Age of Wonders: Planetfall - Dev Diary #44: The Growth NPC Faction

Age of Wonders: Planetfall - Dev Diary #44: The Growth NPC Faction

  • Crusader Kings III Available Now!

    The realm rejoices as Paradox Interactive announces the launch of Crusader Kings III, the latest entry in the publisher’s grand strategy role-playing game franchise. Advisors may now jockey for positions of influence and adversaries should save their schemes for another day, because on this day Crusader Kings III can be purchased on Steam, the Paradox Store, and other major online retailers.


    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

Neb_

Captain
2 Badges
Jun 12, 2018
368
0
  • Age of Wonders III
  • Age of Wonders
Hello everybody! For today’s dev diary we’ll be looking at the last of our NPC factions, the Growth! The Growth are a unique take on a NPC faction of Planetfall, as they are composed of sentient plant life living in symbiosis with select fauna.

Event_NPCFactions_Growth_01.png

History:
During the expansion of the Star Union, expeditionary forces stumbled across a planet unlike any they had discovered before. This faraway planet was completely covered in alien jungle, a jungle that appeared alive beyond the normal capabilities of plant life. This jungle formed a single entity, all plants interconnected into a massive collective sentience, reacting and even predicting the actions of the scientists that studied it.

Seeing the value of this hardy, rapidly expanding plant species, they started cultivating and genetically altering it to use in their terraforming efforts. They developed a new strain of this plant life, which has a long and complicated scientific name, but is simply referred to as the Growth. The Growth was unique in that, if it was allowed to grow big enough, its sentience became more sophisticated and it would be able to form symbiotic bonds with wildlife. This was dangerous to developing colonies, so efforts were made to always keep the Growth in check.

They deployed the Growth to their terraforming colonies, with varied success. The Growth allowed for rapid development of local flora and fauna, as long as it was kept under control. On some planets however, the Growth grew out of control and developed too much, taking over large parts of the planet and forming symbiotic bonds with the local wildlife through the use of pheromones and mind-altering pollen. Intelligent life was equally affected, there are stories of colonists disappearing into the wilds, lured by pheromones, never to return as they are absorbed into a symbiosis with this alien Growth.

After the Collapse, planets seeded with Growth were left to grow unchecked and the Growth thrived, rapidly evolving and growing into maturity. Over time, giant Mothernode clusters formed on these planets, which serve as central hubs for the Growth and are seen as the main source of the Growth’s sentience.


Growth lineup.jpg
Concepts of the Growth, not all of these concepts made it into the final game!

Design:
The Growth faction is divided in two sides, the flora and the fauna. The Growth has formed symbiotic bonds with local fauna, namely giant bees, to the benefit of both sides. The Growth is able to communicate through a telepathic bond formed by the expulsion of specific pollen, though their behavior and motives are obscure at best, and its intelligence can only be guessed at.

The Growth strives to achieve symbiosis with all life forms it comes across, its armies are often supplemented by various forms of wildlife that it has recruited to its cause. It lures them in with pheromones and releases mind-controlling spores to sway their allegiance. Even intelligent life is not safe to these persuasive methods, as many a stray colonist never returned to their colony, being absorbed into the Growth symbiosis.

Despite their unique form of communication and their tendency to benevolently absorb life into their symbiosis, diplomacy is possible with the Growth, though some of their requests can be rather interesting...

GrowthQuestSalad.png

Vegetarianism from the perspective of the plants is actually quite terrifying!

Units:
The Growth has strong melee capabilities in both of its Bees as well as the Vine Bud unit. This, combined with their use of pollen to cause regeneration and healing in units, makes them quite strong up close. Their ranged units are not to be underestimated however, with both the Flowering Node and Seed Cluster being able to rain down heavy biochemical damage at long range. These ranged attacks can lower the Kinetic and Biochemical resistance of enemy units, making them even more vulnerable to melee attacks, resulting in great synergy within the lineup.

Worker Bee:
The worker bee is the most common animal that can be found with the Growth. These bees have a nasty sting they can use in defense, but their main utility comes from a special kind of pollen they carry with them, that has strong regenerative properties.

WorkerBee.png

Soldier Bee:
The Soldier bee is the main animal defender of the growth. Swarms of these protect the growth from all hostile threats. Their corrosive spit can melt through armor at range, and they have the same nasty sting for when enemies dare to get too close.

SoldierBee.png

Vine Bud:
This unit is the smallest member of the plant family of the Growth. It's vines are deadly when it gets close to enemies, and it can summon small versions of itself, Vine Sprouts, in combat. These Sprouts are stationary but have strong melee attacks, perfect for area denial and setting up traps.

VineBud.png

Flowering Node:
The Flowering Node is the first true ranged units in the Growth line-up. Using its Noxious Pollen ability, It can release deadly pollen in a area of effect at range, dealing biochemical damage and poisoning units. Additionally, this attack causes an Allergic Reaction in units, which lowers their Kinetic and Biochemical resistances, very powerful in this lineup! The Allergic Reaction is also caused by its main attack; Allergenic Spray, which is a single target attack where it sprays pollen directly at a target over long range.

This versatile unit has one more trick up its.... petals? as it can deploy a spray of Pheromones that can mind control non-Mechanical units, causing them to switch allegiance until end of combat.

FloweringNode.png
Seed Cluster:
The Seed Cluster is a unique unit in Planetfall, as it is a tier IV repeating artillery unit, the only one of its kind. It has a Seed Bomb attack which targets a single unit at range, but the main threat from this unit is its Seed barrage ability. This ability is very inaccurate but hits an area of effect, which means this unit doesn't target a unit as much as a general area, and unleashes a deadly barrage, hitting pretty much anything nearby, staggering and slowing them. Both of these attacks also cause Allergic Reactions in units.

It can release a great deluge of pollen from itself, coating the entire battlefield in Pollen which cleanse friendly units from status effects and heals them each turn, for a few turns. This ability is very powerful in keeping a Growth army alive.

SeedCluster.png

Plant Roots:
The plant units of the Growth all share a strong defense mode; Plant Roots. This defense mode gives them extra armor and makes them stagger immune until their next turn, so you cannot stagger these units out of defense mode! This makes them very resilient when they dig in. This defense mode is shared by a few other units as well in Planetfall, most notable the Amazon Arborian units; The Arborian Sentinel and the Arborian Queen.

ArborianSentinel.png

ArborianQueen.png

The synergy between the Growth and the Amazon is quite strong due to their mod compatibility, as the Amazon is the only player faction that has access to Plant units in their main line-up!

GrowthDwellingUnlocks.png
Some of the goodies that can be unlocked by making nice with this sentient plant species.

Growth Dwelling:

The Growth Dwelling is a large, overgrown area of jungle that ferociously spreads, despite hostile terrain, hazards or hostile lifeforms. The dwelling is formed around the Mothernode in the center, which is the main nervous system of Growth sentience.Thick vines spread out from this center, spreading jungle like flora and clusters throughout the sector.

GrowthDwelling.png
The Growth thrives, spreading their roots wide, even in the Arid unforgiving terrain

image (11) (11).png
Some foolish Dvar invading a Growth dwelling, they're in for a tough fight!
The Mothernode looms over the battlefield in the distance.
And there you have it! The final NPC faction fo Planetfall revealed in depth. I hope everyone is excited to meet these guys, whether you chose to cooperate with them, to the downfall of vegetarians, or purge them from your world like the Star Union of old!
 

Zaskow

Major
46 Badges
Jan 7, 2012
554
187
  • Sword of the Stars II
  • Magicka
  • Surviving Mars
  • Stellaris - Path to Destruction bundle
  • Crusader Kings II: Monks and Mystics
  • Stellaris: Leviathans Story Pack
  • Stellaris: Digital Anniversary Edition
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Stellaris
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • 500k Club
  • Warlock: Master of the Arcane
  • Teleglitch: Die More Edition
  • Age of Wonders III
  • Age of Wonders
  • Stellaris: Apocalypse
  • Surviving Mars: Digital Deluxe Edition
  • Shadowrun Returns
  • Surviving Mars: First Colony Edition
  • Stellaris: Megacorp
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Fury
  • Surviving Mars: First Colony Edition
  • Age of Wonders: Planetfall
  • Age of Wonders: Planetfall Season pass
  • Age of Wonders: Planetfall Sign Up
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Age of Wonders: Planetfall - Revelations
  • Cities in Motion
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Stellaris: Ancient Relics
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Sword of the Stars
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Stellaris: Distant Stars
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Europa Universalis III: Chronicles
  • Age of Wonders II
  • Divine Wind
  • Heir to the Throne
  • Stellaris: Synthetic Dawn
It's a bit disappointing to see that most of NPC factions outshines almost all playable factions in terms of interesting units, background and abilities...
 

joriandrake

Impossible? A Challenge!
64 Badges
Feb 19, 2006
2.135
88
  • Stellaris - Path to Destruction bundle
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cossacks
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mare Nostrum
  • Stellaris
  • Stellaris Sign-up
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rights of Man
  • Stellaris: Digital Anniversary Edition
  • Stellaris: Leviathans Story Pack
  • Crusader Kings II: Monks and Mystics
  • Pillars of Eternity
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mandate of Heaven
  • Europa Universalis IV: Third Rome
  • Stellaris: Synthetic Dawn
  • Age of Wonders III
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cradle of Civilization
  • Crusader Kings II: Jade Dragon
  • Stellaris: Humanoids Species Pack
  • Stellaris: Apocalypse
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rule Britannia
  • Stellaris: Distant Stars
  • Europa Universalis IV: Dharma
  • Imperator: Rome - Magna Graecia
  • Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Deus Vult
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Europa Universalis IV: Art of War
  • Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations
  • Europa Universalis IV: Call to arms event
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
  • Europa Universalis: Rome
  • Teleglitch: Die More Edition
  • War of the Roses
  • 500k Club
  • Cities: Skylines
  • Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado
HAHAHA! I have tears in my eyes. We get quests to kill vegetarians! As a pro-carnivore I approve. :D
 

Ridixo

Colonel
29 Badges
May 25, 2018
1.067
481
  • Stellaris: Galaxy Edition
  • Stellaris: Synthetic Dawn
  • Stellaris - Path to Destruction bundle
  • Stellaris: Apocalypse
  • Stellaris: Leviathans Story Pack
  • Stellaris: Distant Stars
  • Stellaris: Ancient Relics
  • Stellaris: Megacorp
  • Stellaris: Humanoids Species Pack
  • Stellaris: Lithoids
  • Stellaris: Digital Anniversary Edition
  • Age of Wonders III
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Tyranny: Archon Edition
  • Tyranny - Tales from the Tiers
  • Tyranny - Bastards Wound
  • Pillars of Eternity
  • Warlock: Master of the Arcane
  • Warlock 2: The Exiled
  • Age of Wonders: Planetfall Sign Up
Are we able to recruit the salad units for the battlefield? I ask because if their units are not very mobile on the battlefield how are we gonna move them to other parts of the map? Other than that excellent Dev diary, this faction looks great. Hope you have something prepared for the next week, the final before the release :)
 

Uhlume

First Lieutenant
73 Badges
Apr 17, 2016
237
353
  • Tyranny: Archon Edition
  • Tyranny: Archon Edition
  • Stellaris: Galaxy Edition
  • Cities: Skylines - Parklife
  • Age of Wonders: Planetfall Deluxe edition
  • Cities: Skylines - Green Cities
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • BATTLETECH - Initiate of the Order
  • Stellaris: Humanoids Species Pack
  • Stellaris: Apocalypse
  • Surviving Mars: Digital Deluxe Edition
  • BATTLETECH - Beta Backer
  • BATTLETECH - Backer
  • Cities: Skylines - Parklife Pre-Order
  • Tyranny - Tales from the Tiers
  • Stellaris: Distant Stars
  • Shadowrun Returns
  • Shadowrun: Dragonfall
  • Age of Wonders: Planetfall
  • Surviving Mars: First Colony Edition
  • Cities: Skylines Industries
  • BATTLETECH: Flashpoint
  • Surviving Mars: First Colony Edition
  • Cities: Skylines - Campus
  • Age of Wonders: Planetfall Sign Up
  • BATTLETECH: Season pass
  • Warlock: Master of the Arcane
  • Cities: Skylines
  • Age of Wonders: Planetfall Season pass
  • Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado
  • Pillars of Eternity
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Cities: Skylines - Snowfall
  • Stellaris: Lithoids
  • Stellaris: Galaxy Edition
  • Stellaris: Galaxy Edition
  • Stellaris Sign-up
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Colonel
  • Stellaris: Digital Anniversary Edition
  • Stellaris: Leviathans Story Pack
  • Cities: Skylines - Natural Disasters
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Together for Victory
  • Cities: Skylines - Mass Transit
  • Surviving Mars
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Death or Dishonor
  • BATTLETECH: Heavy Metal
  • Tyranny - Bastards Wound
  • Stellaris: Distant Stars Pre-Order
can player faction form permanent symbiosis with the growth?
Once your reputation with them is high enough you can integrate them into your faction I believe, but that goes for all the NPC factions.
So in a way, yes you can.

Are we able to recruit the salad units for the battlefield? I ask because if their units are not very mobile on the battlefield how are we gonna move them to other parts of the map? Other than that excellent Dev diary, this faction looks great. Hope you have something prepared for the next week, the final before the release :)
The Leafy greens are mobile (perhaps not super fast, but definitely not immobile).
There have been a few instances of battles with or against the Growth that show this off on Youtube.
 

TheGrinningMan

Captain
80 Badges
Oct 4, 2015
496
840
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mare Nostrum
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Fury
  • Stellaris
  • Stellaris: Galaxy Edition
  • Stellaris: Ancient Relics
  • Stellaris Sign-up
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rights of Man
  • Tyranny: Archon Edition
  • Tyranny: Archon Edition
  • Stellaris: Digital Anniversary Edition
  • Stellaris: Leviathans Story Pack
  • Crusader Kings II: Monks and Mystics
  • Stellaris: Humanoids Species Pack
  • Cities: Skylines - Mass Transit
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mandate of Heaven
  • Shadowrun: Hong Kong
  • Surviving Mars
  • Cities: Skylines - Parklife Pre-Order
  • Cities: Skylines - Parklife
  • Tyranny - Bastards Wound
  • Age of Wonders III
  • Shadowrun Returns
  • Stellaris: Lithoids
  • Age of Wonders: Planetfall Sign Up
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings III
  • Stellaris: Megacorp
  • Age of Wonders: Planetfall
  • Prison Architect
  • Shadowrun: Dragonfall
  • Stellaris: Apocalypse
  • Age of Wonders: Planetfall Season pass
  • Teleglitch: Die More Edition
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Warlock: Master of the Arcane
  • Stellaris: Distant Stars
  • War of the Roses
  • Cities: Skylines
  • Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Pillars of Eternity
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
Interesting; looks like it'll be of more interest to Kir'ko and (as mentioned) Amazons than anyone else, though I'm sure anyone can find a use for heal-bees and plant artillery.
Also, I love the pun you guys slipped in there.
 

gunnergoz

Corporal
32 Badges
Dec 8, 2018
35
0
  • BATTLETECH
  • Age of Wonders: Planetfall - Revelations
  • Stellaris: Lithoids
  • Age of Wonders: Planetfall Sign Up
  • Age of Wonders: Planetfall
  • BATTLETECH: Season pass
  • Stellaris: Ancient Relics
  • Stellaris: Megacorp
  • BATTLETECH: Flashpoint
  • Cities: Skylines - Parklife
  • Cities: Skylines - Parklife Pre-Order
  • Stellaris: Apocalypse
  • Stellaris: Humanoids Species Pack
  • Cities: Skylines - Green Cities
  • Age of Wonders III
  • Victoria 2
  • Stellaris: Leviathans Story Pack
  • Stellaris: Digital Anniversary Edition
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Colonel
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Cities: Skylines - Mass Transit
  • Cities: Skylines - Snowfall
  • Cities: Skylines - After Dark
  • Cities: Skylines
  • Warlock: Master of the Arcane
  • Stellaris
  • Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise
  • Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations
  • Warlock 2: The Exiled
  • Stellaris - Path to Destruction bundle
  • Stellaris: Synthetic Dawn
I'm kind of surprised there's no Little Shop of Horrors kind of man-eating plant that just gobbles up people whole.That would have been hilarious. But I'll take what you've created, definitely.
 

Elder Fogcrow

Novice Martial Artist
16 Badges
Apr 23, 2009
577
3
  • Majesty 2
  • Majesty 2 Collection
  • 500k Club
  • Elven Legacy Collection
  • Pillars of Eternity
  • Age of Wonders III
  • Age of Wonders: Shadow Magic
  • Age of Wonders
  • Age of Wonders II
  • Age of Wonders: Planetfall
  • Age of Wonders: Planetfall Deluxe edition
  • Age of Wonders: Planetfall Premium edition
  • Age of Wonders: Planetfall Season pass
  • Age of Wonders: Planetfall Sign Up
  • PDXCon 2019 "Baron"
  • Age of Wonders: Planetfall - Revelations
Plants, prepared right, are the food most beneficial to our bodies, and absolutely cannot be allowed to resist.
 

Fizzbitch

Private
2 Badges
Jun 18, 2018
24
0
  • Age of Wonders III
  • Age of Wonders: Planetfall Sign Up
The Bulbasaur line is my favourite in Pokemon, glad to see you brought them to your awesome game too!

Hehehe, Henn Tay growth dwelling. Icwutudidthar.

There are many interesting synergies in this game. Amazon especially with these and the biohazard secret tech. But I think I might want to compensate some to be able to attack mechanised units more effectively too.
 

ashbery76

Field Marshal
100 Badges
Oct 31, 2000
3.199
2.012
Visit site
  • 500k Club
  • Europa Universalis: Rome Collectors Edition
  • Imperator: Rome
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Crusader Kings III
  • Europa Universalis III: Collection
  • Europa Universalis IV: Pre-order
  • Victoria 2
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Colonel
  • Stellaris
Thinking about it I think the growth would basically hate all the races including the Amazons.I would make them just a menace that would expand the whole game unless stopped.Like a fanatic purifier in Stellaris.
 

Technogremlin

Second Lieutenant
15 Badges
Aug 30, 2018
108
0
  • Cities: Skylines Deluxe Edition
  • Cities: Skylines
  • Surviving Mars
  • Age of Wonders III
  • Surviving Mars: Digital Deluxe Edition
  • Cities: Skylines - Parklife Pre-Order
  • Cities: Skylines - Parklife
  • Surviving Mars: First Colony Edition
  • Surviving Mars: First Colony Edition
  • Age of Wonders: Planetfall
  • Age of Wonders: Planetfall Deluxe edition
  • Age of Wonders: Planetfall Premium edition
  • Age of Wonders: Planetfall Season pass
  • Age of Wonders: Planetfall Sign Up
  • Age of Wonders: Planetfall - Revelations
there are stories of colonists disappearing into the wilds, lured by pheromones, never to return as they are absorbed into a symbiosis with this alien Growth.
I hope these humans in symbiosis with growth make an appearance at some point as unique units. The growth already have a complete line up and they probably aren't different enough to be a new minor or major faction, but maybe as marauders?