[FOLLOWED] ARCHDRUID Balance Discussion

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Home Forums Age of Wonders 3 Discussions Balance Suggestions [FOLLOWED] ARCHDRUID Balance Discussion

This topic contains 94 replies, has 22 voices, and was last updated by  Althea 7 years, 9 months ago.

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  • #117923

    ExNihil
    Member

    Hi Guys,
    Time for thread #5 in the Classes threads. The post I am going to make here is based on the discussion that were held in the now defunct Re-balance of Existing Element in Next Patch thread.

    While there is new content in the post for some of you this will be repetitive and it might also look like i’m raising points that have already been discussed at length. Because that thread was so big and contentious I feel that a more focused discussion of each class will be beneficial, and I hope it will also make things easier for anyone (including you Dev Team folks!) who is interested in reading and participating.

    Race Threads:

    ORC Balance Discussion: http://ageofwonders.com/forums/topic/orc-balance-discussion/

    GOBLIN Balance Discussion: http://ageofwonders.com/forums/topic/goblin-balance-discussion/

    HUMAN Balance Discussion: http://ageofwonders.com/forums/topic/human-balance-discussion/

    HIGH-ELF Balance Discussion: http://ageofwonders.com/forums/topic/high-elf-balance-discussion/

    DRACONIAN Balance Discussion: http://ageofwonders.com/forums/topic/draconian-balance-discussion/

    DWARF Balance Discussion: http://ageofwonders.com/forums/topic/dwarf-balance-discussion/

    Class Threads:

    ROGUE Balance Discussion: http://ageofwonders.com/forums/topic/rogue-balance-discussion/

    SORCERER Balance Discussion: http://ageofwonders.com/forums/topic/sorcerer-balance-discussion/

    THEOCRAT Balance Discussion: http://ageofwonders.com/forums/topic/theocrat-balance-discussion/

    DREADNOUGHT Balance Discussion: http://ageofwonders.com/forums/topic/dreadnought-balance-discussion/

    ARCHDRUID Balance Discussion: http://ageofwonders.com/forums/topic/archdruid-balance-discussion/

    WARLORD Balance Discussion: http://ageofwonders.com/forums/topic/warlord-balance-discussion/

    Topical Threads:

    Random Map Generator, Underground and Map Elements Balance Discussion: http://ageofwonders.com/forums/topic/rmg-ug-and-map-elements-balance-discussion/

    Blight, Spirit, Machines and Theocrat: Some Community Questions: http://ageofwonders.com/forums/topic/blight-spirit-machines-and-theo-some-community-questions/

    Dwellings, Taverns and Bandits!: http://ageofwonders.com/forums/topic/dwellings-taverns-and-bandits/

    AI and Auto-Combat Balance Discussion (SP and MP): http://ageofwonders.com/forums/topic/auto-combat-balance-discussion/

    Support Units Balance Discussion: http://ageofwonders.com/forums/topic/support-units-balance-discussion/

    Leader/Heroes Balance Discussion: http://ageofwonders.com/forums/topic/leaderheroes-balance-discussion/

    Heal and Sustain Balance Discussion: http://ageofwonders.com/forums/topic/the-heal-or-sustain-issue/

    Assorted Topics Balance Discussion: http://ageofwonders.com/forums/topic/asorted-topics-balance-discussion/

    Misc. Threads:
    Ballista!: http://ageofwonders.com/forums/topic/ballista/ (<– This is a unit suggestion rather than a balance discussion)

    And of course the original monster:

    http://ageofwonders.com/forums/topic/rebalance-of-existing-elements-in-next-patch/

    #117925

    ExNihil
    Member

    The Arch-Druid’s Concept:

    “Arch-Druids lead from natural sanctuaries in remote locales. Their cities are natural self-sufficient places founded on the bedrock of natural balance. Their lands burst with life. Their domains are well guarded by hunters, shamans, and wild beasts. To master the forces of nature, they do not blindly protect life, for death is the natural consequence of life.”

    Class Specific Technologies:

    Unit Summoning and Production: Summon Wild Animal (60RP) –> Produce Hunter (60RP) –> Summon Eldritch Animal (120RP) –> Produce Shaman (350RP) –> Summon Gargantuan Animal (750RP) –> Summon Horned God (1600RP)

    Unit Upgrade Techs: Hunter’s Finesse (120RP), Beast Mastery (180RP), Favored Enemy Dragon/Giant/Monster (350RP), Long Strider (400RP)

    Empire Upgrades: Wildlife Refuge (80RP), Animistic Knowledge (200RP)

    City Upgrades: Fertile Domain (120RP), Poison Domain (400RP), Thorn Hedge Walls (700RP)
    Combat Spells: Revive Instinct (60RP), Spear Roots (60RP), Rust Strike (120RP), Savage Rage (130RP), Twisting Roots (220RP), Hornet Swarm (240RP), Revitalize (400RP), Vengeful Vines (400RP), Call Ancestral Spirits (700RP), Call Beast Horde (1400RP)

    Strategic and Offensive Enchantments: One with the Elements (80RP), Insect Plague (140RP), Sunburst (220RP), Wild Growth (350RP), Nature’s Eyes (700RP), The Wild Hunt (2000RP)

    Core Strategy:

    The Arch-Druid is in my opinion the best balanced class in the game. It has overall good options in almost all stages of the game and fairly powerful abilities. In the hands of a skilled player it can become surprisingly powerful very early. Saying that, it has some problems in mid-game. In the earlier stages the AD is inhibited by a lack of a flying scout unit but is compensated with evolving units, some fairly mobile animals and especially hunters, which are excellent units for its dual channel production to focus on. In the early mid-game the AD unlocks flying scouts and can leverage its advantage in the form of hunters to make powerful thrusts, but is rather inhibited in the summoning channel due to rather bad units combat wise. In the late mid-game the AD is able to build Shamans and summon Gargantuan Animals, giving it access to some rather powerful units, but the price of these in their respective production channel makes the AD’s buildup rather weak. In late-game this is resolved with the introduction of perhaps the best class t4 unit in the game and access to techs that make support units formidable on the battle field, although the buildup of the AD is still fairly throttled.

    Current Issues:

    1. The AD has a unit problem. All of the AD’s summons until Horned God are wildcard spells, or to quote Forrest Gump – you never know what you’re gonna get. While the concept is clear – the AD calls forth an animal/monster and something comes out of the Forest / Arctic Waste. Yet in the actual game this translates to a rather big weakness, as one can really never plan the composition of stacks. In comparison, the Sorcerer has a single wildcard summon – Summon Fantastic Creature, and this spell lends a wyvern of some sort of the time, a Gryphon and a t3 Watcher, each having 33% probability. The result for the Sorcerer is either a good scouting unit or an amazing t3, around which you can plan. This problem cannot be resolved as it is inherent to the concept of the AD. Yet, what needs to be done IMO is to make sure that all of the AD’s units are sufficiently good for their respective rubrics, which ATM they really aren’t – almost all the animals and monsters that the AD summons are weak in comparison to the same tier units of the other classes and are by and large limited in their tactical uses:

    Tier 1 Animals are all quite bad and one really wishes here to receive a Baby Shock/Reed Serpent or a Baby Hunter/Dread Spider, which have evolve and thus give some chance of becoming powerful quickly. Saying that, even these are bad units with low survivability until they evolve, although they are the better four of the bunch. The Penguin is actually the best t1 animal both trait and combat wise due to a good selection of traits that make it a very good concealed scout on arctic terrain and dual channel damage + life stealing. My only problem with it is conceptual – it doesn’t fit the AD, albeit the animal label. Boar and Warg though are straight out bad in a fight – they have low stats, a weak melee attack and few traits. Simply put – these are basically junk units that have really no reason to be kept once their place can be filled with something better, being roughly equal to racial irregulars.

    Tier 2 Monsters are also weak: The Golden Wyvern and Gryphon are excellent scouts but quite bad combat units that don’t really survive creeping – although they can flank well. The Bleak Warg and Blight Tusk Boar are simply bad units for their tier and costs – they have bad stats, low hp, mediocre attacks and they don’t level well at all either. Also, all of these units lack baseline and veteran level combat traits that will make them particularly useful or interesting in battle.

    Tier 3/4 Monsters are slightly better, although I wonder whether the AD is getting a good deal with Summon Gargantuan Animal in the bottom line. This spell has 40% of lending either a t4 Shock or Reed Serpent, and 60% of lending a t3 Cockatrice, Dread Spider Queen or Hunter Spider Queen. All for a cost of 160CP, which is quite a bit indeed but it does balance out. Saying that, the t3 Spiders are quite weak t3 units that don’t fare well against ranged units, which substantially detract from them as they are the only t3 unit that has wall climbing. The Cockatrice is a good t3 unit in pitched battle but it is almost worthless in siege warfare. The same is true of the t4 snakes, which are actually the only example of a t3.5 in my book – they have the level scaling of a t4 but the performance of a strong t3.

    2. I already touched this in the previous paragraph to an extant – the AD is probably the weakest class in siege warfare – although it is a good defender with Hunters and Shamans as well as a passive archer buff. None of its units with one exception is geared towards taking walls with the only units who can climb them being Spiders (baby or queens) who are vulnerable to ranged attacks, and Gryphon and Wyvern that can fly but are quite weak as assault units (they flank well). The exception is the t4 Horned God which has Call Lightning – the longest ranged AoE attack in the game and a fairly powerful one at that – as well as Wall Crushing, but until the very last unit the AD has pretty much nothing in its class arsenal that can compete with what the other classes have.

    3. The AD receives a selection of tier IV unit upgrade techs called Favored Enemy Dragon/Giant/Monster which give archer and support units +3 damage against a unit labeled as one of these creature types. Researching one excludes the others and so the player must choose which way to go, yet because there are three techs they take 3/4 of the dynamic tech slots (Sea Faring, Druidry and Summoning are static) on the left side of the research book. This often creates a problem for the player – in order to continue teching he must choose one of these, but due to the partial randomness of the tech tree these often appear quite early and at 350RP each they force the player to invest a very significant amount of turns in order to reach other techs. This also effects Animistic Knowledge, which is the strongest research enhancement in the game, but it is quite normal for it to appear fairly late, although it is only tier 3 research. As a result the AD can become a lame duck rather than a research powerhouse, which considering the rather high price tag of its researches and its reliance on high CP for summoning, can really damage a player’s game.

    4. In comparison to the Sorcerer the AD has a rather weak mana economy. The primary reason is that the Sorcerer is IMBA and has a completely out of whack mana bonus. Yet the secondary reason is that the AD has a rather weak mana economy in its own accord – the only buff it receives directly is Wildlife Sanctuary which reduces the costs of animals and monsters by 25% in both gold and mana. The only creatures that actually use the gold channel are animals that have evolved from t1 to t3/4, and the rest is a mana reduction. The result is mediocre at best, and the AD is very often highly constrained mana wise, which can dramatically decrease its capacity to compete with the other classes and particularly the Sorcerer in military buildup.

    5. This ties in to the fact that the AD’s summoning is completely made up of animals and monsters until the introduction of the Horned God, which is labelled as a giant. The problem with this is that it does not receive the maintenance costs reduction of Wildlife Refuge. (It also doesn’t receive the buffs of Beast Mastery, but this I feel is actually a wise balancing decision because +1 resistance is too powerful for a t4 that is already great.)

    Rebalance Suggestions:

    1.I’ll categorize my suggestions according to the different summoning spells:

    Summon Wild Animal: I don’t know what is being done about the Serpents, so I’ll skip discussing them. The Spiders are quite good as they have the option of webbing adversaries and can evolve to t3. I would personally like to see the Penguin go, although it is the best t1 summon combat wise (yuck). The Warg and Boar require some attention. I suggest bumping their stats by +1 def/res and their base damage by +1. It is also possible to give them the evolve trait by which they will become respectively t2 Bleak Warg and Blight Tusk Boar, removing their current gold medal perks and putting these in either baseline or veteran.

    Summon Eldritch Animal: The Wyvern and Gryphon are well balanced units, as they compensate for their low combat stats with flight, which really helps the AD resolve its initial scouting disadvantage. The Bleak Warg and Blight Tusk Boar though are simply weak units in their bracket.

    In comparison to the Nightmare and Unicorn which have 52hp and 21 points in def/res the Bleak Warg and Blight Tusk Boar have 48hp and 19 points in def/res. They also have substantially less starting traits and actually have less mobility buffs then their t1 equivalents, which get Forestry while retaining the same baseline combat traits. I therefore suggest to increase their baseline hp to 52 and their defense and resistance by +1. I also think these units should get Forestry and the Blight Tusk Boar should also receive Wetland Walking. I also think that both of these should get Inflict Crippling Wounds – which the t1 equivalents receive at gold medal – at baseline level. My suggestions will look like this:

    Bleak Warg: 80CP, 8m/turn Maintenance. 52hp, 36mp, 11def, 10 res . Melee Strike 8 physical / 4 Frost. Traits: Walking, Overwhelm, Arctic Concealment, Night Vision, 100% Frost Resistance, Inflict Crippling Wounds, Forestry .

    Trooper: +1 physical damage, +4hp
    Veteran: +1 frost damage, +1 defense, +4hp
    Trooper: +1 physical damage, +1 resistance, +4hp
    Trooper: +1 frost damage, +1 defense, +8hp, Inflict Frostbite

    Blight Tusk Boar: 80CP, 8m/turn Maintenance. 52hp , 36mp, 11def, 10 res . Melee Strike 8 physical / 4 Blight. Traits: Walking, Charge, 100% Blight Resistance, Inflict Crippling Wounds, Forestry , Wetland Walking.

    Trooper: +1 physical damage, +4hp
    Veteran: +1 blight damage, +1 defense, +4hp
    Trooper: +1 physical damage, +1 resistance, +4hp
    Trooper: +1 blight damage, +1 defense, +8hp, Inflict Exhausting Fatigue

    Finally, I think the Summon Eldritch Animal spell should also include the Nightmare, which is a very versatile monster that fits well and will give the AD a good unit for the UG and for combating fire-based opponents.

    Summon Gargantuan Animal : The Serpents that appear 40% of the time are very good units for their summoning costs, and they receive the Wildlife refuge discount in price, so they are really a nice wildcard.

    The Cockatrice is an OK unit at baseline – having a powerful ranged assault and ok melee strike combined with nice stats and high hp. Its only combat buffing trait though is First Strike, which while good is IMO insufficient for a t3 unit. When it levels it receives relatively weak perks – Armor Piercing on Veteran and Inflict Crippling Wounds on Elite. I suggest therefore to move the Armor Piercing to baseline, the Inflict Crippling Wounds to Veteran and add Inflict Bleeding Wounds on Elite. Let’s look at the two spider queens:

    Hunter Spider Queen: 160CP, 16m/turn maintenance. 52hp, 36mp, 11def / 12res. Melee Strike 10 Physical / 6 Blight, Phase, Webbing Touch, Cave Crawling, Walking, Wall Climbing, Inflict Enfeebling Fever, Night Vision, 100% Blight Protection.

    Trooper: +1 physical damage, +6hp
    Veteran: +1 blight damage, +1 defense, +6hp
    Trooper: +1 physical damage, +1 resistance, +6hp
    Trooper: +1 blight damage, +1 defense, +12hp, Inflict Noxious Vulnerability

    Dread Spider Queen: 160CP, 16m/turn maintenance. 65hp, 36mp, 12def / 11res. Melee Strike 10 Physical / 6 Blight, Phase, Webbing Touch, Cave Crawling, Walking, Wall Climbing, Inflict Severely Poisoned, Night Vision, 100% Blight Protection.

    Trooper: +1 physical damage, +6hp
    Veteran: +1 blight damage, +1 defense, +6hp
    Trooper: +1 physical damage, +1 resistance, +6hp
    Trooper: +1 blight damage, +1 defense, +12hp, Inflict Noxious Vulnerability

    Obviously the Dread Spider queen is substantially stronger than the Hunter Spider Queen, having +13hp more and Inflict Severely Poisoned at baseline, and this is obviously meant to compensate for the Phase. I think this is a mistake – the Exalted has 50hp at base to compensate for Resurgence, and I wouldn’t say these two traits are comparable. I therefore think it should receive +8hp to be at 60 baseline. I also think what these two units really need to make them more competent on the battlefield is Projectile Resistance. Finally, being really huge and very venomous units, I don’t see why they shouldn’t have some better perks when leveling. Thus my suggestions are these:

    Hunter Spider Queen: 160CP, 16m/turn maintenance. 60hp, 36mp, 11def / 12res. Melee Strike 10 Physical / 6 Blight, Phase, Webbing Touch, Cave Crawling, Walking, Wall Climbing, Inflict Enfeebling Fever, Night Vision, Projectile Resistance, 100% Blight Protection.

    Trooper: +1 physical damage, +6hp
    Veteran: +1 blight damage, +1 defense, +6hp, Inflict Noxious Vulnerability
    Trooper: +1 physical damage, +1 resistance, +6hp
    Trooper: +1 blight damage, +1 defense, +12hp, Inflict Severely Poisoned

    Dread Spider Queen: 160CP, 16m/turn maintenance. 65hp, 36mp, 12def / 11res. Melee Strike 10 Physical / 6 Blight, Phase, Webbing Touch, Cave Crawling, Walking, Wall Climbing, Inflict Severely Poisoned, Night Vision, Projectile Resistance, 100% Blight Protection.

    Trooper: +1 physical damage, +6hp
    Veteran: +1 blight damage, +1 defense, +6hp, Inflict Noxious Vulnerability
    Trooper: +1 physical damage, +1 resistance, +6hp
    Trooper: +1 blight damage, +1 defense, +12hp, Overwhelm

    2. My suggestion is to buff the Spider Queens in the above mentioned manner, which will make them much better at storming walls. Frankly though, I see no way to resolve the siege weakness using the AD’s class units without breaking their concept. The best solution is probably to give the AD a few more spells – Vengeful Vines is great, but it costs quite a bit. If there is a way to give units temporary pass-wall using a spell or something along these lines it would solve this nicely.

    3 and 4. I think the best solution would be to make sure that Animistic Knowledge will always appear before the Favored Enemy X techs, as it will give the AD its research boost and enable him/her to tech through this substantially faster. Saying that, if Animistic Knowledge will consistently appear earlier, which it will as a result of such a change, it will need to be nerfed a bit. ATM Animistic Knowledge works like the Sorcerer’s Magical Structures, giving a +5 RP bonus from any resource and treasure site except Gold Mine, Great Farm and Trade Post. My suggestion is to remove the production structures (Magma Forge and Flow Quarry) from this list, leaving Dungeons, Mana Nodes/Trees, Spring of Life and Vault of Knowledge.

    5 and 6. I think there is room to introduce a second passive empire upgrade that will give a further discount in the mana maintenance cost of units – this one will affect all of the summoned creatures including the Horned God by further reducing their maintenance cost by an additional 25%. It should be a rather late game research, something along the lines of Mana Fuel Factory (700RP) with perhaps an even higher price tag due to the AD’s great research boost.

    An alternative solution would be to convert 1/3 of the maintenance cost of animal and monster units to gold, with the justification being that these creatures are fed and groomed. This will make more mana available at the expanse of gold, but it will also amplify the effect of Wild Life refuge, which gives a 25% discount in the maintenance cost of animals/monsters in both gold and mana (currently t3/4 units that evolved are maintained in gold rather than mana), which could be even increased if such a change is made.

    #117949

    Bob5
    Member

    All you are doing is basically suggesting buffs for the Archdruid, making it stronger. But in the beginning you also claim that Archdruid is the best balanced class. So why make it stronger? Yes it has some weaknesses like Sieging (although Warlord has much graver problems at that in my opinion until they get Manticores), and the wargs and boars aren’t that good, but overall it’s a great class as it has many good points. Amazing growth, great strategic map options with free movement and swimming on 40MP Shaman that hide everywhere, cave crawling summons, etc. Combine with Artic Empire for the most fun, as that makes Shaman outrun even flying heroes on the strategic map, able to move 13 hexes (apart from on mountains or underground), while still taking advantage of roads (unlike flying heroes that must dismount when travelling on Adv. Logistics roads). It’s my favourite class to play, I always like the wild-card summons, ridiculous Savage Rage buffs, and just overcoming enemies with hordes of random monsters and animals.

    And DON’T touch the dire penguins, they’re AWESOME. You’ve given no solid reason to get rid of them.

    Archdruids are worse at sieges than most other classes but they function decently with Horned Gods, and in defensive sieges can use Twisted Roots in combination with Shaman and Elf Hunters to delay enemies reaching the walls, while firing at them. The Entangling walls thingy is also useful in sieges as only incorporeals, phasers, and flyers avoid it. Hunter Spiders can also Phase over walls, and Savage Rage is a buff that gives any of their summoned units Wall Crushing (Reed and Shock Serpents bring down walls really fast with this buff). It’s not the best, but they manage just fine in my experience, and if all else fails they can bring some siege machines (although I never use machines as an Archdruid out of principle).

    #117976

    Ayenara
    Member

    I think Archdruid is one of the strongest classes at the moment. The way the game is slowed down after one of the early patches means that t3 flyers usually come out later, giving the Eldritch Animal flyers air superiority in the early-mid game. The only real competition is the Sorcerers Fantastic Animal. But AD also have Hunters to help them take control of the map, which kick in even earlier. All in all, if the AD player can survive without having a floating/flying scout the first 10 turns he is in a good position for a comeback.

    Regarding your points:
    1. I agree that AD has a unit problem, but it’s not that the units are weak, but rather very high in variance. Summon Wild Animal are scout units, and should be rightfully weak. The Warg and Boar can potentially move the most hexes than any other t1 scout, especially when using embark/disembark shenanigans. I don’t think these are weak, rather the opposite, having the ability to get t4 units before turn 20 by evolving the serpent babies is overpowered and should be removed. But I would like to see the Bleak Warg and the Blight Tusk Boar buffed a little, since they were forgotten in the big range/melee rebalancing patch. Some extra HP should go long way, I don’t think they need extra traits. The Gryphon and Gold Wyvern are good units, especially the Wyvern.

    2. I think AD is one of the better classes for taking sieges. Not only do you have a longbow on your leader, you also have easy access to good flyers. You seem to have completely forgot the Savage Rage spell, which gives Animals or Monster various traits, including Wall Crushing. I’ve won many sieges by using Savage Rage to poke a hole in the wall. Later on in the game it’s even less of a problem as you gain access to Vengeful Vines, Trebuchets, Horned Gods, or t3 Spiders.

    3. This is a general problem for all classes in my opinion. There is always the possibily to get screwed by the research book, regardless of what you want. Preferrably the randomness in which techs get available could be reduced, making the book more closely follow the different tiers for the different trees.

    4. Arch Druid isn’t an economic powerhouse. But not everyone can be that. I think it’s fine as it is. In a balnaced game, to be better at some things you’ll have to be worse in others. The leader also gets Sustainable Warfare which can help with high upkeep costs.

    5. I don’t think there really is a problem here. Also, in your suggested solution you talk about issue 6, but I can’t find it in the list of issues.

    #117981

    ExNihil
    Member

    All you are doing is basically suggesting buffs for the Archdruid, making it stronger. But in the beginning you also claim that Archdruid is the best balanced class. So why make it stronger?

    I think its the best balanced class currently, but that is not saying much as 2 are OP and 3 are UP. This is the only class that is neither, but I think that if the UP classes get balanced (buffed) and the OP classes get balanced (toned down), the AD should also get some love.

    And DON’T touch the dire penguins, they’re AWESOME. You’ve given no solid reason to get rid of them.

    Read what I wrote – I personally hate ’em, got no reason aside from finding ’em stupid.

    I agree that AD has a unit problem, but it’s not that the units are weak, but rather very high in variance. Summon Wild Animal are scout units, and should be rightfully weak. The Warg and Boar can potentially move the most hexes than any other t1 scout, especially when using embark/disembark shenanigans. I don’t think these are weak, rather the opposite, having the ability to get t4 units before turn 20 by evolving the serpent babies is overpowered and should be removed. But I would like to see the Bleak Warg and the Blight Tusk Boar buffed a little, since they were forgotten in the big range/melee rebalancing patch. Some extra HP should go long way, I don’t think they need extra traits. The Gryphon and Gold Wyvern are good units, especially the Wyvern.

    As I wrote, there is a lot of randomness here, and the solution I have is to make as many of them as possible good solid units. Summon Wild Animal are not scout units, they are the t1 animals some of which can function as scouts. They can move only faster in Forests and on road – all the other scouts have faster movement. Flying scouts don’t need to embark and disembark. I did not mention the Serpent issue because I was told it has already been resolved, so its a moot point.

    Bleak Warg and Tusk Boar are sub-standard, look in the stats and compare.

    The Gryphon and Wyvern are good scouts, as I wrote.

    2. I think AD is one of the better classes for taking sieges. Not only do you have a longbow on your leader, you also have easy access to good flyers. You seem to have completely forgot the Savage Rage spell, which gives Animals or Monster various traits, including Wall Crushing. I’ve won many sieges by using Savage Rage to poke a hole in the wall. Later on in the game it’s even less of a problem as you gain access to Vengeful Vines, Trebuchets, Horned Gods, or t3 Spiders.

    You are right I ignored Savage rage. All the other points you raise though were not ignored, and it remains a rather weak class in terms of its units inherent abilities. OFC you can build trebs, and the Horned God is amazing. Spiders are vulnerable, as I asserted and Vengeful Vines is great – but it doesn’t solve this issue. You are correct though that it is much less of a problem when Savage Rage is factored in.

    3. This is a general problem for all classes in my opinion. There is always the possibily to get screwed by the research book, regardless of what you want. Preferrably the randomness in which techs get available could be reduced, making the book more closely follow the different tiers for the different trees.

    This is a particular problem here and I am not asking for a change to the way the research book function in general, just a local fix.

    4. Arch Druid isn’t an economic powerhouse. But not everyone can be that. I think it’s fine as it is. In a balanced game, to be better at some things you’ll have to be worse in others. The leader also gets Sustainable Warfare which can help with high upkeep costs.

    It ain’t an economic powerhouse, but in the late stages of the game when hunters and shamans become increasingly obsolete it starts to crumble because it cannot compete with the Sorcerer in terms of summons and with the production based classes in terms of producible units. My suggestions will not make it into a “powerhouse”, they will simply fortify the economic base.

    5. I don’t think there really is a problem here. Also, in your suggested solution you talk about issue 6, but I can’t find it in the list of issues.

    Combined 5 and 6 and forget to remove the number ;). What happens when you write shit late at night.

    • This reply was modified 4 years ago by  President.
    #117986

    vota dc
    Member

    Maybe the sub-par units could get some discount in upkeep once summoned?

    A gold wyvern has -1hp +2 defense +3 resistance than the blight tusk boar, also has is really good to clear because is immune to both the most common elemental damage: has no problem against spiders, goblins and undead (yeah it is weak against the caster ranged attack, but it has high resistance and it is immune to the curse). If compared with goblin warg rider has -4 hp +1 defense +2 resistance but will do better damage because dual channel and flanking.
    The only advantage of the blight tusk boar and bleak warg is fighting against pikes.

    #117998

    It ain’t an economic powerhouse, but in the late stages of the game when hunters and shamans become increasingly obsolete it starts to crumble because it cannot compete with the Sorcerer in terms of summons and with the production based classes in terms of producible units. My suggestions will not make it into a “powerhouse”, they will simply fortify the economic base.

    lets not forget that the Archdruid can both boost its own city growth and reduce other persons. With the new disjunct mechanics, that should allow them to have more city and dwelling based units (with a bigger empire/more gold) than the sorcerer and cut down city growth for the actual production classes.

    Now, if there was going to be an economy upgrade, I think the Archdruid could use something that reduces the upkeep on its city enchantment spells, “renewable mana” or something, so that it can afford to both keep them up and summon nearly as much as the Sorcerer can.

    #117999

    ExNihil
    Member

    Well, I think its a bit awkward to change the maintanance costs of two units – they are standardized according to tiers. The Wyvern is an excellent unit in manual combat, but until the AI gets tweaked it doesn’t survive autocombat for the same reason cavalry doesnt. Same is true of gryphon.

    The way to fix the blight tusk boar and bleak warg is to buff them up and tweak their traits, which are sub par indeed.

    What do you think of my actual suggestions? also for the other units – which are a bit sub par IMHO.

    I also want to raise another issue. The spell Call Beast Horde is really really bad – it summons t1 units into battle in late game. As the slightly weaker answer to Chaos Rift this is a sad joke indeed. I would like to ask ppl for their opinion on how to buff.

    #118004

    I also want to raise another issue. The spell Call Beast Horde is really really bad – it summons t1 units into battle in late game. As the slightly weaker answer to Chaos Rift this is a sad joke indeed. I would like to ask ppl for their opinion on how to buff.

    You could always have them start with “savage rage”, and make them spawn adjacent to enemy units, so they can’t be ignored.

    #118008

    ExNihil
    Member

    You could always have them start with “savage rage”, and make them spawn adjacent to enemy units, so they can’t be ignored.

    If it will include this effect it will be much better :).

    lets not forget that the Archdruid can both boost its own city growth and reduce other persons. With the new disjunct mechanics, that should allow them to have more city and dwelling based units (with a bigger empire/more gold) than the sorcerer and cut down city growth for the actual production classes.

    Well, Fertile Domain is quite expansive and it takes a while to receive the returns. IMO it doesn’t result in a sufficent boost.

    Now, if there was going to be an economy upgrade, I think the Archdruid could use something that reduces the upkeep on its city enchantment spells, “renewable mana” or something, so that it can afford to both keep them up and summon nearly as much as the Sorcerer can.

    Thats a possibility, although I would rather see more mana being freed through unit discount because the buff you propose would really determine the optimal strategy, which I would rather seeing being less determined still.

    #118009

    Bob5
    Member

    I don’t think Spider Queens need improvement. They’re fine. Especially the Hunter Spider queen is great, and I fundamentally disagree with you when you say the Dread one is better. The Dread one only has a bit more HP, while the Hunter one gets both Phase and more MP. I prefer the Hunter one, it can use Phase beautifully. Phase is their way of avoiding damage that other units take. Engaged by enemies with First strike? Just phase over them and attack them from behind to also get a flanking bonus. But I know you’re going to stick with your opinion that they are UP (which I disagree with), and if you really want to empower them, at least keep them in their theme of fast but fragile units and just give them Sprint. Your comparison with Exalted is moot, Exalted serve a completely different role from Spider Queens. Exalted are there to storm in first, drain action points, and probably die in the process so that other units don’t die. Hunter Spiders are more like improved Unicorn Riders. Fast as cavalry, Phasing, only with an extra damage channel, a webbing option, and a nice debuff, and working in underground.

    About the Warg and Boar, I don’t think they should evolve into Bleak Warg and Blight Tusk Boar. Wargs evolving in Snow Wargs, even when you use them in Tropical or Volcanic regions, make no sense, they’re not a larger version of the same unit, they’re infused with a certain element. It might make some sense from a balance point of view, but not from a conceptual point of view. I wouldn’t mind the Bleak Warg and Blight boar get some buffs though, like giving the Bleak Warg Artic Walking, Forestry, and Cave Crawling (it also has Night Vision), and giving Blight Boar some more HP and Forestry.

    About penguins, I like them. And I think they should stay because they’re cool (pun intended). I don’t like the Theocrat class, but I’m not asking for that to be removed either, and just not liking something doesn’t mean that it should be removed.

    Btw, upkeep costs are only fixed for gold prices, not for summon spells. The upkeep for summon spells depends purely on the spell that summoned the unit, not on the unit itself. Watchers also cost the same upkeep as Wyverns from Fantastic Creature.

    #118011

    Garresh
    Member

    Posting that he doesn’t like dire penguins on the age of wonders forums…

    *grabs torch and pitchfork*

    But seriously, druids need VERY few changes. They can be summed up as the following:
    perhaps a slight Nerf to hunters. A decent buff to shaman. A few tweaks and buffs to their weaker animals.

    Also druids are great in siege…they practically ignore walls earlygame, and in mid to late game they cast one spell and destroy all walls on the map. Druids are one of the best siege classes atm.

    #118022

    Druids are the closest thing to perfectly fine we have in this game imo.

    Shamans are a bit lacklustre, but iirc they are either getting, or they have, cure disease which is goign to be much more useful. Also, entangling touch got buffed, so that along makes them much more useful. They play like the SM Druids now :).

    #118041

    Gloweye
    Member

    Shamans are a bit lacklustre, but iirc they are either getting, or they have, cure disease which is goign to be much more useful. Also, entangling touch got buffed, so that along makes them much more useful. They play like the SM Druids now .

    Nice. I always liked them, but the Touch-restrain abilities always felt so much weaker in AoW3.

    Posting that he doesn’t like dire penguins on the age of wonders forums…
    *grabs torch and pitchfork*

    +1

    Triumph doesn’t like them. They brought them from a T3 to a T1!(yeah i know, they were T1 in original…and possessed by a demon in SM).

    #118070

    ExNihil
    Member

    I don’t think Spider Queens need improvement. They’re fine. Especially the Hunter Spider queen is great, and I fundamentally disagree with you when you say the Dread one is better. The Dread one only has a bit more HP, while the Hunter one gets both Phase and more MP. I prefer the Hunter one, it can use Phase beautifully. Phase is their way of avoiding damage that other units take. Engaged by enemies with First strike? Just phase over them and attack them from behind to also get a flanking bonus. But I know you’re going to stick with your opinion that they are UP (which I disagree with), and if you really want to empower them, at least keep them in their theme of fast but fragile units and just give them Sprint. Your comparison with Exalted is moot, Exalted serve a completely different role from Spider Queens. Exalted are there to storm in first, drain action points, and probably die in the process so that other units don’t die. Hunter Spiders are more like improved Unicorn Riders. Fast as cavalry, Phasing, only with an extra damage channel, a webbing option, and a nice debuff, and working in underground.

    Well, I do disagree – you are prophetic! the Difference between the Dread and Hunter queens is not “a bit more HP,” it is 13 points which is 25% exactly of the total the Hunter Spider Queen (HSQ) has. I think your comparison to the Unicron Riders is correct – these are the equivalents of t3 cavalry, and as such they are far too fragile. If you look at the Unicorn Rider within its class you can see that it has excellent stats within its class and isn’t fragile at all. In fact like all cavalry units it charges in and must have some strength there. Yes, it can flank and the phase is a great advantage, but this is a t3 cavalry equiv pretty much and it needs those stats. As for the exalted – yes, they can be more easly discarded, but my point is though that resurgence is one of the most expansive traits in the game according to triumph, they gave the exalted basically 15hp less compared to equivalent t3 infantry units for this trait. My point is that the balance here was too severe – yes, it has phase and 36mp, but that really doesn’t justify having 5hp less then a t2 cavalry unit, some of which have equal def and almsot equal res. My suggestion doesn’t make it much stronger – it will actually be only somewhat stronger then the Node Serpent currently is, with the difference being the webbing touch and high MP.

    perhaps a slight Nerf to hunters. A decent buff to shaman. A few tweaks and buffs to their weaker animals.

    Why nerf hunters? I agree the Shaman needs something more, I think its supporting skills aren’t good enough to make it worth its price, even if Cure Disease gets an actual function. Perhaps dispel magic or steal enchantment could be in order here. Also some kind of heal is a possibility.

    Also druids are great in siege…they practically ignore walls earlygame, and in mid to late game they cast one spell and destroy all walls on the map. Druids are one of the best siege classes atm.

    You are exaggerating. Animals are very weak and vulnerable units.

    I do agree that Warlords are worth at it though – but this isn’t the WL thread.

    Btw, upkeep costs are only fixed for gold prices, not for summon spells. The upkeep for summon spells depends purely on the spell that summoned the unit, not on the unit itself. Watchers also cost the same upkeep as Wyverns from Fantastic Creature.

    Thats true – the spell tier is the determining factor here – 4, 8, 12, 24, 36 for Sorcerer, I need to check it for the AD but I’m too tired now :).

    My point still stands though – you can’t take 2 units from a spell that has 4 units in it and give them say 6 instead of 8, at least, it seems inelegant to me.

    #118079

    ArcaneSeraph
    Member

    Shamans are a bit lacklustre, but iirc they are either getting, or they have, cure disease which is goign to be much more useful. Also, entangling touch got buffed, so that along makes them much more useful. They play like the SM Druids now .

    I’m glad the entangling touch is being buffed. That’ll help shaman’s a lot.

    I still have my doubts about the utility of cure disease. Yes I understand it’s going to be 100% success rate and dispel is not anymore. However it doesn’t “cure” very much… I understand too there will be new blight based diseases. That might help…

    Honestly though look at the opportunity cost of using cure disease. I have to forgo knocking a unit out for 2 turns via a beefed up entangling touch (alternately at least slowing it down if it fails). I have to forgo attacking and doing 20+ damage. I have to forgo healing (if at gold). Since right now cure disease doesn’t work on anything too deadly I’m not sure when it would ever be worth using. Unless these new blight based diseases are very common and very debilitating I don’t think I’d ever use it unless I had nothing else to do with my shaman.

    Cure disease, to be worthwhile, should get rid of ALL debuffs: convert, seduce, blind, berserk… all of them. It should be the no-fail dispel of debuffs only. At least that’s my thinking.

    If that’s not acceptable then Shaman’s should get something else. I think a revitalize type skill might be cool. Shaman could give up his turn to give another unit 50% of their APs back. Another option would be combat regeneration. The shaman can grant a unit 10HP/combat turn recovery for 3 turns. So it doesn’t heal anything immediately but over time is pretty powerful.

    You could always have them start with “savage rage”, and make them spawn adjacent to enemy units, so they can’t be ignored.

    It might make it better but I’m not sure it’d be worth casting. By the time you can cast it are slightly buffed T1s going to do much? No one is going to cast it in a small battle because it isn’t worth it. But in a large battle 1 T1 animal a turn isn’t going to do much. I’d much rather use hornet swarm or rust strike or twisting roots or vengeful vines or buff my T3/T4 animals/monsters of my own. Now if call beast horde buffed ALL my animals (not just the summoned ones) then it’d be valuable to cast at times.

    Just random thoughts 🙂

    #118083

    Gloweye
    Member

    agree the Shaman needs something more, I think its supporting skills aren’t good enough to make it worth its price, even if Cure Disease gets an actual function. Perhaps dispel magic or steal enchantment could be in order here. Also some kind of heal is a possibility.

    I was thinking of a heal only on animals/monsters, which could than be stronger than general heal, either on magnitude, but i’d prefer on the CD part. a 20 point monster heal at 1 turn CD?

    If that’s not acceptable then Shaman’s should get something else. I think a revitalize type skill might be cool. Shaman could give up his turn to give another unit 50% of their APs back.

    I like the revitalize kind of idea. Would this take Call Lightning off CD too(like the spell)? I could imagine Druid imitating dread if you stay behind your walls…only on larger range.

    Might be a bit to strong if you get it rolling.

    #118084

    Now if call beast horde buffed ALL my animals (not just the summoned ones) then it’d be valuable to cast at times.

    Just random thoughts

    That is a good idea.

    #118093

    Cure disease, to be worthwhile, should get rid of ALL debuffs: convert, seduce, blind, berserk…

    You have break control for that, and all other spirit based debuffs. Degenerate, from the wild magic spec, which inflicts 60% weakness to every damage channel, is classed as a disease.

    I believe blight based abilities, like throw curse, are classed as disease. Don’t quote me on that one, as I haven’t tested it yet.

    The Shaman cold be made a lot cooler if it got control animal as an ability. Hunters lost this, and there are more “animals” than Monsters now in the game, so they could be a Nature based Evangelist!

    #118101

    ArcaneSeraph
    Member

    I like the revitalize kind of idea. Would this take Call Lightning off CD too(like the spell)? I could imagine Druid imitating dread if you stay behind your walls…only on larger range.
    Might be a bit to strong if you get it rolling.

    Yeah I was thinking about that too. I don’t think it should take the abilities off cooldown as it would present a problem with Horned Gods. Still, though, I think it would be useful for Heroes / Leaders / Other powerful units. Would let your hero cast a spell and get 2 ranged shots in. Or your Horned God use his Call Lightning and then reposition or attack or something.

    The Shaman cold be made a lot cooler if it got control animal as an ability. Hunters lost this, and there are more “animals” than Monsters now in the game, so they could be a Nature based Evangelist!

    I like this idea too. It makes perfect thematic sense and some AD class unit should have befriend animal if hunters lose theirs.

    #118112

    Draxynnic
    Member

    Finally, I think the Summon Eldritch Animal spell should also include the Nightmare, which is a very versatile monster that fits well and will give the AD a good unit for the UG and for combating fire-based opponents.

    Thematically, I think unicorn fits better. Nightmares are more of a kind of demon in horse form (like hellhounds, but equine rather than canine), while unicorns are often depicted as protectors of forests and wilderness in general, which makes them very archdruid-y.

    #118115

    ExNihil
    Member

    Thematically, I think unicorn fits better. Nightmares are more of a kind of demon in horse form (like hellhounds, but equine rather than canine), while unicorns are often depicted as protectors of forests and wilderness in general, which makes them very archdruid-y.

    I agree, but they are fey. Also, since there is dire penguin…

    #118145

    Gloweye
    Member

    <div class=”d4p-bbt-quote-title”>Draxynnic wrote:</div>
    Thematically, I think unicorn fits better. Nightmares are more of a kind of demon in horse form (like hellhounds, but equine rather than canine), while unicorns are often depicted as protectors of forests and wilderness in general, which makes them very archdruid-y.

    I agree, but they are fey. Also, since there is dire penguin…

    yeah, dire penguin is a demon in penguin form. so nightmare could come..I’ve always wanted to use these. However, I think unicorn more fitting.

    <div class=”d4p-bbt-quote-title”>Gloweye wrote:</div>
    I like the revitalize kind of idea. Would this take Call Lightning off CD too(like the spell)? I could imagine Druid imitating dread if you stay behind your walls…only on larger range.<br>
    Might be a bit to strong if you get it rolling.

    <div class=”d4p-bbt-quote-title”>BLOODYBATTLEBRAIN wrote:</div>
    The Shaman cold be made a lot cooler if it got control animal as an ability. Hunters lost this, and there are more “animals” than Monsters now in the game, so they could be a Nature based Evangelist!

    I like this idea too. It makes perfect thematic sense and some AD class unit should have befriend animal if hunters lose theirs.

    +1

    #118152

    Garresh
    Member

    Wait, so is everyone else in agreement that druids are bad at siege? I’m honestly confused here, because Hunters are great in siege, most mid-range summmons are flying, and the vine spell that destroys walls allows a druid to fight without walls if he has a slight CP lead.

    #118171

    AbednegoJC
    Member

    Well… most of you have true.. but you all are wrong in one thing:

    – balance of druid isnt in buffing single animals, or siege, or shamans… AD concept at the moment is VERY MUCH luck-based. If u summon 10 wargs/boars, instead of spiders or serpents, u lost biggest AD advantage- growing animals.

    So I would like to see some script, which ensure u, that at least one of 5 basic animals will be serpent snake.
    I trust, that growing animals is main reason, why most of ppl play AD and its also part of most of AD strategies. With bad luck u are screwed in many ways and I think that luck shouldnt be a main factor in AD games (we got halflings or that 🙂 )

    U can solve it with some tech also – which could increase your chance for summon serpent, or ensure one of 3 animals will be serpent….

    In this way, I would like to see increase xp needed for serpents medals, because grow them now is pretty easy and u can have t4 unit turn 12 if u are lucky, which is overhelming (but u can have it turn 40 with bad luck – so atm, AD is too much random).

    #118174

    Bob5
    Member

    Wait, so is everyone else in agreement that druids are bad at siege? I’m honestly confused here, because Hunters are great in siege, most mid-range summmons are flying, and the vine spell that destroys walls allows a druid to fight without walls if he has a slight CP lead.

    Nope I don’t agree with it. I think that Sorcerers and Dreads are better at it (with Sorcerers just phasing or floating over walls and stunning from walls on the defensive side, and Dreads just blowing walls apart from a distance with cannons and trebs), but Theocrats and Warlords are worse at sieging. When compared with Rogues, Rogues get Succubi and Shadow Stalkers that ignore walls and scoundrels and Assassins climb them, while Archdruids get better in defensive sieges with Elf Hunters (that are cheaper than Elf Bards), Twisting Roots, some city enchantments that help out city defence, and the Horned God. Rogues probably attack cities better while Druids defend them better. Savage rage boosting on monsters gives them all wall crushing, spiders can phase or climb over walls, and the Horned God is great later on to just blast any defenders on the walls with lightning.

    I believe blight based abilities, like throw curse, are classed as disease. Don’t quote me on that one, as I haven’t tested it yet.

    The Shaman cold be made a lot cooler if it got control animal as an ability. Hunters lost this, and there are more “animals” than Monsters now in the game, so they could be a Nature based Evangelist!

    All blight debuffs count as disease as far as I know. That is, Exhausting Fatigue, Severely Poisoned, Enfeebling Fever, Noxious Vulnerability, Cursed, and Weakened.

    I’m not sure if I like Hunters losing befriend animal, that was really useful to steal crows from Rogues (and Zephyr birds from Warlords) by ambushing them from the trees.

    #118182

    ExNihil
    Member

    Wait, so is everyone else in agreement that druids are bad at siege? I’m honestly confused here, because Hunters are great in siege, most mid-range summmons are flying, and the vine spell that destroys walls allows a druid to fight without walls if he has a slight CP lead.

    Lol, you are not moving forward are you. Very well: Druids don’t have a single unit that is good in siege warfare – by which I mean siege attack not wall defense, as I made clear multiple times, until they reach the t4. The t2 summons are 50% flying, not as you say “most mid-range” and these are not meant for direct storming but rather for flanking attack. They can be excellent auxilary but not the main penetrating forces. OFC on gold medal they are great, but that is quite rare. The only other units that are inherently capable of dealing with walls are the t3 spiders, both of which are squishy for t3 units and die quite quickly to ranged attacks.

    This leaves out the animals, which are all quite vulnerable for their tier – see their stats and traits and do a comparison. They can become formidable with Savage Rage, which is great, but they are only made slightly better then their equivalent units from other tiers AND this requires a spell to be cast.

    OFC the Druid has access to early t4 units but, and @abednegojc should also note, the reason I did not bring up the serpents into this discussion is that to my understanding it is not going to be possible to evolve baby serpents into t4 serpents any longer (I don’t know what is the solution – removing these units or changing them, but I was explicitly told that it has been “taken care of”).

    Vengeful Vines is a great spell, but it is a t4 spell that costs 400RP and 20CP, and that can be disjuncted quite easly. Furthermore, it takes a while to bring down even wooden walls (17 damage max per round) and stone walls can take 7-8 round easily. OFC with the new disjunction mechanism + savage rage the AD is capable of dealing with sieges, and that’s why i conceded that there probably was no need of changing anything here. But IMO until fairly late in the game the AD is substantially worse off in sieging an opponent in comparison to all classes except the WL, which is seriously broken.

    I am OFC not speaking about its capacity to mount Wall Defense – here it has excellent producible units that deal with this very well.

    - balance of druid isnt in buffing single animals, or siege, or shamans… AD concept at the moment is VERY MUCH luck-based. If u summon 10 wargs/boars, instead of spiders or serpents, u lost biggest AD advantage- growing animals.

    Welcome aboard and… you should read more closely. Let me quote myself yet again:

    1. The AD has a unit problem. All of the AD’s summons until Horned God are wildcard spells, or to quote Forrest Gump – you never know what you’re gonna get. While the concept is clear – the AD calls forth an animal/monster and something comes out of the Forest / Arctic Waste. Yet in the actual game this translates to a rather big weakness, as one can really never plan the composition of stacks. In comparison, the Sorcerer has a single wildcard summon – Summon Fantastic Creature, and this spell lends a wyvern of some sort of the time, a Gryphon and a t3 Watcher, each having 33% probability. The result for the Sorcerer is either a good scouting unit or an amazing t3, around which you can plan. This problem cannot be resolved as it is inherent to the concept of the AD. Yet, what needs to be done IMO is to make sure that all of the AD’s units are sufficiently good for their respective rubrics, which ATM they really aren’t – almost all the animals and monsters that the AD summons are weak in comparison to the same tier units of the other classes and are by and large limited in their tactical uses:

    Or in other words: The AD is very random. The way it should be balanced IMO is to make sure all of his options are solid.

    I am strictly against the idea that the AD should be about growing animals from t1 to t3/4. This is a great perk, and you can make it your core strategy / game-play, as you do exceptionally well I might add, but it really isn’t the core concept of the AD or the core playstyle around which it should be balanced.

    #118199

    vota dc
    Member

    Hunter no more befriend animals? It is animal slayer now?

    I noticed there is Mature Reed Serpent in naga dwelling, could be a weaker version: baby serpent evolve in the t3 mature serpent while the giant serpent is the old T4 and summonable with gargantuan animas. Would be weird a serpent that can’t evolve.

    #118218

    Hunter no more befriend animals? It is animal slayer now?

    I noticed there is Mature Reed Serpent in naga dwelling, could be a weaker version: baby serpent evolve in the t3 mature serpent while the giant serpent is the old T4 and summonable with gargantuan animas. Would be weird a serpent that can’t evolve.

    I think I’m in trouble now then for saying this. I thought it was already in the base game :(.

    Yes, Hunters lose befriend animal, because alot of the “monsters” in the base game are now “animals.”

    Baby Serpents become Mature Serpents (T3-like what you saw in the Naga dwelling) which become King Serptents (T4, and a bit scarier now as well).

    #118227

    ExNihil
    Member

    Interesting! Double evolve – will be cool and is a very elegant solution to this problem.

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