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Civ4/Master of Magic fans: Fall from Heaven


Robot Monkey
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I found out about this mod from Penny Arcade. Basically, the Fall from Heaven mod turns Civ4 into a modern Master of Magic (the creators call it a "dark fantasy" mod).

 

You'll need Beyond the Sword to use the latest version (and make sure BtS is updated to the current version).

 

It's amazing -- a magic system, heroes, ruins, special items, it's all there. Upcoming versions will support quests, a new civilization and scenarios.

 

I played through two games and it feels very complete. An amazing effort really (they even modded tiles, graphics and music). Each civilization is very unique and significantly changes gameplay.

 

It's hard to figure out what to do at first, but no more so than Civ itself for a newbie. The pdf manual is very good and a lot of the Civilopedia is filled out which helps.

 

Magic and items seem a little kludgy in the interface; clearly the Civ interface wasn't designed for a unit to have 8 (or whatever) spells in addition to regular unit commands.

 

Still, the game is amazing and I highly recommend it. It plays like something I'd happily spend $50 on.

 

Oh, keep in mind that enemy units -- especially barbarians -- are damn strong. Play on a lower difficulty than usual until you "get" the game.

 

Link to Fall from Heaven mod.

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Ouuu... is there multiplayer? I didn't see anything in the FAQ about that...

 

And how do you find the combat? As much as I love and enjoyed CivIV, I always kinda hated the combat and found big wars to be pretty lame. This mod sounds like it might make things a little more interesting, though...

 

(a little Steam redownloading before I can try it myself...)

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Ouuu... is there multiplayer? I didn't see anything in the FAQ about that...

 

Yes, there is multiplayer, although I haven't tried it. If you look in the upper-right there's a button for an in-game cardgame that you can play while waiting for your opponents to finish their turns. Apparently it can have an in-game impact as well (read the pdf manual for more).

 

And how do you find the combat?

 

I'm not sure. It sure seems different. I like it better than Civ4's combat, but I've only played two games on warlord (actually, I think it was 1 and a half). Plus, I pretty much turtled both times. Combat is still about look-up tables and formulae, but it seems different, like how you put together a strike package is much more important.

 

Even on the easier difficulty, I sent something like 7-8 units to take over a little barbarian city (pop. 2) guarded by two shithead archers. They got soundly whacked by the barbarians because I didn't make sure they could take on archers. In regular Civ4 that would've been enough.

 

I like how different each civ is. In addition to civ, there is leader alignment. Sometimes the same civ will give you the choice of a neutral leader and an evil leader or whatever. And then there's religion, which is not the generic choice that we're used to in Civ4.

 

Oh, and there are sometimes global civ spells. Like one evil civ can cast their global civ spell and it substantially reduces population in all other civs. Another nautical civ has a spell that wrecks any other players' coastal cities. These spell can only be cast once once per game. Unless you build a Wonder that lets you do it again.

 

I also learned that your magic is very dependent on the type of mana you have available. There are a bunch of different types (like Life, Nature, Mind, Chaos, etc.). There are so many that you will not be able to get some of each. No chance.

 

So you need to figure out what complements your civ and your play style and make sure you make the right mana decisions from the start. See, once you you turn a "raw" mana node into what you want, the deal is done. You can't change it later from, say, Chaos to Spirit. There's more than one way to get mana, but what you want and need remains important.

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Awesome (I love MOM) and I've been cracking out on Civ4 again lately. Last I heard of this a few years back it was pretty basic.

 

Can you install the mod and still play the game standard? Or maybe put in two installs of it somehow?

 

I've never installed any mods for Civ4.

Edited by GreenMonkey
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  • 2 weeks later...

It's interesting how different the civs can be.

 

I picked one for some reason and soon wondered why my new cities were "settlements" instead and wouldn't do anything. Turns out that the particular civ gets 5 big cities and that's it -- the rest are "settlements" that don't really do anything. The creators put settlements in to make it easier to get resources.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Okay, I recently finished another game; this time playing the Elohim. They looked better suited to my building style.

 

There's so much to do that I got really bogged down in the first two games. This time I flipped through the manual, got some ideas and then went at it. There were more than a few "a HA!" moments, so the curve doesn't seem as bad as it did at first.

 

I'll say this again -- I'd pay money for a game like this. The breadth of the game is amazing. I love how the world is built on fantasy and myths from all over. The nautical-oriented civilization has a hero named Guy Threepwood. A crappy end-of-game ranking might tell you that you have the leadership abilities of Rand al'Thor or Minsc.

 

If I had this in the early 1990s I'd still be talking about it (remember ___? why don't they make games like that any more?).

 

If you're on the fence (you shouldn't be if you like Civ, MoM and RPG elements), browse through the PDF manual, link here:

 

http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?t=265888

 

And remember that this works as a Civ4 supported mod -- that is, Civ4 was designed for people to do this. It won't hurt your regular game. Just remember that this requires the Civ: Beyond the Sword expansion and it must be patched to the latest version (3.17). The install will put a shortcut in your start menu to load it directly or you can load Civ4:BtS, select mods and then load it manually.

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I'm still loading it up once in a while and playing. It's very deep so I feel like a Civ noob so far.

 

BTW: Stardock (Galactic Civ folks) tried to get the rights to the Master of Magic name but they couldn't get them (cost too much I guess). They're supposed to be working on a MoM style game though.

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Grab the PDF manual linked in post #9 (Number 9. Number 9. Number 9 ...). There's a nice bit for new players in the beginning and it's a great reference over all.

 

You can also check out Tom Chick's game diary entries from a game:

 

http://fidgit.com/archives/2008/12/fall_from_heaven_ii_madness_i.php

 

I thought it was a pretty funny and informative read. For some reason, the link between the entries for Day 2 and Day 3 is broken. Here's the link to Day 3:

 

http://fidgit.com/archives/2008/12/fall_from_heaven_ii_madness_i.php

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