Improving Race Variety & Starting Perks

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:

1 - Specialization 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

NewLeaderSelectInstead 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.

War cryFor 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).

 

Defensive strike 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:

 3 - Goblin Butcher

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!

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Home Forums Dev Journal: Improving Race Variety & Starting Perks

This topic contains 165 replies, has 66 voices, and was last updated by  vault101tunnelsnake 4 years, 9 months ago.

Viewing 30 posts - 31 through 60 (of 166 total)
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  • #134306

    melkathi
    Member

    I’ll add my voice to those expressing happiness at the return of the Butchers but who would like to see the Skewers remain. People have already posted good ideas on the how.

    Removing the Skewer completely seems a waste: time and effort was put into creating the unit, why throw that effort away?

    #134308

    I’ll add my voice to those expressing happiness at the return of the Butchers but who would like to see the Skewers remain. People have already posted good ideas on the how.

    Removing the Skewer completely seems a waste: time and effort was put into creating the unit, why throw that effort away?

    I agree with this person!

    #134313

    As you can only activate it once per battle, I think battlecry should last a few turns…

    Ofcourse, I don;t know which units will get it, so my mind may change!

    #134315

    Arlow
    Member

    love this, you guys are amazing

    for some reason it made me wonder if that grey – haired hag with poison darts would return – i miss the cackle

    thanks for all the work and updates

    #134319

    MuadDib
    Member

    Triumph, you keep making an excellent game significantly better with each update.
    This is devotion that is rarely seen nowadays.

    I wish you all the luck you deserve and many, many more expansions before AoW IV.

    #134320

    Very nice journal. Also cool that there will be a free update at the same time as the DLC. Not that i am not buying the DLC of course 🙂


    I wish you all the luck you deserve and many, many more expansions before AoW IV.

    +1

    #134322

    Jolly Joker
    Member

    Jesus, people, you are amazing! Sounds just great.

    About the Skewer/Butcher. First thought was, yes, evolving Skewer to Butcher, great – but actually it doesn’t matter what you dp, because it will be awesome no matter what: being able to hire the Butcher right away will make Goblins a great force against Cavalry based arnies…

    #134326

    Kaiosama TLJ
    Member

    Good to see you guys gave the current Specializations a change, although I would also add +1 vision to Watchtowers in Explorer. As for the spells to change Nodes maybe they could also work on opposite nodes (like turning a Fire Node into a Water Node if you picked Water Master) but would have the double of the cost compared to turning Mana Nodes. I’m curious for what Wild Magic Adept and Master would offer.

    As for Butchers… Love to see them back, but I think it’s a bit to drastic to just dischard the Skewer, maybe we could give them Evolve to become Butchers later. Actually, having two options for Pikeman (one “weaker” and one “stronger”) can give uniqueness for Goblins.

    As for other Race specific changes, maybe you guys could consider this for Humans: They could have Witches as a extra unit. Witches would be T2 Support but unlike Priests they would be more on the offensive side, having Fairy Fire, Throw Curse and learning Steal Enchantment. Or you guys could consider Swashbucklers as a extra unit in the rooster.

    As you can only activate it once per battle, I think battlecry should last a few turns…

    Ofcourse, I don;t know which units will get it, so my mind may change!

    I would imagine that even class units would get it, including Berserkers. And they already give a devastating blow with charge so imagine with +3 Strenght.

    #134327

    MrDias
    Member

    Please, Triumph, with all those new changes, introduce separate pages for each class in Tome of Wonders, that will list all race special feats, maybe in most short way possible.
    And link those pages from Races
    For example:
    Goblin: Rogue
    Bard has poisoned crossbow
    Elf: Rogue
    Bard has Longbow
    I know there are specific pages for each unit, but it is not very comfortable to scroll through multiple pages when looking for it, and now there will also be SOME Orcs with War Cry and some without it.

    #134345

    nightykatze
    Member

    I think the butcher should keep the basic look of the skewers armour.
    the big black hood looked so cool. give it more spiky armour instead of an apron ;D

    #134348

    Smaug3
    Member

    Going back and reading butcher description… So these new butchers were the result of our friends the skewers revolting against their overlords?

    #134356

    iblis86
    Member

    If these refinements will be part of an update/patch, and not the next DLC, then I can hope that the original campaigns will also be changed that way?

    I really hope so, because past patches – contrary to the DLC – also took the improvements to campaigns, and so it should be with this update, too!

    But this is good news, as more racial diversy is never wrong. Of course, the best improvement would one more unique unit per race, but unfortunately, I don’t think such a big change could be integrated into the campaigns as well…just my thoughts…

    #134357

    Wraith367
    Member

    Sounds great!

    2 things – first, I agree that the skewer should be kept. Having it available as a neutral guard / hireable in an inn would be enough here. Just don’t remove it entirely.

    I also would like to see a little something extra to help make your starting race a bit more important. I think some sort of bonus that only works on cities that increases output would be nice.

    Ex: If you start as dwarves, all dwarven cities gain 10% output (or all non-dwarven cities lose 10% output). Possibly some specialization could eliminate the penalty, or being on good terms with other races (via the newly added Race relations).

    #134366

    I like the changes, and agree with the sentiment that all nodes should be transformable.

    and the Razorbows, who is proving controversial, in that some players (Garresh) think they are terribad, whilst others (Bouh etc) think their razor projectiles make them rather interesting.

    One idea I had: Give them longbows (at the same damage) and inflict severely poisoned at veteran. This would put their damage roughly on par with human archers, while giving them their own role.

    #134386

    BandC
    Member

    These changes look great. I was always annoyed that you couldn’t see a leader’s skills from the diplomacy screen.

    I have two simple requests for the patch:

    1) An option to by pass the cut scene into the tactical battle screen and an option to set the default speed to 3x. It gets old to press space bar and set the speed to 3x manually for every single battle.

    2) When you double-click with the mouse at the spot where a unit is ordered to go, it goes there in fast motion. I want the same thing to happen when I press M twice quickly so that the movement order gets executed in fast animation.

    These two simple improvements would increase my gameplay satisfaction greatly.

    Thanks.

    #134387

    Smaug3
    Member

    1) An option to by pass the cut scene into the tactical battle screen and an option to set the default speed to 3x. It gets old to press space bar and set the speed to 3x manually for every single battle.

    In advanced settings in game setup, check force high speed tactical combat. Your request was implemented a while back.

    #134388

    BandC
    Member

    <div class=”d4p-bbt-quote-title”>BandC wrote:</div>
    1) An option to by pass the cut scene into the tactical battle screen and an option to set the default speed to 3x. It gets old to press space bar and set the speed to 3x manually for every single battle.

    In advanced settings in game setup, check force high speed tactical combat. Your request was implemented a while back.

    Hmm I’m playing the Campaign and I didn’t see that. I’ll check again. Does it also do the skip cut scene?

    #134393

    Draxynnic
    Member

    Hrrrmn. I’m a bit ambivalent on ditching Skewers entirely. It’s good that the Butchers are generating some increased racial variation, but bog-standard goblins with spears are a traditional part of the goblin lineup. I’d be inclined to have both, with Skewers being something cheap you can produce en masse if you need to and Butchers being the more powerful option. Possibly remove Armor Piercing from the Skewers (potentially allowing it to go on another pikemen unit) and replace it with the ability to Evolve to Butchers.

    My question is basically this: will earlier access to these benefit an Orc player? I look forward to playtesting this

    Well, it’s effectively -50g for the entire barracks chain, so it likely translates into faster Black Knights and Shock Troopers as well. It also makes those tier 1s, including the Razorbows, more attractive compared to simply spamming no-infrastructure-required Spearmen.

    Regarding War Cry… Personally, I’m inclined to keep it at one turn. Battles are often decided within two or three turns of melee being joined, so if it lasts for more than one turn it risks becoming a de facto flat +3 to damage. If it is made to last longer it will need some downside significant enough that it’s still an interesting choice.

    #134398

    Kaiosama TLJ
    Member

    Hrrrmn. I’m a bit ambivalent on ditching Skewers entirely. It’s good that the Butchers are generating some increased racial variation, but bog-standard goblins with spears are a traditional part of the goblin lineup. I’d be inclined to have both, with Skewers being something cheap you can produce en masse if you need to and Butchers being the more powerful option. Possibly remove Armor Piercing from the Skewers (potentially allowing it to go on another pikemen unit) and replace it with the ability to Evolve to Butchers.

    Actually I remembered about something.

    One of old BBB’s suggestions for racial diversity (don’t have a link, but I remember him suggesting that) was to move the Goblin Skewer to the Barracks instead of the War Hall. Considering that Goblins favor a “rush strategy” I think it fits IMHO, and it would not be redundant unlike if you build the War Hall and have 2 Pikeman and one is better than the other.

    #134408

    VoDJARA
    Member

    Yes! Butchers come back!

    #134409

    Gloweye
    Member

    Possibly remove Armor Piercing from the Skewers (potentially allowing it to go on another pikemen unit)

    They’re the only pike to hate innately, all other get it at medal. My preference would be to keep the skewer where it is and give the Butcher as a bonus unit.

    (Oh, and give back the bomber!)

    #134410

    Gloweye
    Member

    It’s until end of turn, not battle.

    I must say it’s put a bit confusive, but you’re right. I’d have expected it to say “end of combat round” or something similar in a case like this.

    As for the Defensive Strike for the dwarves, can we expect this on certain class units like the Crusader? Would be pretty useful there IMO, and a nice dwarven touch. Hell, I might even start playing them…(Not doing because they’re A) ugly and B) boring(sturdy). ). Also, can we get this Ability in the Item Forge? It’s been something I’d like to give my heroes…

    #134411

    decoy
    Member

    Interesting update I will have to see if any of it matter in the end. Some things like the Butcher will matter but I need to do some calculations before I comment on the racial economic stuff

    #134430

    Chimaira
    Member

    This sneak peak of upcoming changes is really promising, keep up the good work 🙂

    The racial abilities are nice and seem to capture the feel of each race.

    But as some posters before me stated, I am also against the removal of goblin skewers. It may seem a bit redundant for goblins to have two pike units but it’s also a bit of uniqueness. I think sometimes it could be better to mass skewers for example if player is low on cash. Also in AoW SM goblins in fact had 2 “pike units” – both butchers and grunts (which would be equivalent of skewers) were armed with polearms.
    Perhaps skewers could be enabled by barracks as BBB suggested thus recreating the unit composition in AoW SM.

    #134432

    Ravenholme
    Member

    Hrrrmn. I’m a bit ambivalent on ditching Skewers entirely. It’s good that the Butchers are generating some increased racial variation, but bog-standard goblins with spears are a traditional part of the goblin lineup. I’d be inclined to have both, with Skewers being something cheap you can produce en masse if you need to and Butchers being the more powerful option. Possibly remove Armor Piercing from the Skewers (potentially allowing it to go on another pikemen unit) and replace it with the ability to Evolve to Butchers.

    <div class=”d4p-bbt-quote-title”>BLOODYBATTLEBRAIN wrote:</div>
    My question is basically this: will earlier access to these benefit an Orc player? I look forward to playtesting this

    Well, it’s effectively -50g for the entire barracks chain, so it likely translates into faster Black Knights and Shock Troopers as well. It also makes those tier 1s, including the Razorbows, more attractive compared to simply spamming no-infrastructure-required Spearmen.

    Regarding War Cry… Personally, I’m inclined to keep it at one turn. Battles are often decided within two or three turns of melee being joined, so if it lasts for more than one turn it risks becoming a de facto flat +3 to damage. If it is made to last longer it will need some downside significant enough that it’s still an interesting choice.

    I think moving Skewers to the Barracks is a good idea, and honestly, if they end up adding a new (assymetric) unit for everyone to diversify the races a bit more, they should maybe move all Pike units to the Barracks and the new units come out with the Warhall – Even if some of the units are T3 rather than T2. (I’m totally not saying this because I am desperate for Sheriffs to make a return…)

    And I agree, I think War Cry should remain a one turn, once-per-battle ability – since the description talks about it not costing any AP it will add an interesting little piece of finessing to battles as the Orcs – When best do I have this x unit deploy its War Cry? (I suspect it is going to heavily favour Shocktroopers)

    #134435

    I think moving Skewers to the Barracks is a good idea, and honestly, if they end up adding a new (assymetric) unit for everyone to diversify the races a bit more, they should maybe move all Pike units to the Barracks and the new units come out with the Warhall

    Remember that the point of diversifying races is to make them play differently. If every race now gets Pikes at barracks then all we’ve done is change every race equally, which to me is not what asymmetry is about.

    It’d also be a step in the wrong direction. The original AoW had an interesting line-up of races, in that not every race had every unit.

    IIRC, Goblins and Humans were the only ones to get Pikes.

    I like the current approach TS seem to be taking, in that the diversity is not only unit based, but also building based. There is such huge scope for mixing up the building orders!

    I was chatting with Fen and others, and basically, the “normal” matrix has already been changed in the following ways:

    Cheaper siege shops for Dwarves
    Cheaper barracks for Orcs (who heal in battle)
    Butchers for Goblins, so a unique T2 unit (also terrain based healing)
    Evolving Cavalry for Humans

    but there is room for some more aow1 flavour, basically:

    Haflings to get their Cavalry out earlier, i.e. with the barracks. Change stats if needed. Excellent tactical synergy possible with these and Jesters, but in a “proper” fight (as an Orc would say) they’d still melt. Also, early Hafling cav plays off against later (but better) Goblin anti-Cav. Lorewise though, Drax made a good point that perhaps Farmers, being as they are, you know, Farmers, should come out earlier?

    Elves to get their Longbows out later, i.e. with the Warhall, and said Longbows to become tier 2 units, with some slight buffing. Further option to become Master Longbows once the tier 3 building is built (rename it to “Elven Citadel” or something and have it unlock recruitment of Master Longbows and Gryphon Riders).

    Master Longbows would be a tier 3 ranged unit, and have abilities tied to long range archery (but not s straight long range upgrade, that’s be op) such as a repurposed form of the Human defence “sound the bells” ability (the one that you can build as Humans to defend your cities…) – this was Drax or Chrys. Good idea imho.

    However, Longbows don’t “evolve” in the normal sense (i.e. hit Elite and change) but can be recruited, or retrofitted, at cost. So if you have regular Longbows, they can be “retrained” to become master Bows.

    So:

    Goblins – tier 2 anti-cav
    Haflings – tier 1 Cavalry
    Elves – Tier 2 Archers
    Orcs -cheaper barracks (ergo earlier tier 1 units, and conceivably earlier Warhall etc units)
    Dwarves – cheaper siege shops (ergo earlier Trebs)
    Humans – evolving Cavalry
    Draconians – risk becoming the vanilla faction lol, as, apart from fast healing, they don;t get anything that is specific to them.

    #134439

    Ravenholme
    Member

    <div class=”d4p-bbt-quote-title”>Ravenholme wrote:</div>
    I think moving Skewers to the Barracks is a good idea, and honestly, if they end up adding a new (assymetric) unit for everyone to diversify the races a bit more, they should maybe move all Pike units to the Barracks and the new units come out with the Warhall

    Remember that the point of diversifying races is to make them play differently. If every race now gets Pikes at barracks then all we’ve done is change every race equally, which to me is not what asymmetry is about.

    It’d also be a step in the wrong direction. The original AoW had an interesting line-up of races, in that not every race had every unit.

    Pike Units are Tier 1, it makes sense for them to come out at the Barracks. And it would not be a step towards homogenising them (no more than they are already, with all of them coming out at Warhall), if the Warhall now provides every race with a vastly different unit. A T2 Pike for the Goblins, a T2.5/3 Cavalry for the Halflings, etc.

    That would be, manifestly, a step away from homogenisation and a step towards asymmetry, because now every race would differentiate at the Warhall, not just at the T3 Production Building

    #134442

    Ricminator
    Member

    Well I would just like the rest add the butcher, but keep the skewer. We already have some form of asymetry when one player has a naga dwelling and the other has not (t2 pikes).

    So if some races have a unit more, I don’t think it is really disturbing for the overall balance.

    #134445

    Draxynnic
    Member

    Pike Units are Tier 1, it makes sense for them to come out at the Barracks.

    Pike units are more Tier 1.5 – in the situations where infantry are good pikemen are almost as good and sometimes better (particularly overwhelm infantry – an extra retaliation through First Strike when defending, or not taking that extra retaliation when attacking a unit with First Strike, is often more useful than overwhelm), and against mounted units and flyers, pikemen are really good. Making pikemen a barracks unit would also make it a bit too easy in my eyes to pre-counter cavalry or flyers by building up a large pike force long before a cavalry army could be assembled. Knock them down to Barracks level and the current balance between infantry and pikemen, and between pikemen and cavalry/flyers, would need to be rejigged substantially or you’ll risk seeing tier 1 infantry disappear altogether except maybe as specialised siege troops when a player has no better options.

    #134446

    Ravenholme
    Member

    <div class=”d4p-bbt-quote-title”>Ravenholme wrote:</div>
    Pike Units are Tier 1, it makes sense for them to come out at the Barracks.

    Pike units are more Tier 1.5 – in the situations where infantry are good pikemen are almost as good and sometimes better (particularly overwhelm infantry – an extra retaliation through First Strike when defending, or not taking that extra retaliation when attacking a unit with First Strike, is often more useful than overwhelm), and against mounted units and flyers, pikemen are really good. Making pikemen a barracks unit would also make it a bit too easy in my eyes to pre-counter cavalry or flyers by building up a large pike force long before a cavalry army could be assembled. Knock them down to Barracks level and the current balance between infantry and pikemen, and between pikemen and cavalry/flyers, would need to be rejigged substantially or you’ll risk seeing tier 1 infantry disappear altogether except maybe as specialised siege troops when a player has no better options.

    One suggests that the addition of new, asymmetric units to the tier above them would already rejigger that balance fairly substantially, depending on what units are available.

    A Goblin player is unlikely to mass Skewers if he can hold off for a while and get Butchers, for example.

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