Mightier Magic: Warlock 2 Annnounced

By Adam Smith on October 3rd, 2013 at 7:00 pm.

Paradox have produced a rather amusing trailer to announce the upcoming Warlock 2: The Exiled. A sequel to Master of the Arcane is certainly worth paying attention to. The original was a tightly packaged fantasy-civ, with alternate planes of reality to conquer and gentlemanly werewolves. The sequel looks like more of the same – much more – and the slightly unhinged streak is still on display, making the world far more interesting than the usual goblins versus elves malarkey. Prepare for ‘wolves the size of cities’ and ‘cities shaped like wolves’. That sort of thing.

Seeing this made me want to install Warlock again. Despite enjoying it, I didn’t return very often after I’d finished writing about it. Other games showed up and captured the attention of my wandering hands. Probably best to wait for the sequel now, which has reminded me of Masters of the Broken World vibe with those floating fragments at the end. Maybe I’ll reinstall that as well. Maybe I’ll never play anything new ever again.

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39 Comments »

  1. Soulstrider says:

    Oh dear this trailer, Paradox never change.

  2. jrodman says:

    Will I be able to understand what is happening, this time?

  3. BTAxis says:

    One thing that bothered me about the first game was that it didn’t much matter where you plopped down your cities. There were some resources on the map, but it was perfectly possible to build a farming town on a lava field. I wonder if the sequel works differently in that respect.

    • Horg says:

      They added a small base % modifier to food and gold income based on the terrain type with later patches. It doesn’t stop you building Farmington City on a volcano though, just makes it slightly less efficient.

      • hotmaildidntwork says:

        In the case of lava specifically I believe it also increases the maintenance cost of buildings and damages any units that end turn on it. I like their terrain system and the spells they put in for it, although I sometimes still find myself wishing the game was Fall from Heaven.

        • Graves says:

          I tend to wish every game was more like Fall From Heaven. In related news, Derek Paxton of FFH fame was promoted to VP of Entertainment at Stardock, putting him in charge of their whole gaming division. So, Brad Wardell must have liked what he did with Fallen Enchantress. Which I also wish was more like Fall From Heaven.

  4. LTK says:

    Warlock is actually on sale on Steam right now, and I was thinking of picking up the DLC, but then I remember I have so many more games to play that I shouldn’t.

    Turn-based strategy is usually not my thing but I really liked Warlock. If Warlock 2 turns out to be better I might buy it as well.

  5. Vinraith says:

    I’ll take that to mean the first one is never going to get a playable multiplayer mode. That’s kind of a bummer.

    Warlock had a lot of potential that I feel like it never quite lived up to. Here’s hoping the sequel capitalizes on that.

    • GunnerMcCaffrey says:

      I thought the only thing standing in the way of multiplayer is that no one is ever in the lobby.

      • Vinraith says:

        Nope, because no sane person plays a turn based strategy game with strangers anyway.

        No, the problem with Warlock is that it locks your screen completely when the other players are taking their turns. Not only is there no simultaneous turn option, there’s not even an ability to look over your holdings and plan while you’re waiting for the other players. In practice, it’s PBEM without the EM, and if it’s going to be structured like that it really needs a PBEM option.

        • hotmaildidntwork says:

          I’m enjoying a run through the armageddon (or apocalypse, or whatever) game mode quite thoroughly. I wouldn’t mind being able to sort through more of my stuff during off-turn, admittedly, but I mostly just alt tab and do other stuff during that time anyway.

          I think a section of Civ’s playerbase would like a word with you in regards to their mental fortitude though.

    • asret says:

      I just started a multiplayer game of it last night. I’m only playing it with one other person though, so the waiting isn’t too bad.

      It would be much improved if they’d allow you to look around at things during other players turns.

      It’s still good fun though.

  6. GunnerMcCaffrey says:

    Warlock is criminally underrated. Once you have the upper hand, the endgame can get prolonged and grindy, but at higher difficulties against multiple opponents there’s a good struggle just to get there. And you can always give yourself the extra challenge of conquering other dimensions and breeding dragons.

    It’s on sale on Steam and GamersGate right now. The “Return of the Elves” DLC is a must-have, and the “Armageddon” DLC adds an optional extra layer of challenge. Both $0.75 at the moment.

    • rei says:

      Thanks for the DLC recommendation, I’ve just gotten around to this and was wondering if I should get any of it. I’ll get those two then.

    • Renevent says:

      Very much agree…the end game does get a bit grindy but thought the game in general was a really nice surprise.

    • hotmaildidntwork says:

      What is it that makes the elves DLC must have? Is it that large numbers of the neutral cities you’ll capture are gimped without it?

      I’m not bitter!

      • Grygus says:

        I don’t get you; it’s just an extra race, doesn’t change anything about the neutral cities except that some of them can be the new race.

        • hotmaildidntwork says:

          The trouble is that capturing neutral cities is largely the way to expand your starting empire, and if you don’t have that pack then you aren’t allowed to produce most elven structures in their cities. The only semi-viable building path left is gold production, which they’re not any better at than anyone else.

  7. Jenks says:

    I was hoping this was Spaceship Warlock 2.

  8. Horg says:

    I’m still more pumped for AoW3 than a Warlock sequel. Warlock has been a useful stop gap when I get a turn based strategy itch, a small or medium map will kill an evening and leave that itch scratched for a while. It’s a good game, but just a bit too shallow in just about every aspect to keep me playing regularly. Hopefully they wont just re-skin the original, some fleshing out is needed to make a sequel worth while. A campaign would be a good start.

  9. botd says:

    I found Warlock criminally boring. The strategic layer is awful so the game is mostly a monster slog and the enemy AI is predictably awful. Maybe if the sequel doesn’t feel like a half-assed Civ 5 mod I will enjoy it.

    • mouton says:

      It had practically nothing in common with Civ 5. But otherwise, yeah, was quite flawed.

      • botd says:

        I said it felt like Civ 5, not that it played like it. I know I am not the only one that found the hexes and the UI and such extremely reminiscent of Civ 5.

        • iridescence says:

          One thing that I find pretty unfair is that Civ V copied Ino-co’s design, not the other way around yet they always get accused of copying because their old games are obviously much less well known than Civ V. Warlock is based on the design of Elven Legacy and Fantasy Wars which came out way before Civ V.

          • Strabo says:

            Hex fields weren’t exactly invented yesterday or by Ino-Co. It was rather an oddity that Civ used squares instead of Hex fields in the first place.

    • Baines says:

      Warlock was more like a board game than a PC strategy/world game.

  10. Baines says:

    Did they ever fix the bugs in Master of the Arcane?

    By the time I’d quit playing, most of the bugs I’d encountered had remained unaddressed. The crippling slowdown that could occur near the end game. Taking a city, only to find buildings in the *middle* of the tech tree were absent. Taking a city to find you now have buildings that exist but neither generate income nor take taxes. (The income/upkeep one was highly advantageous for some unit producing buildings that were all cost with no income, but was disastrous for some others. It was also rather common to encounter.)

    On top of that were more minor issues like AI that would have a unit walk back and forth between the same two hexes within a single turn or the enemy tower I ran into once that I wasn’t allowed to attack. (For the latter, the enemy tower at least wouldn’t fire at me, either.)

    • Grygus says:

      I suspect one of those is not a bug. When you take a city, some buildings are always destroyed. If a building loses it prerequisite (for example, if you keep the Granary but lose the Farm), the Granary will go dark and act as you describe until you construct the Farm and go into the city interface and re-activate the Granary by clicking on it; at that point, everything will be normal. It is intentional.

      • Baines says:

        That’s not how it worked when I played the game.

        Back then, the building was fully functional except for income/upkeep. You could build the buildings that came after it. You could recruit units that the building enabled. You just didn’t get income and you didn’t pay upkeep.

        This happened with building where you lost a pre-requisite and with buildings that were perfectly legal at the time.

  11. strangeloup says:

    I saw that the first one was on special on Steam this week, and after finding the demo quite enjoyable — at least, once I’d turned the Tesco Value Sean Connery narrator off — I picked up the game-and-DLC bundle. I’ve yet to give it a go, but I’m sold on the promise of gentlemanly werewolves.

    I have also got both Eador games and not touched those yet, so it’s a bit of a fantasy-strategy bonanza. As for Warlock II, given that it’s a Paradox game, I think it’s reasonably safe to wait until a bit after launch in case it includes bugs that set your computer on fire or something.

    • RanDomino says:

      Eador is amazing but kind of primitive and simplistic in a lot of ways, and can be incredibly time-consuming.

      Between Eador, FFH, Fallen Enchantress, Warlock, and all the new ones coming out, I wonder if I should get three or four extra computers in a line so I can play a turn on one game while the AIs are taking their turns on three other ones. I don’t even want to play any of them because I know I’ll just want to be playing the other ones at the same time. Why can’t this be more like 2001 when the 4x fantasy genre was only Heroes of Might and Magic 3?

  12. PopeRatzo says:

    Hey! This story doesn’t mention Kickstarter. What gives?

  13. lordfrikk says:

    I call a missed chance to call it Warlock: Fireball.

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