(Was going to post this in another thread, but got a bit long winded)
I think Stonehearth does have the great possibility of interesting and scary enemies that sneak in.
Even as the game currently stands, without a minimap and such you do spot something moving out in the woods randomly and have to pay attention to see if it’s an animal or a goblin. And you don’t have warning of an attack until it happens! (I think there could be a useful job type to help with this, as having no warning ALL GAME and having to keep your eyes peeled constantly would be less fun) It makes me recall that most excellent of base builder games, Evil Genius. I think if used correctly and in a way that doesn’t frustrate players, Stonehearth could have some really interesting enemy mechanics, without falling into the usual trap where games are overly keen to shout at the players about every threat.
I love the idea of Mimics, or other infiltrating enemies. The game Anno 1404 is a city building game where some quests in the game simply require zooming in on your bustling cities and clicking on certain characters, Where’s Wally style. I think this would be excellent in Stonehearth, and lend some more player interaction with the “ground level” so to speak.
So you notice a random villager who looks a little off, or performs a rare “giveaway” action. Then the player can click on them, or maybe have to send a Footman to check it out, then it’s revealed that what you thought was a Villager was in fact a zombie victim/werewolf/mimic etc etc
The same could be done for enemies that sneak in with invisibility that fails every now and then, or hides up against walls using camoflage, or are moving patches of flowers… Or perhaps a tile of ground starts to show crumbling, and soon a tunnel will appear and some troglodytes will appear in your midst!
It goes without saying that all of such enemies would reveal themselves and attack or steal sooner or later, and be able to be defeated through force of arms, but the player should be rewarded with bonus damage or an instant kill if they are able to spot such enemies and defeat them.
Maybe a class like a ranger or something is could spot them, or is the class you need when killing them prematurely. (You are the disembodied “fate” a after all")
Scouts , and you have to give them binoculars, and post them in towers
Wait for the Pirates, Ninjas & Politicians to make it into the game. It’s one of the stretch goals that was met on Kickstarter, and certainly looks like it’ll contain this kind of enemy .
its always fun to have random “events” that the player must deal with, but there is always that fine line between fun and frustration…
“why on earth are my farms not producing any food?”
“why does my carpenter fail at crafting all X type goods?”
having units that will infiltrate your settlement and wreak havoc could work out wonderfully… or be a complete train wreck…
as for @Teleros’s comment… I am really intrigued to see how TR handles the inclusion of these folks…
Crawling rocks!! A golem head that pops up through the surface and looks around before continuing to tunnel towards you underground. If looked at through the players perspective the head would close its eyes and looks like a surface stone but if it makes it to your base it fully surfaces !
Would make for an awesome class idea or maybe a different path for levelling a currently planned class.
Excellent points. The current “GOBLINS ARE STEALING YOUR STUFF” which you can click to go to the scene of the crime is a perfect example of how it is done right. Just like the game Evil Genius, the player can watch out for enemies and deal with them through vigilance, but when the enemy starts to attack or steal the player is notified.
I think this sort of two-level gameplay, where experienced and cautious players can get an edge over an enemy, makes for amazingly rewarding gameplay. As long as there is a clear and helpful notification to the player once the enemy or event starts to wreak havoc.
It rewards the player to notice and deal with threats before they come to fruition. There is a danger that “X enemy is doing X thing” notifications could cause the player to feel unchallenged or condescended, but I don’t think it feels that way at all.
Simply put, an experienced player can have the satisfaction of catching or pre-empting certain negative events, and an inexperienced player will receive notification when a negative event is taking place, whilst still in a position to react to that event as well as being able to learn for next time.
A hypothetical example is an explosive enemy. A bad design would be “An enemy just exploded a house!”. The player clicks to notification and is taken to a freshly exploded house, the smoke and debris there but no idea how or what just happened. This makes for frustration and feeling like the player is suffering at the hands of a RNG.
A good design would be “An enemy is about to explode a house!”, the player clicks and is taken to an enemy just about to explode next to a house. The player has enough time to evacuate the house, or gamble on a nearby soldier being able to defeat the enemy quickly before it explodes.