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FangirlCrazily

Second Lieutenant
Community Ambassador
Feb 7, 2023
108
2.631
Hey Rulers,

After a long (and hopefully worthwhile) wait, we are finally ready to present to you the Watcher Update!

With this patch, we are introducing numerous quality of life changes based on community feedback. Some of the main features include:

  • A reworked Magic Victory system
  • New and improved Underground
  • Crossplay between platforms
  • Research scaling with unlocking Tomes
  • Various balance changes and bug fixes
  • and more!

Some AI changes were also implemented during this update. While we don’t consider them final as there is always room for improvement, we hope that you will already experience some improvements today! Please continue to send in bug reports and save files, they are extremely valuable for our research.

Once again, we’d like to extend a huge thanks to all the players who made comments, suggestions, and the occasional multi-page analysis posts throughout these few months as well as during the Open Beta process — they made a difference!

After Watcher, our next major patch will be the Golem Update in Q4. Like the previous Wyvern Patch and Dragon Dawn combo, this will be a free update released closer to the long-awaited Empires & Ashes Expansion, where steel will meet the magical world of Age of Wonders!

Now we will leave you to conquer your realms. Please keep letting us know what you think of the game and what you want to see come next, your comments are always welcome!

Regards,
Triumph


Game Version: 1.004.000.82125



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Research Scaling
The way knowledge costs are determined for skills in Tomes has changed. Instead of the tier of the skill determining the cost, the knowledge cost is now based on the amount of Tomes you have collected so far. Every new Tome you unlock will have an increased knowledge cost of skills compared to the Tome before, regardless of what Tier the Tome or the skill is.

  • The general Knowledge cost of Tome skills is increased, especially near the mid and late game Tomes.
  • The base knowledge cost of skills for tomes are as follows:
    • 1st Tome, General Research and Culture Research: 250
    • 2nd Tome: 400
    • 3rd Tome: 600
    • 4th Tome: 800
    • 5th Tome: 1100
    • 6th Tome: 1500
    • 7th Tome: 1900
    • 8th Tome: 2400
    • 9th Tome: 3000
    • 10th Tome: 3600
    • 11th Tome: 4300
    • 12th Tome: 5000
    • Every Tome afterwards has an additional +1000 knowledge cost per skill.
  • Individual skills in a Tome now have a skill level (Adept, Intermediate or Expert). This adds a modifier on the knowledge cost. Different skills inside of a tome can still differ in cost as they did previously.
  • Changed Tome Tier unlocking. Instead of needing 2 tomes of the previous tier, you just need a certain number of tomes of any tier. This means that players can choose more lower level tomes without slowing down their progress towards higher level tomes.
    • Tier II - 2 Tomes of any Tier
    • Tier III - 4 Tomes of any Tier
    • Tier IV - 6 Tomes of any Tier
    • Tier V - 8 Tomes of any Tier
  • Tier 3 tomes now require 3 Affinity Points to be unlocked.

Magic Victory Rework
The new Magic Victory Rework focuses on the binding of Golden Ancient Wonders to eventually cast the Age of Affinity Spells. By using Ancient Wonders the Victory Condition becomes more active and makes it different from the Expansion Victory.

  • Upon selecting your first Tier 3 Tome, a new global research skill appears "Bind Gold Ancient Wonder"
    • It's a sustained strategic spell that must target an annexed golden ancient wonder in your empire.
    • While bound, provides research bonus, but more important of all, a number of them are needed to cast the Age of Affinity spell.
  • The Age of Affinity spell appears when you first unlock your Tier 5 Tome, in the same place as the Binding spell.
    • You can channel it while having enough bindings, but if you lose enough bindings during channeling the spell will be canceled.
    • You lose a binding when your wonder or the city it's attached to gets occupied or changes ownership.
  • Global Spells are a separate Research pick, not part of the three randomly drawn ones and can be started/paused at any time once it becomes available.
  • The amount of Golden Ancient Wonders required scales based on the size of the map

Summon & Casting Changes
We've added a system to limit how many spells can be actually launched each turn, as well as tightened the rules about where units can be summoned.

  • Added a Spell Slot system that limits the number of spells that the player can prepare without actually casting them. This prevents the player from banking up a lot of spells, only to cast them all at once.
  • Summoning Spells can now only be targeted on hexes next to your City, your Ruler or your Heroes. Previously they could be targeted on any visible hex.
  • Starting Casting Points increased from 30 to 45.
  • Changed Casting Point cost of Combat spells to make it easier to cast higher tier spells and have casting points left for other spells and to make it so casting many low tier spells less free. Mana costs have stayed the same.
    • Tier 0: Increased from 5 to 10
    • Tier 1: Increased from 10 to 15
    • Tier 2: Increased from 15 to 20
    • Tier 3: Increased from 20 to 25
    • Tier 4: Stays at 30
    • Tier 5: Decreased from 40 to 35
    • Tier 6: Decreased from 50 to 40
    • Tier 7: Decreased from 60 to 50
    • Tier 8: Decreased from 80 to 65
    • Tier 9: Decreased from 100 to 80
  • Several World Map spells have been made more consistent. They have their damage or other effectiveness increased while being slightly harder to cast repeatedly. Making for fewer but more impactful actions.

Map Improvements
We’re tackling several elements of the Map Generation that we’ve seen the community provide feedback on. The focus for these improvements will be on the Underground Experience, but we’ve touched up the overall Map Generation as well.

  • Reworked Map Generation
    • Renamed Player Distance to Relative Map Size
    • Replaced the Far setting with a new Very Large setting, which has a greatly increased distance between players.
    • Added a new Large setting which has a map size in between that of Medium and Very Large and gives players room to expand before meeting another player.
    • Added Tooltips to better explain the provided experience on each Map Size
    • Changed the Continents generation to allow for more varied maps, and small islands to form in the water.

  • Underground Improvements
    • Improved player placement in the underground to better take into account the positions on the surface
    • Cities can now annex Provinces on the opposite layer through Underground Passages. This is possible when provinces on both sides of a Underground Passage are annexed.
    • Exploring an Underground Passage gives you vision on both sides
    • Added a world map visual for when an underground passage is in an owned territory.
    • Magic ingredients are now split between the surface and underground, where Ores are only able to spawn in the underground.
    • Excavatable provinces in the Underground now have a special FX to show that a structure or node is hidden underneath.
    • Excavating no longer spawns a roaming stack of monsters that follow you. You can now uncover infestations and guarded nodes instead.

Crossplay
Starting with the Watcher update, Cross Play is fully enabled between all different supported platforms. This means console and PC players can play multiplayer games together as long as their Cross Play setting is enabled. Thanks for your patience!

  • Enabled Cross Play functionality between Steam, GoG, Epic, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S and Microsoft Store.
  • Added Cross Play setting to the Online settings tab
    • The Cross Play setting is enabled by default when playing on a PC platform (excl. Microsoft Store)
    • Console and Microsoft Store players will receive a pop up asking them to set their Cross Play setting when going into Online Multiplayer (if not set previously)
    • Disabling this setting means Cross Play sessions do not show up; this includes previous sessions
    • Cross Play is disabled when playing with mods
    • Achievements/Trophies cannot be obtained in Cross Play enabled sessions



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  • Improved Memory Efficiency in the Animation Systems
  • Improved optimizations for Tactical Banners and images that frequently update their Opacity
  • Increased the Racial Affinity Points given by Traits from Race Council Events from +1 to +2.
  • Renamed Publish to Build in the PackageManager, as it’s more fitting for the process that happens when you press this button.

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AI World Map Behaviour Updates
  • Mission Generation & Evaluation
    • Updated the AI aggression when calculating the army powers required to fight
    • Updated the AI mission army calculation when targeting independents
    • Added survivability and damage modifiers based on the world threat settings
    • Increased the mission distance range to generate more things for the AI to do at a longer range
  • Updated Defense Logic
    • Cities with Walls no longer have the “Always Defend” flag, this opens up additional units for the AI to use.
    • When under threat the AI will defend accordingly towards the threat
    • Throne Cities under Siege will become a forced defense
    • Changed how the AI takes Siege Durations into account when attacking and defending
  • Updated AI Summon Logic
    • Removed a limit that restricts summons to when there is a combat nearby. Now the AI will summon units as soon they are primed
    • The AI no longer needs to have a standing threat near their leader or cities to start summoning units
    • Increased the Research Priority of Units and Summons
    • Increased the priorities of each summon spell by the Tier of the Units they would Summon
  • Expansion Updates
    • Added simple support to stop Friendly or Allied AI’s from expanding towards the players domain
    • Changed rule regarding clearing Ancient Wonders. The AI will now clear them when they are in annex range to Cities or Outposts
    • Changed empire development rule, ruleset now includes taking into account free cities that could be integrated instead of only new cities
    • Implemented new free city expansion rules, when fully independent they will expand in a circular pattern, when they are a vassal they will default to pick the highest value again

AI Diplomatic Behaviour Updates
  • AI Update for the Threat system:
    • The threat system has been expanded to look at several new factors and has been tweaked to achieve more competition with nearby rulers and rulers that are competing in overall ranking.
    • The impact of the “Need a Friend” and “Need an Ally” modifiers is reduced for Warlord and Isolationist Personalities.
    • The “Need an Ally” modifier now only applies if either side of the relation has a War, to make sure the AI doesn’t radically shift opinion (to positive).
    • The system now takes Defensive Pacts into account more and no longer waits for a Full Alliance before applying certain factors.
    • Some AI players will now have a predisposition in their threat level towards higher / lower threat
    • Generally AI rulers should initially act more threatened and hostile.
  • AI update for making declarations:
    • The amount of declarations that will be made on a player by the AI is now more balanced.
    • The AI should no longer abundantly declare friendships on a player, unless that player declares a friendship on them.
    • Isolationists no longer declare friendships unless it is declared on them.
    • An issue was fixed where the influence of ranking on declarations was inverted.
  • Added a 2 Turn cooldown to the AI for manually sending a Call to War after the Diplomatic State with the player they call into a war has changed.

AI Economy Updates
  • Normal Difficulty
    • Increased Mana Income Modifier from 1 to 1.2
    • Increased Knowledge Income Modifier from 1 to 1.1
    • Removed Unit Upkeep and Unit Cost Discounts
  • Hard Difficulty
    • Increased Gold Income Modifier from 1.2 to 1.3
    • Increased Mana Income Modifier from 1.2 to 1.3
    • Increased Knowledge Income Modifier from 1 to 1.2
    • Reduced Unit Upkeep Discount from 33% to 15%
    • Removed Unit Cost Discount
  • Brutal Difficulty
    • Increased Gold Income Modifier from 1.3 to 1.4
    • Increased Mana Income Modifier from 1.3 to 1.4
    • Increased Knowledge Income Modifier from 1 to 1.3
    • Reduced Unit Upkeep Discount from 50% to 30%
    • Removed Unit Cost Discount
    • Removed Unit Stat Bonus
  • Updated Unit Production Logic. The AI will no longer always produce units but tries to keep up with the strongest human player. They try to have at least X% more army power than the human player.
    • Easy 5%
    • Normal 50%
    • Hard 75%
    • Very hard 100%
  • Changed Disbanding Units Logic.
    • No longer disband units on Cities and Victory Condition Structures that are under threat
    • Never disband units on cities that are under siege
  • Block the AI from replacing Gold, Mana and Special Province Improvements, providing a stronger economy
  • Added support for the AI to save up imperium in the late game to buy the city cap empire tree skill
  • Changed AI Research values to have a focus on Units, Transformations and Unit Enchantments.
  • Changed AI Evaluation for the Magic Victory Condition research

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Environment Art
  • Added drips pfx to the underground stalagmites on WM
  • Added pointlights to the underground lava WM
  • Added pointlights to the underground water WM
  • Texture pass on the underground mushroom forest
  • Texture pass on the underground digable walls
  • Fixed vertex snap issue with wizard tower city structure
  • New Bind Ancient Wonder PFX

Unit Art
  • New siegecraft icon
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  • The “All enemies have routed” dialog will now popup even if temporary summons and siege engines are not routing. This mirrors the rules for winning battle, which does not require those units to be killed.
  • Modified the XP gain cap so that dragons and rulers soloing battles earn less XP - a solo unit will now only earn 25% of the battle’s total XP (previously it was 50%)
  • Added a small wait time in between turns to make turn transitions less jarring.
  • Combat AI is now more likely to use guard breaking and retaliation canceling abilities.
  • Combat AI will now choose more varied spells

Buffs/Debuffs
  • Buff “Fortune” - Reduced Max Stacks from 5 to 3.
  • Buff “Evasion” - Now correctly only work on Physical Ranged and Magic attacks.
  • Debuff “Slowed”
    • Now also disables Retaliation Attacks
    • Decreased duration from 3 Turns to 2
  • Debuff “Misfortune”
    • Reduced Max Stacks from 5 to 3.
    • Increased Fumble chance from 10% to 15%

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General
  • Added Wizard Tower Affinity City upgrades:
    • Bolstering Matrix
      • Unlocks at Wizard Tower: Level 2
      • Adds additional effects to Affinity Buff & Healing Spells
    • Amplifier Lens
      • Unlocks at Wizard Tower: Apex & Bolstering Matrix
      • Adds additional Damage to Affinity Damage Spells
      • Adds additional effects to Affinity Debuff Spells
Feudal
  • Defender “Heavy Shield” - Now also gives +1 Resistance.
  • Bannerman
    • Decreased Defense from 2 to 1.
    • Banner Smite - Reduced Damage from 16 to 14.
  • Knight - Now has Giant Slayer, which does an additional 30% damage to large targets
  • Combat Spell “Hold the Line” - Units can now only get Steadfast from this spell once per combat.

High
  • Daylight Spear - Increased Resistance from 2 to 3
  • Awakener - Dormant Trait: Seeker Missiles replaced with Dormant Trait: Blinding Radiance
  • Unit Enchantment “Dormant Enchantment” - Battle Mages now get Dormant: Radiant Light instead of Dormant: Seeking Missiles
  • Dormant: Seeking Missiles
    • Renamed to Seeking Arrows
    • No longer increases accuracy.
  • Awakened - Decreased Spirit Damage from +4 to +3.
  • Hero Skill “Coordinated Strike” -
    • Increased Skill Level from Adept to Expert
    • Decreased chance to apply Marked from guaranteed to 60%

Industrious
  • Steelshaper “Grant Defense” - Changed to a Free Action with a 2 Turn Cooldown
  • Bastion
    • Now has Defensive Masters, so it always enters Defense Mode at end of its turn
    • Inspired Defense - Changed to a Free Action with a 2 Turn Cooldown

Mystic
  • Arcanist - Reduced Resistance from 2 to 1
  • Soother - Now has Star Blades

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  • Added an Imperium cost for releasing cities as your own vassals. This cost increases as you release more cities.
    • 1st city: Free
    • 2nd city: 25 Imperium
    • 3rd city: 50 Imperium
    • 4th city: 75 Imperium
    • 5th city and up: 100 Imperium
  • Removed the Imperium gained when releasing a city as a vassal.
  • Sustained City Spells that grant Economic Bonuses can no longer be cast on Vassals.
  • The trade value for equipment is back to the original item value and extra limits have been added to make sure the AI will not ask for/offer resources in return that deviate too far from the original value.
  • The costs for starting a Declaration (of Friendship or Rivalry) are now fixed at 100 gold instead of scaling over time.
  • The costs for Boosting the Allegiance of a Free City during negotiations are now shown on the button directly.
  • Declaration of Rivalry now has a new effect where it generates “Rival Justification” over time, this allows the player to ignore part of the opposing ruler’s grievance points when they declare war on that ruler.
  • Declarations of Friendship will now automatically end if an Alliance or Defensive Pact ends / is broken.
    • The AI will now wait several turns before attempting a new declaration after a declaration has recently ended.
  • Automated Calls to War will now be sent if two of the Player’s allies go to war against each other.
  • AI rulers will now mention the Magic Victory when they declare war on the player.
  • Made some text adjustments to better explain how the impact of war justification works on imperium when involved in multiple wars.
  • Changed Moderate Justified war Imperium gain from +10% Imperium to +10 Imperium.
  • Changed Extremely Justified war Imperium gain from +20% Imperium to +20 Imperium.

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  • Advanced Scrying was renamed to Advanced Sensing
  • Advanced Sensing is now available at 160 accumulated affinity instead of 200.
  • Forced March is now available at 200 accumulated affinity instead of 300.
  • Siege Specialization is now available at 300 accumulated affinity instead of 400.
  • Advanced Sensing and now also increases vision range by 2.
  • Skilled Raiders now gives 20% as the description implies instead of 25%
  • Philosopher Soldiers now explains the amounts gained for each rank in its description.
  • Ingredient Experimentation knowledge bonus decreased from +15 to +10.
  • New Empire Skill Added: Advanced Logistics. It has the following effects:
    • Reduces Move Point cost of Roads outside of the Enemy Domain from 5 to 3.
    • Units gain Fast Embark and when embarked, they have Very Fast Movement.

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  • Gave Shira Snowblood the Wolf Mounts Trait properly
  • Elaborated what the Form Adaptations do mechanically. The different Walk properties also state what the movement costs are before and after the property.
  • Fixed various minor issues with traits not displaying correct values and text

Body Trait
  • Quick Reflexes - Reduced Evasion from 30% to 25%
  • Defensive Tactics - Now gives 10% Evasion as well

Mind Trait
  • Water Adaptation - Renamed to Swamp adaptation.
  • Swamp Adaptation - Now also gives River Walk.
  • Underground Adaptation - Now grants +1 annex range on Cities in the Underground of this race.

Society Traits
  • Society Trait “Chosen Destroyers” - Now has access to City Structures that can increase Hero Cap. Can be built once for every City Tier of the Throne City.

Origins
  • Wizard King
    • Now only gains +5 casting points every other level instead of every level
    • Overchannel - Now starts on a 1 turn cooldown.
  • Champion leaders now gain +20 draft on their throne city, providing a faster way for them to rally troops in the early game.

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  • The first hero over the cap costs 30 gold and 5 imperium. Each additional hero over the cap costs 30 gold and 5 imperium more per turn than the previous one.
  • Reworked the needed amounts of experience for heroes to level up. They now get their first level slightly faster and after that it should feel about the same until level 6. After that it starts getting slower.
  • Implemented a limbo system for Hero Items. When you unequip them it takes 1 Turn to:
    • Become available for other heroes to equip
    • Be traded with other players
    • Be sold
    • Count towards Arsenal effects (like hoard mechanics)
  • Hero Background Traits
    • Affinity Adept - Reduced granted Empire Affinity from +3 to +2
    • Distracting - Reduced the chance to apply from 90% to 60%

Hero Skills
  • Precision Training - No longer gives Critical Chance.
  • Lightning Evoker - Increased Damage from 10 to 14.
  • Endurance Training - Reduce HP from 15 to 10.
  • Weaver - Can refresh all abilities. Is now a single action. Places hero on defense mode.
  • Channel Power - Is now a free action that gives a 50% damage boost to Magic Attacks for the current turn only.
  • Summon Elemental - Now works in Water Combat maps
  • Dragon Lords “Astral Aspect” - Increased Resistance from +2 to +4
  • Dragon Lords “Comet Breath”
    • Now a full action
    • Increased Range from 4 to to 5
  • Dragon Lords “Affinity Aura”
    • Order Aura, Materium Aura and Astral Aura no longer gives bonuses to the Dragon Lord itself
    • Chaos Aura
      • Now gives Burning to adjacent enemies
      • Now has a 90%chance to proc a random negative status effect on random enemies
      • Now gives a random buff to adjacent allies
    • Shadow Aura
      • Now gives Slowed and Weakened to adjacent enemies
      • Now has a 60% chance to freeze adjacent enemies
    • Nature Aura
      • Now no longer gives Regeneration to the Dragon Lord itself
      • Now gives Decaying to adjacent enemies

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  • In the army panel, you can now see predictions of HP your units (as well as allies and enemies) will regenerate in the next turn. This is a yellow section in the health bar on each unit slot.
  • Added notes to status effects to explain which status effects counter other status effects
  • Added a notification when finishing excavating a province.
  • When a unit gains a benefit from Pack Hunter, Animal Kinship, Defensive Tactics or Overwhelm Tactics, this is now displayed
  • Improved the annexation flow on Controller using LB/RB for cycling between provinces.
  • Locked the camera zoom layer when annexing provinces
  • Improved the UX on the siege screen when adding siege projects. The side menu will now stay open until all slots have been filled. You can manually close the side menu now.
  • Removed inspect option in reward screen for units
  • Removed the casting cost in strategic transformation screen
  • Enabled the Launch Now button for tactical spells that have no specific target
  • Moved the ‘Center View on Selected Object’ to the correct keybinding category
  • Custom Realms with DLC traits will now gray out if the DLC is not owned or not enabled.
  • Allied victory checkbox now grays out when teams are enabled.
  • Now remembers the position of the scrollbar after inspecting a unit in the unit production list in the city interface.
  • The about pages are now the same size, so buttons to click next align with each other.

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  • Added the Revert Option to the In-Game Menu
  • Added an Automatic Reload that runs in specific instances
  • Addressed several Out-of-Syncs that could occur during the initial Map Setup
  • Addressed several Out-of-Syncs that could result in broken Sessions
  • Addressed an issue where a Session would appear Frozen/Stuck
  • Multiple out of sync issues fixed
  • Stability fixes mostly related to Tactical Combat

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  • Realm Trait “Megacities” - Now has access to City Structures that can increase Hero Cap. Can be built once for every City Tier of the Throne City. (Does not stack with Chosen Destroyers)
  • Realm Trait “Ashen War” - Now no longer gives its quest and event in team games.
  • Realm Trait “Wondrous Past” - Now increases Ancient Wonders of all tiers, but does so less extremely. Before this it would place too many extra Gold Ancient Wonders in the map.

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  • Updated Magic Victory Tutorial
  • Combat tutorials are now properly hyperlinked

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  • Reduced the Casting Points given by T3, T4 and T5 Tomes from +10 and +15 to +5.

Astral
  • Tome of Evocation
    • Unit Enchantment “Lightning Blades”
      • Removed the chance to electrify.
      • Now deals +20% against Electrified units.
    • Hero Skill “Lightning Weapons” - Now applies Electrified at 30% chance.
    • World Map Spell “Lightning Torrent”
      • Increased Damage from 10 to 20
      • Increased Lightning Weakness applied from -2 to -3.
      • Cost increased from 40 mana and casting points to 80 each.
  • Scrying
    • World Spell “Summon Watcher” - Increased Mana cost from 100 to 150 Mana
  • Amplification
    • Amplification Pylon
      • Increased Damage modifier on Combat Spells from +20% to +50%
      • Added Static Charge, dealing 6 lightning damage to melee attackers with a 30% chance to Stun them.
      • Removed Blight Immunity
    • Unit Enchantment “Amplified Arrows” - Reduced Damage from +4 Shock and -2 Physical to +2 Shock and -1 Physical
  • Summoning
    • Combat Summon “Conjure Astral Keeper” - Now works in water maps

Chaos
  • Horde
    • Minor Transformation “Spawnkin” - Now gives 10% evasion to heroes instead of extra damage (non-heroes still get 20% damage)
    • Combat Spell “Blaze of the Horde” - Now does 20 damage to a single target, with an extra 4 damage for each adjacent friendly unit
    • Combat Spell “Fury of the Horde” - Increased Casting Costs from 10 Mana/CP to 20 Mana/CP
    • Hero Skill “Battle Seeker Training” - Now gives 1 Defense, 1 Resistance, 1 Status Resist and 5HP to Tier 1 units (instead of 20% damage)
  • Pyromancy
    • Unit Enchantment “Fiery Arrows” - Reduced Damage from +4 Fire and -2 Physical to +2 Fire and -1 Physical
    • Hero Skill “Fiery Weapons” - Now applies Burning at 30% chance instead of dealing +20% damage against Burning targets
  • Demon Gate
    • World Map Spell “Abyssal Flames”
      • Increased Damage increased from 10 to 20.
      • Increased Casting Costs from 120 Mana/CP to 150 Mana/CP.

Materium
  • Rock:
    • Gargoyle:
      • Reduced Spirit Weakness from -6 from -3
      • Reduced Fire Resistance from 4 to 2
      • Reduced Blight Resistance from 6 to 3
      • Can now retaliate when in Defense Mode
    • Lesser Stone Spirit:
      • Is now a Shield Unit;
      • Melee Strike - Reduced Damage from 12 to 10
      • Melee Strike - Now has Earthen Fury on its main attack (+20% dmg vs Slowed or Immobilized units)
      • Reduced Spirit Weakness from -6 from -3
      • Reduced Fire Resistance from 4 to 2
      • Reduced Blight Resistance from 6 to 3
      • Increased Hit Points from 60 to 65
  • Artificer:
    • Unit Enchantment “Artisan Armaments” - No longer applies to Ranged Units.
  • Winds
    • Zephyr Archer
      • Zephyr Shot damage reduced from 34 to 30.
      • No longer has Slippery
    • Wind Ranger
      • Melee Strike - Increased Damage from 14 to 15
      • Whirlwind - Reduced the cooldown from 2 Turns to 1 Turn
    • Combat Spell “Dust Storm” - Increased the radius from 1 Hex to 2 Hexes
  • Terramancy
    • World Map Spell “Earth Shatter”
      • Increased Damage from 10 to 20
      • Increased Casting Costs from 80 Mana/CP to 100 Mana/CP
    • Stone Spirit
      • Is now a Shield Unit;
      • Melee Strike - Reduced Damage from 16 to 14
      • Immobilizing Phase - Increased Damage from 6 to 8
      • Immobilizing Phase - Increased chance to Immobilize from 30% to 50%
      • Quake - Changed from Once per Battle to a 1 Turn Cooldown
      • Quake - Increased chance to Immobilize from 30% to 50%
      • Reduced Spirit Weakness from -6 from -3;
      • Reduced Fire Resistance from 4 to 2
      • Reduced Blight Resistance from 6 to 3
      • Increased Hit Points from 90 to 100
  • Crucible
    • Unit Enchantment “Meteor Arrows” - Reduced Damage from +5 to +4
    • World Map Spell “Pyroclastic Eruption”
      • Increased Damage from 15 to 20
      • Decreased Casting Costs from 150 Mana/CP to 100 Mana/CP
  • Golden Realm
    • City Structure “Reagent Refinery” - Added +10 Gold income

Nature
  • Beasts
    • World Map Spell “Summon Wild Animal” - Mow has a chance to spawn a Wyvern Fledgling or a Slither Hatchling when used on Temperate Terrain (requires the Dragon Dawn Content Pack)
    • Special Province Improvement “Wildlife Sanctuary”
      • Removed the Hunter Spider
      • Added Vampire and Dread Spider Hatchlings to replace it
  • Roots:
    • Unit Enchantment “Poison Blades”
      • Renamed to Blight Blades.
      • No longer applies Poisoned.
      • Now deals +20 damage against Poisoned units.
      • Now also applies the +20% damage on units with Decaying.
    • Unit Enchantment “Poison Arrows” - Reduced Damage from +4 Blight and -2 Physical to +2 Blight and -1 Physical
    • Entwined Thrall:
      • Now evolves into a Entwined Protector
      • Melee Strike - No applies Poisoned at a 60% chance
      • Poison Needle - Increased chance to apply Poisoned from 60% to 90%
  • Glades
    • Glade Runner “Tracker’s Mark”
      • Removed Sundered Resistance
      • Reduced Sundered Defense from 2 to 1
    • World Map Spell “Create Forest” - Reduced Casting Cost from 45 Mana/CP to 30 Mana/CP
  • Fertility
    • World Map Spell “Restore the Land” - Reduced Casting Cost from 45 Mana/CP to 30 Mana/CP
  • Cycles:
    • Unit Enchantment “Projectiles of Decay” - Reduced the chance of applying Decaying from 90% to 60%
  • Vigor
    • World Map Spell “Summon Greater Animal” - Now has a chance to summon a Slither or Wyvern, depending on the location summoned (Dragon Dawn Content Pack is required, except for the Fire and Frost Wyverns)
  • Nature’s Wrath
    • World Map Spell “Destructive Regrowth”
      • Increased Damage from 10 to 20
      • Reduced Casting Costs from 120 Mana/CP to 100 Mana/CP

Order
  • Zeal
    • Unit Enchantment “Legion of Zeal”- Now affects Ranged Units
  • Faith
    • World Map Spell “Army Heal”
      • Increased Hit Points healed from 20 to 25
      • Increased Casting Costs from 60 Mana/CP to to 80 Mana/CP
  • Beacon
    • World Map Spell “Covenant of the Faith”
      • Removed the +5 Imperium income
      • Added +10 Gold income
  • Inquisition:
    • Unit Enchantment “Inquisitor’s Zeal”
      • Renamed to Inquisitor's Mark
      • Removed:
        • Zeal
        • Accuracy Bonus
      • Grants:
        • Base 30% chance for base attacks to apply Condemned.
        • Base 30% chance for base attacks to apply Weakened
        • Base 30% chance for base attacks to apply Slowed
      • Increased Upkeep from 2 Mana to 2 Gold and 3 Mana
    • World Map Spell “Burden of Guilt”
      • Increased Damage from 10 to 20
      • Increased Casting Cost from 60 Mana/CP to 80 Mana/CP
  • Sanctuary
    • Special Province Improvement “Sanctuary”
      • No longer functions as a Spelljammer.
      • No longer blocks Pillaging
      • Now increases Pillage Time by 2 turns and decreases pillaging yields by -30%
      • Increased Mana income from +10 to +15.
  • Supremacy
    • World Map Spell “Condemn Army”
      • Increased “Condemned” Duration from 3 to 5 World Map Turns.
      • Decreased Casting Cost from 120 Mana/CP to 80 Mana/CP
  • Exaltation
    • Special Province Improvement “Statue of the Leader”
      • Reduced Imperium income from +5 to +3.
    • Shrine of Smiting “Divine Vengeance” - No longer ignores Faithful units and only hits enemies.
Shadow
  • Cryomancy:
    • Unit Enchantment “Frost Arrows”
      • Reduced Damage from +4 Frost and -2 Physical to +2 Frost and -1 Physical
      • Has a 60%.chance to apply Slow
    • Hero Skill “Frost Weapons” - Now applies Slowed at 30% chance instead of dealing +20% damage against Slowed or Frozen targets
    • World Map Spell “Blizzard”
      • Increased Damage from 10 to 20.
      • Increased Status Vulnerability from -2 to -3
      • Increased Casting Cost from 40 Mana/CP to 80 Mana/CP
  • Doomherald
    • World Map Spell “Prelude of Doom”
      • Increased Demoralized from 2 Stacks to 3 Stacks
      • Increased Casting Cost from 60 Mana/CP to 80 Mana/CP
  • Cold Dark
    • World Map Spell “Flash Freeze”
      • Increased Damage from 10 to 20
      • Increased Casting Costs from 80 Mana/CP to 100 Mana/CP
  • Oblivion
    • World Map Spell “Fog of Insanity”
      • Increased chance to inflict Insanity from 10% to 20%
  • Reaper
    • Reaper “Finger of Death” - Now summons a Decaying Zombie, not a normal zombie
    • World Map Spell “Harvest Population” - Now is a Sustained City Spell, while active the city’s food income is blocked (including from converting draft to food), it loses -20 Stability, but gains +10 Souls income.

Evolution
  • Combat Spell “Youthful Regeneration” - Now grants Resurgence to Evolve units.
  • Unit Enchantment “Rapid Evolution” - Grants Tier 1 and 2 Units Slip Away rather than Resurgence
  • Minor Transformation “Draconic Vitality” - Now caps at level 5 when giving a bonus to Heroes.

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  • Ranged Units Legendary Rank no longer grants accuracy
  • Decaying Zombies will no longer apply morale penalties to their allies when they’re killed
  • Went through the various spells and abilities that summon zombies. All those that summon a zombie from a corpse now give the zombie 3AP when it appears. Those that spawn a zombie when a target is killed by an ability are unchanged.
  • Cavalry and Giant Slayer now appear on the ability tooltips.
  • Dragons now display a High Maintenance tag in their stat sheet that explains they cost more upkeep than normal (they always had the upkeep modifier, but it was invisible before)
  • Plague and Stormscale Serpent’s Elusive ability renamed to Fleeting to not clash with the Elusive racial mind trait

Wildlife
  • Dread Spider Hatchling
    • Increased Hit Points from 50 to 55
    • Increased Resistance from 0 to 1
  • Dread Spider Matriarch
    • Changed Blight Immunity to 8 Blight Resistance
  • Dire Penguin
    • Now correctly has faster movement in Swamps due to Amphibious ability
  • Bone Wyvern
    • Melee Strike - Added 30% chance to apply Poisoned
    • Increased Move Points from 32 to 40
  • Fire Wyvern
    • Melee Strike - Added a 60% chance to apply Burning
    • Melee Strike - Increased Fire Damage from 4 to 6
    • Increased Move Points from 32 to 40
  • Young Fire Dragon
    • Melee Strike - Added a 60% chance to apply Burning
    • Melee Strike - Change Damage from 16 Physical to 12 Physical, 5 Fire
    • Now has 4 Fire Resistance and -2 Frost Weakness
  • Frost Wyvern
    • Is now a Skirmisher
    • Now has the Freezing Burst ability
    • Melee Strike - Added a 60% chance to apply Slowed
    • Increased Move Points from 32 to 40
  • Young Frost Dragon
    • Melee Strike - Added a 60% chance to apply Slowed
    • Melee Strike - Changed Damage from 16 Physical to 12 Physical, 5 Frost
    • Now has 4 Frost Resistance and -2 Fire Weakness
  • Frost Dragon
    • Melee Strike - Added a 60% chance to apply Slowed
  • Obsidian Wyvern
    • Melee Strike - Increased Lightning Damage from 4 to 6
    • Increased Move Points from 32 to 40
  • Young Obsidian Dragon
    • Melee Strike - Added a 60% chance to apply Electrified
    • Melee Strike - Changed Damage from 16 Physical to 12 Physical, 5 Lightning
    • Now has 4 Lighting Resistance and -2 Spirit Weakness
  • Gold Wyvern
    • Melee Strike - Added a 30% chance to apply Distracted
    • Increased Move Points from 32 to 40
  • Young Gold Dragon
    • Melee Strike - Added a 30% chance to apply Distracted
    • Melee Strike - Changed Damage from 16 Physical to 12 Physical, 5 Spirit
    • Now has 4 Spirit Resistance and -2 Blight Weakness
  • Golden Dragon
    • Melee Strike - Added a 60% chance to apply Distracted
  • Kraken Spawn
    • Melee Strike - Increased Damage from 10 to 12
  • Horned God
    • Increased time of the Living Vines summoned from 1 to 2 so they don’t immediately die at the end of the turn.
  • Tide Spirits and Lesser Tide Spirits are now permanently Wet, and have had their damage resistances adjusted to compensate for being Wet.

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  • Moving through the City Domain of a Vassal will now provide the Friendly Domain movement cost modifier.
  • You can now view move paths for enemy stacks to see how long it would take them to move to a particular location
  • Move paths and max move distance lines are now hidden if you select an independent stack that will never move
  • Starvation now destroys the province improvement

Ancient Wonders
  • The overall distribution of Ancient Wonders, especially Golden ones, has been adjusted to go hand in hand with the revamped magic victory system. Roughly 1.5 golden Ancient Wonders will spawn in a realm. And underground now has a lot less Gold Ancient Wonders and more bronze and silver ones.
  • Ancient Wonders can now be transferred between different cities and/or outposts of the same empire
  • Capturing Ancient Wonders now takes 3 turns
  • Wizard Tower no longer functions as a spelljammer.

Magic Materials
  • Increased Imperial Essence Imperium income from +10 to +15.
  • Removed the +5 Imperium income from the Rainbow Clover.
  • Added +10 Food income on the Rainbow Clover.
  • Astral Dew - Lowered World Map Casting Points from +20 to +15.
  • Archon Blood - Lowered Combat Casting Points from +20 to +15.
  • Cosmoflux Elixir Collection bonus - Lowered Knowledge and Mana Bonus per Mana Node from +10 to +5.




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General
  • Fixed a crash during map generation.
  • Fixed a potential leak in the Swamp_FX

AI
  • Fixed issue where the AI would wait in certain moment for reinforcements while they have enough units to attack
  • Fixed AI city target values
  • Fixed AI victory condition target values
  • Fixed issue where the AI would move to the ancient wonders understrength
  • Fixed small issue where the AI would would target unprotected nodes in a hostile domain
  • Fixed issue where the AI would not use siege projects
  • Fixed issue where the AI would see less priority to build a wall for a city that has no walls while at war.
  • Fixed issue where the AI would leave a city under siege to pick an easy fight
  • Fixed issue where the AI could only cast one primed spell per turn
  • Fixed issue where the AI would occasionally walk on an allied structure
  • Fixed a small issue to the AI unit production loop to make sure the AI produces enough units to match the difficulty settings.

Combat
  • Taunted units can now correctly be dispelled of the effect.
  • Fixed an issue that meant Draconic Rage and Berserker’s Rage didn’t work in auto combat. This bug would also lead to an Out of Sync when watching the replay of the combat.
  • Fixed issue where Bolstered Resistance from the Industrious Bolstering Trait would not correctly remove Sundered Resistance
  • Fixed an issue where mind controlling a unit wouldn’t update the buffs/debuffs it got from adjacent units
  • Fixed an issue where resurgence would give units full HP after combat instead of half HP.

Diplomacy
  • Fixed issue where becoming another ruler’s vassal would cause your vassal cities to declare war on you.
  • Fixed issue where the Show Ruler button in Diplomacy for declarations would show a non-functional hyperlink on the button itself.
  • Fixed a crash that would happen on assigning a whispering stone to a Free City if the allegiance per turn would then become 0.
  • Fixed issue where the AI could send an insult or compliment to the player on the same turn they met.
  • Fixed issue where the AI would not end their declarations of Rivalry and Friendship when the relation had changed.
  • Fixed issue where trade options with Free Cities would be disabled when the player had negative income even if the cost per turn was free.
  • Fixed several issues where it was possible to declare wars while being vassalized to another ruler:
    • It was possible to declare war on your overlord by moving an army onto a structure/army of a Free City that is their vassal.
    • It was possible to declare war on other players by moving on their armies or structures.
    • It was possible to declare war on other players by using a hostile spell on them.

Economy
  • Industry Compound no longer also buffs the Draft to Food conversion ratio.

Empire Development
  • Added conditions to several rites to prevent these from being activated while you don’t own a city.
  • Wild Expansion now only triggers on province annexation through building an improvement.
  • Spoils of Destruction and Destined Conquerors now both only trigger on razing conquered cities, not your own

Events
  • Crimson Caldera
    • Fixed recruited rulers in story realm 3 still being governor of their throne city after being defeated.
    • Fixed recruited rulers in story realm 3 still auto picking skills after being recruited
    • Fixed multiple issues that would occur if you recruited a dead ruler in act 3.
  • Eternal Court:
    • Fixed issue where declaring war to Melenis or Meandor through an event would lead to the war being unjustified and unfairly penalizing the player
    • Fixed issue where Sundren would sometimes respawn on a different side than the player’s after being defeated in combat
  • When viewing a Race Council event, the characters of your race now have the appropriate transformations applied.
  • When you choose a peaceful resolution for an army-engage event, the army now doesn’t play their death animations anymore, but they simply fade out.
  • Fixed an issue that the “Mark of the Otter” destiny trait gave 1 Chaos Affinity instead of 1 Nature Affinity.

Free City
  • Fixed issue where gaining a bonus to the Rally of the Lieges would initiate the timer even if the first Rally had not been triggered yet.
Heroes
  • Fixed an issue where the Berserker’s Belt would give Steadfast and Berserk for one turn too long.

Interface
  • Fixed issue where the pantheon bar would overlap the faction creation
  • Fixed crash when deleting an empty save slot with controller
  • Fixed issue where the pantheon fold out menu could not be opened with controller
  • Fixed crash when trying to unequip an item with a controller in the hero screen while not having a slot selected
  • Fixed issue where the ‘Toggle Hex Grid’ and ‘Toggle Army Banners’ keybindings would not work after exiting combat.
  • Fixed issue when having a fullscreen interface open while winning the game at the same time, graphical issues would occur.
  • Fixed issue where the turn count would be displayed in the encyclopedia entries of structures.
  • Fixed issue where sometimes selecting multiple hero skills to level up would accidentally pick the wrong skill.
  • Fixed issue where the mouse would be unresponsive in the tome selection of the faction creator.
  • Fixed wizard kings having their race transformations marked as conflicting where it was the same transformation as is being cast.
  • Fixed a bug where duplicates of already equipped items would not show in the equipment list.
  • Fixed rulers in the pantheon overview not showing the right amount of affinities
  • Fixed a crash when button mashing in the sector selection screen for special province improvements
  • There is now a distinction between “Domains” and “Infestations” in the Legend on the Overview Map. Originally, “Domains” also filtered out the domain area of an Infestation. This has been moved to the actual “Infestation” checkbox.
  • Fixed Artifact Hoarders income breakdown correctly display what item tier the income is coming from.
  • Fixed an issue where some combat UIs would not properly refresh when a “Unit gets a buff/debuff when adjacent to another unit” effect was applied
  • Fixed empty entry of magic materials in the casting point breakdown
  • Fixed the spell list tab header upkeep cost to the correct upkeep cost, considering discounts etc.
  • Removed experience required for next rank in the unit rank tooltip when unit is max rank.
  • Dismantle Ruins operation now correctly displays why it cannot be activated if conditions aren't met.
  • Lord of War now correctly mentions its buffs world map regeneration instead of healing after combat.
  • Fixed Reaper upkeep cost in the spell list tooltip
  • Removed the duplicate hero level in the hero level tooltip
  • Fixed issue where the quest failed notification would be empty (only applies to quests that fail with the new fix in place).
  • Fixed issue where the buttons of the Free City interface would not refresh when opening another interface (e.g. Empire Development) and then closing that back to the Free City interface.
  • Fixed the informational text strings at the bottom of ability tooltips to have line endings when needed.
  • Souls Tome: Soul Overflow buff now correctly displays that the unit has +20hp
  • Fixed issue where the diplomatic state changed notification will not be invalidated if the diplomatic state had changed again.
  • Fixed teams not working in multiplayer when the setting is enabled after posting the session.
  • Fixed issue where in the shield tooltip the Threat level value would not show a breakdown of the threat level.
  • Fixed Alignment Penalty not showing in the Pillage Tooltip unless you stand on the Province.
  • Fixed a Crash that occurred in the Setup Casting Point Breakdown

Controller
  • Fixed issue where tome skill slots selection would reset when reshuffling the research.

Localisation
  • Multiple language quality and grammar fixes for Polish & Russian languages.
  • Fixed a flow where hero last names would not resolve in a proper way and kept showing grammar syntax
  • Veil of Shadows now has proper description
  • Fixed the Reagent Refinery having the wrong tooltip.
  • Eyebrow customization slider header in leader customization is now properly localized
  • Fixed missing description on the Warding Bond Tooltip.

Pantheon
  • Fixed issue where the Bannerlords 50% reduction of Rally of the Lieges timers was not being applied.

Research
  • Fixed an issue where the game was presenting players with the wrong skills when a game started

Spells
  • Lightning Torrent and Blizzard now correctly say they deal 10 damage (was displaying 20)
  • Arcane Bond no longer ignores a target’s Status Resistance
  • Consecrate Domain now displays the name of the Morale Modifier correctly when in battle.
  • Primal Mark now gives the correct version of Primal Strike
  • Fixed Burden of Guilt from stacking the movepoint loss, making armies unable to move by the second casting.
  • Final Ultimatum is now an untyped Combat Spell instead of a debuff spell, to make it clear it cannot benefit from the Order Amplifier Lens.
  • Devolve is now an untyped Combat Spell instead of a debuff spell, to make it clear it cannot benefit from the Nature Amplifier Lens.
  • Exalted Champion is now a buff spell instead of a damage spell so it can benefit from the Order Bolstering Matrix and it will no longer be wrongly displayed that it will deal damage to the unit.
  • Rotting Explosion is now a Damage and Debuff Spell so it can benefit from both of the Shadow Amplifier Lens bonuses.
  • Ice Coffin is now correctly benefiting from being a Damage spell for the Amplifier Lens.
  • Devouring Void is now a Combat Enchantment instead of a Damage spell, so it is clear that it cannot benefit from the damage bonus of the Shadow Amplifier Lens.
  • Fulmination is now a Damage/Debuff spell so it benefits from both Astral Amplifier Lens bonuses.
  • Seismic Shock is now correctly displayed as a Damage/Debuff spell.
  • Crushing Earth is now correctly just a Damage spell so it no longer benefits from the Materium Amplifier Lens debuff bonus.
  • Parting Gifts is now a Combat Enchantment Spell, so it is clear it cannot benefit from the extra Healing of the Nature Bolstering Matrix.
  • Abducting Cyclone is now an untyped Combat Spell, to make it clear it cannot benefit from the debuff bonus from the Materium Amplifier Lens.
  • Awaken Instincts is now correctly a Nature Affinity spell, so it can benefit from the healing bonus of the Nature Bolstering Matrix.
  • Demonic Onslaught now correctly allows Extra Unit Effects so the Chaos Bolstering Matrix can apply its extra buffs.
  • Time Stop is no longer a Buff spell, so it does not display that it will give buffs to affected units from the Astral Bolstering Matrix.
  • Exhilarating Pollen now correctly heals allies and weakens enemies.
  • Disruption Wave now correctly only buffs allies and debuffs enemies.

Tomes
  • Tome of Sanctuary: Fixed an issue where Keeper’s Mark would sometimes give steadfast for too long.

Units
  • Fixed an issue that Stand Together didn’t work with feudal heroes and racial leaders
  • Eagle Rider now correctly gets their ranks from effects that grant bonus ranks to Shield Units.
  • Fixed Nature dragons with the Nature Major transformation not being able to properly heal allies (and have their breath not damage allies)
  • Fixed the Soother Staff appearing behind the Soother when the Crocodile Head is selected

World Map
  • When embarking; transitions from land to water (and vice-versa) on the Strategic map should now animate a lot smoother.
  • Outpost Watchtower is now removed upon converting the outpost to a city. As you cannot have a watchtower in your city except for the Wizard Tower.
  • Improved performance on the start of a new round
  • Fixed issue where an enemy can take over your siege weapons if they attack within one round of you capturing the city.
  • Fixed endlessly looping dust effect after migrating a city.
  • Fixed a crash when a riot is started on a building that is being replaced.
  • Improved the animation blending during movement animations and in ability transitions. The blending should be a lot smoother, whereas it was very jittery initially.
  • Reduced the amount of animation “sliding” when units stop running
  • Combat Summons are now correctly free when used in owned domain with the Summoning Well Special Province Improvement.
  • Fixed an issue that prevented multi stack battles on all cave entrances. Now multi stack battles are only prevented when you attack THROUGH the cave entrance
  • Fixed rare crash in saves if a city was razed after the player lost their throne city.
  • When multiple items are queued for dismantling they will no longer complete in a single turn.
  • Fixed edge cases where rioting and starvation could disconnect ancient wonders from the city.
  • Fixed crash when a pillaged province starves.
  • Fixed issue where you could not teleport to a Vassal City’s Teleporter, Chrono Gate or Demon Gate province.
  • Fixed issue where having vision on any location inside the domain of a free city would not trigger meeting them, only having vision on a structure or army would trigger a meet.
  • Fixed crash that could occur on vassalizing a (conquered) city due to properties not being assigned to the correct side.
  • Fixed an issue where units would be lost after attacking from the water, directly onto land.
  • Fixed an issue where excavations weren't interrupted when the leader was teleported away from the province.
  • Fixed crash when clicking on a starved sector that was getting replaced with another structure.
  • Fixed wrong hero count when a free city that has multiple heroes is integrated.
  • Fixed wrong hero count when a hero dies to a strategic spell.
  • Fixed teleporters non-functional after repair.

Find out when we sacrifice a fresh goat to the Jira gods
 

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The research changesa stiill feel a bit clumsy to me. Especially how it punishes in-game experimentation. It seems to me a simple limit to how often you can start and/or finish a research would have accomplished the same objective much more cleanly.

I'm excited to try out the new magic victory

And I'm hoping the Underground will keep being worked on so fully underground empires become playable.
 
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Sorry for the double post and the late feedback:
  • The first hero over the cap costs 30 gold and 5 imperium. Each additional hero over the cap costs 30 gold and 5 imperium more per turn than the previous one.
Something that came up during the beta but I never got around to mentioning; in the Wyvern update there was a pretty hefty cost increase for the lower level empire skills, which was good. This Watcher hero cap change is also good and I very much approve. When you combine them though taking a single early hero slows early game empire skill gain just slightly below our personal fun threshold. It might be worth revisiting the increases in Wyvern and knocking 25 of the gained 50 from one of the early tiers, or maybe rearrange the general tree (or all the trees) a little to push a few more items into the cheap seats.
 
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Still not a fan of the Magic Victory remake as i think linking it to wonders is a tad too contrived and RMG related, specially with all the bells and whistles that eventually make it work.
But ok. This is here to stay i reckon. I truly did like there was a victory that was in favor of certain other playstyles. (mainly mine)

For the rest i like what i see.
 
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I want to thank you for the many great changes to the game. At the same time, unfortunately, I want to note the decrease in interest in multiplayer due to the broken balance. Because gigantic problems for balance remained unresolved. A meta-strategy that is vastly superior to any other is to take a dragon and 5 heroes and pump them to the maximum level by about turn 40 (easiest when playing as industrialists) and then make any army run in a couple of turns. There is no way to counter this strategy, except maybe a very early rush. This makes the game uninteresting - every time you do the same thing, it makes the economic development of other units unimportant. I wrote more here: https://forum.paradoxplaza.com/forum/threads/open-beta-final-update.1594851/page-3. Also obvious problems for balance are too good tome amplification, unbalanced unicorns (too effective against range units), too powerful tactical spells in tomes 4 and 5 of the circle (earthquake, etc.), which actually deprive players of an interesting tactical final fight.
 
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Love the new patch! I've played it in beta and couldn't go back, personally I fan of all the changes that brings the game down in its speed, making the tomes feel more impactful in its choices in longer games, same as being more hungry to spend your imperium with how much harder it is to ever have enough and progress the empire development trees. The magic victory I'm a real fan of too, feels more like a goal you can set yourself for if you find a nearby gold wonder or having to fight for it, rather than just "happening".

The other changes time will tell, overall the balancing look good and AI tweaks in the right direction even if it's not enough, same with there needing more certain balance tweaks but that can still be touched on slowly, the biggest gripe I had was how quick the games felt and meaningless it was specializing in any affinity, how you spent your imperium early on and ofcourse the tome selection later into the game.
 
I want to thank you for the many great changes to the game. At the same time, unfortunately, I want to note the decrease in interest in multiplayer due to the broken balance. Because gigantic problems for balance remained unresolved. A meta-strategy that is vastly superior to any other is to take a dragon and 5 heroes and pump them to the maximum level by about turn 40 (easiest when playing as industrialists) and then make any army run in a couple of turns. There is no way to counter this strategy, except maybe a very early rush. This makes the game uninteresting - every time you do the same thing, it makes the economic development of other units unimportant. I wrote more here: https://forum.paradoxplaza.com/forum/threads/open-beta-final-update.1594851/page-3. Also obvious problems for balance are too good tome amplification, unbalanced unicorns (too effective against range units), too powerful tactical spells in tomes 4 and 5 of the circle (earthquake, etc.), which actually deprive players of an interesting tactical final fight.

Considering I have seen this exact complaint at least a dozen times right now (and then I'm limiting myself to after the latest nerf to the strategy, otherwise we'd probably be approaching a hundred times), I'm sure the devs are aware that the smallest sub-community of the game, which already receives a disproportionate amount of attention for it's size, is not yet satisfied about the balance of the game.

You know, if 2% of single-player players would quit the game because they disliked that the game was bland and shallow due to an excessive need to make everything "balanced", that'd impact the total player count more than if 80% of the multiplayer players quit the game because it was unbalanced. So I fully understand if the devs decide to pick the latter happening over the former happening.
 
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Actually, the game IS pretty bland and shallow when a few strategies are so much better than others. The AI isn't that great either - or maybe I should say that entertaining -, so a better balance would make it LESS bland and deeper.

If you abstract a bit from the above post and look at other complaints you will see that most problems come from the ability of players to MASS units, whether it's ranged units, Heroes, Unicorn-mounted units, Mounted (fast) units in general and so on.

So what is needed are tighter caps, hard or soft: one hero per stack (or just one hero per stack gets XP) wouldn't even cut it, because you could still attack with 3x2 units = 3 heroes right from shortly after the start and you'd still grade them up quite fast.
A rule might be nice that you can have only 2 equal units per stack and only 3 of the same type (except heroes). As a hard cap. A soft cap would still allow it, but subtract for example Imperium for every unit over and above the limit (10/20/40, something like that).

I also think, that there should be some modification in the research prices. At present we have this:

  • 1st Tome, General Research and Culture Research: 250
  • 2nd Tome: 400
  • 3rd Tome: 600
  • 4th Tome: 800
  • 5th Tome: 1100
  • 6th Tome: 1500
  • 7th Tome: 1900
  • 8th Tome: 2400
  • 9th Tome: 3000
  • 10th Tome: 3600
  • 11th Tome: 4300
  • 12th Tome: 5000 and +1000 for each further Tome.
I think, there should still be a difference depending on the tier of the tome and the amount of tomes you already have from that tier, namely per the following rule:

If you pick the highest possible tier of a tome, it should cost what is listed above. However, if you pick a lower tier than you actually could, then cost should be reduced by a factor depending on how many tiers lower you pick. This can be at most 4 tiers (at tome 9 you are eligibly to pick a T5, but you could go for a T1). You might give a discount of 10% for each tier you pick lower.
To offset that, you might want to slightly increase the table to:

  • 1st Tome, General Research and Culture Research: 250
  • 2nd Tome: 400
  • 3rd Tome: 600
  • 4th Tome: 900
  • 5th Tome: 1300
  • 6th Tome: 1800
  • 7th Tome: 2400
  • 8th Tome: 3000
  • 9th Tome: 3700
  • 10th Tome: 4400
  • 11th Tome: 5200
  • 12th Tome: 6000 and +1000 for each further Tome.
You may ask why. If every tome costs the same, as it is now, there is not much reason to pick low tier tomes, spoken differently, if you STILL pick a tier 1 or 2 instead of a tier 4, that T1 or T2 would probably be overpowered (maybe in certain combinations, but still).
 
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If the problem is speed-leveling heroes then rather than messing with per-stack rules and XP filters and whatnot, instead pick what the maximum level a hero is "supposed" to be at each turn and cap their current level at that number. Gain XP as normal but calculate current level as MinOf(the level your XP says you are, the maximum allowed level for this turn)

The general empire development tree already has turn locked items on it so there's a precedent. Theres even a perfectly logical in-universe explanation: if I punch 5 skeletons a day and you punch 10 skeletons a day of course you'll get better at punching skeletons faster. But if you punch 1000 skeletons a day you've not left yourself time to reflect on what skeleton punching is all about and won't fully internalise what you learned until later.

The vast majority of players will never notice and anyone speedleveling heroes for maximum competitive gain will have an objective metric to measure their progress by. Everyone wins!
 
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You know, if 2% of single-player players would quit the game because they disliked that the game was bland and shallow due to an excessive need to make everything "balanced", that'd impact the total player count more than if 80% of the multiplayer players quit the game because it was unbalanced.
Source: I made it up.
 
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Considering I have seen this exact complaint at least a dozen times right now (and then I'm limiting myself to after the latest nerf to the strategy, otherwise we'd probably be approaching a hundred times), I'm sure the devs are aware that the smallest sub-community of the game, which already receives a disproportionate amount of attention for it's size, is not yet satisfied about the balance of the game.

You know, if 2% of single-player players would quit the game because they disliked that the game was bland and shallow due to an excessive need to make everything "balanced", that'd impact the total player count more than if 80% of the multiplayer players quit the game because it was unbalanced. So I fully understand if the devs decide to pick the latter happening over the former happening.
It's funny that Layran does not deny the existence of the problem, but says that there is no need to listen to the fact that the problem exists, because those who play multiplayer talk about it. If you focus only on those who play a single-player game, then the balance can not be done at all - a player in a single-player game can introduce his own restrictions for himself. But in fact, balance is a kind of measurement of the quality of the game. We play games because it's interesting, and if there is no balance, then we don't play - no matter how high-quality pictures and content the games have. For now, multiplayer games are dead. For there is no balance, there were many problems in the multiplayer game after the release, etc. I hope the people will eventually return, if the balance appears.And as for the ratio of those who play a single player game and multiplayer. There are many more of the former, but only an extremely insignificant percentage of them write here. That is, in fact, their opinion is little known to us. Therefore, there is no reason to say that someone's opinion is more valuable, because he plays single-player games.
 
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