Caster of Magic

6.05


Contents






Philosophy


Italics will be used in this document to describe and explain what's behind various design decisions.

The core goal of the mod is to keep the game as similar to the original as possible, while simulataneously maximalizing the fun factor, achieved through improved game balance, smarter AI, and redesign of useless units, spells or other features that drag down the game - in other words, to draw out the full potential of what Master of Magic could have been.

A heavy emphasis is placed on Magic and Spells, summoned creatures and artifacts dominate the game, while mundane economy and normal unit armies merely stay relevant through sheer quantity and exist to be outclassed by the much more limitedly available but powerful supernatural forces.

Game balance is achieved through a vast array of powerful and diverse abilities and spell effects, all of which having an appropriate amount of counters. Game mechanic changes keep all of the above in mind, and are specifically trying to be AI friendly to make sure the AI can provide a sufficient level of challenge.

Obviously, the mod also aims to fix all the bugs and other oversights that exist within the original game.


I would like to give my thanks to all the people who kept providing me with feedback and bug reports on the forums or uploaded gameplay videos to help me make this game as good as possible. Many thanks to Sapher, Nelphine, and all the others. I'd also like to give special thanks to Hadriex who provided me with the art for two of the new units, Wild Boars and Gorgons, and regularly has streams of playing Caster of Magic on Youtube.


Seravy

Caster of Magic developer

http://seravy.x10.mx/Wordpress



Frequently Asked Questions


Does this work on a Mac, etc?
Yes, but you might need to install it on a PC first and copy the files. In general, if you can run DOSBOX, yes, it will work but the installer and launcher might not. Once the files are installed on a PC, the game is portable, moving the files elsewhere is safe.


The launcher is crashing/does not work/etc.
Then don't use it. You can run the game through DOSBOX, or even create your own start menu and desktop icons. Refer to DOSBOX's documentation for more information.


How do I change the system settings (resolution, sound etc)?
Edit DOSBOXMOM.CONF. There are some pretty good guides all over the internet on what each of these settings do, or you can read DOSBOX's documentation. To change the game music, run Install.exe from dosbox.


AI turns are too slow.
Increasing CPU cycles and setting Core=Dynamic in DOSBOXMOM.CONF helps but only if your computer can handle any higher. For reference, most newer computers can handle up to 200-250k cycles, older ones around 100k.
Unfortunately the game is slow because it runs on an emulator, not directly on your CPU and it uses only a single CPU core. CPUs nowadays aren't all that much faster than they were 5 or 10 years ago, instead they have more CPU cores to multiply the performance and put a lot of the work on the GPU both of which isn't applicable for an old DOS game.
Also the AI turns take long because they simply have that much to do - moving 100 units at 50 miliseconds each would take 5 full seconds for example, then there are 4 players and they also cast spells and do other stuff, so the time adds up to a noticeable amount in the end. I tried to improve the performance of the most critical parts but this is the best result I was able to reach. (Turning off "enemy moves" if you haven't already, helps a lot btw, seeing the units move wastes the most time.)


Enemy units are running away and not attacking my units on higher difficulty, is this a bug?
No, it's a feature. If the enemy is significantly outnumbered and has the means to stall for time and possibly even retreat safely at the end of the battle, they'll go for it.


Lucky (Immolation, etc) appears twice on my hero.
This is merely a cosmetical problem. The hero ability Lucky grants the Lucky unit ability to the hero, likewise the Immolation unit enchantment grants the Immolation ability. After fixing the display to show every ability on the unit, this does result in showing some of them twice.


How do I start itemmake.exe?
You can run it from dosbox as usual, or if you want an easier solution, edit DOSBOXMOM.CONF and replace the line that starts magic.exe with itemmake.exe, launch the game, and itemmake will be started. Don't forget to restore it to play the game normally.

Some of the predefined items have an ability set you can't produce manually, so be aware that changing those is permanent, unless you backup and restore the entire ITEMDATA.LBX file. Predefined items have been designed with game balance in mind, so heavily editing the set can make hero strategies better or worse than intended.


How do I cycle through my cities on the city view screen?
Use the keys Z and x to move to the previous or next city.


Why does the AI break the Wizard's Pact all the time, and why is it entering my territory despite the agreement?
A Wizard's Pact is an agreement where the human player guarantees not entering the AI's territory, and in return the AI will not attack the player, will not declare war on them without first formally cancelling the treaty (Chaotic wizards are an exception), and will not use hostile spells such as city curses against the player. On top of all these benefits, your relation with the AI improves over time. Only Engineer and Settler units are allowed to enter the AI territory, no, not even that spearmen nor magic spirit scout can. Do your scouting before making the treaty, or after you've advanced to an Alliance treaty later on. Or just leave the AI's territory alone, it's not yours...yet. If you really want to push the AI's patience to the limits, they are only guaranteed to cancel the treaty if you violate it on 3 consecutive turns. See the diplomacy chapter for more information.


My enemy destroyed some of my buildings and now I can't build them again!
Your buildings are in the building queue. You have to start processing the queue to build them (see the User Interface section) or you can use the Clear button to empty the queue. You can disable the automatic requeueing in the settings.


Map generation sometimes freezes!
Tiny land size maps can take longer to generate. It's an acceptable compromise for generating better quality starting positions. Once in a blue moon there might be corner cases where it does freeze on especially unlucky map rolls, in that case, please reset the game and try again.


I don't want to read this much, isn't there a shorter guide?
https://www.gog.com/forum/master_of_magic/master_of_caster_an_intro_to_caster_of_magic

Game Mechanics

Spellbooks and Retorts
The process to create your custom wizard has been fine tuned to offer the maximal possible choices and replayability. For this purpose, most retorts can be chosen without requiring specific books, and have no limitations, however 2 pairs of retorts that support similar purposes are each mutually exclusive as stacking them would be far too obvious and efficient. Likewise, there is no resricition on which realms and how many books in each you can play together - if you want, you can even play a wizard that has Life and Death magic at the same time! The same applies to enemy wizards, and the new algorithm to generate their choices increases the variance in enemies maximally, while avoiding to generate wizards that would be far too inefficient. Enemy wizards now pick their books and retorts first, then select the best matching portrait that is still available, so it's entirely possible for two or more enemies to use the same realms of magic, and the player selecting a portrait will not prevent a wizard using those realms from being generated. Finally, Myrran is also generated randomly (as long as the quantity of Myrran wizards matches the requirement) so it will not be the same person on Myrror all the time. Guaranteed spells are reintroduced to encourage the strategy element and spell combos, and reward the player for picking a larger amount of spellbooks while simulataneously reducing the luck factor. Picking a larger amount of books leads to a slower but stable and reliable strategy, while picking a smaller amount of books spread over several realms and/or including many retorts maximizes the early game potential at the risk of having an extremely weak endgame. For this same reason, Very Rare spells can't be guaranteed - you have to pick enough Spellbooks to ensure your randomly generated spells will contain at least a few options you can use effectively against your last remaining enemies. The required amount of books to obtain spells of each tier by trade or treasure has been increased to give greater relevance to picking your third and fourth book in the realm - which ensures any attempts to play 3 or more realms will have to involve some sort of tradeoff. You can play 3 realms and have very rares in each but then that means sacrificing the option of picking any retorts. Alternately you can pick retorts, but then you won't be able to obtain very rare spells in some of your realms. Do note however that you can research one spell of the “unobtainable” tier by picking the previous book, you just can't trade or find more. So picking 2 books of Chaos will give you exactly one random rare Chaos spell, ensuring lower book counts still give you a taste of the next tier's power : you just can't expect to fully utilize it. The fourth book however adds 2 very rare spells instead of the usual one, to ensure playing multiple realms doesn't result in too much disadvantage. This still leaves a dual ot triple realm wizard with fewer very rare spells, but the difference isn't too high and the possibility to find and trade for more (assuming you did get the 4 books needed) will compensate for that. The system ensures each and every book you pick is a valuable addition, as your first 4 books unlock a new spell tier, books 5 to 7 enable picking guaranteed spells, one for each, book 8 enables the guarateed first turn feature, and books 9 and 10 guarantee you get every rare and very rare spell respectively, leaving nothing to chance, as well as improving your casting and research capacity in the realm - as these books likely already encroach on your ability to pick all the retorts you want to.


You can have up to 10 spellbooks in each realm and 12 picks total.


Each book contains/allows :

Common/Uncommon/Rare/Very Rare, Common Starting/ Uncommon Guaranteed/ Uncommon Guaranteed turn 1/ Rare Guaranteed, other effects
Book 01 : 3/1/0/0, 0/0/0/0, Find/Trade common
Book 02 : 3/2/1/0, 1/0/0/0, Find/Trade Uncommon
Book 03 : 4/3/2/1, 2/0/0/0, Find/Trade Rare
Book 04 : 5/4/3/3, 3/0/0/0, Find/Trade Very Rare
Book 05 : 6/5/4/4, 4/1/0/0,
Book 06 : 7/6/5/5, 5/1/0/1,
Book 07 : 10/7/6/6, 5/2/0/1,
Book 08 : 10/10/7/6, 5/0/2/1,
Book 09 : 10/10/10/7, 5/0/2/0, +8% research, -5% casting cost
Book 10 : 10/10/10/10, 5/0/2/0, +16% research, -10% casting cost


Where “Guaranteed” means you will be able to research it eventually and “Guaranteed turn 1” means it'll be on your starting page of your spellbook at the beginning. Any additional spellbooks you find in treasure will have these exact same contents and effects, although “Guaranteed” picks don't apply - those are reserved to the beginning of the game. Your primary realm is the realm you owned the highest number of books of at the beginning of the game. In case of a tie, realms take priority in the order of Nature, Sorcery, Chaos, Life, Death.

Each spellbook provides you with +2 starting casting skill, and 1.5 power, but if your total book count in all realms exceeds 8, each additional book is worth 3 power instead.


Starting options
Similarly to wizard options, the aim here was to ensure maximal replayability by providing more options. Climate and Mineral settings were added. The cost of Myrran has been reduced to ensure the races on the Myrror plane are much more accessible. There are 5 separate levels of Magic Power setting to control node power, 5 land size settings, and 7 separate difficulty levels to ensure players of all skill level can have fun.


The Dry climate setting adds more deserts and reduces the amount of swamps and rivers. The Wet climate does the opposite : fewer deserts but more swamps and rivers.


Minerals can be Fair, Rich or Poor. On the Rich setting, some otherwise Myrror exclusive minerals can appear on Arcanus in very small amounts and both the quantity and quality of minerals is higher. On the Poor setting, minerals will be quite rare and usually the less valuable kind.


The Easy difficulty level is recommended for complete beginners. The AI receives a resource penalty and intentionally plays worse. The Normal difficulty level is recommended for the first few playthroughs of the mod, if you already played 4X games before, or Master of Magic in particular. The AI gets no advantage here, and is still holding back on strategies as well as being prohibited from using custom wizards or starting on Myrror. Fair is an alternate version of the Normal difficulty, the AI will no longer hold back on most strategies, and can create their starting wizard without restriction, but they still don't get much of an advantage otherwise. Advanced gives the AI a small resource advantage while Expert gives a relevant amount. These are recommended for regular playing if you're already familiar with the mod. Master and Lunatic are very hard difficulties where the AI gets a fairly large bonus (however still much less than in MoM 1.31) and might use some strategies that specifically take advantage of this fact. Use these for additional challenge once you found your favorite and most effective strategies.


Land comes in sizes of Tiny, Small, Fair, Large, and Huge. Different amount of land favors different strategies, so be careful with this setting. Choosing one that doesn't suit your strategy might make the game significantly more difficult than it otherwise would be on the same difficulty level.


Winning the game

While the original victory conditions have no problems, Spell of Mastery victory came way too quickly after researching all very rares, not allowing them to show their full potential, so its cost had been increased.

Military victories can often be painfully time consuming, spending an additonal 30-120 minutes on clearing out the remaining enemy forces after winning the game already became obviously and guaranteed. To remove this unfun part of the game, a new way to win has been added that will trigger at the time when the remaning AI players have no chance to turn the tables remaning.

When the total sum of the Army Strength, Power Production, Spell Power and Empire Population bars on the Intelligence Agent from all AI players remains below the half of the same score of the human player and no AI player knows the Spell of Mastery, the game will offer the player the choice to allow the AI to retire and skip ahead to the victory screen. This victory condition is checked on every 4th turn, starting from turn 150.

Note the total empire population “bar” is not part of the visible statistics, and is only kept track of within the calculations the Historian feature uses.


World Map
Water bodies with no connection to the ocean had to be removed, as they are pretty hard to overcome for AI players who don't know their ships will get stuck in those. Continent sizes have been limited to no more than 200 tiles, as continent based AI regrouping and movement is far too inefficient and slow otherwise. Existing ore types have been overhauled and one new type of ore has been added to make them more relevant to the gameplay. Unproductive and suboptimal tiles have been kept in the game, as a land that has uniformly useful tiles everywere results in boring and uninteresting games. However treasure generation in encounter zones have been completely overhauled, as well as placing monsters into these, to ensure a fun, balanced, and varied experience. Extreme travels speeds escalate the effectiveness of unstoppable armies (that are available in very limited quantities due to their cost), by allowing them to be omnipresent, and conquer targets at insane speed, denying the enemy the chance to launch any counterattack. Due to this, some travel options have been changed to be less efficient.

Scouting range on many units was increased in the initial versions of Caster of Magic but I realized doing that was a mistake as it made it too easy to scout the entire world map and also too easy to notice incoming enemies and position stacks at a safe distance from threats, giving more tactial advantage to the player than intended, so now scouting ranges are closer to the original. This also makes stopping enemy scouts from discovering your cities and enabling their owner to curse them somewhat more managable although still quite difficult.


Silver : +4 gold
Gold : +8 gold
Gems : +12 gold
Quork : +5 power
Crysx : +10 power
Iron : 10% cheaper units
Coal : 20% cheaper units.

Mithril : +1 power, Mithril weapons (+1 attack and defense)

Adamantium : +2 power, Adamantium weapons (+2 attack and defense)

Orihalcon (new) : +3 power, Orihalcon armor (+2 magic ranged attack, +1 resistance)


Swamp : Fixed to correctly produce the 1/2 food.

Desert : 3% production

Hills, Forests : 1/2 food, 3% production.

Mountains : increased to 7% production.

Tundra and Volcano produces nothing. Cities cannot be built on the north and south pole “continents”.

Roads and Pathfinding allows moving on any terrain for 1 movement. Enchanted roads allow movement for 0.5 per tile.

Chain transportation is no longer possible. While you can still board a ship, move, and disembark the same turn, if you board another ship that wasn't used to move the unit, you can't transport the unit any further that turn. Additionally, you can't transport a unit if it already participated in combat that turn either.


Random Events
They have been redesigned to support the goal of “Magic is King” instead of contradicting it. Mana Short and Disjunction, both of which completely ruined the spellcasting aspect of the game, were eliminated. Stroke of Genius and AEther Flux that help magic usage were added instead.


AEther Flux : All spells cost 50% less to cast while in effect.
Stroke of Genius : The current spell being researched is completed the next turn for everyone. If Spell of Mastery is being researched, instead it progresses by 10000 RP only.
Nature Conjunction : Fantastic units gain +2 DEF and RES in addition to the original effect.
Chaos Conjunction : Direct damage spells do 33% more damage in addition to the original effect.
Sorcery Conjunction : Casting Skill increases 3 times as fast from mana spent on it in addition to the original effect.
Bad Moon : All units lose 2 resistance in combat in addition to the original effect.
Good Moon : Unit enchantments are 50% cheaper in addition to the original effect.
All other events are unchanged and self-explanatory.


Economy
Every building in cities have been readjusted in cost and effect, calculated using proper formulas to ensure there is a meaningful decision between selecting them - depending on your race, location and other factors, even buildings producing the same kind of resource might be more optimal to build in different orders. Buildings allowed for each race, and interracial unrest have been changed to suit a specific design goal for that race. These will be detailed in the appropriate chapter. However, each city is allowed to build every building available to their race, so micromanaging them is only necessary on the highest levels of difficulty. Otherwise, building the kind of resource you need most will usually be sufficient. The building tree has been changed to contain much fewer dependencies, which opens up a lot more choices and decisions. Production and maintenance costs on units have been lowered in general, to allow the most fun part of the game, combat and military strategy to play the bigger role. Buying production for gold is now more effective, while the highest possible tax rate is slightly lower as well as the lowerst becoming slightly higher. This keeps the flow of gold more realistic, instead of it piling up unused or the player constantly staying in negatives. Sources of magic power have been increased to ensure magic becomes as relevant as possible. Research costs have also been increased to keep up with the abundant source of power, and have been specifically calculated to allow players to reach the appropriate tiers at roughly the intended time, ensuring the proper pacing of the game. This will be detailed in the Spells chapter. When conquering cities, there is a base chance of building and population destruction, to ensure conquering AI cities won't be outright more effective than building their own all the time. The chance scales based on difficulty.


-Each unit consumes 1/2 food instead of 1. (If a food icon is displayed, that unit eats half of a food. If it isn't, that unit has no food cost.)

-Catapults and Ships consume no food. Ships also consume no gold to maintain.

Ships cannot be used to defend or attack cities or nodes, and has to be employed at fairly large quantities due to sea being the larger part of the map. This wouldn't be a viable strategy if they had a maintenance cost, and it also caused AI issues.

-Every 2 units in garrison reduce the unrest of cities by 1, including fantastic units or heroes.

-Each leftover food is converted to 1 gold.

-Each 1 production can be bought for 2 gold, regardless of completion percentage. (this opens up the possibility to allow players to change production and respond to unexpected threats, without also opening up the possibility to abuse the feature to buy a cheap building first then change to another one and buy that, retending the completion rate wasn't zero. The stable and fairly low cost makes gold a valuable and very relevant resource.)

-Excess production is no longer lost, but carries over to the next turn.

-Maximal tax is 2.5 gold per turn for an unrest of 55%, minimal tax is 1 gold for 1% unrest.

-Heroes in fortresses contribute only 1/6 of their casting skill to you. (this ensures spellcaster heroes will be used for combat more often.)

-Razing cities now gains fame instead of reducing it.

-A banished wizard still obtains magic power as normal, but they can't cast overland spells other than Spell of Return.

This was necessary due to how the game works. The fortress can only be defended by 9 units but multiple consecutive attacks can be done on it the same turn, effectively forcing the defender to beat many armies using only one of their own. While that does require a lot of effort from the attacker, there is no way to successfully defend against it in most cases, so I had to ensure being banished doesn't outright guarantee losing the game. Note that while typically the human player uses this strategy, the AI is now able to attack the same target more than once during one turn, assuming they happen to have the necessary armies available at the right location, so this problem is relevant for the human player as well.


Combat
Combat is one of the core elements of the game and for many players, the most fun part. The mod ensures there will be sufficient units on both sides to allow for enough battles where players can outsmart their AI opponents.... or that's what I want them to believe but in fact the AI is by far the most competent at making the right decisions in combat, so this makes sure the player doesn't grow bored and faces a proper challenge at all times. Combat is also the game mechanic where the player's resources directly clash with the AI, both in terms of mana available for spellcasting and units available to first and get killed. As such, it is by far the most relevant game mechanic to ensure the game does work as a proper 4X strategy game where the person with a very significat resource advantage usually wins. Empasis on “usually” - the diverse possibilities in the game kept open ensure that the most veteran human players can truely outsmart the AI and beat the overwhelming odds, for maximal enjoyment of the game. To keep combat interesting, I had to make it so that all types of units have a role and different, interesting tactics are viable. So the ability to retreat when the combat lasts too long remains - I consider that a huge feature, not an abuse. The number of turns allowed per battle have been reduced to 25 both to enable using it better, and also to balance the power level of “damage/healing per turn” type effects which were far too effective with the original 50 turns. Likewise, Flying and Invisibility both retained the original roles, but the AI was taught how to properly counter these, assuming they do have the spells available, so they are now proper parts of the game instead of a boring “I win” button. Unfortunately, due to the lack of available counters for invisibility in the very early game (it's a rare tier effect so that's reasonable), it had to guaranteed the effect does not become available too quickly, so items found (or sold by the merchant) at the beginning of the game will not have this particular ability. Also note, while the AI does try to pretend they don't know where your invisible units are, this was only possible to implement on a case-by-case basis, so it only applies to units moving towards or targeting your invisible unit. In other instances, for example on the overland map, unfortunately the AI will be aware of their location.

Combat between two AI players will still use the simplified combat mechanics, but the algorythm has been improved to give a much more realistic result. It still ignores most unit abilities and doesn't simulate a real combat, as doing so is pretty much impossible in software made in 1994 - AI turns would be far too slow, even on a modern computer due to DOS emulation.


-Ranged penalty is -1 to hit for each 4 tiles of distance, instead of 3.

-Magical ranged attacks use the appropriate type of ammo, and will not consume MP even if the unit has MP available.

-Fleeing is no longer entirely random, and instead depends on the movement speed difference between the involved armies.

If unit speed < Fastest Enemy speed -1 : Unit has a 100% chance to die.
If unit speed = Fastest Enemy speed -1 : Unit has a 50% chance to die.
If unit speed = Fastest Enemy speed : Unit has a 50% chance to die.
If unit speed > Fastest Enemy speed : Unit has a 1/(2+X) chance to die where X is the difference between the speed values.

In short, faster units survive more. This mechanic uses the overland base movement speed of the units, and doesn't include combat buffs that alter speed. However units unable to move (such as those affected by Web) will be guaranteed to die.


-Range penalties on mana costs for combat spells increase slightly slower based on the distance from your fortress.

1-5 1x

6-8 1.2x

9-13 1.5x

14-17 2x

18-20 2.5x

21- 3x

-Banished wizards can now use combat spells, but they pay a steep, 4x range penalty. See my notes on being banished at the end of the economy chapter.


-Each wizard's fortress is capable of casting a lighting bolt spell on a random enemy automatically each combat turn, that grows in strength and duration proportionally to the wizard's casting skill. This helps against the random loss of game to a weak but unexpected monster spawn, but also, it protects the AI from losing their fortress to hit-and-run strategies that pick off units one at a time. As the fortress is a very critical point of defense in the game, it should receive appropriate protection that is difficult to overcome.

The strength of this lighting bolt is (18+Skill/8)/2 but no more than 60. Fortress Lightning strength is scaled by AI difficulty (*Difficulty/2) before the cap of 60 is applied for AI players, so they will reach the cap earlier on higher difficulty levels. Fortress Lightning applies for the first 3+(Skill/20) combat turns.


-New units gained during combat will appear even if you have a full army, and will be pushed to the nearest adjacent free tile, assuming there are any. This makes effects that raise undead a lot more playable.


-AI wizards who have Death spellbooks or units with Life Steal or Create Undead ability in AI vs AI combat, will raise dead enemy units as undead depending on the strength of casting power, book count and strength of units with those abilities so grant access to this game mechanic which is otherwise not simulated in the simplified combat AI players use.


Levels and Experience
Fantastic units remain unable to gain levels, as they are significantly stronger than normal units initially, and additional gains on top of those levels would massively shift balance and favor the more durable and higher figure count creatures. This is less of an issue for normal units which have veen designed around this idea to begin with : higher figure count units benefit much more from additional levels and buffs, while lower figure count units do not, instead they counter high figure count units through having a larger armor rating and not losing damage output through lost figures as they get hurt. This makes the two kinds of units suitable for different kinds of strategies. The level-up bonuses in the original game were way too significant, especially on the Elite level, which by itself made level boosting spells and abilities too powerful, along with making single figure units too weak. They have been slightly toned down, but remain large enough to be very relevant on the multi-figure units. Heroes have increased starting stats to ensure they are useful immediately after hiring them, and have a chance to survive long enough to level up without requiring to rely on level up effects. The stat gains provided by gained levels is still significant on heroes, but in the most beneficial stats : Defense and Resistance, it has been reduced. Experience gained now depends on the type of unit killed instead of being limited to the same amount from all enemies, and more experience is gained in battles against enemy wizards compared to neutrals who have no wizard to support them through spells.


For normal units :
Regular : + 1 melee, +1 ranged, +1 resist total.
Veteran : + 2 melee, +2 ranged, +1 Thrown/Breath, +1 defense, +1 resist total.
Elite : + 2 melee, +2 ranged, +2 defense, +2 resist, +1 health total.
Ultra Elite : + 3 melee, +3 ranged, +3 defense, +2 resist, +1 health total.
Champion : + 3 melee, +3 ranged, +3 defense, +2 resist, +2 health, +1 hit total.

For heroes :
+1 melee attack for each level.
+1 ranged attack for each 2 levels.
+1 health for each level.
+1 resistance for each 2 levels.
+1 defense at level 4 and 8.
+1 to hit at level 5 and 9.

Exp tables :
Level 2 : 30
Level 3 : 80
Level 4 : 180
Level 5 : 300
Level 6 : 550
Level 7 : 900
Level 8 : 1400
Level 9 : 2000

Unit abilities

Many of the existing unit abilities received minor tweaking in the relevant numbers or effect. I recommend right clicking the abilities and reading the effects, even if you already know the ability from the original game. Several new abilities have also been added. See new hero abilities in the hero chapter.


Quick Casting : The unit can cast a spell for 2 movement in combat instead of costing their entire turn.

Primal Force : The unit has no power maintenance and instead generates power for the owner.


Supernatural : The unit is guaranteed to do a certain amount of minimal damage (assuming their attack rolls were sufficient to do so), even if the target would reduce this damage below that amount through their Defense rolls or other effects. Additionally, the unit can't be raised as undead by weak wizards - a casting skill of 240 is required. This ability primarily exist to guarantee heroes in the endgame will not turn completely invincible, and very rare creatures stay relevant against them. They'll still be able to beat even the most powerful creatures, but they'll succumb to them if heavily outnumbered and the player is too careless. Other than heroes, almost nothing in the game can possibly have enough damage reduction for the ability to make a difference. The other effect is mainly for flavor but also exists because it's completely gamebreaking when someone manages to obtain certain undead very rare creatures in relevant numbers very early.


User Interface


The Grand Vizier will never produce new units and will not change your production in cities that are currently producing units. He'll let you fully retain control of your military production. He'll ask when activated if he is allowed to produce military buildings. Answering no restricts him to only produce ecnomy buildings. The Vizier will select buildings as though it was an AI player with the Pragmatist personality.


Transportation (ships) now require units to be selected for movement to be transported, and selecting units that can't move is now allowed for that purpose. This ensures the implicit transportation won't force the player into moving units that were meant to stay behind. If the movement would result in leaving a unit that would drown without a transport on an ocean tile, the movement fails and nothing happens. If the movement would transport a unit that isn't valid to be transported that turn (due to having been already transported or paticipating in combat), the movement also fails.


On the cities screen, cities can be sorted by using the “S” button based on any resource, and additional types of resources produced are shown. Garrisons of cities will also be shown.


Esc is now used to leave most game screens.


There is a new optional setting to disable certain UI animations and the behavior of the mouse jumping to the on-screen button when the keyboard was used.


You can see the books, retorts and other information of banished but not eliminated wizards by right clicking on them, but you still can't contact them for diplomacy.


You can now queue buildings for production. The queue system only allows adding buildings to the queue, units, housing and trade goods will be built immediately, suspending the progress of the queue. Selecting a building and exiting the production screen produces that building immediately, without using the queue. Doing the same if the queue wasn't empty, however, will start producing the first building in the queue, instead of the selected building. To add a building to the queue, select it and press the “Queue” button. It's possible to queue buildings unlocked by already queued but not yet built other buildings. This is why it's not allowed to produce something outside the queue if the queue isn't empty. To remove your existing queue, press the “Clear” button. Pressing the “Queue” button on Housing or Trade Goods will also start processing your queue.


There is now an optional setting to automatically add buildings that were destroyed in your cities to your building queue for rebuilding them. There is also an optional setting to force the game to prompt the player to review each town that had buildings destroyed. Disabling this option while leaving the other one enabled can allow you to have all your destroyed buildings automatically rebuilt without your manual input. (Of course, if you lose buildings faster than your city can rebuild them, that might not be a good strategy, as you have no control of what gets built first.)


The buttons Z and X can be used to cycle through your cities in city view mode.


The game will automatically create a numbered save file every turn for you if the new option, “Backup Saves” is enabled. This can be a lifesaver if you forget to save or accidentally delete your normal save files and also helps you rolling back to a specific turn even if you don't have a normal save file for tha turn. There is only one set of these files however so playing a new game will overwrite the old ones as turns progress. Additionally, the normal autosave and continue feature has been fixed to work properly - if you already played the 1.31 version of the original game and are aware those don't work, now they do! (this is also part of the community patch by the way, so it's not CoM exclusive, but it's important enough to mention here.)


Retorts

Retorts in the game typically provide an immediate benefit for the player from the start of the game. Many of the original retorts also had effects that stacked with each other, often multiplicativle, making them fairly unbalanced. Other retorts were rather weak and underused. The aim here was to make sure every retort is equally useful and viable, for the appropriate strategy, while none stands out as “must always choose this to win”. There still is a bit of a variance in power level, but that much is easily offset by the player by choosing the appropriate difficulty level. Infernal Power, Divine Power, Chaos Mastery, Nature Mastery, and Sorcery Mastery have been removed, and instead the more generic Specialist has been added to free up 4 spaces for new retorts, while still providing the option to specialize in one school of magic through a retort.


Alchemy (1)
All normal units gain magical weapons and the associated +1 To Hit bonus, even if produced in cities without an Alchemist Guild. However, Barbarian cities are excluded, as they naturally have the +1 bonus. The wizard can convert gold to mana at a 1/1 ratio. This retort is mostly unchanged, but playtesting showed that letting the barbarians gain access to magic weapons and a cumulative +1 To Hit bonus on top of their racial one was way too powerful and also far too trivial to select. This forced the player to always play the race with this retort. Preventing that opens up that pick for Barbarian players to spend on anything, while also makes sure the race's inability to wield magical weapons remains relevant during the game, giving the Weapon Immunity ability more relevance as well. This is one of the more powerful retorts as converting resources opens up more strategies, and being able to save costs of Alchemist guilds is very helpful in the early game, but it's not powerful enough to require a change or pick cost increase.


Warlord (2)
All normal units gain an additional level and can reach Ultra Elite. Mutually exclusive with Tactician. This retort is unchanged. Mutual exclusivity had to be added to ensure it isn't cumulative with the new retort, which also boosts normal and hero units, but costs only one pick. Picking both was a no-brainer choice for any military (or, in some player's opinion, hero) strategy and essentially allowed spending 3 full picks on building stronger units from the beginning of the game which pulls away the focus from spellcasting a bit too much in addition to being a too obvious choice.


Channeller (2)
The wizard has no range penalty in combat, and pays halved spell maintenance. The wizard's spellbooks have an increased chance to contain combat exclusive spells than normal. Banished wizards with this retort only pay a 2x range penalty for combat spells. The additional effect to improve the chances of the combat spells was needed to ensure the retort will always do what it really is meant to, which is ensuring you can directly fight enemy armies through using (usually destructive) spells on them in the endgame without having to worry about paying extreme mana costs. As the retort is powerful but has a steep cost in picks, it wouldn't be viable for dual-realm wizards without this effect - the risk of not getting enough late game combat spells is too high.


Archmage (1)
Gain 50% more SP, including the amount generated at the start of the game to set your initial casting skill. Mutually exclusive with Spellweaver. Not much change in this retort, but the flat +10 skill bonus had been converted to the same 50% SP bonus as 10 skill proved way too powerful in the early game. Mutual exclusivity with the new retort is necessary because both retorts allow casting more spells and the effect would be multiplicative. Playtesting showed combining the two was ridiculously powerful. Like the other such retort pair, this also offers one way to spend 1, and another to spend 2 picks on functionally similar but also different abilities, where picking the correct one that supports your plans better is a major strategic decision. No longer increases dispelling power, as having a higher casting skill globally is more than enough to be worth the cost of 1 pick, and obviously, you can cast more dispelling type spells using it.


Artificer(1)
Magical items cost 50% less to create and all other Arcane realm spells cost 25% less. You start the game with the Enchant Item spell. The first rare spell that will show up in your spellbook will be Create Artifact. The original retort also included the Create Artifact spell to start with, but playtesting demonstrated doing so opens up the possibility to consistently win the highest dificulty with minimal effort and poor gameplay. Artifact level abilities and stats on items are too powerful for the first quarter of the game. Ensuring it's the first rare to show up means it'll always appear in time for the retort and spell to work as intended, but not earlier. The starting Enchant Item was kept, and provides a nice trading opportunity with AI wizards to make the retort useful even before resources to create items are available. The reduction in Arcane spell cost is a nice synergy, as many Arcane spells are hero related (Summon Hero, Summon Champion, Heroic Heart) and are necessary to ensure you have heroes to wear those artifacts.


Conjurer(1)
Summoning spells cost 25% less to cast, you produce 25% more research when researching summoning spells, and summoned creatures cost 25% less to maintain.

This retort appears to be unchanged, but the way cost reduction stacks has been changed behind the scenes. Two 25% reductions now add up to 0.75*0.75=0.5625 aka paying 56.25% of the original cost, while in the original game, it results in paying 50%. That made stacking cost reductions way too effective to the point that any other strategies were miles behind. I believe the way the maintenance cost reduction is rounded has also been changed, but I don't remeber the exact method now.


Sage Master(1)
Gain 25% more research from all sources and an extra 15 RP each turn. The flat bonus has been added because unlike most other resources research is typically not being produced much, if at all, in the early game. Thus, picking the retort will allow you to research a few additional common spells than otherwise could, keeping your research advantage consistent through the game. The low bonus percentage of 25% was kept as is, as it does apply to all research, including city produced, so the amount of resources flowing through here can potentially be higher than even your entire power base. In fact, our calculations on game economy resulted in an“expected power distribution ratio” where research was by far the highest of the 3 possible uses of magic power, although obviously, only because it included city research which can't be spent on anything else. This doesn't mean everyone will always produce that much RP, but going significantly below risks falling behind opponents way too much in which case the player would have no interest in picking Sage Master in the first place.


Myrran(1)

You start on the Myrror plane. No more bonus power production, and cost is low to ensure playing Myrran doesn't restrict wizard customization to the point where most strategies are no longer available due to lack of picks to make them work. However picking this will now flip the wizard distribution between planes - there'll be more on Myrror and only one on Arcanus. Monster strength, treasure value and distribution, etc has also been changed to ensure the lower cost doesn't unbalance the game too much. Myrror still gets more treasure, but the system is a lot more complex than that. Myrran races remain superior to Arcanus races however, so playing on Myrror still shifts balance towards going to the other plane early more viable than otherwise.



Guardian(2, new)

The player's city garrisons receive a +1 Resistance, +1 To Hit and +1 To Defend bonus during combat. Cities of the same race as the one the wizard started the game with have a +6 maximal population. This new retort fills the role of playing for defense, peace and economy. Aggressive strategies were vastly more effective in the original game, and the addition of this retort can help in achieving better balance there. The population bonus makes the retort more attractive for human players as well as enabling them to use suboptimal patches of land effectively, providing a large enough starting territory for defensive play to succeed, while the defensive bonus both helps them survive enemy attacks on high difficulties, and helps the AI to provide a better challenge to overcome when the player conquers their cities. Pay extra attention to the presence of this retort on AI wizards. It can lead to unexpected defeat when trying to attack their cities, especially their fortress!


Famous(1)

Start the game with 10 Fame. The chance of the merchant showing up to sell items is doubled. The chance for mercenaries is quadrupled. Heroes might offer to join at a higher level and has an improved chance to be of better class (aka higher fame requirement). To make Fame more relevant, hero offers now require more fame and the chance of each fame tier is also weighted by the amount of fame so larger fame not only opens up a new tier but makes all but the lowest tiers more frequent. This retort affects that formula by halving the base chance for the lowest tier heroes. The retort no longer increases the chance of a hero to show up, as hero strategies were too unreliable due to the luck factor. The chance for heroes showing up no longer depends on Fame, nor Famous, but instead determines the chance for the offer containing the better tiers of heroes only. Due to the chance for the level bonus, this retort makes heroes work much better for realms with no access to Heroism. It's also a very useful retort to pick if you expect to have a lot of excess gold.


Runemaster(2)

Your dispelling type spells are 100% more effective. You research in the Arcane realm 100% faster. Your spells are 150% harder to dispel. You have an increased chance for your starting spellbooks to contain global enchantments. A versatile retort that has a lot of synergy between seemingly unrelated effects that all have a similar flavor. Dispel resistance is very important for successful strategies based on using the most powerful global enchantments or a combination of those, while the retort also ensures you do get those spells for research, despite spending 2 of your picks on it which would make it very difficulty to have enough books to actually guarantee you get enough of those enchantments to use them to win. Dispel power makes sure while you can use those globals for victory, no one else can. As very rare global enchantments typically mean a late game strategy that's also often economy based, doubled Arcane research opens up the option to win the race towards Spell of Mastery through those spells even on higher levels of difficulty. Of course, this isn't the only use of the retort - it's well worth the 2 picks even if your strategy relies on other types of enchantments that get hit by dispelling frequently or you simply want to ensure your opponents can't rely on those against you. City curses are enchantments, too! Note that this lost the Arcane spell cost discount, which is now part of Artificer. Having dispelling power and cost reduction on dispel magic spells in the same retort would have been redundant. While this makes the Artificer+Runemaster combo that produces mana crystals impossible, that combo is pretty bad in this mod anyway, as casting skill is a lot more valuable than the mana crystals, and you typically have enough mana to use your overland spells without requiring tricks like that. (excessive spending on combat spells is a different story, but this combo was too inefficient to provide you with resources for that by itself. You only get 50% of your casting skill back in mana, while in combat you typically need 100-300% of it per combat and you often fight more than one battle per turn. It only really worked in the original game because you had almost no viable ways to produce relevant amounts of mana in the early game there, making those few methods that did extremely good.)


Charismatic(1)

Your diplomacy penalties are halved and your bonuses are doubled. Your treaty offers will be accepted more often. You pay half the normal gold cost for heroes, mercenaries, and items. Fairly similar to the original, but the treaty offer modifier makes it actually help in diplomacy in a relevant way. Also, Diplomacy now works, unlike in the original 1.31 version of the game, so this retort can be extremely valuable if you want to maintain peace with others, especially if you want that despite using harmful global enchantments or city curses. Paying less offers the already known combo with Famous which increased the frequency of these offers.


Specialist(1, new)

You research spells in your primary realms 12% faster, and those spells cost 12% less to cast as well as being 50% harder to dispel. This is the new merged Chaos/Nature/Sorcery Mastery that also works with Life and Death while only taking up one retort slot on the selection screen. Not much else to say about it, you pick this if you play one realm and want to spend a 11th pick on making that realm even better, but in some cases it can also be beneficial if playing more than one realms as long as you heavily rely on spells in one of them. No bonus power from nodes - nodes already provide a large benefit by being much easier to conquer if you play the matching realm, and there is specialized retort for that purpose that affects all node types.


Tactician(1, new)

All of your units gain +1 defense during combat. Heroes gain 2 defense, 2 resistance, and attack power instead. Mutually exclusive with Warlord. The alternate to Warlord. Costs less picks, provides a weaker bonus (only 1 defense instead of an entire level which typically increases two stats by one each), but this bonus also works on fantastic creatures, making it better when you use summoning magic frequently. It also doubles as a way to make hero strategies more reliable, while +2 isn't much in the big picture, it's a very large help to make heroes useful in the early game. In general, this is a good choice for players who don't like losing their units, a mindset which is fairly common, and opens up a new choice for military, summoning and hero strategies at the same time, significantly increasing replayability of all three.


Omniscient(1, new)

Each of the wizard's cities gains a bonus depending on the spellbooks owned by the wizard. Life, Sorcery, Chaos and Death books provide a +16% bonus for the first book in the realm and another 3.5% beyond that for Gold, Research, Power and Production respectively. Nature books raise maximal population by 2 for the first book and another 1/4 for each additonal book. This retort is fairly complex and is the result a lot of brainstorming. The core idea behind it is to provide something that makes otherwise very subpar 3-5 realm wizards effective, again, for the purpose of opening up even more new strategies. However, as the bonus scales with book count, it also offers a unique benefit for strategies that only play 1 or 2 realms, especially as the bonuses provided are unique. As all of these are applied specifically to the cities and don't work on other sources of income, it also provides a focus on city economy, but in a way that is related to the player's magic and that adds an extra layer of specialization for realms, as each of them gets a different bonus resource. This also allows including city resource bonus retorts that would otherwise be far too uninteresting to be worth the slot.


Cult Leader(1, new)

All power generated by religious buildings is increased by 75%. Unrest reduction effect of those buildings is increased by 50%. The exception to my above statement, as this is a simple bonus to a city resource, however, it's the single most important resource of the game, magic power, and it does not apply to all types of buildings, which means you need to pay attention to your race choices. The main reason for including it though, other than the importance of magic power itself, is the fact that this retort has a hidden synergy with 3 different ways to increase religious power production in your cities through spells or other methods. This is created from merging Infernal and Divine Power from the original and making it realm independent. Unrest reduction makes this good for economy on the whole, indirectly boosting gold and production, while other magic type retorts generally have no such benefits.


Astrologer(1, new)

Nodes can't counter your spells. Nodes produce an additional 2 power for each 6 game turns elapsed since the beginning of the game. The magic power retort for those who do not expect to obtain it from cities. Is the overhauled version of Node Mastery, with the extra flavor that it becomes more powerful over time, making it extra powerful for strategies that specialize in the late game - while still helping their weak early game by letting them conquer nodes without having to deal with countered spells.


Spellweaver(2, new)

All of your overland spells cost 33% less except summoning and item creation. Mutually exclusive with Archmage. This retort went through a lot of updates and rebalancing. The initial goal was to provide a strong, 2 pick option for strategies that focus on using overland magic exceptionally heavily - the opposite of the combat oriented Chaneller and an more overland focused Archmage. Originally it allowed casting more overland spells of all kinds and even produced extra magic power. However, stacking that effect with Conjurer and/or Archmage was ridiculously overpowered and unnecessary. Now it still offers the old benefit of casting significantly more overland spells, and is what you want if your strategy specializes around any spell that's not summoning, item creation, or combat magic, in which cases there are existing retorts that specialize in those. Offers an alternative to Runemaster as well - while you can recast lost enchantments faster, this also offers a major benefit when no enemy is trying to dispel you. The current effect was considered a temporary solution but became permanent - we've considered pretty much every possible idea for a new retort and none of them would have been better, and no new ideas surfaced ever since.


Removed retorts

Mana Focusing, Chaos/Nature/Sorcery Mastery, Infernal/Divine Power.

The realm specific retorts were merged into Specialist and Cult Leader so they aren't really gone. Mana Focusing had to be removed because while it appeared somewhat underwhelming and boring, in practice it has proved to be super overpowered. The main problem with it was, if I remember correctly, you can allocate 100% of your power income on mana production for most of the game, then convert the mana to gold and buy buildings that produce magic power so you can snowball your exconomy super effectively. It also multiples with power producing retorts in the effect so it basically creates a positive feedback loop. I'm honestly unsure if it would still be overpowered in the current version of the mod, as stacking power bonus retorts have been tamed down and the issue of not having enough ways to make magic power in the beginning of the game was addressed, but the effect was boring and the slot is already filled with a more interesting new retort, so I don't regret losing it at all. Chaneller is a perfectly good solution if you need additional mana crystals.


Common Units

These are the basic units most races share, and their base stats without racial specialization. In general, most units have been raised to 2 movement, to enable reaching enemies in a timely manner on both the combat and overland maps, and to allow slow units to actually have lower movement than average units. This increased speed both helps the game to progress at a better pace and also makes it easier for the AI to sneak through the player's forces and attack one of their poorly defended cities. Spearmen fill the role of weak sacrifical units to scout or initiate battles you intend to win through spells only. They are also the cheapest normal unit you can build to reduce your unrest, but don't expect them to be effective at defending your cities. Swordsmen are the bottom tier unit that actually is intended for military purpose. Their Large Shield allows them to be able to defend your cities from ranged enemies but otherwise they don't do much by themselves, however if you have mithril, adamantium, or can afford to buff them, or produce them with additional levels, you can have semi-decent troops that have extremely low production costs. Being the bottom tier, they are the baseline, other units are compared to. Bowmen are the same tier as swordsmen but are ranged, making them somewhat more useful. They are extremely fragile and have minimal melee combat strength. Like Swordsmen, these too, can be be a relevant force if you produce them with additional levels, special ores or buffs, and they are the best bet for your early game city garrisons. City Walls are essential to protect them from melee combat and incoming enemy ranged attacks. Cavalry are a tiny bit more powerful than swordsmen but come at fewer figures making extra levels, buffs or minerals less relevant on them. Their intended use is fast movement, they are the best to scout far away lands, and have a reasonable chance to flee combat. They are also difficult to corner in battle, making them good for hit-and-run tactics that rely on combat spells. First Strike can take advantage of the fast movement speed by delivering melee damage effectvely while the unit can still get away with being fragile otherwise, making this unit require high player skill to use. Their movement was raised to 5 to maximize the potential in using their intended role. Shaman gain the ability to cast the Healing Spell, making them similar to Priests. This allows players to have better access to healing magic, making strategies that rely on keep units alive much more viable for non-Life wizards. However, Shaman themselves are quite weak and easy to lose, while their production cost is rather high for such a weak unit, keeping this balanced. They retain the ability to clean up corruption, and their magical ranged attacks, while not particularly strong, can occasionally be more effective than bowmen due to having no ranged penalties. They are also able to overcome missile imunity, being the only early game unit that does so. To max the support potential, they also have the Healing ability to heal units on the overland map faster. Priests fill the same role but are only available to a few races and their combat stats, as well as unit costs, are higher, making them a much better option if you plan to use the Healing Spell ability in battle without losing units. Halberdiers Negate First Strike to ensure they remain efficient against the lower tier Calvary unit - if they can manage to get close enough to engage them. They have more than double the production cost of a Swordsmen, but have twice as much health and both higher defense and attack power, outclassing them in every way. Magicians are expensive glass cannons with high magical ranged attack power. They gained the ability to cast 20 mana worth of spells each combat, increasing the role of researching wizard spells and making those otherwise less impactful low cost and tier spells significantly relevant. Magicians excel at defending your cities, and are usually the AI's top choice for garrisons, however they are countered by effects that reduce magical ranged damage, mostly available at the Rare tier of spells. Be prepared to have a backup plan once the game progresses to that stage, if the enemy plays Nature or Sorcery. As you'll usually want Wizard's Guilds for magical power, this unit will almost always be available to you if your race has them, giving you a decent option for self-defense even without having to invest into military buildings, however, they are not very effective at attacking enemies as they are easily wiped out by spells and ranged attacks on the first turn of combat. They retain the missile immunity from the original game, countering the most effective bottom tier unit, bowmen, and ensuring they become obsolete reasonably quickly. Finally, Magicians have a movement speed of 3 which allows them to avoid engaging slower melee units unless outnumbered and stay alive at least long enough to fire their spells at the enemy by keeping some distance. Catapults are another option at garrisoning : they are very cheap and have no food maintenance, and aren't affected by most of the effects that counter magicians, while they still hit hard. However, being stingy might not always be worth it - Catapults have super low magic resistance so they are weak to enemies wielding Death or Sorcery magic who might turn them against the owner. Catapults also have no Caster ability, so they are much less versatile. Catapults are slow, making them difficult to use for rapid expansion strategies, but their low cost, high ranged attack power, slightly better durability than magicians, and the ability to break walls can makes them viable for siege or attacking monster lairs. They are a quite versatile medium tier ranged unit. To produce Catapults, you need a Mechanician's Guild, which you'll usually want to build if you go for long term strategies, whether military or economic. This makes them available to you without having to rely on additional military buildings, further improving their “cheap to build and maintain” quality. Settlers still have no other role than building new outposts for you, but you do start the game with 1-2 of them depending on the map size. This was a necessary addition as you only have one city at the start of the game, and while you absolutely need to build more, it's almost impossible to manage the beginning of the game otherwise - other than settlers, you also need to produce units to defend yourself, unless you specialize in summoning magic, you'll need at least some military buildings for those troops to be worth producing, you need a few economy buildings to be able to build and mantain those troops and so on. That's entirely too much for one, small city to do. This also ensures your starting race choice stays relevant - you'll have more than one city of that race guaranteed, and those will be your largest cities for a while. Settlers move slower than other units, and using ships to accelerate them is highly recommended. Ships have been enabled to carry a full stack of units, mainly for conveinence and AI purposes : that way the AI can land stacks of 8 units which are a relevan threat. If more ships were required to transport an army, the arriving stacks would be smaller and easier to defeat before they have the time to regroup (which in case of the AI will likely take many turns). Ships have no maintenance as they are of secondary relevance - they can't fight on land usuaully - and because it's more AI friendly that way. The AI had serious issues with not being able to disband their ships (they might carry units who drown, so it's not safe to do that!) after losing cities and thus enduing up with disbanding all their land units first instead. Ships are more cost effective than land units, making them a real threat on sea, and turn the naval supremancy aspect of the game important. (The AI has been enabled to launch attacks on the sea, something the original 1.31 version of the game never implemented.)

Outpost growth has been overhauled to enable a more consistent and predictable outcome with no random loss of the outpost unless the terrain was absolutely horrible.

Resistance scores have been reduced accross the board to ensure spells or effects that require a save roll play a bigger part in the game and are as relevant as any other spell.


-Spearmen (10) : 2 attack, 1 defense, 1 health, 2 movement, 6 figures, 3 resistance.

-Swordsmen (25) : 3 attack, 3 defense, 1 health, 2 movement, 6 figures, 4 resistance. Large Shield.

-Halberdiers (60) : 5 attack, 4 defense, 2 health, 2 movement, 6 figures, 5 resistance. Negate First Strike.

-Bowmen (30) : 1 attack, 3 Ranged (8 ammo), 1 defense, 1 health, 2 movement, 6 figures, 4 resistance.

-Cavalry (40) : 4 attack, 2 defense, 3 health, 5 movement. 4 figures, 4 resistance, First Strike.

-Shamans (50) : 2 attack, 3 ranged, 3 defense, 1 health, 2 movement. 4 Figures, 6 Resistance. Healer, Purify, Healing Spell

-Magicians (120) : 1 attack, 7 ranged, 3 defense, 1 health, 3 movement. Missile Immunity, Caster 20.

-Catapults (62) : 0 attack, 9 ranged, +2 To Hit, 2 defense, 10 health, 1 movement. 1 figure, 3 resistance. Long Range, Wall Crusher.

-Settlers (150) : 10 Health, 1 Defense, 5 Resistance, 1 Movement.

-Trireme(60) : 12 attack, 4 Defense, 6 Resistance, 15 Health, 3 Movement.

-Galley(100) : 14 attack, 10 Ranged, 4 Defense, 7 Resistance, 20 Health, 3 Movement. 10 Ammo.

-Warship(140) : 16 attack, 14 Ranged, 5 Defense, 7 Resistance, 25 Health, 4 Movement. 10 Ammo.


Outpost Growth

Growth per turn = ((Max Pop+10)*2*(100+RaceModifier)/100))

Chance to shrink = (12-Max Pop) %

Amount of shrinking each time : -240.

Starting size : 300

Completed size : 1000


Stream of Life : double the growth rate

Gaea's Blessing : +40

Iron, Coal : +12

Gems, Gold, Silver, Mithril, Admantium, Crysx, Quork : +5

Chaos Rift : Chance to shrink +12%

Evil Presence : Chance to shrink +7%

Famine : Chance to shrink +15%

Pestilence : Chance to shrink +25%


Buildings


The building tree has been redesigned to contain signficantly less dependencies and more choices. Costs and effect has been altered to make sure a real decision exists between the options, even if they produce the same resource, and micromanaging cities does increase performance but isn't too important. No limitations on how many buildings can be built have been added, so each city, no matter how poor in size and population, can have the full set. However, keep in mind that population is the main source of income, so a small city might not be able to support the cost of all the buldings, and while still overall profitable due to the other resources produced, might be very negative on gold production. Nonetheless, this design allows the player, AI or otherwise, to fully utilize all the available landmass, making the game more stable and predictable, and less dependant on the random distribution of good versus useless terrain tiles. For this same purpose, the +5 Max population effect from buildings was kept, and buildings related to magic are typically population independent in resource production. While this does encourage city spam, it's a much better design than the same sized map randomly having room for 8 or 25 economically viable cities depending on how the terrain tiles are distributed, and allows all players to remain competent instead of outright losing to starting on bad terrain. Unplayable starting locaions still exist but the issue is mitigated significantly. Building resource output and production costs have been also carefully calculated to meet the goals of expected overall empire output for the intended pacing of the game - meaning enough resources to research and use the spell tiers. Roughly 6 years in the game should progress all players by one spell tier, obviously, this happens faster on larger map sizes and for the AI, on higher difficulties. Three new buildings have been added : the Colosseum, Maigc Market and the Amplifying Tower. To make this possible, the Armory, Temple and Ship Yard, all of which served redundant functions, disappear.


Smithy

Cost :125

Effect: +2 Production.

Required by : Fighter's Guild, Colosseum, Stables

Special : All new outposts start with a Smithy already built.

Among all buildings, the role of Smithy is special. It exist to ensure you have a small portion of population independed production available in new settlements, that you don't have to build or purchase, making new settlements able to progress without requiring additional funding (or good enough terrain to grow population quickly). However, it also serves a secondary role, it's a mechanism to make early game conquest and thus snowballing less effective. Smithies have double the normal chance to get destroyed after battle, and are very expensive to rebuild, making conquered cities actually inferior, at least at production output, to your self-built ones. Without a Smithy, you also can't produce most types of troops (including even magicians), so the conquered cities won't be able to garrison themselves, and turn into a liability, making overexpansion harder.


Housing

Effect: Increase population growth while being produced.

Growth = Max[+170*(Terrain Maximal Population + Racial Growth Modifier - 8)/13 *Max(1.3-0.1*Current Population,0), +40]*(Nonrebel Non[optionalfarmer] population/Current Population)

Housing has been significantly overhauled. It's effective at raising the population of small new settlements in the early game, when placed on good terrain. It will contribute close to nothing to larger cities, as that would undermine the importance of population loss from spells or combat. The contribution will ignore the presence of required minimal farmers, so it remains effective regardless of them, but rebels or normal farmers will cut down the effectiveness greatly. This option wastes your entire production output, making it only worth building while your city production is very low. It's a viable strategy to buy some of the early resource production buildings (Marketplace, Magic Market, Library) for gold, then build housing for population, which can squueze out quite a bit of additional resources than if you used Housing first, and built those later. This rewards investing gold into your economy early (and managing to actually get you hands on said gold and saving it for this purpose instead of buying more troops), and paying attention to micromanaging your first few settlements. Housing is typically efficient to build until 2 to 6 population depending on your terrain quality and race, ensuring terrain quality does matter, even though it won't affect your maximal potential output of resources from your city as much. Picking the right place for building your first 2 cities is critical, and makes scouting the nearby map rewarding.


Trade Goods

Effect: For each 2 production, gain 1 gold.

Not much to say about this, you build it if you have have exhausted your options by having built everything else, or if you need additional funding to maintain your massive armies. Works the same way as it did in the original game.


Sawmill

Cost :68, 4 gold/turn

Effect: +6 Production.

Required by : Forester's Guild, Bowmen

Sawmills serve to provide a stable production output for your cities that's independent of population. They have the best ROI (return on investment) among buildings if your city is located on high production percentage terrin, in which case it might be better to buy the sawmill and skip building housing entirely, especially if combined with low maximal population. In other words, you want this ASAP on mountain terrain. They also ensure any city capable of relevant military output has access to bowmen as an additional option to swordsmen.


Marketplace

Cost :80

Effect: +8 Gold.

Required by : Bank, Farmer's Market

Your early source of gold, this building is the best option to build first if your terrain production percetage is low, or if you need to pay maintenance costs of other units or buildings. It also works well if you have a gold percentage bonus on the city.


Magic Market

Cost :72, 2 gold

Effect: +6 power.

Required by : Wizard's Guild

A heavy focus on magic wouldn't work if magic power wasn't available to use it, so the new Magic Market joins the baseline resource producing buildings. Without this building, success or failure almost entirel depends on luck : You either find nodes in the early game you can conquer, or you'll be unable to rely on magic whatsoever. While this building provides the worst return of investment from the 4 early resource buildings, magic power is the greatest enabler of additional strategies in the game, so you'll want to build this first if you rely on heavy use of starting common spells.


Library

Cost :60, 1 gold

Effect: +6 research.

Required by : Sage's Guild, Alchemist Guild.

While equally cost effective as Marketplace, research is a resource you can't snowball into your economy and will not provide you with an immediate advantage. Nonetheless, you'll want to build this building first whenever your strategy involves rushing the research of a specific uncommon spell in the early game, which is made possible due to the guaranteed turn 1 research machnic unlocked by pick 8 books of the same realm. It's also worth getting before others if you're a Sage Master. It's required by Alchemist Guild, which ensures even pure military strategies will have at least a little bit of research done - unless they did pick the Alchemy retort to skip that building entirely - and allows the Alchemist Guild which does not produce anything useful by itself to cost less and still require a total of 160 production to build. While not much, this still guarantees even military strategies have to consider which spell to research, and obtain new spells occasionally to keep the game interesting. Of course, if you rely entirely on this building for your research, you'll fall behind others in it fairly quickly, so it's still a risky path to take.


Builder's Hall

Cost :20

Effect: None

Required by : Bank, Merchant's Guild, Oracle, Parthenon, University, Engineers

Unlocks Engineeers for races where available, but otherwise, this build appears to have no purpose which is unusal and contradicts the design goal. However, what it really does is, the group of buildings I call “Advanced buildings” which are unavailable for several races, are locked behind a common junction. This both makes it easier to deal with the hardcoded restriction of no more than 7 unavailable buildings per race, and makes the race description text actually fit the textbox. “Advanced buildings” basically serve as an extra set of resource producing buildings, that races with poor enonomy has no access to.


Miner's Guild

Cost :120, 2 gold

Effect: +25% production, minerals have 50% more effect

Required by : Mechanician's Guild

A percentage based producton bonus. Like most of these, it's less efficient than the above early buildings usually, but with high enough population, it can become more efficient instead. Nonetheless, it is really meant to compete with the remaining buildings instead, and this one is most efficient when your city is located on a terrain with no natural production bonus, as the bonus is additive, not multiplicative. It's also obviously better if your city has minerals available. No longer requires mountain terrian to build so every city can have one - the effect of this and Mechanician's Guild together is way too significant to disallow them based on terrain.


Mechanician's Guild

Cost :200, 3 gold

Effect: +35% production

Required by : Catapults

Less cost effective than Miner's Guild and only available for races that have advanced buildings, this building provides an additional level of investment chance into extra production for cities. While it's not providing a very good return of investment, especialy at lower population, you often still want this in your military centers to maximize troop production.


Forester's Guild

Cost :130, 1 gold

Effect: +10% production, +3 Food

Required by : Animist's Guild

While seemingly much worse than Miner's Guild, through food production allowing you to change more workers into farmers, it's actually able to compete with it. You'll want this before the MG if you have mandatory farmers and your base protuction amount is low, or percentage bonus is already high, or need extra food production. Otherwise Miner's Guild is the better choice to increase productivity.

This building requires a Forest tile to build.

Unlike the Miner's Guild, this doesn't unlock a significant production bonus for already developed cities, so missing out on building one is not significant. Keeping the requirement of a Forest for flavor is worth it, and makes Forest tiles relevant for Elves who need this building for Longbowmen. It also means cities that want to become food production centers need a Forest tile to ensure they'll have access to Animist's Guild.


Granary

Cost :80, 2 gold

Effect: +5 Maximal population, +2 Food

Required by : Farmer's Market.

The bonus to raise maximal population has been merged into one building. As you always want that effect, it is the first option to build, while growth rate has been reassigned to Farmer's Market, which you might want to skip if you already have enough population or aren't planning for long term. In short term is increases productivity very little by letting you reallocate one farmer into worker, but on the long term the extra population makes it super valuable. Note that maximal population does increase growth rate indirectly, so building this early on races with slow growth is relevant.


Farmer's Market

Cost :180, 3 gold

Effect: +50 population growth, +3 Food

An investment into the far future, the major bonus to growth can turn this a very good early investment over time despite the high cost. Purchasing the building earlier using gold is extra relevant as it allows additional turns to build up the population, an advantage which lasts for the whole game, while other economy buildings will merely provide you with a flat amount of additional resources for each turn you managed to build them earlier.


Alechmist's Guild

Cost :100, 3 gold

Effect: All units newly produced in the city gain Magical Weapons, or if available, allows using Mithril, Adamantium, Orihalcon and Nightshade.

Not much changes on this building, except it no longer produces power.


Amplifying Tower

Cost :900, 20 gold

Effect: Your casting skill is raised by 7 as long as this building is under your control.

One of the major additions to the game, the Amplifying Tower ensures the size of the owned territory remains relevant through the endgame as not only raw economy power, but direct military potential by letting the more powerful wizard cast more spells per combat and cast more overland spells. It's extremely expensive and is generally a horrible investment for the earlygame, where building up your casting skill is a lot more efficient through producing magic power and converting it to SP. However, it's critical for the late game where your capacity to cast rare and very rare spells is the most relevant determining factor for victory. It's presence also makes building destruction relevant - by destroying the amplifying towers either though spells or combat city damage, a wizard can be signficantly weakened. The major cost of maintenance also makes sure gold income will not grow unchecked and gold remains a valuable resource even in the late game.


Wizard's Guild

Cost :600, 5 gold

Effect: +10 Power, +3 Research.

Required by : Magicians.

This is the main source of city based magic power in the mod that makes it possible for magic to be maximally relevant. Return of investment is the worst of all economy buildings, but you'll want that magic power anyway, and often as soon as possible. Building some of these also enables you to have access to Magician units, which ensures your cities stay well defended for most of the midgame.


Sage's Guild

Cost :300, 4 gold

Effect: +12 Research.

This is the main source of city based research. Like all Research buildings, it's much more cost-effective than power producing buildings of the same tier - Power can be used for research but not the other way around.



University

Cost :120, 3 gold

Effect: +6 Research.

Required by : Mechanician's Guild

Additional research available for the more economic races, the University contributes only 1/4 of overall city research output. In general, advanced buildings generate gold and production but not power and research, to ensure the majority of races are competent at using the core game mechanic of magic.


Shrine

Cost :120, 1 gold

Effect: +2 Religious Power, -1 Unrest

Required by : Cathedral, Oracle, Shaman

The religious buildings provide the other half of city power production, not obtained from the wizard's guild and magic market, and come in a package with unrest reduction. They are generally not worth building unless you have rebels to remove, or plan to raise yout tax rates once they are complete. Shine in particular is the most cost effective, and might be worth building directly after the Marketplace if your aim is to maximalize gold production at the cost of ignoring other resources. It also unlocks Shaman, a fairly versatile support unit that can also remove corruption, for races where they are available. Religious power is identical to normal magical power, except some specific effects only apply to this type of power, such as the Cult Leader retort.


Cathedral

Cost :400, 2 gold

Effect: +6 Religious Power, -1 Unrest. Additional +3 rel. power for each Nightshade

This is the main religious building. Significantly more cost effective than Wizards' Guilds if you also have unrest to reduce, but does not enable units, and only half the benefit is a magical resource. However, if your city has enough tiles of Nightshade around it, this can be even better than the Wizard's Guild at producing magic power. That additional effect also serves to make the otherwise subpart Nightshade resource relevant. Try to make sure the race that builds the city next to those can build Cathedrals.


Parthenon

Cost :200, 2 gold

Effect: +4 Religious Power, -1 Unrest

Like University, this is another “advanced building” for races that have access to those. Unlocks Priests for those few races that have that unit available. Cost effectiveness is between Shirne and Cathedral, and you'll only want it if there is unrest to reduce like usual, unless you are a Cult Leader in which case you probably want all the religious buildings much earlier than otherwise.


Oracle

Cost :300, 3 gold

Effect: -3 Unrest, extends scouting radius

This building provides a fairly high return of investment if, and only if, you did have 3 rebels in the city to pacify. As that's not particularly frequent, and this building requires Shrine and Builder's Hall to be available, it's easily overlooked by players, and rewards paying more attention to managing cities. However the main value of the building is to calm interracial unrest, so you can maintain high tax rates without certain cities getting unrest levels that make those tax rates unviable - getting 3 units of unrest reduction in one building makes it much easier to have exactly the right amount everywhere for an empire of diverse races and city sizes.


Bank

Cost :200, 2 gold

Effect: +30% gold production

By far the worst building if your population or tax rate is low, but it can be fairly powerful in large cities with high tax rates. While it seems like it's not worth building early, gold is essential for certain strategies: hiring heroes, buying items, or directing the entire empire's economy towards buying high quality troops in a critical production center every turn, thus it can be a valuable addition to your city despite that. Sometimes though, you'll only build it out of necessaity as you can't afford maintenance costs otherwise.


Merchant's Guild

Cost :400, 3 gold

Effect: +40% gold production

Even worse than Banks, and only available for races that can build advanced buildings, this is an additional source of wealth which also requires a Ship Wright's Guild, so you can only have one if your city is at a shore. This makes otherwise subpar coastal areas more desirable. Typically, this is one of the buildings that only make a difference in the later stages of the game, and make using races with better enconomy matter on the long term. Nonetheless, extremely gold hungry strategies will want these in abundance, as early as possible, along with Banks.


Animist's Guild

Cost :240, 3 gold

Effect: +1 food production from farmers.

An interesting building that has better return of investment the more farmers you have in a city. As you typically need a lot of food for your armies, you'll likely want to build a few of these early in your food production centers, while your other cities prefer other ecnomic buildings. No longer reduces unrest, as other buildings provide the intended total amount.


Colosseum

Cost :250

Effect: +5 Fame, -1 Unrest

An economy building that's typically not that outstanding and provides a worse return on your investment than other options, but it's your only way to obtain fame, which makes better heroes appear and raises the change for mercenaries and merchants. Hero strategies benefit most from building these early, but they might also be a good investment for players who simply like to rely on luck. It also serves as an economy building for military races who don't have much of those otherwise.


Stables

Cost :60, 2 gold

Effect: +2 production

Required by : Cavalry, Fantastic Stables

A military building you'll usually build to unlock Cavalry units. However, while the production bonus has a fairly low return of investment, it is still worth building for cities where you want to want the highest possible production potential, and does have better ROI than most of the expensive later builtings, especially on terrain with a high production bonus. It's easy to overlook and rewards players who pay attention.


Ship Wright's Guild

Cost :50, 1 gold

Effect: None

Required by : Maritime Guild, Merchant's Guild, Trireme, Galley

You need these to build a navy.


Fighter's Guild

Cost :330, 4 gold

Effect: None

Required by : Armorer's Guild, Fantastic Stables, Maritime Guild, Galley, Halberdiers

The medium tier military building that unlocks halberdier tier units and is required for all military buildings of a higher tier. Also unlocks the medium tier ship, Galley, if Ship Wright's Guild is present, so you don't need to build additional separate buildings to have decent ships that can fight.


Maritime Guild

Cost :370, 5 gold

Effect: None

Required by : Warship

Unlocks the most powerful naval unit in the game for races where it's available. Warships are signficantly better than Galleys and are the only ship that moves at speed 4.


Armorer's Guild

Cost :400, 6 gold

Effect: None

Required by : Special units

Special : Can't be built before 1406.

This building unlocks the highest tier racial units on each race. The turn based limitation is not elegant but we've discussed every possibility on the forum and it was the only way to solve the issue. The problem is, you can and will find gold from treasure, which is a pretty important part of making the game fun. You can spend that gold on buildings, to ensure gold does have proper relevance. This means, if you play for hunting treasure, or simply prioritize gold production and save it up, you can have this as early as the second year of the game. Many of the highest tier units are way too powerful and typically unstoppable at this time, as they have a large pool of hit points, good armor and often also good magic resistance. Some of them even fly AND shoot. While these units still provide a tremendous military advantage past 1406, before then, you can basically expect to slaughter entire enemy armies without taking any damage and keep doing that until you conquered the entire world and won the game. Raising the building cost is not going to work because as explained, saving up gold or finding it is fairly easy, and the building has to have a reasonable cost compared to your city economy, not your overall empire's entire wealth, as you'll want to be able to build these in multiple cities later. Various restrictions on buying production were also discussed but none of them could have had the intended result, without interfering with the inteded functionailiy of buying in a very bad way. Finally, binding the unlock of the building to some resource limit, such as popultion, comes with the disadvantage that it basically escalates the snowballing issue instead of controlling it. Enabling the already strongest player to build the top tier of units in the early game while the option is denied from everyone else would have horrible conequences. An entire year elapsed after the initial discussion that top tier normal units come too early, but having no good solutions, I took no action for that year until I finally made up my mind and realized this issue is too critical for game balance to not solve it, even if the only solution is less than perfect. While it's not possible currently, I see the ideal solution for this being a new Arcane spell that appears for research at the correct timing and enables these buildings when cast.


Fantastic Stables

Cost :500, 5 gold

Effect: None

Required by : Special units

Special : Can't be built before 1406.

See Armorer's Guild above, the building has the same function except this one typically unlocks top tier flying units.


Barracks

Cost :125

Effect: All units begin with 30 EXP (+1 level)

Required by : War College

This separates the effect of extra unit levels from buildings that unlock unit tiers, ensuring that bulding units with additional levels is a player choice, and not a requirement.


War College

Cost :450, 2 gold

Effect: All units begin with 80 EXP (+2 level)

An additional, second level on top of Barracks, which ensures that for a steep investment, you can produce Veteran soldiers. This helps keeping high figure count medium tier units stay relevant longer, and provides the choice of this or unlocking a higher tier of units which typically have fewer figures and thus won't benefit from the extra level as much. Of course, races with high figure count top tier units also exist, which will want to have both buildings as early as possible, but even them, deciding which to build first can be important.


City Walls

Cost :75, 1 gold

Effect: Scouting range increases to 3, units behind the walls in combat gain +3 defense against attacks coming from the outside, or +1 if the wall section is destoryed.

Not much changes here, works like the original.


The religion tree

Shrine → Cathedral

Shrine+Builder's Hall → Oracle


The magic tree

Library → Sage's Guild and Alchemist's Guild

Alchemist's Guild → Amplifying Tower

Magic Market → Wizard's Guild


The military tree

Smithy → Stables, Fighter's Guild, Colosseum

Fighter's Guild → Armorer's Guild

Barracks →War College, Colosseum

Stables → Fantastic Stables

Ship Wright's Guild and Fighter's Guild → Maritime Guild


The food tree

Granary and Marketplace → Farmer's Market

Forester's Guild and Granary → Animist's Guild


The production tree

Sawmill → Forester's Guild

Miner's Guild+University → Mechanician's Guild


The advanced tree

Builder's Hall → University, Parthenon, Bank, Merchant's Guild, Oracle


The economy tree

Marketplace + Builder's Hall → Bank

Ship Wright's Guild + Builder's Hall → Merchant's guild



Races

The original Master of Magic specialized races by giving unique additional stats of abilities to their units. This is good design worth keeping. Unfortunately, they also priced units with better such benefits significantly higher, which had a reverse effect - I rather produce 2 baseline halberdiers than one that has an addtional point of attack or defense power for the same price. Caster of Magic instead follows the philosopy that the same unit costs the same, and the racial modifications are true benefits which are balanced out by the overall capabilities of the race, such as building availability.


Arcanus

Barbarians

The original design of Barbarians was to be the only race that has no access to magical resources and virtually anything economical, but in exchange have powerful, fast, efficient military units. Playtesting unfortunately showed this design is not viable and locks out the race as playable for most realms and strategies, thus Barbarians had to gain the ability to at least have some minimal magical infrastructure. While they still specialize in military, and are the only race in the game incapable of producing magical weapons, their economy is now enough to make them playable. Barbarians gained two new units, as for a military specialized race, having only one type of unit, Berserkers, which are not particularly versatile and work well specificaly with one realm of magic, is not acceptable. Barbarian population grows quickly to support the need of large early military production potential, but lacking most lategame economy buildings, they can't tale advantage of that through peaceful strategies. Barbarians typically generate high unrest in more sophisticated races, but militaristic races work well under their rule. Their medium tier units are nearly as powerful as top tier units from other races, but they don't have a top tier of their own.


+90 Growth

+30 Outpost growth
Builder's Hall

Cathedral

Miner's Guild

Library

Fantastic Stables

Armorer's Guild


Spearmen, Swordsmen, Bowmen, Cavalry, Shaman, Trireme, Galley, Warship
-1 Resistance, + 1 To Hit, Pathfinding, Thrown 1

Settler costs 33% less.


Berserkers (100, Fighter's Guild) : 7 Melee, 3 Thrown, +1 To Hit, 3 Defense, 3 Resistance, 3 Movement, 6 Figures, 3 Health. Pathfinding.

Spellzerkers (120, Wizard's Guild) : 3 Melee, 5 Thrown, +1 To Hit, 4 Defense, 6 Resistance, 3 movement, 4 Figures, 4 Health, Caster 20, Pathfinding.

Gladiators (120, Colosseum) : 5 Melee, 4 Thrown, +2 To Hit, 6 Defense, 5 Resistance, 3 movement, 3 Figures, 6 health, Large Shield, Pathfinding.


Berserkers offer the most figures and best attack power, making them an amazing unit for buffing and killing things, but they're super vulnerable and generally risky to use against enemies that can use unit curses on them that they have a hard time resisting. Spellzerkers are similar in role as magicians, they work well in garrisons due to their decent resistance and hit points, and while they have no ranged attacks, they have Caster 20 to have some sort of way to indirectly harm enemies, as well as very high Thrown and good hit points which they can take advantage of to hurt enemies in melee combat, usual Magicians would never even think about. Gladiators offer fewer figures but they are a lot more durable and have more defense and resistance. Unlike most other Barbarian units, they are effective against ranged enemies due to their shield, and work well without relying on buffs or magic support.


Gnolls

Gnolls are the most early game specialized militaristic race in the game. While they lack the powerful spike in unit power at the medium tier units Barbarian empires can take advantage of, they have outstanding early units and extremely fast movement, as well as a fairly good top tier unit. Gnolls are about exploring and conquering most of the world before other races start to be relevant, however they come with severe weaknesses to offset that potential. Lacking the Barbarian's Thrown ability and having no ranged units at all either, they have very hard time dealing with fighting enemies. While Gnoll units are super fast and have high attack power, they aren't any more durable than other races and the player has to find a way to keep expanding despite the lost units in battles. Gnoll ecnomy is bad, lacking advanced buildings and having no access to Magic Market and Wizards' Guilds makes Gnoll empires particularly bad magic users in the late game. They need to rely on conquering other races for that, which is especially difficult as more refined races generally hate Gnolls even more than Barbarians, and have really bad interracial unrest.


+60 Growth
Builder's Hall

Magic Market

Fantastic Stables

Maritime Guild


Spearmen, Swordsmen, Halberdier, Trireme, Galley
+2 Melee attack, + 1 Movement


Wolf Riders (80, Stables) : 7 Melee, 3 Defense, 5 Resistance, 5 Movement, 4 Figures, 4 Health. Pathfinding.

Jackal Riders (150, Armorer's Guild) : 6 Melee, 3 Defense, 5 Resistance, 4 Movement, 8 Figures, 3 Health. Cloak of Fear.

Wolf Riders offer the extreme early mobility and military power no other race has. The melee bonus ensures the generic units like swordsmen and halberdiers are highly effective, and the movement bonus makes them able to easily corner and destroy enemies that try to evade them. Jackal Riders offer a powerful late game unit, especially for buff based strategies due to the very high figure count, but taking advantage of the Fear ability, it can be used effectively to destroy a wide range of enemies.



Halflings

Halflings are the opposite of Gnolls, the least militaristic race in the game, perfectly suitable for peaceful economy based strategies. As they have no military power to speak of on their own, interracial unrest is the lowest for them among all races when conquering others, to allow a Halfling ruler to effectively build units of other races, should they be dragged into a war, or playing a specialized conquest based strategy despite their bad military power. Halflings kept the increased food producing ability from the original game mainly for flavor, as food is much more available in Caster of Magic with troops only costing 1/2 to maintain each. However, to keep the race relevant, they gained the new ability to produce research, which is ideal for peaceful strategies that win through reaching Spell of Mastery or the Very Rare tier first. When playing as Halfings, the player has a choice between building all Halfling cities which gives them maximal economy and research potential, or take advantage of the unrest tables and conquer other races which allow for military diversity at the price of less research. Halfling units are Lucky, but their baseline stats are so low, the increased chance to hit or defend doesn't help them out that much. While additional unit levels could mitigate this issue, the race cannot building Barracks or War Collages to achieve that easily.


+60 Growth

+40 Outpost growth

+1 Research per population.

+1 Food per Farmer.

Military units are more expensive.
Barracks

Armorer's Guild

Fantastic Stables

Maritime Guild

Animist's Guild


Spearmen, Swordsmen, Magicians, Shaman, Catapult, Trireme, Galley
-1 Melee attack, Lucky.

Spearmen and Swordsmen have +2 figures.


Slingers (100, Fighter's Guild) : 1 Melee, 4 Ranged, 1 Defense, 4 Resistance, 2 Movement, 8 Figures, 1 Health. Lucky.

Just like in the original game, Halflings are super effective when buffed due to the high figure count and additional hit chance. Halfling slingers with enough buffs can obliterate even very rare creatures with relative ease. However, as testing has proven, they are no longer as overpowered as they used to be thanks to the improved AI. While the unit is powerful, the AI will now be able to counter buffed Slingers through the spells Warp Wood and Guardian Wind, as well as Invisibility and Walls of Darkness, and they will typically use Magicians as garrisons which are immune to the projectiles from Slingers.


High Elves

High Elves are the race which specializes in magic power on Arcanus. While the amount is fewer than the research bonus on Halflings, this is pretty much the only generic late game race that has decent military power, acceptable early game units, and every important economy building on top of the extra magic power. For this versatility, they pay by having slow population growth, and while their special units are good, they don't stand out that much. Elves lack Shaman or Priests, making them extra vulnerable to Corruption which can drag down their already miniscule population growth further. They also lack Engineers, which they need to hire as mercenaries or conquer cities of other late game races for them. However, as Elves specialize in Magic Power as their ecnomical benefit, having no easy access to the road gold bonus is reasonable. The extra chance to hit makes their generic military units slightly above average without really turning them into a military race, and as expected from Elves, they have good resistance to magic.


+30 Growth

+20 Outpost growth

+1/2 Power per population.

Colosseum

Maritime Guild


Spearmen, Swordsmen, Magicians, Halberdiers, Cavalry, Catapult, Trireme, Galley
+1 to Hit, +1 Resistance, Forester


Longbowmen (50, Forester's Guild) : 1 Melee, 3 Ranged, +1 To Hit, 2 Defense, 5 Resistance, 2 Movement, 6 Figures, 1 Health. Forester.

Elven Lords (160, Armorer's Guild) : 5 Melee, +2 To Hit, 6 Defense, 10 Resistance, 4 Movement, 4 Figures, 14 Health. Forester, First Strike, Armor Piercing.

Pegasai (120, Fantastic Stables) : 4 Melee, 3 Ranged, +1 To Hit, 4 Defense, 8 Resistance, 5 Movement, 4 Figures, 4 Health. Forester. Flying.

Longbowmen offer Elves a fairly decent ability to hunt nodes and treasure in general and defend themselves, but they are risky to use for aggression due to the low health and defense, which makes them suitable for a magic oriented late game race. Beyond that, they have no specialized units until the final tier, which offers Elven Lords - a fast, extremely damaging cavalry unit with decent armor that's more cost effective than Paladins but lacks the special abilities of them, and Pegasai which offer extreme mobility and the ability to do hit-and-run tactices but unfortunately suffer from relatively low attack power. Nonetheless, with their speed, they can respond to incoming enemies and weaken or eliminate threats even before they reach the Elven cities, as well as being efficient scouts that can discover brewing danger which can help the player choose the correct long term strategy.


High Men

High Men are a quite unique race in Caster of Magic, as they offer by far the worst early game potential, but have great economy and superior military units for the late game. This race is desiged to be the most powerful in both military and economy, at the cost of being the most difficult to play well, with severe early game drawbacks - pretty much the opposite of the common design where they are the most generic race in the game. They don't specialize in magic like Elves do, and don't suffer from slow growth, but remaining in play until they can realize their potential can be a struggle. High Men are very freedom loving and generally dislike being ruled by anyone, especially other races, making it much harder to take advantage of their potential for rulers who do not start the game with this race. This also applies in the reverse - most other races won't like being ruled by High Men, resulting in high unrest, but High Men players might find an unexpected salvation in Barbarian cities, reducing the overall economy potential but filling out the gap in early military power. The rebelling nature of High Men is so high, they have slightly increased unrest rates even when ruled by their own kind. Due to this, High Men players will find unrest reducing effects especially important, and early game economy difficult to manage. Additionally, High Men basic units have horrible magic resistance and no benefits whatsoever. However with great difficulties comes great benefits, as this race can build any building faster than other races, and their mid to late units are among the best. The race also offers by far the most choices for unit production in the game. Unlike Elves, High Men can build roads and clean corruption.


+60 Growth

+10 Outpost growth

-15% building costs.

+1 Unrest on High Men cities

Fantastic Stables


Spearmen, Swordsmen, Bowmen, Magicians, Cavalry, Catapult, Trireme, Galley, Warship, Engineers
-2 Resistance.

+2 Figures on Magicians


Pikemen (75, Fighter's Guild) : 4 Melee, 4 Defense, 4 Resistance, 2 Movement, 8 Figures, 2 Health. Negate First Strike, Armor Piercing.

Crusaders (60, Shrine, Fighter's Guild) : 5 Melee, 4 Defense, 6 Resistance, 2 Movement, 8 Figures, 2 Health. Large Shield, Healing Spell.

Knights (60, Stables, Fighter's Guild) : 6 Melee, 5 Defense, 5 Resistance, 5 Movement, 4 Figures, 3 Health. First Strike.

Paladins (240, Cathedral, Armorer's Guild) : 6 Melee, 5 Defense, 8 Resistance, 4 Movement, 4 Figures, 5 Health. First Strike, Armor Piercing, Holy Bonus 1, Death Immunity, Illusion Immunity.

Priests (100, Parthenon) : 3 Melee, 5 Magical Ranged, 4 Defense, 6 Resistance, 2 Movement, 4 Figures, 2 Health. Healer, Healing Spell, Purify, Resistance to All +1.

First of all, Paladins received a major overhaul. Magic Immunity had to go - in a game with magic being the most important game element, that ability has no room to exist on a mass producable normal unit. It was also extremely unfair as the unit is superior in melee combat due to the First Strike and Armor Piercing abilities, and being immune to magical ranged attacks and spells on top of that pretty much makes it a unit with no counters in the game. Bow attacks simply don't do enough damage to hurt a top tier unit like this effectively, and the high movement of the unit made them worthless against them anyway. Paladins are now the unit that serves the role of providing your armies with Holy Bonus +1, which is an extremely potent ability well worth the unit cost by itself. On top of that, they are still a good melee fighter with the aforementioned first strike and armor piercing, have a very high magic resistance, and have the unique Death Immunity and Illusion Immunity abilities no other unit on Arcanus has, allowing High Men players to fight against Sorcery and Death wizard effectively, despite the low unit resistance which would make other units from the race pretty bad at that. High Men Priests can boost the resistance of their entire army, partially negating the low resistance of the race. Magicians have additional figures, as well as Pikemen - a perk retained from the original game. Unfortunately, Pikemen will not always be effective - while they dish out good damage, they are slow and fragile, making them inefficient against ranged enemies. For that purpose, the new Knight and Crusader unit has been added, both of which being excellent at fighting against lower tier ranged units. Crusader also offer decent fighting power which Shaman or Priests usually lack, allowing the player to build an army that can both use healing magic to prevent losing units and still be capable of having reasonable fighting capacity. At 8 figures, Crusaders are also excellent targets for buffing, like Pikemen, benefitting highly from attack boosting magic and level gains.


Klackon

Klackon received the design of being the race that overwhelms others through sheer quantity of mediocre units. The Klackon race has excellent growth, faster production and decent gold ecnonomy due to the unrest reduction, but interracial unrest is severe. This shouldn't be an issue as Klackon cities can grow as fast as mushrooms, allowing a raze and rebuild strategy to work well. Klackon military units have additional armor but no other benefits, which works well for this approach - your units are not just easy to produce but also durable so even after using them in combat, you can use them again. Klackons can't produce ranged units, but their top tier unit, Stag Beetle, can attack flying enemies with the breath attacks, ensuring the race has no particluar weaknesses unlike gnolls. Late game Klackon economy and military potential is limited by having no access to several buildings and having no unit that really stands out, as well as growth rates being no longer beneficial past reaching maximal population. Due to this, Klackons play differently from both early and late races, and generally win through extreme early economy snowballing and superior midgame army sizes. This can be achieved both through fighting successful early wars, and taking advantage of the high productivity to spam settlers and build on every available spot before other players reach them. Klackon military power skyrockets at the moment Armorer's Guild becomes available, as by then, a Klackon empire usually has massive production capacity. As Klackon economy is supported through low unrest, high tax rates, high population and roads, they have no access to additional gold producing buildings or religious buildings. This can actually make Klackon economy have difficulties with gold costs in the late game, but Klackons have extreme production capacity and thus have minimal use for gold anyway. Klackons can't build a Maritime Guild to ensure they remain mediocre as a naval power, but they can still outnumber enemy fleets with Galleys if the player puts some effort into producing them.


+110 Growth

+20 Outpost growth

+1 Production/ worker

-4 Unrest on Klackon cities

Shrine

Mechanician's Guild

War College

Fantastic Stables

Maritime Guild

Bank

Merchant's Guild


Spearmen, Swordsmen, Halberdier, Trireme, Galley, Engineers
+2 Defense.


Stag Beetle (160, Armorer's Guild) : 15 Melee, 5 Fire Breath, 7 Defense, 7 Resistance, 4 Movement, 1 Figures, 20 Health.

Stag Beetle is a true avatar of mediocrity, having all around good stats on attack, resistance, durability and movement. However, having no real weaknesses, these beasts can overwhelm almost any other unit in the game through sheer numbers, the strategy where Klackons excel the most. They are single figure, so when buffing, minerals and levels are available, producing halberdiers instead might prove to be a better strategy, but beware of their inability to move quickly or attack flying enemies.


Lizardmen

Similar to klackons in having no outstanding late game units and dominating through numerical superiority, but this race achieves that goal through naval supremancy which both enables them to spread to unconquered lands before anyone else, and to isolate already inhabited islands from their main empire and conquer them individually, without having to worry about enemy retaliation - enemy transports will not reach your shores alive! Similarly to Klackons, Lizardmen units also lack special abilities other than being allowed to move on water, and have no additional offensive power, instead being more durable through additional hit points. While the units are durable, their magic resistance is subpar, so unlike Klackon, Lizardmen players will likely want to avoid prolonged combat against wizards having access to save or die effects or unit curses more - fortunately, naval battles shouldn't take too long, as units carried by enemy vessels can't participate in the combat and the ships themselves are quickly overwhelmed by the lizardmen armies. This race received the most changes during the lifespan of the mod, the initial design being the race with no access to production buildings. This proved to be outright unplayable so the critical Sawmill had to be enabled. After that, the race started to dominate every game, as they had growth rivaling Klackons back then, which paired with the faster settlers, vastly superior double health early units and naval superiority made them pretty much the best. This had to be toned down to give other races a breathing room, and the reduction of growth rate as well as resistance had been chosen as solutions, keeping the naval superiority and expansionist themes. Lizardmen have reduced unrest in their own cities, to ensure acceptable early economy potential for expansion, and medium levels of interracial unrest, but they still can't build a Miner's Guild so their late game production output can be lacking, requiring the race to rely on early and midgame expansion like Klackons.


+70 Growth

+30 Outpost growth

Settler cost -20%, Settler movement +1.

-1 Unrest in Lizardmen cities.


Builder's Hall

Miner's Guild

War College

Ship Wringhts Guild

Fantastic Stables


Spearmen, Swordsmen, Halberdier, Trireme, Galley, Engineers
+1 Health, -1 Magic resistance, Water movement.


Carrak (80, Forester's Guild, sea access) : 18 Melee, 8 Ranged, 4 Defense, 6 Resistance, 4 Movement, 1 Figures, 15 Health. Ship.

Dragon Turtle (100, Armorer's Guild) : 10 Melee, 5 Lightning Breath, 9 Defense, 12 Resistance, 2 Movement, 1 Figures, 20 Health.

Javelineers (75, Fighter's Guild) : 5 Melee,4 Ranged, 3 Defense, 5 Resistance, 2 Movement, 6 Figures, 2 Health.

Surprisingly, the race was unexpectedly inferior at the naval game and settler expansion when used by the human player during playtesting, and a simple shocking truth was behind that : Lizardmen units might be able to move on water, but they are slow. Doubled settler speed sounds great on paper but other races carry their settlers on speed 3 ships, and needless to say speed 2 armies, no matter how powerful, will fail at engaging speed 3 transports way too often. To ensure the race does work as intended, Carrack had to be added - a semi-powerful ship unit that comes early and ensures your Lizardmen units will be carried quickly into combat against enemy transports as well as letting you explore at a decent speed and carry your settlers. The added settler movement speed was kept however, as it helps the settlers reach their target after disembarking the ship, or initially on your home continent. It's also necessary for the AI who will not bother to organize a transport for settlers that can move through water on their own - while the entire sea AI has been completely replaced for Caster of Magic, the AI lacks the foresight of the human players to prepate the transport in advance instead of making their units wait for one on the shore after they are ready to board a ship. Dragon Turtles are the unit with the highest defense and resistance on Arcanus - virtually unkillable, but their low speed and damage makes them often useless at trying to conquer enemies. That's alright - the intended role of the unit is to ensure you can garrison your cities and defend your empire past the midgame, when you already succeeded at expanding and need to hold your territory and capitalize on the benefits by switching over to dominate enemies by your high tier spells. Finally Javelineers, while seemingly a mediocre ranged unit, will dominate early and midgame battles by having acceptable ranged damage output while at the same time being as durable as a halberider of other races and having identical melee attack power as well, filling both roles well.


Nomad

Nomads are another late game race with decent early and midgame military potential. Unlike Elves, Nomads don't suffer from the lack of population growth, but they can't build food producting buildings. Their military specializes in using bows and having high magic resistance, however the lack of Granary makes them super weak to city curses from the Death realm- the maximal population reduction from Drought hits them especially hard. Nomad rulers have the choice of attempting to subdue Death wizards and destroy them entirely before that happens, which should be easier than usual thanks to the supreme magic resistance, or they can attempt to maintain a peaceful relation and aim for one of the very rare spells that protects their cities from enemy magic or remove those enemies through attempting a blitzkrieg. While nomad units are good, food is scarce, making early overexpansion using Nomads difficult as that would require feeding the larger armies. Using the conquered cities for food production can help, but building them up to have enough food production to support your needs take time and will likely slow your expansion anyway. Nonetheless, the excellent ranged units can help obtaining resources from lairs and nodes which Nomads are likely best at on the plane, making the race suitable for less aggressive playstyles as well. Flavor-wise, the nomadic lifestyle allows them to meet and understand various cultures and styles of magic, explaining the resistance, bows provide a good answer to the inevitable meeting of hostile tribes, and being used to stay on the move explains the unwillingness to rely on argiculture and granaries. Unlike Elves, Nomads can produce priests to clean corruption - their weakness is Drought instead. The “road” bonus also matches the flavor of nomadic lifestyle - even without roads, nomads will travel and trade with nearby nations as if they had them.This even provides defensive military advantage, as incoming enemies can't take advantage of being able to move faster by using your roads, something most other races have to worry about, and which makes having roads for increased gold production have a downside.


+80 Growth

Settler cost -33%

+3 Magic Resistance.

Spearmen and Swordsmen have a weak bow attack.

Gain up to 50% road bonus as though you had roads even if you do not.


Granary

Colosseum

Maritime Guild


Spearmen, Swordsmen, Catapult, Magician, Trireme, Galley, Warship
+1 Health, -1 Magic resistance, Water movement.


Horsebowmen (50, Stables) : 4 Melee, 4 Ranged, 2 Defense, 7 Resistance, 4 Movement, 4 Figures, 3 Health.

Priests (100, Parthenon) : 3 Melee, 5 Magical Ranged, 4 Defense, 11 Resistance, 2 Movement, 4 Figures, 2 Health.

Pikemen (75, Fighter's Guild) : 4 Melee, 4 Defense, 8 Resistance, 2 Movement, 6 Figures, 2 Health. Armor Piercing, Negate First Strike.

Rangers (150, Armorer's Guild) : 6 Melee, 7 Ranged (6 ammo), 3 Defense, 8 Resistance, 3 Movement, 4 Figures, 3 Health. Long Range, Pathfinding

Griffons (180, Fantastic Stables) : 9 Melee, 5 Defense, 8 Resistance, 4 Movement, 2 Figures, 10 Health. First Strike, Armor Piercing, Flying

The excellent Horsebowmen unit is the only early game normal unit that can use ranged attacks while having a high enough movement speed to consistently avoid melee enemy units. This unit had to be repeatedly reduced in power and it's still excellent. Being a cavalry type unit, it has acceptable amount of hit points per figure, making it hard to kill with early game direct damage spells, and the high resistance takes care of not getting cursed. As it's unlikely to die in battles, it works well for a race that cannot afford maintaining larger armies due to bad food production. I personally consider Nomads the best late game race choice on Arcanus for high difficulty due to having this amazing early unit, but the race manages to remain balanced overall as other races offer better late game units or economy potential and weakness to Drought is a much more serious threat than it would first seem. Pikemen lack the extra figures High Men get, but the much higher magic resistance makes up for it. Rangers have very potent bow attacks and great durability and mobility for an archer, and will likely eliminate all enemies unfortunate enough to not have access to magicians or spells that counter bow attacks. Fortunately, both of them are somewhat unlikely, keeping the unit from becoming too outstanding. Griffons are a decent flying unit that have no ranged attacks, making them less tactical than Pegasai, but thanks to First Strike they can still often engage enemies without getting damaged in the process. Their melee attack power might not seem outstanding, but it's still the best for Arcanus flying normal units available in the game, and they are suprisingly durable with a total of 20 health for the unit. Due to the low figure count though, the damage potential is difficult to improve by buffs or unit levels and remains consistently good without becoming too powerful.


Orc

Orcs are Caster of Magic's most generic race, which can do pretty much anything but excels at nothing - a role typically given to humans. This makes it fairly similar to what they used to be in the original Master of Magic game - a reliable race with no drawbacks or advantages for your late game strategy that only wants the resources and doesn't really care about being able to produce good units, as victory is achieved either through summoning good monsters, or through peaceful economy reaching the highest tier spells, either way, through specializing entirely into the usage of magic. To support this role, they have the best growth rate of late game races, and their troops cost less maintenance to ensure you can afford to wage war without having to redirect resources from your magical goals towards military funding. Needless to say, good growth and inexpensive units also work decent at more agressive strategies, if you can overcome the lack of having powerful units through various ways of buffing them.


+90 Growth

-10 Outpost Growh

-1 gold unit maintenance


Spearmen, Swordsmen, Bowmen, Halberdiers, Shaman, Cavalry, Catapult, Magician, Trireme, Galley, Warship, Engineers


Horde (75, Armorer's Guild) : 6 Melee, 5 Defense, 5 Resistance, 2 Movement, 8 Figures, 2 Health, Negate First Strike, Large Shield.

Wyvern Rider (150, Fantastic Stables) : 7 Melee, 5 Defense, 7 Resistance, 4 Movement, 2 Figures, 10 Health, Posion 6, Flying.

The race has by far the most diverse set of generic units, and even their unique unit is as generic as possible, being just a slightly stronger halberier with more figures and Large Shield to resist ranged attacks better. The maximal figure count ensures the buffs based stretegies work very well for the race, and thanks to the shield, they unit is expected to survive and reach enemies despite having only the baseline 2 movement. Wyvern Riders lack the good damage output of Griffons, as their Poison ability only deals relevant damage to units with low resistance which is much less likely to happen by the time they come into play, and while they have the 20 hit points, without First Strike, they get damaged and killed when engaging enemies fairly quickly. Nonetheless, the unit does enable the race to have access to flying, completing their “can do everything but excels at nothing” role.


Myrror

Beastmen

Beastmen are the generic race of the Myrror plane. As Myrran races are supposed to be more powerful, they get the full toolset of late game races, yet have no disadvantages and they also get above average units at least by Arcanus standards, as their units don't really stand out as being powerful on Myrror.


+70 Growth

-5 Outpost Growth


Maritime Guild


Spearmen, Swordsmen, Halberdiers, Bowmen, Catapult, Magician, Trireme, Galley, Engineers
+1 Health, +1 Melee Attack.


Priests (100, Parthenon) : 4 Melee, 5 Magical Ranged, 4 Defense, 11 Resistance, 2 Movement, 4 Figures, 3 Health.

Centaurs (90, Stables, Fighter's Guild) : 5 Melee, 5 Ranged (6 ammo), 3 Defense, 5 Resistance, 4 Movement, 4 Figures, 4 Health.

Manticores (160, Fantastic Stables) : 7 Melee, 1 Ranged (2 ammo), 3 Defense, 8 Resistance, 3 Movement, 3 Figures, 6 Health. Poison 4, Weapon Immunity, Flying.

Minotaurs (200, Armorer's Guild) : 12 Melee, +2 To Hit, 5 Defense, 7 Resistance, 3 Movement, 2 Figures, 12 Health. Large Shield.

Centaurs are a higher tier version of Horsebowmen, offering high mobility and ranged attacks, although have more health and less magic resistance but higher attack power and more ammo. Manticores are similar to Wyverns being a fairly generic flying unit that relies on poison, however they also have the additional benefit of being able to launch two ranged poison attacks at enemies. Weapon Immunity is not often relevant at this tier, but occasionally, it can be extremely valuable. Minotaurs are the heavy melee units offering a big pool of hit points and high attack power, and are what the race relies on for building strong late game armies, but they don't really stand out and lack the figure count to be effective with buffing stategies, ensuring the race doesn't stand out among Myrran races for their military potential.


Dwarf

Dwarves traditionally loathe magic and refuse to use it other than through forging magical weapons. They cannot build most magic related buildings, but can build the Alchemist Guild to take advantage of special minerals and have access to magic weapons. This makes them suitable for the role of the early/midgame race for this plane. They have extreme magic resistance and amount of hit points to make them excellent in battle, and they have better gold and production economy to support their military strategies. Nonetheless, lacking access to magic resources, Dwarf leaders are outclassed in the late game by enemy magic spells and need to rely on conquering other races, unless they have access to unusually high amounts of magical minerals which they can exploit. Dwarven growth is extremely low, but their other economy benefits ensure they are efficient as a military race despite that. If you can overcome that and build up a city with large population, you can expect extreme riches and military production, making this race also suitable for gold reliant strategies. They have no access to Merchant's Guild and Banks, but they produce more gold than any other race even without these buildings. They're also the best road buildiers which can both help in overcoming their slow overland movement speed and increasing their gold production even more. They are the only race that lacks the Spearmen unit - Dwarves are too proud blacksmiths to go into battle without quality equipment. (Gameplay-wise, their additional hit points would make the Speamen unit way too durable and powerful for the role of a sacrificial unit)

Playtesting showed that more than +1 Bonus Health and the intended amount of bonus resistance was entirely too much and made buffed basic units, even swordsmen, powerful enough to destroy entire enemy empires alone, so unfortunately, these units had to be toned down, making them not much better than Beastmen units - however Dwarves will produce them much faster. Other, race specific units were kept powerful though. Elves and Orcs generally hate Dwarves and produce high unrest, but most other races are willing to accept being ruled by a Dwarf leader making conquest fairly profitable.


+20 Growth

Engineers have double road building speed.

Mineral bonuses are doubled.

+1 Production/ worker

Base gold amount obtained from taxes is 50% higher.

Magic Market

Stables

Colosseum

Sage's Guild

Amplifying Tower

Merchant's Guild

Banks


Swordsmen, Halberdiers, Trireme, Galley, Warship, Engineers, Catapults
+1 Health, +2 Resistance, Mountaineer


Hammerhands (140, Armorer's Guild) : 8 Melee, 4 Defense, 10 Resistance, 2 Movement, 6 Figures, 4 Health, Mountaineer.

Steam Cannon (100, University) : 0 Melee, 15 Ranged, 5 Defense, 9 Resistance, 1 Movement, 1 Figures, 12 Health. Long Range.

Golem (180, Mechanician's Guild, Fighter's Guild) : 14 Melee, 7 Defense, 15 Resistance, 3 Movement, 1 Figures, 20 Health. Resist Elements, Poison, Death, Stoning, Fire, Cold Immunity, Wall Crusher

Hammerhands fill the original role of a high figure count, high attack power, high health units that is excellent when buffed or with Adamantium weapons. Their low movement speed is an obvious downside in combat (not so much on the overland map thanks to enchanted roads), but against anything too fast to engage in melee, Steam Cannons will be very efficient - even if the enemy does have units to return fire, the cannons have much better durability than normal Catapults, and anything trying to engage them in melee will be quickly annihilated by the Hammerhands. If neither of these work because the enemy is using armies that are entirely high ranged attack power like magicians, Golems will effectively destroy them thanks to their high armor and resistance to magical damage. These 3 special units ensure that dwarves will be effective against pretty much any possible enemy army, even on the Myrran plane.


Dark Elf

Dark Elves have the original design - being the best race at using magic. Their units are weak by Myrran standards, but their ranged attack can give them enough punch to be able to survive the early game. Later, they will have access to very effective late game units that beat enemies not through brute force but magical trickery or powerful magical ranged attacks. Dark elf cities have a large power income bonus, but their population grows somewhat slowly although not as extremely so as in the original. Dark Elf leaders are usually accepted without much unrest by other late game races, but militaristic races tend to dislike them and rebel more. Dark Elves not only excel at using magic, they are also great at resisting it.


+40 Growth

+1 Power per population

Basic units have a weak magic ranged attack.


Maritime Guild


Spearmen, Swordsmen, Halberdiers, Cavalry, Trireme, Galley, Catapults
+2 Resistance


Priests (120, Parthenon) : 3 Melee, 7 Magical Ranged (4 ammo), 4 Defense, 10 Resistance, 2 Movement, 4 Figures, 2 Health, Healing Spell, Healer, Purify

Apprentice (40, Library, Smithy) : 2 Melee, 3 Magical Ranged (4 ammo), 2 Defense, 6 Resistance, 2 Movement, 6 Figures, 1 Health, Large Shield, Caster 14.

Nightblades (150, Armorer's Guild) : 5 Melee, 4 Defense, 7 Resistance, 2 Movement, 6 Figures, 3 Health, Invisibility, Poison 2

Warlocks (160, Wizard's Guild) : 1 Melee, 9 Magical Ranged (4 ammo), 4 Defense, 9 Resistance, 3 Movement, 4 Figures, 1 Health, Doombolt Spell, Missile Immunity

Nightmares (200, Fantastic Stables) : 8 Melee, 8 Magical Ranged (4 ammo), 4 Defense, 12 Resistance, 4 Movement, 2 Figures, 8 Health, Flying

Being the only race to produce naturally invisible units, as well as having access to the rare tier Doom Bolt spell and the only flying ranged normal unit with magical ranged attacks in the game, Dark Elves offer a diverse and powerful set of late game units that can fill most necessary roles. The new early game unit, Apprentices, enables a unit with the Caster ability that comes before Magicians. The amount of casting ability is set exactly low enough that the most commonly used spells will be too expensive, promoting the underused spells that have a very low casting cost for a not so powerful effect. Playing as Dark Elves can be enough reason to pick some of those as common starting spells which is otherwise unlikely to happen, such as AEther Sparks or Weakness.


Draconian

The flying race in the game, Draconians can scout the map the fastest, and are great for strategies that rely on combat-cast spells while the enemy can't engage them. They are quite fragile in melee combat, but they can eliminate enemies before they can retaliate thanks to the combination of flying and breath attacks and have a small armor bonus to ensure they don't take too much damage from the remainder. I've spent by far the most time playtesting this race, as flying is the most powerful racial special ability in the game, only comparable to the Troll's Regeneration. While having both breath attacks and extra armor sounds way too powerful, you have to consider what the other Myrran races are : Dark elves eliminate Draconians at range, Dwarves, Trolls and Beastmen have additional hit points so taking their units down with a weak bearth attack is inefficient, and finally, enemy Draconians will fly so taking full advantage of Breath atacks will be difficult. Nonetheless, Draconians are still a great race, due to the excellent early scouting ability a Draconian player can easily find unused spots to build cities on, exploit lairs and nodes, spot any weak points in enemy empires where an attack can be launched, and even dominate the naval game by eliminating enemy transports from the sea. Their bowmen needed special attention as shooting arrows has an entirely different meaning if your unit flies and is thus unreachable - sadly, after a lot of testing, it was proven they needed to be limited to only 4 ammo while others have 8. This does make sense though, as carrying arrows while flying is not so trivial as is for walking races. Draconians play similarly to Lizardmen from the Arcanus plane, except they lack the ability to overwhelm others on their plane in direct military conflict, instead having a strong late game with full availability of economy buildings and even a power bonus from population. Draconians have relatively forgiving interracial unrest tables - I don't remeber if there was a particular gameplay reason for that or it's simply for flavor, but only a few races are brave enough to rebel against the intelligent and powerful Draconian race.


+60 Growth

+0.5 Power per population

Bowmen have less ammo and cost more.


Fantastic Stables

Mechanician's Guild


Spearmen, Swordsmen, Halberdiers, Trireme, Galley, Warship, Catapults, Magicians, Bowmen
+1 Armor, Flying, Fire Breath.


Saints (100, Shrine, Parthenon) : 2 Melee, 4 Magical Ranged (4 ammo), 5 Defense, 7 Resistance, 2 Movement, 5 Figures, 2 Health, Healing Spell, Healer, Purify

Doom Drakes (210, Stables, Armorer's Guild) : 10 Melee, 7 Fire Breath, 5 Defense, 7 Resistance, 5 Movement, 2 Figures, 10 Health, Cloak of Fear

Air Ship (200, Maritime Guild) : 5 Melee, 15 Ranged (10 ammo), 5 Defense, 8 Resistance, 4 Movement, 1 Figures, 20 Health.

Doom Drakes and Air Ships offer extreme mobility and air superiority. Fear makes the drakes able to take out low resistance units without taking damage - slightly less useful on Myrror but excellent against Arcanus races. The new Saints are the unit which provides decent reliable flying ranged capacity or support for your melee armies against other wizards while having just enough durability to survive combat. While testing the race, it was found that such a unit was necessary, as Draconian units still lacked the versatility they needed - bowmen and magicians were too fragile while every other unit except the very late Air Ships was melee. Bowmen excel against neutral targets who don't cast spell against them, but they are very inefficient at attacking other wizards. So a new unit was needed to be able to actually take advantage of the flying superiority theme against enemy empires.


Troll

Trolls are the other very unique race due to their Regeneration ability. There is no way around it here, this ability is so powerful that most troll units have to cost more than equivalent units from other races, and the original design of having fewer figures with more health and attack power each was kept. This ensures buffing strategies on trolls, while still work, don't become too powerful. In the original game, this race was probably way too powerful as the AI lacked the ability to understand and properly counter regeneration, nor were the spells fine tuned for that purpose. In Caster of Magic this is less of an issue, as Trolls don't have a high magic resistance, and most effects that destroy units without the ability to regenerate are resistance based. The AI is aware of this fact and will prefer to use those spells if they are available. Magicians were added to the race because the possibility of durable, regenerating magicians was too good to no explore, and testing showed that while they are pretty good units, they aren't too powerful and in fact the race needs them to function : against faster or flying enemies, a decent ranged unit is necessary. I'm aware that Shaman used to fill that role in the original game, but they aren't strong enough to do that in Caster of Magic, as unit stats have been overhauled across the board. (Also, Myrran enemies have way too much hit points for a Shaman to deplete.) To balance out the extremely powerful ability of being unable to lose units to all but specialized spell effects, Trolls suffer from high units costs and low economy potential. This makes it hard to maintain a rapid pace of expansion while still providing enough garrison units for freshly conquered towns, yet using non-troll units would mean losing the main benefit of having no vulnerable units the enemy can hurt by conventional methods. Trolls are expected to be used aggressively, and have mediocre late game economy potential unless you expand. Regeneration was turned into an ability that can regenerate X hit points per turn where X is different for each unit or source of the ability. Trolls were given Regeneration 1, as it allows using the hit-run-regenerate-attack again tactic that rewards smart play from the human player, but doesn't provide extreme abuse potential by producing hundreds of free hit points. (Combat duration being limited at 25 turns helps there as well. That, at Regeneration 1, still means each troll unit has a hidden 25 additional hit points, more than what most units in the game have total, which can be drawn out whenever the enemy forces lack the ability to engage the trolls at their own will.)


+60 Growth

-20 Outpost Growth


Builder's Hall

Sage's Guild

Fantastic Stables


Spearmen, Swordsmen, Halberdiers, Trireme, Galley, Warship, Magicians, Shaman
+2 Melee, Regeneration 1, -2 Figures, very high HP per figure.


War Trolls (150, Armorer's Guild) : 8 Melee, 4 Defense, 6 Resistance, 3 Movement, 4 Figures, 8 Health. Regeneration 1.

War Mammoths (150, Armorer's Guild, Stables) : 12 Melee, 6 Defense, 8 Resistance, 2 Movement, 3 Figures, 12 Health. First Strike.

War Mammoths are by far the most powerful normal units in the game at lower figure counts, but lacking regeneration, producing them is a significant decision that can't be done easily. They are a great option if the enemy is effective at countering your Regeneration strategy, and you need a more resistant unit. War Trolls have no abilities whatsoever and are pretty much only used for brute force and durability.

Interracial Unrest Table



It's important to note that your leader's race now depends on your choice at the beginning of the game and is not affected by the location of your fortress.

This change makes sure the interracial tables do matter, and you can't negate your racial disadvantage by simply moving your fortress. While that was a nice trick to have, the benefit was entirely too large and it undermined the whole idea of having the racial unrest game mechanic.


Heroes

Heroes are a major and unique feature that required significant attention. A hero unit by definition of the word, is expected to be very powerful, yet that has to coexist with overall game balance. I solved this by allowing heroes to remain virtually unstoppable if played right, but the AI will put major effort into trying to destroy them, so extreme caution is needed. Heroes are the most difficult to play correctly, but also the most rewarding. In the original Master of Magic, heroes were almost entirely useless without levels, which made them hard to keep alive, fortunately, the AI proved to be reliably dumb enough to not hurt them. This wouldn't work in the mod, so heroes at level 1 start with slightly better stats - especially hit points and attack strengths, however they gain slightly less bonus from additional levels to their Defense and Resistance. Other than the difficulty to use, the core design to balance heroes is their limited availability - you can only have 6 heroes at a time - which was unfortunately ruined by the ability to move them pretty much instantly to any location on the world map in the original. In Caster of Magic however, it's difficult and often expensive to increase the movement allowance of heroes, ensuring that they can't be omnipresent and you still need to rely on other forces to defend your whole empire beyond a certain size. Furthermore, this power level can't be maintained during the entire game - in the extremely early game heroes shouldn't be available - there is no way for an AI player to do anything against a hero on turn 10. Due to this, heroes only appear for hire beyond turn 30, which also ensures that the time needed to level and gear them up limits the timeframe of their full potential to the mid and late game when the AI already has enough troops so the limited number of available hero units matters and the intended game balance exists. Finally, as this is ultimately a game where magic dominates, the highest tier summoned creatures need to be able to oppose even the most powerful heroes, at least when the numbers are on their side. While a demigod hero killing a Great Drake is perfectly okay, it shouldn't be possible to fight a full 9 stack of them alone without support from other hero units or very rare creatures. To ensure this doesn't happen, all very rare creatures gained the ability to do a minimal amount of damage regardless of the target's defenses, an ability that will almost always only be relevant for heroes as other units simply can't stack enough Defense stat for it to matter. As heroes are the second most fun part of the game in my personal opinion (first being magic itself), I spent major effort on this area and implemented many new hero abilities to increase the diversity of heroes. I've also had to make sure existing hero abilities are reasonably balanced. When heroes are generated at the start of the game, each hero receives random abilities according to their class. This system was overhauled, now heroes can be a Mage class, Fighter Class, or Leader class, or any combination of these three. To get an ability that belongs to two classes, the hero needs to have both classes. The formula for hero MP has been overhauled and individualized to ensure they can use their own native spell abilities at the intended levels, however heroes can still get additional MP from their random ability rolls. Each hero has been redesigned to ensure they get an appropriate amount of special abilities for their tier, carefully considering the fact that some abilities are better than others. There should be no weaker heroes now, unless you have access to a higher tier. That of course, doesn't mean every hero will match your strategy, so you'll still need to carefully think before hiring one. The role of Fame for heroes has been slightly adjusted as well. Heroes require more Fame, as it's more available in CoM thanks to fighting more battles and having the ability to build Colosseums. The frequency of hero offers no longer depends on your fame and the number of heroes owned determines it entirely. The more heroes you own, the longer you need to wait for another one to show up. This allows the player to have more choice in their first few heroes which is necessary for hero strategies to work, but the later heroes are still up to luck unless you take the extra effort to cast the hero summoning spells multiple times. This dual design makes it possible that hero strategies can be reliable, yet other strategies can enjoy playing different heroes every game. As heroes are quite capable even at level 1, their gold costs have been signficantly increased. Keeping enough gold in treasury is essential to have any heroes show up at all, and hiring an unnecessary hero can be a major setback to your strategy. You can still take advantage of the game mechanic to hire unwanted heroes and send them into moster lairs so they die to eliminate the possibiliy that they reappear, but doing so will cost you and won't be worth it unless getting the right hero is extremely crticial in your strategy. However, Fame is still very relevant as having higher fame not only unlocks higher tiers, but also increases the chance for the hero offer to contain a higher tier hero and reduces the chance for lower tier heroes. While heroes start to appear at turn 30, some more exploitable hero types will not show up until slightly later turns to ensure the player has just the right amount of time to use them for snowballing. The latest hero to show up is the Ninja, as Invisibility is extremely powerful and exploitable, and can win the game if found early on its own. This of course only refers to the early game - beyond turn 80 or so, all heroes will be available, needless to say only if you have the necessary Fame and gold, or obtain them from other sources that don't require any such as finding a Prisoner. Champions still don't show up as Prisoners though, it was considered, but that would undermine the role of building up fame or casting Summon Champion too much. There are no heroes with native Magic Immunity as that undermines the design of both having to be careful when using heroes, and the theme of magic itself.


Hero Abilities

New

Ritual Master
Type : Mage
Super : Available
Effect : Hero produces +6 Power per turn per level of experience.

AEther Master
Type : Mage
Super : Available
Effect : Hero produces +8 SP per turn per level of experience.

Capacity
Type : Mage
Super : Available
Effect : Hero gains +1 ammo per 2 levels of experience

Divine Barrier
Type : Mage Leader
Super : Available
Effect : All units in combat gain +1 DEF per 3 experience levels

Guiding Beacon
Type : Mage Leader
Super : -
Effect : All units in combat gain +1 ranged ATK per experience level (both missile and magical)

Soul Linker
Type : Mage Leader
Super : Available
Effect : All fantastic creatures in combat gain +1 to HIT or +1 to DEF per two levels of experience, alternating the two bonuses.

Supply Commander
Type : Leader
Super : -
Effect : All units in combat gain +2 ammo. (This bonus is applied at the end of turn 1 in battle)

Logistics
Type : Warrior Leader
Super : -
Effect : All units in combat gain +0.5 movement per 2 levels of experience.

Battlemage
Type : Warrior Mage
Super : Available
Effect : All melee attacks done by the hero refill 1 used MP per experience level.


Old

Agility
Type : Warrior
Super : Available
Effect : Gain +1 DEF per experience level

Arcane Power
Type : Mage
Super : Available
Effect : Gain +1 Ranged ATK per experience level

Armsmaster
Type : Leader
Super : Available
Effect : Nonhero units on the same map tile gain +2 exp per turn

Blademaster
Type : Warrior
Super : Available
Effect : Gain +1 to HIT per 3 levels of experience.

Charmed
Type : Any
Super : -
Effect : Hero has 50 resistance against all magical effects.

Constitution
Type : Warrior
Super : Available
Effect : Hero gains +1 Health per level.

Leadership
Type : Warrior + Leader
Super : Available
Effect : All units in combat gain +1 melee and +0.5 missile ranged ATK per 3 experience levels.

Legendary
Type : Any
Super : Available
Effect : Hero adds +5 FAME per experience level.

Lucky
Type : Any
Super : -
Effect : Hero has +1 to HIT and +1 to DEFEND

Might
Type : Warrior
Super : Available
Effect : Hero gains +1 melee ATK per experience level

Noble
Type : Any
Super : -
Effect : Hero produces 20 gold per turn and has no maintenance cost.

Prayermaster
Type : Mage Leader
Super : Available
Effect : All units in combat gain +1 resistance per 2 experience levels.

Sage
Type : Mage
Super : Available
Effect : Hero produces +10 RP per turn per level of experience.


Extra MP
Type : Caster heroes only

Available only as a random ability roll, the hero gets an additional 2 MP per level. This can be rolled any number of times and is cumulative.


Hero Types

Dwarf
Type : Warrior
Fame : 0
Caster Level : -
Spells : -
Hero abilities : Armsmaster, Constitution
Other Abilities : Mountaineer, above average starting Resistance.
Random abilities : -

Barbarian
Type : Warrior
Fame : 0
Caster Level : -
Spells : -
Hero abilities : Might
Other Abilities : Thrown, Cold Immunity
Random abilities : -

Sage
Type : Mage
Fame : 0
Caster Level : 19 MP + 7 MP per level
Spells : Disenchant True, Phantom Warriors, Psionic Blast
Hero abilities : Sage
Other Abilities : Sorcery ranged attack.
Random abilities : -

Dervish
Type : Warrior
Fame : 0
Caster Level : -
Spells : -
Hero abilities : Noble, Logistics
Other Abilities : Archer
Random abilities : -

Beastmaster
Type : Mage Leader
Fame : 0
Caster Level : 14 MP + 4 MP per level
Spells : Resist Elements, Wild Boars
Hero abilities : Soul Linker
Other Abilities : Forester, extra scouting, archer
Random abilities : 1

Bard
Type : Warrior Leader
Fame : 0
Caster Level : 16 MP + 3 MP per level
Spells : Confusion, Vertigo
Hero abilities : Leadership
Other Abilities : Holy Bonus +1
Random abilities : -

Orc Archer
Type : Warrior Leader
Fame : 0
Caster Level : -
Spells : -
Hero abilities : Supply Commander
Other Abilities : Archer
Random abilities : 1

Healer
Type : Mage Leader
Fame : 0
Caster Level : 20 MP + 5 MP per level
Spells : Healing
Hero abilities : -
Other Abilities : Healer, Nature ranged attack
Random abilities : 1

Huntress
Type : Warrior Leader
Fame : 10
Caster Level : -
Spells : -
Hero abilities : Blademaster*
Other Abilities : Pathfinding, Web Spell
Random abilities : 1

Thief
Type : Warrior
Fame : 10
Caster Level : -
Spells : -
Hero abilities : Agility
Other Abilities : Charmed, Lucky
Random abilities : -

Druid
Type : Mage
Fame : 0
Caster Level : 15 MP + 5 MP per level
Spells : Petrify, Web, Ice Bolt, Wild Boars
Hero abilities : Ritual Master
Other Abilities : Purify, Scouting, Nature ranged attack
Random abilities : -

War Monk
Type : Warrior
Fame : 10
Caster Level : -
Spells : -
Hero abilities : Agility*
Other Abilities : -
Random abilities : 2

Warrior Mage
Type : Warrior Mage
Fame : 10
Caster Level : 19 MP + 6 MP per level
Spells : Web, Flight, Fire Elemental, Black Sleep
Hero abilities : Agility
Other Abilities : Chaos ranged attack
Random abilities : 1

Magician
Type : Mage
Fame : 40
Caster Level : 36 MP + 6 MP per level
Spells : Flame Strike, Fireball, Fire Elemental, Fire Bolt
Hero abilities : Arcane Power
Other Abilities :Missile Immunity, Destruction
Random abilities : 2

Assassin
Type : Warrior
Fame : 10
Caster Level : -
Spells : -
Hero abilities : Blademaster*
Other Abilities : Poison 9, First Strike
Random abilities : 1

Wind Mage
Type : Mage Leader
Fame : 20
Caster Level : 19 MP + 5 MP per level
Spells : Resist Magic, Guardian Wind
Hero abilities : Guiding Beacon
Other Abilities : Wind Walking, Sorcery ranged attack, Missile Immunity
Random abilities : 1

Ranger
Type : Any
Fame : 20
Caster Level : 15 MP + 5 MP per level
Spells : Resist Elements, Fairy Dust
Hero abilities : Lucky
Other Abilities : Poison Immunity, Pathfinding, Archer
Random abilities : 2

Draconian
Type : Warrior
Fame : 20
Caster Level : -
Spells : -
Hero abilities : Might
Other Abilities : Flight, Fire breathing
Random abilities : 2

Witch
Type : Mage
Fame : 20
Caster Level : 25 MP + 5 MP per level
Spells : Black Prayer, Darkness, Mana Leak, Posession
Hero abilities : Charmed
Other Abilities : Missile Immunity, Chaos ranged attack
Random abilities : 2

Golden One
Type : Any
Fame : 20
Caster Level : 20 MP + 5 MP per level
Spells : -
Hero abilities : Noble
Other Abilities : Chaos ranged attack
Random abilities : 3

Ninja
Type : Warrior Leader
Fame : 40
Caster Level : -
Spells : -
Hero abilities : Blademaster
Other Abilities : Invisibility
Random abilities : 3

Rogue
Type : Leader
Fame : 0
Caster Level : -
Spells : -
Hero abilities : Leadership, Legendary*
Other Abilities : -
Random abilities : 1

Amazon
Type : Warrior
Fame : 40
Caster Level : -
Spells : -
Hero abilities : Blademaster, Might, Charmed
Other Abilities : Thrown
Random abilities : 2

Warlock
Type : Mage
Fame : 40
Caster Level : 34 MP + 8 MP per level
Spells : Lightning Bolt, Warp Lightning, Doom Bolt
Hero abilities : Arcane Power*
Other Abilities : Missile Immunity
Random abilities : 2

Unknown
Type : Any
Fame : 40
Caster Level : 21 MP + 6 MP per level
Spells : -
Hero abilities : -
Other Abilities : Chaos ranged attack, Water Walking
Random abilities : 5

Illusionist
Type : Mage
Fame : 80
Caster Level : 28 MP + 14 MP per level
Spells : Confusion, Mind Storm, Phantom Warriors
Hero abilities : -
Other Abilities : Quick Casting, Missile Immunity, Illusion
Random abilities : 2

Swordsman
Type : Warrior
Fame : 80
Caster Level : 15 MP + 5 MP per level
Spells : Raise Dead, Healing
Hero abilities : Blademaster, Agility, Constitution, Armsmaster
Other Abilities : -
Random abilities : 2

Priestess
Type : Mage Leader
Fame : 80
Caster Level : 32 MP + 8 MP per level
Spells : Exorcise, Healing, Holy Word, Prayer
Hero abilities : Divine Barrier, Charmed, Noble, Prayermaster*
Other Abilities : Healer
Random abilities : 1

Paladin
Type : Warrior Leader
Fame : 80
Caster Level : -
Spells : -
Hero abilities : Legendary, Might*, Prayermaster
Other Abilities : First Strike, Armor Piercing, Illusions Immunity, Healer
Random abilities : 1

Black Knight
Type : Warrior
Fame : 80
Caster Level : -
Spells : -
Hero abilities : Legendary, Might, Blademaster, Constitution
Other Abilities : First Strike, Armor Piercing, Death Immunity
Random abilities : 1

Elven Archer
Type : Any
Fame : 80
Caster Level : 22 MP + 7 MP per level
Spells : Elemental Armor, Flight, Stasis
Hero abilities : Blademaster, Capacity*
Other Abilities : Archer, Forester, +1 to hit
Random abilities : 4

Knight
Type : Warrior Leader
Fame : 80
Caster Level : -
Spells : -
Hero abilities : Leadership*, Constitution*, Noble, Armsmaster*, Logistics
Other Abilities : -
Random abilities : 2

Necromancer
Type : Mage Leader
Fame : 80
Caster Level : 30 MP + 10 MP per level
Spells : Animate Dead, Summon Zombie, Weakness
Hero abilities : Arcane Power* , Sage*, Soul Linker*, Ritual Master
Other Abilities : Life Steal -3
Random abilities : -

Chaos Warrior
Type : Warrior Mage
Fame : 80
Caster Level : 19 MP + 7 MP per level
Spells : -
Hero abilities : Constitution, Arcane Power
Other Abilities : Armor Piercing, Chaos ranged attack
Random abilities : 3

Chosen One
Type : Any
Fame : Incarnation only
Caster Level : 20 MP + 5 MP per level
Spells : Lionheart, Healing, Mass Healing, Holy Weapon
Hero abilities : Leadership, Constitution, Battlemage*, Prayermaster, Guiding Beacon, Divine Barrier, Might*
Other Abilities : Holy Bonus 1
Random abilities : 2



Item Powers

Items are another unique concept in the game, they are assets that don't usually disappear when you lose them in battle, instead if you're winning, you can keep and equip them on other heroes, otherwise the enemy gets to use them against you. As such, they area high risk, high reward game mechanic. The effects are permanent if played well, so items have to be considerably expensive. Random generated and predefined items have been significantly improved to ensure finding treasure is both exciting and worth the effort of defeating the monsters, however it was done in moderation. I was extra careful to have a full set of 250 predefined items where the most powerful abilities don't appear too frequently, and a good variety of different kinds of items are provided. Spell Charges are a very specific point of interest as putting them on predefined items ensures those particular spells will be part of the game even if the players themselves have no access to the realm of magic. For this reason, many of the more powerful spells weren't included in items, however many of the spells designed to counter or balance game mechanics were. Before engaging an enemy hero, it's extremely important to scout their equipment by engaging it in battle using disposable troops, otherwise nasty surprises can happen, such as a hero suddenly casting a very rare spell in the midgame. This won't happen often, but it's still enough to reward careful strategic play and punish carelessness. I enabled spell charges in every weapon type to make sure melee heroes are not an exception to this rule - the item is casting the spell so it makes no sense to require a spellcaster hero to use it. Swords that rend the earth or bows that shoot fireballs are a lot of fun. More importantly, this allows Death wizards to have better use for melee heroes - as they have difficulties protecting them from harm, an item capable of casting Life Drain or Syphon Life spells can work wonders to make hero based strategies playable for the realm. Some of the uninteresting and redundant item powers such as Giant Strength were removed (why have that if you can have 1 more attack strength as a stat bonus on the same item?) as well as the Magic Immunity which is both too powerful and goes against the design goal of Magic being the core theme : same as units that had the ability. Instead new powers had been added, both to realms already being good at hero usage and item crafting, and those who aren't. I'm going to detail the individual decisions on available powers and stats below. Costs are usualy not linear as stacking more of the same stat on a set of items is usually more effective. I tried to diversify item types so different items get different options, making sure that a Mace has different options than a Sword for example. Axes retained their original ability to be the only weapon type to increase Thrown, Shields grant Large Shield, Chain Mails add 1 bonus armor, Plate Mails add 2 but are a lot more expensive. The threshold between Items and Artifacts have been moved to 400 cost for a single power, which ensures Items are still relevant and powerful yet have no access to stats and abilities that would be gamebreaking in the early game. Finally, a turn based cap has been added to the item generator that ensures the two abilities that are entirely too gamebreaking for the early game will never appear on items the player obtains from Merchants or Treasure : Invisibility and Invulnerability won't show up before turn 80. Of course, if the player does obtain the Create Artifact spell and makes the item himself, that's an expection, but the research and casting cost should make that virtually impossible. The item merchant has also been adjusted to offer items reasonable for the first ~100 turns of the game, with the budget of the offered item growing linearly. This ensures the item offers will actually contain items the player has a chance to afford, instead of the merchant not showing up because the player obviously does not have 4-6 thousand unspent gold in the early game. Simultaneously, this means extrmely powerful items, even if not containing those two abilities, will not be for sale too early - the player needs to work hard to obtain high tier treasure to have those kinds of items at that timing. Reaching the midgame though, all of these restrictions disappear and you have to make sure you have a large sum of gold available if you're expecting to obtain items from the merchant - remember, heroes have been designed to dominate through the midgame!

When a predefined item can't be found matching the required budget, or the option for more random items is enabled, a random item is generated. The algorithm to make these was completely replaced to ensure generating items that use up as much of the budget as reasonably possible, and the chance for each ability or stat amount is weighted based on the total budget of the item to guarantee higher budget items won't end up with all low tier and underwhelming abilities. This also means however that low budget random items will not contain high end abilities, even if they could (barely) afford including it if no other power is added. In other words, item quality will be more consistent with what you should be expecting to find. AI players casting item creation spells use this algorithm as well, unless they find a matching predefined item, which now has to correctly match the requirements in spell book counts for the wizard, so expect the AI to show up with slightly more items matching their realms in the late game. The majortity of the AI's items will still come from treasure of course. The AI has also been completely overhauled in its ability to equip items, and will try to match the item abilities to each other and the hero and equip them accordingly, also prioritizing higher tier or otherwise more important heroes. While this still doesn't enable the AI to be as successful at using heroes as a human player, mainly because the human player will almost always find ways to assassinate the AI's heroes with spells or strategically employed high tier units, it does mean AI heroes are now a threat the human player has to properly respond to. Unless otherwise mentioned, all item enchantments have the same effect as the spell with the same name.


Attack

Attack power is among the least abusable stats in the game. While it helps killing enemies, it won't directly contribute to a hero's ability to stay alive against incoming spells or ranged attacks. As such, there was no significant need to restrict the attack strength in items, but for flavor reasons, weapons can have the most attack, accessories can have a decent amount and armor can't have any. Wands are more limited - in order to make wands and staves different, wands can have a bonus chance to Hit while staves can have more attack power instead.

Swords, Maces, Axes, Bows and Staves can have +1 to +6 attack.

Accessories can have +1 to +4 attack.

Wands can have +1 to +3 attack.

Shields, Chain and Plate mails cannot have an attack bonus.

Cost : 40,90,160,280,405,600


Defense

The opposite of attack power, Defense is the most powerful available stat, as stacking enough of it can literally make your hero immune to damage. (with limitations - fortunately the wide array of effects in the game that ignore defense or target resistance instead ensures high defense by itself won't be a guaranteed survival.)

Defense costs are high, and one of the greatest difference between weapons types is the amount of defense you can include.

Shields, Plate Mails can have +1 to +6 defense.

Chain Mails can have +1 to +5 defense.

Accessories, Swords can have +1 to +4 defense.

Maces can have +1 to +3 defense.

Axes cannot have defense.

Bows can have a +1 to +4 defense.

Staves can have +1 to +6 defense.

Wands can have +1 to +5 defense.

Cost: 60,140,260,405,650,900


To Hit

To Hit increases your damage output by a significant percentage. As such, the Hit stat is expensive and only available in weapons to ensure the player has to make choices between various weapon exclusive options. (hit, spell characters, attack power, various touch abilities) This also makes Blademaster heroes with naturally high To Hit valuable as they work well enough without additional To Hit items.

Shields, Chain Mails Plate Mails, Staves and Accessories cannot have a + hit bonus.

All weapon types except staves can have +1 to +3 hit.

Cost : 300,700,1200


Movement

As already mentioned, movement has a very low availability and high cost to ensure heroes can't deal with large scale enemy invasions by themselves effectively.

Accessories, Axes, Wands and Staves can have +1 to +2 Movement.

Bows can have +1 to +3 Movement.

Swords, Shields, Chain Mails and Plate Mails can't add movement.

Cost : 250,500,800


Resistance

Resistance is similar to Defense but scales pretty much the opposite way - the higher you go the more likely it is that additional points provide no benefits as you already have complete immunity to curses and save or die attacks. You typically only need a small amount of bonus Resistance to reach this, and only extremely rare cases will demand more, so Resistance has been priced to be expensive for the first point and have a linear pricing. For the same reason, the maximal amount per item has been reduced - it's pretty pointless to have items with 6 resistance and that guarantees you'll never ever use more than one item slot on this stat, even if your hero has horrible resistance.

Shields and Staves can have up to +4 Resistance.

Accessories, Wands, Maces and Chain Mails can have +3.

Plate Mails can have only +1 or +2.

Swords, Axes and Bows offer no magic resistance.

Resistance costs 100,200,300,401.



Spell Skill

Spell Skill used to be a staple in the original Master of Magic game, as leaving heroes in your fortress allowed you to use half their skill as your own, so each +20 skill item increased your own skill by 10! That very much undermined the fun factor of playing with heroes as they did nothing and had to stay in your fortress the whole game, so this effect has been toned down to 1/6 of the amount. Nonetheless, Spell Skill is still a useful stat for a hero, but with more reasonably sized MP pools and ranged attacks not using it up, it's hardly essential now, and adding it to items will now be a real decision instead of a no-brainer. Skill has a linear cost, as the advantage of being able to cast higher tier spells and the disadvantage of having to use your lower cost spells in multiple turns compared to multiple heroes casting them during one turn balanced each other out - in the end it doesn't really matter if you stack a lot of Skill on one hero or a small amount on multiples.

Shields cannot have a casting skill bonus.

Maces, Axes and Bows can only have +5 or +10 Skill.

Swords, Staves, Wands, Plate Mails, Chain Mails and accessories can have +5 to +20 casting skill.

Casting Skill now costs 62,125,187 and 250 respectively.



Spell Save

Spell Save is exceptionally powerful when stacked, and in the original you could stack 3x -4 save items for an impressive -12 modifier, which is enough to have a 100% success chance with any spell on almost any high end unit in the game, even without counting the up to -5 bonus from the spell itself. Guaranteed killing (or stealing) of Great Drakes, Angels, Death Knights, Hydras, even Paladins or Colossus is definitely not okay and thus the save modifier had to be limited to a more reasonable maximal total amount. Nonetheless, a few predefined items kept a slightly higher modifier for maximal treasure hunting experience (and maximal punishment of careless players who don't scout the equipment of enemy heroes!)

Nonetheless the effect is super powerful as it enables killing targets in ways they are meant to be unaffected by, so the price of this ability is very high.

Staves and Wands can have up to -4 Spell Save.

Accessories can only have -1 Spell Save.

Spell Save now costs 250, 500, 1000, 1500 for each level.


Chaos Powers

Flaming
Cost : 200
Books required : 2

Add +3 attack strength.
Not the most interesting or powerful ability, but it does make Chaos items stand out by allowing them up to 3 higher maximal attack power that normal.

Lightning
Cost : 420
Books required : 3
Grant Armor Piercing.

Much less powerful than the abilities that ignore armor completely, this is still a decent effect for your items worth keeping in the game. Considering how brutally powerful high armor is, keeping as many effects that can deal with it in the game as possible is important.

Doom (Chaos)
Cost : 800
Books required : 4
Grant Doom : Always deal attack power/2 damage.

The most powerful defense ignoring ability for heroes below +2 To Hit as it also increases expected damage output, but it's worse than Illusion on heroes with a very high To Hit bonus. Nonetheless, one main source of unexpected damage you should be prepared for when facing enemy heroes.

Destruction
Cost : 450
Books required : 4
Gain Destruction : If the enemy unit fails to resist when attacked, it is irrecoverably dead.

This has been improved to affect the entire unit instead of one figure, making it actually relevant, especially at countering regenerating units.

Inner Fire (new)
Cost : 250
Books required : 3
Gain Fire Immunity, Colt Immunity and Immolation.

One of the new abilities to help Chaos wizards keep their heroes alive, Fire and Cold actually covers most early game direct damage spells in the game. Immolation can be helpful to ensure the hero doesn't take too much damage from multifigure early units. Overall, mostly an item power for the early game, Uncommon tier and below. Beyond that, it loses relevance.


Pandora's Box

Cost : 400

Required Books : 5 Chaos

At the start of each combat turn, summon a random fantastic creature from a budget pool that depends on the level of the hero wearing the item.

The other new Chaos ability, which protects heroes indirectly, by summoning random creatures the enemy might want to target instead of the hero. Scales with hero level to ensure it's available at the start of the game when Chaos Artificers need it most, yet remains useful later on. Works well with the theme of Chaos having random effects, occasionally giving you a creature that can turn the tide of the battle, while mainly existing to provide you with a reliable amount of mediocre ones instead. As this power is mostly there to ensure Chaos Artificer has options, it appears much less often on random generated items than you'd expect based on its low cost. While a random effect like this is fun occasionally, it's not really healthy to appear consistently on items every game.



Death Powers


Vampiric
Cost : 225
Books required : 3
Grant Life Steal -2.

Being able to regain help when engaging in melee combat against low resistance enemies can help the Death Realm wizards to keep their heroes alive without buffing or support spells. Save Modifier has been increased to ensure a balanced, but relevant amount of health is drained from enemies.


Death
Cost : 350
Books required : 3
Grant Death Touch -3

Has a fairly good save modifier so there was no need to change it, although it does still only affect one figure.


Power Drain
Removed

While this ability never had any effect in the original game, it also is pretty useless even if it does have any : the vast majority of units in the game don't have MP, even those that do, will likely die from a hero attacking them anyway, so they could care less about losing MP.


Wraith Form

Cost : 420

Required Books : 2 Death

This is the primary ability the player needs to somehow obtain to be able to safely use heroes against Nature wizards, as it makes them immune to Crack's Call and less importantly, Web. Being able to move on any terrain makes it comparable to Flying as a combat and overland movement effect, although this ability mostly requires the Artifact tier for its role in allowing heroes to ignore Crack's Call - other ways to survive it are also rare tier artifact powers.


Cloak of Fear

Cost : 125

Required Books : 1 Death

Pretty much the only defensive buff in Death magic, Cloak of Fear is decent but mostly useful in the early game. It doesn't really offer a game changing benefit for any realm so unlike Wraith Form there is no need for it to be higher tier than normal items.


Shadow (new)

Cost : 410

Required Books : 4 Death

Grant Thrown equal to half the base melee attack strength.

This was mainly added to have an item power in the game that allows a melee hero to engage flying enemies. Without the existence of such, heroes without that ability would be undesired for wizards not playing one of the realms that can deal with it. As Flying and Thrown melee heroes are not exactly common, this would have been way too restrictive, especially as Death itself has no such spell, and Life which uses heroes most often, also has none.


Necromancy (new)

Cost : 700

Required Books : 5 Death

At end of battle, units who died on your side and weren't undead yet, return as undead units. Limited to a budget per combat, that scales with hero level.

Death has by far the fewest item powers and has almost no options of armor and accessory. It took significant amount of thinking to come up with something that both suits the realm, is useful, but doesn't break the game. A big concern was that it has to help heroes survive indirectly, but can't be something which hero specialized realms can stack when found on random generated items on top of their own abilities, further escalating their advantage. While Necromancy doesn't directly help your hero, it does ensure you won't unexpectedly run out of units in your stack, putting the hero into danger as it has to fight alone. Works poorly for Life wizards, the best hero users, as they typically don't lose units in the first place, achieving the inteded goal. Nonetheless, it opens up access to the various undead immunities for other realms, and thus it's another power mainly designed to be created by Artificers, so it appears somewhat rarely on random items. I'm not 100% satisfied with this ability but it does suit the theme of the Death realm very well.


Nature Powers


Resist Elements

Cost : 80

Required Books : 1 Nature

A good but not particularly strong common effect.


Elemental Armor

Cost : 500

Required Books : 3 Nature

The much more powerful version of Resist Elements.


Giant Strength

Removed

An item power that adds 1 attack strength is a waste of design space when items can have up to 6 attack each!


Stoning

Cost : 125

Required Books : 2 Nature

Grants Stoning : The attacked unit has to resist at -1 or one figure in it irrecoverably dies.

Much less powerful than Death or Destruction, this Nature effect can still cause nasty suprises to players who overlook it and carelessly engage using a single figure unit. Can be useful but doesn't stand out as single figure units with low resistance aren't abundant in the game. Nonetheless, being a save or die effect in Nature, it does not need to be powerful.


Water Walking

Cost : 80

Required Books : 1 Nature

Ensure your hero doesn't instantly drown when hit by a Dispel Magic or Dispelling Wave spell - making sure the ability is permanent can be a lifesaver. One of those finer details less experenced players will often overlook until it's too late and lose their hero.


Regeneration

Cost : 900

Required Books : 5 Nature

Grants Regeneration 1.

Regeneration has always been a staple, and even more so on heroes, but permanent regeneration that can't be dispelled is even better. This ability has to have a high cost, no questions asked.


Path Finding

Cost : 100

Required Books : 1 Nature

Grants Pathfinding

I don't really have much to say about this, it's the same as the unit ability.


Merging

Cost : 800

Required Books : 4 Nature

Grants Merging movement.

This never worked in the original game. Basically it's the same as the ability on the Great Wyrm, and a less known side effect is the unit won't be affected by Crack's Call making this the second way to protect heroes from that spell.


Life Powers


Exorcist

Cost : 300

Required Books : 2 Life

Grants Bless and Exorcise : Attack target must save at -3 or lose 1 figure irrecoverably if it's fantastic.

Pretty much Death, limited to fantastic creatures because Life magic doesn't hurt “real” units, following the same theme as the Star Fires, Exorcise and Holy Word spells. Bless isn't available on weapons separately, only as part of this “package” like in the original game, however now the ability affects any realm creature and comes with a playable save modifier.


True Sight

Cost : 300

Required Books : 3 Life

Illusion damage being one of the main ways heroes die and probably the only hope for a Sorcery wizard to kill any, the ability to be immune to that effect in a way the Sorcery wizard can't dispel is surprisingly valueable and might be worth the relatively high cost, especially as the ability also allows the detecting of invisible units, adding another layer of security. Of course this also protects from Sorcery unit curses out of which Confusion can easily eliminate heroes, but simply raising resistance is a working solution for that part of the problem making it the less valuable. Nonetheless, early resistance is not trivial to obtain and Confusion is a common spell, so a True Sight item is an amazing find if your enemy does happen to be a Sorcery wizard.



Bless

Cost : 150

Required Books : 1 Life

Same as the common spell, this adds resistance against two realms, but you're still vulnerable to the others as well as poison, so it's fairly cheap compared to other resistance powers.


Righteousness

Removed

Both the spell and item power were removed. See the spell for details.


Planar Travel

Removed

Both the spell and item power were removed. See the spell for details.


Endurance

Removed

Granting +1 movement is both uninteresting, already available on most items, and contradicts the goal of having too much easily accessibly movement bonus effects for heroes. Also, the identical spell has been improved to provide extra armor as well.


Invulnerability

Cost : 800

Required Books : 4 Life

This enchantment is roughly as good as Defense+6 with additional advantages such as weapon immunity and the reduction applying even against Illusion damage or Armor Piercing. It stacks on top of other defensive abilities and stats and is by far the most efficient, however the reason why I decided it should not appear on random items too early is because unlike all the rest, this is an effect you can't replace until after you obtained the identical Rare tier spell, so it's guaranteed you also won't obtain it from other soruces, which will make the difference. To be fair, high budget items found early have an increased chance of containing other top tier powers to compensate.


Lion Heart

Cost : 600

Required Books : 3 Life

The third way to allow heroes to survive a Crack's Call, this enchantment can grant them enough extra hit points to survive the effect, and is the main solution for the issue for Life players. Additional hit points are unavailable otherwise, making this a unique and worthwhile enchantment even though it basically only adds 3 different bonus stats, two of which you can add the usual way as well.


Divine Protection (new)

Cost : 800

Required Books : 4 Life

Grants Lucky and Death Immunity.

Lucky heroes are quite a lot better than non-lucky heroes due to the additional To Hit and To Defend, both of which difficult to increase. The ability being present in items ensures non-Lucky heroes can be equally useful as long as you can create Life Artifacts or find an item containing this power. Death Immunity is mostly for flavor, although it can protect the hero from various harmful effects if it doesn't yet have enough resistance to be immune to them.


Sorcery


Phantasmal

Cost : 700

Required Books : 4 Sorcery

Grants Illusion

Similar to Doom, but better or worse depending on the hero's To Hit stat. Unlike doom however, Illusion Immunity blocks the defense ignoring effects, making this ability slightly less reliable which balances out the higher damage potential nicely.


Guardian Wind

Cost : 125

Required Books : 1 Sorcery

A basic protection spell that can be useful at the early game but rarely in the mid and late game, and for this reason it has a low cost.


Haste

Cost : 1100

Required Books : 6 Sorcery

Attacking twice and moving twice as fast in combat are vey powerful effects that easily justify the extra high book and mana cost. The defensive effect can't be underestimated either - the hero can avoid engaging enemies due to the speed and will receive less damage from retaliation due to the enemy only getting to retaliate once.


Resist Magic

Cost : 300

Required Books : 3 Sorcery

Priced lower than raw Resistance bonuses, this item power gives a slight edge to Sorcery players in that area, however it obviously doesn't stack with the identical spell, so if a player wants more, they need to also use the normal Resistance bonus. Honestly, this item power is somewhat redundant, but like Flaming it does manage to give a unique advantage to the associated realm, and there were no further usable item power ideas to ever consider replacing it anyway.


Teleporting

Cost : 1100

Required Books : 5 Sorcery

Grants Teleporting movement and Endurance.

Slightly redundant with Merging but really, instanteous movement in combat should totally be available as a Sorcery ability. In fact it's superior to the Nature power as it also adds Endurance on top of the bonus although the tradeoff is not gaining protection from Crack's Call which Flight can already solve for Sorcery wizards.


Flight

Cost : 420

Required Books : 3 Sorcery

Very similar to Wraith Form in cost and role albeit this one is less reliable against Crack's Call due to Web still affecting the unit. However, the benefit of non-flying units being unable to attack the unit in melee is very very significant, making this power easily worth the same cost and tier, and an even higher book requirement.



Invisibility

Cost : 800

Required Books : 4 Sorcery

Similarly to Invulnerability, this too is way to powerful for the early game, when enemies are unlikely to have spells that can detect or otherwise affect an invisible unit. The ability even offers a stacking defensive benefit of reducing incoming melee damage as well as making the unit impossible to target by ranged attacks. Invisibility in general is an extremely powerful ability, not just on items, so all methods of obtaining it in the early game is impossible, as doing so pretty much guarantees victory.




Spells

The spell system is by far the most important part of the game. I tried to make sure every realm plays well as is, picking no spellbooks from others, while at the same time, many good spell combos between different realms exist so both single and multi realm wizards are equally playable. Single realm wizards offer the reliability of always getting all of your spells (assuming you did pick the maximal amount of books of course) while not getting much out of trading. Dual and Triple realm wizards play less predictable but more diverse games, but they can benefit more from trading and can potentiallt have much more spells overall than single realm wizards could. While changing the tiers and number of spells per tier would have been next to impossible without having the source code, I believe there was no need to. Any more spell tiers would drag out the game too long and would make the jump from one tier to the next less satisfying. More spells would make each indiviual spell less relevant and fun to obtain. I've tried my best to make sure every spell has a major impact and the player has to consider their strategic options each time they or their enemies obtain new spells - unless those spells are from an obsolete tier of course. Game economy has been entirely adjusted to serve the intended design goal of each tier of spells becoming discovered after roughly 6 years dominated by the previous tier, and research costs have been set to match those calculations. This ensures players have the intented number of turns, mana and casting skill resources to actually take advantage of their spells before they get obsoleted by higher tiers. Of course, I made sure to include as many utility spells that remain valuable for the entire game as possible, but for obvious reasons, creatures or direct damage spells will not be used very often once you have a better tier available. I've also tried to make sure each realm is equally potent on the whole, and tried to eliminate spells that directly aim to hinder specific realms as such types of magic indirectly make the affected realms worse and most importantly less fun to play. Pretty much the only kind of such spells remaining are protective spells that make sure enemy destructive magic can't hurt your cities or armies.


Arcane Magic

This realm obviously serves the purpose of having spells that are necessary for smooth gameplay and every player has to be able to obtain them. As there are much fewer spells here, it doesn't have so well defined tiers as other realms, nonetheless, they are each treated as a specific tier for various purposes such as order of research or appearance in treasure.


1. Magic Spirit

Cost : 30 MP, 1 MP/turn

Research : None

Creature : 4 melee, 5 defense, 5 resistance, 2 movement, 10 health, 1 figure, Non-Corporeal, Poison Immunity.

This is a necessary spell to be able to meld nodes. It's also a decent early game scout, as it can move through any terrain at the same speed, although it doesn't really stand out as much as it seems - building the lowest tier ship or a few calvary is cheap and they can explore even faster. These used to threaten the AI though by destroying their freshly planted outposts, literally denying the AI players from having any cities other than their starting one at minimal cost, and if sea was in the way, at no risk of retaliation. Fortunately, this issue was solved by making freshly created outposts spawn a swordsmen unit which is enough to defend them against lone magic spirits. You still start the game with this spell, so even if you picked no overland spells you have something to cast. The AI has been significantly improved and is now able to summon and send more than one of these towards unclaimed magical nodes at the same time.


2. Dispel Magic

Cost : 10-50 MP

Research : 640 RP

All spells on the target unit have a Cost/(Dispel Cost+Cost) chance to resist, otherwise they are dispelled.

This is necessary to make sure the super powerful buff stacking strategies are kept in control. In particular, highly buffed units tend to take no damage, allowing their owner to destroy even very powerful enemies without losing anything in the process. This is far too efficient as you can pretty much destroy a full enemy stack each turn by a single one of your units. However, Dispel Magic ensures you lose something : the buffs themselves, in the process, and will need to constantly resupply your “forces” by recasting those enchantments, similarly to how regular strategies need to build new troops as reinforcements after a major battle. More importantly it also ensures you can't risk letting a single unit fight a whole army : getting hit by a successful Dispel Magic at that timing will likely spell doom for the entire unit. So you still need to dedicate a reasonable amount of resources towards winning battles and can't excessively snowball. Dispel Magic has a fairly high research cost for a “common' tier spell, ensuring there is a small timeframe to enjoy unit enchantments before having to worry about it, giving Life wizards who have nothing else, a bit of a breathing room. Furthermore, it ensures those unit curses AI players employ to cause the player to lose units, such as Confusion, will be an efficient deterring factor as intended at least for the very early turns when snowballing too much would have critically unbalancing consequences. The formula for the dispelling was kept as is, so it's not very effective against single spells, but very powerful on targets that have many enchantments stacked. Additionally, a new rule was added that unit curses have double the normal resistance : this is necessary because to cast a unit curse it needs to succceed at a resistance roll itself, meaning it requires a lot more effort to use than the cost would otherwise imply. Without this rule Dispel Magic was far too effective at negating Confusion or other similar effects. It's still pretty good at it, but not good enough that you can consistently expect to survive getting hit by those spells. Of course this applies for the early game - later dispelling those is trivial as more mana and skill is available to do so.


3. Summoning Circle

Cost : 0 MP

Research : 160 RP

Move your Summoning Circle.

It really makes no sense that you have to spend time and cast a spell just to be able to change the city of summoning, when you can summon ANYWHERE during combat. To make it worse, you can end up having to wait a turn to cast it, and forgetting why and where you wanted to move/ what you wanted to summon. Note that the two spells that could have been abused by this cost : Recall Hero and Word of Recall are not available. Finally, the zero cost makes it AI friendly, as the AI lacks the concept of a long term plan and needs to move their circle frequently to ensure they'll have relevant forces everywhere. (The AI moves the circle every turn, to one of three possible targets at a 1/3 chance each : their Fortress, their selected “Frontier City” or the next city in their queue of moving the circle through every city one at a time. This ensures AI forces will be concentrated where they are needed most, but each city also gets a few summoned creatures in their garrison. The Frontier City is the AI's city that's located on a continent where the AI has the fewest and other wizards the most number of cities, the exact formula I don't remember but it's likely in the changelog somewhere.)

I wouldn't mind moving the circle to be a UI feature instead, but having to pay a small research cost to get the ability makes sense and I like to keep this idea. The important part is to be able to move it for free once you learn how.


4. Disenchant Area

Cost : 50-250 MP

Research : 1280 RP

Dispel overland curses on the target map tile.

Mass dispelling is contrary to the design goal of making magic matter and has no place to exist in Arcane. It should only be available in the realm that specialzies in dispelling which is Sorcery, and even there is needs limitations. Also note the ability to spend 250 mana on this was insane. Nonetheless, the players need the ability to dispel one particular thing, and that's curses on their cities and nodes. So Disenchant Area has been reassigned for that role and can't dispel anything else.


Recall Hero

Removed from the game.

Part of the “heroes shouldn't be too easy to move around as that's too broken” design. Moving the Summoning Circle is too easy (even if it does have a mana cost) so this doesn't really serve what the original developers intended - it's not a way to save heroes but one that allows them to teleport long distances on the world map.


Heroic Shout

This spell used to exist for a while but not anymore. It was an all figure hitting neutral attack that required a hero to be present. However it was replaced by a much more elegant spell to promote the early game usage of heroes :


5. Heroic Heart (new)

Cost : 18 MP

Research : 440 RP

Target hero unit is healed 3 HP in combat.

Realms other than Life have a very hard time keeping heroes alive, and this simple spell can fix that problem. Heroes are for everyone, even if Life is best at using them!


6. Detect Magic

Cost : 200 MP

Research : 320 RP

See the spells being cast by other players while this enchantment is in effect.

While it looks like a waste of resources, the information gained through this can be a lifesaver, as it allows the player to adapt to enemy wizards obtaining new spells faster. It's also essential to use Spell Blast properly. The AI will only cast Spell Blast intentionally against specific spells when they have already cast Detect Magic, and having Spell Blast is the only case when they'll bother to cast Detect Magic. This can also let the player know when the enemy is casting an expensive spell during which they won't have the opportunity to use their Spell Blast.


7. Enchant Item

Cost : Variable MP

Research : 320 RP

Enables creating Item tier magical items.

Obviously necessary to be available for every player. Item tier means only powers that cost 400 or less can be used.


8. Summon Hero

Cost : 240 MP

Research : 1280 RP

Summons a random hero, ignoring Fame requirements.

Sometimes luck isn't on your side and you don't get the hero(es) you want as fast as you want. In that case, this helps. I was hesitating a lot about the casting cost, but ended up with a medium amount. It really shouldn't be too expensive as the summoned hero might not be the type you really needed, but it can't be too cheap either as that allows summoning almost every hero and makes it too trivial to fill all your 6 slots with the perfect heroes for your strategy quickly.


Awareness

Removed from the game. If finding enemy cities is required for cursing them there really shouldn't be a spell everyone gets that finds them anyway. Also, there exists a specialized spell for this in the Nature realm which is really the correct realm for exploration spells. Others should use their armies to scout.


9. Disjunction

Cost : 375-1875 MP

Research : 6000 RP

Disjunction Cost/(1.5*Cost) chance to dispel target global enchantment.

Unlike regular dispelling effects, Disjunction costs a large amount of irreplacable overland casting skill, so random chance on this is not acceptable, especially when the targets tend to be powerful effects that will need to be removed as soon as possible, if removed at all. It costs more than the target, and the AI typically has higher casting skill, so it's rarely economic to use and in most cases the player should attempt to instead deal with the enchantment either by eliminating the wizard, or accepting the effects and working around them. Nonetheless, a few spells are meant to be dispelled, and the AI will have a reduced chance to recast these to ensure the dispelling is meaningful. Likewise, the AI's chance to use Disjunction against the player's enchantments is heavily regulated to ensure the intended gaming experience, each enchantment having different chances to get targeted during various diplomatic situations. As a general rule the AI will prioritize removing military enchantments during war, economic ones during peaceful relations and leave enchaments cast by allied players alone completely. However priority is also scaled by the severity of the enchantment and its impact on the AI's playstyle, so expect Meteor Storm to get dispelled a lot, while AEther Binding will be mostly overlooked. I'd like to specifically mention that the AI holding back is a type of design I almost always avoid, but in this case it's inevitable. Disjunction directly puts the player's resources against the AI's, which the AI typically has a lot more of, as well as the AI being up to 4 other players so if the AI was serious about removing enchantments, they'd be unusuable which is the opposite of the intended goal of all spells being powerful tools, especially the endgame global enchantments. In fact, aggressive disjunction would also result in AI players removing each other's enchantments, resulting in those having no relevance even when cast by the AI. Disjunction in general is somewhat undesirable in the game but the 1.5x cost will discourage the human player from using it too much and keeps it a strategic spell that can sometimes turn the tables but more often it's detrimental to cast. It's definitely worth keeping as part of the game, especially as it's essential for Runemaster's relevance. The high research cost ensures obtaining this can't be taken lightily and players only go for it when it's really worth using. The AI will postpone researching this until after they researched most other rare spells, so rare and below global enchantments will typically not have to worry about getting dispelled at all for a while.


10. Create Artifact

Cost : Variable MP

Research : 4000 RP

Create an “Artifact” tier magical item.

See more details at the Artificer retort and the item chapter.


11. Summon Champion

Cost : 600 MP

Research : 4000 RP

Summon a Champion hero.

Similar role as Summon Hero except this has a very steep cost so carelessly using it when the player's strategy does not demand heroes can be very detrimental. Nonetheless, Champion heroes are very powerful and when they are indeed a valuable addition to your strategy, the spell is well worth the high cost.


12. Plane Shift

Cost : 120 MP

Research : 8000 RP

Targeted stack is instantly transported to the other plane.

After a very long discussion on the forums about the intended role of planes and planar travel spells, the conclusion was that planar travel shouldn't really exist until the very late game to ensure the planes remain separate, unless the player opens up towers themselves. Plane Shift was chosen from the various methods of planar movement (Planar Travel, Astral Gate and Plane Shift) even though it was originally removed from the mod, because it's by far the most playable for the AI which can use it to target their best stack of units and send the whole thing across without risking to split up important stacks as some units change planes and others do not. We have also discussed whether we like the strategy of blocking all towers in the game or not, and my final decision was that it should be a good, but imperfect solution that can contain enemy invasions somewhat but should not completely deny the possibility of receiving enemy attacks which would basically allow the human player to not employ any garrisons at all, resulting in tremendous savigs on resources. Plane Shift solves this by enabling the AI to send troops through the blockade in regulated quantities to provide the perfect playing experience matching the game difficulty. Thus the AI will typically research this very late, around the time they go for their first very rare spell, so in most cases, around the time they'd open up towers naturally, +/- a few years. Nonetheless, if the human player researches this spell early to attempt to conduct a one sided invasion where the AI can't reach their plane, all the AI players will start to prioritize the research of this spell to participate in that strategy. Towers by the way will not be broken by AI players unless the human player opened one themselves or the game reached the appropriate turn count to ensure unexpected “guests” from the other plane won't show up during midgame, bulldozing the entire world with their superior Myrran units no one can stop that early, in best case Kill Stealing the human player's intended targets, in worst, stomping the human player into the ground. Both of these are actual experiences I had during playtesting that can absolutely ruin the 10-12 hours invested into devising the proper strategy to overcome the players on my own plane and progressing the game to where it starts to turn fruitful. Of course, the option to start an interplanar war early still exists, but the “switch” is in the hand of the human player. If they don't want to unleash the “final boss” enemy on the world at the time everyone is still busy dealing with things on their own plane, they don't have to. Nonetheless, opening the towers early and successfully subduing the enemy on that plane (or just stealing a portion of the plane for yourself) is a massive advantage so while it's high risk, it's also high reward.


13. Spell of Mastery

Cost : 15000 MP

Research : 440000 RP

Win the Game. Your combat spells can't be countered if you researched this.

While the effect has been left unchanged, the Spell of Mastery has received a super large research cost boost to ensure sufficient time exists between getting very rare spells and the game ending to properly enjoy them. The AI has learned in which cases it is beneficial to accelerate their research production and attempt this type of victory, and when is it better to ignore it and dedicate their magic power towards winning through their other spells like vast armies of very rare creatures. As Sorcery dominates endgame strategies by design, Sorcery wizards are able to stop others from casting this thanks to Spell Blast, or can cast it themselves in a way others can't interfere through Time Stop. Nonetheless, a second effect has been added to make this valuable against Sorcery wizards who otherwise are extremely difficult to attack during the endgame due to the Spell Ward city enchantment - while outright victory is not possible, it still at least opens up the possibility to subdue the Sorcery wizard through conventional militaristic methods. As the highest number possible for research costs is unfortunately 65535, this spell utilizes a trick, the actual cost is set lower, but the research production while it's being researched is cut down to 1/8 of the normal amount, resulting in the same effective cost. The displayed number of remaining turns takes this adjustment into account. The original game mechanic of the cost getting reduced by every spell researched by the player was kept to ensure the total time it takes to reach is the same for all players. Casting cost was also drastically increased to ensure the AI does have the time to reach the player's fortress in time to put up a final desperate attempt of resistance... which might actually be successful if the player underestimates it. The AI was improved in many areas of the overland troop movement process and diplomacy to ensure this “Final War” does not get stalled and as many troops reach the player's fortress as possible. Of course the AI won't be nearly as effective as a human player in this invasion, but it still is good enough to sometimes overwhelm and banish the player if the AI had the upper hand in very rare creatures and stocked mana crystals. Either way, I spent a massive amount of time and effort on ensuring the AI does everything it can to prevent a Spell of Mastery victory. I will no longer do silly things like respect peace treaties or wait a dozen turns before declaring war. The player is given a grace period of typically 1-3 turns to cancel their spell though, in which case they can get away with merely receiving a massive diplomacy penalty for attempting the spell - however as soon as they've spent 1500 or more mana crystals into it (10% completion) the war starts immediately, ignoring everything else. In fact, a mostly unimplemented fourth AI hostility state was salvaged and properly implemented to ensure this works properly. Research costs have been standardized between realms and tiers : each tier gets4 spells with a medium research cost, and 3 each with gradually higher and lower costs. In the uncommon tier this scaling is especially significant to enable a few specific uncommon spells to take advantag of the guaranteed turn 1 research availability better while the more powerful spells get available for use through that strategy later.




Nature Magic


The elemental forces of nature are traditionally the realm associated with summoning, terrain and versatility.

Strengths


Weaknesses



Common

1. Resist Elements

Cost : 5/25 MP

Research : 440 RP

Enchanted unit gains +4 defense against magical ranged attacks, breath attacks or spells, and 4 resistance against Nature realm effects.

In other words, resist petrify and defend against magical damage. Packs more punch than it seems as that extra 4 defense can be very relevant against the AI's most preferred magical ranged garrison units. It's also super useful for the AI, as it can be cast in combat, often resulting in situations where otherwise seemingly easy battles turn into a nightmare because the human player only brought magical ranged damage. Due to this high potential utility for early-midgame conquest, the RP cost is in the higher category for a common spell. In the original game this only affected Chaos and Nature magic, a limitation that made it counterintuitive as many units were associated with a realm used ranged attacks that belonged to another - for example Shadow Demons use Chaos projectiles. Resisting petrification effects was kept though, as it makes sense for the realm to be able to resist its own magic.


Stone Skin

Giant Strength

+1 attack or defense is anything but impressive. Waste of a spell slot.


Wall of Stone

You can build these and they're not even expensive, so using magic to create them completely lacks in being awesome or even worth anything for gameplay.


2. Fairy Dust (new)

Cost : 12 MP

Research : 320 RP

Target unit suffers a Strength 7, Armor Piercing Cold attack on each figure.

A weak direct damage spell that's effective at removing fragile multi-figure early game units. Plays into the theme of Nature having all kinds of effects but being mediocre at them, this is their common direct damage spell.


Call Centaurs

This used to be a new spell, but summoning fast ranged units in combat offered way too much abuse potential, not necessarily through damage output, but being able to stall out battles as the enemy couldn't reach the centaur's speed. Also while not dealing threatening amounts of damage that often, having to chase down and corner 1-3 of these every time the player attacked a Nature wizard was super annoying and a huge time waster.


3.Wild Boars

Cost : 15 MP

Research : 320 RP

Combat only summon : 6 melee, +1 To Hit, 5 defense, 5 resistance, 3 movement, 5 health, 3 figures

A much more suitable spell for Nature realm : a summoning spell for battles they lacked which offers decent brute force that can put up some fight and deal relevant amounts of damage to lower tier enemies. Better damage pontential than the eliminated centaurs while having much less abuse potential for stalling as it has less movement speed.


4. Earth Lore

Cost : 40 MP

Research : 160 RP

Reveal all overland terrain and lair/node contents on the targeted map area.

A scouting spell wouldn't be much of a scouting spell if you still needed to send scouts to all lairs in the area. However with this modification, this becomes a potent addition to Nature's spell arsenal, and a great combo with Sprites.


5. Water Walking

Cost : 20 MP

Research : 260 RP

Enchanted unit gains Water Walking movement.

Useful to get a smaller amount of units through the ocean, or enable them to fight enemies on water tiles. There is a downside though, it's fairly easy to dispel, which causes the unit to drown. It mostly shines at enabling early settlers to reach other continents without requiring a ship, and is critically important for the AI for that purpose, as it's possible to start with the spell already known. It can also work well to dodge enemy naval superiority as there is no need to rely on vulnerable transports to cross.


6. War Bears

Cost : 55 MP, 1 MP/turn

Research : 260 RP

Creature : 7 melee, +1 To Hit, 5 defense, 6 resistance, 3 movement, 7 health, 3 figures, Forester

As Nature specializes in strong summoned creatures, this creature is by far the most cost effective among all common summoning spells, and also packs the most raw fighting power, but no special abilities. Much stronger than a swordsmen tier unit, this creature can even stay relevant after Halberdiers have entered the game, but it's not powerful enough to take down larger armies by itself and isn't unstoppable.


7. Sprites

Cost : 80 MP, 2 MP/turn

Research : 320 RP

Creature : 2 melee, 4 Magical Ranged, +1 To Hit, 2 defense, 8 resistance, 2 movement, 1 health, 5 figures, Forester, Flying

Unlike bears, Sprites are a more tactical unit - they fly and shoot but are extremely fragile. Their cost and vulnerability to any direct damage spell makes them pretty bad to use against other wizards as each Sprite unit lost to an enemy spell will set your army size back by several turns, and this keeps in check the huge strategic potential of having a flying ranged attacker. What Sprites truely excel at is claiming nodes and treasure for their owner, as nonflying melee monsters can't do a thing while the Sprites destroy them slowly, one at a time. Many test games were played to ensure sprites are neither overpowered treasure hunters that return with vast riches, nor a situational useless unit that every once in a while manages to salvage a few gold coins. While it seems like it works without issues, a lot of fine tuning and specific details had to be added to the lair monster generation algorhitm to guarantee the chance of generating targets that are vulnerable to the Sprite strategy are frequent enough for the startegy to be reliable, but don't include extremely high reward targets too often. For that reason, spawning Great Wyrms had to require them to never be alone or grouped with other sprite-vulnerable monsters. In the later phases of development, the gold and mana crystal loot from treasure has been halved as the originally planned amounts proved way too much, which reduced the efficiency of this strategy somewhat, but it's still a good strategy nonetheless - while it won't yield enough resources to build up a vast military on that alone, it will still provide you with enough to be relevant, and of course, the treasure you fight might include other, more valuable things like good artifacts, spells, or even spellbooks or heroes. This fine tuning of monster generation however, was well worth the effort, as it also ensures diverse contents in the encounter zones that provide players with some good targets for all kinds of strategies.


8. Nature's Eye

Cost : 40 MP

Research : 200 RP

Enchanted city has an increased scouting radius and produces 4 RP.

While the increased scouting radius is nice and helps detecting approching enemies a turn earlier, it's nowhere near good enough to be worth a spell slot by itself. With the added ability to produce a small amount of research for free, this spell will be more desired by players, and will give a slight edge to AI opponents by letting them reach Uncommon tier spells a bit earlier, something that's extremely critical for AI Nature wizards. While their common creatures are good, they are also fairly easy to counter, especially the Sprites which the AI uses as garrison for a very long time, lacking better options. This has also been a recurring discussion, but no, unfortunately, using bears, spiders or even cockatrices would not work better as those creatures are a lot more valuable for the AI when sent out to conquer and the AI lacks the insight to be able to use the same unit for both roles well - it determines the units to stay in their garrison based on a simple list of priorities that includes every possible unit type. (which is by the way is exclusive to Caster of Magic, as the original AI didn't care much and simply kept the most expensive units in garrison.)


9. Earth to Mud

Cost : 20 MP

Research : 380 RP

A 7x7 area in combat is turned into mud.

The area had to be increased to ensure the larger movement allowance on units doesn't make it too trivial to go around the affected area, and also to guarantee when cast, most of the enemy army will be affected. This spell isn't particularly good otherwise, as even one or two melee units avoiding it and reaching your fragile archers or magicians can cause losing the battle. As is, this is now an excellent spell to cast when your ranged army faces fast melee units that would otherwise destroy them, and although it's much less effective when you're the aggressor and they already managed to move freely on turn one, it can still be enough to turn the tides of battle.


10. Web

Cost : 10 MP

Research : 480 RP

Target unit cannot act for (12/melee attack) turns and loses flying.

Most likely the best common spell in the game and many player's favorite, this unassuming but brutally powerful spell has been left intact to ensure maximal enjoyment, especially as it requires proper tactical use making it interesting. The main role is to counter Flying - at common this enables players to take 2 Nature books to start with this spell, so strategies otherwise having no means to deal with Flight can become playable at this reasonable but significant cost. However there is a lot more to this spell, as it can also prevent enemies from outrunning your slower armies, or completely disabling enemy ranged attackers.



Uncommon

1. Ice Bolt

Cost : 25 MP

Research : 1280 RP

A strength 35 Cold attack to the target unit in combat.

A decent but mediocre direct damage spell, the only such in Nature's arsenal that is single figure hitting. It still manages to deal enough damage to be a threat.


2. Giant Spiders

Cost : 90 MP, 2 MP/turn

Research : 420 RP

Creature : 6 melee, +1 To Hit, 5 defense, 9 resistance, 5 movement, 5 health, 4 figures, Web Spell, Poison 3

A creature that's somewhat weak by Uncommon standards but extremely cost effective, the role of Spiders is to counter enemy ranged armies, or low tier units with poor resistance - in general, to counter every normal unit that might be used in the first 30-40% of the game. After some playtesting, the defense stat had to be raised to ensure they survive one turn of being shot at, and can engage poison vulnerable enemies without getting obliterated in the process. Their high speed makes them excellent for early expansion strategies, paired with the “guaranteed turn 1 research” mechanic and low RP cost, this creature offers an alternate way to start the game instead of the obvious choice of picking one of the common creatures as a starting spell. Due to its ability to provide you with Web spells without having to use up your one casting opportunity per turn, it remains a valuable tactical option to have even during the later phases of the game when its fighting ability is already obsolete. This is one of the units that contributes to the high relevance of the Poison game mechanic, which is effective against Life buff stacking strategies and pretty much the only one to keep those in check when dispelling is ineffective, as well as providing a fairly good counter to Werewolves, another early and powerful uncommon creature that could dominate the game otherwise. Poison also serves well in keeping the Undead game mechanic from spiraling out of control, as Undead units are now vulnerable to it and typically have poor resistance. Spiders also have high magic resistance, providing a good all-around option against Death wizards who otherwise dominate Nature wizards accross the board.


Basilisk

3. Great Lizard

Cost : 200 MP, 5 MP/turn

Research : 2140 RP

Creature : 18 melee, +2 To Hit, 7 defense, 7 resistance, 3 movement, 30 health, 1 figure, Regeneration 2

Originally the Basilisk, this lizard lost its Stoning ability because it was extremely redundant - all 3 creatures in uncommon Nature and even one of the rares had a resistance based attack, 3 of which were save or die stoning effects. This made Nature better at instant death attacks than even Death itself which was definitely not appropriate for the realm. Out of the four, the lizard's ability was the most redundant, providing the exact same gaze ability as gorgons with a slightly lower modifier. Being uncommon, at this phase of the game most enemy units still have low resistance, so such a gaze attack was also way too effective, but the real problem was making the realm extremely one-sided and in a direction it isn't expected to take. Thus, the lizard was redesigned to provide what Nature is expected to have, a strong giant monster that has great physical power. Regeneration being a core theme in Nature, yet being unavailable until the final tier, this creature was granted that ability, especially as lizards are known to be able to partially regenerate in real life! While this raised the concern of game balance : a midgame creature with regeneration does seem a bit too good, testing has proved that isn't the case and the game contains enough counters to this strategy so losing units of lizards is often inevitable nonetheless mainly thanks to its low resistance. Furthermore, the relatively high cost of the unit makes sure the player can only summon so much of them and expand so far before rare spells that outclass and destroy this creature easily show up.


4. Nature's Cures

Cost : 50 MP

Research : 1280 RP

Target overland stack becomes fully healed.

A quite powerful spell that allows human players to expand faster by cancelling the time needed to let units heal naturally in battle. Nature is meant to be good at early game aggression, and this spell both enables fully taking advantage of the powerful creatures and support normal troops in the somewhat less likely case the player aims to utilize those instead. The research cost of 1280 ensures this spell won't be available to players in the Common spell phase of the game, and obtaining it early enough requires a major investment into researching, which keeps the potential of overexpanding in check. Casting cost is low as this really only provides the player with the advantage of not having to wait 1-4 turns to recover lost health instead of a more permanent benefit like summoning an additional creature. Still, 50 is relevant enough in those early stages of the game to make a difference, if the spell has to be used too frequently. Most importantly, at 50, you will be able to cast it instantly in most of the Uncommon phase of the game, so you can respond to one of your important armies or garrisons getting a ambushed and wounded in time. At this time, this is the only spell in the game the AI is unable to cast, as it is very unlikely to have massively damaged armies worth targeting, and even then it can afford simply waiting for them to recover naturally. The AI prioritizes the strategy of quantity over quality, and has many troops, instead of focusing on getting the maximal potential out of a single stack. (That said, the AI does have a new function that is responsible for building up doomstacks on the overland map, but it is a time consuming process and nowhere near as efficient as a human player would be at the same thing.)


5. Construct Catapult (New)

Cost : 30 MP

Research : 1600 RP

Summon a Catapult in combat.

Another new spell to fill the missing combat summon capabilitiy of Nature I'd expect to have from a summoning focused realm. It both helps in siege to bring out Nature's strong early expansion feature, provides an alternate option for breaking walls if Crack's Call is not available, and has good synergy with Earth to Mud or strong melee creatures that can protect the catapult from incoming enemy forces. Perhaps it might be a good idea in the future to replace this with a functionally identical creature that's more Nature-like, for example a tree creature hurling rocks.


6. Crack's Call

Cost : 25 MP

Research : 1600 RP

Destroy any wall on the targeted combat map tile. If a unit was there, there is a 25% chance it takes 21 damage, or 5 damage on each of its figures, whichever is higher. The damage is irrecoverable.

This spell is quite unpopular due to its powerful effect and unpredictability, but it serves some pretty major roles in the design. First of all it plays into Nature's role of providing spells that can't be defended against : it targets the ground so not even Magic Immunity can help survive it, and defenses, regeneration or other measures are ineffective. Second, Nature literally has no other way to deal with powerful, highly buffed units from Life wizards - beyond the early game, poison stops being effective, and even strong summoned monsters can't compete with a midgame unit that has 5+ different buffs on. Crack's call is ineffective against non-corporeal units however, improving the “Most Nature spells are bad against the Death realm” theme of the design, which the Cold Immunity present on all Death units and undead and the low resistance of Nature creatures makes inevitable anyway. That said, Nature isn't without tools as Death is weak to petrificiation effects, due to its creatures lacking magic resistance even more than Nature ones and generally relying on being immune to most effects instead.


7. Change Terrain

Cost : 32 MP

Research : 960 RP

Change target overland tile from Mountain to Hill, Hills, Swapms or Deserts to Grasslands, Grasslands to Forests, Forests to Grasslands, or Volcanoes to Mountains.

A popular spell in the original game I decided to leave unchanged (other than its costs). It's quite a lot less powerful in Caster of Magic as the faster pacing and generally better population growth rates make changing a single tile play a smaller part in the big picture, still it's a very powerful tool to have for economy based strategies that avoid military conflict, as it allows the less fertile spots the AI priorizes to settle last to be as valuable as the good areas for the Nature player. It is also the only spell in the game capable of erasing a Volcano, opening up the possibility of creating Mountains or terraforming Tundra tiles for Chaos/Nature wizards which no one else is capable of. Casting this on enemy territory has no diplomacy consequences as it would be pretty hard to determine whether the effect is beneficial for the other player or harmful.


8. Transmute

Cost : 60 MP

Research : 1920 RP

Transform target ore :

Silver->Mithril->Quork->Iron-> Silver

Gold->Adamantium->Crysx->Coal->Gold

This splits ores to two groups, the second group having the same effect as the first but double the resource output. The spell keeps the ore at the same tier, but allows any ore to be transformed into any other as desired. In most cases though the only really beneficial transformation is to create mithril or adamantium in military centers, or crystals for Dwarves who lack the ability to produce magical power but get a double effect from ores. Nonetheless, if nothing more important can be cast, Transmute on resources can still be a valuable benefit even on any other transformation, it's just rarely the case, as there is always a huge demand for overland spellcasting ability by design. Other than playing into Nature's terraforming role, this spell also represents Nature's ability to mimic Life in buffing normal units, indirectly by enabling them to wield adamantium, even on the Arcanus plane where this is rarely possile. The research cost is very high as Adamantium is a fairly major bonus which would be way too powerful to unlock early. This spell also has a quite exceptional trading value for obvious reasons, as it enables AI players to mass produce adamantium troops as well - the AI will use this spell for military purposes and transform their ores into Mithril and Adamantium. Transforming for economy purposes isn't important enough and difficult to create efficient AI rules for, and on higher difficulties the AI typically has enough resources that resource production from ores becomes marginal to them. Like Change Terrain, this also has no diplomacy effect as it would be difficult to judge which transformation is beneficial or harmful. The possibility to teach the AI to use this offensively was considered but I decided not to, as there are enough ways to disable ores from being effective even without that, and having too much undermines the importance of the ore game mechanic. It would also be unflavorful for a Nature wizard to use their magic to intentionally ruin natural resources.


9. Cockatrices

Cost : 150 MP

Research : 1280 RP

Creature : 4 melee, +1 To Hit, 5 defense, 7 resistance, 3 movement, 7 health, 4 figures, Stoning Touch -4, Flying.

A very specialized creature that has weak stats but extremely strong petrification effects, the Cockatrice is most useful at eliminating medium resistance targets with high health and low figure count. Flying is typically unavailable for Nature as it prefers to web enemies to bring them down to ground level, this creature is an exception and its primary role is to allow hurting ghost enemies that can't be webbed - basically Nature's only way out against enemies using Shadow Demons or Wraiths. The main reason to keep them in the game other than that is their combo potential - touch attacks work at range so casting Focus Magic on this unit enables it to petrify at range - a very powerful combination that makes the game quite a bit more interesting especially as the AI is aware of the combo and will use it if able. I've played several test games to ensure this combo is not too powerful, thankfully the high research cost, the high cost of creating one such unit (150+80 mana for only one) the limited amount of shots, and the constant need to recover health for the cockatrice as its ability to petrify weakes with each lost figure meant the combo is healthy for the game.


Pathfinding

10. Land Linking

Cost : 50 MP

Research : 640 RP

Enchanted unit gains Pathfinding. If it is fantastic, it gains +2 attack and defense.

Nature specializes in fantastic creatures so it also needs a spell that buffs them. Pathfinding is boring and unimpressive by itself as it no longer doubles overland movement speed which was entirely too powerful in the original game - remember the time it takes to move units is a major balancing factor that keeps otherwise unstoppable stacks from dominating the game too much - so adding the ability to it to also buff fantastic units seemed to be a good solution. This also makes up for losing the weak Stone Skin and Giant Strength spells, instead providing an uncommon alternative with a meaningful effect.


Rare


1. Elemental Armor

Cost : 18/90 MP

Research : 3000 RP

Enchanted unit gains +12 defense against magical ranged attacks, breath attacks and spells.

The upgraded version of Resist Elements, this spell provides a massive protection against damage from magical sources, enabling Nature wizards to break through magician garrions. Like Resist Elements, this too applies to all realms now to ensure it's reliable and fair. Beware of the Caster ability on those magicians though, as there is more to use it for than just direct damage spells. While this might feel too powerful and against the “powerful magic” theme of the mod, in reality over 95% of the magic in the game are not direct damage spells, and while some summoned creatures do use magic ranged attacks, they typically are effective at melee combat as well, so this really only outclasses the normal units that use magical attacks, and rare spells are meant to be doing that : Common magic outclasses the lowest tier normal units, Uncommon outclassess the medium tier like halberiders, and rare spells outclass most normal units, even the highest tier ones. Very rare spells are typically global game-changers that aren't even comparable to single units.


2. Stone Giant

Cost : 275 MP

Research : 3500 RP

Creature : 20 melee, 20 Ranged (3 ammo) +2 To Hit, 12 defense, 10 resistance, 3 movement, 25 health, 1 figures, Stoning Immunity, Poison Immunity, Wall Crusher, Mountaineer.

As the name implies, Stone Giants have been given the role of being the rare summoned creature that has the highest defense. It also has slightly better magic resistance than Nature's other rare creature, and even has ranged attacks which is also unusual for the realm, making it very versatile, but it isn't nearly as powerful as Gorgons are overall and is most effective against units that can't effectively deal damage through its armor.


3. Gorgons

Cost : 360 MP

Research : 4500 RP

Creature : 15 melee, +2 To Hit, 7 defense, 9 resistance, 3 movement, 14 health, 3 figures, Stoning Gaze -3

Gorgons fill the role of being Nature's exceptionally powerful melee creature, having stats that make it halfway between the rare and very rare tier - it isn't immediately obvious but having 3 figures means this unit has a total health pool of 42 and attacks at strength 15 three times. Multiple figures of course mean the unit loses from its potential as it takes more damage, nonetheless, its Stoning Gaze ensures it can easily destroy most normal units and even other rare or weaker summoned creatures. The original design of this creature in Master of Magic was a flying bull and I personally dislike that, especially because Flight is something Nature is traditionally bad at, being the anti-flight realm, which is represented by the spell Web even in this game, fortunately, Hadriex has been nice enough to provide me with graphics for this new, more traditional interpretation of the creature. While no longer flying themselves, thanks to the gaze attacks, the Gorgons keep their ability to attack other flying creatures at will. While the creature is very powerful, it isn't without weak points : mediocre magic resistance and movement speed needs to be considered when using or fighting against this creature.


4. Survival Instinct (new)

Cost : 600 MP

Research : 5000 RP

Global enchantment : All of the caster's fantastic creatures gain 1 defense, +1 To Hit and 2 magic resistance.

If I'm serious about making Nature the best realm for using summoned creatures, having a global enchantment to buff them is pretty much a requirement. While the buffs are not particularly large, the resistance is extremely good as it removes the greatest weakness of most Nature creatures and this spell also offers great combo potential with other realms who might have ways to convert their normal units into fantastic ones. Being a rare spell, it also increases the relevance of researching Disjunction early, which you might want to do before starting a war against a wizard who already has this global enchantment, especially if you plan to take advantage of resistance based effects.

Ice Storm

5. Blizzard

Cost : 120 MP

Research : 4000 RP

All units on the target overland map tile are hit by a strength 14 armor piercing cold attack

Almost identical to Fire Storm in the original, I changed this to use a different mechanic. Dealing Armor Piercing damage but not multifigure damage means this spell can be effective at dealing damage against stronger or single figure targets, but the damage will be way less than needed to kill them so it mostly serves only as a slight advantage before engaging in combat. Of course if the target has extremely low hit points, like magicians, the spell can be more potent and even kill the units. A decent but expensive spell to take down otherwise too difficult garrisons, it mainly exists to diversify the realm's options and to deal with enemies whose combat spellcasting ability far exceeds the Nature wizard's, something Nature doesn't particularly excel at - although they are by no means weak at it either. The name was changed to alarm the players that the effect uses a new damage dealing mechanic.


6. Earthquake

Cost : 150 MP

Research : 2500 RP

All non-flying, corporeal units in the target city have a 4% chance to die and each bulding has a 40% chance to be destroyed.

Unit destruction chance has been massively reduced from the original, as at higher percentages, this spell was pretty much guaranteed to kill multiple, possibly very expensive and high tier units for a single use, and of course, it was possible to keep using it until most of the forces died and the city became easy to conquer. This mostly was an issue at fortresses, nonetheless, remotely killing units of a higher tier than the spell itself, at no risk, is unacceptable. This isn't like Crack's Call, where you have to participate in combat and risk losing units to be able to cast the spell at all. At 4% the chance is low enough that a risk is introduced - you might need to sacrifice signficant amounts of time and spellcasting and possibly still don't get the intended outcome. Of course this would have made the spell unusable, so it had to be rebranded as a building destruction spell, giving Nature its only way to hurt enemy economy. 40% seems excessively high but building destruction does not include replaced buildings, so typically, 20-50% of the cities buildings ignore the effect. Either way, this spell can give the Nature wizard an efficient way to hurt enemy economy, or destroy Amplifying Towers to weaken the enemy spellcasting capacity.


7. Earth Elemental

Cost : 50 MP

Research : 5500 RP

Combat Summon : 25 melee, +1 To Hit, 4 defense, 8 resistance, 1 movement, 30 health, 1 figures, Stoning Immunity, Poison Immunity, Wall Crusher.

A brutally powerful combat summoned creature that can destroy most enemies unfortunate enough to be in their range, this represents the realm's full might of summoning in combat. Its low armor and speed ensures it's not too difficult to kill, but definitely will make anything that engages it in physical combat take lots of damage.


8. Petrify

Cost : 20 MP

Research : 4000 RP

Each figure in the target unit has to resist at -3 or irrecoverably die.

A simple save or die combat spell, the only such in Nature. It targets each figure separately so it's not that easy to actually kill the entire unit. Nature's best weapon against higher tier Death creatures which have low resistance but are usually immune to all other Nature spells. The low cost enables Magicians to use this spell, making it more potent than it initially seems. One of the spells that serve a major role in keeping Regeneration from being too powerful. Save modifier of -3 seems powerful but is at best average for a rare tier spell.



9. Gaea's Blessing

Cost : 250 MP

Research : 4000 RP

Increase the maximal population of the enchanted city by 50%. Reduces unrest by 2. Forest tiles are worth triple production. Chance to remove corruption or convert deserts to grasslands, volcanoes to mountains.

Mostly unchanged from the original spell, this is the greatest enabler of economy based Nature strategies. It also protects Nature cities from the bad influence of Armageddon and Doomsday, making it probably the only realm that can safely overlook a Chaos wizard reaching the late game and get along with them peacefully. Nature tends to be good against Chaos on the whole, as Regeneration and high amount of hit points make it good against direct damage. The only change is increasing the bonus on Forest tiles, which can make the otherwise overlooked Grasslands->Forest option on Change Terrain useful and fits the flavor of Nature wizards preferring forests.


10. Iron Skin

Cost : 24/120 MP

Research : 4000 RP

Enchanted unit gains +5 defense.

One of the few spells that were completely unchanged from the original, this buff fits the theme of Nature having extremely tough units. Not as powerful as Invulnerability, but like always, Nature can do things other realms specialize in, but isn't as good as those at it.



Very Rare


1. Earth Gate

Cost : 125 MP

Research : 6000 RP

Units can teleport between any two cities on the same plane enchanted by this.

While the mod does remove too powerful overland options, this spell is fortunately very rare, and by that time the snowballing potential of fast movement is gone. Nonetheless, this is a very very good spell that can help mobilizing your forces for the big endgame wars more effectively. It is immensely helpful for AI players, as I've implemented the ability for the AI to use this spell, and they will take advantage of it to even out the garrisons in their cities. This ensures the player can't take out those cities by repeatedly attacking it each turn, as it'll get refilled with units, and any failed attempt to conquer it in one turn will mean the city's defenses are as good as they were before the attack. It might even help the AI build up good stacks of high end creatures, as any creature pulled from the garrison to build a new stack will be replaced by another (if available elsewhere) and next turn that can also be added to the stack and so on until the stack is complete.



Nature's Awareness

Clairvoyance

Nature's Wrath

2. Seismic Mastery

Cost : 1000 MP

Research : 9000 RP

Reveals the map, increases node power production by 15 each, and whenever the wizard casts a cost 370 or higher spell, it autocasts an Earthquake spells for free.

While having a global enchantment that shows the entire map is impressive, it is by no means powerful, thus Nature's Awareness was given the additional benefit of getting more power from nodes, something one would expect Nature to have, nodes being major junctions of power on the planet afterall, at which time it was renamed Clairvoyance. We've removed Nature's Wrath from the game, as it was extremely unfun - I did change it to affect all realms to be in line with the philosophy of no spells that target only specific realms. The new effect was to cause the earthquake effect only when the other player used a high casting cost spell, but the problem with that is that it punishes players for using their big spells or to be more precise, prevent them from using it as doing so is pretty much suicide. This basically meant Nature's Wrath was no different from a “dispel this if you want to keep playing the game and have fun” type of effect, which is obviously not fun and dispelling isn't fun either - worse, it meant the spell was unusable for human players because the AI was also forced to dispel it ASAP obviously. So that spell had to be scrapped but its parts were salvaged as two separate ideas : a spell that makes the user benefit from others casting expensive spells - which really is the same thing except both sides are happy, so using big spells remains a viable option as long as the user can deal with the consequence - and another spell that somehow plays into the theme of the “causes large scale earthquakes” to use the nice original art, as well as something to use the other idea, a spell that rewards yourself for casting your own big spells. The first gave birth to the spell Fairy Ring, while the second and third ideas were used in Seismic Mastery - a spell that casts a free Earthquake for each large spell being cast by the wizard. I obviously didn't have room for two global enchantments after removing one as modding is done by hex editing lacking the source code, and the latter wasn't nearly powerful enough by itself as an effect (it's a “win more” spell which are sometimes fun to use but not particularly good design) so the solution was to merge the Clairvoyance and Seismic Mastery effect together, giving birth to this spell which has 3 seemingly unrelated but flavor-wise matching effects - worldwide scouting, nodes and earthquakes all have to do with the mastery of the earth, the manipulation of the planet itself. The spell cost to trigger the effect was carefully set to ensure only truely big spells can take advantage of it, and this also plays into the role of Nature's “missing out on spells hurts more than usual”, as not having access to one of the very rare summoning spells means this enchantment is much less useful. Using the earthquake effect is optional - while the spell will always be cast automatically, the cancel button on target selection allows the player to not use the effect, which can be important as Earthquake obviously has a diplomacy penalty. As the AI will not target players with hostile spells unless they are hostile towards the player, Seismic Mastery will bring no harm to you if you don't get into a fight with the owner. If you do though, you better disjunction it or end the conflict as soon as possible.


3. Fairy Ring

Cost : 1200 MP

Research : 24000 RP

Whenever another player casts a spell that costs 301 or more, a random creature you are able to summon appears at your summoning circle for free.

Nature lacked a really impressive big global enchantment - Nature's Wrath failed to fill that intended role due to how unfun it was to play with or against, so when it was replaced, I wanted to make sure the new spell is something amazing. As Nature specializes in summoned creatures, what better could it do than become even more efficient at summoning them? Honestly, I don't remember the entire 4-5 pages of forum discussion and brainstorming but in the end this spell was made as it filled all the intended roles. It is summoning themed - you get free creatures. It keeps the old Nature's Wrath theme of “casting big spells against Nature will get you in trouble” but in a way that doesn't reduce the fun factor of the game - sure free enemy creatures WILL escalate the situation but if you can already deal with some, you can deal with more... or can you? That is an exciting decision the player has to be able to make correctly. It also promotes friendly strategies - you get free creatures even if an ally casts the spell. It can also be perfectly balanced to fit the “AI has more resources” design because “random creature” can use a formula to determine the creature in a way that works well. Designing the right formula wasn't trivial because the number of times the other side is expected to cast a spell that triggers it is also different (AI players cast more spells) - for those who want to know, the formula is [(Overland casting skill including AI skill modifier/30)+5 for AI players] number of D10 dice rolls, for each roll that comes up as 1, the creature's tier increases by one (default is common). Once the tier is determined, a random available creature is chosen from that tier. If none are available, the tier below is chosen and so on.


4. Entangle

Cost : 50 MP

Research : 21000 RP

All corporeal enemy units in combat have 2 lower movement speed.

Movement reduction had to be doubled to match the movement change on most other units. I don't really have much else to say other than the AI has been enabled to use this spell, unlike the original game, which makes a really big difference. Flying enemies are affected to ensure the spell is reliable, but Noncorporeals are not to play into the “Death realm is not affected by most of Nature's spells” theme.


5. Call Lightning

Cost : 60 MP

Research : 15000 RP

At the end of each combat turn, 3-5 strengh 10 armor piercing lightning bolts hit random enemy units.

Another unique, one-of-the-kind effect, for damage over time. Feels quite weird in this realm if you think about it, especially as it actually is the best such spell in the game, however considering Nature does have the theme of stalling for time - Web, Earth to Mud and Entangle are all such spells - damage over time is really the perfect kind of direct damage spell for it. As Nature typically only gets one damage spell per spell tier and each of them use a different mechanic, more powerful than the previous, this surprisingly fits well, and is perfect for Nature's theme of “missing out on unique spells hurt” as missng either this or Entangle has serious consequences and you typically need both to compete with other realms in the area of combat spellcasting.


6. Regeneration

Cost : 32/160 MP

Research : 12000 RP

Enchanted unit gains Regeneration 2

While unit buffs are typically not powerful enough to be very rares as they only affect a single unit, this is an exception to that rule - getting back dead units for free is that powerful, especially as this can be cast in battle. However to match this level of rarity, this spell restores 2 hit points each turn unlike the item ability which only does one, but becomes available earlier.


7. Herb Mastery

Cost : 1000 MP

Research : 15000 RP

All of the caster's units are fully healed at the end of combat, take no overland damage and restore 2 health per turn in combat.

Another global spell that was good but failed to impress. As it already was something like a global Regeneration, taking this idea further to add health recovery in battle seemed ideal. Not as potent as Charm of Life as in the late game, waiting turns to regenerate hit points only results in the enemy casting brutally damaging spells at the unfortunate armies, but still, any additional hit points gained are valuable. Obviously, adding Regeneration's “dead unit comes back” effect would have been way too powerful. One more nice consequence which I don't think was part of the original intention of the designers but exists notheless is that Nature wizards will not lose units to damage from Meteor Storm, meaning they can prevent most of the damage from all three Chaos globals as Gaea's Blessing already fixes the effects from Armageddon and Doomsday. This makes resarching and casting these spells especially important when Chaos wizards are in the game and can help becoming the laughing third while the Chaos AI's enchantments slowly eliminate everyone else but you. Of course this approach is risky and might backfire if the Chaos wizard becomes too powerful in the process, but Nature's regenerative powers tend to make it effective at fighting Chaos wizards so the risk isn't inherently too high. It might be worth noting that unlike Life, Nature magic can heal the undead, making this a very good spell to have for a Death/Nature dual realm wizard.


8. Colossus

Cost : 450 MP

Research : 1800 RP

Creature : 25 melee, 25 Ranged (4 ammo) +3 To Hit, 12 defense, 15 resistance, 3 movement, 37 health, 1 figures, Stoning Immunity, Poison Immunity, Wall Crusher, Pathfinding, First Strike, Illusion Immunity, Supernatural.

An upgrade to Stone Giant and an all-around efficient, versatile creature with no particular weaknesses that works well in almost all combat situations but has no outstanding strengths either. Only its Illusion Immunity is worth mentioning, as this is the only way for the realm to properly fight Invisible enemies, although the Entange+Call Lightning combo can at least help against the less threatening ones, it won't do much against an entire stack of powerful creatures.


9. Great Wyrm

Cost : 500 MP

Research : 15000 RP

Creature : 36 melee, +3 To Hit, 8 defense, 14 resistance, 3 movement, 45 health, 1 figures, Merging, Armor Piercing, Supernatural, Poison 40.

Great Wyrms offer insane damaging ability paired with instanteous movement to ensure the strongest creature from the most summoning focused realm is really impressive and brutal. However, they lack the versatility of a Colossus or Behemoth's ability to shrug off damage like nothing. They also can't deal with flying enemies by their own, and while Webs are an easy way out for the Nature player, it can be too slow and inefficient against an entirely flying enemy army. Noncorporeal flying units most often - but not only - found in Death armies are the Wyrms worst nightmare, as it can't do anything meaningful while the enemy wizard keeps throwing spells at it, slowly but surely destroying it. The poison ability is mostly for flavor - anything that doesn't get destroyed by the Wyrms attack is unlikely to have low enough resistance to get affected by it. Still, overlooking it and accidentally engaging the wyrm with a powerful unit that lacks resistance for any reason can be unexpectedly leathal.


10. Behemoth

Cost : 480 MP

Research : 15000 RP

Creature : 25 melee, +2 To Hit, 15 defense, 13 resistance, 3 movement, 42 health, 1 figures, Regeneration 3, Caster 40, Supernatural.

Behemoth is Nature's third option for a very rare creature, as the best summoner realm deserves to have that many. It's uniqueness is in having by far the best durability of any unit in the game, having extrmely high defense, decent amount of high points and fast hit point regeneration. While its attack strength is weak for a Nature creature of this tier, it's still impressive for a creature overall, and with this level of durability the Behemoth is expected to be able to attack many times before it goes down, assuming that ever happens. On top of this, Behemoths can cast Nature spells, making them more effective against all flying enemy armies than the Wyrms. For all of these amazing benefits they also suffer from two minor flaws - their resistance is mediocre for a very rare creature and while unlikely, they might end up getting instantly destroyed by a spell that prevents regeneration in some cases, and their movement speed isn't that great either, although with the help of Webs and Entangle this rarely causes problems.





Life Magic


Life magic specializes in healing and buffing normal military units and cities.

Strengths


Weaknesses

Common

1. Star Fires

Cost : 12 MP

Research : 160 RP

Perform a strength 23 attack on target fantastic creature in combat.

While Life is not expected to be able to do direct damage on normal units which it is meant to protect, treating summoned units as non-life and harming them is perfectly acceptable and is the only type of damage spell the realm gets.

2. Bless

Cost : 7/35 MP

Research : 320 RP

Enchanted unit gains +5 defense and resistance against Chaos and Death realm spells, breath, gaze, or touch attacks. (Reminder : petrification is a Nature realm effect)

This spell no longer adds defense against physical attacks coming from creatures of the listed realms, nor against magical ranged attacks belonging to those realms. For a while it used to do the latter, but even that was far too powerful, making it almost as good as Resist Magic and Resist Elements combined. While I usually avoid spells working against specific realms, this is an exception as the majority of relevant harmful spells do come from those two realms, and most importantly, there is exactly one such spell remaning for each realm : Resist Elements resists Nature spells, True Sight resists Sorcery spells and this resists the remaning two. (Life has no spells that need to be resisted that affect normal units and many fantastic creatures were designed with their vulnerability to life magic in mind, so a spell to resist life would be a very bad idea.)

While Sorcery and Nature also have spells that might hurt a unit, they tend to have effects that would ignore this spell anyway (Illusion damage, Crack's Call, Web etc) so excluding those realms makes very little difference here, literally only being relevant for Confusion and Vertigo in the early game, both of which are Sorcery, the realm Life is actually intended to be weak against.



3. Healing

Cost : 15 MP

Research : 320 RP

Target unit recovers 5 hit points in battle.

To be perfectly honest, this might be one spell that isn't perfectly balanced yet, as restoring 5 hit points has an entirely different meaning on a big very rare tier monster and a common swordsmen unit. However, this also makes the spell equally useful for the entire game and means it scales with the game progress which is important : spells do need to have increasingly higher relevance to be still worth using up a combat turn on casting them, and in that sense healing is perfectly balanced. While the target has better defenses, the enemy also has better damaging spells as the game progresses, allowing Healing to fill roughly the same role in being able to cancel out a certain percentage of incoming spell damage. For these two reasons, I decided to not nerf this spell in the end. I tried to ensure that healing is less efficient than damage spells on typical targets, so attempting to counter damage can only do so much before the damage piles up and destroys the unit. Still, the time it buys is often enough to end the battle and guarantee the safety of the unit. Fortunately, the original amount of 5 hit points healed worked perfectly in practice, although that's just a coincidence as both the damage output of damage spells and the hit pints of units were updated.


4. Endurance

Cost : 60 MP (overland)

Research : 380 RP

Enchanted unit gains +1 movement and +2 defense.

This spell originally only provided 1 movement which I believed to be too unimpressive. While now I realize movement is extremely valuable, I still think providing an additional effect wasn't a mistake, as Life magic, being bad at summoning creatures, deperately needs ways to improve their normal units to the level of good common summoned units and beyond - especially beyond, as casting multiple buffs on a unit is way more expensive than summoning a single creature - yet it has to be due to buffs' versatility of being possible to apply on any unit, even those where it has much more outstanding benefits. So in order for Life to have something competent during the first few years of the game, I had to make sure those fragile basic units like swordsmen, can be enhanced to the point where they can actually fight units like hounds or bears evenly and survive spells like Fire Bolt. The only way to have that happen is through extra defense, and while Holy Armor does provides some as well as extra levels from Heroism, a third layer seemed necessary. More importantly, while + To Defend was a stat, there were no targeted buffing spells in the game to provide any so it felt intuitive to include it here.As a consequence, Life became able to create virtually unkillable early units but at an extremely high cost, by putting all of their buffs on them. This was enjoyable to play but came with balance problems, so I had to make sure the strategy doesn't work on all possible enemies - against some using more units with fewer buffs each becoming more effective. As none of Life's spells are really effective against it, Poison ended up serving this purpose, making the mass-buffing strategy weak against Sorcery (Nagas have high poison) and risky against Death (Ghouls have low poison but convert the unit to their side if killed) wizards. This solved the early game problem but another issue became apparent eventually : Endurance was way too powerful on late game fantastic creatures. Considering many options, I decided on swapping the defensive effects between Holy Armor and Endurance, making sure the summoned creatures “only” get the 2 armor, not the much more superior +1 To Defend bonus which can on high end units be as good as 5 defense. It also resulted in Holy Armor and Holy Weapon becoming a proper symmetric pair of spells, one providing +1 To Hit and the other +1 To Defend.


5. Holy Armor

Cost : 50 MP (overland)

Research : 320 RP

Enchanted unit gains +1 To Defend. However if it has 5 or less defense, it gains +2 defense instead.

As explained above, this is now a symmetric spell to Holy Weapon, but I also had to make sure it retains the original functionality of being beneficial to low armor units, by making it provide the old 2 armor on those. I have some doubts about that decision now, as it was originally meant to have a low MP cost early game combat spell for defense in the game, but allowing the spell to be cast in combat was too powerful for the midgame, where +1 To Defend is a more sizable bonus and being able to instantly recast it when dispelled was entirely too good, although the real problem was it was a lot more economical to simply not cast the spell and only use it in combat if the target was fighting alone and could reliably expect to survive a turn without major damage, freeing up overland casting capacity entirely, and going against the intended design that buffing has to deal with losing enchantments thorugh dispel magic in exchange for the massively powerful units it can create.


6. Holy Weapon

Cost : 8/40 MP

Research : 260 RP

Enchanted unit gains +1 To Hit and can bypass Weapon Immunity.

This still works like the original and is Life's way to buff damage output, in contrast to Chaos which adds attack strength instead. Being one of the 3 common spells that enable the bypassing of weapon immunity, it ensures that game mechanic is powerful but not unbeatable in the early game. Without that it wouldn't be possible to allow that ability to be part of the early game which would be very bad because it's definitely not good enough for any phase of the game later, as Alchemist Guilds are already built everywhere by then.


True Light

There aren't enough Life creatures for a spell exclusively buffing them to be worth existing, especially considering the design of Life is “bad at summoned creatures”. The other half of the effect, debuffing Death creatures, could be useful but goes against the design of not selectively penalizing realms, thus this spell is removed.


7. Heroism

Cost : 15/75 MP

Research : 320 RP

Enchanted unit is elite.

In the earlier stages of the mod, a significant amount of complaints were posted saying this spell is too powerful. The possibility to replace it with something else was considered. This spell is somewhat special because it fills the role of being a major buff that doesn't stack which makes is super useful for the early game of the realm, yet, as it doesn't stack with unit levels obtainable through normal means, doesn't raise the overall potential units can reach by putting all the buffs available on them. As overbuffing is a serious game balance threat, this valuable design had to be kept. Other ideas were considered but they either didn't solve the issue of stacking too many buffs, were redundant with existing spells, or weren't able to provide the same level of benefit for the early game as Heroism. However, when discussion about what makes Heroism too powerful despite the fact it actually does not give any bonus you can't gain through leveling the unit (which isn't particularly difficult) - and level-up bonuses were slightly lower than in the original Master of Magic already - started, I realized the issue is not the spell itself, but its potential interaction with heroes. In particular, a hero who has a level scaling resource producing ability such as Sage, Ritual Master or Legendary, produces a huge amount of resources which is game-changing at that phase of the game - the additional 30-50 income per turn causes a massive snowballing effect. As a consequence we realized the root problem is heroes being available from turn 1 - there simply is no way to make it balanced to hire a hero who might have abilities such as Noble which generates 20 gold a turn, at a time when the player's only town produces less than 10 gold a turn. Resource producing abilities aren't the only problem though - a hero with good abilities at a time most other players can still only produce settlers and build outposts or summon common creatures is a potential game winner. So as it has already been explained in the Heroes chapter, the solution turned out to restrict heroes to appear at turn 30 or later only and cost more gold to hire, instead of changing Heroism. Later, the economy rebalancing to slightly improve how the early game economy plays and provide players with enough resources to actually be able to play the game properly and have choices, further mitigated this issue as typical early game towns were slightly more productive on the whole, nonetheless the restriction of turn 30 on heroes remained in respect of their military potential and also to reduce the luck factor present - even if a turn 5 hero is a game winner, it's entirely up to luck whether the player gets an offer and can amass enough gold to pay for it so better to not have that chance to begin with.



8. Just Cause

Cost : 150 MP

Research : 480 RP

Gain 10 fame. All cities have 1 lower unrest.

Life being “the” enchantment realm, having a global common spell is good design, especially as it allows players to be familiar with the concept immediately. The Fame bonus can make it relevant for hero strategies, while the unrest redution is overall good for economy, but fairly balanced by the fact in the early game the total population is too low for increased tax rates to make a gamebreaking difference, and later, unrest reduction buildings and garrisons are easily avalable and make this spell quite a lot less important but still useful thanks to the larger number of cities potentially affected.


9. Heavenly Light

Cost : 60 MP

Research : 440 RP

Enchanted city produces 3 religious power. Units defending the enchanted city gain +1 attack, defense and resistance during combat, and if they do not have magical weapons, they also receive a bonus equivalent to having them.

Originally providing the effect of True Light at a higher tier of rarity, this spell had to be completely redesigned, as True Light was also removed and binding it to city defense only made the spell even less playable. Life being the least aggressive realm, if felt intuitive to give them a city defense spell that can be used in the early game and provides a benefit without any special condition. As Life struggles more than other realms at expanding early due to lacking summoning and combat spell options, this can at least help them be the top dog at avoiding conflict and defending their territory obtained through settlers. Later on though when Life becomes able to build stacks the enemy can't stop or even meaningfully damage, a strong higher tier city defense spell, while matching the flavor of the realm, would be very bad for game balance : the only thing that keeps expansion limited in this stage of the game is the need to provide decent garrioson for all the conquered cities, and a better city defense spell would reduce the need for doing that significantly. This means common is the only spell tier a city defense spell in Life can exist at, and honestly, I think one has to exist for flavor reasons. As city defense spells are not particularly popular among players preferring an aggressive playstyle, and this spell was designed before the addition of Magic Markets, which made Life wizards extremely mana starved due to high buffing costs and no summoned creatures to conquer nodes, a power production of 3 was added albeit at a cost of 1 maintenance. While this effect isn't as important nowadays, the power counting as a Religious source makes it still highly relevant in specific combinations : Cult Leader and Dark Rituals.



10. Guardian Spirit

Cost : 60 MP, 1 MP/turn

Research : 200 RP

Creature : 7 melee,+3 To Hit, 6 defense, 10 resistance, 2 movement, 10 health, 1 figure, Non-Corporeal, Poison Immunity, Resistance to All+1, Meld with Node. Melded nodes are affected by the effect of Heavenly Light, buffing garrions and producing 3 additional power.

While the creature's stats have been improved, it is still fairly weak as it should be for a Life creature. Poison Immunity however can make it relevant in providing the Life wizard one way to deal with poisonous enemy creatures which hard counter Life's main strategy. The Spirit itself is not strong enough to be efficient at fighting them, but being hard to take down through Poison Immunity and providing resistance to all other units at the same time, it is extremely helpful to have one in battles against multiple Poison units. Providing a global buff in combat that comes at no additional cost, while 1 resistance is unassuming, this can be a significant addition to any armies that need resistance in the early game nonetheless. The main function of the spirit however has always been to provide a better way to meld nodes than the default. Originally the spirit provided a 80% chance to prevent the melding of the node by others, which was a very problematic effect : It was extremely annoying to have such a luck based feature from the human players perspective, often requiring to summon 10 or more spirits to meld the node, while at other times needing only one, mainly because you had to guess how many spirits you needed before sending them to the node, if it wasn't located right next to your cities. Underestimating the amount resulted in missing out on the node until your second pack of spirits reached it, and overestimating left you with useless spirits and wasted spellcasting power. This was even worse from the AI's perspective though - as the AI sends sprits one at a time and isn't smart enough to summon them close to the node, it was able to seriously hinder the AI's ability to take the node, while still frustrating the player if they assumed their node is safe but luck was on the AI's side. Ultimately the effect was meaningless : you had to still garrison the node because the protection failed 20% of the time and the enemy could keep trying until it worked. So this effect was eliminated and instead an effect that's useful for players and AI alike and helps defending the node through conventional means was added. It's also worth noting that effects based on pure random chance belong to the Chaos realm and have no business being in Life whatsoever - Nature only gets one because it's the “can do everything” realm.


Uncommon


Dispel Evil

1. Exorcise

Cost : 20 MP

Research : 640 RP

All figures in target unit in combat must resist at -1 or be irrecoverably destroyed. Additional resistance penalty of -3 for undead.

Following the same process as Star Fires, this too has been changed to work on all fantastic creatures. The save penality is low, but so is the casting and research cost, to make sure it's useful early when low resistance creatures are still abundant. It's existence is a major balancing factor for several uncommon Death creatures especially the two that Regenerate and have very low magic resistance but huge military potential. Undead penalty was kept because destroying undead is definitely something Life realm is expected to be good at, and the Undead game mechanic is extremely powerful and definitely needs some counters to keep it in check : players are essentially receiving free units without having to produce them or spend resources or maintenance on them.


Astral Gate

Originally a very rare spell, this was moved to uncommon to match the rarity of the other two plane travel spells, as really, it isn't any more powerful than them and does the same thing. However, later at the time the role of planes and planar travel was reconsidered, all such spells have been removed from the Life Realm and now the only planar movment spell is Arcane, giving each realm an equal access to it. While being able to send settlers to the other plane did support peaceful strategies achieved through economic superiority, it was simply a far too large advantage to be able to both gain roughly half of a plane for yourself without contest, AND weaken the “final boss” enemy by the same amount at the same time. It also encouraged risk instead of strategy, as entering the other plane could potentially result in meeting a hostile wizard who not only prevented building any cities there due to being superior in military, but often even using various curses and hostile spells on the player such as Drain Power, Dispelling Wave and Fire Storm. While city based curses were not available without scouting the player's territory, spells that do not target cities have no such restriction. This also worked in the reverse : AI players throwing units onto the other plane from Myrror often resulted in a situation when superior enemy forces “spawned” deep in the players territory, in worst case destroying the cities, and in best case, opening up the possibility for the AI to use curses on them, while the player still had no way to go to the other plane unless they were lucky enough to find a weak tower.


Planar Travel

See above.


Plane Shift

Now an Arcane spell.


Planar Seal

This spell was another one that had to go, as it literally did nothing relevant for most part of the game, only to get immediately dispelled as soon as it would have became relevant. Originally the AI lacked the understanding to use or dispel it at the appropriate time, and while that could be possible now, the spell would still not serve any interesting purpose. Spells that say “you can't use this part of the game” without any more meaningful effect are generally a bad idea anyway.


2. True Sight

Cost : 15/60 MP

Research : 420 RP

Enchanted creature gains Illusion Immunity.

While Bless protects Life wizards from Chaos and Death, this spell works against Sorcery to ensure the game is fair and all realms are equally covered. More importantly, this effect can ensure heroes remain playable and don't get wiped out by the common tier, but very powerful Illusion ability which entirely ignores their armor. While it seems like it goes against the design of Life being weak to Sorcery, there is a catch - being an enchantment itself, the Sorcery player can and will dispel it on all but hero units wielding artifacts with this spell. However the spell is priced low enough in research cost to give Life players the possibility to fight a successful war against Sorcery wizards, if they manage to do it in the timeframe between researching this, and the Sorcery player researching their more potent dispelling magic. Other than requiring a way to counter Illusion, which unlike Doom comes at the beginning of the game, this spell is also extremely important in ensuring Invisibility has enough answers and doesn't dominate the game too much, making Life one of the realms that are good at countering it.


3. Prayer

Cost : 40 MP

Research : 2140 RP

All units in combat gain +1 To Defend, To Hit and Resistance.

By far the most powerful global combat buff of its tier in the game and likely one of the best Uncommons overall, this spell wasn't changed because buffing is exactly the intended strength of the realm. Being a global combat spell, it is also one of those very few advantages Sorcery wizards can't remove by dispelling it (as that ability was removed from all dispel type spells in the game). As it's impossible to have an integer amount fewer than 1, there wasn't really any room to make this spell weaker numerically other than redesigning the entire To Hit and To Defend mechanic, something that was considered but Caster of Magic was far too ahead in development to go through with such a massive change to a core game mechanic. More importantly, the effect of this spell was the baseline for similar global spells in other realms, of course, taking into account that they have to be overall less powerful than it, as Life is the realm that specializes in buffing.


4. Raise Dead

Cost : 40 MP

Research : 1280 RP

Target dead normal unit in combat is revived with half hit points. The same unit can't be revived or healed until the end of combat and counts as a fantastic unit (with no realm) until the end of combat.

This was mostly fine as is, except for one detail - it made it literally impossible to lose heroes to damage and more importantly, it allowed heroes to fight and kill powerful units, come back, and do it again and again and again, enabling one hero to take out any number of units equally powerful as itself. Restricting the unit to be revived only once per battle means the player either has to avoid relying on the dead hero until the enemy runs out of threats, or requires extreme caution to ensure it doesn't die again - sending it to attack other strong units is out of question. Converting to fantastic is both for flavor reasons (the unit is halfway back from the grave explaining why it isn't affected by healing properly yet) and because it makes them vulnerable to fantastic unit hitting spells such as Banish or Exorcise both of which can destroy the unit permanently, finally it's also the way the game's coding knows the unit is under this effect, by setting its race code to this new special value. Most of these changes only really matter for reviving heroes, as other normal units were usually only revived with the intention to prevent suffering losses in the battle after it was decided in your favor, not to let the newly raised unit engage the enemy again.


5. Sanctify (new)

Cost : 70 MP

Research : 960 RP

Enchanted unit has no gold maintenance and produces 3 power.

A completely new spell that plays into the role of Life wanting to avoid conflict, this makes your garrisons (or treasure hunters) also serve as an economic investment. Needless to say, entering a war and risking to lose these units on a battlefield is not a smart thing to do. To be perfectly honest, this spell was created to fill the hole caused by removing Planar Travel which already happened at a time when it was concluded Life doesn't need a new unit enchantment and most possible options would be redundant and unbalanced. However a spell had to exist so I tried to design one that has an effect that will be popular for human players without being particularly powerful, and playing into the underused theme of peaceful economic victories which are much harder to achieve and less often attempted in Caster of Magic compared to Master of Magic mainly due to the fixed diplomacy system and AI which means the player does need to put effort into staying on good terms with others and can't expect to easily manipulate all AI players into signing a peace treaty when the player's forces are obviously inferior and the AI could expect to win the war, nor can they expect to see no enemy forces showing up after a war declaration anymore. As people often hate paying maintenance costs with passion, a spell that removes that seemed intuitive. There was another design goal though - AI players tended to underperform when using mono-Life due to the lack of summoned creatures early on and generarally not AI friendly themes later (heroes, intelligent use of buffs, building doomstacks) - so I wanted to make a spell that also gives an edge to AI players behind the scenes. While the AI already pays reduced maintenance costs on higher difficulties, they also receive a difficulty scaled bonus to their power income and overland casting ability, the two of which combined makes this spell a lot more beneficial for the AI as they can both get more power out of the spell and cast it more times for the same investment, albeit in exchange for the maintenance elimination being less relevant. To ensure the AI doesn't lose the units enchanted by this spell in lairs or other battles, it prioritizes casting it on spellcasting units such as magicians which typically stay behind to garrison their towns.



6. Altar of Peace (new)

Cost : 120 MP (4 MP/turn)

Research : 1280 RP

Enchanted city produces additional research between 0 and 24 depending on your average diplomatic relation with other players.

Created even before Sanctify, all options were considered and research was the only area Life wizards were not able to buff much on cities. For roughly the same reasons described above, this spell was designed to open up that option if, and only if, the Life player was indeed aiming for a peaceful, economic and research superiority strategy. This also fills the role of helping AI Life players out, as AI players who survive typically maintain good relations with each other - if they did not, they wouldn't be around in the game long enough to care about bonus research, unless they won their war(s) quickly and efficiently in which case they really don't need any further help from the spell system : they already control two wizard's worth of territory. The maintenance ensures the player has to carefully consider his diplomacy options, as casting this then ending up in a large scale war can easily turn the spell into a net engative. Having these two spells opens up a new way to play the Sorcery/Life dual realm as well, as Sorcery excels at manipulating diplomacy to their favor and has the strongest late game so research and magic power are extremely valuable for it.


7. Unicorns

Cost : 200 MP (4 MP/turn)

Research : 1280 RP

Creature : 6 melee,+2 To Hit, 4 defense, 7 resistance, 4 movement, 8 health, 4 figures, Poison Immunity, Resistance to All+2, Teleporting

Unicorns are the only uncommon creature in Life, and mainly excel at providing the significant +2 Resistance bonus to your army while also having high hit points for maximal survivability. Their teleportation allows them to avoid engaging stronger units in melee and also allows them to take out any ranged attackers that could still damage them. Their attack power is fairly low and their high To Hit score makes them not benefit from Prayer as much, while their cost of summoning is quite high. Thanks these downsides, the Unicorns manage to fill the role of “Life is weak at summoning” while still providing a useful, valuable, and quite impressive spell. Poison Immunity also allows the Unicorn to single-handedly counter the poison vulnerability of Life once it reaches this spell, as it is both immune to it, strong enough to kill those weaker creatures, and adds enough resistance to allow the rest of the army to do so as well. While Life is not a good realm for a Conjurer based strategy, picking Unicorns for research on turn 1 is viable enough to enable that, and while researching it is time consuming, the creature is capable of countering pretty much every common creature, and especially Life's traditional weaknesses, as well as being super efficient at dismantling garrisons with a few magicians, which could be hard to deal with otherwise. I doubt this strategy is anywhere near top tier but it should be at least playable for medium levels of difficulties which is already a big deal considering it's the realm's weakness.


8. Stream of Life

Cost : 120 MP

Research : 1280 RP

Doubles population growth in enchanted city, reduces unrest by 3 and each unit in the city is fully healed at the end of the turn.

With the faster pacing of the mod in population growth, a rare spell isn't very good for that purpose as by then most of the player's cities already reached a large size and there is no room left on the map for more, making it only really beneficial for a raze and rebuild strategy which would be far too late to start at that time. For this reason the spell was moved to be an Uncommon, the casting cost was reduced, and the unrest reduction was limited to a much more reasonable 3 to ensure unrest generating spells in other realms, while not as great against Life as usual, still do something. This spell really helps out the realm's peaceful economic potential, and being an uncommon, picking it as a guaranteed early research is possible, although the high research cost keeps this a balanced strategy, quite different from the original Master of Magic's ability to start with the spell already researched with 11 books.


9. Resurrection

Cost : 325 MP

Research : 1600 RP

Revives an dead hero on the overland map.

It was suggested to move this into Arcane but that would go against the design goal to keep heroes a very powerful but difficult to play mechanic where keeping them alive is super important. As Life is good at using heroes, I allowed it to keep the spell, but the casting cost is pretty high to punish losing heroes and make sure players can't use strategies that involve regularly sending heroes on suicide missions to do massive damage as they go down.


10. Divine Order (new)

Cost : 250 MP

Research : 1920 RP

Effect applies to all players.

City and unit enchantments are 25% cheaper. Global enchantments are 10% cheaper. Summons are 10% more expensive. Combat spells are 20% more expensive. Multiple copies from different players are cumulative but at a halved effect.

A new global enchantment to replace the removed Planar Seal spell, this spell aims to take advantage of Life's supposedly diplomatic theme. Seemingly affecting everyone equally, it's pretty obvious that spells Life wizards use most are reduced in costs while spells other realms specialize in, are more expensive. Casting this spell can improve your relations with other Life wizards, or worsen it with Chaos and Death. AI players will take your treaty status with everyone into account and prefer to cast this spell if on the whole it helps their friends and hurts their foes more than the opposite. It's worth noting that while seemingly harmful for the more combat magic oriented realms, I've made sure they have options that can take advantage of, or ignore this spell, so in a game map with many Life wizards and copies of the spell, they can rely on those options more than usual. In particular, Death city curses are enchantments, so they'll cost less, as well as their Lycanthropy spell which is an enchantment used for summoning the werewolf creature. Combat unit curses are reduced in cost too, making Black Sleep or Possession more threatening. Chaos can take advantage of it by spamming their fairly decent buffs like Flame Blade and Chaos Channels, or curses like Shatter and Warp Creature, although I have to admit they are hurt by this spell the most. The spell's casting cost is low and the AI doesn't have a high priority to recast it, so dispelling it can be often viable. While Life mostly benefits, even they can sometimes be negatively affected, so carelessly casting this before summoning a bunch of Unicorns or relying on heavy use of Exorcise or Holy Word can backfire and punish players. It's worth mentioning the AI is aware of the effect and will prioritize spells that get around this effect more - so you can seriously expect them to throw a lot of curses in respose, or Sorcery wizards might try to take advantage of the situation and make entire stacks of units invisible so while the benefits can be singificant, the risks to consider are, too. Especially if all those friendly AI players helping you by casting the spell manage to reap the benefit better overall and get way ahead of you economically.




Rare


Righteousness

This spell really was no different from saying “chaos and death loses the game”. Completely unfair and other than that also completely unbalanced. Even Magic Immunity isn't so broken to block all damage completely from all creatures from the realm on top of all spells. Players can protect their units using buffs and healing, I believe that area is well covered without requiring a spell like this.


1. Incarnation

Cost : 700 MP

Research : 5500 RP

Summons the Chosen

And iconic and powerful spell in the original, and the peak of enjoyment for hero users, I had to make sure this spell stays amazing. Obviously the unremovable Magic Immunity had to go, and simply having a hero with good combat stats isn't such a big deal, so this hero received a different role : he has pretty much every single global army buffing hero ability, including the new ones to ensure whichever army the hero travels with is a significant force. Nonetheless he still has good combat abilities as well, and can fight on his own if necessary. Such a powerful and outright immortal unit - you can resummon him even if he was lost to irrecoverable damage, the only such hero in the game! - obviously can't be cheap so the cost of summoning him stands out, being even higher than the best summoned creatures in the game. Worth it. The unusual side effect that he counts as a Life creature during battle only was kept, as this made losing him a significant event - Raise Dead can't revive fantastic creatures so you had to pay the full overland summoning cost.


2. Inspirations

Cost : 200 MP

Research : 5000 RP

Enchanted city gains +100% Production.

This was originally very rare and while certainly is extremely powerful, city production hardly matters at that time of the game when very rare spells already dominate. Buffing cities isn't what you want to do right before winning or losing the game. The bonus is additive, meaning that on typical endgame cities already having ~50-100% production bonus, this doesn't really double production which would be far too powerful, more like increases it by half. High research cost as this spell is really that good, being able to produce troops 50% faster is no joke.


3. Prosperity

Cost : 175 MP

Research : 2500 RP

Enchanted city produces +50% gold.

Not as potent as Inspirations but gold is much more versatile so it's better that way. Research cost is lower as unlike production to prepare yourself for a game deciding endgame, boosting economy is something relevant earlier, and also because this spell simply produces less resources overall.


4. Invulnerability

Cost : 30/150 MP

Research : 4000 RP

Whenever enchanted unit takes damage, it takes 2 less damage. Enchanted unit gains Weapon Immunity.

While Weapon Immunity is rarely relevant this late in the game, the damage reduction is as good as 6.66 additional defense, making this by far the best purely defensive spell in the game. This effect even reduces damage that would ignore or reduce armor fully, only the effect of Doom can bypass this reduction. Life having the best defense buff in the game definitely the correct design, so nothing had to be changed here except the casting cost.


5. Lion Heart

Cost : 36/180 MP

Research : 4000 RP

Enchanted unit gains +3 attack, +3 resistance, and hit points equal to 8 divided by the number of figures, rounded down.

Originally giving 3 hit points per figure, this spell was insanely powerful on multi-figure units. While it still is very good for them thanks to the attack bonus, now the additional hit points are reasonably the same total amount regardless of figure count. This made this spell a lot more relevant for single figure units, including heroes, which now gain a full 8 additional health from it. While this does give Life two powerful defensive unit buffs at rare, it is the primary strength of the realm so this many is expected.


6. Mass Healing

Cost : 35 MP

Research : 3500 RP

All of your units in combat are healed for 5.

Rare is the tier AOE effects start to appear at, so AOE healing should, too, there was no need to change that.


7. Altar of Battle

Cost : 300 MP

Research : 4500 RP

All units produced in the city are Elite.

Pretty much the late game vesion of heroism, this is a buff that affects a large amount of units, yet doesn't increase their maximal potential. The buff is quite significant compared to the usual rare spells that affect multiple units, and this can pretty much affect all of your units produced after obtaining the spell, so keeping the cost high seemed like the best idea.


8. Exaltation (new)

Cost : 30 MP

Research : 3000 RP

Target unit in combat gains 8 additional hit points.

An improved healing spell that is less effective on MP/HP but can restore more in one use, and allows overchanging the unit above its maximal health, so it works well as preventative measure. It can also bypass irrecoverable damage by adding new hit points instead of healing that damage, making this functionally superior to normal healing spells. Nonetheless the amount healed is slightly less than the amount of damage a spell of this tier is expected to do, just like the basic Healing Spell.


9. Holy Word

Cost : 60 MP

Research : 4000 RP

All enemy fantastic creature figures in all units must resist at -2 or be irrecoverably dead. Undead suffer an additional -3 penalty.

All enemy targeting version of Exorcise, with slightly better save modifier. Ensures summoning stacks of 9 rare creatures isn't always the correct answer to everything. While pretty much unchanged from the original this spell was a perfect fit for both the realm's role and game balance. At this rarity, mass production of Undead for free through Zombie Mastery is available, so countering them is still fair and despite the efficiency, it's an economic benefit to the Death player who doesn't need to pay nearly as much for creating the zombies as it costs to destroy them even with this spell.



10. Angel

Cost : 310 MP (8 MP/turn)

Research : 4000 RP

Creature : 18 melee,+2 To Hit, 9 defense, 11 resistance, 5 movement, 27 health, 1 figure, Holy Bonus 1, Illusion Immunity, Exorcise, Caster 24

Although the damage output of Angels is not better than an uncommon creature to play into Life's “weak at summoning” role, Angels still offer a formidable movement speed that can take out ranged units easily, have natural Illusion Immunity to provide a tool against Sorcery magic which the realm needs badly, and can support your army through Holy Bonus and casting spells. Angels are also surprisingly effective against other rare creatures, as they are typically single figure and the Exorcise ability might destroy them instantly. Even with all those perks though, this creature isn't as powerful as it appears to be : Unicorns are faster, Sorcery will be able to use Banish to eliminate it, and Holy Word is usually more effective against enemy creatures even though Exorcise has a better save modifier. The unit does stand out in one role though, and that's support, being durable enough itself and able to do relevant damage to most normal units, while providing a passive boost to the offensive and defensive power of the entire army.


Very Rare


Tranquility

A spell that literally has the effect “Chaos wizards aren't allowed to play” this had to be removed without a question.



1. Life Force (new)

Cost : 900 MP

Research : 15000 RP

All of the caster's cities produces 1 magic power for each unit of population.

Like Tranquility, this too was removed as countering all Death spells is not acceptable. The two spells were reassigned to be resource production spells that depend on population, something that is very suitable for Life and helps playing the realm peacefully as well. One spell was decided to produce magic power, the other research, as these two resources are difficult to increase through Life magic in the previous tiers. The power production spell ended up using the same name the removed spell had as it matched the new effect perfectly. The research producing spell had to be renamed though.


2. Enlightenment (new)

Cost : 900 MP

Research : 6000 RP

All of the caster's cities produces 2 research for each unit of population.

All of the caster's heroes gain +10 EXP each turn instead of 1.

The research producing version of Life Force, this spell has a lower RP cost to ensure it's viable to research it before other very rares, as doing it afterwards is quite pointless, having no spells left to research other than the Spell of Mastery. The experience boosting ability was added to help AI players make their heroes a threat, way before the difficulty based AI hero experience modifier even existed as an idea, but it's also very useful for human players who want to replace their high level but obsolete tier heroes with champions that would have no experience, and suits the realm's hero theme.


3. Crusade

Cost : 1200 MP

Research : 18000 RP

All of the caster's units gain a level.

This spell was perfectly suitable for the design goal of big, impressive and powerful spells and required no change. It also supports the AI's “overwhelm with a large amount of units” strategy very well.


4. Charm of Life

Cost : 1500 MP

Research : 24000 RP

All of the caster's units gain +25% hit points (but a minimum of 1)

Same as Crusade this spell was good as is, although it has been given the highest RP cost slot and a high casting cost because the effect is quite significant and usually more powerful than Crusade's extra level.


5. Holy Arms

Cost : 600 MP

Research : 12000 RP

All of the caster's units gain Holy Weapon

Slightly underwhelming compared to the other two mass army buffs, this spell still provides a relevant boost that's usually around 25% extra in damage output, but does not stack with Holy Weapon itself, nor is it beneficial to magical ranged units, this fills the role of a more accessible and cheaper mass army buffing spell that supports relying on numerical superiority instead of using few, super powerful stacks. I believe that's about right because it does support the correct theme and gameplay goals, without escalating the problem of unstoppable stacks. While the effect is only good but not outstanding, every unit in the player's army gaining the white Life buff aura makes it look very impressive. Overall, I believe these 3 military purpose global enchantments were well designed in the original.


6. Consecration

Cost : 200 MP

Research : 9000 RP

Enchanted city is protected from Chaos and Death magic, and corruption nearby has a chance to be removed each turn.

Although it only affects Chaos and Death spells, this is still fair, because it does not really do so based on realms, they merely happen to be the ones who have such spells. Life definitely should have a spell to protect their cities from curses. As Nature's theme is bypassing protections, especially using Earth magic, its only spell that harms cities, Earthquake, is not affected by Consecration, and neither Sorcery nor Life has any such spells at all.


7. High Prayer

Cost : 70 MP

Research : 15000 RP

All units in combat gain +1 To Defend, +1 To hit, 3 attack, 3 resistance and 2 defense.

I don't have much to say, this improved version of Prayer which isn't cumultive with it is by far the most powerful in-combat buffing spell for raw stats, and is what the Life realm is expected to have, so I didn't change it. As combat enchantments are the one thing that cannot be dispelled in Caster of Magic, this can be helpful even in situations when the other, overland spells are not, however the steep casting cost, especially if range penalties are involved, can quickly drain the player's mana reserves if they get overwhelmed by a large amount of battles.


8. Call to Arms

Cost : 70 MP

Research : 15000 RP

Combat summon a unit of Paladins.

One particular thing Life struggles with is ensuring they actually have units in combat worth buffing. Lacking direct damage spells and combat summoning entirely, Life is very reliant on their units, and while this works fine for most of the game, in the endgame when losing large portions of armies is often inevitable, Life does need something to deal with the issue. At 70 MP this is fairly overpriced for a combat summon that's nowehere near as powerful as an Earth Elemental, but it does fill the role of enabling Life players to participace in the combat spellcasting game even if buffs or healing are not an option. Due to the Holy Bonus, it also works well as a combat buffing spell, in which role the 70 cost is much more reasonable, while the buff itself isn't that powerful, it comes with an additional, pretty good unit in one package. This spell became much better at that after these types of bonus effects have been updated to immediately apply instead of only at the beginning of the next combat turn.


9. Supreme Light (new)

Cost : 70 MP

Research : 15000 RP

All of the caster's Life creatures and magic user units gain +2 melee and ranged attack, Defense equal to 1/3 of their magic resistance, and the units will be able to regenerate at the end of combat.

While Life is outstanding at buffing, the original design missed one important group of targets : fragile magical ranged units didn't really benefit much from any of the buffs in Life other than those granting extra health. This provides Life with a spell that can increase the damage output of magical ranged units, most other spells can't do, while also making the glass cannon magicans a lot more viable to use, as they can expect to survive even if killed at no additional cost. Nonetheless, when attacking enemies, the spell won't be active on the first turn, so any units lost then stay dead unless revived by other means. This spell also makes the otherwise mediocre Life creatures a viable strategy, as they typically have high resistance and thus gain a lot of extra armor, and even the traditional “stack of 9 summoned creatures” stategy can become playable for the realm due to the units effectively gaining regeneration, increasing the realm's versatility in the late game to that of other realms.


10. Arch Angel

Cost : 600 MP (18MP/Turn)

Research : 21000 RP

Creature : 21 melee,+4 To Hit, 12 defense, 18 resistance, 4 movement, 37 health, 1 figure, Holy Bonus 2, Illusion Immunity, Wind Walking, Caster 40, Negate First Strike, Supernatural, Primal Force

The final tier of creature spells in Life, Arch Angels represent the qualities you'd expect from such a creature : it's very difficult to destoy, having the highest natural magic resistance score in the game and reasonably high defense. Its damage output is okay but not outstanding for a very rare creature and its movement speed of 4 is also average. However it shines at supporting other units, not only buffing them with Holy Bonus 2 but ensuring they can keep up on the overland map thanks to the added Wind Walking ability. Negate First Strike also tries to bring out the “good at defending itself” quality, and finally, Primal Force has been added for flavor. As Nature, Sorcery and Chaos have nodes, one might wonder where the planes of Life and Death connect to and influece the worlds? The answer is through theses creatures - Arch Angels and Demon Lords represent the connection and thus, like nodes, generate magic power pouring from those planes of existence. Arch Angels are amazingly good and versatile creatures, their main downside being the extremely high summoning cost, which makes them the second most expensive creature spell in the game even though they are nowhere near that powerful, so through the price, they still manage to achieve the “Life is not that good at summoning” role despite being a really outstanding creature.




Sorcery Magic


Sorcery magic specializes in manipulating magic itself, and is best at tactical defensive magic and taking control.

Strengths


Weaknesses


Common


Word of Recall

Same problem as Recall Hero, no need for further explanation.


Dispel Magic True

Triple effectiveness is way too much but more importantly, the three “Dis... True” spells made Sorcery a highly redundant realm as it provided the same functionality as the identical Arcane spells. For that reason, two of them has been removed and one has been given unique dispelling ability the Arcene counterpart no longer has, and the “strong at dispelling” theme was achieved by adding a new global enchantment that makes all of the wizard's dispelling attempts more effective.


1. Focus Magic (new)

Cost : 80 MP

Research : 440 RP

The enchanted unit gains 15 additional MP casting ability and gains +3 magical ranged or breath attack. If it did not have one, but had thrown or another type of ranged attack, it is converted to a magical ranged attack of equal strength. If the unit had neither, it gains a strength 3 magical ranged attack with 3 ammo.

The game had plenty of spells to buff various attack types on a target unit, but nothing buffed magical ranged attacks or MP capacity. Both of these fit Sorcery the best. This spell also unlocks great combo potential, as adding a ranged attack to a unit enables it to use touch attack effects at range, which is most effective on creatures of other realms, but Sorcery can also utilize it by casting it on Nagas. Both the Focus Magic Nagas and Cockatrices strategy was tested and wasn't too powerful, thanks to the high casting cost of Focus Magic itself.


2. Resist Magic

Cost : 8/40 MP

Research : 320 RP

Enchanted unit gains +5 resistance against magic spells or effects.

Poison being the only efffect that doesn't count magical but checks magic resistance this is a fairly good protection spell that covers more realms than Bless but does not protect from spells that deal damage, or breath attacks. Still, these are the less valuable parts of the effect and being able to becomes mostly immune to resistance based spells from all realms is definitely worth the slightly higher cost. For most of the development time this spell had a cost of 25 but that cost made it way too trivial to negate the disadvantage of using low resistance creatures or races. Like on most of these spells, the amount of bonus was increased because situational buffs that don't even provide reliable amounts of resistance are worthless, and resistance is typically situational.



3. Guardian Wind

Cost : 6/30 MP

Research : 200 RP

Enchanted unit gains Missile Immunity.

Another one of those situational buffs that gives a complete immunity to one specific threat. This and Warp Wood ensures the otherwise usually most efficient bow units in the early game aren't a universal solution to everything. Casting cost was reduced because you usually need to cast this on your whole army to be relevant, otherwise the unbuffed units will still get targeted and killed by missile atacks.


4. Nagas

Cost : 73 MP

Research : 320 RP

Creature : 5 melee,+1 To Hit, 4 defense, 7 resistance, 3 movement, 5 health, 3 figures, First Strike, Poison 3, Water Walking

Nagas offer mediocre combat stats at a fairly high price but signficant tactical advantages, as expected from the realm of Sorcery. Poison allows them to deal damage regardless of armor, First Strike can help them engage enemies without suffering too much damage in retaliation, and fast water movement enables them to attack targets from unexpected directions early in the game, increasing the role of proper garrisoning, as well as making them excellent scouts. The unit's existence also serves as a major balancing factor against super-buffed Life units, Undead, and Werewolves as well as making sure the Poison game mechanic appears on just the right amount of units in the early game when it can be relevant without making it overly dominant. For a while they used to have 4 poison but that made them way too good for what they meant to be after the Poison mechanic was buffed. I considered all ways to make the unit less powerful, but pretty much every stat on it was the lowest amount possible without losing the unit's intended functionality. In the end, reduction of poison by 1 was selected, as calculations showed even 3x3 poison is enough for the intended goal of countering the mentioned Life and Death early strategies.


5. Phantom Warriors

Cost : 14 MP

Research : 320 RP

Creature : 3 melee, 0 defense, 4 resistance, 2 movement, 1 health, 7 figures, Illusion, Poison Immunity, Death Immunity, Stoning Immunity, Non-Corporeal

Although a summoning spell, it offers extremely vulnerable troops whose only real purpose is to deal defense ignoring damage to anyone daring to get too close the the Sorcery wizard's half of the battlefield and dying in the process immediately. While this makes them act like a direct damage spell, using them trades away the ability to target any unit on the battlefield at any time, in exchange dealing slightly better damage that also scales with the presence of global unit buffs, such as a Sorcery node aura or Paladin. This scaling effect is amplified by the very high figure count, while the zero armor and 1 hit point ensures the unit will not survive the encounter in most cases. Cost has been raised by 4 MP which might not seem much but is a 40% difference from the original, ensuring the spell to remain powerful but more fairly balanced. Being non-corporeal, this creature and all Sorcery summons in general, can be used in naval combat, helping the realm to dominate on the seas as intended.


6. Psionic Blast

Cost : 20 MP

Research : 380 RP

Perform a strength 18 Illusion attack on a target during combat.

By far the least cost effective common direct damage spell, this offers a mere 0.24 damage per MP invested on average, in exchange for the tactical advantage of completely ignoring armor. While this makes it the only such spell that can't outdamage healing, and the cost of 20 MP makes it prohibitively expensive in the early game, allowing only one use per combat, remember that Sorcery is the realm weakest at raw direct damage spells and ignoring armor, while not especially useful in the early game, is extremely valuable later. This MP cost also makes this spell avalable for Magicians, significantly increasing the value of those units in hands of Sorcery players. Slider cost have been removed from most spells in the mod as it typically worked poorly, and this decision is extra relevant on this particular spell, limiting the armor ignoring damage potential at the intended amount. The ability to pump the spell literally made it a top tier late game direct damage spell in the original Master of Magic, something a Sorcery Common spell has no business being.


7. AEther Sparks

Cost : 12 MP

Research : 260 RP

Perform a strength 20 attack on the target unit in combat. If it has MP or magical ammo, halve them.

A mediocre direct damage spell that offers much less attack strength at a higher cost than Fire Bolt, but comes with the tactical advantage of countering magical units, which can often make it useful even on targets where the damage would be not relevant like high end fantastic creatures. However against targets having only a reasonable amount of armor it is often more cost efficient than Psionic Blast, and this spell isn't influenced by Illusion Immunity, making it the only way a Sorcery player can deal with certain units before reaching Rare tier spells.


8. Floating Island

Cost : 45 MP

Research : 160 RP

Summons a Floating Island : 3 movement transport that does not participate in battles and cannot move the turn it was summoned.

A good early game replacement of ships, saving you the trouble of building a town near sea and a ship wright's guild. On top of these, your walking units can participate in sea battles when using these, while in ships, they can only watch the ship getting sunk by the enemy and die. The Floating Island itself cannot fight, but the army carried by it will most likely be stronger than the ship you would use otherwise to carry it, even if they cannot move, making sure this spell improves Sorcery's ability to dominate naval combat. The low casting cost makes it a very reasonable choice instead of using a ship, and not being able to move on the turn of summoning ensures it can't be abused as a oneshot “this stack can move an additional 3 tiles” spell on stacks that can already move over water on their own.



9. Confusion

Cost : 18 MP

Research : 320 RP

Target enemy unit in combat must save at -2 or get confused : Each turn there is a 25% chance for the unit being under enemy control/under your control/moving randomly/being unable to move. At end of combat, if the unit was still confused, it dies irrecoverably.

Along with Crack's Call this spell isn't very popular but serves a major purpose in game balance by being able to permanently destroy the early game regenerating units, and ensuring players suffer losses and pay the proper price for their expansion if targeting the Sorcery wizard's empire in the early game for conquest, a most reasonable and common strategy. Beyond the early game, Dispel Magic can keep the spell's efficiency manageable, but it still makes resistance a relevant thing to consider when fighting Sorcery wizards. While from a viewpoint of fighting against it, the spell might feel too powerful, ultimately it has the same save modifier as Black Sleep, a higher casting cost, and singificantly more chance for the unit to survive the effect as it's not going to instantly die the moment it is attacked, giving a much more reasonable chance of dispelling to the player. Meanwhile, from the other side, if the player is the one using Confusion, while it can potentially turn enemy units against each other, the spell is quite unpredictable and will often result in the unit merely failing to engage or even outright attacking the player as if it was unaffected. Guaranteed destruction of the unit after combat sounds like a great benefit, but isn't particularly useful except as a last resort when winning would be hopeless otherwise, or an efficient removal spell in cases when the player already managed to make sure their units and cities are safe from the enemy attacking them. The random nature of the spell is more appropriate for the Chaos realm, but Chaos already has reliable ways to destroy enemies through direct damage and would find such a “trickery” spell useless.


10. Blur

Cost : 25 MP

Research : 480 RP

There is a 20% chance each point of damage that would be dealt to your units in combat will have no effect, applied before defense rolls.

This spell received a fairly major overhaul. Originally an uncommon reducing 10% damage, it was entirely too weak even considering Sorcery isn't as good at defensive spells as Life. Still, compared to Prayer's effective 25% damage and 33% defense increase on most units, a 10% reduction with no damage bonus was extremely lackluster. The spell was moved to common rarity both to ensure it's not as powerful and game defining as Prayer, and also because that enables a better combo potential for a player taking a limited amount of Sorcery books to stack this bonus with other defensive advantages. Obviously, a global damage reduction is still a very good effect so it received the highest common RP cost and a fairly high casting cost, while providing a benefit that is appropriate for the tier and realm : 20%. The initial amount was 25% but further testing and calculations implied that was a bit too much. This also made it into one of those common spells that remain useful for most of the game, as a stacking damage reduction is a valuable ability even in the endgame whenever the player can spare a combat turn to cast it. The spell's outstanding usefulness is greatly diminished by the abundance of units with Illusion Immunity to ensure it isn't as universal and potent as other global combat buffs from realms more specialized at those effects.


Uncommon


1. Aura of Majesty

Cost : 200 MP

Research : 420 RP

Each turn, the diplomatic relation of the caster improves with each other player.

The amount of relation improved by turn depends on the existing relation, the lower, the stronger the effect, so this spell is very good at staying on good terms with most wizards, but will not push relation to the point where it's easy to get a wizard's pact or alliance by itself on wizards opposing the player's realm. The initial relation gain that happens when the spell is cast was reduced to 4 to ensure re-casting the spell many times instead of casting it once and maintaining it does not become a more effective strategy.


2. Counter Magic

Cost : 50 MP

Research : 1280 RP

Create a counter magic pool of 70 in battle. Each enemy spell has a (cost/pool) chance to be successfully cast, otherwise they are countered and the pool decreases by 10.

This spell was somewhat tricky to design right because two opposing goals meet here. On one side, spells getting countered isn't fun so this spell had to still offer ways for the other player to cast them often enough. On the other side however, Counter Magic had to be reliable enough to be worth using - a control spell that fails to actually take control and only occasionally works is a failure. Obviously, for something as major as stopping enemy spells entirely, to be efficient was too powerful at the original common spell tier, so the spell was moved up to Uncommon, and to ensure both goals are met, I decided to use a formula that is very likely to counter spells of lower tiers, but unlikely or outright unable to counter spells of a higher tier than itself. That makes it fit the role of spell tiers and thanks to the presence of many common spells that remain useful even in the late game, don't undermine the value of the spell - Counter Magic's caster can be sure the other party won't be using their low cost spells he wanted to prevent, while that other party can still have fun playing the game through casting bigger spells that won't be countered instead. The new forumla ensures chance to counter is 0% if the cost of the spell exceeds the counter pool so most very rare spells will be unaffected and even most rares have a very high chance to work and will always work after one or at worst two failures. This design also gives a choice to the other player : they can use low cost spells for a while to weaken Counter Magic, sacrificing a few turns but not losing much in casting skill and mana crystals, or take the risk of using medium cost spells that are immediately beneficial if successful but a major loss otherwise. Of course only if they have no expensive, high tier spells which will always be successful.


3. Spell Lock

Cost : 100 MP

Research : 1280 RP

Enchantments on the enchanted unit can't be dispelled until Spell Lock was dispelled. Enchanted fantastic unit is unaffected by “banishing” type magic.

A powerful spell to support the already powerful but extremely dispel vulnerable unit buff stacking strategies, Spell Lock serves the unusual specialized role of being a counter to a counter and it is still good enough to be worth player attention, showing how good and popular buffing based strategies actually are. While powerful, disabling the ability to recast it in battle ensures the dispelling of Spell Lock will get followed up by losing more enchantments on the unit, instead of providing unremovable protection. The AI's ability to properly use Dispelling Wave on the overland map further acts as a way to keep these strategies under control, as an entire stack of buffed units will definitely lose several copies of Spell Lock and hundreds of mana worth of spells when targeted. Protecting fantastic units is a nice and often overlooked effect that makes the spell useful even for those who have no buffs to protect, and works against Exorcise, Holy Word, Banish and even Great Unsummoning.


4. Spell Blast

Cost : 50 MP

Research : 2140 RP

Target overland spell is countered. Lose mana equal to the mana already spent on that spell.

Another spell that caused some major headache, Sorcery is full of those. On one side, spells getting countered is super unfun, and consistently getting countered is even worse. On the other, the human player will want to be able to somehow prevent those big endgame spells that would make them lose - it wouldn't be a late game focused defensive realm if it had no choice but to let Armageddon or worse Spell of Mastery get cast by another wizard without having an ability to interfere. Higher success rate of Dispelling is nice but many of the threats are not enchantments and even those that are, might do too much damage during the turn it takes to remove them. Also, while not fun for the receiving end, being able to counter the spells of others is fun. The problem was unsealed from the bottle when Hadriex complained the Sorcery AI wasn't stopping the other AI from winning through Spell of Mastery even though it had Spell Blast, so he lost the game. He was right, the AI should have been able to use Spell Blast intelligently to counter the spells that would be a threat to them, at least from enemy wizards. (The AI doesn't cast curse type spells, which includes Spell Blast, at targets they aren't hostile towards)

So a list of spells the AI will always attempt to counter was made. However that meant (human) players can't cast those spells at all when a Sorcery wizard is present - extremely unfun and completely opposes the design goal. Worse, curse type spells are also randomly used against enemies for no other reason than to be mean, and the frequency of this is regulated by the AI's personality trait, so getting into a war - or simply not having a wizard's pact with - a maniacal Sorcery wizard could often lead into the situation when the player's spells were countered almost every turn, regardless of what they were. As making Spell Blast itself worse wasn't an option - I still wanted human players to be able to stop spells effectively when playing Sorcery - the issue was solved through adjusting AI behavior.


5. Vertigo

Cost : 10 MP

Research : 640 RP

Target enemy unit in combat must resist at -4 or loses -3 To Hit and -1 To Defend.

Added a major save modifier and reduced the casting cost to make this underwhelming spell worthy of being an uncommon. Compare it to Shatter - reducing attack power to 1 is as good as eliminating completely, while penalties on to hit still leaves the unit with at least 1/4 of its original damage output. So the effect isn't as good and its higher tier, but the much better save modifier and the To Defend reduction makes up for it. (The original version reduced defense instead, this was changed to To Defend to make it more potent.)


6. Dispelling Wave

Cost : 25-125 MP

Research : 1920 RP

Attempt to dispel enemy spells on the target map square. Additionally, when cast in combat, remove all enemy unit enchantments. Formula for dispelling is the same as Dispel Magic but the dispelling power is only half of the mana spent.

This is pretty much Disenchant Area except now area dispelling is only allowed for the Sorcery realm. Long forum discussion and plenty of calculations were done to ensure dispelling power matches my intended design goal of being a very effective counter to mass-buffing stacks. On top of that, the AI's priority to cast this spell (and target it on the overland map) scales with the number of enchantments for this same purpose although note combat and overland casting decisions use entirely different algorhitms. The original, possibly buggy behavior that combat dispelled city enchantments “respawn” after combat was kept as it works much better for gameplay. The ability to dispel combat global enchantments was removed because I disagree with the original design that made everything dispellable. There has to be at least a few groups of spells players can turn towards when their enemy specializes in dispelling power. For this same reason, Magic Vortexes are no longer affected by this spell either.


7. Flight

Cost : 22 MP

Research : 1280 RP

Enchanted unit gains Flying movement and a minimal speed of 3.

A good spell that didn't need changes. While suggestions to nerfing flight in general have been posted, I believe flight as is, is a valuable and good game mechanic that enhances and deepens the tactical gameplay. Being able to avoid getting attacked and retreating to safety as combat turns run out is a feature, not an exploit. Being able to defend cities using flying units is a nice tactic that enhances the game and makes wall breaking relevant, as then units can enter and destroy buildings and population even if they have to retreat after battle. While some people perceive this too as an exploit, the harsh reality is the most you can gain from this is losing many of your buildings and having to deal with the same enemy attacking again next turn and their now refilled combat spellcasting ability. In some cases that can be outright worse than losing and reconquering the city, and is by no means able to produce any benefit.


Wind Mastery

While I agree with having naval superiority as a theme in Sorcery, doubling the speed of transportation would undermine the design concept of limited presence behind heroes and doomstacks in general, enabling them to reach new targets way too quickly. Furthermore, while I improved and fixed the AI to use transports almost as well as a human player, the AI still lacks the ability to plan ahead so they need to spend a signficant amount of time to mobilize and transport their forces after a war begins. Doubling the time this takes would be unacceptable and again would undermine the design concept that the player has to deal with incoming AI forces and survive it even if they have one strong enough stack that can steamroll the AI's cities one at a time.


8. Water Elemental (new)

Cost : 150 MP

Research : 1280 RP

Creature : 14 melee, 14 magical ranged (4 ammo), +2 To Hit, 7 defense, 7 resistance, 3 movement, 15 health, 1 figure, Poison Immunity, Fire Immunity, Weapon Immunity, Water movement

Sorcery had no uncommon creature at all, which made the realm extremely hard to play in the early and midgame which hits AI players even harder. At the time the mod's first intended design of “very weak early game but almost unbeatable late game” was toned down because nobody liked AI Sorcery wizards reaching late game equaling an automatic game over, the need to provide at least one mediocre uncommon creature for the realm surfaced to improve their early/midgame. Water is the most suitable element and the only one of the four that had no “Elemental” creature, it seemed logical to choose that. While the other elementals are combat only, Water is the primary element of the world - 60-90% of the planes are covered by ocean and just like in the real world, most lifeforms have a large percentage of water in their bodies so consideirng the worlds water based planes would be reasonable. The creature itself has stats similar to but slightly worse than Fire Giant overall, another mediocre uncommon creature, but excels at tactical use by having good water movement speed, weapon immunity (which Sorcery 8+ book strategies might even get early enough to take advantage of), poison immunity which counters several common tier creatures and one pretty good uncommon one, and most importantly, good magic ranged attack ability. While not very strong by itself, this creature can still form powerful stacks in larger groups as you'd expect from a general purpose uncommon creature.


9. AEther Binding

Cost : 400 MP

Research : 960 RP

All dispel type spells cast are twice as effective. Gain SP equal to the current turn count each turn.

The game almost entirely lacked spells that increase casting skill, and Sorcery is definitely the best realm for that. This spell's effect grows over time both playing into the role of “Sorcery is stronger in the late game” and ensuring the effect is neither overpowered early, nor irrelevant late in the game. It's also how the realm now achieves the “Strong at dispelling” role, without requiring additional spell slots for the “True” spells.


10. Phantom Beast

Cost : 35 MP

Research : 1600 RP

Combat Creature : 18 melee, +1 To Hit, 0 defense, 6 resistance, 2 movement, 25 health, 1 figure, Illusion, Poison Immunity, Death Immunity, Stoning Immunity, Non-Corporeal

An improved version of Phantom Warriors, the beast is still very fragile and often goes down in a single attack against multi-figure units due to having no armor, it's quite a bit more effective against single figure units, where it can expect to survive a few attacks and keep doing damage. With its 25 health it's also able to provide combat presence to avoid the combat ending with a defeat, although in this case extreme caution is needed to ensure the beast doesn't get killed immediately due to its lack of armor. While most of the time better, it isn't always the best option, as phantom warriors can still be the superior choice when global buffs improve their attack power on each figure, ensuring it won't cause that spell to be entirely obsolete.


Rare


1. Mind Storm

Cost : 35 MP

Research : 4500 RP

Enchanted unit in combat loses 5 resistance, 5 defense, 5 ranged and 3 melee attack.

A personal favorite of mine, this spell is an excellent combo enabler. While one would think curses belong to the Death realm, especially those that reduce resistances, I have to disagree. Death realm is good enough at instantly killing units that any high tier curses to weaken them would be perceived as worthless and uninteresting for a Death player. Death also is based on the “resistance matters” theme so giving them access to the game's most potent resistance reduction spell would be a mistake. However, as a rare Sorcery spell it encourages taking Sorcery along with Death, Chaos or Nature, all of which offer some powerful resistance based spells without making this extremely powerful combo overly accessible. While it's quite potent and allows killing almost any unit in the game, it has to be pointed out it comes at a high price, as you need to both cast Mind Storm and whichever spell you intend to actually destroy the unit, and spending 2 turns and a sizeable amount of combat spellcasting skill on killing a single unit while still top tier, allows the other player to have time to participate in the game at least when they use larger stacks of units for combat. Also, the abundant presence of Illusion Immunity ensures even this combo isn't omnipotent and there are some units that can withstand it. Of course, combo isn't the only way to use the spell, as a spell that reduces defense and attack power without a save modifier this is a potent combat effect by itself, in fact it was so powerful the attack reduction had to be limited to 3. While 5 defense reduction seems overpowered, consider that this realm can ignore defense using common spells, so it is only following that theme and doesn't stand out as much as it would in any other.


Disjunction True

See Dispel Magic True


2. Invisibility

Cost : 30/150 MP

Research : 3500 RP

Enchanted unit is invisibile : cannot be targeted by ranged attacks, and applies the effect of Blur when receiving attacks. If Blur is also in effect, the chance to prevent damage is increased to 30%. The unit also can't be seen and targeted by enemy wizards unless they have a unit with Illusion Immunity in battle.

As explained previously, this effect was way too powerful for the early game, fortunately being a rare spell this is not a concern to worry about here, although it did contribute to my decision to ensure rare tier spells also don't appear in treasure before a certain game turn and get replaced by an appropriately valueable other treasure.

However the damage reduction the original had was way too powerful - reducing enemy chance to hit - especially the way it stacked with Blur -so this was modified, and Invisibility now applies the exact same effect as Blur and stacking the two has only 1.5 times the effect, not double.

While this spell is very powerful, it's also very fun and a major source of interesting new tactics. Keeping them in the game is essential, however it's outright gamewinning if the AI isn't aware of how to react to it. Thus many significant improvements were necessary for the AI - if no visible targets exists, the AI will now move randomly to try to find and engage the enemy units, and will prioritize casting spells that either provide Illusion Immunity or can affect all enemy units, thus also hitting the invisible ones. Furthermore the AI also had to learn to take advantage of the Invisibility ability and try to hide their units from enemies to stall for time when they can't expect to win through a direct approach. Fortunately I already implemented this AI tactic for flying and high movement speed units so only the right conditions had to be added to also trigger it on invisible ones.

This spell is a perfect example of how Sorcery fights : not increasing stats on the unit at all yet making it extremely difficult to kill regardless.

It's worth mentioning again : while the AI will pretend to not know where invisible units are when fighting against them, this feature is limited to combat. They'll still be aware of the location of invisible units on the overland map as implementing them not to see these would be extremely difficult (there are hundreds of places in the code where the AI checks for the presence of units to decide on various forms of movement) and wouldn't really make the game better, it would only open up a lot of abuse potential by tricking the AI into attacking unbeatable invisible forces and wasting their troops regularly. This would also have a negative influence on the human player - currently finding the path towards a destination will consider invisible units and will not accidentally bump into them on the way which can easily escalate into a war, so such accidents can only happen when the player directly clicks the tile with the invisible enemy unit. Taking advantage of this pathfinding feature enables the human players a limited ability to find where invisible units are, likewise in combat they can find them through the fact tiles occupied by them are not available for movement and show an “invalid target” type cursor. Finally, the AI will know where your invisible units are when summoning combat creatures and will often summon next to them to reveal their location : this tries to simulate the fact you can't summon on the tile of the invisible unit which reveals the location, similarly how the human player can do the same on unit movement.


3. Air Elemental

Cost : 50 MP

Research : 4000 RP

Combat Creature : 15 melee, +1 To Hit, 7 defense, 9 resistance, 5 movement, 10 health, 1 figure, Poison Immunity, Weapon Immunity, Stoning Immunity, Non-Corporeal, Invisible, Flying

Unlike Phantom Beast, the Air Elemental has very little hit points and less damage output, but has high movement and armor, weapon immunity, can fly, and is invisible, making it a much more tactical option. While it can be great for killing medium tier multifigure units which would kill the phantom beast way too quickly, the main advantage is countering ranged units even better than Guardian Wind, Magic Immunity or even Invisibility itself can, and to stall for time to cast more spells. Originally it had pretty high abuse potential as the AI didn't attempt to find it, nor did they try to enter the city to damage buildings, so summoning one was a guaranteed way of defending the city without losing anything of value in the process. However thanks to the AI updates, this is no longer the case and assuming the enemy units can enter the city, they'll cause massive damage, only prolonging the inevitable defeat next turn. Nonetheless, when you ensured they can't enter your city, and have enough casting power, an Air Elemental will buy you the time to eliminate the attackers and keep your city safe, which is something Sorcery needs to be good at even more than any other realm. Of course this applies in the reverse - when the player attempts to conquer a city from a Sorcery AI, they will need a plan to deal with any Air Elementals that might show up. Also, this creature is the reason why Non-corporeal creatures can't raise as undead other than flavor - you need a body to make it undead!-, as already explained, Invisibility in the early game is too powerful and raising neutral Air Elemenals as undead is one way to achieve that - and to make it worse the AI often did that too.


4. Wind Walking

Cost : 200 MP

Research : 5000 RP

Enchanted unit gains Wind Walking.

While still powerful, the overpowered nature of this spell has been eliminated by ensuring the availability of + movement items on heroes is not excessive. Its relevance was further lowered as transportation is fixed to work correctly on flying ships, enabling them to transport troops over land tiles, providing nearly identical functionality.


5. Banish

Cost : 35 MP

Research : 4000 RP

All figures in target fantasic unit in combat must resist at -4 or be irrecoverably dead.

Another example where removing the slider option made the spell much more reasonably balanced. This is a higher tier than Exorcise and is also in a realm that is strong at removal spells targeting fantastic creatures, so the save modifier is much higher, although in exchange, so is the casting cost. This spell makes Sorcery wizards a major threat in battle as normal units can have a hard time dealing with all their tactical effects and buffs, but fantastic units are difficulty to keep alive against them. This versatility ensures Sorcery is very powerful in the late game as intended and the ability to combine Mind Storm with Banish enables Sorcery wizards to stop even the most powerful creatures if they lack Illusion Immunity. Fortunately, all realms have such a creature, except Chaos which doesn't rely on them and dominates battle through spells of mass destruction.


6. Magic Immunity

Cost : 36/180 MP (10 MP/turn)

Research : 5500 RP

Enchanted unit gains Magic Immunity : 100 defense and resistance against all spells, and magical ranged, gaze or touch attacks.

Probably the only form of Magic Immunity not removed from Caster of Magic, this spell has been one of the major reasons for Sorcery's late game potential. While powerful, in this case reducing the casting cost made the spell more balanced as it's more likely to get dispelled that way, which is the most effective (and often only) way to deal with it. Nature magic still provides a few spells that can bypass this, and it no longer offers additional defense from breath attacks, giving a role for Elemental Armor that Magic Immunity isn't able to replicate. It's worth noting the still high cost comes with literally no benefits in combat stats and efficiency (unless against units with magical ranged attacks which the realm can already counter using Invisibility anyway) so while extremely good when used properly, overusing it can be a disadvantage. In fact this spell has by far the highest maintenance cost of any unit enchantments in Caster of Magic making investing into it even less trivial.


7. Stasis

Cost : 25/125 MP

Research : 3000 RP

All units on target overland map tile can't move for a turn, and must resist at -5 on consequent turns to break out of that status. When cast in combat, the targeted single unit must resist at -5 or become unable to move until the end of combat.

The first thing to mention here is in the original game casting this on low resistance units made the AI disband those units, even if they were part of a city garrison, resulting in undefended cities. That oversight has been fixed.

Stasis provides players with the unique ability to stop an approching enemy stack they aren't prepared to fight, however the original casting cost was way too high and in those situations the player usually only has one turn to react and stop the unit, so the cost was reduced to make it easier to cast instantly. As this ultimately only stalls the enemy army for a few turns, I'm sure the lower cost doesn't have any real abuse potential : casting this at all means not casting other, more permanent spells.

However, this effect is very situational and rarely relevant so an additional combat usage has been added that's offering a much better save modifier than Black Sleep but costs more and doesn't erase the unit's defenses or ability to counterattack in melee making it a more tactical option and less like a “save or die” spell.


8. Flying Fortress

Cost : 200 MP

Research : 2500 RP

City tiles during combat in enchanted city can't be entered by nonflying enemy units. All owned units in combat gain Flying. The city is unaffected by Earthquake.

This spell was moved down to Rare from Very Rare and the unreasonable costs were reduced making it worth using. Like invisibility, special instructions were given to the AI to use spells that can solve this in combat. It's still a very potent city defense spell, and one that fits the role of Sorcery perfectly. Defenders gaining flight was added because the AI was often hurting itself by locking its own land units into their city, where being unable to leave, they got slaughtered easily by the human player's ranged forces or spells - something that of course could even happen to the human player limiting the value of this spell as it was outright harmful for melee nonflying garrisions.


9. Uranus' Blessing (new)

Cost : 200 MP

Research : 4000 RP

Enchanted city starts combat with a strength 60 Counter Magic in effect.

Magic Market and Wizard's Guild in enchanted city produces 11 more power.

Amplifying Tower in enchanted city produces 4 more skill.

Units built in the city have magical weapons even if the city does not have an Alchemist Guild.

An antithesis of Gaea's Blessing that improves natural resources, this spell improves unnatural ones, in particular resources related to magic. While primarily designed for flavor reasons as well as having a free city enchantment and rare sorcery spell slot, the extra power and casting skill is definitely needed by the very MP and skill hungry Sorcery realm and the added Counter Magic improves the realm's city defense capability. Still, the spell's main benefit is contributing to the strong late game of the realm, as by the time you buff all your cities up using this, you most likely reach the very rare tier, giving you a large jump in both the quality and quantity of spells you can cast at the same time. This also offers players a way to buff non-religious city power production, while other effects boost religious.


10. Storm Giant

Cost : 330 MP

Research : 4000 RP

Creature : 18 melee, 18 magical ranged (5 ammo), +2 To Hit, 7 defense, 9 resistance, 3 movement, 25 health, 1 figure, Armor Piercing, Missile Immunity, Wall Crusher

The only rare creature in Sorcery, this one serves as a generic heavy magical ranged unit. While Armor Piercing makes it particularly dangerous, its attack strength and health is on the low end of the spectrum for a rare creature considering it has only one figure. Magic resistance isn't good either although Sorcery can easily improve that, and available ammo is also mediocre - better than the other giants who are more melee combat oriented but worse than true magical ranged units like Efreets or Shadow Demons. Originally they had 4 ammo but during testing it became quickly obvious that amount was far too little to be a reliable unit. Missile Immunity was added as the creature obviously uses the powers of Wind, and due to its low armor and health (for a rare creature) its vulnerability to bows and especially slings was a real problem.



Very Rare


1. Spell Binding

Cost : 1200 MP

Research : 21000 RP

Select any global enchantment any other wizard is able to cast. You learn to cast that spell permanently. This spell can only be cast 5 times per game and has a cooldown period of 12 turns initially and 36 on any further uses.

By far the most difficult spell to properly design in the game was this one. Stealing global enchantments from others was and is the top selling point of Sorcery and by far the best spell in the realm, in fact the realm has only a few truely outstanding very rares, and this was one of them, so the original functionality had to be preserved. However, the original design, literally stealing spells already in effect, came with several serious implications. First, it punished players for casting those spells which is bad design, and second, Spell Binding effectively acted as a package of a 100% success rate underpriced Disjunction as well as the ability to gain the targeted spell which made it both unfun to play against and way too underpriced for this double effect. There was a very very long forum discussion on how to solve this problem and after a while I was able to decide Sorcery does not need the functionality to have a “dispel” effect that entirely bypasses usual formulas and dispel resistance special abilities, something I originally insisted to keep due to the “strong at dispelling” theme. Changing Spell Binding to duplicate the spells instead of simply stealing them means there will be more copies of global enchantments in play which escalates the implications of them and increases the role of global enchantments which can help making the late game even more intense. While I was worried about this a little, I decided to take the risk especially because this late in the game it's unlikely to still have a high number of relevant wizards in play - usually at least some will be already eliminated. The second issue was that this spell granted access to literally all global enchantments other players had which is far too good for researching a single spell. On the other hand Sorcery itself had fewer very rare global enchantments and in generel fewer outstanding very rares than other realms, so limiting it to only one or two spells would have been too much of a nerf. So the solution was to allow up to 5 spells which is amazingly good but not unlimited, and the reuse cooldown ensures this power is unlocked over time, and not all at once.

In the original game the AI wasn't able to use this spell due to a bug, and while that bug was fixed in the 1.51 patch, Caster of Magic made sure to recode the entire AI Spell Binding target selection and priority system along with the Disjunction one to ensure the AI will always “steal” the best available enchantment and doesn't waste the spell on worthless targets like Just Cause.


2. Mass Invisibility

Cost : 80 MP

Research : 18000 RP

All of the caster's units in this combat are invisible.

I had no reason to change this spell, it's very powerful but the changes to Invisibility itself made sure the “Mass” version has no problems either. The only thing that needed special attention was AI as usual.


3. Creature Binding

Cost : 50 MP

Research : 6000 RP

Target fantastic creature in combat must resist at -4 or you control it for the rest of the combat.

One of the underwhelming Sorcery very rares this is basically Banish except you gain control of the creature instead of killing it. That's much better indeed but unfortunately while Banish isn't affected by Illusion Immunity, this was. So I removed that restriction and the spell is now definitely much less disappointing.


4. Haste

Cost : 50 MP

Research : 15000 RP

Enchanted unit gains double movement speed and each time it attacks, it attacks twice while the enemy only gets one chance to retaliate.

This was the spell that was entirely too powerful to be a Rare, as it both allowed any melee units to reach enemies and deal double damage at the same time, and also allows ranged units to reliably stay out of enemy range and also deal double damage (although at the cost of using up ammo faster). Additionally, the effect to allow counterattacking twice was removed, getting an extra attack per turn is powerful, but getting many extra attacks is simply broken. As very rare, this spell is well balanced but still amazing.


5. Great Unsummoning

Cost : 700 MP

Research : 12000 RP

All enemy fantastic units on the overland map must resist at -3 or be irrecoverably destroyed.

This spell will not affect most other very rare creatures, but can cause massive damage to rares and uncommons, ensuring it's powerful but doesn't make the impressive late game summoning spells worthless. It's specifically good at countering Death wizards whose hordes of undead creatures are fantastic and even their regular summoning spells have somewhat weak resistance, but can also cause great harm to Chaos wizards who carelessly cast Doom Mastery without ensuring they produce high resistance units. If you might think eliminating a lot of lower tier creatures is not good enough, doing so both ensures less enemy attacks so you can save a lot of mana crystals on combat spellcasting, and reduces the overall army strength of the enemy players which is beneficial for long term diplomacy. For short term diplomacy though, casting this spell will trigger a warning and small relation reduction - not a significant amount, but spamming this spell too often can have bad consequences if the victims still have enough surviving forces left to be a threat.



6. Spell Ward

Cost : 150 MP

Research : 9000 RP

Spells of the chosen realm cannot be cast in combat in the enchanted city. Fantastic creatures of that realm lose -2 To Hit, 4 defense and 4 resistance. City curses of that realm targeting the city are countered.

The ultimate city defense spell, and one of the spells that makes late Sorcery exceptionally powerful. In fact this spell is so good, an indirect way to nerf it was necessary : Players who already finished researching Spell of Mastery can cast combat spells that cannot be countered (by this spell or otherwise), which gives a role for Spell of Mastery against Sorcery wizards who would Spell Blast it, as well as a path that can be taken to conquer the otherwise often unbeatable Sorcery cities. This turns the game back to the economy race for Spell of Mastery, and whoever had the better and larger empire before Spell Ward stopped military conflict being effective will likely win this game. Of course this benefits Sorcery more than others, but if the Sorcery wizard's territory is reasonably smaller than the human player's it still opens up a path to victory that otherwise doesn't exist beyond the point the AI buffs all their cities with this. Obviously, other Sorcery players are not really affected : Warding against Sorcery will hurt both parties equally, and Sorcery players will have Dispelling Wave to remove it as well. Racing the AI for the treasure hunting aspect of the game and finding Sorcery spellbooks can also open up this path for those who didn't start with Sorcery books. Only 2 of them are necessary to enable learning Dispelling Wave. The original spell completely disallowed fantastic units from entering the city which was way too powerful but most importantly, was something the AI had no way to be able to deal with - the AI isn't aware of the contents of its stacks at that level of detail and will try to attack the cities anyway, failing to do so and pretty much becoming unable to use those stacks at all as it tries to attack the city and keeps failing to do so. It's important to note that while complete prevention of combat spells is against the mod's design, this effect is limited to defensive city battles - so any fights taking place at the non-sorcery player's cities, at nodes, or anywhere else on the map, still allow proper use of combat spells, ensuring they get the spotlight they deseve and that the Sorcery player can ONLY hold their position but not further expand through this spell.


Suppress Magic

7. Power Link

Cost : 1200 MP

Research : 15000 RP

Whenever another player casts a weak overland spell, if the base cost of that spell is below 100, gain 4 times that much power at the end of that turn, or if the cost is below 500, gain 500 minus the cost. The link misdirects the effect of Drain Power and Spell Blast, countering those spells, and has no effect on spells costing 500 or higher, or during Time Stop.

The original Suppress Magic indiscriminately countered all overland spells, although the way the Dispel Magic formula worked, chance to dispel was much higher on low cost spells than high cost ones. For a long time this was kept although using a linear formula that ensures most very rare spells will be unaffected and only lower tier spells will get countered. Nonetheless, countering spells globally is very unfun and against the design philosophy of the mod, but the last straw was when I realized this effect can literally make it impossible to cast spells needed to avoid losing to other engame spells like Final Wave or Great Unsummoning. So the same approach was taken as with Nature's Wrath, to convert it into a new spell that “punishes” using low priced spells not by countering them but by making the owner of the enchantment more powerful, which also solved the problem that using this spell wasn't fun either. The formula for the amount of gained power was carefully enginieered to ensure the closer the spells are in casting cost to the common tier, the more severe the consequences are, yet they are still proportional to the amount and quality of spells used and can't result in producing power nearing infinity as the casting cost gets closer to zero. After careful examination only two low cost spells in the game were found that Sorcery wasn't able to properly deal with and wanted to counter, those were included as exceptions and will still be countered. Being spells that counter/drain magic themselves, this actually increases the relevance of magic instead of reducing it. It's important to put emphasis on that this isn't like Fairy Link in that casting the “forbidden” spells will only allow the other party to gain a similar level of advantage, on the contrary. Using a lot of low cost spells without a very good reason to do so will provide a massive benefit to the owner of the enchantment and this carelessness will allow them to win the game more often than not. For such a spell, extreme caution has to be exercised when implementing the AI's reaction : the AI will consider this enchantment being in play and will massively reduce or even completely eliminate the chance of casting the lower cost spells on a case by case basis for each spell in the game, while it'll prioritize high cost spells more. A similar AI has been implemented for Fairy Link and Meteor Storm as well although those influence the priority of fewer spells, they do make quite a few of them a very bad choice to use. Power Link is thus the most potent when other players don't have any very rare (creature) spells yet and has no choice but to cast lower cost spells and trigger the spell, in which case functioning as a “win more” spell ensuring the Sorcery player already ahead, keeps this advantage - win more spells generally have low relevance for game balance itself, enabling the strategic nature of the spell to be in focus - will the player be able to judge which of their low cost spells are worth casting despite this, or not? This and Fairy Link also introduces an interesting element in diplomacy : you can trigger your ally's spells to make them more powerful intentionally, but this does come with the risk they grow too much and end up becoming too powerful to beat once they are the last one standing in the way of your victory.


8. Time Stop

Cost : 2000 MP

Research : 24000 RP

Stops the passage of time for all enemy wizards and their troops and spells. Only the casting wizard may move units. No income or production is generated and no maintenance has to be paid except for this spell. The maintenance of Time Stop increases by 30 mana for each turn in effect. Conquering a town is a major event that attempts to set history in motion, increasing the maintenance by 150. No gold can be looted from cities while time is stopped.

Easily the most powerful spell in the game, this needed some major revisions to not be a guaranteed “I win” button even more potent than Spell of Mastery itself. This spell has two different uses : during peacetime, it allows gaining extra turns, effectively multiplying the available overland casting capacity at the cost of sacrificing a lot of mana crystals. A lot of calculations have been done to ensure this use of the spell works as intended and is a better investment of magic power once casting skill is higher than a certain amount and the game is expected to end within a certain amount of turns., basically, when long term investment in casting skill no longer is worth doing because the game will end soon enough. Casting cost and maintenance has been adjusted for this purpose alone. Meanwhile the spell also offers a military purpose - you can conquer enemy cities without having to care about retalation while it's in effect. The adjustment to maintenance on conquest and prevention of looting gold serve the purpose to ensure the spell remains reasonable for that role as well, not allowing the player to conquer a 50 city empire with a single stack of units while the entire enemy force is frozen in time and can't retaliate. Nonetheless, this is still an amazing spell that stands out as exceptionally powerful and allows the player to experience reeeally large scale magic. The ever increasing upkeep cost also ensures AI players can't maintain this too long and the human player gets to play a turn without having to wait half an hour.


9. Djinn

Cost : 375 MP

Research : 15000 RP

Creature : 18 melee, 15 magical ranged (8 ammo), +3 To Hit, 8 defense, 12 resistance, 4 movement, 29 health, 1 figure, Teleporting movement, Caster 35, Wind Walking, Flying

Djinn are a versatile tactical unit that's equally good at ranged and melee combat, can transport armies and support them by casting ability, and is extremely hard to kill thanks to its ability to teleport and even turn itself invisible, making both melee and ranged combat options ineffective. Its raw stats are somewhat low for a very rare creature and its magic resistance is also low by very rare standards but Djinn are still a powerful force in the hands of Sorcery wizards who can buff them with Haste or Magic Immunity on top of taking advantage of shooting 8 fairly good ranged attacks each combat. Djinn are a more defense oriented and tactical creature while Efreets focus on dealing raw damage at range and are not that great at physical combat and are overall weaker due to being in a lower spell tier.


10. Sky Drake

Cost : 500 MP

Research : 15000 RP

Creature : 28 melee, 21 Lightning Breath, +3 To Hit, 10 defense, 14 resistance, 4 movement, 30 health, 1 figure, Magic Immunity, Flying, Illusions Immunity

Having a reputation of being the best creature in the game due to the included Magic Immunity, Sky Drakes are still more on the tactical side, albeit pack more punch than Djinn. While definitely not weak on the offense, 10 defense and 30 hit points are subpar for a higher cost very rare, and the drake is easily overwhelmed by a large amount of lesser units, if they can find a way to attack it which is definitely not trivial thanks to its ability to fly and immunity to magic ranged attacks.





Death Magic


Death believes in strength through numbers, controlling large hordes of efficient, low cost creatures or disposable undead and utilitizing spells that hinder enemy economy or kill enemy troops to ensure a smooth conquest.

Strengths


Weaknesses


Common


1. Skeletons

Cost : 25 MP

Research : 160 RP

Creature : 3 melee, +1 To Hit, 4 defense, 3 resistance, 2 movement, 1 health, 7 figures, Missile Immunity, Death Immunity, Cold Immunity, Illusion Immunity, Poison Immunity, Cannot heal

Skeletons are barely better than a unit of swordsmen, but their cost is extremely low so summoning them in larger numbers is trivial. Their main advantage is having no maintenance cost though, making them ideal for early garrisoning (remember, they do reduce unrest in Caster of Magic!) and expansion. Being immune to Missiles, they also provide an option against bow wielding enemies which can be abundant in the early game. Skeletons can be effective in combat in larger numbers especially when buffed by the also common Darkness spell, and their natural immunity to poison can make them a cost-effective way to fight the much more expensive Nagas or Giant Spiders, although don't expect TOO much. Having no maintenance makes this unit very popular, but overestimating that advantage can hurt when superior forces knock on the player's door asking where the REAL garrison was stationed. Due to their role as a weak, cheap, disposable unit very much like raised undead, Skelestons don't heal naturally, however all other Death realm summoned creatures now do as this downside is unaccaptable on the more expensive, non-disposable units.


2. Darkness

Cost : 20 MP

Research : 320 RP

All Death creatures in this combat gain +1 attack, defense and resistance. All Life creatures lose -1 of those stats.

A common spell to buff all Death units is the perfect way to take advantage of the realm's “many low cost units” design. Life creatures are not very likely to appear in larger numbers making the second ability not particularly relevant but it can help Death overcome Life's “Resistance to All” and “Holy Bonus” abilities by making the creature granting them a little more vulnerable which was enough reason to keep the ability. Life still has more Death penalizing spells than one for already explained reasons so it feels fair to keep this one too.


3. Black Sleep

Cost : 15 MP

Research : 320 RP

Target unit in combat must resist at -2 or fall asleep : cannot act and all attacks against it deal maximal damage. Sleeping units can't be raised as undead.

The lowest tier “save of die” spell in the game it doesn't outright kill the target but makes it “almost” dead by ensuring any attacks reaching it will deal enough damage to get the job done. Unfortunately this made converting medium and even relatively high end units to undead possible with only common spells and as testing showed that completely unbalanced the game, so sleeping units don't raise as undead as a consequence. Unfortunately the sleep spell destroys the nerves in the body which are required to animate it as undead, or if you can come up with a better explanation, use that :)


4. Weakness

Cost : 7 MP

Research : 200 RP

Target unit in combat must resist at -7 or lose 3 attack strength. This spell ignores Death Immunity.

Compared to other attack reduction curses like shatter, losing only 3 is not that great but in exchange this will have a 100% chance of working on most lower tier units. Death being unable to cast anything useful against other Death wizards was a problem and this was selected to be one of the spells that can fix that problem. Most early Death units have low enough resistance and the loss of 3 attack is relevant for them making this quite useful for that situation.


5. Cloak of Fear

Cost : 12 MP

Research : 260 RP

All figures attacking the enchanted unit must save at -3 or not attack.

To make this spell playable, only the save modifier had to be improved, as being able to avoid melee attacks is a quite good ability, even if situational. What makes this spell really useful is the effect isn't “one time” like Black Sleep or most similar spells, but triggers as many times as your unit gets attacked, so an entire army of low resistance units can be countered by a single casting of this spell as long as your unit is capable of killing them and only had problems surviving the encounter.


6. Life Drain

Cost : 10 MP

Research : 320 RP

Target enemy unit in combat must resist at -5 or take undead creating damage for each point the resistance roll was failed by. If the spell was cast by a unit, it gains hit points equal to the damage.

Undead being the main theme of Death, enough spells need to exist in the realm that can create them. This resistance based direct damage spell is perfect for that role and didn't need major changes. Only the save modifier and cost needed an adjustment to ensure the damage dealt is similar to other common tier direct damage magic on average enemies, but being resistance based this enables player decision making as on higher resistance enemies normal damage spells like Fire Bolt work better while on lower resistance enemies Life Drain might even exceed Fire Bolt damage. Casting the spell no longer generates SP - while I liked the idea and even increased the amount at first, this proved to be entirely too abusable and most importantly, making the spell too good as it gave the player 3 effects for the price of one : damage, undead and SP. Now it only generates undead and damage which still makes it more effective than usual spells but as Death's theme is “get additional undead for (almost) free”, tha's acceptable. It still heals the unit casting it and is Death realm's main way to keep their heroes alive lacking healing spells and buffs, especially as Life Drainx4 items can new be created early on and the Spell Charges option is available on any weapon type.


7. Ghouls

Cost : 88 MP

Research : 380 RP

Creature : 5 melee, 4 Magical ranged (4 ammo), 3 defense, 6 resistance, 2 movement, 3 health, 4 figures, Death Immunity, Cold Immunity, Illusion Immunity, Poison Immunity, Poison 1, Create Undead

Ghouls are another main source of undead for Death wizards. They've been converted to a ranged creature to ensure they actually function at this role : at melee, gaining the undead would usually cost the ghoul unit too much damage and would be inefficient due to low attack power - yet the attack power can't be high as it would make it possible to convert higher tier creatures that would completely unbalance the early game. At range, but with limited ammo and still putting itself at some risk (of being hit by enemy spells or ranged attacks) the Ghouls can function as a reliable but reasonably balanced source for Undead creation. Concerns have been raised that the unit is too powerful but testing showed this isn't the case and the high cost of the Ghoul unit itself ensures balance.Finally, the Poison on Ghouls ensures they are the third source of this ability in the early game, while weak, being a ranged creature typically used in larger groups by the AI, the Poison can still be effective enough achieve its design goals. Having no bonus To Hit the Ghouls benefit less than usual from being buffed, ensuring the undead creating powers won't escalate too much.


8. Zombies (new)

Cost : 20 MP

Research : 320 RP

Combat Summon : 4 melee, +1 To Hit, -1 To Defend, 3 defense, 3 resistance, 1 movement, 3 health, 6 figures, Death Immunity, Cold Immunity, Illusion Immunity, Create Undead

Zombies are the other combat spell to create undead, and also double as the realm's combat summoning spell. Zombies are very tough for a common creture as they have 3 hit points per figure, but their inherent To Defend penalty ensures they aren't overly difficult to kill and greatly reduces their potential when buffed which was high enough that a single, well buffed zombie past midgame could convert entire enemy armies of high end normal units to undead. While very durable for a common creature, their slow movement speed makes them easy to avoid or kill at range. Do note they did not have Create Undead in Master of Magic, even though you'd expect them to. Poison Immunity was removed however, as that made zombies way too effective against Nagas, literally making this 20 mana spell able to convert more than one 73 mana overland creatures to your side at once.


9. Wraith Form

Cost : 13/65 MP

Research : 440 RP

Enchanted unit gains Weapon Immunity, Non-corporeal and it can bypass Weapon Immunity as though it had magic weapons.

This spell was moved down from rare to common because Weapon Immunity stops being relevant as soon as Alchemist Guilds are built. Enabling movement on all terrain for a single unit is fair at this rarity as Water Walking has a similar effect. Non-Corporeal also gives immunity to Web and Crack's Call, which fits Death's “good against Nature” role without being overly relevant. Finally, the ability to bypass weapon immunity has been added to ensure there is a proper answer against that in every realm : Life, Death and Chaos have a buff to bypass it, while Nature is reliant on summoned creatures who can naturally do so and Sorcery has tools to ignore the armor bonus entirely. Of course this does not diminish the relevance of the ability as combat spellcasting in the early game is limited, merely makes sure a single unit with Weapon Immunity won't be a game winner all by itself. The spell used to enable ships to move onto land and carry units like Flying ships but this ability has been proven to be too powerful this early in the game unfortunately - unlike the Flight spell that requires a major investment in research, this is a common spell that's available at the beginning of the game. As a consequence movement type stacking rules had to be altered to make sure Sailing takes priority and ghost ships don't carry arrmies onto land. In early phases of development this also granted Poison Immunity for flavor but once the importance of the Poision mechanic was realized, this had to be removed as well.


10. Mana Leak

Cost : 20 MP

Research : 480 RP

All enemy caster units in combat lose 5 Mp each turn, and all units with magical ranged attacks lose 1 ammo. All enemy wizards lose 5 mana crystals per turn.

Massively reducing the efficiency of magicians and magical ranged units, this spell ensures Magicians while extremely good, aren't always the best choice for your garrison. While a bit too good for a common, it has low relevance in the early game as magical ranged units are usually midgame or later, and this rarity ensures it'll be part of the game more often.



Uncommon


Black Channels

Originally an overland spell, but limited to normal units only, and makes them unable to heal which really defeats the purpose of having a buffed unit. Due to the low numbers on the bonus, this only benefitted units with a high number of figures and low enough stats where the +1s are still relevant like Spearman, Swordsman etc. Unfortunately, casting Lycanthropy on those is a much superior option. The idea to turn a unit undead to remove maintenance and grant immunities is nice though so it was included in a new spell -its just that the amount of buff provided by this spell wasn't worth the disadvantage of no healing (unless it was cast on Trolls of course)


Berserk

Doubling attack power was entirely too powerful, enabling mediocre units to take down very rare creatures, and it was also a risk from the programming perspective, bringing some hero units dangerously near to the highest available shortint of 127 on attack power. To solve this problem a similar but different new spell was added. The spell was a problem for the AI to use correctly as well because casting it was a massive disadvantage if the unit affected wasn't in range to do a melee attack immediately after the spell was cast.


1. Blood Lust (new)

Cost : 50 MP

Research : 640 RP

Enchanted unit is undead. Enchanted unit deals double melee damage against normal units.

This new spell contains the fun parts of Black Channels and Berserk while making sure it suffers from none of its problems. Limiting to overland only ensures the player can't use it to grant immunities to units on the fly and also makes sure players don't end up with permanently undead units for such a temporal benefit (as undead is not a combat effect, it remains on the unit forever), nor can they cast the spell directly prior to attacking which the AI isn't capable of doing either. The spell no longer reduces defense as that would be too much of a penalty for a permanent enchantment, but the double damage only applies against normal units where its powerful but doesn't threaten the design of magical creatures being superior. The spell can be used on fantastic units though, so making Undead bloodthirsty regenerating werewolves that do double damage on regular troops becomes possible, as well as the original “undead trolls” strategy allowed by Black Channels. While not obvious, Heroes are normal units as well, so this spell gives Death wizards a way to counter heroes, and punishes careless human players who think their hero can mow down anything in their way without even looking at them - yet it only takes minimal effort to avoid engaging the bloodlusted units in melee in most cases to avoid that outcome so it still allows players who know what they're doing to dominate the game with heroes as intended.


Subversion

Completely worthless in the original game's 1.31 version due to the dysfunctional diplomacy system, this spell would be brutally overpowered now that the system works. Turning all other players into fighting an eternal war against each other while you sit back and watch is just too beneficial to be allowed to remain in the game, especially now that the AI does put proper effort into their wars and will lose a lot of troops and resources doing that.


2. Syphon Life (new)

Cost : 30 MP

Research : 1280 RP

Target enemy unit in combat must resist at -11 or take undead creating damage for each point the resistance roll was failed by. If the spell was cast by a unit, it gains hit points equal to the damage.

This is Life Drain at uncommon. While I usually prefer to avoid redundant spells like this, this spell was added to ensure undead creation stays relevant for the whole game and Death has a stronger spell to use for this role than the commons. The high save penalty enables this to do damage to more resistant targets Life Drain can't expect to hurt, but converting them to undead will still require multiple castings of the spell which introduces a reasonable mana cost of doing so (while still enabling the Death player to obtain the units without spending overland skill on summoning them). However it doesn't make Life Drain obsolete as Life Drain remains more cost-effective on low resistance targets.


3. Reaper Slash (new)

Cost : 32 MP

Research : 1280 RP

Perform a strength 42 attack on target unit in combat. This counts as a poison type attack.

Death needed to have at least one damage spell that isn't resistance based - high resistance races are a thing. The spell also ensures Poison Immunity remains a relevant ability in the mid and late game where most cretures causing Poison damage are obsolete. It also means the spell can't be used to easily get around the “Resistance to All” bonus from Unicorns or Guardian Spirits by killing the creature using direct damage. The spell also makes sure Death wizards will be a threat to Charmed heroes through spellcasting, while enough armor and healing magic can cancel out the damage as usual enabling hero strategies to function.


4. Possession

Cost : 35 MP

Research : 1280 RP

If target normal unit fails to resist at -3 during combat, you control it. (this spell can't be dispelled)

This spell serves well in the role of Death being strong against Normal units, and makes using Fantastic units to avoid its greatest threat a viable strategy. Save modifier is higher than Black Sleep to ensure this is perceived as the higher tier “save or die” spell it is meant to be. As control changing spells are a stronger version of “save or die” spells than outright killing the unit, the “bug” of being unable to properly dispel these was kept as a feature.


5. Lycanthropy

Cost : 105 MP

Research : 420 RP

Target normal unit turns into Werewolves : 6 melee, +2 To Hit, 3 defense, 4 resistance, 3 movement, 5 health, 6 figures, Death Immunity, Cold Immunity, Weapon Immunity, Regeneration 0.

Lycanthropy was given the role of being Death's “rush uncommon” creature that can be researched fairly quickly through the guaranteed turn 1 research feature. Originally too powerful, careful attention was paid to making sure this unit becomes balanced. They no longer retain the adamantium, mithril or magical weapons from the original unit to reduce the luck factor and power level, instead their natural To Hit chance was raised to ensure they're as good as if they still had the magical weapons. Defense was kept low but increased from the original 1 to 3 which makes them still take a lot of damage in combat but not so much that their huge pool of hit points becomes irrelevant. Regeneration is of course the main strength of this unit, but comes at a bonus health gain of 0, as even 1 would mean the 30 effective health of the wolves turns into 55 which would double the combat potential of the unit - the main unbalancing factor was that this unit was far too efficient even when used alone in stacks of one, which allowed expanding in many directions at once and protecting conquered cities with ease. Removal of Poison Immunity made sure the Werewolf is no longer unreasonably powerful against Nagas and Ghouls, those very commonly faced creatures in the early game, and lack of Illusion Immunity ensures the creature isn't a generic answer to everything and is only strong against Nature, Chaos and Death wizards, while Sorcery and Life can destroy them despite the regeneration thanks to Confusion and Exorcise. Removal of Death Immunity instead was considered which would have made them weak to death wizards instead of Sorcery, but doing so would have introduced the issue of being able to create undead werewolves by raising them directly from the enemy army, which, due to their regeneration ability, is definitely undesired and would mean Death AI wizards basically counter themselves by providing their enemy with undead werewolf troops that, being undead, gain the Death Immunity ability and thus will defeat the AI wizard who summoned them. That said this Sorcery weakness can be overcomed by researching the Blood Lust spell which grants Illusion Immunity but doing that delays the expansion and snowballing as well as increases the total cost of one such unit by a relevant amount. Natural Weapon Immunity also makes this unit a perfect candidate for this early game role.


6. Drain Power

Cost : 100 MP

Research : 960 RP

Target wizard loses 180 mana crystals and an additional 3% of their mana reserve. You gain SP equal to this amount.

The original spell only drained mana which made it a net negative to use : you spent your mana AND your overland casting capacity to make the enemy player lose mana only. This and the fact lowering the resources of one player at the cost of yours isn't very good strategy when multiple opponents exist, made me change this spell to give the player the mana drained. However I didn't want to risk the spell becoming a source of free mana crystals either so this drained amount was transferred as SP. Percentage effect was added to make this spell also useful in the late game. This spell can give a taste of what it means to be on bad terms with a Death wizard to players early on, as losing mana crystals in large quantities in the midgame can be painful. To make sure it isn't crippling though, the AI will not prioritize researching this spell too high and it won't usualy come into play before the player can deal with it. Still, paying attention to the Personality of Death wizards is extremely important as a Maniacal or other curse trigger happy wizard can seriously ruin one's day by spamming the spell. In that case forming a treaty or eliminating them in a rapid war can become neccessary.


7. Black Prayer

Cost : 35 MP

Research : 1600 RP

All enemy units in combat lose 1 attack, 1 defense and 2 resistance.

Nowhere near as good as Prayer for military potential, this spell mainly functions to enable resistance based spells to work better and affect more targets at the cost of spending one turn (and skill and mana) for that. This is a key spell to playing Death but also has great combo potential with other realms who have their own resistance based spells but don't specialize in them. The resistance stat on late game units has been designed considering the existence of this spell to ensure they have the intended amount of vulnerability.


8. Wall of Darkness

Cost : 30/90 MP

Research : 1280 RP

Ranged attacks can't be done from outside the wall to the inside.

One of the two spells that made Death good at defending cities. While the spell itself was fine, AI needed significant improvements to be able to recognize it. The idea to move this into Sorcery which might be more suitable was considered but I decided to keep it in Death to ensure the combo potential between the two realms and also because Sorcery already has plenty of ways to counter magical ranged attacks. Wall of Darkness combined with Mana Leak can guarantee enemy ranged attacks won't get used even after the units walk inside the wall, so keeping the two spells in the same realm was important.



9. Night Stalker

Cost : 225 MP

Research : 1920 RP

Creature : 7 melee, +1 To Hit, 5 defense, 8 resistance, 3 movement, 13 health, 1 figure, Death Immunity, Cold Immunity, Illusion Immunity, Poison Immunity, Weapon Immunity, Death Gaze -3.

While the idea of an invisible unit that attacks with instant death attacks is great and fitting the realm, the implementation left a lot to desire, in particular, the creature needed more hit points and defense to ensure they are able to withstand the retaliation from those few enemy figures that made their resistance rolls. Weapon Immunity was added for the same purpose and to fit among the other uncommon or better creatures in the realm who all have it. This is the only uncommon source of Invisibility, and thus it was considered to be moved to the rare tier but instead the creature's research cost and casting cost was raised from what I initially had in mind to ensure the timeframe during which the early invisibility can be taken advantage of is limited and comes with a large sacrifice - producing this much RP instead of investing magical resources into mana and skill to summon creatures and expand is a big deal. 8 book guaranteed 1st turn research Night Stalkers are still a decent strategy, but no longer unreasonably powerful due to how slowly the strategy can start deploying them.


10. Shadow Demon

Cost : 175 MP

Research : 2140 RP

Creature : 5 melee, 5 Magical Ranged +2 To Hit, 4 defense, 6 resistance, 2 movement, 5 health, 4 figures, Death Immunity, Cold Immunity, Illusion Immunity, Poison Immunity, Weapon Immunity, Flying, Non-Corporeal, Regeneration 2, Plane Shift

An iconic creature that's probably the best uncommon summoning spell in Caster of Magic, Shadow Demons offer a lot of good abilities with mediocre stats but extreme strategic potential. Regeneration ensures they suffer no losses in most battles even from spells or ranged attacks while they fly outside of reach of melee enemies and shoot their large amount of ammo at their victims. Regeneration 2 then allows them to be relevant participants of melee combat despite their low defense and attack strength, although the potential here is limited by the turns used up in ranged combat and their slow movement speed. While almost entirely unkillable in the early and even some of the midgame, their very high research cost and semi-high casting cost means they come late enough that this doesn't enable conquering the entire game using them, especially thanks to their slow movement speed, and their very low magic resistance ensures at least one realm - Life - can be more difficult to beat this way than the others who typically have no tools to permanently destroy a Shadow Demon before rare spells. Like in case of all regenerating creatures, of course you need to be winning the battles, so trying to save on costs and using them in smaller groups to expand faster is a very risky maneouver that can easily backfire. As the role of Planar Travel was completely redefined, the Plane Shift ability on this unit also had to be altered : now it only allows shifting planes if the player already opened up the other plane either by breaking their first tower or researching the Plane Shift spell.


Rare


1. Evil Presence

Cost : 180 MP

Research : 2500 RP

All religious buildings (including Oracle) in the target city no longer reduce unrest. All Barracks, Alchemist Guilds and War Colleges have no effect on units produced.

All of the Death rare curses suffered from the same problem, they were very powerful and unfun to play against when used by the AI, while offering very little the human player would really want to use, other than completely covering the enemy empire with them and winning by that resulting in having no resources at all to stay in the game - a difficult to achieve task as the AI stuggled against this and used Disenchant Area more and more. For this reason they have all been redesigned as well as the AI which is now willing to overlook a certain amount of curses depending on their personality before starting to use Disenchant Area.

On Evil Presence the chosen solution is to stop affecting magic power (the unfun part) and instead disable the military functions of the city : that is one effect even human players can use to their advantage and it can make Weapon Immunity relevant in the late game. Elimination of a major source of unrest removal makes the tax rate game mechanic, interracial unrest mechanic and spells that increase unrest more relevant.


Famine

2. Drought

Cost : 150 MP

Research : 3000 RP

Reduces the maximal population of the target city by 6 and sets percetange production bonus to zero. If the city exceeds maximal population, it'll shrink by 120/turn. If cast on a neutral city, the garrisoning units will desert.

Reducing food is a problematic mechanic because without food, units can't be maintained, so Famine was making the game nearly unplayable in some cases. The human player mostly used this to reduce the enemy population by combining this with other curses to ensure the city can't even feed itself and shrinks, or to reduce productivity by forcing more people to be farmers instead of workes. So the new spell will produce those results directly, without relying on food production changes. It's fairly important to note cities don't shrink when exceeding their maximal population normally, only if the total food production is lower than the population, which made Famine especially hard to use. Removing percentage production bonus makes the spell have a more reliable effect as well compared to turning workers to farmers, while it can't cripple production rates so much the city becomes unable to build anything.


Cursed Lands

This production reducing spell was removed because Famine already reduced production (indirectly) making this redundant.


3. Warp Node

Cost : 120 MP

Research : 4000 RP

Half the power produced by target node is transferred to the caster of Warp Node.

Total elimination of power was way too unfun (especially combined with the original Evil Presence erasing city power it could outright make players lose to having no magic power remaning at all) but this even added insult to injury by reducing power production below zero. To fix that the power reduction was halved and to make this a spell human players enjoy to cast, the effect of transferring that power was introduced.


Black Wind

After a lot of considerations this spell was removed because it is pretty much impossible to have a targeted overland “save or die” spell that's both efficient enough at killing units to be desirable for the human player, and balanced enough as well as not feeling redundant and worthless.


4. Dark Ritual

Cost : 150 MP

Research : 4000 RP

Triple the power production of religious buildings in the target city and increase unrest by 1.

This used to be a common spell but the effect was far too good for that as early doubling of power can lead into some serious snowballing especially when combined with the religious power retort. More importantly, reducing popolation growth early on, without even having the proper buildings built to have anything to double, was obviously not viable as a plan so having this spell as early as common tier was pointless.

Moving this into a rare spell slot allowed moving Wraith Form down to common. Power production was changed from double to triple because now only half of the city power is religious : Wizard's Guilds and Magic Markets are not affected. Population growth penalty was removed because as a rare spell there is no need for a large downside like that, but the unrest increase was kept for flavor.


5. Cloud of Shadow

Cost : 200 MP

Research : 3500 RP

All combats taking place in enchanted friendly city start with Darkness, Terror, Black Prayer and Mana Leak already cast.

A rare spell that is limited to city defense only needs to do way more than casting Darkness (an effect you might not even have a use for if your garrison is living troops), so additional effects were added. This makes Cloud of Shadow a powerful defensive enchantment, second only to Sorcery's Flying Fortress and Spell Ward.



6. Terror

Cost : 40 MP

Research : 4000 RP

All enemy units in combat must resist at -3 each turn or become unable to move for that turn. All enemy units lose -1 To Hit.

Initially a common, this too was moved up in rarity because a global spell making the enemy skip turns is either too powerful for a common or too useless, having horrible save modifiers. Loss of 1 Hit was added to ensure Death does have a spell at rare that can do something that doesn't rely on resistance and to make sure it remains useful even if the enemy is lucky on their resistance roll(s).


Wrack

7. Gate of Hades

Cost : 40 MP

Research : 4000 RP

All enemy figures in combat must resist at -1 at the end of each turn or take 1 point of irrecoverable damage. This spell ignores Death Immunity.

Death desperately needed more spells that are effective against other Death wizards, especially something to counter Shadow Demons. This seemed like the best candidate for that purpose because it's a somewhat situational spell that's very powerful when the time is right but often sees no play at all - now it's much more likely to find use every game. Spell was renamed to make the functional change more obvious and to have a spell name that has appropriate flavor for bypassing the immunity.



8. Zombie Mastery

Cost : 800 MP

Research : 5000 RP

At end of combat, all dead normal units are transformed to zombies under your control.

An often underestimated spell that's frequently a game winner. Zombies themselves aren't particularly powerful, although with spell support, Darkness and/or other buffs they can be capable of killing enemy stacks, consequently transforming them to undead or more zombies, the real strength of this spell is economic potential. Enemy wizards will spend a lot of mana on killing all those zombies you received for free, which will result in them either running out of mana crystals or reducing their research and SP spending. Of course the military role shouldn't be underestimated either - investing effort into making sure the zombie armies win battles can cause a massive snowballing effect of converting enemy troops into yours in wide areas. Not as powerful for this role if the enemy already has rare or better spells and can wipe out zombies easily, but even in that case the economy role is a lot more significant than one would expect.


9. Wraiths

Cost : 350 MP

Research : 4500 RP

Creature : 10 melee, +2 To Hit, 6 defense, 8 resistance, 5 movement, 8 health, 4 figures, Death Immunity, Cold Immunity, Illusion Immunity, Poison Immunity, Weapon Immunity, Flying, Non-Corporeal, Life Steal -4

Wraiths are the only Rare creature in the realm but they are definitely powerful enough for that role. They are very fast and can regain a massive amount of hit points while doing massive amounts of damage thanks to the powerful Life Steal abilty, however as testing and adjusting ensured, they are also vulnerable enough that careless use of them can cause losing the unit, especially when engaging an enemy stack that has no low resistance units to feed on. On the other hand the Wraith can wipe out entire enemy stacks of lower resistance units alone, converting many of them to undead in the process with the help of Black Prayer reducing the resistances even further. Life Steal damage does need to exceed the fairly high melee damage of Wraiths, so using Darkness or other spells that make Wraiths deal more physical damage is not recommended if that's the player's goal and casting Black Prayer is especially important to make the undead.


10. Wave of Despair (new)

Cost : 72 MP

Research : 5000 RP

Performs an Irrecoverable Cold attack with equal to (255/(2+enemy unit count)-10-target resistance) on all enemies. This attack ignores defense or conditional resistance modifiers. This spell is unaffected by casting cost modifiers.

Death needed a spell to deal with powerful high end units that typically have too much resistance to instantly kill (and enabling that would be far too unbalanced anyway), is more effective than the uncommon Repear Slash (which simply does not do enough damage to kill something like an Archangel) but is balanced despite that large power. Death also had no area damage spells and although it needed to be worse at that than Chaos' Flame Strike, it defintely deserved to have one. So a “reversed flame strike” spell was designed which is more effective when cast on smaller groups of enemies and weaker on larger armies. The damage formula was adjused a few time to reach a perfectly balanced version. The spell ignores Death Immunity which matters for intended targets like Archangels, but is affected by Cold Immunity so it won't be useful against Death creatures and gives this seldomly used damage type a new source. This spell is Death's answer to powerful heroes : the human player must use their heroes in a large enough army to ensure they survive, and using the “immortal” hero alone against larger AI armies for maximal snowballing will immediately be punished by this spell as soon as the AI reached the rare tier spells. Of course, heroes are meant to be a good strategy so this is not impossible to counter : other than the obvious solution of bringing another 8 units along, items with Inner Fire can provide the Cold Immunity needed to withstand this spell. Finally, the spell being unaffected by cost modifiers both ensures it remains as expensive to use as intended (being a fairly universal and powerful solution against medium and smaller armies with only the price being the deterring factor of overusing it) and also provides Death with another spell that isn't negatively affected by Divine Order.



Very Rare


Word of Death

1. Annihilate

Cost : 41 MP

Research : 15000 RP

All figures in the target unit in combat must resist at -5 or become irrecoverably dead. Normal units suffer an additional -2 save penalty. This spell ignores Death Immunity.

This is the ultimate save-or die spell expected to exist in the realm, having kept the very high save modifier of the original game, and further increased it on normal units, which this spell should be able to kill with a very high reliability. Cost of 41 is relevant being the lowest possible cost that won't make the spell available for Caster 40 units. Save modifier of -7 can make this a threat to heroes if the player is too careless and assumes the usual amount of 14-15 resistance will be sufficient. The resistance of very rare creatures has been carefully adjusted to have the intended interaction with this spell - a low or medium chance of killing them at most but some are entirely immune to it. It wouldn't be fair to kill 400-500 mana creatures with a single use of a combat spell. Many very rare Death spells were renamed simply because the original names were uninspired and not very expressive : Death Spell, Word of Death or Death Wish all basically only tell the tale they are spells that kill stuff. In fact, “Death Spell” is literally so generic it could refer to any spell in the Death realm. I wonder if these were even intended to be the final spell names or simply got stuck that way initially being a development codename.



Death Spell

2. Massacre

Cost : 60 MP

Research : 15000 RP

All figures in all enemy units in combat must resist at -2 or die.

Not much to say here, this is expected to existing in Death Very Rare and the save modifier is reasonable so I had no reason to make changes.


Death Wish

3. Final Wave

Cost : 1000 MP

Research : 18000 RP

All enemy normal units must resist or die.

The adjustments done to unit resistance globally made this spell quite worthwhile to cast so additional improvements were unnecessary. Casting cost was raised though as 500 mana for killing hundreds of units is far undercosted. Like Great Unsummoning, a diplomacy penalty was added, although it's not as harsh as one would expect from such large scale murder to ensure the spell is usually safe to cast if used in moderation.


Cruel Unminding

A spell that reduces casting skill is unfun, extremely hard to properly balance due to the difference in human and AI resources as well as the non-linear nature of Casting Skill and goes against the philosophy of the mod that spellcasting, especially at this tier, should be dominating gameplay. For the same reason, spells that reduce enemy research efficiency were never added even though the idea was considered.


4. Pestilence

Cost : 250 MP

Research : 9000 RP

Each turn if the population of enchanted city exceeds a D10, population is reduced by 1. Unrest is increased by 2.

Unlike the rare city curses, this very rare city curse serves the role of a game-winning spell and wasn't made any weaker. While the casting cost makes it somewhat time consuming to cast it on an entire enemy empire and the effect also takes time to shrink the city, this spell is capable of reducing an entire empire's gold and production output drastically, almost entirely denying them the ability to rely on producing and maintaining normal units. While it doesn't directly reduces magic power, the building maintenance on magical buildings can and will cause the player's economy to collapse given long enough time, meanwhile still allowing them to retaliate using their magical armies and spells and even obtain money from war to keep their economy alive long enough to eliminate the enemy and win the game. Reseach cost is low among very rares - due to the delayed nature of the effect it needs to be used as early as possible to be the most effective.


5. Evil Omens

Cost : 1250 MP

Research : 15000 RP

All spells cast by other wizards costs 50% more.

This simple and elegant spell provides Death the global “everyone else is cursed” effect where it matters the most, spellcasting. The cost increase provides both an economic and strategic disadvantage to everyone else, without obstructing or denying their ability to still properly particpate in the spellcasting aspect of the game which would make things no longer fun. Originally this was an anti-life/nature spell but removing those realm specific spells is part of the design.


6. Animate Dead

Cost : 50 MP

Research : 15000 RP

Raises a dead unit in combat as undead with the buff : Animated (+1 attack, hit, defense and weapon immunity). If the unit wasn't originally the caster's it disappears after combat and units that were already undead can't be targeted.

While the unit becoming undead makes this a bad idea to cast on a hero, ensuring Death doesn't get similar levels of hero support as Life, this spell works on fantastic creatures, even those immune to Death Magic if they were initially your own, allowing the Death wizard to use all their fantastic creatures twice before they truely die, or turn enemy units against their own army after killing them for the duration of the battle, both of which amazingly powerful effects suitable for a combat spell at this tier.


7. Eternal Night

Cost : 800 MP

Research : 21000 RP

All combats are under the effect of the Darkness spell.

All enemy religious buildings produce halved power.

All nondeath enemy units lose 1 resistance.

The first and original effect is useful as it allows the Death wizard to play without requiring to spend their first combat turn on casting the Darkness spell which they most likely already have, this was nowhere near good enough for a spell of this tier. Halving enemy power was added then to provide a secondary, economy benefit which isn't very powerful but can be still relevant. Still being somewhat boring, finally the resistance reduction was added which is a huge benefit for any Death wizard and makes most of their spells more potent, escalating the combat relevance. Being an overland global resistance modifier, this spell also applies to Final Wave unlike any other, making wizards who invest enough picks to get both spells quite a lot more powerful.


8. Death Knights

Cost : 420 MP

Research : 12000 RP

Creature : 12 melee, +3 To Hit, 9 defense, 10 resistance, 5 movement, 8 health, 4 figures, Death Immunity, Cold Immunity, Illusion Immunity, Poison Immunity, Weapon Immunity, Flying, Non-Corporeal, Life Steal -5, Armor Piercing, First Strike, Supernatural

Similar to Wraiths but even more powerful, Death Knights offer the realm an excellect creature to carry out offensive maneuvers and finish off the remaining enemies in the military way. The creature is almost impossible to kill thanks to its decent armor and very powerful Life Steal, having the only weak point of suffering from extremely low magic resistance which can make it less optimal against Sorcery players, and gives a tiny sliver of hope to Nature players who can attempt to petrify the unit which is immune to all other forms of Nature magic. Non-corporeal was added to ensure using them is not a downgrade in any way from the Wraiths who already had the ability.


9. Summon Demon (new)

Cost : 41/123 MP

Research : 6000 RP

Combat or Overland Creature : 14 melee, +1 To Hit, 5 defense, 7 resistance, 2 movement, 12 health, 1 figure, Death Immunity, Cold Immunity, Illusion Immunity, Poison Immunity, Weapon Immunity, Missile Immunity, Flying, Caster 40 OR {Death Touch -4 and Life Steal -4}

Having the Summon Demon ability of Demon Lord in the game, one might wonder why this creature can't be summoned directly. This spell makes it possible and while it doesn't offer a powerful creature, it's extreme verstaility makes it great. Having all of Flight and Illusion and Missile Immunity, being able to combat summon this creature is a big deal, and there is a high chance it is literally free as it offers casting power equal to its own cost (minus one to ensure it can't summon more copies of itself). Unfortunately due to coding limitations combat summoning a Caster unit isn't always possible, in which cases (or when the die roll comes up unlucky) A Death Demon is summoned instead which has two powerful touch abilities. The true power in the Demon though lies in the fact it gives access to all rare and below combat spells from the realm, making it very valuable for players who picked fewer Death books and missed them - Death had no Caster creature in the game unlike all the other realms. Finally the creature can be summoned overland, being an excteption to the rule that summon spells can either be combat or overland but not both, where it offers a cheap, by this phase of the game spammable utility creature that can support the player's armies with significant spellcasting ability - the overland summoned Demons are always the Caster 40 version.


10. Demon Lord

Cost : 666 MP (18 MP/Turn)

Research : 24000 RP

Creature : 25 melee, 20 magical ranged (8 ammo) +3 To Hit, 8 defense, 13 resistance, 4 movement, 35 health, 1 figure, Death Immunity, Cold Immunity, Illusion Immunity, Poison Immunity, Weapon Immunity, Missile Immunity, Flying, Summon Demon 3, Quick Casting, Supernatural, Life Steal -2, Primal Force.

The most expensive creature in the game, Demon Lords offer by far the most versatile and powerful very rare unit in terms of abilities, although in raw stats Nature and Chaos dominates. Quick Casting was added to ensure summoning demons doesn't deny the creature the ability to also attack, or that demons can be summoned in a timely fashion instead of waiting 3 full turns for them. Missile Immunity was also added as regular Demons have that ability. I added Doom Bolt spell at first but that was entirely too much, as a stack of Demon Lords could deal enough damage in one turn to wipe out up to 5-6 other very rare creatures. They also had more immunities added and had 10 armor, both of which had to be toned down as it made the creature almost impossible to hurt for the AI. It's still a very very powerful creature that can be expected to take down enemy cities or most armies with ease when used in smaller groups but it's now vulnerable enough that doing so might cost one of them against a fully prepared and powerful enemy. It works even better on the defense though, where it can utilize the summoning and ranged attack before enemies even get a turn to damage it using spells AND generate power for their owner through Primal Force in addition. The price? Well, unleashing multiples of these on the world will likely come with severe consequences, but that's something a Death wizard won't be worried about for sure, especially after winning the game and eliminating all rivals.




Chaos Magic


Chaos doesn't care much about anything and does what it wants to... set things on fire or blow them up most of the time.

Strengths


Weaknesses


Common


1. Fire Bolt

Cost : 10 MP

Research : 320 RP

Perform a strength 24 Fire attack on target enemy unit in combat.

Chaos being the top direct damage realm, this is the most cost-effective common direct damage spell, as well as the baseline for balancing all other such spells in Chaos or otherwise. Deals 7.2 damage on average before applying enemy defense.


2. Hell Hounds

Cost : 40 MP (1 MP/turn)

Research : 160 RP

Creature : 4 melee, 4 Fire Breath, +1 To Hit, 2 defense, 5 resistance, 3 movement, 4 health, 4 figures.

Hell Hounds offer a fragile creature with high damage output thanks to 4 figures dealing damage 2 times each. While it can deal a lot of damage thanks to the large number of attacks, this creature isn't particularly good at overcoming the armor of higher tier units, ensuring it can have a low summoning cost and doesn't stand out as particularly powerful. Being able to attack flying creatures and having a reasonably good movement speed and low enough cost to use them in larger numbers, this creature guarantees Chaos isn't easily slowed down in expansion by flying or faster units.


3. Corruption

Cost : 40 MP

Research : 320 RP

Target land tile produces no resources (until purified)

The presence of this spell reduces the luck factor in starting location as early minerals will often but not always get disabled through Corruption, demanding additional efforts to clean up and use the minerals. Having an early game spell that hurts economy makes diplomacy more relevant as well, and considering the counter-ability of Purify exist and a single Corrupted tile is usually a very little influence, it's more like an introduction to this type of effect and a warning what is to come than a real threat. Nonetheless, the ability to disable Mithril, Orihalcon and Adamantium ensures Chaos wizards are not overwhelmed by units with such equipment early on nor is the Chaos wizard's expansion attempts thwarted by them. This spell also makes stopping enemy scouts relevant as the AI can only target this - like all other curses- at tiles belonging to cities they have already scouted.


Eldritch Weapon

While reducing enemy armor by 1/3 sounds fine in reality this is a very underwhelming and redundant effect : in typical cases the armor reduction of 2-3 means the spell is identical to one that buffs the attack strength by the same amount, and by the time enemies have higher armor than that, Lighting and Doom damage, offering better forms of ignoring armor become easily available. This spell was so bad, the decision to remove it was made even before having any good ideas for a replacement spell, but unfortunately Chaos realm early spells were so close to perfectly covering all bases it took me a year to come up with a new spell idea to actually follow through with that plan.


4. Flame Blade

Cost : 10/50 MP

Research : 480 RP

Enchanted normal unit gains +3 melee attack and +2 missile attack and can ignore Weapon Immunity.

Being the realm specialized in offense, this spell which is only slightly better than Holy Weapon has a better place at common than uncommon. Thrown attacks are not increased though as it was found that effects increasing Thrown too easily is one of the reasons Barbarians had balance issues.


5. Warp Wood

Cost : 5 MP

Research : 320 RP

Target unit with a missile attack loses all remaning ammo.

Similarly to Guardian Wind, this too serves to ensure bow units don't dominate the early game overly much, leaving 2-3 realms with no direct counter to them early on. (Death can only counter it when played by human players as the AI will rarely summon any Skeletons and lacks the ability to plan overland moves based on unit abilities so even if it did, those Skeletons would rarely meet with the bow units they'd need to counter.)


6. Disrupt

Cost : 5 MP

Research : 260 RP

Destroy target tile of a City Wall in combat.

Fits the role of Chaos as it offers a spell that makes sure the player can stay on the offense and walls won't hinder them from entering cities and destroying the buildings or defending units inside. It's worth mentioning destroyed wall sections only offer 1 defense while normal wall sections (including the gate and center tiles) offer 3, so this also works as a debuff to make all units in the gate much easier to damage, if entering the city to cause destruction isn't the objective.


7. Fire Elemental

Cost : 16 MP

Research : 200 RP

Combat Creature : 12 melee, 5 defense, 4 resistance, 2 movement, 10 health, 1 figure, Fire Immunity, Weapon Immunity, Poison Immunity, Stoning Immunity.

While not particularly strong, it offers the Weapon Immunity ability, and is the only way Chaos can access it. Chaos doesn't have any other combat summon and it's best that way as it would enable it to prolong battles and cast more highly destructive combat spells if it did. Fire and especially Poison Immunity can also make it a useful spell to cast despite lacking in raw strength. Being a high attack single figure, it is more effective at overcoming armor on medium armor units than average common tier units.Casting cost was reduced to 16 in version 6.05 to make the spell more viable to cast when Weapon Immunity isn't a factor.


8. Wall of Fire

Cost : 20/60 MP

Research : 320 RP

All enemy units moving or attacking through the wall of fire suffer a stenght 10 Fire magical attack.

The idea of this spell was good, but the attack strength needed to be improved to make it useful. No longer hurts the caster's units as it often caused the AI to hurt their own units when they went outside and returned to the city. Helps Chaos survive the early game where its spells are not as effective as later on.


9. Shatter

Cost : 8 MP

Research : 440 RP

Target enemy normal unit must save at -2 or all of its attack strengths are reduced to 1.

Chaos's common „save or die” spell, can only disable normal units and while it makes them unable to deal damage, it doesn't help in making them more vulnerable - overall much worse than Black Sleep but the low casting cost and identical save modifier makes it able to compete with it despite that.


10. Warp Creature

Cost : 10 MP

Research : 380 RP

Target enemy unit must save at -5 or suffer one of the effects at random :

Halved attack

Halved defense

Zero resistance.

Similar to Shatter but this can affect fantastic creatures and has a better save modifier - in exchange the effect is not that good and less reliable. Still, the chance to set resistance to zero opens up a lot of combo potential.



Uncommon


1. Raise Volcano

Cost : 50 MP

Research : 1280 RP

Turns a target overland tile into a Volcano. 20% chance to produce a new mineral. Volcanoes produce 3 power for their owner and have a 0.5% chance to revert to a Mountain. If targeting a city, 5% chance for each building to get destroyed.

Can target hills and mountains - disallowing those tiles completely defeats the purpose of destroying enemy minerals as they are almost always on those tiles. While economy isn't available to Chaos in general, power production is an exception : magic is the most important in Caster of Magic. Power amount was raised and revertion lowered to make the spell viable as an economy spell - this is necessary because while 50 MP isn't much, using up 50 overland casting skill is a fairly big deal as raising skill costs lots of magic power. It can be used pretty much an unlimited amount of times, but overusing it comes at the price of being unable to cast other overland spells that might be much more important. Other than the economy aspect and combo potential with both Change Terrain and Transmute, it functions as an upgraded Corruption that can no longer be undone by Purify. I lowered the building destruction chance because that's not the main role of the spell and now that it can be recast on the same tile (to ensure accidental new minerals given to the enemy can be removed), a high chance to destroy buildings would be too powerful.


2. Immolation

Cost : 12/60 MP

Research : 1280 RP

Whenever enchanted unit attacks or counterattacks, all enemy figures suffer a strength 10 Fire attack.

Very much like wall of fire, the strength of the attack was increased to make it relevant. Better than the wall as this can be used in any combat, on any unit, and isn't bound to the city tiles, so the higher rarity is justified.


3. Fireball

Cost : 15 MP

Research : 960 RP

All figures in target enemy unit suffer a strength 12 Fire attack.

The direct damage version because sometimes you can't afford to engage in melee or rely on your city walls to deal the all-figure hitting damage. Strength is slightly higher because Fireball is an iconic, powerful spell. Fills the role of a spell that can reliably kill most multi-figure units up to halberdier tier in one use but is still single target.


4. Fire Storm

Cost : 180 MP

Research : 2140 RP

All figures in all units on the target overland map tile suffer a strength 12 Fire attack.

Originally a rare, this was changed into an Uncommon because Uncommon Chaos had 4 creatures, way too much, and one of them had to be swapped with a rare. Having overland direct damage available earlier than Nature suits the realm. This spell is definitely a bit too potent for an uncommon but the high casting cost and research cost keeps that balanced. The all-figure hitting effect ensures using stacks of magicians or other fragile units as garrison against Chaos wizards is not an effective tactic and helps Chaos players to stay on the offense - a similar role as Magic Immunity and Elemental Armor has, but available earlier than those. Be careful that unit targeting spells do not use the AI city scouting mechanic, even if the units are inside a city the AI doesn't know about, Fire Storm can target them. Implementing a proper scouting mechanic for these spells would be impossible due to having no source code available and would reduce the AI's performance significantly. It would also prevent Dispelling Wave from filling its intended role of balancing buff strategies - the AI has to be able to dispel the buffed stacks at all times for that to work as intended.


5. Lightning Bolt

Cost : 25 MP

Research : 1600 RP

Target enemy unit suffers a strength 36 armor piercing attack.

Sometimes the Chaos wizard needs to destroy units with a low figure count and/or high armor. Better than Nature's Ice Bolt for the same cost.


6. Chaos Channels

Cost : 50 MP

Research : 640 RP

Target unit gains one of the following buffs permanently and becomes a Chaos creaure :

Strength 4 Fire Breath

Flight

3 Defense.

I increased the Fire Breath strength to make it high enough to deal at least some extra damage though the armor of typical midgame units. This spell fills many roles, as it allows Chaos to have a reliable way to have armies that can fight flying enemyes - 2 out of the 3 effects enable that. It also allows flying ships but isn't as efficient as Sorcery at it, due to the random chance involved. It increases the relevance of the Flight mechanic, allowing one more realm to have flying units appear in their normal unit armies. Finally, it opens up the strategic choice of the player being able to decide if they want their unit to be vulnerable to normal unit or fantastic unit targeting spells, as well as opening up the combo potential of using fantastic unit specialzied buffs on normal units.


7. Mystic Surge (new)

Cost : 25 MP

Research : 1280 RP

Target unit in combat gains 3 movement, 2 defense and loses 2 resistance. Their attack is harder to defend against (-1 To Defend). The unit gains random enchantments and becomes fantastic. It cannot be healed this combat and is reduced to 1 health after the combat. This spell can't be dispelled.

Probably the most complex spell in the game, this shows perfectly well how difficult it was to design a new Chaos spell that is relevant, not redundant, and is balanced as well to replace Eldritch Weapon. While Chaos is good at offense, reaching enemy units quickly enough can be difficult so a movement buffing spell seemed like a good idea, except only doing that opens up an unintended abuse potential of using the fast units to stall for time and casting damage spells so some drawbacks were necessary. Being unable to heal, having lower resistance and almost guaranteed loss of the unit the next combat even if it survives seemed like a good way to ensure that strategy can't work too well.

In its final form Mystic Surge is now the „gamble” spell Chaos is expected to have, a spell you'll want to use if you have no other way of winning the battle, and hope for the best outcome in addition to provide a reliable way to use a reckless strategy that ensures your unit reaches enemy ranks even if they avoid confrontation and engages them but likely dies in the process. As slow movement is a disadvantage on two of the higher tier chaos creatures, this spell has some good in-realm combo potential as well. Dispelling had to be disabled to ensure the player can't recast it to get more enchantments and to ensure the disadvantages will remain applicable.


8. Gargoyles

Cost : 100 MP (1 MP/turn)

Research : 420 RP

Creature : 5 melee, +1 To Hit, 9 defense, 9 resistance, 3 movement, 4 health, 4 figures. Poison Immunity, Stoning Immunity, Flying.

While a highly defensive creature is unusual in chaos, the realm definitely needs at least one such creature to cast Immolation on. It also serves as an alternate way to start when playing 8 or more Chaos books, as it has a low research cost like Werewolves and Giant Spiders. While nowhere near as powerful as those it does enable the pure Chaos wizard to have some sort of an option for early expansion other than the mediocre Hell Hounds or buffing normal units with Flame Blade. The Stoning Immunity ability makes this unit an excellent counter to the ranged cockatrices strategy, contributing greatly to keeping it balanced.


9. Fire Giant

Cost : 110 MP (3 MP/turn)

Research : 1280 RP

Creature : 18 melee, 12 Magical Ranged (3 ammo) +1 To Hit, 5 defense, 7 resistance, 3 movement, 18 health, 1 figure. Fire Immunity, Fireball Spell, Wall Crusher, Mountaineer

Unlike Gargoyles, Fire Giants serve the role of a versatile uncommon creature for the realm which performs well on offense, being able to destroy one early game unit with Fireball and even use a few ranged attacks before starting to use its decent melee attacks. While effective at dealing damage and doesn't cost much to summon, Giants are more expensive to research, maintain, and more vulnerable to resistance based spells, ensuring the 8-book early giant strategy remains reasonably balanced and the relevance of Gargoyles is retained despite the Giants having much more offensing power.


10. Chimeras

Cost : 180 MP (4 MP/turn)

Research : 1920 RP

Creature : 10 melee, 6 Fire Breath, +1 to Hit, 5 defense, 8 resistance, 3 movement, 8 health, 4 figures. Flying

Chimeras are the high end uncommon creature in the realm, having massive damage output and flight as well as fire breath to kill some enemy figures before they could retaliate. While these units are very powerful, they're also expensive both to research and summon and have no special abilities other than the commonly available flight and breath attack.


Doom Bat

4 Uncommon creatures are entirely too much, especially for a realm not specializing in summoning magic. As “Doom Bat” sounds and looks like a powerful, dangerous creature, it was the one selected to be moved to a higher tier.


Rare


1. Doom Bat

Cost : 320 MP (7 MP/turn)

Research : 4000 RP

Creature : 16 melee, +2 to Hit, 7 defense, 9 resistance, 6 movement, 30 health, 1 figure. Flying, Doom, Immolation.

Doom Bats specialize at speed, being the only creature with high enough movement to reach and attack enemy front row creatures in combat. As the name suggested, the Doom attack type was added, to allow the realm to have defense ignoring damage even in the form of a creature. While the 8 guaranteed damage isn't very high, Immolation adds further damage to weaker, multi-figure units, ensuring the creature won't underperform even in cases when defense-ignoring damage isn't necessary. It has fairly high hit points even among Rare creatures to ensure it can be effective at the role of being the first to engage enemies at melee, but its defenses are mediocre.


2. Efreet

Cost : 333 MP (9 MP/turn)

Research : 5000 RP

Creature : 15 melee, 18 magical ranged(8 ammo) +2 to Hit, 7 defense, 10 resistance, 4 movement, 27 health, 1 figure. Flying, Immolation, Fire Immunity, Caster 40.

Unlike bats the Efreet are the ranged rare creature in Chaos, providing very damaging ranged attacks and casting power that allows them to use even more destructive combat spells first. Magic resistance is better than on the bats but still not outstanding, allowing unstoppable stacks of many efreets to be countered by mass save-or-die spells. The creature has been tested with 12 resistance first but Efreet stacks were way too effective that way.


3. Chaos Spawn

Cost : 303 MP (8 MP/turn)

Research : 3000 RP

Creature : 1 melee, 8 defense, 12 resistance, 2 movement, 22 health, 1 figure. Flying, Doom Gaze 4, Death Gaze -4, Stoning Gaze -4, Poison 4, Fear.

This creature offers the realm a high magic resistance option as well as the ability target enemy resistances with a powerful set of abilities. The low speed of the creature makes it difficult to use, but when it does manage to attack an enemy, it'll almost always destroy them. Armor and health has been adjusted to provide just the right amount of difficulty in lairs.


4. Doom Bolt

Cost : 45 MP

Research : 4500 RP

Deals 12 damage to target enemy unit in combat, ignoring all defenses.

Damage has been raised because units often have more hit points in Caster of Magic - a typical Cavalry or Halberider unit is exactly 12 hp. This also makes it more balanced against the new higher tier healing spell, Exaltation. While Doom Bolt offers less damage/mp as most other options, the guaranteed, reliable effect is often worth the higher cost even if ignoring armor isn't necessary.


5. Warp Lightning

Cost : 30 MP

Research : 4000 RP

Perform a strength 12 armor piercing attack on target enemy unit, then repeat at strength 11, 10 and so on until reaching 0.

This spell has been adjusted with precision to ensure it's more damaging per turn than other spells in the realm against medium or lower defense targets. Against targets having over 10 defense, Doom Bolt is the most damaging per use, while below, Warp Lighting will work better. Lighting Bolt and Fire Bolt serve as a more economic option that offers more damage/mp spent but take longer to kill the same target, Fire Bolt being better on medium or low, Lighting Bolt on higher armor enemies.


6. Flame Strike

Cost : 60 MP

Research : 5500 RP

Perform a strength 32 Fire attack on all enemy units

This spell will no longer hit all figures separately, ensuring a powerful but more balanced effect that is neither overpowered against multifigure units nor useless against single figure ones.


7. Magic Vortex

Cost : 50 MP

Research : 3500 RP

Summon a magic vortex that deals 7 doom damage when moving through a target or performs a weak lighting bolt attack when moving next to it. When the vortex moves through city tiles, additional building destruction happens at the end of combat.

A personal favorite of mine this spell offers the Chaos realm a highly effective spell that can do a lot of unblockable damage at a reasonably low cost, serving as the realm's “damage over time” spell while also having the “relies on random chance” theme on the Vortex's movement. In the original game the AI was unable to ever cast this spell, but now it has been enabled to and will know when it's worth doing so despite the risk.Unfortunately it's pretty much impossible to make the AI avoid the vortexes when moving their units as it has to focus on attacking the enemy instead and trying to do both would require a very complex system, however it'll only cast the spell when it's either expecting to lose the battle, has units immune to the effect, or wants to cause destruction in the player's town.


Metal Fires

8. Blazing March

Cost : 50 MP

Research : 4000 RP

All of the caster's units in combat gain +3 melee attack and missile attack that can ignore Weapon Immunity.

While the idea of a combat global spell to buff attack was good, the amount of buff - 1 attack - was a joke. It also didn't work on fantastic creatures - a problem for a realm who has decent creatures and spells to convert even their normal units into Chaos units. The spell is especially useful for the units with high number of attacks like Hydra and Chimera, and can turn the obsolete Gargoyles and Hell Hounds relevant again as well, nearly doubling their attack power.


9. Doom Mastery

Cost : 666 MP

Research : 4000 RP

All of the caster's newly produced normal units are affected by Chaos Channels.

A great spell from the orginal, except the rarity has been reduced. At rare there still is enough time to produce relevant amounts of normal units that can greatly influence the game - later on normal units, buffed or otherwise, will no longer be a factor for a Chaos player as battles will be won by combat spells, global destruction, or very rare creatures.While powerful, it is a major strategic decision to use it as it makes all of the wizard's units produced afterwards vulnerable to Great Unsummoning and Holy Word in exchange for becoming immune to Final Wave.


10. Chaos Rift

Cost : 200 MP

Research : 2500 RP

Each turn 5 strength 11 lighting bolts hit random units in the city and there is a 5% chance to destroy each building.

This spell is quite useful in softening up enemy garrisons or hindering economy if an immediate war to conquer it is not possible, and unlike First Storm, can also kill more powerful units but only over time, especially if the size of the garrison is already reduced and the damage concentrates on the last surviving units. In fact, it can easily lead to making the city empty allowing the player to easily conquer it, but at the price of losing quite a lot of buildings and having to wait for it.


Very Rare


1. Disintegrate

Cost : 50 MP

Research : 15000 RP

Target unit irrecoverably dies if it has 9 or less resistance.

Like Doom for damage, Disintegrate is guaranteed effect on save-or-die. This spell has great cross-realm combo potential : while 9 or less resistance mostly only covers normal, common and uncommon units (which is already pretty good for a guaranateed irrecoverable removal spell), any resistance reduction spell you can use along with this can enable using it on rare or even some very rare creatures. It's also a spell that covers for the realm's weakness by providing irrecoverable and resistance targeting removal which is enough to keep it very rare.


Call Chaos

2. Apocalypse

Cost : 65 MP

Research : 15000 RP

Strikes every enemy unit with a random effect from the following list: Exaltation, Chaos Channels, Warp Creature at a -15 resistence penalty, Doom Bolt, Warp Lightning, Flame Strike, Confusion that cannot be resisted or Disintegrate at a -3 resistance penalty

Similar to the original spell but comes with a much better set of effects, this is one step above Flame Strike being a higher tier all-targeting removal spell. While it involves random chance - as one would expect from the ultimate Chaos combat spell - the damage potential to the enemy army is so high (if enough targets exist) that it's well worth using despite that fact. It is also probably the only spell in the game that can potentially kill even the most well protected hero, but the chance to do that is extremely low - 1 in 32 to land on Confusion and the “change control this turn” effect among the various confused states at the same time, and then the confused hero has to attack something capable of killing them like another hero, or the combat needs to end without the confusion getting dispelled. As heroes are meant to be no longer omnipotent by the very rare spell phase, this much is acceptable, in fact, desired.

(also, additional special thanks for Drake178 for fixing the visual effect of this spell in the original game and even providing a CoM compatible version of that patch!)


3. Warp Reality

Cost : 75 MP

Research : 12000 RP

All non-Chaos units in combat lose -2 To Hit.

This spell was moved up to very rare because reducing the damage output of most enemies by half (before defense is applied) is that powerful, especially in a realm that does not normally do defensive magic. While there is a catch the the caster's units need to be Chaos units to stay unaffected, this is fairly easy to achieve by using the good Chaos creatures or the Doom Mastery spell. Even failing that, the spell STILL benefits the Chaos wizard though, as everyone dealing less damage makes the battle longer, giving them more combat spellcasting opportunity, which this realm is the best at.


4. Call the Void

Cost : 500 MP

Research : 18000 RP

Every building in target city has a 66% chance to be destroyed and every unit takes 12 damage. Nearby tiles become corrupted randomly and 66% of the population dies.

The spell that nukes a city, certainly impressive enough. I only had to adjust the damage and destruction slightly.


5. Chaos Surge

Cost : 1000 MP

Research : 6000 RP

All Chaos creatures gain 3 melee attack, 2 ranged or breath attack, and 2 resistance. Multiple copies stack but at halved effect.

Another spell that covers for the realm's weakness, this spell buffs resistance, otherwise unavailable for Chaos. The combo of buffing all normal units through Doom Mastery is there as well, and this spell even has a dipomacy aspect as casting it can benefit players other than the caster, which also makes it interesting for trade. The AI is aware of this and will cast it depending on the total Chaos units itself, its allies and its enemies have. This spell stacks with Blazing March for extreme damage output, which can enable otherwise obsolete creatures like Hell Hounds to be relevant even in the endgame.


6. Meteor Storm

Cost : 800 MP

Research : 21000 RP

Rains down fiery hail upon both planes, striking all enemy creatures outside cities with a strength 6 magical fire attack. Buildings within cities may also be destroyed (1% chance each turn a building is destroyed). The casting wizard is immune to all these effects.

No longer affects the caster, as being unable to properly garrison nodes and towers is a problem even for the human player, although the AI sufers even more as it has no concept of “not letting low armor units outside cities” to avoid damage.While Armageddon and Doomsday destroy population over time, this spell destroys buildings, completing the puzzle : maintaining these 3 spells successfully wins the game against anyone not capable of protecting cities from them.While the AI can't move their units out of the way of meteors and into cities, it will prioritize casting spells that can reduce the damage like Resist Elements, Bless or Elemental Armor much higher.


Great Wasting

7. Doomsday

Cost : 1000 MP

Research : 15000 RP

Each turn 4-20 map squares are withered as per the spell Corruption. The caster's cities and surrounding areas are not affected of course. All enemy cities suffer +5 unrest. Cities exceeding their maximal population will shrink at an additional -200 people/turn

This spell has only one purpose - shrink the enemy population worldwide and have a drastic effect on their city economy. Corruption ensures maximal population gets reduced and the secondary effect ensures this shrinks the effective population even if food producing buildings would prevent that otherwise. Number of corrupted tiles depends on the map size setting (4*map size) to ensure a similar rate of destruction on all settings. Used to be fairly redundant with Armageddon but the higher unrest and population reduction effect makes it now functionally different.


8. Armageddon

Cost : 1250 MP

Research : 24000 RP

Each turn 4-20 map squares are affected by Raise Volcano. The caster's cities and surrounding areas are not affected. All enemy cities suffer +2 unrest.

Much less good at affecting enemy economy as it doesn't force the loss of population and generates fewer rebels. However it's still the better spell as each volcano produces 3 power making the user a lot more powerful over time. Researching this as the first very rare spell is difficult due to the cost but very highly rewarding as volcanoes will generate extreme amounts of power if the spell is left unchecked long enough.


9. Hydra

Cost : 480 MP (11 MP/turn)

Research : 9000 RP

Creature : 9 melee, 6 Fire Breath, +1 to Hit, 4 defense, 12 resistance, 2 movement, 10 health, 9 figures. Regeneration 7.

Hydras offer Chaos an extremely durable unit that buys plenty of time to enable combat spellcasting. While slow and weak against high armor units, it has huge potential which can be realized through combining it with other Chaos spells, and it's the only 9 figure unit in the game, in fact the only summoned creature with more than 5 “figures” in the form of heads.


10. Great Drake

Cost : 500 MP (15 MP/turn)

Research : 15000 RP

Creature : 35 melee, 35 Fire Breath, +3 to Hit, 11 defense, 15 resistance, 4 movement, 40 health, 1 figure. Flying.

Great Drake is the most powerful creature in raw stats, especially attack power, but lacks special abilities entirely.

Encounter Zones


Encounter zones include towers, nodes, and various types of monster lairs. Extensive changes here, so everything will be explained in full detail instead of simply comparing to the original.


Amount of Encounter Zones per game

Towers : 9 towers.

Nodes : 17 on Arcanus, 13 on Myrror

Hard lairs : 3+3*LandSize

Easy lairs : 20+4*LandSize


Node strength

Arcanus : 5-12 tiles at random.

Myrror : 5 nodes have 8 tiles, the other 8 nodes have 8-20 tiles at random.


Monster budgets

Towers : 1800-4700

Arcanus Nodes : (tiles-3)*50*(3+random(3))

Myrror Nodes : (tiles-5)*50*(3+random(3))

Hard lair Arcanus : 900-3250

Hard lair Myrror : 900-4350

Easy lair Arcanus : 130-1300

Easy lair Myrror : 130-1600

If difficulty is easy, all budgets are halved.


Treasure budget

Equal to the budget of monsters actually generated, but no less than 100.


Treasure

Unlike the original game, Caster of Magic generates all encounter zones first, then generates all treasure. Each map has a predetermined amount of each type of treasure, distributed randomly between all locations that have enough budget for that type of treasure, then any leftover budget is converted to gold, mana, or low quality items.


Each map contains the following treasure :

-If the player starts on Arcanus, Arcanus has total picks between 1 and (2+total number of players).

-If the player starts on Arcanus, Myrror has total picks between 1 and 3.

-If the player starts on Myrror, Arcanus has total picks between 3 and 5.

-If the player starts on Myrror, Myrror has total picks between 1 and (1+total number of players).

(Picks are distributed randomly between the three options : 1 very rare spell, 1 book or retort, or 2 books or retorts of a doublepick retort.)

-Between 3 and 6 rare spells

-Between 8 and 12 uncommon spells

-Between 8 and 16 common spells

-10% chance for three, 20% chance for two and 50% chance for one very high budget items (3000-4000), leaving a 20% chance for zero of them.

-Between 5 and 9 high budget items (2000-3000)

-Between 18 and 27 medium budget items (1000-2000)

-Between 4 and 10 prisoners

-All leftover budget is spent on low budget items (300-1000) or gold/mana


Each type of treasure uses the following amount of budget :

-Very Rare spell : 1200

-1 book/retort : 800

-2 books or retorts or a doublepick retort : 2500 required but only spends 1600

-Rare spell : 1600

Uncommon spell : 500

Common spell : 250

Items : 1 item MP cost for each point of budget

Gold, Mana : 1 gold or mana for each 2 budget

Prisoner : 400


Towers always contain an additional common spell that requires no budget, if they don't already contain a spell and cannot contain very rare spells, books or retorts.


Monster budget costs

This is a list of how much budget each monster is worth.

30 - Skeletons, Phantom Warriors

40 - Zombies

50 - Wild Boars, Guardian Spirit

55 - Fire Elemental

60 - Hell Hounds

75 - War Bears

90 - Ghouls, Sprites

125 - Phantom Beast

140 - Nagas, Werewolves

150 - Giant Spiders

160 - Gargoyles

200 - Night Stalker, Earth Elemental

210 - Fire Giant

240 - Water Elemental, Demon, Unicorns

250 - Cockatrices, Air Elemental

275 - Chimeras

290 - Great Lizard

300 - Chaos Spawn

301 - Shadow Demons

450 - Angel

550 - Hydra, Gorgons

600 - Doom Bat, Wraiths, Stone Giant, Storm Giant

700 - Efreet

900 - Death Knights, Djinn

1000 - Great Drake, Archangel, Behemoth, Sky Drake, Great Wyrm

1200 - Colossus, Demon Lord

If the total budget is 1500 or less then monsters that cost more than 300 cannot be added.

If the total budget is 1000 or less then Chimeras, Great Lizards, Air or Water Elementals cannot be added.

Great Wyrms cannot appear without a secondary monster that can hit a flying unit.

Towers of Wizardry are required to have at least one monster that has over 300 budget.



Diplomacy


As Diplomacy was not functional at all in Master of Magic, having so many bugs that nothing really worked the way it meant to, all of Caster of Magic's initial diplomacy patches have been included in the 1.50 Master of Magic version, making the two have very similar diplomacy with mostly differences in the details such as numbers in formulas which have been improved in Caster of Magic for the best game balance but have not in the 1.5x patches as those are meant to fix bugs only, changing as little as possible in gameplay.


Diplomacy is a difficult thing to design for a 4X game. There are several distinct possibilities. Both the human and the AI can either play by the rules forced upen them by the diplomacy system, or have their own free will. However, if the human player is forced by the rules, they'll rightfully complain the game is playing them, and they're not playing the game. On the other hand if the AI is given free will, it breaks immersion as well as strategy - the AI will not act according to their personalities and won't be reliable enough to build any strategies around treaties : they could backstab the player any moment. Thus, the system needs to be built on the assumption that the human player has free will and the AI plays by rules the human player can use to their advantage which means interactions between human and AI need to be different from interactions between two AI players.


Treaty Status

The treaty status is the official status of relations between two wizards. There are four possible options : War, None, Wizard's Pact and Alliance. It's important to mention that despite the name, Peace Treaty is not a real treaty status, but a special condition, which can coexist with any of the above except War.


War

War is the treaty status that signals the two wizards being enemies, intending to damage or conquer each other's territory. AI controlled players can directly Declare War on the human player, setting this treaty status immediately. The human player can also declare war - this feature has been added to Caster of Magic and Master of Magic 1.51 as the original game lacked it. There are very little advantages to gain from doing so, mainly, it will make it more likely the player's allies will also do the same, and starting the war earlier means the player will be able to succeed in making a peace treaty to end the war earlier. Beyond that, it might divert the AI's attention away from exploration and might make them send more troops towards the player.

While the human player can Declare War at any time with no additional costs or requirements, it's more likely they want to avoid this treaty status, so the process the AI uses to decide when to declare war on another player will be detailed below, which is evaluated once every turn after turn 38 unless they are already sheduled to contact the human player for another reason (Note that AI wizards cannot declare war during an ongoing Peace Treaty. Also note the AI will perform these against everyone, it's not limited to the human player. ) :


Chaotic War

There is a 1/120 chance for a wizard with Chaotic Personality to Declare War for no particular reason. This war declaration does not use the “move towards war” system all the other war sources do.


Militarist War

AI wizards who do not have the Peaceful personality and have the Militarist or Expansionist Objective will evaluate the following formula only at a 33% chance each turn :

Min[0,(Army Strength/AI Army Strength)*150-150]*Current Turn/150+ Visible Relation + Hidden Relation + Personality Modifier <= -65 then Move Towards War.

Moving towards war means to break the Wizard's Pact or Alliance if one exists and take no further action, but declare war immediately if neither of them exists. However, if the AI would then be in a war against enemies with a total military strength exceeding their own scaled by personality, they'll not move towards war and ignore the result of war declaration rolls. Maniacal wizards are the most willing to proceed with excessive war declarations, and will go through with it if the total enemy strength is 2.5 times their own, while peaceful are the least willing, requring the enemy to be no more than 1.25 times their own strength.

Militarist war declaration serves the role of the strong defeating the weak. As the human player is usually the weak one on high difficulties, this type of war declaration had to be seriously limited to only happen on certain AI objectives and it is time-scaled : not happening in the early game at all, rarely happening in midgame, but more and more often as the game progresses towards the endgame. Difficulty level isn't used in the formula : higher difficulties result in higher AI army strength so there is no need to. The player will see a message that refers to their military power being too weak when this war declaration type happens.


Generic War

Generic war declaration is used to ensure the AI will fight players before they outgrow them economically and become too strong for the AI to stand a chance. This war declaration is fairly easy to avoid by maintaining a positive Visible Relation. The player will see a message that either says they are starting to develop into a threat or one that hints at the aggressor not having any personal reasons to fight.

All AI wizards will have a 1/7 chance each turn to evaluate the following formula :

Abs[Army Strength-AI Army Strength]*150/(AI Army Strength)+ [(Difficulty level-1)*3 if human player] + Visible Relation + Hidden Relation + Personality Modifier/2 <= 4 then Move Towards War.


Allied War

When the AI's ally is at war with another wizard, the AI has a 1/15 chance to also declare war on that person.


Relation based War

If Visible relation is less than -40 and the AI is at war with fewer players than the difficulty level (0 for easy, 1 for normal, 2 for fair, 3 for advanced, 4-6 for expert and above), they have a 1/60 chance to move towards war for each 10 points of relation below 0.


Warning based war

If the AI wants to warn the player for their misdeed, and they recently warned the player, there is a chance to escalate the warning into breaking a treaty or declaring war. This chance increases as warnings accumulate but decreases over time. However if relation is already below -75, a war declaration will be guaranteed.


Effects

-AI players will always have their Hostility set to warlike during a War.

-AI players will consider cities of the enemy at their full priority when selecting a target for an attack.

-Hostile actions towards enemies during War has no, or reduced diplomatic consequences.

-Because the entire purpose of warnings is to escalate a situation into War, if there already is a War ongoing, warnings and other negative Diplomatic Reaction messages are not shown to the human player at all.

-Continents colonized by the enemy will be selected as a target for an intercontinental invasion at a much higher chance during War.


Wizard's Pact

A Wizard's Pact is a mutual non-aggression agreement between two wizards. Any player, human or AI, can propose this treaty to another, unless there is a War ongoing between the two players. However, unless the offer was made between two AI players, the other party has to accept the offer for the treaty to form.


For a human player's offer of this treaty to succeed they need to go through the following process :


  1. Check Visible Relation. If it's lower than 0, immediately refuse the offer without any changes in any temporal variables, or any effect at all.

  2. Calculate X = Treaty Interest /2 + Hidden Relation + Visible Relation + Personality Modifier + Military Modifier - 190 + random(30) + (40 if Charismatic)

  3. If X< -75 then the offer is refused.

  4. If X<-50 but >=-75 the AI will demand a spell for accepting the treaty if available, otherwise they refuse with the message implying they were expecting a better offer.

  5. If X>=-50 but <0 then they'll demand gold. If enough gold isn't available, they'll demand a spell instead.

  6. If X>=0 then they'll accept the proposal without additional demands.

  7. Finally, the Peace Interest and Trade Interest variables are reduced by 10, and the Treaty Interest variable is reduced by a random amount between 30-60.

To understand this process, the variables need to be explained.

Visible Relation : the relation score the player can see. Goes from -100 (Hate) to +100 (Harmony). Each word covers a range of 20, Neutral being 0 to 19, in the order of Hate,Troubled, Restless, Unease, Neutral, Relaxed, Calm, Peaceful, Friendly, Harmony. The visible relation between two players is the same in both directions, but the human player has no visible relation towards the AI because they are not bound by rules. As a consequnce, AI players doing bad things against the human players will not cause a diplomacy penalty, the player can decide freely whether they want to escalate the situation into a war, send threats or do nothing.

Hidden Relation : A modifier to visible relation not shown to the player. Usually zero but various negative acts such as breaking treaties can turn it negative.

Treaty Interest, Trade Interest, Peace Interest : How tired the AI is from the constant communitaction regarding these matters. Decreases when the player makes an offer, or the AI does but the player refuses it. Increases over time. This ensures the player can't spam offers or trade an infinite number of spells in one turn. If any of these are low, the AI will not talk to the player. These max out at 100 and increases by 5 normally, 5-10 if it's below 50 and 5-15 if below zero.

Personality Modifier : 0 for Maniacal, 10 for Ruthless, 20 for Aggressive, 40 for Lawful and 65 for Peaceful wizards. Chaotic wizards use a d50 that changes every turn.

Military Modifier : (Human Army strength)/(AI army strength)*100

Due to the assymmetric nature of Diplomacy, the Wizard's Pact is assymetric as well. While the human player can reliably expect the AI to not violate the treaty and the AI is literally unable to do so and thus is guaranteed to not attack the player until the treaty is broken officially, the human player is allowed to backstab. This wouldn't be fair and the benefit would be entirely one-sided, so the human player and ONLY the human player, agrees to not enter the territory of the AI in exchange. While players generally dislike this fact, and hate seeing AI troops in their territory, that unfortunately can't be helped : The AI uses a dozen different movement and targeting functions of various types and lacks the ability to do complex moves like using a ship to avoid walking through the player's territory. Also, this enables the AI's troops to be in good position, so when the human player does backstab the AI, the AI is ready to retaliate immediately instead of having no troops to do so. Let's face it : the 2 tile range with 3 turns of tolerance, will not make it any harder for the human to attack the AI, either. Finally, this much inconvenience is a really good deal in exchange for the benefits of a Wizard's Pact most of the time, and seems to work surprisingly well as more aggressive and impatient human players violate it intentionally and tend to have problems taking advantage of the diplomacy system as a consequence which is pretty realistic. No one likes that attitude in diplomacy.

Effects

-AI players will always have their Hostility set to None during Wizard's Pact.

-Visible Relation improves over time

-AI will be less likely to dispel military purpose global enchantments but might dispel some economy enchantments more. AI might completely ignore some enchantments.

-If the AI would attack a human player unintentionally, they cancel that move.

-As a consequence to no Hostility, the AI will not target the player's cities or units with curses or other destructive spells

-The player counts as friendly for decisions on casting Divine Order, Chaos Surge and some other global spells.

-AI will warn the player if the player ends the turn with military units (settlers and engineers are nonmilitary) within a radius of 2 around their cities. If the situation remains unchanged for 3 consecutive turns, the AI breaks the Wizard's Pact.


Alliance

An Alliance is a mutual non-aggression agreement between two wizards as well as an agreement to help each other out in case of a War involving one of the wizards.


For a human player's offer of this treaty to succeed they need to go through the following process :


  1. Check Visible Relation. If it's lower than 40, immediately refuse the offer without any changes in any temporal variables, or any effect at all.

  2. Calculate X = Treaty Interest /2 + Hidden Relation + Visible Relation + Personality Modifier + Military Modifier - 240 + random(30) + (40 if Charismatic)

  3. If X< -75 then the offer is refused.

  4. If X<-50 but >=-75 the AI will demand a spell for accepting the treaty if available, otherwise they refuse with the message implying they were expecting a better offer.

  5. If X>=-50 but <0 then they'll demand gold. If enough gold isn't available, they'll demand a spell instead.

  6. If X>=0 then they'll accept the proposal without additional demands.

  7. Finally, the Peace Interest and Trade Interest variables are reduced by 10, and the Treaty Interest variable is reduced by a random amount between 30-60.


Alliances are the “reward” for the human player using the system. They are fundamentally different from the Wizard's Pact in design and only offer advantages at no “cost” other than the fairly high relation requirement to get one. A relation of 40 will not happen naturally - either a Wizard's Pact needs to increase it that far, tributes need to be made, or Aura of Majesty needs to be in effect.

Effects

-The AI will not dispel most of the player's global enchantments

-Visible relation improves over time faster than Wizard's Pact

-AI players will always have their Hostility set to None during Wizard's Pact.

-If the AI would attack a human player unintentionally, they cancel that move.

-As a consequence to no Hostility, the AI will not target the player's cities or units with curses or other destructive spells

-The player counts as friendly for decisions on casting Divine Order, Chaos Surge and some other global spells.

-The AI is required to accept “Declare War On” demands from the player if the player is at war with the target but might ask for money in exchange.

-The AI might demand the player to declare war on their enemy, refusing has a -50 Visible Relation penalty.

-The AI might give the player a gold reward if the player destroys an important stack of their mutual enemy.


Hostility

Hostility is the AI's wilingness of using aggression against a player. While War, Wizard's Pact, Alliance, and Peace Treaty determines Hostility, it is determined randomly based on relation and personality if none of these treaties apply. There are 4 different types of hostility :


None - The wizard is not interested in causing harm to the other player, and does not consider them or their troops a valid target for military attacks or hostile spells.

Annoyed - They can attack their troops, cities, and cast hostile spells against them, or the wizard himself. The priority of targets is significantly lower than normal. Lawful and Peaceful wizards will not attack cities intentionally under this status.

Warlike - The wizard considers the other party as his enemy, and is taking steps towards conquering their territory.

Jihad - The AI will attempt to destroy the other player even at their own expense. They're allowed to use most of their garssion forces to build new stacks to attack the player with, and will prioritize attacking the player's fortress above all else.

Jihad hostility is triggered by Spell of Mastery. Attacking a player's army triggers Annoyed hostility. All wizards except Peaceful and Lawful will randomly set the Hostility level between None and Warlike depending on visible relation (the higher, the lower the chance is to be hostile) and personality (In the increasing order of Chaotic, Aggressive, Ruthless and Maniacal). The AI will reroll the hostility value periodically and will also reroll it when their treaty status with any player changes or they are given a tribute. Rerolling guarantees a “None” hostility for Peaceful and Lawful wizards.

While there were traces of a Jihad hositlity level in the original game, it was never implemented to have effects and was probably a leftover from copying Master of Orion's diplomacy system which had the “Final War” feature. To ensure proper AI reaction to Spell of Mastery, I implemented this level of hostility in Caster of Magic.


AI

I prefer not to go into too much detail here as doing so could easily add another 300 pages to the document and figuring out how the AI plays during the game is more fun than reading about it. So without more details, a list of what's new :

-Completely replaced AI overland spell selection function

-Completely replaced AI production selection function in cities : AI will consider the presence of ores, military situation on the continent, personality, and many other factors

-The targeting functions for almost every spell are replaced

-Completely replaced AI combat spell selection function

-AI learned to move ranged units before shooting

-AI learned to stall for time using invisible, flying or fast units

-New AI doomstack building function

-New AI ship boarding function

-Completely replaced AI transportation function

-New AI naval attack function

-New AI intercontinental (flying/swimming) attack function

-New AI disembarking attack function

-New AI function to evaluate terrain for settlers and send them to the best target

-AI can use every spell except Earth Lore and Nature's Cures, including spells it couldn't in the original Master of Magic like Magic Vortex, or Spell Binding.

-New AI function to use Spell Blast to stop major global threats and other powerful spells

-Completely replaced Disjunction targeting and priority function

-Completely replaced AI research selection function

-Complete overhaul of AI trading priorities to make smarter deals, taking into account how useful various spells are in the hand of AI players

-Greatly reduced resource advantages for difficulty levels in all categories, eliminated food production bonus entirely. (See the “Difficulty” section below!)

-New “resource” advantage categories added to help the AI where it's the weakest : Overland spellcasting capacity and hero experience.

-Replaced AI power distribution function

-Improved AI's use of Alchemy

-Improved AI's decision on when and how many troops to disband to ensure the global unit limit is not exceeded and obsolete troops can be replaced by new, more powerful ones.

-Replaced function that decides when to spend gold on buying production in cities

-Replaced function that equips heroes

-AI is now able to use vault to store its artifacts when losing heroes instead of being forced to destroy them

-AI is now able to cancel Spell Ward on their cities if they have fantastic units of that realm garrisoning it, and is able to avoid recasting that type of Ward on that city.

-AI will move their summonig circle smarter to ensure their summoned units will be present in all 3 important locations : The frontier, their fortress, and each of their cities having at least some to ensure proper, challenging garrisons.

-New function that allows AI to decide which unit to keep in garrison and which to send outside the city.

-Greatly improved formulas for the AI's calculation that determines how strong they perceive units and armies, something they use for almost all imprortant decisions.

-Completely replaced function that sets the AI's tax rate

-New function to allow the AI to use Earth Gates.

-Greatly improved AI decision on when to abandon city walls, units can now do so on an individual basis as well as globally

-AI now targets unit attacks and spells based on expected damage output from simulating the attacks

-AI now moves their units randomly to search for invisible enemies or make it harder for flying armies to take advantage of their position when they're unable to attack.

-New AI function to make the AI decision on which plane they want to sent their units towards depending on treaty status with all players, improved performance on usage of towers.

-Replaced function that sends AI units to Purify

-Replaced function that sends AI spirits to Meld

-AI now makes settlers depending on the race of their city, prioritizing spreading races with better economy

-AI is now aware of the save modifiers of spells including Spell Save equipment on heroes

-AI can use the new Quick Casting ability to cast then attack or cast more than once

-AI will now only use Spell Charges in items if it's not harmful for them to do so.

-AI can now use Wall Crusher units to break through walls in most cases.

-AI wizards are generated independently of the player's portrait choices and each other

-AI will not use some of its new tactics on the lowest levels of difficulty

-AI will be aware of several spell combinations and exploits them such as Web+Crack's Call.

-AI will put more effort into trying to kill heroes in combat

-AI personality and objective have much more noticeable role and effect. (See ingame description of personalities and objectives for more details. )


Difficulty



Notes : the first 7 rows are the resource advantages the AI receives, in percentage (100 = no advantage. Below 100 = reduced amount, above 100 = bonus). “Casting” applies to overland casting costs paid and has no influence on combat, nor the wizard's casting skill itself. It merely means the AI pays this much less for their spells in general, however spells in certain categories : global enchantments mainly, cost 40% more for the AI in addition.


Known Bugs


AI does not lose the offered gold, and does not require to have it in the treasury for diplomatic offers when proposing a treaty to the player. (The player receives the gold as intended regardless).


Units with spell abilities under the AI control, including Healing Spell, Fireball Spell, etc, ignore Counter Magic, Node Aura, or Spell Ward.


Control changing spells : Possession, Confusion, Creature Binding allows a wizard to control over 9 units. If the other player summons creatures to raise their own total to 9, thus exceeding 18 creatures in combat, the game will crash immediately.


Terrain changing spells do not update movement costs of the affected tile.



Version History

0.2

-Major : Generating Books/Retorts in treasure no longer causes the rest of the treasure to get discarded.

-Major : AI is now able to keep casting spells overland during their turn instead of being limited to one spell a turn as long as their skill and mana allows. No more wasting a whole turn on casting Skeletons.

-Major :AI Overland casting BUGFIX : Enchantments that were cast without checking if they are already in effect now check it instead of wasting the skill and mana: Nature's Wrath, Tranquility, Life Force, Evil Omens

-Gold and Mana picks now spend points equal to the mana/gold added instead of a fixed 100 for a random amount between 10-200, possible putting only 10 gold into a value100 lair.

-Encounter zones now have a flat +120 added to their treasure pool to prevent disappointing lairs with no treasure or just a few gold coins. This replaces the old check of treasure having a minim value of 50, which I broke when I tried to change to160 (used a signed byte value so 160 = -32, which made it even worse than having 50.). Note that the new version actually adds to the pool instead of just raising it to a minimum value if below.

-Halberdiers now have 1 more defense. Troll Halberdiers also have 1 more health for a 6 total.

-Warships now have only 12 shots.

-Fixed Djinn's movement (was set to 2 instead of the intended 4)

-AI decision : AI now ignores Evil Omens when deciding which overland spell to cast, as it no longer differeniates between realms.

-AI now recognizes Nature's Wrath as anti-Life when selecting spells to cast. Unfortunately, checking for Sorcery cannot be done in a simple way as no anti-Sorcery spells existed in the original game.

-AI Overland casting priority : Resist Elements is now only 2 instead of 5.

-AI Overland casting priority : Regeneration is now 50 instead of 10.

-AI Overland casting priority : Flame Blade is now only 5 instead of 20.

-AI Overland casting priority : Eldritch Weapon is now only 8 instead of 20.

-AI Overland casting priority : Resist Magic is now 6 instead of 2.

-AI Overland casting priority : Immolation is now 20 instead of 2.

-AI Overland casting priority : Holy Weapon is now only 4 instead of 15

-AI Overland casting priority : Bless is now only 3 instead of 5.

-AI Overland casting priority : Holy Armor is now only 6 instead of 10.

-AI Overland casting priority : Heroism is now only 18 instead of 40.

-AI Overland casting priority : Invulnerability is now 40 instead of 25.

-AI Overland casting priority : Lionheart is now 50 instead of 40.

-AI Overland casting priority : Magic Immunity is now 35 instead of 20.

-AI Overland casting priority : Cloak of Fear is now 1 instead of 10.

-AI Overland casting priority : Path Finding is now 5 instead of 20.

-AI Overland casting priority : Endurance is now 1 instead of 10.

-AI Overland casting priority : Nature's Cures is now 0. Casting this spell without checking in advance if the AI has wounded armies is worse than not casting it at all. (Originaly priority was a mere 2, anyway)

-AI Overland casting priority : Enchant Road is now 0. I want to remove this spell later anyway, and enchanting roads only hurts AI as it's easier to reach their cities and fortress.

-AI Overland casting priority : Chaos Channels is now 15 instead of 30.

-AI Overland casting priority : Guardian Wind is now 6 instead of 15.

-AI Overland casting priority : Summon spell priority is no longer based on a (casting cost/multiplier)^2 formula but instead is a fixed value for each spell as follows :

War Bears : 2

Sprites : 5

Giant Spiders : 15

Basilisk : 25

Stone Giant : 32

Gorgons : 50

Behemoth : 40

Colossus : 100

Great Wyrm : 100

Nagas : 8

Storm Giant : 32

Djinn : 40

Sky Drake : 100

Hell Hounds : 30 (this is pretty awesome for 40 mana now that the AI can use the remaining skill on something else)

Gargoyles : 15

Doom Bat : 25

Chaos Spawn : 20

Fire Giant : 15

Chimeras : 25

Efreet : 40

Hydra : 32

Great Drake : 120

Unicorns : 20

Angel : 35

Arch Angel : 120

Skeletons : 50 (Dirt cheap for 25 and no maintence, worth summoning one or two between each stronger summon just to fill ranks, see Hell Hounds)

Ghouls : 5

Night Stalker : 20

Wraiths : 45

Shadow Demons : 32

Death Knights : 100

Demon Lord : 200

Cockatrices : 25

Enchant Item : 5, 0 if artificier

Create Artifact : 20, 60 if artificier

Resurrection : 100

Summon Hero : 20

Summon Champion : 64

This allows a more reasonable distribution of summoning, unlike the original which basically made the AI summon the most expensive unit all the time, even more so if it had a good modifier. Example : Behemoth had a modifier of 10 (average), while Basilisk had a modifier of 7(frequent). With the origial formula, this gave basilisk a chance of (325/7)^2=2135 chance and Behemoth a (900/10)^2=8100 chance, so Behemoth was summoned 4 times as often even though Basilisk was given an increased chance and Behemoth wasn't. The squaring in the formula also caused these priorities to skyrocket at high casting costs, so spells in the same group without this modifier were selected way less often once high casting cost options were opened, including guardian spirits, resurrection, enchant item Create Artifact.

-AI Overland casting priority : Enchant Item is now zero prioroty for Artificiers (they have Create Artifact instead)

-AI Overland casting priority : Global Enchantments are also no longer priorized based on their casting cost, instead have a fixed value.

Herb Mastery : 10

Aether Binding : 100

Aura of Majesty : 5

Great Uncummoning : 30 – The AI is using this without checking how many of its own units are vulnerable, suicide much? Fortunately most high end summons are immune. Added an extra considition : Priority is 0 if the AI has Zombie Mastery in effect. Hopefully, other than that, it won't have too many low resistance units left by the time it's first casting the spell.

Suppress Magic : 100

Spell Binding : 0 because it has no effect when cast by AI. Need to make that work first. Also, it was casting this without checking if any enemy had any good enchantments to steal, ewww.

Great Wasting : 20

Chaos Surge : 0, but 200 if Doom Mastery is in effect. Again, casting this without checking who has more chaos units in play is meh, could even help the enemy as it buffs ALL chaos units not just own. Funny enough, the AI does cancel this after casting it, if his main realms are not set as Chaos.

Doom Mastery : 80

Meteor Storm : 40

Armageddon : 300

Just Cause : 50

Planar Seal : 50, this actually does a check to see if it's beneficial, yay!

Holy Arms : 60

Charm of Life : 120

Crusade : 200

Eternal Night : 50. Again, no check to see if it even has Death units. Fortunately the new added effect makes it valuable even if not.

Death Wish : 75

Zombie Mastery : 100

Awareness : 5

Nature's Wrath : 200 (Uses a different spell group “anti-color enchantments”)

Life Force : 300 (Uses a different spell group “anti-color enchantments”)

Tranquility : 120 (Uses a different spell group “anti-color enchantments”)

Evil Omens : 100 (Uses a different spell group “anti-color enchantments”)

-AI will no longer cancel the following overland spells if playing the wrong color : Eternal Night, Evil Omens, Chaos Surge, Tranquility, Life Force. 4 of these had their effect changed or enhanced, Chaos Surge is now not being cast unless Doom Mastery is already in effect and then there is no need to cancel it.

-AI will now always try to dispel Evil Omens regardless of played Realm.

-AI will now always try to dispel Nature's Wrath if not playing Nature as primary.

-AI priority for dispelling Herb Mastery reduced (50->5)

-AI priority for dispelling Tranquility is now 20 regardless of Realm played

-AI priority for dispelling Life Force is now 40 regardless of Realm played

-AI will now properly recognize knowing Suppress Magic as a spell to increase priority of casting enchantments instead of incorrectly adding priority to the anti-color enchantment category.

-AI will now consider casting (anticolor) enchantments regardless of colors played by player, as they no longer have a color related effect.

-AI Combat spellcasting decisions : Death Spell now only counts units with a resistance score where the success rate is a minimum of 30% instead of the default non-zero.

-AI Combat spellcasting decisions : AI now recognizes Syphon Life as a Drain Life spell.

-AI Combat spellcasting decisions : AI now recognizes Fairy Dust as a Ice Bolt spell.

-AI Combat spellcasting decisions : Haste, Berserk and Drain Life now only receives a +5 priority boost instead of +10. (Why these 3 anyway? Original Drain Life was horrible...other two are good I guess.)

-AI Combat spellcasting decisions : AI now recognizes Call Centaurs and Contruct Catapult as a neture summoning spell (Earth Elemental's code but lower priority due to lower summoning cost)

-AI Combat spellcasting decisions : AI now recognizes Summon Zombie, Summon Demon, and Call to Arms as a summoning spell (Earth Elemental's code because there were no life or death combat summons to redirect the code to, realm shouldn't mattter anyway, except at nodes maybe)

-AI Combat spellcasting decisions : AI now recognizes Psionic Spark as a Psionic Blast spell instead of as the removed Word of Recall.

-AI Combat spellcasting decisions : AI now recognizes Heroic Shout as a Fireball spell instead of as the removed Recall Hero, with a fixed priority of 20.

-AI Combat spellcasting decisions : Lionheart now receives the same priority buff as Invulnerability (+30).

-AI Combat spellcasting decisions : AI now recognizes the replacement of Wall of Stone with a noncombat spell and assigns “Not valid” priority correctly. (although I never seen the AI cast it anyway)

-AI Combat spellcasting decisions : Metal Fires now considers fantastic units (because they are now eligible for the buff)

-AI Combat spellcasting decisions : Warp Reality now requires at least 3 more chaos units than the enemy to be cast instead of only 1 more. Spell priority is higher if condition is met. Change is done because this spell it pretty expensive and a waste on only one unit that might even be Hell Hounds.

-AI Combat spellcasting decisions : Raise Dead now only considers “Dead” and “Dead from drain damage” units instead of everything except “Alive” and “Disintegrated”. This might fix the bug (or at least make it less frequent) of the AI raising units carried by the ship in naval battles, I assume those might be the type “Not involved” which was actually considered.

-AI Combat spellcasting decisions : Blur is now not ignored by the priority system and receives the same priority boost as Prayer.

-Counter Magic : Failure to counter a spell no longer decreases remaining power.

-Counter Magic : Succesful counters decrease power by 10.

-Counter Magic : Now has a linear formula : Casting success chance = Spell cost/Counter Magic strength. Spells being more expensive than CM's strength will never get countered, so it works similarly to the new Suppress Magic.

-Counter Magic: Now costs a minimum of 16 mana and a maximum of 80. This means that combat spells equal to or more expensive than 80 mana cannot be countered at all by Counter Magic ( This means Mass Invisibility and a boosted Disnechant Area only at the moment). In general, it's less effective if the enemy casts expensive spells only (as there is a good chance nothing gets countered before they use all skill), but as strong as ever against low cost spells, so it's a pretty good protection against direct damage spells.

-Nodes use the same formula as Counter Magic, but their strength is 50. This means your 50+ mana spells will be always successful, and your 25 mana ones have an exact 50% chance of working.

-Fixed a possible instability source added by a previous change (although it never actually caused a problem).



0.21

-Major : Fixed a bug caused by the previous update in the AI spellcasting that caused the AI to cancel spells and restart casting another one at the beginning of turn instead of continuing it, which caused Spell of Return to not complete.

-Towers now go through the normal spell roll procedure instead of forcing one random spell into the treasure ignoring costs. This means that if the tower actually rolls a spell it does not have treasure points for, it might not contain any spells, but it will always attempt to roll for a spell first.

-Forester's Guild now requires a forest to be built. (Sawmill doesn't because it's intended to be a general purpose, important production building.)

-Slightly increased advatages for the AI on hard and above levels, it felt a bit too weak.


0.3

-Major : New Scoring system : +4 for spells, +2 for people, +4 for fame, +200 for wizards, +100 for spell of mastery, Easy 0.5x, Normal 1x, Hard 1.5x, Extreme 2x, Impossible 2.5x

-Added new landmass : Tiny and adjusted the amount of land cells for each : Tiny = 150, Small = 250, Normal = 400, Large = 600, Huge = 800. Unfortunately the smaller options fail to find fortress locations and hang way too often.

-Major : Barracks now make units start as Regular instead of Fighter's Guild.

-Barracks is no longer required to build units, its role is replaced by the Smithy.

-Fantastic Stables now only require and Armory instead of a Fighter's Guild

-War College no longer requires an University.

-The military building trees are now :


Barracks->War College

Smithy->Armory->Fighter's Guild->Armorer's Guild

Smithy->Stables

Stables+Armory->Fantastic Stables


Races that cannot build a War College : Klackon, Lizardmen

Races that cannot build Barracks : Halflings


-Major : Spell Ward now has an additional effect : Spells of the selected realm in combat will be countered (100% chance), affects both players.

-Major : AI spellcasting : Spell Binding now works and has the same effect as for the player (100% chance of stealing spell). Original code first did a dispel roll for the spell, then converted the spell ID into an enchantment ID to steal the spell on success, which had no effect because it already had an Enchantment ID before the conversion so converting it again messed up the data.

-Major : AI diplomacy : Defeating another wizard will now yield a +50 boost to your relation with wizards who were at war with the defeated wizard, no change if they had no treaty, and -40 if they had a pact or alliance.

- Major: AI diplomacy : Banishing another wizard will now yield a +25 boost to your relation with wizards who were at war with the defeated wizard, no change if they had no treaty, and -20 if they had a pact or alliance.

-Major : AI Diplomacy : Starting (and default) diplomatic relations use a completely new calculation , see below :

First gain +2 relations for each shared book (including all realms, even Death).

Then calculate an aligment for the wizards : Alignment=(Nature+Life)-(Chaos+Death).

Subtract 3*(abs(Wizard Alignment1- Wizard Alignment2)-4) points from relations. Note that this reduces relations if the alignment difference is higher than 4, but improves it if the difference is less.

The total maximum possible positive relation is 35 (13 shared books), highest negative is -66 (all 13 books from opposite realms). Sorcery books have no effect on wizard alignment. It's pretty unlikely to have a significant penalty here unless you commit to a large amount of good or evil books and find an opponent who did the exact opposite.

-After a battle at a town, building destruction chance is capped at 60% instead of 75%.

-After conquering a town, there is no additional +10% chance of destroying a building (if you didn't walk to the inside, or used destruction causing spells, everything stays safe)

-After conquering a neutral town, there is no additional 50% chance to destroy buildings.

-Finding a spell from a banished wizard requires a minimum of 1 book for common, 2 for uncommon, 3 for rare, and 4 for very rare. Same for trading spells.

-Adjusted Spell desirability data in the spell table (previously unknown purpose byte 14h) to reflect the current value of spells better.

-Lairs now require 3 books for rare and 4 for very rare spell findings of their realm instead of the original 2 and 3. Uncommons and commons can both be received with only 1 book. This is different from diplomacy and banishing, where you do need 2 books for uncommons.

A quick summary of the effects of each book you have, regardless of where they came from :

1st book : Contains 3 common and 1 uncommon spells. Allows finding common and uncommon spells in dungeons. Allows trading for common spells. Allows finding common spells from defeaed enemy wizards.

2nd book : Contains 2 common, 1 uncommon and 1 rare spell. Allows trading for uncommon spells, allows finding uncommon spells from defeated enemy wizards.

3rd book : Contains 1 common, 1 uncommon, 1 rare and 1 very rare spell. Allows finding rare spells in dungeons and from defeated wizards. Allows trading for rare spells.

4th book : Contains 1 common, 1 uncommon, 1 rare and 1 very rare spell. Allows finding very rare spells in dungeons and from defeated wizards. Allows trading for very rare spells.

5th-10th books : Contains more spells, reduce casting cost of spells of that realm by 2%, increases research of that realm by 3%.

11th and above : Reduce casting cost of spells of that realm by 2%, increases research of that realm by 3%. You already have all spells available from the 10th book so no more spells.

-AI Diplomacy : Casting Evil Omens now causes a -20 diplomatic penalty to all wizards regardless of realm.

-AI Diplomacy : Casting Aether Binding now has no effect on diplomacy.

-AI Diplomacy : Casting Nature's Wrath now causes a -20 diplomatic penalty to all wizards who own a non-Nature book.

-AI Diplomacy : Casting Zombie Mastery now has no effect on diplomacy.

-AI Diplomacy : Casting Doom Mastery no longer causes a diplomatic penalty

-AI Diplomacy : Casting Life Force no longer causes a diplomatic penalty

-AI Diplomacy : Casting Tranquility no longer causes a diplomatic penalty

-AI Diplomacy : Casting Crusade no longer causes a diplomatic penalty

-AI Diplomacy : Casting Holy Arms no longer causes a diplomatic penalty

The remaining global enchantmenst that still have diplomatic effects are :

Eternal Night -12 once, -1/turn

Evil Omens -20 once, -2/turn

Aura of Majesty +10 once, +2/turn

Suppress Magic -25 once, -2/turn

Nature's Wrath -20 if owning any non-nature book once, -2/turn

Chaos Surge -10 if not owning a chaos book once, -1/turn

Great Wasting -20 once, -2/turn

Meteor Storm -15 once, -1/turn

Armageddon -25 once, -2/turn

-AI Diplomacy : Successful trading of a spell now counts as a +7 diplomatic action instead of +5. This is now applied when receiving a spell of equal or higher research value instead of just higher, as spells with equal value are much more frequent now.

-AI Diplomacy : Positive diplomatic actions performed to a wizard that had a negative realtionship with the performer are no longer capped to only raise relationship to a +10 at best.

-AI Diplomacy : Negative diplomatic actions no longer have a double effect on a wizard that had a positive relationship with you. They still are less effective the worse the relationship is if already at far below zero.

-AI Diplomacy : Positive diplomatic actions no longer have a double effect on a wizard that had a negative relationship with you. They still are less effective the better the relationship is far above zero however.

-AI Wizard generation : Now can select Life+Death books at random instead of only having that from choosing the default wizards that have both.

-AI Wizard generation : Now can't select more than 10 books of a type.

-AI Wizard generation : Myrran now costs 2 for the AI.

-AI Diplomacy : Casting Corruption is now a -5 strength diplomatic effect instead of -25.

-AI Diplomacy : Casting Raise Volcano is now a -10 strength diplomatic effect instead of -50. Seriously, this spell had a worse penalty than nuking two cities with Call of the Void.

-Volcanoes now have a 1% chance to revert to mountains instead of 2%. I found absolutely no reference to generating ores at a random chance in the code, this feature seems to be unimplemented. While it would be nice to have, volcanoes not helping the enemy is actually more beneficial when using the spell for offense, so I don't plan to implement it, it's not worth it.

-Fixed Nature's Eye not giving 2 research as intended (I accidentally overwrote this code when adding Tranquility's research effect)

-Fixed the description of the Resist Magic unit ability to correctly display +5 crosses

-Wizard's Guild cost is increased to 700, research reduced to 3

-University cost is reduced to 125, research reduced to 5

-Sage's Guild research is reduced to 9

-Aura of Majesty now adds +2 relation per turn.

-Animist's Guild now requires Forester's Guild instead of Stables

-Parthenons now correctly display the amount of power produced on city screens.

-Cathedrals now correctly display the amount of power produced on city screens.

-Alchemist Guilds now correctly display the amount of power produced on city screens.

-Wizards Guilds now correctly display the amount of power produced on city screens but it's still show as negative

-Evil Presence now correctly displays the amount of power produced on city screens even if the owner has Death books, but it's still shown as positive

-Sages Guilds now correctly display the amount of research produced on city screens.

-Wizards Guilds now correctly display the amount of research produced on city screens.

-Gold produced as taxes is now correctly displayed in the city screen.

-Gold produced by the Marketplace is now correctly displayed in the city screen, but does not include bonuses from Bank, Merchant's Guild and Prosperity. Only the trade bonus is included.

-Gold produced by the Bank is now correctly displayed as 30% of taxes in the city screen but disregards Marketplace due to lack of coding space.

-Gold produced by the Marketplace is now correctly displayed as 40% of taxes in the city screen but disregards Marketplace due to lack of coding space.

-Sawmill production is now corrrectly displayed as 8

-Forester's Guild, Miner's Guild and Mechanician's Guild production is now correctly displayed, but disregards the +8 from the Sawmill due to lack of coding space.

-Forester's Guild now produces +3 food without counting as using the land, so it's not reduced to 1 if the city is already overusing the land. (Granary and Farmer's Market works like this)

-Forester's Guild's food production is now correctly displayed.

-AI diplomacy : Minimum relation required for having your treaty considered is unchanged, the values I found in the code are : Wizard's Pact +10, Alliance : +50, Declaration of War on another : no requierment, Break Alliane with : +25, Peace Treaty : No minimum. Additionally, if the player has an alliance with the wizard, and is at war with the target, asking for war has a 50% chance to be automatically accepted, otherwise additional demands need to be fullfilled, but there is no chance of outright rejection, meaning an Alliance is a pretty useful treaty.

-Psionic Blast now costs 25 mana.

-AI building buying decision : Instead of the original, random based code that compared the price of the product multiplied by a random number with the gold reserve regardless of needs or personality, the AI will now buy products if any of the following is true :

1.The AI has 10000 or more gold

2.The product is a Sawmill, Wizard's Guild, or Nightmare. (I wanted to include more like Paladins, Doom Drakes and other top units, but out of coding space sadly.)

3.The AI has 12 times the cost of the product or more in gold. For example a Marketplace (60 production) will be bought if the AI has 1440 or more gold.

If neither of these conditions is true, the AI will not buy the product.

-AI building to build selection : Sawmill now has the highest priority, unless playing Lizardmen which cannot build one.

-AI building to build selection : Barracks is no longer included in the priority list.

Note : The priority list completely disregards any restrictions on buildings and forces it through anyway. Meaning that races who cannot build certain buildings will get them under AI control if they are included in the priority list.

-AI building to build selection : Smithy is still the second highest priority (no change but first is now Sawmill)

-AI building to build selection : Builder's Hall is no longer included in the priority list.

-AI building to build selection : Granary is no longer included in the priority list.

-AI building to build selection : Shrine is still in the priority list as the last element (no change except that this is now the third one instead of the sixth, the list is shorter), fortunately all races can build this. While I could add more buildings, I don't think the current system really needs anything specific to be built early other than these thee (in fact Shrine is not even a must have) and as it would disregard resitrictions and make the AI cheat, I prefer not to use that code space. Non-priority building selection is also unchanged.

-Neutral Town building selection : Smithy is now a priority, Barracks is not.

-Neutral Town building selection : Builder's Hall and Granary are no longer a priority so they won't disregard building restrictions.

-AI combat spellcasting : The AI will now never cast spells of a warded realm in combat. (Also some good news : There are roughly 120 bytes of coding space left in the combat spellcasting priority procedure, so a whole lot of additional stuff can be added later if the need arises. For reference, the check for spell ward took ~45 bytes so120 bytes are a lot of space. All this space came from Word of Recall's code which was quite extensive. There are also a few other removed spells that can be used to make space, although I don't see an immediate need to add new conditions to combat spellcasting at the moment, the predefined priorities are pretty well done for at least the important spells.)

-AI combat spellcasting : The AI will no longer use Syphon Life on Death Immune targets

-Nightblades now have +1 attack, defense and health, making them have better stats than halberdiers.

-AI overland spellcasting type selection : Zombie Mastery adds only 10 instead of 100 to disjuction type priority.

-AI overland spellcasting type selection : Aura of Majesty no longer adds to disjuction type priority. (was +25)

-AI overland spellcasting type selection : AEther Binding no longer adds to disjuction type priority. (was +25)

-AI overland spellcasting type selection : Doom Mastery adds only 15 instead of 200 to disjuction type priority.

-AI overland spellcasting type selection : Crusade adds only 50 instead of 100 to disjuction type priority.

-AI overland spellcasting type selection : Just Cause no longer adds to disjuction type priority. (was +10)

-AI overland spellcasting type selection : Holy Arms adds only 10 instead of 100 to disjuction type priority.

-AI overland spellcasting type selection : Charm of Life adds only 25 instead of 200 to disjuction type priority.

-AI disjuction target selection : Evil Omens is now always priority 200 regardless of spell books to match new effect.

-AI disjuction target selection : Zombie Mastery is now priority 15 instead of 50

-AI disjuction target selection : Aura of Majesty is now priority 5 instead of 20

-AI disjuction target selection : Aether Binding is now priority 1 instead of Wind Mastery's 15

-AI disjuction target selection : Nature Awareness is now priority 3 instead of 10

-AI disjuction target selection : Nature's Wrath is now priority 200 if either primary or secondary realm is non-Nature.

-AI disjuction target selection : Doom Mastery is now priority 25 instead of 50

-AI disjuction target selection : Meteor Storm is now priority 60 instead of 30

-AI disjuction target selection : Armageddon is now priority 100 instead of 40

-AI disjuction target selection : Tranquility is now priority 5 instead of 200 regardless of Realm to reflect now effect.

-AI disjuction target selection : Life Force is now priority 25 instead of 200 regardless of Realm to reflect now effect. Also worth mentioning that the original code was bugged, it checked for Chaos realm instead of Death.

-AI disjuction target selection : Just Cause is now priority 1 instead of 15

-AI disjuction target selection : Holy Arms is now priority 20 instead of 30

-AI disjuction target selection : Charm of Life is now priority 20 instead of 60

-AI disjuction target selection : Great Wasting is now priority 40 instead of 20

-AI disjuction spell choice : Top priority is now Spell Binding, then Disjunction True, then Disjunction, and none if the AI has neither. Note that the AI now actually considers Spell Binding as an enchantment removal spell instead of just a general purpose spell that can be used anytime.

-AI Spell Binding target selection priorities (yes the AI had separate code for these despite the spell not working at all) :

Eternal Night – 50 regardless of owning death books

Evil Omens – 120

Zombie Mastery - 50

Aura of Majesty - 1

Aether Binding - 30

Suppress Magic - 120

Time Stop – 10 (can't steal anyway)

Nature Awareness - 1

Nature's Wrath – 100 regardless of any books

Herb Mastery - 20

Chaos Surge – 1 regardless of Chaos Books, spell does the same thing even if opponent controls it

Doom Mastery - 50

Great Wasting - 20

Meteor Storm -40

Armageddon -100

Tranquility -64

Life Force -80

Crusade - 80

Just Cause - 3

Holy Arms - 30

Planar Seal - 10

Charm of Life -60

Detect Magic -1

Awareness -1

Note that quite a few spells have a high dispel but low steal priority or the other way around, depending on the effects.

-AI overland offensive spell casting priorities : priority is now a fixed value instead of being relative to the spells's casting cost. Some of the spells seem to overlap with spells in other categories.

Blizzard : 3

Earthquake : 10

Spell Blast : 10

Stasis : 1

Time Stop : 25

Corruption : 25, high value because the spell is cheap and spammable

Fire Storm : 7

Raise Volcano : 50, also cheap and spammable

Chaos Rift : 20

Call of the Void : 200

Famine : 30

Warp Node : 15

Black Wind : 15

Drain Power : 20

Evil Presence : 40

Cruel Unminding : 20

Pestilence : 50

Cursed Lands : not in the game

Subversion : not in the game

AI decisions : Maximum tax rate being used is now 6 (2.5gold) instead of 4(2 gold). Minimum is unchanged(3). Unrest penalties for the last two rates are no longer too harsh for use.

Aether Binding : Doubled the amount of Skill Pool gain.

-Air Elemental : Defense reduced by 3

-Restored max retorts to 6, there is no need for more than that, but max books stays at 19.

-Sky Drake breath attack is reduced to strength 15.

-AI power base decision : AI will now look at their power base distribution once every 1-4 turns instead of once every 15-25. (lol)

-AI power base decision : During the first 30 turns, the AI will focus on producing mana for early expansion instead of doing a roughly even distribution.

-AI power base decision : Default is 10% research, 25% skill, 15% mana and another 50% selected at random weighted by needs and preferences. Original was 15 res, 10 skill and 25 mana, too low for skill.

-AI power base decision : Militarist now considers mana a priority (to maintain armies) and perfectionist prefers skill (to cast more spells) instead of the other way around.

-AI power base decision : Having 200 or lower skill now makes the AI consider skill a priority, instead of 100 or higher skill making research as one.

-AI power base decision : Having over 1000 mana will no longer replace the mana choice with 50% chance of skill, 50% chance of research. Instead, having 4000 mana turns “mana” choices into “skill” ones, and won't select research, if you have too much mana, it's a clear indication of skill being insufficient.

-AI power base decision : Having more skill than 12.5% of the mana reserve turns all skill choices into mana instead of having 400% more skill than mana doing it...for example at 100 skill, the AI will go for mana if they below 800 mana remaining instead of the original 25.The AI will try to have enough reserve for 8 turns (or 2 battles at rangex3) as a minimum.

-AI alchemy decision : AI will now turn gold into mana when having less than 1/16th of gold in mana instead of 1/32.

-(optional) fixed Clow/Eriol's staff being cut off halfway on the research screen



0.4

-Fixed Barracks help text to correctly display 0 maintenance.

-Fixed ore produced gold displays

-Fixed ore produced power displays

-Fixed dwarven double gold not being applied to road/river trade bonus displays even though it does get applied into the actual gold produced.

-Limited number of primary monsters in lairs to 6 to avoid the inconvenient situation of the 1 secondary monster being stronger due to excessive remaining points

-Autosave now happens every turn instead of every 4th turn.

-Mana Short event is now replaced by Aether Flux event : All spells cost 50% less to cast.

-Disjuction event is now replaced by Stroke of Genius event : Every wizard's current research makes a progress of ~9900 points, resulting in immediate research of the current spell, except for Spell of Mastery.

-Surveyor now shows the correct production and gold bonus value, taking into account the new effects of Sawmill, Forester's Guild, Mechanician Guild, Miner's Guild, Prosperity, Marketplace, Bank, Merchant's Guild, and also fixed the bug of Inspirations adding 100 to the display despite only adding 50 to actual production from the original game.

-It now costs 0.5 movement to move through enchanted roads. Warning, this only affects newly created roads. Loading a prevous save with already made roads still allows free movement because cost is decided at the time of road creation and kept in the save data afterwards.

-It now costs 1 movement to move through normal roads.

-New Game generates no roads between the neutral cities, to avoid having pre-generated roads that ignore the new movement costs. Considering the huge trade gold bonus they grant, finding them already built is too good anyway.

-Removed the check from placing the starting capitals that caused frequent failure of generating new games on tiny to medium landmass. The check was most likely for the quality/amount of land available for the town at the selected location. Some other parts still seem to sometimes cause hanging, but less frequently.

-Each plane now has 6 neutral towns generated on them instead of 15 at start.

-Newly generated towns at the game start no longer have roads under them.

-Book and Retort treasure now costs 800 points not 600 each.

-Minimum distance of duneons from each other is now 1 not 2 (probably was the other reason tiny landmass generation failed)

-Enchant Item and Create Artifact : Making accessories no longer costs double for stat points.

-Counter Magic is now 14-70 mana, instead of 16-80.

-Pathfinding units now have the proper interaction with roads : moving at 1 on normal and 0.5 on enchanted roads.


0.41

-AI combat spellcasting priorities : Counter Magic now calculates priority based on number of units instead of adding a flat +30.

-Aether Flux has ended message is now properly displayed

-Counter Magic combat help icon now displays the proper information

-Metal Fires combat help icon now displays the proper information

-AI combat spellcasting priorities : Doom Bolt now gets a +18 priority boost

-AI combat spellcasting priorities : Mind Storm now gets a +15 priority boost

-AI combat spellcasting priorities : Having an invisible unit in battle only adds +30 to disenchant area priority instead of +160.

-AI combat spellcasting priorities : Each combat global enchantment only adds +20 to disenchant priority instead of +30 (except for the two predetermined exceptions, Wrack and Call Lightning)

-AI combat spellcasting priorities : Disenchant area priority no longer gets a boost for its high casting cost (it event got this boost if there was nothing to dispel!)



0.42

-High Elf Magicians now have Magic Immunity but cost 180 to build.

-Fixed the bug that max population cities couldn't lose population as well as gain, instead of only being unable to gain.

-Great Wasting now causes +5 unrest in every nonfriendly town

-All units reduce unrest now, even heroes

-Reduced the resistance of most Troll units. I seem to have overlooked them when adjusting normal unit resistances, being the last race in the database.

-Grand Vizier will no longer attempt to build unavailable buildings.

-AI Building choices : Adjusted the priority of various building types. Reassigned some buildings into other groups to reflect their new function better. Note : This data is actually used by the Grand Wizier too, which assumes the player is a Pragmatist wizard (can be changed if you change the personality of your wizard by an editor, the actual personality value is used). The following buildings received a huge priority boost : Granary, Farmer's Market, Marketplace, Sawmill, Library, this does not guarantee they'll all be be chosen first but it's quite unlikely to build anything else while there are not built since they have priority in the thousands compared to the other building's tens.

-Grand Vizier will never build units for you, only buildings.

-Grand Vizier will never change your production order if you are producing units in the city. If you want to stop making units, you need to change to a building or trade goods or housing manually and the Vizier will take over for you after that order is complete.

-Fixed Bug : re-buying a bulding that was destroyed or sold this turn results in an “ghost” building, it is there but has no effect. Looks like this was caused by some code which belongs to an unimplemented feature, if you build something that is already built (not even possible), it increases the building's status by 1 instead of normally building it. Maybe a building level up system they decided not to go with?

-Excess production will now carry over to the next project and isn't lost.

-Excess population growth when reaching the next 1000 will not be lost.

-Death units can now heal naturally both on field and in town, except for : Zombies, Skeletons, Wraiths, raised undead. They still cannot be healed by other means (including life and nature spells etc)


0.43

-Trolls cannot build Fantastic Stables as it doesn't unlock any units for them.

-Fixed memory corruption bug from 0.42, I forgot to clear two bytes of unused code in the production carry over edit.

-Re-enabled the land quality check for placing starting fortresses, but now the minimum acceptable is much lower than original, so there are no failed map generations, and you still won't start in the middle of deserts or tundras with a max pop of 5 or less like in previous 0.4x versions. Out of roughly 30 new games generated, none crashed or had a max pop below 10 for the starting city with this setting.

-AI : New unit producing priorities : Now each unit has its own priority value instead of using the formula priority=(cost/10)^2. Priority uses unused byte 19h in the unit tables.

-AI : producing units is prioritized in towns with less than 6 units inside instead of 4.

-AI : AI is now somewhat more likely to build units in general

-AI : AI is now less likely to produce trade goods : instead of doing it in 25% of owned towns, it does so for 25% of the owned towns above the first 6, so no production is wasted at the beginning of the game.

-AI : AI will now build sawmill and smithy even if there are no units in town, before this change it was stuck not building anything in empty dwarven towns as they can't build military units without a smithy, and wasn't willing to build smithy before having at least one unit defending the town. Yes, this will unfortunately leave new outposts more vulnerable but that 1 spearmen wouldn't stop anyone anyway.


0.44

-Golems now only need an Armory instead of an Armorer's Guild, the race already has Hammerhands for that building.

-Golems now have Magic Immunity

-Golems now cost 150 to build.

-Rangers now require a Forester's Guild instead of the impossible to build Animist's Guild.

-AI will now not flee from battle when one of their heroes is in the fight and the enemy has the advantage. While this normally would be a good strategy, heroes aren't following the same rules as normal units in power : A single, well equipped hero can easily outperform a stack of 9 good units, and this potential wasn't reflected in the AI's approximated unit value, at least, I have seen near invicible AI heroes flee and die in shame far too often. In fact, most heroes I couldn't have defeated, died this way. I rather have the AI sacrifice some weaker heroes than to not use their stronger ones to their full potential. The AI can still flee if their entire army is made from settlers and engineers however.

-Dwarves can no longer build Wizard's Guilds and Sage's Guilds. (The race is waaaay too powerful with the strong normal units, high resistance, double gold, and double mineral bonus, also dwarves hate magic usually)

-AI Combat spellcasting targeting : AI will now consider units with a resistance greater than 6 invalid targets for Drain Life, greater than 10 invalid for Syphon Life.

-AI Combat spellcasting targeting : AI will now consider units with a resistance of 8 or higher after spell save modifiers invalid for resistance roll based curses instead of 10 or higher (using a spell for 10-20% chance is outright stupid and a waste of mana). Instant kill spells (Petrify, Banish, etc) are not affected.

-War Mammoths now have 10 health per figure instead of 12.

-Added another +7 priority to Doom Bolt


0.5

-When a new unit is created (summoned, recruited, built, found) it will ALWAYS be the one that gets pushed off the square in case of having 9 units there already. This will allow you to keep producing new units in cities without having to return the garrison every time when a better unit was produced, and in general, helps to keep your stacks of units the way you left them.

-Fixed possible bug in undead rising (left there when I tried to get the “raise over 9” work)

-Removed hardcoded cap of 2 on scouting range of units.

-Scouting is now displayed as the amount the unit can see on top of the base 1. So Scouting I can see 2 cells, Scouting II 3, Scouting III 4, and finally Scouting IV can see 5 cell away. Unfortunately the game does not support displaying numbers greater than IV, but any higher scouting range than 5 cells is excessive anyway. These new numbers actually match the original description of the ability better.

-Units have new scouting ranges :

1 : All other units not mentioned below.

2 (Scouting I) : all Shaman, all Dark Elves, Hell Hounds, All Giants, Doom Bats, Sprites

3 (Scouting II) : All heroes except those that have more, Trireme, Galley, all Priests, Manticores, Doom Drakes, Wolf Riders, Efreet, Great Drake, Death Knights, Djinn, Sky Drake.

4 (Scouting III) : Ranger hero, Warship, Nightmares, Nightblades, Air Ship, Pegasai, Rangers, Angels, Colossus

5 (Scouting IV) : Beastmaster, Chosen,Priestess, Paladin and Druid hero, Demon Lords, Archangels.

Note that new scouting ranges are applied when a unit is created, so you have to start a new game if you want it to work on all units in the game.

-Razing a town now correctly displays the amount of gained fame instead of still subtracting loss for the razing.

-Healing a damaged unit will no longer grant extra maximum health for it. However, spells that allow gaining maximum health by overhealing the unit (Drain Life, Syphon Life, Life Stealing), still allow doing so, but no extra health is gained unless the unit is healed above the maximum health it has.

-New spell : Healing Charge.

Heals a targeted unit in combat for 10, however, this healing can surpass the maximum health of the unit, granting extra hearts. The maximum health increment is divided evenly between figures, rounded down, so a 8 figure unit can only gain +1 health per figure if it had no more than 2 damage before the use of this spell.

-Removed spell : Plane Shift. The AI will no longer attempt to cast it.

-AI now uses the Healing spell's priority calculation for Healing Charge.

-New Spell : Conjure Road – Replaces Enchant Road.

Creates enchanted roads in a radius of 2 around the targeted map cell instead of only upgrading existing roads.

-The event “Bad Moon” now grants -2 resistance to all units in battle, on top of its original effect.

-The event “Good Moon” now reduces the cost of all unit enchantments by half, on top of its original effect.

-The event “Chaos Conjunction” now increases the power of all direct damage spells by 33%, on top of its original effect. The following spells are boosted : Fairy Dust, Ice Bolt, Psionic Spark, Psionic Blast, Fire Bolt, Lightning Bolt, Fire Ball, Warp Lightning, Doom Bolt, Heroic Shout.

Life Drain and Syphon life are not affected because they are resistance based and have no “attack strength” to boost. Note that the boost of Warp Lightning from 11 to 14 strength increases its power by a lot as it means 3 additional bolts will be done.

-The event “Nature Conjunction” now increases the defense and resistance of all non-Death fantastic creatures by 2 in combat, on top of its original effect.

-The event “Sorcery Conjunction” now makes power spent towards increasing skill 4 times more effective (including extra points gained from Aether Binding!), on top of its original effect.

-Earliest turn for Diplomatic Marriage event is now 100 instead of 150.

-Towns with equal or more fantastic units than normal units cannot rebel instead of only those that had more. (It's funny how fantastic units don't reduce unrest yet prevent rebellion in the original version of the game) By the way, towns that have any hero in them cannot rebel either.

-Stroke of Genius even no longer requires Global Enchantments to appear (was replacing Disjunction)

-Caster units cannot add power to spells with a slider during combat, only wizards can. This is to prevent the bug of offering a slider for Spell Charged items. Unfortunately there was no coding space to check for Spell Charge directly, my only option was to change the “Unit ability?” check into “Caster is not wizard?” check. There are only a few remaning pumpable combat spells anyway : Dispel and Disenchant spells.

-Caster units now use ammo to attack instead of mana. Units have the following number of shots :

Sage : 8

Healer : 8

Druid : 8

Warrior Mage : 8

Magician : 10

Wind Mage : 8

Witch : 10

Golden One : 10

Warlock : 10

Unknown : 8

Illusionist : 10

Priestess : 12

Necromancer : 8

Chaos Warrior : 8

Efreet : 8

Djinn : 8

-High Men Magicians now have Caster 20 instead of Fireball Spell. Other Magicians still have Fireball only.

-Spells and MP are displayed together on the combat screen instead of MP taking priority.

-Ammo is displayed when right clicking units, even if they have have mana.

-Golem now has 14 attack, 9 defense and costs 180.

-Treasure generation : Now has a chance of

3/15 to roll gold

3/15 to roll mana

4/15 to roll spell

3/15 to roll item

1/15 to roll prisoner

1/15 to roll special.

Chance of special is reduced from 2/15 to 1/15. While I do want these to be available at slightly lower treasure points, I don't want them to be in every difficult lair due to repeated rolling until points are all used. Chance of item went down from 5/15 to 3/15 for same reason, finding 2-3 top tier items in every difficult lair is excessive.

-Each treasure roll for Gold now contains 50-1000 gold instead of 10-200. This helps balancing out the treasure always ending up as items or specials, by spending more significant portions of points on gold. Note that each roll actually uses up treasure points equal to the gold given instead of a fixed 100 due to a previous change.

-Each treasure roll for Mana now contains 40-800 mana instead of 10-200.

-Reduced spell treasure roll cost to 150 base from 200 base. (150=common, 600 =uncommon, 1350=rare, 2400 = very rare)

-Units defeated in combat are worth 1+floor(unit cost/32) exp instead of a flat 2 exp for everything. Units not killed but raised as undead or transformed into zombies still yield the standard 2 exp each.

-Blademaster now gives +1 to hit for each 3 experience levels. (+3 at max level)

-Super Blademaster now gives +1 to hit for each 2 experience levels. (+4 at max level)

-Fixed display of Blademaster abilities to show the correct amount of gain.

-Equipping an item with the ability “Merging” will now grant “Merging” movement to the hero.

-The Merging Item power is now available for enchanting, and requires 5 Nature books and 900 mana.

-New item power : Teleportation. Costs 1200 mana, requires 5 Sorcery books, and grants Teleportation movement type as well as the Endurance buff. This power replaces the old “Endurance” power which was removed.

-Unit view will now display the unit's effective immunities instead of the base immunites. Yes, that means units with Invulnerability or Wraith form will actually display the implied Weapon Immunity.

-New item power : Inner Fire. Replaces the removed “Giant Strength.” Grants Immolation, Cold and Fire Immunity and +1 attack. Requires 3 Chaos books to enchant, costs 500.

-New item power : Divine Protection. Grants Lucky and Death Immunity. Requires 3 Life books to enchant, costs 800.

-Adjusted pre-generated items to include new powers.

-Readjusted AI disjunction priorities because there were some problems.

-AI will no longer ignore the buying option if zero production is done.

-Hammerhands now cost 220 to build. This unit is far too powerful to cost only 160.

-Ranged attacks will now always use up all movement instead of only 10.

-AI combat disenchant area priority : Having an active Call Lightning or Wrack will now only increase priority by 20 instead of 500, so now there actually is a chance the AI will do something other than wasting all their skill on one big disenchant area spell.

-Fixed Bug : Call Lightning and Fortress Lightning used 14 base strength normal attacks instead of 8 lightning. Why the HELL are these storing there data in Wall of Stone of all things? Ofc they got broken when I replaced that spell.

-Prayermaster now grants +1 resistance to all per 2 levels of experience. Super Prayermaster is 0.75 per level. (meaning max normal is +4 and max super is +6, both achieved one level below maximum)

-Fixed the unit info display for both Prayermaster abilities to display the correct amount. (lol this took 3 times longer than changing the abilities)

-Paladins have 1 more health per figure.

-Restored the 20 Lightning Breath on Sky Drakes, they aren't that powerful as I thought.

-Flying units now move for 0.5 on enchanted roads.

-Fixed bug of AI crashing if no valid targets are available for the spells that received more priority (Doom Bolt vx invisible hero for example), priority will no longer be added unless it was non-negative.


0.51

-Fixed some help texts

-Fixed gold being displayed wrong on city screens and overland due to buggy marketplace hex code used.

-Fixed gold being displayed wrong overland due to it being calcluated at two separate locations, while some changes were only applied to one of these.

-Fixed “halved food upkeep” not applying to actual food produced and converted to gold, only to checks for desertion. Yes, the game actually calculates the total army food upkeep in two, identical subroutines, too.


0.52

-Extra production from sawmill is now considered in detailed display for terrain and % based buildings.

-Adjusted AI starting spell preferred order. This is also used when the player selects a default wizard.

-Capturing neutral cities will now grant more gold (1-20 at random per population instead of 1-10)

-Capturing cities owned by other wizards yields gold equal to the city's gold production*2 but no more than half the gold in the wizard's treasury.

-Capturing the enemy fortress will no longer allow stealing half of the enemy wizard's mana reserves. No more free 10k+ mana for banishing the AI on high difficulty.

-Extra gold from marketplace is now considered in detailed display for % based buildings.

-Wizard's Guild now correctly displays the amount of power as positive

-Evil Presence now correctly displays the amount of power as negative

-Raised the resistance of ships ( trireme = 6, galley and warship = 8)

-Weakness now reduces attack by 3.

-Maybe fixed bug “Flight” not raising movement to 3 if it was 1.5 or more.

-Endurace now grants +1 to defense on top of the 1 movement but costs more and is overland only. (this bonus is also applied from Endurance granted by Teleportation items)

-Immolation is no longer affecting ranged attacks.

-Black Sleep now removes all movement types from affected units (bugfix, was supposed to do this but didn't)

-AI Overland casting priority : Endurance is now priroity 7 to reflect improved effect.

-Wraith Form now requires 2 death books to add into items.

-Doom Drakes now cost 180 and have 1 less defense and 1 less firebreath (they are still much stronger than the original)

-Fixed bug : AI not using the caster ability on units. (caused when I separated mana from ammo)

-Fixed bug : Noble displayed +20h (32) gold instead of +20 gold but only added +20 gold. Now the amount is properly displayed.

-Fixed bug : Miner's Guild doubles the effect of Coal and Iron Ore instead of adding 50%

-AI combat casting : Guardian Wind now receives a priority of “Invalid spell” instead of just 0 priority if no enemy units with appropriate ranged attacks are present. 0 priority spells can still be randomly chosen if nothing else receives a high enough priority boost.

-Fixed bug : Chaos Surge now has an effect when cast by the AI.

-Fortresses now generate 1.5 power per book owned and no +5 bonus for being located on Myrror.

-Power display is now updated to show the correct amount of power from the fortress.


0.53

-Call Chaos now uses “Healing Charge” instead of “Healing”

-Call Chaos : if Fire Bolt is chosen, it is now strength 30 instead of 15 to match the Flame Strike animation better.

-Call Chaos : if Warp Creature is chosen, it will use a resistance penalty of -10 instead of -1 of original or -5 of the actual Warp Creature spell.

-Call Chaos : Disintegrate no longer does an undetermined amount and type of damage to the units if the resistence roll is passed.

-Call Chaos : Disintegrate now has a -3 resistance penalty, meaning it can kill units up to 12 resistance.

-Call Chaos now costs 65 mana and is show in the “Combat spells” tab instead of enchantments.

-AI combat spelcasting priorities : Call Chaos now uses the same priority calculation as Flame Strike, instead of “no priority”

-Call Lightning, Fortress Lightning : Will now try to find a valid target 100 times before giving up instead of 30. Hopefully this will help avoiding the bug of lightning bolts going missing.

-Call Lightning, Fortress Lightning : If a valid target was found at random, there is no additional 50% chance to ignore it and retry finding another for no reason at all.

-Cloak of Fear (both spell and item power) now has a resistance roll at -3 instead of +0. Restored original costs for the spell. Item power now costs 200.

-AI overland casting priority : Cloak of Fear is now 5 instead of 1 as the effect is more useful now.

-AI unit estimated “defensive” capacity calculation : Defensive Rating is now 4*(Total Remaining Health)*(4+Defense). This calculation is used both in combat and overland.

-AI is allowed to flee when heroes are present in the battle again. Hopefully the new unit value calculation will prevent fleeing with powerful heroes.

-AI unit combat value calculation : The following effects now multiply the unit value : Magic Immunity +100%, Invulnerability +100%, Bonus To Defend or to Hit +33% for each point, Death and Illusions Immunity : +25% each.

-Healing Charge now costs 400 to research.

-Fixed Healing charge missing the help text.

-AI unit estimated combat value calculation : Formula is now {[(Melee Rating+Ranged Rating)*(Defense Rating)]/2048}*(99+Total percentage multipliers,see above)/100 instead of (Melee Rating+Ranged Rating+Defense Rating). Value is capped at 3640 to avoid possible overflows in case of extremely buffed units in a full army. Note that this provides roughly ¼ of the original unit values, even less for low end units. As all units are calculated through this and their relative strengths are used, this shouldn't cause problems, but it might, for example, reduce the priority of castng healing on some units. Considering healing uses 0.25*(unit value) for priority and a weak unit like swordsmen had a value of ~160 for a huge +40 boost, this should actually make healing priorities more reasonable. Overland calculations do not use this subroutine, so they should be unaffected.

-Removed Caster 20 from High Men Magicians, it does not work on normal units unfortunately. Now they have Fireball again.

Several previous changes seem to have gotten lost due to an unknown reason before the release (probably had the file open in two hex editors), these are added again :

-Reapplied : Wizard's Guild now correctly displays the amount of power as positive

-Reapplied : Evil Presence now correctly displays the amount of power as negative

-Reapplied : Weakness now reduces attack by 3.

-Reapplied : Maybe fixed bug “Flight” not raising movement to 3 if it was 1.5 or more.

-Reapplied : Endurace now grants +1 to defense on top of the 1 movement but costs more and is overland only. (this bonus is also applied from Endurance granted by Teleportation items)

-Fixed help text still showing 4 strength for Immolation.

-AI combat : Mana is no longer considered when calculating remaning total shots in army.

-AI combat decisions – Relative army strength : AI will now consider an enemy “overwhelmingly stronger” if they are 5x more powerful instead of 3x. This significantly reduces the chance of the AI running away when not absolutely necessary, as well as the AI considering the situation “hopeless” for spell selection in combat less often (which generally goes after direct damage spells and doesn't cast anything else).

-Fixed bug : Doom Bolt graphics appear at the wrong location when used by AI or Auto.

-AI is now more likely to prefer using Caster mana instead of shooting. It now requires 30+ ranged attack strength to have a 100% chance of shooting instead of 20+.

-AI will no longer ignore previously assigned roles of units when doing the second part of the assignment

-AI will remain idle with flying units if enemy army is at least “significantly stronger” instead of using melee. This effect seems to get overridden in some cases when something else forces units to attack anyway.

-Death units (mainly created undead) now gain the mentioned, but missing immunities (Poison, Illusions, Cold) as an actual ability.

-Fixed bug : Bard hero counts as Life unit and gains no exp.

-Animist's guilds now cost 240 to build, they are far too powerful to cost 160.


0.54

-Surveyor : If a Dungeon and Corruption are both present, the display of the dungeon takes priority.

-If no city is present in combat, game will not add the city wall defense bonus to units standing inside the wall area.

-AI flying units will not remain idle if enemy has an ammo advantage even if they are significantly stronger.

-AI flying units will not remain idle if enemy has a fortress in battle.

-AI Attack Rating calculation : Life Steal now adds +100 to the score per figure instead of +60. (equivalent to 5 swords)

-AI Attack Rating calculation : Stoning Touch now adds +200 to the score per figure instead of +60. (equivalent to 10 swords)

-AI Attack Rating calculation : Death Touch now adds +200 to the score per figure instead of +60. (equivalent to 10 swords)

-AI Attack Rating calculation : Illusion now multiplies the rating by 3 instead of 5

-AI Attack Rating calculation : Illusion and Eldritch Weapon multiplier is now applied before adding points for touch attacks, as those do not benefit from ignoring armor.

-AI Raise Dead casting priority : “Not involved” units (those that are carried by ships) are no longer counted as potential targets.

-Raise Dead : “Not involved” units do not count into the check for spell validity, and cannot be selected as targets.

-AI Animate Dead casting priority : “Not involved” units (those that are carried by ships) are no longer counted as potential targets.

-Animate Dead : “Not involved” units do not count into the check for spell validity, and cannot be selected as targets.

-Paladin heroes now have Illusion immunity instead of Magic Immunity.

-Black Knight heroes now have Death Immunity instead of Magic Immunity.

-Paladin and Black Knight heores have 2 lower starting attack strength (meaning they now only have a +2 boost instead of the +4 others got)

-Fixed bug of “not involved” units always getting killed in battle even if their army is fleeing.

-As a side effect to the above, I expect lost naval battles near land to cause units carried to escape to the available land cell instead of dying on the ships.

-Fixed Barracks help text not showing up

-The Holy Bonus on the Bard hero now actually works. (level wasn't set to 1)

-The Chosen now has Holy Bonus. (level 1)

-The Chosen no longer has Missile Imunity.

-The Chosen no longer has the +4 starting health boost other heroes got.

-The Chosen now has a mana capacity level of 4 instead of 6, equivalent to the better spellcasting heroes, but 1 below the top tier ones.

-If you already have 9 units in the current army, it does not prevent the creation of zombies or raised undead. Instead, they leave the battle location as though they were fleeing.

-Dwarven Settlers now cost 50 more than the normal cost because Dwarven towns are very powerful : Building one at a spot with an ore will immediately yield double the normal bonus for an impressive boost of gold, power or production.

-Cloud of Shadow now costs 800 to research instead of 1600


0.6

-Undid the surveyor change as it prevented terrain specials from being displayed at all, instead of the intended effect. Unfortunately fixing the corruption disabling dungeon display isn't that simple as I thought.

-Ghouls now move 2.

-Fixed Aether Binding's casting cost not being 300.

-Fixed weakness still having -8 resistance penalty instead of -7

-Disenchant Area is now overland only. If you want to remove unit spells, use Dispel Magic. For global combat enchantments, you need Disenchant True.

-Disenchant True no longer has triple power in combat.

-The Golden One hero now has a staff/sword slot instead of only sword.

-Dungeon generation now uses the intended new values of monsters instead of the default. (I didn't realize the editor only updates this data in wizards.exe where it does nothing and ignores magic.exe, I actually had to make my own editor to do this.)

-As a side effect to the above, werewolves will appear now as normal. Having the same cost as Night Stalkers prevented them from being chosen.

-As a side effect to the above, extremely overpowered secondary monsters won't appear with weak primary ones anymore. (no more 6* ghouls, 1x death knights as secondary)

In general, Sky Drakes, Arch Angels, Death Knights and Demon Lords and other high end monsters are 50-100% more expensive so you'll find fewer of them with better treasure. Other changes worth noting are Demons (80->350), Phantom Warriors (20->60).

-Towers now have a random amount of monsters between 650-3050 instead of 650-1200. This should make games more varied, in some, contact with the other plane is easy, in others, much more difficult.

-New FLEEING system :

Your unit's speed <= fastest enemy unit's speed -2 : Your units dies.

Your unit's speed = fastest enemy unit's speed -1 : 50% chance to flee

Your unit's speed = fastest enemy unit's speed : 50% chance to flee

Your unit's speed = fastest enemy unit's speed +1 : 66% chance to flee

Your unit's speed = fastest enemy unit's speed +2 : 75% chance to flee

Your unit's speed = fastest enemy unit's speed +3 or more : chance to die is 1/(2+the difference).

This system will provide the deafult 75% fleeing chance to heroes against base movement normal units due to heroes having 4 movement, so they aren' treated as exceptions.

speed” refers to the maximum (overland) movement the units has per turn.

-Middle town section now grants +3 defense again like insecticide if City Wall is present. However, ONLY if city wall is present, the other bug remains fixed.

-Reduced the movement speed of ships : Trireme 3, Galley 3, Warship 4. These new values should be more reasonable both for actual movement purposes and the new fleeing mechanics. Warships will still be able to 100% kill move 2 units carried by the enemy ships.

-Floating Islands now move 3 instead of 2 because they shouldn't be inferior even to the most basic ships.

-AI combat dispel magic priority : code completely rewritten. Priority is now 7*number of enchantments on the unit with the most enchantments. Unit curses count as priority 16 regardless of amount. True version has +21 priority over normal version. AI will now only count enchantments worth dispelling, and ignores some of the weak ro combat irrelevant stuff like Water Walking, Wind Walking, Holy Weapon etc.

Note that this is only used for deciding which spell to cast, not for selecting the actual target of the dispel.

-AI combat dispel magic targeting priority : Shatter is now worth 20 priority instead of 10

-AI combat dispel magic targeting priority : Unit combat value now has ¼ the weight of the original, so the actual types and amount of enchantments will be more relevant.

-AI combat dispel magic targeting priority : Iron Skin is now worth 40 priority instead of 20

-AI combat dispel magic targeting priority : Invisibility is now worth 50 priority instead of 10

-AI combat dispel magic targeting priority : Magic Immunity is now worth 50 priority instead of 25

-AI combat dispel magic targeting priority : Lionheart is now worth 40 priority instead of 30

-High Men Cavalry has 1 more resistance (3 instead of 2)

-High Men Pikemen has 2 more resistance (4 instead of 2)

-Nomad Pikemen has 1 more resistance (5 instead of 4)

-The procedure that applies stats and ability gains from effects now resets byte 18h,19h and 1Ah (Immunity, Abilities) to the unit's base values before adding any gains.

This fixes the bug : dispelling enchantments that grant abilities in those bytes has no effect (granted ability remains on unit without the enchantment)

This should fix dispelling the following enchantments :

Magic Immunity, True Sight, Guardian Wind, Immolation, Cloak of Fear.

Enchantments that grant attack properties (holy, eldritch weapon) are not fixed, dispelling those will still only remove the remaining parts of the effect, if there are any (Flame Blade).

As this fix entirely reapplies those abilities from the base values every time a unit's stats are evaluated, this might have unforseen side effects, although unlikely as it was supposed to do this, and worked this way for most other stats like attack, defense, resistance originally. I assume they forgot to include the immunities and abilities in the function. If any such side effect is discovered, please report, I haven't found any yet.


0.61

-Arcanus nodes now have 4-14 tiles (maximum 4 higher than original, minimum 1 less).

-Myrror nodes have 7-20 tiles (maximum , minimum 3 lower than original).

Due to the above, while Myrror will still have more treasure, power and stronger monsters than Arcanus, there will be better variance. It'll be now possible to find pretty decent nodes with useful treasure on Arcanus for late game, and some easy ones for the early game on Myrror, but on average, Myrror will stil have ~50% advantage.

I wanted 7-24 for Myrror but it crashed the game, 20 is probably the limit it can generate.

-Description of myrran now mentions the better minerals and stronger nodes.

-Reduced the number of starting picks to 12. Some default wizards were unable to use up all 13 picks due to hard limits, and 13 picks felt one too many especially considering the 10 book limit.

-Adjusted default wizards to match the new pick amounts. Note that Patchouli still has Archmage without clearing the requirement of 4 identical books, but I'm going to leave this as an exception.


0.62

-AI will now cancel Time Stop if having below 1424 mana left instead of waiting until they are out of mana. This is both to save their enchantments and summoned units, and to avoid leaving themselves too vulnerable.

-Fixed Bug : When AI cancels Time Stop, it remains in effect until they run out of mana anyway as the variable “TimeStopWizardID” is not cleared, only the enchantment itself is.

-AI now requires 5000 mana to consider casting Time Stop instead of 3000.

-AI will no longer disband any fantastic units during Time Stop.

-Fixed bug : units using spells (healing etc) have the spell reloaded every combat turn. Caused by “dispel not removing abilities” bugfix of previous version.

-Spell of Mastery cannot be traded or found from banishing.

-Fighter's Guild is no longer allowed for Gnolls because they have no unit that needs it, and it no longer has the “make unit regular” function.


0.63

-Draconian Engineers now require a Builder's Hall only.

-Mind Storm now reduces melee attack by 3 instead of 5. All other stats including ranged attack are still reduced by 5. Cost is reduced to 35.

-Fixed bug : special attack types (gaze, touch, etc) are not performed if attack strength (hidden for gaze) is zero.

-Night Stalker, Gorgons and Basilisk no longer have a hidden ranged attack strength, as their gaze now works without that.

-AI combat spell targeting : Fireball will skip the “target the most wounded unit” modifier when targeting to better take advantage of the immolation property.

-AI combat spell targeting : Heroic Shout will skip the “target the most wounded unit” modifier when targeting to better take advantage of the immolation property.

-AI unit attack target selection : Priorities have been adjusted. Ranged attackers have greater priority. Keeping the same target has much lower. Hitting something this turn if able has lower but does not ignore units on the edge of the movement allowance. Other modifiers unchanged. This should make AI units much smarter. Original had a massive +25 boost for targets nearby, which was the rough equivalent to having 25 swords more than enemy shields, or going after a ranged unit that had 48 attack strength so...enough to overrule pretty much any other modifier. Now you can actually see the AI avoid hitting very strong units with weak ones, and going around them to hit something else instead, even if it takes an extra turn to reach.

-AI overland unit value calculation : Now uses [(Ranged rating+Melee rating)*Defense Rating]/512 instead of (Ranged rating+Melee rating+Defense Rating) and [(Ranged rating*2+Melee rating)*Defense Rating]/512 instead of (Ranged rating*2+Melee rating+Defense Rating)

-When a new unit is generated on a stack of 9 units, if the unit is owned by the player it will be the new unit that gets moved out of the stack (no change to previous version). However, in case of the AI, the unit with the lowest (gold, production or mana cost)/16+unit level will be moved. This helps the AI upgrade their garrisons with less outdated units instead of being stuck with 9x Hell Hounds at fortress for the entire game because those were summoned first.

-Restored Minotaur's cost to the default 200, they are too powerful to be cheaper than than. (probably didn't notice the default +2 to hit when setting the lower cost)

-Fixed a bug in the Chaos Surge fix (jmp address was off by one at the end of the effect)

-Reapplied : Immolation is no longer affecting ranged attacks.

-Reapplied : Black Sleep now removes all movement types from affected units.This should be the last two changes I lost when working on it at 5am and overwriting the good file with an old one somehow.

-Paladins have +2 attack to make up for the loss of Armor Piercing, and their cost is reduced to 240 because the current abilities no longer justify the cost of 300.

-AI is no longer unable to dispel if Holy Arms is in effect. However, Holy Weapon adds nothing to dispel priority so it won't trigger wasted dispels hopefully.

-Magic Immunity item power now costs 2500 and requires 8 Sorcery books. The power is significantly less common on predefined items.

-Aura on items are now the correct color for new item powers : Inner Fire (red), Teleportation (blue) and Divine Protection (white) in the game. Colors in the editor are unchanged, not worth the time.

-AI will no longer disband units under the effect of Stasis. This closes the way of abuse to cast Stasis on a city then attack it after all defenders are disbanded. The AI will disband units if he cannot pay their maintenance and low resistence units are usually more likely to have a low “value” to get disbanded before others.

-Stasis now costs only 100 mana.

-Fixed zombies and undead gained over 8 getting pushed away instead of over 9.

-AI Overland casting priority : Time Stop priority is raised to 150 from 25, as it no longer has harmful side effects on the AI.

-AI buying production : AI is now able to buy immediately after deciding what to build instead of the next time it runs the procedure and is still producing it. This should now stop the AI from amassing 30k unused gold on higher difficulties.

-AI buying production : AI will automatically buy only if having 25 times the required gold in reserve instead of 12 times. This should allow the AI to maintain a healthier gold reserve to buy artifacts and hire heroes and was raised to balance out the availability of immediate buying. This only applies if no other conditions for buying are met. Buying of priority buildings and over 10k gold are still automatic.

-Phantom Warriors now have 1 more figure. They were just a little bit too weak to be a better alternative than the psionic spells even when the enemy was near.

-The Beastmaster hero now has a ranged attack and a bow slot. The game didn't have enough heroes that could use a bow (only 4 out of 35, in fact).

-Fixed bug : AI is not casting spell blast anymore

-AI overland spellcasting : AI will not use Time Stop if it's already in effect.

-Byakuren now has Myrran instead of 1 Life book and Charismatic to increase the variety (and realms) of Myrran wizards picked by the AI. It was annoying to almost always have a Sorcery wizard on Myrror.

-AI is now allowed to enchant items or create artifacts after turn 120 instead of 180.

-AI will now use the amount calculated from remaning skill and mana when deciding how much slider to use for Counter Magic instead of the “ignore calculated value and use a random amount anyway” logic specified as an exception for this spell. New Counter Magic is pretty useless if low slider is used, and random will do that more often than not. Banish and Drain Life does the same but as those no longer have a slider it doesn't matter.

-AI combat spellcasting priority : Banish now has a +20 priority boost

-AI combat spellcasting priority : Word of Death now has a +20 priority boost

-Dwarven Hammerhands, Swordsmen, Halberdiers, and Engineers have 1 fewer health each. Having +2 health per figure on top of all the other racial bonuses was far too excessive.

-Dwarven population growth is now only +30 instead of +40.


0.64

-The Rouge is now a fame 5 hero.

-The Druid hero now has Call Centaurs.

-The Beastmaster hero now has Call Centaurs.

-The Necomancer Hero now has -3 Life Steal

-The Necomancer Hero now has Summon Zombie instead of Weakness

-The Necomancer Hero now has 4 random mage abilities insetad of 2

-The Ranger now has 1 random abilities (any) instead of Might, and has Lucky.

-Warrior Mage now has 2 levels higher mana pool.

-Warrior Mage now has Agility

-The Sage now has the spells Confusion and Disenchant True instead of the original two

-The Golden One now has 3 random abilities.

-When a unit with more total damage than maximum health (ghost units bug) is converted to a battle unit for any reason (combat, viewing etc), the unit will be set to have 1 remaning figure with 1 remanining health instead of the invalid amount.

-”Ghost” units can now heal naturally to “debug” themselves without entering combat.

-Heroic Shout no longer counts as Fire damage.

-Fairy dust is now a strength 6 armor piercing cold attack that hits all figures. AI will not priorize damaged units with this spell as it is blizzard type so more figures=better.

-Fixed Dark Elf spearmen having 0 ranged strength.

-Orc Cavalry now has First Strike

-Nomad Pikemen only have 6 figures now, High Men still have 8 but cost 10 more.

-Call to Arms now costs 70 (Paladins are stronger now)

-War Mammoths now have Cold Immunity

-Dragon Turtles now have Fire Immunity

-Rangers, the Ranger hero, Steam Cannons and Elven Lords now have Poison Immunity

-Holy Word now has an additional -3 penalty for undead instead of -5

-Syphon Life now displays an unused grahical effect similar to Drain Life.

-Removed Cruel Unminding

-New spell : Reaper Slash – Strength 40 single target direct damage spell for 32 mana, blocked by poison immunity.

-AI combat targeting : Syphon Life will now select target the same way as Drain Life (by checking target's resistance)

-AI combat targeting : Reaper Slash will now be used on poison immune targets.

-Magic Spirit and Guardian Spirit now have Poison Immunity.