Development Update and Return of Journals

Hi guys, just a quick post that we’re making great progress on lots of new Age of Wonders goodies for you.  The upcoming update should include Steam Workshop support and Cloud Saves. This should make it easier for you to exchange user made scenarios and manage save games across multiple computers.

The tech team is working hard on porting the game to Mac (and likely: Linux).  Already did most of the graphical side of things; the release will likely coincide with an expansion.

Then we’ve got lots new features and content in the works.  The first new race (one with –ling in the name) is nearly complete with others in development. New races are a lot of work: core units, class unit variants, leader and hero assets, City and TC graphics, new abilities, balance, etc). We also have an exotic new dwelling, new monsters, music, classes and a new campaign in the works.  We’re also testing some exciting new mechanics that include new victory conditions and a new type of quest.

Stay tuned, as the Development Journals will return in the near future!

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Home Forums Development Update & Return of Development Journals

This topic contains 218 replies, has 76 voices, and was last updated by  Ravenholme 7 years, 11 months ago.

Viewing 30 posts - 61 through 90 (of 219 total)
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  • #101619

    Bob5
    Member

    I think Frostlings will like Frozen terrain (it’s a terrain only present on water tiles), in a similar vein to how Draconians like Lava pools which only occur on Volcanic terrain.

    #101625

    Nuramon87
    Member

    new fraction with “lings”? O.o
    do we get the missing lings?

    #101631

    b0rsuk
    Member

    I think Frostlings will like Frozen terrain (it’s a terrain only present on water tiles), in a similar vein to how Draconians like Lava pools which only occur on Volcanic terrain.

    And instead of ships they have sleigh. Frigate sleigh. Galleon sleigh with cannon, if you use it knockback pushes you 3 hexes away. Ironclad Sleigh never made it past the prototype.

    #101638

    Charlatan
    Member

    EDIT: @charlatan: No, actually, at this point I don’t.

    Do you mean a race with a cold focus? In which case, I agree, but this is not the same thing as a race with an arctic focus (although the two do often go hand-in-hand).

    Do you mean a race that enjoys arctic terrain? Then as I’ve pointed out, high elves and dwarfs already do. That’s not so say that more shouldn’t be added, but it means there’s no gaping hole in the lineup and arctic terrain isn’t being underutilised.

    Or do you mean a race that is so specialised towards arctic terrain that it eschews temperate terrain? In which case, yes, there is definitely a lack there. But if there is such a hole in the lineup, there’s also the opposite hole – a race that is so specialised towards tropical terrain that it also dislikes temperate.

    Or do you mean something else that I’ve missed entirely?

    Do you mean a race with a cold focus? In which case, I agree, but this is not the same thing as a race with an arctic focus (although the two do often go hand-in-hand).

    Exactly this, it was not meant to refer to in-game mechanics at all, otherwise I would have called it a bonus or happiness modifier. In hindsight, that was not properly clear yeah.

    But, to relate this to in-game mechanics after all:

    The current races all have a quite logical view of certain terrains giving a bonus or malus to happiness. While climate is clearly a smaller factor now than it was, these views do show a tendency to like certain climates or dislike them. The factions and races presented by canon AOW3 Material up-to-now do not show such a tendency to prefer arctic.

    That some are not unhappy with arctic does not mean they like it.

    Take the High Elves for example. Yes they like forests, but that has nothing directly to do with climate.

    But if you say they probably like cold areas and thus Arctic terrain since they can’t stand Tropical and Volcanic , then I fully agree that’s a good theory and very likely.

    #101645

    VoDJARA
    Member

    what’s the T3 unit ? Yeti ?

    Mammoth rider?

    #101649

    b0rsuk
    Member

    Mammoth rider would be functionally indistinguishable from Beetle Riders. A big mounted unit with wall crushing. Slower, more HP and no secondary damage ? Fearsome at gold, perhaps… I don’t want another big dumb pile of HP as a t3 unit :(((

    It’s almost certain the new race is Frostlings. By extension, the new campaign is probably Frostling campaign. I predict it ends with Shadowborn and Torchbearers at each others’ throats, and merlin giving you a wand to imprison Edward and Sundren.

    #101671

    Draxynnic
    Member

    The current races all have a quite logical view of certain terrains giving a bonus or malus to happiness. While climate is clearly a smaller factor now than it was, these views do show a tendency to like certain climates or dislike them. The factions and races presented by canon AOW3 Material up-to-now do not show such a tendency to prefer arctic.

    That some are not unhappy with arctic does not mean they like it.

    Take the High Elves for example. Yes they like forests, but that has nothing directly to do with climate.

    But if you say they probably like cold areas and thus Arctic terrain since they can’t stand Tropical and Volcanic , then I fully agree that’s a good theory and very likely.

    Indeed, nobody “likes” any form of climate – climate is always a negative (unless magic is involved). So a liking for a particular climate – in this case, Arctic – is not represented by a bonus, but the lack of a penalty. The climates a race does not have a penalty to are the climates that the race likes.

    So in your High Elf example, High Elves like Dense Vegetation (forests) and dislike all climates apart from Temperate and Arctic. Thus, their favourite terrains are temperate and arctic forests.

    Most likely, the Frostlings would follow a similar reasoning. You won’t see Likes: Arctic, you’ll see Likes: (feature) and Arctic won’t show up anywhere in their terrain description.

    When it comes to having a distinct preference for arctic rather than being “not unhappy” with it lorewise – the same point can be turned around at the opposite heat extreme. Orcs and humans can tolerate Tropical, but they’re not tropical-focused races in the way frostlings are arctic-focused (orcs are simply more resistant to heat than many races, including humans; draconians do have a distinct preference for heat, but they prefer outright volcanic terrain over tropical). Nomads/azracs or tigrans would naturally fill this opposite gap.

    (Incidentally, I do like bob5’s idea about frostlings liking Frozen terrain, but I think like draconians liking Lava Pools, frostlings will need a more common liked terrain feature as well. Particularly if, as I suspect, they have a fairly harsh set of climate dislikes and hates.)

    Mammoth rider would be functionally indistinguishable from Beetle Riders. A big mounted unit with wall crushing. Slower, more HP and no secondary damage ? Fearsome at gold, perhaps… I don’t want another big dumb pile of HP as a t3 unit 🙁 ((

    It’s almost certain the new race is Frostlings. By extension, the new campaign is probably Frostling campaign. I predict it ends with Shadowborn and Torchbearers at each others’ throats, and merlin giving you a wand to imprison Edward and Sundren.

    I see where you’re coming from, but the mammoths are really the most logical choice, IMO. Compared to beetles, I expect they’ll be tougher, but not have the various utility benefits beetles have (digging, cave crawling, wetlands walking, poison…)

    Campaign-wise, here’s my speculation:

    (WARNING: POTENTIAL SPOILERS BELOW)

    It’s almost certain that Edward and Sundren have pushed the Shadowborn out of the Elven Court and Commonwealth (not completely, of course, but certainly stripped them of much of their power and put a substantial dampener on their activities), and that one of the Torchbearers endings is the canonical one. So where would they go?

    In the very first Commonwealth campaign, although we don’t realise it until later, we see evidence of connections between the frostlings and the Shadowborn – Brisska is a former Frostling province, and the Shrines of the Frozen Beauty – which, along with the other war shrines, are connected to the Shadowborn – is fairly obviously a representation of Artica. It’s likely that, while attempting to bring down the Court and Commonwealth, the Shadowborn have been thoroughly establishing themselves among those factions that really want to have the Wizards return – and Frostlings, that have suffered through the age of the Commonwealth and who had a particularly close relationship with their Wizard Artica, would likely be high on that list.

    Furthermore, making use of a degree of meta-thinking, I would be amazed if an opening of the Shadow Gate isn’t on the cards sometime in AoW3’s future, bringing in races and plot threads from the Shadow World. Since the Torchbearers are aware of the threat and actively trying to prevent it, for this to happen would require the Gate either to burst open of its own accord (which would be unsatisfying) or for the Shadowborn to bounce back at least enough to get to the Sunbirth ruins and open the portal. (This doesn’t negate the Torchbearer victory, as it means that when the invasion comes the invaders will be faced with the Commonwealth and Court united against them, rather than being able to pick off whatever was left after a full-blown Court-Commonwealth war.)

    As a result, while we may be looking at incorporating some of the other races that rejected the Commonwealth right at the outset before we get there (such as Tigrans and Dark Elves under Hester), I think the next act is likely to focus on the Shadowborn rallying and ultimately getting to the portal and reopening it – setting the stage for the threat that lies on the other side to pass through into Athla. From this viewpoint, it’s entirely possible that a Frostling-focused campaign may be presented from a Shadowborn viewpoint, looking to recruit the frostlings towards this Plan B (namely, getting the portal open even if they know the invaders will face stiff resistance) – or at least from the perspective of trying to prevent this from occurring.

    #101692

    terrahero
    Member

    Am i missing something? All the journal said was a new race is almost done, with -ling in the name. That can be two, either Halfling or Frostling. Yet everyone is already talking about Frostlings. Its not even certain yet.

    And they didnt mention anything about what classes they are adding, just that it seems to be plural, and we’ll see multiple. And people are already under the impression Necromancer is a thing.

    You might have a good guess, and you might be right. But certain expectations when everything is really uncertain is setting yourself up for a disapointment.

    #101706

    Taykor
    Member

    Am i missing something?

    Yes. About Halflings devs have said that they would not be in the game (as a playable race) even before the release. Of course, devs could change their mind but at that time they were pretty positive.
    And about a Necromancer as one of the first following classes devs have spoken too.

    #101707

    TL;DR: There’s reasonable evidence for Dark Elves having a liking for arctic terrain, which may have translated into the High Elves due to not being as hated by the light elves as other regions previously preferred by dark elves. Undead as well, but undead can probably l…exist anywhere.

    I did read, but this but is easier to quote 🙂
    I find the reasoning behind the high elven tolerance of arctic terrain intriguing, it all makes a lot of sense!

    So in practical terms, how do you think Frostlings will play ?

    I would like frostlings to play unlike anything we have in game atm. A race that relies on an element, much moreso than goblins and even draconians do.

    I foresee them being physically weak units (with an exception or two) relying on debuffing and stunning (chilling and freezing). Cold resistance isnt a very common thing in game, but a few measures would need to be placed to counter a “cold resistance build” or something like that ^^

    How do you guys imagine the halflings playing out (could still be them!)? I would like an expanded roster from the previous games and the removal of a few units. Sheriff and the leprechaun mainly. Definitely want them to keep the eagle rider, but elves pretty much have that now … and it could feel like a clone :S

    Also, they clearly need to have a unit with a toggled stealth mode ability that can place traps etc on the battlefield. BUT a stealthed giant floating red eye spawns when you use the ability that quickly floats towards the unit and if it touches him, he goes berserk and attacks anything close to him! 😀

    (who noticed the heavily hidden reference to the Eye of Sauron! >.>)

    #101708

    Indeed, nobody “likes” any form of climate – climate is always a negative (unless magic is involved).

    Hmm, you know a race like frostlings might change that … since they are named after it and all lol … wonder if that is their real race name … ^_^

    #101711

    wingren013
    Member

    I think frostlings are an offshoot of the goblins so I imagine they just think of themselves as northern goblins. As for whether they will like arctic terrain I don’t think so, I never really got the impression that cold is part of their nature more just that they adapted to it. Could be that after a couple centuries they are more attuned to it though.

    #101715

    I’m pretty sure it won’t be Frostlings, don’t know why so many people jumped to that conclusion. Though never say never I guess.

    #101718

    GoblinCookie
    Member

    I’m pretty sure it won’t be Frostlings, don’t know why so many people jumped to that conclusion. Though never say never I guess.

    It will be Frostlings or Halflings. People jumped to that conclusion because of the abscence of races that fill up the artic happily made Frostlings the logical race of the two to add.

    Halflings will just be competing directly with humans since they will naturally be liking temperate terrain of course. Of course they could playing a joke on us, they are actually working on both and will announce the first one that they finish.

    #101721

    Avgvst
    Member

    Finally! A new race, the majestic “Ling-Lings”, a race of sentient Pandas!

    #101739

    wingren013
    Member

    Finally! A new race, the majestic “Ling-Lings”, a race of sentient Pandas!

    Holy sh** that works. Nice one.

    Also do you guys think it’s gonna be dlcs or one big expansion, i’m personally rooting for expansion so we can have a new campaign about a frostling necromancer showcasing the new racial research and monster dwelling.

    #101744

    achilleas
    Member

    If a new campaign is on the works, I would like to see a bit more effort on the plot and especially the narration.

    Generally as high fantasy fan I like both super cliché stories as well as all the grey colors and twists. The good campaign on AOW III, just didn’t work for me. In the original AOW we had a very strong female lead in Julia, powerful and kind, which was cool. Sundren just didn’t cut it. She was neither fun or wise, speaking immaturely most of the time.

    The narration was a bigger problem. You gave us voice over and the full text at the same time, pretty much begging the player to scroll down disregarding the voice over. The screen was also completely static with out even a couple pictures to set the mood. Usually you either give subtitles with the voice over, or just the voice over and a small text summary after that. Add in the ability to jump forward with space bar and you’re golden.

    If you are taking the time and effort to create another single player campaign, I do hope you will give some more thought to the story and immersion.

    #101749

    Draxynnic
    Member

    Yes. About Halflings devs have said that they would not be in the game (as a playable race) even before the release. Of course, devs could change their mind but at that time they were pretty positive.

    I’m pretty sure that at the time they were referring to the initial release, though. It wasn’t a ‘never ever’ but a ‘not at this time’.

    Even so, though, there are good reasons to expect it to be the frostlings – I think they’re the only race outside the initial six that is specifically mentioned in the campaign, and while the often-quoted idea that there’s a lack of races that use arctic terrain is untrue (there are two) there IS a lack of cold damage in the game at the moment, and frostlings will shift that balance.

    Hmm, you know a race like frostlings might change that … since they are named after it and all lol … wonder if that is their real race name … ^_^

    I think there’s good mechanical reasons for the current mechanic:

    First, climate tends to be a ‘broad-brush’ terrain element, while features are more finely grained. Even leaving out the possibility of monoclimate maps (of which there are a few) it’s common for at least the domain of a city to be exclusively or nearly exclusively a single climate. Having a climate in the ‘liked’ category would allow for high happiness totals to be achieved quite trivially simply by placing a city in the right climate zone, where for features you’re generally lucky to get more than 50% of the hexes in a city’s domain as the race’s liked feature (with the exception of themed maps).

    Second, the features liked, climates disliked model allows for interesting interactions between them. For instance, elves dislike tropical, but if an elven city is placed in a tropical region surrounded by jungle, it’s possible that the dense vegetation bonus will offset the tropical penalty so much that it actually works out that the elves like living there more than the races that normally inhabit tropical regions would. It allows climate preferences to have exceptions – races can still do well in disliked climates (but not hated) if enough of their liked feature is present. This is why I’ve suggested a few times that if frostling climate preferences are harsh enough (such as disliking temperate) then they might get mountains as a liked terrain, the idea being that while the area may generally be too warm for the frostlings to be really comfortable, they can go up into the mountains in order to take a break from the heat.

    I think frostlings are an offshoot of the goblins so I imagine they just think of themselves as northern goblins.

    They’re related – but then, so are Orcs, IIRC. If you look at their facial portraits from previous games, in fact, frostlings seem to be something of a ‘missing link’ between the goblinoid races and the humanoid ‘fair’ races such as halflings and dwarves.

    The general legends surrounding goblins carry the implication that frostlings are (or were, there have been a lot of changes since AoW2) an older and more sophisticated race overall. The Shadow Magic manual states that frostlings ‘appear similar to goblins in form, but do not possess a goblin’s twisted mind’, stressing that while frostlings are survivalists and can be ruthless and untrustworthy, this comes from necessity and they are not actually evil (‘there’s no such thing as an evil Frostling’). Meanwhile, we have the line that “Goblins squirmed forth from the bowels of the earth, far before they were supposed to”.

    With that in mind, I think that the Frostlings are an older race that holds itself distinct to the goblins – rather than seeing themselves as a northern offshoot, the frostlings probably viewed the goblins as being more like their delinquent younger cousins. If anything, the frostlings would be more likely to view the goblins as their degenerate southern offshoot, possibly even using goblins as a kind of bogeyman to warn about how high temperatures can poach a frostling’s mind.

    #101750

    Charlatan
    Member

    The question is, Draxynnic, whether available terrain features and climates will be extended with the expansion/DLC aswell. This could make a lot of sense here.

    The addition of aTundra Feature and Cold-Temperate or Sub-Arctic Climate would be fit and “new” enough to be a pleasant addition for players and editors alike.

    New features / decorations / landscapes – also available in the Editor – is at least one thing I especially hope for to see.

    #101764

    I’m pretty sure it won’t be Frostlings, don’t know why so many people jumped to that conclusion. Though never say never I guess.

    I gave my reasoning behind why i believe its frostlings and a little debate has been going on about it since. If you don’t believe it to be the frostlings then do you think it will be the halflings, or maybe something else entirely and if so, why?

    Don’t make that kind of statement without some kind of followup lol 🙁

    The addition of aTundra Feature and Cold-Temperate or Sub-Arctic Climate would be fit and “new” enough to be a pleasant addition for players and editors alike.

    New features / decorations / landscapes – also available in the Editor – is at least one thing I especially hope for to see.

    I don’t really like the sounds of any of those new climates, they seem more like a hassle than an interesting new environment and it could also be pretty hard to visually distinguish between 10 different types of cold terrain :/

    But im all for new types of decorations and landscapes in the editor. So many things in it already, but more is only better!

    In particular, i want a frozen bridge map model and tactical map since ive had to use running water just under bridges in my map or else you cant place the bridge.

    #101769

    b0rsuk
    Member

    * People keep asking about Frostlings. They have many fans for some reason.
    * In-game lore mentions them on several occassions. The first Commonwealth campaign mission in Brisska, Yeti’s description, Shrine of ArcticaFrozen Beauty.
    * Developers mentioned Frostlings on several occasions.

    Honestly it’s much more interesting to have a variant of goblins than a variant of elves, like all cliche fantasy words. Wood elves, high elves, dark elves, pork elves, mist elves, deep elves… a long-lived, even immortal race with focus on tradition turns out to be very adaptive. Ridiculous. It’s against common sense, like gold being “the most valuable metal” in Baldur’s Gate but gold coins filling the role of copper.

    Yaka is already there in the form of Scarlet Destroyer, but I doubt another fire-based race makes into the game.

    #101770

    NuMetal
    Member

    Am i missing something? All the journal said was a new race is almost done, with -ling in the name. That can be two, either Halfling or Frostling. Yet everyone is already talking about Frostlings. Its not even certain yet.

    That is true. The reason why so many people think it’s going to be Frostlings is that the devs said before release that Halflings would not be there for the initial release. Many mistake this statement as “they will never come”. Also the cold damage channel isn’t used very much so again many think that Frostlings make sense. As you said though, it could be Halflings just as well. (I’d be happy with both.)

    And they didnt mention anything about what classes they are adding, just that it seems to be plural, and we’ll see multiple. And people are already under the impression Necromancer is a thing.

    Necromancer being one of the new classes is actually very likely, because they did kinda sorta announce it^^
    Again not guaranteed, but definitely more certain than Frostlings.

    Now, since everyone else was already dreaming up their Frostling Faction Fiction, let us do the same for our beloved Halflings! 😉

    They are usually an “weak” race, with the exception they they are good merchants. This means that their units are probably cheap, but just meh statwise and that they probably have other effects improving the race like the growth boost and liking of Blighted of the Goblins. I’d assume that they hate and dislike less and like more terrain than the other races, causing them to generally produce a little more income, which would fit their theme quite well. Also they would probably have some concealments. Other things special about them could be that they have a cavalry with a ranged attack (the sheriff), that they have an inherent dodge ability, making them take less damage from attacks of opportunity and that they have an inherent bonus against dragons 😛
    Their units might be as follows:
    Pikeman: Peasant (very cheap and squishy Halfling with a Bident)
    Cavalry: Ponyrider!
    Archer: Sharpshooter (Halfling with a slingshot, that shoots up to three times, and inherent Mighty Meek [David and Goliath…])
    Support: Chef (has a splash bligh or fire attack called something like “throw poison/acid”. It’s support ability is a touch ability, that heals the target like 15HP and gives it Mighty Meek.)
    Tier3: Eagelrider, Leprachaun or Sheriff. I doubt it’s Leprachaun, since that’s not really a Halfling itself. Eagelrider would probably be too similar to Grifonrider. Sheriff would be a cavalry, that is all around weaker than the Human Knights, but it has fire Musket (Fire Pistol would probably be too weak).

    What do you guys think? 🙂

    #101772

    b0rsuk
    Member

    It could be Frosthalflings. A mix of Frostlings and Halflings. They have performed a mystical ritual called The Mending and are now one race.

    #101775

    inherent bonus against dragons 😛

    lmao

    I think the roster is pretty straight forward excluding the support and you brought up the same issue i did with the t3. I just don’t want the sheriff (rename it and its “ok” as cavalry but not t3, perhaps a little to similar to the warlord mounted archer?) and i don’t think it can be the leprechaun or the eagle rider either for the same reasons you mentioned.

    It cant really be Bilbo/Frodo (The rogue unit :P) either since that niche has sorta been filled by the rogue class. Though im all for the stealth unit i mentioned earlier.

    I really was expecting trap placement on the tactical map during beta, that’s something one of the -ling races could employ..

    #101794

    b0rsuk
    Member

    I really was expecting trap placement on the tactical map during beta, that’s something one of the -ling races could employ..

    Banelings ?

    #101799

    NuMetal
    Member

    @ihunterkiller:

    I like the idea of the roguish stealth hobbit, that is super concealed, highly maneuverable and has some cool and distinctive battle tricks up his sleeve, but is rather squishy compared to the other Tier3s.

    Placing mines sounds very complicated to implement though. Too hard probably.

    It’s going to be incredibly hard to wait for the big reveal! 😉

    #101800

    Charlatan
    Member

    I don’t really like the sounds of any of those new climates, they seem more like a hassle than an interesting new environment and it could also be pretty hard to visually distinguish between 10 different types of cold terrain :/

    But im all for new types of decorations and landscapes in the editor. So many things in it already, but more is only better!

    Right, but I didn’t suggest 10 different types of cold terrain 😛

    A tundra feature (probably needs a more universal name to fit tropical) would probably be a bit of a mix, but should look slightly similar only to barrens.

    As for theme, I don’t suggest all the cold stages between temperate and arctic. One single stage would suffice.

    It will be Frostlings or Halflings. People jumped to that conclusion because of the abscence of races that fill up the artic happily made Frostlings the logical race of the two to add.

    Halflings will just be competing directly with humans since they will naturally be liking temperate terrain of course. Of course they could playing a joke on us, they are actually working on both and will announce the first one that they finish.

    Your mind will be blown when the actual race containing “ling” will be Klingons.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Klingon

    #101806

    Gyor
    Member

    That they are working on other races its right in the article. Which is why I find either or talk weird when its likely both and possibly more.

    #101809

    NuMetal
    Member

    @gyor:

    I’m sorry to say this, but no, there’ll only be one new race.

    The first new race

    Of course in the long run they will make more races, but for the upcoming release there will only be one new race. Multiple classes though (unless it’s a typo) 😉

    #101811

    Draxynnic
    Member

    Regarding halflings:

    I’m inclined to think that the economic boost to halflings would be that it’s quite a bit easier to keep halflings happy. This may be something that’s subtle rather than an explicit happiness boost – for instance, halflings might have a particularly advantageous set of terrain preferences.

    Regarding units, my general thoughts are the following:

    1) Halflings have a history of meddling with the normal unit order somewhat. Historically, this has been Pony Riders, but that doesn’t have to be directly copied here. In fact, it may not have to be copied at all.
    2) Peasants, if they exist, really should be something that appears before the War Hall.
    3) Leprechauns (and centaurs) are definitely non-halfling units. Between sheriffs and eagle riders, eagle riders seem to me to be more iconic to AoW halflings, both because of their greater age, because they provide a function beyond ‘upgraded pony rider’, and because the eagle-halfling connection feels to me to be part of AoW’s identity.
    4) Halflings are a ‘good’ race, and have no particular association with any element, thus their support units are likely to provide holy damage.

    The first and second point allows for a potential breaking of the usual matrix, but in going into detail, I’m going to keep to the matrix. One of the major themes I’m thinking, though, is to stress that at nature halflings aren’t a warlike race – even if they engage in ‘proactive defence’ by going on the offensive, fundamentally they think of themselves as a mix of police and ‘home guard’ than an army per se, and thus unit names reflect that.

    So, to give a full unit lineup:

    Irregular: Vagabonds. These are bands of irresponsible twenty-something halflings that have yet to reach full adulthood and are still in their adventurous phase, spending much of their time traipsing around the wilds around halfling settlements stealing mushrooms, annoying their elders by trespassing on their farms, and potting small game with their slingshots. In times of danger, they serve as the eyes and ears of a halfling community. Mechanically, they’re irregulars with Throw Stones, although the graphics show use of slingshots.

    Infantry: Deputies. On the principle that the sheriffs can’t be everywhere at once, they appoint deputies to keep the peace in the community and settle local disputes that do not require the intervention of a full sheriff. While generally more at home bringing order to a rowdy tavern than going to war, deputies bring their brawling skills to the battlefield with short swords and stout shields.

    Archers: Slingers. Multishot Throw Stones attack, Mighty Meek.

    Pikemen: Militia. While younger halflings defend their communities with slings and slingshots, older, more established have grown more skilled with their farm implements than a well-aimed stone. While halfling communities stock few true weapons in peacetime, the realities of the world they live in have made them experts at converting tools of peaceful farming into weapons of war – scythes into fauchards, pruning hooks into guisarmes, and plowshares into swords. Often underestimated by more warlike races, the grim truth is that many mature halflings have had enough experience defending their property and community that they have become deadly proficient with these makeshift weapons. (This is essentially a recasting of the old ‘peasant’ into something that actually justifies being later in the tech tree.)

    Cavalry: Sheriff. While rarely needing a more formal judiciary service, dispute resolution, apprehension and trying of criminals, and keeping the peace is the responsibility of the Sheriffs. In times of peace, they travel between outlying halfling settlements on their thoroughbred ponies, adjudicating disputes, disciplining vagabonds that have been stealing more of their neighbours’ carrots and turnips than is reasonable, and chasing down more serious troublemakers. When danger threatens, it is their responsibility to raise the countryside, ensure that those halflings not capable of fighting reach places of safety, and to serve as the halfling cavalry on the battlefield, their bright red uniforms and surrounding haze of pipe-smoke serving as a beacon of encouragement to the other halfling defenders.

    (Basically, this is following the usual tendency in AoW of removing a relatively boring previous tier 2 cavalry unit by replacing it with a demoted tier 3 unit – which incidentally also opens up the possibility of unique abilities to help differentiate them from someone else’s cavalry. Smoky Haze could be represented as a protection against missiles, an effect that debuffs melee attackers, an effect that deals blight damage to melee attackers, or some combination of the above.)

    Support: This one I’ll leave to others. I’ve seen some interesting ideas for what the support abilities of halfling support could be, but I don’t want to claim them as my own.

    Special: Eagle Riders.

    The question is, Draxynnic, whether available terrain features and climates will be extended with the expansion/DLC as well. This could make a lot of sense here.

    The addition of aTundra Feature and Cold-Temperate or Sub-Arctic Climate would be fit and “new” enough to be a pleasant addition for players and editors alike.

    New features / decorations / landscapes – also available in the Editor – is at least one thing I especially hope for to see.

    I could see that, but I don’t really think it would be adding all that much. The existing terrain features already pretty much cover the various cold-climate biomes – tundra is arctic fertile plains (maybe arctic wetlands in the summer…), taiga is arctic forest, and regions of permanent snow cover is arctic barrens. If anything, the last might be the one that needs to be changed to avoid a situation where draconians are quite happy sitting at the North Pole with ice as far as the eye can see… so maybe we could see ‘arctic barrens’ being the regions that are not so cold as to have permanent snow cover but lack much in the way of vegetation for other reasons, and some new feature exclusive to arctic regions that represents areas with permanent snow. However, the problem with any feature is the question of what happens when climate-altering magic is used – that’s why we have the same features (fertile plains, barrens, dense vegetation, mountains, wetlands) across every climate, with lava pools being an exception on the basis that a lava pool will still be a lava pool even if the land around it is no longer volcanic.

    Regarding finer climate differentials – I see where you’re coming from, but it seems an unnecessarily fine distinction, and one which would imply we should have a subtropical climate as well.

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