's hand) and could
    be fixed by having villages work in tiers.
    *edit: I want to emphasize the combining of villages here. Try it out! it's quite interesting to ponder over, though you'll see obvious imbalance due to the amount of creatures you get.

    More open endedness with villages would also do big favors. Being able to perhaps set which creatures
    and which cards for any given village...or perhaps even making it rng based might add alot
    to this dynamic. It's currently too limited in scope. The RNG creatures for a village is fine...
    though i'd suggest adding an extra village type that players can customize and is immediately
    recognizable by the player as a village that's different from the ones you've designed.

    Otherwise I feel like alot of the mechanics of villages contradict one another and hampers
    the potential of them. When you think of what villages are used for gameplay wise, by the
    player
    1)helping wizard in a battle
    2)fending off marauders
    The mechanics just grind against these aspects of the game and make them a slog to play
    through.

    -Marauders
    --The battle
    This mainly ties into totems, as it's mostly what you'll be facing them with when defending
    locations on the board. Generally if the totem fights aren't balanced, by extension
    marauder battles are generally not going to be that great.
    --Frequency
    This seems fine.
    --The difficulty curve
    As of now the difficulty of marauder fights is rng based, exactly like reinforcement
    distribution is. I don't think it works well in this context. I feel like the marauders
    should be adapting to the player and growing in strength to pressure the player forwards.
    A stronger iteration of marauders after each one is killed would be a good indicator, and if
    introduced alongside improvements to totem battles, village dynamics and depending on how
    interesting the marauder buff is...this could be a very great way to add pacing to the game
    were it currently is lacking.

    Marauder buffs could include:
    -mana buff
    -additional totems that act as spell casting creature spawners (think the monster generators you have to destroy in the gauntlet games)
    -Weird devices that you have to destroy to make the wizard vulnerable, remove a stat buff, etc.
    -an additional move, addtional cast, additional move+cast at the start of the game (not round)

    just spit ball ideas.

    A second thing has to do with how they snatch units from the citadel wizard. This is kind of strange to me as you just nerf the citadel lord fight by having this happen. Why not just have the marauder take have their own troops?

    -Objectives
    You can currently set objectives for players through encounters but it isn't good enough.
    There should either be a new 'objective' tool to set parameters for a realm, or you need
    a way to wire encounter blurbs to present themselves in a new objectives GUI, alongside
    some new encounter improvements to allow more variety in objectives.

    -Reinforcements
    RNG
    This actually seems fine in open world maps. The path which you choose for a particular run
    and the variety of creatures you have to fight is pretty neat..Though i feel there should
    at least be an alternative for those who are creating linear rounds to be able to set
    the pacing of such things..Otherwise design tools don't currently provide enough means to
    create engaging open world maps, which trivializes the merit that rng provides to reinforcements

    *edit -Variety in battles
    As of now we have: 1v1,2v1,2v2 and are missing any matchups with more then 2 teams...I feel like this could change.
    If you were able to setup a simple 1v1v1 or a 1v3, this could also really mesh well with recruiting villages and mercs.

    For example say i've got 3 of the ruin defenders and i've got the opportunity to hire villages around the board to help me out...this could be a fair way experience the game imo. Or say you could go as far as making 'creature squads' that you could customize like the wizard lord to throw on a tile. Of course just throwing creature squads at a player isn't going to work alone, but being able to insert them along side wizards, whether they be on their own team, or if they are to help you or the enemy...this would drastically improve the variety.

    Being able to set lords/squads on/off through encounters could be a great way to make some interesting matchups.

    Basically just add option for multiple teams + customizable creature squads (with an option for rng unit generation) and i think you've just increased the variety of ways that we can play with the game drastically.

    -Timer
    Seems fine and potentially a great way to tie other mechanics together. Problem is that alot
    of the other mechanics are currently not working in such a way as to allow a time constraint
    to be as fun. I feel a false perception of "TIME LIMIT = NO FUN!!!" is being seen
    mainly because of this. an example is xcom 2, although it's ticking time bomb (the advent
    project thing....unfortunately that game didn't sink it's hooks in me) had this and it's
    enjoyed by players...just needs the right mechanics to coincide with it.
    Last edited by anjovi on Fri Aug 19, 2016 3:29 am, edited 1 time in total.
    anjovi
     
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Wed Aug 17, 2016 6:54 pm

  • Good analysis... Regarding villages and marauders, maybe it should be possible to split the village armies up? like send half to target location and keep half back to defend (or send them all ahead and risk losing the village).

    Sometimes it's possible to get a bad marauder spawn point which means you will lose the village right after recruiting them or if they have just started to travel to a target location. I guess marauder spawn points should really be configurable.

    A realm log is needed to.
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    Mazy
     
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Thu Aug 18, 2016 2:30 am

  • The idea to split them up has crossed my mind, and i have posted about it at some point. I feel like it might detract from the simplicity, which is actually one of things i really like about realms. I have this weird metaphor in my head that relates it to a card or board game..ones that require deck building in particular.

    The villages assetts (creatures + cards) make me think of it is some sort of deck building board game were you go to put different combinations together to get a tuned load out. Say i get:

    Goblin Village
    -goblins,rats
    -vengeance, bolt, ?

    Dwarf Village
    -dwarves, eages
    -justice (forget what the non los spells are all the time), elephant, ?

    and when i go to fight something they combine into something new...that's pretty cool!

    I wonder if more emphasis should be put on the cards of a village then the start out creatures themselves? Say you bring a totem to help fight with you, you can end up with:

    1) a modest amount of creatures (as opposed to the dozen or so that you have to drag across the map)
    2) cards associated with that village that start in your hand.

    This could really improve the Creature + wizard team aspect.

    and it could also improve the villages combining with one another to form a pretty unique/cool totem

    Perhaps you could adjust the upgrade tree to eventually lead up (but for a reasonable cost) to get the unit count real high to be
    the big gang that your used to. Personally i feel like this could make a pretty potent (possibly positive) change to the game.
    anjovi
     
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Thu Aug 18, 2016 5:34 am

  • I just remembered something we discussed in a thread about marauders ages ago.. When marauders intercept you at a location where you have to fight a wizard lord, rather than always act as an ally to that lord, shouldn't they sometimes be 'neutral' and be against all wizards present, making some realm battles play out as a 1v1v1.

    The only formats that exist in realms are 1v1/2v1/2v2. Marauders are pirates (they aren't the same thing as the kings allies), they want the same thing as you, loot the realm and kill the lords.

    You could keep the current dynamic of marauders always teaming up with lords but also add a variable that sometimes makes them be against them. I just think it's important to add another format to the SP (FFA - 1v1v1), realms needs a FFA format. It would be a good format to play as an invader to.
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    Mazy
     
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Thu Aug 18, 2016 9:21 am

  • Yep, if we had proper strategy Realms then players should be able to split Villagers & send forces where ever they want to. Imho Villages should be completely detachable forces of batches of 4 units controlled by the player through a 'Leader Unit' who has say 50% the spell stats of the player (so if player has a Spell Deck of 14, the Leader Unit would have a deck of 7).

    E.g.
    Goblin Village:
    Player spends Kudos to hire 8 Goblin Villagers. The player can:
    Have 1 'Militia' Unit of 7 Goblins plus the Leader Unit.
    Have 2 'Militia' Units of 3 Goblins plus a Leader Unit.

    This would of course require units on the Realm Map to have a movement range but since it is turn based anyway this shouldn't be too hard to implement. As for the Leader Unit, of course it would be amazing if it was a Goblin Shaman but realistically because of the animations using the Classic Bodyarmour & Staff is likely easiest way to go.

    Mazy wrote:The only formats that exist in realms are 1v1/2v1/2v2. Marauders are pirates (they aren't the same thing as the kings allies), they want the same thing as you, loot the realm and kill the lords.


    Yeah but in reality they are not. When a Marauder is spawned it takes the reinforcements from an existing Wizard Lord's or the Wizard King so despite its name, or whatever it says in the game guide, they are basically knights of the Wizard King and should be probably made so.
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    Farious
     
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Thu Aug 18, 2016 4:05 pm

  • omg! how did that slip my mind!
    Yeah being able to set teams was a crucial thing for me. Being able to stack lords and associate them to teams.

    So if i were to add it now:

    -Variety in battles
    As of now we have: 1v1,2v1,2v2 and are missing any matchups with more then 2 teams...I feel like this could change.
    If you were able to setup a simple 1v1v1 or a 1v3, this could also really mesh well with recruiting villages and mercs.

    For example say i've got 3 of the ruin defenders and i've got the opportunity to hire villages around the board to help me out...this could be a fair way experience the game imo. Or say you could go as far as making 'creature squads' that you could customize like the wizard lord to throw on a tile. Of course just throwing creature squads at a player isn't going to work alone, but being able to insert them along side wizards, whether they be on their own team, or if they are to help you or the enemy...this would drastically improve the variety.

    Being able to set lords/squads on/off through encounters could be a great way to make some interesting matchups.

    Basically just add option for multiple teams + customizable creature squads (with an option for rng unit generation) and i think you've just increased the variety of ways that we can play with the game drastically.
    anjovi
     
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Thu Aug 18, 2016 4:29 pm

  • Farious wrote:Yep, if we had proper strategy Realms then players should be able to split Villagers & send forces where ever they want to. Imho Villages should be completely detachable forces of batches of 4 units controlled by the player through a 'Leader Unit' who has say 50% the spell stats of the player (so if player has a Spell Deck of 14, the Leader Unit would have a deck of 7).

    E.g.
    Goblin Village:
    Player spends Kudos to hire 8 Goblin Villagers. The player can:
    Have 1 'Militia' Unit of 7 Goblins plus the Leader Unit.
    Have 2 'Militia' Units of 3 Goblins plus a Leader Unit.



    I honestly feel like multiple units isn't really necessary. i think the simple non-fiddliness of 1village = 1squad/totem allows for many folks to enjoy the game as opposed to being bogged down by logistics like your other 4x games. I know it's fairly simple but it's just something i don't think is needed. Especially as the marauder AI doesn't really warrant it (and perhaps it shouldn't ever) The whole thing runs like a sort of board game, including how single minded the marauder is, it becomes more of a puzzle of:

    1)Finding the route that the marauder will probably take
    2)Assessing the villages in the area and deciding on a proper composition (from villages in given area) to guard vs them
    3)Voila!

    You can also factor how you'll use villages offensively which creates some extra layer to the game, but overall it's nice and simple! I think if you can just spruce up the variables with some balance...and perhaps some rng to keep it different (totem cards, units, perhaps customizable villages)

    It's just a matter of making what's in each village a little more dynamic and bonded to the rest of the game systems.
    anjovi
     
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Thu Aug 18, 2016 5:53 pm

  • anjovi wrote:I honestly feel like multiple units isn't really necessary. i think the simple non-fiddliness of 1village = 1squad/totem allows for many folks to enjoy the game as opposed to being bogged down by logistics like your other 4x games.


    It's a fair point, but simplicity also means limiting options. Being forced to march a Militia Unit across the map whilst being attacked by Marauders with the player trying to scramble reinforcements is something I would likely enjoy. Of course, that is just me (the fact in most of Realms Villages are just pretty graphics sums up my prejudice against them atm). But yeah, of course your idea is solid. I guess it comes down to if you want Realms to a pacy click click click affair or you staring at the screen for 15 minutes agonising over a move - if that makes sense?

    How would you approach victory conditions? Same as now, you always must defeat the Wizard King or would allow a complete variety (such as get loot & escape)? If we did go with your approach I'd overhaul Encounters as well and directly connected them to a Mission Log, so basically they'd become your Objectives and that is all.
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    Farious
     
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Thu Aug 18, 2016 6:24 pm

  • anjovi wrote:omg! how did that slip my mind!
    Yeah being able to set teams was a crucial thing for me. Being able to stack lords and associate them to teams.
    -Variety in battles
    As of now we have: 1v1,2v1,2v2 and are missing any matchups with more then 2 teams...I feel like this could change.
    If you were able to setup a simple 1v1v1 or a 1v3, this could also really mesh well with recruiting villages and mercs.

    Yeah adding different formats would also make hiring mercs and village armies more interesting. It would also make Co-Op more varied, Co-Op at the moment is pretty much exclusively 2v1 (2v2 boss battle), which is only really fair when the 1 (AI wizard) has multiple mercs.

    I've thought of another thing that used to crop up in our early realm discussions... 'neutral creatures' (not as in alignment), as in un-owned creatures (NPC's).

    ..I guess on some level this already exists in the form of village settlements and hired mercs from towns... but what if there were some scenarios which featured 'free-roaming' battle-scape creatures that were unattached to either wizard (therefore subvert-able). I don't know if they should be hostile or passive (probably both!).

    Farious wrote:I'd overhaul Encounters as well and directly connected them to a Mission Log, so basically they'd become your Objectives and that is all.

    For sure, this is important, connecting a mission log to encounters so realms are objective led...

    ..Visual (and audio) confirmation is needed to show the player when they possess an item 'You Have THE KEY' **Chime**!... ok great that sound and text told me I have the item, now what?.. 'Now Locate THE PLACE'.. ohh right I have to go to 'that place' (which is now clearly marked on the map, and log, after I unlocked this objective).. and if I'm still lost.. Open 'Mission Log' ..ahh cool, it even has hints/clues/directions (and the option to review past encounters).. sorted!
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    Mazy
     
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Fri Aug 19, 2016 3:35 am

  • Farious wrote:
    anjovi wrote:I honestly feel like multiple units isn't really necessary. i think the simple non-fiddliness of 1village = 1squad/totem allows for many folks to enjoy the game as opposed to being bogged down by logistics like your other 4x games.

    How would you approach victory conditions? Same as now, you always must defeat the Wizard King or would allow a complete variety (such as get loot & escape)? If we did go with your approach I'd overhaul Encounters as well and directly connected them to a Mission Log, so basically they'd become your Objectives and that is all.


    Having different victory conditions could be a thing, though i wouldn't worry about it too much if all of the other stuff got added. The idea of customizing palace fights a bit more would be interesting as well. Being able to setup teams of wizards/creatures would be refreshing. Provide some variety there, as their are other ways you can make the palace fight epic other then just adding another wizard partner to the AI.

    Loot and escape could be a cool idea. having a portal that you have to deactivate through encounters could be interesting....though i wouldn't worry about it too much if the other stuff got in..can't really argue against it, especially if some sort of objectives system is implimented to help convey said objectives. I like the idea of just having objectives set in encounters...though i have a feeling an objective editor might be needed to make it work fluidly (with encounters just simply triggering the objectives.)

    ----
    otherwise mazy 1+ to all of that...been pining to see how neutral creatures would play in the game, how someone creative could make a challenging/fun scenario based on it.
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