Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Writing the Zatikon Guide....

Hey Zatikon players,

I thought I would drop in and let you know of the progress of the promised guide, and what the task of writing it entailed. It sounds boring (and yes some of it was), but it was also a lot of fun.
Lunaria was kind enough to allow me to use his guide, but I felt that for an official guide, more needed to be written; I wanted to provide a comprehensive guide that answered a new player's every question, while still being enjoyable to read for intermediate (and maybe advanced) players.

The task of outlining how the menu and basic gameplay worked was fairly simple. Lunaria had done most of it, but I mostly just edited his work and added a bit more onto it. The real challenge began when I started to delve into the units and describing them. Since I am a predominantly random player, I have experience playing with or against all of the units and if I didn't have a clue how to use certain units, I quickly got one from playing against top players such as Mongolian. Nonetheless it was still difficult to write descriptions for units that don't see much play, such as the Captain or write descriptions about units that had just come out, such as the Supplicant or the Abbey. With that said, I made a huge effort to go into detail with units such as the Acolyte and the Scout who appear fairly straightforward, but allow for interesting strategical possibilities.

The part I enjoyed most about the guide was helping to create videos for uses of units and unit combos. After employing almost all of the mentioned tactics and playing agaisnt them numerous times, I definitely had a lot to say about them. The videos include a description of the units and combos, and shows actual footage of how to use them. My tasks included recording the gameplay and writing the script and after the assembled videos come back to me, I will be doing a voiceover for them. I hope you enjoy reading the guide and watching the videos as much as I enjoyed putting them together (hopefully more :D ).

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Coming Soon: Zatikon Comprehensive Guide!

New to Zatikon? If so, have you wondered how the damage of poison works or how the acolyte's shield spell works? Are you having trouble figuring out how to use a certain unit? If so then look no farther for answers, because a comprehensive Zatikon guide is nearing completion!

The guide is packed with information for new and experienced players alike, featuring tutorials on how to navigate through the menus and chat windows of Zatikon to more advanced ones discussing special abilities and unit combinations. In the units section of the guide, you will find a picture of every unit organized by class with a description of the unit which gives a rundown on its strengths, weaknesses and abilities, and also gives some ideas on what units work well with it and how it is generally used.

The best part is there are also 2 videos in the works that will be embedded into the guide. The first video will be oriented to newer players who may have questions on basic gameplay concepts. The second video will be geared towards more adept players, and discusses using the classes and showcases some awesome unit combos in action.

Monday, May 17, 2010

The Zatikon Underdog: The Captain

Special Abilities: Coordinate Type: Skill

Whenever this unit performs an attack, all allies able to attack will also attack the same target. These additional attacks do not cost commands, but do use the individual units actions and skills or spells. In coop or 2 vs 2 mode, units from an allied player are unaffected.

Welcome to THE UNDERDOG! The past week(s) focused on a more noble side of Zatikon, as The Diabolist has less friends than imagined since he didn't receive a single comment! Our charismatic captain is much more likable, often compared to the likes of Captain Jack Sparrow, Gladiator Maximus Decimus Meridius, Robin Hood, Joan of Arc, and Jason of the Argonauts. With his ability to lead the mislead, we find a captain goes perfectly with any band of misfits.

With leadership comes efficiency. Loners will unite to act together under the same command, and this translates literally in Zatikon play. While the captain himself is a fierce warrior, a cross between a bowman with three attacks and an archer with more mobility and life, his ability to use one command and have several pieces all attack makes any battle he is in a slaughter fest.

His major weakness is simply getting other pieces in position to follow orders. Like a middle school gym teacher, it's not so easy to get a group of barbarians and berserkers into a straight line! For this reason, the captain really likes to work with any piece with a range of more than one square.

Pikemen, bowmen, shamans, archers, fire archers, longbowmen, confessors, and, of course, fellow captains all work well under his command. Still, there is one lost soul which under the right leadership shines the brightest: The Fanatic!

With a range of two and the ability to re-position enemy pieces, a few fanatics can bring a werewolf, dragon or paladin within range of multiple attacks unleashed under the single command of a captain!

While captains and fanatics make for a medium-ranged army full of attacks every turn, their armor level is sacrificed for speed. Not to mention the fanatics simply don't have an attention span of more than a few seconds, so this army likes to head full steam on to that castle by turn 3! Thus, 2 generals start out the positioning, using up 300 points, and letting the entire army deploy the first turn.

Here's what it looks like so far:

2 generals

2 captains

3 fanatics


1 Abbey!

With the Abbey, those fanatics start out like scouts with a range of 2, and able to move pieces back into the range of the captains for certain death. The healing ability is rarely useful, as attacked units don't often survive, but the forgiveness vs confessors can save the day! Variations can utilized the Abby more, adding a paladin at the front, or even 5 fanatics to start instead of 3.

After the Abbey, we're left with 150 points. This is probably best used with an archer to shower long range with coordinated Captain attacks. Other potentials include a Confessor if 50 points are freed up, a Paladin in the front ranks, or even a Templar 3rd option that the fanatics bring enemies to for a kill and constant heal.

With the Archer, the first 2 turn set up is simple: Turn 1 deploy both Generals, Abbey, 3 fanatics, 2 Captains at the castle corners, and Archer right in the middle. Next turn move the Captains to the corners, Archer next to one of them, and a fanatic as needed to provide pressure. After that its an onslaught as the opponents are pulled into range. Mages with 5 range can be attacked by Captains and Archer, and anything within 4 or 5 can be brought forward by a single fanatic for the beat down.

For co-op or 2 vs 2, any partner adding an Armory makes this army double the danger. Fanatics with 4 power and 2 armor combined with similar captains that can be healed when not killed makes for unusually fast games.

Is the Captain really an Underdog at all? There's no reason that he should be unpopular, and he certainly isn't a weak piece or over priced. Still, just like Maximus and my 7th grade gym teacher Mr. Sullivan, he has to deal with a group of savages, and for this he deserves to be cheered for!