The heroes and experience sound cool. How will you handle the experience from the technical side?
In addition to leveling the heroes. t would be cool to customize heroes abilities further. By allowing player action to choose what ability they want from preselected list of choices. Its more complex on technical side but would be cool.
I love this.
If you'd ever like to create some sort of singleplayer experience with it I have an idea for potions/effects. This could also be applied to a multiplayer game with the special item/items being somewhere in a deep central dungeon that everyone can rush for to try and cap.
They would be like capturable units (AA, etc) which you can bring with you that work essentially like generals. But they would self destruct after x number of turns after being captured.
Just an idea!
Looking forward to try the map.
@Frostion Heroes have 1 hitpoint by default. If they die, you can revive them for XP, but they lose all levels. If AI understands the consumes units property, it should be able to handle heroes, although it appears to me that the AI doesn't usually do a great job at keeping powerful and expensive units safe.
@General_Zod Experience will be a resource gained primarily from objectives triggered by the destroyed TUV condition. (Does that count neutral units killed? Not sure.) Customizable heroes actually have many downsides aside from being technically more challenging (e.g. the inability to customize tooltips; the impossibility of several cool planned abilities; factions would lose a bit of uniqueness, etc.).
@Ondis Carrying potion units around in the map is probably not the best way to approach this, but it's a good idea, so I'll probably implement something like that as part of a mechanic I'll introduce later.
@alkexr Currently the AI doesn't really understand consumes units. If you make sure to give the "powerful/expensive" units a high TUV then it should at least try to keep them alive.
“AI doesn't usually do a great job at keeping powerful and expensive units safe.”
Yes, this is my impression also. This probably has to do with a lot of things, and @redrum can probably list them for us Like because the AI is blind in regards to unit special abilities, like negative support and stuff. And also because the AI always seem to pick its casualties with the very best overall battle win chance in mind, not thinking about what units would be nice to keep … even though they suck right now in this battle.
Maybe all your map work and your Hero types can help to make it clear how the AI could be improved in regards to unit valuating? I hope!
So using the new TUV unit option, giving it a value a bit higher than the price, would also affect the AI casualty selection?
@frostion Yeah, anything the battle calc doesn't support the AI generally can't handle (primarily enemy support which is usually negative). The AI does mostly focus on best overall win chance for casualties but does primarily look at TUV during the final round of combat casualty selection (after it knows it has won). There are definitely improvements especially on attacking that would be great to add to the AI here.
The AI does use TUV for a lot of different items and this influences battle calc TUV swing results so yes using the new 'tuv' option to give certain units like heroes higher value should help. Doing some testing around making some units have really high specified 'tuv' and seeing how it influences the AI would be an interesting experiment
As always, save games that should specific examples of behavior are very helpful since they allow me to experiment with AI adjustment and replaying those scenarios. I'd like to get to the point where each AI enhancement request has a thread like feature requests where its discussed and specific examples are added. As that makes it much easier to test and understand where map makers and players see the biggest gaps in the AI.
I've never used the "destroyedTUV" conditions, but if you can you use it like that. Then it sounds really cool. (Which looks like you can.)
Consider making the AI nations fixed, for the most part. This way you can customize those nations to have units that the AI does in fact handle very well. I'm thinking simple and powerful ones with high TUV set as needed to assure it takes the right units as casualties.
In my experience with most games, AI is poor at using, purchasing and valuing tech and special ability related units unless they coincidentally are simple ones which they understand. They even seem to struggle with effective use of air units and any type of transports as well, as compared to humans.
Most humans should offset the AI's simple high powered units with recognition, creativity and adaptation, in addition to the special units they will wield (which btw, the AI may or may not recognize as powerful units via their true ability). This will help you keep AI challenging and maintain some balance.
@alkexr From POS2 XML:
values: count=an amount of TUV that the attached player must destroy. value=currentRound/allRounds. This is not counting neutral (null) player, and is based on the cost for the defender to buy the units. Be sure to check this condition only after the player's battle phase is completely over, since the data is only recorded after all battles are done. example: value="currentRound" count="20"
@alkexr @redrum I'm looking it over further. Ideal coding (with existing) for giving "exp" to individual specific units for the destroyed tuv, by that individual specifc unit, seems to be missing a component.
EXP may not be practical, if it's even possible otherwise.
Maybe @redrum sees merit in this function or a comparable function as a feature request, if not too difficult to code.
<attatchment name="conditionAttachment_Black_Knight_EXP" attatchTo="France" javaClass="games.strategy.triplea.attatchments.RulesAttachment" type="player"> <option name="destroyedTUV" value="Black-Knight:currentRound" count="10"/> <!-- Where Black-Knight is a specific, one of a kind "unitType". If the Black-Knight destroys units worth 10TUV, in current round, the condition returns true. --> </attatchment>
The actual "exp" can be in the form of a new improved unit or manipulate it via triggers to be improved.
What do you mean with a downside being "the inability to customize tooltips"? You can actually customize tooltips for every single unit. This is done in Age of Tribes. Or maybe I am not understanding what you are saying
I am really looking forward to seeing how heroes will pick up items (like a sword or a horse) and how the hero become a hero with a new sword or a better horse.
@frostion I was talking about General Zod's idea of hero customization with selectable abilities (giving abilities to the same unit via triggers). The same unit will have the same tooltip, regardless of abilities (or the standard tooltip, but that's useless with this complexity).
Heroes picking up items is not planned, I'm not sure why you thought it was. That would score like 7 out of 10 on the xml nightmare scale.
@General_Zod Even if it was possible to give heroes XP based on individual kills, I would still chose to give it based on all kills. TripleA is a strategy game, we shouldn't get too lost in the rpg elements.
Ahh, OK. Yes I can see the problem with the unit types changing their actual abilities but custom tooltips not changing.
I did think that your heroes could maybe pick up potions or items, walking around the world to get them. Maybe it is because your have inspired me to maybe also create a new fantasy map and I mix up my thoughts about that map with Fallen Empire. I did the Dragon War map, but its kind of simple and I would really like to make a map that also uses upgradable heroes, items, magic and so on. Making it a bit RPG like besides the map also being about moving big armies around. But it is really a challenge to figure out how that heroes element could work.
Edit: And as you can see, I wouldn't mind implementing a good deal of RPG elements into this strategy game!
Progress report #5
After a period of chronic low productivity and Stellaris 2.0 coming out and excitement about Habsburgs, I continued to work on the map. I expanded the features of the game xml generator script I use. I also created another script, so now I can tweak unit design by snapping my fingers. It also makes creating new unit images a bit easier. If I continue like this, soon enough I might find that I spend more time on map creator scripts than on the map itself I do plan to share these tools as soon as they are stable (i.e. don't crash every single time they encounter something unexpected with cryptic error messages).
I still haven't absorbed all there is to learn from the graphicsmancy Hepps did to my units, but I already managed to tweak unit design to look somewhat better:
I also tried my best to polish a new faction to near-completeness:
The White Khanate
The wide plains beyond the river Orut are the homeland of a semi-nomadic people. Their main strength lies in the mobility of their armies: all of their land units are mounted on horses, even the shamans. Their attack-focused units and terrain bonuses make them especially devastating on plains.
- Steppe raiders: 3 attack, 1 defense mounted archers with 4 movement. +1 bonus in plains and settlement terrain. When attacking, they have 2 flank (-2 to 1 enemy foot). They also get 1 shoot against flying units.
- Khans guard: 3 attack, 2 defense heavy mounted units with 3 movement. +1 bonus in plains. They get a strong 3 charge against foot units, both on the offense and defense. They also have leadership: they give +1 support to one unit of each category.
- Hellrider: 3 attack, 1 defense mounted units with 4 movement, who decided to ride to the afterlife through the battle. +1 bonus on plains. They have the "berserk" ability: they get 3 rolls, but die instantly after the first round of combat.
- Skullcaller: shamans of the steppes who call their ancestors to the battle from the afterlife. 2 attack, 4 defense support units. Their ancestors also protect them from sorcery: they have 3 ward when defending (-3 to 1 enemy support units). Unit image is meant to represent them carrying skulls fixed onto staves.
- Eagle: 2 attack, 1 defense flying units. They are the hunters of the steppes: with a movement of 6 and 2 hunt when attacking, they are a formidable threat to any beasts nearby. (Hunt targets enemy beast units, and kills them outright regardless of hitpoints.)
- War wagon: 1 attack, 3 defense units belonging to the special category, which is designed for units that don't really belong anywhere. They have 3 movement. +1 bonus in plains, settlement and fortified terrain. The archers in the wagon can shoot at flying units when defending with a power of 2. They also have 1 protection (-1 to an enemy unit).
They will also have a naval unit.
Herds of animals represent the plains terrain effect to look less empty.
@alkexr Looks pretty good.
I've played some Stellaris but haven't gotten back to it since 2.0 was released though overall wasn't that impressed with the game but it did have some good concepts. Out of recent space strategies games, I thought that Endless Space 2 was a better overall game.
Great to hear you've created some useful map scripts and definitely would help add them into the map creator when you feel they are relatively stable.
4 movement on land units is a lot and not sure if any maps have ever even tried that. It will make balancing those units interesting. Also, have you thought about approximate costs for the units yet?
@alkexr Not sure what I am more excited by now....
New map or new XML scripts. (New map with new ideas obviously)
@alkexr The units are looking good. Personally, I don't mind LotR style units over civilization style or regular style ones.
The only problem I have with LotR units is that the white outline may make hard to read white stack numbers, as I said.
@alkexr I love what you got going on here... but as a suggestion I think grazing cattle as a terrain may not be ideal for the theme. Every other terrain is a natural geographic representation... while the animals might be interpreted more like a resource.
I did a quick image for tall grass.
Feel free to use it if you like. Free of charge.
Additionally, if you are not keen on that... let me know if something else would float your boat... and I will do my best to render an image for you.
This is all interesting I am very excited about what xml scripts can do, as I have a new map of my own in mind for the future (details will remain unrevealed a while yet as the map is still in the very early idea phase).
I really like that the factions/races have backstories. I hope they are written into the notes. And also that they have special focused and strengths/weaknesses.
Regarding 3 and 4 move land units, I would also be a bit concerned about these abilities making it very hard for players to foresee threats and enemy actions in the near future. In the Dragon War map 1 of the about 20 land units like has 3 movement, otherwise they are all 1 or 2 movement units.
@alkexr I like the D&D rpg vibes with unique units descriptions and abilities. Very Creative. I also look forward to the scripts, hehe.