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Tourney won by Team Dread & Mac!! (Tourney)

A great tourney eventually found his earned end!

A tourney ended successfully: Thanks to all those who participated in this tourney !! Congrats to the winner(s)! And a big thanks to the organizer Hiliadan! The following matches were played: Round 1: Game#1 Mab`s Sons beat phir&ookie
Round 1: Game#2 Dread & Mac beat MM&BC
Round 1: Game#3 Reckless mortals beat SleepingDog & personian
Round 1: Game#4 Crusher of Clans beat Bastards of the North
Round 1: Game#5 Deaf Ogres NWO beat Zia
Round 1: Game#6 xlnt & Henry beat Tooth and Nail Biters
Round 1: Game#7 Pandapocalypse beat HoboTeam
Round 1: Game#8 LobEarLo beat Brews Bros
Round 2: Game#9 Mab`s Sons beat Dread & Mac
Round 2: Game#10 Reckless mortals beat Crusher of Clans
Round 2: Game#11 xlnt & Henry beat Deaf Ogres NWO
Round 2: Game#12 Pandapocalypse beat LobEarLo
Round 2: Game#13 phir&ookie beat MM&BC
Round 2: Game#14 Bastards of the North beat SleepingDog & personian
Round 2: Game#15 Zia beat Tooth and Nail Biters
Round 2: Game#16 Brews Bros beat HoboTeam
Round 3: Game#17 Reckless mortals beat Mab`s Sons
Round 3: Game#18 Pandapocalypse beat xlnt & Henry
Round 3: Game#19 Dread & Mac beat phir&ookie
Round 3: Game#20 Bastards of the North beat HoboTeam
Round 3: Game#21 Deaf Ogres NWO beat Zia
Round 3: Game#22 SleepingDog & personian beat Brews Bros
Round 4: Game#23 Dread & Mac beat Bastards of the North
Round 4: Game#24 Deaf Ogres NWO beat SleepingDog & personian
Round 5: Game#25 Reckless mortals beat Pandapocalypse
Round 5: Game#26 Dread & Mac beat Mab`s Sons
Round 5: Game#27 Deaf Ogres NWO beat SleepingDog & personian
Round 6: Game#28 Dread & Mac beat Deaf Ogres NWO
Round 7: Game#29 Randomvictory: Dread & Mac beat Pandapocalypse
Round 8: Game#30 Dread & Mac beat Reckless mortals
And the winner was Dread & Mac. He will get an extra place in our Hall of Fame! Good luck and have fun in the next tourneys!

Created on: Monday - 2020-06-01 at 11:39:17

Related Links

» Tournament Tree
» To the Team
» Link to the Tournament
» Tourney Overview

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PBEM and Single Player Balance Mod v1.29: a final polishing before a major update (Community)

v1.29 is the last of the v1.2x update: the final release before v1.3x versions and their overhaul of non-summon strategic spells, Racial Governance and at some point, balancing of the Shadow Realm Community Expansion. The scope of this update is limited: completing the hero/Leader skill cost rebalancing, and mostly bug fixing. As usual, it also improves description of skills, abilities, etc. to improve player experience.

An Article by Hiliadan

v1.29 focuses mainly on two areas:

  • Finalisation of the hero/Leader upgrade point overhaul which had started in v1.23 and has the twin aims of balancing hero classes against each other (boosting weaker heroes) and increasing the variety of viable options/paths for hero upgrades by raising the cost of abilities always taken by players and reducing the costs of abilities usually shunned.

A dozen abilities had their costs tweaked to better reflect their strengths: Phase and Projectile Reflection are now cheaper, while Free Movement (Arch Druid ability) is now more expensive for instance

  • Bug fixing and modification of Forbidden Sanctum's reward to avoid ridiculous situations where you could get 800 or more mana: the reward now should not exceed 300 mana and still depend on the strength of the secret skill acquired in the Sanctum.

v1.29 was released on the main branch close to 8.5 months after v1.28 (against a goal of a release every 3.5 months). This is despite the fact that its first release on the beta branch came only 2 months after the release of v1.28 on the main branch. This significant delay is partly due to some tedious bug fixing and obstacles to implement some of the planned changes (see next paragraph). It also reflects the considerable time spent preparing v1.3.

Unfortunately, some technical issues prevented the implementation of the major overhaul of the movement of non-Walking units announced in the article on v1.28. This is delayed to v1.3. With a change of decimal, v1.3 will be a major update of the balance mod, and probably its last such major update. Unlike what was announced in that same article, it will only boost non-summon strategic spells. The rework of Racial Governance is pushed to v1.31 or further versions to avoid further delaying the pace of new balance mod releases.

The coding of v1.3 should start in early June, with hopefully a release on the beta branch shortly after. The pace should accelerate after that, with much smaller updates to be expected (except for the Racial Governance overhaul).

Full changelog of v1.29 (also available on the official changelog of the balance mod)

Bug correction
- Issues/bugs of the balance mod corrected:

  • Solar Spire is again correctly displayed in units’ panel and correctly provides the additional Fire damage against Flying units
  • MCI following failed Necromantic Aura check is non-removable by Break Control and non-stealable with Steal Enchantment
  • Goblin Engineer has Flash Bomb (was Flash Bang)
  • Undeads, Ghouls, Machines can again benefit from Regrowth from Shrine of Guardian Angel
  • Force Field Generator (effect) from Force Field Generator Gear is renamed Lesser Force Field, is stealable with Steal Enchantment and prevents the spell Force Field from being cast on the unit (and vice-versa, the spell prevents the ability from being used on the unit)
  • Diggable Cavern Wall and Undiggable Cavern Wall is reduced in the Tournament game flow
  • Karl the Lich now correctly has have 5 upgrade points at level 2 (was 4)
  • "Small Square Map" is renamed "Square Small Map"

- Several minor description corrections

- Forbidden Sanctum’s extra reward multiplier is 0.07 (was 0.25) so that you can get maximum 200-300 mana in addition to CP and free skill (this is also updated in the Strong Defenders Normal Rewards mod)
- Armor Piercing costs 1 upgrade point (UP) (was 2)
Inflict Immolation costs 3 UP (was 4)
Inflict Severely Poisoned costs 4 UP (was 5)
Phase costs 3 UP (was 4)
Projectile Reflection costs 3 UP (was 5)
Rapid Reload costs 2 UP (was 3)
Guardian Flame costs 4 UP (was 5)
Martial Art costs 3 UP (was 2)
Tireless costs 7 UP (was 6)
One with the Tree costs 5 UP (was 6)
Life Steal costs 3 UP (was 2)
Energy Drain costs 5 UP (was 4)
Free Movement costs 3 upgrade points (UP) (was 2)
Immolating Touch costs no action point (was takes all remaining AP)
- 9 descriptions and Tome of Wonders pages are updated to correct imprecise or incorrect descriptions. Full list.

Example of before and after description updates: the strength of Disintegrate is now stated and the exclusion of Elementals and Dragons from several abilities is now visible. Thanks to gladis and Rodmar for reporting most of those!

- The update of the entire French localization of the game is completed. Thanks Rodmar!

- Inflict Despair is available at level 7 (was 5)

Created on: Sunday - 2020-05-10 at 23:18:56

Related Links

» Official forum thread of the PBEM balance mod (for announcements)
» Beta branch of the PBEM balance mod on Steam Workshop
» Main branch of the PBEM balance mod on Steam Workshop
» Dropbox folders with latest balance mod files (for non Steam users)

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Shadow Realm Community Expansion: open beta launched! (Community)

About 5 months after the opening of the closed beta (June 2018), the Shadow Realm Community Expansion moved to open beta on the Steam Workshop in November 2018. As we are moving closer to an official release (out of the beta phase), this article takes stock of the progress on this project which has involved more than a dozen contributors from the community.

An Article by Hiliadan

About 120 bugs and issues have been fixed during the closed beta and the first phase of the open beta. The two mods of the expansion (one for the main content and one to access the Shadow layer in RMG maps) have reached the top 30 by subscribers, with 2500+ subscribers and very good rating (the expansion is for instance rated the 10th best AoW3 mod in the latest community rating). The closed beta focused mainly on polishing the content but it was too short to properly address balance and compatibility with other mods (though no incompatibility issue arose).

Goals of the open beta:

- polish the last scenarios of the Shadow Realm campaign and add the missing retextures and icons

- conduct a balancing pass to ensure the expansion is properly balanced

- address any compatibility issue which might appear with other mods

Everything currently works in the Community Expansion and it is safe to use it. The first two scenarios of the campaign can be considered finalized. All the units, abilities and structures are fully designed.

A new T4 unit: the Elder Bone Dragon, which can only be unlocked by clearing the strongest of all sites, the Forgotten Throne

What is missing:
- some retexturing (Elder Creatures) and some icons
- finishing maps 3A, 3B and 3C
- fixing some bugs on the RMG, especially one which can cause crashes on large maps (but extremely rare on Medium or Small maps)

You can see the list of known issues and report new ones here:
And finally, let's give big thanks to people contributing or giving bug reports and feedback for the Expansion!

Created on: Wednesday - 2020-01-22 at 22:15:56

Related Links

» Wiki
» The main mod
» The mod to get the Shadow layer in RMG maps

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Best mods of AoW3 - 2019 (Community)

This is the third edition of the "best mods of AoW3", following polls in 2016 and 2017. A handful of significant mods (and in total about 100 new mods) have been released since and a new poll was needed to update the list of top mods. All 20 mods of this ranking are excellent mods, even the lowest ranked ones, as they were selected through a shortlisting process. They include two of the four entirely new Races created by modders, 1 balance mod, 1 new Dwellings, several DLC-worth mods that significantly reshape the game (including a community expansion with a new campaign) and a handful of mods adding new visuals or improving current ones.

An Article by Hiliadan

As already mentioned in the articles presenting the results of the first and second polls about the best AoW3 mods, AoW3 is a very rich game with about 400 units, more than 400 techs and 400 unit abilities and few players have played all its class or races. And for those who managed to get bored despite this immense replayability, a plethora of mods designed by the community further improves graphics or increases their customization, adds new units/spells/buildings/abilities/etc., improves the ease of use of the game or improves existing assets of the game by making them more fun and more balanced.

Chart of the Age of Wonders series in numbers, compiled by Tibbles (full chart can be found on the old official Triumph news)

How to navigate all these mods?
In early 2019, a shortlist of 20 of the best mods was drafted with the help of the community on the Steam forum, and building on the results of the previous such polls. These 20 mods were then put to a poll open to everyone for two months until 21 June 2019. 80 votes were cast, electing the best mods of AoW3! Voters could rate each mod on the following scale:

  • To be avoided! (-2)

  • Bad mod (-1)

  • Neutral (0)

  • Good mod (+1)

  • Must have! (+2)

  • Don't know

This list should help you to find the best mods and select the ones most appropriate to your style and wishes.
Keep in mind that the 20 mods listed in this article are already among the best for AoW3 and are already the result of a shortlisting process, so even the mod ranked #20 is very good. And also keep in mind that there are many more excellent mods outside of the list: with only 20 spots on the list and 600+ mods available, even exceptional mods could not make it.

The table below presents different statistics from the poll (full table):

  • Simple average: average quality of the mod

    • Average of the ratings (for example: 10 'Good mod' votes and 10 'Must have!' votes translates into (10*1+10*2)/20=1.5);

  • % of 'Good' and 'Must have!' votes: helps distinguish mods that are judged by the majority of the community as really good, even if others dislike these mods

    • Proportion of voters who rated the mod 'Good mod' or 'Must have!'

  • % of 'To be avoided!' votes: highlights mods which may be bugged, have some balance issues, or other problems

  • Ranking: this section orders mods from #1 to #20

    • 'Must have!' votes: helps distinguish the top of the top, the mods you HAVE to always use, if you want to improve your AoW3 experience, with no hassle attached

      • Based on the proportion of voters who rated the mod 'Must have!'

All the indicators exclude "Don't know" answers. The darker the green, the best the mod is ranked.

The 20 best mods for AoW3 according to the voters

1) Racial Class Unit Reskin
2)  Chivalrous Intentions
3)  PBEM and Single Player Balance Mod
4)  Decodence - Map Editor Content + Decodence - RMG Integration
5)  Racial Heritage Mod
6)  Extended Settings - More Game and Map Settings
7)  Empire Building Mod
8)  Racial Watchtowers
9)  More Colors for Coat of Arms
10)  Shadow Realm Expansion - Content + Shadow Realm Expansion - RMG Integration
11)  Structure Reward Variety
12)  Extra Support Units
13)  The Old Man and the Sea
14)  Movement Orders First
15)  Legendary Units
16)  Lost Library Revamp
17)  Hero Development Mod
18)  Hero Profession Mod
19) New Arsenal
20)  Insectoid Race

A short note on incompatibilities

Compatibility mods exist for several top mods. Without these compatibility mods, some changes of the top mod may overwrite or be overwritten by other mods, but the game will remain stable in any case.

The top 5 mods
#1 - Racial Class Unit Reskin - average rating: 1.65 (57 votes) - Must have!

: Visuals

The 2nd mod on the Steam Workshop (by subscribers) with more than 31 400 subscribers (only topped by the Chinese language mod), the Racial Class Unit Reskin comes first of our ranking for the third time in a row (it topped the previous polls in 2016 and 2017)! More than simple reskins, this must-have mod from Tibbles significantly improves the appearance and icons of all race-specific class units (so machine and non-racial Undead excluded), making each race's units really unique and recognizable.

72% of voters rated it as 'Must have!' and none gave him negative ratings: you can subscribe to this mod with your eyes closed.

Compatibility mods:
Bigger Regiments
- Regiments

New racial models of the Warlord Warbreed (by Tibbles)

High Elf Shaman before and after the improvement (by Tibbles)

#2 - Chivalrous Intentions - average rating: 1.50 (26 votes) - Must have!

Category: New content

One of the reasons for the rerun of the poll, Chivalrous Intentions is the meteor which blazed through the sky of AoW3 in recent months. Released in October 2018, it has very rapidly conquered the hearts and minds of hordes of players. It is the only mod released in 2018 which reached the top 30 mods by subscribers (most top 30 mods are very old ones, from the days when more people played AoW3). With 100 updates when these lines are written, it is very regularly improved with new content by his creator, Tasty Buttcream (with support from Iguana-on-a-stick). As its "only" 26 votes and 1.50 rating show, Chivalrous Intentions is not yet well known among players but has a core of die-hard fans.

The mod adds more than 300 units to the game (and still counting), adding a lot of variety to races and class-race combinations. It has a strong focus on balance and lore.

The mod adds a Flying unit for Goblins but it requires a Grand Palace to be unlocked - an example of the attention paid to balance and to making all buildings and Mystical City Upgrades more useful (by Tasty Buttcream)

The mod started with a focus on Human chivalry orders, hence its name - it has since expanded to all races and beyond chivalry (by
Tasty Buttcream)

#3 - PBEM and Single Player Balance Mod - average rating: 1.35 (43 votes) - Good mod

Category: Balance, New content, Visuals

This mod is the result of extensive and long-term work by the AoW3 community to improve the game by making it both more balanced and more fun to play with all races, classes and specializations, started in early 2016. It includes many new and reworked ability and techs (e.g. a Fortifying Meal for Halfling Brew Brother that synergizes with Halfling Farmers by allowing them to Throw Chicken again, a new Cloaked in Shadows tech for the Partisan specialization which makes units Invisible for 1 turn, etc.), making Dreadnought and Halfling more enjoyable and interesting to play, Necromancer more balanced, lacklustre specializations such as Partisan, Earth, Air Master, etc. more interesting. The full changelog is available on a dedicated page.

Three branches of the mod co-exist: a beta-branch to test new versions, a main branch which receives versions successfully tested in the beta branch, and a Tournament Edition sometimes used for tournaments on the Battlefield website. Users can stick to the main branch.
The balance mod is not complete without the Strong Defenders Normal Rewards mod if you play with Strong defenders. It was technically necessary to break down the mod in two to avoid affecting players playing with the Normal (or Very Strong)t defenders settings.

Changes are designed both by (through a discussion process with many players which ensures only needed and coherent changes are brought) and for the AoW3 community, with both Single players and PBEM players in mind. With Triumph having stopped balancing the game, this mod aims at being the new "base game" for all players. As such, it includes the Racial Class Unit Reskin and Racial Watchtower mods (#1 and #8 of our ranking) with the permission of their authors, which means players using the balance mod benefit from their visual improvements without needing to separately download and launch them: only 1 mod needs to be launched. Other must-have mods will be added to the balance mod on a case by case basis.
The balance mod also includes more than 30 clarifications or corrections of in-game descriptions, and is available in French, Polish and Russian (though the two latter have unfortunately not been updated for some time).

Two articles explain why PBEM players and single players should use the PBEM balance mod and introduces its latest v1.28 version.

The following mods have compatibility patch to work better with the balance mod:
- Empire Building Mod
- Weapon Resize
- The League of Extraordinary Builder

A video showcases the improvements brought by the balance mod:

Dreadnought heroes/Leaders have been boosted and can choose Lava Walking, while all 'xx Empire' spells received bonuses, as illustrated by Temperate Empire (+1 defense, +1 resistance)

#4 - Decodence - Map Editor Content + Decodence - RMG Integration - average rating: 1.20 (30 votes) - Good mod

Category: New content, Visuals

Resulting from the hard work of Charlatan to bring new visual content to the game, the Decodence suite of mods contains three mods: Decodence Map Editor Content, Decodence RMG Integration Patch and Decodence Leader Customizations. Only the first two were shortlisted and they should be used together. Decodence Map Editor Content contains all the 3D model assets, and can be used by map makers to create incredible maps (it is for example used in the Shadow Realm Community Expansion, see #10 below). The RMG Integration Patch brings some of this new content to the game by including it in randomly generated maps:

  • 2 new terrain types (overlays) in addition to Fertile Plains, Wetlands, etc.: Tundra and Autumn

  • 6 new sites to clear and absorb in your cities' domain

Please note that this content might not be balanced and that it is necessary to set all the terrain overlays to maximum in the settings of new maps to equilibrate them with Tundra and Autumn (otherwise the maps will contain too much Tundra and Autumn in comparison to the other overlays).

One of the two new terrain types introduced by the Decodence mod: Autumn (by Charlatan)

One of the new site introduced by the RMG Integration mod - the Raven Home (by Charlatan)

Decodence also has several compatibility mods:
- Empire Building Mod (#7)
- Old Man & the Sea (#13) - apparently this mod disappeared from the Steam Workshop around September 2019
- Corrupt the Source (not in the top)

#5 - Racial Heritage Mod - average rating: 1.05 (39 votes) - Good mod

Category: New content

One of the most successful mod adding new content to the game (others include Chivalrous Intentions - #2 in the top -, the Empire Building mod – #7 in the top -, City Building mod – not in the top – and the Hero mods from the same author), the Racial Heritage Mod deepens the alignment concept and brings two sub-factions for each race, one good and one evil. Each sub-faction brings two new units to the game, as well as a production chain including in general four new buildings. In total, the mod thus brings 4*9 = 36 new units to the game, which you will face at independent sites and that you will be able to build in your cities. Each faction has a very specific gameplay and flavour, greatly enhancing the game experience.
Together with the Hero Development (#17), the Hero Profession (#18), the Old Man & the Sea (#13), the Beastman Dwelling and the Archon Race mods, Eomolch created content worth a new DLC for the community. All these mods featured in at least one ranking of the best mods for AoW3, which demonstrates the quality of his work!

Compatibility mods:
- Empire Building Mod (#7)
- Regiments

Tigran Battle Priest, from the Moon Cult Tigran sub-faction (by Eomolch)

Halfling Gardener, from the Good, The Vigil Halfling sub-faction (by Eomolch)

Rest of the top 10

#6 - Extended Settings - More Game and Map Settings - average rating: 1.00 (37 votes) - Good mod

Category: Customization

An old mod, which features for the first time in the ranking, the Extended Settings mod allows to go beyond the lower and upper bounds set by Triumphs for most of the variables of Random Map Generation. You are frustrated and would like to play Gigantic maps? With this mod, you can (though it may cause crashes in later stages of the game, as AoW3 is not made to handle the huge memory loads associated with extra large maps). You've always felt games ended up too fast and you want to take hundreds of turns to finish maps? Try the Ultimate Slow game speed which makes research and population growth 8 times slower than at normal speed. You can even tweak city growth and research time separately now!

For players wanting more customization of starting resources, starting income, defenders, maximum number of heroes, etc. this mod is what they need. If you're happy with base settings though, this mod won't bring you much as it's all about additional settings.

Not afraid to feel alone on a Titanic map size? This chart shows how large it is compared to the Large maps (by Samurai190)

#7 - Empire Building Mod - average rating: 1.13 (39 votes) - Good mod

: New content

This rich mod from Der Mentat brings content almost worth a new DLC. It includes new building chains (also modifying existing ones), new units, a revamped hero upgrade system, new combat spells, etc. The Empire Building mod really provides a new experience of AoW3 and increases the "empire building" part of the game. It is very well developed with a very complete and well-illustrated (and mostly updated with latest changes) manual and a translation in German. Regularly updated over 12 months in 2016-2017, this mod is one of the most carefully crafted available, with a great care to details. In the previous poll, it ranked #3 and despite an improvement in its rating (from 1.06 to 1.13), it lost some ranks due to one user (probably unfairly!) rating it as "To be avoided!".

Der Mentat created compatibility mods to perfectly integrate the Empire Building Mod with two other specific mods and with all the mods that modify heroes:

- Triumphant Heroes
- PBEM and Single Player Balance Mod (#3)
- Decodence - Map Editor Content and Decodence - RMG Integration (#4)
- New Arsenal (#18)
- all hero mods
- all unit mods
- Racial Heritage (created by God of Sheep to fix an issue with Tigran Master Shredder) (#5)
- Legendary Units (created by Lord Cameron) (#15)

Shadow Witch, one of the 27 alternative racial unit of the mod (by Der Mentat)

Some of the new buildings deepening the empire building aspect of the game: Market and Academy (by Der Mentat)

#8 - Racial Watchtowers - average rating: 0.98 (48 votes) - Good mod

: Visuals

This mod by iHunterKiller replaces the standard Watchtowers on the strategic map by race-specific Watchtowers, embellishing the strategic map. Simple and efficient, it also consistently made it to the top 10 (#3 in 2016 and #7 in 2017).
Since v1.8 Poseidon, the Racial Watchtower mod suffers from a bug that prevents Builders from building water Fortresses. This can be fixed by using the PBEM & Single Player Balance mod, which contains a fixed version of the mod, including an improved Goblin Watchtower (see #3 above).

Compatibility mods:

- League of Extraordinary Builders

Draconian Watchtower (by iHunterKiller)

Orc Watchtower (by iHunterKiller)

#9 - More Colors for Coat of Arms - average rating: 0.81 (32 votes) - Good mod

: Visual, Customization

Always part of the rankings (#11 in 2016, #4 in 2017), the mod does a very simple job and does it well: it adds 32 colours for the coat of arms you choose for your Leader and which colours your cities and units on the strategic map.

#10 (ex aequo) - Shadow Realm Expansion - Content + Shadow Realm Expansion - RMG Integration - average rating: 1.00 (29 votes) - Good mod

Category: New content

The other main reason for running the poll on the best mods again is the Shadow Realm Community Expansion. Released in open beta on the Steam Workshop in November 2018,  it is a coherent and relatively large package of additional content for AoW3 built by a team of more than 10 volunteers for over 3 years. The expansion includes a new race (the Shadow Elves), a new Dwelling (the living Archons), a new layer (the Shadow Realm), over 15 new structures and 40 new abilities. It also includes one of the only two custom campaigns designed for AoW3 by the community, with 3 scenarios and 5 maps (the campaign has 3 endings and thus 3 maps for the third scenario). With all this new content and the amount of work put into it by the community, it's almost worth a new DLC!

A manual describing all the new units, abilities, structures, etc. can be found on a dedicated page of the AoW3 wiki. It also includes a FAQ section explaining, among other things, how to activate the Shadow layer.

Please note that the expansion is still in open beta and may thus contains some issues or bugs. In particular, the third scenario of the campaign is still under work (as of August 2019).
The expansion requires at least 2 mods to be played: the Shadow Realm Expansion - Content and the Decodence Map Editor Content are the backbone of the expansion and are sufficient to play the campaign. To find Shadow Elves and get the Shadow layer in RMG maps, you will need two additional mods:
Shadow Realm Expansion - RMG Integration and Decodence RMG Integration.

The new race introduced by the Expansion: the Shadow Elves, with a full line up of racial and class units, and a strong background story, partly explored in the campaign

Compatibility mods:

- Wasteland Campaign and Nomad Race

- Dark Elf Dwelling

#10 (ex aequo) - Structure Reward Variety - average rating: 0.75 (28 votes) - Good mod

Category: Ease of use and improved game mechanics

Its name might be slightly confusing but this mod is relatively simple: it adds new reward sets for the following sites: Great Farms, Springs of Life, Dungeons, Brigand Hideouts, adding new units to the list possible rewards, thus increasing the diversity of rewards. The mod also adds more diversity of items to several sites.

Dungeons no longer reward racial units, instead holding Tier 3 Animal/Monster/Giants and Lesser Elementals (by Godzillamancer)

The rest of the shortlist of best mods

#12 - Extra Support Units - average rating: 0.69 (35 votes) - Good mod

Category: New content

Tibbles, the author of the Racial Class Unit Reskin mod (#1), added 1 new T3 mounted Support unit for each race, unlocked by a new Chamber of Mystery building, unlocked by Temples. The units are:

  • Draconian Ascendant Elder

  • Dwarf Forge Lord

  • Frostling White Rider

  • Goblin Blight Surgeon

  • Halfling Brandy Brother

  • High Elf Storm Maiden

  • Human Inquisitor

  • Orc Black Priest

  • Tigran Ancient Mystics

The mod is available in English and German. This nice mod can enliven games by bringing some novelty, without changing too many things.

One of the 9 new T3 racial units: the High Elf Storm Maiden (by Tibbles)

#13 - The Old Man and the Sea - average rating: 0.86 (35 votes) - Good mod

Category: New content

The favourite Dwelling mod of the AoW3 community, the Old Man and the Sea has a poetic name and a lot of very flavourful new content! It adds 4 new water structures, 3 Mystical City Upgrades associated to these water structures, 4 new water-borne units (including the monstrous Sea Serpent!) and 1 new Dwelling with its 5 new units: the Nynevians.

This mod significantly increases the interest of maritime exploration and warfare, a welcome addition that tackles one weakness of AoW3.

It was without doubt an inspiration for the official Poseidon update which copied its Water Fortress concept.

The new Nynevian Dwelling, surrounded by some of the new water structures (by Eomolch)

In terms of compatibility, this mod will not be compatible with other mods adding Dwelling, except the following ones if you use these compatibility mods:
- Dark Elf Dwelling and Beastman Dwelling
- Beastman Dwelling

#14 - Movement Orders First - average rating: 0.67 (18 votes) - Good mod

Category: Ease of use and improved game mechanics

A less well-known mod, Movement Orders First does a very simple job: it changes the order in which notifications are shown to players each turn. In the official version, you are first shown the "Select production for city xx", which can be counter-productive when you want to first explore the map to get some stashes of gold, or clear sites to receive rewards, etc. which will all increase your available gold and mana to build things in your cities. Similarly, you may clear Ancient Ruins or a Lost Library and get some research points during your turn, so you generally want to choose your research after you have moved all your units.

The mod thus lets the notification be displayed in a more effective order: 1/ unit movements, 2/ research, 3/ city and Dwelling production. Thanks Leon Feargus!

#15 - Legendary Units - average rating: 0.68 (25 votes) - Good mod

Category: New content

Another old mod which made it to the shortlist for the first time, Legendary Units adds a T4 for each race. This "Legendary" racial unit can only be accessed through the Evolution at Elite level of the racial T3 unit. It starts as the equivalent of the Champion I unit it evolved from but then acquires additional abilities to become even stronger.

Compatibility mods
- Regiments
- Empire Building Mod (#7)
- Inflict Status Abilities Overhaul

The Legendary Draconian Flyer is the result of the Evolution of a T3 Draconian Flyer (by Lord Cameron)

#16 - Lost Library Revamp - average rating: 0.56 (16 votes) - Good mod

Category: Change to game mechanics

In the base game, the Lost Library's reward is one unresearched skill from the player's Research Book. This mod changes that so that the skill is now taken randomly from a pool of skills including all classes and specializations. The pool includes only tier 1 to tier 3 skills, with 3 from each class and 1 from each specialization. The defenders are also modified to include more supports and more supernatural creatures.

#17 - Hero Development Mod - average rating: 0.63 (32 votes) - Good mod

Category: New content

Eomolch cleverly revamped the hero upgrade system, adding 3 specialization to each class and race-dependant upgrades, which means that each hero is now more unique, having both race specific upgrades and a specialization (melee, range or support) which can lead for instance to 2 Rogue heroes in your army with totally different skills and roles, one being an Assassin, and the other a Duelist or Trickster. A manual is available. The mod includes many new unique abilities, for instance Teaching of Humility, a Theocrat Monk touch ability which grants Monk abilities to one allied units: it gains Spirit damage but cannot attack for the next three strategic turns, or Beast Within, an Arch Druid Shaman ability that lets you shapeshift into a random animal.

Another mod, Hero Profession mod, is ranked #18 and is also worth a look, in combination with this mod.

All heroes now have 3 choices to further specialize, for Theocrat, they are Monk, Paladin or Priest

Compatibility mods:

- Triumphant Heroes (not in the top)
- Empire Building Mod: see #7

#18 (ex aequo) - Hero Profession Mod - average rating: 0.55 (29 votes) - Good mod

Category: New content

This mod expands and refines the Hero Development Mod (#17, above): it creates 3 "professions" or sub-races for each race, increasing further the diversity of heroes' development paths. The Hero Professions Mod requires both the Hero Development Mod and the Racial Heritage Mod (#5) to be played. You will now be able to play a Goblin Blight Doctor Rogue Trickster or a Goblin Pyromancer Rogue Duelist for instance, and not just a simple "Goblin Rogue"!
A manual is available, describing briefly most of the new abilities and paths. The manual was updated in 2021 to include the addition of Archons through a compatibility mod (see below).

One of the new ability available to Draconian Nest Warden: Lizard Ancestry! (by Eomolch)

Compatibility mods:

- Archon Race (by Eolmoch)

#18 (ex aequo) - New Arsenal - average rating: 0.59 (22 votes) - Good mod

Category: New content

Released in December 2017, New Arsenal was too recent to feature in the previous ranking. The mod does what many had begged Triumph to do for AoW3: add racial T4. Each race gets a second T3, unlocked by a new T3 building, and a final T4 building unlocking the ultimate racial T4 unit. Balanced with the community of live MP players, the mod reached its v1.4 in May 2019 and should be well balanced. A table listing all the units and their stats is available.

Compatibility mods:

- Empire Building Mod (#7)
- Deluxe Specializations

Missing the Kharagh? Here is the Goblin Behemoth!

#20 - Insectoid Race - average rating: -0.08 (25 votes)

Category: New content

ATTENTION: this mod was removed from the Steam Workshop by its creator, Liberty Valance. He then made the files available again. You can now download the .taf file through this link (old dead Steam Workshop link) . Put it in your C:\Users\[Windows user name]\Documents\My Games\AoW3\UserContent folder (for Windows users), then execute the AoW3 launcher: this will unpack the mod and you'll be able to use it afterwards.
While we are speaking about Liberty Valance's mods, here are links for his other mods: the Spider's Gift mod, Witch Hunter mod and the Shinobi Race mod.

This mod of Liberty Valance really pushes the boundaries of the Mod Editor of AoW3 and proposes an entirely new race with very unique game mechanisms and visuals, the Insectoids! This mod deserves a lot attention: check it out! The video below shows some gameplay, after a short animated introduction.

Other information

You might be interested in these other compilations of information about AoW3:

- library of tutorial, PBEM and live MP videos
- strategic and tactical guide by community

If you want to learn more about the, the community website for AoW3, please read this article.

Feel free to leave some comments at the bottom of the article!

Created on: Sunday - 2019-08-11 at 01:12:50
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PBEM and Single Player Balance Mod v1.28: polishing, Dreadnought class boosts and beginning of AI improvement (Community)

v1.28 builds on the long-standing work of the balance mod regarding "leveling and mind-control" vs "production" and increases the economic trade-offs of mind-control strategies (specifically for Regrowth units) and boosts the Dreadnought class. It deals with several imbalances noticed in recent competitive and tournament games, in particular regarding Earth Elementals. It also brings the usual improvement in user experience associated with the balance mod: bug fixing, better descriptions, visual improvements, etc.

An Article by Hiliadan

The main areas of work of v1.27 included Mind control and independent Regrowth units and Engineers. v1.28 brings some refinements and tackles other topics. Its focus can be broken down into:

  • Mind-control and Regrowth: as noted in the article about v1.27, acquiring Regrowth units early through mind-control can provide a significant advantage and potentially be game-changing. v1.28 thus expands the extra upkeep (+50% instead of +25% for non-Regrowth units) to all Regrowth units who got mind-controlled. Trolls and Warbreeds are also removed from low-level sites so that it is no longer possible to mind-control them early game.

Getting a Regrowth unit for easy manual battles early on? Alright but you can't have your cake and eat it: you'll have to pay for that extra power!

  • Boosting the Dreadnought class (including Engineers): while the previous version focused only on Engineers, this time, the boost is more broadly based and reinforce previous boosts to Dreadnought (mainly heroes) introduced by the balance mod. Magma Forges can now provide gold to Dreadnoughts, making income less dependent on Gold Mines (and thus on RMG luck), Spy Drones stop being blind UG, Engineers are made even more useful, and Dreadnought heroes finally get a top skill!

  • Various balance changes: Earth Elementals used to be the best Elementals with Regrowth, 40% Physical Protection, immunity to Fire and Frost, Tireless at Elite... they could clear some sites in solo (especially Hall of the Forefathers), make most clearing a walk in the park in manual combat and be devastatingly hard to counter in auto. After making them very hard to obtain in previous updates, now they lose Regrowth. A few other balance and coherence changes are also included in v1.28 (e.g. Oyster Reefs now correctly provide bonuses to Theocrats, Arch Druids or Sorcerers using their Empire Upgrades or spells based on treasure sites).

  • AI enhancement: v1.28 is a timid start to AI improvement. AI modding is a huge undertaking which will need to be delayed after v1.3 due to the enormous workload to properly test the effect (and thus usefulness) of changes. v1.28 starts by allowing the AI to cast some spells it used to ignore.

v1.28 comes 4.5 months after v1.27. This is a significant delay compared to the goal of a release every 3.5 months, mainly due to tournaments using the Tournament and Main branch of the balance mod and preventing releases on these branches, as well as technical difficulties at the end of testing. Hopefully, v1.29's development will be faster!

In the near future, v1.29 should include a limited number of changes on two main topics: the second stage of the rebalancing of the costs of hero upgrades (which started in an earlier version of the balance mod) and very significant changes to movements for non-Walking units (increase of the cost of swimming and malus for Flying and Floating units over Water). Further ahead, v1.3 will be a major update and will finish dealing with the top priorities expressed in the 2017 poll on the directions for balance. In particular, it will rework Racial Governance and boost non-summon strategic spells to make spellcasting more active (and avoid having a number of weak and rarely used spells).

Full changelog of v1.28 (also available on the official changelog of the balance mod)
Visual improvements
- Chthonic Guardians now have a shield

Bug correction
Issues/bugs of the balance mod corrected:
- Stiffen Limbs has a spirit attack check (was physical)
- Twisting Roots can start researched (was couldn’t)
- Solar Spire and Stylite can no longer be produced in the Arcane Item Forge
- Cape of Rot has the old version of Path of Decay: it is always active and cannot be controlled (was a version of Path of Decay which could not work; it was not possible to fix it to make it optional like non-hero units’ Path of Decay)
- Foot Wraping of Power (Epic) can no longer be found in Mythical sites,  Solid Chainmail Leggings of Heroes (Strong),  Longsword of Dire Penguin Slaying (Strong) and Athla's Natural Club (Strong) can no longer be found in Legendary sites.

- Bards get Mind Control Immunity
- Planetary Alignment gives +100 % RP income for 4 turns (was complete the current research instantly)
- Shadow Step costs 4 UP for Rogue (was 5) and Necromancer (was 2)
- Inflict Despair is available at level 5 (was 1)
- Enemy heroes cannot be targeted by True Resurrect
- Warbreeds and Trolls are replaced by Ogres on Destruction Mana Node. Trolls are replaced by Ogres on Ancient Ruins
- Cure Disease costs no action point and has a 1 turn cooldown (so can be used only once per turn) (was takes all remaining AP)
- Liberated from Raiders (+400 happiness for cities liberated from roamers) last 10 turns (was 15 turns)
- Oyster Reef is affected by Sanctified Sites, Animistic Knowledge and Magical Structures
- Harbors heal 10%  HP/strategic turn to friendly Boats in the city’s domain

Always found Harbor not very useful? Now at least they're a bit better and repair allied ships in domain (unfortunately we did not find a way to display the healing in the unit panel, but it is effective)

- Trolls, Naga Slither, Naga Guardian and Naga Matriarch no longer have Greedy and Hatching Pool no longer gives Hatched to Naga units. Instead, units with Regrowth gets +50% upkeep when they are mind-controlled (instead of +25% for non-Regrowth units).
- 24 descriptions and Tome of Wonders pages are updated to correct imprecise or incorrect descriptions. Full list.

Arch Druid
- Archdruid heroes can choose Call Ancestral Spirits at level 7 (was 5)

- Dreadnought heroes can choose Force Field Generator Gear for 7 points at level 13: Units led by this hero get Force Field Generator: self-buff ability that can be used Once per battle for no action point and gives 40% fire, 40% frost and 40% shock protection for 5 turns.

A stack of Frostling equipping the Force Field Generator thanks to the gear provided by their Leader - Dreadnought heroes used to lack a top ability like Divine Justicars (Theocrat) or Master Illusionist (Sorcerer), now they have Force Field Generator Gear.

- Spy Drones have Night Vision
- Great Blacksmith increases sales at your forges: Magma Forge generates +5 gold/turn (in addition to existing -10% gold for Armored)
- Engineers have Tunneling and can Build Road for 4 gold/hex and Bridges for 48 gold (was 5 gold/hex and 60 gold)

The article on v1.27 asked whether we had reached the end of the road of Engi balancing: we had not yet - can this change finally be the end of it?

- Summon Spy Drone costs 60 RP (was 80 RP)

- Halfling economic RG1: Store House costs 45 less to build (was Store House costs 35 less to build)

(Revenant) Archons
- Obelisk of Undeath do not affect allied units with Curse (was: allied units are also Curse if valid targets)

- Tropical Empire gives Inflict Scorching Heat to allied units in your domain (was Inflict Immolation)

Wild Magic
- Summon Lesser Elemental is tier 3 skill (was tier 4)

- AI will now cast the following spells in auto combat: Killing Spree, Dampening Field, Sadism, Gift Of Nekron, Rite Of Malediction, Smoke Screen, Bane of the Unnatural.

Created on: Wednesday - 2019-08-07 at 23:57:17

Related Links

» Official forum thread of the PBEM balance mod (for announcements)
» Beta branch of the PBEM balance mod on Steam Workshop
» Main branch of the PBEM balance mod on Steam Workshop
» Dropbox folders with latest balance mod files (for non Steam users)

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Interested in AOW Planetfall? (Spezial)

The game was released on August 6th

An Article by Mark

Visit our new AOW Planetfall page.
Following Link ==>
You can login with our login details.

If you are interested in administering or improving this site (Beta), contact me (Markymark) or Hilidian.

Otherwise, we hope we find ourselves in a game

Thanks alot.

Your team

Created on: Tuesday - 2019-08-06 at 16:25:22

Related Links

» AOW PF League Community

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PBEM and Single Player Balance Mod v1.27: rework of the item reward system, Engineers, Mind Control and more (Community)

v1.27 brings two very impactful changes to the game: item rewards when you clear sites are now more tightly linked to item rarity and Floating units no longer have Cave Crawling. These changes may seem minor on paper, but they have big consequences in game! Besides, this new update of the balance mod boosts Engineers, starts to deal with mind-controlled Regrowth units and continues to improve user experience with better descriptions and bug fixing.

An Article by Hiliadan

v1.26 was a small update with a couple of changes and a handful of bug fixing. Its successor has a broader scope, which can be categorized as follow:

  • Items (priority #11 or "Decrease rewards or increase risks for high-level sites" based on the poll on the opinion of the community on balance): in the vanilla game, each site giving items was associated to only two "reward sets" (see the Wikia for more explanations), which means you could get Mythical items in low level sites or, vice-versa, Common items in high level sites. Getting crappy items after a tough fight could be quite frustrating, and conversely, getting very good items during early clearing could unbalance the game. v1.27 changes that by linking rewards to the site difficulty: now Mythical sites will always yield Mythical or Legendary items, while "common" sites (like Brigand Hideouts) will only yield Common items. This change was associated to a requalification of the rarity of 60+ items.

Sites are now linked to their own level and the one just: a Mythical Lost City will give Mythical and Legendary items

  • Floating / Flying: several discussions indicated Floating and Flying units benefited too much from their extra mobility, without significant weaknesses and were clearly superior to non-Floating/Flying units. Debate is still ongoing on how best to deal with that but two options got enough support to be implemented: Floating units no longer have Cave Crawling automatically, so they need 4 MP underground instead of 3 MP. And Pillar of the Stylite gives additional bonus vs Flying units.

  • Mind control and independent Regrowth units: the balance mod has introduced many changes to limit snowball through mind control, but works remain to be done. One area still needing work is independent Regrowth units, which can give a very significant advantage to players getting access to them early through mind control. v1.27 thus introduces an extra +25% upkeep for such units. This feeds into priority #4 " "Further balance 'leveling and mind-control' vs 'production'".

  • Engineers: another long-standing work of the balance mod, Engineers have been boosted with more HP, better Flash Bomb, the ability to Build Roads... but they're still expensive to build (and thus usually require more than 1 turn to produce): v1.27 weakens them slightly in terms of damage output but makes them cheaper.

  • Bug fixing: as usual now, this new update fixes bugs! 5 from the official game and 2 from the balance mod.

  • Description updates: 18 imprecise or incorrect descriptions were updated, to make players' life easier, and a full relocalization for French has been included in the balance mod! Thanks to Rodmar18 for that!

v1.27 comes a bit less than 3 months after v1.26 (first released on the Tournament branch of the balance mod). The goal is to keep a pace of a release every 3.5 months.

Around the end of June, v1.28 should make the tactical AI a bit smarter, consolidate previous changes (e.g. related to Regrowth independent units), and bring small balance touches, like delaying the learning of Call Ancestral Spirits by AD heroes.
Later, v1.29 (which should be renamed directly v1.3 if we manage to achieve its ambitious plans!!) should go much further in the AI smartening direction, make Racial Governance much more balanced and interesting, and make strategic spell casting and disjuncting much more active.

Full changelog of v1.27 (also available on the official changelog of the balance mod)
Bug corrections
- Beacon of Faith can not longer be cast on allied Ghoul cities (could be cast but had no effect so was a waste of mana)
- Produce Shadow Stalker no longer gives the ability to Lesser Shadow Stalkers of your allies to evolve in Shadow Stalkers
- Nightshade Fairy can no longer be obtained as reward from Fey’s Easy Quests (Nightshade Recruit cost is increased from 240 to 330, i.e. a buy cost of 0.9*330/2=148.5 and the unit reward multiplier was decreased from 0.4 to 0.3; the Easy Quest’s Reward value = 450 and multiplier = 0.3 i.e. 135 gold value)
- Ziggurat on Strong Defenders can no longer have 3 Phoenixes to defend them (Amount of Boss Unit reduced from 3 to 2 for the Ziggurat Beholder and Henchmen set, Recruit cost Tigran Warbreed raised to 400)
- Falling Clouds now correctly gives -2 vision range to Armored units (was giving -4)

Issues/bugs of the balance mod corrected:
- "Dwarf Protector Economic" is now correctly displayed next to the +3 gold in the city panel when hovering over gold in the balance mod
- Various small description updates (icons added in Inflict Despair, Inject Mana Fuel, Pandemonium, Berserk, “damage” added in Domain of the Sun, “Exhausted” added to list of units not affected by Death March, +20% replaced by +15% for Hafling entry in ToW and in unit panel)

- Floating does not give Cave Crawling any more (need 4 MP to move on Subterranean climate).
- Trolls, Naga Slither, Naga Guardian and Naga Matriarch get "Greedy": The unit costs +25% upkeep. Naga Slithers, Guardians and Matriarches produced in a Naga Dwelling get “Hatched” and gets -25% upkeep, which means they cost 8 gold/turn (as before).

(Untamed) Trolls and Nagas now get Greedy (+25% upkeep). The Hatchling Pool at Naga Dwellings cancels out this with Hatched (-25% upkeep) for Nagas.

- Shrine to the Skull Lord and Well of Souls are no longer "Treasure site" for the sake of Sanctified Sites, Animistic Knowledge and Magical Structures strategic spells (were Visit Structures but giving bonuses through these spells)
- Pillar of the Stylite gives an additional +1 spirit damage against Flying units.Solar Spire gives +1 fire melee damage against Flying units.
- Replenishing Bucket of Monkey Filth (use item, throw filth) is Strong (was Epic)
- Dire Bear (mount +5 HP, devastating charge, bloodthirsty, inflict bleeding wounds) is Epic (was Legendary)
- Silver Aegis Ring (jewel, 40% physical protection) is Mythical (was Legendary)
- The rarity of these items is changed as follow (before -> after):
Accursed Helm of the Tower : legendary -> mythical | head dragon slayer, giant slayer, 20% blight weakness, +2 def, +1 res, +1 vision range
Arm Cuff of the Spirit Slayer : strong -> common | jewel +1 physical melee str, elemental slayer
Betrayer's Gift : mythical -> legendary | weapon backstab(2x), +1 physical melee str
Blessed Totem of Health : epic -> strong | usable +5hp, +12 hp recovery
Bone Wyvern : legendary -> mythical | mount flying, inflict brain rot
Boots of the Shocking Snake Slayer : epic -> legendary | leg 40% shock protection, +2 def
Buckler of the King's Guard : strong -> epic | shield shield, +1 def, +1 res
Choker of the Great Matriarch : legendary -> mythical | jewel 40% fire protection, 40% blight protection, +1 res, vision range upgrade
Cult of Storms Insignia : epic -> legendary | jewel 80% shock protection, cave concealment, +1 res
Darkbringer Gemstone : strong -> common | jewel urban concealment
Dragor's Swordcatcher : legendary -> epic | shield shield, +2 def
Eternal Fire Cape : mythical -> legendary | torso fire aura, +1 def
Fire Wyvern : legendary -> mythical | mount 40% fire protection, flying
Flametongue Sword : mythical -> legendary | weapon overwhelm, +3 fire melee str
Friendly Beggar's Shoes : strong -> epic | leg bringer of goodwill
Frost Wyvern : legendary -> mythical | mount 40% frost protection, flying
Grar's Plate Greaves : legendary -> mythical | leg +4 def
Halfling Trick Bauble : legendary -> epic | jewel invisibility
Horned Helmet of the Verbose Dragonslayer : epic -> strong | head dragon slayer, +2 def
Jack's Gift : common -> strong | jewel +10 hp
Jewel of Forgotten Revival : strong -> common | jewel +12 hp recovery
Lizard on a Stick : epic -> strong | usable poison spit
Locket of Lost Love : common -> strong | jewel strong will
Mana Powered Heavy Drill : epic -> strong | usable tunneling
Mesmerizing Necklace : common -> strong | jewel inflict dazzled
Mundane Traveler's Cloak of Divine Joy : strong -> legendary | torso 40% fire 40 frost 40 shock protection
Old Orcish Tower Shield : epic -> strong | shield projectile resist, shield
Pendant of the Lightworker : epic -> legendary | jewel true sight, +1 res, vision range upgrade
Pyromancer's Tinderbox : epic -> strong | usable immolating touch
Rod of Lightning Charge : legendary -> common | usable shocking bolts
Rusty Disk of Defense : epic -> strong | shield shield, +1 def
Serious Shield of Austerity : legendary -> epic | shield +1 def, +1 res
Shimmering Orb of Aldor : legendary -> epic | jewel +2 res
Smooth Shield of the Wayward Clans : legendary -> epic | shield shield, +2 def
Spear of the Jungle Dweller : strong -> epic | weapon inflict severely poisoned, +1 physical melee strength, +1 blight melee strength
Trinket of the Moongate : legendary -> epic | jewel phase
Wand of the Naga Mage : legendary -> epic | usable naga fire
Armor of Divine Regeneration : epic -> mythical | torso regrowth
Box of Blades : strong -> common | usable throw blades
Cape of Rot : mythical -> legendary | torso free movement, path of decay
Deathbringer's Medallion : legendary -> epic | jewel shadow step
Fallen Gurock's Warpants : strong -> common | leg +2 def, 20% blight weakness
Forged Frostling Shield : common -> strong | shield +1 def, 20% frost protection
Frost Witch Staff : legendary -> mythical | weapon castigate, grant frozen flame, 60% fire protection, 60% frost protection
Helmet of Primal Instinct : epic -> common | head predator
Ice Scaper Gloves : common -> strong | usable throw ice ball
Reaper's Hood : legendary -> epic | head gas breath
Ritual Knife of the Unholy Gutter : epic -> strong | weapon devour corpse
Shield of the Frosted Ark Raider : epic -> legendary | shield +2 def, 80% frost protection
Shield of the Unfazed Mercenary : strong -> common | shield shield
Sickle : strong -> common | weapon bloodthirsty
Slacks of Sorcery : legendary -> strong | leg +1 resistance, 20% shock protection
Spear of Justice : strong -> epic | weapon +1 physical melee str, first strike, polearm
Sun Spear : common -> strong | usable throw sun spear
Tigran Sandals of Speed : common -> legendary | leg +4 MP
Stick of the Frost Witch (usable, frost bolts) is Strong (was Legendary)
Wand of Fiery Doom (usable, fire bolts) is Strong (was Legendary)
- Summon Earth Elemental cannot be obtained as a reward in Sunken Cities any more
- A new “Tournament” game flow is available and automatically sets up the Advanced Settings of maps (number of treasure sites, etc. and geography) based on PBEM tournament rules.

Finally, players will stop making mistakes in the settings for tournament games!!   Beware: this does not (cannot) modify settings which are edited in the last screen where players are displayed (Beacons, hero level, starting skill, etc.)

- 18 descriptions and Tome of Wonders pages are updated to correct imprecise or incorrect descriptions. Full list:
- The French localization (translation) of the game is entirely updated, thanks Rodmar

- Engineers have 5 melee damage and Fire Blunderbuss for 7/8 physical/fire damage and cost 65 gold and 10 mana (was 6 melee damage, 8/8 ranged damage and 70 gold and 10 mana)
- The extra cost due to extra abilities for Engineers is now 5 gold for Projectile Resistance for Dwarves (was 11), 5 gold for Sprint for Tigrans (was 10), 5 gold for Inflict Immolation for Draconians (was 10).

Finally, you can one-turn your Engineers and they're not over-priced any more! The end of the road for Engi balancing?

- Rot gives Weakened to Machine and Undead it affects (was Deteriorated in the balance mod and Weakened in vanilla).

Created on: Wednesday - 2019-02-27 at 23:38:17

Related Links

» Official forum thread of the PBEM balance mod (for announcements)
» Beta branch of the PBEM balance mod on Steam Workshop
» Main branch of the PBEM balance mod on Steam Workshop
» Dropbox folders with latest balance mod files (for non Steam users)

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Invitation to the AOW Lan / Germany (Community)

All players are welcome

An Article by Mark

The next LAN will take place on 10.10 (DO) -13.10 (SO) in Homberg (40 km from Kassel).

The LAN is organized by the civforum together with the BF association!
Every player from this forum (and of course everybody else) is of course invited!

Until now desired games:
-civ6 (with addon)
-aow3 (or AOW Pandora)
(who likes to play other games, please report)

Created on: Monday - 2019-01-14 at 17:31:15

Related Links

» More Details in civforum (register)

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PBEM and Single Player Balance Mod v1.26: True Resurrect and bug fixing (Community)

As the balance mod matures after 2.5 years of development, this new update took some time to focus on bug fixing and improving user experience by correcting 29 incorrect or imprecise descriptions from the official version. It also refined the changes to True Resurrect brought by v1.25. v1.26 thus consolidates the role of the balance mod as an essential addition to AoW3 for all single and PBEM players seeking a better user experience and more balance.

An Article by Hiliadan

v1.26 brings about 2 changes and 5 issue fixes (1 from the base game and 4 from the mod itself).

If v1.25 was a consolidation version, v1.26 is a polishing one. It focuses on:

  • Bug fixing: 1 "bug" from the official version (summoned Spiders at the Shrine to the Spider Queen gave CP despite a nerf by the devs) and 4 from the balance mod are fixed;

  • Description updating: 29 imprecise or incorrect descriptions were updated to improve user experience;

  • True Resurrect: v1.25 had started to rework True Resurrect, splitting it into Greater Resurrect for allied units (for 25 CP) and True Resurrect for enemy units (for 50 CP). v1.26 furthers limits the scope for abuse by aligning True Resurrect with other forms of mind-control. It is now impossible to take control of enemy units with "native" Mind Control Immunity or Strong Will and resurrected enemy units now get the "Mind Controlled" increased upkeep.

True Resurrect cannot be used on enemy units starting with Mind Control Immunity (here a Berserker) or Strong Will. It can still be used on units like Human Knight who get Strong Will through medals or other means (due to a technical limitation). Enemy units thus acquired get +25% upkeep cost.

An attempt to fix the behaviour of Twisting Roots to prevent it from affecting heroes and Leaders who gained Floating through hero upgrades and Apprentices gaining Floating through medals did not fully succeed and is delayed to later versions of the mod.

v1.26 was released about 3.5 months after v1.25 on the beta branch of the balance mod, but its release on the main branch has been pushed back by a couple of months due to delays in round 1 of the 2018 PBEM 2vs2 Tournament. The pace of releases of the mod should be maintained at about 1 update every 3.5 months.

In early 2019, v1.27 will deal with item reclassification (priority #11 or "Decrease rewards or increase risks for high-level sites" based on the poll on the opinion of the community on balance), some preliminary Floating/Flying balancing, and further boosts to Engineers.
It is hoped that v1.28 will tackle some tactical AI issues, in particular regarding the casting of useless spells in scout wars (e.g. Great Reawakening cast in 1vs1 battle where it cannot have any effect).
Work on "Further balance 'leveling and mind-control' vs 'production' (reducing XP counters for T3 and T4, boosting production classes and/or increasing upkeep further for mind-controlled units, etc.)" and "Make non-summon strategic spells more interesting" still need to be started (priorities #4 and #5 respectively).

Full changelog of v1.26 (also available on the official changelog of the balance mod)
Bug corrections
- Combat Summon Spiders from the Shrine to the Spider Queen no longer give CP through Essence Harvest

Issues/bugs of the balance mod corrected:
- The targeter of Flash Bomb is modified so that units using it won't move and target empty hexes any more
- Flash Bomb no longer drain MP of units that are already Blinded
- Healing from items (Feathered Serpent Warbonnet, Robes of the Ancient Priest, White Pouch of Potent Herbs) no longer stacks with the Healing abilities of Arch Druids and Theocrats
- War Anthem now give -100 morale and not -400 when resisted.

- True Resurrect cannot target the cadaver of enemy units which have Mind Control Immunity or 100% Spirit protection at Recruit (does not apply to units which acquire it through medals or buffs) and gives "Mind-controlled" to enemy units it resurrects (+25% upkeep) (Greater Resurrect, 25CP working only on allied units can still work on MCI and does not give Mind-controlled).
- Kwapa starts with Swimming (was 2 free UP), Falenas starts with Fel Horse (was 2 free UP), Nashac starts with Free Movement (was 2 free UP).
- 29 descriptions and Tome of Wonders pages are updated to correct imprecise or incorrect descriptions. Full list = change GC48a here:

Among the 18 descriptions updated, two Tome of Wonders entries with incorrect information were corrected (Terraforming and Void)

Always wondered why Transform Mana Node spells say you will get +10 mana and you only get +5 mana? That's because it was an incorrect description in the official version, now corrected thanks to the balance mod

Created on: Sunday - 2018-12-30 at 13:44:06

Related Links

» Official forum thread of the PBEM balance mod (for announcements)
» Beta branch of the PBEM balance mod on Steam Workshop
» Main branch of the PBEM balance mod on Steam Workshop
» Dropbox folders with latest balance mod files (for non Steam users)

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Interview of Hiliadan - 3rd of the 2017 PBEM Duel Tournament (Community)

Interested in getting some insights into the strategies of some of the best players of AoW3? Want to know what they think are the best combos and units? This is the first of a series of 3 interviews with the players who qualified for the final phase of the 2017 PBEM Duel Tournament. This article present the third of this 32 players tournament.

An Article by Hiliadan

Hiliadan is currently ranked #3 with 1150 points on the Battlefield. He is far below Jean de Metz (1260) and gabthegab (1368), the two players who got to the finale of the Tournament and who are also ranked #2 and #3 of the general ranking, meaning he has a 35% and 22% chance of beating them respectively (based on the Elo formula used in the ranking system). Hiliadan is only slightly ahead of a 4 other players with more than 1100 ranking points: Tussel, AlXStormrage, Marcuspers and Ezekiel, and he is actually ranked below them in the PBEM ranking. Due to its current ranking, he is considered a Master of AoW3 (top 10% of Veteran players), like gab and Jean. Despite the 2nd lowest win ratio (64%) of the top 7, he has defeated all but Jean, gab and Tussel (which he never met in duel) in 1vs1.
He got defeated by gabthegab in semi-final of the 2017 PBEM Duel Tournament, trying a desperate strategy of clearing all the map in search for a strong secret spell to beat gab, as his videos of the match explain. In the 2016 PBEM 2vs2 Tournament, he played with rickyroo and got defeated by rrrrookie and Jonny Thunder in an epic match, also available in videos.
Hiliadan published videos of all his matches in the loser bracket of the 2vs2 and Duel Tournaments, you can find them on his YouTube channel and on the AoW3 video library (except for the most recent ones), where videos are also classified by site, so that you can easily learn site clearing techniques.

Hiliadan's results, moving away from his initial favourites Goblin Theocrat and Dwarf Dreadnought to experiment with more classes and races as time went by

1/ First a little background on your IRL (if it’s not secret!): where are you from and how old are you?
Hiliadan: I’m from France like gabthegab! I lived in China for 3 years between 2015 and 2018 (and sometimes the access to AoW3’s servers from there was slow! ) and now I live in Paris. I’m 29 years old.

2/ When did you start playing AoW and AoW3?
Hiliadan: The first time I saw an AoW title was when I was in Junior High School and I went to a friend’s house and saw him playing AoW2. I think he was playing the campaign and was fighting Karissa. The visuals just totally charmed me, I loved the fantasy atmosphere which lets you really enter a different world and feel like you were a real Wizard! A few weeks passed and then I managed to get a copy of AoW2 and I totally loved it. I had played some Heroes of Might and Magic around the same time but didn’t like it much. Later, when AoW:SM came out, I also played it. I loved to play Mab, I just loved her and loved Goblins (Karagh!!!!), I played a map where you faced Serena, Tempest, Nekron and Yaka many many times, loved that map, I think it had a name with "Mountain" in it, and there were very good cities in the middle of the map UG. I tried the campaign but failed because the 1st mission was very hard. Much later, I started playing AoW2 again and just beat the campaign relatively easily, I guess I had improved. AoW2 is really part of a few games I really loved (together with Baldur’s Gate 2 for instance). When I heard AoW3 was in the making, I followed that closely and I pre-ordered it. I also bought all the DLC at launch. I was not disappointed! I feel like AoW2’s atmosphere was more captivating but I really enjoy AoW3 a lot and that’s the only game I’ve been playing, basically daily, since its launch.
I met the guys at Triumph recently when I was in the Netherlands and they’re really cool and love what they do, and you can feel that in AoW.

3/ Do you usually play AoW3 in single player, PBEM or multiplayer?
Hiliadan: I stopped playing single player a while ago and have been playing only PBEM since then, for close to 3 years now.
Live MP would be nice but it’s too time-intensive as you need to be online for a long time in a row (though in theory you can save and start again later) and that’s not really compatible with my lifestyle. The AI is not good enough for single player to remain interesting but PBEM makes it possible to face real challenge vs humans while keeping a good deal of flexibility. I hope at some stage Triumph manages to add "tactical battle PBEM" in future games.

4/ How did you choose your combos during the tournament?
Hiliadan: I made a list of all the interesting race choices for each class (in this tournament you can play a given race or class only once until you have played all classes, then the counter resets and you can replay everything again). Then I tried to see how I could choose the best race/class combinations: for instance Draconians can be quite good Rogue (backstabbing Flyer and Fast Healing good for a class without healing), Necro (Fire protection, mana) and Sorcerer. In the end, I went for Draconian Sorcerer as I considered other races could do a better job for the 2 other classes.
You can hear the reasoning behind all my class/race choices in my videos.
I also considered what my opponents could play, and that was especially true in the later rounds, starting on round 6 vs xlnt. As you can see on the screenshot, I listed what my opponent could play and I tried to take a good counter, or at least avoid choosing something my opponent would counter easily. So for instance, I anticipated xlnt would take Tigran Necro vs me and that’s what he did. I could choose between Necro or Theo. I went for Necro because I was quite worried by that match and I knew I could make more mistakes while playing Necro, without paying the price, and Necro vs Necro is an open match-up.

5/ What is your favourite class/race and why? With what specialisations?
Hiliadan: I used to play a lot of Goblin Theocrat and I really liked the fast expansion it allows. I loved Goblins in AoW2 but they’re not the strongest race to play in competitive PBEM so I have shunned them a bit recently (I did play Goblin AD in the tournament though). Now my favourite class is probably Rogue because its gameplay really fits my style: I love to scout my opponents with Crows and harrass them, conceal my units, use strategic spells to crush their economies without fighting any big battles… I’m not yet clear about the best race to play with Rogue. Human is strong. Frostling is also quite interesting. Partisan and Destruction Adept are two very strong choices here for cheaper units at Inns, cheaper Vassals, concealed units with Partisan Army and Hasty Plunder + Scorched Earth.
Otherwise, I find Tigran Warlord with Grey Guard Master really really strong for fast expansion strategies.
And I like Dwarf Dreadnought a lot but it’s too weak now.

6/ In your opinion, what are some of the best units by tier?
Hiliadan: T1: Goblin Swarm Darter, the best Archer but very squishy!
T2: I love Goblin Blight Doctor, especially when playing Theo which unlocks some Healing. The Weakneing is very synergistic both with the Blight damage of Goblins, but also with mind-control abilities.
Frostling White Witch are also extremly powerful and versatile (Swimming, Artic Concealment!)
T3: Nightshade Fairies are really badass. Trolls are of course very good in PBEM thanks to Regrowth.
Naga Matriarches are excellent contenders for the top T3 unit.
T4: I like Obsidian Dragons for their mobility, concealment and sheer strength but they’re clearly not the strongest units and they really rely too much on Blight. With v1.25, their Path of Blight becomes more interesting though.
Dread Reapers are probably among the best T4 in PBEM.

7/ What was the hardest match you played in this tournament?
Hiliadan: Before the final 2 matches, the hardest match was definitely vs Marcuspers. He attacked me with very strong stacks and it was not clear how I could beat him. I also made a very bad move with my main army because I thought 1 hex was Artic while it was Water. But in the end, that move might not have been that bad as Marcus lost his high-level AD and many good units when attacking me.
Video playlist of that match.

8/ What results do you expect for the 3 teams in the final phase?
Hiliadan: I expect the 2 matches for the final phase (if I beat gab) to be much much harder than all the other matches I played so far. I never ever beat gab (no one has, except Jean, in fact) and I know he is much better than me in many areas. I think I can beat Jean but that would also be quite difficult.
Jean beat gab once and I think he can repeat that.

So I would expect either: #1 Jean, #2 gab, #3 me or #1 me, #2 Jean, #3 gab depending on the results of the match between gab and me.

[Editor (who is also Hiliadan )'s note: in the end, gab beat Hiliadan and then Jean, making these forecasts totally wrong!]

9/ Any advice for players who would like to improve?
Hiliadan: Watch my videos!!
And also:
- read the guide on the Wikia
- watch videos from Marcus
- come play PBEM with us at
- play team games with experienced human players to learn from them

If you are really dedicated, you can also train specific tactical fights in single player by using cheat codes to get the army you want before entering a fight.

Old interviews:

  • 2015 PBEM Duel Tournament:

- Sjow (4th)
- Fistandantilus (3rd)
- Skuns453Lirik902 (finalist)
- gabthegab (winner)

  • 2016 PBEM 2vs2 Team Tournament:

- Jean de Metz and Melciar (The green elephant) (3rd) - first part, second part

If you're interested by competitive plays, please check this video library gathering most competitive PBEM and live MP videos.

Created on: Thursday - 2018-11-01 at 12:38:58
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