Age of Wonder 4: what i would keep and trash from AOW3 and planetfall.

Age of Wonder 4: what i would keep and trash from AOW3 and planetfall.

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akinata

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Replaying AOW3 after an extensive amount of planetfall made me think on what kind of age of wonder 4 i would like to see.
the last planetfall DLC is out. i don't think any developpment have been made yet on a potential new age of wonder game and the year 2020 is ending.
it is the best time to speak about what we may want in a potential future age of wonder title. (unless devs are tired with the franchise and want to try something new ^^)

Why age of wonder 4 and not age of wonder "something else"?
i think we can agree there is a big market for fantasy games. people love fantasy, even more with all the buildup nostalgia.
there is very little grande fantasy strategy games nowerdays. even less if you look at turn based ones.
however, mixing fantasy and science fiction is totally possible like endless legend did. and that could be the future of age of wonder.

What to keep and what to trash?
Planetfall introduced several new welcomed mechanics and sompe improvement over AOW3. but some of the new stuff may feel like a step back and a slight loss in indentity of waht made age of wonder until now. i will try and talk about most of the important aspects of both gamesand what i would prefer to keep.

what i would keep from planetfall:
○ the tech tree.
no more randomness. a clean tree with numerous branches connected to each other. no more surprises, you know what you get and what you will get.

○ the modding system.
this makes every unit potentially viable depending on its loadout and role. it is a very appreciated feature that add complexity and freedom of build. however i wish the hero modding system was extended to any units. in a fantasy setting i could see a regular unit be able to eqip either a sword , lance or whatever unique weapon the race and secret tech/magic school may give.
same for armor. would be awesome to be able to change all unit look by giving them different armor and weapons.

○ the secret tech.
...over aow3 class. in planetfall you can choose to use the secret tech or not. you are not forced into one path and can build/research whatever technology you want to make the combo you want. howerver the social part of the secret tech isn't well developped and should take a bigger role. in generall secret tech or whatever it will be called should have a little more importance. it was not enough in planetfall and too much in AOW3.

○ doctrines.
sheer amount of choice you can make, however you like and not tied to the evolution of you empire. however i would like to see more drastic powerfull and specific doctrines with negative effects.

○ race diversity.
all races in AOW3 felt too similar. even if planetfall units follow a certain templatefor most race (the tank, the artillery, etc) all races feels very different from each over even to the point of having their own unique weapons, spells and doctrines.

○ population management.
i really like the little minigame of putting each worker on an area of our choice to make a specific ressource. it add that little extra needed depth without overloading the players with things to do like in stellaris.

○ city buildings.
no more having to build a set amount of lower tier building to be able to build a specific one. now all buildings are available (almost) from the start and only techs decide what you can build next, just like in any civ games. i don't mind upgrading an existing building but i don't like the need of certain buildings to unlock new ones.

○ cosmite and planetfall ressources in general.
cosmite does a great job at limiting T4 spam and slowing powercreep.
food system is a welcomed addition as it allow new starvation mechanic (sadly nearly none existant in planetfall due to how easy it is to produce enough food) and sharing food to other cities.
i would still keep the mana system for spells and summons tho and add cosmite for powerfull ones. (like end game powerfull spells costing cosmite in addition of mana.)

○ special buildings dependent on type of ressources buildings.
i am happy to be forced to specialise cities rather than make every single cities monsters like in AOW3. so that ressource hunt is more important as to get the bonus you want from the ressource sector you got. just like AOW3/planetfall dungeonsLlandmark giving you special spells, unit and buildings.

○ influence ressource, but...
influence ressource come straight from paradox games. it is fine as it is but enable some wierd diplomacy like compliment spam and neutral cities take over on a whim. influence should rather be a kind of score for other AI or neutral faction to take into consideration. just like reputation, influence should be a fixed value that depend on your empire and army power. realisticly an "empire" with alot of influence would be one who share your "empire" religion, art or be either an economical or military powerhouse.
reputation can be something similar but would depend only on your actions. just like in planetfall where most action have a reputation increase or decrease.

○ diplomacy.
AI having their own personality is a nice little touch. i believe there is something similar for AOW3 but if it is, it is well hidden.
diplomacy is the weakest part of AOW3 anyway with any AI either waging war with you or tolerating you because of your reputation.
there is more nuance now. however the insults and compliments part is not well implemented. the AI could have their own demands like neutral factions and maybe even give you (or you give them) a mission with ressources as a reward. like placing a bounty on an empire heads and giving ressources for each X unit killed until a thresold is reached.
neutral faction diplomacy would need an overhaul. better than AOW3 system, it still feel like a mercenary camp you would buy stuff from instead of poper diplomacy with a native race.

○ units abilities.
all units having at least 2 distinct abilities is a big plus compared to AOW3. and i am not talking about being able to just hit either melee or range but the multitude of unique abilities each units have even between similar T1.

○ battle map but...
planetfall battlemaps have destructible cover, exploding barils and cars but maps are too big. it permit awfull strategy to abuse the AI. overall planetfall battle maps are better looking with some trully magnificent ones (and horrible ones like most gold landmarks..) and tons of little interactive elements. but the size make some fights drag on. it is less possible to regroup all amires in one spot and take over isolated groups on the battle map in AOW3 than in planetfall and thats for the best.

○ exploration site.
like dungeons but with a mini sotry and several possible choices leading to an alternative end.
it could be extended into AOW3 dungeons with multiple layers and different encounters like in a sort of mini rogue-lite.

○ hero items.
way better than what you would get in AOW3. here in planetfall items really change your hero gameplay as any weapon, mount and secondary weapon really do change what your hero can do instead of some minor bonus damage sword or another pewpew wand with different element.

○ empire mod.
maybe difficult to explain in a fantasy setting (unless you use realms like with magic the gathering) but the best solo experience i ever had in any AOW.

what i would keep from AOW3:
○ the strategic map
underground layer, beautifull parchment zommed out map, very diversified environmentswith tons of little tiles linked together.
very different from the plain looking sector based planetfall maps (which kinda works for a science fiction environment but not for fantasy anyway.)
you can tailor each map tiles by tiles to make trully gorgeous maps.
also maps are generally smaller because of the underground layer. big maps can become tedious to finish. some players like me like compact maps.

○ hero skills
heros in AOW3 have alot more perks and stat they can level up. hero personalisation, aside from the none existant modding system it has way more option to tailor your hero the way you want.

○ city expansion and map ressource.
sector system feels impersonal. AOW3 make you more involved in positioning a city and planning its growth.
sure planetfall let you manage in what direction the city shall grow but this can also be done in a civ style where you could plan the shape of your city instead of getting a generic circle shape.
also sector based maps make areas unneccessarly big which also increase the overall map size by alot with lots of empty space.

○ pacing.
quick to get into war or invade other territories but slow to build up your empire. which is the exact opposit of planetfall.
in planetfall you can extand your territories at a very fast pace, rushing mid&end game tech while war with other empires became less common because of map lenght, neutral npc mission spam and time it takes to capture a sector or city. casius belly is not a good system and also never was in stellaris from which it took this system.

○ marauder camps.
AOW3 marauder could get fearsome. i remember the bone dragon roaming in the undergrounjd could give you some sweat. in planetfall? all marauders are usually easy to beat until they are not. but thats always for defenders. roaming marauders are often a joke a few garnison level can easily fend off.

○ random events.
AOW3 events were harsh and impactfull. planetfall events? not so much. i really loved the mini invasion events of AOW3. a one time army spawing somewhere and trying to conquer the world with a leader in command. they would make coordinated attacks to take over cities (unlike planetfall marauders/voidfish) and would never spawn again once defeated. althought planetfall invasions looks cool, in game it felt tedious to have to deal with spawners constantly throwing easy to deal with stacks of doom every 2 turns unless they start attacking some undefended areas and waste 9 turns before attacking another target.

○ colon start.
a game mod i really enjoyed for its ability to give us the choice of where to start our first colony.

○ spells.
stronger, more impactfull spells, quite different from each magic school and really powerfull end game spells.

○ craft.
okay i admit i never use the crafting tool in AOW3 mostly because most items you can create aren't really that worth it. but with planetfall modding and equipment system? crafting could be nuts. imagine crafting your own weapons for your regular troops. taking a elven wooden stick for its sturdiness and adding a crude orkish blade on the tip for its bleeding potential. and TADAA new weapon with combined stats, bonus and malus!

○ empire quests.
more varied quests that require you to actually work for it instead of finishing it easily by default after just playing the game for some turns.

○ good vs bad vs neutral.
some actions do give you some reputation in planetfall. but its use kinda stops here. i prefer being able to use unique units and getting unique rewards depending on alignement. but alignement should not impact diplomacy as much as it did in AOIW3.

○ population hapiness.
losing a battle, a hero, your leader or winning more than 3 battles in a row and many other little things like that would increase or decrease your overall population hapiness. a not so friendly mechanic that made you think before you act and actually feel the need of keeping heros alive.
planetfall got rid of that making losing any hero or leader not very punishing if just for the occasional mount or weapon loss.

EDIT:
○ the AI.
AOW3 AI and planetfall AI are in fact very similar. but the simple gameplay loops of AOW3 makes it decent, ,even challenging at time whereas planetfall AI is the weakest part of the game. poor modding, poor decision making, overly defensive, poor at teching up, poor at fighting because of larger battle maps (which led to easy wins for the human player if he regroups his troups which the AI will never do !), easy to drag out of city walls, do not know how to keep ressources to build better troups, bad at overpowering its enemy, and so on.
i miss the aggressive AOW3 AI who knew how to spam strong units, tech up as fast as a player would and wasn't afraid of sending all its forces to invade someones territory even accross the map.


I hope i havn't forgotten to talk about some important specific points ^^.
Don't hesitate to share your thoughts, even if you disagree on some (or all) points ^^'.

Have a nice day :)
 
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mbuh

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While i tend to agree with most of the points, there are some that i disagree.

Out of these, the point about unit mods is the one i diagree most

One of the aspects of planetfall that i hate the most is unit modding

Yes, for most people this make them able to adapt easier to different circumstances. But this is what kills strategic and tactical thinking most, at least in terms of long tern planning. Planning is nonexistent whenever you can nullify the bad consequences of your choice made now by having massive ability to adapt. This is also what make planetfall easier than previous AoW games

Second point that i disagree is limitation of higher tier units, i actually like the cases where my opponents spam t4, at late game. Because why shouldn't they, they have the resources, and more importantly the game has reached the point where t4 is the standard of the armies. That we choose not to do the same means we choose not to employ our greatest assets, i'm fine with this, but wanting my opponent to do the same is what i dislike.

About AoW3 units have more abilities m than those in planetfall is not quite true. Units abilities in planetfall is tied with the mods, without any mods of course they have less amount of abilities. But if what you mean by units in planetfall (including fully modded units) have less variation in abilities compared to AoW3, this i agree. Most abilities in planetfall is quite the same from one unit to the other, AoW3 have greater variations in this regards, this includes comparison in tactical and strategic spells or operations from both games. Gone is an ability as awe inducing and as cool as chaos rift for example.
 
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Sandman25DCSSS

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While i tend to agree with most of the points, there are some that i disagree.

Out of these, the point about unit mods is the one i diagree most

One of the aspects of planetfall that i hate the most is unit modding

Yes, for most people this make them able to adapt easier to different circumstances. But this is what kills strategic and tactical thinking most, at least in terms of long tern planning. Planning is nonexistent whenever you can nullify the bad consequences of your choice made now by having massive ability to adapt. This is also what make planetfall easier than previous AoW games

Second point that i disagree is limitation of higher tier units, i actually like the cases where my opponents spam t4, at late game. Because why shouldn't they, they have the resources, and more importantly the game has reached the point where t4 is the standard of the armies. That we choose not to do the same means we choose not to employ our greatest assets, i'm fine with this, but wanting my opponent to do the same is what i dislike.

About AoW3 units have more abilities m than those in planetfall is not quite true. Units abilities in planetfall is tied with the mods, without any mods of course they have less amount of abilities. But if what you mean by units in planetfall (including fully modded units) have less variation in abilities compared to AoW3, this i agree. Most abilities in planetfall is quite the same from one unit to the other, AoW3 have greater variations in this regards, this includes comparison in tactical and strategic spells or operations from both games. Gone is an ability as awe inducing and as cool as chaos rift for example.
Mods is the best thing in planetfall. Strategy games are about adaptation to surrounding than about losing games just because you happened to play Goblin Rogue while opponent is Draconian Necromancer. You are expected to have many options and make decisions. Which decisions do you have in aow3? You always go for class units and tier 3 racial units.
Please don't confuse AI's inability to use mods and high tier units properly with those things being inherently bad. I am pretty sure MP is more varied in planetfall than in aow3. Fortunately there are some mods which increase difficulty, 6 times more energy, double cosmite, you can set up an alliance of 11 AIs etc.
Aow3 has less unit abilities even without mods, you can basically compare Dwarf to Dvar.
Dwarves have the following units and number of abilities for each:
Dwarf Prospector - 2 (melee and ranged attack)
Dwarf Axeman - 2 (both melee attacks)
Dwarf Crossbowman - 2 (melee and ranged attack)
Dwarf Deepguard - 1 (melee attack)
Dwarf Forge Priest - 3 (healing, melee and ranged attack)
Dwarf Boar Rider - 1 (melee attack)
Dwarf Firstborn - 1 (melee attack)
12 abilities per 7 units, that's less than 2 abilities on average. All melee and all ranged attacks are identical i.e. no effects and no AoE

Dvars:
Prospector - 2 (AoE melee with Blind Effect and ranged), also 1 strategic ability
Trencher - 2 (ranged and melee with push effect)
Foreman - 4 (AoE ranged, melee with concussion, healing, morale buff)
Bulwark - 3 (ranged, concussion ranged, overwatch)
Ramjet - 3 (melee, ranged AoE, self-buff for speed and damage)
Baron - 4 (ranged, healing, buff for damage/speed/dispel, AoE ranged)
Excavator tank - 3 (melee with push effect, AoE melee, ranged AoE)
Rocket Artillery - 3 (ranged, ranged AoE, buff for range/accuracy/debuff for movement)
Earth crusher - 3 (ranged, ranged pull, melee).
9 units with 27 abilities, 3 per unit., much more than in aow3 and much more varied as well.
 
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mbuh

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While i agree with this. But i should have been more clear in what i want to convey.

I agree that one of the essence of strategy is about adapting. The problem is in planetfall you can adapt your military in such a very fast way that it's totally unrealistic, i don't really mind this actually, what i mind is because of that, your choice won't have such bad consequences later compared if retrofitting mods take much longer, say 4 or 5 turns. About the AI, you just presume all of that, i mean what i convey has nothing to do with my current take of the AI

Then about the race v race comparison, again you miss my points, it's nor race in planetfall vs 3 that i compare, but races in each of them vs those in each one of them, plus you make very unfair comparison there, planetfall has greater emphasis on race than secret tech, in 3 its the opposite, but even in fair comparison (race/secret tech combo vs race/class combo), as i said this is never the comparison that i made.

The comparison i mean is races/techs in planetfall compared to other races/techs, in this there is less variety in abilities, including those from mods, most abilities in planetfall is similar, just 1 or 2 radius aoe that mostly do damage or debuff/buff, or combination of both.

In 3, races/classes combo compared to other races/classes combo, there are more variety in abilities.

Then a comparison of operations vs spells from both games, there is no contest here, in planetfall they are far more boring. Of course some spells in 3 become unit abilities, like medusa battlefield wide AoE is just the same in essence as hellfire in 3, but even with all these included, the one in planetfall feels bland, what's worse there is often multiple abilities that in essence are there same

I do get it that some of all our points is subjective, everyone have their own preferences and taste of course, but still some of what i said is valid.
 
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Sandman25DCSSS

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Sorry, I don't understand. What exactly are you comparing? Do you want me to compare class units from aow3 to ST units from planetfall? Or compare specific class unit like Berserker for different races in aow3 to specific class unit like Purifier for different factions in planetfall?

If you are not talking about AI, then how can you say that tier 3-4 units are bad in planetfall? Have you really tried them? They are still OP, probably even more than in aow3 because they don't need to be in melee range.
 

mbuh

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Sorry, I don't understand. What exactly are you comparing? Do you want me to compare class units from aow3 to ST units from planetfall? Or compare specific class unit like Berserker for different races in aow3 to specific class unit like Purifier for different factions in planetfall?
No, the comparison i made is about units of each type of combination of races and secret tech in planetfall compared to other combination in the same game, i've already said it clear enough above. And i never want anyone to make the comparison anyway, because i've already compared it long ago every time a new major dlc of planetfall is released. In fact i alreadt said above, abilites from units and mods in planetfall, compared to other units and mods in planetfall, have very little difference in essence in what they do


If you are not talking about AI, then how can you say that tier 3-4 units are bad in planetfall? Have you really tried them? They are still OP, probably even more than in aow3 because they don't need to be in melee range.
What?? You need to read more carefully, in which statements i said i compare T3 - 4 from each game and that i said T3-4 is bad in planetfall, again i don't know where you read it, this is all your assumption.

If i must repeat what i said, in essence, what i said above (in response to the OP, i mean @akinata) is the possible amount of T4 in planetfall is far too few compared to AoW3, even though in largest map anyone can have lots (like 20-40) T4 in planetfall, but that number is still too few compared to what is possible in AoW3. But again, this is a matter of preference, this is all subjective here, so i actually don't have anything against this.

What i mind is because there are some people who consider that too many number of T4 in AoW3 is causing less variation of units in anyone military forces, because why anyone must not produce their best assets in masse if they can, even though their military forces become so homogenous. Furthermore, if additional argument said T4 spam is too OP to deal with, they are not, some class/race must use other assets than meeting fire with fire, i mean like production classes vs summoner classes case, most people assume summoner class can't compete at late game because they can't produce T4 fast enough as production class, the bigger the map the more apparent this is, these kind of people have not played the game enough to know that summoner class can compete.
 
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True, I am not native English speaker, but I still believe it is you who is responsible for the misunderstanding we have. I reread your first post in this thread, and you sounded like planetfall units without mods have less abilities ("of course") than aow3 units.
Also you probably need to play aow3 again (I played it recently) to remind yourself how boring and repetitive their abilities are. Aow3 almost never forces you to think what to do, it makes you just choose hex from where the only possible (or clearly optimal) action should be started. I switched to Panzer Corps at the moment and aow3 combat is quite similar IMHO.
Regarding tier 3-4 units, it is an AI problem, I believe. I often have very many tier 3-4 units late game (turn 50+ for me).
 

mbuh

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True, I am not native English speaker, but I still believe it is you who is responsible for the misunderstanding we have. I reread your first post in this thread, and you sounded like planetfall units without mods have less abilities ("of course") than aow3 units.
I'm not native english speaker too, very apparent in my, well, grammar and other things that sometimes i cause confusion of those who read my posts. But yes i have a hunch that you are also not, that or you have just wake up.

Anyway back to the point. Yes, i was just pointing the obvious facts there, that planetfall units are mostly in the mods. Without the mods, planetfall units of course have less ability than they should.

And in the true context of that statement i make, i actually defended planetfall against AoW3 in this case, where if you actually read all the posts, not just me, but from the very start, the OP said that AoW3 units have more abilities than planetfall units, there i wanted to point out that in case of abilities, all AoW3 units have all their abilities right at the start, which make his comparison an unfair comparison, because some of units's abilities in planetfall are from mods, thus the point i make is if we are to make a fair comparison, then AoW3 units abilities compared to planetfall modded units abilities.

But i also said, in terms of variety, planetfall units compared to other planetfall units abilities are mostly the same in essence, it's just some of their effect is different. Example: 1) grenades, 2) All races have T3 units that fills the role of classic artillery units which means this units have 1 hex radius AoE damage ability, the difference is just its damage channel

There are other examples, but even if we list all available abilities in planetfall (including from mods, including from NPC factions, including from operations, doctrines, etc), we will come up with a result that is there are more similar abilites than those that are completely or almost completely different.

In short words, in AoW3, race/class feels more assymetrical when compared to one another, compared to race/secret tech in planetfall. At least that's what i feel, i can understand that there are those who feels differently, though i'm not the only one in this, i'm just one of the few who voiced my opinion in regard of this, most just doesn't care to raise their arguments and stick to playing AoW3.

Also you probably need to play aow3 again (I played it recently) to remind yourself how boring and repetitive their abilities are. Aow3 almost never forces you to think what to do, it makes you just choose hex from where the only possible (or clearly optimal) action should be started. I switched to Panzer Corps at the moment and aow3 combat is quite similar IMHO.
Well, i said before that some aspects are personal taste, or subjective, regarding boring or repetitive or not is one of the matter that is more about personal taste. But one thing that is actually true is that AoW3 units are not always in other AoW3's units, compared to planetfall (refer to example i give) units abilities which also exist in other planetfall units with a difference that is just to minor.


Regarding tier 3-4 units, it is an AI problem, I believe. I often have very many tier 3-4 units late game (turn 50+ for me).
Well, we agree on this. Again this is also personal taste, i know lots of people who like the battle to feels small and more skirmishy, i admit that i like epic or big battles, that means battles involving as many units as possible of the higher if not the highest quality available from both sides (my side and my opponent). In regard of this, planetfall doesn't allow anyone to have hundreds of T4, like in AoW3, a total of 200 to 400 ish T4 (from all players in the game, including from AIs) is quite a common case in AoW3 in largest map (UG enabled), at least in my game, that is quite common case at turn 80+ (where most faction starting to have their ultimate skills activated, especially if the majority of all the factions in the game are production classes).

The way planetfall limit it with cosmite is what i dislike. Although i haven't touch modding the game, mod is probably capable to tinker the number
 
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Sandman25DCSSS

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Anyway back to the point. Yes, i was just pointing the obvious facts there, that planetfall units are mostly in the mods. Without the mods, planetfall units of course have less ability than they should.
Why are you saying this again? OP said aow3 units have more abilities than planetfall units do and you are disagreeing by "planetfall units with mods have more abilities than planetfall units without mods"? Look at what I did in my first post, I proved that planetfall units have more abilities than aow3 units even before taking mods into account! And if we add mods, the advantage will be huge.

And in the true context of that statement i make, i actually defended planetfall against AoW3 in this case, where if you actually read all the posts, not just me, but from the very start, the OP said that AoW3 units have more abilities than planetfall units, there i wanted to point out that in case of abilities, all AoW3 units have all their abilities right at the start, which make his comparison an unfair comparison, because some of units's abilities in planetfall are from mods, thus the point i make is if we are to make a fair comparison, then AoW3 units abilities compared to planetfall modded units abilities.
Again, it does not matter, see above. Without mods planetfall has 50% more abilities (from the very start, yes!), with mods it has 300%+ more abilities, aow3 loses no matter what.

But i also said, in terms of variety, planetfall units compared to other planetfall units abilities are mostly the same in essence, it's just some of their effect is different. Example: 1) grenades, 2) All races have T3 units that fills the role of classic artillery units which means this units have 1 hex radius AoE damage ability, the difference is just its damage channel
Are you still comparing planetfall to aow3? Because it does not have even those effects. Also I really disagree about abilities being the same, even channel difference is a big deal if you take mods into account (bio destroys armour, psi makes you panic/berserk, electric stuns/removes stagger immunity, kinetic paralyzes etc.). Also even AoE patterns are different (malictor, avatar, rocket artillery, refractor, all those tier 3 units with AoE have quite different AoE).
Syndicate does not have artillery by the way unless you count subjugator.

In short words, in AoW3, race/class feels more assymetrical when compared to one another, compared to race/secret tech in planetfall. At least that's what i feel, i can understand that there are those who feels differently, though i'm not the only one in this, i'm just one of the few who voiced my opinion in regard of this, most just doesn't care to raise their arguments and stick to playing AoW3.
I agree about classes, but not about races. Aow3 races have infantry, pikeman, cavalry, archer, support with magic attack.


Well, we agree on this. Again this is also personal taste, i know lots of people who like the battle to feels small and more skirmishy, i admit that i like epic or big battles, that means battles involving as many units as possible of the higher if not the highest quality available from both sides (my side and my opponent). In regard of this, planetfall doesn't allow anyone to have hundreds of T4, like in AoW3, a total of 200 to 400 ish T4 (from all players in the game, including from AIs) is quite a common case in AoW3 in largest map (UG enabled), at least in my game, that is quite common case at turn 80+ (where most faction starting to have their ultimate skills activated, especially if the majority of all the factions in the game are production classes).
I have 1400+ hours in aow3 and I have never seen even 200 T4, the game is over long before that due to ultimate spells.
 

mbuh

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Why are you saying this again? OP said aow3 units have more abilities than planetfall units do and you are disagreeing by "planetfall units with mods have more abilities than planetfall units without mods"? Look at what I did in my first post, I proved that planetfall units have more abilities than aow3 units even before taking mods into account! And if we add mods, the advantage will be huge.
Dude, you always manage to miss the point entirely. I don't know whether it's language barrier, or you just lack the ability to understand other people.

You ask why i say it again, to explain it to you that you miss the point entirely in your previous post, and not just that you even assume things that i never even thought to convey to begin with, yet worse you think you're right.

That's why i kindly re explaining myself, yet this post of yours indicate that you take this as argument. No it doesn't, this is just reexplaining.

Once again, let's recap, in case you fail to understand again.

Read this, and do it extremely carefully.

○ units abilities.
all units having at least 2 distinct abilities is a big plus from AOW3. and i am not talking about being able to just hit either melee or range but the multitude of unique abilities each units have even between similar T1.
Then this
About AoW3 units have more abilities m than those in planetfall is not quite true. Units abilities in planetfall is tied with the mods, without any mods of course they have less amount of abilities. But if what you mean by units in planetfall (including fully modded units) have less variation in abilities compared to AoW3, this i agree. Most abilities in planetfall is quite the same from one unit to the other, AoW3 have greater variations in this regards, this includes comparison in tactical and strategic spells or operations from both games. Gone is an ability as awe inducing and as cool as chaos rift for example.
Had you understand what i said in the first post in regards of this, i never had to re explain myself over and over to you in my previous posts.


Again, it does not matter, see above. Without mods planetfall has 50% more abilities (from the very start, yes!), with mods it has 300%+ more abilities, aow3 loses no matter what.
Which again, miss my point. I never said the amount of abilities, but the amount of distinct abilities, as the OP also have said it himself.

As i said too, that the reason planetfall abilities are so many is because there are a lot of similar abilities in their essence, their only difference is dmg channel. Dmg channel is just flavour here, the essence is the property of the abilities, as i've already gave examples above. If we account all abilities in the game, most abilities in planetfall is doing too similar things that make it bland.

Personally i rather have a unit with no abilities at all, other than the basic movement, and attack than having lots of units with essentially similar abilities.

Are you still comparing planetfall to aow3? Because it does not have even those effects. Also I really disagree about abilities being the same, even channel difference is a big deal if you take mods into account (bio destroys armour, psi makes you panic/berserk, electric stuns/removes stagger immunity, kinetic paralyzes etc.). Also even AoE patterns are different (malictor, avatar, rocket artillery, refractor, all those tier 3 units with AoE have quite different AoE).
Syndicate does not have artillery by the way unless you count subjugator.
Miss the point again. I never make comparison as you claim. When comparing, i already said it, and again this time i said it, this is probably the third one if not fourth, due to your inability to understand it. I compare variety in one game vs variety in the other. There are more variety in AoW3 than in planetfall. Most abilities in planetfall is too similar that they are not distinct against one another. It's never the number of abilities that me and the OP compare, but the distinctness.

The difference in dmg channels only is too trivial to make them distinct from one another.

Syndicate doesn't have classic artillery yes, but do i need to remind you or anyone else who forgot, that syndicate is just one out of 7 races available, and happen to be the only one that doesn't have classic artillery. 6 out of 7 have very similar artillery, shakarn refractor is a bit unique indeed, but even if we exclude that, it is still 5 out of 7 races that have very similar artillery. This is just one of the many examples of how many things in planetfall is not distinct enough.

Funny that you mention malictor, what difference is his attack type than chain lightning type, other units like liquid crystal, and even arc extension mods from arc weapon tech. They are all the same in essence. In AoW3 this kind of ability is only in chain lightning and hornet swarm, both are spells, which means not as abundant as abilities from units. This further make the similarities between planetfall similar abilities worse, because they are similar in such abundant way, that make it too bland. If they are rare, say in tactical ops, then i'll regard it as disctinct ability.

Mods abilities is where distinction between abilities is starting to appear in planetfall, but look at all the mods in the game, there are still more mods's abilities who have similar function in essence than those mods that are in essence are distinct with one another. Just like above case where 5 out of 7 race have very similar line up, while only 2 is distinct. The amount of disctinction is too minority in planetfall

Those are all that me and the OP means by abilities in planetfall have less disctinction than in AoW3. Again difference in dmg channels doesn't count because it's too trivial, the core of the ability is the same if it's just a different of damage channels, if you consider the difference of damage channels alone is making two abilities with the same core different, than you clearly doesn't understand the meaning of the word disctinct.


I have 1400+ hours in aow3 and I have never seen even 200 T4, the game is over long before that due to ultimate spells.
I have 20k+ hours, and they do happen, unless you rush your opponents, or you consider your game won after beating the 1st faction, although any strategy game is considered won after the player beat 1 or 2 factions, this include planetfall. But when i continue until the game truly finished and not just considered as finished, at largest map ug enabled, 200-400 T4 is common occurence especially if the factions is mostly warlord and dreadnought, when i choose to do the same in planetfall, these amount of T4 never going to happens, unless in modded game or in custom maps. However i understand that this is more of personal taste, not everyone wants to drag the game just to enjoy many epic battles.
 
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ah. i may have not written that phrase correctly. i ll will edit that line ^^'

as for unit abilities themselves, planetfall units have more varied ones compared to AOW3. to the point of having really distinct T1 whereas most AOW3 t1 are just similar copies.
even if alot of abilities can feel the same they all come from very different units and with some twist (ex: PUP single target smoke screen and laser tank AOE slef smokescreen.)

as for unit class, and since you talked about artillery, oathbound does not have proper artillery either. vanguard "artillery" is just a freee action rocket fire from the walker. only DVAR, kirko, amazon and assembly have proper artillery and even then, kirko and DVAR artillery are the only one who can attack 3 time with the artillery ability and assembly one is the only artillery who leaves a hazard on the floor. DVAR has also the unique feature of immobilizing itself for better range. so even with similar class of units they all perform differently.

some mods can feel a bit generic, especially early game ones. but most T2&T3 mods are quite different from each other. even if many do add CC or AOE, it add them differently.
 
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The Underground + the depths.

And improvement to making water terrain actually mattering. Ships is a joke. they can't extert any pressure on land cities other than keeping water hexs safe for invading land forces. :p That's what i'll like to see improved in aow4 if it happens.


With addition to boosted cosmite income in the waters of planetfall, it strangely started to make me care bit more about ocean sectors xD
 
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Draxynnic

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What i mind is because there are some people who consider that too many number of T4 in AoW3 is causing less variation of units in anyone military forces, because why anyone must not produce their best assets in masse if they can, even though their military forces become so homogenous.
Except that this isn't how real-world militaries operate. Real-world militaries don't just mass their strongest unit type, in part because there are usually things that the 'weaker' assets can do that the stronger ones can't, and in part because there are some tasks where it's inefficient to use your most expensive assets when something cheaper can do the job.

Planetfall actually succeeds in promoting that mentality. The upkeep of tier 4s is high enough to provide a real disincentive to mass them. Furthermore, most T4s are designed to operate as force multipliers when combined with an army of lower-tier units, rather than being a direct upgrade to the tier 3 units of that race or faction (and at least one of the exceptions, the Shakarn Sonokarn, is dependent on the action point reset of the Tactician to reach its full potential).

When it comes to the discussion of mods versus units... personally, I found that distinctions between units were, if anything, greater than they were in AoW3. Mods provide a means of adding new abilities to the same chassis, which means that you can get a high degree of customisation without needing to have units that are minor variations of one another. It's essentially Triumph's first shot at a mod-based system, but I'd consider it a step back if they abandoned it in a hypothetical AoW4.
 
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mbuh

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ah. i may have not written that phrase correctly. i ll will edit that line ^^'

as for unit abilities themselves, planetfall units have more varied ones compared to AOW3. to the point of having really distinct T1 whereas most AOW3 t1 are just similar copies.
even if alot of abilities can feel the same they all come from very different units and with some twist (ex: PUP single target smoke screen and laser tank AOE slef smokescreen.)

as for unit class, and since you talked about artillery, oathbound does not have proper artillery either. vanguard "artillery" is just a freee action rocket fire from the walker. only DVAR, kirko, amazon and assembly have proper artillery and even then, kirko and DVAR artillery are the only one who can attack 3 time with the artillery ability and assembly one is the only artillery who leaves a hazard on the floor. DVAR has also the unique feature of immobilizing itself for better range. so even with similar class of units they all perform differently.

some mods can feel a bit generic, especially early game ones. but most T2&T3 mods are quite different from each other. even if many do add CC or AOE, it add them differently.
and
When it comes to the discussion of mods versus units... personally, I found that distinctions between units were, if anything, greater than they were in AoW3. Mods provide a means of adding new abilities to the same chassis, which means that you can get a high degree of customisation without needing to have units that are minor variations of one another. It's essentially Triumph's first shot at a mod-based system, but I'd consider it a step back if they abandoned it in a hypothetical AoW4.
Well, you said it yourself here, that a lot of abilities can feel the same in essence, they are differentiated by some slight difference. This we all agree. About artillery, well if we exclude the oathbound too, we still come with 6 out of 8 races that has units that fill the role of artillery, some are classic, some has more flavour. Personally i consider rocket artillery as classic artillery, even the name itself suggest what the dev intended the unit role to be. Even the shakarn tank, while its artillery capability is quite unique, that is it is a hybrid of main battle tank and artillery type of role (if you refer to real world military terms), still it fills the role of artillery, furthermore once they have the stack they still are 1 or 2 hex radius AoE damage ability, though i suspect it's because the dev wants for all races to have artillery than the dev wants to directly give similar artilleric abilities to most races, because in real military, artillery is essential in warfare.

One thing that keep me disagreeing so far is our definition about the degree of distinction. To you people it seems just a slight difference is already a different ability, while in essence they are the same, i mean just a slight difference in flavor is enough for you people to consider the food different, while this is not wrong in regards of respect to subjectiveness of opinion, that is however quite against the definition of the word distinct, distinction is more often about the essence not the flavour, at least in my working environtment which mostly concerns data, databases, programming, that is what disctinct means, if the essence is the same but the flavour is different they are not disctinct.

Thus, i've come into conclusion here that we all seems to have different definition to the word distinct, this is the cause of our disagreement so far it seems.

However i respect everyone opinion, so long as they don't make presumptuous statement. Though in a bigger context of thing, i still disagree that there are more planetfall abilities that is disctinct compared to those that are similar. But i'll have to agree to disagree on this because the root cause is more about our definition of distinct is too different more than the games itself, that is at least so far it appears like that.

The Underground + the depths.

And improvement to making water terrain actually mattering. Ships is a joke. they can't extert any pressure on land cities other than keeping water hexs safe for invading land forces. :p That's what i'll like to see improved in aow4 if it happens.


With addition to boosted cosmite income in the waters of planetfall, it strangely started to make me care bit more about ocean sectors xD
Back then when planetfall haven't released yet, i hope we can make underwater colonies. It seems very plausible even for sci fi settings, and cetainly it is for high fantasy. Turns out it doesn't exist.

About ships, i don't want to repeat getting myself dragged to very long arguments about ships like what happens in the original AoW3 forum long time ago. But here in planetfall, my take on ship is the same as in AoW3, at least personally i think ships are good enough to those who actually has it, like vanguard and dvar for example, other races just have different way of naval warfare, this is similar to AoW3, which in my opinion is good asymmetry value. As in AoW3, in planetfall, some races prefer flying units (oathbound for example) that they can just neglect ships for naval warfare. Well if you imagine your enemy has massive flying battlesuits, they can just fly and arrive directly to engage your armada right.

So personally, i hope if we are to make water regions more relevant than in planetfall or AoW3 for AoW4, i hope for water colonies, or better underwater layer with water colonies. Although underground, underwater and normal ground layer is probably a bit too much, but one can still hope.


Except that this isn't how real-world militaries operate. Real-world militaries don't just mass their strongest unit type, in part because there are usually things that the 'weaker' assets can do that the stronger ones can't, and in part because there are some tasks where it's inefficient to use your most expensive assets when something cheaper can do the job.

Planetfall actually succeeds in promoting that mentality. The upkeep of tier 4s is high enough to provide a real disincentive to mass them. Furthermore, most T4s are designed to operate as force multipliers when combined with an army of lower-tier units, rather than being a direct upgrade to the tier 3 units of that race or faction (and at least one of the exceptions, the Shakarn Sonokarn, is dependent on the action point reset of the Tactician to reach its full potential).
I fully agree on this. However, as i understand it, that is how real world military is because many things act as limitations to many aspects of the military, directly (like the military equipment, and tech itself), or indirectly (the economy to support, develop and sustain them). But, and this is a big but, because this is fictions, well, shouldn't it be more creative (as in more imaginative), that somehow these limitations can be reduced.

For example, regarding cosmite and mods. Because when we talk about creativity or imagination, it will concern lore, so bear with me a little here. If i recall correctly, cosmite is cosmic level of resource. This is part of the reason why units can change mods so fast like it's unrealistic, however i did said that i can't have anything against this because it's imagined mechanics, thus is valid in my opinion creativity wise, i mean i consider the dev is creative enough to come up that units can change their equipment so fast because their equipment use a degree of cosmic level resource, in this i don't have anything against it. Even though game mechanic wise, i still dislike it, 1 turn is too fast i think (maybe 2 or 3 turn is fine), but well, i'm not going to talk about this any longer, besides modding can probably solve this, but i haven't touch modding so far.

For T4 units, not all of them seems to have cosmic level of capabilities (lorewise), some that come to my mind right now that have anything related to cosmite just to maintain their existence are ascended teacher, herald of oblivion, psi fish medusa (and its void equivalent), and most other T4 from NPC factions, kirko harbinger is probably too, heritor maybe too. Makes me think it's weird for other T4 to have cosmite upkeep
 
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It is hard to have more distinct abilities when you divide them into single target and AoE. Yes, sadly there are just 2 abilities in planetfall and we would like much more.
 

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Well, you said it yourself here, that a lot of abilities can feel the same in essence, they are differentiated by some slight difference. This we all agree. About artillery, well if we exclude the oathbound too, we still come with 6 out of 8 races that has units that fill the role of artillery, some are classic, some has more flavour. Personally i consider rocket artillery as classic artillery, even the name itself suggest what the dev intended the unit role to be. Even the shakarn tank, while its artillery capability is quite unique, that is it is a hybrid of main battle tank and artillery type of role (if you refer to real world military terms), still it fills the role of artillery, furthermore once they have the stack they still are 1 or 2 hex radius AoE damage ability, though i suspect it's because the dev wants for all races to have artillery than the dev wants to directly give similar artilleric abilities to most races, because in real military, artillery is essential in warfare.

One thing that keep me disagreeing so far is our definition about the degree of distinction. To you people it seems just a slight difference is already a different ability, while in essence they are the same, i mean just a slight difference in flavor is enough for you people to consider the food different, while this is not wrong in regards of respect to subjectiveness of opinion, that is however quite against the definition of the word distinct, distinction is more often about the essence not the flavour, at least in my working environtment which mostly concerns data, databases, programming, that is what disctinct means, if the essence is the same but the flavour is different they are not disctinct.

Thus, i've come into conclusion here that we all seems to have different definition to the word distinct, this is the cause of our disagreement so far it seems.

However i respect everyone opinion, so long as they don't make presumptuous statement. Though in a bigger context of thing, i still disagree that there are more planetfall abilities that is disctinct compared to those that are similar. But i'll have to agree to disagree on this because the root cause is more about our definition of distinct is too different more than the games itself, that is at least so far it appears like that.
This... to be blunt, it feels more like you're just employing sophistry in order to make yourself seem superior rather than making an intelligible point?

Distinctiveness is always going to be relative. You could say that units in Planetfall fulfill broadly the same role and thus they're not distinctive enough for you... but that applies to AoW3 as well. Heck, AoW3 explicitly had all racial units fill out a template - irregular, infantry, archer, pikemen, cavalry, support, and 'special' (which was pretty much always some kind of melee unit with an unusual quality) - and the distinction between racial units in the same category was usually relatively small.

Planetfall, I think, certainly doesn't have less distinctiveness between units than AoW3. You're picking out the artillery category, but if you cross that across races, you've got repeating artillery (Barrager, Rocket Artillery), you've got units that can fire an area attack but where they're arguably stronger just repeater-firing their main gun (Bombardon, Disassembler), you've got the Vanguard Walker which is the king of the alpha strike, you've got the Subjugator and Diviner which are somewhat artillery-esque but also moonlight as support, and then you're claiming the Refractor as "artillery", when it's really more of a tank that has an area damage secondary fire if it first builds up Ebb stacks (and therefore doesn't have the first-strike capability that most artillery offers).

That's probably about as much distinction as AoW3 showed for its racial tier 3s (they're all functionally melee units - some are on foot, some fly, some are tanky, some are more offensive-oriented, the Ice Queen relies more on having the Dome of Frost effect than on its baseline stats but still usually wants to be in melee range). And if you go across all the Planetfall races, there are usually similar distinctions between units that fulfill the same roles, and there are some roles that aren't filled by all races (snipers, for instance). Compare that to AoW3, where the difference between Tier 1 infantry of one race to another was usually pretty minimal? Yeah, I don't think Planetfall has less distinctiveness between units than AoW3. If anything, it has more. Which means I don't think the claim that mods have come at the cost of unit distinctiveness can really be sustained. At the bottom line, units that fill particular roles are likely to have similarities with other units that fill the same role. And you're not going to get multiple races which each have cohesive unit lists without them having some units that fill similar roles.

In terms of how much distinctiveness usage of mods provides... it really depends on the mods. Some mods are just simple buffs that don't really change how you use the unit. Others - generally the more expensive ones - are gamechangers. A Vanguard Walker with Fireburst Ammunition, Rail Accelerators, and a Jetpack is a very different beast to an unmodded Walker or one with a different set of mods (Miniaturised Missile Array, Phoenix Bomb Launchers, and Dazzler Systems, perhaps). Might not completely change the role, but those two Walkers are probably going to feel more different than the Orc Shock Trooper does to the Dwarf Firstborn.

At most, it means that some abilities that would otherwise be unique to a unit can also come from mods - but one of the effects of increased customisation is that sometimes that customisation allows for achieving similar results from different directions.

I fully agree on this. However, as i understand it, that is how real world military is because many things act as limitations to many aspects of the military, directly (like the military equipment, and tech itself), or indirectly (the economy to support, develop and sustain them). But, and this is a big but, because this is fictions, well, shouldn't it be more creative (as in more imaginative), that somehow these limitations can be reduced.
This is a strategy game. Resource management is at the core of many strategy games. You reduce the limitations by building an economy that allows you to surpass your previous limitations. However, just because you can afford to build another of the most expensive thing you can field, doesn't mean that should always be the best option over building two of something cheaper. AoW3 led to high-tier spam because the price and upkeep of higher-tier units didn't reflect their increased capabilities. Planetfall aimed to address this, in part through making high-tier units more expensive, and in part by providing means to upgrade lower-tier units.

Presently (short of nuclear weapons, anyway) aircraft carriers are the most expensive single mobile asset that a military can have, but no military will exclusively build aircraft carriers even if they had the resources to do so. Even if you restricted it to just navies, no navy is going to exclusively build aircraft carriers. The way Planetfall treats top-tier units reflects this. They're good to have, but massing them is usually inefficient - and this results in more interesting army structures that involve some combined arms rather than simply massing manticores.

With respect to cosmite... I think there's a degree to which it's simply a game mechanic, but what it really represents is that there are some resources that are common, and some that aren't. For instance, to give real-world examples, it might be possible to have a near-unlimited supply of steel for building ground vehicles, while lacking the more advanced materials needed to make high-performance jet engines. Cosmite essentially fills the role of "something that represents rarer resources than simple energy" - it's a compromise between just having one resource, and having dozens of them in order to try to simulate every resource that a futuristic civilisation might need. If one really wanted to, one could justify it as cosmite having a variety of technological functions that make it required for a wide range of tasks - for instance, it might be required to make focusing lenses for high-power lasers, be needed to create an alloy strong enough to make walkers above the size and relatively light weight of a Bulwark actually viable despite the square-cube law, and be required to produce sufficiently energy-dense batteries to give drones their punch despite being relatively small as weapons platforms go. This conveniently explains cosmite's use in constructing Vanguard Laser Tanks, Walkers, and Drone Carriers, and the need for cosmite-based power packs for drones would explain the Drone Carrier's cosmite upkeep requirement.

Similar logic could apply to high-tier units of other races.

In short, though, for most people, mixed armies are more interesting to fight with and against than degenerate masses of one tier 4 unit.
 
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mbuh

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This... to be blunt, it feels more like you're just employing sophistry in order to make yourself seem superior rather than making an intelligible point?

Distinctiveness is always going to be relative. You could say that units in Planetfall fulfill broadly the same role and thus they're not distinctive enough for you... but that applies to AoW3 as well. Heck, AoW3 explicitly had all racial units fill out a template - irregular, infantry, archer, pikemen, cavalry, support, and 'special' (which was pretty much always some kind of melee unit with an unusual quality) - and the distinction between racial units in the same category was usually relatively small.

Planetfall, I think, certainly doesn't have less distinctiveness between units than AoW3. You're picking out the artillery category, but if you cross that across races, you've got repeating artillery (Barrager, Rocket Artillery), you've got units that can fire an area attack but where they're arguably stronger just repeater-firing their main gun (Bombardon, Disassembler), you've got the Vanguard Walker which is the king of the alpha strike, you've got the Subjugator and Diviner which are somewhat artillery-esque but also moonlight as support, and then you're claiming the Refractor as "artillery", when it's really more of a tank that has an area damage secondary fire if it first builds up Ebb stacks (and therefore doesn't have the first-strike capability that most artillery offers).

That's probably about as much distinction as AoW3 showed for its racial tier 3s (they're all functionally melee units - some are on foot, some fly, some are tanky, some are more offensive-oriented, the Ice Queen relies more on having the Dome of Frost effect than on its baseline stats but still usually wants to be in melee range). And if you go across all the Planetfall races, there are usually similar distinctions between units that fulfill the same roles, and there are some roles that aren't filled by all races (snipers, for instance). Compare that to AoW3, where the difference between Tier 1 infantry of one race to another was usually pretty minimal? Yeah, I don't think Planetfall has less distinctiveness between units than AoW3. If anything, it has more. Which means I don't think the claim that mods have come at the cost of unit distinctiveness can really be sustained. At the bottom line, units that fill particular roles are likely to have similarities with other units that fill the same role. And you're not going to get multiple races which each have cohesive unit lists without them having some units that fill similar roles.

In terms of how much distinctiveness usage of mods provides... it really depends on the mods. Some mods are just simple buffs that don't really change how you use the unit. Others - generally the more expensive ones - are gamechangers. A Vanguard Walker with Fireburst Ammunition, Rail Accelerators, and a Jetpack is a very different beast to an unmodded Walker or one with a different set of mods (Miniaturised Missile Array, Phoenix Bomb Launchers, and Dazzler Systems, perhaps). Might not completely change the role, but those two Walkers are probably going to feel more different than the Orc Shock Trooper does to the Dwarf Firstborn.

At most, it means that some abilities that would otherwise be unique to a unit can also come from mods - but one of the effects of increased customisation is that sometimes that customisation allows for achieving similar results from different directions.
"Distinctiveness is always going to be relative". This is why we will continuely disagree, because actually Distinctiveness is only relative to the context, in the same context, there is clear definition of it. As one of the few who actually understand what i said so far, i'm pretty sure you understand what i mean here.

My focus is not unit roles first, but ability first, unit roles second. It was not me who made it stray.

Look at this, it all start with this
But i also said, in terms of variety, planetfall units compared to other planetfall units abilities are mostly the same in essence, it's just some of their effect is different. Example: 1) grenades, 2) All races have T3 units that fills the role of classic artillery units which means this units have 1 hex radius AoE damage ability, the difference is just its damage channel
Unit grouping always exist. They are often grouped by roles. Which is why my point is actually not that because there are too many artillery that it makes unit distinctiveness less, but because these artillery units have abilities that are very similar or not distinct enough.

I mean, the reason i talk about artillery units is to give an example of similar abilities in planetfall, i don't object to any similarities of roles, which is why it brings me to say that the core point of my saying is that if only a minority of races has artillery the amount of similar abilities will be reduced. In short it was the abilities first then goes on to unit role. Imagine if there are more races like syndicate and oathbound (who doesn't have artillery), refractor is artillery - main battle tank hybrid, nontheless it is still artillery despite not classic one. There are other example beside artillery, if it's just about how many similar abilities are in planetfall, like grenades, chain attack types (malictor, liquit quartize, arc extension mods, etc).

If for you distinctiveness is relative, then feel free to consider them distinct enough, in regard of this, isn't that means i'm also free to consider that is not distinct enough?

About distinctiveness of mods abilities, i did said that the distinctiveness of all abilities in planetfall actually comes from mods, but again, i also said there are still quite many similar abilities from the mods, though the similarities are far less than between units's inherent abilities.

If we also consider operations (both tactical and strategic), whether those available to factions or only in dungeon sites, this is where planefall's abilities becomes very distinct, especially those in dungeon sites. I guess in this case i'm a little dissapointed that it is made for dungeon sites and not for operations. In AoW3 those abilities are classes's spells, not exclusive to dungeon sites like in planetfall. While yes making it exclusive to dungeon sites make the battle more interesting there, personally i prefer having those as operations.

This is a strategy game. Resource management is at the core of many strategy games. You reduce the limitations by building an economy that allows you to surpass your previous limitations. However, just because you can afford to build another of the most expensive thing you can field, doesn't mean that should always be the best option over building two of something cheaper. AoW3 led to high-tier spam because the price and upkeep of higher-tier units didn't reflect their increased capabilities. Planetfall aimed to address this, in part through making high-tier units more expensive, and in part by providing means to upgrade lower-tier units.

Presently (short of nuclear weapons, anyway) aircraft carriers are the most expensive single mobile asset that a military can have, but no military will exclusively build aircraft carriers even if they had the resources to do so. Even if you restricted it to just navies, no navy is going to exclusively build aircraft carriers. The way Planetfall treats top-tier units reflects this. They're good to have, but massing them is usually inefficient - and this results in more interesting army structures that involve some combined arms rather than simply massing manticores.

With respect to cosmite... I think there's a degree to which it's simply a game mechanic, but what it really represents is that there are some resources that are common, and some that aren't. For instance, to give real-world examples, it might be possible to have a near-unlimited supply of steel for building ground vehicles, while lacking the more advanced materials needed to make high-performance jet engines. Cosmite essentially fills the role of "something that represents rarer resources than simple energy" - it's a compromise between just having one resource, and having dozens of them in order to try to simulate every resource that a futuristic civilisation might need. If one really wanted to, one could justify it as cosmite having a variety of technological functions that make it required for a wide range of tasks - for instance, it might be required to make focusing lenses for high-power lasers, be needed to create an alloy strong enough to make walkers above the size and relatively light weight of a Bulwark actually viable despite the square-cube law, and be required to produce sufficiently energy-dense batteries to give drones their punch despite being relatively small as weapons platforms go. This conveniently explains cosmite's use in constructing Vanguard Laser Tanks, Walkers, and Drone Carriers, and the need for cosmite-based power packs for drones would explain the Drone Carrier's cosmite upkeep requirement.

Similar logic could apply to high-tier units of other races.

In short, though, for most people, mixed armies are more interesting to fight with and against than degenerate masses of one tier 4 unit.
While i agree with that, it is not the reduction to limitations that i mean. I mean this is fiction, we have higher degree of creativity to partially neglect the real limitations of our real world counterpart. Specifically how, i don't know, it falls to the game designer team to think.

What you said about cosmite is actually said in some of the in game descriptions of many things (units, mods, techs, etc), i mean those descriptions imply that some mods and techs is able to be made due to using cosmite, it also imply that it is possible to made them (not all of them though) without cosmite but more expensive energy cost wise. This is what i meant, i mean only the T4 that actually use cosmite just to maintain their existence alone in the material plane (or whatever it is called) should have cosmite upkeep. I'm fine if units have one time cosmite cost, i mean the production cost, it's just that the upkeep or sustained cost should only stick to those that arguably really need cosmite just to exist.
 
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Greyclouds

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In defense of sectors (and how to improve them for AOW4)

I personally like the sector system because of what it accomplishes. It's the most engaging strategic empire system that has been added to the AOW series since the inclusion of racial benefit trees in AOW3 (man I wished those would return in Planetfall)! It requires actual planning to set up your empire, and the positioning of cities matters more now (founding new cities in AOW3 provided more benefit than "correctly spaced" cities).

Benefits:

  • It's a natural way to limit expansion -- a big mechanical flaw in single-player AOW3
  • It allows you to customize cities and requires planning for city districts -- in AOW3, most early cities end up having the same improvements in the end-game
  • Bonus sites are easily incorporated into the city in a fluid way
  • Unique sectors feel like interesting strategic goals and are customized to provide big challenges to claim them, albeit in a predetermined way by the random map generator.
But I acknowledge that it took a certain, je ne sais pas, from the previous system. I think that I know WHAT it took away though, and that this element can be added back into the system to better fit with either fantasy or sci-fi elements from the next game.

Weaknesses:

  • Cities that were not optimally planned could drag down a player economy -- this wasn't always so bad, but it also limited one of the best features of the AOW series -- terraforming -- as sector terrain had an outsized effect on economy.
  • Visitation sites were more sparse, making sector exploration far less exciting than in AOW3 -- if more unique exploration and interactive content were added, this would feel much more in-line with the AOW3 system, IMO. Anomalous sites were a fantastic evolution of these types of resources, you have to admit!
  • The system doesn't look quite as organic if you look at the map zoomed out, despite the algorithms that try to modify sector boundaries.
  • No additional "layers" to the map can make maps feel "the same" after a while.
  • Water sectors are useful but still provide less of an incentive for player colonization and exploration than terrain.

Personally, I would prefer something similar to the sector system in the next AOW game, but with the following changes:

  1. More unique content and visitation sites

  2. Have "sector" terrain/climate play less of a role in sector economic output (some is still warranted), but increase the effects of sector climate on army morale, allowing for the use of terraforming spells again

  3. Add more layers to the map (ie. underground layers) to spice things up further.

  4. Stop flirting with the coastal and oceanic sectors and allow some degree of colonization in the water in the next game. Ships in AOW3 and Planetfall have huge cost efficiencies when compared to embarked land units (wiping three full stacks of embarked units with a single stack in my last game), but they're useless unless there is something to protect in the water.
 

Sandman25DCSSS

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Please no terraforming, it felt like work to click 15+ terrain hexes per turn converting them to plains/swamp/forest whatever, especially since first you needed to calculate exactly how many hexes it makes sense to convert given current city happiness and happiness per tile bonus.
 

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Please no terraforming, it felt like work to click 15+ terrain hexes per turn converting them to plains/swamp/forest whatever, especially since first you needed to calculate exactly how many hexes it makes sense to convert given current city happiness and happiness per tile bonus.
Yeah, I'm not talking about the single-hex terraforming spells. I agree that they were tedious. I'm talking about the area of effect or map-wide spells that are a hallmark of the series.

In AOW1-3, you could play as a specific wizard-type that could modify the surrounding terrain to fit your preferred climates. I found it fun to play as, say, an undead wizard that spread corruption across the land.

Only the Amazons and Dvar have that opportunity in Planetfall, to a very limited extent. Sectors do help to limit the tedium and prevent map-wide issues as well.
 
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