Basic notion & motive
At the moment anyone can hire any unit at any time provided they have sufficient alignment and regardless the alignment they have with other factions. This means that a 'Gundabad' character with +3500 with Gundabad can hire Black Uruks from Mordor, even if he only has +600 alignment with Mordor. Also, a player with +4000 Gondor alignment and only +700 with Lindon, can still hire High Elven Cavalry and Banner Bearers. This is odd, and I believe it breaks the roleplay immersion and makes the 'unique' / elite units of all factions less unique in the game. The system doesn't promote 'working for specific alignment' for a player to hire units. For many good aligned characters in the north, endless Gundie slaughter simply suffices at the moment.
My basic notion is this:
Elite military forces will only swear allegiance to a leader that proves his or her loyalty with their faction.
- Make elite and banner bearer units only hirable to players for which the alignment they have with that faction is clearly the highest of any alignment the player has.
- Make the hiring of 'tier 2' NPCs (not elite or banner bearer, but no 'levy troops / cannon fudder' either), also dependent on the relative alignment a player has with the faction: require at least 'second highest alignment with any faction'.
- To ensure the players loyalty is 'clear', and to prevent exploits from regular 'allegiance switches', for hiring elite units the difference between maximum alignment and second highest alignment a player has, must be higher than some treshold value. This 'elite allegiance treshold' should be faction dependent. For weaker / more neutral factions like Dunland and most sub-factions, it should be 100 and for stronger / more extremely aligned factions like Mordor and Lindon, it should be 500 or comparable.
1) specific usage of the faction diversity as offered in the mod;
2) strategic choices by players when hiring units / composing their fighting forces;
3) roleplay immersion by limiting the options players have in hiring units, dependent on the alignment profile they have acquired in-game.
In the GUI, the player is already able to see whether or not the units (s)he wishes to hire are hireable to him/her or not. Now, there are two requirement: a player must have the minimum alignment required for hiring and have enough in cash in his/her inventory. The proposed changes will add requirements for a player to meet to be able to hire higher tier units.
Two new checks must be added for all higher tier units. These require storing four parameters per player (already stored): the faction with which the player has highest alignment, the faction with which the player has second highest alignment and the two corresponding alignment values.
Also, for each faction, the value for the 'elite allegiance treshold' must be defined. Here are some example values for this parameter:
- Wood-land Realm 350; High Elves and Galadhrim 300; Dorwinion 200;
- Mordor 500; Dol Guldur and Angmar 300; Isengard 250; Gundabad 150;
- Dol-Amorth 400; Gondor 300; Rohan 200; Dale 150; Dunland 100;
- Durin's Folk 300; Blue Mountain Dwarves 200
Finally, each NPC will get a new identifier, tagging the NPC as 'elite', 'regular' or 'levy'. Based on that tag, either no additional check, or one or both of the new checks must be performed.
- For the 'elite' units (incl. banner bearers), a check will be done on whether the 'players highest alignment faction' is equal to the faction of the unit. If 'true', a second check will be done to see if the difference in alignment the player has between his 'highest alignment faction' and the second highest, is bigger than the defined 'elite allegiance treshold' value. If 'true', the player can hire the unit.
- For the 'regular' units, a check will be made whether the players two highest alignment factions are equal to the units faction. If 'true', the player can hire the unit.
- For 'levy' units only the already present checks will be performed.
Examples of unit categorisation
Here's a few examples of which units would be tagged as 'elite' or 'levy':
- Woodland Realm: cavalry & banner bearer are elite; warriors are regular; elves & scouts are levy.
- Mordor: black uruks, olog-Hai, warg bombardiers & banner bearers are elite; orc bombardiers and war riders are regular; orcs and archers are levy.
- Durin's Folk: boar riders and banner bearers are elite; warriors and axe throwers are regular; non warrior dwarves are levy.
As indicated in this post, the basic notion regarding the availability of hired units to players, also relates to more than the proposal presented above. One related proposal I wish to mention as relevant in this context is this:
The mechanic discussed extensively in that thread, provides the opportunity to create a mechanistic cap on the number of hired units a player can maintain, or 'how large a standing army a player can support'. I believe it deserves more thorough and open/public thinking to find acceptable ways to implement it ... in that thread.
Additionally, I feel that adding more and significantly higher minimum requirements for crafting faction specific gear will certainly contribute to the purpose indicated above, notably point 1). As I feel this is obvious, and as It has been brought forward earlier in a number of other threads, I suspect the mod team is already aware of that option. I suspect that either they will never implement it, or it's planned in some way.