AMLA: Nice ideas for temporary bonuses

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gabba
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AMLA: Nice ideas for temporary bonuses

Post by gabba »

It seems that the feature idea of units getting a free heal and 2 extra HP for every 70-100 XP (the exact amount would be worth a poll) after maximum advancement, is pretty widely accepted. I intend to post a thread about that soon on the developer forum.

For now, however, I would like to discuss a different type of temporary bonus, which could be added to the free heal, or replace it in some cases. IMHO not all units need to have the same AMLA ("after maximum level advancement") bonus.

When a unit reaches the appropriate amount of experience, it will get, in addition to/instead of the free heal, a special ability that can be activated at any point during the scenario, and is lost after being used once. These bonuses can't stack (i.e. you can only have one bonus at a time), and are lost if not used within the same scenario where they are gained. They represent the especially heroic actions of these war veterans. Which unit gains which bonus should be well-documented in the unit description, to avoid confusing the player.

I'm listing below the different types of abilities I would like to see, and how I think they could be done in current game term; it would be interesting to know what can be done in current WML and what can't:
(Sorry for the tongue-in-cheek names that slipped in there)

1/ Powerful Attack: this is probably the easiest one to do: the unit gets a powerful weapon, which disappears after you use it once. Examples:
- Paladin: Holy Fury, a holy sword that does double the damage of the usual paladin sword.
- Elvish Sylph: Frozen Soul, a tremendous cold wave attack.
- Elvish Sharpshooter: Deadly shot, a bow shot with 100% accuracy and extra damage.
- Merman Triton: Wave Crest, a *charge* with the merman triton's pierce attack.
- Elvish Outrider: Revenge of the Wimpy Scout, a melee attack that deals double or triple damage.

2/ Temporary Ability: the player can click on an icon or word in the unit stats (in-game, in the right-hand column) to activate this ability until the end of the (next?) turn. The ability may be an already defined one that this unit doesn't possess. Examples:
- Grand Knight: Trample (if he kills a unit, Grand Knight advances to take its spot automatically; he can attack again if there's now an adjacent enemy unit - Note: this is an idea I got from the forums)
- Elvish Marshal: Heroic Leadership (as leadership but 2 hexes in range)
- Mage of Light: Glory (as illuminate but 2 hexes in range)
- Elvish Outrider: Fly (gains flying for the time the ability lasts)
- Outlaw: ambush
- Orcish Assassin: Sprint (unit gets 1 1/2 or 2 times its usual movement while ability lasts)
- Elvish Avenger: You Shall Not Pass (unit deals double damage when retaliating)
- Bandit: Hide (the unit gains 70% defense against any attack)

3/ Shapechanging (perhaps more complicated, but more fun): by clicking on an icon/word in the right-hand column, the unit turns into another one until the end of this turn or the next turn. Examples:
- Naga Myrmidon: Giant Snake
- Elder Mage: fire dragon
- Merman Entangler: Giant Octopus

4/ Summon: when you click on an icon/word in the right-hand column, the unit summons another unit in an adjacent space; the summoned unit remains until the end of the next turn (it could be until the end of the scenario, if the summon is a weak creature). Examples can be... any unit you think of!

5/ Instant heal: a healer can trigger this ability to heal all adjacent friendly units right away, instead of waiting for the beginning of the next turn. (You won't get that often, so I don't think it's unbalanced.)

6/ Suicide Area Attacks: powerful and desperate attacks that affect units in all adjacent hexes. There is no retaliation. They are (somewhat) balanced by the fact that they also affect the unit doing the attack, as well as any adjacent friendly unit. Examples:
- Great Mage: Armageddon (tremendous area fire attack, maybe powerful enough to kill the Mage himself in one shot - you'd better have a good reason to sacrifice him)
- Elvish Shide: Overgrowth (mass slow attack, affects all adjacent hexes but also the Shide, leaving it very vulnerable)
- Lich: Awful Plague (a powerful area attack that does enough damage to kill the Lich itself, but turns all the other units it kills into powerful undead)

I'm sure you can think of more, but that's probably enough to add a special ability to every top-level unit in the game. They could be added little by little. Balancing-wise, this will make scenarios near the end of the campaign a bit easier, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. Still, maybe they'll need to be made a bit harder.
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Re: AMLA: Nice ideas for temporary bonuses

Post by Elvish_Pillager »

gabba wrote:It seems that the feature idea of units getting a free heal and 2 extra HP for every 70-100 XP (the exact amount would be worth a poll) after maximum advancement, is pretty widely accepted. I intend to post a thread about that soon on the developer forum.
I actually haven't really thought about this proposal all that much before, but now it appeals to me. Why? Because after your unit is the victor of a thousand battles, it doesn't make sense to be charged down in a couple seconds by a guy with a horse. Not necessairally for gameplay, but that's the kind of thing that never happens in your generic fantasy world.
It's all fun and games until someone loses a lawsuit. Oh, and by the way, sending me private messages won't work. :/ If you must contact me, there's an e-mail address listed on the website in my profile.
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Post by Darkmoon »

*nods*
Pythagoras
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Post by Pythagoras »

This is a very cool idea and plays into the theatrical/fantastical coolness of Wesnoth.
romnajin
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Post by romnajin »

The one thing I don't like, is that they are all one shot abilities, I think it would be better to have them "recharge" every five or ten turns, so they could be used again. Some things, like the suicide ones, should be one shot, but the powerful attacks, and other things should be rechargable, that would incourage their use in non life or death situations, the way it is right now, they would not be very useful until very, very needed, which would be good for the suicidal ones, but for things like attacks, one use would be [censored].
Sorry for the meaningless post
scott
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Post by scott »

romnajin wrote:The one thing I don't like, is that they are all one shot abilities, I think it would be better to have them "recharge" every five or ten turns, so they could be used again. Some things, like the suicide ones, should be one shot, but the powerful attacks, and other things should be rechargable, that would incourage their use in non life or death situations, the way it is right now, they would not be very useful until very, very needed, which would be good for the suicidal ones, but for things like attacks, one use would be [censored].

They do recharge. In 70-100 XP.

Anyway, I think this is a really cool idea, but it seems like it could completely change the game. Anyway, if you figure out code support for this you could just sit around thinking up cool bonuses for every L3 in the game.
Hope springs eternal.
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romnajin
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Post by romnajin »

How often in MP do you get 70-100xp post max level?
Sorry for the meaningless post
scott
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Post by scott »

every 9-13 kills, maybe less
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Darkmoon
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Post by Darkmoon »

Well,... obviously many things that work in campaigns will not have the same effect in MP or single shoot scenarios. But that is just fine, personally I would not mind if the only bonus based of XP would be addition point of HP every 70-100 or so XP. The XP here can add up… just take for example Burin The Lost from TRoW, a few extra h points he would get from xp won’t unbalance him(or any other unit) but it sure could give them that something extra that shows his rising toughness(or maybe simply thickness of his skull from getting hit so often).

Also bonus would(should) be small enough that you wont cry after loosing a 3rd level pc with one or two of these extra hps, yet it could permit these high level characters survive that one more hit. Something,… that would not give to much temptation to reload a turn… I know,… that losing 3rd level character can be a rather big temptation for some to do so already.

Well,… I think these one time abilities might be pretty cool,… but lets not over do it. Also,… instead of rechargeable abilities that player can chose to use at his convenience(might need some greater programming work too),… a character can gain a “morale� trait for next three rounds during which he fights a bit better. Maybe extra +10% defense on all land types for that time, or perhaps +10% damage (or both) till his head cools down a bit.

Imo,… if the bonus is good enough some players might actually save these bonuses and make career of quickly blasting a bit harder scenarios into oblivion. That could/might affect the way entire campaigns are played…

On other hand a small bonus(like above mentioned extra hp), even if permament, wont have a such great potential for balance problems.
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Post by Dave »

turin wrote:Now I must spoil all of your fun and say I hate this idea. :(
This kind of reaction is forbidden on the Idea's forum, and hence I am deleting your post.

David
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Attila
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Post by Attila »

scott wrote:every 9-13 kills, maybe less
wouldn't that be kind of often for something which is supposed to happen once at most during the course of a campaign.

And also, isn't this getting away from what the style of game play is now which is heavily against both "magic spells" and "magic weapons" (except at the descretion of the sceneario designer)?
gabba
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Post by gabba »

Darkmoon wrote:Well,… I think these one time abilities might be pretty cool,… but lets not over do it. Also,… instead of rechargeable abilities that player can chose to use at his convenience(might need some greater programming work too),… a character can gain a “morale� trait for next three rounds during which he fights a bit better. Maybe extra +10% defense on all land types for that time, or perhaps +10% damage (or both) till his head cools down a bit.

Imo,… if the bonus is good enough some players might actually save these bonuses and make career of quickly blasting a bit harder scenarios into oblivion. That could/might affect the way entire campaigns are played…
- The morale trait sounds like a good idea - but I'd rather add it to my list than replace the whole list with it!

- I thought of the problem of saving these bonuses... that's why I said they should be lost if not used within the scenario where they are gained. Also, the "recharge rate" can be longer for more powerful bonuses, i.e. every 70 XP for a nice but casual bonus, and every 150 XP for an uber-bonus

And in answer to some other comments:
- Programming difficulty: I'm pretty sure that some of these can already be done without problems, such as the one-time-use weapons (you get the storm trident in Bay of Pearls... just make it disappear when used).
- The ultimate way to "balance" these bonuses (and make them almost useless) is to activate them immediately when gained, instead of letting the player activate them when needed. IMHO it's better to have them recharge less often if they are too powerful.
Scott wrote:it seems like it could completely change the game
Well, if we add these abilities to all units at a time, yes. But if we add it first to a few special units which need an extra boost, see if we like it, add it to a few more, and so on, it shouldn't ruin our gaming experience. Personally I really want to have something to look for as my units, even lvl. 3, gain experience.
Darkmoon
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Post by Darkmoon »

Hmm,

how something different.


1. once character reaches a point when further advancement lvlwise is not possible, then it stops displaying XP for that charcter altogether.

Now, computer would keep track of the xp of the character silently.

Then, simply every x xp special ability would fire off suddenly giving character some bonus.

Ex. Iron mauler,... once every 70xp would smite next opponent for double/tripple damage. However, player would not be aware of when its gonna do it because he cannot see current xp.
scott
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Post by scott »

Well, right now it does display XP for max level characters. Was this a misspeak or are you saying that the game should stop doing it?

My position remains that I think it's cool because it adds a lot more color to the characters, but I agree with Turin that it's a lot like magic spells. However, if you can code it (even if you can figure out how to do it in WML), I'll build it and play it.
Hope springs eternal.
Wesnoth acronym guide.
jonathantan86
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Post by jonathantan86 »

A player can still keep track of his units' XP even though the computer does not display it (by manually counting)...hiding the XP information only makes things difficult for the player, so I don't see much use in doing that.

Bringing in single-use weapons/spells would probably make Wesnoth more complicated. I think it's possible with current WML, but the spells can't be made powerful enough e.g. if you had a one-time spell you probably would want it to hit 100% of the time (and marksman and magical can't do that).
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