Dev Journal: Hero Mounts

Hello everyone! Welcome to the second development journal for Age of Wonders III.

Before telling you about the brand new mount system in Age of Wonders III, let me make a quick introduction. My name is Godewijn and I am a designer for Triumph Studios for a little over a year now, and as such I am one of the ‘new people’ that joined this project.

Unlike what you might expect from someone who didn’t work on the prequels, I’m sometimes actually a bit more conservative than some of the longtime Age of Wonders developers. Reason for that is probably that I have been a huge fan of the series since the first Age of Wonders and (when time allows it) I still play Shadow Magic regularly with a friend.

You can imagine it was a dream come true to be able to work on the third installment! – Godewijn, Designer

The Hellhound is one of the fearsome mounts in Age of Wonders III

I should mention everything you see and read in these dev journals is work-in-progress. As we are still in the middle of development on Age of Wonders III a lot of things can change, both gameplay- and graphics-wise.

So let’s talk about those mounts!

Default Hero Mount Variations

As in previous games your heroes and leader will ride a mount. The default mount they get is based on their race. For example at the start you won’t have High Elves riding boars through the woods since boars are the preferred mount of Dwarves and the Elves prefer Unicorns.

These are the default mounts per race:
High Elves – Unicorn
Dwarves – Boar
Humans – Brown horse
Draconians – Raptor
Orcs – Black horse
Goblins – Warg

Default mounts don’t give your units special abilities and are purely cosmetic. This changes once you progress in the game and get access to special mounts.

Acquiring Special Mounts for your Hero

Unlike the default mounts, the special mounts are more than something purely visual. They have the ability to add bonuses to your hero or leader. The Nightmare mount for example will bestow Floating (faster movement) and the Bleak Warg will provide Arctic Walking.

Some of these special mounts are creatures like Fell Horses, Nightmares, Blight Tusk Boars, Bleak Wargs, Hell Hounds, Unicorn Sires and Red Raptors. You can swap them by using your inventory, as mounts are considered a special kind of item.

Leader with a Gryphon egg and mount ‘item’ equipped (Ice Wyvern).

We are thinking of adding more, like Dread Spider mounts, which would give your hero/leader the ability to climb walls with ease. At the same time we are careful with adding abilities to mounts so they don’t make other items worthless or become imbalanced.

So how can players obtain those mounts in the game? Well, you can obtain them as quest rewards or rewards for exploring structures.

Hatching Eggs

For the really special mounts you will need to start looking for eggs. Just like Daenerys Targaryen (the mother of dragons) in Game of Thrones, you will be able to find eggs and hatch them. This way you can get some awesome mounts. Maybe you’ll find a Gold Wyvern egg in an area fiercely guarded by Gold Wyverns.

Artwork of the various Wyverns

Eggs will be used only for the strongest of player mounts: Gold, Fire, Ice, Obsidian and Bone Wyverns and the Gryphon.
Once you find an egg you need to carry it with you for a certain amount of rounds before it gets hatched (no worries – your hero won’t need to sit on the egg). The mount resulting from that can be equipped as any mount and gives the hero/leader flying and increased vision on the World Map. Maybe even something extra as well.

Leader on a special mount (Red Raptor) attacking a hero on a Hell Hound (this is Work-In-Progress).

This is just one example of us trying to add flavor and improve on the earlier games. Is it needed? Perhaps not. Is it fun? We think so!

But it’s even more important what you think! Let us know in the attached forum thread. We’re looking forward to it!

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Home Forums Dev Journal II: Hero Mounts

This topic contains 123 replies, has 55 voices, and was last updated by  amblingalong 7 years, 4 months ago.

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    Funny combos.

    A Good Theocrat on a Hellhound. A goblin on that big red raptor. Druid on Bone Wyvenn.

    Idealised hero combos, Theocract on a Gold Wyvenn. Rogue on Spider or Obsiden. Warlord on Griffon, Sorceress on Ice Wyvenn, Draconian on Red Wyvenn, Dreadnaught on a mechanized mount, Druid on Unicorn.



    Can Dreadnought mount helicopter or some steampunk jet fighter? ))



    I was think maybe more like a mechanical golem like creature, like an giant eagle with gears, that the Dreadnaught builds himself.



    I looked in the concept art section of the sight, it has a picture of a bleak warg.



    Also in the Hero pic, I noticed a Mariner ability, curious as to what that does.



    Just as an off topic note I really like the font the Wyvern types!
    If at all possible they could have your hero/leader on foot that would be great, maybe buy your animal item from your default race. Mount increases movement, on foot (increase defense) or something,

    In saying that this is beyond what I would imagine i am humbled with the current effort into this.




    They listen to their fans! So keep your good ideas coming 😀 although that Equitable mount topic started little less than 3 weeks ago I’m sure they had something like this in development already! I’m just glad they have the two things I really wanted your own sigils and a leader to ride a dragon. DONE


    I’m with Flenoom and Gyor, I want to see a mechanized steam punk mount for the Dreadnought class.



    First of all I got to say that I am very very happy with this idea as well as with its execution. Great job! 🙂

    By looking at the posted screenshot of the hero I have a question though: Why does he still have the ability ‘walking’, if he is flying on an ice wyvern?
    I’d expect ‘flying’, which I’d guess comes further down the list of abilities, to replace ‘walking’, even though that might not make much of a difference.

    Some other members said they’d prefer certain mounts to be associated with certain races, but I am clearly against it, because I would just hate to miss my opportunity to be an evil Rogue Dwarf riding a fabolous unicorn or to be a good Theocrat Goblin riding a mischievous Raptor.

    Adding more special mounts with even more variety is a great idea! Especially these spiders would just be awesome! 🙂
    Maybe to add some ridiculousness one of the new mounts could be some kind of sedan chair, maybe carried by two halfling servants or on the back of a troll…
    Also other great ideas would be the frog mount (which would probably give you waterwalking) like the ones the lizardman had, the scarab or mole mount for cave crawling and maybe a kind of flightless bird like an ostrich, just for the lols^^ (and because a lance wielding goblin riding a grim ostrich would be incredible! 😀 )

    Also (kinda off topic): Isn’t there an attack value anymore? Just noticed that there still is hit points, move points, defense and resistance and that the damage is now indicated by the value of the ability ‘melee strike’, but what happened to attack? I know that a missed special attack will now still do something, but does that mean that missing is now completely impossible, also for normal strikes? And if yes, does everyone have the exact same chance to hit for the full damage value and the same chance for critical hits and weak hits, or is there still an attack value hidden somewhere, which indicates how likely the unit is to deal all or more or less damage of what the ‘melee strike’-value indicates?

    Anyways, I am very pleased with the direction you are going and I am looking forward to playing the shit out of this game and to giving you all my money… you deserve it! 😉



    Did I read correctly: a Bone Wyvern egg???
    If so, thats beyond unrealistic. That doesn’t even have the minimal degree of plausiability, which is nessesery in every good work of fantasy.


    I dont dont know if its a good idea. People usually use the best combinations and if a raptor gives bonuses to a draconian hero then every draconian player will use that mount only(same for the elves/unicorn). Especially in MP where players seek for every little advantages. So lore wise it might be good, but if we want to keep the diversity and encourage people to try every combination then its not.

    I think an easy fix to this is to give all tier 2 and 3 mounts a unique buff per race

    Elves can have an extra buff on a unicorn – but perhaps even with that extra racial buff the elven mount isnt as effective at fighting draconians as say a spider mount etc

    A draconian on a hellhound could gain flame bonus dmg to their attacks
    A human on a hellhound could gain fear – lower initiative of enemy squad(s)
    A goblin on a hellhound gets increased leadership allowing for stronger units and other allignment units into his army for more powerful interesting combos
    A elf on a hellhound could gain a ranged/magical flame attack


    edit: in regards to flying not replacing walking – whos to say you cant dismount or kill mounts before the rider? 8D



    Thats sounds nice. I love mounts!!
    Below some ideas…
    Special mount Dark Elves: Lizard (like drizzt:P)
    Special mount Goblins Race: Spider or beetle
    Special mount Frostlings Race : Doom wolf
    Special mount Dwarven race: Beer or War Boar
    Special mount Halflings: Eagle? of a Frog:P
    Special mount Undead: Bone horror

    Cannot wait for the game it self.

    Veel succes:)



    Some other members said they’d prefer certain mounts to be associated with certain races, but I am clearly against it, because I would just hate to miss my opportunity to be an evil Rogue Dwarf riding a fabolous unicorn or to be a good Theocrat Goblin riding a mischievous Raptor.

    That’s why I suggested being able to produce a special mount associated with a race at a (sufficiently developed) city of that race. That makes the lore-appropriate special mount the easiest to get, but doesn’t penalise you in any fashion for using a different mount if you happen to find one.



    Hey all, great to see that many of you like the idea as well 😀

    Now to address some points (in random order):
    * More mounts: Yes I definitely would like more mounts and especially a swimming and a subterranean mount (like the Big Beetle ^^), but it’s a lot of work, so we’ll have to see if we can get it in time.
    * The old wyverns: The wyverns are now conceptually linked to other ‘stuff’ so this makes more sense for now. But who knows, maybe a brown wyvern enclave will ever be found? I honestly doubt that though, better to make some new creatures as we have quite a lot of wyverns already.
    * The option to go without mount: Sorry, not at all likely. We’d need a complete new set of animations for that and that’s a lot of work.
    * Red Raptor VS Hell Hound scale: yup, it’s one of the things that will be tweaked, I noticed it too.
    * ‘Walking’ on the Leader: Yup will be resolved.
    * Bone Wyvern Egg: Yes, it is strange. Well, deleting an egg should be straightforward ;). On the other hand, maybe they found a way to reproduce? Why are they boney? Necromancy or is it that their flesh rots off during their adolescence?
    Likewise it wouldn’t make sense to hatch unicorns from eggs, since they are mammals!
    * Special Mounts associated with races: Well we tried to have at least 1 special mount for every race that makes sense somehow (from expanding on their default mounts (Unicorn -> Unicorn Sire for example)), but we didn’t want to enforce it, or create synergies. But we’ll try to give every race a conceptually sensible option for those who want to adhere to it.

    Thanks for all the ideas and suggestions, we’re definitely paying attention to them 🙂



    Here’s how Bone Wyveen Eggs can work.

    A Living Wyvenn produces an egg and an evil necromancer enchants it with a curse, death and undeath unpon hatching. The curse changes the appearence of the egg, but the Wyveen inside isn’t dead until it hatches and the evil curse takes effect.

    Pretty simple solution.



    Oh and thanks for responding 😀



    Thnx Narvek! Im happy that you wont give synergies, lets encourage the people to discover every possibilities and dont force them to use the “one best combo”



    thats simply great!



    It’s as awesome as unexpected. Very good feature !



    Gyors idea on the bone wyvern is pretty good.
    just go with “cursed egg”



    Thank you Sordak 😀



    Might want to give the Orcs a more distinct mount than a horse with a different color.

    My suggestion is far from original, but at least it’s different: A Giant Rat.

    Might want to switch the Warg with the Giant Rat (and perhaps call it a Grat :P).

    As for the Bleak Warg – Immediately the word ‘Blarg’ came to mind. Just for laughs though :>

    I’m very enthusiastic about the mount concept 🙂 keep up the good ideas but be careful not to get drowned in them. It’s better to work out the basic framework and then move on to expansive ideas.



    Giant rat would be interesting but i think its fit more for the goblins than the orcs. One of the main reasons i love the AoW orcs because they are unique and dont try to copy the warcraft/warhammer orcs(wolf and boar mount). Orcs in AoW are always using horse as a mount.



    Incredible!!! This is proof that this is REALLY a new and exciting game, not just another sequel, like so many other series out theree!!!

    And yes what JeanLucPicard said: make Mounts give special bonuses when they match an appropriate race!!! 🙂



    why would you think thats a good idea?
    That just limits what mount each race can get to be viable.
    Thats stupid.



    Glad to have you on the development team Godewijn! Always good to have fans of the origional games on AoWIII.

    Great ideas for the mounts! Like the ideas and way they can personalize your leader and heroes.

    Will one be able to transfer a mount from one her/leader to another? Or are they linked permanently once attached/hatched? 🙂



    why would you think thats a good idea?<br>
    That just limits what mount each race can get to be viable.<br>
    Thats stupid.

    i already commented on this and how it could work further up the thread



    Well Narvek already said they wont create synergies.


    The option to go without mount: Sorry, not at all likely. We’d need a complete new set of animations for that and that’s a lot of work.

    does that mean every hero must use a mount? :[
    does that mean every hero has a spear/pike weakness?



    We don’t know if any heroes have pike weakness they maybe mounted, but thier not really cavalary.

    Anyone noticed the leader had 80 health and only 20 casting points. I suspect high health and low casting points are a feature of Warlords like that leader.

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