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Expanded Melee (LF Some Ideas)

Discussion in 'Idea Factory' started by Zoldam, Oct 19, 2019.

  1. Zoldam

    Zoldam

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    I'm making, not so much a map, but rather a new set of objects for melee maps. One of my main things about WC3 melee games is they feel too quick and simple to me. I understand this is ideal for online matches, but once and awhile I crave a long complex game, even if it's only against an AI (which I have made to go with the changes). A few features...

    1: Slower pace in general.
    2: Named heroes for tier 3 (Arthas, Grom, Tyrande, etc. more powerful than their generic counterparts)
    3: Masteries, you pick one of three at the start of the game, effects units and research in the game.
    4: Vastly expanded tech-trees as well as new units.
    5: Greater investment and payoff in buildings and tech.

    There is more I am forgetting, but that should be enough to get the idea across. I have come to a point I need a bit of input for a few things. I had mentioned earlier about "named heroes" being a feature. Named heroes have their own abilities on a technical level, but they are going to function as ranks 3, 4, and 5 of the hero they are based on, with each gaining a passive, or a new ability for a passive they had before. For example Arthas (Paladin) would look like...

    Arthas: Paladin (Maybe I will call it "Prince of Lordaeron" I haven't decided)
    Passive: Devotion Aura (mimics rank 3 of the generic paladin)
    Ability 1: Holy Light (Rank 1 mimics the rank 3 of the generic paladin, following the pattern beyond that)
    Ability 2: Divine Shield (Same Story)
    Ability 3: Something new, preferably something offensive to fit his character.
    Ability 4: Resurrection (Better version of generic paladin's)

    Each faction has six named heroes available upon hitting tier 3 (Of which you can only pick one). And I am looking for some input as to what some can be, and what some abilities for them could be. Each faction will have 4 to "replace" the generic heroes, with two new ones that are either based off a campaign hero, such as high-elf Sylvanas' Ranger class, or something new altogether. I don't mind passives overlapping if they are in different factions, but trying to keep the abilities themselves unique for each hero. So far...

    Alliance/Human

    Paladin: Arthas (Need one activated ability)
    Arch Mage: Jaina (Need one activated ability)
    Mountain King: Muradin (Need one activated ability)
    Blood Mage: Kael (Need one passive ability)
    Ranger General: Sylvanas (Trueshot Aura passive, activated abilities are auto-attack arrows (not decided on which, poison?), some sort of stealth/invisibility ability, another I haven't decided, and "Vengeful Thorn" basically deals a lot of damage and stuns an enemy hero, like what she does to Arthas.
    Dark Knight: Garithos (Command Aura, not decided abilities yet, but they won't be stolen from other heroes)

    Horde/Orc

    Blademaster: Grom (Need one activated ability)
    Farseer: Thrall (Need one passive ability, thinking brilliance aura, not 100% sure)
    Tauren Chieften: Cairne (Need one activated ability)
    Shadow Hunter: Vol'Jin (Need one passive ability)
    Beast Master: Rexxar (Need one passive ability)
    Not sure what to use for the 6th.

    Scourge/Undead

    Death Knight: Baron Rivendare (Will say why not Arthas later, need one activated ability)
    Crypt Lord: Anub'arak (Need one activated ability)
    Lich: Kel'Thuzad (Need one passive, thinking brilliance... again)
    Blood Prince: Keleseth (Info on why not Dreadlord after, need activated ability)
    Flesh Titan: Patchwerk (Hateful Strike passive, works sort of like a cleave. Various buffs to melee combat for activated things)
    Not sure what to use for the 6th, been considering Dark Ranger, but they were not part of the Scourge very long.

    Question 1: Why isn't Arthas the Death Knight rep? Because he would be the Lich King, and a potential hero depending on if I create a "Ring Hero" system. For those unfamiliar, "Ring Heros" were heroes in another, Lord of the Ring themed, RTS game. The item is hidden somewhere on the map at random, if you find it and bring it back to your base, you can summon the strongest hero. If I decide to add this, for the Alliance it would be Midevh, not sure for Horde, Lich King for Scourge, and Cenarius for Night Elves.

    Question 2: What happened to Dead Lord? What's this Blood Prince hero? Well Dreadlords don't really have any relation with the Scourge after RoC (other than melee map hero in TFT). So I figured I would pick something more fitting. Blood Princes are functionally the same as them possessing the same abilities except that Summon Infernal is now Summon Revenant, which is essentially the same ability except it uses an Ice Revenant instead of an Infernal, it has an ice theme instead of a fire one.

    Night Elf

    Priestess of the Moon: Tyrande (Needs activated ability)
    Keeper of the Grove: Malfurion (Needs activated ability)
    Demon Hunter: Illidan (Needs activated ability)
    Warden: Maiev (Needs passive ability, was thinking something defensive since I it odd a plate wearer didn't have anything like that).
    Not sure about the other two, I am thinking Shandris can be one, but I am not sure what she could do that wouldn't be taking a bunch of stuff from Tyrande and Sylvanas., got no idea for the 6th.

    I think I got it all, that was quite the type. So if anyone has any ideas who could be used, or potential abilities for them, that would be much appreciated. I look forward to ideas (If anyone cares enough to post). Please note that balance is not being focused on until stuff is implemented, so do not be worried about numbers or anything like that.
     
  2. Trill

    Trill

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    Suggestion: Named Keeper of the Grove - Remulos or Spirit of Cenarius, or something.
    Malfurion becomes Archdruid, with skillset of Warcraft III Beta Archdruid.
    In fact, many of the heroes you need extra abilities for had different abilities in Beta, which would still fit thematically.

    I always perceive Undead as a catch-all faction for both Scourge and Forsaken, so I think Dark Rangers could be part of it. Even if you want to focus on Scourge only, just because Sylvie and her grills broke out doesn't mean some other Dark Rangers couldn't have stayed enslaved.

    Also is Alliance Sylvanas gonna be her Dark Ranger self?

    For the Horde, I think Warlord would be perfect fit - the guy with mace and shield on a horse/wolf. It was a Horde hero in Beta.
     
  3. Zoldam

    Zoldam

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    Hmm, that is interesting. Where is this beta info so I can see some changes?

    Also who would the dark ranger rep be? It couldn't be Sylvanas I don't think. Alliance Sylvanas would be ranger general or such, like when you fight her when you play the Scourge campaign in RoC. I like the idea of bringing the archdruid back though, certainly a few keepers to choose from for the named one of those.
     
  4. Banelingline

    Banelingline

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    For reference on the Beta abilities, here's the Gamepedia page on Warcraft III's development cycle.

    I, personally, would tie points 3, 4 and 5 together for subraces. For example, one of the Undead's masteries would give access to Demons, unlocking the Dreadlord for use. This, by extension, means that you've locked in your three Heroes at the start of the match, with the in-gameplay choices being how you apply them further. Some overlap is acceptable, here; An Old Horde/Twilight's Hammer clan related Mastery for the Orcs would have some of the same Demons as the Undead mastery that unlocks the Dreadlord.

    If you're excluding the Legion influences and don't want Forsaken involved with the Undead, I would, for one, significantly change the abilities on the Blood Prince instead of directly modeling off the Dreadlord. Perhaps give them a drain ability and summon up something considerably different from an Infernal, perhaps replacing it with a Doom variant. I'll also point out that Patchwerk was an Abomination. Flesh Titans, exemplified by Thaddius, are the lightning-infused sort. Could make him a heavy-duty linebreaker in totality based on Lightning damage effects. Perhaps Cleaving Attack with scaling area, instead of scaling damage, for the passive, and repeat that scale-over-strength approach for the rest of the kit, so they become more "ranged" as the game drags on, but in the endgame they can fall off on damage a bit.

    You may have been thinking of Flesh Beasts, in which case you have Festergut and Rotface (who are quite distinct from eachother), or Flesh Giants, with the Blight-carrying Naxxramus variety being represented by Grobbulus, while the Abomination-but-made-of-Giants variety has... A number of potential representatives... I'd go with Forgemaster Garfrost, for the sake of an out-there "merchant" sort of Hero who's biggest contribution is improving your other Heroes with items.

    For the sixth Hero on the Undead, one can use a Vrykul Death Knight with the Frost or Blood specialization at its core, or use one of the above flesh golem varieties (or a Plague Eruptor like Darmuk!) for a second giant Undead battering ram option. Or go for a Frost Wyrm variant, using Sindrigosa for the name, which opens the option of the tier 3 named Heroes including a flying Hero for a vital late-game functionality of bypassing terrain.

    We had a whole expansion about the Scourge. There's a lot of stuff we can throw at the wall to see what sticks.
     
  5. Zoldam

    Zoldam

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    Much thanks for the link to beta-info.

    As for the blood princes, my intent for keeping them like the dreadlord was mostly since some people really like the dreadlord hero, and since this is more of an "expanded melee" I wanted to avoid doing too much replacing and such (it's not a "every faction reworked" kind of deal), so I figured changing the theme would suffice. My main goal was to keep the play similar enough, so I suppose it's ok to make some changes as long as it serves the same purpose overall.

    As for abominations I only went with Patchwerk since I was unable to find any custom models for the other types. Modeling is not really my thing, I have tried in the past and it was pretty bad lol. Though speaking of models I noticed there is a pretty cool Varian one now, so I might actually replace Garithos with him.


    I actually created this several years ago, but when Blizzard did that major update some time back (that one that gave things like windowed mode, widescreen support, combining RoC and TFT, etc.), the map would crash the game, and refuse to open in the editor anymore (I have no idea why, it's not like it was a particularly complex map, my only guess is that it was saved in WEU, even though this particular one didn't utilize any of WEU's stuff). Due to reforged being around the corner, I have been getting back in to WC3 and wanted to revive the project even though it essentially meant starting from scratch. I considered waiting until reforged, but I figured if WC3 and WC3R can actually play together, it should be close enough that I could import an older map to the (I will assume) newer editor. Not to mention there is a lot more custom content since then.

    The baseline changes each faction got on the original map had (as if you picked no mastery) were.

    3rd caster, an offensive one. Hydromancer for Alliance, Warlock for Horde, Nerubian Seer for Scourge, Druid of the Moon for Night Elves (transformed in to moonkin)
    General upgrades, such as armor and damage, had 5 ranks.
    As mentioned, named heroes for tier 3.
    An "elite unit" (think sort of like the Naga Royal Guard). They were trained by tier 3, were limited to 3, and different depending on the mastery chosen.
    Most units got another ability via upgrade, so for example knights could learn a Charge ability which increased movement for a bit.
    Some others I am forgetting.

    The original mastery system gave buffs to units tied to them, and also unlocked high tech levels, new tech, and a the aforementioned "elite unit". For example the old "Orcish Mastery" did the following. (Note: Since the map is corrupt this is all coming from memory).

    Increased general combat strength of orc units (HP, attack, etc.)
    Allowed the training of frostwolves, which were not very good at fighting, but had high movement and saw through stealth.
    Allowed the training of Stormreaver Warlocks, the orc "elite unit".
    Allowed frostwolves and raiders to learn the spiked collars upgrade, I don't remember what it did though.
    Allowed grunts to learn a second rank of berserker strength.
    Allowed warlocks to learn master training (rank 3) which gave them the Summon Daemon ability from earlier Warcraft games.
    More that I am confident I am forgetting.

    If the mastery effected fewer units, the buffs were usually greater, so for example the mastery that featured the trolls, because it effected fewer units, had better buffs. There were also eight factions. You would be promoted with a box when the map started that let you choose one, I only ever did get six finished though. So the faction you chose at the start of the game really only effected the UI and what AI the computer would use. The following...

    Alliance
    Horde
    Scourge
    Night Elves
    Legion (Summoned buildings like the Scourge, no blight mechanic though, obviously a focus on demon units.)
    Naga (Half-finished in TFT, so it wasn't too difficult to flesh it out in to a full one)
    Trolls (Horde trolls were all renamed "Darkspear" so Horde units would be "Darkspear Headhunter" or "Darkspear Batrider", this faction was all the tribes you see throughout WoW/in the campaign united.)
    Creeps (Faction based around the generic creatures you slaughter for early game gold and EXP, this one was more difficult to come up with ideas for, but it was also fun, a shame it was never finished, but since the map is corrupt now I suppose it's not a big deal.)
     
  6. Banelingline

    Banelingline

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    Use the Request forum, then. Work out what all you need, mention it in one thread, link back to here if you really need it. Possibly after we're done discussing what to do. Or start with searching through there in case they have what you need already.

    Huh, didn't actually think about it, but none of the base casters have serious direct damage. Although this would be a fourth caster for each, as TFT did add a third with anti-caster purposes. Except for Undead, who already had it and instead got a then-missing healer (and an anti-caster flier).

    If you're making choices with lore in mind, then the Horde using Warlocks is a giant no. And rather than a Druid of the Moon, I'd go for a lower Priestess of some sort, for the sake of making it so the casters aren't all Druids and at least one of them has Sential applicability. Adding Nerubian Seers and Hydromancers is something I fully approve of.

    Any serious number of Masteries with eight races is a nightmare to balance, on top of modeling concerns. I'd axe the Trolls and Creeps entirely, the former due to issues with Orc overlapping and the latter from being both too cobbled together and too map-related. Legion could be differentiated by a differing low end based on the Mastery, where you actually have a stub of another race before you get to the demons that signal the offense opening up.

    Masteries, in general, sound like they'd work far better if you had one "basic" Mastery that only adds the obligatory Elite and improved the general foundation of the race. With the goal being longer matches, focus efforts on defenses. More upgrades, more value to playing close to base in general. This includes needing a lot more resources, predominantly gold because most maps have a huge amount of excess lumber. Better structure repair?
     
  7. Zoldam

    Zoldam

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    Much thanks for the model info.

    I was hoping to keep it lore-friendly, but not to the letter (or if that were the case, Illidan couldn't even be a NE hero since he left his people as far back as RoC, just for one example), more of a faction identity sort of thing. I guess the best way to describe it would be, looking at the idea and saying "Is this <faction>?" which is why Illidan could be a named NE hero, yet the dreadlord would *not* be a Scourge hero (it goes on the premises the Scourge is it's own faction, rather than a Legion puppet). It's something for me to think more about.

    As for masteries, I have played custom maps that have them and they just felt weak to me, a lot of them were "increased damage of X unit by 3%" sort of things, which I understand is for balance and game play reasons to not make it out of hand, but in my case I wanted them to be that important choice at the start of the game that had a major impact throughout. I got them in the map, though I haven't tied very many things to them yet (unlike the old map where they were highly integrated), so there is plenty of time to work things out. The orc one I mentioned earlier was the "general buffs" one since the orcs were the main Horde unit, the other two were more specialized. So I'll give an example of another, the Dwarven Mastery for the Alliance.

    Dwarven Mastery put a lot of emphasis on sieging enemy towns (not too unlike dwarf units in-game). It did provide some small buffs to units like riflemen, the majority of buffs were increasing the efficiency at destroying buildings and base invasion. Siege Engine doubled as an APC (safely get units in to the base), explosive shot for riflemen giving them a 2nd attack that dealt siege damage to buildings, making them the only ranged unit that could deal anything significant to a building, their "elite" hero was a siege golem, very durable since it had fortified armor (only non-building with it), but could easily be swarmed by groups of units since it had no form of damaging AoE and a slow attack speed. It's strength was it's ability to tear down bases. It dealt siege damage to buildings, was an excellent counter to tower spam since it had earthquake (weaker than hero version) and was as mentioned fortified armor thus taking very little damage from them, and a few other things. I think that gives the general idea. Since you might have concerns about the dwarf mastery steamrolling someone by destroying their case at the start, a lot of that stuff came later in the game, and building in general were made a lot more durable, and building multiple bases was encouraged. I even made AI that would build more than one base (rather than just expansions).

    Trolls and creeps were the least developed so I totally get where you are coming from. For trolls my main thing was I loved the idea of the scattered troll tribes reforming an empire each unit was from a different tribe, so all of the units were called "Gurubashi <unit name>" and "Winterax <unit name>" etc. I do see the concerns and now that I am starting over it's pretty low on the priority list. As for the creeps, It was more just wanting something a bit different than anything. I always saw so many Naga/Legion/etc. kind of factions people made, I figured it might be a fun and unique kind, like trolls, it's rock-bottom priority. Focusing on the default four right now, even the Legion and Naga are on the back burner.

    Now that I am thinking about it... my first time making this I did what Blizzard did in BC with raid bosses. They did a "This boss would be cool! We can make up lore for why we are killing him later.", and the first time I made this map I would think "That idea is really cool! I'll worry about impact on balance later." I'm not hellbent on everything being perfectly balanced, a little imbalance can be fun if in moderation, I just want it to not be a disaster.
     
  8. Banelingline

    Banelingline

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    I am quite the lore pusher, so I get picky when people make missteps and have choices that, in context, are weird. If you really need another caster for Orcs, I'd go with a Troll Hexxer, basically the offensive end of Voodoo. Doesn't open the pile of issues from Fel use right in the middle of the New Horde. Can still give it some of the same self-destructive flavor if you want.

    My suggestion for the mechanics is, generally, stick to more upgrades, less new units. A whole new unit needs a very clear role unless you're looking for complexity for the sake of entertainment, based around the nuances of different units within a role. The "elite" units sound like peers for the Tauren and Mountain Giant, or a "tier 4" unit that requires some particular tech. Try to keep to a somewhat similar role for the Mastery bonuses. It's fine if one Mastery gives its target-specific siege to the existing ranged siege of their race and another gives it as a new unit, as long as the mechanics are roughly comparable. While it doesn't seem like it, the Tauren (specific unit) is much the same role as the Frost Wyrm. They're both a tier-three "Game-ender", they both get made from a structure that's exclusively for them, they fit in the same techtree slot and do similar things. It's closer for the Chimera and Gryphon Rider, admittedly, Tauren are the odd one out.

    It's also a lot easier to balance units if they're doing similar things. The more asymmetrical the game, the harder balance is to reach. It's a significant chunk of why SC2 is a shitshow, the races function in wildly different ways that make them virtually impossible to balance at more than one level of skill. And Blizzard aims for having the top balanced, and nowhere bloody else, turning all the normal people playing into a clownfest of endless cheese.

    ---

    In general, I'd have the outright new stuff be about quick establishment of defenses, so make the caster be dedicated to such a role, rather than ill-fitting damage; otherwise you've wasted a unit slot on something contrary to your goal. Make it so that expansions can be defended quickly and efficiently, so that it isn't useful to attack until the point you feel is appropriate is reached, whether that be t2 siege or level 4 upgrades. The base Undead have a huge problem with this, as Blight makes them vastly easier to scout and much slower to establish, as they need to either burn gold on it or wait for the Necropolis, on top of a painful lack of defensive abilities outside Necromancers on Graveyards. Just giving a large amount of extra durability to structures doesn't help if you can't drive enemies away. Night Elves need the fewest adjustments, as Moonwells and the self-protecting Ancients give them a very strong framework for being suicidal to base-rush early on.

    If the intent is to have several bases, you need to think about what you would do with them over having a single large and well-defended base and a few outlying expansions. Main thing I'd do would be designing a "critical mass" of investment needed to make something properly defensible, in terms of structures. More range on Moonwells and Ancients, possibly some added functionality for Alters, Undead having more corpse creation/ghost garrisons (choice of Banshees or Shades may be a matter of careful economy, or one of what kind of defense you want), stuff like that. Giving Humans access to Walls is both fitting and straightforward. Not sure what would work for Orcs...

    One outcome I think you'd like is making outright siege construction a thing. Stuff like building Siege Towers as your method of attack, over bringing in Mortar Teams. Similarly, Undead making Graveyards on the frontline for renewable corpses, moreso than bringing a mass of Meat Wagons.