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[Ritual] Walpurgis

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Sep 8, 2013
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#1
Walpurgis:
Highlight: It empowers your imps, and allows them to boldly go where no sane imp has gone before.
Vein: Greed
Type: Ritual
Effect:
A- Your territory cannot be claimed by enemies while Walpurgis is active
B- Your nexus bursts into flame. Nearby enemies are dealt heavy damage. Minions are able to perform acts of worship at the nexus.
C- Your imps no longer flee in fear of enemies, are nearly impossible to interrupt or divert from their work, and take far less damage than they normally would.

Cost: Labor+ gold and/or sacrifice. Casting it relatively early should be possible if you really push your limits. Casting it after Avarice and/or other greed effects have improved your resource base should be more normal. It might be reasonable to scale the cost to worker count.

Appearance: The most powerful visual is your Nexus, but your territory and imps are also engulfed in a weaker more ghostly flame, corresponding to your faction color.


Flavor- Walpurgis is a special day where witches commune with their gods. In our case, our minions are communing with us. As such, the underlord is central to the ritual. But what exactly is an underlord? The nexus, of course, his territories, and most importantly, his imps. It's a time where minions show their respect, and the underlord reveals the true extent of his powers.

Also, it seems to me like greed should be the most capable of expanding its territory, and of stealing the enemy's land.

Mechanics- I've always been a fan of attacking enemies in somewhat backward manners. In turn, I've always liked tower rushing. This ritual's primary design is to send imps forward into enemy territory, allowing you to expand your traps and magic like a knife to the enemy's dungeon. That said, the ritual has an array of potential uses, from securing gold or shrines in dangerous territories, to an emergency defense.
 
Likes: Amon

Nutter

Frost Weaver
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#2
A few little tweak I'd suggest just to help balance it.
  1. Something along the lines of "Enemy Imps take damage over time whilst trying to claim your territory" as opposed to simple "They can't take over your territory"
  2. The Nexus effect seems fine, although the effects of the worship would have be to explained further and the actual visual effect might need to depend on the appearance of the Nexus (I.E each one has a unique animation fitting for it's theme)
  3. I think buffing the imps as part of the ritual is a great idea, but making them fearless and take less damage seems a little OP to me. I'd suggest Fearless and a large boost to their movement speed and their work speed.
    Maybe a small buff to their attack power too, it would help if they were defending your nexus, and make them a little better in enemy territory.

    The way I see it is, this is a rush so the enemy player already has to react quickly and move forces all over his dungeon to counteract this "Imp Rush" by moving minions and using spells on multiple areas at once, so Imps having extra resistance to damage its just a little too strong.
 
Sep 8, 2013
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Parts Unknown
#3
1- You're almost certainly right. More interactivity is normally better. Just so long as the ritual doesn't end up tricking the enemy into slaughtering his own workers.
2- The worship effect would be identical to praying at an upgraded sanctuary. It's mostly meant to look cool.
3- I don't know how tough imps will be. If they're fearless but take normal damage, wouldn't they just be slaughtered? Of course, if they worked faster that could allow less toughness to go further, so it's the same result. Working faster as opposed to being tougher would make the ritual more versatile. I'm not sure if that's a good thing. Furthermore, it would seem to be outside greed's style if the imps became better siege diggers. The ritual should very specifically not help breach walls.
 
Likes: Amon

Nutter

Frost Weaver
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#4
In order for them to be slaughtered, they first have to be caught. Which when you surprise an enemy with a rush (and that enemy might panic anyway) they have to move a bunch of creatures around to start defending/killing your imps.. all of which takes time and allows your imps to push into their base and start claiming. Likewise, if the enemy player doesn't react quick enough, once a rushing imp reaches an "important" room such as a lair or tavern where creatures are likely to be... the minions within it will begin to defend and start to kill the imps. It just helps balance it so a group of imps can't storm an entire dungeon with a single ritual use.

I do agree that maybe their digging skills shouldn't be buffed, I was only really thinking their running speed and claiming speed.

It's a Land Grabbing form of greed so that relates more to taking over enemy territory rather than digging out new territory, atleast IMO.

Either way, I like it.. it's a cool idea for a ritual. (I'm also curious how you came up with the name?)
 

Amon

Ember Demon
Apr 14, 2012
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#6
I love the idea of Walpurgis. Probably my favourite holiday [other than All Hallows Eve, which is exactly six months after/before Walpurgis]. And I like your take on it.
+5 for the idea, +210 for the name/reference.
:)
 
Jan 3, 2013
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#7
Imps in DK2 used to act that way thanks to Call-to-Arms spell.

What you suggest however makes imps way too powerful as they will simply capture half of the map unless killed. Having your territory secured also means opponent won't be able to reclaim anything back while ritual is active, while you can just sell everything you captured for gold.

You really should rework it, right now it's too OP.
 
Sep 8, 2013
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#8
I'm not sure how an ability can be overpowered at this stage. By fiddling with the cost, duration and effectiveness of the ability, it can be balanced. That's just an issue of play testing.

One thing I want to note, by the nature of rituals, no amount of resources will allow the ability to be always on. Casting the ritual should take a significant amount of time, and the next cast can't begin until the last one is activated.

That said, the complaint can be summarized into three possibilities-
A- The ability is innately unfun. Imps shouldn't be usable offensively.
B- The ability would have to run for an extremely short amount of time. This would cause the ability to be too technical to be fun.
C- The ability would be too boolean- either it would work or it wouldn't.

Although the imps are tougher, this doesn't make them immortal. A solid trap setup should prevent a reckless offensive.

The primary defense against Walpurgis, is that it does little to nothing against walls. Also to note is doors, and any other barriers. Simply put, imps can't claim land they can't reach. In order for the ritual to be useful at all, siege and a significant amount of firepower has to be used in conjunction with the attack.

Walpurgis gives a significant advantage if you're trying to seize an unfortified position (a shrine controlled by an enemy.) (or gold that the enemy hasn't mined yet.) but that seems appropriate. If you invest in collecting resources and undercutting the enemy you should be able to do so.

Walpurgis can be used in an alpha strike. This is intentional. However, I do not believe that just getting the ritual off will guarantee much in the way of benefits, much less victory.

Notably, even with an arbitrary number of imps, a room can only be taken at a certain speed. There is a hard limit to how far the spell can take you, and if the enemy is stronger than you, he can protect himself with buffer space.

It scales rather nicely to its length. The ability doesn't have to last that long to be significant. If you have a large foundry and some resources, you should be able to unload something nasty in a short period of time.

All in all, I don't think B is reasonable. The ritual requires significant investment, planning and execution to attack with. I'm actually a lot more afraid of C.

Walpurgis has somewhat of a "If you're winning you win." effect. In itself, that isn't terrible, but it can make an ability subtly simplistic.

That said, defending against it encourages solid dungeon design. In turn, it discourages an army only view of the battlefield. Even if the attack succeeds, the enemy can still survive just by buying time and preserving what he can of his dungeon. When the effect ends, he can still counterattack and reverse the battlefield, especially if he has his own ritual waiting to be executed and an army stronger than your own.

While Walpurgis is usable as an alpha strike it also has two other primary uses- the first I've mentioned several times, it's a way to seize undefended land. That seems perfectly balanced in itself.

The other method is to raid with Walpurgis. If you side penetrate the enemy's dungeon and capture some land, he's forced to abandon the territory or his home turf advantage. In a worst case scenario (for the enemy) he will have to fight a retreating battle to avoid giving up the benefits of fighting on his territory. In this way, even if you don't have enough force to break through, you can cause havoc in the enemy's position.

Walpurgis has two important secondary uses-
A- Protecting workers.
B- Protecting Land.

Sometimes, the enemy hasn't really surpassed your power level, but his ground level battle power is significantly above yours. In this situation, Walpurgis can be used to buy time while you retool resources into weapons. Even if it can't outright cripple an invading army, it can least keep you alive and keep your land and workers safe to rebuild with.

So...

Walpurgis lets you do something you normally wouldn't be able to. That said, it stays rather solidly within base mechanics, and can be answered normally. For most situations, I would be a lot more afraid of an enemy using Weaken+Hellfire potions than an enemy using Walpurgis+Work-A-Lot potions.
 

Miyavi

Crackpot
Jan 4, 2013
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#13
I had a similar idea for a "witching hour" ritual that caused all the tiles, imps and creatures glow with ghost fire and made your imps work twice as fast and twice as hard and not stop working for ANYTHING even CC, would also make all your creatures stronger while in your territory.
 
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