“… 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.”
I think it’s great that injuries will matter more in the game. However, if injuries matter to the point that a powerful champion eventually becomes useless or unusable, I think that simply fosters an incentive to reload.
Since I think that the intent is to balance out the power of heroes, I have a suggestion that I think both fits the original intent of this change yet will add increased depth and fun to the gameplay along with interesting decisions about how to use your units and resources.
At the heart of it, the incentive to reload to avoid crippling injury really boils down to two things, I think.
1) No one wants to have a once great champion reduced to the point of zero usability without any possibility of rehabilitation.
2) The game provides no incentive to let them get injuries.
I think both of these can be addressed fairly easily entirely within the framework of the existing game by providing a mechanism for “rehabilitation’ of champions and by making that process fun and interesting.
My suggestion is to add quests for badly injured champions that “heal’ battle wounds or conditions. This provides a (time consuming way) to eventually bring a champion back up to fighting snuff. The quests could be unique to injured champions and completing each one could remove only one or two random conditions/injuries. If they have many injuries, that could take a while. They quests could be triggered only after the champion reaches a certain level of debilitation.
An example of such a quest might be to find a reclusive healer. Once found, the healer might have a quest of their own they want the champion to complete before they will help them. Another example: Find a legendary lost healing spring which might have guards that need to be defeated before the healing spring can be used. Each quest would only remove one or two “wounds” so a champion with a lot of them would have to complete multiple quests to get back to a usable state.
Since the champion is badly hurt and can’t fight well on his own, you would need to send units or possibly another champion along with him for protection and help. This introduces interesting game play decisions about how you want to use your units and resources during the game. Is it better to use my units now to protect that front line over there or defend this city over here or is it better to send them along on multiple, time consuming quests to eventually regain the power of one of my best champions? How many such quests should I let him go on? Just few enough to where he is marginally usable again? Or complete enough of them to where he is a power in the world once more? These are fun kinds of decisions to make.
If such a system was in place, I would not reload and would let my champions get injured because I would be able to have a lot of fun later on in the game trying to bring them back to glory once more. I would welcome and look forward to the interesting decisions I would have to make in order to rehabilitate my champions.
This suggestion also serves the purpose behind the intent of the change quoted above of balancing out Champions power in the game because they still get injuries, still become ineffective, still get removed from play for long periods of the game while they are questing for “cures”. The difference is that this is fun.