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Strifeshadow - Tournament Edition

Strifeshadow Development Notes -- Issue #1

The Development Notes are a semi-periodical feature that we will regularly be posting on the site. They will contain information on various game design issues related to Strifeshadow. If you want to suggest a topic, post it on the forum. We are all ears...

So without further ado... Heres the first feature:

Strifeshadow units all have an individual purpose within the game, that is distinct from other units of the same race. Units are essentially categorized by their intrinsic play "flavor". The types of units that you will see in Strifeshadow include:

1) Infantry
Generally the most basic type of unit available to a race, infantry units are not particularly fast or slow, and usually have melee weapons, or extremely short-ranged ranged weapons.

Used for primary assault, force backbone, and sometimes cannon-fodder in most RTSes, infantry in Strifeshadow are capable of pinning down units they engage in combat, effectively allowing them to screen more valuable units like ranged units or artillery from attack.

Infantry units fare acceptably well against any unit, except short-ranged artillery and skirmishers. They are extremely good against ranged units (if they can get to them).

2) Ranged
Ranged units are used to support other units, by adding extra firepower to the front line. They are also suitable for shooting air units. Archers, Crossbowmen, and similar units are all ranged units using the definition of "ranged" we use.

Ranged units in Strifeshadow are particularly prone to fast-moving melee troops (strike troops), and somewhat prone to infantry. They are also somewhat prone to long-range artillery and some spells. They are indispensible against short-range artillery, and are a necessary compliment to nearly any possible unit mix, even though they are a poor stand-alone troop.

3) Short-Range Artillery
Probabaly one of the least familiar types of units to most RTS gamers, short-range artillery is indispensible against melee units of any variety. By unleashing devastating short-range splash damage attacks, short-range artillery makes up for its lack of manueverability with firepower.

the only examples of this that we know of in other games are the Dwarf in Myth: The Fallen Lords (www.bungie.com), and to a certain extent, the Archon in Starcraft (www.blizzard.com). Short-range artillery are highly succeptable to ranged units, long-range artillery, and skirmishers.

4) Long-Range Artillery
Also refered to as siege units, Long-Range artillery units are useful for pounding down defensive structures with impunity, and destroying vulnerable units from a long range, such as short-ranged artillery or spellcasters.

Probabaly one of the RTS player's favorites, Strifeshadow sports some rather odd and interesting siege weapons, including a mage that can siege. Nothing is quite as fun as pummeling your opponent from atop a cliff behind their base...

5) Skirmishers
Skirmishers are essentially fast-moving ranged units. Used for hit-and-run attacks on vulnerable locations, Skirmishers are indispensible for ripping up slower infantry units, assassinating mages, or to a certain extent, taking out artillery pieces. They are also especially well suited to probing and exploting small holes in enemy base defense. Examples of skirmishers in other games include the vulture from Starcraft and APC/Bikes in CNC. Skirmishers are ineffective against ranged units, strike troops, and protected long-range artillery units. Skirmishers are among the best scouts in the game.

6) Strike Troops
As fast-moving melee units, strike troops are useful for many of the same things skirmishers are. They are much more durable, however, and are also uniquely suited to rip into the flanks of enemy infantry formations, especially when they are already in combat with other forces. By being able to quickly strike "behind the lines", strike troops can easily turn the tide of battle. Examples of strike troops include speed-upgraded zealots from Starcraft, and Ghols from Myth:The Fallen Lords.

7) Spellcasters
Spellcasters are probabaly the most diverse of all the unit classifications. Ranging from overtly offensive, to purely defensive, spellcasters have a wide array of abilities that can greatly supplement the potency of any force.

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