Shadow Realm – Brainstorm

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Home Forums Modding and Map Making Shadow Realm – Brainstorm

This topic contains 1,098 replies, has 37 voices, and was last updated by  Refineus 2 years, 2 months ago.

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  • #238866

    Eomolch
    Member

    I kind of disagree here – first of all, no race should be inherently good or evil.

    Well for one thing, the way they were presented in AoWSM I’d say shadow demons are inheretnly evil and Archons inherently good. Also it isn’t even neccessary that every single one of them is evil or good, as long as their leaders are. E.g. in Lord of the Rings I wouldn’t say all Orcs are evil (though probably most of them) but they still were regarded evil since they served Sauron. But ok, this isn’t even too important, it would only matter for the question whether all units of those races should be dedicated to good/evil or not.

    These races as you describe them all sound very much like dwellings with a migrate option.

    No, more like dwellings with a migrate and settler option, racial research (which replaces ordinary class research) that can be picked as starting towns. Especially the “eligible for the player/AI” part makes a huge difference imho.

    Secondly, when the shadowworld closed, it was not really ruled by a single faction like the first time it opened up. There was quite a lot of war between what we could call the Athla Alliance and the Shadow Demons.

    I am aware of this, which is why I proposed one good and one evil faction.

    As for the threat that you describe, it could easily be achieved with some dwellings and spawners that have the same units – where the dwellings could represent those parts of a faction that actually can be pursuaded to work for you, and the spawners as the globally hostile factions.

    I strongly have to disagree here. C’mon did you really ever have a RMG (so non-scripted) game where dwellings posed any threat to any one? As for unit spawners, they are generally(!) only nuisances and only pose a real threat in combination with an ongoing war between players. They can’t (without heavy scipting) simulate a real attacking force since they don’t act as a unit and lack the advantages of diplomacy and the actual use of cities they might be able to conquer.

    I believe it’s possible to exclude combinations. However, I don’t really want to. Knowledge will leak across soon enough. Also, if a Athlan Dreadnought has a Shadow Elf city, how hard can it be to put muskets in their hands?

    Not sure what you mean with your first argument (“Knowledge will leak across soon enough”). As for the second point, I will admit that it could make sense to allow a class-overlap from a lore-point of view. But it can also make sense to disallow it. After all it isn’t hard to imagine that the inhabitants of the shadow plane may only want to rely on the things that made them survive there. In that case convincing them of another ideology or the use of different technology may be too difficult to achieve, it could be a process that takes years or decades and I’d argue one AoW3 match doesn’t last that long.

    • This reply was modified 4 years, 10 months ago by  Eomolch.
    • This reply was modified 4 years, 10 months ago by  Eomolch.
    #238869

    Charlatan
    Member

    I strongly have to disagree here. C’mon did you really ever have a RMG (so non-scripted) game where dwellings posed any threat to any one?

    I’m gonna stay neutral in the many disagreements of you two 😛

    Just pointing out: Yes. If you don’t destroy them very early and defenders and roaming units are set to Many, Treasure Sites can definitely be fun there, and dangerous.

    Succubi, Archon Titans, Bone Dragons and Dread Reapers can show up much earlier than you’d hope!

    • This reply was modified 4 years, 10 months ago by  Charlatan.
    #238873

    Eomolch
    Member

    Just pointing out: Yes. If you don’t destroy them very early and defenders and roaming units are set to Many, Treasure Sites can definitely be fun there, and dangerous.

    Succubi, Archon Titans, Bone Dragons and Dread Reapers can show up much earlier than you’d hope!

    But they are from roaming sites, not dwellings 😛

    But you have a point, admittedly, you could make the spawners so powerful they can crush everything. However like I tried to point out earlier there is a difference between that kind of threat and an actual opponent who coordinates his troops and has his own goals. Also roaming sites have another big problem: If you make the spawned units too powerful the game will be less about defeating your opponents but rather about surviving the independents (which also means you are much more luck-dependant, not the best player would win but the one who gets attacked the least by the independents).

    In the end this is not going to be my decision but I can only tell you, that the impact of the mod on the game, if you make the shadow realm factions races (in the way I suggested) will be a lot higher than if you make them dwellings. And letting that chance go in a project of that scale would be a mistake imho. It is about the incentive to go to the shadow layer and also about the frequency that the new units could be used by the player (e.g. I still didn’t build a single unit in the new sea-dwelling outside of the campaign).

    #238889

    Gloweye
    Member

    I kind of disagree here – first of all, no race should be inherently good or evil.

    Well for one thing, the way they were presented in AoWSM I’d say shadow demons are inheretnly evil and Archons inherently good. Also it isn’t even neccessary that every single one of them is evil or good, as long as their leaders are. E.g. in Lord of the Rings I wouldn’t say all Orcs are evil (though probably most of them) but they still were regarded evil since they served Sauron. But ok, this isn’t even too important, it would only matter for the question whether all units of those races should be dedicated to good/evil or not.

    Well, that’s the point – no race should be good or evil. I’m glad that triumph removed it in AoW 3 and I would disapprove of it coming back. Dwellings don’t have that problem.

    Luckily for us, the living Archons did a lot of stuff that could easily be considered evil. For example, they’re pretty racist and supremacist on occasion.

    Also, evil orcs/good elves in middle earth IMO is one of the weakest points in the story.

    Also, Shadow Demons are evil the same way as predators are – they just happen to need to kill in order to procreate, just like many predators. I wouldn’t really mind them getting the Dedicated to Evil label, but I would them being a race alongside it.

    These races as you describe them all sound very much like dwellings with a migrate option.

    No, more like dwellings with a migrate and settler option, racial research (which replaces ordinary class research) that can be picked as starting towns. Especially the “eligible for the player/AI” part makes a huge difference imho.

    Secondly, when the shadowworld closed, it was not really ruled by a single faction like the first time it opened up. There was quite a lot of war between what we could call the Athla Alliance and the Shadow Demons.

    I am aware of this, which is why I proposed one good and one evil faction.

    As for the threat that you describe, it could easily be achieved with some dwellings and spawners that have the same units – where the dwellings could represent those parts of a faction that actually can be pursuaded to work for you, and the spawners as the globally hostile factions.

    I strongly have to disagree here. C’mon did you really ever have a RMG (so non-scripted) game where dwellings posed any threat to any one? As for unit spawners, they are generally(!) only nuisances and only pose a real threat in combination with an ongoing war between players. They can’t (without heavy scipting) simulate a real attacking force since they don’t act as a unit and lack the advantages of diplomacy and the actual use of cities they might be able to conquer.

    Example the Spawners mentioned in the previous posts. Independents never pose a threat to anyone, only spawners can.

    I was thinking about turning the spawners’ power level up compared to the other layers anyway. As for those starting in the Shadow World, well, we can force minimum distances.

    I believe it’s possible to exclude combinations. However, I don’t really want to. Knowledge will leak across soon enough. Also, if a Athlan Dreadnought has a Shadow Elf city, how hard can it be to put muskets in their hands?

    Not sure what you mean with your first argument (“Knowledge will leak across soon enough”). As for the second point, I will admit that it could make sense to allow a class-overlap from a lore-point of view. But it can also make sense to disallow it. After all it isn’t hard to imagine that the inhabitants of the shadow plane may only want to rely on the things that made them survive there. In that case convincing them of another ideology or the use of different technology may be too difficult to achieve, it could be a process that takes years or decades and I’d argue one AoW3 match doesn’t last that long.

    Well, especially if their world is so hard to live in, they’ll take anything that might make it a bit easier, or that gives them an advantage over their enemies.

    If you make the spawned units too powerful the game will be less about defeating your opponents but rather about surviving the independents (which also means you are much more luck-dependant, not the best player would win but the one who gets attacked the least by the independents).

    Minimum distance is going to be our friend here.

    Also, we could have any native’s race’s support have an ability like “Disrupt Shadow” that basically works like a kind of Turn Undead. Would make sense for any non-demon aligned units to develop abilities like that.

    Lastly, I wanted to throw out another idea here, for a potential class:

    The Wizard King Class.

    Now hear me out. This class is heavily dependent on specializations, and has less skills while getting twice as much from specializations. Explorer/Expander/Partisan classes can’t be picked. These additional options will include sufficient summons that the Wizard Kings have them as class units, though there may still be some produced class units, though even one might already do.

    #238890

    esvath
    Member

    I have never played Dr_K’s Wizard King class (I am waiting for the final version), and if it is the one that you have in mind, I agree 100%!
    I am not sure how/whether Wizard King will overlap with Sorcerer, though… Or just replace Sorcerer with Wizard King?

    #238891

    Thariorn
    Member

    Also, we could have any native’s race’s support have an ability like “Disrupt Shadow” that basically works like a kind of Turn Undead. Would make sense for any non-demon aligned units to develop abilities like that.

    So Shadow Realm creatures/Demons/natives would get their Shadow Sickness/Influence tag which enables “Turn Shadow” or just against Shadow demons and other creatures?

    These additional options will include sufficient summons that the Wizard Kings have them as class units, though there may still be some produced class units, though even one might already do.

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but IIRC you can have a tech unlock mutual exclusive buildings, right?
    So how’bout giving them e.g. a Mage-unit which is dedicated to a given element.
    So you would research Tech X, which unlocks a Magical Academy to be built in your cities with Wizard Tower 2(I mean, a Wizard King’s class structure HAS to be the Wiz Tower 😀), which comes in 5/6 schools of magic, so you’d be able to have 5 cities which would produce 5 different versions of Mages.
    Each school of magic could offer e.g. a moderate direct dmg skill (spell) on 3 turn cd, a buff/debuff aligned to the respective element as a once per battle skill aswell as/or an element aligned combat summon.
    In turn those Mages would need horrific stats and most importantly a pretty high MANA productioncost to toughen up decision making as a Wiz King.

    OR

    You could have Tech X unlock 5/6 mutual exclusive Techs, which would unlock a single sort of Mage-unit, albeit in a considerably stronger version, as you wouldn’t be able to field all possible variants but jsut one.
    But I dunno if this would even work as intended, as 6 follow-up Techs would clutter up the book aswell as may not even show up all at once.

    #238892

    Charlatan
    Member

    Since ideas are drifting wide, I gotta point out something absolutely indisputable.

    Phat letters got your attention? Good.

    By the large amount of content that is theorized now, multiple races, two classes (counting my own preference, the Mercenary Lord) it is necessary to decide which of these to pick.

    The 4096mb RAM Limit WILL not allow all of them at the same time, unless we are extremely conservative about textures and models, including preferably that some mods (like my own Decodence, or Racial Watchtowers) reduce file size wherever possible too.

    Again, It must be pointed out:

    The Game has plenty of space for that. Plenty. Absolutely no problem.

    But the Editor loads all assets at the same time and is somewhere at 3700 or 3800 already.

    But they are from roaming sites, not dwellings 😛

    Oh, kinda threw these two into one pot 😛

    #238893

    Dr_K
    Member

    I have never played Dr_K’s Wizard King class (I am waiting for the final version), and if it is the one that you have in mind, I agree 100%!
    I am not sure how/whether Wizard King will overlap with Sorcerer, though… Or just replace Sorcerer with Wizard King?

    As I currently have made it, the Wizard class is probably OP with certain Spheres. However, I haven’t play tested much of it, so it could be UP/balanced due to the relatively high upkeep costs for numerous spells.

    It would probably be better to have a Wizard King class designed with less pure nostalgia, at least a little less than the way I went about it.

    For those that are interested in the details without having to play with the mod, there is most of the documentation here. (Of the seemingly completed sections, it’s definitely missing the starting stats of the wizard heroes, which are pretty bad compared to the other classes)

    Essentially the idea was all of the Wizard Skills from the old games became the Empire Upgrades, and the spells were created from the AoW2/SM line-ups with some extra summoning spells thrown in for each sphere. The implementation seems to be broadly in-line with Gloweye’s idea since there are more summons, but less skills overall and they cost more to research, are more powerful, and tied to a specific sphere of magic (so you are stuck with mostly one or two damage/resistance types. However, the balance and fun of my implementation has yet to be determined, and I am skeptical of the former (in the current state).

    Mage stuff

    I like the idea(s). You might be able to create the latter more easily than the former with an empire upgrade like Favored Enemy, if that is replicable.

    By the large amount of content that is theorized now, multiple races, two classes (counting my own preference, the Mercenary Lord) it is necessary to decide which of these to pick.

    The 4096mb RAM Limit WILL not allow all of them at the same time, unless we are extremely conservative about textures and models, including preferably that some mods (like my own Decodence, or Racial Watchtowers) reduce file size wherever possible too.

    If we split apart the mods into individual ones (hopefully independent of one another) that single people or a small number of people work on, we can probably avoid hitting that limit in any given mod if the graphical assets are spread out enough. And if that’s a problem, then we just subdivide again.

    Does the editor load all of the assets of a required mod when editing a dependent one? So for example, if we have a class that has too many art assets (for whatever reason), can we put all of the art assets into ‘graphical mods/libraries’ that the technical implementation of the class will depend upon without hitting the limit?

    • This reply was modified 4 years, 10 months ago by  Dr_K.
    #238895

    Eomolch
    Member

    Well, that’s the point – no race should be good or evil. I’m glad that triumph removed it in AoW 3 and I would disapprove of it coming back. Dwellings don’t have that problem.

    You really have to explain to me how inherently good (living) Archons in a dwelling are any different from inherently good (living) Archons as a race? :O

    Luckily for us, the living Archons did a lot of stuff that could easily be considered evil. For example, they’re pretty racist and supremacist on occasion.

    I guess that depends on how we define “inherently good”. The game isn’t too strict on this itself, after all it allows a dedicated to good necromancers who will slaughter the entire world population. What I want to say by this is that the standards to qualify for “inherently good” shouldn’t be too high, after all nobody is perfect.

    Also, evil orcs/good elves in middle earth IMO is one of the weakest points in the story.

    Fair enough, but this would be an entirely new discussion 😛

    Example the Spawners mentioned in the previous posts. Independents never pose a threat to anyone, only spawners can.

    Players starting with a shadow realm race also can …

    I was thinking about turning the spawners’ power level up compared to the other layers anyway. As for those starting in the Shadow World, well, we can force minimum distances.

    Spawned independents can be made powerful but they can’t be made smart. More powerful wandering berserk groups will only increase the randomness of the game and bring havoc upon the AI that already has problems dealing with the existing roaming sites. And if you’d make them only roam the shadow realm the smartest thing any player could do is to avoid it (hence making the whole mod obsolete in a sense).

    Well, especially if their world is so hard to live in, they’ll take anything that might make it a bit easier, or that gives them an advantage over their enemies.

    This assumes 1) that those techniques will actually really give them an advantage compared to relying on whatever it is they developed/adopted during their time in the shadow realm 2) that the people from athla realize this (without sufficient knowledge of the shadow realm or the abilities of its inhabitants) and 3) that they(the ppl from athla) can convince them(the ppl living in the shadow realm) that this is the case.

    If you make the spawned units too powerful the game will be less about defeating your opponents but rather about surviving the independents (which also means you are much more luck-dependant, not the best player would win but the one who gets attacked the least by the independents).

    Minimum distance is going to be our friend here.

    Also, we could have any native’s race’s support have an ability like “Disrupt Shadow” that basically works like a kind of Turn Undead. Would make sense for any non-demon aligned units to develop abilities like that.

    How does minimum distance help with this? If your army gets crushed just because that independent doom stack happened to come along I’d call that a very lucky victory for the opponent.

    That aside the disrupt shadow ability sounds like an interesting idea, though it would have to be discussed which units it would affect and whether all (non-class) racial support units should get it per default or not.

    About the wizard king class, I really like the idea of it, but I’m not sure if this is something that should be planned as a fixed part of the shadow realm mod or rather an optional idea to later expand the base mod (if time, motivation and resources allow it).

    edit: @dr_k: Afaik the editor doesn’t actively load content from mods in the dependency list. My racial heritage mod was too big for my machine in the end (I could hardly finish it), but editing a mod where it is in the dependency list is no problem (I did this to make some tests, since as I said I could only edit the original mod with much patience in the end, so many crashs ://).

    • This reply was modified 4 years, 10 months ago by  Eomolch.
    #238897

    HousePet
    Member

    I don’t think new classes is a priority at all here.

    I support having Archons and Shadow Demons as dwellings as it adds more variety to the Shadow Realm. Having no dwellings in the Shadow Realm would be kinda boring.
    Sure, making it two factions of good versus evil is a strong (and cliché) setting, but can we really expect random maps to adequately reflect that?

    #238898

    Charlatan
    Member

    Does the editor load all of the assets of a required mod when editing a dependent one? So for example, if we have a class that has too many art assets (for whatever reason), can we put all of the art assets into ‘graphical mods/libraries’ that the technical implementation of the class will depend upon without hitting the limit?

    The Mod Editor is no problem at all. It’s the Level Editor that loads ALL assets of ALL present mods, or so it seems, into RAM.

    The Dependency Checkboxes in the Map (Depending on mods or DLC) dont seem to influence the actual memory load at all.

    #238901

    Gloweye
    Member

    You really have to explain to me how inherently good (living) Archons in a dwelling are any different from inherently good (living) Archons as a race? :O

    Because you can play them as a starting race. That locks a player into a playstyle before the game’s even begun.

    Spawned independents can be made powerful but they can’t be made smart.

    Same for AI players? They’re not really smarter than roamers, they just produce more troops.

    That aside the disrupt shadow ability sounds like an interesting idea, though it would have to be discussed which units it would affect and whether all (non-class) racial support units should get it per default or not.

    I would think only Shadow Realm starting races. Because for them it’s a danger they’ve learned over the years to fight, but for the rest it’s a completely new danger they don’t know how to handle.
    —————————————————————————————————–

    However, all that aside, I’m starting to think it might be good to start with a little more lite-version. Just to make the shadow world interesting. My suggestion would be to make a list of treasure sites we want in there, as well as, let’s say, two dwellings.

    Treasure sites I think should just be ported over:
    – All mana nodes (non-racial guardians)
    – Ancient Ruins (different strategic model?)
    – Crystal Tree (different guardians)
    – Flowrock Quarry (different guardians)
    – Forbidden Sanctum (different guardians)
    – Gold Mine (different guardians, different strategic model?)
    – Sunken City
    – Tomb (non-racial guardians)
    – Vault of Knowledge (non-racial guardians)
    – Wizard Tower Ruins (non-racial guardians, darker strategic model?)
    – Mealstrom
    – Castle of the Lich King

    Basically, this would require us to make a duplicate for use on the shadow realm for every changed structure. Is only little work. Where possible, reference the old entity of assets.

    For the sake of completion, this would remove:
    – Dungeon
    – Great Farm
    – Inn
    – Lost City
    – Magma Forge
    – Master Shipyard
    – Spring of Life
    – Trading Post
    – Ziggurat
    – All visit Shrines
    – Haste Berriess/Flowers of Solace/Pumpkins/Coverfield
    – All Spawners
    – All Hearts
    – Hall of the Forefathers

    Decodence Structures:
    – Wicked Flames of Grauth (Spelling?) Could remain IMO. It’s technically a visit structure.
    – Empty Tomb – Remove due to excess lightheartedness
    – Foundry – Remove due to Dread references
    – Sword of the Ashen Rose – can stay.
    – The Raven’s Home (change model to shadow mountains instead of temperate, perhaps different guards)
    – Traveling Circus – Remove due to excess lightheartedness

    As such, removed structures compose mostly of gold/production structures. So I think those should have priority when adding new ones.

    New structures I think we absolutely need (mix and match from Esvath’s suggestions? Especially the that first post got some good ones.):

    – Shadow Weed (Removes Shadow Realm from hated list in parent city/all units in it’s domain, restores MP on visit and removes Shadow Realm hated terrain from the visiting party hated list for 3 turns. Not too rare.)
    – 20 Gold Income
    – 30 Gold Income (MCU: Build Elder Eldritch? Will need the absolute strongest guards though….)
    – 30 Production Income
    – 10 Production Income

    Other suggestion:

    – Some knowledge structure (Fixed bonus exploration reward: Domain of Shadow Spell)
    – Recruitment structure for shadow animals/monsters (if we have enough for variation.)

    My ideas for the dwellings would be to have a Shadow Demon Dwelling, and on other.

    My other suggestion is to postpone class/full race implementation to after the first complete version?

    #238903

    Interesting discussions up until now weak lords who are destined to be ruled by the magnificent Overlord Darkslash.

    My personal opinion about both the shadow demons and the syrons is not extremely high and I rather see them disappear in on of my slave mines so that I never have to see them again, but they are part of the lore and well we don’t have a shadow realm without the Shadowy inhabitants.

    first of all I think that making full fledged races of the “big 4” would be a complete waste of time because those races wouldn’t fit as they are in AOW3 they are simply not fit for a neutral class system without losing their character and charm.

    Dwellings on the other hand (what most of the people suggest already) are far more fit for the monstrosities that the races have to offer. But is that all there is?

    if I see the suggestions now we could have 4 dwellings in total:

    Shadow demons: evil
    Syrons: good
    Archons: good
    Dark elves: evil(ish)

    those are the most popular and easiest choices to fill up the shadow realm. and I already saw some good suggestions about how to fill them in.

    but what do we know, we know that the shadow realm is a highly unstable and weakened realm, slowly falling apart an nearly consumed by the shadow demons. (whom should be still busy absorbing the magic from the realm). a realm in such a state does offer a few interesting possibilities that could make the work of our modding friends easier or harder:

    – because of some unexplained burst of magic or simple evolution dwellers (races) could have been combined. you could think about shadow demon corrupted archons/dark elves or syrons. but also that the syrons and archons or syrons and dark elves made a pact and start to work together. by using this you can reduce the amount of dwellings from 4 to 2 without leaving out the shadow realm all stars.

    – We all know about the invasion attempt from the shadow demons on Altha, but a race as massive and strong as shadow demons should be able to scout for more suitable realms (oh my modding friends you are going to hate me for this one), this open up the opportunity to bring in a some well needed “fanmade variation” and enables our modding friends to add in an original race, or bring back an old favorite. some scouting gate left open or an magic corruption that corrupted an already existing portal. and you have the opportunity of an race poking his/her nose in the shadow realm and enjoy the pain it has to offer.

    doing this right and the modders could fill the shadow realm with 2 dwellings (with all the 4 races), and a new (or returning) neutral race that could profit from the class system and also gives the opportunity to bring in a new class (like charlatans previously mentioned Mercenary lord)

    tell me what you think about this small brainstorm, but remember that forced labor mining next to shadow demons isn’t the best way to spent your new years eve.

    #238906

    esvath
    Member

    My ideas for the dwellings would be to have a Shadow Demon Dwelling, and on other.

    My other suggestion is to postpone class/full race implementation to after the first complete version?

    I agree that it is better to release v1.00 which enables Shadow Realm in RMG with various sites there.

    As long as there are enough* Shadow Realm-only structures with unique MCUs, I think this v1.00 will be very exciting.
    *enough is highly subjective. For me, 5-10 unique sites with unique MCUs is enough.

    After that, maybe release dwellings one by one.

    Then, phase 3 will be producing full race/class.

    #238908

    Eomolch
    Member

    You really have to explain to me how inherently good (living) Archons in a dwelling are any different from inherently good (living) Archons as a race? :O

    Because you can play them as a starting race. That locks a player into a playstyle before the game’s even begun.

    Hm, but that “lock” already exists with shadowborn and keeper of peace specializations. If you want to have free choice you can still play other races. Also this doesn’t explain your harsh argument against dedicated to good/evil races (as in civil population) since lore-wise there would be no difference about this in a dwelling compared to a city.

    Spawned independents can be made powerful but they can’t be made smart.

    Same for AI players? They’re not really smarter than roamers, they just produce more troops.

    I’m quite sure the devs would disagree on this 😛

    I would think only Shadow Realm starting races. Because for them it’s a danger they’ve learned over the years to fight, but for the rest it’s a completely new danger they don’t know how to handle.

    Actually I’m not sure they should even really remember the last time they fought the shadow demons. Or only very few ppl should. I’m pretty sure for humans e.g. shadow demons persist in legends at best or are completely forgotten.

    Hm, maybe we can find a solution for our little argument here. You see, the main reason why I wanted the returning factions to be races was that this would actually make the shadow realm have some strategic importance which I am not sure a hand full of dwellings can provide. But if we give the players some actually viable options to settle there, maybe it can work. Here are some ideas in respect to that:

    – not all races should hate the shadow theme. some should only dislike it and other maybe even be neutral (goblins? draconians?); or: some units of each race gain the ‘shadow walker’ trait which makes them neutral to shadow theme
    – introduce a new adept+master specialization focussing on the shadow realm
    – shadow realm adept: defensive skills, e.g. a city spell that makes the city like shadow theme, an empire upgrade that gives all support units the banish shadow ability you proposed and the shadow walker enchantment (which affects complete stack for 2-3 turns)
    – shadow realm mastery: offensive skills, e.g. an empire spell that spreads shadow theme in your empire (yes, on the surface!), a spell to summon shadow demon(s) or a spell that summons a shadow realm roaming site next to an enemy city

    However, all that aside, I’m starting to think it might be good to start with a little more lite-version. Just to make the shadow world interesting. My suggestion would be to make a list of treasure sites we want in there, as well as, let’s say, two dwellings.

    I agree here. There is still the option to later do more advanced stuff (such as new classes) later on, once this mod core is finished.

    Also, if we agree on some of my above suggestions, shadow weed could give the shadow walker trait to the stack (which essentially does what you proposed, but sounds cooler :D). Oh, and I’m against allowing players to build the Elder Eldritch Horror. It is just way too powerful.

    @overlorddarkslash: I know I have no right to talk to a superior being like you (and the punishment will be severe), but I must point out that your brilliant mind once again produced a list of very promising suggestions. I especially agree with this part:

    – because of some unexplained burst of magic or simple evolution dwellers (races) could have been combined. you could think about shadow demon corrupted archons/dark elves or syrons. but also that the syrons and archons or syrons and dark elves made a pact and start to work together. by using this you can reduce the amount of dwellings from 4 to 2 without leaving out the shadow realm all stars.

    Since it is roughly the same idea I proposed earlier:

    Now when it comes to possible races or dwellings, as much as I loved the old archons and dark elves, I think their possible new unit line-ups should corespond to the fact that they have been living in the shadow realm for hundreds of years by now (and I don’t just say this to make the dark elf stuff from my racial heritage mod fit in with this project :P) . Actually I could imagine even more drastic changes, like a race/dwelling consisting of the descendents of a mixed race of archons and syrons or dark elves actually allying with (or even controlling) the shadow demons. After all there is no way to know they would stay loyal to Meandor over hundreds of years, especially since it was his “fault” that they are stuck in the shadow realm.

    So e.g. there could the two factions: Archons+Syrons (or rather their descendants) vs. Shadow Demons+Dark Elves.

    #238909

    HousePet
    Member

    Why not have Dungeons in the Shadow Realm?
    I’m not overly fussed if there are less production/gold structures and more magical things.

    Ideas:

    Crystal Mines: +10 gold and mana per turn.
    While normal metals are rare in Shadow Realm, valuable and magical gemstones are common.

    Forge of Dreams: +10 production and knowledge per turn.
    In places where reality wears thin, artisans and researchers gather to make their dreams solid.

    Spirit Fountain: +100 growth and undead growth.
    Souls from other worlds enter the Shadow Realm here, seeking reincarnation.

    Shadow Node: +10 mana and knowledge.
    A nodal point in the flows of magic through the Shadows.

    #238910

    Eomolch wrote:
    Now when it comes to possible races or dwellings, as much as I loved the old archons and dark elves, I think their possible new unit line-ups should corespond to the fact that they have been living in the shadow realm for hundreds of years by now (and I don’t just say this to make the dark elf stuff from my racial heritage mod fit in with this project :P) . Actually I could imagine even more drastic changes, like a race/dwelling consisting of the descendents of a mixed race of archons and syrons or dark elves actually allying with (or even controlling) the shadow demons. After all there is no way to know they would stay loyal to Meandor over hundreds of years, especially since it was his “fault” that they are stuck in the shadow realm.
    So e.g. there could the two factions: Archons+Syrons (or rather their descendants) vs. Shadow Demons+Dark Elves.

    If two brilliant minds come up with the same suggestion then it should be an really promising and genius idea worth of thinking about right Lord Eomolch.

    Let me excuse me for missing your post though, I only did a fast scan of posts and might didn’t realize it was the same thing while letting my mind bring down chao… I mean brilliant ideas for a better future of all.

    thus your punishment will be postponed until further notice

    #238915

    Gloweye
    Member

    Hm, but that “lock” already exists with shadowborn and keeper of peace specializations. If you want to have free choice you can still play other races. Also this doesn’t explain your harsh argument against dedicated to good/evil races (as in civil population) since lore-wise there would be no difference about this in a dwelling compared to a city.

    Because dwellings don’t have to be just races. For example, Archon Undead are dedicated to Evil just because they’re cursed to this existence and their Undeath overrides their goals from when they were alive. Therefore, warranted. In case of Unicorn, it’s just a mystical creature that happens to like good aligned people. Nymphs are very unwarranted IMO – after all, they’re basically designed to turn people to their side by working their lust. For Gold Dragons, see the Unicorn argument.

    As why I think alignment should be open for all except for very specific cases, might be my belief that everyone has choice. To me, an entire race of evils/goods just comes across as very bad screenwriting. If an entire group is good or bad, a very good explanation is requires why no single one choose they opposite – either no free choice or them being good/bad is the reason why they’re together in the first place.

    You see, the main reason why I wanted the returning factions to be races was that this would actually make the shadow realm have some strategic importance which I am not sure a hand full of dwellings can provide. But if we give the players some actually viable options to settle there, maybe it can work.

    That’s why I wanted the Strategic map structures to be stronger, and have more powerful MCU’s – incentive to get down there and settle the damn thing. It’s hard and there’s a lot of hostile roamers, but also a lot of power if you manage to settle down there and start building units. There’s also plenty space, and more cities == good.

    – not all races should hate the shadow theme. some should only dislike it and other maybe even be neutral (goblins? draconians?); or: some units of each race gain the ‘shadow walker’ trait which makes them neutral to shadow theme

    Historically, only native races and Draconians were immune. Since we can’t really have a Shadow Sickness layer modifier, just making it Hated Terrain to the rest would be closest we could get to that.

    – introduce a new adept+master specialization focussing on the shadow realm
    – shadow realm adept: defensive skills, e.g. a city spell that makes the city like shadow theme, an empire upgrade that gives all support units the banish shadow ability you proposed and the shadow walker enchantment (which affects complete stack for 2-3 turns)
    – shadow realm mastery: offensive skills, e.g. an empire spell that spreads shadow theme in your empire (yes, on the surface!), a spell to summon shadow demon(s) or a spell that summons a shadow realm roaming site next to an enemy city

    Like Shadowborn?

    But that’s aligned.

    I like most of these skills, but TBH I would prefer if those can be aquired by going to the shadow realm. There’s huge untapped potential in the game regarding the possibility of basing research on structures in your domain, on the possession of dwellings, or on city upgrades.

    So for example, control of a Shadow Demon Dwelling with a certain structure (Let’s call it Demon Gate) would allow you to cast that spell that summons a Roaming Shadow Demon spawner(Call it Demon Gate as well…).

    Also, if we agree on some of my above suggestions, shadow weed could give the shadow walker trait to the stack (which essentially does what you proposed, but sounds cooler :D). Oh, and I’m against allowing players to build the Elder Eldritch Horror. It is just way too powerful.

    Powerful enough to explore the Shadow Realm just to gain access to it?

    And I wouldn’t mind if Shadow Walking is the trait that removes hated from the terrain list…

    Why not have Dungeons in the Shadow Realm?

    My thought was because they’re filled with racials. Though we could of course change the adventure/reward sets to Shadow Realm units.

    ————————————————————————————————

    Here’s my technical thoughts on the Shadow Sickness trait.

    In the RMG, we can pave the entire layer with an invisible Strategic Map Hazard, which can inflict status abilities for strategic turns. Then, on all Shadow Gate Entrances, we can spawn strategic map hazards that remove the status abilities(I think…). This would allow us to inflict Shadow Sickness on the entire layer. However, I can’t think of any other RMG method that does this, and I fear it’s going to cause pain performance wise.

    For custom maps, we can pre-build a Cosmic Event that applies Sickness across a specified layer. Will be a bit more elegant, but will have to be applied manually by the map creator. I am not sure, but a concern I have is that it might block other Cosmic Events.

    And here’s my thoughts on a Shadow Sickness trait if we put it in:

    And I want Shadow Sickness to be a little bit less crippling than in SM. IF we’re going to attempt ugly methods like the Hazard method described above, I would suggest something like -2 Def, -2 Res, -3 Damage. That’s more than bad enough I think. Maybe even make it -1 Def/-1 Res/-3 Dam, though that feels a bit to irrelevant, cause I DO want it to matter if we put it in there.

    #238916

    Bob5
    Member

    I’ve been thinking on the shadow sickness, isn’t it easier for RMG purposes to make an Avatar Empire Upgrade which starts out automatically researched which gives all units (friend or foe, including independents) the shadow sickness property, which is a layer stats modifier giving penalties on the shadow layer. Then add Shadow Walking requisite as a forbidden requisite to the empire upgrade, and make the shadow weeds become a visit structure that gives a layer stats modifier with the same screen name of “Shadow Walking”, the boost being exactly opposite to that of the shadow sickness modifier, so it basically cancels out? Also add the Shadow Walking requisite to the forbidden requisites of the shadow weeds visit structure.

    If you only want it in custom maps it’s easier, you can then just script the Empire Upgrade to be granted only to Independents at turn 1 and make it an unavailable Secret Empire Upgrade. As it affects all units that also works.

    #238919

    Eomolch
    Member

    Why not have Dungeons in the Shadow Realm?
    I’m not overly fussed if there are less production/gold structures and more magical things.

    Ideas:

    Crystal Mines: +10 gold and mana per turn.
    While normal metals are rare in Shadow Realm, valuable and magical gemstones are common.

    Forge of Dreams: +10 production and knowledge per turn.
    In places where reality wears thin, artisans and researchers gather to make their dreams solid.

    Spirit Fountain: +100 growth and undead growth.
    Souls from other worlds enter the Shadow Realm here, seeking reincarnation.

    Shadow Node: +10 mana and knowledge.
    A nodal point in the flows of magic through the Shadows.

    Great ideas 🙂

    If two brilliant minds come up with the same suggestion then it should be an really promising and genius idea worth of thinking about right Lord Eomolch.

    Let me excuse me for missing your post though, I only did a fast scan of posts and might didn’t realize it was the same thing while letting my mind bring down chao… I mean brilliant ideas for a better future of all.

    thus your punishment will be postponed until further notice

    Let this day forever be known as the day the great overlord darkslash showed mercy to an undeserving worm like me, so that his enemies, misinterpreting this move as a sign of weakness would come for him and he can devour their souls in a delicious moment of blood and sardines.

    Now we will have to hear what other people think of our idea before we can take the next step and make concrete suggestions for the dwellings and possible units or themes.

    Because dwellings don’t have to be just races. For example, Archon Undead are dedicated to Evil just because they’re cursed to this existence and their Undeath overrides their goals from when they were alive. Therefore, warranted. In case of Unicorn, it’s just a mystical creature that happens to like good aligned people. Nymphs are very unwarranted IMO – after all, they’re basically designed to turn people to their side by working their lust. For Gold Dragons, see the Unicorn argument.

    I agree on what you write about the existing dwellings, however how does this influence living archons/syrons/dark elves, where is the difference for them if they live in a dwelling instead of a city? Or do you want to portray them as mindless beast-like beings instead of civilized people?

    As why I think alignment should be open for all except for very specific cases, might be my belief that everyone has choice. To me, an entire race of evils/goods just comes across as very bad screenwriting. If an entire group is good or bad, a very good explanation is requires why no single one choose they opposite – either no free choice or them being good/bad is the reason why they’re together in the first place.

    You are ofc right about generalizations like this in the real world. However as I already pointed out, the game isn’t too accurate about this itself. Also, we can always only talk about the military of those races. And if history has told us anything it is that the military is a good place for jerks, so even all military units of a race being classified as dedicated to evil wouldn’t mean the entire population of the coresponding race is dedicated to evil. But ok, you seem to be very strict in this whole matter, but in the end the game is only a model, not everything can be 100% accurate.

    That’s why I wanted the Strategic map structures to be stronger, and have more powerful MCU’s – incentive to get down there and settle the damn thing. It’s hard and there’s a lot of hostile roamers, but also a lot of power if you manage to settle down there and start building units. There’s also plenty space, and more cities == good.

    I understand the reasoning and it is a good path, but you need to give the player some tools to deal with this or you have to make the gains so high that things get imbalanced. (and everything boils down to the question who gets his hands first on the new shadow realm nukes)

    Historically, only native races and Draconians were immune. Since we can’t really have a Shadow Sickness layer modifier, just making it Hated Terrain to the rest would be closest we could get to that.

    The problem here isn’t even with the units but with the population. Founding a city in hated terrain is just horrible, getting anything decent out of it will take ages, though it is actually more likely that the city will rebell before that (since the moral penalty grows whenever the city domain grows). So I’d say since the shadow sickness is already discussed here, it would be the better alternative and allow some races to only dislike or be neutral about the shadow climate.

    Like Shadowborn?

    But that’s aligned.

    No, shadowborn are an evil faction who successfully reopened the shadow gates in search of power. This specialization would be about the response of the world to this new situation, about studiyng the shadow realm, dealing with its threats and eventually (like in most cases of warfare) using it for your own good.

    I like most of these skills, but TBH I would prefer if those can be aquired by going to the shadow realm. There’s huge untapped potential in the game regarding the possibility of basing research on structures in your domain, on the possession of dwellings, or on city upgrades.

    So for example, control of a Shadow Demon Dwelling with a certain structure (Let’s call it Demon Gate) would allow you to cast that spell that summons a Roaming Shadow Demon spawner(Call it Demon Gate as well…).

    Hm while I like the idea of research based upon structures or similar things, I feel like in this particular scenario a specialization is the better solution. Mostly because it is less luck-dependant and therefore plannable. Also it would feel a little strange if you have to go to the shadow realm, clear treasure sites, found a city, build an MCU and finish a research to make it easier to do just everything you had to do to get there (except the research).

    On second thought, maybe it could work to make some of the shadow realm related spells avatar skills (research) and tie others to buildings as you suggested. But did you try if this is really possible? Also, if it does, when will the spell show up in the research book?

    Also, if we agree on some of my above suggestions, shadow weed could give the shadow walker trait to the stack (which essentially does what you proposed, but sounds cooler :D). Oh, and I’m against allowing players to build the Elder Eldritch Horror. It is just way too powerful.

    Powerful enough to explore the Shadow Realm just to gain access to it?

    No, gamebreaking if you ask me. That unit is tremendous. Many people already hate T4 units, what would they think of a unit that is basically T5?

    Here’s my technical thoughts on the Shadow Sickness trait.

    In the RMG, we can pave the entire layer with an invisible Strategic Map Hazard, which can inflict status abilities for strategic turns. Then, on all Shadow Gate Entrances, we can spawn strategic map hazards that remove the status abilities(I think…). This would allow us to inflict Shadow Sickness on the entire layer. However, I can’t think of any other RMG method that does this, and I fear it’s going to cause pain performance wise.

    For custom maps, we can pre-build a Cosmic Event that applies Sickness across a specified layer. Will be a bit more elegant, but will have to be applied manually by the map creator. I am not sure, but a concern I have is that it might block other Cosmic Events.

    And here’s my thoughts on a Shadow Sickness trait if we put it in:

    And I want Shadow Sickness to be a little bit less crippling than in SM. IF we’re going to attempt ugly methods like the Hazard method described above, I would suggest something like -2 Def, -2 Res, -3 Damage. That’s more than bad enough I think. Maybe even make it -1 Def/-1 Res/-3 Dam, though that feels a bit to irrelevant, cause I DO want it to matter if we put it in there.

    I had a similar thought about using map hazards to implement the sickness but I wasn’t sure it would work. If it does, I would at the very least give it a shot since it is imho the better solution than making the shadow climate hated by all races.

    I also agree on the -2 Def, -2 Res, -3 Damage. Maybe throw in some -200 happiness if the shadow climate gets of the ‘hated by all’ list.

    @bob5: I think the problem is that the shadow layer technically counts as underground, so with your version units would also have shadow sickness in the underground.

    • This reply was modified 4 years, 10 months ago by  Eomolch.
    • This reply was modified 4 years, 10 months ago by  Eomolch.
    #238921

    Dr_K
    Member

    Now we will have to hear what other people think of our idea before we can take the next step and make concrete suggestions for the dwellings and possible units or themes.

    I strongly disagree with the ideas to mesh some of the old races into conglomerate dwellings. Having some details or unit types/styles bleed over into other races would make sense, but not a completely meshed identity as suggested.

    Some hundreds of years for immortal races is not enough that I’d say they decided to become all that friendly with the locals, especially between the Dark Elves and Shadow Demons even if they abandoned Meandor. The Syrons taking refuge with the Archons in the Shadow Realm could make some sense, but it would be just as likely that they would try to (or were forced to) finally branch out on their own.

    Also, with the hazard implementation of Shadow Sickness. Can a hazard and structure exist on the same hex?

    #238923

    Charlatan
    Member

    That escalated quickly!

    And that’s good, Brainstorming is supposed to be long winded at first.

    I’ve got a lot to catch up on so I’ll just start to model on the things we definitely need for now.

    One note on Structures adjusted to Shadowrealm: Further needless excess Memory use because we cannot make custom .clbs depend on each other.

    • This reply was modified 4 years, 10 months ago by  Charlatan.
    #238925

    Charlatan
    Member

    Here’s a first small batch of Structures adjusted to the Shadow Realm:

    Monument of the Ashen Rose
    Ghrauth’s Wicked Flames
    Raven’s Home



    #238926

    Bob5
    Member

    @Bob5: I think the problem is that the shadow layer technically counts as underground, so with your version units would also have shadow sickness in the underground.

    You can create a third layer in the mod editor, separate from the currently existing Surface and Underground layers, they’re stored in Terrainlogic.rpk if I’m not mistaken. By making a third Shadow World layer in there you can link the layer stat modifier unit property to that Shadow Layer specifically.

    #238928

    Gloweye
    Member

    Also, with the hazard implementation of Shadow Sickness. Can a hazard and structure exist on the same hex?

    My main point of doubt. Requires a more detailed look/testing.

    @bob5: I think the problem is that the shadow layer technically counts as underground, so with your version units would also have shadow sickness in the underground.

    You can create a third layer in the mod editor, separate from the currently existing Surface and Underground layers, they’re stored in Terrainlogic.rpk if I’m not mistaken. By making a third Shadow World layer in there you can link the layer stat modifier unit property to that Shadow Layer specifically.

    It’s a seperate layer definition, already included in Decodence.

    However, I’ve never found an option to make Player Property:Unit Property with layer dependent application. If possible, it’ll be a much better solution though.

    ALSO, there’s also another layer definition that we can’t make – layer type or something like that. Dunno if it’s RMG only, but that’s a hardcoded list we can’t change.

    @charlatan

    These variants look great. Not to nitpick, but maybe a slightly darker texture for the Shadow World Home of Ravens? After all, it’s likely that whoever builds it uses local resources if possible – likely to be a bit darker, and it still clashes a bit like this.

    #238929

    Bob5
    Member

    However, I’ve never found an option to make Player Property:Unit Property with layer dependent application. If possible, it’ll be a much better solution though.

    I think you can link the AoW Player Property: Unit that the Empire Upgrade points to (where you set Allow Independent Players to True, Forbidden Requisite to Shadow Walking Requisite, and the Friendly Fire Type to Everything), you can link that Player Property to the actual Shadow Sickness property, which is the AoW Unit Property: Layer Stats Modifier. This Unit Property gives a stat change depending on the layer that the unit is on, for instance Night Vision gives a +2 Vision bonus on the underground layer with it. The only annoyance is that the Shadow Sickness will always show up in the unit panel, regardless of layer, but will only modify the stats on the shadow layer (similar to how Night Vision also shows up in the unit panel on the surface layer), but I don’t think that’s a very big issue.

    You can change hitpoints, movepoints, defences, base damage, casting points, sight range, morale, hitpoints regeneration, and awareness with the Layer Stats Modifier property, Night Vision only modifies the sight range.

    Shadow Weeds would give another Layer Stats Modifier property that gives the exact reverse stat change to the Shadow Sickness, cancelling it out. The reason that you can’t just add Shadow Walking with it is that Shadow Walking should be a requisite, not a normal property, and I don’t think you can temporarily add requisites to units, only permanently (the Theocrat Devout upgrades).

    #238930

    Eomolch
    Member

    @bob5: I think the problem is that the shadow layer technically counts as underground, so with your version units would also have shadow sickness in the underground.

    You can create a third layer in the mod editor, separate from the currently existing Surface and Underground layers, they’re stored in Terrainlogic.rpk if I’m not mistaken. By making a third Shadow World layer in there you can link the layer stat modifier unit property to that Shadow Layer specifically.

    That is great news. I assumed Gloweye already checked this because it was the first thing that came to my mind.

    @gloweye: There is ‘AoW Unit Property: Layer Stats Modifier’. … well .. ninjaed^^

    I strongly disagree with the ideas to mesh some of the old races into conglomerate dwellings. Having some details or unit types/styles bleed over into other races would make sense, but not a completely meshed identity as suggested.

    Some hundreds of years for immortal races is not enough that I’d say they decided to become all that friendly with the locals, especially between the Dark Elves and Shadow Demons even if they abandoned Meandor. The Syrons taking refuge with the Archons in the Shadow Realm could make some sense, but it would be just as likely that they would try to (or were forced to) finally branch out on their own.

    I only know that it would be very strange if all the races locked in the shadow realm didn’t evolve in some kind during the centuries that they spend there (except for the syron since they are native to the shadow realm). Also I’d say you can find reasonable explanations for almost any kind of set-up in this particular scenario if you want. There are just too many variables. E.g. you say “only” a few hundred years. But we don’t even know if the time passes at a normal pace in the shadow realm. For its inhabitants those few hundred years can have been millenia. Also, even though archons may be immortal (which I actually didn’t know they are) they will still have deaths due to the ongoing war and this means neccessary reprocreation if they didn’t want to perish. New generations however means new ideas, which means change, so why shouldn’t they decide to go serious with the syrons at some point? This doesn’t even consider the changes that the ongoing effects of living in the shadow realm may have caused on them. So a mixed race is entirely possible, though naturally I’m not saying it is the only viable option. But it may be an interesting one.

    • This reply was modified 4 years, 10 months ago by  Eomolch.
    • This reply was modified 4 years, 10 months ago by  Eomolch.
    #238933

    Bob5
    Member

    @Gloweye: There is ‘AoW Unit Property: Layer Stats Modifier’. … well .. ninjaed^^

    That’s indeed the one. I’m pretty sure Night Vision is currently the only thing in the base game actually using it, but I’m sure the property can be used for this purpose as well.

    #238934

    Eomolch
    Member

    @gloweye: There is ‘AoW Unit Property: Layer Stats Modifier’. … well .. ninjaed^^

    That’s indeed the one. I’m pretty sure Night Vision is currently the only thing in the base game actually using it, but I’m sure the property can be used for this purpose as well.

    Yes, though I’m not sure why you don’t say 100% sure since you already described how 😛

    Also, for shadow weed, we can just call the effect of it shadow weed and give it the description “negates the effects of the shadow sickness”.

    ———————-
    @gloweye I investigated a little and the only way I see how research can be unlocked through structures is by giving it as a reward for treasure sites. Since a research itself can only have player properties as a requirement you would have to somehow make the structure being inside of the city domain grant that player property and I don’t see how that should be possible. But maybe I missed sth, after all you wouldn’t have brought this up if you didn’t have an idea how to do it.

    @charlatan: Love the first two 🙂 The third seems a little unfitting for the shadow realm (the castle of the lich king looks much more like it would belong there), but I also understand that you want to recycle the models you already had so much work with.

    • This reply was modified 4 years, 10 months ago by  Eomolch.
    #238937

    Charlatan
    Member

    @Charlatan: Love the first two 🙂 The third seems a little unfitting for the shadow realm (the castle of the lich king looks much more like it would belong there), but I also understand that you want to recycle the models you already had so much work with.

    I was also thinking it may need a whole retexture.

    Tbh. I think only a few Athla Treasure Sites should also appear in the SR anyway.

    • This reply was modified 4 years, 10 months ago by  Charlatan.
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