1. We have added a Gift Upgrades feature that allows you to gift an account upgrade to another member, just in time for the holiday season. You can see the gift option when going to the Account Upgrades screen, or on any user profile screen.
    Dismiss Notice

please bring back shadowriders ;)

Discussion in 'Orbis Modmod' started by ricolikesrice, Jul 23, 2009.

  1. ricolikesrice

    ricolikesrice Chieftain

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2009
    Messages:
    60
    Heya, long time lurker – first time poster !


    First off, awesome (mod)mod – I already fell in love with FFH over 1 year ago but since I discovered orbis I m playing that exclusivly. Many thanks to Kael, Ahwaric & co. for what is basically my favourite game of this century (last century would have been master of magic and this is as close as it gets ).

    Especially nice to see how far the AI has come in this time: its obviously still far from perfect (then again, often the AI is even worse in professional games *cough* total war *cough*) but unlike a year ago games can become fairly challenging now on the higher difficulty levels

    Now for one of the rare things I dislike about orbis though:


    Council of Esus

    Arguably one of the weakest religions in base FFH2 it was imho sadly even further weakened in orbis by the removal of shadowriders as a unit. Yep, I do get that instead now Shadows are the national units for CoE and that the “ignore building/terrain defense” ability has been moved to regular knights with knightly orders - but imho that’s a really bad change.

    shadowriders used to be an okay tradeoff to other religions highpriests. they had no spells and no command promotions but they were really awesome combat troops with their high movement, hidden nationality, being able to ignore terrain & building defense and last but not least: shadow affinity.

    since esus as state religion doesn’t really offer much else over other religions those
    4 shadowriders were about the only reason to go for that.

    everybody can get knights, but only with CoE you could get 4 knights AND 4 “elite” knights in the form of shadowriders for some really mobile warfare goodnes.

    now we have shadows as CoE exclusives but shadows aren’t worth jack compared to shadowriders. they re slightly beefed up assassins and since assassins most of the time fight weakened enemies anyhow …… having a bit more strength is always nice but doesn’t have as much of an impact as with other units.

    this change is kinda like taking away paladins and replacing them with a national unit that has the same stats as tier 2 priests except with 2 more STR…….

    first I thought Shadows would at least get the shadow affinity from the riders, but unless I m missing something they didn’t. even if they did though, its far less usefull on them compared to how usefull it was on riders.

    I m also missing their art, they looked nice and it sucks that its wasted now. Ordinary knights with a special promotion have far less charm then them.

    So in short: please bring them back ( unless you are planning an esus revamp anyhow) to have at least one small reason to play with esus as state religion.

    or is there something i ve been missing about esus thats been changed to really make up for the removal of the riders ?

    edit: one more small question:

    what happened to barbatos the lich ? currently in a game as the sheaim i have the broken sepulcher in my territory but barbatos never appeared. i tried exploring it many many times (different saves to get different results) but out of all the baddies that appeared, none was barbatos.
    is he (and with him the staff of souls i m after) still in the game somehow ?
     
  2. Ahwaric

    Ahwaric Shrubbery-hugger

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2005
    Messages:
    1,217
    Location:
    Kraków, Poland
    I agree that CoE could use some help. But there are some things that you did not mention:

    FfH base:
    no diplomatic penalty from other religions
    units do not get removed from enemy territory on declaring war

    Orbis (from FF, but changed):
    special promotions that require esus as a state religion - cost some gold and give you some nice benefits, replace spells from priests of other religions

    Shadowriders are gone for good, sorry. I do not think mounted units really fits CoE. Also, mounted one great at taking cities? :crazyeye:
    CoE knightly order was added instead.

    Improving shadows is a good idea. I will add shadow affinity, any other ideas welcomed.

    Barbatos - he was removed by Kael some time ago, I think when lair exploration was added.
     
  3. ricolikesrice

    ricolikesrice Chieftain

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2009
    Messages:
    60
    thinking about it, you re right about mounted elite cavalry ideal for city-busting not really fitting esus well ...

    here s a few ideas for making esus better otherwise while making it more flavourfull as well:

    1. Shadows

    Since they re Esus ´ counterpart to highpriests..... they should have some special abilties to make up for the lack of spells (and the command promotions). And since Esus works with money, here s my suggestions (i m not good at comming up with names for abilties so they are rather generic, sorry ):

    a) "Bribe". convert living, non-animal, non-beast, non-disciple, non-hero unit to your cause. costs more gold the more powerful the unit is (bribing an archmage costs more than bribing a warrior/adept). should hurt diplomatic relations (not as much as to cause instant war but enough to run danger of war when you bribe a lot ).

    kind of a replacement for other highpriests command promotions. worse in that it doesnt work on heroes/beasts/animals/disciples and costs gold. better in that its guaranteed instead of chance and works in peace (though not for long).

    b) Shadow Affinity like shadowriders had before as you already said.

    c) "Blackmail". convert a non-hero unit to barbarian for 1 turn.costs more gold the more powerful the unit is. CAN (not sure on % chance) hurt diplomatic relations.
    the idea behind is that the blackmailed unit is seen as a traitor for 1 turn and will have to fight for its survivial vs its former allies. should it survive it returns to its original civ control. either way, you have removed an enemy unit or even better caused it to kill even more enemy units.


    2. Shadowriders (sorry for bringing them up again but read this idea first:p)

    Dont reintroduce them as powerful citycrusher national units. How about a secondary "normal" religious unit instead ? (as RoK gets thanes and paramanders, Empy gets radiant guard and rathas, etc. etc.)

    require deception and stirrups (and possibly fanatism?). stats like horse archers but start with hidden nationality and CANNOT* declare nationality. lost if state religion changes.

    if they are in a city they can use the kidnap ability to steal a settled great person - like the svatalfar. unlike the svarts however this ability does NOT cause wars - instead it has a CHANCE to reduce diplomatic relations with the owner of the city.

    *reason for not being able to declare nationality would be that otherwise it d be too easy to kidnap GPs from civs who have open borders with you. but with shadowriders always being hidden nationality they would have to fight to get access to an enemy city and being able to kidnap.
    in that this ability would be different from svarts who can abuse open borders to kidnap (unless its been changed and i didnt realize it) but they also have the risk for immediate war and units with high enough str to minimize that risk come quite late ingame.

    i m not sure yet if this kidnap ability should also work on your own cities. one the one hand lorewise it kinda fits for a CoE ruler to kidnap his own people to use them elsewhere, one the other hand its quite a powerful mechanic .... then again esus so far didnt strike me as too powerful - rather the opposite. hmmmmmmmmmmmmmm :crazyeye:

    what do you think ?

    oh for barbatos: too bad, any chance to reintroduce him into the game ?

    edit: just looked up the promotions you were talking about ahwaric - sorry kinda missed them ! indeed some good stuff in there. freelander sounds damn powerfull , then again by the time you are at your limit for national limits you ve probably won anyhow (or facing enemies were you need every edge ^^ )
     
  4. arcticnightwolf

    arcticnightwolf Chieftain

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2008
    Messages:
    1,301
    Location:
    Prague, Czech Republic
    it would be nice to set immunity to Mutiny when player has CoE as state religion... (Mutiny - unit has knightly-order promotion and unit's religion alignment doesn't match with your religion alignment => 10% chance get enraged AFAIK)
     
  5. Willgar

    Willgar Chieftain

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2007
    Messages:
    308
    "since esus as state religion doesn’t really offer much else over other religions those
    4 shadowriders were about the only reason to go for that"

    esus is ridiculously powerful if played right! You get a tier 3 spell caster pretty early and with good preparation you can launch a blitzkrieg style attack that will decimate an AI opponent. I often switch to esus in the mid/late game simply to launch a first strike on a more powerful enemy. The goal is to quickly secure key choke points, raze vital cities and destroying infrastructure and undefended units. Even sneakier is to capture cities that you know you cant hold and then gift them to a much weaker non-aligned neighbour.

    Even if you don't win - the damage you can inflict by starting war inside borders is extremely high and few opponents can recover from losing 3 or 4 major cites and having most of their cottages, happiness and health resources destroyed in a just a couple of turns.


    However, Against human opponents esus is much less powerful....
     
  6. Jabie

    Jabie Wanted in Monte Carlo...

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2003
    Messages:
    1,024
    Location:
    Southampton, UK
    Esus seems to be cut out for espionage. Maybe Shadows could gain access to Espionage missions, if they do not already have them.
     
  7. civ_king

    civ_king Deus Caritas Est

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2006
    Messages:
    16,368
    by having ATT strength they can't enter cities to do that
     
  8. Hansebenger

    Hansebenger KingKäs

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2009
    Messages:
    39
    I think Esus is the best religion in Orbis:
    -They have a very early archmage
    And now the great benefits from the civic
    -Your specialists generate 1 espionage point which is a lot when u run a specialist economy
    -50% guild cost is a very huge eco boost (And with Guilds civic guilds cost nothing)
    -The buyable promotion that generates 2 gold per turn is a very huge eco boost too

    And there are the other things already mentioned

    Esus for the win^^
     
  9. Cylnar

    Cylnar Enemy of corporatocracy

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2008
    Messages:
    86
    Shadowriders should be in the game in some form simply because of this bit of tech flavor text:

    Construction: "Your walls do not protect you from the world. The illusion of safety it gives is far more dangerous than the fear of death. Stones will not slow the Riders of Nox Noctis." - Phadean, Shadow Rider
     
  10. zup

    zup Chieftain

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2008
    Messages:
    1,238
    That flavor text makes them city busters, sadly. Rather make them very good at pillaging, not insanely strong, but a hidden nationality unit to butcher enemy cottages is wanted by me.
     
  11. Seon

    Seon Not An Evil Liar

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2009
    Messages:
    7,662
    Location:
    Not Lying through my teeth
    Actually,according to the bestiary, Shadowriders are more like angels of Esus, who can just phase through solid wall to attack people beyond it. And they are only used when Esus thinks that his deceptions have reached a limit, and the matter at hand requires more... brutal touch.

    So yeah, since walls have no effect on them, I think them being city busters is quite justified :p
     
  12. MagisterCultuum

    MagisterCultuum Great Sage

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2007
    Messages:
    16,057
    Location:
    Kael's head
    I interpreted "humanoid" to mean that these were mortal servants of Esus (mostly humans and Darkelves I'd guess), not angels or demons.


    In my version they start with Shadow I and II, as well as gain the Hidden promotion from combat (whereas normal stealth unit would not be able to cast Hide after fighting).
     
  13. xienwolf

    xienwolf Chieftain

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2007
    Messages:
    10,589
    Location:
    Location! Location!
    Strange that they should get any benefit for attacking a city. Maybe ignore defences but also a -50% City Attack Penalty would be appropriate. As they can phase through walls, but for some strange reason, CITIES ARE WELL LIT.
     
  14. Cylnar

    Cylnar Enemy of corporatocracy

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2008
    Messages:
    86
    Actually...medieval cities were not well lit. At all. The only light there was, pretty much, came from windows, and not much of that; people usually used candles or oil lamps which put out vastly less light than modern electric lightbulbs. And most folks went to bed soon after dark anyway; the only districts that would be lit would be areas around inns and the like. Street lighting could not be done using medieval technology. You can't have hundreds or thousands of torches burning on your streets, or oil lamps for that matter, for a variety of reasons. Street lighting (gaslamps) didn't become commonplace until the early 19th century, I believe.

    Now I suppose cities of Erebus could be lighted using mystical (magical or divine) means - and this would be especially common in Empyrean-following nations (divine) and perhaps in Amurite cities (magical). The Khazad might mine natural gas and use gaslamps - especially since they live underground - and the Mechanos might develop a lighting system using refined mana or something. Whether there is existing lore specifically stating that particular nations commonly employ street lighting is something I don't know. But it's likely that mystically-gifted followers of Esus (not to mention common thieves and cutthroats) would find plenty of shadows to conceal them and their deeds. ;)
     
  15. MagisterCultuum

    MagisterCultuum Great Sage

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2007
    Messages:
    16,057
    Location:
    Kael's head
    Obviously Shadowriders aren't that useful during the daytime, but I imagine there was little to stop them in most cities at night.


    I don't think there is any reference to natural gas existing, much less being used by the dwarves. In fact, the Underhome (also called the Underdark) is quite dark, and lights of any kind are forbidden in the sacred rune chambers. Priests are expected to navigate by feel, not sight, and would often be blindfolded rather than just not using lamps. This may be related to the ancient tradition of placing Basilisks in the most important vaults, which would of course turn anyone who saw them into stone.
     
  16. civ_king

    civ_king Deus Caritas Est

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2006
    Messages:
    16,368
    the lore-god has spoken again
     
  17. Seon

    Seon Not An Evil Liar

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2009
    Messages:
    7,662
    Location:
    Not Lying through my teeth
    Shadowriders will own dwarves :eek:
     
  18. arcticnightwolf

    arcticnightwolf Chieftain

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2008
    Messages:
    1,301
    Location:
    Prague, Czech Republic
    i noticed that Shadows are now CoE-only units ... i didn't notice that before
     
  19. zup

    zup Chieftain

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2008
    Messages:
    1,238
    In the past, shadows only required CoE to be present in your city, you did not have to tell the entire world you are going to stab them in the backs. But there were far too few reasons to actually follow CoE as a state religion.
     
  20. Darksaber1

    Darksaber1 Secret Emperor

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2008
    Messages:
    2,220
    Location:
    Where you least expect me
    Well, most angels and demons were mortals at one time...
     

Share This Page