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ruzen

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With the recent announcement of ‘Master of magic’ remake, I immediately reinstalled AoW3 and playing every time I get the chance, since. I remember it as a great revival of the series and my memory was correct. I’m still having a great time with harder difficulties on a huge map, where I craft my own stories as I play.

With the conclusion of the Planetfall, I believe it’s quite certain to expect a new AoW game for 2 reasons.

  • In the foreseeable future, there are no major titles for high-fantasy turn-based 4X game. Aside from Master of the magic of course but because of the investment limitations, I don’t believe it’s going to be presentable enough for a wide audience, even though it can be quite an entertaining game for the niece audience. Amplitude, Stardock, Mohawk, etc… all making historical or else but not high-fantast setting.

  • Paradox factor. Paradox has invested quite a large sum over the past 3 years and they are nowhere near what they are hoping to be. Many investments are turned out unsuccessfully. As the CEO has spoken; they expect more profits and I believe they are going to push more DLC and new games for 2021-2023 than their last 3 years.

So, for these reasons, I believe Triumph has already started pre-production after the hiring of (sorry I forgot the name) a developer from Amplitude and I have some feedback I hope Triumph would at hear to… so enough distractions, here are my feedback over the AoW3 and Planetfall.

  • The Tile Question

The third installment was around hexes and it is now the current way of doing things. As for Planetfall, it introduced regions but it isn’t like Endless Legend. More like a bigger filled with filler, smaller hexes. I always found the world at Planetfall boring and I never figured it out why (maybe because I didn’t play that much) but since I reinstalled the AoW3, I finally understood why. Because it doesn't feel organic. It feels too arbitrary as a level design.

In the classic AoW series we get to see the organic rivers, beach, then plains. High mountains covered with forests, snow happening, and each of them has buildings or delves randomly generated. This felt good. I hope you will keep it for the fourth game.

  • Resource Management

Every magic mana should be separated. The game uses only one single mana and it’s not that important with mana nodes you control. The design is already there with a variety of creatures and spells. The only thing left is balancing and reworking on the resources.

The generic mana should stay as it is BUT Air, Earth, Fire, etc… all would offer their own resource and this unique resource should be spent wisely. Every special mana node or a certain type of building should give a single that special mana resource.

Ex.

If you control 2 air mana nodes you will still get +20 to your mana but the player should also be getting +2 air mana. And maybe the player would spend this on a great magical creature or a powerful spell or build a building. This resource shouldn’t accumulate but play as a “hard cap” to do Über-powerful things

  • Population

I believe it’s time for more complicated city management. Rather than having one race for each city. Multiple races could migrate to a city. Having multiple races in a city should give many more options but control would be much harder as the unrest should raise via, terrain features or else.

It shouldn’t be only forced though via action. If a (let's say) dwarfs are unhappy in a human majority city. After certain turns, the dwarfs should migrate to another player, opponents, natural, and lastly create their own city/delve.

With this the game level is going to be more dynamic and create more new stories, even though the player explores every tile; the population should be changing.

Army recruitment should cost population (in question) also.

  • Party management

In the first games, party management was a thing. The player was spending a small time, composing their party because of the morale penalties via mixing a lot of races. If an empire tolerance is high enough the more powerful parties the player can create (because of the strength of every race, meeting a single party) therefore it should be more rewarding to be able to create greater parties. Also, the size should be increased by 2 or more and the reasoning is coming next.

  • Staying true to senses

AoW3 make new graphical changes to the units and now we see the whole regiment fights the same power as a regiment cut in half. This needs to be fixed in the next game. Reminding you that this is the first time I use “fix” word. Because it really messes up the perception of the players.

The simple and most logical fixing would be the design of the Warhammer 40K Gladius. Unit damage was based on the number of units left.

For the singular unit(a great demon or whatever mid-tier-boss-level unit) fix, the HP should host levels of thresholds. With every threshold passes, the singular unit should receive a penalty for something.

That's how the regiments and singular units should be more balanced but most importantly make sense and maybe the hero units shouldn't be affected by these changes to make them slightly more unique.

  • more powerful spells are needed

looking at it now, realizing AoW campaign spells should be more impactful to the world. From blasting volcanos to overflowing rivers damaging units or cities. There really should be more terrain affecting spells. Creating impassable storms, crashing waves changing tiles into the water, earthquakes affecting both underground and top, maybe even creating new “stairs”

Really powerful spells should be in the game I think. Just like Master of Magic.
 

Sandman25DCSSS

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I see you really like aow 1-2. I hope you are wrong and they will not revert their progress which they made in the series. Different mana, morale penalty, more powerful spells? No, thanks.
 
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Rhaeg

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The third installment was around hexes and it is now the current way of doing things. As for Planetfall, it introduced regions but it isn’t like Endless Legend. More like a bigger filled with filler, smaller hexes. I always found the world at Planetfall boring and I never figured it out why (maybe because I didn’t play that much) but since I reinstalled the AoW3, I finally understood why. Because it doesn't feel organic. It feels too arbitrary as a level design.

The big difference between Planetfall maps and the maps in the earlier AOW games lies in the fact that the latter were handcrafted in a level editor by developers while the former are all randomly generated. AOW3 had a random map generator for the random scenarios (campaign maps were handcrafted) that was indeed hex based and the resulting maps often looked rough and unnatural with too many sudden biome and terrain type changes. The maps in Planetfall no longer working with hexes but sectors as building blocks for the randomly generated maps sure made them look more natural since there is consistency within the sectors themselves. They were also incredibly boring since the variation ended up being not much more than "Oh hey look, my food producing sector is now to the left of my starting settlement instead of to the right, wow that's so different!".

AOW 1-3 campaign maps looked good, were logical, could help tell a story, offered strategically interesting locations such as natural bottlenecks and had resource locations that were well balanced. Some of these maps were works of art: AOW 1's Valley of Wonders map for instance was something worthy for a campaign finale. Planetfall's maps offer non of these things. It's ironic even: the big argument that was given to support the choice for randomly generated campaign maps was that they would add to the replayability of the games, since the levels would now look different every new playthrough. In reality they all ended up being only superficially different, with not only different variations of 1 map feeling the same, but now all variations of all the campaign maps offering the same bland experience (I think the only maps that do stand out are the ones featuring islands with a teleporter mechanic).

The real argument for going with randomly generated campaign maps is of course cost reduction. I'm pretty sure the Planetfall campaign was created by 1 person who wrote quests and scripted events, while the older games' campaigns undoubtedly required a lot more effort to put together. Wanting to cut costs is understandable, but when it makes the quality go down instead of up going from one game to its successor, I'd say that's worrying.
 

Fluksen

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The real argument for going with randomly generated campaign maps is of course cost reduction
That might be true, but there also might be another reason - When the random map generator hit in AoW2 SM I think it was (rightfully!) praised as one of THE greatest features. I also think the devs probably have a good idea on how often random maps were played in AoW3 compared to the pre-made scenario maps. I am quite certain random maps was by a gigantic margin the most picked option of players, also for AoW2 there were a lot of community made maps, this number has dwindled for AoW3 I think. So maybe they decided to try this for campaign maps now too, since apparently players love the random maps (if that saves money in the progress even better, but I'm not sure it actually does).
While I principally agree with you I also have to say that the random map generator produced a few good maps for me in the campaign (the first shakarn mission was really good for me I remember) but yeah as a whole the maps were not as good as the handcrafted campaign maps. I hope if they make a future Age of wonders they return to handcrafted campaign maps.
 
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Rhaeg

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That might be true, but there also might be another reason - When the random map generator hit in AoW2 SM I think it was (rightfully!) praised as one of THE greatest features. I also think the devs probably have a good idea on how often random maps were played in AoW3 compared to the pre-made scenario maps. I am quite certain random maps was by a gigantic margin the most picked option of players, also for AoW2 there were a lot of community made maps, this number has dwindled for AoW3 I think. So maybe they decided to try this for campaign maps now too, since apparently players love the random maps (if that saves money in the progress even better, but I'm not sure it actually does).

I don't know which type of map (random or handmade) was played the most, but I don't think that even matters here. If you're making a campaign you should pick the option that delivers the highest quality (unless the difference in quality is very slim, in which case you could go for the cheaper option). Quality should always be the relevant criterium. If delivering quality becomes too expensive then please stop doing it altogether instead of going for the qualitatively lesser option. Over the course of a gaming series you should be able to see improvements, not downgrades. If handcrafted maps were played so little compared to the randomly generated ones, it would be more an argument for the exclusion of campaigns altogether.
 

Fluksen

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What I was trying to say is: Maybe they thought random campaign maps would actually be preferred by the players. I might be wrong and in any case we both agree that this experiment (whatever their reason) wasn't so successfull and handcrafted maps are better for campaigns - cheers :)
 
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Greyclouds

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With the conclusion of the Planetfall, I believe it’s quite certain to expect a new AoW game for 2 reasons.

  • In the foreseeable future, there are no major titles for high-fantasy turn-based 4X game. Aside from Master of the magic of course but because of the investment limitations, I don’t believe it’s going to be presentable enough for a wide audience, even though it can be quite an entertaining game for the niece audience. Amplitude, Stardock, Mohawk, etc… all making historical or else but not high-fantast setting.

  • Paradox factor. Paradox has invested quite a large sum over the past 3 years and they are nowhere near what they are hoping to be. Many investments are turned out unsuccessfully. As the CEO has spoken; they expect more profits and I believe they are going to push more DLC and new games for 2021-2023 than their last 3 years.

I hope! I'm a huge fan of the series and hope to see more entries in the foreseeable future!

The Tile Question

I don't necessarily agree with reverting back to the old system. I think that the sector system just needs a few "tweaks" to improve it rather than it needing to be scrapped entirely. Really, the big issue is the general lack of interactive components on the strategic map. There need to be more "widgets" that interact with army movement and resource generation in each sector, and then the sector system will likely feel more meaningful.

To its credit, the sector system elegantly solved several major issues with previous iterations of the series (and some ongoing problems with HoMM):
  • City spamming
  • Single unit resource generator claiming
  • Micro-scale terraforming
  • Random map generation "stamp" placement.
I strongly think that you can make sectors feel more "organic" with more content and improved algorithms.

Resource Management

I don't have strong feelings one way or another, but I really do prefer quality over quantity when it comes to resources. Different resources could lend themselves to better asymmetric play styles, or could end up being too tedious to manage.

Population

This is ok, but it needs to be streamlined to a degree. I really feel that the point of AoW games is to manage empires from a military standpoint, not to simulate entire economic and demographic systems. Some complexity is welcome, but I think that the game is already quite complex and there is no need for a system like in Victoria or Stellaris.

I agree that mono-culture cities aren't "realistic" though. Perhaps there could be a system where war or forced immigration causes cities to take up surplus population from different races? If racial relations are high enough, a diverse city might be able to produce different support units as a result? It needs to be simple though.

more powerful spells are needed

On this we're in complete agreement. I'd love to see some of the global-scale spells return to the series. Playing as a necromancer that seeks to blight the world is an excellent example of the roleplaying that's been present in the previous entries of the series. In winter, I daydream about the times I played as an Air magician that case the global spells to convert the world to ice.

Hero spell casting should also return, as it is a great alternative specialty for heroes that makes them more diverse overall (not just "melee," "ranged" or "vehicle").

Finally, I really liked strategic enchantment spells on units in past AoW games. It felt great to specialize as an enchantment-based caster over a summon-based caster in some instances. I know that mana upkeep often was tedious to manage, so perhaps enchantments could be permanent without upkeep costs? It would make tactical and strategic dispelling more useful, and enchantments could perhaps be a "mod-spot" on unit cards in the future.



I really like the unit mod system in Planetfall. The implementation was fantastic, and the unit mods more often than not provided interesting unit features in addition to general unit improvements to damage or durability. If there is an AoW4, I hope that this system returns as an "equipment" system using a similar philosophy. If there could be a way to "cast" spells as permanent enchantments on units as well, this would be fantastic. Finally, if the unit champion leveling system could return as well, it would be very welcome!

Otherwise I trust Triumph to produce another great game in the series!
 
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akinata

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Sandman25DCSSS

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Recently I lost unique transport because my hero was killed with spell from full HP (resurrecting the hero didn't bring the transport back) so no, I don't want more powerful spells back, I want spells nerfed even more. Powerful spells make the game too easy/disappointing for human players.
 
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mbuh

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  • more powerful spells are needed

looking at it now, realizing AoW campaign spells should be more impactful to the world. From blasting volcanos to overflowing rivers damaging units or cities. There really should be more terrain affecting spells. Creating impassable storms, crashing waves changing tiles into the water, earthquakes affecting both underground and top, maybe even creating new “stairs”

Really powerful spells should be in the game I think. Just like Master of Magic.

The spells in AoW3 and planetfall are already powerful. AoW is not a god game genre, master of magic blend 4x with god game genre, that's why MoM have such godly tier spells.

In AoW3 and planetfall, those level of spells are already close to god tier, especially tier 6 and 7 spells, if you put it in other high fantasy settings, spells like those in AoW3 and planetfall is god tier or close to it. That is in my opinion is powerful enough, although we can't really notice its power that easily because most of their impact is subtle, but subtly powerful is powerful nonetheless.

  • The Tile Question

The third installment was around hexes and it is now the current way of doing things. As for Planetfall, it introduced regions but it isn’t like Endless Legend. More like a bigger filled with filler, smaller hexes. I always found the world at Planetfall boring and I never figured it out why (maybe because I didn’t play that much) but since I reinstalled the AoW3, I finally understood why. Because it doesn't feel organic. It feels too arbitrary as a level design.

In the classic AoW series we get to see the organic rivers, beach, then plains. High mountains covered with forests, snow happening, and each of them has buildings or delves randomly generated. This felt good. I hope you will keep it for the fourth game.

Yes, that's precisely why. Sector in planetfall are comprised of hexes indeed. It's just grouped into bigger hex that is sector.

If you mod the game to make the base size of each sector smaller (in hex units), you will see more and wider variety per sector compared to others, including those that to some people doesn't make sense (like a single lava sector surrounded by snow sectors), but personally i don't care, as long as it's a new things to me it adds replayability values for me. The drawback is of course game balance is altered and will be more laggy for lower spec devices. That's why me and other modders believe that this was not intended for competitive environment (multiplayer), but for singleplayer, it's quite a new or refreshing thing.

I did ask the community months ago, what they think about the freedom of drawing sector boundary to their liking (there is limit of course). Sadly i got no response. My intent is to keep both features from classic AoW and planetfall and blend them together. In this way we can have the AoW3 hex unit based maps, but economic output can be grouped per region, it add more complex management but on the same time also make it easier for larger scale management, it also offer opportunity for triumph to finally try a semi automated management feature (players should be able to disable this if they don't like it)
 
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akinata

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In AoW3 and planetfall, those level of spells are already close to god tier,
well planetfall high tier spells often cost alot and are less effective than lower cost lower tier spells.
for example the nuke. only 20 damage to all units caught in the blast with a blind effect. sounds cool when you realise you can do so much more damage with multiple lower tier spells with the same amount of ressources. the low damage per cost and blind effect can't compete with spells that can litterally reactivate a unit or heal all your army for a lower cost.
as for strategic spells, those target cities are often not worth it. creating unrest and lowering the production a bit is negligeable.
 

Sandman25DCSSS

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well planetfall high tier spells often cost alot and are less effective than lower cost lower tier spells.
for example the nuke. only 20 damage to all units caught in the blast with a blind effect. sounds cool when you realise you can do so much more damage with multiple lower tier spells with the same amount of ressources. the low damage per cost and blind effect can't compete with spells that can litterally reactivate a unit or heal all your army for a lower cost.
as for strategic spells, those target cities are often not worth it. creating unrest and lowering the production a bit is negligeable.
I think this is good. Aow3 had lower tier spells obsolete when higher tier spells were available. Planetfall provides choice: you can use many lower tier spells in long battles or single higher tier spell which can decide outcome of the battle if used right.
 

Snorro Soliman

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Recently I lost unique transport because my hero was killed with spell from full HP (resurrecting the hero didn't bring the transport back) so no, I don't want more powerful spells back, I want spells nerfed even more. Powerful spells make the game too easy/disappointing for human players.
I must disagree. Perhaps in mp your argument rings more true(since a powerfull nuke or 'I wim button spell' would murder balance.
But powerfull,world altering magic? Yes please. The lorewise progression has aow powering down. Wizards were basically Gods in the original and demigods by virtue of Gabriels circle in the second. Heroic Leaders in aow3 are significantly weaker. Their one unique shared perk seems to a limited form immortality(respawning after corporeal destruction).

Id like aow4 to return true power the player. Alter the winds of magic, freeze the word, bind all your thrall soldiers together in a web of souls, feeding your power when they die. I play aow for such epic power..I wanna be Nagash, Sauron, Malekith or Sigmar...
 
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akinata

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I think this is good. Aow3 had lower tier spells obsolete when higher tier spells were available. Planetfall provides choice: you can use many lower tier spells in long battles or single higher tier spell which can decide outcome of the battle if used right.
choice don't matter when a few spells are so much better and less expensive.

more expensive spells should be better. the choice should reside in either spending alot of ressources or little. also hitting mid game and unlocking new "powerfull" spells is underwhelming when early game spells are better to use. the whole progression aspect of unlocking better stuff with time don't apply here.
 

Sandman25DCSSS

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I must disagree. Perhaps in mp your argument rings more true(since a powerfull nuke or 'I wim button spell' would murder balance.
But powerfull,world altering magic? Yes please. The lorewise progression has aow powering down. Wizards were basically Gods in the original and demigods by virtue of Gabriels circle in the second. Heroic Leaders in aow3 are significantly weaker. Their one unique shared perk seems to a limited form immortality(respawning after corporeal destruction).

Id like aow4 to return true power the player. Alter the winds of magic, freeze the word, bind all your thrall soldiers together in a web of souls, feeding your power when they die. I play aow for such epic power..I wanna be Nagash, Sauron, Malekith or Sigmar...
I am not sure what you disagree with. I said that powerful spells make the game too easy for human player if human player uses them, and too frustrating for human player if the spells are used against human player.
Have you lost your best units just because they happened to be in city domain when enemy used 2 unhappiness spells? That's annoying. Have you captured a city protected by 2 stacks of tier 2-3 units without even crossing the wall by casting Chaos Rift? That's too easy.
 

Sandman25DCSSS

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choice don't matter when a few spells are so much better and less expensive.

more expensive spells should be better. the choice should reside in either spending alot of ressources or little. also hitting mid game and unlocking new "powerfull" spells is underwhelming when early game spells are better to use. the whole progression aspect of unlocking better stuff with time don't apply here.
What do you mean? Late game spells are for late game combat. Someone earlier mentioned that lower tier spells like healing all units for 6 HP are OP. This is not true in late game combat actually. Just compare it to making all electric attacks stun or enemies attack each other.
 

atord/Nordos

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Nah, the subroutine is one of the worst healing spells in my opinion. Some others are damn amazing, because they also remove stuns and similar, bringing back high tier units that got 'sniped' to be disabled.
What I am missing are high damage spells. Not against a single unit (which kinda exist), but against massed units. Sorry, but 20 damage to a huge area isn't something amazing when the average unit has 60 HP or more... I still don't have the 'lethal tactical operation' achievement and honestly have no clue how to even get that in regular gaming except setting it up yourself...
 

Ericridge

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well planetfall high tier spells often cost alot and are less effective than lower cost lower tier spells.
for example the nuke. only 20 damage to all units caught in the blast with a blind effect. sounds cool when you realise you can do so much more damage with multiple lower tier spells with the same amount of ressources. the low damage per cost and blind effect can't compete with spells that can litterally reactivate a unit or heal all your army for a lower cost.
as for strategic spells, those target cities are often not worth it. creating unrest and lowering the production a bit is negligeable.

Strategic spells is usually not worth it because Emperor AI can just ignore the rules they operate by. -600 morale is devasting but not when emperor AI has like 2000 morale tho. There was that one time where i felt so stupid after casting dread siege onto emperor ai as a warlord. The CP was better spent as debuffs or damage spells towards enemy units in battle instead.

As for the 20 damage to all units with blind effect, you're using it wrongly, pretty much everyone uses it wrongly.

Its a major spell for softening up the enemy units. Not a kill spell. Its intended purpose is to set up the enemy troops to get killed by your troops. It tips the scales towards the caster's favor.
 
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