Awesome new Warlords IV patch!

I loved Warlords 3 because of it’s strategic choices and great AI. Warlords IV was a great disappointment to me when it was released. The critical flaw was the AI would never (or vary rarely) attack your capital, making games against the AI pointless. I had given up on the game ever being fixed since it didn’t sell well. That’s all changed now with the release of the 1.03 patch yesterday. Warlords IV is now a great game, one of the best turn based games available. If you didn’t pick it up because of poor reviews or reports of timid AI, do yourself a favor and pick up this early Christmas present, for next to nothing these days.

Patch notes:

The 1.03 Patch for Warlords IV: Heroes of Etheria contains fixes/changes for the
following problems:

Warlords:

  • Divine Warlords now can get mana regen of +1 by selecting Mage Turret
    and Mage Tower (formerly max mana +2 and max mana +3).

  • Rune Warlords now can get mana regen of +1 by selecting Rune Spire, Rune
    Turret and Rune Tower (formerly max mana +2, max mana +3 and max mana +4).

  • Nature Warlords now only get mana regen of +1 from Adept Spire (formerly +2).

  • Summoning Warlords now can get max mana +3 from the Occult tower (formerly
    mana regen +1). Quests are now available from the Sacrifical Shrine building.

  • Necromancer Warlords can now get a quest from the Death Shrine building.

  • Glory and Fame powers are now 4% per level instead of 2%.

  • Arcane spells can now never take less than 5 turns to research (formerly
    could get as low as 2). After L10 the research time declines to 6 turns at
    L13 and 5 turns at L15.

  • Gold for defending was changed from 100 gold to 20 gold per unit defeated.

  • The Gate skill was changed to {1 1 1 1 1 2 2 2 2 2}

  • ---------------------------------------{- 1 2 3 3 3 4 5 6 6}

  • ---------------------------------------{- - - - 1 1 1 1 1 2}

  • Pre-made warlords automatically change their Favored Race to be the one
    selected by the player for the game.

Races:

  • Elven race now gets 20 movement (formerly 21) matching Dark Elves.

  • Dragon race now gets 21 movement (formerly 19).

  • Daemon race now builds 2 imps per turn (formerly 1 per turn).

Units:

  • Elven Archers now get archery +1 (formerly archery +2) when levelling up
    and get access to scouting +1 at level 3.

  • Elven Guards now get magic immunity instead of scouting.

  • Elven Hero now gets archery instead of first strike.

  • Dragon Knight now has 13 life (formerly 11).

  • Flame Cannon now gets fire +1 at level 3 (formerly no second ability).

  • Manticore now gets archery +1 at level 2 (formerly no second ability).

  • Orc now has 12 life (formerly 10).

  • Goblins now have taunt as primary ability and scavenging as their
    secondary ability (formerly was the other way around).

  • Spearmen now has 10 life (formerly 12).

  • Empire hero now gets archery instead of terror.

  • Dwarf hero now gets siege instead of income.

  • Skeletons now get warding +1 at level 2 (formerly got at level 3).

  • Ballista now gets dragonslayer instead of siege.

  • Assassins now get first strike instead of scouting.

Spells:

  • Inspiration now gives morale +3 (formerly +1) and the casting cost is 10
    (formerly .

  • Altar of battle now has an upkeep of 4 (formerly 3).

  • Create Golem now has a casting cost of 10 (formerly .

  • Pathfinding now has an upkeep of 1 (formerly 2) with a casting cost of 14
    (formerly 12).

  • Earthpower now also gives damage +2 from the towers and casting cost is
    15 (formerly 13).

  • Accuracy now gives archery +2 (formerly +3).

  • Bounty now gives +100 gold (formerly +50) with an unkeep of 1 (formerly 2).

  • Regeneration now gives regen +2 (formerly +3) to all units (formerly good).

  • Kargoth now gives 16 spiders (formerly 24) at level 3 (formerly varrying
    levels).

  • Doombat now is an arcane spell (formerly rare).

  • Pyrohydra is now a rare spell (formerly arcane) and has a casting cost of
    17 (formerly 20).

  • Bloodritual now has an upkeep of 4 (formerly 5).

  • Memories is now Stolen Memories and gives +8 XP to all evil units (formerly
    only undead got 8 XP).

  • Tranquility now has a casting cost of 14 (formerly 16) to be inline with
    dispels in other spheres.

Items:

  • A new item called ‘The Crown of KGB’ was added that gives Mana Regen +2.

  • A new item called ‘The Moonwine Cup’ was added that gives Max Mana +3.

  • A new item called ‘Heathen’s Hammer’ was added that gives Siege +1.

  • A new item called ‘WizIce’s Robe’ was added that gives Magic Immunity +5.

Abilities:

  • Archery is changed to now do 1-2 damage at L1, 1-3 at L2, 1-4 at L3,
    1-5 at L4 and 1-6 at L6 (formerly all damage was 2-6). The maximum number
    of archery hits is now 2 (formerly 3).

  • Armor is changed to now reduce 1 point of damage from archery (formerly 3).

  • Heal is changed to now do heal 1 at L1, 1-2 at L2, 1-3 at L3, 1-4 at L4,
    1-5 at L5 and 1-6 at L6 (formerly 1-2 at L1, 1-3 at L2 and so on).

  • Assassin now doubles the chance of a critial hit on any strike against
    any unit (in addition to still having chance to assassinate hero outright).

  • Scouting now shows the ruin reward (hero, gold, allies, mana crystals, item,
    tome) if the level of scouting is high enough.

  • Negate no longer negates siege attacks against towers. Negate no longer
    negates blessing of enemy units or the cursing of the unit with negate.

Bug Fixes:

  • White ward now gives warding +1 (formerly the bug gave +2).

  • Wind spell no longer gives extra movement to non-fliers (formerly
    the bug could give extra movement to non-fliers).

  • Inn sites now give +5% chance to get a hero at 5% discount per inn
    (formerly the bug was not even counting inns at all in a new hero chance).

  • Crushing blow now works at the percentages listed in manual (formerly
    the bug had it working at 15,25,35,45,55).

  • Units can merge and unmerge from a stack without losing individual
    movement (formerly the bug reduced all units to the slowest moving unit).

  • On turn 1 in hidden map games any sites attached to the capitol become
    visible helping to uncover the map a bit (formerly you had to guess
    which sites you had on your capitol whereas other conquered cities
    automatically showed their sites).

  • If a city is full of units and you are offered a hero/allies in that
    city or your retinue arrives in a full capitol those units will now
    be placed outside the city (formerly those units would be lost from
    the game).
    NOTE: If the 8 squares surrounding the city are occupied or consist
    of impassible terrain the units will still be lost!

Random Maps:

  • Random maps are now divided into 4 quadrants and cites and ruins are
    placed evenly in each quadrant so that each quadrant receives between
    20 and 30 percent of the total number of cities and ruins.

  • The number of extra roads on the map is now a function of the map
    size (small, medium, large, huge) and the number of citys (few, normal,
    many).

  • Cities in the middle of the map will now tend to be a higher level with
    stronger garrisons.

  • For more detailed information on how the random maps changed visit
    http://www.warlorders.com.

The AI:

  • The bug that prevented the AI from attacking a capitol city has now been
    fixed.

  • The AI warlord generation logic underwent a massive change to improve the
    warlords and retinue generated. The changes now produce AI warlords that
    tend to resemble those created by human players at emperor levels and
    tend to be more random as the AI level goes down to knight.

  • The AI targeting routines were changed to allow the AI to track down and
    pick up items lying on the ground and in cities.

  • The AI spell research logic underwent a massive change to improve the spells
    chosen by the AI to research.

  • The AI spellcasting logic underwent a massive change to improve the AI
    spellcasting.

  • For more detailed information on how the AI changed visit
    http://www.warlorders.com.

Miscellaneous:

  • Summoned units now come with the movement of the casting stack even if
    they form their own stack (formerly new stacks got full movement). Only
    in empty cities can they get full movement.

  • All capitol cities have a base income of 100 (formerly it was random) to
    reduce money starvation early.

  • Neutral cities will have a minimum of 2 units defending them (formerly
    it could be 1) and the odds are more likely of 3 or more.

  • Combat in multi-player mode will be automatically defaulted to ‘fast’
    (formerly both players had to click the auto button to get fast).

  • Critical hit percentage is now 10% (formerly 15%) to reduce the number
    of criticals.

  • The cost of upgrading to a L2 city is now 200 gold (formerly 100) to make
    merchant skill more useful.

  • A new button called ‘2nd ability’ was added to the city menu which allows
    cities to produce units with their secondary ability instead of their
    primary one. This allows a wider variety of units to be produced by each
    side.

  • Team games now have allies in alternating slots such a slot 1 and 3 vs
    slot 2 and 4 (formerly went slot 1 and 2 vs slot 3 and 4). In odd
    numbered games like 2vs1 the single player now goes first (formerly
    the single player went last).

  • The ability to purchase neutral cities of your own race has been added.
    To purchase a city, move a stack containing at least one hero next to
    the city and ‘attack’ it. The city will then offer fealty for an amount
    of gold based on the city level and the size of the garrison. Purchase of
    a city includes its garrison. Click on a city to see the ‘fealty’ cost.
    The AI purchases cities when offered.
    NOTE: Once you attack a city you will no longer be able to purchase it
    (however other players of the same race could still purchase it if they
    have not attacked it). If you refuse the initial fealty offer the city
    will never offer again so the next time you ‘attack’ the city it will
    go to the combat screen.

  • The ability to give gold to allies in team games has been added. Select
    the ‘View Opponents’ menu and then the ‘Transfer Gold’ button and enter
    the amount of gold to give to your ally. The AI will share gold with all
    its allies including human players.

  • The ability to regenerate the list of spells available for research has
    been added. The cost of regenerating the list is 2 mana for specialty
    casters (major=minor sphere) and 3 for other casters.
    NOTE: The regenerated list is entirely random and could include some or
    all of the original list offered.

  • The ability to attack flying units on impassible terrain by land units
    has been added (I call this the bat/imp change). To attack the flying
    units you must first move a stack to an adjacent square and then attack
    from that square (similar to DLR). If you win the battle your armies do
    not move onto the impassible terrain.
    NOTE: You CAN’T target the flying units on impassible terrain from a
    distance! Obviously you can’t attack flying units on impassible
    terrain if you can’t move next to them.

  • Production in full cities is now possible with the newly produced units
    appearing outside the city. Waypointed units will begin their movement
    from the placement outside the city.
    NOTE: If the 8 squares surrounding the city are occupied or consist
    of impassible terrain the newly produced units will still be lost!

  • All pre-made warlords were edited to make them more usable and realistic
    in terms of how points were spent.

  • A new 5 player game of 4V1 was added to the game selection menu when
    choosing the number of players in a game.

  • A new quest called ‘The Lost City of Moon’ was added.

Warlord Editor:

  • A warlords and retinue editor has been provided to allow players to
    create and edit warlords of any level including the retinue and items.
    The editor resides in the folder where the Warlords IV game was installed.

  • The editor is written in Java and needs the runtime java library before
    it will run.

  • For more detailed information on how to run or use the warlord editor
    visit http://www.warlorders.com.

My main problem with Warlords IV was how they dumbed-down heroes. The AI was obviously an issue, but the hero-building was one of my favorite parts of Warlords III. There were other aspects of Warlords IV that I wasn’t really keen on, like the re-used Battlecry graphics, and the general map layout.

I’d rather reinstall and and play DLR some more than Warlords IV, even with these changes.

Thanks for the tip. IIRC, the game used one on one battles among the stacks to resolve combat. That idea annoyed me, so I am not sure if I want to try it. However, I really like the Battlecry series, and this game is cheap now, so I may give it a shot.

Where is it next to nothing? I see $10+ everywhere.

P.S. Yes, I am a cheap bastard.

I might go back and try it again. In the meantime, AOW: Shadow Magic remains my favorite!

Right. A large part of the strategy was building stacks of units with enough different bonuses to survive without costing you a fortune. Combat was always one-on-one, with every creature fighting in the order you placed them in the stack.

The original Warlords series is turn-based, and the only similarities to the Battlecry games are the gameworld, races, and hero design (which got pretty gutted in IV).

I should have clarified. I have played 1-3, actually. The reference to Battlecry was to the world, races, hero design elements, not to the gameplay. But thanks for letting me know that the transition wasn’t smooth .

Did they fix the claustrophobic can’t see as far as you can move GUI?

I hate you all. I bought this thing quickly, and now remember that there were in fact plenty of other reasons why the game sucks that are probably not patchable.

Hate I tell you, hate.

Yeah, Warlords 4 really “broke” a lot of what made the Warlords series cool. It felt really, really dumbed down.