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WFTO Wednesday #52: Super Units

Enjou

Ember Demon
WFTO Backer
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#46
I've been mulling over the design of these units and I can't help but notice how well balanced they seem to be against one another. Here's my assessment:

Behemoth - Strongest super unit individually. Ideal for attacking. Probably in the middle in terms of the power of it's regular attacks, with normal attack speed. Also in the middle health wise, but smaller forces won't be able to kill it easily due to Relentless, thus requiring focused attacks to bring the beast down.

Eternal - Capable individually, but best when supported with units and defenses. Ideal for defending. It's regular attack probably packs the most punch, but has a relatively slow rate of attack. Might move slowly too. Very high health would make it durable enough for sustained engagement against all but the largest forces.

Archon - Weakest individually, and requires an army to be effective. Good for both attack and defense so long as it has a suitable army, so is suited to many strategies. It's attack is weak, but is ranged and may have a high rate of attack. Low health relative to other super units, but it will be fine so long as it stays outside the melee.

As to the battles...

Behemoth vs. Eternal - The Behemoth's Dread and the Eternal's Steadfast passives effectively cancel each other out, or if they vary in level of power one at least weakens the other. Presumably in this fight the Eternal will normally be on the defending side, with the strategy being that the attacker will hopefully lose most of his forces against the player's defenses opening up the opportunity for a counterattack against a dungeon with insufficient defenders. However, the Behemoth's Siege Weapon and Rampant Charge abilities make the defender's traps less useful against it, and Relentless makes it so that it's hard to kill. However, the attacking army is still vulnerable to traps and the Eternal looks like it's tough enough to take a beating from the Behemoth while the defending force deals with the rest of the enemies, allowing them to eventually focus all attacks on it to bring it down. The additional mana from the Eternal gives the defender some extra spells to throw around, and all else being equal I'd say how that is used would determine the victor.

Behemoth vs. Archon - If it's late enough in the conflict for both players to have super units, a Greed player is likely to have a bigger army by this point. Coupled with Godly Presence, the Archon's side would normally have a strong advantage. However, the Behemoth's Dread ability comes into play here quite well. Normally morale would be quite high as the Archon's army tears the enemy to shreds, but coupled with the inevitable additional morale loss that the Behemoth will cause by killing units the Archon's army may begin to panic and break. Further, if the Behemoth targets the Archon it's likely that the Behemoth will win as the Archon is aimed more towards supporting from the back and lacks toughness compared to the other super units. Conversely though, if the Archon's buffed army focuses upon the Behemoth early enough in the fight they can take it down in the outset and keep the tide in their favor. Add in the ability to summon reinforcements from enemy corpses and the ability to stun any units backing the Behemoth, and things could easily go the Archon's way.

Eternal vs Archon - Again I'm going to presume the Eternal will usually be defending here. The Eternal's Steadfast ability will keep an army that would normally break against the buffed forces of the Archon from fleeing, and the Seismic Slam will buy time for the defending units and traps to deal extra damage instead of getting their asses handed to them. The additional spells the defender has will also be useful in keeping an advantage, and if the Eternal somehow manages to break through the enemy lines to get to the Archon it's going to end quickly. However, the Archon's buffs will increase the attacking army's survivability against traps, and by being able to stun every unit it attacks it can ensure its forces have ample time to beat the living snot out their foes which will further enable it to summon Sentinels to turn the tide even further in its favor.


Two questions that haven't been asked about these - can they be possessed, and do they require pay on payday?
 

Noontide

Designer / Community Manager
Brightrock Games
Dec 8, 2012
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#47
It's just a one-off £1.99 microtransaction every time you want to call it out. P2W is the future, mate. ;)
While I certainly appreciate your dedication to the cause I think we're rapidly nearing the point where a joke can be taken too far and start to derail a topic. ;)

Now I wonder how expensive it will be to get such super unit....
There will certainly be a number of costs associated with getting one of these and it can vary greatly. Hopefully we'll be revealing a little bit more in the future about rituals which will clear a few things up.

Two questions that haven't been asked about these - can they be possessed, and do they require pay on payday?
Genuinely very interesting questions. I don't think anything's been nailed down exactly about these as they're both very granular balance questions that would no doubt require testing.

Just how powerful would one of these units be when possessed? And is that power still offset by the loss of control over the rest of the game, that's a question that I'm sure will be asked further down the line.

In terms of Payday there is the matter of unit type, for example the Behemoth is a beast and beasts do not require pay. While the others are not exactly Intelligent units either in the strictest sense. Again it's all a question of balance.

I'm sure Jash or Moz would be able to shine some designer light on these questions.
 
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Jan 3, 2013
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#48
Two questions that haven't been asked about these - can they be possessed, and do they require pay on payday?
I believe they shouldn't require any payment since the price of their summoning surely won't be cheap. As for possession, they shouldn't be possessed, considering the fact each of them will be much more powerful than any other unit.
 
Dec 29, 2012
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#49
All these designs are great, and the game changing mechanics all sound like a ton of fun. The Archon is easily my favorite, both aesthetically, and mechanically. Although, I'm also curious. Will there be mechanics that make Super Units harder to maintain?


the eternal could looks something like this instead.

Also, why Anubis. Not only is he overexposed, but he isn't even an evil god. Set's the Egyptian god of evil, and chaos. Why not him?
 

Nutter

Frost Weaver
WFTO Founder
Jan 19, 2013
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#50
That is actually similar to what it will look like in-game, but it'll most likely be a shade of blue.

Edit: Confirming that Succubi cannot charm super units, that would just be OP :)
I knew I should have drawn blue energy instead of green! Mana is always blue.. silly me.

Purely out of curiosity, is there any reason that the special effects that would included in-game aren't shown on the concept art? My guess would be that the concept art is meant primarily for the 3d modellers who just need the shape of the mesh?
 

Mozared

Juggernaut
WFTO Founder
Feb 17, 2013
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#51
Two questions that haven't been asked about these - can they be possessed, and do they require pay on payday?
Just how powerful would one of these units be when possessed? And is that power still offset by the loss of control over the rest of the game, that's a question that I'm sure will be asked further down the line.

In terms of Payday there is the matter of unit type, for example the Behemoth is a beast and beasts do not require pay. While the others are not exactly Intelligent units either in the strictest sense. Again it's all a question of balance.
As for payday, I'm pretty sure the current plan is to not have any of these units cost wages. Not only does it make more sense from a lore perspective, but it would also feel a bit off if getting a 'super unit' penalizes you if things don't play out the way you want: say you get an Eternal against a Greed/Wrath dual-spec player who has been aiming to attack your dungeon - at this point all he basically has to do is not attack, spec further into greed and completely outclass you while you're losing money on a unit that's completely useless to you at the moment and that you cannot get rid of.

In regards to Possession: this is something that would have to come up in playtesting before we can say anything on it. I can't take much of a gamble towards Simburgur's thoughts on this and he may take a "lets just not do it" stance on it, but regardless we couldn't say if it were even an option before seeing it in action.

Purely out of curiosity, is there any reason that the special effects that would included in-game aren't shown on the concept art? My guess would be that the concept art is meant primarily for the 3d modellers who just need the shape of the mesh?
There's a number of reasons, the one you mentioned being one of them. There's also the simple fact that often we don't really think about the VFX when drawing up the basic unit and simply leave it to our VFX artist Jack to come up with something fun if it is deemed necessary when the units' basic model and texture are done.
 

Nutter

Frost Weaver
WFTO Founder
Jan 19, 2013
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#52
Getting back on topic, (sorry for me going a little offtopic with my last question) will there be a way to "dispose" of a super unit you don't want anymore... let's say for example.. i've had an Eternal for a while, my opponent is now fairly battered from an attack which I blocked. Obviously for my final push to overwhelm him, a Behemoth would be more use than the Eternal would. Do I have to wait for the Eternal to die/run out of time/mana or can I for example.. slap it to get rid of it or toggle the ritual button to get rid of it or as an alternative... could summoning another super unit override the old one and destroy it ready for the new one to appear?
 
Nov 13, 2013
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#53
I believe they shouldn't require any payment since the price of their summoning surely won't be cheap. As for possession, they shouldn't be possessed, considering the fact each of them will be much more powerful than any other unit.
Well, while it makes sense for the behemoth not to have payday, keep in mind that the archon is a cultist turned god. He became that because he was greedy and I believe the lore states they have lots of gold in their home deminsion. I would think it very odd that such a greedy creature who is stated to like gold wouldn't ask for pay, no matter how expensive summoning him is. The eternal could honestly go either way, he is intelligent so like other intelligents would get a payday, but he is a god like being outside of time so he could have neither want or use for gold.

We could always adjust elite stats to take payday a into account.

I would be pretty disappointed if I couldn't possess elite creatures, I would love to rampage as them :). I heard somewhere that possession would cost mana as long as you possess, so perhaps we could ramp up the possess cost of the elites so you couldn't possess them for any long length of time. Of course I would still be dissipointed if I could only be a behemoth for 5 sec or something like that but I would be willing to settle for it if that is what it takes to balance the game :)
 

Simburgur

Managing Director
Brightrock Games
Nov 10, 2011
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#54
Possession: Note the severe lack of active abilities. You purposefully won't be able to have a huge impact when possessing.

Pay day: Nope.
Purely out of curiosity, is there any reason that the special effects that would included in-game aren't shown on the concept art? My guess would be that the concept art is meant primarily for the 3d modellers who just need the shape of the mesh?
Pretty much. Bobby concepts the actual units (then Pat models them), and Garrett concepts the fx (then Jack creates them).
 

Enjou

Ember Demon
WFTO Backer
Jan 10, 2012
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#55
Possession: Note the severe lack of active abilities. You purposefully won't be able to have a huge impact when possessing.
My one worry with possessing them is that it may make it too easy for a Behemoth or Eternal to close in on an Archon - that can be a huge impact since the Archon wouldn't outlast either of them. The other player would have to be on the watch for it so they could move out of the way, or the Archon's AI could be good enough to try to move back if attacked like this.
 
Nov 13, 2013
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#56
Possession: Note the severe lack of active abilities. You purposefully won't be able to have a huge impact when possessing.

Pay day: Nope.

Pretty much. Bobby concepts the actual units (then Pat models them), and Garrett concepts the fx (then Jack creates them).
Glad to hear we can possess them :)

Hmm, I no payday makes since for eternal and behemoth but do we have lore reason why archons don't?
His lore does confirm him as very greedy and "amassing great wealth and fortune"( which I assume is lots of gold?) in their home worlds. It seems like it would be un-thematic for such a greedy creature not to ask for a payday.

As far as balance is concerned, greed is the vein with gold generating and gold conserving abilities so I would think they could handle their elite asking for gold, unless they are in very dire straits.
Just to be clear, if you guys are sure that the archon asking for pay wouldn't work then I won't push the issue. I just think it would be very cool and thematic if we can balance the archon with a payday :)
 

Simburgur

Managing Director
Brightrock Games
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#57
While that is true, the same could be said for any high damage unit vs any valuable target. That is the advantage you gain when possessing - the tradeoff is you not being able to impact the game in any other way.
 

Simburgur

Managing Director
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#58
Glad to hear we can possess them :)

Hmm, I no payday makes since for eternal and behemoth but do we have lore reason why archons don't?
His lore does confirm him as very greedy and "amassing great wealth and fortune"( which I assume is lots of gold?) in their home worlds. It seems like it would be un-thematic for such a greedy creature not to ask for a payday.

As far as balance is concerned, greed is the vein with gold generating and gold conserving abilities so I would think they could handle their elite asking for gold, unless they are in very dire straits.
Just to be clear, if you guys are sure that the archon asking for pay wouldn't work then I won't push the issue. I just think it would be very cool and thematic if we can balance the archon with a payday :)
It's more about mechanical consistency than anything else. These 3 units exist for their relatively singular purposes - no distractions.
 
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#59
It's more about mechanical consistency than anything else. These 3 units exist for their relatively singular purposes - no distractions.
Okay I can live with that, it's a pretty minor bit of lore after all :)

And I am sure I won't care about thematics when I'm use my archon to rip my opponents army into little tiny pieces :D
 
Nov 13, 2013
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#60
While we are (or were I guess?) on the issue of possession, do you guys have plans for cool possession views, like how the DK vampire saw everything in red or the hellhound saw in greyscale?

I imagine we could get some pretty cool affects since are tech is better than dk's and we have some creatures which could have some cool views, like the shadow, or really all the beasts could have some unique look. I understand possession views wouldn't be high up on the to do list but I was curious what your plans for it were :)
 
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