Monster Hunt

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Limabean
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Monster Hunt

Post by Limabean » January 3rd, 2014, 4:09 am

This is a new standalone 4p scenario for 1.10 whose initial inspiration was TL/Natasiel's World Conquest. There's a theme of randomness throughout so no two games should be exactly the same.

The map is randomly generated. It is a 3v1 game, with the solo player being in control of a monster with many special abilities and gameplay mechanics. I didn't want players fighting over a specific slot in the lobby, so all players start on the same side. At the start of the game, it cycles through each player in random order and gives them the option to become the monster.

I've currently only got one monster to choose from, but I have plans for more. Ideally they will all have radically different abilities and mechanics which will lead to very different games based on which one is chosen.
Ghast Monster (ZOMBIES!)
  • The economy is based on hitpoints rather than gold. All upgrades and recruits are bought using max and/or current hitpoints. Income is in the form of regeneration and feeding, which can be improved repeatedly (although the cost increases with each purchase).
  • Any time a monster-controlled unit moves onto a village it is destroyed by a zombie plague. This creates a random number of walking corpses to help spread the plague to other villages. There will also be a random (but smaller) number of hero-controlled survivors spawned with each destroyed village. Survivors have reduced experience requirements and can level up very quickly.
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  • The monster can place "grottos" at any location on the map, except within 5 hexes of an enemy. They are cave villages surrounded by swamp. (the only villages the monster doesn't destroy and can use for healing)
  • Concealment and teleportation can be bought to increase the usefulness of "grottos".
  • Special "guardian" units can be purchased by right clicking on grottos. The cost of each new guardian increases as the number of guardians increases.
  • The heroes can destroy grottos by moving a unit onto them. This also frees a random captive to help them.
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  • The monster can also buy random lvl0 and lvl1 spawns. Each purchase results in a new spawn every turn. They can be both player controlled and ai controlled, but the ai cost less.
  • Spawns can also appear at random locations or be set to always spawn from a chosen locations, marked by a monolith. The heroes can destroy set spawn locations by moving a unit onto the monoliths.
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  • The monster has poison and slow attacks. It can also turn enemy undead.
  • It also has a special "disease" attack which infects an enemy permanently. They will lose 2 hp every turn, and if any other living unit starts a turn adjacent to a diseased unit, it will also be infected. Any diseased unit will always become a walking corpse, no matter how it is killed. Also, unlike with poison, the 2 hp disease damage can kill them.
  • The monster can also release a poison cloud that slows, poisons, and cancels the zoc of all surrounding living units for a turn. This and the disease attack cost max hp every time they are used, so they can't be used often.
  • The monster can also spend hitpoints to get a temporary speed boost each turn. This makes covering large distances somewhat less annoying.
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  • Each hero player will start with 3 randomly chosen followers to help.
  • At the start of their first turn, the heroes can each choose 4 magical artifacts from a list of 24. However, each artifact chosen also removes 6 other randomly chosen artifacts from the list, so you must decide the order carefully. The artifact list was shamelessly lifted from World Conquest.
  • Heroes can recruit from the castles, and each village they manage to protect provides a significant 3 gold income.
In my tests I have been really happy with the way the zombie horde expands almost exponentially as it engulfs village after village. Very cool :twisted:
However, if the monster doesn't have a good start, they don't manage to destroy enough villages and the heroes tend to overwhelm them with income. Spending hp unwisely can be very costly I recommend playing around as the monster against the ai to develop efficient strategies before going up against people.
I am of course looking for ideas and suggestions, bug reports, and balance tips. In particular, I'm looking for suggestions on how to make the game more interesting to play as a hero. Almost all the special (ie exciting) features are for use by the monster. While I hope the heroes have some fun coming up with ways to beat those abilities, they could also use some more interesting abilities of their own.
Future plans
  • Here are some other monster ideas I have banging around in the back of my head.
  • The Demon Wolf. It would use a bunch of fragile/weak units to support it. They will use speed, hit-and-run tactics, and as many pack-based buffs as I can think up to make up for base weaknesses.
  • Dungeon master. Give the monster a bunch of terrain manipulation abilities and a collection of elaborate traps he can build. Make it a sort of fortress assault game, where the fortress is designed by the monster.
Changelog
Version 1.1 (1/5/14)
  • Rearranged the ai controlled sides. Instead of just 1 ai side (side 5), there is now one for each player: sides 2,4,6,8. The side that is used is based on whichever player becomes the monster. The new player sides are 1,3,5,7. The ai side used will always be directly after the monster side.
  • Added a system to reduce the time to control a huge zombie horde. It can get to be over 100 units, which takes an unreasonable amount of time to play with. Now the player can just move the essential units, without bothering to move the rest of the horde 1-by-1. Any unit (guardians and the monster excluded) that is not moved during the player's turn is automatically given over to the ai's control. After its turn, the units are returned to the player. Credit to Elvish_Pillager for the idea.
  • To incentivize the use of the above system (and therefore reduce turn times) despite the sometimes stupid behavior of the ai, I added a new currency called 'minion points'. You get one MP for every unit you leave for the ai to control. Every 100 MP earns an extra max hp for the monster, and the points carry over from turn to turn. Also made it so any Walking Corpse created by the units being 'borrowed by the ai' will also be given over to player control, so using this feature will not reduce the potential size of the player's army.
  • Changed the mechanics of the lvl0 "Survivors" that spawn when zombies destroy a village. Now they spawn with 30%, 60%, 90%, or 120% of their max experience (randomly chosen). 120% xp means the automatically level up when they are created. Also gave every survivor a new ability called "Raise Alarm". If they manage to escape to another village, they will spawn a random lvl 1 unit to help fight the undead. This only works once per survivor.
Version 1.2 (1/7/14)
  • Adjusted monster upgrades to so that spending max hitpoints does not affect current hitpoints. This is to reflect the fact that they are independent currencies
  • Made the view scroll to each hero before they start picking items, so they can see which helpers they got as they pick items.
  • Added another menu for "monster power" at the start, with 2 levels: Standard and Trainee. The only difference is that if Trainee is chosen, the monster starts with 100 more hitpoints. Since playing the monster has a very steep learning curve, I've never seen a newbie win the first game as the monster. Hopefully the extra hp will be a cushion so making some bad decisions early on doesn't completely decide the game.
  • Also added an option so the monster isn't automatically chosen randomly. The new menu gives the host the option to select a specific player to be the monster, or to go with the random picker as before.
  • AI controlled units now destroy villages too. Also updated [ai] tag so they will hopefully now try to take villages.
  • Added support for fewer players (as suggested by Mabuse). The number of helpers each hero player receives at the start is now scaled with the number of hero players in the game. If 3 hero players, they each receive 3 helpers. If 2 players, they each receive 5 helpers. If 1 hero player they receive 12. Fewer players probably still have a disadvantage, because they will not be able to start in as many places and therefore will not secure territory as fast. Not sure how to improve this, but it is not a high priority.
  • Revamped instructions. Instead of just sticking them in the scenario objectives, they now have a dedicated menu.
  • Doubled the incentive for letting the ai handle excess zombies. Now 50 minion points = 1 max hp.
Version 1.3 (1/10/14)
  • Made the map smaller, which will hopefully cut down on playtime a little bit.
  • Also adjusted the map so there shouldn't be any more deep water that the monster can run to.
  • Increased the # of monster points for an extra hp to 75.
  • Reduced the # of items the heroes get from 4 to 3. It used to be that all artifacts were available in the beginning, so if you had a favorite you could get it every time by just picking it first. Now I remove 7 randomly immediately, and then another 7 randomly in addition to each artifact picked.
  • Increased the cost of the speed burst for the monster from 20 hp to 30 hp.
  • Fixed a bug with the monster's feeding ability and the minion point system
  • Added a way for the heroes to rebuild villages. They do this by moving any level 1 unit onto the rubble and waiting. At the beginning of the next turn, when the unit has full movement, the player can right click on it and select the option to rebuild. The unit is then removed. This must be done twice. The first unit clears the rubble and the second creates the new village.
  • Moved the instructions back to scenario objectives so they are readable no matter whose turn it is. Made some organization improvements so they are hopefully not as painful to look at.
Version 1.4 (4/18/14)
  • Decreased the # of minion points for an extra hp to 50.
  • Guardians start with 1 move when recruited
  • Guardians always cost HP, not max hp.
  • Random spawns have 0 movement on the turn they spawn. This should give heroes a chance to react to stop them.
  • "Set Location" now come with a free "squatter", a 1hp ghost with 0 moves. It makes destroying the spawn locations slightly more difficult for the heroes (need 2 units instead of 1). Previously, a good tactic for the monster was to leave a unit to defend the spawn points. However, this was frustrating because if you forget about them, the ai would move them away. This removes that frustration.
  • The monster can now destroy castle hexes as well as villages, and as with villages this creates random spawns and survivors.
  • Random number of player controlled "Castle Guards" are spawned on each of the empty castles. There movement is limited to 1 hex per turn outside of castles. If monster can beat them it gets a lot of reinforcements from the 6 castle hexes.
  • The monster's starting castle is eliminated at the start and replaced with a free grotto
Last edited by Limabean on April 18th, 2014, 3:48 pm, edited 4 times in total.
When a scientist states that something is possible, he is almost certainly right. When he states that something is impossible, he is very probably wrong.
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Limabean
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Re: Monster Hunt

Post by Limabean » January 5th, 2014, 11:36 pm

Version 1.1 released with some fairly significant additions. See the changelog in the first post for details.
When a scientist states that something is possible, he is almost certainly right. When he states that something is impossible, he is very probably wrong.
-Arthur C. Clarke-

Mabuse
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Re: Monster Hunt

Post by Mabuse » January 7th, 2014, 4:14 am

Sounds fun :)
gotta play it :)



btw, for expansion for other monster types:
there is no need for total changes in game play.

just slight changes may be also possible

another monster type could be an "orcish warlord" with the appropriate minions, (base lvl 0 minion would be the goblin then, need probably some balance-adjustment in comparison with the walking corpse), it would also destroy villages on capture, which relaese survivors, can create spawning/breeding points. probably more focus on spawning/breeding points than on infecting stuff

the difference would be some special abilities, the warlord would not be able to "infect" enemies and stuff.
but may has leadership and maybe less special abilities but overall stronger minions or other battleoriented abilities - for example.

as dont know the details, but i think an "orcish warlord expansion" could be also fun for your MOD.
(other expansions could as well use UMC content also ;))



EDIT:

another suggestion: make it few-player friendly.
in case there less than 3 heroes, you can give the appropriate number of random-units for each player to starting players.

for example:

3 heroes, each start with 3 random units (12 units total in game, 3 heroes + 9 units)
2 heroes, each start with 4/5 units (10/12 units total, 2 heroes + 8/10 units)
1 hero, start with 9 units (10 units total)

just an idea;)
The best bet is your own, good Taste.

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Limabean
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Re: Monster Hunt

Post by Limabean » January 7th, 2014, 9:39 pm

And version 1.2 has been uploaded (see changelog)

Making it few-player friendly was a pretty good idea Mabuse and I included it in this latest release. As for future plans, I have a feeling it is going to be a while until I add another monster. I just keep getting a bunch of new ideas every time I test :)

Also, this question probably belongs in the WML workshop, but it is so simple that I don't think it deserves its own thread:
I moved the instructions to a right click menu, but they are only accessible during a player's turn. Is there a way to make it so a player can access a right click menu during another player's turn? I'm sure there is a simple solution but I can't find it.
When a scientist states that something is possible, he is almost certainly right. When he states that something is impossible, he is very probably wrong.
-Arthur C. Clarke-

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Ravana
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Re: Monster Hunt

Post by Ravana » January 7th, 2014, 9:45 pm

There is no way currently, that is disabled to avoid adding new way to cause oos.
However you can move that to place that is visible even then, objectives for example.

(This seems interesting so im getting notifications here)


Edit of 2016: Turns out it is possible and has been possible for long time.

Xavion
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Re: Monster Hunt

Post by Xavion » January 8th, 2014, 8:11 am

For me it was creating all the shallow water as deep water that looks like shallow water. Also after the first hero was killed the person I was playing with started experiencing several oos issues per turn.

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Limabean
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Re: Monster Hunt

Post by Limabean » January 9th, 2014, 3:00 pm

hmm, do you happen to remember if the oos were caused when other heroes were moved, or did they happen with any unit movement? I've hadd oos related to heroes once before, so its rare and I'm not sure what could be causing it.
When a scientist states that something is possible, he is almost certainly right. When he states that something is impossible, he is very probably wrong.
-Arthur C. Clarke-

Xavion
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Re: Monster Hunt

Post by Xavion » January 10th, 2014, 9:43 am

I'm pretty sure it was any movement, there was like 6-7 a turn at least happening by that point. There wasn't many units being moved on the heroes side though as it was well into the endgame where I was just cornering them. They were the monster and I was the other 3 if it matters.

The actual gameplay was fairly interesting, we reached a problem in the end where I was just working on swamping the map with units to prevent grottos as I had plenty of units that could be a major threat to them but they just kept teleporting away. The bug with shallow water slowed things down a fair bit and it was only because I had drakes as a hero that really let me combat that as they trapped themselves on a tiny island. I found that villages become fairly safe later in the game as well if the heroes manage to get the upper hand just by parking units on all of them do to the +4gpt. I had some fun with items though, managed to get illuminates, +95% damage, and arcane on an arbiter which was obviously quite effective against them.

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Limabean
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Re: Monster Hunt

Post by Limabean » January 11th, 2014, 4:29 am

Version 1.3 released. See the changelog for details.

Xavion: I am pretty sure I fixed the deep water bug. Still not sure how I'm going to deal with the oos. Hopefully I'll be able to reproduce it in one of my tests and get a hint of the cause. Let me know if it becomes a recurring problem for you.

Also, I'm curious, you said that in the end game the monster kept running from you by teleporting away. Presumably you destroyed the grottos after he escaped? I had expected that using that strategy would make the monster run out of hp very quickly. Did that not happen? I've considered making the cost of grottos increase after a certain number of purchases to prevent this sort of thing.
When a scientist states that something is possible, he is almost certainly right. When he states that something is impossible, he is very probably wrong.
-Arthur C. Clarke-

Xavion
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Re: Monster Hunt

Post by Xavion » January 11th, 2014, 4:55 am

The water bug seems to be fixed for me, I'm pretty sure it's a bug as well that the monster can use their recruits.

He did run out of hp after a few, it did last for 4-5 grottos though and it was all the way across the map so that was why it delayed it so much particularly in conjunction with the fact that only my drakes could really harm them as gryphons and nagas skewered themselves against it. I've considered some strategies with them though and there is some things that could be interesting to try to test their effectiveness. Like spending a ton of health on speed burst's, grotto's, and teleport on the first turn to try and gain a massive early lead.

toma
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Re: Monster Hunt

Post by toma » April 17th, 2014, 8:59 am

I have been having some issues with it. I hosted a multiplayer game, I was red (1st player). I selected easy difficulty for training, random monster. Orange seemed to be chosen as a monster but I think he refused, then it said that I was selected to be a monster and I agreed.
I set up a few 0 lvl ai random location spawns and a few 1st level human controlled set location spawns, but spawned ai (blue) was for some reason hostile to me. To make things worse, when ai took control of those units I didn't move at the end of the turn they started attacking my other units.
It wasn't my first time playing Monster Hunt, but its the first time ai behaved aggressively towards monster.
Wesnoth version 1.10.5, monster hunt version 1.3. Thank you for a nice map!
=======================================================================
Disregard that, I've spent 1.5 hours looking at wml trying to find a mistake but I didn't notice that "Use map settings" checkbox wasn't checked. Stupid me.

toma
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Re: Monster Hunt

Post by toma » April 18th, 2014, 12:50 pm

Ah, new issues:
I can't place 1st level human controlled spawners with set location. It happened in two games, in one I first made two random ai 0lvl spawners, then 1lvl set ai spawner, but when I tried to create a 1st lvl human spawner it showed sign that I should use right click (as usual) but no option to set location appeared in right click menu. Same happened in another game. After that the upgrade menu has become unavailable as well.

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Limabean
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Re: Monster Hunt

Post by Limabean » April 18th, 2014, 3:55 pm

I can't seem to repeat the error. Set location is working fine when I try it. Are you sure you aren't trying to use set location close to an enemy? The option only appears if your location is at least 5 hexes away from them. The upgrade menu isn't meant to come back until you successfully set a location.

Also, I just decided to upload a new version (1.4). See the changelog in the first post for details.
When a scientist states that something is possible, he is almost certainly right. When he states that something is impossible, he is very probably wrong.
-Arthur C. Clarke-

toma
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Re: Monster Hunt

Post by toma » April 19th, 2014, 7:01 am

Nice. All works fine now. Though now there is almost no reason to buy random location spawners since players just block fresh spawn, they are useful only in the beginning to spread plague faster.
Anyway, I think disease is a cool thing, could something like disease upgrades be implemented? Like if you spend additional 20 max hp disease gets more harmful by one hp, or if you spend 100 max hp it slows all infected each turn? It should force players to somehow deal with it, like quarantine units and such and not just ignore it since it can be negated just by a shaman or saurian standing nearby. Also a way to cure it would be cool, something like standing still in a village for 2-3 turns.

Tortellini
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Re: Monster Hunt

Post by Tortellini » August 3rd, 2014, 9:07 pm

Scenario is great, just tested it with my friend. We played on rather small map and game was one-sided, I mean monster died very quickly. What map sizes do you recommend for balanced gameplay?

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