Vast improvement of course. But then again my expectations about Magic in EWOM is extremely low...
Agree with everyone
75 spells is a stunningly small number. Divide that into the various spheres/schools/whatever and you probably have ten to twelve spells per. Such a small number of spells (many of which one won't have access to) will make magic highly limited even with individually great spells. About an order of magnitude short in conception (not pure number) from MoM which, unlike Elemental, I am currently playing
I agree with anglophile that 75 spells divided between the TEN books( ie fire, air, water, earth, life, death, mobility, enchantment, combat AND terraforming )with BOTH stratigic AND tactical areas gives an average spells per book/area of 3.75 spells, and if there are only FOUR(and as the OP suggests at least 5 spell levels) levels of spells, then there is LESS than ONE spell per level/book/type, which to me suggests that it is more in the realm of scrolls, rather than BOOKS, and NEEDS A HUGE increase of the number, RANGE and functions of the spells.
and even with the elimination of the stratigic/ tactical divide it still leaves 1.5 spells per level per book which does not suggest CHOICE between spells, just use the spell you have and HOPE it works,
75 spells is far too little. We need at least 200 spells (like MOM). But more importantly the spells have to be different! Perhaps the game mechanics in EWOM are too simple to support that amount of variety , I don't know.
The revised structure still seems more gamy than milieu-based, but at least there are signs of meaningful themes for magic in the game.
Hopefully, that might make it worth suffering profoundly un-magical word choices like "Mobility" for major aspects of the game design (where are the elements in a naming schema that includes Mobility at the top level?). That's language I'd expect from using the remote I rent from my cable provider, not a game with aspirations to be both a "successor" to MoM and an innovative 4XTBS/RPG hybrid. Still, it sounds like 1.1 might be more fun than I've hoped for so far.
I strongly dislike the way that Stardock games tend to have large units of knowledge based around functionality; a prime example of this is "Lasers" or "Engines" in GalCiv2, or your suggestion above. It always feels refreshing and exciting to have a large base of knowledge and being able to pick and use areas of it according to circumstance. Dominions is a good example of this: You research something like "Evocation", but that gives you the possibility of casting such various things as fireballs to divination spells -- depending on in-game circumstances. I'd much prefer Elemental to have books like "Life" and "Earth" or whatever, and have various functionalities within these split up; "Combat" feels like lasers, feels one-dimensional, and, much like lasers in GC2 was, could run the risk of being functional yet boring. I do mean this constructively, and will of course wait to see the results...
I can understand the idea of SD though. Idea is increase strategic choice, so you got to make a decision which book to research.
But i'm still old school, I prefer letting some of your choices be constrained by sovereign design and the strategic choice be governed by the spells you get to choose within the spell books.
This means maybe 5-6 spell books.. But this isn;t the way SD is going..
I don't quite understand why SD keeps mentioning the fear that players might not get the right shards..