In Worlds of Magic you're going to be able to get units (and heroes for that matter) using all the classic methods. You'll be able to train units belonging to the races of the cities that you own (with some possible limitations on captured cities), you can hire mercenaries who offer their services to you and you'll also be able to summon creatures and bind them to your will using powerful magic. It's not a bad lineup to begin with is it? Still, we feel it could use a bit more. That's what this post is about.

To start with, as I believe I mentioned in another post, some of the more powerful charm spells in the game will be permanent. (Your sorcerer will have to pay a maintenance cost in mana-per-turn, but it's still going to be a fairly powerful effect.) Players can use this as an additional method for collecting units. It may seem too good to be true, but there will be several counter-strategies. First, a powerful enough dispel magic spell will break the charm (making your former ally a bitter foe). Second, certain spells will protect a unit from charms or prevent direct telepathic control. It also opens up the possibility of magic items that help you maintain control (the silver chair?) or protect your heroes from being controlled (like Magneto's helmet). It will allow us to offer players the chance to charm powerful monsters and have dragons serving in their ranks. It really opens up a lot of possibilities. It may be a challenge to maintain the balance, but I believe the “flavor” will be worth it.

What is more powerful than magical mind control? Genuine persuasion! We plan to have diplomacy have a wider reaching effect than merely you trying to convince your enemies that you should become their king (or that you should share research or drop a trade tariff or whatever...) Perhaps you could convince a neutral city to join your empire? Would a ranger hero just slaughter a couple of wild bears without trying to calm them first? Angles guarding a temple aren't just going to attack a group of paladins without any provocation (I love MoM, but I could never buy that one.) Diplomacy is going to allow you not only to persuade fellow sorcerers to declare peace, but is going to allow your sorcerer (and your heroes) to try to bring potential enemies over to your side. Again, this is going to be a tricky mechanic to develop, but I think it's going to be worth the effort.

One last note: Some of this is going to run into the “alignment” discussion going on in other topics. I plan to start a separate topic to discuss this soon. We don't need to mention here than paladins won't negotiate with demons and vice versa.