This post is a continuation of the Assessment found here: http://forums.elementalgame.com/425698
The current Champion setup is a great on in concept. We have five strong archetypes that we get to use to craft our heroes as we see fit; the strong Warrior, the skilled Assassin, the noble Defender, the wise Governor, and the powerful Mage. The issue I see is not with the framing of the system, but the implementation of the skills. Too many of them are in strange places or across specializations, which cause the identities of the archetypes to be watered down, and actually serves to make most of them less appealing in general. I feel it is a problem of cleaning up identities more than anything, and my overall assessment is being done with that in mind.
I begin with my assessment of:
This class of Champion really has the capacity to change the way that FE gets played. Able to hire great units which improve the city they are stationed in locally, but are mobile. There are phenomenal gameplay possibilities with the Governor, but ultimately unrealized as currently they are simply mobile production bonuses. I see the Governor as potentially one of two types of Champions, the “Master Builder” as currently supported, and the “Master Planner”.
|Path of the Governor
||+1 Faction Prestige
||-10% Improvement Cost
||-10% Improve Cost
||-10% Imp. Cost, -10% Train Time
||-20% Improve Cost, -10% Train
||-10% Imp. Cost, -10% Train Time, +10% Gold
||-30% Imp. Cost, -20% Train, +10% Gold
||+1 Research per Season
||+2 Research per Season
||+4 Research per Season
||+2 Gold per Season
||+3 Gold per Season
||+4 Gold per Season
Before discussing traits as they exist in game, it is pertinent to discuss what the Governor Champion is. They are a non-adventuring champion whose purpose is to improve the function and infrastructure of the Sovereign’s cities. Because of how, exactly, Champions are currently implemented, Governors are necessarily disadvantaged. Most of the reasons I am about to list have been discussed at some point, but for the sake of completeness, I am including here.
- Champions must be out in the wild to gain experience, so when doing their job as Governors, they are not improving, and while improving they are not doing their job as governors.
- Traits gained leading up to the Governor Path do not support the path, conceptually or actually. You could make an argument for Healer, but I would argue that is somewhat useful for just about any Champion.
- Facilities which allow the player to circumvent the non-adventuring doldrums are underpowered and overpriced.
- Champions left in cities are NOT out supporting armies, gathering treasure, recruiting other Champions, or securing territory, which is a VERY hefty opportunity cost even with single-city bonuses to production.
- There is very little in game discussion of how exactly Faction Prestige works which makes the Path of the Governor's ability seem pretty meager and lackluster. We need to either see more how it works, or give these guys something more interesting as well.
- Based upon observation in 0.914 and 0.915, a champion sitting in a city gaining a flat 1 xp per turn would level at about 50% to 60% the rate of an adventuring champion, reducing the overall return on their upkeep
The Good Stuff, which is also not-so-good:
- All the abilities in the Governor tree are significant and useful. They are also very boring.
- Loremaster and Merchant are abilities which are useful while adventuring, but the Governor Champion has no other abilities which support their adventuring, which dramatically limits their usefulness in combat settings.
- Admin is great numerically, but could easily be split up into several more intriguing trees to grant better specialization and theme.
Governors need a significant amount of help. With not knowing exactly what types of changes are coming with Beta 4 and the re-imagining of Cities, it will be hard to elucidate specifics, but below are a list of general suggestions which would help
- Loremaster and Merchant: Governors have no useful lead-up abilities in the General Traits tree, and these would fit right at home. There are enough useful things for other trees to focus on that these are in no way no-brainers unless you are expecting to use the character as a Governor.
- Abilities which reduce the maintenance cost of a city by a set amount. Abilities like these would help struggling cities become more self-sufficient by offsetting losses until better gold producing buildings could be built.
- Reduce the Cost of garrisoned troops. Allow for particularly vulnerable cities to be fortified when and where they need to.
- Adds or Improves City Defenders
- Dispels negative enchantments on a city 10% chance each turn.
As with the Defender, the Governor has a LOT of potential to be a true game-changing hero with a lot of exciting and interesting abilities. It just needs the compelling trait support and fewer disincentives to follow that path.
Finally, I think starting at level 15 each and every Path needs to start getting access to some pretty over-the-top abilities. The sky is the limit here, and I’m not going to take the time to really illustrate all of them, but if you can get a champion to Level 15, you deserve some crazy stuff for your effort.