So, after playing a bit of Alpha 21 a few things have crossed my mind in regards to the difficulty. First of all, the ability to control which minions you recruit is a great change. It gives the player a much greater sense of control and empowers you to use information as a currency. That is, because you know what is available and what you need to recruit a minion, you can better develop your dungeon. However, this change is essentially a massive buff to keepers. What I’ve found is that it allows me to build dungeons with almost no threat from invasion. I believe that this is an opportunity to ramp up the difficulty of some mobs. I really like the way bandits work now. Perhaps having more assaults like this could help.
One thing I’ve found is that you really don’t need traps any more. I’ve had no problem getting through nearly the entire game (one run ended with a corrupted save and another ended because I was too aggressive with my keeper) by placing a single door with three alarm traps at the entrance of my dungeon. This has the added benefit of giving my minions more xp for killing intruders, and rarely resulted in any of my minions dying.
One thing I have noticed is that I’ve had to log much more of the forests than in previous builds. I couldn’t tell if the yield had been lowered for trees, or if I’m just making more gear. On one map I had nearly chopped down 80+% of the trees without building up a particularly large surplus. I also found it very easy to build up armies of 30+ minions. By that point, even the hardest villains are laughable.
Now, it could just be the way that I’m playing, but the difficulty curve has drastically shifted in my play throughs. I would welcome more elements of danger, particularly in the early and mid game.
I agree mostly. Having a starting position without enemies that launch attacks makes the game to easy, but that has been an issue in the last version too. The difficulty for the developers is to find the balance between a dungeon having no intruders at start and beeing overrun without having a chance for defending. But that can be solved by re-rolling the map until you have neighbours that suit your style.
The new recruiting system is a nice feature, but there were ways to choose your recruits before: drowning unwanted ones made me feel fittingly evil, or having them eaten by the doppelganger. The change now is that you get the ones you want much quicker.
The thing about the lack of wood, I think the reason is that there are no more user dungeons in campaign mode with their resources to plunder – having a tree spirit village around helps, but not everyone has 🙂 Let me point to another thread I wrote, that mentioned the idea of a “regrow tree spell” to trade mana for wood, which also might be a way to give mana a use in the later game phase.
What I really do like is the feature that you need bows to recruit harpies. I’d love it even more if you had to own two handed weapons to recruit ogres! It might make the two handed weapons research a little less useless and those ogres are to easy to get in my opinion – you barely don’t need any orcs because there are so many ogres.
As I have this post open, let me put some other impressions that I get here that do not refer to the original post:
– It feels as if the game has become quicker. The recruits are more, so there are more researchers in the early game, so everything else has sped up.
– The campaign mode has too few sites for my taste. (I used to play with 4 major and 4 minor enemies and 3 ally sites) But maybe that is to take the bite out of the new speed, so you have a shorter end game phase. Edit: After counting, I take that one back 🙂
– Have the prerequisites for demon shrine units increased? Or is it just that you now can see more that you can hire?
– Perfomance issues have been solved! Great! The game used to become too obviously turn based in the late game, now it runs smooth.