As well as working on new content for the upcoming expansion, we’re also working on refining the content that’s already in the game. These refinements will be released in a free update at the same time as the DLC, and will be available for all players.
Specializations, Starting Skills and the Leader Editor
Currently, when choosing certain specializations, a leader will get a starting bonus. For example, choosing Adept Of Air will grant 5 extra mana income from Air Nodes. However, not all specializations currently give a bonus, and the player can’t see what those bonuses are when they create their leaders. Dealing with the latter is a simple tweak to the specialization’s popup:
For the former problem, we’ve reviewed every specialization and tried to add bonuses to those that didn’t have them, while rebalancing those that did. For example, here are some of the changes that are being considered:
- Adept Of Air – Air Nodes generate an additional 5 mana per turn, Earth Nodes generate 5 less mana per turn.
- Master Of Air – Air Nodes generate an additional 5 knowledge per turn. The player starts with a spell that allows them to transform neutral mana nodes into Air nodes.
- Expander – Farms and Springs of Life generate an addition 50 population growth per turn.
- Explorer – All ships and cities gain +1 vision range
We’ve also been revamping other parts of the leader editor to give players more information about the things they have to choose between:
While doing this we realized that Orc and Dwarven cities do not gain an economic bonus like the other races, so the economic starting bonus for each race now looks like this:
- Human Cities have +5 production
- Goblin Cities have +20% population growth
- High Elf Cities have +3 knowledge
- Dwarven cities can build Siege Workshops for 50 gold less
- Orc Cities can build Barracks for 50 gold less
- Draconian Cities have +3 mana
- Halfing Cities have +50 happiness
Instead of generic race and class lore we now list an overview of all perks for a particular character in the character selector. We’ve also added selectable icons that access the Tome of Wonders to display the full information on Race, Class or specialization. (Also added this to the diplomacy screen, where it wasn’t possible to see which specialization leader have)
Units and Racial Variety
We’ve been working on a number of changes to try and make the unit line ups of the different races more varied as well. Currently the difference between Dwarven Infantry and Orc infantry is a shield and some stat differences, we’re looking into ways to make the units feel more unique when they’re used on the battlefield.
For example, some Orc units have a new ability called War Cry. This once per battle ability costs no actions points to be used and grants the unit +3 melee damage until the end of the turn. This ability really reflects the Orc approach to battle (shout and kill first, ask questions later) and gives orc players the ability get a bit more damage when they need it most (which is always).
Certain Dwarven units, on the other hand, have been given the Defensive Strike ability, which allows them to make a melee attack and then immediately go into guard mode. This ability plays more into the Dwarven character of a slow and steady approach, carefully demolishing ones foes while keeping oneself safe at the same time.
For the Goblins, a slightly more radical approach has been taken with the removal of the Skewer unit and the re-introduction of the Butcher, an old favorite from Shadow Magic:
The return of the Goblin Butcher
Butcher’s are elite Goblin troopers who wield magic, blood soaked weapons that grant the life stealing ability. Unique amongst the racial Pikemen, this is a tier 2 unit, which gives it the stats needed for it to take up its role as an anti-hero and anti-cavalry unit.
These are just a small selection of the changes that are being tested for the upcoming patch, no decisions are final of course and anything could change once we start testing the balance in multiplayer. If you have any ideas for refinements, we’d love to hear them!