Greetings, companions of Edain!
Today we will talk about some follow up changes on the spellbooks due to your feedback.
Your feedback, our changes Part 1: The Spellbooks
One of the biggest changes from 4.5 was the complete rework of the spellbooks, where we not only gave them a unique and interesting structure, but also added or revised a large number of spells from all factions.
Therefore, we were really interested in your feedback, for which we also created extra feedback threads.
In addition, there was also balance feedback on the balance of the individual spellbooks and replays from the tournament games from which we are able to gain some data about the spellbooks and their use.
Lone Tower: Lone Towers are now able to contain one battalion
The Lone Towers are currently very unpopular and one doesn't see them regularly with either Gondor or Dwarves. Nevertheless, we wanted to strengthen it in a different way than by simply increasing its damage. Therefore, players can now send one battalion into them, which is an indirect buff and allows dwarves in particular to better defend parts of the map.
Rohan Answers: The Rallying Banner is no longer unattackable
Concerning Rohan Answers, an effect occurred in practice that we had not considered in theory. By making the summoning banner unattackable, the player could simply summon it to a contested position on the map, preventing the opponent from fighting at that point, because a huge Rohirrim army could appear there at any time, without the enemy being able to do anything about it. This side effect was clearly too much for an already strong spell. Therefore, the Rallying Banner is now attackable, which requires a more tactical placement. The opponent can now force the player to use the banner early, or he risks losing all progress.
To prevent that in games against the AI if you didn't pay attention for a short time not all of it is lost, 2 Battalione Rohirrim are always summoned, even if the Rallying Banner was destroyed.
Druedain:Druedain-Statues require 45 seconds until Druedain can be summoned there.
Rohan's second-row spells have proven too strong in practice, which is why we weakened the Vanguard in the last patch. Now, we also have some changes to the Druedain.
The problem with the Druedain was that even though they were supposed to be a spell of the defensive long-term tree, they were used almost exclusively for offensive purposes. Thus the long-term aspect of saving the statues and tactical placement was neglected.
Therefore, statues now take some time until the player can summon the Druedain at their location, allowing the enemy to either destroy them, retreat, or play around them deliberately. As a result, we have also changed the cooldowns such that statues can now be summoned faster and Druedain slower. This makes it easier for the player to build a Druedain statue network across the map, which brings both flexibility and reduced cooldown from the Druedain ambush.
Haldir's Galadhrim: Number of Battalions from 4 to 3, Lifetime from 90 to 60 seconds.
Compared to other 3rd row unit summons, Haldir's Galadhrim offered far too much combat strength, which is why we have reduced the number of battalions and their lifetime.
Mystic Stream: Slow reduced from 50% to 40% in the beginning. The slow increases by 5% every 30 seconds. Lifetime time increased by 20%.
Even though the spell wasn't too weak in itself, the feedback came that many people felt it was too weak and that it wasn't useful enough against the AI. That is why we tried to keep it at the same strength level but to make it more interesting and long-term.
To do this, we have changed the slow such that it increases over time. This makes the stream an obstacle in the long run, and not just to slow enemies when summoned. At the same time, we also increased the width considerably and the lifetime from 2.5 minutes to 3.
This way the stream should now be able to develop its full potential, especially in games against the AI, in which the river felt relatively weak so far.
We also cleaned up unintended side effects. It is no longer possible to summon the river in the middle of an opposing camp, which was particullarily bad in camps with walls, to limit the exit from it.
Furthermore, the unnecessarily high visibility of the river has disappeared.
Arrow Volley: Radius from 100 to 90
In order to make the placement of the arrow hail a little more important and to take some strength out of it, we have reduced its radius.
There have been some situations where the blessing has not appeared as intended. Because we were able to fix this bug, the Spell is now at its intended strength level.
Journey to Valinor: Leveling mechanics added. At level 2, nearby allies receive a speed bonus, and at level 3, Elven Lords can be summoned to defend the resting place.
The spell was very unpopular despite strong bonuses and was hardly used, except to negate the opposing Army of the Dead. We therefore gave it an opportunity to level.
When allies fight near the Resting Place, they share their experience with it, just as heroes get experience from nearby fighting units. This makes the area around the Resting Place even more a zone in which the opponent wants to avoid fighting, otherwise the Resting Place will become stronger over time.
At level 2, it also provides a speed bonus, and at level 3, Elven Lords can be summoned, who attack nearby enemies and cause area damage.
We do not expect the leveling up of the Resting Place to happen frequently in multiplayer, although it should always remain in the game as an option for both players to play around. In single player, on the other hand, you should see a leveled Resting Place more often, which makes it more relevant against the AI.
At level 3 the Resting Place can summon Elven Lords as a defense.
Raben: The debuff of the Ravens was readded.
After the ravens became one of the most unpopular spells in the first row, from one of the most popular spells, we gave them back their debuff in a somewhat weakened form. However, due to the weakening and change in 4.41, that ravens will return to the base, when the guarded building is destroyed, they should not be quite as strong as they were when 4.5 was released.
Lone Towers: Lone Towers are now able to contain one battalion
The same as for Gondor, Lone Towers are now able to contain a single battalion. This combined with the building supporting abilities of the dwarves makes them a real threat now.
Weapon Art of the Dwarves : Additionally increases the production of forges by 15%
The dwarves' passive spell Weapon Art has proven to be relatively unpopular. In our opinion this was also due to the fact that it wasn't worth getting it, before researching armor or weapon upgrades. By increasing the production of forges, meaning their research time of upgrades, it now makes sense to get the spell early in order to get both economic and unit upgrades faster.
Runes: The Rune spell costs only 1 spellpoint, but enables 4 sub-spells (variant spells)
We used a new system for the runes, which we call variant spells, which we developped for a spell change that we will introduce later.
If you research the runes spell in the spell store (spell store = where you research spells), a submenu with the 4 individual runes is unlocked. Those can now be unlocked individually for one spell point, such that you can use them in the spell book. Correspondingly, the costs for the general rune spell was reduced to 1 spell point in order to keep the total costs the same. To avoid that the player doesn'tget to the citadel too cheaply, you need all 4 individual runes to unlock the citadel instead of the general rune spell.
With this change you get the first rune for 2 spell points instead of 5, and you have the free choice which one you want first. Since the individual runes can all be very strong, we expect to see them more in the future.
The runes are now at the leftmost position in the 3rd row and has 4 sub-spells.
Palantir: Vision and Lifetime reduced.
The previous version of the Palantir was too strong because it gave the player too much and too reliable information. Thus, it was enough to point the Palantir at the opposing base and you got to know almost everything the opponent did without really having to do more work for it.
In order to reward sensible use by the player, we have slightly reduced the range and greatly reduced the lifetime such that the player has to decide what he wants to see and when. Nevertheless, it still offers excellent insight into the activities of the opponent.
Minions of the White Hand: Costs of the Minions reduced to 4 and enables 3 sub spells (Variant Spell)
We have heard your feedback about the minions that they are perceived as too strong, especially if you use all 3 at the same time. Since the latter should not be the optimal use in our view, we decided to create another incentive to use the spells individually. For this we have developed a new system in the spellbook, which, after researching the Minions of the White Hand spell for 4 spellpoints, enables the individual Minions of the White Hand, namely Grishnak's Boys, Traitors Rohans and Wildmen of Dunland, to be researched for one spellpoint each. Thus, it makes even less sense for the player to use all 3 at the same time and also the total cost has increased by 1. Though you can get to the first minion sub-spell for 5 spellpoints.
In contrast to the dwarven runes, you only need a single minion sub-spell to be able to research Isengard's mine spell.
Moreover, through this whole mechanic, the individual Minions can be balanced even better in the future, e.g. in case we find that not all 3 are equally popular.
Minions of the White hand enables now 3 sub-spells.
Overseers/Banner of the Red Eye: Positions changed
The banner of the Red Eye spell is a spell that we liked very much, but which becomes too strong once the game has progressed a bit. Even if Mordor's normal orcs are not the strongest units in the game, using the spell with more than 10 orc hordes already equals to over 2000 resources. On the other hand, summoning 5 overseers was relatively boring and rather unpopular. Another problem was Mordor's weakness in the early game, which resulted in a very unpleasant gameplay, where Mordor hardly left its base at all.
Accordingly, we decided to swap the two spells to give Mordor a stronger spell in the early game, but one that scales less well.
The Overseer spell is now in the front row and only summons 2 Overseers, but only costs one spellpoint and reloads faster.
This allows Mordor to get some strong troops at the beginning of the game that lead the weak masses and reduce Mordor's absolute early game weakness.
The Banner of the Red Eye Spell is now in the 3rd row, costs 5 Spell points and reloads a little more slowly, but also affects spearmen and archers including Cirith Ungol, Minas Morgul and Dol Guldur, which makes it support a lot more units allows and Mordor a wider use of its tools. This makes it a worthy 3rd row spell.
Shelob: Lifetime greatly reduced, reload timeslightly reduced, Spider Web can be cast only once per summon
From our point of view, Shelob was a bit strong at the moment, especially at the beginning of the game, while her strength decreased considerably when the opponent had enough spearmen. One of the biggest problems was that, due to her Spider Web, which she could use up to 3 times, she was able to take apart one hero after the other.
That is why we decided to make Shelob available for a shorter time but more often and to change her spider web such that it can only be used once per summon. Accordingly, it no longer disassembles the opponent's entire hero ranks when summoned, but can be used significantly more often. This gives the player more attempts to act against the opposing heroes, even if the opponent has spearmen.
We are looking forward to your feedback, as well as to see all the creatives ways you use the changed spells.
Your Edain Team.