Wesnoth II, a RTS

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Wesnoth II, a RTS

Postby Viliam » April 19th, 2007, 4:04 pm

I was thinking about how could be Wesnoth remade into RTS with 3D graphics. I would like to share my thoughts. (No, I do not expect anyone starting to code this right now. Or later. It is just a thought experiment.) I would like to keep the similarity with Wesnoth where possible, but add real-time behaviour, and use advantages of 3D.


Terrain:

The map would be a 3D surface. It would be divided to polygonal areas covered by different textures, representing different terrain types. These areas would be specified in map editor.

There is a temptation to create terrains automatically by 3D height. For example places higher than 5 would automatically become hills, higher than 10 mountains, lower than 0 shallow water, lower than -5 deep water. But we would still need to separate grassland from forests and swamps. And there are exceptions, like a mountain lake (shallow water above the level of normal shallow water). So the "automatical terrain based on height" could be an optional feature in map editor, but the resulting map would have defined all terrains explicitly.


Units:

Units could have hit points, experience points, and resistances like in Wesnoth.

Movement would be real-time -- instead of "unit has X movement points per turn, and it costs Y movement points to go to this terrain" it would be like "unit moves X pixels per second on this terrain". There could be bonus/penalty for moving downhill/uphill (bonus for 3D coordinate, in % addition to terrain speed).

Number of strikes would also be defined in real-time as a number of strikes per second; or number of seconds unit stands motionless then it attacks. Ranged attacks could be really "ranged", shooting a given distance (not very far); bonus/penalty for shooting downhill/uphill. (Magical attacks would not get the downhill/uphill modification, because magical powers are not influenced by gravity.) Chance to hit -- graphically all missiles would fly directly to the attacked unit; and then some of them would display "miss" and some would display caused damage.


Villages:

Each village would have a "circle of influence" around it. If unit touches the village, and there is no enemy unit inside the circle of influence, player will gain the village. (If there are units of different teams inside the circle of influence, village does not change ownership.) Village provides healing inside of circle of influence to owner and friendly units. (If there are multiple units, total effect of healing is distributed.) Also each few seconds village generates 1 gold to its owner. -- Why bother with the circle? I want to make it possible for a melee-only unit to defend a village against an archer or two, without losing a village or healing effect just because it had to move a few pixels outside of village to get next to archer (with ranged attack), and other archer maneuvered around and touched the village. The circle of influence should be twice as large as average archer's shooting range, so that fighter has a chance to reach and kill the archer without losing village.


Abilities:

Abilities for "adjacent hexes" would also have a zone of influence. There would be a leadership zone, healing zone, etc. (With a nice addition that high level leaders and healers could have larger zone diameter.)
Charge -- when unit attacks, it changes shape, and remains in a changed chape for a few seconds. While in the changed shape, it receives double damage.
Backstab -- it would work when there is an allied unit in a reasonable angle (145-180 degrees) behing the enemy.
Slow -- applies for a given number of seconds.
Poison -- reduces hit points by one each second.
Berserk -- attacked unit must stop and cannot do anything else except attack the berserk unit. So does berserk; both units are locked to each other and combat continues until one of them dies. (If one unit has larger attack range than another, it automatically moves towards enemy. If this is not possible, the berserk effect is cancelled.) Possible addition is that units engaged in berserk combat fight with double speed (both of them; or the opponent goes double speed only if he has melee attack).

Recruited units would be unmovable for a few seconds. While unmovable, they can be attacked.

Zone of control -- when unit gets close to an enemy unit, inside of the melee attack range, and is not moving directly (145-180 degrees) away from it, its speed is reduced to a quarter. Units with skirmish ignore this, and can move next to (or directly through) enemy units, so it is not possible to stop them or surround them. For ranged units there could be a rule that if they shoot at some enemy, and other enemy stands between them, the attack is redirected to that closer enemy (but never to a closer allied unit). This would prevent them from shooting across the "zone of control".


Missing aspects of Wesnoth:
1) The rule that melee attack can be countered only by melee attack (during this turn; but can be retailated by ranged attack in another turn) is difficult to implement in RTS reasonably.
2) The rule that if unit is attacked by more units in the same turn, it has more counter-attacks, is also difficult to implement in RTS reasonably. Some units could do "area damage" around them, but that would be different.
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Re: Wesnoth II, a RTS

Postby Elvish_Pillager » April 19th, 2007, 4:27 pm

Viliam wrote:magical powers are not influenced by gravity.


Prooooove it.
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Postby Darn Penguin » April 19th, 2007, 4:29 pm

Sounds like you put a lot of thought into this, and I would definitely give it a try if it were ever realized.

I could just picture giving an ulfserker an attack order, and hearing him shout, "YOU!" as he charges toward the target.
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Postby Dave » April 19th, 2007, 4:36 pm

So it might look something like this? :)

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Postby Velensk » April 19th, 2007, 7:29 pm

Might be interesting but not very much like wesnoth I think.
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Postby DDR » April 20th, 2007, 5:25 am

Well, this sounds good, but not wesnoth. If it were turn-based, yes, then it would be wesnoth 3d. However, real time play would change it to a click-as-fast-as-you-can game. :( I like your idea of using different heights for terrain. For different terrains on the same level, you can cheat a little. If plains is, say, 1.00000, then forest could be 1.00001, dirt could be 1.00002, and so on.Would placing objects on the terrain would be very hard, with slope and all? Also; does adding a third dimension improve game play? :? It sounds like a lot of hard work for little gain... (unless done REALLY well). The oomph that would be required to make the 3d graphics could be spent more wisely on 2d graphics, ditto with programming. I find sometimes a 3d ridge will give me a stunning landscape, but hide something behind it. If you can do this while adhering to the KISS rule, you might have a hit! :D

:!: Of course, if it's easy and straightforward, go for it!
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Postby Viliam » April 20th, 2007, 6:54 am

Dave wrote:So it might look something like this?

Without the hexagonal grid, because there would be no hexagons.

Also units would be larger, maybe twice as large. To show player more details of the 3D unit graphic. :-) More seriously, because the graphical meaning of "adjacent" would change. In Wesnoth, units are next to each other if they stand on adjacent hexes... there is a space between them, and they have to move while attacking each other. In RTS being next to each other means that the melee unit can attack without having to come closer. Therefore units are next to each other approximately when their pictures touch. So to see the equivalent part of the map on screen, units have to be twice larger. (Sorry if this sounds complicated.)
Velensk wrote:Might be interesting but not very much like wesnoth I think.

DDR wrote:Well, this sounds good, but not wesnoth. If it were turn-based, yes, then it would be wesnoth 3d. However, real time play would change it to a click-as-fast-as-you-can game.

Yes. Real-time games are different. And this would be a completely new project, different from Wesnoth. I just hope the traits brought from Wesnoth could also make it different from other RTS. The "fast clicking" strategy could be reduced by having the units move somewhat slowly, on relatively small maps. Also the magic system would be simpler -- no mana, only special attacks or area effects that do not have to be clicked -- this reduces clicking. The player would be only recruiting units, moving them, and attacking. And each player would have at most 20 units.
DDR wrote:Also; does adding a third dimension improve game play?

Depends on how it is reflected by rules. If units on higher places would gain a significant ranged attack bonus and speed bonus, this would give some strategic value. For example if you put your archers of top of large mountain, they can freely shoot at everyone climbing (slowly!) towards them, but the climbing archers cannot repeat fire until they get close enough.
DDR wrote:Of course, if it's easy and straightforward, go for it!

Talking about it is easy! ;-)
No, I do not have enough time and skills to do this. I just wanted to give some decent proposal. (Maybe someone would like it enough to start a project. Probably not.) It was a thought experiment -- imagining a RTS which could feel like something between Wesnoth and typical RTS; by trying to make an RTS as close to Wesnoth as possible, which is an unreachable goal. But without this approach, the result would be probably an RTS which feels exactly like any other RTS, only with different pictures. (For a typical RTS with Wesnothish pictures, it would be most simple to take Glest code and make new 3D models.)
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Postby Ultimatum479 » April 20th, 2007, 10:12 am

Darn Penguin wrote:I could just picture giving an ulfserker an attack order, and hearing him shout, "YOU!" as he charges toward the target.

Oh, c'mon. You know Ulfs would all scream "LEEEROYYYYYYYYYYYYYY JENNNNNNNKINNNNNNNNSSSSSS!!!!!!"
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Postby Jetrel » April 20th, 2007, 5:27 pm

Ultimatum479 wrote:
Darn Penguin wrote:I could just picture giving an ulfserker an attack order, and hearing him shout, "YOU!" as he charges toward the target.

Oh, c'mon. You know Ulfs would all scream "LEEEROYYYYYYYYYYYYYY JENNNNNNNKINNNNNNNNSSSSSS!!!!!!"



Never before have I seen such a poetic description of what I feel is wrong with the current implementation of the "berzerk" special. Brilliant.
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Postby Darn Penguin » April 20th, 2007, 9:36 pm

Ultimatum479 wrote:
Darn Penguin wrote:I could just picture giving an ulfserker an attack order, and hearing him shout, "YOU!" as he charges toward the target.

Oh, c'mon. You know Ulfs would all scream "LEEEROYYYYYYYYYYYYYY JENNNNNNNKINNNNNNNNSSSSSS!!!!!!"


One of my father's friends told me about that, but I think I'd rather have him say something like:

"MIGHT OF A THOUSAND BAD***ES!"
"ARE YOU THREATENING ME?!"

Or, on a more serious note:

"We are the Dvergar of the earth, as Durin said... WE WON'T LOSE!!!"
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Postby Ultimatum479 » April 20th, 2007, 11:04 pm

...The point is more that they _will_, as Jetryl understood, hence my choice of quotes. Melee would be seriously underpowered versus ranged with these gameplay mechanics, I think. You'd have to completely alter damage and attacks per turn to keep this balanced.
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Postby Drake Blademaster » April 20th, 2007, 11:18 pm

If it's 3D, will drakes be able to fly above units, thus being safe from harm, and able to swoop down and attack at any given time? Oh, and while RTS games are fun, I too feel it is not fitting of Wesnoth.
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Postby Darn Penguin » April 20th, 2007, 11:22 pm

It would be a fresh way to tell the story of Wesnoth to be sure, but it shouldn't try to be the same game as wesnoth when essentially, it is already an entirely different animal.

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Postby Drake Blademaster » April 20th, 2007, 11:26 pm

A Wise Man Once wrote:Great minds think alike.


:wink:

The Council of Linac has spoken! (Maybe that should go in our sig :wink:)

-EDIT- Why do the units look flat?
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Postby Maeglin Dubh » May 12th, 2007, 4:42 am

Because they are.

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No, seriously, they're just Sprites added to the image.
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