Sorry if this is posting in a weird color, there is something wrong with my forum interface, and I have a black background in this window.
Derek: I'm pretty sure we are all thrilled with very powerful champions. They are, after all, the focus of the game. Fodder is important; fodder matters. Hordes of units should have value, but, I think they should have value to the champions. I've suggested elsewhere that one way to do this is to limit non-special attacks from hitting more than one unit per attack (without a trample or cleave ability). I'm not the only one to suggest this.
I did want to point out something re:survivability of champions. I'd suggest that there should be a high "default" chance for champions to die. Maybe 30+%. Maybe higher in major battles (battles where more than 500+ total damage is done), and battles against "epic" strength armies. In turn, however, there should be ways to mitigate this chance. I'm picturing specialized items that cost crystal/mana. I'm picturing an air enchantment that allows your champion to be wisked away when they fall, or a life enchantment that brings them back (with an injury) if they die.
Along those lines, one of my *favorite* abilities in MoM was the "Undead" trait. You could cast "black channels" which would turn any unit undead as an enchantment. If I recall correctly, Death magic could bring back champions as "undead" heroes. Units that were undead were slightly buffed, but could not heal using normal means; only by life stealing.
Anyways, to add some spice to heroes, I'd suggest making it possible for them to die, and then providing ways to get them back, or pre-emptively prevent them from dying. It would be *really* cool if a higher-level hero could be resurrected through a quest. In fact, it would be *even cooler* if a higher level hero could be resurrected by an opposing faction by a quest.
Imagine "Scarla the Life Witch (or something, I'm making up the name)" brought back to life via fire quest by an Empire Faction, and then sent into battle against her former employer.
Again, reaching back into the MoM way of doing things, I believe there was a "cache" of the last 10 heroes that died. Those heroes could be resurrected. I'd allow heroes to drop into that "cache", and then have the game randomly place them into quests, and allow spells (and possible artifacts) to resurrect them.
Edit: Stealing from Dominions 3, another *awesome* 4x game. Some of the injuries in Dominions 3 were absolutely crippling, particularly because they could stack multiple times. Feeble-minded reduced your champions intellect to 0. Blinded reduced accuracy by 90+%. Horror marked, which could stack, summoned ghastly monsters randomly to fight your champion. Madness was pretty funny, as it resulted in your champion wasting all of his action points in one turn on something useless, and madness stacked as a percentage chance. I especially enjoyed the "lose a limb" mechanic. Losing 1 limb wasn't all that bad; but loosing 2 limbs resulted in a champion which could do no melee damage. All of these sorts of injuries would be *awesome* in the elemental world, and would substitute appropriately for a death mechanic. That being said, I'd think a certain number of accumulated injuries might result in a death; perhaps a 10% chance per injury after 5 injuries. .
Personally I appreciate the threads, even if they are redundant. People are in the beta to give feedback, so I'm glad to receive it.
Honestly champions were underpowered through much of development. We put more loot in the world, still underpowered, we made that loot better, still underpowered. Then we made them not die. Power!
We have some balancing to do, I really liked Heavenfalls post about making injuries more meaningful and I've checked in most of his suggestions (i should have posted in his thread, i hope he sees this). It makes it much less rinse and repeat from battles. But there is definitly more to it than just that change.
Im not a huge fan of slowing down healing as that just amounts to hitting end turn. Id rather you win in 5 turns then stretch that to 20 with 15 turns of waiting between. That isnt to say that i want instant healing everywhere, just that there is a balance between the extremes.