In this first devlog I'll talk about some of the things that I hinted at on the game website's development page, and I want to shed some light on the big things that are coming down the line.
I made the combat system deterministic. This means there will be no dice rolling involved in this anymore. The random distribution of attributes at the beginning of the game is also gone in favor for your units starting with 8 points in each attribute and you being able to distribute 16 points yourself (equally spread this would be 10 points in each attribute - the average). I also added a mouseover for the attributes, which tell you which affects what activity. Coming back to the combat system, something that I plan to do is to add lots of active abilities to the talents and give you one or two talent points at the very start (for every unit that is). This would mean that instead of watching the combat going by you would be able to have a lot influence, increasing the skill cap (microing movement is a bit awkward at the moment).
New weapons have been added, all with their own strengths and weaknesses. The warhammer for example is good against the enemies armor quality only, giving no benefit if he wears no armor.
The longsword has increased damage but will receive a greater penalty from the enemies dexterity, meaning that a more dexterous opponent like an archer is not someone you want to attack with this.
Also I am planning to have the spear and the pike have increased meele range, which would allow you to make a defensive formation based on all pike wielding knights, who then would be able to all attack incoming enemies at once (assuming the other side does not have pikes themselves).
Also part of this new combat system are the arrows physics. Units with ranged weapons (magic is going to work a bit differently) will shoot their projectiles which will have a travel time based on the weapons quality. These projectiles do not seek their target, that is to say just because the arrow has been shot, the damage will not be applied to the opponents unit yet. The arrow will do damage to whatever it its on his way, wether that is the enemy, one of your own units, etc. will not matter.
Since the projectiles are rather slow (at least at the lower tiers), you could very well just dodge incoming projectiles that are fired at you from higher up. [This whole mechanic might be scrapped in favor for hits determined at firing time though.]
So alchemy is pretty straight forward: You gather resources from monsters, the environment, and dungeons. These might include zombie heads, different herbs, crafted materials, certain minerals and gems found underground, etc.
I'm also thinking about implementing the holy-neutral-cursed mechanic and the necessary identification of found potions from nethack since those are pretty interesting, but that might not happen. Anyway, you would then craft a couldron using the minerals of your choice and choose the potion you want to be crafted, just like with the workbench. In order to ease the (unnecessary) micromanagement there would then be a screen where you could tell each unit to drink certain potions if their health is low, etc. Also save and load presets for all your units to use.
In addition to simple health potions there will be potions giving your units temporary attribute-, skill-, and talent boni, potions that act as temporary weapon enhancements, and possibly some weird potions like letting your unit melt for 30 seconds in order to slip trough gates.
Magic is going to be a bit different than in most RTS I know, but more like in Dungeons and Dragons.
In order to have one of your units to be able to aspire to be a grandmage you will need to find a spelltome. These will be found in dungeons, probably filled with nasty creatures and mages too.
Once you have acquired one such tome, you would be wise to give it to someone of great intellect and wisdom, since those will be the most proficient in the spell casting business. Anyone given the tome will start with a handful of very basic spells like summoning a small light source, mining a bit off a tile or crafting one simple recipe without the required workbench. Any such spell however must be memorized before use and the caster needs to have rested for some time (practically this will probably involve a straight up cooldown for each slot taking x day and night cycles to finish). The more wisdom and skill the mage has will determine how many slots will be available for spells. Intellect and skill in combination will determine wether a given spell will actually be available to be cast. Spells higher tiers will be vastly more powerful, the fireball for example might be strong enough to one-shot smaller creatures and cause devistating terrain damage.
They might also require more slots than just one.
In order to gain access to higher tier spells you will have to have your mages cast the learning spell.
A spell cast like any other, however this one is dangerous to use, because it will increase the flux in the area more significantly than other spells. Flux is the area's infusion with magical energy, which will cause nasty things to happen if it raises too fast too quickly. It might cause storms, spawn elementals, cause things to float, etc. A battle involving a lot of spells being cast might quickly turn into a magical wasteland as a result. Coming back to the tome, it holds all the spells that the mage wielding it discovered, so you could pass it down to someone else in case your mage dies, however spells will only remain memorized if the unit has a spelltome with him.
There will also be means to reduce the flux in an area.