A single Tower of Wizardry simultaneously occupies the same location on both Planes, and can be considered as actually being two Towers that are inextricably linked to one another. Any unit occupying one of these Towers is said to be present in both Towers, on both Planes, at the same time. Such units can essentially choose which Plane to move on when leaving the Tower's tile. A liberated Tower does not "belong" to any one Wizard - any army can utilize it to move to the other Plane. This is why powerful empires will try to block Towers in their area with mighty armies to prevent rivals from using them.
Before a Tower of Wizardry can be used however, its original garrison must first be defeated. Towers of Wizardry are some of the more difficult Encounters in the game, and can potentially be as difficult, if not more so, than Arcanian Nodes. Based on random chance, they may be guarded by Fantastic Creatures from any of the 5 Realms of magic.
The rewards for defeating a Tower of Wizardry's garrison are partly random, and vary based on the strength of the creatures found within. Whatever the rewards however, the Wizard conquering a Tower of Wizardry will win at least one new spell, if possible. If Spellbooks are awarded, they can potentially be of any of the 5 colors!
Unconquered Towers of Wizardry may occasionally spawn new Rampaging Monster groups. The type of monsters spawned depends on the color of the creatures guarding the Tower. The strength of such groups increases as the game matures. These monsters will head straight for any nearby Town controlled by one of the Wizards. On higher Difficulty Settings, they will typically head straight for the human player's Towns.
A Tower of Wizardry is a magical construction built by the wizards of old in order to connect the worlds of Arcanus and Myrror, and allow even non-magical beings to cross between them with ease. As the elder empires fell, these Towers have fallen into disuse and have attracted powerful monsters who will fight ferociously to defend them.
Each Tower of Wizardry built on one of the Planes has a corresponding "twin" Tower on the other Plane. Any creature standing in one of these Towers co-exists in both of them simultaneously. The creature can then step through the correct door to leave into either of the Planes - thus having an instant teleportation device!
Towers of Wizardry appear on the map as tall, round, green towers, with a somewhat crumbled top. After a Tower of Wizardry is cleared of its monstrous defenders, it can be reactivated - in which case its insides will show a visible eerie-green glow. This can help the player to quickly distinguish an activated Tower from one that's still defended by monsters.
Towers of Wizardry are always placed on top of a Grassland tile. On occasion, the placement of these Towers can form a tiny island out in the middle of the Ocean - giving another good reason to explore the vast blue waters.
The Encounter Zone Edit
- Main article: Encounter Zone
When initially created, every Tower of Wizardry designates an Encounter Zone. That is, a randomly generated group of neutral creatures defending some sort of Treasure. The value of this Treasure is inexorably tied to the strength of its guardians, i.e. the stronger the monsters, the better their Treasure (on average at least, considering that it is ultimately random). The following sections explain how the game chooses these creatures and the rewards for defeating them.
Each Encounter Zone can contain up to 9 defending units. These are always Fantastic Creatures, and any single Tower of Wizardry can feature up to two different types of them. However, they will always be of the same magical Realm.
The exact types and amounts of the guardians are determined through several steps, the first of which is setting out an "encounter budget", which defines the total possible value of the defending units. For a Tower of Wizardry, this is determined randomly using the formulae listed below. The budget ranges are different based on the game version being used, as the unofficial patches gradually increase it:
|v1.31 Formula||v1.31 Range||v1.50 Formula||v1.50 Range|
|Tower of Wizardry||Random(11) × 50 + 650||700 - 1,200||Random(48) × 50 + 650||700 - 3,050|
This base budget is then adjusted for the campaign's Difficulty Setting, in +/- 25% increments (using "Hard" as the baseline), depending on the game version. The "Intro" Setting is only available in the official game, and is replaced by an "Extreme" Setting (which is in a different location on the Difficulty scale) in Insecticide and later.
At the same time, the game also needs to choose the magical Realm from which defenders will come, which is determined by another random roll. Towers of Wizardry have a 2-in-6 chance of featuring Death creatures, and 1-in-6 for all other Realms. The cost of each individual creature is listed in the following table, with changes introduced by the Unofficial Patch 1.50 (if any) highlighted under the originals (which also still apply in Insecticide):
Next, the game divides the final budget by a random integer in the range of 1 - 4 (or 1 - 6 in patches v1.50 and later), and selects the most expensive unit in the chosen Realm which costs less than this value. This will be the "primary" creature featured at the Tower of Wizardry. If no monsters qualify, a new random number will be chosen, repeating the process up to 200 times to ensure that if the budget is high enough to afford any creatures, there will be some.
Once the primary creature type is chosen, the game divides the budget by the cost of this unit, rounding down, to determine how many of these monsters will actually be in the Tower of Wizardry. However, this will never be more than 8 (or 6 in the v1.50+ patches), and if it is more than 1, there is a 50% chance that it will be reduced by 1. These limitations significantly increase the likelyhood of encounters featuring more than one type of monster.
The type of the primary creature(s) guarding the Tower of Wizardry can be revealed by any scouts that move onto its square. This information will then subsequently be available through the Surveyor (F1) tool. Insecticide also vaguely denotes the amount of these creatures by adding the word "many" to the dialogue if there are 4 or more. The Unofficial Patch 1.50 takes this a step further, using "few" for 3 or 4 units, and "many" for 5 and 6 (the maximum amount in this patch) instead. Neither patch carries these quantities over into the Surveyor (F1) however, which is thus limited to showing the creature type in all game versions.
Secondary Creatures Edit
Finally, the game calculates the remaining budget by subtracting (number of primary monster) × (cost of primary monster) from the initial budget. If this is sufficient for any creature other than the primary monster from the same Realm, it will then proceed to add "secondary" defenders to the Tower of Wizardry. These units won't show up in the scouting dialogue, but if a battle is initiated at the site, their type will be displayed by the Surveyor (F1) afterwards (provided that any of them survives).
Similar to the primary guardians, secondary monsters are also chosen using a divisor roll which, just like for primary defenders, can be rerolled up to 200 times to ensure that as long as the budget is high enough for them, secondary creatures will also be present. However, the range for this random number is not pre-set, as it is for the primary guardians. Instead, the game subtracts the amount of primary monsters already added to the Tower of Wizardry from 10 (or 9 in v1.40 and later), and uses this value as the maximum range of the random function. For example, if the Tower of Wizardry already has 3 primary creatures, the secondary divisor will be in the range of 1 to 7 (or 1 to 6 in v1.40+).
Again, the most expensive unit (other than the primary monster), which costs less than the remaining budget divided by the random number, will be selected. The rest of the encounter is then populated with this creature, up to the maximum of 9 total units (including the primary monsters), or until the remaining budget is exhausted. That is, the amount of secondary monsters will be the lower of either (9 - amount of primary monsters), or (remaining budget) / (cost of secondary monster).
Multiple Battles Edit
If, during an assault on a Tower of Wizardry, the invading army manages to kill a defending unit, but then loses the battle or retreats, that unit will not be restored unless it has the Regeneration ability. This means that it is possible to "whittle down" the Tower of Wizardry's defenders with several subsequent battles, instead of trying to kill all of them at the same time. In fact, Towers of Wizardry don't even copy the remaining monsters across their sides after a lost battle, and as such are possible to defeat in a piece-meal fashion from one side without having to worry about Wizards on the other Plane taking advantage of the situation.
However, any guardians that are not destroyed completely are fully healed at the end of each battle, and will have all figures restored to life appropriately. Thus, it is not possible to kill one unit by injuring it repeatedly in each battle - it must be killed completely to ensure that it does not reappear in the next battle.
- Main article: Treasure
The rewards for conquering a Tower of Wizardry depend largely on its defenders: the stronger the creatures guarding it, the better the Treasure. Supreme rewards, such as new Spellbooks, or Retorts, are only found behind the strongest monsters. The game decides the types of Treasure that will eventually be awarded immediately after setting out the monsters, meaning that conquering the Tower of Wizardry in multiple battles will not reduce the Treasure found inside. On the other hand, because Treasure specifics are only chosen at the time of the victory, saving before the (final) battle can be useful for rerolling them.
Treasure Budget Edit
- To determine the base value of the Treasure, the game first tallies up the guardians. The full cost of the primary monsters is converted into Treasure "points", while secondary creatures only contribute half of their cost. Thus, the formula is (cost of primary monster) × (amount of primary monster) + (cost of secondary monster) × (amount of secondary monster) / 2. In v1.50 or later, the cost of the secondaries is no longer halved, and the full creature cost is used as the base Treasure "budget" instead.
- In v1.31 and v1.40 (but not in v1.50), this base "budget" is then put through what is essentially a reverse function of the Difficulty adjustment used to scale the creature budget (see above), so that Treasure value is more or less unaffected by the Difficulty Setting (as in the original game Difficulty is only supposed to scale down monster strength). That is, unless the game is played on the "Impossible" Setting, for which the Treasure is not adjusted downward, meaning that the higher creature budgets here result in more valuable Treasure than on any other Setting.
- Finally, the budget receives a percentage adjustment. In the official game and Insecticide, this modifier is random depending on the Plane where the Tower of Wizardry is located: on Arcanus (which Towers of Wizardry always count as), the final budget will be 50% - 125% of the previously obtained value. v1.50 uses flat values instead of the random percentages: Towers of Wizardry in this patch will have exactly their total monster value to spend on Treasure. However, as this patch also deals with Encounter Zones that have no guardians differently than the original game, the final budget is further increased by 30 in v1.50, and by 75 in v1.51+.
- In the official game (and also in Insecticide), Towers of Wizardry are guaranteed to contain at least one spell in their Treasure hoard, unless it is overridden by a Spellbook or Retort ("Special" Treasure type, see below). For this reason, Towers have an extra 100 points added to their budget after all other calculations, and proceed directly to choose a default spell rarity before rolling for any Treasure. In addition, this spell does not have to meet any "Qualify" criteria, and will be added to the Treasure regardless of cost. v1.50 removes both of these features: while Towers of Wizardry in this version still branch into trying to add a spell to their hoard first, they don't receive the increased budget, and the spell is only added if the budget matches the (increased) v1.50 "Cost" of the spell.
Treasure Types Edit
- Once the budget is calculated, the computer starts rolling imaginary 15-sided dice to select the basic types of loot found in the Tower of Wizardry's hoard. For each roll, if the remaining treasure budget is less than the "Qualify" value (or the "Cost" in v1.50+); or the maximum number of that treasure has already been created; the die is rerolled. Otherwise, the "Spend" value (or, again, the "Cost") of the Treasure is subtracted from the budget, and the selected Treasure type is added to the pile. As long as there are at least 50 points left, the die is cast again to try and add more Treasure.
v1.31 / v1.40 Treasure v1.50+ "Qualify" "Spend" Distribution Type Max Distribution "Cost" 10 (1) 200 2 in 15 Gold Coins - 3 in 15 50 - 1000 10 (1) 200 2 in 15 Mana Crystals - 3 in 15 40 (1) - 800 300 400 (2) - 3,000 5 in 15 Magical Item 3 3 in 15 200 (3) - 5,100 400 1,000 1 in 15 Prisoner Hero 1 1 in 15 400 3 in 15 Spell 1 (4) 4 in 15 50 50 Common Spell 150 200 200 Uncommon Spell 600 450 450 Rare Spell 1,350 800 800 Very Rare Spell 2,400 1,000 all
2 in 15 Special
(Spellbook / Retort)
1 (4) (5) 1 (6) in 15 800 (1) : The 50-point minimum to generate any kind of Treasure still applies. (2) : If the remaining budget is lower than 400, the amount spent can be reduced below this. (3) : Magical Items still require 300 points remaining to be added to a hoard even in v1.50. (4) : Spell and Specials are mutually exclusive. (5) : Specials may only be added once, but the amount of picks added (up to 2) depends on the remaining budget. (6) : There is a further 45% chance that this Treasure type is rerolled regardless of remaining budget.
- As noted in the table, Special Treasure can only be added once to a hoard (removing any Spell in the process). When this type comes up on the roll, if the budget is sufficient, the game checks whether it is also enough for 2 "picks". This requires 2,000 points in the original game, and respectively 1,600 in v1.50+. Should this be the case, both "picks" are added, otherwise only one. In the official game and Insecticide, adding a Special also means that all other Treasure is ultimately discarded from the pile.
- For Treasure types that have a value range, these are tied to the budget and will be determined at the same time. While this means exact amounts for Gold and Mana, for Magical Items it is a maximum value instead (which, in v1.50+ will actually be 120% of the Treasure points spent).
- In the case of Spell rewards, another random roll is made to determine a default Spell Rarity between 1 and 4 (Common through Very Rare). "Qualify" and "Spend" values are used according to this rarity. However, versions 1.31 and 1.40 will actually add up multiple "Qualifying" rolls of this type, up to the maximum spell rarity of 4 (Very Rare Spell), at which point any further Spell type results of the d15 are immediately rerolled instead. v1.50 removes this behaviour altogether, and can not overwrite an already set rarity with another. Neither version will try to award a lower default rarity if the original roll does not "Qualify".
Treasure Specifics Edit
- Gold and/or Mana Crystal piles can appear multiple times in the Tower of Wizardry's Treasure, and their amounts are determined at the start of the game (added together).
- The quality of a Magical Item reward is supposed to scale with remaining treasure points, but in version 1.31, the program only manages to constrain the item's quality in the case of a "Failed Special". Typically, then, the wizard only needs the Spellbook ranks that an item demands, for it to be eligible to (randomly) appear in a Tower of Wizardry. Full lists of pre-fab items and their arbitrary rank requirements can be found here, in the article on Treasure. The articles on Magical Items and Encounter Zones also examine in detail how the items are actually chosen.
- A Prisoner, a most uncommon find, might also be held at the Tower of Wizardry. This individual will be one of the 25 non-champion Heroes in the game, drawn at random from those who are not already in the Wizard's service or defeated. The captive V.I.P. will offer to join for no initial cost, out of gratitude for being rescued (however, their upkeep won't be free unless they bear the Noble trait). Before v1.50 however, if the victorious army stack is 9 units deep, or the Wizard already controls 6 Heroes, "Absolutely Nothing" will appear in the Prisoner's place.
- For Spell rewards, the game will first enumerate the Realms available to the Wizard based on their Spellbooks, and choose one randomly out of these. The Arcane Realm was supposed to always be valid for this for any Wizard, however a bug in the program (before v1.50) only allows these spells to be found if the player possesses either of the (completely unrelated) Alchemy or Warlord Retorts. A random spell is then chosen from the selected Realm matching the default Spell Rarity set out at game creation (see the Spell section of the Encounter Zone article for exceptions). If this spell is already known, the game will sequentially try to award all other spells of the same Realm and rarity. If that also fails, it increases the rarity (wrapping around from Very Rare to Common), and checks each spell in succession until it finds one that is not yet known. Only if all spells of the chosen Realm are known will MoM pick another color to try. There is no replacement reward for Wizards who already know all of the spells available to them based on their books.
- When a Special is generated, there is a 74% chance that it will be a Spellbook, and a 26% chance that it is a Retort. Retorts that cost 2 picks can only appear at a site with 2 Specials, and will cost both Specials. The Myrran Retort cannot appear in Treasure, and the prerequisites for all other Retorts are ignored. Spellbooks found in a Tower of Wizardry will always be of a random type (Wizards possessing any Life books cannot get Death, and vice versa). Because a Wizard cannot possess more than 13 Spellbooks and 6 Retorts in a single campaign, any Special reward above these will instead be replaced by a Magical Item with a maximum value of 1,200 (or 2,000 per "pick" lost in v1.50+).
Rampaging Monsters Edit
- Main article: Rampaging Monster
Any non-life Tower of Wizardry that has not yet been cleared of defenders is a possible source for Rampaging Monsters.
|Intro||Turn x 0.4||~1/50 turns|
|Easy||Turn x 0.4-0.8||~1/30 turns|
|Average||Turn x 0.4-1.2||~1/20 turns|
|Hard||Turn x 0.4-1.6||~1/14 turns|
|Impossible||Turn x 0.4-2.0||~1/10 turns|
Starting from turn 50, there is a chance for Rampaging Monsters to be generated from a random still-populated nonlife Encounter Zone; although only Towers of Wizardry that are on the same continent as a Town controlled by any player are valid for this procedure. Both the frequency of this event, and the strength of the monster group created, are random, with limits controlled by the game's Difficulty Setting. The frequency is also increased if the only remaining Neutral Cities are not on the same continent as any Wizard's Towns (resulting in the failure of creating Raiders).
The Realm of the Rampaging Monsters will always match that of the source Encounter Zone, and the process uses a creature "budget" similar to that of generating site guardians. This budget is determined by the turn number and Difficulty and, in the original game, is halved if the Rampaging Monsters are spawned on the same continent as an AI wizard's Fortress (provided that the human player's capital is not also on that continent). The Insecticide patch increases the budgets by 25% in general, and provides a new option to further double them ("Monsters Gone Wild").
Unlike site guardians, the process used for generating Rampaging Monsters does not use divisors, and is not limited to 2 types of monsters. The game will simply select random monsters one by one from the matching Realm until it uses up the allocated budget.
A Bridge Between the Planes Edit
The reason that the ancient empires built these Towers of Wizardry in the first place was to allow instantaneous and reliable travel between the worlds of Arcanus and Myrror. Despite centuries or possibly even millennia passing since then, the Towers still function in this manner!
Once a Tower of Wizardry has been cleared of its original defenders, it will permanentlyglow green - indicating that it has been restored to active status. From this point onward, any unit can use this Tower to switch between Arcanus and Myrror freely.
A unit or army stack occupying the location of a Tower of Wizardry will coexist in two locations simultaneously: the position of the Tower it entered, and the position of the corresponding Tower on the other Plane. The stack can be seen when examining either Plane, because it exists on both at the same time.
Therefore, while the stack is selected, the "Plane" button can be clicked until the desired plane is reached, and the stack can then be moved out of the Tower. To get back to the other Plane, the stack can re-enter the Tower and, after clicking the "Plane" button, be moved out of the Tower again.
Note that this coexistance also means that an army inside a Tower of Wizardry is exposed to attacks on both Planes simultaneously. In other words, even if this army does not actively switch between the Planes, enemy units on either side may attack it by moving into the Tower's tile.
The Tower of Wizardry can also be used to build Roads on Ocean and Shore tiles, where these cannot normally be built, or to make Walking units pass through these tiles without being actually able to walk on the water (see more on Roads page). However, this is unlikely to be intentional behaviour, and is possibly the result of one or more bugs in the program.
Blocking Access Edit
As mentioned above, a Tower of Wizardry is never owned by any specific empire. If the Tower's tile is empty, any army can move into it and utilize its power to move between the Planes. As a result, an empire that manages to liberate a Tower of Wizardry has some incentive to place an army in that Tower, thus blocking any passage through it. Any other empire that wishes to enter this Tower will need to attack and destroy the defenders first.
This technique is particularly important to Myrran Wizards. It is certainly in their interest to prevent any of the rival Arcanian empires from gaining access to Myrror. The best way to do so would be to use the Planar Seal spell, but if this is not available, the next best thing may be to reach each and every Tower of Wizardry, clear it of its original guardians, and then garrison it with powerful forces that cannot be easily defeated. As long as rivals can be kept out of Myrror, the Myrran Wizard's empire is relatively safe, and he/she can spend some more time consolidating his/her position, tackling the valuable Myrran Encounter Zones, and taking over Nodes and Neutral Towns. Of course, this strategy falls apart if any enemy has access to Planar Travel, Plane Shift, or Shadow Demons...