Brainstrom on Age of Wonders "4"

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Sandman25DCSSS

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the rpg aspect of any age of wonder games always was strong. it was always about one leader who level up, clear dungeons and loot items while managing his empire and his army.
and each empires had its own alignement.
I agree. But RPG part is not focus, at least in AoW3 and Planetfall. It was in AoW1, but just because there was no random map generator/city building and you had to play campaigns.
 

Sarmatian

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I agree. But RPG part is not focus, at least in AoW3 and Planetfall. It was in AoW1, but just because there was no random map generator/city building and you had to play campaigns.

I felt the RPG aspect was actually stronger in Planetfall compared to AOW3. Smaller number of cities, smaller number of armies, better city defense and kitting out your armies was more important as well.

Where it failed is in sort of RPG adventure aspect. There was less exploration and adventuring on the map, and hero management was less advanced. They did try to focus on that in later expansions, but it always felt a bit lacking to me.
 

Sandman25DCSSS

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I felt the RPG aspect was actually stronger in Planetfall compared to AOW3. Smaller number of cities, smaller number of armies, better city defense and kitting out your armies was more important as well.

Where it failed is in sort of RPG adventure aspect. There was less exploration and adventuring on the map, and hero management was less advanced. They did try to focus on that in later expansions, but it always felt a bit lacking to me.
I guess you are talking about campaign. Huge random maps with all victory conditions disabled are as close to strategy games as possible IMHO. It is great that players can adapt maps to what they want. I think small maps with colonizers disabled can be close to pure RPG indeed.
 

Sarmatian

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I guess you are talking about campaign. Huge random maps with all victory conditions disabled are as close to strategy games as possible IMHO. It is great that players can adapt maps to what they want. I think small maps with colonizers disabled can be close to pure RPG indeed.

Sort of... I may have expressed myself poorly, though. It's not that I mind strategy aspects. My two favourite game types are strategy and rpg games, so games like AOW or old Heroes of Might and Magic (2 & 3) seem like a match made in heaven.

I found the strategy part a bit lacking. I am speaking about SP, to be precise, I concede that MP might be different. I found that game revolves around decisive battles with limited number of units, and more advanced army tends to win decisively. That in turn promotes putting most of your eggs in one or few baskets, and minimizing casualties. That leads to snowball effect -> more advanced army -> more decisive victory -> fewer casualties which leads to even bigger advantage next time. Your strategic options are kind of limited. You can not delay your opponent properly, let's say by sending a lot of smaller armies for him to deal with because battles don't take time and more advanced army of opponent will defeat them without suffering (almost) any losses.
Since kitting out your army is expensive, you generally win the war if you win the first decisive encounter.

That type of game play is generally associated with party type RPGs. So, it is not that I would mind deeper strategic game. It's just that current game design doesn't do well to promote it, and I ended enjoying RPG aspects more than strategy aspects.

And, yes, campaign was a giant missed opportunity.
 

Sandman25DCSSS

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Sort of... I may have expressed myself poorly, though. It's not that I mind strategy aspects. My two favourite game types are strategy and rpg games, so games like AOW or old Heroes of Might and Magic (2 & 3) seem like a match made in heaven.

I found the strategy part a bit lacking. I am speaking about SP, to be precise, I concede that MP might be different. I found that game revolves around decisive battles with limited number of units, and more advanced army tends to win decisively. That in turn promotes putting most of your eggs in one or few baskets, and minimizing casualties. That leads to snowball effect -> more advanced army -> more decisive victory -> fewer casualties which leads to even bigger advantage next time. Your strategic options are kind of limited. You can not delay your opponent properly, let's say by sending a lot of smaller armies for him to deal with because battles don't take time and more advanced army of opponent will defeat them without suffering (almost) any losses.
Since kitting out your army is expensive, you generally win the war if you win the first decisive encounter.

That type of game play is generally associated with party type RPGs. So, it is not that I would mind deeper strategic game. It's just that current game design doesn't do well to promote it, and I ended enjoying RPG aspects more than strategy aspects.

And, yes, campaign was a giant missed opportunity.
I see the game is too easy for you. I had this ussue too and I fixed it. First I use "more stronger AI" mod so all AIs have lots of tier 3-4 units modded with tier 2-3 mods. Second I disabled diplomacy so everyone is at war with everyone from turn 1. So you just can't expect to deal with enemies one after another. When you capture some colony, your other colonies are poorly protected and AIs invade with superior armies. Third, I don't use factions/techs/npc to generate free armies like Heritor, Xeno or Psi-fish. Finally I don't use tier 3/4 units, even from NPC and rewards. It is really strategy game this way, I spend 10 turns protecting 3 enemy colonies waiting for them to become mine because I can't kill AI and I can't leave the colonies undefended either. I am attacked from all sides so I have powerful armies along all my borders and try to build colonies near edge of the map. No water and disabled victory conditions are very important too.
 

mbuh

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Sep 6, 2020
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@Sarmatian

What you said so far is interesting.

In regards of a more rpg feels of AoW, i agree with it. But other turn based strategy games is always like that, i mean only in RTS that a unit dead is absolutely acceptable, even a massed of units dead is fine as long as it advances your progress towards vicotory, i never found any turn based strategy games of all genres (TBS, 4x, turn based grand strategy, etc) that can match this feels of RTS in that aspects. From game developer perspective, Real time just have less closed system, which means much more unpredictable possibilities, thus it is in a way more forgiving in some aspect but more punishing in other aspects compared to turn based strategy.

Also, you just made me realize that there is no adventure mode (like in AoW3) in planetfall, that or i miss something. One of my favorite thing about AoW3 is adventure mode with no town but only dwellings in SP game, the early game part is sometimes more boring than non adventure type settings, but it gets interesting at mid to end game.

Other interesting topic you raise is
I felt the RPG aspect was actually stronger in Planetfall compared to AOW3. Smaller number of cities, smaller number of armies, better city defense and kitting out your armies was more important as well.

While this is true. Why there are fewer armies in planetfall compared to AoW3 is because of the side effects of sector based map systems.

If we look at the largest map size in planetfall compared to the largest one in AoW3, in one layer (so no UG), in terms of total hexes, they are roughly equal if not equal, someone has compared long ago when planetfall first released.

What make planetfall has fewer cities total is because city can only be placed in sector and occupy a sector. While a sector is comprised of multiple hexes, this in turn limit the total number of cities in planetfall. I have repeatedly bring back this topic in this forum back then, but only few people seems interested in discussing this.

This is also why strategic spells according to some forum members are weaker in planetfall compared to AoW3, equal tier compared, because the total points to use it is fewer. I mean both AoW3 and planetfall cities can boost this points, each city can have one booster (grand palace in AoW3, i forgot the name in planetfall, but it's in defense sector type), but AoW3 have higher limit of total cities that can be build in equally sized maps results in AoW3 allowing strategic skills to be used more frequently per turn compared to planetfall.

Another side effect of that is, the total number of unit producing sites is higher in AoW3 than in planetfall, due to AoW3 can have more cities. Which means stacks loses are very acceptable, not in the scale of RTS game, but at least in the direction of that.

Short words, the down side of sector system is it make the game scope smaller in a sense

However, good thing is planetfall allows us to mod the size of sectors, making sector's size smaller allow more cities to be build in any map size compared to default sector size, but the drawback is it will be a massive toll on our PC, massive lag, frequent crashes and infinite loops, etc after turn 60. I think that is because the dev never intend it to be that way
 
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Damkac

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Anomaly sites added some RPG element in Planetfall. Hope AoW4 will have something similiar but better.
 

Sarmatian

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Anomaly sites were nice idea, but you could potentially be stuck in a single place with your hero and powerful army for 5+ turns... That's a lot...
 

atord/Nordos

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Anomaly sites were nice idea, but you could potentially be stuck in a single place with your hero and powerful army for 5+ turns... That's a lot...
yeah, thats the reason I modded the last skill to also reduce the time by 1. Turns out, that was pretty broken in Empire mode, but w/e :D
 

johnny54321

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I know the AOW series is highly combat based but it would be nice to have more on the empire building non combat side of things. I love the setting of AOW and it could be awesome to have the option for a more a peaceful game.

The unity beacon while a nice idea and addition feels somewhat out of place without some sort of supporting empire building behind it along with strategic resources and trade/trade routes. Having a reason to build and trade is a reason to establish relationships and not go to war. Right now diplomacy is more like hey lets be friends, but with not a necessarily a lot of reason behind it other than I don’t want to fight you right now. If you had trade with other factions there would be less reason to fight.
 
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