Elemental: Beta 2 Info

By on June 9, 2010 3:33:25 PM from JoeUser Forums JoeUser Forums

Frogboy

Join Date 03/2001
+1478

Greetings! 

We’re doing some final testing on Beta 2 and expect (but we’re not promising) to release it this week.

This article will walk you through the beta and help you understand what is and isn’t in the game and what kinds of feedback we’re looking for.

If you’re in the beta or joining the beta program, please become very familiar with the reporting guidelines.

General Objectives

  1. Compatibility Testing.  Does it work on your PC?  If not, why not?
  2. Feature Feedback.
  3. Balance Feedback.
  4. Stability Feedback. 

Major Features that are NOT in this beta:

  1. Tactical Battles are NOT in. Beta 3 is dedicated to that.
  2. The Workshop is NOT in. Beta 4 is dedicated to that.
  3. The Campaign is NOT in. That won’t be unveiled until the game ships.

Game Elements Disabled for this beta

  1. The Imperial Factions are not enabled
  2. Non-Canon custom races are not enabled (Elves, Dwarves, Halflings, Goblins, Drengin,  Drath, etc.)
  3. The map is hard-coded
  4. Diplomatic Victory disabled
  5. Master Quest victory disabled
  6. Spell of Making disabled
  7. Diplomacy is Disabled
  8. Custom Multiplayer Games are disabled

Game Play Notes:

1. Most of the Magic, Adventure, and Diplomacy techs have not been checked into the public build.

image

 

 

Gameplay feedback we’re looking for:

1. The HUD

image

We plan to have a HUD option where users can play the game with a head’s up display (HUD) that provides additional on screen details. We’d like to have it configurable (more than just HUD enabled or disabled).

2. General Balance

image

Make sure you play the game a few times first before deciding on what the game “needs”. But we are looking for your feedback on everything from balance to pacing.

3. Multiplayer

The multiplayer part of the game is pretty primitive. Our main interest in this build is to make sure you are able to connect with each other. This was something in Demigod that we felt didn’t get enough attention during the beta that we want to make sure is very solid.  Playing against the AI is also a good test in multiplayer because you have to connect to an AI on one of our servers. 

image

So sum up multiplayer: Our interest is whether you can connect. Once you’re in the game, it’ll be pretty crummy for now.  Once we are satisfied with connectivity, we’ll enable and clean up the actual in game-multiplayer experience.

4. The Empire & Event Trees

What would make the game easier to play and easier to manage?

5. Performance, Stability, Bugs

‘nuff said except absolutely be specific on your hardware.

What we’re not looking for

  • Ideas that would significant alter the scope of the game
  • Suggestions that would involve significant changes to core game play

Other Notes

As anyone who has ever worked on a large commercial software project can tell you, particularly a game, changing interface and usability (game play, balance) is not the long part. 

To use an analogy, it would be like first having to write Adobe Photoshop in order to create a really cool image on it. Most of the effort/expense was put on making the program first. Tweaking and enhancing the image is certainly crucial to determining whether the final image is a good one or not but relatively speaking, it isn’t time consuming compared to making the underlying “engine”.

In the case of Elemental, half the effort is making the engine. Nearly another half is making the assets (graphics, models, etc.). And the tiny piece left are the game specific elements.  It’s a huge undertaking and we are so very glad to have you guys as part of it. Hence, when making suggestions and requesting changes, things that require changes to the engine or creation of new assets are much tougher than things that involve changing game play, variables, etc.

Hope that helps.

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June 9, 2010 9:32:55 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Mythor,



[quote="Frogboy"]Playing against the AI is also a good test in multiplayer because you have to connect to an AI on one of our servers.
Thankyou thankyou thankyou.

Honestly, I probably wasn't going to try a multiplayer game in this beta because the MP side of things isn't as interesting to me, but if I can help with the MP stuff without having to deal with other people... well, thankyou!

[/quote]

As someone in the Diamond 1 v 1 Starcraft 2 beta league, I totally understand.

 

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June 9, 2010 9:33:00 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

[quote who="SteelFin" reply="45" i

Quoting Grove12345,

Quoting SteelFin, reply 45Will we encounter and be able to recruit dragons in beta 2?
 

i think there is too many expectations from the beta 2 gameplay, alot of questions. Expect very little... for now. And when they do release the final beta, its pretty close to the deadline or a deadline for them to keep making changes.  So wont be many changes, just tweaks or adjustments.
d="2645848"]Will we encounter and be able to recruit dragons in beta 2?[/quote]

 

Makes perfect sense. I was just curious because they mentioned leaving a whole bunch of stuff out in beta 1 on purpose so I am wondering if dragons were one of those things. It would seem like something that would be great in terms of testing balance if they are supposed to be pretty powerful.  I guess that comes more in to play when tactical battles are in though.

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June 9, 2010 9:56:55 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

"We're staging a candidate now to test this evening (6/9/2010)."

 

Internal testing, I assume? I don't see an update available on Impulse.

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June 9, 2010 10:00:16 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Thursday would be fine with me.

 

 

Can't wait to finally see the game and not just read about it.

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June 9, 2010 10:32:36 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Frogboy, you mention pacing.  You also mention that three of the tech trees aren't fully in the initial beta2.  Is there a particular aspect of pacing we should be watching?  I figure that over half the tech tree not fully implemented at this stage is going to affect things significantly. 

 

Also, please shoot for Thursday, I'm out of town this weekend .  (on the other hand, that might make the wait easier if it slips, so win some, lose some )

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June 9, 2010 10:44:16 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Yes, please Thursday. If it's Friday I'll never be able to relax with my friends knowing the Beta is so close. I won't be able to shut up about Elemental: War of Magic.

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June 9, 2010 11:34:20 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

looking forward to helping you with the beta 2 guys

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June 9, 2010 11:34:43 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Stmorpheus,
on the multiplayer side of things in the beta will i be able to choose who i play against?  i have a friend who preordered the game recently and i was hoping to play with him.  is it possible for me to invite him to a game or have him connect to me?  also will we be able to add ai's and whatnot?  such as me and him against a few AI's?

 

I'd also like to hear about this one, since my friend also ordered the game some time ago to get to the multiplayer beta  

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June 10, 2010 12:20:57 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Is it the same map as beta one?  I was getting pretty tired of that one, would be nice to have something bigger...

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June 10, 2010 12:21:59 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Thanks for the update   and team. Looking forward to trying it out.

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June 10, 2010 1:21:14 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Will we encounter and be able to recruit dragons in beta 2?

If we can, they won't be balanced yet.  They will tilt to one side, then fall over.

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June 10, 2010 1:59:23 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Just to clarify - does this mean I can expect my pre-order (I preordered around 2 when the collector's edition got announced) to be charged soon and a beta email sent? Or will there be no additional invites for the stage 2 beta?

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June 10, 2010 2:36:40 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Is the Elemental logo going to be fixed in beta 2?  It's kinda driving me crazy.  The bottom-left corner of the right side 'L' does not reflect the same yellow color that's on the bottom-left corner of the left side 'E'.  Is it supposed to be that way?

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June 10, 2010 2:45:36 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Pentacle314,
Is the Elemental logo going to be fixed in beta 2?  It's kinda driving me crazy.  The bottom-left corner of the right side 'L' does not reflect the same yellow color that's on the bottom-left corner of the left side 'E'.  Is it supposed to be that way?
That for you it is "broken" doesn't mean it's "broken" for the rest of the universe. (aka it's supposed to be that way)

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June 10, 2010 2:56:28 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

With tactical battles out for this one. (Which is fine, cause doing them right is important.)

My question would lead upon the lines of defenses within the landscape, forts and out posts, castles, and things of that nature? Anyone have any information on what the planned nature of that will be? Castles/Keeps etcetera after a period of time, not just at a town/city. But outside of those areas.. so we could create natural choke points. Maybe with them being merchant support sites, etcetera.

 

Anyone with info on this aspect?

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June 10, 2010 3:06:28 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Lord Cobol,

Will we encounter and be able to recruit dragons in beta 2?
If we can, they won't be balanced yet.  They will tilt to one side, then fall over.

 

Lol. We should be resolving balancing issues with thick books and beer mats under one leg.

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June 10, 2010 3:53:42 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Zozz,
I know the first beta was supposed to be all paper cuts and lemon juice, so I am just wondering if Beta 2 is supposed to be somewhat fun or just more of the arduous masochism we have been promised up until now.

BETA 2 is supposed to be all open wounds and salt, lots of salt.

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June 10, 2010 5:23:48 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting OsirisDawn,



Quoting Zozz,
reply 47
I know the first beta was supposed to be all paper cuts and lemon juice, so I am just wondering if Beta 2 is supposed to be somewhat fun or just more of the arduous masochism we have been promised up until now.



BETA 2 is supposed to be all open wounds and salt, lots of salt.

Nope. This is where it actually starts to get...Fun...Ssssshhhh don't tell anyone.

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June 10, 2010 5:53:16 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Raven X,


Nope. This is where it actually starts to get...Fun...Ssssshhhh don't tell anyone.

Lies.  Baldfaced lies.  There is no fun.

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June 10, 2010 6:03:00 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

i want it today

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June 10, 2010 6:05:40 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Sareln,

Quoting Raven X, reply 68

Nope. This is where it actually starts to get...Fun...Ssssshhhh don't tell anyone.
Lies.  Baldfaced lies.  There is no fun.

 

We`ll just have to wait and see, wont we.

I just hope that it comes today, or at least tomorrow

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June 10, 2010 6:17:04 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Raven X,



Quoting Aractain,
reply 19
I don't think balance could ever alter the scope of the game.

Scope would be how the economy works, how quests work, magic etc. As you said balance is how much resources a veridium long sword takes to make.



This is true, but, some cases of units being extremely over-powered, or monsters, etc etc, could in my opinion "alter the course of a game". Perhaps not the scope of the Entire game as a whole, but for that particular game/match , yes.

I agree with Raven. Good example: Dominions 3. Some creatures were horribly imbalanced, when the game was released. Needless to say, it enforced powergaming as well. [Especially in multiplayer, since the AI sucked anyways..]

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June 10, 2010 6:41:38 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Nice, can't wait to see the new beta in action.

Btw, what is with the crossed swords?

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June 10, 2010 7:07:07 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting TBS Gamer,
"We're staging a candidate now to test this evening (6/9/2010)."

 

Internal testing, I assume? I don't see an update available on Impulse.

Staging it means they put it up on an internal server. Brad will play it and see if it's ready for release. If it is, someone pushes a magic button and then we get to see it.

Or if it's like 1g, we'll get teased like this and then he'll decide to pull the plug for another week.

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June 10, 2010 7:13:55 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I'll be honest, I find the crossed swords annoying on the forum.  Not really needed.  I'd rather see Stardock focus on making sure the forums run smoothly, which they haven't for ages.  (Seems to have improved a bit lately though)

 

 

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