Will there be wild space in Elemental?

By on November 18, 2008 1:30:20 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

garysax

Join Date 03/2003
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Hello all, just saw this game. MOM is one of my favorite old games and Age of Wonders got at but didn't really scratch the itch. I enjoy 4x games but they aren't my passion for a variety of reasons. From reading, this could be a grail game. Of course it'd have to come out just right which we know may not happen... that said, my number one desire in terms of game philosophy is this, and I'm really curious to hear the designers or others take on this.

My big thing is preventing city spam all over the map, even in the endgame. I appreciate the need for new cities but I don't want the map to look like civ, with a farm or mine on every square and cities laid out in a regular fashion 4-5 squares away--it's a fantasy game in an uncivilized world. If the game is all about a world rebuilding itself, I don't want something covering every square on the map by midgame! For me, there need to be wild areas and areas that aren't worth building a city. Sure, in occasional fertile flat areas there can be a number of cities connected by roads close together. But I want some of my roads built to connect cities through wild areas that either aren't worth or are too expensive to put a city in. I'd like to see my own cities that can be relatively far apart and take time for goods and armies to travel to and fro. I guess that goes with a sense of scale, but it's also a mindset. Anyway, maybe this is way too much to ask and I definitely I know it's way outside the purview of most 4X games, but it would be wonderful to see it in this game.

Basically, it would be nice to have boundaries decided by geography, rather than who can sneak the most cities the farthest.

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November 18, 2008 3:06:26 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I think elemental goes a long way towards solving that problem. Everything has a cost, you can colonize the world if you really want to but you will have little or no power to do anything else.

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November 18, 2008 11:21:38 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Exactly, you probably can make a cityscape, but it would be easy to overrun or invade by your opponents as you could not support the troops/magic etc. to defend it all.

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November 18, 2008 1:18:07 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Think it depends on differnet things, but i like the idea with areas that perhaps might be more hostile and harder to settle that way.

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November 27, 2008 12:04:50 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

You mean like portals that elementals/demons sometimes slip out of, destroying the nearest civilization they can find?  Or deep caves, where orcs, goblins, boggarts and other unmentionables?  Or once every X years, when the black moon rises for a month, and the unburied dead rise from the battlefields to slay the living?

All of those are cool ideas.

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November 28, 2008 6:39:02 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Tamren,
I think elemental goes a long way towards solving that problem. Everything has a cost, you can colonize the world if you really want to but you will have little or no power to do anything else.

I have hopes along these lines, but I think it is way too early in the dev process to say stuff like this with such certainty. Unfortunately, a given dev design goal does not always yield the expected player experience.

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November 28, 2008 7:36:23 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

In MoM there were pretty clear places that made better cities than other thanks to mister cartogapher (or was it surveyer... the guy that told you the max-pop of city locations).  I think if you made an option that was like some sort of great-wilds world map option to create a map full of "wilderness" that was so rough terrained and crazy (its hard to clear cut a forest in this game mode)  that you'd actually end up wasting money if you blanket it with cities.

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December 1, 2008 10:48:23 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Some scraps of the LoTR marathon on TBS this weekend made me want to add an important word to this thread: Ents.

We definitely need biggish territory elements on the main map that are the domain of some cool entities with no potential for direct player control but are possible sources of allies by the time we need to do something like take down Eisengard.

Such territories certainly don't need to be limited to forests, either. Dread deserts can be ruled by djinns, etc.

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December 1, 2008 11:38:17 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting GW Swicord,
Some scraps of the LoTR marathon on TBS this weekend made me want to add an important word to this thread: Ents.

We definitely need biggish territory elements on the main map that are the domain of some cool entities with no potential for direct player control but are possible sources of allies by the time we need to do something like take down Eisengard.

Such territories certainly don't need to be limited to forests, either. Dread deserts can be ruled by djinns, etc.

That would be very cool. And it would be neat to be able to have diplomatic relations with those entities, and each type of entity has its own principles/needs. For example ents might be more likely to be friendly to you or even help you if you don't clearcut your forests (if that's even possible). And maybe if you manage to build a good enough relationship with, for example the ents, they'd agree to take up residence in your forests, making them very dangerous for your/the ents' enemies.

Like you said, though, the player should never be able to take direct control over them; at most you might be able to persuade a small handful of them to join you, like dragons. I guess this all ties into the beast "faction," really. I'm hoping the beasts will act as a sort of group of minor civilizations, in the sense that they are locally very powerful but don't really try to take territory or anything; but if you piss them off, you had better be prepared.

And I would love to specifically see ent-like beings in the game. Living trees always seem like they should be the upper echelon of forest-dwelling creatures to me.

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December 1, 2008 6:12:19 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I think that's a nice take on minor factions: they live in places you can't. Maybe Galciv 2 needs some minor races on extreme environment planets...

But I think some players might want to try living in those places and playing those factions too, so I don't think there should be a hard ban. Maybe a faction could choose habitable zones? Or maybe there could just be magic that made inhospitable places colonizable, but divided up a bit so you don't have someone whose empire can be everywhere.

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December 1, 2008 6:42:01 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Nights Edge,
I think that's a nice take on minor factions: they live in places you can't. Maybe Galciv 2 needs some minor races on extreme environment planets...

But I think some players might want to try living in those places and playing those factions too, so I don't think there should be a hard ban. Maybe a faction could choose habitable zones? Or maybe there could just be magic that made inhospitable places colonizable, but divided up a bit so you don't have someone whose empire can be everywhere.

I think the places inhabited by powerful beings like ents or djinns or whatever should be habitable by others. But if you want to establish a city in their territory, you should either need to fight them off or befriend them (and even if you befriend them, settling on their territory should sour the relationship some). And I wouldn't want every forest or desert to be inhabited by these powerful beings, only some. 

In terms of people wanting to play those races... let them. I don't think the beast faction is going to ship as a playable faction, but I'm sure many people will make mods to that effect soon after release. Personally I love the idea of the world's most powerful beings other than channelers acting as minor civilizations content to stay to themselves. But if you rouse them, the consequences are big (whether you make them angry or recruit them for your cause). 

And I really like the idea that most of the most powerful units in the game should only be recruitable through diplomacy or powerful magic binding/summoning spells. It makes them more significant. If you can train the strongest units in your cities, you inevitably get to the point where they make up the bulk of your army. (Take AoW:SM - not long into the game producing the highest level units was not a problem at all). If it's actually a big deal to get ahold of 4 ents, then they can actually be epically powerful, like dragons (but on a smaller scale).

This way dragons aren't the only forces of nature that you need to watch out for. Collectives of less powerful, but still incredibly strong, beings can be just as dangerous. 

 

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December 1, 2008 11:12:09 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

@pigeonpigeon > now that would be an interesting event.  Your mention of ents or djynns runnin' around.  Something that could happen when you create a new city.  A local beast is angered by the townsfolk encrouching on its land and starts a rampage through the country side.  A little unrealated, but I think it would add to the feeling of taking wild barren world and trying to re-convert it to something with expansive cities.  Naturally nature (wild beasts for example) would have some 'fight back' for the conversion process.   I really liked the GalCiv2 features where a random event on planets would occure upon habiting the planet.  It made it really feel like you were expanding on alien worlds when you had to figure out how to deal with the local planet inhabitance.    Something similar might make the world(s) of elemental feel wild and/or barren (whatever is left after the back-story appocolypse)

Its not quite the topic on hand, but it is related.

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December 2, 2008 2:04:48 PM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

That is one thing I liked in MoM, on the higher difficulties the roaming armies from neutral cities, towers, power nodes, etc was a serios nuciance, and sometimes even a threat in the early game. You had to conquer the environment, which made for a much more interesting early game than many similar games have. Expanding on that would be a great idea IMO!

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December 3, 2008 8:22:58 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting landisaurus,
@pigeonpigeon > ...  A little unrealated, but I think it would add to the feeling of taking wild barren world and trying to re-convert it to something with expansive cities.  Naturally nature (wild beasts for example) would have some 'fight back' for the conversion process.   I really liked the GalCiv2 features where a random event on planets would occure upon habiting the planet.  It made it really feel like you were expanding on alien worlds when you had to figure out how to deal with the local planet inhabitance.    Something similar might make the world(s) of elemental feel wild and/or barren (whatever is left after the back-story appocolypse)

Its not quite the topic on hand, but it is related.

I think it is definitely the topic at hand, although I don't like the idea that "expansive cities" will be fundamentally superior in a long game. IMO, one of the major weaknesses of the GalCiv series so far is that both the scoring system and the game mechanics more or less assume 'total sub/urbanization' as the natural end state of any civilization. I want a 4/5X game where an assumption like that is an asset for some factions and a liability for others.

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December 4, 2008 3:58:35 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

There are neutral cities in the game.  Other problems can occur because of those freaking adventurers who go into dungeons, get killed, but end up causing a demon or a dragon or some other bad thing to be wandering around the world.  You'll never look at a D&D party the same again.

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December 4, 2008 4:13:14 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Frogboy,
There are neutral cities in the game.  Other problems can occur because of those freaking adventurers who go into dungeons, get killed, but end up causing a demon or a dragon or some other bad thing to be wandering around the world.  You'll never look at a D&D party the same again.

By neutral cities do you mean neutral human/fallen cities? Or beast cities? If beast cities, please tell me that they'll be in a form that makes sense. It would be really awkward to a beast city with buildings. And if neutral beast "cities" aren't in the game now, can you add them?

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December 5, 2008 8:14:59 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

This thread really got me thinking. If I understand right, you could spend a lot of your personal power reinvigorating the land, making a nice territory full of cities, perfectly aligned for max density, and full of farms and roads and no bandits. as one of the posters described. Or you could leave your terrain barren and instead focus on making yourself or a few choice heroes more powerful... I just figured a "rewards for being bad" kind of scenario, where you would focus on your own power, and then assasinate the chaneller of a nearby civ who invested heavily in towns and the like, and then conquer them. This would give you the benefits of a large base, without the personal costs...

Ofcourse there are many aspects and rules that can make or break such a strategy. But it was an interesting idea.

Frogboy, I love the idea of an adventurer accidently releasing a dragon.

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December 5, 2008 9:49:39 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting pigeonpigeon,


By neutral cities do you mean neutral human/fallen cities? Or beast cities? If beast cities, please tell me that they'll be in a form that makes sense. It would be really awkward to a beast city with buildings. And if neutral beast "cities" aren't in the game now, can you add them?

Beast cities? Wouldn't like it, that would mean they were sentient, wich brings us back to the elves dwarves ogres thing that is overused. But if you are talking about animal presence in the form of wild wolves roaming or some dangerous creatures cave, I'm all for it!

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December 6, 2008 7:38:05 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Eplekongen,

Beast cities? Wouldn't like it, that would mean they were sentient, wich brings us back to the elves dwarves ogres thing that is overused. But if you are talking about animal presence in the form of wild wolves roaming or some dangerous creatures cave, I'm all for it!

In this game, everything that isn't human or fallen is considered to be part of the Beast faction. Including Dragons. Based on information from a bunch of different dev posts I get the impression that they are going for a 'faction' of mostly unintelligent creatures, but 'ruled' over, or managed by, an upper echelon of powerful, scarce but intelligent creatures. Examples of beast creatures that could sensibly made to be intelligent (by which I mean able to interact with players on more than a kill-eachother basis) are Dragons, Ents, etc.

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December 6, 2008 1:12:47 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting taltamir,
This thread really got me thinking. If I understand right, you could spend a lot of your personal power reinvigorating the land, making a nice territory full of cities, perfectly aligned for max density, and full of farms and roads and no bandits. as one of the posters described. Or you could leave your terrain barren and instead focus on making yourself or a few choice heroes more powerful... I just figured a "rewards for being bad" kind of scenario, where you would focus on your own power, and then assasinate the chaneller of a nearby civ who invested heavily in towns and the like, and then conquer them. ...

I'm sort of hoping things work along the lines you describe, but so far I haven't seen any dev-talk about what, if any, magical relationship might remain between a channeler and territory that he or she imbues with essence.

It could be a one-way, one-time thing, or it could be that killing a channeler reverts all his or her imbued lands to their post-cataclysm state. Perhaps the final stage of conquering enemy territory is forcing out a rival channeler's essence and replacing it with your own. That would surely feed into some of the epic, battle-in-the-sky kind of talk some folks have posted about the magical side of the game.

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December 7, 2008 2:25:44 PM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

This sounds frecking awesome beasts would add a lot to the game, but shouldnt be limted only to super powerfull beings if you keep chopping away in some wood wolves should become a problem and they either need to be extermanated or tamed also bears could be a problem and varuious beast in places would be cool for resource minning, and cities, and towns and cities should of course cause a lot more of a problem as there this huge encoachments upon nature.

to further develop upon the super beings like ents, dragons, and smaller beast's(referring to beast as a minor faction that could include cobolds, pigmen,and minor fractures of men and maybe small pockets of dwarves and goblims hobbits stuff like that) they should only appear sparsely and have major impacts upon the game allying with ents for example could make venturing into youre forest extremely dangrous but allying with them should be a incrdibly hard prospect and take a very significant amount of time and resources but have a very nice payoff maybe the ents could also teach you some special spells and such and this should apply to every faction maybe dwarves would give you added boon to your mines and some really cool warriors small pockets of men could have very specialty units like maybe a small faction of men living in harsh cold mountains would have various techs for maeking living there a less daunting prospect and give you the abilty to have special training programs to implement apon youre units when you assemble them maybe to use the previously mentioned mountain men the abilty to add in the extra benefit of moving through mountains with the same speed as plains and added combat powers when in said mountains. All these things should only appear very sparesly and defently not be in every wood, mountain, or desert.

Then i think there should be the actual beast and these should be bears, wolfs, boars, tigers, very primitive races, ghost's,and stuff like that that maybe every 3rd or fourt tile would have immediatly but the more you work upon a tile the more problems you will get form the local beast and these would be more like random events than anything maybe wolves raid youre coffers of food one day but the next youre peasant kills a wolf and dosnt require any food and sells the pelt for some added happyness as he gained a little money maybe this would be too hard to implement but i think it could be done.

there as always just my two cents

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December 7, 2008 10:14:29 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Lock_Hart,
This sounds frecking awesome beasts would add a lot to the game, but shouldnt be limted only to super powerfull beings if you keep chopping away in some wood wolves should become a problem and they either need to be extermanated or tamed also bears could be a problem and varuious beast in places would be cool for resource minning, and cities, and towns and cities should of course cause a lot more of a problem as there this huge encoachments upon nature.

to further develop upon the super beings like ents, dragons, and smaller beast's(referring to beast as a minor faction that could include cobolds, pigmen,and minor fractures of men and maybe small pockets of dwarves and goblims hobbits stuff like that) they should only appear sparsely and have major impacts upon the game allying with ents for example could make venturing into youre forest extremely dangrous but allying with them should be a incrdibly hard prospect and take a very significant amount of time and resources but have a very nice payoff maybe the ents could also teach you some special spells and such and this should apply to every faction maybe dwarves would give you added boon to your mines and some really cool warriors small pockets of men could have very specialty units like maybe a small faction of men living in harsh cold mountains would have various techs for maeking living there a less daunting prospect and give you the abilty to have special training programs to implement apon youre units when you assemble them maybe to use the previously mentioned mountain men the abilty to add in the extra benefit of moving through mountains with the same speed as plains and added combat powers when in said mountains. All these things should only appear very sparesly and defently not be in every wood, mountain, or desert.

Then i think there should be the actual beast and these should be bears, wolfs, boars, tigers, very primitive races, ghost's,and stuff like that that maybe every 3rd or fourt tile would have immediatly but the more you work upon a tile the more problems you will get form the local beast and these would be more like random events than anything maybe wolves raid youre coffers of food one day but the next youre peasant kills a wolf and dosnt require any food and sells the pelt for some added happyness as he gained a little money maybe this would be too hard to implement but i think it could be done.

there as always just my two cents

I count 3 periods. Oh! I just found another, 4 periods. I'm sorry, I really tried to read that but when I got to the 4th line of the second paragraph my eyes threatened me with my life.

Punctuation is your friend. If you want people to read your posts, use it.

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December 7, 2008 10:21:36 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting pigeonpigeon,


I count 3 periods. Oh! I just found another, 4 periods. I'm sorry, I really tried to read that but when I got to the 4th line of he second paragraph my eyes threatened my with my life.

Punctuation is your friend. If you want people to read your posts, use it.

 

I must agree. I didn't read any of that

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December 8, 2008 11:23:07 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting GW Swicord,

Quoting taltamir, reply 16This thread really got me thinking. If I understand right, you could spend a lot of your personal power reinvigorating the land, making a nice territory full of cities, perfectly aligned for max density, and full of farms and roads and no bandits. as one of the posters described. Or you could leave your terrain barren and instead focus on making yourself or a few choice heroes more powerful... I just figured a "rewards for being bad" kind of scenario, where you would focus on your own power, and then assasinate the chaneller of a nearby civ who invested heavily in towns and the like, and then conquer them. ...


I'm sort of hoping things work along the lines you describe, but so far I haven't seen any dev-talk about what, if any, magical relationship might remain between a channeler and territory that he or she imbues with essence.

It could be a one-way, one-time thing, or it could be that killing a channeler reverts all his or her imbued lands to their post-cataclysm state. Perhaps the final stage of conquering enemy territory is forcing out a rival channeler's essence and replacing it with your own. That would surely feed into some of the epic, battle-in-the-sky kind of talk some folks have posted about the magical side of the game.

A good potential counter. Others include:

1. Have the "good" players ally to fight such evil despots all vs 1.

2. Have cities contribute to your growth as a chaneller (a little bit)... so you become really weak by creating a lot of them, but you will become really strong later on. In other words, its a gamble, if you can fend off the one who goes after power he is done for (aka, its a rush vs turtle approach... in the long term the turtler is gonna win, IF he survives the rush. there are some intense conflicts early on though)..


An interesting twist is, if you loose enough power to rejuvination, perhaps you could become vulnerable to actual assassinations. Aka, an espionage missions to assassinate the leader. with it only having a chance of success if he is really really weak. Although that can be abused i guess. And people might find it really annoying to lose a game that way...

I was thinking, rather then the lands just "dying out" the moment the chaneller is killed, have them decay over time. You could claim it as your own, retaining the cities and development, but that would cost you MORE magic power then converting wasteland (elsewhere, or waiting for it to turn to wasteland and then converting it). Then again, without playtesting I have no idea how well such an idea would work...

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December 9, 2008 4:39:14 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting taltamir,
Have cities contribute to your growth as a chaneller (a little bit)... so you become really weak by creating a lot of them, but you will become really strong later on. In other words, its a gamble, if you can fend off the one who goes after power he is done for (aka, its a rush vs turtle approach... in the long term the turtler is gonna win, IF he survives the rush. there are some intense conflicts early on though)..

That would probably be unbalanced in favor of the expansionist. Having lots of cities already provides a long term bonus - you will have a stronger economy and higher population allowing you to field a larger army than somebody with only a handful of cities. In order to balance the two options, the person with fewer cities will have a stronger channeler. If settling cities gives a long-term bonus to your channeler's power than expansionism would be by far the better strategy on any but the smaller map sizes. And if the expansionist's territory covers a lot more land than the other's, then they are also likely to control more elemental nodes, giving them more power anyway.


Quoting taltamir,
An interesting twist is, if you loose enough power to rejuvination, perhaps you could become vulnerable to actual assassinations. Aka, an espionage missions to assassinate the leader. with it only having a chance of success if he is really really weak. Although that can be abused i guess. And people might find it really annoying to lose a game that way...

Yeah, I for one would be pretty pissed off if I randomly got the defeat screen because somebody got lucky and assassinated my channeler. I wouldn't mind for it to be possible to assassinate some characters, maybe even heroes, but I think channelers should be exempt. 

Quoting taltamir,
I was thinking, rather then the lands just "dying out" the moment the chaneller is killed, have them decay over time. You could claim it as your own, retaining the cities and development, but that would cost you MORE magic power then converting wasteland (elsewhere, or waiting for it to turn to wasteland and then converting it). Then again, without playtesting I have no idea how well such an idea would work...

I don't like being penalized for taking somebody else's territory. If a channeler falls and leaves behind lots of juicy cities, it would be cool to see its neighbors descend on it like me when I see chocolate. Conquering cities should be less magic-intensive than settling them from scratch, especially because you will already pay a price in combat losses.

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December 9, 2008 9:22:00 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I don't like being penalized for taking somebody else's territory. If a channeler falls and leaves behind lots of juicy cities, it would be cool to see its neighbors descend on it like me when I see chocolate. Conquering cities should be less magic-intensive than settling them from scratch, especially because you will already pay a price in combat losses.

I agree with this, otherwise you're really biasing against any attempt at conquest at all. In an extreme example you could even end up with a channeler defeated, his cities all undefended and up for grabs with all their infrastructure in place.. and all the other chanellers just ignoring them because it costs less essence to set up their own cities elsewhere from scratch.

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