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Thread: The Changing Of The Guard (Updating The Unit Lists)

  1. #21
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    Hey there. Brand new to these forums so this may have already been discussed. Seriously considering pledging since MOM is one of my all time favs and I still play it a lot thanks to GOG.

    My concern here is more, are the names being changed purely for flavour? The only issue I really have for that is that on some level I find it a bit innately obfuscating. If one faction has a bowmen and another has an archer, it seems like an extra layer that I need to peel back when I am making my decisions while playing the game, for arguably limited benefit.

    I understand flavor is still important (I'm a bit more lenient towards the undead faction being different, since by the sounds of it they will more likely play differently). Word/name use is still important however, because people will still be drawing on all their previous experience from various 4X games to make associations. For instance, when I hear the word "Pioneer" I'm immediately reminded of the Pioneer unit from Colonization. My first instinct is "Can I now improve tiles in a MOM game!?" But if Pioneer is just the elf specific name for "Settler" (unit that creates new cities), then there's some innate inertia that must be overcome while playing the game.

    If there are differences between the units (Dark Elf Warlocks vs Magicians) then the name change makes total sense and I'm 100% behind.

    Obviously at the end of the day, these are things one will learn to deal with when going forward and eventually get used to. I just like my flavour to be used in a way that is less obfuscating at a glance.
    Last edited by alanschu; 04-04-2013 at 07:33 PM.

  2. #22
    Moderator Asmodai's Avatar
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    First, welcome to the forums alanschu!

    I don't believe even in MoM units that shared the same name between factions were usually the same. If there was a generic "settler" that every race used that had the exact same stats and either had no difference at all or the differences were only cosmetic then I'd agree with you that it doesn't make sense to change the name. In MoM for example though a High Man Settler cost 60 production to build, 2 gold and 1 food upkeep, and have 1 defense while a Draconian Settler cost 150 production to build, 3 gold and 1 food upkeep, have 2 defense, and can fly! That's just one example but the point being there are lots of little differences between units of the same name in MoM and if there are such differences then can't we consider them truly different units and give them different names? I believe that is the case in WoM, the units are in fact different so the name changes are justified and not ONLY for flavor.

    As an example of the other way though in MoM the catapult unit as well as the various ship types were in fact shared units (by those who could build them). As such they had the exact same graphics and names for every faction. WoM I believe is making different "siege engines" instead of just a single generic catapult and they really haven't talked much about ship types but I do agree if they are the exact same between multiple factions (excluding cosmetics) the same name should be kept.

  3. #23
    The different names do represent real differences in the units, but I agree that we need to try to make the names as intuitive as possible. Of course, as the "build menu" will have a run down on what each unit does and what it's stats are it should never give you too much trouble.

    Oh, and go ahead and back us. It should make you feel cooler. Give it a try and let us know how it works for you, lol.

  4. #24
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    I don't believe even in MoM units that shared the same name between factions were usually the same. If there was a generic "settler" that every race used that had the exact same stats and either had no difference at all or the differences were only cosmetic then I'd agree with you that it doesn't make sense to change the name. In MoM for example though a High Man Settler cost 60 production to build, 2 gold and 1 food upkeep, and have 1 defense while a Draconian Settler cost 150 production to build, 3 gold and 1 food upkeep, have 2 defense, and can fly!
    I can see what you're saying, but I see the difference here more in a "racial bonus." There's still the basic idea that Spearmen are the cheaper grunt unit, swordsmen are a bit stronger and more expensive, and so forth.

    So even though I can recognize that a Dark Elf Spearman isn't exactly the same as a High Human Spearmen (since basic Dark Elf units have magic attacks), it's still easy for me to intuitively transition between different races and have a reasonable expectation of what I am getting with respect to unit names.

    If the Draconian Swordsmen were called Draconian Longswordsmen, my innate reaction as a 4X gamer is to investigate whether or not there are further differences beyond my racial bonus. So "Okay, they can fly... that's a Draconian thing. They have large shields like Swordsmen.... they seem a bit tougher.... is that a Draconian thing or a Longswordsman thing? Is there still a swordsman unit somewhere?"

    Granted, this doesn't exist if the unit names are never shared. But I'm of the mind that such distinctions in names are more strongly understood gameplay wise if they are reflected in a more meaningful difference. So Dark Elf Warlocks I can quickly see "Ah, they have different spells associated with them. And some other stat differences. This must be a unique unit." If they were Dark Elf Magicians I'd be surprised to use them and go "Wait... Doom Bolt instead of Fireball??"

    This is why the undead faction naming is something more accepted for me, since they are a race that will intrinsically play in a different way than the other factions (at least from my early understanding).

  5. #25
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    On the Golem discussion, I side a bit more towards the animated metal variety myself; if only to clearly differentiate them from an Earth Elemental, which I see as more Stone than the muddy looking variety that was in MoM. It also opens up the fact that perhaps they can become more powerful if made from special materials found on the Planes, if you want to get that far into it.

    High Men seems better than the bland "human" term. Also being a fan of Tolkien I feel it counts a nod in his direction, in reference to the Dśnedain so to speak, as well as lends more credence to the "holy" aspect of Paladins, and etc named units.

  6. #26
    Moderator Asmodai's Avatar
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    @alanschu,
    I'm just of the opinion that if the stats are different then it makes sense for the name to be too. When the stats are the same (as in the case of the Catapult and ships in MoM) then I fully agree the name should remain the same as it's unnecessarily confusing to keep changing the name when either nothing or just the cosmetics have changed. That said I don't have a problem with calling every faction's "Settler" unit a Settler unless there is a big difference. For example the Goblin/Orc faction as discussed has a "Super Settler" in that it can pick up a whole city and move it and we've been using the name "Horde" for that. I DO think that should have a different name because it's significantly different even though it does serve the same settler role (and then some). I think you'll find depending on the name is a dangerous thing though because for example a Dwarven Crossbowman and a High Man Crossbowman are not as similar as their name may imply. High Men have both bowmen and crossbowmen with bowmen being a weaker unit (Warrior vs. Fighter if you know D20 and with light armor vs medium if my understanding is correct... plus Crossbowman may start at a higher level being more advanced units). Dwarven Crossbowmen I believe are likely lower level warriors like the bowmen but I believe they have heavy armor and of course use crossbows. As such Dwarven Crossbowmen are likely more comparable to High Man bowmen than the High Man Crossbowmen their name would imply.

    ---------- Post added at 06:02 PM ---------- Previous post was at 05:50 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Larry4444 View Post
    On the Golem discussion, I side a bit more towards the animated metal variety myself; if only to clearly differentiate them from an Earth Elemental, which I see as more Stone than the muddy looking variety that was in MoM. It also opens up the fact that perhaps they can become more powerful if made from special materials found on the Planes, if you want to get that far into it.

    High Men seems better than the bland "human" term. Also being a fan of Tolkien I feel it counts a nod in his direction, in reference to the Dśnedain so to speak, as well as lends more credence to the "holy" aspect of Paladins, and etc named units.
    This is a D20 Earth Elemental:

    It's an only vaguely humoid pile of dirt and rocks. I think we should keep it that way.
    Whereas a Stone Golem I propose would be a finely crafted stone statue of an oversized Dwarven warrior with glowing arcane runes. Getting them confused would be akin to confusing a pile of rocks in your back yard lined up to be roughly shaped like a person and a Greek statue in an art museum.
    The problem seems to be that even Stone golems in D20 are very powerful and Iron golems even more so. Therefore we seem to be looking to make them WEAKER. I contend Stone Golems are exactly right on the power scale (CR11) for the Dwarven Apex unit while Iron I agree are too strong but others seem to disagree.
    I'm not suggesting we get rid of High Men for just Human. I'm suggesting we make a fictional Kingdom name or something, like your example of Dunedain. Putting "High" in front of "Men" isn't exactly a huge step up in flavor from just calling them "Human".

  7. #27
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    I'm just of the opinion that if the stats are different then it makes sense for the name to be too.
    I'm not married to my impression. It was just a simple elegance that I love about the original MoM.

    If races have a racial bonus, there's less need to rename the function of the units IMO. If you end up renaming the units, I'd recommend not making any racial bonus explicit, since it'll only obfuscate the issue. I'd also recommend changing the name to something more flavourful that cannot be associated with the base unit, to further the separation. Don't call them "Draconian Pikemen" instead of "Draconian Spearmen." Accent their uniqueness by referring to them as "Draconian Honor Guard" or something along those lines.

    If the benefits to the unit is simply a racial bonus, however, the difference in the unit name is implicit. "High Man Swordsman" vs "Draconian Swordsman" is a difference. At least that's the way I see it.


    Seems we both just have our preferences, which is certainly part of the joys of game design haha. Good luck Aaron


    Although you do mention it's using the D20 system, whereas I'm definitely still thinking in terms of the old Master of Magic system. I don't know enough about how D20 really applies to the combat mechanics of this game. Right now I'm just assuming the simple levels for reconciling chance to hit, armor class, and and maybe damage.

    I do admit I find the simple elegance of Master of Magic a large part of what makes it so appealing, so I likely have some innate resistance for things that I see that deviate in ways that I don't entirely understand.

  8. #28
    I feel certain that the final naming conventions we come up with will be both elegant and clear.

    Touching the D20 system: As units level up it mainly changes the chance to hit, hit points and a few other base stats. You don't really need to know the mechanics to understand the benefits

  9. #29
    Mage of the Lesser Tower Rybon's Avatar
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    I kind of like the idea that each race having it's own name for each unit, it gives them a better cultural background. I mean just look at humans on earth. Take the Napoleon time frame, just think of how many name calvary had during this time. But if you say Hussar it brings up a certain image right. I mean if you break it down it is just a guy on horse with a sword. As you fight each race you will get use to each and know how to defend against it.
    Last edited by Rybon; 04-05-2013 at 12:18 PM.

  10. #30
    Archmage of the Inner Ring ampoliros's Avatar
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    If Iron Golems are too powerful, use a softer metal like Bronze or Brass or Copper or Aluminum.
    Or just call it a Rune Golem since the Dwarven Rune Wizards are the ones doing the animating.

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