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Warlock 2: The Exiled

by JcDent

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Original Thread: Dorf Gathecrashing Metacorporation - Lets Play Warlock 2: The Exiled

If you liked this LP, you might also like Bomberman '93 by ThornBrain, Spellcross by Polybius91 and Rune Factory: A Fantasy Harvest Moon by LordHippoman

Introduction

Dwarven Gatecrashing Metacorporation: Let’s Play Warlock 2: The Exiled



Table of Contents


Who the Hell are you and what is happening?

Hello, my name is JcDent and I like short walks on the beach, RTS games and writing video game reviews. Coming hot on the heels of my Warlock: Master of the Arcane review (finished yesterday!), I’m here to do a screenshot LP of its sequel, Warlock 2: The Exiled.



Warlock 2 also offers a 200% increase in bloom.

What is Warlock 2: The Exiled?

W2E (I’m sure nobody calls it like that) is a 4X turn-based strategy game. To put it somewhat bluntly, it’s Civilization, but with magic. I still think that mechanically, it’s a lot easier than Civ, and that’s why my first LP was called “Baby’s First 4X”.


Due to all the DLCs it accrued over time, I LP’ed a very different game from the one that was initially published. Heroes were introduced, making actual units nearly obsolete, a new race was introduced, a new Oblivion crisis-type game mode gave some semblance of a story campaign and so on. All of these changes (except for the invasion) were rolled into a package, some sprinkles were added, and that's how we got Warlock 2: The Exiled.

Of course, there’s more to the game than that (otherwise I would have said “W2E is a sequel in as much as Dark Crusade was one to Dawn of War”):

*No more unlimited unit upgrades: you actually have to seek additional nodes of resources to kit your army out in killing gear.

*No more Infinite City Crawl (kind of, it can be turned off): every “real” city (there are several types that won’t expand in territory, build buildings, train units or claim resources, but will generate income) counts against a limit and crossing that for a longer time might get you a rebellion. Kind of puts a damper on rapid conquests and makes you really work for those upgrade resource nodes.

*Actual fucking research tree: no more stumbling in the dark hoping you’ll randomly find Elemental Resurrection.

*Two new races: Svarts and Planeswalkersstriders

*New campaign and sandbox modes: did you like going to demiplanes in the original game? Well, now there’s a game mode where you do nothing else but travel a branching chain of connected demiplanes (shards). It’s Eador with less grinding, Perimeter without Russian sci-fi bullshit!

*Probably something else (I think archers can lend some support to melee units now. Whoo, combined arms!) that isn’t as impactful or meaningful.

But Mr. JcDent, I only play games for the story and the campaign!

So do I, little trooper. If you want all of the background, one noble man rose to the task and did a very good summary in the last thread:

LightWarden posted:

It's Civ 5 plus Masters of Magic. Not as much in the way of a tech tree as Civilization, but the spell system is neat, especially if you have the DLC so you can go create artifacts for your raging murdersticks to fight off Armageddon.

Anyways, this game is based on Ardania, the setting of the Majesty series. Majesty 1 starts with you as a minor king, and you get involved in the basic system of generating gold through taxes and the like so you can hire heroes to go kill things for you, who then take that money and shop at your stores to buy items so they can kill bigger things for you. As king, you solve various problems in various maps to unite Ardania, then roll forward into the northern regions during the Northern Expansion in order to fully unite the continent.

Things are pretty cool for a while, though there is some sort of divine throwdown where Lunord (god of the moon) goes crazy or something and gets whacked by his fellow gods, leading to some various shake-ups in the ranks of divine champions.

Centuries pass, and Majesty 2 starts with one of the descendents on the line on the throne who's kind of a disappointment because there have been no great crises for quite some time and the kingdom basically runs itself. In order to make a name for himself, he has his wizards summon a demon lord so he can defeat it and be recognized as a great king. Naturally, this backfires terribly and the demon winds up taking over the kingdom, murdering most of the royal line except for you (the player). So you must start from nothing and work your way across the land, undoing the destruction that has plagued the kingdom and eventually gathering enough forces to defeat the demon lord and cement your place as a great ruler.

Unfortunately, after that begins the first expansion, Kingmaker, where you have to deal with the goblins rallying under the banner of Grum-Gog, god of pestilence. After battling your way through them and defeating the avatar of Grum-Gog, the Battles of Ardania expansion occurs when a mage werewolf begins making trouble and seeks to draw on the power of dragons in order to become pretty much a god. Also, Lunord shows up again. After rallying your troops and defeating the mage, things settle down until the Conclave of various religions decide to depose you and put an immortal ancestral spirit of kings on the throne. In order to regain your throne, you must make alliances with the various monster races and Grum-Gog himself in Monster Kingdoms, eventually defeating the spirit of kings and forming a new unified Ardania.

Sometime after that, you and many of your best forces head up to the northern regions and are never seen again. The kingdom deteriorates, centuries pass and Warlock: Master of the Arcane begins with various wizards squabbling over what's left of Ardania.

Edit: Defenders of Ardania and Impire also take place somewhere on the tail end of this timeline, but I haven't played either of them.

Thanks, LightWarden!

Anyways, the last game mode to be introduced in Master of the Arcane and closest thing it ever had to a plot or campaign was the Dremer invasion.

Fleshy gates start appearing (and exploding) all over Ardania, bringing forth the Dremers: mindless, yet very powerful invaders from an outer plane. You try to stem the tide (Dremer gates corrupt landscape around them, which then heals Dremer units, and, if not destroyed in time, the gates explode, making the surrounding terrain unusable and uncrossable on foot) and eventually counter-invade the Dremer world. There, you exploit bad AI scripting heroically kill Dremargor, the Prime Dremer and win the game. Canonically, Miralbus the Hat was the one to slay the beast.

Jc-Canon states that Lich King V was the one to do the deed while Miralbus was engaged in a petty border conflict with Sol de Torvega and had corruption covering about 70% of his realm.

However, W2E intro explains that while you were working to stop the end of the world, some asshole Great Mage was working on the spell of Unity that would basically make him one with the magic of Ardania (it’s one of the Victory conditions that get turned off in Dremer invasion). Usurping basically all the power, he subjugated, killed or drove off all of the other Great Mages of Ardania.

The exiles found themselves traveling the shards, demiplane-lite remains of worlds that Dremers actually managed to conquer. Of course, with Great Mage status comes great ambition, so many of them aim to return to Ardania, punish the traitors and kill the everloving crap out of the United One.

But first you have to find Ardania. Let the dimension hopping, gate crashing adventures begin!

What gatecrashing adventures?



I’ll be playing the most regular Exiled campaign. I won’t change difficulty nor monster spawns, because it’s already ridiculous in this game. Witness the numbers of my first playthrough:



Monster spam is most likely the developer’s way of working around the fact that AI in this game is rock stupid. I mean really, really dense. It’s not uncommon for one to fuck up own economy so much that they can’t really expand outside their own shard. They’re also really bad at dealing with the more powerful monster spawns (in a game that has plenty of those), it’s almost sad.



Anyways, a huge world (big is best and I never play Battlefield matches that are smaller than 64 players) will enable me to show off many pretty shards and all that, and maybe even get all of the temple units! If audience wants it, I can play against 5 mages, it's not like they're of any threat.

I believe I’m in a position to update once every two days and my aim is to “git 'er done” ‘till October, rather than taking a year, a month and ten days like the last time.

How about some voting?

This just in: the race is not up for vote. The vanilla races have NOTHING new to them, so it would be extremely boring for me. Planestriders are kind of lame (I played my first W2E campaign as them), so we’ll be taking Svarts, the best race.

You, however, have about a day to vote for which Great Mage I’ll play. The information about them will be posted below. It’s really a question of fluff, and I’ll try to roleplay a the chosen mage to my of best capability.

The race will still be Svarts, tho!

Spoilers!

I’m under the impression that people would like to be surprised by what units Svarts actually have, so please, only discuss them after I build them. I’m also asking you to refrain from spoiling the plot of the campaign!

Discussion on the events of previous games and especially lore is welcome, because I only ever managed to play Majesty 2 and that's only up to that one level with the dragon.

Mods?

W2E supports mods and, by the looks of it, the game isn't that hard to mod (then again, I'm not a modeler nor a programmer, so that's my asspulltise talking). If you have any that you fancy, I can testdrive them in separate, non canon posts – or maybe see how they go after the main LP. This would probably be for the best considering fan made races (which I expect are unbalanced as all hell).

If you would port Imperial Guard from Dawn of War to the game, I’d be eternally thankful.
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