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Thread: More Unhallowed Things: Ascetic, Opulent and Tyrant

  1. #1
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    More Unhallowed Things: Ascetic, Opulent and Tyrant

    I remember reading someone comment that Tyrant was not detrimental to Unhallowed whatsoever since they cannot suffer from unrest. They might have mentioned the other two, but I wanted to bring it back up in case it was lost in the shuffle, as this seems a trifle broken:

    Ascetic: +3, An Ascetic Sorcerer Lord can only stockpile 1000g.
    Opulent: +2, An Opulent Sorcerer Lord receives a 10% penalty to his Food, Production, and Gold.
    Tyrant: +2, All cities (except the capital) of a Tyrant have unrest increased by 10%.

    Both Ascetic and Tyrant are basically free for Unhallowed in my opinion, which is +5. On top of that, Opulent is only detrimental (according to the text, not sure if it affects Negative Energy in-game) on the Production side, which is definitely a detriment, but it isn't nearly as much as also hitting Food and Gold.

    So I feel like I can get an extra +7 books for free, which seems crazy. Is this something others have noticed? Is it already in the pipeline to have dynamic Negative Disciplines based on race (if any other races are similarly unique like Unhallowed? Or am I just overanalyzing it?
    Last edited by Troy_Costisick; 03-13-2015 at 12:24 AM.

  2. #2
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  3. #3
    Here are my thoughts. The Unhallowed are very hard to play and under powered. Perhaps the way we think about them should change. Maybe they should be the faction that supports deep exploration of magic. A lord who chooses them chooses to live in seclusion from the rest of the world in order to pursue arcane knowledge for ultimate power.
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  4. #4
    That is an excellent point, Cogbyrn.

    Now, Opulent should effect Negative Energy production, but Tyrant is completely free and Ascetic is very, very close to free.

    So, what we have to consider is whether or not that's OK when a player is using the Unhallowed. My gut instinct is that “No. No, that's not OK.” is the answer. Fixing it is something that certainly merits community discussion.

    First off, I want to say that WoM is huge and that the Unhallowed are very different from the other races. These disciplines falling through the cracks is not a big deal and we should be able to easily fix it. (I was certain something would slip through, I just want sure what.)

    Right off the top of my head I see a few possible solutions:

    1 – Remove Tyrant and Ascetic. I don't think any of us want to do it, but it is a simple fix. I don't see Opulent as a big problem because the Unhallowed have a simplified economy. So, as long as it affects NE it should be fine. (Plus they can generate gold using world resources and that would be subject to the 10% gold penalty.)

    2 – Make Unhallowed and Tyrant mutually exclusive and have Ascetic apply to NE storage as well. (As I said before, Opulent should be alright.) I don't really like this idea, but it would help a little. It has two problems in my mind: First, I don't like the idea of mutually exclusive races and disciplines (I don't want to start that trend). Second, Ascetic would still lack “teeth” in my opinion. (Of course, Ascetic is currently easy to work with depending on your play style.)

    3 – Make Tyrant apply to the Unhallowed and make Ascetic apply to all resources (Gold, Food, Negative Energy, and Mana).

    First point: The Unhallowed have no unrest because they are completely united in their cause. However, if a Sorcerer Lord was ruling over them that they felt didn't completely share their vision that could cause unrest. It would be a minor penalty I admit, but it would keep it from being “free”.

    Second point: Making Ascetic apply to all resources would give it not only teeth, but fangs, lol. It would also close the door on Ascetic + Alchemist for free goodies (Which I admit I would like to use myself, lol.)


    At this point those are what I see as the “Big 3”, but I certainly welcome more feedback.

    And, Troy, I do see where you're coming from and I'm considering your point as well. However, I think we do need to address these disciplines in some way.

    So, thoughts?
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  5. #5
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    I like the third option the best; but there's an exception: R'jak (or anyone with majority death magic picks) should not be able to take Tyrant, because Death magic aligns nicely with the unhallowed's cause.

    So my conclusion is to suggest that you remove Tyrant, but keep Ascetic (and make it apply to all resources).

  6. #6
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    If Opulent affects NE production, then I agree that it isn't an issue. The tooltip just needs to be adjusted so everyone understands.

    I also don't like the idea of mutually exclusive faction/discipline combinations. On one hand it kind of makes sense, but on the other it does set a potentially negative precedent that can be especially confusing for new players.

    I think the main issue with Tyrant being 10% unrest is whether it enables unrest entirely for Unhallowed or is a flat 10%. Would negative events that increase unrest have any affect? Would having very few troops increase unrest? Would anything else increase unrest? If NOT, the 10% unrest still feels "free", because shrines/temples are huge for NE production and would reduce unrest at the same time to immediately counteract the effect. If, on the other hand, these religious buildings didn't have any effect on Unrest for Unhallowed (as they may not now depending on how it's coded up), it would be a permanent 10% unrest that would be unremovable, which would be frustrating.

    With respect to Ascetic, having a 1k cap on NE still definitely feels free, but perhaps that's just my playstyle. However, counter-balancing extra food with additional production/research in cities is pretty easy, and it isn't like NE is used to purchase buildings (though maybe it should be instead of Population sacrifice? Because losing population can hurt extra badly and makes me sad). Now if you make Ascetic cap *everything*, that's a bit of a different story and still impacts the potentially more magically-inclined Unhallowed race.

    Honestly, if I had to choose, I'd choose the following:

    Tyrant: I've stared at this line for a while now and can't think of a really good idea that I like. I think disabling it for Unhallowed makes the most sense, but that's just a bummer. My second thought was having it reduce the rate of population growth by 10% instead of having it increase unrest, which would work across the board. Would that warrant a +2 still, though? Am I forgetting another discipline that would counteract this/also has the same effect?

    Ascetic: Have it limit all resources to a 1k cap. This seems only fair, and helps apply in case another faction has any unique resources (like if you decided to have a fae or some goodly race that operated on positive energy or something). I know it's less harmful for Unhallowed, but Unhallowed have their own unique disadvantages in having to balance their one resource across building/unit upkeep.

    Also, Troy's explanation has some delightful fluff, and there IS the possibility that an Unhallowed-lover would discover that benefit on his own, thus feeling "cool" about making a discovery that helps his race. Unfortunately I think it's more likely for people to feel like Unhallowed are unbalanced/given an unfair advantage if they realize it, or an Unhallowed player feeling like they *have* to take these every game. If we wanted to go down this road, perhaps it should be a faction perk (maybe other more savage races like Orcs would start with a few less options that they could compensate with more savage-based negative disciplines?), while having negative disciplines still universally be negative for everyone.

  7. #7
    Archmage of the Central Tower Happerry's Avatar
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    I am against removing any of those disciplines and having Ascetic apply to mana, just speaking for myself.
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  8. #8
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    From the wiki:
    "They are undeath, the living legions of the dead. Fueled by negative energy they are the absolute opposite of true life. The Unhallowed fill the Shadow Plane and seek to destroy all life and corrupt the planes. They have no love for gold, they make no treaties and seek no allies. Their conquest is as irresistible as time, their victory as inevitable as the grave. All life will fall before them and after this, true life will at last begin."

    Putting this race in was commendable, but it has consequences.

    If anything, the Unhallowed should favor a Tyrant.
    And what about Pacifist, Merciless, Prude and Wasteful?
    For that matter, would you have any strong reason to start with Despot, Merchant, or Purveyor as a positive trait?
    (I assume they'd work only after conquering other races's cities... which your undead subjects would want to raze anyway!!!).
    A lot of things would make little sense for the Unhallowed.
    You simply cannot have them work with the same rules.

    I wouldn't worry about precedents. They are a precedent already, it's the whole point.
    I think you should go big with the theme.
    If you don't, they'll end up indeed feeling like a re-skin of the other races, after all.
    It's been done by other games, and it's pathetic. Trust my words...

    Disallow the picks that make no sense, or insert other balancing factors.
    Simplest option would probably be having different selection sets of Positives and Negatives.
    That would work for me, but it's less flavorful.
    Optimal would be having different effects for some of the Disciplines (for instance, Pacifist would be particularly unacceptable by undead subjects, it would add a form of "unrest", and so it might give you 3 points instead of 2), or even invert some of them (Tyrant might end up in the Positives column, helping your start with the Dead.... it'd still be troublesome with other races, but so would be keeping them together with the Dead to begin with!).

    Just a few "extreme" ideas to convey how I feel about the subject.
    Of course, I have no idea what can be coded in at this point and what cannot.
    Last edited by mastroego; 02-02-2015 at 09:07 PM.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Cogbyrn View Post
    Also, Troy's explanation has some delightful fluff, and there IS the possibility that an Unhallowed-lover would discover that benefit on his own, thus feeling "cool" about making a discovery that helps his race. Unfortunately I think it's more likely for people to feel like Unhallowed are unbalanced/given an unfair advantage if they realize it, or an Unhallowed player feeling like they *have* to take these every game. If we wanted to go down this road, perhaps it should be a faction perk (maybe other more savage races like Orcs would start with a few less options that they could compensate with more savage-based negative disciplines?), while having negative disciplines still universally be negative for everyone.
    It would be very easy, from a flavor standpoint, to say that the types of Sorcerer-Lords that favor the undead have the abrasive and ostentatious personalities that drive them into seclusion. It does make sense that a ascetic tyrant who loves to butcher innocents would choose the undead. However, I only made that suggestion because it was easy. The devs wouldn't have to change anything except the description of the Unhallowed which is the matter of a few keystrokes. If they felt that other areas of the game need their attention instead, fine- here's the solution. The problem is, even with a new description for the dead, it may be hard to convey that idea to someone who's not as invested as the rest of us in learning the behind-the-scenes rationale for WoM's design. They may very likely see it as "cheating" in some respect.

    So, if the devs are interested in making mechanical changes, though, then we need to look at applying equivalent penalties when it comes to negative disciplines, IMHO. Anything that affects food or gold should affect negative energy (like taking the Merchant trait makes you a merchant in negative energy instead of a merchant of gold). Anything that affects unrest should affect Unhallowed production (increased unrest penalizes production, decreased unrest improves it). The only modification from there is just to change the descriptions of the disciplines to reflect how they work with undead.

    The larger issue facing us, which is also evident in the other Unhallowed thread, is that there is a lack of vision with this race. I wish devoncop was still here to tell us what he'd like, but since he's not we have to make the best of it. I can't tell if the Unhallowed should be early rushers that just spam cities everywhere to generate negative energy or if they are a slow creeping doom that is nigh impossible to root out once they take hold or if they are just a good midgame race like the High Men and Grey Elves but with different mechanics. I could see them as the, "GET ALL THE SPELLZ!!111!!!" race if we do nothing to the disciplines, but like I said, that's hard to convey.

    So, I kinda want to know from the devs: What role are the Unhallowed supposed to play in the game? Are they lategame bloomers like the Draconians, midgame masters like the Grey Elves, or earlygame rushers like the Myrodants (better be)? Until I know what they're supposed to play like, I have a real hard time suggesting any kind of changes with any degree of confidence.

    Peace,

    -Troy
    My RPG Design and Theory Blog: http://socratesrpg.blogspot.com/

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Troy_Costisick View Post
    So, if the devs are interested in making mechanical changes, though, then we need to look at applying equivalent penalties when it comes to negative disciplines, IMHO. Anything that affects food or gold should affect negative energy (like taking the Merchant trait makes you a merchant in negative energy instead of a merchant of gold). Anything that affects unrest should affect Unhallowed production (increased unrest penalizes production, decreased unrest improves it).
    It's an interesting point that people may wonder "why does Negative Energy get penalized, but I can't buff it anywhere with positive disciplines?" However, being a merchant of NE might be...strange. I get the mechanics, but the fluff feels all wrong to me. Though maybe they could re-word it in the event that you choose Unhallowed so it's a different title that makes sense, and provides a NE buff instead of Gold/Food?

    However, I mainly wanted to point out that I don't think it's fair for Unhallowed to take a Production hit when a discipline mentions Unrest. If you have additional Unrest, even from a Discipline, can't you just use Temples/Shrines to compensate and not really get any unrest? If you can counter-act it, then you can have +10% unrest in a city, but no negative benefit. If you're taking a 10% production hit as Unhallowed, there's no way "around" that. I don't even know that any Unhallowed buildings give a production bonus, but I haven't had a good opportunity to try to take Unhallowed to a later game yet and check out some of their later tier buildings.

    I do also like the idea of trying to keep Unhallowed nicely asymmetric, and to be fair, there are some positive disciplines that don't necessarily work for them either (Mentor (unless you go Alchemy to maintain the gold cost (is there a gold cost on that Mentor hero?)), Merchant, etc.). Perhaps part of the balance is grabbing those +s so you can grab some other items as a unique faction/sorc lord interaction?

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