A Official "Epic Request" to Stardock from the Player Community

If you want Epicness...please Say So Here!!!

By on September 14, 2010 8:01:50 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

RavenX

Join Date 10/2008
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I've kept a close eye on this thread here: Epic Battles and it's become Very Obvious that a whole lot of people were expecting to be able to have the types of large Grand Scale battles that are in the picture on the side of the box. The picture many of us drooled over when we first saw it. The same picture that was my desktop picture for 6 months. This picture (which I'm pretty sure Stardock is sick of seeing by now lol).

 

I would like to put forth a Official Request from the Player Base of Elemental to Make The Game Look Like This, with these kinds of Epic Numbers. It doesn't have to be in Real Time. It doesn't have to be in We-Go. What it does have to do is have Epic Numbers...Without Us Modding Them In.

You've got the tools and talent to make this happen. Us modders can't do it easily because it causes issues with units appearing in groups, but you guys at Stardock have the animation tools to fix that.

When people see Elemental in the store and pick it up and think about buying it, they no doubt took notice of this picture. In fact I'm Sure there are some people out there who had no clue what Elemental was until they saw it in the store and saw this picture and decided to buy it. After getting it home and playing it and realizing these numbers couldn't easily happen, more then a few people were let down. This post is to represent All those people and all of us who have been here from the start two years ago who wanted and expected a game of Epic Scale and Proportions.

I figure if enough people all get together and request/demand that Stardock live up to this picture then maybe they'll re-balance the numbers to make this possible. Food, Gildar, Housing, and a few other resources will need to be adjusted. The animations will need to be adjusted. But with a whole team of super smart programmers and animators it really shouldn't be a big deal to get done especially since these kinds of numbers were possible at least at one point with an internal build of the game.

If you bought Elemental and you'd like to see these kinds of numbers in battle. Please sign/reply to this thread and say so. If the community really wants this, which I'm sure most of them do, please say so now as now is the right time to do it while other mechanics get revamped. I'm sure all those people who bought Elemental based on this picture would greatly support this change, as would I.

Thank You and thank Stardock for making such an awesome and epic game that we can all enjoy for many years to come.


To those who weren't here through-out the beta process, there was a time when things were planned this way, which is where the above screen shot came from. This was from the continuous turn system that was set up but got cut. We don't NEED Continuous Turns to Achieve these kinds of Epic Numbers. It CAN be done within a Turn Based Environment with some creative animation techniques to make the units look like they're fighting between turns. I'd really, Really, like to see Stardock live up to this, and so I think those of us who want this should make this Official Request so that Stardock can truly see how many of us want this. The Beta Testers never even got to see this system in action. We were told it was changed from continuous turns to better fit the "feel" they wanted, but that doesn't explain why the unit counts had to be cut down so drastically. 12 guys in a unit does Not Feel Epic in my book.

If you Don't Want to sign the request, but would rather debate it, then please reply in the other thread going about Epic Battles here: Epic Battles

If you DO want to see them live up to these numbers. Please Say So here. No one will get mad at you for voicing your opinion or asking that they live up to this picture that so many people bought Elemental based on. Again, if you Don't want to see this, please keep your replies in the other thread. Thank you.

~ Raven X and the Elemental Community


This post is a reply from page 10, but I thought it should be added to the original, because here is the proof some people might want to see who weren't here for the whole beta process, who didn't hear the devs go on and on about the Inspiration for the Game. This is what was in the hearts and minds of All Of Us when we were all getting excited about Elemental:

Here is the proof, Frogboy had Total War and Lord of The Rings Epic Scale Battles IN MIND when dreaming up what Elemental would be:

Post By FROGBOY: Elemental: scale of power , http://forums.elementalgame.com/343449

Here's a Quote from Frogboy from that post:

"If you like the Total War series, you can imagine some of what we have in mind except here you can get that Lord of the Rings battle feeling where certain units just make mince meat out of whole squads of enemy units."

There are others back in old Dev Journals too. Now, NO ONE can deny that Frogboy had Total War Type, Epic Scaled Battles, IN MIND when PLANNING Elemental: War Of Magic. For all you new people who wanted to see quotes, there it is. I can dig up more old quotes too. So, if Frogboy is Now Saying that ONLY MoM was his inspiration, well, something is fishy in Denmark...

Here's another one where Frogboy Specifically says "huge army" and "vast armies" in the same paragraph!!!

Post By FROGBOY: Design elements of Elemental discussed , http://forums.elementalgame.com/329219

Here's a List of Quotes from Frogboy from that post, some of which are mechanics that either changed, or were simply left out completely from the game we have now, like where he talks about having Walls in cities be a Big Part of tactical battles:

Quote:

I understand if some stuff is being kept internal, but here are the things I'm wondering about:

1. Are there non-military victory conditions?

2. Does the game include a campaign? If so do you think the story of the campaign will attract gamers?

3. How are you addressing the steamroller issue of TBS games (ie: spending the first half of the game building a massive army and the last half rolling it over all opponents as a repeatable strategy to every game)?1. Yes. Most of the victory conditions are non-military. Some of the previews may cover this so I won't say anything until after the previews hit.

2. Yes. I think the story is compelling but I'm highly biased.

3. The mechanics in Elemental are a bit different than the typical 4X game because even in terms of warfare, there are very different paths. For instance, Player A may have a huge army ready to steamroll but Player B may have an incredibly powerful sovereign who can wipe out vast armies and Player C may have built up an incredible well of mana that can be used to decimate vast swaths of the world and all three of these things could come together at once based on which path players take and of course all 3 could lose to Player D who wins through the quest victory condition if they're not careful.

Quote:

Can we build walls? Us turtelers need to know.

Yes. One of the key game mechanics of Elemental is how cities are built. In Elemental, when a city grows, it gains a new tile which can be placed where the player wants it to go (as long as it's adjacent to an existing tile). So cities are a multi-tile affair in the game. Now, how you choose to build up your city heavily determines how defensible or productive, or rich it is. Cities are only conquered when the keep tile is taken which could be in the utter center of the city or could be at the end of a peninsula.

Quote:

What are the objectives for the creation part? how many aspects will be able to be manipulated? will it be part of the game or you have to work on that on a separated editor (one of the many things I loved from MoM was the ability to forge items that were mine, created by me as part of my campaign and war effort). There will be pre-made maps and randomly generated maps in which players can insert a large number of variables in deciding what kind of world they want.

Quote:

I guess it will have random maps, what is the target for sizes? From tiny to ridiculously large. We are also making a 64-bit native edition to support even larger worlds.

Quote:

What type of feedback are you looking for the beta process? Everything. The beta process starts about 9 months before release so that beta testers can seriously mold the game.

On a personal note, for me the beta process is the whole point of making the game as that's what helped get me into game development in the first place.

I was one of those Usenet guys on comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.strategic hanging out talking about games and picked up Teach yourself C in 21 days to start writing (this is obviously a long time ago now). So hanging out with other gamers to tweak and add to the game is the best part.

Quote:

Any extra payment for the MMO part? what is the general idea of this? No. It's not really an MMO part as much as Impulse hosting the game on the cloud to make it much easier for people to interact with their "world" with their friends.


Quote:

Brad - will there be any way to quick-resolve combat? Playing out tactical combat is fun when the sides are at all matched, but it's just a drag on my patience when you're going to steamroll the other side or whatever. And sometimes you just want to get combat over with because you're focusing on the bigger picture or a "technology win" or something.

Totally. There's instant-resolve (i.e. two armies meet, one dies), there's auto-resolve where the game zooms in and shows a tactical battle but it's all handled by the AI (ala GalCiv II fleet battles) and then there's full tactical battles where both sides play.

One thing I should mention about the tactical battles that isn't clear in the screenshots is that they're continuous turns. They're not like HOMM. The player tells where they want their units and uses the space bar to pause the action to give new directions. That way, we can get much more interesting battles.

Quote:

What's your combat system going to be built around? Master of Magic-style tactical combat, or Civilization-style randomized abstraction? Or will both be options?It's tactical but it can be made to play like Civ if you have instant-resolve enabled.

I will likely play with auto-resolve as I'm not a huge fan of playing out tactical battles but I enjoy seeing the carnage.

If anyone has ever seen Fellowship of the Ring where Sauron is whacking out tons of elves and men around, that's the look we're going for.

Though, in Elemental, the creatures are much more powerful than a lone Maiar up against a bunch of punks. Dragons in Elemental are incredibly powerful and each of the channelers are equivalent (by late game) to Valar. Enough Tolkien geedkom.

Quote:

The few available screenshots look great. Hopefully we'll get a look at the spells soon. The spells are going to be intentionally de-balancing in late game. I.e. by late game, you'll be able to do Populous level damage to the world. A lot of the reason we had to create a new engine was because we needed one where the world could be truly wrecked.

Quote:

By doing that, you can then open the way to have extremely large maps in which players are viable for a long period of time with different paths to victory.


If anyone wants to play catch-up and read the rest of the Dev Journals that talk about the inspiration behind the game, behind the Original Vision, you can find them here:

http://forums.elementalgame.com/forum/513/page/7

Notice how many times Frogboy uses LotR as a direct example of both scale and feeling for the envisioned world of Elemental. He uses it in reference to the Scale Of Battles. He uses it in reference to the Power of Sovereigns. He uses for a lot of things because it is what is commonly known to a lot of fantasy lovers.

That's the very last page in the Dev Journal History. Hopefully some of this information, quoted Straight From The Source, will clear things up for those who may be questioning what the original vision was and what the vision is now. How many things here simply aren't even a part of the game now? A lot that I can see, but, this thread isn't about any of those. This Thread is about the game living up to it's EPIC INTENTIONS. This is about Follow Through. This is about a Vast Part of the Elemental Community wanting the vision to be maintained and lived up to because we want Elemental to be Successful. We want Elemental to be the VERY BEST Fantasy Strategy War Game on the market and some of us will not rest until either that happens, or we're cold, dead, and buried.

In closing, here's a mock-up screen shot I did just now. This took about 5 minutes in PhotoshopCS4. Please don't get crazy over the details. This picture isn't meant to be super detailed, it's just meant to show how the game should feel. The feeling of truly epic armies clashing for control of a ruined world. I only did one army, not two, but I could do a mock-up of two massive armies fighting if I wanted to, but I think the point is served none the less. I didn't spend a lot of time cleaning it up or smoothing over where I patched in clear land that was covered by rocks or cactuses that I just copy and paster terrain over. It's just meant to show the feeling of what it would be like to command a Real Army that's the size of what a Powerful Sovereign of a mighty civilization truly deserves.

From now on I'll only be replying to civil posts in a civil manner. I'm not going to defend my wording of the post any longer as I've stated what I meant more than enough times. I'm sorry if anyone took offense to my wording, but if you're one of the people who did, then this thread wasn't for you anyway, as it was only meant to Count The Numbers of those of us who want the game to live up to it's original vision and potential as much as possible.

I urge those who still want to see this to Please Keep Posting and let your voices be heard. Keep the memory of what the game was supposed to be alive in your mind and hearts and keep the ideas alive in the minds and hearts of Frogboy and the Team who have poured their blood, sweat, and tears into this game right along side of us who have been here with them. We've all invested a lot of time and energy and expectations into this game, and this game is a work of art. Lets strive to make it live up to it's potential and keep your voices being heard. Thank you one and all.

 

 

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JeffSteel
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September 14, 2010 4:10:16 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

WO HO Here's to epicness

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September 14, 2010 4:14:27 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I'm all for this. just dunno if my PC is...

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September 14, 2010 4:40:19 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I'm all for this kind of epicness. At least increase the number of troops in the biggest stacks so that battles look and feel more epic.  

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September 14, 2010 5:09:20 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Well, all respect I had for you, Raven, was just lost.

Wow. 4 whole kharma. Aren't you *amazing*. Just because you got 4 kharma, you must be right! Who could possibly argue with four kharma... it's like. Whoa dude.

...

I'm with Tridus on this. Having thousands of units on a screen does not make an epic game. It's just clutter. This game has enough stress on good computers as it is, thousands of animations (poorly done, may I add) is not going to make this game better. It'll just drop the framerate even more, and it will make it feel even more tacky.

Epic does not mean "more". An "epic" hero does not necessarily have to be Sauron, who you fastidiously referred to over and over again during the beta. Epic is a feel. Yes, this game does lack a certain amount of "epicness" but that has less to do with unit limits as various other mechanics, such as Lord Hammer Squads of Doom.

Additionally, it is *extremely* arrogant to say this is a "official request". Call it a petition, which is what it is. This is a petition to raise the unit limit and improve handling of large amounts of units on a screen. Don't blow this out of proportion. This isn't backed by Stardock. It isn't official, you'll just trying to... Sound Bigger Than You Are. Just because your name was in the credits doesn't make your opinion magically more valuable.

Finally, the reason you are getting so much attention is because you are making a fallacy with this entire post. No one is going to say they don't want the game to be 'epic,' unless their personal opinion is that the game is already epic. In which case, the question really is 'do you want the game even MORE epic'. It's stupid.

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September 14, 2010 5:15:22 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Epic (adj.)- surpassing the ordinary (especially in size or scale) Princeton Edition Dictionary.

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September 14, 2010 5:18:45 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Also, as many other posts have mentioned, no one is asking for 10,000 individually controlled units. As an illustration,

8 Full Battalions of 100

6 Companies (or whatever) of 50 =

1100 units, and only 14 commands to issue each turn. This is hardly overwhelming, imo.

(P.S.) My laptop runs MTWII, which renders many many many units at once without any problems. My laptop is fairly horrible. I don't think this is going to be quite the issue that many people seem to think.

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September 14, 2010 5:19:08 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting awuffleablehedgie,
Well, all respect I had for you, Raven, was just lost.
Epic does not mean "more".

Yes...it...does.

Epic:

of unusually great size or extent

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September 14, 2010 5:23:15 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting JSJ101,
Also, as many other posts have mentioned, no one is asking for 10,000 individually controlled units. As an illustration,

8 Full Battalions of 100

6 Companies (or whatever) of 50 =

1100 units, and only 14 commands to issue each turn. This is hardly overwhelming. If it is too much for you, you may want to see your physician for some ADHD meds...

You're right.  Hell, I'd be happy with battles of only 200-300 units.  Am I asking too much to want my Elemental: War of Magic game to have battles with more than 13 units at a time?

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September 14, 2010 5:25:09 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

not possible with the current tile system. you would need atleast 50 guys per tile.  that would look weird.  i don't care that it looks like that.  i actually like the current system much better.  i think its a bit premature to go wanting the game like that, and not seeing what we have at 1.1.

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September 14, 2010 5:26:05 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Epic does not mean more (as in "bigger". "Bigger battles with more guys in it")

If you take something, like a star. And make it bigger. Does it magically become more epic? What if you make it REALLY REALLY REALLY big? Does it become more epic? If you take a huge massive star, and compare it to a star that changes colors rapidly, which is more epic?

You can quote as many dictionaries as you would like, but the feeling of "epic" is focused on the "unusual" and "surpassing the ordinary" not the actually size of the thing you are discussing. Elemental feels "plain" or "usual". Hence why people feel that it should be made "epic".

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September 14, 2010 5:31:11 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting awuffleablehedgie,
Epic does not mean more (as in "bigger". "Bigger battles with more guys in it")

If you take something, like a star. And make it bigger. Does it magically become more epic? What if you make it REALLY REALLY REALLY big? Does it become more epic? If you take a huge massive star, and compare it to a star that changes colors rapidly, which is more epic?

You can quote as many dictionaries as you would like, but the feeling of "epic" is focused on the "unusual" and "surpassing the ordinary" not the actually size of the thing you are discussing. Elemental feels "plain" or "usual". Hence why people feel that it should be made "epic".

Yes, and making battles larger will make it more epic.  Epic would be a perfectly fine word to use for a really big star, it would be perfectly fine to use for anything that has "more" or is "bigger" than the rest.

Ever hear of the Iliad, or The Odyssey?  They're called "Epic Poems" because they are very long poems, not necessarily because they were better written than other poems.  They are called, "Epic" simply because they were longer and bigger than others.

You are digging really deep to prove something that you are flat-out mistaken on.

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September 14, 2010 5:31:55 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Only signing this in expectation that the games performance will drastically improve cause at the moment it still barely utilizes my GPU and runs like a dog.

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September 14, 2010 5:32:29 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

They need to emulate that FFT feel is what they need to do. The unit numbers are fine as it is, but I seriously think they need to take some examples from FFT with the whole TBS Tactical movement thing. Height, position (kind of done laready but not really) and direction all need to factor into combat as they did in that game. When playing it, the battles always thrilled me because there were a lot of different battlefield and viable strategies you could use, along with the whole job system (not suggesting they should implement one though) it created a lot of diversity.

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September 14, 2010 5:34:05 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

StMorpheus: I do agree with you here about units per tile. The numbers were just thrown in there because they were easy for me to multiply. A few hundred units total would be perfectly fine with me, but I think there is a valid desire here for bigger battles.

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September 14, 2010 5:34:29 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Oh, and GaelicVigil, they were called epic poems because not only were they big and unordinarily huge, but they also told amazing tales of superhuman feats, of Achilles, who couldn't be killed unless he was hit in the heel, and Odysseus, who took 10 years to get home, and ran into many Gods and monsters and unholy punishments along the way.

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September 14, 2010 5:43:48 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I would like to see this, but first I NEED to see a revamp of more basic mechanics of the game such as tactical battles, the economy, heroes, and magic.

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September 14, 2010 5:44:03 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting AlixeniusTheGreat,
Oh, and GaelicVigil, they were called epic poems because not only were they big and unordinarily huge, but they also told amazing tales of superhuman feats, of Achilles, who couldn't be killed unless he was hit in the heel, and Odysseus, who took 10 years to get home, and ran into many Gods and monsters and unholy punishments along the way.

There are lots of shorter poems that describe similar feats, but they are not called "Epic Poems".  The difference is size.

 

From Wikipedia:

"Epic: a long narrative poem in elevated stature presenting characters of high position in adventures forming an organic whole through their relation to a central heroic figure and through their development of episodes important to the history of a nation or race."

See the difference?  For something to be "Epic" size and scale cannot be excluded as so many here are claiming.

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September 14, 2010 5:50:34 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

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September 14, 2010 5:50:40 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Sethai,
ultimately, i don't think anything will really cut it in 2010 - from both a visual and gameplay point of view - other than real time, total war style battles. i say this as someone who generally hates real time click fests like starcraft. if you don't believe me, play a total war battle. it's real tactics and a satisfying scale that's completely unabstracted and you can take ALL THE TIME YOU WANT.

unfortunately i don't hold out any hope for this for elemental. not elemental 1 anyway. the best we can hope for is:

better stats (kill combat speed, give us magic resistance) you can't represent a war of magic with 4 stats. much less one that attempts to represent large formations and powerful individuals at the same time

some real strategy (stop units from counterattacking units that attack from the flanks or rear, give charge bonuses to cavalry)

better visual presentation and animations (move all enemies simultaneously, and remove the clickfest)

 

NO. Good God, NO. Personally, I DO NOT want to EVER see Total War Style battles in this game. EVER. That would just bore me to tears. I hate the Total War games, they are awful in my opinion.

What I want is fun turn-based tactical battles with deep strategic mechanics that can be resolved quickly, max 5 minutes for a battle. Not real-time slogfests that take eons of time to complete each major battle (there are A LOT of battles in this game). If they can make the battles feel more "epic" in a turn-based system, great, I'm all for that. But please no real-time battles!!! 

If I wanted real-time battles I'd just go play Starcraft 2, which, not coincidently, is a game that's already sitting on my shelf gathering dust.

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September 14, 2010 5:59:21 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I don't really desire larger numbers in the battles of Elemental. If larger battles were to become a focus of implementation, I'd very much hope it would happen after all the myriad other things that need addressed (UI, magic system, tactical battles, pacing, balancing, fixing typos).

That said, I think much could be done from the quest-writing and pacing standpoint to make battles epic in the sense that they are meaningful, rather than large.

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September 14, 2010 6:00:48 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

If making the tactical battles more epic means an increase in time, lower performance, and less balance then I'm against it.

Tactical battles need to be improved in a lot of ways but scale and scope are a long way down the list.

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September 14, 2010 6:01:54 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting GaelicVigil,

Yes, and making battles larger will make it more epic.  Epic would be a perfectly fine word to use for a really big star, it would be perfectly fine to use for anything that has "more" or is "bigger" than the rest.

No it won't. It will just make it bigger. If you double the size of a Honda Civic, you didn't make an epic car. You just made a bigger one.

"Epic" is a state of the extraordinary. Tightening up the combat mechanics and adding things like LOS and defenses will do more for the epic feel of combat then simply taking what we have now and multiplying the number of guys in a squad by 1000.

Did you watch the Civ 5 live stream yesterday? The part where he holds off an overwhelming force with a Trebuchet and a Citadel at a choke point for so long was pretty epic, and there was only one Trebuchet and a handful of units on screen. But it was a tense, difficult fight and one mistake spelled disaster (like when he tried to charge the city to show us city combat).

 

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September 14, 2010 6:14:18 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I'll just keep things simple and say that I don't think that the number of units in a battle necessarily has anything to do with making the battles feel more epic. Nor are more units in a battle in and of themselves sufficient to convey a feeling of "epicness."

My sovereign all alone battling a dragon for survival, casting spells and resisting the dragon's fire abilities could well feel epic to some people.

Another possibility is that in a big battle with a few hundred units things don't end up feeling epic for some people but rather feel boring and tedious, with even more units to click on, advance a square or two, watch mediocre animations that take forever to complete, and so on.

Making the battles feel more epic and less bland is a worthwhile objective, but there's much more to it than scale. A lot can be achieved with a good, well balanced and strategically deep rule-set combined with good art direction.

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September 14, 2010 6:16:21 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I don't think a lot of people get that raven isn't talking about reworking the whole game for bigger battles, just pretty much giving you bigger unit stacks to make the battles feel bigger.  I sign for this.  Also I don't recall raven saying anywhere that he wanted it to happen before the vital balancing issues, he just wanted to see it in the game.  Most likely it wouldn't happen until one of the expansions.  Despite not changing the game play at all, a bigger scale of battles would definitely be enjoyable.  Hell Suikoden 1 imitated this on ps1.  You just chose rock paper scissor attacks and a group of soldiers ran in and attacked.  Now I am also happy with the HOMM style stacks, but I wouldn't be against this by any means. 

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September 14, 2010 6:17:11 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Tridus,

Quoting GaelicVigil, reply 86
Yes, and making battles larger will make it more epic.  Epic would be a perfectly fine word to use for a really big star, it would be perfectly fine to use for anything that has "more" or is "bigger" than the rest.

No it won't. It will just make it bigger. If you double the size of a Honda Civic, you didn't make an epic car. You just made a bigger one.

"Epic" is a state of the extraordinary. Tightening up the combat mechanics and adding things like LOS and defenses will do more for the epic feel of combat then simply taking what we have now and multiplying the number of guys in a squad by 1000.

Did you watch the Civ 5 live stream yesterday? The part where he holds off an overwhelming force with a Trebuchet and a Citadel at a choke point for so long was pretty epic, and there was only one Trebuchet and a handful of units on screen. But it was a tense, difficult fight and one mistake spelled disaster (like when he tried to charge the city to show us city combat).

 

No, it was not epic.  It was action-packed, it was intense, it was exciting, but it was not large in scale which is a requirement for something to be epic.  Facts are facts, this is the definition of Epic as I've pointed out using credible sources.  Just because you've been misinformed for a long time and have defined it that way your whole life doesn't make it so.

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