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Warlock - Master of the Arcane - Finally, it's fun!

By on July 18, 2012 9:45:02 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Napean

Join Date 03/2003
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A day or two ago Steam starts hogging my bandwith; a 200MB patch for Warlock was being downloaded.  I take a few moments to read the cchange log: improved diplomacy, AI...Lords!...Artifacts!

I'm about 50 turns into a new game, and the improvements are stupendous.  The interface has been juiced a bit as well.  There's a Perk arrow and Upgrade arrow on units now (maybe it was always there, but I hadn't noticed those things in 50 hours of gameplay - thanks Steam for telling me how much time I waste ), which makes it easy to upgrade early-game units into their advanced descendants.

The diplomacy revamp is nice.  There's a breakdown of factors effecting current dispositions.  AI seems more proactive as well, asking for peace when it knows it can't maintain a war, instead of waiting until it starts losing territory.

Lords (think heroes/champions from MoM, Elemental, HoMM) are game changers.  A single lord can accomplish in short order what would take standard units a long time to accomplish.  There will probably be balance issues later in the game, but early on, they're great!

Artifacts are just things your Lords can use.  I like the approach of converting artifacts only to mana instead of gold; maybe Elemental could try this out, to address the artifact unbalancing the economy issue that currently makes artifacts either very effective...or dead weight.

City conquest seems harder (which is good).  You can still do it with standard units, but siege equipment is a must for quick conquests.

 

All in all, this patch validates the purchase I made of Warlock.  In fact, to make sure development would continue, I even bought the DLC with the serpent mage and race; never play them ("I hate snakes"), but I know making a game takes money.

 

Any other thoughts out there?

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July 18, 2012 10:23:39 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I agree the changes are really nice.  I particularly like the lords and artifact additions.  However, they might be glass cannons since I keep getting them killed...but maybe that is just me being too aggressive with them.

 

The diplomacy changes are nice, but the AI still seems manic about declaring war & offering peace.  In one game an AI declared war and brokered a peace treaty 3 times in a span of about 15 turns.  It seems that there really cannot be any peace between warlocks.  I hope future patches address the diplomacy/AI more and make having a relatively peaceful civilization a reality.  With that being said, the game is a lot of fun  and a recommend it for anyone that likes TBS.  I think STEAM has it on sale now

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July 18, 2012 10:49:26 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Oh snap I completely missed that it was out! Steam is kind of bad at showing which version you are currently playing of a game.

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July 18, 2012 11:29:08 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Yes...Steam is kinda sneaky about updates.  There is that bottom line of the window that shows something is downloading...and even then it isn't entirely clear what the patch includes unless there is a post in the news about it.

Most times I find myself booting up the game to see what the update was.

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July 18, 2012 8:38:55 PM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

Hmm...an update.  Thats exciting.  I liked the game, but it had so many little flaws.  Maybe this can fix them.

But yes, there was an upgrade arrow earlier.  It was very necessary, since you really wanted all your resists at 100 or so late game in Impossible.

Apparently the AI is harder now too, which is the big deal.  Previously the AI would just watch you city spam on impossible until you built up an empire 3x the size of anybody else and started murdering.

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July 19, 2012 6:39:12 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

DLC's for TBS games? Is that how it is now 

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July 19, 2012 8:39:44 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting TorinReborn,
DLC's for TBS games? Is that how it is now 

That's how the industry is these days.

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July 19, 2012 9:23:32 AM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

Quoting TorinReborn,
DLC's for TBS games? Is that how it is now 

200MB patch that adds significant new features for free and someone has to bitch about the DLC that was released two months ago (and is not necessary in any way whatsoever for enjoying the game - it's just nice to have).  Typical internets.

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July 19, 2012 9:59:57 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting TorinReborn,
DLC's for TBS games? Is that how it is now 

Yes,I think so.  I don't really mind so long as the content improves the game.  To me, there's not much difference between buying six DLC's that provide incremental change to a title, or buying a $30 expansion.  So long as the quality of the title is improved.

 

For Warlock, the excitement around it right now is from the FREE patch.  Just update and you're gravy!

As for Lords being glass cannons, I haven't run into that yet.  I had a human fighter who regularly went toe-to-toe with giants (actually saved a couple of my frontier towns from a monster spawn event).  I'll see how they pan out late-game.

 

On another note: this has been a GREAT summer for the games I play:

Sword of Islam made Crusader Kings 2 better...and I didn't think that was possible!  Expanded map!  Improved UI!  Improved AI!  Islamic play!  Improved combat engine!

Patch for Warlock, as already mentioned.

Gods and Kings is okay.  What I really like is the Fall of Rome scenario; I now play that almost exclusively, each time as the Byzantines (was there ever a greater empire ?)

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July 19, 2012 8:23:12 PM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

Lords (think heroes/champions from MoM, Elemental, HoMM) are game changers.  A single lord can accomplish in short order what would take standard units a long time to accomplish.  There will probably be balance issues later in the game, but early on, they're great!

I really don't find Lords that powerful.  They seem to be somewhere between Advanced and Elite units in strength.  So they aren't going to do what your Paladins of Dauros can do, but they usually come earlier.

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July 20, 2012 11:11:11 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Krazikarl,
Lords (think heroes/champions from MoM, Elemental, HoMM) are game changers.  A single lord can accomplish in short order what would take standard units a long time to accomplish.  There will probably be balance issues later in the game, but early on, they're great!

I really don't find Lords that powerful.  They seem to be somewhere between Advanced and Elite units in strength.  So they aren't going to do what your Paladins of Dauros can do, but they usually come earlier.

A Lord gain more levels with the same amount of XP (so, he level faster), and have more choice in level perks, so he's better then a unit.

there are also different types and degree of Lords: the most powerful cost 2000 gold to be enlisted and are VERY powerful

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July 20, 2012 7:35:51 PM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

Quoting Brago,

Quoting Krazikarl, reply 10Lords (think heroes/champions from MoM, Elemental, HoMM) are game changers.  A single lord can accomplish in short order what would take standard units a long time to accomplish.  There will probably be balance issues later in the game, but early on, they're great!

I really don't find Lords that powerful.  They seem to be somewhere between Advanced and Elite units in strength.  So they aren't going to do what your Paladins of Dauros can do, but they usually come earlier.

A Lord gain more levels with the same amount of XP (so, he level faster), and have more choice in level perks, so he's better then a unit.

there are also different types and degree of Lords: the most powerful cost 2000 gold to be enlisted and are VERY powerful

 

Elite units generally have much higher base stats than lords, so they start off much stronger.  While they might not level up as fast, the game typically doesn't last that long past when the most powerful lords show up.

Maybe if you are playing for hundreds of turns on a huge map the Lords end up getting more powerful, but when I play the games are usually decided prior to turn 150, so its not like the most powerful lords have much time to level up.

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July 23, 2012 4:13:15 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Krazikarl,
 

Elite units generally have much higher base stats than lords, so they start off much stronger.  While they might not level up as fast, the game typically doesn't last that long past when the most powerful lords show up.

Maybe if you are playing for hundreds of turns on a huge map the Lords end up getting more powerful, but when I play the games are usually decided prior to turn 150, so its not like the most powerful lords have much time to level up.

In the current game I took the Ogre Lord (150 gold lord), he can attack an hex and the two adjacents with a power of 48 (and with the siege bonus I can make 100 damage to a city).

(I am at turn 48, normal map)

Yes, you have to focus on them (magic, perks...), but is  the same with the veteran elite units.

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July 24, 2012 12:26:40 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Picked this game up during the Steam sale and haven't regretted it, except for when there is an elite Fire Elemental right next to my capital

A few questions for you smart people:

-I bought the DLC with it, but don't see it in my steam library. Is it automatically integrated into the game? (I haven't bought DLC before)

-Is there a breakdown of prereqs for buildings somewhere? I can't seem to right click them for more info like I can other things.

-Are Lords just completely random in terms of when you can hire them and which ones offer their services? I've only seen the goblin archer and ogre thus far, despite playing as human.

-Are there no power stat graphs? I love me some power stat graphs.

 

As for the lords being OP, I kind of agree, but I think it depends on what perks you have available (in my experience with low level lords so far). With the goblin archer, there were the standard unit perks and then there was a +50% death dmg that considerably increased his dmg. Seems a little unbalanced?

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July 24, 2012 2:52:38 PM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

Quoting AragornV,
Picked this game up during the Steam sale and haven't regretted it, except for when there is an elite Fire Elemental right next to my capital

A few questions for you smart people:

Well I'll take I shot until the smart people get here.

-I bought the DLC with it, but don't see it in my steam library. Is it automatically integrated into the game? (I haven't bought DLC before)

Automatically integrated.  If you want to be absolutely certain, just check if the lizard chick is available as one of your leader choices when starting a game.

-Is there a breakdown of prereqs for buildings somewhere? I can't seem to right click them for more info like I can other things.

This is my biggest pet-peeve with the game.  You should be able to right click for more info!!  Since you can't, try clicking the little building icon below the building list and then all possible buildings for the settlement will be displayed (including those you can't build currently).  At least then you can mouse over and see what buildings lead to what on an individual basis.  Of course what I'd like to see is the effects of the benefits that are associated with each building... but that would require the right click thing.


-Are Lords just completely random in terms of when you can hire them and which ones offer their services? I've only seen the goblin archer and ogre thus far, despite playing as human.

Yes as far as I can tell.

-Are there no power stat graphs? I love me some power stat graphs.

No love for you. 

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July 25, 2012 1:06:08 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting AragornV,
 

With the goblin archer, there were the standard unit perks and then there was a +50% death dmg that considerably increased his dmg. Seems a little unbalanced?

 

Unless you have to kill tough undead things, then you're up poop creek without a paddle.

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July 25, 2012 9:22:53 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Thanks Stuie_ for your help!

Quoting jackswift85,
Unless you have to kill tough undead things, then you're up poop creek without a paddle.

Very true...

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July 30, 2012 7:12:56 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums


Back to the original topic, as someone who so far has passed on this title because of the way most people felt about the AI (as well as what the reviewers indicated was a serious lack of in-game information), has the patch changed either of this two issues significantly?

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July 31, 2012 7:05:04 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I really like the new patch with heroes, it's a simplistic system to give you custom units that you can grow and equip according to your whim. The only thing I don't like is that you can randomly find heroes from monster lairs. It just seems unbalanced, in this one game I was running I had two heroes, then I found another 2 within 1 turn of each other, both from monster lairs. It completely turned the game around.

Also, getting a bunch of healers when you're playing undead = for the lose. Then again having a unit with spirit and life damage when you're undead is pretty damn good.

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July 31, 2012 9:53:44 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I would suggest getting the game.  It is a lot of fun in its current state, especially with the diplomacy tweaks and heroes additions.  The AI is adequate.  It will challenge you at times, but with any TBS game you will eventually learn how the AI reacts and plan accordingly.  The game has currently implemented a multiplayer (BETA) which I haven't tried yet, but that may interest you as well.

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August 1, 2012 3:03:09 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

For me the AI is a total pushover, but I don't play on the hardest (and cheatiest) difficulties. I enjoy just playing the game, clearing out monsters and expanding at my own pace. 

I like the new lords, they are really well done for me. My main problem is that lords and items are very chance based. My first game with the patch I got a dozen items and only 1 lord for most of the game, then 3 lords at the end. In my second game, I got 2 lords to hire fairly quickly and no items. They need to add spells that summon lords and craft items, even if they just randomly spawn something for you.  

And you can still get it for cheap on amazon if anyone is still on the fence. 

http://www.amazon.com/Pint-Sized-Paradox-Package-Download/dp/B008G0ZXSK/

 

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August 1, 2012 11:08:50 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Oh my... is the multiplayer really designed without simultaneous turns? That's awful.

Since the AI hasn't improved and the MP is a joke, I'd say wait for a sale if you're going to get this game. It is really fun to learn the game and explore the world, but without proper AI or MP...

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August 2, 2012 11:28:24 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

They just released two more DLC packs with Artifact Creation/Trading and a 4th major race (Elves). Hopefully since the multiplayer is still "in beta" they'll get it up to snuff.

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August 10, 2012 5:18:09 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I must confess I spent quite a few hours with this game. It's not all that superb and exciting, but it has a strange, long-lasting kind of appeal. 

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August 18, 2012 12:31:45 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Fun game, but it suffers from "high level monsters appear suddenly right in the middle of your empire because we can't get the computer AI to put up a decent fight" syndrome.

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August 20, 2012 2:42:47 PM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

Quoting Glazunov1,
Fun game, but it suffers from "high level monsters appear suddenly right in the middle of your empire because we can't get the computer AI to put up a decent fight" syndrome.

Funny.  I know of another TBS fantasy game that does that.

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