Slitherine a mis en ligne il y a peu une nouvelle utile série de screenshots pour ce futur prometteur remake. Images accompagnant un chapitre des notes de développement consacré à ce qui fut l’un des points forts de la version originale du jeu, au milieu des années 90, ses nombreux sortilèges.
Voici donc l’occasion d’en apprendre un peu plus sur ce que proposera le jeu. Vraisemblablement, comme on est en droit de s’y attendre, une riche diversité de possibilités ludiques et stratégiques.
Pour plus d’informations sur Master of Magic, voyez cette page chez l’éditeur ou celle-ci sur Steam. Les boules de cristal perçoivent toujours que le jeu pourrait apparaître dans notre continuum vidéoludique courant 2022.
Master of Magic – Development Diary #8 – February 2022
The Magic of Master of Magic
This month we decided to go back to the beginning as it were and talk about what exactly makes Master of Magic magical. The answer of course is spellcasting.
Over 200 Spells
Firstly, there are so many different types of spells. There are resistance spells, buffing spells, battle spells and global spells that can affect the whole world, terrain changing spells, curses, damage dealing blasts, crowd control, transforming spells, creating objects, summoning creatures and/or heroes, buffing the Wizards themselves, making your towns more efficient/or making your enemies towns suffer – the list goes on. And even within these types of spells, there are unique characteristics and effects. For example, while some spells share a simple and common mechanic, like summoning spells – they pretty much do what they say on the can, they summon things, but even they can sometimes surprise you.
Summoning spells call upon a creature of magic to serve your will. Those creatures are governed by their own set of rules, and are typically split into two types: battle only summons and world summons: that become part of your army both overland and in combat. But then, even here, you get Torin, the extra special champion that can only be recruited via a Life summoning spell. He is an exception to the summoned units and to heroes because his ‘tags’ are both “fantastic units” and “hero”.
For the purpose of game mechanics then, Torin is classified as fantastic (mostly… ), so that all spells and skills that affect fantastic units can also affect him – although he has kick ass immunities, so you are not likely to affect him at all! But, as a hero he becomes a more complex and unique case. He is presented in-game as a hero – so he is listed as one in our army, and so gets the hero equipment screen where he can be equipped with items. His presence in a town will stop it from rebelling and so on. But, he cannot be resurrected, only summoned again, and none of the spells that work on normal units (therefore also on other heroes) will work on Torin.
So even in this one example you see how Master of Magic likes to break its own rules and make exceptions that give so much flavour to the game.
Magic Realms: Sorcery
Invisibility – this one is really powerful, it makes your unit invisible and thus impossible to hit without some countermeasures, and Mass Invisibility is a really powerful boost that makes all your units disappear from the enemy’s gaze.
*Invisibility was also a headache to implement, there were issues with handling the pathfinding, how to ‘display’ the unit and so on.
The variation of possibilities in spellcasting, depending on the choice of magic books, is a wonderful thing. To give some examples of this, I’ll start with Sorcery. Sorcery is a realm specialising in illusions and the purity of magical power. It has good combat spells and summons, and can also counter and dispel enemy magic with several spells.
The realm has a good variety of battle summons. Phantom warriors are a pretty basic summon, but, as you have them from the start, they can make a difference in early game encounters. And then later, you get the Phantom Beast and Air Elemental and those can truly master the battlefield for you.
Sorcery also has a lot of ways to protect from and/or counter enemy spellcasting. To mention just a few: True Dispel – triples the power of Dispel Magic, Counterspell – creates an antimagic field that the enemy must punch through to have any of their spells working; Resist Magic – a spell that gives your units greater resistance against spell attacks or Disenchant True – another spell that is three times as powerful as its arcane counterpart and allows you to try and dispel magic cast in the world. And just to finish off the anti-magic tools, you get the super powerful Spell Lock that prevents the enemy from banishing your fantastic units or dispelling your enchantment.
Sorcery really has a lot of tricks up its sleeve, even early on in the game. One of my favourites, and a cheap spell too, is Confusion – by the power of illusion you mess with the enemy’s mind and they start acting erratically, quite often fighting their own allies. I’ve turned the tide of many early game battles with that one.
Magic Realms: Life
Life realm, on the other hand, has very few summons (although the ones it does have are pretty powerful!), so it relies more on buffing, healing and countering and attacking Life’s biggest enemies is Death and Chaos magic. While Sorcery is focused on magic as a power in itself, Life derives its power from an unknown yet ever present divine source.
With this power of the divine, the Wizard can cast such buffing spells as: Endurance for the units to move faster; Holy Weapon that can strike down creatures who cannot be harmed by mundane iron; Holy Armour that gives more protection, or High Prayer that buffs all the units, making even a humble, normal unit a formidable force to be reckoned with. To top that, the few fantastic units of Life are divinely powerful and they too further buff your friendly units in combat.
This humble halfling, was buffed with several Wizard spells, but also strengthened by the presence of Torin, unicorns and the archangel – all of whom gave additional boosts.
A Life army ready to kick some butt (though, I actually, lost that battle, badly…)
Some of the most staple spells of the realm, like Healing, or Resurrection can truly turn the tide of a battle, or even a war. But, it is in the battle against the enemies of Life (Death and often Chaos), where the realm really shines.
Note: In our current design, we are keeping the restriction of either Life or Death books owned by one Wizard.
Just from this brief glance at the two realms, I hope we are recreating the true magic of the game, where you can really discover so many ways to play, to mix the magic books, to surprise yourself and your enemy with arcane strategies. There are not only three more realms that I did not talk about, but also the many possibilities of mixing the books, and the added complexity of choosing Wizard traits and the right peoples to rule, which can further influence how your magic will work.