Elemental Beta 3 Walkthru

By on June 29, 2010 3:19:33 PM from JoeUser Forums JoeUser Forums

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June 30, 2010 4:09:15 PM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

I doubt that we'll ever see "10,000" man armies. Even if we ignore the 10-unit rule (I'm going to assume that in the future, Champion don't count towards the limit, just like Heroes in MoM for those who are concerned about it), look at the numbers.


I don't think a city could practically hit much more than 1,000 or so in a game of 250 turns. That's assuming you are building military units, and have a decent amount of prestige. If you want to build a 1,000 based unit out of that city, that's that ENTIRE city. If you want 10 of those sized units, then you need 10 cities with a decent portion of their city tiles devoted to just food and Prestige. ALL TURNED INTO AN ARMY. Those cities would become ghost towns. Of course, games can easily last more than 250 turns, but I think that like Civ, "Huge" maps will just have more people thrown into it, so until you start conquering your opponent's cities, you won't get that more much cities than you would on an equivalent map in Tiny.

 

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June 30, 2010 4:17:12 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Raven X,

Not at all, my friend. What people aren't understanding apparently is you can hit Auto Resolve in the Middle of a Battle if You want. This means you can control the battle long enough to make sure you're going to win without taking massive losses, THEN hit Auto Resolve so you don't have to "Mop Up". It's a choice given to the player.

I don't want each and every battle in the game to take forever, nor do I want each and every battle in the game to take 3 minutes or less. It's all about giving the individual player the ability to control as much or as little of the combat that they want.

I get it. But it doesn't change the issue with things like "minimum" hour long battles that someone suggested. That's not practical.

What makes those long, epic, crazy battles so good is that they're rare. A typical encounter being 3 minutes means the one that takes 45 where your entire army is nearly wiped out but you win the day by the skin of your teeth is all the more special. When every battle takes 45 minutes you'll have players in a coma before the good one happens.

So I think what we can agree to is pretty much what Annatar said: a combat system that keeps combat moving but scales up to accomodate those rare crazy really large multi-army battles. I certainly wouldn't want to see a turn timer in single player. (In multiplayer, such a thing as an option might make sense.)

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June 30, 2010 4:23:00 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Tridus,

I get it. But it doesn't change the issue with things like "minimum" hour long battles that someone suggested. That's not practical.

What makes those long, epic, crazy battles so good is that they're rare. A typical encounter being 3 minutes means the one that takes 45 where your entire army is nearly wiped out but you win the day by the skin of your teeth is all the more special. When every battle takes 45 minutes you'll have players in a coma before the good one happens.

So I think what we can agree to is pretty much what Annatar said: a combat system that keeps combat moving but scales up to accomodate those rare crazy really large multi-army battles. I certainly wouldn't want to see a turn timer in single player. (In multiplayer, such a thing as an option might make sense.)

Exactly!!! Now we're on the same page.

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June 30, 2010 4:23:22 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

The only thing that concerns me are the short 3 minute battles. To be honest, I would like to see the capability of longer, more "epic" battles, that consist of back and forth tooth and nail fighting on both sides.

 

If you want an idea of a great fantasy turn-based system, take a few pages from Pox Nora's system, at poxnora.com

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June 30, 2010 4:27:46 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Well I'm excited all over again.  Please do release this week!  I think Beta2 felt a bit too much like a step back rather than a step to the side and this might just be a much more practical way for us to look out over the game as a game and not just some little parcels.  It looks so phenomenal, I can't wait.

As an aside, I hope you're proud, you and the Stardock team working on it.

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June 30, 2010 4:31:24 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Raven X,

Not at all, my friend. What people aren't understanding apparently is you can hit Auto Resolve in the Middle of a Battle if You want. This means you can control the battle long enough to make sure you're going to win without taking massive losses, THEN hit Auto Resolve so you don't have to "Mop Up". It's a choice given to the player.

I like to play games at settings hard enough that I don't know if they're winnable. More often than not I abandon a game before finishing because I'm utterly doomed or because winning has become too easy.

For my style of play, "without taking massive losses" just doesn't cut it. Each battle must be optimized for everything I can squeeze out of it. Auto resolve will not be an option for me.

And as others have said, the AI will not do as well as a great human player. Tree search algorithms with trimming heuristics can not find perfect solutions unless the problem is simple to begin with. (In anything remotely like a reasonable amount of time.) In many cases the AI probably won't even try for what I would consider to be the best outcome from a battle (after I've played for a while and know the game) - I may prefer to take more damage on different units in any given battle depending on what I plan to do next.

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June 30, 2010 4:35:34 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting LikeTheWhirlwind,
Don't take the "3 minute" thing so literally.  All we mean is that we're aiming more for Master of Magic combat length rather than Rome Total War combat length, for example.  We want you guys to feel in control, and for your tactical decisions to matter.  What we don't want is for tactical combat to drag on while both sides "go through the motions".

Awesome! With those principles at the heart of it I think we'll be seeing a wonderful result.

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June 30, 2010 4:36:30 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Raven X,

Quoting lswallie, reply 101
Why we need tactical battles? 

Blasphemy!!! Words like that will get you Lynched around here, Wallie. 

The ONLY thing holding GalCiv2 back in my eyes was the LACK of Tactical Battles. If GalCiv2 would of had Tactical Battles I would have said it was even better then MoO2...

With that being said;

I agree with you in that I'm not a fan of "Auto Resolves" either, but, Frogboy has stated from the Start that the player will be given the "Auto Resolve" option at Any Time. This is for those people...who Don't want Tactical Battles or who just don't want to do them All the time. Even I my-self may Auto Calc a battle every now and then if it's a completely one sided victory in My Favor. The only way I would never, Ever, use Auto Calc is if it cost me Troops that I could have saved had I commanded the battle My-Self.

The "Unit Threshold" is there so people who Do Not Want Tactical Battles can set the Threshold so High that Tactical Battles almost Never Happen. If you Don't Want Tactical Battles, You Don't have to play them. Most of us however DO Want Tactical Battles. In fact, if not for the fact that this game has Tactical Battles I don't know if I would have bought it or not. The Tactical Battles are a BIG DRAW for me to this game. (that and it being a upgraded, re-made, MoM)

According to Frogboy the Player will be able to chose to end or "Auto Resolve" a battle at Any Time, whether it's on turn 1 or turn 10 of a battle.

Please, DON'T PUT ARTIFICIAL LIMITS Into the Single Player Tactical Battles. For Multi-Player All the Battles could be Auto Resolved and I wouldn't care, but, for my Single Player Experience I WANT MASSIVELY LONG BATTLES ON A EPIC SCALE....PERIOD.

@lswallie: Please, Don't take that as me yelling at you, I wasn't. I just Really Want Epic Battles. 3 Minute Battles are Not Epic.

 

I am on the same page as you. I want tactical battles. I just want them to be tactical and indepth. And perhaps for mp they could be tweaked accordingly for time. I am just asking a fundamental question really. Why have them if they are going to be too quick. But I regress until I actually play and explore the system.

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June 30, 2010 4:42:56 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Dagwood,
I'm not sure if this screen shot is still relevant, but it looks pretty "epic" to me. Maybe it will help allay some concern:

http://ve3d.ign.com/images/68233/PC/Elemental-War-of-Magic/Screenshots/June-4th-Screenshot

I think just chillin' out and waiting until we see what tactical combat will feel like would be the most prudent course of action presently.

 

 

That pic scares my computer. <Computer shudders in the corner>.

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June 30, 2010 5:08:03 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums





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June 30, 2010 4:09:15 PM

I doubt that we'll ever see "10,000" man armies. Even if we ignore the 10-unit rule (I'm going to assume that in the future, Champion don't count towards the limit, just like Heroes in MoM for those who are concerned about it), look at the numbers.

I just brought up that number because I heard it mentioned a long time ago.  I think it may have even been from Brad but I don't remember anymore.  I can't see 10,000 man armies with what we currently have but things are constantly changing.  I don't think it's safe to rule it out just yet.

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June 30, 2010 5:16:58 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

What we currently has is a Tiny map. What we will be able to have are 64-bit monstrocities of maps. Even with current balance, 10,000 is certainly very possible. It doesn't matter if they're unequipped peasants or fully armored knights (in terms of how long it would take to get resources, etc).

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June 30, 2010 5:23:04 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting OMG_BlackHatHedgehog,
Cities:

Can we start to have cities defend themselves, at the very least against mundane attackers? It makes sense if your sovereign conquers a city that the peasants can't really put up  much of a fight... If they tried, the first few would undoubtedly make an example. But, if I have a peasant army of 5 Peasants walk up to an undefended city, they shouldn't be able to just take it. A city of a 100 people, even if half of them are woman and children (but Egalitarian civs might get a bonus to this?) and even if only one out of 10 of the combat-worthy indivisuals want to fight... hey look 5 peasants. I mean, in a more gregarious example, how could 1 Peasant capture a city of 100 people? Did he just look REALLY SCARY?

 

I immedietly thought "turtler that hates rushers" when I read your post.

Your suggestion makes early attacks less valuable by a great deal and simultaneously makes turtlers (people who don't want to spend a cent on defense) stronger. This can't be allowed to happen.

Minimum battlerating to attack a town (empty or not) also weakens smaller armies and rewards stack of doom and turtlers.

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June 30, 2010 5:42:56 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

There are different levels of victory.  If I had a victorious but insufficient force to occupy a city then other options like resource raids and attacks of attrition become more attractive.  One builds up your stockade while the other focuses on disruption.

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June 30, 2010 5:43:52 PM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

I immedietly thought "turtler that hates rushers" when I read your post.

Your suggestion makes early attacks less valuable by a great deal and simultaneously makes turtlers (people who don't want to spend a cent on defense) stronger. This can't be allowed to happen.

Minimum battlerating to attack a town (empty or not) also weakens smaller armies and rewards stack of doom and turtlers.

Don't ad hominid me by interpreting me as an "inferior" player based off a forum post about a game that isn't out yet. Also, turtles DO spend a cent on defense. In fact, the primary characteristic of a turtle is that they buy no OFFENSE. Only defenses (like turrets or forts or whatever) and economy buildings. Pure eco "boomers" are the ones who tend to purchase no defense, and will do a small offensive harass to preoccupy the opponents while they build up their econ. 

I actually play rush strategies.

---

Early game, cities wouldn't have a population of more than 50, at most. They start at 10, correct? This mechanic might trigger, but it won't be USEFUL. One peasant isn't going to help against a dedicated army. The minimum battle rating isn't to disable attacking. It's if you don't meet that threshold, you meet resistance. Dropping into a tactical battle. Which would enable both sides to use spells... like summon an Elemental or use a Fireball. Both the attacker and the defender.

We also currently have no mechanics that award defending (that I know of, at least). This is one. It should be more difficult to attack than defend... that is nothing new, really.

Civ V is doing this as well (cities defend themselves).

Civ IV: Colonization is also similar. There is a resource called "guns" that exists. If you have a city that is attacked for every 25 guns one of your civilians will form a militia to protect themselves (you can have "soldier class" civilians as well who have a higher battle rating). Finally, you will have one unarmed peasant defend the city after your gun-wielding civilians have been defeated. That game is different than other Civs because, in fact, it's BAD to have a "standing army" garrisoned as a city. If you aren't planning on attacking someone soon, you should always settle your soldiers into a city for a few turns.

So... this isn't something that doesn't ever happen in other games?

 

I also only pointed this out to "mundane" attackers. An enemy sovereign or a high-level champion or a fantastic monster would be able to conquer an enemy without this punishment. Which is what a rusher would be doing. So, an army purely composed of low level "thugs" without a leader would have difficulties just occupying a city, even if they destroyed their weaker defenses. Similarly, if there is a very close battle but you (as a defender) manage to kill the enemy leader and a large portion of the attackers, the civilians are "rallied" into defending their homes.

However, Brad mentioned that animals and bandits will start being aggressive now. Peasants defending themselves (and their wife and children) MAKES SENSE in this context. These people have been wandering the wilderness for 100 years without a home. they finally have one now, and they have learned how to defend themselves over the years.

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June 30, 2010 6:04:04 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I know very well the concepts of turtler, eco-boomer and aggressor but I used turtler in a bit generalistic sense. Shouldn't have done that...

 

Why shouldn't a powerful army face peasant opposition?

Defending is already easier then attacking. Higher lvl cities give % hitpoints (pretty sure about that.)

When you attack early, you invest a few lvls in Warfare instead of other categories. You also have to FIND an opponent and travel over to him. That's more then enough time for the other players to mount a defense.

 

I've only played Civ II: The Test of Time for a few hours or so so I can't talk about Civ.

 

Things making sense or being realistic is icing on the cake but shouldn't be something for Stardock to consider.

 

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June 30, 2010 7:01:34 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Campaigner,

Why shouldn't a powerful army face peasant opposition?

Defending is already easier then attacking. Higher lvl cities give % hitpoints (pretty sure about that.)

When you attack early, you invest a few lvls in Warfare instead of other categories. You also have to FIND an opponent and travel over to him. That's more then enough time for the other players to mount a defense.

A powerful army is one thing. He was talking about 5 peasants with pitchforks conquering a town of 100 people... which would have more then 5 peasants with pitchforks in it.

Civ 4 had something like that actually. While you could conquer a city with anything strong enough to overcome the defending unit, holding a city in revolt required enough force to subdue the population. One spearman couldn't hold an industrial era city in revolt, the revolters would win and take the city back (flipping it back to its previous owner). Civ 5 is taking it a step further and giving the city intrinsic defensive ability, such that you have to actually attack the city and suppress the population to take it, rather then simply walking in.

Given the store behind Elemental, people have been scraping by a living. It makes a certain amount of sense for townsfolk to have a limited ability to defend themselves. It certainly won't stop heavy bear cavalry, but  one guy with a dagger conquering a city doesn't make much sense.

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June 30, 2010 7:17:01 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

If a village has a 100 pop, that doesn't mean 100 people are going to reach for their pitchforks when a hostile army is around the corner (I know you didn't say that). If this is a time of war, people should be used to their cities changing ownership every once in a while. And to a peasant, one master is rarely worse than another.

If a tiny army invades a city, it just means that the peasants have heard about the vast forces commanded by whoever that tiny army represents.

As for solo heroes invading cities, well, I find that far more likely than anything else. Heroes represent the guys with the balls or the brains, ready to take a chance for a shot at a piece of the cake. Imagine a fantasy setting where the rogue traveler DIDN'T manipulate the town into making him mayor, or forcing all the townspeople to sell the goods to him instead by threatening with evil magic. Why, that's a fantasy setting I've never heard of.

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June 30, 2010 7:33:03 PM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

If a village has a 100 pop, that doesn't mean 100 people are going to reach for their pitchforks when a hostile army is around the corner (I know you didn't say that). If this is a time of war, people should be used to their cities changing ownership every once in a while. And to a peasant, one master is rarely worse than another.

Well, that's why I was saying it would be something like 1 free Peasant per 10 pop. And I doubt that a Kingdom would be happy to be conquered by an Empire, think about allll the different ideals they have. It surely would be something that they would hate. 

I don't think that this mechanic should prevent a powerful army from just walking in with no resistance. And a Sovereign or strong hero wielding terrifying powers conquers a city, it shouldn't be met with resistance either. People will just be quiet and accept their new ruler, more or less. 

That's why I was saying there is a minimum battle rating in a city. If you have equal to or greater that amount, there won't be a riot or "militia" facing you when you get in. If you don't meet that threshold, then the Peasants arm themselves to fight you, at a rate of 1 free Peasant per 10 pop. Maybe larger cities would have a slightly-upgraded peasant or two (maybe you get 1 guy with Leather Armor per city level or something).  

These people have been struggling to stay alive, and they've probably fought many times before to save their lives. 

That's why I'm saying it makes sense to have this mechanic. 

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June 30, 2010 7:33:06 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

http://ve3d.ign.com/images/68233/PC/Elemental-War-of-Magic/Screenshots/June-4th-Screenshot

That screenshot is still valid. Though obviously late game.

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June 30, 2010 7:35:14 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Too much reading in and misinterpretation.

I said a typical battle would last 3 minutes. We're not hard coding battles to a time limit (it's turn based, you could go to bed and come back the next morning).

That doesn't mean late game battles won't be more epic but what % of your game is spent in late game climatic battles versus the typical skirmish of a dozen vs. a dozen?

 

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June 30, 2010 7:38:29 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I'm not sure I can get around the idea of essence working so differently now.  I really liked the idea of it being required to magically imbue places, people, and objects.  If you are able to turn it off, it seems like a very different design goal, and hoarding will no longer have a point to it.  It was also a nice guarantee there won't be too many cities, but that's a balance issue.

Of course, if you aren't able to turn it off..

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June 30, 2010 7:38:44 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

As someone who loves to turtle, and also loves to rush, i feel like slapping Mr. Campaigner as he doesn't seem to know that turtle defense is.

But as for this discussion I think it's a good idea for those pretty little city guards sitting on the watch towers to stop 1 man from waltzing into a town and conquering it. Basically what i am getting at is citys should have some kind of defense against small/weak scout units conquering it.

I have faith that Stardock will balance out the game and keep everybody happy. i highly dislike games that cater only to Rushing or Turtling tactics.

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June 30, 2010 7:41:41 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Raven X,

A little Off Topic but still relevant to this conversation: That's why I think if the USA ever goes to war with China we'll lose based solely on Numbers Alone (unless we use Nukes). China is the ONLY Nation on the Planet with the Man-Power to field and equip a Army of over a Million Fighting Men (Russia might be able to, maybe). The US can't do that without re-instituting the Draft. We don't even have a Million Fighting Men Enlisted Now, and that's counting Every Branch of our Armed Forces Combined.

 

Wrong the U.s.a has a total of 3,385,400. Active 1,473,900. Reserve 1,458,500. Paramilitary 453,000. So there has to be at least a million "fighting Men".

Thats about 1.09 troops per 100 people, which someone said would be a good number of troops per people for the game to have. 

And the bigger the battles the better with the ability to save mid-fight or auto-resolve at anytime Edit- for game not real life Mr. Heavenfall        

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June 30, 2010 7:46:41 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I don't think there will be any saving mid-fight or auto-resolving in a war with China.

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June 30, 2010 7:53:02 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Frogboy,

http://ve3d.ign.com/images/68233/PC/Elemental-War-of-Magic/Screenshots/June-4th-Screenshot
That screenshot is still valid. Though obviously late game.

 

Is that one army verse the dragon? It is hard to tell one side from the other in that picture if there are in fact two armies battling it out.

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