1. There will only be 1 type of mana. Mana. Control of the elemental shards will be handled ala Magic the Gathering. A spell may cost N mana but also require control of M shards to cast. This way, players don’t have to sit there and hold shards for dozens of turns to cast a spell and creates a much more vibrant game.
I hadn't realy thought about the magic system yet (given how little information there is), but this seems like a good system for now. (It would be good to know more about the magic system, though, as opinions will be shaky until it's fleshed out a bit)
2. The battle system has been monkeyed with several times this week internally. The current system has Attack along with a range for that attack. There is also no longer “fire” or “frost” damage but instead simply Arcane damage and Arcane resistance. It’s very similar to what Master of Magic except we have Combat speed in there too.
I'm happy about the single magic damage type, for reasons people have mentioned earlier, as well as reasons mentioned in earlier threads (More on this later in the post)
3. Players will get a cue that the enemy player is about to cast a spell so that they have the opportunity to counter it when in a tactical battle. If auto-resolve is on, players will be able to set a default amount of mana they’re willing to invest in a given battle. (we’re still playing with this and expect to for months to come based on player feedback).
My opinion on this will depend on knowing more about the magic system. (Assuming there is more to know) Depending on the system, this seems like it could go from fun to annoying, although it's hard to say for sure.
4. Multiplayer diplomacy will get its own UI rather than sacrificing even an ounce of the SP diplomacy UI to support MP.
If the diplomacy system works similarly to other games (With A.I. having likes and dislikes), this would be a good thing. I am wondering, though, what mechanics would be different between single and multiplayer, and how multiplayer diplomacy will be kept important.
5. The campaign is going to be much much more story driven than originally conceived. Cut-scenes between each chapter written by our friends at Del Rey.
I might actually play a campaign for this, sounds cool. (Depending on how interesting the story and special campaign gameplay elements are, of course.)
6. The map itself is going to get a lot more interesting stuff in it. This should start to show up in the next beta but basically, the map is too boring right now. You’ll see.
Details are important here, but this seems like a good thing.
As for the damage types argument: I agree with the points about it being tedious to manage lots of different resistances, that different forms of magic are more interesting if they have different effects rather than the same effects with different types, etc. Another point to add:
If you step outside fantasy strategy games, there are a lot of games out there involving units fighting units (or some form of mixed groups fighting mixed groups) that do not use damage types, or at least use them very sparingly, butthe combat is still interesting due to different ranges, movement speeds, etc.
I'll also say again that it would be good to know more about how the magic system works, or is plannedo t work, assuming that has been thought throught enough to share with us.
I'm only talking about combat magic, VicenteC. When it comes to combat damage, everything will just be the same thing with a different animation if they don't do something with it.
As mentioned earlier, direct damage magic could have different sorts of aftereffects, or have different AoE's, ranges, etc. I'll also add that channeler based magic combat doesn't have to rely on direct damage spells at all, it could be that some types of magic turn him into super unit (or more so than before), others might demoralize, slow, reduce armor, et. enemy units ot the point where the channeler has it really easy for the channeler to win, further ones might change the terrain to isolate units, and other types of spells could have effects that I didn't think of.