The Gameplay of Elemental

By on February 17, 2010 12:45:59 PM from JoeUser Forums JoeUser Forums

Frogboy

Join Date 03/2001
+1469

Overview

Elemental: War of Magic is a turn-based strategy game set in a world of magic, warfare and intrigue. In it, players take on the role of a powerful sorcerer known as a “Channeler”.

Players found new cities, research new technologies, study spells, build a family dynasty, engage in diplomacy, fight wars, go on quests and much more as they strive to overcome all enemies and dominate the world.

Key Features

  • Randomly generated maps.
  • 10 Unique Factions (or create your own)
  • Design your own Sovereign.
  • Powerful Magic System.
  • Tactical Battles.
  • World Class computer AI.
  • A rich, story-driven campaign.
  • Strong single player sandbox mode.
  • State of the art, client/server multiplayer.
  • Low Hardware Requirements.
  • Extensive Modding Support.

A Guided Tour

EarthCrystal_Medallion_thumb[2] Basic Game Play
Players start the game with their sovereign placed in a land that has been completely devastated. In that ruined world, they must build a civilization – found cities, research technology, build an economy, train soldiers, learn spells, and much more. 

There are other factions trying to do much the same thing who have their own ideas on how the world should be ordered.  Victory can be attained through many different means: conquest, diplomacy, magic, or quests. The player decides which path in a given game has the best hope for success.

 

Warfare Kingdoms & Empires
When setting up the game, players choose a nominal allegiance to either the Kingdoms or the Empires. The difference between the two in Elemental is where they draw their magic from – life or death. The Kingdoms use life magic in conjunction with the elemental shards to cast spells. The Empires use death magic. This has a very explicit effect on the world that is quite visible.

 

Tomb_Medallion_Desert_thumb[2] Cities of Elemental
Only sovereigns can found new cities. When a city is founded, it is an outpost. Over time, as its population grows, it will be promoted to a village, then a town and then eventually to a city. Each promotion brings with it new structures that can be built, greater income and more resources to draw on.

 

Diplomacy_thumb[2] Quests
Players are not the only ones who can go on quests in the world. Across the lands, parties of adventurers are exploring dungeons, ruins, and abandoned castles looking for glory, treasure, rare items or all of the above. Some of these adventurers can be recruited. Other times the player, as the sovereign of their lands, must clean up the mess of these adventurers.

 

Keep_Medallion_thumb[2] Designing your Sovereign
Players can choose one of the 10 great Sorcerers of the world or create one of their own. When they do so, they can design how they look, what books of magic they carry, how powerful they are natively and even give them their own back story to share with other players via the Internet.

 

CityWalls_thumb[15] The Magic System
Depending on their allegiance, players build up life or death mana that can be used, in conjunction with the elemental shards that they control (earth, air, fire and water) to cast spells. What spells they know depends on what books of magic they have along with which of the spells in those books they have learned.  Spells require mana as well as control of a certain number of different types of shards.

 

Magic_thumb[7] Researching Technologies
After the cataclysm, much of the technological knowledge of the world was lost. While some of it is easy to restore (such as farming), other types of technology will take more effort to restore (advanced metal working for instance).

 

CreatureTame_thumb[2] Dynasties
As the sovereign of your Kingdom (or Empire) you will have the opportunity to get married and have children. In time, these children will grow up and potentially become great heroes for you to call on. Alternatively, players can marry their children off to other civilizations in exchange for an ongoing dowry (money per turn), a relationship bonus and a place in the line of succession in that faction.  Moreover, the off-spring of those children may return to you as adults to join your faction.

 

EbbenWolf_Medallion_thumb[2] Diplomacy
Conquest isn’t the only way to get what you want in Elemental. Players can also put time and effort to improving their diplomatic skills in order to obtain the technologies, resources and political outcomes they desire.

 

UnitDesign Unit Design
There is no such thing as a “knight” in Elemental. Instead, players create their own classes of units (that they can call knights if they want). Starting with a peasant, the player gives them equipment and assigns them training to turn them into a soldier.

 

Warfare Warfare
When two forces meet, players can choose to have those battles instantly resolve or go into a tactical battle mode to either watch the battle take place or control the action turn by turn. In battle, players can cast devastating spells, flank enemy positions, go for the high ground and much more.

 

Warfare Men & The Fallen
Elemental comes with 10 factions that are loosely divided between the races of men and the races of the Fallen. The races of men are humanoid beings that naturally evolved on Elemental. The races of the Fallen are beings that were ultimately bred by the Titans long ago are are considered unnatural.
Locked Post 53 Replies +2
Search this post
Subscription Options


Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
February 17, 2010 12:57:38 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

"Quests
Players are not the only ones who can go on quests in the world. Across the lands, parties of adventurers are exploring dungeons, ruins, and abandoned castles looking for glory, treasure, rare items or all of the above. Some of these adventurers can be recruited. Other times the player, as the sovereign of their lands, must clean up the mess of these adventurers."

 

The heading and the paragraph here dont seem to match...? Quests: Hire some adveturers!

I get 'cleaing up the mess' is player quests but I only know that cos I read it elsewhere.

 

 

Anyway the thing I liked most about GalCiv2 was designing my own ships - might be so again in this title.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
February 17, 2010 12:58:26 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Spells require mana as well as control of a certain number of different types of shards.

I know this was announced before, but the more I think about it, the more I like it.

flank enemy positions, go for the high ground

This sounds very promising indeed.

 

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
February 17, 2010 1:12:40 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Everything sounds great!!!! i just cant imagine this....

  • World Class computer AI.

What is world class? With what could i compare it ? 

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
February 17, 2010 1:17:43 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Quoting RalfFliehmann,
Everything sounds great!!!! i just cant imagine this....


World Class computer AI.

What is world class? With what could i compare it ? 

The survival instincts of a washing machine.

 

I did go "uhh...?" when I read that.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
February 17, 2010 1:22:02 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Must read thread!

Once upon a time factions were to have a couple of elements associated to them. As the Sovereign can now pick up books at creation, that idea is no more? That would leave factions being different from each other by appearence and tech trees?

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
February 17, 2010 1:23:42 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

YES! Come on give us the beta! Your killing me!

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
February 17, 2010 1:41:36 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

That would leave factions being different from each other by appearence and tech trees?

Let's hope it is more about AIs with distinctly different values/personalities. Faction (pre)history needs to shape AI behavior at least as much as practical matters like research possibilities.

* World Class computer AI.

What is world class? With what could i compare it ?

Strictly speaking, "world class" is a tired-to-death marketing phrase in the software business. In terms of comparisons, I've not played a non-Stardock TBS heavily for several years--the last ones I really liked were MoO2 and Civ3. I like GC2 AI better than AI in both those games because it does not cheat until you ratchet the diff level way up, and even then the cheats are just ability bonuses and none of that instant-fleet sort of stuff that MoO2 seemed to do.

Like all game AIs (which after all, aren't anywhere close to being real AIs), the ones in GC2 have weakness that hardcore competitive types can exploit. But unlike other games I've played, they have enough 'smarts' to be a real factor in replayability. They respond to variations in map settings and your choice of other civs to include in the game, and until you've gotten really confident about the mechanics, they can keep a single player on his or her toes. I still play GC2 at Tough, the last level before bonuses kick in. Sometimes that means a map that feels a bit easy for me, but even after many, many hours of playing, the story generated by a given sandbox game can seem like a good new episode in a favorite TV series.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
February 17, 2010 2:01:03 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Warfare
When two forces meet, players can choose to have those battles instantly resolve or go into a tactical battle mode to either watch the battle take place or control the action turn by turn. In battle, players can cast devastating spells, flank enemy positions, go for the high ground and much more.

Turn by turn action ? Like the usual MoM ? Or a semi turn based with an active pause ? Or real time that you can pause whenever you want ?

Flank enemy position ? Is it just some fluff, or flanking has any real meaning (like better chance to break morale of the opposing unit) ?

Go for high ground : is it some fluff or is there any gameplay machnic involved ? On high ground will an archer get a bonus to range ? A unit coming from below will get a penalty for their exhaustion ?

 

Anyway, all of this sounds very very promising. Can't wait to the next beta

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
February 17, 2010 2:04:57 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Frogboy: Thank you! Wonderful summary.

One question about Unit Design:

Unit Design
There is no such thing as a “knight” in Elemental. Instead, players create their own classes of units (that they can call knights if they want). Starting with a peasant, the player gives them equipment and assigns them training to turn them into a soldier.

 

Will we be able to give units special abilities in addition to Equipment?  Examples: Cause Fear; Inspire other units; Resist Magic; Flight; etc.

 

 

 

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
February 17, 2010 2:33:34 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Wintersong,
Must read thread!

Once upon a time factions were to have a couple of elements associated to them. As the Sovereign can now pick up books at creation, that idea is no more? That would leave factions being different from each other by appearence and tech trees?

 

I think that changed just like the research system changed. Now its the spells organized into books. Picking books will give you certain spells, and another post mentioned you could find more in the world. The spells now require a certain number of certain types of shards to cast (eg Fireball would require 10 mana and control of 1 fire shard, or some such).

I wasn't a fan of the idea that a given race would always have the same magic just because, so this actually increases the customization.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
February 17, 2010 2:34:38 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Okay, I'm really liking the sound of this game now. I hope we can make nonrandom maps as well though.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
February 17, 2010 2:51:50 PM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

They had map editors for GalCiv2 and there were some prebuilt non-random maps, so it wouldn't surprise me if there is a way to make non-random maps.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
February 17, 2010 3:11:15 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Tridus,
... The spells now require a certain number of certain types of shards to cast (eg Fireball would require 10 mana and control of 1 fire shard, or some such). ...

I'm still hoping that this particular change will be rescinded or substantially modified. It sounds far to much like making a magic system equivalent of railroads in Civ1-3, only worse because it would make big chunks of spell knowledge useless for a certain range of map types and playstyles. I wouldn't mind some very rare/high-end spells (especially the world-wrecking stuff) that had a shard requirement, but to make it the norm seems excessive.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
February 17, 2010 3:15:39 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I'd expect some spells not needing shards at all. Others needing just a certain number of shards. And the rest a specific number and type of shards.

Somehow seems difficult to balance but that's what betas are for.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
February 17, 2010 4:05:30 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting GoaFan77,
Okay, I'm really liking the sound of this game now. I hope we can make nonrandom maps as well though.

The beta itself already contains the map editor, so yes, you can make your own maps.

 

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
February 17, 2010 4:10:56 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

A very very bold statement.... I've not yet in all my years of gaming, ever come up against WORLD CLASS AI!

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
February 17, 2010 5:03:02 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting GW Swicord,
I'm still hoping that this particular change will be rescinded or substantially modified. It sounds far to much like making a magic system equivalent of railroads in Civ1-3, only worse because it would make big chunks of spell knowledge useless for a certain range of map types and playstyles. I wouldn't mind some very rare/high-end spells (especially the world-wrecking stuff) that had a shard requirement, but to make it the norm seems excessive.

We don't know how many spells require that yet, or how many shards there are likely to be in a given game. I'm not that worried about it right now.

I mean at one point wasn't the idea to have shards each give mana of that type? That's even more restrictive.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
February 17, 2010 5:15:26 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Tridus,
... I mean at one point wasn't the idea to have shards each give mana of that type? That's even more restrictive.

I don't see how it would have been more restrictive than most/all spells requring a control of at least one specific shard type--although you're right to call me on possibly worrying in advance with too little info.

Back when I was thinking about 5-6 flavors of mana, I rashly assumed that a sovereign's banked mana was independent of shard control and that we would be able to trade mana with other sovereigns (and possibly acquire mana hordes via quests, kinda like the saidin well that Rand al'Thor reached at the end of volume one of WoT).

But then I'm still kinda pining for a Camp 1 economy...

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
February 17, 2010 5:51:59 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Cauldyth,



Quoting GoaFan77,
reply 11
Okay, I'm really liking the sound of this game now. I hope we can make nonrandom maps as well though.


The beta itself already contains the map editor, so yes, you can make your own maps.

 

no it does not

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
February 17, 2010 6:07:06 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting KellenDunk,
no it does not

Sorry, my memory may be failing me.  It's been many months since there's been a beta build that will actually run on my machine, for whatever reason.

 

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
February 17, 2010 7:26:59 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Loving everything I'm reading except for two things:

Only sovereigns can found new cities

This will only cause problems, which to me are obvious, but not many others see it yet I guess. Every fantasy book, game, or movie I have ever seen has nations whose borders are all together. Having a sovereign whose exploring the map and also laying down cities is going to result in them being all over the map, hardly giving them a chance to be collective. I think city growth and establishment should be more fluid than that. Like the ideas in this thread. My bet is that by the end of the beta testing this idea will be abolished. You can hold me to that  

...in exchange for an ongoing dowry (money per turn)

If this is how dowries will work than this is probably how trade will too. The economy shouldn't revolve around a "gold value/turn". I think gold should just be worth its weight. So the value of one gold piece will fluctuate from game to game. A dowry should just be a lump sum of gold, resources, etc. that makes the "deal" worthwhile. Gold/turn is completely overused and over-rated. Elemental can do so much better than falling back on what every game I can think of in history has done.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
February 17, 2010 7:34:28 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Quoting RisingLegend,
Loving everything I'm reading except for two things:


Only sovereigns can found new cities
My bet is that by the end of the beta testing this idea will be abolished. You can hold me to that  

I doubt it. Just like sovereign death = game over, sovereigns using essence to found cities is a core aspect of the game. I'd be very surprised if either is removed completely.

 

 

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
February 17, 2010 8:31:59 PM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

How many difficulty settings will the AI have? I like it when there are at least 4 (although I hate when developers let the comps. cheat so they can play competitively) 

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
February 17, 2010 8:38:26 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Interesting,

 

For the city,

1) possible for us to found city with settlers instead of Sovereign himself? that will create more stretegy flexibilities

2) Can we have 1 city specialized building for each races? some of this building may produce race specific units and other race-excusive goodies?

 

For the technology,

1) I feel like they are com,on in the genre and boring (though maybe important) compared to magical spells in the game. Just wonder Fantasy world in elemental could bring some bizzare / special tech? magnetic force in the "spellbinders" TV series? spiritual link with other living creatures in "avatar" movie (increase battle synergy)? Skin hardening research like zerg in "starcraft"?

 

 

 

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
February 17, 2010 9:10:13 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Essence has to be sacrifed in order to make the land livable. Therefor either your sovereign or a another channler needs to  start the city in order to remain consistant.

I do NOT want to see that mechanic changed much as is makes your cities much more valuable - and prevents endgame city spam.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
Stardock Forums v1.0.0.0    #108432  walnut2   Server Load Time: 00:00:00.0001656   Page Render Time: