Well, this is the last aspect of defense games we need…upgrades. The upgrade is pretty simple…you pay a higher cost than the original settlement to reinforce it in certain aspects.
Upgrading settlements would not only affect the settlement endurance but also affect many other aspects, like upgrading Pirate settlements causing the number of cannon shots to increase, just like the units’ attack. Upgrading archer settlement would increase the speed it moves and the number of shots archers can do before going back to reload, upgrading assassins would increase the success rate of OHKO skill, upgrading soldiers would increase the number of units per wave, upgrading lancers would increase the attack and spawn rate, etc.
This all would depend of the battle itself. Sometimes you need power, sometimes you need number.
But then we get to an interesting point…and what would happen if we upgrade the same unit over and over again? Well, once an unit reaches a certain rank (F > E > D > C > B > A > S > SS > SSS) it will start branching to other units. Lemme use Pirate unit again as example.
You place a rank F Pirate unit then start upgrading it. Upgrades to E, upgrades to D and then to C…when you try to upgrade to rank B you would receive 2 options instead of one…rank B and Sky Pirate. Let’s say you decided to stay Pirate and get rank B…when you try to upgrade to rank A, again you would get a branching…rank A or Corsair. As a base unit, Pirate cannot go past rank A…this doesn’t mean the unit is bad…a rank A Pirate can work perfectly fine and, depending of the situation, it can work even better than a rank S Corsair or Sky Pirate.
“So why the branching?” you ask…well, to adjust roles to the situation. While pirates can AoE, Corsair would become single target units that deal much more damage per attack than pirates, also using ranged attack. It would be important when you see the opponent using bulkier melee units, whose would put pirates in risk since they’re light-armored and with a fixed group (so if one die its permanently lost).
Sky Pirates, in other hand, would actually be a weaker version of pirates. “What?!” Yeah…but lemme finish! While Sky Pirates would by pirates w/o the AoE option, they would have some special feature…they use Airship. This unit is especially good for when you need pirates but are too far from sea…once upgraded at sea to sky pirate they will just fly to the camp, allowing players to use the cannons even if the field is out of “coastal range”. Also, the entire mechanics of Sky Pirates is different from Pirates…they will not march, just jumping at target from airship when already there, allowing them to always being at full power when they start attacking.
Here we also have a small “feature” too. Back to mediator topic, we talked about notorious NPCs that could end being lured to the city tavern…well, these NPCs can take part here too! If the NPC is already unlocked to that city, it can be called to fight at its full power! Allow me to elaborate!
Let’s say we have the Captain King (Wenrick King, Captain of the Adamant King) in my city. Well, we are in fight and I upgraded my Sky Pirate unit to rank A. Once I try to upgrade it again, I can upgrade it to Sky Pirate Rank S (max rank of an advanced unit like Sky Pirate or Corsair) or I can branch it again to summon the Adamant King. The Adamant King can be called Hero Unit or Notorious Unit. These units it have 2 VERY important aspects:
a) They will destroy the original settlement, cause the respective effect (yeah…it’s not always a bad thing if you thought about the assassins).
b) The new settlement will be created where the original one was (if it was pretty far, like can happen with Sky Pirate Settlements, the new one will spawn that far and will have to move there). Also, it will take no damage, with always the trigger of destroying it being defeating the NPC.
So, now that we have the Adamant King flying over the camp, Captain King will enter the fray. While it’s only 1 unit, the damage output and endurance of these NPCs is outstanding, being able to defeat hordes of common NPCs alone…pretty much like the campaign captains.