It’s looking possible that this week will see the first beta of War of Magic v1.3. v1.3 is the most significant gameplay changes since the game launched.
We are anticipating having 3 beta phases of it. v1.29 (this build) will introduce most (though not all) the coding changes. v1.29a will being introducing the balance changes and the AI overhaul. And v1.29b and on will be polishing, bug fixing, and tweaking.
Here’s what is in the v1.29 build:
Elemental: War of Magic v1.29
+ AI more reactive about updating strategy when a target city has been conquered / destroyed
+ Janusk has been removed. Goodbye old friend. See you in the Fallen Enchantress tutorial...
+ AI now evaluates which player they care about the most with Dynasty ties being a big motivator. When a sovereign dies, it will give its kingdom to its heir.
+ Repeatable improvements now increase with cost as more are built.
+ World difficulty now sets the default AI player difficulty
+ Modders can set the base cost of repeatable improvements in the appropriate .xml file
+ Base unit CON reduced from 5 to 3
+ Special buildings now longer required to build special units. Instead, these buildings provide bonuses (i.e. no need for a command post to train groups)
+ Minimum number of units you can train has been increased to 4.
+ Trained units default HP reduced from 5 to 1
+ Trained unit groups that survive a battle will heal to full strength (i.e. If your group of 4 survives the battle with 1 guy left, it will be replenished to 4 over time). Hat tip to Konan.
+ Insufficient free tiles message added
+ Zone of control from improvements reduced
+ Tech costs increased
+ Number of starting quest locations increased
+ Pedastrians disabled (for now)
+ More aggressively freeing memory
+ Notable locations may now be explored regardless of your level.
+ Notable locations will be spawned NEAR you when you increase your exploration level (but now remember, your opponents can access them too so don't do it if you're surrounded)
+ Objects that have been marked as destroyed are now ignore by subsystems (performance improvement, stability improvement) This is throughout all game systems.
+ LOTS of code to handle the increasing costs in terms of people to run your improvements. If anyone thinks that getting highly talented people remains equally easy as you grow, ask google, microsot or apple about that. It's not.
+ Random events added (not many random events yet though)
+ Pioneers are still trained as individuals
+ Units move faster by default on the map (animation-wise)
+ Units move A LOT faster in tactical battle (let us know if it's too fast)
+ Minor factions removed. Sorry guys, they're just too lame to live for now.
+ New notable locations added to provide weapons, armor, and other "stuff"
IF it makes the window for this week, it will be Thursday evening EST.
Update: We've staged the beta build but QA wants to give it more of a go so it won't be publicly available until tomorrow afternoon EST at the earliest.