Inioch's Rebalance (updated)
After years of finetuning, I've decided to make an account and submit both my rebalance mod and my map (which will be in multiplayer downloads and called Before the Fall). I've simply included all my files from my Release folder. I've played a few popular mods here on these forums and while I enjoyed most of them, some kind of lost the AoW charm for me. This mod freshens up AoW by changing the way the game is played by both Human players and AI, but still stays true to the original Age of Wonders in the ways we deemed most important.
Alot of time and consideration with input from many players has gone into this mod, but it doesn't feel like a drastic change from 1.36 AoW in the sense that it keeps the charm that makes Age of Wonders so great to start with.
I had a spreadsheet file with all changes made, but the file is lost and I'm so used to this mod that I sometimes forget what is different and what hasn't changed from the original ruleset. So I will try to list a fwe things I can think of:
I) The single most apparent change: Spell costs. Combat spells in particular are much cheaper (ex: Vaporize 2, Cold Breath 3, Ice Shards 4, Great Hail 6, Death Ray 2, Chain Lightning 8, Mind Decay 6, Frost Beam 4). Spell costs encourage greater diversity in spells used (rather than spamming chain lightning when lesser spells are so much cheaper they become worth using) and huge increase in amount of spells used in combat. Instead of me and my friends racing to pump up Defense stats on Heroes, then Atk+Dmg etc, its now worthwhile to upgrade Spellcasting, and leads to fresher battles between us rather than just 'Super Hero" melee smackdowns. Low level AI heroes can potentially be dangerous now if they have Spellcasting.
Enchantment spells are also cheaper and have lower upkeep. A few spells have been added to Cosmos, such as Cosmagic Surgery and Summon Syron (at level 4). So every player can eventually research to a Syron no matter what spheres he takes and this has allowed us to not be binded to taking 4 spheres of a single colour at the beginning of the game to summon level 4's, and diversify a little more. Also pretty awesome once the AI starts summoning Syron bodyguards for its Leaders..
II) Many stat changes to many units, but nothing drastic and mostly not more than +1 or -! here and there. However the stat changes were made with much consideration and trials, and are meant to differentiate the races a little more from each other. A few examples:
-Each unit gets fearless at Silver medal now. Every unit also gets an ability at Gold medal to make veteran soldiers more valuable. (ex: Gold-medal Elf Swordsmen get Archery & Marksmanship I, Archers get Strike at Gold medal..still not strong melee fighters but still. Lizard Frog Riders get Poison Strike at Gold, Green Wyvern gets Dragon Slaying)
Every veteran unit is now noticeably better than a non-XP'd unit.
Many weak units were also made to be better. For example, Kobolds and Slugs now have Wall Climbing, giving them a real tactical use. Nymphs/Ladies of Pain have Bards Skills.
A few changes were made to units in a couple races:
-Undead have no Archers, instead they have Necromancers (non-melee, black bolts, dirt cheap to produce)
-Undead have no more Priests, instead they have Werewolves (fast forestry units, high damage, low defense)
-Dark Elves have Stormlord instead of Spider Queen
-All battering rams have 26 move points and no longer slow down entire armies.
-Turtle Catapults/Ballistas have Strike (although with very low Atk)
-Builders are now 'Trebuchets'... they still have 'Construct' ability but now also have Hurl Boulder +Marksmanship I and cost 95. They are meant to represent engineers within an army and are now more useful. They must also be installed first in the Builder's Guild, as Flamethrower is now first available.
-Flamethrower Ram: the flamethrower has wall crushing, cost 65... makes having a battering ram more interesting
-Another huge change (at least on maps with water), boats have been completely changed and now make for exciting naval battles (even the AI is more active now with boats), examples:
-Transport Ship now has shoot javelin (cost 45, Def 1, Res 2, HP 10, MP 28)
-Dragon Ship (cost 66, Def 3, Res 3, HP 15, MP 32)
-Galleon is an absolute tank now with 30HP, Def 6, cost 255, MP 50, and is now actually worth making)
Overall the rebalance in ship stats, abilities, and costs makes for diversified and exciting naval battles which I had never experienced before.
-Anyways there are WAY more changes to units but most are fairly subtle, as mentioned they all get abilities at gold medal now and all get fearless at silver, and some get a +1 or -1 here or there. I tried to eliminate any "bad" units from the game by granting new abilities or lowering their cost.
As a final note on units, each race now has a Level 3 'Wizard' unit, made with the sprites from Horseless Leaders. However, they are NOT produceable and only found in the editor, you wont find them in the game. If you download my map Before the Fall, every race spawns with their Wizard. That was the only reason I made them.
-Another change made is to the availability of abilities both at beginning of game and during level-up. Ability costs have also been changed, with some dropping alot and others going up by alot. Alot of time was spent tinkering with these numbers before finally reaching a balance we were all happy with.
-I believe quite a few items have been changed from the original AoW, however many have stayed the same.
In any case, this mod has been years in the making and in some ways makes big changes, and in other ways stays true to AoW. It's the one my friends and I will be playing indefinitely.
PS if you download this, download Before The Fall (multiplayer map).
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Very nice Gameplay changes that made for a refrshing playthrough. I used way more spells and with it way more Tactical battle. For the first time I played through the campaign on hard without ever pumping my Heros stats, going for an Archmage kind of skillset instead.
Here are a few things I have noticed while playing:
The Flamethrowers are too strong now. They totaly replace any other wallbreaking unit. They have twice the HP of all other Tier 2 machines. They can 1v2 normal Tier 2 units. I like the idea of them breaking walls but they should not have so much HP.
Some races have unique maschines (e.q. Orc ballista) These machines should also have 26 movement points.
The Undead Necromancers have no poison immunity. That leads to some funky situations in the campaing where the undead have perma poison clouds over thier citys.
Blessing and Stone Skin are too strong compared to Tier 1 buff skills of other aspects. Reducing thier costs magnifies that effect. Should probably make the other buffs stronger.
That all so far. Thanks for this nice little rebalance :)
DL'd this cuz it was the newest mod on the site. I used to play Warlock mod back in the day and kinda wish this mod added same amount of new content. But i like how it feels like original for the most part. except much better balanced.
-I like how different races units get different perks when they level up and how level ups matter more for infantry and others
-i like the magic cost rebalance. i used to just level up defense right away and make a one man army. it was cool to be a powerful mage, and even enemy heros with spellcasting 1 could be a threat. unless theyre independents lol. would be cool if you could make independent heros have access to cosmos spells at least
-also i like the challenge of better supported ai armies with flamethrowers. and the trebuchets/builders. i agree ai armies with one battering ram used to be too easy to defend. but 8-stacks of flamethrowers suck lol so i try to control builder guilds or burn them down
-i also like the changes to boats, it makes it fun to build a navy