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Thread: Hey guys, I need to know the radius of the gears and their teeth per inch.

  1. #1

    Hey guys, I need to know the radius of the gears and their teeth per inch.

    So this is going to be a bit of a narrative, and I need you guys to give feedback on my strategies to help me understand the strategy behind this game.

    Also, I don't want to jump in game and see what the ghostly skulls are called for Unhallowed (basically my food), so for the time being, they are mystical spirits.

    My biggest problem seems to be that the death plane is chock full of desert(tundra) squares and swamp squares, and while swamp squares gives me a bonus to mystical spirits, neither of them give me any population, and often times I'll find 2 or more Yrm crystals within reach of a single city but a city built there will support zero pop.

    So on hero creation I take, take a deep breath guys, Ascetic, Butcher, Heretic, AND Tyrant (wow) which gives me enough points to put 12 points into Biomancy and 3 points in Biomancy mastery, which gives me *exactly* enough Biomancy to pick up wetlands, which seems to be a Biomancy only spell with no synergies. I then put 7 points into destruction which gives me "just" enough destruction to pick up black ice. That saves me one whole point to pick up gate master. Then I am off to happily play the game as a terraformer.

    Then I search around the map, basically look for Yrm crystals, particularly groups of 2 or more because as far as I can tell, power is just about the most important "thing" in this game. I end up dropping around 5 cities, favoring Yrm crystals first and mystical spirits second. Then between black ice and wetlands I terraform the land to get myself to a 20 citizen pop max with as much bonus to mystical spirits as I can get. My capital city pretty much builds all of the buildings and every other city only builds buildings that either produces power, mystical spirits, research, or defense.

    Then somewhere around turn 200 (yea, you people who beat the game in 50 turns...that's crazy), I start to spit up heroes, mostly living ones, so I start crafting rings of heal %, because they don't heal (ever) otherwise, which pretty much immediately takes me to -36 mana for 68 turns (numbers mostly made up, but close) and I have to crank my power all the way up on mana and forgo research and spell power in order to make a ring that makes my heroes heal. And the game spits up descent heroes about as fast as I can produce rings (about once every 50 turns or so), so anywhere after turn 100-200, I'm pretty much dumping everything I have into mana and item crafting. So much so that I'm MORE concerned with my mana pool than I am my spell power, as I'm consistently running in negatives on mana, and need terrain features and transmutation to keep my mana pool up while I create rings to keep my living heroes alive. In turn 400 I can cast all of 65 spell points and I'm glad I've been able to keep 10 or so points into boosting spell power most of the game.

    It was turn 300 before I even left the death plane, then promptly turned around and went back home when the guy cast holy word.

    I feel like I'm missing a lot of content there though, because that's an awful lot of points that I've been shoe-horned into to be able to build viable cities in the death plane.

    So a couple questions:

    1. What is the in game effect of spell circles? I know it allows me to pick spells at the beginning, but it pretty much takes me to go all in on a spell group to get a tier 2 spell and I am pretty sure I've found tier 5 spells. Is there a correlation between the number of circles I have and spell boosting? Does "Tier 9" mean I can learn up to tier 9 spells but the game will only let me select a tier 2 spell to start? Does that mean I could put 3 in Biomancy instead of 12 and simply find Wetlands later (hopefully?) since it is a T3 spell and I have 3 spell circles?

    2. What is the effect of spell synergies? I remember in the demo it said circles stacked however, putting 4 in destruction and 3 in death does NOT let me pick up black ice as a T2 spell. Does that mean with 1 destruction and 1 death I could "find" black ice as a T2 spell?

    3. What is the exact correlation between population and production? I know zero population is bad and generally, higher is better; I've figured out that it's abstracted as "1 guy" for every 1000 citizens, but somewhere around 20 people I'm seeing diminishing returns. It actually takes me like 13 farmers to support 20 citizens so I only get a net 7 guys to do things with, and I've seen that decrease as my citizen population goes up. (numbers mostly made up). In my Capital, for example, which has no bonus to mystical spirits (not my fault) at around 18,000 citizens, I've only actually got like 2 guys to do anything with because the rest are required for farming.

    And I get that popping down some swamp squares will give me that bonus to mystical spirits, but then it takes away some of my population.

    So does population produce anything other than guys with which to do things with (production, farming and research?) Is there a population "sweet spot" I should be looking for, or does that vary depending on location and % bonus to mystical spirits? What should my pop be with 0% bonus? At what point does mystical spirits bonus become more important that max pop? Is 20 + as much mystical spirits as I can get a good baseline?

    3. Does spell power have any effect on item crafting speed? Does my ability to burn more mana per turn mean I can make items faster? Am I simply doing too much crap on one item? (I tend to put 10% health, mundane resist and extra mana on my rings.).

    4. I pretty much have to ravage the country side to level up my heroes and the xp chests are largely pointless, it seems. How is XP handled in a fight? Do I get less XP per unit if I have a larger army? Do smaller groups get more xp per stack? Do max level units still eat XP for being in the army? Do I get less XP for fighting a very low danger stack v/s a low danger stack, all other things being equal? (Do the units actually poop less xp?) How many heroes do you guys usually run with? I end up with 4. Should I focus on 1? or 2? All of them and not care so much if they die? Would one stack and mondo spell casting level me up faster?

  2. #2
    YAY! I get to spend lunch dorking out and might not even get called a crazy obsessive.

    This time >.>

    1) Spell circles determine which spells you can cast. Each spell is of a "tier" one through nine. Tiers one through eight are part of two different circles. Let's say a spell is part of Death and Destruction. If it is a tier 2 spell (and you can see what tier it is in the research window and the spellbook) then you need two tiers of Death, OR two tiers of Destruction, OR one of each. This means two things - "rainbow mages" (SorcLords with picks in many different areas) get a *lot* of spells. Second, only true specialists can get the capstone spell of a circle, and those spells are usually very powerful. (but - and this is just personal preference, so you're welcome to disagree - not worth going that heavily into a circle, in the long run).

    2) I don't know Black Ice, but let's say that it's a second tier spell. If you can't research it, that's probably just because it hasn't come up in your spellbook yet. There is never a penalty for having "too many" points in a spell circle.

    3) There's a base value, and then a whole host of complicating variables. Workers generate 2 production (except dwarves, which get three) each, and that's your base value. Then, you have special resource bonuses, which effectively get added to your base value. Say you've got Iron Ore, which gives +3 production. With two workers, plus an iron ore, that's (4+3) seven production. Then, you have city buildings like Stable or Miner's Guild which apply a flat % increase to the base production value. Say you've got a stable built; that's a 25% bonus. With two workers and that Iron Ore, that's 8.75 total production (4 from workers, 3 from iron ore, and 1.75 from the 25% bonus); with ten, 28.75. Then, you have tile bonuses. A mountain tile, for example, gives a production bonus (5%? Can't check right now) which is added to the % modifier from buildings. Finally, there are spells that can improve production as well. Let's say you've got two hypothetical cities with ten workers each. One is built on a barren wasteland with no bonuses of any sort, and the other is built in the mountains, with ten mountain tiles and three iron ore deposits. In this first city, with a stable and a miner's guild built (total of 50% bonus production), you have 30 production. In the other city, with the same stable and miner's guild built, you have: [20+(9x1.5)]x[1+.25+.25+(.05x10)]=67 production (assuming that I'm not wrong about the 5% production bonus from mountain tiles). Clearly, it's advantageous to build your cities in smart places. Population generates food, production, and - except for rebels - pays taxes. As Unhallowed, not all of that applies

    3) Spellcraft is the upper limit on how much mana you can spend per turn on overland casting, and on crafting. If your spellcraft is 50, then you can spend 50 mana *per combat*, 50 mana per turn on global enchantments or overland casting, and 50 mana per turn toward creating items. This makes Spellcraft very important to improve, and makes the Archmage discipline pretty valuable (that 50% becomes a really big deal once you have a couple hundred power)

    4) XP is divided among the surviving units of a fight which are still low enough level to benefit. So if you had two max level units and two that were not, each of the two junior jedis would get half the total xp from the fight.

    I get through games really quickly, so I don't usually get to have as many heroes as I might like, but my suggestion would be to focus on getting your heroes geared up enough to start taking on fights by themselves (an army, if you will, of one or two heroes). They will level very quickly, and since heroes tend to have good movement and can always be equipped with something with Pathfinding, can run around all over the place. Once they are each powerful, split them up and have them "mentor" armies of good units. You might be surprised how quickly you can get two or three armies of six or eight powerful troops all to max level.

    XP is one of the few resources in the game that isn't easily replaceable. Losing a troop isn't just losing a turn or two of production; it's losing all the xp and improvements that troop had, forever. Keeping a few sacrificial units in a following army isn't the worst idea in the world - hard fight coming up? Throw two or three newbie units into your serious army, and let them get slaughtered. If they can keep alive your veterans, then they've served their purpose well.

    EDIT: typos. Always.

    SECOND EDIT: Farmers also generate production (.5 each) which goes to your base value. I didn't include them in my production breakdown just because it was simpler. But don't forget to consider those farmers.

    Also, you did ask for feedback on your strategies. Forgive the terseness of thsi edit (on break and have to go back shortly)
    First, your spell picks limit you. No matter what else you do with your SorcLord, you should - at least until you feel you want to avoid the esier time afforded by taking advantage of the mechanics - start the game with these three spells: Bless Weapon (life/?) to defeat mundane resist; Bone Aura (Death/?) for that sweet, sweet +15 piercing resist; and Slime (Earth/Summon) for that 8 mana throwaway tank taht will save your units time and time again in the first 50-100 turns.
    Second, you don't need to make so many items. The two heroes you really, really want** as Unhallowed are Amu-Hah Shekala (caster) and Izzir the Dammed (I think that's the level 7 melee one, the undead paladin. If I've named the wrong one, just keep your eye out for an undead paladin. That's the one I mean). For your caster, all you need is to make a ring of +20 mana for them to use in their first few levels until they get a deep enough mana pool to make do on their own. Since you aren't making so many items, you can devote a lot of your power to Spellcraft. You should make every reasonable effort to capture one or two research-generating buildings, because ultimately you want your power to be 100% devoted to Spellcraft. You should have, for the entire duration of the game, a Spellcraft value higher than the game turn number. It's a balancing act (and helped ENORMOUSLY by picking Alchemy on creation), but worth it, and far from impossible.
    Placing a city in a good spot is worth a lot more than just placing a city. Even if the max population would suffer hugely, getting an iron ore makes the first few dozen turns much, much more efficient.

    Finally, the game is just plain easier playing one of the living races. I enjoyed my games as Unhallowed, but there is less variety and a tougher start (though, dear lord, once you can field an army of Vampires and Dracoliches, you win everything forever). If you're having a hard time getting rolling, maybe play either of the Elves, or High Men. Something with decent early-game ranged units. It'll help you stay on the power curve long enough to really understand it. And keep a cheap unit parked on every Inn you find, and keep an eye out for good troops.

    **You'll want Simbey, and Aledar, and maybe Amberclaw or Crombie. You will. Those are amazing heroes. But with a point in Summoning (you got Slime, right?) you'll end up with Healer Familiar, which you can keep on your living heroes, and they can heal themselves in combat (for "free") when they have nothing better to do with their turn. Don't need to make rings for that. Just a 1-mana-per-turn enchantment cast once on each hero.
    Last edited by OneFiercePuppy; 06-06-2016 at 05:43 PM.

  3. #3
    My god...dropping 2 points into summoning is perhaps the most useful advice I've seen thus far.

    Yea, I was able to learn black ice with just one point in destruction and death (it turns a swamp into desert/tundra). Now with some creative use of Wizard's Roulette, I am now learning Wetlands with MUCH less points dedicated to it, which means I have a lot more goodies than before. OMG thank you!!!!!!

    I picked up 5 points in Augment and Biomancy because...enchants. Also, augment gives me the bless weapon and unholy weapon spells that you mentioned. I also have 1 point in destruction, 1 in death, 2 in summons, and that leaves me enough for artificer, archmage, alchemy and gate master. MUCH better. Thank you again.

    I'm afraid you are either talking about WoM or I'm doing something terribly wrong... I've built pretty much every building available to me and the biggest units I can build is Death Guards, Phantom Lancers and Arcane Wraiths. I've fought Dracoliches...but they aren't available in my capital city.

    This information was incredibly helpful. I can't thank you enough.

  4. #4
    Me being fundamentally wrong about something is essentially a given. I may have been remembering fielding an army of units given as feature rewards. I did that whole post from memory, and in a rush. So, sorry about that. Still, if you get the opportunity to have a few vampires or a dracolich, add them into your army and never let them go Anyway, glad the wall of text was helpful.

    You know, I probably am remembering using reward creatures, because the whole time I was playing the vampires, I was thinking that they were even better than demons, which are also pretty amazing troops.

    You wouldn't go wrong with a pick of Life. If you're Unhallowed, you're starting on Death, and that 5 mana, tier one spell that damages undead only (forget the name again) can be pretty handy, early on. It's too consistent to be a coincidence - I suspect Wastelands intentionally designed it so that the living benefit from dabbling in Death, and the dead benefit from dabbling in Life.

  5. #5
    I have a long and storied history of playing the undead in RPGs (Mercestes being one of my vampire characters) and it's always been an incredibly cheese move for anything undead really to take up being a cleric. Being a necromantic undead has been unfortunately pointless in anything D&D related. And I guess it has a delicate and artistic synergy to it, ya know? You think about life and health and all the things that goes along with it, and it's all warm breezes and happy thoughts, and those things are deadly to the undead. Likewise, you think of death and pestilence and you think of acrid acid fogs and darkness and the stench of mold, all things deadly to us. I imagine those are just sunlight and warm breezes to the undead.

    Disrupt undead. Yea, it's a life/destruction T1 spell and I took that 1 point of destruction just to get disrupt undead.

    I downloaded a spell compendium made by Medieval Nerd and found there is a summon Dracolich (but not summon vampire) spell, which might be incredibly helpful. It's T8, but if I dip deeply enough into death...

    The Spell Compendium accidentally exposed another incredibly important particular of the spell stacking mechanic that isn't at all clear in the game. For the most part, Biomancy, Augmentation, Destruction, Mentalism, Protection and Summoning as a group of effect types stacks with Fire, Air, Earth, Water, Life, Death as a group of elements. Elements do not stack with each other and effect types do not stack with each other. So if I want to "summon everything" I should put all my points in summons, or if I want everything death related, I should put all my points in death, but if I want to specialize in say, water creatures, I can put a few points in Water and a few points in summon.

  6. #6
    If you play on a world that's got most of the planes, each plane with a fairly high land mass, and a fairly large map size, you may find that you can get all the spell circles. Haven't played enough PC to get to that point, but in WoM, at least, I could usually get all nine tiers of every spell circle on a 7-plane Colossal map, and still have big chunks of one or two planes left, unexplored.

    You could get any unit in the game as creature rewards from features in WoM. I've gotten Phantom Warriors, Vampires, Dracoliches, Elementals of each variety, Shambling Mounds. All sorts of things which clearly say in their description that they can only be summoned and never be part of a standing army. Perhaps they've fixed that for PC; I need to roll up a new game with a maximum-sized world and work through it this week so I can stop reusing old knowledge

    ...what, no Archlich Cleric/Mage multiclass in your campaigns? No redemption path to create Death Knight Paladins? Lord Soth disapproves ^_^

  7. #7
    I rewrote Blackguarde as a base class. The only possible way a PC could get to be a Blackguarde is if they intended to be a Blackguarde from the beginning (what Paladin puts six points in hide?!?) and I refused to encourage metagaming in my campaigns.

    Yea, for whatever reason, I get 400 turns in and don't leave my plane. I'm getting faster though, no lie. I'm finally working on "Housing" until about 3-4000 pop.

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