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Just some ideas

Aug 17, 2016
After playing the game for over 1300 hours over the last year, I decided to put out my comments and suggestions for the future before everything is set in stone with the final update. I've been working on this for quite a while, since ideas come to me randomly, usually after playing certain maps. Some of what follows may be repeated from other posts, some may be controversial. I will try to be somewhat organized. My goal is to provide as much input as I can so that I can continue to play this game for years.
As it stands now, water serves no purpose other than to force the buidling of bridges. The plain water tile is rather ugly, and hard to see. I suggest, first of all, some kind of visual change be made to the plain water tile.
Next, I would suggest that a new terrain consisting of deep water, impassible by creatures (except flying ones) be made, to provide additional barriers to creature movement.
Since we're on the topic of deep water, I turn your attention also to chasms, both empty and water, lava. gold, and blood filled. I think that it would be interesting to have non aligned (and mutually antagonistic to all factions) creatures living in the deep places. They would never be seen, only, perhaps as long tentacles or tendrils reaching out of the chasms, deep water, blood, gold, and lava, to grab any creatures nearby, and causing damage to player built structures in their immediate area. Perhaps after consuming their share of creatures, and doing some damage, they cause no futher harm, at least for a short period. I believe this addition would add some needed uncertainty and randomness to the gameplay.(as well as elminating some overpopulation on some user maps) Since these creatures would be mainly hidden, they would be very difficult to eliminate. For the map maker, there would be a minimum tile requirement for each type of terrain to place these creatures, and perhaps a hunger/damage slider to control their behavior. If implemented, I would also suggest that any method to add these to a map still keep the creture hidden (no picutre on their icons) I would suggest that the only time the fulll creature would appear would be in a situation with a large claimed area near the water/chasm, etc, providing the chance for either the creature to wreak massive havok, or the opportunity to use all one's forces to eliminate it. If an Aurette Monolith is nearby, the destruction of one of these creatures would also solve the dungeonlord's gold issues for the duration of the level. It might also be possible that these creatures do climb out of their environment to spawn their young as well.
I can also see the use of these units in a campaign.
1. Cross an area inhabited by one of these, without losing minions./ or see how many you can lose at once.
2.The use of a temporary "Truce Flag" rallying two, or more factions to defeat the mutually destructive creatures.
3. A map with one goal being the capture of an artifact or something, surrounded by terrain containing one of these creatures.

Another terrain type I would like to see would actually be an overlay to existing tiles. This would be a rubble pile, used when exploring abandoned dungeons, consisting of dirt, broken defense parts, creature remains, and some gold. In order to claim the room, workers would first need to clear the rubble, send the recycled resources to the right rooms, providing some income, some wraiths, and parts for new defenses. In the map editor, these would be painted in a similar method to gold, providing control over which elements exist on these tiles.
In addition, I would further suggest that an abandoned area would also need to be repaired before the underlying rooms would be usable.

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Dungeon Cores
This leads to another idea regarding an abandoned dungeon core. Perhaps once the rooms are cleared out, the core could be claimed and the player's existing core could be moved to the area, perhaps with a Ritual. An additional option would be that perhaps the core is not completely dead, and it revives, either as a new enemy, or as a new ally. It would be interesting to clear out a dormant core, which revives, instantly clears its surrounding area and starts generating minions from the debris itself. This would be an option set in the map editor. As to destroying an active core, In a four dungeonlord map, it would be useful to defeat an enemy, then be able to have them on your side to defeat the other dungeon lords, without being responsible for all their minions yourself. Of course, once the others are defeated, your ally could then turn against you.

This leads me to the subject of destroying an enemy's core. I am conflicted about this, but I think there should be an option to immediately claim the whole dungeon instead of having to claim each room. Alternatively, it would be interesting to provide the option that unclaimed rooms are destroyed or damaged and needing repair, along with the core. This could lead to more interesting strategic gameplay. This could be an option set in the map editor.
I am of the opinion that all of the available rooms should have some type of upgrade available. As to what form this would take, I am not sure. I do know, and agree with others, that the Vaults need to have higher capacity. Whether this is made to the core of the game, or tied to the unlocking of an artifact, an upgrade, or the claiming of a gold shrine, I do believe it needs to be available simply due to the current space limitations of the game. For example, if it were tied to a ritual, perhaps the downside would be it costs half your existing gold to do the upgrade, or needs a minimum amount of gold to work. This change to the Vaults would be especially useful on maps with very limited expansion space. Or, perhaps all room upgrades could simply have a cost involved, taking current ones out of the veins of evil, with a new upgrade/purchase menu.
As to the other rooms that currently do not have upgrades, I would suggest that the upgrade would involve wall props, giving extra capacity. I have played some very interesting DK2 maps with very limited space, that had only a three tile wall torture chamber and training room, leading to some challenging contraints in playing. For example, perhaps the prison is upgraded to include torture walls, without having to first build the torture chamber. Perhaps wall props could be an additional option in the map editor as well. For the Arena, perhaps the upgrade increases the training speed. Maybe the Tavern upgrade provides better meals and drinks, but costs the minions more when they dine. I do think that some, if not all the upgrades should involve some cost, either in mana or gold. On the other hand, I would like the option to have a map that starts out with wall props available when space is at a premium. In addition, for those arguing about open dungeons versus walled, perhaps an upgrade in performance could also be given for open layouts of at least a certain size. This could balance out against the wall props being available for enclosed dungeons. I would also appreciate something change visually more upon the upgrade.
This leads me to the next topic of space. It seems that every room in the game requires too much space to be useful. That is not to say I am against creating large rooms, but there are many times where it would be useful to get more use out of a smaller room, if the functionality were available. I think that more inventive maps could be made if smaller rooms worked better.
The topic of space limitations leads me to the next topic of the Shrines. As they currently exist, some of the Shrines seem to take up more space than they are worth. I know part of the problem with the Perception Shrine is that map makers sometimes just place them randomly, in places that do not seem to enhance the gameplay, but I do think that for their area of influence, they take up too much real estate. The same applies to the Mana Shrine and the Gold Shrine. I really do miss the one block gem tiles in the DK games. Also, a contraint in the other games, with the single tile gems, is that they could be limited by their surrondings, having one to four faces available. The Gold Shrine is always available on all four sides, yet only one worker can work a side, whereas in the DK games, multiple imps could mine even a one faced gem tile.
As to the Mana Shrine, I appreciate the ability it provides, but I think we need an additional option of some kind to increase the rate at which mana regenerates permanently. This could be an additional object, or an artifact, or a costly ritual, or a Temple. As to the Shrines in general, I also think it could make interesting gameplay if they were destroyable/rebuildable. This would change the way a player defends the Shrine, if it is a risk that the advantage it provides could be lost, instead of just having workers from two factions constantly trying to reclaim it. It would also be interesting to destroy one's own Shrine simply to keep a rival from gaining control over it, then slowly rebuilding it once the enemy has been repelled.
In general I believe that if there were optional smaller shrines (including the Inhibitors) available, more interesting maps could be created. An alternative would be to allow larger map sizes, but I imagine there are limitations with the engine.

I would really like some additional passive defenses be made available. Wooden doors are pretty much useless. (But I really like having doors in my dungeons) Give us some additional door options, or allow the wooden door to be upgraded over time, perhaps automatically using defense parts as they are created. The problem with this, of course, is the limitation of the number of available workers. I do not believe a Ritual that upgrades all the doors at once would be advisable, as it would be too easy. Perhaps increases in strength for wooden doors could be purchased. Or, there could be a door that gradually increases in defense strength over time.
I would also like to see some additional passive defenses. The one that would be most easy, I believe, to change, would be to allow empty ramparts to be built, providing an extra layer of defense.
As to active defenses, I can only say that I really miss my lightning traps and boulder traps from the other games.
It would be useful if damaged defenses had some kind of indicator easily seen- maybe their flags could change color as well as losing petals, since it is often difficult, especially playing the Crucible to see which remaining defenses need work, and Workers do not seem to carry replacement parts for damaged defenses. Another additional aid would be if the Defense Parts had a highlight, or different color from the Foundry floor. Perhaps the part boxes could have the dungeon theme color on them.
As noted above, we have a serious limitation in the number of workers available. There have been many times I've been playing user maps, and run out of gold, only to find out it is all piled up in the Tavern, while all my workers are other wise occupied, even though I have a gold vortex set up in the doorway. Perhaps, like other rooms that do not draw minions, (like the prison) we need a unit, say a tavern maid/goblin/ogre to keep things running in good order and make sure all that gold is deposited in the Vault or into a gold vortex, in a timely manner, as well as keeping the place stocked, freeing up workers for more important duties. If this minion battles at all, perhaps it causes disorientation in enemy minions by getting them drunk, or maybe it makes them leave a battle due to hunger. As to the prison, some kind of prison keeper would be useful, one who perhaps randomly eats a prisoner before they can be tortured, or who stupidly lets one loose sometimes, escorts them to the torture chamber or arena, depending on their mood, or a clickable option to apply to them like the peace band. Also on the topic of the prison, and on the torture chamber, I think it would make the game more challenging if not all captured enemies survive imprisonment or conversion. There should be a failure rate of some sort
Minions and Gameplay
I often use the peace function on my Succubi, so that they are always available to convert minions. However, I have never created a War Band, and am not sure how to do so easily. It would seem to make more sense to have a small room available in which you drop minions to create a War Band. Once the first is created, you would have the option on its next use to disband, add to the Band, or create a new one. I believe this is similar to how the Barracks worked in the original DK. ( Since starting this, I have worked with some war bands, but there still seems to be an issue, which having a room might solve)
Something I would really like to see implemented is some sort of bounding box, or field, or something around minions, so that in a battle, I can actually see the individuals instead of just a mass of stuff. Perhaps the limitation that they can get no closer than the reach of their spells, weapons, or fists would work.
As to particular minions-I have a love/hate relationship with the Democorn. It is most annoying to hear that music, but it is a very effective unit. I would suggest that perhaps the volume of its song be reduced. I would also suggest that the extremely loud footstep sound of the Sentinals that was introduced also be reduced in volume.

While the Necromancers have a visible effect when using their staffs, if the Cultists are actually casting spells when in battle, I do not see it. If there is an effect already related to them, I would suggest it is not very visible.
As to the Titans, when I was first playing, it was interesting to zoom to the dungeon core when one was first summoned, and then appeared. Now, it is extremely annoying to get pulled away from a battle each time. I would also like to see some enemy units put in the game which require a specific type of Titan to beat, with or without minion assistance. These units could not be defeated by an underlord's normal minions, but would require a specific Titan. If you've picked the wrong Titan to start with, you would be in a jam until you can spawn another one. I think this would add some interesting gameplay. On a side note, I dislike maps with Titans working for the Empire. If the Empire had something equivalent, like demi-gods, that would be more believable. As it stands, the Empire has no equivalent unit that must be summoned rather than portal-spawned.
In terms of playing against the AIs, I would like to be able to sometimes take over control from a computer teammate to work towards a goal. Pehaps a clickable option to takeover, then restore control to the AI. For example, it would be useful to help a computer teammate take over an area, or drop some blueprints for defenses, etc.
Empire Forces
I do greatly appreciate the variety of units provided in the game, but I find it hard to believe when playing user created maps that the Empire would use the same Beasts as the underlords. It would be nice to have an Empire owned Stable, with their own versions of beasts/creatures, like griffins, unicorns, and other more "positive" animals. It would also be nice to be able to conquer and claim this room, and have it generate those same minions for me, like the Hero Portals continue to spawn those minions when claimed. (The only gameplay issue I see related to this would be how, if possible, this room could be expanded for more output) I also think that the Empire would benefit from an Arena better themed for their use, as well as an alternative to the slaughter pen, more fighting for their forces.
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Map Editor
The first thing I would like to see in the Map Editor is the ability to get out of a map without having to completely exit the Editor. An option to Save and go back to the Load/Import screen would be most welcome.
Secondly, I would like the ability to select something I have built, and paste it or move it elsewhere on the map, instead of having to redraw the whole thing. There have been times I have just wanted to nudge a group of rooms over a few tiles, but am unable to do so. Alternatively, perhaps the ability to select and save as a preset would be easier to implement.
Many of my prior suggestions could be added as options to the map editor.
I would also like to be able to give different Empire areas different themes, instead of having them all be the same on the map.
I believe that it would be useful for map creators to get a warning of some sort when they've created maps with too much stuff going on for an average system to run. An additional limitation would be the number of Titans allowed on a created map. One map I tried (and it was a real trial) to play started out with the enemy having at least 16 Titans.
In addition, it would be very useful to be able to crop a map to reduce its size for the leftover area that won't be used.
I mentioned in a previous post that I think it would be helpful to apply different mutators to different factions. Specifically, being able to eliminate the ability of Empire troops to all teleport to one location instead of staying where they are placed in the editor. Which leads me to the thinking, which has also been expressed by others, that an Empire with a dungeon core has too many dungeon lord abilities.
Another addition for user maps would be a difficulty setting for players to use before starting the level. For example, Standard, would be as the map is set up. Easy might decrease the enemy levels by 1 or two, and difficult would raise those same levels. This might also allow mapmakers to create their maps without needing to add unreasonable numbers of enemies. For the map maker, I think it would be useful, especially once the AI improvements are made, to set the enemy AI personality defaults in the map editor, which could still be changed in the player loading screen. Allowance would have to be made to account for the fact that the player will choose their starting point. (For a four player game, the map creator would assign default personalities/levels for all four, one of which would then be eliminated by the starting position of the player)
Another option to apply in the game editor would be to hide the full map image for the exported file. This would retain more mystery when playing the map.
I also apologize if some of these suggestions have already been implemented, since I haven't used the editor in a while.
For the game loading screen, I would suggest that for 3 and 4 dungeon lord skirmish games, that the default settings for the 3rd and 4th dungeons be set at Medium, at least, instead of "Closed". There have been many times where I've had to go back and reload the map because those other players didn't exist, because I forgot to set them up. Setting them to Medium, which, I guess is standard, would at least give a good starting point.
These have been discussed before, and will continue to be, and I have some suggestions of my own as to what would be useful.
1. A trigger to change a rock tile to some other tile, (dirt or brimstone) based on another tile elsewhere being crossed or claimed, or one that is timed. The same could be applied to unlocking a locked door, allowing enemies to come through at a specified time.
2. The ability to create a group of enemies, put them in an area, and give them a timed trigger. This could be implemented as a single instance, or perhaps with options to change the population and level with each drop. One thing I am hoping for with the upcoming AI change is that enemy diggers will actually dig when placed on a map.
3. The ability to put some Empire diggers on a map and get them to dig toward a certain dungeon.
While the first campaign provided some basic tutoring, I believe the game could greatly benefit from a tutorial campaign, or sequence of maps, or one map requiring the use of underlord skills, rituals, spells, and specific units. Specifically, war bands would have to be created for one challenge, (no creature drops allowed), a goal requiring possession, one requiring conversion of all enemies, one requiring converting all to gold, one that requires Vampires to complete, one that is all Beast based, one that is a Titan only challenge, one that is primarily defense based (since your minions aren't allowed out of the dungeon) , one that teaches an underlord what to do with rebelling minions, and others. I am thinking of a campaign that generally trains an Underlord in the use of all their resources so that they can meet the enemy later on, fully trained and equiped. Perhaps this could be a separate game mode instead, with escalating challenges. As an example of this need, I mention that I only found out about the ability to recall all rallied minions at once with the Recall/Teleport spell by watching a video recently.

General Stuff
Please fix the map loading screen scroll. I do not know if it is an homage to the original DK in how difficult it was to scroll to a map, but I have the same problem with WFTO. I do use the mouse wheel, but the scroll function, when I can get it to work, is much faster. Another thing that would be helpful in the Map Loading area would be the ability to sort the maps, and perhaps create groups of them instead of having to go down the whole list.
On the main game screen, I have another issue with scrolling, primarily after I've converted an assortment of Empire minions. When trying to scroll left or right, the icons go all the way to the end, and it is very difficult, and sometimes impossible to scroll in increments, and pick minions in the middle of the listing.
I've played some user maps with a bunch of Artifacts of Revelation, and I have to have one that actually revealed the map.
It would be useful for the announcements, like, "your minions are rebelling" to have the minimap prompt (the expanding circle) be in a color other than the dungeon color, and perhaps last longer. It would be nice also to have the minimap minion indicators change to a different color under these conditions, as well as being able to find an unhappy minion.
Finally, since the last update, I have noticed some weirdness with the hand of evil cursor when picking up minions, it rapidly changes states between the regular hand and the pickaxe hand, which is quite annoying. Also, I have found that since the update, I can no longer pick up a minion or artifact and right click a room without the hand dropping the picked minion or artifact.

For the Future/Sequel?
Another thought occurs to me that could give the game legs for some time to come. This would be an additional editor, with the ability to export to the Map editor, user created rooms, spells, etc., perhaps with a set of different tile textures available, or the ability to import user created tile textures. I do not know how this could be implemented, perhaps with some sort of grid or checklist as to the functions these additions would use. I remember prior posts about additional rooms of different kinds. For example, a player creates a set of tiles of vegetation, and when imported, they are given the option to how these tiles function. Perhaps the green room provides an alternative to eating pork all the time in the tavern, or brews stronger beer, increasing happiness. This would give map creators additional control over their maps, perhaps creating their own variations of traps and defenses, the ability to create an infinite gold block, a mana source, or a different type of portal. These user created resources could also be downloadable separately from an individual map. This could be also used also to add individual ornamention to different rooms, like decorating the lairs giving players the ability to customize their dungeon each time they play. An additional option would be to allow the import of user created creatures, with a corresponding set of character setup controls.(I guess this all leads to an open version of the game, and whether that is desirable for the team is up to them)

1. Get to see some above ground areas.
2. A truly 3 dimensional dungeon. I want to dig down, reach the lowest level, and move my dungeon core to the best protected area I can.
3. Make the game moddable. (see above also for some additional ideas) Provide the ability to import tiles/textures, create different rooms with different effects on gameplay. The same for traps and minions. Alternatively, create a defense research screen/room, to put together different kinds of defenses from a collection of parts and effects. The same could be said for additional spells. Allow game players to add their own touches to the game. If you stay on Steam, or if it's available on GOG, let people contribute to the game, so, for example, someone wants to make the game more similar to some other dungeon game, they can do so for their own, and friends' use.
4. Include some different factions. I'm sure an underlord could prevail against a fairy realm, or a mythological pantheon, a city of steampunk robots, the denizons of Wonderland or Oz or against the hordes of Mordor.

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Likes: Ontos
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