First off, thanks to everyone who has played the beta and provided feedback. You are probably wondering what we are going to do next.
From a high level there are several types of gamers, different experience levels, different amounts of hours that they will spend with FE. Someone playing their first game will appreciate and need different things than someone playing their 10th. We need to appeal to both groups. Because of that we will spend resources improving things that don't matter much to the sorts of hard core players that do things like read this post.
For example we are cleaning up the choose sovereign screen and making the sovereigns more archetypical. Procipinee is clearly designated as a summoner, her summons start at higher level and she gets a free spell that puts that ability to use. The sovereign backstory isn’t on the screen anymore to make room for more art and a general open clean feel instead of the prior lists of stats.
Imbuement has been removed from the game. I loved the flavor of it, but players didnt realize they could be casting spells with their champions. And it makes the champions less unique if the thing that distinguishes them most (their access to spells) is missed. It was a bit of complexity that could be dropped without losing any good gameplay. Most notably since all the champions can cast from the start when you find enemy champions in the wilds they start lobbing spells at you. For those of us that are accustomed to attacking lone champions in the wild, seeing them starting combat by throwing fireballs at us is a bit of a shock.
So one of our focuses right now is in making the game more approachable.
But we have some asset and balance work to do too. Not game changers, we aren’t throwing out any systems. We have a good system in place, we need to focus on the sections that are weak and take advantage of the sections that are working well.
For example, I like the ability to recruit monsters. But it’s too hard to get and not rewarding enough when you do. So the Bonding Ceremony and Mercenaries techs are gone. Instead the ability to create those improvements comes on other techs that were already worth getting (higher level improvements that allow you to recruit things like dragons and ogres are still special techs). Most importantly when you train a monster like a Drake or Troll in your cities they will start at the normal level for that monster type, not level 1. So your drake will start as a level 6 drake and capable of doing some damage.
The magic tree had some exciting things hidden in it but it needed some work to bring it out. So we created a few new craftable items like magical staves, enchanted robes, etc. Along with this came 30 new unit’s designs, 3 for each faction. These include trainable Mages (units with magical staves that shoot fire or ice), mid-level warriors with magical weapons and end game units that have the best enchanted weapons, armor, traits and mounts the game has to offer. If you see these marching over from the AI player you may be in trouble.
Champions aren't being nerfed as much as things are being balanced around them. The most significant direct change to champions is that injuries matter more. If you have a champion with 6-7 injuries on him he will be severely handicapped, it may be time to hand his equipment over to a promising newcomer without the battle scars. XP is divided by the members of group to make it less rewarding to steamroll the map with your stack of super heroes.
But the big changes are in dramatically decreasing the tech costs. There were always good units to make, but if your champions were level 7-8 by the time you got to them then it didn't matter. Now your trained units are better, come earlier and mean more.
Quests are another area that need some attention. Specifically we want more interesting rewards on them. If you give the potion of restoration to the butcherman he will join you. If you take the noblemans daughter back to his estate you will get a choice of rewards to pick from. And of course any quests with bugs need to be fixed.
Add that in with a bundle of stability and performance improvements, bug fixes, new art and sounds and you have our hit list for the next patch. I will release more details as it gets closer, we have lots to do and I'm excited to see what you guys think when you have a chance to play it.