Should essence be at least semi-renewable?

By on February 5, 2009 8:51:50 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

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As little as I know yet, I'm convinced that the essence + mana approach is a brilliant innovation and likely will be one of the main things praised when Elemental gets its awards speeches/posts.

However, we know next to nothing so far other than that channelers will be able to do those two fundamentally different forms of magic, the newer of which is worthy of the scary priest-kings of pre-Colombian Mesoamerica. Regardless of the special effects for imbueing essence, I'm very, very interested in seeing how the game will play differently in response to how often and how much you choose to imbue essence in lands or champions.

But I'm also seriously interested in the idea of Ludicrous-sized maps that take a ludicrously long time to play. And some talk in a few different recent threads has made me sort of hope that a channeler's starting essence is *not* all the essence he or she will ever have.

Maybe many, or even most, games will not have large enough maps and long enough calendars for finite essence to be a factor. Or maybe the starting amount will be large enough that my concern is completely misguided. But maybe, at the very least for Ludicrous maps, we should have some mechanics that can increase a channeler's essence.

It could be just a per-channeler, very slow analog to the way shards provide a mana flow, or only via quests, or some mixture. I like the idea of a mixture with 'passive' essence gains being very few and far between and quest-based gains being both darned hard to get and context-sensitive re the channeler's current overall strength.

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February 5, 2009 9:47:14 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

From what I gather essense is most definitely a finite resource. But What has not been explained yet is how it can be lost. If you imbue essense into a ring and it gets thrown into mount doom or something, do you get that essense back, does it disperse into the enviroment or does it get sucked down a black hole?

Its a bit like the law of thermodynamics. If essense can be destroyed then it is plausible that all the channelers in the world could end up with no essense at all. And that doesn't make much sense...

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February 5, 2009 11:36:57 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I'm afraid I can't really say.   Until we know for sure what it does, I'm going to have to plead a neutral stance.  I have nothing wrong with it being renewable or finite.   Esepecially if you can adjust the rate of which the channeler produces it (I'd imagine you don't start with all that you can get).

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February 6, 2009 4:37:31 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

As I've come to understand it, your essance will grow across an entire game, but never renew.

And that's exactly how I'd like it to be.

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February 6, 2009 11:27:22 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I'm with Luckmann. I want any essence I spend to be gone forever - if that artifact I created with essence or hero I imbued with essence is destroyed or dies, whatever power I invested in it/him should be gone, never to return. If I invest essence in order to settle a new town, even if that town is sacked or abandoned, that essence should be gone. However, as my channeler himself grows in power and/or resources, his essence should grow with him.

And I also think that's how it's planned more or less, based on forum posts by Frogboy.

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February 6, 2009 2:50:16 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I imagine that logically, there might be some way to make the amount proportional to the map size. You might start with more on a huge map.

There might be other ways to to increase essence. For example, based on the back story it should be possible to drain it out of some NPCs like dragons, whose number is proportional to the map size. (Say).

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February 6, 2009 3:46:27 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Well, at least y'all have reassured me that we don't really have any clear picture of how essence is planned to work. I try to read every dev post I can find, and all that I feel like I "know" right now about essence is that when you let go of some, it is gone.

That still leaves pretty much all the open questions in the posts above, including "Is there any way to get more essence after you start the game?"

If the answer to that is "no," then I hope Vordrak is accurately imagining the functionality we'll finally get. A good scale-to-map-size method for Elemental would surely be a good thing for GalCiv3. GC2 has some notable weaknesses in relationships between hardcoded limits and variable map sizes, e.g. the >10k and >20k treasury penalties on income (recent forum tweaks make the quotes in that thread hard to read unless you select the text).

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February 6, 2009 4:19:30 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Yeah I've got the same impression as Luckmann and Pigeonx2. I've always thought about essence as your channeler's power level as an individual unit and spell caster, so that over time you'll get more as you level up (so to speak, obviously we don't know if there'll be any actual levelling mechanism in the game.. but you know what I mean). So even though at the beginning you might spend all the essence you have, and over time this builds back up so you have more than you did initially,  having spent some you still won't ever have as much as you potentailly would have had if you'd not spent any to start with... ha ha, I've made a very simiple concept sound a lot more complicated thant it needs to be

I want any essence I spend to be gone forever - if that artifact I created with essence or hero I imbued with essence is destroyed or dies, whatever power I invested in it/him should be gone, never to return. If I invest essence in order to settle a new town, even if that town is sacked or abandoned, that essence should be gone

Yeah I think this is absolutely how it's GOT to work if this system is going to function at all.. otherwise you gain nothing from holding on to your essence (somewhere at the back of my brain I think there's potential for a Dr Strangelove "precious bodily fluids" joke here.. but stay on topic Jonny!!). I mean if you got your essence back when your cities got raised and your heroes died, then why would you ever not imbue it all in heroes and cities? Even if you came across a situation where having a high essence channeler was suddenly more advantageous you could just raise your cities, get your heroes all killed deliberately and you'd be high on essence again (and fairly swiftly too I woulda thought). Whereas, if you were holding on to your essence (ha ha ha... that is becoming more double entendré laden every time I write it) you won't have the option of quickly becoming a low essence channeller (with lots of cities and heroes) as it will almost certainly take more time to build and grow lots of cities etc than it will to get rid of them. Hence strategically you'd always be getting the better of both worlds spending all your essence (ha ha ha.. ok I'm sorry).

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February 7, 2009 7:26:17 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

i guess you get more essence as you level up, and there is no level cap. You get exsperience to level up from what your channeller does, and a small part of the exsperience from anything you infuse with essence.

EXP from channeller kills/spellresearch etc. EXP from champion level up. EXP from cities that you further infused with essence.(not the fertile land, but when you infuse your cities with essence to better production.

 

 

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February 7, 2009 6:44:52 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

 

I'm sure the developers have already organized the usage of essence. 

We must also consider that the essence either needs to scale according to the map size or have some method of obtaining additional essence within the realm otherwise a very small map and a very large map would have more narrow strategies.

 

Ideally this should be one of those game options which can be decided before each game begins:

1)  Fixed amount of essence for each player

2)  Fixed amount of essence for each player with one or more of the following:

         A} Essence dependent on map size

         B} Essence can be found from quests, events or mines

         C} Essence can be traded between players

 

3) Essence grows for each game turn

4) Essence grows for everyone upon the death of another player

5) 6) 7)  Etc.,  Etc.,

 

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February 8, 2009 9:01:15 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

5) 6) 7) Etc., Etc.,

I like that option!

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February 8, 2009 4:55:46 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting pigeonpigeon,

5) 6) 7) Etc., Etc.,


I like that option!

Yeah  "Etc., Etc.,"  are those are other ideas the developers or someone else may feel can be included.

 

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February 8, 2009 6:25:14 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I'm still waiting to see how it will work.  I wonder if we will have essense in the beta?

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February 8, 2009 9:25:42 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting landisaurus,
I'm still waiting to see how it will work.  I wonder if we will have essense in the beta?

I don't see how nor why they would exclude such a major mechanic from the beta... If it's not in from the beginning I'm sure it'll make its way into the beta before release. Being something that's never really be done before, I would imagine SD would want lots of feedback on it in particular.

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February 8, 2009 9:45:56 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I don't see how nor why they would exclude such a major mechanic from the beta... If it's not in from the beginning I'm sure it'll make its way into the beta before release. Being something that's never really be done before, I would imagine SD would want lots of feedback on it in particular.

yes, I mean in early beta.  Since obviously it will be in before the final forms of the beta.  Specifically, I meant just the 2D map beta(s). (3D is a pretty major feature too which will be left out of early forms as to not mislead people to think it should be compared to finished products)    I imagine the early beta being more of just an AI stress test (since we will have to be playing online against AI players that will be acting as players) and something like the essence might not come up.   I figured it would be just the basic mechanics for building units and spells.   I'm still unsure of exactly what essense does, we have some great ideas but nothing really confirmed.  It may not be all that important in the end.

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February 9, 2009 12:31:53 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums


Here's a quote I found regarding the channeling magic...  seems the magic shards will exist across the map thus allowing scalability for larger maps allowing for more strategic options.  How those magic shards are found and then harnessed remains unknown.   I believe Atari released a game awhile back which involved magic shards scattered across the map as well... called Dragon Shard or something...  I remember reading the game was very buggy.

This quote is from the neoseeker.com  interview:

The story is contained within an "immersive" single player campaign where you are the only person in your kingdom with the ability to channel magic, which you do through mysterious shards scattered throughout the world. The shards are the result of a tremendous cataclysm which occured a century before when "powerful beings waged war across the world" (future prequel/expansion?), and are now the primary source of the world's magic. It's not clear why you're the only one in your kingdom that can use it..you're probably a chosen warrior of light or some such thing.

So, with your magical abilities, you can imbue them onto your heroes, all whilst building new cities, traversing dungeons, perfecting spells and negotiating with friends and foes. While you're the only one that can use it within your part of the world, Stardock warns there are channelers in other parts, "whether they be of the race of Men, The Fallen or the Beasts", who "may not share your vision of the world. 

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February 9, 2009 6:34:58 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting landisaurus,
yes, I mean in early beta.  Since obviously it will be in before the final forms of the beta.  Specifically, I meant just the 2D map beta(s). (3D is a pretty major feature too which will be left out of early forms as to not mislead people to think it should be compared to finished products)    I imagine the early beta being more of just an AI stress test (since we will have to be playing online against AI players that will be acting as players) and something like the essence might not come up.   I figured it would be just the basic mechanics for building units and spells.   I'm still unsure of exactly what essense does, we have some great ideas but nothing really confirmed.  It may not be all that important in the end.

Well, if essence is a major factor, then developing the AI without considering it doesn't really seem like the greatest way to go about things. And we know that essence will be important; it will be necessary for creating new settlements, heroes, and it will directly relate to the power of your channeler, and maybe other things as well. It seems to me like it would be easier to take essence into account from the start when developing the AI; the part of the AI responsible for analyzing settlement placement would have to be completely altered if all of a sudden you throw essence into the picture... Not only would it add another resource into the picture, it's a resource that directly weakens your channeler, which means a whole new tradeoff it needs to consider.

Obviously I could be totally wrong and it might not be that bad to add it in later, I'll leave that to Frogboy. But I would be surprised if we don't see at least a limited essence mechanic in the early betas (except maybe the rumored 'beta-0').

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February 13, 2009 11:32:38 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Of course, the answer to this question may well arise from the beta.

If essence is too limited (for example on large maps) we can doubtless give feedback.

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