- On the army recruitment page, you can now select loadouts for certain units that hold weapons. For example, a two handed weapon vs. a sword and shield.
- Enemy and friendly armies on maps that focus on large scale battles now move as a group, in formation
- Friendly units on most maps now start out attacking enemies rather than following the player. This is to reduce the number of commands needed for new players and it is less important to always follow the player now that friendly armies move as a group
- Design change: Previously units only got experience from completing battles while in your army. Now, units left in town now also gain a small amount of experience per day. This provides the player a safe path to level up units while low on gold, by recruiting low level units then leaving them behind. The UI panel title was renamed from Garrison to Training to indicate to the player that leaving units behind gains them experience. Units in the garrison now take half upkeep rounded up, rather than no upkeep as before, to reflect the benefit of training them.
- Design change: Previously it was too random to discover new unit types. This led to the player upgrading his army through normal gameplay to max level, with no apparent further upgrade path. To fix this, unit unlock quests cost gold instead of spellbooks, because the player often does not have spellbooks. Unlocking new unit types through dungeons is now extremely likely to the point that this is the primary way to unlock new unit types. In addition, rewards from dungeon opportunities have better rarity scaling, so you are much less likely to see high-tier objects. This makes researching multiple times more beneficial, and finding a rare object more exciting.
- Design change: Previously upgrading the player's tower cost many of all types of resources. Now it simply takes spellbooks and gold. This makes it more clear early in the game what building a library is for, and to provide a benefit to libraries even if the player has no units to research
- Design change: Using food as upkeep previously felt like just another form of money and was required to field armies, so was a forced decision rather than an interesting one. Converted the concept of food to population. 1 population is used to recruit each unit and units no longer have food upkeep. This makes lower level worthwhile to keep alive, as it costs a population point to recruit both low and high level units, and provides an incentive to directly recruit higher level units. The major benefit of farms is now to increase your army limit. You can get more population from villages, putting more play emphasis on trading with villages.
- More localization work
- AI fighting other AI will now knock each other down if their attack has knockback ability and also reduces the target to zero poise. This is useful for pitchfork farmers, who are designed to play this role when in large groups.
- Skipped painting terrain from placed buildings on all maps but the player's city, which greatly improves load times and reduces memory usage for those maps that no longer do so.
- Skipped removing trees from terrain when trees intersected spawning AI. This turned out to be an extremely slow operation so I'm just not doing it for now. I might revisit later if it is a problem.
- Moved when the AI's behavior tree is loaded, removing the hitch that occurred when the goblins spawn in the first city defense mission.
- The player's movement is reduced when the staff charge is depleted and recharging, not only while attempting to fire. This fixes the exploit of being able to kite enemies with impunity, and adds strategy as to when to fully deplete the staff vs. holding fire.
- Friendly villages are now more likely to spawn closer to the player's tower. Previously they would spawn at entirely random locations within the biome, making them too hard to find.
- In-air blood decals from minor damage to humans are now larger
- Units that are holding large shields now attack and move more slowly. Regular sized shields only have a small movement penalty.
- Units that are using blunt weapons do about 85% damage to all unit types. Units that are using slash weapons do 100% weapons to living units, and about 66% damage to undead units. This adds strategy to what loadout the player gives to his units.
- The player's staff attacks now do less damage, to offset that they rarely miss.
- Walls now have 50% more health, to make siege battles last longer
Empire of Ember update for 6 March 2021
Patchnotes via Steam Community
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