Spellforce 3 Gamescom Early Look
The Spellforce 3 demonstration was with artwork only, apparently they were changing the engine to use DX 11 making it impossible to show something at this stage.
Note that some of the images in this presentation are photos taken from a screen
Their main reference for Spellforce 3 is Spellforce 1 and not the second installment of the series, which I think is a good thing to do. The game is a prequel to Spellforce 1 and takes place some 500 years before the events of that game. This allows them to tell more about the lore of the Spellforce universe for which there were already references in the two previous Spellforce games.
This also means that some elements available in Spellforce 1 are not yet invented and obviously, the continent is still in one piece.
They are aiming to bring as much details to the world as possible, which is something Spellforce 2 had less of than Spellforce 1. The Spellforce series have always been a combination of RPG and strategy with a bit of economy added to it. To this, two parts are changed, the strategy and economy parts as these have become too easy in Spellforce 2, which is why they want to increase the depth of these two systems.
The player will start on the map in Nortander. The map consists of small sectors, where one sector is as big as one screen with a border made of border stones. The player has to conquer each sector before being allowed to move into a new sector and gather resources and construct buildings in it. Once a sector is conquered the sector is merged into the ones you already own, thus growing your territory. The border will then move to the next sector.
Every sector has to be occupied by placing one outpost. At first such an outpost is very weak and not so efficient when it comes to economy, but the outpost allows you to recruit workers to raise buildings in the sector and to gather resources. Like in the previous games there are six different resources. Three of them are common resources: wood, food and stones. The sectors on the map have one or more different type of resources, so you have to decide beforehand about which sectors you need and how you need to structure your economy. In Spellforce 3 you actually need to deliver your goods from one location to another by means of transporting them. There is not a global account where resources are added to and which you can directly use. This transport takes time as it is done by a horse carriage, so the further apart the two locations are the more time it takes. The transport can also be raided by outlaws, so you have to protect them and the roads they travel on. If you are unable to do that you should think about not further expanding your territory.
As the sectors will have a different combination of resources, you are destined to move the processed resources around, depending on your needs and you also better plan which sectors are worthwhile to have. As an example in the mountains you can collect iron, which need to be processed into iron bars, before they can be processed into weapons, with which it is possible to raise your army. Unless you have everything in the same sector, you will need to move resources around at some point in time. However once the final goods are processed (weapons in this example), they become available to you everywhere and they do not need to be moved around anymore.
They feel this will add a challenging logistics system that you have to protect for the duration as a large strategy map can last up to 2-3 hours, excluding any dungeons.
In some of the sectors you will occasionally also find a special location like an abandoned dwarven mine. You will be able to enter that mine and once you do that the gameplay will change to the role-playing part and the economy and strategy will not play a role anymore. You now have to unlock doors, disarm traps, fight enemies, find loot, do quests, talk with NPCs, etc.
Going through the dungeons can take you between 10-20 minutes. Once completed you will return to the strategy map and continue with the strategy part of the game. You might also have found an item in one of the dungeons that you can use in the strategy map. Perhaps an item, which allows you to align with other parties, because they want to have that item. This is an example of how they try to create a mixture of role-playing and strategy.
The military system will become more complex as well. They have changed the technical differences between the units such that they are more important in the outcome of the battle. You will need to use the advantages of each of the units as good as you can in order to win a battle.
Each of the three factions (humans, elves and orcs) has at least four basic units (cavalry, infantry, long ranged and lance carriers) and special units (like mages and shamans).
As an example of how these units interact. The cavalry will kill archers by just charging through them, but by defending the archers with spear men, the cavalry will be defeated by those spears.
Also the terrain can be used to your advantage. You can place your archers on a higher terrain, which will give them a bonus when shooting down. However, If your archers need to shoot upwards to units on a higher terrain they will get a penalty.
Next to the mentioned special units there is also the titan. Each faction has its own special titan, with its own special skills and will take a huge amount of resources before he can be used. But once you have him, he is very powerful.
The campaign setting will be more political than the previous Spellforce games. The characters are not black and white, but grey. So, they aren't good or evil, but something in between. They can and will be involved in political affairs, which can influence the world.
Also the visual style differs from the previous games, as they decided to move the game more into the high-fantasy direction, because at Grimlore Games they aren't fans of a cartoony graphic style. For them fantasy should be taken seriously.
More information about the Shaper civilization, an ancient civilization of which only the remnants are left in the world, will be told throughout the campagn. They were also referenced in the previous two games.
There will be a cooperative campaign in which you can play that campaign with one other person. It is not possible to play the campaign with more as they could not get the story to work out properly. So it is now limited to two people.
Spellforce 3 will support up to 6 players in a PvP strategy multiplayer mode. It has been a big challenge to get the whole 3D RTS system deterministic, but they feel they managed to have pulled this off. This is a PvP mode
The role-playing part has the traditional classes, you level up and at a certain level you can multi-class your character. You will meet NPCs on your travel that can join your party. A maximum of 4 can join.
There will be political factions in the game and the NPCs that can join your party will have an alignment with one of the factions, so at times it is better to skip a NPC if the faction they are aligned with does not match yours or the ones already in your party.
There is also a multiplayer roleplaying mode (PvE) taking place in the dungeons with up to four players, where you can save your character online on the servers of Grimlore. You can develop that character on their servers and participate in the game of others with that character.
Spellforce 3 will be available on PC only as they feel that only PCs can handle the complexity and depth of the games Grimlore Games wants to make.
Information aboutSpellforce 3
Developer: Grimlore Games
SP/MP: Single + MP
Regions & platforms
· Platform: PC
· Released at 2017-12-07
· Publisher: THQ Nordic