Dev Journal: Cities of the Dead

Here is the next update on the Necromancer Class Design, thanks everybody for the feedback. Here is some of our progress that hopefully answers some of your questions and may be it incorporates some feedback here and there. There are many aspects to this class, but we’ll start at the root which are the mechanics for Undead towns and transformed undead races.

NecroTCCityUndead towns are shrouded in eerie fog

Ghouls: Living creatures that have been transformed into the Undead are called Ghouls. Ghouls are sentient, and retain some of the memories and abilities of their former selves, while gaining the characteristics of the undead. While ghouls do not have the powerful abilities of the greater Undead units that the Necromancer can field, they still have the common undead properties. They are immune to blight damage and a large number of different status effects, whilst being vulnerable to spirit damage and unable to heal naturally on the world map. Undead units are also vulnerable to certain special Necromancer abilities, such as “Control Undead”.


 Daniel is working on overlays for undead towns on the world map.  Also notice the High Elf Ghoul Unit.

Necromancers can convert their own units into Ghouls using magic, or by producing them from undead cities. One of the Necromancer’s higher level units can even infect enemy unit’s with the Ghoul curse; which might even include enemy heroes or leaders.


Allert’s Ghoul Skin Shader – Sundren! what happened to that smooth skin of yours?

Undead Cities: Necromancers can convert whole city populations into Ghouls. The population of these cities does not increase naturally over time, and doesn’t get population growth from farms or normal city upgrades like store houses. Undead Cities are also not subject to standard rules about city happiness, instead they get a permanent boost to their income, representing the fact that the undead require no rest or food to continue their labors.



City header of a transformed town

We are replacing city upgrades for which the undead clearly have no use. For example, instead of a Hospital an undead city has an Embalmer’s Guild which restore hit points for garrisons. Undead cities can be made to grow again by constructing Breeding Pens; where the undead breed mortals to expand the ranks of the living dead. (sort of like revenge for the classic zombie pens seen in horror flicks).

Undead Unit Sets: Some people raised issues regarding cliched undead units: the brain dead zombies, blood sucking vampires, etc. The team has come up with some great new undead concepts that are new interpretations of archetypes and some entirely new units with cool tactical abilities, synergies and visualization. Of course we’ll be sharing more on these units in coming dev journals.

PurgeIs there life after death? Once is city is transformed, is there any way back? Yes, but it’s a drastic one. For undead cities, a new city operation called “Purge” is added that burns down most of the town, cleansing it of the living dead. The town goes back a couple of size steps and loses infrastructure. It’s basically raze/rebuild with no alignment penalties attached. It’s also likely we’ll add a way for Ghoul units to be returned to mortals (especially handy if your leader gets infected), but this will not be so easy.



Ilse has done more variants of the Necro outfits. The variants on the left more warrior like, the center is ones are decayed. The third variant proves that being a necromancer doesn’t mean you can’t be stylish.

Let us know what you think!

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Home Forums Dev Journal: Cities of the Dead

This topic contains 122 replies, has 58 voices, and was last updated by  Fenraellis 7 years, 6 months ago.

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    fuck mixing pots


    That’s a good point to bring up, actually..inns. Inns are a huge deal, possibly the most important single map feature, since they let you quickly get a tier 3 early when you have money to blow and don’t have the production to spend it. A necromancer wouldn’t be able to babysit that (living) tier 3 nearly as well as other classes (probably). A player that can get a few levels on an early tier 3 while their neighbor doesn’t have one can really punish them, probably even knock them out of the game in the first 15 turns or so all else being equal. Every other class either gets solid hero army passive buffs or heal spells/abilities or both, but necro might not have these that will affect living units. We’ll have to wait and see!



    Eh, if you’re talking about the first 15 turns, I doubt people are likely to have the critical high cost empire upgrades that can make a racial T3 extra strong, in the large majority of cases.
    As for healing said T3(such that it levels more easily), somewhat reliable ways include a Theocrat or Archdruid starting-offered Hero, or even simply playing as Humans, Dwarves or Halflings, and getting a racial support in your starting army. After all, based upon the format, I can very strongly presume that none of your starting units under Weak/Medium/Strong army settings, will be Ghouled(your starting city likely won’t be, simply due to Growth mechanics).
    It’s only in Battle army settings that Class units show their head(presumably in the Necromancer’s case with class supports guaranteed, for the healing).

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