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[AOE] Mekara. What exactly, is their theme?

Discussion in 'Rise from Erebus Modmod' started by Joey Diamond, Sep 28, 2016.

  1. Joey Diamond

    Joey Diamond Chieftain

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    You see, Calabim are vampires, Bannor are crusaders, Malakim are Dune peoples, Ljosalfar are good elves, Svartalfar are bad elves... But Mekara from what i read, is a mishmash of mages, vampires and slaver. Not only that, their promotions unique to them are a giant mess and needlessly complicated. I understand FFH modmods have many good and bad custom civs but Mekara seems to occupy so much space for no reason and not that they are a major player to begin with.

    In short, i dislike Mekara because how incoherent they are, as if the RiFE team just shoehorned them in like the Hamstalfar. Even the lame Khadi (Amurite traitor from FF) are are much more transparent in term of their goal, their design and their theme.

    Sorry for the rant.
     
  2. black_imperator

    black_imperator Emperor

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    the easiest way to describe them would be transhumanist mages. Lorewise, they're an offshoot of the Amurites ( another one) that felt the amurite mage councils were too restrictive in what kind of experiments they allowed. So they left to be able to research whatever they wanted without care for the moral implications and complications.

    One of their recurring theme is the wish to become better beings, whether through strength, longer life or divine might. Each of the leaders had a different point of view on how to achieve this.

    I do agree that they are a bit all over the place mechanically though. I hope yo go through that at some point, but it's not a high priority
     
  3. Joey Diamond

    Joey Diamond Chieftain

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    Ah so they are a cabal of mad and amoral scientists. I got it.
     
  4. Calavente

    Calavente Richard's voice

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    more than that: a cabal of mad and amoral scientists that want to become immortal !!! and are ready to sacrifice others for it :

    - immortal through vampirism (getting small vampirism-shot from healing "freely" normal people")
    - immortal through enhancing one's own body.... (but for that : you need to do experiments on slaves ... and then latter on soldiers : by giving them enhanced bodies) but the graal is becoming an immortal
     
  5. Joey Diamond

    Joey Diamond Chieftain

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    I just read about lore of the evil lady leader's unique units. Man, as if the writer took a jab at real-life Maria Theresa's controversy ;)

    Another interesting point i just saw now was that the 3 leaders in the order also follow each of the 3 alignment: Good (Ex-doctor-without-frontier guy) Neutral (Bond villian Amurite mage) Evil(Elizabeth Bathory).

    This is start to get interesting as i would like to see stereotype race/religion/alignment break away from their norm. For example it would be funny to see Calabim worshipping Empyrean. It kinda makes you wonder what kind of their society will become. Alexis and vampire aristocrats still rule over mortals no longer with iron fist and slavery but with benevolence and blood donation along the line?:lol:
     
  6. Jheral

    Jheral Prince

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    While it's a good link, it wasn't about her specifically. It was more of me asking myself "What would I actually do if I was a bloodsucking, manipulative immortal?". It made more sense than the Feasting and dickishness of the Calabim, or so I thought at the time. I mean, you're going to concievably live forever - good PR will essentially make repression unneccessary if you play your cards right.

    At least part of the reason they're not that cohesive is that I deliberately wanted to make "factions" in the civ that would play differently, because I felt that the existing civs were too... unified? They were also technically not supposed to be the same civ originally. The caretaker notion was one project, the slavery/transhumanism angle was another. I merged them when the rest of the team thought the concepts were too narrow.

    And yeah, all the "what if" scenarios are very interesting overall. Towards the end of my involvement with RifE, I had about 4 different civs in progress, based on overlap and "what if"-scenarios for other civilizations, like the Mekara but a bit more cohesive in theme and mechanics. I never got them developed to a satisfactory level though, and by that time most of the team had lost interest in further development.

    Anyway, the alignment thing is very deliberate - I wanted there to be different plausible reasons for them pursuing the same goal, and working together. Even if they probably hate each other a fair bit.

    PS: I don't disagree about the Mekara being weird, honestly. They were one of my first mod projects ever, and I made them way too complicated and strange. Inexperience and wanting to do too many things at once, I suppose.
     
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2016
  7. cthom

    cthom 3,011,451,295

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    jheral, help! does the augmentation ritual actually work? every time i try it nothing seems to happen except i get an inactive unit :(
    i do remember it working way back in fall further (sort of, it was a little bugged...)
     
  8. Jheral

    Jheral Prince

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    Well, it was working properly when I last touched RifE. Couldn't say for sure about it working at the moment though - it's been ages.

    I remember working on getting it to apply without adding tons of visible promotion icons to the unit though, by making it hide the effects and putting the info about them on the "aspect" promotion's tooltip. Does it get that one at all?
     
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2016
  9. cthom

    cthom 3,011,451,295

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    no idea. i never thought to look at the target's promotions, there's no indication of anything actually happening. i'll fire up a game when i get back home.
     
  10. Nor'easter

    Nor'easter Emperor

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    Splitting the Mekara into multiple civs at this point would probably be more work than it's worth, but they could definitely use some streamlining, I thinkl.
     
  11. Joey Diamond

    Joey Diamond Chieftain

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    Agree, especially their unique promotions. Many of them could just use the existed promotions instead of having to create entirely new one but with identical effect.
     
  12. Jheral

    Jheral Prince

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    Thing is that a lot of them only look like they are exactly the same, and work differently under the hood, to make the scripts work. But yeah, some of them are redundant.

    And yeah, splitting them now is likely not a thing. The fact that they started out as different projects isn't really relevant anymore, and hasn't been for a long time.
     
  13. Humanophage

    Humanophage Chieftain

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    I like the theme of slavery and human experiments; they don't seem incoherent. I was reminded of Geneforge. However, they need to be balanced. At the moment, they have:
    - Strong, low-hammer, free early defence (conscripts);
    - Low-hammer workers that do not hinder city growth (by contrast, Luichirp golems cost a lot of hammers);
    - A solid amount of additional workers early on due to capturing barbarian slaves;
    - Due to the anti-melee bonus, their hunters are stronger than swordsmen *and* they have a solid slavery bonus (and they are fast and have defence bonuses);
    - There is no punishment for early expansion, because it is easy to defend new cities with free conscripts;
    - You get a ton of slaves from early expansion, so you are immediately rewarded, whereas usually in Civ it is a gradual process;
    - Their cities get free gold and hammers for slaves, so gold is not a problem. Health is not really an issue either, and not at all if you are Zaria.

    That alone makes them incredibly powerful, except there is also the civ spell that turns all your slaves into power 6 units, which basically means easy autoconquest until you get tired of the micromanagement (and there is already too much of it with the Mekara - and I play on small maps).

    In my latest game (on Deity, no brokering, no reloading except crashes, with a trash start in a frozen corner next to Illians and malignant plants), I captured the Illians with an army of hunters with few losses and gained a lot of XP and slaves in the process. Then I traded for Alteration, so I cast the civ spell, and in addition to my very solid hunter army, I acquired 25 strength 6 units that require no upkeep, and that can be strengthened even further with their special general.

    Meanwhile, even my most advanced and militant neighbour (the Cualli) only has a few swordsmen.



    It seems like the Order simply has no weaknesses, and I didn't even get to magic yet. This is not an isolated case. I ended my first try with the Order prematurely because it seemed I was getting too strong.
     
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2018
  14. Jheral

    Jheral Prince

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    Yeah, they aren't really balanced well. There were a lot of things that I never really considered while I was making them, and gameplay-wise they didn't really turn out well. Especially not for the AI, since they really can't handle them well. They do have some deficits in the later game, in that they don't get several of the late-tier military units, but the early game if used well is... much too strong.

    For what it's worth, the intention was for them to be weak in the "regular" military units (i.e. cavalry, melee, archers and so on) but compensating for it with stronger Recon and Rogue lines. In hindsight, both the conscript/militia units and the Sluga should have been weaker in combat, and should have probably not been upkeep-free, either.

    I think the main problem is that I was much more concerned with their theme than with the mechanics of the civ. I was also partly using complexity as a balance to strength, which is... not good design. They were not really play tested enough, by far - by the time they were added to RifE, I was barely playing the game anymore; just modding it and trying to think of new things to add.
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2018

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