This is the first game since the early SoaSE I find time to write about.
I will go straight for the bugs/balance questions:
- The first problem i encountered was 15 minutes in game when during a battle suddenly all bright colors on the screen started flickering and flipped with a grayish/bright white noise effect. This carried over after the battle to the tactical view, so I had to restart to get rid of it.
- Next the zones/borders of influence disappeared and never showed up again (I played that during the night and knew that if I have to restart the game once more I will just go to sleep, so just kept on playing). Then the movement tiles on the battle screen disappeared as well.
- Afterwards I couldn't select my heroes/armies/cities by the upper left corner icons on the tactical screen anymore. Soon after they vanished (the icons) entirely and in order to get to my hero/unit/city I had to look for them manually on the map.
- Noticed some persistent way too frequent dodge tendency in the game. During combat at least half of the attacks (as well as special abilities and modified attacks) get dodged, even when the unit under attack is being completely surrounded. I don't exaggerate - at least half of all attacks are being dodged. There was a militia unit who was surrounded by 4 or 5 my units and ALL of them missed to hit him for 2 consecutive attacks each. This is ridiculous.
- Speaking of battles I don't really like the way my units are set up when the battle starts. There should be option to deploy you troops at certain area before battle commences. At LEAST when you are attacking. Maybe when you defend too, but with smaller area for deployment available. That in my opinion will greatly improve the battles.
- I have noticed that much of the time during battle some of the melee troops on the battlefield are being dazed and skip turns. Spearmen and militia units after they used their special attacks for example. What causes that dazing, how can it be avoided etc?
- The unrest levels are very very high. I defeated one of the AI opponents and conquered 3 of his cities and the unrest levels there, even quite much time after i completely wiped him out kept at 90+%. Even in my cities the unrest levels are very high by default. Does the same apply to AI players' settlements? I think they cheat there.
- One think I am sure the AI cheats, even at lower difficulty games is the monsters' raids. I haven't seen a neutral monster to behave aggressively in any way towards an AI hero/unit/city/anything. But they never fail to come straight to my cities even at the slightest sniff of it, or the look of my borders 5-6 tiles away. Not cool.
- Even on the biggest maps I start right next to two (out of 6-8) of my opponents. Since I have chosen a bigger map, I expect to be separated from them evenly(ish) and not stepping on each other's toes from the very start of the game. It simply spoils the fun.
That's all for the moment. As soon as the kids/job/need to sleep let me play again i will update my feedback. Hope that helps