How does /tg/ feel about ultra-anachronistic settings? I'm not talking about "autist-triggering armor pieces being used 60 years too early and the French dialect being geographically wrong", I'm talking about "this kingdom has steampunk Italians and the neighboring kingdoms have magical Arabians and Stargate Aztecs" (to use pic related, a prominent example)
I mean, I would have a hard time making that work. But that's just me personally - if the setting I'm using feels like a patchwork of different cliches, I'm going to try to shake things up to make it more appealing to my tastes.
That doesn't mean it's impossible to make this setting interesting, or to elevate it towards something more original. Me personally? I'd probably scrap it in favor of a homebrew without as much anachronism. But that's just the kind of person I am.
Anachronism where technologies and social norms appear at a different relative time period than in our world? Cool and not too internally inconsistent. Who doesn't want to see a feudal WWI with knights in clockwork power armor?
Anachronism where neighboring kingdoms are wildly different? That's a bit harder to deal with. If one kingdom has magic, why doesn't the other one? If one kingdom has advanced technology, how is the other still primitive? Trade tends to spread tech and have an equalizing effect across nearby civilizations, and a believable world needs a consistent global set of laws of physics/metaphysics.
It's also a shame that they toned down the effects and overall graphics quality in the final release so it would work on lower-tier computers. The steam and smoke in the alpha was glorious.
What are you referring to? There's the Kahan, who actually have graphical assets observable in the scenario editor (appear to have been inspired by Mongolian mythology), someone found concept art for the "Skald" (appear to have been based on Finnish/Slavic/vaguely-Scandinavian [?] mythology), and what else?
Hey, 4's been done well before, and you never know about expansions. Besides, the factions of RoL weren't really as different from each other as, say, those of Starcraft or Warcraft. Certainly more unique than those of Age of Empires, but not nearly to that degree.
Honestly, as someone who gets bothered by wonky armour in many settings, I have no problem with full anachronism. (That's probably because a pastiche is obviously not trying to simulate anything.)
If you're trying to make each faction absolutely unique, you can only jam so many into the setting before they start repeating themselves. That's why Rise of Legends finished with only 3 or 4. If you read some about the "fourth faction", it was clear that they had a very specific theme going for it (ice barbarians) which all the possible options filled, and it was clear only one would be chosen. Even if they could, they wouldn't have put both Kahan and Skald into the game because two ice barbarian factions are redundant.
That's not really anachronism though, that's just "copy paste weird world".
the thing is that reality kinda sort of worked like that - I mean, the spanish conquest of mesoamerica was blackpowder catholics versus stone/bronze wielding natives.
The danish armed forces had about a hundred guys with rapid fire matchlocks in 1630; Kalthoff Repeaters is what I mean. That's pretty effing steampunk.
The Japanese still issued swords during WW2
WW1 *and* WW2 involved the long hard work of horses, horses and more horses.
It's a cool border space to explore where you have access to very amusing things to a large degree, without feeling too constrained by reality. Also that game was glorious.
Silly thread, but it does happen to have basically all existing concept art of Skald heroes.
Notice that their heroes, who at first sight appear to be massive animals made of energy, all have a human shaped shadow floating inside their "cores". Since it's theorized the Skald's "power theme" was Spirit, it is likely their heroes were all people who were able to manifest gigantic spiritual animal bodies around themselves. Which is fucking awesome, if you ask me.
I loved Rise of Legends.
Steampunk looks so much better in a 16th century context instead of 19th century.
Making neighboring kingdoms wildly different can be ok if those differences maintain a good balance and have reasonable explanations. Obviously if one place advanced further technologically then it may well be expected to conquer surrounding underdeveloped nations unless they had some form of ancient magic on their side. One could see religious issues hampering technological advancement in a country but maintaining strong magic or vise versa. Having caste systems in a nation or ruins of past advanced civilizations can also keep tech/magic concentrated in one area.
Its important to consider that even if one nation has steampunk tech then the nations without it may come up with specific ways to fight against said technology (lightening magic against metal monstrosities comes to mind) while the advanced nation will need specific solutions against magical opponents (loud steam sirens to distract mages from successfully casting, flame throwers against beast hordes).
Competition between states can even the playing feild even if working with completely different systems of knowledge as each develops what they already have into more and more powerful forms.
It's a shame that I got an exam tomorrow and have to go to sleep. I had so many ideas for extra civilizations for RoL, but I won't have the time to detail all of them. Two examples (and assuming that the Skald are canon, but NOT the Kahan, as this would create overlapping themes):
Dorjan: "Magic" type civilization. Their main theme is "Enlightenment". Visually, inspired by Indian, Nepalese and Tibetan mythology, as well as Chinese wuxia cinema. Thematically inspired by Buddhism, Taoism, New-Age mysticism, parapsychology and psychic phenomena research. A nation in the far north of Aio whose population mainly lives in fortress-like, mountaintop monasteries. They are guided by the search for enlightenment and balance. Units may include flying kung-fu swordsmen, turtle castles, immortal sorcerers, feathered tulpas, dakini, asuras, nine-headed ghost dragons and demonic tiger riding archers. Native "neutral units" would be nomadic raiders based on the Kahan, whose violent ways represent the opposite of enlightenment.
Ub (kudos for whoever realizes the reference): "Tech" type civilization. Main theme is "Genes". Visual inspiration include H.R. Giger, post-cyberpunk and post-apocalyptic anime, splatterhouse films, eXistenZ. Thematic inspiration includes posthuman and singularitan literature, similar anime. An hypercaptialist civilization which has once mastered biotechnology, until a corporate war destroyed their home in the southern continent. The air in their region is thick with deadly spores, the plains covered in endless sheets of fungus and roamed by mutants. Their cities are environmentally sealed and employ massive atmosphere filters (which belch iconic clouds of toxin). Buildings and units possess organic shapes with spiky, biomechanical edges, in shades of black and dark grey. Green and purple neon holograms are over everywhere. Despite looking obviously "evil" and freakish (as their people engage in extreme self-biomodification for cosmetic and practical purposes) the average Ub is no more immoral than the average Vinci. They all work for a megacorporation but ultimately they are people with hopes, fears and dreams. Units may include various biomechanical creatures and vehicles inspired by the xenomorphs from Alien, Guyver, EVA units, some of the more insectile looking Kamen Raiders (perhaps their basic soldiers, presented as a genetically engineered, insectile soldier?), tanks inspired by the Ohmu of Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind (which inspired their environment), and insectoid biomecha. Their "ultimate" unit would be a giant with exposed musculature which can "breath" atomic death, also inspired by Nausicaa (the manga). Native neutral units would be raiders and mutants from the fungal wasteland.