Boss Immortal powers

I wanted in on this.

First of all, I really liked the idea of tiers of Immortal powers, i.e. lvl 1 is your standard zombie, lvl 2 is maybe a localized power that has some sway on what’s going on, lvl 3 is an immortal that greatly changes gameplay.

You’d obviously have to some way of “curving into” the more difficult undead. with lvl 3’s only really showing up mid-late game.

Here’s some general ideas:

An undead that removes all positive buffs (except fortification bonuses) to all mortals within x leagues

An undead with a root/compulsion ability

More undead that have “after death” abilities besides spiders and dragons.

An Undead with a ranged attack (maybe triggers when a unit enters within a certain range)

An undead with an ability that mimics Wolf Chariots.

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Agreed on the curved boss powers, they should allow for a more balanced and fun game, and allow the zombies to escalate better alongside the players even when they don’t do so well on the map :slight_smile:

Some comments on thethanx’s ideas:

Quite like this idea, as it provides a kind of counterplay to the strategies of the players. Should this also affect experience though? Seeing as that can be quite a significant power bonus (i’ve seen it double or triple an army’s combat value), and it’s kinda inherent to the unit. On the other hand, XP and fortification bonuses are two of the most used and most powerful buffs (perhaps only exceeded by commander hero buffs), and having them as exceptions might make this power kinda wishy-washy, especially if the players don’t rely on it (though that could be argued for some of the existing bosses as well).

We actually already have at least one Immortal boss with this ability: the Elven Lord of Terror (or something), who forces units away. I don’t dislike the idea of more units like that (keeps it interesting), but two notes on the matter:
First of all, these bosses can have massive impact in the right places, as many tactics rely on good timing, movement and positioning to overcome the zombies inherent strength advantage.
Secondly, they can be really annoying to fight, especially a “pusher” like the Terror Lord, since it requires very precise timing and estimations to even engage them in the first place. Having multiple of these running around might make it an extremely frustrating experience as players see their units get thrown around without being able to do (effectively) anything about it or take out the bosses (since any units near them get caught up in the maelstorm of roots, pushes and pulls). We should probably keep that in mind when designing and judging these bosses.

Interesting idea, though it would probably be more like an ability which just fires every x hours (since that is how ranged abilities, and all abilities in general work). Might get a bit annoying, but nothing that players can’t work around (if the range is kep reasonable of course). I think it should just hit the nearest unit/stack, not all units in range. Maybe it “shoots” undead? as in, it creates a certain amount of undead on the nearest mortal stack/settlement/crossroad?

For the unaware ones: Wolf Chariots are an Orc unit which automatically does a ranged attack before it enters melee combat. Can’t be fired manually.

Yeah, I was thinking the opposite, more like Dragonhelm knights. It would be difficult to deal with, but isn’t that sort of the idea? Probably not an “every unit within range,” but maybe closest/smallest?

Yeah, the former rather than the latter. Once a stack got within 1 or 2 leagues it would fire off an attack of x strength. Flinging undead extra leagues seems like an odd ability, but why not?

I was thinking about something like that too. It probably would be difficult to deal with without a good plan/preparation, or at least require you to change tactics to deal with them, but thats how bosses should be (thats why they’re bosses after all). I just wanted to point out the inherent risks in taking the players control away over their own units, so we can avoid those pitfalls :slight_smile:

Perhaps the weakest unit/hero so the player is hurt but not decimated? Or the strongest one, but limit the range to 1 so players can work around the boss if needed? That would also prevent players from “sacrificing” a weak hero or unit to the boss so the rest of the army remains unaffected, and provide a counter to the XP merging.
Or perhaps it draws a random stack ? Though that might be micro’d around, which can nerf the boss and annoy the player for having to micro like that.

That most feared of all zombies: the Undeadapult!

On a (slightly) more serious note: the ability would probably just be fired every x hours: The game doesn’t seem to have the functionality right now which allows it to go “if situation x is occuring, then y”, so instead it uses timed abilities and goes “when timer x goes off: check everything in the surrouning Y leagues. For any units fullfilling Z requirements, do A”.

I would hope all the bosses would require planning and/or a wide variety of tactics to handle them :smile:

More ideas:

a sort of “plague spreader” a fast, weak individual unit that could avoid melee combat and move from town to town causing blight.

A unit that had bonuses against the stronger, singular heroes. Maybe it would launch an extra xxx/str attack against heroes before entering combat, or heroes in combat with the unit would have to make an additional saving through regardless of victory.

I also like the idea of a unit that hides himself and troops near him unless you were within 1 league or so (but that’s Jay’s idea, not mine). On the other hand… I’d rather just have Fog of War be a thing overall.

Boss Abiity Ideas

  • A boss that doesn’t always follow the “moves to the closest settlement” rule. Could skip a settlement (or a random skip X settlements rule when faced with every other decision), pursue the weakest force, move directly to a certain kind of settlement (maybe a Dwarf town, or a Mana pool).

  • A boss that is more powerful when fought in settlements than when faced in areas outside of them

  • A boss that corrupts some of your own army, turning them into undead BEFORE the real fight begins. This could work something like the Wolf Chariot mentioned above, where a Range-type attack is dealt when the armies meet, and any killed forces become undead and are added to the Undead increasing their might in the fight (which plays out as normal after the hour of preparing for war time).

  • A boss that’s capable of transforming one type of terrain into another, possibly even able to serve as a bridge when it gets to a river. This could last for a certain amount of time, enabling any zombies in its army to cross what would otherwise be impenetrable boundaries.

That’s what I have time to type up for now. I’ll add more later. :slight_smile:

Haven’t seen many ideas here that I really like so I’ll offer a few of my own.

In general I think it would be cool if every basic zombie had some type of low level ability. As far as the bosses go I do agree with the idea of having one of them make a ranged attack; one like the Storm Friar or Marsh Warden, but have it only affect mortal units.

Also consider giving some bosses the ability to take damage without begin killed out right; so instead of having a 1x1000 boss, have the boss be 20x50. Then you can start playing around with abilities based on ‘rage’; i.e. the weaker he gets power wise the more devastating his effect becomes special wise.

The ability like the “Wolf Chariots” would be another good one.

I also know that a boss that can only be killed with melee or ranged has been suggested before.

Hopefully this will spark some more suggestions.

Here’s my question: why are there no Monster Bosses? The first time I had a SP game with a mana pool I couldn’t defend, I was massively apprehensive watching a couple Blighted Gryphons approaching it… only to find out that monsters don’t spawn bosses. This was a huge disappointment! Monster Bosses could not only be very cool, but they’d also make immortal monsters (cough Hydras cough) much more of a threat.

Right now, most monstrous zombies are minor nuisances at best, and the ones that are more threatening (e.g. Dragons, Gryphons) can often be helpful because they’ll blight mana pools before basic zombies can reach them, thus preventing a boss from rising. In my mind, a monster blighting a mana pool should be the worst possible outcome, not the best!

Monster Boss Ideas

(thrown together with more regard for scariness than for balance)

  • Dragon
    • Fire Elemental:
      • STR 1x1500
      • Inferno: Every 6h, all units within 1 League suffer a STR 500 Ranged Attack.
    • Devourer of Legends:
      • STR 1x1000
      • No Good Deed: Whenever a player gains Valour, permanently gain X*100 Strength, where X is the amount of Valour gained.
  • Hydra
    • Leyline Tunneler:
      • STR 1x2500
      • Fey Portal: Every 18h, teleports to a random unblighted Mana Pool (unlimited range).
    • Mirror Lord:
      • STR 1x1000
      • Mirror, Mirror: Every 12h, spawn a new Mirror Lord at this creature’s location (this one obviously has the potential to get way out of hand).
      • Speed 3h/League - Swimming; 8h/League by Road (a non-swimming movement is necessary to avoid stalemates with players unable to kill a huge stack that’s stuck in the swamps).
    • Winged Serpents:
      • STR 3x2000
      • Speed 3h/League - Flying
      • Hydragenesis: When a Winged Serpent dies, spawn three Immortal Hydras at that location.
  • Spider
    • Verminous Harbinger:
      • STR 1x1000
      • Speed 3h/League by Road
      • Omen of Pestilence: Cards may not be deployed in, and living troops may not enter, Settlements within 2 Leagues. Restores in 3h. (You’d still be able to recruit from within the town, but any movement orders would stop at 95%).
    • Weblord:
      • STR 1x500
      • Speed 3h/League by Road
      • Storm of Silk: Every 18h, all Mortals within 2 Leagues are rooted for 24h.
    • Spider Swarm:
      • STR 2000x1
      • Speed 3h/League by Road
      • Arachnid Wave: All units in the Spider Swarm’s stack move at the Spider Swarm’s speed.
  • Giant
    • Immortal Titan:
      • STR 1x10,000
      • Speed 4h/League by Road
      • Tunnel Vision: Immune to all compulsion effects.
    • Butcher Behemoth:
      • STR 1x5000
      • Trail of Flesh: Every 12h the Behemoth raises 100 Immortals native to the Behemoth’s current terrain (Immortal Dwarves in Mountains, etc).
      • Blood Scent: Every 12h the Behemoth gains X*25 Strength for 12h, where X is the number of living + dead creatures within 1 League.
  • Gryphon
    • The Guivre:
      • STR 500
      • Delusions of Dragonhood: Whenever a player gains Gold, permanently gain X*2 Strength, where X is the amount of Gold gained.
    • Queen of Slaughter:
      • STR 1000
      • Razor Plumage: Mortals surviving Combat with the Queen of Slaughter have an additional 50% chance of dying after making any other saving throws.
  • Ent
    • Mind Ravager:
      • STR 1x6000
      • Thoughtleech: Every 12h, remove a random card from each player’s hand and reduce the minimum player hand size by 1. Permanently gain 500 STR for each card discarded this way.
    • Force of Nature:
      • STR 1x5000
      • Brutal Mysticism: Whenever a player gains Mana, permanently gain X*80 Strength, where X is the amount of Mana gained.
    • Walking Plague:
      • STR 1x4000
      • Plague Winds: Every 6h, the Walking Plague blights all settlements within 1 League.
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These are really cool ideas and would be great inspiration for improving the existing zombie bosses even if separate monster ones don’t get implemented.

I like a lot of these ideas! Most of them would need some rebalancing/reworking (there are some really OP ones in here), but it would give people some real motivation to defend the mana pools.
Minor issue: In some maps it might be kinda unavoidable to have some pools corrupted, which in this case might spawn a super-monster very early on. Since many of these guys could be a serious threat even to late-game players, that might have some issues.

On an extra fridge horror/infinite pain cycle note: What if a boss corrupts a mana pool? and what if it’s a superboss?

Second note: we could always just spawn a normal boss from the corresponding race. Kinda boring, but keeps the balance and easy to implement.

That’s the idea! In my mind, monsters corrupting mana pools should be big, really problematic events, to be avoided at all costs (and really, if you let a zombie Ent get to a mana pool, you deserve whatever punishment you get ;-)).

For sure, and “easy to implement” is definitely a huge plus. This whole thing was mostly an exercise to put off real work while answering “what would I really not want to see rise out of a blighted Mana Pool?”

Wow, great list of ideas @DrBwaa ! We definitely want to add Monster Bosses that will be created when Monsters blight a Mana Pool. We are thinking of this as an Expansion at the moment, which will be some time post-June (which is our date for “Version 1”).

Well, you’ve succeeded in that regard.

I’ve thought a bit more about your idea’s, and here are some rebalancing proposals to make them a bit more balanced/dangerous where needed:

A boss targeting mana pools specifically seems like a good idea, but this one seems nigh impossible to stop. you’d have to cover almost every mana pool with a 2500+ force in 1-2 days, and every time you fail it spawns another boss (with all the problems THAT entails). Perhaps make it move to a random pool within 10-15 leagues, or the nearest one failing that? That would allow players to predict it’s movements a bit more, and not just have it blight every pool on the map.

Also, would it do anything if all the pools are blighted?

The duplication would obviously get out of hand waaayyy too quickly if the players can’t reach the boss in time. It quadruples in power every day after all.
Maybe it instead creates a Minor Mirror Lord, which in turn creates new zombies of the current land-type they’re in (like the behemoth below). This would keep the element of increasing power/pressure, but make it more linear. Also, the Mirror Lords move as a stack of seperate units (so no kiting the whole lot), and would send out hordes of increasing power as their numbers grow. They would also not seek out towns, but rather try to avoid armies wherever possible (sorta like a reverse compulsion effect). So they don’t suicide on the walls of the player fortressess.

A 6K unit which spawns another 6K at death seems a tad weak (comparatively of course). It could case serious damage thanks to it’s flying, but it might also be intercepted easily. Perhaps make it immune to compulsion as well?

In an area with a lot of settlements this would end up trapping or blocking a lot of the pathways. Besides that, it seems fairly easy to counter if you know where it’s going to and have time to prepare. Perhaps instead make it start killing off population in those settlements, which also causes bodies?

This could either be a massive pain to deal with, or a case of just letting it run into your defenses. Maybe up it’s strength so it cant be easily dealt with?

These bosses rarely pick up any other units, and most would be spiders anyway. Unless this one had a way of gathering other hordes, it seems kinda pointless.

Just wanted to say that this one would give me freaking nightmares.

100 immortals seems like a lot. In one day it could raise 1600 at the lowest (unbuffed goblins), and 6000 at most (buffed trolls). Add in it’s own 5K strength, and it could easily build faster than the players can match.
On the other hand it would be the one boss that’s weak to debuffs, so it might be fine.
X25 seems a bit weak, considering that it’s basically 2.5 normal giants. maybe have it add 10x strength but make it permanent?

A gold grower seems like it could get out of hand really quick, and there isn’t much the players can do about it. It’s not like they can just stop making money. It also depends heavily on their races: 6 trolls players will have a way easier time than 6 dwarf and goblin players.

Since they’d only survive if they won, this is essentialy a one-shot boss. I could just chuck a 1K suicide stack at it and that would take care of it.

Seems like it would be quite frustrating to play against. also, does this mean that after 2 1/2 days you wouldn’t have a hand anymore?

This would steamroll fast too. 20*80 = 1600 power per pool per day. On a large map, that could easily be 10-15k power per day.

Deadly. I like it, though it might be easily stopped by attacking it outside a settlement and just keeping a small garrison at each nearby one.

On a global note: many of these bosses could be countered by making them run in circles or freezing them with compulsion. perhaps build in a general compulsion immunity/resistance for this level of bosses?

Thanks for the feedback! Glad people are enjoying these.

Turns out they’re already giving this power to the Trailblazer, so this guy’s kind of moot now. Unless the randomness of the jumps would make it interesting enough to be worthwhile again.

This is definitely a more reasonable idea.

This one’s intended to spawn a total of 18K as it dies (each of the three Serpents spawns three Hydras). So do you let it wreak havoc as a huge flier until you can build up a 20K army, or sacrifice a smaller army to kill it at 6K and hope the Hydras’ limited movement makes it containable?

Yeah, I was on the fence with all of these. Spiders being so relatively weak and fast, I wanted to basically just build on that, by making it extra hard to defend your settlements against a mobile force.

I think this is my favorite one. Sometimes simple is best.

I messed around with this one a lot; I never really got happy with it. I basically wanted it to be a stack of zombie Giants that spawns units to buff itself.

True, though I’d be surprised to see Blighted Gryphons making it to a Mana pool on an all-Troll map. I think a Gold grower (if done right; not that this is necessarily that) could be great, but I agree it’s obviously dangerous.

Well it’s going to have at least one other Gryphon in its stack, but I see your point. I still like the idea of a boss that’s always dangerous to kill, but I’m not sure how best to implement that.

Yes, after 2.5d everyone’s minimum hand size is zero, so you have to spend Valour to draw any more cards.

To be honest I only picked a multiplier of 80 as a tribute to the MTG Force of Nature. I don’t mind it growing fast: I maintain that if you somehow allow freaking Zombie Ents to blight a Mana Pool, you deserve whatever punishment you get.

Yeah, I’d be on board for just saying “all monster bosses are immune to compulsion” or even “all compulsion effects are limited to 6h on monster bosses”. I do worry that some of the abilities would have to be toned down significantly to compensate, which reduces boss diversity.

Ah, I didn’t catch that. That sounds like a good boss then![quote=“DrBwaa, post:14, topic:5309”]
Turns out they’re already giving this power to the Trailblazer, so this guy’s kind of moot now. Unless the randomness of the jumps would make it interesting enough to be worthwhile again.

Yeah, I’m interested to see how that turns out.[quote=“DrBwaa, post:14, topic:5309”]
I messed around with this one a lot; I never really got happy with it. I basically wanted it to be a stack of zombie Giants that spawns units to buff itself.

hmmm. Maybe have it spawn dummy units? Like 1 power “Fleshlings” or something?
Or maybe have it spawn a sort of mini-behemoths, and making the Behemoth only gain strength from its offspring? And the offspring would get a damage boost from the behemoth/fellow offspring? Or would that be too much like the mirror lord?
Or another fun one: A boss who slowly decomposes into a mass of smaller units, and the smaller units would gain a large “hivemind” bonus! So you start with one 5K boss, and you end with 250x100 Strength units.

True enough. And it’s not like it’s the only boss which continuously grows in power. Especially with all the reworked “normal” bosses.[quote=“DrBwaa, post:14, topic:5309”]
Well it’s going to have at least one other Gryphon in its stack, but I see your point. I still like the idea of a boss that’s always dangerous to kill, but I’m not sure how best to implement that.

Maybe a variation on the dragon one? As in, you can kill it but you need to do it very carefully, or you may seriously screw yourself over. And the boss would be designed to make that quite difficult.

At first I thought this was too strong, but then it is an ultra-boss, and it’s a pretty neat idea.

Point taken on the Zombie Ents… though if a Zombie Ent can blight a mana pool, you’re probably already in trouble, and this boss could easily be the death blow. Still, a bigger map means more resources and more spells, so it might work out.

On a side note, what is MTG? A boss?

well, these bosses are quite rare anyway, and they’re kinda meant to be a major threat even by themselves. I think you can keep most of these bosses without reducing their abilities. It may actually improve diversity, since players would be forced into different strategies besides “kite, kill the rest, then focus it down”.

Yeah I think there’s a lot of potential in this vein; like my first draft was STR 100x10 with each one getting +1 STR per nearby creature, and then I thought why not go all the way and do STR 5000x1 and every time one dies you get ten native units, etc… lots of possibility for horrible stuff here :smiley:

Ha. Magic: the Gathering.

Should have known ^^

Hey Guys,

I finally had a chance to read through this thread and there are so many great ideas.

I’d like to get Devin to do a custom piece of art for each of the zombie bosses.

One thing I’d like to see eventually is lesser bosses that don’t require hitting a mana pool to spawn. Maybe there’s just a very small chance they’ll spawn from a village, and that chance goes up later in the game. They’d be lesser versions of existing bosses.

For example:

Purse snatcher (based on master of coin)

150 str

gains +1 str for each 10 gold spent.

Lichling (Lich Lord… do I really need these?)

Str 300

Gains +1 str per mana spent activating abilities within 3 leagues of Lichling


str 400

Gains +50 Str for every mortal settlement within 3 leagues.

Just a thought.

I was wondering if anyone had any ideas for making boss monsters that deal with when players Trade resources? (see “The Swindler”)

I had a couple of boss ideas I thought I might throw out there.

“Dark Carnival” Goblin

Speed: 4 hours/league by road

Str 500

once every 12 hours, compels all mortal units within 3 leagues to follow the Dark Carnival for 12 hours

Gains x *10 strength where x is the number of mortals following it at any given time

“Corrupted Caravan” (human or orc)

Str 2500

Speed: 4 hours/ league by road

Turns all road tiles on the map into their normal tile variant

“The Swindler” Dwarf

Str 1000

Speed: 8 hours/ league by road

All trading is done at a 2 to 1 cost

Gains 1 str for each 1 gold traded
Gains 10 str for each mana traded
Gains 100 str for each valor traded

Additionally, these trading buffs could also be applied to the master of coin, lich king, queen of lies.

I feel like trading is almost essential in any harder difficulties, as well as for those combos to go off. Might be interesting to make the player think hard about trading as a resource in and of itself.

My values are more arbitrary, but the concepts could be interesting.

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