A trip through the fantasy worlds I enjoy



What is Legendary Heroes?

It's an expansion for Fallen Enchantress that adds the following:

1. A new Champion progression system.  Instead of random traits your champions have a trait tree that they can use to select traits as they level  up, grow your champions the way you want.

2. The ability to recruit special non-human champions.  Champions aren't just humans anymore.  Rare opportunities or quests may unlock champions of various monster races that can choose traits and use equipment.

3. New tactical combat options.  Swarm gives a bonus for every ally that surrounds the enemy you are attacking.  Be careful where you stand as even weak creatures can become dangerous in groups (especially those with traits that improve their Swarm bonus).  Weapons all have special abilities and every faction has a special ability they can use in combat so even lowly spearmen have 2 special abilities they can use in addition to their normal move and attack options.

4. New monster types like the Banshee who is immune to physical weapons, or the Garagox who knocks enemies back with each hit (which makes it difficult to get swarm bonuses and control the battlefield).

5. New spells and abilities.  New range types have been added that allow for adjacent and line spells and abilities.  Use Wall of Fire in tactical to create a line, 7 tiles long, to block allies from enemy units.  Master necromancy to summon up to nine different skeleton units at once with the Raise Skeletal Horde spell.  Use Resoln's Wraith Touch to drain life from a nearby enemy or Altar's Rush ability to forfeit their attack to get an extra action.

6. A new scenario.  Relias has returned to warn the kingdoms of what he discovered in the East, but there is little time left.  The war has begun.


Who gets Legendary Heroes for free?

If you purchased War of Magic before 10/31/2010 then you will be receiving Legendary Heroes for free.  If you will be receiving Legendary Heroes for free you will receive an email from Stardock when the beta starts.


How much does Legendary Heroes cost?

If you own Fallen Enchantress then Legendary Heroes will cost $19.99.  If you don't own Fallen Enchantress it will cost $39.99.


Can I get Legendary Heroes on Steam?

Legendary Heroes is integrated with Steam.  So everyone that gets it will have it on Steam, no matter where they purchase it from (even if they purchase directly from Stardock).  Those players that will be receiving free copies will be receiving a steam key for the game.


How has the champion system changed?

The biggest change is in how you gain champions.  They are no longer waiting on the map.  Although I liked having them on the map to encourage players to explore, it made the champion part of the game to random.  It also disconnected the champion game from the core game (empire building), creating two separate games that were only loosely connected to each other.

In Legendary Heroes players have a new Fame attribute.  Fame is gained by building certain  improvements (though you can also get it from researching some techs and completing quests).  Completing the Tower of Dominion provides enough Fame to get your first Champion.  When you gain enough Fame 2 champions will present themselves to you for recruitment, but you can only pick one.  All the champions have been redone to make these decisions more distinct and interesting.

With this new system the amount of Champions you have access to depends on your empire choices, what techs you researched and what improvements you built.  Not on map generation.

Champions can still be gained through quests, though these tend to be special cases.

There are also a lot of new champion traits that can be learned.  Some that grant access to new spells and abilities, some that improve existing abilities.  For example all axes give access to the Cleave ability, which allows the unit to strike 3 adjacent enemies that are next to each other.  A champion trait increase the amount of damage done when Cleaving.  Others increase damage with fire spells, or the amount of healing done when casting a Heal spell.  Traits can reduce casting times or increase the amount of accessories a champion can equip.


Monster champions?  Does that mean I can give a bear an axe and enchanted pants?

Each of the monster champions is special, such as Huhrus the Ogre.  You can get him through a quest in both FE and LH.  But in LH he is a champion with the ability to pick traits when he levels (he starts with path of the warrior) and you can give him whatever weapons and accessories you would like.  Since he is an Ogre he gets all their benefits including having more hit points than a normal champion.  But he cannot wear normal armor, so there are pros and cons.


Have the graphics changed?

The graphics of the game have gone through considerable updates.  Redone forests, new rivers, new mountains, dynamic shadows, lower bloom, less terrain blending, improved lighting, better animations, etc.  Ground props have been dramatically reduced and overall the effect is to make the game cleaner and clearer.  It is easier to tell what a specific tile is and which tiles have special things on them.

Legendary Heroes has a new Art Lead, Kay Fedewa.  It is her first time working as a lead on a game and she has done amazing work making everything look both better and more distinct (often opposite goals).

Designer Note: The big lesson for me was that art, much like game design, isn't about one big change or fix.  It's a culmination of a lot of little things working together.  It's the entire scene.  Small things that wouldn't be noticed add up.  Where a player may notice that Legendary heroes has new mountains, those mountains are actually a half dozen changes all working together, none of which would be that significant on their own.


Are there more changes?

Lots of more minor tweaks and improvements.  There is a new game option slider for production pace (so you can modify it seperatly than research pace).  Screens have been added (an army screen for managing multiple stacks in one tile) or improved.  The battles result screen animates your xp bar and dings when a unit hits a level as well as showing any results of injuries or death so we don't need additional popups for it.

When you adjust the world difficulty it will change the levels monsters spawn at instead of just their hit points.  Turn it down to get weaker monsters and up to be facing level 8 bears and worse.

Since you don't have your "free champion" starting by you players start with their sovereign and a group of spearmen and club wielding militia.  In general this makes starting sovereigns a bit more powerful but it does a great job of showing off the new weapons abilities (since the spearmen and militia have different abilities) and it gets the player used to using armies.  He can start fighting with his starting units and by the time they die be ready to get some new ones trained.

We have also added a feature based on player feedback.  The ability to set a city to producing a resource (like additional gold), instead of just having the cities get a bonus when the queue was empty.  This is a more intuitive option for the player and works better for game play since we can seperate idle cities from those that have been intentionally to produce more of a resource.

There are more, new items, new weapons, new armor, new quests, etc.



Does the addition of these new mechanics make the game more complex?

Our goal is to take FE to the next level with the expansion.  To make it into a better game, not a bigger game.  So things that were confusing or overly complex were cut.  For example finding champions in the wilderness can be confusing for new players, the new system is both better designed and more intuitive. 

I've also removed cutting/blunt/pierce damage.  The goal of those damage types was to make the weapons different from each other.  To make an axe different than a hammer.  But the majority of players ignored or were unaware of the differences and were left feeling like battles were less strategic because the defense strengths or weaknesses didn't impact their strategy.

Now the weapons have special abilities.  Spears have Impale, which strikes an enemy and the unit behind them.  Axes have Cleave, which can strike 3 units that are all adjacent to the attacker.  Crossbows have been added to the game and they are powerful short range weapons, they strike through 5 enemy units in a line.  Even shields give a Shield Bash ability which does the units normal attack damage and can knock the victim back a tile (which is good for controlling swarm bonuses from your units and your opponents).  Because of these abilities, different weapons feel very different from each other and we no longer needed the stat differences that damage types offered.  In other words, stats differences are okay differentiators, game play differences are better.

I've also cut Influence and Faction Prestige.  Influence fell victim to the go big or go home rule.  It just wasn't important enough to feel like its own thing.  Removing it makes gold more important for diplomacy.  Faction Prestige is being replaced by a Unrest penalty based on the amount of cities in your empire.  The more cities you have the higher your unrest is.  This makes anti-unrest effects more critical as your empire grows and does a better job of balancing large vs small empires since it directly reduces production and research rather than just growth (as faction prestige did).

Part of removing Faction Prestige was the change to have the amount of unused food a city has available impact growth.  So now when you see a tile with high grain yields it isn't just a higher size that the city can grow to, but the speed at which it will reach that size.


Other links?

Website: http://www.elementalgame.com/legendary-heroes


Comments (Page 2)
on Feb 05, 2013

How many of the new heroes are named after me?.... =D

Great to see, new terrain and all some stuff that looks cool, can't wait...

~ The King

Ps. I am totally not suffering from megalomania

on Feb 05, 2013

What will FE non-legends owners get from this? Is that game dead and no longer supported except from brads private homebuilds? What about the map pack I just bought like 3 days ago for FE..? Is that compatable in legends...? or refund?

on Feb 05, 2013

Those changes sound great. However, I'm not happy with making it Steam only. I understand the reasoning behind it, but I just don't like having to use Steam (or any other third-party client) to play the game. 

on Feb 05, 2013

A whole bunch of nice changes here. I like the direction you are going!

on Feb 05, 2013

Sounds great! Thanks for the announcement!

Only two concerns:

Will the system requirements remain the same with LH as they are for FE?

Since Swarm was mentioned several times, I assume it will be a major factor in tactical combat? Will there be options/abilities/spells available for countering swarm?

on Feb 05, 2013

Same hardware requirements. Game should run slightly faster on the same hardware.  However, it will require Steam to get updates.

on Feb 05, 2013

My jaw is on the floor.  My only complaints are being addressed; skill trees, weapon based skills, and better integration of champion discovery.  It always seemed weird seeing champions littered about the map.  They were much better in WoM when they moved about.  I like the LH solution..

BTW - bravo on integrating with Steam.  It's a wonderful platform.

on Feb 05, 2013

What do we do about getting a steam version if we own a non steam version of FE?

on Feb 05, 2013

Very impressive!  Really looking forward to this.  Seems everything is to be more "realistic" (as much as one can use "realism" in refering to a Fantasy Roleplaying Game.  (Choose any three of those words, LOL).

on Feb 05, 2013


For me that's the biggest single improvement, although there's a Lot that I like in the expansion contents too. Really looking forward to trying this out! This and Frog builds, yummy!

on Feb 05, 2013

Lord Xia
This all sounds pretty good.  I'm pretty excited about the skill trees and the new monster champions.  Ogre champ sounds like fun.  Little confused on who is getting the expansion free, as it sounds different than what was told to us originally. Can't be too upset, giving things for away for free at all is far and above what any other company has ever done.  I must be remembering incorrectly,  I thought early buyers of WoM, not just preorders, were going to receive the 2 games.

Same here, confused. I also remembered it different. But FE was good, so counting the blessings that I have. ^^

on Feb 05, 2013

Can I change my vote on what Stardock should do next?

If this is your idea of refining FE, then by all means, refine FE.

on Feb 05, 2013

Paid $40 for FE on Steam in December.  *cry*

I will still buy it though, assuming people around here say it is good.  =D

on Feb 05, 2013

I'm very pleasantly impressed. I love every change you've made to the game and really looking forward to playing the beta. You've touched and seems you've actually improved almost every aspect of the game and Steam integration is great, since everything is on Steam now, which is a great platform.


One question though: Have you touched diplomacy in any way besides removing Influence? It has major issues like the AI breaking truces, which the player can't do. Also the AI hates you if you don't have a huge army, even if you pay tribute, have caravans and trade pact and have the same allegiance and other positive effects. The AI will only like you if they're weaker than you which makes diplomacy almost useless. Please take a look at diplomacy and the relations modifiers.

Perhaps you could make caravans and trade relations generate more money and give bigger relations bonuses. You could win a GalCiv 2 game without ever firing a shot, if you knew how to please everyone and turn them against each other. You can't do that in FE and it would be fun to be able to maintain proper diplomatic relations with AI factions and not have everyone wanting to kill everyone else.

on Feb 05, 2013

Same hardware requirements. Game should run slightly faster on the same hardware.  However, it will require Steam to get updates.

You refer to steam here. Is this to be true for non-steam 'slower' computers? For sake of arguement, I probably have a 'bottom end' computer, Intel dual core (3gig, 3gig) with 3.25gig of RAM and winXP 32-bit able to run the dual core (OS is on one core, and my applications run on the other core).

Continuing this question a little further, if graphic has been streamlined enough, could the 32-bit users get the mini-peeps back? I really miss them since the beta.

That said, now on to commenting on the OP:

WOW! OH WOW! So much good in this thread! Totally hyped.  

  • Love the proposed Champion system. Top notch! I'm gleening here, but it kinda looks like Influence is being turned into Fame. Is that the case? I'm really curious as to how you have proposed Fame to be implemented. What's going to happen with those Presteigious Locations? (I really liked them). Will there be other types of buildings you can house that will grant a variety of bonus (maybe like the special resource cubes in galcivII...but not just flat bonuses...unique bonuses)?
  • You've inserted a hint to more summoning spells. That's really exciting. I'm hoping we won't be limited to just the one casting; that there is a split system of being able to instant-cast a single copy while in a combat OR summon with a turn-delay as many as needed/wanted from the strategic. ps. I LOVE the look of that banshee...I want an ARMY of them.
  • Sadly, I don't see any mention to improvements being made for the road system (unless that's lumped in with the 'minor' improvements). Is there something being planned? 
  • Totally agree with the removal of blunt/cut/piece attacks. That was just confusing players. It took away from being able to design the units you wanted to because you needed to apply counter tactics to the battle. Now you'll be able to explore all of the weapons, hopefully each having their own strengths and weaknesses in a way that makes choosing a balanced choice.
  • Is the Diplomacy being expanded on? Perhaps a +/- system so that you can see on a scalar level how pissed the AI is towards you? (I was playing galcivII last night and conquared 3 minor worlds with 3 transports and all of a sudden EVERY major race declared war on me. I had NO idea why cause they were all 'cool' towards me just the turn before. It seemed unjustified) Some ideaS: Perhaps more options of interaction with different types of treaties with pros and cons to each? Perhaps quests or rpg elements that can be added into the diplomacy should you choose to persue (and who knows...maybe even some dynasty stuff for your kids)?
  • Is the building of Outposts going to be split away from the Pioneer unit? ( I suppose there were enough threads on that topic...so I'll leave it at that.)

Can we preorder the expansion so that we get access to its beta?