Alpha tests launched, custom campaign announced for the Shadow Realm Expansion

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This topic contains 24 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by  Hiliadan 9 hours, 29 minutes ago.

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  • #258318

    Hiliadan
    Member

    Some months have passed since the last news from the Shadow Realm Community Expansion but the team of volunteers designing it has not been idle! The Community Expansion reached a new stage at the beginning of November 2017 with the launch of the alpha phase of tests. Single players will also be pleased to learn that a custom campaign (it will be the first complete custom campaign for AoW3 when it is released!) has been added to the content of the expansion!

    […]

    Read the full article on the-Battlefield.com/aow3, the community website for AoW3: https://www.the-battlefield.com/aow3/index.php?page=commnews&eingabenewsid=72

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    #258320

    Hiliadan
    Member

    Some news from the alpha test PBEM game! We’re on turn 3 and I met my first independent Shadow Elf Outpost (for the first two turns, please check the article).

    PS: please note I’m playing on Low settings for graphics so forgive the poor visuals. My laptop can’t handle better graphics.

    • This reply was modified 5 months, 2 weeks ago by  Hiliadan.

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    #258358

    SikBok
    Keymaster

    Looking good despite the graphics settings!

    Good luck wrapping up the mod.

    #258363

    Yigg
    Member

    I’m really looking forward to playing this!

    #258367

    Hiliadan
    Member

    From yesterday:

    Turn 4
    Just got a Quest from my closest Shadow Elf Outpost! And that’s where we see we’re still in alpha: the reward is a High Elf and not a Shadow Elf unit. 😀

    I’ll still do the Quest, let’s not be too picky! 😀

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    #258452

    SikBok
    Keymaster

    Lol, that sounds so familiar.
    Loose focus for a moment and you miss some changes you had to make after copying over an entry : )>

    #258509

    Hiliadan
    Member

    Day 5
    I was too reckless with my Exterminator, trusting too much in his Life Steal and lost it on a 2nd Gold Mine battle this turn… I’ll have to be more cautious in future fights! Hopefully one of my Touched will evolve into another Exterminator.
    I found a Cave Entrance, I’ll send a Crow to the surface to try to locate a Shadow Gate to reach the Shadow Realm. I should probably send an expeditionary force there to settle my true lands!

    Unlike my Dwarf hero who is Vulnerable to Shadow Sickness, my Shadow Elves have Shadow Walker.

    Day 6
    Finished researching Scoundrels! They have Shadow Realm Concealment, I love that! The only issue is… that I started UG!! 😀 And I still haven’t found a Shadow Gate to my Realm!

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    #258627

    Thumbs way up.

    #258702

    Hiliadan
    Member

    Day 7
    I reached Racial Governance Patron level (RG1)! The RG system for Shadow Elves is basically organized around two themes: embracing magic or taming/fighting magic. For RG1, the “embrace magic” part is the military upgrade: +2 Movement Points (MP) to Shadow Elf Irregulars on the Shadow Climate. The “tame magic” is the economic upgrade: your cities no longer dislike Subterranean and Artic Climate. So you have to choose according to your early game strategy: try to settle outside the Shadow Realm or reinforce your superiority on the Shadow Realm.
    As I started UG, I chose the economic RG!

    Day 8
    A new week starts in these desperate lands… My brothers and sisters cursed me when they decided to send me to the lands of Athla, to learn more about the opening of the Shadow Gates, which had brough our world, the Shadow Realm, in touch again with the realms of humans, high elves, goblins and other old races.
    While I was gathering strength underground, my Crow was flying high in the sky of what the locals call “the surface” when he spotted a form way too high to be a humanoid. Alarmed, I considered the options: it must be a Giant or an Undead Titan, one of the remain of the Archons’ former glory. I instructed my crow to move closer to be sure. Through his eyes, I was able to see the giant mass of the creature: Undead Titan I concluded, and I was ready to ask my Crow to retreat and move somewhere else as I did not want to deal with these evil beings. But then I realized to my surprise that it was a living Titan!! The Archons were there too, having crossed the Shadow Gate! I had to investigate further…

    ~~~ Journal of Hiliadan the Wily, Rogue Shadow Elf sent to investigate the Shadow Gate opening

    (or how to do RP with a bug :D)

    • This reply was modified 4 months, 3 weeks ago by  Hiliadan.

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    #258945

    Hiliadan
    Member

    Day 9
    I had used a Shrine of the Fallen Angel so my troops had Regrowth, and I wanted to push the limits of my Touched, so I went for a Dungeon (without balance mod so no battle enchantments). It was an Assassin defender set, Closely Matched. I actually had to play it twice because the game crashed the first time I played the turn (I tried to search something in the Tome of Wonders but it’s buggy in our current alpha release). The first time, I lost 2 Touched. This time I lost my Leader and the Longbowman I had received as a Quest reward. The Touched are really good and their Sprint can make good use of Regrowth (let yourself be engaged to split enemy units, then disengage with Sprint and leave your opponent alone).
    All my 3 Touched reached Elite and so they evolved! In the current alpha release, they Evolve 100% into Umbral Weavers (the T3) but it will be like Hatchling in the next release. So now I’ve got 3 Weavers! Time to test them! 🙂 Also got 2 Knights as a reward for the Dungeon.

    Day 10
    In the battle to complete the Quest awarded by a Dwarf city, I was able to use Invoke Darkness, the new ability of the Umbral Weaver, on 3 injured Wisps. The frost part of that mix of physical and frost damage, was quite effective to kill two out of three Wisps! Umbral Weaver, the Shadow Elf T3, can Invoke Darkness over a large areas with a 5 hex diameter, doing minor damage but possibly hitting many units. The Darkness thus summoned also has a chance to blind enemy units.

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    #259300

    Hiliadan
    Member

    Day 11
    I met with a Dwarf Dreadnought underground and am sending troops to rapidly remove that threat from the area I seek to control. Despite the quick movements of my three Crows, I still have not found any Shadow Gate to reach my native Shadow Realm. It looks like my troops will struggle to come back home!

    As there was nothing really interesting to show this turn, I’m taking the opportunity to show a picture from a previous article on the Shadow Realm, showcasing the Shadow Elf Rogue line-up (I’m playing Rogue so I might be able to show some of these units in use!). The article is “Properly introducing the Shadow Elves, the new race of the Shadow Realm community-made expansion” https://www.the-battlefield.com/aow3/index.php?page=commnews&eingabenewsid=57

    Day 12
    I already talked about the Umbral Weavers’ abilities on day 10 but here are some additional details about their Inflicts since I had the opportunity to use them against non-Incorporeal units (last time it was against Wisps). All melee and ranged attacks of Weavers have Inflict Chilling, Inflict Marked by Shadows and Inflict Blind. They are strong enablers, that can maximize damage from your other Shadow Elf units, fulfilling their role of T3 Support.
    Here I used them to send to the Void the AI Dwarf that I had met on Day 11.

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    #264404

    Hiliadan
    Member

    Day 13
    On day 12, I had doubts about a potential bug on Umbral Weavers’ Invoke Darkness because none of my Weavers used that ability in the auto fight vs the AI Dwarf (I play fights vs AI players in auto too, to act as if they were human players in this alpha-test PBEM game). But today I got reassured! My Weavers did use Invoke Darkness and they proved their worth as siege-masters!

    The poor Prospectors and the lone Firstborn were no match for my mighty army and the Darkness went through the stone walls of my enemy’s Throne as if it was crossing thin air. The Prospectors were blinded and decimated from a distance.

    Adios Edith the Grey, and thanks for your prosperous lands!

    Day 14
    Now that Edith is gone, my raiding army is doing some clean up and going to finish off a city Edith had under her control as well as show mercy (i.e. remove from the pain of being left alone in this world by killing!) to a hero that had joined the foolish Dwarf.
    Another Dwarf showed his head north of the Subterranean world. He is too far for me to deal with him in the immediate future but I add him to my checklist of nuisances to eliminate. My priority is still to find back a way to my homeland but it seems like Shadow Gates are really rare in this world!

    Another picture from the “Properly introducing the Shadow Elves, the new race of the Shadow Realm community-made expansion” https://www.the-battlefield.com/aow3/index.php?page=commnews&eingabenewsid=57 That’s the Shadow Elf racial line-up.

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    #264756

    Hiliadan
    Member

    Day 15
    Based on other tests, it seems like the build we’re currently playing does not have Shadow Gates to reach the Shadow Realm! So it looks like I’ll never reach my homeland in this life!!
    That’s funny because in the live chat we had back in June 2017, I seem to remember there were access to the Shadow Realm layer.
    Hopefully we’ll have a new build at the end of January that significantly improves the Shadow Realm layer of random maps! Meanwhile, several bugs were crushed this week but we still have work to do to add all the new structures in the expansion.

    The video of the Shadow Realm showcase (from the 2017 live chat event):

    Day 16
    Today my troops found another Shadow Elf colony outside our native Shadow Realm. Their leader, Sydran [Sydran is a key protagonist in the new Campaign], talked to me about the events that led us to end up here. [ETERNAL LORDS’ CAMPAIGN SPOILER ALERT] The opening of the Shadow Gate had surprised our leaders and they had decided to send a few discrete expeditionary forces to investigate what was happening in Athla. Through his spies and discussions with the Athlan forces, Sydran learnt that it was the Shadowborn, led by Werlac, who opened the Shadow Gates. It seems Werlac has since entered the Gate, while the non-Shadowborn forces gathered armies to pursue him. [/ETERNAL LORDS’ CAMPAIGN SPOILER ALERT] I thank Sydran for his information but inform him that I am tired of this life far from our lands, and that I reject the authority of our leaders. I give him a choice: surrender to me or die by my hand.

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    #269766

    Hiliadan
    Member

    While waiting for more news from the alpha tests, I’d like to invite you to cast your votes to give us a better feel of the expectations of players regarding the incoming Shadow Realm expansion’s Campaign: What do you prefer for the characters of the Shadow Realm Community Expansion’s Campaign? It’s here: https://www.the-battlefield.com/aow3/index.php?page=bf_poll&pollnumber=30

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    #269854

    Hiliadan
    Member

    Day 17
    Sydran thought it clever to provoke me!

    The retribution was immediate! One does not provoke Hiliadan the Wily without consequences!! (please don’t tell him, I only have this poor Tiger here :D)

    Meanwhile, we’ve had good progress on the Random Map Generator side so another game will be launched shortly on an updated map, and this time we should have Shadow Gates!

    Day 18
    The alpha tests are moving forward: the mod build has been updated with many bug fixes and several previously missing elements added. One of them was the Storm Tower, the defensive racial building of the Shadow Elves.

    The Random Map Generator (RMG) mod has also been updated and, since there was an issue when the map generated for the first test – leading to the lack of any Shadow Gates to reach the Shadow Realm layer -, we are now starting a second test game. More information on that soon!

    • This reply was modified 1 month, 3 weeks ago by  Hiliadan.
    • This reply was modified 1 month, 3 weeks ago by  Hiliadan.

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    #270025

    Hiliadan
    Member

    Session #2 – Day 1
    Pictures speak more than words!

    Session #2 – Day 2
    This time there was no mod conflict or anything and we have Shadow Gates to reach the Shadow Realm!!
    Dr_K is also making great progress on the new structures, thanks to him and thanks to Bob who did a lot of bug fixing and modding! 🙂

    I entered the Shadow Realm soon and will soon further report on how this weird universe (visuals courtesy of Charlatan! and many thanks to Gloweye for RMG modding!) for my poor Tigrans, who are vulnerable to Shadow Sickness.
    (my Leader is standing over the Shadow Gate)

    Also many thanks to all those who voted in the poll about the mix of new and old characters for the new Shadow Realm Campaign. The poll is still open for about a week: https://www.the-battlefield.com/aow3/index.php?page=bf_poll&pollnumber=30

    • This reply was modified 1 month, 2 weeks ago by  Hiliadan.
    • This reply was modified 1 month, 2 weeks ago by  Hiliadan.

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    #270173

    Hiliadan
    Member

    Session #2 – Day 3
    As expected, life is a bit tough in the Shadow Realm for non-natives (Draconians also have Shadow Walking). The Shadow Sickness causes -1 def, -1 res, and -1 melee damage. For frail Cheetah, it’s a big decrease and I was maybe a bit overconfident in my first fight in the Shadow Realm!

    Please note that the final SR won’t have Great Farm, work still in progress! (also this test game won’t have the new Shadow Realm sites, you’ll have to wait until the 3rd test game)

    Session #2 – Day 4
    One of the characteristics of the new Shadow Realm layer is its pockets of Void, which cannot be crossed. This new type of strategic obstacles is likely to create new strategic options to exploit choke points and the increased travel time.

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    #270534

    Hiliadan
    Member

    Session #2 – Day 5
    I’m moving forward with my plan to conquer the Shadow Realm: my first Settler reached these weird lands and are moving toward a location that seems more hospitable than the rest. As you can see on the screenshot, existing races do not Dislike or Hate the Shadow climate, but they do suffer from Shadow Sickness there, so struggle to fight for their survival on these dark territories.

    Session #2 – Day 6
    We had an update of the mod on the 15th with some very nice additions! First, the Shadow Demon Lord’s model was added (screenshot to come soon), thanks to the work of vfxrob and the integration of the model by Dr_K (and myself buying the models for about $85). Second, icons were added for the Warlord and racial Shadow Elf units (thanks to Lordoflinks and integration by Dr_K), as you can see in the screenshot below. And third, two new particle special effects (PFX) were added, for the Shadow Gates and the new ability, Wrapped in Shadows. Several new sites were also updated, though they are still work in progress.

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    #270930

    Hiliadan
    Member

    Session #2 – Day 7
    While good progress is made on the units, abilities, icons, models, etc. Refineus and Draxynnic are also working hard on the Shadow Realm Campaign, and the glimpse I had of the first scenario looks very promising! Draxynnic is also doing a great job with the story and the world you’ll dive into will be deep and entertaining!
    The screenshot shows the intro of the first scenario, as it is now (still work in progress):

    Session #2 – Day 8
    In order to increase my chances in the Shadow Realms, I decided to take control of a local Draconian Outpost by force: due to their origin, Draconians are Shadow Walkers and are immune to Shadow Sickness.

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    #270942

    Hiliadan
    Member

    Session #2 – Day 9
    I took advantage of my Warlord’s skills and cast Raise Militia on the Outpost I conquered on day 8 to get at least one Shadow Walker unit: a Hatchling! In addition, this little Draconian can Evolve and become an even more useful Shadow Walker! 🙂 Looks like Warlord has a small advantage compared to other classes when it’s time to quickly take over the Shadow Realm.

    Session #2 – Day 10
    Progress has been quick on the 1st scenario of the custom campaign of the Community Expansion and Refineus already completed a first draft of it! 🙂 It is now under test and work is under way on the 2nd scenario.
    This is the map you’ll see on first screen when you open the campaign.

    • This reply was modified 1 week, 6 days ago by  Hiliadan.

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    #271212

    Hiliadan
    Member

    Session #2 – Day 11
    Did my first city siege against Shadow Elves today! We play with Normal Defenders and I’m used to Strong Defenders so I felt it pretty easy but one thing is clear: their +2 resistance makes them VERY resistant to elemental damage. A guarding Storm Priest has 16 resistance and takes almost no damage from the ranged attack of a Theocrat! So you’ll have to reconsider your strategies to beat Shadow Elves. They’re a bit the opposite of Physical Weakness-Halflings.

    Session #2 – Day 12
    Let’s do a quick quizz for a change! What is your knowledge of the AoW lore? Do you know who led a party of Athla forces in the Shadow Realm and is a major protagonist of AoW history? Do you know who were his loyal lieutenants?

    Guess who this Shadow Elf hero is! 🙂

    • This reply was modified 2 days, 4 hours ago by  Hiliadan.

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    #271218

    Sartarius
    Member

    Meandor

    #271220

    Mr.Lost
    Member

    Well,I think Meandor will be a Necromancer,but I still do not guess out who will this Shadow Elf hero be ?

    #271222

    Hiliadan
    Member

    Meandor

    You fell in the trap I laid down for you. 😛
    Meandor is indeed the guy who matches my 2nd question in my previous post, but it’s not the guy in the picture. As Mr.Lostp ointed out, Meandor is a Necromancer. 🙂

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    #271246

    Hiliadan
    Member

    Someone on the Battlefield community website found the right answer, I can’t believe noone else will! 😛

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