New features and balance changes:
- add a low level warding spell that can be used only for cities and would take 1 essence; this would protect the enchanted cities against roaming monsters - catch is, it cannot be dispelled and that 1 essence is used for good;
- add a garrison upgrade to outposts - no. of troops available is automatically given based on the attached city garrison - should be 1/2 of the city garrison for example, rounded to the next integer; if 2 or more outposts are built that are attached to the same city, available troops are split accordingly : 1/2 of the city garrison for one outpost becomes 1/4 for each of the 2 attached outposts etc.;
- quests, monsters and maybe even some additional heroes need to keep spawning continuously otherways it's a little bit boring mid to end game when the only possible battles are with the AI and the XP obtained from them is almost insignificant (ex. destroyed the toughest AI army the faction power leader AI had, only to get below 100 XP at level 14 when I need almost 3000k to progress to level 15 - and this is with a sov with tutelage, potential I and knowledge!!!) ; I think a good portion of the players enjoy the RPG-esque side of things, namely developing our heroes as much as possible and having mid to late game quests and monsters will help with that; also newly aquired heroes are hard to develop if all monsters and quests are already gone;
- quests should not dissapear if not taken immediately; this is important since sometimes the AI will trigger them by mistake and eliminate them this way. An uncompleted multi-stage quest should revert to its original state if not completed (hero loses battle etc.).
- make the AI not declare war based on available influence only - it will lose badly every time - for example, in my current game, I have a sov and a main hero, both powerhouses over level 12 which can solo anything the world can throw at them but I'm quite behind on the Faction Power list mostly due to the AI having 300+ more influence points and more garbage troops while I'm having more settlements and more population than said AI ... long story short AI declares war after warning me a couple of times that I'm pitiful and immediately proceeds to lose battles and hand over his cities to me due to lack of actual power of his troops and heroes; while this happens on the actual battlefield, in the foreign relations tab, game still says that I need to give the AI over 10k of gildar to make peace with him ; there is actually another issue related to this, all the other AIs think the faction leader is the one to hate and be wary of, instead of realising that the human player way behind in the faction power list but who is population, settlements, gildar, gildar per turn and maybe even research leader and who's heroes have completed 90% of all available deadly&epic quests on the map is the actual danger to look out for.
- change the city bonuses given for an empty building queue. Please. Pretty please even. It makes the player even stonger than it already is and the AI stuck with undeveloped cities. You've also promised in another post that you intend to not let us lack more buildings to add or to upgrade, sadly this is not the case. Provided player is smart with his city placement, buildings and enchancements, around 100 production per each city can be achieved and queue is easily eptied;
- governor path hero should get maybe 1XP for each stationed season and multiple XP for each building built in the city he is resident of - if for example building a new one or upgrading an existing building that took 40 seasons to complete, AI hero should get 40xp multiplied by the number of materials in that city or something similar; to prevent abuse, governor is eligible to gain XP for a new building/upgrade if it was present in the city at least 75% of the time when it was built; catch should be governor hero can never get XP from battles ever again - he should be restricted to its governor path forever.
- Master quest victory is too easy - if you have the quest zone inside your borders, the subsequent mini-quests are given around it - you just go a little distance to get to them or cloudwalk there and inside 10-15 turns quest is done and victory is achieved - no chance for the AI to stop you. It's better if the mini-quests for the master quest victory send you to the 4 corners of the map so to speak so that you actually need to get through AI territory to get there; also AIs should be notified of your Master Quest progress and why you might need access through their land.
- Similar to the above, Diplomatic victory and Spell of Making victory are easy roads to take compared to domination; it should be more complicated that it currently is to win the game using these.
- Current hero "deaths" and spawns in the closest city are not well implemented. You "kill" an AI hero in front of a settlement and "kill" it again when he has 2-3HP when taking the settlement - heroes should go to the capital city to have a chance of healing properly before re-engaging into battle. Otherways they just accumulate bad traits with no gain.
- Hero should lose an equipped random item (not from inventory to prevent abuse, actual equipped item) when battle is lost - item is lost for good if battle is not against enemy sov or AI and gained by victor if sov or enemy AI is still alive at the end of the battle (otherways item is again lost for good); if both heroes die, party who wins the battle has the advantage that their hero who died did not lose any equipped item.
- Allow roads to be manually built for a cost between cities and outposts (provided required tech is researched) as currently there are multiple annoying cases where you need a detour just because the roads between 3 points is not closing the triangle etc. ; also when 2 AIs you're not at war with decide to make a trade agreement, if your territory and road network is needed they actually use it for their caravans and afterwards if you place a new city or outpost near their borders, it will tend to connect the roads with their settlements and outpost rather than the closest one you have and this should not happen.
- AI should not be allowed to build cities and outposts right next (and I really mean next square to a tough monster lair) and get away with it - have current game save to prove that AI city is next to an umberdroth lair - if I want to attack the AI city and spend my last move just outside the city, the nice umberdroth will attack me, if I attack the city the nice umberdroth will attack MY newly taken city; really stupid thing is that the AI not only is not affected but it can actually occupy same tile as monsters while not having any traits that would allow them to not be targeted by raiding monsters - have different save to prove AI troops (kingdom of gilden built troops, not even tarth) are occupying the same tile as a dragon - that is simply not fair on any difficulty level.
I play on Expert (all available AIs as Expert AIs) but there's currently no difference from Challenging - all the AI heroes are underdeveloped, don't take quests and don't even go after unguarded treasure within their territory. AI should focus on sov and main hero development and stop sending heroes to their doom against impossible odds; AI should stop sending small armies in waves against well protected cities if it sees 3-4-5 consecutive waves of them are crushed - joining troops in stacks of more powerful units should be also a priority. AI should sue for peace if it sees that it loses settlements at an alarming rate. AI should try to attack multiple settlements at the same time rather than send all armies agains the closest one - it may try to do that already but it's really poor at it meaning out of 10 armies 8-9 go for the closest settlement and maybe just 1-2 for the others.