Melkathi’s Magical Menagerie of the Strange, Fun, Weird and Insane
Having a gazillion of threads with a gazillion and one good idea will mean that a lot of them will go unseen, pushed out of people’s attention by other good ideas.
So here is a collection of some all squished into one!
While I have ideas for kingdoms (for one I’d like an Atlantis style water kingdom), they need in depth writing, and I am not sure the devs are looking for something so detailed. BUT @Serale is putting a lot of work fleshing out his ideas, so have a look at the Pinnacle of Frost! Also a lot of work: @Archenassa 's The Cursed Circus!
My own Kingdom suggestion can be found here, far less detailed.
What I am more interested in is troop and skill ideas. Looking at skills first then and later at troop ideas using them.
Copying / Cloning / Mirroring
Taken from my doppelganger thread, this category of skills would make for a very varied playing experience, ever changing and shifting based on the battle at hand.
Troops could be able to use the ability of opponents, exploding the board like Gorgotha, digging for gold like Dwarven Miners (you never know) or strutt their stuff Sheggra style.
Troops could copy stats instead of stealing them as they do so far. Gloomleaf managed to reach a stupidly high Attack value? Give him a taste of his own medicine! Sacred Guardian refusing to die, safe behind layers of armour? Annoy him right back!
Shapeshifting / Evolving / Growing
These skills would change the troop when triggered. They’d roughly fall into two types: the were-wolf style shapeshifter who uses the skill to swap back and forth or a Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde mad scientist. Perhaps from a well armoured defensive to a high attack offensive form and back again. This could mean that attack and armour or health are swapped or that they are set to specific values - both with their advantages and disadvantages.
The other type would be the evolving troop: a baby dragon growing to maturity, a parasite taking over the host body or an egg hatching. In this instance, when the skill is used it would replace the troop with the evolved version, with its own grown-up skill.
Friendly Status Effects
So far we can affect opponents with nasty statuses: silence, poison and marks. The skills that target friendly troops only have permanent effects: +health, + armour etc. But the same concept of effects could be applied to buffs:
Regeneration: for the duration of the effect, the troop would gain some health every turn, giving a little healing even if it was damaged a turn or two after the healing skill was used.
Stealth: a troop could be safe from getting directly targeted by abilities. Or safe from damage in general to not make Webspinner even more usefull
Frenzy: a commander could whip his troops into a berzerk fury, letting them deal double skull damage for the duration, just as if the opponent had been marked by a Dire Wolf.
What do fire and plague have in common? They spread. Not everythign needs to only affect what it does when the skill triggers. The immediate “benefit” would be that targets could re-infect themselves through adjacent infected troops. The real trouble would be to balance such effects with existing effects such as poison - new effects must not make old ones obscolete. Thus a spreading effect would need a downside, so having them wear off with time seems a given.
Of course pushing the concept of infection all the way, we’d reach the zombie apocalypse and facehuggers: imagine an infection rapidly ticking down an enemy’s health but when they die, replacing them with a zombie - a reversed summon. And it would become even worse if the troop they get replaced with would fight on your side, not theirs!
Reflection / Absorption / Reduction / Diffusion
A group of effects that mitigates damage, prevents it or does fun stuff with it. Reflection would take the damage dealt to a troop and reflect it or a part of it back at the attacker for the duration or once if it is limited to the next time the troop takes damage. Redirection could be to the specific attacker or defenders choice. Absorption would tkae the damage and channel it into something usefull: health, mana or something similar nice. Reduction would be straightforward, reducing or outright preventing damage. Diffusion would at first sight seem less useful, taking the damage and spreading it out to the whole team. This could lead to a tricksie surprise if it triggered more abilities on the rest of the team.
Following up on infections, the opporunity presents itself to do more with the “if dies” clause already used by troops such as the Dwarven Lord. Changing the target of the upon death effect from the troop using the attack to something else could then cause a poison-like infection to spread if it kills the troop. Or as mentioned above, a summoning could be triggered by the death. Or again, a corpse could explode, causing damage to adjacent troops.
On the other hand, upon death effects could be triggered by friendly troops or affect friendly troops. A troop could upon death for example increase the attack value of all allies or deal damage to opposing troops, thus discouraging the opponent from striking them.
( For more troop ability ideas please also see Archenassa’s thread )
Example troops for the above ideas:
The phoenix starts as an Egg with low health, 0 attack and high armour. Its Hatch ability uses Green and red mana. When used, the egg shatters and the Phoenix emerges. It now has an ability that uses red mana and deals fire damage that sets targets on fire, burning them over time and having a chance to spread to nearby targets.
Trickier to code special: Rise From the Ashes: when the Phoenix dies while in Phoenix form, it changes to Egg form instead. To defeat it the egg needs to be destroyed.
The salamander starts with the Feeding Frenzy skill: destroy X gems of target enemy’s mana colour, very low chance to swallow enemy whole boosted by number of gems destroyed, become sated. The sated salamander has reduced attack, being drowsy from overeating but a boost to health. Its new ability is burp: create X gems of the salamander’s mana colour, deal very low fire damage to target enemy, become voracious.
Having failed to read the safety warnings, this goblin is playing with things he shouldn’t. Light the Fuse starts a countdown, if this countdown reaches 0, the goblin blows himself up, dealing significant damage (and freeing up a space for your summoners to fill!).
The Martyr shields others with his/her body. The Noble Sacrifice ability puts a ward on an ally. While it is active, all damage dealt to that target is redirected to the Martyr. Increase Martyr’s attack value by the damage redirected to Martyr.