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Tech Tree ideas: Lordaeron Refugees

Discussion in 'Idea Factory' started by Atik, May 28, 2018.

  1. Atik

    Atik

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    So, first things first: I'm currently in the planning stages of a campaign. On the simple side, it is within an AU where Sylvanas survived the fall of Silvermoon City, and the storyline itself follows the Lordaeron refugees as they form a rag-tag militia and march north in hopes of retaking Capital City (still under the control of the Scourge, with the Forsaken never rising to power in this timeline).

    The general over-arching theme involves the player's group gathering allies which augment their forces. From bandits and mercenaries, to the remnants of the proper Lordaeron military and Scarlet Crusaders, and eventually Blood Elven forces.

    So, in my ideas, I'm going for a very rag-tag feel to the army. My current ideas are:

    *Dwarven Labourers as workers (losing call to arms, although I'm still debating what to give them in exchange)
    *Militia who can eventually be upgraded to Footmen
    *Bandit Spear-throwers with the options to gain defend and envenomed weapons
    *Gnoll Mercenaries with melee siege damage and the option to research Command Aura
    *Sorceresses/Enchantresses who tentatively have Slow, Firebolt, and Frost Armor
    *Scarlet Priests with a mini-holy light (big heal that can also damage undead), mass dispel, and holy fire (a damage spell that debuffs the target to take bonus magic damage)
    *Standard Spell Breakers
    *A mounted rogue wizard who tentatively has Curse, Lightning Shield, and Summon Water Elemental
    *Potentially a human bat-rider of some sort? Very early idea currently...

    In addition would be two Heroes: one a melee Dwarven Berserker type (sort of Mountain King, but less tanky in exchange for higher damage) and a ranged Human hero (who would be the "protagonist" of the campaign, most likely throwing axes, although his skills are still a little in the planning stages right now...)

    So, with that bit out of the way, I figure now is as good a stage as any to start getting some advice from people who are way more experienced than I.
     
  2. cleavinghammer

    cleavinghammer

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    In most games I've played, giving a standard unit a summoning ability tends to be overpowered against the AI, they just can't deal with multiple units spawning at once (it already works with Necromancers, and they have an extra requirement for their summons).

    Maybe a catapult for ranged siege, and mounted bandits for T3 melee.
     
  3. Atik

    Atik

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    I was sort of worried about exactly that. I think I was taking inspiration from Warcraft 1 when building the unit, but looking back at it, I think I want one of the spellcasters to be utility, and one be more straight damage.

    I've been having a bit of trouble coming up with an idea for a ranged siege. I've been thinking of either a catapult or elven glaive thrower, but haven't come up with any idea to make it 'unique' instead of just taking up an 'essential' slot in the army.

    I had actually considered a sort of 'demi-paladin' as a T3 unit, with some AoE healing and heavy armor to resemble the Tauren, but a sort of buffed up Knight could also be cool, and certainly lend to an impressive introduction.
     
  4. cleavinghammer

    cleavinghammer

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    How about a siege tower: Load it up with archers (or whatever the ranged attacker is) and it gets a ranged siege attack, with a melee battering ram as its main attack (something like the siege engine, but with lower damage).
     
  5. Banelingline

    Banelingline

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    As with the no-magic High Elf techtree, I ask how much of a techtree you want. And add how much of a change you want. Do you want a full techtree, with all twelve standard unit roles taken by twelve actual unit types? Do you want to compact some rolls, like having only one standard and the shop-unlocked spellcaster, or having upgrades for them unlocked by the shop instead of the shop-caster? How close do you want to stick to the standard race arrangement, basically.

    A key thing is that this is refugees, so it's not a combat competent group, by and large. The use of mercenaries only makes sense as far as you can justify hiring with underpaying and poor conditions, which works for highwaymen who have just as much to lose from the Scourge as the fleeing citizens, but not Gnolls who could hardly care less about what happens to the humans. Bifurcating the faction between refugees and mercenaries, with the mercenaries having more direct force and the refugees having more force multipliers, could work out well.

    By packing down "advanced" units into research for the lower ranks, you can get an improvement to the feel of it being remnants while also making the toolkit of power multipliers become more efficient and less prone to breaking from single units being sniped. For example, if the healer is an Apothecary, the shop could unlock upgrades for the Apothecary to add a new field of competence in blatantly-illegal potions instead of unlocking a third caster, thus resulting in a caster with five abilities vying for mana.

    Following the idea of packing the units down to avert making advanced and powerful things that are independent threats, the t2 siege unit could be a t1 structure getting up to wreck shit. Probably the basic defensive tower, which would rely on the t1 ranged unit (whatever that turns out to be) as a garrison, using that as a baseline and adjusting from it (turning up attack speed or damage a little, giving extra passive effects and so on), then making it move as an upgrade in t2, turning it from a hut/tower/whatever into a wagon with most of the structure still on top of it. Would require new modelling work.
     
  6. Atik

    Atik

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    All good points. The biggest vibe I want is a 'rag tag' army, so it would probably be a nice flavor if they lacked certain unit roles. Most notably, ranged siege and flying units come to mind. (With the possible exception of a single flyer of potentially low strength.)

    I do like the idea of possibly dropping off a caster or two in favor of less units feeling more 'stretched thin'.

    Perhaps, as a crazy idea, an upgrade which gives workers a ranged moltov-esque attack? Making them, effectively, the ranged siege, but meaning you need to put your production in danger to utilize them?
     
  7. cleavinghammer

    cleavinghammer

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    You might run into the opposite problem there: cheap massed siege units, since you can always make more workers.

    Maybe make the worker a dual-mode unit: one mode gathers and builds, the other has siege abilities and related buildings (for example, making explosive barrels or an ability that consumes a tree to make a battering ram).

    A general "scrounging" mechanic, where their upgrades and resources are obtained by raiding buildings (kill X caster production buildings, their casters get an upgrade, kill X upgrade buildings, they get one armor/damage upgrade).

    A looting mechanic where individual units power up (mostly armor and HP) as they kill enemies, with the type of upgrade determined by the units killed (e.g. kill a footman and take his sword or helmet, kill a knight and take his armor or horse, etc.).
     
    Last edited: May 30, 2018
  8. Atik

    Atik

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    While the 'looting' mechanic has a lot of flavour, I fear it seems too complex for what I'm hoping for. But the dual-form idea does have potential I'll poke around with.
     
  9. cleavinghammer

    cleavinghammer

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    As for casters, how about giving them a T3 equalizer in the form of a much more powerful caster than other factions, the logic being that the Scourge forced them out of hiding (they'd hidden to practice their highly illegal and dangerous magics without Dalaran interfering). So things like demon summons, high-powered spells with wide AoE, Finger of Pain...

    Nobody's really happy with the arrangement (especially the lower-tier casters), but it mutually ensures better protection (the peasants gets spells, the warlocks get warm bodies between them and the dead), gives the refugees a better weapon against the undead and it gives the rogues a chance to gain more power.
     
    Last edited: May 31, 2018
  10. Atik

    Atik

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    It's funny you suggest that just now, as I was working on a similar idea. But my idea involved low-tier casters picking up less 'ethical' magics as late-game additional upgrades.

    Currently I think I'm fairly happy with my base 'Enchantress', who is supposed to be more utility-focused. Slow, a temporary ward for true-sight, frost armor, a frostbolt for damage/stunning, and a modified version of parasite.

    I'm considering peeling out the Spellbreaker, which would leave the Scarlet Priest, Bandit Wizard, and maybe my T3 Paladin unit...

    Meanwhile, I'm considering modifying Call to Arms so it instead changes workers to 'moltov-mode' and attatching it to the Blacksmith, so you could build one near the enemy base if needed.
     
  11. Oliver

    Oliver

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    Could just add a passive ability/buff to the killing unit. If typeof unit = knight then give ability "armour buff"

    You could also add levels to the ability so once they have it if they make a kill qualifying them for upgrade again they put it to level 2

    On a more general note, how about some sort of ambush type thing. Like an aoe wind walk without the speed buff or something. Or making use of traps. Or a combo of the 2. An infantry unit which uses an ability placing something like a stun ward, on cast the infantry unit is remove, when the stun ward goes off the unit is spawned again to attack the stunned foe.

    You could also have some sort of "directional damage" thing, so you do bonus damage from behind or side, encouraging the survivors to play the positioning game, good combo with stun stuff or even invisibility so anvil holds the opponent while the hammer moves in to attack from behind.

    A theme you might explore is buffing, something like the band of disorganised refugees gathering around a hero, the hero teaching them how to fight and inspiring them. So some sort of demi hero units. Maybe for each category so a sherwood archer/robin hood type guy/elven archer to buff ranged units, a bandit hero/retired captain of guard for melee, a master/mistress wizard for mages. It could tie in with the looting mechanic where the demi hero permanently upgrades the corresponding units somehow.
     
  12. cleavinghammer

    cleavinghammer

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    How about a mechanic where a unit has permanently lowered combat stats but is cheaper if not outright free to train, costing only food? Basically, refugees so desperate for food they'll happily give themselves to someone who'll pay them in food instead of gold.
     
  13. Oliver

    Oliver

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    Like the conscripts at stalingrad. To further develop that maybe have "on death" effects, like on death buff nearby allies as a "revenge" type of thing. Might be a bit too fundamentally game changing though, like going against it one would have to expect a constant spam of units which the enemy uses to stall the game till they've gathered enough gold for a sincere attack.+ ironically it might result in the refugee player actually having more superior units, the chaff being free conscripts and the gold instead being used on a bunch of uber units or something.
     
  14. Atik

    Atik

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    I actually already have a similiar thing going, I think, with the traditional Militia having become the basic Barracks unit. They're cheap and spammable, but relatively frail with low damage. They can eventually become the much tankier footmen while still costing the same per unit, but it's an expensive T3 tech, so there's trade-offs involved.
     
  15. cleavinghammer

    cleavinghammer

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    Maybe have them use animals for certain roles, as they only need food compared to humans needing pay. And every time one kills a critter or wild animal, food cap goes up by one.

    Flyers could be an animal more useful for a scout role, but can be upgraded to throw projectiles (Flying Machine bombs).
     
  16. Banelingline

    Banelingline

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    Or the food cost of the killing unit goes down by one, as a more balanced alternative.
     
  17. Atik

    Atik

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    I've been considering an animal unit idea. My first thoughts were either Hyenas or Raptors.

    With Hyenas, it's part of my headcanon that they migrated north during the second war, following the Orc's warpath and scavenging the dead. After pushing back the Orcs, Lordaeron Humans domesticated them to use as tracking hounds. (Explains why Scarlet Hounds used to be Hyenas, even though they got changed to mastiffs with the new Scarlet Monestary. But SM literally went from being my favorite dungeon ever, to one of my most hated with the re-release back in MoP.)

    The other thought was Raptors because... well, raptors are cool, and live in Arathi, and there are some cool Raptor models I found here on the hive, unlike my current failure at finding a Hyena model.

    Both would likely serve the same purpose as a cheap, fast shock unit with something like Windwalk and Crit or Cleave, so it would be a case of one or the other...
     
  18. cleavinghammer

    cleavinghammer

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    ^^ What, the specific one or all of them? Dunno how negative food costs would work.

    ^ And you can give them Cannibalize for low-level healing.
     
  19. Atik

    Atik

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    Oh, that is a decent idea. Although it wouldn't be cannibalism then. :p
     
  20. cleavinghammer

    cleavinghammer

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    Wouldn't even need to research it.

    Maybe cavalry could be infantry unit + appropriate mount: horse, raptor, hyena, bear..., or an upgrade that gives animals extra life and damage so they can at least compete with the other fast heavy melee.