Besides building the framework for campaigns & tutorial, it was time to spice up the game by finally adding research for the tier 2 units and making some other tweaks.
Cannon Fodder: Base damage has been reduced.
Drill Sergeant: Instead of decreasing build time, increases Cannon Fodder damage. The damage bonus also applies to the Egg Carton spawned units, giving this upgrade some more synergy and value. Drill Sergeant is also much quicker to research.
Eggasus: Now able to damage the enemy fort. Eggish air units don’t feel as quite as threatening as they should be; this will give some added power.
Egg Benedict: Base damage has been reduced.
Frying Doctor: Renamed from Jet Pack Operator. They now toss fried chicken legs instead of vials of blood to heal allies. Cooking upgrades increase the heal amount.
Cheese Grater: Health, armor and retaliation damage tweaked. This is to further differentiate it from the Yoga Freak, its sister defensive unit.
Egg Carton: Egg Cartons spawn all their Cannon Fodder at once. They take much longer to train, but the spawn time is reduced. The problem with short training time and long spawn times is that the Egg Carton ended up being an “all or nothing” unit. Now, they are the support unit they are intended to be. It makes the most sense to train the meat of the army first, then add one or two Cartons for extra power.
Salmonella: Egg Benedict gets additional poison damage. This gives the unit extra power against most units, so it’s still versatile. But it differentiates itself by being weaker against mechanical enemies. It used to be quite good against both Yoga Freaks and Cheese Graters. Now, it’s more clearly strong versus Yoga and less impressive against Graters.
There’s also more reason to train an Eggasus or two to deal with Hot Air Balloons, as Eggs Benedict now take longer to destroy upgraded Balloons.
Bacon Dragoon: Extends the melee range of Bacon Knights. This gives them a bit of extra power without changing their role. I’m still concerned massing up Bacon Knights/Dragoons may be too powerful.
Rainbow Armor: Eggasi take less Cooking damage. A great help against most of the currently available anti-air units.
Quickthaw: Egg Cartons spawn Cannon Fodder more quickly.
Hanumanasana: Yoga Freaks damage all nearby enemies, but damage dealt per enemy reduced. Makes them better against grouped unarmored enemies, but weaker against armored foes.
Booster Pack: Cheese Graters move much more quickly. This lets them absorb the first hits from enemy attacks, which is typically what you want them to do.
Laser Surgery: Frying Doctors’ healing projectiles track the target unit. This means healing is reasonably consistent, even if the army is more free to move around.
Swedish Socialism: Cuisinierès are twice as effective at gaining town influence and get bonus damage against walls.
Notes on why some of the changes seemed to work well
- Strangely, Cuisinierès and Cartons seem to fill a lot similar roles. Cuisinierès are still good at besieging enemy walls. The mass of spawned Cannon Fodder are good in sieges, providing cover for other units to deal damage. They are essentially both “burst” damage units, even if they behave differently. They are also both useful for town control…the Cuisinierè obviously has the upgrade, but remember the spawned Cannon Fodder add town influence as well!
- Bacon Dragoons also benefit from Egg Cartons, as spawned Cannon Fodder will need to be killed first. I also like that this upgrade doesn’t feel “obviously” great (it does seem to be only a marginal upgrade if Dragoons are the only melee unit).
- The upgrades for the Frying Doctor and Cheese Grater are very natural and feel unique. They make the Human army behave more nicely together, and the Laser Surgery upgrade means there’s not much penalty for microing the army. (And every upgrade being “extra damage” or “extra defense” is boring!)
To do: AI
The AI may not be able to deal with the extended Bacon Dragoon range properly. The Hard AI typically doesn’t let you attack with only ranged units without retaliation. But since the Dragoon is a melee unit, it didn’t know it was being attacked without being able to retaliate. A possible fix is in, but not enough time to test.
Also, the intelligence about cavern fighting and deployment needs to be improved.
To do: Scouting adjustments
Mentioned before, but scouting missions don’t feel important. In the next build, there will be basic and advanced missions. Basic missions won’t require the Spy Agency, so Scouts can make an immediate impact. Advanced missions will require the Agency.
To do: Music
Not a high priority, but thinking of adding battle music. Uncertain of what type of music would be best.
To do: Towns and Map Features
The player still needs the ability to build up Towns.
In addition, I think that the maps without any Towns or other features are worse for gameplay. Without any reason for troops to be in the middle of the map, there’s no reason not to sit back until you’re ready to attack. Players need to be encouraged to fight all over the map. “Empty” maps should be the exception, not the rule.
Some maps may end up having “pseudo-towns”, where troops will get bonuses for controlling map features. Perhaps Savannah Funland will have a watering hole, where troops get a healing bonus if their side controls it. The Desert might have watch towers that give an Espionage bonus to the controlling side. It would probably be much faster to control a non-town map feature versus a town.