Make factions more asymmetrical
I was quite disappointed to find out that factions were very similar in SoC, the unit roster is the only major difference between factions and that’s regrettable. Just like it is done in Warcraft 3 I love the way changing factions makes you feel like you are playing a different game. HOMM could get away with less asymmetry by having more factions. More asymmetry means harder to balance, but I would say that since this game is not intended to be Esports, balance doesn’t need to be perfect on day one, however, with only 4 factions making them truly different will go a long way to add replayability to the game without having to make new assets. Unique technologies, army stance, wielder skills, buildings, unique resources and development mechanics… possibilities are endless.
What I would like to see is:
1. Some asymmetrical research.
2. Exclusive building upgrades, like Rana alrady have for their dragons. Barya for example could get market upgrade, to count as 2 markets or to produce amber or something like that.
3. Extra buildings with completely unique effects for each faction.
Great suggestion. I think especially if you are going the "very few factions" route they have to all feel extremely different. The blizzard RTSes that you mentioned are a great example. If you look at warcraft 2, great game for its time but it wasn't what it could have been because there was essentially only 1 faction because there was barely any difference between human and orcs. They figured this out with warcraft 3 and it was such an improvement
I think that it would be really simple to add one leading special mechanic for each faction its simple way to add lot of flavour to gameplay without that much effort and it would make each faction unique
Agreed! Unique base building for each faction would be fantastic. Some ideas:
1) Unique ability upgrades aside from increasing size or power of that group of units. For example the Rana archer that deals poison damage could have increased DoT dmg per turn, or have the poison spread.
2) Unique resource management.
3) Different plot options.
I think, each fraction should have its own "special race skill", upgraded every 5 level of the hero with the most experience points. For example: Barony of Loth should have ressurection spell, unique only for this fraction. This spell will be more powerful with every level ( it gain one level every 5 levels of the main hero ). On the wekest level, this spell ressurects some units, but they are immediatelly killed after the battle. But with more progress, this spell will ressurects more and more creatures and after a while, ressurected creatures will stay in the army. For balance purposes, it should be used once a battle ( twice only on higher levels ).
What do you think?
Love these suggestions. Maybe adding in some new and rarer resources that are required by specific races would also help. I also feel like this would be necessary if more races were to be added in the future. 4 resources is nice and simple but I think it might feel stale across 6 or 7 races.
Too many resources can be hard to handle for most players - but I like the idea itself. On the other hand, a unique racial skill, that is depending on the level of the main heroe, would force players to constantly develop and explore the map - instead of ( campy ) standing in the castle.
But what else could be added to make the races more unique?
I prefere qulity over quantity. It would be cool if we can achieve alternative last tier unit in every fraction.
For example: instead of choosing The Legion ( Loth ) as a last tier unit, I can choose another one. Legion is undead, so it will be good to choose human last tier unit ( it makes Loth more diverse ). I was thinking about some kind of mobile shrine, which could summon zombies from under the ground.
Unique, racial building will be good also. For example --> CrimsonCourt - special buildinf for Loth. It grants aditional defence capabilities during the siege. Enemy archers will have less range during this battle.
This is my #1 vote, for my personal enjoyment/replayability.
For me it goes beyond building/research. I want really different unit abilities.
HoMM 3 has terrible unit abilities most of the time, but since there are no unit caps you get a stack of each anyway. In SoC because of the (excellent imo) cap system, I need a reason not to just pick all 1 unit. Or 1 ranged and 1 melee. Especially with research buffing 1 unit at a time.
The way to do this is really unique unit abilities. To me, a stellar example is HoMM6. While the overworld and spells were rather stale in that game, I loved that every unit had an ability that cemented its role. Basically each unit has an active ability that is somewhat spell like, and has a cooldown or single use (in SoC with quick battles, single use would be fine). There were quite a few passive per unit, too. This added to the tactical feel as well. Sanctuary units in particular I enjoyed. SoC mushrooms do remind me of the frost maiden ability :).
The ideal for me is the Total War Warhammer 2. Each races are unique some of them even have unique strategy map mechanics. Another great example is Endless Legends. At the moment it really feels like just the art is different and the focus on one resource.
This is insanely important for replayability.
Currently especially the humans and the desert people feel extremely similar. Both have:
One unit who can shoot only once every second turn.
One dumb brute.
One unit which can construct palisades (militia again for humans)
One swarm unit with high damage, high speed and high initiative.
Undead are better, although their musician is quite boring. Rana are best for asymmetry currently.
That's pretty ridiculous, the two factions are way too symmetrical. If this game had the heroes 5 tribes of the east branching upgrade system the desert faction and the normal humans might as well be just a single faction with branching upgrades.
One elite ranged unit with the capability to hit multiple enemies.
Heroes 5 and Heroes 7 have the best racial diversity. Could we add something from that,without copying from those titels?
Let think, what we should do to diverse this game more?
Some suggestions ( chooose only one or two):
1. Add one unique raciall spell? - ex. Ressurection for Loth, Bombardment for Barya, Change Battle Terrain for Rana, etc.
2. Add set of unique, racial artifacts?
3. Add Racial Skill?
4. Add second Last tier unit, ( only one building can be choosed ) so you should choose if you want to go for "Legion"" or for another "New unit"
5. Add special building? - Loth will receive "Crimson Mists" that will affect enemy units during the battle in our main town, Barya will receive "Moving sands" which can modify the movement points of enemy units, etc
6. Add special "Grail buliding" and similar "search for the grail" mechanic like in HoMM
7. Add more Heroes and Special Heroes
8. Add alternative upgrade for the last tier unit: Crimson Legion who can heal himself damaging others
I enjoy the way the faction builds are set up currently. I enjoy not recruiting every troop type in mass numbers like HoMM. With limited choices, build plots, and army size I feel I am creating a "build" or" load out" by picking a hero and specific recruits for that single hero.
Game kNight Plays
My split upgrade idea or the idea to add a second upgrade unit to each upgrade could help with this too, as it would make the factions different from each other even if two of the same faction are available.
But yeah, adding special buildings would be awesome and assert the factions a bit more
I support this, for example having a Necromancer and Chelon with the same gain essence skill, could be changed to something more unique for each race.
I also like that, we have limited amount of spaces in our army total, so I must consider:
A. choose to recrute pure archers army
B. recruit more hand to hand units
C. make a mix with everything
So maybe the best thing is not giving too many further upgrades to existing units, but by giving:
1. One more building, in which we can recruit last level unit - so we must choose, before recruiting. It will add greatly to the diversity and game options. One game I can choose to play "legion" unit. Second I can go with this new "alternative unit". And third, I can recruit no last tier unit, using only those with lower level
2. One special defensive building which grant special defensive capabilities to our fraction. Ex. Mists, Moving Sands, More troops in garnizon, More Towers, Batter Gates, etc.
3. Unique building that will give something special - Baria thanks to it, will have possibility to create artifacts, Loth will change artifacts into units, etc
4. Unique one Skill/ One Spell.
What are Your ideas guys ( and girls ) about this topic? Maybe together we will come up with something really interesting :)
Personally I would go with the CIV style of uniqueness, which makes regular buldings/mechanics a bit stronger for a faction.
I summarized my ideas (so far) on reddit: https://www.reddit.com/r/Songsofconquest/comments/uv79fw/some_ideas_to_make_factions_a_bit_unique/
Mechanics I would introduce
- make a small building faction specific (eg.: a stronger quarry)
- make a medium building faction specific (eg.: a stronger market)
- a unique technology path both in army and economy research tree
Mechanics I think worths consideration
- a new, unique large building for every faction
- wonder mechanic
While I would like to see more then 4 factions eventually in expansions (I would be really happy with 6), I think even with more factions it would be good to have more asymmetry than there is currently. I would say first add a more asymmetry and only then add new factions.
I agree with the suggestions here with 1 exception:
Don't design to a number!
Don't go for this approach:
-each faction has 1 unique small building
-each faction has 2 unique researches
-each faction has 1 unique mechanic
Instead go for:
- faction xy has this unique mechanic because it fits (like raising undead for loth)
- faction xyz has these unique researches because they fit
- faction xyzw has these unique buildings because they fit
This way you will end up with factions that will be unique in different ways and to different degrees, which is cool. The asymmetry doesn't have to be symmetric:)
U really like this idea. This is truly what's fun with HOMM3 as well. The base structure is the same, but then there are small quirks everywhere that makes each faction just a tiny bit different
I would like to see normal necromancers in the Lot faction, a normal resurrection - raising the dead, a normal technology tree - with the addition or division into 3 components - a branch with the strengthening of archers of magicians, and necromancy in general, so that the magic improvement section would be in a separate technology tree for each faction.
Also about necromancy - adding a separate building for the possibility of choosing the resurrection of fallen soldiers in the army - it is possible to assemble soldiers as a whole for resources from the battles of the Lot faction, I would really like to see the Lot of necromancers faction as they should be.
Units, if it is possible to divide units into additional types for pumping to choose from - we build a house, and if we want to improve this house, then we are given 2 options for improvement and in their structure there are different units to choose from, for certain purposes.
I'm all in for making some changes for different factions to both make them more asymmetrical and make sure they are in line with their respective factions characteristics. The idea that some of their research and Wielders skills/magic are different depending on faction is interesting, much more than just adding new factions. If I would choose, I rather have fewer but more thought out factions.
By the way, I really like the game so far and think the unit rooster is great. Not to say improvements can be made, but as a long time Heroes fan I like that the game takes another approach to the game with the research, cap for units and town management. I don't want a heroes copy, only a game that uses the core gameplay of a heroes game.
My personal ideas concerning faction magic will be something like:
Loth: necromancy (yeah, surprise)
A magic skill tree that revolves around resurrecting killed troops - the higher the tier, the more essence is required.
Barya: contracts (not sure if this is considered magic, but hey, this is brainstorming)
The concept should be something like calling in ”extra helping hands”, for example automatic reload of gunpowder units, creating temporary higher elevation under a unit and so on.
Arleon: Enhancing magic (I thought about healing magic, but that’s too close to necromancy, I think)
The idea is that this magic skill tree focuses on giving the tropps an edge in battle, like ” no retaliation” , ”stun attack” and so on.
Rana: as someone said earlier, swamp magic seems fitting.
A magic that can create a temporary swamp (hinders movement), mist (range units must move out of the mist if they wanna fire). It’s a magic skill tree that focuses on hindering opponents.
And when it comes to the skill trees/unique buildings, well I think that the people in this thread have already given a lot of great ideas.
So, I will for the sake of discussion give my on thoughts about that too.
Concerning the faction skill tree I think it would be cool if every faction had to build a ”faction building” which opens up special research trees for that faction. At the moment I’m thinking of a unit skill tree and overall faction skill tree.
Unit skill tree: units get special upgrades, like Ranas hunters get long range for their spears, some Loth unit gets ”vampire drain”, the horseman of Arleon can bypass zone of control and so on. These skills should be expensive, only applicable to the upgraded version of the unit rooster and only available for purchase if you have built an upgraded building for that unit
And faction skill tree will Continue down below.
So, apparently I just don’t wanna go to sleep…
Anyways, the faction skill tree. I’m thinking that these should be be ”unlocked for purchase” depending on the level of the main wielder. And since it’s faction based, and the thread is about asymmetrical gameplay, I think that…
Arleon: they feel solid somehow, so perhaps tech that unlocks extra tiers on guardtowers and similar defensive measures around towns. Perhaps even techs that make it cheaper to both draft troops and upgrade towers. It’s all about defense.
Loth: They are necromancers, so I actually think that their faction skill tree should be about increasing units/round in the units buildings/dwellings. In other words, they accumulate units faster.
Continues further down…
Barya: It’ all about the money. Their skill tree should be about techs that generate more money - the gold mines give more money/round, so does the towns. And they should be able to upgrade their ”spawning pool” so that a wielder can buy units from flagged neutral dwellings (and of course this means only Baryans can ”flag dwellings”).
Rana: They feel angry and aggressive, so their focus should be on expansion. Perhaps techs that increases movement of the Wielders, defence/offence of the Wielders and that new Wielders start at a higher level. Or something…
And perhaps som of my ideas are already implemented in the game and I haven’t notice it, but I don’t think so.
Now, finally, I’m going to sleep!
Your faction building idea (the one that unlocks faction unique stuff) is exactly what I would argue against.
That's just creating more symmetry, when the goal is the opposite. Just spread out the techs and building more organically, put unique stuff where it makes sense or where you have some cool idea. Don't follow a template.
The concern with more asymmetry is balance, but I still take this as primarily singleplayer and maybe casually multiplayer game, so things don't have to be perfectly balanced.
Well, that would be nice too. And it would definetly make it more assymetrical. My concern is if the developers have to change too much in the structure of the game. But of course, they could throw in tech upgrades in the buildings connected to the different creatures, since the potential to do ”upgrades” are already there (like adding extra creatures for a penny in buildings that can house two types of creatures). So that would actually work too. If we want a mechanic that isn’t connected to buildings then we have to invent a new method. I guess the Wielders perhaps can do som ”empire upgrades” at certain levels which may be randomized. I like the Age of Wonder series and are quite fond of that kind of game mechanic too, like the concept that the main
”leader” actually affects what types of creatures are available.
Sad to see this still isn’t considered. The factions and units are so similar, how can they not see that?
I think that when all of the units special abilities will be implemented, then we will have the needed asymmetry in the Fractions :)
What is “all the units special abilities”? The only ability changes coming that’s been mentioned at all is having the “wait” and maybe “defend replaced for a few troops. That’s it. That doesn’t promise unique abilities. The fact they call the factions uniquely different and diverse on their website is a farce.
This should be the most upvoted feature.
Yes, definitely. There is another ticket that is to include more factions, but the factions would only be valuable if they also were really different. No point adding reskins :P
The lack of uniqueness to the factions is downright a travesty. With a small amount of factions it should be difficult to make them feel as generic as they do in this game. Where are the unique faction mechanics? Why does a lot of factions share basic abilities like berserking, poison and charge?
Game just feels bland as hell
The game is overall extremely good, but the factions are the same and that gets very boring over time
each faction is said to have special buildings, and also to research various researches such as special abilities for a creature.
each faction should also perhaps have some special spells that only they can use
unit abilities should also be a bit more creative and faction specific. basically all skills are pretty much the same now and that takes away the appeal of playing with all factions
Unfortunately, I also find the abilities of the heroes extremely boring and uncrative.
if you compare your skill tree and that of heroes of might and magic 5 you know what i mean.
special skills for each faction and maybe main skills where you can then unlock secondary skills. at the moment the keeper leveling is extremely boring. sorry for these harsh words
All factions are the same when it comes to research, but that doesn't help. research should distinguish the factions.
I'm all in for this, as I believe the factions can seem a little bland once you play each one a couple of times
Due to the conversion mechanic when occupying cities it's difficult to implement a lot of unique buildings, because the game wouldn't which unique building(s) from one faction maps to unique building(s) from the other faction. Maybe one unique building per faction would be implementable (as the mapping would still be one-to-one) but the above problem arises as you get multiple
Alternatively, concerning buildings, each faction could have a third upgrade to some of their buildings without breaking the existing mechanics (like the Rana, or even a second upgrade to the marketplace for Barya, which would be on theme)
I believe the emphasis on faction uniqueness should be given to unit abilities (passive and active), research technologies, spells and hero abilities. The variety of unit abilities is really small and along with hero abilities have a lot of overlap between factions
After playing the campaigns and then a few skirmishes, I thought the same - factions right now are pretty much reskins of the same thing, with only some units feeling truly unique.
I came to this forum wanting to post this, but you beat me to it.
IMHO diversifying the factions will go a long way for the game, adding more strategical and tactical depth, and replayability.
I think the immense diversity is a large pert of what made Heroes of Might and Magic so good. Demons and Undead were always visually and gameplay wise very different and really delivered on their respective fantasy. Even factions that could be reasonably simmilar were not implemented this way. Gargoyles from academy spring to mind, where even the small cannon fodder was quite distinct.
"make the factions different. For example, unique buildings for each faction, unique skills" (suggested by Michael on 2022-07-10), including upvotes (1) and comments (0), was merged into this suggestion.
I think of Dawn of War when I think of asymmetry! Obviously the aesthetic of the factions are already incredible, its more that the buildings translate 1:1 with other factions and there's the same number of units per faction.
We have chosen to "deny" this feature request not because we think it is a bad idea, but simply because with the current design of the factions, it would be very much work to re-design and make them much more assymetrical. However, we will add more unique traits and abilities to the various troops of the different factions, which will to a certain extent, make them play a bit more assymetrical.
Piper - left the room.
Incredibly disappointing. This is certainly the thing that tips me over the fence. Whatever new traits or abilities that might be coming are bound to be nothing special. The factions all play so similarly and it’s obviously a big negative for a lot of players. It’s no wonder so many people drop this game shortly after picking it up. The steam numbers are so low lol. What shame, this game had a lot of promise.
Enjoy your Small map scene to a shallow game I guess. You did it, yay. :(
This is such bad news... all the hype was in vain, yet again. Just another shallow game surfing on nostalgia.
I admit I'm a little nervous about what will happen next. I'm still optimistic on the game's outlook as I don't believe the success of the game hinges on this topic (otherwise we wouldn't have seen such a big splash initially), but I do wonder how new factions are going to be - there's only so many ways you can spin the current set of buildings and playstyles. Since new factions won't have the freshness that asymmetry provides, they will either be essentially reskins of the current factions OR the current factions will be radically updated so that new permutations can be devised.
I would have loved asymmetry to be honest. In Northgard, the dragon clan has a timeline of events where each event has combat and economy benefits, making it important to be a flexible player and adapt to the current event. The Kraken clan has an extra resource that you can spend on rituals for the kraken.
Wielder count, army slots, spells, units available.. all of these things could be made asymmetrical!!
the ability for each faction to create a legendary creature or a legendary artifact
I don't think that only having four factions is much of a problem, as long as they are all different enough from one another, but the factions as they currently stand are too similar. The only real differences between the factions are on the battlefield, but out of combat they pretty much play the same.
I know the devs are an indie studio, so massive differences would probably be too expensive and time-consuming, so I have an idea that would (hopefully) be pretty easy to implement: Rituals.
Basically the idea is that each faction has a handful of special abilities they can activate that provide some kind of active effect or passive bonus for a few turns. I'd recommend each has four of them, with two for each species in the faction (Arleon has two for human and two for Faey, Rana has the frog-people and the misc. swamp creature, and so on.
These rituals would probably have a cost and/or cooldown to keep players from spamming them, and might be unlocked or upgraded with researc
"A (hopefully reasonable) Suggestion to Differentiate the Factions More" (suggested by KipTheOtt on 2022-11-29), including upvotes (1) and comments (0), was merged into this suggestion.
That is incredibly disappointing. And perfectly explains why so many players jump off after a short while.
The 4th most upvoted request obviously something people see is missing and it got denied.
Let's hope another studio will try it again in a few years and not make the same mistakes again.
I had a thought about something like this, they do feel kinda samey. They should all be able to do the same things, but HOW they do it should be different; that would give rise to very different strategies and priorities that makes each race feel even more different.
For example, Barya's merchant building could also provide additional unit growth to towers (if any), which encourages them to focus on economy.
Or a faction could combine wood and stone harvesting into one building, but it would be twice as expensive (or perhaps tier 2, so that it takes up a different slot). Certain things like this would require heavy rebalancing.
For now I'd probably consider this sort of thing to be a low priority; making the game stable, functional, and adding basic features (eg perhaps simultaneous turns) would be better. If the game adds a fifth faction, this would be a great time to actually look at asymmetrical balance
I think as the base 4 factions if they add a little extra spice (as suggested above by the admin) its fine as is. I would say any new factions should be distinctly different though but have their own points of symmetry, so for arguments sake. A celestial DLC which adds an angelic and demonic faction, who have points of similarity with one another but are very different from the base 4 factions.