Here you go a obligatory shot of my starting location and the new Arcane Monolith. Pretty cool looking, although I personally find the crystals underneath to be overkill. Started 4/3 spot beside a river with bees, this is a Hard game. Monoliths are so intimidating that I can't help but feel they should do something extra, however they are pretty useful as is.
You know what is still kinda OP? Shadowwargs that's what. They run around with 4 movement and have 20 attack so they oneshot pretty much everything early game. With the help of her pet my Sov had no problem clearing out the nearby lairs. Units like Wildlings and spiders still die very easily to lv1 heroes in hand to hand as well.
When I headed down south I noticed that bandit lairs had tougher guardians, which is nice because they also spawned wandering single bandits. Also ran into a ogre lair that spawned a young ogre that chased me around for a bit. That's how monsters should act, tough lairs that spawn weak wanderers.
Again I really think that dead trees on the cloth map need different art from living ones.
I had a few weird bugs involving disappearing Wilding lairs but not a big deal.
At this point I pretty much ran around placing Monoliths at every shard I found until I met Yithril. I recruited a lv3 champion called Arcturas and found the edge of the arctic wildland but not the entrance. As I was exploring Yithril threatened me and I turned him down, so we went to war. Didn't think it was a big deal because I never have a problem with beating the AI.
Boy was I ever wrong... Spearmaiden in leather armor swarm! All I had was 2 disciples! I proceeded to be destroyed rather badly...
Yithril did alright in our war. They took out my undefended city first and then moved on my capital. Sometimes they could have combined groups and champions a little better but maybe that was because they had so bloody many. For the first time in any game the AI used armor, yeah!
Can't say the unique monk staffs helped much. Monk staffs seem pretty bad. Also why do Pariden get a late game lightning staff but no early game one and no amulets or rings to boost it? Seems kinda obvious that they should. Pariden is fairly distinct but I hope you replace the Adept trait somewhere down the line. I don't like the research techs, they only affect early game. Magnar is still much more unique then Pariden. I hope more stuff for Pariden is in the works.
Anyway I will stop being so demanding, the game is fun to play the AI seems much better, I will have to move down to challenging. Great work Brad!