When I first read about this game, I was interested for two reasons. 1) Paradox have a very good reputation when it comes to after sales and support, and 2) There are not too many interesting fantasy TBS games out there. Fantasy general has a few clones, Elemental was a tremendous dissapointment to me and Master of MAgic... wel, that's been a while too.
So, I got it through Steam last week and heve been fiddling around with it over the last weekend.
There are somethings that cause bewildered amusement or plain confusion.
First of, I like the game and can see that it isn't close to having reached its full potential. I imagine through DLC that more types of cities are to be released, other unist, spells, whatnot. Love the simplebut effective animations. So, I am really not trying to bash the game or producers, but I do wonder about the following.
For the next issues, I have been playing on 'normal' difficulty only, assuming that would be par for the course.
a) So far the AI mages do NOT build any LANDunits. Their cities are defended by enormous amounts of forts and magic towers, but there is no unit there. Ever - and I played three games for 200-300 turns. One game, I captured all but the capital and then waited to see. No land unit built - ships a plenty and summoned wolves too, but nothing else. The neutrals spawn massive amounts, but that's of course a different mechanic. Note - the sea neutrals spawn at a very high rate apparently - there are really dozens and dozens of krakens, sea serpents and leviathans roaming the seas.
b) I have yet to see the AI mages to use a spell against me in an offenseive manner.
c) I have experimented with various units, and I feel like the (old) trolls need to be toned down. Once then have three or four levels under their belt and that 20 HP regenerationwith 90 HP make a force of 4-6 trolls overwhelming. I seen single units of L4-5 old trolls hold their own against four greater elementals and defeat them all in 6-7 turns. I always felt like lore/legend describing trolls to be vulnerable to fire - that might be something? I would think that there are more overpowered units. There is an adept unit (forgot which one) that is a killer to, with a powerful melee attack, high movement points and every other turn an extra (magic) attack. Those ancient liches seem way too strong too. Overall I enjoy the enormous variety of units and the different abilities, but some balance issues are choosing which units to build basically a no-brainer. Either tone the stronger units down, or increase their costs.
d) Diplomacy makes very little sence. There is no decent way of counterproposing, the AI even when it's clearly overpowered and would stand no chance, break alliances and declares war like there is no tomorrow. Well, after that there usually isn't
e) I would like some better info on the consequences of being in one god's favour. The divine spells are very expensive 'influence' wise, but I am unable to see the downside of having negative influence?
f) I find that the units gain experience too easy even if they are not in the frontline. Having the experience perk for your mage and the upgrade, nets you 2-3 XP a turn for even those units stiing quiet in some backwater garrison. Maybe there should be some upper limit for XP gained by 'practice' and all other XP nees to be gained 'the hard way'. I would assume the AI's units have the same advantages, but I only see neutral/monster unist and they seem to go no higher than L4-5.
g) Regeneration is so common through perks, that after 30-40 turns healing is no longer needed. Maybe open up the perk regeneration to L10 or higher units? I would like to see very few units with that lofty grade also, but in my games I have about a dozen L10-12 units and there is no need for anything else really.
Sorry to appear to be whining - I would like to stress again that I enjoy the game and hope to enjoy it for many games to come, but I feel like there are some issues especially with the AI's behaviour and the balance.