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Alex Walz 03-19-2010 03:49 PM

Fantasy Friday XVIII - Battalion Formations
Standard Battalion Formations

Thanks for joining us again! Your discussion and feedback is always hugely appreciated in these Fantasy Friday showcases, and we always get a huge morale boost hearing your excitement every week. This Friday we will take a look at the never-before-seen unit formations! As you're probably aware, Dawn of Fantasy simplified gameplay by grouping units into easily-controlled battalions with unique abilities and now, various formations. Each race offers a number of standard formations, in addition to the default formations, that can be applied to every battalion unit except Worker units, Ogres, Wargs, Shamans, Archmages, and Siege Weapons. Orc and Human players will also be able to research unique battalions which are specialized to boost the strongpoints of individual unit types. We will look into some of the unique formations in a later Fantasy Friday, but without further ado, let's look at the standard formations by race:

Humans use a complex battalion system with three standard class formations (available to all battalions of that class) - specializing in defense against melee, in defense against ranged, and in offense.

Human archers prepare to siege Makkada with a line of archers up front, tight battalions in the middle, and loose battalions in the back for maximum efficiency.
In addition, each unit type has one unique formation - for specialized use - that boosts that unit's strong points while also increasing the negative effects.

Human melee and ranged battalions start with ten units, with five for cavalry. Battalions can level up by gaining experience through battle until they reach level ten. With each level, players will be rewarded with three skill points that can be used to boost any stat and one unit will be added to the battalion size.

The race of men start with two standard class formations - Tight and Loose. In addition, players can research one unique formation for each unit (which we will look into in another Fantasy Friday) and a third class formation - the Line formation. The three class formations can be further upgraded - into Improved and Expert formations - to increase their benefits. After switching formations, human battalions will have to wait a couple of seconds before switching

Elite human Knight units approach the orc stronghold of Pultak in a single line showing their discipline and impeccability.
again to counter out a new enemy wave type.

Available Upgrades/Research:
Improved Tight Formation: +30% to all bonuses
Improved Loose Formation: +30% to all bonuses
Improved Line Formation: +30% to all bonuses
Expert Tight Formation: +30% to all bonuses
Expert Loose Formation: +30% to all bonuses
Expert Line Formation: +30% to all bonuses

The statistical formation benefits varies form class to class, but they're all pretty similar so I'll just present you with the melee infantry statistics, and I can post more in reply posts on request.

Formation Bonuses for Human Infantry
Melee Infantry – Line formation
Line formation is the offensive formation recommended for melee vs melee conflict with the goalof dealing as much damage as fast as possible, with a small decrease in speed.

+30% accuracy
+30% damage
-20% speed
-Aggressive Stance

Melee Infantry – Tight formation
This formation is recommended as a defensive tactic ideal for melee combat against strongopponents. Tight formation is vulnerable to large monster attacks, cavalry charges and rangedattacks.
+30% hack armor
+30% defense rating
-20% pierce armor

Cavalry take a different approach in reaching Pultak and organize themselves loosely to evade arrow fire

-Stand Ground Stance

Melee Infantry – Loose formation
The primary function of this formation is to avoid ranged damage, as well as minimize cavalrytrample damage with an increased unit mobility at the expense of a decreased defense.
+30% pierce armor
+30% crush armor
+30% speed
-20% defense rating
-Aggressive stance

Orc armies use a simplified two-level formation system, with their default formation - the Mob Formation, and a fatigue-consuming Battle formation. Orc units are likely to spend most of their time in the Mob formation and form up into the Battle formation when they need heightened performance in key moments of the battle. However, in some combat situations, mainly defense, the Mob formation can be more advantageous than the Battle formation. On top of this, most Orc units feature a unique formation that gives battalions a new unique function. However, specialized formations are even more temporary than the Battle formation.

Orc melee and ranged battalions start with 14 units, with 5 for cavalry and 10 for goblins and wargs, and battalion

Fully upgraded, level-capped Impalers in the Battle formation are an ominous threat on the battlefield with their greatly increased damage.
sizes increment by one with each level - goblin battalions increment by two. With a maximum of ten levels, each level gives three skills points which can be distributed to boost a stat of the player's choice.

Available Upgrades/Research:
Orcs start with no formation available, other than the default Mob formation. However, they can research the Battle formation and one unique formation for each unit. We will look into some of these unique formations in a later showcase. In addition, several military researches improve certain aspects of the Mob and Battle formations.

Battle Formation Research (all research names are subject to change)
Group Charge: Increases Run Speed by 40%.
Discipline: Fatigue drains 50% slower in combat.

The primitive goblin warriors fight in an unorganized, loose Mob formation.

Second Breath: Battle Formation can be activated at 20 fatigue/disabled at 5 - instead of 40/20.

Mob Formation Research (all research names are subject to change)
Strong Will - Increases fatigue regeneration by 50%
Heart of Battle - Fatigue regenerates even in battle.

Formation Bonuses for Orc Infantry
Infantry – Battle formation
This formation is tighter and more disciplined than the default Mob formation, which contradicts the Orcs' nature. Units walk slower, but run faster andperform much better in combat. To balance this, they are vulnerable to cavalry charger and ranged attacks, and stamina drains incombat and twice as fastwhile running.
+20% hack armor
+20% accuracy
+30% damage
+40% run speed(researched)
-30% pierce armor
-30% walk speed

For best results, use mixed formations to take advantage of all the bonuses.

-Fatigue drain 2X while running
-Fatigue drains while in combat
-Fatigue drain in combat 2X less (researched)
-Switch back to mob at 25 fatigue or lower
-Requires 35 fatigue to activate

Infantry – Mob formation
The 'default' formation. Stamina regeneration is increased at all times – and running consumes lessfatigue, including during combat. Units are spread out in loose formations. Orc units will spend the most of the time in this formation.
+50% stamina
Regeneration (researched)
Fatigue regenerates evenin combat (researched)
-Aggressive stance

The Elven formations are different from the other races as they are more of a strategic gameplay device rather than tactical. Unlike other races, Elven formations cannot be easily switched and force the player to decide on the formations before the battle. Since each formation switch requires 100 fatigue and a 15 second transition, during which elven units can't do anything, it's best left as a pre-battle decision.

There are only two formations for the elves - Wind and Stone modes. Unlike orc and human formations, there are no unique formations that can be researched for individual races.

Wind Formation:
The Wind formation has the following benefits:

Apart from their unique Diamond formation, the Mounted Grand Masters make the best use out of the Wind formations for maximum charge damage.

-It turns units incredibly lethal, with incredible boosts to damage and attack ratings
-It allows stealth approaches - allowing use of the Hide ability and greatly increases a battalion's View and Range
-It allows for hit-and-run mobility/guerilla warfare, as units gain a significant 40% spped increase, with very little loss of fatigue.

Stone Formation:
The Stone formation has the following benefits:
-Units are greatly protected with significant Armor bonuses, a trample defense, and an increased Defense rating.
-Unit Regeneration - battalions receive a boost to their automatic healing rates and fatigue is restored even during combat.

Switching Formations:
As mentioned earlier, switching formations is a strategic, not tactical, decision. In most cases, players will only be able to switch formations well before combat as the switch drains fatigue (100 points) and makes the unit completely defenseless and immobile for 15 seconds.

However, on higher levels with a greater fatigue reserve, an additional research switch from Stone to Wind becomes available - as in Stone formation, fatigue regenerated even during combat. This strategy could allow the player to make a safe getaway.

Wind Formation Strategies:
The following are viable strategies that are encouraged by the Wind Formation:
-Ambush - using preset hidden melee and ranged units.
-Infiltration - sneaking hidden units inside enemy ranks and attacking, taking advantage of their increased Damage.
-Targeting strong units - using their increased Damage boost, the elves can surprise elite enemy units with their surprising power and stand a better chance at taking them down.
-Long ranged attack - in this formation, ranged units will outrange units even on enemy walls, providing

The Stone formation is a tigher formation for greater defense.
a significant advantage in a stronghold raid.

Stone Formation Strategies:
The following are viable strategies that are encouraged by the Stone Formation:
-Fighting off numerous, but weaker, hordes - thanks to their increased Defense and Armor which allows them to absorb many hits before falling.
-Regenerating battalions, with health and fatigue regeneration bonuses.
-Protecting a location or object - again, making use of their heavy Armor.
-Cavalry break-through - Stone formation elves can break cavalry lines and protect other elven troops thanks to their reduction in trample counter-damage.

Available Upgrades/Research:

Improved Wind Formation (working title)
-Increases view by an additional 30%
-Fatigue is no longer consumed during running
-50% reduction to units' range of fire, instead of 100%
-Increases damage by 50%

Stone Research (working title)
-Crash Armor increased by an additional 20%
-Fatigue doesn't stop regenerating during combat.
-80% damage reduction from cavalry charges
-Heal skill efficiency increased by an additional 50%
-The Hide ability can now be used in this formation

Switch Research Level 1 (working title)
-Reduces switch time from 15 to 10 seconds
-Reduce Fatigue consumption to 80 points.

Switch Research Level 2 (working title)
-Reduces switch time from 10 to 5 seconds
-Reduce Fatigue consumption to 60 points.

Formation Bonuses for the Elven Sentry, a standard melee unit.
Wind formation

Bladestorms in the triangular Wind formation.

+100% damage
+50% accuracy
+40% speed
+20% view
-Fatigue use up 50% less for run
and hide
-Requires 100 fatigue
-15 second transition time

Stone formation

+50% Defense Rating
+50% pierce armor
+50% hack armor
+50% crash armor
-Fatigue doesn`t stop regenerating during combat
-50% damage from cavalry charges
+50% to unit’s heal skill efficiency
-No Hide ability
-Requires 100 fatigue
-15 second transition time

otomotopia 03-19-2010 04:24 PM

Very nice post! I'm excited to see how the orc players will micromanage their formations. A 40% bonus is an absolute ton. Plus having 30 wargs with a level 10 battalion is absolutely amazing.

Red Ranger 03-19-2010 04:34 PM

Looks pretty cool, but as far as elves, IF I read that correctly it says 100 fat +30sec immobility and then 100 fat 15 sec immobility.

Swift sword 03-19-2010 05:06 PM

Pretty nice Fantasy Friday, very detailed, and gives players a great look at strategies availiable. I will say that making elven units completely helpess is a bit harsh in regards to formation-may be a 5 second immobility instead of 30? But keep the cooldown? I would'nt think it'd hurt as much and gives elven players a bit more mobility and adaptivity on the battlefield, but if you don't want to do that, I'd suggest special mercenaries that are easily capable of switching formations, just to let diehard elven players experience real-time formation switching a slight bit.

I do like the formations, and they certainly seem fairly balanced to me. I can't tell which would win between line and tight/loose. Sorta hard to tell, which means it's a good balance, most certainly. Also- on one of the pics, it said the reavers were fully upgraded, but I thought it was a bit hard to tell. Just pointing it out, although I did notice (I think? I didn't pay much attnetion to orc infantry looks) some slight differences, I felt they could've been shinier.

Andy Joslin 03-19-2010 05:09 PM

The 30 seconds was a typo, I fixed it. It is actually 15 at the moment.

And think of it as more of a transformation/transition than just being helpless. Something like the way templars formed archons in Starcraft, for example.

As to the upgrades - if you knew the looks of the units a bit better the differences would be immensely obvious. Once you play a little bit it is easy to see the difference between the orc upgrades.

DarkMaster 03-19-2010 05:10 PM

Wow, it's wonderful to see how unique each race is, even in their formation styles. As far as I see it, men are fairly "standard", orcs are "wild, screaming horde" (:D) and elves are "Taste my blade!".

Curse you, now the elves are competing for my favourite race! Men still hold the title, though:p . I love it how men are so versatile, even in their battle tactics! I'm guessing the bane of any large battalion of men is gonna be an elven hit-and-run assault.


Thanks for joining us again! Your discussion and feedback is always hugely appreciated in these Fantasy Friday showcases, and we always get a huge morale boost hearing your excitement every week.
Quick, everyone! Get excited! They might finish the game faster!

EDIT: What is the "sparkling" effect on the human knights?

Josh Warner 03-19-2010 05:11 PM

Formations are my baby right now :o. We're saving all the specials for another showcase I believe, they're even more powerful and distinctive looking. Some of these obviously require adjusting, but it's a cool system we've got going. Those knights, my bad of course, the lines are too close some overlap.


Originally Posted by Red Ranger (Post 26168)
Looks pretty cool, but as far as elves, IF I read that correctly it says 100 fat +30sec immobility and then 100 fat 15 sec immobility.

Myself and Kon have done most of the work on formations, see andy's post regarding the elves combat styles, and it'll probably be changed further. As will the bonus/penalty numbers. Most formations will keep their overall role, but will be buffed or weakened as needed throughout testing.

As I've spent a ton of time working on these in the past few weeks I'd be happy to answer any questions that I can regarding them between working.

Originally Posted by DarkMaster (Post 26171)
EDIT: What is the "sparkling" effect on the human knights?

I believe that's used for the level up spell effect.

sneaky_squirrel 03-19-2010 05:31 PM

These formations aren't bad at all ;p.

Jean=A=Luc 03-19-2010 07:31 PM

Wow, this is definitely a more elaborate formation system than I expected to see. Well done guys. :)

Kire 03-19-2010 07:49 PM

Thank god elves have only 2 formation and not being so useful to change it. Damn i hate micro situational management =P. Whats wrong with just changing to x position, why must they get also strong special bonuses?=). Beside loving how special each rase is and have 1000 little unique details =). Usually balancing kills uniqueness, hope that doesnt happen here =/. And taking my personal experience of "formations where you have to think more =)" (which have also biiiger impact), they are great.

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