Edain Mod 4.5: The Spellbook of Rohan
Greetings, companions of Edain,
Today we want to present you the next overhauled spellbook:
SPELLBOOK OF ROHAN
In our opinion Rohan always had a messy and unfocussed spellbook: Many spells either had no clear purpose or their purpose was overlapping with that of other spells. For example, we always disliked that Rohan had four temporary summons but not one of them emphasized Rohan's cavalry focus - even while the supposed horseman faction had two very similiar archer summons!
In the end Rohan lost 2 old spells, gained one new one and 6 spells have been reworked to varying degrees. Additionally the spells have been repositioned and adjusted to the new spellbook structure.
You can read more about the new spellbook structure in general, including the new long-term and short-term strategic trees, in our first Edain 4.5 spellbook Update.
THE FIRST ROW
Like Gondor, Rohan lost its healing-spell, Simbelmyne. The reason is the same as with Gondor. There are other, more fitting spells for Rohan. Additionally, we want to preserve the unique aspect of a direct healing spell for a different faction.
The biggest change among the Tier 1 spells concerns the Draft. It's an iconic mechanic of Rohan but we had two problems with it. First, wanted two equally important starting spells in the left and the right tree - but Draft is so central that it always would have overshadowed the other spell.
Second, it has never been very interesting from a strategic point of view. It's a spell you'd pretty much always use as soon as it came off cooldown, rarely waiting for the perfect moment or target. This made it more of a passive spell to upgrade peasants which you just happened to have to click on regularly. Because of that we divided the spell into two different possibilities to enhance peasants - one offensive, the other defensive.
Attack Order: Allied units in the target area inflict +30% damage for 30 seconds. Nearby peasants additionally are permanently equipped with emergency armaments.
Fundamentally, it's the classic Rallying Call spell, but now with an additional effect that's sepcific to Rohan. The left tree offers an alternative way to equip your peasants with basic weapons:
Draft Order: The selected farm or mill will now permanently recruit peasants with emergency armament. In addition it will be guarded by armed peasants. Each building under the effects of a Draft Order lowers the cost for Banner Carriers.
The first thing you'll notice is that the two spells are going in completely opposite directions. On the left side you get the prospect of upgrading a building with defenders, as well as recruiting better peasants and cheapening Banner Carriers. This is clearly a spell with long-term effects, making it more efficient as the game goes on if you're able to defend your farms.
The right side, on the other hand, gives you the prospect of instantly upgrading way more peasants at once. It also grants an attack bonus to all troopsm making this spell a better fit for fast, agressive strategies. It was also important to us that both spells are useful even if you don't plan to primarily use peasants.
Dividing the old Draft into an offensive and a defensive variant makes for a much more interesting choice between the two starting spells in Rohan's spellbook. The important mobilization of peasants in Rohan at the time of the war is now considerably more present in the spellbook. However, the Horns of Rohan and its sound aren't completely lost: The effect is now used for the Attack Order.
THE SECOND ROW
We decided to move the Druedain and a completely new spell into the second row of Rohan's spellbook. The Druedain also got a new function to make them more distinct from the other archer summon, Haldir, and to better tie them into the defensive tree.
Aid of the Woses: Allows the creation of Púkel-men statues and Drúedain ambushes.
Buying this spell actually unlocks two connected abilities:
Drúadan statue: Builds a Púkel-men statue of the Drúedain that reveals the surrounding area in a wide radius and detects cloaked enemies. Drúedain may be summoned at any statue to defend it. The more statues are on the battlefield, the faster the Druedain ambush recharges.
Assault of the Drúedain: Ghân-buri-Ghân and two hordes of Drúedain archers appear to defend the selected Drúedain statue and automatically attack enemies in range.
The Woses now have a defensive role in Rohan's spellbook: They can't be summoned everywhere anymore, only near their statues. In exchange you now can summon them more often because, if either you are good at defending the statues or your enemy doesn't manage to destroy them, you can create more and more statues over, resulting in a faster recharge time for the ambush. Additionally, the Druedain inflict more damage than before.
For the offensive tree, we created an entirely new spell:
Rohan Vanguard: Summons two bataillons of Rohan's Vanguard to the battlefield. The vanguard is fragile, but can trample enemies without slowing down. Trampled enemies gain -30% attack and defence for 30 seconds.
This very offensive new spell is designed to better represent a central aspect of the faction. Rohan was famous for its cavalry, which should also be reflected in the spellbook. If used correctly, this spell can severely damage the enemy early on. As opposed to other damaging spells like the arrowstorm or barrage however, there are also strong counterplay options, as the vanguard is more vulnerable than regular riders and can be brought down if used recklessly. In our opinion, it is a very fitting addition to Rohan's spellbook.
You have probably noticed that Grasslands of Rohan are missing. This spell has been removed from Rohan for the same reasons it has been removed from Mordor. This kind of territory spell has to be rare so that it's getting used. In addition the land spell always felt like unncessary filler for Rohan, which is now no longer needed.
THE THIRD ROW
You can find four familiar spells from the old spellbook in the third row, two of which have been changed. Highborn Warhorses especially was moved from the second to the third row and had to be enhanced accordingly. Cloudburst and the Aliance between elves and men remain unchanged.
Cloudburst will be one of the weather effects that remain in the spellbook. We think it's reminiscent of the battle for Helm's Deep and Rohan's arrival at the Pelennor and thus iconic to the faction. Similiarly, the Alliance between elves and men was flavorful and fitting, so it stays as well.
The changed spells work as follows:
Highborn Warhorses: Rohan cavalrygains horses from the royal stud at level 3 that have 30% more hit points and lose 50% less speed while trampling. Rohan studs now permanently produce resources. Their cavalry price reduction now also counts for heroic units.
This spell also underlines the core cavalry aspect of the faction in different ways.
On the one hand, it permanently strengthens cavalry.
On the other hand it helps Rohan's economy in the later phases of the game because studs now yield resources like a farm. This makes upgrades and expensive cavalry easier to access and Rohan gains a little compensation for the small amount of building plots in their fortress.
Finally, we thought it was unfortunate that the royal guard saw so little usage because of their high price. If you buy this spell, the cavalry price reduction of studs also counts towards heroic units.
The Three Hunters: The three hunters fight alongside Rohan against their foes. You now can recruit the three hunters in the citadel.
This spell has been drastically altered. With its old form, we thought that Rohan had too many temporary summons. So we decided to move the three hunters into the left, long-term tree and make them permanently recruitable heroes through the spell. However, they should be different from their regular forms the other factions could recruit. Thus we decided to turn them into one combined hero battalion with their own abilities, similar to the fellowship of the ring in Rivendell. This spell therefore provides Rohan with a powerful long-term advantage. As the hunters have to be bought for money though, Haldir's elves are a better choice if you need quick and powerful short-term reinforcements. This creates a much more significant strategic difference between the two spells than before, when both just were temporary summons.
THE CENTRAL SPELL
For Rohan's central spell Glory of the King, the liberation of Theoden, is the obvious choice. It reflects a central point in Rohan's history in Middle-earth that should be emphasized accordingly. Moreover, it would've been impossible to make the spell available in only one of the two trees. It's such an important spell from a gameplay point of view that the player would more or less be forced to chose the path where it appeared. Glory of the King actually was the spell that first made us think that there should always be a central spell that's independent from either of the two trees in the first place.
Additionally, the bonus now grants every hero of Rohan +15% damage, 15% faster skill regeneration and 30% more experience. This is to compensate the loss of the exile bonus of heroes banned by the corrupted Theoden. We didn't want Theoden's liberation actually resulting in disadvantages for the player because his heroes got weaker. On top of that we also weakened some of corrupted Theoden's skills, while increasing the liberated Theoden's hit points and leadership bonuses.
THE FINAL SPELLS
We didn't change any of the two final spells. We think that both of them couldn't fit better with Rohan's history and character and decided to keep them in their current form. Even their positioning within the trees was a no-brainer because Last march of the Ents clearly is an offensive spell, a nice finisher to crack open the fortress, while the Camp offers long-term support to the player and summons a building that has to be defended.
We think that the new spellbook better reflects Rohan's history and its unique strategic focus. We hope you enjoyed the update and look forward to your feedback.
Your Edain Team