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.

BellTowerFlowrockCitadelStablesOfVigorFirestormPillar

Examples:

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.

DJ-SS15
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 5 years, 1 month ago.

Viewing 30 posts - 31 through 60 (of 98 total)
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  • #104842

    JPoll
    Member

    I can´t wait to try this out! 🙂

    #104843

    TheSpeaker
    Member

    Ah, looks so awesome 🙂 Thanks Triumph. Just when I think they’ve given us new amazing stuff, they give us MOAR NEW AMAZING STUFF! Looking forward to see this in the game, sooner the better 😀 Keep up the good work.

    #104844

    Jolly Joker
    Member

    Two more things:

    1) Wax too long since the ANNOUNCEMENT FORUM has seen a posting.

    2) Class section on the main page needs to be reorganized to make room for No. 7 …

    #104846

    Ravenholme
    Member

    Triumph is on fire! :) Seriously, this is awesome.

    I hope not!

    But yes, it is awesome.

    #104853

    Draxynnic
    Member

    Good to see some of this stuff developing!

    EDIT: On the question of what Elves get if humans get arrow volleys – my suspicion would be some sort of lightningy thing. Elves are better archers than humans, but they also have more access to various forms of magic that they can lean on as well.

    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.

    Like many things, I think a toggle is the optimal solution. Some people, particularly people who primarily play single-player, like having this sort of thing as spice, but it certainly should be something that can be disabled for competitive maps where people don’t want to see things get turned around by somebody’s throne city being hit by a random meteorite or something like that.

    #104857

    llfoso
    Member

    This looks so awesome!!! You’ve blown my mind!

    Two questions:
    1. Will these upgrades make visible changes on the world map?
    2. Are mermaids racial? 😀

    #104858

    bishmanrock
    Member

    Like many things, I think a toggle is the optimal solution. Some people, particularly people who primarily play single-player, like having this sort of thing as spice, but it certainly should be something that can be disabled for competitive maps where people don’t want to see things get turned around by somebody’s throne city being hit by a random meteorite or something like that.

    Exactly this. I like games where I can choose different options depending on what sort of game I’m having with whom. Civ has always been pretty good with things like that, being able to disable espionage in Civ4 and other nice little tweaks to personalise your game to your own preferences just adds a nice bit of life.

    #104866

    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.

    I very much doubt so, and certainly hope not.

    The idea is to stop the attacker coming in, sit back, spell sniping a unit, retreating, rinsing and repeating.

    #104870

    Draxynnic
    Member

    Personally, though, what I’d like to see is for it to be placed somewhere where the attacker can destroy it reasonably easily if it’s left unprotected, so the defender can’t just play run-away while the turret takes its toll.

    #104873

    Taykor
    Member

    The idea is to stop the attacker coming in, sit back, spell sniping a unit, retreating, rinsing and repeating.

    Not very good idea by the way. This tactic should exist both from diversity and necessity points of view and it is not overpowered as it is: lost MP and CP, morale penalty from ‘lost battle’, idle time for an army. To pluck Dreadnought out of a city is not fun at all even now.

    #104874

    @ Taykor, a Theocrat rolls in with a hero with cap, maybe 2 heros, and a bunch of Priests, spells you, rolls out.

    No counter, because if you try to rush him, you lose the city defences.

    If you try to hit him with spells, he just heals.

    Massed Priests tend to find taking defended cities very hard, but with the above strat, it is child’s play.

    I second Drax’s suggestion, that these buildings be, essentially, defensive towers, i.e. part of the wall system, and ergo targetable (although, by definition, that means repairable?)

    #104877

    Taykor
    Member

    No counter, because if you try to rush him, you lose the city defences.

    Than you are losing this city anyway. Or it’s just a way for the attacker to tilt the balance in his favor (and not a quick one).

    #104879

    I second Drax’s suggestion, that these buildings be, essentially, defensive towers, i.e. part of the wall system, and ergo targetable (although, by definition, that means repairable?)

    they do call it a defensive structure, although that could just mean you build it. It could be placed in the center plaza behind the walls, so that even a long ranged dreadnought army would have to breach the walls before attacking it (except with wall attacking spells, of course).

    If the High Elves got a multi unit shock defense, that might be slightly op, as they already have the finest defensive array, and shock damage is not well resisted outside of sorcerer/Arch-druid units, and is really damaging to machines.

    I suspect that they’ll get a “black arrow” type attack to reinforce how they are the best archers ever, that does high, armor piercing, single unit damage (possibly crippling wounds). Maybe it will have shock damage as a secondary effect to show that it is magical.

    #104893

    Gyor
    Member

    This is cool. I suspect that Shrines like the Scarlet Destroyer will either offer a new type of Support Unit, like the Artic shrine might offer Frost Witches, or they may enhance the Support Units built in the city.

    Between the updates we’ve already gained and the up coming expansion, age of wonders will be a very different game then when it was first released. And far more complex.

    #104901

    <div class=”d4p-bbt-quote-title”>BLOODYBATTLEBRAIN wrote:</div>
    No counter, because if you try to rush him, you lose the city defences.

    Than you are losing this city anyway. Or it’s just a way for the attacker to tilt the balance in his favor (and not a quick one).

    I would disagree, because the ability to win here is entirely dependent on the sniping. If it were just Priests, they’d never capture the city. If it were any other class, then less of an issue.

    I do think it’s a legitimate tactic by the way, but it is incredibly boring and frustrating, which is why I do believe the new defensive structures are a targetted counter to that, and will make the game far more interesting.

    It also means that that same army would have to actually fight now.

    #104905

    Lennart Sas
    Keymaster

    Hi, thanks for the feedback. Yep, we really aim to make the game better and fresh with these new features. Of course new content like a new races and units is needed, but it are these core features that really make a difference, regardless which race or class you play.

    #104906

    Deemonspawn
    Member

    Upgradeable upgrades! Upgrade on sanctuary of the deep to unlock kraken?

    @draxynnic
    Togglable meteors, like cataclysm/wrath of god/divine judgement mode

    #104915

    DadouXIII
    Member

    This looks so awesome!!! You’ve blown my mind!

    Two questions:<br>
    1. Will these upgrades make visible changes on the world map?<br>
    2. Are mermaids racial? :D

    It would definitely be awesome if buildings would start showing up on the world map, not just the special ones 🙂

    #104918

    Love it.

    But can i say that this would be a perfect way to “rebuild” razed dwellings too. Would fit the theme of dwellings too.

    #104924

    esvath
    Member

    Yeah, razed dwellings should be rebuildable. Or, razing mean destroy them for good and allow cities to be built on their locations.

    #104925

    Kaiosama TLJ
    Member

    Yeah, razed dwellings should be rebuildable. Or, razing mean destroy them for good and allow cities to be built on their locations.

    Actually this could be part of the Terraforming kit. To spend mana to remove dwelling or regular city ruins.

    #104939

    NEHZ
    Member

    The real question is: can you supercharge militia?

    #104945

    Bob5
    Member

    I want to know if you can also build Mystical City Upgrades in Dwellings. Probably not all of them. Stable of Vigor and Flowrock Citadel wouldn’t work as Dwellings don’t produce cavalry or machines (yet). Santuary of the Deep and Arcane Catalyst could work.

    Now another question is, if Mermaids are racial, can you also get Undead Mermaids in this way?

    Undead Mermaid

    #104947

    These are amazing updates!! Im loving this new direction especially the racial tower guard! I sorely missed that structure from the previous games, THANK YOU Triumph 😀

    I dont mean to say that the new mystical buildings are bad, they are amazing and will definitely fulfill the primary goal of city diversification! But im failing to see the merits in the statement “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.” Now obviously more buildings results in more variety and im not contesting that, but unless something is IMBA or broken i don’t think we will see any cosmic changes to strategies.

    Its worth noting that unlike the non-racial buildings, these mystical buildings are tactical changes and not strategical changes. They will not mystically unlock play styles, such as a camper/defender play style which has never really been a thing in AoW anyways.

    First off for anyone who struggles differentiating between the two, tactics and strategies are not the same thing:

    • A tactic is all abut synergy. Building the builders hall before the war hall is a pretty good tactic.
    • A strategy is a collection of tactics and is generally something you walk into the game with, “Im going to go down the cavalry domination path.”

    These new buildings may slightly enhance X play style for those who are attempting them, but you cannot really start the game thinking “Right, im going to spam mermaids for total sea domination” because the locations that you can build mermaids are going to be so extremely limited that you don’t even know if it will be possible on the map.

    You can apply that thinking to any of these changes and because of that you cannot build an initial strategy around the inclusion of these new buildings. You can include the tactic in a strategy, ie. if your spamming cavalry, and you notice the option for the stables of doom!!! then by all means go for it. But overall the cavalry rush strategy wont change.

    Again, i love these new buildings, i just don’t think they will change the biggest strategies in the game as much as other ideas proposed. Such as “building paths” for races and/or classes. (In case you missed it, DoW:SS did building paths amazingly. Aka: i build War hall, which locks the production of the peace hall .. so i cant build.. eh … peace people … )

    #104948

    Ravenholme
    Member

    I think significant building paths (I build x, which locks y, but unlocks z) would run kind of contrary to the spirit of the Age of Wonders games, personally.

    I think they mean that it will affect the strategic in that people are more likely to think before placing this crucial first few cities so that they can maximise their benefit from treasure sites which afford them bonuses which could enhance their army throughout the early and late game. Like a city with a spring of life is likely to be where, preferentially, you will create all your cavalry units, etc.

    Yes, it may be a slight misuse of the term (Though I would definitely say that the placement of cities is a strategic choice myself, as it affects your overall strategy)

    #104949

    I think significant building paths (I build x, which locks y, but unlocks z) would run kind of contrary to the spirit of the Age of Wonders games, personally.

    Personally i do not, but it is just one of the many options available and the first that came to mind 😀

    #104951

    @ iHK, the spring of life is a good example – those bonuses are really good. If I have that, then that city is definitely going to be on Cavalry duty, which means Warhall + riders Hall, at the very least, which is itself quite a commitment, so obviously I am going to use them more.

    It’d be enough for me to change strategies.

    If I was a Dread, it’d be enough to make me go Pistol whipping Cavalry instead of Musketeers.

    #104953

    It’d be enough for me to change strategies.

    Change to an already in game and pre existing strategy. I only mean to say that these buildings will not add new strategies and instead, only “slightly” alter the pre-existing ones which is why i used the camper play style as an example.

    #104954

    Draxynnic
    Member

    Personally, I’m in favour of units from mystic buildings being race-independent, for three reasons:

    First, it’s less work for Triumph.

    Second, while the structure may be within the city’s domain, technically it’s still its own structure with its own inhabitants that happens to be within the city’s area of influence. There’s no reason why those inhabitants would have to be racially linked to the city.

    Third, what if the structure is within the domain of a dwelling? Shouldn’t dwellings have the opportunity to use them too?

    This is cool. I suspect that Shrines like the Scarlet Destroyer will either offer a new type of Support Unit, like the Artic shrine might offer Frost Witches, or they may enhance the Support Units built in the city.

    That’s an interesting line of thinking, actually. We have a number of ‘legacy’ units that are associated with one wizard or another – Frost Witches to Artica, Spider Queens (the old-fashioned type) with Arachne, Avatars of Yaka with you-know-who – this could be a very flavourful way of working them back in.

    First off for anyone who struggles differentiating between the two, tactics and strategies are not the same thing:

    A tactic is all abut synergy. Building the builders hall before the war hall is a pretty good tactic.
    A strategy is a collection of tactics and is generally something you walk into the game with, “Im going to go down the cavalry domination path.”

    I’d disagree with this. Generally speaking, strategy is the big picture, while tactics are the finer details – however, strategy can and does change according to circumstances.

    For instance, you could start down the cavalry domination path, then find that your opponent is also going cavalry-heavy, and switch to pikemen instead. This is a change in strategy. Alternatively, finding yourself fighting a two-front war and deciding to stall on one front while pushing hard on the other is a strategy – although the details such as where you place your troops on the defensive side and how you launch your attacks on the other front is in the realm of tactics.

    So how do the new buildings affect strategy? Well, to use your example of the cavalry domination path – what if you happen to find a structure that gives a big boost to some other type of unit? Then you might consider switching strategy.

    More importantly, though, I think the main effect on this is on general empire-building, which most people will regard as being on the strategic side:

    First, a lot of people have complained about how cities tend to feel samey. This serves to help address that, by having cities that have structures that push them towards fulfilling one role over another. For instance, a city with a Spring of Life within its domain is much more likely to be used to produce cavalry.

    Second, it’s a soft disincentive to city spam. If you’ve got a city with a really good bonus within its domain, it provides more incentive to let that city grow to maximum size to get maximum use of that bonus – and, potentially, allow the city to stack multiple bonuses. In other circumstances, it might present an incentive to place cities so they DO block each other’s growth – so that instead of having one city with a bonus to both cavalry and infantry, say, you could have an elven city with a bonus to cavalry and a dwarf city with a bonus to infantry.

    Third, as hinted at by the earlier example – it provides an additional layer to the question of what races to put in a particular location. At the moment, it’s based largely on general terrain and, if the player is expecting to build pure racial units at the city, which such units the player wants – however, if, say, there’s a Spring of Life at a particular location, that provides more encouragement to settle a race there that has good cavalry, like high elves, than one that has mediocre cavalry like draconians or dwarfs.

    #104959

    Gyor
    Member

    I’m trying to remember what all the 12 treasure sites are. We have flow rock quarry, Wizard Tower Ruins, Sunken City, Spring of Life, Dungeons, Ziggurtates, Gold Mines, Mana Nodes, Shrines, Crystal Trees, Innes, haste berries? I’m no sure if all these count as treasure sites, can anyone give me a full list?

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