Diplomacy is a secondary skill, that increases the chance wandering creatures will offer to join the hero's army and lowers the cost of surrendering to another hero. Additionally, Diplomacy enables hero to learn primary skills from Library of Enlightenment earlier than experience level 10. With Basic Diplomacy the hero has to be at least on level 8, with Advanced Diplomacy on level 6 and with Expert Diplomacy on level 4 to receive +2 to all primary skills from Library of Enlightenment.
Heroes with Diplomacy (basic) as a starting skill:
Basis of joining
Whether or not the wandering creatures will join you for "greater glory" or at price, depends not only on a hero's level of Diplomacy, but also on several other factors (for details, see also External Links below). For creatures with a randomized chance to join, the chance can be summed up in the following way:
- Army strength
- 40% bonus with expert Diplomacy (30% chance to hire) if the army is 3 times the strength of the creatures
- 30% bonus with advanced Diplomacy (20% chance to hire) if the army is 2.5 times the strength
- 20% bonus with basic Diplomacy (10% chance to hire) if the army is 2 times the strength
- 10% bonus if the army is 1.5 times the strength of the creatures
- 10% penalty if the army is weaker than the creatures
- 20% penalty if the army is less than half the strength
- 30% penalty if the army is less than a third of the strength
- Army composition
- 20% bonus if over 50% (creature count) of the hero's army consists of the same type (up/downgrade) of creatures
- 10% bonus if there's at least one creature of the same type (up/downgrade) in the hero's army
- 30% bonus for expert
- 20% bonus for advanced
- 10% bonus for basic
In total, this allows for a 90% chance to join (60% free, 30% hire) if all the conditions are met.
Note that fire and energy elementals, water and ice elementals, and earth and magma elementals are considered different creature types, even though the latter of each pair is an upgrade of the former.
When playing at easy difficulty, heroes receive a diplomacy bonus even when they have not learned the skill. No Diplomacy acts as basic Diplomacy, basic Diplomacy acts as advanced Diplomacy, while advanced and expert diplomacy act as expert Diplomacy for the purpose of joining.
On all standard random map templates, monsters now only join for gold, and only half the group for the price of the entire group; these settings can be altered in the map and template editors. Monsters that appear on a special month can still join as normal.
Chance to get
|Town||Class||Chance to learn|
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For early development, Diplomacy really rocks. It is a good idea to bring almost all troops to the army of a hero with Diplomacy, so that his/her army is stronger at the moment of potential units' joining, thus increasing the possibility to join. However, keep in mind there should be a free slot, or the hero has same units as those on the map (basic and upgraded units are the different, e.g. you cannot unite Swordsmen with Crusaders outside a Castle with the upgraded 4 level dwelling!) Otherwise, the hero will have to dismiss some of his/her units. Summoning units from the home faction is especially brilliant, as they won't spoil morale and will become an integral part of your army.
Morale negative bonus for 3+ factions and for having undead in the army is "the other side of the medal", however, the "diplomat" can share the newcoming troops with fellow heroes (e.g. if you play for Castle, one of your heroes will use a Rampart stack, the other one gets a Tower stack, etc.). Even more useful will be putting troops summoned via Diplomacy into town garrisons, as Tavern is increasing morale and usually present in towns. Moreover, getting someone strong but without enough speed will slow your hero down when moving on the map, so that unit will be more useful for defending a town. Having a hero with Leadership is a nice thing, as that hero may be the one to use units from various factions.
One of the units who are decent for getting via Diplomacy are Angels who increase morale by 1 apart from being powerful units themselves, Minotaurs who have always positive morale, as well as Elementals and Golems, as they are immune to it. Summoning undead will spoil morale of anyone else, but undead creatures themselves aren't affected by that factor, and a good stack of Vampire Lords, Liches, or Black/Dread Knights is a big reinforcement to any army.
Diplomacy together with Visions spell forms a powerful combination that allows a hero to easily see which wandering monsters will join and which will flee. This will greatly enhance the hero's ability to scout areas, giving an early lead in the game and possibly an early victory. As other towns typically cause differently aligned creatures to suffer from bad morale, Necropolis can transform 1st level creatures into Skeletons and avoid this side effect, using Skeleton Transformer.
In the endgame, Diplomacy is losing its power, as most wandering monsters are already eliminated from the map, and it's unlikely that someone who could really help your army which is already very big will join (i.e. there is a low opportunity to get 10 Archangels or someone like this) - strong wanderers usually don't join, as they are in map's keypoints and guard something important. Often in tournament and multiplayer games, Diplomacy skill is regarded as an overpowered secondary skill and is frequently banned from competitive play.
Recommended for: At least one hero, typically a support, on maps with wandering monsters that are not set to 'savage', but preferably to 'aggressive' (i.e., the default setting).
Although a main hero's attack and defense skill help in convincing wandering monsters to join, it typically works well to let a support hero learn this skill instead. This support hero can then borrow troops from your main hero to convince wandering monsters to join and return the troops immediately after. This saves your main hero a skill slot and potentially a lot of movement points.