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mrstimpson38

Relics: Massive Enough?

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Malcom, caring about the heroes lives/deaths does make for a better game. Remember

1) MC heroes are planned to level up. The problem in X-com's earlier drafted system is that weapons were the important things which improved your power while the soldiers were static and interchangeable. Given MC has both heroes and weapons leveling, even if the balance were such that equipment impacted performance more than the user (hero), players would still care about their hero selection because of differentiation in role (class) and ability (level).

2) The various genes should distinguish heroes even of the same class specs and make for fun emergent narratives bridging generations.

If anything may risk heroes seeming more interchangeable it's the secrecy of their genes. Although two different heroes may have radically different traits, as the player can't see these traits the characters read the same. Given the traits are mainly discovered through combat, a player who never tries alternates to a hero will retain the notion the alternates are practically the same. If the equipment and squad-selection system is like X-com's then it means the tedious process of unequipping a hero, removing him, scrolling through the hero list, selecting another hero, and equipping him must be performed every time a player wants to field-test a hero to discover his genes. Granted genes don't necessarily display save in certain combat conditions, the same hero could be tried multiple times without knowing what's the difference between him and other heroes of the same class and level. This would turn gene-discovery into a grind. It'd also risk players regularly selecting heroes with more boring, common genes which don't stand out much while, by rules of probability, the heroes with rarer, more exciting genes are less likely to be picked and used.

This matter's compounded by the fact the levels of future generations are derivative of their forebears. In X-com a solid strategy is to field all-rookie teams early and keep rotating out the higher-level characters so you have a lot of back-ups late-game and don't have to save scum to guarantee your 1 team worth of dudes survives. Such a tactic is dis-incentivised by MC because you want your heroes to be as high a level as possible before they retire and can only have a fixed number of heroes pop babies, making the remaining heroes of their generation excess waste.

MC needs some mechanic/s to prevent a continuous-team roster from becoming the definitive playthrough plan. Ah think they mentioned heroes gaining experience through assisting with research/forging before which would work as a hero "training" in this capacity could offer a viable alternative to equal-level heroes in the party who've leveled through battle or higher-level party characters who die.

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Wow. Totally surprised to see a Relic System v2 pop up in the middle of the last teamstream! Took me a few days to get around to watching it, but very pleased at the results.

It's nuts to see a big ship like a video game turn itself around conceptually. Super props to Brad and the team for genuinely listening and reacting to fan feedback and adjusting the plan. I know you guys were fond of the idea of mummified ancestor bits, but I think this v2 relic system is much more exciting (if perhaps not as mechanically clean) and much closer to what the expectations of the fans are. It certainly rang as one of those "Yeeeeeahhh" awesome things. Ghost Dad represent.

As others have been saying, the one catch that I can see is that there is no way to create a relic "in glorious battle" unless the person weilding the sword is already old and storied. I understand that the designers don't want players running units out on suicide missions just to farm weapons - that would be rediculous and wrong - but I would like to see the option or possibility of a relic being created on very rare occasions through an act of incredible heroism or sacrifice. Not sure what that would be exactly - probably would have to be a special event mission (like something which pops up as a prompt choice on the strategic layer) rather than just something organic that happens in battle.... you know... "choose a unit to go through the dark portal -- he may never return but he will always be remembered..." kinda thing. If relics gain XP and materialize upon player death, then the possibility exists of different types of deaths creating them. Maybe the act of going through the hypothetical dark portal never to return is just worth 400 weapon XP straight up so that this act has a reasonable chance of bumping ANY reasonably good sword to the next tier.

Anyway, great new system - I am a fan. XCOM style games have always suffered from the Plasma Problem - ie. as soon as a better tier of gear appears there is then no longer any reason for lower tiers of weapons to exist. At high levels, this favors homogeneity over variety in the weapon choices. That's always been kind of boring, so hopefully this new system can incentivize older or more varied types of gear.

I also particularly like the new tension between the scarcity of honest but wholesome relics and the easy availablilty of corrupting demon weapons. You guys will have to fine tune things correctly so that people don't just ignore demon weapons entirely in favor of house artifacts. I know just based on the style of player that I am that it will take a pretty strong push to get me to carry a blade that is likely to harm one of my units in the long term. That carrot on the stick has to be VERY tempting.

I hope that someone writes a bit of explanitory fluff into the lore to explain why metal armor and gear can be upgraded with research but swords and cabers cannot. That small bit of dissonance needs some smoothing for me to be comfortable with it.

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Actually, it just occured to me that aside from the vanguard, nobody actually uses 100% metal weapons. Crossbows, flings and cabers are all wooden.

Maybe the demons can't be hurt by metal? (Unless it's... uh... a tuning fork?) That would explain why metalurgy doesn't create better guns. Just saying. Maybe you should make your swords out of wood, like the Aztecs.

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@Blues

Mayhaps the demons can't be harmed by mundane means. The leveling weapons work because they're all infused with some of the Immortal King's ancestral/bloodline magic. The demon weapons work because they reverse-engineer the demons own techniques for hurting one another.

Armor and items do still function and improve by mundane research; it was only finding a way to hurt the demons which was problematic and why the other kingdoms fell so easily/totally.

Perhaps the demon's temporal aspect means hurting them at a given moment doesn't hurt them in the future and the wound is gone in the next moment. But the ancestor-magic works through time so a wound delivered now is also delivered to past and future versions of the demon and when that demon dies its' very concept is erased from existence: Mll'bakama retroactively never was.

From a demonic perspective of morality, the humans are far more heinous and evil. They kill men but they can see all the past moments in a man's life before he died. To them all their victims are immortal. Only men actually kill, eliminating demons from history which they found an existentially horrific and evil act.

fasting-buddha-statue-big.jpg

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Awesome rework here guys.

However I see a small problem. If a hero dies in battle with a relic, can he/she pass that relic to nephews, nieces, brothers and sisters?

What is considered an heir? What is you married a sibling of the hero to another house, can you pass the relic to the offspring of that sibling, thereby giving that relic to the other house?

As you said in the kickstarter video "merging the bloodlines".

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So my initial impression of the new relic system was that it was worse than the initial idea, but at this point I'd just like to see how they'll develop the new idea. I trust Brad & John's design abilities and it seems likely that regardless of what the basic relic system is, it will probably need some iterative design and testing to really nail down.

That said, I'm confused about whether this system will allow multiple relics per hero and whether the relics are stackable. The original design allowed for many relics to be stacked per hero, which seems sensible given the number of dead ancestors the later heroes will have. Not every dead hero will form a relic of course, but if a super powerful hero dies while holding a relic it seemed reasonable that they would produce a new relic that could be used alongside the older relic. With the new system, I don't understand what incentive there will be to ever part with the first set of relics that are formed -- and even if there is a reason why the later relics are better, I don't think I'd really want to replace my more ancient relics. Maybe when heroes die while holding relics now they get infused into the existing relic? That could work, although I'd still miss the ability to use the relics from both a hero's mother and father. I realize it might be possible to use more than one weapon at a time, but I just had the impression that this system was designed to be a one-relic-per-hero thing.

The only thing that I didn't really like about the previous relic system was that the relics were just a reflection of the fact that a hero had crossed an experience threshold instead of a reflection of their combat style or personal traits. The new system is still pretty much the same thing, although the discussion about having some traits tied to how the weapon was used was promising. I still liked the idea (from the previous system) of relics conferring qualitatively new abilities to players instead of boosting crit percentages, and I'd be super happy if those new abilities were somehow tied to the relic's history.

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However I see a small problem. If a hero dies in battle with a relic, can he/she pass that relic to nephews, nieces, brothers and sisters?

What is considered an heir? What is you married a sibling of the hero to another house, can you pass the relic to the offspring of that sibling, thereby giving that relic to the other house?

It's interesting that you say that, because I was thinking that it'd be too difficult to move relics around under this system due to the restriction of having the relic only work for a certain class. If each hybrid class has their own weapons, then I think this really is a problem because any intermarriages between classes would destroy relic lines, but even if hybrid classes can use weapons from both of their parent classes, it will still be tricky to pass relics along: when two hybrid-classed heroes have children, those children will lose some of their grandparents' classes. I think this could lead to some neat situations where you'd have to decide whether to use a young hero to follow in the footsteps of an ancient war hero and gain their relic or to have them do their own thing and follow a different class. This also opens up the possibility that relics might be able to skip generations, which could be awesome from a narrative perspective.

I know I've said this a million times before, but I really hope the team will soon "talk about" the broader picture of how lineages could work strategically. How many bloodlines are there? How many generations will they last? How many pairing options will be available at each generation? In some ways these are just balance questions, but the lineages are so central to everything else that I find it difficult to imagine how other systems will work without some idea of how the bloodlines will propagate.

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However I see a small problem. If a hero dies in battle with a relic, can he/she pass that relic to nephews, nieces, brothers and sisters?

What is considered an heir? What is you married a sibling of the hero to another house, can you pass the relic to the offspring of that sibling, thereby giving that relic to the other house?

It's interesting that you say that, because I was thinking that it'd be too difficult to move relics around under this system due to the restriction of having the relic only work for a certain class. If each hybrid class has their own weapons, then I think this really is a problem because any intermarriages between classes would destroy relic lines, but even if hybrid classes can use weapons from both of their parent classes, it will still be tricky to pass relics along: when two hybrid-classed heroes have children, those children will lose some of their grandparents' classes. I think this could lead to some neat situations where you'd have to decide whether to use a young hero to follow in the footsteps of an ancient war hero and gain their relic or to have them do their own thing and follow a different class. This also opens up the possibility that relics might be able to skip generations, which could be awesome from a narrative perspective.

I think this was kind'a addressed in a previous stream. I believe Brad said that each house will only produce one kind of main class. So if house Muir is Vanguard their primary class will always be Vanguard. He also said that they where thinking that a hybrid class would use the weapon of the main class.

If the system works like that then any descendant of house Muir will be able to inherit Grandpa Brads Awesome Sword of Badassness.

The problem remains with marriage, where someone with a relic weapon marries into another bloodline. I don't see a really big problem, just a design decision. Either the weapon goes back to another in the Muir line when the hero dies, or it becomes part of the other house (if possible) or the weapon is lost. The first one seems most reasonable to me.

On a different note:

I personally really like what they have done with the relic system. This really shows the power of open development, that players can give feedback and influence the game, at this early stage, when it is still relatively easy to make big changes to the game.

Keep up the good work Brad and Co. !

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one thing from the team stream that bugged me is when Brad and John said that you couldn't store relics for later, stating that if you don't have anyone to give it to it means your house is doomed. This may not always be the case. For example House MacGuffen was founded by Old Horace who had 6 kids (Very productive) when he died he left his relic to his oldest child, his second child die's leaving a relic to a younger sibling. that child was then placed as head of house in the keep. They only having two kids at a time when during one battle 3 more of old Horace's children die all leaving relics. that leaves me with three relics and only 2 people to take them. what happens to the third relic? I find it hard to believe they'd just toss it to the wayside.

And yes i understand this is an unlikely scenario but it could happen. Maybe i wanted to field an all caberjack squad for like 3 missions, could happen. Not a great plan, but could be fun for achievement bait.

@Brad I really liked the armor deco options from x-com. Would it be possible to have that for Massive Challice. not a ton maybe like one alt outfit for each class. Also Caberjacks need kilts. "Because I don't always throw big freaking logs around, but when I do. I wear a man's plaid skirt."

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Re: Heirless-But-Not-Dead Houses

That's a good example of a case, but you could also run into something like the following. Brad and Tad are the last two surviving Muirs. Brad uses the legendary Master Sword, and Tad holds the Dragon Lance. Brad retires to a keep with a classy lady, while Tad stays on the war path and is slain mere weeks later. Technically there are no valid Muirs to wield the Dragon Lance. However, two years from now, Brad and his wife welcome Chad Muir in to the world, who should by all accounts be a viable heir to use the Dragon Lance.

I would think you'd just want to display all of the relics in a huge list with a couple of different sort options - e.g. by weapon type, by name, by house, and by currently-equipped. If something has no viable heirs, you simply indicate as much in the menu. In that respect, you get yet another "Memorial" type place to mourn the loss of your units; if you see "Excalibur - Bound to House Burnhelm" and it's grayed out because House Burnhelm bit the dust, that right there is the bummer you were looking for.

Other Relic Thoughts

I was worried as soon as I saw item XP, since that has the potential to become very micromanagement heavy. It was really a relief to then hear that (1) only weapons are relics, reducing our total count, and (2) weapons are bound to a unit, eliminating day-to-day relic juggling. So for now this has my seal of approval at an overarching level.

Regarding the actual impact of relics, I would request for one that relics focus more on unique traits than on raw damage boosts. Admittedly this represents extra design space, but -- and I think this has been mentioned by other people before -- you could simply grab beneficial traits from the gene pool and attach them to the weapon so that the wielder gains their benefit.

On the subject of Ghost Dads... If they're being used for crits, that seams reasonable, and reasonably safe in terms of "don't make this break the game wide open." I'd ask that the crit chance be kept relatively low though, since you don't want Knights Of The Round queuing up once every 3 attacks. It was cool in FFT when you got the (miserably translated) spell quotes every now and again, but make it happen too often and it gets annoying, especially since it's likely a longer animation to show. Also, have you guys looked at a system that the player has a little more control over? If you use something akin to a party-wide Super Meter that gets built up as you take or succeed on certain actions and can be used up to activate Ancestor Attacks, you give yourself design space to increase the power on Ancestor Attacks as well as let the player choose how he wants to apply that power.

Not About Relics, but Related to Teamstream 8 and I Don't See a Good Thread for It

Regarding the Chalice itself, the team seemed pretty lukewarm on the slanty-chalice with the rim angled up 40-odd degrees. While it looked a little funky on its own, it struck me as an interesting mid-animation frame. Basically, as one of the faces on the chalice speaks, it angles up slightly on their side, wiggling a bit in tune with the motions of their jaw. As they get more animated (emotionally), the angle of the slant gets steeper and steeper. If the two faces are going to be bickering at each other constantly, it'd be a nice fun way to take advantage of that. Depends on the tone you're looking for though, as this is obviously much more cartoony than mystical.

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Silky

Couldn't the Dragon Lance be attached to Brad or his wife upon Tad's death in your example? The team hasn't went into weapon limits.

It would be damn frustrating if you'd leveled up an item uber-high and couldn't swap out a weaker relic for it because of binding. There should atleast be an option to destroy a bound relic to free up the slot for another relic which needs a host. Hopefully the GUI will allow players to compare relics and look at list of heir/hero options so you don't have to try to memorize, "If I click yes to destroy currently attached relic to bind the Loose Relic instead of allowing the Loose Relic to be destroyed am I upgrading or downgrading?"

Agreed that crit-chance across all weapon types for relic effect is generic but carrying over dna traits would

1) Make for arbitrary distinctions. "Why isn't x trait DNA instead of on-weapon?" wonders the player.

2) Make relics less expendable.

Now the latter may sound desirable fluff-wise as you want some super-unique item. But consider it in terms of game-balance.

A. If losing a relic is less of a big deal then it's not as frustrating nor playthrough-ruining when, like a real historical house, you can find no produced heir to carry the item into the future.

B. It prevents power-creep. If levels of items cross across heroes where is the permadeath? Items too must be in risk of permadeath lest you have all level-99 swords on everyone.

C. It gives demonic weapons purpose. If you could always have a relic as an option and/or they're always the superior available option then what's the point of the demonic tech tree? It'd just be wasted content no one would use. But if running out of relics for a house or heroes is a situation typical of most playthroughs and frequently occurring then demonic weapons become much more useful and tempting.

I agree with your sentiment that over-frequent useage + long animation = no fun. A problem with JRPGs like the FF series is summons are these super-powerful moves which will 1hk enemies and the only apparent disincentive to spamming them every fight is the odiously long unskippable cutscenes. Kill-cams and special moves should always allow the option to be skipped by the player. No matter hjow cool and impressive it is initially; it will get old. Ancestors showing up should be a big deal that turns a fight rather than a generic ability which triggers regularly, a sentiment ah believe Brad expressed on behalf of the team on one of these forums.

I also agree that some player agency in ancestors showing up rather than it being entirely to chance is preferable: that your hero is consciously calling on his ancestors like Samurai Jack, the Avatar his previous incarnations, etc. rather than the ancestors helping randomly by luck with an inexplicable whimsical nature. Rather than being an ability like your others, it could be you fill a bar based on enemies harmed/killed, allies resuscitated, companions who survive a fight, etc. across the years, which's how much you've honored your ancestors. Along this bar are icons for increasingly powerful ancestor-summons (how many generations you calling?) which unlock as additional generations pass and the bar is filled further. At any time during a fight the player can trigger these. On the flipside, use of demonic tech, failures (murdered peasants during terror missions, demons escaped), and corruption deplete the bar so it can't be banked forever.

Given that each class has its' own weapon type it stands to reason that Relics are variations on these weapon-types (alt models and reskins of default weapons) and classes would receive different kinds of benefits from their ancestors* based on their weapons. Alpha placeholder Example

Arbalist - Relics gain increased accuracy (chance to hit).

Caber - Weapon gains increased knockback/down chance when abilities are triggered.

Alchemist - Duration and potency of effects is increased (so a slow which halves enemy movement may reduce it to a quarter instead and last twice as many rounds).

Vanguard - Deflection/counterattack chance increased when facing multiple opponents, attack time-unit consumption reduced when facing a single opponent.

War Tailor - Range of midrange "throw needle" attack increased, needle gains armor-piercing.

*whether or not a class can only summon its' own kind of ancestors is a decision with two possibilities

1) Yes. So players must choose to field the current generations with consideration of what they fielded in previous generations and what ancestor-summons they desire.

2) No. The ancestors lend functionality to descendants in different roles, making them better rounded, so if a player's in a pinch and could really use a close-hitter, sniper, AoE, etc. but doesn't have such a hero fielded, conscious or alive, then ancestors of that type could come in to fill such a role for one battle-flipping turn.

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Silky

Couldn't the Dragon Lance be attached to Brad or his wife upon Tad's death in your example? The team hasn't went into weapon limits.

I thought they said one relic per person, but I could be mistaken. Strategically though, you'd only ever want to bind one relic weapon to a user since you can't use or level up two of them at the same time.

On top of that, you'd much rather bind a relic to an active warrior. Attaching one to a Lord/Lady in a keep means that not only are you not advancing it or using it in combat, you continue to not be able to do so until that holder kicks the bucket. Basically, giving it to Brad or his wife means that Chad will be without the relic for a significant chunk of his career. You'd be much better off throwing the relic weapon in the closet with some "We must find a new worthy heir" mumbo jumbo until you have one or more people who can actually make use of it.

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Blood Bridle is correct! Sorry we weren't clear about what we were thinking about multiple relics per hero. We've talked a lot about the "feel bad" of having your relics destroyed - we really only want to do that to you if the last member of a house is lost!

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Awesome rework here guys.

However I see a small problem. If a hero dies in battle with a relic, can he/she pass that relic to nephews, nieces, brothers and sisters?

What is considered an heir? What is you married a sibling of the hero to another house, can you pass the relic to the offspring of that sibling, thereby giving that relic to the other house?

As you said in the kickstarter video "merging the bloodlines".

We're trying very hard to stick to the philosophy of "your house is your primary class, your colors, your weapon, and your armor." This makes the characters maximally recognizable on the battlefield, especially from the top-down perspective!

So when a hero is partnered into a Keep they will maintain their own last name, house, colors, weapon, etc. This hero will influence the children's potential hybrid class, pass along traits, and pass along xp if they raise the children. The kids will have the last name, primary class, colors, weapon, and armor of the House Regent - the main hero that is retired in the Keep.

The best way to maintain this system with Relics is to make them "House Bound." You need to have the same last name as the hero that owned the Relic in order to be a viable recipient of it. So if your brother marries into another house and then has kids, your Relic is not eligible to go to your nieces and nephews. However if your brother is retired as the main regent of your house and has children, your Relic is totally eligible to go to your nieces and nephews. It sounds really confusing when I type it all out, but I think it's going to be super logical in the game! :D!

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I think it makes sense, and I think the actual gameplay of the mechanics will be pretty intuitive and clear. Look forward to the next team stream!

Smiles

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We're trying very hard to stick to the philosophy of "your house is your primary class, your colors, your weapon, and your armor." This makes the characters maximally recognizable on the battlefield, especially from the top-down perspective!

So when a hero is partnered into a Keep they will maintain their own last name, house, colors, weapon, etc. This hero will influence the children's potential hybrid class, pass along traits, and pass along xp if they raise the children. The kids will have the last name, primary class, colors, weapon, and armor of the House Regent - the main hero that is retired in the Keep.

The best way to maintain this system with Relics is to make them "House Bound." You need to have the same last name as the hero that owned the Relic in order to be a viable recipient of it. So if your brother marries into another house and then has kids, your Relic is not eligible to go to your nieces and nephews. However if your brother is retired as the main regent of your house and has children, your Relic is totally eligible to go to your nieces and nephews. It sounds really confusing when I type it all out, but I think it's going to be super logical in the game! :D!

What happens to the relics bound to a house if you change the regent of that keep/house? Do all the family member's surnames change to the new regent's surname? So Bob Hohenstaufen becomes Bob Louis when the regent's switched from Billy-Ray Hohenstaufen to Chuck Louis. Are the relics bound to Hohenstaufens destroyed when they become Louises? Do the relics all re-align to the new house?

Say two keeps are given to the same family. Charles Whatsthehapsburg and his brother Otto Whatsthehapsburg are designated regents of Flying Keep and Giant Tree Keep. Charles fails to produce an heir* and dies. Otto already has a relic but his son, Frederick Whatsthehapsburg is relic-less. Can Charles' relic, Gutter, be bound to Frederick?

*because his wife had the Narrow Broad trait and died when attempting to deliver his son. Charles was married to Maria Theresa but his age had already dropped his babymaking fertility % chance to negligible levels.

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I'm gonna go out on a limb and guess that when he says "House," he means family/last name, not the physical building. :D

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hahahaha yeah more confusing language! I think it's all about Last Name, which is immutable. Nothing will change your last name. When you are born you get the last name of your regent, which comes with the class, armor, weapon, and colors!

In the case of two Keeps that are managed by the same family I think that relics would be passable between them! :D!

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hahahaha yeah more confusing language! I think it's all about Last Name, which is immutable. Nothing will change your last name. When you are born you get the last name of your regent, which comes with the class, armor, weapon, and colors!

In the case of two Keeps that are managed by the same family I think that relics would be passable between them! :D!

So, if you have two heroes from the same family and they both carry relics (assuming you can have multiple relics in the same house) and you marry one of them off to another family, does that relic revert to the original house when that hero dies, or does it disappear?

Also, if you marry a family member off to another family and they have a weapon that can achieved relic status, does that weapon revert to the original family when that hero dies?

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So, if you have two heroes from the same family and they both carry relics (assuming you can have multiple relics in the same house) and you marry one of them off to another family, does that relic revert to the original house when that hero dies, or does it disappear?

You can totally have multiple relics in the same family.

When you marry someone into another family they will keep their own relics. When they die, those relics can be passed to anyone with their last name. Unfortunately their kids won't be eligible! The Regent is the head of the house and the Partner that is married in doesn't really have any power - they still remain tied to their original family and keep their last name. We feel this is ok especially because the Regent can be a man or a woman - it's a more gender neutral version of feudalism. :D

Also, if you marry a family member off to another family and they have a weapon that can achieved relic status, does that weapon revert to the original family when that hero dies?

Yep! :D! That weapon cannot go to the hero's children, but it could go to the Regent that birthed them, their brothers or sisters, or their nieces or nephews, provided they have the same last name as the hero!

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Thanks for helping us work through the corner cases on this system you guys! :D!

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There's basically more power to the name than the blood - and you can't change name and move between households, which means the relics can't - even if you marry into another house, your house name won't change.

Makes sense given that the relics mentioned are weapons and the weapon types are unique to the classes, so you wouldn't be able to pass a crossbow to a vanguard anyway; but what other relic types are there? other pieces of equipment that can go across classes?

I basically understand what you're aiming for, but not completely why. There is, of course, appeal to house heirlooms, but also relics that are more bloodline related - that is what you called the system, bloodlines, not house names, though I'm being a little asinine to be technical about it.

I just want to point this out as an additional balance point you can use; you can have it as an element that the closer the bearer is to the main bloodline of a relic (father to son, or whomever was the most recent owner) has a stronger bond and benefit to the relic; just if you find that you need more reasons to promote retiring stronger heroes that weren't strong due to their traits.

There's also appeal and merit to the traditional heirs not being worthy of the relic, and it being passed down to someone else who is, and the relic not caring about household traditions, but worthy wielders. Perhaps just as a random event as I see why it shouldn't be the norm.

Hm... any thoughts on marriage relics? produced or given on the ceremonies? I'm just babbling.

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I think the possibility for weird outside case superrelics might exist, but only in rare cases. First step would be to get it nailed down so that everything was flowing correctly through the bloodline.

THEN, once the system made sense, you could have some kind of uber-relic that was an exception to the rule and that had a condition like "Can only be bound to a warrior who has slain 10 lords of Forgetfulness".

Also: Relic swords and crossbows : totally makes sense. Relic cabers? Kind of weird. The idea of relic jai-halai scoop flings? Totally zany.

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I think the possibility for weird outside case superrelics might exist, but only in rare cases. First step would be to get it nailed down so that everything was flowing correctly through the bloodline.

THEN, once the system made sense, you could have some kind of uber-relic that was an exception to the rule and that had a condition like "Can only be bound to a warrior who has slain 10 lords of Forgetfulness".

Also: Relic swords and crossbows : totally makes sense. Relic cabers? Kind of weird. The idea of relic jai-halai scoop flings? Totally zany.

Relics as they've been described so far doesn't really follow logic to me, anyway, so they might as well pass down the wooden spoons of potion chucking, and cozy wornout hoodies that your brother used to wear - don't worry, the hoodie will become a relic in no time. Grandma's dentures for when you need a little more bite to your bark; literally, battle shouts let you bite enemies! Why? Because reasons!

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The best hedge against losing relics would be making a single giant family, instead of a many smaller families. Factors affecting the viability of such a strategy are

1. Are there age-limits for marriage?

2. Can marriage only occur with keep designation?

3. Can heroes be rotated through the keep to accomplish multiple marriages without advancing the timescale?

4. Will relics typically exist after the first generation?

5. Can heroes be adopted into a family, legally changing their name?

Given relics are bound to names instead of blood, sharing the same name wouldn't limit a House's ability to acquire/maintain good genes. The possible conflicts/challenges with such a strategy would be

A - Heroes reproduce too slowly to generate enough lords in a single family to head all the keeps in a timely manner.

B - By the time a hero from the omnihouse is ready to takeover a keep its' current occupants have leveled-up powerful relics, strongly disincentivising phasing out their name as the choice becomes generating a pool of relics which won't be lost vs keeping enough relics to field in the current generation.

But given the game's balanced around regular relic loss and such a play method allows a greater number of max-level relics to be fielded by the end game it'd be a net gain.

http://farm5.staticflickr.com/4069/4500307506_8245bb88f4_z.jpg

To prevent players from focusing on maxing out a squad's worth of relics and keeping them for the whole game, it could be that relic levels are limited by ancestors. So if a relic's used every fight it'll max out at level 4 in a generation, making it better to field another hero until another ancestor's unlocked. To explain fluff-wise why the heroes can't just tap into any ancestor it's explained the Immortal King's bloodline infusion magic is what allows contact with previous generations and only ancestors who also had this bloodline infusion may be summoned. Per this design, the relic levels could either have a number cap for every ancestor on the relic (1 ancestor levels 1-4, 2 ancestors lvs 5-8, 3a l9-10) or level up the ancestor bound to the relic instead of the relic itself so the UI says affinity's maxed with "Charles Slayfist" and in the following generation the very hero who wielded the relic, having passed away in his sleep at the Keep of Many Cannons, is added to the relic at level 0.

The Regent...the Partner

Why can't we have Lords and Ladies?

http://www.vview.co.za/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/lord-and-lady.jpg

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Pretty sure that they said in the teamstream that a relic can only be advanced one tier per generation.

Starts out at "normal sword" and then generation 1 can take it to "heirloom sword" - XP 500

Next guy has the potential to take it from XP 500-1000 for "relic sword" over a lengthy career if he performs well.

Next gal can take it from XP 1000-1500 for "epic sword", etc.

And the seventh son of the seventh son can take it to "Legendary Sword of Legendaryness" at XP 2000 where it stays.

This is assuming they they all

a) Live long enough to get there

b) Fight often enough with that sword to get there

Weapons that fail to meet their threshhold sit forelornly at XP 495.95 and wait for the next guy, I guess. Maybe dying with a legendary blade in your hand confers a -50% xp penalty to the weapon so you have a bit of a hump to climb again if you don't reach your goal. Can't be that legendary if their master croaked with it in their hands now, can it?

Also from the teamstream: No hats, armor, gear or other equipment are going to be relics. Just weapons. The rest of the stuff goes through the normal research tree upgrade process.

I liked Blood Bridle's narrative explanation of how swords and cabers require that mythic power bump from ancestors to actually *hurt* demons (because: timestream?) which is why researching them would make no difference. Hats and coifs? Still OK to stop fireballs thrown at you even from demonic sources, especially if mithral or what-have-you. Doesn't explain how level 1 weapons can be effective against the hordes but yadda yadda, power of unity and bloodline togetherness when fighting even with basic weapons, murmur murmur.

Have we discussed having rare badass types of demons who have the equivalent of the old D&D "Can only be hurt by +1 weapons and above?" property? Because those would be scary. Non-relic weapons do only 25% base damage or something.

Maybe even uberboss superdemonlord guys who can only be hurt by weapons of +2 and above? Non-legendary weapons need not apply?

Flipside: Demons who can only be hurt by demonic weapons, take 1/4 damage from anything else. Hmmm.

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IRL Relics served three purposes

1 - Acting as investiture of dominion. You know who the King of Hungary is by the crown of St.Stephen for example.

2 - Tourism. Pilgrims travel from far and wide paying to see the bones of so-and-so or touch the hem of a fellow's robe.

3 - Prestige. Like priceless artworks, having a bunch of relics assembled in your court impresses other nobility and makes them respect you more.

How could such mechanics be incorporated into the current system?

1 - Perhaps a relic's designated the "House Relic" and must be held by a hero for him to be designated King of that Realm. If a house relic is lost/destroyed a new one from the same house must be designated, if the house has no relics it ceases to be able to rule. By this method it could be that the initial keep-claiming at the start of the game is enabled by the generation of the first relics.

2 - The more relics there are and the higher their level the more of a boost to diamond generation (or whatever the currency in MC is) the player receives.

3 - Some random event/s draw on the total relics number to un/lock an option to use the respectability of your court to resolve a problem.

I liked Blood Bridle's narrative explanation of how swords and cabers require that mythic power bump from ancestors to actually *hurt* demons (because: timestream?) which is why researching them would make no difference. Hats and coifs? Still OK to stop fireballs thrown at you even from demonic sources, especially if mithral or what-have-you. Doesn't explain how level 1 weapons can be effective against the hordes but yadda yadda, power of unity and bloodline togetherness when fighting even with basic weapons, murmur murmur.

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-SahkbXWsiYw/T_8YZ2Z1r4I/AAAAAAAAAOk/PDbztapgIQA/s1600/the+mask+3.JPG

Even lvl 1 weapons are wounding the demon throughout time, forever and always. That demon is not only no more when it dies, it never was. This could explain what is actually happening with item levels too: The concept of mankind is winning out in reality vs the concept of the demons. As we gain strength (through the Immortal King ancestor magic) we're able to harm the demons more and as the demons are reduced in number the idea of them has less viability (as anyone who knew the destroyed demons forgets them) so they can resist the encroachment of man upon their reality less. It's dual descriptions of the same effect.

Have we discussed having rare badass types of demons who have the equivalent of the old D&D "Can only be hurt by +1 weapons and above?" property? Because those would be scary. Non-relic weapons do only 25% base damage or something.

Maybe even uberboss superdemonlord guys who can only be hurt by weapons of +2 and above? Non-legendary weapons need not apply?

Flipside: Demons who can only be hurt by demonic weapons, take 1/4 damage from anything else. Hmmm.

There was a fun part in Baldur's Gate 2 where a room contained a bunch of golems: each requiring a different kind of weapon to harm it. The mithril needed +something, there was one which could only be harmed by magic weapons, and the magic golem could only be harmed by normal weapons. The biggest twist was the need for normal weapons because ah'd gotten used to having the party decked out in all-magic bling. Suddenly those looted clubs I was going to sell became important items again.

The problem with such a design in Massive Chalice would be the lack of inventory during battles. If it's like X-com, you don't bring spare weapons into battle with you to have a lot of alternate options for your loadout (magical, normal, +x). However, such an idea could be implemented with primary weapon vs secondary weapon, ranged vs melee, single target vs multitarget, etc. To avoid hard-checking scenarios where you CAN'T kill an enemy ah'd favor soft-checks like an enemy takes reduced damage from one weapon type and to compensate increased damage from another. So you could split your team between the demons which take 1.5x damage from melee weapons and the demons which take 1.5x from ranged weapons.

Playing with the game's time theme, there could be a demon ability where it transfers incoming damage to its' future self, or takes a reduced % of damage for a time but an increased % of damage after the ability ends or vice-versa to affect different behaviour patterns (does the demon hang in back to eat up its' time then charge when tougher or is it tough first and then running away when its' shield falls?). But these are ideas better suited to...the Demon Design thread of the future.

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The Regent...the Partner

Why can't we have Lords and Ladies?

http://www.vview.co.za/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/lord-and-lady.jpg

I think that this image is the exact reason that I don't want to use the term Lord and Lady! I think that these are pretty loaded terms that bring to mind a time when women were not welcome in battle. MASSIVE CHALICE is essentially a game about fighting and I want both sexes to be equally capable and represented on the battlefield.

I'd like to find a term that is more gender-neutral. It's out there... we'll keep searching for it and talking about it!

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The Regent...the Partner

Why can't we have Lords and Ladies?

http://www.vview.co.za/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/lord-and-lady.jpg

I think that this image is the exact reason that I don't want to use the term Lord and Lady! I think that these are pretty loaded terms that bring to mind a time when women were not welcome in battle. MASSIVE CHALICE is essentially a game about fighting and I want both sexes to be equally capable and represented on the battlefield.

I'd like to find a term that is more gender-neutral. It's out there... we'll keep searching for it and talking about it!

Seneschal seems to make the most sense once they've retired to their keeps, which is gender neutral as far as I can tell, and you could just have their titles be their battle professions untill that changes.

Although, to me, bringing the gender seperation up in the combat jobs make for some amusing names: alchemistress, caberjackette, arbalistress, vanguardette. I can't help but think that these terms will show up naturally, though I understand why you don't want to instigate it.

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