—and will steadily advance certain Hero Abilities. The feature exerts potentially drastic effects on a unit's overall strength.
Viewing the Experience Level EditExperience can be viewed in the statistics window pulled up by right-clicking on a unit. For more immediate reference, the level is displayed overland and in combat as a line of color-coded medallions. It is listed in the Unit Abilities field within the statistics window, though it is not an ability per se. Its effects are seamlessly incorporated into the affected primary attributes and special abilities.
Experience Levels for Normal Units Edit
That mortals can grow, and Fantastic Beasts do not, is a theme in the compelling story told by a full game of Master of Magic. This ability to gain Experience constitutes the singular, decisive edge that flesh-and-blood has against all the terrible power of the outer realms— and against one another. The Experience Levels attainable by Normal Units describe general seniority in the races' warrior castes:
- Recruits are green troops drawn directly from among the citizenry of a town lacking an advanced military complex. They could be a garrison for a peaceful backwater, emergency conscripts, or the earnest beginnings of an enterprising Wizard, but they will need more training to be battle-worthy.
- Regulars have mastered basic fighting techniques either through a solid mercenary background in a Fighters' Guild or through some real engagements overland.
- Veterans either received prior War College training or have seen extensive action in the field. They are tougher than Regulars, utilizing advanced battle strategies and tactics.
- Elite units are the cream of most normal armies. They may have vast campaign experience, followed an Armsmaster Hero, or held rites before an Altar of Battle. In any case they are wily and dangerous combatants.
- Ultra-Elite units are only seen in the ranks of Wizards with exceptional faculties for military development. With a Warlord Retort or an active Crusade Spell, these Wizards drive their troops to a peak of excellence beyond the reach of rival nations.
- Champions, bolstered by both the Warlord Retort and a Crusade, are transcendent warrior fanatics, the last, best defense for the cause of Life, and their abilities are incredible. Packs of Champion high-tier units can go toe-to-toe with any Node or Lair guardians and will absolutely demolish mundane armies.
Attribute Improvement Table - Normal Units Edit
The following table illustrates the cumulative progress of the primary attributes for Normal Units with each new Experience Level.
|Level Icon||Level Name||EP Req.||Attacks||To Hit||Defense||Resist||Hits|
Effects of Attribute Progression Edit
Each Figure in a Multi-Figure unit gains these bonuses. This includes creatures' unusual Thrown and Fiery Breath Attacks, which are made by each Figure separately before any exchanges in melee combat occur. Generally, then, weak units with many Figures and low initial attributes (Spearmen, Bowmen, etc.) achieve the largest relative gains at new Experience Levels.
Single-Figure Units such as the Golem or Dragon Turtle already boast very high attributes. They will only make large leaps in power at the Elite, Ultra-Elite, and Champion levels, where bonuses To Hit augment their inherently-strong Attacks by a fixed percentage.
To conceptualize these Figure-scaled level mechanics, take High Men Spearmen, one of the most wretched units in Master of Magic. They have double the staying power and four times the killing power as Elites than they began with as Recruits. At Elite the full unit has 8 Figures applying 3 at 40% accuracy— an average of 8x 1.2 Hits that need to be blocked by enemy Shields. Casualties will always be heavy among Spearmen, and counterattacks by high-tier units will usually wipe them out, but Elites will severely maim any units lacking the Shields to fully mitigate each Figure's attack.
While such "burst damage" may humble an Elite Golem's 5.6 Hit swing and shame its Regular counterpart's 3.9, the demands of battle may of course favor a Golem of any level. A Single-Figure Unit throws all its Swords into a single attack so that Shields have just that one chance to block. It also maneuvers, fights, and retaliates at its absolute fullest power to its last breath, which in the case of a fresh Golem's massive defenses, could mean victory even against strong Fantastic Units with proper team composition. It would certainly mean a lot of dead Spearmen.
Effect on Unit Abilities Edit
Of these, Experience Level will only affect Thrown and Breath attacks. Also, the game somehow manages to differentiate between a natural Fire Breath x and the Fire Breath 2 imparted by Chaos Channels, and only the naturally-occurring version can level up.
Effect on Costs Edit
Experience Level does not incur any corresponding changes to a unit's Production or Upkeep Costs whatsoever. Advancement is unambiguously positive; whatever green units can do, their experienced counterparts can do better for the same price. The need to build inexperienced units arises as a matter of circumstance. A Recruit produced in hotly-contested territory may serve a more immediate need than a Veteran version of it trained back at the Fortress.
Experience Levels for Heroes Edit
Whatever can be said for Normal Unit Experience Levels runs much deeper for Heroes. The concept is tied to the Hero's own epic story: rising from an adventurer in the ranks of a Wizard's army at the Hero, Myrmidon, Captain, and Commander levels; to an indispensable leader and advocate of the Wizard's cause at the Champion, Lord, and Grand Lord levels; to a terrifying force of the planes at the Super Hero and Demi-God levels. Just so, Heroes in Master of Magic blend the tactics and strategy elements with storytelling and high adventure.
Attribute Improvement Table - Heroes Edit
Experience Levels augment Heroes' primary attributes faster and further than they do with Normal Units. The following table illustrates the cumulative base progression of the primary attributes for Heroes with each new level, not considering feedback from possible Hero Abilities belonging to a particular Hero.
|Level Icon||Level Name||EP Req.||Attacks||To Hit||Defense||Resist||Hits|
Ability Improvement Tables - Heroes Edit
The charts in this section illustrate how Experience Level affects the magnitude of Hero Abilities.
|Progression for Hero Abilities at their normal strength|
- Main article: Super Ability
- Super-strength Hero Abilities are essentially 50% more sensitive to Experience Level, with fractional results being rounded down, as shown in the progression table below.
|Progression for Super Abilities|
|Level|| *|| *|| *|| *|| *|| *|| *|| *|| *|| *|
- Main article: Leadership Improvement Table
- Each Experience Level, Leadership's effect extends a tiny bonus to Ranged and Special Attacks as well, equal to half the Melee bonus rounded down.
- Main article: Caster Improvement Table
- The Caster ability also rises by its base times the Experience Level.
Things would be pointless if this was not plainly the case, but for clarity, note that attribute bonuses awarded by the Hero Abilities stack with the attributes bonuses gained naturally when gaining Experience Levels. Take for instance the hardest-hitting melee attacker among the non-champions, Shalla the Amazon. Heroes enjoy a steady natural progression for their basic Attack and To Hit Values, just as visualized in the first chart above. Shalla stacks Might onto that default Attack Bonus, though, and Blademaster onto the default To Hit Bonus, in the manner described by the second chart. By the time she reaches Lord, this is a radical interaction of:
18 Attacks delivered at an 80% Accuracy Rate averages to 14.4 Damage, and this notwithstanding her Thrown Attack. The enemy Shields really have their work cut out for them.
Unaffected Hero Abilities Edit
The Hero Abilities unaffected by Experience Level elicit some mixed reviews. They are not outright bad abilities, but their selection as Random Hero Skill Picks means a missed opportunity for an ability with great long-term potential.
- Charmed: As the heroes' resistance increases with the Experience Level, at some point this ability will become useless.
- Noble: This ability does not increase with the Experience Level but the 10 - 20 extra gold will support better enchantments as they become available.
- Lucky: It still deserves full honorable mentions. The +10% and +1 are easy enough to duplicate, but the +10% Blocking Power is most certainly not. It really does scale with Experience Level, in a sense, through its highly-unusual multiplicative effect on a Hero's naturally rising Defense Score.
Gaining Levels Edit
After a battle, 2 is immediately awarded for each vanquished enemy unit (including vanquished summons) to the victorious Normal Units and Heroes that were present at the battle for any duration, including fallen allies that regenerated or were raised, and those who were recalled to the Summoning Circle. At the end of a turn, all living Normal Units and Heroes across the planes gain 1, whether they fought in battles or not. When the next turn begins, new Experience Levels are awarded to units who now meet the requisite Exp values.
The level mechanics enjoy particular synergy with the Life Realm of magic, which nurtures mortal life and achievement, and receives some interference from the Death and Chaos Realms, which deform life. Instances of this are among the factors described below.
What Influences Level Edit
Fighters' Guild Edit
- Main article: Fighters' Guild
- All units built in a Town containing a Fighters' Guild will start with 20 Experience (normally as Regulars). Usually the extra Experience Level is just icing on the cake; prioritized construction of a Fighters' Guild often literally moves the game forward with the introduction of tough, higher-tier units.
War College Edit
- Main article: War College
- All units built in a Town containing a War College will start with 60 Experience (normally as Veterans).
Altar of Battle Edit
- Main article: Altar of Battle
- All units built in a Town containing the Life Realm's Altar of Battle will start at maximum strength, with 120 Experience (normally as Elite).
- Main article: Heroism
- While this Life Unit Enchantment is in effect, the target Normal Unit is Elite, and a target Hero is a Commander. It is only modified by the Warlord Retort and an active Crusade when cast overland as a persistent spell. Casting Heroism very early on will leverage the benefits of levels in a highly-advantageous way. The sudden introduction of Elite low-tier units can make the difference against neutral garrisons, marauding armies, and even a few Fantastic Units.
Warlord and Crusade Edit
- Main article: Warlord
- Main article: Crusade
- These perform the identical, and fully-stacking, functions of giving units a free Experience Level by adjusting the Exp requirements for Normal Unit and Hero levels down by a full level each. The following charts illustrate how Normal Units gain access to otherwise-forbidden levels, and Heroes realize their potential much earlier, contingent on one or both these assets:
EP Reqs: Normal Units Under a Warlord and/or Crusade Spell Level Icon Level Name Base One Both Recruit 0 Regular 20 0 Veteran 60 20 0 Elite 120 60 20 Ultra-Elite 120 60 Champion 120
EP Reqs: Heroes Under a Warlord and/or Crusade Spell Level Icon Level Name Base One Both Hero 0 Myrmidon 20 0 Captain 60 20 0 Commander 120 60 20 Champion 200 120 60 Lord 300 200 120 Grand Lord 450 300 200 Super Hero 600 450 300 Demi-God 1,000 600 450
What Influences Experience Edit
- Main article: Armsmaster
- When a turn ends, Normal Units stacked with Armsmaster Heroes receive bonus Exp corresponding to the magnitude of the ability.
Chaos Channels Edit
- Main article: Chaos Channels
- Units touched by this Chaos spell continue to earn 1 per turn, as well as the training conferred by an Armsmaster, but they no longer gain combat experience.
Black Channels Edit
- Main article: Black Channels
- Once cursed by this Death Unit Enchantment, units retain all which they have learned so far, but will never again earn Exp or reach new Levels. Dismissing the enchantment merely removes the extra Swords and Shields bestowed by Black Channels and saves the Upkeep Cost.
Animate Dead Edit
- Main article: Animate Dead
- Dead units need not stay that way for a powerful Death Wizard. Reanimated units come roaring back into battle at full health with all of their mana and abilities recharged, and the friendly ones even linger on if the casting Wizard's side was victorious, but are thereafter Undead Fantastic Units, and can no longer gain Exp.
Victories... Constant Victories Edit
- Admittedly, this factor is not quite like the others listed. But Master of Magic rewards Wizards who win lots of battles consistently, and it is something available to any Wizard, at any time— for free, sometimes— who picks his fights carefully. Experience Points are one of many spoils awaiting the victors of a battle. Experience Levels thus gained serve as both a reward and enabler for further victories.