It would be nice if we could start collecting our ideas and suggestions in one thread, now that we have a new point of perspective from which to give the developers feedback. If you guys and gals are game, please join me here!
This game is really starting to be how I first imagined it would! It's like a lump of clay that has been worked into shape by a master potter, who is just beginning to add the fine embellishments that will make the work a masterpiece.
I love the new:
+global mana pool
+population as a resource
+researching spellbooks (might check spell descriptions; some of the starting spells say they are "Life" spells)
Stuff to improve gameplay/experience:
*There should be two basic categories of champions: Tactical and strategic, or combat and administrative. The administrative champions should gain exp doing their jobs slowly over time. Each archetype of hero within the two branches should have skill tracks that increase as they level up. For example, a farmer should level up as he works in town, and gain skills that increase farming even more or give him the ability to seed a new farm elsewhere; a thief (combat hero) should gain stealth skills, looting bonus skills, etc. Of course, there could be unique skills, too. I believe that this is what's missing here. If this was implemented, it would "make sense," and really help bridge the gap between RPG and 4X sim.
*Fewer clicks for doing things. Off the top of my head, these were irksome situations that required more clicks than should be necessary:
- On pop-ups, get rid of the "ok" button and just make it press any key to continue, or better yet, flash the message on-screen without interruption requiring a click. For example, when you click on the arcane research menu before having research points, a pop-up informs you of this fact, and you have to click the "ok" button to make it go away.
- Equipping champions: You click on the hero's portrait, which says "equip," but then you have to click on another button inside the menu to actually get to the equip screen. Solution: Make tabs at the top of the hero screen to switch between the pages of information, while making the equip page the default tab. Make the equip page viewable from the shop window. You have the tab for it already! Replace the inventory page with the equip page.
- Selecting actions for units: Instead of having to click to get to the additional commands in the UI, can it open with a mouse hover? It would give a sleek, intuitive feel to the UI if you didn't have to click menus like that to get them open.
*Make charisma affect more stuff.
*Please show the champions' attributes in their info pages. I want to decide whether or not to imbue them and how to build them up right when I recruit them, but can't see the attributes until they level up.
*Focus on a rock, paper, scissors style of magic and combat: Weapons and armor have slashing, piercing, and bludgeoning damage ratings; researching into blunt weapons eventually makes fearsome (albeit slow) warhammer-wielding troops recruitable, who go on to terrorize an opponent until the player researches and creates troops equipped with weapon/armor more suitable to taking them on. In magic, creatures might be resistant to certain elements while vulnerable to others, for example. I know it's been mentioned before; please give it some thought.
I really liked how the equipment has been differentiated in the update. It is on the right track! However, with research branches, the strategic and fun and replayability factors would be increased ten-fold if there was a clear strategic reason for developing a type of weapon/armor.
Thanks for listening, and keep up the good work!