Prince of Gameplay
- Jun 12, 2018
“Feel the life around you. All of it is holy. Feel it struggling to cling to the fragile constructs of flesh. Full and bright in one breath, then gone with the next. Where is it? Gone. It is no more without Es’Teq. No eternal spirit survives. Until now, death was the end. We preserve it. Let us fill you with vitality from lost generations. This is the Blessing of the Es’Teq.”
- Sheera Na Teev, High Lady of Life
Long ago, the Es’Teq were a theocratic order that ruled a great empire. The core tenet of their faith was that life should never be lost, that the spark at the heart of every individual should be captured and stored for eternity, that none should ever truly die. The rise of conscious AIs led to a schism however, with many believing that the creation of a machine soul was an unforgivable heresy. The ensuing civil war rent the galaxy, and the surviving Es’Teq retreated into underground stasis tombs to await a time when the Age of Machines would inevitably end and they could practice their faith once more. That time has now come, CORE has fallen and it is time for a new Order to take control, and the Es’Teq are awakening to ensure that it is they who will triumph.
The Es’Teq lie buried in massive stasis tombs scattered throughout the world of the Star Union, they are awakening slowly and they require the aid of others to regain their strength. In secret, their representatives approach all the major races, their offer is simple: Join us, become a Heritor to our power, and live forever.
The Heritor is the new Secret Tech coming in the Revelations Expansion. In this dev diary I’m going to be telling you about how they work, and showing you some of their units, mods and operations!
This is the Siphoner, one of the early game units and one which best demonstrates the new mechanic that the Heritors use: Essence Charges
Like most Es’Teq units, the Siphoner uses a new damage type called “Entropic Damage”. Entropic Weapons interfere with the very fundamental structure of the target itself, breaking down its structure and blasting it into muck. The Siphoner’s attacks can also apply Energy Drain to the target, a stacking debuff that reduces the target’s damage by 10%, at the same time this drained energy is transferred to the Siphoner in the form of an Essence Charge, which boosts the Siphoner’s damage by 10%. Most units in the game can carry 2 charges, while the Siphoner can carry 3.
Essence Charges can also be used to power special abilities, the Siphoner’s devotion ability allows it to transfer its essence charges to its allies, boosting their damage and giving them another turn.
You can also mod your racial units to collect their own essence charges! The Es’Teq Gauntlets mod allows you to drain energy with your melee attacks, and then release that essence in an AoE blast that damages adjacent foes. Other mods allow you to collect Essence using ranged attacks, or even drain the essence automatically from those who attack you.
The High Lord
The greatest Heritor unit is the High Lord, a being that has achieved the pinnacle of essence manipulation. The High Lord can shut down mechanical units with Ruin Machina, while Es’Teq Judgement is a powerful area attack whose power scales up rapidly with the amount of essence used to power it.
Mind Puppet is the most powerful ability in the High Lord’s arsenal, he can use essence to channel an Es’Teq mind of a long dead citizen into the body of a dead unit, bringing it back to life under his control. This can even be used to resurrect the dead from the enemy, allowing you to turn the enemy’s weapons against them. Unfortunately for the Heritors, the effect is temporary, and the puppet will perish when battle ends.
Operations and Doomsday
Just because the Heritor’s preserve the dead, doesn’t mean they allow them eternal rest, many Heritor operations allow you to put the minds of the dead to work, in this case by terrorizing the populace of enemy cities, driving down their productivity and causing widespread panic.
The Heritor’s doomsday weapon takes this approach to its extreme result, the Heritors flood the world with the minds of the dead, taking over the bodies of civilians and enslaving their bodies to the Es’Teq cause. As the weapon continues, the enemy populace slowly transforms into Drained, penitents of the Es’Teq faith who have taken the first step back towards rebirth.
The drained are weak, however they can convert the essence they capture in battle to experience points so they level quickly. Once they reach maximum level, they gain the ability to possess enemy units, destroying the Drained and bringing the enemy permanently under your control. You don’t need to wait for your Doomsday to get these units, they can be created early on by using operations, such as Condemn to Drained which allows you transform an enemy unit into a Drained mid-battle!
The Quintessence Ark
The last Heritor unit is the Quintessence Ark a support unit that is designed to help with the collection and distribution of essence in large quantities. The Quintessence Ark can connect to other units in your army as a communion, then use the essence it generates to buff and heal them. Initially the Arc can only connect to two units, but later mods allow it to rapidly connect to 5 units, providing support to the whole army!
The Heritor are a powerful new secret tech, who’s support mechanics allow them to synergize with any race. On November 19th, the Revelations expansion will be released, and you shall be able to begin your own journey towards immortality!