Okay, what am I missing?

A 4X veteran's frustration

By on August 29, 2010 6:03:17 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Weidbrewer

Join Date 03/2006
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I must be missing something.  It's not that I haven't played games like this - I've been playing 4X games for over 20 years - and that's what is baffling me.  I'm playing this game on the easiest level, and I'm getting my ass handed to me.  Soundly and repeatedly.  Pretty much from the get-go, I'm fighting an uphill battle, even when only against 2 other factions.

  • If I turtle around just a few cities and try to build them up, the other factions explode and take over the map
  • If I try to expand at the pace the others are, I over extend and can't support them.
  • I've been building monetary structures and send out caravans, but I still can't keep my funds up
  • No matter how many resource tiles I build on, the other factions have far, far more resources than I do, and their cities are huge.
  • From the start, the wandering barbarian-type NPCs are just brutal and sack my cities no matter what I have guarding them - and no matter how strong of units I research, they sap my money and I get obliterated the second someone declares war on me - which they'll do at the drop of a hat, treaty or not.

Especially given that these are all happening on the easiest level - a setting I haven't used in a 4x game in years - leads me to believe that there is something very fundamental that I must be missing, but I don't know what it is.  Any suggestions?

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August 29, 2010 6:09:57 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Oh wow, I thought I was the only one. I'm so glad to know that I'm not. I came to the conclusion that there are things I'm missing that a tutorial would/should include and that I should just wait, but if it's something someone can explain, then I'll keep at it. I'm just very glad to see that I'm not the only one....

 

Anyone? Help?

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August 29, 2010 6:21:01 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

some brief pointers while I am browsing forum from work.

First squads are super important in this game. I prefer to research my civilization to grab great mill, then squads, then armor, then weapons, then I usually get the first adventure resource tech, followed by some more Civilization tech, from there it varies on what I do.

secondly I find that taking my hero out and smashing monsters for xp adn gold while exploring works very well. I usually Imbue Janusk first thing and have him help out with Fireball spam. I play Porcip mainly so I am learning spells for free. I grab fire bolt, then beeline to fire ball and fire giant. Usually marry Janusk too just to start the family rolling. (perk of female hero = free husband at start of game just like AI's get)

Might edit more in later when I get home from work. 40m to go.

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August 29, 2010 6:29:54 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums


Thank you for taking a minute to reply, dragoaskani.  Unfortunately, those are all things I'm doing - well, except for the playing a female character and getting married right off the bat.  Haven't tried that.  (Also not sure what you're referring to when you say "Imbue" in this context, though I certainly recruit him.)  But other than that, those are techs that I go for, and I also try to do the wandering skull-splitter routine with my hero..."try" being operative.  Until I get his party up to about 7 people or so, anything but lone wolves and darklings tend to crush me.

Are you doing all battles in the tedious tactical view, or having it auto resolve?

But, no, I think that there must be something even more fundamental that's not clicking with me.  Even the "good" games I've had just fall apart at a certain point and end in a few turns.


Oh wow, I thought I was the only one. I'm so glad to know that I'm not.


No, you're not.  Seeing it pop up in several threads that I've been reading.  Unfortunately (like many games) the responses tend to run towards, "Go play WOW, n00b!"     I'm really not used to being in the position of being the guy they're directing it towards, though...


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August 29, 2010 6:58:33 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Money is always a problem in strategy games. A solution that has worked for me in EWOM is starting a base area of 3 or 4 cities. During their development I am scouting like crazy. The most important resources is gold (it supports building stuff in cities and military units, and buys equipment for your heroes).  I"ll get all the gold I can and grab 1 or 2 materials resources if they come up.  It also helps to change the name of the cities to money1, money 2, or some other kind of indicator. I do this because the game sometimes shows a city hitting a higher level but you can't tell what the city is producing for you (and I can't remember the goofball names).  Caravans are ok, but a huge pain in the ass if the city is too far. Guarding cities is unit demanding enough, but protecting a trade route is not worth the resources you get out of the caravan.  If you see a faction with one gold mine thing about taking the city. IF you see one with two gold mines, take the city (otherwise it's harder to keep up with them).

Get all the tech's that bonus gildar (markets, etc...)  then also add a palace (7g per turn) to specialize your city.  I'm not sure but I THINK the mining guild might also help.

I also use my "main" group to attack mobs with 4 or more, they seem to give the most money.

Also try selling to other factions.  It won't go as well because the AI won't pay full price for materials when it already has 500.

That's about it.

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August 29, 2010 7:21:15 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

"Imbue" is a spell you have. It transfers essence to a champion, giving them the ability to cast spells. If you then gain them some levels and increase their essence, they can do it too and you can farm up a team of casters.

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August 29, 2010 7:22:06 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Another tip regarding the Money problems: try researching the Adventure tree for level three Goodie Huts. The Treasure chests sometimes contain 100 Gold pieces.

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August 29, 2010 7:38:32 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Some things that have helped me get by on normal games.

-I gen a lot of maps. I don't settle for starting locations with a) less than three immediately visible resources and no materials resource.

-I forfeit games where I start within 15 or so tiles of another empire.

-I research weaponry immediately.

-I over use the summoned minions to an unfun extent. But hey, if the AI spend themselves into the negatives.....

-I never attack unless I have an overwhelming advantage, especially when auto-battle is the only resolution available to me. When your units are few and weak, auto-battle is highly favorable to your enemy.

-I always have a pioneer ready.

-I have at least three spell casters, so one can shuffle units between cities.

-I keep my adventuring LOW until mid game. I may not get all the extra money and quest items, but I don't have to put up with a ton of strong monsters threatening my settlements, killing my caravans, my pioneers and weaker troops who are on the move. And my heroes get lots of easy XP.

-I focus a lot on gildar production. Money = troops, and you'll need far more money than materials or metals.

-When I attack an empire, I destroy half or more of their empire in one sitting. (See below)

-I'm a bastard. If the enemy sacks a friendly empire's city, I sack the city in turn and keep it. This usually gives me a foothold at the door step of whatever Empire is at war with me, but it's a city I don't mind losing.

Some things to bear in mind about the AI:

-It cheats. It has no bottom cap on it's resources in this build. So they can and will pump out the best units they're capable of. Which aren't that great, until they make them 3x3 units at full experience. If they had good weapons and armor, the AI would be unbeatable.

-It expands like the plague. Rather than waiting 20 turns for a city to grow to acquire new resources, the AI will plop down a new city exactly outside the range of other cities. This makes it look like they're huge, but in fact they're not. They're almost always badly over extended. Half of those cities have no troops in them, or very weak troops, all their forces are usually out in the world. Run in, sack 5 cities and raze them, them laugh as their empire fills up with monster populations. Always hit cities strong. When you deprive the AI of its cities, it seems to kind of go into shock.

 

 

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August 29, 2010 7:51:26 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Same "problem" with me.

I am used to play GalCiv II. ... and with concentration I succeed at "tough".

In Elemental even "novice" seems to be too difficult. At some point (around turn 300) the AI simply is too strong for me. I do like the game as such. But this is a bit disappointing. Maybe that is the lack of a solid tutorial with some hints for the inexperienced player. Nevertheless I like it and I enjoy it. So from now on the motto is "losing is fun" just like in "dwarf fortress" (but I really would like to get the kingdom up an running...   )

Cheers

Heiner

 

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August 29, 2010 7:57:25 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I usually walk around a bit, trying to see if I can find any gold on the map to settle my first city near. I also setup my sovereign so that he can move 4 tiles a turn (and that everyone in his group moves the same speed).

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August 29, 2010 8:04:35 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

For money buildings, all of them other than the merchant apply a -modifier- to the city's base production. So unless there is something already there making money, they're doing you no good. And many structures have maintenance costs. I would go through your cities, open up the city report and click on the gildar production of each city to see the break down of what in each city is doing what.

 

The same applies to every other resource in the game. For instance, if you have a farm and that's the only thing the city it's linked to is producing for you, there's no reason to level it up to level 2. The benefit you get from irrigation is canceled out by the cost of the hut. Likewise, if the only thing a city has that is producing gildar is a merchant, the other gildar buildings are going to be a heck of a lot less effective. Since having only a merchant in a city produces only 1 gildar per turn, you need at least a 200% modifier to see any sort of difference - and that's only possible at high level cities.

 

Don't forget you can trade with minor factions. If you have spare stuff, trade away. You can always buy it back later when you're in the black.

 

Don't feel pressured to build everything right away. Or every building in every city. Things like a watch tower don't do you much if the city is in the middle of your empire. And things like elemental shards, crystals, and metal are late game things - you don't need to drop the money on them right away or their associated buildings.

 

Hire merchant champions. Though their money production is low,  can be useful to help jumpstart your economy. More than that, as they are champions, it helps inflate your might score. If need be, stop spending money and stalk an NPC while you save up. 

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August 29, 2010 8:05:58 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

One thing to try is to think about the game differently than many others -- Elemental is a strategy game that deserves to be played for years, like Civ4.  With that in mind, play for awhile while in 'learning mode', not 'playing for real' mode.  Experiment, test, play with things, hit buttons or objects on the UI, try out possible hot key combinations, try different game settings, and see what happens.  Visit the forums often and see what others have discovered.  There's a lot to the game, strategy-wise and feature-wise (plus the game will be changing a lot in the near future), and good strategy games take awhile to get a handle on.  That's a good thing, as that's why Elemental will be playable for years not days or weeks and be a classic of its genre.

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August 29, 2010 8:10:09 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

LOL try the game on normal and notice how weak the AI is compared to easy seeting. This worked for me.

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August 29, 2010 8:12:15 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting sagittary,
The same applies to every other resource in the game. For instance, if you have a farm and that's the only thing the city it's linked to is producing for you, there's no reason to level it up to level 2. The benefit you get from irrigation is canceled out by the cost of the hut.

 

Although note that leveling your city will give it more influence, which is important if you're trying to absorb some resources just past your border into the empire.

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August 29, 2010 8:22:20 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

First game I've played was against all available factions on large map, at challenging AI.

I've settled at 2 nearby gold mines ASAP, so had 3 cities before first encounter.

Declared war on my neighbor immediately (it was about turn 30 or 40), wiped him out with 3x stacks with ease (he was still using 1x units).

Conquered 2 other kingdoms nearby, and by turn 150 I had 8 cities, over 100 gildar per turn, and was pumping out steel-clad 9x units. With squad of these, my rating easily reached 1000/squad levels, and I felt virtually no resistance when was wiping rest of factions on the map.

 

Maybe 'easy' is actually harder than 'challenging' ?

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August 29, 2010 8:45:51 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

LOL try the game on normal and notice how weak the AI is compared to easy seeting. This worked for me.

I was wondering if this was really the case. The AI pulls out some surprises (multiple 500+ point armies), but creatures and heroes rarely attack cities at all on normal. They've probably got some values mixed up and some easy AI settings are completely not easy.

But the one tip that is always good is: get your military tech up very quickly. Even if you don't build stuff right away, you can respond quickly later. I've usually researched several levels above what I can realistically afford.

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August 29, 2010 9:34:19 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I don't know how your playing but I think I might know what you are doing wrong. I'm gonna guess your trying to build units your can't really afford to build. Gildar is hard to come by but people are not and thus it's better to focus on getting more units out then trying to get the best you can field which it sounds like your doing since you said "no matter how strong of units I research, they sap my money and I get obliterated the second someone declares war on me".

That being said here are some basic strategies I use when playing the game I haven't really had a problem deal with the AI, in fact I consider them to be a push over.

 

1) Every city should be training troops at ALL times. Even if it's only peasants they should be training something. If you can't afford to then you need to build cheaper units. The only time this rule doesn't really apply is late game when you have 6+ cities and a HUGE army already. But your first 3-4 should always be training something early game.

2) Only build what your really need or can afford, especially early one. A lot of the buildings give +% which is fairly worthless in a city that only produces ONE of that item. Build those in cities that are near the resource that produce them so you'll actually get some worth out of them. It's easy to spend a ton on those buildings early on and then not have enough cash to follow rule 1. You can build them though if you have plenty of extra resources as long term every little bit helps.

3) First Military research every game should be the one that let's you train Parties (units of 4). As a simple Party of Peasants cost 16 gildar and 4 materials but has 12 ATK and 20 HP. A couple of these can easily handle wandering monsters which give you gold for killing them. I usually build Pioneers first and do this as my first R&D of the game so I don't even bother with Individual peasants.

4) Camp nearby forest for wandering monsters to XP & Gildar grind. It seems that any forest not in a zone of influence has a chance of spawning enemy monsters in it. In some of the larger forest areas it seems like there is almost always 1 monster unit there for me to kill. A small army of peasants will easily earn you more then it cost to field them but you will loss a few from time to time.

5) Send units back to your cities to heal them especially early on. Hit and run tactics against monsters are really important early game. Since leveling up even your basic peasants gives them extra HP and thus they can last even longer. I tend to have a line of new units heading towards the front and injured units heading back to closest city.

6) Monsters don't seem to spawn in side your area of influence but will wander into it. So once you've spread your influence out over a forest area and much of the nearby land it's usually safe to leave only a small group guarding the city while the bulk of your army guards the borders.

7) Imbue new Heroes you want to be casters at level 1. This way every time they level up they can spend it on essence. High level casters are very valuable especially if you know some good tactical spells.

8) Taking the Summoning SOV route helps a LOT. Pick or make a SOV with the summoning book then following rule 7 to get a lot of heroes with large pools of mana you can field a fairly impressive army for pretty much free. Each champion can only have 1 of each summon monster type but if you have 3 champions, including SOV, then you can easily summon an army of 9 units that are fairly powerful pretty early on. And army which is completely disposable since the only thing they cost is Mana and the time it takes to regen the Mana. About 15 turns worth since there are 3 summons that cost 5 mana each. Later ones cost 8, 10, 15, 16, and 20 Mana. But if your level your heroes they should have plenty of mana to summon these nasty monsters that are in the mid teens or higher with ATK/DEF.

9) EXPAND! You want to grab resources early but only the ones that are actually important to your early growth. Focus on Gold, Materials, and Food resources first. Metal and Crystals are nice but their only real use is advanced units which you need to research the equipment for first. The Arcane and Tech Libraries are also nice to get your research kicked off faster. Shards are among the LAST things you should worry about as they cost 100 gildar to setup on. Most resources nodes are expensive to build on which is why you wanna focus on only building what you need. Like if you have plenty of food you may set a city near some fertile land but don't build the farm till you actually need the food as those resource are better spend else where. This all goes back to rule 2. 

10) Don't rush up the Military Equipment tech tree. The more powerful units easily get very expensive with all the fancy equipment and if you don't have the Metal and Crystal of field them it doesn't do much good to research them. Not to mention their Gildar cost is fairly high as well and unless you've built a good income base you won't be able to produce them in reasonable numbers to make much difference. Instead focus on unit size and experience. Groups of 4, 8, and 12 units are much better then an uber equiped unit. Also vets gets 50% more HP while Elites gets 100% more. So for extra time you get a unit that cost the same but has more HP. This is where having every city building helps as it negates the extra time to build. Like one game I was building units that took 40+ turns to make but had 8 cities so on average I could make one every 5 turns.

11) The Adventuring Tech tree has a path that unlocks more resources. The early ones are handy to get as they reveal more Gold, Material, Food, and Metal. Also once your fairly secure in your area with a few units of troops and the forest monsters are under control it's good to research questing. This will reveal more questing locations and goodie hunts to be looted. I'm not 100% on this as my testing is limited but it seems to spawn a ton within your area of influance so the larger your area of influance is the more that seems to spawn. So holding off on questing research until you have a few cities with large circles of influance can be handy. I had dozen of locations spawn when i research it and had 8 large cities.

 

EDIT:

12) Caravans don't give you extra Gildar/Materials like they did in Beta. Now it seems they only give a bonus to food production and build the roads. So pretty much choose if you want them for the roads or the food boost. Some of the outer edge cities that are no where near a food city I just connect to the nearest city to form a road network to help move my troops to the front faster.

 

 

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August 29, 2010 9:56:50 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I'm with the OP. Something wacky is going on here. All the strategies that people are coming up with is powergaming. That's fine on "hard" , but you shouldn't have to do it on "easy".

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August 29, 2010 10:01:06 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Wow, there is this spell called Teleport and it transports your sov and the army it's with to a influence tile anywhere on the map. If you have really mean monster coming at one of your cities, get your sov there. All my sov does is jump around the map, carrying a max number of heroes and armies. It's very quick to level up troops, watch that 31 hp 3x troop become 101 hp in no time flat, with big increases to attack and defense at the same time. That's all my sov does, runs around, gets goodie huts, kills monsters and trains people up to level 9 or so, and then they can do it on their own.

I have a caster in every city I start, normally that's 8 or so. They are hugely helpful in combat situations even with normal troops. First, shards don't presently help in tactical combat, which makes it hard on mages using offense. If you are in tactical and fighting higher end monsters or squads, just stick to helper spells, like confusion (half damage), slow, and spells like that, there's also a spell that shuts down counter attacks. All these can really turn the tide of the battle, and you should see what heal does once you have some shards (shards don't work on offense in tactical but they work on heal). I heal for over 100 damage most of the time with a 7 or so shards under my control at level 8.

So, it's easy. I started playing on challenging, but restarted a few games because I didn't know about city tile limits and whatnot. Also, if you like offense, take Fire and or Air to start. There is an air offensive spell that damages, but that doesn't scale, like I said, but it also blows the enemy back...any enemy.

If I just want to kill the enemy quickly I shut down their counter attack and beserk a couple of my troops, since they are all heavily armored their attack rating goes through the roof. Just try things out and you should be fine, but most importantly, I've found, is have a squad or two of troops out running leveling up. You make lots of money that way and your guys become much more powerful, it especially helps the armies.

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August 29, 2010 10:13:32 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

You primary goal should be to lvl your Sov and champions, but most importantly, it's all about getting Gildar. You NEED to get as much Gildar as possible per turn. Once you hit a nice 50 + per turn, you can support your army, and equip your champions with shinny things ^^

And getting your cities to lvl 3 fast should also be a priority, that means reseraching Civilisation/Imperium quickly, while teching for conquest/Warfare to get Hammers or bow, or whatever suits your style.

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August 29, 2010 10:32:07 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting lambdaman,

Quoting sagittary, reply 10The same applies to every other resource in the game. For instance, if you have a farm and that's the only thing the city it's linked to is producing for you, there's no reason to level it up to level 2. The benefit you get from irrigation is canceled out by the cost of the hut.

 

Although note that leveling your city will give it more influence, which is important if you're trying to absorb some resources just past your border into the empire.

 

True... but the Town Hall improvement (and the equivalent Empire structure) will act like a second city center thus generating a second aura of equal size from the tile the Town Hall is in. Given that you have at least 4 basic structures (+1 gil, +1 tech, +mat, + arcane) plus the Town Hall, you can effectively project even a Level 1 aura 3 extra tiles away.

 

Quoting Bashemgud,
You primary goal should be to lvl your Sov and champions, but most importantly, it's all about getting Gildar. You NEED to get as much Gildar as possible per turn. Once you hit a nice 50 + per turn, you can support your army, and equip your champions with shinny things ^^

And getting your cities to lvl 3 fast should also be a priority, that means reseraching Civilisation/Imperium quickly, while teching for conquest/Warfare to get Hammers or bow, or whatever suits your style.

 

You do not need level 3 unless you want/can take advantage of the bonuses and have the food to spare. Getting to level three without using any special buildings hurts you more than it helps. Getting 10 cities to level 3 costs you at least 20 food. If you're not using the city for anything, there is no point in leveling the city. You should always have a reason to raise a city level beyond "I want to level it up".

 

You get a heck of a lot more benefit out of maximizing resources and specializing cities rather than trying to spam cities with basic structures. Not that the latter doesn't work or help, but only if you're not leveling them up to inefficiency.

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August 29, 2010 10:43:54 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Lot's of good advice here for specific strategies/tactics.

I've been trying something different.

Setting: large map, second hardest difficulty, all 5 fallen foes

Me: custom sov (15 int/wis, going caster not melee), Altair faction, trying just 1 city (might get a few more from captures later in the game, but would raze most and only keep total cities to 3 at the most), using spells and heroes and progeny to win.  Haven't recruited a single unit yet (but am only at turn 206 and I understand enemy units will soon spiral upwards in power).  Been mostly researching adventuring, plus a smidgen of warfare and civics, no diplomacy at all.

Wife has the dominate(?) ability (prevents foes from attacking back, which is very very useful!), which she passed on to our 2 daughters  (very very nice -- the game has genetics/breeding!).  Imubed the wife and all 4 kids are spellcasters without having to spend my essence on imbuing them (not sure if that's because I imbued the wife or if it'd have happened without, but regardless it saved me 12 essence which would otherwise have crippled this magic-heavy strategy).

So far doing ok, but one faction (the bear guy) is building cities towards me and sending out 250 ATR stacks (my hero stack is ~150 ATR).  Not sure if I can hit&run his stacks and whittle down his cities using tactical battles and the spells and hero abilities, and taking advantage of the AI's shortcomings, to overcome the ATR deficit.

One of the things I've been hoping is that Elemental is designed so that a small-but-magic-heavy strategy can succeed, and we aren't forced into  the city-spawn strategy as in most of these games.  Time will tell, and if it this strategy isn't competitive, perhaps modding will make it so.

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August 29, 2010 10:50:14 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

You might also try - for the sake of learning - playing on the Epic speed. I play Normal with Epic selected and a custom sov and I don't think I'm power gaming or anything, but I rarely have money problems.

Check your Kingdom Report and see if your cities are losing a lot in admin costs. If so, you might be building improvements that are +% modifiers in cities that have nothing to modify. Like building a market in a city that makes 0 gildar. Unfortunately, until we have a global report on our cities, you'll just have to check each one and see if you're building structures that don't line up with the resources they have available.

Getting at least one gold mine is definitely a high priority. I don't know how successful you can be without one, since there's no taxes from a large population until far enough down the tech tree. During that crucial start-up period, before you've got a gold mine, then hitting easy notable locations and killing easy wildlife is a good way to get money in the coffers.

For me, a gold mine is worth going to war over early game if I don't have one already and if I've got greater or about equal army might (I usually fight my tactical battles, especially if they are close in strength). Even if the other side's overall might outweighs yours, if they aren't in one big army stack then my experience is that I can take them.

I've avoided researching the Adventuring tree in my current game since leveling up Adventure (by any faction, each level in Adventure raises the world Adventure level) is what starts spawning more difficult creatures. Later that can be great, as it can be good for lots of cash, but early on they can destroy your fledgling armies that cost so much to build. For example, about 8000 of my current 10000 gildar came from defeating a couple trolls that had really high attack and HP, but low defense.

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August 29, 2010 11:07:43 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I wanted to make a new thread, since the title here wasn't saying much what this was about. Difficulty. Maybe you, OP, make a more clear title.

 

Anyway, YES YES and YES. I SO feel like you. Like you I played Civ, Heroes of MM and whatnot for YEARS, and yet, no matter what I do, there is always one enemy faction compared to which I am NOTHING. I was just overrun by a Krex army of 350 power rating, and even tho the game was just 150 turns old, my best army was 170 and they WIPED THE DAMN FLOOR WITH ME.

Same with gildar. I have played several random map attempts, and once I start to make negotiations I see the other Kingdoms and Empire income, and its always several times as high. I mean.. WTF?

Sorry, I am already getting pissed to the point of really regretting having ever bought this. (Against the advise of all my Civ5 awaiting friends, whom I told, no, it's Stardock, their games are cool... and BOY was I wrong here.) On top of weak performance, bugs, unreadyness, this unbeleiveable imbalance is really the last bit to make me really angry.

I mean, how the heck is that possible? Even on EASY setting? I mean, it's not that I am noob. Dammit, I make empire building games for 20 years! THe balance is TOTALLY out of WHACK. Some factions have even after long games only one city, while other faction have Realms three or four times as big and I can FORGET it. And heck, I tried everything. Hero as melee, hero as mage, opening adventuring early, opening adventuring later (to prevent uber mobs!), nada. So I read all your clever tips, but trust me: I know them, and it DOESNT change heck.

Sorry, Stardock, but Elemental isn't a few weeks released too early as I thought first, it's a few MONTHS too early. WAAY too less balancing tested here. So for me, its put back in the box (if I had one, that is), and wait half a year and hope it is good then. You didn't really do yourself credit here. (And one of your devs Twittering, if you don't like bugs, don't buy it, was WAY of out league, btw, just as well!!!)

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August 30, 2010 12:51:28 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

was just 150 turns old, my best army was 170

You are doing something very wrong here.

My last game I'm currently playing is at turn 180. I have over 1500 rating for main stack. Okay, maybe you dont like building armies. But even single 3x sword wielding unit will give you more than what you got.

Heck, its easy to get 300-350 rating with just stacked peasants by turn 40.

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August 30, 2010 1:16:10 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Um, yeah, I've won the game via questing around turn 180 with stacks well over 1k in combat value.  And that's without building up a military for a good half of the game.  You're doin' it wrong, somewhere, somehow.

If you're accustomed to 4X games, one thing is going to completely throw you off: in Elemental, population doesn't mean a damned thing.  It's almost completely worthless until the mid-late game.  The main thing that it does is permit you to build the higher-tier production modifier buildings, which are worthless without the raw resources to supply the base gildar/material/metal/research/arcana.  Elemental is all about controlling resources, not about building up population.

Furthermore, you really want to utilize the questing mechanics in order to jumpstart your economy and build up your level for the midgame.  Enemies at the gate shouldn't be a threat - they should be big crunchy boxes of experience points.  Early weapons research, combat spell research, and champion recruitment (to a lesser extent) should be geared towards grinding quests and NPC mobs.  Champions may not scale in the late game, but they're pretty sweet in the early midgame - and the process of getting them there will be a huge boost to your economy.

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