AoW 1/ Shadow Magic IMO was better than AoW 3 in some ways.

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Home Forums Age of Wonders 3 Discussions AoW 1/ Shadow Magic IMO was better than AoW 3 in some ways.

This topic contains 47 replies, has 10 voices, and was last updated by  Lannister 4 years, 6 months ago.

Viewing 18 posts - 31 through 48 (of 48 total)
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  • #259147

    Lannister
    Member

    To a lesser extent, unit racial roster in SM is more asymmetrical as well.

    In age 3 pretty much all races follow the standard lineup with a few exceptions, T1: Inf/Arch/Pike, T2: Support/cav, T3 is the only ”unique” tier in age 3 where units differ as in cav or inf, even support, and age 3 only offers one unit in this tier whereas SM had 3 unique T3 racial units, and as mentioned a unique T4.

    There was more of this in SM and earlier in the tiers, stuff like Drac Crusher, elf nymphs or dwarf engineers, DE bladedancers to mention a few examples within the same tier have different appearance and role.

    The ”priest” units in SM were really more of an addition to the standard 2 x T2 racial units of each race, their role and power is greater in age 3 compared to SM. Yes i think all races had T2 cavalry(Except Draconion/Crusher and a few mounted archers, flier)but they’re different enough to not feel similar unlike class units of different races in age 3.

    To summ it up, there are fewer units in SM but the armies of shadow magic had more variety and flavor to offer, besieging a city with Kharags, Demon Lords, Dread Reapers, Black Dragons, Doom wolves and so on was something reminiscens of an epic silmarillion battle between the forces of light and evil, there is nothing in age 3 that comes close to this epic feeling imo.

    • This reply was modified 4 years, 6 months ago by  Lannister.
    #259149

    Jolly Joker
    Member

    I see this completely differently, and I think you are in error here (as far as one can be in error here – what isn’t just taste).

    In fact, there are less races in AoW3 – we have 9 as opposed to 15 in SM.
    If we look at Dwarves in SM we have
    Axeman (T1, free)
    Berserker, Crossbowman (T1, Barracks)
    Boar Rider, Engineer (T2, War Hall)
    Generic Priest unit (T2, Monastery)
    Runemaster (T3, Champions Guild)

    This is basically what AoW 3 delivers as well (with unit changes to a more “bland” look)

    Dwarves in SM also have

    Mole (T3, Champions Guild)
    Steam Tank (T4, a lot
    Gargoyle (T3, Stone menders)

    AoW 3 gives you SEVEN different options to flesh out your RACE with additional units. If you play a Dreadnought (which is part of what made the Dwarves in SM) you get

    Engineer (T1)
    Musketeer (T2)
    + SIX additional War Machines, the T4 Steam Tank (Juggernaut) among it.

    However, you have 6 more options to chose from, how your Dwarves are to look. If you pick Theocrat, for example, you get

    Martyr (T1)
    Crusader (T2)
    Evangelist (T3)
    Exalted (T3)
    Shrine of Smiting (T4, machine)
    plus an additional Summons, the Cherub

    and yet again you have MORE Dwarves than in SM.

    #259150

    Lannister
    Member

    I think my point still stands, yes there are more units in age 3 but NOT available in each map or game, your class pick locks you out from having this variety. As mentioned the difference is there once you acquire more than one race in SM.

    If we look at your dwarf/single race analysis again.

    As mentioned there are 9 racial dwarf units in sm compared to 7 in age 3, with class units the number grows in favor of age 3, however, what happens when you acquire more races in both games?

    In sm one more race means 9 new racial units, in age 3 the number is 7. But the crux of the matter is that in age 3, the new race class units available to you will be very similar to your dwarven ones, e.g a human musketeer is similar to a dwarf one, the T4 unit(JUggernaut or any T4 except manticore riders) is identical.

    In sm, a human city is a potential air galley, that’s totally different from the dwarf steam tank. In age 3 you get the knight that differs from the firstborn, but the human cannon, flame tank, golem is more or less the same unit in case of a dreadnought, for a theocrat it’s better but some abilities in difference does not compare to the variety offered in sm, the 3 x human T3 units or any race have no dwarf equivalent.

    P.S. I forgot to mention ”priests” in sm(That’s 10 per race but they’re similar to each other), also war machines had some racial flavor in sm and even in age of wonders 1 to lesser extent(shredder bolt – orc afaik).

    • This reply was modified 4 years, 6 months ago by  Lannister.
    #259153

    Jolly Joker
    Member

    That doesn’t consider the fact that in SM not all racial units are really “different”.

    What it boils down to is that if you get towns belonging to more than one race, you have an OPTION to try and go for a hopefully different T4 (which may work if you conquered a fully built town), but for T4s you can compensate via dwellings. You can also summon a lot of stuff.

    What is also a lot better in AoW 3 is general unit usability. In SM you can basically forget all T1 from a certain point on, because they will get misses only against high-tier units, and if they hit, they may still do very low damage.
    In other words, once the T4 variety is really kicking in, half of the available units are no longer valid builds.

    #259154

    Lannister
    Member

    Also if we compare race units per tier, you’ll see that the 7 racial ones of age 3 consists of 4 x tier 1 , 2 X tier 2 , 1X tier 3.

    In SM, out of 9(10) units only 3 are tier 1, 2(3) are tier 2, 3 are tier 3 and finally one is T4, 4 units are end game tier whereas only one is in age 3. Given the fact that tier one racial units are pretty worthless with a few exceptions as the game carries on this is also a point to consider, age 3 those racials tier 1 are soon to be replaced by superior class units and does not see much of a role outside of garrison duty, so more racial units/models are utilized for longer in SM contributing to the variety and flavor seen in that game, as class units of different races does appear similar and may even be obsolete if the player has access to high level governance(favoring the main race class units).

    #259155

    Lannister
    Member

    That doesn’t consider the fact that in SM not all racial units are really “different”.

    What it boils down to is that if you get towns belonging to more than one race, you have an OPTION to try and go for a hopefully different T4 (which may work if you conquered a fully built town), but for T4s you can compensate via dwellings. You can also summon a lot of stuff.

    As mentioned it’s not only T4 units that really matter, you’ll get 3 unique racial T3 units and a pontential machine/priest your race does not offer, some T2 were also pretty damn strong and unique such as the DE blade dancer.

    What is also a lot better in AoW 3 is general unit usability. In SM you can basically forget all T1 from a certain point on, because they will get misses only against high-tier units, and if they hit, they may still do very low damage.
    In other words, once the T4 variety is really kicking in, half of the available units are no longer valid builds.

    Don’t forget that in SM magic played a bigger strategic part, in this case unit enchantments would help make lower tier units stay relevant for longer, a few defending mighty meek elven archers could put a lot of hurt on T3/T4 units. Also as mentioned above the racial unit roster in sm had proportionally less T1 units than age 3.

    • This reply was modified 4 years, 6 months ago by  Lannister.
    #259160

    Jolly Joker
    Member

    I think, you are comparing apples with oranges. AOW and SM are/have been great games – but when you start any given game you cannot plan on “playing for two races”. You get one, and DEPENDING ON THE SCENARIO (and its size) you may get a town of another race and you MAY develop MORE and DIFFERENT units, although not all units will be used. For example, if you play HE and get a human town, human archers are NOT it.
    Also, races ALWAYS play and feel the same in each game.

    AoW3 is taking a different route by delivering different ways to “set up” a race. So whwn you play as a Dwarven Dreadnought you will plunge deeper into the “special racial traits” Dwarves as a complete race have in AoW1 and SM: you get MORE machines. If you play a Warlord, though, you’ll have monster-hunting dwarves and dwarves hooting from a mount’s back and your deepguards will eventually make way for Phalanxes.

    Now, true, when you conquer a human town, in the end a human phalanx isn’t so much different from a Dwarven one. Still, a human Phalanx produced in a town with ancient ruins and a Sphinx Temple will be a completely different unit from a regular Dwarven Phalanx. These are features that were absent in the games before, but they add to unit diversity.

    I agree with one thing, though.

    We lost interesting monsters. Gargoyle. Hydra. Minotaur. Djinn… The list is long. I’d have added a monster branch for all races plus an underground dwelling for a long time now, except that I cannot handle the graphics (I’m not the graphics handling type) and Hydras should look like having a couple of serpent heads, otherwise they suck. 🙂

    #259176

    Taykor
    Member

    Djinn…

    !!! Ifreets! Though we have sphinxes now, they are rather interesting too. Or were they in SM too?
    And whole desert-themed race is nice, too. Although SM had two (?) such races…

    • This reply was modified 4 years, 6 months ago by  Taykor.
    #259179

    Jolly Joker
    Member

    Djinn were with the Nomads and Efreets were Fire Summons (and pretty good ones). Sphinxes were the Tigran T4 (and there you have your two desert races, although the Nomads could pack up and settle somewhere else as a racial trait.

    #259182

    Lannister
    Member

    I think, you are comparing apples with oranges. AOW and SM are/have been great games – but when you start any given game you cannot plan on “playing for two races”. You get one, and DEPENDING ON THE SCENARIO (and its size) you may get a town of another race and you MAY develop MORE and DIFFERENT units, although not all units will be used. For example, if you play HE and get a human town, human archers are NOT it.
    Also, races ALWAYS play and feel the same in each game.

    AoW3 is taking a different route by delivering different ways to “set up” a race. So whwn you play as a Dwarven Dreadnought you will plunge deeper into the “special racial traits” Dwarves as a complete race have in AoW1 and SM: you get MORE machines. If you play a Warlord, though, you’ll have monster-hunting dwarves and dwarves hooting from a mount’s back and your deepguards will eventually make way for Phalanxes.

    You need to consider opponents as well, the same thing applies there. Since there are only 7 classes compared to 15 races in SM the frequency of fighting mirror oppenents increases, contributing even more to the homogenous feel of aow3 armies ompared to SM. Here lies the weakness of near identical class units, in the end a draconian berserker may have one different ability and possible buffed by a dungeon but it’s still a berserker, not too different from the human version. Seeing draconian berserkers vs human berserkers battle it out is almost like watching a match of chess in diversity, meanwhile a human cavalry from SM may have a similar role to the dark elf executioner(T2 cavalry) but they differ more, if not abilities, then aesthetics and apperance which is equally important to the overall atmoshpere of the game. This contributes to flavor and variety advatange of SM.

    In the vanilla game of aow3 i was completely turned off by the late game, seeing maps filled with manticores vs juggs, a shadow stalker here and there. Not comparable to the rich unit variety that could develop in SM late game. Of course 15 races of sm vs 7 classes/6 races may seem like an unfair comparison but then classes happened at the expense of races, so it’s fair after all. That improved a bit with expansion and governance, more dwellings, later mods but the fundamental problem with class units and how they were implemented is still there for me.

    If we count each class unit once in that list, how many less units would age3 have in total? Not enterily fair but then counting 9 near identical berserkers as 9 more different SM units isn’t fair either.

    Now, true, when you conquer a human town, in the end a human phalanx isn’t so much different from a Dwarven one. Still, a human Phalanx produced in a town with ancient ruins and a Sphinx Temple will be a completely different unit from a regular Dwarven Phalanx. These are features that were absent in the games before, but they add to unit diversity.

    I wouldn’t say that a human phalanx is a completely different unit, it’s still almost the same unit with buffed stats minus a dwarven ability given to the phalanx in the expansion and as importantly, it’s still named a phalanx, completely different units would be a Knight vs Shocktrooper in age 3, or a hydra vs troll in SM, even a human cavalry vs dark elf executioner.

    I agree with one thing, though.

    We lost interesting monsters. Gargoyle. Hydra. Minotaur. Djinn… The list is long. I’d have added a monster branch for all races plus an underground dwelling for a long time now, except that I cannot handle the graphics (I’m not the graphics handling type) and Hydras should look like having a couple of serpent heads, otherwise they suck. 🙂

    Yes we did, consider all racial T4 that were monsters such as Kharaghs, doom wolves, rocks, incarnates etc, or racial T3 such as doom bats, hydras as you’ve mentioned, now compare that to 3 different evangelists of 3 different races… yeah a human evangelist may have holy bolts and even buffed by a building but its not the same. With classes tons of race flavor was sacrificed, thus it’s one thing i think a future title can improve upon quite a bit.

    And not only monsters, where is my Leprechuan?! :S 😀

    • This reply was modified 4 years, 6 months ago by  Lannister.
    • This reply was modified 4 years, 6 months ago by  Lannister.
    • This reply was modified 4 years, 6 months ago by  Lannister.
    #259186

    Lannister
    Member

    One approach(IF classes still are a thing)in new title is to simply not let all races share the same class units. Instead more thematic units for the race could be designed for it alone, for example using age of wonders 3 classes, a halfling warlord would not have mounted archers but instead centaurs, warbreed could be an Orc thing only, elven warlord could have a treant in its stead. Halfling rogue, how about a Leprechuan instead of the shadow stalker?

    Of course this would still be restrictive in a sense, as the class selection would still lock out units for each individual game for the player but at least unit variety seen on the map would increase.

    #259189

    Jolly Joker
    Member

    I think, you can add more variety quite easily. I’ve been suggesting a “racial specialization”, that is, “race gets a spec as well that comes with a couple of techs. This might involve a creature summon tech as well as a build creature tech.
    I’d be obviously in favor for something like that.

    #259190

    Lannister
    Member

    That is interesting and could also do the trick.

    #259191

    Interesting points both sides.

    I’ll add some more points to consider.

    In AoW:SM, I liked having:

    – hero descriptions
    – drawn portraits instead of animations.

    It’s worth mentioning, I think, the things that AoW3 does better though, for example

    – better combat (many more abilities, very few useless abilities)
    – better unit viability (multiple t1 units can take out higher level units)
    – no hit chance. I found that irritating. Imagine every unit in AoW3 with permanent 505 lucky and that’s what it felt like.
    – a better interface

    etc. etc.

    @ lannister, much of what you say seems like it could be modded in, and unsurprisingly people (me!) are doing this (slowly, if we’re talking about me.)

    #259202

    Jolly Joker
    Member

    I’d have started with a Race Tech mod already, if there wasn’t the graphics problem (for me). It should be doable by making Avatar Techs with the leader race requisite, so that you’d get a different set of Avatar Techs depending on the race of your Leader (it would also require some changes with the RGs).
    However, I cannot handle the graphics necessarily involved there (and I’m not interested in that either).

    #259207

    Graphics problem? Do you mean lack of models?

    #259210

    Jolly Joker
    Member

    Yup. All those monsters and techs needs visuals, and that’s something I’m not willing to do. I’m not the graphics guy.

    #259244

    Lannister
    Member

    – better combat (many more abilities, very few useless abilities)
    – better unit viability (multiple t1 units can take out higher level units)
    – no hit chance. I found that irritating. Imagine every unit in AoW3 with permanent 505 lucky and that’s what it felt like.
    – a better interface

    etc. etc.

    @ lannister, much of what you say seems like it could be modded in, and unsurprisingly people (me!) are doing this (slowly, if we’re talking about me.)

    I think the combat mechanics have been improved for each new title, although i love AoW 1 for having the best imo unit artwork , soundtrack, overall atmosphere the combat was imbalanced, watching a single orc warlord with medals/stone skin slaughter over a dozen lower tier troops is hilarious and quite the imbalance :D, lets not even mention dragons. So SM improved upon the aow 1 combat and likewise age of wonders 3 improved upon the combat of SM, no doubt.

    Such a mod would be really nice, as long as the models, animations looks decent enough.

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