Elemental Suggestions/Ideas

By on November 4, 2008 2:34:14 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

CharlesLentz

Join Date 08/2006
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Based on what you've heard about Elemental so far, what are some things you'd like to see make it into the game?  Start new threads in this section of the forums to let us know.  We devs scour the forums quite frequently, so don't worry about your post being buried - we'll find it and read it.

Have fun.

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November 4, 2008 4:05:53 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

1)  Item Creation like MoM.

2)  Random / Semi-Random spells - One of the things that made MoM so replayable was the Semi-Random spell selection.  There wasn't a perfect Army setup for each stage of the game.  You may not have Flaming weapons or Bless every game so you had to make do with what you had. 

3)  Terrain Modifiers - Along the same lines as #2.  The Terrain that surrounded your city changed the value of some buildings (Sawmill, Minners Guild) I would like to see this expanded so that there is no perfect 'Build Order' for buildings.

4)  Moral Modifers for different types of units so that mixing Chaos Drakes, Dark Elven Wizzards, and Halfling Slingers with Human Paladins for the 'Perfect Army' doesn't work.

Sammual

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November 4, 2008 4:21:26 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Sammual's list looks good to me also.

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November 4, 2008 4:43:51 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums
  1. Silmarils.
  2. Rings of Power.
  3. Lesser Channelers (a la Maia).
  4. Units under "loose" control.  I.e. You can give them orders, but they may not follow them, or they may follow them based on their own interpretation (have fun with this AI, Brad).
  5. Hidden cities.
  6. Spells which make geographic regions (i.e. the Forest of Such-and-Such) impassable to some or all other factions, or certain unit types, or other criteria.
  7. Spells which gather/provide information, of varying degrees of accuracy
  8. Spells which provide misinformation to enemies
  9. An underworld, at least as an option on some maps
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November 4, 2008 7:29:21 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I like Sammual's idea 2 and 3.

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November 4, 2008 7:40:23 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I'm pretty sure its been mentioned heroes can become "lesser channelers" (without that exact wording) albeit at a sacrifice to your own personal power.

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November 4, 2008 7:49:30 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Item creation is definitely there. Users can create their own items even, provide their own graphics, submit them and if accepted all users can see them. 

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November 5, 2008 1:53:46 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

The game concept looks very good, and knowing Stardock, I have no doubt that expanding upon it will be no doubt be a simple matter, making new conent come in nearly endless streams from the user base.

 

My chief concern however are the graphics. They come across to me as being a bit cartoonish, or overly stylized and almost 2 dimensional (though through inspection of screenshots, I can tell that they are not). However, it is still extremely early in development, and you have stated that key elements () of it are missing, so it gets immense benefit of the doubt (if you ever saw some of the first images of starcraft, you know why). I would however like to know if, for a fact, we could incorporate other graphical styles entirely, such as something more realistic, perhaps an almost comicaly ridiculous one, or if it is stuck to that particular style.

 

The basic idea of it, if it remains something akin to a fantasy version of GalCiv, or even Sins, should turn out into a fantastic game, and graphics don't always make a game good (I still play Space Empires IV).

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November 5, 2008 5:34:43 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I agree with Akashir with the graphics idea. It doesn't have to be jaw dropping (Crysis) but as long it's nice and pleasant to look at should be fine by today's standard.

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November 5, 2008 5:55:38 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

You will be able to mod the graphics pretty much as much as you want. We do however think that once you see things in action you will learn to love the style as much as we do.

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November 5, 2008 9:18:37 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

1. Ample customization of your channeler/empire. More akin to MOM than Galciv2. Perhaps you could customize both your wizard and your empire. Let's say you choose the humans as your race, you could then decide on different govermental/societal options that would affect the production of stuff and perhaps even the units they get. A tribal human-nation would certainly get different units than a kingdom-one.

2. Spells that affect terrain. You could use a firespell at a forest, causing it to burst to flames, which would spread to the surrounding area, perhaps damaging crops or armies. Or perhaps you could create a haunted forest which causes negative morale to armies there, or generates some creatures that attack nearby armies.

3. Unique magic items and heroes, perhaps even having backrounds.

4. Events of all kinds, from small to huge.

5. Many forms of diplomacy, from alliances to vassallages to such.

 

 

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November 5, 2008 11:30:53 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Mentora,
I like Sammual's idea 2 and 3.

What about #1 and #4?

Item creation was one of the best parts of MoM.

#4 can be summed up as some way to make "The stack of doom" (The 'Perfect' army the min / max ers came up with) not work.  I want the perfect army to be different every game as some parts of it may not be possible some games and other parts of it useless due to the currect situation you are in.  I want my choices to matter.

Sammual 

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November 5, 2008 11:56:22 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

The modifiers to morale is a nice thing, as it makes you build thematic armies as well. That's a nice touch as such.

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November 5, 2008 12:30:45 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Sammual,
1)  Item Creation like MoM.

2)  Random / Semi-Random spells - One of the things that made MoM so replayable was the Semi-Random spell selection.  There wasn't a perfect Army setup for each stage of the game.  You may not have Flaming weapons or Bless every game so you had to make do with what you had. 

3)  Terrain Modifiers - Along the same lines as #2.  The Terrain that surrounded your city changed the value of some buildings (Sawmill, Minners Guild) I would like to see this expanded so that there is no perfect 'Build Order' for buildings.

4)  Moral Modifers for different types of units so that mixing Chaos Drakes, Dark Elven Wizzards, and Halfling Slingers with Human Paladins for the 'Perfect Army' doesn't work.

Sammual

I love idea 4. I really think things like morale, fatigue, unit cohésion, and all things that come from wargames are great addition.

The idea 3 is really good. And I really hope there will also be some spells that have an impact on the whole map (like the golden roads of age of wonders, or spells that creates mountains or raise water level, etc...)

Idea 1 is a must-have. More choice = better.

But I hate the idea 2. For me that was the only flaw to MoM. I hate it when it's random. More choice = better. If there's a creation spell system then it would be better than a random one (or even semi-random) because there's spelles that are a must-have. For instance in MoM it was really really difficult without the bless or heal spell in the beginning. Random is just bad when you could let the player choose.

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November 5, 2008 12:35:54 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Tiavals,
1. Ample customization of your channeler/empire. More akin to MOM than Galciv2. Perhaps you could customize both your wizard and your empire. Let's say you choose the humans as your race, you could then decide on different govermental/societal options that would affect the production of stuff and perhaps even the units they get. A tribal human-nation would certainly get different units than a kingdom-one.

2. Spells that affect terrain. You could use a firespell at a forest, causing it to burst to flames, which would spread to the surrounding area, perhaps damaging crops or armies. Or perhaps you could create a haunted forest which causes negative morale to armies there, or generates some creatures that attack nearby armies.

3. Unique magic items and heroes, perhaps even having backrounds.

4. Events of all kinds, from small to huge.

5. Many forms of diplomacy, from alliances to vassallages to such.

 

 

1) The "governement" system of civ4 is just a blast. Just try Fall from heaven 2 to be sure of that

2) Spells should have a lot of use. Not just "combat spells"

5) Can't say it better. More diplomacy choices = better.

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November 5, 2008 4:51:10 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting vieuxchat,

Quoting Sammual, reply 1
2)  Random / Semi-Random spells - One of the things that made MoM so replayable was the Semi-Random spell selection.  There wasn't a perfect Army setup for each stage of the game.  You may not have Flaming weapons or Bless every game so you had to make do with what you had.

Sammual


But I hate the idea 2. For me that was the only flaw to MoM. I hate it when it's random. More choice = better. If there's a creation spell system then it would be better than a random one (or even semi-random) because there's spelles that are a must-have. For instance in MoM it was really really difficult without the bless or heal spell in the beginning. Random is just bad when you could let the player choose.

 

MoM spells were not well balanced.

The random aspect increases replayability.  If Ele:WoM has balanced spells playing a game where one of your 'crutch' spells was missing might make you try different tactics using other spells or empowering you Heroes instead.

If there are "Must have" spells or units or anything they are not ballanced correctly.

Sammual

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November 5, 2008 4:58:18 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Yep but where is the fun when the game oblige you? It should be a choice for the player, not something your comp' decide for you If I want to not use the heal spell then it should MY choice. Random elements should be kept to the map, other players etc... Not the core system. I also hate the level up system in heroes of might and magic (and I do love that game), somtimes you can't make the hero you like cause the game never let you choose the spells you want.

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November 5, 2008 7:31:33 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting vieuxchat,
Yep but where is the fun when the game oblige you? It should be a choice for the player, not something your comp' decide for you If I want to not use the heal spell then it should MY choice. Random elements should be kept to the map, other players etc... Not the core system. I also hate the level up system in heroes of might and magic (and I do love that game), somtimes you can't make the hero you like cause the game never let you choose the spells you want.

The problem with always having all the options availible to you is that your prefered path becomes almost rote.  Ever played Starcraft?  Do you know the optimal buld order for your prefered faction?  Random maps can help but the more that can be made random yet ballanced the longer the game will hold your interest.  The best solution would be for all units, items, and spells have base stats and then for every game adjust the power of each by a random 1% -4%.  Then you would always have all the options but the ballace for everything is off by just enough to make you re-think your rote path.  That however would complicate matters so much I don't see anyone triing it.

 

Sammual

P.S.  I HATE when you can't get the Ultimate Skill for your faction because the game never offered you  the pre-reqs in HoMM 5.

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November 6, 2008 3:56:43 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

The problem with always having all the options availible to you is that your prefered path becomes almost rote. Ever played Starcraft? Do you know the optimal buld order for your prefered faction? Random maps can help but the more that can be made random yet ballanced the longer the game will hold your interest. The best solution would be for all units, items, and spells have base stats and then for every game adjust the power of each by a random 1% -4%. Then you would always have all the options but the ballace for everything is off by just enough to make you re-think your rote path.

quoted for truth. More randomness in the right areas equals more replayability! To clarify, it doesn't have to be entirely random, just so complex so that you usually won't be able to predict/control the events.

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November 6, 2008 2:06:08 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

If I want to change my "rote path" I just change my faction. Randomness in spell is just so painfull.

If I want to try something new I want to chose it! If the spell systems allows for research with a system like ars magica it would be an absolute blast, and without the need to random things to try new things.

 

PS: Yes I played starcraft for so long. But the difference is there isn't a single way to personalize each race in the game. You're terran against a terran : you'll always have the same properties, and research is just a false way of individualizing things.

Edit : the more I think about it, the more it seems that an ars magica like system would really be .. just well.. you know... excellent.

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November 6, 2008 2:29:28 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting vieuxchat,
If I want to change my "rote path" I just change my faction. Randomness in spell is just so painfull.

If I want to try something new I want to chose it! If the spell systems allows for research with a system like ars magica it would be an absolute blast, and without the need to random things to try new things.

I'm really startled by how much the "launch" moment here has stirred up my role-playing side. I haven't had an RPG in my life for years, and the 4X TBS genre has been meeting all my PC playtime needs quite well. So I find things like what vieuchat says here really weird because I can both instantly agree, and disagree.

Earlier I said some buzz-wordy thing about thinking what we need is "sufficiently complex" random elements. That was the RPG part of me talking. It ain't a good game if you really can be omniscient or omnipotent. Why have a ref, otherwise? So, if I want my PC to be a surrogate RPG ref, then I need to accept that randomness is a real factor in things (either via dice or the fact that the ref can make autonomous decisions). That leaves me thinking that what Elemental really needs is *sensitive* randomness--deliberately hidden mechanics that have an underlying consistency with end results that somehow reflect the overall patterns of the player's choices.

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November 6, 2008 2:41:29 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I think it would be a shame if elemental ended up being one of those games were a few playthroughs with a certain race immediately blazes a path of "only effective strategy" through the entire opening of the game. the galciv 2 planet rush comes to mind? Of course this is a broad generalization, but what I really want is something that challenges the min-maxer in my brain, so that every time i boot up a game with the same race against the same opposition, the experience, decisions and strategy would be different than the last time around.

 

ways to accomplish this:

1. have a lot of semi-random actors on the map, be it, places to visit, resources, adversaries, constraints... let the map change in some ways continously as part of the gameplay. A cool random map generator, and a dynamic map would go far here.

2. Have events in the game that are based on non-disclosed algorithms, that keep the events sensible and relevant, but keep the player from knowing when/if they show up. Examples: heroes join a player based on his actions or/and stats.  Dominions 3 has huge amounts of events based on the players stats, that really keep every game new and interesting.

3. Have entities, other than the adversary, that are completely AI controlled, or can only be guided in some direction by the player. example: barbarian cities in civ 4. lesser civs in galciv2. in elemental this could be gods that you could ally with, who would give you tasks, but reward you for cooperation and gifts, while punishing you for the opposite. 

Of course these ideas are meant for a single player experience, since the more randomness you introduce, the more difficult it will be creating a "balanced" multiplayer game, unless of course you make these things configurable. Unfortunately, the idea of "perfect balance" is what really makes it impossible to create a game that is both amazing in multiplayer matchups, while retaining long time single player replayability.

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November 6, 2008 2:51:29 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting GW Swicord,

Quoting vieuxchat, reply 19If I want to change my "rote path" I just change my faction. Randomness in spell is just so painfull.

If I want to try something new I want to chose it! If the spell systems allows for research with a system like ars magica it would be an absolute blast, and without the need to random things to try new things.
I'm really startled by how much the "launch" moment here has stirred up my role-playing side. I haven't had an RPG in my life for years, and the 4X TBS genre has been meeting all my PC playtime needs quite well. So I find things like what vieuchat says here really weird because I can both instantly agree, and disagree.

Earlier I said some buzz-wordy thing about thinking what we need is "sufficiently complex" random elements. That was the RPG part of me talking. It ain't a good game if you really can be omniscient or omnipotent. Why have a ref, otherwise? So, if I want my PC to be a surrogate RPG ref, then I need to accept that randomness is a real factor in things (either via dice or the fact that the ref can make autonomous decisions). That leaves me thinking that what Elemental really needs is *sensitive* randomness--deliberately hidden mechanics that have an underlying consistency with end results that somehow reflect the overall patterns of the player's choices.

Yes such randomness would be really good. But please, no locked door! Why on level up (in HoMM5) do I often have to choose between Charibde and Scylla?

Example : Imagine my main hero is a swordsman. I want spells that enhance its abilities, I want to play a game with one or two really powerfull heroes and few armies. But the "random" selection of spell just don't let me choose spells that suits my way. And i'm obliged to change what I wanted to do, not because my choices were bad, but because .. because what? Enemies that adapted to my strategy? No, Randomness. You can't prepare for it. you can't have a grip on it. It's random! If I want to try the game with a main hero that is more magic or more combat .. why would the game burdens me? Any thoughts before beginning the game would just be useless.

Randomness just kills planning. Unless it's treated in a same way as in civ4 and the great artisans (You have lots of priests? You have a higher chance of having a great priest. But you still have a chance to have another kind of hero)

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November 6, 2008 3:44:20 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Yes such randomness would be really good. But please, no locked door!

I really do appreciate this concern--I've grumbled many similar things as I've played different 4X games. But one of the things I like about the Xeno Ethics tech in GC2 is that there's no going back. Good stories and the real world work the same way. Some decisions most certainly do close doors. But if the story (or game) is good enough, the closed door is associated with new possibilites or at least is an important bit of character history.

Randomness just kills planning.

So I guess what I'm hoping for with this RPG-TBS fusion thing is that a strong player's plan will need to leave room for the fact that "randomness happens." I like the chess board as a design look for tactical combat, but with a whole computer to run background tasks for me, I guess I have no interest in something as constrained as a fixed, knowable ruleset.

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November 6, 2008 10:37:52 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Well since this is supposed to be a RPG I think a lineage system should be used; one like in Crusader Kings or the system in the Total War series. It would really expand the game play options especially will heirs and traits as well as vices and virtues.

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November 7, 2008 6:35:36 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Keep in mind that in MOM you could always choose all Chaos books and you'd get all the Chaos spells. No randomness there. And that is good. The game should be about choices, and it's definately a choice. Do you want all the Chaos spells, or perhaps you would want to have some nature spells as well? A trade-off is part of your planning. You can always find or exchange the spells with another Wizard.

But I vehemently disagree on the "randomness just kills planning" part. It's totally the opposite. If there is no randomness, there's no planning at all. You just follow a rigid set of "do-this-and-you'll-win" guides and there's no fun at all in the game. With randomness, you must be prepared and adapt to change, which is great. A bunch of trolls suddenly appear inside your borders and you have no defenders in your cities? You chose to risk the defense of "safe towns" to bolster your offensive elsewhere, and that was what you planned. Now you must live with your choice and adapt to the consequences.

But as always, making it an option would be the best of both worlds I suspect.

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