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Default Age of Wonders 3 - Preview Roundup

February 22nd, 2014, 13:13
I managed to find two more previews for Age of Wonders 3.

IGN

This is a far more warfare-based game than Civilization or Fallen Enchantress; there are no peaceful victory conditions. That's not inherently a bad thing, as AOW3 is clearly streamlined to be a game of epic battles. This is a slight shift in focus, but combined with the fast-paced combat, it makes AOW3 a sort of turn-based, fantasy cousin to the Total War series more than a fantasy Civilization. That's would be a pleasant niche to take over, but Age of Wonders III is going to have to improve its strategic layer's speed and accessibility in order to fill it.
IncGamers

Overall, despite a few misgivings, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time playing Age of Wonders 3. It feels fresh and I’m happy with the majority of the changes and the fan suggestions from the beta forums. Triumph have fixed some of the problems from previous games in the series and any new ones created in the will hopefully be resolved before release. I do have some reservations about Triumph managing to incorporate as much beta tester feedback as possible on the racial unit diversity and bugs before release, but it would be great to see this happen.
More information.
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February 22nd, 2014, 13:13
Wow. Just reading and comparing the two previews I find IncGamers one to be far more useful in terms of conveying feel and mechanics of the game.

Two things I hope they change

1) Apparently archers and siege weapons can't miss at the moment, they just do less damage if your behind cover.

2) You can only attack city walls from one direction which diminishes the importance of tactical movement in my opinion.
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February 22nd, 2014, 13:46
It's been hard for me to take games like this seriously since Rome Total War shipped and I saw how much more depth they could have, but it does look good. No doubt I'd have fun with it for a couple weeks
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February 22nd, 2014, 14:43
To me the most interesting question is how this game does in multiplayer. And I can imagine that it will have a hard time to really work when the combats are tacical and take a lot of time. And if you just use autobattles all the time it will lose a huge gamplay element.
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February 22nd, 2014, 15:56
Originally Posted by Kordanor View Post
To me the most interesting question is how this game does in multiplayer. And I can imagine that it will have a hard time to really work when the combats are tacical and take a lot of time. And if you just use autobattles all the time it will lose a huge gamplay element.
It's been a while, but, if I recall correctly, in AoWSM the game host could force auto-resolve for battles VS AI and only have the PvP battles playable in tactical mode.

Games like this will always take a bit longer, but AoW with its simultaneous turns was always better online than HOMAM with its epic wait time between turns.
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February 22nd, 2014, 17:17
To be honest as previews read these seem very negative. AOW-SM was much loved (though the ai could be gimp'ed and graphics are now quite dated) we have high hopes it would be at least as good as AOW-SM if not better. I also wonder if going 3d was a mistake and is creating issues for them to deal with tactics correctly.
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Ok i should say the summary read negative; the full preview is not quite so negative but not sure I like the change to casting when in battle. I used to like to make armies out of heroes and have fun blowing things up but maybe i misunderstand the change to casting.
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February 22nd, 2014, 17:20
Even after all this time, no one has come close to matching MoM….. Same goes for MoO2.
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February 22nd, 2014, 17:58
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
Even after all this time, no one has come close to matching MoM….. Same goes for MoO2.
I fully agree.
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February 23rd, 2014, 05:01
Originally Posted by tomasp3n View Post
I fully agree.
I don't. I think most people think MoM was the perfect game, but that's because memory is a wonderful thing, it remembers the good things and forgets the bad things. No game can compete with that, it's just impossible. Short of making the exact MoM with up to date graphics, nobody will say "this game is better than MoM", hell even if that happened, I'm sure people will say "well, I actually preferred the old graphics".
I went ahead and installed MoM in my computer a bit ago, and to tell you the truth… I don't know what's the big deal about it. I played it many many years ago and liked it, but I don't think it was all that.
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February 23rd, 2014, 07:51
But you're wrong
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February 23rd, 2014, 09:01
I consider HoMM3 the pinnacle of such games, but the AoW series isn't far behind to be honest. I really liked it, and still replay it from time to time. Even AoW1 holds up rather well.

In the previous games, the sound track has always been excellent, especially in AoW1. Due to that, I actually found the atmosphere in the AoW games superior to HoMM, so I hope they can do something similar this time around. The only real rival is HoMM6, which is a good game, but it's certainly not the same competing against and being compared to HoMM3 - which the entire AoW series was in the past, due to the fact that AoW1 was released the same year as HoMM3.
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February 23rd, 2014, 18:48
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
But you're wrong
I would actually call him half right. The glasses of nostalgia does weird things to your brain. I did replay MoM a couple of years ago and I have to agree it's not quite as good as it was, although still a great game. But it's still the BEST of these kind of games in many ways. I've enjoyed Fallen Enchantress, AoW, Eador:MOTBW etc. but they're still lacking the charm of MoM. I have high hopes for the next game in the elemental universe from Stardock though, which actually sounds like MoM but with improved everything. I'm in.

MoO2 though…nope. No other Space 4X have been as great since then. Lots of GOOD ones, like GC2, but not great like MoO2. Have my hopes up for GC3 though.

And no, I don't work for Stardock…
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February 23rd, 2014, 20:37
*goes to gog check what MoM looks like*

I don't think that game aged well, never played it, but I own it on gog (somehow), so I'm going to try it. Let see if the "charm" still exist.
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February 23rd, 2014, 21:29
Originally Posted by tomasp3n View Post
I would actually call him half right. The glasses of nostalgia does weird things to your brain. I did replay MoM a couple of years ago and I have to agree it's not quite as good as it was, although still a great game. But it's still the BEST of these kind of games in many ways. I've enjoyed Fallen Enchantress, AoW, Eador:MOTBW etc. but they're still lacking the charm of MoM. I have high hopes for the next game in the elemental universe from Stardock though, which actually sounds like MoM but with improved everything. I'm in.
How can he be half right when you're agreeing with me?

Nostalgia has nothing (or little) to do with it in this case. I replay MoM every so often - and it's still - beyond ANY doubt - the best fantasy 4X strategy game out there.

Sure, it looks dated and it's not very balanced - but it's got a fantastic combination of Civilization and Magic the Gathering - combined with tactical combat that's perfect for the genre.

I consider HoMM and AoW weak in comparison - thought I'm a pretty big HoMM fan. Personally, I prefer HoMM4 and HoMM6 over HoMM3, though.

MoO2 though…nope. No other Space 4X have been as great since then. Lots of GOOD ones, like GC2, but not great like MoO2. Have my hopes up for GC3 though.
See? We agree

Well, not really - as I consider GC2 stale and boring.

Ok ok, I'm a huge fan of SimTex - what can I say
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February 24th, 2014, 00:16
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
I consider HoMM and AoW weak in comparison - thought I'm a pretty big HoMM fan. Personally, I prefer HoMM4 and HoMM6 over HoMM3, though.
If you prefer HoMM4 over HoMM3 then that explains it, your opinion means absolutely nothing whatsoever, in a scale of 1 to 10 about a -3928299 to me
That's akin to saying you prefer Star Wars episode 1 over episode 5
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February 24th, 2014, 09:31
Originally Posted by wolfing View Post
If you prefer HoMM4 over HoMM3 then that explains it, your opinion means absolutely nothing whatsoever, in a scale of 1 to 10 about a -3928299 to me
That's akin to saying you prefer Star Wars episode 1 over episode 5
HoMM4 puts more emphasis on the roleplaying aspects of heroes, which happens to be my favorite aspect of these games. It also puts the hero on the battlefield as a character you can control directly - which is exactly how I want it.

Beyond that, I play HoMM in multiplayer mode exclusively - so I'm never bothered by poor AI and such things, which I know HoMM4 caught a lot of flak for.

HoMM3 was a great game with more factions, but I prefer 4

As for how important my opinion is to you - can you guess how much that means to me?
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February 24th, 2014, 10:59
Wolfing is correct.

HOMAM3 was easily the best of them, and this is reflected by the fact that its still played online daily on Gameranger. I'll take a screenshot of games up right now to show I'm not just talking shit here. You can see homam4 doesn't come close.


HOMAM4, while I did enjoy it for a while, didn't even get to finish it's development and was rushed to the shelves in a horrible state with its studio being closed half way though. Totally unbalanced, the heroes on the field made other units completely redundant and ruined the game.

Should you prefer a focus on the roleplaying aspects of the heroes and enjoy having them take part in tactical battles in person, the superior game is clearly Age of Wonders: Shadow Magic, where the heroes do just that. You can even equip them with items both found in game or crafted in your towns. They also never become as game breaking as the heroes in homam4. (Though a high level hero with doublestrike enchanted sword can go a long way!)

The simultaneous turns makes playing AOW online much better than HOMAM because you hardly have any wait time. A good player can wrap up their turn very quickly, unlike homam, so its realistic that you can finish a map in a single session.

AOWSM also has the highest count of playable factions at around 12 or 15, if I recall, which is the most disappointing thing about AOW3 only bringing back a paltry 6 of them.

When all is said and done it would appear that all of us involved in this discussion have reason to be interested in in Age of Wonders 3!
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February 24th, 2014, 11:20
I don't know what that screenshot is supposed to prove. I guess that means League of Legends is the best multiplayer game out there as well - because it has far more players? Don't be silly.

Skyrim would objectively be much, much better than Dark Souls if we were that ignorant

The most popular game is just that, nothing more. Everything else is subject to personal preferences.

If this is some kind of fantasy about telling me that I didn't actually enjoy HoMM4 more than HoMM3 because I don't follow the hivemind - then let's just say it's not very convincing

People have to understand the simple concept of liking different things for different reasons.

It has weaknesses - and balance was a problem, sure. But again, I enjoy being overpowered later in the game. It's fun for me - just as it was in MoM.

Amount of factions is probably the weakest aspect of the game - but I can live with it.

I play these games in hotseat - because my friends and I enjoy talking in between turns and watching movies, etc. We don't just play that one game and nothing else - it's a social event, usually over a weekend in the summer house or whatever.

I don't want to sit and stare at my screen during a multiplayer game, which is what you end up doing - because there's always some slow ass taking ages. Turn time limits never work well enough for that, either.

As for Shadow Magic - it was quite a bit better than the previous games, but I'm not a big fan of Age of Wonders. The strategic layer is not very satisfying - and I find the building aspect predictable and awfully balanced in terms of the time it takes to get anywhere. I'm not a fan of the combat system either. The maps are generally too small - and it completely lacks the charm of the HoMM games.

Nah, MoM is king and HoMM4 is a distant second. HoMM3 was a quality product, no doubt about it - but I find it lacks some of the quirky charm that NWC is famous for - and it's not strong in the RPG department. I actually think I might prefer HoMM2 over HoMM3 - because it's the most charming of them all.

But since I'm an adult, I'm more than ok with people having a different opinion - and I can accept HoMM3 being the most popular and well-liked by the majority.

It has no bearing on my opinion, though.
Last edited by DArtagnan; February 24th, 2014 at 11:31.
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February 24th, 2014, 12:49
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
But since I'm an adult,
Didn't know that so far.

[Yoda Voice]Stating the obvious you are, hm ? [/Yoda Voice]

“ Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius – and a lot of courage – to move in the opposite direction.“ (E.F.Schumacher, Economist, Source)
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February 24th, 2014, 12:50
Well, compared to you, Alrik - we're all children
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