Embrace Your Destiny in SpellForce: Conquest of Eo - Out Now!

Vienna/Austria, February 3rd, 2023

Embrace the path of magic to become the most powerful mage in SpellForce: Conquest of Eo – out now and available on PC! Experience a unique mix of tactical battles, leading your armies and heroes to countless victories. Upgrade your tower to grow your strength and conquer the magical world of Eo in this ever-changing turn-based strategy role-playing game!

Make the journey from the humble beginnings of your old master’s small wizard tower and cross the perilous lands of Eo in your constantly changing quest for magical might. Face off against competing factions and send your armies and heroes on dangerous missions as you accrue magical knowledge to become the most powerful mage of all time.

SpellForce: Conquest of Eo offers a unique and engaging gameplay experience by combining elements of 4X strategy games, RPGs, and turn-based tactical combat. Your mobile base of operations - your mage's tower - and depleting resources keep players constantly moving, preventing the stagnation that can occur in the late-game of other 4X games. Instead, the game focuses on the thrill of discovery and danger of early gameplay, while also allowing for research and experimentation to improve units as they level up and acquire new equipment and abilities. With a wealth of procedurally generated adventures and RPG elements, SpellForce: Conquest of Eo transforms the classic RTS-RPG mix into a turn-based 4X RPG experience that is sure to keep players engaged.

Watch the latest trailer here

Get the game here

Developer Insight #6 - Conquest of Eo

Meet the Circle!

Venerable Mages,
The year's end draws near and we are polishing and improving the game. Today we want to give you a glimpse of the mages you will face as antagonists in the game.

Thanks to the fantastic art of our Art Director Dominik Mayer, they have faces to their names that are much more than just a portrait, capturing the essence of each.
As many of you may know, the Circle of Mages plays a pivotal role in the history of SpellForce and the future of the point in time our game is set. When we meet the in Conquest of Eo, they have been around for about a century, becoming more powerful after discovering the Allfire and learning its use.

So immersed are they in the study and practice of magic, that they rarely venture outside their studies and towers, instead sending out minions or using proxys to subtly manipulate what happens in the world. With the creation of the Circle, the art of magic has seen a resurgence, magic is now abundant and academies teaching it, have sprung up all over the world.
It is those academies you will seek out in order to gather your own apprentices, so you can make use of their powers and train them to become leaders of your troops and spreaders of your influence.

The Circle of Mages looks at your expansion with apprehension: Their task is to guard and shepherd the use of magic, preventing it from becoming a destructive force and your ambition is viewed by many as dangerous. Others see a like spirit and may seek out alliances – if you are willing to further their goals in return. You will a selection of the Circle Mages in every game, making each playthrough different due to their different character and behavior.
The Circle – as everything in the game – is not good or evil, morality is a matter of choice and so their members come from all nations: humans, elves, dwarves, orcs and dark elves, each with their own agenda and interests.

It will be difficult to get along with each one unless you want to curb your own ambitions and goals but think twice before you make one or all of them your enemy, for their powers are great. As the game progresses, they learn new tricks and magic that may be quite a challenge to overcome.
So, choose your course wisely and decide when to strike and when to keep the peace…if you can.

We are looking forward to your comments and we will see you back next year with another Developer Insight!

Developer Insight #5 - Conquest of Eo

Death is Not the End: SpellForce: Conquest of Eo Shows the Necromancer in New Trailer

Vienna, Austria, December 14th, 2022 - Ah, an army free of doubt, free of fear, free of weakness... and utterly obedient. What else can an aspiring wizard wish for in his struggle to become the the most powerful mage of all times? As a Necromancer, you'll command the armies of the underworld, simply raising your soldiers and servants from the dead instead of hiring them. The upcoming turn-based 4x-Strategy Game SpellForce: Conquest of Eo puts the first of its three archetypes in the spotlight today: Necromancer, the stage is yours!

Watch the Necromancer trailer here:

The Necromancer is a master of death and manipulation magic, creating undead units in his crypt in the depth of his mage’s tower. Due to his craft, the Necromancer is able to amass cheap, fearless, and resilient armies that can walk tirelessly and even traverse water (after all, they don't breathe anymore...). Thus, playing a Necromancer comes with the ability to generate larger numbers of troops, faster than any other type of mage.

However it takes a lot of magical power to maintain and control the undead, so one is always on the lookout for new sources of the Allfire – the magical power that permeates the world of SpellForce: Conquest of Eo.

SpellForce: Conquest of Eo is a new turn-based chapter in the SpellForce series, and will be available for PC in 2023. With epic, procedurally generated single-player campaigns, different mage archetypes and randomly picked opponents, it offers high replay value.

For more information, follow SpellForce on Facebook or check out our website.

Developer Insight #4 - Conquest of Eo

Venerable Mages,

as promised, today we are going take a deeper dive into our combat and action system at the core of our battles. It is a bit different from what many games do, so bear with me for a second.

Basically, all our units have three actions represented by the little yellow diamonds beneath the health bar. Each turn, every unit can use up to two of them for movement with distance depending on movement range of unit. The remaining action can be spend on a defensive “guard” action or an attack. If you don’t spend actions on movement, you can use them for attacks, cast a spell or execute some other ability. These will always consume ALL remaining actions, and here is where we already differ from many games: We use what we call the ‘Committed Action System’.

So, when you decide to cast a spell or to attack someone, you automatically spend all remaining action points on that task, fully committing to that course of action. In the below picture, the necromancer’s apprentice has just cast a spell to heal the skeletons above him, so he has no more actions left.

He could have spent two actions for moving and still cast the spell but once he does cast it, he will be ‘committed’, spending all his remaining actions. In the same vein, once the skeletons now decide to attack those Paladins left of them, they will commit fully to attacking, spending all three actions for three attacks on those pesky humans.

This makes combat much more fluid and faster than counting action points while still leaving a lot of room to maneuver. You don’t have to decide what to do for each single action point and you focus your attacks on one enemy. But it also means you need to think about which target to choose.

In melee every attack further results in a counter-attack, that will cost action points for the defender. Action points don't refresh on YOUR turn, but at the beginning of a full turn – meaning at the same time for both you and the enemy. So you effectively have three actions to divide across movement and attack or defense – if you attack, you cannot keep points for defense and vice versa.

At first glance this may seem to just be a way to speed up combat, but this actually opens up a lot of tactical depth: First, players can flank the enemy (giving you an unopposed attack) or position their units for a better range (but take heed of zone of control or you may suffer free attacks by the enemy) and still attack or stay back and prepare a defense for the enemy.

Players also decide when to commit to an attack or wait for the enemy. But if the enemy attacks first, it will drain your action points by simply attacking your unit with three attacks – resulting in all points spent counter-attacking in melee and leaving you out of options when your turn comes.

Of course, you can do the same to them: Swarm a big strong troll with hordes of undead and risk a few of them (easily replaced by summoning more), to keep the enemy permanently occupied and allowing you free attacks once the troll’s actions are exhausted. It allows you to control which of your units receives damage and prevents strong single units from using special skills that can devastate your army.

This opens up new tactical effects – smaller units surrounding a bigger one can effectively pin the big one down with repeated needle attacks instead of a simple exchange of melee strikes and players need to make sure they do not expose their frontline units to an enemy swarm.

Defensive positioning is also important, and can be augmented by standing next to areas that cannot be accessed (such as rocks or buildings) or barricades (which some units may also summon, but which can be destroyed), creating choke points or safe zones for your missile units to stay behind as in the below picture, where the minion unit behind the fence can safely pepper the fire beetles on the other side with its magic bolts.

Between our Committed Action System, Flanking/Zone of Control/Blockers and the way actions refresh, our action points become part of the tactical consideration in battle, allowing you to control the flow of combat, use superior positioning to your advantage and make amount of units interesting beyond simply dishing out damage. And yet, it keeps the action fluent and fast. We are looking forward to you trying it out!

We also want to talk a little more about the game world and our main antagonists: The Circle of Mages. Here is a little preview of one of them. Meet Ianna, the Singer.

More about that next time. :-)

Developer Update #3 - Conquest of Eo

Greetings esteemed wizards,

Today we are going to talk a bit about combat and some of the things we do to make it more interesting. Turn-based combat is at the heart of our battles and especially for a brand that has so far had real-time strategy at its core, it was important for us to make them turn-based but fast-paced, while at the same time providing a certain tactical depth.

One of the things we did to achieve that is, that while we limit the number of units in battle (you start out with stacks of up to 5 different units, but during the game expand to up to 8), we provide over 60 different hand-crafted battlefields allowing us to make terrain and cover an integral part of many of them. Thinking about where to engage enemies, how to minimize your frontline exposure (to prevent you suffering flanking attacks) or which unit to use to tank means every battlefield is different for you from the outset, setting us apart from more traditional instanced battles where you simply have rows of units being pitted against each other. Add to that the special skills for many of our units (which gain new key skills every 5 Levels as they progress) which can add new tactical options, such as ignoring zones of control, blinding enemies, volley shots and armor piercing or increasing certain damage types from elemental to white or death damage to damage against certain types of enemies, you have quite a mix.

Getting the AI to understand and use a wide range of possible option was one of our challenges – especially with regards to how it uses terrain to its advantage but allows us to make even battles with relatively few units require some thinking from our players. In the below case, the AI defended a village but moved out and up on the elevated position to shoot missile on the player forces. And since the map has an added feature effect called “snipers” damaging attackers every turn, the Ai decided to wait our troops out.

Now the player needs to find solutions beyond simply waltzing up to the enemy and letting loose with the apprentice’s spells. (We got the AI to split forces by smashing the village gate and feinting an attack from the left while baiting the defenders with a weak unit to the right in case you were wondering. Then goblin shaman gave berserker ‘shrooms to everyone so they heal a bit and do some extra damage, meaning they could soak up the defender’s initial volley and then go into melee.)

Another thing that we do slightly differently is our action system that offers more than just a way to tell you how many attacks your units can do and which we are going to take a closer look into next time.

Developer Insight #2 - Conquest of Eo

Greetings esteemed wizards,

Today we want to talk a bit about Lore as well as lore. As many of you have been eager to point out, the world of Eo has a rich and varied history and that is not made less complex by the first two games and their add-ons taking place on the world timeline after the third game, which is set pre-convocation. The Convocation of course being the cataclysmic event that shattered the world of Eo.

Now our game is placed right between the last one’s story and the Convocation and thus we had a bit of a historical deep dive to do – what did the world look like at that time, who was alive and who wasn’t, which creatures existed? Fortunately, the loremasters in the SpellForce community helped us a lot and kept us abreast of glaring historical errors and missteps. So we ended up with what we see as a sort of bridge between the two generations of SpellForce. But that poses another issue – how can we create game that does not change the “future” for Eo’s timeline and yet still provides enough free room to explore and expand for the player’s own story.

Therefore we focus on you as a mage and the Circle – we won’t re-write history with nations being conquered or kingdoms toppled. Instead, it is a journey of magical power and knowledge, that will have you travel across the world map in search of the secrets of the Allfire.

As you can see on this eagle eye view, we start out in the Highmark, which is dominated by humans, but a diverse and interesting area bordered by the Middle Mountains, orcs, dwarves and a nation under constant pressure from all around.

Audale, Connach, Lyraine and other small towns dot the region and befriending any of them can be quite useful to gain access to their resources. Of course Sevenkeeps dominates the area and holds many interesting locations and new adventures.

Speaking of adventures: While you play a (soon to be) powerful mage in the game, we of course wanted to have one of the mainstays of SpellForce: Heroes and their individual stories.

Each hero who joins you has a different story to tell, which will also be explored via your grimoire – initially very little is known about your new companions, but further adventures and research will reveal new aspects for your heroes and give you more and more background. Or in the case of the dwarven alchemist and bomb-maker Lore, new ways to blow things up in spectacular ways.

This way, you unlock more reasons to explore the game world and involve yourself in new adventures. And you can make one dwarf really really happy.

Developer Insight #1 - Conquest of Eo

Greetings esteemed wizards,

This is the first installment of our Dev Log, where we update you with news and insights about the game and design process (a.k.a. ramblings of a game developer). After we returned from Gamescom with a lot of enthusiastic feedback and had the chance to watch gamers play and enjoy the game while lurking behind them, we stuck our collective heads together and looked at what we could do better.

The game is already in a very stable state, so we can focus on improving gameplay and balance the challenges we put in front of you as an up-and-coming mage in the world of Eo. One thing we noticed is that while people loved the exploration, there was so much to do, that it was not clear to everyone what they should do first or what is at stake for the mage’s story in game. So, we wanted to give some structure to the initial phase of the game and also show you what you are up against.

Which leads us to the Circle of Mages – founded a little over a century ago by the pre-eminent wizards of the age, they will stop at nothing to prevent you from learning their secret: Mastery of the Allfire (also called Archfire by some), the source of all magic on Eo. Which of course is precisely what you set out to do. Initially, we had you hunt down one of their minions to gain more information about it, but this didn’t really convey the power of what you are up against and so our designer took matters into his hand and presented us with a new solution: Planting one of their towers right next to your own, cranking out fantastical monsters and dialing up the heat from the get go while also giving you a first clear goal: Get rid of those neighbors!

This worked very well and focuses players on strategizing early on about how to deal with the threat, while at the same time giving you some juicy reward to look forward to. It’s a small thing, but it made the early game phase feel challenging and interesting without railroading the player into a specific course of action.

This may not look like much now, but when a fire-spweing demonic beast comes at you the first time and you field a mage's apprentice and a few goblins, the heat is literally on!

For more information, follow SpellForce on Facebook or check out our website.