Warlock: Master of The Arcane
What the hell?
Warlock: Master of the Arcane is a pretty simple fantasy 4X game that seems to have already overpowered 2 LPrs. Strange, since basically it's Baby's First 4X Game: Return of the Difficulty Spike. Build cities, train armies, wage war, fire spells, damn the AI. Usual 4X fare.
They told me games have plot...
In the tradition of modern 4X games, Warlock lacks a campaign, has some interesting (well, funny) lore. It's set in the universe of Majesty 2 - Ayn Rand's Fantasy Simulator - with unclear relation to that game's timeline. Most probably some time afterwards. I'll make shit up as I go because I'm not going to just spell out unit movements and, after a few turns, I'll leave the informative side altogether.
So what's new?
Well, usually 4X games rely heavily on research to build better units than the rest of the world and trample the AI spearmen under the threads of Future Murder Tanks. Not so here. Units are build and upgraded if you have the required buildings, which is more about city development (easy) and city positioning (easier). Research is done to get spells that your wizard ass can cast from his tower. Unfortunately, the game has failed to produced a clearly visible spell tree, but that's only a minor impetus. Most of the time your overtrained and overgeared units can do well.
Also, you have a bad case of Notmovingitus, which means that your capital never moves and you lose the game if it's destroyed. Be vary of enemy deep infiltration missions (that never happen on normal).
To keep the things interesting, monster spawners appear worldwide at random intervals. This is annoying, especially in cases of small, undeveloped cities.
Aside from the main world, there are pocket dimentions that can only be accessed by gates. This is a whole new level of "fun".
So, what's the world gonna be like?
I'm going to play normal difficulty and without the "50% Holy Grounds" option. I doubt the enemy AI will be smart enough to do the other things and I have no idea what's an avatar.
I'm thinking about making a world somewhere between normal and huge. It will be mostly continents, so I'd be separated from other mages at the beginning, but still have place to develop. Also, sea travel and seas in general suck. I'll take 6 opponents because... why not? 8 would be too much, especially in prolonging the endgame and interrupting my Teleport/Resurrect spells. The number of planes is set to highest because I want to show them off - well, show their terrain texture off. I also like the idea of pocket dimensions.
Cylindrical map means that we can go south (or west) till we reach the place where we left off. Hurray for realism?
This is your prebaked mage selection. Note the lore! Mages give a name and a face to your nation, as well as perks. These can vary from immediate resource bonuses (hello, wasted points), to unit enhancements and spells researched. Again, pretty much run of the mill stuff.
Some of the mages are pretty cooky.
Channel your inner furry!
This means I have the elf DLC!
Create a magical idiot
Here's the wizard/nation creation screen. You have points, and perks and spells cost points. Simple. You can also change name, portrait, color and race. Notice how lame all of the banners are.
Here's a sample character I created for the test post play.
Twik the Goatrapist is a Koatl pervert who became a great wizard through the power of goat love. He commands a Monster nation, because nobody else would accept him and making love to undead goats is just obscene. Twik, having spent most of his time in farm and barns, knows something about Farming (Food income bonus). Also, while tending to his band of lovers and organizing their defense from wolves and their rightful owners, he became A Glorious Tactician (10% to unit attack). It's still a mystery how he learned magic (Fireball and Healing).
You get to vote for which race I play!
Humans: Your run of the mill inhabitants of Every Fantasy Game Ever. Generic to the core, easy to play, not that badly voiced. Masters of Gold production, which is really important when you want to upgrade your units with best gear. Have the biggest variety of Holy Grounds units.
Monsters: Organized and civilized Goblins, Werewolves, Rat Pirates, oh my! Max out food production AND have beastly bonuses. Also come with voice acting and lines so bad, that it should be classed as a war crime.
Undead: Skeletons - well, you know the drill (no fat chicks?). Take less damage from arrows and black magic. Take mana upkeep which might be inconvenient for a spell slinging player. Have the most awesome unit in the (DLC-less) game: Galleus of the Sky.
Arethi Elves: The DLC race! Basically the Space Marines of the setting: all male (women fucked off to the woods - seriously), more expensive and thus better units than everyone else. Speak in Elvish, so at least we're spared horrible lines. Are actually armored and pro-order, unlike the usual Dark Elf BDSM fare. Like the Undead, have a flying ship. Unlike with the Undead, this one wasn't made by replacing a dragon model with a ship. Much like the Undead, these pose a challenge when making any sort of narrative.
Another big point
The Armageddon DLC gives you a whole new game mode: defeat an an alien invasion from one of the pocket dimension! Some game designer probably took offense at allegations that randomly appearing monster spawners are annoying and decided to teach us a lesson. You know, like in hentai, where they rape a girl till she likes it, here you get really, really powerful spawners and monsters. Playing Armageddon could mean losing, since I've no experience with. Victory conditions are replaced by victory against the alien invaders. Have your say and I'll take this into consideration!
I'll try updating this once a week because I actually have obligations to play other games.
Table of Contents
- Chapter 1: Landing on Goblin Rock
- Chapter 1.5: A Growing Backwater Empire.
- Chapter 2: Taming the wilds
- Chapter 3: The Invasion
- Chapter 4.1: Lycanthrope Oblige
- Chapter 4.2: From the War to the Wilds
- Chapter 4.3: Damned Wilderness
- Chapter 4.4 The Amazing Adventures In Thread Lock Dodging
- Chapter 5.1: Even The Smallest Of News
- Chapter 5.2: Hateful Universe
- Chapter 5.3: Even Worse Tidings
- Chapter 6: Anchored To The End of the World
- Chapter 7: Anchor Crisis
- Chapter 8: A slipping world.
- Chapter 9.1: Taking Care of Business
- Chapter 9.2: Help
- Chapter 10: The Direst Of Portents
- Chapter 11: Wild Fronts and Frontiers
- Chapter 12: Invading Demiplanes
- Chapter 13: Beyond Deaths Door
- Chapter 14: Forward Onto Glory
- Chapter 15: Who Mourns for Dremargor?