Apologies if this has been addressed elsewhere, I haven't seen it.
In contrast to what I gather from posts most people have been doing, I’ve played mostly Empire to date. I made a switch to Kingdom last night and it seems to be much much stronger. Hard to say for sure until MP, but there are several key things in the tech tree that makes Kingdom a lot stronger, and I haven’t seen anything in the Empire tree that stands out as balancing the ledger. The recruitable units (darklings, umbers) are useful, but are still weaker than normal troops once a few levels have been reached
I’m not at game right now so don’t remember names, however should be clear:
- Building that supplies 4 materials – in Empire games if I don’t have a materials resource nearby I really struggle for materials early, it is the army limiter and often the special resource limiter
- Palace – without this massive prestige boost is is very very hard to get level 4 cities, let alone level 5.
- Mana boost building – casting becomes irrelevant with empire mid game, the exception being summons with in-combat regen
There are probably others, but the ability to boost materials, population and mana so much more is a clear differentiator. The Empire was meant to be about more powerful individual units, but I don’t see that whatsoever, in fact I struggle to think of anything that lets you make a champion or single unit more effective, it is still all about lord hammers and multi-troop units.
Now, I don’t want Empire to have all of the equivalent stuff, they are meant to be different. Some broad suggestions I’d love to see:
- The War tree completely different, full of champion buffs and fantasy creatures. The Fallen don’t want to learn how to fight in groups of 6 or make leather leg greaves, they need beserkers and giants and banshee-like wails that terrorise the enemy and drop morale
- Similarly the Sorcery tree, tech to make your spellcasters more powerful – vampirism, sacrificing population for mana [the general boringness of that path is another issue, I’m sick of teching up to get a new batch of stat boosting magic items]
- The Empire tree with things like dungeons, gaols, slavery, piracy, ability to sack cities for resources.
Lets differentiate these according to the premise for the differences between them. Would be good if the specific faction traits were more along these lines, individual abilities rather than combinations of educated, influential, etc.