Good Morning Stardock
I know and understand that you've decided not to add new features to FE anymore and that I'll have to somehow satisfy myself with what the game currently provides. However, I've been compiling a list of features that I thought would really benefit the game. I've posted them before in other threads, always without any comment from Stardock.
Since we're approaching close to release now, I was wondering and hoping if you would be willing to briefly comment on why some of these features were not chosen to be incorporated into the game in an effort to help us better understand the direction you want to have FE progress.
Here's a list of things that, imo, still require improvement/depth/dynamics and hope that Stardock still finds the time and heart to somehow include:
- Tatical Landscapes: I already understand that you never wanted tatical combat to be the centeral focus of FE. This is a TBS game afterall. However, most often battles are already decided before you enter them as the determining factors are based solely on your armies abilities and more importantly on your armies movement capacilities. While in combat, please consider the inclusion of just a few modifier types to help increase the tatical dynamic to combat:
Scouts: In all honesty, I've tried to use them in some of my games, but there is not way around it: They're effectively useless. Since they cannot obtain loot or activate quests, heroes are still required to travel the same paths. Coupled with the limited queue time available, it's easier just to use heroes straight up. In addition, they're ability to ignore terrain penalties is quickly nullified as soon as heroes gain increased movement though some other means.
- Forests: Decrease movement while walking through and block ranged line of sight.
- Hills: Decrease movement while walking across. Increase ranged attacks by +1 while positioned on a hill.
- Roads: Increase movement when units travel along the path of a road.
- City Walls: Include different types of walls with different tatical effects (stone wall, wall of fire, wall of darkness, moat, Wind Wall, etc) in a way that interacts well with the combat.
Roads: I really the direction Stardock has taken with auto-road. One of the major problems with the civ series that had never been resolved was the road-spamming that took place. However, it would be really awesome if there was some control over where the auto-roads were built in the current scheme.
- I want scouts to work. I honestly do, because I know you honestly do. I recommend scouts take on some of the ability of pioneers; gaining the ability to be consumed when creating an outpost. This produces the twofold result:
- Scouts are now required in order to build outposts. As they now MUST be built...might as well use them while they're built.
- Pioneers can be better tweaked/balanced to control spamming and control how fast factions are able to grow and expand.
- Instead of having units that can detail the direction of a road, I think it would be fantasic if cities had the ability to build road segments. A segment would any distance between a citycity or city-outpost that you control. How those segments are placed would still be automatic. Advantages to this system would be:
- Roads could be similar to outposts, with upgrades obtainable through subsequent technology
- Path: Initial road segment, granting +1 movement along road.
- Road: Increases movement along road to +2. Can be obtained with 'construction' tech.
- Highway: Increases movement along road to +3. Can be obtained with 'mobilization' tech.
- Roads could become enchanted though new city enchantments, thuse increasing the usefullness of essence.
- Ride like the Wind (Air Spell, lvl 2): Grants additions +1 to travel along enchanted road.
- The Golden Road (Earth Spell, lvl 4): Grants x2 movement for travel along enchanted road.
- Users can still effectively maintain control of where they want roads to be placed throughout their empire.
- The need for a unit to detail a road would disappear, eliminating road-spamming.
- Road Segments can be razed, enabling you further control and enabling you to turtle during a losing war.
Empire Growth and Empire Surrenders: I know this concept is fairly subjective, but I've often found the best TBS games to be when I had an empire of 7-10 cities to manage. Since there a maximum of 8 factions available to be on the map at any given time, ideally you would want each faction to only have 2-3 cities to start off such that when you finally choose to conquer the world, you will control 16-24 cities. For the majority of the game, since half minus one factions are more aligned with your faction’s general beliefs, most of the late game experience will result in you having 8-12 cities, a little more than my preference, but allows for you to fully experience the 3 different types of city FE has to offer.
- Having empires raze their own cities upon surrender makes very little logical sense in terms of survivability. What race/people would suicide themselves rather than live in submission to their betters?
- By controlling Pioneers abilities to expand through they’re cost, controlling empire growth becomes very easy.
- It would sooner make sense that a faction would never surrender instead of razing remaining cities upon surrender.
Essence: I love the concept of essence. Stardock has really outdone itself with the implementation of this idea with the exception of one small detail: It’s not available enough to make use of all the wonderful city enchantments that have been designed. In addition, most cities never obtain access to essence, which makes most of those wonderful city enchantments useless. Each city should somehow be able to gain access to 1 essence, no matter the city type. That essence may not be available from the start, but should somehow be obtainable. I really think the following system would strongly benefit the game:
- Having ‘Scrying Pools’ associated with the ‘Arcane Mastery’ tech. Scrying Pools grant +1 essence to the city that it is in.
- Modify the Paradin to have the scrying pool bonus increase to +2 when the Arcane Mastery tech is obtained.
- Thus a conclave, with a scrying pool would have access to +2 essences.
- Thus a conclave with the RARE +3 natural essence would have access to +5 essence.
- Thus, Paradin, with a conclave and RARE +3 natural essence would have access to +6 essence. The highest possible…
- Most cities would still only have access to 1-2 essence with the ‘good’ spots having access to 3. Conclaves and faction type are the only way too boost it further.
If I hope to receive any comment pertaining to the 5 topics listed, I would be greatly appriciative.
Thank you very much for your time.
An eager FE player,