And BTW I will always provide a database XML file with the rules unaltered from the original - what I'm talking about here is my building an alternative database including "author's recommended changes" :D
My opinion on how the 5 realms of magic compare in the original MoM. For the moment assume we're talking about 11 pick starts as in the original:
- Life magic is the bomb - you can pick practically any race and life magic will make them great. They have great spells at all 4 ranks (Common -> Very Rare). With Altar of Battle, Lionheart and Crusade its not particuarly difficult to take out even the toughest nodes.
Death magic has its plusses and minuses, which is how I think it should be. They get some awesome mid-range summons (Wraiths and Shadow Demons) that give them a huge advantage early on. However they don't get much better - Death Knights aren't really much better than Wraiths, and Demon Lords don't seem that great either, and their non-summoning spells are fun, but not particularly useful (except for Dark Rituals, oh yes )
Sorcery magic I don't mind either, they have a tough start (I know some folks thing Phantom Warrious are awesome... I think they're fair at best), Storm Giants are equally not bad, but hard to get a really good start with. However they make up for it by having the most awesome Very Rare spells in the game like Spell Binding and Time Stop.
Nature magic I don't mind, I've won games just using Basilisks, and they have some other really useful spells too like Iron Skin, Transmute and Herb Mastery.
Chaos magic really annoys me. It just seems like it should be so awesome once you can get spells like Flame Strike. But I've tried over and over to play a good Chaos game, forget a high score, I can't even win! No strategy seems to work. Their summoned units all suck (Doom Bats and Chaos Spawn are a joke, Gargoyles with Immolation are fractionally better, Efreets are just too darn expensive). All their awesome combat spells like Doom Bolt and Flame Strike cost a lot of mana to cast, so you need to spend a lot on skill to get enough skill to be able to use them. So you have to rely on regular units, which you can't cast Heroism on, so you're stuck with low rank regular units, and even with Flame Blade, Eldritch Weapon and Chaos Channels, you still take massive casualties trying to take out anything more than raider cities. If you pile all your army in one spot you might just be able to take out some low power nodes or lairs, but defending against attacking enemy wizards or trying to take an enemy wizard's fortress is practically impossible!
So the changes I am considering are:
- Make Incarnation (Torin) a Very Rare spell so you can't pick it at the start. Then by the time Life wizards get Torin, other wizards will have Sky or Great Drakes, so that's fair. Change Inspirations (+50% production) down from Very Rare to Rare to keep 10 spells of each rank.
Make Heroism Uncommon instead of Common and significantly bump up its casting cost (say 250 instead of 100). Change True Sight down from Uncommon to Common to keep 10 spells of each rank.
I think Chaos Spawn attacks are fine, they already have -4 modifiers, any higher than this would be excessive - they just need some defence. So bump defence up from 6 to 10, and resistance from 10 to 12.
Drop Efreet upkeep from 15 to 10.
Knock 10 off the casting cost of all rare chaos combat damage spells. So Warp Lightning costs 25 instead of 35 (15 instead of 21 with a 40% reduction). Doom bolt would cost 30 instead of 40 (18 instead of 24 with a 40% reduction). Magic vortex would cost 40 instead of 50 (24 instead of 30 with a 40% reduction). Flame strike would cost 50 instead of 60 (30 instead of 36 with a 40% reduction).