I am really
looking forward to the Stardock fantasy game (especially after seeing what TA starts to look like) , but I haven’t seen Stardock having
any real consultation about its content on the forums lately. In order not to miss
the chance to give my two eurocents on the subject before the game is already
pretty frozen I couldn’t resist posting the below.
Baseline dream game:
to settle (build cities, forts, farms etc) anywhere on the map and not only on
predefined squares. The type of terrain should affect the building: better
defensive value for a city/fort built on a hill or among the mountains, better population
growth through food production on fertile lowlands. Just like in Civilisation
freedom to move and place troops anywhere on the map also without the presence
of a hero in the group. Heroes should be a boon to an army but not all
powerful: a huge army without hero should in principle have a chance to defeat
a much smaller army with a hero, otherwise the game starts revolving only
around the few “hero armies”, like in Heroes of MM. This is not good for a
- Use of
magic much like in Age of Wonders Shadow Magic, i.e through building wizard
towers you can enlarge your magic frontier and throw spells even into the
domains of your enemies. Magic can thus work in some ways like Influence does
in GC2, extending your REAL frontiers … Existence of both realm-based
spells/rituals and battle spells in melee, please.
Flexibility like in TA. Choice of civ where you can define name, race, deity
worshipped, symbol, picture of race and heroes, type(s) of magic used, other
civ attributes like economy, production, trade, preferred environment,
immunities, weaknesses, etc. All this also for the opponents!
- Each civ
worshipping a God/deity or pretender god, much like in Dominions 3. The most
exciting feature with this (in addition to specialising your empire) is that
the attributes of your deity can influence the domains under your control, like
in Dom 3 (if you play the frost giants you will soon turn even the reeking
jungles you have invaded into a winter landscape …) In this way your “divine mana”
/ “dominion” can function a bit like Influence in GC2. If possible the changing
“dominion” should be reflected in the graphics too, which would be incredibly
- The level
of micromanagement under control – I have full confidence in Stardock handling
this very well.
out siege battles much like in Age of Wonders SM or Heroes 5. Exciting stuff!
to send out spies and assassins to get info, sabotage and assassinate enemy
leaders, so you can play somewhat offensively even if not actually at war.
- A map
generator would be soo nice to have in from the start.
- An “epic
recorder” of events (even if pretty simple) would be gold worth - especially if
written on a parchment-like fond. J
don’t underestimate the importance of the number of buildings (and improvements),
units and spells available for each civ. Ok, maybe this could be for a future
expansion, but I still dream about that game which will stand out as just
amazing not only in quality but also in quantity. Offering not only 20 units of
choice per player but 120, not just 100 spells in total but 2000. Make it feel
like a real world, with endless of opportunities, and I can guarantee you that
we will play it endlessly!
Things to avoid:
- It’s a fantasy
game - don’t try to give it a « modern » feel through the graphics
and artwork. What I mean is: please dare to do it with class and style and avoid
the type of over-exaggerated illustrations we can see for game worlds such as
Warhammer. It doesn’t look impressive or cool when every hero/adversary wields
a 3.5+ meter long sword – it just looks ridiculous. An orch doesn’t need
fifteen piercings to look cruel and evil – a pair of red gleaming eyes set in a
hyena-like face with sharp teeth next to the tusks does it perfectly well. All male
warriors don’t need to look like Schwarzenegger. All females don’t need to look
like Pamela Anderson just out from the fantasy clothes shop (if they even wear any
clothes …). Nothing wrong with piercings and well fit warriors, but you get the
point – it’s all about style. Tolkien didn’t need to overdo it to convince fantasy
lovers all over the world, and if you believe in your game you shouldn’t
avoid all gun-powder based weapons, like pistols, rifles and cannons. The existence
of such weapons on a scale where they would actually be widely used in melee
and on the battlefield is ALWAYS an anachronism in a traditional fantasy setting
with castles and knights. The reason is simple: the cannon takes away most of the
defensive value of the walled castle and fortification (why we don’t build
castles for defense anymore). The pistol outdates the use of knights armour and
swords in melee battle (why our soldiers don’t look like Lancelot anymore). And
we do want classical castles and swords (the most romantic weapon) in a fantasy
game. Again, resist the temptation to try to be “modern” when doing fantasy.
reading and considering this, it has been produced with many hours of both
fantasy and strategy gaming behind.