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[Mechanic - Campaign] Subordinate Underlords

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Enjou

Ember Demon
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Jan 10, 2012
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#1
So in the DK2 campaign the main rival Keeper Nemesis has a number of lesser Keepers under his rule. As the most powerful Keeper whose time preceded your reign of terror this makes sense - not every Keeper is ambitious enough to try their hand at world domination but still want a nice little slice of land to terrorize in relative safety, and as such some will begrudgingly submit to the rule of a greater evil. On the other hand, here you come storming onto the scene like a badass slaughtering every enemy in sight, so you'd think that after killing multiple lords and rival Keepers that at least some lesser Keepers out there might see the benefit of currying your favor by swearing fealty, but that didn't happen.

So what I suggest in the campaign is just that - at some point some other Underlords should recognize the player's strength and submit. There should also be choices in the campaign such that you don't always get the same subordinates. Here's a couple of possible scenarios as examples:

1. In the previous level you have slain an Underlord of some power, and now his children (say two brothers and two sisters) are fighting over what's left of his domain. Each one has a specialty - one is good with traps, one is good with magic, etc, and have a lot of the creatures associated with said specialty. Being an evil family, they hate one another. They also aren't particularly mad at you for killing their parent, seeing as the only reason they didn't try to overthrow him was because they couldn't trust eachother. When you come onto the scene where they all make you the same offer - slay their siblings and they will serve you. Whichever you don't kill becomes your new servant.

2. There is a land where two rival Underlords have fought to a stalemate. The Emperor sees this as an opportunity to eliminate two Underlords and sends his vassals to slay them. You arrive and have the opportunity to save one of them - you lack the time and resources to save both. You must tunnel your way to one of them and save them before the enemy assault is successful. The other will die, and the forces sent to kill him will then turn back to kill you and your newfound servant and you must keep him alive and kill the enemy leader.

As to how these subordinates might affect the campaign, I have a few ideas:

1. They will grant you creatures that they specialize in on some levels. This could be at the start, or during some scripted event in a mission - like say sending an assault team in as a distraction or to assassinate an enemy leader when you're charging in.

2. They could actually participate in some levels. For instance one might be facing the heroes up front, distracting them from your presence as you slowly sneak your way towards their base. (this also introduced the possibility of losing subordinate Underlords, if you don't act quickly enough) You might also be able to pick which subordinates you use in such missions.

3. You introduce a minor strategy layer where you have your subordinates do certain tasks. For instance, you could assign one subordinate to gather gold, which might increase your starting gold reserves in certain levels. Or you could assign a subordinate to recruit creatures, which would give you a decently leveled creature at the start of a mission.
 

Robofish

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#3
It would be one excuse for introducing allies into campaign levels, albeit lesser allies who will not win the game for you, but contribute some level of assistance. Maybe they could be dropping in a few creatures to your battles, and diverting some attention away from you, while maintaining a dungeon somewhere within reach, but not so close as to interfere with your borders?
 
Jan 7, 2012
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#4
Thats an awesome Idea, something thats make the campaign worthy of several playthroughs!


Maybe they could be dropping in a few creatures to your battles, and diverting some attention away from you, while maintaining a dungeon somewhere within reach, but not so close as to interfere with your borders?
Sorry im fussy but that wouldnt make much sense. An underlords abbilitys are restricted to his area of influence. Why should your subordinate be able too drop his creatures in other countrsy and realms too aid you, while you have to stay on your tiles?
But some constant boosts would be good. like some aidtroops through the portal/a scripted event, or a higher attraction rate for creatures the subordinate was known for. (like the vampire keeper from dk2)
 

Robofish

Necromancer
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#5
What I mean is they would be another AI player in the level on your side, and allied keepers would be able to drop creatures on each others tiles; thus they would drop a few of their creatures onto your tiles to help in battles. This would only work as a fixed part of the campaign though, otherwise it's too imbalanced if your just looking for some optionally obtainable bonus.
 
Jun 27, 2012
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#6
It might be an interesting gimmick if you can choose your succesor whenever you conquer a campaign level. To give the idea it will be ruled in your stead while you move to another realm to conquer it.

Maybe different succesors could be made available as you conquer the level, by meeting different secondary goals. Each succesor could mean a different bonus for your next realm. Starting with extra imps, some traps, a certain room or spell researched, a creature, etc. You could only choose one of course. And the benefit you bring to the next realm would represent their tribute to you.
 

Eric_shadowblade

Warden
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Dec 23, 2012
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#7
intresting idea this is something i think DK lacked but on the subject of multiple realms i believe it would be kinda cool to have a dynamic campaign where the world layout is randomized and playthrough and also having other underlords and heros expanding thier territory would make each playthrough diffrent
 
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Saint

Blood Imp
Dec 28, 2012
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#8
Great idea. Maybe this could be even an excuse for a co-op campaign of a diffrent type. Giving the second player limited options would be a lot easier to balance than having a full fledged co-op in SP. And the fact, that he's a "sub-underlord" could justify why he has limited abilities.

Anyway, even if it's a basic AI ally or just "tribute bonus" after each level - a nice idea non the less.
 

Brightpaw

Ghoul
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Feb 21, 2013
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#9
If you do it that way, there's even the possibility of adding in drop-in/out co-op if the Main underlord has a sub-lord tagging a long, a player could drop in to assist the main lord far more efficiently than the AI can.
 

Sam

Blood Imp
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Feb 25, 2013
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#10
I was thinking about this idea earlier, though they were more uneasy allies in my head. Like teaming up against the heroic boss and then betraying one another for whatever the portal gem equivalent is.

I can't remember how, but I think I managed to get Faust and Fabian to kill each other in DK2 while I killed...the green one. (Think that may have been Fabian, Faust is such a yellow word) Either way I was just messing about with cheats, probably not possible in ordinary gameplay, but it was fun and an entertaining strategy. But then again I am sad. Anyway, definitely support.

Actually to add, how about you "possessing" the subordinate? Acting as a horcrux basically, an extra life. Only possible if you happen to complete a complex ritual or something. Could also work to make the storyline stronger, allowing characters like Nemesis to feature throughout the game. For most of DK2, I had no idea who or what Nemesis was, so the Nemesis level felt a bit of an anticlimax for me.
 

Brightpaw

Ghoul
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Feb 21, 2013
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#11
I think subordinate/co-op underlords is a good mechanic. If only because it does allow as above potential drop in/out co-op play. However they would become more of a vassel, i imagine they'd only betray you if they thought they were going to die at that point, or you were going to munch on their tasty dungeon heart for breakfast. It's good to be bad, i mean, but what's the fun if everyone's trying to backstab one another at the same time? we just all end up staring at eachother with an arm behind out backs making little progress. XD
 
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Jan 3, 2013
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#12
Technically it will be more like a ME storyline.

You killed a guy - his friends and girlfriend come after your head.

You spared him - he sends you gold and free creatures in your next level. If you spared a ''boss'' or saved a ''good'' guy, he may even help you in the next level personally. This will require a flexible campaign, dunno if devs are up to it.
 

Badwolf699

Juggernaut
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Dec 18, 2011
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#13
Having Lesser Underlords sounds interesting, one thing I noticed in DK1 was that the other keepers were allied with each other and they all hated you.
 
Feb 17, 2013
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#15
Yes Brilliant idea man, during the course of the campaign as your status becomes recognised other keepers begin to aid you with their own dungeons, this will definately add to the epicness of the game!
 
Jan 3, 2013
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#16
Yes Brilliant idea man, during the course of the campaign as your status becomes recognised other keepers begin to aid you with their own dungeons, this will definately add to the epicness of the game!
That's assuming we will have enough missions to enjoy this epicness....
 

Enjou

Ember Demon
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#17
That's assuming we will have enough missions to enjoy this epicness....
We know that we may get less missions than the DK campaigns had, but we also know that if we do the missions will be larger in scale, so number of missions is not necessarily a blocker. Also, polls in the forum indicated that the extended campaign was the most popular flex goal and we are rather close to the costs for that and I imagine steam sales will enable us to get it so I think we'll have plenty of epicness.

Personally I really hope we get something like this. In the vein of the Overlord II morality system of Domination and Destruction, I prefer the notion of being the former. It just appeals to my evil side to dominate others and use them as tools for my war machine. However, I think others might prefer being destroyers and would like to slaughter every other Underlord without mercy to get their resources immediately, so that should definitely be an option as well. Even if it's just a story mechanic with no other benefits I'd still be happy to have the choice.
 

Lord Proteus

Priestess
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Mar 8, 2013
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#18
I support this. The more the campaign lets me feel like i am an Underlord out to conquer the world, the better. Logically a Subordinate or two is what an aspiring evil Emperor would have to help facilitate this. Also fun.
 
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Mozared

Juggernaut
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Feb 17, 2013
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#19
Pada pa padaaa,

I'm lovin' it.

It's really a relatively simple addition that could make the campaign a lot more fun instantly. Plus, as mentioned, it makes a bit more sense lorewise than the old DK2 campaign where every enemy keeper just hates you forever.
 

Tenebris

Gnarling
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Feb 2, 2013
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#20
I endorse this concept eagerly.

Also;

intresting idea this is something i think DK lacked but on the subject of multiple realms i believe it would be kinda cool to have a dynamic campaign where the world layout is randomized and playthrough and also having other underlords and heros expanding thier territory would make each playthrough diffrent
This would be a nice optional - Likely as a mod or add-on much later on. Brings in that element of Grand Strategy.
 
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