Greetings, companions of Edain!
While reworking sieges, we thought a lot about the topic of comebacks in Edain. If a siege is just a mandatory task where the defender will eventually always lose, it takes the fun out of the entire affair for both sides. To make sieges interesting, the inferior player has to have the chance to turn things around. The reworked spellbooks and siege mechanics already provide the defender with a lot of new options, but we felt that this topic also had to be tackled at a more fundamental level, which kicked off a series of different changes: We are happy to present the new economy systems in 4.5!
We initially started with the pantry upgrade in farms. To hit the CP limit, you would usually have to upgrade several farms with pantries. But since these buildings could be destroyed, you could throw your opponent back massively by eliminating these farms - and while we liked this tactical aspect, we deemed it highly problematic. Cutting a player off from external settlements made a comeback very difficult, because without the pantries outside of his fortress he would now field a much smaller army. We therefore decided to move the CP upgrades to the citadel. You now begin with 500 CP and can increase it to 1500 CP in five steps of 200 additional CP each - and once you have increased your limit, it can no longer be taken away from you. That means that even a defender who has been pushed back into his fortress can raise a mighty army, as long as he kept upgrading his CP.
Removing the pantry upgrade from farms then forced us to rethink the other upgrades as well. Since feedback told us that a better economy was preferred to the defensive upgrade in nearly all cases, we took this chance to kick out the old mechanics and create something completely new: In Edain 4.5, economy buildings can no longer get individual upgrades at all. Instead, we developed ways for each faction to upgrade all farms together and improve the economy that way.
Gondor gets his economy upgrades in the Market Place. Not only is this the obvious choice thematically, we also received a lot of feedback saying the Market Place could use some love. We managed to kill two birds with one stone, making the Market Place an essential building that provides the player with a lot of opportunities while at the same time forcing him to make interesting decisions. To do this, we reworked two existing upgrades and added three new ones:
-Iron Ore: Enables the research of Upgrades in the Blacksmith.
-Increased Taxes: The discount of Townhouses now also affects standard infantry in addition to elite units.
-Forged Tools: Upgrades all economy buildings to rank 2. At rank 2, economy buildings produce 25% more resources and gain 750 additional hit points.
-Forged Worker's Tools: Upgrades all economy buildings in castles, camps and outposts to rank 3. At rank 3, internal economy buildings produce 20% more resources and gain 1500 additional hit points.
-Forged Settler's Tools: Upgrades all economy buildings on settlements to rank 3. At rank 3, economy buildings produce 20% more resources, gain 750 additional hit points and can temporarily man a defensive tower.
Blacksmiths no longer need to reach higher levels to research their upgrades. Instead, you can decide between a stronger economy, cheaper units or quick upgrades. The research time for the Forged Tools is very high, so you have to choose wisely: Do you need stronger units now? Or can you be greedy and survive for another few minuts without them?
Isengard researches economy upgrades in the Armory. Just like Gondor, you can get the three Forged Tools upgrades in a sub menu. Because they take so long to research, an Isengard player, too, has to decide if he'd rather go for military upgrades instead. This decision between a better economy and stronger military was something we wanted to create for all factions, because it can create different playstyles and players can't just get them all without any further thought.
Rohan researchers economy upgrades in the armory as well, which can now be upgraded with a Recruit's camp and an Arsenal just like the Stables and the Archery Range. Since the Recruit's Camp not only speeds up the production of siege weapons, but also the research of upgrades, Rohan can upgrade farms quicker than the other factions. This fits the faction's aggressive playstyle, especially since upgraded farms will also produce peasants a lot quicker, without turning it into an economic powerhouse that it's not supposed to be.
Lothlorien is a special case, because it is the only faction that can't increase its CP limit in the citadel, but in the sanctuary. Since the citadel serves as Lorien's main production building, the CP upgrade would block the recruitment of new units, something we wanted to avoid because of how awkward it could get. This is why we made the sanctuary more important, which (similar to Gondor's Market Place) wasn't being built very often. Economy upgrades are located in the Forge, meaning the decision between economy and fighting power is present as well. The competition between Lothlorien's internal buildings and the discounts they provide has never been this interesting!
The Dwarves can upgrade all their buildings by researching the respective upgrades in the Forgeworks. Unlike the other factions, the Dwarves level up all their barracks and siegeworks as well due to their quality materials and expert craftsmanship. From a gameplay perspective, this makes up for the low amount of build plots in their fortress and enables them to reach high building levels very efficiently.
Angmar needs Tribute Carts to improve the economy. As soon as the Dark Iron Forge reaches level two, it can begin researching the Forged Tools. The new 'Stronghold of the Iron Crown' gives players who prefer to spend their Tribute Carts elsewhere another opportunity: Angmar's new ultimate defensive spell levels all buildings within the fortress to rank three, which enables the research of all economy upgrades immediately.
Imladris is one of two factions without the Forged Tools. Instead, the library is the key to a stronger economy: Once a library has been built, all farms reach level two. As soon as the first set of upgrades has been researched, all farms reach level three. And as soon as all the advanced studies have been completed, Erestor gets unlocked in the citadel. He is no longer available from the start, but he provides a bonus that is more than twice as strong as before to make up for it.
Mordor is, of course, dependent on Sauron himself to make any technological progress, and this now includes the economy. He is already responsible for making Mordor stronger and stronger over time and eventually becoming nearly impossible to stop, so he is the ideal choice for permanent improvements like a higher income and more hitpoints on your farms. To make internal economy buildings (the Arsenal and the Tribute Camp) reach higher levels, 'Sauron's Influence' needs to be casted on both of these buildings. Each time, it increases the building level by one. The same rules apply for settlements: To get Slave Farms and Slaughterhouses to reach level three, 'Sauron's Influence' needs to be casted once on each building.
If you want to see these changes live in action, join us on our Twitch channel on the 16th October, where you can get a first-hand impression of 4.5! We hope you liked this update and are as always looking forward to your feedback!
Your Edain Team