SF2 Dragon Storm - Teaserpage

Q&A SpellForce 2 - Shadow Wars


Will there be a simultaneous release in Europe and North America?
We are aiming at a sim ship for these territories to allow all our fans to enjoy the game as soon as possible.

What is the French Release date?
The release date will be similar in all European countries. It will be officially announced when we have finalized it.

What are the System Requirements (graphic card especially)?
1.5 GHz, 512 MB RAM, GeForce4 TI will do. But if you want the nicest shadows, grass and reflecting water we recommend 2.5 GHz, 1 GB RAM and a 6600GT.

What are the main Engine changes?
Highly improved graphics first and foremost. We will support all the latest shader models, lighting and day and much improved night cycles. We also now sport a build-up AI instead of spawning enemy camps.

Can we expect a playable demo?
Yes, there will be one available around the release.

How will the sound be compared to SF1?
We have worked with the same music studio and they have surpassed themselves with the sound. We have actually recorded a real orchestra to get an even more epic music. We have also taken care to improve voice audios and actors for the localized versions.

How many % of the game are done?
Well the game is finished about 90%.

Will SpellForce 2 - Shadow Wars be tested before its release, to avoid the problems of TOOD?
Of course, we all learn from mistakes. We have a much more elaborate testing than before especially with regards to multiplayer. Also we postponed the release to be able to get more testing done.

Is SpellForce 1 needed to play?
Not at all, though if you played the previous one, you can skip parts of the tutorial and may meet some familiar characters.

Is the emphasis more on RPG or more on RTS?
It is always about both for us. If anything, the blending will be more seamless. We have improved and sped up the build-up for the RTS parts and at the same time made it easier for you to control your heroes and armies. So the game plays a bit quicker and more action oriented, which fits well with the RPG style of course.

Will there be some surprises? For example little games, as in the Clockwork Crypts in SOTP?
Of course, we have several mini games as well as riddles in the game.

Will there be different Difficult-Levels, so that Beginners and Experts will get enemies for their grade of skill?
Of course. We want everybody to be able to play through all the game, yet, if you want a challenge, you will get it.

Is there some kind of Expert-Mode?
We have difficulty levels and of course there well be a tough one, too.

How about a Map editor?
Yes, and much more powerful than the previous one. However it still will need a good knowledge of scripting to be able to get the most out of it. We do hope to allow more people to get into it and create maps for everyone to enjoy.

Will we be able to create alliances in the editor?
The editor will allow you to script certain behaviours for units and factions, so alliances are possible this way for co-op maps.

Can we expect some cool surprises after the release (some extra downloadable maps for the free-play zone) and other fun things?
Wouldn’t be a surprise if we told you now, would it? ;)

Will the synchronisation be as good as in SpellForce?
Actually even better we hope. We have taken an extra effort to make sure the localized versions are as well acted as the German one.

Gameplay: General

How many Maps can we expect?
The campaign currently has 20 maps of varying size. Of course there is a co-op campaign and PvP maps on top of that…

How high of a replay value does this have (such as alternative endings and such)?
Well, due to the class free system, you can replay the game and choose very different paths for your heroes. Also, many decisions by the player character result in different outcomes for quests. Whilst there are no alternative endings, the playing experience will surely vary. Further, with co-op and multiplayer, the replay value will of course increase again.

Will we have more pressure with time limits? (missions in SF1 weren’t limited and they weren’t very realistic… « Hurry up ! » but you’ve got enough time to explore the whole world…)
Yes, we have added more variety and speed to the scenarios, but as you also need to be able to wander around for your RPG gameplay, the pressure is limited.

Can we build walls / doors in order to protect?
No, but towers will play a more important role, as will siege units.

Will there be an "auto-cast" option for Spells?
You will be able to equip your heroes with magic staffs which will then auto-cast spells.

What are the main improvements of the 3rd person mode?
The main improvement is the way we have changed the 3rd person mode controls – while you still can move around with your WASD keys, you will now have a much easier time controlling other units and fighting in this perspective. And with the much improved and breathtaking graphics, 3rd person will be quite an experience.

Will there be some Ingame information, especially for skills, buildings, units, and so on?
We will have extensive information for the player on skills and units as well as buildings. However our goal was to simplify the system we used before, so most info can now be gathered at a glance by clicking on the relevant unit.

Can units gain experience, like the dwarves in SpellForce?
RTS-Units do not gain experience in SpellForce 2.

How are formations handled, will there be things like, 'Neutral', 'Defensive', 'Aggressive'?
There are formations as well as special orders you can give to groups and units that define their behaviour. Furthermore we increased the unit AI, so spell casters and missile units will behave much more intelligent by themselves. This means these units will try and remain in the background, supporting the melee troops and will not waste their spells and mana all at once.

Will the handling of the siege-weapons be as difficult as in SpellForce, or as easy as every unit can be controlled?
Siege units will behave like any other unit in SpellForce2, making them way easier to control.

Will the player be able to upgrade or enchant his own equipment, or be able to craft his own weapons and armors?
While he cannot enchant his items himself, there are many opportunities to receive items of his choice from quests. Also the set items of course allow players to collect their favourite powerful set which increases each separate item’s power.

Will the weapons be more different, maybe a longer range for spear-weapons?
Weapons are differentiated by the speed of attack as well as their efficiency. Range for melee weapons is unfortunately too difficult to implement in the RTS gameplay.

Is there a limit of space in the inventory and will there be an improved sorting function?
No and yes - we will also make sure that the character receives fewer “useless” items during loots.

Will heroes get their own inventory?
No, the inventory is for the whole group to prevent you from having to move items back and forth between the team member’s different inventories.

Will items, like set items and so on, be dropped by special monsters or is there a kind of, random drop like in Diablo²? Maybe both?
Some items can only be looted from special enemies, but we will have random items especially for co-op.

Are there useable items, like potions?
No, there will be no potions.

Will there be different animations, when fighting with swords, spears, axes and so on?
Of course – different weapons will have different animations, but of course we will not have one for each and every weapon. But even similar weapons have varying attack animations to add some spice.

Will there be weather effects like rain, snow, and so on?
There are day and night cycles and there are some weather effects – we have not yet finalized which will make into the game.

Will there be different animations, for casting a spell?
As with the weapons different types of spells have different animations.

Will there be 1- and 2-handed weapons that look different, so that the Avatar won't carry a spear or a long 2-hand sword in just one hand?
Yes, two handed weapons will of course be carried differently from swords and shields.

Can resources completely run out or will they slowly regenerate like in SpellForce?
There is no regeneration of resources.

Is the 'Fog of War' problem solved, so that you won't stand many seconds in completely darkness, before the fog begins to fade out, like in SpellForce?
Yes, we tackled this problem and have resolved these issues with our new system.

Will the map still be explored, when you save and load a game?
The map will have the same status after loading as you had when you saved the game.

Will 'devil' races attack 'good' races, for example the Pact and the Realm, like in SpellForce? Or it is possible to get both in, maybe a multiplayer team game, without any problems?
We changed the system to the standard RTS-system. This means you can now have e.g. The Realm and The Pact in one team and they will not attack each other.

Gameplay: Units & behaviour

What are the characteristics of the others units (Pact, Clans)?
The Pact is a mix of Shadow creatures and Dark Elves with a lot of magic abilities while the Clans field a mixed Orc-Barbarian-Troll army with massive offensive power. More on those on the homepage as time progresses.

Do the horses have their own feed?
No, horses will be used in conjunction with cavalry and count against your unit limit.

Can we change all the items of the non-human heroes (not only weapons and rings)?
There are no non-humanoid heroes available in Shadow Wars, but we are sure you will like the human ones - we have a lot, they look great!

Will there be swarms again?
No, swarm units will not feature in SW, but we have siege units, cavalry and flyers, which more than makes up for that, I believe.

Will the unit bonuses stay (dwarves earn levels, elves best fighting in woods…)?
Many RTS-Units as well as many creeps have certain abilities on top of the spells or attacks they are using. E.g. there are units which draw enemies upon themselves, some steal life from the enemy, some reflect magical damage, others regenerate faster… Thus we reach a huge variety in the units you command or face.

What are the bonuses of the new races?
The unit abilities will be soon revealed in the units section on the homepage.

Is the AI of the enemies clever, so that they might retreat or attack in formations?
The enemy AI has been greatly improved. They will employ much more intelligent strategies and might attack weak points, circumvent defensive positions and single out your support units in combat to cripple your army for example.

Gameplay: Avatar (the players character)

Are the same skills available (heavy combat art, light combat art, black magic art, white magic art…)?
The skills are similar, some are new, but the skill system will change to a tree-like structure, which includes basic skills and specializations (so basic skill magic, then divine magic, then black magic or white magic).

What happens when the Avatar dies?
He or she can be resurrected by the heroes and vice versa for a certain period, after that it is game over. The background story explains why this is the case. This adds more drama due to the timer on resurrection, but still allows you to play on without getting game over if you manage to do it in time.

Can we create a non-human avatar?
No, but there is a higher variety of human avatars available.

What is the maximum for level and skills?
You can reach level 30 and the skill-tree has 12 layers.

Can the avatar have an alignment (could he be bad, to make the story different)?
There is no artificial alignment to limit you. But the player will have to make many critical choices on his quests, some of them he can choose different ways to succeed in, so you as a player will make the decision on how good or evil your character is. However we believe in a more detailed world that is less clear cut and not everyone is what he seems.

Can we import the olds avatars from SOTP?
No, due to the many changes to the game an import is not possible.

How many different combinations are possible when you create your avatar? (Such as clothing, appearance, weaponry) Will you be able to create a character that has the appearance of a wizard or warrior? How will it be compared to the previous SpellForce games?
Well, clothing and weapons are of course down to the items you acquire in the game, of which there are several hundred. Also, depending on how you progress along the skill tree, you will want to wear robes for more magic oriented characters or armour for warriors. Of course there are Avatars that look more like warriors or wizards, so you are free to combine all the elements and due to the class free system, you can really choose the character that fits your preferences perfectly.

Is it possible to implement own heads for the Avatar?
No, due to the many requirements on our models, which allow us to fit the dozens of helms, hood, crowns etc. on the head, the textures are fixed to the choices we offer.

Is the appearance of the Avatar unique, so that I won't meet 'myself' in the game, like in SpellForce?
We are aware of this issue, but until now there is no check preventing this.

Will there be the possibility to use emotes like 'crying', 'dancing' a.s.o.?
While there are “emotes” used in the engine, you will not be able to employ them yourself outside of dialogues.

Will the Avatar react to enemies on his own, so that he attacks enemies within his weapon range, if he got a sword or a bow?
The Avatar will react if attacked, but we want the player to remain in control of the avatar, so he will not “wander off” attacking enemies. You as the player make the choices here.

Will it be possible, to adjust the behaviour of the Avatar, like that he runs to enemies and attacks on his own will, or don't even strikes back, when he's attacked?
No, we believe in player control.

Can the Avatar gain a pet, which he can command?
Well, he has many heroes to command and armies. But do not let them hear that you call them pets – they may not take kindly to that.

Will it be able to 'walk', instead of running, with the Avatar?
Movement speed for the Avatar is adjusted, he will walk shorter distances and run longer ones.

Will there be auras, as a skill for the Avatar, again? And if, will they cost mana?
Yes, there are different aura spells in the game that of course cost mana, but they only last for a limited period of time.

Gameplay: Story

Do we see for example Flink Mc Winter again or Darius?
It would not be SpellForce without Flink and Darius, well you will meet him in a way…

Do we see Ghosts of the Mages from the Circle?
The Circle plays a role, but the story has progressed to new actors.

Do we see again the olds avatars from SOTP?
You will meet old acquaintances, but you may be surprised how.

Do we go in the old cities (Tirganach, Greyfell)?
No, the action takes place in other parts of Eo.

Will we ever walk through a troll city (or camp since they aren't great builders) and have a chance to talk with them receiving sidequests and buying merchandise from them? And how about Shadows and Gargoyles?
Well, Trolls usually eat their visitors, so this is a bit difficult and no living being would survive the Shadow World. Gargoyles do not have cities either. But we have a very nice orc camp which will see the heroes enter into the arena to fight for the honour of a shamed orc tribe.

Gameplay: Enemies

We are Shaikan, dragon warriors, we aren’t from the known faction (not Realms, not Pact, not Clan). Who is the Enemy?
In SpellForce 1 it was « simple ». The dark races were the bad ones (even if we sometimes have to deal with), the light races were the goods…
You will play all the races, so everyone may be the enemy at a given time. There are many shades between light and dark and sometimes the choices are not that easy…

Will there be monsters who will re-spawn unlimited?
Some monsters will re-spawn until you destroyed their source. Due to the change in our experience point system, which will not allow you to level up by just killing many low level creatures like with the Tower Block strategy, re-spawning monsters will not be relevant to the progression of the Avatar.

Will wild creeps, like monsters or animals just attack the player or the NPC enemy, too?
We have a very complex system allowing for all kinds of relations between units. Thus you will encounter other units, not just creeps or monsters, who are already busy battling each other.

Will there be flying dragons and similar impressive enemies?
We will have quite spectacular enemies, some of them flying and a few of them of a very impressive size. And a dragon will feature prominently in the story.

Are there many different 'Boss Monsters', which need a special tactic to be defeated?
There are some “Boss Monsters” that require you to employ special strategies; often there are ways to weaken them by overcoming different obstacles and clever tactics.

Will there be a place, like an arena where you can fight against respawning enemies, all the time?
There will be an arena, but as mentioned the experience system is slightly more sophisticated, so just bashing the same monsters will not get you anywhere.

Gameplay: Multiplayer

Is there a 'diplomacy-window' in multiplayer games, so that you can share resources and so on?
No, there will be no diplomacy-window, but since we change the resource-system completely, there will not be as much resource-specialisation necessary as in SpellForce 1.

How big can teams become in a multiplayer game?
The highest number of players is eight, so four each.

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