The game I would hope for...
Firstly, fixed mechanics such as the Banish Spell, Reinforcement Points and Time are all customisable, and the Realm entrance fee is abolished along with Kudos points. Encounters are simplified with ‘Rewards’ removed and their role in telling a story gone – they now just for passing on information. Gold & score etc are purely calculated based upon a Realm’s Difficulty.
The Designer places the terrain and infrastructure pretty much as they do now but now we have a more componentised approach in places.
The Designer sets the initial Realm Difficulty however every time a player completes a Realm the difficulty increases by +1. Reinforcement Rate, Mana Flux Points etc are now all influenced by the Realm Difficulty setting and the setting is uncapped.
A Realm can be designated as Chaos, Neutral/Natural, Law or None. If Chaos or Law then the Realm Difficulty tilts the Cosmic Balance in that direction at the start of every battle. If Neutral, then the Casting Boost/Mana Cost of Neutral Spells is affected beneficially.
A new points system that represents how much of the population a player has converted to ‘their side’ (See Towns). Players ‘found’ & name their belief systems depending upon their social rank. For example:
- Lords can found a Follower of X and have a 1% chance of Converting 1 People to their cause.
- Kings can found a Legend of X and have a 5% chance of Converting 1 People to their cause.
- Demigods can found an Order of X and have a 10% chance of Converting 1 People to their cause.
- Gods can found a Pantheon of X and have a 25% chance of Converting 1 People to their cause.
Upon completion of a Realm the Player can choose to allocate the number of converts they amassed to one of the belief systems they founded. When a belief system reaches a certain level of followers Realm Karma is awarded (more for higher ranking belief systems but with each award the number of converts required increases for the next Karma reward). The 'popularity' of each belief system is also displayed upon a Player’s profile but this is not a persistent Realm affect - i.e. it only a cumulative score and does not impact other players in the same Realm. Realm Karma can be used to buy new ‘Belief Cosmetics’ such as Banners, Totems, and non-combat Creatures (golems?) baring portable Shrines that a player can choose to deploy on a battle map or not.
The number is uncapped and these become proper command and control posts with a two stage fight, outside & inside. Outside the Designer can designate a number of Spell Totems each with a Spell Deck and a range attack capability similar to a Bolt Tower. The Realm Difficulty influences the size of the Spell Deck. Inside the Player can designate the number of enemy Wizard Lords present. A captured Citadel transfers the Wizard Kings Reinforcements Points to the Player who now also has a Reinforcements Points Pool that are used to hire Villagers instead of Kudos. Villagers sent to a Captured Citadel can be sent on again to any tile on the current land mass.
Fog of war
Although the explored map is shown, dimmed, Marauders and Wizard Lords aren’t unless in the players LOS which is not unlimited.
Operate as they do now, except the number is again uncapped, and when a player achieves control of a majority of Mana Fluxes the Banish Spell actually goes into reverse.
Mercs, Reputation, and Merc Slots
Reputation is gone and Merc Slots are now unlocked by spending Realm Karma. A Merc is then created by casting a Realm Spell, say Summon Mercenary.
As now but it is now a 2 stage fight. Outside is similar to a Citadel but with additional Spell Totems plus a Wizard Lord. Inside is the Wizard King plus one or more Wizard Lords. Again, all configurable by the Designer. Upon victory the player may loot the Palace, receiving the Bodygear, Staff, and Talismans worn by the defeated Wizard King (See Piracy below).
Towns are now componentised between different types of residential graphics to reflect their populations wealth and social standing. A Wizard Lord or higher can attempt to convert the people to their Belief System by casting a special Realm Spell, Convert Disbeliever (for example). There are 3 types of residential property each taking up a map tile and each containing 10 Mortals; Slums, Town Houses, & Gentry Homes. A battle which takes place in Residential Map Tile risks killing the Mortals who are present on the Battle Map. Upon completion of a Realm the player receives a tribute/tithe from each convert in the form gold; 1 per slum dweller, 2 per converted town folk, and 5 per converted gentry. The portion of each type is of residence that can be placed is linked to the Realm Difficulty.
Operate as they do now except Reinforcement Points are used by the player to hire them. Again, number of fighters etc available should be customisable by the Designer. Villagers sent to a Citadel can be sent on to anywhere on the current land mass.
A player leaving a Realm with loot risks being attacked by another wizard upon return to Limbo. If they have invaders switched on this will be a human player if available. If the player loses then they must select one item from their ‘on person’ inventory to secede to the winning player.
Anyway, those are my current thoughts on Strategy. I’d prefer RPG but I wouldn’t mind playing the above at all, nor designing such Realms.