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Warlock 2: The Exiled – New Screenshots and Information

By on January 20th, 2014 9:35 am

Warlock 2: The Exiled

Warlock 2: The Exiled is the upcoming follow-up to Ino’co/Paradox Interactive’s 2012 strategy game Warlock: Master of the Arcane. This is a game series that we haven’t covered previously on the site. I mentioned in our “A List of Space/Sci-Fi/Fantasy Games You Can’t Miss in 2014” article that the original Warlock was a game I didn’t pay that much attention to. It seemed, based on my limited experience with it, to be a bit too war driven and a bit too shallow in other areas for my tastes. Since that time, I’ve read numerous comments from many of you talking about how enjoyable a game it actually is. This drove me to go back and explore the game again, and I have to say, I came out much more impressed and pleased with it than I expected. For that reason, Warlock 2: The Exiled is now on my watch list for 2014, and even better, it looks like it is going to fix some of the issues I do still have with the original title.

The Exiled

While Warlock 2 includes several enhancements and new features, I think the one I am most excited about is a new game mode called “The Exiled”. This mode is essentially a campaign mode which will require you to conquer numerous randomly generated worlds before finally taking back the world of Ardania (the setting for the Warlock and Majesty series of games). In essence, this should mean we will have a campaign mode to play that will be different every time we play it. My understanding also is that we will not be starting each new world from scratch, but we will instead be building up over time. This is great news, as we’ve seen and reviewed a similar concept to this recently, and in that case it didn’t work out as well as I’d hoped. Warlock 2 looks like it will have tightly connected worlds that feed off of each other, so I have a sense that we won’t see similar issues here.

Warlock 2: The Exiled - Never fear, you'll have pumpkins

New Spell Research Tree

Another issue I had with Warlock was the spell research system. Spell research in the original Warlock was very random and unpredictable. Not only were spell research options limited to a few choices, but you also had no control over what options would be available next. In Warlock 2, they are fixing this and adding a tried and true spell tree. Spells are now categorized and include prerequisites that are clearly marked. In addition, they’ve added a new mechanic that allows you to enhance spells with glyph items. So if you really like your fireball spell, but find it is just a little weaker than you’d like, you can add a glyph to the spell within your spell book to supersize its effectiveness. It looks like it will be a good addition that adds more options and avenues for experimental play.

Warlock 2: The Exiled - New Spell Tree System

Multiplayer Changes

While I don’t play a lot of multiplayer strategy games on the computer these days, I can certainly appreciate steps that are taken to make this process more streamlined and efficient. Also new to Warlock 2 is what Paradox is calling “semi-simultaneous” play. This means while your opponent is making his moves, you can plan your own, queue up building construction, evaluate spell research, and basically take care of a lot of the important and time-consuming decisions in advance of your turn. I can only imagine this will speed up play tremendously, and for strategy games like this one, should be a much appreciated feature.

Warlock 2 is scheduled to launch in the second quarter of this year.

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  1. towerbooks3192 says:

    Wow! It looks promising. My only complaint about the first one is that it doesn’t take itself seriously. I did enjoy the first one a little bit but I hope they would make a serious one. I mean the units like some donkey riding soldiers and whatnot. I really wished they didnt take stuff from the majesty series and just created their own fantasy world.

  2. Martok says:

    Nice article! Warlock 2 is on my watch list this year as well. I haven’t played the original (partly because — like you, Keith — it struck me as a little too war-focused), but I’ve heard generally good things about it, and am eager to see how the follow-up turns out.

    • Keith Turner says:

      Thanks Martok, glad you enjoyed the article. I’ve spent some time with the original, and as I mentioned, it grew on me once I invested myself into it. Warlock 2 looks like it is making all the right improvements to position itself as a very solid fantasy strategy wargame this year.

  3. Jorus says:

    I’m really looking forward to the release of Warlock 2. I thoroughly enjoy the original, and the changes noted will only make it better. It has a good balance of depth in gameplay and GUI simplicity.
    Personally, in a fantasy game, I don’t mind the touch of levity that “donkey riding soldiers” bring – instead, look at their stats, they’re tough.

  4. Lens Flares Suck says:

    I’ll wait for the reviews on this. I’m looking for a ‘polished’ release version. If that doesn’t happen I’ll wait for the sale price.

  5. Gunnergoz says:

    The first Warlock also had something like worlds or planes – different levels you accessed through magic gates. I’m not so sure what is different about this variant, other than calling the other levels “fragments” or something like that. I do enjoy Warlock, BTW, though giant maps tend to get tedious, but they are each randomly generated, as are the associated planes or worlds. It could be I’m missing something in the description of the expansion that will not be apparent until I play it.

    • Keith Turner says:

      It has been hard to find much info about Exiled mode, but as luck would have it, a new interview was just posted today on GameReactor that adds a little more to the subject.

      The basic idea seems to be that you will start with a capital on one small shard or island, and you will then branch out to other shards and work your way to the final shard and a final boss. The environmental threats are going to be more of a factor. A scalable city cap is also being used to help force harder decisions on where you place cities. Their producer indicates that this mode is designed to prevent the player from being able to steamroll the map. It isn’t going to have an emphasis on storytelling, as the game will still be focused more on the combat and the gameplay that surrounds it.

      I’ll know a lot more once I get my hands on it, but it will be a bit still.

  6. Ermdog says:

    Awesome! I’m glad you guys decided to cover this. Now that you mentioned, Warlock was mainly combat driven, but it did a good job at it that I just accepted the research and diplomacy far what it was…not good. Still I love the game and I can’t wait to try out the new changes in Warlock 2. I hope they revamped the diplomacy a bit, but it sounds like its still going for combat first…which isn’t so bad.

    • Keith Turner says:

      I’ve not heard any mention of diplomacy enhancements so far. My gut feeling is they want the game to remain a wargame first and foremost, so we probably won’t see any in this series. I love a good diplomatic agreement, but if we don’t see it here, I know we’ll see more options in the other fantasy games currently in the pipeline.

  7. whocares says:

    Modding – Modding – Modding – Modding – Modding – Modding – Modding – Modding – Modding – Modding !!!

    Warlock 1 was Modding-locked.

  8. killias2 says:

    I liked Warlock for what it was, but it certainly felt more like a 4x-lite than a full blown 4x game. It almost felt like a 4x version of something like Advance Wars or another game from the Military Madness/Daisenryaku lineage of TBS games.

  9. Buxaroo says:

    I like the first one very much, plays like a very well polished mod for Civ 5. This new one is on my radar that’s for sure.

  10. SQW says:

    First one had enough breaking mechanics such as the buff system and stupid AIs etc to make me wish I had not purchased the game.

    I always hate it when the devs abandon a game with good potential and move on to v2.0 instead of fixing the most obvious bug despite prior claim that they will properly support their product (DLCs are not support). For that reason alone, I WILL NOT be purchasing from this studio.

    There are enough gaming companies making a quick buck from gamers with little regard for their own consumer rights without adding another to the growing list. One day, for the health of the gaming industry as a whole, I hope pre/reviewers will list past endeavours or transgressions from studios to remind consumers who they are supporting with their wallet.

  11. Keith Turner says:

    For anyone still monitoring this post, I just want to put out a quick update. Warlock II is next on my list and I’m currently in the process of playing it for the eventual review. Warlock II has certainly not been forgotten.

    To address the one modding question above, I haven’t gone looking for mods yet, but there is a mod button displayed very prominently on the main menu.

    • SQW says:

      Please please let us know how the AI behaves both strategically and tactically. The first game was terrible at giving AI under-the-table economy so it spams lvl 1 units to overwhelm you early. However, if you do survive the initial onslaught, then it becomes a cake walk because the AI is incapable of creating anything but fodder units for your buffed up super soldiers.

      Oh and don’t get me started on how it handled water terrain. I had many a game where the entire army of the AI were mired in a little lake area where every units spend turns shuffling from one hex to another.

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