Warlock - Master of the Arcane Catch All

This got an interesting update a couple of days ago: terrain now affects buildings, ala Civ: desert produces more mana but less food, plains produce more gold, etc. Changes things up quite a bit, although like tboon, I still play it in mindless mode. Sort of an odd update considering how long it's been out.

I noticed this too. I think I also read that lava does damage to units who remain on it. I thought that would be pretty severe as I recall there typically being a lot of lava.

I've never found a lot of lava. It also increases upkeep of any buildings on it by 3g. Just finished a game with the new patch on, didn't make much of a difference, but I was on Normal difficulty. Is the swamp new as well? It's a nasty bugger of a tile.

Swamps were in the original release. I used them as passive defenses. Put a tower or two near them, and any landings in that area get slaughtered.

Anyone tried the new DLC? Elves and Artifacts.

Tamren wrote:

Anyone tried the new DLC? Elves and Artifacts.

Here's a let's play for the Elves:

D-Man777 wrote:

I noticed this too. I think I also read that lava does damage to units who remain on it. I thought that would be pretty severe as I recall there typically being a lot of lava.

Early on, you would get maps that were 50% lava. They released an update that reduced the prevalence of that and deserts, so that your world wasn't always a blasted hellscape.

I noticed that "usual lords" are Advanced units that top out at level 15, have unique perks, and can use artifacts, but I wasn't able to find out if they are upgradable like other Advanced units are.

The reason I ask is because I have used up four of my slots with lords early on in the game. Three with usuals and one with a famous (the ghost rocks btw, especially against melee or ranged only foes) and it would suck if I were not able to upgrade them as the field escalates.

The lords I have include: 1) the first sharpshooter (a goblin advanced bowman), 2) the dark mage (human caster), 3) the high healer (human healer), and 4) the olden ghost.

The ghost has no upgrade path, but the goblin bowman upgrades to a champion of grum gog if I build a temple. The dark mage, likewise, upgrades to the elite unit Magisters. And I think the healers can be upgraded to the priestess of agrella with the addition of a temple to the same.

That would take some of the sting out of not being able to recruit legendaries in the late game.

I was gifted this game by D-Man. Wow, I am addicted. The graphics engine definitely isn't as smooth as Civ 5. Scrolling is slow and there's no auto-explore? But its easy to ignore those flaws.

Glad you're enjoying it. I often try to get back to it but....

OH, SHINY!

Thanks again. So there is no auto-explore correct? Just want to make sure I didn't overlook it.

This game is currently on steam for about 6 or 7 bucks and it includes all DLC, btw I am interested in doing some MP if anyone would like to add me on steam

Didn't even realize they were making a sequel:

http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2014...

kazooka wrote:

Didn't even realize they were making a sequel:

http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2014...

Yeah just saw that looks good. I quite liked the first one but it did lack some depth and endgame content for me.

I just started playing this over the weekend (completely independent of the sequel coming out actually, I didn't know about the Sequel until Steam told me the first time I closed the game).

I've played one full game so far, a completely default setup (normal difficulty, four total mages, medium continents world, two pocket dimensions) and had a really great time, so much of the awesomeness of Dominion with all the playability of Civ V. I was already having a lot of fun with little resistance enchantments on my units, once I got to the point where I could change the landscape and bless towns I was completely in love.

While the Normal AI was pretty easy, it seems like they have had a couple improvements from the early days of this thread. While the AI did definitely seem overly aggressive and prone to starting wars it had no intention of prosecuting, when it did decide to fight a war it seemed to do ok. Enemy units were summoned behind my lines, they focused fire to good affect, etc. As for the strategic AI, well that's where it fell behind, with over time it's good tactical decisions not being able to keep up with the masses of defensive and offensive boosts I had layered on my elite units, which isn't too surprising on a "normal" difficulty setting.

Now I am around 75 turns into a Challenging game, a large one with the maximum world size as well as opponents and pocket dimensions. I've once again started out on a Pole, which I'm guessing will prove to be an advantage as it simplifies my defensive options. Once again the AI has been aggressive, I received an unreasonable demand a few short turns after meeting my first other Mage (on another Continent, this was maybe 30 turns in). The difference, however, was that this time they immediately made good on their threat of force. The turn after they declared war I had 5 caravels outside my port town, shelling it. At this point I only had unit of archers, and they and the town itself were grossly unable to compete with the barrage. Once the town's defenses were demolished the summoned ghost wolf army began. Luckily an Elder Ogre had recently joined my service (unluckily recently enough that I hadn't been able to kit him out too well) and he and another melee troop of mine were able to hold them off. Soon, however, a troop of Vampires slipped past my beleaguered defenses (it was either heal the Ogre and let them through, or blast the Vampires and let the Ogre succumb to the enemy Navy). My mana reserves were dangerously low, and I would soon be unable to keep up the constant healing that kept my defense alive.

I sued for peace, giving away access to Lightning Bolt as well as around half my gold. While prosecuting the war I had also lost at least 4/5ths of my mana reserves. All around it still wasn't a terrible war, I had resisted hard enough that I purchased peace for substantially less than the demands that led to the war, and I had sustained no lasting damage during the fighting. I could only hope that the Empress had used as much mana summoning as I had in the defense.

Many turns later (probably about turn 60), the Empress once again made a ridiculous demand, and I once again refused. This time around, however, she did not immediately jump on me, perhaps expecting I would simply acquiesce to her demands after the last war. In the intervening turns I sent support to the port city, anticipating that it would once again serve as the focus of her wrath. This support took the form of a new Lord, a Rat Marksmen. He was armed with a bow that would occasionally let him shoot 3 tiles away, and was enchanted with all manner of offensive and defensive enchantments, as well as bearing good equipment. I had one other ranged unit at this point, a powerful troop of Mages, as well as the original troop of archers. The Mages and Archers were stationed at the closest point between our two continents, at the mouth of the very narrow sea (maybe actually a wide river?) that split our two land masses. With the shielding of these two units I felt safe enough to risk transporting my Elder Ogre, also well enchanted (including a new Life Weapon enchantment that I was sure would seriously dismay the Undead minions of the Empress).

At this crossing the Empress must have realized that an actual confrontation was approaching, and soon her fleet once again surrounded my Port City. However, while most of her ships had gained a level or two, she had not expended any magical energy with any other improvements. Also, unlike the last battle where I was frantically imbuing Missile Resistance and healing, this battle began with my troops dug in and prepared, allowing me to go fully on the defensive. My Rat Lord sank one boat a turn, as did I, and the town itself assisted. Once again Ghost Wolves were summoned, but they were similarly less effective this time around, and I was able to ensure no other troops made successful landfall.

By this point my Mages had also made landfall (I sent them over as soon as their Navy appeared at my port and I knew they couldn't contest the crossing) and they joined my Ogre in his march north. Also in attendance was an entire other army, under the leadership of The Librarian. The Empress had apparently also earned his ire, and he too was marching on her lands. Sharing this common enemy he thought it only prudent to suggest a Non-Aggression Pact, which I accepted.

The Librarian's Troops made excellent cannon fodder, absorbing fire from the Empress and her troops alike. While the librarian seemed to be a good enough fellow, I passed along clear orders to my troops "Make directly for the cities, take them before The Librarian can".

My Elder Ogre waded past and around the defenders and immediately began battering down the city walls, the fireballs of my Mages arcing over his head. The Empress had had enough, and sued for peace, but I had already taken the city, and the next one looked positively scrumptious! It had a cheese cave and everything, that sounds nice, right? Interestingly enough, the Librarian did accept his peace deal, but that wasn't a big problem for me. The Empress's forces were in disarray, and I was able to mop them up and move on. As I walked on to the land of the second city and began attacking it The Librarian belatedly realized how vulnerable The Empress was, and decided he did indeed want a piece of the pie. He reignited his war with the Empress.

He was too late to make a play for the second city, and after that the Empress's lone finger of a land ended. Here were two cities, close enough to support each other, with a couple forts and a larger collection of armies, as well as a second sizable navy. I decided that I had suitably punished the Empress for her transgressions, and that further excursions were premature. If the flighty Librarian wanted the spoils of war after all he would have to seize them himself. (Which I personally doubt he can accomplish, but we'll see. If his advance is not blunted as I expect, I may trade places with him as the opportune scavenger.

I just started playing this a couple weeks ago myself and absolutely love it. I have no idea when I got the game but glad I did. Needless to say, Warlock 2 is now on my wishlist.

I've played through 2 games so far with my second game being my most dominant. Rather than take over enemy cities I would instead burn them to the ground and replace them with my undead settlers. By the time the remaining mages recognized me as their ruler I had about 2/3 of the map populated by nothing but the undead, save my heroes and a couple of gold dragons I had brought in from one of the pocket dimensions that I'd settled. Those things were just beasts. Sending them in solo to a population 12 city that they would then take over in 3 turns? No wonder everyone bowed to my mage once I had the second gold dragon come flying out of the dimensional portal.

Wait, did the enemy mages actually surrender to you? Or did you achieve some other victory like the Holy Ground victory?

I think I'll try the Dremel Armaggedon playstyle next, where powerful demons spawn in through gates that crop up everywhere, and you have to keep them from terraforming and controlling the world.

My second play through is going pretty well. I had a few turns of peace to consolidate my gains, and to watch the forces of the Librarian repeatedly fall prey to the enormous navy locked the Empress had locked in what was either a small sea or a large lake in between her land and the Librarians.

It was absolutely possible to avoid the sea, detouring around it to stay three tiles away, but the Librarian continuously failed to do so. Between his poor tactical decisions and the evaporation of my support the Librarian was quickly beaten back. Soon thereafter the Empress was able to regain her force concentration in the area of her two captured cities, and she once again made ridiculous demands of me. She must have thought that she had somehow acquired an edge over me, but I saw no evidence of that. While the Empress had replenished the size of her army they were only fresh recruits, in no way able to stand toe my elite troops.

Now, there were a couple things in the Empress's favor, or which she must have thought were in her favor. First of all, the enormous navy performing such an admirable job blocking the Librarian, and secondly, at the cessation of hostilities I had pulled back half of my army in the hopes of beginning exploration and expansion east of my Empire. Only a troop of archers and my Elder Ogre had remained behind, and while my archers were gifted with arrows I had imbued with the power of Life Energy, all in all they were still ineffective against the skeletons the Empress favored.

If that's what the Empress thought, she was sorely mistaken, I could easily avoid her landlocked navy, and while I may not be able to press on the offensive without reinforcements, my Elder Ogre could hold off anything the Empress threw at him indefinitely. So all in all, while I would have liked more time to bless my cities and land without distraction, it certainly wasn't worth the hundreds of gold and mana the Empress was demanding. War it is, hustle back to the front returning troops! Here, I'll lift the land up from the depths of the sea so that you can make it back quicker!

I was also able to pressure the Empress on an entirely different front. I had finally devised the ability to enchant an individual with the ability to stride on the surface of the water, and had endowed my First Marksman with that ability. He had thus far mainly been hunting sea monsters and scavenging the wrecks of the ships they had sunk, but in doing so he had found the Empress's eastmost coastal city. He headed there now, to single-handedly trade bow shots with the defensive fortifications.

His first attempts to take the city were repulsed after a couple turns, and I pulled him back, letting him spend a few days recovering, rocked to sleep every night by the waves under his magically bouyant camp. He returned to the offensive with a much larger variety of defensive and offensive enchantments, giving him the ability to break through and take the city single-handedly.

Meanwhile, on the Western Front, my seasoned Warriors, Mages, and a fresh Mage troop had arrived. With that support the Elder Ogre was able to push onwards, crushing the enemy armies and capturing towns.

With three new acquisitions (bringing my total number of 'formerly-Empress' towns to five) the Empress again realized her folly and begged forgiveness, offering a large portion of her wealth as restitution. I was not impressed. While I would have liked very much to return to stewarding and developing my lands in peace, I feared for my future. The Librarian had called off our previous alliance, and though we retained a non-aggression pact, I worried at what would happen if our relationship continued to worsen. My new acquisitions were squarely between the Librarian and the rest of The Empress's territory, could I one day find myself fighting against both of them simultaneously? If events ever did bring the Librarian and I to blows I was certain that the Empress would seize that moment...

No, I decided that I was fed up with the Empress and her lunacy. Even if I had finally taught her a lasting lesson (which I doubted) certainly her petty, violent ways would swiftly be turned on another. Better to overthrow her and bring her to justice, so that these lands would finally have a lasting peace...

Yonder wrote:

Wait, did the enemy mages actually surrender to you? Or did you achieve some other victory like the Holy Ground victory?

I honestly have no clue how I won and it surprised me when the screen popped up. I had a little over 40% of all holy sites so pretty sure that wasn't it. The victory screen was just a picture of my guy standing on a balcony with a crown looking over a sea of adoring subjects while saying something along the lines of all of the mages now acknowledge my rightful place as supreme leader and how I went on to lead the world into a new age of peace and prosperity.

Of course they acknowledged my right place right after I had fully secure one portal dimension, was sending multiple settlers into an already secured second portal dimension and I had two gold dragons flying around knocking over major cities like they were made out of cards. That sort of thing helps people realize just how awesome you are.

On my second playthrough I began using the raise and lower land features a lot more and it really paid off. Nothing like facing a huge group of super tough enemies, dropping the land out from under them so that they're all suddenly in sea transports that only have 10 hps and then burning them all with a fiery maelstrom. In addition to that you can raise up mountains to funnel enemy walkers, drop land down into the sea to give yourself a nice moat or just make yourself a little land bridge to attack an enemy from an unexpected side. Honestly, I don't think I ever saw an enemy mage use a land altering spell. They seemed to stick to summoning a bazillion ghost wolves and throwing around fireballs.

They sure do love their Ghost Wolves, I have seen city blessings though, and very, very occasionally I see unit blessings.

For the next few years I tightened the noose around the Empress's neck, sweeping up her border provinces and surrounding her Capital in the embrace of my lands and magical energies. If self-deception were one of my vices I could have come up a handful of justifications for this, but the truth was pure greed. After being antagonized by the Empress so I desired all of the spoils of her land for myself. I knew that many of her other neighbors also deserved recompense, in fact it was entirely possible that some of the lands now coming under my control once belonged to those same neighbors.

Some of it, however, was the quite reasonable wish to preserve myself and my subjects. As I spread Northward I began to come in contact with other powerful mages, and after my experiences with the Empress I saw it only prudent to fortify my own power in case other adversaries rose among my peers. One new neighbor was a wise, old, congenial Orc. He was quite polite, and our relationship flourished rapidly, helped along partially due to our mutual animosity of the Empress. There was a small point of time in which he was fighting my ally the Librarian, but their lands were not close enough to each other for that struggle to amount to much, and soon I found myself allied to each party, while they enjoyed peace between themselves.

My other new northern neighbor was the "Dragon Queen", a self-proclaimed title which I found a little insulting and racially insensitive considering I actually am a dragon, and she seemed to be entirely human (and yes, I do understand that "seems" is a dangerous word when speaking of magic users at our level). Ridiculous moniker aside, I was prepared to be entirely polite to her, but she didn't seem to think I deserved the same favor, declaring war on me with no provocation. (Well, ok, the friendly Orc I allied with was her enemy, but he had not requested my aid in that battle. Her fear that I would intercede was reasonable, but I fail to understand why she desired to accelerate the opening of hostilities on a second front, even if she did view those hostilities to be inevitable). On some level, however, I appreciated her honesty of directly declaring war rather than making ridiculous demands like the Empress did.

My new borders did match the Dragon Queen's on on one small spit of land, so I left my troop of Hunters there to defend that city. They were my least powerful unit, so would not be missed in the ongoing sieges of the Empress's remaining cities, but would hopefully be powerful enough to slow the tide of whatever the Dragon Queen intended to send my way.

She never even violated my borders. A few turns later the good Orc took that city from her and we no longer shared a border at all. Many, many turns later I finally decided that this phantom war was silly and requested peace from her. After many years of the Orc Mage getting the better of her on the field of battle she was woefully poor, the only demand I made of her to cease our hostilities was the soul spell she had unraveled that was not in my own library, the art of summoning Ghost Wolves. Her relief that I did not appear to desire to join the Orc in his battle against her was pathetically obvious.

During the "war" with the "Dragon Queen" my actual war with the "Empress" wrapped up. My main army continued wrapping around the coast from the West, while my water walking Rat Sharpshooter and his warrior honor guard bore down from the East. Soon the only city remaining was the Capital housing the Empress herself. While every turn she hurled powerful fireballs from the ramparts, her defeat was inevitable. Like so many fortifications before, her walls were swept away by the enchanted club of my Elder Ogre.

While I am a merciful ruler in general, a foe as powerful as the Empress can not simply be imprisoned or pardoned without enormous risk. I offered her a choice: a swift death, or to submit to me as I attempted to sever her ties to the essence of magic. Once she was weak enough that she no longer posed a risk to me or my lands I would allow her peace and relative freedom.

The process was rarely done, it was risky, unreliable, tortuously painful, and liable to permanently damage unintended portions of the body and mind. The Empress agreed to undergo it, she was desperate to live at any cost. Six hours into our first session that was no longer the case.

Difficulty differences? I'm playing Armageddon expansion on Impossible setting with the largest world and the most rival mages.

What are the differences in difficulty? More HP? More monster spawns?

I wonder how high you can put the difficulty before the AI stops getting smarter and simply gets a bunch of statistical bonuses.

Tamren wrote:

I wonder how high you can put the difficulty before the AI stops getting smarter and simply gets a bunch of statistical bonuses.

I tried the easiest settings and the smallest world. And I've had a lot of beer sooooo. Combat was easier to resolve in some cases but against the Dremer it was still tough. It still spawned its fortresses into range of my cities borders and the entities themselves were still tough-as-nails. They hit a little less harder though.

I'm still just starting out in Warlock 2, and it's pretty different from the earlier Warlock in the terrain. Tell me, how do you guys deal with a portal to a new area that consists of about 8 land hexes and then a water barrier? Should I put a city there so I can build ships and cross it? Or is there some other technique I've not considered?

Robear wrote:

I'm still just starting out in Warlock 2, and it's pretty different from the earlier Warlock in the terrain. Tell me, how do you guys deal with a portal to a new area that consists of about 8 land hexes and then a water barrier? Should I put a city there so I can build ships and cross it? Or is there some other technique I've not considered?

Yeah, I would build a city there, the fact that loading and unloading takes an entire turn is as useful defensively as it is annoying. Later in the game a combination of Water Walking and Raise Terrain will make it much more convenient.

Tamren wrote:

I wonder how high you can put the difficulty before the AI stops getting smarter and simply gets a bunch of statistical bonuses.

It never gets smarter, unlike Civ. When I stopped playing I was pushing the top of the difficulty. The closest you can get to a challenge in Warlock is small maps with few opponents, so you end up facing off against them while you are still trying to forge an empire. Once you get a solid foothold in both cities and units, you can wear them down by attrition. Setting up killing fields by raising mountains and lowering the land into the sea lets you stop any army cold.