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Heroes Community > Other Games Exist Too > Thread: Dominions 5
Thread: Dominions 5
Zenofex
Zenofex


Responsible
Legendary Hero
Kreegan-atheist
posted November 16, 2017 07:53 AM

Dominions 5

Here it is. It should be released in less than 2 weeks and this time the changes from D4 seem to be significant (unlike the changes between D3 and D4 which were not that many). Personally I'm looking forward to it.

To those who don't know what Dominions is about... I can explain but bear in mind that the game is literally huge and takes quite a while to figure out what does what and why, let alone to become decent at it (in terms of variety and strategy however I'm yet to see another game to match it).

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Neraus
Neraus


Supreme Hero
Emperor of the Bromans
posted December 24, 2017 04:41 PM

I got it and played a bit, and I have a complaint.

They changed the music, instead of the good old medieval music there is now a more generic fantasy soundtrack.

That isn't meant to demean the composer of course, but the old soundtrack had a more distinct feel and was basically the first thing that hooked me up to the game.

Anyway on to the biggest change in the game: the simultaneous turns in battle, well, they certainly make the battle replay much more lively, I'll admit, seeing a cavalry charge while arrows fly from the other side was pretty entertaining, even though it was a small skirmish. Well, aside from that, it is more dynamic than I expected, in some moments it felt like there really was a battle going on.
Well, I'll admit I'm the shallow guy that played Dominions to watch the battle replays and this certainly improved a lot on that aspect, I'll have to play more to see how much will it affect the larger scale battles with heavy magic action and how the "real-time" will affect the results but I expect that there'll be fewer cases of kamikazes wrecking armies.

The new bless system gets you planning more on your strategy (or your flavour, if you're that kind of guy), and I already saw somebody making a build for Marignon that involves death explosion as a blessing dubbed Marignon Catholic Suicide Bomber Flagellants, as if the old fire weapons Flagellants weren't enough...

Now making your battle plans is less tiresome, instead of getting to a sequence of textboxes the process of choosing attack targets has been streamlined, and so now I don't have to get through the entire process again only because I pressed the wrong choice.

You can also almost recruit more commanders in one turn, the first time it happened I was took by surprise and lost a turn of research because I didn't notice I had an extra mage recruited.

So yeah, this is based on my first twenty minutes with it, I'll get back on the game after adapting my good old mod, gotta have Sicily steamrolling everyone with cavalry charges and OP trebuchets.
____________
I blame Arminius.

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Zenofex
Zenofex


Responsible
Legendary Hero
Kreegan-atheist
posted December 25, 2017 08:49 AM

I'm not sure I like the change of music too - it's not that the new tunes are bad, they certainly aren't, however the old soundtrack was more unique. And why did they change the battle music from Dominions 3, I'll never understand - it was perfect.

I'm not into the multi-player but some strategies that you can read in the forums are... well, something you'll never think of against the AI. Like massing Flagellants with Blood Vengeance. Or exhausting the entire enemy army with Stellar Cascades before it even reaches your front line, then slaughtering it like cattle. Or sending hordes of Horrors against the enemy provinces to wreak havoc (I read that Doom Horrors are extremely rare now, almost no chance to appear, but the lesser Horrors still deliver quite a punch). Or spreading your magic-draining, population-killing dominion over the enemy provinces and destroying the economy of the opponent just because his subjects begin to believe in your doomsday cult. The amount of options the game offers is enormous.

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Zenofex
Zenofex


Responsible
Legendary Hero
Kreegan-atheist
posted January 05, 2018 10:52 AM

Right, here's some information about the game in case someone cares.

What's the game about?
The "story" or rather the lore revolves around a supreme deity called simply The Pantocrator who rules the world but suddenly disappears without a trace. With the position vacated, all sorts of powerful beings - mages, vampires, giants, spirit-possessed statues, demons, dragons and many more - jump at each other's throats to take it. You pick one of them, make him/her/it a god of one of the many (around 30 or so) nations in the world and go to war. Win, and you're the new Pantocrator - simple as that.

What's the genre and what's to do in the game?
4x TBS, although that's a bit of a generalization. It's turn-based for sure but the 4x part is somewhat unorthodox. The game usually takes place on a random map (split into provinces) which can be really enormous depending on how many nations/wannabe gods fight on it. There are some pre-made maps as well but Dominions 5 starts with only 2 of them and there is no user-friendly map editor. In general, you recruit armies, assign them to commanders and conquer provinces - the usual stuff - however there's quite a lot of extra flavour. Each god has "dominion" or a representation of his/her/its influence over a particular province and the dominion does not necessarily (and usually doesn't) match the borders of the conquered territory - so it's quite normal to rule a province with very different faith which might be disastrous or beneficial for you depending on the properties of that dominion. What your dominion does is defined before you start the game  (and for some nations there are pre-defined "features" which you can't change, only augment or weaken to an extent) so you can rule over an earthly paradise where everyone's happy, lucky and productive, magic is everywhere (although that's not always a good thing) and the weather is always perfect, or you can have a barren hellscape where nothing grows, people die of diseases (even your own troops, if they are not somehow immune), curses fly left and right and make everyone's miserable lives even more miserable and so on. The strength of the dominion is not related to its properties so it's completely possible to be a god of some toxic faith which depopulates the world (at least that part of the world which believes in you) at a very fast rate and fills it with undead, there are a few nations which even build their core strategies around that. In theory you can even win without conquering everything as long as your dominion spreads everywhere but that's a bit difficult to achieve so military conquest remains in centre of the game.
Apart from that - magic. A lot, I mean really A LOT of magic. The spells available in the game are more than 1000 and although it will take a huge game to research them all and make mages who can cast even half of them, just the amount of spells combined with the amount of available units (hundreds, although of course not all of them can be recruited/summoned by one and the same nation) make the number of strategic and tactical options amazing. I'm not talking about 10x copy-paste of the same spell with different animation and slightly different effect either, the variety is real - from classical fireballs, through making your army able to breath under water, to creating a second sun which scorches the entire world or casting a global curse which makes everyone age at a very fast rate. To get your spells, you build labs and assign mages to do research. Powerful spells require magic gems to cast, these gems are gathered from magic sites which need to be discovered first + a small amount which your capital generates. There's one unique type of magic - Blood Magic - which requires you to hunt for virgins with special type of blood and then ritually sacrifice them to get what you want (typically demons, getting younger, turning your enemies into exploding red bombs and other benign stuff). The presence of mages in the armies changes the battles from conventional slaughter of two opposing sets of formations with infantry, archers, cavalry and such, into a much more spectacular mess, especially when some massive battlefield-wide spells are cast.
That is it, a very short summary. A long one will take days to write.

What's to like in the game?
Almost everything really. As mentioned multiple times, the amount of options is astonishing so even after 100 games you'll still discover new things and find new ways to deal with some situation. The nations, the pretender gods, the creatures and just about everything else are based on real-world mythologies combined with some fiction (think Lovecraft, not Tolkien) and I must say the devs really did their homework in that regard - you'll find references to Celtic, Norse, Sumerian, Assyrian, Jewish, Persian, Egyptian, Slavic, Chinese, Indian, Aztec... almost all mythologies you can think of. The nations more or less represent historical equivalents as well. For example, you have the "Germans" of Ulm - initially shamanistic barbarians which later develop into a nation of knights and smiths with the best armour and weapons of their era (but dislike for magic) and then turn into a Gothic conglomerate of humans, vampires and ghouls. Or the "Chinese" of Tien Chi - initially quite similar to the Warring Kingdoms, then a bureaucratic empire with ministers, state-sanctioned mages and priests and such and finally a barbarian-led country (representing the Mongol conquest) where the barbarians are largely assimilated. The music is excellent, although I liked it more in the previous games (Dominions 3 having the best tunes in the series). The battles can be quite spectacular in the late game, despite the basic graphics - especially now when they are in real time. The lore is incredibly rich and even though there is no "story" as such, the different pieces fall into their places nicely and make the universe very diverse and colourful. Each nation has heroes - unique commanders, mages or agents (assassins for instance) which may join you at some point and add to the immersion. Some of the game mechanics and spells are unique - for example you have a top-tier spell which allows you to wish for almost everything which is in the game - money, women (used for blood sacrifices of course ), troops, special monsters, items... In battle there are different formations, different weapons with their own characteristics (a footman with a pike and a footman with a greatsword  have identical physical and mental characteristics but the weapon difference makes their usage quite different), the creatures can get injured, blinded, dismembered, etc. and that affects their performance. The list can go on for quite a while.

What's not to like in the game?
First of all - the interface. Not the graphics, the interface. It's fairly user-hostile and 5 reincarnations of the game have done little to change that. It's probably what stops new players from investing more than a few hours in game before giving up. Lots of clicking, reversed usage of left-click and right-click compared to most other games, few clues how to move things around or give any orders at all. There's a huge manual on this stuff but really, a game which asks you to RTFM before you can even begin playing it is losing part of its charm by default. When you get used to it, you'll stop paying attention to all the inconveniences but first you have to struggle with simple things like navigation to more complex ones like how the hell I force that idiot mage cast anything else than these few spells which he always casts, no matter if they help or not.
Then it's the graphics. It's basic, that's obvious from a first glance. All units are 2D sprites, the animations are simple, the terrain is bearable 3D but the castle assaults take place in something which looks far more like a big cattle-pen than a fortress.
Finally, it's the very steep learning curve. The game does not teach you much about its mechanics so you have to discover most things by yourself or via the blessed Internetz. There are many many many things you can do in the game but you have to find them one by one - which could be nice but could also be a deal-breaker for people who don't have the patience to dig for methods how to accomplish a task or get frustrated over something which happens for seemingly no reason (one of your provinces is constantly struck by blights, hurricanes, units get cursed... you think the game hates you but then one day you find out that none of this is because you have bad luck but because some enemy mage is trolling you from half a world away).

That's enough, I doubt that most of you will read it anyway. For those who do and are interested - get the game. It's not cheap for an indie product and it's quite rough initially but when you get into it, you'll love it.

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JollyJoker
JollyJoker


Honorable
Undefeatable Hero
posted January 05, 2018 11:33 AM

Isn't the real question what makes it different from Dom 3 and 4?

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artu
artu


Promising
Undefeatable Hero
My BS sensor is tingling again
posted January 05, 2018 02:25 PM

I dont know about this game, never played it. But that is not necessarily always the real question. Don't be so obsessed with innovation, sometimes a polished sequel is better than a radical change.
____________
An unknown king, and mature pussy becomes known - Ghost

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Salamandre
Salamandre


Admirable
Omnipresent Hero
Wog refugee
posted January 05, 2018 02:29 PM
Edited by Salamandre at 14:34, 05 Jan 2018.

Yeah for example, Grim Dawn over Titan Quest, the previous sequel. Basically we have same features, almost same graphics, but so better interface and tweaks, then much more options, rune to craft, abilities. Or Anno 1404 over 1701, everything we liked is still there, but everything we needed is in as well, micromanagement tweaks, map editor, muslims (lol). For me, perfect examples of working game's sequel, a must to enjoy.

On the other side, civilization series, with their "let's change the mechanics" which everyone enjoyed so much, didn't even buy the 6th, as I had big problems with the 5th

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JollyJoker
JollyJoker


Honorable
Undefeatable Hero
posted January 05, 2018 02:46 PM

Except that his post states that the interface is snowe and the graphics are not great.
Which means, the question is, if you have a prior Dom, why buy?

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Zenofex
Zenofex


Responsible
Legendary Hero
Kreegan-atheist
posted January 05, 2018 03:52 PM
Edited by Zenofex at 15:58, 05 Jan 2018.

If you have never played a Dominions game, start with this one. Every next installment is basically the previous one + some new features. More of an expansion than a real new game. There are no radical changes in the game mechanics but mostly improvements of the existing core game.

If you have played Dominions 4, the big differences in 5 are:

- Real-time battles or rather a simulation of such (in reality it's more like a sim-turn turn-based fight). This is the first time in the series when you don't wait for every formation do its move or attack, every mage to cast his/her/its spell individually, then the opposing side does the same and so on until one side retreats or gets obliterated - everything happens simultaneously which makes big battles much faster and far more enjoyable to watch (it's definitely not the same thing to watch 10 mages cast thunderbolts one after another and 10 mages cast thunderbolt at the same time). That's a very big plus because in a protracted game there can be battles of thousands of creatures and with the old way they were resolved, it could take 40-50 minutes or even more to watch one full battle. And you have 5-6 of them in one turn...

- Custom bless configuration. When you design your pretender god, you can pick what bless effects can be applied on your sacred units depending on how much points the pretender has on a particular magic path and what scales he takes. You can go for several minor blesses like increased attack, defense, magic resistance and such or one or a few big blesses like damage reflection, partial invulnerability to physical damage and so on.

- Better looking strategic map. The textures are smoother and more detailed, you can now see the borders of your dominion. Season changes and particularly shifts to winter can be seen in the provinces (snow covers fields and forests). The battle map is also somewhat prettier. Some units have new, more detailed sprites.

- Recruitment now requires not only gold and resources but also recruitment points. The more populous the province is, the more recruitment points it has and you can't recruit past the current recruitment point limit of a province no matter how much gold and resources are available. Of course building a fortification drastically improves the recruitment rate.

- Many changes to many units and spells - I haven't seen them all yet of course.

The game is patched regularly and every once in a while a big patch arrives with new features, new units, new nations... basically a small expansion pack. The base game is fairly expensive for an indie but the subsequent updates are all free - that's how it has always been.

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