Ascension - These units go up to level 5 - PR5 is out

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Ascension - These units go up to level 5 - PR5 is out

Postby ancestral » July 23rd, 2009, 9:31 pm

Ascension
These units go to 5.

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Pre-Release5 is now available for 1.6 and also for 1.8 on the add-on server.


Release Notes
PR5 includes various fixes:

  • Necromancers now level correctly
  • Drake Clashers now level correctly
  • Lancers now properly named

Full stats can be seen in the thread here (no longer current) or better, at the Wesnoth unit tree web page.

To Do
  • Balancing still is needed. In particular, gold and XP costs.
  • Support for Experimental in progress.
  • Level 0 units are being planned. Your thoughts and suggestions are welcome.



After returning to Wesnoth and playing several survival games, which was very new for me, I soon realized the importance of researching units at http://units.wesnoth.org. I soon discovered only a few units really go up to level 4. Curiously, I scoured for eras that went to level 5, but my search was fruitless.

So this is my project — to create units up to level 5 for all the multiplayer factions of the game. Where possible, I may take units and ideas from existing custom eras, but the result should remain a natural extension of the default multiplayer era, with the possibility down the road of further extensions.

This era can be used in place of the default era. In fact, it's almost identical to the default era except it has additional units to advance to. It is designed not to add in dramatically new unit concepts but extend the current units. So it isn't a radically new era, it is an era with modest and reasonable unit upgrades and nothing more.

In the coming days, starting with today, I will be revealing one faction at a time, describing the new units here. When I have covered all the factions, the era will be available to download on the add-on server.

Unit Trees
(Not current — see at the Wesnoth unit tree web page instead.)
The Entire Unit Tree So Far:
This work has literally been ongoing for months, and is nearing completion. I've probably spent over 100 hours on this project devising names and planning out the trees. 97% of the units have been named, with stats needing some work yet but mostly done. Balancing work will of course be needed and will be ongoing even after release.

I do want to thank Zigg and TL for their efforts doing very much the same thing. (Creating new units is not easy!)

And thank you devs for the [base_unit] tag. That saved my behind.
Last edited by ancestral on May 1st, 2010, 3:56 am, edited 13 times in total.
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Re: Ascension

Postby ancestral » July 24th, 2009, 1:15 am

Drakes
The Drakes pose an interesting challenge as, unlike most other factions, there is not a lot of variety between the units. All Drakes typically have the same background; they are a warrior race, many breathing fire. However, the different classes are well-defined, so it's easier than it first looks.


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These incredible burning drakes extend the Flare line. Being the leaders of the clan and having balanced melee and ranged attacks, the Firestorm and Hellstorm names demonstrates their power while separating them from the others.


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The Armageddon Drake is borrowed from mainline, though some modification to its cost and XP may be required. What could be more powerful than an armageddon? Enter the Apocalypse Drake, personifying fiery destruction to all who meet it.


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The Champion and Conqueror fill out the rest of the Gladiator line, continuing its emphasis on multiple types of attacks.


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The Warden introduces a hint of overbearing power to the Slasher line and I felt I could expand upon this. The Intimidator and finally the Executioner complete the Slasher line.


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Drake Fighter focuses on blades and rightfully upgrades to Blademaster. Slayer and Overseer are currently the level 4 and 5 units, but their names could still change.


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The Glider line of drakes specialize in speed and marksmanship. But what's better than a hurricane? Instead of thinking "bigger" think "badder." Thus, we get Tempest Drake and finally Maelstrom Drake.


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The warrior priest who mixes healing with combative spells gains three new classes: the Clairvoyant, the Diviner, and the Prophet. Certainly high level Saurians are rare and those who do ascend to new levels are certainly lucky and very old.


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Saurian Seer, Visionary, and Sage continue the “fortune-teller” theme. The melee and ranged attacks pick up just a little at level 3, but otherwise this healing unit retains its role nicely in the faction.


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The agile fighter upgrades a little over time and even gains an extra movement point to set its differences aside from the big guys. The Saurian Striker followed by the Saurian Guerilla adds some depth to this fledgling warrior line.



Next: Dwarves

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Last edited by ancestral on July 26th, 2009, 6:59 am, edited 5 times in total.
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Re: Ascension

Postby PsychoticKittens » July 24th, 2009, 2:50 am

The only problem I see happening is making them look cooler without going over the top.

Level 5 Saurian Guerrilla: Solid Gold with a spear that takes up 3 hexes. I'm sure that's fitting.

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Re: Ascension

Postby JW » July 24th, 2009, 3:07 am

Great idea. I hope somewhere in the project a unit gains an ability somewhere instead of merely boosting stats. Perhaps even gaining attacks.
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Re: Ascension

Postby ancestral » July 24th, 2009, 3:23 am

JW wrote:Great idea. I hope somewhere in the project a unit gains an ability somewhere instead of merely boosting stats. Perhaps even gaining attacks.

The stats are far from solidified. Level 4 might be a good place to add in an attack, though I'm not sure.

I'm a little apprehensive about introducing abilities into the line unless it fits in really well, and even more so with creating custom abilities. I want this to play as if it were the default multiplayer era.


A little about attacks:

There is a magic formula to figuring out the appropriate damage per attack, which I'll call the Magic 8 Formula.

Essentially, if you take the damage and multiply it by the number of attacks, you should get a number that is exactly or almost nearly a factor of 8. Some units were tweaked slightly lower from this total, but that generally holds place. If it seems to work well for the game, it will work well for this era.


A little about cost:

I do have plans for a Heroic Ascension, which I think would be a lot of fun. Start as a level 3 and be able to recruit level 1 and 2 units. Basically it would play much like Age of Heroes does now, but would allow units to grow further.

However, I do not have plans to buy level 3, 4, or 5 units — nevertheless, I need to incorporate this into the unit files, and maybe some clever mod maker will make a buy-your-units with this era at some time. Until then, I'm going to simply guesstimate the best price.

Armageddon Drake had a price of 100; I don't know if the devs wanted to do this on purpose, or perhaps in cases where someone could buy units it would cost a lot more for the drake considering there would be way fewer level 4's out there for it to fight and be matched against. Or maybe 100 seemed like a lot and since they didn't have the intention to use it in multi that it would suit Wesnoth fine. Regardless, when put into this era, it looks vastly overpriced; I was forced to reduce it to an affordable 70 80 gold.


A little about experience:

Experience is an interesting element I'll need to experiment here. You'll notice the new units all have ☝150 XP, mostly there just as a placeholder. If you'll notice at http://www.wesnoth.org/units/1.6/C/era_default.html almost all the level 3 units have 150 XP, and unit lines which have a level 4 actually require more than 150 XP. Clearly 150 is meant for the end-of-the-line units to work with AMLA, with one or two levels lower possibly requiring more XP. So this will require some testing.


A little about level 0 units:

I initially had some plans for level 0 units. In fact, I even have names for them and some preliminary statistics. I was told Ken Oh did a lot of work making level 0 units and I recall reading that thread quite a while ago. So at this time, I have no plans for level 0 units other than the existing recruitable level 0 units in multiplayer, but I will leave it open to consideration for expansion in the future.
Last edited by ancestral on July 24th, 2009, 7:58 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Ascension

Postby Aethaeryn » July 24th, 2009, 6:10 am

No units gain strikes?
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Re: Ascension

Postby thespaceinvader » July 24th, 2009, 6:36 am

To be honest, I don't really see much point in this, particularly when you're doing it on units which only go to level 2 (or even level 1) currently. Making the units and artwork feel unique rather than RPG-like levelling up becomes next to impossible, and when you're levelling beyond an already level 4 unit, you're going to end up doing 'the same only MORE AWESOME' which usually winds up falling flat.

Whilst you're welcome to do it, of course, I don't really see the need. Making an original faction would be a better use of your time, I think.
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Re: Ascension

Postby ancestral » July 24th, 2009, 7:33 am

thespaceinvader wrote:To be honest, I don't really see much point in this, particularly when you're doing it on units which only go to level 2 (or even level 1) currently. Making the units and artwork feel unique rather than RPG-like levelling up becomes next to impossible, and when you're levelling beyond an already level 4 unit, you're going to end up doing 'the same only MORE AWESOME' which usually winds up falling flat.

That's true, but that's not the point of what this era is.

Playing normally you just get AMLA. With this era you get something more; a small but modest upgrade. Despite its scale, Ascension is a small mod that not trying to do too much.

It's not supposed to be earth-shattering. It's not supposed to be very ground-breaking, or introduce doublestrike, trample, power weapons and advanced superlazers [sic]. This is intended to be a small reward for when you level your guy from level 3, where normally you get nothing but a few hit points and that's it.

I want people to play this and be pleasantly surprised when their Master Bowman levels up to an Arbalestier and still has something to gain — and just maybe, gets a nice shiny new icon too. You could call it a sequel to the default multiplayer, I suppose.

That's what I'm trying to accomplish.


Edit: Still playing with the stats. Fighter line and Gladiator line get additional attacks. To everyone: again, I'm not trying to do too much here, and that's exactly the point. Sorry to disappoint. I want people to feel like they weren't even playing the add-on to begin with :). Without this era, any unit with AMLA gets you 3 hit points. With this and you're getting more damage, much more than 3 hit points, and maybe an additional attack or movement point. So it is a rather important stat boost, in my opinion. That's what we should be getting in the first place and that's what this era is about.
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Re: Ascension

Postby melinath » July 24th, 2009, 8:24 am

You could just increase the AMLA or provide a custom AMLA for each unit tree. This would go a lot farther - players could level up indefinitely.
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Re: Ascension

Postby thespaceinvader » July 24th, 2009, 9:40 am

I'd agree with that - particularly given the beyond the impossible nature of what you'd have to do with some of the units - the Armageddon Drake and Great Mage in particular are already the absolute pinnacle of their class, makign them better seems... difficult.
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Re: Ascension

Postby ancestral » July 24th, 2009, 11:25 am

Knalgan Alliance
The Knalgans, dwarves and outlaws, have a variety of distinct war units. Utilizing a variety of different types of attacks for melee and ranged, much like the drakes, most of the units already have levels up to 3. The gryphons did pose a challenge, and I feel that I did well enough filling the holes.

One note: I use "Dwarven" here instead of "Dwarvish." Partly because I believe "Dwarven" is better suited as the adjective for a unit as "Dwarvish" to me seems to imply it is like a Dwarf rather than being an actual Dwarf; partly because it seems more widespread in its adoption in other circles; and also it's partly to give another way to differentiate this era from the default.



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Although the Knalgan Alliance doesn't have a unit with leadership, the fighter line leads by strength. The Dwarven Lord tells us power and nobility sometimes do go hand in hand, and thus Warlord and General will go fine as its next levels.


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The Sentinel, a staunch defender of his community, introduces an extra ranged attack to complement his melee of the same type. Therefore, following the Dwarven Protector, the Defender gains an extra melee attack to balance the unit.


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How many types of guards can there be for the Dwarves? The Dragonguard gains the Stormguard (more powerful than thunder) and the Elite Guard as the way to advance.


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The Ulfserker is one of the most unique units in the game. The Rampager, Battlerager, and Fury add additional attacks, damage, and movement to make a narrow attack option at least a little more interesting.


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Certainly there must be air regiments of gryphons somewhere, at some time in Wesnoth's history. The Dwarven Skylord, Skycaptain, and Skymarshal extend the Rider line with just a little more movement and better attacks.


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With the additional units, this may be the line of most maturation in Ascension. It takes a while before a Footpad becomes a Vigilante, a self-appointed person of power, and if one is lucky, a Revolutionary, bringing down the establishment.


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One branch of the Trapper, this line focuses more on the hunt than the forest. The Predator, then, is a natural upgrade, with the almost mythical Orion, the mightiest of hunters alive.


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The Ranger, the forest-dwelling offshoot of the Trapper line advances into the equally proficient melee and ranged combatant Forest Warden and Beastmaster.


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What is more powerful than an Assassin? I'm not sure I know the answer, but hopefully this is close. The Nightstalker continues the cloak and daggers theme finishing with the seek-and-destroy mentality of the Bounty Hunter.



Next: Loyalists

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Re: Ascension

Postby Zigg » July 24th, 2009, 2:08 pm

Maybe the NIghtstalker could have Nightstalk and you should keep with the extra ranged strike theme for the footpad line.
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Re: Ascension

Postby Aethaeryn » July 24th, 2009, 3:32 pm

11-4 backstab? No lvl 1 stands a chance.

Also "Nightstalker" is a bad name if you don't want to give the unit the nightstalk ability.
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Re: Ascension

Postby ancestral » July 24th, 2009, 4:32 pm

Zigg wrote:Maybe the NIghtstalker could have Nightstalk and you should keep with the extra ranged strike theme for the footpad line.
Aethaeryn wrote:11-4 backstab? No lvl 1 stands a chance.

Also "Nightstalker" is a bad name if you don't want to give the unit the nightstalk ability.

Wow, totally by accident too. A very good point. Might be kind of fun to give it nightstalk now.

For the Footpad line, I think you're right. I neglected to see the increase in ranged attacks was a fundamental part of this unit. I'm going to modify him a little to account for this.
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Re: Ascension

Postby Zigg » July 24th, 2009, 4:37 pm

Could i do some placeholder art please?
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