Caster of Magic 6.0 – official release! - February 25, 2020 by Seravy

Many of you are already be aware but Slitherine obtained the rights for Master of Magic last summer. You might already know that they’re including the -previously unofficial- patch in the official release, but I haven’t talked about Caster of Magic.
So Caster of Magic will be available for sale on Steam, GoG, and Slitherine’s website starting today!
While that means you can’t download it for free anymore, I hoping this money will ensure I’ll be able to continue developing Caster of Magic in the future no matter what happens, and ideally, produce proper source code for it as a next step in development. As you already know, Caster of Magic was developed entirely by hacking the executable files as no one has the source code for the game anymore. While I was able to get very far using the current approach, at this time the really important missing features – enabling more than 4 enemy wizards in the game for example, or adding new content without having to remove the same amount of existing stuff – will require source code. That said, this is a plan for the future, and as long as possible I will keep patching the current Caster of Magic.
Obviously, the optional anime portraits won’t be included, those remain available for download from my website separately, and of course, you need to own the game first to use it.
The Master of Magic patch is now version number 1.52 and will be part of the official release of the game, which is also available on Steam and Slitherine’s website starting today, in addition to the existing GoG version. The contents are similar to the 1.51 patch but any included change originating from me or Kyrub’s Insecticide that changed gameplay is removed and now available as optional patches, so you don’t have to worry about that anymore. Lots of thanks to Drake178 for his help in making that possible!
Different versions are not compatible. If you own the game on GOG, you have to buy the DLC on GoG as well. Same applies to Steam and Slitherine own website. This is especially important as it was reported it is possible to buy the DLC without the base game there but it’s not possible to install it that way anyway.

Caster of Magic 5.5 coming soon! - December 7, 2018 by Seravy

Just wanted everyone to know, the next version will be released soon, probably in less than a week.
Among others, it’ll contain building queues and sorting cities on the cities screen by race, population, food, power, production,etc. so it’ll be a big deal.

Also, I noticed the donation button sometimes fails to load in my browser and PayPal’s site itself is kinda weird, it’s new but some links still load old pages which contain links that give errors that say it’s an outdated version of the site. Anyway, I was trying to find the donation button functionality and it’s pretty much gone so I wonder if it even still works. The site says it’s under the “Tools” menu but there is no such thing on the site anywhere.
So, question is, does the donation button load in your browser? Can you click it? If not, I might need to look at other solutions like Patreon… not that I was receiving all that much money but hey, anything is better than nothing. (and who knows, maybe I’m not receiving much because the button broke a long time ago for most users?)

Caster of Magic 5.0 is released! - October 6, 2017 by Seravy

Yes, finally it’s out!
For those who haven’t been using the experimental versions, a summary of new features:
-There is an additional difficulty level now in the middle. Levels have been removed to Easy, Normal, Advanced, Expert, Master and Lunatic, out of which Expert is the “new” level. Master is Extreme, Lunatic is Impossible. Advanced is a bit easier than Hard was.
-High end summons are now cheaper to cast.In general rare and very rare repeatable overland spells are cheaper but creatures are affected the most.
-The AI learned to build and use doomstacks. It’s not as good as the human and it’s limited to intercontinental movement capable units but it’s much better than before. As the AI commits more powerful units on offense, its garrisons might be unfortunately a bit easier to defeat.
-The AI is smarter at using intercontinental stacks and picking targets for overland attacks in general.
-The AI has a completely new procedure for picking overland spells to cast so it’s also improved in this area.
-Banished wizards can now cast spells in combat (at a major cost penalty) and receive power income but the other effects of being banished remain.
-Sorcery realm has been rebalanced – it should be slightly better in the early game and it should be slightly less overpowered in the late game, tho this will probably need further changed. Most importantly, it has an uncommon overland summoning spell now!
-In many ways I tried to make the game a bit more “player friendly” for example changed how the AI is allowed to use Spell Blast and removed Nature’s Wrath from the game. Also, while changing designing the new difficulty levels, several diplomacy formulas have been altered to be less harsh towards the human player on higher difficulties. As the AI is now quite powerful, being forced into a 4v1 war is no longer results in a playable game on Master and above in most cases so it should happen less frequently.
-Very rare creatures gained the ability “Supernatural” which allows them to deal a bit of damage even if their damage would otherwise get reduced to zero. Note that this is not the same as Armor Piercing – it doesn’t reduce enemy armor effectiveness, unless it would reduce the damage below this “minimal amount”. This shouldn’t affect most of the gameplay and is only relevant against high level heroes with top equipment – the only counter to those is supposed to be a large stack of very rare creatures but with enough defense they were able to take zero damage even from a Great Drake.
-There is a new racial unrest table, and it’s no longer possible to change your starting race through Move Fortress.

Caster of Magic – Experimental 13 - September 14, 2017 by Seravy

This version overhauls the Sorcery realm, attempting to position it away from “unbeatable late game” and “very weak early game” more towards where Chaos is – weak early, strong late, but not unbeatable even then.

I feel the difficulty is still too high, so I’ll try to spend as much time playing as possible, to prepare one last adjustment to AI resource bonus amounts.

Caster of Magic 5.0…probably in a month or two? - August 16, 2017 by Seravy

I just remembered I have a BitCoin “wallet” I set up a long time ago for no particular reason (too bad there is no money on it) so if you happen to have some of those lying around feel free to sent donations in Bitcoins to 1QF82zKvuhAuxtGKSHz6z1ZCwdurjxrMUL (and send me an email afterwards so I notice…), I guess not everyone has Paypal to donate that way, so might as well mention.

So yeah, I think it’s about time to call the experimental CoM versions a success and make that branch the next main version, but I want to play some more test games first. So far the results are promising, better AI, more balance, the usual stuff.

Caster of Magic status - July 31, 2017 by Seravy

If you have noticed, there were two versions for download in the past few months. “4.01″ is the “official” latest version, but there is an “unofficial” one, “Experimental 9 L”. This one is a separate branch because the changes are fairly large and that always comes with risks of new bugs. However, it has been out for a while (version up to L now) so stability isn’t a problem anymore. As soon as enough information is available on how the changes affected gameplay, this will be made into the next “official” version. However, MoM/CoM games take dozens of hours each and dozens of games are needed to be able to properly judge the new gameplay. I encourage everyone to try this version and report their experience either here or on the forum. These are the “big” new features :
-New rules for wizard banishment. Banished wizards can produce power, and can cast combat spells at a massive 4x range penalty. (you can also see their mana, treaties etc on the Magic screen now)
-New AI overland spell selection procedure. The AI should be significantly smarter at using certain special purpose spells, and have a more appropriate ratio of each spell type used.
-New AI “doomstack” building procedure. The AI should now attempt to gather their 9 best free intercontinental units into one stack. This should make the AI significantly more effective at offense, albeit it might weaken their garrisons a little if the units were coming from there. The idea here is, 9 Sky Drakes attacking another player’s cities should be working better than 9 cities each having 1 Sky Drake protecting it in addition to 8 normal units. I would like to hear if this tactic works out for the AI or if their weaker defenses make them less of a threat.
-New costs for most expensive rare and very rare creatures and unit buffs. These generally got cheaper – rares somewhat, very rares massively. The idea is to make these more accessible, as at the old cost, even with high skill it took 3-5 turns to summon a single creature. This made them a poor choice for the human player, and also meant the AI had a hard time to get enough of them to threaten the player. My main worry here is this is a no-brainer tactic, summon 9 of the best units and use them to obliterate anything. If it’s too accessible, it might undermine the strategy needed to win games. So I’d like to hear player’s experience on this too – is it too easy to summon things now or not, is it too efficient to use those summoned things or not. Do you always find yourself using them, or do you sometimes use them and at other times use other tactics?

I think that’s about it for the “big” changes.

PS : Whoever donated yesterday, thank you very much! I was worried the donation button had problems as no one used it since last Christmas/New Year. I guess people like to donate in the last two months of the year more than the others.

Caster of Magic 3.03-3.04 - January 22, 2017 by Seravy

This update aims to make diplomacy better. The old version was designed to be unforgiving and harsh – the AI wasn’t playing very well so it had to maintain constant pressure on the player to stand a chance. It is no longer the case, so diplomacy had to change to reflect this.

Mugen update! - January 9, 2017 by Seravy

It’s been a long time but finally, I finished updating the remaining characters. With this update, every character’s frame data should be as intended.
I expect Master of Magic to take priority this year as well, but I haven’t given up on Mugen. I still want to make more characters, at the very least I want an Orin and Mai eventually. Aura and Seravy will need more extensive updates as well.

Merry Christmas! - December 25, 2016 by Seravy

Aaaaaand, here it is, the moment everyone was waiting for, the next major version number for Caster of Magic, 3.0!

It’s a huge, yet tiny update…tiny from the outside, huge on the inside. Three high impact AI procedures have been completely replaced, buying buildings – small but important, next, the power distribution – pretty much the core of the AI’s long term magic strategy, and finally, the huge, vast, gigantic, over 7000 bytes large combat spell selection. It might not sound much in the era of terabytes, but that’s over 3 thousand lines of code in assembler…and it’s all gone and made completely new.
What does this mean? Mostly that whenever we notice the AI is casting a dumb spell in combat, it’s now easy to add any new rules on what to do for it. Even relatively complex rules. The new procedure is a single ASM file, so any changes can be easily recompiled into a new procedure to replace the previous version instead of having to manually insert each part separately, trying to find appropriate sized gaps like in a puzzle. And maybe most importantly, it’s less wasteful on space – there are over a thousand unused bytes still remaining, even though I added a million things already – important stuff like picking the spell that actually does the most damage instead of just the one that has higher “priority” even if it’s mitigated by enemy defenses.
Of course, this isn’t a magic button, we still have to come up with working logic the AI can follow to improve anything, but space won’t be a problem for…some time.
About the power distribution procedure, I think the only big change worth mention here : the AI is now aware of various Spell of Mastery research tactics – they can decide to push research up very high, or turn it off and ignore it, or do neither and spend normally. These decisions are not made at random, they are based on the game state, so be careful about that.
Since these are major changes on the inside and I had a quite limited amount of time for testing, there is an elevated risk of bugs, if you find any, please let me know ASAP! I made sure the AI is smarter in every combat situation I could throw at them, but I might have overlooked some corner cases. If you observe the AI to cast worse spells than usual in combat, or have troubles with overland resources (gold, mana, research, casting skill) when they aren’t supposed to, please report it (you burning down 90% of their cities does not count :P )

New spells for Death - October 23, 2016 by Seravy

The next version of CoM will have 2 new spells in the Death realm. One is a rare combat spell that hits all enemy units for irrecoverable damage with a twist : the fewer units are hit, the higher the damage becomes!
The other one will be a replacement for Berserk. The new spell will be called Blood Lust, and will still provide double melee power, but only against normal units. However the zero defense drawback will be replaced by “unit becomes undead”, and the spell will be overland only, and much cheaper to cast.
I expect it’ll take about 4-5 days of testing before I can release, at the very least I’m going to play a whole game using 10 Death books to see how these changes work in practice.
It’s also worth mentioning there are new bugs found : Banished AI players lose their mana crystals due to a miscalculation in Alchemy, and the town data recalculation doesn’t trigger when it should. Be absolutely sure you update to the new version when it becomes available!

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WIP Status
None at the moment.
Caster of Magic always needs more testing and updates.