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About Plagues - Characteristics and Questions

Discussion in 'Community Patch Project' started by Hinin, Apr 12, 2021.

  1. Hinin

    Hinin King

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    Hello everyone,

    With @gwennog, we are currently working on a Ainu mod, with one of the main characteristics of the civilization being its focus on "plagues" against its opponents. I wanted to use this occasion to talk more broadly about plagues as an important VP feature and ask some questions.

    First and foremost, what is a "plague" ?

    In the context of Vox Populi, a "plague" is a temporary promotion that is applied when attacking with a unit possessing a "plague-applying" promotion (the most frequent examples being the Boarding Party promotions or the Concussive Hits promotion of the Incan Slinger).

    Thus, here are the three main characteristics of a "plague" (at least as I understand them) as of now :
    • It is a temporary promotion
    • It is almost always a debuff (see as a counter-example the Martial Spirit temporary buff)
    • It is usually applied by an attack (melee or ranged)
    However, some questions remain that need to be cleared, especially because there is no "plague guide" or wiki article : there are pieces of information here and there, but no unified thread on the matter.

    Here are my main question :
    • When is the turn counter of a "plague" triggered ? At the beginning or the end of the afflicted unit's turn ?
    • Is it possible to apply different plagues to the same unit at the same time ?
    • To what extent can a plague affect the characteristics of unit ?
    • What are possible sources for plagues ? We know attacks and policies like Martial Spirit are possible, but what else ?
    Also, some more minor questions :
    • Does a plague stay when a unit is upgraded ?
    • For curiosity's sake, who created the "plague" system, and when was it imported into VP ?
    Don't hesitate to ask your own questions on that matter, since I personally think "plagues" are an underutilized but very interesting feature of VP, and so would be happy to discuss on that matter.

    Thanks for reading. :)
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2021
  2. Hinin

    Hinin King

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    Q&A summary

    How does the turn counter on plagues work ?

    Pineappledan : The counter is lowered at the beginning of the turn of the player who owns the unit with the plague on it. So if your unit is hit with a 1 turn plague, it will cease to have that plague at the beginning of your next turn.

    Where this gets tricky is with movement, because the movement for units is reloaded and set before the plagues expire, so if a plague that lowers movement by 1 expires on that same turn, then you will still have -1 movement that turn because your unit's movement refilled, and THEN the plague was removed.

    Can multiple plagues be applied on a unit at the same time ?

    Pineappledan : There are plague classes that work like mutually exclusive buildings. So you can have it both ways. This is why the boarding party promotions don't stack -- because they are all the same plague class -- but you could have other, different plagues affecting that same unit too.

    Hinin : As pad said, it's linked to the plague id. You can apply the same kind of effects multiple times on the same unit, or as much different kinds of plagues as you want, as long as each plague has a different id (look in civilopedia to know the id of a plague).
    => Because nowadays, there aren't a lot of plagues in the game (even less without 4UC), most plagues have the id 1. This would have to change if more and more are added.

    What can plagues do ?

    Pineappledan : Plagues can do anything that a normal promotion can do. The End.

    Are there other ways than attacks to apply plagues ?

    Pineappledan : Events or units attacking other units is what is available in the code, but you could create some trigger based on lua
     
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2021
  3. Padre19

    Padre19 Warlord

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    Plague is promotion and can stay with upgrade and its possible to apply different plagues to the same unit at the same time.
     
  4. Padre19

    Padre19 Warlord

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    Plague is created for Jfd.
     
  5. skodkim

    skodkim Deity

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    Jfd?

    \Skodkim
     
  6. Tekamthi

    Tekamthi Prince

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    iirc plague in the sense described in OP are just promotions... ie a unit that receives a "plague" is just being assigned a promotion, and that plague promotion (as implemented in VP) typically has malus values as well as a turn counter before it wears off -- though it could just as well have a bonus and last forever, like any other promo

    I'm not sure what you guys have in mind for this "plague" mechanism, but some creative results might be obtained by combining this "plague" flag in promos with "haspostcombatpromos" (sp?)
     
    Hinin likes this.
  7. Hinin

    Hinin King

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    Well, aside from the usual MP penalty (Boarding Party) or combat penalty (Concussive Hits), there are a lot of things that you can do quite easily:
    • Reduce Sight
    • Reduce Healing (pineappledan has explored that concept a lot)
    • Reduce max Health (also done by pineappledan)
    • Damage over time (idem)
    • Reduction or annulation of terrain defense
    • XP loss and so on...
    What could be even more interesting would be promotions whose effect scales based-on the number of plagues on a unit. For example :
    Terminate - +7.5 % :c5strength: Combat Strength when fighting an enemy unit for each Plague this unit has
    But that would mean having a way to count the number of plagues on a unit.

    There could also be positive plagues, like what Sukritact did for the Oathsworn (The Gauls). A spammable UU with that kind of bonus and a kit that synergizes around gaining things when losing units could be interesting.

    So much possibilities.
     
  8. pineappledan

    pineappledan Deity

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    the counter is lowered at the beginning of the turn of the player who owns the unit with the plague on it. So if your unit is hit with a 1 turn plague, it will cease to have that plague at the beginning of your next turn.

    Where this gets tricky is with movement, because the movement for units is reloaded and set before the plagues expire, so if a plague that lowers movement by 1 expires on that same turn, then you will still have -1 movement that turn because your unit's movement refilled, and THEN the plague was removed.
    There are plague classes that work like mutually exclusive buildings. So you can have it both ways. This is why the boarding party promotions don't stack -- because they are all the same plague class -- but you could have other, different plagues affecting that same unit too.
    Plagues can do anything that a normal promotion can do. The End.
    Events or units attacking other units is what is available in the code, but you could create some trigger based on lua
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2021
    gwennog and Hinin like this.
  9. Recursive

    Recursive Covets Lands That You Currently Own Moderator

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    Couldn't we just call them "status effects" or "(de)buffs" like every other game out there? :crazyeye:
     
  10. Hinin

    Hinin King

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    Well, it's called like that in the game code, so that's not my choice here. In any case, since there is no "Health and plague" system, it's difficult to confuse it with something else. :lol:
     
  11. Hinin

    Hinin King

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    I reactivate the thread because of a problem that arose with the plague we created for our civ mod : it appears that, despite how simple it is (100 % chance for every attack from the unit dealing the plague, with no exception), it doesn't apply itself to mounted ranged units and siege units (the whole unit lines) and some reconnaissance units (like the Paratrooper).

    But it has no problem with the Melee mounted units (like the Knight), so it's doesn't seem to be related to "No Terrain Defense". Maybe it is linked to an addition of factors (like "Ranged unit" + "No Terrain Defense") ?

    I'll check out if the Koa and other "plague-applying" land units suffer from the same problem.
     
  12. SLGray

    SLGray King

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    I believe you are thinking of the health system that JFD created himself for his mods.
     
  13. Hinin

    Hinin King

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    New elements about the problem I talked about yesterday : I did some tests using units from the mod we're working on, but also units from 4UC that can apply plagues (namely, the Polynesian Koa, the Ethiopian Shotelai and the Byzantine Dromon). I used them to see i effects were well applied on a variety of units, and here are my findings.
    • The Shotelai has no problem applying its MP-malus plague onto units (including skirmishers, siege units and so on)
    • The Koa and the Dromon have the same problem as units from our mod (nothing appears on the unit card of skirmishers, siege unit etc => see precedent post)
    • One thing interesting for the Dromon though : because its plague inflicts additionnal damages at the end of the inflicted unit's turn, it can serve as a useful way to see if the plague works (for the effect is clearly visible) => In this case, the bonus damages apply well on skirmishers & co, even though the plague icon doesn't appear on their unit card.
    In conclusion : some more tests needs to be made to be sure, but it appears to be mostly a UI thing, tied to specific UnitClasses and types of plagues (movement plagues seem to do fine), so it's less problematic than what I thought. Still a problem though in term of game information though.
     

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