Heroes and Villains: Vex

Airships: Conquer the Skies
20 May 2023, 5:38 p.m.

Today's DLC preview is about Vex, a druid who often appears at the same time as some spiders or gargoyles settling into your territory. They can be hired as an airship captain, providing a number of magical spells.

Sinkhole, which spontaneously produces a massive hole in the ground, causing whatever was standing there to crash down. Great for taking out small buildings or making landships lose their footing.

Crosswinds, which for a time entirely prevents a ship from moving, letting you move your ships into an optimal position.

Air Support, here in the form of a flock of eight gargoyles, which will tear apart the enemy ships with their acid spit.

So what does Vex want from you? It's pretty simple, really: wipe out pirates, mad scientists, cultists, machine cubes, and other such blights upon nature, and leave the animals alone. Even if they're giant animals that like to eat people.

And it won't be as simple as keeping your captains' and governors' loyalty just above zero. Even before they quit, low-loyalty characters can be amenable to persuasion from other empires...

As a design note, there's no magical abilities that do direct damage, because I felt that in a game that already incorporates cannons, the ability to cast fireball wouldn't be all that exciting.

Instead, many magical abilities are about battlefield control, and they're generally "plausibly deniable". Maybe the ground did just give way? Maybe there were some unfortunate winds stopping this ship from moving? Maybe some angry gargoyles just happened to fly past and decided to exclusively attack one side's ships because they smelled wrong?

We're pretty sure that was all Vex, but we can't be certain.

Finally, I realised that I have now shown you three heroes, or at least ambiguous characters. Given that the title of the DLC is Heroes & Villains, I will do one more post, showing you a very bad man you might nevertheless want to hire.