I just wanted to get this off my chest. Some of the features introduced in last three betas, and planned for DoA beta 7 were good. I’m keeping and expanding these:
- Avatars in battle – they now join their troops and add flavor. Only extremely high-powered avatars are actually disruptive to combat.
- New combat system in general (mindbenders were utterly broken) – now we pump defense, and treat defense as hit points.
- Changes to units (remember the time when Un’Haadar Kas, the elitest of the elite, were the worst unit in the game?) – There is more diversity now and every high level unit can be reached from three different base units.
- New spells – stuff like Great Escape, short-duration combat spells, even oddballs like Warp Chaos Gate brought dynamics in play the game never featured before. I’ll expand this repertoire with spells that add more combat effects and even change landscape (eventually).
- Tecuya/Hoaya bond – the forced mana transfer that replaced subdue in V2b6 was a solid solution to the inability of players to give up their player identity and immerse themselves into the characters they were playing. Same empires formed every beta, with same players, only slightly different results.
- Weather report – random events that affect this or that – I’ll be keeping and expanding those.
- Naturally spawning settlements – these are good. They are also necessary since this is where player’s settlements go once he Great Escaped or was banished.
However some of the changes were bad. Not only players disliked them, they hampered gameplay. I might as well re-title this post to “Shit you won’t see again”.
- Weak elder protection – Gone. Are you a weak elder surrounded by enemies that want your setts and are not open for diplomacy? Great Escape away and start playing the game.
- Empire tax – Gone. I don’t want to punish success. If you managed to conquer half the map and squashed all opposition, all the more omnipresence to you, Dominator.
- Influence penalty – No more. Now it’s reversed – high level avatars are FAR more effective than low-level ones with the same charisma. Not only are they better, but friendly growth runes (Rune Utophey) boost charisma significantly. If you don’t like those avatars stealing your setts, do something about it. (I’m still keeping the 50% non-free population penalty)
Some other things I’ve changed or that are on the chopping block for consideration:
- Vision – It cuts both ways. You can’t make someone your enemy and still receive their vision. Vendetta is Vendetta and it only takes one to proclaim it.
- Army speed penalty. I’m unhappy with the old implementation, but the concept does make sense. I have to consider this further. Extremely large armies (What is large, anyway? Compared to what?) should be inherently slower than the smaller ones, but by their nature they will have more low-level units that are slower by default. Maybe I’ll get rid of this.
- BANISH – after only 1 alpha, 8 betas and 2 demos, it’s finally in. Banish is Banish – poof and you’re gone. Back to Create Elder Screen. Harsh? So what?
Thank you for your attention.