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Thinking on Paper Ep1: Factions

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#1 ScrooLewse


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Posted 28 April 2012 - 12:18 AM

As the title states, I've been thinking on paper for a while now. (Pretty much ever since I caught wind of the IA! project.) Occasionally writing-down ideas I thought would fit nicely into the theme of this game. Seeing as it is still in vague conceptual stages, there was a lot of room to be novel and (what I thought was) clever. So, I've gathered the random scraps of thought I've collected on this particular subject and am making them into coherent articles.

As a first article, I wanted to unleash my ideas on the factions, and how they distinctly formed in my mind. I broadened it and cut-out a lot of the details to match the vagueness of the game at this stage. I even added a fourth faction to the mix, just because I liked the way it played-out, mentally of course. It pulls a lot from the A Commander Is You page of TVTropes for terminology and definitions, so read-up on that if you feel you don't get a few things.

Again I will say, this is a collection of notes sewn-together. Writing inconsistencies are to be expected.

Aliens (The Graes)

Aliens will be the elitists and debuffers. They will start by sending weaker debuffer units, that pose literally no threat on their own as they do things such as latch onto the Agents to weigh them-down or steal their ammo. Then the aliens send their actual soldiers armed with laser rocket launchers and trans-dimensional de-re-warpifiers to finish the heroes in their compromised state.

On defensive terms, they prefer defense by a good offense and defend open-aired arenas with mobile flying saucers. Should the defended area be indoors, they will instead opt for high-damage low-health turrets and debuff bug breeding vats.

Powerful high-tier units that are relatively inexpensive.
Very high damage rates.
Lots of support units.
Great mobility.

Nearly all units are low-health and lightly-armored, if armored at all.
Low-tier units cannot deal damage.
Mid-tier units on-par with other faction's low-tier units.
Low-tier units relatively expensive. (Not ridiculously so, but you get the idea.)
Very few traps, and what traps they do use are no more than minor inconveniences.

Humans (E.V.I.L. Corp)

Rather than be the generalist of the game as they are in most other games, humans will specialize in indirect combat. Relying on trickery to make-up for their lackluster units. As such, they make liberal use of traps, special abilities, and stealth in their fight against the GOOD Agents.

In defensive levels, they would be especially potent, relying on powerful base defenses and convoluted booby traps.

Best traps in the game.
Stealth units.
Great special abilities.
Fast building.

Poor DPS all-around.
Low health, poor armor.
Difficult to go on the offense. (Difficult, not impossible.)

Robots (Death Machines Inc., an E.V.I.L. Corp Subdivision)

Robots would be the closest to Jacks-of-all-Trades, leaning somewhat towards Brute Force. They employ a variety of traps and units from every tier, but do not rely on buffs/debuffs or special abilities. They can easily shift to the offensive, using strong reliable units with large health pools that deal decent damage. This is definitely a learner class, easy to pick up, but can also be a major threat in the higher tiers of gameplay simply due to its lack of obvious faults.

Great variety.
Dangerous traps.
The majority of units have high health and/or strong armor.
Most units also do respectable amounts damage.

Little-to-no utility units.
Traps are difficult to hide.
Very few "fast" units.
Unit buffs and enemy debuffs are subtle.
Special abilities are also weak.

Undead (Dark Lord Herman)

Come on, can't I have a little fun? A little Magic vs. Tech never hurt anyone. The Undead as a faction could be intoduced as a Halloween update or shipped along with the game proper, and would be able to introduce a vastly different playstyle from the others.

The Undead would be Spammers. Oh, would they be spammers. They would use massive walls of zombies and ranks of skeletal archers and wizards to overwhelm the agents, then at the right moment, would cast powerful buffing spells over their armies to finish the pathetic mortals.

Defensive structures mainly consist of spawners and guard towers, meaning "turrets" can be effectively suppressed with assassination weapons, and not just technicians and heavy weaponry.

Speaking of which, all technicians are also versed in the art of demonic seals, and can close portals to hell, quiet the dead (before they rise, of course) and may call forth hellfire to make a damned good burger.

Slain low-tier units are refunded for 70% of their original cost.
Powerful unit buffs.
Low-tier units are dirt-cheap.
No unit cap.

Cannot directly control most units.
Low-tier units are weak.
Traps are mediocre at best.
High-tier units are extremely expensive.
Mid-tier units are also relatively expensive.

A Note on Variety

In no way is this intended to be "everything". Considering the emphasis on variety and replayability, this could get stale very fast and I know it. I've thought of a couple of additions to this system to lessen the problem, but again they are just quick fixes and by no means finished products. You guys have thought longer and harder about replayablility than I have, I'm sure you have something figured-out.

Each player can field and customize a roster of up to 5 "cohorts" who will faithfully aid them in their evil plots. They would be customized outside of the game, and as they level-up could be visually customized make players grow attached to them and get used to working with them so even a power-player's cohorts won't get rebuilt at the drop of a hat.

At the beginning of each round, you can pick one cohort that can be dispatched to serve as sort of a miniboss to the players. Powerful forces on their own, they can be synergized with your Evil minions to prove more than a match for your interlopers. Meaning Dark Lord Herman can employ grizzled alien mercenary, or the Robot Overlord may have Count Dracula at his right hand.

Multiple Faction Playstyles
Each faction doensn't have to have just one unit setup, the Undead could main in special abilities (spellcasting) or the Robots could spam cheap, expendable drones. Maybe the Aliens could send behemoth scaly war-beasts instead of lightly-armored elite soldiers. Players could take chunks from multiple unit setups and mush them together into something totally unexpected.

Edited by ScrooLewse, 01 May 2012 - 05:19 PM.

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