Random Elemental journal: December 2009

By on December 10, 2009 8:32:21 PM from JoeUser Forums JoeUser Forums

Frogboy

Join Date 03/2001
+1478

One of Sid Meier’s rules of game design boils down to “Prototype, prototype, prototype”.

Forgive me for any unintentional hubris but as far as I’m aware, Elemental is the first commercial PC game that opened that phase of development to the public.

Just this week all kinds of changes have been made to the engine.  So let’s talk about that.

First, for those of you not in the game industry, the thing to remember is that 80% of a game’s development time is spent on engine and assets. The remaining 20% is the actual “game”.  That’s why we have the luxury to monkey around with different game mechanic ideas.

Star Emperor

15 years ago IBM came to me (I was in college) and wanted a “Galactic Civilizations” game but different for something called the IBM Family Funpak. I said “Oh…oh yea, I have a game called…Star Imp..er…I mean Star..Lor- er Star Empir…er Star Emperor. Yea, Star Emperor.”

IBM agreed to pay a pile of money for this game and over a weekend I took my GalCiv for OS/2 code, changed the game mechanics to Star Emperor and voila. A million licneses sold to IBM. 

GalCiv was basically Civilization in Space.  Star Emperor was basically Warlords in space. IBM was happy. Gamers liked it. And I decided I’d do this Stardock thing full time. It totally beat out doing “Truth in Lending” programs for Ford Credit.

Cool stuff in Elemental

image
Quickie concept of updated Diplomacy interaction

For Elemental, of course, we have more than a weekend to whip up our game mechanics.  But that’s half the fun.  We get to play around with all kinds of different idea.  Best of all, thanks to this Internet thing, we can get input from others.

So here’s stuff from this week:

  1. There will only be 1 type of mana. Mana.  Control of the elemental shards will be handled ala Magic the Gathering. A spell may cost N mana but also require control of M shards to cast. This way, players don’t have to sit there and hold shards for dozens of turns to cast a spell and creates a much more vibrant game.
  2. The battle system has been monkeyed with several times this week internally.  The current system has Attack along with a range for that attack.  There is also no longer “fire” or “frost” damage but instead simply Arcane damage and Arcane resistance.  It’s very similar to what Master of Magic except we have Combat speed in there too.
  3. Players will get a cue that the enemy player is about to cast a spell so that they have the opportunity to counter it when in a tactical battle.  If auto-resolve is on, players will be able to set a default amount of mana they’re willing to invest in a given battle. (we’re still playing with this and expect to for months to come  based on player feedback).
  4. Multiplayer diplomacy will get its own UI rather than sacrificing even an ounce of the SP diplomacy UI to support MP.
  5. The campaign is going to be much much more story driven than originally conceived. Cut-scenes between each chapter written by our friends at Del Rey.
  6. The map itself is going to get a lot more interesting stuff in it. This should start to show up in the next beta but basically, the map is too boring right now.  You’ll see.

Now, for those of you NOT in the beta, fear not. You’re not missing out on anything fun. These prototype betas are explicitly designed to be awful so that we can try out lots of different ideas cheaply. This is going to continue on through the entire prototype phase of the beta (which is beta 1 AND beta 2). 

For those of you in the beta, you’re hopefully starting to notice what makes our games a bit different in how they’re developed. We use our software tech like DesktopX and other goodies that allow us to make massive, easy changes to our game mechanics. This way, we can radically change things based on player feedback. 

We can re-do an entire screen in less than 15 minutes (for instance). If there’s anyone in the industry reading this, please feel free to run through the normal way a screen gets changed so that readers can see the contrast.

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December 12, 2009 9:32:48 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Frogboy,

For the Love of God, Frogboy,how can you say that? No fire spells putting men ablaze, no frost one freezing them, no slingers creating clouds of poison, no nothing?


You can't say that when we know you play Dominions. There are no 'party' combat system there, but armies of hundreds against dragons and such just like Elemental will give us. And there's nothing tedious launching your pikeneers boosted with earth magic against lava men radiating heat with fire drakes spiting fireballs. Having priests of Death casting Terror to make enemy milice run with fear, tedious?



ALL of those examples are still giving ONE type of damage. 

Dominions 3 has ONE damage type.  A unit on fire or frying from acid or being electrocuted are all still suffering ONE type of damage in Dominions 3.

This is precisely why we shouldn't discuss game mechanics in developer journals.

No where did I say or imply that battles woudln't end up with people being fried via acid or fireballs blasting away or fear spells or what have you.

But at the end of the day, they're just damage.  

I realize to non-developers that something saying it does "+5 frost damage" somehow makes it special but it doesn't. It's just saying it does 5 mundane damage due to frost. It's just cosmetic. 

What we were previously discussing was the idea of frost or fire damage being a totally different TYPE of damage which we decided was way too complicated.

Given the comments in this thread that seems obvious now.

I think most of us get that, but there is now no building the ultimate fire resistant army. I totally get that all one type of damage is how Master of Magic did it, and I think that it was probably my favorite game of all time.

You are probably right on the Dev Journals though. I think one of the best discussions ever was the internal discussions made external, but frankly I am pretty tired of teh sausage factory, I think I will be taking a couple months off and see how the game is looking come February. You guys are the ones working on this day in and day out, you certainly should make the game that you want, and you obviously can't handle the harsh criticism when the vast majority give an idea a thumbs down. And then of course you have to slam on your fans by saying the only reason they could disagree with your decision is because they are too damn dumb to realize  that all damage boils down to hit points going bye bye.

I'm outta here for a while, I realize being so blunt may be a bannable offense. If so, I guess I iwll see you all later. Hope this game doesn't completely blow chunks.

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December 12, 2009 10:08:15 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Too many people trying to make of this game a Fantasia Universalis?

Well, no one can say that we weren't warned of this "no more open journals" happening. Why do I have some flashback feelings of the Demigod's forum? Twisted to the reality of this forum, obviously.

Chill up?

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December 12, 2009 10:19:49 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I've ready on other forums that people are worried that the super hard core are going to turn Elemental into something "unplayable".

I don't think many people here realize how unpleasant it would be to have to go around and re-equip or upgrade units to have frost-resistant armor.

Most games only have 1 type of damage protection - armor.  Elemental will have 2: mundane and magical. 

When I play Dragon Age: Origins, and I have a sword that does 3 to 10 damage +3 acid damage it's still all damage. And what it means is that the # of HP you'll lose is between 3 to 10 plus an additional 3.  There's nothing you can do to prevent that last 3.

In Elemental, if someone is equipping their side with LOTS of magical damaging items you can put resources into armor that defendsd against mundane AND have magical resistance.  So that +3 acid damage could get blunted.

What would not be fun is if you had to design units with "acid resistant armor" only to realize the other guy has units with maces with frost damage. "Oh great, now I need to send my army back across the world and re-equip them or re-design that particular army to have frost resistant helms or maybe I should create armies with an acid protected shield, a frost protected boot, a lightning resistant helm, etc."  Sorry but that sort of gameplay would cause me to lose sleep and not in a good way.

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December 12, 2009 10:30:03 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

  You guys are the ones working on this day in and day out, you certainly should make the game that you want, and you obviously can't handle the harsh criticism when the vast majority give an idea a thumbs down.

I don't think it's a matter of handling "harsh criticism" but your phrase "vast majority" does put into perspective what we're dealing with.

A few people commenting is not a meaningful measurement for the support for something.

Moreover, as was demonstrated in the sovereign discussion, wording, without coding change, is really the issue.

Specifically:

If I say: 

(X) 10% boost to morale ability

users will argue that this is a bad feature.

But if I say:

(X) Great Leader: Inspires troops in battle

users will support that even though, programatically they're the same.

Similarly, in these battle discussions if I say:

We aren't going to have weapons and armor that track specific types of damage.

People will say we're dumbing down the game.

But if I say:

You will be able to equip your troops with weapons like "Mace of eternal smiting" that does 5 to 8 damage PLUS 5 points of lightning damage.

People are suddenly okay even though programmatically it's the same.

A damage TYPE means (code-wise) means that there is a corresponding counter to it.  No strategy game that I'm aware of does this.  Early on, we were tempted to do this because we thought it would make unit design more strategically interesting.  The result, however was it just made it more complicated.

Players can have their cake and eat it too. I can make a dagger that does 3 to 5 damage PLUS 2 points of poison.  That's not the discussion we're having.

The discussion we're having is whether poison damage would be its own type of damage in which a player could equip their units with say antidote equipment that makes them immune.  Conceptually, that's very interesting -- in an RPG.  But in a world spanning strategy game, having to worry whether Soldier 1138 of the third battalion serving in the Henge has an antidote to poison it's not fun.  

Heck, why stop with generic poisons? We could have several different types of poisons, each requiring their own special antidote. I'm sure there'd be "vast majorities" somewhere who would like that.  But in the end, such complexity, once implemented, is difficult to take out.

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December 12, 2009 10:33:41 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Frogboy,
I've ready on other forums that people are worried that the super hard core are going to turn Elemental into something "unplayable".

I don't think many people here realize how unpleasant it would be to have to go around and re-equip or upgrade units to have frost-resistant armor.

Most games only have 1 type of damage protection - armor.  Elemental will have 2: mundane and magical. 

When I play Dragon Age: Origins, and I have a sword that does 3 to 10 damage +3 acid damage it's still all damage. And what it means is that the # of HP you'll lose is between 3 to 10 plus an additional 3.  There's nothing you can do to prevent that last 3.

In Elemental, if someone is equipping their side with LOTS of magical damaging items you can put resources into armor that defendsd against mundane AND have magical resistance.  So that +3 acid damage could get blunted.

What would not be fun is if you had to design units with "acid resistant armor" only to realize the other guy has units with maces with frost damage. "Oh great, now I need to send my army back across the world and re-equip them or re-design that particular army to have frost resistant helms or maybe I should create armies with an acid protected shield, a frost protected boot, a lightning resistant helm, etc."  Sorry but that sort of gameplay would cause me to lose sleep and not in a good way.

I completely agree with you. I just don't see how that could ever be fun. I'm disappointed that open journals are going to end, but I can't say I didn't really see it coming.

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December 12, 2009 10:37:04 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Denryu,

I think most of us get that, but there is now no building the ultimate fire resistant army. I totally get that all one type of damage is how Master of Magic did it, and I think that it was probably my favorite game of all time.

It doesn't mean at all that there is no building the ultimate fire resistant army.  How many types of damage does D&D have?  Primarily 1 (HP), although you can take stat damage or level drain in some instances.  If your HP goes down, it's damage, you don't need to remember after the fact how much was normal damage, fire damage or pun damage.  There are RPG systems which have have hp and wounds or regular damage and aggravated damage.  Those are examples of different types of damage.  You can go nuts and use Rolemaster, which has rules for frostbite and burns and requires separate healing spells for them apart from regular "regain hp" type of spells.  Can you have fire resistance in D&D?  Absolutely.  The elemental property is really just a part of the spell instead of attached to the damage.  If you don't have to remember what the source of the damage was after it's all resolved, then you don't need multiple types of damage.

Frogboy: I think you can discuss game mechanics with us just fine.  It's coding mechanics that you probably don't want to be running past us.  It's cool to inform us when something has been changed though, especially when it impacts potential modding.  It's a fine line between the two sometimes and this seems like a game mechanic, although for the most part it isn't.

EDIT: ninja'd by the Frog himself.  Apparently we just won't have to worry about it.  As long as it doesn't introduce logic defying situations like fireballing a fire elemental to death I'm fine with it.

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December 12, 2009 10:49:12 PM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

I read all these posts but I never really comment.

Anyway, just chiming in to say that I have much more confidence in the game designers making an awesome game than I do in the community forming some kind of consensus. I appreciate all the public information and discussion, but I'm really glad it's filtered through the designers; this game has so much potential.

So basically, the discussion is great, but the meta discussion (talking about what we're talking about) seems kind of pointless.

I realize my entire post is meta discussion. I'm pretty sure that's ironic? (Or maybe it's META meta discussion.) Anyway. Thanks for all the dev journals!

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December 13, 2009 12:59:58 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Frogboy,
What would not be fun is if you had to design units with "acid resistant armor" only to realize the other guy has units with maces with frost damage. "Oh great, now I need to send my army back across the world and re-equip them or re-design that particular army to have frost resistant helms or maybe I should create armies with an acid protected shield, a frost protected boot, a lightning resistant helm, etc."  Sorry but that sort of gameplay would cause me to lose sleep and not in a good way.

I agree but come to a different conclusion. Again I'll ask why you assume the damage mechanics are the problem and not the resistance mechanic?

Having to perfectly match resistance types on every unit does not sound fun, but neither does generic damage in a strategy game.

Why does a resistance against one Element provide 0 defense against other elements? (Your Fire resistant clothing does nothing against Acid, Frost or Lightning really?)

Why is the resistance built as a "kit" on the army unit? (i.e. warding units that give protection to nearby units against selectable elements)

It has been said that MoM doesn't have damage types, but it isn't exactly true. There are defenses and attacks that only work against specified magic types in MoM. There are for instance Holy attacks which are only effective against Chaos and Death units. There are defenses which only defend against those magics. Fighting at a node location would cancel everything but the node's element of magic. I would expect Elemental to have that level of sophistiification at a bare minimum.

I hope you'll weigh other possible solutions to your problem of needing the perfect counter to every damage type.

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December 13, 2009 3:44:20 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Hello Frogboy,

on the one hand I fully agree, do not go into too much detail in those discussions. It gets mucht to complicated.

 

On the other hand you should probably outline how you envision the battle system should work at this moment.

 

How do you realize the classical stone-paper-scissor decision, which is the basic of each tactical battle?

And three elements is really all you need...from there onwards the system gets only more complex and is much harder to balance.

But those three choices you need.

 

And at the moment with the unit design (as much as I like this) I find this hard to envision for the true tactical battles you plan.

 

So just to give an example: Shogun Total War (basics):

Spearman would defeat cavalary which would defeat bowmen, which in turn would defeat spearman...

This is all there is, with some mixed troops in between...But the basic concept stands up, since there is the concept stone, paper, scissor...

 

So just one final notice: in GalCiv II you had three kinds of weapons and three kinds of counters and this was quite Ok.

I would envision the same system for Elemental, whith maybe just a fourth type of damage:

- not magic damage

- fire damage

- ligthning damage

- cold damage

With a counter against each, which gives you also a small amount of protection against the others.

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December 13, 2009 3:50:53 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

A damage TYPE means (code-wise) means that there is a corresponding counter to it. No strategy game that I'm aware of does this. Early on, we were tempted to do this because we thought it would make unit design more strategically interesting. The result, however was it just made it more complicated.

Players can have their cake and eat it too. I can make a dagger that does 3 to 5 damage PLUS 2 points of poison. That's not the discussion we're having.

The discussion we're having is whether poison damage would be its own type of damage in which a player could equip their units with say antidote equipment that makes them immune. Conceptually, that's very interesting -- in an RPG. But in a world spanning strategy game, having to worry whether Soldier 1138 of the third battalion serving in the Henge has an antidote to poison it's not fun.

Heck, why stop with generic poisons? We could have several different types of poisons, each requiring their own special antidote. I'm sure there'd be "vast majorities" somewhere who would like that. But in the end, such complexity, once implemented, is difficult to take out.

Hum ... Giving immunities against an element is a bad thing (or only pure elemental creatures should be immune). And there's aother way to deal with frost-mace people, even without frost resistance : you can stop them before they hit, you can make them miss really often, you can flank them and make them flee. You don't HAVE TO put frost resistance.

 

And instead of just "magical" damage, why diffenret kind of magical damae like "instant magical damage" (a pure damage spell), "temporary magical damage" (a stun spell that will reduce hp as long as you're stuned), "persistant damage" like poison, magical bees hitting you under the armor.

Then when you get magical resistance you get only ONE option to get your resistance better : you can choose better resistance against instant, temporary or persistant magical damage. So you still can protect yourself with one attribute AND get better results in some situations.

For instance a warrior with 3 points of magical defense will get +5 instead of +3 versus instant magical damage.

You could even get that better stat with a drawback : you must choose aweakest defense in an other area.

For instance : Armor +1/+3/+5 (instant, persistant, temporary)

That is easy to track, you don't need to absolutly update your army each time your opponents get an edge in an area, that allow for better tactical options.

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December 13, 2009 3:57:10 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

So just one final notice: in GalCiv II you had three kinds of weapons and three kinds of counters and this was quite Ok.

No that wasn't ok. With shields (versus lasers if I remember right) you're hopeless versus point damage and missiles. Your shields weren't at least stopping some of the damage. They were all the same kind of defence but with different names. That didn't allow for realy tactical options. Look at gratuitous space battles for interesting tactical options. Shields are almost always usefull. Armor is a must have if you don't want your equipment to become unavailable in combat, only laser defence against missiles are only usefull versus missile.

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December 13, 2009 4:19:44 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

@vieaxchat

if you were attacked by a different attack type then your defence (i.e. missles against point defence) you still would absorb damage one third of the point defence strength.

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December 13, 2009 4:51:45 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting tesb,
@vieaxchat

if you were attacked by a different attack type then your defence (i.e. missles against point defence) you still would absorb damage one third of the point defence strength.

Really ? That have changed from the last time I played it. Good change Maybe I'll re-try it.

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December 13, 2009 4:56:18 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

@vieuxchat

The concept in GalCiv II worked quite well. It is all a question of fine tuning of the different settings against each other.

 

Forget TV, forget Reality...

We are talking about a fantasy game and we want it to be fun...

 

Reality is most of the time just one thing: the biggest gun wins...

 

That is no fun.

 

My point was more you need a choice...

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December 13, 2009 5:14:00 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Frogboy, I think a lot of people (Me included) took your post to mean the Damage "Effects" would not be in. You said in a post earlier...

Quoting Frogboy,

No where did I say or imply that battles wouldn't end up with people being fried via acid or fireballs blasting away or fear spells or what have you.

Right here you mention types of "Effects". We like those. Those add more then just a damage modifier. What the original post says is that the damage types will be boiled down to one damage type, and that's fine as long as they have different effects too, not just cosmetic damage. It seems you plan on including effects.

I think if it would have been stated that, even though it's one arcane damage type, that damage would still have different non-cosmetic effects, everyone would have understood better and been happy.

When it comes down to your "Casual" fans verses your "Hardcore" fans though, it's the Hardcore fans and players of any game that carry that game into the future. The casual player may pick up Elemental and play it for a week or two, then they'll un-install it and shelf it and let it gather dust until they die. Your Hardcore fans will still be playing Elemental five years from now talking about how "this is the game that finally killed MoM and took it's place". It's the Hardcore MoM and AoS fans that are here now rooting on for Elemental to be as good as it can be.

Please don't end these kinds of Dev journals. Next time just tell people that Frost Damage will have a different "effect" then Fire Damage and everyone will be happy.

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December 13, 2009 5:19:45 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

the concept in galciv worked but it was also boring since there was no real difference between the weapon/defence types they could have named guns/laser/missle -> squirrels/pigeons/turtels and it would have been the same gameplay wise.

What the spells need is not 10 different types of damage, but a lot different effects (knockdown, burning, petrifing, freezing, confusing, weakening, frithening, ... just look at the dnd spells and you get a good idea of what is possible especialy wizard duels in dnd 3.5)

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December 13, 2009 5:20:59 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Frogboy: Having to carefully give frost resistance to all your units does indeed sound infuriating.

However, how about still having multiple damage types but:

- Magic resistance kits for units give resistance to all magical damage types, without exception (so no hassle)

- There is still room for particular magical creatures (or units under spell effects) to have resistances or vulnerabilities, e.g. undead immune to cold, troops under Barkskin vulnerable to fire

 

To me that seems like it has the potential to give the best of both worlds.

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December 13, 2009 5:29:29 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Frogboy,

I'm sorry to say this, but I've begun to regret pre-ordering the game. Not because I know the game will suck or anything, but because I'm afraid it may, yet I've already paid for it.
Okay, you're right.  No more development journals regarding these kinds of discussions because people are reading way too much in.

If Master of Magic or HOMM or Age of Wonders or Civilization or Ascendancy or MOO or GalCiv or what have you were anywhere near as complicated in their battle systems as some of you seem to dream/wish Elemental to be they'd have gone down in flames.

It was probably a bit naive on my part to think that the beta team was able to discuss these kinds of issues.

What we'll do going forward is use development journals to focus purely on coding and things that have been decided because it seems to do more harm than good discussing game mechanics with the users.

Fair enough. It's your game, your money and ultimately it's your choice what features you want in the game and what you don't.

On the other hand, if you're taking Master of Magic as an example of a game where things are simpler, you're only partially right. You're right in that it didn't have a morale mechanic, but it did certainly have damage types - fire elementals, for example, were immune to fire and so on. What saved the game from tedium (to my recollection, anyway - it's been a long time since I played) is that resistances to a specific damage type were fairly rare and saved for only special units or magics. You are absolutely correct, of course, that having to constantly fine-tune resistances for large numbers of troops would be incredibly boring.

It's funny you used Master of Magic and Age of Wonders as an example of simpler games, though, since with the exception of a morale mechanic and flanking mechanics, both have every (tactical combat) feature I've seen anyone here ask for. Certainly I cannot recall having seen anyone ask for a hardcore micromanagementfest. (Fortunately - I loath micromanagement!)

I'm sorry you feel that the beta team is unable to discuss the game. I realise how facing criticism of an unfinished game (or any other work of labour/art) can be disheartening. The reason, I think, that people have been so vocal at expressing their desires and hopes for the game is precisely because the reason given for the long beta for Elemental was so players could give maximum input on not only bugs and quality control but also the very mechanics of the game. In that light, what people on this forum have been writing seems to me to have been the exact sort of input you were looking for. I suppose it's possible, though, that there has been miscommunication and you were more looking for player input for fine-tuning the design rather than regarding fundamental design aspects. If so, that would well explain your adverse reaction to the divergent opinions expressed by a large number of people here.

In short, there seems to have been talking past each other both from the readers to the developers and vice versa. The developers seem to be reading the calls for some degree of extra depth to provide fodder for greater strategic depth to mean a desire by a hardcore gamer segment for Elemental to be some kind of Matrix Games style extremely detailed and heavy strategy game. To my mind, I haven't witnessed this sort of trend, though admittedly I'm not a super-active reader of the forums, mainly checking the dev journal threads and a few other threads I find interesting. On the other hand, it now seems that the request for fan input into the game has been misinterpreted to mean a call for fan input into the fundamental mechanics of the game rather than, it seems, a more fine-tuning of the mechanics as well as possibly other things like UI input and the like. Is this about right?

 

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December 13, 2009 5:29:55 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Frogboy,
A damage TYPE means (code-wise) means that there is a corresponding counter to it.  No strategy game that I'm aware of does this.

 

Well dominions does. I'm a bit perplexed that you say it doesn't.

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December 13, 2009 6:06:09 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Raven X,
Frogboy, I think a lot of people (Me included) took your post to mean the Damage "Effects" would not be in. You said in a post earlier...


Quoting Frogboy, reply 75
No where did I say or imply that battles wouldn't end up with people being fried via acid or fireballs blasting away or fear spells or what have you.

Right here you mention types of "Effects". We like those. Those add more then just a damage modifier. What the original post says is that the damage types will be boiled down to one damage type, and that's fine as long as they have different effects too, not just cosmetic damage. It seems you plan on including effects.

I think if it would have been stated that, even though it's one arcane damage type, that damage would still have different non-cosmetic effects, everyone would have understood better and been happy.

When it comes down to your "Casual" fans verses your "Hardcore" fans though, it's the Hardcore fans and players of any game that carry that game into the future. The casual player may pick up Elemental and play it for a week or two, then they'll un-install it and shelf it and let it gather dust until they die. Your Hardcore fans will still be playing Elemental five years from now talking about how "this is the game that finally killed MoM and took it's place". It's the Hardcore MoM and AoS fans that are here now rooting on for Elemental to be as good as it can be.

Please don't end these kinds of Dev journals. Next time just tell people that Frost Damage will have a different "effect" then Fire Damage and everyone will be happy.

+2654165456

"magical" damage isn't really a issue as long as throwing a fireball isn't the same as throwing an iceball.

But what about a fire elemental with high magical resistance ? Will he be able to stop "Iceball" because he have a high magical defense ? That is the sort of things that hardcore gamers fear. Moreover if there isn't different effect between an iceball and a fireball what is the point choosing between them ? You can specialize in fire or ice, it will be the same gameplay-wise, you'll be able to do the same things. Same things ? So it isn't really a choice.

A fireball that ignate target and reduce defence, an iceball that slows down the traget and reduce his attack and defence abilities. That, is a choice. But if the target has hig "magical" defense and he isn't affected by the effects .. then .. it is no longer a real choice.

 

 

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December 13, 2009 6:25:00 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Frog, the dev journals are fantastic, why does it matter that some people fire up? They're just ideas, pick and choose what you like and done...after the hours upon hours of fun I had playing GC2, I for one am extremely confident Stardock will deliver in the end. And if I'm wrong and I don't like it, I can always play something else.

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December 13, 2009 7:28:49 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Rishkith,



Quoting Frogboy,
reply 78
What would not be fun is if you had to design units with "acid resistant armor" only to realize the other guy has units with maces with frost damage. "Oh great, now I need to send my army back across the world and re-equip them or re-design that particular army to have frost resistant helms or maybe I should create armies with an acid protected shield, a frost protected boot, a lightning resistant helm, etc."  Sorry but that sort of gameplay would cause me to lose sleep and not in a good way.


I agree but come to a different conclusion. Again I'll ask why you assume the damage mechanics are the problem and not the resistance mechanic?

Having to perfectly match resistance types on every unit does not sound fun, but neither does generic damage in a strategy game.

Why does a resistance against one Element provide 0 defense against other elements? (Your Fire resistant clothing does nothing against Acid, Frost or Lightning really?)

Why is the resistance built as a "kit" on the army unit? (i.e. warding units that give protection to nearby units against selectable elements)

It has been said that MoM doesn't have damage types, but it isn't exactly true. There are defenses and attacks that only work against specified magic types in MoM. There are for instance Holy attacks which are only effective against Chaos and Death units. There are defenses which only defend against those magics. Fighting at a node location would cancel everything but the node's element of magic. I would expect Elemental to have that level of sophistiification at a bare minimum.

I hope you'll weigh other possible solutions to your problem of needing the perfect counter to every damage type.

I don't understand it at all. Let's say the player equips 1000 soldiers with longswords of fire. Those swords do physical dmg + additional fire dmg. If the other player is forced to use "kits" and stuff like that to equip his army with fire res. gear....well, it's a pain in the ass indeed. However, what about [mass] enchancement spells? That could work perfectly. Player A casts "Flaming Weapons" on his army, while Player B casts "Protection from Fire" on his army, if they have these spells of course. It wouldn't be hard to micromanage it at all, if it would work like this.

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December 13, 2009 7:39:02 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Frogboy,

For the Love of God, Frogboy,how can you say that? No fire spells putting men ablaze, no frost one freezing them, no slingers creating clouds of poison, no nothing?
You can't say that when we know you play Dominions. There are no 'party' combat system there, but armies of hundreds against dragons and such just like Elemental will give us. And there's nothing tedious launching your pikeneers boosted with earth magic against lava men radiating heat with fire drakes spiting fireballs. Having priests of Death casting Terror to make enemy milice run with fear, tedious?

ALL of those examples are still giving ONE type of damage. 

Dominions 3 has ONE damage type.  A unit on fire or frying from acid or being electrocuted are all still suffering ONE type of damage in Dominions 3.

This is precisely why we shouldn't discuss game mechanics in developer journals.

No where did I say or imply that battles woudln't end up with people being fried via acid or fireballs blasting away or fear spells or what have you.

But at the end of the day, they're just damage.  

I realize to non-developers that something saying it does "+5 frost damage" somehow makes it special but it doesn't. It's just saying it does 5 mundane damage due to frost. It's just cosmetic. 

What we were previously discussing was the idea of frost or fire damage being a totally different TYPE of damage which we decided was way too complicated.

Given the comments in this thread that seems obvious now.

Are you sure dominions do it this way ? How can you protect yourself from fire without a "fire damage" type ? And having a fire "flag" on the damage done is just the same gameplay-wise (but not coding-wise)

Anyway "damage" is just an effect : HP reduced. Magical or mundane have the same "effect" in game. Reducing HP. What is important is the calculations. They should include the fact that a fireball should do nothing to a fire elemental and reduce more hp to a water elemental.

Hardcore gamers don't need to know how you will do that, but we would like to know that you're heading towards that.

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December 13, 2009 7:56:40 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

vieuxchat Wrote: "magical" damage isn't really a issue as long as throwing a fireball isn't the same as throwing an iceball.

Thats exactly the point, i think.

I wasn´t too thrilled about this whole magic damage and resistence type mechanic, as i didn´t really like the similar laser/rocket/mass driver system in GalCiv2. So i´m not disappointed at all, that it has gone away. But the point is: for what do i need different attack spells, like iceballs and fireballs, if the difference is purley cosmetic?

Frogboy, it think the problem was - like Raven X already stated - that you implied that there won´t be additional effects for fire or ice attacks (and to be honest: from your posts in this thread, i´m still not sure if this is the case or not). If thats the case, then this looks to me more like some kind of communications problem than anything else.

I - and i think most of the other people here as well - don´t want to play a micromanage fest, but i want to have interesting strategic choices. I was about to write a post about this, too, but vieuxchat took the words right out of my mouth when he posted this:

But what about a fire elemental with high magical resistance ? Will he be able to stop "Iceball" because he have a high magical defense ? That is the sort of things that hardcore gamers fear. Moreover if there isn't different effect between an iceball and a fireball what is the point choosing between them ? You can specialize in fire or ice, it will be the same gameplay-wise, you'll be able to do the same things. Same things ? So it isn't really a choice.

A fireball that ignate target and reduce defence, an iceball that slows down the traget and reduce his attack and defence abilities. That, is a choice. But if the target has hig "magical" defense and he isn't affected by the effects .. then .. it is no longer a real choice.

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December 13, 2009 8:12:52 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting vieuxchat,

But what about a fire elemental with high magical resistance ? Will he be able to stop "Iceball" because he have a high magical defense ? That is the sort of things that hardcore gamers fear. Moreover if there isn't different effect between an iceball and a fireball what is the point choosing between them ? You can specialize in fire or ice, it will be the same gameplay-wise, you'll be able to do the same things. Same things ? So it isn't really a choice.

Why we need to have fireball and iceball? People seem to be basing this argument over the idea that spells will be mirrored along all the spell schools, which honestly, is pretty boring even if one does fire damage and the other ice damage... Specializing in ice and fire can be made far more different if the types of spells they have are different, not just the same thing with different damage types.

Quoting vieuxchat,

But if the target has hig "magical" defense and he isn't affected by the effects .. then .. it is no longer a real choice.

I don't understand this.

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