Age of Wonders 4 is a turn-based strategy game set in a fantastical, multiverse-style setting. In Age of Wonders 4, players develop their empires to traverse procedurally-generated realms where they’ll often encounter Free Cities that are home to AI-controlled factions.
Free Cities in Age of Wonders 4 are significantly more complex than in Age of Wonders 3. There are many new systems in place to encourage the player to interact with Free Cities. This guide will help players get the most out of those interactions.
How Free Cities Work in Age of Wonders 4
Free Cities are NPC settlements with modest potential. They can be powerful in their own right but never quite as powerful as a proper faction. They develop units, build structures, and take part in diplomacy, but they don’t create new cities or develop themselves into superpowers.
Similar to other factions, Free Cities have a Relations value that measures their opinion of the player’s faction. The Relations value determines how much Allegiance they’ll gain or lose every turn. When their Allegiance reaches certain milestones, their diplomatic state (Neutral, Pact of Loyalty, etc.) will change. If it gets too low, the Free City will declare war.
Diplomacy with Free Cities
When the player discovers a Free City, they’ll introduce themselves with some dialogue. How the dialogue is worded gives the player a sense of their initial impression. This is determined by how similar the Free City and the player’s faction are. If their rulers have Affinities in common and their Alignments are similar, they’ll start off with a positive impression. If they’re dissimilar enough, the Free City will immediately declare war.
Selecting a Free City on the World map opens a window that gives the player the following options:
- Boost Allegiance: If the player has given the Free City a Whispering Stone, they can spend Imperium to boost their Allegiance immediately.
- Make Peace: If the player is at war with a Free City, they’ll have the option to spend gold to improve their relationship to Neutral.
- Give Whispering Stone: Players start with one Whispering Stone they can give to a Free City or to their own cities. If given to a Free City, the Whispering Stone will infer a bonus to Allegiance gained every turn. It can be taken back at any time.
- Trade: Players can exchange resources with a Free City over a set number of turns. These trade agreements count as treaties.
- Declare War: Declaring war on a Free City will make it hostile. If the Free City is a vassal of another faction, the player must also declare war on that faction.
How to Improve Relations with a Free City
To begin improving Relations and, therefore, Allegiance, the player must give the Free City a Whispering Orb. By default, players may only have one Whispering Orb, but this can be improved through the Empire Development tree or with certain faction traits.
After the player has opened negotiations with a Free City, there are many ways to improve their Relations. Here are a few of the most impactful methods:
- Accept and complete quests given by the Free City, such as those requiring the elimination of enemies.
- Agree and adhere to agreements made with the Free City, such as territorial disputes.
- Choose a Tome or take an action that develops an Affinity that matches the Free City’s Affinities.
Free City Diplomatic States
As the player progresses in their relationship with a Free City, they’ll move through a few phases. Here are those phases, along with their details:
|Pact of Cooperation||
|Pact of Loyalty||
|Pact of Vassalage||
After a Free City becomes a vassal, new Diplomatic States become available. A new vassal starts at the Vassalage stage. As they gain Allegiance, they’ll move toward a Supreme Vassalage. If they lose Allegiance with the player, they’ll move toward a Denying Tributary.
Here are all the vassal states for Free Cities:
Age Of Wonders 4 is available now on PS5, Xbox Series X/S, and Windows.
MORE: Age of Wonders 4: How to Heal Units
Read original article here: gamerant.com
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