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Interview of Jean de Metz & Melciar - 3rd of the 2016 2vs2 PBEM Tournament (part 1)
Interested in getting some insights into the strategies of some of the best players of AoW3? Want to know what they think are the best combos and units? This is the first of a series of 3 interviews with the players who qualified for the final phase of the 2016 PBEM 2vs2 Team Tournament, which involved 16 teams.

2018-06-17 00:23:51| Posted by Hiliadan

Jean de Metz and Melciar formed "The green elephant" team for the 2016 PBEM 2vs2 Team Tournament. Outside the tournament, Jean is a member of the team King Serpents (ranked #2 of the team ranking), while Melciar is without team, but both have known each other for many years and used to play in the same community during the AoW2 and AoW2:SM era. Jean is one of the three "Masters" of AoW3 in the individual ranking and arguably one of the best PBEM AoW3 player ever. Melciar is a Veteran player, currently ranked #15, partially thanks to his team victories with Jean.
Both players speak Russian (Melciar is from Belarus), which definitely help them to play together, despite a huge skill imbalance and different personalities.

Melciar's stats: a respectable 68% win ratio, with a number of victories playing in team with Jean

Four interviews had been published for the 2015 PBEM Duel Tournament, you can find them here (check out their answers about the best units by tier, the answers are funnily always different):
- Sjow (4th)
- Fistandantilus (3rd)
- Skuns453Lirik902 (finalist)
- gabthegab (winner)

This is the first part of the interview, the second part will be released later as we were lucky to get a lot of content in the answers of Jean and Melciar!

1/ First a little background on your IRL (if it’s not secret!): where are you from and how old are you?

Melciar: I was born 400 years ago in the mountains of Scotland and I'm still alive...
Well, it's a joke. I'm from Belarus and I'm 33 years old.

Jean: My name is Vadim, I'm from Moscow and I'm 27 years old.
2/ When did you start playing AoW and AoW3?

Melciar: I started to play Age of Wonders 2 in 2004. Later I tried the first title of the Age of Wonders series. I have to tell you about a wonderful site, Once it was a place where Age of Wonders 2 Russian fans used to gather and play with each other (now it is ancient ruins where archon undead units live). That solid online community appeared at the end of 2007 and games were held at least several times per week. Only online games. More players began to join us and soon we started to play tournaments. We had some foreign players too: Griffith and his brother Munatauras from Finland and Jeronimo from Argentina. Hellbrick and Jean came to play too. The former created MP Evolution mod which was pretty popular and was used even by foreign online players. The last tournament of this community was held just before the release of Age of Wonders 3. It was a good time, I would say.
Jean: It's a long story and I'm willing to tell it When I was 10 years old my mother found out that a native German had just moved to our apartment block. He was a teacher of German language and he married a Russian lady. As he lived in the same house it was really convenient for me to go to his apartment once a week and study German. He was a good teacher, it was me who didn't study well =) I have to say I was more interested in sport events, books, friends and table games at this age than in studying German. I was really stupid. He later moved to another district of Moscow and I forgot everything he taught me.
His name was Oliver and he liked strategy games a lot. While waiting for his pupils to visit him, he played several turns in Heroes of Might and Magic 2. One day I came and saw him playing a very strange game. When I asked what its name was he looked at me seriously and replied: "Age of Wonders!" He didn't show it to me because we began to study and soon I completely forgot about it. Several years later I was passing by a PC games store (there was no Steam at that time and kids had to buy games in stores) and I decided to come in. I wasn't really interested in buying anything; I just loved to watch all those disks standing on the shelves. Suddenly I saw a game and it clicked in my mind: I remembered the name! It was Age of Wonders 2. The game was brand new, I bought it and soon it became my favorite game and stayed so for many years. Later I bought the Shadow Magic expansion. Of course, I tried the first part of the series - the game my teacher played. I liked it too, especially the soundtrack. I was very happy to hear it once again, now in Age of Wonders 3.
I played Age of Wonders: Shadow Magic online for many years. We had a hamachi network where we used to gather. There was a forum of Russian fans where I met Melciar, Hellbrick and many other good players. You should read Melciar's answer to find more about it.
I started to play Age of Wonders 3 when it was released in 2013. Unfortunately, I soon ran out of free time and made a long break. Now I'm playing PBEM and I'm a real fan of it.
3/ Do you usually play AoW3 in single player, PBEM or multiplayer?

Melciar: I'm not interested in single player. At all. When I had more free time, I used to play online a lot. Now - only PBEM, with rare exceptions.

Jean: I play only PBEM. Online games take too long to play. One day I will play the campaign because I haven't played any of its scenarios at all.

Jean's impressive strings of victories, leading him to a 88% win ratio!
4/ How did you choose your combos during the tournament?
Melciar: My best combo - to team with Jean, haha. In fact, all my combos for this tournament failed to show good results. Maybe because I still consider myself to be an online player and I haven't got accustomed to PBEM yet.

Jean: Soon after I started to play in team with Melciar I found out how unprepared he was for this tournament. I had to show my best in almost every match in order to win it. Just to make sure: Melciar is a good teammate and a nice guy But he has the same problems as many other new players: once he loses an army or a town he becomes upset, demoralized and makes more mistakes. He loses interest in a match very easily so you have to be nearby and tell him everything is okay and nothing bad has happened I took strong combinations in every match and got rewarded so far. Let's see if I manage to win my next match.
5/ What is your favourite class/race and why? With what specialisations?
Melciar: My favorite class - Theocrat. Favorite race - Goblins. Specialization - Shadowborn. I consider its tier-4 units (Fallen Angels) to be epic and cool.

Jean: My favourite classes are Sorcerer and Dreadnought. Sorcerer has everything I like: Floating/ Flying invisible armies which give you an opportunity to outplay your opponents in maneuvers; perfect global spells (Glyphs of Warding, Dread Omen, Dome of Protection, Age of Magic, etc.) and really interesting battle spells. I like to play with Grey Guard as Essence Harvest gives you more casting points and its economic bonuses are really useful (you can't rely only on summons). You can also take Destruction in order to get Scorched Earth or Hasty Plunder. Sorcerer uses both spells very often since it is a very aggressive class.
As for Dreadnought, it became one of my favorite classes in online games. There you have to play a decisive tactical battle with your opponent on manual so Cannons, Flame Tanks and other class units are incredibly strong. In general, I like the variety of different tactical scenarios provided by Dreadnought. For example, it's very easy to take different mythical sites with units like Trolls, Shadow Stalkers, trained Spiders, etc. But imagine you don't have them. You have only several different Machines and Engineers to repair them. And every dangerous fight in a mythical site becomes a true challenge.
I like Human and Halfling Dreadnoughts. I'm currently playing a 3-3 game where I'm testing Tigran Dread and I believe it to be pretty good. Since Dreadnought has many different Empire Upgrades I recommend to take a specialization with no Empire Upgrades at all. Then you won't run the risk of getting wrong upgrades in the research book pools.
I often feel disappointed when I see players trying to avoid using Dreadnought class units at any cost. They build cavalry, support units or even try to level up elementals Yes, it shows how many strategies can be played by dreadnought class. But don't ignore these wonderful Machines. At least, they deserve a test.
6/ In your opinion, what are some of the best units by tier?
Melciar: Best units? I prefer mobile units which you can get very fast at the beginning of the game. I also like Draconian Flyers.

Jean: It is a tough question. Let's start with some tier 1 units. You can find a Hunter Spider Baby guarding different objects at the beginning of the game. It is a very dangerous unit and many new players don't know how to deal with it. Imagine: you don't have any casting points or damage spells, you have to approach the defenders and you need to do it very carefully because one of the Spiders can teleport and Web your unit. It can ruin your whole strategy. Two minutes ago you felt safe and self-confident but now your hero is webbed and an Ogre is approaching it...
Another special unit for me is Dwarf Axeman. Very strong in defense, can approach Archers with physical damage and block them with Defensive Strike. Let's also name the Frostling Ice Scaper. It is probably the only tier 1 unit which can remove an enemy out of combat for several turns. Ah, yes, also the Farmer The Halfling Farmer. I know that Hiliadan loves it too.
If we take tier 2 units, I'd name the Phantasm Warrior, the Banshee and the Human Priest. The latter is a perfect unit to tackle Undead and protect your creatures from mind control. If you have a stack of them you can easily take the Lich's Castle.
I have to say that I like almost all tier 3-4 units. My favorite ones are: Warbreed, Frostling Ice Queen and Shrine of Smiting (it is incredibly strong; sanctums guarded by it are the most difficult ones in my opinion).

If you're interested by competitive plays, please check this video library gathering most competitive PBEM and live MP videos.

Tourney won by Player petracke !!
A great tourney eventually found his earned end!

2018-06-13 17:22:40| Posted by DreadReapr

A tourney ended successfully:

Thanks to all those who participated in this tourney !!
Congrats to the winner(s)! And a big thanks to the organizer DreadReapr!
The following matches were played:

<a href="" >Round 1: Game#1 Stephen122334 beat Larks </a><br><a href="" >Round 1: Game#2 Ratguard beat Rivandere </a><br><a href="" >Round 1: Game#3 SpellCaster beat suXXes </a><br><a href="" >Round 1: Game#4 Satonir beat bodziowolf </a><br><a href="" >Round 1: Game#5 petracke beat lolek </a><br><a href="" >Round 1: Game#6 Zytozid beat MARKYMARK</a><br><a href="" >Round 1: Game#7 El_Lobo beat Travastila </a><br><a href="" >Round 1: Game#8 mahimka beat Melciar</a><br><a href="" >Round 2: Game#9 Ratguard beat Stephen122334 </a><br><a href="" >Round 2: Game#10 Satonir beat SpellCaster </a><br><a href="" >Round 2: Game#11 petracke beat Zytozid </a><br><a href="" >Round 2: Game#12 mahimka beat El_Lobo </a><br><a href="" >Round 2: Game#13 Larks beat Rivandere </a><br><a href="" >Round 2: Game#14 suXXes beat bodziowolf </a><br><a href="" >Round 2: Game#15 MARKYMARK beat lolek</a><br><a href="" >Round 2: Game#16 Travastila beat Melciar </a><br><a href="" >Round 3: Game#17 Ratguard beat Satonir </a><br><a href="" >Round 3: Game#18 petracke beat mahimka </a><br><a href="" >Round 3: Game#19 MARKYMARK beat Stephen122334 </a><br><a href="" >Round 3: Game#20 lolek beat El_Lobo </a><br><a href="" >Round 3: Game#21 Zytozid beat MARKYMARK </a><br><a href="" >Round 3: Game#22 Travastila beat El_Lobo </a><br><a href="" >Round 4: Game#23 lolek beat MARKYMARK </a><br><a href="" >Round 4: Game#24 Travastila beat Zytozid </a><br><a href="" >Round 5: Game#25 petracke beat Ratguard </a><br><a href="" >Round 5: Game#26 MARKYMARK beat lolek </a><br><a href="" >Round 5: Game#27 Travastila beat mahimka </a><br><a href="" >Round 6: Game#28 Travastila beat MARKYMARK </a><br><a href="" >Round 7: Game#29 Travastila beat Ratguard </a><br><a href="" >Round 8: Game#30 petracke beat Travastila </a><br>

And the winner was petracke.
He will get an extra place in our Hall of Fame!

Good luck and have fun in the next tourneys!

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Shadow Realm Community Expansion: closed beta launched!
Following seven months of design, development and tests, the Shadow Realm Community Expansion is moving out of alpha phase and entering a more mature “closed beta” phase! The team grew further and now all areas are covered, from sound to icons to particle (FX) effects. If you can’t wait for the release any more, you can apply to join the closed beta right now!

2018-06-10 23:55:45| Posted by Hiliadan

About 100 bugs and issues corrected, 3 alpha test PBEM games with the development team, 1 development journal with about 30 short log entries revealing bits of the expansion, the alpha phase has seen a lot of progress! Most of the content designed for the expansion is now implemented and working. The custom campaign is already on good tracks: the 1st of 3 scenarios is completed and the story for the other two has been broadly drafted.

The Shadow Demons are coming!

Goal of the closed beta:
– finish the last bits that need to be designed or polished
– improve balance
– test the compatibility of the expansion with other mods and adjust things to increase compatibility when possible and easy to achieve

If you’d be interested to test the expansion before anyone else and help us achieve the goals above, please contact Hiliadan, comment this article or post on the forum.
Let’s seize the opportunity of this article to acknowledge the huge contribution of Gladis to the alpha phase (hours of systematic testing!) and thank many times all the other testers: Marcuspers, BBB and Markymark!

A manual of the expansion is available online on a dedicated page on the AoW3 Wikia. The fantastic team behind the expansion is listed, as well as all the content and concepts from the expansion! Speaking about content, the team of volunteers working on the expansion decided to drop the Dark Elves. They remain playable as a separate mod but won’t be integrated in the broader content.

The Mentat is contributing brillantly to the Community Expansion by designing sorely missed icons for new abilities!

The plan is to move to open beta in a few months, and then release the expansion on the Steam workshop a few additional months after.

PBEM and Single Player Balance Mod v1.24 released: bug fixes and more useful Dwelling units
Ranked #2 in the poll of the best AoW3 mods at the end of 2017, the balance mod keeps fixing small and big bugs of the game and improving balance! The main branch of the mod is updated with v1.24 three months after the release of the previous update. v1.24 completes the work on making rarely produced units more useful, fixes 5 bugs (and corrects 1 description) of the official version and introduce a few small balance tweaks (including 2 for Necromancers).

2018-06-03 22:01:08| Posted by Hiliadan

The balance mod has been developed for over two years now, with a huge work by Zaskow to implement the ideas in the mod tools, and contributions from more than 30 players to design and choose the best proposals for balance. It is really nice to see that this work has been appreciated by the AoW3 community and that in a poll with over 80 voters, the balance mod ended up #2. Thanks to all the players who contributed to this, and in particular the members of the core group discussing balance, who spent many hours to provide excellent and diverse feedback: Blackwill357, Gladis, Jean de Metz, Hellbrick, Marcuspers, Skuns453Lirik902!

The main axes of this update are:

  • As announced in the article announcing the release of v1.23, v1.24 completes the work on the 2nd priority expressed by the community in a poll about the directions the balance mod should take, i.e. making currently rarely produced units more useful. v1.23 had opened that work by making Succubus cheaper to build, v1.24 reforms Dwellings, cutting the costs of T1 buildings, re-organising the building chains (see the chains for the official version), but makes sure reaching T4 buildings remains as costly as before. A few underwhelming buildings, like the Chamber of Rite of the Undead Archons, are also boosted. It should now be more interesting to invest in Dwellings to build low tier units.

Priorities for balance expressed by the community in March 2017, the first two have been dealt with by the balance mod

  • Fix bugs from the official version. Triumph will update the game from time to time to fix major (and easy to fix) issues but the balance mod now plays an important role to fix issues Triumph hasn't the time to deal with. v1.24 fixes 5 bugs, from visual glitches (heroes on Ponies instead of Raptors, Horses or Boars) to serious issues with Hard Quest rewards for the Draconians.

  • Fixing recently discovered issues and bringing adjustments: the balance of the Necromancer class continues: the cost of Animate Ruins is bumped as it was extremely cheap and easy to rebuild a razed city (Metropolis for 60 CP anyone?), and a way to try repeatedly to mind-control enemy units is removed by adding Mind-Control Immunity to units who resisted Necromantic Aura (the Necromancer could previously try multiple times until he got the desired unit). A weak defender set is removed from the Forbidden Sanctum as this is one of the most impactful site (which gives potentially game-changing secret spells).

Full changelog of v1.24 (also available on the official changelog of the balance mod)

Bug corrections

Bugs of the official game corrected:
- Halfling Musketeers’ defense is increased to 11 (was 10) as it should be
- Chamber of the Rite’s description is clarified: the battlefield enchantment is Crypt of Unlife so if affects all living units not just racial units
- The following heroes’ pony mount is replaced by their normal racial mount: Malzua (Draconian Sorcerer), Jurwarc (Orc Warlord), Bolmor (Dwarf Arch Druid)

Example of one of the bug fixed by the balance mod: 3 heroes were ridiculous, riding ponies too small for them. After a call from the NGO "Athlan Friends of the Animals" , we fixed the issue and gave appropriate mounts to these powerful & proud heroes!

- Blight Command (from the Necromancer’s Robe item) now works on Necromancer Leader and heroes and gives them “Like Blighted” (had no effect on Necromancer)
- Dispel Magic and Steal Enchantment can no longer be used on Sprint
- Draconian Hard Quests can no longer give ridiculously low rewards

Issues/bugs of the balance mod corrected:
- Some mind-control abilities did not correctly give “Mind-controlled” (+25% upkeep) to the units successfully controlled, this is corrected
- The upkeep of evolved summons (Serpents and Spiders) is 9/12/28/36 (was 7/7/9/9) for T1/T2/T3/T4.

- Forbidden Sanctum no longer has a defender set containing Nymphs and Shamans
- Domains of XXX spells can be researched by Necromancer (were not displayed in the research book of Necromancer) and their non-morale bonus apply to Undead, Elementals and units of Magical Origin (these three types of units still do not start to “Like” the climate due to the spell) (was Undead, Elementals and units of Magical Origin do not benefit from the stat boost)

- The Dreadnought ability Fireproofing gives +60% Fire Protection and Lava Walking. It requires Forge Aprons. (was called “Lava Walking”, was giving +100 % Fire Protection and did not require Forge Aprons)

- Undeads that attack a unit with Necromantic Aura get “Mind Control Immunity” if the Aura fails its 7 spirit attack check on them (units with “Mind Control Immunity” cannot be affected by Necromantic Aura).
- Animate Ruins costs 110 CP (was 60)

- Summon Fantastic Creature can be used on Water hex (was only on land)

- Orc Impalers get “Impaling” (Impalers have a 8 physical strength chance with each attack to immobilize the attacked unit for 2 rounds) and cost 55 gold (was 50 gold)

Archon (Undead)
- Undead Archon Dwelling’s buildings:
Graveyard (Infantry) costs 50 gold (was 100)
Charnel House (Archer) costs 50 gold (was 100)
Sigil of Awakening costs 50 gold and 25 mana (was 50 gold and 50 mana)
Obelisk of Undeath (gives Cursed to enemy units in domain) costs 75 gold and 25 mana (was 75 gold and 50 mana)
Barrow (Caster) costs 90 gold and 50 mana (was 100 gold and 50 mana)
Haunted Vault (Wraith) is unlocked by Sigil of Awakening and Obelisk of Undead (was unlocked by Barrow, itself needing these 2 buildings) and cost 135 gold and 40 mana (was 160 gold and 40 mana)
Mausoleum (Titan) costs 250 gold and 110 mana (was 250 gold and 75 mana)

The Wraith can now be unlocked with a simplified building chain (it needs only the Sigil and the Obelisk) and, as for other T1 or T2 units, the costs to unlock it are lowered. The interest of having an Obelisk or a Chamber of Rite are also increased as they provide additional abilities to units in domain

- Chamber of Rite gives Heal Undead to all Supports in the domain
- Obelisk of Undeath gives all Undead in the domain Undeath Aura, which heal them 10% HP / strategic turn. Obelisk of Undeath requires Sigil of Awakening (was could be built directly) and contributes to unlocking Chamber of the Rite (which also requires the Barrow)

- Fey Dwelling’s buildings:
Buttercup Meadow (T1 building): 100 gold (was 150 gold)
Nightshade Hollow (T3 building): 250 gold (was 200 gold)
Unicorn Glade (unlocks Unicorn) costs 100 gold and is unlocked by Buttercup Meadow (was cost 150 gold and directly buildable)
Nymph Pond (unlocks Nymph) costs 100 gold and is unlocked by Buttercup Meadow (was cost 150 gold and is unlocked by Fairy Charm)
Aphrodisiac Flowers (2nd defensive building) is unlocked by Fairy Charm (was unlocked by Nymph Pond)

- The Mermaid’s Cove can be built without pre-requisite (was: needs Deep Sea Trench). The Abyssal Ridge requires the Siren’s Rock and the Deep Sea Trench (was: needs Siren’s Rock, which needs Whispering Rocks and Mermaid’s Cove, which needs Deep Sea Trench)

- Serpent Hall and Viper Fortress cost 65 gold and 50 mana each (was 75 gold and 50 mana) and Altar of the Great Mother costs 170 gold and 75 mana (was 150 gold and 75 mana)

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WM Tippspiel 2018 - Wir verbinden Spieler kündigen ....

2018-05-21 17:24:12| Posted by Head_Admin kündigt WM Tippspiel 2018 an

Ab dem 14.06.2018 startet die FIFA Fußball Weltmeisterschaft in Russland und Ihr könnt jedes Spiel auf unserer Homepage tippen und mit etwas Glück und Können gewinnt ihr Sachpreise im Wert von über 500€.

Also seid dabei und wir halten Euch auf dem laufenden! Wir verbinden Spieler

Tourney won by Player ARISTOBULUS !!
A great tourney eventually found his earned end!

2018-04-16 19:32:54| Posted by myl_supporter

A tourney ended successfully:

Thanks to all those who participated in this tourney !!
Congrats to the winner(s)! And a big thanks to the organizer myl_supporter!
The following matches were played:

<a href="" >Round 1: Game#1 ARISTOBULUS beat Sharkbit </a><br><a href="" >Round 1: Game#2 speecher beat Phönix </a><br><a href="" >Round 1: Game#3 daddy_felix beat viktorianer </a><br><a href="" >Round 1: Game#4 rg-one beat Hegona </a><br><a href="" >Round 2: Game#5 ARISTOBULUS beat speecher </a><br><a href="" >Round 2: Game#6 rg-one beat daddy_felix </a><br><a href="" >Round 3: Game#7 ARISTOBULUS beat rg-one </a><br>

And the winner was ARISTOBULUS.
He will get an extra place in our Hall of Fame!

Good luck and have fun in the next tourneys!

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Best mod of AoW3, as of the end of 2017
A "best mods of AoW3" poll had already been run a bit more than one year ago, but several significant mods have been released since and the need for a new poll was clear. This new ranking is more detailed as mods were rated on a scale from 'To be avoided!' to 'Must have!'. All 20 mods of this ranking are however top mods, as they were selected through a shortlisting process. They include the first 2 entirely new Races created by modders, 1 balance mod, 3 new Dwellings, several DLC-worth mods that significantly reshape the game and a handful of mods adding new visuals or improving current ones.

2018-02-09 08:33:31| Posted by Hiliadan

As already mentioned in the article presenting the results of the first poll about the best AoW3 mods, AoW3 is a very rich game with about 400 units, more than 400 techs and 400 unit abilities and few players have played all its class or races. And for those who managed to get bored despite this immense replayability, a plethora of mods designed by the community further improves graphics or increases their customization, adds new units/spells/buildings/abilities/etc., improves the ease of use of the game or improves existing assets of the game by making them more fun and more balanced.

Chart of the Age of Wonders series in numbers, compiled by Tibbles (full chart can be found on the official Triumph news)

How to navigate all these mods?
In late 2017, a shortlist of 20 of the best mods was drafted with the help of the community on the Steam forum, and building on the results of the previous such poll. These 20 mods were then put to a poll open to everyone for two months until 22 January 2018. 83 votes were cast, electing the best mods of AoW3! Voters could rate each mod on the following scale:

  • To be avoided! (-2)

  • Bad mod (-1)

  • Neutral (0)

  • Good mod (+1)

  • Must have! (+2)

  • Don't know

This list should help you to find the best mods and select the ones most appropriate to your style and wishes.
Keep in mind that the 20 mods listed in this article are already among the best for AoW3 and are already the result of a shortlisting process, so even the mod ranked #20 is very good. And also keep in mind that there are many more excellent mods outside of the list: with only 20 spots on the list and 500+ mods available, even exceptional mods could not make it.

The table below presents different statistics from the poll (full table):

  • Simple average: average quality of the mod

    • Average of the ratings (for example: 10 'Good mod' votes and 10 'Must have!' votes translates into (10*1+10*2)/20=1.5);

  • % of 'Good' and 'Must have!' votes: helps distinguish mods that are judged by the majority of the community as really good, even if others dislike these mods

    • Proportion of voters who rated the mod 'Good mod' or 'Must have!'

  • % of 'To be avoided!' votes: highlights mods which may be bugged, have some balance issues, or other problems

  • Ranking: this section orders mods from #1 to #20

    • 'Must have!' votes: helps distinguish the top of the top, the mods you HAVE to always use, if you want to improve your AoW3 experience, with no hassle attached

      • Based on the proportion of voters who rated the mod 'Must have!'

All the indicators exclude "Don't know" answers. The darker the green, the best the mod is ranked.

The 20 best mods for AoW3 according to the voters

The top 5 mods
#1 - Racial Class Unit Reskin - average rating: 1.56 (64 votes) - Must have!

: Visuals

The top mod on the Steam Workshop with more than 20,600 subscribers, the Racial Class Unit Reskin comes first of our ranking for the second time (it also topped the previous poll in 2016)! More than simple reskins, this must-have mod from Tibbles significantly improves the appearance and icons of all race-specific class units (so machine and non-racial Undead excluded), making each race's units really unique and recognizable.
72% of voters rated it as 'Must have!' and only 2 gave him negative ratings (probably by mistake!): you can subscribe to this mod with your eyes closed.

New racial models of the Warlord Warbreed (by Tibbles)

High Elf Shaman before and after the improvement (by Tibbles)

#2 - PBEM and Single Player Balance Mod - average rating: 1.20 (44 votes) - Good mod

Category: Balance, New content, Visuals

This mod is the result of extensive and long-term work by the AoW3 community to improve the game by making it both more balanced and more fun to play with all races, classes and specializations, started in early 2016. It includes many new and reworked ability and techs (e.g. a Fortifying Meal for Halfling Brew Brother that synergizes with Halfling Farmers by allowing them to Throw Chicken again, a new Cloaked in Shadows tech for the Partisan specialization which makes units Invisible for 1 turn, etc.), making Dreadnought and Halfling more enjoyable and interesting to play, Necromancer more balanced, lacklustre specializations such as Partisan, Earth, Air Master, etc. more interesting. The full changelog is available on a dedicated page.

Two branches of the mod co-exist: a beta-branch to test new versions and a main branch which receives versions successfully tested in the beta branch.

Changes are designed both by (through a discussion process with many players which ensures only needed and coherent changes are brought) and for the AoW3 community, with both Single players and PBEM players in mind. With Triumph having stopped balancing the game, this mod aims at being the new "base game" for all players. As such, it includes the Racial Class Unit Reskin and Racial Watchtower mods (#1 and #7 of our ranking) with the permission of their authors, which means players using the balance mod benefit from their visual improvements without needing to separately download and launch them: only 1 mod needs to be launched. Other must-have mods will be added to the balance mod on a case by case basis.
The balance mod also includes more than 30 clarifications or corrections of in-game descriptions, and is available in Polish and Russian.

Two articles explain why PBEM players and single players should use the PBEM balance mod and introduces its latest v1.23 version.

A video showcases the improvements brought by the balance mod:

Dreadnought heroes/Leaders have been boosted and can choose Lava Walking, while all 'xx Empire' spells received bonuses, as illustrated by Temperate Empire (+1 defense, +1 resistance)

#3 - Empire Building Mod - average rating: 1.06 (49 votes) - Good mod

: New content

This rich mod from Der Mentat brings content almost worth a new DLC. It includes new building chains (also modifying existing ones), new units, a revamped hero upgrade system, new combat spells, etc. The Empire Building mod really provides a new experience of AoW3 and increases the "empire building" part of the game. It is very well developed with a very complete and well-illustrated (and updated with latest changes) manual and a translation in German. Regularly updated over one year, this mod is one of the most carefully crafted available, with a great care to details.

Der Mentat created compatibility mods to perfectly integrate the Empire Building Mod with two other specific mods and with all the mods that modify heroes (without the compatibility mod, some changes of either the EBM may overwrite or be overwritten by the other mod, but the game will remain stable in any case):

- Triumphant Heroes
- PBEM and Single Player Balance Mod
- all heroes mod

Shadow Witch, one of the 27 alternative racial unit of the mod (by Der Mentat)

Some of the new buildings deepening the empire building aspect of the game: Market and Academy (by Der Mentat)

#4 - More Colors for Coat of Arms - average rating: 1.09 (44 votes) - Good mod

: Visual, Customization

Ranked #11 in the previous poll, More Colors for Coat of Arms' popularity has grown: 77% of voters who rated the mod ranked it 'Good mod' or 'Must have!'. Given what the mod does, that may be no surprise! The mod does a very simple job and does it well: it adds 32 colours for the coat of arms you choose for your Leader and which colours your cities and units on the strategic map.

#5 - Racial Heritage Mod - average rating: 0.96 (51 votes) - Good mod

Category: New content

One of the most successful mod adding new content to the game (others include the Empire Building mod – #2 in the top -, City Building mod – not in the top – and the Hero mods from the same author), the Racial Heritage Mod deepens the alignment concept and brings two sub-factions for each race, one good and one evil. Each sub-faction brings two new units to the game, as well as a production chain including in general four new buildings. In total, the mod thus brings 4*9 = 36 new units to the game, which you will face at independent sites and that you will be able to build in your cities. Each faction has a very specific gameplay and flavour, greatly enhancing the game experience.
Together with the Hero Development, the Hero Profession, the Old Man & the Sea, the Beastman Dwelling and the Archon Race mods (see below in the ranking), Eomolch created content worth a new DLC for the community, and he managed the feat of having ALL these mods in the top 20, which demonstrates the quality of his work!

Tigran Battle Priest, from the Moon Cult Tigran sub-faction (by Eomolch)

Halfling Gardener, from the Good, The Vigil Halfling sub-faction (by Eomolch)

Rest of the top 10
#6 - Decodence - Map Editor Content + Decodence - RMG Integration - average rating: 0.95 (39 votes) - Good mod

: New content, Visuals

Resulting from the hard work of Charlatan to bring new visual content to the game, the Decodence suite of mods contains three mods: Decodence Map Editor Content, Decodence RMG Integration Patch and Decodence Leader Customizations. Only the first two were shortlisted and they should be used together. Decodence Map Editor Content contains all the 3D model assets, and can be used by map makers to create incredible maps. The RMG Integration Patch brings some of this new content to the game by including it in randomly generated maps:

  • 2 new terrain types (overlays) in addition to Fertile Plains, Wetlands, etc.: Tundra and Autumn

  • 6 new sites to clear and absorb in your cities' domain

Please note that this content might not be balanced and that it is necessary to set all the terrain overlays to maximum in the settings of new maps to equilibrate them with Tundra and Autumn (otherwise the maps will contain too much Tundra and Autumn in comparison to the other overlays).

One of the two new terrain types introduced by the Decodence mod: Autumn (by Charlatan)

Decodence also has several compatibility mods (see #3 above for explanations about compatibility mods):
- Empire Building Mod
- Old Man & the Sea
- Corrupt the Source (not in the top)

#7 - Racial Watchtowers - average rating: 0.69 (51 votes) - Good mod

: Visuals

This mod by iHunterKiller replaces the standard Watchtowers on the strategic map by race-specific Watchtowers, embellishing the strategic map. Simple and efficient, it ended up third in the first ranking of the best mods for AoW3, and is now #7.
Since v1.8 Poseidon, the Racial Watchtower mod suffers from a bug that prevents Builders from building water Fortresses. This can be fixed by using the PBEM & Single Player Balance mod, which contains a fixed version of the mod, including an improved Goblin Watchtower (see #2 below).

Draconian Watchtower (by iHunterKiller)

Orc Watchtower (by iHunterKiller)

#8 - The Old Man and the Sea - average rating: 0.79 (42 votes) - Good mod

: New content

The favourite Dwelling mod of the AoW3 community, the Old Man and the Sea has a poetic name and a lot of very flavourful new content! It adds 4 new water structures, 3 Mystical City Upgrades associated to these water structures, 4 new water-borne units (including the monstruous Sea Serpent!) and 1 new Dwelling with its 5 new units: the Nynevians.
This mod significantly increases the interest of maritime exploration and warfare, a welcome addition that tackles one weakness of AoW3.

The new Nynevian Dwelling, surrounded by some of the new water structures (by Eomolch)

In terms of compatibility, this mod will not be compatible with other mods adding Dwelling, except the following ones if you use these compatibility mods:
- Dark Elf Dwelling (#18) and Beastman Dwelling (#16)
- Beastman Dwelling (#16)

#9 - Extra Support Units - average rating: 0.85 (46 votes) - Good mod

: New content

Tibbles, the author of the Racial Class Unit Reskin mod (#1), added 1 new T3 mounted Support unit for each race, unlocked by a new Chamber of Mystery building, unlocked by Temples. The units are:

  • Draconian Ascendant Elder

  • Dwarf Forge Lord

  • Frostling White Rider

  • Goblin Blight Surgeon

  • Halfling Brandy Brother

  • High Elf Storm Maiden

  • Human Inquisitor

  • Orc Black Priest

  • Tigran Ancient Mystics

The mod is available in English and German. This nice mod can enliven games by bringing some novelty, without changing too many things.

One of the 9 new T3 racial units: the High Elf Storm Maiden (by Tibbles)

#10 - Hero Development Mod - average rating: 0.67 (48 votes) - Good mod

: New content

Eomolch cleverly revamped the hero upgrade system, adding 3 specialization to each class and race-dependant upgrades, which means that each hero is now more unique, having both race specific upgrades and a specialization (melee, range or support) which can lead for instance to 2 Rogue heroes in your army with totally different skills and roles, one being an Assassin, and the other a Duelist or Trickster. A manual is available. The mod includes many new unique abilities, for instance Teaching of Humility, a Theocrat Monk touch ability which grants Monk abilities to one allied units: it gains Spirit damage but cannot attack for the next three strategic turns, or Beast Within, an Arch Druid Shaman ability that lets you shapeshift into a random animal.

Another mod, Hero Profession mod, is ranked #12 and is also worth a look, in combination with this mod.

All heroes now have 3 choices to further specialize, for Theocrat, they are Monk, Paladin or Priest

Compatibility mods:
- Triumphant Heroes (not in the top)
- Empire Building Mod: see #3

The rest of the shortlist of best mods
#11 - Movement Orders First - average rating: 0.61 (28 votes) - Good mod

: New content

A less well-known mod, Movement Orders First does a very simple job: it changes the order in which notifications are shown to players each turn. In the official version, you are first shown the "Select production for city xx", which can be counter-productive when you want to first explore the map to get some stashes of gold, or clear sites to receive rewards, etc. which will all increase your available gold and mana to build things in your cities. Similarly, you may clear Ancient Ruins or a Lost Library and get some research points during your turn, so you generally want to choose your research after you have moved all your units.
The mod thus lets the notification be displayed in a more effective order: 1/ unit movements, 2/ research, 3/ city and Dwelling production. Thanks Leon Feargus!

#12 - Hero Profession Mod - average rating: 0.59 (37 votes) - Good mod

: New content

This mod expands and refines the Hero Development Mod (#10, above): it creates 3 "professions" or sub-races for each race, increasing further the diversity of heroes' development paths. The Hero Professions Mod requires both the Hero Development Mod and the Racial Heritage Mod (#5) to be played. You will now be able to play a Goblin Blight Doctor Rogue Trickster or a Goblin Pyromancer Rogue Duelist for instance, and not just a simple "Goblin Rogue"!
A manual is available, describing briefly most of the new abilities and paths. It should however be noted that the manual is not complete and the mod has not been updated or balanced for a very long time.

One of the new ability available to Draconian Nest Warden: Lizard Ancestry! (by Eomolch)

#13 - Archon Race Mod - average rating: 0.47 (38 votes)

Category: New content

One of the only three full Races designed by modders for AoW3 (actually two, since the Dark Elves of Shaithias are mainly an improvement on the race template provided by Triumph and not an full entirely new race), the Archons are also the result of work by Eomolch, the authors of 5 other mods in the top 20!
The mod contains new visuals, a complete roster of units, heroes and Leaders for the race. Some features remain to be completed (racial defense building, names for cities and fortresses), but Eomolch has not been modding for AoW3 for most of 2017 so the current version should probably be considered final.

The addition of an Archon race actually conflicts with the Shadow Realm Community Expansion, which is in alpha phase as of February 2018. The Expansion will indeed adds Archons as a Dwelling (see article about the alpha tests for more information).

Archon units at fight (by Eomolch)

A small minority of users may experience issues with this mod causing AoW3 to load for ever (apparently happens to a few users using the Russian version).

Compatibility mods:
- Racial Heritage Mod (adds two sub-factions for Archons)

No compatibility mod is available for the Hero Professions Mod yet, which means Archon heroes do not get three sub-races as the other races.

#14 - Army Mod - Spiders Gift - average rating: 0.46 (35 votes)

Category: New content, Gameplay overhaul

A mod very difficult to categorize, and probably one of the most under-rated mod of AoW3, the Army Mod or Spiders Gift is a beautiful piece of craftsmanship by one of the most creative AoW3 modder, Liberty Valance (also known as vfxrob). The mod adds some very impressive content to the game (it does not modify much the base game) and creates a unique and very refreshing experience. Here are some of the most noteworthy additions:

  • Possibility to build new structures on the strategic map, both classical things like Gold Mine, but also Embassies to settle Dwellings and Vendors to get extra research "on the side" or recruit an alchemist to build you an armour, etc.

  • Tactical combat structures! Some units can throw barricades or place bombs to detonate!

  • And of course new units, roamers, etc.

A short video introduces the mod:

#15 - Structure Reward Variety - average rating: 0.59 (34 votes) - Good mod

: Ease of use and improved game mechanics

Its name might be slightly confusing but this mod is relatively simple: it adds new reward sets for the following sites: Great Farms, Springs of Life, Dungeons, Brigand Hideouts, adding new units to the list possible rewards, thus increasing the diversity of rewards. The mod also adds more diversity of items to several sites.

Dungeons no longer reward racial units, instead holding Tier 3 Animal/Monster/Giants and Lesser Elementals (by Godzillamancer)

#16 - Beastman Dwelling - average rating: 0.33 (30 votes)

: New content

The 6th mod of Eomolch in the top 20, this mod introduces a new Dwelling with 4 new units and the Kobold.

#17 - Dark Elf - average rating: 0.33 (30 votes)

: New content

Not to be confused with the Dark Elf DWELLING (#18), this mod by Shaithias, adds a new race, the Dark Elves.

#18 - Dark Elf Dwelling - average rating: 0.23 (35 votes)

: New content

This mod by the AoW3 mod veteran Gloweye adds Dark Elves not as a Race but as a subterranean Dwelling.

#19 - Insectoid Race - average rating: 0.18 (36 votes)

: New content

This second mod of Liberty Valance to make it into the top 20 (the other being Spider Gifts, #14) really pushes the boundaries of the Mod Editor of AoW3 and proposes an entirely new race with very unique game mechanisms and visuals, the Insectoids! This mod deserves a lot more attention than it got so far (it is much more recent than others, having been created in August 2017): check it out! The video below shows some gameplay, after a short animated introduction.

#20 - Brave New Units - average rating: 0.14 (29 votes)

: New content

This mod by alexej adds one T2 Irregular for all races (except Orcs and Frostlings) and is best played with the Empire Building Mod (#3).

One of the new T2 Irregulars, the Dwarf Besieger (by alexej)

You might be interested in these other compilations of information about AoW3:
- library of tutorial, PBEM and live MP videos
- strategic and tactical guide by community

If you want to learn more about the, the community website for AoW3, please read this article.

Feel free to leave some comments at the bottom of the article!

Einladung zur BF-LAN 2018
Dieses Jahr findet die LAN zwischen dem 01. und 04. November statt.

2018-01-29 12:37:14| Posted by myl_supporter

Jeder CIV und AOW Spieler ist auf unserer LAN eingeladen!

Sie findet statt am 01. November bis 04. November in Homberg nahe Kassel.

Falls du Interesse hast, kontaktiere mich (Markymark) per PN hier, ansonsten trag dich am beste im Forum ein, checke den Link ==>
Aber warte nicht so lange, die Plätze sind auf 16 limitiert.

Falls du Vorschläge für andere Spiele für unsere LAN hast, lass es uns wissen.

Danke & viele Grüße

Euer BF Team

Einladung zur LAN 2018
Dieses Jahr findet die LAN zwischen dem 1. und 4. November statt.

2018-01-29 12:33:49| Posted by myl_supporter

Jeder CIV5 Spieler ist auf unserer LAN eingeladen!
Sie findet statt am 1. November bis 4. November in Homberg nahe Kassel.

Falls du Interesse hast, kontaktiere mich (Markymark) per PN hier, ansonsten trag dich am besten im Forum ein, checke den Link ==>

Aber warte nicht so lange!

Danke & viele Grüße

Euer BF Team

Related Links


Einladung zur LAN 2018
Dieses Jahr findet die LAN zwischen dem 1. und 4. November statt.

2018-01-29 12:31:11| Posted by myl_supporter

Jeder CIV6 Spieler ist auf unserer LAN eingeladen!

Sie findet statt am 1. November bis 4. November in Homberg nahe Kassel.

Falls du Interesse hast, kontaktiere mich (Markymark) per PN hier, ansonsten trag dich am besten
im Forum ein, checke den Link ==>

Warte nicht so lange, die Plätze sind auf 16 limitiert.

Danke & viele Grüße
Euer BF Team

Related Links


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