Dev Journal: Cities of the Dead

Here is the next update on the Necromancer Class Design, thanks everybody for the feedback. Here is some of our progress that hopefully answers some of your questions and may be it incorporates some feedback here and there. There are many aspects to this class, but we’ll start at the root which are the mechanics for Undead towns and transformed undead races.

NecroTCCityUndead towns are shrouded in eerie fog

Ghouls: Living creatures that have been transformed into the Undead are called Ghouls. Ghouls are sentient, and retain some of the memories and abilities of their former selves, while gaining the characteristics of the undead. While ghouls do not have the powerful abilities of the greater Undead units that the Necromancer can field, they still have the common undead properties. They are immune to blight damage and a large number of different status effects, whilst being vulnerable to spirit damage and unable to heal naturally on the world map. Undead units are also vulnerable to certain special Necromancer abilities, such as “Control Undead”.

 UndeadTownWmap

 Daniel is working on overlays for undead towns on the world map.  Also notice the High Elf Ghoul Unit.

Necromancers can convert their own units into Ghouls using magic, or by producing them from undead cities. One of the Necromancer’s higher level units can even infect enemy unit’s with the Ghoul curse; which might even include enemy heroes or leaders.

Sundren_SkinCondition

Allert’s Ghoul Skin Shader – Sundren! what happened to that smooth skin of yours?

Undead Cities: Necromancers can convert whole city populations into Ghouls. The population of these cities does not increase naturally over time, and doesn’t get population growth from farms or normal city upgrades like store houses. Undead Cities are also not subject to standard rules about city happiness, instead they get a permanent boost to their income, representing the fact that the undead require no rest or food to continue their labors.

 

UndeadCityHeader

City header of a transformed town

We are replacing city upgrades for which the undead clearly have no use. For example, instead of a Hospital an undead city has an Embalmer’s Guild which restore hit points for garrisons. Undead cities can be made to grow again by constructing Breeding Pens; where the undead breed mortals to expand the ranks of the living dead. (sort of like revenge for the classic zombie pens seen in horror flicks).

Undead Unit Sets: Some people raised issues regarding cliched undead units: the brain dead zombies, blood sucking vampires, etc. The team has come up with some great new undead concepts that are new interpretations of archetypes and some entirely new units with cool tactical abilities, synergies and visualization. Of course we’ll be sharing more on these units in coming dev journals.

PurgeIs there life after death? Once is city is transformed, is there any way back? Yes, but it’s a drastic one. For undead cities, a new city operation called “Purge” is added that burns down most of the town, cleansing it of the living dead. The town goes back a couple of size steps and loses infrastructure. It’s basically raze/rebuild with no alignment penalties attached. It’s also likely we’ll add a way for Ghoul units to be returned to mortals (especially handy if your leader gets infected), but this will not be so easy.

 

Hero_outfits_scale

Ilse has done more variants of the Necro outfits. The variants on the left more warrior like, the center is ones are decayed. The third variant proves that being a necromancer doesn’t mean you can’t be stylish.

Let us know what you think!

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Home Forums Dev Journal: Cities of the Dead

This topic contains 122 replies, has 58 voices, and was last updated by  Fenraellis 4 years, 3 months ago.

Viewing 30 posts - 1 through 30 (of 123 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #128348

    Lennart Sas
    Keymaster
    #128350

    Motasa
    Member

    I like that this class gets really unique game mechanics. I’m just wondering if the Archon Undead dwelling/units will be altered. I’m eager to learn more about this class and how it will fall in line with the other six classes.

    #128351

    Wintermoore
    Member

    I am ready to “Cleanse” the world Brains…..

    #128352

    Thariorn
    Member

    Nice insight on your current brainstorm/progress on the class.

    So…will a Necromancer get any alignment modifiers for ghouling/purging a city?
    Transforming 10.000+ people into undead does not seem that neutral of an acion to me 😕

    #128353

    Hellspirit
    Member

    So,i didn’t understand,do all units become undead when gholing the city and is it possible for that city to grow?and if that’s the case,will for example the dwarves get undeadish looks xd?

    #128355

    Arlow
    Member

    thank you for the news, the waiting gets harder.

    #128357

    will ghouls also be unable to be healed by traditional means, i.e., healing or the racial heals? Sounds like it is really annoying to be made into a ghoul. I assume that Golden Dragons will be immune to this as well.

    #128358

    Gamling
    Member

    Awesome I like the design progress. 🙂

    #128359

    Harleyquin14
    Member

    Looks like the Archon caster’s heal undead is going to be in greater demand with the next expansion.

    #128360

    mrXD89
    Member

    Only few weeks from Golden Realms and you’re still working really hard on making the game better and better. It’s amazing. Don’t you guys need to rest? Are you ghouls?

    Yeah, screenshots are great, artworks are great, necromancer is great. I love undead-heroes. And I really want to see some draconian ghouls.

    Btw, are undead halflings lucky?

    #128363

    Gloweye
    Member

    I still don’t really like the obligation to convert whole cities into undead – it makes for a one-dimensional playstyle. Before I’m really ready to say something about the class as a whole, im going to wait for some more information.

    #128365

    Fenraellis
    Member

    I assume that Golden Dragons will be immune to this as well.

    I almost hope not just to spite your Golden Dragon obsession, chrysophylax páuperem 😛

    Realistically speaking, if a Leader isn’t immune, then I doubt a Golden Dragon would be, unless 100% Spirit Protection(Degenerate!) grants Ghoul-ing immunity for any unit.

    #128367

    Aennor
    Member

    I still don’t really like the obligation to convert whole cities into undead – it makes for a one-dimensional playstyle. Before I’m really ready to say something about the class as a whole, im going to wait for some more information.

    My thoughts exactly

    #128370

    Yarovit
    Member

    One thing troubles me- will other classes get some unique mechanics in upcoming expansion? Because they’ll look dull comparing to necromancer

    #128373

    Realistically speaking, if a Leader isn’t immune, then I doubt a Golden Dragon would be, unless 100% Spirit Protection(Degenerate!) grants Ghoul-ing immunity for any unit.

    makes sense to me, at least. Ghouling should be a corruption of the flesh via a spirit attack, so things without flesh or with very strong spirits should be immune. Crusaders shouldn’t be easy to ghoul!

    Degenerate is fine, or some kind of spirit breaking ability similar to weaken. It could be thematically like the dragon land shout in skyrim, in that it makes the previously immortal/strong willed shocked through magical death knowledge.

    Also the lore for the Golden Dragon has it tearing through necromancer troops immune to their magic, so I think that should stick (and the Crusaders as well).

    Of course, ghouling would be devastating for any theocrat unit, as they would likely be un heal-able.

    #128379

    JPoll
    Member

    It all sounds very promising to me. 🙂
    I wonder, will undead cities be able to profit from the expander spezialisation spell “fertitlity rites” (gives +15% city growth) in any way?

    #128393

    Sindir
    Member

    wow awesome!
    Great clothes Ilse 😉 the center one looks epic!
    And the ghouls are a good idea to handle the raceunit-problem, well done.
    But yes, it´s right that the old classes looks a bit borring comparing with the necro. Maybee some cool new unique things for them, dont have to be so much, just a bit, please Triumph ^^

    #128404

    Taykor
    Member

    Spooooky…

    It’s a very radical decisions for mechanics, it seems. Is it too boring to design more of ‘the same’? 😉 (Because, clearly, old classes are definitely not the same to me.)

    On the one hand, mandatory converting all cities to undead seems a bit harsh. On the other hand, while playing as undead in other games (many instalments of HOMM, Disciples) I never had any problems with that (though, cities there are mostly undead from the start, not converted).

    New unit concepts are vague. I wouldn’t actually reject (not so) good old units. And new ones could turn out to be not so cool as expected. But they could be awesome, and there is a justified lore reason to renew necromantic arsenal. So it depends on what they would be.

    #128405

    vfxrob
    Member

    amazing! love the concept! especially love the ghoul mechanic! is it possible to see more of this with other types of in game transformation?

    #128411

    Lennart Sas
    Keymaster

    We plan Great Transformation to be a high level and expensive city spell; a Necro should be able to rely on mortal cities. So in that sense its not mandatory. Perhaps ‘good’ Necros should refrain from casting this spell, but we haven’t worked out the exact alignment implications for Necro class yet.

    An another way to create Ghoul cities will likely be the good old Animate Ruins spell, which will likely be placed at a lower level in the skill book.

    #128413

    Lennart Sas
    Keymaster

    Ghouls will have ways to regenerate (as with the Embalmer’s guild upgrade mentioned above), but options outside of the Necro class will be harder to come by.

    Of course certain creatures will be immune to Ghoul transformation; like incorporeal units or creatures of magical origin.

    #128414

    Looks like Sundren needs some,
    null
    😛

    And eerie fog is a must.

    I still don’t really like the obligation to convert whole cities into undead.

    On the one hand, mandatory converting all cities to undead seems a bit harsh.

    You don’t have to, you merely can.

    Necromancers can convert whole city populations into Ghouls.

    #128417

    decoy
    Member

    Very nice direction you are going for the Undead mechanic. I was expecting a regualar race but this seems way more fun for the race. I just have to wonder though if this race is tied to the Necromancer or if the other classes can obtain this ghouling mechanic. Also if you need more beta testers I wouldn’t mind helping. 😉

    #128425

    AzraelWalker
    Member

    Since you are going to be changing the hospital of undead cities to the Embalmers Guild, is there any chance you could do something similar with the other races buildings, just to add a bit of variety and fluff? Wouldn’t have to be every building, but things like changing the Goblin hospital to maybe like a witchdoctors hut, or the Draconians temple to a Dragon Shrine?

    #128427

    Gloweye
    Member

    Of course, ghouling would be devastating for any theocrat unit, as they would likely be un heal-able.

    Theos are better of than most – they still got heal undead on hero upgrade.

    An another way to create Ghoul cities will likely be the good old Animate Ruins spell, which will likely be placed at a lower level in the skill book.

    THIS is something I like. I don’t know if I can describe the difference between this and the ghouling of a living city, but it feels much more fitting IMO.

    Also, next dev Journal, could we have a little sneak peak at the Necro Units/Empire Upgrades?

    #128429

    Marcus
    Member

    Nice and … Creepy?

    Love the artwork.

    Please keep going!

    #128431

    Ravenholme
    Member

    Looking awesome, and really looking forward to further dev journals on this, it really seems you guys are giving this a lot of thought and trying to come up with a way to reconcile the pre-AoW3 depiction of the Undead with the changes wrought by the class system, and as far as I’m concerned, it looks like you guys are batting a homerun!

    Looking forward to seeing these undead units you’ve come up with!

    #128432

    Hellspirit
    Member

    Give us means to get rid of ittems pls xd,like,destroy/disenchant/sell.

    #128434

    Kaiosama TLJ
    Member

    We plan Great Transformation to be a high level and expensive city spell; a Necro should be able to rely on mortal cities. So in that sense its not mandatory. Perhaps ‘good’ Necros should refrain from casting this spell, but we haven’t worked out the exact alignment implications for Necro class yet.

    An another way to create Ghoul cities will likely be the good old Animate Ruins spell, which will likely be placed at a lower level in the skill book.

    So that means Ghoul creation will be a bit like Black Channels from Master of Magic?

    Still, the big problem with this Ghoul mechanic is that on one hand it can be cool and can also be used to rework the enchantment from the Ancient Ruins and the Tomb city upgrade to raise the dead as Ghouls instead of Archon Revenants. On the other hand it can make the Necromancer a really boring class if these are the only Undead they can have because one thing cool about Undead/Necromancer in any game is unique skills, unique advantages and unique appearances, and the Ghouls as I can se in these screenshots are only reskinned racials with Undead trait slapped on them.

    With that in mind I have some suggestions:

    1 – Since it’s not mandatory to turn units and cities into Ghouls, make some of the Empire Upgrades/Enchantments benefit the living as well, so the class can have more reasons to use living racials than just to counter Theocrats (or maybe reasons to pick Water/Creation Mastery).

    2 – Make the Necromancer been able to produce/summon other kinds of Undead units (and if produced, don’t limit them to just Ghoul cities), either having some racial traits or being complete monstruosities altogether. You guys don’t need to follow stereotypical undead tropes for this, let your imagination go wild. The Kohan series, for example, had as cavalry centaur skeletons that are said to be made from fusing human and horse bodies, and they also had a Revenant that was an tall skeletal-demonic-humanoid on fire. And if you guys want you can also research myths and folklores from other countries like Jiangshis to have ideas for unique Undeads. Lastly, I guess many fans really want to see the Bone Horror and the Dread Reaper back.

    Edit: now I payed attention to this bit on the journal: “While ghouls do not have the powerful abilities of the greater Undead units that the Necromancer can field“. So it seems that the necro will have some unique Undead and not only resort to ghouls, but still I kind of want some other “cheap” ones to mass in numbers if possible.

    3 – As for Animate Ruins and Great Transformation, you guys can consider GT as an Evil act while AR would be Neutral, since Animate Ruins could also be interpreted (at least in my view) as a way to give the ones that died in that city a chance of revenge from their opressors.

    #128436

    Sifer2
    Member

    This all sounds really awesome. So awesome that’s it’s kind of what I meant when I said before I hope Necromancer doesn’t feel more fleshed out than the original class’s. The ability to convert cities into the Undead with unique upgrades, and unique appearance is really cool. I kind of wish the other class’s had similar abilities. Like Dreadnought being able to make their cities more high tech, and steampunk. Or Arch Druid taking a more nature based approach with cities that don’t get big or something.

    In any case this should be fun. Makes me wonder if we play a bad guy in the campaign or if we play both sides. Kind of hard to picture Necromancer not being evil aligned with stuff like Breeding Pens lol.

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