New AI code for neutrals, which are cities not under control of any realm. Currently they will warn those who march armies too close and make diplomatic overtures towards newly encountered powers. Next up is asking for assistance against marauders, evaluating threat levels and recruiting defenders accordingly, and retaliating against failed attempts at conquest. There is quite a lot of behavior and depth to add to the AI, as they will be a central part of making the world feel alive. The same AI framework will also be used for the dungeon factions, ancient evils, various clandestine organizations, so I am really itching to expand this, and it’s actually quite fun to code.
Tying into this is a new follower task, Emissary. This involves sending the follower to a neutral city, where he or she will act as your representative. Currently it only has a diplomatic effect, where it adds influence under the right circumstances, but it will be a prerequisite for various events to occur, give knowledge of events transpiring in the city and give intelligence on military activity in the city.
New spells have been implemented in the tactical combat engine: Blur, Flames of the Phoenix, Mass Resurrection and Baleful Strength. Flames of the Phoenix is my favorite of the bunch – the affected unit will suffer fire damage for two turns, but at the end of the two turns, a portion of any losses suffered will return to life, rising from the ashes. Should the unit be completely annihilated during these two turns, 100% of all fallen soldiers will return to life. So this is a great spell to put on a unit heading for a suicide charge against the strongest part of the enemy army.
This leaves Battle Gate, Hypnotism, Second Shadows, Berserker Rush, Swift Strike, Terror, Conjure Mists and Wall of Swords, to be implemented in the next couple of builds.
There also the usual round of bug fixes. There were quite a lot of AI / faction bugs that were lurking and wreaked great havoc when the neutral AI was activated. Hopefully I have fixed them all, but realistically I expect to find a few more over the coming week or two.
On the follower assignment dialog, the benefits from assigning a specific follower to govern a city are now shown. The exact effects depend on the skills and traits of the follower – a bloodthirsty governor will boost martial progress in the city, a hedonist will cause decadence, a master of intrigue will increase your influence gain, etc.
The next build will expand upon the neutral AI code, emissary mechanics and diplomacy/espionage.
Zip with build: http://wizardsandwarlords.net/files/WizardsAndWarlords0926.zip