So so glad to hear that units in a Party/Squad/Company will be making individual rolls. I'm sick of training a Squad of Archers and watching them ALL somehow miss... It's 8 friggen arrows, one is bound to hit... And maybe even do damage... Which reminds me, I seem to recall reading somewhere that you guys are changing how To-Hit and Damage values work. If I'm remembering that correctly, it'd be nice to get a new word-bubble-thing for the 'Hit for 0 damage' effect. Like maybe just have it say 'Grazed' or something. 'Blocked' perhaps?
Toby, nice to meet you. I'm Rik, been here since Beta P2, and actually took a hiatus from Elemental until recently. Good to have you aboard, say hi to Kael and Brad and everyone there for me.
Nitty-gritty. I don't really know how I feel about some of these changes, though the rest I'm excited for and can't wait to test out. Iffy about Global Mana, changes to Casting methodology, and specialists to some extent.
I get that Imbued units are now acting as conduits, rather than individual casters, but I still feel like it'd make more sense for them, once Imbued, to somehow contribute to the mana pool, maybe not as an income source, but as a cache of sorts. Is this the idea behind maintaining the usefullness of Imbuing Heroes?
I'm not sure about the whole specialists thing... In concept, it seems like a solid idea, but my gut tells me different... Gonna have to wait and see on this one.
I dislike the idea of needing mana producing structures, purely from a lore/flavor perspective. Any way that you can prove to me that these buildings will be, if not Canonically accurate, at least tasteful towards the whole concept of magic? Can you at least re-assure me to that end? One suggestion for these Mana Producing structures comes to mind.
"Mana Font. Cost: x Materials, x Gold, x Mana." (Thinking just One Mana. Reasoning; A font is just a font, unless it's not a font. A would-be mana font would not actually be able to produce mana until the flow of mana is directed through it. Thus, it would make sense that it might cost some mana, since your Channeler is actively expending some amount of effort to get it working the way it's supposed to... Like making a Water-Fountain, you gotta have a pump to move the water. Or in this case, a more apt metaphor would be, to make the Fountain work, you need Water Pressure.)
It's more a neat idea than a practical one, but my point with it is, if it doesn't fit flavor-wise, it doesn't fit. (Read: Fit, Period.)
Why are we removing spell-scaling? What you're implementing now, with the Spell-levels and new spells, is NOT scaling. It's changing the system entirely. Yes, I understand that previously... Well, presently, the scaling is broken, and the damage gets ridiculously out of control if you just Intelligence-Spam, but I like the idea of using the hard-cap's as opposed to just breaking up with the idea entirely. In all three methods, you're going to have a unit, probably your Sov, that just spams intelligence anyway, the only thing you're changing is the reasoning behind the spam. Presently, you do it in order to decimate armies with little to no effort what-so-ever. In the Planned System, you'll still be doing it to unlock spell levels, until you hit that magic number, at which point Intelligence becomes completely worthless. In Planned System, it also has the side-effect of never, ever, ever, EVER needing to give anyone but your Intelligence-Spamming unit Intelligence, basically removing the need for the stat entirely beyond unlocking new spells, especially with the idea of a Partially Omniscient, All-Casting Sovereign in place. In Proposed System, the need for Intelligence doesn't change much, and makes it less worthwhile than in Present System, but it maintains the reasoning for giving Imbued Champions Intelligence, as opposed to just spamming STR or CON or whatever you're (not) spamming them with. Proposed System implies needing more balance on Imbued Champions, or at least reasons to get a wider array of Champions to work for you, so you have more to spam Intelligence with while still having Combat-Capable Champions. I believe it to be a very strong middle-ground between Present System and Planned System as well, and in concept, it's balanced, works better, and has none of the pit-falls of re-working the whole system. It will have its own perils, obviously, like getting the balancing right, but it -would- be easier than starting from scratch like you're doing now.
I also understand that the Spell changes are, partially, in reference to the idea that the Stat System as a whole needs some attention and re-working, but I truly believe you're going about this one the wrong way. You created a monster, so you're gonna shoot it dead and start over? I feel we should attempt taming of the beast instead, and make it work for us rather than against. And before you say it, let me say this first:
You -are- just breaking up with the whole idea, and you will not change my mind on that fact, no matter how hard you try. (Probably, anyway.) I don't hold it against you, I just feel it's a poor choice. What you have now is utterly and completely mangled, yes... But you could make it work with enough TLC. I get that in order to give it the proper TLC, it requires, man-hours, budget, and most importantly, effort on your part, and I totally get that with the current system, as mangled as it is, that would be a LOT of man-hours, budget, and effort... But what you have now is not defective, only broken, and fixable. If you truly feel it's too broken to warrant the attempt, as I said, I won't hold it against you. I won't even be disappointed. I'll blindly accept whatever you guys decide to do, you're the pros here, but at least now, my opinion's out there.
Thanks for your time Stardock. And your games. Awesome games.