A description of our ultimate vision for the game.
The basic premise behind Ascendancy is a cross between a traditional, competitive RTS and a God Game where representatives of the major elemental gods battle for supremacy. Players will collect resources, build bases and produce element-based troops to be commanded. They will also have access to special Manifest (“godly”) Powers which can be used at any time the player wishes, providing they can afford to pay the resource cost for them. Players can also capture and command neutral super-creatures called Incarnates. Coupling base expansions with fast action combat, the general goal is to destroy your enemy in a PvP setting. For the initial full-release we will be concentrating on the four “primary” elements of Air, Earth, Fire and Water. Players will choose their element in the match lobby prior to the match beginning.
As a baseline comparison, Ascendancy will follow in a similar vein as Starcraft 2 for general speed and overall gameplay. While the God Game aspects are similar in concept to games such as Age of Mythology, the difference is that the Manifest Powers here are used in a much more strategic PvP fashion. The various MPs revolve around bolstering your forces, preventing movement or damaging your enemy, up to large scale destruction of troops and buildings. The tactical use of these abilities (which only are active for short amounts of time) will be an important skill for the player to learn for success on the battlefield. While the concepts of upgrades unlocking better troops/buildings is included, the progression of Manifest Powers will occur as the player upgrades their base and fulfills a similar role.
On top of the Manifest Powers, players will have access (via upgrades) to a variety of troop types including various melee, ranged, scout/spy, flying, healing, AoE, siege, fast attack and carrier units. The troops themselves will be generally “non-humanoid” in form and appear to be created from various substances or concepts associated with the chosen element (air, earth, fire, water). Additional to the troops produced from various buildings, players will also have a special “hero” type troop (called a Proxy) that is unique when compared to other spawned troops. Players will generally have a few of these Proxy types available to them and it is up to the player to decide which single Proxy to use for any given match. These Proxy types can be persistently leveled up over time by the player, which will unlock new Proxy abilities or enhance previous ones.
In an era long past, the elemental powers warred among themselves personally, shattering the cosmos and leaving behind unique creations as their immeasurable power clashed on the battlefield. One of the most awesome of these leftovers are the Incarnates, titan-like creatures of massive power who have been doomed to an eternity of slumber or imprisonment. Players will be able to find these super-creatures and conscript them into their armies to control on the battlefield. Maintaining control of these creatures means defending their original sleeping locales, as other players can strip the Incarnate from another and take control for their own. This could even happen right in the middle of a battle if the appropriate “control node” changes hands elsewhere on the game map, the Incarnate attacking one player this second, then turning to crush its former allies the next.
Around the game map will be various locations where a player could choose to expand their holdings and take control of more land through base expansion type buildings. These expansion sites will be located a bit apart, forcing the controlling player to have to spread themselves out in order to control multiple areas simultaneously. Of course with more ground owned the player is able to gather resources at a faster rate and therefore produce troops and other such things quicker. It is a strategic choice for the player to decide how far and thin they stretch themselves to ensure victory. Battle within Ascendancy will be a fast paced aspect filled with lots of unique looking creatures along with plenty of visual effects from various elemental attack types plus the elemental based troops themselves as they move or fly around. Tactical control of troops and use of the player’s Powers will be important for success.
Another important strategic aspect to the game will be the ability to capture previously constructed buildings from another player. Similar to how one player can steal control of an Incarnate, it will be possible to capture the base expansions of another player and convert it to your own use. While the
ability to do this has it’s own rules and specific occasions where it is allowed, this gives the player an opportunity to harass or whittle down an opponent without always going directly at the main enemy base.
Finally, while the default victory condition will be to destroy the enemy’s main building, there will be other conditions for victory that can be chosen prior to the start of the match such as a twist on the old “king of the hill” and “capture the flag” ideas.
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