View Full Version : More interactions in town: Mercenaries and the Militia

01-17-2011, 10:17 AM
One of the main goals of Demon War seems to be creating interesting interactions in the town besides defending against invasions and obtaining new quests. One way to do this is by allowing the player to take on a managerial role. Allowing us to equip townies was a good step in this direction (although it needs to be streamlined). I have two suggestions in this regard.

The Militia: The first involves adding a town militia to the game. Managing this militia would be somthing akin to managing crossroads keep in NWN2. In that game, the player gives his/her militia a single task each week. Clearing the roads of monsters brings in more trade, while ordering them to recruit more troops will bolster their number and make them more effective at other tasks. In Din's, each task could take some time to complete and could be altered by talking to the militia captain, a new primary NPC. Here are a few tasks that could work in Din's:

1. Train: Your current town militia trains, increasing their base stats, making them more effective against invasions.

2. Recruit: The number of militia men will slowly increase. Be warned, new recruits need training in order to be effective. The rate that the garrison increases could be dependent on town happiness and/or capped by town happiness.

3. Guard the roads: The militia men are not available to defend the town against invasions but instead guard the roads. This increases trade, reducing item prices and making vendors more likely to have magical items.

4. Guard the lands: The militia men are not available to defend the town against invasions but instead guard the lands. Farms become more secure, allowing the locals to produce more crops. This decreases food prices and hunger while increasing town happiness.

Many more are possible, but I'll stop to avoid making this too long.

The Mercenaries: This concept places a mercenary band in town. The mercenaries, unlike the militia, would not be something the player constantly uses but instead serves as a resource for desperate situations. Mercenaries will help the town but only for a price. Pay the mercenary leader a certain amount of gold and his band will help defend the town for a given time period. Mercenaries can also be used to help complete quests. The amount of gold required for them to attempt a given quest is dependent on the quest difficulty and the number dungeon levels the mercenaries are required to travel through. Therefore, if you have already obtained the gate to the necessary level, the price will be reduced. Completion of the quest is not instant and success is not guaranteed. The mercenary UI will display the percent chance that the quest will be completed and the time that it will take. If the mercenaries do not successfully complete the quest, you may be refunded 25% of your investment. This gives the player more interesting decisions to make in town. It also gives him/her an opportunity to get rid of quests he/she does not want to do. Finally, another gold sink would give gold more purpose and value.

I think these would make town a more fun place to be. Tell me what you think!

Chex Warrior
01-17-2011, 12:00 PM
This sounds like a very cool idea.

01-17-2011, 04:17 PM
The 'militia' is probably best reflected by simply arming NPCs, and mercenaries are just a revisit of the DoP idea of buying monsters to hang around your base (or the town square in this case).

01-19-2011, 10:31 AM
Hey all,

Cool concept, Abo. Let's see how it would be implemented in the game, if at all.

01-19-2011, 10:56 AM
I'm glad a few people seem to like my idea. My concept was to add an element of strategy to Din's through town management. Another idea I like is the creation of a "town happiness" resource that could be earned through certain quests and be spent on town improvements. These could be used (for example) to upgrade merchants or place static defenses around the town.

One of the reasons I do not like the current system of equipping townies(besides tediousness) is that we are required to spend gold to equip them(or lose it indirectly by giving them gear). Personally, I do not feel that players will like spending gold just to save a town. Mercenaries are different because they are a convenience or last resort. Interacting with the town should be encouraged but currently provides little benefit for the cost, especially considering that towns are so fleeting in Din's. This resource system could provide greater benefit that is essentially free for the player since the "happiness resource" would not carry between towns.

01-19-2011, 11:14 AM
It's a good point that towns are fleeting, but at the same time you WANT to create emotional attachment to towns. This is what would give the game a more epic feel. You're going into those dungeons to save something you care about, at least a little. That's why I really like the evacuation idea, where you see the town get destroyed if you fail.

Town improvements will go a long way to making you invested in the town. Maybe you can then keep a record of the most well kept towns under the most difficult circumstances, or maybe you can even borrow something from roguelikes' 'bones' levels: you could come back (randomly) to some towns that you saved. Some of those visits can be purely for fun ie. the dungeon is inactive, just to see what happened to the NPCs (assuming of course we can get to NPCs we can care about) while other already-saved towns will have been attacked by more bosses.

As for your point about gold, maybe you could compromise: a happy town could be prepared for defense much more cheaply than a sad town could.

01-19-2011, 03:18 PM
Do players really care about gold? I don't even pay attention to how much money my characters have; like in most Diablo games, it's worthless.

The static defences could probably be linked a bit closer to needs (ie instead of randomly deciding to build one, its a response to threat) but due to range they seem a bit useless at the moment.

01-19-2011, 04:35 PM
Do players really care about gold? I don't even pay attention to how much money my characters have;

I totally agree. It is only burdensome in the beginning if you are reverting your skills often.

The quest that someone is starving is so mindlessly easy to solve by giving them money it is almost pointless to do. "Here have some copper/silver... what do I need it for"

More ways to spend money would be great... even gambling doesn't take much I noticed. Which in Diablo was extremely expensive... and I think in that game is where most of my money disappeared to.

Perhaps you could spend money on an Outpost (http://www.soldak.com/forums/showthread.php?t=3283) :D

Although I really like the idea of spending money to make the town Militia stronger/larger. Equipping people directly is way to time consuming... no thanks. Let us pay the town leaders to upgrade certain abilities of the "militia":

Steward: grants upgrades to recruit new militia and supplies (armor/weapons)
Apothecary: grants upgrades to build specialized items for militia (traps) and train specialized magical skills (healing, fire attacks, etc)
Warmaster: grants upgrades to train militia (stats increase), and train specialized physical skills (traps, bows, shields)

01-19-2011, 04:38 PM
I'm wary of any serious effort made to make the game a town management game. I don't want Dinville; the town having complexity that flows into quests or economy or whatever is excellent, but pulling the focus out of dungeoneering and into balancing budgets and setting wages seems bad.

01-19-2011, 09:21 PM
How many of you guys have level 100 characters? My only characters at or close to 100 are pure melee, which (as of the now-outdated 1.014) got very easily one-shot, and therefore died a lot. I have noticed a trend that I peak in my mid levels at 100G or 200G, and then by level 97 I am flat broke and have to either tough it out dying a lot, or get someone to help me transfer money from a lower-level toon, just to buy max level food/potions. A middle option would be to send up low level food/potions from other characters, but that would still cause me to die more than having max level stuff.

So if you want to get to level 100 and are a pure melee class, you have stuff to save your gold for already. Not to mention the occasional item upgrade that vendors sell.

01-19-2011, 09:53 PM
I'm wary of any serious effort made to make the game a town management game. I don't want Dinville; the town having complexity that flows into quests or economy or whatever is excellent, but pulling the focus out of dungeoneering and into balancing budgets and setting wages seems bad.

I think it'd be nice to give the towns themselves a bit more value during the game, rather than turn it into a fully fledged simulator.
There shouldn't be any harm in making it optional really, use things like these if you need to fortify a difficult town; the dungeons should still be 100% completable without any assistance anyway. It could be a good addition particularly in invasion mode where the game lasts quite a length of time and you find yourself with occasional spare time.

If you're having trouble with pace during a game, something like this might help the player without resorting to just abandoning the town or changing the settings. I also find equipping individual NPCs manually is a bit much work, so I would prefer upgrades via donation or quests for it.

01-20-2011, 01:50 AM
If the game allows a player to turtle up in the town with upgrades and mercenaries and ridiculous 'crossroads taxing' then it's failed; the town is supposed to be in imminent threat of destruction by swarming hordes of evil, not dealing with a gang problem. :)

Fixing stuff like NPC equipment or making the economy, arrival of vendors, or defence quests more sensible doesn't have to lead to DIN'S CURSE OF FIEF SIMULATION.

01-21-2011, 12:42 PM
I would love to arm the NPC's with weapons. Even giving them potions in their inventory to take later when they are in need would be a fantastic additon.