Suggestion: Leaders Affecting Squads

Talk about Sarah's upcoming game in the Rebuild series.

Suggestion: Leaders Affecting Squads

Postby dreau118 » Mon Dec 16, 2013 8:24 pm

Hey all! I am loving the game so far and its not even finished so I am looking forward to the completed project.
I have some various minor and major suggestions that came to mind so enjoy and let me know what you think!

Leaders Affecting Squads: I love the squad mechanics so far in the game. I am sure as Sarah will add on more distinct faces and character bodies so we can differentiate our favorite characters. She was right that we will eventually have maybe 10-15 favorites and they tended to be the "leaders" (the front face) of the squads. I think we should make survivors have more of a role in more missions than just recruiting and moral duty.

I know Sarah has been looking for more uses as a leader besides recruiting and moral boosting. When using groups of 4/5/7 (balancing later) or more, those groups must have a designated leader (to be shown as the front face of the selection for easier recognition). This can allow for easier recognition of specific or favorite squads that you like. This can also add another dimension to strategy and have possibility for possible perks and bonus for having a better leader to lead a specific group in a task. This would also be another may to help level up leadership skills by being the designated leader for a squad when it is assigned on missions since there are not many opportunities to raise that skill.
In order for a survivor to be an option for being a leader of a squad, they must be a minimum of level 1.0 in leadership.

Possible Unique Perks Given to a Survivor Regarding Squad Leading:
Ex-SWAT Leader- bonus to soldiers when fighting or on killing missions.
Military Officer- bonus to soldiers when fighting or on killing missions.
Medical Field Officer- higher chance to reduce a death on a mission into an injury
Chief Architect- bonus to speed for builders when building or demolishing. Can unlock special buildings to be built.
University Professor- bonus to speed for research also can unlock research special upgrades.
Former Senator/Governor/Mayor of City- bonus to recruitment success, can also provide special opportunities/or choices when sent on trading (has yet to be implemented) and inter-faction plot missions.
Former Island Castaway- bonus scavenging return from missions.
Homeless- bonus to food return from missions.
Inventor- bonus to materials and items found (can find more than one item/weapon) on a mission.
Minister/Priest- bonus moral to survivors in squad.

Stronger Leader Bonuses (each bonus is gained as a survivor levels) :
Less than Lvl 1- not eligible to be a squad leader
Lvl 1-3- "Eligible" Survivor is eligible to be a squad leader and merits bonus moral to survivors in squad.
Lvl 3-6- "Well used Personnel" bonus % effectiveness added to survivors with a skill less than Lvl 2.0 during missions related to said skill.
Lvl 6-9- "Officer Training" Survivors in same squad with this leader will gain small experience in leadership (up to only lvl 3) with each mission completed (regardless of type) as they being taught by an experienced leader in how to be a leader themselves.
Lvl 10- "Master of All Arts" Survivors will gain much additional experience to the related skill from each mission sent with this survivor as the squad leader.
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Re: Suggestion: Leaders Affecting Squads

Postby Shining Hector » Mon Dec 16, 2013 8:54 pm

Sounds pretty interesting. I'd think formally organizing survivors into more or less permanent squads would be a necessity if it went this far. That would definitely be a step towards keeping people together and building relationships, too, which is planned.

Making having a leader a requirement for a large group wouldn't be a good idea, though, since you very well might not have any to spare. I've had 1-2 leaders show up as random survivors before, not nearly enough to run the number of squads I end up with, and I don't want to have my planned leaders all tag along for recruiting or go to school as another hoop to jump through. It would make more sense for the highest skilled person in the task at hand in the group be the default leader, and maybe they can develop the leadership skill naturally. That should probably be the default unless someone in the group has enough leadership or other qualifications to give bonuses, otherwise you get the tinhorn MBA with 1.0 leadership and no other skills to speak of bossing everyone around, and we can't have that.

I'd rather have leadership perks as something that can be picked up on the job, too. It would be a cool to have starting perks as above, but you should be able to pick up enough along the way to fake it if you were the school janitor as opposed to the state governor before the zombies. Sorta like how generals in the Total War series start off with a couple of background traits but randomly pick up bonuses and penalties based on how they are used as time goes by.
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Re: Suggestion: Leaders Affecting Squads

Postby Chah » Mon Dec 16, 2013 9:19 pm

I like the part about Leadership skill affecting a squad's morale boost after combat. It seems sometimes survivors gain morale by killing zombies, sometimes they lose morale because it was so harrowing. It would be interesting if the highest Leadership skill within that squad had some effect over which result you get.

It would also be interesting if lesser Builders can learn something from tagging along with a master Builder on a building mission, or if newbie Soldiers can learn something from a veteran Soldier on a combat mission, and the chance of skills "rubbing off" like that depended on that veteran's Leadership skill. (There could be a message telling how the newbie learned something in the mission results so players know this is happening.)
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Re: Suggestion: Leaders Affecting Squads

Postby dreau118 » Mon Dec 16, 2013 9:33 pm

Great input and totally agree with your concern but I think there is somewhere to pull at least from the concept of having Leadership affect squads in some way.

-Also to help stem any concern, if you are worried about not getting enough leaders, you can always take some of your other survivors out on leadership training with your Main Character who usually starts with lvl 3 Leadership anyway. Also taking unskilled leaders on recruiting missions can help diversify your survivors so you have soldiers, builders, etc. with leadership skills so you can look to promote those survivors into squad leaders.

- Also, maybe Sarah can have newer survivors at higher levels appear with a diverse set of skills instead of 1 skill like instead of a lvl 8 soldier, how about a lvl 7 soldier with 1 lvl in leadership...BOOM there is your newest squad leader for your attack groups.
Last edited by dreau118 on Mon Dec 16, 2013 10:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Suggestion: Leaders Affecting Squads

Postby Shining Hector » Mon Dec 16, 2013 10:06 pm

It would be cool to have a good leader apply bonuses to the team, no argument. All I'm saying is it would not be cool to be unable to combine say two 3 man squads into one super squad if you didn't jump through the hoop of developing leadership in someone beforehand. All of a sudden your grizzled 5+ combat veterans start stumbling over each other without some dude who spent 3 days in school or did some recruiting tagging along? No bonuses, sure, but someone should be able to default as the leader in that case and build up skill that way, same as any other skill in the game.
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Re: Suggestion: Leaders Affecting Squads

Postby dreau118 » Mon Dec 16, 2013 10:26 pm

Ahh I see what you did there!

-Strong leaders should affect their assigned squad in a positive way (or negative if they have a drinking problem b/c they lost a loved one from their squad *relationship suggestion*).
-Should there not be an appropriate leader, there can be a function to default to the survivor with the highest total of skills= "the most 'experienced' survivor" (including items).

10 Zombie Thumbs Up!
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Re: Suggestion: Leaders Affecting Squads

Postby Llapgochmaster » Tue Dec 17, 2013 6:57 am

I like this idea, too. Your best leaders would end being something like "heroes" in 4x games (e.g. Master of Magic, Warcraft 3). This gives you an incentive to invest time into sculpting their development and giving them ideal equipment. Being a powerful resource to the player, they could also serve as the basis of many event-driven plot points that would really catch the player's attention. E.g. "Betty '9mm' Stevenson just showed up at the police station with an ultimatum: either we start feeding her soldiers better or she heads out to join a colony that will".

Practically speaking, maybe a unit's leadership ability could be tracked as a perk? It might show up as "Combat Leader 3", and the game will automatically select whichever leader has the highest level for a given squad deployment. Alternatively, it might show up as a sub-set of the leader skill? To make the role of leaders clearer on the map, perhaps deployed missions with a leader could have an identifier in the UI (sergeant's strips?).

Thinking about the system in general, it almost seems to me that the existing "Leadership" skill might be better off being renamed "Charisma" or "Persuasion" or something. This so that "Leadership" would be reserved for the rarer units with real leadership experience. It makes more sense, to me, to have a glut of units near the end-game that are good at getting along with each and pouring drinks than a glut of masterful leaders of men/women.

Practically speaking, you might start with just one "Leadership Certified" unit, yourself, and then build up your team of leaders in various ways:

    1. Lucky normal recruitment
    Maybe a check is made for low leaders:colonists ratio, maybe recent events could factor in ("You're with that outfit that tossed those cannibals out of town? I'm in."

    2. Rare promotion of hard-working units.
    Leaderless squads might occasionally generate a basic leader, as in the Total War series.

    3. Special recruitment missions.
    These could be from neutral groups on the map (sub-factions), or even from rival faction squads. They'd be the same as normal recruitments except they'd be more difficult and you'd need to negotiate (via event dialogue) having them join you, perhaps at a considerable price in resources.

Cool ideas, gents/ladies! I suppose it's just a question of how much "feature-creep" Sarah can handle and still release a game sometime in 2014.
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Re: Suggestion: Leaders Affecting Squads

Postby Llapgochmaster » Tue Dec 17, 2013 7:11 am

Another idea I'd been toying with was having "Personality Perks" that would mainly effect how random/not-so-random events play out. Tacking those only onto leaders would make the most gameplay sense and make their management more reasonable.

For example, you might get a windfall of a mid-level Combat Leader, "Freddy", who showed up (with his brother, naturally) when you started radio broadcasts. All for the good, but this guy also has the "Cruel" leadership trait. This would manifest itself in various ways that would shape how you'd want to use the guy:

    1. Guarding the wall might produce a moral-drop event where the colony got shocked by just how much Freddy relishes smashing zombies.

    2. Raiding a faction might occasionally generate a "Take me with you, please!" recruitment event, that Freddy would reject.

    3. Running a zombie clearing mission, the mission might occasionally wrap up early due to Freddy's extraordinary efficiency.


Still more complication, but I like how these "Perks" (maybe "Traits" would be better) would give you a chance to predict how scripted events may play out, rather than be blind-sided by your favourite leader suddenly turning to Zombie Worship :)

Having some Traits get picked up during the game would also spice things up a bit, as per Shining Hector's idea.
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