Warlords battlecry 3 Project X mod

Discussion in 'Game Design' started by Waterd103, Apr 23, 2012.

  1. Waterd103

    Waterd103 Well-Known Member

    I decided to create this thread because I've been asking questions not really important on my thread and I see people are , for one reason or another, interested to help, despite that there is no interest on the game or the mod.
    So, since I see an interest to help and I've been working on this mod in all my free time and I have several things comming up, I thought it would be ok for me to make a thread about my design decisions on the mod.

    I did a super huge post that I linked in the proper WBC3 that nobody cared about. (I link again just in case here http://archiv.the-battlefield.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=5393)

    Now however since I know most people that are willing to help are actually not interested in the game or the project, and most don't know the game. I Will give the needed context for people to help.

    So as things rise up, I will give more summaries.

    Anyway, for today I need people to understand what WBC3. It's an RTS with too many sides. The difference is that in WBC3 you have a special unit called hero. The hero is built pregame and has stats and abilities etc.

    "So it's like WC3?" In WC3 heroes are more like very very strong units. Their purpose is to fight.
    Heroes in WBC3 are more of a leaders, while some classes are very strong on fighting, most focus on abilities that affect production, economy and units stats.

    This is important to understand a problem I have up to take a decision and I think my decision is affected on how a player would percieve it. So be quick to point out that you or in your opinion a potential player, would percieve that in a different way.

    How it is now: Right now heroes have a Race and a Class. And they have access to two spheres. One sphere is decided by the race, and the other sphere is decided by the class.

    a)The main problem of this (it has others). Is that with two spheres your hero have a spellbook with 20 spells. That is a lot. What happens when you have 20 spells as spellbooks? Right now you have 8 spells that you have hotkeyed at F1-F8 functions. I could add two more customizables hotkeys I guess. Still with that you have 10 spells hoteyed while others 10 not.
    (I could create i guess 20 hotkeys for that, but that is a too much big part of the keyboard?)
    I also feel that 20 spells is unnecessary big number and it would just end with peolpe not using ever several of those spells.
    This is my conclusion I don't know if it's wrong though.

    b) My solution was that only the race OR the class give a sphere, so you have 10 spells to play with. But I've spent the past whole week undecided, here are the pros and cons of each option.

    b.1) Race based:
    Pros: I can adjust the sphere to interact and fill the gaps of the side as needed. Which is kind of awesome, since I can make the abilities part of the balance of the side. For example, if side has the problem that it has weak units vs Air, I can make a spell that is very strong vs Air, so instead of creating the Obvius anti air unit or buffing it, I can make the side depend on it's hero casting a spell that help on that.
    I think I can make the sides even more interesting by making sides depending on certain spells to fill certain weakness or to just play different.
    Imagine in SC2 the ability of toss to accelerate production, would be the spell of a unit. I can make the balance about that.

    Basically making race based would give me:
    - More tools to balance
    - More tools to create diversity between sides (Since a spell is only of THAT side, and nobody else)

    Cons:
    I feel that between the classes there won't be any point. Basically, if you play humans and your options are between a Fighter , Rouge and a wizard, and all can cast the same spells, then it's kind of "what's the point?" Yes sure, from a very strategic level the fighter will have less mana and higher combat stat, and the rouge will be quicker and can produce units faster, and the wizard will have the more powerful spells, but on the whole, they are all some or less doing the same with different stats. I feel I could as well just remove the whole class system. And then I'm losing part of the point of the lure of WBC3.

    b2) Class based:
    I could just go and say "the reverse than race based" but let's try to go deeper.
    Pros:
    I can make each class more unique doing pretty different things. Summoning a demon is something that only a Summoner would do, and not something "Dark elves" would do.
    It would also raise the feeling of "deckbuilding" that short term is great. "How a summoner would combine by playing Orcs" Etc. And come up with combinations and tricks that you build.

    Cons:
    -Sides will lose personality, because summoning a big demon , again, is not something Dark elves side can do, but any side that can pick summoner as a class.

    -Balance will be a harder, now I need to keep in check how each combination works, more important I can't make a spell particularly powerful if it combines too strongly with any side that can pick a class with that spell.
    Of course a solution that if that spell exist, it can only be used by a certain class that only one specific side can pick. But that is prone to fall into the next and final problem.

    -Customization leads to shortage of options instead of the opposite:
    This is something that has been debated quite a bit. There is that theory that customization in the long run only leads to less options than more.
    In this game it may happen that if there isn't a rigorous control, maybe Orcs should ALWAYS pick an Illusionist, because it's by far the best option. tunning down the Illusionist may end with something replacing it.
    However I'm not sure how much truth there is to this theory, however for sure what will happen is that some classes/sides combo are going to suck, but I guess I'm ok with that.

    So what should I do?
  2. Claytus

    Claytus Well-Known Member

    Can you just reduce each sphere to 4 or 5 spells? Thereby allowing both race/class spells, but still cutting the total number by the amount you need?

    Or is it possible to make the class-sphere somehow race-dependent? So, the full 10 spells exist, but depending on race you only get access to a different set of 5? So every race/class combo becomes more unique. Maybe that's outside what modding allows, though?
  3. Logo

    Logo Well-Known Member

    Are there any 3rd options? Such as 7 spells from race, 3 from class (I weigh more in race because that makes balancing easier) instead of a full 20?

    Otherwise I'd probably say go with racial spells and just try to boost the variation of the stats between the 3 heroes. The racial spells will make each racial hero feel unique and help with balance, while the class choice sounds a lot like it can lead to stylistic choices. Since the class choice will be more minor it actually helps there to be multiple viable choices because it's not likely that there will be a timing or weakness that you need X class to defend/pull off.

    Also hotkeying important things to f keys makes me cry :(.
  4. Waterd103

    Waterd103 Well-Known Member

    The mod allows...infinite power, I can basically mod the game so much as to convert into a 2d platform. However, that is only in theory, in practice... It's limited to what I can do and the work it requires.

    However I may do that, or not, it depends, i should investigate it, but the question is, do i want to do that?
    It may look like it brings the best of both worlds, but it may bring more important, the worst of both worlds.

    Logo about hotkeys, if you have a better suggestion, have in mind it uses the classic hotkeys for production, etc.

    I'm playing poker during this post so I will give a better answer when I finish.
  5. Logo

    Logo Well-Known Member

    It depends on the other stuff really, but typically you have asd for your standard unit movement keys (attack, stop, hold) and would want qwert & zxcv to fill in the remaining stuff. I'm not sure what production hotkeys are interfering so it's hard to give suggestions. Some production stuff could possibly be moved out to the right half of the keyboard if you really needed to. Plus you can always use the alt or ctrl modifier to have space for the spells (say qwert and ctrl-qwert for the 10 spells).
  6. Waterd103

    Waterd103 Well-Known Member

    have in mind that Spells hotkeys can't be overlapped. Unlike WC3 or starcraft you hero spells are global and you are able to cast them while you are doing WHATEVER. That is important to keep that way since it's very handy that if your leader is not on the screen because you are in base handling production or just in another part of the map,you can instant cast say Charm (which is a spell that makes all your things 10% cheaper for 2 minutes), regardless of where or what your hero is doing (even if he will stop doing whtever he is doing to cast the charm). And I find Ctrl-X hotkeys worse than Fx.
  7. Leartes

    Leartes Well-Known Member

    I'd definitely go with a reduced number of spells in both spheres.

    It is harder to balance than going pure race but that is ok imo. Most likely you can't guarantee that all cominbations of hero + race areviable but that is ok as long as there are several viable classes for all races.

    If you do it in another way then either the race or the class of the hero gets mostly redundant. You could remove classes for all heroes (or restrict every race to a single class) but I don't really like that either.

    For hotkeys, can't you do something like alt+qwertz? I'd prefer pressing two buttons to moving my hand up to F5-F8.
  8. Waterd103

    Waterd103 Well-Known Member

    I think my decision will be to eventually move up to the idea of 4 racial spells and 6 Sphere spells, or something of the like, however that is a LOT of work to do as it needs to change the whole system, or look ugly from a gui point of view.
    Also I had to rethink the system, and probably redo a LOT of spells to fit the flavor

    But it seems is the best idea and I may do that longterm. However short term I decided on Class sphere and give personality to sides allowing a few classes only to each side.
    Thanks for the help though!.

    On the hotkeys, I wished that Hotkeys weren't hard coded so I could just allow people to customize hotkeys, really sad :/ Of course I could eventually do something to allow people to change the keys, but that is also too much work. I really don't like Alt-X for hero spells, so im not sure, but I will have these opinions in mind.
  9. Logo

    Logo Well-Known Member

    If the spells are global then I'd say that the f-keys are acceptable. Not my first choice, but I can't really offer anything better without having played the game/mod.
  10. Delha

    Delha Active Member

    Alternately, what about structuring it like D3? You might have 20 skills total, but select 6-8 of them to have available for a given match. You can still weight race vs class by restricting the slots (eg 2 race + 4 class).
  11. Leartes

    Leartes Well-Known Member

    I guess the UI is not made for something like that. What you describe Delha seems like a major extension to the hard-code.

    On the other hand it sounds totally awesome if it can be done :D
  12. Waterd103

    Waterd103 Well-Known Member

    I don't think it's actually that much harder than do the 3+7 thing. Actually I don't think it's so hard to code as it's hard to make a proper UI for it, which I have zero skills for.
    However, longterm it could be feasible, there is someone I'm working on with that has proved to be competent in making it, I may eventually convince him.
    However, I don't know if it's awesome idea. The why is long to explain. There should be a definition of this elements.
    But when you have customization you have this "unused part of gameplay"
    That is from a player perspective, in a given game he is only using a tiny tiny tiny part of the game. Compare it with chess where you basically use the whole game when playing any given game.
    The more customization you give, the more "waste" you create. The more unused material you have in any given game. So everytime you improve any part of the game, you are improving less the quality of any given game on average, or "He who takes on a lot, grasp little".
    Yes the Irony is on me because the objective of the game and my mod is the opposite of that. The mod plans to have
    8-16 Sides:
    15-30 Hero races:
    20-40 Classes.
    But that is my point, the game has already INSANE (and many could argue unhealthy) customization. However the reason I do this mod is that i'm making a prototype RTS of what I would like someday do, the MTG of RTS. A RTS with insane amount of customization, that changes periodically.
    Being able to customize the spells a specific hero race/class/Side have, just means creating a lot more spells, that probably many will never or almost never see use.
    That is unless all have access to pick more or less from the same pool of spells, wich would like generalize the classes etc.
    Basically it would be like if in warcraft, when you buy a hero you could pick what 4 skills they come with.
    I don't think it would be a good idea, just the fact that you could pick between very different heroes was enough customization. Here I have even way more than that already.
  13. -Y-

    -Y- Well-Known Member

    A MtG of RTS' exist. It's called Battleforge. It probably has even insaner level of customization/monetization.
  14. Waterd103

    Waterd103 Well-Known Member

    However I meant in the amount of customization, and that it changes over time, not exactly on the monetization approach.
    The idea is that all players always have access to all options.

    However I find this game interesting and I'm downloading it right now.

    However it has no economy/production etc...
  15. -Y-

    -Y- Well-Known Member

    Think it has those orb thingies you capture. Basically capture points from DoW1 and the unit's are produced where you want them. That's a bit iffy but overall ok.
  16. Leartes

    Leartes Well-Known Member

    Offtopic:
    I played a battleforge for a bit when it was newer and I felt it had some unhealthy amount of grind in it. I'm ok with buying cards/units in boosters/pre-build decks if there is a good market to exchange cards or directly buy stuff you want. Well another monetization might be better but whatever, that didn't kill the game for me. It was the boring grinding to get some strange upgrades ....

    Otherwise fun game!

    Ontopic:
    For customization I always liked the tabletop genre. You have tons of races each with different units. You can chose how to equip your units, heroes etc.
    They always felt more work than play though :( I always wondered why noone did a good conversion to a computer game.
  17. Delha

    Delha Active Member

    When you say tabletop, do you mean wargaming with minis?
  18. Leartes

    Leartes Well-Known Member

    Yes. There are some pretty popular systems like Warhammer and War Machine and in addition there are tons of niche systems. I think most of them aren't balanced very well (at least for competitive gaming standards).
    For computer games there is the Total War series which is totally awesome (Rome was best imo) and features a combat system similar to Warhammer in real-time. I think there is much more design-space to explore.
  19. Bucky

    Bucky Well-Known Member

    Returning to the original topic, is there a good reason not to give the less used and less timing-sensitive spells a muli-keystroke invocation?
  20. Delha

    Delha Active Member

    Just clarifying. I use tabletop games in a more literal and much broader sense.
  21. Waterd103

    Waterd103 Well-Known Member

    Yes that I can't give specific spells specifics hotkeys.
  22. Waterd103

    Waterd103 Well-Known Member

    What is the best way to give the player information of the game outside the game?
  23. CWheezy

    CWheezy Well-Known Member

    Can you put a link to the forums in a loading screen or something?

    Or the full changelog in a text file when you download it
  24. Waterd103

    Waterd103 Well-Known Member

    Yes I can, though the outside game information is way way way way more than just the changelog, but all the information on the game (unit stats, hero stats, class stats, etc
  25. Waterd103

    Waterd103 Well-Known Member

    A question that I want to answer right now is. "How big do i want the fights to be" and somewhat related question "how many units per minute do i want a player to pop up on average?, how many at most?" I have no idea how to investigate or approach those questions though.
  26. MoLAoS

    MoLAoS New Member

    Hi. So I got here by searching Warlords Battlecry 3. In any case I am a modder and coder for the Glest Advanced Engine which is a fork of the open source game Glest. GAE was started after the original Glest team moved on to other projects. I originally found Glest and GAE while I was searching for a way to do some modding for WB3, which is my favorite RTS ever. Sadly it is apparently immensely difficult to do and there is no open source access.

    I have been working to add functionality to GAE in source to allow for WBC3 style mods. Glest and thus GAE were initially created to be a sort of open source Warcraft. In any case I have been steadily adding features to support a WBC3 style as well as styles from some other games I really liked.

    If you find that you have a lot of trouble getting your mod to work for WBC3 I would like to note that you have some other options. Although if you are using all the fabulous WBC3 art assets, I am pretty sure they do not allow you to transfer them to other engines.

    I actually also have a question about WBC3 modding though, do you have access to the source code, and if not, how are you modding the game? Do you have a set of tools? I have used the hero mod tools a couple times but that is pretty limited. I still have an interest in modding WBC3 itself, so any information you have on how to do that is appreciated.
  27. Waterd103

    Waterd103 Well-Known Member

    I have the wbc3 source code.

    Steve released the wbc3 code to a set of people that were willing to sign a NDA (me included, we are allowed to give the source code to other people as long as they are willing to sign the NDA and give it to us so we send it to I2).
    If you are interested in your own take, i can start the process to you give access to the source code.
    If you want to join me that would be amazing, though my intentions and take with the mod are generally not welcome for most people. There are other mods in process that you may join, or as i said do your own take.

    Other than blatantly give out the code we have certain freedoms with the code, like release A full modified version of the game (we are not allowed to freely distribute the original game or with an original patch but we are allowed to distribute a full functional game if it's changed enough).
    I have no idea what's the position about porting the art to other games, I should ask if you really want to know.

    Let me know what you want to do.
  28. MoLAoS

    MoLAoS New Member

    I would be fine with signing the NDA. If I knew how to do it.
  29. Waterd103

    Waterd103 Well-Known Member

  30. Faestus

    Faestus New Member

    So, Waterd, are you still working on your mod?

    I already managed to achieve some goals with my mod:
    a) Each Race has it's own personality.
    Big changes have been offered to most races so that they have a unique gameplay and strengths.
    b) Spellbooks have been reworked.
    I disliked the way spell books work. In my mod I try to make each sphere have unique spells and synergize with other spells. I also disliked the way only certain spells synergized with races (Like the enormous Necromancy-Undead synergy or the Daemon-Summoning synergy)

    Here are my Mod info pages.
    http://wbc3.forumotions.com/
    http://www.moddb.com/mods/warlords-battlecry-iii-the-fifth-horseman
  31. Waterd103

    Waterd103 Well-Known Member

    Not really, the reason Is that I spend too much time trying to solve the constant random crashes, so i'm hoping someone else solves it or i get enough money to pay someone because its outside of my abilities. The crashes are too random and I can't find the causes.
  32. Waterd103

    Waterd103 Well-Known Member

    This post is basically a request for people to proceed with this mod, if you know how to program, help me solve the crashes issues would be awesome, but if not, i really need testers.
    specs likes this.
  33. whiterider

    whiterider New Member

    Hello Waterd103,
    I am willing to sign the NDA and get the source code. I will be using it for personal modding, since I get back to this game from time to time and would like to experiment more.
    I could be contacted at st.germain (at) gmail.com
    specs likes this.

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