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Huns Atheism

The new implementation of atheism, where enemy relics produce less gold, is very tricky to implement. The problem is that none of the available effects in Wololo Kingdoms DE are able to affect enemy players, only the player that research techs and in some cases their allies. In order to affect enemies, we need another way of interacting with them.

The idea came to me after seing a pretty unknown mod: Panic mod. This mod adds a free technollogy that kills every enemy unit and damages castles. The interesting thing is its implementation. The panic button actually creates a demolition ship with -1 hit points, with a super high damage and blast radius. When this unit is created, it dies instantly, triggering an explosion that covers the whole map and strong enough to kill every unit. The fact that only affects units and not buildings is handled with armor classes. Also, the explosion does not affect allied units.

The idea for Atheism is similar. Every player has an invisible unit inmune to all attacks except for one. When a Hun player researches Atheism, it triggers an explosion that only affects those invisible units, killing them. When those units die, they trigger a technollogy that modifies the relic gold generation.

Creating the explosion​

On to the problems. The first one we encounter is that the number of “explosive units” is limited. By explosive unit I mean a unit that, upon death, triggers an explosion. Those units are, specifically, the three Demolition Ships, the Petard and the Saboteur, which in Wololo Kingdoms DE is modified to be the Flaming Camel. In order to implement Atheism, we need to modify one of those, at least for Huns. Huns have access to the Fast Demolition Ship so our only option is the Flaming Camel.

If we look at unit 706 for any civilization except for the Huns, we encounter the Flaming Camel. If we look at the Huns version, we find a unit with -21 hit points (we need this number to compensate Bloodlines), that does damage to classes -1 (non-existent) and 1000 damage to class 49, with a blast width of 400. For comparison, a Sige Onager has 1.5 blast width.

Creating the trigger in the enemies​

The special unit that only dies when Atheism is researched is easy to do once we know our way around annex units from when we saw how to create extra villagers. In this case, we use the Monastery and not the Town Center mainly because the Town Center is full of annex units already.

If we look for unit 104, the basic Monastery, we see it has annex unit 1510, “Monastery annex 0”. This unit exists only to die and become unit 1511, “Monastery annex 1”, that is already independent from the Monastery and will live on even if the Monastery is destroyed. This unit 1511 triggers technology 749, that disables the Monastery annex units to appear in future Monasteries, so that the effect of Atheism is not applied several times.

Let’s look at the unit stats. It has 1000 hit points and only one armor class, 49, the same as the Huns Flaming Camel. This means that, if attacked by the Huns Flaming Camel, it will receive 1000 damage and die but, if attacked by anything else, mainly siege weapons with blast damage attacking the Monastery, it will receive 1 damage per attack, requiring 1000 hits to die.

When 1511 dies, it becomes unit 1512, “Monastery annex 2” that initiates technology 748, that reduces the relic gold generation. In terms of stats, it’s equal to unit 1511 to allow for several Hun enemies to research Atheism and the effect to stack up. For the same reason, it dies into itself.

Since the explosion only affects enemy units, allied Monastery annex units are not affected and thus don’t trigger the Atheism effect.

Bugs and side effects​

This implementation is not perfect and there are some weird situations that may occur and side effects to the explosion:
  • The presence of the trigger is linked to the players having built at least a Monastery before Atheism is researched. This is hardly a problem in a normal game since Atheism is an Imperial tech and likely to be researched late in the game, when the gold mines are gone.
  • The effect of Atheism only applies to players that are enemies in the moment the technology is researched. Therefore, diplomacy games can produce weird situations.
  • Since the Hun Flaming Camel is used to trigger the effect, and even if Huns can not create them, a converted Flaming Camel crashes the game upon exploding.
  • The damage calculation in the game demands that every attack deals at least 1 damage. This means that, when Atheism is researched, every enemy unit will receive 1 damage.
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