Prince of Gameplay
- Jun 12, 2018
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.
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:
There are 7 of these sites, each with their own bonus and a brand new tactical map to do battle in!
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.
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.
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!
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.
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!