Elemental Beta 2: Player Input #1

By on June 12, 2010 7:22:10 PM from JoeUser Forums JoeUser Forums

Frogboy

Join Date 03/2001
+1478

Greetings!

We’re glad to see the beta has gone out relatively painlessly. For those of you who have been with us since back in the GalCiv I betas, I think you will agree this one went off a lot smoother.  After a decade or so, you eventually start to get the hang of this.

That isn’t to say we are free of hicups. There’s people with video issues. There’s people who can’t even get the game to run. That will be our big priority next week.

Vorlons: Who are you? Shadows: What do you want?

Our favorite part of the development cycle began with Beta 2. This is where ridiculously rapid changes to the game start to occur.

Given the notoriously massive suckitude of Stardock betas, we now have the collective opportunity to roll up our sleeves and decrease the crappiness of the game from nightmarish to merely painful.

So let’s walk through the areas (in no particular order) in which you can flex your power:

#1 City Improvements

These are trivial for us to add. And we’ve only started touching the capabilities here.

  • We can have improvements that require adjacency. That is, we can have a farm and require a second improvement be adjacent to a farm tile.
  • We can have improvements in which you can build as many as you want per city, only 1 per faction, or one per city level.
  • Improvements can use either 1 tile or 4 tiles.
  • City tiles that meet a criteria can be merged. So if you built N of the same type of improvement in 4 tiles, we can visually merge them together. You won’t get to see it during the beta phase but you can make requests on this still.

Examples

  1. Maybe there should be an improvement that you can put next to a farm (or garden) that magnifies the output of the farm. You should be able to put as many as you want so long as they are adjacent to the farm tile.
  2. Same for Metal resources.
  3. Same for Crystal Resources.
  4. Same for Shard resources.

#2 Research

The research screen is still pretty rough. The tech tree button is disabled and there’s too little information on it.

Feel free to discuss different ideas on what information you’d like to see. How you would like to see it presented.  Bear in mind, we are not going to toss out the general research concept (the one in there came from the 9 month beta 1 cycle and we like it as a game mechanic).

#3 HUD options

Beta 3 will have a Head’s up Display toggle that will allow you to get information about your cities.

#4 NON-HUD Information

That said, we don’t users to have to use a HUD to get basic info at a glance.  Thus, feedback and suggestions of looking at a unit, city, etc. and telling if they are defended, how strong they are, the general output, etc. We have our own thoughts on this but we’d love to hear yours.

We do NOT, however, want to have units running around with flags or other things of the sort.  We want subtle (non-HUD) and hard core (HUD).

#5 Visual Distinctions between Factions.

The Beta 2 series will begin to show how factions are different from one another much better. However, we’d love to hear your thoughts on making different factions more distinct and interesting. Bear in mind, from a RAM point of view, it’s not practical for every faction to have a completely different building design setup (when we’re all 64-bit then we can talk about that).

#6 Other types of World Resources

The Beta 2 series will start to add horses as a global resource that is used to create mounted warriors. But we’d like to hear your thoughts on other resources that one might control – rarer ones.

We have plenty of ideas of things about a given kingdom that might be affected by this or that but we don’t want to bias the direction of suggestions. I will say, however, we want to stay away from the GalCiv “Approval/Happiness” concept.

The XML allows us to create any type of resource, define a graphic, a 3D tile, and what stats it changes and how much. The random generator will make use of it automatically (and this same thing will happen through modding no doubt). So it’s not a big deal to add more resources as long as they’re fun and not simply there for the sake of “complexity”.

Ideally, we can define resources that are all very rare and thus would only occasionally show up in a game (but yet every game would have a couple of these different rare resources).

What’s coming up next…

The Beta 2 series will start to re-enable the other technology trees. Right now, building up your kingdom has limited choices because you’re effectively a mundane. The Magic tech path takes the view that rather than building up your cities with improvements you can also do things to enchant them to do better. It’s just an alternative direction (or you can mix and match).

Next build will be next week.

 

UPDATE!

One thing I've been reading on the forums has to do with weapons and defenses available. Right now, a lot of them aren't in (for instance, you only get daggers on melee weapons) because we still have to update the UI to handle the different types of damage and defense types.

For instance:

Code: c++
  1. //################# Damage and Defense Types #######################//
  2. #define UNITSTATTYPE_NAME_PIERCINGDAMAGE _T("UnitStat_PierceDamage")
  3. #define UNITSTATTYPE_NAME_CUTTINGDAMAGE _T("UnitStat_PierceDamage")
  4. #define UNITSTATTYPE_NAME_BLUNTDAMAGE _T("UnitStat_BluntDamage")
  5. #define UNITSTATTYPE_NAME_FIREDAMAGE _T("UnitStat_FireDamage")
  6. #define UNITSTATTYPE_NAME_ARCANEDAMAGE _T("UnitStat_ArcaneDamage")
  7. #define UNITSTATTYPE_NAME_ICEDAMAGE _T("UnitStat_IceDamage")
  8. #define UNITSTATTYPE_NAME_ELECTRICALDAMAGE _T("UnitStat_ElectricalDamage")
  9. #define UNITSTATTYPE_NAME_CRUSHINGDAMAGE _T("UnitStat_CrushingDamage")

So a club does blunt damage, a dagger does piercing damage, etc.  But we need to display this in a way that easy to understand for the user so that when they go into battle, these modifiers can be understood.

 

UPDATE #2!

Great stuff in the comments area! Keep it up! Now you're getting into the spirit of the beta. We'll look at all of this and see which things make sense to put in, which things make sense to put in after release and which things make sense to put in some future update.

 

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June 12, 2010 7:38:20 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Excellent, i gotta rack my brain for new ideas!

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June 12, 2010 7:47:49 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

 

I have a daring idea on the research.

 

My suggestion is to complete remove the research for Empires, only Kingdoms will build scholar center / library for research point, Empires earn that by battles.

 

I think this will be very interesting and can match with Frogboy's lore about Empires which favor more on personal power then civilizations.

 

Empires might have other special building to replace this then, perhaps 1 unique hell creatures house for each of the 5 Empires.

 

*. In addition, Empires can make a research faster by scarifying a unit. Kindom cannot do that, they can only dismiss any units.

 

 

 

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June 12, 2010 7:51:23 PM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

There are a few things that bother me about city building.

1. You need to build too many houses early on for the city too really develop, but far less as technology progresses and you get higher capacity housing. Naturally this is just a beta so it'll change, but last night I had a city that got to level 5 (1000 people) with only 2 villas after having researched improved housing a ton of times. My other cities were overflowing with them since I had built tons of them back when all I could make was huts. The merging of multiple similar buildings you mentioned might alleviate the visual part of that, I guess.

2. Related to the first part, cities look too... dense, inorganic. There are no roads or spaces between buildings, so cities (especially early on) tend to end up as clumps of the same buildings everywhere.

Personally I'd rather that you didn't need so many buildings in each city, especially early on. It would be awesome if you could cut down the number of buildings you need/can build, but instead can have a one square space between buildings so it doesn't end up looking so incredibly packed (instead of needing to build adjacent like you do now). It would also make placing the 4-square buildings a bit less awkward and ugly since you don't have to attach them to another (often 1-square) building. I guess I'd settle for more empty room around each building too.

In short, I'd like to see fewer buildings (especially houses) than now, but make them more meaningful, possibly more expensive.

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June 12, 2010 8:00:20 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I'd caution you guys to not make city management TOO complex - the focus should be on strategy and not micro-management of cities, in my opinion.  You start requireing a lot of forethought on city building and it might bog the game down.

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June 12, 2010 8:04:23 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Less is more - I think the game should have LESS city management, not more.

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June 12, 2010 8:09:57 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

i want to micro manage my cities to a certain degree.  i don't think this is to much micro anyways, there should be some level of strategy on how you build your city.  i don't want the game to be all about city building, but i would like it to be a bit deeper than it currently is.

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June 12, 2010 8:11:57 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

 

Quoting ,

Greetings!

#1 City Improvements

<Snip>

#2 Research
<Snip>
#3 HUD options
<Snip>
#4 NON-HUD Information
<snip>
#5 Visual Distinctions between Factions.
<Snip>
#6 Other types of World Resources
<Snip>

#1. 

  •  I like this idea if only it has a direct effect on the output of something such as a mine or a farm and not much else as I do not want many new techs giving me buildings that require adjacent spots and yet I would not have the room to put them causing total reorganization of my cities.
  •   So far I like the building restrictions in the current beta, it makes my cities more diverse on how many of some type of building I have.
  • I agree, but I prefer that the 4 tile ones contain a lot better benefits than 1 tiles.
  •  Seeing multiple studies, merchants, houses combined would be awesome as I see it as giving a uniqueness to each city created.

I completely agree with the suggestions.

#2.  I'd like to see some form of tips on why to actually research something, for example:  Smelter - 10% boost to mine ( Ultimately will boost material gain greatly, providing extra iron for building troops.)

#3 & #4

Don't know what to say here, maybe some eye candy on the situation of a city?  (Famine, poor)

 

#5.

 Perhaps the way the citizens act within the city based on their characteristics?  They could all look shady or move about in some strange way?

#6.

How about different types of mounts such as Lizards or maybe even ogres?

 

Last thoughts: 

I personally would like some event similar to a grand enemy appearing on the scene (A great dragon terrorizing the whole continent), but I believe this has been mentioned before.

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June 12, 2010 8:31:41 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

#1 City Improvements

These are trivial for us to add. And we’ve only started touching the capabilities here.

* We can have improvements that require adjacency. That is, we can have a farm and require a second improvement be adjacent to a farm tile.
* We can have improvements in which you can build as many as you want per city, only 1 per faction, or one per city level.
* Improvements can use either 1 tile or 4 tiles.
* City tiles that meet a criteria can be merged. So if you built N of the same type of improvement in 4 tiles, we can visually merge them together. You won’t get to see it during the beta phase but you can make requests on this still.

Currently we have buildings that provide 1 unit of a resource and uses one tile and a similar building which uses 4 tiles and produces slightly more resources.

IMO you should scrap the 4 tile building and make it an automatic upgrade as soon as you have 4 of the same small buildings in one larger tile. This would give us a bit of Sim City to the city building without overcomplicating it too much.

My suggestions:

1. I think there should be an improvement that you can put next to a farm (or garden) that magnifies the output of the farm. You should be able to put as many as you want so long as they are adjacent to the farm tile.

Take a look at the Settlers (the older ones) or the Anno series. In those games, production chains added a lot of flavour.

 

For food for example:

- A windmill next to a farm would improve its production by 25% (only one windmill per farm, exclusive with the cattle ranch)

- A bakery next to a windmill would improve food production of that same farm by another 25% (only one bakery per mill)

- A granary next to a farm would improve its production by 25% plus its usual city wide 25% food increase (only one per city)

 

It would be a logical progression to improve food production with some simple dependencies to make cities varied.

 

Or, add a different food progression path:

- A cattle ranch next to a farm would improve the farms production by 20% (one per farm, exclusive with the windmill)

- A slaughterhouse next to a cattle ranch would improve food production by 20% and produce 2 Materials per turn plus 1 prestige (only one per cattle ranch)

 

Thus you had the choice between getting more food or more materials and prestige for expanding. (For maps which maybe won't have special resources for farms, 4 gardens together in a big tile could convert to a farm with half the production of food.)

 

 

I'd like similar stuff for materials:

- A sawmill next to a logging camp gives you 50% more materials from that logging camp (one per logging camp)

- A carpenter next to a sawmill gives you 25% more materials and 25% faster building rate

 

Or for metal:

- A smelter next to a mine increases its output by 50% but you need at least one logging camp in your empire for it to function (consumes 1 wood (ie. material) per turn, only one per mine)

- A workers camp next to a mine increases its output by an additional 50% (needs 2 food for the workers)

- A smithy increases a mines output by 20% (no limit, but costs 1 gold per turn)

 

Or for crystal:

- A prospector house next to a mine increases its output by 50% (only one per mine)

- A workers camp next to a mine increases its output by an additional 50% (needs 2 food for the workers)

- A cutters workshop increases its ouput by 20% (no limit, but costs 1 gold per turn)

 

Or for shards:

- A study near a shard gives 10% more power from it (plus its usual effects)

- An university near a shard gives 25% more power from it (plus its usual effects)

 

Anyway, I think you'd get my drift. Perhaps it would be a bit too much sim city for Elemental, but I'd like a direction like this, since it would imo be a logical path to upgrade and define your cities instead of arbitrary limits like: Only one bakery per city. (Why only one? Just because. But only one bakery per mill makes sense, you need the flour from somewhere after all.)

A bit more concentration on production chains (even if they don't really produce anything and only increase basic resource production) would fit quite nicely on the Rebuilding and Survival aspect of the game and would give a lot of atmosphere to city building.

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June 12, 2010 8:32:35 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I'm more and more under the impression that city management will spiral out of control as soon as you start building an empire.  In beta 1 and as I'm seeing in beta 2, it's already becoming a bit tedious.  Of course, having to go back to cities constantly to build things like "houses" is an empty feature that sucks up time and jars the player constantly away from the things he/she would actually prefer doing.  I think city building based on spamming specific kinds of buildings again and again (oh, this should be my research city... library, library, library) will make city building very dull and something most players will contantly be trying to avoid.  Galactic Civs 2 planet management fell into this pit, but began digging itself out by the time Arnor showed up because it had some races with variable build options.  What we need is fewer cities but much more flavor and character for each one.

I think that there should be numerous but fairly simple variables involved with what a city thrives at.  For instance, let's say you want to make that research city we were talking about.  Instead of creating a city building scheme that emphasises spamming cloned "scholar" buildings, have multiple variables reponsible for research that are easy to understand and that aren't always available in every city.  For instance, the city site might have a tile with an ancient, underground library.  The tile allows you to refurbish the library and extract the knowledge, giving the city +X research points and +y percentage research points per turn in that city. 

Next, you might build an academy in the city as well.  An academy might only be buildable if you've reached a certain tech, and only 1 academy can be built in your empire.  However, you can re-research the tech again at a higher cost so that you may build a second academy elsewhere in your empire (this can be repeated). 

Next, you might court a wandering scholar to study in your city, but to do so your city must have a requisite amount of research points before they will join.  The more research points the city generates, the cheaper it is to hire the scholar.  Once he/she joins, you can build a laboratory for them, which can be upgraded continually. 

Also, you might cast a spell call "inspiration" which gives a city the opportunity once every turn for 10 turns to inspire a genius (whom would then provide a base bonus to research.

If you focus on the trade part of the tech tree heavily, you might have a "Merchant's University" which generates research points based on the research level of your trade partners.  This building could only be built in cities that have reached a certain level of foreign commerce.

So in essence, every city would have its own unique flavor, rather than feel like a clone of every other city focusing on research.  As of now, I'm feeling very little attachment to any of my cities. 

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June 12, 2010 8:34:15 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting VeryAngryDwarf,
I'd caution you guys to not make city management TOO complex - the focus should be on strategy and not micro-management of cities, in my opinion.  You start requireing a lot of forethought on city building and it might bog the game down.

This is a turn based game; micro-managing cities should be done as the player is not rushing for time.

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June 12, 2010 8:35:17 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

1. You need to build too many houses early on for the city too really develop, but far less as technology progresses and you get higher capacity housing. Naturally this is just a beta so it'll change, but last night I had a city that got to level 5 (1000 people) with only 2 villas after having researched improved housing a ton of times. My other cities were overflowing with them since I had built tons of them back when all I could make was huts. The merging of multiple similar buildings you mentioned might alleviate the visual part of that, I guess.

It takes 1 to get to level 2 and I think 2 to get to level 3. 

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June 12, 2010 8:36:17 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I've written a suggestion related to seasons which I think could really improve the game. http://forums.elementalgame.com/383954

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June 12, 2010 8:40:02 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

well, i think that they should implement a city governor, that works kinda like the GalCiv2 starbase autobuild functionyou can give it parameters and it builds itself automatically.  like for instance.

defense level - none, low, moderate, high, very high.

this would tell the governor to build a certain amount of units and defenses based on this setting.

city type - resource, military, research, merchant, balance, or other type.

this would tell the city what kinds of improvements to build for you based on the type of settlement you mainly want it to be.

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June 12, 2010 8:40:58 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums
  • Like the idea of merging. With some sort of benefit, perhaps - if I build 4 houses in a block (and for my sanity, house = 100 people) then to have them merge into a 'residential quarter' would be nice. And to have that quarter gain, say, an extra % to it's housing would be even nicer - it would encourage players to think ahead on the plotting of their cities. So with one 'residential quarter' of 100*4 population, perhaps there would be a boost of 50 people - so now, I have 450 instead of 400. Not a whole lot, but still something.
  • Convenient we-are-near bonuses would also be a nice thing to add to planning. Building an armory, archery range, forge and armorer all next to or near the barracks could yield increases in troop training. A farm near a garden, warehouse and granery could increase the amount of food coming in (less distance to travel). Having an academy near libraries, a monastery, a study and the town council would increase research. Perhaps even allow individual houses, located near a structure, to give small-but-cumulative benefits - as in, if I lived next door to an academy, I'd be spending a good amount of my free time there. Near a farm? Might help out sometimes. Maybe give a net 10% bonus, which is split around everything - that house rests between an academy and the farm? 5% boost to research, 5% boost to food income. Smaller values, naturally, since it'll be cumulative.
  • I know that GalCiv2 had the 'capital' function - you could build the tech, political, economic or productive capital for a fairly nice % boost to that one planet and that one planet only. Maybe give each city the one-per-faction ability to build a sort of 'capital' for a city. The University of Magic gives a boost to research...the Trader's Guild a boost to income...etc

 

  • Research needs - NEEDS - to tell us what each tech leads to, if only the next level up. Else, it'll be nigh impossible for new players to play the game, not to mention it'll give a massive benefit to people who have memorized/jotted down the table's contents.
  • I've always been a fan of Alpha Centauri's Secret Projects (which, ironically, was broadcast to all factions...) as a sort of..."Okay, you've researched techs X, Y, Z and B. Our scientists think that if we combine what we learned from those techs, we can make THIS project here!" SPs were always a massive undertaking with great rewards. The Weather Paradigm allowed you to terraform faster than anyone else...Empath's Guild gave you free communication to every other faction, a boost to votes in the surpreme council, and an easier time at diplomacy. Tech-heavy factions would really break out the big guns (tech-wise and military-wise) for a nifty advancement.
  • I'm also a proponent of having joint technologies. That is, I have 10 levels in magic, 10 levels in warfare, and thus I have a chance at getting the magical warfare tech when I research either one of those next. Warfare and civilization...I dunno. Something nifty. But maybe throw in a handful of various techs that work together. I think it makes a lot of sense, personally, for researchers of a destroyed world to try and pool their knowledge in various areas together. I also think it makes a lot of sense that researchers in a flourishing world would have done the exact same thing.

Other resources? Hm...dunno. Not sure what else we'll need.

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June 12, 2010 8:44:18 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Frogboy,

1. You need to build too many houses early on for the city too really develop, but far less as technology progresses and you get higher capacity housing. Naturally this is just a beta so it'll change, but last night I had a city that got to level 5 (1000 people) with only 2 villas after having researched improved housing a ton of times. My other cities were overflowing with them since I had built tons of them back when all I could make was huts. The merging of multiple similar buildings you mentioned might alleviate the visual part of that, I guess.

It takes 1 to get to level 2 and I think 2 to get to level 3. 

Whatever it is, it does seem to feel a bit tedious. And matching that up with the rare food supply...

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June 12, 2010 8:46:27 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Regarding buildings, I like the idea of city, faction, and world wonders. More than just adding another layer of strategy they can really help define factions. Empires with a 1 per city library, and kingdoms with a 1 per faction <insert name> whiz-bang millitary academy, for example.

Regarding resources, I'd like to see various weapon and armour materials that aren't just +1, +2... Having the choice to equip some units with magic-dampening armour, or hyper-strong steel would be cool. Given you're moving away from approval/happiness, what do you plan for non-military resources? The only thing I can think of right now is bonuses to specific civic functions: i.e. shinier ink means better libraries and so on.

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June 12, 2010 8:51:15 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

<edit> double post, my bad lol <edit>

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June 12, 2010 8:56:00 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Beric01,

Quoting Frogboy, reply 11
1. You need to build too many houses early on for the city too really develop, but far less as technology progresses and you get higher capacity housing. Naturally this is just a beta so it'll change, but last night I had a city that got to level 5 (1000 people) with only 2 villas after having researched improved housing a ton of times. My other cities were overflowing with them since I had built tons of them back when all I could make was huts. The merging of multiple similar buildings you mentioned might alleviate the visual part of that, I guess.

It takes 1 to get to level 2 and I think 2 to get to level 3. 

Whatever it is, it does seem to feel a bit tedious. And matching that up with the rare food supply...

 

yea, my capital city was almost nothing but houses and gardens since there were no farms nearby. Not that that is necessarily terrible, because I could go back later and delete all my gardens since I captured some cities with very high food output. But should the system be working that way? Why am I allowed to have no food production in a city and still support a huge population without even caravans to transport food from my farming cities? I'm a bit confused about the game mechanics currently. Making cities reliant on trade for their needs could definitely prevent this whole phenomenon of "research only cities" and things like that because if your enemies intercept your food shipments it could be devastating. 

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June 12, 2010 9:07:30 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Nathikal,

Research needs - NEEDS - to tell us what each tech leads to, if only the next level up. Else, it'll be nigh impossible for new players to play the game, not to mention it'll give a massive benefit to people who have memorized/jotted down the table's contents.

I gotta second this, as sometimes I am just wondering "where is that stinking <insert type of building here> tech"

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June 12, 2010 9:11:50 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Stmorpheus,
well, i think that they should implement a city governor, that works kinda like the GalCiv2 starbase autobuild function.  you can give it parameters and it builds itself automatically.  like for instance.

defense level - none, low, moderate, high, very high.

this would tell the governor to build a certain amount of units and defenses based on this setting.

city type - resource, military, research, merchant, balance, or other type.

this would tell the city what kinds of improvements to build for you based on the type of settlement you mainly want it to be.

 

With the understanding that the dev team seems to want less micro-management of cities, this is the way I would go. Tie it in to the research screen and there would be no need for specific stats or tutorials explaining every bonus. 

Now having said that, I'm afraid of losing some 'complexity' on the city-building side because as of right now other parts of the game feel slow. Specifically:

*It takes a long time to get anywhere with a unit that has 'movement 1' even on a small map. I'm not sure I want to see it on a huge one. 

*Quests so far seem very basic and repetitive and I was really hoping for a bit more RPG built in. I understand this will probably change with the campaign and mods, but right now it is a disappointment.

*I don't feel like there is enough to do on each and every turn. I seem to be skipping ahead many turns at a time to get to something important (i.e. building completed, unit spawned). Before I know it, I am a few hundred turns in. Maybe it'll help if we can actually battle monsters we can defeat in the early levels, but it's tough to see that right now. Maybe when the high-level spawn gets fixed much of this will change and I hate to suggest that change with another feature being broken.

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June 12, 2010 9:19:04 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Some things that I think would help. Village Mayors, who you can set on autobuild, with the settings defined and set up by the player initially. So that way they don't have to worry about having to do the same thing for five or six cities.

Also there should be some generic town council advisory board, to give you ideas on what it needs to continue to expand. Huts, and gardens, and so on. And maybe a military advisor, to help you get a better handle on unit construction, giving you tips and hints.

As far as the question on resources, in general they should be more plentiful, and varied, but still fall under the aegis of a tech tree. Even if it's only an early level of it.

There should be different qualities and types of trees. (More along the line of fantasy in naming structure) That allow you to make better bows, and crossbows. And so on.

Also there should be as mentioned, mounted animal resources. Animals that qualify as mounts.. (really play up the fantasy realm here), that only need to be domesticated. And so on. And then different tiers of them.

Also something clearer as it regards to establishing trade routes between your cities. And if possible, some city tech that allows the sovereign to build one free supporting village that can act reward the sovereign for giving some of his precious essence. And in a sign of returning magic to the world, places beyond a cities borders begin to gradually become healthy again.

As far as visual distinctions of factions, having the ability to choose an architectural style that a city grows into would certainly be something that can help differentiate it, and then having tints to those styles, meaning the roofs of houses for example, could be the national color. To help foster that form of group unity.

I'll post as I get a few more ideas on the subject.

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June 12, 2010 9:26:31 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Beta went smooth for me - appeared in my Impulse client overnight and downloaded / installed without any issue, nice work!

I've played around half a dozen games or so (and a few 1 or 2 turn failures), to give an indicator of the amount of time I've spent with Elemental so far.

HUD

(I posted this first in another thread but that seemed to have veered wildly off-topic by the time I got there)

I'd at least like to see the following elements on a city HUD (I would imagine they could be turned of if a player doesn't want them cluttering up the screen):

  • City level
  • Room left to grow in tiles
  • Amount of prestige
  • Icons of resources gathered in this city (maybe amounts too, not sure)
  • Perhaps a visualisation of the unit being trained, if any. Maybe also an indicator of the remaining queue. Maybe total turns left to build the rest of the queue or something like that.
  • Maybe some kind of visualisation of the strength of the defending units. Perhaps their combat score? (as seen when inspecting NPCs)

I think this would make for a really nice experience when macro managing a number of cities. I am a big fan of the BUG mod for Civ 4 ( http://civ4bug.sourceforge.net/BUGMod.html ) which gives you quite a bit of this sort of information in the main screen if you want it - perhaps a good place to look for some inspiration?

 

Research

Would love a bit more clarity on where certain techs are heading (I did not research daggers for a while because they are girly. Little did I know they led to manly broadswords!). More information in the tooltip on each of the outcomes of the tech ("You can now build an Armory!" That's great - what's that do?) would be lovely, as well.

 

City Improvements

I really like the city management aspect so far - it's very possibly to specialise cities and really crank out a ton of (tech / materials / iron) with the right buildings. I like the idea floated a few times above that 4 small improvements would automatically merge into 1 4 tile one but would add that this would need you to build a bit further out than is currently possible. You can't actually build 4 libraries until city level 4 (from memory, might be 3) and keeping those slots open until then would be difficult or impossible in the current system of only being able to build on adjacent squares.
 

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June 12, 2010 9:29:00 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Minor city UI suggestion: when building, it needs to be made clear whether the building limit is one per city or one per city level, or whatever. Currently, having it say "0/1" doesn't really tell you enough.

Suggestions for rarer resources (for units): Fire breathing salamanders, nightmares (like horses, but pwnier), nullsteel (for making weapons that do extra damage against channellers)

Other resources: Marble/limestone/some fancy kind of stone for building super prestige buildings

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June 12, 2010 9:30:29 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting ghog69,
*I don't feel like there is enough to do on each and every turn. I seem to be skipping ahead many turns at a time to get to something important (i.e. building completed, unit spawned). Before I know it, I am a few hundred turns in. Maybe it'll help if we can actually battle monsters we can defeat in the early levels, but it's tough to see that right now. Maybe when the high-level spawn gets fixed much of this will change and I hate to suggest that change with another feature being broken.

 

That part above, about fighting monsters that we can defeat in the early levels. IS so amazingly accurate. Sure there should be a few really tough regional monsters earlier on to scare us, but the majority should be things that we could actually encounter, and fight. Sure the monsters don't go out of their way to attack, but they are too tough at the early levels. And they should be something that encourages a sovereign to go out to clear them himself, or send a band of adventurers and what not.

As it is, In one game I've played, I've seen tons of monsters, and avoided them all because their battle ratings were to high and they would smashed my character. That isn't really in the vein of a good RPG. Showing all these monsters, you can't go fight because you have no way to really get some solid experience to, go fight them. And sending in an army of five or six Toby's who will also get wiped out, just feels like a wasted opportunity to get some of that adventuring feel.

Just have weaker monsters, appear more frequently, from out in the fog of war. I can't express how anticlimactic it is to see giant undefeatable monster, after another.

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June 12, 2010 9:32:01 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Good stuff.

Do you want these ideas posted in detail in this thread or in the Idea's section?

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