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AoW2 Gameplay Help & Strategies
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Topic Subject: Age of Wonders 2, E3 Demo Info
posted 05-21-01 01:39 AM EDT (US)   
Here's what I could gather from the Age of Wonders 2 Demo at E3.

Like Leaders, each side will have a 'Wizard' that functions as the head of the army/empire. You create your wizard at the start of the game, apparently like a Leader, and he is a Unit in the game. Wizard's now have personality types, like Expander, that will affect how their empire performs. You will still be able to alter/grow your character throughout the game. Wizards are no longer associated with a particular 'race' and will have a greater ability to cross racial barriers than the Leaders in Age of Wonders 1.

Non-Wizard Hereos will still be present in the game.

Cities can now be built from scratch, starting from small outposts and growing to major metropolitan areas. Cities appear to have a variety of improvements that can now be purchased/built. You can still raze/loot cities. One such major addition is a 'Wizard's Tower', that apparently has varying levels. When your Wizard is in a Wizard's Tower, he is now capable of exerting his influence over a larger area of the map. The size/number of your Wizard Towers (each town can have one) will affect your Wizard's casting potential. Your Wizard can use two Wizard's Towers to move units and himself around the map. Your Wizard can now interven with spells in battles occuring within his influence sphere, even when not directly involved in the combat himself.

Units built in cities will now be more closely associated with the race that built them. The greater units, like Mammoth Riders, will have representatives of their race (riders) of their race. The more 'magical' units are being moved to the summoning spells in the game, which will have increased importance over AoW I.

Many map objects, such as Reflecting Pools, Mines, Nodes, and Teleport Gates, are still around for now.

Lennart has played Alpha Centauri.

There are now mana 'Gods'. You can curry favor or earn the ire of these gods. If you annoy the Nature Goddess by burning down a forest, she may ask you to Raze a Death Node to earn her favor back. Gods will give gifts, like gold, when you are in good with them.

"Out of gratitude, she's willing to give us either some gold, some mana, or some Nymphs; And we'll take the Nymphs... Always take the Nymphs." - Josh Farley

Tactical Combat has been compacted and moved to a 'smaller' map. The units look bigger and have much more fluid animations. Placement at the start of combat can vary, depending on the attacker's approach. You can now 'ambush' enemies and begin a Tactical Combat surrounding them. Units now operate on new combined move+attack system, where they are no longer required to do one or the other. The more a unit moves, the less it can attack. Ranged units can now run & shoot. There are terrain levels on the tactical map that will affect the battle, like the accuracy of ranged attacks. Terrain types, such as Swamp, Dirt, etc. will still play a factor in determining the effectiveness of your troops in a combat (sounded like they're keeping in the Morale idea from Age of Wonders 1.) Status effects, like Stunned, Frozen, and Burning, are still present.

A new race is called the Draconians, they're a very Dragon-like race.

Terrain-altering spells, like Freeze Water and Raise Terrain, are still present.

Age of Wonders 2: The Wizard's Throne will focus more on empire-building but still maintain the relatively low resource micromanagment requirements of Age of Wonders 1. Only a few resources, like Gold and Mana will be used. Diplomatic and Race Relation models will be improved over Age of Wonders 1. Multiplayer will allow for LAN, Internet, hotseat, and E-mail, to support up to 2-8 players.

A random map generator and map editor will be included.

On the surface, the 'feel' of Age of Wonders I has been preserved. The Tactical Combat graphics have been radically improved over Age of Wonders I; it looks FAR better. Spell effects still maintin their very vibrant, flashy, pixel-style effects (and look better too).

Utterly amazing. The Age of Wondesr II demo impressed the hell out of me. I could hardly contain my disbelief that they had already made so many improvements and still had nearly an entire year left until shipping.

Nordramor
Nordy!

Replies:
posted 05-21-01 04:52 AM EDT (US)     1 / 21  
what about unit portraits?
Hand painted, or 3d rendered (ugh)?

And thanks for the update.

You lucky sob.


Kheldar Blackmane:
I put the
"Romance" in "Necromancer"

Two Fundamental Truths about Friendship you shouldn't live without:
"Take care of my friends, I can handle my enemies."
"Treat your friends as if they will one day become your enemies."
posted 05-21-01 06:01 AM EDT (US)     2 / 21  
Ack, I've been quoted...

Wizard & Hero portraits will be hand painted... ahem.


Josh Farley
Programmer
Triumph Studios
posted 05-21-01 06:05 AM EDT (US)     3 / 21  
Yeah, thanks for the info.

And Hurray for nice pictures,

(Goes off to look for the nypmhs)

posted 05-21-01 12:15 PM EDT (US)     4 / 21  
Beautiful!

What races have been ready for the E3 and which other are in planning? I have seen Draconians, High men (?), Elves and Orcs... anything else?

Tell me about ambushes... can units hide in the strategical map?

And teleport... how easy it is teleporting a large number of units? That could be a VERY heavy (negative, in my opinion) influence on the game!

How has the infantry been upgraded compared to AOW (in AOW it was nearly useless, while any real army is based on infantry)

Are archers still as strong as in AOW1?

PLEASE TELL ME TELL ME TELL ME!!!

[This message has been edited by Black Knight (edited 05-21-2001 @ 12:22 PM).]

posted 05-21-01 01:07 PM EDT (US)     5 / 21  
Shush you little baby, I'm sure they will reveal more facts about the game as time passes.

- All you need is love -

The Wizards of Creation

posted 05-21-01 01:40 PM EDT (US)     6 / 21  
The units are being rendered all the time... those are the main units we have built so far, in addition to Wizards and many creatures (elementals, spiders, wolves, etc)... Btw, High Men are now referred to as "Archons", in part to avoid the natural pun invoked when you said their old name too fast...

Most of the rest are balance-related questions, so all I can say is that we have a great deal of time and energy allocated to properly balancing AoW2... We are acutely aware that balance will be the difference between a good game, and a classic...

A few bits of additional info:

With armies starting a few hexes closer to each other, archers will need greater protection to be effective. Additionally, some units will have shields, or other methods of protecting themselves from missile attacks.

Attacking the same enemy with multiple units allows you to sap their ability to fight back (MovePoints), so the weaker units will have a far greater ability to overwhelm their opponents with superior numbers in AoW2 (protect those Heroes!)...


Josh Farley
Programmer
Triumph Studios
posted 05-21-01 02:43 PM EDT (US)     7 / 21  
>> Attacking the same enemy with multiple units allows you to sap their ability to fight back(MovePoints)

Very interesting.

So is it the same with attack? Number of attacks a unit can perform depends on movepoints?

posted 05-21-01 07:12 PM EDT (US)     8 / 21  
Yes, units that move <= 1/3 of their MovePoints get a full 3 strikes (or shots for archers). 1/3 -> 2/3 MovePoints = 2 strikes, and > 2/3 MovePoints = 1 strike. So you balance movement with # of attacks when deciding on your target. Using any ability (or spell) uses up all your Movepoints for the turn immediately.

Then when you end your turn, all your units get their MovePoints back. During opponents' turns, each time your units are struck at (even if missed), they lose some Movepoints. So it is possible to start your turn with a unit having 0 Movepoints, if the oppoenent ganged up on them during their turn. It is also possible to attack a unit enough that they can no longer retaliate (until next turn), so you can safely attack even the strongest enemies as if they had no weapon.

As far as map size, starting locations are spaced out so that only the fastest units (like cavalry) can reach the opponent during the first player's turn. Additionally, archers lose accuracy with height & distance & obstacles, so their chances of doing great damage during the first turn are greatly reduced. You should ---VERY--- rarely see battles end before both players have had the chance to move, and then only in complete mismatches where a quick wipeout should be expected.

This system is working great, and with the minor tweaks that we'll likely make as we balance the game over the coming months, I can gaurantee that you'll win or lose battles because of your own strategic choices, and not because of who got to move first, or any other arbitrary factor.

Discuss.


Josh Farley
Programmer
Triumph Studios
posted 05-22-01 02:43 AM EDT (US)     9 / 21  
Sounds neat, Josh

Also sounds like quite a few of the original Master of Magic ideas are coming back into the game.
I like it!

posted 05-22-01 04:13 AM EDT (US)     10 / 21  
I really like the principles you guys are applying "victory based on tactics rather than other factors", "balance makes the difference between a good game and a classic", "movement ponts" (maybe "action points" would be a more correct way to call them, since they are at the same time both movemenet and fighting points) etc... Its almost impossible to criticize your work, at least on a theoretical level!

The only things that could worry me is having armies starting close to eaech other, and having cavalry being able to reach the enemy during the first turn... I feel that cavalry should be harder to hit by archers but very vulnerable to infantry (who are always pikeman)... and the infantry should be more vulnerable to archers... the good old morra system teaches!

I also like the shield idea which improves the defense against arrows... maybe it could be obtained by a barracks improvement in cities or maybe just elite troops can do that... I'd sort of like the idea of a little elite infantry guy who catches the arrows with his shield.
A fully upgraded infantryman should still be realively cheap to produce (once all the buildig improvements have been made) and should be a considerable threat...

In order to encourage the production of Infantry, I'd also make it particularly important when put inside cities. They could be the only kind of army that could act as a garrison, effectively improving the morale of a newly conquered city (acting as a sort of "police"... a role certainly more correct for them than for a magical creature), and they could also have a solid bonus when defending inside the walls. Infantry should always have a powerful defending bonus (or maybe a special defending skill).
IT'S CLEAR THAT INFANTRY SHOULD BE THE ARMY SEEN THE MOST ON THE MAP: CHEAP AND MULTITASK!

BUT WHAT OTHER RACES ARE GONNA BE THERE? There is word of "death nodes" does it mean undead are gonna be there? And the Dark elves? Those guys are cool and even at Blizzard they are introducing them in Warcraft III (they call them "Night Elves").

[This message has been edited by Black Knight (edited 05-22-2001 @ 04:32 AM).]

posted 05-22-01 05:59 AM EDT (US)     11 / 21  
BK said something about elite units, so I was just wondering, how is that applied to AOW2? Will there still be two levels (silver/gold medal)? Are you still going to be able to train units in an Arena (or similar)?
posted 05-22-01 01:03 PM EDT (US)     12 / 21  
If using an ability uses up all of you movement points, does this mean that healers will have to start out adjacent to a unit it wants to heal rather than being able to move upto and then heal the injured unit?
posted 05-22-01 01:23 PM EDT (US)     13 / 21  
Well, it seems my prayers have been answered.
posted 05-22-01 02:27 PM EDT (US)     14 / 21  
Melee is an ability, as are ranged attacks. Using any ability/spell uses up all -remaining- Movepoints, meaning that you cannot move -afterwards- (Just like in AoW1)... Hopefully that's a bit more clear...

Yes, the medal system will make a reappearance...

Cavalry can reach the enemy on turn #1, but if they do so, they will only get 1 strike because of the long distance they need to travel. So that CHAAAAARGE!!! becomes a strategic decision.

I'm not going to blow the secret of which races will make it into the game, no matter how much (or loudly, mister ALL CAPS) you ask... :P


Josh Farley
Programmer
Triumph Studios
posted 05-22-01 04:49 PM EDT (US)     15 / 21  
Secret???? And telling us about the highboy name change wasn't a secret...hehe

Come on Josh..the frostlings have to be in the next game.

Serious question though, will Wizard appearance (as a unit) be generalized?


Or could you be like a gobbo wizard..or a FROSTLING shaman.

I think by my posts you can see I like the little guys.

posted 05-22-01 06:00 PM EDT (US)     16 / 21  
I think Wizard should be allowed to be of different races... unless you guys are planning to make different wizards according to magic schools.
posted 05-22-01 06:06 PM EDT (US)     17 / 21  
Blah.. i think josh and ALL the triumph team knows what will happen if the dwarfs arnt in it.

Quote:
Multiplayer will allow for LAN, Internet, hotseat, and E-mail, to support up to 2-8 players.


Thats all i want more Multi-player info.


420 SL/AoW Admin
Guild of Nightaal
Crimson Halls SL Clan

posted 05-23-01 08:40 AM EDT (US)     18 / 21  
Wizards do not belong to a race...

Josh Farley
Programmer
Triumph Studios
posted 05-23-01 08:49 AM EDT (US)     19 / 21  
OK wiseguy ( ) we are playing with the Lord of the Rings idea that wizard come from the gods blah blah... Still there is no reason why they HAVE to be anthropomorphic being if they (the players) don't want to... unless you tell me that you guys simply don't feel like making 11 extra masculin and 11 extra feminine wizard units (two for each race which is not human)...

That would make sense... (anyway I don't particularly mind there are more important issues)

[This message has been edited by Black Knight (edited 05-23-2001 @ 08:51 AM).]

posted 05-25-01 10:22 PM EDT (US)     20 / 21  
"Attacking the same enemy with multiple units allows you to sap their ability to fight back (MovePoints), so the weaker units will have a far greater ability to overwhelm their opponents with superior numbers in AoW2 (protect those Heroes!)... "

I could kiss you josh! lol
This will help the gaem soooooooooooo much its not even funny. To think over the last year we've sent in a million suugestions to keep leaders strong and still not have them unbeatable, and not one has even came close to this. Great thinking

If you guys get time i think it would be a nice addition to make you be able to pick your wizard, or sorcress as a race rather then have them all be human. Like mik said, being able to pick a frostling shamen or a Archon saint would personalize it... heh i guess thats what you could call it. Its just one of those little things that makes a game


"Because your a man of honor, and alitle bullheaded."
"Maybe so, But ive always like that honor excuse better."

Jesta

posted 05-26-01 05:30 AM EDT (US)     21 / 21  
As I said it's not major issue... but being able to personalize even the look the leader WOULD DEFINITELY make it more fun... But since they started me on this... I would also like to see a different look for leaders as they grow in levels... Let's say a low level look - a medium level look - and a high level look... There are more important issues; but I am vain, and I want my AOW alter ego to look sexy.
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