1. Updated Resource Submission Rules: All model & skin resource submissions must now include an in-game screenshot. This is to help speed up the moderation process and to show how the model and/or texture looks like from the in-game camera.
    Dismiss Notice
  2. DID YOU KNOW - That you can unlock new rank icons by posting on the forums or winning contests? Click here to customize your rank or read our User Rank Policy to see a list of ranks that you can unlock. Have you won a contest and still haven't received your rank award? Then please contact the administration.
    Dismiss Notice
  3. From the gates of hell, the 5th Special Effect Contest Results have emerged.
    Dismiss Notice
  4. Rubbed the right way, the genie is out of its lamp! The 12th Concept Art Contest Results have been announced.
    Dismiss Notice
  5. Race against the odds and Reforge, Don't Refund. The 14th Techtree Contest has begun!
    Dismiss Notice
  6. Check out the Staff job openings thread.
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Do you have good ideas for new contests? If so, please open new threads in the Contest Submission sub-forum to discuss them.
Dismiss Notice
60,000 passwords have been reset on July 8, 2019. If you cannot login, read this.

[Altered Melee] If WC3 Had A Second Expansion?

Discussion in 'Idea Factory' started by Zoldam, May 3, 2018.

  1. Kyrbi0

    Kyrbi0

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2008
    Messages:
    7,974
    Resources:
    1
    Models:
    1
    Resources:
    1
    I'm not gonna claim that Blizzard is perfect/Wc3 is a paragon of balance... But something like 'healing' seems like they would have thought of it.

    And, after a little perusal of Mojo Stormstout guide, I would argue yeah, they kinda did.

    For one, don't knock the Blight-only Regen; it's an astronomical 2.00HP/sec (double the next highest rate (1.00HP/sec for Night Elves (night only) & quadruple the other two (0.25HP/sec for Humans & Orcs); even my custom Jungle Trolls, with vaunted regeneration, only have 1.50HP/sec).

    For two, all three Tier1 units have a method of ultra-fast regeneration. The Gargoyle's *Stone Form* gives them 8.00HP/sec, the Crypt Fiend's *Burrow* gives them 5.00HP/sec, and while *Cannibalizing* a Ghoul gets 10.00HP/sec. (Which, with a T1 Graveyard structure & early creeping factored in, is not hard to get).
    ((And that's not even counting Vampiric Aura))
    Make that 10/7/12 respectively if done while on Blight.

    So yeah, I'm no expert but I would argue they didn't intend for the DK to be "required".
     
  2. Daffa

    Daffa

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2013
    Messages:
    7,941
    Resources:
    29
    Packs:
    1
    Maps:
    8
    Spells:
    18
    Tutorials:
    2
    Resources:
    29
    Gargoyle is T2, requires HotD.

    Pretty sure they didn't mean to, but from the looks of it, unintentionally it happens (most people tend to go DK first for Coil from what I'm aware). Blight regen sure is powerful, but in a combat where the damage is around 10-30 per second, it will get negated quite fast. It's also pretty slow to recover from an after battle than Scroll (Human) or Salve (Orc). I'm more into Burrow than Cannibalize, but unsure if it was a T2 material or T1 material.

    I might need to check some melee games. Been quite a while.
     
  3. Banelingline

    Banelingline

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2017
    Messages:
    115
    Resources:
    0
    Resources:
    0
    Well, the first thing to consider for a second campaign, from a gameplay perspective, is to find the various mechanical issues in the game that seriously impact balance at mid and low levels of competitive play, causing races/reasonable strategies to be over or under powered. Then fix them with new units and/or upgrades that counter overpowered strategies and boost underpowered ones, with the high level seeing lower impact due to workarounds in pre-existing strategies that fundamentally don't work at lower levels of play due to execution requirements, such as siege rushes.

    As an example, Undead have issues caused by having significantly larger out of combat recovery times. The solution Blizzard did for The Frozen Throne was to introduce the Obsidian Statue, which offered an acceleration to health and mana regeneration but still not in a proper combat timescale. In a second expansion, it could be an additional summoner, a proper combat healer or a recycler to recover resources from losses caused by the deficient healing.
     
  4. cleavinghammer

    cleavinghammer

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2010
    Messages:
    2,639
    Resources:
    1
    Models:
    1
    Resources:
    1
    The undead are "supposed" to lose troops though, what with the necromancy shtick.
     
  5. Banelingline

    Banelingline

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2017
    Messages:
    115
    Resources:
    0
    Resources:
    0
    I know, but offsetting the disadvantage of unit losses incurred is fairly important at several levels of play, and the Undead somewhat need to take advantage of degenerate usage of their corpse use. Making a number of extra Graveyards to provide for Cannibalize, using Meat Wagons purely to preserve and transport bodies instead of their intended siege role, massing Necromancers and Obsidian Statues to generate large groups of disposable units and making Banshees to steal enemy units primarily to cover the Undead's own weakness in unit value by either stealing a healer or snagging a beefy unit to run cost-positive with the Banshee in question with a good complexity to value ratio.

    The corpse usage is a problem for lower-skill players, as it traps them into FOO strategies that don't scale upwards without unreasonable jumps in skill (such as massed Meat Wagons and Necromancers with Obsidian Statues sprinkled in, which needs immense micromanagement to pull off, or yet more build order complexity to add Crypt Fiends or Gargoyles). Adding a new corpse generator, or a proper combat healer, helps with the lower end of play to form better habits as you go up the ladder. This is the exact issue with the campaign, as it doesn't actually present the gameplay incentives that you need for PvP success, leading to segregation in gameplay. It's such a severe issue that Blizzard flat out gave up and made co-op in Starcraft 2 to offer the campaign's incentive structure in a multiplayer setting. This is a big problem for the bar to entry into competitive play.

    Actually, speaking of the bad incentives, the actual campaign missions could be used as a true tutorial to the game, giving you scenarios where you have to enact skills needed for competitive play. Higher difficulties could do more than merely alter resources and unit stats on the enemy to instead offer actual changes to test higher-level skill, such as adjusting enemy behavior to force you to micromanage two or three combat fronts at once, a skill that has proven extremely important at the highest level of competitive play because it allows for pressuring an opponent's multitasking skill, something that few people are particularly good at.

    Instead of the ubiquitous defense missions of holding out until reinforcements arrive, the goal should be to destroy the enemy before their reinforcements show up so that you can accomplish the in-story objective without much opposition. "Defense" actions in-story could transition to actually breaking down the enemy's army instead of just holding the line, working to eliminate the threat directly instead of just preserve resources. The only case where a "hold the line" mission should happen is if a PvP viable turtle strategy is intended, so that the mission's lesson on how to handle a situation carries over directly to PvP play. Even then, a limit to losses or resources should be included so that the needed skills to do it are enforced by the mission.
     
  6. Zoldam

    Zoldam

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2010
    Messages:
    114
    Resources:
    0
    Resources:
    0
    Well UD got cannibalize for ghouls at least, but it kind of sucks for every other unit. Should I make a new tier 1 healing item for UD?
     
  7. Oliver

    Oliver

    Joined:
    May 7, 2006
    Messages:
    147
    Resources:
    5
    Models:
    2
    Icons:
    3
    Resources:
    5
    Doesn't vampiric aura count as healing for UD too?

    I'd have liked to see a distinction between magic abilities and mundane abilities.

    Like a spell breaker is immune to ensnare or (theoretically) a bleeding degen type thing.
     
  8. Rui

    Rui

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2005
    Messages:
    8,506
    Resources:
    8
    Maps:
    8
    Resources:
    8
    Yes, precisely, this was my point. This is why DK is often the safest choice.

    I've had a few solo games in which I opt for Crypt Lord first, but in those games I was fighting a Night Elf and doing early aggression with many melee units, including beetles. In this setting, it's harder to aim the Crypt Lord, which is already a sturdy hero with his Spiked Carapace passive. Other Undead and Tavern heroes are too squishy and/or have a hard time regaining HP.

    Barely. Percentages got increased by +5% at all levels this patch, but it is still too low, and is melee-only.

    Furthermore, to heal from Vampiric Aura, you have to attack. Suppose you are creeping. Your wounded units regenerate next to nothing at 2 hp/attack, and your healthy ones take damage. What if you get attacked?

    The thing with the Death Knight is that he's a tanky hero who heals everyone else. He can either get targeted and make it out of the fire in time, or heal some other unit being targeted. That's flexibility players feel the most comfortable with. This, of course, on top of being the only viable heal early on. Too much advantage to throw away.
     
    Last edited: May 9, 2018
  9. Banelingline

    Banelingline

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2017
    Messages:
    115
    Resources:
    0
    Resources:
    0
    Okay, I'll revive the topic to overview the degree of new things TFT added, so that we know what we need to be roughly equivalent to in added core content:

    1 new Hero for each faction, which mitigated some flaw in the faction. Some commonalities of all the new Heroes is that all of them have some form of movement reduction and all of them have a self-supporting ability, and all of them have a summon. The Blood Mage has Banish's 50% slow and Magic damage amplification, as well as Siphon Mana's "refueling", the Shadow Hunter's Healing Wave improves his own durability and Hex reduces movement speed to 100, the Crypt Lord's Impale stuns for a notable duration and his Spiked Carapace improves his longevity quite significantly, and the Warden's Shadow Strike again halves movement speed, while Blink offers much-needed positioning to capitalize on Fan of Knives.

    Every faction got two new units, with a new land unit and a new flyer, of which one is an anti-caster and the other a siege unit. The Humans got the anti-casting Spellbreaker and the disabling Dragonhawk Rider, the Orcs got the dispelling Spirit Walker and the volatile Bat Rider, the Undead got the blessed recovery tool of the Obsidian Statue and the magic-eating Destroyer, while the Night Elves got the hardy Mountain Giant and the annoying Faerie Dragon.

    Every faction got three significant upgrades that significantly change, usually by purely improving, how you make use of what is upgraded. Humans get to make Siege Tanks anti-air, Flying Machines anti-structure and Mortar Teams anti-Light, while Orcs turn Headhunters into slightly glassier, but much faster-attacking, ranged units, give a DoT to their catapults and make their buildings significantly more durable. Undead get to improve health regen and ambushing with Crypt Fiends, add a mobile corpse-generator effect to Meat Wagons and prolong the duration of their skeletons. Night Elves get an upgrade for each Druid to cast a spell while in animal form, and a boost to Moonwells.

    Every faction got a new structure. The Shop. The Shop is a techtree prerequisite for the two non-Hero units added in TFT and offers a selection of useful items, with the major differences being Orbs that enable anti-flying attacks and damage mitigation method. Associated with this is the addition of an upgrade to allow some units to carry, but not use, items and the addition of the Marketplace, which draws items from the loot tables of the map every 30 seconds past the first two minutes. Humans and Undead also added to their defensive structure options with Arcane Towers and Nerubian Ziggurrats, which are broadly anti-caster and anti-melee, while the Night Elves and Orcs have one of their new upgrades significantly help their defensive capabilities.

    Two major things were added: Neutral Heroes and useful aquatic capabilities. Each Neutral Hero provides a relatively generically useful capability, often being specialized in a task not all factions have good access to. The Goblin Alchemist, for instance, offers efficient group healing, something Humans and Night Elves need to wait pretty significantly for, the Orcs are stuck with the less-efficient Shadow Hunters, and the Undead pretty much lack it entirely. The Beastmaster is a center of meatshield creation, a very significant bonus to the Undead's otherwise corpse-reliant or costly meatshields.

    In total, there's four upgrades, two non-Hero units, a Hero and a new structure that handles a previously-Neutral-exclusive task that unlocks the non-Hero units.

    ---

    Going over this, it looks like TFT's melee content was focused heavily on expanding the counterplay around spells with more directly relevant abilities, expanding complexity into an area with relatively little of it (I think the only consistent example in RoC was the Banshee's Antimagic Shell). A second expansion would ideally do the same thing, with more counterplay around something that's currently relatively shallow. I personally would prefer this to be base-building, as the play surrounding bases is almost absolutely one-sided. The most you get from the base (unless you're Night Elves) is choosing targets for defensive structures, once you've made the structures. While decent counterplay surrounding structures would likely cause turtle strategies to become vastly improved, I see that as a very good thing, because making sieges an actual part of the game makes an almost entirely absent mode of play practical (almost because there's nutters that'll press a militia rush so hard they not only build archer towers inside the enemy base, but the tech buildings to enable more advanced towers)

    Given the goal of making bases themselves a source of serious counterplay choices beyond just targetting enemies to attack and positioning, my suggested forms of additions are upgrades going to improving counterplay around structures, a field engineer and defensive siege unit, a Hero with structure-supporting abilities (if an added Hero is included) and a structure that offers transportation (whether as an upgrade, making a transport unit that fills one of the other two slots, or being teleportation infrastructure). Additionally, a Neutral structure for purchasing neutral workers, letting you play with tileset-specific race fragments that offer similar gap-filling to the Neutral Heroes and/or hire a broader range of improved collectors like the Shredder that just build defensive structures like walls and towers. Could well be one and the same. Not sure about specifics, though.

    Anyone got other ideas for central goals/themes the new things go towards? Or details for this siege-based expansion focus?
     
  10. cleavinghammer

    cleavinghammer

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2010
    Messages:
    2,639
    Resources:
    1
    Models:
    1
    Resources:
    1
    I've done that, although only against the AI.

    Maybe some factional units where the faction gets improved-stats versions of standard units (as in Wings of Liberty's campaign), or as units with different abilities but the same combat role (as in Legacy of the Void's). Case in point: Horde vs. Fel Horde, Scourge vs. Forsaken.

    If there's one mechanic I'd have liked to see, it's the ability to have multiple autocasts at once (looking at you, Priests).
     
  11. Banelingline

    Banelingline

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2017
    Messages:
    115
    Resources:
    0
    Resources:
    0
    The issue that arises with subfactions is that Blizzard has literally never made a race selection that's conductive to it (heck, WC3's still hardcoded to no more than four races, at least as far as the map editor is concerned). Also, the races as they exist in game are extremely particular results of canon, with different sources of units being vital to the faction's mechanical identity. You can't have an actual Sentinels subrace for Night Elves because all the Druids aren't actually part of the Sentinels, and any Orc subrace that's based on any group that never went to Kalimdor has to replace two Heroes, two of three casters, both air units, the Kodo Rider and the Tauren. Pretty much half the race outright. If you nix shamanistic practices, you also need to replace the Far Seer and Shaman, so a proper, lore-accurate Fel Horde "subrace" is more new units than it is the original Orc race.

    Blizzard's never done subraces in the way you're thinking of, and their race lineup for WC3 isn't conductive to making them because they're pretty extensive groupings. While they have a startlingly prominent habit of using variants on factions, those variants are very frequently missing chunks of the techtree and often rely on inflated numbers. The mechanics end is constructed solely to pose a challenge in a campaign mission, whether by making you adapt to a different toolkit, work out the toolkit you need or deal with something similar to, but distinct from, what you've fought before to trip you up with different abilities and larger numbers. Kane's Wrath (the C&C 3 expansion) got away with it by hyperfocusing on variations of existing units, rather than truly new units, and being a game where the factions are largely differentiated by equipment differences, rather than very specific history and ethnic (for lack of a better term) makeups.
     
  12. cleavinghammer

    cleavinghammer

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2010
    Messages:
    2,639
    Resources:
    1
    Models:
    1
    Resources:
    1
    Fair enough, so maybe something like mechanically different units rather than entire subfactions. For example, the standard siege unit is high damage with low attack speed, the alternative unit fires a bunch of low-damage attacks at once (and has an equally-long reload time). And of course spellcaster variations.
     
  13. Banelingline

    Banelingline

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2017
    Messages:
    115
    Resources:
    0
    Resources:
    0
    Why are you fixating on subraces, anyways? They're a clunky mechanic that causes balance headaches because it's splitting a race between multiple subsets for little to no reason. And Blizzard expansions generally follow a pattern of only a handful of new units and one new system, sometimes. With Starcraft 2, all we ever got melee side was new units. As the thread's question is what would happen if Blizzard actually went and made a second expansion, their tendencies with expansions are to be recognized as meaningful limits on what can happen.

    Rather than a system that's a massive nightmare to balance because it literally adds more races to the game, except they directly share units with other races and as such buffs and nerfs are forcefully tied together (although Forsaken as a human variant race would be interesting...), I'd prefer stuff that opens up large amounts of possiblity space for user-made maps and tournaments, like proper multiplayer campaign support that directly offers the ability to make multi-map competitive games, something that'd be nice to have for the rather stale Blizzard competitive RTS scene.
     
  14. Trill

    Trill

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2018
    Messages:
    332
    Resources:
    1
    Icons:
    1
    Resources:
    1
    Hero choice affecting more than heroes.
    Paladin brings crusaders into the mix and some upgrades for Priests, Mountain King replaces Footmen with Footdorfs, etc.

    Mercenary/Tavern factions (Naga, Draenei, Bandits, Furbolg, whatever)
    You hire them from special neutral camps, but you can also hire their builders and build a few buildings (upgrade buildings, towers, etc)
    So you for instance hire a Mur'gul Slave, build a redux Temple of the Tides, upgrade naga weapons and then hire a lot of nagas from neutral camp, who are now more effective than your enemy's.
     
  15. Kilmaat

    Kilmaat

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2017
    Messages:
    36
    Resources:
    1
    Maps:
    1
    Resources:
    1
    I toyed with the idea of making a Tier 4 for each race, but it might be too punishing to lose a t4+ building as it would take forever to start building again.

    It could make the late game more interesting adding units/upgrades that you wouldn't see in every game.

    None of that requires an expansion though, if the expansion is just to add things that can be made in the editor its a bit pointless.

    It would have to add features to the game that didn't exist before (proper support for a 3rd resource for example).
     
  16. Lordlycan

    Lordlycan

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2008
    Messages:
    178
    Resources:
    0
    Resources:
    0
    better and diverse naval combat. It's a big part of actual warfare and somewhat neglected in wc3 at the moment. Shipyard and the ships always felt really underwhelming and the goblin barrage is ridicoulously more usefull than a transport vessel. But this also requires something against itemsinking.
     
  17. ArchDuke

    ArchDuke

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2017
    Messages:
    505
    Resources:
    0
    Resources:
    0
    That would be really interesting, although I don't think its likely to happen.
     
  18. Dr Super Good

    Dr Super Good

    Spell Reviewer

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2005
    Messages:
    25,929
    Resources:
    3
    Maps:
    1
    Spells:
    2
    Resources:
    3
    I suspect naval combat was considered for TFT which is why the Naga race was being developed. However I am guessing it did not mechanically feel too good which is why the idea was dropped and the Naga race was left banished to the campaign.
     
  19. Trill

    Trill

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2018
    Messages:
    332
    Resources:
    1
    Icons:
    1
    Resources:
    1
    That's pretty obvious, considering they added ship and shipyard models for all races.
    I suspect they just couldn't figure out how to translate some faction mechanics into naval warfare (raising ships from the dead? melee ships? etc), plus they had either not introduce Oil, which would be kinda lame, or justify Night Elves using it, which is likewise lame.
     
  20. Lordlycan

    Lordlycan

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2008
    Messages:
    178
    Resources:
    0
    Resources:
    0
    you could do really cool things with slipstreams and wind angles and just focus the ships on the age of sail.