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Fallen Enchantress: Legendary Heroes – The Dead World DLC

By on October 31st, 2013 1:44 pm

Fallen Enchantress: Legendary Heroes - The Dead World DLC

Just in time for Halloween, Stardock has announced the release of “The Dead World”, their latest DLC for Fallen Enchantress: Legendary Heroes. The timing seems to be no coincidence on this one, as this DLC appears to be all about expanding the role of the undead within the game. I think it’s very important to note that it appears we’re not looking at a simple item or map pack this time around either. The price is set at $4.99, which you may recall is the same price as the Loot Pack, Map Pack, and Quest Pack.

So, what exactly are we looking at here then? Well, from my perspective, it looks like a fair bit more than we’ve seen thus far in other packs.

Here’s the feature list:

  • A brand new faction: the Empire of the Dead, led by the nefarious sorcerer Morrigan the Risen. Undead ignore food, growing their population by building cemeteries and mausoleums and by reanimating slain foes
  • New spells for undead casters – summon a powerful but temporary army, feed on the lifeforce of friendly units in battle, and more
  • New undead empire fully implemented in faction/army creators – design your own skeletal and spectral troops
  • New custom map: The Dead World
  • New Hellknight monsters – powerful mounted undead knights with enchanted gear
  • New Risen Brood monsters – skeletal undead half-spider monstrosities

To be honest, I don’t own any of the DLC for Fallen Enchantress: Legendary Heroes right now. As much as I loved my time with this game, and despite the fact that I consider it the best fantasy 4X game on the market currently, I am not typically a big fan of DLC content for any game. Especially DLC that doesn’t add what I feel is significant value to my experience.

This DLC though, now this looks more like a feature list I’d feel better about spending my $4.99 on. So we have a brand new faction with new mechanics, new necromantic oriented spells, new units, and new map with new “secrets to discover”. I enjoyed the necromancy additions they made with Legendary Heroes, and I suspect these new additions are going to make this much more enjoyable. Fair warning/disclaimer, I’ve not actually played this DLC yet, so my thoughts are based purely off the feature list and screenshots right now.

The DLC is available from GamersGateStardock or Steam for $4,99.

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  1. David Walsh says:

    Sounds like the writer has not quite made it into the DLC era yet.
    DLC is how most content expansions are made to games these days.
    I remember it took me a while to transition from buying a retail product with packing and discs etc to a completely virtual purchase online. Once I made that transition DLC has never been an issue for me other than do I want the particular expansion or not.

    • Happy Corner says:

      Maybe DLC is the future, whether we like it or not, but I wish some companies would show more restraint and/or less laziness.

      I enjoyed playing Sims 3… at first. Until it made me feel like a cow that EA only wanted to keep milking.

      It’s not enough that they released only about a zillion expansions/DLC for people who want more. Sure, it’s gotten excessive, and I doubt that (for instance) the Katy Perry one was truly necessary, but if I don’t like that, I can just forget about it, right?

      No, there’s extra maps/neighborhoods to buy, too. You get one map – count ’em, ONE – with the vanilla game, and you have to buy the others with sim points (which cost real money). It reminds you of that every new game. Okay, that sucks, but it’s really only an irritant when I’m making a new family, right?

      No, what finally turned me off of the game was all the shit it tries to entice you with IN PLAY, too. You’ll open the menu to buy something for your sim’s house, and practically every fucking submenu will have bonus items you can add to the game… by unlocking them with sim points. It’s amazing, you can’t even play the game for 10 minutes without being exhorted to spend yet more money on it. It’s like one of those Free To Play games, except that it wasn’t even free to play.


    • Keith Turner says:

      Perhaps my stance on DLC came across incorrectly in the post. I actually don’t have anything against the concept of DLC in general.

      I appreciate DLC when it feels to have what I would deem to be significant impact. In the case of DLC for replayable sandbox strategy games, I prefer that it really shake things up and make things interesting again. A chance at a couple new items for my heroes for instance, isn’t going to make the game feel that much different. A whole new faction, new mechanics, and other additions are much more interesting. Basically, I guess I like DLC that feels more like a proper expansion, even if it costs a bit more.

    • Mark says:

      DLC is just another way of milking more money out of a product by slowly re-introducing features into a purposely bare-bones game that should have been present at launch.

      The sooner the DLC era is dead and forgotten the better.

      • Gunlord says:

        Yeah, I know how you guys feel about DLC…it annoys me too. I’m a bit more miffed because of when it’s coming out for this game. I got Fallen Enchantress on Steam as part of the Stardock sale, when it was super-cheap…if they’d released this pack back then, I coulda gotten a better price on it ;_;

        That said, the whole concept of DLC is pretty skeevy in and of itself. A lot of folks say it’s not so different from expansion packs, but you usually got more value from those. A whole new faction is, admittedly, pretty impressive, but still…hmph. Reminds me about a post I wanted to make on the Dragon’s Dogma DLC…maybe I’ll make it sooner rather than later. >:o

      • JohnR says:

        Couldn’t have put it better myself Mark. I think Stardock and Paradox (Crusader Kings) are among the worst offenders with their bare bones nickle and dime DLC’s. IMHO minimalist DLC’s with content that should have been in the original release or at least bundled together in a major DLC release (like Civ5) is up there with Kickstarter and Steam Early Access as being among the worst current trends in PC gaming.

  2. riadsala says:

    Disappointing to see that Stardock are giving up with their efforts to make their own fantasy setting and lore, and just giving into the dull demands for generic fantasy races. Sure, writing your own lore is hard, but when you pull it off, it adds a huge amount to your game. {For example, the Dominions series).

  3. Sam says:

    Kieth–have you played Dominions? I would like to hear your views on Dominions 4.


    • Njordin says:

      i´d like to hear that, too. this game is one of my favourite tbs/4x.

    • Keith Turner says:

      Dominions is a series I’ve never gotten into. I gave the demo a try, hmm, probably a couple years ago. The price for the game was still quite high at that time as they were with Shrapnel Games. In any case, I couldn’t get into it at the time.

      It’s a series I’ve thought about since, but I’ve not returned to try it even with the reduced price for a couple reasons. One is that I have read on their forums and elsewhere that multiplayer is where the game really shines. Perhaps it’s still fun in single player, but I don’t typically play complex 4x or strategy games online.

      Aside from that, I’ve heard the game gets micromanagement heavy later on. I’m not a fan of heavy micromanagement in strategy games. That was one of my complaints even with Fallen Enchantress & Legendary Heroes. Turns start taking too long by mid-late game and it starts feeling more like work and less like fun to me.

      I probably will try the series again sometime to see if it can sway me. It just seems to have a high learning curve for new players. The main manual is over 100 pages and the UI is pretty busy looking. If single player isn’t the way to experience the game, and it’s micro heavy, then I don’t think Dominions is the right game for me even if it is spectacular in multiplayer.

      So in short, I may try it again if I have the spare time to get more involved with it at some point, but I just don’t know.

  4. SQW says:

    hmm, the game crashed on me twice all within 20 turns….

    I admit my PC is really really old by it ran the Legendary Hero expansion without any issues. =(

    • Keith Turner says:

      Oh, sorry to hear about this. I’ve not had the time to try it out just yet, but I’m hoping to this weekend. I’ll let you know if I experience any of the same issues.

    • SQW says:

      Fixed. Don’t know how but had several long games without crashes after I changed a few graphic options.

      Btw, new faction is kind of disappointing. Maybe I’m not playing as the designer intended but the faction doesn’t really feel or play like the undead I imagined. =(

      • Keith Turner says:

        Glad to hear that you at least were able to resolve your crash issues.

        As to the DLC, well, I unfortunately had less time than I’d hoped this weekend. I could start playing tonight, but Derek Paxton has indicated they will be patching the DLC tomorrow. That being the case, I’ll likely start playing after the patch before I give my impressions.

        Apparently the patch broke the ability to buy or use horses for one (though wargs still exist). They are also adding the capability to allow the AI to play as the new undead faction instead of just the player. I also saw Derek mention some bug fixes for the faction in general.

        It’s a shame this DLC requires patching only a few days after release. I’m glad that Derek has been working to fix the issues so quickly, but the question remains as to why and how they made it into the release build of the DLC to begin with. Rushed to make it out in time for Halloween? Seems that could be a possible answer.

  5. Sagatron says:

    I also saw this DLC yesterday and was intrigued by its content added. I only own the Map Pack DLC but I was thinking this Dead World DLC looked like something I would like to add to the game. Looking forward to hearing your thoughts on it Keith.

  6. hakkarin says:

    I wonder what effect it will have on game balance to not need any food.

    I remember cyborgs in StarDrive having not needing any food and instead eating their production as their special bonus, and they become completely overpowered since it meant they could just ignore food and only focus on production, effectively turning them into massively powerful industrial giant.

    • SQW says:

      Right now, the undead faction is a pain to grow. Since your city growth is dependant on winning combat against non-creature opponents, you are stuck on basic city level unless you are really really aggressive.

      Call of Morrigan helps but then you need to be lucky enough to have a few death shards lying around.

      • hakkarin says:

        So the undead are basically required to go to war straight from the get go if they want to get anywhere at all?

      • SQW says:

        That is my impression after several games at least. While you can spam armies since they don’t cost upkeep, getting enough population to generate a pioneer is a real headache.

        Atm, expansion is very very limited with this faction. It almost feels like you a suppose to grow via conquest right off the bat because by mid-late game you are so far behind the AI in terms of empire size.

        • Keith Turner says:

          I was reading through the official forums and noticed this reply from Derek regarding the undead playstyle:

          “It certainly does depend on how you play them. The most important resource for the Dead are the cities and armies of your enemies. Declare war early, grab death shards, essence is very important.

          But if you play the Dead like other factions, they will be underpowered.”

          So there we have it from the fingers of the lead designer. The undead are built for rushing.

        • SQW says:

          I suppose that’s a valid strategy. However, it feels wrong to create a faction which is so thoroughly limited in its non-aggressive option.

          I think the Zuul faction in SOTS prime had an excellent balance of tech/pacing for this play style; the undead here seems in kind of limbo between the need to grow through conquest and sub-par combat troop choices.

  7. Martok says:

    Wow, I’m a little surprised with all the DLC hate.

    It’s not my favorite concept, but I don’t really mind it either as long as you’re getting your money’s worth, and it’s adding interesting/worthwhile stuff. Although it’s obviously not going be the right fit for every game, Crusader Kings 2 has already proven the DLC model can work well, and I think it’s a pretty good fit for Legendary Heroes as well.

    • Keith Turner says:

      Oh I agree that the DLC model can work very well in some games. I also happen to think strategy games are a great candidate for DLC content. Creating a new faction, some new resources, some new mechanics, all of these types of additions are great because you can just buy them and plug them into your sandbox if you want them. You can then enjoy the content again and again in sandbox play. This is in many ways better than say RPG DLC content, as their DLC usually can’t just plug in and becomes more of a tacked on experience that lasts a couple hours before you just put the game down again. The core game isn’t changed.

      Typically what I find is that DLC is content that the developers can add very quickly. These tend to be things like new items that aren’t terrible difficult to balance. I’d much rather see significant changes like brand new mechanics or elements which will re-define the game and make it exciting again. Unfortunately what I am describing is more akin to an expansion pack, and the sad truth is we just don’t see this that often anymore.

      As far as strategy games go, I’d say Firaxis and CodeForce/Matrix release the most content rich expansions. Whether you like their games or not, the feature lists tend to be a good size with new mechanics certainly present. Again, they cost more, but I actually prefer it that way.

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