Maybe you know this,
you look around and you see that the last Varanus or the chest of the Crypt is under attack by Invaders.
You lose loot and sometimes an easy way to Level up your troops.
You think to yourself “Why didn’t I see that sooner”.
What can be done?
A Message for every Wolf, Stone Golem, Varanus etc. ?
Would be annoying wouldn’t it?
How about sounds?
I mean a Wolves howl if a pack spawns.
A rockfall for a Stonegolem.
Or a Varanus howl if those spawn.
Actually, why not having Sounds and text Messages which can be separately turned on or off in the menu?
Thought about it myself. There is no minimap, and on maps with thick forest it is hard to see the enemies. However I am somewhat hesitant to the idea of “magically” announcing every enemy creature spawning on the map.
What I have in mind is “scouting”, something akin to what Dungeon Keeper had. There are several ways to do it:
Certain classes can have a sharp vision and notify you (sounds and text messages) about creatures at certain range (larger than their attack range). For example, hunters, footmen and archers (but not knights). In this way a patrol or a hunter can detect creatures and warn you about them.
Line of sight. It is illogical to detect creatures on the elevation or behind the obstacle. Solving this includes some non-trivial programming. Is it worth it?
Packs of enemies. It is not useful to warn about every single creature. So instead a H can detect a pack (group some monsters in X vicinity as one entity) and make a note “I think I’ve seen a small group of goblins nearby!”. The farther the enemies are, the less info can a H give (numbers, type on enemies etc). Enemy firepit “increases” enemy visibility at night. If a H detects a fight, he describes it as such - “I’ve seen some goblins fighting wolves! Woah!”.
Make some H do scouting on their own when idle, based on some of their parameters (and in future, perks). For example, high curiosity is more probable to drive a H to scout, while high courage gives them the ability to take a better, closer look at the detected enemies.
In addition to the listed above, there are some more problems:
Stat-based scouting involves more programming.
It is probably good to add an animation for scouting (like a H looking intently at the horizon, shielding his eyes from sun). More work.
We don’t want our scouts to be attacked, so H should not come too close to the enemy. And go away too far from the settlement.
Having a walled settlement also creates problems, as a player may not want to let civilians behind the wall. It can probably be solved with a new type of work in Citizen menu (scouting) and locking doors, but perhaps it is too much trouble for small profit.
A notification itself makes little difference. But it would be useful to make something like: click on the note > go to the location.
To make things non-trivial, notifications can have limited lifetime. After a certain period information becomes obsolete, so they despawn. However if another H detected the same group, he resets the timer. That can create interesting (and intended!) situations, for example, when a pack of wolves has already despawned but a H remembers he saw wolves nearby. Rather realistic.
Not all of it are my thoughts. There was a unit in Dungeon Keeper 2, Firefly (or simply Fly in DK1) who went scouting around your dungeon when it had nothing else to do.
It was a big nuisance since sooner or later it stumbled upon a pack enemies (and flies are very weak), and evacuating an unconscious fly was a pain: since it can fly it could fall unconsious in water or in lava or on enemy territory… you get the idea.
DK2 is rather old though (1999), so I’ve tried to describe a more clever scouting.