Chapter Fourteen of the Second Human Book - The Finale [SPOILER]

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Shar Dundred

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This thread will contain spoilers! Read at your own risk!
No spoiler tags required!

Use this thread to discuss Chapter Fourteen A and Chapter Fourteen B (once the latter has been released!), both storywise and gameplaywise.

I am curious and need feedback (especially regarding the gameplay and the difficulty since the demo version of the map was untestable due to bugs).
 
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Gameplay:
It is challenging yet considerably easier to pull than 11 or 12. When you transfer your staff of silence to someone who you have at your disposal there (I had it on Scarlett unfortunately) it becomes a cakewalk. Just spam destructors.
Yet without destructors it is almost undoable. You can´t really hope to push with just ground units thanks to those infernals.
So, rip them first then some ground pushes become viable. When your allies finish their pushing they become immense help in the last fight.

Story:
The fact that you actually get the "best" ending by accepting Ebira´s pact blew my mind.
Saving Lera, Larine and Salana? Now that was unexpected. Wish there was more info about Brian´s relation to Renova.
Why could he not stop Gardon and Saphira from killing her? Why did Rahandir need Salana alive if we chose to promote Larine? Was it somehow connected to the twins? And what will Brian do with his knowledge of the twins, knowledge that he sucked out of Renova´s shadow?
There is enough material for over a dozen spin off campaigns just from this one book.
I know most of them will be almost impossible to continue on because of the non-linearity and choice-based story.
Yet it still makes up for interesting stuff. Maybe a small epilogue mission instead of just a cinematic? :D
Anyway, the story is thrilling, it has its moments of excitement and shock and surprise.
I feel a bit guilty tho. I feel like the option to make our way to a somewhat happy ending is more because of our (my) desire to have it rather than your own volition.
Also, Larine´s stuff when you go with Salana. Something like "if you have Larine hang with ironforged once, she will approve of Renova´s death, if twice she gets queened, if not once she will protest and get re-exiled. Would then be compatible with what dwarfs think. Cos even when you have Lera, Larine and Salana on your side dwarves still dont like it. Just an observation. Ignore it if you dont like it, story is great as it is now.
 
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If i said this chapter was easy, i'd be lying, that's for sure. Probably the main reason why it got on my nerves a lot was because both the Hopeflayer and Dreamhunter legions still spawned troops even after all their demon gates got destroyed. I spent a long time supporting the undead with air units, so seeing this, after both legions had no buildings left, really made me sad, since i could only rely on myself to take care of the Souleater legion. Well, still managed it, with heavy banisher and cavalry spam and since i even had my base destroyed at one point, due to an enormous demonic wave i couldn't take care of (are you supposed to continue playing after your base gets destroyed?), i had to cheese a bit and shoot their last demon gates with a few destructors i had left. :p

Now to the story part:
I was expecting it, well, not this early as i originally predicted in a earlier post, but i knew, especially after 11 B and the entire how they left Gardon thing, a undead betrayal was inevitable. I wonder though, does this mean Saphira actually supports the balance of the world idea, even though she said she didn't or that Aridon is alive hmmmmm...?
Maybe their betrayal in the long run can be beneficial, since it was maybe a mistake, as Ebira said to commit suicide by attacking the lands beyond the Void, and they, although killing a lot, also maybe saved a lot indirectly that way? Either way, if the undead even screwed us hard here, i doubt the demons will launch other invasions very soon, as losing 2 legions and trying again with other legions that don't even care about the invasion doesn't seem very practical.
Also damn even though he had only a few lines of dialogue, i feel bad for letting Toraes be killed, well maybe he'll become a demon slave or the undead will reanimate him, but still, Dorten's gonna be mad, a lot, and him having no heir, would make Gardon, consider integrating or invading Kerrel and making it part of the Zyainor empire, after his death.
 

LickMyEyeBall

L

LickMyEyeBall

Okay, so lets start with the story since it is the most problematic part of the chapter. I mean no disrespect with these words, but I had a strong dejavu. Something like...Finale of the first human book? Yeah, pretty much those vibes filled my head. And the way I see it is they are identical to each other. I know you want to make a story fitting to your own style, and I definitely like your style, but when it comes to making finales, you either leave an open ending to make people wonder what could transpire. Or you actually finish the story. Now what we got is a cliffhanger same as the one in the first book. The scheme is "we had a big battle against our main nemesis, but an enemy inside corrupted our plans, and thus we retreat, and our choices in the last interlude decide wether it is going to be a disaster or... still a disaster, but a lesser one." Although I believe we will have our answers in respective orc and undead books about things we dont know (the elf twins, Salana's recovered body, the undeads' true plans, Aridons revival, orcs occupiyng Salria), yet still the ending felt very unfinished and the same. We got crushed, so we fall back to see how things will unfold. This leaves the players nowhere, except for waiting a spinoff campaign or making assumption over what could transpire :p Also, Aedale's role in this still remains unknown, as well as her sudden cameo at the end of chapter 14 puzzled me a lot. What were Lisara's plans after all, where's Largoth? Well, waiting for the undead book I guess. But the answers about the dark entity ruling empire ( I guess, I should wait for 14b then talk) and Brian's true agenda are still to be found. To conclude, im not going to suggest anything about the story. This is your story, Shar, and all of us, hivers, following this thread, like this campaign for your unique style. Maybe that ending is the part of the style we like after all? I do not know that. But I have tried to point out that we basically get the same ending and its not a bad thing. The history repeats itself. But I just havent felt any satisfaction after the finale, maybe that is what frustrates me. Other than everyting mentioned, I think the story is well treated and you've done a tremendous job.
So, going back to the gameplay. I tried both Ebira pact and non-Ebira pact version, and to be honest the pact version not only gives us a more consistent ending but makes the chapter way easier. I liked the idea of a triple-front assault, kinda felt vanilla blood elf campaign vibes with that one. Maybe you would consider not to tweak difficulty that much? Please, oh great tyrant? Because Im all into never-trust-a-demon strategy :p Still a timeconsuming chapter, and since it is not that macro-oriented, but rather an endless bloodbath (aka undead finale style) it is even more fun...And much more difficult by extension, especially when it comes to your allies. Also, maybe you could consinder increasing the max supply amount to 120? but thats just a small suggestion. In general, I wouldnt call this chapter "impossible to pass" or "jesus christ, reduce the difficulty". This is a tough chapter for sure. So were chapter 4, chapter 7, chapters 11 and 12 for both factions. I dont think 14's balance should receive any large revamps, maybe it could use a small tweak in players favour, but the only real fix I expect is making "decline Ebira's pact" option not that punishing.
Alright, this has been a very long and messy post, got a lot of thoughts and im not sure if I expressed them correctly...Or put them in the right order...Doesnt matter. These were my thought about chapter 14, maybe I'll add something after replaying it a few times, but this is it for now. Cheers, and keep up the great work of yours, Shar.
 
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@LickMyEyeBall the epilogue may (or may not) answer some of the questions i'm also having so waiting a bit longer may clarify some things.
My biggest concern though is from the 2 possible endings we will get. I have a feeling they will make future spin-off campaigns and a possible 3rd human book (unlikely, but Shar didn't say he outright cancelled it) a complete mess.
 

LickMyEyeBall

L

LickMyEyeBall

@LickMyEyeBall the epilogue may (or may not) answer some of the questions i'm also having so waiting a bit longer may clarify some things.
My biggest concern though is from the 2 possible endings we will get. I have a feeling they will make future spin-off campaigns and a possible 3rd human book (unlikely, but Shar didn't say he outright cancelled it) a complete mess.
Well, to ease your worries I'd say take RPG games for instance. They might have different choices which carry on from one game to another, and thus the great scenario is formed based on the specific mix of different decisions. The problem here is LoA aint an RPG game, neither it has the big crew to work on all those endless scenarios. No to mention we got technichal issues aka wc3 as a platform. Still, as Shar once said - evil always finds its way.
 
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Chapter 14 was hard. There is no denying that, it was made even harder for me since Cora and Merlon, the only AoE besides Harmos, were aiding the Undead on both sides. But overall the chapter did a nice impression on the desperation the demons were experiencing and Gardon's determination. Only complaint is the lack of more trees. I was stuck through nearly an hour experimenting with a unit composition, costing me a lot of resources, more so when i realized i had run out of trees for lumber. I guess destructors plus a few dragons for the AoE is your best bet at sniping Demon Gates and Shrines along with pesky catapults and Towers of the Gate.
 
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Wait, what's this saving Lera business? I made Larine Queen, so I didn't see the Salana side of things. Also, what Aedale cameo? Does that happen when you consume the shards in the first book? Also, how does Toreas die?

Gameplay: I enjoyed having 2 allies in a moba type map, but as someone said before, it sucked the Demons still respawned after destroying their Demon Gates.

Story: Can't really say much about this since the whole thing isn't completed. But I'm very curious as to what different choice branches we can make in this campaign, but I know I'll just have to play again to see
 
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Also, what Aedale cameo? Does that happen when you consume the shards in the first book?
Aedale appears in chapter 14 if you spared her father in the previous chapter and completed the optional quest in chapter 6, that sends Claire Greendale a gem. The result of all this is that Merlon doesn't get killed by Krom.
 
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Aedale appears in chapter 14 if you spared her father in the previous chapter and completed the optional quest in chapter 6, that sends Claire Greendale a gem. The result of all this is that Merlon doesn't get killed by Krom.

I consumed the shard in the caves, didnt consume the shard with the shade, Lisara forces Aedale to kill her father despite Aedale's resistance, and yet she appears to save Merlon in Chapter 14 A
 

Shar Dundred

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Yet without destructors it is almost undoable.
Funny, I had considered to remove them earlier. :p
I feel a bit guilty tho. I feel like the option to make our way to a somewhat happy ending is more because of our (my) desire to have it rather than your own volition.
I wouldn't say that. I wasn't satisfied with the fates of Lera or Larine.
Larine was being stupid and Lera being killed regardless pretty much nullified the past choice.
The changes weren't made only because of public demand, they were also made because I wasn't
happy with their past state myself.
I spent a long time supporting the undead with air units
Oh right, I forgot to add air pathing blockers. Gotta fix that.
are you supposed to continue playing after your base gets destroyed?
The defeat trigger is still bugged since I was too lazy to fix it, but you are not supposed to "lose" in the normal macro missions unless your EVERYTHING is destroyed.



@LickMyEyeBall and @Championfighter25:
No need to worry, I always want everyone to be honest. :)
I think the Epilogue, the B version, the final changes before full release and the other books will help you to answer several of the "open" questions.
I know that this may feel like a open end, similar to the First Human Book's finale, but I am sure that THIS epilogue will explain more.
Its style will differ from the ones used in the First Books.
 
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Is there a story impact on Cora's second leadership bonus, much like how if you chose Larine's second bonus she becomes Queen? The description said that she would use the dark powers to save Aedale. Will that come into play in the Epilogue?
 
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Oh right, I forgot to add air pathing blockers. Gotta fix that.

I think the Epilogue, the B version, the final changes before full release and the other books will help you to answer several of the "open" questions.
I know that this may feel like a open end, similar to the First Human Book's finale, but I am sure that THIS epilogue will explain more.
Its style will differ from the ones used in the First Books.

The problem undead face is that they accidentally kite those infernal defenders right into their own base and that base gets obliterated afterwards.
Eager to see this epilogue.
 
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Larine´s stuff when you go with Salana. Something like "if you have Larine hang with ironforged once, she will approve of Renova´s death, if twice she gets queened, if not once she will protest and get re-exiled. Would then be compatible with what dwarfs think. Cos even when you have Lera, Larine and Salana on your side dwarves still dont like it. Just an observation. Ignore it if you dont like it, story is great as it is now.

Speaking of Larine. i choose her twice but the interlude before the chapter where you are to kill Queen revona. I get a little bit kinky when gardon enchanted larine ring and all suddenly the Ulalala scene between gardon and Larine moment even you can't see it the scene but you get the picture

And i thought there will be Fortheen B but didn't see it cuz i didn't notice it sorry.

Now i'm having second thought about i should pick once darkness and once umm ironforge choice so i kinda get scarlet???
 
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When you launch that 12A, instead of three bonelords you get dialogue from 3 liches called the first, second and third eye.
Is that related to Saphira´s turn in 14A?
 
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Is there a way to keep both Scarlett and Cora?

Also, are there any additional changes to heroes you can get on the Golden Guard side? For example, does Zarin always still join van Durce no matter what?
 
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Unless you consider the part with Cora absorbing Scarlett's power, then no .

He does. No real changes regarding that.

Gotta ask. How does that power sucking work? Does it leave Scarlett alive but pacified, something like tranquils in dragon age?
Or is it literal sucking, blood and all?
 
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Gotta ask. How does that power sucking work? Does it leave Scarlett alive but pacified, something like tranquils in dragon age?
Or is it literal sucking, blood and all?

If you're referring to literally sucking a person soul and power then she/he will die but if you're referring to sucking a person magic then it will literally weaken a person and pacified.

power sucking or power absorb is like a destroyer in w3 frozen work
You absored the any magic user power until nothing left.

I can't be sure but this is my guess
 
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It would seem that problems with new patch have receded. Is 14B bein worked on? Or you still working to iron out the 14A?
 
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Cool! Glad this patch mess got somewhat sorted out.
By the way, I consider keeping both Cora and Scarlett as choosing Scarlett and Cora goes home, to "safety".
I just like happy endings. Keeping guys and girls alive.

As to the Ebira pact thing:
Many see it as getting tricked by a demoness again.
Moral point is actually that this pact prevents a genocide.
Funny enough that Aridon wants to keep demons around tho.
 
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As to the Ebira pact thing:
Many see it as getting tricked by a demoness again.
Moral point is actually that this pact prevents a genocide.
Funny enough that Aridon wants to keep demons around tho.

i think that Ardion wants demons around is in part a theroy i saw some one use that the demons will provide infinte bodies for them to use in and raise while they control the gate and Ardion is already playing around the idea of raising demons with his raised fighty dude and the dread lord.
 
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Cool! Glad this patch mess got somewhat sorted out.
By the way, I consider keeping both Cora and Scarlett as choosing Scarlett and Cora goes home, to "safety".
I just like happy endings. Keeping guys and girls alive.

More like i wanted to keep both girls in the battlefield like cora and scarlett but i agree with you
 
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