What if army bonuses applied to everyone at the same location instead of just followers? I think this would have two benefits. First, it would reduce micromanagement. When my new orcs meet up with my existing army before a battle I don’t have to check in to have them follow my general because it just automatically happens. Second, this opens the way to new kind of cooperation. My desert maiden could now give bonuses to orcs controlled by other players at the same location. This could create new kind of interaction like you bring the desert maiden and I will bring the bartender. It could also allow much more creative things. Could your tangle mage teleport my army of orcs if we are at the same location?
Yep, I’m on board with this idea. The code will need a rework but I think it’s something we should do.
For your own units there’s no question at all in my mind that this is a good idea. I stay up late or get up early at least a couple of nights a week, just to combine armies when they meet up for a battle that will happen during my normal sleeping hours. Not having to do this, and just trusting that all my units will fight together when I send them to the same battle, would be wonderful.
However, I’ve gone back and forth with myself on the idea of Generals being able to buff other players’ armies. I’m very strongly ambivalent on it; sometimes I feel like it would be this huge boon for cooperation, but other times I feel like it devalues the player bringing the support units. For example:
- You and I are defending an unfortified town together against a Zombie horde with 1500 Strength.
- You provide 100 Human Swordsmen at 10 base Strength each.
- I provide a Mighty General with 200 Strength and a +5 army bonus.
- Our combined army Strength is 1705. We win!
- When the battle is over, you walk away with 88% of the Valour (1500/1705), even though your units provided only 58% of the total army Strength (1000/1705).
I’m not necessarily saying that this is bad; it encourages diplomacy and so on of course. What I do think is that this sort of gameplay would likely feel pretty unsatisfying for the player bringing the support troops, since they’re being explicitly told by the game that they barely contributed to the battle, even though it would have been lost outright if they hadn’t been there.
That’s still better than losing the battle completely because your general can’t buff your teammates’ units. I would rather have the game think I’m barely contributing, than actually be barely contributing. It’s the same problem you get with players that focus on building an economy for other players, and would you want to remove that simply because the game doesn’t acknowledge it?
Set up the framework for them to be able to cooperate, then worry about the game acknowledging their contribution.
Naturally; this is the plus side for doing this. I just didn’t mention it because I felt the benefits were already clear.
Of course not: but I think it would also be nice if the game did acknowledge it!
True, but don’t tack that on as a requirement for implementing the other changes. One step at a time.
I’m not trying to write a requirements document here; I’m just voicing opinions for consideration.
I think the current behavior, where one player’s General cannot buff another player’s units, is defensible from a flavor perspective as well as understandable to new players.
Extending General-type effects to all Mortals at the same location would be a large buff for all of those units, and I don’t think such huge balance changes should be considered Must-Have Functionality without a thorough discussion of all their aspects. Frankly I would worry a lot about giving the players such a big all-around boost in power.
I don’t. It’s Beta; if the player power boost needs to be rebalanced, it will be. It’ll give the devs an excuse to buff up the zombie bosses and they’ll be utterly giddy.
Also, I would argue it’s not really that big of a power boost, since players can have any cards in their deck. If a Mighty General is buffing another player’s humans, then that other player could’ve easily deployed a Mighty General himself. The times I think it would be an actual huge powerboost is if a Hero that gives a terrain boost (like the Outcast Warchief) traverses half the map to apply it to players who aren’t close to any settlements they could deploy that hero from. And even then, I stand by “err in favor of anything that encourages player cooperation”.
One of the things that supposed to be intresting about the game is that it’s co-op, so anything that rewards players for co-operating should allowed.
It was really disappointing to have to remove deploying at other people’s banners but that really did feel like trolling.
From a development point of view the changes is the same. ALl units in the same place and player get the buff as opposed to all units in the same place and living get the buff.
Where I see the potential problem is the early game, as the players have their first large-scale battles to secure their front lines. At this point in the game, everyone is racing to beat the Zombies to whatever threatened settlements they can, and typically their Strength is limited by what they can afford to play out of their starting hands. Cooperative early defenses are often barely held by the one or two units/heroes that each defending player has time to put in place.
Allowing one player to provide the units while the other provides the generals would often mean that players can defend a location together for far fewer total resources, since both the units and the heroes are more efficient. That means the players can spend more money elsewhere, and I’d think that an extra couple hundred gold at the start of the game would cascade into a pretty noticeable “buff” for the entire thing.
But players could technically do the same thing by giving some of their starting gold to the besieged player to buy those Generals himself. Unless you’re talking about a player with a good hand covering for a player with a bad one…
But you know what? I’m alright with that. Gaining advantages from cooperation is the point of the whole game. If people are discussing their hands and plotting who to send where, mission accomplished. They’ve earned that extra hundred couple gold.
Could you add that as a cheap power to the banner units?
“Call To Arms: For 1 hour, allies may deploy to this banner as if it were their own. Cost 1 mana.”
That way it a) can’t be used without permission and b) requires cooperation.
I’d maybe make the duration a touch longer, maybe 3 hours or something, but in general I think this idea is fantastic.