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[Future Module] Sheaim Revamp

Discussion in 'Rise from Erebus Modmod' started by azatote, Aug 20, 2018.

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  1. azatote

    azatote Chieftain

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    I have decided to take care of one of the main civ revamps planned on the middle term for AoE: our beloved purple arcanists of doom, the Sheaim. But before I start coding anything, I need to have a clear idea of all the new features I'm giving them. And I need your help for that.

    I already have a certain number of ideas and features, either mine or picked from existing plans. Some of them are still mere drafts and most need to be developed, completed and balanced. Please comment this stuff, any suggestion or remark is welcome!

    Spoiler Happiness overhaul :
    This is the big new feature to be introduced in the module, yet its implementation remains unclear. As a reminder, the Sheaim society is known to be anarcho-libertarian, their people are allowed to go into the worst depravities (link to some lore). Hence, the happiness system as we know it does not make much sense for them, yet they need to have something to prevent their cities from growing forever.

    Here is my proposal: unhappy citizens do not refuse to work, however each of them reduces the city production by 10% and add 1 unhealth (to illustrate that anarchy and depravity affect the citizens' productivity and their health). Hence, it can still be profitable to have 1-2 unhappy citizens if they work productive tiles or specialists, especially in small cities. Luxury resources will not provide happiness (they could only increase decadence and unrest), but they will give other small bonuses (for example culture, commerce, science), most of them linked to UB.

    There will be two main ways to counter unhappiness:
    - the "Way of the tyrant": fight unrest with repression, gaining various effects to reduce unhappiness through military buildings, garrisoned units and rituals. Side effects: (positive) better military production; (negative) lower culture and GP output, slower city growth.
    - the "Way of freedom": don't fight unrest, but turn it to your benefit through buildings and rituals. May reduce the negative effect of unhappy citizens (-5% production instead of -10%), give them additional bonuses (commerce, culture, science). Side effects: (positive) culture and GP boost; (negative) unhealth, lower military production, some military features blocked.

    The base idea is to enforce two opposite gamestyles, which you can switch or even mix to some extent. For example, some military and cultural UBs will be mutually exclusive. I'm thinking about linking some of the features of both ways to civics: nationhood for tyranny, pacifism (or maybe religion) for freedom. The way of freedom should make the Sheaim able to aim at the culture victory: after all, their free society attract many immigrants, especially artists.
    Spoiler Changes to the arcane line :
    Summoned units will get a minor affinity:
    - death: strength (+5% / mana)
    - chaos: collateral damage
    - shadow: first strikes
    - entropy: passes a debuff to enemies in combat
    - dimensional: withdrawal (5% / mana)
    - metamagic: increases duration of summons (+1 turn / mana; I may remove the Summoned trait to Os-Gabella and Tebryn)
    - fire: the unit explodes on death like a Pyre Zombie (without collateral)
    The palace will not provide three necromancy mana types anymore, so that the tower of necromancy is harder to get (for example force instead of chaos mana).
    Spoiler Unit tweaks :
    - Duskbringer: it is currently too strong as it can safely spawn a skeleton per turn while remaining behind. Its skeleton summon will last 2 turns instead of one; as a compensation, its defensive strength will be increased (1/2 to 1/3, maybe even 2/3).
    - Pyre zombie: it has already known a nerf, making it much less lethal (its explosion on death does not deal collateral anymore). I might reintroduce this collateral when it defends. Besides, Ignite Pyre will create temporary unhappiness, just like the Calabim Feast spell; and I consider limiting it to one pyre per turn and per city.
    - War chariot and crossbowman are made unavailable since new tier 4 units are introduced. The champion, phalanx and berserker remain blocked.
    Spoiler Planar gates :
    I don't like the current balance of the planar gate. It is underwhelming in early game (you get only a couple of Sauron's eyes and chaos marauders until you unlock tier 3 techs and buildings), and becomes overwhelming in late game if you achieve to bring the AC up (you get so many free units that you don't know what to do with them anymore; as for me, I send my manticores chasing Acheron and the Leviathan). I will think about a more balanced algorithm for spawn chances, notably including a global unit limitation in addition to the limitation per gate; just some math to do.
    As for the units spawned, I will certainly remove manticores and minotaurs and bring a few new unit types instead (a demonic beastmaster, maybe a disciple).
    Spoiler New units :
    - New pikeline: defensive melee units. Based on this and this parts of the lore. Sisters of Galveholm (tier 2, 3/5 strength), Queen's Daughters (tier 3, 5/7), Chosen Daughters (tier 4, 10/13, national unit). Can use all weapon upgrades, +50% against mounted and beast units. The tier 4 and maybe the tier 3 unit will receive a city defense bonus and require the palace to be built. It would be nice if they had a unique ability, I will think about it.
    - New UU for the immortal, a warrior-mage, must be upgraded from a level 6+ mage (so a parallel line to the archmage). 8 strength, channeling 2 (or maybe even channeling 3), immortal. Lore-wise, the unit achieves immortality thanks to a gift a Nemed's blood.
    Spoiler the Emrys guild :
    Founded in Galveholm at knowledge of the ether. Gives unhappiness, science, a free promotion to arcane units built in the city (faster XP gain, small strength bonus to the unit and its summons, some new promotions and spells can be learned). Sheaim will occasionally receive free arcane units from foreign civs following the Emrys.
    Spoiler Long-term leader development plans :
    - a Queen's daughter, hopeful and culture-oriented (optimized for the "way of freedom").
    - Malchavic, AC-oriented.
    - Emerge Tebryn, arcane-oriented.
    Spoiler World spell and rituals :
    - Worldbreak will be replaced, it is too underwhelming. There might be different world spells for the two branches. The tyrannic one might transform some terrain to Hell and spawn demons (a demonic version of the Illian rituals). The cultural one might temporarily remove the negative effects of unhappiness and boost culture and GP.
    - New rituals will be added, notably to affect the happiness mechanic. Other rituals may apply buffs to allies and debuffs to enemies in range, or create arcane items. The UB for alchemy lab boosts ritual production.
     
  2. Calavente

    Calavente Richard's voice

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    Happiness : Why not. it seems hard to code (unless there are features I don't know). It seems a very big overhaul, and difficult to balance however it seems really interesting and "fresh".

    Arcane line: palace mana tweak is good...
    affinities seems ok (but metamagic seems OP as it can go up and up and up ... each additional turn is a +100% of the efficiency of the unit... 3turns is equivalent to having 3times more units: +1turn, +1mvt/mana would also be OP, but less than +1turn/mana)
    however I fear that their summons will really be OP as soon as they are a mid-size empire (2-3 mana nodes of same type)

    Unit tweaks: ok

    Planar gates : that would be welcome: new "early-stage-demon" would be good. Maybe a balance would be to have those Demons have an increased cost per turn ?

    New units:
    - pikeline : would such line be only for Sheaim or all civs (and you presented only the sheaim UU): These units are like an improved Archery line (due to all weapons)%, at least when considered for defensive action.

    immortals : why not. However if channeling 3 is allowed, it gives 12 tier IV casters to Sheaim (4 Archmages, 4 Lich, 4Immortals + druids), which would be a bit too much.... especially if said tier IV caster is both immortal and has 8str+metal weapons.
    but with channeling 2 & maybe limited to 1 level3 spell (or equivalent) it could be ok (as long as it's not a lvl3 summon).

    but that still leaves open the fact that you re-introduce 3 elite melee units (champion-equivalent + immortal + Chosen daughter (defensive phalanx-equivalent)). (initially blocked as compensation for having free tierIII.5 & tier IV units)

    Emrys :
    good one.. what about linking the "affinity" of mages/summons to the emrys guild ?

    leaders: no opinion

    World spell: to be seen when more details are available
     
  3. black_imperator

    black_imperator Chieftain

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    the pikeman unit line will be for everyone at term, some civs might get it earlier if modules are made (technically dtesh have had their own for a while now).
    concerning reintroducing a melee unit to the sheaim, the ai really suffers from the randomness and needs something a bit more reliable, especially for city defense
     
  4. azatote

    azatote Chieftain

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    Yeah, the metamagic affinity may be OP as it is, I have to consider what is feasible with XML and python (the affinity could give summoned units a chance to last longer, though it might be complex to balance and to code). Why not linking it to the Emrys indeed.

    I also think channeling 2 is enough for the immortal UU, especially given that the Sheaim start with death mana and can therefore easily make liches. I will think about special promotions and spells they might be allowed to learn.

    As for the number of tier 4 units available, this is the reason why I want to lock the war chariot and the crossbowman (whose purpose is filled by the elite pikewoman), so that they don't have too many tier 4 units available. I might block the beastmaster as well if the civ proves to be too strong in late game. I intend to reduce a bit the number of tier 3.5 and 4 units spawned through the planar gate to the benefit of tier 3 units.

    I'm not sure about the possible tech requirements for the pikeline. An option would be the traditional melee tech branch, but it might be better to link it to government techs, like code of laws for tier 2, feudalism for tier 3 and guilds for tier 4.
     
  5. PPQ_Purple

    PPQ_Purple Techpriest Engineer

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    My thoughts on the matter.

    Happieness:

    As far as happiness is concerned I have several things that immediately come to mind.
    #1. A 10% drop in hammers is just too much. It might not be a big problem in the late game but in the early game it's outright brutal. Especially once you consider what the Sheaim player might actually want to do with his empire. Put bluntly, :yuck: and not :c5unhappy: is the main limiter on city growth in FFH. Because :c5unhappy: only yields you an unproductive worker but :yuck: yields you a horrible, terrible painful impact when plague hits. And the Sheaim are built around raising the AC and thus introducing plagues.

    #2. I don't really see how the proposed way of the tyrant meshes with the whole concept of the Sheaim being anarcho-liberals. I mean, wouldn't they just reject and overthrow such a ruler?

    Units:
    I generally don't like the idea of locking civs out of tier 4 units like paladins, berserkers etc. It just seems unnecessary, especially with a civ like the Sheaim where the only way you'll ever get to build those is if the player deliberately goes on some sort of extreme measure to change his alignment.

    Also, it is my understanding that in a new revision the berserker is going to be tied to the chaotic alignment. If I am not mistaken that is. So I'd say that the Sheaim more than anyone should be able to build them.
     
  6. azatote

    azatote Chieftain

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    1) You're right to highlight the impact of additional unhealth when plague strikes. I might add something to mitigate the impact of plague on the Sheaim, after all if they're the ones to pull the AC up they probably have plans to face its worst effects. It may be easy to avoid unhappiness with other civs, but it will be a bit harder with the Sheaim since I intend to deny them some of the classical happiness sources. Anyway, there will be tons of balancing to be done, that's why I'm only presenting the general concept for discussion for the moment.

    2) The Sheaim are originally anarcho-liberals. However, such a society is probably unproductive because of crime, unrest plus certainly high drug and alcohol consumption. So as a ruler, you may decide you don't care and continue your apocalyptic experiments in your cellar, hoping that high immigration and culture with compensate the low productivity of the population (this is the way of freedom). Or you can decide to use your new, shiny demons to step patrols in the streets and ensure a minimum of order in public areas and worker productivity; this is the way of the tyrant. It might not be fully thematic with what we know of Os-Gabella and Tebryn, but it is still a likely development. And the population does not overthrow a ruler who has an army of demons to protect him or her.

    3) The berserker is currently already locked for the Sheaim. I don't think it is already tied to chaotic alignment, when it becomes so I will certainly unlock it for the Sheaim. When I lock other tier 4 units it is often because you get a similar unit from planar gates.
     
  7. PPQ_Purple

    PPQ_Purple Techpriest Engineer

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    3. At that point why not make them unbuildable UU's so that the player can instinctively know what these units are supposed to do?
     
  8. black_imperator

    black_imperator Chieftain

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    that would be a possibility, yes
     
  9. azatote

    azatote Chieftain

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    Most of the planar gate summons are already unbuildable UUs, only the tar demon and the chaos marauder are not, for reasons I don't know. I suppose it can be changed.
     

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