Internet Meme Era v 0.0.8

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Dixie
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Re: Internet Meme Era (Ninja vs Pirate vs Cowboy vs ...)

Post by Dixie »

First off, thanks for your support and interest. I really appreciate it, seriously.

My first general answer would be: I have mostly only balanced the ninja faction for now, and yet this version remains unreleased. I might do it later tonight, or later this week. I intend on balancing them against mainline as much as possible. While I agree a cheap&weak lv1 or 0 unit might be handy, I don't know how this would affect game balance. I also have mostly tested with genin (/w leadership) as a leader, so that obviously helps a lot. Maybe they are under powered without it. Still, ninjas are obviously pretty weak HP-wise, and pretty luck dependent.

My second general answer would be: most (almost all) graphics have been borrowed from other eras just to patch holes for now. You will probably have noticed how about half of the robots share the same sprite, right? They don't always fit the unit they should represent (why would pirates be dwarves, anyway?), but I am slowly working on the issue. I have started using my poor pixel-art skills to fix the ninjas first. Also, I gladly accept help from anyone, and some people (like Dipsey and Aura) havealready contributed some stuff (or said they would eventually). So huh... Yeah, I'll fix it in time :)

lindsay40k wrote: Couple of issues with the Wild West faction:

Bug: Cannot recruit Cowpunchers during games!
Thanks, I will fix it!

lindsay40k wrote: Balance: Starting with a cavalry leader is IMO overpowered. It's entirely possible to spam wagons and riders and with a cowboy or cavalry just slaughter your way through a Chaotic faction at the start, weather and terrain permitting.

Balance: Mounted unit with 10-2 ranged attack seems to be extremely powerful, especially with a melee attack that will see half of all attackers get stopped in their tracks.
As I said, balance for the cowboys has not been adressed yet. Still, I will keep your comments in mind. I might consider increasing the rider's cost quite a bit, however, as I wanted cowboys to be an expensive but strong faction, with great mobility ranged attacks but overall poor melee.

lindsay40k wrote: Bug: Knock back seems temperamental. Is it supposed to only work when the unit is defending? Is it intentional that it makes wagon units exceptionally good at holding villages against melee fighters?
Knockback should work both on attack and defense, although I won't deny it's a lot better on defense than offense. If you've experienced a little with ninjas, it's the opposite of the Teisatsu's retreat move. A good counter would be to always have a unit behind your attacker, so it can't get knockbacked (just like having the teisatsu in a pincer will deny him his retreat)

lindsay40k wrote: Suggestion: Make wagons weak against Fire, and give them Heal +4? (Represents canvas being flammable, and carrying supplies.) Perhaps have two second level units; a gunwagon with a much better ranged attack, and a caravan with Heal +8 & Cure?
Honestly, the wagon was meant as a cheaper rider for scouting. The fire weakness is a good idea, but I'm not so sure about the healing one. I wanted durability to be the cowboys main weakness: they should strike fast and hard, but retreat far for healing. Still, I'll keep your suggestion in mind.

lindsay40k wrote: Robots faction:

Bug: Kamikaze often does not inflict splash damage.

Weird, I'll look at it.

As I said above, I will consider the cheaper unit. I don't think I will lower the cost of the ninjas much overall, what will happen is probably more the other factions getting nerfed a bit. As an indicative, what I mainly did with my balancing is: strenghten them a bit, make their experience requierements much lower, make the monk cheaper (15 gold), and make the samurai uits steadfast from lv1 (bushido-mono). Oh, I also added a ninja with nunchakus and bolas, which are handy with slow. (this however causes every faction to have a slowing unit, so I might change something, maybe create a weaker version for some or something. Suggestions welcome.)

The general strategy with ninjas is to really obnly attack at night and in groups, concentrate on single units, more along the lines of guerilla/skirmish than head-on assault, and reatreat a dusk, no matter what. Leave a solid bushido-mono (lv1 samurai) or two on border villages to hold during the day, and prepare to circle the attackers when night comes back. Their good over-all mobility make them great for this. I find a good general recruit for them is something like 1 or 2 Teisatsus, 1 or 2 Shinobis, a Kusa, and one or more Bushido/Monk/Iga-mono (the new unit). Depending on ToD, often it is better not to recruit the bushido right away, but on second watch or dawn. If your leader isn't a Genin, try to level one up asap. Of course, this is subject to change depending on your opponent.


More news later! The update will probably come when I have finished all the name lists and descriptions, maybe added some new original sprites for the ninjas (the ones I'll have ready) and corrected a few things (like the recruitable cowpuncher). It should be friday at the latest.

Thanks for your interest, people!
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Gwynnedrion
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Re: Internet Meme Era (Ninja vs Pirate vs Cowboy vs ...)

Post by Gwynnedrion »

lindsay40k wrote:
Gwynnedrion wrote: - add a lvl 1 (Ninja) unit that is cheaper (10-11 gold) to slow down the enemy when you build up an army/economy.
How's about a peasant? There's a ready made graphic from Wesnoth itself to draw upon, easy.
Yeah, but then it wouldn't fit in the era? Maybe a apprentice line? or making the martial artist cheaper?
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Re: Internet Meme Era (Ninja vs Pirate vs Cowboy vs ...)

Post by Dixie »

Well, I can finish more sprites, descriptions and unit names in a later release. I will just let you have the latest, so you have my balanced ninjas, and I can publish another release later. The update is in this post, in the first post, and on the add-on server.

But keep in mind: all thre other factions are absolutely not balanced. I recomment you try to play ninjas against mainline factions, the feedback would be that much more precious.

Also, If I were to add a cheap unit to work the economy, it would most probably be some lv0 apprentice that can level to any other ninja line (Teisatsu/Kusa/Shinobi/Iga-Mono). But I'll see with your feed back.
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Re: Internet Meme Era (Ninja vs Pirate vs Cowboy vs ...)

Post by lindsay40k »

Gwynnedrion wrote:
lindsay40k wrote: How's about a peasant? There's a ready made graphic from Wesnoth itself to draw upon, easy.
Yeah, but then it wouldn't fit in the era? Maybe a apprentice line? or making the martial artist cheaper?
A feudal serf in a feudal type faction? A little editing and it'll fit in perfectly. If anything, the Ninjas faction is lacking a 'dogsbody' unit similar to the Cowherd, Scavenger, and Biscuit Eater. Having a couple of Samurai going around with Ninja entourages and chivalrously protecting peasant farms & their local monks from 'foreign devils' would be totally full of character!

Another idea that comes to mind is perhaps giving the Ninjas a Kappa unit? The Merfolk sprites would probably be a great basis, along with the sprite from FF6.
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Re: Internet Meme Era v 0.0.4

Post by Dixie »

At first, I had a milician unit to reflect those peasant, but it's purpose, apart from being cheap, was tio have a spear and cause pierce damage, back when Shinobis didn't have Sais to pierce.

Although maybe a lv0 serf or peasant that could level to any other unit could be handy. I'll consider it. I certainly think it could fit anyway.

As for the Kappa, I am less certain. True, the ninjas lack a water or air unit, but... I dunno. Either case, copyright stuff prevent us from using the FF6 sprite, sadly :wink:
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Re: Internet Meme Era v 0.0.4

Post by lindsay40k »

Spotted another bug. The Hunter's sprite does not change when it levels up into a Warrior.

Also: when my Cavalry level up, Canadian Mounted Police seem to have 2HP less than a Brigadier, which has the Inspire ability. Seems odd that one unit is plain worse than the other...

I've done a fair bit of pixelart in my time, I'd be happy to produce some unit graphics for this project if you like.
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Re: Internet Meme Era v 0.0.4

Post by Dixie »

lindsay40k wrote:Spotted another bug. The Hunter's sprite does not change when it levels up into a Warrior.
Thanks, fixed.

lindsay40k wrote: Also: when my Cavalry level up, Canadian Mounted Police seem to have 2HP less than a Brigadier, which has the Inspire ability. Seems odd that one unit is plain worse than the other...
The main strenght of the Canadian Mounted Police was to be more defense/mobility on snow terrains as well as a better resistance to cold attacks. It's not all that common, though, and might be a bit slight to justify a whole different unit. I do agree that the three lv3 cavalries need a bit more defencing. Like, maybe the Raider could have 9-5 or 10-5 instead of 14-4, maybe on (the Canadian?) could be a better meleeist thasn the others, at the price of a little ranged effectiveness... There's stuff to think in there.

lindsay40k wrote: I've done a fair bit of pixelart in my time, I'd be happy to produce some unit graphics for this project if you like.
Sure, if you feel like contributing anything, go ahead! The units' weapons and descriptions should reflect them more than the present sprites, but still if you want my opinion on anything, go ahead. I myself am a bit more involved with the ninjas as of now, but I plan on eventually working on the pirates. If you'd like to contribute art for any of those, though, don't hesitate. The same goes with cowboys and robots: Dipsey said he would put some work on them, but I am certain you guys can work together on this or something.
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Re: Internet Meme Era v 0.0.4

Post by lindsay40k »

I made a Caravan sprite that's distinct from the Wagon:
cowboy character sheet:
I'll have a tinker with the robots over the comings days. I like the steampunk idea, it's set ideas off for stuff that draws upon Wild Wild West, 40K Orks, Warhammer Dwarfs, Gutsdozer, Dr Robtonik, Robot Wars, etc. Here's what immediately came to mind:
Steambot idea sheet:
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Re: Internet Meme Era v 0.0.4

Post by Dixie »

I like your caravan sprite, it's simple, yet effective. It implies that we keep the actual wagon, though (which could be a possibility, but most cowboys are taken from Gunpowder era, if I remember correctly, and I'd have wanted to change 'em). (EDIT: right, the caravan: do you think you could supply it to me on a transparent background? I could do it myself, but seashore isn't all that good at it and I have to do it with the pencil, which is long and touchy. If it's easier for you, well... ;) )

About the robots. I like your general concepts. I really saw the Combat droid and minigun lines as humanoid, but 4-legs versions are fine by me.

For the tanker, I suppose it could be given marksman, or maybe knockback, or maybe both. But then it would really be an ultimate defender!... Maybe I'd have to lower either its attack or it's HPs? (Absolutely no balance has been made for them yet, anyway). Same goes for the Sentinel. I was already consider lowering its HPs. Imagine if I gave him knockback! Also, I think I gave Keeper/Sentinel a better defense in villages, something like 50% or 60% (wow, 60% might be a bit much, no?). I dunno if there could be a way to reflect that: sets of movable shields or something that can adapt to small places? I dunno.

About the lasers. Maybe it would fit more indeed to have firethrowers instead. I had trhought they were lacking, in fact, and I agree lasers might hint more a cyberpunk than steampunk. But would it still fit to have marksman on a flamethrower? And about the cold laser? Liquid azot thrower? And the Buster could be something about throwing boiling oil? I'd have explained 'em with some sort of heat wave or something, but its kinda obsolete with flamethrowers. What do you think about that unit, btw? Maybe it would fit better in some other line, linke the minigun's, since it's kinda repetitive with it's lasersight counterpart's marksman? Also, if we flush the whole energy and lasers idea, maybe we'd have to rethink the powercell/Recharger/Energizer units to fit a more coal/fuel oriented theme? I was considering maybe giving them a robot-only drain melee attack to illustrate how they'd drain power supplies, but that might not be in theme anymore? And maybe the broadcaster and ups would fit better elsewhere?

Else, about the scavengers. I generally like you design, I really imagined them to be bug-like, some kinda metallic scarab or something with sharp pointy arms to dig. The steelhive units were not bad on that one. The swarmer and centipede should have multiple arms (as many as the number of attacks would be logical), they could look like some kinda robotic torso on a centipede body, or a centipede with it's front part raised... Is my idea getting through okay?

By the way, speaking of scavengers: I was thinking to replace their slow with somekind of stun since so many factions have slow already. Stun would deprieve the target of all its movepoints for the next turn, and maybe also of it's ability to zoc. The unit could still attack, though. What do you think?

Also, for the illuminate bot... The idea is actually pretty good, but I'm really not sure lawful bots would fit the faction. Unless we make all of them lawful, with the illuminate buddy... The general idea I had of robots was that they are slow and can't really draw back, so they should seek to seize good terrain as the ennemy retreats, and always move forward, slowly but surely. Neutral fitted more (as much for mindless robots as for moving forward without caring for ToD, although illuminate could fix that last bit). I agree that lawful factions might be lacking, eventually, so maybe we should consider it. But then, if everything becomes solar-powered, doesn't it make the coal/fuel concept void?

Well, anyway, hm... Sorry if the post is long. I tend to write a lot without realising it. Maybe my ideas just aren't concise, I dunno. I had started doing the robots descriptions, but I'll put a stop to that for now, seeing how it's possibly changing.
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Re: Internet Meme Era v 0.0.4

Post by lindsay40k »

I'm using Photoshop and saving as .png with transparent background, with Preview set as the default application. Here's a cropped Caravan with transparent background:

Image

I guess the driver's clothes could be set to be the player colours? I'm not familiar with how the player colours system works 'under the bonnet'.

We could look at making the Lv. 1 fighting droids as humanoid, then they evolve in centaur-like designs? I do have a quadruped theme in my head, largely thanks to Wild Wild West. It fits the steampunk archetype well - biped robots are very difficult to make and tend to be a signifier of highly developed tech.

Something that's come to mind with the death roller is perhaps some sort of 'grinder' special rule. Give it a lot of weak
Blade attacks, and as soon as one of them makes contact the rest automatically hit (not whilst defending) before any further retaliatory blows. That would make it a capable village sweeper. It could also have a 'piledriver' attack, a single big Impact attack where it lifts the roller and smashes it on top of the target!

The 'grinder' idea got me thinking about a 'drill' special rule as well. Have the Battle Bot's drill a Pierce attack with lots of weak strikes; if it hits consecutively, the damage increases. (Fury Cutter is an example, if you play Pokémon.)

With the Sentinel, perhaps if its melee attack gets Knock Back, its defence can be lowered; it'd remain highly capable at driving off melee units, whilst having a weakness to mass Fire projectiles. The super-evasive Sentinel is a nice idea, but both that and the teleport ability place it way over to the Cyberpunk end of the scale, very difficult to place in a Steampunk setting :/ The idea of a robot made to defend properties immediately brought to mind Robot Sumo.

If the forest/hill clearance idea could be coded, it would look pretty epic as a lumbering behemoth leaves a trail of destruction in its wake. Would totally reinforce the 'relentless onslaught' theme, too. Say... give it movement 3, movement cost three on hills & forests, no aquatic or mountain movement, and replace all non-Bridge/Village tiles it passes over with Cave Pathways - wham, steady urban sprawl, and instant visual identifier of where the terrain-altering unit is.

Marksman fits perfectly on a flamethrower. In most wargames, flamers have special rules relating to cover that work exactly the same as BfW's Marksman, so duplicating the rule under a different name will be perfect. I agree that it's difficult to avoid duplication with flamer units, perhaps some streamlining of the higher level Power Cell line will be needed.

The cold laser is harder to adapt... perhaps replace it with a smog cloud attack with Poison? (Lots of 1hp Fire attacks, I'd say.) This will be easier to rationalise for an Industrial-Revolution-gone-mad looking faction. Especially if we go with that awesome idea of redesigning the Power Cell line as a fossil fuel burning monstrosity. Start with a Heal unit with a melee Fire attack and a ranged Poison attack, and have three evolutions that each focus on a different aspect of this - a dedicated oiler, a flamer, and a mobile smog factory. (Perhaps the Smog could function as a reverse Illuminate?) Robots draining organisms definitely sits best in the Cyberpunk realm - Matrix, Guyver etc.

As for the Broadcaster line... a mad inventor fashioned somewhere between Doctor Robotnik and Isembard Kingdom Brunel? Floating along in his crazy warship, tinkering with his inventions to overclock them in battle. The Clockwork Dwarf Walker line always made me think of old Eggman, there's a possible starting point. And, it'd be good to have something organic and poison-able in there... no fun for Northerner players in a blind match sending out loads of Assassins and finding there's absolutely nothing for them to do. Maybe the final stage could replace the prof with a brain in a jar!

Good point regarding the Solar Power train of thought; not much point making an over-the-top satire of industrialisation if we go and throw in renewable energy, lol! That said... the mad Prof would (presumably) be a Lawful unit; he'd benefit (maybe he's got an experimental solar cell, or a maglev system that feeds off the Tessla bolts - see next paragraph), and of course Illuminate has its uses for Neutral factions when taking on the Undead, looking for Nightstalkers, etc. I like the idea of a faction with a capability for night/day modification, which really fits in well with a Steampunk economy in which the sun is getting obscured by smog and artificial light is making the night sky orange.

Love the idea of Scavengers becoming more centipedal as they grow. That's an argument to give them a variant on Feeding and/or Drain that only works on Mechanical units! (Ever seen Roujin Z?) Perhaps the basic Scavenger could have an exposed electrode, giving it its Tessla-style shock; the Forager could have the Illuminating Tessla/exposed light filament and Steal, and the Swarmer/Centipede (suggest rename to Centipede/Millipede?) get the segmented body and Feeding (Mechanical). The Forager is now still Stealing to add to the economy, whilst the Centipede is just adding to its own body. (Maybe make the Forager crab-like in appearance?)

Slow does get used quite a bit... certainly it's a major feature of the Cowboy faction's property defence, and a high priority for me with levelled-up Scurvy Dogs. I'm not sure with a mobility/ZoC-stopping Stun rule as a replacement, though. (1) Given that the unit using it already has Skirmisher, removing enemy ZoC's seems a bit redundant. (2) Being able to repeatedly prevent a unit from moving could be very dangerous; at least if an isolated unit Slows an isolated enemy unit, the victim can generally limp into some beneficial terrain before the backup arrives. (3) Preventing all movement with a single attack is better than ZoC blocking and does not require much in the way of planning (and again, since the unit using it is a Skirmisher, preventing enemy retreats is largely redundant). Finally, whilst Slow is not uncommon, there's already quite a bit of unusual movement related rules in your factions; I'm wary of reinventing too many wheels with one mod. In conclusion, I'm inclined to say that Slow is currently a key part of the Robot attack given their generally below average pace, and one that would be difficult to replace.

Feel free to go ahead and use your 60K character limit, I'm bursting with ideas for this and enjoying the meeting of minds :D
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Re: Internet Meme Era v 0.0.4

Post by Dixie »

About team color:
as far as I know, it's determined by some king of pink-magenta. You should just open some mainline unit, or better yet, if you go in my thread on the Art workshop forum, there's the Koran which has plenty (probably even too much) of it. Else, I could try to prepare some kind of palette if you'd prefer. As far as your caravan goes, I wouldn't have all of the driver's cloth be team-coloured, but maybe just his scarf and the horses' harness (insert right word here)?

About the Combat Droid:
You are probably right about the bi-pedal design being harder and thus more cyberpunk. Do as you think is better, I guess. I could still have 4 legs and a human-like torso, so it's not that shocking. The drill special is also an interesting idea. I know Era of Magic has a weapon special that does something like that, so I might copy it to some extent.

About the Sentinel:
I haven't decided yet for knockback, but yeah, it's defense will probably be lowered, as well as its HPs. I'd like to keep teleport, however, since it has really poor movement, it allows it to travel to defense-needing villages pretty fast. I liked the tactical element it brought. I would have also liked to have something that clearly indicated he was built for villages, but... I dunno. Maybe lower its defense everywhere else to something like 20% but keep its village def at 40% or 50%? Or something else? I'm not sure, I'll think about it.

About the Tanker/Blocker:
I'm not sure the terrain altering ability is possible. Well, we probably could do it for every hex it stops on, but I'm not sure I can get the game to recognize all the hexes of a path. Plus, it would prevent the unit from benefitting from any good terrain, and could be really unbalanced on MP maps, where forests and hills are sometimes quite sparse. Imagine it passing on every forest, the elves would have an hard time attacking... I'm not sur about the blade multi-attack. I would mainly keep him with impact, since little other robot units have that attack. I still wnt him to remain a primarily defensive unit though, and it's attck should remin quite weak, although a little less so then the Sentinel.

About the flamethrower:
Well... I'm not sur about that poison thing. It would be 3 factions with poison, and I'm not all that sure the robots need it. Although it could probably be a nice strategy: poison opponents to knock'em off defensive terrain, seize the terrain, and knock 'em off their villages with marksman/buster, replace with a sentinel... But then their general attacks should be quite low, units such as the combat droid and minigun would really just be fodder to occupy the place and take hits. The idea is interesting, I'll have to think about it. I'm not sure about the reverse-illuminate either. If the faction was chaotic, of course. But imagine fighting undeads, northies or even knalgans? this would easily become an handicap. The cold laser could be dropped all together. Not every faction absolutely needs a cold attack, I guess, and robot'll have pierce aplenty to counter drakes.

About the Broadcasters:
Hmmm... I understand about the northies assassins, but... I dunno if I really like the idea of having some mad prof. I really imagined a central supercomputer as the lv5 leader. That was the whole idea of making it go all the way to level 5: a super-specialized computer organising the offensive, a level difficultly attainable by a mortal... And from there, all other units would have ocupied a different purpose: broadcaster transmit the commands to robots, Controlers dispatch the broadcaster and decide how to organise command broadcasting, Overseers are like right-hands to the super-computer, with one or two by field of activity to coordonate every smaller tasks and take multiple minor decision to alleviate the motherbrain's decision burden, and give it time to look on important matters... Although the mad-scientist idea could be good. I figured a dwarf creating those, though. And it certainly wouldn't fit anymore as an evolution of the Power Cell.

About Scavengers:
Agreed for the name change. Agreed too for the crab appearance. I would rather go with a drain for the centipede, it complements swarm well, I think, but I'm not sure I would limit it to other robots. After all, the healing is all about fuel, and the scavenger/forager can steal from non-bots, so why wouldn't this "drain" be actual fuel gathering (by which I mean: take bits of organic beings to burn it as fuel). This line of thought would allow it work on other bots as well as on undeds, however, and we might thus sap a big advantage of the living deads... To be continued. Oh, and still, I'm not sure I like the illuminate idea, for most of the reasons stated above/before. Although the look would've been nice and it could certainly have fitted... I don't see it as a strenght tactically speaking.

About Slow:
Well, maybe you are right about the Stun varition being a bit pointless. But it really bothers me that all 4 factions have slow. I'd like to limit that that to 3 at most, ideally 2. Agreed, I can't really remove it from the cowboys. I thought about removing it for the pirates, but if you think it's so much a part of their strategy... But their theme doesn't absolutely require it, although it fitted. It's also pretty useful for ninjas, with their low HPs overall. And robots... They already have generally good HP and resistances, so I figured I could think of a replacement that would only affect the movement, since they are so slow themselves, and not weaken the attack too. Although it certainly fits the idea of a resisting faction. I just hope they don't become unkillable. The same more or less goes for poison, btw: if we give it to the robots, it's 3 factions with poison. That's a bit much, althought not yet overly so. Maybe think of some diffenrent pollution effect (a weaker 4 damage poison? A line-of-sight reducing thing? Hmm...)

Another idea: traps
I just thought of this in thinking of pollution effects, although I'm not sure if I'll be able to script that: maybe traps could be laid (using the right-clic menu)? Like smog clouds, which would cause damage to a unit resting on the hex, but would vanish after X turns; maybe 1 time only kind of bear traps, which would work a little like ambush, but also hurt a unit; Maybe some kind of one time only spring or catapult, which would knockback a unit from an hex to a random free adjacent hex; poisonning traps; slowing traps; illuminate ot deluminate traps (to your choice, depending on which faction you are fighting); An hologram of some kind wich make a forest or other appear, but said forest vanishes when a unit steps on it, removing MPs in the same time; etc. It might require a whole new unit, though, although some of the above-stated trap ideas could be on some already existing units. It could probably replace many of the above issues with poison/slow... I like the idea, anyway, although it will most probably require a heavy script for more than one trap to be activated at any time... Maybe they should cost gold, too, justifying the gold-hoarding robots should have with all their scavengers/village accumulation. Maybe I will have to up the average cost of robots, too, we'll see.

Anyway, what do you think? I like the meeting of the minds too, although I'm charging myself with a stockpile of hard scripting :P I which all of my factions could grow to be as interesting as the robots are growing to be. I feel my pirates are especially savorless :P But we can go one faction at a time, of course. ;)
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Re: Internet Meme Era v 0.0.4

Post by lindsay40k »

Gah. My browser just crashed, taking my post with it before I sent it. Hope I can remember everything.


Bug report
The Kusa line wears Magenta clothes that do not change to the player's colours.

Caravan
Do what you like with the Caravan sprite there, I just fancied having a crack at it to try my hand and to make the WIP era look a little smoother, even if it does get dropped from the final cut.

Pirates
Have you thought about giving them something with the Steal rule? It fits them quite nicely. Perhaps a lv0 Skirmishing Parrot that steals pieces of eight! Also, a boat unit would fit them well - I'm sure someone tried making a faction with a Mage who carries a boat.


Bulldozer
The idea I had as I drew this unit was a ponderous unit that can fulfil the village defence role by Robot Sumo, not necessarily something to fit the abilities you envisage for a high defence Sentinel. Teleport seems like a very high tech / magical ability that is extremely difficult to place in a steam economy (but can be emulated - see later). Knock Back seemed to fit this unit's design perfectly; if it can be given low movement and low defences but a lot of HP and/or resistance, it will work well as a lumbering barger that struggles against ranged attackers. Perhaps giving it a lot of weak melee attacks will be the most interesting option, it'll make it a solid defender that doesn't inflict massive damage whilst enabling it to 'crush' trapped units!

It's this unit, not the death roller, that I'm envisaging being the terrain modifier. If path recognition is difficult to code, two alternatives come to mind. Either give it movement 3, with Forests and Hills costing 3MP, and only transforming Forests and Hills (to the brown Path tile). Alternatively, give it MP3, with Forests, Hills and Flats costing 3MP, Cave Paths and Bridges costing 1MP, and all tiles it ends on other than Bridges get transformed into Cave Paths. I like this option, as it will make it a very slow unit when it has not already got a terraformed 'road' to follow, which will help reduce its obvious extreme threat to terrain-dependent factions by making it take a long time to reach combat zones and broadcast its journey even whilst out of sight. However, I can see it being a nightmare to code, and it's not future proof against new tiles in BfW or mods.

Death Roller
The idea I had as I drew this unit was a kind of berzerker (actually, Berzerk might fit it well) that's great at mowing down enemy units. Again, it's not necessarily there to fulfil the role you saw for the Waller - it just drew itself when I thought about a unit that evolves from a Tanker.

Teleport, water units
Something that comes to mind to function like Teleport is some sort of sewer-type unit that moves between villages through underground tunnels. One idea that came to mind was a sewer rat - it would be an Alive unit, but would complement the look of an Industrial Revolution-type sprawl. Another idea from that was a robo-rat, that perhaps is designed to crawl along the sewers and control the thriving rat population. Finally, a sewer skater that's a more mundane aquatic robot that's designed for the same purpose. (I can see this fulfilling the high defence, low HP Sentinel role, by hiding down sewers and poking its head up to spray invaders with sewage! Maybe even give it the Fugitive's 'hide in villages' ability to reinforce this aspect?) All three of these would be extremely well-suited to Poison attacks, given their filthy working environment. (More on the role of poison below.)

The sewer skater idea would have a rationale for being slow on land (like the Sentinel) and lends itself to evolving from a general steamboat type robot, which in turn would be an interesting addition. It opens up the possibility of more branches, for instance a Verne-style Nautilus. There's a possibility for Cold water splash attacks, too - maybe Poison ones in the case of the sewer skater (pictured below with a sewage spray gun, lol). I scribbled up a design sheet of rough ideas:
Spoiler:
Poison
It's true that Poison exists in two of your other factions, though only in the hands of levelled-up units. It's certainly not as widespread as it can be expected to be in a 2v2 game of Default era. I don't think that making it semi-common in the Robots will be overdoing it, in fact I think it'd fit very well in the faction as representative of the widespread health problems that emerge in industrialising economies as a result of poor sanitation pollution, and overcrowding.

Slow
With the above in mind, I'll certainly say that if poison is expanded upon in this faction then keeping its cheap access to Slows would be very dangerous. Perhaps the electric attacks could be reworked to simply be highly accurate, cause extra damage against Mechanical units, hit automatically when being attacked; I think we should think about how these jolts are being delivered - Tessla bolts, electrified hulls, electrified whips - before coming up with a universal rule for them. (Yes, that was a harpoon on one of the boatbots, and yes, I'm thinking of Slows for it...)

Illuminate
I honestly don't see an Illuminating unit in a Neutral faction being a serious threat to Undead and Northerners. Firstly, it's not going to boost Robotic attacks (possible Mad Prof unit notwithstanding), just weaken some of the enemies. Secondly, if the unit has a big light bulb, then we can make it vulnerable to Impact attacks (smash!), making the Fearless Walking Dead units (and to a lesser extent, Trolls) a great counter to it (especially since it has to be a frontline unit to affect the enemy). Thirdly, if it's a unit that has to be levelled up from a weaker unit, then it no more breaks a match against those factions as the Illuminating, Healing, Arcane lv3 Mage does for Loyalists & Rebels. Fourthly, since it's making such a spectacle of itself, let's drop its defences down a fair bit to represent it being a visible target.

So, maybe have the Scavenger level up into the Crab, and then have two lv2 options when it next evolves; one that's the same as before but with bigger claws and Tessla coils, and another with a big lightbulb that's got Illuminate, makes itself an easy target as it can't hide so well any more, and replaces its electric attack with a Fire one (from the burning hot incandescent bulb)?

Drain/Feeding
I should imagine it'd be possible to code a new 'Cannibalise' rule that simply adds +1HP upon killing a unit that has the Mechanical rule? Perhaps this could be added to the lv2 Millipede to represent it stealing bits of enemy machines to make more segments, on top of the vanilla Drain that starts with the Centipede as it burns 'found' fuel. I made a couple sketches of Scavenger and possible evolutions:
Spoiler:
Smog
I do still like the idea of an anti-Illuminate going around. Again, I don't think giving such an ability to a high level unit is necessarily going to be a game-breaker; there's other options to evolve into against Chaotic factions, and against Undead you'd want the Fire specialist over the Poisoning smogbelcher anyway. That said, the cloud of pollution around the Smog Factory could work as a smokescreen instead of a sunblock. Say, give the unit itself a high defence, and at its highest level have it increase the defence of (non-Alive?) units in contact with it. Maybe make it have an effect on Living units - inflict damage, prevent healing, or something at the start of its turn. It could even function as a small mobile Fog of War area.

Mad Prof, Broadcaster
How about if the brainjar evolution sees the unit take on Robot characteristics? That'd make it an analogue to the Dark Adept/Liche line, and open the door to it building/mutating into a Mother Brain-style techno-organic supercomputer. The idea of a self-improving AI heirarchy is something that is to me very cyberpunk and extremely difficult to fit into a background in which electronics are not even advanced enough to replace steam power as the main source of motive power.

Traps
Interesting idea. I can certainly say that terrain sabotage is very difficult to get right in wargames. Most of the games I've seen where units have been introduced that are able to set traps in geographic location, have ended up changing the traps into special rules and attacks that the unit 'carries' with them for the sake of keeping gameplay flowing smoothly whilst retaining character. For instance, as opposed to laying a Claymore mine in a specific location, assume the unit always sets up traps when in cover and have anybody charging the unit automatically receive a Claymore attack before it gets to strike.

Where I have seen geographic booby traps working best is generally in preset attacker/defender scenarios in which the defender benefits from minefields, pit traps, etc. In the sort of 'pitched battle' scenarios BfW tends to use, allowing units to set traps is very likely to lead to slow-moving stalemates. What does strike me as good for general use there are the smog clouds - which I've pretty much addressed above. As for a trapsetting unit - I immediately thought of a robo-cockroach, with Skirmishing, no attacks, high defence and low HP, and a 'despoil' rule that pollutes villages; it doesn't capture them, it just makes them neutral. That would make these little bugs a nuisance, but not able to just spam over villages to capture them. Let them level up into something with a Smog bomb (detonates itself to create a patch of Smog for X turns), or a Kamikaze attack, or just a swarm of Cockroaches.
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fog_of_gold
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Re: Internet Meme Era v 0.0.4

Post by fog_of_gold »

@knockback for tanker:
Knockback isn't useful in defence: You just get one unit behind the attacker and knockback will be fully negated. I won't cost you very much since the blocker won't be stopped so it's enough to use one, fast blocker. So I don't think you'd need to decrease his hitpoints.

balance: The scavenger/crab appearance steals too less money and gather too much money: It's in average about the same. I suggest either to give just a chance to gather money(more interesting/better fitting) or only gather money every xth round(more KISS/BfW-like). Also, you should increase his attacks by one. If you then make him gather 0.5 money/round, they'd get 3 times more while stealing and also experience. That should be more balanced.

suggestion: It's very diffult to get the number of the "real" income. The shown income isn't the right one and you'll have to add all your worker. So I suggest the following two things:
-scroll to every unit gains gold
-make a right-click over the scavenger menu explains you who much the units gather in average.

suggestion: Make a unit within the robots able to use gold. With the scavenger/crab appearance, you get fastly more gold than you are able to recruit. Maybe you can give a construct line to the scavenger making you able to summon new level zero units. Maybe this unit is able to advance to nearly every unit in this faction. There won't be too much different in costs (up to 30%, as far as I know even mainline's got units with more differents). There's already a code this way in the EOMa.

suggestion: Make repair's healing cumulative so you'll be able to get units healed faster. Especially the tanker are very diffult to heal expect in the epic era (where it isn't too difficult to get heals+12) since they have very low defences but high hitpoints. It may take up to 21 rounds to heal just one tanker. You can't really retreat with them very often because of their low moves so you'll have to heal him while fighting. So it wouldn't get too overpowered.

Edit:
About the repairing, didn't you said a while ago something like 'the hitpoints of the robots explains the tank's fullness.'? -So repairing's name would better be something like 'refueling', wouldn't it?

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lindsay40k
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Re: Internet Meme Era v 0.0.4

Post by lindsay40k »

fog_of_gold's comments there re knockback set me thinking. The way knockback works at the moment is a bit odd; there are a number of 'big' units out there, and it seems weird to have them sent flying by a horse's feet. It is also odd that having someone standing behind you means you can carry on attacking the horse when you're supposed to be sent flying by it. That particular point has led to my commonly dealing with Cowboys and Wagons by having a fast unit running around, acting as a bulwark for melee units as they take turns smacking the pony. For instance, a Saurian running from one Clasher to another. So as it stands, the ability seems to be encouraging players to exploit one of the odd aspects of turn-based strategy - convoluted unit weaving - to work around it.

Perhaps maybe change the rule so that when it hits, it simply ends the combat? Basically a c-c-c-combo breaker. This effect could maybe be appropriate for the electric attacks as well. Perhaps it could also see wider use outside this era, replacing the 'slows' effect often given to 'shield bash' attacks.
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fog_of_gold
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Re: Internet Meme Era v 0.0.4

Post by fog_of_gold »

We may use both: If there's a free space, you'll be knocked back and if not, you won't. But it'll always interrupt the fight. Let's say, the unit will always be knocked back but will turn back very fast because there isn't enough space. About the big units flying away because of non-relevant knocker, I don't have an idea what to do.

Edit:
Please disallow the trait 'strong' for the Teisatsu. 'smoke bomb' is affected, too by this trait and also, there aren't any other attacks being affected by strong.

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