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Okay, so the Steam Sale has started and I decided to look for something I feel I enjoyed always, but found it hard to piece into words. I am looking for a game with visual and mechanical transformations. For example, in Disciples your units with proper buildings could evolve, and in example a necromancer could become a lich that hits hard or a life-draining vampire, or in Battle for Wesnoth you could evolve your units in combat and they got new/different attacks. For a newer/more popular example, Nobody Saves the World has you swapping forms and the forms have different properties and combat abilities. This may be a tactics game, but an RPG where you evolve/specialize your party or similar is fine too (like changing from a general magician adept to a exclusively fire mage, for a banal example). No giveaway this time, sorry!
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Ni No Kuni 2?
You run and grow a kingdom and get in skirmishes where you control an army that you can upgrade. Upgrading buildings gets a you visual difference as well and new gameplay mechanics and skills.
Divinity: Dragon Commander - Title speaks for itself.
You must have misunderstood, I want to evolve units, not buildings. Neither of the games seem to fit for me - and I remember trying Divinity DC a long time ago
In the Baldur's Gate and Icewind Dale series, you can choose your whole party of 6 adventurers, and give each adventurer a different build (Ranger/Rogue/Paladin, etc.).
Does that fit the bill?
can respec in Conan: Exiles, new sorceries coming in 3.0, Thralls and Pets can be trained to specialise
I am not sure if you want units that evolve over time, or also units that transform back and forth during specific times.
For the latter, I can cite some nice JRPGs (anime warning! :D):
Tales of Zestiria has mechanics where during battle two characters can merge to form a new, more powerful, character (I would imagine many of the "Tales" RPGs have this mechanics, maybe?).
Similarly, each party member in the Neptunia games I played can transform mid-battle after accumulating enough "energy" of some sort.
These transformations are visible in the trailers, so see if any of these rocks your boat.
You should check out Symphony of War, definitely seems to hit most of the checklist that you want, tons of units that can you promote(they do change their looks etc)/equip items and the like.
Maybe not exactly what you are looking for, but Wildermyth might be worth a look. In addition to classes and upgrading skills and gear, your characters can pick up various transformations that let them evolve into powerful beings over time (like a werewolf, spirit bear, fire elemental, etc). It's even possible get aspects from multiple transformations on the same character. Transformations are persistent across playthroughs, too, so you can continue developing a character across stories. It's kinda rng dependent, though, so it can take a bit of luck if you are aiming for a specific build.
Try valkyria chronicles( 1 and 4 are for pc),tales of series or legend of heroes series
Heroes of Might & Magic III
Purely for entertainment purposes, some videos of games where characters evolve visually and mechanically directly:
Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey
Breath Of Fire
Vampire The Masquerade:Bloodlines
You could say many different games where you unlock new skills and weapons as you level up over time qualifies as visual and mechanical change, like Dante getting a guitar weapon in Devil May Cry 3 for example.
Breath Of Fire 3 did it well with the gene system, allowing different combinations of dragons to be spliced based on genes discovered across the world through exploration. I guess Materia from Final Fantasy almost falls in this category but I haven't really experienced something done quite the same way. And another character turns into an uncontrollable Weretiger which I think is similar to trance and limit breaks on old Final Fantasy.
Some games also offer extensive character recruitment for your party with different abilities like Chrono Cross and more recently Disgaea, which also features a re-incarnation system which adds skills but no visual changes.
Some games I looked up seem to have consensus to the request like Shin Megami Tensei and Ni No Kuni, and games where the armor changes the character abilities which is a lot of different ones. I'll dig a bit more.
Bumped for more recommendations..... Lotta old games on the lost so far, maybe there are newer ones.
Man you dug out an old topic. But thanks for recommendations! I kinda ignored the topic when I realized that I worded it wrongly, ie. Conan Exiles or Baldur's Gate do not fit at all and I am not sure how to word it right. From the games you sent me, Breath of Fire is definitely the closest to my intent. But it's also a jRPG, which I tend to dislike (especially the older ones). I know of some Final Fantasy games, that had a job system, and you could mix and match jobs, I'd love to see something like that in a western RPG
Just found a cool website where you can type the name of one game and it catalogues similar games. So I'm posting a link to Battle Of Wesnoth, but any game can be typed in and it might be interesting:
Anyways yeah, I didn't go back further than a month scanning a few topics the other day. Good luck!
Games like The Battle for Wesnoth:
...I mean, they both have animesque art?
Yeah I would probably look at it as a guideline and an exploration of options instead of maybe being directly the same games all down the order since its aggregated and there are so many games out there. And I honestly don't know either of those games well enough to tell you how big the differences between them are.
But yeah I do like the idea of the page, but it might still be a bit underdeveloped and its probably not that easy to keep catalogue updated. I tried a few other games and the results are mixed to fair, the ones that I've tried out.
What I'd do on Steam is take a large category and start filtering out smaller ones, like I'm looking for a survival game, so I'd filter survival and 2D, check all the games, exclude 2D, filter survival and 3D, check all the games, exclude 3D, filter horror and survival, check all the games, exclude horror and so on and so forth, and one exclude many bad tags from what you're looking for from the start like visual novel, minimalist that clog up results based on what you're looking for until with that minimized groups of results you can find the types of games you're looking for...... Just some extra advice for passers-by on the topic.
Heroes of Might and Magic 5 with its expansions allow you to choose from two types of upgraded units, usually with a different aspect of them being in focus. Skeleton -> shielded tankier skeleton / skeleton archer. Though in many cases one upg. is clearly better than the other.
The Might and Magic games let you control a party and adventurers, and you can spend time, money and energy on their individual skills, with quests to master an ability afaik. Mastering magic branches is an option, and at least in one of them you can turn your spellcaster into a lich . I don't know how much personal change and specialization exists for others.
Dawn of Magic 2 is an antion-RPG that is single-player and I'm not sure if it features a party. But as you learn new and new magic skills, they also physically change the looks of the character.