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Old 04-27-2012, 09:07 PM   #1
craxrax
 
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A Fair Warlock Review.

Hey there!

Let me just start the review by saying that I have played Civ 5 extensively, but not Masters of Magic. I trust people's judgement on the forums that the latter was an awesome game, but I won't be able to compare it to this game. I have also played the Majesty series as well, and I gotta say, they were pretty original and fun. They have this fantasy theme going with a fair dosage of humor surrounding it... it's pretty refreshing from the usual medieval fantasy games that take themselves too seriously.

As I mentioned, I played Civ 5 a lot. Not because I thought it was particularly good, but because it was addictive, and one could simply not help oneself to grind the game until reaching the death robots era.

Warlock definitely plays very much like Civ 5, but seems to be more focused on solid, immediately rewarding strategies. Civ 5 had a lot of "in-between" junk that you had to plow through and memorize to adequately build your empire. When I play Warlock, I don't have that impression. Everything I build (which, btw, doesn't necessitate hiring any workers) has a quick and obvious outcome on planned strategies.

The rules of the game are pretty well knit together. It's quite fun to see all the different strategies you can use to win a game. I must also mention that they're VERY easy to learn. Just like Civ 5, the game will not let you accidentally end your turn without prompting you to development you might have overseen (whether it is to move a unit, build a building or fend off attackers near one of your cities).

You can hire all sorts of different units, gather all sorts of materials and build quite a plethora of buildings, but never to the point of overwhelming the player. Everything is easy to manage. You can also accumulate mana and use spells that can change the tide of a battle.

There was also a mention of diplomacy, deciding on a hero and even on a race. However, having only played the demo, these options weren't there yet, so I had to play the humans. However, even with these elements lacking, this game was a nearly automatic buy. My only hesitations were "Hmm, but Diablo 3 is gonna come out, soon... maybe I should hoard some moneys". The demo soon changed my mind.

I've also heard people were concerned with bugs, but let me assure you, running a pretty so-so laptop, this game ran quite well without any mishaps, even with multiple enemies on screen.

The Good: Great balance. A seemingly huge amount of material to play with. Great rules and fun with rare "slow" times. Good AI, good gameplay evolution, easy to understand, pretty visuals.

The Bad: It's so similar to Civ 5 at first glance, some people may call it outright plagiarism or at the very least a mod. But remember: just because a game is like another does not make the former "less fun". Terraria (to Minecraft) is an example to that.

The lowdown: If you liked Civ 5, you're going to adore this game. If you liked Masters of Magic, apparently you'll love this too, but I can't objectively confirm this (not having played it and all). Finally, whether you liked the Majesty series or never even heard of them, this is strategy gamer's delight. For a 20$ price tag, you're not just getting a lot of material, you're getting it meticulously balanced a well. Guaranteed time sink and a must-buy in my book.

95%.
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Old 04-27-2012, 09:11 PM   #2
Levi
 
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That sounds pretty promising. I might have to get this...
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Old 04-27-2012, 09:45 PM   #3
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I think a better review would factor out all the civ 5 comparisons. I didn't like Civ5, but loved other civ games, and so I have no idea where that puts me.
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Old 04-28-2012, 02:20 AM   #4
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I too fell in love with the DEMO... but it is just that... I hate to be the one to say it, but you can't review a game on just the demo alone... and call it fair.

Regardless, if you feel what is offered in the demo alone is worth 20$ then ok, sure.

I am very optimistic, but am hesitant to call it a win until I see what the AI can do. These types of game (IMO) live or die based on their AI. The demo was such a small slice and very much pre made (instant war etc) that im sure was testing a billion times.

When the game gets really going with random maps and crazy settings, will the AI be easier exploited? Is it a one sided AI, only going full out war without regard? Look at games like Empire Total war, amazing game, so much depth, but with an AI that couldn't tie its own shoes, especially if you introduce those scary ships.... wasn't worth playing (cannot comment if that fixed now)...

That elemental game by stardock was another game I almost got screwed on, watching beta videos and reading forums only showed so much, that AI and many other things were so broken. I know these are different companies but lets just wait 10 days before we give a game a 95%.

Just my 2c
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Old 04-28-2012, 02:41 AM   #5
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I honestly thing this is going to be a strong contender for game of the year for me. I bought it before playing the demo because I tend to like all TBS's no matter what anyone else thinks of them so I like to encourage their development where possible as we don't get many made for us - certainly with this level of presentation.
And it seems to have been a good choice because the demo is SO addictive. I think only Firaxis' X-COM stands a chance of knocking it into second place.
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Old 04-28-2012, 02:55 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zechnophobe View Post
I think a better review would factor out all the civ 5 comparisons. I didn't like Civ5, but loved other civ games, and so I have no idea where that puts me.
I don't think any comparison to any particular version of Civ will especially help you because it doesn't really play the same. It just looks similar to Civ V.

It's less about research and more about combat. Unit types and upgrades come from the buildings you have rather than tech. Though you do have to still build infrastructure type buildings to keep resources coming in.

And the combat seems more oriented towards keeping smaller groups of heavily upgraded troops alive than churning out tons of your newest invention. If you've played the games whose engine it uses (Fantasy Wars/Elven legacy) then you'll have an idea of what the combat is like and how much you can upgrade units. It's closer to a tactics game than Civ is.

Best to play the demo if you're unsure.
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Old 04-28-2012, 09:13 AM   #7
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I had pre-ordered Diablo III Collector's Edition about 3 months ago. Blizzard has a solid reputation; producing high quality games that work. No concerns there. Comfortable purchase. Really looking forward to it.

Warlock looks okay. Though I don't know much of the developer InCoPlus, the publisher on the other hand -- Paradox -- has a horrible, horrible reputation. For that reason alone I will wait to see how this game fairs after a few months of the typical game-fixing-patching that is often times the case for any Pdox affiliated product.

Last edited by Essedarius: 04-28-2012 at 09:26 AM.
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Old 04-28-2012, 09:38 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Essedarius View Post
Though I don't know much of the developer InCoPlus
They did Fantasy Wars, Elven Legacy and Majesty 2.

This game is basically a sort of large scale version of Elven Legacy with Civ style sandbox type maps rather than the campaign modes of Elven Legacy. And set in the Majesty universe. They were certainly the right devs to be making this game based on their history!

I've not had any issues with any of the aforementioned games. Mind you, I haven't especially had any problems with any other Paradox title I've bought despite their rep. Though I can't seem to get into the Grand Strategy stuff they are most well known for.

There's a two hour long demo you can try to see how it takes to your computer stability wise. I had no issues at all with it.

Last edited by targetbsp: 04-28-2012 at 09:44 AM.
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Old 04-28-2012, 10:34 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Essedarius View Post
the publisher on the other hand -- Paradox -- has a horrible, horrible reputation.
To be fair, I think that this is partly because Paradox seems willing to publish pretty much anything. Most of the games that they have published that were just abysmal were bad because of the actual developers (SOTS2 comes to mind).

Still, I will admit that that this game took me by surprise. It is a bit rough around the edges, and as someone else said it does have a very "eastern European developer" feel, but it's still very solid and fun.
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Old 04-28-2012, 09:29 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xFlashx View Post
I too fell in love with the DEMO... but it is just that... I hate to be the one to say it, but you can't review a game on just the demo alone... and call it fair.
Ive no idea why people think reviewing a demo can remotely be called a review. I certainly hope he has had access to the full build otherwise this means nothing at all. Your only seeing a small portion of the game. If anything this should just be an impression of a demo. If it was a review of a demo, how can anyone take it serious, or that he played Civ 5 extensively? Extensively as in played Civ 5's demo? If this is based on the full game then apologies, but way too many people are making very amateurish reviews based purely on demos.

A. Its not the full build, and typically an early build.

B. How do you know if the demo is as great as it gets, and everything else just stinks? What if there is only 1 hour of game play?

People should just wait till something is released, then offer a much more educated user review. Reviewing a demo is both amateurish and sad. Again apologies if this was the full build, but since its not released its hard to say. Ive a press preview in my email box for the full release, so maybe he does to.
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Old 04-28-2012, 09:56 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimrad1 View Post
Ive no idea why people think reviewing a demo can remotely be called a review. I certainly hope he has had access to the full build otherwise this means nothing at all. Your only seeing a small portion of the game. If anything this should just be an impression of a demo. If it was a review of a demo, how can anyone take it serious, or that he played Civ 5 extensively? Extensively as in played Civ 5's demo? If this is based on the full game then apologies, but way too many people are making very amateurish reviews based purely on demos.

A. Its not the full build, and typically an early build.

B. How do you know if the demo is as great as it gets, and everything else just stinks? What if there is only 1 hour of game play?

People should just wait till something is released, then offer a much more educated user review. Reviewing a demo is both amateurish and sad. Again apologies if this was the full build, but since its not released its hard to say. Ive a press preview in my email box for the full release, so maybe he does to.
I hear what your saying, but to me, what I'm getting from the review is "hey the demo alone is worth 20 bucks." It's not like testing a car, where after a few months or years, things start to go wrong with it. It's more like going to a restaurant, and begin given a single dish. Sure, we have no idea is the other dishes at the restaurant suck, but this dish is totally worth it. The rest is just extra.

But than, I'm not an asshat, and I'm willing to take him at his word that he enjoyed it. On the other hand, with a Demo freely available, you can play it yourself, and come to your own conclusions.
But than, when it comes to reviews, maybe this article will help him in his future in review games. You certainly seemed to have read this already.
http://thurot.com/2012/02/29/how-to-...ndie-reviewer/
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Old 04-29-2012, 01:22 AM   #12
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From the demo and the TotalBiscuit WTF video (where he shows the world generation options and other stuff missing from the demo), the game looks amazing. It's worth checking "show all buildings" in every town to see the massive number of buildings and units you can produce... even flying ships!

I found the interface very smart and with a better flow than the Civ games. Only thing I missed is shortcut keys which either aren't there or aren't shown in the UI... but maybe it's only a demo issue, and either way it's easy to fix with a patch.

Lastly the AI seems quite competent and is capable of ferocious, coordinated attacks, ganging up on units to kill them, and also of doing massive retreats when things aren't shaping up too well.
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Old 04-29-2012, 03:03 AM   #13
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I was, too, sold by demo alone. It was so fun and addictive that I immediately purchased the game.

I managed to encounter an AI (A cool little Lich that sounded the part) and the diplomacy was just fine - I negotiated a non-aggression treaty with a bit of extra coin and everything worked. I'm glad this isn't a constant-war game. I just know this is a game I'll enjoy, because without realizing it, I got bitten by the 'just one more turn' syndrome, and got it hard. That, alone was worth the 20 bucks.

xFlashx, regarding Stardock's Elemental, I actually managed to have fun with the first builds of this game, warts and all, as I enjoyed being able to summon me an army instead of having to build one and the spells were magnificent. Sure, there were bugs in it, yet the core gameplay was right up my alley. But then they patched up the game, and instead of simply fixing the abundant crashes, they 'balanced' the game to a GalCiv 2 in a Fantasy setting and turned it all boring and grayish. The spells came much later, they weren't so powerful anymore, just bonuses here or there, and the summoning spells were available much later in the game, where they were no longer needed since you could muster a huge army by then.

They actually let their quite vocal fan-based ruin a fun experience for the sake of 'balance'. That was a wasted investment, unfortunately, but due to the wrong reasons, in my opinion.

Luckily, judging from the demo, Warlock seems to get it right - to hell with balance, just do what's fun for you. In a tight spot? Blast the enemy with a mega spell and remove the threat altogether in a heart beat. Stuck without defenses? Summon a few, and everything will be just fine. Your units gradually gather experience without having to constantly fight, so you aren't forced to play aggressively if you don't feel like it, and just like just like craxrax mentioned - you do X and you immediately get Y. You do Y, and you get a Z. Unlike the more weighty turn based games, where 100 turns later you found out you made a critical mistake, Warlock just oozes instant gratification for the player. Just what I need after a hard day's work/study.

Maybe the more austere player will think this is a too light and shallow experience for them, but they already have their Civ in Emperor difficulty to be all stern and broody about
Not that it's really such a shallow turn based game, mind you, it just...flows. It lets you enjoy yourself, instead of forcing you to read thick manuals and do a lot of trial and error to get some fun out of it.
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Old 04-29-2012, 03:00 PM   #14
Zechnophobe
 
 
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimrad1 View Post
Ive no idea why people think reviewing a demo can remotely be called a review. I certainly hope he has had access to the full build otherwise this means nothing at all. Your only seeing a small portion of the game. If anything this should just be an impression of a demo. If it was a review of a demo, how can anyone take it serious, or that he played Civ 5 extensively? Extensively as in played Civ 5's demo? If this is based on the full game then apologies, but way too many people are making very amateurish reviews based purely on demos.

A. Its not the full build, and typically an early build.

B. How do you know if the demo is as great as it gets, and everything else just stinks? What if there is only 1 hour of game play?

People should just wait till something is released, then offer a much more educated user review. Reviewing a demo is both amateurish and sad. Again apologies if this was the full build, but since its not released its hard to say. Ive a press preview in my email box for the full release, so maybe he does to.
I've put 7 hours in on the Demo alone, because I replayed it 3 times ( so far).

The game wouldn't have to bring that much more to be completely worth it's asking price.

Yet the Demo also shows a whole lot that is going on that you don't even get to really touch, such as populated new worlds, choosing your Warlock, etc.

You can say a review of the Demo isn't a review of the full game, but it's still a review, and a valuable thing nonetheless.
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Old 05-01-2012, 01:07 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by craxrax View Post
Terraria (to Minecraft) is an example to that.
You seems to have eye problem.
Terraria is 2D and Minecraft is 3D.
Terraria to Starbound. That will be good comparison.
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