Elemental: Day 0 Preview

By on August 24, 2010 12:24:06 AM from JoeUser Forums JoeUser Forums

Frogboy

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AUGUST 24th, 2010.

This is a day that the team has been waiting for for three years!

As some of you know, some retailers broke the street date and to make sure our beta testers and pre-order customers didn’t get the short end of the stick, we released an interim build of Elemental (internally called Gold Edition++).

It turns out that this was a blessing in disguise because we have gotten a tremendous amount of useful feedback from those of you who got the game before release. The results of this comes in two parts.

First, tonight we released a new interim build. This version is basically bug fixes and such based on player reports. You can see what’s new in it here. Looking at the change log gives you an idea of the complexities of making a new PC game in 2010 with a brand new engine.

But tomorrow (or later today as I write this) is the big one. The official day 0 update that the team and I have been working on since Beta 4 (the beta group can go into more detail on this but in brief: After beta 4, the game tree was split in two. One version went on to be the gold version which is what those people who have it early are playing. The other tree went on to become day 0.  These two trees were merged today already and will be going up tomorrow.

So what can you expect?

Here’s a few highlights:

  1. The UI is updated to be somewhat more intuitive.
  2. The campaign is significantly updated (though only for those starting fresh).
  3. Resources are treated more like units. This is hard to explain but essentially the game will let you know of what resources you’re not using and how to make use of them.
  4. There’s a lot of performance improvements the day 0 build, particularly for those with lower end CPUs.
  5. The “day 0” AI is in it.
  6. There’s been a polish pass to the spell books and tactical battles.
  7. There’s been a general polish pass to the main game UI overall.
  8. There’s been a lot of balancing to monsters, units, etc.

The day 0 version, as most of you know, is the version that was originally expected to be the first version most people would ever play.  We’re definitely glad, however, that people got to play the pre-day 0 builds because we got a lot of very useful feedback and some crash reports that were not known about.

Now, a couple words on multiplayer.  The servers are up but we are not going to enable multiplayer until next week. Part of this is, to be honest, team exhaustion. The early release meant a lot of people who were expecting this weekend off to rest from the grueling last few weeks had to come in.  So we’re going to let them get a couple of days off later this week and open up the MP next week.

One piece of good news on MP. Originally we had planned to eliminate tactical battles from MP entirely because of balance. Some people correctly guessed the misguided (in hindsight) reason for this: We were approaching MP from a purely competitive point of view.  Based on the persuasive arguments made by our players, we have decided that tactical battles will be made available in MP – as an option – at a later date as a free update.

So that’s all for now.  After the day 0 update, I plan to take a day or two off too. I hear sleeping is the new “in thing” and you guys know me, I’m all about being cool and…um..what not.

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August 24, 2010 12:30:02 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

You guys deserve the rest for going out of your way for us. Thanks again!

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August 24, 2010 12:31:36 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

No race or faction editor huh

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August 24, 2010 12:33:20 AM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

Nice can't wait for the full build but I'm definatly having fun with it at it's current state.

Will the day 0 build be more friendly to custom resolutions like 1280x720? 

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August 24, 2010 12:37:18 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Thank you for the great support.   The game is excellent.  It is fun to see the improvements from beta 4 to the gold ++ version.  Looking forward to being in the group for the long haul.   

 

Thanks to the whole team!

 

 

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August 24, 2010 12:38:25 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Nktalloth,
No race or faction editor huh

 

There is one available in the mods section.   If it doesn't have the features you want, write a comment.  I'm sure the author would be happy to take suggestions.  

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August 24, 2010 12:46:17 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Just want to let you know the game runs alot better with the pre0day patch, looks great.

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August 24, 2010 12:47:01 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Hey,

thanks for all of the good work. I'm slightly confused with all of the names of the different versions. Yesterday I played a v1.00 - is that the special-Beta-Tester-Gold++?

I just updated to v1.01 - is that the day-0-Version?

I ask because I have to verify some issues that I encountered with the v1.00 and would like to do that with day-0 version, so that I don't post old news.

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August 24, 2010 12:55:39 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting ,

One piece of good news on MP. Originally we had planned to eliminate tactical battles from MP entirely because of balance. Some people correctly guessed the misguided (in hindsight) reason for this: We were approaching MP from a purely competitive point of view.  Based on the persuasive arguments made by our players, we have decided that tactical battles will be made available in MP – as an option – at a later date as a free update.

Awesome, thanks Frogboy.  I hope in time you can be persuaded to allow for quests in MP as well.

Definitely good news.

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August 24, 2010 1:00:49 AM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

Quoting Xtropy,




quoting post

One piece of good news on MP. Originally we had planned to eliminate tactical battles from MP entirely because of balance. Some people correctly guessed the misguided (in hindsight) reason for this: We were approaching MP from a purely competitive point of view.  Based on the persuasive arguments made by our players, we have decided that tactical battles will be made available in MP – as an option – at a later date as a free update.



Awesome, thanks Frogboy.  I hope in time you can be persuaded to allow for quests in MP as well.

Definitely good news.

Great news about tactical battles, hopefully more good news will follow for MP.

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August 24, 2010 1:05:03 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Michael_Zett,
Hey,

thanks for all of the good work. I'm slightly confused with all of the names of the different versions. Yesterday I played a v1.00 - is that the special-Beta-Tester-Gold++?

I just updated to v1.01 - is that the day-0-Version?

I ask because I have to verify some issues that I encountered with the v1.00 and would like to do that with day-0 version, so that I don't post old news.

 

v1.01 is the current Gold++ (tonights update)

day-0 update comes tomorrow...

 

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August 24, 2010 1:05:10 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

*Did you fix the camera when you want to shift from city build view back to the normal view? *Also is there any news about making spells more varied?

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August 24, 2010 1:06:37 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

So those of us who are in a middle of the campaign won't be able to see the "improved" campaign unless we start anew?

What exactly has been tweaked with it? I am curious as to whether starting over would be worth it.

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August 24, 2010 1:07:21 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Michael_Zett,
Hey,

thanks for all of the good work. I'm slightly confused with all of the names of the different versions. Yesterday I played a v1.00 - is that the special-Beta-Tester-Gold++?

I just updated to v1.01 - is that the day-0-Version?

I ask because I have to verify some issues that I encountered with the v1.00 and would like to do that with day-0 version, so that I don't post old news.

 

That's the Interim update that he mentioned earlier, the actual Day-0 version will come later today (since it's past midnight here at least if you live in the east coast, lol)

 

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August 24, 2010 1:08:01 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting solidsmooky,
*Did you fix the camera when you want to shift from city build view back to the normal view? *Also is there any news about making spells more varied?

 

I think this is fixed with tonights patch, or at least it seems to be.

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August 24, 2010 1:10:47 AM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

Quoting Melamine,
So those of us who are in a middle of the campaign won't be able to see the "improved" campaign unless we start anew?What exactly has been tweaked with it? I am curious as to whether starting over would be worth it.

 

I'm going to probably restart a new campaign but I need to know what the difficulties really do, the manual isn't as detailed about it as Galciv2s.  Does the AI use it's full ability on normal and on what difficulty does the AI start to cheat at? 

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August 24, 2010 1:14:51 AM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

should I uninstall - reinstall ...? To prevent bugginess or whatnot.

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August 24, 2010 1:14:53 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Been playing and enjoying the game so far, very glad to hear about multiplayer, and im sure everyones in a rush to play, but more then happy to wait till its ready. You guys have gone all out had no weekend and we all really apperciate it.

 

S.R.

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August 24, 2010 1:15:59 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Rune_74,

Quoting solidsmooky, reply 11*Did you fix the camera when you want to shift from city build view back to the normal view? *Also is there any news about making spells more varied?

 

I think this is fixed with tonights patch, or at least it seems to be.

Yeah I just started a game and saw the fix. This is great! I can run the game at max settings finally. Great job

 

I guess my only thing now champions and units can't buy equipment on their own from cities and spells. But this really rocks.

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August 24, 2010 1:17:31 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Great news, thanks for the update. I'm quite impressed with whats stated here. Can't wait to see it up and running (smoothly).

btw, what is a "game tree that was split in two"? What does that mean? Also, what are these late game champion abilities you mentioned? I'm very curious to see what is new, changed, and improved.

P.S. Don't break my mods please, LOL

P.S.S. Just kidding, more stuff to work with. Modding is my responsibility. Keep it up!

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August 24, 2010 1:18:30 AM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

Lord Nova: you can see the differences between the difficult levels (and, also, make them harder/easier if you want).

Program Files\Stardock Games\Elemental\data\English\CoreDifficultyLevels.xml


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August 24, 2010 1:18:49 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Thank you thank you thank you, especially in regards to multiplayer.

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August 24, 2010 1:20:25 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting VirtualPal,


v1.01 is the current Gold++ (tonights update)

day-0 update comes tomorrow...

 

Ah, okay, thank you. I'm in europe and it's already tomorrow

So, I'll wait on the next update. v1.01 seems to got a little better in the "build where I click"-issue, but again I was able to click my merchant on the western side of town and the camera moved and he was built on the eastern side of town. But it happened just one time...

What still is there is when you click the build-menu on the one map (e.g. cloth map) and then zoom into the other map (engine) the green tiles that tell you where you are able to build vanish. They only appear on the map on which you opened the build menu.

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August 24, 2010 1:25:11 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting awuffleablehedgie,
Lord Nova: you can see the differences between the difficult levels (and, also, make them harder/easier if you want).

Program Files\Stardock Games\Elemental\data\English\CoreDifficultyLevels.xml

 

Excuse me but I can't read XML.  Can someone put in plain english exactly how the difficulty changes the game and at what level the AI starts to cheat?  Thanks.

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August 24, 2010 1:36:28 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

So far each time, I've really enjoyed the changes.

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August 24, 2010 1:44:51 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

This is good news. I think I'll hold off playing until tomorrow then... I have outstanding work that needs finishing anyway.

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