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Disciples II

Platform(s): Arcade, Game Boy Advance, GameCube, Nintendo DS, PC, PSOne, PSP, PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, Wii, Xbox, Xbox 360
Genre: Strategy

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'Disciples II' Expansion - A Look Behind The Scenes

by Thomas on May 10, 2003 @ 12:39 a.m. PDT

Here’s an exclusive look at the new Disciples II expansion packs: Guardians of the Light and Servants of the Dark with Ethan Petty, one of the game’s designers.

Our first thoughts when approached with the concept of a Disciples II expansion involved tying up some of the loose ends left by the previous campaigns. We had an Empire without a ruler, the Mountain Clans were left in chaos by the Ragnarok, Mortis had regained her husband, but lost him once again, and the Legions of the Damned were pushed back from Nevendaar. With so many questions left unanswered, we set out to try to answer them.

In order to continue these tales, we faced the problems of a high level campaign for the first time. Most fans will notice that by the end of Disciples II, it is possible to have an insanely powerful leader who brutalizes the poor neutrals on the map without a lot of risk to himself. To keep the feel of the campaigns consistent, we wanted players to be able to continue the new campaign with their final leader, but how would this affect balance? People in the forums had made a hobby of killing capital guardians, units at the top of the difficulty scale for the Disciples universe.

We would need stronger bosses for sure, but what about the neutrals around the map? The levels of the neutral units were boosted, now with a visual representation of their level range, some higher than we’ve ever pushed units in Disciples II before.

The A.I. became a challenge as well, because it simply was not designed to function against a player with every possible trick in the game in his deck. The A.I. had to become more aggressive, and the overall focus of its goals had to be reevaluated. In the high-end game, Mage Lords began to soar above the other types because of the damage cap. To solve this, the damage cap was raised for two of the lord types. We ended up with four extended campaigns that are challenging continuations of the original story. By the way, the new bosses simply laugh at the strength of the capital guardians.

Guardians of the Light and Servants of the Dark were designed to bring new fans into the Disciples community and to keep the story moving. Our hope is that the influx of people trying Disciples II (and the expansions) will bring new life to the multiplayer community and help to clear up some of the questions existing fans might have about the fate of their favorite race. One thing is certain, though - the story is only beginning..


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