I had a very long road trip so I got quite some time to think
what I would suggest for the next expansion of Legendary Heroes. This got a little lengthy but is is an expansion right
Ok i do not want a completely covered map with state borders. Thats just not fitting for my imagination of a fantasy world and will hinder game play. It should be islands of states and remote Citys (and places of might) with large, dangerous untamed lands in between. I think this should also be that way for almost a whole game. So how do we achieve that? I see two options:
1. Tame city building by having a prestige for the whole empire. That way if i have a lot of citys all will grow slow. If i choose to have only a few they will be growing fast. I like to choose from those two extremes.
Also a world wide overall available population for each race would be some fancy stuff. So you get the first 5000 citizen very fast (by collecting hidden people). Later in the game all growth is done by reproduction which is much slower. This Obviously needs to be shown by a map overlay like a heat map. Different races could live on different areas of the world or on different terrain. A modification of how many people are left in the world could also be a race trait.
A nice addition would be if opposing races kill each other off unseen in the wastelands and scattered races in hostile grounds die off slowly if they can not find a near friendly empire. This could also be enhanced by powerful spells like "cleansing of the weak" or "hunt for the dark ones". This would add a nice population layer with population movements (and large red arrows to indicate) to the game.
2. Let me more be drastic: why founding citys. Did Sauron? So why not have a mode where all citys are already founded (except the one available by quest of course . One could only build (maybe more extended) outposts. The world would be filled with strong city states. Great but let's not stop there. They need to be powerful and taking by force should be extremely expensive (in the early and middle game). Some suggestions to get those citys into your empire.
+Besiege them with 15 Units for 20 turns
+Quest (series): kill the dragon
+Build an expensive Temple
+Cast a spell
+Terra form land
+Research a pseudo technology (Language of the Lizards)
+Kill a faction or other city
+Sacrifice 5 Units
+Reach sacred site
+have a righteous reputation
+be some specific race
Even having a hybrid of both options would add a lot of "goals" to the middle game and extend the game beyond just founding or capturing citys. I also feel that is is very important to keep passages between the territory's open for a long time in the game so one imported aspect, namely questing is not too much hindered.
Ok lets have more complex factions:
1. Add an empire/race mood
Every faction could have different positive and negative mood effects. For example:
+War monger: +1 to the empire mood for every unit killed.
+Peace lovers:Having 10 consecutive turns of peace, 20 40 ... gives +10 mood
+All:A city lost -5 mood
+Developers:New tech unlocked +5
+Group people:Got allied with another empire +10
+Miners:Got iron and silver +5
+Happy mood spell +5
+Moral decay spell -10
+Racist:Got another race in the empire -10
+Templers: found scattered relic +5
... and lots more
So every faction would have to be played differently. Peace loving factions will seek ally's war wagers will seek war, obviously.
So what will the mood do:
If around neutral: nothing
If negative/positive: +-Gildar income, +- Production, ...
If above a threshold(s): Unlock faction specific bonus "Golden Age":
+New faction traits for units (free or trainable) "Zealot warriors"
+Free empire wide spell is cast "Roads of nature"
+Spell unlocked "Call the Avatar of War"
+All army's hidden "Cloak of Nature"
+Gain an Artifact "Sword of purity"
This adds a layer of managing your citizens to the game and also will have a heavy influence on faction differentiation. Also it provides another way of harming or helping other factions and also is another goal to pursue during middle and end game.
2. Add a weakness
I want a backdoor, like a ring and a volcano
Let all factions have a weakness which severely harms an empire. This weakness should be able to be found some where in the world. So all factions have a big interest in finding those hidden relics and secure it (maybe with benefit) before another can use it. Maybe one per Empire and Kingdom is enough. Should also add some desperate search willingness to all players .
Ok I don't like magic as is is. Is is not specific to LH or FE. Magic has been like this almost always in the history of computer games (with some exceptions like Black & White...).
In short: Get XP or Item, tadaaa - a spell, jay level 2 Fireball, does 20-30 dmg. Boring. This game is about magic and there should be a lot more to it than killing stuff with your hero to get em to unlock the "next" spell. Ok suggestions. What does the widely read fantasy lore tell us. Magic is about learning. Ok lets do this. Have a different disciplines for spells (not new):
Fire, Earth, Air, Water
Illusion, Summoning, Terra forming, Life, Death
What ever fits the lore
Each discipline will have something like a skill tree BUT it will not level with the XP of the character!
Also a caster starts off with an initial discipline, maybe a XP based trait could allow a 2nd or 3rd discipline to be unlocked.
Every spell (or group of spells) in the discipline will have some perquisite. Some examples:
+Visit 6 Air shards (lvl 1)
+Visit 12 Air shards (lvl 2)
+Build a Temple of fire
+Kill a Dragon
+Kill 20 Spiders
+Study 10 Turns in the Library of Foobarness
+Summon 10 Imps
+Sacrifice a city/10 units
+collect and spend 5 moon stones
+Visit the tree of life
+Make a quest XY
+Possess an Artifact "The shield of the coward"
.. endless opportunitys
This would reflect a learning process done by a caster and be much more fun and also add goals to the game. And yes I already hear the complies: "what if the map does not contain x which I need to make my build y with my char z". Grow up, I find it much more compelling to adjust to a given "sandbox" world rather a "yes all will work as you wish" world.
Teaching is also an important part of magic. A caster in a city with another hero could train him some already unlocked discipline/trait in a discipline in some turns (can be accelerated with an academy
Also units could get a trait which enables them to learn a low level spell from a hero. Such heroes would be pretty valuable trainers in a city.
Spell casting is too cheap/easy/boring. I would add the following:
+Consumables for spells (dragon bones, spider legs...)
+Location based spells (on a volcano, near a shard...)
+Spells requiring an artifact/building
I already listed some of these ideas some time ago here:
Ok this was much. Thanks for reading so far
Hopefully some ideas will be of use. Comments please