[PLANNED] Major overhaul to `Racial` differences

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[PLANNED] Major overhaul to `Racial` differences

Postby Kaz » Thu Nov 20, 2014 3:04 pm

Back in 2005 when I joined the Evernight staff and created the Massacre game, I took the racial troops strengths away from being hard coded into various pages of the game script, and moved them into a database. This allowed us for the first time to easily change troop stats on the fly, and to also provide the ability to dynamically publish them.

Between 2007 when we created the Unity game, and 2009 when we moved sites, I expanded the amount of racial stats that were being pulled from the database, and started the process of balancing the various stats around 6 racial scores (War Offence, War Defence, Sorcery, Scum, Forts and Tithe).

The end game of this process was always to get to a point where every single bonus variable used in the various critical screens was taken from a database. I had the idea of creating a 'Leader' screen where you could further customise your strengths and weaknesses, beyond the standard 'racial' stats. However, with the code-base prior to the recent changes, this was hard to achieve without risk of unintended consequences, but now the code is significantly easier to read, and therefore I can make much more interesting changes.

Over the last 6 months or so, I have been thinking about how to better create the scope for variety within the different races. At the moment, with all the specificity being racial, there is little room for a warrior Elf or a Sorcery Goblin. Your choice of race essentially forces you to play the game in a certain way.

1. Race Stats will be changing.

Currently there is a big difference between any race with a 5/5 score and one with a 1/5 score. Take the value for money scores for War Offence as an example. Droben Bunar have an offence value of 27.5 and a defence value of 2.5, that equates to a troop that's 91.66% offensive and just 8.33% defensive. On the other hand, Sidhe Elders have a value score of 17.5/12.5 or 58.33% offence, 41.66% defence. Essentially this means that the is no possible way that a Sidhe can compete with a Droben when it comes to attacking.

My plan is to dramatically reduce the spread of each of the values, working around an idea of around 10% difference between the minimum and maximum scores (or between the edge and the centre depending on what works best for the stat). I also plan to increase the defensive value of each troop type. Using the previous example, 1/5 offence would become 17.03/12.97 (56.76/43.23%) and 5/5 would become 18.95/11.05 (63.16/36.83%), a much smaller difference between best and worst.

While I'm at it, I also plan to standardise which troops are offensive and defensive, and which troops are the best for offence/defence. T1 will always be the best value offensive troop type, and T2 will always be the best value defensive troop type. T3 will be the second best defensive troop type, and T4 the second best offensive. The idea being that better troops are cheaper and therefore cost more turns to train, meaning that you need to make a more strategic decision about which troops to hire.

The plan is that these changes will still mean that there are differences between the races, but those differences will be much more balanced.

In order to fully balance between the 10 races, I will be adding 4 new racial scores (Siege, Training, Building & Economy), this will allow each race to be the best in one of the 10 scores, and also allows me to ensure that each race has an equal amount of each score. For example, every race will have 2 scores that they are poor at (2/5), 4 scores that they are fair at (3/5), 3 scores that they are good at (4/5) and 1 that they are best at (5/5).

Initially plans are that Human kingdom will be best at Economy, Elven best at Training, Goblin best at Siege, Droben War Attack, Vampire Forts, Elemental Building, Centaur Scum, Sidhe Sorcery, Dwarven War Defence, and Fae best at Tithe.

2. Speciality racial skills, will become selectable perks, available to all.

Currently, some of the races have special skills. For example Humans can send caravans twice as often, Elves can cast remote fog, Sidhe get an extra spell, and so on. Instead of these skills being limited to one race only, you will be able to learn them as the age progresses.

When you create your kingdom, you'll pick your first perk. Any others will need to be purchased on the new Leader screen by using experience. You leader will earn 1 experience point each day, and the cost of perks will increase as you buy them.

For example, it'll cost 5 experience points for the first perk (other that the starting one), 10 points for the next, 15 for the next, and so on. By the end of a standard 2 month age, you ought to be able to purchase a fifth perk (0+5+10+15+20=50 days play). It'll take an extra long age to get a 6th, although I may create the system to allow certain games to generate experience quicker.

3. Monarchs Glen Identities will have in-game significance

Currently, the only real point of linking your boards identity with the game is to show up better on the Hall of Fame. I have always wanted to integrate the systems better, and have finally decided how I am going to do it. This functionality will not necessarily come online at the same time as the other bits I'm talking about, but when it does come online, it will be a requirement to have a linked account for the boards.

When you create an Identity (currently by linking a boards account to a game account) you will have a character sheet. This will be mostly for the play-by-post roleplay elements of the site, but the race you select, will determine an additional source of stat points for your kingdom. These additional stat points will be added to the points from the kingdom race (which does not have to be the same as the character race).

For example.

Let's imagine that you've created a Droben Kingdom.

Currently that would mean:

5 War Offence, 3 War Defence, 2 Sorcery, 3 Scum, 3 Forts and 3 Tithe. For a total of 19 points.

Based on the new 10 stat system previously mentioned, that would instead be:

5 War Offence, 3 War Defence, 3 Sorcery, 3 Scum, 3 Forts, 2 Training, 4 Tithe, 4 Siege, 2 Economy, 4 Building. For a total of 33 points.

These would reflect the primary stats on the kingdom.

You then combine those with an Elven character

0.2 War Offence, 0.4 War Defence, 0.4 Sorcery, 0.3 Scum, 0.2 Forts, 0.5 Training, 0.3 Tithe, 0.3 Siege, 0.4 Economy, 0.3 Building. For a total of 3.3 points.

These would combine to create a kingdom with the following stats:

5.2 War Offence, 3.4 War Defence, 3.4 Sorcery, 3.3 Scum, 3.2 Forts, 2.5 Training, 4.3 Tithe, 4.3 Siege, 2.4 Economy, 4.3 Building

I have not yet determined exactly how (or if) I intend to allow a player to modify their leader stats during the course of the age, but intend to have a system where you generate a secondary experience source (probably based on turns used) and these points can be used to make changes to the stats of your leader in between ages.

However, you would only be able to change the leader stats within a -1 or +1 of the base stats that they started with, and for every increase that you make to the leader, you would need to make an associated decrease of the same amount. Basically the stats for the leader must always equal 3.3 points, but there is scope to tweak them within minimum boundaries.

Tactically, that means that if you scout a Droben kingdom, you will know the base stats and the possible range, but you wont know the exact stats (unless of course we publish the character stats on the character sheet). Therefore War offence would be between 4 and 6 (base 5), Defence between 2 and 4 (base 3), and so on.

The total points for a kingdom + leader would always add up to 36.3 and on the old scale of 1-5 they would never be lower than 0, never greater than 6. But there would be room for some personalisation within that scope.

4. You'd chose a star-sign 'path' during creation.

These bonuses are based on the 10 star signs I came up with back in 2004, and yes that's me influencing the game using the story from one of my guilds (TEN), but heck, what else would i use :) Plus I have some really nice artwork to make use of.

These will create a similar persistent kingdom bonus to the perks, but the bonus will be more stat-based than functionality. They are kind of halfway between a racial/character score, and a perk. For example, a bonus might boost scum power in some way, or boost the number of peasants that you kill etc.

Unlike the perks this 'paths' would be one bonus per kingdom per age. You wont be able to change to an alternative (unless I add it as a option that can be changed at death).

-----------------------------------------------

This post has ended up quite long, but as well as feedback on the basis of the system I'm open to suggestions for minor modifications to the system in general, ideas for modification to the paths, and ideas for additional perks. The perks are the one part of the system that is extensible, so we can really keep adding new ones. I'd quite like to have 20 ish perks when we start.

List of Paths:

The Pheonix - Bonus to Tithe & Restore (need to change this as I don't want paths to effect npp)
The Sword - Bonus to War Offence
The Shield - Bonus to War Defence
The Poet - Bonus to Morale, Immigration & Income
The Architect - Bonus to Buildrate
The Knight - Bonus to Siege
The Fallen Angel - Bonus to Scum
The Tidal Wave - Bonus to Building Destruction
The Altar - Bonus to Sorcery
The Dragons Flame - Bonus to Peasant Killing

List of Perks:

Increased Caravan Frequency - send two caravans per period
Reduce Effects of Backlash - reduces number of temples destroyed by backlash
Rage of the Berserker - access to berserk mode a.k.a. Kobold Rage
Spell: Invoke Magic Buildings - access to invoke temples spell
Increase Fog Effectiveness - better chances of fog triggering
Ability to Cast Remote Fog - cast fog on allies
Scum Option : Kill Scum - access to the kill scum option on the scum screen
Generate Elan Easier - generate elan with lower number of temples
Kill More Forts - take or destroy more forts during war attacks
Increased Summon - Summon a greater number of illusionary forces
Better Ambush - random 1/3 chance that an ambush will remain set when triggered
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Kaz
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