Hi there! Because this new expansion is so big, we still have more development journals to bring you before we can announce it (and you can play it 😉 ) . There’ll be a video, name, and full feature list presented at least a month before release. Today we’ll be discussing the Grey Guard and Keeper of the Peace specializations. As with the previous Shadowborn specialization, they come in adapt and mastery levels and are strongly tied to a particular alignment. You’ll see that some of these news skills connect to new systems which are part of our efforts to diversify world map game play, making race relations and economy more important.
Grey Guard Specialization
Grey Guards seek balance between good and evil to gain military and economic advantage. Their magic is focused on cleansing the essence of unnatural beings, they can absorb it for magical power and manipulate it to heal their armies. Sample Skills:
Flourishing Balance: This empire skill gives benefits to Grey Guards with neutral alignment. As long as your leader is Neutral, all your cities gain an additional +50 population. (For undead towns this is halved)
Cardinal Culling: Grey Guards are all about maintaining the natural order of things. This spell helps cull enemies on the battle field that show up in large masses of the same type. Target enemy unit and every unit like it has 40% weakness to physical damage and does -5 melee damage until the end of combat.
Purging Burst: All Fey, Summoned, Undead and creatures of Magical Origin must resist or lose 3 resistance and are dealt 5 fire and 15 spirit damage. If resisted they are dealt 2 fire and 7 spirit damage instead.
Summon Chthonic Guardian: “The gateways between good and evil perk my curiosity. If I could penetrate those barriers I could corrupt the all creation. The All-Father would bow to me. My probes discovered beings there. The most exhausting are incorruptible, known as Cthonic Guardians. They thwart my attempts to disrupt nature’s balancing forces. Armored in etherstone with mighty wings and impenetrable shields, their strength is not attacking, but defending. They fight for all eternity, inspiring others to stand when they should flee. If discovered, I fear this nuisance will foil my plan to contort the natural world.” — “Breaking the Faithful” by Master Dark
The Chthonic Guardian is a tier 4 flying pikeman that specializes in defense. It has a shield and the defender ability, granting it a greater defensive bonus while guarding and once it reaches elite level it gains Instant Wrath, reflecting damage from all sources back on its attackers. It’s signature ability is Rallying Cry, an area of effect ability that boosts the morale of nearby friendly units as well as granting them Vigilance for one turn, allowing to guard and attack in the same turn.
Keeper of Peace Specialization
Keepers of Peace are dedicated to the path of good, they are masters of diplomacy, expert at forming alliances with independent settlements and even those of their enemies. When war becomes inevitable, their magic bolsters their armies giving them strength in the direst of circumstances. Note we didn’t call this specialization “torchbearers” because we can’t retroactively insert it in the original campaign, and torch bearers aren’t necessarily dedicated to good. Sample Skills:
Rally Populace: Target enemy city suffers from -500 happiness and betrayals are more likely to occur. As long as this spell is active betrayals can occur even if the owner’s Race Happiness is higher than the other player’s Race Happiness. Independent and Undead Cities can’t be affected. This is a great way to disable the edge of rival empires!
The City Betrayal Mechanic: If a city of an enemy empire is unhappy, it may offer to betray its owner to a suitable leader who is at war with the current owner. Of course that leader does need a positive happiness toward the race of the town in question. If the town can’t find such a player it might rebel and become independent. The city offers to betray its owner via a quest to the prospective new leader, asking him to send an army to City and relieve them of the vile despot. When the player attacks the city, the local population aids the player, opening the city gates and spawning militia units behind the walls. If the takeover is successful, the city joins without the need to absorb or any of the negative penalties of capturing a city by force.
Aura of Inspiration: The target friendly unit gains Inspiring Aura, 2 physical damage, 3 spirit damage and provides every friendly unit in a 1 hex range with 300 happiness.
Spiritual Freedom: The city is engulfed by the harmless fire of the Torchbearers. All units produced in target friendly city, and all units summoned within that city’s boarders, gain Meditation and become Dedicated to Good. Researching this Spell will make your Leader and Hero’s Dedicated to Good. [Meditation is like an advanced Guard mode, allowing units to skip a turn and gain strong offensive buff)
Summon Arch Angel: “Its spear burned with divine fire, shredding the undead hosts that filled us all with dread. My wife smiled. Her face glowed. She announced, ‘The All-Father sends a servant! My prayer is answered.’ Our despair evaporated. We were filled with pure joy. We knew that there were better things from other worlds—things with power that fought for our cause. The Arch Angel smote our foes with brutal determination. We were all inspired to fight. Before ascending to heaven, the angel touched the wounded and they were made whole.”—“Husband to a Saint” by Ugrid Grovle
The Arch Angel is a support angel, as well as healing and resurgence abilities it radiates inspiration, boosting the morale of nearby units. It also has a powerful aura that can blind any unit that strikes it in melee combat.
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