Heart structures as MCUs

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Home Forums Age of Wonders 3 Discussions Heart structures as MCUs

This topic contains 16 replies, has 8 voices, and was last updated by  SiaFu 6 years, 12 months ago.

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  • #215705

    ExNihil
    Member

    Hi guys,

    This thread is a spinoff from the discussion that started here:

    http://aow.triumph.net/forums/topic/mystical-city-upgrades-they-suckneed-changed/

    I also recommend people take a look in these threads, which make good suggestions regarding heart structures which I’d like to see implemented:

    * Change the raze mechanism of heart structures: http://aow.triumph.net/forums/topic/hears/

    * Introduce Heart of the Depths/Heart of the Subterranean and change some other aspects:
    http://aow.triumph.net/forums/topic/heart-of-the/

    Also, apparently there were previous threads with suggestions regarding heart structures, but I couldn’t be bothered to excavate the database so far back – so if you guys want to post links in the replies that would be cool.

    Now, to the topic at hand: I would love it if Hearts could be further developed and making these into unique MCUs seems like a good choice. Because you only get a single heart structure of each type per game, the result would be a unique MCU that could become a strategic goal in of itself. Of course these structures already give some unique benefits, namely no terrain penalties of type x, units produced in domain receive inflict x ability and +10CP. Although the +10CP is itself very powerful, I would argue that the overall benefits are up to par – at best – with the best MCUs and are somewhat less impressive then these in most circumstances. The inflict x abilities are ok to good, but are sometimes completely irrelevant to some race/class combinations and the no terrain penalties are situational – sometimes they are crucial, sometimes they don’t matter at all (for Dread and Necro this is really a non-benefit given their respective abilities here.) I therefore suggest (as many did before me apparently) that each heart structure will give a unique MCU with some interesting and player unique abilities.

    Please post your suggestions here, also – assume that the devs will indeed grant us Heart of the Subterranean if you will in doing so. I will post my suggestions later on, but I need to think about this one a bit more deeply.

    #215730

    Gloweye
    Member

    Because you only get a single heart structure of each type per game, the result would be a unique MCU that could become a strategic goal in of itself.

    Not really…mutiple hearts of the same type exist – I remember cause I once covered 2 hearts of the blight with a single fort for the 20 CP.

    However, you seem to be suggesting some….more influential changes?

    (BTW people, that thread for a Heart of the UG was a good one!)

    #215742

    ExNihil
    Member

    Interesting to know, I never noticed multiple heart structures and TBH I like to think of them as unique. Be that as it may, I indeed have some suggestions.

    IMO the specific benefits to unit bonuses Heart structures give are somewhat outdated. Hearts give units abilities that have been introduced in vanilla and which are relatively common in the game in comparison to the abilities that have been introduced with MCUs. These abilities have a relatively high degree of occurrence in racial and to a lesser degree also class units. Furthermore, they are unequal in value, with some Hearts granting significantly more powerful status effects (3 round timer) than others. For example, Heart of the Arctic Inflict Frostbite, which when applied debuffs an enemy unit -2 defense, while Heart of the Volcano grants Inflict Immolation, which hits a unit every round for 3 fire damage and debuffs it -2 defense -1 resistance -400 morale and -3 physical damage. The first, in turn, appears on the Frostling t1 irregular at baseline, being a low power status effect, and the second appearing on the Draconian t2 support at gold medal, being a very powerful status effect. Although some variance is good, this degree of variance is not IMO.

    I therefore suggest the this will be balanced somehow, either by replacing some or all of the existing abilities with others or by supplementing the existing ones with new abilities. I further think the MCU mechanic or something very similar will help to balance this out, namely a city build that will grant some units extra abilities. Yet, in difference to MCUs, which give mythical upgrades, hearts are conceptually different – these are focal points in which the natural and elemental intermingle.

    With that in mind, I would like to suggest that the scheme for hearts will be on the basis of specific benefits to racial units rather than to units of type x (e.g. cavalry) or possessive of some property (e.g. armored.) Thus hearts will no longer give a universal status effect buff to all units produced in a city, but instead give each race a unique set of buffs to some units – potentially unequally so, each races will benefit more from some hearts and less from others. The range of abilities here could include heightened resistances, extra damage of some types, inflict abilities and also mobility upgrades. I further suggest that races that have the climate the heart represents as the favorite terrain will receive extra city benefits that replace the flat +200 happiness a heart structure gives to a city. For example, Draconians with heart of the Volcano might receive +300 population growth and +300 happiness.

    #215745

    Gloweye
    Member

    That would suck to have at the wrong race…

    How about just having a slightly more equal AND stronger buff to the untis from just that city?

    Or else, have it raise the happiness levels for units that don’t dislike it’s terrain type.

    #215748

    ExNihil
    Member

    That would suck to have at the wrong race…

    I think every race should receive something, so it will never truly suck, but when you have a race that synergizes well with the heart structure you will be very happy indeed. This doesn’t need to be an equal scheme, just a balanced one.

    Of course there could be other schemes – it would certainly be simpler to simply add some abilities to each heart to make them more or less equal in their benefits, but I personally prefer to have more variety.

    #215749

    Wouldn’t it be more fitting to have the Hearts interact with the specializations?

    #215750

    ExNihil
    Member

    I dunno, care to explain your idea?

    #215755

    Xaneorath
    Member

    I do agree that Hearts should be an important factor on the map, proposing king-of-the-hill-style gameplay. Because of that, I always found it strange that exactly these structures were prone to razing.

    I also wouldn’t mind a heart for the UG.

    But I disagree about the need for necessary optimal benefit from the (terrain) effect of the heart. Thats just the lottery then. Like with each and every artifact you find in some dungeon.
    If you can use it, great. If not, the +10cp and production bonuses (if you use it for a city) should be more than enough of a reward.

    The abilities given for all units, if you built a city, seem nice enough for me as well.
    Giving “inflict bleeding” to all units seems a bit redundant, if we consider how often we find that skill these days, but in certain combinations it can still be very great. Consider flamers having that. Or have prowlers bring their built-in bleeding to begin with.
    The frostbite might still be useful due to its rarity. It is very unlikely that you will have other units which create that effect, so here its not the flat debuff that counts, but it’s ability to be mixed with whatever else you got.
    It might be an option to change it for “inflict chilling” though. Allthough the frost resistance reduction will only benefit frostlings and undead players, the stackability might make it a bit more worthwhile than frostbite.

    #215783

    NINJEW
    Member

    I think I’d just like it if, in addition to the inflicts, Hearts also gave +1 damage of that element as well. So certain inflicts wouldn’t become useless depending on race/class.

    That’d be a pretty significant buff as well.

    #215798

    Gloweye
    Member

    I think I’d just like it if, in addition to the inflicts, Hearts also gave +1 damage of that element as well. So certain inflicts wouldn’t become useless depending on race/class.

    That’d be a pretty significant buff as well.

    It’d be a significant buff, but TBH I like it.

    #215802

    ExNihil
    Member

    What I’d really love, and know there is very little chance of getting but still, is to have unique units unlock through a heart MCU. Either by allowing the player to build otherwise unbuildable units, e.g. Yeti, or by introducing a new type of unit – i.e. wyvern riders (t3 cavalry with racial variaties.)

    #215804

    NINJEW
    Member

    Meh. Yetis you need to clear a Mythical level site to get access to. Hearts are way less difficult to clear.

    Maybe some kind of T2 support with a neat buff or debuff or something.

    #215840

    thabob79
    Member

    Heart are kinda unique mcu, they give bonus to unit merely by being in the domain, no building required (ok that contradict mcu but…).

    #215860

    I dunno, care to explain your idea?

    For example a rather simple approach:
    Heartstone of Fire (City Building):
    You get Fire specialization +1. If you already have Fire Mastery, fire spells cost you 20% less to cast.
    All your heroes can learn Fire Adepts spells.
    The city this building is in will periodically be attacked by fire elementals.

    #215866

    sharky
    Member

    I dunno, care to explain your idea?

    For example a rather simple approach:
    Heartstone of Fire (City Building):
    You get Fire specialization +1. If you already have Fire Mastery, fire spells cost you 20% less to cast.
    All your heroes can learn Fire Adepts spells.
    The city this building is in will periodically be attacked by fire elementals.

    I’m not proficient at editing quotes so I’m happy it is short.
    Having hearts become more meaningful sounds like fun to me. But it would also mean that maps need to have all of them guaranteed to be present.
    I think “fire spells” would be overkill. However, fireball seems like a nice thing to give heroes.
    Something of note is that not all “elemental” spheres have a corresponding heart, which would be hard to balance.
    The asymmetric strength and current randomness of number of hearts I actually like right now, as all in all they are just an important strategic goal that requires exploration.
    Although the fact you will often have 2 pieces of arctic or volcanic terrain on the opposite sides of the map only one with a heart can be a pain, I don’t know if I would like it without that.

    #215916

    sharky
    Member

    To be honest, and I think it should probably be another post. I think it is ridiculous that heart structures are destroy-able. Especially considering there are 2 levels of one sphere that directly depend on heart structures (wild magic).
    You cant exactly destroy mana nodes, or the upgrades from the alignment spheres dito.
    What would really add flavor is if heart structures are destroyable, but respawns 2 turns after destruction in a random place at least some distance from another heart. adding a large swath of land that corresponds with its element.
    This would add a lot of tactical play to owning a heart structure.
    Maybe a little pressure from hearts akin to tropic/blight/etc. empire spells terrain changing.

    #216190

    SiaFu
    Member

    I’d say hearts are quite powerful as they are. Relatively easy defenders (as you can use adjacent hex rule) and no combat enchantment make them easily conquerable.

    The added damage bonus and MCU ideas are interesting, but before any changes make Hearts even more powerful, I’d address the problem of them being destructable by a single scout (as sharky pointed out).

    From the thread I’d started on that topic, it seems only roaming HATE_EVERYONE AI raiding parties do it, AI players don’t.

    The current state would be a drag as the destruction of the heart would mean your suggested expensive MCU would have to be scrapped as well (disregarding the psychological effect).

    I don’t know if I would much use extra spells for heroes as they already have more useful abilities than available skillpoints (Necros especially). Maybe provide a secret spell for the Leader instead: It’d be great if Heart of glades granted you Cleanse the Land, for instance.

    What about a Water Heart? Mariner for all your ships (or just +3 move) instead of a morale bonus. Now that we have marine dwellings and a new treasure site, maybe marine economy could be a thing like in Alpha Centauri?
    Too bad Humans lost their water happiness bonus…

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