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Chipawapa
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PostSubject: Plaguelords   Mon Jan 30, 2017 4:52 am

First I'd like to congratulate the mods for making such an awesome mod for this game. I've returned to this game after many years not knowing what to expect, and I found this gem of a mod. I have to say I love everything about it and the direction it is going.

I would like to suggest a different take on the Plaguelords faction as a whole, though. Plaguelords are thematically incoherent, they have no real identifiable traits other than disease. While this mod has taken steps on remedying the faction as a whole I still think they are ways away from being what they should be.

I'd start by changing the name to something that sounds like a faction rather than the name of a unit, but the Plaguelords are still not as bad as the Knights. The wiki refers to the factions as races, but that makes very little sense, since some of the "races" are not actually races, and those that are have many different kinds of creatures as part of their "race".

In order to give a proper name to this faction we'd have to take a look at the lore; its safe to assume that the Plaguelords were created by Antharg when he unleashed plague and disease on the southern jungles and swamps of Etheria. There he twisted and mutated a variety of creatures, which is hardly fitting of calling them Plaguelords. I propose calling them The Plaguespawn or Plagueborne.


"The Plaguelords are an average race. They have access to a massive range of damage types, resistances and powers, but fail to efficiently put them into play easily due to a poor economy and infrastructure." This quote was taken directly from the wiki page and it makes me think of a race that has been slapped together without a second thought to it.

One of the first things Plaguelords need is identity. Plaguelord units should be identifiable from other factions. I'd propose making them a slow, very durable faction with each unit having the capability of spreading disease upon death and some better units on attack and via abilities as well. Their damage can be moderately low but they should have a way to compensate by capitalizing their disease debuff. For example, for every diseased enemy around them a Plaguelord unit regenerates X amount of hp per second while in combat. This way they would be a durable faction that can drag out fights and win in attrition as opposed to the other factions who try to compete with who has brought the bigger gun to the fight.

Instead of having units that are all over the place with different kinds of stats and damage types they could have a more coherent core of units, with monsters  on the side that can complement the core army depending on what they need for the matchup. The goal would be to field a variety of units that cover each others weaknesses rather than spam one unit that seems to work at the time.


What this brings us to is a faction that has durability and disease as their identity, their core units are slow and easy to kite but very hard to bring down in melee. In order to further cement their identity we would need a few research options exclusive to the Plaguelords. Simple research could be to cause your diseased units to gain further regeneration bonuses while also ignoring its effects from their immunity, another could be to cause disease to slowly degenerate the health of foes at 0.5 or 1 health a second while fighting with your units. Stronger more expensive research could be making all enemies lose their disease immunity or disease resistance, this way Plaguelords would not be severely gimped by fighting undead or the like as opposed to fighting humans.

In order for this to work the damage of all the Plaguelord core units would have to be on the low end of the spectrum so that they really are using the plague to do their work rather than being killing machines in their own right.


This post was more of a general idea of what I'd change, maybe ill post which specific units I'd change, remove or add if there is any interest for it.


Last edited by Chipawapa on Mon Jan 30, 2017 7:52 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Plaguelords   Mon Jan 30, 2017 5:50 am

When it comes to units for the plaguelords you developers of the mod/game seem to have your hands full already, but I will leave these suggestions here just in case.

A titan should be the embodiment of the faction/race they are from more so than any other unit. Right now titans are just really large creatures with a lot of hit points and damage and little variance in their stats. While this is not bad for the balance of the game, it is a little bit too safe. Each titan should be unique and capable of doing different things.

Lets talk about Anthrag. He does not need gratuitous amounts of damage so that he can be like the other titans, what he needs is mechanics that fit him and complement his race. For example, when he enters the battle all enemy diseased units automatically get a stronger version of the disease on them, enemy units near him lose health quickly and gain necrotic wounds where they cannot regenerate or heal. At this point his actual damage can be 0 and he would be just as effective at killing things than any other titan in the game. This way he has synergy with your units that cause disease and fits the theme of the race. So I would propose increasing his hp further to set him apart from other titans, reduce his attack damage to whatever seems insignificant to make a difference, add the passive abilities mentioned above and make him slow like the slug-beast he is.

Second units I was gonna mention were the hydras, but I read your comments on them and I love what you are doing. One thing I would add is that they don't necessarily have to be 3 hydras, 2 hydras with specialized roles could be better than 3 that do similar things to one another. Maybe one of the building upgrades could provide a research option rather than a new hydra.

I'd also like to go through some of the ideas provided by Kharn:

I would not get into the rats and slimes idea for the race and stick to the man sized abominations instead. Flesh horrors that are made up of stitched corpses, or bloated, hulking abominations, their armor barely containing their rotten blob with massive crude weapons in hand, or the smaller drooling ghouls and zombies that make the bulk of the army and the cannon fodder. These units fitted with rotting parts, seeping pus and bile would make for a great Plaguelord army theme. These could be the natives of the jungle habitats stitched and merged together with different unfortunate creatures which came across the Plaguelords. So rather than the Plaguenator being the clean reaper with a scythe in hand, as yellow text guy puts it, he can be the heavily armored shambling mass of festering flesh with a rusty scythe in hand that spreads death and decay to units in melee but cant for the life of him catch that archer that shoots him and runs.

I'd also add 2 new air units instead of what we have currently to deal with the enemy air superiority and give the plaguelords some flexibility in their fielding options: A small drone unit that does little damage but slows and poisons the enemy and a large fly-thing that is not fast but has a "Proliferation" spell effect on its attacks (chance on hit?) where it explodes the remaining poison/disease time on the enemy unit when it successfully hits. The large bloated fly could be an armored, high health flying unit that cannot catch the enemy without the help of the small drone to slow them down and poison them, but in turn it would proliferate the poison damage that was accumulated by the small drone while it slowed the enemy down.


I would have never expected unit fusing to be a thing in this game and it exceeded my expectations for this mod, and it one upped any idea I might have had for the race. Hoping it turns out great.

I might update this at some point.


Last edited by Chipawapa on Tue Jan 31, 2017 3:52 am; edited 3 times in total
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PostSubject: Re: Plaguelords   Mon Jan 30, 2017 6:45 pm

An excellent idea. We do have other plans on making the plaguelords more unique, such as mutating units between each other to obtain new units/mutants, but your idea is really good too. Making them hard to defeat in melee encourages enemies to fight them at a distance, which is how plague should be fought. Their units would not inflict too much damage, but would be very resistant, increasing fighting time and the chances to inflict disease too. A similar mechanism to vampirism would do.

Not sure about the rename though. There's not much to go on lore, but I think Antharg created the Plaguelords, i.e. intelligent beings that serve him by doing his experiments. This is actually quite unique compared to other races, as they are known not as an organized civilization, but rather a bunch of fanatical leaders and their pet monsters.

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PostSubject: Re: Plaguelords   Mon Jan 30, 2017 11:49 pm

Now I am really curious as to what this mutation mechanic is going to be like, could you give us more details about what it is and how it works?

As for the name, when I think about the plaguelords unit roster, intelligence is the last thing I think of. It has zombies, ghouls, creatures like hydras and dragons, floating-eye summons and slimes. The only units that have a semblance of intelligence are the hero himself and the plague priest. So if their general is just a priest then I wonder where those plague lords actually are. I do not think Antharg found many intelligent beings in the jungles and swamps of Etheria; the unit roster being a testament to that.
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PostSubject: Re: Plaguelords   Tue Jan 31, 2017 12:30 am

In my vision, the Plaguelords are the heroes. They are not many indeed and their pet monsters are brainlessly following their orders. Maybe the priests are like the hand of Antharg, in direct communication with the horseman.

You can read more about the mutation mechanic (still in debate) here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/11ELBznzbDl45MHupEZmsZPytx_ZW9nEsdFxQOFWbRz4/pub -scroll down a bit or use the search function.

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PostSubject: Re: Plaguelords   Tue Jan 31, 2017 2:49 am

This kharn guy seems to know his shit and is on the right track, even though i dont agree with some of the unit suggestions. His inspiration for unit ideas seems to come from the right place as well, rat men and plagued mutants, I gotcha buddy.

I was gonna suggest the removal of hydras and the introduction of their plague-y replacements but it seems like you are all on top of it when it comes to new units and how they should work. I also love the idea of acid damage. I wonder what the acid damage critical effect will be? Damage over time? Armor corrosion? Both? Or even better stacking DoT?

Even though you guys seem to be doing well on Plaguelord department, Ill post my two cents on which units I'd alter for the hell of it.

Reading through discussions you are having I kinda understand why you want to keep the name as is, as well.
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PostSubject: Re: Plaguelords   Tue Jan 31, 2017 2:49 am

Chipawapa wrote:

I'd start by changing the name to something that sounds like a faction rather than the name of a unit, but the Plaguelords are still not as bad as the Knights. The wiki refers to the factions as races, but that makes very little sense, since some of the "races" are not actually races, and those that are have many different kinds of creatures as part of their "race".
Aye it's true Knights are a collection of different human factions rather than an individual race. Lore-wise I see why Empire and Knights needed splitting, but they shouldn't be classified as different races. This is another thing that the Factions system is going to solve (it's near the top of the discussions dev doc). They could effectively continue to be two different playable races so to speak, but would be a collective of different factions.

Chipawapa wrote:

In order to give a proper name to this faction we'd have to take a look at the lore
I will delve into Warlords 3 and see what I can find. Afaik the only other thing I've heard them called so far are 'Carriers' or 'The Carriers'. Hopefully I'll find plenty more info on them. The only thing the WBC3 lore can tell us about the Plaguelords is that they could be considered a race of Ghouls and their twisted creations (well, Ghouls led by Plague Priests or intelligent Ghoul-Liches). Their existence is based on Ghouls - without them there would be no Plague Priests so it makes sense that their racial affinity should become more about the Ghouls. Their hierarchy is based on the Ghouls rather than their monsters and in WBC we get more monsters than Ghouls unfortunately. That may be something we can solve in future (there have been a couple ideas about new ghouls in the discussions doc, perhaps some of those could come to life).

Chipawapa wrote:

One of the first things Plaguelords need is identity. Plaguelord units should be identifiable from other factions. I'd propose making them a slow, very durable faction with each unit having the capability of spreading disease upon death and some better units on attack and via abilities as well.
Some really good ideas in here I think. We have been planning something like this and it's good to see that we may be on the right track. sunny
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PostSubject: Re: Plaguelords   Thu May 18, 2017 12:07 am

Hello,

Here are my suggestion for the Plaguelords faction, based on my vanilla game experience. I'm hijacking this thread because of its title but if it's considered harmful, you can put this message on a separate thread.


  1. Plague Piles:
    They could have a chance to contaminate nearby enemies, given what they are: piles of putrefied cadavers. Either only melee units that dare to attack it, like periodic auto-cast spells, or like a resource-cost building spell (like Plague).
  2. Spores:
    They could be real disease carriers (instead of acidic bombs). What if,on death, they would cast the Plague Priest's Toxic Cloud or simply contaminate nearby units (range 3-4)? I guess that you made the Eyes of Flame/Contaminators disease carriers too (there's a trace of this in their .arm file).
  3. Eyes of Oros:
    It's great that they benefit from the Oros' researches now. Do they benefit from the Hero's XP skill too? Also, if you can shrink their sprite on screen, I'd see them as small as Sylphs. I believe I read somewhere that they were enchanted humanoid ocular globes.
  4. All Hydras:
    IRL lore-wise, these monsters had regenerating capabilities. They could thus regenerate faster than the usual units. Currently, given their HP pool, once in the 'red', they can be retired from service for minutes if the Hero or his/her retinue can't heal them.
  5. Ideas taken from eSPee's TFH changelogs:
    - Plaguepriests could spawn ghouls when they kill enemy infantry that leave bones. Or raise their cadavers (not bones) into ghouls.
    - If you can override the "no builder in tower" rule, and to keep with this ghoul-centred faction, I'd get rid from zombies, and have them replaced by Ghouls (still counting as Infantry in a tower). Then, I'd re-tailor the Ghoul's upgrades so that this backbone unit can gradually evolve from a zombie-like unit to a supra-human.
    For instance, Mutation would increase all the defensive stats: HP, (speed), armor, and resistance, while Fever would increase all the offensive stats: combat, (attack) speed, damage. As a result, Ghouls would be less potent at first, but as the combat & speed upgrades would be more important than currently, in order to match or slightly increase the current fully upgrade Ghoul's stats, they could become more dangerous in late game (should balance ever requires it).
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PostSubject: Re: Plaguelords   Sat May 20, 2017 4:38 am

Good ideas, we'll see what we can do (maybe for 0.8.9?).

We have something like the TFH changed planned. We're definitely on the right track then! sunny
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PostSubject: Re: Plaguelords   Thu Jun 08, 2017 6:38 am

Would it be possible to make Bone Catapults disease carriers too, in the sense where their crushing missiles could release a putrid cloud on impact. I'm thinking about Mongols' plagued catapults.
Perhaps, it could be a special Plaguelords research the Undead wouldn't have access to.
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PostSubject: Re: Plaguelords   Sun Jun 11, 2017 11:53 pm

Rodmar18 wrote:
Would it be possible to make Bone Catapults disease carriers too, in the sense where their crushing missiles could release a putrid cloud on impact. I'm thinking about Mongols' plagued catapults.
Perhaps, it could be a special Plaguelords research the Undead wouldn't have access to.
There have been some discussions on this, I'm sure we may see something like it in game someday!
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PostSubject: Re: Plaguelords   Mon Jun 12, 2017 7:50 pm

How about floating eyes who are very fast?

My little suggestion about Hydra:
Hydra may loss dmg as it get less hp (it's like it get less heads).
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PostSubject: Re: Plaguelords   Mon Jun 12, 2017 10:20 pm

In Warlords IV, hydra is granted the Multi-attack capacity, roughly the equivalent of splash damage in WBC3.

In Battle for Wesnoth, there's the Swarm capacity, fairly high base damage that decreases proportionally to current health. It's used for multi-arms monster such as octopuses, and "mass"-monsters such as mosquito swarms.

We could have a mix of both: unchanged base damage + decreasing splash damage.
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PostSubject: Re: Plaguelords   Wed Jun 21, 2017 7:44 am

Rodmar18 wrote:
Would it be possible to make Bone Catapults disease carriers too, in the sense where their crushing missiles could release a putrid cloud on impact. I'm thinking about Mongols' plagued catapults.
Perhaps, it could be a special Plaguelords research the Undead wouldn't have access to.

Yeah, It would be an interesting feature.
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