Age of Wonders: Planetfall - Dev Diary #43: The Paragon NPC Faction

Age of Wonders: Planetfall - Dev Diary #43: The Paragon NPC Faction

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Hello everybody! For today’s dev diary we’ll be looking at another of our NPC factions. Last week we had a look at the Spacers, what remains of the common people of the Star Union after the Collapse. This week however, we will take a look at the Paragon faction, comprised mostly of what once was the elite, the 1%...

Event_NPCFactions_Paragon_01.png

History:

The Paragon once were the elite citizens of the Star Union empire. After the Collapse, all interstellar trade and communications ended, leaving the surviving citizens marooned on their worlds. The upper-class Paragons (named after the company that provided their cybernetics, Paragon Augmentations), fell from boundless hedonism to a state of survival. They were no longer able to connect with CORE, the administrative heart of the Star Union with the Emperor at its center. Overtime, the disconnected augmentations that gave them eternal youth and super human abilities started to falter, with many Paragon descending into madness and decay.

The Paragon still hold onto their elite status with fanatical devotion, even after all else has decayed. In the ruins of their once great empire, clusters of Paragons formed into potent groups, often taking control over the remnants of Imperial elite forces. They are led by self-proclaimed prophets which see themselves as rulers over their own little cult of Paragon, preaching about bringing civilization where there is none left.

The Paragon are a bit snobbish and elitist in their dealings with other factions, but for those that are willing to indulge their posturing, diplomatic relations can be established.

ParagonMeet.png
They really are quite full of themselves aren't they?

Design:
The Paragon faction is actually divided in two sides. On the one hand you have the elite citizens, the true Paragon. Their high-grade augmentations have kept them alive and in perfect physical condition through centuries. On the other side are the Imperial forces which served as an elite guard to the Paragon and their interests during the time of the Star Union, such as the Imperial Soldier and Imperial Guard. These soldiers are also augmented however, due to the lower quality of these augments, they have started to degrade and falter. The Imperial soldiers are bare shells of life now, only kept functioning due to their augments. The Paragon have direct control over their puppet forces, using their own augments to control them and directing them in battle.

ParagonProdQuest.png
Will you help support the Paragons' need for luxury, despite their skewed sense of priorities?

Units:
Because of the unique divide in their units, fighting the Paragon faction can be quite challenging. The Imperial Soldiers form a defensive line around the Paragon, protecting them while the Paragon buff the soldiers and rain strong ranged attacks down on their enemies.

Overdrive:
The unique mechanic of the Paragon faction means that the Paragon can overdrive the augments of Imperial Infantry. Overdrive changes the damage channel of the attacks of Imperial Soldiers from kinetic to arc damage and gives them 'unstable augments' which causes the soldiers to explode in a burst of arc damage on death. On top of that, each unit gets unique bonuses when they gain overdrive as well. All in all this makes a well balanced Paragon army a deadly force to deal with, crowd control is your friend when Imperial Soldiers with overdrive are charging at you!


Imperial Soldier:
The Imperial soldier is a standard infantry unit with a firearms-based assault rifle and a grenade which change to arc based weapons when the unit gets overdrive.

ImperialSoldier.png

Imperial Guard:
The Imperial Guard is a classic praetorian inspired melee infantry unit which has strong melee attacks and great defense, though due to the nature of its shield it's vulnerable to flanking attacks. When it gains overdrive it becomes a lot more scary, as it gains faster movement speed, increased shields AND stagger resistance AND the Pulse Slam ability, which is a powerful area of effect melee attack that deals devastating damage.

ImperialGuard.png

Imperial Heavy Soldier:
The Heavy Soldier is an infantry unit in a mechanized suit armed with high caliber, powerful weaponry. It functions as a form of infantry based artillery, raining down area of effect attacks at great range. When the unit gains overdrive its attacks deal significantly more damage.

ImperialHeavyTrooper.png

Paragon Fanatic:
The Paragon fanatic is clearly suffering from its centuries long immortality, as he has gone ever so slightly insane. Regardless of that however, they can still be very strong units to go up against. Besides the ability to overdrive Imperial soldiers, it also has phase augments, which allows them to instantly relocate in battle. Their targeting jammer augments disrupt enemy targeting, making the fanatic one of the hardest units to hit in Planetfall. The combination of these augments allows it to stay safely away from the main fighting, overdriving its soldiers to do all the work while it gets in a few flanking shots.

ParagonFanatic.png

Paragon Techno Prophet:
The Paragon Techno Prophet is the self-proclaimed leader of a group of paragon units, it floats above the battlefield in a throne like construct, looking down on friend and enemy alike. Its abilities come from it's floating throne, allowing him to overdrive groups of units at a time or call in reinforcements from outside the battlefield, summoning more Imperial forces into battle. It's most powerful ability allows it to connect to a old Star Union military satellite in orbit, calling down a blast of Arc energy, dealing massive damage to any enemy force. Having long lost the knowledge of where this power comes from, this is seen as a godlike power by the Paragon.

ParagonTechnoProphet.png

Vehicles:
The former vehicles of the Star Union are often used in Paragon armies on the world map, but are not officially part of the Paragon faction and therefore cannot be bought from their dwellings. These vehicles can be found as rewards however on the world map. Your own Commander could be driving, flying or walking around in any of these!

ImperialBuggy.png

ImperialDragonfly.png

ImperialWalker.png

Paragon Dwelling:
Paragon Dwellings are former citadels of the Star Union, huge mega-structures in a sea of ruins, the skeletons of the high rises the Paragon Elite used to occupy. The Paragon and their Imperial guard still live in these ruins, in their madness they are holding on to what they see are the fleeting last traces of civilization in this apocalyptic time.
ParagonDwelling.png

Forming an alliance with the Paragon gives you access to buy there units, as well as some other things:

ModsAndDoctrine.png

There you have it, the Paragon! Will you endure their snobbishness and form an alliance with them to gain access to all the above goodies? Or would you rather cast down their false prophets, put them in their place and show them some real power?
 

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I see the paragons are the opposite of the spacers and the growth the opposite of the robots, but what is the opposite of the Psi fish? Everybody? I hope the nomad scavengers mentioned in the unit descriptions appear in dlc as a minor faction. Prehaps with (gasp) normal horses instead of weird alien things! I joke I joke. But a bunch of space mongol nomad scavengers whould be a fun minor faction.
 

TheGrinningMan

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They vaguely remind me of the Archons of AOW3; pale, dead, hollow-eyed remnants of a once-great civilization. I was worried the Paragons would have too much overlap with the Vanguard -- both use conventional weapons as their backbone -- but the Overcharge mechanic promises to fit them in a different role.
 

Ekalbs

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Been waiting for this one. Question is can our heroes get a technopriest chair?
 

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This faction reminds me of those surviving elites in the Planet of the Apes movies that worship nukes. Also, are there no women in this game?
 

Ekalbs

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This faction reminds me of those surviving elites in the Planet of the Apes movies that worship nukes. Also, are there no women in this game?
Amazons, Valkeries, Heroes, Psionic Kir'Ko units, Syndicate Scouts. I mean outside of the humoniod npcs(spacers, paragon), dvar and assembly there are non hero women.
 
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They vaguely remind me of the Archons of AOW3; pale, dead, hollow-eyed remnants of a once-great civilization. I was worried the Paragons would have too much overlap with the Vanguard -- both use conventional weapons as their backbone -- but the Overcharge mechanic promises to fit them in a different role.
it looks have some overlap with assembly too
 

gunnergoz

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Amazons, Valkeries, Heroes, Psionic Kir'Ko units, Syndicate Scouts. I mean outside of the humoniod npcs(spacers, paragon), dvar and assembly there are non hero women.
We have not seen all the heroes in the game yet so I'll not yet condemn them for that. If it turns out there are no women heroes outside of Amazons, that would be a lapse and embarrassing to defend. I suspect there are some we've not seen (the game settings allow for more than five heroes to a side so who knows how many total heroes have been designed?) and hope I'm right.
 

prof_doom

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"This Mod can only be applied to units with Imperial Augments"
This sounds interesting. Are there other mods that apply an "Imperial Augment" status, or is this just a mod to allow the Paragon infantry to overcharge themselves without having to bring along a fanatic or TechnoProphet.
 

Gyor

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Amazons, Valkeries, Heroes, Psionic Kir'Ko units, Syndicate Scouts. I mean outside of the humoniod npcs(spacers, paragon), dvar and assembly there are non hero women.
You forgot Succubots.
 

Ekalbs

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We have not seen all the heroes in the game yet so I'll not yet condemn them for that. If it turns out there are no women heroes outside of Amazons, that would be a lapse and embarrassing to defend. I suspect there are some we've not seen (the game settings allow for more than five heroes to a side so who knows how many total heroes have been designed?) and hope I'm right.
Actually all factions have female hero’s Amazon’s probably don’t have a male hero.
 

Gyor

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We already know that the heroes/commanders of every PC faction has both sexes except for the Amazons, which only has women.
 

Baron Jukaga

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I'm very impressed by the world building these DD's have displayed, all the factions are really unique but fit together nicely.
 

Booo

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Actually all factions have female hero’s Amazon’s probably don’t have a male hero.
Has it been shown if Kir'Ko have two genders for their heroes? I can't really tell if there's a difference between heroes, they might just be another female caste with psionics access.

Edit: So seemingly there's both male and female heroes. Males are supposed to have cool colors, females earth.
That still doesn't seem like a hard rule though, as hidden who are female have a more male color pattern.
 
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Ridixo

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Will you help support the Paragons' need for luxury, despite their skewed sense of priorities?
Of course not, everyone knows that the first thing you need to restore civilization are smartphones :)

These guys look great, very interesting story ande each lore entry of their units is its own apocalypse journal. The Techno Prophet really looks like an Assembly unit, pale, full of cyber-ware, i really like it. It will be a pleasure to trade with them until i get everything i need from them, after that it will be time to reassembly them ;)
 

Truewhit

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This faction reminds me of those surviving elites in the Planet of the Apes movies that worship nukes. Also, are there no women in this game?
Vanguard troopers are all wearing Armor that hides their gender, and in lore snippets it says that vanguard army's include woman so at least with the vanguard the armies are unisex. Kirko males are blue, females are brown.
 

TheGrinningMan

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Smart rounds... I dunno about the balance there. When you buy a mod from an independent, is it per-unit or do you get the prototypes to start churning them out en masse? Because obsoleting a major game mechanic by giving your Vanguard grunts the ability to ignore most cover seems pretty brutal. But if it doesn't scale to mass production and is a thing you give your elite sniper hero... still pretty nice, but not a game changer, especially if other round options make it an opportunity cost.
 

Ekalbs

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Has it been shown if Kir'Ko have two genders for their heroes? I can't really tell if there's a difference between heroes.
Kir'ko are color dimorphism like birds. See the below from the dev dairy. The earth tones are female and the cool tones are male.

Kir’ko Heroes

The presence of human like intelligence varies per caste; with the bipedal heroes and commanders being the most human, as they were the most suited to operate in human society.

The trained eye can discern female Kir’ko (on the left) – the earth tones are female, the cool tones are male.
 

Technogremlin

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Smart rounds... I dunno about the balance there. When you buy a mod from an independent, is it per-unit or do you get the prototypes to start churning them out en masse? Because obsoleting a major game mechanic by giving your Vanguard grunts the ability to ignore most cover seems pretty brutal. But if it doesn't scale to mass production and is a thing you give your elite sniper hero... still pretty nice, but not a game changer, especially if other round options make it an opportunity cost.
You can't say whether a game is balanced from looking at just one small part. If any player will have access to equally powerful mods for the same price it will work out. We can't see how much it costs to equip this mod to a unit but if it is a lot of cosmite then it will be hard to mass produce regardless.
 

Memory

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The seem more fun then i thought they would be. Might create a few swarms of dragon flies.