GrogHeads Forum

Digital Gaming => Computer Gaming => Topic started by: Myrmidon on November 19, 2020, 06:09:20 PM

Title: Wizards and Warlords
Post by: Myrmidon on November 19, 2020, 06:09:20 PM
https://store.steampowered.com/app/567080/Wizards_and_Warlords/

Anyone playing this yet?  I just picked it up, somewhat recklessly, but based on the reviews and what I've seen, I think there's a gem here, but I'm still diving in.  The documentation is virtually non-existent, but there are some guides out there. 

The intended audience appears to be those looking for the vaunted successor to Master of Magic, and who enjoy deeper strategic classics ala Dominions or Conquest of Elysium.  The worlds are proceduraly generated, and there seems to be a variety of different "Wizards" or "Warlords" one can play. 

Anyways, I'm in the middle of staring and clicking around right now.  Wanted to share, and see if there was any recommendations from anyone one how to go about learning this beast.
Title: Re: Wizards and Warlords
Post by: CJReich46 on November 19, 2020, 07:24:30 PM
I know Nookrium on his You Tube channel played a bit of it, and so did Das Tactic. Try there.

Title: Re: Wizards and Warlords
Post by: al_infierno on November 19, 2020, 07:44:33 PM
Looks very interesting, thanks for sharing
Title: Re: Wizards and Warlords
Post by: FarAway Sooner on November 21, 2020, 11:33:42 AM
This one's been on my Wishlist for a little while.  It looks intriguing.  I'd love some first impressions after you've played it for a little while.  I'd love it if you could give me your impressions on two questions:

1) Am I the only one who finds the map textures not-so-appealing?  If not, did you get over it after a little while?  I hate to be so superficial, but it feels awfully... pastel to me.

2) What does this do differently than other Fantasy 4x games that we've seen in the last 20 years?  (the "Cultures" piece looks very intriguing)
Title: Re: Wizards and Warlords
Post by: Myrmidon on November 21, 2020, 06:23:56 PM
Just had a fairly long review that I had typed out... and after accidentally hitting <TAB> and <Backspace>, lost it all.  Pretty pissed.  When I cool down,  I'll re-type it later. 
Title: Re: Wizards and Warlords
Post by: FarAway Sooner on November 21, 2020, 07:46:21 PM
Thanks, man.  Been there, done that.  Take your time.  We'll still be here!   :hug:
Title: Re: Wizards and Warlords
Post by: FarAway Sooner on November 29, 2020, 01:39:30 PM
Myrmidon, I hate to cyber-stalk you, but what's the verdict on this one?  I'd love a Fantasy 4x that packs a little more complexity than the standard fare.  Do the different cultures and widespread customization options let you do that?  Is anything else new about this one?
Title: Re: Wizards and Warlords
Post by: W8taminute on November 29, 2020, 02:23:58 PM
I picked up the game a while ago.  I have spent some time with it after losing the first three times I tried.  It's a good game and very deep.  Wish there was more documentation on what the meaning is with the economy, battle, etc. but Wizards and Warlords definitely has something there. 

When more instructional videos come out I'll probably dive back in again.  I don't mind empirical experimentation to learn a game but I also don't have the patience I used to have when I was younger. 
Title: Re: Wizards and Warlords
Post by: Myrmidon on November 29, 2020, 08:00:48 PM
Myrmidon, I hate to cyber-stalk you, but what's the verdict on this one?  I'd love a Fantasy 4x that packs a little more complexity than the standard fare.  Do the different cultures and widespread customization options let you do that?  Is anything else new about this one?

Dude!  Sorry man!  I had some fam in town and haven't had the time to type anything out.

So, that being said, yes, definitely recommend the game.  It's got the one more turn addiction to it. 

The graphics definitely have that Unity engine feel to it, and probably aren't the most easy on the eyes.  But as a guy that spends most of his time playing Dwarf Fortress and Dominions 5, that doesn't bother me at all. 

The depth is certainly there, but as W8taminute mentioned, the documentation is lacking. The UI does do a lot to try and help out, with a nice list of items needing attention before ending a turn that you can scroll through.  The developer is an Indy developer, and seems pretty sharp and responsive to feedback and questions on the steam forum for the game.  There are some online guides to help get you going, and some playthrough vids, but to be honest, DasTactic seemed to be trying to figure out things just like I was.  His videos are engaging to watch, and helpful though.

The replay-ability is definitely there.  Your character can range from a certain preset Wizard or Warlord, with a huge variety of options available (Think Necromancer, Archmage, Summoner, Barbarian, but literally like dozens of each, and the ability to customize your character.)

On top of that, the world and it's civilizations are procedurally generated each game.  As you asked about, the cultures are really a nice new twist.    The traits, tech, and gods they worship have an effect on what units are available to them to be able to build.  For example, in my current game, in addition to all the other different cultures and races present in the game (trolls,gnolls, orcs, goblins, leonids, crystallids, elves, dwarves, undead, etc), I have 2 distinct human cultures, 1 semicultured tribal warlike society of lycanthropes,  with their own favorite deities and interactions with different races. The other is a Druidlike aristocracy society, with bonuses to foraging, riders of dire bears, and a pact with nature.  That's only half of the traits I could list, and each trait has a specific modifier to the game.  Every civ has the same amount of detail, and those details determine how they interact with you and your different followers, what equipment is available to their troops, which is important for how much and how long a particular units takes to train, and the types available. 

The recruiting is quite unique as well.  You have to slowly build a manpower base to utilize before you can recruit anything, which hinges on your proximity to those different cultures and your relations with them.  You can have follower of yours help augment that, but depending on the character race and vocation, along with their own traits, he/she will be more or less successful at building the available manpower pool.  Each unit utilizes 100 persons of that type, and that unit can only replace losses from the pool you have built up, which can limit your military ops quite a bit.  Of course, summoning or binding units, raising the undead. magically forming wisps, etc are all available depending on your wizard type you pick.  I haven't even tried playing as a Warlord yet, but evidently what they lack in the magic department they make up for in the war department. 

Important to your kingdom are Followers that you can recruit.  Think of them like characters or council members from the CK series, or the Knights you can recruit from Knights of Honor.  You are limited by their cost, but you need them for all sorts of important things, like heading up construction projects, serving as generals in your armies, exploring dungeons, serving as emmisaries, recruiting man(elf, dwarf, troll)power for your pool of troops, training new troops, etc etc.... tons of options, tons of character types, each with their own alignment,culture, traits, loyalty and desires. 

There is a long list of research items, a somewhat dynamic economy of ~30-40 different resources, different Deities to appeal to, different quests to accomplish.  The small map I generated, in addition to the other 3 primary opponents(Wizards or Warlords) that I am up against, also generated 7 other independent nations, again, each with their own cultural traits, races, units, owned settlements, and diplomatic options.  4 other tribal warbands were also spawned.  This is in addition to different organizations (I have discovered a chapter of Chaos Knights with 2 fortresses), and of course, there are random spawning monsters, undead hordes, bandits and pirates.  Oh yeah, Planar invasions too... which can vary depending on the map.  In my world, the Planar invaders are "Celestial invaders" consisting of elementals and angels.  Haven't had to fight them, yet....

Speaking of fighting, the battles are handled somewhat abstractly, but there is a TON of strategic depth to it that I am still attempting to grasp.  You can assign your units position on the battlefield, along with their orders, and use magic that you may have been able to research to assist. From there, the battle will proceed with turns in 5 round batches, with a very detailed description of what's going on (Think Dwarf Fortress battle logs), but the UI showing the units and their locations, along with their casualties sustained and inflicted are pretty easy to make out if your not looking for all the detail. I've gotten my butt handed to me several times.. there's a ton of factors to process with troop selection that have an effect, such as their training, skill level, equipment and tactics.  This doesn't include the modifiers that your assigned commanders can contribute.

I could go on and on, but this would end up being an article, and not a forum post.  There's a lot of detail I'm leaving out for the sake of brevity. 

The game has taken up the mantle of being the vaunted successor to MoM, and I think it has the potential to pull it off.  There's a need for a little more transparency with the mechanics ( I think a Dominions sized manual would be in order, but that's a tall order), but the Dev seems quite involved and appears to have plans to continue working with and improving the game(which is great as it stands).

TLDR: It's overwhelming when you first crack open this game, but man, it is totally worth it. 
Title: Re: Wizards and Warlords
Post by: devoncop on November 29, 2020, 08:35:59 PM
Myrmidon...

I have only been  lurking on this thread  but as a big fan of both Deity  Eempires and Dominions 4  (despite being pretty unsuccessful at both!) Can I just say that your post is one of the best written, most  enjoyable player submitted impression posts I have read ....thank you.

My wallet may not thank you however😉

Ian
Title: Re: Wizards and Warlords
Post by: FarAway Sooner on November 30, 2020, 10:45:12 PM
Great post, Myrm!  Thanks for all the details.  Sounds like a game I'll definitely have to check out sooner or later.   

 :bd:
Title: Re: Wizards and Warlords
Post by: FarAway Sooner on January 08, 2021, 02:20:18 PM
I took the plunge on this one and have REALLY enjoyed exploring the game system.  The game isn't yet terribly accessible, but for a grognard fan of Fantasy 4X games who wants to see an innovative new take on the genre, it's definitely worth the limited money.

Pro's are mostly innovations I haven't seen in other Fantasy games:

Title: Re: Wizards and Warlords
Post by: airboy on January 08, 2021, 02:36:01 PM
Having spent a huge amount of time trying to understand the basics of Shadow Empire - I cannot get excited about a deep game without a manual.

I understand how hard it is to write manuals - I wrote two complete course packages largely from scratch because what I needed to teach for the kids success did not exist.  The packages took me years to write and ran hundreds of pages with scores of examples (many with cash flows).

But darn it, the developer should stop and write a manual.  Or cut someone in for a cut of the take to write a manual.

I wish I could get excited - but I spent two months deciphering several very complex games and I'm just not up to it.

On a final note - thanks to all of you who shared your detailed thoughts on the game.  They were exciting enough that I've wishlisted it - for whenever a manual appears or my patience for learning another complicated game arises.
Title: Re: Wizards and Warlords
Post by: Myrmidon on January 08, 2021, 02:50:38 PM
The developer is pretty awesome with the constant communication and regular updates.  The regular tweaking still taking place might make a manual a challenge at this point.  The good news is, the tool tips and in game feedback have come a really long way, so there's hope it will continue to improve.

I just downloaded his latest update, and I've wrapped up a couple games of MP Dominions, so I may have time to sink into this gem once more. 

Edit: Hey, I just noticed that the main menu has a Guide button, which takes you right to the online guide written by the dev on the Steam forums.  Not exactly a manual, but definitely enough to get one acquainted with the fundamentals.
Title: Re: Wizards and Warlords
Post by: FarAway Sooner on January 08, 2021, 06:39:35 PM
Yeah.  The author admits that he knew his scope was ambitious but he still underestimated the time it would take to get design right.  He's continuing to push out updates at a healthy clip.  I've only been playing SE for a month or two now, but my sense from reading the SE forums is that this game is probably where SE was six or nine months ago.

There is a basic manual out there that provides information on many (but not all) of the game mechanics.  It's very helpful.  But the game is deep--probably as deep as Deity Empires--and still in the process of being built out.  It's a full-fledged game, but not nearly as polished as many.

I actually described it in those terms, because it feels very similar to SE, but simpler (which isn't saying much, I'll admit) and I know a bunch of folks on here have burned a lot of candle power familiarizing themselves with that one.  Check it out again in 3 to 6 months, I'd say.

If I get other impressions, I'll post them.
Title: Re: Wizards and Warlords
Post by: solops on January 14, 2021, 11:33:48 AM
I picked this up on because of the comments here. I have not been able to play a whole game yet, but it looks really, really intriguing!
Title: Re: Wizards and Warlords
Post by: ArizonaTank on January 14, 2021, 01:05:02 PM
I picked this up on because of the comments here. I have not been able to play a whole game yet, but it looks really, really intriguing!

+1 
Title: Re: Wizards and Warlords
Post by: Myrmidon on January 14, 2021, 03:48:59 PM
I'm still digging into it and learning.  It's a great game, and the depth continues to surprise me.  The Dev's future plans and constant attention to improving it make it totally worth it to me. 

It's a little laborious, but combing through his guides on the game's Steam forum has revealed a lot of stuff going on under the hood that isn't immediately apparent.  His tooltips in game continue to improve, but his guides he's written on the forum helps out a lot. 

Title: Re: Wizards and Warlords
Post by: solops on April 06, 2021, 05:51:27 PM
I'm still digging into it and learning.  It's a great game, and the depth continues to surprise me.  The Dev's future plans and constant attention to improving it make it totally worth it to me. 

It's a little laborious, but combing through his guides on the game's Steam forum has revealed a lot of stuff going on under the hood that isn't immediately apparent.  His tooltips in game continue to improve, but his guides he's written on the forum helps out a lot.

+1
I finished a TW Warhammer II campaign and decided to try this game out and now I am hooked! A lot to learn and it reminds me strongly of an updated Master of Magic with an Indie level twist.
Title: Re: Wizards and Warlords
Post by: Valravn on May 04, 2021, 09:56:58 AM
Having spent a huge amount of time trying to understand the basics of Shadow Empire - I cannot get excited about a deep game without a manual.

I understand how hard it is to write manuals - I wrote two complete course packages largely from scratch because what I needed to teach for the kids success did not exist.  The packages took me years to write and ran hundreds of pages with scores of examples (many with cash flows).

But darn it, the developer should stop and write a manual.  Or cut someone in for a cut of the take to write a manual.

I hope I am not breaking any rules by posting here, but I just stumbled across this thread, and wanted to make a comment. I didn't have a personal account here despite considering myself a grognard - at least I've finished more than one full play-through of the World in Flames board game. So many awesome forums and communities on the internet and not enough time. Anyways, enough excuses for my arrival in this thread.

I am keenly aware that the game very much needs a manual, better/more in-game help/info and a better tutorial. I try hard to set aside some minimum amount of time every week for working on these - but I'm always fighting to find the right balance of splitting my time between working on game improvements, extending mod support, fixing bugs in a timely fashion and interacting with the player community on where to take the game. So there's a while yet to go before I have turned the basic guide and WIP reference manual into a solid manual. Not that players can use my good intentions in place of a manual if that's what they need - but I just wanted to say that it's not for lack of wanting to provide one that I haven't done so yet. In fact, I look forward to having a printed manual sitting on my shelf and a physical box for the game, even if just for my personal satisfaction.

It was a pleasant experience seeing the kind words in this thread regarding the game and my efforts in developing it. I know it's a bit of a crazy project I've embarked on, and it might not be for everyone right now, but I'm definitely committed to improving the game. It may be a glorious mess in a lot of ways, but it's come a long way, and I'm ever excited and optimistic about where it can go from here.

As I'm always pressed for time, I can't promise exactly when and in how much detail - but if anyone here has any questions for me, I'm happy to answer try and answer.
Title: Re: Wizards and Warlords
Post by: Jarhead0331 on May 04, 2021, 10:11:35 AM
Breaking a rule? To the contrary, we are thrilled to see developers posting here. Welcome. I hope you'll stick around.

Congrats on the success of Wizards and Warlords!
Title: Re: Wizards and Warlords
Post by: Gusington on May 04, 2021, 10:55:57 AM
Welcome Valravn! That avatar name elicits a dark primordial horror in my soul.
Title: Re: Wizards and Warlords
Post by: devoncop on May 31, 2021, 10:47:44 PM
Just to necro this thread...Steam now have this one 50% off at around 5 which seems pretty good value given the excellent ratings.....only until 1800 hours GMT today though....

Title: Re: Wizards and Warlords
Post by: bobarossa on June 01, 2021, 11:58:44 AM
Been on my wishlist for a while.  Purchased it. Not sure when I'll get to play it. Knee deep in shadow empires.
Title: Re: Wizards and Warlords
Post by: devoncop on June 01, 2021, 12:59:09 PM
Been on my wishlist for a while.  Purchased it. Not sure when I'll get to play it. Knee deep in shadow empires.

If you are only " knee deep" you officially count as an expert.....

Neck deep is how my games in Shadow Empire can best be categorised..... ;)
Title: Re: Wizards and Warlords
Post by: solops on June 01, 2021, 01:03:05 PM
I really like this game. I kind of dropped it for now. As soon as the dev fixes the market/money related stuff that he has promised to I will dive back in. It will be a big task.
Title: Re: Wizards and Warlords
Post by: Valravn on June 02, 2021, 10:34:18 AM
I really like this game. I kind of dropped it for now. As soon as the dev fixes the market/money related stuff that he has promised to I will dive back in. It will be a big task.

Yeah, I started on it, with true supply and demand, advanced city consumption/production mechanics, as the planned main feature of 1.0.1. There weren't really any blockers as such, but the development took so long, that I shelved that task in order to deliver a better pace of updates and get some much needed QoL and AI improvements out.

When I resume the market overhaul, I'll try to figure out a way to incrementally introduce the new system. That's a bit of a challenge considering the paradigm shift, but I'll try to figure out something. Going with the new model for a specific subset of resources could be one way to approach this incremental effort.

But before that I'll probably add set of game setup options: 'no market' ,  'market price multiplier' , 'market availability multiplier'. So if you see this change, don't worry that I'm scaling down the ambitions for the market overhaul. But those settings are a quick way to make the resource system more relevant until I begin rolling out the actual overhaul.
Title: Re: Wizards and Warlords
Post by: solops on June 02, 2021, 11:15:54 AM
Very good to hear!
Title: Re: Wizards and Warlords
Post by: FarAway Sooner on June 03, 2021, 08:48:21 AM
It's a fascinating, complex, sprawling title!  Definitely still a lot of polishing to do, but as is typical for these one-man efforts, it's a labor of love and it shows. 

There are definitely some innovative ideas in play here, several of them such that I've found myself thinking, "Huh?  I wonder why it took 25 years after Master of Magic for somebody to think of that?"  Keep up the good work!
Title: Re: Wizards and Warlords
Post by: Jarhead0331 on June 03, 2021, 09:20:49 AM
It's a fascinating, complex, sprawling title!  Definitely still a lot of polishing to do, but as is typical for these one-man efforts, it's a labor of love and it shows. 

There are definitely some innovative ideas in play here, several of them such that I've found myself thinking, "Huh?  I wonder why it took 25 years after Master of Magic for somebody to think of that?"  Keep up the good work!

Can you give some examples? Thanks!
Title: Re: Wizards and Warlords
Post by: FarAway Sooner on June 03, 2021, 05:45:07 PM
Sure, I'll give it a try.  It's hard to describe them without going into too much detail.

The sheer variety of things you can do with a Hero makes for interesting trade-off decisions.  There are literally dozens of options to choose from (everything from "Join a party to chase the Balrog out of that Dungeon" to "Serve as the Wizard's Bodyguard" to "Search [this province] for a Monster Lair" to "Serve as the General (or Quartermaster) of [that army]" to "Do whatever you want").  Some of the mechanics are still in development or not yet documented, but there's the potential for rich role playing here.

"Culture" matters as much as Race, in terms of what kind of units and Heroes you can recruit, and what kinds of traits they might have.

Civilians aren't wholly abstracted--Workers have their own Race and skills, and you can grow, train, and level them up just like you would combat units, with particular skill sets that develop along the way. Do you want your unit of Dwarf Workers to be a Jorin-of-all-Trades or a specialist in Mining who couldn't find a thing to eat in the middle of an Apple Orchard? 

Heroes interact with where they're stationed.  If you build a Library in your Wizard's Tower and then station a Mage Hero there, the Mage will gain XP faster than if you put Stables there.  Heroes also interact with their assignments (so they'll want some jobs more than others and won't just do your bidding--the job itself affects their loyalty and the rate of XP gain).

There's a richer variety of NPC factions, as opposed to just Wandering Monsters and Rival Wizards. 

These are just some examples.  As the dev admits, not all of these features are fully fleshed out just yet.  But the possibilities are tantalizing and I've had great fun playing around with some of the different mechanisms to see how they work!
Title: Re: Wizards and Warlords
Post by: Jarhead0331 on June 03, 2021, 05:54:43 PM
^wow. That does sound very impressive. Does it have an empire building component with conquest, developing cities and recruiting armies with different types of units?
Title: Re: Wizards and Warlords
Post by: nobodyjune61944 on June 03, 2021, 06:41:58 PM
Sure, I'll give it a try.  It's hard to describe them without going into too much detail.

The sheer variety of things you can do with a Hero makes for interesting trade-off decisions.  There are literally dozens of options to choose from (everything from "Join a party to chase the Balrog out of that Dungeon" to "Serve as the Wizard's Bodyguard" to "Search [this province] for a Monster Lair" to "Serve as the General (or Quartermaster) of [that army]" to "Do whatever you want").  Some of the mechanics are still in development or not yet documented, but there's the potential for rich role playing here.

"Culture" matters as much as Race, in terms of what kind of units and Heroes you can recruit, and what kinds of traits they might have.

Civilians aren't wholly abstracted--Workers have their own Race and skills, and you can grow, train, and level them up just like you would combat units, with particular skill sets that develop along the way. Do you want your unit of Dwarf Workers to be a Jorin-of-all-Trades or a specialist in Mining who couldn't find a thing to eat in the middle of an Apple Orchard? 

Heroes interact with where they're stationed.  If you build a Library in your Wizard's Tower and then station a Mage Hero there, the Mage will gain XP faster than if you put Stables there.  Heroes also interact with their assignments (so they'll want some jobs more than others and won't just do your bidding--the job itself affects their loyalty and the rate of XP gain).

There's a richer variety of NPC factions, as opposed to just Wandering Monsters and Rival Wizards. 

These are just some examples.  As the dev admits, not all of these features are fully fleshed out just yet.  But the possibilities are tantalizing and I've had great fun playing around with some of the different mechanisms to see how they work!

Yet another owned, but unplayed game.
Like Warplan - sounds great but as of yet unplayed.
Title: Re: Wizards and Warlords
Post by: Myrmidon on June 03, 2021, 07:50:00 PM
^wow. That does sound very impressive. Does it have an empire building component with conquest, developing cities and recruiting armies with different types of units?

Yes, yes and yes. 

It's definitely a complete game, but a work in progress, if that makes any sense?  The sky is the limit with this one as far as potential goes.  There are weekly updates, and outstanding communication from the dev in the steam game forum.  His roadmap is ambitious, but will be incredible when realized.  This is right up there with Dwarf Fortress in my book, with a dedicated developer bringing procedural generation to a fantasy war game. 
Title: Re: Wizards and Warlords
Post by: FarAway Sooner on June 05, 2021, 10:38:46 AM
As a bit of a reality check, there are those components there, but I'll be danged if I've been able to figure them all out yet. 

You can annex unpopulated provinces (and then start building resource sites) by building an Outpost and then upgrading it to a Fortress (takes lots of Food and Lumber!).  You can also establish a small town in a province that you own, but doing so takes more Food than I've ever been able to gather (I assume I need to build some structure in my Wizards Tower to hold enough Food, but if there's something else holding me up in the interface I don't know what it is).

I think the only way to integrate a province with a neutral town into your Empire is to conquer it.  You can try to vassalize them (so they pay tithes and occasionally contribute a unit) if you have good enough relations with them, but the benefits are kinda meager and it's unclear how my obligations to a Vassal province might work in game play.  The Dev has mentioned he wants a diplomatic path for formal annexation, but it's not in the game yet.

There's also a Quest system, where different characteristics of different heroes contribute (or detract) from their ability to face particular types of challenges (e.g., Battle, Magical, Social, Urban, Rural), but the only part of the system that I've encountered yet in game play is clearing dungeons (which is a string of Battle challenges over the course of multiple terms).

The Dev freely admits these limits in his interactions with the online community and has plans for them all, but as he also admits, "plan" just means it hasn't happened yet!
Title: Re: Wizards and Warlords
Post by: Myrmidon on June 05, 2021, 06:44:17 PM
As a bit of a reality check, there are those components there, but I'll be danged if I've been able to figure them all out yet. 

You can annex unpopulated provinces (and then start building resource sites) by building an Outpost and then upgrading it to a Fortress (takes lots of Food and Lumber!).  You can also establish a small town in a province that you own, but doing so takes more Food than I've ever been able to gather (I assume I need to build some structure in my Wizards Tower to hold enough Food, but if there's something else holding me up in the interface I don't know what it is).


The balance of missing food (which is often significant), can be made up by paying gold at the current market value.  Otherwise, a number of farms on fertile soil need to be cultivated, which requires lumber...It gets a little expensive to buy the food off the market, but it's doable, as there are often more ways of making money than growing food sometimes.  I agree though, that often conquering neighboring settlements is quicker. 

There are a number of development options for a settlement, but like you, I've barely scratched the surface. 
Title: Re: Wizards and Warlords
Post by: nobodyjune61944 on June 05, 2021, 08:39:11 PM
Can anyone provide links to some good FAQs or Strategy Guides for this game?  I bought it 2 sales ago, but have been daunted by the level of detail and the poor documentation.
Title: Re: Wizards and Warlords
Post by: Valravn on June 06, 2021, 05:51:06 AM
Can anyone provide links to some good FAQs or Strategy Guides for this game?  I bought it 2 sales ago, but have been daunted by the level of detail and the poor documentation.

Basic Guide: https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=2180432315
Grid-Based Battles: https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=2503698124
Reference Manual: https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=2254789382

I don't always manage to keep them up-to-date, as I focus on improving the in-game tool tips, help and general usability, and there are only so many hours in a day. But the general gist is in there. I've also added an Advisor function in-game (for Wizards only at this time). It will give you some suggestions on what to do, and can also be used to help learn the game. It has only existed for a short time, so is not suited as the primary method of learning, but the plan is try and make it one of the primary ways to ease new players into the game.

There is also this video by Halberdman: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ggFzbxsxE0M

The series by DasTactic is somewhat dated, so I would not start with that one, despite him being a great content creator.

If you have any thoughts on what format / content you would prefer to help get you started on the game (apart from adding more in-game help and tooltips), I'm very curious. There are limits to how approachable I can ever manage to make the game, but I'd like to do as much as I can with the time and (lack of) budget I have available.
Title: Re: Wizards and Warlords
Post by: Rayfer on June 06, 2021, 10:15:58 AM
Can anyone provide links to some good FAQs or Strategy Guides for this game?  I bought it 2 sales ago, but have been daunted by the level of detail and the poor documentation.

Ditto....I even went so far as to get a Steam refund (which was approved).  I was mistaken in thinking this was a lite/casual 4X game to just have some fun with, but found it to be very complex game with a steep learning curve.  This is not a criticism of the game, it just wasn't what I was looking for.
Title: Re: Wizards and Warlords
Post by: Valravn on June 06, 2021, 10:42:31 AM
Ditto....I even went so far as to get a Steam refund (which was approved).  I was mistaken in thinking this was a lite/casual 4X game to just have some fun with, but found it to be very complex game with a steep learning curve.  This is not a criticism of the game, it just wasn't what I was looking for.

For what it's worth, I am really glad that Steam provides this service. I don't want players feeling like they've wasted their money on a game that wasn't what they expected. The main reason that I haven't put up the game for sale on my own website is that I am not sure I would be able to seamlessly handle refunds in the same manner.

The game certainly isn't casual, and while I certainly intend to smooth out the learning curve with coming updates, the game will likely remain on the 'heavier' side of indie games. So I don't take any offense when players express sentiments such as yours. I get a bit sad when I see players frustrated and feeling dumb, stating that they do want a complex game, but cannot manage to navigate the UI and mechanics. It happens less often these days than 6 months ago, but I am still acutely aware that a large chunk of my development time for updates has to go into usability, guides, documentation and smoothing out mechanics that are needlessly complex.
Title: Re: Wizards and Warlords
Post by: ArizonaTank on June 08, 2021, 10:12:49 AM
...
The game certainly isn't casual, and while I certainly intend to smooth out the learning curve with coming updates, the game will likely remain on the 'heavier' side of indie games.
...

I very much appreciate you making and supporting this game. We all know that there are few devs working with big publishers who are allowed to experiment with complexity and the heretical idea that you don't need photo-realistic graphics to have a great game. So kudos to you...and looking forward to where WW is going.

My only ask would be that if you could throw in some elements of SSI's old "Sword of Aragon," that would be something. Particularly building, equipping and training units.
Title: Re: Wizards and Warlords
Post by: Valravn on June 08, 2021, 11:21:28 AM
My only ask would be that if you could throw in some elements of SSI's old "Sword of Aragon," that would be something. Particularly building, equipping and training units.

I've never tried, or even heard of that game, despite years of SSI fanboy-ism. I'll look it up and see what inspiration can be drawn. There is a surprising amount of game design concepts that were executed quite well in older games, but because of low sales and/or other issues, they were just forgotten and never picked up again.

As for building/equipping units - that is something I have plans to add. The current 'build-a-golem' system is very popular, and I would like something similar for mundane units. Ideally as an element to make Warlord gameplay more appealing and feel like more than just a Wizard with no spells, but with some kind of access to Wizards as well (possibly gated by traits, game settings and/or modding). The main blocker is UI. The game code works with equipment and mounts as distinct entities and the attacks/effects from weapons and armor are not 'baked in' to units. So once UI and some kind of system governing cost/availability of equipment and other configuration options is in place, it's really just ready to go.

It's always a challenge to prioritize the list of 'stuff I want to add' with 'stuff I need to fix'. Today, for example, I implemented rolling autosave files, where you can use a setting to configure how many previous autosaves are stored. I also implemented a migration the save game files from all residing in a single folder to having a folder per 'campaign'. A few bug fixes and tweaks on top of this and there are no more hours left in the day. I'm constantly tempted to implement new and shiny things, but due to a combination of my style of development and the fact that I'm just one person, I have a fairly long list of usability and 'depth' work that I must not forget about.

But unit customization will eventually be added. Thank you for the pointer towards Sword of Aragon. I look forward to seeing what I missed out on back when there were far more SSI games than I could ever hope to afford.
Title: Re: Wizards and Warlords
Post by: FarAway Sooner on June 15, 2021, 12:11:44 AM
Just to give you guys a feel for the pace of development, the following patch was dropped 8 days after the most recent patch.  Patches generally come out every 3-5 days but are a bit smaller (not dramatically so).

Major Lairs: New game setting. If enabled these will be generated according to world settings. Non-Warlord players (human and AI) cannot build in a province with an active major lair. You can clear them by moving an army to the lair and attacking it. Random monsters are generated based on terrain and world settings.

Dungeons no longer block construction of a site in the same hex. Selection cycling will shift display of the active entity in the hex. This means that undiscovered dungeons will no longer block site construction, confusing new players and alerting seasoned players to the dungeon location.

Custom construct unit types can now be deleted from the recruitment 'roster' (via the context menu).

New monster: Bonnacons. Pestilence 5, Fire 5, Beasts 3. Reasonably cheap to research. Decent survival, but low for a monster-type unit. However, it has strong multi-damage type attacks at range and in melee.

New monster: Wyverns. Bad-tempered lesser dragon-kin with poison stinger.

Armies added to the new right-click context menu logic.

Added sub-menu functionality to the context menu code to accommodate army actions (when multiple armies are in a hex, they will get an item each with an attached sub-menu, to save space).

AoE attack resolution now considers physical size of target and attacker in a better way.

Non-optional notifications (level up, some events) can now be postponed until later during the player turn. You can open the option dialog and then choose a 'postpone' option, and thus no longer be forced to make a choice once you've opened it.

Cursor is now brightened when hovering over a link which can be clicked to navigate to the relevant object (ie a character or army). Hyperlinks really.

New spell: Unstoppable Assault. Destruction 9. Progress siege of City or Fortress (not Wizard Tower) instantly to 100%. Any fortification-style buildings in a City are destroyed. Fortresses will be reduced to the lowest level (Fort).

Added 'inspect' context menu item for Character Elements. Currently only active in Dungeon Window.

Added Divine Favor to one branch of the Forbidden Tome dungeon reward event. (Burning it).

Added tooltip to the 'Request Gift' diplomacy action where independent realms want stuff. Also added Capital City if you know it. Both of these are clickable links (allowing you to navigate to their respective UI).

Editor now has a 'big brush' mode for Province hex add mode.

Nerfed the incredibly overpowered Djinni (who were even more overpowered with the AoE fix).

Fixed 'Back' button in the Followers window being unable to navigate Back to anything not an Army.

Fixed Draconic Lore not properly considering the non-Spellcraft projects for discovery bonuses.

Fixed Wizard Towers having a no-effect Leader Office.

Fixed a bug causing the notification text replacing 'Next Turn' to go missing. These are the ones shown when a pending non-optional notification/choice is pending attention.

Fixed a number of crash bugs related army deployment configuration.

Fixed a crash bug related to merging units.

Fixed a crash bug related to the Shatter spell.

Fixed an issue causing world seeds to not be very stable across patches except for geography.

Fixed targeting of Empowered Furnaces.

Fixed AoE attacks usually not doing any AoE damage at all.



Save Game Management
Rolling auto-saves: You can now choose to autosave more than the latest turn. By setting the number of files to something higher than 1, the auto-saves will store the last number of turns accordingly.
Save file folder structure: Each 'campaign' now has a folder under a save folder within the main persistent data folder. Previously all save files were put in the same folder, which could lead to overwriting files by accident. It was also a mess when you needed to manually interact with files in the folder (bug reports, modding). Existing save files are migrated automatically to the new structure.
Delete save group: You can now delete a full group of save files (ie all save files for a particular campaign). This makes cleaning up old save games much faster and less annoying.
Confirm dialog on deleting files. A checkbox on each file dialog allows you to disable this if you need to delete a lot of files.