The 4.5 patch spellbook template

The spellbook is one of the main things that defines the Battle for Middle-earth series. It is like a giant set of hero powers with different branching paths. The powers are always related in some way to their faction and can be bought with power points that are gained by killing enemy units and destroying enemy buildings. They can range from temporary bonuses to units and hero-strengthening abilities to summons and army-destroying powers.

In 4.5. Instead of multiple branches that go to the left and the right and don't necessarily follow a certain theme, the player will now have access to two more distinctly divided trees. The left side represents the more defensive, long-term oriented branch and the right side the more offensive, short-term oriented branch with stronger aggression on the current state of the game. The player now has to choose whether to directly engage the enemy, gaining a proportionally stronger but temporary bonus, or to slow their attacks in favor of long term spells, whose effects not only grant an advantage in the next battle but also beyond that. Which path the player chooses might depend on a range of criteria: The enemy's faction, the player's own strategy or preferences, etc. The decision for one or the other path at the start of the game should be a deliberate one.

While the spells in the third row enable the player to switch paths, the spells at the edges are more strongly connected to their respective tree and also are proportionally stronger in their effect than those in the middle. So if the player chooses to not switch, they may instead choose one of the outer spells and enhance their designated strategy even further. Accordingly, they also have to restart the tree from the top.

The bigger spellbook power at the center is called the Faction Spell. This might be a central element to the faction, an important character in the faction, or another unique theme. The Faction Spell is self-containing, can be bought without prerequisite and will cost around 5 spellpoints for each faction. Towards the lower part of the spellbook the central Faction Spell also gives access to the two middle spells of the third row, giving the player another chance in addition to the already presented options of switching the trees.

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