Posts Tagged ‘Sorcerer King’

Learning to love imbalance in strategy games

From the forum threads full of arguments to the constant tweaking and occasional overhauls via patches – balance has long been one of the pillars of strategy games. It means fairness, a level playing field, and in competition it means that victory comes purely from player skill. But balance, and the quest to reach it, can easily become the enemy of surprise and of the joy that comes from succeeding against the odds.

Balance’s lofty position implies that nobody wants to be the underdog, that conquest is only satisfying if you have the exact same or at least equally effective advantages as your opponents. Sure, when actual money and trophies are involved, this sort of balance is necessary, but when you’re playing for fun? When you’re playing on your own? Give me the imbalanced every time.

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Sorcerer King: Rivals Brings Expandalone Godhood

Winter is coming - keep feeding gold pieces into the meter.

Stardock today released Sorcerer King: Rivals [official site], a standalone expansion to 2015’s fantasy turn-based strategy game Sorcerer King. While that was about stopping a dark overlord from ascending to godhood and killing all the fluffy kittens, or whatever it is dark gods get up to, Rivals lets players be y’know rivals. Players get to seek godhood too this time, and I’m sure you have a lot of ideas about what you can do to fix up the world. Maybe magically fix all vending machine so no one ever again ends up on an icy train platform at 2am weeping and shouting at a wonky wire spiral which has cruelly imprisoned their Twix. For starters, anyway.

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Sorcerer King’s Rivals Standalone Expansion Announced

Stardock have announced a standalone expansion for their turn-based strategy ’em up Sorcerer King. Named Rivals [official site], it’ll give players a chance to go toe-to-toe with the Sorcerer King by collecting magic to ascend to godhood themselves. Our Adam quite liked Sorcerer King, saying it “deserves plaudits for being something altogether different rather than yet another iteration of a game we’ve been playing for decades.” Rivals may sound like it’s returning to more familiar territory but hey, we’ll have to wait a bit – until “late summer” – to see how it turns out.

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Wot I Think: Sorcerer King

Stardock’s latest finds the sweet spot between boardgame-inspired strategy design and the Elemental series’ traditional 4X roots, and it mostly manages to stay within that sweet spot during its post-conquest play sessions. “Post-conquest?” you might be thinking. It’s unusual for a strategy game to start anywhere but the beginning – be that the beginning of a war, of history or of a new age of exploration – and Sorcerer King’s [official site] unusual setting is integral to an understanding of how and why it works.

Like Firaxis’ upcoming XCOM 2, Sorcerer King is the sequel to a game that you lost. Here’s wot I think.

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Stardock’s Sorcerer King Launches On July 16th

Stardock’s turn-based strategy game Sorcerer King [official site] has been hanging around in Early Access for a while now. But now it is taking the next step. It’s growing up. It’s graduating. It’s getting a mortgage and losing its childlike innocence in favor of grown-up cynicism. It’s finally doing that thing all the big games are doing: it’s getting a release date. (July 16th, in case you were wondering.)

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Sorcerer King: Stardock’s Surprise New 4X Strategy

'Things are heating up around here,' says the fire demon. No one likes that guy.

Oh, those Stardock scamps! Skipping the post-announcement, pre-release build-up of people muttering how they hope new Stardock games are less buggy than Elemental’s initial release, they’ve jumped straight to release with their latest. Or Early Access release, anyway. Yesterday Stardock both announced and released Sorcerer King. It’s a 4X strategy, as you might expect and hope from Stardock, with the twist of pitting players against a Left 4 Dead-ish AI director. Rather than fighting similar AI civilisations doing similar things, it’s an asymmetric war against the mighty Sorcerer King.

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