The Battle for Meridia: Startng balancing: alpha 0.1.7

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thespaceinvader
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The Battle for Meridia: Startng balancing: alpha 0.1.7

Post by thespaceinvader »

As some of you will know, I've been working on a secret project (yes, the one I've been counting down in my sig for like, 4 months) since shortly before Christmas. I came up with the concepts with Turuk and Aethaeryn, but T's vanished off the face of the forum, and Aeth seems busy when he's around. I've now reached the point where I'm happy to release it to the general public, and seek some assistance with the areas I'm weak on. I was waiting, specifically, until I had completed base frames for all the core units.

So, what is the Battle for Meridia? In short, currently, it's an MP era. However, the eventual aim is to develop a semi-canonical southern continent of Irdya, around the same time setting as mainline. It was initially intended for a number of things: firstly, to give a permanent home to the Kalifa shoudl the bid to get them into mainline fail (now the Khalifate), who have been knocking about and never really used to their full potential since before I joined the forum. Secondly, to exercise and demonstrate my own intentions that factions should develop from existing species, rather than adding new sentient species to an already overcrowded world; but that they should be original and unique, rather than the 'Adjective Race' type concepts we see far too often. Thirdly, was to provide a setting and units for possible campaigns in the future. The early aims also included an introductory campaign, and a large map pack balanced for the four factions, and including wild fauna/monsters as well. However, these latter two goals have fallen somewhat by the wayside since I've been working alone – the current goal is simply the four factions, balanced for mainline maps. Another aim was to update and create art for a number of mainline units which were distinctly lacking – the Kalifa, whose mainlining is intended for the 1.9.x series, as well as the Dwarf Miner, and Orcish Shaman line. I also wanted to make multiplayer use of the new Dwarvish Scout graphics.

It currently has no playable elements as yet, but I'm hopeful that that will change soon. I will be putting things up on the umc-dev SVN once I figure out how, and have enough coded to do so.

On to the meat of the post then:

Meridia is the name of the continent. It is named for the ancient centre of culture in the southern mountains (and also for the Latin word for south...). In geography, it stretches from the near-boundless deserts of the north (which continue, unbroken by sea, to Wesnoth and the Great Continent, but are simply not navigable by land) inhabited by the Khalifate, south through an enormous plain inhabited by the Aracaya, a hunter-gatherer culture of orcs. To the far south is a mountain range, where the centre of an ancient dwarvish culture, the city of Meridius, lies. These dwarves are the Meridian League, a loosely allied collection of city-states located in a broad swathe across the southern edge of the continent. To the east, the savannah stretches far away, broken by an enormous rainforest to the north, and a more temperate forest to the south. Within these forests live the mysterious and dangerous jungle elves, known only as the Untamed, and woe betide any who invade their homes. Through it all, a number of large rivers run, connecting the four peoples in trade and adversity, and an enormous number of wild animals still roam the wildernesses, some of which are truly devastating when their attentions fall on the wrong places...

The factions:

The Meridian League:
The ancient and powerful city-states of the League can be found in the mountains which arc across the south of Meridia. From the centre of learning and politics in Meridius, to the skilled scouts and woodsmen of Ocassus; from the scientific and alchemical mysteries of Boreus to the east, to the thriving, though dangerous, sea ports around Barossus and Orienus to the west; the peoples of the League are often fractious. But their feudal and political system has proven robust over their many years. In recent times, there has been great peace, brokered by a tremendous leader, recently perished in heroic combat. The majority of the professional soldiers of the League Army have retired, and few great leaders remain from the days of conquest and unification under Meridius. However, the League still retains its military traditions, and a large standing army, composed mostly of Dwarves on the national service, with occasional professionals. Even without its professional soldiers, the League is formidable, since all of its citizens have done some military service, and are warriors in their own right.

In play style terms, the League are similar to the Loyalists – heavy on niche units, light on generalists. They excel at defence, but can be weak on swift movement and attack – their best scout is still an infantry unit. They rely on their three level 0 units and strong leadership to make up of the difficulties they can have with money acquisition.

The Khalifate:
Formerly known as the Kalifa, these humans inhabit the deserts and river valleys to the north of the continent. They are a relatively recent addition to the continent, in comparison with the long and winding memories of the orcs, elves and dwarves, having arrived and set up their cities and civilisation only a few hundred years ago. They are innovative craftsmen and traders, but notoriously insular about many things, particularly magic.

The faction is Noy's baby, so I defer to him on most aspects of it. I've left a big Kalifa-shaped hole throughout the development of my concept, but it's one which can be filled by almost anything. In terms of play style, the Khalifate are something of a mystery to me, as a result. It remains to be seen.

The Untamed:
These xenophobic elves inhabit the forests of the east, both the rainforests and the temperate ones on the slopes of the mountains. They tend to keep themselves to themselves, unless they are crossed, but the things which trigger their ire are at the best of times unclear. Nobody knows for sure what the Untamed call themselves except for them, and they never speak of such matters with outsiders. They are notoriously xenophobic at the best of times, but when the jungles and forests of their homeland are threatened, they become positively vicious. All the Untamed are born with a connection to a form of magic they call the Bestia. It grants them the ability to read and control animals and, to an extent, plants. But the Bestia is not without its perils – misuse and ill luck can result in an individual losing his faculties and degeneration into a feral and animalistic shadow of his former self.

In terms of playstyle these guys are similar to the Drakes – fast, agile and highly-powered, but relatively fragile. The intention is that they would be an interesting campaign faction, as well as an engaging multiplayer one, hence they have some unusual higher level abilities and level advancements.

The Aracaya:
The Aracaya, which literally means 'plains people', have lived in the plains of Meridia, which they call the Araca, since time immemorial. They are a primitive people, hunting and gathering with great effectiveness across the wide green-brown seas of savannah. Most Aracaya spend their lives engaged in simple survival. But when roused, they are all capable warriors. There are also some dedicated fighting Aracaya, who are instrumental in inter-tribal conflicts. The leaders of the Aracaya are the shamans, wise magicians who use their powers to commune with the spirits of the dead. The Aracaya have many legends about the old times, including one which speaks of a time when the trees were young and the mountains small, when a whole tribe of the best warriors of the plains were claimed by a powerful spirit, transported out of sight, and never heard from again.

Their playstyle is simple, they are jacks-of-all-trades, with only a small number of units to play with, as befits their simple nature.

The art thread can be found here. This thread will be used for development and testing of the MP era, initially.

I'll be adding further detail about factions and unit descriptions, most of which are done, as time goes on.

So, what do I need help with?


Primarily in the short term, I need a coder, someone who is used to working with the intricacies of WML. I've made some progress on the basics and will continue to do so, but the abilities and weapon specials I'm interested in using remain well beyond me, not to mention the fact that I find the patience for coding often eludes me. Balancing is something Noy has offered to help with, in exchange for my work on the Kalifa art.

Long term, I'm looking to expand the concept back out to meet the original goals, with some campaigns and a map-pack. I already have some campaign ideas brewing – two, specifically, but more on that later, if and when I have time. If you're interested in working with me on this, please do let me know.

I have some people in mind who I'd be interested in working with, but I'm always open to suggestions.
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Back to work. Current projects: Catching up on commits. Picking Meridia back up. Sprite animations, many and varied.

Velensk
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Re: The Battle for Meridia

Post by Velensk »

The Khalifa are a fairly defensive faction with abundant ranged attacks and a preference for hills IIRC. They play sort of like a cross between the rebels and the loyalists and the most notable thing about them (IMO) was that they had access to a +8 healing on a recruitable unit.

What sorts of weapon specials and abilities do you need? Now that my work on Era of Four Moons has slowed down considerably I might have time to help you however I have no idea what kinds of abilities you want. I am fairly confident in my abilities to make any simple ability/special however I have to get help sometimes too, for example, I never could have made the curse/shifter abilities from EoFM on my own but I did make the rest.

I will also admit that at the moment your descriptions do not sound all that interesting to me. I'd find it more interesting if you laid out your ideas for the factions including stat sketches so that I an start thinking about faction dynamics. If you'd rather not clutter this thread with them then send them to me via PM. I do hope that you have already started to come up with this kind of stuff because almost every 'general' faction concept can be interpreted several ways and I find that it is a good idea to pin down what exactly you mean early.

EDITED to fix an autospeller mistake.
"There are two kinds of old men in the world. The kind who didn't go to war and who say that they should have lived fast died young and left a handsome corpse and the old men who did go to war and who say that there is no such thing as a handsome corpse."

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Re: The Battle for Meridia

Post by thespaceinvader »

Yeah, I'm getting to that ;) I don't have exact stats planned yet, but you should get the general idea from the unit descriptions:

The Aracaya:
Image
Plainwalker: The smallest of the Aracaya, known as malaya, are light and agile enough to ride the beasts of the plains. The most common choice of steed, for their speed and versatility, is the Racayanti, and many tribes maintain small collections of the beasts for the purposes of war, as well as for herding what livestock they can gather from the plains. Their bolas are the most useful tools they have for this purpose.
Attacks: Melee, blade, ?5-3, Ranged, impact, slows, ?5-2 MP 8

Plainstrider: The better Racayanti riders use longer weapons, which give them great reach from the saddle. They have great practice in controlling their beasts, and their weapons.
6-3/6-3, extra melee attack with an axe, 9-2 blade

Plainstriker: Plainstrikers are swift and deadly. They can attack out of the grassy seas of the plains, kill their prey with barely a sound, and be gone with their prize before any even notice they were there. They are truly to be feared.
7-3/10-2/7-3

Spirit: Spirits are called up from the ashes of the camp fire by the Shamans. They are near-mindless and near-formless when they first appear, but the longer they remain, the more wily and powerful they become. Their insubstantial claws can penetrate the thickest armour, and strike at the very soul, whilst the embers that make up their form can flash into ghostly fire at need.
Arcane melee, fire ranged, 6MP

Twisted Remnant: Some spirits are corrupt and difficult to control. These Twisted Remnants cannot easily be dismissed, and only the most strong willed of Shamans can guide their actions. Their insubstantial claws rend their targets' spirits, demoralising and disturbing them.
Arcane melee, ?backstab, ?slows, or something new

Ancestor: Most of the spirits raised by the Shamans are of their ancestors, who are asked for guidance and help with matters concerning the tribe, as well as their strength in opposing the tribe's enemies. These ghostly warriors' weapons chill the bones of the strongest men, whilst their constituent embers burn hot from afar.
COld melee, fire ranged

Honoured Ancestor: The most powerful spirits are of ancestors lauded in song and story, those who inspire awe and fear in Aracaya all over the plains. Their towering presence on the field echoes times past, when the Aracaya were truly a force to be reckoned with, before the Lost Ones vanished without a trace. Their spectral blades are fearsome weapons.
Cold melee, fire ranged

Tracker: A large amount of the Aracaya diet is hunted from the land in which they live. Racayanti, tuskers, horses and all manner of other animals range the plains, wild and free. A cunning tracker can follow them, and use barbed spears to put them down quickly and effectively. Although their light spears are useless in a melee, the throwers they use make capable clubs. They skin their catch with fragile stone blades, useless in close combat.
Impact melee, pierce ranged, 5MP, ? ability tracker - reveals hidden units in a 1-hex radius around the unit

Hunter: As a tracker becomes taller, stronger and more skilled, his status within the tribes increases. Hunters are renowned for their ability to bring down dangerous prey such as Gorers and Water Serpents, which are threatening to the safety of the tribes, not to mention tasty.

Skinner: Metal is incredibly rare in the plains, as few Aracaya know how to make it – the vast majority of metal is scavenged, traded or looted from communities of humans or dwarves around the plains. So only the most skilled hunters are allowed to wield rare skinning knives. These are passed down only after the orc has proven his skill in removing valuable hides from his prey with improvised stone blades.
Adds blade melee.

Novice Shaman: Shamans start their careers young, and only the best and brightest are chosen for this illustrious calling. Like all their kin, these novices are capable fighters, and augment their skills with powerful magics that can strike at a distance, draining their enemies of vitality.
Impact melee, cold ranged, drains

Shaman: When their elders judge them worthy, shamans are inducted into the mysteries of the spirits, learning to commune with them and seek their guidance and knowledge. This knowledge allows them to advance their own skills with magic and the staff, becoming more capable warriors, and wiser leaders.

Elder Shaman: The longest-lived of the shamans dictate how life progresses for the Aracaya across the plains. Their powers are rightly feared, as they have developed the fearsome ability to channel the vitality of their dying enemies into the raising of spirits – for this purpose, as well as simple survival, they carry the ashes and embers of the camp fire with them wherever they go.
(Gain ability like Plague, but for spirits not WC)

Hideshield: Some Aracaya are naturally tall and heavily built. They tend towards belligerence and aggression to their fellows, and make natural warriors. These bulaya take up strong shields made from the hides of livestock and long spears of flint, to defend their homes and raid their enemies. To become a warrior, an orc must first kill the animal to provide his shield, in single combat with only a spear as his weapon.
Pierce melee, no ranged, 5 MP

Runnerhide: The Aracaya believe that wearing the head or skull of an animal will grant its skills and strengths. Strong warriors are pitted against ever stronger animals, to gain better equipment and skills. Racayanti grant a warrior swiftness of foot and hand.
Gains 1MP

Gorerhide: Wearing the head of the Gorer makes a warrior more powerful, or so the Aracaya believe. His blows land harder, and his defence is tougher. To reach this level, a warrior must be formidable enough to defeat a captured Gorer in single combat.

Shriekerhide: Shrieker worms are among the fiercest and most dangerous beasts of the plains. They can attack without warning, and stun a man into near-paralysis with their scream. Wearing the shrieker's skull, the Aracaya believe, grants a level of protection against such sinister threats. An orc who has defeated a shrieker worm in a pit fight is truly a warrior to be reckoned with.

--------------

I won't deny that my strengths are not in coding and WML creation. I'm working on cfgs, but progress is slow.
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Back to work. Current projects: Catching up on commits. Picking Meridia back up. Sprite animations, many and varied.

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Re: The Battle for Meridia

Post by thespaceinvader »

The Meridian Leage:
Image
Speaker: Mostly educated in Meridius itself, these Dwarves are the future leaders of their people. The batons they carry are their identifiers, letting them make their voices heard in the cities' forums. Though young and inexperienced, they are powerful orators, and their voices lend courage and strength to their fellows.
Impact melee, no ranged, leadership

Leader: Leaders are in charge of their local communities. They speak at the forums, making their case for their citizens and serfs to the Polis Council. Like all citizens of the League, they have served in the military, and continue to do so when they are needed, where their skills as leaders are valuable in rallying the troops.

Polis: Each of the cities of the League has a Polis Council. Its members make decisions for the city-state as a whole, and are widely respected in the community. They no longer need their speakers' batons, but they keep them as a symbol of their connection with their people and their forum. However, they also take up more effective weapons in times of conflict.
Adds blade melee

Legate: Each city-state in the League sends a number of Legates to Meridius to serve on the League Council. This august body serves to keep the peace among the city-states, and can be a robust and difficult political environment. However, most of the time, they manage to hold the balance. Only the best are chosen for this honour, and as well as being able politicians, all Legates are skilled and powerful generals and war-makers.

Conscript: Raised from the serf and citizen classes, Conscripts are poorly equipped and just beginning their training as soldiers. If they survive their service in the military, however, they are rewarded with the right to vote, full citizenship, and status within their home city. It is a means of advancement for many, and a means of maintaining the family's status for the rest, for a dwarf to join the service. They make up the majority of the League's peacetime military.
Blade melee, no ranged

Cadet: Cadets are drawn from the higher classes of League society – the children of great leaders, council members, notable scientists, landowners, soldiers and higher-class citizens are eligible for this rank. It grants them slightly better equipment than most in national service, particularly better protection, and easier entry into certain privileged positions and occupations after they've finished.
Blade melee, pierce ranged, better defences but more expensive than conscript.

Apothecary: Some young aristocrats, after their service and study in Meridius, are tempted by the sciences. The city of Boreus, secluded in the deep mountains among the most productive mines, harbours the secret mysteries of the alchemical and metallurgical arts. Only the best, brightest and most inquisitive ever learn them. But those who do become Apothecaries, harbouring fearsome fiery weaponry, and a detailed knowledge of the workings of the body which allows them to heal their fellows.
Fire ranged, blade melee, heals +8

Alchemist: Alchemists are the aristocracy of Boreus, and thanks to their supplying the League with the vast majority of its armament, wield great influence within it. They also wield fearsome, some might say mystical powers on the battlefield, hurling great clouds of fire and poisonous gas, and near-miraculous physicking to those injured.
Blade melee, fire/poison ranged, heals +8, cures

Swimmer: Swimmers are reviled in the League – but tolerated, for the riches of the seas, lakes and waterways are highly prized. Pearls, and mother-of-pearl are valued as decorations above some mined jewels, and various fish are considered as true delicacies, particularly the fins of Serpents. So dwarves who have fallen on truly hard times, or were born into the caste, can scrape a living this way, if they can stomach being spurned.
Moves through water, probably 5MP. Blade melee

Harpooner: On rare occasions, there are military threats which make themselves known from the water. Some Swimmers may be called up at these times to defend the League. This can allow them to earn a grudging respect from their peers. In exchange for their service, they are granted better equipment, advancement, and a measure of recognition within society.
Adds pierce ranged

Cutthroat: Some Swimmers and other low-class dwarves; serfs, menials, refuse collectors and the like, rebel against their treatment by the League. They often find their way to the coast around Barossus where they can live freely among their kind. It is a thriving city, like many ports, but like so many, it is perilous, full of thieves and ruffians – who can often find work on ships coming and going. Whatever their origins, life in the watery environs of Barossus forces them all to learn to swim.
Adds pierce melee. Low defences, high attack power.

Buccaneer: Freebooters and privateers run out of Barossus. Crewing on one of these ships can be an outcast's only hope for a free life. To avoid outright piracy, the League tends to employ such crews to defend its coasts and waterways, creating a de facto navy out of those few dwarves who will tolerate working on the water anyway. It is unwise to cross them, doubly so on the deck of a ship – and they often retain the ability to swim from their humble beginnings, which gives them the dangerous ability to also fight from the water.

Incendius: Mounted on a hardy Tusker, these rare weapons of war are forged in the bowels of the most secret workshops of Boreus. They are powerful siege engines, capable of throwing explosives a tremendous distance, while the creatures that mount them prove capable at keeping them safe from those that might assault them from nearby.
Blade melee, fire ranged, single strike

Infernus: Larger than the Incendius, these vicious devices must be mounted on larger and shorter-tempered Gorers. However, they are correspondingly more powerful then their smaller antecedents – in a technique whose origin (from the dwarves, or the Kalifa of the deserts) remains uncertain, they are able to spout great gouts of fire against those near them, as well as hurling explosives from a distance.
Blade and fire melee, fire ranged, single strike

Dual Infernus: The strongest beasts are able to carry two mighty Infernus weapons, which allows for much quicker firing and for far greater damage and death to be wrought against the enemies of the League.
Gains an extra strike at range

Soldier: Conscripts and Cadets both can rise to this rank in the League armies – these dwarves are the mainstay of any major military action. They are tough and hardy with high quality armour, and difficult to dig out once they become entrenched. In a melee, they can hold their own, but it is from a distance that they become truly formidable, raining down a hail of quarrels with repeating crossbows. Ability: entrench. As for steadfast when moving, but if the unit stays still for more than a turn, also adds 10% (20?) to all terrain defence values. 4 MP, can't get Quick. Blade melee, pierce ranged, multiple low-damage shots

Legionary: Higher-ranking and longer-serving Soldiers acquire progressively more impressive equipment throughout their stay in the League military. Legionaries are a sight to behold marching in shining plate armour with their towering shields and powerful repeating bolt throwers. But facing them on the battlefield is a daunting prospect, as that same armament makes them tough to remove from fortified positions.

Phalanx: The tall mantlets that mark the best shots of the League military are heavy and difficult to move. But their tough construction and thickness make them difficult to penetrate, whilst the Dwarves who shelter behind them can pepper their enemies with more shots in ten seconds than two or three average archers.

Scout, woodsman and ranger much as mainline, with edits to fit with ML lore.

There's a lot of development gone on culture-wise in the background of these guys, but their faction boils down to a leadership line, a scout line, a water line, a ranged attacking line (the cannons) a melee attacking line (cutthroat), a heavy defensive line (soldier), built off three level 0 units which can level widely depending on situation. I recognise that this might be tough to balance, but something needs to compensate for the lack of a properly swift scout in village control.
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Velensk
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Re: The Battle for Meridia

Post by Velensk »

If I may interject, I found the way you listed them a bit confusing to follow. I would like to suggest that you start each unit tree by introducing the tree and describing the relationship of the advancements and the role it (the tree) is supposed to fill.

I would also prefer more specifics on the stats and a bit less for the descriptions but I understand that you may not have that available.

I could probably do the coding for the listed faction in under an hour with the exception of the tracker ability. Not at all sure how you would manage that one. What you might be able to do is make duplicates of your stealth abilities that turn off if there is a unit with tracking within a certain distance however at that point the tracker ability wouldn't extend beyond this era (which might make a sort of twisted sense as it's hard to track something you are unfamiliar with. I'm not sure how much you plan for stealth to factor into this era but I'd think that this would be an ability of extreamly limited use and that another one would make the unit more interesting.

EDIT: This post was in response to the first faction.
"There are two kinds of old men in the world. The kind who didn't go to war and who say that they should have lived fast died young and left a handsome corpse and the old men who did go to war and who say that there is no such thing as a handsome corpse."

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Re: The Battle for Meridia

Post by thespaceinvader »

The Untamed:
Image
Brute: These Untamed are engaged in a constant struggle with the animal within. They teeter on the edge of losing control of the Bestia. But this makes them strong and fearless combatants, and they use their heavy machetes as effectively to clear a path through the forests they live in as through their enemies. They hunt with blowpipes, firing simple venoms which impair their target's speed and dexterity. 6-2 blade melee, 2-3 pierce slows ranged, elusivefoot movetype, ?HP ?XP 5 or 6 MP

Feral: When an Untamed loses control over the Bestia, the result is a degeneration into this Feral state. These Untamed are still more or less able to function in society, but their loss of the ability to use all but the most simple tools marks them out, and they are sidelined; left to hunt, and guard the fringes of the forest against encroaching intruders. 7-3 blade melee, no ranged

Savage: These Ferals have almost lost their minds completely, and are prone to becoming violent. They wear chains so that they can be restrained at need, which make for vicious and entangling weapons when they are released. Their fearsome strength and sheer ease in forests make them a terrifying foe. 8-4 blade melee, 9-2 impact slows melee, no ranged.

And oops, yeah, i should copy in the trees from the art thread, shouldn't I >.< Bear with me.

Abomination: Of the living, only the priesthood know of the existence of these twisted, scarcely-recognisable remnants of Elves. Losing control of the Bestia has warped them almost beyond recognition, and increased their strength and agility to levels which are unmatched by any in Meridia. They are kept restrained beneath the temples, and released only in times of the direst need, when enemies are all about, and their raw, unbridled fury can be put to good use. 10-5 blade melee, 11-2 impact slows melee

Swarmcaller: Swarmcallers are able to control and send forth swarms of vicious biting flies to wear down their enemies, and use the blood they drain to claw back some of the damage they take. However, their control over large swarms requires constant willpower, and distracting wounds and injuries reduce their abilities. 3-6 pierce swarm, drains ranged, 4-2 impact melee

Dronecaller: Drone flies are a constant nuisance to anybody travelling the lakes and waterways of Meridia. Their bites are painful and itchy, and in large numbers, they can be quite draining to those who are bitten. Dronecallers sacrifice large swarms of biting insects for smaller numbers of drone flies, which drain a lot of blood from their foes. This allows them, and those around them, to recover quickly from damage, by using blood from their opponents. 6-3 pierce drains ranged, 5-3 blade melee, regenerates, heals +8

Swarmcaster: Most Untamed only use the Bestia to control animals in their day-to-day life, but the Swarmcasters have raised their abilities to a warrior art. They have practised their abilities with the insect swarms that give the group their name, and have fine control over them. They have learned to use this control to pass on the blood and life their flies drain from their enemies on to their allies. 4-7 pierce swarm, drains, heals +4.

Swarmlord: Swarmlords have mastered the ability to control the tiny biting insects of the forests. They command vast swarms of biting insects which buzz around them in a constant cloud, quickly draining their enemies of strength and life. 5-8 pierce swarm, drains, heals +4

Dracoatl:
These flying serpents are swift and successful hunters. They use their long, agile tails to ensnare smaller prey, or use the sharpened scutes along their length to slash deep wounds into larger beasts, which they then track until they drop. Dracoatl have also been known to fish, and feed on carrion. They are intelligent creatures, and can be trained. The Untamed supplement their training with the Bestia, to give them an amazing rapport with the Dracoatl, which they use for scouting and hunting beasts. 4-3 blade melee, no ranged

Elder Dracoatl: Longer lived Dracoatl become larger, stronger and more agile, able to match the fastest horse over long periods, through all but the densest forests. 5-4 blade melee, no ranged.

Warden: Brutes who successfully control the Bestia lose their abilities to use it, and usually return to society, in low level positions. But some choose to practice their skills as foresters, and work alongside their former comrades, defending the forest borders. They learn to move silently and unseen in the forests, and their skill with a blowpipe is not to be dismissed lightly. With Wardens to slow and impair their enemies, their Feral allies can make the best of their vicious tendencies. 7-2 blade melee, 3-4 pierce slows, 3-4 pierce poisons ranged, ambush (forest)

Guardian: Guardians no longer have access to the Bestia. But they more than compensate for this lack with their skill with poisons and potions. Many an enemy has felt a sharp sting, like that of an insect, coming from nowhere, and shortly afterwards found himself unable to move, with a horde of vicious jungle elves bearing down upon him. 7-3 blade melee, 3-5 pierce slows, 3-5 pierce poisons, 3-5 pierce paralyses (special whereby the affected unit is unable to move or attack until the end of its next turn), ambush (forest)

Tamer: Some Untamed feel the call of the animals around them strongly. They take up the staff of the Tamer, and are first set to taming a Dracoatl, which can perch safely without injuring its handler on the staff. Their affinity with animals is high, and even strange animals are relatively easily mastered by them. 6-3 impact melee, 5-2 blade melee (Tames - ability which affects monster units and maybe units riding animals, whereby when this attack kills animal, the equivalent level of that animal is added to the user's side with 1/4 health - probably hopelessly imbalanced for MP, so maybe a campaign-only special.) This unit would be quite weak, maybe with another ability for use in support

Beastmaster: The best and most skilled Tamers are granted the rank of Beastmaster. Their status is visible for all to see from their unique heraldry, and ornate Tamer staves. 6-4 impact melee (Tames), ?ranged?

Serpent: In the wide rivers of the rainforest, control over animals of the water is a vital skill for the Untamed in war time. Serpents are an easy target for Tamers who are practised at handling the Dracoatl – the techniques are very similar. Serpents move with equal facility over land and water, and their vicious bite can poison their enemies. 6-2 pierce poison melee, no ranged.

Water Serpent: as mainline with some edits.

Neophyte line doesn't yet have descriptions, but will have blade melee throughout, gaining pierce melee at level 2 (one strike, high damage, Indy, cover your HEEAARRT, only affecting living units) ?cold, fire or arcane ranged.

The Brute is the primary melee fighter, the Swarmcaller the main ranged fighter. Dracoatl is a scout, very similar in use to the bat (and may well need some more to distinguish it from the bat), serpent is the water unit.


---------------

I'm aiming to balance these guys primarily for use on mainline maps for the moment. Noy's offered to help out with that, preliminarily.
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Re: The Battle for Meridia

Post by thespaceinvader »

To break from posting information about the factions, which I've now posted most if not all that I have available, save for the brainstorming we did elsewhere, I shoudl say that I don't have massively solid stats at present. I need to do more research in order to put stuff together, I don't have on the tip of my tongue things like XP requirements, movetypes and defence ratings that would be reasonable for the unit types concerned.

I come at this from more or less the opposite direction, I guess, than most people I've seen make factions - I came up with solid, believable and interesting concepts for the factions, described them and built fluff and art, rather than statting and coding being the priority.
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Re: The Battle for Meridia

Post by Velensk »

Which units for the dwarves are recruitable?

It's a bit late now but I'll give you a example of what I meant from the Era of Four Moons. Don't feel compelled to change your factions over to this format but this is the way I'd find easiest to comprehend how your units will play/advance.

Darklanders
An entirely chaotic faction. Tendency to be fragile but with good defense in forests. The primary gimmick this faction has is that it has both slow and a good berserker with cheap support. Intended to be balanced by making both the slower and the berserker expensive and the support somewhat fragile outside forests.

Tribesman line: Primary melee unit. A little on the cheap side though good attack power. The level 1 can advance to either an improved form the militia or a specialists gurilla who gets ambush and a ranged attack. The militia can advance to level 3 (guard)

Tribesman: 13 gold, 34ish hp, 5 mp, forest def(60%)/move, 7-3 blade melee
Militia: level 2 from of tribesman
Guard: level 3 form of tribesman
Guerilla: level 2 advancement that loses some hp/attack power for ambush and ranged attack

Jaguar Rider Line: Scouting unit. Gets wolf-like defenses except 60% in forests Has three level 2 variants none of which advance to level 3.

Jaguar rider: 18 gold, 32ish hp, 8 mp forestdef/move, 4-4 blade melee
Leopard rider: just stronger
Cheetah rider: not as strong as leopard but faster.
Panther rider: not as strong as leopard but with nightstalk

Hurler line: cheap ranged backstabbers. The closest thing the faction has to a basic archer unit. I thought that a faction like this would have little want for standard archers however I wanted a backstabber to go along with the berserker and it didn't fit for any of the melee units. Advances normally to the stalker then whisper or it can choose to become a wasp and gain poison.

Hurler: 14 gold: 30ish hp, 5 mp forestdef/move: 4-3 pierce ranged (backstab) 4-2 pierce melee
Stalker: level 2 form
Whisper: level 3 form
Wasp: Level 2 gains poison on the ranged attack

Viper Line: provides with a harasser and another unit to guard your expensive units with. The combination of first strike and poison makes melee units loath to attack it. It has a self healing ability so that it can recover by itself if left alone. It advances only once but its advancement gains slow in addition to first strike and poison and is very annoying to any melee enemy.

Viper: 15 gold, 30ish hp (elusive resists), 6 mp elusive+forest move, 1-2 impact (poison first-strike) [whip] {self heal 4hp}
Serpent: gains slow in addition to poison and first-strike.

Cannoe Line: provides a semi-amphibious cheap weak water unit. Is mechanical and only advances once.

Canoe: 13 gold, 30is hp (some resistances), 6 mp semi-amphibious, 4-2 pierce melee 4-4 pierce ranged
Catamaran: Level 2 form

Beastman Line: Berserker line with serious line breaking power when combined with slower.

Beastman: 21 gold, 37ish hp, 5 mp, simular to tribesman but lower defense movetype. 9-2 blade melee (berserk).
Beastskull: level 2 form

Malice of the Gods line: Intended to be a very powerful specialist that if properly supported is very hard to kill (very easy to kill if not supported) and provides much to an offense despite having low damage (arcane in an era where everyone is human). Especially good coupled with beastman. Has no melee attack till level 3 and advances all the way to level 4.

Malice: 22 gold, 24 hp, 5 mp, forest move/def, 4-4 arcane ranged (drain, magic, slow)
Wrath: level 2 form
Vengence: level 3, gains a weak melee attack
Judgement: level 4 form

EDIT: more to come to respond to your last post
Last edited by Velensk on July 13th, 2010, 2:13 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: The Battle for Meridia

Post by thespaceinvader »

Aaaah I see. I'm working on that now, then.

One thing I really should have mentioned regarding the UNtamed, which might be difficult to code I don't know: all their magic using units (beastmaster line, swarmcaller line, probably neophyte line if i make genders for the brute level ups) can level up into the next level of the Brute > Feral line, representing them losing control of their magic. This would be at user choice, unless I felt mean in campaign, and decided to make it happen at random on levelling.
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Re: The Battle for Meridia

Post by Velensk »

I have no problem with starting with the lore however you cannot start coding an era till you have a better idea about the stats. Your stats do not need to be especially realistic or balanced at first they merely need to define what the units role is and how it is supposed to play. Like I mentioned before, I could get the coding done for all of the first faction done in less than an hour if I knew what exactly it were supposed to be.

As for the abilities.
The entrench ability should be quite possible. I might have to get some help but it shouldn't take long to make.
The beast tamer ability is possible but would be difficult to balance in multiplayer.
The alternate plague ability should be no problem at all.
The tracker ability would be problematic. I also think that due to just how infrequently it would come up and how little effect it would have when it does it might be best to come up with a different ability altogether.
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Re: The Battle for Meridia

Post by thespaceinvader »

Is this more what you had in mind?

Aracaya:

Mixed chaotic/neutral faction (unless otherwise stated, chaotic). Very generalist, with no particularly strong terrains in terms of movement or defence (probably using the mainline orcish movetypes), though probably weaker in forests than the orcs in mainline. No major gimmicks or tricksy bits to speak of.

Recruitable units: Spirit, Novice Shaman, Plainswalker, Hideshield, Tracker. Leaders: Shaman, Runnerhide, Hunter.

Shaman line: Magic using unit, useful for winkling tough enemies out of high defence terrain. Cheap, not the most powerful attacks.

Novice shaman: l1: cost 14, HP 30, XP 40, MP 5. Impact melee 6-2, cold or arcane ranged 7-3
Shaman: l2: just gets stronger
Elder Shaman: l3: stronger and gains plague special, but producing spirits not WCs, for ranged attack.

Plainswalker line: Scout unit/support - has slows, but no other tricks. Gains charge on levelling. Wolf-like movetype, but slowed by forests. Probably neutral, as the riding beast would be lawful on its own.

Plainswalker: l1: cost 18, HP 34, XP 32, MP 8. BLade melee 6-3, impact slows ranged, 5-2
Plainstrider: l2: gets stronger, gains single hit charge attack - 9-1 blade
Plainstriker: l3: just gets stronger.

Spirit line: Scout/water unit. Quite weak, particularly over water and to cold, but with good evasion to physical attacks as mianline ghosts. Moves freely across all terrains.

Spirit: l0: Cost 11, HP 16, XP 18, MP 6. Arcane melee 5-3, fire ranged 5-3
Ancestor: l1: Cold melee, 5-4, fire ranged 6-3.
Honoured Ancestor: l2: Just gets stronger.
Twisted Remnant: alternate l1: Arcane melee only, but with slows or some other status effect, possibly nightstalk or similar.

Tracker line: primary ranged unit. Low strikes, high power. Tracker ability is there for campaign flavour more than anything - one of the fauna in the planning has a powerful ambush on any flat terrain. The ability would not be that useful in MP, so maybe something else might be useful. I'd like to keep it to something related to hunting or tracking however. Low resists, high defences. Neutral.

Tracker: l1: Cost 13, HP 32, XP 30, MP 5. 8-2 impact melee, 8-3 pierce ranged.
Hunter: l2: Just gets stronger.
Skinner: l3: Gains 8-4 blade melee attack.

Hideshield line: primary melee fighter. Best resistances of the faction, worst defences. Pierce melee. Probably a powerful single hit with firststrike and a weaker multiple hit without.

Hideshield: l1: Cost 15, HP 40, XP 38, MP 5. PIerce melee 10-1 firststrike, 7-3.
Runnerhide: l2: gains 1 MP
Gorerhide: Just stronger
Shriekerhide: Just stronger, better resists.
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Re: The Battle for Meridia

Post by Sleepwalker »

Gotta say that reading through all this my interest has risen considerably. I like all the flavor and reasoning behind the units and factions. And I've been wondering how the Khalifate would be able to tie in the rest of the Wesnoth world in a good way... Nice work!
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Re: The Battle for Meridia

Post by Exasperation »

I don't think tracker would be impossible to do with events. You would need a few moveto events; one which filters for enemy units moving into the tracker's detection radius, one which filters for a unit with the tracker ability, and a third which I'll get back to in a moment.

The first one sets the moving unit's status.hidden to "no" (a unit needs to have status.hidden "yes" in order to have ambush abilities function). Note that at some point this either was or will be changed to status.uncovered (which works the opposite way - status.uncovered "yes" means ambush abilities don't work).

The second event would store any enemy units that were within the tracker's detection radius before the move, check to make sure they're not in any other trackers' detection radii, and (if they're not) return them to hidden status. Then it would store any enemy units that are in the detection radius after the move, and reveal them.

The third event would filter for units which have been revealed moving to a space outside of any hostile trackers' radii, and would return their hidden status.

Also, you could take out the first part of the second event and have revealed units get re-hidden in a side turn event, if you find that behavior preferable.

Edit - according to the changelog, hidden was replaced with uncovered in 1.8.2

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Re: The Battle for Meridia

Post by Velensk »

That makes it much easier to read. Thank you. Your stats are indeed utterly ridicules but I still get about what you mean. As a note: don't mention the xp costs unless quick/slow leveling is a trait you specifically want for your unit as it is just a distraction otherwise.

I know that while balancing doing unit to unit comparisons is discouraged however it does serve a certain purpose as it allows you to draw connections. You cannot necessarily say that a unit that is like the spearman only more expensive and with no ranged attack is underpowered however what you can say is that it is less efficient (which may be very necessary for the faction). You can however say that a unit with the dame defenses/resistances as a spearman and more hitpoints is tougher unless you are in an era where everyone has inflated damage. Although you cannot declare balance based on these you can draw relative relations.

For the shaman line. What you indicate you want in the description contradicts what you've put down. This unit will hit roughly as hard as a mage on offense, twice as good on defense, have more hitpoints, and cost as much as a loyalist archer. Now, if you toned down the damage to 7-2 for the ranged attack and 5-2 for the melee attack you would have something very much like what you described that would.

Your proposed scout stats also very powerful. Slow is very important special and even without it your proposed unit is a stronger melee combatant than a wolf. Slow on a fast unit could be very difficult to balance because this would mean that every time the ToD shifts it would have one enemy per scout that is almost guaranteed to not be able to retreat fast enough and make for an incredibly strong village stealer. To suit it better to its role it may be a good idea to drop the melee attack down some, increase the cost, and decrease the hitpoints to the point where two units could chase it off a village even if one of them is slowed. Force the player using them to need to protect them.

Your 'weak' spirit line deals more damage than a ghost (though it certainly isn't more powerful). Feeding might be a fitting ability for the twisted revenant perhaps in combination with nightstalk.

Your "primary ranged unit" deals more melee damage than a troll and more ranged damage than an elvish archer or a mage for the cost of 13. I assume that this is not as you intended. I think you'd want to aim for about 18ish ranged damage and at most 10 total melee damage by the units description. On a unit from a faction with a very similar concept and very similar unit concept in EoFM (the Highlander hunter) I gave it marksmanship as I figured that it would be fitting for a hunter to be able to deal damage to enemies hiding in favored terrain but I feel that this would step on the toes of your shaman in terms of role. More thoughts on this at the end.

Your hideshield line seems like it would be very solid for its cost. This could be a trait of the faction to be like this however you'll have to build your balance around the fact that this faction can get such a solid unit for only 15 gold which will be very hard to do if you plan to keep the plainswalker as it is.

More thoughts on the tracker/shaman line. An easy way to differentiate them if you want to try giving the tracker marksmanship would be to make it so that the shamans ranged attack is very weak (4-2 or something) and move down the spirit summoning effect to level 1. I think that this would compliment the way this faction will have the ability to stop individual enemies from retreating each shift of ToD pretty well. The problem with this approach is that unless the tracker has high damage the faction will be lacking in good fort-busters however it could well have enough other good qualities to make up for it.
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Re: The Battle for Meridia

Post by thespaceinvader »

I thought the stats might be a little silly - though I was intending for the Aracaya to be a little tougher overall that humans and elves - they're orcs, after all, and hunter-gatherers besides. I was making them up mostly off the top of my head after all ;)

Your analysis seems very reasonable, however, and I do like the suggestions about making the shaman and tracker more distinct.

next faction up in a moment.
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