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Thread: Summons- do you cast them?

  1. #1

    Summons- do you cast them?

    Because of the way spell casting is limited in this game, I have yet to. I'd rather cast a spell on a city that will last forever than a unit that could die next turn. Or cast a buff on a high level unit I've been nursing since the start of the game.

    Given the limited number of spell casts, have you guys found good uses for the summons? If so, what are they?
    Feel free to call me App. It's shorter.

  2. #2
    Meh my Earth Elementals are some of most useful units. High resist to missiles and most magic attacks. Really good meatshield for me so far. Also don't forget you can summon stuff in the middle of a fight anywhere you can see. Often i'll summon something just to kill pesky Mages or Shamans that are out of range of my troops.

  3. #3
    Hmm... do the get the creature perk type (The Jaws) or the Fighter type (Sword Icon, I believe)? Earth Elementals are immune to death, right?
    Feel free to call me App. It's shorter.

  4. #4
    I just went 1v1 on impossible and the AI playing human had mages galore, but no elite units, was using rogues for melee and lots of forts/towers. My minotaurs and halberdiers were getting shredded my the mages so I started looking at my summon spells and found summon earth elemental which had good melee/missile resists and good elemental resists as well. So I just started spamming those and it did the trick.

    When I get into making my push I generally have a lot of mana and not enough time to use it all; if I have a summon spell for a creature that is tough against what my opponent is using then I will spam that, otherwise I generally just nuke and heal. I do unit enchantments in the mid game as I'm building up for my first rush, but since you can only cast about 1 unit buff per turn at the end I tend to just cast more units rather than buffs on the ones I already have.

    Of course top priority are the city buffs for food or growth, but once I got my cities buffed there is not much else to do but buff my first wave of units. I wish unit buffs had no more than half their current cast times, because towards the end you have like 4-5 good buffs; it just takes too long to cast them all on all your units.

  5. #5
    Well once you can cast agile mine it turns into single turn cast.

  6. #6
    Yeah ... a single turn cast to put just one of 3-5 enchantments on just one of 5-10 units. You see the problem, I'm sure.

  7. #7
    Though to answer the original thread topic, no. I used summons in my first game to take out some vampires as earth elementals are immune to death magic. After that, I realized that the units you could build were better than the ones you could summon, and the opportunity cost of not buffing a city or a good unit was far higher than even the best summons are worth. Maybe I would cast one at the very beginning of the game if my troop building facilities sucked or I happened to have discovered a good summon spell before a good buff spell. But after you get those decent buff spells then you are far better served by casting them than anything else.

    The tiny number of spells that can be cast each turn is really crimping an otherwise great game.

  8. #8
    IMO, early ghost wolfs are pretty overpowered summons.

    They are dirt cheap (25mana), but high upkeep (-6). Perfect to just throw them at enemies, like fireball. If they survive, good for you. If not, no biggie.


    P.S.
    Quick summons like imps are great for clearing out monster lairs (very important in other worlds). You lure monsters with other troops, and then summon creatures to loot their lair (and prevent further monster spawning).

    I also like imps as starting spell (together with +100 mana), for early rushes. You can summon at least 4 of them early, and take some towns quickly.
    Last edited by player1 fanatic; 12-05-2012 at 13:14.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by extremities View Post
    Yeah ... a single turn cast to put just one of 3-5 enchantments on just one of 5-10 units. You see the problem, I'm sure.
    Yes, I can see it.

    The core mechanics behind magic is nice, but as people have pointed out in this forum, it has lot of big balancing problems. This is one of them.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by extremities View Post
    Yeah ... a single turn cast to put just one of 3-5 enchantments on just one of 5-10 units. You see the problem, I'm sure.
    I don't see it. Do you create 5-10 units every turn for the whole game? Surely it's part of the strategy to plan ahead and decide which unit to give which enchantment. If you can can do loads at any time this takes away from that. Being able to to put every enchantment on every unit if you have enough mana doesn't seem excessive to you?

    Also to those who complain they do not have enough to do with the huge amount of mana they create then why make so many mana producing buildings? Why not focus more on gold/research or whatever.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by ace1387 View Post
    Also to those who complain they do not have enough to do with the huge amount of mana they create then why make so many mana producing buildings? Why not focus more on gold/research or whatever.
    Part of it is the game being less than a week old for most- we had no idea stockpiling mana would end up useless. Magic is playing a more tangential role than I'd have thought in a game called Master of the Arcane. Anyway, the ability to summon Earth Elementals to deal with Vamps and Imps in a Mana Rush are interesting- thanks to those who brought them up.

    Do the Serpents have a mana upkeep? A ranged magic flying scout has some early game potential, the more I think about it.
    Feel free to call me App. It's shorter.

  12. #12
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    Almost all the summons are better bang for buck than the damage spells when used as a single use item, and even more effective if they can swing again next turn. Most aren't worth hanging onto for extended periods though unless they fulfill a specific role.

    For a truly broken game, try starting with Grum-gog favour and +100 mana, then spam rats whenever you hit something hard. Won in 10 turns doing that.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by ace1387 View Post
    I don't see it. Do you create 5-10 units every turn for the whole game? ... Also to those who complain they do not have enough to do with the huge amount of mana they create then why make so many mana producing buildings? Why not focus more on gold/research or whatever.
    5-10 units is a decent-sized invasion army. Simple buffs for such an army--weapon, resist, misc--require 15-30 turns in which you do nothing else with your cast timer. As for the rest, who says I didn't? In both of my games so far, I've had enough gold to buy every upgrade for every unit I made with a princely sum left over; it's frustrating, therefore, in a game called 'master of the arcane' to be left sitting on big pot of mana that I couldn't use. Spamming troops and cities is fun, but I expected to be allowed to cast more. Mana needs to be balanced with gold as a winning resource; currently, 1-2 devoted cities can provide all that you are capable of using, but the potential for gold/food is basically limitless once you get a temple or two.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by extremities View Post
    5-10 units is a decent-sized invasion army. Simple buffs for such an army--weapon, resist, misc--require 15-30 turns in which you do nothing else with your cast timer. As for the rest, who says I didn't? In both of my games so far, I've had enough gold to buy every upgrade for every unit I made with a princely sum left over; it's frustrating, therefore, in a game called 'master of the arcane' to be left sitting on big pot of mana that I couldn't use. Spamming troops and cities is fun, but I expected to be allowed to cast more. Mana needs to be balanced with gold as a winning resource; currently, 1-2 devoted cities can provide all that you are capable of using, but the potential for gold/food is basically limitless once you get a temple or two.
    I am in two minds about the ability to cast spells faster. Some people want that and some are less keen, and it propbably depends on your favourite race, an undead player can easily generate a lot of excess mana, the other two find it harder unless they also use undead cities. As others have pointed out it is possible to use the excess mana to maintain some very powerful summoned monsters that only need mana for upkeep, and unlike in Master of Magic (MoM) these summons can gain experience and can be given instant perks. While you can use imps and ghost wolves as quick expendables it is worth looking after an earth elemental and incorporating that into you army and add further enchantmants (pathfinding, waterwalking or even levitation).

    In MoM a central strategy was increasing your magic casting ability, so you could cast more small spells per turn or complete big spells much faster, and to do it you had to invest large and ever increasing amounts of mana. A mechanism like that would be most welcome in Warlock and would be a valid long term strategy for some styles of play.

  15. #15
    I liked the approach used in Master of Magic, where you spent mana to increase your casting speed in the long run. The Mental Agility spell works sort of like this in a round about way, where you pay the initial casting cost and a mana upkeep to keep it running. I think if there were more spells that had a similar effect, you could simulate the MoM approach without changing any other mechanics. Suppose there are two lower level versions of Mental Agility that each increased casting speed by 50% and took 5 mana to maintain. As you research spells and pick up both of those, and eventually Mental Agility, you'd have an option to be a faster spellcaster at the expense of some mana. I could see Undead players really taking advantage of this though, so I'm not sure if the impact on racial balance would be too much. Even with the cast time bottleneck that prevents them from using all of their mana, Undead are quite good.

  16. #16
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  17. #17
    I definitely don't agree with faster casting. Granted I have Archmage perk and have researched an cast Agile mind. If find that if I want to blow all my stockpiled mana I have no trouble doing so. Casting Thunderstorms every turn. Or two or three Great heals. Or summoning a bunch of Earth Elementals. All very powerful tide of battle turning stuff but mana intensive. Maybe its different if your playing Undead an spamming all their mana buildings. I have few Undead cities.

  18. #18
    I use summons for all kinds of things.

    I use rats and imps for scouting (when playing as human or monster). I cast one and send it out, then next turn when it runs out of movement I cast another on the edge of it's vision and run in a different direction, I keep branching and spreading them out like that to uncover the map. It's also great when one runs into an impasse like a mountain range but can see just over it, just summon another on the other side.

    I use the little flying serpents on maps with a lot of water before I get waterwalking or levitation, a small group of them is extremely effective at taking out embarked units trying to land on my shores. I'll even buff their missile resistance sometimes and they can basically hold off an army.

    Once I go into conquest mode I'll drop elementals on all the towns I capture. They don't need any buffs or perks to be able to hold the town for long enough to bring in reinforcements if needed.

    Bears and Bearmen actually make great additions to an army. Bears are an awesome early unit and only use food as upkeep so you can continue to cast a lot of them without worrying about choking your mana supply. Bearmen are pretty much as powerful as any temple unit, if I go Fervus I will use them in my main assault force.

    Skeletons I drop occasionally when playing as undead for extra early game support, they are basically just as strong as the low level skeleton warriors, minus one attack power, and only 1 mana upkeep. It would be nice if there was a more powerful Krypta undead summon equal in overall strength to Bearmen.

    I don't use the wolves, but I probably would if they were one turn cast.

  19. #19
    I use summons, there's good uses for them and those units can persist forever, gain xp, get perks, etc and become high powered parts of your army.

    It's good that casting is limited. It would be stupid if it was easy to cast all buffs on all units and cast tons of spells. Limited casting means you have to make decisions and make strategic use of your spells rather than spam everything, which would completely strip the system of any interest or value (if everyone can cast anything, why even have magic at all?)

  20. #20
    Limited is good, but right now for most unit buff spells just aren't worth the opportunity cost of casting them; I think only the high level ones that require god standing to cast are worth taking the time for, and even then it's pretty situational and limited to using on few units. Just lower the casting time a little.

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