Age of Wonders III is getting a brand new expansion called Golden Realms this week. We got in touch with developer Triumph Studios to find out more. Here’s what they had to say.
The original Age of Wonders games came out a long time ago. What are the biggest changes in Age of Wonders III?
Yep, AoW3 came out after an eleven year break, we’ve gone back to our roots and re-imagined the game that started our studio. One of the biggest game play innovations is the addition of RPG style leader classes that allow players to shape their empires in their own image using extensive skill trees. You can be an Elf Warlord, or a Goblin Theocrat. These choices massively impact how your empire develops and how you fight battles. Of course the series’ massive amount of content and malleable environments were translated to modern detailed 3D graphics, making the game more immersive than ever.
The series has always been inspired by the fantasy genre. What are some of the sources of inspiration you use?
Age of Wonders III is a high-fantasy game, but we include themes outside of the fantasy domain to create an fresh angle. For Age of Wonders III the machinations behind the big conflicts of the 20the century were a big inspiration for the campaign for example. Then there’s a strong nature VS (Steampunk) technology theme in AoW3, where the elves, the ancient rulers of the world want to turn back the clock after the rise of the Dreadnaughts who use mana to power their machines and are on the verge of starting an industrial revolution.
The Golden Realms expansion comes out this week, which builds on previous events. Which new features are you most excited to share?
Oh where to begin. There’s new ways to develop cities using mystical treasure sites, there’s a new King of the Hill style Victory Condition and of course lots of new content including the Halfling Race, Monsters, Wild Magic and a new Story Campaign. I think the coolest new feature is the Halfling Race. The Halflings that escaped the Heartwood Massacre were a ragtag bunch of farmers, craftsmen and peasants, rather than warriors. This is reflected in the Halfing’s main unit selection and new special abilities, which represents common folk pressed into service, rather than professional soldiers. Also central is the morale based luck mechanic which gives Halflings a chance to avoid any type of attack. These new features makes Halflings a very fun faction to play.
The expansion also tweaks the core gameplay in Age of Wonders III a little, partly based on community feedback. What are some of the biggest points you’ve addressed?
Well there have seen some massive game flow changes in both the expansion and accompanying free patch which are the sum of many . I think key is that we added new ways for players to interact and compete with each other outside of the battle field. Empire Quests for example makes players go after the same empire development goals. Examples include the first player reaching the highest or lowest Alignments getting good or evil perks, or the first player to have completed all his class’ skill research gets to research extra skills outside of his class picks.