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AoW3: General Discussion & suggestions
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Age of Wonders 2 Heaven » Forums » AoW3: General Discussion & suggestions » AoW3 - Initial Impressions
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Topic Subject:AoW3 - Initial Impressions
ChowGuy
HG Cherub
posted 03-31-14 03:58 PM EDT (US)         
AoW3 is now available for download *up*

I'm going to sticky this thread. Let's try to keep all the initial comments here for now, rather then spamming them in separate new or existing threads.

ChowGuy - The LaChoy Dragon - Servant of the Tiger and disciple of the Wanderer
The Hall of Wonders - HeavenGames Fantasy Role Playing and Creative Writing Forum
AuthorReplies:
Falconius14
Member
posted 03-31-14 08:10 PM EDT (US)     1 / 52       
The whole Triumph registration process really sticks in my craw! Hours after setting up an account I didn't even care to set up, I'm still waiting for my confirmation email!

By comparison, I just set up my account with this AoW Forum and got a confirmation email in seconds!

So far I can only play offline. Game seems OK so far. Takes some getting used to. Surprised to see we no longer build Wizard towers in our cities. So city domains grow much slower, based on population.

Going back to play some more.
Alex Mars
Member
posted 03-31-14 09:44 PM EDT (US)     2 / 52       
I opened the editor first, wow. Danger, learning curve ahead!

It looks more like NWN2 than AoW.
naecO
Member
posted 03-31-14 11:11 PM EDT (US)     3 / 52       
Screenies please you guys!


Tired of manually receiving/sending your PBEM turns everyday ? Try out Dave's PBEM Wrapper!
sikbok
VIP
posted 04-01-14 01:06 AM EDT (US)     4 / 52       
Hi everyone,


About to crash after an epic working day.
Hope you guys and girls enjoyed what you've seen so far.

Sorry for the registration issues Falconius14.
Our mail server gave out, so we had to find another one.
It's fixed now, so please request the mail to be send again in the launcher.

>>>Delete Yourself; You've got no chance to win<<<

Atari TeenAge Riot

nyarlathotep
Member
posted 04-01-14 01:37 AM EDT (US)     5 / 52       
I thought for a minute I was playing the sims when creating my first ...wizard.

Proud mapmaker for the UPatch team
One gas to rule them all, One gas to find them
One gas to bring them all and with the Spice we bind them
Creator of the following maps: RenaissanceEarth, RoadToHell, YeOfLittleFaith, FrostbiteDelirium, Stormy Seas
Co-creator for: CityDwellers
together with TravisII
Kitwar
Member
posted 04-01-14 02:18 AM EDT (US)     6 / 52       
Here is my impression, after playing for about 6 hours. Those are just my opinions, from my point of view. If you don't agree, it may mean your brain is slightly superior.

,
.-* Campaign *-.

In AoW:SM, the Campaign felt intriguing, the maps were very interesting and beautiful - they even affected my dreams, at night, at that time... Characters were memorable, I still remember... But I remember at that time finding the campaign very difficult, sometimes a little bit frustrating. Maybe it was just me being young.

The campaign in AoWIII so far looks very beautiful, it's easy on you at first, so that you get a grasp of how the game works, but then later it doesn't really hold your hand anymore, so you may feel awesome for your awesomeness. I am very curious what is going to happen to the characters. The Elven Court seems like the good guys, I am curious what happens if I do bad deeds, will it affect anything? This is attractive.

,
.-* Random Scenarios *-.

AoWIII just feels like it has so much more to offer! I actually feel more like the map was perfectly designed for me, instead of being random stuff placed randomly and "deal with it the best you can".

Seeing my army wearing the colors I've chosen feels very good. I've started as an Evil High Elf Theocrat. I want all the map to worship the one true God, ME, the Player who watches and sees everything! Only who wear my sacred banner will live after the Apocalypse.

Yap. That's what it does with your mind.

,
.-* Other Stuff *-.

I feel like the Winzard's Tower was kind of a Symbol of AoW. Pitty it is gone. However, I really enjoy the fact that my choosen Avatar does not just sit in the capital watching stuff and playing with magic. It acts like an immortal hero, and I enjoy seeing my custom creation in battle, and evolving (leveling up).

You know how in AoW:SM you'd get notification about 1 eagle who just captured that Income Structure? And that node, and that other one. Freakin' eagle...

Well, not anymore! Domains mean that you only defend the center of the circle, and everything inside the circle is yours until the center falls. Now "defender armies" feel more necessary and purposeful.

The Research System now also has upgrades for your Empire. I feel this causes the game to play differently each time, even if the exact same 2 avatars would battle one another. Their Research decisions greatly influence their gameplay, and they'd challenge each other with different surprises.

Shadow Demons seem to still be present in AoWIII. Possessing the Dire Penguins.

,
.-* Conclusions *-.

The game is a worthy Age of Wonders, it is a fantastic piece of art - you can feel the soul put into it as you play!

I did not try the multiplayer yet, because I must confess, I am a student in Romania and, I am gonna get about $200 next week, but I couldn't wait. I will buy 2 copies, one for me and one for a friend, because I'd feel VERY bad not doing so. Triumph Studios really do deserve the "Thank you!" of buying their creation.

This has been my (unfair >.< ) AoWIII kinda first impression.

However, I am still waiting for that BNW mod, Kirky.

Pride guide thee to beautiful productivity and success.

[This message has been edited by Kitwar (edited 04-01-2014 @ 03:47 AM).]

Damon Rellik
Member
posted 04-01-14 06:00 AM EDT (US)     7 / 52       
First Impressions after playing about 5 hours:
-Gameplay controls: If you played AoW 2/SM then this should be very easy to get into , it's like a natural evolution.
-Graphicly looks good, expect nothing fancy. Everyting (sofar) seem to fit well .
-Bugs: Found 2 sofar ; 1 major and 1 small 1
Major bug is that it feels very sluggish when playing in full screen mode which is fixed when playing in windowed mode.
Small bug is the scroll text in campaign doesn't start scrolling automatically (which is does if you scroll down a bitt manually).
-Gameplay: Played the campaign a bitt then started a random extra large map. Was surprised how fast the opponents turns were going in comparisson to AoW 1+2 at turn 60 ish now.
As far as the rest goes , it feels solid and well made, everything can be looked up ingame for help in the Tome of Wonders.


Verdict sofar
I am happy how the game turned out to be and as far as i am concerned it is money well spent !



PS
Took a quick peak at the editor and well what can i say i have to put some time to get to know this 1 cause there are a lott of options available

Pps
My computer setup for your comparison
The graphics settings ingame are set on high (automatically) there is one higher setting (Ultra).
I7 950 64bit
HD Radeon 5850
8gig ram
Windows 7

[This message has been edited by Damon Rellik (edited 04-01-2014 @ 06:09 AM).]

Narvek
VIP
posted 04-01-14 06:53 AM EDT (US)     8 / 52       
Great to hear the initial impressions are positive

Just wanted to pop in quickly to tell you guys that we're looking into the framerate drops some people have been experiencing (that's probably the cause of the 'sluggish' feel described by Damon Rellik).

The scroll one: if you hover your mouse over the text it doesn't scroll, could you try to remove your mouse cursor from the text box? It should scroll along with the voice then.


Greetings,
NARVEK
you3
Member
posted 04-01-14 07:10 AM EDT (US)     9 / 52       
I'm not quite as positive as the others but the issues are specific:

user interface:
I really dislike the left/right click sequence (I think aow-sm had this also but it has been a while since I played).
-
I very much would prefer left select; left move; right cancel
-
On battle field when I cast a spell the spell book frequently blocks the enemy troupe I want to cast so I have to move it out of the way (well move the camera). The computer should be smart enough to find a spot for the spell book that doesn't cover the majority of the enemy (which is normally in the center as is the book - this is 22 inch monitor)
-
can't rotate on overland map; this is particularly annoying when underground and there are a few hexs that you can't quite see as they are 'covered' so you can't tell if there are riches hidden.
-
no quick save (an easy enough thing to add)
-
I find some of the tutorial/actions not very good at all (such as how to create a city). Yes I find the magical button under the settler to create but then it fails and there is no pop up message that explains why the position is not suitable (nor does searching the tomb under city/settlers or similar explain). There is a text description that explains you need a 'suitable' position but not what constitute 'suitable'.
-
In the campaign (only around 3 hours in) the troupes are very fragile so need to adjust tactics some (this is not a complaint just an observation).
-
The mouse thing (first thing in the list) as minor as it seems is my current uber complaint it drives me crazy when playing the game and I wish there were some options to configure which click did what but i cannot find any.
-
I guess a last comment is so far the game hasn't drawn me in the way previous game did - but I can't put my finger on why - the map of the campaign so far seems very small yet very large (maybe linear or short paths?).
-
Last but least the registration process while it went smoothly was rather annoying (also the fact that I have to allow YOUR server to connect ot my machine to find multiplayer game is very very annoying - nearly all games i play you connect to the server - this of course means i have to open a port in my router (and setup a map from my router to game computer when it sees the incomming connection on a specific port) which I strongly dislike - i much rather connect to your server as it simplifies port management in the router.
Cay
Member
posted 04-01-14 08:36 AM EDT (US)     10 / 52       
I only got to play for an hour last night, but mostly enjoyed it.

My only complaints have already been mentioned:

1 - Sluggish performance in Borderless mode

2 - Graphics settings don't save.

3 - Left click / right click to move. My brain just doesn't work that way. I would highly prefer left / left with right click to cancel.

Overall though, I'm really enjoying it. It feels great to be playing a new AOW after so many years!

Cay
CayMack on Xbox LIVE, PlayStation Network, and Steam. CayMack#1436 on BattleNet.
Visit: TrueAchievements|TrueTrophies

[This message has been edited by Cay (edited 04-01-2014 @ 08:37 AM).]

Sunicle
Member
posted 04-01-14 10:35 AM EDT (US)     11 / 52       
I am impressed! Played for a couple of hours, in advance I was sceptical, thinking AoW III would probably not match up to AoW II, but I need to think again.
It looks very good. It's very recognisable when you've played AoW II; sounds, units, structures, a lot has been recycled.

Maybe it feels a little bit generic. The look of the game it shares with so many contemporaries, and graphically having groups of units instead of single ones goes at the cost of character. Expansions can add some unique atmospheres, but representing the units like this means some of the expressiveness that many units had in the previous games is lost forever. In AoW II units also grunted and growled a lot to add character, I haven't heard that in AoW III yet, that could perhaps come back.

The mouse controls; left-select and right-action I don't have a problem with. It's not what other games are doing, but with any game I find controls always take a little bit of getting used to. Maybe players need a few sessions first and then see it they still have a problem.

Then something that I found an issue:
I've played some 8 turns on a random map, must have had about 8 battles with independents, and every group of independents consisted of exactly 3 units. Never 2, never 4, always exactly 3 weakish units. Too predictable! Difficulty level I left on King. I hope if I continue I'll see some randomisation in the AI stacks, because this is not good.

When I checked how many battles I had actually played, I also noticed the event logging isn't very satisfactory. No big thing, but I took some screenshots (did Naeco ask for screenshots? At least the YouTube vids won't have this):

These are 2 separate shots; one after 4 turns and one after 9 turns. What you see in the last shot is that the oldest turns have been condensed. But it condenses to something useless: Awanesse the Custodian, turn 3 has started; Awanesse the Custodian, turn 4 has started, and then the same thing for turn 5 and 6. Nothing of real informative value anymore.
It's a low priority thing for the devs I'm sure, but I just happened to notice, and thought I'd share.
TravisII
Member
posted 04-01-14 12:33 PM EDT (US)     12 / 52       
Initial Impression: Overwhelmed!

This is not so much a bad thing. This is common with most
strategy games. After a few hours, I've gotten more used to
the graphics and UI. My biggest complaint are the mouse
controls as others have pointed out. I'll get used to them
though.

For my very first game I took on an Emperor AI in a 1v1 on a
small map random scenario. It was struggling at first, but
once I learned what I was doing (and got three Fire Dragons)
his puny Juggernauts didn't stand a chance. The graphs at
the end showed I was far below him in every category except
Knowledge. Victory for nerds!

Hoping to play more today, yesterday was busy for me.
Overall I feel I will play this game often, especially
when/if PBEM is added. Really looking forward to that.

#7373DE for Humans #EFB573 for Azracs #4AA58C for Lizard Men #9CC6E7 for Frostlings |SM|> #E4ED38 #EBEBEB #CC2D29 #CC29D5
#6BB54A for Elves #EFE773 for Halflings #D6AD8C for Dwarves #EFEFDE for High Men |SM|> #DE8EA4 #F09245 #D2BE92 #BDBDE8 #558CDD
#B563BD for Dark Elves #F74242 for Orcs #BD7352 for Goblins #947B73 for The Undead |SM|> #1DDB38 #83795A #2CAAA4 #AC762A
Colors for AoW1 and AoWSM **A Proud Member of the Unofficial Patch Team!** ~2010 AoWSM PBEM Singles Champion~ http://blog.noblemaster.com/
Sleet
Member
posted 04-01-14 02:05 PM EDT (US)     13 / 52       
A most Excellent offspring of AoW, AoWII and SM
Yesterday, played a number of turns of official campaign as Elf and then as Human. Interesting perspectives from both sides. (No spoilers!)

Download: from GOG.com Super fast. was over 1mb/Sec at times.

Install: no issues. Activated account and received email reply instantly. All good.

Initial config: Crisp and wonderful graphics all around. Set to High/Ultra on graphics. I normally play Windowed game anyway so did not notice the lag issues other mentioned. No issues with lag, or slowness.

Interface: the mouse and keyboard settings took a few minutes to get the hang of, but this veteran of all the AoW games has no issue with it. If we can modify some in settings to our personal desires that would be good.

Gameplay: So much to touch on and enjoy. I really like many of the new features.
Tactical battles with camera zoom and rotate.. YES!
Hero upgrades, spells, research.. everything. Thumbs-up
Roleplaying events. Very well done - voice overs too.
Details (massive amounts) on units, spells cities, and more at your finger-tips. Spot on.

With even that though, I really would like to get a copy of the Tome of Wonders either to have in hand, or on a separate screen (tablet). Rather hold the Tome in hand, easier to read.

More to come on the actual game play, but in my so humble opinion, the Developers have done a splendid job. Keeping the best of AoW2/SM and bringing back best of AoW AND adding anew.

PBEM - as others have mentioned.. is the only feature that is missing that I have found.

Now just one more turn... (or 4)

[This message has been edited by Sleet (edited 04-01-2014 @ 02:10 PM).]

ffbj
Member
posted 04-01-14 03:48 PM EDT (US)     14 / 52       
It's good!
I would like to see unit damage reduction based on number of units standing. Usually groups of 3 or 6 are the way cohesive units are displayed. 3 man units lose 1/3 damage amount for every fallen. 6 man units would lose 1/6 damage for every fallen. Takes effect immediately.

[This message has been edited by ffbj (edited 04-01-2014 @ 03:50 PM).]

Magog
Member
posted 04-01-14 04:28 PM EDT (US)     15 / 52       
After waiting for 10+ years, I got my physical copy of Aow3 today. Kind of epic to finally hold it in my hands.

My impressions:

Very polished and good looking menus and interface. Easy to get into if you played the other games.

Started playing the elven campaign and it is great to see the familiar faces and references to the original storyline. Looking forward to playing the whole thing.

Still on the first opening scenario, but so far I have no complaints about gameplay. A bit confused with the unit stat windows, but I will get used to it.

Music = Fantastic! Best since AoW1, if not better! Well done!

Two bad things: 1. Low framerates on the world map. I hope this can be fixed. 2. Mapmaking tool is either not working, or I am an idiot. I can't even create a new map...

Overall it seems to be a great addition to the series, and I will most likely waste insane amounts of time playing and making maps. Congratulations Triumph!
sikbok
VIP
posted 04-01-14 04:40 PM EDT (US)     16 / 52       
Hi everyone,

Glad to hear you are enjoying the game.
We're working through some customer service stuff and will then jump onto patch, some extra features and then DLC.

>>>Delete Yourself; You've got no chance to win<<<

Atari TeenAge Riot

Griffith
Member
posted 04-01-14 05:31 PM EDT (US)     17 / 52       
I've played a couple of MP games halfway through today, here's my initial impressions:

Huh?! Is it 1AM alrdy?! I should go to bed.. soon.. ish.

Seriously, AoW:SM has made me lose sleep more than anything I can remember, and probably AoW3 won't be much different.

The gameplay seems excellent from what I can see, keeping most of the good old mechanics and adding something new to the series. I especially like the way you get to increase your domain borders and get bonuses from structures within. Somehow I'd like to say it brings AoW3 close to being Master of Magic 2 from some funny standpoint.

But I wonder why unit-squads dont lose any combat abilities when they lose members? Wouldn't that be more intuitive? Perhaps hard to balance. Also I'd preferred if the production would carry on from one item from the production queue to the next, so you wouldnt waste production points so much.

Otherwise can't really complain about much (yet). Seems the concern about too small maps was unfounded at least.

Maker of the CoMA and Strange Lands mods.
Check out the AoW Chatroom
ArkhanTheBlack
Member
posted 04-01-14 05:38 PM EDT (US)     18 / 52       
I would like to see unit damage reduction based on number of units standing. Usually groups of 3 or 6 are the way cohesive units are displayed. 3 man units lose 1/3 damage amount for every fallen. 6 man units would lose 1/6 damage for every fallen. Takes effect immediately.
I would appreciate that, but I don't think they will do it since it would require a complete rebalance of the game. However, if they keep the current system, I think they should not reduce the amount of squad members depending on the damage since it seems to confuse too many people. So you always see a full strength squad just with a reduced health bar.

Currently, the biggest show breaker for me is that in multiplayer, other players have to watch the tactical battles again. I was really expecting this to be fixed in AOW3 and since it unfortunately wasn't, it might kill the game for our multiplayer sessions at least.
Ninevah
Member
posted 04-01-14 10:46 PM EDT (US)     19 / 52       
Just been playing it a bit thus far, so take this with a grain of salt:

- The mouse button controls are really frustrating me, just like others have said. It would be really nice to be able to switch that around in the game options.
- It's a bit overwhelming at first.
- It's really hard at first to make sense of the race and class combinations and figure out what is a good combo. Part of this is because so many of the race units seem just as good as the class's special units, with a few exceptions. I found myself frozen by analysis paralysis for quite a while yesterday.
- Honestly, I really liked the way your spheres of magic had a huge effect upon your spells available and could really alter your strategy in earlier versions of AoW. They don't seem that important with AoW3, though, and I find I miss that. I mean, there are only 8 spells in each sphere, total. (4 from Adept level and 4 from Master level) And you only get 3 picks for your wizard. So, you're only getting 12 spells, EVER, from your magic choices. The rest come from your class. That seems wrong, somehow.
- Camera actions and angles in combat are a little odd sometimes.
- Rotating and moving the camera is really unintuitive. It's the opposite of what I would expect. Would be nice to be able to change that in the game options, too.
- Map scrolling is lightning speed at the default. I think I cranked it down to 10%. And it happens so easily by accident that it's frustrating.
- Sweet Baby Jesus, can the developers please make it so the Graphics options we've selected are actually remembered when we next launch the game?

[This message has been edited by Ninevah (edited 04-01-2014 @ 11:00 PM).]

Queen Jenny the Mediocre
Member
(id: neo222)
posted 04-02-14 04:18 AM EDT (US)     20 / 52       
It looks more like NWN2 than AoW.
Don't say that, NWN2 was dreadful.

I could move to a small town, and become a waitress...
Merkraad
Member
posted 04-02-14 05:29 AM EDT (US)     21 / 52       
What a great couple of days playing some AoW 3! Thanks Triumph Studios! =D

The game is indeed a triumph

Installation: was nice and fast, registering required asking twice, as I didn't get an e-mail the first try - no biggie.

Setting up and performance: I'm running an old Intel core 2 Duo, 3 Ghz, 4 gig RAM, Nvdia Geforce 9400 GT. The game was really sluggish on high settings, still a bit hogged down on medium. I Changed from borderless to fullscreen, then to windowed mode and it got better. In the end I just decided to play with low settings, and while the graphics lost shadows and most eye candy, the performance is great!

The game still seems very heavy. I used to dual box MMORPG games, 3 at a time, and AoW3 seems close to that system drain.
Its a real concern to me since AoW:SM had performance and memory leak issues where after some hours even high config PCs had to restart - and it was a 2d game. Comparing to other games, they wouldn't drain the system after 8+ hours anywhere near AoW:SM after 4-5 hours of play.
I use monitoring programs and literally, AoW:SM sometimes came close to melting some elements on my motherboard; it would go 10 degrees above other games! ;( Some people on official forums said their 3d cards seem to be very noisy so apparently struggling.
I hope this tech part keeps getting improved and fixed.

Campaign: Played the fist Elven campaign scenario. The story is compelling and the illustrations are awesome! The voice overs are great too. Tactical battles were brutal and I lost my leader on the second battle. Reminds me of AoW1 combat which is nice AoW: SM seems to stall combat with Units missing, in comparison.
There were some issues due to me sending crows to explore - like getting the siege weapons but my army was far away, but I guess that happens on campaign maps with events etc. Maybe set some events to tigger only when the Leader is present?

Good ol' random maps: Played around with making the leader, then the map. Restarted a couple times due to having started near too much water - half the domain wouldn't have anything really; then I simply slided down water on advanced settings

Choosing AI opponents is GREAT!!! So is saving my leader! I went with a dwarf Dreadnought, and the other 5 leaders (AI) of every race and class left so I check everything on the first go, if they don't murder each other too much before I do =P
I wanted to try Dreadnought and only that, so I missed an option to make only Heroes of my class join my empire. Can you guys please add such an option?

Am getting to tier 4 units, just started rolling my Juggies around timbering down those ugly trees that slows down my dorfs =D No big battles with AI's yet, they seem far away.
Quests are getting harder. Still have to do mythical camps, had some epic? Ones that required reloading, all my units died which lead us to...

Combat: is *REALLY* deep and vicious. Wow! I recall reloading games in AoW:SM to retry hard battles and would think some hits were faded to do the same low damage and some attacks to miss.

In AoW3 the way we play can COMPLETELY alter the outcome of the battle. One single bad positioning and a hero getting flanked means failure. It means player skill and tactical decision is REAL, and prevails over the randomness of attack hit and miss, and damage from AoW:SM. Prevails even over bad army choices, weaker units, provided the player compensates flanking and making smart moves. Its fantastic! The best aspect of the series took on to a whole new level!

3D graphics: I have to say that, at first, the 3D annoyed me. AoW: SM 2d graphics are brilliant, and easier to see on Tactical combat, and even overland. I thought 3d was uncessary after playing Monday. But Tuesday I got used to it, and am rotating the camera around quicker, and I'm really getting into it. I tried to rotate view on the overland map, but couldn't do it - would be nice.

Squad Units: I think the Units lose some of their graphical charm from the previous iterations of the game due to being squads. Some attack animations seem clumsy. I do like the army feel it evokes though.
Maybe the camera starts too far back in TC and Units look to small?

Conclusion - TLDR:

- the game is a total triumph and seems very polished so far.
- Its a new game not a revamp of its predecessor, and the boldness of the changes is very inspiring and refreshing!
- the graphics look incredible.
- tactical combat is very deep in options and complexity; its vicious and unforgiving if you make bad decisions, which means player skill really matters and its very rewarding to master the combat.
- its scarily addictive!
- Leader Classes really took the game to another level. I knew I'd like this as soon as I read about it. Wizards always felt generic, now there is real difference in gameplay and flavor besides magic spheres!There is something about playing a Dreadnought and making a machine army that I really like, it changes the typical fantasy flavor (I had done something even more radical on my mod, with laser beam shooting, sentient machines from the future)
- some performance issues, although my machine is a low config setup (will buy a new PC soon =D). Don't let this turn you away from the game; but as I used monitoring programs on AoW:SM to find it 10 degrees above other games, I will watch AoW3 performance closely. Obviously different games yes, but I'm allowed some paranoia, since graphics are 3d now and from what I've seen and read so far.

Artist, Sorcerer, Monk and AoW Series fan
Proud citizen of BRASIL \o/ |o/ \o| \o/ |o| /o/ \o/
Blog with some art
www.the-battlefield.com ex-member with fond memories:Battlefield Player of the year 2003;Battlefield Winner of 4 Tourneys;Battlefield Winner of AoW league 2004
Proud owner of an AoW SM poster signed by Devs!
Please try the fantastic BNW Mod made by my friend Kirky Picardo! The best AoW:SM Mod!

[This message has been edited by Merkraad (edited 04-02-2014 @ 05:51 AM).]

ravinhood
Member
posted 04-02-14 06:44 AM EDT (US)     22 / 52       
I have to agree with the registration process and even having to use a 3rd party feature to register.
nvc_for_the_soul
Member
posted 04-02-14 11:32 AM EDT (US)     23 / 52       
Some first impressions...

Installation: installed from CD. Fine. Problems however with registering & linking with steam-account. The AOW-launcher even crashed (didnt respond). So I decided to play as guest. This worked. The following day I got the registering & linking fixed so I can play with my own account.

UI: many good things & info. However I miss several short-cuts for instance:
- Next/previous city (is likely to be added in an update I read)
- Open spellbook to cast spell
- Overview panel
- Diplomacy
Also I like to see a separate action: 'do nothing only this turn' (space in AOW:SM) as opposed to 'guard' (do nothing until party is activated by player)
For the Action-camera in combat: it works good for me, BUT sometimes, at the start of the turn, the camera is completely changed in direction. Very confusing.

Scenario: I played the blight-crater scenario (forgot the precise name). This was my first game, and it was good to learn here. Won it pretty easy though. Had one epic siege battle that almost resulted in a loss.
At the scenario-selection, I don’t like to see the layout of the map. This spoils the fun of exploring imo. The same applies to the setup of the leaders at the scenario setup. I don’t want to know my enemies before hand.

Campaign: I played the first map of the Commonwealth campaign. The introduction and story is quite interesting. The map itself was not difficult, but still some interesting challenges and good and close battles. There were different types of giants to be recruited which was pretty cool to fight with.

Combat: The combat-maps look beautiful and varied. The combat-map size is perfect, not too small or big.
The combat itself is brutal and entertaining. It is always challenging to try to win battles with a minimal (0 if possible) loss of units.
AI in combat:
- Overall AI does a good job - always trying to flank me in any way possible.
- But, AI leaves their walls too quickly esp in small battles.
- At one big siege battle, each turn the AI dispels one of my units with Artic concealment & walking, instead of casting some useful battle spell. That didnt seem clever...

Heroes&leader: I like the way the upgrades work. Much more variety here.
One problem I encountered: when you can select your hero-upgrade, you cannot see how much casting points your hero has (or am I blind?). Normally this number is placed after the ‘cast spell’-ability, but not when you upgrade. And this number can be kind of important in deciding what to upgrade.

Strategic map: This looks beautiful and alive. Considering cities, I felt that in the end the cities look too similar, even with different races. This is because:
- All cities can grow to metropolis state.
- And (almost) 'all buildings can be built everywhere'
Changing the above, would make more variety in cities, for instance some more important than others. I think this may improve the attractiveness of the strategic map.
For instance, there could be more mutually exclusive choices for buildings (like Arena excludes Shooting grounds).

Audio: The music is great and really AOW-like! One bug I found: a hero (Raspik the rotten) didnt have sound for melee attack. This hero was granted me in the first turn on a random map.

Performance: Good. No problems. Graphic settings are on high. No crashes.

Overall: very good first impression and I am looking forward updates and of course user made maps....
Queen Jenny the Mediocre
Member
(id: neo222)
posted 04-02-14 11:57 AM EDT (US)     24 / 52       
The game is indeed a triumph

Installation: was nice and fast, registering required asking twice, as I didn't get an e-mail the first try - no biggie.

Setting up and performance: I'm running an old Intel core 2 Duo, 3 Ghz, 4 gig RAM, Nvdia Geforce 9400 GT. The game was really sluggish on high settings, still a bit hogged down on medium. I Changed from borderless to fullscreen, then to windowed mode and it got better. In the end I just decided to play with low settings, and while the graphics lost shadows and most eye candy, the performance is great!

The game still seems very heavy. I used to dual box MMORPG games, 3 at a time, and AoW3 seems close to that system drain.
Its a real concern to me since AoW:SM had performance and memory leak issues where after some hours even high config PCs had to restart - and it was a 2d game. Comparing to other games, they wouldn't drain the system after 8+ hours anywhere near AoW:SM after 4-5 hours of play.
I use monitoring programs and literally, AoW:SM sometimes came close to melting some elements on my motherboard; it would go 10 degrees above other games! ;( Some people on official forums said their 3d cards seem to be very noisy so apparently struggling.
I hope this tech part keeps getting improved and fixed.

Campaign: Played the fist Elven campaign scenario. The story is compelling and the illustrations are awesome! The voice overs are great too. Tactical battles were brutal and I lost my leader on the second battle. Reminds me of AoW1 combat which is nice AoW: SM seems to stall combat with Units missing, in comparison.
There were some issues due to me sending crows to explore - like getting the siege weapons but my army was far away, but I guess that happens on campaign maps with events etc. Maybe set some events to tigger only when the Leader is present?

Good ol' random maps: Played around with making the leader, then the map. Restarted a couple times due to having started near too much water - half the domain wouldn't have anything really; then I simply slided down water on advanced settings

Choosing AI opponents is GREAT!!! So is saving my leader! I went with a dwarf Dreadnought, and the other 5 leaders (AI) of every race and class left so I check everything on the first go, if they don't murder each other too much before I do =P
I wanted to try Dreadnought and only that, so I missed an option to make only Heroes of my class join my empire. Can you guys please add such an option?

Am getting to tier 4 units, just started rolling my Juggies around timbering down those ugly trees that slows down my dorfs =D No big battles with AI's yet, they seem far away.
Quests are getting harder. Still have to do mythical camps, had some epic? Ones that required reloading, all my units died which lead us to...

Combat: is *REALLY* deep and vicious. Wow! I recall reloading games in AoW:SM to retry hard battles and would think some hits were faded to do the same low damage and some attacks to miss.

In AoW3 the way we play can COMPLETELY alter the outcome of the battle. One single bad positioning and a hero getting flanked means failure. It means player skill and tactical decision is REAL, and prevails over the randomness of attack hit and miss, and damage from AoW:SM. Prevails even over bad army choices, weaker units, provided the player compensates flanking and making smart moves. Its fantastic! The best aspect of the series took on to a whole new level!

3D graphics: I have to say that, at first, the 3D annoyed me. AoW: SM 2d graphics are brilliant, and easier to see on Tactical combat, and even overland. I thought 3d was uncessary after playing Monday. But Tuesday I got used to it, and am rotating the camera around quicker, and I'm really getting into it. I tried to rotate view on the overland map, but couldn't do it - would be nice.

Squad Units: I think the Units lose some of their graphical charm from the previous iterations of the game due to being squads. Some attack animations seem clumsy. I do like the army feel it evokes though.
Maybe the camera starts too far back in TC and Units look to small?

Conclusion - TLDR:

- the game is a total triumph and seems very polished so far.
- Its a new game not a revamp of its predecessor, and the boldness of the changes is very inspiring and refreshing!
- the graphics look incredible.
- tactical combat is very deep in options and complexity; its vicious and unforgiving if you make bad decisions, which means player skill really matters and its very rewarding to master the combat.
- its scarily addictive!
- Leader Classes really took the game to another level. I knew I'd like this as soon as I read about it. Wizards always felt generic, now there is real difference in gameplay and flavor besides magic spheres!There is something about playing a Dreadnought and making a machine army that I really like, it changes the typical fantasy flavor (I had done something even more radical on my mod, with laser beam shooting, sentient machines from the future)
- some performance issues, although my machine is a low config setup (will buy a new PC soon =D). Don't let this turn you away from the game; but as I used monitoring programs on AoW:SM to find it 10 degrees above other games, I will watch AoW3 performance closely. Obviously different games yes, but I'm allowed some paranoia, since graphics are 3d now and from what I've seen and read so far.
What about the music? I loved the Life Theme in AoW2 and several themes (March of the Halflings!) in AoW1!

I could move to a small town, and become a waitress...

[This message has been edited by Insincere endorsement (edited 04-02-2014 @ 11:58 AM).]

ArkhanTheBlack
Member
posted 04-02-14 04:52 PM EDT (US)     25 / 52       
I didn't play the game enough to make any comments about gameplay and balancing so far but I'm impressed by the interface. It's intuitive and very easy on the eyes and fits rather good to the pretty art. (If just the anti-aliasing would work...)
I also love the new 'army look' with the regiments. It also makes big monsters look even more impressive when they tower over an army of rank & file troops.
nyarlathotep
Member
posted 04-02-14 05:17 PM EDT (US)     26 / 52       
Some of my impressions:

Sluggish, especially during combat...though that could be my graphics card.
Combat scenes have a bad visibility.
That mouse config is truly confusing
Strong AI
Nice that the clock is still in the game
Editor seems hard, and it's not as pretty as in SM

Proud mapmaker for the UPatch team
One gas to rule them all, One gas to find them
One gas to bring them all and with the Spice we bind them
Creator of the following maps: RenaissanceEarth, RoadToHell, YeOfLittleFaith, FrostbiteDelirium, Stormy Seas
Co-creator for: CityDwellers
together with TravisII
Merkraad
Member
posted 04-03-14 07:55 AM EDT (US)     27 / 52       
What about the music? I loved the Life Theme in AoW2 and several themes (March of the Halflings!) in AoW1!
Oh yes the music!

I really liked the few I heard so far - but I'm playing with sound off or really low due to real life. I have been playing mostly late at night and my girlfriend stole my fancy stereo headphones =P

Artist, Sorcerer, Monk and AoW Series fan
Proud citizen of BRASIL \o/ |o/ \o| \o/ |o| /o/ \o/
Blog with some art
www.the-battlefield.com ex-member with fond memories:Battlefield Player of the year 2003;Battlefield Winner of 4 Tourneys;Battlefield Winner of AoW league 2004
Proud owner of an AoW SM poster signed by Devs!
Please try the fantastic BNW Mod made by my friend Kirky Picardo! The best AoW:SM Mod!
darkelvesrule
Member
posted 04-03-14 11:14 AM EDT (US)     28 / 52       
Fantastic!

Now I'm going to whine, but don't take that as my overall impression, my overall impression is 'Fantastic!'.

In tactical battles, when it's a dark area, it's a little difficult to see where all the troops are. Sometimes they blend in and there's no mini-map too see if you missed one. Brightening up the flags a little would help a lot. Also, rotating the view is a pain in the butt with the middle mouse button, if you could do it with the shift key too that would be awesome.
Rodor
Member
posted 04-04-14 12:46 PM EDT (US)     29 / 52       
It's sad to tell it, but I'm very disappointed with new AoW game.
Maybe in some future, when add-ons and expansions will be released, I'd come back to try one more time. But it seems that nothing can be turned back. Now I feel the subtle charm of previous parts of AoW saga was killed with some kind of "standartization" - standard 3D, standard story twists, standard senseless face-and-hair customization vanity... The invisible magic of previous parts is gone.
It's just another fantasy TBS, polished, well-crafted, but - just "another one".
Triumph did his work, but namely like "work", not like "magic song" or "mysterious journey". Just work. Just another fantasy TBS. Alas.
ffbj
Member
posted 04-04-14 01:46 PM EDT (US)     30 / 52       
It's a masterpiece!
Windscion
Member
posted 04-05-14 02:09 AM EDT (US)     31 / 52       
The one thing I want in a strategy title, is to have control of what I am doing. In this regard, AoW3 is a step backward. Maybe with practice (and patches/mods) this feeling with go away.
And am I the only one to find that leader/hero portraits sometimes come unglued so that I end up with, say, three Sundren Iniochs in my stack? Weird.
nyarlathotep
Member
posted 04-05-14 09:26 AM EDT (US)     32 / 52       
Ok, so now for a second round of first impressions. I've pulled a couple of nights on this game until the birds started to sing - and not in-game... - so I guess it's one of those games that grows on you

It's the little details that make the game so good in fact. From how your populace won't build houses on lands they hate to the race-specificness of your run-of-the-mill units, these are the kind of things that make me go delve deeper into it.

In fact, I'm pretty sure that while they were developing AoW3 the devs didn't just hang out here in these HGforums to answer to the questions from us... Open up the Upatch1.5 thread, browse through the additions Swolte so lovingly announced and you'll see quite a few things returning in AoW3.
So if the the AoW3 team is listening: If you need some ideas for the next expansion/DLC, let Swolte guide you through the things we thought up on the 1.5UPatch devforum

Now gameplay-wise, I'm getting to love this game. The sea-battles are really cool, though I haven't encountered that many different enemies in a rmg-game. The Archipelago scenario does feature some waterspecific units.
In the rmg-game all is pretty laid back for the moment, as I haven't met an other player (huge map), but in that Archipelago scenario I've had my butt being handed by one of the Knight AI's.
The further you advance in the game, the more you notice what a big difference each class (or hero) does to your armies. In fact it's a dirty trick of the devs to make that possible - but it's a dirty trick that I do approve. Sooo many more gameplay hours to be had in the future

I could probably write a whole lot more, but then I would probably pass into the the realm of spoilerism. Let me just say that this game - while it has some flaws- is a game you certainly have to give a chance. Heck, how many games do I play that are initially just on the "meh" scale in their vanilla state, but after an expansion and a good mod become games I can't live without? AoW3 is already a solid game, and I foresee a bright future for it.

In short, the more you get to know it, the better it becomes.

Proud mapmaker for the UPatch team
One gas to rule them all, One gas to find them
One gas to bring them all and with the Spice we bind them
Creator of the following maps: RenaissanceEarth, RoadToHell, YeOfLittleFaith, FrostbiteDelirium, Stormy Seas
Co-creator for: CityDwellers
together with TravisII

[This message has been edited by nyarlathotep (edited 04-05-2014 @ 11:53 AM).]

TravisII
Member
posted 04-05-14 02:58 PM EDT (US)     33 / 52       
After many more hours of playing, I have to agree with nyarlathotep: the more I play it the more I want to play it.

After 4 RMG games against Emperor AI, I decided to start the campaign, playing as the High Elves. I must say, the story starts out pretty basic. Now that I am on the 4th scenario I have to say I am fully interested in the story and where it will go. *spoiler* 4th scenario gives you two choices which I assume will change the course of the campaign, depending on which one you choose.

I haven't played multiplayer yet for two reasons: 1. I'm afraid I will start a game, but be unable to finish it due to time constraints. 2. I'm afraid someone will kick my buns, and demolish all thoughts I have that I'm doing pretty good in this game.

#7373DE for Humans #EFB573 for Azracs #4AA58C for Lizard Men #9CC6E7 for Frostlings |SM|> #E4ED38 #EBEBEB #CC2D29 #CC29D5
#6BB54A for Elves #EFE773 for Halflings #D6AD8C for Dwarves #EFEFDE for High Men |SM|> #DE8EA4 #F09245 #D2BE92 #BDBDE8 #558CDD
#B563BD for Dark Elves #F74242 for Orcs #BD7352 for Goblins #947B73 for The Undead |SM|> #1DDB38 #83795A #2CAAA4 #AC762A
Colors for AoW1 and AoWSM **A Proud Member of the Unofficial Patch Team!** ~2010 AoWSM PBEM Singles Champion~ http://blog.noblemaster.com/
ffbj
Member
posted 04-05-14 05:49 PM EDT (US)     34 / 52       
Pulled a couple all nighters myself.
I think they either updated the camera or I suddenly become really adept at it. Use of wasd and qe, rv, are critical, and there is a bit of a learning curve. Eventually though you can look at every single angle from almost any direction, birds eye view down to individual units.

[This message has been edited by ffbj (edited 04-05-2014 @ 05:51 PM).]

The_Stranger
Member
posted 04-08-14 01:34 AM EDT (US)     35 / 52       
Here are my first impressions: the graphics are very pretty on the global map, but in combat, I find them a huge chore. I can't see who's doing what half the time, and with the large groups of units, the animations become all jumbled together, and I feel like I'm watching a dust cloud. Maybe I need glasses

For me, tactical combat was the most enjoyable part of the previous games, but it's a grind here....I force myself to do it only when necessary, and I don't enjoy it at all: it's murky, impersonal, and only being able to assault cities from one direction is an irritating simplification.

I have a relatively new machine with a lot of memory that plays Civ V with no problems, but even the simplest movements here are either sluggish or jumpy no matter what settings I choose.

I'm going to keep trying the game before adding more.

[This message has been edited by The_Stranger (edited 04-08-2014 @ 02:36 AM).]

Nephrati
Member
posted 04-18-14 04:03 AM EDT (US)     36 / 52       
Hi all,

There is a lot I would like to comment about “our” new AoW, but I try to make it short. First of all AoW3 is looking nice and it seems to be inherently consistent. Good job!

What I do like:

- classes are fun to play
- AI acts more “clever” in tactical combat (“flanking” was a good idea)
- CPU no more is having problems to pass mountains and water terrain
- no transporters (which has been too much advantage for human player vs. CPU)

What I dislike: The AoW3-editor.

- handling could be improved in general
- trigger/scripting part is still confusing to me
- terrain building: there we need a selection being more multiplex imho (decoration only is pine, pikes with skulls, colonnades, torches and light effects so far).

At last editor (was it with Upatch 1.4? don’t know exactly…) we have been able to create really nice looking hex (pine group with single willow, some rocks at ground mixed with fern in _one_ hex).

Ideas:

- what about wind/water mills again (I don’t know how difficult it is to “convert” to 3D), so we don't need "coastal" gold mines
- removing red flag of watchtowers (vs. owner’s flag)
- maybe adding 1-2 racial units like vampire bats to give more touch to each nation

With regards,
Nephrati
tumult
Member
posted 04-28-14 06:36 AM EDT (US)     37 / 52       
First impressions are crisp and beautiful. It's also heavy on the hardware - cooling system running full blast. But when you do the google earth zooming on the strategic map and you move through higher atmospheric clouds it's just very satisfying. And the sea looks like approaching Barcelona airport on a sunny day, sparkling with swarming fish underneath the surface.

In combat you really need to think about what you're doing. Every attack carries some damage now, and flying units are not immune to ground melee units (they land in between moves). I like it. Hard experiences trying to take fortified cities! You also get a little xp now for damage and other actions, not only for kills - consistent with the principle of no misses.
And then there's the Flanking and Threatened Zone, cover and arching attacks, and the fact that you can turn your unit in the direction you want - effectively choosing which hexes you want to threaten.

I never used diplomacy much in AoW:SM, but I like that proposals now have more variety - peace does not automatically mean open borders. One diplomatic answer I got was "We can't afford it right now" (sic). These communications help deepen the experience of being in a world with other empires.

Generally there seems to be an effect from every facet in the world, whether it be the type of terrain or if you just lost a battle or maybe you are trespassing. I have yet to see how serious these effects can influence the game - no rebellions in my cities yet.

Room for improvements:
Many people have commented on the right-click action principle. I'm getting used to it, and it kind of makes sense as a way to avoid moving mistakes, but I was also frustrated in the beginning. I don't see this changing, so frustration will continue if you still play AoW:SM in between your adventures in AoW3.

My biggest gripe is the choice of representing a unit as a squad when in tactical combat. I'm guessing the reason is a way of representing how much HP is left in a very graphical way, but I would love to hear from the devs what the thinking is behind it. It doesn't make sense to me; the medal system (now with 4 levels) and only 6 units per hex invites the player to feel more responsible and caring towards each unit, but in tactical combat the squad style units makes them more like cannon fodder. This creates some cognitive bypasses, and a couple of times I found myself thinking "Oh, was that my elite Musketeer I just lost there? I didn't notice!" In AoW:SM you could always clearly see your favorite units.

The upgrading window for a hero does not show current % for protections/weaknesses and no spell points. You have to click back and forth between player box and upgrade box. Please fix it.

When embarked you can't see original HP. Perhaps add it in parenthesis.

When there's two heroes in a stack, who gets to be army leader? Can you control it? I tried moving one out and back in, and he seemed to get second place this way, but later he was back in first place.

Shortcuts are not quite working. ´j´ seems ok, but ´h´ just shuffles between two heroes, not all of them, and no, I didn't ´g´-nuke them
It would also be nice to be able to press ´enter´ as affirmative to yes/no dialog boxes.

When using the courier window it would really be a help if clicking on a receiving hero would bring up that hero's inventory next to the giving hero's inventory.

There's automatic movement at the end of a turn. It would be great to have this as an option at the beginning of a turn. In simultaneous mode the AI moves almost instantly, making it impossible to evade or catch up.


Bottom line impressions: I love playing this game, and remember, devs - criticism is caring
you3
Member
posted 04-28-14 08:10 AM EDT (US)     38 / 52       
I have completed the first campaign and I have the following follow up comments:

I really want a leadership quantity to armies that determine how big the army is (instead of the static 6). While not tier specific one could see tier 4 units requiring significant more leadership than tier 1 (i.e, you could have large armies with low leadership units or small armies with high leadership units).
-
I really want rock/paper/.. back (i.e, flying units that can only be hit by flying and range units) and similar.
-
I dislike the 20 level cap on heroes (though perhaps the heroes get powerful too fast - i just dislike it when they stop gaining levels - not that I think they are too weak).
-
I strongly believe they removed diversity of the game to make it easier to balance but this removal of diversity also makes the game less interesting. Also with the current design there is a strong desire for all tier 4 armies since they are so much more powerful than lower tier (hence my leadership suggestion).
Marilith77
Member
posted 04-29-14 08:55 AM EDT (US)     39 / 52       
After playing for a while (single maps and the campaign) this are my first impressions, or maybe a bit more.

Disclaimer: There are two major styles how to play this game, and a lot of personal styles in between. Often discussions run between play styles. I do not claim to have the 'right' style, and I do not tell others how to play this game. Sometimes I find it extremely annoying that some people tell others 'how this game is meant to play', and then they go on to lecture them why their wishes and complaints are invalid, because they play it 'wrong'. I will not do that here. Everybody should be able to play how she/he likes and how she/he has fun with the game.

That said: My preferred style is fantasy adventure. People who love to play in MP cannot use this style, it would be tedious for other players, and maps with big story lines are not ideal for a balanced multiplayer game. Also, playing against a human being is different to playing against an AI, obviously. I never used the AOW series (I have them all, and installed on my PC) in MP.
So my play style is rather slow, building up, exploring the map, enjoying the story of the map and not rushing in to win! I am aware that there are maps which allow to rush the AI and win rather fast, and people say they have no fun with that, because it is 'too easy'. While I can understand that, it simply is not of interest to me. I do not play this style, it is no fun for me.
Abuses and exploits are no fun too - I try not to use them. I can understand that this is a big factor in MP games, but for SP games it is not so important.

So - many things I am going to mention here should be understood in connection with my play style. I am sure I am not the only one who prefers this kind of play style.

Here are my first impressions:

Game, 3D and Interface: Triumph made a very complex game, as they did before in this series. The first main difference one sees is the new 3D view. It is probably necessary to make things this way today if you want to sell. The new 3D view is beautiful, and lovingly made. If you have a unit travel by ship, the unit can be seen tiny and standing on board of the ship. (Try this with an Elven Initiate). The animations of the units are very nice. They obviously invested a lot of time to make this beautiful.
Yet there are drawbacks to this too: The 3D view costs a lot of graphic power (I think they will go on to optimize this in the future). Compared to AOW-SM the PC runs quite hot if you play for hours - and this is a game which will run for hours. AOW-SM needed nearly no power at all with its bitmap graphics. So we pay a rather high price. I am not complaining, and I have good hardware (Win7 64, 16GB memory, NVIDIA GTX780, I run it in 2560x1600).
Another thing with 3D is the strategic map view, which is now remarkably inflexible. When you zoom out, all too soon clouds appear. Further zooming out brings up sort of a paper map, which is very well done. Now we can make maps and post a very good image of the entire map in paper map form! But I would wish they allowed me to zoom out more before the paper map appears. The same goes for zooming in, all too soon you are stopped and cannot view the scene in more detail. While this is clearly done to avoid blocky graphics (the textures and details cannot have more pixels) I also would prefer to zoom in a bit more. Both limits affect the graphic engine. The more one zooms out, the more graphic power is needed, since more objects are on screen. I think the best option would be to make both limits configurable by the user as far as the engine allows it technically.
The combat maps are very beautiful and lovingly done. Take the time to look at them, there are a lot of them, including bridges and other objects, if a fight starts there. They obviously are created on the fly and so are quite flexible, reflecting the environment. Yet here too things are a bit inflexible, especially the camera manipulation. In the strategic map you cannot turn the camera (I do not understand why, but I can live with this limit), in combat you can. The game tries to give you a good view and during turns from your opponent the map view is manipulated by the game, since combat animations are also done very well. Outside of this during your combat turn you are allowed to manipulate the camera, and this is a bit of a pain. You can shift the camera along the plane (forward/back/left/right) and you can turn it around itself. So if you want to look at a combat detail, you have to shift your camera and then turn it, shift again, turn it, until you see things in the right angle. This is not only a graphical thing, it is necessary if you want a unit climb walls during a siege, and to see correctly what a unit can do. The free camera controls during combat should be reworked. There are several ideas but up to now they had no time to answer it or to do something, since they are fixing bugs and imbalances at the time.
Also, if you load a save the view is default, centered on your leader and zoomed in. You have to adjust it every time for all planes. It should be possible to save the zoom and the camera location with the game and to restore it.
Using 3D for this game was a huge step, and we should give them time, I hope it will become even better.
The idea to exchange the mouse button functions so that AOW-SM and AOW3 are in direct conflict and incompatible - I better not comment on this. Maybe later on make this selectable? Please?

Triumph obviously did not want to redo AOW-SM so they changed a lot in game mechanics and rules. Not all of this changes I like...

Ranges and areas of influence: This is the absolutely best new idea in the game, I think: Every city creates an area of influence and all resources inside are automatically yours, except when directly occupied. Gone are the zillons of smallest units stealing mines. You can also build forts, which create such zones. This new concept works very well indeed!

New concept Good/Bad: It works, but somehow one has the impression that it is not ready yet. There are actions, which are 'Bad', which not in all cases are logical. If an Independent occupies one of your cities and in the next turn you take it back, 'declaring war' on the Independents is an evil act?
Also diplomacy is about to be patched, since there were glaring bugs and oversights. Crossing the border to another zone is an act of aggression. Yet the AI does not care about this, it does not want to be blocked by your borders. This is ok, but every border violation is accounted as your fault in diplomacy??
If an opponent (often independent cities) declares war on you, it is registered as if you had declared war on them. Yet the behavior of independent cities to have a relation to your empire is very well done! The spirit quests of AOW-SM are gone, and replaced by quests of independent cities, which will give out rewards and in the end cities will join your empire.
A remark: If a city joins because of a quest done, you often will receive a unit, if you pay them to join, all units disappear. So you have for a peaceful solution either one (weak) unit, or none. This is not ideal, since often these independents are Outposts which had a small amount of troops and yet no possibility to create more. The troops should remain (where would they go anyway) if the city joins peacefully. If you take them by force, you are responsible for guarding them.
Also the time for 'absorbing' a conquered (taken by force) city in your empire is unclear to me. I had cases were an measly independent outpost took 7(!) turns. Why? How is this calculated? An enemy city from another empire took only 2 turns.

Races: They (had to?) cut most of the races, maybe this is a side effect of 3D, since every race needs animations and models. But the game seems different now because of this. The major bad buddies (Shadow, Undead) are missing as players. There are now only 6 races (Humans, High Elves, Draconians, Dwarves, Goblins and Orcs).
Undeads, fairies and dragons have their own dwelling which you can own and this gives you the units. But they cannot be players. I hope that more races will be added to the game later. This 'everybody can be bad' concept is not very appealing to me. And it develops in game by actions, maybe as a map designer you have more influence, but scenarios where a 'big bad boy must be fought' are more complicated now. Since the campaign runs along similar lines it should be possible.

Units: The units are streamlined (*sigh*) too, gone are the fanciful units from earlier AOW. There are only a few individual units for every race, and they are very similar. This is by design, since they could balance it better this way. It still costs the game its versatility and fantasy content. The higher units (T4) are all class specific, and therefore available for every race. This too is simplified and supposed to create more balance, but looking at the discussions on the boards and at the huge patch which is oncoming (1.1, second patch), which leaves literally nothing unchanged, this was not very successful. I hope they will add to the game later on, when the dust of launch has cleared.

Buildings: The concept seems not all too well thought through, and the 2nd patch will add to an inflation of buildings, only to delay players in their development. There are buildings which have nearly no effect (example: Big Temple, does nothing except giving a bit of mana). Other buildings have only small side effects. Either they plan future additions for this buildings or the buildings are only 'fillers' in the building tree. To delay players in the development (it is all the rage now that T4 units are appearing too early in the game) it should be enough to to rise the costs of certain buildings. Here seems room for improvements. Also it is rather nasty to install the patch, and suddenly you are missing a lot of buildings in cities which were fully built up before.
The 2nd patch is really that big, they leave nothing untouched. I just hope they do not patch their game 'to dead', with all the yelling and discussions on the forum...

Water Travel: Now you cannot use transportation. Every unit can travel over water, units with floating, swimming and flying can cross the water as one would expect it. Units that do not have this features have to 'build ships'. And this can be either good or very tedious. It is both a curse and a blessing. If a unit wants to cross a body of water, it needs an amount of move points to go 'into the water', i.e. to build the ship. Afterwards it has zero move points and can start to move on water the next turn. This does not apply to floaters, swimmers or fliers. On water the unit moves normally and if the unit is landing again it does not loose move points, it can move with the points which remain.
The major drawback to this method: First you need a lot of move points to go into the water, then you have to wait one turn until you can continue the move. If the map has a lot of rivers or small bodies of water (mostly seen in caves) this becomes annoying very fast: You move to the water, and loose 8-10 move points, because you cannot enter it. Next turn you go into the water, but your move points are set to zero. Next turn you move the unit, cross the water, and if you are unlucky you have the same at the next patch of water. This gives too much power to fliers/floaters/swimmers. They can cross such an area in one turn, where walkers need 4 turns. Normally this would not be that bad, since there should be spells to give a unit swimming/floating/flying. But no - since unit enchantment is in combat only now, this is impossible. Imagine a swamp land with a lot of water pools: Crossing it can cost you a ungodly amount of time and annoyance. I think while crossing rivers and small bodies of water will and should cost time, this is overdone and very annoying.

Transportation: There is none at the moment. In XL maps this is a major drawback, since movement becomes very tedious. It lasts for felt eternities to move a stack in certain areas. You can build roads, but cannot build bridges, so if you have two or three rivers to cross your walkers need many turns for short distances. This is something map designers have to think about. I hope they will give us some transportation (as a high level unit/ability). Now, if you have a big empire spaced out over the map you have either fliers/floaters/swimmers or you have to forget distant dwellings, they are on their own. Interestingly all the heroes have the ability to become fliers via mounts. So Triumph did see this problem, but the solution for heroes only is unsatisfying.
An idea for transportation: Make something flying, like the balloon or the zeppelin, but disallow heavy units using it. Most T4 units are either flying/floating themselves, or are too heavy. So the influence of transportation could be limited to light units.

Spells: There are a lot of them, but they are also streamlined. Spells depend now on your class. It is impossible to exchange spells with an ally, and unit enchantments are only possible in combat.
In combat there is only one spell allowed per round. These changes (IMHO!) were done fairly late in the development. As a consequence players find too few applications for magic and build huge stores of mana. In AOW-SM you had to carefully hoard your mana, because unit spells cost a lot. Since they ditched this, mana overflows and they are now implementing several complicated rules to repair it.
IMHO the unit enchantments are a big loss. Combined with sometimes tedious travel the inability to enchant units is sorely missing. The rest of the spells is usable, but it did not help, that in the first version of the game the AI dispelled every spell in the next turn, if it could. Many players, including me, chose to forget about spells.
The background is oversimplification, IMHO. Now you can disjunct every enemy spell. IN AOW-SM you had to invest mana to better your chances, now Disjunction will work every time. You cannot affect targets you cannot see, but one unit in the area and your city spells are undone. This was 'fixed' in a way, I cannot agree with: They simply changed the AI, it will 'endure' spells for several turns. I just hope that human players in MP games are this forgiving. I do not hold my breath. This is something they have to fix in the future.
IMHO they did many spell/magic oriented changes/decisions fairly late, some things look not well thought out to me.
The one spell per round rule applies also to the leader, so he cannot cast if a hero has casted a spell in this round. This makes magic weaker and only for the case when somebody combines several heroes. I think this rule should be ditched or at least modified.
There are a lot of spells with 'chances'. If I use my Warlords Berserk spell, in many cases the chance is 50% or lower anyway, even for T1 units. This means a powerful hero has lost a combat turn for no effect at all, and a second hero or the leader cannot help. Better not to use it.
This is true for several spells, while other spells are clearly overpowered. Chaos Rift was discussed heatedly and other spells, while fairly high level are too powerful IMHO. These spells you can cast, and it may be that for such a spell the 'one spell a round' rule could make sense. But the light spells like 'Bless' should be possible without this rule.
Also vastly overpowered is the 'Blind' spell, as it is low level. It can disable an hero, since the hero cannot cast (not even on himself) if blinded and he has no range attacks. This spells lasts for the entire combat. It can be dispelled, but with the one spell per round rule your opponent is always in the lead. I saw the AI cast blind every turn, disabling all my troops. The spell is much too powerful for the mana cost and level.
I think Triumph should rethink these things after the launch dust has settled.

Editor and maps: The editor is complicated, but usable (I am an experienced PC user and a programmer/developer myself, so I have no problems). It is not very user friendly, but I think map designers will cope. Documentation is missing for the time, but I think it will come. There are no examples for well done maps, since Triumph chose to disallow to look at their maps. This is a major drawback since you could learn a lot by looking at the campaign maps and other maps by Triumph. I hope that they give out examples later, since scripting and a lot of other things are unclear. But it is possible to make maps now, not with every possible feature, but usable and good maps.

Conclusion: A well done game, and Bravo to Triumph. I think they did very well for such a complex game. I just hope they sold enough copies so that they can support it for a time. Now they are collecting wishes, complaints and bug reports and are rather wildly patching the game. The beta test did not show many problems and bugs. I think it will be at least a month until the first dust settles and it will allow Triumph to look in more detail at the game. I also hope they plan expansions and additions. I am willing to pay for such things, provided I like them.
Triumph should also think about people like me: Abuses/Exploits are not very interesting to me, I want nice playing maps, stories and not hectic rushing and fighting. I find several limits rather annoying and not helpful. A large part of the game and the changes mentioned above were dedicated to MP balance and the 'fast and aggressive' play style. I hope that other play styles are supported in the future and limits should be changeable on the map. The map designer should have even more control what is allowed on his map, what you can do and what you can build. This is possible just now, but several limiting things could be relaxed if the map designer can decide if he allows or disallows things.

M.
Merkraad
Member
posted 04-29-14 10:48 AM EDT (US)     40 / 52       
Excellent post, Marilith77! that sums up a lot of my thoughts about the game now, after I played more.

I also think we need Unit enchantments outside of combat back. And more spells of each element (fire, earth, water, air) and Creation and Destruction.

The one spell per round limit needs tweaking for sure. There are so many spells to cast!!!
Maybe the limit can simply be for direct damage spells?
Also, I think the Leader should ALWAYS be able to cast ANY spell he wants. Of course this could lead to two direct damage spells per round, or be constrained by the limit of one.

I have played the game with music on now, and its great

Artist, Sorcerer, Monk and AoW Series fan
Proud citizen of BRASIL \o/ |o/ \o| \o/ |o| /o/ \o/
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www.the-battlefield.com ex-member with fond memories:Battlefield Player of the year 2003;Battlefield Winner of 4 Tourneys;Battlefield Winner of AoW league 2004
Proud owner of an AoW SM poster signed by Devs!
Please try the fantastic BNW Mod made by my friend Kirky Picardo! The best AoW:SM Mod!

[This message has been edited by Merkraad (edited 04-29-2014 @ 10:50 AM).]

Jomungur
Member
posted 04-29-14 01:00 PM EDT (US)     41 / 52       
The once spell per round limit was put in because some of the direct damage spells were too powerful if you had multiple heroes in an army. E.g., in early game if you were attacking an army of two heroes with your leader, your leader could die in turn 1 before making a move sometimes because of three spells hitting him. The other option is to make spells less powerful, but no one wanted that. Hopefully they'll change this a little as Merkraad says, or add more combat spells that enchant your entire army. They wanted to do the latter but couldn't in March because it would involve changing spell descriptions, which is a lot of work because of translations.

Not having permanent unit enchants- everyone notices that and I also lamented it at first. But the devs really didn't want to have these; as they didn't want to see enchanted armies running around all over the place.
ArkhanTheBlack
Member
posted 04-29-14 03:37 PM EDT (US)     42 / 52       
Not having permanent unit enchants- everyone notices that and I also lamented it at first. But the devs really didn't want to have these; as they didn't want to see enchanted armies running around all over the place.
And instead of that we've now only T4 stacks running around anymore in late game because it's the only way to get a powerful army.
I know it gets old to always get back to the good old Master of Magic, but there all T4 units were summons and summons could neither get permanent enchantments (except some rare battle field spells) nor could they get experience.
This way even normal troops stayed useful and could even get powerful enough to offer a decent alternative or counter to powerful T4 summons.

Not to mention the whole elegance of the mana/casting power/research system. And what's Triumph's answer to mana overflow?! A mana cap!!! *sigh*
Why can't people just copy-paste solid good game mechanics instead of introducing new broken ones?!

I appreciate Triumph's efforts to fix the problems by releasing huge patches with balancing changes, but I think some problems are the result of broken game mechanics, and those can only be fixed by changing these game mechanics themselves.

[This message has been edited by ArkhanTheBlack (edited 04-29-2014 @ 04:09 PM).]

Marilith77
Member
posted 04-30-14 06:02 PM EDT (US)     43 / 52       
The once spell per round limit was put in because some of the direct damage spells were too powerful if you had multiple heroes in an army. E.g., in early game if you were attacking an army of two heroes with your leader, your leader could die in turn 1 before making a move sometimes because of three spells hitting him. The other option is to make spells less powerful, but no one wanted that. Hopefully they'll change this a little as Merkraad says, or add more combat spells that enchant your entire army. They wanted to do the latter but couldn't in March because it would involve changing spell descriptions, which is a lot of work because of translations.
Interesting information! Were you on the beta test team? I was not and did not follow any posts before launch of the game.
But somehow many in game mechanics look as they were changed/patched in the last moment...
Not having permanent unit enchants- everyone notices that and I also lamented it at first. But the devs really didn't want to have these; as they didn't want to see enchanted armies running around all over the place.
Interesting too - so somebody on the dev team killed the unit enchantments. I wonder why - they were in since AOW, AFAIK.

I have now the last patch. They really made the new buildings (two for each class), and they are obviously only to artificially delay the production of T4 units. And they did nothing for existing games, so if you had a city with could produce T4, you have to spend 3 or 4 turns and pay 300 gold to build the new buildings, just because you installed the patch.
There is now a mostly senseless tree of buildings, most of which do nearly nothing, but 'lead' to the next building. Not beautiful!
Buildings make no sense at all now. Buildings are simply invisible objects and upgrades, which you need. Thats all.

I just looked at the tree of buildings for AOW-SM. Every one has a function and gives something. Not so in AOW3. Some buildings give a bit of mana (senseless with the new mana cap, which after the patch simply deletes mana), thats all. What is the function of 'Great Temple'? Nothing, +10 mana, thats all.
I think they are really going on and patching the game to dead, because they listen too much to the wrong complaints.

The game looks now completely different, if it is better, we will see. The crowd on the forum applauds with every change...

I have in a running game a maximum Dreadnought leader. He has with several 'Grand Palace' buildings now around 170 casting points (over double of what you could reach in AOW-SM, but no real application for it) and can 'store' 1200 mana. The rest is simply deleted. But running spells seem to be calculated before that, so only the overflow is deleted. The correct solution would be to calculate the maximum mana demand (per city, world spells and so on), if you use all you have, and correct the income, not cap it. The Dreadnought leader has with all his holdings an inflow of over 900 mana per turn! This with all his spells on all his cities active. But I suspect, then people would have asked why they need several buildings, when they do nothing...

I think in part this is so, because in AOW-SM two things were different:
1) Every building could be seen in the city picture on the strategic map. So you could not simply add 12 new buildings for 'balance'.
2) Everything was documented in a manual, so changes had to be small. Now we have no manual at all, except this in game guide, which is nearly unreadable for me. (I will not sit with full graphic power running in a map and read a manual, which does not even have a list of the spells). Now they are completely free do change the game, because supposedly the manual in game changes too.

The new water travel - I mentioned it above - the longer I play with it, the more annoying it becomes. You lose around 40 move points worst case every time you change from land to water.
It simply is not logical. I need 12 (I think) move points to enter the water, if you have less, you cannot enter and have to wait a turn. Then you can enter, but after entering you have zero move points and have to wait another turn, sitting on your ships. Why? If I have 14 MP, then I can enter immediately and have to wait a turn too. Why? If I have 10, I loose 10, and then again a full amount??
I think it should be changed so that entering the water (building ships) costs a fixed amount of move points. If you have it, you enter and start moving on water if you have still enough MP, if not you have to wait a turn. But this 'you need at least 12 MP to enter, and then you have to wait a full turn' is not nice. Moving walkers is very annoying.
What adds to this: Your leader and heroes often have flying mounts, so you see them flying, but if the travel with a stack of walkers, the walkers use 'invisible' ships. If you fight, you see this: Every walker unit is on a ship, while the hero is flying. If you forget this fact (easy, because you only see a flier representing the stack), and go to land, you loose again one or two full turns until you are on water again. After this happened several times on an 'isle style' scenario I stopped playing the scenario...

They also changed random maps:
From the patch notes:
Reduce the period of unhindered early game expansion in Random Maps

The distance between player start positions now take into account the amount of players with regards to map size. Few players on a large map will result in a significant nearer distance. Likewise, many players on a smaller map will result in a slightly larger distance.
So exploring is not the play style they want, probably because of growing game imbalances in later games? Or because of the constant whining of 'T4 spam'?
And instead of that we've now only T4 stacks running around anymore in late game because it's the only way to get a powerful army.
I know it gets old to always get back to the good old Master of Magic, but there all T4 units were summons and summons could neither get permanent enchantments (except some rare battle field spells) nor could they get experience.
This way even normal troops stayed useful and could even get powerful enough to offer a decent alternative or counter to powerful T4 summons.
Yes, and to correct the problem with longer games (100+ turns) they now place opponents together so they fight fast and the rest of the map is not needed at all. You have no time to explore it, you should not have the time, or T4 spam will develop. So XL maps are for 8 players only. And games should end after less than 100 turns or so? I can understand this for MP games, but SP? Some maps in AOW-SM I played for weeks (1-2 hours on many evenings).
Not to mention the whole elegance of the mana/casting power/research system. And what's Triumph's answer to mana overflow?! A mana cap!!! *sigh*
Why can't people just copy-paste solid good game mechanics instead of introducing new broken ones?!
Players today want fast action, fast success and easy success. Things should not be too complicated. Background information and thinking is out...
I appreciate Triumph's efforts to fix the problems by releasing huge patches with balancing changes, but I think some problems are the result of broken game mechanics, and those can only be fixed by changing these game mechanics themselves.
I am not happy. Unhappy with the last changes and unhappy with the direction this takes...

M.

[This message has been edited by Marilith77 (edited 04-30-2014 @ 06:19 PM).]

COCONUTKNIGHT
Member
posted 05-03-14 07:50 PM EDT (US)     44 / 52       
I'll comment on the rest later, but you do realise that you THERE is a list of spells in the tome of wonders, right?

Because, you said:


"(I will not sit with full graphic power running in a map and read a manual, which does not even have a list of the spells)"


Also, I believe setting the starting distance to 'far' will indeed start players off far from each other.

Overall, I do think that some of the patch goes a bit too far, but it'll never be perfect.

Also, people asking for overland enchantments need to remember how you used them in Shadowmagic-stacks of doom. Bring them in, and the game will become meaningless. It's a game about soldiers, led by heroes, not about heroes with the occasional solider (which is what AoW1 was more like).

Ditto multiple damage spells/combat turn. I do wish people would stop asking for these and actually think about how that would work out. Try chain lightning and hornet swarm on the same round, with no reply. Or multiple quick dashes on a flying unit. Or, 6 hero stacks, each with a damage spell (result:P dead enemy stack, before they have a chance to say hello. Result, terrible game) Thankfully, that's already been tested, and found to be very unfun. A combat spell and a support/buff/debuff spell in the same turn could work.


Anyway, I get the impression that the last patch was put out because it had the 'easier' fixes in it, and the deeper fixes (e.g. more things to do with mana, which is why it was a scarcer resource in the previous games, because it served 2 functions, not one, or seeing if spillover production can actually work, which would cut the heart out of t4 spam) are in the works.

"Triumph's answer to mana overflow?! A mana cap!!"

Like I said above, a simple solution, and what I hope is an interim one.


As for transportation by rivers, I actually use the rivers as roads. You get extra movement there, and you aren't likely to fight anything difficult enough to make embarkation a real penalty, and you can move after you disembark, so you can cover some serious distance that way. Also, would it make any difference, fundamentally, to your complaint if the movement requirement was 12 mp, or even 2? I suspect you want to get rid of the turn you have to wait, yet this I find odd, because that would remove any consideration of water as an obstacle, i.e. remove thinking, and you lament that :

"Players today want fast action, fast success and easy success. Things should not be too complicated. Background information and thinking is out..." (italics mine)

yet are pushing to remove a system that requires slow action, slower success, more difficult success, has some complexity, and requires thinking.... :P.


The same argument applies to stack of doom overworld enchantmants and multiple combat spells per combat turn.


EDIT: Also, you have to consider this as the foundation/framework of a new game, and I FIRMLY believe that there will be new races put in (or old ones coming back).

I also think that the alignment system is indeed being looked at.

As always, don't quote me as gospel.

Take an old, dirty, hungry, mangy, sick and wet dog and feed him and wash him and nurse him back to health, and he will never turn on you and bite you.

This is how man and dog differ.

[This message has been edited by COCONUTKNIGHT (edited 05-03-2014 @ 07:53 PM).]

Marilith77
Member
posted 05-04-14 03:27 PM EDT (US)     45 / 52       
I'll comment on the rest later, but you do realise that you THERE is a list of spells in the tome of wonders, right?
No - I did not find it. I do not really like this kind of documentation, but I klicked on every content marker (Icons left side) and did not find it. Will look again...
Also, people asking for overland enchantments need to remember how you used them in Shadowmagic-stacks of doom. Bring them in, and the game will become meaningless. It's a game about soldiers, led by heroes, not about heroes with the occasional solider (which is what AoW1 was more like).
As I said in my first post above: It also has to do with play style. If you create '.... of doom', I am sure, this is also possible now and every time. If you style a game so, that every abuse is impossible, the game will be annoying. I fear this is a fact. Not using abuse (including exploiting the AI's weaknesses) is a question of play style. If somebody wants to win every time so bad, that she/he uses every exploit possible, then nothing can be done. This is harder in MP, because others are affected. In SP this person destroys her/his own game.

Absolute safety is an illusion, an absolutely safe cutting tool - does not cut anymore...

But I am with you: Very obvious abuses are rather bad. But in AOW-SM I never wanted to use the possible abuses (which were not so obvious IMHO) and I never thought about them. So it can easy be, that I did not even find all possible abuses. I do not care! If I loose a situation/fight, then I will look for another strategy, which is the point of the game, and I will not look for abuses/tricks to win anyway.
Some of the possible abuses and exploits I read about, and did not find them myself. Call me naive, but this is not how I want to play this game. It is rather easy to win against an AI, if you watch it and find its weaknesses. But If I want fun, I will not do this to the full extent. Or I will destroy my (AI) opponent, and the game becomes boring...
Ditto multiple damage spells/combat turn. I do wish people would stop asking for these and actually think about how that would work out. Try chain lightning and hornet swarm on the same round, with no reply. Or multiple quick dashes on a flying unit. Or, 6 hero stacks, each with a damage spell (result:P dead enemy stack, before they have a chance to say hello. Result, terrible game) Thankfully, that's already been tested, and found to be very unfun. A combat spell and a support/buff/debuff spell in the same turn could work.
See above - and somebody pointed this out. But - why was this not a problem in AOW-SM? Or was it? I do not know. I found it interesting, I can understand that the devs wanted to do something - I cannot understand that it never popped up in early play tests before the beta test. It is a rather obvious problem, if you know all the numbers...
As for transportation by rivers, I actually use the rivers as roads. You get extra movement there, and you aren't likely to fight anything difficult enough to make embarkation a real penalty, and you can move after you disembark, so you can cover some serious distance that way. Also, would it make any difference, fundamentally, to your complaint if the movement requirement was 12 mp, or even 2? I suspect you want to get rid of the turn you have to wait, yet this I find odd, ...
<snip>
I was not very clear on that, obviously.

Please try this: In a cave with many small (1-3 hexes) bodies of water, which you must pass, try to move a stack of walkers, dwarves for example. Then you will see what I mean.

I said, that I find it okay, that crossing a river costs time. But I find it is overdone.

You have a stack of cavalry, 32 MP. You move quite fast, even in a swamp, even without a road. Now you come to a small lake and have 10 MP left. You must cross, but you cannot enter the water, since you do not have 12 MP. So you loose 10 MP. Next turn you can enter, and loose 32 MP, since you again cannot move. Then you cross, and can use remaining MP, when you land again. So - entering the water costs you 42 MP (worst case) and 2 turns, leaving it costs nothing.
This is all well, but imagine you are forced to cross more than one body of water. This gets annoying very fast...

Planning your MP is not possible, if there are no alternative paths. Fact is, that you can loose between 42 MP (worst case) and 0 MP (best case). If you have 12 MP left when you reach the water, you can enter in the same turn, and move in the next turn! If you have 10 MP, you wait one turn, enter the water and loose all MP you have, and must wait another turn.
There must be better solutions with a more constant and logical outcome. Entering the water costs you all the MP you have left. But to enter you need 12 MP. This can cost you 2 full turns. Or none, if you can enter in the first turn. You can always move if you are in the water and have MP.

What I find suboptimal: Fast stacks (cavalry) loose the same amount as slow stacks. This forced pause and the minimum of 12 MP to enter the water is too much.
I would change it so, that entering costs 2-4 MP, like moving on land, and then you have a forced pause of 1 turn, every time. With this solution you cannot enter, if you have no more MP, but this would also happen without water. The one turn pause (entering the water sets MP to zero) is ok.
Using rivers as roads is fine - if it is a river and it leads where you want to go. If it is a body of water you must cross (small or medium lake), you cannot use it as a road.

Play a scenario with isles or one with a cave and many bodies of waters inside, and you will find out what I mean. Crossing once is ok, but (forced) crossing of more small bodies of waters traveling a fairly short distance is annoying. This is why I said, that map designers must think of this.
EDIT: Also, you have to consider this as the foundation/framework of a new game, and I FIRMLY believe that there will be new races put in (or old ones coming back).

I also think that the alignment system is indeed being looked at.
Yes to the framework idea. I am typing this posts in the hope, that others will read it and it will somehow reach the devs. I also write on the official forums, but there is so much noise, that I see only a small chance.
If I would think, that this is a bad game, I would not post anything, but simply write it off.
I hope, they have sold enough to have the time to repair some problems and to put more content to it.

The alignment system and the diplomacy is worked on, they have said so. We will see.

M.

[This message has been edited by Marilith77 (edited 05-04-2014 @ 03:40 PM).]

ffbj
Member
posted 05-04-14 07:11 PM EDT (US)     46 / 52       
With boats you could embark with the minimum points to move, 2 I think. Then move the rest of your move that turn minus 1/2 to represent the embarkation/debarkation cost. Thereafter you move at unit speed +2 while on the water. If you have enough movement points, your full move, you could cross a river in 1 turn, otherwise it would take two turns to cross. Most times you won't have your full movement so you can't embark and disembark in the same turn. So just crossing a river takes 2 turns. You could also add a ferryboats that have similar rules at reduced cross so if you half your movement points you could cross from ferry point to ferry point.
ChowGuy
HG Cherub
posted 05-04-14 11:40 PM EDT (US)     47 / 52       
Please try this: In a cave with many small (1-3 hexes) bodies of water, which you must pass, try to move a stack of walkers, dwarves for example. Then you will see what I mean.
And the alternative is what? Is your stack of walkers portaging their boats, enough to carry your entire army and all its equipment, at no additional cost? Think of the time spent waiting not only as embarking upon but buiding small craft. Alternatibely, you could have a system like AoW1/AoW2 wherein pre-build "boats," but have wait until they move to where you need them. If they can move there at all, else your "cave with some small lakes" becomes completely impassible.
You could also add a ferryboats that have similar rules at reduced cross so if you half your movement points you could cross from ferry point to ferry point.
And therein lies the rub. How do you build/move those ferries there in the first place, without spending time doing so. Sure, there could be additional units or structures created, but it won't answer Marilith's original objections which essentially translates to "I don't want rivers to be an obstacle at all."
ffbj
Member
posted 05-05-14 01:12 PM EDT (US)     48 / 52       
You could have ferries that where placed and built, like forts. As with forts they could only be built in viable locations, and of course you would have to build two, one on each side. I was just trying describe a different method, that changes little except it does not rob you of all your movement points when you hit the water embark. I was not trying to answer any specific question, just to put my own ideas out there, which could be implemented without much difficulty. The ferry idea could use the current teleporter pad code for point to point travel.
ChowGuy
HG Cherub
posted 05-05-14 01:44 PM EDT (US)     49 / 52       
Sure you could. Or you could create a terrain type for a "bridge section" or maybe a "ford section" with a higher move cost. But any of those things merely another another point-to-point move mechanic. They don't change the existing mechanic of embarking at any arbitrary shore hex and moving to another arbitrary shore hex.
COCONUTKNIGHT
Member
posted 05-05-14 01:48 PM EDT (US)     50 / 52       
@ Marilith, if you never used the stack of doom, then hats off to you, but I do believe that the emphasis in AoW3 is more towards it being a wargame, with heroes thrown in, as in heroes are your best units, like generals, but that no single unit should ever be totally invulnerable to another.

Casting buff spells on the strategic map would heavily affect this, even with a spell as simple as 'bless' (+ 2 attack and resistance). Now add other buff spells, and you can easily create a stack of doom, and just because you won't do it, doesn't seem to me a good argument to allow it in game.

"see above - and somebody pointed this out. But - why was this not a problem in AOW-SM? Or was it? I do not know. I found it interesting, I can understand that the devs wanted to do something - I cannot understand that it never popped up in early play tests before the beta test. It is a rather obvious problem, if you know all the numbers..."


It's something to do with the damage that spells inflict. My memory is hazy, but in SM, multiple spells per combat turn wouldn't kill off the enemy stack entirely, in AoW3 they will. So, you could reduce the combat spell damage, but that is a tonne of work, or limit it to one spell per turn, which for me is quite a good system, because you really need to think about which spell o use. If you fireball that archer and he has 1 hp left, you know he'llkill a certain unit next turn, whereas if you stone skin the likely recipient of said arrows, you gain + 3 defence which might be enough to survive the archer barrage.

Also, as silly as it might sometimes seems, I actually like rivers being an obstacle.

I actually won a game today by using rivers as highways. You get some mad sailing speed on them. I double enveloped my opponent by using them .


edit: regarding embarkation, if the system allowed you to keep your mp when you embarked at a harbour, that'd be pretty cool.

Take an old, dirty, hungry, mangy, sick and wet dog and feed him and wash him and nurse him back to health, and he will never turn on you and bite you.

This is how man and dog differ.

[This message has been edited by COCONUTKNIGHT (edited 05-05-2014 @ 01:55 PM).]

JamesEde
Member
posted 06-04-14 10:45 AM EDT (US)     51 / 52       
Well, I'm a bit late in getting here. Only got the game a couple of weeks ago. Haven't played too much besides the first couple maps of the elven campaign and a simple scenario I made myself to test seige combat but here are my thoughts.

I think its pretty good, but in my mind it is not the timeless classic that I consider Shadow Magic to be. I played Wizard's Throne/Shadow Magic/UPatch 1.4 for over 10 years and I'm not sure I'll be playing AoW3 for that long, but I'm enjoying it right now as something new. I'm still playing SM UP 1.4 in PBEM though and enjoy the two equally right now. That could change, however, when UPatch 1.5 comes out.

The graphics are nice but I think the programmers put too much emphasis into them. They look nice but they also upped the system requirements so much I had to buy a new computer, they increases the file size so PBEM (my favourite) is not possible, and the 3D camera angles make large battles frustrating and time-consuming. Honestly, a 7 stack battle from multiple directions requires so much panning, zooming and rotating that once the battle is done I just save and exit the game - I'm exhausted. The top down, 2D graphics of the previous games may not have looked as pretty but they sure made the play control easier. This reminds me of when I was younger and Nintendo introduced the Nintendo 64. Sure, it had 3D graphics but most of those games seemed less fun to me than the simpler 2D Super Nintendo games, because the play control got so much harder. You wasted a lot of time just trying to get the right camera angle so you could see what you were doing. Even some original NES games are still more fun than today's games with their advanced graphics simply because the gameplay is so easy and fun. Ultimately, I would argue that ease of play should trump eye candy.

I have no major problem with the changes in gameplay related to classes and magic and leaders and whatnot. Although I prefer SM, I understand they wanted to do something different, just like AoW1 was different from WT/SM. In many ways, it feels more like AoW1, with beautiful drawn loading slides and hero-leaders. I do, however, find the idea of goblin angels a bit silly. I prefer my evil races evil and my good races good, but whatever.

One change I don't like though is how classes have drastically reduced the racial differences. I loved the multiracial armies and empires of WT, where you had lots of different units with unique abilities. I feel like if you have two wizards of the same class facing off against each other there's no variety. A draconian hunter seems to me to look and act just like a goblin hunter or any other hunter. There's not enough variety of units either. You go into the map editor and scroll through all the units and it seems much less than what we had in SM UP1.4, and what units there are seem to simply be recoloured versions of each other. The elementals in previous games all looked different. Now they're just the same with different colours. Expansion packs should help this, and good custom maps which set up very different players will also reduce the generic feel to the armies. I have to remember that it was SM, not WT, that truly impressed me as a perfect Fantasy TBS. So if there is a AoW 3.5 then hopefully we will see this game's full potential.

No PBEM is a big drawback for me, as that is the only method of multiplayer I have time for. I can't sit down with friends or go online and play for hours, and with the new battle system taking so much longer, the game time is likely even longer than SM. I thought perhaps it was possible to upload a hotseat game to a cloud computing folder and play a multiplayer that way but due to the new way the game seems to be run I can't even find the save files on my harddrive, so I guess that is out of the question too. If the game is to be run through gaming sites like Steam, could these not be used to run a proper turn-based game exchange, where you play your turn and send it on via the site rather than through email, since email services can't handle the large file size? Without PBEM or some sort of equivalent I am doomed to only play single player and this, more than anything, will limit the game's staying power for me. I long ago stopped playing SM single player games. They get boring too quick. But I still love PBEM. There is nothing like the challenge of human players, but PBEM is the only MP method I have time for.

In conclusion, I think it is a good game, but not as good as SM. I would give it a B- (compared with B for AoW1, A- for WT, A for SM and A+ for SM UP1.4)
Queen Jenny the Mediocre
Member
(id: neo222)
posted 12-05-14 06:23 PM EDT (US)     52 / 52       
The DLC is so overpriced for what you get. Unbelievable.

I could move to a small town, and become a waitress...
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