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 7 years ago.

Viewing 30 posts - 31 through 60 (of 123 total)
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  • #128438

    vota dc
    Member

    But will elves be better ghouls? For example a goblin is prolific and very resistant to blight, a regular elf isn’t so prolific and has blight weakness so being ghoul is good since has +1 resistance.

    #128443

    ESCL
    Member

    Really great ideas – you seem to be in line with most of personal desires for the Necromancer class. One note on the Animate Ruins spell that crossed my mind a couple weeks ago during an AoW thinking session; what if you could animate razed dwellings?

    Something that would cause the entire unit line-up to change into something fitting for teh Ghoul/Undead setting. Say Bone and Obsidian Wyverns and Dragons for the animated Dragons Peak. The others would require a bit of extra work since there isn’t enough Undead or otherwise fitting units to incorporate. Some, like the Nightmare for the Fey and Troll for the Giants could work, but few other existing units. The Archons are a different matter – maybe giving them a living Archon dwelling as a counterpart instead and making sure both living and undead types can be spawned in the RMG?

    #128456

    Draxynnic
    Member

    You could probably fill in for a lot simply by ‘ghouling’ dwelling units – so you could have ogre ghouls, nymph ghouls, and so on. Although one thing I would like to see is for Naga Fire (which is currently unused by actual naga) to be renamed to ‘Soul Fire’ and given to undead fairies instead of Fairy Fire.

    #128457

    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.

    how about Great Transformation is a spell that you cast on the enemy cities? So then you have this over the city, and it has a morale debuff, and once you conquer it, the killed people become the new undead population?

    After all, you are going to kill the people anyway, so then why let them go to waste? A necromancer, in neutral morality terms, is just a dreadnought with a stronger stomach.

    You could have the spell, over time, convert all the population to ghouls (on the theory that no living being wants to live next to the walking dead, and that natural death/accidents for the immortal elves supplies fresh corpses).

    You would also want, for the Death Sphere, to have an “instant ghoul” spell that doesn’t get you as good a transition, but is instant, and is evil, since you are just killing an entire city for resources.

    As for the breeding pens, why not just call the upgrade “bring out your dead”, and have it say that the neighboring cities bring all their recently dead here.

    #128462

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

    Theocrats do not gain Heal Undead. They gain Turn undead at level 3, and control undead at level 7.

    As to the ghoul cities idea, I’m not a big fan of it since it seems to skew the necro strongly towards evil, though I do like the ghoul-converting ability for units.

    #128464

    terrahero
    Member

    I really like these ideas. Necromancer seems to be the class with the rather “drastic” measures.

    Ghouling a city doesnt seem to be me as the obvious best choice, you gain some benefits and i assume all units are automatically Undead/Ghouled. But the city does not grow over time anymore, upgrades that affect happiness and city growth are now obsolete.
    Im just guessing here, but i think a city wont be migrateable anymore either. So if that is your only town of Dwarfs you cannot migrate another town to Dwarves anymore.

    And the way to revert it, is basicly to just raze and exterminate. And start with a big set back.
    Im not sure on the details of the Ghouling as a debuff. If it turns enemy units into Undead it does seem a bit incredibly powerful. Sure it gives them Undead benefits, but they likely cannot make a good use of those, infact a Necromancer can likely turn that against them very easily.
    And a leader or hero losing the ability to naturally regenerate is a huge debuff.

    The concept seems very cool, and unique to AoW, but i am curious to see how this will balance out. Altough i highly doubt Ghouling would be the only new effect we’d see.
    So far it looks very cool to me and i am excited.

    #128466

    Jolly Joker
    Member

    That sounds like a really awesome mix of best of all worlds.

    #128467

    Gyg
    Member

    I wonder if Necromancer is to be a gimmick class or will it be balanced against all other classes. For now Theocrat (with Crusaders and spirit damage on most units) would murder undead based class.

    #128473

    MartyD81
    Member

    I wonder as well if the Archon dwellings are going to be modified in any way with regard to the Necro class. What about giving the class the option to be able to recruit undead Archons in their cities and refine them “in their own image”? Just an idea…
    Anyway, the Necro design is shaping up to be really cool, both mechanics-wise and visually. Keep up yer effort, Triumph!

    #128476

    JPoll
    Member

    Btw, I would love it if there was a mechanic that gave Ghoul cities a city growth boost whenever there is a battle fought inside the city domain. The growth could depend on the battle size.

    I also wonder if Ghould cities will be able to train Ghoul settlers. 🙂

    I´m sorry if this has been brought up before in another thread.

    #128478

    Gloweye
    Member

    But will elves be better ghouls? For example a goblin is prolific and very resistant to blight, a regular elf isn’t so prolific and has blight weakness so being ghoul is good since has +1 resistance.

    They still got the 20% weakness, so they’d be only 80% resistant against blight – still a drawback. the goblin bonus is wasted though.

    As for the Archon Dwelling, I hope its going to be slightly reworked, so as to also be usefull to the Necro as a kind of Premium Undead, giving slightly hihger stats than the racial versions could offer you.

    #128489

    NuMetal
    Member

    This looks lovely!

    I especially like the second male Necro outfit… 🙂

    #128491

    Jolly Joker
    Member

    I don’t actually see any hint that UNTIL LATE GAME Necro will play significantly different from Dreadnought Class. The summoned undead units will support the regular racial units, but later in game Necro will be able to “convert” wwhole cities.

    So where’s the problem?

    #128494

    Fogcrow
    Member

    The Necro heroes/leaders look like they´re undead from the start, are they?

    Are Ghouls dedicated to evil?

    Can other class players use ghoul towns they conquered(if so, to what extent), or is “purge” their only option?

    #128495

    Fogcrow
    Member

    Also the black vines(or whatever their suppsed to be) around the “stylish” female Necros upper Body don´t look very stylish to me.

    #128498

    Thariorn
    Member

    They still got the 20% weakness, so they’d be only 80% resistant against blight – still a drawback. the goblin bonus is wasted though.

    Well, there’s a multitude of skills which lower your X resistance which stack with each other.
    So even a ghouled Goblin with his 140+% blight resistance may take dmg from blight

    #128509

    Draxynnic
    Member

    Well, there’s a multitude of skills which lower your X resistance which stack with each other.
    So even a ghouled Goblin with his 140+% blight resistance may take dmg from blight

    But will still take less than a ghouled human with the base 100% blight resistance under the same circumstances. 😛

    #128517

    Chikanuk
    Member

    Just make “Good Necromancer” possible, please, please, PLEASE, PLEASE!!
    They so rare in games (and books btw). Maybe some bonuses 4 non sity convertion path?
    Becouse “turn everyone into a ghouls” seems not like a good action at all.
    Even theocrat can be poor evil, so necromancer must have a good way to.

    #128526

    Gloweye
    Member

    Just make “Good Necromancer” possible, please, please, PLEASE, PLEASE!!<br>
    They so rare in games (and books btw). Maybe some bonuses 4 non sity convertion path?<br>
    Becouse “turn everyone into a ghouls” seems not like a good action at all.<br>
    Even theocrat can be poor evil, so necromancer must have a good way to.

    Or give the Necro an explicit choice, where the complete conversion gives evil alignment points, but where there are also upgrades that allow you to make Dedicated to Good units.

    Since the Necro always will synergize nicely with the Archons, due to the high likelyhood of Necro buffing units with the “Undead” trait(Which I’d like), maybe there will need to be some additional advantage to being good anyhow.

    #128528

    ashbery76
    Member

    This feels like the first actual faction rather than just starting units like the rest seem to be.

    #128541

    Khelle
    Member

    I hope devs, you keep in mind, that adding special overlays and graphical effects like eerie fog means you have to add similar things to extising class? For ex. dense fog around cities for Dreadnoughts.

    #128546

    I hope devs, you keep in mind, that adding special overlays and graphical effects like eerie fog means you have to add similar things to extising class? For ex. dense fog around cities for Dreadnoughts.

    I would disagree. Adding in cool new features for something doesn’t mean they have to be put on every other faction by default. Look at lucky for what I mean…

    Specifically targeted visual upgrades could work though, like a form of smog (i.e. not the eerie effect they seem to be going for) for larger Dreadnought cities.

    #128562

    Khelle
    Member

    I would disagree. Adding in cool new features for something doesn’t mean they have to be put on every other faction by default. Look at lucky for what I mean…

    Yes, you don’t have to do anything, but have to keep in mind creating one super-fun class would make other impompular. Do you want to see MP games in which 60% of players are necromancers? 🙂

    Besides your example is really bad. Lucky is just another Trait. It does not add new complicated mechanic around which game resolves.
    When I said about improving existing classes I meant something that would, in any way, introduce unique classes impact on empire building / expanding mechanism. It does not have be anything complicated, just distinct.

    #128568

    Interesting approach, with significant drawbacks. I am excited about the results.

    What would be an interesting twist though if the “ghoul a city” spell could be utilized by any leader that is ghouled, but only the necromancer gets active tools to ghoul himself or others.
    As such if there ways to ghoul others, those could be worked into dungeons or quests and lead to all the other5 classes having a chance to get this new game feature.

    Also the nice story “Thrax the undead warlord went into a dungeon. He fought a vampire lord and emerged victorious…yet changed. The darkness that took hold of Thrax spread and soon the once bloodthirsty orc raider became the scourge of the living.”

    #128655

    Telenil
    Member

    Mating a group of living people in “Breeding Pens” to infect them with a curse of undeath? That has to be the most evil thing you could possibly do as a necromancer. That’s way worse than killing fleeing guards.

    As far as ghouling goes… I’m a little mixed. It’s a neat concept, but what I liked the thought of a necromancer mixing living and undead units in its army. Ghouling each and every units feels a little “simple”, you just turn your entire army into undead. Was it done to make the undead both a race and a class? In the lore, is a necromancer supposed to cut all ties with his former race? I mean, I don’t really see why the people would willingly follow a necromancer that turn a large fraction of his servants into undead.

    #128656

    Ravenholme
    Member

    Mating a group of living people in “Breeding Pens” to infect them with a curse of undeath? That has to be the most evil thing you could possibly do as a necromancer. That’s way worse than killing fleeing guards.

    As far as ghouling goes… I’m a little mixed. It’s a neat concept, but what I liked the thought of a necromancer mixing living and undead units in its army. Ghouling each and every units feels a little “simple”, you just turn your entire army into undead. Was it done to make the undead both a race and a class? In the lore, is a necromancer supposed to cut all ties with his former race? I mean, I don’t really see why the people would willingly follow a necromancer that turn a large fraction of his servants into undead.

    You still can, I believe, you just shouldn’t ghoul a city to get the living variants from it.

    However, I suspect there might be some kind of penalty from mixing living and dead units in the same army (A bit like the disgusting stench debuff)

    #128661

    11balanced11
    Member

    The ghouling cities concept is interesting, but what I would dislike for sure – is the ‘ghoul’ version of all (?) racial ubits. Not to repeat, see the reasons in previous Necro discussion:

    http://ageofwonders.com/forums/topic/dev-journal-necromancer-class-design/page/4/

    But let’s see the result. Still I hope the devs take the criticizm into account at least to some extent, though ‘ghoul-sceptics’ are in evident minority ))

    The most important question for me is:

    Do all the racial units have their producible ‘ghoul’ pairs? I hope not. It would be absurdic to have ghoul racial priests, cavalry and elite t-3’s.

    Actually I dislike ‘ghouled’ t-1s too (i e the same units but with problem skin and grot dress) and would prefer current undead archons instead. So I’d suggest the following concept about ghouls: let them be like some intermediate stage between living and undead. In terms of mechanics:
    – they can be produced in ‘ghouled’ cities or infected by some spells / combat skills
    – they have low morale and say 25% chance to die.
    – when they die, they return as undead of the same level / specialization.
    – if you play Necromancer, they join you, otherwize – become agressive neutrals.

    In particular, that gives a solid answer, why you have to heal those who is affected by ghoul plague if you are not Necromancer yourself.

    #128679

    Kaiosama TLJ
    Member

    Mating a group of living people in “Breeding Pens” to infect them with a curse of undeath? That has to be the most evil thing you could possibly do as a necromancer. That’s way worse than killing fleeing guards.

    Maybe it would be better if this would be an option like in the Dragons Peak where you can choose between Fire or Ice Yards. It could be like this:

    Breeding Pens – Increases Ghoul population per turn by 300 + Any treasure sites that give you population growth + Any other effects (like being a Goblin city and/or Fertility Rites). However, building this will give you 100 Evil points.

    Burial Grounds – Increases Ghoul population based on a percentage of the growth of other non-Ghoul cities of the same race, and the more non-Ghoul cities you own the growth will stack. (but there would also be a restrain based on the distance between the cities of course)

    #128704

    Draxynnic
    Member

    Do all the racial units have their producible ‘ghoul’ pairs? I hope not. It would be absurdic to have ghoul racial priests, cavalry and elite t-3′s.

    Why? There’s no reason you can’t have an undead knight (it’s quite archetypical, in fact) or an undead gryphon or undead beetle. There’s nothing stopping undead from worshiping a higher power, particularly in a universe where the powers you get from worship are not tied to alignment.

    What it’s basically saying is that anything living (with maybe a few exceptions, but we can get to those later) can become undead, and the ‘ghouling’ mechanic means it can be done simply, and people who want to build their empire of undeath can do so. We’ll still have class units to create more unique undead, and I expect ghouling will have appropriate drawbacks so that choosing not to is a valid alternative.

    #128759

    NEHZ
    Member

    Mating a group of living people in “Breeding Pens” to infect them with a curse of undeath? That has to be the most evil thing you could possibly do as a necromancer. That’s way worse than killing fleeing guards.

    Agreed. But a simple rewording can make it a neutral concept instead: conclave of the chosen. A select group of people are allowed to live in the city, with the promise that they may pick up the blessing of eternal life as soon as they generate some descendants.

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