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[Altered Melee] Slavery mechanics.

Discussion in 'Idea Factory' started by Trill, May 16, 2019 at 1:54 PM.

  1. Trill

    Trill

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    I started working on small side project, an altered melee with custom races, and one of them proved problematic.

    The Pirates' (temporary name) economy is based, among other things, on capturing slaves. These slaves can be then worked to death in mines, worked to death in production buildings, sacrificed to terrible sea gods, sold on slave market for some quick buck, broken and turned into cannon fodder soldiers, and maybe even literally used as fodder for cannon target practice, if I decide to rework pirate cannons. Probably not food though. Probably.
    The pirates will have to dedicate part of their food supply on Mancatchers, who are subpar combat units, but only ones that can perform the act of enslaving.

    And here I run into a few problems:
    1) Their enemies include, among other things, savage mindless beastmen and undead. Should I ignore that? Make slavery magical (slaves would then be more like voodoo zombies)? Make it impossible to enslave undead and balance it out in some other way (e.g. whenever a pirate kills an undead, undead has a chance to drop some resources)?

    2) When should an enemy be eligible for enslavement and what should be the mechanic? My original thought was when enemy falls to low health, but my map has pretty lethal health/damage ratio, and pirates have cannons which deal AoE damage. Now, that may not be a problem in itself - pirate player would have to learn to control his horde to minimize potential slave casualties. (I have thought about making units that fall to low health in fight with pirates become either invulnerable and stunned, or fall asleep, but that would requre dummy abilities casting spells and that would cause all sorts of problems in massed battles with triggered abilties)

    Another thought was long-duration low-chance Bash with custom buff. Then the question is who should have that ability? Every pirate unit? Only melee ones? Only Mancatchers?

    3) What should the act of enslaving be like? Base it off Charm? Devour? Polymorph? Rescue mechanic? Something else? Problem with slaves is that they are supposed to be able to freed at the moment, and turning into slaves with Rescue or Charm solution right on the battlefield seems weird in that regard.
    Idea that I've just had writing this is for "Slave" unit to spawn at the moment of enslavement and Devour the target (dealing no damage). Enslaved unit would break free if the Slave dies from damage, but not from health degeneration. But I'm not sure that will work. Plus I'm pretty sure I can't load units that carry other units inside them into transports, and pirates would do a lot of that, with transport ships playing a big role in their gameplay. Now, they could abandon / sacrifice their slaves when taking sail, but that seems like a lot of waste.
     
  2. Zepher

    Zepher

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    Im not too sure about this since your project is really different from anything I've ever worked with, but for the mechanics of enslavement you can use polymorph with a 0 duration and make dispel the freeing ability, something like doom can actually converts a unit into a slave, maybe an ability like dark conversion for enslavement? (but targets need to have a commoner classification for it to work I believe), or alternative just set a trigger to check if the unit has low hp and then if so to converts it.
     
  3. cleavinghammer

    cleavinghammer

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    Enslaving mechanic: Maybe something like this:
    * Once an enslaving spell is cast (based on Ensnare so the unit can still fight back) by P1 on a unit belonging to P2, the unit gets a "Captured" debuff, the game periodically checks for units allied to that unit (P2 or allied to P2) that also have the Captured debuff within X radius of the first unit. A Mancatcher needs to be present as well.
    * If all units owned by P2 in those radii have the Captured debuff (that is, all other P2 units are dead or fleeing), then after a slight grace period the Captured units are transferred to P1.

    Another idea:
    * Once a unit has been enslaved, it becomes part of a slave pen (a limit-one building that works like a mercenary camp, with the amount increasing by one for every captured slave). The slaves can be taken out and returned to the pens (only costing food, for obvious reasons). The slaves are generic units classed by species (so enslaving a footman, knight or peasant gets a human slave; enslaving a grunt, raider or peon gets an orc slave, etc.).
    * Destroying a slave pen releases all the slaves inside, allying with whoever destroyed it (unless the slaver destroyed his own building).
    * The slave unit has several abilities: harvesting (at lowered rates), an ability that makes it harvest at increased rates but damaging itself, a channeling spell that makes the targeted building work faster but damages the slave, etc. It can also turn into a weak combat unit, but then has a chance to rebel (becoming allied to a random non-owning player).

    Undead: Have the undead be controlled by another unit (e.g. witch doctor, necromancer) in groups of five or six. The zombies can't be turned except by another WD, the WD can be enslaved and his zombies transfer with him. WDs don't use the slave pen system, once Captured they join the capturing player.

    Beastmen: Can be captured using the mechanic (but they don't use "generic" slave units, they use the actual captured unit), but have a strong chance to rebel (becoming Neutral Hostile).

    Rebellion (slaves and beastmen) can be reduced with a Mancatcher unit's aura, which also causes slaves to move faster.
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2019 at 6:26 AM
  4. The_Silent

    The_Silent

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    I would ignore unit types, it is too restrictive and adds very little other than annoyances to gameplay. Besides, I would think undead slaves and beast men slaves is easy to explain.

    Meat on a stick, restrictive harnesses and manual labour.