The Deity Today: Age Of Wonders III

By Adam Smith on March 18th, 2014 at 9:00 am.

Beyond the pomp and circumstance, I always felt that theocrats were essentially bureaucrats with bigger hats. And I guess the hats are part of either the pomp or the circumstance anyhow – a Stovepipe of Circumstance +4 or a Zucchetto of Pomp +2. Nineteen minutes of Age of Wonders III footage introduces another kind of theocrat, one with honest-to-badness divine powers and inquisitorial tendencies. I thoroughly enjoyed my time with the revived strategy game but spent my time in the soft-soled boots of a rogue rather than the hard-souled vestments of a theocrat. The video is in the form of a developer-led let’s play, showing a late-game battle involving an Eldritch Horror.

I don’t normally stick with twenty minute trailers for their entire duration but after the first couple of minutes, I realised that this one had soothed my Monday blues. Seeing a developer struggle with the AI in his own game is reassuring, as is the realisation that other people spend so much time checking stats and resistances.

The game is out in a couple of weeks, on March 31st.

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36 Comments »

  1. Auru says:

    In a month full of triple A, massive releases.. this is one of the games that has stayed on my radar, I really hope it turns out well and captures what made AoWII so good.

    • Corb says:

      Agreed! Can’t wait to throw a dreadnaught at some castle walls :D

  2. Jomini says:

    One thing that still confuses me: Can you actually mix races and classes?
    The way Triumph Studios presents the game I’ve got the impression playing Theocrats means always playing Goblins, playing Dreadnought means playing a Dwarf etc.

    • SandmanXC says:

      I’m pretty sure you can, to an extent at least. I saw a let’s play on Youtube with someone playing a Dwarf Theocrat.

    • ColCol says:

      Yes, any race and class can go together.

      • Wulfram says:

        Does the race actually matter? The impression I get is that it’s just a matter of appearance.

        • RedViv says:

          Each race has its own native units which fall into generally the same broad category but all have different properties, plus local summons/trained monsters. That all then interlinks with class-specific upgrades to units.

        • Sian says:

          There are some differences like inherent resistances against certain elements, easier traversal of certain terrain, preferred terrain where morale is concerned (to the point that units botch attacks when they’re on terrain they hate). There are also bigger differences: Draconians have flying infantry and units that evolve into dragons, for example, while dwarves have units that can dig through certain wall types. Once the game is out, we’ll know more about all that. But there aren’t any huge, game changing differences as far as I can tell.

          Edit: I forgot to say: You’re not restricted to just one race, either. You can conquer or ally with towns of other races and produce their units too. I have no idea if this in any way influences morale or happiness, though.

        • Swanny says:

          For example, goblins will probably have night vision, elves might have forest concealment, – i’m not sure if race will have an effect on stats, but it sure will on abilities.

  3. Horg says:

    March is the Longest Month : |

    • Corb says:

      I know right? My calendar is just a count down to the game release.

      • guygodbois00 says:

        +1. Same here. “Waiting is the hardest part” – from the old PCG.

  4. rikvanoostende says:

    That Eldirtch Horror must be the vanguard of our destruction.

  5. oWn4g3 says:

    I love how this guy is genuinely having fun playing out this battle. At the same time he shows off gameplay mechanics that actually help you decide whether this game is something for you or not. That’s the kind of preview footage I wanna see, I don’t give a damn about wub-wub trailers made out of cutscenes.

    • nebnebben says:

      Yes, this guy persuades me to buy the game more than a million AAA trailers ever could

  6. Danny says:

    The last months there wasn’t anything worth my time to play, but the next weeks will be full of games that have my interest. Dark Souls 2, Elder Scrolls Online and most of all this fine piece of turn based goodness.

    I’ve spent so many hours on the play-by-email multiplayer functionality of Age of Wonders II, it’s not even funny. The good thing is – in this time of broken and rushed releases – that this is one of the few games that I’ve pre-ordered without any doubts with regards to it’s quality.

    • RedViv says:

      Too many good games again. And worse, Age of Wonders III and Warlock 2 and Endless Legend and Worlds of Magic, all available to the public within a few weeks of each other, apparently. It’s 4X fantasy MADNESS, I say!

      • Sian says:

        I’m not sure Worlds of Magic is going to be released that soon. The latest newsletter didn’t make it seem like it. And to my shame I have to confess that I’ve never heard of Endless Legend.

        • RedViv says:

          Well, it is still scheduled for Early Access or whatever they plan in Q2 (instead of Q4 last year), so… Rather short amount of time still?

          • Sian says:

            Ah, I didn’t know about that. But still, Q2 is April to June, isn’t it? Plenty of time to at least check out all of these other games.

  7. Col Sanders says:

    I can’t help feeling that this either going to be very good or very disappointing. I only say that because Age of Wonders is not only one of those games from my childhood and thus nostalgia but also because to this day it is one of my favourite games, the campaign was superb, the scenarios were superb, the races superb, and the music oh my days,
    So yeah I am glad they Eric Van De Boss back for the music so it will be awesome, but I just can’t help feeling that I will find it to different from the first game plus the lack of dark elves and highman makes me sad. (I realize that there were later games which explains why this is so but having not played them nor wanted to).
    Still going to hold off on preordering until the last few days in the hope that someone has it discounted.

    • Shadow says:

      You can probably get something close-ish to dark elves playing a High Elf Rogue, and high men, especially in the AoW1 sense, could be represented by the forces of a Human Theocrat.

      I was surprised by the lack of undead, however. Especially given how they seemed to be featured in early screenshots, with tomb-like cities and Egyptian mummy vibes. But I think they’ve been reduced to minor race status, and merely inhabit dungeons now.

      • rikvanoostende says:

        I don’t mind. I’ve seen too many zombies in too many games recently.

    • Memphis-Ahn says:

      It’ll probably be disappointing. Nothing can live up to (my memories of) the previous games.

  8. RedViv says:

    Physically weaponised faith. Goblin angels.
    As if I didn’t have enough of a reason to get this game.

  9. Rizlar says:

    Great headline pun, even better looking game! I’m starting to get really excited about this and haven’t even played the previous AoW games.

  10. bills6693 says:

    Never played an AoW game, but I do enjoy myself a bit of 4X and it has grabbed my interest. Any good comparisons I can make to see if its the sort of thing I’d like? Best aspects? (Sell me the game :P)

    • Fenix says:

      Really the best comparison I can think of is the Heroes of Might and Magic games that came out during that same time, only that AoW was more strategic, QUITE more difficult and uglier/rough around the egdes. It really made you work for a victory but never felt cheap. It wasn’t super creative and I honestly don’t even remember what the story was about but it wasn’t terrible either.

    • Shadow says:

      I suppose Age of Wonders is a cousin of Heroes of Might and Magic, only with a much better combat system and heroes who actually fight alongside their troops instead of hanging back, untouchably so, acting as a glorified spellbook. It’s a more Civ-like approach in general, I believe, with more emphasis in your cities and faction as a whole instead of your heroes’ development.

      Also, AoW is a million times better than Elemental/Fallen Enchantress/Legendary Heroes, which took some elements from it but failed miserably.

    • DatonKallandor says:

      Age of Wonders is basically an attempt to make a balanced, multiplayer capable version of Master of Magic.

      • Swanny says:

        This, I always felt AoW was the closest to Master of Magic any game ever got.

  11. BlackeyeVuk says:

    Oh boy o boy o boy o boy o boy o boy [in gremlin voice]

  12. VladVoivode says:

    Really wanting this one BADLY folks!! This year brings a renaissance of my favorite genres, namely, high fantasy 4X and a bucket load of seemingly fantastic space games. Anyhow, I’ve been an Age of Wonders junkie since the first iteration. While this lacks the number of races as Shadow Magic, it does seem to make up for it in the sheer number of units and spells.

    Shadow Magic has stood the test of time and I am so very hopeful that Age of Wonders III becomes the new crown jewel for Triumph Studios. If this is mod friendly, this game could really obliterate the competition though Warlock 2 looks promising – and yes I’ll buy it as well. My major complaint with Warlock I was the grating voice over work – especially for the Elves.

    As for Worlds of Magic, I’ve tried the demo and at this point I still don’t feel the magic as it were. Anyhow, hurry up 31 March!!!

  13. weary ghoul says:

    Please let this be good. We will find out soon.