Debuff icons and troop focus cost

In a previous update, I mentioned that troops can be affected by combat debuffs. I also stated the importance of identifying those debuffs since they are used for powerful combos. I now display the active debuffs for each troop as a row of icons under the rage tier icons. I use a consistent position within the row to help identify the type of debuff. It works pretty well and I will continue to tweak the icons.

In addition, I changed the way troops are counted towards the max amount. The troops have been placed in tiers that determine their relative combat effectiveness. Higher tier troops cost more power and cost more troop focus, which is a new concept I added to the game. Instead of just using the max troop counter, I now use max troop focus. The same 100 max value is used, which would equate to the 100 max troops in game, if they are all tier 1 troops. Each tier costs that amount of troop focus (1, 2, or 3 troop focus).

This separation should encourage different army combinations and allow for more powerful units. Without the troop focus, I would not be able to balance the units if some were stronger. I have also always liked having some really strong units that can take on a group of weaker ones. It makes the combat more fun too.

I had to modify the computer AI to work with the troop focus cost. The attack triggers assumed max troop count. I added some code to use the current troop focus instead when calculating the triggers so they work properly. Otherwise, the armies just build up and never attack anything. The fights look pretty balanced.

Right now the fortresses are probably too strong, but that is good. I haven’t added additional zealot connections yet, which will help tip the balance. Plus, the leaders are purely defensive now, just building towers around the fortresses. When I start to teleport them to the attack targets, I will be able to use the combat abilities to break the defenses. That will be fun to code and even more fun to see in action :)

Currently, I am working on the next pass for troop abilities. I left some of them essentially blank, until I had time to implement them. I am going to spend extra time working on the combo abilities since they are very important. The leader abilities will add a dynamic component to combat, emphasizing the skill of the player. I definitely want to ensure that the gameplay has room for good players to differentiate themselves. I don’t want it to be just a zerg-fest. Leader abilities and banner zealots will be focal points in that regard.

Check back in a week or so, to see if I keep-up my weekly update streak :)

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