Greetings, companions of the Edain!
After this year's April Fools joke, we are back with more news about version 4.6. Some time ago we already presented you our ideas for Smaug the Mighty, the King under the Mountain. Today we complete his concept and at the same time present the resulting last major new concept of the Misty Mountains: the Ring Hero.
We decided quite some time ago that Smaug, unlike Shelob, would remain the Ring Hero of the Misty Mountains faction. Shelob is no longer available as a Misty Mountains hero, after all she was in no way allied with the wild orcs during the War of the Ring and stayed in a completely different mountain range. So the best and only choice for a Ring Hero is Smaug, who has no equal among orcs and other monsters. And the Misty Mountains, more than any other race, follow the law of strength - so its obviously unquestionable that Smaug, greedy as he is, would never let any of the orcs take the One Ring and would claim it for himself.
So we thought about which characteristics of a dragon are most fanned by the One Ring. Fanned is exactly the right word: with the ring, an insatiable fire, a fanatical greed and distrust of every living thing flares up inside Smaug. Whereas without the Ring he already has little trust (if at all) in the orcs,his mistrust becomes paranoia with the Ring, such that he sees only enemies and thieves everywhere.
But even a brutally powerful and cunning creature like Smaug feels the weight of the Ring, which is why with the Ring he will mostly stay on the ground. His abilities there are as follows:
Inner Fire (Level 1): Smaug's greed and nature literally burn within him. He is completely surrounded by a glow that damages all units in his immediate vicinity and sets the ground around him on fire. Passive Ability.
Avarice (Level 3): Driven by the One Ring, Smaug goes in search of new treasures. Attacks an allied or enemy economic building and generates a high amount of money.
Greed of the Last Dragon (Level 5): The greed of the golden dragon is insatiable, so a tribute must be paid to him consistently. For every 1500 gold in the player's possession, Smaug demands higher tribute, but in return receives +20% attack and armour up to a maximum of +100%. In addition, Smaug captures resources for defeated enemies. Passive Ability.
Burning Skies (Level 7): Smaug briefly rises into the air to burn all enemies. However, weighed down by the One Ring, he cannot move. He has access to new abilities until he lands again after a maximum of 60 seconds.
Infernal Force of Nature (Level 10): Smaug soars into the air and leaps to his enemies. In the area of his swoop, he causes an earthquake in a large radius and briefly sets the ground on fire. Damages everything.
As you can see, the game changes a lot for Smaug once he picks up the One Ring. He can no longer simply fly away quickly from battles or hide above high peaks. However, he also leaves a trail of devastation in his wake. The player must be careful that the orcs do not burn to death as well. In addition, Smaug now becomes so greedy with the ring that he constantly steals money from the player! This loss of resources depends on how much gold the player has - if you are poor, Smaug cannot take much from you and even a few resource buildings make up for the loss. However, the richer the player gets, the more he has to pay the Golden Dragon. Although Smaug receives huge bonuses to his armour and damage in this way, he also devours enormous sums of gold.
Avarice is an adapted version of the Golden Dragon's Greed from his normal form. It synergises greatly with his passive ability at level 5, making it easier for Smaug to reach his full potential. With Burning Sky, Smaug will engulf entire cities or armies in fire, as you can see below. Finally, he unleashes terrible destruction with his Infernal Beast, which allows him to leap over medium distances and bring destruction and ruin directly to the enemy.
The decision to not let Smaug fly around completely freely was not easy for us. In the end, it did not only solve a technical problem (if Smaug had been shot out of the air over impassable terrain, the ring would then have been unreachable), but also gave us the opportunity to make the corrupting influence of the ring palpable. Rising into the air costs Smaug strength and exposes his body to dangerous archers, which is why he only stays up there for a short time. In return, he unleashes a barrage of devastating attacks. He has the following new abilities while Burning Sky is active:
Ring Madness (Level 1): The weight of the One Ring and the fear of losing it weigh Smaug down, so he cannot change his position and lands back on the ground after 60 seconds, exhausted. He attacks enemies from a distance with fireballs. Passive Ability.
Landing (Level 1):Fearing for the ring, Smaug lands again.
Fire Flight (Level 7): Smaug fires a flaming projectile at his enemies, causing devastating damage.
Sea of Flames (level 10): Driven by the madness of the ring, Smaug feels safe only in the midst of fire, which destroys all other creatures. Smaug creates a vast inferno beneath him, which burns all living creatures. Near the resulting wasteland, Smaug is healed.
As long as Smaug is in the air, all other creatures should take to their heels. His standard attack is now a fireball, which he can use to attack enemies further away, and the already known Fire Flight destroys even steeled warriors in a large radius. Sea of Flames gives Smaug a way to heal himself and also deals high building damage - particularly useful as buildings cannot run away from the stationary Smaug. So if Smaug can fight his way into enemy camps and take to the air, his fire will devour all but the strongest fortifications.
We hope you enjoyed this update and are, as always, looking forward to your feedback!
Your Edain Team