A little worried about some of the articles coming out...

By on August 22, 2010 4:06:37 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

solidsmooky

Join Date 02/2008
+9

I know these forums are inhabited by even the most hardened of Stardock fans, and i am one too. But if you love something you can't be blind to criticize it. Already we have a thread saying don't complain so I know how this thread will turn out but i'm really hoping for an actual dialogue that won't be met with rampant fanboyism.

 

Anyway I just read this article and while I know there is a zero day patch coming, i'm a little worried about exactly HOW much they fixed in such a short amount of time. It seems like there are a lot of bugs/typos/mistakes and I think as a paying customer it's okay to say this.

A note from Frogboy on this

Hi guys, 

Let me add some points here:

1. Tom Chick is one of the top gaming journalists in the industry.  He's not just some guy.

2. He is reviewing the gold version (he is NOT playing the day 0 version). I.e. He is NOT playing a beta.

3. While I would quibble with some of the content (yes, we multiply bonuses. We multiplied them in Entrepreneur, we multiplied them in GalCiv, and we multiply them in Elemental and have throughout the beta).

4. I agree with Tom that the Hiergamenon page should make it more clear that those bonuses are being multiplied and that there is a text bug in the description of Educated that was since addressed.

5. The math system under the hood does work as designed, even in the gold version. It's not buggy but I think Tom brings up a valid point that the way it is explained to the player needs work (I think Tom would also agree it's light years ahead of how we "explained" the math in GalCiv II which was, essentially we didn't).

6. This isn't a review, it's a diary.  Please read Tom's other works.  It doesn't mean he hates the game. He is pointing things out that he thinks can be improved in the game and we can all benefit from it.

 

 

 

Anyway here is the article and some snippets:

 

http://fidgit.com/archives/2010/08/elemental_in_a_world_of_dragon.php

 

I'm trying to like Elemental. I really am. But the version I have now, and the version you're probably going to get to start playing tomorrow if you pre-ordered, is in pretty sad shape. A patch should be available by Monday. I hope it's a big patch.

My problem isn't just the way Elemental assumes you know things you would have no way of knowing, or the amateurish mistakes in the interface, or the crashes, or how alt-tabbing kills the game, or the way the Farming Guild increases metal production by 100%, or that I didn't get the leather armor I was promised when I researched it, or even this picture of the dreaded Umberdroth Pack, which either has cloaking technology or is so skinny it can hide behind a palm tree.

Elemental_GD_01_palms.jpg

Actually, maybe the Umberdroth Pack is the palm trees. I suppose there's no reason you can't have a tropical ent.

All those things are frustrating enough. But I'm a bit worried that I simply can't trust the game to do what it says it's doing.


All I ask is for you guys to just read this and not to flip out on me for criticizing or worrying about the game or wondering exactly HOW much this zero-day patch is going to fix.

Locked Post 145 Replies
Search this post
Subscription Options


Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
August 22, 2010 4:12:01 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

5 * 1.25 * 1.5 = 9.4

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
August 22, 2010 4:12:26 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I wouldn't worry about it. And I would doubt the early reviewers. Frogboy has said they budget in updating the game for a long time, I believe over a year, after release. Elemental will be great. Frogboy seems very passionate about the game and being the CEO can make the game seem like the CEO was passionate about it.

And after all, aren't all reviewers full of s*** anyway?

- Othello

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
August 22, 2010 4:16:24 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

There are going to issues. Frankly, however, I lost interest when the reviewer began by noting that space is a boring setting for a game.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
August 22, 2010 4:18:42 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Yeah, Frogboy's passion convinced me to take the plunge but I remember what happened with Demigod :/ I guess i'm still smarting with that one. I am still hopeful for this, even after all of the negative stuff from beta testers and other forums I posted in but I really, really, really need a 4X Fantasy game because I can only play Fall From Heaven 2 so much.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
August 22, 2010 4:26:04 AM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

Quoting Othello,
And after all, aren't all reviewers full of s*** anyway?

- Othello

Tom Chick is my favorite writer.  He is definately not full of shit.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
August 22, 2010 4:27:45 AM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

Actually he probably is, but at least its good shit

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
August 22, 2010 4:28:39 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Some of the comments on that page are...dissheartening. Here's an interesting quote...Don't shoot the messenger here guys, I'm just quoting what I'm seeing:

"snits on August 22nd 2010 2:49am

Whatever happened to we shall ship no game before it's time. Between this and their publishing of Demigod, they apparently have some serious QA team issues to resolve."
 
That's not good, not good at all. Who was the writer of that "Review" anyway? Is that an actual review site or some dudes random blog? I wouldn't think some random blogger would have access to the game this early and would of had to have based that on the Beta or something, in which case that explains the number errors as most of the values for things in Beta 4 were place holders. Either way, I'm GREATLY looking forward to tomorrow. I'll be changing just about every value the game has for modding anyway, so, I'll be doing my own math...lol.
 
Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
August 22, 2010 4:29:33 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I don't think releasing unfinished and buggy games is a good idea, but it seems it's the Stardock's way of doing things. I remember Galciv1 (and early versions of GalCiv2, IIRC) had a bug that created an extra turn after loading a saved game, and it wasn't fixed for a long time.

Quoting Othello,
Frogboy has said they budget in updating the game for a long time, I believe over a year, after release.

Yes, now they can update the game for a year or two, and fix things that should be fixed from the start. I'm not saying that version 1.0 should have no bugs, but the amount of them in Stardock's games is just too big. I think it has something to do with the style of development that they use.

So it's better to buy their games a year after release, instead of getting frustrated by v1.0 (or the 0-day patch, which will probably fix some of the bugs, but I'm sure many of them will stay).

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
August 22, 2010 4:29:39 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Tom chick has always been a nitwit, cant stand that stupid fuck.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
August 22, 2010 4:31:43 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

The reviewer assumes the game's maths is wrong.  It is simply adding bonuses cumulatively instead of from base value.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
August 22, 2010 4:32:38 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

That's hardly a review, but i do hope the inaccurecys and spelling mistakes are weeded out by the 0day update.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
August 22, 2010 4:33:34 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting _PawelS_,
I don't think releasing unfinished and buggy games is a good idea, but it seems it's the Stardock's way of doing things. I remember Galciv1 (and early versions of GalCiv2, IIRC) had a bug that created an extra turn after loading a saved game, and it wasn't fixed for a long time.


Quoting Othello, reply 2Frogboy has said they budget in updating the game for a long time, I believe over a year, after release.
Yes, now they can update the game for a year or two, and fix things that should be fixed from the start. I'm not saying that version 1.0 should have no bugs, but the amount of them in Stardock's games is just too big. I think it has something to do with the style of development that they use.

So it's better to buy their games a year after release, instead of getting frustrated by v1.0 (or the 0-day patch, which will probably fix some of the bugs, but I'm sure many of them will stay).

 

Well to be fair one of the reasons why I think they're releasing so early is because Civ 5 comes out next month

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
August 22, 2010 4:38:31 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Why are people reviewing a version of the game *before the game's actual release date*?   Seems like an awful load of assumptions that are being made in that review, and the reviewer is not being upfront about them.  So what about cumulative percentages rather than CivIV's way of doing things which is +20% + 20% equals +40%?  If you want to be picky, then CivIV's way of doing percentages is non-standard, *not* Elemental's.

Best regards,
Steven. 

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
August 22, 2010 4:40:54 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I'm not a Chick adherent--Jack or Tom.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
August 22, 2010 4:42:27 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

the multipliers being literally multiplied together instead of added is counter-intuitive. Most game systems (especially MMOs) tend to avoid this, to avoid people getting too many multipliers that can break a game.

For a TBS, it should work fine. Its not like there are twenty thousand items and a total of twenty different slots that could all have that same category multiplier. Theres just so many buildings for a city, right?

An incorrect picture on one page for the Umberdroth pack needs a better context. Having not played the beta and the game not being released yet I don't know even what the guy is inspecting, be it a plot of land (The Hiergamenon: Resouce Type? is the hiergamenon the name of an in game encyclopedia or the plot of land the guy is looking at? I have no idea.) He's probably right about this.

 

 

Oh, I just realized this is a review by Tom Chick. This guy likes to be a little rough on reviews. He thought Deus Ex... MGS4... and so many other games sucked.

http://fidgit.com/archives/2008/12/10_most_overrated_games_of_200.php

He seems to be a big hater of...everything?

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
August 22, 2010 4:43:53 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

To be fair, he says that he is not sure from where the 50% bonus come, as the "educated" trait was supposed to only give 10% from other game infos.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
August 22, 2010 4:47:49 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Sounds like he isn't used to a game with so much 'game' as opposed to fancy graphics and 'user-friendly' stuff.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
August 22, 2010 4:58:10 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Tom Chick commented the article later:


"I never would have guessed that you multiply each bonus instead of adding it, but there you go. Now someone solve for me the other weird numbers I brought up and I'll be a lot happier! "

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
August 22, 2010 4:58:42 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

This guy likes to be a little rough on reviews. He thought Deus Ex... MGS4... and so many other games sucked.

There's nothing wrong with criticizing things even if they are great. The entire scientific community is based on that principle. I can see why the supposedly bad math was called out, namely - as one of the previous authors put it:

the multipliers being literally multiplied together instead of added is counter-intuitive.

But I wouldn't read much into it. At best, this might be an indicator that this mechanic could (not should, mind you) be explained or otherwise made clearly for those who get confused by this.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
August 22, 2010 5:04:18 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Who is Tom Chick, what is Fidget, and what version of the game was he reviewing? Also, it REALLY looks like his math was wrong there.

HOWEVER, I do agree that, based off the BETA version of the game, they really need to go through and edit their text and descriptions with a fine tooth comb. But, as everyone has said, that placeholder material before the Random House guys put in all their stuff.

We'll know the truth tomorrow.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
August 22, 2010 5:11:42 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting _PawelS_,
I'm not saying that version 1.0 should have no bugs, but the amount of them in Stardock's games is just too big..

If you have never done actual game development, then I can understand thinking that the amount of bugs in Stardock's games is large. It is very easy to be critical of a game for art issues or crash bugs, but most of these issue will not effect the average player from loading up the game and having a good time. Honestly, larger game developers have spent far more time and money on game with more nasty bugs than people have found in elemental. Developers when confronted with these challenges simply remove whole feature from the game instead of actually dealing with the problems. Consider for a moment the fable series, and the incredible differences between what they proposed to be doing and what they produced. At the end of the day, I at least have respect for Stardock for taking the time and effort to produce interesting games and then support them for years after release (something EA would never do). From everything I have read, this game was a labor of love, and we should all feel honored that they want to share that with us.

 

 

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
August 22, 2010 5:26:23 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I'll be really disappointed if Elemental has bugs. It is the love child of one of the first (and IMNSHO best) 4x games. Master of Magic was truly a quality product, and the minor bugs that were in the initial release were completely fixed by subsequent patches.

 

Wait. No, I'm sorry, it had massive, game-breaking bugs on its release, and the final patch version left many bugs still in. It is a great, fun game to play even today. I'm no fanboy, but a game can be fun *and* have issues.

 

I'm just saying...

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
August 22, 2010 5:31:10 AM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

There's always going to be CHICKEN LITTLES and the OP is just one of them. Also on the verge of trolling since the game isn't even out to the public yet. Thrash him and then tar and feather him and then put him on a rail and tote him off the forums. )

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
August 22, 2010 5:32:19 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Don't dissapoint us Frogboy

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
August 22, 2010 5:38:10 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I don't take notice of reviews, it's how it plays for me that matters.

But I hope it doesn't take the endless updates and a decent mod it took to get Sins into an enjoyable state.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
Stardock Forums v1.0.0.0    #101114  walnut1   Server Load Time: 00:00:00.0001000   Page Render Time: