Oh, interesting, I didn’t realize it was up to the reviewer to disclose it. That explains why it’s missing sometimes!
Well shit, now I have to buy it.
I thought the same thing, because of I understand correctly, you can cast any spell if you have mana of the correct color.
My current understanding is that everyone has access to the same spell list, it’s just about what flavors of essence you can generate, yeah.
Flavors are tied pretty strongly to factions. Some interesting interplay between troop choices even within a faction as well.
The 128 x128 map is the first time the AI turns took long enough to be irritating. I will look for an intermediate size like 96x96
I believe there’s a setting where you can allocate how fast the AI players go.
Yes, it has the odd name “Ai frame rate budget.” Turning that down to 10 makes the turn times on that large map tolerable but I’d rather play smaller maps until they get this better optimized.
Thanks for the explanation :-)
I made it through the first few fights in campaign 1 mission 4 and claimed a few settlements. But the Undead hero stacks can nuke large fractions of my troops with their mana stores. I don’t know whether to try and do this mission better or restart and try to pick up the magic/resistance skill.
I beat mission 4 the other night and I think the key is to ignore Cecelia and use the Fae wielder instead because she has incredible magic. I think I had her up to level 19 by the end. I also concentrated on pixies, horned ones and fae nobles to supply her with essence. I split up the pixies into 3 stacks because they each provide 2x the essence. I was able to cast chain lightning on the first turn. Also the spell that cause a troop to attack the one next to it is very handy.
The trouble I ran into, and you probably will as well, are the waves of undead wielders that just keep on coming. I would kill one, and lose a lot of troops, but then a few turns later here they would come again with just as many troops. I probably killed them at least 3 times each.
I would have to use my other 2 heroes as shuttles to run get more troops and ferry them back to her constantly. Personally, I don’t think the AI should be able to rehire level 14 heroes on the very next turn but they did it over and over.
On another note I won the ‘Four Corners’ skirmish map yesterday playing as Barya. I really like that faction. I love their Sassinid troop in particular.
Thanks for the tips on the campaign! I wish I could play 4 corners but even with the AI frame rate budget at 10 the AI turns take too long for me.
I like the town formula changes so far as well as what has been mentioned about combat/stacks. There are fewer town sights, from what little I have seen of the Skirmish (2 or 3 maps) and Campaign they are more often limited in size.
Here, you’ll see on the map where you can build things (plots are small, medium, and large) and what is built in a given city. I am not sure there are enough plots in a maxxed city to hold every structure. Upgrading the city (which again is often, but not always, capped to a certain level at some sights) will add plots based on a set schedule.
For the swordy/Arthurian faction (as I’ve thought of them, it’s knights + fae), here’s some examples:
There are 3 different smalls structures to give stone, wood, and gold respectively. Each has a single upgrade level that increases that income. The Lumbermill (wood, natch) is needed to upgrade the Barracks. I believe you need the farm to upgrade the Tavern.
There are two structures that generate units - Peasant hut and Tavern. Peasants are “tier 1” (as such things are in this game) crossbowmen known as Militia. They have to take a turn after reloading, which is an interesting balancing choice. Tavern produces Minstrels, which are a melee unit who can buff and also boop snoots (but they’re not great at booping snoots). Both upgrade which upgrades the troop to it’s advanced type. Better stats and such.
Barracks -medium sized - produce infantry. Solid melee guys. It has two upgrades. One adds Rangers to the list of produced troops. The other is the standard “upgrade the troops” (which works on both the infantry and rangers). You need a lumbermill to upgrade the Barracks, and if you are building a Barracks you better upgrade it. Rangers are very strong. No reload!
You could build a Guard Tower (S) which provides ballistae units during sieges and also increases growth of the Militia and something else. Or a Rally Point, which allows you to buy troops from other towns you control (great to deploy on the front lines, obviously).
Everyone can probably build a Market (M) which does just what you think. There’s also a Castle (M) which produces horsemen, which upgrade to knights or somesuch. Very powerful, low growth units. The Fae Grove (M) produces two types of fae units (spirits and after an upgrade the hulking Horned One), which are different than your usual human troops. AS @Coldsteel noted, different types of troops generate different types of essence (on a per stack basis, # of troops is irrelevant as far as I know).
The Fae Court and two separate research structures round out the large options (I think you get two large plots). The court produces Fae nobles, whom I haven’t used yet but look powerful. The other two provide a bevy of research options. These can boost troop stats, provide additional incomes (gold and one of the “precious” resources which include Glimmer Thread, Ancient Amber, and Celestial Ore. In the case of this faction it’s just Glimmer Thread you can get), change troop stack size, and allow you to build two structures at once in a a town (building takes 1-3 turns depending, IIRC). There’s also research that gives you innate essence generation in battle, which is obviously a boon. I’m probably forgetting something to boot.
I think you can raze individual structures. You can also raze towns, or occupy them, or convert them to your faction. This takes time beyond just winning the fight, and makes your hero (welder, as they’re called) unavailable on the map for the duration.
With no need for more than one market “empire wide” (that I can tell), and resource generation being global, you can change restricted towns as you see fit to turn them into economic centers or dedicate them to producing a specific type of troop you can gather at the appropriate rally point. I’ve never seen an event that wipes out stored troops. I like the stack size limits and the upgrade options a lot.
The town system brings in an interesting touch of HoMM 4 without locking you out of anything, thanks to the stack limits (e.g. it could make sense to have two different towns producing different types of troops and not suffer as a result because you fall behind neutral/enemy growthy; alternately you might double down on some troop types and fielding 2-3 maxed stacks of militia and rangers or whatever else you fancy). You can build multiple of a type of structure to boost troop growth or resource gain as needed. There are fewer mines on the map, but they are there and they are certainly important. I can say the upgraded Knight horse unit requires Celestial Ore to recruit. I expect the Fae Lords will require something fancy as well, in keeping with the genre convention (such as it is; I mean the genre is basically the HoMM series).
I am very pleased with the game so far, and I love the graphic style. Still learning and getting creamed a good bit.
Thanks. It sounds worth checking out to see if a game can recapture some HOMM magic. Having stack limits seems like a good change and the rest of the differences hopefully add up to a different feeling game while still keeping the same familiar structure. Everyone here seems top like it!
For me it’s what you’re hoping for: HoMM, but it feels just different enough to be intriguing. I don’t have a good feel for all the factions yet, of course. You can play as any in the skirmish but so far in the available campaign it’s the castle dudes. I still don’t know what most of the magic does, it’s a system I’m slowly integrating with. But obviously there are differences. Factions are, somewhat, “aligned” with magic based on (1) what their troops can make and (2) what upgrades are available to you through the faction tree. But obviously you could capture and keep a different town and presumably get access to more spells because now you can tap into different essence generation resources. And while a scenario doesn’t necessarily provide you the means to go hog wild here (it’s likely to be over before you become the ARCHMAGE OF DOOM but who knows), I think it’s an intriguing idea (especially since you aren’t “punished” by not having EVERY single troop generation source acting optimally to keep up with stack growth on neutrals/enemies).
And there are other small but significant changes. Zones of control (you get an Attack of Opportunity when people move out of your zone, move within a zone, and I think sometimes in other ways) in battle. Enemies on the map will “guard” all adjacent resources - you can’t sneak away with free standing items in these cases without the fight. Ranged units can move and shoot but it comes with a damage penalty. The battle maps are decently sized but overall I would say everything is a little more mobile which makes for more active fights. Magic - so far! - isn’t as insanely powerful as HoMM magic, meaning the troops still take center stage (where as sometimes they don’t in Homm, it just depends). This is both because of how essence generation works and the spells seem more modest.
Heroes get skills, so far it’s the usual stuff you might expect. There’s skills that increase the max “level” spells you can access (and IIRC also provide bonus essence generation), movement, a scouting skill, skills that boost stats for troops (sometimes it’s a generic “+x melee resistance for all troops” or “all troops gain +2 hp”, sometimes it’s “+x ranged unit attack”), abilities (there’s an ability you can trigger that gives stat bonuses for two turns), and the like.
Welders are also capped in terms of how many you can have (and there’s an upgrade or research that improves this, IIRC). The map is filled with all the familiar things, presented in their own ways (neutrals, structures, one time per hero bonuses, refreshing bonuses or resources, treasure, teleporters, gates, roads, etc).
And yeah it’s EA, but it looks like a strength right now. There’s a lot here to like for my money, and I’m sure more to come. Hope you enjoy it!
You get more wielders when you either level up your settlement to a certain point or capture some other settlements.
For me, it takes about 10 seconds for the other 3 AIs on that map to go through their turns and the AI budget setting is the default. My PC is ten years old this week so I have a potato at this point. I’m not sure why you’re having this issue. Maybe you should report it?
Very positive preview.
As in HoMM, more markets will improve your trading returns, although it isn’t stated anywhere as far as I could find so I had to figure that out via experimentation. It makes purchasing rare resources to pump into your research facilities much more manageable.
If I recall correctly it goes 750 gold/rare to 500 to 400. I haven’t gone past 3 markets yet to see if that’s the maximum. Also you can sell your surplus wood and stone for a bit more, by endgame I’m generally drowning in those.
As for my impressions of the game overall, I’m really loving the magic system and have hope that there will be some interesting strategies to be found by focusing on certain troops for specific essence generation.
I’m not a fan of the art style, but that’s just me. I don’t like pixel art. After the first day or so it stopped annoying me though; it’s not a negative for me but also not a positive.
That’s weird. I would have sworn it made no difference at two. I must have misread something or just misremembered when I checked after building a second. Good to know.
I’ve been playing the 128x128 “Conquest” skirmish map and it’s a lot of fun. You can only play as Arleon in this one but it’s still great.
I put in a suggestion to add the ability to create campaigns with the map editor and a dev replied that the functionality is already in there it’s just not documented yet. I need to take a look and see if I can figure it out. I also noticed that the editor already has a random map generator but it’s in a pretty rough state, currently.
It takes my 3yr old box about 15 seconds, which is more than i have patience for. interesting that your older pc is faster. msybe theres a problem on my end.