Development Journal: Mystical City Upgrades

Hi again! In today’s expansion development journal we’ll be talking about a new type of city upgrades that we have in the works. These Mystical upgrades unlock unique new and powerful improvements to your town, making a city’s location matter more than ever.

DJ-SS17City with Sunken City upgraded with Sanctuary of the Deep,  unlocking Mermaid

The goal with this new feature is to make cities a lot more unique. We got some feedback that right now city upgrades could use more diversity. The class structures vary per class of course, and the tier 3 unit building is different for each race. Then there’s the Harbor which you can only build if the city is located next to water. But you wanted more, and we heartily agree!

Something that may give each city a unique focus, or role. Something that can influence your choice of where to found your next city.

This is how the Mystical City Upgrades were born: These city upgrades depend on the presence of particular Treasure Sites in the city’s domain. When these Sites are explored and made part of the city’s domain, they unlock a new Mystical Upgrade in the production list. These upgrades usually greatly improve a particular type of unit (Pikemen, Infantry, Cavalry, etc.) produced in that city, enabling you to specialize the city according to the unit type boosted by the upgrade. Other Mystical Upgrades unlock an entirely new unit or have effects on the city’s defenses. We think this will lead to more variety in the citybuilding part of the game as some upgrades may fit your playstyle, race or class more than others.



Stables of Vigor

Requires Spring of Life. Produce d Calvary Units have Free Movement, Fast Healing and High Morale

Flowrock Citadel

Requires Flowrock Quarry. Produced Machine units have +10 HP and this city’s walls regenerate 20 HP at the start of each combat round.

Arcane Catalyst

Requires the Wizard Tower Ruins. Units summoned within this city’s domain gain an additional medal rank and are Supercharged. When a Supercharged unit dies in combat, it spawns a random lesser elemental unit under control of the dead creature’s controller that lasts until the end of combat.

Sanctuary of the Deep

Requires Sunken City. Unlocks the production of Mermaids in this city (yes, that’s a new unit!).

We have 12 new city upgrades linked to 12 Treasure sites in total so there’s plenty for you to discover out there!.

Racial Upgrades

Think this is all? We are also adding more Racial Diversity to cities, by adding a unique racial defensive Structure for each race. Here are some examples:

Blood Pavilion

Race: Orcs.  Performs a dark ritual to curse and hurt the enemy. Deals 14 physical damage and has a chance to inflict Bleeding Wounds to a random enemy unit each combat round.

Bell Tower

Race: Humans. Bell rings, causing the town’s citizens to fire a hail of arrows at the invading force, dealing physical damage to a random enemy unit + surrounding hexes.

Firestorm Pillar

Race: Draconians. Creates a pillar of fire which obliterates enemy units. Deals 4 physical and 8 fire damage to all enemy units in a 1 hex radius around a random enemy unit each combat round.

Fire Pillar In Action

As always, let us know what you think on the forums!


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Home Forums Development Journal: Mystical City Upgrades

This topic contains 97 replies, has 52 voices, and was last updated by  Gloweye 8 years ago.

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    Lennart Sas


    Absolutely awesome and exciting!

    And I’ve thought there will not be any development journals today!



    Oh yes yes yes a million times yes 😀



    Well it definitely is a start in the right direction. I hear how people are getting bored while playing the game. Need to add in random events, acts of nature, invasions of foreign threats, and maybe questing where you just send heroes out and they are gone for a time. People still want undead race also……….


    yes yes, everything here sounds awesome <3

    @thunderborn what the orcus? seriously, whats your mission? I dont even…



    Yes! Yes! Yessssss!!!!

    More mystical upgrades, please!
    More racial buildings, please! Not only ones that fires at enemies but also ones that affect economy.

    (I know that I am being greedy, but still… couldn’t help myself LOL)



    Need to add in random events, acts of nature, invasions of foreign threats

    By the way, that would really diversify matches very much. I’d like that. At least appearance of some random wandering independents would be easy to implement (preferably logically connected to a nearby map area: animals in the woods, fire elementals nearby lava and so on).



    What I think about these plans? Absolutely awesome! This will definitely improve the uniqueness of cities and it’s defensive capabilities. And the addition of new units to the roster is music to my ears! More units are always welcome!



    Ahhhh! This is awesome.



    Sounds excellent, glad to see that we’re getting something like this.

    I’m on the fence regarding Random Events, and generally come down on the negative, as they could throw balance off (Failing due to acts of the Random Number God is just annoying) in MP. I suppose minor ones (Appearance of new bandit camps, etc) could be implemented as a toggle in advanced options, though.



    amazing upgrades! I’m loving this game!



    Its awesome what you are going to do to the game… this makes the game more strategic and engaging.

    The one thing I have to address is, that I hate that city spam and find it awesome that u balanced it with the latest patch. But I figure that some kind of city cost mechanic would be awesome so that city’s are even more rare. I like maps with good strategic placed towns and fortresses. So to encourage that i suggest that every town should have costs too and if the place it is settled is not optimal (not enough resources, no Harbor for trade etc.) u actually lose money and its not worth keeping. To this mechanic i could imagine working in the Random event mechanic with mines dry out or new found resources as suggested earlier (should be limited though). Than i could imagine a simple tax mechanic too :D.

    what I’m trying to say it that a more realistic scenario could give the entire game a new political site and could give every race even more differences, like Orks don’t pay tax (so you cant regulate it) but you have a bigger profit from mines. Or the opposite with dwarfs (you tax the gold mining and get greater tax from it but get lesser from the actual mines… those greedy bearded guys :D)

    normally i don’t write stuff in forums. but Age of Wonders Shadow magic was for the longest time my favorite game of all time and i like to support the series even if its just in the cause of tossing some ideas around. ^^

    Anyway as every player around the world, I cant deny that one of the most awesome thing of the prequels was the selection of so many races. And I’m very excited for every race and class you are going to release. The game reached my expectations and i knew that you would add some races later due too financial decision’s. And I’m 100% behind you. Please keep it up till you reach the variety of the earlier games with the additions of classes

    my best regards



    Goods improvements. Also I don’t think people are bored with the game so much as we somewhat burned ourselves out. I love this game. I just needed to come up for air for a bit and refresh myself before the summer tournament.


    Hm, so if humans get a hail of arrows, what do elves get?

    I’m hoping rapey vines.


    Very exciting.

    A lot of the terrain related treasure sites (like the Frozen Beauty Shrine) feel a little underwhelming imo (in terms of their effects) and would benefit from having associated city upgrades.

    Question, is the mermaid a “racial unit”? You know what I mean. 😉



    This is both amazing and awesome, so Awsomazing!!! Pretty excited to see what you do with dungeons! and the spider queen and firefod alters! A good win to you triumph!



    thanks you so much, my favorite game getting even better, i love you all




    Unlikely the city is Orcs with a human featured mermaid in the picture.



    I love the improvements you describe here and can’t wait for the new patch/expansion/dlc.

    Is it possible to create an option that makes the choice to leave tier IV (or IV and III) units and spells out? I bet it would be a completely different game!



    this is truly good news. This together with the dispel mechanics changes.

    will this (+dispel mechanics) be a patch or part of a purchased expansion?


    Kaiosama TLJ

    Sounds really good, especially the defensive structures.

    I have some questions actually:

    1 – How are Mermaids in this update/expansion compared their AoW1 counterparts?

    2 – Are all new units from Mystical City Upgrades “monsters” or they can have other roles (like Support, Infantry, and so on…)?

    Question, is the mermaid a “racial unit”? You know what I mean. ;)

    I took a closer look at the first screenshot when you mentioned that, and the city in it is an Orc one, and she isn’t green skinned.



    That is positively awesome !



    Very exciting.

    A lot of the terrain related treasure sites (like the Frozen Beauty Shrine) feel a little underwhelming imo (in terms of their effects) and would benefit from having associated city upgrades.

    Question, is the mermaid a “racial unit”? You know what I mean. ;)

    1) I hope Shrine of Frozen Beauty will enable Yeti 😀
    2) No, I don’t think the Mermaid is racial.


    ok, this is weird, im allready throwing this tiny colored maps of europa at the screen, but it seems ineffective. I allready tried the green ones, aswell as blue, purple and yellow, but nothing happens. XD

    bring it on!



    Very cool. But also scary.

    Regarding city defenses…can units 6+ hexes away from the walls be immune to random targeting? Would like still protect the weak units and have some safe zone.


    Red Key

    Great stuff! I really like all the upcoming stuff – seals of power, better disjunct mechanics, and now this.

    I hope city morale mechanics are improved too. I feel like a city’s identity is lost as soon as it is absorbed into your empire. Its past alignment does not matter and race does not matter at the same level as past AoW games. I’ve been playing an AoW1 PBEM game with my brother and I feel this is the only area where AoW3 is lacking. In AoW1 you have relationships with every race. Certain city upgrades improve your relationship with the city’s race. Migrating improves your relationship with the race you give the city, but hurts the relationship with the race you banished/annihilated from the city. In our game I was the Azracs and I became friends with the elves and dark elves, but the goblins and dwarves hated me because I declared war on the players of those races and migrated or looted cities of those races.


    Jolly Joker

    The only question is: WHEN? 🙂



    Speaking Gibberish Nathanael?


    MERBOOBS! <3

    Really interesting stuff coming our way fellas. Curious to see how this will affect sieges and the placing of cities.



    Triumph is on fire! 🙂 Seriously, this is awesome.

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