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  1. Let's Play: Master of Magic Do majestic 1994-fireball-animation attract any attention? I sure hope so, because as a newcomer in this forum in general and the LP subsection in particular, LPing a 22 years old strategy game might not be a good marketing decision. Still - I'd like to enter the fray with this oldtimer, hoping that some of you will enjoy its phenomenal graphics and polished gameplay awkward animations and questionable game balance. So what is this game? In short, it's basically Civilization I, but MAGIC! Its mechanics for science, infrastructure and (especially) combat are different enough to make MoM a unique game, but an experienced Civ player should be able to get into this game rather quickly. Like probably every Civ spin-off in history, MoM is all about expanding and developing an empire before you eventually murder your opponents. Is it still any good? Well, yes - I wouldn't do this otherwise. The graphics haven't aged well and the first thing I did was muting the sound, but the gameplay itself is very enjoyable, even by today's standards. 4X games like this usually have a good replay value in general, and compared to (at least the first) civ games, Master of Magic has even more parameters to make every playthrough unique. Unfortunately, it shares another trait: the AI in this game is hilariously weak, so the higher difficulty setting put the player at an equally hilarious disadvantage to make up for it. Is there more of this awesome intro? Yeah, I only sewed together two small parts of it. Here's the whole thing (not my vid). Do you want to get started already? Yes. [spoiler=Getting Started] Just going over the settings real quick: Hard is only the second-highest difficultiy because 1) I am a filthy casual, 2) I haven't played this in a while and 3) I don't enjoy if my opponents summon the Armageddon on me while I teach my guys how to use a halberd. 'Powerful magic' means that the main sources of magic power yield more mana, but are also guarded by more powerful monsters. There are 14 prebuilt wizards to choose from (Here's a list)... ...but being a filthy casual, I prefer to go with a more optimized build. The game includes five magic realms (afaik directly ripped off Magic: The Gathering) and quite a few special abilities of varying power. I'd like to go though those as well: [spoiler=Magic Realms] Somewhat surprising, very few of the Life magic spells are healing spells. Instead, this realm focuses on supporting spells, making the common troops of a Life wizard quite terrifying. Other than that, it has a few spells to improve your empire's economy and some direct counterspells against the Death and Chaos realms. Death magic is the polar opposite and one wizard cannot learn spells out of both of these realms. Death spells do what you'd expect: Weakening the enemy, both in combat and on the world map. The more advanced spells can get really devestating, so a Death mage can be a really annoying opponent. Not by power, but by efficiency, Death also features the best summoning magic in the game. Chaos is the reason why I don't like to play this game on impossible. Most of its spells are combat related: Quite a few Summons (including the powerful but expensive Great Drake), a lot of directly damaging spells and very little else. At the very end of the spell list, however, you'll find a few global spells that can be summed up as 'fucks up the whole world, except the caster's cities'. On impossible, an enemy Chaos mage will grab one of these fast and that's just no fun. Nature is the Jack-of-all-trades of the realms, unfortunately including the Master-of-none part. It has spells of every kind (supporting and damaging, both for combat and for infrastructure), but they tend to be nice instead of powerful, making this (in my opinion) the weakest realm in the game. Sorcery has a few vaguely wind-related spells, but the strengths of this realm are illusion (like invisibility) and meta-magic (starting with powerful antimagic and ending with acutally stealing global enchantments). In my experience, Sorcery gives you a rather slow start, but later not only are some of the advanced spells really powerful, but the AI gets boned hard by invisible and/or flying units. Every realm includes 40 spells, divided into four tiers. The number of books picked determines how many of them you'll find (and be able to study) in your library: ten books give you every spell of the realm, fewer books randomly remove some, starting at the most powerful tier. Even though some of the special traits are really powerful, they're less impactful for the overall game. So I'll just link a short summary instead of going into detail here. I'll just explain my final build: With this combination, I'll get a lot of value out of my non-magical units, hopefully to the point where they're as strong as the most powerful summons (and way less pricey). Alchemy allows me to convert gold and mana without losses in either direction, giving me a lot of flexibility throughout the game. Warlord boosts the experience level of all non-magical units, even giving them an additional combat rank above the usual maximum. The downside of taking both these traits: I can only hope that I will have all of the more important spells in my library. Fortunately, the three spells I'm really looking forward to are only in the second-highest tier, of which I'll only be missing three... Picking 8 books of only one realm also gives me seven of the basic spells at the start of the game. I'll go over them when I actually start playing. And finally I get to choose which race populates my capital. This decision mostly affects the earlygame since you'll be able to capture neutral cities (although occupying a dwarven city as a elven ruler will result in angry dwarves), but the difference can be quite significant. I'm picking Halflings because they have the strongest combat units in the game while also being able to build up a decent infrastructure. I'm not kidding, by the way. Hobbit units are pretty insane. But again, I'll go into detail when I actually play this game - in the next update. This one's long enough, but I hope that I managed to keep a few readers going up to this point. As an addendum: This is only my second LP and the first one was in a smaller forum and in my native language. So I'd really appreciate feedback, especially if some passages are phrased weird or just plain wrong. As long as it's not "EVERYTHING SUCKS!", feel free to be critical. ;)
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