Reply To: My first impressions

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New day, new thought.

When I started to play and checked the skills I decided to make some kind of balance in my party like having a fixed amount of each weapon type and combat role. Looking at the skills it seemed possible and should work fine, and it did, kinda. There are far more efficient ways and no need to plan much.
About the skills, as I mentioned before, there are some obviously better skills and there are some almost nonexistent ones. There are a lot of them, and not even speaking about skill combos. In my opinion the skill trees and skills should be redone in a more balanced way. I did few skill examples already in prev post, here are some skill combos that are overpowered without a doubt.
Bags and Belts + Quick Hands. Needs only 2 levelups gives you the opportunity to switch freely between 4 items at any time without any cost. BB_Skills.jpg shows how one guy who is not realy skilled in battle became a deathgod independent of situation or range. He has only support skills and is still valid. Too much valid. He was supposed to be the backup captain, with basicly a support role where he runs around and fills in the blanks in the shieldwall. Turned out that he IS the shieldwall himself. And the archer and the mid ranger and the executor. He can show xbow, throw the jevelin and change to 2h or shield in the same turn. He can turtle up just to let the enemy gather around, switch to 2h and chop all dead in few swings. The only skill he lacks is the -20% armor dmg skill, and i’d take it at the very beginning usually but wanted to test the support and never thought he will live long enought.
Next exaple is the offense tree Berserk + Killing Frenzy. To put it simple, a guy with these skills likes to be surrounded, in one turn he annihilates everyone. You can hit twice in a turn with a 2h and after the first hit you get +50% dmg. The only thing that can stand this are orc leaders and warriors. Everything else gets annihilated in few turns.
And a last example of the defense tree. Oh wait, there is none. No good symbiosis can be done there. Sure there are skills strong by themselves as the Colossus for early game or the must have Battle Forged or even the 2nd tier Rotation with that you can fight even the hordes of undead without the fatigue problem. But no combos. Not even when paired with one of the other trees.
I do belive there is a lot of work to be done in the skill department as of now. But at the same time I simply can not agree with Don_Teridon about the weapon speacializations. As a 4th weapon specialization tree it could work, but putting it in the current ones would be way too difficult. Even in 4th tree it should be quite different from the other 3, either be able to chose a weapon type from the very start (or starting at lvl x) and no tree tiers, or the first tier the weapon types the secound and third just flat bonuses maybe elite skills. If it should be a matter at all, the current specialization is bound to backstories and all seems to be splendid.
Just don’t forget Overhype, you have a lot of free space in those trees, perhaps you could grow more skill fruits there ;)

About the character quantity. Absolutely agree with Teridon. The game setting just begs for a reserve, making the heal process slower and maybe some debuffs for fighting under x hp makes strong sense aswell. You don’t even have to change much in the management screen to add an other 12 slots below that are reserve, and both sides still free for the probably upcoming non combatant personal. You can even force the rotation between the active and reserve by adding battle fatigue to debuff chars who fight more battles in short period of time. It should be quite hard to fight even twice a day. Tho this is a game and the gameplay consiquences of forceing anything, be it weapon specializations or rotations, might be bad.

The player controlled fort might be interesting but needs proper balance in order to function properly and not to become macro hell cuz it can’t for example protect itself or takes much more money than makes. Tho could be nice to have a simple economic aspect in the game and a player controlled settlement would be perfect for it. And for a lot more fun things.

The visual identification, is fine option as long as it is not forced. The current way is very much how id prefer it. Would be a shame to be forced to color out the units, it is a mercenary band and not a goverment organized military group. But, adding in tabards and being able to put them on the armor (like a minislot on management screen) that the player can modify would be great. Like a craftsman in capital city whos interaction window would be the tabard customizing one, the simple the better, where you can buy them and customize. Like having a red main colored one with your bands symbol for Teridons helberts and a blue one for spears. It should be displayed when equipped like the guys on the background here on the forums. Just don’t force it please.

Command units, well they are already in, you can open the command skills in the utility tree. They are extremely usefull no doubt, and you realy should have at least one commander but better to have both tier 3 skills. It definetely makes a difference. Even the tier 2 Captain and Fearsome changes things considerably! And this is better than to have it like in HoMM to stand by watching and be immune… When they on battlefield in the battle and can be killed their value rises tenfold! It should stay like this.

Combining the troops into units, well that can be done simply with adjacent bonuses. Like the shieldwall giving a small adjacent bonus to units standing around it or a debuff aura for enemy to make harder for them to atk near a shieldwalled unit. As for now in what I belive to be the endgame (lvl 9-10 with best equip currently possible) the shieldwall is almost useless. The few damage that comes in is easily soaked by the heavy armor. But if a shieldwalled unit would give adjacent bonus to friendly units behind it (hook, jevelin throwers, archers) and on its side (other melee) that would encourage to use it even at this point.

The movement on the map. Maybe you consider adding it later on as a non fighting followers, the horse. To make travel faster on the fields, on the hills. No bonuses on the montain or swamp, and maybe half the bonus in forests. This would be a great addition especially later when every day is a race for the payment aginst the clock.

Addition of more rare things. Like hirelings backstories, some extra rare ones. And they don’t have to be expensive, just realy rare like a hermit who lived somewhere alone in the nature but was forced to leave his meadow. A wanderer from a far away land, a sailor who had to leave the sea, rebelling royal youngster who hates the royal ways, an urchin forced to fight for his life and now has no place, etc. You can even link a lot of random events to these rare types, and even to existing ones. Like a group of family members whos kin was slain by your assasin. A cultist group who decided to punish your cultist for dishonoring the wisest of the eldest, etc. Adding rare items or item quality tiers. From badly made to a lifetime masterpiece. Maybe even silver weapons to fight the spirits(if you going that way). Rare encounters with roaming enemies like a pack of crazy men who run at night beliving they are werevolves while they are high, or mystical encounters like saving a maiden from a group who disappear into thin air after the fight (might even start quest to find out what it was).

Where are the females? It is the dark ages allright, still there should be female combatants, and im absolutely sure the zombies do not care about the gender nor the werewolves. oO

Absolutely love the orc faction, they are made very well, nice looks, nice armor, nice skills. The only problem is the packs wariety. Usually its only one type maximum two type of orcs in one battlegroup. Ye sure when multiple groups attack then you have the full salad, still a bit wariety would go a long way imo.

I’d like to see some gossip in the villages that would reveal “forts” on the map. It takes just way too long to search by myself. Yeah sure if you know where the orc and bandit spawn point is you just go there and usually there are new forts there but other than that its way too long to find anything. The folks always talk, and so should they do here aswell. Give them some voice ;)

Now that my band is strong and eager, I find hard to find opponents to mach my strenght. And even harder to find big scale battles. The zombies are the only ones who come in numbers, and have to say they do it or rather did nicely by wearing my bands fatigue down, now with heavily armored 2h annihilators and rotationing others. They are no match anymore, be it 20 or 28, with or without ghouls. They still a lot of fun to massacre, just no challenge.

Was trying to generate a map where the road system is round, but it never happened. A lot of times there were two villages near each other and it would make sense to have a road, but they did not. It might have to do with the caravans and patrol routes but if not, would be nice to implement.

Maybe add some achivements to the characters. Like killing x orcs gives a background of orcslayer, or surviving with few hp, maybe for decapitation of x enemy, etc. There have to be strong limits, maybe the limit should be simply one, and they realy should be achivements and not like swing a sword get “swordswinger”.