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[Game Mechanics] Fear/ Threat

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Co0kieL0rd

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#1
I'm sorry if there had already been an announcement about this somewhere else. I couldn't find anything to the feature of fear and threat in WFTO. I think it would be reasonable to have a fear-threat-system for creatures similar to that in DK2. In my opinion, this was one of the major improvements to its predecessor. What do you think?
 

Simburgur

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#2
The question of how we control when units flee or fight came up earlier and I was thinking that something like this is probably the way to go.

The idea I had was to attach a threat value to each unit and nearby units 'pooled' their threat, and if they encountered enemy units, one group would flee if their threat was significantly lower.

Edit: Moved to suggestions.
 

Co0kieL0rd

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#3
I think this is basically how Dk2's system works, except that some creatures tend to flee more quickly or more rarely or not at all. I'm not sure how they made this work but it's important that not all of your units run away at the same time just because is more threatening. Otherwise you would have no chance to oppose these enemies at all.
 
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#4
I'm sorry if there had already been an announcement about this somewhere else. I couldn't find anything to the feature of fear and threat in WFTO. I think it would be reasonable to have a fear-threat-system for creatures similar to that in DK2. In my opinion, this was one of the major improvements to its predecessor. What do you think?
I've actually found the Fear system in DK2 to be a major downgrade from DK1's fear system. DK1's Fear System enabled more control to the Player while DK2 lacked this and became incredibly annoying as a result if Creatures continued to flee when the Player did not want them to. It could make the Player doomed before the fight even began, or it could screw them over if some Creatures flee prematurely and be the direct cause for the Player's defeat.

It didn't help that it was so poorly implemented with little regard to other mechanics or any other statistical data. I'm talking about Goblins and stunning in particular. What's the point of Goblins being so quick to get up if they're the most easily scared and run away right after they wake because everyone else is still stunned?

Though that's mostly my hate for the default DK2 talking in the second paragraph. The first paragraph's point still stands.
 

Co0kieL0rd

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#5
I agree this could get a little annoying but on the other hand, it's quite natural that certain creatures tend to flee more quickly than others. That's why I think there should be creatures that are almost never meant to fight - like the troll who I used only to craft stuff and rarely put him in combat. The goblin was admittedly quite useless in late game. And that is something we should avoid. Either a weak creature is less fearful on higher levels (possbily the bloodling) or it's just not meant to fight - alone(!). In the second case you'd rather have it run away so that your precious worker/researcher is spared.
 
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#6
I agree this could get a little annoying but on the other hand, it's quite natural that certain creatures tend to flee more quickly than others. That's why I think there should be creatures that are almost never meant to fight - like the troll who I used only to craft stuff and rarely put him in combat. The goblin was admittedly quite useless in late game. And that is something we should avoid. Either a weak creature is less fearful on higher levels (possbily the bloodling) or it's just not meant to fight. In the second case you'd rather have it run away so that your precious worker/researcher is spared.
It's natural yes. Realistic, I'll give you that. But fun? Probably not. We shouldn't make the Troll not suited for combat because he has a high fear stat. Rather, he should be given bad combat stats instead of being made into a coward. It may not even be fitting for his character either, which takes away from the "realism" that the mechanic adds. This will give the Player the choice to use Trolls in combat even if they're bad at it, rather than simply have that option taken away from him entirely. (And Josh, this ruins your sandboxing power!) Sometimes, every Unit counts.

If I somehow end up with nothing but Trolls early game and then get invaded by a Dwarf and a Barbarian, and end up losing because they're too much of a coward to fight despite the superior numbers, I'm going to be upset.
 

Nazgren

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#8
isnt that eliminated by the pooling fear thing? besides, there are other "Bonus's" that you could have in, e.g, if the larger of the 2 armies is considerably bigger then the other then they get a strength in numbers bonus that increases there threat level, or if they have a very powerfull creature with them, like a horned reaper then they get a bonus that increases there confidence and makes them less likely to run away, on top of this there could be new spells that increases an armies fear or confidence levels, there could also be creatures, the horned reaper is an obvious example, which would be immune to psychology and would never run simply because they are too hard or too stupid to feal fear. something that could be looked at would be things such as standard bearers that give bonus confidence to freindly creatures in a radius, but i doubt that would work for various reasons.
 

Inlaa

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Jan 11, 2012
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#9
I think I want to point out something that Simmy said - two words, actually.

significantly lower
I think the Fear Pool system works just fine so long as the words 'Significantly Lower' are involved. I don't want my troops to run away if the battle is winnable if I use my spells and abilities right, but if I throw two gobbos up against three dark knights, two vampires, a skeleton, and five-six other assorted demons and spellcasters, you bet your sweet arse those goblins should be high-tailing it.

And if you want to keep even a fight like THAT going, remember that creatures always fight to the death at the Dungeon Heart. Furthermore, a spell could be added to boost the morale of your creatures, like a "Courage" spell, though perhaps reworded to sound more evil and forceful, or a spell that creates a banner of confidence like Nazgren said (perhaps it's an upgraded Rally spell?).
 
Nov 14, 2011
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#10
I think the Fear Pool system works just fine so long as the words 'Significantly Lower' are involved. I don't want my troops to run away if the battle is winnable if I use my spells and abilities right, but if I throw two gobbos up against three dark knights, two vampires, a skeleton, and five-six other assorted demons and spellcasters, you bet your sweet arse those goblins should be high-tailing it.
Sometimes Creatures can be utilized as distractions to hold off larger armies. If Creatures will continue to flee from their opponents, then that will become fairly problematic and distraction forces won't really be possible anymore.

Regardless of whether Creatures should be fleeing or not doesn't matter too much to me. It should be entirely up to the Player if he wants to send out a small party of Units against a larger and tougher party of enemies. Already that decision may yield consequences that involve the death of their Creatures. Those consequences are enough as it is, why should we add more?

Sometimes, these kinds of decisions do work out in the Player's favor. This really depends on the situation though. A good example for this type of situation is where there is an enemy party consisting of one Creature type and you have a Unit that is especially effective against.

Take the (DK1) Fairy and the Vampire for example. A Fairy could destroy a group of Vampires, normally. But with a DK2-like fear system, she'd probably flee without even attempting to fight, which would obviously be very annoying. It would take more effort to fix problematic situations like these than its worth it.

And if you want to keep even a fight like THAT going, remember that creatures always fight to the death at the Dungeon Heart. Furthermore, a spell could be added to boost the morale of your creatures, like a "Courage" spell, though perhaps reworded to sound more evil and forceful, or a spell that creates a banner of confidence like Nazgren said (perhaps it's an upgraded Rally spell?).
With a spell like that, there's really no point of having a DK2-like Fear System other than to promote usage of the spell.
 

Co0kieL0rd

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#11
Sometimes Creatures can be utilized as distractions to hold off larger armies. If Creatures will continue to flee from their opponents, then that will become fairly problematic and distraction forces won't really be possible anymore.
For distractions you have skelettons (or other undead, whatever there may be that knows no fear). I think that's enough for this particular purpose.

Regardless of whether Creatures should be fleeing or not doesn't matter too much to me. It should be entirely up to the Player if he wants to send out a small party of Units against a larger and tougher party of enemies. Already that decision may yield consequences that involve the death of their Creatures. Those consequences are enough as it is, why should we add more?

Sometimes, these kinds of decisions do work out in the Player's favor. This really depends on the situation though. A good example for this type of situation is where there is an enemy party consisting of one Creature type and you have a Unit that is especially effective against.
You have a point there, though I still think it's somehow natural that weaker creatures have fear. But one could think of reasons why evil creatures don't know fear at all - unless their keeper wants them to. So perhaps the fear system from DK1 could be reasonable in some way, if you say that the keeper controls the mind of his creatures to some degree.

Take the (DK1) Fairy and the Vampire for example. A Fairy could destroy a group of Vampires, normally. But with a DK2-like fear system, she'd probably flee without even attempting to fight, which would obviously be very annoying. It would take more effort to fix problematic situations like these than its worth it.
Maybe that's why the fairy was nerfed so much in DK2. There's already monks as counter-vampires. Though fairies may still work pretty well when fighting vampires while flying over water.

With a spell like that, there's really no point of having a DK2-like Fear System other than to promote usage of the spell.
I actually like the idea of a courage spell BECAUSE it would be very useful in specific situations where you WANT your creatures to be in serious trouble with the overwhelming enemies. Otherwise, f they weren't inferior, they wouldn't flee for sure.
 
Nov 14, 2011
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#12
For distractions you have skelettons (or other undead, whatever there may be that knows no fear). I think that's enough for this particular purpose.
No it is not enough for that purpose. Skeletons don't have much defensive power and will die very quickly, making poor distractions. It would be best to select a tank unit such as the Bile Demon who can take enough hits in order to effectively distract enemies. Even then, that's only on a general situation.

For specific situations, it may be best to select a specific Unit that would best serve as a distraction. A Dragon would probably be best to use to hold off enemies with lower offensive abilities, as the Dragon's Heal will serve as a very effective counter against them.

You have a point there, though I still think it's somehow natural that weaker creatures have fear. But one could think of reasons why evil creatures don't know fear at all - unless their keeper wants them to. So perhaps the fear system from DK1 could be reasonable in some way, if you say that the keeper controls the mind of his creatures to some degree.
Ignore the logical reasons. We shouldn't toss out a perfectly good mechanic simply because it lacks the lore/logic/realism to support it. Gameplay comes first in a game. Lore can be created afterward to fit the mechanics. It can be done even in a game that was designed without lore in mind. I did it for DK1 :p

Maybe that's why the fairy was nerfed so much in DK2. There's already monks as counter-vampires. Though fairies may still work pretty well when fighting vampires while flying over water.
I wouldn't think so. I think most Units in DK2 were not designed with a very specific role in mind. The Fairy doesn't really seem to fit any role other than yet another variation of support. She would be a bit nerfed anyways due to the fact that there are only three spells and spells in general are very weak later in the game due to horrid game design.

If you're wondering what I'm talking about, I'm directing this at the fact that Spell damage does not increase as the Unit level ups. This literally makes a Level 10 Warlock do more damage with Melee than with spells. He does 720 damage in Melee compared to 600 damage with his strongest spell, Firebomb/Meteor.

Monks in DK2 only countered Vampires because they could counter Resurrection. That's really all they could do. They didn't have the actual stats in terms of Health, Attack, and Spells to be truly effective against Vampires. They will actually lose to the Vampire in a one-on-one match. In fact, they'll be scared to even fight the Vampire.

The Fairy in DK1 countered the Vampire because of her specific spell set against his spell set. His Slow ability would be reflected back at him due to Rebound, his Heal/Armor meant nothing due to her massive damage output, and his low damage output made it harder for him to kill her despite her lower Health. (Hell, she had Drain too so they sorta canceled each other out)

She wasn't overpowered just because she was effective against the Vampire. That's like saying the Archer is overpowered because he's effective against the Giant. The Vampire isn't designed to fight a Unit like her, he's designed to tank against a Melee type Unit, preferably a slow one.

I actually like the idea of a courage spell BECAUSE it would be very useful in specific situations where you WANT your creatures to be in serious trouble with the overwhelming enemies. Otherwise, f they weren't inferior, they wouldn't flee for sure.
My previous point still stands on this spell idea. It pretty much cancels out the whole point of the Fear System.
 

MeinCookie

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Nov 15, 2011
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#13
Fear should significantly expanded, honed, reworked and perfected. Many more factors should influence fear to make it more intuitive, logical and means that you can actually influence it on the fly. The factors that should/could influence Threat and Fear:

  • How well the unit and his allies are countered by the enemy.
  • How the size of opposing forces compares.
  • The frequency, type and power of allied and enemy Player spells called down within a radius.
  • The frequency, type and power of allied and enemy Player traps present within range or radius.
  • Individual unit personality and combat leanings.
  • Varying proximity to allied or enemy Heart.
  • Varying proximity to allied or enemy dungeon and rooms.
  • % of allied troops engaged in fighting (not necessarily nearby).
  • Enemy creature abilities relating to fear.
  • Effectiveness of retreating. (Against the vast majority of enemies a Juggernaught will never retreat, even if vastly outnumbered because it isn't fast enough to succeed and it knows it.)
This, for one thing, means you can make a weaker army less likely to retreat relative to the amount/effectiveness of general support you give them in terms of traps or keeper spells.
 
#14
I always kind of found the fear mechanic annoying. It made sense in some very rare situations, for example, the creature was low on health, or it encountered enemies on it's own accord and was vastly outnumbered. But if I drop a creature near a horde of enemies, I did so for a reason and I want that creature to stay there and fight.
 

Co0kieL0rd

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#15
Your arguments are plausible and convincing. DK2's fear system lacked a lot of keen tuning. Either it should be completely reworked somehow in way the other Cookie described or it's best to have the old DK's system (i. e. you can decide if creatures should attempt to flee if they are low on health).

I also agree with DarkFire's statement that the creature spells in DK2 were way too weak. They actually seemed more like a nerf to certain creatures. E. g. if you wanted a lvl 10 dark angel to rough up a group of foes you had to wait for him to cast his three spells first before he started to deal actual damage with his sword.

And the AI of the Dungeon Keeper games was probably the least challenging I ever encountered and the main reason there was no incentive for long time gameplay (when I started playing DK2, there was no real internet community anymore if there had been one). Certain missions of the campaign could only be difficult when you were short on gold or the enemy had an overwhelming mass of units (the siege mission).

DK's unique game design is really the only thing that makes it so special for me and others probably, too. It's a pity that they didn't put more effort in improving the whole game.
 

Inlaa

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#16
I do wish to repeat one thing from my old post:

significantly lower
Ignore my previous statement about a Courage spell; that was a bad idea. However, to work with what Zur' said about needing cannon fodder units at times - dropping a few units by the enemy horde for a reason -, there can certainly be creatures that are immune to fear. There are always bloodthirsty mooks SOMEWHERE in your arsenal that will go berserk at the first sign of blood. They would operate well in such a role. Other units might be less willing to fight if the battle is "significantly" against them. That is, they'd be willing to fight when outnumbered 2-1, likely, but if you're throwing two of these cowardly critters in front of a massive horde of enemies, I think they'll want to retreat.

Of course, you could also drop your cowardly creatures in a position where they CAN'T retreat. Then they would have to revert to fighting, since they're cornered. That's not possible in every situation, but it's a tactical, plausible choice in certain situations.

Again, I really feel that so long as "significantly lower" is used, and "significantly lower" means a rather massive stacked amount of odds, fear mechanics are fine. There will be creatures that are slightly more prone than others to retreat, and there will be creatures you can depend on to fight until there's just them and a hundred enemy giants left on the battlefield. If you consider that an Underlord/Sovreign/Whatever has armies that partly consist of bloodthirsty demons and the walking dead, this means a decent chunk (though not the majority) of your creature choices could be immune to fear. It should work well.

And, again, there can be certain points where your creatures are willing to fight to the end. Guard Posts could be coded so that creatures posted in them don't retreat (though this gives an advantage to more defensive players, or players who snag an enemy's room and immediately turn it into a guard post). Also, the Dungeon Heart should ALWAYS be a place where your creatures will fight to the end. These are just suggestions, but I think these would also make the fear system more manageable.
 
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#18
Ignore my previous statement about a Courage spell; that was a bad idea. However, to work with what Zur' said about needing cannon fodder units at times - dropping a few units by the enemy horde for a reason -, there can certainly be creatures that are immune to fear. There are always bloodthirsty mooks SOMEWHERE in your arsenal that will go berserk at the first sign of blood. They would operate well in such a role. Other units might be less willing to fight if the battle is "significantly" against them. That is, they'd be willing to fight when outnumbered 2-1, likely, but if you're throwing two of these cowardly critters in front of a massive horde of enemies, I think they'll want to retreat.
Again, I really feel that so long as "significantly lower" is used, and "significantly lower" means a rather massive stacked amount of odds, fear mechanics are fine. There will be creatures that are slightly more prone than others to retreat, and there will be creatures you can depend on to fight until there's just them and a hundred enemy giants left on the battlefield. If you consider that an Underlord/Sovreign/Whatever has armies that partly consist of bloodthirsty demons and the walking dead, this means a decent chunk (though not the majority) of your creature choices could be immune to fear. It should work well.
I will repeat my previous argument about the Fairy against the Vampire for both responses. Some Units, even if significantly outnumbered, can still become victorious if their Strengths greatly expose the enemy's Weaknesses. It's not about blindly selecting a Unit to hold off a specific set of enemies. That would be rather inefficient and ineffective.

Even your enemy Giant example (Though I'm aware it's just an example, I'm countering it with my own example) could be solved if the Player was smart enough to drop down some Archers, who are fast enough to exploit the Giant's low movement speed and lack of ranged capabilities.

Of course, you could also drop your cowardly creatures in a position where they CAN'T retreat. Then they would have to revert to fighting, since they're cornered. That's not possible in every situation, but it's a tactical, plausible choice in certain situations.
I'd imagine that the frequency of encountering such a situation would be very low, unless a Player literally dropped them in the corner of a room. But that mostly depends on how the mechanic is designed.

And, again, there can be certain points where your creatures are willing to fight to the end. Guard Posts could be coded so that creatures posted in them don't retreat (though this gives an advantage to more defensive players, or players who snag an enemy's room and immediately turn it into a guard post). Also, the Dungeon Heart should ALWAYS be a place where your creatures will fight to the end. These are just suggestions, but I think these would also make the fear system more manageable.
What is the point of adding so many ways to counter the Fear System? If anything, your suggestions do imply (to me, at the very least) that you're aware that the Fear System idea is incredibly annoying and so it needs all these ways in order to counter it to reduce the annoying factor. But fact is, its still going to become a major bother in scenarios where you can't put Units in a position where they won't flee and you NEED a Unit who ISN'T immune to Fear in order to properly defend yourself.

My main point is... why bother with the Fear System if it is an annoying mechanic to begin with? It requires so much effort to implement correctly, and to implement it in a way where it isn't annoying, it requires a counter in every, or at least most, situations. And every counter against the Fear System further erases the point of having the Fear System than the previous, thus also effectively killing the point of wasting so much effort into implementing it to begin with. It would be much better, for both Developers and Players, if we just scrap the idea to begin with and instead go with something like the DK1 Fear System. That was good the way it was.

The only thing the Fear System adds is some sense of realism. But honestly, anyone who is upset that a game lacks realism will be even more upset if a game has annoying realistic mechanics. Not all realistic mechanics are a good idea in all situations.
 

Inlaa

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#20
I guess the first thing that should be answered is what value does a Fear mechanic actually have, since it's important that any mechanic included in a video game have some sort of value. So, first, I'll discuss that before actually going back to individual points. After all, if I can't say why I believe a Fear mechanic would be useful, then there's no real reason to even discuss it.

Firstly, I look at a Fear mechanic being fun from a tactical perspective. As someone who has played games like Total War and faced incredible odds (sometimes winning and sometimes losing), I believe it adds another dimension of combat to keep in mind. Yes, this could be translated as "another hoop to jump through," but it also provides both a new way for you to fight your enemy (and him to fight you, too).

As you said, some creatures SHOULD be able to defeat their opponents if they're fast enough - you've mentioned Vampires against Pixies, and Archers defeating giants due to speed. However, this assumes that the terrain you're currently fighting on is advantageous to your troops in this situation, providing them with the perfect vantage point to shoot those giants with their bows. However, once the giants are up in their faces, I'm sure they'll run away until they feel safe to shoot at the giants from a distance where a club won't crack their skulls open.

I never played DK1 as much as I did DK2 (because we lost the CD), so I never encountered that Pixie-vs-Vampire situation, but we're assuming now that the other's player's force consists entirely of a single unit in these fights. A good player would never just use giants, even as my example shows, or just vampires, or just... anything. A good player will balance his forces out with different units, some ranged and some melee. Of course, an archer tactic as you mentioned could still save the day partly, but if that's the case, your troops should be trying to keep themselves far enough away to not die. Nobody said that a Fear mechanic means that your units will run away all the way to the farthest corner of your base. Ranged units could simply run until they're at a safe distance to fight.

And if we're trying to make sure our units have advantageous terrain for their combat purposes, then we may have to adapt our dungeon setup to our unique playstyles. For instance, if you like ranged units a lot, you probably want long corridors or open areas where your archer can shoot things and run back around a corner. Sure, you can't have this everywhere, but you can set up defensive positions in your dungeon to make this work. You don't necessarily need the Fear mechanic for this, let's admit; however, it would be a greater incentive to plan your attacks in ways like that. If you ARE heavily outnumbered and outmatched, then you DO want to play guerrilla warfare against your opponents unless their forces are magically weak to all of your units.

(Also... I believe that a Fear system could actually take weaknesses into account. I'm not sure how the coding would work in that case.)

So, as far as I'm concerned, Fear mechanics help make the game more tactical. However, I will note a few things yet unmentioned that still work against the Fear mechanic on this note, since this merit has its disadvantages:

  • First, not everyone that plays Dungeon Keeper is playing it as a tactical game. Some people would not appreciate this mechanic; others would.
  • Second, a Fear mechanic as described would favor certain tactics over others, potentially. Note the word potentially. If ranged units would run away as described, then quickly shoot at their opponents once they feel safe (and not run until their enemies are closer again), then this could prove to the enemy's advantage. They could even be dropped behind the enemy forces temporarily (if the enemy force is attacking your base) to draw the enemies back the other way as they play hit and run. And if the enemies don't give pursuit, then they can consistently shoot them in the back unless they, themselves, have ranged units.
  • There could be unforeseen glitches with a fear mechanic, as with anything. This is something to keep in mind when your mechanic makes some of your creatures eager to flee.
Other points have already been presented as to why it's a poor idea. However, to overcome the last two points mentioned, I did provide solutions earlier - ones that were seen as counters to such a system.

I'll discuss those now, briefly, as I feel that a lot of systems should (and do) have counters.

What is the point of adding so many ways to counter the Fear System? If anything, your suggestions do imply (to me, at the very least) that you're aware that the Fear System idea is incredibly annoying and so it needs all these ways in order to counter it to reduce the annoying factor. But fact is, its still going to become a major bother in scenarios where you can't put Units in a position where they won't flee and you NEED a Unit who ISN'T immune to Fear in order to properly defend yourself.
To answer the first question, it's because every game has units that defy certain mechanics, and that is part of what makes them unique. Let's look, again, at Total War (I apologize, but it's one of my favorite games). In the Total War series, there are often units who are either very unlikely to rout or are heedless of morale (I.E.: Always have good morale). They are often not your best units, but they do serve that role of being able to take heavy losses for you while still making your enemy bleed. They play into the game's tactical dimension. In the Mario games, many foes you fight can be defeated by jumping on them, yet then we have some units whose backs have spikes on them, and jumping on those is a no-no. One of the creatures that I believe was looked favorable upon in these forums, the Sentinel, a campaign only creature, may only be beatable if you drag it across lava to weaken its armor.

These are all in defiance of a system in place. In almost every system, there are exceptions; and that is why I named possible exceptions. Even if you look at Dungeon Keeper 2, you had dispensable units who were immune to fear - the skeletons. Call them what you will, but those skeletons served their purpose, flimsy as they were. I could use them as 'meatshields' (pun intended... 'cause they don't have any... nevermind) in situations where other troops might not be so eager.

Also, if I recall, you do have certain one-shot-ownt spells in the Dungeon Keeper games to help reduce your enemy's army as it marches through. There's another way to beat the system: Soften your opponents up with magic as they tromp through your base, then smite them with your creatures. (Because I don't -think- you can cast every spell in your opponents' bases, unless I'm confusing Black and White hand mechanics with Dungeon Keeper hand mechanics.)

Also, consider how expensive, both in money and in territory, the Guard Post idea would be as a counter to this. If you have to use some of your land for this on a map where every bit of land is vital, then it's not a powerful counter. It's a counter that's forcing you to waste that precious land, though one that I think think would be worth considering. If you want more creatures in that guard room, you need to expand it so that they can be immune/resistant to fear as well. Etcetera.

And the Dungeon Heart is supposed to be a 'last resort' place to fight; I see no reason why your creatures should NOT fight to the end at the Heart unless a game designer wants the player to cry precious tears of sweet, sweet agony.

So, the counters, I believe, are entirely justified, and they are not numerous. You have some available - using a guard room that will cost you precious space, using select creatures that are immune to fear to hold the front line for you long enough to beat things with their skulls... These are perfectly acceptable counters to the system.

I will repeat my previous argument about the Fairy against the Vampire for both responses. Some Units, even if significantly outnumbered, can still become victorious if their Strengths greatly expose the enemy's Weaknesses. It's not about blindly selecting a Unit to hold off a specific set of enemies. That would be rather inefficient and ineffective.

Even your enemy Giant example (Though I'm aware it's just an example, I'm countering it with my own example) could be solved if the Player was smart enough to drop down some Archers, who are fast enough to exploit the Giant's low movement speed and lack of ranged capabilities.
I believe I answered that in my open statements, but I'll be a bit more specific here to show how it could work. If fear mechanics code your units to flee a certain distance from their foes, then ranged units can shoot beyond that distance. Or, perhaps, fear mechanics code your units to flee beyond the area in which they could be quickly, lethally dealt damage as a group. If there are only two warlocks in the enemy's group of giants (just an example, of course), then the archers could flee to a distance where only the warlocks could hurt them and shoot back at the giants because the warlocks' 'threat level' would not be significantly greater than their own. Since they're out of reach of the giants, their threat has no impact on our archers. This, I believe, is how the Fear mechanics should be coded. There may be issues with this idea I have not addressed, so feel free to point them out. I'm no programmer.

My main point is... why bother with the Fear System if it is an annoying mechanic to begin with? It requires so much effort to implement correctly, and to implement it in a way where it isn't annoying, it requires a counter in every, or at least most, situations.
I would not say that it requires a counter in most situations. That I see as untrue. However, implementing it correctly WOULD take a lot of effort.

Let me say this: I would not throw my game away if there were no fear mechanic, because I realize that making it work properly and without glitches would take a lot - a LOT - of work and balancing. However, I believe it should be somewhere on the 'potential to-dos' list. It adds a whole new tactical dimension (at least in my opinion) that can be avoided or abused by a cunning player. Does it have its faults? Of course it does. Every system is faulty in some way. However, it also has significant merits that should be noted.

So, I'm all for a potential fear mechanic being put in place, but you and others have noted that such a system has its faults. I'll rest my side of this for now, but I do believe it is at least worth considering for this game.
 
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