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Tombles

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Hello everyone!

You may have noticed how quiet we’ve been recently, well I can finally reveal what it is we’ve all been working on for the last few months:


The Tyrannosaurus Update!

After collecting a huge amount of feedback from forums, reviewers and of course the community here, this update seeks to transform the game into something faster, deeper and clearer for both new players and veterans alike!

The update will be released on all platforms on the 18th of February, and the list of change notes is currently sitting at a cool 26 pages long. Do not fear though, we have written a summary that covers the most important changes, and we’ll be doing a stream today to demonstrate it all.


Exploration Sites


One piece of feedback we received about the base game was that there was not enough mid-game content when exploring the world. With the exception of the Landmarks, most of the sites were too lightly defended to pose a challenge to an advanced army, which led to the mid game feeling a bit flat. To fix this we have added Exploration Sites, these are rare imperial facilities which grant a lot of income and can be linked to your colonies to provide bonuses to produced units:


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There are 7 of these sites, each with their own bonus and a brand new tactical map to do battle in!

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If the world map site looks familiar, it’s because these sites have been rebuilt from the Visit Sites from the base version of the game. We felt that a lot of those sites were not really useful to players, so we felt removing them and replacing them with these would be much better for the game’s flow. They are not all gone, the Milestone Charge Station is still in, while the Repair Station now heals units and grants a temporary damage bonus to visiting armies.



No Colonizer Mode

This was a much requested feature from the older Age Of Wonders games that people wanted us to bring back. When this mode is engaged, players will not be able to build colonizers in any of their cities, severely limiting the number of colonies that appear in the world.


Since it’s important to be able to place your own colonies to take advantage of landmarks and dwellings, it is still possible to transform in game settlements into Colonizers, but placement is critical and care must be taken not to waste the few colonizers that are available.


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Game Intensity Settings

Another piece of feedback was that people felt they were receiving too many notifications from different subsystems. In a few cases we were able to simply remove and re-tune systems to reduce the issue, but in other cases we felt that doing this could actually change the balance of the game in ways players might now like.


As a remedy we have added 4 new Intensity Settings, so players can fine tune the game in the way that they wish.


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NPC Dwelling Mode - This can be used to turn down (or up!) how often dwellings make demands and offer quests. It also controls how often they launch invasions when you are at war with them. At its lowest setting, it will also remove the Rivalry system, so doing a quest for one faction will no longer reduce your reputation with other factions.


AI Passivity - This controls the AI of other players, controlling how often they will use Covert Ops against you, send you messages and declare war. It also controls the size of the starting dislike modifier, meaning the players you meet early on are easier to deal with.


Spawner Aggression - This controls how often the spawner structures (like the Pirate Base and Hopper Hound Nest) generate armies to harass players, at its lowest setting (passive) spawners won’t spawn any armies at all!


Defender Strength - This controls the strength of the default armies that guard sites on the map. The old setting World Threat has been removed, since it controlled both this and how aggressive spawners were..


These settings are all controlled under Advanced Settings. The default setting screen has a new Game Intensity setting, which controls all 4 of the above at once.



Varied Game Starts

Another thing we often heard was that Secret Techs should have more of an impact in the earliest parts of the game. The research system meant players often didn’t get to interact with their secret tech units until turn 30 or so. In order to fix the first of these we decided that each player’s starting army should contain a single secret tech unit. This would make the first few turns feel more varied, and give an immediate taste of what the tech has to offer to the player. This did lead to an issue with the Xenoplague, since a Pustule is not particularly useful unless it can infect other units, so we decided to change the Xenoplague tech so that creating new Pustules no longer required a tech to be researched!


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Still to come!

As you might expect the coming update also contains a huge number of balance changes, tweaks and improvements for you to enjoy. We’ll be covering these in detail in future dev diaries, but as a preview:


The Economy has been streamlined to make it faster and less fiddly. The biggest change is that the level bonuses you gain from sector terrain no longer require research and a city upgrade to unlock, you get the bonus from the game start, meaning the terrain of a sector is much more important when deciding how to specialize your colonies. The tech tree has also been re-arranged, the sector specializations have been rebalanced and a lot more!



The Interface has received a pass to try and make things clearer and easier to understand. Extra attention has been paid to the economic overview map, removing extra information and inconsistencies to make it simpler and more useful. We’ve also done a lot of work to improve the clarity of units and structure to make the map easier to read.

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Racial Gameplay Diversity has been a big topic, with each starting race getting 2 starting bonuses to make them feel more distinct from the get go. Some races, such as the Amazons, have also had a pass to make their features work more coherently with each other.


AI and Diplomacy is an on-going thing we are looking at. We’ve been working hard to improve the AI’s aggression levels and its ability to construct more varied armies with higher tier units. Diplomacy has also been improved with a number of new features, however we ran out of time before we could make a lot of the changes we have planned, so there will be more improvements in future updates!


And that’s about it for now! If you want more information then be sure to check us out on twitch, and keep an eye on these forums for more announcements and dev diaries! The update will be available on all platforms on February 18th!
 
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Leyrann

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Sounds really good!

Do we also get the full patch notes available? Call me weird, but I really like reading patch notes.
 

TibblesTheCat

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Looks good! 26 pages is gonna have a big impact.
What time is the stream today though?
 

Tombles

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Full patch notes will be made available on the day of release! If you want to see more early, we'll be doing a stream today at 15:30. Me and Jimmy will be going through the patch showing off everything we can fit into 60m!
 

Mauer

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Looks good.

A couple of questions:

How will this update affect saves?
Now that sector terrain is more important in specialization, will bronze landmarks spawn in terrain that actually improves them more often?
 

Tombles

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How will this update affect saves?
Now that sector terrain is more important in specialization, will bronze landmarks spawn in terrain that actually improves them more often?

We've been testing old saves, and so far they've all been loading without issues. The new economic changes means that some weird stuff might happen, like you suddenly have much higher or lower income than before. Otherwise, you should be able to keep playing though.

Bronze landmarks now have an inherent +1 level bonus and always spawn in an area with at least 1 dot in their resource type, so you can always get them to level 5.
 

Tombles

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The changes in the game affect almost every aspect of it, so the new economic changes will definitely impact how the campaign plays out for example.

In terms of actual changes to the campaign, there are some minor changes to early missions to make them a bit less overwhelming. I believe Empire Tasks (like The Builder and such) are now disabled in the 3 starter missions, and 1 or 2 quests have been removed from the 1st vanguard mission.
 

Eelectrica

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Noice! I've been playing this game so much lately, getting through the campaign (Currently doing assembly so not far off).
Looking forward to trying out these changes.
 

DragonZee

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Thanks, been waiting for updates from you Guys.

This looks like the "big update" many nay-sayers were requesting, one that shakes up the core game mechanics. I'm keen on checking out the balancing changes, I still feel like some higher tier units could get a boost while some OP ones should receive a nerf :)

From my perspective the most interesting things is the racial diversification and Secret Tech units from the start - it's a really cool that now you will be starting with tech units which will familiarize you more with how each tech works. Sometimes the flow of the game/research would make me skip some units entirely, now they might get a chance to shine, but that depends on how much ST tree was tweaked (I personally think it should be more streamlined as you're missing on some cool combinations due to time/resource constraints). From less "impactful" things I think the most I will enjoy will be the "less covert ops" from AI which was really irritating me. I think Anomalous quest lines were a step in right direction, and now overhauled Visit Sites should provide even more content to the mid-game, although I'm a bit skeptic about the "big income bonuses" as these will need a lot of balancing imo. I'm also unsure what will happen with these sites accessibility, as sometimes those small boosts those provided (like +5 influence) were really helpful in building your economy.

Truth be told I'm still waiting for news regarding DLC, because new content is what interest me the most. I took a break from the game to keep things fresh when the next DLC will hit, but seems I will need to at least take a look at the new stuff you're bringing with this update. I think that while most of the changes are really good, they won't impact my overall reception of the game as I'm not a player who dwells in the "meta" too much. It should probably satisfy the hardcore veterans, which is good, as those are the same people that bring the most accurate feedback to the game and will keep it alive, which in turn is the best thing that can happen to it.

PS: it's good you guys are working on AI, shame some of the things you disclosed didn't make it to this patch as many players mention this as their biggest issue. Not mentioning ofc the customizable AI behaviors templates which might turn out to be a huge deal for some people. For me the fact you're giving so much love to the game (you even included the suggested tweaks for Economic map!), especially in these dark times when I was hit really hard with the blunder that is Warcraft 3 Reforged, is especially heartwarming...
 
Last edited:

Destrada

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I was hoping for the next expansion to be announced, but this is good too.
 

TibblesTheCat

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Any words on upcoming DLC? ;) :)

I'm sure you've seen this image, it's been there since launch, but this is the timeframe for the expansions, I don't expect to hear anything at least this month. Last date of spring is half june so that's the latest :p
ss_755777ada8b881832454070e8b2174c01824e848.1920x1080.jpg
 

TreborTheTall

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Hi @Tombles will there be any changes to the doctrines?

I have ranked all 96 doctrines into tier lists, which I'm releasing on my channel. So far I have covered the Syndicate doctrines and I'm planning on posting the Amazon one today
 

Tombles

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Hi @Tombles will there be any changes to the doctrines?

I have ranked all 96 doctrines into tier lists, which I'm releasing on my channel. So far I have covered the Syndicate doctrines and I'm planning on posting the Amazon one today

A bunch of them have changed, yes. Amazon ones especially, so you might want to hold off until next week!