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Daydreaming about Guandu DLC: Yuan Shao's mechanic and start situation.

Ostubaf_CattoOstubaf_Catto Registered Users Posts: 138
While we have been waiting for update and news for Nanman DLC, Several members of Serious Trivia's Discord and I have a discussion/speculation about what do we want to see in Yuan Shao's & Cao Cao's mechanic in Guandu Chapter Pack DLC. So here, I compiled my idea and their idea (Thank goes to Fuchsy, kevinz and Sad Panda) together to make this. So this post, for the most part, will focus on general start situation for factions that are in the northern theatre and then we will focus on Yuan Shao's & Cao Cao's mechanic. This will be a pretty long post.


My Hypothetical 199 map.

List of factions that involve in Northern Theatre

Cao Cao (Playable)
  • Yuan Shao (Playable)
  • Yuan Tan (Playable)
  • Yuan Xi (Playable)
  • Yuan Shang (Playable)
  • Liu Bei (Playable)
  • Zhang Xiu (Playable)
  • Zhang Yan (Playable)
  • Gao Gan
  • Gongsun Kang
  • Han
Wuhuan Tribe (FLC) (They are not in the map yet because I don't have any idea about them (somewhere in the north or northwest, I assume.) but I hope to see them added to the game in this DLC)

We took some creative liberty on starting event to make a setting, story and mechanic work together.

Starting Situation: Autumn or Winter 199 AD




Cao Cao: After discovering a plot against him, Cao Cao had once again marched into Xu province. This time, Cao Cao defeated Liu Bie in a decisive battle and drove Liu Bei out of the Xu province for good. After many years, Cao Cao has finally full control over central plaint and his eyes aim north to his old friend, Yuan Shao whose ambition matches of his. However, his old enemy, Zhang Xiu, still poses a threat to his western flank. Although Zhang Xiu is a minor warlord, he has proven himself that he is not easy prey. Now Cao Cao has to decide whatever he will deal with Zhang Xiu now or ignore this minor player and be prepared for the inevitable clash with his old friend.



Yuan Shao: Since receiving a secret blood edict from the emperor, Yuan Shao was ready to march his troop south to meet his childhood friend Cao Cao in a battle, but after several inconveniences, his campaign came to a halt. Despite this minor setback, Yuan Shao is confident in his inevitable victory over Cao Cao. With his vast wealth and army, there is no doubt that he is the most powerful warlord in all of China. However, an internal conflict blooms in his faction. his three sons start to show sign of disharmony to each other. You must act to ensure the legacy of Yuan name lives on.



Yuan Tan: As the eldest son of Yuan Shao, he is the bravest among the three. However, Yuan Tan is not his father favourite son unlike his youngest brother, Yuan Shang. Yuan Tan was sent away far from home. This act of bias angers Yuan Tan. Now he must prove to himself through strength, bravery and fiery passion that he is worthy to become the next head of Yuan clan in this time of chaos, not that arrogant Yuan Shang.

Yuan Xi: Although does not possess a martial prowess or strength like his brother, Yuan Tan, or any love from his father like Yuan Shang. Yuan Xi's intellect is his greatest instrument. He was sent to the border to fight off the barbarian. He knows now his best bet against his brothers is to seek an ally to strengthen his claim, but in this time of strive, ally is hard to find. Maybe, Yuan Xi has to look beyond the northern frontier and find allies among those savages.

Yuan Shang: Yuan Shang is the youngest of the three but has the support of his father to claim the name of the Yuan. While his brothers were sent far away from Yuan's capital. He got his office near his father to observe and learn about the duty to the Yuan clan. However, Yuan Shang cannot rest assured about his future. War is on the horizon from without and within. He must show his brothers that he is the one true heir of Yuan clan with graces and glory or defeats them on the battlefield.



Liu Bei: Beaten and isolated, Liu Bei has once again gone back to zero. Separated from his friends and family, he now has sought refuge under the mighty Yuan Shao. Liu Bei knows that soon a big battle will take china by storm once again, but now his only purpose is to survive to reunite with his brothers in arms once again.

Zhang Xiu: After a long resistance against Cao Cao, Zhang Xiu begins to give his ground. However, Good news came from the north. Yuan Shao seeks an ally against Cao Cao. This is an opportunity that Zhang Xiu has waited for a long time. However, his cunning advisor Jia Xu speaks against this and tries to convince him to surrender to Cao Cao. Now Zhang Xiu is in the middle of a dilemma. Will he accept Yuan Shao's proposal and march his troops to the field once again or surrender to Cao Cao and wait for his next opportunity.



Zhang Yan: Defeat after Defeat, Zhang Yan can no longer seek safety in his domain. He is surrounded by enemies. His ally, Gongsun Zan, has fallen. Now, he stands alone in the age of chaos. Zhang Yan knows his days are numbered. However, it seems like fate hasn't abandoned him. There is a mighty warlord south of the Yellow river that can rival with this arrogant Yuan Shao. As the king of bandits, this might mean a new opportunity for him to regain his mountain.

Yuan Clan Succession Conflict Mechanic

For all Yuan clan factions, There will be a new mechanic that involves internal conflict within the Yuan family. Sons of Yuan Shao, Yuan Tan, Yuan Xi, and Yuan Shang will compete for the right to rule the future of Yuan clan. Meanwhile, Yuan Shao can tip the balance and intervene to ensure that the most capable candidate wins the title as the heir of the Yuan clan.

Every Yuan clan factions will have new UI in faction screen. it will show the progression of an ongoing succession crisis. Each son will have a bar-resource called "Favour" which represents Yuan Shao's favour and fondness toward them. All Yuan clan factions included Yuan Shao can see all three brothers' "Favour" from the same tap.
  • Playing as Yuan Tan, Yuan Xi, or Yuan Shang
PS. This Yuan Clan Succession Conflict Mechanic is a separated mechanic from Yuan brothers' unique mechanic.

The goal for these three brothers is to fulfil the "Favour" and complete Yuan Shao's ultimate quest before other brothers or before Yuan Shao dies or Yuan Shao faction gets destroyed.

Currently, I have three versions of "Favour" in my mind.
  1. The Race to 100 "Favour" Version.
  2. The Competing for Majority of "Favour" Version.
  3. The Civ 6 Inspired Version.
1. The Race to 100 "Favour" Version.

  • Yuan Tan and Yuan Xi start the game with 0 "Favour" but Yuan Shang starts with 10 "Favour" (because he is Yuan Shao's favourite son). "Favour" provides bonuses in a certain threshold (10/20/30/40/50/60/70/80/90/100) and penalties at 50 "Favour" onward.
  • "Favour" provides bonuses such as bonus relationship with Yuan Shao and other benefits and penalties like relationship penalty with other brothers. The effective of bonuses and penalties depend on the "Favour" threshold (10/20/30/40/50/60/70/80/90/100).
  • "Favour" can be earned through quests, military achievement (win battle with army that Yuan brothers lead, capture settlement with army that Yuan brothers lead, win a duel with Yuan brothers etc.), diplomat achievement (sign trade agreement, secure alliance etc.), assignments and their unique faction mechanic.
  • Yuan Tan, Yuan Xi, and Yuan Shang can discredit each other to hurt other's "Favour" via spy but they will have a risk to be exposed and lose their "Favour" instead.
  • Whenever one of Yuan Shao's sons reaches 100 "Favour", he can convince Yuan Shao to appoint them to be a legitimate heir of the Yuan Clan. However, to finalise this decision, Yuan Shao will give them an ultimate quest to prove themselves.
The Competing for Majority of "Favour" Version.

  • There will be a balance of power bar similar to the MoH's Mandate War Progression Bar. The bar has max value of 100 that is separated into 3 sections for each brothers. Yuan Tan and Yuan Xi start the game with 30 "Favour" but Yuan Shang starts with 40 (because he is Yuan Shao's favourite son).
  • Unlike the first version, "Favour" can be earned by stealing other brothers' point through quests, military achievement (win battle with army that Yuan brothers lead, capture settlement with army that Yuan brothers lead, win a duel with Yuan brothers etc.), diplomat achievement (sign trade agreement, secure alliance etc.), assignments and their unique faction mechanic. For example : If Yuan Tan wins a battle, his other brothers lose 1 point each and Yuan Tan gains 2 point of "Favour".
  • Whenever one of Yuan Shao's sons reaches a majority of "Favour" bar (around 51-76 "Favour" points), he can convince Yuan Shao to appoint them to be a legitimate heir of the Yuan Clan. However, to finalise this decision, Yuan Shao will give them an ultimate quest to prove themselves.
The Civ 6 Inspired Version.



Loosely based on Great People from Civ 6
  • Like Legacy of Wu, 3 Yuan brothers will have a shared list of quests. There will be 28 quests in total. There will be 4 tiers of quest: 27 Common quests (grouped into 3 categories: 9 Militaristic quests, 9 Diplomatic quests, 9 Economic quests or maybe 9 Easy quests, 9 Normal quests, 9 Hard quests), and 1 Ultimate quest.
  • When a quest is completed by one of the Yuan brothers, it’s no longer available for completion by the other two.
  • The goal is Yuan brothers must compete to complete 9 Common quests and one Ultimate quest before other brothers.
  • Yuan Shang start the game with one quest completed. That quest is called "Favourite Son".
  • Whenever one of Yuan Shao's sons completes 9 common quests, he can convince Yuan Shao to appoint them to be a legitimate heir of the Yuan Clan. However, to finalise this decision, Yuan Shao will give them an ultimate quest to prove themselves.
  • Now, the Ultimate quest is Defeating Cao Cao and Rescuing the young emperor. The first to complete the ultimate quest will become the head of the Yuan clan and confederate with Yuan Shao's faction. However, within a couple of turns, a civil war will happen between 3 brothers and after hearing about a civil war, Yuan Shao will become heartbroken and die.
  • However, if Yuan Shao dies before anyone of his sons reaches 100 "Favour" and completes the ultimate quest, the civil war will trigger instantly and this time, even Gao Gan will join the war for power over the Yuan clan. Yuan Shao's territory will be pass to Yuan clan faction which has the most prestige.
  • Moreover, if any Yuan brothers declare war on another brother before they complete the ultimate quest or Yuan Shao dies**.** This time, Yuan Shao won't be heartbroken and die, but Yuan Shao will be furious and declare war on the aggressor instead and the remainder of Yuan brother will join the war against the aggressor too**. If you can defeat all the other Yuan clan, this is also a way to earn the name of leader of Yuan clan.**
Playing as Yuan Shao

Unlike his three sons, Yuan Shao doesn't anticipate in this conflict directly. He can still see all of his sons' "Favour" bar. Yuan Shao also cannot appoint a Faction Heir normally. He must use a special diplomatic option with a son who has fulfilled "Favour". Yuan Shao also comes with an additional unique resource called "Favouritism".


The three circles are "Favour". The lower bar is "Favouritism"


Yuan Shao can choose one of his sons to be his "Favourite Son" and spend his "Favouritism" to give "Favour" to his "Favourite Son".
  • Yuan Shao can choose one of his sons to be his "Favourite Son" and spend his "Favouritism" to give "Favour" to his "Favourite Son".
  • like The Race to 100 "Favour" Version, Yuan Tan and Yuan Xi start the game with 0 "Favour" but Yuan Shang starts with 10 "Favour" (because he is Yuan Shao's favourite son). "Favour" provides bonuses in a certain threshold (10/20/30/40/50/60/70/80/90/100) and penalties at 50 "Favour" onward.
  • The "Favouritism" can be stored up to 100. Yuan Shao will use 50 "Favouritism" point to give 10 "Favour".
  • Yuan Shao passively generates 1 "Favouritism"
  • Additional "Favouritism" can also be generated by appointing generals who like Yuan Shao's "Favourite Son" into your court positions**. 1 extra "Favouritism" is generated per turn for each general appointed.**
  • Appointing generals who don't like "Favourite Son" into your court positions/administrations degenerates "Favouritism".
  • Whenever one of Yuan Shao give 100 "Favour" to his "Favourite Son", he can appoint them to be a legitimate heir of the Yuan Clan. However, to finalise this decision, Yuan Shao and his son must complete an ultimate quest to prove themselves.
  • the Ultimate quest is Defeating Cao Cao and Rescuing the young emperor. Once, Yuan Shao defeated Cao Cao and recused the emperor. He will confederate with his "Favourite Son" faction. That son will automatically becomes a heir of Yuan Shao faction. Within a couple of turns, Civil war will happen between 3 brothers and after hearing about a civil war. This time, Yuan Shao wouldn't die but he will be granted "Heartbroken" trait.
  • The Yuan Clan Succession Conflict Mechanic is only available for player, for player can have more control to the game. If you played as Cao Cao or other factions, there would be series of event that will trigger that lead to Yuan civil war in the end.
What do you guys think? Please comment below. After this, I figure that I have way too much free time. Thanks for reading.

Comments

  • Misaka_ComplexMisaka_Complex Registered Users Posts: 2,830
    I read the entire thing and while the faction mechanics and proposed ideas are nice, I'm not sure about Daddy Shao being heartbroken and dying as it sounds kind of lame. I don't think that it's realistic for a free for all civil war to happen between the 3 brother while Daddy Shao is alive, and even if it does Daddy Shao will probably do everything in his power to stop it instead of just becoming heartbroken and dying as it's just too anticlimactic. I'm also pretty sure that all 3 sons and Gao Gan will start as vassals of Daddy Shao and vassals aren't allowed to declare war on each other. However, the other scenario that you mentioned with one of the sons rebelling against Daddy Shao is possible as vassals can do this against their master but that would mean waging war on the other 2 sons + Daddy Shao.

    You also aren't considering the case where Cao Cao is defeated by someone else or someone else just snags the emperor from Cao Cao, which destroys the premise of the "ultimate quest." While the mechanic to win the position of heir for the 3 sons is nice, the "ultimate quest" doesn't seem to make a lot of sense because you also have to take into consideration that other factions who can contest Cao Cao didn't just suddenly disappear. However, an interesting mechanic would be something like that if one of the sons reach king status, Daddy Shao will give all his lands to that son and that son will become the new faction leader as they annex Daddy Shao's faction.

    Also what happens when a son with 0 favoritism defeats Cao Cao or rescues the child emperor?
  • BAB1918BAB1918 Registered Users Posts: 237
    Seems more likely that Yuan Shang will start as heir to Yuan Shao (doesn’t make sense as a vassal - gameplay or historically) and if/when Yuan Shao dies, he will take over as faction leader. That will fire an event where the brother vassals declare independence and a civil war ensues. Gao Gan will remain a vassal to what is now Yuan Shang’s faction.

    Well thought out ideas, but not what I expect CA to roll out for Guandu. I’m guessing Yuan Shao (then Shang) and Yuan Tan as playable.
  • RewanRewan Senior Member Registered Users Posts: 3,233
    edited June 12
    That's a pretty damn solid post. Obviously I will disagree on the map on the pure base of what I believe CA will do (aka a Chapter pack that actually starts in 198 rather than 199/200) but there was definitely a lot of thoughts put into this and that's nice to see. So kudos to you all.
    The hardest placement for me would be Liu Bei as I believe his situation was changing quite a lot at that time (he kinda bounced back and forth between south and north I believe ?)

    I'll comment on the mechanics later (as these would be relevant regardless of the start date), right now I'm falling asleep and I have troubles keeping my focus on.
    TW : Three Kingdoms. Units not running in battles ? You probably came down to a bad case of floor is caltrops. Use this miraculous cure to make your soldiers hoppity happy again : https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=2132907090 (NEW : Alternatively use the 1.6.1 BETA patch)
  • Ostubaf_CattoOstubaf_Catto Registered Users Posts: 138
    edited June 12


    However, an interesting mechanic would be something like that if one of the sons reach king status, Daddy Shao will give all his lands to that son and that son will become the new faction leader as they annex Daddy Shao's faction.

    Agree, That will make the game more smoother and more interesting and less awkward for sure. I was tunnel vision on the fact that the civil happened fairly quickly so I chose to go with Cao Cao route.


    Also what happens when a son with 0 favoritism defeats Cao Cao or rescues the child emperor?

    Ahh. I forgot about this I assumed that player should always be in the lead of the Favour game. Sad
  • RewanRewan Senior Member Registered Users Posts: 3,233
    edited June 12
    Okay so from how I "perceive" the game.

    First of all : I believe option number 3 for the inheritance war is out - not sure if completely or not (and no it has nothing to do with me loathing Civ 6).
    It's just that I think it just relies on quests too much and I just do not think the AI actually complete those. (I would have to play a bit more of AWB to check out if Sun Ce and/or Lu Bu AI's actually get quests rewards for themselves if they fulfill their ambitions and stuff but I don't think they even actually try to fulfill them and all)
    Even in WH I seem to recall the AI just say "nah" to quests (like the ones for equipment), and that game is kinda quest-centric.

    So that leaves us with the two first options which are overall the same but with different "handles".


    Butand I'm going to be a contrarian on this one: Realistically this being a chapter pack would mean that you would have around 3 (with a 199 start like you propose) to 4 years (with a Spring 198 like what I expect) before the events eventually take their toll on Yuan Shao (In Summer 202). If you do the maths : that's respectively around 15 or 20 turns before Yuan Shao death.

    I just don't think it's possible for a player (or the AI) to reach King or defeat Cao Cao in that timeframe (so that argument kinda convieniently flies away), but that means I also don't think it's actually possible to find real ways to impact Yuan Shao decision making either.

    Obviously there are things that should be considered : Should Yuan Shao be scripted to die in Summer 202 ? (With an event choice if you are playing as him Liu Hong style to choose whether he lives or dies instead).
    Or should he instead only die of old age following the game mechanics and maybe earlier if he gets defeated in battle (Him being defeated would put a sword over his head, him being defeated twice would 100% kill him five turns later). Hence possibly giving the players and AI a bit more time to work things out ?



    To be fair I think the civil war is inevitable and I would be led to believe that the two players in this should be Yuan Tan and Yuan Shang. (And not neccesseraly Yuan Xi). Now should they get an entire and complex mechanic for just their early game ? (Since we're talking for the first 25 turns)

    In a more "simplistic" way, perhaps Yuan Tan and Yuan Shang could just compete for the favours of officials of the Yuan court. So when Yuan Shang takes over Yuan Shao officials could be shuffled around between the two factions... (at least I think coding the AI for that would be easier)


    And again to be entierely honest, I'd rather see CA rework the Yuan brothers (Shao/Shu) mechanics to start with.
    TW : Three Kingdoms. Units not running in battles ? You probably came down to a bad case of floor is caltrops. Use this miraculous cure to make your soldiers hoppity happy again : https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=2132907090 (NEW : Alternatively use the 1.6.1 BETA patch)
  • AoishiroAoishiro Registered Users Posts: 121
    I think if there is a dlc, It would start a little before 198 when Liu Bei just took back Xu province.
  • DUONG91DUONG91 Registered Users Posts: 33
    Man, what make me sad about this, is that CA will add new factions like in WB instead of improving Cao Cao and Yuan Shao.

    I understand the reasoning. It would not be right to make people buy a base game and a dlc to fully experience a faction.

    However, when i buy Guandu dlc, i would like to have more unique faction units, improved mechanic and of course more unique generals for Cao Cao and Yuan Shao.

    Right now, they are not different enough. They each only have one exclusive unit and an upgraded version of it. It is just not enough.

    I want more exclusive units for Cao Cao and Yuan Shao.
  • ShevaTsarShevaTsar Registered Users Posts: 300
    edited June 14
    Solid post overall. I like the first suggestion of Favour the most.
    As for Liu Bei, i think he should start land less and as a vassal of Yuan Shao, exactly like Sun Ce does with Yuan Shu in AWB.
    Every person on the street knows what is in Sima Zhao's mind
  • MasterSlayeXMasterSlayeX Registered Users Posts: 246
    edited June 14
    What will more then likely happen is yuan Shao will probably have a set death kind of like tao Qian . Unless you are playing as yuan Shao the force will then divide into yuan tan and yuan shang .

    Prehaps with the 3 brothers when playing as them they use favor gained differently to impress shao for when his set death happens . Tan was known for his bravery and violent so prehaps winning fights and executing people (bit like dong in a way) gives him favor with shao , Xi was intelligent but indecisive . Maybe his unique building of an school or something boosts his favor per turn with shao (and does something else when shao is dead ) and shang was strong but arrogant and favourite son , he gets points naturally every turn with shao and prehaps if he wins a duel he has a boost option boosting more favor . It’s makes sense shang has the easiest time and xi has the hardest time . Once shao dies his land is divided based on prestige and yuan shaos officers will join based on the points . The higher vs the others 2 brothers the more land and officers you get . If playing Shao he does not have a set death and picks a heir when he dies but otherwise they keep shaos mechanic

    I actually think zhang Xiu would be the most interesting person to play as tbh . Before Guan du he had a option to join Cao cao (either absorb or becomes Cao vassel idk?) or to join yuan shao and if events of wan castle happen before it also the infamous choice of warring with Cao and having ang and Dian wei killed or not doing anything I assume
  • ShevaTsarShevaTsar Registered Users Posts: 300
    It seems the competition mechanic between Yuan Sons is already present in Troy with Hector and Paris.
    Sounds good for a Guan Du DLC, maybe. @Ostubaf_Catto
    Every person on the street knows what is in Sima Zhao's mind
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