Author Topic: Design Discussion: Major Villains / Skyward 2.0 Design  (Read 3430 times)

Offline x4000

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Design Discussion: Major Villains / Skyward 2.0 Design
« on: June 05, 2013, 01:07:09 PM »
UPDATE: The post below is unchanged, but you probably want to read the Skyward 2.0 Base Game Extensions Design Document for the always-latest thinking.  This is for a lot more than just the major villains!

Based in part on Bluddy's (and others) requests for more unique things going on in the Age of Gods, and partly on the request for Quests of some sort, I've been thinking about introducing Major Villains for a bit now. 

25 new base-game units coming:
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1. Overall the spawned bandit units will stop ever being duplicates of the units from the various factions (however, obviously, if faction units "turn bandit" from first being red or blue, you'd still see them as bandits of course).

2. Instead, there will be 11 new unique-to-bandits military units, comprising four barracks-style, four archery-style, and four siege-style units that you don't see anywhere else.  More asymmetry, yay!  There will be 12 in all, but the existing Hippo-Toxotes takes up one of these slots.

3. There will also be 9 new unique-to-bandits mythological creatures that you don't see anywhere else.  A total of 10, when you include the Dark Elves that are already in the game.  When you consider that the base game only includes 9 mythological creatures in total at the moment, this is a doubling.

4. There will also be 5 new unique-to-bandits Major Villains, about which more will be said below.

So, overall, 25 new units for the base game.  We felt this was important stuff for the base game rather than an expansion, as it helps to make the base game feel appropriately more robust on the bandit sides, and helps us in making an interesting ramp-up into the age of gods.

How do Major Villains appear on the board?
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When you reach the Age of Gods, a single Major Villain will spawn somewhere on the map, along with the two gods that spawn.  This is kind of like the catastrophic woes that hit at the start of the age of monsters, in terms of it being a major new negative thing to counteract the major new positive things (new gods) that you get.  This also adds yet one more unique layer of things to have happen on particular games, and a major reason to want to get to the age of gods to see some cool new stuff.

How do Major Villains work?  (Broadly speaking)
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This part I am still designing out, and am open to discussion on (hence this post).  However, a few specific things for now:

1. Each major villain will have a unique passive ability that affect you while they are on the board.
2. Major Villains cannot be killed, but they can be temporarily banished.  After they are banished, they will be off the board for a certain number of turns (depending on probably the Woe difficulty level) and then will return again.  So you can't just off them and that's that forever.
3. Major Villains in some respects take on the role of "bandit gods" without actually being bandit gods in a literal sense.
4. Major Villains, unlike gods, will move around the map doing huge damage to the units they encounter.  They likely won't move very far per turn, though.  And may not be able to damage buildings, we'll see.  Probably will not be able to, because that would be just super frustrating.

Current sub-ideas I'm considering
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1. It may be interesting to have the villains be invincible until some quest is undertaken.  Think destroying the one ring before you can kill sauron.  Or actually even having it directly kill sauron, if we're being faithful to that example.

2. It may be interesting to have the villains cast spells periodically that do various effects.  Kind of like god tokens, but less disastrous to yourself since you can't control these.

3. It may be interesting to have the villains have a large stronghold that they live in and come out of when they stop being banished (and which shows the countdown timer for when they come back after being banished).  If this stronghold is destroyed, then a new one would pop back up somewhere else once they major villain is into the banished state.

4. Specifically, it might be interesting if the stronghold itself is what has to be destroyed prior to the major villains being vulnerable at all.  And then once that and the villain are gone, a new stronghold with a countdown timer appears somewhere else on the map the next turn.

General goals
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1. Making the bandits feel more unique in general, as well as a bit unique per game.

2. Making the age of gods a lot more interesting and distinct from the earlier ages. 

3. Not making the age of gods SUPER more difficult, but in particular making it so that you don't hit any doldrums there, since your existing balance from the age of man just got upset by the new villain that arrived.

Thoughts?
« Last Edit: June 11, 2013, 04:10:26 PM by x4000 »
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Offline Billick

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Re: Design Discussion: Major Villains
« Reply #1 on: June 05, 2013, 01:37:14 PM »
Sounds neat.  It kind of has the vibe of the strategy portion of Valley 2.  Maybe the hamlets could be tied into the quest for defeating the boss villain somehow, with that tying into the game ending quest.

Offline nas1m

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Re: Design Discussion: Major Villains
« Reply #2 on: June 05, 2013, 02:41:00 PM »
This - sounds - nice  :D!
Just one question, though: What will they be like thematically? I have a little trouble imagining greater gods battling it out with "plain" Bandit leaders, if I am honest...

Or are they supposed to be more like Super villains?
Any more details on this yet?
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Offline Mick

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Re: Design Discussion: Major Villains
« Reply #3 on: June 05, 2013, 03:32:31 PM »
I like it.... a lot!

I really think that age needs a kick to it, and this sounds perfect. It sounds like something you want to make sure you are strong going into that age for, so you don't just hit your numbers during Age of Monsters and "slack off" (or well.. you CAN, but you'll regret it if you do).

Offline Winge

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Re: Design Discussion: Major Villains
« Reply #4 on: June 05, 2013, 05:31:46 PM »
One thing I would suggest:  based on them respawning and other effects, Major Villains should have much lower attack power than lesser gods, but similar health.  I still remember the initial implementation of Gods, where the center of the map became a no-man's-land.  I don't think you want a repeat with these :).  The best way is by limiting the number of attacks and the damage.

Not that it wasn't hilarious watching Hera murder 10 enemy units at once, but I don't think that's what you're looking for here.
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Offline solosol

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Re: Design Discussion: Major Villains
« Reply #5 on: June 05, 2013, 05:46:09 PM »
Bandits power! Very interesting having bandits, Major bandits and that sort of myth bandits, with all kind of abilities and spells to add more havoc. Can't wait to see!
One of the first things that came also to me was to send a god via token to fight them  so I'm a bit concerned with the movement . I'm finding a bit of trouble in managing the gods to fight each other, and they are very static, so sending them against a moving target might be a nightmare (I  agree with them to be slow) Anyway that would give a new job for the gods...although I'm not sure if that's the way to deal with them.  But it sounds so funny... maybe their banditry -whatever it is- concedes them some protection from god's attacks (but not too much, they are gods after all) so they could survive one or two attacks enough until they moved on... If they prefer to stay and fight...up to them...

Can we use the Commandment action on them? Not sure about this as an alternative way to deal with them.  I'm also thinking in some tokens that change bandits into the blue side, ┬┐was Apollo? I understand they should not work on the Majors...what about the bandit myths? Suddenly having them in the blue side can make a lot of mess also :)

I can see why the Majors should not attack buildings...maybe they prefer looting them first? Losing resources (maybe from the more stored one,  or a random resource) would be a way to give them something to do apart from killing every unit walking by there. Or maybe there is a chance of doing one of both (looting or destroying?). Or forget the looting, and the chance of going to destroy a building may be linked to the general difficulty. This way, Woes affect their spam/banishing rate, and the general difficulty their like to destroy buildings.

Offline Teal_Blue

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Re: Design Discussion: Major Villains
« Reply #6 on: June 05, 2013, 06:32:42 PM »
This might be exactly what the doctor ordered for making the Age of Gods markedly different from the other ages, cutting down on the ability to cheese and players arriving in the age with a bundle of ap and points that makes them feel like they can skate.  After this, they'll be lucky to still have their points and an easy time, and i don't think it will be quite as easy to cheese if we have Major Villans running around causing havoc, especially if they are invulnerable! I quite like that part alot!  :)

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Offline Teal_Blue

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Re: Design Discussion: Major Villains
« Reply #7 on: June 05, 2013, 06:35:45 PM »
One thing I would suggest:  based on them respawning and other effects, Major Villains should have much lower attack power than lesser gods, but similar health.  I still remember the initial implementation of Gods, where the center of the map became a no-man's-land.  I don't think you want a repeat with these :).  The best way is by limiting the number of attacks and the damage.

Not that it wasn't hilarious watching Hera murder 10 enemy units at once, but I don't think that's what you're looking for here.


Just a thought, but if the center of the map were to become a waste-land, then it certainly would help spawn the Hamlets of the expansion quicker. I have been wondering if the 90 turns is enough to get a civilian victory condition built up in that time. Having massive wasted tiles would certainly help.  :)

-Teal


Offline Misery

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Re: Design Discussion: Major Villains
« Reply #8 on: June 06, 2013, 08:46:20 AM »
This all sounds really good!  Giving the bandits their own unique units is a great idea, but this "Major Villain" thing sounds even better.

Let's see.... my thoughts on the major villain idea:

1.  All four of your sub-ideas are good, at least by my view.   I dont see any issues with putting all 4 of these into practice.  These guys need to be powerful as heck if there's only going to be one of them, and they need to be able to stand out and be unique as well;  the whole "spellcasting" idea will certainly accomplish that, as well as making them seem like proper archvillains, in the same way that Demonaica is in AVVW2 with his various spells.  And the idea of having to do a "quest" or something to make the villain vulnerable first will make sure that they CAN do some damage and have some real staying power.

2.  The strongholds for these guys should probably have quite a lot more health than normal bandit forts do;  30,000 seems like alot at first, but in the Age of Gods, it's seriously not all that much, and it doesnt take too long at all to knock a single one of these down;  even less time when Greek siege units are around!

3.  Make strongholds immune to Trojan Horses and other instant-destruction effects like the Midgard Serpents side-effect.  No instantly wrecking these things.

4.  Similarly, make the Villain immune to any special effects that could instantly pop him as well.

5.  If you go with the spellcasting idea.... which I hope you do, because it sounds pretty epic.... then no, these guys should not do direct building damage with their basic attacks.   If for whatever reason you decide against the spellcasting, then yes, have them do normal building damage.

6.  They need LOTS of health.   The gods should probably get their health-boost as well as discussed in that other topic.   Even the 27,000-ish health of Ice Giants in that age isnt all that much when they get focused by things, or up against super-heavy-hitters like Minotaurs.


All in all, it sounds like a really great addition to the base game, and it should make for a proper "end-game" feel for the Age of Gods.
« Last Edit: June 06, 2013, 08:48:54 AM by Misery »

Offline Pepisolo

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Re: Design Discussion: Major Villains
« Reply #9 on: June 06, 2013, 10:37:17 AM »
Sounds like a pure winnage way to add some kick to the late game. The extra variety in units will all be most welcome, too. To echo some of Misery's thoughts, as your sub ideas all sound pretty good, it might be worth considering using a few different types of Villain mechanics. For example, I would like to see some Villains that are banishable and some that can be outright destroyed (a bit like the Skeletons in Dark Souls). Some that cast spells, others that are just bulldozers. Just a few different boss-like mechanics to increase diversity of those final encounters. I'm sure there are lots of little ways you can differentiate the Villains like this. One single mechanism for every "boss", would be a little boring, I think.

Offline nas1m

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Re: Design Discussion: Major Villains
« Reply #10 on: June 06, 2013, 10:44:47 AM »
Sounds like a pure winnage way to add some kick to the late game. The extra variety in units will all be most welcome, too. To echo some of Misery's thoughts, as your sub ideas all sound pretty good, it might be worth considering using a few different types of Villain mechanics. For example, I would like to see some Villains that are banishable and some that can be outright destroyed (a bit like the Skeletons in Dark Souls). Some that cast spells, others that are just bulldozers. Just a few different boss-like mechanics to increase diversity of those final encounters. I'm sure there are lots of little ways you can differentiate the Villains like this. One single mechanism for every "boss", would be a little boring, I think.
Seconded :).
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Offline x4000

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Re: Design Discussion: Major Villains / Skyward 2.0 Design
« Reply #11 on: June 06, 2013, 02:54:39 PM »
Responses in a sec, but actually a lot of design work going into this already, and I've just not had time to post about it here.  Now there's this:

UPDATE: You probably want to read the Skyward 2.0 Base Game Extensions Design Document for the always-latest thinking.  This is for a lot more than just the major villains!
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Offline iozay

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Re: Design Discussion: Major Villains / Skyward 2.0 Design
« Reply #12 on: June 06, 2013, 04:05:37 PM »
Mhmmm, Regarding the unique to bandits units: Awesome. But it would be nice if we could convert them to one of the factions(Perhaps only temporary, just for a small game twist :) )

Offline Teal_Blue

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Re: Design Discussion: Major Villains / Skyward 2.0 Design
« Reply #13 on: June 06, 2013, 04:17:31 PM »
Responses in a sec, but actually a lot of design work going into this already, and I've just not had time to post about it here.  Now there's this:

UPDATE: You probably want to read the Skyward 2.0 Base Game Extensions Design Document for the always-latest thinking.  This is for a lot more than just the major villains!


I know you said this was the Skyward 2.0 design doc, but it is linking to the Skyward Hamlets and Victories page you drew up yesterday. It is a 'different' document you are referring to, right? Or did you mean the one you wrote up yesterday?

-Teal

 

Offline Mick

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Re: Design Discussion: Major Villains / Skyward 2.0 Design
« Reply #14 on: June 07, 2013, 07:41:03 AM »
Responses in a sec, but actually a lot of design work going into this already, and I've just not had time to post about it here.  Now there's this:

UPDATE: You probably want to read the Skyward 2.0 Base Game Extensions Design Document for the always-latest thinking.  This is for a lot more than just the major villains!


I know you said this was the Skyward 2.0 design doc, but it is linking to the Skyward Hamlets and Victories page you drew up yesterday. It is a 'different' document you are referring to, right? Or did you mean the one you wrote up yesterday?

-Teal

I think he linked the wrong document, because this one doesn't mention villains at all.