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THE-Black-Knight

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The return of the Wizard Tower. Of course the Dark Elves too, because AOW III was useless without them. Also I hope for a map that is a little more romantic than the Planetfall one, which feels unnatural with all those stylized icons everywhere. I want to be honest i am not a huge fan of Planetfall, sorry to say that. Not sure if it is the sci-fi setting or what. Just put Dark Elves who live in forests full of huge trees and can hide in invisible towns like the wood elves in AOW2 - I also liked those red poisonous plants. Dark Elves should be immune to poison and should use those as a defense. Make a romantic map, like that one in The Lord of The Rings and we'll be friends again. Planetfall feels cold and unnatural.
 

Rodmar18

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Of course the Dark Elves too,
In case you don't know, there's a mod that adds a Dark Elves faction, and a big one that adds a Shadow Elves faction (the campaign is still WIP but the RMG material is usable.

The lore in it is that there is no Wood Elves nor Dark Elves anymore on Athla because of the Mending initiated by king Saritas and queen Julia to unite again the surface elves and the underground elves of the Cult of Storms. They now form the High Elves (some more woody, some more darky, plus all the ancient elves that once were Wood or Dark Elves).

The Shadow Realm mod states that when Meandor left Athla for the Shadow plane, his troops mainly were Dark Elves, but some Wood Elves followed him as well. And there, severed from Athla as they were, they too initiated a "Mending", and this time the dark heritage was the strongest. You won't find queen spiders and incarnates, but the mod is definitively worth the try for an amateur of the Dark Elves.
 

Damkac

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Personally I never understood why every fantasy game needs to have 15 different races of elves. I would rather see some original races that are creative and well... fantastic ;)
 

Rodmar18

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European folklore? ;)

ljósálfar = Light Alves = good faeries = angels
dökkálfar = Dark Alves = bad faeries = demons
svartálfar =
Black Alves = chtonian faeries = dwarves
 

HobbitCheeseMonger

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I think it would be neat if they either added as a seperate mode or to the core gameplay more diverse and in-depth resources such as food, water, wood, stone, etc. and ways to manage them. I really love the game as it stands but that would scratch another 4x itch for me.
 

BeltarTheLion

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In Planetfall we've resource for diplomacy. Anybody use it for anything other than buying minor factions' units or making them leave the desired places? And why we can't do that just for money? Because AoW if you play against AI is not about diplomacy and human players don't need any "diplomatic resource" to make local "Game of Thrones". From other side in Planetfall heroes have only weapon (or vehicle) as an equipment which ruins treasury hunting and that's sucks. Because treasury hunting was one thing we love in AoW3. When in AoW 3 unit gets higher rank it's an Event. In Planetfall we've no shining medals over the units just barely visible chevrons on the units' icons and very limited ranks system without any interesting abilites for elite unites. And that sucks too because rank system is another thing (unique thing) we love in AoW3.

In fact even AoW3 has more things to control than any HoMM game. There're more types of collectable resources in HoMM games but there's no such things as production control, new units just appear in the castles every game week. No happines control, no territorial control. AoW 2 had no territorial control too and it was OK for everybody. But in AoW3 it was not just added it was added with a lot of treasury buildings over the map so it can be important to expand city's border or build a fortress to get some desired resources.

Why AoW would need wood and stone? And how it can be fitted in it's universe with Elves who live in forests and Tigrans who live in steppes where's no forest at all?
 

Rodmar18

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AOW2 had a kind of resource extra that AoW3 doesn't have: city fields for all factions. Build you city in a narrow pass between two mountain ranges, and see how its gold income is reduced.

  1. Perhaps in AoW4, surrounding terrain would matter, and not only to city happiness (Goblin cities surrounded by swamps).
  2. Factions could have flavor resources sites (stone quarry, gold mine, forest lodge, farm, ...) in the sense that they would each earn something slightly different from them (i.e. Dwarves would benefit more form stone quarries and gold or iron mines). This could be an inherent faction property, or be chosen through the equivalent of Racial Governance tree in AoW4.
  3. In the end, all physical resources would be converted into gold (and happiness, and pop growth, if relevant), as in AoW3, because I figure that this would make simpler to balance the economy and the production. Let's assume that stone, wood, ... are sold before you get them in your stockpile. Too bad for the 4X!
  4. Factions could build a limited number of "minor", flavored resource sites to fleshen out their city domains a bit. I believe I remember that one of the VMODs add this option to builders. As terrain would matter more, perhaps those minor sites could depend on the terrain around the city (e.g. Dwarves could build a small gold mine on a mountain hex, Elves could build a small forest lodge on a dense vegetation hex).

Also, AoW4 could generally speaking separate more terrain and climate, and develop their interaction with units and factions:
  • There would be "climates" and "seasons", the later being lesser versions of the former. The idea is that, over a game, the world would experience a shift in "climate + season" equivalent to the annual cycle of seasons. A desert in summer would be less forgiving than a desert in winter (to keep it simple, it would be more hot). Currently, modders have to make climates shift between tropical, volcanic, arctic, temperate, etc. It's quite extreme to account for normal weather.
  • There could be more terrain hazards (rain, sand/dust storms, impaired regeneration, temporary slowdown, ...). Currently, I'm not sure all of these effects can be implemented smoothly, if at all.
  • Factions could be affected by terrain more in detail (not only moral modifier, and foraging/fishing): Elves would hunt in dense vegetation (foraging), Humans and some others would get impaired regeneration on noxious climate and swamp terrain, etc.
 

THE-Black-Knight

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Somehow my suggestions always end up getting implemented. Whether it is by chance or not, that is enough for me to keep making them.

PLANETFALL what I like:
1) The diplomatic system. BUT THE STATEMENT "XY HAS INSULTED MY EMPIRE" sounds like something that would be said in kindergarden... :D

2) The map that tries to be realistic. Instead than an area surrounding cities like in previous installments of AOW, the map tries to look like something from real geography with each area having name.

3) the overwatch concept in tactical combat

4) The Master of Orion resource system ...oops and the fact that the shortage of cosmite forces players to build tier 1 units.

What I don't like:

1) All those UGLY icons on the map when I zoom out!!! Make it look like the maps in the Lord of the Rings!!!

2) I don't like the fact that I can only build a city in the center of those areas. I miss the fact of choosing the exact spot for my city.

3) I miss the underground

4) I miss the way I would identify with the leader of my nation. In Planetfall spells (operations) can be cast even if he has been killed, So things go on even without him?

5) Also resurrection makes no sense by the way, he's not a wizard. Oh well, Sci-Fi just doesn't work for me.

6) Teleports SPOIL THE GAME. Every kind of teleporting system even if you cal it relay or whatever SPOILS THE GAME AND BREAKS THE SUSPENSION OF BELIEF. NEVER IN ANY MOVIE YOU GET ARMIES TELEPORTED, units maybe ARMIES NEVER!!! Strategy is about MOVING armies in an intelligent way without being able to fix mistakes by just teleporting them.

---

What I would suggest for AOW IV - A system where if the leader dies his/her children would become leader if he/she has any. In other games (some versions of Total War) marriage and succession have been implemented well. A culture, an empire don't just disappear because a leader dies. Of course children could not be as good as the father.

"Migrate" a city means mass murder
- That should be more clear. Some creepy image maybe should make us aware of that. I have played AOW for years without realizing it, and just found it was more convenient to migrate than absorb. Never realized why my empire every once in a while would just turn on me. And I am quite a veteran of this games.

Not all races should have the same reaction when facing a new war. Orcs should be used to it and not suddenly showing a bad morale malus. Same when their leader betrays his allies. Races should be special that way and not only be affected by specific spells (or social improvements). For examples war against elves and orcs should excite dwarves, Orcs should never get a negative bonus about any war, humans and elves could get motivated by a just war and so on...
I found really dumb in AOWIII the possibility of having "good" orcs. WTF orcs hate dwarves and dwell in blood!

If you don't put Dark Elves in AOW4 I will never play this game again. As simple as that.
 
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BeltarTheLion

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There could be more terrain hazards

Planetfall has danger zones. Many of them badly visible and only slow down the game.

Perhaps in AoW4, surrounding terrain would matter, and not only to city happiness

Frostlings with their hate for anything except tundra which is hated near everybody else is a total headache. I prefer leave them as vassals and have no problems with constantly angry units of them. If we make the city locations to important the whole idea of kicking their population in favor of the race you want would become worthless.


PLANETFALL what I like:
1) The diplomatic system.

Reminds children talks in a sandbox. "Hey you! look XYZ player is bad! He can betray your trust! He's veeeery bad!"
Anyway I play AoW 3 with some AI teamed against me. AoW is about war and huge battles with tens of units with relatively few number of sides. Diplomatic victory is pointless here. I don't undertand why it was added in Planetfall at all. If we want some victory conditions without killing everybody on the map which requires a lot of time we've a victory by points control in AoW 3.

The map that tries to be realistic. Instead than an area surrounding cities like in previous installments of AOW, the map tries to look like something from real geography with each area having name.

The first question if a game is not a reality then should it really try to look realistic? "Civiliztion" seria became the most popular TBS of all time and it's anything but realistic. In fact I simply can't accept it's setting seriously. Aztecs building space rockets? USA starts from stone age? Just LOL.

Planetfall tries to look like satellite photos of exoplanet terrain. Soaped picture with acid colors which suddenly turns more sharp in tactical combat. OK AoW 3 was disigned for GTX 750 with 1 Gb, Planetfall for ultra-settings reqiures GTX 1060 and at least 2 Gb of video-memory (I've GTX 1060-6 and sometimes I have less than 60 fps in combats in 1080p) so bigger textures available. But at least AoW3 with it's technical limitations looks everywhere in the same style.

The main problem with Planetfall that it's a victim of it's own setting. Ruined world and X-COM cosplay means that every location looks like a junkyard (and units should cover behide the objects) and there're very few prebuild objects on the strategy map. While in AoW 3 we can use default settins of RMG and have a different map every time because there're such things like water and prebuild settlements in Planetfall every new map looks the same. Wasteland divided in random sectros (it's a wasteland who made the borders??) with a couple of objects to capture and some predators' lairs around.

I miss the way I would identify with the leader of my nation. In Planetfall spells (operations) can be cast even if he has been killed, So things go on even without him?

That's why such games usually work in feodal fantasy setting where a Hero (Great Warrior, Mage and etc somebody who better than the others) is something standart. The same problem with the heroes I don't understand their role in Planetfall. Not just like buffers for the army but the philisiphy of their eixstence. In AoW 3 they can have unique equipments and cast the spells.
 
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BeltarTheLion

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WTF orcs hate dwarves and dwell in blood

The problem of classical Tolkien-based AoW rises in the plot of the very first game. Elves are good but when humans killed their leader some of Elves decided "to go Bender" and kill all humans. And the player can play good race but do any shit to other races and still be good. In AoW 2 lore Yaka created Tigrans so they terrorized humans but in campagn we can meet Shira (Tigran hero) and she says that she dosn't support Yaka and friendly to humans.

In game mechanic neutral races could keep any other races except Undeads and Archons not spending time for the city migration just don't mess in one army Orcs and halfling. From that point of view it was interesting idea to leave the choice for the players. So if they want they can take the role of Goblin who is good and loves complex machinery. Or necromantic Elf who slains everybody. And having classes and races in game mechanic reqires to answer the question if we allow racial leaders to accept something that may contradict with their racial archetype (An Elf decided to build machines because he sees that it's effective) or make complex rules which race can play which class.

The second thing is the lore. If we've a land populated with so different races they can try to cooperate or some strong leader can force them. This thing happened a lot of time in Humans' history when strong empire kicked everybody's asses and tell that everybody will live peacfully and happy. So we've a new Union faction which proclaims equality for everybody (except barbaric Frostings LOL OK there was no frostlings before 2nd DLC) and I see no reasons why some Elves or Tigrans or even Orcs can't live there and be happy that there's nothing like in "old good times" of permanent war of all against all. Something like that just must happen.
 

Rodmar18

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Frostlings with their hate for anything except tundra which is hated near everybody else is a total headache. I prefer leave them as vassals and have no problems with constantly angry units of them. If we make the city locations to important the whole idea of kicking their population in favor of the race you want would become worthless.
That's why Frostlings can change climate and like fertile plains.
If you prefer to migrate a Frostling city under arctic climate, or a subterranean Goblin city, or a Draconian city over volcanic terrain, without owning a corresponding heart, or a suitable RG, it's up to you!
 

THE-Black-Knight

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I like the Planetfall system with all the regions, but I wish they didn't look like a bunch of pieces of a puzzle, with rounded borders. I wish they were more realistic.
Also I wish I were able to choose the exact spot where to build a city, not generically in the middle of a region... And I miss the fact of building roads and bridges.

I also like the overwatch concept in tactical.

Overall I hope AOW IV will be darker and more realistic than its predecessors. "Migrate" a city means genocide, make it more clear (I mean Dark)!! Orcs and Dark Elves would maybe be happy when that is done... But then their evil alignment would make everyone more likely to hate them.

Orcs and Dark Elves are Evil, they are happy when a war starts. Why should they have a low morale if their leader is hated?

I really hope races will go back to their standard alignment. Orcs are Evil and that's it. It really made no sense seeing good orcs in AOWIII. I never though it was cool seeing an orc dressed up like a catholic priest WTF!!

Dark Elves must be there. Period. They MUST.

Halflings are annoying. It really makes no sense to me seeing them with an organized army. But whatever, the devs like them so I am sure they will stay. To me however they should just be a curiosity, a bunch or rare units with special skils not a whole race of units with "luck".

I believe units that fly should drown if they end their turn on water. Until that gets implemented there won't be any use for boats EVER and the whole game on sea will be useless. Instead if you want to cross the sea it should be that you MUST have a boat as it was in real life in the middle ages, period! Having city on the coast brings all sort of income/ fishing, trading etc... I play all Age of wonders game with no boats and I am fine. Well, I shouldn't be. Also disembarking in a port instead than on a beach, should allow to immediately move instead than wasting the rest of the turn.

City should only be built next to a source of water like in the real world. Sea or rivers.

In AOW 1 there was a rating system for the leader according to their achievements. it was pointless in single player but kind of cool in multiplayer. I believe the first player that accomplishes certain tasks should be elected warlord by his people, then king and maybe later emperor. Maybe only one of the players could be emperor, the first one to achieve a special task. From that point on that player's name should always have the 'Emperor' prefix to it.

Or maybe since Planetfall is so heavily inspired by Masters of Orion 2, look at the political system in that game. At some point during the research it becomes possible to choose what kind of form of government to follow. Democracy, Kingdom, Theocracy, Empire... each has its own advantages and disadvantages. Sure if a player becomes King or Emperor that title should appear everywhere in the game when interacting with other players. Maybe not all races should be entitled to every form of government. A democratic Orc nation would make no sense, but maybe they could have as an alternative a council of Elders like some barbarian tribes, or a shaman ruler. Make things as they are expected, don't waste time creating Orc cherubs, those are only funny the first time you see them.

Democracy would give many advantages (high morale? Technology...) but maybe a player would be forced to behave more diplomatically and maybe act partially following the choices of a council of elders... (cannot declare war and attack in the same tirne.. be forced to do quests etc...) - I mean that according to the kind of government chosen the player would be more or less able to act freely.

Certain games allow to continue playing after the leader dies. His successor would take his place in that case. Probably a younger character with less experience. Maybe if a player manages to marry and procreate the whole family should be dead before the game is lost. Total War implements a system like that. It works nicely.

I really liked the fact that the Elves had invisible cities in AOW2 (maybe the Dark Elves should too)

Dwarves should be able to create constructions that are visible on the map and to setup mine fields. Also as is tradition in Fantasy stories, they should have a hard time dealing with Elves? racism is an essential part of the fantasy genre, why change that?

THE MOST IMPORTANT ELEMENT to create variety in these games always has to do with limitations not with being able to do everything every time. I believe a few things should randomly not appear in the research tree. For example in Planetfall I always use airplanes. If one game suddenly didn't allow me to research the tech to get them I would have to come up with options. Alternatively like in AOW2 there should be a section where it would be possible to limit the use of certain armies optionally before starting.

Too often the problem I end up having with these games is about how repetitive they are. It is a real pity because there are so many options and so many different things can happen, but if it is left to the player he will always tend to do the same things more or less. Choices should be made early in the game and things should happen that would force player in specific directions. As Planetfall is now even if I pick one race I will still be able to use other races with no penalty (at least a malus should be applied to an orc leader who tries to use dwarves, their machines should not work occasionally and stuff like that) - Limit players, make random thing unavailable in certain games...

Also I want to be able to build spectacular landscape elements and buildings that are rare to show off in multiplayer. Monuments to myself, towers, dams, artificial lakes, look up the 'seven wonders' for inspiration. multiplayer in a game like this is all about showing off. (XY becomes "Emperor XY" from that moment on throughout the rest of the game , XY can build a colossus (a giant statue that looks like him...)

Adding a tab in the game to be able to switch on the fly between the political and geographical view would be nice, without having to go through the menu (same for the "observe" option, but if there is a shortcut for that and I missed it, nevermind)

It makes sense for a SCi-Fi game that players have a general knowledge of the map, also that they have a general idea about where the enemies are (today there are sonars, radars... etc...). So I understand that in Planetfall it is relatively easy getting technologies that help figure out the enemy's position. That is also why I don't like Planetfall too much but it does make sense. in a Medieval Fantasy that WOULD SUCK. The best part about the classic AOW is that you move in the dark, knowing very little about the territory and the enemy position. The mystery is essential! Those spells that allow players to explore maps should be rare and NEVER give a complete vision. If maps are made of two levels, make sure that a player can only have spells to explore one of the two, so at the very worst one can hide underground (I am talking about multiplayer games obviously) - I mean if you are a master of Earth magic you could have an improved vision underground. A master of Air of the land above ground, a master of Water could see the seas and rivers etc... Nobody should be able to see everything, an expert player should always have somewhere to hide.

Even setting up "FEW" in the options there are way too many locations to explore and stuff to find. Next time I would go for a slider that let us choose the exact numbers. Playing on an almost bare planet could still be a lot of fun, and special areas and sectrors would become important objectives. As it is now, I don't really care about what i find or my enemies find in Planetfall sectors. Remember my usual rule: there are hudreds of units and optional things to find in this game, but thes SHOULD NOT appear in every game. Still discovering new units and places after having played for months would be a lot of fun and add value to all the work that has been put into developing these games.

If you want the infantry to be more useful, make it that only infantry can occupy cities. that was implemented in other games as well (I think Fantasy General) - Hi level units IMO should only be available randomly (maybe as an event when cities are happy) - Then you will finally limit their number in the game and have armies made up mostly of infantry as they should be.

I understand it is optional, but is there anyone who doesn't find annoying the overacting voice in Planetfall, that keeps saying "enemy down" every time the player kills a unit? Do you realize how many times we are supposed to hear that? It is like a dumb RTS, and if we turn down the voice in the audio options, we don't hear anymore the tech description (the voices of the tech descriptions are actually overacting too but the text is actually cool). And the noises heroes make? Oh gosh don't start me on those "UMPF" "OAHH" why? even in exciting situations they always sound bored!! :/

I wouldn't mind a tech tree for civilian technology like in Planetfall BUT the spell book is great when you have a limited choice of spells, and every time you finish researching one you get the surprise of what you can research next. Being able to plan too much in advance makes all game feel the same, struggling having to deal with what you end up having is what makes every situation new and entertaining.

In Planetfall Cosmite becomes such an important game balancing tool that it should be possible to FINE TUNE the quantity of Cosmite sources. It should be possible to decide their exact number in the options. This small option would greatly increase the replayability of the game by completely change the balance of units available. If AOW-IV were to apply a similar system, spmething like that should happen, and maybe infantry should have their own, more common, resource for improvements. IMO there is still the need to make low level units useful in the mid-late game.

The concept of "strategic locations" is great buit it has also been balanced all wrong. there should be a way to fine tune thir exact number. It is good that there are so many possible strategic location that could end up in a map, but they shouldn't all be there in all games!! Instead they should become unique and very powerful, and become strategic objectives to be destroyed or captured by the enemy. A player who gets one should become a target for how dangerous they are - if they are a weapon maybe they can be used once every ten turns but with devastating effects, or if they are a defense they should be almost impenetrable in a game they should be extremely rare ... but then again it is great that there are many options. Think of replayability, Planetfall is a fine game but to me it becomes boring after a while (it doesn't even have an underground :/) - The mistake the developers make in my opinion is always the same: they want everything to happen in every game... But then every game feels the same and there are no surprises left to discover in the next. Imagine instead if after ten times you have played in the 11th game one enemy gets a superweapon than you have never seen before and you have to deal with it in a new different way... wouldn't that be more interesting?

Also they should really consider to include the choice of government in the research tree. An "emperor" may be more powerful but if he dies the game is lost, but imagine if you kill a "king" instead thinking that his faction is eliminated, but in fact he had an heir, or maybe instead the player had formed a democratic civilization and someone took his place. That way maybe his enemy would have to get all his cities in order to get him instead than the capital and the leader... of course having to deal with a democratic civilization for a leader is harder, having to submit every decision to a senate before getting the funds or the approval for wars.

GAME BALANCE: I always have the feeling that the game is balanced for a medium map. That makes sense also because it is probably the size of map used by the game testers. Unfortunately in very large maps one always ends up with enemies that are not competitive at all in the mid/late game. I always end up with 50 cities and discover that in the same amount of time the last of the enemy AI player has only build 6 or 7. What he has done for 100 turns is a mystery. The developers should work on that, how I don't know because it is strictly a AI problem and I really have no idea what those players do while I don't see them. I know sometimes their armies go back and forth without doing anything but I couldn't say if that is the real problem. In all AOW games wins who has the most cities, that has always been true, so city building should definitely be the priority for the AI.

After a player o AI player has been eliminated, the remaining roaming units should be more aggressive. There was an option in the second AOW which allowed that. It is necessary to make quick hit and run victories a little harder to execute against AI characters. When they have a huge army next to their capital it would only make sense that that army would attack even if one captures the city and eliminate their king.

To be continued... I am adding ideas to this very post, in case the devs care about what I think) - Come back to it.
 
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THE-Black-Knight

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REALISM AND THE SEA
Life came out of the sea. Cities were always be build by the sea or by a river. Ships have always been EXPENSIVE because they were ESSENTIAL: commerce and War depends on ship, and the safety of the armies that they carry. Instead in most games including AOW they end up being CHEAP mostly because the developers realize that they are USELESS due to a series of misconceptions. I play most of AOW maps without building any ship (same for Total War games) and that makes no sense in term of realism. In AOW the problem are FLYERS. They are cheap (THEY SHOULD BE THE MOST EXPENSIVE UNITS EVEN THE SMALL ONES) and they can cross oceans constantly flying, they don't even rest, not even during battles. That is a serious problem in term of realism it completely defeats the purpose of building fleets and create an empire as they really were created in the ancient times. Transportation of troops should come back and be developed. It should waste the end of turn disembarking on the coast but disembarking at a port should allow to (fully?) move. Ports don't necessarily have to be built attached to a city, there were ancient cities with a port nearby (even though obviously a port would end up becoming a small town). I said this already, but flyers should have to rest at the end of their strategic turn. They shouldn't be allowed to end their turn while still flying! That would finally make crossing the sea impossible without a ship. The marine aspect of AOW should be intensely developed!

One way to force flyers to land at the end of their movement would be that players should always click on a solid ground hex when moving them. Then the flyer would just cross whatever obstacle there is in the middle. If the flyer is supposed to be used in a battle at sea maybe it should be allowed to end its turn next to enemies for the purpose of moving also other units next to it, but after the battle the flyers should use their remaining Movement to find a way to land somewhere otherwise they would drown.

A simpler alternative would be that flyers should be allowed to fly at sea only a few hexes away from the land. Of course they could land on a boat and be transported. Flyers would still be exceptional, they could cross rivers and mountains but the sea would belong to ships.

Another opportunity of the sea could be creating a fleet of fishing boats that gather food like the prospector gather resources in Planetfall.

I also like the fact that ships (like other mechanical units) wouldn't heal on their own but needed to be in ports or have an engineer with them. Planetfall oversimplified many things. That could seem alright for inexperienced players, but frustrates expert players and really levels up the skills needed to enjoy the game. Lack of details is not an improvement, I have the impression that Planetfall has taken a dangerous direction regarding that: no more builders, road build themselves, no building bridges and towers... Towers have been replaced with those radars that one could just place anywhere by ckicking on the map... I think the tactical combat is excellent in Planetfall and I would improve it by allowing players to waste one tactical turn by switching weapons and items getting them from their inventory OR GETTING THEM FROM OTHER FALLEN HEROES, OR MAYBE EVEN FINDING ITEMS IN THE TACTICAL MAP AND USE THEM instead that being able to get items only in the strategic map ....out of thin air by teleport them from an "Arsenal" that makes no sense. In the same turn I can get an airplane from the arsenal for my hero to move faster and then switch and put him inside a tank for a battle. Where is the arsenal when three heroes can get the same airplane in different areas, use it, give it to each other IN THE SAME TURN and just put it back at the end of their turn? Or maybe use the same tank for different battles by just putting it back and have the next hero taking it?

PROBABLY YOUR BEST BET TO MAKE BOAT AN ABSOLUTE MUST:
They don't have to be incredibly fast, that would defeat realism. Instead work as I said on limiting what flyers can do at sea!!
AN EVEN BETTER IDEA: Flyers should be a little slower than what they are now (they are usually birds not jets after all!) So make them be able to end their turn on the sea (that would allow them to take part to naval battles) but after ONE turn spent at sea they should start blinking or something and they would have to end their next turn on land (or with a boat) or die.

Really if they were not able to cross the sea comfortably the whole gameplay would change in favor of ships as it should be.
 
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THE-Black-Knight

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A "My Empire" Mode approach also for Multiplayer.

I really like Planetfall new 'My Empire' game mode. It is so refreshing, engaging every time territories with slight different rules, challenges and imitations ...those by the way could also be added randomly even to regular maps, but the sense of continuity between games is really great. That could also be implemented in Fantasy AOW of course. Instead than planets players would have new continents to conquer. I wonder if that could also be applied to a multiplayer system.

Let's say every time player A would start the game and the game would remember the other players from the previous games, so that everyone could develop their own empire. Of course any new player would have initially a small disadvantage not having unlocked units and spells, and winners would be able to get small bonuses for the next game. but probably not a big deal. The winner of the previous game could be the emperor in the next one and get a few cosmetic bonuses, the others would be the challengers. THE WINNER WOULD GET SMALL (MOSTLY COSMETIC) BONUSES BUT ALSO A PROGRESSIVE MALUS FOR THE FOLLOWING GAMES IF HE KEEPS WINNING EVERY TIME (like me with my friends :D ). For example being the emperor would make AI players more diffident toward him. That would be an incentive to play again both for the winner who would get to be called 'Emperor' and show off his new super-rare mobil-suit (or whatever item or rare unit) and for the losers who would know that he would have a small advantage for the following games. So a better player would get to be acknowledged as such but also get a handicap in the future.

As you progress the more you win the more you gain items and spells (much like you get "mods and operations" to chose from in the my empire game system)
But this is the handicap: they are chosen randomly among those you have conquered in the past,at the beginning of each game, so the more you win stuff the more you are going to juggle with whatever extra bonus the game has given you (instead than always choosing the same ones as it is now in Planetfall).

New and old players would be able to come and go but obviously the ones who plays all games would have a small advantage (more choice of troops and spells...)

If I get more Ideas I will add them to this post. But the idea is that, yes in every game even the ones who lose will be able to get something that would make them hope to be a bit stronger next time
 
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Rodmar18

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Speaking on playing random maps in a infinite "random campaign"; bonus for having a larger empire (from previous games) could be to allow reinforcements, e.g. one stack that spawns on the side of the map, at a random location (or at a spawning point, such as a special gate). If unlucky, this stack wouldn't make it to their owner's domain, though. The more potent your empire, the more stack you get every few turns. The last maps could have large armies pretty fast. This reinforcement system is used in Rise of Legends, a Risk-like board on the strategic map. It can be military and/or economic (gold/mana) and/or technological (research), depending on how were conducted the previous games (from 0/0/0 if defeated before end of game to X/Y/Z if just loosing by the points.
 
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Edm

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I love to play AOW3 still to this day.
  1. have to have, level editor, or map maker.
    1. want to design or layout the tactical level maps, too.
  2. want research trees.
    1. i.e. ultimate objective is say ' advanced cartography ', so the dependent research gets done automatically.
  3. want to have a planning layer, like "March army stack to Shrine, then march on a city." with waypoints.
  4. more and more campaigns.
  5. need more incentives from dialog to really want to defeat the other leaders.
  6. a scenario generating AI.
  7. quests for the power objects.
    1. It's all well and good to explore a litch castle, but a definite goal of "Need shrivled monkey paw of blight to overcome the Khan" would make a story driven objective.
    2. want my leaders and heros to show the items on the 3d models. funny hat, orc with a sailors life vest, and the necklace.
i spend to many real time hours, just in zombie mode.
produce Bard, End Turn. produce Bard, end turn. grind through
ten cities production and then next turn choose production again. oh dear God it's like going to the office. i want to experience finding treasure in the lost temple. find books in the library. Imagination wise. more RPG, less 4x.
 

Frank327

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Still love AoW3 up to this day and really hoping AoW4 happens. As to what could improve from the starting point of AoW3:

Making races and specializations feel more impactful without reducing the influence of the class system:
I think 2 specialization slots with more skills/spells for every specialization would make them feel more impactful. Fire magic already feels great because it has everything from early summon/combat spell (hell hound/fireball) to end game summon/win condition (fire elemental/hellfire) and cool spells in between. Having 50% more slots for every specialization could round out every one of them and make you truly feel like an Air or Earth master again just like previous versions.
In terms of races I think the later races already had the solution. Every race already has one of every type of unit in tier 1/2, but for variety's sake it would be nice if aside from the T2 cavalry the other T2 would change more often. The human pirate from AoW2 is a cool example of what a T2 irregular could look like and the high elf longbowman could've served as a T2 unit as well (obviously stronger). That would shift the strength of races to different areas.

Better empire building:
The builder was a great addition to AoW3 and with the cheaper road/watchtower building I'd love to see a simple form of trade routes added. Basically cities that are not connected to the throne city by road/water route would have reduced yields. Trade routes are visualized by carts and boats of your color moving along them. This would make protecting your roads from wandering infidels (or enemies) more important as they could end their turn on your roads and if they're not cleared at the start of their next turn, the trade route is broken and they get an amount of gold.
Maybe more importantly, it would be nice if buildings add militia units to your towns and cities just like in AoW planetfall. Maybe not as many as in planetfall but in AoW3 it was never a good idea (gold wise) to keep big garrisons yet it was also difficult because of that to defend them. Also city defenders (stationed at least 1 turn) getting volunteer would help a lot.

Late game uses for T1 units:
There's a pretty small window of opportunity for T1 units to be effective although the mystical city upgrades were great to give them more use. What I would like to see is something like the Great temple becoming race specific and adding a buff to all T1 units built in the city. For example a human great temple could be a Cathedral and add +2 resistance, +1 melee strength and +1 ranged strength to all produced T1 units. Aside from that, the type specific building (like arena/guardhouse) should allow you to build multiple of the unit (like halberdiers) in one turn if your production allows it.
 

THE-Black-Knight

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BATTLES/ QUESTS DON'T HAVE TO BE ABOUT KILLING EVERY ENEMY - There should be objectives.
An exploration site could contain an object to retrieve. The item or a crate that contains it could be visible in the tactical map The objective could be completed when a unit reaches it, picks it up and then the surviving units exit the map with it.
The objective of a quest could be achieved on the actual tactical battle. It could be to destroy or kill someone. And if that is obtained the remaining enemies would surrender or all the attackers would be able to leave the map at that point.
Or it could be a suicide mission and be considered completed even if all attackers die, as long as whatever objective is reached. (killing someone, destroy something, retrieve an item, free a prisoner, capture an enemy...)
What I am saying is a battle should not necessarily be about killing every defenders, on the tactical map, it should be possible to interact with the environment more, finding stuff, changing weapons with something found (maybe being forced to lose the weapon a hero is carrying to get the better one). Also it should be possible to spend one round by switching weapons with something in the inventory or to change weapons...
Also one of the quests could be like the ones always put in the Might and Magic games. They always do it, both in their RPGs and in their TBS: At some point you would find pieces of a map, you would put them together and then by confronting it with the actual strategic map the player would have to waste one turn by digging in the spot marked with an X... which usually takes a few trials to find. Whoever played any M&M games know what I am talking about.
 
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THE-Black-Knight

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ALTERNATING DAY AND NIGHT TURNS
I would like to see day and night turns. That would introduce a whole new world of strategies, with good races being stronger during the day and the evil ones during the night, with certain spells being stronger in the daytime and others at night. Certain places also would be present / approachable only during their specific time ...and weapons effective and so on. The only problem with that would be the sense of scale, the alternative would be to divide the time into months or seasons, but I really like the idea of night and day and who cares about realism.
 

Rodmar18

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with good races being stronger during the day and the evil ones during the night
You mean races/units with night vision and races/units without.
the only problem with that would be the sense of scale, the alternative would be to divide the time into months or seasons, but I really like the idea of night and day and who cares about realism.
Battle for Wesnoth has this system of days divided in turns: either a 6-turn day (dawn, morning, afternoon, dusk, 1st quarter, 2nd quarter) or a more longer 8-turn+ day. Moreover, some units are not affected by the time of day and light, and some even rarer ones favor dusk conditions (sunrise and sunset). Hence, there are loyal, neutral, chaotic, and liminal units.
BATTLES/ QUESTS DON'T HAVE TO BE ABOUT KILLING EVERY ENEMY - There should be objectives.
An exploration site could contain an object to retrieve.
This reminds me of Battlecry IV where received quests all involve a victory over a site's defenders, but the goal can be to kill a leader, to steal an item or a vault. Some mega-quests involve a serial of several like-quests to assemble a multi-parts item or to reach an arch-boss.