...But I am okay with this. I finished bingereading a webcomic, and am in the process of bingereading another. (The comic I finished, I can't quite remember the name off the top of my head, but it was put on hiatus because the author was in a car accident and she could no longer draw, or so TVTropes told me. The current comic is Boyfriend of the Dead, which as it itself lampshades, takes some cues from Warm Bodies, albeit distinctly different.)
...I am completely hopeless.
...But I'm not quite sure my ideas are worth blogging about today. One was an MMO revolving around warfare on horses, with seven classes; another was an MMO revolving around mages (which isn't a unique concept, pretty sure there's an existing MMO where you don't have melee or ranged and it's literally just magic) featuring ten classes--with heavy overlap in them from the ones I mentioned yesterday, albeit not identical, just similar. (White Mages, Clerics, Black Mages, Battle Mages, Red Mages, Blue Mages, and Crimson/Blood mages all being present, but also featuring Elemancers, Conjurers, and Summoners, and each of the 'returning' classes from yesterday were different.)
Suffice to say, I've been making a lot of ideas lately, and I like it!
By that, I mean, I came up with the outline for a Final Fantasyesque RPG while at work.
Some baseline RPG rules are in effect.
You have enough item storage to store every item in the game (though, there is a quick-select menu of nine items), and the limit for carrying is 99.
You have a party of nine in this case, which can be subdivided into parties of three as needed for specific areas.
And at the beginning of the game, you get to select which class each of your characters are. (Optional would be selecting gender.) A generic group of heroes, so characters don't have unique roles to fill--character A doesn't need to do something only character A can do; there's no real backstory or much in the way of plot interaction. The heroes go places and do heroic stuff, in a world which in spite of this lack of characterization is still rich, filled to the brim with an internal lore.
Or something to that effect, where the world itself is important, and the actual features of the game are important (it being a game), but beyond that, nothing is important because those two aspects take front and center stage.
To start out with, the game has eight stats:
Attack, Defense, Magic Attack, Magic Defense, Speed, HP, MP, and Ki.
Attack increases damage of physical attacks dealt; Defense reduces damage of physical attacks received; Magic Attack increases damage of magical attacks dealt; Magic Defense reduces damage of magical attacks received; HP is how much health the character has; MP is how much mana the character has; Speed controls how rapidly the character's action bar regenerates and chance to evade attacks. All standard. The standout is Ki, which both increases damage of Ki attacks dealt and decreases damage of Ki attacks received.
Each stat has a normal cap of 99, multiplied by 10 for MP (999) and 100 for HP (9999). Pretty standard.
Every class has at least one "starred" stat. Starred stats not only grow faster than other stats (mind you, certain classes gain stats at different rates even if not starred but a starred stat is guaranteed to grow faster than any other non-starred stat), but grow further, up to double that of the normal cap: 199, multiplied by 10 for MP as 1999, multiplied by 100 for HP as 19999.
Equippable items can raise stats above their normal cap, up to the starred cap level, albeit rather difficult to get. (Most equippable items aren't, saaaaaay, +50 to a stat; +5 would be more akin to the range we're talking.)
However, battle consumable items, and/or spells, can raise stats up for that battle to be above the starred cap level--to the absolute maximum of 999, multiplied by 10 for MP as 9999, multiplied by 100 for HP as 99999. But, as these effects wear off at the end of the battle, and would be requiring an insanely high amount of time to reach, doing this is mostly for the sake of doing it; there's no pragmatic reason to boost stats beyond the starred maximum, or for that matter, to a large extent, past the normal maximum.
To keep it simple, you can differentiate things as being "quest items" (have their own item menu), "unique items" (cannot be sold, cannot be thrown, cannot be duplicated, etc.), "consumable items", and then equips, done into three categories, of Weapon (no class is required to hold a weapon; some classes can't use some weapons; all classes have preferred weapons), Armor (no class is required to wear armor; classes can't use armor heavier than their stated type but can use lighter, but are best in their preferred armor), and Accessories (not sure if it'd be just one equippable accessory or 2-3 slots for this, but if multiple, it absolutely would be utterly interchangeable; every class except martial artists can equip any accessory).
There's also an "Offhand" slot, for holding a second Weapon which provides half the effect of something in the main hand. Not all weapons can be in the offhand, and some weapons are two-handed, eating up the offhand slot.
Then there are 25 playable classes, subdivided into 9 categories, from which the number of players is derived.
The three "White Mage" classes (Holy), the three "Red Mage" classes (Balanced), the three "Black Mage" classes (Demon), the three "Fighter" classes (well, technically, three "Warrior" classes, but Fighter is the most well-known name even though it's not the center; these are the light melee), the three "Knight" classes (heavy melee), the three "Archer" classes (ranged), the three "Rogue" classes (throwing), the three "Thief" classes (sneaky), and the Martial Artist.
Each class has a reason to be used, unique to them.
White Mages are, along with Black Mages, unique among the 'class namers' (unless you also count the Fighter), in being at the far end of the spectrum in their class tree. White Mages are the ultimate healers, having access to every healing spell in the game. They also have access to every buff spell in the game, and have some minor debuff spells in their arsenal as well.
They are not, however, exclusively medics, though, because they also have access to powerful Holy magic: light-based, lightning-based, sun-based, etc. Spells which are illuminating, fiery, bright, and the like. Their preferred weapon is staves; they cannot use large blades (small blades, i.e., daggers, are fine). They can wear only 'Robes', the armor class which is so low it's almost nonexistent.
Their starred stats--yes, plural--are MP and Magic Defense, making them the ultimate answer to defending against magical assaults. They are rather squishy, however, vulnerable to being attacked.
Clerics are the next step in the White Mage tree--they have access to most of the healing spells in the game, and all the Holy offensive magic that White Mages have, including most buffs (but not all). They can wear the Light Armor class, allowing them to have a greater array of defense. They also have a much, much stronger, notable, melee attack, and in fact, can actually attack and have it do notable damage. Their preferred weapons are large blades; they can use staves or small blades as well.
They do not have a starred stat as of right now. They also have no debuff spells.
Paladins are even further--they only have a few healing spells, and only about half the Holy offensive magic in the game, with zero buff or debuff abilities. In exchange for this, they can wear Heavy Armor, and are very strong melee fighters, to the point where their melee is stronger than their magic. They are also built like tanks, capable of taking a huge punishment. They have the starred stat of Defense.
Red Mages are pretty much what you'd expect: they can use about half the healing spells in the game, fewer than a Cleric but a lot more than the Paladin. They can use some (de)buffs, but not the full array. They also have access to every Holy offensive magic in the game. On the flip side, they can use every Black Mage spell, except the debuff and status ailments ones.
They have a few other advantages as well--they have the second-highest stat growth in every stat, and can use any weapon (including none)--and are the second-best at using said weapon of any class. (While not as good as, say, a Fighter with a sword, they are second only to said Fighter in the sword; while not as good as an Archer with a Bow, they are second only to the Archer for the bow; while not as good as a Martial Artist barehanded, they are second only to the Martial Artist barehanded, etc.)
There's also their unique quirk, which the other two RM classes lack: they, and they alone, have the ability to cast spells at a reduced cost; say a fireball for a black mage costs 10 MP; it'd cost the red mage only 8 MP to cast. (75%, rounded up.) They can wear light armor; their starred stat is MP.
Blue Mages, to the left of the tree on Red Mages, have the same base effects of a Red Mage: same spells (albeit lacking debuffs or buffs), high stat growth, proficiency in the same weapons, etc. Though lacking the reduced mana casting ability, they make up for it with their own unique quirk: the ability to learn enemy spells. This makes having one a necessity, since certain spells in the game can only be used by enemies, and a blue mage is thus required for the purposes of learning them all. They also share the starred stat of MP as a red mage.
Crimson Mages, to the right on the tree of Red Mages, are basically a Red Mage on steroids: they have the same spells as a Red/Blue Mage, with one notable exception: a complete lack of so much as a single healing spell. They more than make up for it, with their unique blood magic. Blood Magic spells use both HP and MP to cast, but are unique spells that have unique effects, including at least one status ailment unique to the class that not even the Black Mage (master of status ailments) possesses.
Among said spells are also ways of generating MP at the cost of HP. One spell, acting as a barrier, amplifies damage received by 3x, but causes 1/3rd of all damage received to be absorbed as HP. The Crimson Mage is also one of the very few classes to possess a Mana Drain spell, directly siphoning enemy MP into the Crimson Mage. They also share the same class traits as the Red Mage:
Proficiency with every weapon (in fact, even exceeding the Red Mage in that regard), high stat growth, ability to wear Heavy Armor (albeit preferring Light), and similar amplifications. There is a downside, though. In spite of this increased attack power both physical (hitting almost as hard as the melee classes and harder than the paladin) and magical, spells cost 3-5 times their normal MP. Add in a lack of starred stat plus the complete absence of healing magic, and the crimson mage while basically unequaled in ability to dish out damage (exceeding even Black Mage abilities), has no way to prevent damage from being dealt.
Black Mages are pretty much exactly what you'd expect: every offensive magic that's not Holy, they can cast. Every debuff spell not classified as Holy, they can cast. Every status ailment in the game, they can cast. Including being one of only two classes with the Instant Death ability! Their other properties mirror that of the white mage; they can only wear robes, use staves, and have the starred stat of MP. However, instead of a second starred stat being magical defense, the Black Mage's second starred stat is Magical Attack.
Battle Mages, the next on the BM line, are also pretty much what you'd expect: wearing Light Armor, and able to use long blades (but preferring small blades), they can use every black magic spell...except for the debuffs and status ailments. They have significantly higher ability to attack and take a hit back, but pay for it in having no starred stats.
Spellblades, the last on the BM line, may not be what you'd expect: able to wear heavy armor, they're more like an equal mixture of death knight, vampire, and spellblade. Their normal, baseline attack will drain MP if their target's Defense is higher than their target's Magic Defense--the strongest, easiest to use MP drain technique in the game.
Since every spell they cast goes through their blade, this produces a unique effect: if their target's Defense stat is lower than their Magic Defense, then the attack will be classified as a physical attack; if their target's Magic Defense stat is lower than their Defense stat, then the attack will be classified as a magical attack; if their target's Defense and Magic Defense stats are identical, then the power of the spellblade attack used is doubled.
They also are unique among all the classes in being the only class to feature a Life Leech spell, draining HP from their target and siphoning it back into them. They can only use longer blades, and obviously their spells use up MP and are weaker than their non-bladed cousins (a fire sword isn't gonna have the same impact as a fireball), but this still makes them able to answer to any situation. They lack a starred stat, however.
Warriors, the center of the Fighter column, represent a balance of Light Armor melee fighters: equally focused on defense and offense, they are pretty run-of-the-mill. They have starred stats of Attack and Defense.
Barbarians, the left side of the Fighter class, represent abandonment of armor and defense altogether in favor of pure offense. They can't wear armor, but have the highest attack stat growth with Attack and Speed as a starred stat, and a class-based immunity to all status ailments and debuffs except Berserk.
Fighters, the right side of their titular class, represent a focus more on the defensive, with starred stats of both Attack and Defense, but a much higher growth in HP and Def than warriors have. They also possess the immunity to debuffs, albeit vulnerable to status ailments.
Knights, the center of their class, are Heavy Armor, heavy-hitting individuals, with the starred stats of Defense, HP, and Attack.
Samurai, the left of the Knight classes, are also Heavy Armor, but focus more on Speed, with the starred stats of HP, Speed, and Attack.
Dragoons, the right of the Knight classes, share this Heavy Armor, but focus on attack, being one of the heaviest hitting melee classes and also one of the heaviest armored, albeit at the extreme penalty of speed. Slow-moving, but with starred stats of HP, Defense, and Attack, and having gains there higher than any other classes do.
Archers, center of their class, are ranged-based fighters, preferring the use of bows. They can wear light armor, and are generally able to fight from afar, chaining multiple attacks with speed. Their starred stat is precisely that, Speed, and of the Archer classes, that is their highest gain.
Rangers, left of that, are basically archers with less speed and attack, but with the aided benefit of being able to use magic--a few white mage spells, and a couple black mage spells, including a status ailment spell or two. This comes at the cost of having no starred stat.
Gunmen, right of archers, are basically archers with a heavy emphasis on chaining together powerful attacks in rapid succession with their guns (their preferred weapon). They have the starred stats of Attack and Speed, but pay for this in being unable to wear armor.
Rogues, center of their class of "throwers", have the ability to throw items--thrown items do increased damage (or in the case of armors, damage at all) and may have effects or increased effects in the case of thrown consumables. This is an ability all three share; the Rogues unique spin on this? Every item thrown is treated as if it were sold, giving the party gold equal to that item's sell value. They have the starred stat of speed, and use small blades and wear light armor.
Ninjas, to the left of that, copy pretty much the same stats as Rogues albeit not hitting as hard (lower attack growth) and lower defense. However, this is because their ability more than makes up for it; they have the power of doubling Items (specifically Items, not Consumables). That is, when Throwing an item, their Throw can be doubled in strength; their Throw can be thrown at two different targets rather than just the one; their Throw can not consume the originally thrown item effectively giving them unlimited supply of that item. They have the starred stat of speed as well, also wielding the same equipment.
Alchemists use the same equipment and have the same starred stat with similar stat growths to the ninja, and have the inverse ability: they have the power of doubling Consumables. That is, when Throwing a consumable, their Throw can double the effect of that consumable, double the number of targets for the consumable, or not consume the originally thrown consumable effectively turning, say, one HP potion into an infinite supply of them. (However, this latter ability does have the coded-in inability to duplicate an MP-generating consumable. All these abilities? Yeah, they use MP, and this is one loophole not available to to the players. I thought of that.)
Yes, these are precisely as strong as you'd imagine them to be.
Then there's the remaining classes.
Thief is another must-have in a 100% completion game, for being the only class with the Steal ability, able of stealing Items, Consumables, and Gold. Since some opponents have unique items/consumables only possible to obtain via this method, a party wanting every item needs a Thief. They have similar capacities to a Rogue, in just about every regard otherwise.
Duelist, to the left, is basically a melee rogue instead of a throwing rogue: light armor, but focused on Speed and Attack (both starred) to deliver deadly blows. Light on HP, but having innate evade that's the highest in the game, they're ridiculously hard to hit, and also rather lethal.
Assassins, the final of that branch, are masters of status ailments almost rivaling black mages, to the point of being the other holder of the instant death status ailment. They focus on pure Speed and Attack (also both starred), but sacrifice their innate evade while being the lowest of the three on HP.
And finally, the Martial Artist class.
The Martial Artist class is unique in not being able to equip anything: no weapons, no armor, no accessories. They make up for it in having stat growth almost on par with red mages in all stats, and being the only class with a starred stat growth in Ki--in fact, the only class at all that even can have their Ki stat naturally increase.
Martial Artists specialize in incredibly powerful blows, chained together in rapid succession, dishing out multiple hits per turn that all pack the largest punch in the game at baseline levels. There is a drawback, however--whereas other classes gain weapons that have innate stats that are higher (thus, meaning that their attacks with a new sword do more damage than their attacks with the old sword in spite of having their own personal stats be the same), martial artists being unarmed fighters have no such luck.
They make up for this with being able to use Ki attacks. Ki attack use mana, but have the unique property of being classified as neither physical nor magical in nature--allowing them to be one of only two classes (the other being the spellblader) to bypass opponents who have high stats in both Defense and Magical Defense. It gets better. Most opponents have next-to-zero resistance against Ki attacks. The few who do are usually quite vulnerable to physical attacks.
Plus, the few enemies making use of Ki attacks would devastate your party normally but a Martial Artist with that as their starred stat is unfazed by this. The tradeoff is, as mentioned, the lack of equips--in any given RPG, you know why that is hugely detrimental, as by the lategame, you have epic items that are capable of the, like, +50 stat gain, or items granting a multitude of permanent buffs, or items granting immunity to debuffs, or status ailments, and so on and so forth...and they can't use any of those.
You can probably tell that some of these I haven't gotten to think about properly and that the system isn't quite perfected, but I think that it's not bad for less than an hour's work in dreaming up, and would in fact be perfectly at home as a Final Fantasyesque game.
Of course the night (and following day) after I praise the effects of sleep.
I then experience the hell of the negative side of the coin.
Not nightmares, mind you.
I don't get nightmares. There's nothing bad which happens.
It's just...bad dreams, sad dreams, dreams which the people inside are in a situation and seek resolution but never find it because one thing after another keeps bombarding them--not in the heroic way, of a new adventure. In the cruel, twisted way of deliberately screwing with them.
And because I live my dreams through my characters.
That means I am being deliberately screwed with.
Suffice to say, I did not sleep well last night, and even this morning my naps were not very eventful.
I woke up multiple times.
And even when asleep, the sleep was poor.
Today was, notably, not pleasant as a result.
Thankfully, it's at an end now; with luck, lightning won't strike twice.
So I haven't been taking many naps lately.
But today, I needed one badly, so I did.
And I remember why I used to take one every day even when not needed.
Granted, it got to the point where I was napping just to nap, and thus, naps lost their purpose and effectiveness, so when I DID need to nap the nap no longer gave me what it was meant to, thus why I stopped, but now today I remember why they tempt me so.
Aside from feeling amazing afterward, in the span of less than half an hour, I had not one but two vivid dreams with enough details to build full stories out of.
On that note though.
I need sleep.
So will be getting it now, for the night.
Turns out the games I didn't have badges for were all bontegames. Bartbonte is on of my favorite puzzle game makers on Kongregate, so I was expecting it to be a good time. And the puzzle parts were!
YE GODS THE BREAKOUT/PONG.
I WILL NEVER BE ABLE TO SEE THOSE GAMES IN THE SAME WAY AGAIN AFTER THIS HELL.
Most, rather than all.
WHY DOES THE BADGE OF THE DAY ON THE FIRST DAY OF THE WEEK HAVE TO BE FOR A GAME I DON'T HAVE THE BADGE FOR WHEN I NEED TO GO STRAIGHT TO BED AFTER MIDNIGHT AND THERE ARE MULTIPLE BADGES OF THE DAY I DON'T HAVE
I PLAY GAMES OBSESSIVELY ENOUGH ON KONGREGATE TO HAVE PRETTY MUCH MOST OF THEIR BADGES AND STATISTICS BACK ME UP WHERE I CAN SAY THAT I LITERALLY HAVE OVER HALF OR DID AT ONE POINT SO WHY AM I NOT HAVING THEM
...But in this case, boredom is a boon to productivity, as it means that I'm forced to actually do something meaningful.
Well, no. I am quite capable of wasting my time on something meaningless--it's just that I'm not in the mood to do any of those meaningless things so productivity it is.
In this case, blogging about what should have been yesterday's blog.
Yesterday, at work, I developed a story which I would call whichever is the least used of "Lord of Minions", "Minion Lord", "Master of Minions", and "Minion Master". I say 'whichever is the least used', because, let's face it. All four of those titles have been used before somewhere, it's just a question of which is the most viable to use.
In my notes, I lean towards the former two involving it being a Lord, but for a specific reason; the Lord of Minions/Minion Lord (hereafter just referred to as the Lord) may start commanding as the master of just Minions, but eventually expands such that his domain includes subjugating humans as well, and 'Lord' sounds more like a ruler of humans than 'Master' does to me.
I'm not quite sure where to begin. I guess I'll go with how the story starts. You may be able to deduce, it is in fact a Villain Protagonist. The Minions have, recently, lost their Lord--and need a new one. They see the protagonist, and basically kidnap him to their base, where they explain that congratulations! They have selected him as their new Lord.
Though initially baffled by this, the protagonist runs with it, figuring, "Sure, why not?"
Minions, for as long as there has been recorded history, have sought after a human to be their Lord, to command them. The human theory for this is that some ancient evil overlord created the minions as a servant race--the Minion theory is actually a bit of the opposite, in that Minions developed a symbiotic relationship with their human Lord. The human Lord would have the Minions lead him to prosperity, and in return, the Lord would give the Minions both a sense of purpose and direction to continue their existence.
Minions, after all, don't just randomly pick people off the street (though that's how it's portrayed, for comedic value if nothing else). Every Lord they have ever picked has the traits of extreme Ambition, incredible Intelligence, a sense of Logistics, and a degree of Pragmatism.
Over the millennia, they have found that these traits are typically suited towards an Evil Overlord, who have them in abundance. Granted, said Evil Overlords tend to be a little bit weak on Pragmatism at times and some (particularly those heavily utilizing "We Have Reserves") are a bit low on Logistics, but said Lords tend to be the shortest-lived ones and don't cause long-term damage to the Minions' existence.
Still, since the traits are associated with Evil people to the point where it's basically synonymous, this gives them a bad reputation. The protagonist, for what it's worth, is no different than prior Lords in this regard--he is an Evil Bastard, a visionary dreaming of world conquest, incredibly cruel and sadistic to his enemies...but who is also incredibly benign to those who serve him.
Think how the Evil Overlord List, if followed precisely, is pretty much making a benevolent dictator: still an evil person who controls their country strictly, but who is fair about it and highly pragmatic. A "benign god", even. In the case of the protagonist Lord, this manifests first in his actual investment in his Minions.
Some Lords bother to have a few favorite Minions, even giving them English names. But our protagonist Lord takes that to the next level; he treats every Minion as an asset, doesn't see them as disposable at all, takes the time to learn the Minion's language both written and spoken, learns about Minion culture, calls Minions by their names in the Minion language (unless pressed for time; Minion names tend to be multiple syllables in their native tongue so he has nicknames for them that are one or two syllables to say in case of emergency), and basically treats them almost as if they were his equals.
This is how details of Minion society and biology are slowly revealed.
For instance--the Lord is always, functionally, Immortal...in the "does not age", sense at least. In spite of being human, the Lord will not age for as long as they are Lord of the Minions. The Minions have a theory that their mind link to the Lord allows them to collectively channel the smallest portion of their lifespan into the Lord. Since there are so many Minions at any given time, it doesn't shorten the Minions lifespan at all (they still live for about the same length as a human), but it does keep their Lord alive.
Of course. As is obvious. Most Lords never live long enough for that to be tested, and most Minions don't die of old age because they die long before that following the orders of their Lord. Still, over their recorded history, they've had some Lords and Minions live long enough that they know of the effect.
Minions are biologically programmed to need a leader. It is hard-coded into their genes on the fundamental level--they need someone to which they can then follow the orders of, and they have virtually no free will. Minions, mind you, are varied enough in personality to each be as quirky as any given human, but they will mostly remain on what's essentially an autopilot unless given directions by their Lord.
They can, of course, be given passive commands by their Lord, to follow a process different than their default autopilot while waiting for instructions. And Minions are not literal-minded; they can think about what a Lord's intention behind a command are and will, to the best of their ability, fulfill their Lord's desire, even if this deviates from what orders they had been given.
But at their base nature, they can't disobey nor would they want to; they live to serve their Lord and find happiness in serving their community however their Lord deems fit. (They consider their Lord to basically be the leader of their community, even knowing that most Lords--our protagonist being the exception--don't consider themselves to be a part of said community. They're quite aware most Lords just exploit them, but the Lords still give the Minions what they are wanting, so they don't complain. Well, most of the times; as previously mentioned, Minions are as quirky as humans, so some have snark to them and are quite willing to make barbs about their Lord if they think they can get away with it.)
Minions have similar biology to humans, albeit with some notable difference.
The average Minion is about the height of a slightly-short human; they usually have yellow skin. (Both of these attributes are possible to modify; see below.) Minions are capable of eating literally anything--and their preferred meals are rocks, soil, dirt, minerals, crystals, and the like.
Minions are all hermaphrodites, and can give birth in one of two ways. They can give birth by "carrier"--basically, identical to human pregnancy albeit taking shorter (six months). One fertilizes the egg of the other, who bears it until a live birth. The egg contains 2 children always by this method. The egg saps nutrients from the parent, and the parent develops breasts (Minions do not have breasts by default), who feeds the baby Minions for a month after birth, when they switch to eating whatever.
Minions born by carrier method have a mixture of the genes of both parents.
They can also give birth by "spawn"--think somewhere between how Uruk'hai are shown being birthed in the Lord of the Rings films, and egg-laying animals like birds. One still fertilizes the egg of the other, but instead of bearing it until a live birth, the egg is extracted, and fused to a wall of rock. The egg saps nutrients from the rock, and after extraction, the baby Minions eat their egg and then continue consuming rock thereafter.
This is, by far, the more common method, for a number of reasons. One, it can bear 1-3 children rather than being set at specifically two. Two, it allows both parents to remain workers. Pregnancy means the carrier can't continue to perform all the tasks that a Minion normally would, or at least not as easily. (Keep in mind that Minions tend to be used for fairly hard labor, including being sent en masse to their deaths in combat.)
Three, it takes half the time, at only three months, for the Minions to be born. And four, most importantly of all?
It allows for the manipulation of the genes of Minions. Minions have mastered the art of biological manipulation of their genetics. Some things never change; a Minion will always have some traits of both parents, and the subservience to their commander is something so hard-coded into their genetics it literally can't be removed.
However, many things can change. The size of the minion, the basic biology of the minion, color of the minion's skin, biological adaptions like poisonous claws, webbed hands/feet, digging claws, different teeth/fangs, you name it. Our protagonist Lord makes a universal modification to the Minions such that all born after are given free will, or as close to it as is possible for Minions, and the ability to take command and the ability to not require a commander.
While the subservience to a commander trait still exists, what this means is that if a Minion born after our protagonist Lord made this change decides that they don't have any commander, they are not obliged to follow an order. Of course. By their culture, even with this freedom, Minions still voluntarily subjugate themselves, because they want a commander--he just made it so they didn't need one.
Minions reach adulthood within 3 years, and in as little as one year, can be old enough to work (think teenager), which when you combine it with the above traits, makes them rather numerous. (Can be born in as little as 3 months with triplets, have a human lifespan, and yet are an adult in a fraction of the time it takes for a human to reach adulthood.)
Minions are both coldblooded and warmblooded, in that they absorb the heat from their environment by default. This means that they aren't bothered by the heat (which makes sense, since many of them live in environments which radiate a lot of heat). However, when the heat alone of the environment is not enough to sustain them, then can burn energy to generate heat of their own.
Minions' skin is scaled, and unless they have been specifically modified otherwise, this scaled skin is basically as tough as armor. (Not that that stops them from wearing armor anyway, since sometimes they need the extra layer of protection.) This armored scaly skin can also be made even harder, obviously, albeit suffering some penalty to flexibility. (There's a tradeoff involved with all genetic modifications. If there were one perfect combo, it'd be universally used, but since no perfect biological combo exists, you have to sacrifice some traits in order to promote others.)
The average Minion's strength is about the level of a high human in strength--so a high-strength human against an average Minion is an even match; a normal human against a Minion or a high strength human against a high strength Minion places the human at a disadvantage. Minions can be weaker, of course, usually when they have traded muscles for some other purpose, and Minions can be stronger to superhuman levels, though again, I reiterate that no perfect combo exists.
As I previously mentioned, Minions are on average a little bit shorter than humans, but specialized Minions can be as tall as humans or even taller--notably, the elite combat forces of Minions are usually of the taller variety, since the increased size often offers an increased advantage in power.
There is a major difference in Minions from humans, however--they never sweat, they never urinate (their parts down there are strictly for procreation), never defecate, or any other similar body reactions. If they ever have a need to get something out of their body, it's via vomiting, but since Minions can eat anything, this is an incredible rarity.
This does have a bit of a nasty side-effect, often weaponized: toxins in Minions are not excreted by any of the mentioned methods, and thus, build up inside of the Minion. Their blood thus becomes poisonous over the course of their lives, and slightly corrosive since acids also build up. The older the Minion, the worse this effect is.
An interested fact about Minion culture is that they have five words for gender. Their default gender in English is typically assigned as Male, because they are all incredibly muscular, lack breasts, and their 'male' anatomy is more visible than their 'female' anatomy.
However, in their own language, Minions have five genders: "Fertilizes only" (male), "Only is fertilized" (female), "Both fertilizes and can be fertilized" (hermaphrodite, though they also use this for intersex individuals), "neither fertilizes or can be fertilized" (agendered), and "self-fertilizes" (reproduces without the need of a partner).
Most Minions default to the hermaphrodic pronoun, but Minions do have concepts of gender separate from concepts of biological sex. While Minions' genders match biological sex disproportionately often (that owes to some extent to their biological ability to modify genes), they can on occasion identify as a gender not matching their biological sex.
There is one final fact about Minions, too--technically speaking, they're biologically compatible with humans. They can impregnate humans, and they can be impregnated by humans. (The only difference is that the length of the pregnancy depends on the species of the parent.)
They can only use the "carrier" method of birth regardless of which parent is which race, but it's still fully possible.
Mind you--the resulting offspring is born 100% Minion regardless of who which parent is. It's just that they have human genes mixed in with their Minion genes, akin to having been modified via "spawn" method--for instance, a common trait is to have free will. They may also have their scales/skin be a more human color. Hair is more common as well. (Minions can be born with hair, but it's about 40/60 between hair/bald.)
They are still born hermaphrodites in most cases, however, they may inherit "female" traits such as breasts and a shrunken penis, or "male" traits of the opposite. (Of course, both at once is not impossible, but it's not common, either.)
Naturally, this isn't something that's known at the start of the story--Minions have heavy prejudice against them from humans, and understandably so since they're seen not unjustifiably as "servants of Evil". Our current protagonist Lord, in addition to world conquest, is mostly planning ways to leave lasting peace and prosperity, including equality between the two races.
He is evil, but he still dreams of a utopia. One still ruled by him, mind you, but a place lacking discrimination. When he starts conquering human lands, he outright orders his Minions to not discriminate against humans, in spite of how humans don't reciprocate. He welcomes humans into the fold of his growing empire by integrating them in with a policy of, more or less:
"As long as you don't defy me, you're free to do as you wish. If you actively decide to obey me, then you will be rewarded proportional to your contribution."
He accepts humans into anywhere in his chain of command, provided they treat Minions the same way he does: with respect and equality, not looking down on them, not devaluing them, not discriminating against them. And eventually when facing some evil empires (after all, the Lord is not the only one to be an Evil conqueror in the setting; it's a fairly common thing), they can even bond (albeit with much...encouragement...from our protagonist).
And you know how long it took me to cook all that up?
...Less than ten minutes.
It's such a rich idea. I did so much worldbuilding for it, and I think it's a really neat story idea!
I, being me, will likely never make it reality.
How can I be so smart as to have the foresight to write down the contents of a blog entry, and yet so idiotic as to not remember to make said blog in spite of the paper being literally right in front of me?
Just your average blogger.