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Croakamancer

Death in battle; how will this work?

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Ok, earlier today I was thinking about how I'd compare a game like this to something like XCom, or FF Tactics. In both of those games, you hired new units fairly freely when you needed to. But that's not so much an option here, is it? As our heroes are based in bloodlines and family connections, you can't just replace these heroes one for one. There's the possibility of families getting wiped out, of having only a single member left to carry on the line... all that good stuff.

Still, it leaves me with a bit of a worry about leaving things in a somewhat unwinnable situation. If you lose too many heroes on the frontlines, what do you do? Your new heroes are still growing up, right? There's the question of how many heroes you start with,but still, I'm wondering about the prospect of you only having a few 'active' heroes left, fighting every mission, and coming close to being unable to measure up, no matter what you do.

So, what's the way to let people lose units, but keep your kingdom overall in the game? Will you have so many heroes that losing a fair number will still let you be able to fight? Or should we be considering a mercenary system? That could be surprisingly workable; the character wouldn't have access to any prior Bloodline relics, and would further complicate attempts at unification. Though I'd say even taking that into account, they should still cost more than they did in something like Xcom or tactics, though that's a personal thought.

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I'd personally like to conscript peasants (and if they survive long enough, integrate them into the houses).

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You're the King/Queen; you go out into the street point to a peasant that looks like they could take a few hits and proclaim:

"Scholars have discovered you are of noble blood and it is time for you to join the ranks of righteous and gain all the entitlements of a man high-born. To gain this lovely mansion (that certainly had no previous owner that met a vicious bloody end) simply send yourself, and your eldest son*, off to join in the fight against the demonic hordes that threaten to doom the land."

* Substitutes may be accepted but need to be approved beforehand, see category 13:4 of your contract.

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:P My thought was primarily the mechanical side of it. Being able to get new units as easily as you could in XCom kinda makes like it's going to undersell the Bloodlines system, which is far and away the thing about this game that's got me the most excited. I'd like to see a way to keep people in the game even if they mess up... whilst feeling like this was a mistake, and that focus on the noble families should've been the path you went down.

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I was imagining a larger division, like a few macho heroes standing around on the battlefied amid a bunch of scrawny peasants that can barely hold their weapons. But if they survive, then they become heroic too. Kind of like how xcom:eu feels when only one of your squad is ranked up and armored while everyone else is green. I suppose it depends on how difficult it is for higher level heroes to die, though.

There's just something hilariously macabre about losing tons of new recruits in x-com. Peasants could provide a similar "opportunity."

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Well that's rather the point of the game isn't it? Do you risk your best soldiers on the battlefield, those that have the best lineage, or do you keep them back in the keep. There has to be some sort of risk/reward system.

Seeing as the game spans 1000(s) of years if you decided that you need an influx of young blood you could go on the defensive until you've got some more meat for the grinder. Obviously that may not work depending on what battle system they use.

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I guess you'll want to try to develop the bloodlines of your early heroes. But they might die and not have kids, and the lineage would end. So therefore there will have to be new blood appearing periodically, somehow. It'll be weak compared to your most developoed soldiers, but with a little training they perhaps have caught up a little in a few generations. So a bit like how your XCOM guys get promoted but sometimes you need new recruits, every time you strengthen the bloodline the kids are more powerful, but you still need a fresh supply of backups.

At least that's how I imagine it.

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Yup! You'll have ways to bring peasants / plebeians up to hero status and then incorporate them into a bloodline or have them found a bloodline of their own.

So you'll get to be like Tyrion up-jumping Bronn in Game of Thrones - he starts out as a common sellsword but becomes a Lord through service.

*edit*

And this won't break the bloodline system either, because you'll still get better or higher-potential heroes from an existing bloodline. Bringing up peasants / hiring sellswords / whatever it'll be called will allow you to diversify and recover from a tragedy, like your single archer bloodline being wiped out.

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I remember the biggest mistake I ever made in XCOM was relying too closely on the same pool of 6 or 7 guys. They were powerful, which meant that the missions were easy, and I was neglecting my duty to train up some of the other recruits. Then when one mission went wrong due to a really bad bit of luck, and I lost 3 guys, I only had rookies as backup. I think within 2 more missions I was finished.

It was pretty devastating, but it WAS my fault. I was overconfident in my team and didn't have a backup. I think these games where it's strategy mixed with chance are all about having a plan A, B, and C for everything you do.

It seems like the bloodline stuff in Massive Chalice could add a whole new dimension to this: which bloodlines do you focus on developing, which are your backups and maybe even which heroes can be put to good use in ways other than breeding once they're too old to fight.

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It seems like the bloodline stuff in Massive Chalice could add a whole new dimension to this: which bloodlines do you focus on developing, which are your backups and maybe even which heroes can be put to good use in ways other than breeding once they're too old to fight.

This is something that really excites us about MASSIVE CHALICE - since all of your heroes will die eventually, you'll need to branch out, raise a new generation, and plan for the future.

Proper management in the strategy layer will make combat death acceptable, since you'll have a new generation of heroes with great potential and can equip them with relics from their fallen ancestors. The drop in power level should be way less than in XCOM, and your new heroes could potentially reach heights impossible to their parents!

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It seems like the bloodline stuff in Massive Chalice could add a whole new dimension to this: which bloodlines do you focus on developing, which are your backups and maybe even which heroes can be put to good use in ways other than breeding once they're too old to fight.

This is something that really excites us about MASSIVE CHALICE - since all of your heroes will die eventually, you'll need to branch out, raise a new generation, and plan for the future.

Proper management in the strategy layer will make combat death acceptable, since you'll have a new generation of heroes with great potential and can equip them with relics from their fallen ancestors. The drop in power level should be way less than in XCOM, and your new heroes could potentially reach heights impossible to their parents!

I guess the balance challenge here is how to make sure that there are still enough top people on the battlefield to deal with all the stuff that could happen to your heroes. They could die before their time, of course, which is the worst case scenario. But also I guess there could be other good reasons for them not to have kids, if there are strategies which involve having other uses for them. The other thing of course is that it takes 2 people to make one child at a time (I guess it could be twins), so is there a pressure for them to have multiple children if they want the best chance choice of.... uh, a new generation?

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so is there a pressure for them to have multiple children if they want the best chance choice of.... uh, a new generation?

Since we'd like to incorporate the "knighting / lording / up-jumping" mentioned above, you wouldn't need 1-to-1 replacement children for each hero, or needing to couple all of your heroes together just for breeding purposes.

Let's say you have three badass heroes. You could keep two in battle and retire a third to his or her keep while up-jumping a commoner to hero status and arranging a marriage between them.

That couple could produce many children if you decide to keep them retired.

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so is there a pressure for them to have multiple children if they want the best chance choice of.... uh, a new generation?

Since we'd like to incorporate the "knighting / lording / up-jumping" mentioned above, you wouldn't need 1-to-1 replacement children for each hero, or needing to couple all of your heroes together just for breeding purposes.

Let's say you have three badass heroes. You could keep two in battle and retire a third to his or her keep while up-jumping a commoner to hero status and arranging a marriage between them.

That couple could produce many children if you decide to keep them retired.

Makes perfect sense. So while there's some incentive to nurture and preserve the bloodlines it's not like if you are unable to or even don't want do that with particular bloodlines then you'll be at a disadvantage, because there's always other bloodlines in the pipeline?

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Well there's death and there's horribly crippling injuries that remove you from the battlefield as an effective warrior. Personally I think the heroes should die infrequently (unlike Game of Thrones) but when they do it should be in a heroic manner, killing swathes of demons while leading the charge from the front.

However given the idea of 'heroic bloodlines' and the option to voluntarily retire heroes, perhaps hero 'death' in battle could be handled by crippling them instead, having the remaining forces valiantly rally to fight off the demons and recover the hero from the slowly spreading pool of blood they lay in. Once they 'heal' they'll never fight again and have to retire to their castle and live out their remaining days vicariously through their children's victories on the field.

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Hi, so I have had some similar thoughts, and put them into a thread. I didn't see this thread, but now that I've read it and see people going into a similar kind of direction, I thought I'd link you over. I have an idea for a system that may fix this, thought out over there in a little more detail (although it isn't all there yet!)

http://www.doublefine.com/forums/viewthread/9354/

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Yup! You'll have ways to bring peasants / plebeians up to hero status and then incorporate them into a bloodline or have them found a bloodline of their own.

So you'll get to be like Tyrion up-jumping Bronn in Game of Thrones - he starts out as a common sellsword but becomes a Lord through service.

*edit*

And this won't break the bloodline system either, because you'll still get better or higher-potential heroes from an existing bloodline. Bringing up peasants / hiring sellswords / whatever it'll be called will allow you to diversify and recover from a tragedy, like your single archer bloodline being wiped out.

This sounds perfect as far as the worrying about bloodlines dying out thing goes.

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I like the idea of upping peasants that you think might be good. It would be cool if they had a random trait from a group of traits that only peasants have. And perhaps one of the knighted peasants decides to help the demons instead of helping you. Could be an interesting thing to develop.

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Well there's death and there's horribly crippling injuries that remove you from the battlefield as an effective warrior. Personally I think the heroes should die infrequently (unlike Game of Thrones) but when they do it should be in a heroic manner, killing swathes of demons while leading the charge from the front.

I don't know how many heroes you are going to have on any given moment in the game, but i feel like dieing shouldn't necessarily be something special.

I like how in Game of Thrones when a character makes a bad discussion or gets overconfident he can die in a very simple way just by overlooking something.

You shouldn't get to attached to one character but rather focus more on the greater picture for one bloodline, it isn't strategy for nothing.

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Perhaps when a hero dies on the battlefield, and plebs that are there have a chance to gain a small part of that heroes skills, so they don't become instantly powerful, but each one gains perhaps a little in one aspect of that hero, see it as them being inspired by their leaders heroic sacrifice. Unless of course they die too, but I would imagine if you lost a couple of heros on a given quest there would be a way to retreat, perhaps whilst screaming "Run away, run away!" ;)

Also I don't think I have an issue with a given game of MC becoming unwinable due to poor strategy, that's all part and parcel of this sort of game to me.

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Perhaps when a hero dies on the battlefield, and plebs that are there have a chance to gain a small part of that heroes skills, so they don't become instantly powerful, but each one gains perhaps a little in one aspect of that hero, see it as them being inspired by their leaders heroic sacrifice. Unless of course they die too, but I would imagine if you lost a couple of heros on a given quest there would be a way to retreat, perhaps whilst screaming "Run away, run away!" ;)

Also I don't think I have an issue with a given game of MC becoming unwinable due to poor strategy, that's all part and parcel of this sort of game to me.

That's how it worked in Final Fantasy Tactics. If you let one of your troops die, they would drop a skill gem that another character could pick up and gain their skills if you had the appropriate levels in that class. I'm hoping there is some sort of resurrection spell or item that can be used.

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