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masterblaster
03-11-2013, 09:58 PM
I have read some posts of people wanting more complex maps. Sorry if this is a duplicate thread, but i just wanted to share some ideas.

Everybody knows the movie Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome, right? Could we have the option of maps similar to the Thunderdome? Maybe at the beginning of the match there are a couple of perks or bonuses located on opposite sides of the map away from the starting zones. small stat bonuses would be interesting. the first toon to END its turn on the square with the perk gets it. perhaps getting the perk prevents that toon from taking another action on the same turn as getting a perk, preventing possible archer abuses or other broken combos.

perhaps near the end of the match, or after a certain number of toons have been killed, some new perks are placed on the map just to keep things moving and add another layer of strategy to the game. do you want to try and get that perk, or go for the kill on that annoying archer?

Another option could be map traps that spawn during the game. like after a certain number of turns, coals or spikes appear on the map rather than just being static elements at the beginning of the match. perhaps powerful Nordic winds blow through the hall and push some players around on the map a few squares? there are lots of interesting possibilities.

I think that the maps are a great opportunity to keep the matches interesting and keep players on their toes, rather than just turtling in corners or using stalling tactics.

franknarf
03-11-2013, 10:12 PM
I love game modes like that (though not Mad Max...)!

masterblaster
03-11-2013, 10:24 PM
perks could be automatic, ie: toon gets +1 health until its next attack. other perks could be optional, save it for when you really need it.

stat perks are just an obvious example. But there could be so many other options. perhaps an increased attack range for basic melee attacks, rather than just the immediate squares it has a 2 square range. or perhaps allowing for a diagonal attack. boosts to miss % would be interesting, or perhaps a perk that allows to make another attack after failing a % miss attack. perhaps there are mugs of strong Nordic mead that heal a couple of health points, but slow you down by 1 movement for a couple of turns?

I wouldnt want the perks to be too powerful like spells or anything. but there are plenty of subtle yet useful options for an idea like this. likewise with traps, I wouldnt want anything that would cause massive casualties just because some stupid coals or spikes landed on a bunch of people and instantly burned them or impaled them to death.

balance is key.

Alejandro Mackgyver
03-11-2013, 11:04 PM
I had in mind weather effects. Like a blizzard slows down movement for a turn or cancels out exertion movement bonuses. Similar to Advanced Wars weather effects essentially. It also feels like a mechanic that could tie in well with the travelling system that could factor in to players choices about journeying on or resting.

Just a thought - I'm still new to these message boards.

netnazgul
03-12-2013, 01:45 AM
For dynamic maps/modes I think it's better be separate game mode, cause there is a lot to think as for now, and more complexity would simply complicate things too much, especially with a 30sec turn timer.

Also, many players want to strip as much randomness from the game as possible, and bringing new random things to the game is clearly not a way for that.

offtop: I'm seriously offended by a "toons" term you are using, masterblaster. Ingame CHARACTERS are lot more than just "toons" you know!
;)

Alejandro Mackgyver
03-12-2013, 02:44 AM
Also, many players want to strip as much randomness from the game as possible, and bringing new random things to the game is clearly not a way for that.

Okay, I agree with Net and having read one or 2 of the developers comments on game-play can see that they want take TBS:F towards more concrete values with a keen focus on making choices. I guess what I'd like to see in terms of maps is more diversity. My favourite maps currently are the ones with obstacles like the firepit in great hall or the 4 posts in the centre of the proving grounds (or what I think is the proving grounds).

I like those maps because it affects the placement of my troops and makes a player choose how best to handle these obstacles. Take the fire pits; they bisect the map and have a risk reward factor associated with crossing them like, to gain a better position or gut that pesky archer. It's a defining characteristic of the map as well.

So maybe instead of blizzards (a random act) an outdoor map could feature snowdrifts that cost a player's character a movement tile, kind of like a soft barrier. It avoids the unfairness that's begot of randomness and is also a set piece of the map. Something the player will be aware of and either plan around or fall foul of during the match.

As for the idea of power-ups on a map, I have a hard time envisioning that in the current game. I think my hangups lie in the word 'power-up'. I like the idea of terrain advantage rather than say a character going super saiyan on me during game. But then again that starts to stray into the terrain of over complication. My only reference point for turn based strategy games has been Advance Wars using terrain to your advantage factored significantly in playing the game well, however it also involved a lengthy tutorial about how to effectively use it.

masterblaster
03-12-2013, 03:43 AM
to alleviate randomness, perhaps certain maps would always have the same perks. I also dont want anything too complicated. just trying to brainstorm some ways to make better use of the maps in a manner that compliments the game. right now most of the maps might as well just be an empty grid. except for the fire pit map the other maps dont have much, if any, impact on game strategy or tactics.

if i want to play a game that is pure strategy with no luck or randomness involved, I'll just play chess.

Butters
03-12-2013, 04:04 AM
I really like the idea of weather effects, a mechanic that would be brilliant for SP. clearly for Factions it would need to be in a game mode separate from the standard one, so optional.
Some relevant questions :
- effect global to the whole map or localized ?
I'd say by nature weather effects should be global, but can think of interesting localization cases. For example, some extreme weather conditions could have a few tiles that provide shelter from its effects.
But I'm not really on board with the power-ups thing, which I consider to be the extreme of localization.
- Constant or punctual effect ?
Could go both ways here depending on effect. A damage-dealing "hailstorm" could happen once every full turn ; a "snowstorm" could reduce mobility permanently (or not). Randomness in the frequency of effects is entirely optional and should IMHO be avoided.
- To all units or targeted ?
Some weather conditions could conceivably affect only Varls, or only Archers. Not sure how that would work for balance.
Weather could also be "selectable" on any map or have specific maps where they happen systematically (the latter is probably much more manageable, while the former has more possibilities)

Terrain modifiers are another idea worth exploring.
A map with a few elevated tiles in the center would be very interesting. Climbing to the elevated position would cost 2 movement points instead of one, but grant an additional armor point, and maybe some bonus range to archers (= more risk/reward for archers).

On a general level, it would probably be a good idea to make it possible to tune your team beforehand for the map selected when played one with special conditions.
IMHO, the most realistic implementation model would be to add special maps that are out of the ranked/tournament map rotation, only accessible in friend matches, so that players can choose their special/weather conditions beforehand and plan accordingly. After some testing in that setup, the best/most balanced maps would go into a separate map-rotation ranked game mode.

netnazgul
03-12-2013, 06:10 AM
quickthought: I suggest enabling snowstorms on every map during winter months

Alejandro Mackgyver
03-12-2013, 07:40 AM
- effect global to the whole map or localized ?
In general I would agree that it should be global across the map with no safe areas. When I first read that question I imagined little snow clouds appearing above varls ;P. That being said I could see the idea of little safe spots on the map say, next to a post.


Constant or punctual effect ? // A damage-dealing "hailstorm"
If weather was to be a factor in a particular map then it would have to be something that randomly occurs but reliably leave; so it would stay around for say an entire teams rotation. As per the idea that it damages a players units that might err on the annoying side due to the global nature of weather affecting every one on the map. Even if there was safe spots, the turn based nature of the combat mixed with the randomness of weather would make it more of an annoyance to maneuver your troops in and out of harms way.


Terrain modifiers are another idea worth exploring.
I liked the idea of representing the idea of the higher ground in a map and having it be advantageous for a unit. It's what brought me out from the lurkers when I saw the OPs original suggestion of Power-ups on the map. However, I'm not sure there's a way to represent inclines cleanly on a gridded isometric map. Maybe I lack imagination.

I definitely think that were weather to be included in a dynamic map that it should be an optional extra, with an option to toggle on or off.

Butters
03-12-2013, 08:06 AM
I don't believe weather inherently has to be random. It doesn't bring much to the table vs. systematic effects, and goes against what most players (me included) seem to be asking for : as little randomness as possible involved in the game.
The "hailstorm" thing would have some repercussions on gameplay and tactics, but I agree to it being too systematical would turn into more of an annoyance than anything. Maybe do damage under certain conditions, maybe to soldiers not moving in their turn ("freezing")? It would be an effective deterrent against wait-spammers. But it would hinder archers significantly. Don't know, just throwing ideas around here.

Regarding elevation, it's not that hard to render on a grid. See FFT, Disgaea and the gazillion other games doing it since forever. The problem would be to accommodate the soldier animations to sloped terrains, etc ; now that I think about it, it would need quite the large amount of work from the devs to implement correctly. That's probably out of the question.

An alternative, more immediately doable "special" terrain would be walls/cover. Placed at the limit between two squares, they would block movement and attacks between these squares. Maybe they could be taken down with a powerful enough attack. Maybe you could have 2 wall heights providing either complete isolation for the full height, or blocking movement but not attacks (possibly giving an armor bonus) for the mid-height. Something like the XCOM cover system.

Alejandro Mackgyver
03-12-2013, 08:21 AM
I don't believe weather inherently has to be random. It doesn't bring much to the table vs. systematic effects, and goes against what most players (me included) seem to be asking for : as little randomness as possible involved in the game.
The "hailstorm" thing would have some repercussions on gameplay and tactics, but I agree to it being too systematical would turn into more of an annoyance than anything. Maybe do damage under certain conditions, maybe to soldiers not moving in their turn ("freezing")? It would be an effective deterrent against wait-spammers. But it would hinder archers significantly. Don't know, just throwing ideas around here.

Regarding elevation, it's not that hard to render on a grid. See FFT, Disgaea and the gazillion other games doing it since forever. The problem would be to accommodate the soldier animations to sloped terrains, etc ; now that I think about it, it would need quite the large amount of work from the devs to implement correctly. That's probably out of the question.

An alternative, more immediately doable "special" terrain would be walls/cover. Placed at the limit between two squares, they would block movement and attacks between these squares. Maybe they could be taken down with a powerful enough attack. Maybe you could have 2 wall heights providing either complete isolation for the full height, or blocking movement but not attacks (possibly giving an armor bonus) for the mid-height. Something like the XCOM cover system.

Ooo, I like the idea of freezing afkers that'd get them moving towards the fight!

Walls and cover sound like a good idea. I was thinking specifically about the pillars in the great hall. Say for instance they took up 2 x 2 space in the middle of a map. They block movement and cannot be shot through by archers creating cover. I can imagine a keystone cops chase between the last men standing around that foreseeable pillar. :)

I haven't had the privilege of playing Xcom yet, but it's a game I'm keen to get into on the 360. But thats a chat for another thread.

franknarf
03-12-2013, 08:46 AM
For me, ideally (and maybe some day, feasibly :)):

a barebones editor to put in special starting terrain the team has already made, like coals and obstacles of various sizes (posts, tables, ...); and
mod tools so clever folks can create custom terrain objects (http://www.kingsbountygame.com/handbook/tactics2) and pick-ups, and rules for how they show up and disappear (e.g., via "weather" effects).


I'd be more excited about tying these features to new game modes (http://howdypedia.com/Objective#objective_item) with different objectives than anything else. Of course, that sort of thing might be too gamey, but it would also be awesome! And it wouldn't have to replace standard matches, so forget whether or not it would be annoying or fit with the theme... Heck, it could just be part of the custom map specification you download and load up in a friend match. If a new game mode caught on and fit with the theme and style of the main game, Stoic could adopt it, of course...

Butters
03-12-2013, 08:18 PM
Clever thing you did there linking to KB's objects, Frank. That's pretty relevant.
I think spell-related objects should be pretty much out of the question, but I can see mines and powder barrels having their place on a TBS:F map. The KB barrier is pretty much what I was describing above.
Even the tiles "summoning" an ally (the coffin) could work ; it sounds like a huge advantage, but of course the unit should be pretty weak, and having it added to your roster would give your opponent the turn advantage. Therefore it would be more tactically sound to wait until late game to activate it ; but then you can't wait too long or your opponent will go for it first. Not sure how that could fit into the lore though. Norse mythology does have undead, so a crypt-themed map could fit.
Not sure what in the KB game modes could be relevant here though.

In term of special tiles and weather/special effects, some games that can be looked at for inspiration :
-HoMM : also has a lot of special tiles
-Advance Wars : lots of weather and other global battlefield effects
-FFT/Disgaea/tactical JRPGs in general, although most of it is probably irrelevant
-anybody can think of others ?

Butters
03-12-2013, 08:24 PM
I was thinking specifically about the pillars in the great hall. Say for instance they took up 2 x 2 space in the middle of a map. They block movement and cannot be shot through by archers creating cover. I can imagine a keystone cops chase between the last men standing around that foreseeable pillar. :)

Before even getting into special tiles, I was thinking precisely about a map with a 2*2 obstacle smack in the center. That would be interesting tactically, without actually adding any new mechanics to the game. Unless you make it impossible to shoot through as you suggest, which calls for the implementation of lines of sight; that may be less than trivial.

erom
03-12-2013, 08:45 PM
Yes, the "big pillar in the center" map has been suggested several times, I think it makes an obvious addition to the current rotation.

Beorn
03-13-2013, 12:23 AM
I agree with Netnazgul. Dynamic maps (or maybe even procedurally generated maps) are a good idea to add randomness and variety to the game, but matches played out on them should not count toward the main standings if the standings are to be meaningful. Have them be a separate mode.

Butters
03-13-2013, 03:44 AM
I agree with Netnazgul. Dynamic maps (or maybe even procedurally generated maps) are a good idea to add randomness and variety to the game, but matches played out on them should not count toward the main standings if the standings are to be meaningful. Have them be a separate mode.

I believe every single poster in this thread agrees on that.

Procedural generation might work, but I wouldn't even consider it short term.

Regarding implementation of the aforementioned walls/cover, some hurdles :
- As discussed a couple of posts above, protection from attacks including archers implies a line of sight calculation. That does not seem too complex given the short ranges, but it's still putting in a new mechanic, which devs might not really want to do (that'd be understandable)
- Any cover bonus would need to be directional - IE given when attacked from the direction the cover "covers", but not when being flanked. That seems very tricky to do well in terms of UI and readability.

I think triggerable explosives would be easy to implement and tactically interesting. They'd occupy 1 space, have 1 HP and 0 armor ; attacking it (either with melee or archer, preferably archer of course) would trigger an explosion that does damage equivalent to a x HP attack in a set range (1 or 2 tiles, possibly). The explosive would be destroyed in the process of course.
then again it might encourage tiptoeing and staring contests in the first turns, which is something TBS:F really doesn't need any more of...

Regarding weather, the idea I like best at the moment is that of a "freezing storm". Obviously for an outdoors map. At any point in the battle, any unit that does not move during its turn receives 1 HP (or armor?) damage from "frostbite". It does seems very harsh or archers though.
There must be quite a few others, like the obvious movement-restricting "snow storm", but I am not completely convinced of the tactical interest of that. Or an unit-displacing "strong winds" thing, but again, not sure how that could be made both predictable enough (it being random would just screw up good tactics) and interestingly game changing (having everyone shift 1 tile here and there brings nothing).

While much more... radical, I do also find the crypt map with "summonable" undead idea worth looking into. You'd have a few coffins/burial mounds (whatever is lore relevant) on the center line of the map. Having a character stand next to it and use his turn on the tile would allow you to add an undead unit to your roster, which you can place on one of the 3 other free tiles in contact. The new unit's turn would come up a few turns later (maybe directly before the next turn of the unit that "woke" it) to give the opponent a chance to react to it, possibly maiming it before it can do anything useful. That way, waking the undead would have a important risk of giving your opponent a significant turn advantage.
I have no idea whatsoever about what stats (an possibly abilities) an undead unit could have. If anyone else thinks this is an interesting idea, maybe we can flesh it out a bit later.