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Old June 14th, 2008, 12:45 PM

Calchet Calchet is offline
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Default Pax Malazica.

(Hi. First post for me around here, since I've had nothing to say until now. Might as well jump right in at the deep end!)

I'm currently in the middle of a project to bring some of the nations from the Malazan Book of the Fallen into Dominions III. Things are progressing smoothly, though I find myself wanting some input from others, concerning a few things.

I'm structuring the project as follows:
[Completed] Phase I: Get started. Write the list of phases.
[Completed] Phase II: Make a list of units, commanders, heroes, pretenders and spells for the Late Age Malazan Empire.
[Completed] Phase III: Implement the results of Phase II into the game as pure words and numbers, using input from the forum to patch up obvious problems of either balance, mechanics or fluff.

[In Progress] Phase IIII: Create graphics for all content implemented in Phase III, and get them working in-game.

[Unstarted] Phase V: Polish the Late Age Malazan Empire, making sure it works well and is reasonably balanced. Release version 1.0.
[Unstarted] Post-release Phase. Start working on the Middle Age Malazan Empire, while updating the previous content if required.

The current situation is that the third public release is done. Feel free to try it and comment on anything you think is missing, badly implemented or awesome.
I'll freely admit I have little knowledge of competitive dominions games (as I mostly beat on the AI), and my sprite editing skills are also weak. This means comments on balance and sprites are most useful to me, right now.

The file is attached to this post, if everything worked out. Version one and two are also retained for reasons unknown.
Attached Files
File Type: zip PaxMalazica-v1.zip (8.0 KB, 164 views)
File Type: zip paxmalazica-v2.zip (8.5 KB, 163 views)
File Type: zip Malaz-Public 3.zip (14.9 KB, 280 views)

Last edited by Calchet; January 17th, 2009 at 04:13 PM..
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  #2  
Old June 14th, 2008, 01:07 PM

Calchet Calchet is offline
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Default Re: Pax Malazica.

And now, for the things at hand.

I have a first-draft unit list that looks as follows - do you find anything missing? Is there a hole the nation needs to have filled, or is there something from the original work you find should be here, but isn't?

Commanders:

Fist (40 leadership, slightly better stats and equipment than a commander at the same cost)

High Fist (160 leadership, a 10-point standard ability. Otherwise identical to Fist, except being quite expensive and capital only.)

Wickan Commander (A horse-commander, with a javelin attack and a lance. Basically a light cavalry commander, but with slighty different equipment and better attack/defense statistics.)

Priest (Your average priest, but with a small chance of a random magic path - can get any non-blood path, but is not to be relied upon. Represents the fact that priests in the original work seem to have some magely power, most of the time, and somewhat makes up for the abysmal priests and lack of sacreds.)

Cadre Mage (Cheap mage with S1 and 100% 1?FWAE)

Capital-only High Mages of four different paths - Telas, Ruse, Serc and Tennes. Not old, these have 2 in their main path, 1 in astral and a random pick from three paths, with a 33% chance to end up as a third point in their main path. Currently costed at 320/1)

Claw (An elite assassin-mage! These have a dagger and a light crossbow, and a solid chunk of mage presence - 2S1A, as it stands. Otherwise identical to the plain-old assassins.)

Marine Sergeant (Just like the Marine troop below, except with a leadership score of 10 and somewhat better morale - these exist to lead the sneaky marines around.)

Moving down to troops, we find:

Rather generic medium and heavy infantry, both with good defense and a shortsword/shield combination for arms. Slightly better morale than their counterparts, though.

No archers!

Malazan Marines (Elite infantry armed with shortsword and a solid crossbow, these troops are stealthy and handy when raiding, having a map-move of 2 and forest survival.)

Wickan Horseman (See their commander above. While I've still to see if it's possible to accomplish in a reasonable manner, I'd like these to each summon a free cattle dog at the start of battle, giving them some added value in the shape of producing disposable arrow-magnets.)

And, finally and (perhaps) obviously...

Sappers. Not very fast, not very strong, with very questionable morale and no magic resistance to speak of, they each have two area-of-effect munitions to throw - a near-miss will wipe out most regular troops, regardless of armor. Also come with a hefty siege bonus, and can sneak around alongside the marines.

There will be a grand total of one new pretender: Empress Laseen herself, something as unusual as an assassin-pretender. (Not that you can't buy her some solid magic picks, of course.)

Heroes more or less pick themselves. Two adjuncts, one High Mage, the Clawmaster, the head of the Chain of Dogs, and to round things out, a one-eyed archer.


So, after that rather lengthy post, what I ask is - am I missing anyone or any unit type that should be there? Is someone or something there who shouldn't be? Is something I'm describing impossible to accomplish? Do you have any other comments?
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Old June 14th, 2008, 03:39 PM

Sombre Sombre is offline
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Default Re: Pax Malazica.

160 leadership is extremely high, the sort of thing you normally only see amongst SCs, gods, heroes and the like.
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Old June 14th, 2008, 04:19 PM

Calchet Calchet is offline
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Default Re: Pax Malazica.

True, I suppose, though I can't really find a better way to implement what represent the ultimate in top-end general technology other than jacking up the leadership - combat boosts are more or less wasted, since it's not going to touch thugging with a twenty-foot pole, and they're not mages in any way, shape or form.

Would an ability to "summon allies" some regular heavy infantry, or perhaps domsummon them, be better?

(Or any other suggestions on how to make an expensive capital-only commander that doesn't really do anything other than lead armies worth purchasing over a mage?)
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Old June 14th, 2008, 04:32 PM
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Default Re: Pax Malazica.

You'd need that kind of extreme leadership for capital-only non-mages to be recruited instead of one of the FOUR capital-only mages this nation has access to.

Conceptual Balance mod tries to achieve that by giving a hero an extra knight every turn or something.
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Old June 15th, 2008, 09:51 AM

Aezeal Aezeal is offline
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Default Re: Pax Malazica.

This sounds nice though.. could very well be a nicely balanced nation. Maybe a commander with sailing since the malazan are all over the world and them flying allies the malazans have? (i'd say the high fist to make him a bit more versatile so he might be recruited once in a while and it represents that usually large armies shipped out are led by a high fist)

I think the cadre mage should be more random though, I don't see why it should be S1 considering the books. They are just whatever they are and in varying strenght. I know the astral might be to simulate they work together but I don't really see any real communions in the books, just mage working together without actually merging powers. Most other paths seem more apporiate

I'd say
100% EFAWNSDB
100% EFAWNSDB
50% EFAWNSDB
10% EFAWNSDB
10% EFAWNSDB

might represent the rag tag assortment of mages form all different paths they are in the books. To increase reliability a bit the 50% might be coupled to one of the 100%'s so there is at least a 50% chance of having 2 in a path. (no idea if that can be modded though, but the gath have it)

it's not reliable so that is a minus, but acces to all paths is a good thing too. And some of them will be unexpectedly powerfull as a certain bridgeburner cadre mage)

They shoulnd't be that cheap and expandable either (as you imply) since in the books it's clear the mages are very valuable to the army and protected by the regulars at all costs.

Also the marines seem to be about the only troop I'd recruit when I read this (and the books)
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Want a blend of fantasy and sci-fi? Try the total conversion Dominions 3000 mod with a new and fully modded solar system map.
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New and different undead nation? Try Souls of Shiar. Including new powerfull holy magic.
In for a whole new sort of game? Then try my scenario map Gang Wars.
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Old June 15th, 2008, 10:07 AM
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Default Re: Pax Malazica.

The only mage with full random is Lore Master. A Cadre Mage shouldn't be anywhere close to them, whatever they are portrayed in the books. Two full randoms would already make them one of the best secondary mages available for any nation as far as versatility goes, and if they also get 50 and two 10% randoms in addition to the two full randoms they would be the most versatile recruitable mage in the game, AND they'd often be quite powerful in battle.

Quote:
To increase reliability a bit the 50% might be coupled to one of the 100%'s so there is at least a 50% chance of having 2 in a path. (no idea if that can be modded though, but the gath have it)
Linked randoms have never appeared in anything but 200 or 300 reliability. I don't think 150% chance would work, and if it's 100 and 50% random they are independent of each other.


S1 and elemental random is pretty good IMO. Alone, they're weak unless they use a gem to cast Power of the Spheres and/or Earthpower/Phoenixpower, or can use Storm/Water Power. With communion, though, they scale up very well. If you're afraid they're too weak, give them a low-chance S random or change the random to elementals + S. That way, some of them can use the Astral combat spells up to Soul Slay (with Light of the Northern Star).
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Old June 15th, 2008, 11:12 AM

Calchet Calchet is offline
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Default Re: Pax Malazica.

As far as the cadre mages are concerned, I did start them out as completely random, but scaled their randoms down to the main elements I chose to narrow it down - F, W, E and A, or Telas, Ruse, Tennes and Serc. The astral level represents not so much them forming actual communions in the books, as the fact that they do work together as units of mages.

For now, I'm also keeping them at a rather low power level, two first-level paths, seeing as how they're cheap, recruitable anywhere, and in the late age. Real spells are left to the High Mages or full cadres cooperating.

While on the topic of magic, I'm thinking a set of unusually early teleportation spells requiring a modest number of astral levels would be thematic (the Imperial Warren) as well as useful for the Claw to move around looking for suitable victims - can anyone think of anything else they should have, thematically?
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Old June 15th, 2008, 01:04 PM

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Default Re: Pax Malazica.

Endo, would it really be so overpowered? The chance of reliably getting a mage that can do the same higher magic as another is very low so you can't really research toward something or field a battery of mages casting the same spell. Not to menion most of the time they'd only have 3 total magic "points" most often in 3 different paths.

They would be versatile for sure but I can't really see them as powerfull on the battlefield.
To be honest I really think they might even be weak the way I did them.

And since the malazan empire is so large I think the ability to have all magic is a nice fitting bonus that is not yet in any nation and would make them different.

Anyway I do think the cadre mage needs a little boost maybe 2 randoms in total and a bit more versatility (maybe N or D) And only having a 2 point mage recruitable everywhere makes a bit of a weak magic nation.

I think the teleportation spell idea is a good idea (I had the same idea myself but I was about to suggest cheap national spells for each magic type) but that might be MUCH more unbalancing than the mage I suggest.

What do you think of the flying support troops I suggested?
And you really don't want sacreds? (I can't think of a unit that should be sacred though.. except that the claw is clearly in Laseens favor.)
PS you could give the high fist a banner too if he still needed pumping to make him more viable (But I think the sailing is a better first step)
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Want a blend of fantasy and sci-fi? Try the total conversion Dominions 3000 mod with a new and fully modded solar system map.
Dragons wanted? Try the Dragons, Magic Incarnate nation.
New and different undead nation? Try Souls of Shiar. Including new powerfull holy magic.
In for a whole new sort of game? Then try my scenario map Gang Wars.
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Old June 15th, 2008, 02:36 PM
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Default Re: Pax Malazica.

Quote:
Aezeal said:
Anyway I do think the cadre mage needs a little boost maybe 2 randoms in total and a bit more versatility (maybe N or D) And only having a 2 point mage recruitable everywhere makes a bit of a weak magic nation.
I haven't read the books. Would the Claw be capital-only or not? recruitable everywhere S2A1 mage is good enough for combat, especially in LA, and in middle game at least communions would be good. If the Cadre Mages are the only non-capital mages available, then yes, they could use something else. At least 50% pick of something useful, like S2?
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