The RPS Verdict – Warlock: Master of the Arcane

By Alec Meer on July 30th, 2012 at 8:30 pm.

And lo did the two RPS Hivemind nodes who would always be picked first in any alphabetical order-based selection process gather to discuss Paradox/Ino-Co Plus’ turn-based, Master of Magic-esque strategy game Warlock: Master of the Arcane. Adam and Alec spaketh words at each other. Occasionally, they even listened to each other. To what end? Not a soul doth know. Here are those words.

Alec: WARLOCK: MASTER OF THE ARCANE is a turn-based strategy game about fantasy kingdoms at war that came out a little while back, but is one of those increasingly rare cases where more than one of us have played it. You’ve played tons of it, right?

Adam:Tons. If you could actually measure it as a weight or mass it would be like a spoonful of Mercury, or whichever that planet is. The one that the Flaming Lips sang about.

Alec: I think they sing about all of them, all the time, in quadraphonic sound.

Adam:They’ve probably written songs about Warlock as well, but those will be released on a rarities collection.

Alec: I’ve only played a campaign and a half, plus some mucking around with the beta version. I suspect I’d have played a lot more if it didn’t reset the graphics settings to 1024 and low detail every time I loaded it.

Adam:Did you try multiplayer?

Alec: no, not yet. I’m partly having this chat to try and decide if I should.

Adam:You should. We should. It works so well because even though there are four people ostensibly attempting to kill one another, usually the world is so violent toward them that they end up wounded and battered before they meet. Mighty armies march across the land and are reduced to ragged bands of weaklings before they even meet one another.

Alec: I get that from singleplayer too actually – my target is always interrupted by invading ratmen or demons from a magic portal. It’s very much a war of attrition, compared to the more chess-like Civ. This seems to be very much about building a road to your enemy on the dismembered bodies on your own fallen soldiers.

Adam:Absolutely. And caring about very little else in the meantime. If you’re not preparing for the war to end all wars by the third turn AT THE VERY LATEST, chances are you’re going to die. If you are preparing by the third turn, chances are you’re going to die a little bit later.

Alec: Heh. Yes, it takes some unlearning to not play it like Civ. This is conflict from the off – it’s just that it might be a cold war for a while rather than outright violence. I keep feeling like there’s something else I should be doing, but no, it’s all about bashing or getting ready to bash. Even the peaceful victory is dependent on having done loads of bashing so that your research isn’t interrupted.

Adam:Definitely – there’s no culture or technology. Spells don’t make the world a better place, they just make it burn in different colours.

Alec: It’s a very small game in its way, in terms of mechanics – but it manages to stretch that across large maps and get away with it

Adam:I think it’s better played on smaller maps. Mostly because I find I enjoy the shorter games more. Dense, packed with oddities and to the point. The longer a game goes on, the more chance there is I’ll just leave it. That never bothers me with Civ because in an unfinished game I still feel like I achieved something – there was an empire, a mark on the world – whereas in Warlock, more like a wargame, I like to have won or lost.

Alec: yeah, a couple of times it took so long to take down one enemy – because he had so many cities generating so many units – that the idea of doing it two or three more times was exhausting. It’s a relentless game, you don’t tend to get turns that you just wait out while your guys go for a wander or build a farm.

Adam:If they’re building a farm it better be a farm that grows food for a violent unicorn to eat. Because you’re going to need a violent unicorn at some point. Even though it’s easy to be critical of how narrow it is, Master of Magic wasn’t all that different. There was more variety, for sure, and there was tactical combat, but it was also a game about killing other wizards.

Alec: I like the choice you get whenever you get a rare resource tile ‘I could grow extra food for my people… Or I could build a shrine that allows me to give every one of my troops a magic amulet that sucks the lifeforce from their enemies.’

Adam:It’s a tough choice.

Alec: it’s no choice at all, is it?

Adam:Those people are hungry.

Alec: but they can’t fight. Screw ‘em!

Adam:But those amulets are incredibly awesome. Of course it’s going to be the amulets! EVERY TIME. That’s the heart of it – if they can’t fight, they might as well be dead.

Alec: I think you’re right that the small maps are the way to go – it must make it a little more boardgame-like. You’re straight into the fight, and you can see your enemies. There’s a lot of foreplay in the larger maps – everyone’s pretending to be at peace but no-one means it, not for a second. It’s like “let’s just admit our feelings for each other”. And then beasts will war.

Adam:Yeah, the best moments are the balance between handling the world itself and the problems it throws at you, and keeping an eye on your real enemies, looking for their weaknesses. And erogenous zones.

Alec: I did manage to broker an alliance, and an agreement that they’d help me fight my enemy.

Adam:WHAT

Alec: but once that was done it just felt really awkward. Now what? ‘Er. Well, we could just keep building stuff for no reason. Or…’ In actual fact I did pursue the happy-clappy spell of unification victory, but it was a huge anti-climax. Partly because the result was just a graphic and more wiffle from that bloody Sean Connery impersonator, and partly because the game is so clearly supposed to end in blood.

Adam:When I first played multiplayer the diplomacy options hadn’t even been implemented. That’s how little they matter. You saw someone and the game automatically declared war on your behalf. I noticed no difference. Somebody had to point out to me that diplomacy was missing.

Alec: haha. It’s Daily Mail diplomacy. ‘If they’re not like us, attack!’

Adam:And I am a man who barely ever builds a military unit in civilisation. I’m the whipping boy of the world.

Alec: I’m the same in Civ. Like I say, I had to force myself to play this as a battle game. But it’s been fascinating to go back to Warlock now I have acclimatised. I do just attack on sight now.

Adam:Me too at first. When I realised that’s what it was I started to enjoy myself.

Alec: I fear for what kind of Civ player this will make me.

Adam:I can’t imagine playing Civ that way – do you reckon there’s anything in the idea that because Civ is real cultures and ‘real’ history, we are both less inclined to be warlike? Because we are liberal babymen.

Alec: there’s definitely an element of “I can’t attack Ghandi!” when I play. Because, y’know, he’s *Ghandi.* Also, yeah, watching the news and seeing the horror of the world, I don’t really want to be one of those guy. The difference is, someone like Assad or Gaddafi is so mad as to be oblivious to the inevitable truth that he will lose eventually, whereas in Civ you actually can win. You can be a total fuck like that and win. The UN won’t stop you.

Adam:I think there’s some truth to it – I’d like to have a doves and hawks roundtable about Civ. See if there’s any correlation. I don’t feel like I’ve won if I just steamroll through my neighbours. I feel like a dick. Maybe a victorious one, I don’t know, but definitely a dick.

Alec: yeah, it’s creating a tidy garden by setting fire to everything, but I want to carefully remove the weeds and tend the borders, then have something so lovely that my neighbours are jealous.

Adam:In Warlock it doesn’t matter – it’s a cartoon. A violent, silly cartoon with gentleman werewolves and knights on donkeys.

Alec: let’s talk about the silliness though. I’m not sure the humour works for me. The voices are *too* panto. The other Ardania [the Majesty fantasy setting Paradox uses for many of its other titles] games are a bit like that – there’s no bite to their fantasy satire.

Adam:The voices are terrible. I just switch them off. I actually don’t mind it – it doesn’t make me laugh but I’d rather generic fantasy humour than just generic fantasy. I’d rather have something different entirely, but between those uncooked potatoes and these uncooked potatoes…

Alec: I don’t really know why I’m fighting either.

Adam:Because there are wizards and you are also a wizard.

Alec: I suppose that’s basically the cause of most real wars too. ‘Those people aren’t me! Get’ em!’

Adam: One of the things that confuses me is that the world is clearly not the entire world – you can see the borders and across them. Like, the edge of the map has more world beyond it.

Alec: isn’t that the wrapping thing? I think it’s supposed to loop like a globe, but it won’t actually let you leave the top and pop out the bottom. So I think you actually see a chunk of the land on the other end of the map repeated.

Adam:That is how much attention I pay – I didn’t realise it was a non-wrapping wrap. I thought it was just sectioning off the play area from an untouchable otherland. Like the area of conflict was segregated from somewhere possibly more civilised.

Alec: I might be wrong. I just read it as a slightly fumbled take on what Civ does.

Adam:That sentence is how a lot of people seem to view the game. Which is a shame.

Alec: yes, true, it might be causing people to dismiss Warlock when they really shouldn’t. I think it did pull a few punches and try to be more civlike than it deserves to be, though. It could have embraced the all-out war a lot more. Bigger, more devastating units, larger armies and whatnot. It feels a bit caught between two stools.

Adam:Yeah, it needs more tiers of unit. It’s too easy to find the best stuff and just concentrate on that rather than being surprised by something even bigger and better. For all the warlike warlockery there’s not enough room for escalation.

Alec: it’s exactly the sort of game I wanted to play when I gave my nights over to it a couple of weeks back, but I don’t currently feel like I could extract much more from it. I can sort of see exactly what needs doing from turn 1. I suppose it’ll be well-suited to expansion, but I worry slightly based on Majesty 2′s rather underwhelming add-ons that they’ll just add more units rather than alter and expand the mechanics.

Adam:We should definitely try some multiplayer. It doesn’t make it a different game, since human players only have limited decisions to make just as AI does, but it’s more amusing when you can see the anguish of a person behind every move.

Alec: yeah, knowing that when you take a city from an opponent you’re causing them pain will add a sweet, poisonous thrill. That there’s no reaction from the AI when I seize one of their towns is a bit flat, I’d quite like an Orc dude to pop up and scream abuse at me.

And in the game.

Adam:But he’d have a terrible voice. “YOU HAVE SHTOLEN MY SHITTY.”

Alec: then he would inexplicably build 30 units of bats simultaneously.

Adam:Oh yeah, you had the problem of never-ending conveyor belts of armies coming at you. That’s happened to me I’m sure but never to the extent that I feel like I’m just wading through a cheat factory.

Alec: I did have a couple of paranoid “hey, it’s cheating!” moments. But I suspect it’d had just arranged its economy in dark ways I have yet to ascertain myself.

Alec: anyway, I like the game despite this griping. It needs a bit more meat on its bones but it’s a success, I’d say.

Adam:Yes. It wasn’t very good at communicating what it was trying to do and I suspect that’s partly because it’s trying to do several things rather than just one thing very well.

Alec: EMBRACE WAR. Lose the smiley face and just stab stab stab.

Adam:And don’t forget your fireballs.

Alec: pfft, real men use lightning bolts.

Warlock: Master Of The Arcane is out now.

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50 Comments »

  1. wcanyon says:

    Good write up and good point about the WAR.

    I’m happy I bought it but damn is it buggy. Game crashes to desktop about once an hour, fails to utilize the oodles of RAM i have available, plenty of texture pop, frequently a half second lag when I click on a unit (talking 1 time in 3), sometimes elements on the screen will simply not be clickable, can’t heal a unit if he’s standing under a city’s banner.

    Oh and to cap it all off: 2-3 minute lag on starting the game just waiting for the first title screen to come up. After that it runs normally. There’s some fixes out there, but many don’t seem to work.

    All in all, a good game but I wouldn’t rush right out to get it based on the state of it’s polish. Endless Space was more polished in Alpha than this game is in Release.

    • jimangi says:

      Odd. I never had any problems like that.

    • PUKED says:

      Yeah that’s not right. Verify stream cache maybe?

    • Baines says:

      I’ve had a little lag when I load a game. Worse, I’ve had the game slow to a crawl when I played a match for several hours straight.

      Units standing under the city banner are annoying, but you can generally find a spot where you can select, attack, or heal them.

      It can also get annoying when I want to heal a unit (or do some other spell to a friendly), and the game suddenly decides I’m trying to select them instead. I then have to reselect the spell and try again.

      I once managed to get the game where it wouldn’t let me select a unit at all. I managed to click around until it fixed itself.

      The interface can use a few touch-ups. Though it is quite happy to give plenty of information in general, at other times it seems a bit stingy. For example, before I build a building, I can see what perks it makes available, but I can’t see the details of the perks from there. Some of the units have perks that aren’t exactly as descriptive as I’d like, either. Rats have Plague, but what does Plague do? What is the range of Teleportation? (Answer: Quite a lot further than I thought, but you have to cast it to see how far you can go. The spell description doesn’t tell you.) A bit of warning that entering a hex means I won’t be able to perform an action afterwards would be nice. There are all sorts of such annoying absences to encounter as you play.

      There is a bug with improvements in captured cities where you can end up with a greyed improvement that gives you all the benefits except for upkeep. Some times this is bad, since you don’t get positive upkeeps (so a Farm like this is just wasting space), but other times it is quite an advantage (as some tiles have higher upkeep costs than incomes). You can demolish the building (to rebuild it, or just to get the space back), but you lose 200 population for doing it.

      Edit: Had my first lock-up/crash. Tried to exit the game, only for it to freeze on a black screen with only the Warlock cursor visible. Alt-Tab would let me see the desktop, but selecting anything caused the screen to go back to black. Ctrl-Shift-Esc showed Warlock’s executable maxing out an entire CPU core.

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      • wcanyon says:

        I’ve had the same issues with not being able to click things from time to time. It’s annoying. I just hit ESC about 5 times, that seems to help.

        • syndrome says:

          if you hit enter, it will end your turn, and everything will be back to normal.

  2. Flavioli says:

    I wasn’t expecting to enjoy this game but I actually really loved it. I put over 50 hours into it, which is quite outstanding for a 20 dollar game (and more time than I put into, say, Skyrim). As long as you don’t expect the game to be a Civ clone (which, despite the looks, it’s nothing like at all in terms of gameplay), it’s tremendously fun. I love having a god-like war-machine of a unit with a full set of equipment and buffs by the end game… a single unit which can wipe out a capital city in 2 or 3 swipes and can tear down a full army of enemies single-handedly; this kind of thing you can’t really do in Civ games.

    • formivore says:

      Seconded, this game is great fun. I hope the developers continue to keep adding to it. Parts of it like the core econ and fighting mechanics feel very polished. The grand strategy challenges the game gives the player like the strategic AI and the alternate worlds need to make more sense though. The tactical AI is pretty decent, better than CiV was at launch IMHO.

      One thing I realized is how important city specialization is to making fun 4X games.The combo of map resources and specialized production multipliers (like +300%) means that in warlock, what a city can do really depends on where it is built.

      Like say your scout comes across some great gold-donkeys site, this can lead to a chain of decisions:
      => I will make that city my gold farm
      => so I will place this other city 2 tiles to the north and have it go food instead of gold
      => freeing a third city up to build armored werewolves
      => so I will attack in 40 turns instead of 20, and to the east instead of the west. Grrrr!

  3. afflictiv says:

    One thing that wasn’t really mentioned here was the alternate worlds. This struck me as one of the cooler features of the game in theory. I’ve been tempted to try a match where I enter a mystic portal at the beginning and spend the entire game building up my empire in the alternate world, only to later emerge with a massive army and steamroll the map. In practice though, by the time I have a decent enough force to enter a portal, the mob spawners in there have spit out so many enemies that every tile is covered in enemy units, and I give up on the alternate dimensions altogether.

    I think this could’ve been done a lot better if they added some more enticing rewards in the alternate worlds, and maybe placed a limit on the number of enemies that spawn in there.

    • mouton says:

      Alternate worlds are one of the biggest disappointments if this game. They have cool names and tilesets, but they are basically the same – it is all dragon/elemental spam all over the map. Not to mention the fact that they can be accessed through only one portal each – so once you control the portal, you can take control of the world with impunity. The alternate world in Master of Magic was much much more fun, as it gave additional routes towards your enemies.

      • caddyB says:

        And the underworld ( and the shadow realm, later on in the series ) did the same thing for Age of Wonders.

      • Baines says:

        Yes, it would have made much more sense if, instead of choosing the number of other worlds, there was only one other world and you chose the number of entrances to it.

        Then it might have an actual impact on the game.

        Maybe with an option to choose whether or not the locations of entrances in the other world were geographically aligned with those of the main world. (Aligned, it would only give you another travel route. Unaligned, two entrances 40 hexes apart in the main world might be 6 hexes apart in the other world.)

        As is, I just ignore them. They just don’t seem worth the trouble.

    • RobF says:

      Yeah, they’re a great idea but under considered as to their purpose.

      If you fancy wading in for a brutal fight though, they can be entertaining but that’s a one off novelty that doesn’t really last.

    • GunnerMcCaffrey says:

      Exactly. So far the portals are still more exciting in concept than execution.

      I did manage to build a city beside a gold dragon nest, and sprung a couple of the beasts on my enemy near the end… but by the time my army had the strength to clear out a portal world, it also had the strength to crush the other capitals through conventional, non-dragoneering warfare. So my master stroke ended up little more than “Oh and just to prove how much I deserve this victory, I am a man with a dragon.”

      There’s room for tweaking and balancing there, though. Right now it’s frankly impossible to rush a portal world, and by the middlegame, dracolich extermination is a campaign-and-a-half itself. If the devs address this, it would certainly extend the game’s lifespan, and open up some new strategies.

      Anyway, glad to see this underrated game getting some RPS affection.

    • Strangerator says:

      It’s not as bad conquering the alt dimension as it initially seems, you just have to fight it much more defensively. Send tank unit through first, and be sure to boost its elemental resistance since the biggest annoyance is the fire elemental fireball rain of death. Alternatively, if you manage to claim a holy ground before you start your conquest, a temple to helios really really helps as their special units are immune to elemental damage. Really if you go in with the “2nd tier” units you should be able to pull it off fairly early (assuming, like me, that you make your first town your troop town). I tend to play as humans or beasts though, the undead have a tougher time as elementals are all immune to death magic.

      It does seem, with the latest version of the game, that the alt dimensions have become more useful. On my latest game, the overworld map seemed to have far fewer “troop upgrade” special resources. I think keeping most of the really good ones in the alternate worlds (nevril anyone?) would really help make the alt dimensions more useful. Also with the addition of heroes, maybe have some really unique items/heroes that only occur in the other dimension. “Control over 75% of the alternate planes” might be a cool victory condition as well, but I’d like to see gates between the alternate worlds. So you could go Ardania–>ice world–>desert world–>Ardania. That’d make it perfect IMHO.

  4. MythArcana says:

    Steam exclusivity killed this game for a LOT of people. Why in the hell buy it at GamersGate when it requires Steam to play the damned thing? Ridiculous…

    • Vinraith says:

      That’s certainly one reason why I haven’t picked it up, though I’m not sure whether I’m really missing much.

      Paradox reported, when SotS2 came out with a similar Steam requirement, that by their estimates that lost them about 10% of their potential audience. It seems that as a developer Pdox is willing to make concessions to those 10% (the Steam-free version of CK2 on Gamersgate, for example) but as a publisher they’re willing to allow the developer to make that call. Being as strategy games are the last thing I want Steam-locked, I wish more developers would call that differently.

      • Edradour says:

        And how many potential buyers would theyve lost if it wouldnt have been on steam? Im pretty sure there were more ppl like me who saw it on steams frontpage did a little research after reading the description and then bought it…

        • Vinraith says:

          Being on Steam and requiring Steam are two completely different things.

  5. zipcress says:

    “Alec: I don’t really know why I’m fighting either.
    Adam:Because there are wizards and you are also a wizard.
    Alec: I suppose that’s basically the cause of most real wars too.”

    Leading cause of war?

    Wizards

  6. Xari says:

    This game receives much less attention than it deserves. It definitely has flaws and one might argue less ‘depth’ than Civilization, but then again this is a game that costs much less than just Civ’s recent expansion.

  7. Squishpoke says:

    I know that this doesn’t play like Civilization V by any means.

    But what’s the deal with ripping off Civ’s design almost perfectly?

    • NathanH says:

      Stealing good interface design is always a good idea. It doesn’t really steal much else from Civ 5 though; mechanical similarities can be traced back to both games stealing from Civilization 1, Master of Magic, and Panzer General.

      • bfandreas says:

        It’s taking quite a lot from MoM actually. And in many ways it feels like a lighter version of MoM. The city mechanics are a bit different and that’s about it. You could pick nits and point out hexes and no separate tactical combat but in essence it is MoM.

        I only wished they would organize their spells a bit better in the spellbook. And as in MoM it is very hard to tell what enchantments/enhancements a praticular unit already has. I love my beefed up Gold Dragons. Opponents who demanded tribute from me 20 turns ago offer me tribute when one of those hovers about their cities.

        I actually like the parallel worlds. It’s like with Myrror/Arcanus. You get a lot of grief if you want to go there but you get resources you wouldn’t get otherwise. At times I wished I could start out in one. Costing a lot of skill points like in MoM. Then, when the moons are right I’d burst our of my shadow realm into the world of the rainbow fart pixies and crush their puny little kingdoms under my heels!

        I also actually don’t mind the lack of more race diversity. In MoM I ALWAYS end up with Dark Dwarves, churning out chaos channeled Hammerhands like no tomorrow. 15 years of non-stop pwning extra large worlds and Sky Drakes with Hammerhands(Adamantium, of course).

        MoM is on GoG. If you have a tablet that is a bit beefy you can run it on one with DosBox. But I’d recommend getting a blue-toothed mouse.

        If you want a MoM, get Warlock. If you want MoM, go to GoG.

    • mckertis says:

      Surely you meant “what’s the deal with Civ5 ripping off Fantasy Wars design” ?

      • GunnerMcCaffrey says:

        Yes, the game aesthetic pretty obviously grew out of their previous Fantasy Wars / Elven Legacy games. And both of them were out before Civ 5.

  8. Darko Drako says:

    I think i picked this up for around £6 in an amazon sales -easily worth it at that price. It will keep you entertained for a few evenings at the least – bizarre & addictive.

  9. Arathain says:

    I do think it cheats pretty hard in terms of spawning a bunch of units to throw at you when you’re fighting. Whole armies materialise on hexes it owns. I found it very frustrating, and even when I expect it I find it annoying.

    I hope someone will tell me the AI really did have those units in reserve, or the large amount of gold needed to buy them. I accept that AIs have to cheat to keep up a human, I just want them to be a little bit subtle about it.

    • LTK says:

      According to the devs, the AI only has an advantage with resources. The player and the AI take the same number of turns to produce a unit, and they need the same prerequisite buildings. The reason that the AI seems to be able to create a ludicrous number of units is probably that they have their build queues filled up in all of their cities at all times, because it costs them little to no gold to buy them. Myself, I always tried to strike a balance between spending gold on producing units and on buying upgrades for existing units, so usually there’s about one unit per five cities in the queue for me. That might explain why, in my most recent game, Miralbus had ten cutthroats for every one of my ratmen…

      • Arathain says:

        That’s good to hear, although I got suspicious when some of those troops had multiple upgrades. I think in part I’m getting tricked by the way city squares cost half a movement point, so troops can show up very quickly- it looks like they’re just spawning in places they couldn’t be.

        As I said, I never mind the AI getting some help. I can still win my fights, even if it seems more of a slog.

  10. fooga44 says:

    Problem is, Warlock is missing something. It doesn’t have the ‘just one more turn’ addiction of Civ or Alpha centauri, I think it’s because it’s too combat focused and that gets boring awful quick. The combat just isn’t very exciting in a turn based game if there aren’t other goals competing with domination I think.

    • Arathain says:

      Oh, it definitely hits me with the one more turn thing. In part it’s the UI- I mean, I have a nice little queue of decisions to make, all lined up on the left. It won’t take me long to build a few things… and have my castles fire… and I may as well just move my units since I know what I was planning to do this turn. I’ll save and quit after I see what that bar steward Miralbus does. Oh look, a neat queue of icons- this won’t take a minute, I’ll just…

  11. appropriate touching says:

    “…the two RPS Hivemind nodes who would always be picked first in any alphabetical order-based selection process…”
    Like reverse alphabetical order?

  12. Gira says:

    “Gandhi”, for god’s sake.

    • Berzee says:

      Everyone gets the spelling of Gandhi confused with the spelling of Genghis (“gh”, you see).

    • cwoac says:

      Gah – don’t mention him. Everytime I play Civ he trundles over and starts attacking me, without fail.

  13. Berzee says:

    The main problem with this game and Majesty 2 compared to Majesty 1 is, I think, the problem that plagues a lot of games when they convert from 2D to 3D — the units become very small and muddied and bunched together, until you zoom in. When you’re 2D, you have to make the units personable at the same scale that the game is playable, but when you have a strategy game in 3D it’s tempting to say “Ah, they can zoom in if they want to see personality”.

    That’s my theory, at least. Mostly I miss seeing wizards as big as taverns shuffling around like in Majesty 1. =P

    • Arathain says:

      Right! I mean, Majesty is all about personalities, so it makes a lot of sense to make the larger than life heroes larger than life in the UI. Majesty 2 just doesn’t have the same charm, and I’ve been having trouble pinning down exactly why.

  14. jrodman says:

    Now, if they would only explain the mechanics in some comprehensible way, it might be reasonably playable.

  15. Baboonanza says:

    I did enjoy playing this but the fundamental problem is that it’s not quite deep enough and it”s too easy. Event on impossible the AI doesn’t expand nearly fast enough (admittedly this can be mitigated by playing on the smallest world size, but it’s a problem even on medium) so it’s easy to build up a vast empire whilst paying them off whenever the AI players demand something, since they never demand more than you have. The end game is then just getting top-tiered dragons/holy units to take their overpowered mega-cities (the later patches upgraded the offensive power of large cities to ridiculous levels).

    So it’s fun and even at the nearly full price I played I got value for money from it, but don’t expect to get that many single-player games out of it. I have yet to play multi-player though, that has a lot of potential.

    • SkittleDiddler says:

      It sounds like you haven’t played it since the last patch. They upped the difficulty for all levels.

  16. lijenstina says:

    First picture seems like a Warlock fueled generator. Converts heat into electricity. I wonder if it is more environmentally friendly compared to the natural gas powered ones.

  17. Zeewolf says:

    I am disappointed there is no hotseat mode yet. That’s the only form of multiplayer I’m interested in.

  18. thebigJ_A says:

    Ghandi was a dick.

  19. rawtheory says:

    “The difference is, someone like Assad or Gaddafi is so mad as to be oblivious to the inevitable truth that he will lose eventually, whereas in Civ you actually can win. You can be a total fuck like that and win. The UN won’t stop you.”
    This quote exposes the political pea-brains at work here at this insufferable site. Libya was invaded and leveled by US backed Al-qaeda and their leader, Gaddafi assassinated. The Al-qaeda “rebels” went on to slaughter black Libyans in instituted muslim extremist policies. All the while European and US media outlets played up the “Gaddafi as monster” propaganda just like whats happening to Assad in Syria.
    You all disgust me.

  20. GunnerMcCaffrey says:

    Anyone know a good place to arrange some MP of this? I find the lobby’s usually empty when I log in.

  21. scoopsy says:

    Shame. Sounds like my kind of game, but unfortunately the text is microscopic at any playable resolution.

  22. Victuz says:

    I still hope that you guys will make diaries for a turn based multiplayer game of some sort again. Like Infernum because that was great. And that space browser game with the name that completely escaped me right now.
    That stuff was great!