Change the AMLA system

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Melon
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Change the AMLA system

Post by Melon » November 13th, 2008, 7:32 am

The current ALMA system offers very little in terms of improving a your units, but it requires a very large sum of experience to attain so much as a single level of it. From what I understand, the reason behind this is to steer players away from creating "super units" but at the same time offer full healing and a slight hp boost to units that truly earned it.
I personally feel that the current mode is far too punishing. Although I agree that veteran units shouldn't overshadow the development of new ones, I believe that their dedication to a long campaign should be rewarded rather then punished. The method I outline below is intended to reward the players favorite units by making them more unique but at the same time keep them balanced and prevent the creation of "super units".

AMLA skill and feat system:
After a unit reaches its maximum level it is eligible to receive the benefits of an AMLA. A unit may collect the total benefits of 5 AMLAs before it becomes capped. A capped unit will not receive any benefits from a level up aside from the full healing, however the experience required for it to advance will not increase any further.
Skills:
At AMLA levels 1, 3 and 5 the unit will attain a mastery in one of its three primary skills:
Offense: Adds AMLA strikes* and increases their damage.
Resilience: Adds additional hitpoints to the units total and increases the resistances.
Agility: Adds movement and defense
The bonuses gained are specific to the units that attains them.
*AMLA strikes: To prevent the damage bonuses from being too large I propose the addition of AMLA strikes. An AMLA strike is an additional strike which is fired after all the normal strikes have been used. AMLA strikes will always deal lower damage then the units normal strikes and may have different weapon specials.
Feats:
Each unit will have its own unique list of attainable feats. Upon reaching AMLA levels 2 and 4 the unit is presented a choice between two feats randomly selected from a list. Feats will give more specialized bonuses, such as the empowerment of the units abilities. Some feats are global and attainable by most units, while others are specific to certain classes. Sometimes the feats will have a requirement of a certain level of skill mastery before they may be chosen.
Experience and bonuses:
AMLA level 1-150xp:New skill level
AMLA level 2-175xp:New feat
AMLA level 3-225xp:New skill level
AMLA level 4-300xp:New feat
AMLA level 5-400xp:New skill level
AMLA level 6-500xp:full hp restoration
Examples:
Here are a few example units, their skills and their feats. I'm not proposing that exactly the same combination should be used, this is just something to give you a taste for what this system may be like if it where implanted into the game.

Code: Select all

Grand Marshal:
Skills:
	Offense:
		Expert: sword gains an AMLA strike for 2 damage, crossbow gains an AMLA strike for 1 damage
		Master: sword AMLA strike gains +2 damage
		Grand Master: sword AMLA strike gains +1 damage, crossbow AMLA strike gains +1 damage, 
	Resilience:
		Expert: +6 hp
		Master: res blade +5%, +2 hp
		Grand Master: res impact +5%, +1 hp
	Agility:
		Expert: +1 moves
		Master: +5% castle defense
		Grand Master: +5% village defense
Unique Feats:
	Last Stand (Requires Expert Offense and Resilience): Gains +4 AMLA strike damage when below 25% total hp
	Reflex (Requires Expert Offense): Sword gains the "Firststrike" weapon special

Troll Warrior:
Skills:
	Offense:
		Expert: hammer gains an AMLA strike for 3 damage
		Master:	hammer AMLA strike gains +2 damage
		Grand Master: hammer AMLA strike gains +2 damage
	Resilience:
		Expert: +6 hp
		Master: +5 hp
		Grand Master: +4 hp
	Agility:
		Expert: +5% mountain and hill defense
		Master: +5% mountain defense
		Grand Master: +5% hill defense
Unique Feats:
	Metabolic Boost (Requires Expert Resilience): +2 aditional hp regenerated every turn
	Stoneskin (Requires Master Resilience): +5% res blade and +10% res pierce

Blood Bat:
Skills:
	Offense:
		Expert: fangs gains an AMLA strike for 3 damage
		Master:	fangs gains an additional AMLA strike for 2 damage
		Grand Master: fangs AMLA strikes gains +1 damage
	Resilience:
		Expert: +6 hp
		Master: res arcane +5%, +2 hp
		Grand Master: +4 hp
	Agility:
		Expert: +1 moves
		Master: +1 moves
		Grand Master: +10% cave defense
Unique Feats:
	Vampiric Thirst (Requires Expert Offense): fangs AMLA strike(s) gains +1 damage and the "Drain" weapon special
	Familiar (Requires Expert Resiliance): +5% res aracane, fire and cold

Global Unit Feats, requirements are in brackets:
	Swimmer (Movement cost in shallow water>1): -1 shallow water movement cost
	Mountaineer (Movement cost in mountains>1): -1 mountain movement cost
	Pathfinder (Movement cost in forests>1): -1 forest movement cost
	Highlander (Defense in both hills and mountains<70%): +5% defense in hills and mountains
	Woodsman (Defense in forests<70%): +10% defense in forests
Thoughts?
I wouldn't mind drawing some icons for the various AMLAs if there's any interest in having this implemented.

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JW
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Re: Change the AMLA system

Post by JW » November 13th, 2008, 7:50 am

Sounds cool, but'll never happen in a million mainline years.

You could probably do this with WML and I bet it'd be pretty awesome too. I would recommend putting it in an era with your factions.

Or create a new game where levelling is more of a focus. You could also change that whole luck thing. :wink:

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Re: Change the AMLA system

Post by Soliton » November 13th, 2008, 10:08 am

Apart from the AMLA strikes that sounds all quite reasonable. There's been threads before for ideas on interesting custom AMLAs now just someone also has to make the effort to implement them since it seems there is no developer that interested in this to do it... (Probably because we do have really quite many units and it's a lot of work for little gain.)
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Turuk
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Re: Change the AMLA system

Post by Turuk » November 13th, 2008, 1:59 pm

My only thought is on the way you have the feat system constructed. I know this is just a rough draft, but I thought it might help if I pointed it out.

For the Grand Marshal, unit gets first AMLA and player chooses Expert Offense because the next AMLA is a feat and the player wants firststrike. On the third AMLA, player chooses Expert Resilience, because he/she needs that skill in order to get the feat at AMLA 4. The only AMLA that provides a less restricted choice to the player is AMLA 5. While the player can choose other skills, it then renders the two feat AMLAs, at levels 2 and 4, as worthless levels since you cannot get the feats.

This works for all of the units given, you would have to get Expert and then Master Resilience for the Troll, and a bit more choice for the Blood bat in that you can choose either but it still stops you from specializing up one tree.

Now I realize that the player can choose from some of the Global feats at the bottom, but I'm just pointing out the potential snag if they are focused on unit development.
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Viliam
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Re: Change the AMLA system

Post by Viliam » November 13th, 2008, 2:36 pm

Historically, the reason for making AMLA was people complaining that their highest level units are wasting XP, since they cannot level up anymore. This was what game designers wanted... but the feelings of wasted XP were for some people so unbearable, that AMLA was created with intention to be small, almost insignificant, to provide mostly a psychological consolation.

It was designed to have minimum influence, so if you feel it does not improve your units, this is exactly the original idea. ;-) The AMLA is supposed to provide a feeling that you are not wasting XP, but at the same time have a minimum influence on a gameplay.

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Melon
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Re: Change the AMLA system

Post by Melon » November 13th, 2008, 6:11 pm

Viliam wrote:It was designed to have minimum influence, so if you feel it does not improve your units, this is exactly the original idea. ;-) The AMLA is supposed to provide a feeling that you are not wasting XP, but at the same time have a minimum influence on a gameplay.
I understand what it was designed to do, but I think it would be nice if high level units gained more then just hp. In most campaigns there's always at least a few units that the player likes and chooses to use all the time. I feel that the veterans should gain more unique and specialized bonuses to make the game more interesting for the player. At the same time the bonuses I propose are so small that they will have little impact on the actual balance.
Turuk wrote:My only thought is on the way you have the feat system constructed. I know this is just a rough draft, but I thought it might help if I pointed it out.

For the Grand Marshal, unit gets first AMLA and player chooses Expert Offense because the next AMLA is a feat and the player wants firststrike. On the third AMLA, player chooses Expert Resilience, because he/she needs that skill in order to get the feat at AMLA 4. The only AMLA that provides a less restricted choice to the player is AMLA 5. While the player can choose other skills, it then renders the two feat AMLAs, at levels 2 and 4, as worthless levels since you cannot get the feats.

This works for all of the units given, you would have to get Expert and then Master Resilience for the Troll, and a bit more choice for the Blood bat in that you can choose either but it still stops you from specializing up one tree.

Now I realize that the player can choose from some of the Global feats at the bottom, but I'm just pointing out the potential snag if they are focused on unit development.
You bring up some good points, but keep in mind that I'm just giving you a very brief overview of the system. There will probably have to be at least half a dozen global feats with no requirements just to make sure that the player always gets a choice.
Soliton wrote:Apart from the AMLA strikes that sounds all quite reasonable.
The AMLA strikes are meant to give the unit a damage bonus without making it unreasonably big. The way I see it is that there are two basic ways to increase a units offense, by adding strikes or increasing the damage. For most maximum level units adding damage or strikes will increase the total damage by a very large amount. The AMLA strike system is intended to keep the damage bonuses low but at the same time increase the overall damage capabilities of the unit.
Soliton wrote:There's been threads before for ideas on interesting custom AMLAs now just someone also has to make the effort to implement them since it seems there is no developer that interested in this to do it... (Probably because we do have really quite many units and it's a lot of work for little gain.)
I'll do it. Maybe others will help. The way I see it, all this project needs is an artist and a coder. Here's the list of required stuff:
-A rescripture of the AMLA to match the new system. After this is in place the rest will just be WML.
-Images for all skills and feats, probably about the same size as the attack icons.
-WML codes for the global feats.
-WML codes for unique feats. This one's a little more tricky since it requires variation from unit to unit. Some of the unique feats can be utilized by several units at once, for example my proposed "Vampiric Thirst" feat can be used by both Blood bats and Spectres.
-WML codes for the skills. This is easier then it seems, since a lot of the units will have very similar skill advancement. Most of this is just copying, pasting and modifying.

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zookeeper
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Re: Change the AMLA system

Post by zookeeper » November 13th, 2008, 6:31 pm

These "AMLA strikes" sound awfully complicated. I'd suggest scrap those, and just focus on the feats.

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Turuk
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Re: Change the AMLA system

Post by Turuk » November 13th, 2008, 6:38 pm

Melon wrote:I'll do it. Maybe others will help. The way I see it, all this project needs is an artist and a coder. Here's the list of required stuff:
-A rescripture of the AMLA to match the new system. After this is in place the rest will just be WML.
-Images for all skills and feats, probably about the same size as the attack icons.
-WML codes for the global feats.
-WML codes for unique feats. This one's a little more tricky since it requires variation from unit to unit. Some of the unique feats can be utilized by several units at once, for example my proposed "Vampiric Thirst" feat can be used by both Blood bats and Spectres.
-WML codes for the skills. This is easier then it seems, since a lot of the units will have very similar skill advancement. Most of this is just copying, pasting and modifying.
I know that the list is not organized, but I would just give you my thoughts.
-A rescripture of the AMLA to match the new system. After this is in place the rest will just be WML
(I would outline either all the units, or one race at a time, to break it up into easier blocks.)

-WML codes for the global feats.
(Potentially easier to do and most applicable with minor influences on balance.)

-WML codes for the skills. This is easier then it seems, since a lot of the units will have very similar skill advancement. Most of this is just copying, pasting and modifying.
(I feel like this could seem simple, and quickly get out of hand for you.)

-WML codes for unique feats. This one's a little more tricky since it requires variation from unit to unit. Some of the unique feats can be utilized by several units at once, for example my proposed "Vampiric Thirst" feat can be used by both Blood bats and Spectres.
(Coding new abilities and getting them to function properly usually tends to be the bottleneck that slows people down.)

-Images for all skills and feats, probably about the same size as the attack icons.
(My thought here is the same as when people start a new campaign or era/faction, and they instantly ask for art. Few people are willing to donate their time or effort to artwork if they feel that it will just fall by the wayside. Not doubting your commitment, but in all honesty I know you yourself have seen how many failed projects are on this forum, and that is what they will consider.)
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Re: Change the AMLA system

Post by Dave » November 13th, 2008, 7:38 pm

I think that something like this is a great idea, and I've wanted it for a long time.

I suggest keeping it simple though, no changes to the game engine like AMLA strikes would require. Rather, just give an additional strike, but only allow units to get this if it'd make sense for them -- e.g. a unit that gets five strikes already might get an AMLA to go up to six strikes. A unit that only has two strikes would be more likely to get an AMLA that makes their strikes a little stronger.

Some units could even get additional attacks. These would probably be auxiliary to their existing attacks -- for instance a unit with a 12-4 magical attack might be able to learn an alternative spell which does 7-6. Normally inferior, but better in some cases. Or a Paladin might be able to learn a modest magical ranged attack, perhaps one that is just 4-2. An Elvish Ranger might be able to learn to swim better, giving them significantly better stats in water.

Anyways there is plenty of effort required to do all this, and I think that's what's holding it up more than people not thinking it's a good idea. If someone wanted to make, perhaps, a modification that adds this, I think there's a very high chance it would be eventually accepted into mainline if it was done well.

David
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Re: Change the AMLA system

Post by michchar » November 13th, 2008, 11:06 pm

Really, the only thing I see this for is SX, which will make it much more interesting, but rarely in MP do you get a level 3 in the first place, much less an AMLA. In campaigns, it's ridiculous to AMLA more than 2 or three times. What I would suggest is to lower the exp needed to get the AMLA, but that might couse some unbalancing

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Melon
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Re: Change the AMLA system

Post by Melon » November 13th, 2008, 11:14 pm

Dave wrote:I think that something like this is a great idea, and I've wanted it for a long time.

I suggest keeping it simple though, no changes to the game engine like AMLA strikes would require. Rather, just give an additional strike, but only allow units to get this if it'd make sense for them -- e.g. a unit that gets five strikes already might get an AMLA to go up to six strikes. A unit that only has two strikes would be more likely to get an AMLA that makes their strikes a little stronger.

Some units could even get additional attacks. These would probably be auxiliary to their existing attacks -- for instance a unit with a 12-4 magical attack might be able to learn an alternative spell which does 7-6. Normally inferior, but better in some cases. Or a Paladin might be able to learn a modest magical ranged attack, perhaps one that is just 4-2. An Elvish Ranger might be able to learn to swim better, giving them significantly better stats in water.

Anyways there is plenty of effort required to do all this, and I think that's what's holding it up more than people not thinking it's a good idea. If someone wanted to make, perhaps, a modification that adds this, I think there's a very high chance it would be eventually accepted into mainline if it was done well.

David
Awesome.
Alright, here's an alternative system:
We get rid of skills entirely, the units will only gain feats. Each unit will have its own list of available feats. Upon reaching an AMLA the unit will receive a choice between two, randomly selected from the list. A unit is only allowed to gain the benefits of 4 AMLAs, the 5th will only restore its health. The experience to advance will remain the same as was presented in the table in the OP.
I'll start with the multiplayer units first, here are some ideas for Drake feats:

Code: Select all

Drake Flameheart:
	Weapon Finesse: 7-5 melee (blade)
	Burst of Flame: 18-2 ranged (fire)
	Blade Mastery: +1 damage (sword)
	Breath Control: +1 damage (fire breath)
	Vitality: +6 hp
	Highlander: +5% def in hills and mountains
	Spelunker: +10% def and -1 move cost in caves
	Heart of Fire: +20% res fire, -5% res cold
	Arcane Lore: +15% res arcane
	Guardian: defense is considered 10% higher when occupying a castle
	Siege Master: opponents defense is considered 10% lower when attacking a castle
	Noble: Upkeep cost reduced by 1
Inferno Drake:
	Weapon Finesse: 8-3 melee (blade)
	Burst of Flame: 16-3 ranged (fire)
	Feral Warrior: +2 damage (claws)
	Vitality: +8 hp
	Highlander: +5% def in hills and mountains
	Spelunker: +10% def and -1 move cost in caves
	Arcane Lore: +15% res arcane
	Siege Master: opponents defense is considered 10% lower when attacking a castle
Drake Enforcer:
	Mace Mastery: +1 damage (impact)
	Blade Mastery: +1 damage (sword)
	Vitality: +8 hp
	Suppress Inner Flame: +15% cold resistance
	Highlander: +5% def in hills and mountains
	Spelunker: +10% def and -1 move cost in caves
	Armored: +10% res impact, blade and pierce. -1 moves
	Siege Master: opponents defense is considered 10% lower when attacking a castle
	Raider: opponents defense is considered 10% lower when attacking a village
Drake Warden:
	Spear Mastery: +1 damage (pierce)
	Blade Mastery: +1 damage (blade)
	Vitality: +8 hp
	Suppress Inner Flame: +15% cold resistance
	Highlander: +5% def in hills and mountains
	Spelunker: +10% def and -1 move cost in caves
	Armored: +10% res impact, blade and pierce. -1 moves
	Guardian: defense is considered 10% higher when occupying a castle
	Siege Master: opponents defense is considered 10% lower when attacking a castle
Drake Blademaster:
	Power Attack: 26-2 melee (blade)
	Burst of Flame: 12-2 ranged (fire)
	Blade Mastery: +1 damage (sword)
	Breath Control: +1 damage (fire breath)
	Vitality: +8 hp
	Highlander: +5% def in hills and mountains
	Spelunker: +10% def and -1 move cost in caves
	Arcane Lore: +15% res arcane
	Siege Master: opponents defense is considered 10% lower when attacking a castle
Hurricane Drake:
	Power Attack: 12-2 melee (Impact)
	Burst of Flame: 12-2 ranged (fire), Marksman
	Feral Warrior: +1 damage (slam)
	Breath Control: +1 damage (fire breath)
	Vitality: +6 hp
	Highlander: +5% def in hills and mountains
	Spelunker: +10% def and -1 move cost in caves
	Arcane Lore: +15% res arcane
Saurian Oracle:
	Power Attack: 6-2 melee (impact)
	Spell Mastery: +1 damage (curse)
	Empowered Spell: 12-2 ranged (cold), Magical
	Herb Lore: heals an additional 2 hp
	Vitality: +4 hp
	Pathfinder: +5% def and -1 move cost in forests
	Arcane Lore: +15% res arcane
	Resistant: +5% res arcane, cold and fire
Saurian Soothsayer:
	Spell Mastery: +1 damage (curse)
	Spell Finesse: 3-6 ranged (cold), Magical
	Herb Lore: heals an additional 2 hp
	Vitality: +4 hp
	Protector: +10% def in villages
	Pathfinder: +5% def and -1 move cost in forests
	Arcane Lore: +15% res arcane
	Resistant: +5% res arcane, cold and fire
Saurian Flanker:
	Power Attack: 16-2 melee (pierce)
	Rapid Shot: 5-3 ranged (pierce)
	Sneak Attack: 9-2 melee (pierce), Backstab
	Vitality: +4 hp
	Pathfinder: +5% def and -1 move cost in forests
	Highlander: +5% def in hills and mountains
	Resistant: +5% res arcane, cold and fire
Attachments
New AMLA mockup.png
A model of what the new system might look like. The 4 blank icons to the right of the units level are reserved for the AMLAs it has collected.

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TheMasterOfBattle
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Re: Change the AMLA system

Post by TheMasterOfBattle » November 13th, 2008, 11:35 pm

This really looks interesting, even if it doesn't make mainline it would be interesting to see an Era that uses this.

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JW
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Re: Change the AMLA system

Post by JW » November 14th, 2008, 12:55 am

I guess I misjudged the situation. I remember a discussion a long time ago where any changes to AMLA where disapproved of, but I forgot about the period where more interesting AMLAs were actually asked for.

I do distinctly remember a time where the dev population was against any chnages to AMLA, and thought that even the full heal +3hp was perhaps too much. Perhaps there is hope for change in other areas where it was not thought possible before as well....

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Turuk
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Re: Change the AMLA system

Post by Turuk » November 14th, 2008, 1:32 am

michchar wrote:Really, the only thing I see this for is SX, which will make it much more interesting, but rarely in MP do you get a level 3 in the first place, much less an AMLA. In campaigns, it's ridiculous to AMLA more than 2 or three times. What I would suggest is to lower the exp needed to get the AMLA, but that might couse some unbalancing
I have to agree with this, usually when I have a high level unit in a campaign, it is at the very end or it is a character unit you are given (such as Delfador) which you do not want to constantly put in the line of fire. Thus you still level up other units to provide L2 and L3 screening for your characters, which prevents most units from hitting AMLA more than once.

However, I do feel this could be practical in the application of making a campaign focusing on using higher level units, or orienting around a small core group out to complete some quest, overcome some evil, so on and so forth. It would definitely allow for more RPG style campaigns, at least in feel, given that players are leveling to obtain feats.
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Lord_Aether

Re: Change the AMLA system

Post by Lord_Aether » November 14th, 2008, 5:39 am

As a fan of rpgs, this sounds like a cool idea. However, I don't know about the randomly choosing 2 out of a list... Kinda takes some of the customization out of the hands of the player.

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