What was the Magic of MoM?

By on August 5, 2009 1:11:29 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Denryu

Join Date 07/2006
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For me it was the options: there were so many different spells, dozens of traits you could assign (the one I could never do without was alchemy!) the races were so diverse, it just provided hundreds of combinations that kept the game fresh thru dozens of games!

So how is EWOM measuring up to it's spiritual predecessor? At first there was a large amount of disappointment in lack of race diversity, but other than graphical similarity, the dozen races slated for the canon game could easily provide the same gameplay differences (if not graphical ones). And there obviously will be a large spellbook even in the canon game, which will surely expand quickly as user created content becomes available.

The one area we have nto heard a ton about is whatever anaolgy of MoM's traits make it into the game. There will surely be pre-game setup of your channeler, but we have not heard a lot of details as far as to how many and what kinds of options there will be. If this can be done well, I think that is the foundation of what will determine if this is the game that future 4x games are measured against.

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August 5, 2009 1:18:57 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting ,

For me it was the options: there wee so many different spells, dozens of traits you could assign (the one I could never do without was alchemy!) the races were so diverse, it just provided hundreds of combinations that kept the game fresh thru dozens of games!

So how is EWOM measuring up to it's spiritual predecessor? At first there was a large amount of disappointment in lack of race diversity, but other than graphical similarity, the dozen races slated for the canon game could easily provide the same gameplay differences (if not graphical ones). And there obviously will be a large spellbook even in the canon game, which will surely expand quickly as user created content becomes available.

The one area we have nto heard a ton about is whatever anaolgy of MoM's traits make it into the game. There will surely be pre-game setup of your channeler, but we have not heard a lot of details as far as to how many and what kinds of options there will be. If this can be done well, I think that is the foundation of what will determine if this is the game that future 4x games are measured against.

 

I am also interested in the mystery that is the 'channeler'. We really haven't heard much other than there will be options to customize him/her? I'd like to know what options..I like to imagine some hybrid between MoM's customization and Oblivions customization.

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August 5, 2009 1:24:34 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Spell-locked Flying Invisible Warships.

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August 5, 2009 1:38:48 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Agreed. MoM is awesome because it is varied every game. So many elements make it that way:

1. You couldn't go into a battle even with a powerful set of units and know you would win. The distant magician's ability to affect the battle, in late stages significantly, made every combat interesting.

2. Every game you could get a wide variety of units with advantages/disadvantages by taking over enough cities. So you could experiment with races without locking yourself into one.  If you love Trolls, you can usually get some.

3. The richness, balance, and variety of spells

4. The Heroes ability to affect a battle, movement, magic castable per turn, etc. made for lots of variation per game based on which Heroes you could get.

5. The ability to build a new town whereever you wanted.

Making it better:

a. smarter AI, especially looking for patterns. If you take 3 towns with Ultra Elite slingers, the other mages should start putting Guardian Wind on everything. I know this is hard--that's why multiplayer would be so cool

b. some way to get more spellbooks; if you didn't get lucky you could sometimes not get high levels of spells. I'd prefer that you could buy one, or use mana to buy one (maybe 10,000)

c. better graphics

d. multiplayer

e. more time to play!

 

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August 5, 2009 1:42:51 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

For me it was the setup options, diversity of the game elements and dynamic play.

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August 5, 2009 2:13:48 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Chalk me up too for variety in races spell lists etc.

I also loved that you could rule an empire with a huge variety of races and their units, not just "your" race that you started with. Alternatively you could genocide all other races away, if that took your fancy. (As it so often did with my death magic wielding Wizard and his ravenous swarm of Halflings. )

What really took it above a fantasy version of Civilization though, was the personal involvement you had in battles and overland through your spellcasting. You're not just the leader of a nation, you're a powerhouse in your own right.  

What I particularly liked was that your personal ethics (as reflected in your spell list, at least) had very little to do with the race you started out with. You were clearly a very powerful being in your own right, and you would rule over anyone you conquered, not just one particular group you chose in setting up the game. This emphasizes the importance of the Wizard/Chaneler as an individual, not just the superpowered king/chiefain/whatever of a race.

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August 5, 2009 2:23:12 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Zaisha,
Chalk me up too for variety in races spell lists etc.

I also loved that you could rule an empire with a huge variety of races and their units, not just "your" race that you started with. Alternatively you could genocide all other races away, if that took your fancy. (As it so often did with my death magic wielding Wizard and his ravenous swarm of Halflings. )

What really took it above a fantasy version of Civilization though, was the personal involvement you had in battles and overland through your spellcasting. You're not just the leader of a nation, you're a powerhouse in your own right.  

What I particularly liked was that your personal ethics (as reflected in your spell list, at least) had very little to do with the race you started out with. You were clearly a very powerful being in your own right, and you would rule over anyone you conquered, not just one particular group you chose in setting up the game. This emphasizes the importance of the Wizard/Chaneler as an individual, not just the superpowered king/chiefain/whatever of a race.

I agree, and EWOM certainly is giving the channeler a central role in the game - if it is even possible I would say even moreso than MoM!

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August 5, 2009 2:34:10 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Denryu,

I agree, and EWOM certainly is giving the channeler a central role in the game - if it is even possible I would say even moreso than MoM!

With essence and all, i would have to agree. It will be interesting to see how conquered cities will react, will there be a benefit to building a Fallen warrior instead of my regular ones much like there were different benefits per race in MoM? 

 

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August 5, 2009 2:50:43 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

In MOM I loved all the little dungeons you could find and fight over for the loot. Also you always wanted to protect those magical nodes. In Elemental I know we will have nodes too that will be cool.

 

What I hope for is a very good AI. I love playing alone and when I fight the AI I just love it when it can outsmart me.

 

 

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August 5, 2009 4:23:05 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Tim4fun,


b. some way to get more spellbooks; if you didn't get lucky you could sometimes not get high levels of spells. I'd prefer that you could buy one, or use mana to buy one (maybe 10,000)

I seem to remember finding spellbooks in caves and whatnot.

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August 5, 2009 5:23:22 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting KellenDunk,



Quoting Tim4fun,
reply 3


b. some way to get more spellbooks; if you didn't get lucky you could sometimes not get high levels of spells. I'd prefer that you could buy one, or use mana to buy one (maybe 10,000)




I seem to remember finding spellbooks in caves and whatnot.

Mainly in high powered/heavily defended Nodes IIRC. I used to save before launching an attack on one of those (or seriously well-defended towers etc. which wewre also guaranteed to give tons of loot) and if it gave books reload and re-conquer until it gave me the books I wanted. (random chance for each type, which I duly exploited. Nothing quite like undead units with regeneration on them )

 

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August 5, 2009 5:56:20 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Yep, you *can* find more spellbooks in MoM.

And there is at least two or three everygame.

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August 5, 2009 6:57:13 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

MoM had really powerful units and spells. It completely ruined balance but that was OK in the endgame. Wiping a struggeling player from the map could be done in a relatively fast way.

Variety was a really strong point of MoM. Depending on the combination of race and ability picks each game played quite differently and made different strategies viable.

But the best point of MoM I loved was this: Although MoM had a lousy AI it had something that other strategy games during that time didn't have: good PvE. There were lairs, mana nodes, ruins, towers, etc. which you could conquer to reap a unknown reward. That was a really great concept. Most of the time the other player were nuisances that had to be dealt with in order to capture all the "special places".

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August 5, 2009 8:23:08 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Yes the idea of exploration in MOM was a big part of why it was better than a "fantasy" Civ.  Also the different units for the various races just all seemed to have so much character.  You really rooted for your halflings, they weren't just another ranged unit.  It's a subtle thing to build into a game.  While the game mechanics of Elemental and unit design may be quite advanced, be careful that the fact that everyone is a human(or fallen) doesn't make the units lack character despite their functional differences.

 

 

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August 6, 2009 2:59:47 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

For some reason the many races (and there were many) of MoM is never the 1st thing that cames to mind when I think of MoM.  Likely this is because I never played any but a few races that were able to get most or all of the building tech-tree (I'm not sure what to call it) and my wizard choices were only human +1 dragon and 1 mysterious figure.   The heroes were pretty much all human, except like 1 orc and a few mystery beings.

No to mention they cheated a bit (high men, barbarian, nobad  >>> 1 race?)   

I don't expect much for spells when this game's beta launches, but when this game is released retail I expect a good deal of spells, and a good deal more sitting on the disc (or whatever) for use in skirmish or mods, but not part of the normal 'canon' spell list.

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August 6, 2009 3:20:55 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

High men, barbarians and nomads are radically different in terms of play-style, even if they seem similar conceptually. All of the Myrran races (Beastmen, Dark Elves, Draconians, Dwarves and Trolls) are completely different and all are unique and interesting to play. Hell, even the hated Lizardmen and Klackons are fun to play if you adopt strategies suitable for them. They are both extremely strong early game and grow quite fast, not needing very many buildings. Gnolls and Orcs were the most boring races to play, although Gnolls could be quite powerful early as their basic units do a lot more damage.

For me, half the fun of MoM is simply imagining and discussing complex strategies and combinations of spells with different races. The other half, of course, is testing them out and seeing how powerful they turn out to be.

The real magic of MoM is the elegant way it blends simplicity with complexity in all the right ways. The tactical combat hits the sweet spot for complexity without being bogged down by too many units or being drawn out too long (like Empire Total War). The simplicity of each spell, with the complexity of the hundreds or even thousands of combinations of spells and units, complimenting their strengths and hiding their weaknesses.

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August 6, 2009 3:33:40 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I think the real magic is (apart from the solid mechanics) is presentation.  I have FUN watching Master of magic.   Like, I can watch somebody else play it, which I can't really say about Heroes of Might and Magic, or Age of Wonders.  

 the diversity of appearance in terrain makes it look interesting enough to look over (where say, age of wonders or Heroes which is usually a fairly solid color background with a bunch of little things that tend to just make the scene look cluttered)

 

The spells would usually be cast fairly often, and had fun annimations attached them.   Not to mention the brief animation for building new buildings (which Age of wonders lacked, but at least a few of the Heroes games had) or reseearching new spells.   Spells were cast both in battle and out (I never really felt love for the spells in Heroes games, I guess because I never used them until late-game when I had many levels of spells, and even then it was battle only)

My character I always felt was mine, because it bore my personalized name and appearance (more than Heroes could say), and the choices I picked at the begining I could really feel the direct influence (more than I did in Age of Wonders, which you only really picked the spell books, not like number of tomes or anything like that)

The music.    Most of the MoM music was fairly generic and possibly un-memorable (that being said, I CAN remember all of it.   Often when it comes to something that relates to founding a city, I "do do da do" the founded a town theme from MoM.)    but it REALLY fit!   the music really set the mood, and it was very tranquel most of the time, making it very easy to 'sit and play' for hours.  I mean, honestly, I think its about the most relaxing midi music that I can think of.  I'm kinda shocked I have not heard more remixes of MoM music.

(I really hope that Elemental has trumpets and woodwinds used in a similar way to what MoM tried to carry with the midi music.)

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August 6, 2009 6:15:18 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I'm pretty concerned that no matter how good Elemental is, people put MoM on such a high pedastil that they're going to be disappointed. You see the same thing with Everquest junkies who are disappointed every MMO launch because they're comparing it to nostalgia-laden opinions of playing EQ years ago back when it was their first MMO. Nothing can possibly compete with that, because all the broken and stupid stuff gets forgotten so easily.

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August 6, 2009 12:07:09 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I'm pretty concerned that no matter how good Elemental is, people put MoM on such a high pedastil that they're going to be disappointed. You see the same thing with Everquest junkies who are disappointed every MMO launch because they're comparing it to nostalgia-laden opinions of playing EQ years ago back when it was their first MMO. Nothing can possibly compete with that, because all the broken and stupid stuff gets forgotten so easily

Why should you be concerned with that? Do you own stock in Starvault? If not, why does it matter to you what people think of the game? If you like the game, shouldn't that be all that matters?

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August 6, 2009 12:25:59 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Because I want more of this type of game made, which means I want this one to be successful. A 300 page thread full of people complaining about how it doesn't reach a standard imposed by nostalgia is not terribly helpful.

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August 6, 2009 12:31:19 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting ChongLi,
Why should you be concerned with that? Do you own stock in Starvault? If not, why does it matter to you what people think of the game? If you like the game, shouldn't that be all that matters?

 

StarVault?

I think he is concerned - justly so, that the nostalgia factor may be a huge hurdle for SD to overcome for proper evaluation of its work. In short he wants the game to be judge on its own merits and not romanticized selective memories or yore.

 

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August 6, 2009 12:38:39 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Spartan,



Quoting ChongLi,
reply 18
Why should you be concerned with that? Do you own stock in Starvault? If not, why does it matter to you what people think of the game? If you like the game, shouldn't that be all that matters?


 

StarVault?

I think he is concerned - justly so, that the nostalgia factor may be a huge hurdle for SD to overcome for proper evaluation of its work. In short he wants the game to be judge on its own merits and not romanticized selective memories or yore.

 

It's a valid concern and certainly not what I am shooting for. I thought I was favorably comparing the so far very vague ideas we have about EWOM to MoM. I think there were thesis papers written on why MMOs never captured the magic for original EQ players and essentially it was compared to losing your virginity - you just can't re-experience a first time experience AS a first time experience!

All that taken into account, i think anyone with a brain does not expect this game to resemble MoM at all, in fact "spiritual successor" status might even be questionable at this point. That does not mean that much of what people loved about MoM cannot still guide the development of EWOM - that's the goal (at least for me) - and if a different direction is taken, which in many instances it surely will be, at least it will be an informed decision.

I have certainly expressed things about MoM that drove me nuts (and so have others) that we completely expect EWOM to surpass MoM in many of those "aggravating" areas.

Certainly it will exceed MoM in bugginess (by meaning EWOM will run better and crash less), the AI will surely be superior, and the graphics cannot be anything but a vase improvement - even the pre-alpha screenies that we have seen are orders of magnitude improved.

I am not asking for the same options, but I am asking for a comparable or higher number of significant options for replayability. I already know that we are not getting the racial variety, but I am hoping that the factions provide the diversity of strategic choices that races provided in MoM. I don;t think puttin gthose ideas out there hurts the devlopment or the eventual success of EWOM!

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August 6, 2009 12:48:50 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Do you own stock in Starvault?
How could he, it's not a publically traded company.  It's Brad Wardell's private domain, and no one dares interefere with the Frogboy!

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August 6, 2009 12:50:30 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Denryu,

I don;t think puttin gthose ideas out there hurts the devlopment or the eventual success of EWOM!

Oh no, neither do I. It's what Spartan said, I just want to see this game evaluated for what it is and not compared to an impossible standard.

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August 6, 2009 12:51:17 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Ron Lugge,

Do you own stock in Starvault? How could he, it's not a publically traded company.  It's Brad Wardell's private domain, and no one dares interefere with the Frogboy!

Is Starvault a company where Brad hides all of Stardock's money?

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August 6, 2009 3:57:03 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Haha, sorry, Starvault is another company working on a game I'm following. I get them mixed up when I keep posting in the different forums alternately.

Having said that, I honestly don't care about what people think of Elemental, so long as I like it. I don't have any vested interest in it beyond that.

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