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Old 10-22-2010, 11:42 AM   #1
Join Date: Mar 2008
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d2gold - really this hard?

i never played similar games (heroes etc), but i always wanted to try. i consider myself an average strategy gamer, not good, not bad (however i started with the original civ 8).
but this game seems very difficult. i started on the second easiest diff level (of four), i thought it cannot be that hard.
it was frustrating enough to win the first quest (necromancers spirit), and im having the same difficulties with the second.
i basically create a party with a pegasus knight, two squires and a healer, send them cleaning the map, when i have the money i buy a rod girl plant rods wherever useful and try to conquest the map, buy new parties, build the city, research spells etc.
spells seem not to useful as they are expensive (to research and to cast) and mana resources are thin, they cannot hit targets in buildings and they dont hit that much. even a summoned roc or armor can survive one round against an enemy party (2 if im lucky).
the battles seem very unbalanced. most enemy raiding parties ate my main force (the only one that was level 2) for breakfast, and they didnt even break a sweat.
i clould only win the first quest by sending in 5(!) unexperienced parties to the enemy base to be butchered but to weaken them bit-by-bit and only after that could i finish the enemy with my main party. and that cost 5*650=3250 gold - and in this game money really dont grow on trees.
after all these are my questions: what have i missed? this is how this game should play?
i read faqs but there are only obvious stuff (like melée in the first row, archers/casters in the second), so it didnt help.
if this is how the game is i guess i rest it for a while and retry it on the easiest settings (shame, shame) later because i honestly like it but it is very frustrating. and im only at the beginning.
thanks for any helpful hints!

EDIT: and i reloaded more in this one and a half missions than in the last 1 year...

Last edited by galocza: 10-22-2010 at 11:50 AM.
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Old 10-22-2010, 02:09 PM   #2
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I completed the tutorial but seem ill prepared for jumping into an actual mission. Perhaps someone would not mind posting some helpful hints for new players to help get passed the formidable learning curve. I might drop down the difficulty to easy just to gain some more experience with how to play this. Any thoughts on on what to build first at the capital city. I tried two melee, the warrior hero and a hero. This seems like a balanced build for starting out. Do people recommend warrior, mage or guildmaster for rookies?
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Old 10-23-2010, 02:52 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by RavN View Post
Any thoughts on on what to build first at the capital city. I tried two melee, the warrior hero and a hero. This seems like a balanced build for starting out. Do people recommend warrior, mage or guildmaster for rookies?
Build the upgrade-buidings first and most importantly a temple. The temple enables you to heal your units in towns.
Choose the warrior for the HP-regeneration between rounds.

As for the main hero: I actually prefer a mage or the Vampire (for the undead). Play the whole map with one hero and try to avoid archers as long as your mages and specials are still level 1. I never used archer-units that much. The specials are really recommened for Imperial (healer) and undead (stuns enemies). Imperial is the easiest because of the healer -> upgrade in the heal all units tree. The stunner for the undead is really useful at higher levels.

You can play most maps with a single hero but for the first missions you will need extra heroes for the main goal / final battle to weaken the enemies. When you get there you should have enough money and a town nearby to spam new heroes into the battles until you can win with your main-hero.
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Old 10-23-2010, 12:25 PM   #4
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thanks for your reply

Originally Posted by in.meinem.turm. View Post
You can play most maps with a single hero but for the first missions you will need extra heroes for the main goal / final battle to weaken the enemies.
does this mean that the battles will become more balanced and in later quest i will be able actually win battles with my experienced hero and his party?
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Old 10-23-2010, 01:10 PM   #5
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The battles are balanced. You can win. But you can also lose. That is what balance is all about. If you want a game where you can easily bash through all enemies then this game is not meant for you at all.
There are even enemies on the map that are simply there to annoy you.
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Old 10-24-2010, 09:01 AM   #6
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It's not that hard. Just train, think and be careful.
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Old 10-24-2010, 10:58 PM   #7
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And use magic. Those buff spells come in handy when your main team gets killed and you need a way to avoid that from happening.

The first level is always the hardest, once your hero get's stronger, the game gets easier.
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Old 11-01-2010, 11:34 AM   #8
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As you said, saving and loading is very important in this game. Partly that's because you don't know what the monster stacks can do until you start a fight with them, so it takes trial and error to just figure out what's going on. This diminishes over time, but it never goes away.

However, you should not be needing to throw guys at armies to weaken them; I don't think I've ever done that (except with summon monsters). I haven't played the undead yet, but this is what's worked for me with Dwarves and Demons.


-Never leave HP unused
Fight as long as possible with an army before going back for healing. You will periodically need to re-arrange your army for this. Sometimes putting near-death melee fighter in the back row while a full-health wizard takes the front is the right move.

-Maximize experience gain at minimum cost
Avoid letting stuff die when reasonable. If a soldier is going to level but you can't upgrade him, then when you get a chance, drop him off in a town and get a fresh L1 recruit to replace him. Also, sometimes when you revive a unit it is preferable to recruit a L1 unit(s) to replace him so the experienced one can sit in town and heal for free. As you will see later, it is highly useful to have more upgraded soldiers than can fit in your main hero's army.

-Be fast but thorough
Use your main hero to get all the easily acquired important stuff in an area, but once you have it, move on immediately. Once you get enough cash and don't have other pressing expenses (usually after you find the merchant), get a second hero to protect the back and get other lightly defended stuff which looks interesting (sometimes you need 3 heroes). Avoid engaging computer heroes with a secondary hero that has not leveled up (giving spare upgraded troops helps your hero level up much more easily). This makes the game a lot less frustrating and frees your main to do... whatever you want... all the time. Usually I can win maps in 40-80 turns on hard difficulty. Once you have the computer contained, go back and fight any hard fights left on the map in case they were guarding a good artifact to carry over.

Town building:
First get troop upgrades to Tier 2. Second get either mage guild (if you have a spell you need), Flag-planter (if there's gold or needed mana), or Temple (if you can't keep your guys alive). Continue spending until you have each of those things, mixing in troop upgrades as needed. Don't bother with the guild unless your class is guildmaster. Thieves are a waste of money. Only purchase from merchants in the early stages if they offer something really critical for an affordable price (usually only happens with spell merchants).

Hero building:
The most important skills are Leadership, Pathfinding, and Travel Lore. Other useful skills are Might, Banner Bearing, and Battle Lore (forgot the name, it's the one that gives bonus Exp). For skills related to item usage, I wait until after I have an item that I want, unless there's no other good options.

Other comments:
My top priority (in campaigns) is always to find a merchant to sell off junk, because that gets you a ton of gold (I carry over my 5th artifact slot for the sole purpose of selling it to a merchant; gold is more important than a low grade item). Gold mines, allied mana nodes, and towns are secondary priorities. You can also use summons for scouting, which is helpful (Discussed more in the Demons section).

-Race Specific advice:
For Dwarves, use and abuse chant of hasting spell (take the mage class to use it even more!). It is so insanely powerful that you don't always need a second hero. Hymn of the clans is also fairly useful due to your units having such poor initiative.

For Demons, use the illusion summons for scouting (any summon makes a good scout, but the illusions are much better at it). With summons, don't scout places that look "plot important" because they can trigger script events, and generally speaking, all script events are bad for you in this game. Moreover, there are some places where you can do things out of order using summons, and I suspect that if you do so, it may not be possible to complete the map anymore.
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Old 11-10-2010, 07:56 AM   #9
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thanks, this is something i had in mind.
actually i started to compile something like this.

i started to play d1 (thinking that its more beginner friendly) so i have more experience with it than with d2.
d2 is different a bit (eg more units) but the rules apply. ill revisit some topics that PolarisOrbit was so kind to share with us - and maybe even contradict a bit in places, but remember, i dont think that only the following are valid strategies in this game. everything here is based on my experiences (and initial failures). also, sorry about the caps and punctuation.
so here it is:

-if youre a beginner, start on easy difficulty level. this might hurt your pride but youll thank me later.

-start with the empire saga. they are quite balaced, reasonably though and fast, and have healer units.

-when starting a new saga, you can choose your lord. this will also affect what kind of hero you start with. you dont have to stick with it though, buy a hero that fits your needs even if at the beginning of a new level money is scarce. this will be a hero youll be stuck with through the whole saga, so choose carefully. i personally dont think much of the guildmaster lord, but a scout hero is very handy (and with dwarves a must). as to which lord to choose: i personally like the 15% hp regeneration of the warrior, but with healing spells a mage lord can be just as good i guess.

-save. a lot. unfortunately this game isnt one of those where you can make any number of mistakes and still win. one unfortunate step and you will need to restart the level eg or lose your main hero.

-you might want to create a save in the first round and scout your surroundings in every direction to know whats where, plan ahead, reload and start the level in a way to maximize your starting resource nodes. eg having an extra gold mine from the beginning is a great advantage. you dont need to kill every goblin right away, they dont give that much xp and the beginning few rounds are about gaining resource and strategic points (towns).

-towns are important. they give you a strategic advantage: they are places to go back to lick your wounds (and be protected from attack spells and even get some +armor while there in case youre attacked there), if an enemy party (eg a rod planter) happens to go behind your lines you can create a party there to intercept them, and of course upgraded towns can pretty much defend themselves. you probably wont need to upgrade every town you conquer, concentrate on those that have strategic importance - where enemy parties are bound to appear, or where you will need to get back for healing.

-healing is expensive. whether you pay for it in towns with money or cast a healing spell (not even an option with all races) or you pay with precious time in towns to heal or use a potion which you could sell or save for later, health and healing are crucial points in this game. and i cannot offer a general rule - eg even in the beginnig rounds (when quick expansion is the most important) it might be advisable to use your precious potions or pay for healing even if you dont have much money to advance your rule over the land instead of waiting rounds in a town waiting to be healed. i have two advices though. the first one is race specific (empire) and might be self evident: you can fully heal your party in many battles. kill all enemies except for the one with the lowest damage, set all your other party members to defense and let the healers work round after round. of course this will only work if your healer/s heal/s more than the damage suffered from the enemy while in defense. a handy trick anyway i think. the other advice gets a whole paragraph:

-use and abuse thieves. they dont cost (that) much, have a decent movement, are rarely targeted by enemy parties and are very versatile. they can bully an enemy hero to a duel - which is a honor that you will want for your main hero so not that useful. they can spy on enemy parties - semi-useful, its never a bad thing to know what youre up against. but thieves can also poison enemy and neutral parties and even towns - now this is a great thing. you send out a few thieves to weaken everyone you plan to attack, they poison them and you will have a much easier job to finish them off - you get the same xp but you conserve much more hp - and again, health is time and/or money and/or mana. you might want to poison towns (and some very few enemy) only before attacking them, because the occupants are healed somewhat between rounds. the other main feature of thieves is of course stealing. they can steal potions, spells and even artifacts from merchants which will more than pay for their hiring. stealing will get you a) free potions to heal, resurrect or strenghten your troops (conserving time/money/mana) b) spells from another race, which is always handy because you can use mana you couldnt otherwise, saving up your own and c) stuff to sell, i dont need to explain how much a few hundred/thousand gold can help your war efforts. two things to remember, one, thieves cant sell, so you will need to give the loot to another hero to see money from it and two, managing thieves is a very meticulous, frustrating job, involves a lot of saving/reloading - a theft has eg 60% chance, if you want it to do twice without saving between, 0.6*0.6=0.36, youll have 36% chance to succeed. i also tried to poison once with 25% chance, and never succeed of about 25-30 attempts. thieves have a few another options if chosing the guid master lord but i wasnt impressed. oh, and protect your thieves and sell their ill-gotten loot regularly, because believe me it is quite annoying when youve spent a dozen rounds saving/reloading/stealing and the enemy cuts down your thief and uses your hard earned potions against you.

-hero traits: it seems logical to balance your hero, to toughen up a spellcaster or give pathfinder to a warrior dwarf (whom you shoulnt have chosen in the first place for a main party). my general advice though is to upgrade your heroes to do what theyre good at. also, first choose traits which benefit the whole party. leadership is evident, pathfinder too. id say banner bearer instead of artifacts user because although with latter you really can get an uberhero, he will look quite stupid when paralyzed (banners affect the whole party, artifacts only the leader although they give better stats). weapon master (warrior lord) is also great, leveling up your party members faster will give you an edge in all subsequent levels. on the other hand choosing the right hero balancing your racial shortcomings is not a bad idea (again, scout hero for dwarfs!)...

-objects: i prefer banners and boots. talismans are also very nice. orbs you can use only once and id rather upgrade my hero with something more useful. staffs and scrolls are for magic users but beware: spells cast with a staff still cost mana! about potions: this isnt a game where you can prevail without potions. use them to buy a round or two before being forced to a town to regenerate or toughen you up before charging an enemy capital or if you have plenty, sell them. dont forget, there are a few which permanently increase your stats, these are rare to come by and to be used by your main hero. dont sell them! tomes: you will encounter all types of attacks, you cant ward against all of them. though once in a while they might come handy i say sell them. oh and dont forget, at the end of the level you get to keep some of your objects. keep what you use and the most valuable ones, selling the latter will give you considerable advantage on the next level!

-main hero: you probably want to gain as much xp with your chosen hero as possible, but remember: you cannot win all battles with him and you dont need to do so either. its better to give some wins to another parties than running up and down with your main party, losing strategic advantage. concentrate on the heavier opponents - and more xp. a group of goblins will hurt you but give lousy xp. if youve lost party members but you can win one or two more battles before returning to town and healing, do so, more xp for the living, including your hero.

-movement: just as important as resources or health. with a quick party you can discover the map and get the goodies faster, intercept enemy parties before they can harm your towns, weak units or rods and retreat with them quicker to a town to heal and return to the frontline earlier. i personally prefer a scout to a fighter hero, partly because the extra movement points partly because they can hit second line spellcasters/archers.

-spells: dont think that only because you have a warrior lord and have fighter/scout hero you wont need spells. they dont make your life easier - they help to keep it. healing seems to be the most obvious use but it isnt. spell healing costs quite a bit of mana, cannot be targeted to units (heals the whole party whether the member is wounded or not) and while with a starting party +30hp sounds good later with units with 200+ hp and more (and enemies hitting 100+) its quite lousy, even if its doubled (mage lord or another healing spell bought or stolen). on the other hand, weakening the enemys chance to hit, initiative or damage or strenghtening yours can give you the edge you need in a bad situation. although hitting the appearing enemy with every damaging spells you have and watching them disappear in a puff off smoke is very satisfying i prefer weakening/strenghtening spells. first, you can use the latter when going against towns, second, the weakened enemy party will have all its members alive, so you get full xp. if you hit them with damaging spells instead chances are the second row is dead and you dont get xp from kills by spells, only from battles. i know those starting +15% to damage or armor spells dont seem too efficient but they are. using them may turn a difficult battle into an easy one.

-hp vs armor vs damage: even if you calculate that with x hp you can withheld slightly more damage than with y hp and z armor, you should choose the armor. the reason again being healing. and unless you die its better to hit less and getting less damage than having high hp, hit more and getting more damage. so if you have to choose between upgrading these stats (eg banners, hero skills) id go armor>damage>hp.

-diplomacy: if you have the money, you should buy any useful spells from your ally (even if a bit pricy). dont think they are redundant, being able to cast two 30pt healing or damaging spells in one round is very nice, and one depletes mana type you might not have too much use for anyway. you can also offer spells to sell to them, good for your coffer and your relations but dont offer spells that are particularly useful. youll never know when they turn against you (or you against them), dont give a weapon into their hands.

-when you start a new saga (and a new race) spend some time studying the buildings and the units you will be able to access later so you can plan ahead and assemble a party which will be the most useful after leveling up. you can see only the first and second tier at first, so really you should do this at the beginning of every level. you will also need to know your enemy. self confidence is good but charging an enemy ruin with your pegasus knight, imperial knights, healers and assassins and discovering that its filled with werewolves (which are immune to weapon damage) is quite traumatic, believe you me. on a side note, if you know at the beginning of a level that youll be against undead, never leave your spellcasters at home...

-try to have some reserves. if you have excess mana, research a spell. if you know that your unit will level up in the next battle, build the corresponding building. if you need thieves, build the guild, by all means. but not before. youll never know when you will be hit so hard that youll bee needing resurrection/healing fast, or appears an enemy party that you should convince to retreat with a few damaging spells or need to create a new party to hit an enemy rod planter behind your lines.

-dont waste money on rodplanting when you know that the resource will be yours anyway in a few rounds (you will conquer the town near to it). beginning a new level you can find a better place for that gold and later it doesnt really matter. also dont run ahead with the rodplanter. plant rods where you can protect them. for you, it costs money to plant them, for the enemy nothing to destroy them.

-you can keep an enemy at bay after destroying all its units, conquering all his towns and resources by planting a quick moving, well assempled party just outside his capital (give them some resurrection/healing potions though). you can expect a spell from time to time (warrior lord units will heal anyway) or a party emerging that you should intercept, but this will give your main hero time to discover the whole map, gain xp and find artifacts before completing your main goal.

-if you have the time and patience, you have your enemies cornered and there is a training facility on the map you might want to spend your money there to advance your main hero as far as possible before finishing the map. in general, dont rush to finish a level (unless forced by game mechanics), collect all items/xp you can (you never know if theres a permanent stat potion in the corner you left out).

ok, thats about it for now. if i find anything useful or remember something, i will edit this post.
closing comments: this game is really hard, and frustrating ("mellow learning curve", yeah), but also great. i dont regret i bought it (them) and i will certainly play it (them) through. and i definitely encourage others to do the same if they have an interest in a relatively slow, difficult, complicated, nail-chewing but rewarding strategy game.

Last edited by galocza: 11-10-2010 at 07:58 AM.
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Old 01-18-2011, 11:10 PM   #10
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Heres some cheats you can use.

press enter to open the chat then type in.

help!- fully heal every party

borntorun- restore movement points

moneyfornothing- 9999 everything

anotherbrickinthewall- lets you build another structure

stairwaytoheaven- every unit gains one level.

I just use heal! and borntorun it makes the game a little easyer.
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Old 05-02-2011, 02:12 PM   #11
Join Date: May 2009
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I finally finished the other 2 race's campaigns and started the Elven campaign.

I don't know if I'm going to have the will to finish because Rise is a much worse version of the game than Dark Prophecy was.

1) It's buggier:
Don't ever use the escape key to close the "begin new turn" window in Rise of the Elves. Doing so will cause you to forfeit your level-up bonus, if you got one. Presumably this was done because they realized they overdid the popup windows and wanted to provide the player a way to get around it (it would be too simple to just remove the popup windows wouldn't it?). The game is inconsistent on whether enter key takes 1 press, 2 presses, or does not function with regards to closing windows, so you learn to use Escape which always takes one press. But in Rise of the Elves it also prevents you from getting level up bonuses.

2) It's less fair:
Accuracy formulas have changed. In the Gallean's Return executable, displayed accuracy was generally pretty close to actual results. Not so in Rise of the Elves! For some reason, if you get >95% accuracy your units start missing more than half the time (even at 100% accuracy!). Conversely, when computer-controlled units have accuracy less than 60% they will nearly ALWAYS hit. Presumably this was done to give the computer a fighting chance, but it's an idiotic way to balance the scales.

3) It's less fun:
For some unknown reason, the designers decided they were done with making a strategy game and made something else instead. Scripting is so extensive in Rise of the Elves that it completely replaces the strategic element of the game. At it's core, a strategy game requires a balance of risks and rewards. The way they do scripting in this game just completely throws that concept out the window. It's completely unpredictable when a scripted event is going to show up, and their impact on the game is massive. Risks tend to be completely unknown until its too late, and rewards are just barely enough to make it through.

Recall what I said before about scripted events being screw you moments? Now there are more of them, and they are even more "screw you" in their nature. They block chokepoints with scripts where your hero retreats and whines how they wouldn't be able to go that way if they tried. Other times they will just spawn 10-20 enemy stacks around the location making it impossible to win if you found that spot too early or went in without healing (when they don't mark script points how can you know that you need to heal before visiting them?).

Worst of all is when they COMPLETELY REMOVE A HERO FROM THE GAME! Hope you weren't using your main hero to explore because it just died along with all the artifacts and units they had. No chance to revive or get those items back, either. Maybe the event replaced it with a "rename" of the same hero who is now level 1 and has level 1 units. But that's okay; if you followed my advice from before you probably weren't using your main hero to explore anyway. Oh wait- the maps don't have any weak mobs anymore. Mobs routinely out-level your strongest army and it's a game of hunt around the map until you find the weakest army that you actually stand a chance of defeating. Secondary heroes are now worthless because they can't do jack. Couple all that with linear level design and you just don't have a strategy game anymore.

What it all means is that the first time you trigger a scripted event you nearly always have to reload to before you triggered it so you can do it again and trigger the event in a way that does not completely eradicate your capability of winning the game. So exploring is pointless (actually harmful- you're going to hit a script eventually and then you've lost unless your prepared for the specific way in which this event screws you), and your foes are just sitting there waiting for you to power up to beat them (because they're all neutral). In what way is this game supposed to involve strategy now?

Mind you things are equally tough on the computer. A majority of the maps the computer can't even get out of its base because it can't defeat the mobs. It was not uncommon for me to control 60%+ of the entire map before I encountered a computer army. I would already control all the territory I could get before I could beat the monsters guarding it. Because the battles were just too hard and there was insufficient gold or mana to tilt the tide in your favor.
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Old 04-12-2012, 01:52 AM   #12
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I wish I could go into the game files and fix that accuracy change :/

Its getting very annoying, missing so often.
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Old 04-24-2012, 09:18 PM   #13
Join Date: Aug 2011
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I played demon campaign. It was hard, but not super hard since you get two overpowered hero characters for two of the quests.

The game is just hard, but a lot of fun because it. I actually had a scout for my main hero since he could fly around the map super fast, collect all the loot and artifacts and hand them off to the other one or two weaker sacrficial lamb hero's I had.

Someone else said to use the buffs. Definitely learn this. Since every detail is so minute in this game, 10% extra initiative or armor can mean all your soldiers surviving or one or two of them dying, missing out on exp and you having to drop gold to resurrect them. Someone else also said to wait until the last drop of HP is in your soldiers until you either heal them or they level up. I had many battles where I won with less than 10 HP on several of my characters.
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Old 04-29-2012, 07:55 PM   #14
Join Date: Jun 2011
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Originally Posted by -Tallahassee- View Post
I wish I could go into the game files and fix that accuracy change :/

Its getting very annoying, missing so often.
Does the accuracy change only affect Rise campaign? Or is it global (meaning it affects Empire, Undead, etc. campaigns)?
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