1. General feedback on if you felt the monsters were a threat (were they too strong, too weak, or about right).
Monsters & quests were tougher, heroes were weaker. I liked it.Monsters stopped being a threat after I researched leather and blacksmithing. 2 or 3 regular units equipped with leather and boar spear, lead by a hero could take out almost any monster I encountered.
2. General feedback on if you felt the AI players were a threat (were they too strong, too weak, or about right).
AI players were much more active than in previous beta.
3. What difficulty did you play on?
Hard difficulty, medium map, dense monsters, sparse resources, 5 opponents.
4. What faction/sovereign did you play (if you made a custom sovereigns, what traits did you pick)?
Verga/Yithril. I actually lost first two games because hero strategy from previous beta didn't work plus I really had crappy starts. Third time I won, I had a great start and focused on regular units.
5. If you think the AI was too easy, what did you do to lead to your success (did you outfit your sovereign in leather armor, find a good sword and then single handidly kill everyone, did you start producing an endless stream of spearmen and destroy with your armies, did you learn fireball and use it to destroy the world)?
Lead AI(Markin) was way ahead of me but he neglected to focus on warfare. I carefully leveled my heroes and regulars and when I upgraded the regulars to leather and blacksmithing weapons I attacked the Markin and took his capital city(he built a level 5 city in record time). After that It was game over for the AI.
6. Attach a save game at the point where you believe you have the game beat so we can check it out. A save at the tipping point, where you believe you have the game won and have to play it out is more useful than one where the opponents are all crushed because it allows us to see exactly what is going on when the AI loses. If you get to a point where yo don't feel a threat from the AI anymore thats a good point to get a save.
Here are two saves. First before the epic battle for Markin's capital. And the second after my victory. Reasons for my victory were superior armor and weaponry, high level units,tough hero, lots of mana, creative use of tactics and magic. Markin had a terrific economy If he focused more on armor and weaponry he would be a way tougher opponent.
Save before epic battle(I attacked with Verga): https://docs.google.com/open?id=0B-Ax0FxN0i6AUG5GSVJub0IwZEE
Save after: https://docs.google.com/open?id=0B-Ax0FxN0i6ALXo2cUZHLXVZN3c
Some general bugs I encountered:
1. Tremor spell sometimes doesn't work(units move, altough they shouldn't)
2. Sometimes arrows and bolts come from the side. Perhaps the bug has to do with the screen resolution. Mine is 1920 X 1080.
Some balance stuff:
1.That butcherman that you get from a quest seems to be a very weak unit, perhaps he should be upgraded to martyr
2.'Kill rats' quest offers you 300 gildar as a reward, I think that's way too much considering how gildar is much more precious now
3.Throwing daggers seem to me so weak now that I always sell them, perhaps they should do damage based on the level of unit
4. Sand golem has no longer weakness to blunt?