Concern about cultural units being same-y

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NuMetal

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I think the distinction will be hugely lacking in this system. Though the race is more than the form, you have to look up every tiny detail to know what kind of orc is invading your territory. And yes, if all traits and culture fit, it could be an elf in orcish disguise, but wait... if everything is interchangeable, who knows any longer what an elf is like? You have to define it clearly for yourself, the game will not offer much canon any longer.

You see an orc with shield and sword and all you can say for sure is: it is a defender. The days, where you see firstborn dwarfs, goblin beetles or human knights, knowing exactly what they are and what they stand for, seem to be gone in AoW4. You don't even know what transformations are in, when the head has a green glow, because it can have several transformations and only the last one will make the glow green.

I fear the iconic feeling of the units will be gone with AoW4, at least for the races. I don't care too much about tier 1 units, as they did not have much impact in the later game. Some tier 2 units of AoW3 have been used for a long time. You were watchful, if a stormsister had her golden medal. This feeling will be gone.

And we don't seem to get all those nice racial tier 3 units at all now. And who cares if a tyrant knight is riding a horse or a boar, if it has no impact at all and we have to look up what culture and bunch of traits (and transformations?) modify its race to the way it is? So I wouldn't say the units will be same-y. You simply don't know what they are, before you look each one up.

Actually we have to look up every "racial" unit every time we encounter it, because we can't be sure of anything. I know how to behave by seeing nearly every unit in AoW3 after hundreds or thousands of hours of play. This feeling will be impossible in AoW4. Maybe this will not bother me, because AoW4 is just a different game, but maybe it will be a huge let down in the end. I will only know, after playing it for quite some time. But it will definitely feel very different from the former AoWs.
Yeah, those are exactly my fears as well.
However we don't know everything yet and as Ethorin said we'll probably, hopefully be able to tell units apart easily by other metrics than race.
I just hope that in the end our fears turn out to have been unwarranted and we love the new system so much we won't even miss the differences between races we're used to :)
 
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Sandman25DCSSS

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I think the distinction will be hugely lacking in this system. Though the race is more than the form, you have to look up every tiny detail to know what kind of orc is invading your territory. And yes, if all traits and culture fit, it could be an elf in orcish disguise, but wait... if everything is interchangeable, who knows any longer what an elf is like? You have to define it clearly for yourself, the game will not offer much canon any longer.

You see an orc with shield and sword and all you can say for sure is: it is a defender. The days, where you see firstborn dwarfs, goblin beetles or human knights, knowing exactly what they are and what they stand for, seem to be gone in AoW4. You don't even know what transformations are in, when the head has a green glow, because it can have several transformations and only the last one will make the glow green.

I fear the iconic feeling of the units will be gone with AoW4, at least for the races. I don't care too much about tier 1 units, as they did not have much impact in the later game. Some tier 2 units of AoW3 have been used for a long time. You were watchful, if a stormsister had her golden medal. This feeling will be gone.

And we don't seem to get all those nice racial tier 3 units at all now. And who cares if a tyrant knight is riding a horse or a boar, if it has no impact at all and we have to look up what culture and bunch of traits (and transformations?) modify its race to the way it is? So I wouldn't say the units will be same-y. You simply don't know what they are, before you look each one up.

Actually we have to look up every "racial" unit every time we encounter it, because we can't be sure of anything. I know how to behave by seeing nearly every unit in AoW3 after hundreds or thousands of hours of play. This feeling will be impossible in AoW4. Maybe this will not bother me, because AoW4 is just a different game, but maybe it will be a huge let down in the end. I will only know, after playing it for quite some time. But it will definitely feel very different from the former AoWs.
I guess you skipped planetfall, that game really encourages you to check what you are going to fight because even tier 1 units can be quite dangerous with some mods like "now your tier 3 unit is mine for the battle" or "I am no longer infantry, now I am range 9 AoE artillery which can stun/berserk/poison etc, several units along with dealing damage". It was quite fun and interesting
 
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matthett

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I really really am not fan of digging out this whole conversation about forms that doesn't even belong to this topic, but I feel I have to say something about that comment:
Actually we have to look up every "racial" unit every time we encounter it, because we can't be sure of anything. I know how to behave by seeing nearly every unit in AoW3 after hundreds or thousands of hours of play. This feeling will be impossible in AoW4. Maybe this will not bother me, because AoW4 is just a different game, but maybe it will be a huge let down in the end. I will only know, after playing it for quite some time. But it will definitely feel very different from the former AoWs.
Alright, please tell me this: if you boot AoW 3 right now and start a game, will you not be able to tell Draconian Berserker vs let's say, High Elf Berserker at a glance? Or basically any racial class unit that AT MOST is only somewhat deviated in function (like High Elf Bard being actually decent archer unit)? With units like muskeeters being basically no different between races? I find it hard to believe that after "hundreds of thousands hours of play" you'll not be able to recognise Barbarian Spearman at a glance only because it happens to look like a rat instead of orc.

At the end of the day unit rosters are based on culture and tomes, but the units stay the same, and if it ends up with them being impossible to recognise at a glance then I'm pretty sure the bigger problem is with unit design rather than "forms suck".
 
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ekulio

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This is what we know so far:
1. Race is just a form now and purely cosmetic. For example if everything else is the same elven archers will have the exact same stats as orc archers.
2. Spear, archer and shield units will still be distinct enough, the distinction just won't be coming from race anymore but from culture traits, society traits and tomes.

There is already a long ongoing discussion about this in this thread: https://forum.paradoxplaza.com/forum/threads/are-races-pure-cosmetic.1565793/?prdxDevPosts=1
I'd suggest only reading the dev responses ;)
Yes I know, my concern is about the cultural units, not races. I said "racial units" only when talking about AOW3.
 
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ekulio

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If we look at Planetfall its obvious they had units filling various roles just like in this game. However even units with similar roles and even basic attacks were very different. Vanguard Troopers and Syndicate Indentured were the standard, 7 range repeating unit. However they had different damage channels which provided very different mod options. Different utility abilities (grenade vs power shot). Different racial synergies too. A fully modded and supported Trooper was dramatically different from a similarly supported Indentured even thought they were the same "base" unit.

You can go down the line for most units in Planetfall. How similar were Scavengers and Frenzied? How about Enforcers, Lightbringers and Lancers? Or the 3 snipers? Laser Tanks vs Dvar Tanks?

Perhaps assuming the devs will continue with and improve upon their well done design decisions in previous games is prudent.
I'm sure they'll all have different secondary abilities and passive traits, but it's still all the same core units - a sword and shield infantry, a two-handed spear, a bow, a support with a staff... Sure indentured and troopers are different enough, but imagine if in planetfall every faction but one had a rifle unit, a melee infantry, a flying scout, and a magic-looking support for their starting lineup. Even knowing nothing else about those units it's already less variety.

Compare what we actually got in planetfall, visually:
Vanguard: Rifle infantry, a robot dog, a sci-fi motorcycle with guns
Syndicate: Rifle infantry, a support with a staff, melee infantry with punchy gauntlets
Kirko: claw infantry, a sniper, a floating psionic support
Assembly: Infantry with a claw and a shotgun, a sniper, infantry with big cannons
Dvar: Infantry with a gun and a shield, infantry with a grenade launcher, a mech with miniguns
Amazon: Archers, infantry with a pistol, mounted units with spear and shields
Shakarn: rifle infantry, big slug units with cannons, infantry with some sort of hologram thing
Paragon: Infantry with spears, Mech with sword and shield, floating psionic-looking support

These are just so obviously different units, and the cultures just don't have that variety.
 
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Goemoe

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I really really am not fan of digging out this whole conversation about forms that doesn't even belong to this topic, but I feel I have to say something about that comment:

Alright, please tell me this: if you boot AoW 3 right now and start a game, will you not be able to tell Draconian Berserker vs let's say, High Elf Berserker at a glance? Or basically any racial class unit that AT MOST is only somewhat deviated in function (like High Elf Bard being actually decent archer unit)? With units like muskeeters being basically no different between races? I find it hard to believe that after "hundreds of thousands hours of play" you'll not be able to recognise Barbarian Spearman at a glance only because it happens to look like a rat instead of orc.

At the end of the day unit rosters are based on culture and tomes, but the units stay the same, and if it ends up with them being impossible to recognise at a glance then I'm pretty sure the bigger problem is with unit design rather than "forms suck".
Sorry, but what exactly are you trying to tell me?
 

Goemoe

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I guess you skipped planetfall, that game really encourages you to check what you are going to fight because even tier 1 units can be quite dangerous with some mods like "now your tier 3 unit is mine for the battle" or "I am no longer infantry, now I am range 9 AoE artillery which can stun/berserk/poison etc, several units along with dealing damage". It was quite fun and interesting
I did skip planetfall after about 50 hours where I tried to like this game and failed, because I disliked the combat some and the "storys" totally.

But that is not the point. I will surely miss the feeling to see a couple of units and know what they are and if I am strong enough to engage or not. This does not mean, I will not like AoW4, but when you get used to something you love for a very long time, you will miss it, when it is gone.
 
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Silvertongued

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If we look at Planetfall its obvious they had units filling various roles just like in this game. However even units with similar roles and even basic attacks were very different. Vanguard Troopers and Syndicate Indentured were the standard, 7 range repeating unit. However they had different damage channels which provided very different mod options. Different utility abilities (grenade vs power shot). Different racial synergies too. A fully modded and supported Trooper was dramatically different from a similarly supported Indentured even thought they were the same "base" unit.

You can go down the line for most units in Planetfall. How similar were Scavengers and Frenzied? How about Enforcers, Lightbringers and Lancers? Or the 3 snipers? Laser Tanks vs Dvar Tanks?

Perhaps assuming the devs will continue with and improve upon their well done design decisions in previous games is prudent.
Here's the problem: everything we've seen so far indicates that every faction is going to have the same general line up: Spearman, Archer, Swordsman, Cavalry. Even with severe modifications they're still going to be filling those roles of light infantry/ranged unit/melee/cavalry unit.

In planetfall you had starting lineups like:
Ranged unit, support, ranged unit, melee
Ranged unit, support, cavalry, light cavalry
Melee, ranged unit, support, ranged unit

Equivalent units were not only different between each other, but the factions themselves had different approaches to solving problems. It wasn't just run in with melee units, pelt them with archers, get first strike with spears and use cavalry.

Now, while I hope that the line ups we've seen so far are just sort of... maximum generic stuff just to show off the visual differences between equivalent units - it's still a bit worrying. Even with statistical/ability disparities between them it's not quite the same as just... having a faction that completely lacks a "spearman" unit, or completely lacks a dedicated melee unit, and so on.

I'm not maximum doom and gloom or anything, but I am mildly worried that the only real differences between factions will be the abilities and we won't actually be getting different early-game lineup options. That the asymmetry that made Age of Wonders so fun has been lessened in favour of more customization (which is nice, but... I really love asymmetry more) - now of course a dev can come in and give us some random examples of how lineups can be radically different and I'll happily keep my peace, but until we get a bit more information all we have is uncertainty.
 
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It wouldn't make much sense as a tome unit (AFAIK) since those seem to be ostensibly summons and equipment/enchantment to improve your units, along with elemental/magic-based things.
I mean, the Tyrant Knight they showed off wasn't any sort of summoned unit, so I have no idea where you're getting this from.
 
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NuMetal

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Yes I know, my concern is about the cultural units, not races. I said "racial units" only when talking about AOW3.
Huh, you're right. I guess I failed this reading comprehension test. Sorry for focusing just on that one part.

Regarding cultural units we can't really say yet how different they'll actually be right?
If culture is just the new race and there are barely any meaningful differences like at the beginning of AoW3, that'd suck. But I don't really think so. And even if it's too samey at the beginning Triumph has proven before that they can and will improve this aspect more and more.
Let's just hope it'll already start with interesting meaningful differences and not just slight stat tweaks :)
 
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Ethorin

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Currently I'm hoping we get at least as much variety as say, Tigrans vs Elves vs Humans in AoW 3

Halberdiers, Union Guards, and Sun Guards were all pikes, but they were quite distinct as pikes...

Admittedly... they were still pikes, and the Sun Guards were the only pike in the game positioned at all differently on the "tech tree". And well, there were a few pikes that had pretty interesting distinctions(Frostling Royal Guard with their being a support for the supports), but for pikes functioning as pikes I think these three were the ones that felt most different.

On the positive side, with six cultures there's definitely few enough that I think it's reasonable to expect each of them to be quite distinct in ways that aren't "every High unit has Awakening(or w/e), Every Dark Unit has Inflict Despair and/or Exploit Despair(or w/e), every Industrious unit has +1 armor(or w/e) and they are otherwise identical stat and ability wise".

One thing I'll be very interested to see is if Defense Modes differ from culture to culture, or is every Support going to do Warding and every Defensive unit do Shield Wall?

I will, admittedly, be incredibly disappointed if, for instance, the major distinction between Supports/Battle Mages is "what damage channel are you using?"
 
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With six cultures very early game will look super samey, differences will emerge after unlocking tomes and will be big but until then it will be just an aow with six races.
Except the unit shape and their mount there shouldn't be difference. No idea if an Elf berserk would use a two handes sword, a dwarf one will use a two handed axe and a halfling one a huge mace. If they do they should change the property at least a little. I don't even know if different mounts are just cosmetic.
 
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My thoughts on original post.
Cultural units seems samey since they are what they are - basic units. That's the point of basic units - to be basic an d universal. Not to even mention that there is a difference - barbarian got javelins that sunder armour while high culture got a horse archer for example.
But that's the case only at the begining of the game before you apply enchantments and transformations to those units - they will then differ quite a lot - one support unit will be able to cast heal the other buff, some units will use fire other poison and so on.
Not to mention roster doesn't contain only basic units but I guess that's not the point but still is important to note - you build your roaster of units through out the game so your basic units have to working well in many playthoughts with different roasters and still have a place there.

TLDR I don't agree there is a reason for concern about basic units
 
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:Charlemunculus

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My thoughts on original post.
Cultural units seems samey since they are what they are - basic units. That's the point of basic units - to be basic an d universal. Not to even mention that there is a difference - barbarian got javelins that sunder armour while high culture got a horse archer for example.
But that's the case only at the begining of the game before you apply enchantments and transformations to those units - they will then differ quite a lot - one support unit will be able to cast heal the other buff, some units will use fire other poison and so on.
Not to mention roster doesn't contain only basic units but I guess that's not the point but still is important to note - you build your roaster of units through out the game so your basic units have to working well in many playthoughts with different roasters and still have a place there.

TLDR I don't agree there is a reason for concern about basic units
I also think its worth noting that I am not sure where this six starting cultures narrative is coming from - there are not really 6 starting cultures, there are 6 starting affinities with I believe 3-each cultural modifiers and we have already been shown an example of how they are pretty dramatically different (holiness/piety vs imperial for high culture). I feel like we have seen enough variety for right out of the gate early game that we don't really need to be too concerned about saminess personally
 
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TulajMnie

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Counter point, Planetfall.
As far as I know in Planetfall you had research units that were spread out in your tech tree - here we have very similar thing.
You get some units at the begining and work up to the more powerful ones while enchanting (modding in PF) your early units to last through the early/mid game and boosting your later ones to counter your competitors.
Unless you mean something specific that I couldn't have known that from 3 word sentence :p
EDIT: Also I'm really tired of people saying that , like it's some kind of mantra.
I believe people working in Triumph are able and have capacity to learn and grow. What they did or didn't do in Planetfall happend, they move on and make new game being the wiser. Yet somehow there is no trust that devs want to create great game and need to be concerned about every little thing
 
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Ethorin

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As far as I know in Planetfall you had research units that were spread out in your tech tree
Your basic units in Planetfall were the exact opposite of
That's the point of basic units - to be basic an d universal.
Even the similar ones, like Indentured and Troopers, were default quite different and then their interactions with the rest of the system made them incredibly different.

Basic units being "basic and universal" is for games with symmetrical balance. And at least for me, the thing that's always excited me when playing Age of Wonders IS the assymmetry. If I wanted Symmetry in my 4X I'd be playing Deadlock, because it has much more interesting empire building.

So yeah, here's hoping for more Planetfall levels of Asymmetry than AoW3's.
 
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BloodEngorged

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Hello!

First of all, this game looks flipping amazing. I have watched the intro video and read all the dev diaries a thousand times. I loved AOW3 and Planetfall and you can take my money!

One concern I had though was glancing through the previews of the different cultural units (we see some in the video and the rest in a gif on the announcement page) most of them look pretty much the same. For example, the industrial culture gets a crossbow, but all the other cultures have a regular archer with a bow. All of them have a sword-and-shield person and most have a two-handed spear.

Towards the end of 3s development, triumph did an amazing job tweaking racial units where they could to make them more distinct. Planetfall introduced a huge improvement in 3 by making every faction have totally different unit lineups. There was very limited 1-to-1 equivalency between faction rosters. I loved that.

Are the spear, archer, and shield units going to be distinct enough?

THank you for your amazing work and the hundreds of hours of fun it's given me!

I think the different Cultures will play slightly differently based on the units available to them, since currently there seem to be more unit types than actual units in the Cultures.

In AoW3 all the original 6 teams basic units followed the same formula; An irrgular, archer, swordsman, pikeman, and then a support and mounted unit at Tier 2, and finally a fast heavy hitter for Tier 3.

AoW4 only seem to have six basic units, instead of seven, and dropped the irregular for a scout unit which is probably good, since you want to get scouting early, and the irregulars of AoW3 provided little benefit to the team.

I think that the difference the Cultures will display is going to come from what units they *lack*. The Barbarians have no spearman, they have a skirmisher instead. I guess the team that's all about melee dont want, or need, a deterrent for shock troopers.

The fact that AoW4 have slimmed down the number of base units to six, and that one of those units is going to be a scout really leaves some gaps in your team for you to fill in or ignore, and I think the tomes are the box of crayons Paradox is giving us to compliment or accentuate your Cultures inheret strengths and shortcomings.

From what I've gleaned from the screen shots and dev diaries the High Culture has no Shock Unit for example. What they do have is Spearmen and Shield Units to keep you at bay, while their Ranged and Battle Mage units blast at you from afar.

The Dark Culture on the other hand seem to lack both a Support Unit, and a Shield Unit, replacing the latter with a swordsman (which does not share the same pose as the Berserker, making me belive he is a Fighter Unit). The combo of eshewing both shield and support, while sporting Battle Mage, Ranged, Shock, Fighter and Spearman Units will probably make for an extremely offensive team that is less about holding out and wittling you down, and more about killing you before you can kill them.

At the end maybe everyone will play very similarly because you decided that your Dark Culture really needed some support, or your High Culture needed a fast and hard hitting striker, but at least then it'll have come down to the choices you made along the way.
 
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TulajMnie

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Your basic units in Planetfall were the exact opposite of
What I meant was that advanced units were in your tech tree similar to the ones in tomes.
You got your basic range of troops at the start.
Even the similar ones, like Indentured and Troopers, were default quite different and then their interactions with the rest of the system made them incredibly different.
What makes you think it's not the case other than they look similar? They have variations. If those are not good enough for you that's a little different case than they all have sword and shield ergo they are the same.
Basic units being "basic and universal" is for games with symmetrical balance. And at least for me, the thing that's always excited me when playing Age of Wonders IS the assymmetry. If I wanted Symmetry in my 4X I'd be playing Deadlock, because it has much more interesting empire building.

So yeah, here's hoping for more Planetfall levels of Asymmetry than AoW3's.
Well that's something of the preference. It's not like I don't think more is better - sure give me all the units you can think of.
I just don't see any reason to be concerned
 
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