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Warlock 2: The Exiled preview: turn-based refinement

by Andrew Yoon, shacknews.com, Jan 30, 2014 11:00AM PST

Paradox Interactive and developer Ino-Co Plus are working on a follow-up to their turn-based strategy game, Warlock. Predictably called Warlock 2, the sequel returns players to the world of Ardania as they try to reclaim the land from the first game.

The sequel promises a bit more structure than the first game. Whereas the original game dropped you in a sandbox environment, you begin your game in 2 on an edge world with low-level monsters. That way, you can establish a stronghold and slowly conquer neighboring territories on your way to the goal. The worlds are procedurally generated, so players will have to scour the environment for portals that connect the various worlds.

The gameplay is fairly standard fare, with players generating income and mana in their cities and using those resources to develop units which can be sent out into the environment to battle. However, Warlock 2 introduces new features that make it easier to grasp. For example, research trees are clearly laid out, so you know what you can do whenever constructing new buildings. Nearly every aspect of the game has a research tree clearly laid out, making it easy for players to understand how they're customizing their units. As you start aligning with one god, you start moving away from other gods, for example.

Multiplayer is also a big focus for the sequel. "We had it in the first game, but it was clunky," Paradox’s Jorgen Bjorklund admitted. “We're trying to go away from waiting during other people’s turn. i can do everything that isn't offensive on my opponent’s turn,” which should make the turn-based experience must quicker.

In addition, multiplayer will be expanded with a PVE mode. "We thought it would just be PVP, but what we discovered was that people were mostly playing PVE," Bjorklund added. "There will be an alliance mode where you can't backstab each other."

Another significant addition to the sequel is support for an editor, connected to Steam Workshop. Although modding wasn't supported in the first game, the community to it to themselves to tinker around. That inspired the development team to create a fully-loaded editor. "You can pretty much edit everything in the game," Bjorklund promises, noting that one of the only restrictions is the ability to import 3D models. You will, however, be able to change the colors of the in-game characters. In addition to the map editor, you can can also create missions. "And if you have XML skills, you can tie maps together into a story campaign."

Warlock 2: The Exile will be available on PC in April.