Missed opportunity for Grey Guard/Archdruid synergy

We’ve moved over to the paradox forums. Please come visit us there to discuss:
You can still read the collective wisdom - and lolz - of the community here, but posting is no longer possible.

Home Forums Age of Wonders 3 Discussions Missed opportunity for Grey Guard/Archdruid synergy

This topic contains 15 replies, has 10 voices, and was last updated by  Ferrus_Animus 7 years, 2 months ago.

Viewing 16 posts - 1 through 16 (of 16 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #195308

    Deified_Data
    Member

    Am I the only one who, upon reading the description of Grey Guard, thought that their primary motivation of preserving natural balance would lend itself well to a traditional “True Neutral” Archdruid playthrough. Imagine rallying your army of wild beasts and shamans to purge the realm of magical horrors and unclean technology!

    There’s a problem, though. Some of the best Grey Guard spells target summoned and magical units specifically, and don’t discriminate on whether the unit’s your’s or not. Most of an Archdruid’s army are summoned. Casting Purging Burst to battle an enemy’s eldritch horror is just as likely to exterminate your beasts.

    So basically you can’t use this great specialization to its fullest potential without playing against archetype and fielding nothing but non-summons. I understand why units like the Horned God are summoned, but couldn’t it be said that you’re basically just pulling wild animals from the surrounding forest?

    Seems a shame that the one class that screams “True Neutral” doesn’t really jive with the specialization that supports that alignment.

    #195309

    NINJEW
    Member

    Please don’t make balance decisions around Role Playing

    #195310

    NINJEW
    Member

    All classes are equally good and equally evil and equally neutral (necromancer arguable). This is one of the things that drew me to the game and I think one of its strongest aspects for someone who isn’t looking for extreme strategic action.

    That you can argue a class in favor of one alignment or another doesn’t actually mean much of anything at all, except for what it means in your head.

    #195314

    Meeky
    Member

    So basically you can’t use this great specialization to its fullest potential without playing against archetype and fielding nothing but non-summons.

    …or just use Grey Guard Adept which doesn’t punish you for summoning things and enjoy your army of animals dealing +40% physical damage against anyone silly enough to spam.

    All classes are equally good and equally evil and equally neutral (necromancer arguable). This is one of the things that drew me to the game and I think one of its strongest aspects for someone who isn’t looking for extreme strategic action.

    Yeah, basically, that’s one of Age of Wonders 3’s hallmarks. There’s no real good class, no real neutral class, and the only class that consistently waves an evil card around is the Necromancer.

    See, the previous games were ALL about alignments being attached to certain units and races. It was very Tolkein in its original incarnation: halflings, elves, dwarves and high men were good; humans, azracs, frostlings and lizardfolk were neutral; and orcs, dark elves, goblins and the undead were evil. Pretty straight-forward. But Age of Wonders 3 is a setting where alignment isn’t restricted by race or class. Druids can be just as evil or good as anything else.

    #195316

    Serahfemme
    Member

    Yeah, basically, that’s one of Age of Wonders 3′s hallmarks. There’s no real good class, no real neutral class, and the only class that consistently waves an evil card around is the Necromancer.

    See, the previous games were ALL about alignments being attached to certain units and races. It was very Tolkein in its original incarnation: halflings, elves, dwarves and high men were good; humans, azracs, frostlings and lizardfolk were neutral; and orcs, dark elves, goblins and the undead were evil. Pretty straight-forward. But Age of Wonders 3 is a setting where alignment isn’t restricted by race or class. Druids can be just as evil or good as anything else.

    I used to find it incredibly disturbing in the first two games how being a “good” faction meant you had to forcibly “migrate” (i.e. genocide, displace, steal all their things) any “evil” races you came across. Migrating always being an evil choice in Age of Wonders III is much more realistic about the consequences of such an action.

    #195317

    Deified_Data
    Member

    Official Archdruid description:

    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, sweet springs overflow bringing lush wilderness to arid wastelands. Their domains are well guarded by hunters, shamans, and wild beasts. Even the trees appear to bend to the Arch Druid’s will. The Arch Druid Lords I encountered ruled with unquestioned power that at times seemed cruel, but upon reflection is justified by their need for constant balance. To master the forces of nature, they do not blindly protect life, for death is the natural consequence of life.

    Official Grey Guard description:

    Grey Guards seek balance between good and evil to gain military and economic advantage. Their magic is focused on cleansing the essence of unnatural beings, which they can manipulate to heal their armies or absorb for magical power.

    …don’t get me wrong, I agree that it’s nice that all classes can pursue any alignment they like. It just seems odd to me that despite there being so many lore-based parallels between this class and specialization, they have zero synergy. Just an idle observation, not a serious request from Triumph to turn the whole game around to suit my roleplaying propensities.

    #195320

    Meeky
    Member

    their need for constant balance.

    Not balance as in “good and evil,” but balance as in “okay, I’m a guardian of nature that’s protecting a civilization of PEOPLE. How do I balance that?”

    #195321

    Meeky
    Member

    I used to find it incredibly disturbing in the first two games how being a “good” faction meant you had to forcibly “migrate” (i.e. genocide, displace, steal all their things) any “evil” races you came across. Migrating always being an evil choice in Age of Wonders III is much more realistic about the consequences of such an action.

    Agreed.

    #195322

    Ravenholme
    Member

    Well, the Grey Guard and the Arch Druid are balancing different things for different reasons though, as the rest of those descriptions show. Arch Druids are about a very specific balance (basically sustainability. They’re like Ecologists/Conservationists on a power trip – And I say this as an Ecologist), whereas Grey Guard are more general balancers between everything, some of which may involve culling the Arch Druid’s runaway naturalism – so for that reason, their summoned animals (behaving out of character, for animals.) are caught up in the Grey Guard’s spells.

    (You can see Arch Druids as upsetting the balance between the Natural world and the ‘Developed’ world, for example – as they push the ideal equilibrium of a sustainable, developed culture towards instead a kind of semi-backwards Shamanistic one where magic is used instead to achieve a sustainable culture)

    I used to find it incredibly disturbing in the first two games how being a “good” faction meant you had to forcibly “migrate” (i.e. genocide, displace, steal all their things) any “evil” races you came across. Migrating always being an evil choice in Age of Wonders III is much more realistic about the consequences of such an action.

    Agreed.

    Going to +1 this.

    I’ve argued time and again that the fact that no race or class is inherently evil/good/neutral in AoW3 is the biggest step forward for the series – It is a far more egalitarian and sensible form of fantasy.

    #195325

    Natural balance is indifferent to the balance between good and evil (to say otherwise is the naturalistic fallacy).

    It is like how competitive fond types say “natural selection means welfare is bad”, and cooperative types say ” oh look, ants and bonoboes work together so should we”. Nature is amoral, like the aow classes. A grey guard is focused on keeping cosmic, non natural forces balanced.

    #195329

    Meeky
    Member

    For an idea of what “Balance” means to druids, first chew on this scene from the 2ED D&D based video game Icewind Dale: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iK7mLkIhit4

    3:18 is when he starts mentioning “Balance.” 4:02 is when he starts trying to define it. Or, if you just want a quote…

    “Balance is the harmony that is achieved when man and nature learn to coexist, no longer contending with one another, but coming together as two parts of a whole.”

    This feller right here, Archdruid Arundel, represents the most druidy of all druid deities in the Forgotten Realms, and it’s this concept of balance that we’re looking at in the Archdruid class of Age of Wonders 3, not “neutral” as the balance.

    (Yes, D&D originally had all druids as True Neutral, then shifted to “some form of Neutral,” though I think now it’s just “I’unno, pick whatever you want, I guess?” I’m not too well versed in 5E. No matter.)

    It’s one of the many elements of playing a stereotypical druid that people just don’t get: you’re not really “for” nature or “for” humanity in most cases, but rather for a balance between them. This doesn’t mean you’re good, neutral or evil; you can be a mean jerk that kicks puppies and still be a druid. You just don’t see mortal life and the natural world as opposed to each other. After all, isn’t everyone an animal?

    EDIT: And yes, I think this is a very appropriate quote despite not being from Age of Wonders. Why? Because Age of Wonders is a series based on Tolkein and D&D ideals! Yeesh, seriously.

    #195334

    Ravenholme
    Member

    Natural balance is indifferent to the balance between good and evil (to say otherwise is the naturalistic fallacy).

    It is like how competitive fond types say “natural selection means welfare is bad”, and cooperative types say ” oh look, ants and bonoboes work together so should we”. Nature is amoral, like the aow classes.

    Urgh, don’t get me started on those kind of people. More oft than not they do more harm than good. (The UK has a few highly invasive and destructive species, such as the American Mink, because of people like that)

    #195339

    Moloc32
    Member

    The wild hunt spell will get rid of any problems using purging burst as it gives your units 100% spirit protection.

    #195598

    themighty1
    Member

    Why can’t be an arch druid be good..who cares for the animals and forests…and if he is an orc he won’t care much about artic forests or temperate but in preserving and expanding tropical condition…do he might be good to his race but to bothers he is not a good but evil

    Good or bad ..it becomes a relative comparison.

    #196332

    I used to find it incredibly disturbing in the first two games how being a “good” faction meant you had to forcibly “migrate” (i.e. genocide, displace, steal all their things) any “evil” races you came across. Migrating always being an evil choice in Age of Wonders III is much more realistic about the consequences of such an action.

    You just didn’t have enough willpower to be good 😉
    While it was an incredible amount of work (meaning, it wasn’t really practical to actually pull off) you could actually pair races of opposite alignments together. Playing as orcs one time I migrated all of the good cities I conquered to wood elves (there were no dark elves on that map) because I wanted elven archers to go along with my orc swordsmen. I also built a bunch of unnecessary walls in my elven cities. Once I defeated the elven player the elves liked me so much that I could buy their cities as though I was playing a good race. The dwarves and halflings hated my guts though.

    The idea of coexisting with evil races goes back to the very first cult of storms mission in the original Age of Wonders. The Keepers had a small goblin settlement that they were trying to integrate into their community. You (as the cult stormlord) mock them for their weakness, and rally the goblins against them in the first mission.

    Considering the lore behind the highmen and their actions throughout the first two games, “good” has always seemed like more of a gameplay convenience than an actual moral judgement in this series.

    #196835

    I used to find it incredibly disturbing in the first two games how being a “good” faction meant you had to forcibly “migrate” (i.e. genocide, displace, steal all their things) any “evil” races you came across. Migrating always being an evil choice in Age of Wonders III is much more realistic about the consequences of such an action.

    AoW1: Play a neutral race and cast tranquility-
    AoW2: Play a neutral race and besides Archon and Undead everyone like you enough anyway, then be nice.
    😀

Viewing 16 posts - 1 through 16 (of 16 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.