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EA Nexus, Scions of the Elements; 1.00 (April 9 2017)
Topic Started: Mar 30 2016, 08:36 PM (7,431 Views)
Zonk
Dom 5 Beta Team
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Nexus is a nation of humans who have been altered by a site of great elemental power. They are divided into five groups: the Nexusborn, who are mostly human but with the ability to breathe water and minor fire, lightning and physical resistance and the Fire, Air, Water and Earthborn (collectively the Pureborn), who have a much stronger attunement to a single element.


NATIONAL FEATURES

- Guaranteed F4, A4, W4 and E4 access through Scions, who are cap-only, slow-to-recruit and heretic 3.
- Guaranteed F3, A3, W3 and E3 access plus a chance of F3E1, F3A1,A3F1, A3W1, W3A1, W3E1, E3F1, E3W1 through the Pureborn Nobles, recruitable in every fort but heretic 2.
- You have 2 gems of each element in the capital, for a total of 8, +2 over EA's standard. Bringing Elemental Royalty to the capital will cause unique events granting some once-off bonus gems, but lower dominion and for corrupt royalty cause unrest.
- Anthrax, King of Banefires, and Pedoseion, Father Illearth, have a 10% chance to corrupt Fireborn and Earthborn Nobles (but NOT Scions) in the same province giving them -1 to their main path but +1 Death or Blood. This causes unrest.
- Waterborn have a watershape (AP 12->18, 5% regen, darkvision 50%, 10->12 prec) and you can build forts UW. Earthborn are stone beings (immune to petrification).
- Nexusborn can gain access to many crosspaths, including ones involving opposite elements. Nexusborn priests have a chance to get S1 or N1.
- All of your commanders are mages, and your troops have base magic/randoms in case they are Gift of Reasoned/Divine Named.
- National spells to summon permanent elementals, available in single and scaling versions at Conj 3 and 8.
- National items that autocast the booster spell for that elemental paths and summon a size 2 elemental at Construction 2.
- National weaknesses: Temples cost 800, cannot build palisades, Nexusborn troops are indie-level other than their resistances (which aside from protection won't help much during expansion).

IDs used
Nation 164
Weapons 900-906
Units 5700-5736
Site 1700

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POSSIBLE PLANS
- Further improve lore and sprites, especially for corrupted nobles
- Maybe dom2 and dom3 pretenders - an immortal Avatar (dom2) and a Titan (dom3)
- Keep improving and rewriting lore & descriptions, national nametypes.
- National battle spells, maybe sacred Nexus-themed summons.

Please provide feedback, especially on balance.
However keep in mind I want Pureborn symmetrical when it comes to cost and path access and also preserve X4 access in the capital.

NOTE
This post originally had my requests for thoughts on the nation idea , how X4 access in all elemental paths could balanced and how there could be lore references to other nations.
Post below should still mostly make sense, and posts on the new release start around page 4.

For those who followed the thread before this version and want to know the changes from 0.0.2:
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Thanks to everyone who provided feedback for the first releases, especially alexsa2015sa. Always interested in reading further feedback or ideas.
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dyslexicfaser
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Was Rhuax cheating on Abysia with some new race? That slut!

... Uh, anyway. Are your priests just pure H, or do they have mage randoms? This nation seems ripe for tricks with blessing+. That is, F1H1 priests whose blessing is blessing+attack bonus 2, E1H1 priests whose blessing is blessing+reinvig 2, something like that. Or perhaps having the basic blessing effect the different Elemental troops with different buffs? Is that a thing you can mod?

I dunno. Just a thought, I'm very much not savvy about Dom4 spell modding.
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Zonk
Dom 5 Beta Team
The idea is that they aren't QUITE Abysian/Lavaborn level of inhuman - they actual have human ancestors - and that most Fireborn would be descended from the pure-Fire king. Rhuax is still getting mentioned, though.
Again, think D&D Genasi if you are familiar with them.

The priests are just mages with H1 om top, for now.
They are Nexusbred leaders/nobles who believe the Awakening God will bring unity to the nation and harmony to the elements.
(In some earlier drafts, they had weaker elemental magic, but Astral...but I gave up on that completely)

Rather than having special holy spells, I'd want the nation to have reasons to take a pretender with all 4 elements.
Perhaps national spells that use opposite-element crosspaths - which are rare in the nation.

National pretender with E1F1W1A1 and special powers + discounts are likely. Like an immobile 'Spirit of Nexus' which generates 1 of each gem - seems excessive, perhaps, but remember autocalc takes gemgen into consideration.


The pure elemental troops aren't sacred - a big part of the nation theme is that only the 'impure' / mixed-element Nexus people sometimes care about the pretender religion.
This also avoids strange things like Fire-people worshipping a W9 pretender, or the opposite.
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dyslexicfaser
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It would be neat to add spell combinations that aren't common.

Fire/Earth is already great (magma is love), Earth/Air has its place (one big spell, one decent summon), Fire/Water has all kinds of stuff going for it (acid and vitriol)... but I can't think of any notable Fire/Air or Earth/Water spells off the top of my head.

It's kind of a shame you can't make spells or items that actually require three or more paths.
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Zonk
Dom 5 Beta Team
Fire/Air has the +heat ritual and the Sulphurous Haze one. Earth/Water has...Claymen?

Note that having opposite element crosspath as rare (only Nexusbred can get them) isn't 'just' lore, but it's an actual balance decision on my part - since, as you note, Fire/Water & Earth/Air are pretty powerful combos.

As for 3+ path spells - I'm sure you could use event (and item) modding to make sets of spells that each take 2 elements and work together (being mostly useless otherwise), but it would be quite awkard and you wouldn't need all the spell paths on the same mage.
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alexsa2015sa
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Twiceborn Abodai
I'm in no position to say I'm any experienced with making balanced nations - at least for MP, that is, - but I'm still willing to provide feedback.

1) Nation with easy access to just X4 and X3Y1 for elemental magic is strong, as no known D4 race starts with more than one guaranteed X4 path. Though there'll be very few crosspath mages - only random ones ever make it to X3Y1 paths - and mid-late-game they will have more difficulties with MR spells and sorcery in general, since they won't get native casters for most powerful spells, particulary Astral for Antimagic. As for crosspaths, Earth/Water gives Evo2 Rust Mist that effectively halves prot and damage on heavy troops, but it's EA where iron isn't as common as during MA or LA, so it's less impressive to have.

As for concept, most of D4 mages are not specialized - and thus Nexus mages are more cost-efficient. It'll be particulary obvious on Elementalborn, while Nexusbred are in line with vanilla D4 mages. By the way. are Nexusbred poison resistant? That's more typical for Nature magic and makes very significant weakness.

2) Nation with too many commanders isn't necessary strong one. While it's tempting to give them more commanders, I'm not sure powerful mages backed with squishy human evo-resistant troops and some elites won't be strong enough already. Probably these abilities could be granted to Elementalborn instead, so they end up more expensive and less cost-effective? Though that way we get Abysian Anathemants, Ulm smiths, Vanir sailors and Fomorian amphibian commanders, figuratively speaking.

3) Humanbreds with 15 FR cost 13-14g. So it's not unreasonable to have 11 or 12g for purely human units without high immunities. What's more important, will the equipment be bronze or iron, since E and WE offers easy rust spells?

4) ...Well, that's tough one. Other than Agarthans with their strong Earth connection, other nations only can interact with Nexus. Ermorian legions can go anywhere, theoretically. Arcoscephalians also could influence the Nexus if they are to be bronze nation. Mictlan could be the nation that driven humans to settle near the Nexus (though it's very weak hook and probably begs the question of metalworking development). I really don't think EA underwater nations can be connected with Nexus without stretching the logic.
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Alexsa's Modpack v0.98 20.07.2018 Slowly, painfully porting these nations to Dominions 5; 51 done. -- Just one nation left, Zel

27.11.2017 my Dominions 4 mod nations pack - v 1.31; total of 56 nations.
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Zonk
Dom 5 Beta Team
1)I'm not sure efficient is the best word to use here.
You can still only recruit one per turn, and sometimes you DO want multiple paths at low levels (for example, sitesearching, some searching)..and Nexusbred aren't meant to be very good at that, either.
They are not poison resistant - the elements here are Fire, Earth, Air, Water. No Nature.

As for cost-efficiency, I did consider giving them increased gold costs. Together with heretic, that can model them being reluctant to join the Ascension War.

Note that Nexusbred mages were initially 100% EA 100% FW - I liked the idea of them getting any two non opposite elements, but a total of 2 magic seems quite puny, especially in EA.

2)But having access to more recruitables that unlock special abilities is obviously a form of power.
I don't like the idea of just giving all X-born mages the mentioned abilities.
The regular mages are meant to be mostly symmetrical, and having ALL nobles of an element be smiths, sailors, spies...just doesn't make sense in my lore.
Note these 'specialists' would have lower maximum paths than the regular mages

For now perhaps it's best to put this idea aside. Maybe they can be done as multiheroes - one multihero + a transform event to simulate having 4, perhaps.


3)I think I will go with 12 gold.
Expansion with Nexusborn might be an issue, but you will have other troops, and they do get bonus protection.

As for bronze vs iron - my initial thought was to give earth troops iron, and the rest bronze. Iron, not being an alloy, would be purer.

However, it does seem strange if the Ironborn get (effectively) mostly worse metal equipment, isn't it?

4)Arco could work actually, because I remember the four classical elements being a Greek concept originally. Perhaps I could do something with the Greek philosophers who believed that a specific element was the more important than the others...
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sum1won
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Zonk,Mar 31 2016
01:35 PM
Note that Nexusbred mages were initially 100% EA 100% FW - I liked the idea of them getting any two non opposite elements, but a total of 2 magic seems quite puny, especially in EA.

Keep the WF/EA version. Use firstshape->montag with two forms. One of those forms gets magicboost EA, the other gets magicboost WF. They'll always have three magic paths then, with no danger of opposites.
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Zonk
Dom 5 Beta Team
sum1won,Mar 31 2016
02:52 PM
Keep the WF/EA version.  Use firstshape->montag with two forms.  One of those forms gets magicboost EA, the other gets magicboost WF.  They'll always have three magic paths then, with no danger of opposites.

I'm happy with the way I'm doing it currently - it still limits opposite crosspaths (by making them somewhat rare - which is ok, I don't *want* them to be non-existent on the Nexusbred) and prevents these mages from getting to X3 without using mechanics that risk confusing the player.

Also if the player gets an opposite elemental pairing by hitting 3 different elements - that's already a limit of sorts, since that's not especially useful outside sitesearching (and maybe forging some rare items). The nation doesn't have innate communion access, after all.
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Zonk
Dom 5 Beta Team
Rough draft of the commander sprites .

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The first 3 are the Nexusbred Commander, Noble & Priest, the others are the 4 elemental nobles and the 4 elemental scions.

I'm happy enough with the Nexusbred, but not with the elemental ones - I want more distinction between the Nobles and the Scions - just a bit of extra jewellery doesn't quite cut it and isn't always visible.

My current plan is to give the Nobles less saturated clothes and, for the Earth & Fire ones, no staves at all.
Fire & Air scions might also get small flames & lightning sparks around them (or maybe just on the hands?), and I'm thinking of completely redoing the Earthborn, perhaps using Master Smiths as a base.

I also think the Waterborn Noble will get a non-black hair color. Perhaps a lighter shade of blue, perhaps sea green..?
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Mr. N
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Cookie Elemental
Good day.
And now I see a mod about elementals, something I've sometimes wanted to do myself, but been too lazy to even begin.
Thanks for making it!
May I suggest something for banner?
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P.S. When thinking about humanoid elementals, first thing that come to my mind were elemental keepers from http://forum.shrapnelgames.com/showthread.php?t=42638
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Zonk
Dom 5 Beta Team
Funnily enough, one my first flag drafts was similar in concept and used all 4 elemental symbols.

But then I decided it was too complicated for a national flag and went with the basic design I put at the end of my OP.
I could change the gray to be lighter or even white-ish, though.

As for the Elemental Keepers, I will check them out. I know about that mod but didn't really play with it.

EDIT: I like the Keeper sprites. Perhaps I can find an use for them eventually - since Burnsaber hasn't been around for a long time I don't think that will be a problem.
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Zonk
Dom 5 Beta Team
Another thing:

I wanted to give the basic military commander a < 100% random.

Perhaps 90% FWEA, or 60% FE + 30% AW, making the 'warlike' elements more common

This means they don't need a laboratory to recruit. I consider that good (natural instead of taught magic).

However, there is an issue: this is the starting commander. Meaning on some starts the nation will have a mage, on some it won't (getting a path instead of another isn't such a huge issue, I feel).

I feel this might be bad design. But perhaps I worry too much. Thoughts?


Also applies to the starting scout, I suppose. Who could have a 60% WA + 30% FE random instead (if I don't go with the 90%). Water and Air feel more fitting elements here.

Of course, if the nation is guaranteed to start with 2 mages, that might be excessive even with the implied high-magic theme.

Possible 'fixes':
1)Go with 100% FWEA. The random component is which path you get, which I think is less of an issue.
But that means *all* national commanders require a laboratory. Is that terrible?
2)Starting commanders are a special version with a 100%, not 90% random.
This removes the really unlucky start potential, but requires making two extra commanders that are only used once per game.
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Red_Rob
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I don't see the problem with adding an extra two commanders. That's certainly better than the alternative of getting screwed over 1 in 10 games.
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dyslexicfaser
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Red_Rob,Apr 3 2016
10:17 AM
I don't see the problem with adding an extra two commanders. That's certainly better than the alternative of getting screwed over 1 in 10 games.

Well it's not like you're doomed without starting the game with free mages. Almost nobody starts the game with free mages.
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