IGN PC has put together a preview of SpellForce: The Order of Dawn, Encore's upcoming RPG/RTS hybrid. Here's a taste:
Now we mentioned before (trust us) that the world is composed of 23 separate islands. Since you'll have a variety of RTS and RPG-oriented objectives on each one, you may find yourself skipping over a few just to move on to the next area. Luckily you can return to the various lava, grasslands, desert and snow-covered mountain levels to finish old quests that you've left behind. This can be quite useful in terms of gaining a few extra levels if you've run into an encounter that impedes your forward progress. In fact, some of these quests can lead to new blueprints that allow you to construct new units or buildings for your races.