Hi everyone, welcome to another development journal for Age of Wonders III! My name is Arnout Sas and this time I will tell you something about the wondrous structures that can be found in our game world.
In Age of Wonders III there are many mythical locations for your empire to explore and exploit! We’re not talking fabulous cities or the monster dwellings we showed before, but we will look at the more hidden and secret places; like the ruins of a Wizard’s Tower or the Sunken City of an ancient civilization. All of these offer great rewards. These locations have special combat maps associated with it, along with its unique sets of (usually) monstrous guards. High level locations are protected with enchantments posing extra challenge to your adventuring parties.
We have also added a lot of new sites and functionality, as well as keeping some classics.
Whether you find Treasure Sites, Visit Sites or Constructs, all are of great value; either offering rewards, permanent income or a onetime-boon. These exploration sites are best discovered in game, so we’ll only highlight a few.
The world map seen from the level editor, showing many different structures
The Treasure Sites that keep on giving
Treasure sites are generally ancient structures guarded by powerful beings. They can be raided for all sort of treasure such as magical items, units and spells for a reward.
What bothered us in the previous games is that treasure sites became useless once explored. So we created a new type of treasure site that, after giving you their initial exploration reward, keeps on giving steady income when they become part of your domain (unless occupied by enemies!). These per-turn bonuses range from basic gold, mana to production, although food, knowledge or happiness income is also possible.
This way treasure sites keep their value throughout the game. Just make sure that you don’t do the hard work of clearing a site and subsequently another player plunks down a fort or outpost right next to it before you do! This system is also applied to basic resource sites like gold mines and mana nodes. We experienced that this system rewards both brave exploration as well as the calculating domain expansion.
So what kind of specific treasure sites are there? There are many and here we’ll give you a sneak peek of some of them!
Examples of Treasure Sites:
The Sunken City
“After an act of unforgivable hubris, Aculpolis, the ancient capital of the Archons was swallowed by the waves, taking with it the treasure and knowledge of an entire civilization.”
Amitil the Elder, Histories of the Archons
Visit this water structure for ancient magical items and other riches. If you manage to get hold of it, you’ll receive 10 Gold and Knowledge per turn.
This remote prison holds prisoners you can set free and who will join you. Of course you need to kill those hateful prison guards first. The dungeon offers 10 Production so it seems the slave labor doesn’t end when the dungeon is freed!
Explore this magical site for treasure. All manners of evil cults make this their home and nefarious, forbidden rituals take place here.
Located within your domain, it also provides Knowledge income.
Wizard Tower Ruins
The Ruined Wizard Tower has a permanent version of the Sorcerer’s Static Electricity spell active; the defenders are protected by Static Shield and attackers suffer 40% Shock weakness. So any explorer must pack some serious punch to conquer one the most challenging treasure sites out there. It’s definitely worth it though as the rewards are great!
Monster Spawning Camps
These secluded sites spawn roaming monsters that threaten the area around their hide-out. Upon killing the baddies, and getting your reward, camps are destroyed. The biggest reward is getting a safe area for your empire to expand to.
The Brigand Hideout
This is a low-level camp, spawning thugs. It needs to be wiped clean as soon as possible, before building up a threat. Over time raiders spawn from the Hideout and rampage across the land, performing opportunistic attacks on ill defended settlements and resource sites. Successfully conquering the Hideout will result in some nice treasure (especially gold).
Brigand Hideout in game
Visit Sites is a wide category of structures that can be visited more than once and give you a boon like a blessing or new options like teleportation or instant unit recruitment when you visit them with your armies or heroes.
Visit Site Examples:
Eating the berries restores all move points. Located within your domain, it also provides production.
On each visit the berries are depleted and players have to wait a few turns for them to grow back.
Here you can buy naval units outside of cities. Located within your domain, it provides a Production and gold income bonus.
Hearts are a new type of structure found in Age of Wonders III. Usually found at the center of specific climes there is the heart of that clime. Blighted Lands, Temperate lands, Tropical Lands, Arctic lands, all have a corresponding heart. Hearts are powerful structures and owning them gives you a considerable advantage.
First of all, each heart provides a happiness bonus to the owning player and negates any negative terrain penalties normally associated with that terrain. For example HighElves dislike Blighted terrain and suffer city penalties when settling these lands. When owning the Heart of the Blight, High Elves are actually happy to be there!
Hearts and their surrounding area cannot be permanently changed by terrain changing spells or abilities– at least not for long as the land reverts back to its original clime quickly.
A High Elf Town on the intersection between two hearts, each spreading their domain.
We still have many surprises up our sleeve, but you’ll have to wait until the game comes out! However in the upcoming dev journals we’ll look closer at cities and domains!
Thank you for reading!