Master of Magic Sequel/Remake Wishlist

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Master of Magic Sequel/Remake Wishlist

Post by Blake00 » Sat Oct 12, 2019 5:22 am

Hey guys!

After your announcement I went out into many communities and asked fans what they want to see in a new Master of Magic game. I feel enough time has passed to post the results here for your viewing. Most fans so far appear to be mostly wanting MoM with a fresh coat of paint and don't want the wheel reinvented. Some have made some crazy suggestions but generally most game changing suggestions people came up with had already been done in one of the MoM style spin off games (eg Age of Wonders, Warlock, Endless Legend, Sorcerer/Elemental/FE, Worlds of Magic/PQ, Eador, Dominions etc) so such a change would make it feel more like them than a MoM sequel. So perhaps you guys need to update the traditional style MoM game but also be careful that you don't turn it into something else with too many drastic changes that have already been done and quite possibly done better.

I hope this helps you craft a great game in this early conceptual faze. Obviously us fans are a demanding, disagreeing, inconsistent, pessimistic folk lol so I apologise for some of the negative comments here and there. You're not new to this and you know how passionate fans are about this game so I'm sure its nothing you didn't expect and can't handle haha. However mostly the feedback has been really interesting with all sorts of Do's and Don'ts posted! I'm going to try and post it all here. People feel free to add your own wishlist items in comments below!

Source 1 - Me lol!:
For purely selfish reasons I'm going to stick my own preferences first haha sorry.
• BIG ONE - More than 4 enemy players. Implode's MoM HD Multiplayer Remake allowed EVERY wizard in one game for super 14 player games which would have bee EPIC and so much fun had he finished the project.
• Include a map editor/scenario creator! Very important feature!
• Larger maps (Insectiside fan patch added huge map size to the original)
• Limited Spying (most fantasy rpgs have thieves/rogues so it fits and stealing spells would be fun)
• Time limit and bigger cost on time stop spell (if you're planning on having that annoying spell again)
• Demand or give cities in Diplomacy (most 4x games have this now and I like using it to play god/peacekeep and save bullied Civs and minor factions from deaths door)
• Expand Grey Neutral Faction into lots of minor factions with identities and race affiliations (eg a minor Elven race with a minor elf wizard that likes Elven main civs and makes trouble for others.. this is another thing done in modern 4x fantasy and space games)
• More worlds and/or an underground world (although this has already been done before in AoW, HoMM & Warlock series)
• More ocean content eg HoMM series filled oceans with shipwreck lairs and treasures (even Morrowind had underwater caves filled with creatures and treasure so this is not new to fantasy games). You could even have a Merfolk faction with cities in the ocean. The fun Fantasy and Midgard scenarios for Civilization 2 Test of Time had a good underwater Merfolk faction with lots of sea based units/creatures.
• Not essential but some cool weather effects would be a fun immersion factor (especially as you can tie spells into them for gameplay events such as huge storms and earthquakes etc). The Official Playstation remake of Master of Magic has clouds rolling over and some cool weather effects from spells. The new Civ6 addon Gathering Storm is another good example of world changing weather effects.
• Talk to Seravy, he's da man on all things MoM and the creator of the super popular MoM overhaul mod Caster of Magic
I posted in your announcement thread that there are a multitude of online resources for MoM such as the MoM Wiki and the Realms forum fan mods that dissected every part of the original. The Master of Magic Official Strategy Guide Book is another excellent resource I recently read, probably a pdf copy of it somewhere online. I'd recommend these resources if you don't have the original MoM source files.

Source 2 - Master of Magic Fans Facebook Group - Wishlist Convo:
Had really good feedback from the guys in my group and I'm loyal to my members so I'm going to be selfish again and give them second slot haha.
I use to love the variety of character and breeds you could play! I hope they don’t element to save time or cost ...

There's only one way to make a sequel to MoM: just improve the AI and graphics to modern standards. I would suggest to add some units/buildings/spells, but I fear it could ruin everything 😁.

My wishlist:
target platforms: Windows, macOS, iOS (iPad and iPhone), Android.
do not make it real time (keep it turn based)
multiplayer is a bonus, but not if it ruins the solo player game

I would like to have all options visible on main window. No clicking for info and one of the advisers to check each tile where is the good place for city. Even city panel with buildings and workers could be squeezed into main screen UI, so you could quickly click city on main screen and check on left UI bar, what is build everywhere.
Would kill for auto-scout command; manually commanding each scout to move 2 tile each turn is extremely wearing.

old master of magic in gameplay with graphical today + multiplayer = perfect!!

Often when in the game you have a lot of cities, it should would be great if we could see the city name when one of them gets attacked.

I wish the Wizard's Tower was visible on the overland map. Save a lot of trouble clicking on every enemy city.

Niccolò Maria Ricchio Just tell them to hire seravy (Blake Note: Seravy is the creator of the super popular MoM overhaul mod Caster of Magic )

I want the same feeling of being a wizard. That's what I love. I want spells that effect the unit and spells as big as world enchantments.

My dream would be to play the game on my Android phone, or my iPad, or my Mac laptop, or on my Linux box. If the engine was flexible enough so that it could be customized to play EXACTLY like v1.31 (bugs and all), then I don't care what else they do to jazz it up.

A very important thing: decide if your game is going to be single player or "multiplayer with simulated human players", i.e. decide if other wizards are bound to the same rules as the human player (opening up the possibility for multiplayer) or have their own rules (making it easier to improve the single player gameplay) .

All I really want is improved graphics and sound, improved AI and some UI enhancements. MoM has a fantastic set of systems and I'm worried that attempts to change them will make it worse. My most important request is: by all means do what you like with the franchise - make it real time, change all the units, bring in new races, literally do anything you like - but please give us the option to turn off all of the new stuff and play "classic" MoM with better graphics, sound, AI and UI.

I think one thing that is missing here is the charm. Master of magic was so good in part because of the charm it had. The wizards were lovingly crafted, the music gave you a melancholic mood that is rare in games, and the graphics left TONS to the imagination. One tiny example that comes to my mind is the blacksmith sprite. You can juuuust barely make out a hammer banging out something, while sparks fly from it, but the distance makes it really easy for you to fill out the space with your imagination.
As far as the game-play goes, I think balance was over-rated back in the day before perfect information existed. The advent of the internet has made exploring/optimizing strategies less fun because it gets solved so quickly that its impossible to recreate the feeling of discovery that the original had so much of. So In the name of keeping that original feeling, I propose something a little different: Slight to moderate randomization of stats+abilities per game. Therefore each time you play you are rediscovering the game and therefore there won't be set "Strategies", but you will have to figure out on the fly which units are the best, which spells will work well, and which heroes to hire. This prevents a "Solved" meta-game state from ever appearing.

FMerripen I think random stats would be horrible to ... Balance!
Instead of constant there is variable range to estimate. You don't expect f.ex. doom draces to have possible attack value lower than spearman. Or lower cost.
Anyway very interesting concept, would like to try it. I think it could expand even further each unit having random stats. So 2 lizardam helbardiers can have different stats.

Right, I never intended a TOTAL randomization, but the example you brought forward is a good way to think about it. Solving the problem of perfect information in games has been a tough one to grapple with. Rogue-like mechanics seem to slow it down for a time in more action based games, however in strategy games and traditional rogue-likes that element of spacial randomness has ALWAYS existed. But I think an extra element of mechanical randomness could help hold back the tide of perfect information.

I must say i find reading the thread where people argue it's so easy to just "deep mind" the AI hilarious. "Easy" if you are Google maybe. (Blake Note: He's reffering to what I'm posting next below. The MoM realms beyond wishlist thread which turned into a bit of a farce)

Source 2.5 - Master of Magic Fans Facebook Group - MoM Remake Vote:
This is an interesting separate topic where one of my members interested in doing his own fan remake asked about a number of features people want to see in a new MoM game and it lead to a good discussion with lots of replies that would useful to the official game you guys are making.It's another huge convo so I'm not going to quote all the posts here but there's some good stuff in there you might want to check out.

Source 3 - Realms Beyond Master of Magic Forum - Wishlist Thread:
I had high hopes for this place as its the last dedicated MoM forum in existence (as far as I know) however unfortunately thread turned into a bit of joke and a spectacle as certain members decided to aggressively push their rather out there suggestions and fiercely argue with anyone who disagreed (which was everyone) while other posted pessimistic Slitherine bashing which helped no one. I'm not going to reward that rubbish by copying it all here (plus it went for like 5 pages) so if you wanna see it go follow the link above. I'm gonna post the constructive posts I saw in-between and around the debate.
We should make a list of DO's and DON'Ts: What is working good and what is working bad. After so much bad successors should be a discussion about the game design of MoM a good and inspiring idea.
- a lot of content (magic, units, ... yeah!)
- fast but a lot of tactical battles (perfect to test new unit combinations)
- living worlds in the endgame (with hundreds of armys on the screen)
- best power development (from a novice to a god - from 20mana to 1000mana per turn, from a little ghost to a game changer spell)
- good magic system like MtG with game changers and global spells

Well, if they read through the 1000s of pages of posts on the CoM subforum, they'll get a pretty good idea about what to/not to do to the smallest detail, otherwise, idk. MoM is a game designer's worst nightmare, obviously you need decent game balance because it's a strategy game, but you also need super powerful spells because nothing hurts a fantasy game more than underwhelming and boring magic and fantasy elements.
Unfortunately I can't provide a wish list, and in fact we better don't. 90% of the things people wish for are not viable to implement due to game balance reasons.
I can provide some generic advice though :
-Whenever you implement a feature or game mechanic, immediately implement the full AI for it. Don't use game mechanics that aren't AI friendly. The AI should be the responsibility of one person, otherwise it'll end up doing self-contradicting stuff. This person should have the right to veto any game mechanic decision if it's not playable for the AI. (Yes, this restricts the options quite a lot, but it's necessary.)
-Don't be lazy testing. Play the game for thousands of hours before releasing it otherwise balance issues won't be noticed. Important : the SAME person has to do the full testing schedule. Otherwise how will you know some faction is stronger than another? It wasn't the same person playing them so they won't notice the difference.
-Graphics are not a priority.
-UI is a priority though. Don't make mobile friendly crap, design it for PC users. Make the UI consistent : left click to act, right click to get help, esc button to cancel for example. Everywhere. No "move by right button, cancel building by right button as well" madness. That's unplayable. MoM has about the best UI I've ever seen in a game. Keep it the same.
-Don't hide information. This is a strategy game. We need to know about all stats and unit abilities, we need to know all game formulas. All of it needs to be readily available by right clicking on the appropriate part of the UI.
-Magic is a big deal. Spells need to be powerful. That's why this is "Master of Magic"... but this applies to all types of magic, not just one or two.
-There shouldn't be an "always wins" strategy. Players should need to adapt to what their enemy plays to succeed. Different methods should be used against different races and realms. All relevant setups the player can play should have at least one way to deal with all reasonably possible enemy configurations. The most powerful strategies (for example buffing in CoM) should have powerful counters that can say "no, try something else" every once in a while. Not every strategy has to be perfectly equal, that's what difficulty levels are for. But every race or realm of magic has to have at least one top tier strategy.
-Bugs are not okay. Especially AI bugs. They ruin your carefully designed game balance because the AI might fail to use the spells that would counter the most dominant strategies.
-The AI is important. The AI is important. The AI is important. The AI is important. The AI is important. Can't say this enough times.
-Heroes are a huge risk to game balance but also a lot of fun. Be careful with them. Same for the random treasure.
-The AI isn't as smart as a human player in executing plans. It works better if it tries to focus on overwhelming players with quantity or powerful units than if it aims to do a precise strike. Remember you have multiple AI players on the board so it's okay if some lose if it benefits the others.
-Diplomacy is the most powerful element of the game. The game plays entirely different when you're at peace and the AI's are fighting each other compared to when you are at war with 4 AI players at once who are allied. So it should be difficult and unlikely to end up with the "all war" or "no one ever attacks" cases, but the latter is okay if the AI is programmed to peacefully settle territory at least as fast as the human player can at their highest effectiveness. Once the territory is all taken, the difficulty level modifiers on their income will do the rest. (or not if the difficulty is low, but then we want the human to win anyway...) - just be sure the player can't claim all the territory with settlers early then make treaties and force peace to win through that advantage - unless they are playing whichever strategies specializes in that heavily.
-4X games are long. So make the combat animations (and the UI in general) fast and skippable.
-This is a game of the highest complexity. Don't rush it, it'll take years to get it done right.
That's about everything I can think of right now.

I agree.
Esp the fast movement - in AoW3 was it my wish in the beta test wink But in AoW3 you can wider go in one turn as your unit can see - hello micromanagement...
This is a game of the highest complexity! Test it via "Early Access"! Give us an AI editor or a possibility for AI modding - so we players can build the best AI for it.

Here is my DON'T: just DON'T do it. We don't need another "Not Master of Orion". wink

Make it multiplayer from the get go. Concurrent turns are a must.
In this day and age, and despite what most of the denizens of this forum think, this will make or break the game.
With that approach, you don't need to invest so much on ai, just build a multiplayer agent that uses Deepmind. Better results guaranteed for solo players as well.

I wouldn't play a game with concurrent turns. That's not strategy anymore, it's a "who clicks faster" game. Try playing chess with simultaneous turns. Nonsense. I did play a simultaneous turn card game once and hated it.
Multiplayer would be a good idea in theory but the game length is too long for it to work, unless the other players are AI.

You said it! I have played AoW2 and 3 a lot in MP, but it needs house rules: "Don't move as fast as you can to obtain a winning battle", because that is unfair.
I made a list of problems of 4X games some years ago.
Concurrent Turns is one of them.
The next MP problem is the "I can't win and bye.."-Player. A good 4X game should not have a mass of counter (like Mana, Gold,...), because the players feel outdistanced and frustrated. It need a chance for small and slow nations to win a game too (f.e. by a quest or a game changing mechanic).
"Instant kill"-Spells are not the best choice for a MP game (say good bye to Cracks Call and Lightning...) and a living world with hundreds of armys like in MoM can't work well in MP.
The list is much longer, but you feel the problems to design a good successor.
IMO a good game has an exciting showdown for all players. MoM2 has potential for it, but 4X games are designed by the same design principles for years.

(Blake Note: The ridiculous debate kicks off so I'm going to start skipping stuff sorry).

Oh and about multiplayer, this particular game is full of rage quitting inducing stuff that simply wouldn't work if coming from an actual human person. Hey, I'll cast Time Stop now and take 10 turns while you don't do anything. Guys, care to have some Armageddon? Or : Okay so I'm going to lose this game now and I can't stop it but you'll spend 10 turns conquering all my cities so I'll spend these 10 turns spamming corruption on your and my own cities, corrupting every single tile there is, and sell all my buildings. Next time you'll think twice about attacking MY empire you loser. Oh, and let's not forget I'll donate all my gold to the person who is planning to backstab you right after this war. Also, I'll find your heroes and kill every single one of them with web+crack's call. Even if you're smart enough to not use them against my green/red wizard, too bad, I'm not an AI so I can intentionally seek out and attack them with these bunches of spearmen.

I want to add my support to Seravy's point about not hiding information from the player. How much gets shown in the main layer of the UI is a separate issue -- UIs should not be too cluttered -- but the info needs to be available if the player wants to drill down for it. Strategy games should be about making interesting, meaningful decisions. And to do that the player needs information.
I also think that decent AI is a must. Unless it takes only a short amount of time to play the full game -- a few hours at the very most -- getting a group together who can consistently play to keep a multi-player game going is tough. So most players are going to be playing single player, and that means AI opponents who can actually play the game and provide a decent challenge. The game mechanics must take the need for effective AI into account -- anything the AI can not handle needs to be removed or modified, no matter how cool the designer thinks it is. (Hello, 1UPT Civ games, I'm looking at you.)
Testing, lots of testing, is very important. Including AI testing -- something like Sullla's Civ AI Survivor would be a very good idea. Make sure your AIs can expand, attack and conquer a rival, defend themselves from an attack, and actually reach a victory condition. Preferably all the victory conditions which exist in the game, if there are more than one. AIs should actually use all the major features in the game, not ignore some of them. (This is usually more of a problem with expansions, but sometimes occurs in initial releases.)
I hope to see something good come out of Slytherine and the MoM IP. But I worry that we will get yet another game that has the name but none of the flavor of the original.

Simultaneous turns converts MoM into a different game... and that game already exists and has several sequels. wink
Drastic changes like that are exactly what will turn a lot of the old fans away from a remake or sequel. I've started threads like this across multiple forums and the recurring theme is that most people want MoM with a fresh coat of paint. They don't want the wheel reinvented.
If you want simultaneous go play AoW3, if you want no zoomed in battles go play Warlock, if you want extremely diverse factions go play Endless Legend, if you want.. well I could keep going on and on as the MoM formula has been twisted in many directions over the years.. whether it be Sorcerer/Elemental/FE, Worlds of Magic/PQ, Eador, Dominions or others out there odds are for nearly every game changing suggestion people throw at a MoM remake it already exists out there and by changing MoM into that it then becomes that instead of MoM.
And TBS is not some long lost 90s concept. Every year there are multiple TBS games coming out lol.
However all that being said the newer Civilization games added simultaneous turns for multiplayer but kept the single player game turn based so if they want to do that with MoM then that at least won't affect me as I don't play multiplayer lol.

Agree with Blake00 that many of the possible "major" variations of MoM already exist in other games/series. I have played most of them, and enjoyed some of them quite a lot. But they are not MoM.
The only reason a company buys an existing IP and puts it on something totally new is to try to lure in fans of the old IP to try their game. If the new product is too different from the original, a lot of those fans will feel cheated/misled. The company may say "It worked, we got their money, who cares that they are unhappy?" but that harms the company's reputation for future games. Hopefully Slytherine is looking to make a solid game and build longer-term appeal, and not just for a quick cash grab.

IMO Slitherine should hire Seravy and a good player of 'Magic the Gathering' to build a new and perfect 'Master of Magic 2' ;-)

"Just hire Seravy, cover him in money if he resists"

(Blake Note: The Slitherine bashing, Deep AI and Simultanious turns debate continued to rage on for entire pages around these useful posts above and I eventually lost my temper haha sorry)

Oh enough about bloody AIs lol!!!! I posted wishlist requests in a few places and got great feedback and positive conversation. People came forward, listed the things they wanted, and left it at that. While here (the place I had biggest and highest hopes for) I've got 5 pages of bickering about super AIs and pessimistic Slitherine bashing which HELPS NO ONE.
I can pretty much sum up the 5 pages in 2 wishlist items for Slitherine:
1. Add multiplayer mode and take advantage of modern improvements to such as simultaneous turns BUT still give option in settings for traditional turn based. Leave single player as turn based or once again provide settings option for both ways to keep everyone happy. DONE.
2. Make a good AI and don't f*ck it up, see examples above. There DONE. If you really wanna debate about different AIs do it in another thread, not a MoM feature wishlist thread.
Maybe another 4 or 5 posts here (that weren't part of the bickering) that I can use too. Thank you to those people. I'll make sure I copy across your suggestions.

I can't remember a single sequel to a classic game which didn't disappoint. The only wish I have for Slitherine - release the game's source code. MoM doesn't have the popularity to quite go the OpenXcom/Daggerfall Unity/OpenMW etc. route by itself (even though some attempts and progress has been made, they are not quite on the same level as the ones mentioned, no offense to the people behind them). MoM doesn't even get the effort that Rocco and co. are putting into MoO2, let alone to get something on the level of what Heroes III is getting with it's Horn of the Abyss and HD mods (though CoM is doing as great a work as it can under the circumstances I think). So the only hope I see for a classic MoM experience, but improved, is for the source code to be released, which might create enough interest for a source port with extensive editing and modding capability to happen. Anything else will result in disappointment imo.
Though it could be interesting to think about changes to MoM that I would want to see in a MoM like game.
Well my two biggest problems with current MoM is the level if micromanagement tedium in regards to town and unit numbers (and proximity in regards to towns) on the map.
So what I would like is a style of game more oriented towards "tall" playstyles, where players don't own more than a couple of cities, maybe a dozen at max if they conquer the whole map and every AI city in addition to their own, but offer more variety and choice about how you develop those cities. So for example lets say you have 2 Barbarian cities, each one should offer so much mutually exclusive choices in regards to development (sometimes only possible because of city location etc.), that they function differently enough to one another, for example they might have no or little overlap in units produced. That would be better than the non choices which we have to do dozens and dozens of times now in town management.
In regards to units on the map I personally think the Heroes of Might and Magic style of heroes leading armies, and you having only a limited number of heroes that you can employ at a time, to be simply superior. But it has to be less than HoMaM's 8. Maybe it can be related to map size, or with the fame categorization of heroes, or related to how powerful summoning spells you know, but each player/AI shouldn't have more than 4-5 heroes at max on the map, each having a stack under him. This will lead to two improvements - no more playing whack-a-mole with dozens of weak AI units running around, now each encounter will be more challenging, as the AI will pool its units more, and also open up more interesting choices about unit compositions, since now you being able to field only a limited number of units at a time, you would always want to have the strongest ones possible for your strategy, which of course means having the resources to get and maintain them, which feeds into economy etc. This aspect obviously exists now, but is muddied by the sheer quantity of garbage cheap units that a player/AI can push out. Obviously increasing the power disparity between units will make the game even more interesting in this regard.
These changes of course lead to new and interesting design possibilities as well. You can bend these rules in certain situations - for example one race might have mechanics that let it have many more towns, or a specific hero might have a bigger capacity for leading armies (so bigger stack under this specific hero), and so on which would lead to a level of variety that currently doesn't exist in the game now.
These are my main ones, but there are of course other minor things that can be done. Like Sulla has said in his MoO1 videos, MoO2 in many ways is a sequel to MoM rather than MoO, so a lot of ideas and mechanics can be taken from there and adapted, or minor things from other games, like each town (or towns of specific races/realms) having a powerful guardian unit like in Disciples II, more varied map design, including impassable terrain, maybe terrain elevation, introduction of zones, improved map object quantity and variety, and generally things to do on the map which aren't waging war with the AI, etc.
The main thing to note, that I don't think many people realize, is that good design comes from limitations. If you have a maximalist approach to number of town, units and other aspects of the game, you are actually shrinking the design space you have to create meaningful and interesting choices that can keep you playing for a long time. I think Seravy said it best with the 20% thing, but getting the other 80% will be done by general subtraction of things already in MoM, and reintroducing them sparingly only in certain situations to certain races/realms etc.
I know most people won't agree or like my views, but it's my two cents anyway, not that any of these discussions matter for anything in reality.

"So what I would like is a style of game more oriented towards "tall" playstyles, where players don't own more than a couple of cities, maybe a dozen at max if they conquer the whole map and every AI city in addition to their own, but offer more variety and choice about how you develop those cities."
I would love that, but I don't see it actually working.
Most of the time the human player is the aggressor and the AI needs quite a bit of time in game turns to send troops at them and retaliate (even more so if the AI actually respects the player's borders during peacetime). Not enough cities means the AI goes down before their transports even reach the player's shores.
Of course, there is always a workaround - if conquering cities is a slow progress (like, you need to siege them for 10 turns each) that works but then we are back to square one - conquering cities takes painfully long.
Nonetheless, if there is a way this can be made to work, it's definitely worth doing so.
...actually I might have a good idea to solve this. If players lose the game only after losing all their units and cities, instead of only their cities, this can work. Then conquering those few cities the other player has doesn't also make them lose their main armies, so those armies will attack the aggressor and likely give the AI new cities to work with. Of course this mechanic doesn't really work if units have maintenance (you can't pay for it without cities) so this isn't as easy to do as it sounds, but it might be the correct direction nonetheless. Upkeep is a pretty bad game mechanic either way as human players absolutely hate it while AI's can't really work with it and need to cheat their way around - they lack the foresight to be able to know when they can't afford building more units. So in this regard, HOMM style gameplay might work well (there was no upkeep there and you had a few turns to recapture your towns before losing), however, I disagree on HOMM style gameplay in the number of units. I have been playing that on large maps and it's a horrible whack-a-mole even worse than MoM. If your few heroes are out conquering enemies, then their heroes can get a free pass at conquering yours. There are more cities than heroes, so you can never defend your stuff properly (yes, you can leave garrisons but a higher level hero makes the units in their stack worth many times more so...any battles you do without a hero present is a net loss in dead units anyway, and against the enemy main armies it just doesn't work at all) as long as the map is open enough that heroes can just walk past each other without actually meeting. (Also, as heroes generally move at the same speed, chasing down that one enemy hero that's 2 tiles ahead can take many many turns, keeping one of your significant stacks busy if they actually bother to move away from you.)
Sure there are fewer stacks but you also lack the amount of stacks to stop anything's per player. So it's your 8 stacks against the 4*8=32 enemy stacks. So it's pretty difficult to keep up on large maps.
This isn't noticeable because campaign maps simply don't have that setup on them (usually only 1-2 enemy factions) AND you can't build new towns in HOMM at all, but try an XL size map with 8 enemy factions and 30 towns, it's a nightmare.(Note, I do like HoMM, it's a great game...but it's also a very different game. Also, I mostly played HOMM 2, and 4, maybe newer versions are different.)

Seravy I did say only the part about heroes leading stacks and having a limited number of heroes to be better in Heroes specifically in regards to MoM's anything goes style. Heroes does indeed have a whack-a-mole problem, but it has remedies to it as well, and its causes are different, as well as the way it works compared to MoM.
In Heroes each player/AI can have 8 heroes, and there can be 8 total players/AI (Heroes III), meaning that you have 8 units to defend against 56, and you are constantly at war, from the first turn, since you can't form alliances in game - you either start allied or you don't. That's one of the main problems leading to whack-a-mole and frustration with defending towns in Heroes. The other is number of towns on the map (again something the player doesn't have control over) since each town's tavern hires Heroes at a cheap rate which is in fact the main reason why conquering and defending towns is frustrating. But if the map has a small number of town the whack-a-mole problem is greatly reduced/doesn't exist, or if there is a large number of towns - the spell Town Portal essentially eliminates the tedium in regards to defending towns and whack-a-mole, so the game has tools to alleviate it's problems, at least to a degree.
And because you can only move 8 units, it has smaller problems in regards to army logistics as well, again compared to MoM, unless you are doing optimal and perfect hero chaining, something which you won't need in MoM since you can teleport artifacts, and if something like this was implemented, summon and teleport units to them as well I think would be the case.
But if MoM had a similar restriction, it will work much, much better, since you usually have a degree of control in regards to how many opponents you are at war with (so MUCH smaller number of potential stacks to defend against), and also in MoM at least currently you can have only up to 4 opponents, not 7 (also I proposed 4-5 and not 8 units as well per player/AI). Also in MoM getting heroes is a lot harder. I like the idea of you starting with a hero, but getting more being difficult (or like only 1 race having a Tavern equivalent from which it can hire heroes from this specific town only, other races have to go spell route, or something new).
Of course Heroes has its own mechanics which MoM doesn't and I personally think would improve it (like maps being sectioned into zones and greater map object variety).
Anyway, the point is, why Heroes is whack-a-moley and frustrating in its micromanagement is different than MoM's, and I actually think a few mechanics adapted from Heroes to MoM would greatly improve MoM's own problems, exactly because the system and mechanical context is so different.
In regards to you doing something in reducing town/unit micromanagement tedium in MoM somehow, I'm open to all attempts and experimentation at this stage, the game is not getting any younger, and I certainly won't rest my hopes on Slitherine or whichever else developer.
Edit: One more thing to note when comparing Heroes and MoM is the AI. The strength of the AI has rarely if ever been an issue for Heroes II/III, especially not the overland AI (battle AI has its quirks, but even when exploiting them you can only go so far in most cases), and the game does it without letting the AI cheat. On higher difficult setting (above Normal) it gives it more starting resources, and reduces yours, but the AI doesn't get any other bonus, his mines don't produce more resources compared to yours, he doesn't get more growth in his dwellings etc. Sure the AI is not without it's flaws, but its more than serviceable, even with decades of player experience against it, and some aspect of it people think are too strong even now (like him targeting your shooters relentlessly), so I don't get why people think good AI in a strategy game is some sort of myth, or it has to cheat to be good...

MoM + HoMM = AoW (Age of Wonders 2: Shadow Magic is the best part of the series):
- few citys
- heroes (from beginning, but you need no heroes) and units (both with special abillities)
- magic spells
- tactical battles
- lot of items
- nice special race abilities
I have played AoW2 a lot in multiplayer. Nice game!
But the great problem of 4X games are counter: gold, mana, research, production, units, techlevel, citys. The leader wins.

Someone earlier suggested that it be multiplayer (for a super AI to play and develop a good game AI). I strongly disagree. Too many single-player games have been ruined by compromises for MP. In other games, I could imagine the designers coming up with great ideas, shot down by the MP director saying "No, that wouldn't work for MP." Slitherine should do a poll to determine how important MP is for sales vs a good optimized-for-SP game. My guess is that the majority of played hours for MOM are SP, and would also be for a new game. I expect that the positive feedback and forum activity generated by a really good SP game would generate more long-term sales than a compromised game that gets lukewarm reviews and no forum activity because people stop playing it after a few games.
Once a good SP game is done, they can add on the tools for MP, plus the extra tools for modding it for MP. It might need some extra switches to allow some MP-breaking SP features to be easily turned off. Then let the MP community mod it to their desires. They might have more fun balancing the mod than they do playing the game.
One common 4X problem isexcessive micromanagement of city building in late game. Build queue templates would help, but I think we'd still get bogged down in checking each city to tweak them (or override bad manager decisions) or changing the city goals occasionally.
One possibility to think over: you have the fun of managing the build queue for your capitol, and the pleasure of seeing your Foresters Guild or whatever get finished, but all your later settlements and captured cities don't have a build queue (unless designated as a unit building city). Instead, they provide taxes, mana, etc, based on their population and the buildings in the capitol, modified by local resources or spells or morale. You can designate them as military training bases (allows a build queue for units), and the training level depends on population and whatever other factors are good for game play. Maybe you can designate other cities as mercantile centres, religious centres, magic research centres, or whatever else. There's no temptation to check the city or adjust it, because you simply can't do it. City placement, and which site to settle next, are still important decisions. Captured (or retaken) cities would start at minimal growth, production, etc, and gradually grow to what should be provided from their population.
Another possibility is to make settling cities uncommon, as opposed to city spam always being the right choice. Instead of settling a city at some good resources, you set some military units to secure a site. The stronger the military presence, the larger the area. Secured areas send resources (production bonus, gold, mana) to the capitol, or the nearest city, or all cities at once. I imagine this as small settlements (that you don'tdirectly manage) that form where the people feel safe (due to the military patrols). Locations near borders or monster-producing sites require more military strength to maximize production. Maybe by mid-game you'd have a few cities, and dozens of resource sites. Warfare would mostly take place at the resources, with cities being difficult to take. The cost of creating and maintaining the military units should be such that you never have enough to satisfy all your needs. You need to keep making construction and deployment decisions. Move some from one site to strengthen another, and raiders/monsters move in, reducing production. I find that games get boring when I have more gold/units/whatever than I need. The game is fun when I'm desperate for just one more 'whatever', and a new building, resource, or spell that becomes available is exciting.
Hmm, I think that last bit is the most important wish for the new game: set things so that we're always desperate for something and have to make critical decisions of how to best employ limited resources. Why do we stay up to 3 AM saying "just one more turn until..."? It's because we want that extra whatever: building, unit, spell, treasure that will make a difference. I'm not interested in 'one more turn' if all it does is change my gold number from 5464654002544 to 5464654002566; especially if there's nothing to spend the gold on. If I already have dozens of stacks on the map, adding one more unit is just part of the grind. By mid-game, MOM was just a matter of pumping out more units and settlers, and moving them tediously about. I'd rather have a few cities and units that make a real difference.
Oh yes, I'd also rather have late game not involve dozens of battles per turn. That's just tedious, and I usually quit by that point. I'm not sure what the proper level would be. Maybe averaging one battle per turn?
That brings up yet another issue: unit movement. Directing all those units every turn is another tedious thing that makes me quit (and maybe start a new game). Yes, moving units across the map is realistic, but I don't find it fun. The delay in moving the latest units to the front line is also realistic but not fun. Magic to speed up movement helps, but still requires a lot of mouse clicks and scrolling. Can we come up with an alternative, such as designating a deployment point (or unit/stack) for a unit build queue, and the unit just appears there x turns later? Less realistic, but more fun?
Something I posted in the 'can't stand about MOM' thread probably fits better in this thread. What is fun at the start--building things, moving your few units around--is not fun when you have dozens of cities and many dozens of units. I wish that the game developers would keep asking themselves: "Will this feature still be fun later in the game?" Maybe have playtesting sessions specifically to look for things that are no longer fun at that stage, and if it's still worthwhile keeping for the early part of the game, see if there's a way to switch to a different method at some point. For example, optimizing what your population is doing might be fun at the beginning, with one city, but when you have 'x' cities, maybe you are awarded with a minister who takes care of that burden. Managers in other games have been hated for their poor performance, but if the AI isn't as good as a human at that task, add some bonuses so that the overall results are better than if you kept tweaking cities yourself.

I have played a lot of HoMM and AoW games, both series with few citys: If you lost one city, you can give up. AoW and HoMM are games with one great battle and the game is over. IMO is that no good game design.
MoM simulate a world, this needs a lot of citys. The feeling is like in the 'Lords of the Rings': Some units at the beginning and a great war with hundreds of unit at the end. I love this immersion.
'Fallen Enchantress: Legendary Heroes' has a good idea: units, heroes and citys are characters and customizable. A city can be a military outpost or a trade center or a center for science. You have to decide after a while and you get your own building possibilites per city.
The battles are the core of MoM: Research a spell, build an army and test it agains a lot of different combinations of enemy units. That is fun. You feel your strength and weaknesses, you should rebuild your army to be better. That is a core mechanic in MoM.
Other as AoW or HoMM is MoM designed as: 'You can make a failure, but this is not the end of the game.'

"The battles are the core of MoM"
A part of the core, but certainly not the whole game. There's exploring, expanding and exploiting too, and some people consider those parts to be more important than the exterminate part. I play 4X games to watch the story of my marvelous empire unfold. I consider winning battles to be a validation of the other parts done properly. All the research and other resources I put into developing certain units and spells is validated by defeating an attacker or successfully adding to my empire. Having my troops feast on the livers of those slimey <insert appropriate race> troops is just a bonus.
If MOM was just a tactical battle simulator, I wouldn't have even considered playing it. I tried AOW shadow magic and didn't like it because there wasn't enough empire building. I wish that a new MOM will properly develop those other aspects of a 4X game. If the later game turns into too many tedious battles each turn, I'll have to decide if the early game is satisfying enough to be worth buying the game.

I don't think there exist a sales analytics team that would advise a MoM type game to not have a multiplayer mode... Whether that would be best for the game or not in terms of quality is another matter, but in terms of sales and longevity, you have to have multiplayer (OR extremely good modding tools, which seem to be harder for studios to pull off than mp).
HoMaM is a one battle game only in multiplayer. One of the great things about those games is that you play as much (basically all game if mp except last battle) against the neutrals as much as the other AIs. This gives a lot more variety to the minute to minute (or rather turn to turn) gameplay than MoM.
I definitely don't think hundreds of units roaming the map is a fun mechanic. Actually I think its the exact opposite. The design principle why its bad is simple and straightforward - the more you have of a thing/mechanic/gameplay element, the less meaningful it becomes. The less you have of it, the more interesting choices you can built around it.

Yes, one part. But a very important part. There are different type of games with tactical battles:
- MoM has a lot of short battles
- HoMM has a lot of 'PvE' battles and one or two big 'PvP' battles
- AoW has a few battles, more 'PvE' as 'PvP'
- Total War has some 'PvP' battles, but they are very long
I prefer a lot of short battles. Games with an explicit tactical battle maps are not suitable for MP. One solution would be a design like in a game like 'Warlock'/'Civilization' with battles on the world map.
MoM and AoW are wargames. Empire Builders are an own subgenre in 4X. I found this great article for more informations (there are some other interesting articles on this site about 4X games too): ... genre.html

Thanks, vicwaberub for that link. Good article. The parts about decision depth and pacing are particularly useful. I want to have to make definite game-changing decisions all through the game, rather than a few decisions at the setup part, with the rest of the game being just micromanaging the never-changing strategy. I don't want "On turn 57, set the tax rate in city 7 to 5.317 and start building a cavalry unit." which applies to every game, regardless of the random map or which AI races are where or what retorts/spellbooks they have. I want to be surprised in the game, and have to change my strategies to meet those surprises.

MoM needs more support units and more empire build spells.
I hope for a new MoM2 a mixture of
- MoM (magic system, mass of units, a lot of short battles)
- Fallen Enchantress: Legendary Heroes (citys and units are like RPG characters and can be customized)
- Dominions 5 (800 spells, 3.000 story events (!!))
- AoW:SM (nice world graphic, underground as second world)
- Warlock (battles on the world map)
- ...
There are so much good ideas for a new and better turn based fantasy strategy system. I hope they ask us to get new ideas.

MoM needs more support units and more empire build spells.
The problem with support units is that it makes for more tedious scrolling and clicking each turn. In late game Civ, you might have scores of engineers demanding attention each turn. I consider that kind of support unit to be one of those things that is fun in early game (when you only have a few) but which become a real drag later. For such things as road-building, I'd rather see a system where you have to make some real decisions (allocate some of your limited resources to linking town 23 with town 17, or maybe just allocating a % of resources to imperial roads) and let the computer deal with the tedious stuff; a system that doesn't grow in tedious micromanagement as your empire grows in size.
"- Dominions 5 (800 spells, 3.000 story events (!!))"
The problem with Dominions as I remember from version 3 is that a lot of those spells and units pretty much never get used. A nation might have two dozen regular units to choose from, but your armies will consist of only a few types, every single game. If you use more than that, they're probably just minor variations of each other, and the combat difference is minor too. If I read the suggestions for a nation, it's usually "this is the unit your armies will consist mainly of" and "research this area to get this spell, then switch to that area to get that spell" and that applies regardless of the map or the other nations on the map, with occasional exceptions.
For MOM2, I'd rather see a smaller selection of good spells that you really have a hard choice deciding between, and the decision of which makes a real difference in how the game unfolds. I'd also like the system to offer definite 'this spell OR that spell' decisions, meaning that once you've decided on one spell, the other option doesn't show up again. I didn't like Dominion's system of getting all the spells in a certain branch/level after putting x points into it. Having a different (limited) selection of spells each game improves replay value.
"- AoW:SM (nice world graphic, underground as second world)"
I vaguely remember detesting the graphics and limitations of the map. Worlds of Magic was supposed to be MOM2, but they put a lot of effort into 3D graphics (instead of gameplay) and the screenshots showed something that I think would have caused me great eyestrain trying to pick out a green&brown elvish unit on a green&brown 3D map. For a _strategy_ game, the map's primary purpose is to deliver critical information in a convenient manner, not looking pretty.
When WOM's developers asked for input, I said I'd accept MOM's graphics as long as it came with deeper gameplay. Their response was that they didn't want deeper gameplay, since MOM was perfect already, it just needed better graphics. I wonder if they're regretting that decision now.
It's been nearly a quarter century since MOM was released. I'm really disappointed in the lack of advances in 4X games in that time. Hopefully Slitherine can identify some advances to apply, and also what mistakes to avoid.

Well Caster of Magic is almost my perfect game, so that with a higher resolution and a bit prettier would be nice (but not too pretty to detract from the gameplay eg. 3D).
There's a few things I'd change though, I find city curses and corruption/raise volcano can be annoying as there's no real way to counter them especially corruption in the early game. If you are playing against a chaos wizards and have a race without a unit that can purify, then those gold and mithril tiles you carefully placed your cities around are pretty much useless and there's nothing you can do about it.
Same if you aren't life with consecration then curses can hit your cities and there's no spell or building that can counter it.
Also this is a 4X problem in general, but I find moving hundreds of units around the map each turn really tiresome towards the end game. Some way of managing this better would be great, but I'm not really sure if there is a solution to that problem.

There are aspects of games that can be simple to mod out to meet personal taste, so as long as the developer provides good access for modding, those things aren't a problem. Some mods will break the AI, so it would be nice if the developers would take modding in mind when developing the AI.
I think the late game problems, such as moving too many units, comes from not thinking aspects of the game through to how they work in the late game stage. Perhaps developers should take the time to think of what would be a fun late game. Middle game too. Early game is critical, since a not-fun early game will result in many returns. Reviewers probably focus on early game too, and certainly don't write about long-term replayability.
There are some possible solutions to the 'too many units' problem. The game could be designed to build up a few strong armies. Instead of just a few levels of experience, there could be equipment upgrades, special abilities/bonuses. Instead of just an elite mithral swordsman unit, it could have bonuses against klackons because it lost many figures in battle with them, or maybe it gained a bonus against death magic from other battles. Maybe the chance to gain improvements depends on how many armies you have?
Ability to produce more units grows with the number of cities. Maybe the cost of maintaining armies could grow non-linearly (bureaucracy, logistics, etc). Command points are another solution. There are possible solutions, I just don't know which would be most fun/satisfying.

MrBiscuits Offline
Civ 4 had maintenance growing exponentially as your number of cities grew, which helped stop endless expansion. Although it had the same problem in the end.
It's not just the number of units, it's moving them all separately at different speeds and keeping track of them all.
I always thought that having a city building phase and then a war phase where you can move troops over longer distances in one go would help keep track of everything. Taking months or years to make an invasion is annoying.

As I've explained previously, the large amount of units in the late game is part of the design. There is no way in this genre for the AI to remain competent unless they rely on numbers, both because the AI lacks human intelligence and can't do precision strikes that actually have a high chance of working, and because it's super easy to counter an incoming attack by attacking the incoming enemy before they reach their target, and destroying or weakening it using combat magic. And that design is necessary because it allows the player to feel in control of the situation. If you couldn't respond to incoming armies before they hit your cities, and the AI knew to specifically send stacks that are guaranteed to counter yours and win, it would be a very unfun game. Finally, in the 4X genre, players with significantly more resources should win, and the only way to achieve that is through making the players clash constantly, spending their resources in the battle until one of them runs out. (resources : mana crystals spent and the units who die)
Without large numbers, we'd need even more tiers of units and a larger gap between each tier to achieve a "quality over quantity" style gameplay, but as explained above, that'd be less fun because you'd basically have no way of defending yourself. You'd be like "oh the enemy already has titans, and I only have giants, I lost. Time to start another game." That doesn't happen currently, even if the enemy has a tier higher spells, you can still put up a fight and if you play well enough and/or have the larger pool of resources, win.
That said, I agree having too much units can be a bit exhausting in the late game. Still, the only two other options I see - incompetent AI or unstoppable AI - are worse. Regardless whether the AI simply is too good and always sends the perfect stacks to win or the game relies on fewer but stronger armies.

Okay, I can't argue with that argument. AI limitations really do spoil otherwise good ideas. Maybe we can come up with some ideas for reducing the player's management burden of all those units? Even replacing the engineer unit with a unit-less 'build a road from here to here' command would help reduce tedious mouse-clicking. The chance of engineer units having surprise encounters isn't important to the game.
How about a 'patrol pool' where assigning units to the pool (or just a slider for resources allocated to it) sets the chances of detecting enemy troops within your borders, and the rate at which engineering projects finish? It could set basic city garrisons too, without all the mouse-clicking of building specific units and moving them around. MOM is too unit-centered for that as a mod, but for a future game it might be worth considering.
I'll have to play MOM (or rather, COM) a lot more while paying attention to what detracts from smooth gameplay.
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One thing that definitely detracts from smooth gameplay for me was getting 10-20 "building completed" reports each turn, but that is easy to solve by implementing a building queue, or even a grand vizier function that can be controlled on a per city basis.
The other thing is not having the ability to set up a rally point where newly produced units will move from the city that produced them, but this too, should be trivial for a new game to add.
Having to protect engineers when there is enemy presence is part of the game and considering how much gold you earn by having roads, it's the least to be expected.

oh yes Seravy! That's a big one for me too. Having build queues that stop/reduce the endless building completed msgs when you have a big empire would be wonderful.
BTW Glad to see this thread has gone back to something productive with interesting suggestions and discussions.

To be continued...
Last edited by Blake00 on Sun Mar 01, 2020 12:56 pm, edited 24 times in total.
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Re: Master of Magic Sequel/Remake Wishlist

Post by Blake00 » Sat Oct 12, 2019 5:22 am

Source 3.5 - Realms Beyond Master of Magic Forum - Things you can't stand about MoM Thread:
This is an interesting old thread where people vent about things in MoM that annoy them. It's a huge thread so I'm not going to quote all the posts here but there's some good stuff in there you might want to check out. People have started posting in there again recently too.

Source 4 - GoG Master of Magic Forum - MoM Improvement Suggestions Thread:
Sadly no one posted in my Wishlist thread however there's some good old threads here with interesting requests and discussions.

Let me explain that I really don't mean to say that this is a thread regarding MoM2 but basically a bit more recent version of the same game with just a few tweaks to make things work better. You know little things in game that kind of annoy you with how they currently work that you would kind of liked to see fixed/improved to make MoM a bit better. Some things that perhaps couldn't be implemented back then when it first came out. I am NOT talking about graphics really although I would not be adverse to a tiny bit of improvement.
1. Exploring Ruins - There really needs to be a better way to see what is inside an how many. I really hate coming up on one that has ghouls and thinking it should be ok to fight but then their being 8 friggin units to fight. Perhaps it would have to be a Hero or special monster skill but still needs to be better.
2. Tactical Combat - I think they need to implement a better Tactical Combat initiative. It kind of sucks that the defender when it's the computer can fire off all it's attacks and retreat before you get to retaliate. This could perhaps be fixed with individual units being able to retreat instead of the whole team. This way you could potentially save units that are almost dead as well.
3. Summoned Creatures - Why not let them get Exp??? I mean since you still have to pay their upkeep every turn they SHOULD be able to get better.
Will probably post more in a bit but these are enough for now. Anyone else have any good ideas?

I would like to have a more streamlined and smooth interface.
The menus are cumbersome and require to much navigation. Also some options like automatic roadbuilding should be existant. Having a better overview of your cities would be really neat to.
I just think that the interface needs a revamp.
Also combat could use some smoothing to , more fluid movements and a better tileset. Also give some terrain advantages and make cities bigger.

Yeah, I hate that defensive fire spell and retreat. Especially since the odds seem heavily biased for the computer retreating, and its just unneeded.
Apart from that, all I really want to see (to start with) is some graphics and interface upgrades, maybe slightly more in-game info on building trees

My ponderings about a potential MoM successor tend to hinge on what needs to change, and what needs to stay the same, to make it feel like a true MoM successor and not just another, potentially good, fantasy strategy game.
What needs to stay the same is the empire building aspect, many races with the ability to have several within your empire, and some form of tactical combat.
What needs to change? Well, even more than the graphics, the bugs and glaring balance issues. Some things in a complex game like this will be overpowered or underpowered, but to really go off the scale, it should take some planning. It shouldn't just be "Play Halflings. Choose Life Magic. Win."
Then the graphics, but that's almost inevitable. You'd have to work really hard to get a game made these days with graphics that primitive. It's almost 20 years old! I wouldn't call graphics a priority, but just something modern, if done competently, will be a huge improvement. That goes for the UI design as well.
Finally, the tactical combat could use a big upgrade. I'd personally favor something akin to the Total War pausable real time combat system, with small units because fantasy tends to be a genre that favors small units of really awesome guys, and not huge faceless armies locked in gigantic formations.
Oh, and I want a pony too.

"avatarrakenan: What needs to change? Well, even more than the graphics, the bugs and glaring balance issues. Some things in a complex game like this will be overpowered or underpowered, but to really go off the scale, it should take some planning. It shouldn't just be "Play Halflings. Choose Life Magic. Win.""
While I agree it could be a bit better, I think that the lack of balance is also part of what makes it fun. Most of the games that tried to serve as successors to Master of Magic tried to balance things better, and as a result they tend to have fewer really fun game-changing powers -- Fallen Enchantress suffers from this big time; way too many spells are just "+X stat", because they wanted the AI to be able to handle it and wanted to be sure it was balanced properly.

I have a hard time selecting units and moving them when they are behind walls, so a top down view would be nice.

I don't want the game dumbed down to make the AI look less stupid. I just want glaring imbalances of allegedly equivalent player choices to involve careful planning and a good many choices, instead of being a trivial combo of a particular race and a particular magic school.
If you work your way to the end of your spell research and get your very rare spells going, it's fine if the combo you choose enables an "I Win!" button. But having that button active from pretty much the first turn of the game, or alternatively being doomed to mediocrity because you chose Klackons with Death Magic and Infernal Power, just doesn't sit well with me. There should be some real utility in every race, in every spell book, and in every retort. While there will inevitably be some combos that are better than others, the difference should not be anywhere near what you get when you compare the Klackons I put together above to a Halflings, Life Magic, Warlord game.

Yeah, I know. I'm certainly not going to argue with the idea that Halflings could stand to be a bit weaker and Klackons could use a buff.
But my experience has been that every would-be successor to MoM has worried too much about the balance factor and not enough about capturing the diversity and broad differences in playstyles that made the game fun. I think it's more important (especially in a single-player game) to make sure that every option plays differently, rather than balancing them -- who cares if playing Klackons is hard mode and Halflings are easy mode? It's much more important to make both games distinct.
(They shouldn't be so hard or so easy that they cease to be fun, of course. But I don't see any particular reason why they need to be balanced against each other as long as they both provide unique things.)

An uninspired game will take the choice of mechanical balance over variety and atmosphere every time. I've seen it again and again. That does not mean that an inspired game should make the opposite decision. The correct decision is to keep the two factors in balance, so the game embraces a good variety of play choices without introducing massive balance problems from trivial and early decisions.
Master of Magic is great in spite of its balance flaws, not because of them. It is *FAR* more imbalanced than it needs to be in order to feel epic, powerful, and otherwise awesome.
As for who cares if Klackons are hard mode and Halflings easy mode - how about people who actually desire a different combination of racial theme/style and difficulty? Like bug-men but don't *WANT* hard mode, and want to feel effective? Yeah, not even difficulty settings will let you get that out of MoM. You can cripple the AI by choosing an easy difficulty level, but that's not getting an effective empire, it's reducing all opposition to the level if passive target dummies who cannot win even if you do nothing at all.

Really? You guys are limiting it to graphics and issues of game balance? I haven't played the game much myself, but that's because it's missing a plethora of features. I bought MoM here because everyone hails it like it's the Holy Grail of strategy. That couldn't be further from the truth... the game is terribly boring. So here is my incomplete list of -necessary- features for any future release of this title:
1: The game needs better pacing - I can't even tell you how bored I get clicking "next turn" so often. It's sickening. This is without a doubt the #1 problem with the game.
2: Magic powers?? - again I didn't play for long but I certainly didn't find what I was expecting. I imagined myself cursing enemy settlements with disease and using augury to see things far beyond the borders of my lands. During gameplay I experienced nothing fun or remarkable of this variety. There was typical unit summoning, then watching those units get crushed in the first battle I fought while hopelessly casting some pathetic attack spells hoping to overwhelm the enemy with my nonexistent powers. I felt weak... not like the archmage I wanted to be so badly playing this game. I think I speak for everyone who likes cool, unstoppable powers more than a "balanced" (boring) match against mobs.
3: A more grand design of strategy - Anyone truly familiar with the term will know that strategy is not the active side of warfare... it is the passive planning and waiting for an opportune moment... the forays into enemy settlements between pitched battles. Tactical warfare and huge epic battles are great, but the game sorely lacks what I would call strategy. Where are the spy units that move three times faster than soldiers? Where are the emissaries or agents you can send to enemy settlements to create support for your cause or sabotage their assets? Maybe I couldn't stand the boring start to the game long enough to see these things, but whatever the case I didn't see them. Again, the ability to cast game altering spells outside of battle would be really nice.
4: Better mechanics - everything from the menus to battles. Since I'm not really a big fan of turn based I'll just be bold and say this game deserves real time battles... It would certainly be tricky to pull off, especially controlling the massive hordes I imagine we could control in a modern sequel, but I think the payoff would be well worth it. I think with some customizable unit scripting it would even be possible to outmatch some great enemy AI in real time, controlling your elite or more pivotal units while the sponges do their job and advance/attack as ordered.
I could expand on this if I played for an hour, but I'm not feeling like a masochist today so I'm off to play something fun. Please don't take this the wrong way either, I really want to love MoM... I do. We need a sequel that blows the original out of the water.

1: True, as most TBS games, the "Next Turn" will bore you to death. It doesn't mean though that the turns will be empty, or devoid of things to do.
2: Time Stop, Mass Invisibility, Greater Unsummoning, Sky Drake, Spring of Life, Incarnation, Meteor Storm, Crusade, Evil Omens, Death Wish, Armageddon, Chaos Surge, Great Wasting, Nature Wrath, Charm of Life. All those are extremely powerful spells, but also extremely rare. You won't get them until the endgame, and you will need to specialize in a school of magic, not dabble in all to be able to get them. It's more or less complaining that you don't have access to nukes in the first 5 minutes of Starcraft.
3: Nightblades are invisible fast units, that you can use to keep tabs on the enemy territory (if you don't have Awareness or Nature Awareness active), or to block parts of enchanted roads. As for town loyalties, there are a few random events for neutral towns, but you can't modify the opponents' towns, other than through the use of high magic.
4: The game does need better mechanics, in the same way X-Com - UFO Defense needs them. The mechanics worked fine for that age, but since then, better mechanics have been used. So it can benefit quite a bit from a gui overhaul, and give as a proper build queue for example, but RT combat will really rob it of its combat charm.
I agree that for quite a few games, if they don't capture you in the first 10-20 minutes, you are not going to like them. But almost all of your complaints are about things you get access to in the later game. So I'd say hang in there, and give it another try at some point in the future.
Oh, and war bears and sprites will tear you apart in the first 50 turns or so, so stay away from those ruins until you get some proper ranged fighters, and a few melee to guard them. Or sprites.

"So it can benefit quite a bit from a gui overhaul, and give as a proper build queue for example, but RT combat will really rob it of its combat charm."
I'm not convinced of this particular point. I think a decent unit-based real time combat system, like the Total War series, could work well with Master of Magic. That said, I'm also not opposed to keeping the combat system turn based, as long as it is at least slightly less abusable than the original combat system. Focusing too much on the combat system runs the risk of turning the game from an empire builder with tactical combat to a tactical combat game with battles superficially bound together by an overland campaign, which would be a crying shame. Combats should usually be fairly quick, no matter what else happens to the game, or you run the real risk of an unintended genre shift.

"It's more or less complaining that you don't have access to nukes in the first 5 minutes of Starcraft."

Real-time combat would be a major turnoff. I want to out-think the enemy, not out-click them.
One other thing re: sabotaging enemy cities - since having an enemy unit in one of your city's tiles reduces your city's output, effectively by rendering the city unable to use that tile, it may be the case (I've never tested this) that your opponents are also subject to this and their cities could at least be rendered less productive (and maybe experience starvation in more extreme cases) if you surrounded them with your own units.

"Yeah, I know. I'm certainly not going to argue with the idea that Halflings could stand to be a bit weaker and Klackons could use a buff."
But my experience has been that every would-be successor to MoM has worried too much about the balance factor and not enough about capturing the diversity and broad differences in playstyles that made the game fun. I think it's more important (especially in a single-player game) to make sure that every option plays differently, rather than balancing them -- who cares if playing Klackons is hard mode and Halflings are easy mode? It's much more important to make both games distinct.
(They shouldn't be so hard or so easy that they cease to be fun, of course. But I don't see any particular reason why they need to be balanced against each other as long as they both provide unique things.)
This. (Also your conclusion on Fallen Enchantress is spot on.)

YourInnerCancer Please don't take this the wrong way either, I really want to love MoM... I do. We need a sequel that blows the original out of the water.
Ok now I am not sure but from what I see in your post it seems like the only Turn Based Strategy game that you seem to have played is perhaps Civilization, not sure which one but sounds like Civ 2. You also seem to be a RTS fan and I think most objections I have with your post are mainly with you trying to turn one of my favorite TBS into a RTS. If you were actually trying to make it a better TBS I would take your comments better but you don't really seem to even like the genre, if I am wrong please please leave examples of game that you DO like in the TBS genre and perhaps specifically what you liked about them.
Also I would like to give you a brief calendar of games so maybe you can put them in order better for any comments you may have on the tech. Remember we like this game because it set a lot of the standards for any decent TBS that came after.
1991 - Civilization 1
Sep 1993 - Master of Orion
Nov 1994 - WarCraft 1
Jan 1996 - WarCraft 2
Oct 1996 - MASTER OF ORION 2
Feb 1996 - Civ 2
Oct 1996 - Heroes of Might and Magic 2
Now I myself have not played MoO 1 (but do own it) or Civ 1 at all but all the others on this list I have tried although I don't really like RTS so I did not play WC's for long.
In answer to your point 4 I would like to ask what your picks were in the game you played, because as JMich has pointed out you need to specialize usually to get access the higher spells or to get more than 1 or 2 even.
Here's a little tip just so you can at least see the names of the spells and a description of what they do. Use ALL 11 picks you get to get all of 1 kind of magic and then you will be shown a list of all the Uncomman and Rare spells (it lets you choose 2 uncommon and 1 rare if you start with 11 books PLUS you start with all the common spells of that school). Keep in mind that this is NOT even all the spells in that school as there are VERY RARE spells as well, that you will only get access to ounce you have researched more AND have enough spell books to get them. For instance to even be allowed to eventually research a RARE spell like Sky Drake you need to have 2 books from that school.
Please just remember that in any game you never start with the Nukes but have to build upto them. Also you will not be able to kill every monster without understanding it's abilities and using "strategy" to plan how to beat it. For instance Sky Drakes are one of if not the toughest Monsters in the game. They are immune to Magic, they fly and have some of the best stats not to mention they have a Lightning Breath attack that hits first when they initiate the attack. However they can be beaten as long as you make sure to have something that can hit fliers and that they are beffed up enough to beat them. Prime example is Halfling Slingers with Adamantium weapons (gives each little guy +2 atk/def).
I agree it can be really hard to give a game that xtra time when you don't get immediate gratification, nightmares of Master of Orion 3 plague me, but sometimes it's very worth it.

YourInnerCancer: You do get both of those things, but you need to build up to them - just like you do in other games.
Your 'irrigation mining, and roads' tribe in Civilization can't produce stealth bombers right out the starting gate either.

My biggest complaint is that the game's pacing is kind of off. The hardest battles of the game are nodes with drakes, wyrms, etc. The difficulty of the fights with your actual opponents pale in comparison to powerful nodes. Since there are no defender's bonuses to speak of, if you have a stack that's capable of taking down a high-level node, then that stack could also steamroll every enemy city. So there's always that awkward phase where you could easily win the game, but you'd rather scour the globe for tough nodes so you pick up extra retorts and spellbooks that you don't really need to win.
I would suggest some sort of significant bonus for defending cities, so that steamrolling a dozen enemy cities with a single stack isn't so easy. There are no defensive city enchantments that are worthwhile, and city walls are a joke; some legitimate bonuses there would be a good start. You could add some sort of "city in resistance" mechanic like Civ has so that you have to spend a little time between capturing successive cities, instead of just stomping one after the other. And possibly, make the "range penalty" take additional points out of your skill, not just your mana pool (which becomes virtually bottomless way too easily, through alchemy). That way, the defending wizard can significantly out-cast the invader.

Source 4.5 - GoG Master of Magic Forum - What Would Make A Worthy MoM Successor Thread:
Another good old thread I dug up in the GoG forum with interesting requests and discussions.

I've actually asked myself what made MoM so amazingly fun more than once over the years. A lot of it, I'm sure, is art - that combination of aesthetics and game play which differentiates a good game designer from one who is merely mediocre. Still, there are tons of good, and even great games out there which don't scratch my itch for a successor to MoM.
In my mind, a good MoM successor needs to have several traits:
1. Player created settlements. None of this stuff where the map is drawn and cities are placed where the designer wants them. If I can find a way to plop down a bunch of my folks and build a town there, I should be allowed to do so.
2. Races (and the towns they live in) should be varied. I liked having the choice of several varieties of humans, elves, dwarves, and other fantasy staples, along with slightly more unique races like the Klackons.
3. The character of a town should reflect the town's inhabitants, not just its current ruler. The Total War games have been awful in this regard, although I tend to like them otherwise. Every city you rule is just like every other city you rule, you raise the same units from them and build the same buildings, based on your empire rather than who actually lives there. Did Spain just conquer Norway? Then look at those Norwegians supply you with Jinettes and Conquistadors.
4. Tactical combat is a must. It doesn't need to clone what MoM had, I currently like the idea of a Total War style pausable real-time battlefield, modified to support giant units like dragons and such. Probably with unit size set to something really small, to make combat feel like a few groups of heroic individuals instead of massive faceless armies. Still, that's far from mandatory in detail. Having *SOME* sort of tactical combat is needed.
5. A system by which "you," that is, the being you are supposedly controlling in the game, can customize your starting stats and improve yourself over time, just as you had picks when creating a custom wizard in MoM and gained power as you researched new spells and occasionally gained new abilities from dungeons.
6. Dungeons on the overworld map. Exploring the overworld and conquering nodes and towers and ruins was in many ways more enjoyable that subjugating your wizard opponents.
7. Multiple worlds. Arcanus and Myrror (or an equivalent, surface and underworld would work fine) are a minimum, but I'd love to see even more done with the concept of travel to alternate worlds.
Those are the traits that, if I saw them in a game that was done well and fun to play, would make me think the game was a worthy successor to Master of Magic. I'd love to hear what other people think a worthy MoM successor would need.

Crikey, I nearly had an accident at the thought of 'Fantasy: Total War'...

There are several total conversion mods of various Total War games to change them to Middle Earth or the Wheel of Time world or whatever. They tend to fall apart when you realize that the engines have never really been designed for huge individual units like dragons or those huge oliphant things from Lord of the Rings. It would probably require a dedicated new battle engine optimized for just that to get it working right, and the Creative Assembly has been unwilling to enter those waters in the past.

I would love to see it too, esp the part about the multiplicity of races. They should be different like in MOM, not simply the same objects with the same attributes but different names and a different look.

If there's one game that comes even close it's probably Dominions (3). It definitely provides diverse races and a bajillion spells at least. The gameplay itself is quite different, it's not hard to see where the game's inspiration came though. And even better, instead of just sitting in your fortress for the whole damn game, you can now go and personally throw gigantic balls of fire at people. Or bite their heads off, if you want to be a dragon. Or just sit there, if you want to be a fountain instead. Yes, a fountain, as in that thing that sprays water. Or an inscription on the wall, which is more or less as useful as a fountain. Doesn't prevent you from casting spells from the safety of your fortress though.
If you haven't done so already I recommend checking it out, even if it doesn't fulfill your criteria.

I think Age of Wonders comes MoM really close.
In AoW 2 where you able to dig out tunnels and places in the Underground to build Cities.
They have great similarities and with an MP its a good alternative.
One of the best things is the restriction of casting range. Every Hero and Yourself had a short range but in a City with a Mage tower it was greatly enhanced.
Armies near the attacker or deffender fought in the fight too.
There is a lot more to say but Playing it is worth it and you will see the similarities and differences.

Just one with really good AI , but about the same so I can use some of the most powerful methods with more of a challenge.

I would love a really challenging AI, but I'm by now convinced that the state of the art in AI, at least as much of it as can be affordably implemented on a PC, does not allow the AI to be truly challenging. A human who is willing to think his actions through will almost certainly be able to tie the AI in knots.
There have as yet been zero AIs in strategy games that have done a good job. Most are actually worse than what Master of Magic had. Sometimes that's a matter of non-AI-compliant game design, like Civilization 5 with its 1 unit per tile restrictions devastating the AI's ability to wage war effectively. Usually it's just that AI that can react and learn from a human player is not actually easy to develop.
Even Galactic Civilizations 2, which has some of the best AI of any game in this genre, has to give the AI cheating bonuses at the higher difficulty levels to allow it to compete.

It's interesting reading your ideas here, rakenan, because it highlights how different people can like the same game for different reasons. I think what you're suggesting could make a really good game, but I would probably take a different approach. Or I would make the starting parameters of the game very broad and user-configurable so they could include most of the things you want and/or most of the things I want.
One of the reasons it's been so hard for anyone to make a worthy successor to MoM is that, in my opinion, MoM is near-perfect as it is. Sure, it's got flaws, but they're mostly the right kind of flaws (more endearing than aggravating), and when you consider what the aim of the game is, I think it really hit the bullseye. Aside from the most obvious items like improved graphics and AI (to the extent that's possible), I would be inclined to leave most things as they are.
A few things I might change:
1) I would make the gate in city walls impassible to attacking units. Capturing a walled city should require some way of going over, under, or through the walls.
2) I would elaborate on explorable sites like ruins and nodes to make them seem more like dungeons, and investigating them seem more like an adventure. Maybe there are traps or riddles as well as guardians, and maybe there are different guardians on multiple levels of the site. There are lots of things that could be done with this.
3) I like the idea of more planes, and maybe underground caverns for both Myrror and Arcanus, but I would keep this as a user-configurable parameter for each game.
4) People seem to like the idea of independent kingdoms, and I could get behind that, but I would not have independent wizard kingdoms. All wizard rulers are your competitors, ultimately. Independent rulers should be exceptional but non-magic individuals like warrior heroes or politicians, and they should have unique non-magical powers to make your life miserable.
That's my thinking, anyway.

Well UniversalWolf, I like your ideas too. Well, except for the first one. There are lots of problems with MoM city assaults, but that has never seemed like one to me. The fact that the AI doesn't know how to deal with walls at all is more of an issue. The fact that the defender has to actually defend the gate to prevent enemies rushing through, and that if the attacking force is powerful enough it can storm right over the defense isn't an issue to me. This is a heroic fantasy game, not a realistic siege simulator.
Even if it were a realistic siege simulator, attacking forces routinely improvised siege weapons on the spot when they were assaulting a city. We may not be talking huge catapults of siege towers, but ladders and battering rams, sure. I don't want Total War style marathon siege battles, so I'd rather just keep the system abstracted to the point that defenders inside a walled city get some combat bonuses and attackers can only attack through the gates unless they fly or the wall is breached.
Probably needs to be a better bonus for walls, though. The piddling defense bonus you get for walls in MoM is often quite hard to notice.

Two other things that MoM did and most other games seem not to:
Units are actually squads rather than individuals, and they deploy/maneuver as squads rather than individuals or an enormous abstract 'stack'.
Armies aren't dependent on having a hero to be put together or move around.
But the single biggest thing that I can think of in terms of designing a MoM2 is that the individual systems should be kept simple as they were in MoM1. Taken together they had some complex interactions, but each one was "light" enough that it was easy to understand and quick to deal with.
One of the pitfalls of 4X sequels (and in some cases, first-time designs) seems to be the "more is better" mentality and that either slants the game toward one or two specific gameplay elements, or simply swamps the player with more information than a person can reasonably cope with.

"But the single biggest thing that I can think of in terms of designing a MoM2 is that the individual systems should be kept simple as they were in MoM1. Taken together they had some complex interactions, but each one was "light" enough that it was easy to understand and quick to deal with."
I agree with this completely. That's actually one of the most interesting and enjoyable things about MoM, the way the complex interactions between different functions never become cumbersome or tedious.

I liked Stardock's Fallen Enchantress: Legendary Heroes. I would say it is a worthy successor to MOM.

A few more things MoM does but many imitators do not.
8) Ability to create your own magic items.
9) Ability to focus production on preferred units (as opposed to HoMM3's system of having a fixed limit of each unit type per week, so you have to build many types to do anything).
10) As much as possible each unit should have a unique role, not just a few unit lines with most units just being upgrades of something equivalent but cheesier.

Age of Wonders II Shadow Magic has magic item creation, unique ability for units and full control over unit production. Combat in AoW also has more tactical depth IMO.

"Age of Wonders II Shadow Magic has magic item creation, unique ability for units and full control over unit production. Combat in AoW also has more tactical depth IMO."
Thanks for the info. I have AoW 1, it seems pretty lame. I have dithered over getting the next one, I think you've talked me into it. Now I'm kicking myself for not buying it during G0G's winter sale.

I would agree with the need for a MoM update or sequel, and agree with almost all of the points raised, except I'd keep combat tactical rather than RTS.
For me it wasn't the depth of the game that was so attractive (not that it wasn't), it was its breadth. So many different heroes, races, items, spells and so on. Any update should reflect and embrace this.

Reminded me of an article, I don't remember where I first saw it. ... r-of-magic
This section, especially, has amused me every time I've read it:
"Master of Magic has absolutely no sense of restraint. It's like the game has some deep-seated psychological condition, some terrible case of hedonism. It's like a kleptomaniac spent a week in Games Workshop, came home to you and didn't so much empty their pockets as point excitedly at the van they'd parked outside."

The problem with AoW combat is that they left out multiple figures in a single unit. That takes away quite a bit of depth right off the top, even if it has more depth in other areas.
It's dangerous to compare AoW and MoM anyway. They're very different games with different agendas, even if AoW mechanics are heavily influenced by MoM.
For me, MoM > AoW > AoW2.

AoW III + Expansions do a good job. Still not perfectly so and the concept of the Wizard's towers have been abandoned(to my regret) but, still, the best come-close to MoM, in my opinion.
Fallen Enchantress: Legendary Heroes is not as good, especially when it comes to tactical combat. It does have some very nice overland mechanics and features, though. It had a great potential, if they had kept working on it.

MoM has three very good things:
1. Very fantastic world, with races, heroes, items, and a lot of creatures!
2. Magic as a meta game: MoM is Civ+Magic the Gathering (MtG), magic is an own game. You can play with magic. You can play without magic. You can play with world domination or with fantastic creatures or with tactical spells or with buffs. Its playable like MtG!
3. A good progression in magic and units, and with the spell of mastery a nice engame.
MoM needs no more worlds or planes, hundreds of new spells, 3D or a "you can use all spells" like in WoM. It needs a good multiplayer mode only.

Revisiting this thread. A year later, the thing that strikes me I would like to see most in a MoM successor is easily accessible mod options. A way for players to create their own maps and units. If I want to recreate Middle Earth or Cimmeria or whatever it would be nice if I could do so without a ton of programming knowledge. A map editor tool ought to be built in, and unit stats recorded in text files that can be easily modified. A way to import art files for new units would be nice.

The thing I miss most in the various MoM clones throughout the years is the world shaking power of the most powerful spells. In what other similar game can you bring about the end of the world by casting Armageddon and Great Wasting.
Or freeze time for everything except your army with Time Stop.
Or kill all non-magical life with Death Wish.
Or summon a god to fight for you with Incarnation.
Yes other games have multiplayer and need to be balanced, but these overpowerd abilities somehow balanced each other out in the end :)

Really I'm getting turned away from multiplayer games.
They balance them right into vanilla sameness.
In a single player game it doesn't matter if one race or class or magic field has an advantage.

If I make a list of my all-time favorite games, every single one of them has severe imbalance in one way or another.

Source 5 - Unity Developement Forum - A Modern Take On Master of Magic Thread:
Suggestions for a fan MoM remake that never got made. It's a huuuuuge thread with pictures and stuff hideen in spoiler tags so I'm not going to post it all here but you guys might wanna check it out.

That's pretty much it for the big threads and old stuff I found. I posted the MoM2 announcement and asked for wishlists on MANY forums out there so the next post will be a collection of responses here and there.

To be continued...
Last edited by Blake00 on Wed Jan 29, 2020 9:57 am, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: Master of Magic Sequel/Remake Wishlist

Post by Blake00 » Sat Oct 12, 2019 5:23 am

Source 6 - Comments from other forums:
I posted about your MoM acquisition for a possible sequel in 30 different forums. most of the time I was ignored but every now and then I got a bite haha.

GameFAQs MoM Forum
i want a game that's actually focused on magic. and i hope they don't try to "balance"/nerf the game too much. powerful rare spells should feel powerful. for example the Time Stop spell is pretty much a "I WIN" spell as long as you have the mana to sustain it. don't make it focused on multiplayer, that would encourage them to keep updating the mechanics to balance stuff in unfun ways. or maybe separate the game mechanics between singleplayer and multiplayer, much like Starcraft 2.
i don't mind them making the different races more balanced. in MOM, i find myself playing Halfing way too much because extra food was always good , they're friendly to most races, and their Lucky ability made all their units cheap & strong in mid and endgame. Humans were too strong in most cases, especially compared to Orcs which were similar to humans except their units sucked. Dark Elves were almost useless compared to other Myrran races because of high rate of unrest and slowest growth.

haha it's funny you should say that as Dark Elf were my race of choice! I'd usually select ruler skills and magic realms that helped soften the race penalties and then go and kick some ass with their powerful units. Their ability to generate mana out of the population allowed me to easily maintain Stream of life (which eliminated the growth and unhappiness issues) and generate tons of mana for other fun stuff. They can build most of the game's buildings too which means once you've got some developed Dark Elf cities you can become a real powerhouse!

CivFinatics MoM Thread
Let´s hope that this renewal will be done much better than the renewal of MOO. Much better graphics but no tabletop presentation, more enemies, good moddability - and please do not make a turnbased game with realtime combat (the cardinal error that was done with the MOO renewal).

AoW Heaven MoM Thread
I think it would be wonderful to have an open source painterly x4 MoM/AoW style game that could be played on any system. I'm guessing the owners of the MoM IP wouldn't part with those assets without something in exchange.
I sometimes wonder how hard it would be to build a game like that from scratch. Battle for Westnoth is roughly in the right direction, but there's something about AoW that I always have an itch for.

CivForum MoM Thread
Another huge MoM thread on a German forum. From what I'm seeing via Google translator there's a lot of good MoM talk here with people saying what they like and don't like about MoM and the various spiritual sequels out there.

Reddit MoM group
MoM reddit is another good resource with years of discussions covering what people like and don't like about MoM.

I'll add more comments here if I get more bites on my many threads around the place.

Hope all this info helps! Peace out!
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Re: Master of Magic Sequel/Remake Wishlist

Post by Blake00 » Wed Oct 23, 2019 6:28 am

More From Source 3 - Realms Beyond Master of Magic Forum - Wishlist Thread:
Speaking of numbers of units I've just discovered that aow 1 happily resolved, in '99, the problem of selecting and moving multiple units at the same time despite different speeds on a grid...
That'd surely lessen the pain.

One option I'd like to see is avoidance of the temptation to 'reroll' (reload and try again) random treasures and heroes. It's just too tempting to reroll lairs until you get something good. Click on button on setup, and the temptation is gone, but it's still an option for those who enjoy that style.
What triggered this thought is having substandard heroes volunteer, and turning them down because accepting them reduces the chance of better heroes showing up. Either balance them better, or not have a penalty for accepting lesser heroes. Maybe the list of heroes that you could get in a particular game is set at the start, so you have no reason to decline certain heroes because you're waiting for <whomever>, because <whomever> simply isn't on your list for that game.

With heroes I always imagined a system where you all know which are available at the start and how much fame/money they need to hire.
Then you can only hire heroes if you have enough fame to cover all the heroes you have. So if the first hero requires 10 fame and the second 15, if you hired the first one then you're require 25 for the second.
Then you can make more tactical decisions about which heroes to hire or not.
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Re: Master of Magic Sequel/Remake Wishlist

Post by Blake00 » Wed Nov 06, 2019 11:20 am

Source 7 - Master of Magic Discord Group:
My wish list for Master of Magic 2
More special events ... I dont mean one-off type but stuff thats escalates... Like invasion of Demons from hell.... maybe tied to Hero/Champion quests
Or maybe "Fall of the deities/ when the gods walked on earth" - Similar to Forgotten Realms - Time of troubles - ... en_Realms)
You get the idea - Big EPIC story events
Another thing that should be fixed is the Spell of Mastery... currently it is way too simple... to get
It needs to be more epic and interesting beyond just researching a spell
How to achieve it might vary per game...
Some ideas
#1 Controlling certain nodes/spots on the map - maybe need to build structures
#2 Casting spell of course
#3 Certain quests?
#4 Need a certain type of Champion or Hero to be high enough level
#5 Need a certain special artifact obtainable from ruin
Maybe Spell of mastery = apotheosis into the God of Magic...
Heroes system should perhaps copy off fallen enchantress legendary heroes

Today at 9:37 PM
Aaron_Tay - My wish list for Master of Magic 2 More special events ... I dont mean one-off type but stuff thats escalates... Like invasion of Demons from hell.... maybe tied to Hero/Champion quests Or maybe "Fall of the deities/ when the gods walked on earth" - Similar to Forgotten Realms - Time of troubles - ... en_Realms)
Older convo about what made MoM special and what Planar Conquest got right and wrong with their attemp to remake MoM..
Being thinking what makes MOM such a classic
Is it mechanics? But games like planar conquest copied most of it to a T
Is it content ? Variety of races, spells? But that has made matched too
I submit is a third element - charm

charm was the biggest
you felt like a power player working to affect the destiny of an entire world
modern games try to go for an epic LOTR type story

It's the mechanics, but games like planar conquest did not copy most of it. They lack thr over-the-topness in many areas and end up being games about small incrementale benefits instead of daring tactics, counters and big choices.

That's true..
But to be fair it had things like time stop
Charm of life

I picked up that line of thought from seravy. He's the one with a clear vision about mom's gameplay. Reading his answers on caster of magic forum is quite enlightening.

I think planar conquest just had horrible UI + zero charm
If I ignored those it almost feels like MOM . Abusing stupid tricks to win battles you shouldn't win

Maybe not everything over the top was well-balanced and could use improvement, but still, i tried many 4x fantasy games with wizards and it is true that big power swings like the ones in mom are about impossible. This makes for slow games.
Yeah but UI-wise mom is the worst of the all (even if its UI was very much ahead of its time)

I must admit I played a ton of PC
And trust me it had far worse UI than mom
But I think charm is also important
Like in PC you never got any short cut scene when sonethung big happened

Yeah, the feel of being a powerful, godlike wizard is unparalle in mom

I never realized how much I missed it
Chessy but cool
Of course today those won't fly

i remember when i was a kid an enemy wizard cast time stop.. game over lol

They going to spend a ton more on those or may decide just cut it out which will be a mistake
PC had time stop too. But I never used it. I abused circle of protection and various protection spells to be invincible. Kinda like MOM invulnerability
MOM needs stronger summon creatures though

I suspect to do MOM 2 properly it's going to be expensive

Not that expensive, it's still a strategy game that does not need fancy graphics and can be playtested in some kind of early access.
No, it really boils off to having a main designer that loves the game, knows what he is doing and maybe can involve some good players/fans like, as i said, seravy, that have been discussing mom's design for decades.

Remember we want a game with tons of content
3d model units, spells
Cut scenes unless they keep to old school drawings
I've always argued MOM community focuses too much on the mechanics
It's a big part I agree but if it's just that, plenty of successful games would be here by now by simply copying
Planar conquest is the best example.. mechanics are pretty much same plus refinements. Content is similar , there are epic spells like Crusade, time stop etc that affect whole game
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Re: Master of Magic Sequel/Remake Wishlist

Post by Kaputnik » Sat Dec 21, 2019 1:55 pm

I still play MOM from time to time and my 2 points would be:
1. Make it easy to mod. At least all kind of properties (for units, items, heroes, races etc..) should be asy to adjust (e.g. like CIV4 did with the xml data)
2. Multiplayer: I agree simultan moves would be a different game. But sequential Multiplayer would be great.
-There should be a timer option and statistics (in turn based games everyone thinks he is the fast one :wink: ).
-Really awesome would be a pre-moving like chess interfaces have: You can make your move while the other person has its move and when its your turn you can just confirm your actions or do something else instead.

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Re: Master of Magic Sequel/Remake Wishlist

Post by ArcaneTourist » Thu Dec 26, 2019 4:52 pm

If I get to make a wish, I'm going to wish for two MOM remakes, not just one! First, just a simple remake of the original with modern graphical and user interface updates.
Second, something like Distant Worlds set on a single, magical world.

But, more importantly than the settings, I wish for a good AI.

It seems like it's harder to do AI for fantasy 4X games than for other types of 4X. That's very unfortunate because fantasy 4X games seem to need better AI than other games if they want to be competitive with the player. MOM-like games have so many combinations and complexity, so game balance is tough. Flying invisible warships, anyone? But, a good AI might be able to take advantage of some of the same tricks that players do.

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Re: Master of Magic Sequel/Remake Wishlist

Post by KingHalford » Sat Jan 04, 2020 10:21 am

Whatever happens, go and look at Seravy's "Caster of Magic" mod and use that as your baseline for quality.

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Re: Master of Magic Sequel/Remake Wishlist

Post by Blake00 » Mon Jan 27, 2020 7:47 am

Thanks guys :) good to see people starting to use this thread. I just hope Slitherine are reading it too!

Here's some more from my other forum wishlist threads:
GameFAQs MoM Forum - Wishlist Thread
Good to hear the news.
I would want them to just redo the original with updated graphics and sound, add voice acting.
Enable multiplayer
Keep same game mechanics as much as possible
Rebalance spells as needed
Very smooth presentation like Civilization VI
Remix music
The main point of concern as far as balance goes will be heroes and artifacts as in the original. They might need to revise those two systems.

I would like it to be more like Heroes of Might and Magic and less like Civilization (yeah, I will explain):
Single Player randomized world is cool, but I would like to have a campaign mode where your Wizard keeps the progress made
Single Player scenarios: Like a specific goal to win the world
Also, increasing difficulties shouldn't make the AI Cheat (like giving more resources from start, but make the AI make better choices
Also, AI shouldn't build cities next to each other causing resources to be shared and making cities development to be hindered.

Realms Beyond Master of Magic Forum - Wishlist Thread:

Map design has shown us that the the overall systems and mechanics of a strategy game and how they are arranged in each specific game has a more meaningful impact on the difficulty of the AI opponents than their intelligence itself. Even if you don't go to extreme examples like Wayfarer or even the far simpler Fire War Campaign map (both H3), the vanilla H2 Pyramid map is a prime example of ancient stupid AI from '96 being extremely difficult even for veterans to beat without "numbers advantage," or any other hugely disproportional advantage of any kind (or at least not as disproportionately huge as the AI has to been pumped in M/CoM to be made challenging, really making it just as annoying, of not more so than just challenging in the process, though maybe for MoM specifically there may be no other way, who knows, though I personally have my doubts).

- Battles should have very fast animations and pretty yet small 2D graphics that look fine if sped up. Combat should resolve pretty quickly, with small space and unit limits per stack. Added mechanics like flanking, multi-ranged attack system of AoW would be very welcome to reward mobile units yet kept simple enough for battles to resolve quickly
Units should have strengths and weaknesses at times based on concrete abilities, not (150% against cavalry). Caster of Magic excels on this
- The Feature of letting turns get to 25 (and neutral ai escaping when protecting lair) should not be in sequel. Since they are starting fresh with code, it would be preferable to grant additional tactical benefits to these mobile tactical units if AI can be taught
- Auto combat should be an option prior to any battle. Auto algorithm, visible but ai-controlled battle with spell usage, ai-controlled without spells or manual combat. Auto algorithm should be Much better than what we have of MoM
- Towns should be scarcer yet more involved with less repetitive micro. Add non-magic research system available to all but slightly different according to wizard selection. Keep towns advancing over time economically and military (less so) and settled towns starting more advanced depending on research (see civ5 or modern master of orion). Also, provide a distinct town interface where you see the town grow with new buildings as well as quantity of houses. This is immersion that was lost in AoW3 where town had no character nor distinction
-Number of spells and units should be restrained so it wont crumble under its own weight for both player and AI sake. 8-10 units per race ( half of them standard units) and 40 spells per realm is plenty

Yup, as I write before: Fast combats are very important! MoMs design says "research early and test your research often against a lot of enemy combinations". But it need the "Three-Strikes-Rule" from AoW2 to disable "Stacks of Doom". In AoW the "Adjacent-Hex-Rule" (all units in the near are fighting in the battle too) was nice, but a little bit impractical. The possibility to flee from the battle on the battlefield borders is nice, it would be great if the defenders has the same option (perhaps after some turns).
Please look at "Fallen Enchantress: Legendary Heroes" for a good city build system. It is very funny to build buildings directly on the map.
BTW: discuss some design flaws in 4X games. I hope for a win by solving a master quest.

Apolyton Civ Forum - MoM Wishlist Thread:

Jon Miller
I think part of what made MoM interesting was the magic of the magic system. This wasn't something that was observed as much in a AoW or HOMM, but is something that is observed in MtG (or DnD 2/3?). I think a key part of this is to make it so that magic is imbalanced and that there are a lot of cool possible spells, which are not all accessible in any given game.
The same with other treasures and artifacts and so on.

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Re: Master of Magic Sequel/Remake Wishlist

Post by CustodianV131 » Mon Feb 10, 2020 6:30 pm

Impressive to see how many people still care for Master of Magic.

Nice to see many people did enjoy it as much as I did. Hope we're going to see some movement on Master of Magic this year. Still no rush, this is one worth getting very very right.

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Re: Master of Magic Sequel/Remake Wishlist

Post by Blake00 » Fri Feb 21, 2020 8:23 am

CustodianV131 wrote:
Mon Feb 10, 2020 6:30 pm
Hope we're going to see some movement on Master of Magic this year. Still no rush, this is one worth getting very very right.
Yeah could be years still which is fine by me. Be nice if the staff here made an official forum for MoM though. This is thread would have a proper home!

Or even better, it would be nice if one of them posted here saying "thanks, we are reading these" so we know A- they're taking the fans wishes into the equation and B- I haven't been wasting my time on all this lol!

Anyway.. I've got some more wishlist stuff! For some reason I originally completely forgot to post a wishlist thread on reddit. Did it 2 weeks ago and have got some great responses!

Reddit MoM Group - Wishlist Thread
Good city governor that you can configure to manage cities & production exactly the way you want.
Good governor for pioneers that you can configure to manage terrain exactly the way you want.

Honestly, the #1` thing I would like for them is a Master of Magic (1) HD remaster [instead of a sequel].

- A map maker feature so you can customize your own game and build scenarios.
- At least one wizard picture that clearly resembles each race ( a Dwarf, a Klackon, etc.).
- A way to win the game diplomatically.
- An improved Grand Viszor that can make good default choices as well as manually configured choices.
- Don't make the Myrran races too pricey! - 3 picks is prohibitively expensive! 2 picks like in the earlier versions of MoM was just right.
- Please no time limit. --Building a kingdom, becoming powerful, and then using that power to conquer every last bit of the world is an important part of the role play in Master of Magic.
- Fix the Random Events setting! --Meteor Strikes seem to ruin the most fun parts of the game for me. I feel like every time, as soon as I make my first Wizard's Guild a meteor comes to destroy it. How many times have I seen "The Capital of [Moon Glow] can no longer produce Warlocks." I always end up turning off Random Events. Not because it's too hard, but because it isn't fun! I really like the other events - Pirates stealing gold, Diplomatic Marriages, Rebellions, Gifts from merchants, from God, etc.

More options for magical items. No spell book cap. No population cap in cities. Allow room for multiple buildings in each city..

Reddit 4x Gaming Group - MoM Wishlist Thread
Only one item really: f**k balance. MoM was so good because it was so gloriously broken on all accounts and actually made you feel like a proper wizard overlord taking over the world. If MoM2 becomes your traditional multiplayer game obsessed with balance, it'll be yet another bland "spiritual successor".
I don't want your +0.8% chance of critical damage or -1.4% spell resist debuff. I want flying elite troll warriors, black spells that murder half the population of a city, and army destroying heroes.
Last edited by zakblood on Fri Feb 21, 2020 8:48 am, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: edited a word quoted
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Re: Master of Magic Sequel/Remake Wishlist

Post by Fieswurst » Fri Feb 21, 2020 8:58 am

I have many wishes but the most important one is
Please fokus on singleplayer!
Please keep some overpowered spells! :evil:

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Re: Master of Magic Sequel/Remake Wishlist

Post by zakblood » Wed Feb 26, 2020 9:07 am

moved as requested now forum is open

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Re: Master of Magic Sequel/Remake Wishlist

Post by Arent » Wed Feb 26, 2020 9:26 pm

The Fantasy General reboot is very nice. Just do a similarly careful reboot for master of magic.

Since civilization 6+ is right now moving in a completely wrong direction, there is a serious possibility that a lot of civ players will come over to play a classic master of magic reboot.

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Re: Master of Magic Sequel/Remake Wishlist

Post by Blake00 » Sun Mar 01, 2020 12:37 pm

zakblood wrote:
Wed Feb 26, 2020 9:07 am
moved as requested now forum is open
Thanks Zakblood! Good to see you guys know about this thread. Was a bit worried no one had seen it haha!
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Re: Master of Magic Sequel/Remake Wishlist

Post by zakblood » Sun Mar 01, 2020 12:38 pm

no worries, :wink:

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Re: Master of Magic Sequel/Remake Wishlist

Post by Teppic » Mon Mar 02, 2020 9:51 am

I was quite impressed from Stellaris and the gaming-experience progression. There you start with your homeworld and know next-to nothing about the galaxy. Through techs your Galactic empire will be confronted with new tasks and opportunties. Many games back in the 90thies had something "comparable" like MoOrion with its Pre-Warp status. These were not well balacened back then. I think a new MoM should have an option especially for newbies to the genre to start as the mage/shaman apprentice and learn how take on the responsability/power of leading the faction. In 4X thinking it might be something like stretching the EXplore-Phase, which is highly rewarding and exciting to play.

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Re: Master of Magic Sequel/Remake Wishlist

Post by FirstSpearman » Wed Mar 04, 2020 6:29 pm

I've been playing COM to help figure out what I'd like in a sequel. One thing that bothers me is that the game is a lot of repetition followed by a single battle that basically determines whether you've won or lost, and all that's left is clean-up. So, some suggestions:

1) Provide the AI some ability to counter steamrolling. If you conquer an AI city, perhaps the next one has a temporary bonus to defense (rallying the troops!). It could take many forms. Maybe if most damage to their army was from regular missiles, their other cities (and out of city units?) would get a bonus against missiles. If combat curses played a big role, they might get a bonus to resistance. If the AI's magic didn't do much in the battle, maybe it would get a boost to its spellpower while defending cities. The AI's cities might also get a temporary reduction in combat troop costs. A simplistic adaptation, such as the losing AI simply getting extra units, makes it pointless to try to gain a winning edge. A more flexible adaptation would reduce steamrolling, but would force the human player to come up with new strategies. If your longbowmen become less effective due to defensive war bonuses, switch to cavalry, or summoned units, or something else. Your longbowmen would still be effective against a different AI (until they adapt), and would still be fully effective on defense.

2) Allow limited border conflicts. The game can go quite a long time without any interesting conflict. Wandering monsters are not enough. You and Merlin might share a border, and neither of you are ready to declare war, but maybe your city leaders see opportunity for expansion or plunder. Perhaps the AI's cities can attack other cities without the nations going to war. The AI wouldn't be able to cast overland offensive spells, and it wouldn't be allowed to cast spells in combat, but the city's units could attack. There would have to be some changes, such as assigning units to cities (x turns for a unit built/conjured elsewhere to become assigned there). Perhaps cities could have actual leaders and city spellpower and mana reserves which could be used in battle. This could even extend to multiple cities forming alliances for less-than-full-war conflicts. You could end up with multiple cities fighting, which leads to full war, or which just stays localized.

Both ideas would need work and playtesting to make sure that it ends up adding interest rather than tedium, but they're something to think about.

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Re: Master of Magic Sequel/Remake Wishlist

Post by Blake00 » Fri Mar 06, 2020 9:47 am

Created a new wishlist thread in Slitherine's new MoM steam forum and have had lots of good responses there.

Steam MoM Forum - Wishlist Thread
These are some good ideas [in response to my ideas in OP]. I especially like the idea of more 'action' in the ocean and ambient weather. I wouldn't mind battling some giant Hydra or Sky Drakes in the sunset or even the storm. A kind of way to use custom wizard/hero portraits and such would be good, too. I liked Seravy's Tohou characters although I have zero knowledge about that series.

My only wish is for them to keep all of the gameplay mechanics that existed in the first game.
Time and time again, I'll play the Age of Wonders, or Elemental game series and say, "I wish (insert spell or other game mechanic here) was in the game.
Since they're planning to bring this sequel into modern times, I'm assuming the graphical part of the game will be taken care of. : )
I love the suggestions of an underground, included by Age of Wonders, HoMM, and Warlock, as well as the trade/diplomacy stuff. I'm a little bit curious to see if anyone will release a save editor, much like MoMEdit for the first game :P
This is the type of game I love to just get lost in and mess around for any number of hours.
If the devs can at least keep the gameplay mechanics of old, then the sequel will be no exception!

Honestly, I would love a remaster more than a sequel. Might be harder due to no source code, but I think the mechanics of the game are pretty well known, if not the actual code.

Just as long as they don't [make] it like planar conquest or worlds of magic then that's great.

I think spying/espionage is a bad idea. I think it almost never makes sense in TBS strategy games and is rarely fun or well balanced/integrated with the rest of the game. On top of that additional system like that just make it harder and harder and harder for AI players to play the game well.
I would rather they stick to the core gameplay and focus on making the AI as good at the game as possible, and have it really mastering the tools it has. Rather than adding in 18 different ways for the player to min-max its way so far beyond the AI that you need punishing difficulty imbalances to make the AI competitive.
More isn't always better.

Agreed on more than 4 being huge.
I'd also like starting-game options. I like the classic no-settler spearmen/swordsman setup. I don't ever want more than one Lizardman or Troll city if I can avoid it.

removing stuff is more important than adding more, and if we're at the point where removing something makes the game worse, we're about there.

Personnaly, I've been dying to see a sequel to MoM since it released back in the 90's
But then I was blown by Civ2 Test of Time where you could play underwater, underground, in the sky... with different races ! Unfortunately, the spells and combat side were lacking !
Having this kind of thing in MoM 2 would definitely be awesome...
How I wish AoW Planetfall had an underwater plane.
But seriously, I just hope they won't remove any features of MoM; races, spells, wizards, exploration, buildings, ... and just expand upon them with interesting things.
Keeping and expanding customization, allowing units to cover behind objects or hide in the forest.
If they do not add city view and don't give races their own city visual style, I'd be hugely disapointed. (precisely what AoW is missing)
Oh and wizards of different races too !
Diplomacy is an important part of any 4x and AoW Planetfall succeed like no other along with manipulation (very important) to give more meaning to diplomacy than alliance, break alliance, war, peace and let's give you stuff to calm you down or exchange technologies !
Probably the hardest thing to do is a good diplomacy screen.
Bigger maps and more wizards is practically certain to be there along with multiplayer so it's not something I'm worried about, especially when I know slitherine is behind.
Interesting spells is where I expect slitherine to shine, spells to modify the combat like flooding the area, creating earth walls to protect your archers and slow the enemy, same with fire walls, spells to repair the city under siege, siege weapons and spells, snow, freeze water, burned ground, mud, lava river, vine walls, ...
There are a bunch of possibilities and I hope they will go wild to make combat more interesting and challenging, especially more surprising.
Fallen Enchantress had a spell which still surprise me to this day, when a unit was close a cliff next to the ocean, you could cast a tsunami on it with a really cool effect if you studied water magic... This is the kind of spells I want to see and be surprised with in MoM 2 !!!!
Finding a good fantasy 4x is really hard and finding one with interesting spells is even harder.
I guess we'll see if AoW will stay the king or if MoM 2 will get it's rightful throne back.

I hope they look at the Eador series to frame their tactical battles. It would finish the sequel off perfectly.

The biggest things I'd like to see..
Don't mess with the formula. It's time tested and proven. Messing with it too much might make MoM fans angry.
Keep the city view. People like looking at their cities.
Increase enemies per map, 4 seems a bit low.
Final piece of advice, build MoM2 exactly how MoM1 is, then expand from there. Just upgrade the graphics and music. That would be a good start to a great game.
PS Also a mechanic to keep other wizard's from placing settlements too close to your cities. It's like playing whack-a-mole with them.

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Re: Master of Magic Sequel/Remake Wishlist

Post by FirstSpearman » Fri Mar 13, 2020 9:11 pm

One thing that spoils MOM games for me is the overpowering nature of some heroes, items, and other random variables. It sucks to find a hero in a lair and get someone like the Orc Archer, when you know that there are better heroes available. However, finding a really really powerful hero can spoil the game, because it's pretty much a guaranteed win after that. I think the game would be better if basically any hero you acquire is one you'd be happy with. They should still be random between games, to keep things interesting, and maybe the abilities could be more interesting without being overly powerful. MOM was limited by hardware at the time. With hardware several orders of magnitude better now, it should be possible to add some intelligence in the random generation, to avoid overly powerful (or weak) combinations. It could also adjust for the player's power at the time, or some other qualities.

Also, add more interesting abilities, to heroes and items, that aren't available via spells or other means that players have access to. Instead of finding a wand with Fireball, have a new spell that swaps the target's stats around randomly each turn, or summons a creature that isn't otherwise available. Things like this would make each game more memorable.

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