Disciples II: Dark Prophecy returns gamers to the magical realm of the Sacred Lands where four races the Empire, the Mountain Clans, the Legions of the Damned and the Undead Hordes continue the battle for the destiny of their Gods. A decade after the First Great War, the final prophecy continues to unfold. Deep within the crevices of the Sacred Lands, the Chosen One has emerged, fated to bring salvation to some and destruction to others. Braced with renewed faith and newfound conviction, each race must once again take up the sword for the sake of their people and the glory of their God.
Disciples II is a fantasy strategy game, set in a fictional kingdom called Nevandaar (also referred to as 'The Sacred Lands'). The main focus of the story revolves around four dominant races in a state of almost constant war. These four factions are the human Empire, the dwarven Mountain Clans, the demonic Legions of the Damned, and the skeletal Undead Hordes. There are also several other 'neutral' races such as Merfolk, Greenskins and Elves (the Elves became a full-fledged playable race with the addition of the expansion pack 'Rise of the Elves').
The gameplay is divided into three main parts; building up the Capital City of your race so that you can research new Warriors and spells, and building up new armies (this involves careful resource management); using heroes (leading small squads) to explore the surroundings, procure resources and attack the enemy; and finally the battles themselves.
Each playable race's Capital City is protected by an extremely powerful guardian, who is nearly impossible to defeat except with a very strong hero. The Capital City is the only city capable of building structures. Other cities may only upgrade themselves to allow them to mount larger defense forces.
Battles consist of confrontations between a hero's squad (which can take up to five other Warriors, bearing in mind that some large creatures such as dragons take up the space of two units) and an enemy squad. High praise is given to the excellent graphics and animations in these battles. At the end of the battle, the winning side receives experience points. All surviving units receive the same amount of XP. If sufficient XP is accumulated by a unit, it may then upgrade to another, determined by the type of structures in the Capital. If no next-level structures have been built, the unit does not level up and does not receive any more experience until the structure is built. The only exception is if the unit is at the end of the "upgrade tree", in which case it will remain the same unit but gain small increases to health, attack damage, and accuracy stats.
At the beginning of a campaign, the player may select his or her class (warrior, mage, or guildmaster). Each class has advantages and disadvantages. For example, a mage player may cast the same spell twice in a single turn, while a guildmaster has the ability to carry out more types of spying/assassination assignments. Besides player classes, the game also features five types of heroes (or leaders): Warrior, Mage, Ranger, Rod Bearer, and Thief. The first three differ only slightly, as they are all combat leaders. The Rod Bearers are the only leaders capable of claiming resources on the map. Thieves may perform special actions on enemy armies and cities.
Spellcasting may only be done outside of battles and requires the use of mana to both research and cast a spell. There are four types of mana (life, runic, death, and infernal) with the fifth type (grove) added for the Rise of the Elves expansion. Each race's spells are mainly reliant on their corresponding mana type (e.g. Empire -> life mana), although other mana types are required for higher-level spells. Grove mana is only required for Elven spells. Only one spell may be researched per turn, and a spell may only be cast once per turn (twice if the player is a mage class). Also, a mage player researches spells at half the normal cost.
During the single-player campaigns, the player may transfer one leader and five artifacts (including potions and one-shot spells) to the next level. At the end of a campaign, an option is given to save the player's top leader in a file for use in custom or multiplayer games.(wikipedia)
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