Welcome back to a new dev journal, in which I’ll discuss Independent towns and monster dwellings. In next week’s journal, programmer Brian will be explaining the related Quest System, previewing its features and possibilities. – Arnout Sas, designer Triumph Studios
In Age of Wonders III we have vastly improved the logic and behavior of independent settlements, so they are no longer static set pieces waiting be conquered and provide entertainment before meeting the other main players’ sides. In addition of towns inhabited by one of the main races (humans,goblins, draconian, etc) we also introduce Dwellings: a special type of independent settlement inhabited by more fantastical creatures, such as giants, fairies or dragons.
The parley system
Interaction with these two types on independent settlements (“indies”) has is done through an all new parley system, through which you can increase your relations. Usually you’ll get a welcome message when discovering a new indie. Initial relation is modeled through your alignment and standing in the world.
It is possible to rush in and attack indies, but especially with higher level towns and dwellings it’s smarter getting access to their domain by asking them to open their borders first.
You can trespass on their grounds, but at a certain point the indie will get irritated and spawn independent armies to protect their land. Of course these parties are themed to the settlements they defend, and unlike earlier indie parties, they remember which town they belong to and have to protect.
Questing for Indies
You can improve relations by making tributes or performing quests for them. Next to improving relation, Quest Rewards provide useful treasures like artifacts, spells and resources themed to that town or dwelling. Brian will tell more about the quest system next week. The ultimate prize of the parley system is adding a town to your realm, without having to besiege them.
Dwellings are settlements with exotic creatures or monsters you cannot play as a starting race. These monstrous units are special and usually cannot be acquired through other means, like city upgrades or research.
Each dwelling has a unique model and its surrounding domain is usually themed with special tiles. For example the Sylvan court is surrounded by woodlands, often has magical trinkets lying around and has concealed fairies patrolling.
If you manage to acquire a dwelling either by force using the parley system, the dwelling becomes part of your domain and now these unique race units become available to you. Dwellings do not have population management, but at the core function mostly like cities offering unit production, resource generation and a few dwelling upgrades, mainly to unlock the greater units that belong to the dwelling.
Today we can reveal the following Dwelling Types:
Sylvan Court is inhabited by all kinds of fey: such as faeries, nymphs, unicorns, and also animals. Several variations of the Sylvan Court exists; Night Shade Abode all with exclusive dwelling upgrades such as the Buttercup Meadow (unlocks the Buttercup Fairy unit), Toadstool Ring (unlocks the Toadstool Fairy unit), and Fairy Ring (this upgrade offers magical protection to its defenders)
The Giants Keep is home to ogres, Fire, Stone and Frost Giants. Giants are very powerful and are of great advantage to your armies. Dwelling upgrades include the Burrow of the Degenerated Children, Menhir of Granite, Menhir of Fire, Menhir of Frost and the Stone Wall.
The Necropolis is inhabited by the archon revenants. These fallen archons haunt the lands now. In ancient history they were the hunters of all things evil, but now they have become what they fought before .
The Dragons’ Peak is inhabited by golden, fire, frost or obsidian dragons and their wyvern counterparts. It’s the most powerful dwelling in the game and only great armies stand a chance against it. Controlling a Dragons Peaks gives you great advantage over other players as you can now produce dragons. The rewards given by the Dragons’ Peak include wyvern eggs which will hatch into a wyvern mount after several turns.
Hopefully this has given you a good sense of what we’re doing with independent cities and dwellings.
Next week we’ll be going in- depth on the Quest System!.
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