I'll try to make this as thoughtful as a I can. (also, I have been told about squads, this post was made before I knew that....)
I too am slightly disappointed by the drop of the continuous turns, partially because that means that large-scale battles are relatively impossible now. Can you imagine moving 1000 units individually?
I was looking forward to continuous turns, as the battle would flow and the decisions would have to be more strategic: the "go here... flank this group... pincer this magic dude to kill him fast..." etc. Rather than a "you go here. Now attack this guy. Move here to block that unit..."
Don't get me wrong, I REALLY like HOMM, and I've played the snot out of it. But part of the promise of Elemental was the large scale battles, and the adjustable battle speed. I KNOW it was on the website at one time, though it seems to be removed now, but the website specifically talked about being able to adjust the game speed from Full Turn Based to Continuous. This was appealing to me, as I feel there are situations where both are enjoyable, some people preferring the full turn based, some preferring the continuous.
I'm not going to NOT buy the game over this, but I feel that the loss of this option is more of a "bait and switch" than leaving the Continuous in there. I'm not upset with going Turn Based only, it's more the loss of the option that is kinda irking. I LIKED that option.
Ah yes, it was a post by Frogboy:
The difference is that the turn button is held down by default.
Baldur's Gate was most certainly turn-based in its combat but, like Elemental, it was continuous turns. It literally used the D&D combat system in which every action used up X number of time units and such.
A player can turn off the turns at any time they want in the battle and literally just do it themselves if they want to be the one pressing the turn button.
With Continuous turns, you can literally pause the action, give orders to your units and see how many "turns" it'll take for that to happen. But when the action is moving, it moves fluidly.
Master of Orion had continuous turn tactical combat as well. You could, however, stop the action at any time and give new orders to your ships.
I think you should reserve judgment until you've tried it.
What was wrong with this? I could make it turns, give orders, explicitly say "go here, do this" just like in HOMM (though I presume I could pick the order, as opposed to HOMM's speed determining WHEN you got to move), or I could go continous and enjoy the battle, giving orders as necessary.
(I'm really not trying to whine, as I like turn-based too, it's just I like options!) However, Frogboy:
Can you explain why this was dropped? How has the battle system changed from the above? Is it now more like HOMM, where in my turn I move ONE unit, or is it more CIV, where I move ALL my units, then the other guy moves his? How much would it take to bribe you to leave the awesome epic-ness of continuous turns in?
<edit> Found even more regarding the size of armies (and hence why continuous turns sounded like the natural answer to this)
Journal entry by Frogboy:
Sizes of armies
As a player, one of my questions about this kind of thing would be how big are the armies going to be? The answer is that it’s going to vary a great deal.
At the start of the game, I would imagine the sovereign walking around alone or maybe with 10 foot soldiers armed with pikes. Those early battles will be pretty straight forward.
Later on, however, you could have battles with thousands of soldiers with a few recruited magical creatures involved along with your hero.
Hence, even if you enjoy watching the tactical battles, you may eventually want to build up your heroes leadership ability so that you can have confidence in letting them call the shots so that you can just sit back and watch the show in fast motion.
Is this still an option? Does the switch to turn-based cause us to lose this "large army/big battle"? What about the commanders? Have we lost them?
Again, not trying to whine. You haven't lost a sale. I'm just an interested gamer that's very interested in the game being FUN. Not necessarily what I or anyone else expects. I don't need or want a clone, I want a gamemode that is fun, and is a natural extension of the foundations. If that's Turn-based, then that's what I want. But make sure the shoe fits!