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Tech Tree ideas: Lordaeron Refugees

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

  1. Banelingline

    Banelingline

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    The specific one that gets the kill, no negative food costs. And the Cannibalize would be a good prerequisite to get that decrease, making it make notably more sense. Though I'm not sure how to make a trigger to make something happen when a unit finishes eating a corpse... An alternative to show the "eating" mechanically would be lifesteal. And Pillage, in some cases.

    Also, we now have three sources to draw from for ideas: Partially tame animals, mercenaries and refugees/villagers. The first offers relatively cheap but food-inefficient and simple units for t1 to provide bulk early and mid game, but too prone to food and/or upkeep stalling in late game, the second offers expensive but food-efficient units that have significant abilities of independent use and the last offers supportive abilities that are primarily useful in groups at a cost that's sub-par below proper fighting force numbers.
     
  2. cleavinghammer

    cleavinghammer

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    Yeah, but what happens if it's used more than once? The idea with using them to hunt is that they bring back food to the camp, hence the +1 cap.

    So villagers and low ability animals are T1, animals with better abilities and refugee mobs are T2, and mercs are T3.

    * Fire pig: sets fire to a pig, who runs ahead in a straight line while losing HP, setting units and buildings on fire.
    * Warhound: True sight, some kind of bite debuff. Hyenas get a stronger debuff.
    * Mobs: Gain an increase in attack, armor, and movespeed the more of them there are (see Avatar of Ice 's Tribalism mechanic).
     
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2018
  3. Atik

    Atik

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    What I'm currently working in is something like this.

    Heroes: (Both kits are a little up in the air, but these Heroes would be the two present on probably 90%-ish of missions, so I do sort of want some synergy between them)

    *Lucien Greyfang, Lordaeron Survivor. Agility-based melee Hero, can learn abilities that temporarily make him ranged, Ensnare with scaling duration, a Health Potion heals for scaling amounts on a decent cooldown and can be auto-cast, and his Ultimate is Ravager; basically a Blizzard-esque AoE, but flavored as spinning axes.

    *Venhildara Stoneglory, Dwarven Berserker. Strength-based melee Hero, can learn abilities that give her a single-target stun, maybe warstomp/taunt/howl of terror, a passive which gives her flat health increases, and her ultimate is Drunken Fury; increasing her attack and movement speed.

    Town Hall:

    *Dwarven Labourer: Basic worker, based off the peasant. Can Call-to-Arms at the Blacksmith to become Dwarven Demolitionists, granting them a ranged Siege attack temporarily.

    Barracks:

    *Lordaeron Militia: Cheap, medium armor, low damage, low health. Can be upgraded to footmen eventually, swapping to heavy armor and buffing their health a little, as well as gaining Defend.

    *Bandit Assassin: Tier 2, ranged Bandit with Hide, similiar cost and stats to Troll Headhunters. Can gain poisoned attacks to add extra damage, and also gain Defend when footmen are researched.

    Arcane Sanctum:

    *Enchantress: Basic Spellcaster that gets stretched thin with a lot of spells. Slow > Sentry Ward > Frost Armor > Frostbolt > Parasite. 4 research tiers, becoming fairly expensive at the end, similiar stats to Sorceress.

    *Priest: Bog standard priest. Gotta switch him up a bit... Intention is for them to be from the Scarlet Crusade, meaning they don't come into play until mid-late game of the campaign.

    Bestiary:

    *Raptor/Hyena: Cheap, fast, and weak animal unit. If I can get a Hyena unit, probably something like Cannibalize, Critical Strike, and a research for bonus health/lifesteal. Raptors would be more like Critical Strike, Wind Walk or Hide, and a research to allow them to be mounted by Assassins. (These guys could probably stand to get shoved in the Barracks instead...)

    *Renegade Wizard: Mounted bandit spellcaster. Decent Health, meant to be more directly damage-focused than the Enchantress. Searing Arrows > Purge > Lightning Shield. Requires shop

    *Gnoll Overseer: Tier 2 melee. Heavy armor with a High health pool, deals siege damage. Can gain Command Aura to increase nearby Unit's attack power.

    Tier 3 building (Whatever it ends up being...)

    *Scarlet Paladin: Tier 3 melee. Pseudo-paladin with high armor and an AoE heal.

    *Bat Rider: Ranged air units. Fast with good damage, but low health... (A little on the fence on these guys. Can't find a good model and unsure what they would do...)
     
  4. disruptive_

    disruptive_

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    Never saw a map with a dynamic food cost of units. And food cost of units is a very relatable feature in campaigns and altered melee maps.
    It's also completely doable, as a general system for units (i'm interested in this approach) or as a restricted ability available to some unit types.
     
  5. Dagomar

    Dagomar

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    I know this is just a WIP but I do have a few thoughts.

    You have a Dwarven labourer unit and a Dwarven hero while everything else is Human, which makes the Dwarves feel like they're just sort of thrown in. The base Humans use Dwarves as hard-hitting ranged and siege units. You don't have to do the exact same thing but you need to give the Dwarves a well-defined role in your faction both gameplay and lorewise, because otherwise why not just make them human?

    For the militia upgrading into footmen, you could take a page from The Scourge of Lordaeron - Enhanced
    The footmen in that can be upgraded into several different forms, starting as the basic sword and shield unit and able to shift into a spearman, an archer or a mounted horseman. There's also an upgrade which changes Dwarven riflemen into footman crossbowmen. A system like this could help convey the idea that this is a ragtag army of people, where the 'soldiers' have to be able to fill any role at a given time. Once you have your higher tier units unlocked you could give the option to upgrade the footman into a tougher, specialized ground melee unit, similar to what the above campaign does by allowing you to upgrade your footmen into veterans. They would lose their versatility that way but would become better frontline melee units.

    How about instead of piling up spells on the enchantress you split them between her and the priest? Give sentry ward and parasite to the priest and make parasite a more light-focused ability. That way the enchantress will be slowing and shielding people in combat and dealing a bit of direct damage while the priest provides healing, utility and some damage over time. You're also missing an anti-magic spellcaster like a spellbreaker, so maybe the renegade wizard could fill that roll?

    The Raptor/Hyena could serve as a harassing unit if you gave it a slow-ability like a leg-bite, although the enchantress already has slow. Alternatively it could have something like the banshees curse or necromancer's cripple. Hayate has made a few different variants of raptor: Raptors

    I don't understand why the Gnoll Overseer is on his own here. Again like the Dwarves it feels like a token unit that's been thrown in rather than an integrated part of the faction. If you look at all the other factions they tend to have each race represented multiple times. Humans have Peasants, Footmen, Knights, the Paladin and Archmage; Elves have the Priest, Sorceress, Spellbreaker, Dragonhawk and Bloodmage; Dwarves have the Rifleman, Mortar Team, Steam Tank, Griffon Rider and Mountain King. Even the Horde, a faction known for being a ragtag collection of races, follows this rule; Orcs have Peons, Grunts, Raiders, Shaman, Kodo Beasts, the Blademaster and Far Seer; Trolls have Headhunters, Witch Doctors, Bat Riders and the Shadow Hunter; and Tauren have the Tauren, Spiritwalkers and the Tauren Chieftain.

    If you change the Gnoll into a Dwarf it would give them a larger role in the faction but you would then be putting them in their default role again. One idea is to make your anti-magic unit a Dwarf and switch the priest for a Dwarf Runepriest and switch the Gnoll Overseer with a Scarlet Crusader troop. The Scarlet Crusade would give you your heavy units and the Dwarves are anti-magic and healing.

    The bat rider feels out of place in a Human army, partly because the Trolls already have that unit so I associate it with the Horde.

    Overall though this is a pretty cool idea.
     
  6. Atik

    Atik

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    Well, story-wise, the Dwarven workers and hero are picked up in the first mission, when Lucien manages to piss off a Dwarven Noble; basically locking him out of traditional riflemen and the like. They could possibly be changed, though I'm not sure what I would want to do with them otherwise...

    I messed around with my moltov idea for a while, but generally didn't like the way the animations looked. So I scrapped it, and could make the ranged siege either a Gnoll or Elven unit of some sort.

    I do like the idea of Dwarven runepriests that I could maybe fit in, although part of they idea was to explicitly not give them a traditional anti-caster.

    Also, I'll be honest, I despise the Scourge Enhanced footmen. They are a silly level of micro-management, imo, and are a perfect example of what I want to avoid in terms of how the army "feels". I want a very "when you only have a hammer" style, not "when you only have a ditto."

    As for the bat rider, I think it makes sense, what with giant vampire bats being a native species and all. Although the model I currently have is an Elven ranger riding it, and I have little ideas on what to do upgrade-wise...

    And I did know Hayate's raptors. They're awesome. But I finally found a Hyena model, and prefer them. The bandits might have Arathi raptors though. :p
     
  7. Dagomar

    Dagomar

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    You don't necessarily need to change them you just need to have more than a single unit and a hero. The Dwarf Runepriest and one other unit would give you enough. Even if you don't have a traditional anti-caster the faction should still have some way of dealing with casters if only because the other factions have ways of shutting down your spellcasters and you should have some way to counter that. Otherwise just don't use any anti-casters at all.

    I think it's a bit odd that you dislike the Scourge Enhanced footmen for having a 'silly level of micro-management' but you want to give the enchantress five different abilities. Casters only have so much mana even with full upgrades and you don't have any unit capable of restoring mana to friendly units. Also you'll end up micromanaging several enchantresses, priests, renegade wizards and now you're considering adding a Dwarven Runepriest so that's even more abilities you have to keep track of. Now as an aside enchantress to me speaks more to illusions and mental magic so you could play that up if you wanted to differentiate between her and the other casters. Your Dwarf Runepriest could be more robust than the other casters and able to fight on the frontline, perhaps with abilities which are focused around buffing and shielding allies and debuffing enemies. You could also try giving the Dwarf Runepriest some sort of mana siphon/mana steal ability or give an ability like that to a hero.

    The Elves are probably still reeling from Arthas' invasion into Quel'Thalas and considering how short on manpower Kael seemed in TFT I can't imagine you'd find too many Elves willing to fight for Lordaeron since so many of them died defending their home and the rest would probably be trying to rebuild what's left of Quel'Thalas and no doubt the Amani would take advantage of the chaos and start raiding the Elves. So you'd have to explain how any significant number of Elves would come to join the Lordaeron refugees. I feel like Dwarves make more sense since as far as I know the Dwarves were largely or completely unaffected by the Plague so they would have the manpower and resources available to aid the refugees but then you've already said why Dwarven riflemen and such aren't available.

    Like I said earlier my problem with Gnoll troops was just that they felt kind of random but if you had several units plus a hero it would make them fit in better. Perhaps Lucien could save/aid etc. a Gnoll chieftain and in return they decide to help him. Play up the fact Gnolls live in camps in the woods; you could have guerrilla fighters, saboteurs etc. You could have a unit that is able to tangle/net enemies together and then pelt them with crossbow bolts while your saboteur could be your siege unit.

    If you wanted to include raptors, instead of giving them to bandits you could always try to go for people from Stromgarde who would sympathise with Lordaeron's people and want to help them take their home back. You could have the refugees hiring mercenaries from the Arathi Highlands to come help them and some may bring the raptors native to the area. Later on in the campaign when Lordaeron is on the rise again Khaz Modan and Stromgarde may end up sending professional soldiers north to help them when they realize that it's no longer a lost cause.

    One thing you could try is having an upgrade system like with your militia, where you would start with a militiaman, a bandit spear thrower etc. and then upgrade them into a proper soldier higher in the techtree. Similar to how the troll headhunter can be upgraded into a Troll berserker.
     
  8. Atik

    Atik

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    Okay, so there's a bit to process here, but I'll attempt to give a quick recap of the major story beats as they currently sit in my head. (The script is still bare-bones, atm. Writing it with input from some RPG friends)

    Starts off with Lucien leading a group of Lordaeron refugees north to connect with a proper 'military' (hardly) of Lordaeron survivors. Stormwind has basically kicked them out to go fight for their land back, with pretty minimal aid. Traveling through Dwarven lands, they set up camp on a nobles property, and get into a scuffle that turns political incident, with the group moving on having picked up low-class dwarven workers and Ven.

    Next beat it hitting Arathi, where the relatively small group gets caught up with bandits (likely Syndicate/Stromgarde) looking to kill and loot the relatively small force. Lucien and Ven find and assist a nearby group of Gnolls in exchange for their assistance; granting those units in addition to the base Militia in order to take out the Bandits. Beating the leader nearly to death, he lays down his arms and decides to instead lend his aid to the retaking the land from the undead.

    Then into Hillsbrad and Silverpine, with Spearmen in tow. The group gets their first taste of Scourge; probably a combo of traditional Undead and more Forsaken-flavored units. Fighting through that and Worgen, they make their way north to meet with the proper military force. The commander is currently unaware of Lucien's antics, and the two group up to begin pushing into Tirisfal. This is probably where Enchantresses and Hyenas come in.

    Next up is saving one of the Scarlet watchtowers from an undead assault; introducing them to the refugees. Hearing from the sane crusaders about the Monestary, Lucien and the Commander split their forces; the commander going to take Deathknell as a defendable base, and Lucien heading towards Scarlet Monestary.

    Upon arriving, Lucien and Ven accidently start a civil war among the Scarlets; forcing them to assist the more sane members in what will basically be the old SM dungeons remade in Warcraft 3. Scarlet Priests are gained, and the Commander arrives and is told of the situation. Having gotten word that Lucien may have started a war with the Dwarves, he's rather pissed and sends him to secure the Bulwark and hopefully not start another political incident.

    At the same time, Sylvanas (currently leading the Blood Elves since Kael has scurried off to Outland) has pushed out with a small force towards Capital City. Encountering Lucien at the Bulwark, she gets filled in on how things are going, and with his help go to take Andorhal or a similiar target in order to set up her own base.

    At this point the theme is clear. Lucien and Ven (Who would be dual heroes for the majority of maps) spend a lot of time bouncing around, gathering what allies they can find through shenanigans. Most missions would feature an allied base, I imagine, and perspective would switch to the traditional Army of the Military, and the more Kael-esque forces of Sylvanas at least once each. All this is leading to the final battle for Capital City; a massive slog of a map featuring loads of allied bases and Heroes, with a multitude of Auras stacking up for mighty heroic pushes.

    Hopefully that helps with getting an idea of where I'm coming from with the races of the units...
     
  9. cleavinghammer

    cleavinghammer

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    Given how much moving around they do, the gnolls should have a better reason for continuing to follow the refugees around (such as seeing their homes destroyed by the Scourge and a safety-in-numbers speech).

    When they split up, who gets stuck with the non-combat refugees?
     
  10. Dagomar

    Dagomar

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    So what made the Dwarven workers and Ven decide to leave with the Humans? Surely being associated with and becoming a part of that group would have ramifications for those Dwarves? Why did they decide to side with the humans in spite of the political turmoil/consequences. Also the bandit leader suddenly switching sides and joining them seems like a recipe for disaster. This would probably be too much work but it could always be an either or sort of deal, either side with the bandits and wipe out the Gnolls or side with the Gnolls to defeat the bandits. Of the two I prefer the idea of just taking out the bandits because as it stands I can't see why the main characters would trust them because:

    1. The bandits just tried to kill them
    2. They aren't in immediate danger from anything. The scourge isn't bearing down on them, they aren't in immediate need of more manpower since they've just recruited the Gnolls.
    3. I don't know what you save the Gnolls from but if it's the bandits then I doubt they would be happy with siding with them either.
    4. What's to stop the bandits from just shanking the heroes in the back and legging it later on down the line, particularly when things start to get difficult with the scourge.

    You could have both the bandits and the Gnolls join you, but it needs to be done in a way that seems sensible. Like Cleavinghammer said with the Gnolls, these people need to have a reason to help the refugees. Not only that they need a reason to stay with them even when things become difficult. There should be something that explains their loyalty to the group. Like the bandits are former Lordaeron soldiers. Then the main characters, the Gnolls and the 'bandits' join forces to fight off a larger threat. There would still be tension but it wouldn't be to the extent of them being all buddy buddy shortly after they tried to murder one another. Unless of course you plan to have some troops deserting or turning traitor down the line.

    Presumably when they join up with the proper 'military force' they will be able to upgrade their militia into footmen? Also since there are potentially four spellcasters or so in the works you could try changing the renegade wizard into a hero character, who could be the leader of the 'bandits'. Perhaps he's a mage who gathered together a bunch of people from Lordaeron and surrounding lands and while initially trying to just eek out a living they've started devolving into a band of cutthroats. Perhaps that's why they join you - you kill off the more ruthless outlaws among them and offer the others a second chance.
     
  11. Atik

    Atik

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    Ven and other Dwarves joining up would directly tie into pissing off the noble (the group joins Lucien as a 'fuck you', and is what turns it from an unpleasant encounter into a political incident.) So, presumably, any Dwarven units would be available more-or-less from the beginning.

    My thoughts with the Bandits was that they were, more or less, fellow survivors of the third war. (The entire story takes place post-Frozen THrone, and without the Forsaken forming the local Scourge have been pressuring the surrounding areas) While they may not be Lordaeron in terms of nationality, they've had to deal with the undead plenty. I'll admit, I'm willing to cut the Bandit units if I could find good alternatives (I don't know what upgrades Gnoll crossbowmen would have, honestly...).

    Most additional heroes would likely be Computer-controlled, leaving Lucien and Ven as the players only two heroes on the majority of missions, due to them being the 'main characters' of the story, or at least the 'player characters'.
     
  12. cleavinghammer

    cleavinghammer

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    Gnoll upgrades: Poison weapons and Ensnare.

    Maybe they could run into Blackthorn, the only leader with the strength and resources in the region to keep his bandits alive. When he leads a raid on the caravan and is killed, the rest of the bandits also get a safety-in-numbers speech to justify their joining in.
     
  13. Dagomar

    Dagomar

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    I suppose an important thing to consider is whether all of these races you are talking about are part of one faction, or if some of them, like Sylvanas' Elves, are just allied forces with a limited techtree of their own which show up in specific missions. For example Sylvanas could have Blood Elf Swordsmen, archers, priests, sorceresses, spellbreakers and dragonhawks in their own separate army, with its own weaknesses e.g. few melee infantry units, no heavy tier three melee or dedicated siege engines. if done this way, Lucien wouldn't have any Elves within his actual 'army' but during those missions where Sylvanas is helping you she either places some under your command, has them fight alongside you (the Elves are an allies controlled by the computer) or you are given shared control over her forces.

    The Scarlet Crusade units could be tier three units which are powerful but expensive. Your tier 1 troops can be human militia/footmen while Dwarves and Gnolls are the tier 2 units.

    As for the bandits I do feel like you wouldn't lose too much if you just did away with them. Between Lordaeron's refugees and native troops, the Scarlet Crusaders and any potential mercenaries you have plenty of human troop options and all the other roles can be covered by the Dwarves and Gnolls - and Sylvanas' Elves if you decide to add them to the faction. Adding bandits just means you have to spend time figuring out how to make yet another group of people fit in to the faction and what roles each race will have. As for the Gnoll upgrades cleavinghammer and I were thinking of the exact same thing. Poison weapons gives extra damage and ensnare gives an anti-air option.
     
  14. Atik

    Atik

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    Part of my issue with Ensnare is that Lucien has it as a hero ability, so it feels a little less impactful to simply hand it to a standard unit.

    Other thoughts: Give Scarlet Priests Searing arrow, Holy Light (based off the creep version), and parasite (redone as a huge, expensive DoT that spawns three invulnerable ravens that deal chaot damage for a little bit, based off the Raven Priests). Enchantresses keep Slow, Stun, and Frost Armor. Dwarven Runecaster with Sentry Ward, Mass Dispell, and.... something else?

    The other factions encountered will be AI-controlled with small tech-trees, but will grant some of their units to the refugees forces.
     
  15. cleavinghammer

    cleavinghammer

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    Unless flying enemies show up a lot or you have levels where you need to prevent a unit from running away, I don't think Ensnare is very good as a hero spell. I get that it fits the survivor theme, but unless it does damage to the target or other useful effect I think you should give him a different one.

    Dwarf spell: increases friendly armor in a wide radius.
     
  16. Dagomar

    Dagomar

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    @cleavinghammer so the Dwarf's spell would maybe be like the Priest's Inner Fire ability but set as an aoe or aura?

    Ensnare can be useful as a getaway tool for both your hero and your troops, but considering you have the enchantress with slow and stun that sort of takes care of that issue. Also on that note giving the enchantress a stun might be a bad idea because you could just spam enchantresses and their stun ability which is apparently a problem with the Undead campaign mission Blackrock and Roll Too where the Orc Warlocks can stun units with their firebolt. Although that might be a moot point depending on cooldowns and unit cost and such. Instead of giving the enchantress both slow and stun, maybe just give her slow as her beginner spell, frost armour for her adept level upgrade and then for her master spell you could have something like the Banshee's possession ability where she either turns an enemy unit against its allies or makes it hostile to everything, either permanently or for a certain duration. The explanation being she warps the units state of mind so it thinks its surrounded by enemies and starts lashing out in terror.
     
  17. cleavinghammer

    cleavinghammer

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    More like a castable Scroll of Protection. Alternately, it decreases enemy armor if the caster is a melee unit.