Part 74: Combo Blesses: Thingamabobs? I Got Twenty Literally Five.Combo Blesses: You Want Thingamabobs? I got
Wow. What a concept. Merging different elemental and sorcerous paths to create hybrid blesses. Combine water and air to veil your troops in an aura of mist that provides AoE protection against missiles to all nearby troops. Fire and death to have your sacreds rise as soulless on death with a fiery blast. Or perhaps earth and astral to give your sacreds a crystalline spell-deflecting body. If you think about it for like more than one minute you, with your hundreds of hours of video game experience, could come up with dozens of semi-viable bless ideas to test and refine, discarding the dross and the unworkable and elevating the mechanical good ideas that provide variety and interesting storytelling via gameplay.
That's why you will never work for Illwinter Games.
The hybrid bless system was clearly implemented for some reason I guess but they made five. Literally five cross path blesses. I don't even think this is moddable because certainly someone would have made something by now with tools. Well here we are I guess let's see what we got. It won't take long.
For 1 water and 1 nature bless point you sacred troops gain swamp survival passively. They move through swamps easier and are less likely to starve therein. It's a very cornercase bless unless you have some map gimmick going. The only nation that starts in a swamp by default is swamp survival- the nation (C'tis) so I don't know what to tell you. It is also worth noting that this costs 2 bless points effectively while stuff like forest, mountain, etc are 1. VALUE!
I want you to picture the post above but imagine it was wastelands and instead of C'tis it is like Abysia also it costs 1 death and 1 fire bless point. Rather than cultivating the wastelands you will survive in them. Wastelands are often extremely low supply provinces so maybe not starving in one is okay but honestly you would probably be better off with a 1 point bless from fire or death.
Okay this is more interesting now. For 4 earth and 3 nature bless points you can get huge. +1 size, +30% hp,+3 strength, -1 defense, and +2 map move. Large has some advantages but also some drawbacks which is always unfortunate for a bless. The bonus hp and strength are of course good, but its hard to pair it with a regen bless because you would need to have n10 which is spendy as heck. A percentage health bonus works best with already hardy troops. Map move is nice of course too. Being bigger means you fit fewer to a square though and it is easier to focus fire you down. Where is the shrink bless??? It's okay for a gimmick idea. I don't hate it because it is inherently funny, it's just that it is usually competing with a better option for me (it is competing with Regen/Fire-Shock Resist). As a final size note if your god or sacred are already size 6 it does nothing. (As a note, until a recent patch it used to be more expensive and also incarnate. The mental image of your troops growing or shrinking because your god awoke/died is pretty funny)
This one is more interesting. For 1 astral and 1 death point all your units get spirit sight which allows them to see invisible enemies (there are a handful) and see in the dark. Spirit sight is still corner case but it isn't terrible. If an invisible unit is sneaking around a province without spirit sight you'd have no chance to patrol it out. This is one of those things that is almost never important but the one time you need to do it it might be REALLY IMPORTANT. More common, it lets you ignore penalties from fighting in caves or in darkness per the spell. These things are more likely to come up. If you have points to spare it isn't terrible, but also check that your sacreds don't already have spirit sight or dark vision because it happens more often that I'd expect. If you have death access you can cast Darkness late game and not really worry about it annoying your sacred troops so there is that!
Ah, solar weapons. For 3 astral and 1 fire bless point you get a weapon bless. Solar weapons grant your strikes (but not natural ranged weapons like fire breath, mind blast yada yada you know the drill by now) that deals 3 AP damage. Against the undead and demons it deals triple damage.... 9 AP. Fire weapons deal 6 AP, frost weapons are like 8 AP so for the most part your weapon bless bonus damage is a little sub par but I guess on the other hand some bonus damage is better than none. The undead and demon part probably won't come up as much as you might like or if it does your 9 bonus damage might not go as far as you like because the most common manifestation of undead might is like an endless stream of summoned skeletons which requires a more sideways solution. With demons well who knows but it is probably bad fucking news because it means someone is going wild with blood now. It isn't expensive but it isn't great.
So... that's it. Those are the blesses. The incredible powers granted to you, the revered one by a being that styles itself a god. The bless system is, in my opinion, probably the heart of Dominions and increased customization should only increase it's appeal. But I don't know- it feels like between the incarnate system, god costs and the oddly limited feeling options that the potential has yet to be realized. The game is still being patched and played with and there are mythical beta testers out there pouring their ideas, good and bad, into the ear of the like two guys responsible for this game so perhaps a still more glorious dawn awaits the bless system. Or maybe poison weapons will be increased to N6 and be made incarnate.