KINGDOMS AND NATIONS RP
Warcraft III World Editor | Personal | 2012 – 2014
An RP-strategy map that gave players a powerful toolset to make up scenarios and set the world up to tell the stories they want, but also working grand strategy mechanics that cater to the RP scenarios, allowing players to live in the worlds they make.
Warcraft 3 had a vibrant ‘custom games’ (modding) community that played a wide range of games from strategy maps set in the Napoleonic Wars, mini-games akin to Mario Party to a little something known as DOTA. It also had a big roleplaying community where people played as countries and its heroes. The issue was that these RP maps were all about the sandbox element which gave you a massive toolset to use, but didnt have actual mechanics you’d see in the other strategy gamemode maps. Kingdoms and Nations RP was the answer to that, and mixed the best of both worlds.
Get To Roleplay Fast
-rapidly create your own scenarios, settlements, kingdoms, nations and heroes within a prebuilt but modifiable terrain
-(Jay’s Note: most people cared more about the RP than building up the set pieces and locations, so I allowed them to do that quickly with premade settlements on the map or buildable ‘modular settlements’ ones you’d normally see in strategy maps)
Driven by Grand Strategy Mechanics
-strategy mechanics and systems that allow you to actually play and get immersed in the scenarios you create, such as settlement income, diplomacy and economy, unit damage counters and resistances (such as spears defeat horsemen)
-(Jay’s Note: this is the unique selling point of the mod, the fact that it merges the powerful sandbox toolset of ‘pure roleplay’ maps and mechanics seen in actual grand strategy maps
Play Who You Want To Play
-play as villages, countries, a whole host of fantasy races and monsters, individual heroes
-more unique to the map is the ability to play as knightly orders, bandits, cultists and trading leagues – all supported by unique mechanics
(Left: Diverse Units using 3 Preset Appearance options, Early Medieval, High Medieval and Renaissance. Right: Modular Settlement System)
Below are some mechanics in the game that I was quite proud of and as far as I know wasn’t seen that much on other Warcraft 3 maps.
User-friendly Unlock System to allow the GM to set core themes and rules, and allow what content is available for the players
-for example, if a player wants to play as Elves only, they shouldn’t have access to Human units. Or if the GM decides that the game’s setting should be set to Medieval tech only.
-also the way to control progression. Maybe we all start at Medieval tech, but Player D has RP’d as an innovative and forward-thinking country, so they can unlock guns?
-this links the Roleplay affordances to Strategy mechanics, and can prevent any meta or powergaming like players being able to use whatever units they want
Mana-driven settlement tax system, which gives money on a periodic basis (as determined by the GM)
-this used a retrofitted mana stat for the settlement building, as buildings and units in Warcraft 3 only had 2 bars – health and mana. This meant income gained from settlements were not absolute which was the norm, allowing settlements to flourish
-allowed new gameplay interactions like raiding and sacking settlements (by depleting an enemy settlements mana and getting money equivalent) rather than conquering which was the norm for strategy games
Diverse Appearances Units
-in most strategy games, units were different models and meshes, and had no variation at all. In this I used the base villager model and gave them modular generated clothing (models sourced from the community). This meant we had units more appropriate what you would have actually seen in that time: there was only a loose uniform, especially for peasant levy units
-the player could also determine the look of their units through the Unlock System, either Presets (Player K wants a Norse vibe to their units, so chooses that option. From now on all their units wear that type of clothing), or Manually (players can outfit dummies with whatever clothes they want, the levies take the clothes from the dummies)
Modular Settlements and Modular Upgrades
-the basic setup for strategy games was that you had a ‘settlement’ (aka a Keep building, which represented a town). This was a single mesh building. If you upgraded it, it’d turn into a different mesh or maybe a different tint.
-I created a 3-tier modular settlement, which consisted of
-settlement: a building that was made of multiple meshes to make it look more authentic (so instead of a single Keep, its a bunch of houses).
-walls: an optional other building you could build ontop of The Base building. You can upgrade this from Pallisades to Stone Walls.
-specialization: this was a little space in the middle of the Settlement where players could build unique Specialization buildings that can make a town a bit more special. (e.g. a Bank, to represent a very rich town. Naturally this has gameplay effects too! For example the Bank might increase the settlement’s tax/mana)