Who Will Master The Worlds Of Magic?

By Adam Smith on February 11th, 2013 at 4:00 pm.

Wastelands Interactive, developers of such strategic wargames as Strategic War In Europe, reckon Worlds of Magic will be “a genuine spiritual successor of Simtex’s 4X Master of Magic”, and bless my boots if the picture above doesn’t resemble the introduction to Simtek’s aged wonder-work. These chaps have done their homework, that much is clear, but will their Worlds have a similarly splendid intro, with the most memorable vocal performance in a game, save for the vendor selling frozen treats in Speedball 2: Brutal Deluxe? I don’t know. I do have a feature list though and I’ve posted that below, along with Master of Magic’s intro.

Warlock and Fallen Enchantress were the two fantasy strategy games that I spent time with last year, and Warlock cleaved closest to Master of Magic, although it wasn’t entirely similar. There’s definitely room for a “genuine spiritual successor” though and, as always when I think about MOM, I’m reminded by the sheer amount of things that the game contained. Races, spells, unit types, enchantments – there was an abundance of everything. I wonder if Worlds of Magic will follow suit.

  • D20 System – Units, Spells and Heroes will all draw from the D20 rule set during the battles.
  • 4X deep playability – Explore, exploit, expand and exterminate in a world of magic, diplomacy, and war.
  • Hero Units – Recruit heroes to lead your forces into battle.
  • Twelve Spell Circles – Focus on depth in a single school, or gain the ability to cast incredibly diverse spells.
  • Unique Races – Each race offers the ability to create exclusive units, with peculiarities, weaknesses and strenghts, but also balanced.
  • Settle Powerful Cities – Control production, research and even magical power, in order to create powerful armies.
  • Multiple victory conditions – War is not the only way to conquer the world; make treaties, establish trade routes or use peace as a tool for domination.
  • Unique races and spell circles is certainly a good start, and as soon as customisable item enchantments for heroes are concerned I’ll officially be ‘hyped’.

    Leszek Lisowski, Director of Wastelands Interactive, has this to say:

    “Worlds of Magic is the game we always wanted to make, a true recreation of Master of Magic. For all the years in game development creating such game was my dream. When we have meet with Aaron and realized that we have got similar idea and destination I knew this gonna be something special. We will do our best and work hard to make a game which will give the 90′s feeling in terms of gameplay but in an appropriate presentation.”

    Is this presentation appropriate enough?

    There is a Facebook page for the game that may receive different updates than the site linked above. I just don’t know at this point.

    , , .

    46 Comments »

    1. Commander Gun says:

      Bonuspoints for the original title! How much time people will have discussed that!

      • rosestorm says:

        It may be time to do the unthinkable and actually just remake MoM, I’d say give it a modern coat of paint, but leave the gameplay untouched

    2. Premium User Badge

      RedViv says:

      D20 for the battles? That’s interesting.

      • megazver says:

        I’d go with “insane”.

        • Premium User Badge

          RedViv says:

          Rather more that flavour of “interesting”, yes.

        • Schiraman says:

          Yeah, I was pretty excited until I read that bit, and now I’m straight back to skeptical.

        • Joshua Northey says:

          Yeah I am not exactly sure why that is supposed to be a good or bad thing, it is just a thing.

      • Randomer says:

        Maybe they just mean that the flavor of the heroes/spells/etc. comes from the D20 SRD, rather than the explicit mechanical elements.

    3. razzafazza says:

      Until this (and Age of Wonders 3) comes out i think every fan of Master of Magic who hasnt tried it yet should check out the Fall from Heaven mod for Civ4 (or even better, the “Master of Mana” mod-mod based on it) first.

      Warlock: Master of the Arcane is a nice game and i feel somewhat bad for trashtalking it but while fun for 2-3 playthroughs (which is still great value for the price asked) its not even remotely in the same league whereas Fall from Heaven / Master of Mana definitly is.

      Didnt try Fallen Enchantress yet, always hated the artstyle and while gameplay>graphics whenever i wanted to cave in and buy Fallen Enchantress … i ended up starting a new game in Master of Mana instead.

      Nonetheless i still look foward to Fallen Enchantress first expansion, this Worlds of Magics, the Fantasy TBS slitherine/the makers of panzercorps are making and most of all: Age of Wonders 3.

      But incase all of them suck (hopefully not) : give Fall from Heaven / Master of Mana a try – best fantasy TBS since Master of Magic.

      • killias2 says:

        I really recommend FE. It’s not perfect, but it’s quite good. I’m sad that it has been virtually ignored since release.

        • Joshua Northey says:

          I agree completely. While it still isn’t everything I was hoping it would be, I had high hopes, and it is 80% of what I was hoping it would be and quite fun.

      • mckertis says:

        “or even better, the “Master of Mana” mod-mod based on it”

        Did they finally bother to make a manual for the frigging thing ? I couldnt give a shit about it without a proper manual, starting and having no clue how the fuck does it work.

      • Saiko Kila says:

        Fallen Enchantress is not a MoM, but is quite good and closer to MoM that most other titles I know. It is somewhat of a mix between MoM and these never Civilizations. I’m still a fan of both MoM and Age of Wonders: Shadow Magic (the latter looks good even on my 1920×1200 display), but FE is worth a try.

      • Ragnar says:

        I’ve always heard Age of Wonders: Shadow Magic described as being effectively the spiritual successor to Master of Magic.

      • atworkforu says:

        I 2nd Fall from Heaven. Haven’t tried the mod mod.

    4. Shiri says:

      What the hell does D20 have to do with it? Why D20? How is that suited to a 4X? Weird.

      Looking forward to the rest though. Spent a lot of time with MoM as a kid, and no small amount with the GoG version despite how terribly it’s aged in even some gameplay aspects.

      • twig_reads says:

        Hm, I wouldnt be so skeptical, having played the magnificent (even if damned to be eternally in alpha) roguelike Incursion which is also based fully on DnD, I’d say that system suits well for a turn-based combat (well, basically DnD combat is turn-based). And Age of Wonders already had a small hint of D20 in it’s combat, what with all damage being rolls from 1 to maximum damage possible after attack and defence had rounded eachother off.

        • megazver says:

          A roguelike with a single player character is a little different than a 4X game.

    5. Sakkura says:

      ICE CREAM! ICE CREAM!

      • Premium User Badge

        Herzog says:

        WE ALL SCREAM FOR ICE-CREAM!

      • SuperNashwanPower says:

        As a result of that game I always wanted a forearm with an apparent lump of wood implanted under the skin. Then I would hold a ball in my hand.

        I would also cheat, with autofire.

    6. NathanH says:

      I am concerned that the obsession of all developers and customers with “spiritual successors” of Master of Magic is detrimental to the fantasy TBS sub-genre.

      • Goomich says:

        We live in the Age of Nostalgia and not one of those “successors” managed to deliver proper MoM feeling, so there’s still no$talgia to harvest.

      • Reapy says:

        Yeah pretty much everyone says theirs is a spiritual successor to it, I think they might as well just stop. Nothing will ever replace MoM because it was the first of it’s kind, full on fantasy 4x with zoomed in tactical battles, units were phalanx of guys with towering monsters and powerful heros, and the game balance broken in 800 different ways so you could mess with it however you wanted. A beautiful, wonderful game, but the formula has been exposed to us already, a copy of it won’t tingle the same nerves.

        I always felt age of wonders really nailed the updated MoM game already, which is why i’m excited to see what aow3 will bring. Eh, just, people need to stop saying MoM 3 successor when they do fantasy 4x. Just call it a fantasy 4x.

        • mmalove says:

          You hit it right on the head – what made MoM beautiful was they more or less said – fuck balance -, and instead through together a whole bunch of fun stuff. I’d say the closest fantasy tbs in terms of sheer scope and customization is Dominions 3 (gameplay was vastly different though).

      • DK says:

        Since most genres have been in decline and have never exceeded the heights of certain old games, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with trying to get there. Where else would they go? Before they can make games that are BETTER than what we had, they first have to succeed at making anything as good first.

        See System Shock, Master of Magic, X-Com – all of them still the best in their genres, and none of the successors have managed to get close, much less improve on them (and how could they when they don’t even TRY to get half as much depth).

    7. Premium User Badge

      Gap Gen says:

      Strategic Worlds of Strategic Magic!

    8. Sarissofoi says:

      Guys if you thirst for Master of Magic vibe you should check Eador: Genesis. From GOG.
      Its Russian fantasy TBS game mix of HoMM and AoW in short(no stacks, every units and heroes gain levels, plenty of items).
      Graphics are outdated but it has great gameplay.
      It is really great game. Not mention that you can really become master of virtue or evil warlord(thanks to events and your choice of units and behavior). It just have things right.
      What is better there is Eador: Master of the Broken World in the making. Its almost the same game with new modern graphics.
      If you wanna good fantasy TBS you should check it.

      • twig_reads says:

        Hm, from the video it seems like a mixture of HOMM and Battle for Wesnoth. Which is awesome.

      • Donkeyfumbler says:

        Too much like HOMM/Kings Bounty and not nearly enough like AOW – the combat is almost identical to Kings Bounty and if you’re not bored of that already, you’re boredom threshold is miles higher than mine. Very disappointed.

    9. Alphabet says:

      So, based on that trailer / cutscene, the original game is a sort of fantasy version of Gran Torino?

    10. killias2 says:

      I’m not really sure how Warlock was closer to MoM than FE..? Warlock had Civ 5-style combat, when FE had something closer to MoM in that there is a separate tactical interface for combat. I also feel like the scale of FE is a bit closer to MoM than Warlock, which feels a bit more lightweight.

      • Adam Smith says:

        Cannot disagree on the combat, of course, but I thought Warlock’s magic was closer, and that along with the second plane made it feel much more like a homage of sorts. Fallen Enchantress’ hero-leaders made it feel like something quite different to me.

        • Joshua Northey says:

          I guess I can see those two points, but I still felt like Fallen Enchantress was closer personally. Warlock seemed a bit to shallow to me to really strike that MoM chord, though I have enjoyed it.

    11. Laurentius says:

      I tried every game that was suppose to be spiritual succesor to MoM and they still felt blank or not have things right. Yes, MoM still amazing after all this years but defnietly need modern improvments to 4X game like borders etc. I absolutly love combat in MoM and even graphics ( which was outdated when game was realesed, seeing Spirit on the battlefiled or Fang the Draconian, man you gotta love this guy !

      • Reapy says:

        Warrax is forever my man.

      • Premium User Badge

        Screwie says:

        I loved the wraiths. As undead they can’t be healed but they lifesteal on every attack… supe them up with a few enchantments and they become a lot of fun.

        I also loved the races that had different wrinkle to combat. Like how all the draconians can fly (and so are immune to grounded melee), and all dark elves have magic ranged attacks. The fact each race had its own variations on the tech tree was brilliant too.

        Mostly I loved the five schools of magic and the nasty combinations you could make combining them. With twelve schools in Worlds of Magic, I am very curious to see how they split up. Will we get mana nodes? And twelve different mana nodes?

    12. Premium User Badge

      BathroomCitizen says:

      Never played MoM, but Dominions 3 always gives me that feeling of “a hella lot of everything”

    13. MellowKrogoth says:

      Wow, everybody and their mom wants to remake Master of Magic these days. Can’t complain though, the more are made, the more likely that a gem emerges.

      These days I had a lot of fun with Warlock: Master of the Arcane and with Eador: Genesis.

    14. doomtrader says:

      Hi All,

      We will try not to make Worlds of Magic too far from MoM.

      D20 system is going to be used during the battles.

      • Premium User Badge

        Screwie says:

        Thank you, that’s good to hear.

      • Tuco says:

        Tell us more. Hell, no, show us more.

      • flight2q says:

        All I’ve ever wanted from a remake of MOM was improved AI. Some modern tools like a scenario editor would be nice too.

        What most of the attempts to match MOM lack are the global enchantments. (e.g., Fallen Enchantress only has 2.) It’s a very big game when you can cast spells like Great Wasting, Charm of Life, or Time Stop.