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Sorcerer King Review

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Items and Crafting:

While on the surface Sorcerer King is a 4X game, it also has a fair amount of RPG design to it. Heroes have skill trees and you can find and craft equipment to put on them, or any unit. Some of these items can also be very powerful, so be sure to check out the loot you collect.

One critical issue I have with this system is that you cannot destroy unwanted items, or if you can, the means escapes me. This is especially frustrating with the weapons, because only the heroes can use them, so if you collect a number of them (and you likely will) they have to sit there, cluttering your inventory screen. Fortunately, items do not bind to specific units, so as you find upgrades, you can move equipment around.

Another problem I have with the crafting, and enchantment system, is that it's separate from the inventory screen. This is most frustrating when it comes to crafting, because if I want to give all of my units armor, I have to go to one menu, count up how much I need, leave, and go to another menu to actually make them. It is possible to equip items from the crafting menu, but I found it easier to just put them in the inventory and equip from there, unless I was crafting for a specific unit.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Perhaps the most important part of the crafting menu is the creation of scrolls that can be used to cast spells. The scrolls you can make are not limited to the spells you can already cast, so it is possible to build quite a collection of powerful spells. One in particular I found to be very powerful, as it would damage units in a 5x5 grid, and have a bonus based on the shards you control. That translates to practically clearing the field in a single move.

Unfortunately, these scrolls, as well as potions and other items, do not stack in your inventory, so when you are in combat the toolbar with all of these items will become very cluttered.

 

Basically, items and the crafting system are a very powerful part of the game and are almost necessary for victory. Sadly, the systems involved could use a fair amount of work to make it easier to navigate and a more efficient experience.

 

 

Empire Building:

Empire building is one of the core aspects of a 4X game, and we can see many takes on it in a variety of games. In Sorcerer King, there are only two ways to expand your empire: cities and outposts. Cities can only be built on fertile or enchanted land, which heavily limits the number you can have, and can be a problem because of the Logistics resource, but I will come back to that later. When a city grows, you are able to select a tile in its area to extend the city onto. This will also expand the zone of control for the city. You have to select the tile you want to claim carefully, as it is only by claiming these tiles that you gain their resources.

 

Like other games, there are various enhancements you can build in each city, improving their output, defense capabilities, etc. This works like any other game, so no point going into it beyond explaining that mana can be used to purchase the items instead of waiting to build them.

Outposts are the primary means to extend your empire and you want to use them strategically. When built, an outpost creates a zone of control around it, and any resources like mines and shards within it can be built on. That is invaluable, due to the few places you can build cities, but I find the roads and defense capabilities to be more powerful.

When you build an outpost, a road will likely also appear, connecting it to the rest of your empire. This is powerful, because roads allow your units to quickly traverse the entire map. Outposts also have the ability to attack enemies in their area, but so far I have never observed an outpost being attacked. By placing them in the right places, you can use them for dealing free damage every turn to your enemies, until your regular armies can come in to finish them off. The damage the outposts do can also be increased by expending a Pioneer to upgrade them. Something very important about this upgrade system is that an upgraded outpost does not cost additional logistics.

Logistic points are used for every unit, outpost, and resource you build, placing a somewhat firm cap on your expansion, until you build a new city or build an enhancement that trades food for more points. I strongly recommend you make sure you never run out of logistics. You want to be able to build as needed, without demolishing or losing anything you currently have. This is also one reason why the upgrading of outposts is so valuable, because it improves your empire's ability to defend itself, without costing logistics, except when you build the Pioneer to upgrade with.

One thing I want to mention is that your buildings are not the only ones that have a zone of control. Enemy buildings have them too, and this will limit where you can build. You may have to clear out a bandit camp or attack one of the Sorcerer King's strongholds, but you will have to do it to continue expanding.

 

The empire building is definitely fun and enjoyable, but is not particularly deep. With only two structures to build, you just have to learn how to best place them and you have mastered the system, more or less. Still, simple is not bad; it just keeps the Sorcerer King separated from the more grand 4X games out there.




  1. Sorcerer King Review - Introduction
  2. Sorcerer King Review - Graphics & Story
  3. Sorcerer King Review - Spells, Armies & Combat
  4. Sorcerer King Review - Items, Crafting & Expansion
  5. Sorcerer King Review - Additional Gameplay Media
  6. Sorcerer King Review - Conclusion
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