Dev Journal: Don’t Fear the Reaper

… or maybe you should. 🙂

Today we return to the reveal of the ultimate Necromancer Units for the upcoming – still unnamed! – Expansion.

First The Wailer. This is an offensive support unit which can debuff enemies with its radial Wail of Despair ability. This eardrum busting screech makes affected enemies more vulnerable to attacks from other Undead units through the morale penalty it invokes.  Additionally, the wail causes blight and spirit damage – the Wailer has bad corpse breath apparently. The unit has Phase and Pass Wall, making it easy to enter the midst of enemy lines to unleash its screech.

TheScreamThe look of the Wailer is inspired by Munch’s The Scream.



 When the unit emits the Wail of Despair, the unit stretches out its arms, pulling its head and spine forward for added drama.

The Dread Reaper remains the master of death and is the Tier 4 Necromancer unit. His lengthy list of abilities include the core undead / incorporeal stuff and it’s worth noting the new Dread Reaper is able to fly. Its attacks are enhanced by Energy Drain, which drains up to 50% of the move points from enemies. The Reaper’s ultimate attack is Invoke Death; the target must resist or die. If the unit resists and lives it loses a big chuck of its hit points, which it cannot regain during the battle (no healing!).

 Necro_Reaper_onlyWe experimented with alternative looks for the Reaper, but stuck to the classic design mostly.

Can nothing stop this horror? Well, the strongest of the Reaper attacks only works on units with a pulse. And because it is undead it is subject to certain counters like Spirit attacks. Players facing Reapers should use Ranged attacks. Invoke Death is short range and the Reaper’s Fearsome ability can only panic melee units. Some additional Undead counters are placed in new specializations, which we’ll reveal soon. And you might be relieved to hear this unit doesn’t have Undying.

Reaper_14New visual features are a particle cloud with rotating skulls and an hour glass which the Reaper turns when he uses the Invoke Death Ability.

So let us know what you think! You might ask yourself if these 7 Necro characters make up all of the new units in the next expansion. Certainly not; we’ve just started scratching the surface – stay tuned for more reveals!

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Home Forums Dev Journal: Don't Fear the Reaper

This topic contains 140 replies, has 62 voices, and was last updated by  Gloweye 7 years, 6 months ago.

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    Lennart Sas


    Well, I guess this mean one of two things. Either we’re getting the Dread Reaper back, or we’re not (so shouldn’t fear him).



    Noooo don’t tease us like that! Can’t wait for the news post 😛 -still cool music-



    I’m betting we’d better fear the Reaper! Huzzah, after Da Butcher one of my favorite AoW units. Great classic song btw. 🙂


    Kaiosama TLJ

    It’s official, the Dread Reaper will have more cowbell.



    So excited! Shall we expect a dev journal about the Reaper?


    Lennart Sas

    Cowbell? – It’s actually the sound of a skull hit by a bone. 🙂



    And I already wanted to yell at somebody to sticky this as a news thread XD

    Just shows you guys combined work and hobby into one 😀



    Oh so now this is in the news sections with the 2 units! The reaper looks amazing and scarier than ever! Now to relive the nightmares of energy drain killing my T4 very quickly :D.

    Haha the wailer abilities fit wraiths. Btw wraiths are marked as support units which they don’t fill unless they are highest rank, can they be given an ability to fit this :P.


    Dagoth Ur

    Super psyched! The Reaper looks amazing.



    Reaper indeed is just amazing! Good thing that his ability does damage even when resisted. I like the unit concept of the Wailer, but I dislike the artwork, maybe it will look much better in the game I don’t know, but so far that is the only thing I don’t like out of whole Necromancer concept, so good job! 🙂



    The Dread Reaper is the unit I have been looking forward to the most so I am very happy to see it.
    It would be nice if it keeps it’s path of decay ability from shadow magic. It’s just so much fun going around corrupting the land.
    I like the sound of the invoke death ability, very fitting.


    “radial Wail of Despair ability”

    oooohh…banshee ability, in a circle?

    Invoke death – I’m waiting for Epaminondas’ reaction lol.

    The hourglass looks a bit like….a salt shaker :(.



    The Dread Reaper looks amazing. its a flying unit so i’m guessing a 30-36 movement points. The Energy Drain ability is a little confusing. From what I understand it looks like a 100% chance to Proc but the random part is with the amount of movement point it removes. I wonder if it spirit based or blight. Will resistances help to lower the effect. is that why you say up to 50% because of resistances?. Invoke death is just crazy. I wonder what the spell strength is 7? 9? 11? 20?. Is it a 1 shot ability or 3 turn cooldown? I also curious about the HP of the Reaper. low end T4 have 80HP and high end is 110HP. I’m guessing you would put it at 80HP because of incorporeal but man archon titans are 110 so. . .

    The Wailer also looks like an awesome unit. The fact that it does blight and spirit damage is going to make this unit viable against almost everything. I’m guessing you guys didn’t give it float and instead pass wall to balance it in the strategic map. Was there some play test or something where they just moved too fast I’m guessing. Would be really crazy to have them just storm over mountains.


    Kaiosama TLJ

    The Dread Reaper is truly blessed by the Gods of Metal.

    Hmmmmm… New Specializations to help counter the Undead, I’m curious to see my new enemy…



    The hourglass animation is maybe the most awesome thing in AoW III…


    Reaper’s wings look really great and I love the turning hourglass plus pointing bony finger combo. Wailer is funny, like a restless spirit of a deceased opera diva with unfinished business in the mortal world. 😛



    The units are great,i just think that reaper would look much cooler with a huge scythe.



    As an artist, myself, I appreciate the artistic influence for this character\unit. Very good. The scream is quite a scary picture in itself so you have chosen a good way to get into the Players mind. I guess ill be fighting this thing a lot since I`m not the Necro type! Will be enjoyable trying to take it down.

    I wonder if it will have some kind of scary scream too?



    Looking really good guys! We’re gonna see a lot of Necro’s running around when this comes out.

    Dread Reaper looks amazing indeed. Nice touch on the floating skulls. And the wailer is really nice too. Offensive support is just what we need!


    vota dc

    But is the reaper that fear us since it has spirit weakness!



    I’m soooo buying this.



    It would be cool if the unit that resists Invoke Death will get Lucky ability until the end of the battle. His second birthday.



    The Reaper is already my favorite looking unit in the game after seeing him for a few seconds. I think the hourglass interpretation is an incredible interpretation of what death would carry.

    That unhealable damage is terrifying!



    Looking quite good, I would say. I appreciate the touch of scythe blades on the wings, in the absence of an actual scythe.

    I wonder how many Rogue players will comment on the whole ‘Incorporeal AND T4’ thing. Although I suppose their cost is going to be hefty T4 grade, and Necromancers are unlikely(but they might, nonetheless) to have noteworthy economic boosters on the scale of Warlord/Dreadnought.

    Well, unless it’s summoned. I don’t recall definitively if the Devs mentioned anything about that in the other threads.

    Guessing it’s melee attack to be around T3 Physical values with Spirit/Blight hybrid on top, making it weaker against high def units, before potential bonuses from exploiting negative morale. Thus, it’s a T4, that punches in T3 weight class for damage output, before special mechanics, and it’s (presumably single-use) Invoke Death. Of course, it’s Incorporeal, and Fearsome, so it can still generally defeat T3s 1v1 and sometimes 1v2 without too much of an issue.

    It should also generally do well against all of the class T4s, except for Shrines of Smiting, and to a lesser degree Juggernauts, with Horned Gods and Eldritch Horrors coming after due to protections(Shock Serpents might do well, though, if they avoid being Feared). Shadow Stalkers will probably cry shadowy tears. Manticore Riders will basically be facing an even more dangerous Shadow Stalker, in their eyes.

    Oh, and Golden Dragons will laugh throaty dragon laughs while they destroy Reapers. Exactly, what Chryso would want, I’m sure. 😛

    The hourglass looks a bit like….a salt shaker 🙁 .

    Are you mixing up the bones of the Reaper’s hand as part of the hourglass? It looks like a fairly stereotypical hourglass to me.


    The units are great,i just think that reaper would look much cooler with a huge scythe.

    Pros and cons.

    I think the hourglass is (saltshaker aside edit: the more I look at the animation, the less I think about the use of condiments…) actually more fitting and downright terrifying as a symbol for the impermanence of life (yea, even in a game featuring immortal Elves…)

    Plus scythes are somewhat…cliché…



    A Reaper as a 3d model looks better than on the artwork. Great modelling!
    Though animation of death touch either lacks something or on the contrary is excessive (both pointing a finger and flipping the watch is too much, one of the actions alone maybe would be better)… Doesn’t seem cool. =)

    A Wailer is … unconventional. Don’t know, need to see in the game / model. A floating head of Archon Casters is very cool, but Wailer seems a little cartoonish, I think.



    Well just think of wailers as banshees they seem similar to those. I wonder how effective massed wailers is, I hope it isn’t as imba as massed sirens lol.



    awesome! love it

    was wondering if the necromancer himself would wield a scythe or a staff with some kinda skull on top – the other classes have a unique weapon each, so prob not a staff

    also, was expecting vampires or summoned scouting bats at some point – i’m as excited as i was for the initial launch of the game



    Pleeeaasee add some Black Riders like in the Lord of the Rings, [EDIT]

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