Lo! Warlock: Master of the Arcane Closed Beta

By Jim Rossignol on December 7th, 2011 at 3:28 pm.


Hey, you look ripe for some testing of a turn-based fantasy strategy game with RPG-elements. Yes, I knew you would be, and that’s why you’re going to click over here and apply for the Warlock: Master of the Arcane beta, which has just been announced by the Paradoxes. They explain: “Set in the Majesty series’ fantastical world of Ardania, players have to manage cities, muster armies and enlist the help of three unique races without neglecting their wizardly training- dedicated scholars will find that a new spell combinations or powerful enchantments can be as dangerous as an army.” If you need more convincing there’s a baffling teaser trailer below, voiced by someone pretending to the Sean Connery. I wish I knew who to blame.

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44 Comments »

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  1. Premium User Badge

    Fiyenyaa says:

    That screen looks *exactly* like Civ 5.
    I actually kind of want it, now.

    • Giggity says:

      These are my first thoughts on the screen too

    • ZIGS says:

      I swear I thought this was a Civ 5 mod

    • Chalky says:

      Wow, my thoughts exactly. I saw it and thought “Excellent! A decent looking Civ 5 mod!”

      I wonder if “forum membership” is a requirement for their beta selection process. I signed up an account just to apply.

    • Premium User Badge

      Shar_ds says:

      All the other screens look like Civ 5 too…. this could be great…. or it could have the AI of a lobotomised sea urchin (a la CivV)…

    • MonolithicTentacledAbomination says:

      It’s uncanny. I would testify that those icons on the right side are Civ V assets.

    • Sorbicol says:

      Firaxis’s Lawyers must be looking at this very hard indeed……………..

    • Metonymy says:

      The great strength of the MoM franchise was its flexibility. It was far from balanced well, but the sheer number of possible openings, before the random map was even generated, ensured many enjoyable hours of play. Even though I understand the necessity of clean design and balance, those things so commonly reduce the starting options that I’m starting to dislike them.

  2. Creeping Death says:

    Turn based, RPG elements, Majesty universe? *signs up*

  3. pakoito says:

    Hexagones, exactly my kind of game. Beta applied.

  4. Abundant_Suede says:

    Hex grid? Fantasy? Turn Based strategy? Rpg elements?

    I’m incapable of not playing this, no matter how shameless the voice-over in the trailer is.

  5. WPUN says:

    Spaceship Warlock

  6. Calathas says:

    Awww! They even used the ogre model from Majesty 2. Im totally in.

  7. Sarissofoi says:

    Tbhis look like thay will use Fantasy War engine.
    It was decent Fantasy General remake.
    Look interesting.

  8. mompkin says:

    I believe the narrator is George Ledoux, who has narrated all the Majesty games. The ridiculousness is now part of Majesty canon! I suppose if it’s not actually him, that means the narrator is doing a George Ledoux impression…

    • Necroscope says:

      it’s sean connery impersonating george ledoux

    • mompkin says:

      Now we just need Sean Connery impersonating Darrell Hammond impersonating Sean Connery. Ideally while Alex Trebek is impersonating Will Ferrell impersonating Alex Trebek.

    • Hoaxfish says:

      For all I know, it’s Sean Connery putting on a Spanish accent

  9. Blackcompany says:

    Turn based strategy. RPG elements. This just seems…magical!

  10. Rahabib says:

    are there any games that are just turn based where you dont have to manage money and crap? Like Battle of Wesnoth or Military Madness?

    • Abundant_Suede says:

      I think you’re looking for a turn based tactical combat game like Kings Bounty.

    • killias2 says:

      I know it’s off the beaten path and old, but I highly recommend the Japanese Langrisser series. Only the first came to the West (known as Warsong on the Genesis), but the whole series is great. It has a Military Madness/Advance Wars-type base, but it adds RPG elements. If you’re worried it’d be too much like Shining Force or Fire Emblem, don’t worry: the Langrisser games involve a lot more troops and much more emphasis on combat and tactics. If you’re curious, Langrisser 2, Der Langrisser, Langrisser for PC, and Langrisser 4 have all been translated by fans. The patches are esoteric, but I can help you out.

      Also, I’d like to note that Battle of Wesnoth explicitly name-checks Langrisser as a source. On the wiki: “Wesnoth is based on the Sega Genesis game, Master of Monsters and Warsong (also known as Langrisser).” There are major differences between the two, and I never got into Wesnoth. Still, I thought that might be relevant.

    • Archonsod says:

      Fantasy Wars / Elven Legacy.

    • barjed says:

      @killas2

      Would you be so kind to help me out with these? I had heard about Langrisser over and over but never managed to try it. I am really craving a good sRPG in a spirit of FFT or something. I tried Wesnoth on iPad but it didn’t really connect with me, not sure why.

      Would you recommend Langrisser or Shining Force? From what I can understand from your post, Shining Force is supposed to have more RPG elements? I guess that would put Langrisser somewhere close to Advance Wars, which is also good.

      I’ve skimmed the net a bit and I can see that both of them are console releases so, I guess, a good emulator is the way to go?

      I’d appreciate any help, thanks!

    • killias2 says:

      @barjed
      Sure, I’m always down to get the word out about Langrisser. In general, Langrisser is a LOT like Advance Wars. Honestly, if you play both, there are lots of similarities. The big difference is that, in Langrisser, each unit you have is based on a squad with a squad commander. These squad commandoes are essentially the equivalent of heroes in FFT/Shining Force/etc., but, in addition to having equipment, skills, etc., they also have Advance Wars-type generic units under their command. Commanders interact with their squad units in two primary ways: 1. They provide attack and defense bonuses to squad units in their command area. 2. If wounded units end their turn adjacent to their commander (directly adjacent, not diagonally) then they heal on turn start. This adds a whole interesting element that no other war game I know of captures.

      Shining Force is definitely more RPG heavy. Langrisser games don’t have towns (SF does), they are scenario driven (SF has random battles and some exploratory elements), and they tend to offer less in the way of equipment and recruitment options. However, Langrisser’s battle system is a little bit more in depth, especially given that you’re in command of a much larger force and that there really isn’t a meta-game. The entire focus is on battles.

      As for entering the series, there are a number of great entry points:
      1. Warsong for genesis. You just need a genesis emulator and a Warsong rom. Google should be able to solve this in short order. However, Warsong is.. ugly, it lacks true ranged combat (other than magic), and it lacks some of the more RPG-y features of the later games. Still, it’s a great game.
      2. Langrisser for PC. This is a port of Warsong to PC. It never came out in English, but it has been fan translated. Basically, they took Warsong and added some of the features later games added. Also, it’s -way- better looking. The only downside here is that it’s a total pain to install. I’ll add more later on this, but you’d almost certainly need an XP virtual box on a modern OS.
      3. Langrisser 2 for genesis. This might be the best “classic” Langrisser game. Again, it wasn’t sold in the west, but it has been fan translated. The rom and emulator should be easy to find. http://mijet.eludevisibility.org/Langrisser%20II/LangrisserII.html – Most up-to-date copy of the patch itself.
      4. Der Langrisser for SNES. This is a remake of Langrisser 2 for the SNES. It is a lot easier, which is probably a weakness. However, it adds a bunch of alternative paths and hero recruitment opportunities. I guess you could say this game is a lot more RPG-ish, even if it lacks elements like towns. The newest translation is here: http://projects.elsallia.com/der-langrisser/downloads

      http://elsallia.com/ – This site has the best English forums on Langrisser.. even if they are still pretty deserted. It also has the best info. available and a lot of.. files you may be looking for.

      Honestly, they’re all good places to start. If I had to lean, I’d probably say L2 or DL, if only because L1 is so early and L1PC is so hard to install.

      Edit: Here are some details on installing PC that I wrote elsewhere on the intertubes:
      “Langrisser PC should be under its listing (http://elsallia.com/Games/LangrisserIPC). You’ll also want to grab the CD Fix thing from here: http://web.archive.org/web/20070617184032/http://www.cinnamonpirate.com/hobby/translation/lang1/ (Yes, we rely on the internet archive for major files….). If you use VirtualBox and get the current download off of El Sallia, you shouldn’t need the new patch (already integrated) or the Font fix. The CD Fix thing just lets you choose what drive the cd comes from. The game is pretty dumb, so it assumes everyone’s cd-rom is drive D.”
      Basically, go to the first link to download the game, the second to get the cd fix if your Virtualbox CD isn’t D, install the game in an XP virtualbox, and it should run fine.

    • killias2 says:

      @barjed
      I posted a long reply, but it is “awaiting moderation.” I’m guessing it will post sooner or later, but, if it doesn’t, come post at elsallia.com. I’ll tell you there what I attempted to tell you above.

    • Quirk says:

      @Rahabib:

      I can recommend Chess. Sure, it’s pretty old now, the graphics are kind of dated, and there’s no campaign mode, but the skirmish is fantastic. It’s insanely tactically rich and has a huge multiplayer community. There’s no money management, no resource count to keep track of, just your units. It’s well worth investing some time in.

      If you’re on the fence, RPS reviewed it a while back:
      http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2009/06/04/7-in-1-magnetic-family-game-chess/

  11. Nish says:

    So this is basically a clone of Stardock’s Elemental, right? Because it looks almost identical (aside from the hexes).

    Not that I am complaining, mind you — it’s a solid premise with some awful execution.

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      Anthile says:

      Seems more like Master of Magic to me.

    • Abundant_Suede says:

      Even if it’s just as bad in other respects, it’s already better than Elemental just by virtue of having a hex grid.

      Still, have no idea if this is more 4X (MOM) or more HOMM 3-ish.

  12. Tuco says:

    Please, please, please, be the Master of Magic’s spirtual successor which Elemental failed so hard to be.

    • killias2 says:

      Personally, I’m very optimistic about Fallen Enchantress. Still, we’ll see I guess.

      Between this, Masters of the Broken World, and Fallen Enchantress… we’re in a good time for MoM-likes.

    • Shandrakor says:

      I still have Impulse installed sheerly for Elemental, which I hope will be Pure Awesome…someday. I fired up MoM a few weeks back; getting it to play on today’s systems is a STRUGGLE. >.< This…could be awesome. Master of the Arcane, I choose you!

    • Kaira- says:

      Yeah, hopefully Fallen Enchantress will be good. Because Elemental in itself was so massive disappointment that I would’ve laughed if I hadn’t paid for it.

      Also, this game looks good, despite the awful Shoon Connery accshent.

  13. Berzee says:

    Man, it’s been *years* since I last heard that fake Sean Connery! I’m up for paying attention to anything Ardania-related (maybe Adepts will return at long last? maybe? no, you’re right, probably not…)

    More Gold, Your Majesty.

  14. IDtenT says:

    This raises an interesting question: Why are there not more Civilizations clones? Do I just not know of them? I’m down for a fantasy Civ clone.

    • Sorbicol says:

      Just download the Fall from Heaven II mod for Civ IV. All the fantasy Civ you’ll ever need. There’s a reason why Stardock hired Kael to sort out Elemental you know.

  15. Premium User Badge

    cog says:

    Hexes! It has hexes, precious! Lets just get out our wallet now, shall we? Yesss…

  16. Jezebeau says:

    Can they tell us what’s so unique about their three races?

  17. qptain Nemo says:

    Surely you meant “Lol! Warlock: … “.

  18. HardcoreGamer12 says:

    this some sort of CIV5 mod????

  19. SirDimos says:

    Woot, woke up this morning and received an email saying I was chosen for the Beta! Apparently more details are on their way come Mon. the 19th. :D