Total War Warhammer 2 is approaching, and with it, we are getting the 3 most potent magic using factions in the Warhammer universe. While magic in Warhammer 1 is adequate, it is clear it needs to be heavily reworked for the new game. This rework’s goal is to make magic more fun and involved (with counter play), make magic act similarly to how it did in table top Warhammer (TT), and make certain races better in magic than others. Prepare for a wall of text!
Mage Levels (Campaign):
Mages now have levels independent of their character level. A magic users level will only determine what skills they start out with. This level is determined by whether that mage is a lord or hero and what race that mage is. Wizards can range from level 1 to 7 (I know it was 1-4 in table top but bear with me, I think it is better for balance this way). Wizards of different levels will have different starting skills and traits (detailed below). Hero wizards will typically be anywhere from level 1-3 or 4 (depending on race, technology, and special buildings such as the Altdorf mage college); whereas lords, can be between levels 3-6 or 7. A wizard’s level is set upon recruitment and cannot be increased or decreased; however, unique buildings and techs can increase the recruiting level of a spell caster. A hero such as a bright wizard or necromancer may be a level 1 or 2 wizard, but a Legendary Lord (LL) such as Balthasar Gelt or Kemmler may start at level 5. High elf wizards and lizard men Slann mage-priests could start at higher levels than wizards of other races; additionally, they would have extra skills in their skill tree which would give them a magical edge over the spell casters of other races (detailed below). NOTE: Levels only affect the starting skill configuration of a wizard they do not affect the power.
For the purpose of this, I will use a Necromancer/ lore of vampires as an example.
1) This is the base level for most casters. These wizards would simply start with the base spell of that lore and nothing else. EX: A level 1 necromancer hero would start with the “invocation of nehek” spell and that’s it.
2) Level 2 casters start with the base spell (Invocation in this case), and have the upgraded/ level 2 skill which grants 50% cooldown on that base spell (meaning they don’t have to spend a skill point to unlock it) additionally, they also have the passive of that lore by default. This would mean that a level 2 necromancer has a level 2 “invocation” and “the curse of undeath passive” by default.
3) A level 3 wizard would get everything a level 2 wizard got, but they would also have 2 random spells in the lore by default (the chance of getting a random spell depends on the spells power). This means that a rank 3 necromancer would have the level 2 “invocation”, “the curse of unearth passive”, and 2 random spells in the lore of vampires. For the purpose of this example let’s say the 2 random spells he gets are “Raise Dead” and “vanhels danse macabre”
4) A level 4 wizard would have the upgraded/ level 2 base spell of his lore, the lore’s passive, and 3 random spells in that lore by default. Additionally, 2 of those 3 random spells would be upgraded to level 2 by default reducing their cooldown by 50%. A level 4 necromancer lord would have the upgraded “invocation”, “curse of undeath passive”, level 2 “raise dead” and “danse macabre”, and a random 3rd spell which we are going to say is “gaze of nagash”.
5) Level 5 spell casters get everything that a level 4 spellcaster does, but in addition, they also evasion skill (the skill half way through their skill tree) and the power drain skill by default.
6) At level 6 spell casters have access to the base spell, the passive, evasion, power drain, earthing (skill with – chance to miscast), and 4 random spells with 3 of them being upgraded/ level 2.
7) The final level of spell casters has access to all 6 spells of the lore with 4 of them (including the base spell) being upgraded. Additionally, they have access to earthing, power drain, and evasion by default.
Disclaimer: This list is just an example; it is not an end-all list of what each level mage will start with.
Alternatively, instead of getting spells by random, a mages level could just give them extra skill points that they start with.
I am not sure how levels should work with casters who have multiple lores’s; if anyone has any suggestions please let me know.
In multiplayer, spells could use a point system with better spells costing more points to use for that wizard. This means that lower level spellcasters such as heroes cannot bring as many spells into battle as higher level ones. A necromancer hero in multiplayer may only have 4 points to spend, and invocation of nehek could cost 2 points while wind of death may cost 3 points. This means that that necromancer would not be able to choose both of them at the same time. A necromancer lord however, may have 7 points so he can get both at the same time. *This is just an example these should not be the real #s for point costs! *
I think the levels system should be compressed for multiplayer in order to streamline it. Maybe only have 4 wizard levels for multiplayer.
Prices for wizards should have to be adjusted accordingly.
Spells and Overcasting:
Magic in total war should be more powerful, but also. While magic should be a force on the battlefield, it should not stop the game from feeling like total war. First off, many spells need to be looked at. I think most spells should be made more powerful, and the non-overcast versions of spells should be substantially better than they currently are (overcasting will be MUCH more dangerous but more powerful for most races/wizards). Non overcast spells in general need a big buff they should more or less be the default cast; they should be powerful and significant. Overcasting should be severally more dangerous. Miscasting will now be able to proc on non-overcast spells with a small chance depending on race, skills, and tech (an empire wizard has a 7.5% chance to miscast on a normal spell cast, but an orc shaman has a 17.5% chance for example). Miscasting should not only do much more damage, but it should also revert overcasts to a standard cast. So let’s say a spell costs 11 winds of magic, but you spend 18 to overcast it and it becomes a miss cast. That means that you spend 18 winds of magic, and only get the normal spell effect and your wizard takes significant damage (maybe even have it damage nearby allies but this may be too much). Miscasting chance however, would be reduced on certain mages, or through certain skills on specific mages skill trees. Slann mage priests may by default have a significantly lower chance to miscast than say an empire wizard, and LLs such as Mansa Musa could have specific skills on their tree or starting traits that reduce miscast chance. Ultimately this would mean that high elf and lizard men magic users can use multiple higher strength spells against you because they can overcast without having to worry as much about miscasting.
Dispelling and Counter play:
I am not sure how dispelling worked in TT (if anyone can provide a detailed explanation I would appreciate it). However, I think that a player should be able to use their own winds of magic reserve to dispel or remove a currently active/ winding up spell. All wizards would have a skill on their skill tree (this would be unlocked by default on higher level casters) which allows them to dispel all magic in an area. This would work on currently active spells or spells that are winding up, and it would last X seconds. While the dispel area is active, new spells cannot be cast in the area. All spells weather friendly or not would be removed. Dispelling may need to return a certain % of winds of magic back to the caster of the cancelled spell, or winds of magic may need to be increased globally to compensate for the dispel mechanic.
There are 2 ways of doing this. This ability could either use winds of magic, or it could have a limited # of uses per battle depending on the wizard. Dispels should have a cooldown.
• An example of the later: an empire bright wizard hero may have 2 dispels per battle with a small AOE, but Balthasar Gelt would have 4 dispels with a larger AOE.
• An example of the former: wizards can dispel an unlimited # of times, but it would cost winds of magic, and some casters are more efficient than others: Balthasar would have more winds of magic reserves than a bright wizard, or it would be cheaper for Balthasar to dispel allowing him to do it more.
I think this would add an interesting level of counter play especially in multiplayer. You could bait the enemies dispels with some early casts, and then when your enemy can no longer dispel cast a wind of death or a vortex.
A Note on the Dwarfs:
While the dwarfs have no magic, they do have runesmiths and rune lords. I think rune smiths should have a skill that increases magic resistance of the army he is in by something like 10%. Additionally, he should get another rune that would give magical resistance to any dwarf in his command radius, and he would be able to dispel like other wizards (I don’t care whether or not this part is lore friendly I think it is necessary for balance). Therefore, a smart dwarf player could use his runes and passive magic resistance to resist any damage coming his way, and he could save his dispels for enemy buffs and debuffs.
Regarding Races with High Magical Proficiency:
I have already detailed several ways in which factions such as the lizard men, high elves, and dark elves could be more powerful spell casters. These include being higher level wizards, having special skills or starting traits that increase magical reserves or decrease miscast chance and having multiple lore’s to use at once. In multiplayer the player can spend gold to get traits or abilities that give specific characters increased magical reserves, decreased miscast chance, etc.