So, I played a full game of LH.
I have many points and some bugs.
* Bug 1: I once found myself in a combat loop, where my hero repeatdly had initiative until he killed his opponent. Impossible to have a save of that situation since save in comabt is not possible. Any of these conditions may help pinpoint the problem:
- the hero was adjacent to the enemy
- IIRC, he was using a range weapon (that is not certain)
* Bug 2: I met several cities full of guardian statues (both kind) ; at least 20 in one case. I don't see that it is possible to build that many statues. That only happened with Gilden (that proves nothing of course.)
* Bug 3: The treasury vault doesn't generate interests if the tax rate is 0.
* Bug 4: The Broken ability doesn't sem to be working.
* Not really bug, but still: while wandering monster never forget to attack my adjacent stacks, they seem to be more lenient to opponents... It's not a race thing, because it happens with any opponent.
*not really a bug : AI and peace suck! I hate losing a city and will consider any peace proposal, when I have lost one if I believe I won't be able to recapture it in a short while, or capture an equivalent one in a short time. Furthermore, if evidence proves me that I am being trounced, I will jump at any chance to stop the slaughter. The game's AI is rather dumb on that side. It only seems to consider raw numbers such as 'I have more trops -whatever quality-, or maybe -my attack+defense total is superior-, or whatever else that is ridiculously out of reality. Hence, after having lost a city at odds strong (me) vs epic (city) (yes, that was the twenty gaurdians above), with no loss to me, the game should seriously reconsider its ways. I proposed peace, but to no avail. I captured a second city for the same result. I captured the capital. Ditto. The AI seemed furiously entranced with the capture of two villages in my backyard. The IA did not flinch as I progressively but utterly destroyed a stack of four strong armies by raining flames. The AI was down at two (captured onto another opponent) cities, and thus had positively lost the war, but it did not accept any peace (unless I paid a hefty sum of money of course) ; only once it was down at one city did the AI begin to realize that maybe, it was not winning the war. Maybe ?
Civ V does a great job about peace (it took a long time to get there) ; I hope we can reach a similar point.
* Play: hero XP comes far too slow OR the skill tree is too large. In FE (before one of the latest patch), I would, in a similar game, have brought my sovereign to level 22 or better. In that game, She barely reached 12. Needless to say, heroes were merely watching other troops doing the job. Not very exciting. I took care about not stacking more than two heroes together.
*XP talents serve no purpose. I deliberately took all XP giving skills as soon as possible with my sovereign and none with my second hero in the same stack. They fought the same fights and did not die. The hero without any XP skill was level 10. That's 2 slots lost on the sovereign (barely 2 levels in advance) ; the XP table must be carefully tweeked for these skills to be of any use. The whole point of these skills is to forfeit early power in exchange for more late power. It's a trade off. I feel a good trade off would be that once you get all four skills (if you're a mage), then every two levels thereafter you should be getting one more level that the hero with no XP skill.
* I do not know if the XP penalty for multiple heroes is still enforced. It should not be. Once more, there is a trade off involved: heroes are fragile and usually die very easily, even at high level. A stack of troops can reach easily 60+ hit points, and thus survive a first attack (and possibliy retire from the front line thereafter) ; a hero seldom has such a chance ; especially since it is not possible to position the troops before the combat. So stacking many heroes means leading a fragile army ; one is hard pressed in the early levels. Then thing begin to even up somewhat. Until heroes tower. Well, not that much because even end level troops are hard nuts to crack. The XP penalty just removes a choice (how do I mix troops/heroes) and doesn't give anything in exchange : removing a choice is bad in a strategy game.
* The skill tree, or how a good idea reveals itself desastrous. At first, I thought that it was a great idea. But after two games, I see how bad this is. First, it opens up the way to minmaxing. One thinks what one wants about minmaxing, but the net result is that all heroes will more or less end up the same. The previous system was better. It lead to heroes that were not copies of each other, or of heroes from the game before! The system also opened up some skills earlier (rare, uncommon), and there often was a chill when one had to choose say, between one more level of fire mage (ha! fireball), or that rare skill that might not show up again... Some level ups were thrilling, others were bland. But it was fun. The only problem was is that one did not know what consequence a choice could have (especially when choosing beween 'bland' skills.) Now, from level one, you exactly know what your hero will look like at level 20. You know the path, and have no surprise (usually good!) ; you have no choice once you've traced the path. That's not a good idea. Restore the old system, but show for each choice what can lay behind. Keep rare skills opened for picking and not stuck at the last level of the tree) Possibly adapt the rare skill availability based on the number of skills already owned. For example, no chance if you don't have at least 1 skill in the branch, 3% if you have one, 6% if you have two... (well, tweaking required.)
* The skill tree again. Of course, considering that 45+ skills are possible (sometimes more) and that a character can barely reach level 12, there is a problem. A good thing would be if the character could get to level 20-24, with a full tree no more deep than 7 or 8, and with 5 branches or so. Top (rare) skills should be in synergy in some, so that reaching the top of two branches would be as good but different than reaching the top of two others. This would let two fighters be different from two other fighters. Possibly, create more than one path to reach the same top level skill ?
Skill sub trees are not born equal. For example, if you take warrior, the lethal branch is better in most situations than the parallel sword or axe branches (except when the defenders have low defense). Minmaxing will obviously make the choice.
* weapons special skills: Special skills are interesting. They probably should not be available without some training. Staves should have a basic ability that helps mages ; for example increased initiative after spell casting ?
* switching weapons ? This should be considered. Especially between ranged attack and mele attack.
* unrest penalty. A good idea.I would make it bigger at start (+5% per city but the first ?), and add conditions/buildings/techs that can reduce it.
Possibly, consider having cities really revolt. The revolt rate might also depend on the closeness to the capital (accounting for roads.) ; we already have connectivity, but we might have better ?
I had more, but forgot...
Keep on the good work. Much improvement over the first available beta FE , which I flamed down!