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A few days back, Triumph Studios held a Reddit AMA, during which the developers answered a total of 100 community questions about various aspects of Age of Wonders 4. These range from broad general ones to questions targeted at specific systems and mechanics, and even question bundles acting as mini interviews.
If you'd like to know more about this upcoming game, you should definitely check the AMA out. And here's just a little taste of what to expect - a series of questions from a user who goes by Avedon3 and their respective answers:
Are unlocks done through the Pantheon system, or will there be any kind of cosmetics, leaders, or even abilities gained through playing the campaign?
The pantheon is described in detail in a Dev Diary I wrote a few weeks back https://forum.paradoxplaza.com/forum/developer-diary/dev-diary-4-realms-and-the-pantheon.1567956/ but suffice to say leaders that become part of the pantheon can no longer be edited, they will show up as they are if they appear. If you receive them as a hero during a game however you can customize their appearance and hero skills as you would any other hero.
Unlocks are done through the Pantheon system, there are however some treats for completing campaign missions. These do not affect gameplay but can be interesting additions to your Pantheon.
Are there any interesting mechanics or unused concepts that were scrapped early into development for whatever reason that you can talk about? (Big fan of neat unused content)
There is a decent bit, though chief among them is probably the Race Council, which effectively functioned as a UN of the fantasy world. being that it discouraged conflict quite heavily in a game about conflict, it was found to distract from our premise a bit too much. It may be looked into in future, but it is one of those systems that would take a lot of development time that was not considered worth it in the end.
Is Wightborne the only possible necromantic transformation or is it possible to create a race of phantoms or vampires for example?
Wightborn is at the moment the only true "undead" transformation, you can create a race of phantoms by using Astral Attunement and mixing it with Joy Siphoners for example.
The lack of a pure chaos and nature related culture stands out quite a bit, especially with 2/3 chaos culture options being evil. While nature seems to be coming in a future dlc, is there a reason these two affinities didn't have a directly correlating culture?
The affinity distribution of the cultures is more complicated than it may at first seem, but primarly it comes down to pure chaos and pure nature both being antithetical to the concept of a coherent society or culture. They were not snubbed deliberately, but they are unfortunately a little underserved at release, we hope to mitigate this in future ^^
Is there any way to have transformations achieved in one map carry over to the next game?
Unfortunately no, this was considered in early drafts of the Pantheon system, but it would simply result in knocking down one of the vital pillars of playing Age of Wonders, the discovery of new magic. Moreover it would result in a constant escalation of power that would be hard to balance against.
Alot of people have speculated about how climate traits can compete with other mental traits and suggested they should be a third selection alongside physical and mental. How has it felt playing with these traits yourselves?
Personally I enjoy making a strong basis for my units, but the economic benefits in particular of picking a climate trait instead can actually be quite beneficial, especially of you pick them on particular realms (EG, Arctic adaptation on the Frozen Realm or Underground Adaptation on the Deep Dark). It is by no means mandatory however, i played a campaign in the deep dark where i did not have the adaptation, and it simply meant i had to get creative in sourcing my city's food income, trading it with nearby Free Cities for example.