Brad Wardell's site for talking about the customization of Windows.

–RELEASED 02/05/2015– (Island Dog update)

Sorcerer King Beta 4 is now available! See below for details on the enchantment system, Tinkerer sovereign, custom sovereigns, and more:


We’re putting the final touches on beta 4 of Sorcerer King.  It is a massive change from beta 3 and we plan to have a beta 5 before release.

NOTES: Beta 4 will be MAYHEM as we have not even attempted to balance the crafting enchantments yet. So feel free to go nuts as you should be able to annihilate the AI, even on hard if you use it right.  We'll be balancing it later this month.


Status: Release scheduled by end of the week.

What’s new told in screenshots:


The Tinkerer is in


First phase of final graphics starting to get in


Roughing in the new crafting system



Crafted items get a distinct look


new quest screen is in


Combat system will tell you what it expects to happen (yea I picked the one where the result is uncertain, I suck)


Combat now has rounds which allows us (and modders) to have spells and abilities that take rounds into account (and visually allows us to show how fast a given unit is).


New diplomacy screen in and yes, these are animated


Lots of new creatures in the world or existing ones differentiated further from similar types


Sovereigns can gain crafting skills that allow them to go back and improve existing crafted items further!


Tons of balance improvements, tweaks and polish across the board.


and the first writing pass on some of the interactions (again, all animated)

More to come!



Change Log:


  • New Sovereign, Champion, & Sovereign Customization

    • Tinkerer sovereign – A master craftsman who wields the power of the Forge of the Overlord with great skill

    • Drogon the Dwarf champion – wields two axes, has the Beardsmith ability...what else do you need to know?

    • Sovereign customization unlocked – combine any sovereign skill tree, starting ability, champion, and spellbook loadout

  • Improved strategic map visuals

    • Claimed city tiles now have visible villages

    • Terrain has more elevation variation, texture contrast, and scattered props

    • Unique forest types for desert, shadow, burning lands, scrapyard, and blue fissure

    • Chasm terrain

    • Improved lighting and shadow appearance & values

    • Improved Fog of War appearance to better match art style

    • Polished appearance of Kingdom forests

    • New Frozen Realm capitol

  • UI improvements & additions

    • Auto Resolve Prediction – safely auto-resolve battles you’re guaranteed to win, avoid those you’re likely to lose

    • Animated Sorcerer King and minor faction interactions

    • Full screen quest UI (final art still WIP)

    • General UI polish and consistency improvements

  • Gameplay features, balance, and additions

    • Enchantment System – enchant crafted items to customize their buffs and abilities

    • Tactical Battle Rounds – Some abilities are locked by round now, like enemies that will summon a big bad if you haven’t killed them by round 4

    • Can edit owned unit and city names

    • Steam Achievements added

    • Hero quests now properly scattered throughout the world (and you can’t find duplicate heros)

    • Summoned unit spells added

    • Additional variation in monster lair battles

    • Lots of new sound effects for units, abilities, and spells

    • Lots of new visual effects for abilities and spells

      • Enchantment Sleep

      • Sleep

      • Enchantment_regeneration

      • Soothing Melody

      • Harvest Shadowland

      • FlameDart Projectile

      • Cloudwalk

      • Heroic End

      • Warriors Might

      • Guardian Wind

      • Gift Of Iron

      • Tutelage

      • Divine Protection

      • Withstand

      • Haste

      • Enchantment Confused

      • Celerity

      • Enchantment AttackBoost

      • Blood Rage

      • Blood CUrse

      • Blight

      • Blessing of Restoration

      • Boat particles (not hooked up)

      • Aura of Vitality

      • Aura of Might

      • Aura of Madness

      • (and more)

    • Lots of new icon art added

    • Tons of new quests

    • Additional balance to quest rewards

    • More quests are escapable and repeatable (e.g. running away does not always end a quest)

    • More idle animation variation and custom ability animations

    • Changed all references of “combat speed” to “initiative” for consistency

    • Camera can now be zoomed out a little farther before cloth map appears

    • New Map and Battle music tracks

    • Falcon unit art and animations

    • Storyteller camera mode advanced option added (free rotate for screenshots, etc.)

    • Smoother camera zoom behavior

    • New Spells:

      • Enhance Land (turns grassland into fertile land)

      • Restore Land (turns marginal land into grasslands)

      • The Drain Fertility and Harvest spells no longer cost doomsday points. Just mana

      • Bewilder (reduces enemy accuracy by 33)

      • Call Skeleton ability (special ability for summoning a skeleton)

      • Unearthly attack (15% splash damage)

    • Lowered Champion immobilization penalty to 3 (from 5)

    • Big update to the tactical AI to make units effectively use all these cool unit abilities intelligently

    • Tactical AI does positioning and enemy stat analysis to choose what ability and who to use it on (wait till you see this in action, it now plays better than I do manually)

    • Music choices greatly increased as the game goes on (very tired of hearing the same 5 songs early on)

    • Music playing during tactical battle takes more into account to get a better variety

    • Increased SK unit moves to 3

    • Rewrote the guardian spawning to support multiple, randomized wandering monsters. Supports XML

    • SK Strongholds are not seeded as much

    • AI good (arguably too good) at summoning monsters at the worst possible time for the player.

    • Added support to XML via AIPriority to nerf AI’s summoning if necessary

    • SK has more spells to use on the player.

    • If you haven’t met a minor race, it won’t declare war on you anymore. They now have to know you to want to murder you

    • Player Threat to SK now impacts how many monsters the SK can have (not by a lot)

    • General nerfing of the SK’s armies on lower difficulty levels

    • Monsters won’t attack cities unless their army size is at least 3 (very annoying being attacked by a lone bandit)

    • However a monster that is sufficiently powerful WILL attack a city, even if it’s alone (I’m looking at you Umberdroths)

    • Pikeman becomes trainable by the Barracks, does not require metal

    • Tons of tweaks to units to balance them better

    • Massive increase in the number of abilities units have

    • Warlock enemy unit has been redesigned

    • Lots of spells enhanced to make them more worthwhile

    • Coalstones cooldown increased from 5 to 7

    • Coalstones damage decreased from 2X level to 1X level

    • Despair now has a 20 turn cooldown and only removes 1X caster level HP from all units.

    • Divine shield mana reduced from 15 to 3

    • Inner Fire will summon a Flame Elemental

    • Nightmare casting time eliminated, now an instant

    • Shrink fixed to target enemy units

    • Lots of AI fixes to the targetworthy code

    • Lots of new items

    • Linguistics, Pragmatism, and Archeology are now sovereign traits (mostly for future modder use in quests)

    • Lots of new goodie huts and monster lairs created to provide more variety, especially early game (so sick of same 3 bandits)

    • Balancing of the various unit abilities, especially in terms of how valuable they are in determining the units actual combat rating.

    • City improvements made slightly less expensive

    • Official game year set to 651 AC

  • Bug Fixes

    • Improved performance on laptops – now defaults to high performance mode on dual-GPU laptops

    • Starting weapon recipes for all Champions

    • Removed outdated and broken items

    • Typo and phrasing fixes throughout

    • Fixed a crash where gfx code was being called from a thread

    • Fixed a game-within-a-game crash due to shard cleanup between games.

    • Fixed a warning about a function not always returning a value, which would cause unexpected behavior

    • Fixed a bug that caused the Allow Camera Rotation code and game option to not be synced

    • Minor faction quest items can no longer be equipped

    • Fixed Varda skill tree typo & bad prereq

    • Fixed issue where AI could potentially go on quests, collect goodie huts

    • Fixed broken post-process lighting

    • Dead SK units no longer visible after they attack a shard

    • Shards no longer occasionally invisible when initially attacked/revealed

    • Fixed bug where "next page" arrow button was being shown in the spellbook when there was nothing to show on the next page

    • Unnecessary “what do you do” lines removed from quests.

    • Fixed a crash with the "enemy in ZOC" or "resources in ZOC" notifications

    • Fixed bug where world props did not fade under exposed fog of war

    • Archer Sniper now plays particle on sureshot properly

    • Dwarf warrior crushing blow now plays animation and particle

    • Fixed bug where you could casts sov spells in tactical when it was not your turn

    • Fixed the really annoying “hourglass showing up when it shouldn’t” bug (lots of little code changes to do this, very annoying)

    • Fixed the really annoying tendency of the doomsday counter updating at the same time as a lot of things are going on resulting in choppy animation (still needs more work)

    • Fixed the slow, inefficient and often inaccurate tile yields displayed. So founding a city that claims to have 4 grain and 2 materials won’t happen anymore (it’ll display the correct amount). Also, this was called a lot and it was really really inefficient

    • Fixed bug that caused monster lairs to sometimes spawn with nothing in them

    • Fixed bug that caused the Sorcerer King’s fortress to be turned in weird ways with the gate floating off

    • Fixed bug (heh) where monsters could go on quests and thus make them unavailable to the player (forgot I had had that in there, seemed like a good idea at the time)

    • Fixed bug that was preventing AI from making use of certain types of combat abilities

    • Fixed embarrassing bug of mine where a minor race would still adjust its favor with the SK even after you were allied

    • Fixed bug that caused multiple trait quests to come up on the same turn

on Feb 04, 2015

Wow, this is so full of awesome!!! The new graphics are stellar and the overall direction is seriously above par.

Should we expect beta 5 or is the next stop full release?

I have to say, Brad and Co., you guys have really managed to make a good game here. I didn't really know what to expect when Brad started talking about Elemental 2015, but it has seriously exceeded my expectations. I can't wait to review the full product for my website. I think it should score well

on Feb 04, 2015

This looks stunning! I am so glad I got in on this beta (as well as GalCiv3). Brad and Co. work wonders. Sorcerer King is such a great delight and was also quite the unexpected surprise (at least for me) and I anxiously await this 4th beta to hit Steam. 

I have not had a single hiccough in any of my plays with the beta so far and only love for the asymmetrical fun. Thanks guys and gals. Keep up the fantastic work

on Feb 04, 2015

Oops, just saw the beta 5 part of your post, Brad.


What can we expect with it?

on Feb 04, 2015

In that last picture, the SK reminds me of a Jawa from Star Wars.

on Feb 04, 2015

...If the Jawas looked like that, with the bones and all, they'd be the stuff of nightmares.

on Feb 05, 2015

This game is such an excellent surprise.  I had no idea it was in development at all until I saw Beta 3 on Steam.  I bought it and am having a blast.

I think you guys have a real winner here, and I'm glad I took the chance with it.  This and Gal Civ 3 will make for an excellent summer of completed game goodness. Yes, I said completed by the summer.  Hopefully.  

I'm mostly waiting for Gal Civ 3 to be finished before I really play much of it, but I'm going to play the heck out of SK Beta 4 starting now!

on Feb 09, 2015

One of the bug fixes was for performance on laptops.  Not sure what has changed, in beta 1 and 2 things were fast.  But in the last two, not so much.  The fog animation when starting battles, for example, was extreme slo-mo.  Things worked a lot better after I made every option tweak that "improved performance".  But then it doesn't look as nice (no animations for spells, etc).  But it works fine that way.  

Is there a recommended graphics settings list for laptops?  (I did not take the time to do every tweak one by one, since it requires restart and I was impatient to run through a game Maybe I will try this later with a new game)

on Feb 23, 2015

For your laptop, what graphics card is in there?

on Feb 24, 2015

Integrated.  Works for most things.  This is not a gaming laptop.  


  Display adapter type Intel(R) HD Graphics 4000
  Total available graphics memory 1696 MB
  Dedicated graphics memory 64 MB
  Dedicated system memory 0 MB
  Shared system memory 1632 MB
  Display adapter driver version
  Primary monitor resolution 1600x900
  DirectX version DirectX 10