Conquest - February 3, 2019
Originally labelled as the "fourth mode" (as the mechanics needed to be fleshed out enough to see that such a mode could stand on its own), Conquest is a hybrid of action and strategy, where the player's goal is to conquer all territories on the procedurally generated world map. With the intention of being shorter than Story Mode and Endless Dungeon, but longer than Onslaught, Conquest is meant to be a pick-up-and-play mode that aims (as of now) to be 30-60 minutes per full Conquest, though Legend Diffculty could up this length.
The world map is procedurally generated to contain a variety of terrain and structures. Though there is no difference between grass, desert, snow and mountain, water is uncrossable terrain, caves grant defense bonuses to the owner, labs grant attack bonuses to the owner and temples grant smaller attack and defense bonuses, while allowing the player to summon large scale field effects onto the world map (and is the only way for a player to bring a Field Effect into battle in Conquest). As can be noted from the screenshot, the world map makes use of character sprites from the original The Demon Rush to represent character positioning on this world map.
When the player steps onto an enemy-owned territory or would share a tile with an enemy horde, the player enters combat, facing the enemy numbers listed for that horde or territory. While Conquest triggers battles differently, the battles themselves are like standard battles in The Demon Rush: Legends Corrupt, though the longer the player takes in a battle the more days will have passed by when the battle is over, which can lead to being stalled as more enemy hordes arrive, run rampant taking back territory or simply being able to attack your character for another battle. This makes strategies of kiting the enemy and waiting for cooldowns to recharge less favourable (and the Mind Field Effect can be a disadvantage due to damage reductions).
To achieve victory, the player must eliminate all enemy ownership of the map (represented by Xs) and enemy hordes that arrive to take back territories and eliminate your character (and sometimes, these enemy hordes will bring a large scale Field Effect with them onto the world map, making them more difficult to engage). As the days go by in Conquest, the enemy will get stronger and level up, gaining abilities at level 20 as per usual. The further the player travels east and south, the more enemies there will be stationed in each territory, and enemy hordes arrive with larger numbers and greater frequency as the days continue to advance.
What's a preset character to do in the face of such unfavourable odds?
What really sets Conquest apart from other modes in Legends Corrupt is not the procedurally generated world map and the conquering of it, but the fact that there is recruitment of enemy soldiers that are normally enemies in Story Mode, Endless Dungeon and Onslaught. The player can recruit up to 200 of these monsters at a time, and 50 can travel with the player at once. The others will either have to guard territories from enemy hordes or go out on Mez Missions to secure more funds for the player.
Each character can only recruit monsters of their character's element (the specifics of each can be found on the Monsters dev blog page). Fire characters get Force Fighters, Demons and Devolved Vipers, Water characters get Zombies, Ghosts and Siphon-Ripped, Wind characters get Dark Knights, Mages and Deformed Vipers, while Earth characters get Shadows, Necromancers and Adamant Golems.
The listing as to what each character can recruit is not just cosmetic, as at level 20, each soldier gains access to their abilities. This means that Force Fighters and Necromancers gain access to healing abilities (that heal your character and your soldiers), Ghosts gain access to their status inflicting Ghost Shots, Mage gain access to their Stun arsenals, and so on. As icing on the cake, any soldier at level 100 or higher will act as though they are a "Legend difficulty enemy", acting faster and with shorter cooldowns. Soldiers can level up either through the player paying Mez for levelups, for winning battles and successfully guarding territories (and surviving).
Soldier permadeath is a feature in Conquest (and given the many uses each soldier can provide, should not be treated as cannon fodder), so while the player will need their soldiers to have their back (as the player's character is a preset character and cannot gain levels), the player will also need to help protect their own soldiers to avoid permadeath (even if that means throwing themselves in the way with a block to shield allies and stagger enemies). Similarly, soldiers at higher levels will be more effective at guarding territories (with level 100+ soldiers being twice as effective as a bonus), and will suffer permadeath defending territories from enemy hordes.
The order that soldiers are sorted is important, as those will be the first ones on the battlefield with the player or the first ones fighting enemy hordes attacking territories. The player can have only 4 soldiers on the battlefield at once, despite being able to hold a maximum of 50 soldiers. However, any reinforcements that arrive gain a 10% per-soldier-killed-that-battle boost to ALL stats (not growth rate, but multiplier to final stats), meaning that whatever soldier is the final listed soldier with the player in a squad of 50 will be more than 4.5x stronger than they would have been (regardless of level).
The purpose of Conquest is to combine action and strategy, and the player will have to make some decisions regarding what monsters to recruit, who to level up, who should stay behind and guard, who should go out on Mez missions, if they should play favourites (and level up one soldier heavily) or spread out leveling, where the soldiers should appear on their list, when to take down enemy hordes (straightaway or let them rampage and take back the territories after they're weakened) and on the purchasing of Field Effects.