What the heck is a "4X"?
Hi, my name is Kristy and I’m the newest member of the Stardock team. My father sparked my love for gaming when he bought a Nintendo system twenty-some odd years ago and started playing Super Mario Brothers with me. By the time I was 8 and constantly left him in the dust during our Contra playthroughs, he retired from games - but me, I was hooked for life.
I play lots of different types of games and always enjoy exploring new genres. Normally, “4X” games are not something I play - I’m certainly not particularly good at them. However, Stardock’s newest title Sorcerer King hooked me rather quickly with its fantasy and RPG type elements. While I’m open to discussing games and learning strategies from everyone, I’m here to help others who are not as familiar with these types of games; hopefully together, we can find the best ways to beat the Sorcerer King and save the world...or overthrow him and doom the world by ascending into Godhood ourselves. Whatever floats your boat.
If you’re new to the 4X genre, getting started can feel rather daunting. When I first started playing these games, I had to research what “4X” actually stood for. The term “4X” refers to the four primary aspects of these types of games:
Explore Expand Exploit Exterminate
I’m pretty good at the first two, but as for the second two...well, let’s just say that I’m usually on the receiving end of the “exterminate” concept. This is generally not a good thing for someone who is supposed to be the Sovereign who needs to stand up, unify cities, and save the world. I wanted to change this, so I sat down and talked to one of the developers of Sorcerer King and asked him to give me some insight as to what I should be doing early on in this game so that I’m not flailing around helplessly later.
Sorcerer King differs from other 4X games in a few ways, the primary of which is the idea of the looming, terrifying boss battle against the Sorcerer King at the end of gameplay. This guy has already decimated the world of Elemental in the last war, and now he’s looking to up the ante and become a god. Which might be something you could overlook, except he has to destroy the entire world in order to do it.
I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty sure that poses a problem for those of us who enjoy living.
In order to stop him, you will need to raise a superior army, heralded by powerful champions. You will have to hunt down the Sorcerer King’s two lieutenants, which are difficult and harrowing battles as well, and defeat them in order to be able to approach the stronghold. Then, before the Doomsday counter hits maximum, you must confront and defeat the Sorcerer King to prevent the entire world’s destruction.
Just another normal day in the life of a Sovereign, right?
Sorcerer King provides you with six unique playable characters whose goal is (for varying reasons) to destroy the Sorcerer King and stop Doomsday. Each Sovereign has unique spells and abilities that will have different effects on gameplay. They also each come with their own champion, an exceptionally strong unit within their overall army who also has their own skill tree that you can customize.
In addition, you can customize what types of spells your Sovereign learns by adjusting settings within the spell book. The idea here is to amass as much power as you can through growing your city, training your army, and learning all different kinds of magic, so that you stand a fighting chance against the Sorcerer King when you get to him.
In my next post, I will start by breaking down the “4X’s” of Sorcerer King and how they all lead to creating that “Stack of Doom” army that will have the Sorcerer King quaking in his boots when you come knocking at his portcullis.