I think you should do a Poll Steve to decide which game to develop first Warlords 5 or Battlecry 4!
I personally want Battlecry 4 more then anything.
Like I said in the other thread about Warlords 5,
RACES! SPELLS! QUESTS! EDITOR! MODS! EPIC BATTLES!
Keep the amount of races currently, including the new WBC3 races (Ssrathi, Plaguelord, Swarm) and even add in newer ones.
Definitely improve the editor, it's the easiest one i've ever used & been able to create some brilliant things from. All it needs is a pile of new tiles and things like that and maybe give the events option a good tweaking and it'd be perfect.
Maps aren't really important if I'm honest, I've created so many of my own maps with my own little tweaks on I rarely play the Vanilla ones anymore. If you had WBC4 on Steam you could use Steam Workshop to open your fans up to downloadable maps from the community as well as mods. Steam is so simple to keep the community active,
@Old Times I love your idea about the customization in terms of the hero, maybe take a page from Terraria and allow the armour you wear to either appear on your avatar or not at all (but still provide the effects). I don't agree however with your MP only unlocks, I personally don't agree with having to play the game to unlock stuff, I prefer it to be ready to go from the get go.
The reason why i say this and especially in terms of this RTS/RPG game it'd be unfair if I had a strong sword from playing more MP Matches then anyone else so it gives me the advantage. Rewarding the players that do well isn't a good option in my opinion.
I'm not concerned however about the Online, I've always played Warlords over LAN with my friends and that is the way I'll most likely keep it. Consider *POSSIBLY* Achievements and make them pretty hard and plentiful, they'd be easily implemented through Steam.
One of the main things I loved was the chaotic battles, If Warlords could have a massive number of AI on the battlefield at once with huge maps which be brilliant. An example, WBC3 supported 6 player matches and when all on Emperor it got hectic, challenging but overall was great fun. I believe WBC4 should support more since computers have moved on ALOT since it came out, I would really enjoy to see a 30 man game (the most I've ever played it 12 player on Age of Mythology or Sins of the Solar Empire or the turn based Civilisation V 22 player match. Note all 3 mentioned games are top selling & really are brilliant games) with every single race in the game in a pitched 15 vs 15 battle (unless you add more races). Having the option there would be so good. I do miss developers going all out on their games.
Difficulty wise, consider the adaptive difficulty role. Keep the usual Squire, Knight, Lord, Warlord, Emperor as they were brilliant set pieces to play from. However after level 10 or so Warlord started to become the main difficulty I played on as I found it too easy.
- This idea would be based on your heroes level rather then the preset difficulties, the game will decide how many bonuses and how well the computer should play depending on your level ( which could potentially be tweaked). So if you have a level 5 hero then the computer will decide to play the game on a Knight difficulty with +5% resource/construction time bonus. Then if a player thought that would be too easy or too hard, they could set the game to "Adaptive easier" so then the computer is scaled lower "adaptive normal" would be roughly the same level and "adaptive hard & very hard & hardest" would be matching you alot higher. Hardest could go up to 35% bonuses + more depending on the level.
That is just an idea, I believe it'll rule out the idea of "oh once I get to this level the game isn't a challenge anymore". It should in theory elimiate that all together and provide a challenging ai all the time.
One issue I always ALWAYS found with any of the Battlecry games is the AI stomping into your base and getting shot by tough towers, killed by lair units or just getting stuck on general terrain.
Maybe make an AI script which keeps the hero near the base at all times or whilst he travels he always takes a large escort to convert the mines but never fights directly in combat.
Its always upsetting seeing level 50 merchants get murdered because they ran too close to my towers.
I do however LOVE the ai files you can get such as Siegemaster for the Dark Dwarves, they made the game completly different & and a sometimes a superb challenge.
I could honestly post ideas for days about Battlecry, I've wanted the 4th one so much I've even asked myself how much it would cost to get you guys to make it out of my own wallet.