Mermen Tree Proposal

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Jetrel
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Mermen Tree Proposal

Post by Jetrel »

I had been musing about making the mermen, and Nagas, into decent races in their own right.

To do this effectively, though, we need to have a decent plan in mind of exactly what the hell we are going to do.


Notes: Yes, the spearman is a convergent branch, mixed melee/ranged, leaning in the direction of ranged.

The hoplite carries a big shield and has high resistances. Either the Triton does more damage, or has a weak ranged attack, or both.

The hunter starts with ranged and melee, unlike the merman, and also can level into the netcaster, which has a net with slow.



As for the exact nature of the "siren song" I do not know, but the hydromancer line is intended for "magic" damage (impact, I think, or cold), and the siren line for the special attack/healing.

I also need names for the siren line...

Graphics have been attached just for reference. I want to plan the tree/ get it approved before I do work.
Last edited by Jetrel on August 21st, 2004, 12:49 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Eleazar
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Post by Eleazar »

First off, i appreciate the lucid visual aids. People may disagree with your proposal, but at least they will know exacly what it is. :)

From playing HttC i too would like to see the Merfolk have some options.

I wonder if you are trying to do too much though... The Merfolk can never be a full multi-player faction, it would just be way to weird trying to balance water vs land based factions. (i don't think that's your goal anyway) But it does seem like a lot of detail for a support unit (not the core of any faction)

It does seem odd to have the Mermen, the Mermaids, and the mer-its? :? When 2 out of 3 units are defined by gender, there should be some rational why 3rd unit isn't, otherwise it's just strange.

So what about the Nagas?
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Jetrel
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Post by Jetrel »

Eleazar wrote:First off, i appreciate the lucid visual aids. People may disagree with your proposal, but at least they will know exacly what it is. :)

From playing HttC i too would like to see the Merfolk have some options.

I wonder if you are trying to do too much though... The Merfolk can never be a full multi-player faction, it would just be way to weird trying to balance water vs land based factions. (i don't think that's your goal anyway) But it does seem like a lot of detail for a support unit (not the core of any faction)

It does seem odd to have the Mermen, the Mermaids, and the mer-its? :? When 2 out of 3 units are defined by gender, there should be some rational why 3rd unit isn't, otherwise it's just strange.
No, the male/female business means that, like the human mages, outlaws, and soon, the elvish archers, that the unit can be either gender. Different graphics for each gender, randomly recruited as one or the other. There is now support in the game for this, and I personally did all of the graphics (except for the outlaws - which shade did).

Mermaids, I am saying, lack the stature to be core melee units - they also have certain magical capabilities that mermen do not, possibly. (Or maybe the mermen do - just postulating, here. Actually, maybe the level-1 merman could also become a conjurer, just not a siren).

And personally, whether or not we use this as a multiplayer faction is up for grabs. I do, however, think it would be a HUGE improvement to all scenarios, to have these available.
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Post by Eleazar »

I haven't played the game enough to speak very authoritatively about units. (I understand that the game supports male and female versions of a unit. This is a good thing.)

However, having a race where some base units are defined by gender, and a unit that doesn't, and then their advancement tree intermingles with the advancement tree of the gender-defined units, well i'm not sure it honors KISS. Would anyone understand this proposal without the charts?

Jetryl, I think this is overall a good idea, but it seems too complicated right now.
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Post by Sangel »

It's good to see someone taking interest in my little merfolk again, and in a big way too. I like a lot of what you're proposing, Jetryl.

Unfortunately, I don't believe that Wesnoth currently supports convergent advancement; that is to say, two different units can't advance into the same unit. It's possible this limit has been superceded while I wasn't looking, but I'm pretty sure it hasn't.


To that end, here's a slightly simpler tree which I feel keeps all the best aspects of the proposal. I'm afraid it's not as pretty as Jetryl's proposal, but it's functional. Names are suggestions, white boxes indicate units for which graphics have already been completed.
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Post by Dave »

Sangel wrote: Unfortunately, I don't believe that Wesnoth currently supports convergent advancement; that is to say, two different units can't advance into the same unit. It's possible this limit has been superceded while I wasn't looking, but I'm pretty sure it hasn't.
Actually Wesnoth does allow this, and has always done so, although no-one has actually used it.

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Post by Jetrel »

Okay - Given that dave didn't poo on this, and given that sangel's suggestion is compatible with my own (the only difference being it lacks the convergent strings, and thus the male priest/diviner), I believe this can move forward.


Next step, is for me to post some decent tails/core bodies for mermen.

Sangel - you did a good job with the weaponry you came up with for the mermen - about the only thing that was iffy was the mermain song.

I think with a little white haloing (graphically speaking) around the notes, and implementing the whole thing as a halo, we could do this.

-----
It is worth noting, that it is at times like this when I wish wesnoth had a scriptable sprite engine, so we could have an effect of notes drifting up and around the mermaid - NOT A FIXED, PREMADE ONE, but a beautifully random one, consiting of separate notes floating on their own paths.

However, such a change would require a pile of code, and we can make do with what we have now just fine. I would like to try my hand at coding that, but that is a post-1.0 feature.

It would make wesnoth graphically equal to the best SNES games made - wesnoth outclasses them in many areas, but its graphics are quite static/rigid in movement.
-----
Either way though, unless any developer has any problems with this, we can go ahead and starting working these things out in the art forum.

(Oh yeah - ALL HAIL THE OMNI GROUP. God, if photoshop had an interface like OmniGraffle - oh man would that be a good program...)
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Post by Sangel »

Fortunately Jetryl, random attack sequences have just been implemented. It would add substantial length to the unit file, but if you made three different frame 1s, three different frame 2s, three different frame 3s, etc, you could in theory have ten or so subtly different attack sequences - not truly random floating notes, but close to. Best of all, this is compatible with the halo code available for attacks.


In regards to the new graphics - once you've created the new core graphics, I'd be happy to help you flesh out the Mermen tree. While Dave has corrected my misimpression regarding unit advancement, I think perhaps we should still use my simpler tree.
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Post by Jetrel »

There is one thing that doesn't support convergent advancement, and that is the (perl?) file that generates the advancement table webpage. It may simply duplicate the base unit.

To which I say, "tough [censored]," because we are trying to make a good videogame, here, rather than a webpage. Someone may end up recoding it, or something... or it may be acceptable as is, if it does duplicate the root of the line.

-----

Just for reference, the only graphical difference between our unit tables is that mine necessitates the following:

Graphics for a male priest and diviner.

Somehow, I think those have a low priority. :|
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Post by Dave »

Jetryl wrote:Somehow, I think those have a low priority. :|
Not really. As a Free software project, our priorities are mostly defined by "whatever a developer feels like doing", rather than some logic that looks far too much like a manager's business decision.

David
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Post by Boucman »

as far as advancement goes, AFAICT the advanceto field in the unit stat is the only thing influencing the leveling...

that is, once a unit reaches lvl up, the user select a unit from the advanceto field, the engine takes that unit and reaplies the modifiers (traits,objects) but nothing enforces such things as increase in level, or tree structure...

there is a unit that level into itself, thus receiving free healing with xp....

there was a proposal of chameleon unit, that would exist in different colours, with different powers and at each level could choose which level it would be next. but it would always stay lvl1

nothing would prevent you from doing a unit which would be lvl1 then 2 then 1 again...
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Post by autolycus »

I like the unit tree itself. In fact, I think it would be wonderful to have all the unit trees done in this way. Good job.

I was wondering if it would be appropriate to do the same for nagas. This would allow water battles, or at least battles in which water could be more significant, and that would increase the range of strategic options.
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Post by Neoriceisgood »

I want to volunteer on helping with this mermen line as it would actualy allow for water levels to have a form of strategy, it gets less annoying to do it if you can actualy use strategy because you have ranged units, stronger units, support units etcetera to keep track on; especialy magic would make them wonderfull strategy pricks against other aquatic units.

but I agree that naga need a full line to, although I think they would be best off with an amphibious unit of somekind instead of the hunter as naga are actualy snake people and not fish people.
This would mean that you actualy get the first unit that's usefull on both land and water.
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Post by Boucman »

you'll probably have to make them look more snake-like: longer and thiner tail, no large fins at the end of the tail...

give the the body of a murena instead of a tuna
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Post by quartex »

I think adding more merfolk units would be cool, although I don't think they try to become their own faction, too much of the other factions are primarily land based. But more merfolk units will definitely be used in campaigns.

I don't mind having male and female units, I only ask that unit trees don't split based on sex of units. If mermen and mermaids are different units, that is fine. But if how a unit advanced depends on the randomly generated gender, that gets confusing to users.
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