[Wall of Text] 1.09p: feedback, issues and positive aspects.

By on December 5, 2010 12:52:36 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Werewindlefr

Join Date 03/2007
+27

Elemental has come a long way since it's release. I know this is harsh, but as I've often mentioned on the forum, I've never considered it to be a game until now - more like a demo for kumquat with moving medieval fantasy dudes. But 1.09p has changed it all. Sure, it's not perfect, but it's finally a game. A rough, unpolished, unperfect game with a perfectible AI - but hey, it's a beta patch.

However, the reason why I wanted to test 1.09o so much was so I could assess its current mechanics, balance, and overall fun. I wanted to contribute by sharing constructive criticism, so here I go. Please understand, I want this game to succeed as much as anyone else, so none of what I'm saying is meant to be offensive. Direct, sometimes. But I'm on Stardock side, or rather, the players' side.

So, let's start. I'll organize my feedback with the same structure as research in Elemental, because those 5 areas are exactly the 5 large blocks that make up this game. Let's go !

 

1) Civics. Aka cities, buildings, research and the economy

While it's difficult to separate this from the resource aspect of the game (adventuring tree), there's a lot that can be said about city building alone. First and foremost, this "population as resource" is a good idea, but not yet really exploited.

If population (and thus, food) is the core resource in this game, then it needs more uses. Make it so that almost everything can be obtained if you're willing to pay the price in terms of population. Of course, that shouldn't include food (infinite loop exploit spotted!), crystal, and maybe horses. For now, it looks like the current system doesn't yet integrate this "population as the core of your kingdom/empire" thing.

Close second in terms of complaints, there is very little choice involved when building the city. We have tons of citizens, lots of room and entire cities, and all we can build are: arcane labs, studies, and workshops. There are other buildings, of course, but in a given city, only a handful of those are relevant. And this is where the current city building system falls short: there's no choice to make, almost. All we're doing is spam studies/libraries, but in the end, there's no conundrum, no hard sacrifice to make... nothing. Actually, having the workers commute from hundreds of miles away isn't helping: placing your citizens isn't as critical. Oh, and you might want to diversify level-up bonuses. What about a discount on unit building time? What about, say, mana production? Or a random resource every season, including crystal, horses, citizens and rarely elementium? That leads me to the part I think was the best in city building: natural balance between city spamming and a small empire made of huge cities. The food system, combined with the level up system, makes it hard to spread everywhere to make lots of small cities. If you want to make lots of level 2-3 cities, you'll have to give up on level 5's. That's a very good thing... almost. Maybe a small upkeep, like 2-3 gold per city, would help making this even better, by preventing the construction of houseless outposts made only for resource grabbing.

Now, to research: my main complaint is the following: it's currently to easy to rush a line of techs. Actually, an advanced tech like heavy armor and a basic tech like training will cost the same to research. And this is a clear problem, because an early 20 attack or 20 armor soldier isn't that hard to create if you focus exclusively on that. And by the time you create it, no other faction will be able to even put a scratch on it. Light plate should be an early mid-game armor, heavy plate a late mid-game. It's not fun if everyone's in light plate by the time the fighting start, is it? I've refrained myself from rushing those techs... but yeah, nothing prevented me from doing that. I don't have a solution to that problem in the current research system, since we choose the tech after the research is done. Maybe some techs could only become available after a certain number of other techs have been researched in the same tree, or after N turns/N discoveries have passed since the last tech from the same line. Like, only make heavy armor available after 3 other techs from the warfare tree have been researched after light armor's been discovered.

That's it for this part, so now, ont to:

2) Warfare, Aka units, stats, balance, pointy sticks and tincans. And tactical battles.

I'm not going to discuss abilties in tactical battles, although it would be nice to have slightly less straightforward weapons. Like hammers which diminish armor, or polearms with a counterattack bonus like in Gnilbert's mod. But's that's not what I want to talk about.

What I want to talk about is the balance of units and fun of tactical battles in the current system. I've run several tests in several games, 200-300 seasons long (or even more), changing the values of unit hit points, accuracy, and weapon damage. And here is what I believe (I've already stated it before, but I can confirm it): armor is completely unbalanced.

The issue with armor is that it is much higher than hit points. The consequence is that 1) early (shortsword-era) weapons struggle against armor of any kind and 2) it creates the need for very powerful weapons, such as lordhammers. The issue is that, aside from heavily armored units, nothing (almost) will survive a lordhammer. But lordhammers are just an extreme example: at the mid to late game stage (but it starts happening even at the early stages), even with experienced/veteran troops, damage variability becomes so high that units die in one round. Sometimes even one blow. Not only that, but it's impossible to even damage a unit with moderately strong armor with a weapon almost from the same era, or barely "outdated". That's not fun at all. Where's variety? Where's the "quantity vs. quality" balance? I'm fine with quality being a viable choice, and I'm fine with wooden pointy sticks not being able to lay a scratch on a Master Heavy Plate, but right now, it's a bit exagerated. And "blocked" results are too common. Armor is supposed to be damage mitigation, not a replacement for dodge (which is currently quite a lot less efficient than several layers of metal...). The solution would be to raise the power of weapons, especially early game weapons, but then the combats would only last one round, and the one who strikes first would always win. That's not exactly fun either.

The solution is simple: increase significantly the power of early weapons, increase the power of mid-late game weapon in a more moderate fashion. and in order to make battles last 2 to 4 rounds as they should (so that some tactics can be involved), increase hit points by significant amounts (I've tried with 15 base HP instead of 10, but actually 20 would probably be the right choice). Veteran and Legendary level units have more hit points, but even they fall short of expectations, and they take a lot of time to build. They should be very long to kill - and they aren't in practice.

Raising weapon damage, raising hit points: in the end, it all comes down to lowering the power of armors. Actually, you could also lower the power of master heavy armor and legendary armor. There's a jump in armor values once you reach that level, and even though they are costly, they're not entirely unaffordable. And someone clad in this kind of armor is a bit too close to invulnerable for the game to stay fun.

My second suggestion is the following: lower base accuracy by a few points. I've tried with "8", and it's nice. It makes all those shields, leather armor, broadswords, and other dodge-preserving or increasing items useful. It contributes to making dodge a viable alternative to armor for survivabilty. With 8 base accuracy, well, I still get hit quite a lot, but I manage to survive battles if I'm careful and resonably lucky. And strategically (provided you lower the power of armor), it's interesting: it allows units to survive against high-attack, slow weapons, better than with armor. You don't soak a giant's club, you dodge it.

What could be fun is to have training (experienced/veteran/legendary) increase dodge and accuracy. A better trained unit should hit more easily, and predict blows more easily (and thus deflect them more often). Not a critical thing to implement, but a nice touch.

3)Magic. Aka shards, arcane research, mana, spellcasting and firecubes.

The best feature of this patch, so far, is the mana system. It's not the one with the most potential, but it's the one which is the closest to achieving its full potential. Mechanically, it works. Mana production is almost well balanced, leading to interesting choices, especially in terms of combat buffs. So, where are the issues ?

Well, issue number 1: a caster shouldn't be able to cast 3 times in a round. Otherwise, you need to weaken the spells to balance them, and they end up feeling weak. Make them stronger... but let us cast only once per combat turn. Seriosuly, I can decimate armies with the combat-line targeted and area spells. I avoid doing it... but it's totally possible.

The spells themselves need a balance pass. Arcane arrow scales with intelligence, and makes almost all fire spells feel sub-par by comparison. Also, by the time we reach elemental spells in the research tree... well, usually, we're already at the second or 3rd spell level. So the 1st level fire spell will not see a lot of use. Then, the enchantment spells... feel really weak, for most of them. The only one I use is the one that increases food production by 1; it'd actually be even more interesting if population was actually more useful (and thus more critical) as a resource, but I've already discussed that. Anyway, +1 gildar for 1 mana per turn isn't worth it. It doesn't make me feel like I'm playing a powerful caster, but more like a sorcerer's apprentice. I'm not against creating resources with spells, but it needs to feel more... powerful. We need to have to make meaningful choices, and be faced with having to decide wether to spend 1 more mana per turn for a significant effect, or keep that mana for blasting. Actually, introduce spells that have a less straightforward feeling than "+x gildars". Call of the Titans is a nice example. We need more of those.

Oh, and teleport is overpowered for now. We need to have it scale with the number (or even better: power) of troops we want to teleport, or the channeler will become a logistics airplane.

4)Adventuring. Roaming creatures, resources, quests.

Well, not much to say about that one. Creatures are a tad too abundant at first (they make it too difficult to do anything meaningful in the early game), but then they're too few and far between. Balancing this won't be easy, but it's a vital part of making the game world exciting. Of course, this will also require a careful balance pass on monster stats so as to keep it in line with the units players can create and heroes that will be fielded at that stage of the game. 50+armor/50+damage units are kind of invulnerable, for instance (well, aside from cheesy Mr. T tactics)

Also, please spawn fewer, but more rewarding goodie huts of level 1+. There are times when I can't make a step without my foot landing on an abandoned graveyard.

As for resources, please check the resource generation algorithm. Crystal and Ventri iron are often more comon than standard iron, and the later is really lacking sometimes. If you can't find any iron, the way the game currently is... you can give up, because you can't do anything against those Heavy armors + greataxe wielding warriors.

5)Diplomacy

The AI still needs some update, and there's a lot of work to do with the current diplomatic capital system. It's not that it's fundamentaly flawed, but it's easy to abuse and puts the AI at a disadvantage. I'm not an expert in the area, but the system lacks depth, for now, so there's a lot to do here. Also, the diplomacy techs are quite weak as it is, aside from "trading".

 

In the end, the new system is really interesting, and the game is starting to take shape. A nice one, slowly but surely. 1.09o restored my faith in Elemental, and proved that our patience will be rewarded. There is still a lot of work to do: balance work, XML cleanup (to remove or update entries that break the game because the context has changed, such as warstaff...), but also depth. Those new mechanics need to be fleshed out: interesting spells for the mana pool system, interesting buildings for the "population resource" system, for instance. And adding depth in one area of the game will impact depth in the other areas, making the overall game more enjoyable and challenging.

 

Anyway, congratulations to Kael and Stardock, and thanks for this patch !

 

Nota Bene: A few issues I've found so far:

-Some freezes from time to time. Not a PC freeze - I can still move the mouse cursor and clic on the "next turn" button and see it move, but nothing will happen, units can't move or use spells, etc. I don't know what's happening. Happens on both tactical and strategic maps. Maybe a leftover multithreading issue?

-The "Moriah's tomb" quest doesn't give any spell. Maybe the spells it's supposed to give haven't been updated ?

-I'm still losing squad members when entering a city due to the hit point bonus.

-Does AI build command posts ? Haven't seen it doing so. Maybe that's the problem with the AI not building squads !

-Spiders cast their web twice on the same unit in a tomb fight. Unless the first one is resisted, the next one should be directed at another target.

 

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Wizard1200
December 5, 2010 1:22:45 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting ,


Now, to research: my main complaint is the following: it's currently to easy to rush a line of techs. Actually, an advanced tech like heavy armor and a basic tech like training will cost the same to research. And this is a clear problem, because an early 20 attack or 20 armor soldier isn't that hard to create if you focus exclusively on that. And by the time you create it, no other faction will be able to even put a scratch on it. Light plate should be an early mid-game armor, heavy plate a late mid-game. It's not fun if everyone's in light plate by the time the fighting start, is it? I've refrained myself from rushing those techs... but yeah, nothing prevented me from doing that. I don't have a solution to that problem in the current research system, since we choose the tech after the research is done. Maybe some techs could only become available after a certain number of other techs have been researched in the same tree, or after N turns/N discoveries have passed since the last tech from the same line. Like, only make heavy armor available after 3 other techs from the warfare tree have been researched after light armor's been discovered.

Great post. I think this would be easily (conceptually, maybe not in a coding sense) solved by increasing tech costs based on overall reseach level as well as within-line research cost.

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December 5, 2010 3:59:30 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting ,
1) Civics. Aka cities, buildings, research and the economy

Close second in terms of complaints, there is very little choice involved when building the city. We have tons of citizens, lots of room and entire cities, and all we can build are: arcane labs, studies, and workshops. There are other buildings, of course, but in a given city, only a handful of those are relevant. And this is where the current city building system falls short: there's no choice to make, almost. All we're doing is spam studies/libraries, but in the end, there's no conundrum, no hard sacrifice to make... nothing. Actually, having the workers commute from hundreds of miles away isn't helping: placing your citizens isn't as critical.

2) Warfare, Aka units, stats, balance, pointy sticks and tincans. And tactical battles.

The issue with armor is that it is much higher than hit points. The consequence is that 1) early (shortsword-era) weapons struggle against armor of any kind and 2) it creates the need for very powerful weapons, such as lordhammers. The issue is that, aside from heavily armored units, nothing (almost) will survive a lordhammer. But lordhammers are just an extreme example: at the mid to late game stage (but it starts happening even at the early stages), even with experienced/veteran troops, damage variability becomes so high that units die in one round. Sometimes even one blow. Not only that, but it's impossible to even damage a unit with moderately strong armor with a weapon almost from the same era, or barely "outdated". That's not fun at all. Where's variety? Where's the "quantity vs. quality" balance? I'm fine with quality being a viable choice, and I'm fine with wooden pointy sticks not being able to lay a scratch on a Master Heavy Plate, but right now, it's a bit exagerated. And "blocked" results are too common. Armor is supposed to be damage mitigation, not a replacement for dodge (which is currently quite a lot less efficient than several layers of metal...). The solution would be to raise the power of weapons, especially early game weapons, but then the combats would only last one round, and the one who strikes first would always win. That's not exactly fun either.

3)Magic. Aka shards, arcane research, mana, spellcasting and firecubes.

Well, issue number 1: a caster shouldn't be able to cast 3 times in a round. Otherwise, you need to weaken the spells to balance them, and they end up feeling weak. Make them stronger... but let us cast only once per combat turn. Seriosuly, I can decimate armies with the combat-line targeted and area spells. I avoid doing it... but it's totally possible.

The spells themselves need a balance pass. Arcane arrow scales with intelligence, and makes almost all fire spells feel sub-par by comparison. Also, by the time we reach elemental spells in the research tree... well, usually, we're already at the second or 3rd spell level. So the 1st level fire spell will not see a lot of use. Then, the enchantment spells... feel really weak, for most of them. The only one I use is the one that increases food production by 1; it'd actually be even more interesting if population was actually more useful (and thus more critical) as a resource, but I've already discussed that. Anyway, +1 gildar for 1 mana per turn isn't worth it. It doesn't make me feel like I'm playing a powerful caster, but more like a sorcerer's apprentice. I'm not against creating resources with spells, but it needs to feel more... powerful. We need to have to make meaningful choices, and be faced with having to decide wether to spend 1 more mana per turn for a significant effect, or keep that mana for blasting. Actually, introduce spells that have a less straightforward feeling than "+x gildars". Call of the Titans is a nice example. We need more of those.

5)Diplomacy

The AI still needs some update, and there's a lot of work to do with the current diplomatic capital system. It's not that it's fundamentaly flawed, but it's easy to abuse and puts the AI at a disadvantage. I'm not an expert in the area, but the system lacks depth, for now, so there's a lot to do here. Also, the diplomacy techs are quite weak as it is, aside from "trading".

Great post. I think problem with Civics could be removed if the population cost for the same building in the same city is increased and if the resource consumption of level 1 - 2 cities is greater than the resource production to avoid city spam, but every city should provide more building options, too.

The problem with Warfare could be removed if the total armor value is reduced to 75 % of the weapon attack of that tech level, because an armor should reduce the damage, but it should not be able to negate it. Only Dodge should be able to negate the damage and, as you suggested, the Accuracy should be reduced to make Dodge more useful.

The problem with Magic could be removed if Stardock would look into games like Age of Wonders: Shadow Magic or Disciples 2 and take some of their spells and every spell should have a limit of one use per turn. A suggestion to balance the spells can be found here: http://forums.elementalgame.com/400657/page/1/#2830349

The problem with Diplomacy could be removed if the wandering monsters could be persuaded with Diplomatic Capital to move away from own cities or to attack enemy cities.

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December 5, 2010 4:54:02 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

That idea of using diplo capital to send monsters away from your cities into other cities, is a great one, and good use for it.

 

As for magic- some spells should be limited to 1/turn, but not all.  Maybe have INT affect the total level of spells you can cast in a round perhaps, or an INT penalty for casting multiple spells in a round?

 

In terms of magic balance, arcane arrow should be moved up.

 

Beelining with the way Brad set up tech, is way too profitable.  One possible solution: tech likelihood of popping is a heavy function of the level of tech you are researching.   For example you may only get a 20% chance to get Death Axes at lvl 8  warfare, but 80% at lvl 15.  Stuff like that.  Would require a rethinking of the tech tree, and more low lvl techs/advanced x techs, so that should wait.  I do think that would be a way to discourage beelining/make it riskier.

 

Right now though, the main emphasis NEEDS to be on stability and bugfixing.  1,1 patch is good enough content-wise , it's not stability-wise.

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December 5, 2010 5:05:36 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Yes, there are still a reasonable number of crashes, even though sometimes you can go a while without getting some.  So stability does need to be worked on so the final 1.1 patch doesn't crash too much.

Best regards,
Steven.

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December 5, 2010 5:07:55 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums




Now, to research: my main complaint is the following: it's currently to easy to rush a line of techs. Actually, an advanced tech like heavy armor and a basic tech like training will cost the same to research. And this is a clear problem, because an early 20 attack or 20 armor soldier isn't that hard to create if you focus exclusively on that. And by the time you create it, no other faction will be able to even put a scratch on it. Light plate should be an early mid-game armor, heavy plate a late mid-game. It's not fun if everyone's in light plate by the time the fighting start, is it? I've refrained myself from rushing those techs... but yeah, nothing prevented me from doing that. I don't have a solution to that problem in the current research system, since we choose the tech after the research is done. Maybe some techs could only become available after a certain number of other techs have been researched in the same tree, or after N turns/N discoveries have passed since the last tech from the same line. Like, only make heavy armor available after 3 other techs from the warfare tree have been researched after light armor's been discovered.

I will tend to disagree with your view.

Yes i agree that you can rush a research especially in warfare part and it should be a little more difficult to get in high lvl armor research etc, thus requiring some more time to get there.

But on the other side, even if you rush some of those teches you still will need the resources and gold to build those high lvl troops.

You see, no matter what research you have, you will still need the gold etc to build those troops. so in some sence negating the civics tech to rush warfare will eventually do you no go by the end of the day, since even if you are able to build 2-3 of those units by the time you rush the research tree, your opposite factions will have resources to build 5-10 of the light armor ones.

Yes i agree the armor tech should be a little more difficult to get, but not too much or it will unbalance the game. After all if you dont have an economy to support your researched warfare tech, then its no good ^^

As in every game any rush has its risks and advantages. personally i always love when an enemy tries to rush me, because i know if their initial rush fails then they are always an easy target for the next short period to come

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December 5, 2010 5:25:56 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums



The solution is simple: increase significantly the power of early weapons, increase the power of mid-late game weapon in a more moderate fashion. and in order to make battles last 2 to 4 rounds as they should (so that some tactics can be involved), increase hit points by significant amounts (I've tried with 15 base HP instead of 10, but actually 20 would probably be the right choice). Veteran and Legendary level units have more hit points, but even they fall short of expectations, and they take a lot of time to build. They should be very long to kill - and they aren't in practice.

I agree with you in 2 points out of 3

Raising slightly the early weapons power and lowering slightly the late armor values.

But not much in either occassion because of 2 reasons.

First reason is that the high values of armor is one of the reasons that actually make this game strategic and tactical to play, because otherwise it would have been just an other slash and go game which will bore you to death with all those high attack lvl guys you will tend to see around.

Second reason is that the hp of units is actually to my view perfectly balanced and i will explain why. Even if you view the initial build units to have low hp, their hp increase dramatically for every lvl they gain. so imagine a company of elite troops trained. they start with signifantly low hp for their standards but with every lvl they gain they gai n too much hp, so the key here is to lvl them up, making the game more strategicly oriented rather than recruiting a bunch of elite high hp troops straight away.

And secondly we got spells like berbesk now, which make the game more tactical. You want attack power, then sacrifice some of your defence for it. Also it makes weapons like "Doom hammer" a rare but worth part of the game to search and find them (if you dont know doom hammer is the lord hammer opposite but eith an ability to equip a shield also).

And lastly it gives magic in battle a role since you will need to buff your troops to inflict damage and other troops of your enemy to lose turns so you take them oe by one.

So a small unbalance aexists but not too much to my view.

Sorry if i have been too negative today

 

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December 5, 2010 5:32:45 AM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

Adding to s'

[Wall of Text] 1.09p: feedback, issues and positive aspects

  • Before I get into this I want to once again thank everyone at StarDock for living up to your reputation in regards to supporting the community of gamers that has grown up around your games. You've all done a great job trying to fix EWoM and get it up to your standards. Gotta admit, I was thourally disapointed when I 1st got my grubby paws on EWoM but I knew given the time you guys wouldn't disapoint. (well unless EA bought you out..just kidding^^)
  • & Werewindlefr, you had alot of good ideas & insights. You got my brain kicking into overdrive while I read your post.

1) Civics. Aka cities, buildings, research and the economy

While it's difficult to separate this from the resource aspect of the game (adventuring tree), there's a lot that can be said about city building alone. First and foremost, this "population as resource" is a good idea, but not yet really exploited.

  • Intersting points. Agreed that more should be done to show that a cities population is its most important resource. Without them nothing would get done. No empire (or kingdom) in human history could have reached the heights they did without the blood & sweat of its population. They are the life blood & pulse of these factions. just look back at ancient Rome. The ebb and flow of its domination of a large part of earth was due to the ebb & flow of the "mobs will". Starting out with high ideals & principles & finally crumbling under slavery & caprisious greed.
  • Currently populations & the cities you/we build for them to populate are lacking depth. Perhaps adding an option to be able to 'spur' populations towards a specific goal at the cost of gilder/rep/mana/total current population. Kingdom factions & Empire factions having slightly difering aspects of this idea since they are both fundamently opposites. For instance, for an evil Empire; sending in the royal gaurds to round up voices of unrest & sacrificing them to your power mad Sovereign. In game terms, 1 outcome could be lowering the cities population by 100 souls for a temporary gain of some sort, mana regen/etc.
  • Regarding city building. Currently being able to build a city that stretches & curves out for mile after mile just to bring nearby resources 'inside' the cities walls for protection is the most ungratifying experience atm for myself since there is no disadvantage in doing so. just imagine the logistical nightmares of trying to defend a city like that from a beseiging army. Giving a defensive penalty to cities like that might be in order. Especialy for multiplayer games in the future. Many posibilities could make city building more fun & crucial in the grand scheme of things.

2) Warfare, Aka units, stats, balance, pointy sticks and tincans. And tactical battles.

What I want to talk about is the balance of units and fun of tactical battles in the current system. I've run several tests in several games, 200-300 seasons long (or even more), changing the values of unit hit points, accuracy, and weapon damage. And here is what I believe (I've already stated it before, but I can confirm it): armor is completely unbalanced

  • I rarely ever use actual units in my games so far; actual units that I build all seem to only be the late game ones like the dragon & demon. Predominately my 'armies' are composed of heros' who blindly follow my Soveriegn or a cadre of Warlocks & Witches. I have barely begun to do any of the comparison testing you have * kinda doubt I ever will to that extent. I find that your comments very acurately describes the ease with which my armies subdue the enemy. Armor/dodge makes those few heros' I have armored as best as possible able to hold the line while my Channelers/archers decimate the opposing army. In late game even my channelers & archers are heavily armored. Only idea I could add to yours is perhaps imposing a spell casting/archery penalty of some type depending on the total amount of armor worn, perhaps even going so far as to limit movement in some cases.
  • Early game combat is almost to hard, while late game combat is generally to easy. Though, a thought I've been mulling over regards multiplayer combat. Not sure about this, but having 1 entire side conduct all attacks (magical/ranged/close combat) will lead to specialized Sovereign assassinating armies ruling the battlefield.

3)Magic. Aka shards, arcane research, mana, spellcasting and firecubes.

The best feature of this patch, so far, is the mana system.

  • Magic is the core of EWoM. Totally agree with you regarding those enchanment spells. Why waste your mana pool growth on that 1 gilder per turn when 100 turns later you could have that 100 mana to throw at your enemy. As i mentioned above, having 1 side unload all of its spells 1st with no defense or counter attack before your turn in my opinion will be the breaking factor in multiplayer games. The army you bombarded will allways be a crippled husk of its former strength unless they have a high spell resist; & any channelers in that army will bear the brunt of that strike. 1st idea I thought of was to break down the combat round into 3 distinct phases. For simplicities sake, lets assume it could be broken down into Spell/ranged/mellee. To limit the disadvantage of some of your best units that are mellee, based on training/speed/total armor some specialty mellee units would actually have the ability to move in the spell/ranged phase. Admittadly, this would be a large dramatic change that may be unliked by the majority of players or even to problemmatic to change in regards to the games current mechanics/coding. Perhaps a simpler idea might be that the 2 armies Channelers duel for initial starting turn rights. Or base the starting sequence on a set of more clearly defined variables. Who/what is attacking who/what/where. Final idea would be incorporating spell negation into the tactical combat phase. Perhaps by sacrificing an amount of mana from your mana pool you can negate or perhaps even reflect an enemies spells back at them. Just batting ideas out there since I think this aspect will greatly affect multiplayer games in the future & should be looked into now. ^^

4)Adventuring. Roaming creatures, resources, quests.

Well, not much to say about that one. Creatures are a tad too abundant at first (they make it too difficult to do anything meaningful in the early game), but then they're too few and far between.

  • World clutter is very annoying especially in mid game when your moving a force to attack along a road and unseen Goodies Huts block your path along that road delaying your strike a turn or 2. Now, mind, I like loot & booty, I like them alot; but walking into a valley between 2 factions and seeing said valley covered for 20 tiles or more with level 1-3 loot locations makes me 1st drool then wonder why i bother since at that point I uselly dont need those resources. But books that increase Char/Int, well I'll move mountains if need be to get at those.
  • I especially like the touch that monsters now seem to trully go out of there way to chase down and kill wandering heros. Hehe, "Hoe miscreant!" But an added feature regarding these 'packs' of monsters might be a fun addition. Say for instance you do not kill that growing group of monsters, and in fact they continue to roam the country side plundering all they find. At some point, having that stack settle down making a monster settlement. Or perhaps after that monster stack captures a player/faction city. Could have the original stack be the guardians while the settlement would begin producing monster hordes that would raid outwards from that settlement. Could be an interesting fix to the late games lack of challenging monster spawns. Diferent 'monster settelment" abilities could be granted once its established. Bandit settlements would be extremly hard to find. Spider nests having thick webs sevearly limiting attacking armies movement. etc... oh oh, or have groups of monsters surround an Inn nearby with a certain number of turns untill they pillage it, killing any wandering recruitable heros hiding within the Inn's meager walls.

5)Diplomacy

The AI still needs some update, and there's a lot of work to do with the current diplomatic capital system. It's not that it's fundamentaly flawed, but it's easy to abuse and puts the AI at a disadvantage.

  • I've been a sucker for strategy games since my introduction to table top war games for the military introduced me to the genre at a very young age... since then well; I've played the majority of them at 1 point or another over the last 30 years. As such, when I saw the diplomacy option in EWoM I couldn't resist to play around with it. I gotta disagree with you on this one point. (only disagreement^^) It is actually fundementally flawed in certain aspects.
  • It is possible to declare war on a faction multiple times in a single turn & at the same time greatly increase your factions gilder/resources at the expense of your rivals. The AI currently allows you to use the Diplomacy option under 'Trade' to declare war. Doing so with all 9 factions versus 1 faction by signing a peace treaty with the hapless faction between declarations. Doing this will see you jump from being a poor faction to an economic jugernaught all within a few short turns. In some instances, doing this can lead to game breaking end turn click crashes with no other option than reloading your previous turns save. In my opinion it is a exploit that should be addresed; especially if AI controlled factions are allowed in multiplayer games since the 1st person to trade-war-exploit like this in a multiplayer game will have a very large advantage over all the other human players in the game.
  • Perhaps expanding the faction relationship slider to incorporate a hostile/neutral/liked gradient. Where certain actions/requests/demands affect the slider diferently depending on which of the 3 parts your faction currently resides within.

Ok, nuff said. Can't believe I wrote this much so soon after waking up.

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December 5, 2010 5:54:56 AM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

 Haha; 5 posts made while I was typing my behemoth addition. Only skimmed over them atm since I'm rushed for time. Saw some interesting things; going to have to sneak away from work later & give them a good look over. ^^ 

Have fun everyone.

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December 5, 2010 6:53:55 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Great feedback guys, thanks for the write ups.

RE: Enchantment Spells - What if we made some of the resource buffs give a + %bonus instead of a flat +bonus. This way you can cast it on your gildar producing center to give a nice boost, opposed to +1, which on second pass does seem worthless once the game starts rolling.

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December 5, 2010 7:00:58 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting BoogieBac,
Great feedback guys, thanks for the write ups.

RE: Enchantment Spells - What if we made some of the resource buffs give a + %bonus instead of a flat +bonus. This way you can cast it on your gildar producing center to give a nice boost, opposed to +1, which on second pass does seem worthless once the game starts rolling.

yeh percentage based would be a huge improvement

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December 5, 2010 8:10:35 AM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

    Ok, 1st you gotta promise not to contact my boss; if she finds out I'm pretending to work while scanning the forums I'll lose my familly jewels & any hope of calling in sick on monday as well.^^

   Now to address some of the ideas' I saw earlier that made me pause & think... & sorry in advance for any typos, but dont really have the time to edit my post atm with the scrutiny I generally need to ensure I dont butcher the english language.

Quoting Wizard1200,


The problem with Magic could be removed if Stardock would look into games like Age of Wonders: Shadow Magic or Disciples 2 and take some of their spells and every spell should have a limit of one use per turn. A suggestion to balance the spells can be found here: http://forums.elementalgame.com/400657/page/1/#2830349

The problem with Diplomacy could be removed if the wandering monsters could be persuaded with Diplomatic Capital to move away from own cities or to attack enemy cities.

  • While I dont completely agree on limiting a spell to being cast once per turn I can see that it would greatly change how some people enjoy spamming SMD's ( I am biased since my Hero armies tend to rely heavily on those spells) Perhaps a workable compromise would be to limit how many times a spell could be cast by 1 channeler during 1 turn based on the spells level? It's been ages since I've played AoW; may actually pull that old classic out of my trunk & give it a spin again.
  • As for Diplomacy; I dont see a group of Trolls or somesuch caring 1 whit about DiploCap, but give them a sack of shiny coins & perhaps a few less productive &/or troublesome townsfolk as slave stock with a "treasure" map leading to a rival faction. Yeah I can see that working out rather nicely^^

Quoting Alstein,

As for magic- some spells should be limited to 1/turn, but not all.  Maybe have INT affect the total level of spells you can cast in a round perhaps, or an INT penalty for casting multiple spells in a round?


Right now though, the main emphasis NEEDS to be on stability and bugfixing.  1,1 patch is good enough content-wise , it's not stability-wise.

  • Your idea of having Int affect casting like that sounds good to me. Perhaps the more spells you attempt to cast past the 'allowed' number increase the chance for automatic spell failure. Or perhaps even a catastrophic spell failure resulting in blasting your own troops to smithereens..
  • Stabilty improvement is critical. ^^ Need to be able to play without the spector of game killing crashes ruining our fun. Though major improvements have been made, I see what people have been saying as now  I'm into a Large Rediculous Max faction game I'm seeing more crashes. Nothing like before, but still troublesome.

 

  

Quoting BoogieBac,
Great feedback guys, thanks for the write ups.

RE: Enchantment Spells - What if we made some of the resource buffs give a + %bonus instead of a flat +bonus. This way you can cast it on your gildar producing center to give a nice boost, opposed to +1, which on second pass does seem worthless once the game starts rolling.

 

  • With a spell like that I would be more enclined to cast it on that 1 city if gold was an issue. Though I rarely feel as though making gilder is a problem for me since I realy heavily on stealing every single Hero with gilder/tech/lore+++ I can find & kidnap from rival factions. And as I mentioned above, If i'm truly in need of gold well, theres allways a patsy kingdom to declare war on for profitt. ^^
  • But generally, my Sovereign is more interested in the SMD's (Spells of Mass Destruction) Gimme a spell that I can cast for 1,000 mana that utterly transforms all the Lands within my zone of influence in a true paradise for my chaos spawn & I'd bust my **** to find the mana somewhere... any thought on letting me sacrifice my lvl 5 cities all the way down to lvl 2 for a mana boost? Viva sacrificial altars!! Wink wink nudge nudge...^^
  • 1 note on recruitable heros. It would be an amazing feature if each faction had there own race specific set of Heros. Expanding on that, race specific Heros would be the cheapest to recruit. While hiring heros from similar factions (ie: Empire hiring rival empire factions) for slightly more while trying to hire Kingdom Heros as Empire prove to be much more expensive/even impossible. That said, the option to KILL/Imprison/or even rob opposing factions heros while they search for a Soveriegn to serve would be a hoot.
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December 5, 2010 9:57:58 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Diardiamond,
While I dont completely agree on limiting a spell to being cast once per turn I can see that it would greatly change how some people enjoy spamming SMD's ( I am biased since my Hero armies tend to rely heavily on those spells) Perhaps a workable compromise would be to limit how many times a spell could be cast by 1 channeler during 1 turn based on the spells level? It's been ages since I've played AoW; may actually pull that old classic out of my trunk & give it a spin again.

As for Diplomacy; I dont see a group of Trolls or somesuch caring 1 whit about DiploCap, but give them a sack of shiny coins & perhaps a few less productive &/or troublesome townsfolk as slave stock with a "treasure" map leading to a rival faction. Yeah I can see that working out rather nicely^^

You are right a limit of one spell per turn is too hard. It would be better if the same spell can not be cast in the same turn again, as in Disciples 2.

I think the trolls could be persuaded that the people of the city have already killed many trolls and it would be only fair if the trolls raze the city to revenge their brothers and sisters. The Diplomacy tech tree could unlock different options for the Diplomatic Capital:

- Persuade wandering monsters to move away from own cities (basic)

- Persuade wandering monsters to attack enemy cities (upgrade)

- Persuade wandering monsters to join the player (upgrade)

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December 5, 2010 10:47:34 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting BoogieBac,
Great feedback guys, thanks for the write ups.

RE: Enchantment Spells - What if we made some of the resource buffs give a + %bonus instead of a flat +bonus. This way you can cast it on your gildar producing center to give a nice boost, opposed to +1, which on second pass does seem worthless once the game starts rolling.

 

Yes a percentage increase would certainly make the enchantment line worth more.

 

I do have a possible solution to the quantity vs quality argument with troops. Right now you are absolutely right, there is no reason to not rush to heavy armor techs so your forces are "invincible". I think the following changes would really help reduce the problem with armors.

 

1. Give groups of units (parties, companies etc) an attack bonus. This should possibly be +10% of each "supporting" members attack. For example if I have 4 soldiers with a oak spear, that normally does 9 damage. The unit would do 9 + 3(0.1 * 9) damage. This would a player to mass weaker units who could possibly hurt the plate units.

 

2. Allow like soldiers to combine. It would be nice if one of the training techs (possibly a new one) could allow x identical units in a settlement to combine into a part of what not. When this training option is selected in a cities build que, a small dialog would appear listing all units. Once a unit was selected, only the exact same type of unit could also be selected. These units would be temporarily removed from the city as they are "training" for so many turns to fight together. I think this would really help with the fluidity of the game. Let me elaborate.

 

Right now, it takes about 17 turns to train a party. This is a very long time for a player to wait for reinforcements. What I have often done is spam singular troops because waiting 5 turns is a lot more doable than 17. Without the ability to combine units, My armies are also singleton units (unless peace occurs so i have the time to train those mobs). If we can marge the single soldier groups and pay both a gilder and time training cost to do so, it certainly would make the initial units produced more valuable to the empire. I would suggest the gold cost to be 25% of what the normal "group" cost would be (so if a 4 man group is being combined, the cost would be 4(0.25c)). The time cost combined with the initial training cost should exceed the training cost of building the group straight up. Frogboy has rejected this idea in the past because of the training discount groups offer (17 is less than the 20 turns to produce 4 singular troops). However, if additional training time is required to combine singular troops, this would emphasis the bonus of training a party from the begining.

 

3. Allow soldier upgrading. Admitally, this was far easier to think about in Gal Civ II where each ship had a size. In this game, there is no size or class for a type of troop. However, I would like to see a troop upgrade option so the unit could retain some of there experience. With that said, I would like to see a training option similar no.2 mentioned above. The unit to be upgraded would be "removed" from the game for a number of turns as they become familiar with their new weapons and armor. When they return, they have the same experience as they had previously but now have the new equipment. This would certainly give a player a reason to not sacrifice troops.

 

<------Intensive Suggestions------>

These suggestions require a bit of work for TC and might be better suited for an expansion.

4. Attacks of opportunity: If a unit leaves an adjacent square of an enemy and moves to a non-adjacent square of that same enemy, that enemy may make a free attack against the fleeing foe.

***

*E*

*Y*

If Y moves to square that is not an *, E would get a free attack.

 

5: Flanking: Each additional unit that is in melee with an enemy would get a +10% flanking bonus (might be higher.

*AB

*E*

***

In this example, B is flanking E so both B and A get +10% to attack.

 

Anyways, these are just some thoughts.

Jec

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December 5, 2010 10:49:32 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Wizard1200,

Quoting Diardiamond, reply 11While I dont completely agree on limiting a spell to being cast once per turn I can see that it would greatly change how some people enjoy spamming SMD's ( I am biased since my Hero armies tend to rely heavily on those spells) Perhaps a workable compromise would be to limit how many times a spell could be cast by 1 channeler during 1 turn based on the spells level? It's been ages since I've played AoW; may actually pull that old classic out of my trunk & give it a spin again.
As for Diplomacy; I dont see a group of Trolls or somesuch caring 1 whit about DiploCap, but give them a sack of shiny coins & perhaps a few less productive &/or troublesome townsfolk as slave stock with a "treasure" map leading to a rival faction. Yeah I can see that working out rather nicely^^

You are right a limit of one spell per turn is too hard. It would be better if the same spell can not be cast in the same turn again, as in Disciples 2.

I think the trolls could be persuaded that the people of the city have already killed many trolls and it would be only fair if the trolls raze the city to revenge their brothers and sisters. The Diplomacy tech tree could unlock different options for the Diplomatic Capital:

- Persuade wandering monsters to move away from own cities (basic)

- Persuade wandering monsters to attack enemy cities (upgrade)

- Persuade wandering monsters to join the player (upgrade)

 

I really like this idea.

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December 5, 2010 10:57:57 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Achilles__,






I will tend to disagree with your view.

Yes i agree that you can rush a research especially in warfare part and it should be a little more difficult to get in high lvl armor research etc, thus requiring some more time to get there.

But on the other side, even if you rush some of those teches you still will need the resources and gold to build those high lvl troops.

You see, no matter what research you have, you will still need the gold etc to build those troops. so in some sence negating the civics tech to rush warfare will eventually do you no go by the end of the day, since even if you are able to build 2-3 of those units by the time you rush the research tree, your opposite factions will have resources to build 5-10 of the light armor ones.
Yes, and the 5-10 light armored ones can't do anything to you, that's the problem. You don't need that much money or resources to build 1 high quality troop, really. Nothing you can't have with a bit of exploration... or 1 or 2 techs, which really isn't that much. So what, 8 techs total for endgame armor? I don't want to prevent people from prioritizing some techs so as to obtain them "somewhat" earlier than the others, but this is clearly exaggerated by a huge amount here. A heavy armor rush should allow you to get them 50 turns before the others, not 350 turns.

 

Second reason is that the hp of units is actually to my view perfectly balanced and i will explain why. Even if you view the initial build units to have low hp, their hp increase dramatically for every lvl they gain. so imagine a company of elite troops trained. they start with signifantly low hp for their standards but with every lvl they gain they gai n too much hp, so the key here is to lvl them up, making the game more strategicly oriented rather than recruiting a bunch of elite high hp troops straight away.

Most troops don't level. Those that do only do it once, maybe twice. 


Adding numbers to my issue, let's look at the spear and the axe, in the 8-9 damage range. Full leather armor is ~10 protection, meaning that a huge number of "blocked" will happen, even though they're roughly in the same era. Actually, that will happen with the mace and shortsword, too. But even worse, light armor (~20 protection), which is the next step in armor, makes you almost totally impervious to those weapons. That's too brutal a change. It should be more like:

-leather armor protects against a moderate amount of the damage from those source (1/3, maybe 1/2-2/3 with the complete armor with the shield).

-light armor should critically decrease that damage; "blocked" results should appear quite often, but not systematically. 

-heavy armor should shrug off the earliest weapons (spear and axe) or the weak fast weapons of the next generation (shortsword), but shoudl still take light damage from the others. 

 

The issue is that if you increase the spear's damage to 15 (or the broadsword's damage to the 20s), then they will slaughter troops of their era way, way too quickly, hence my comment about raising HP critically. As it is, HP isn't in phase with armor and weapon values. I know there's leveling, but you can only level a small portion of your army, and the AI will not have leveled those 12-stacks it sends.

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December 5, 2010 10:58:22 AM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

Quoting Wizard1200,

I think the trolls could be persuaded that the people of the city have already killed many trolls and it would be only fair if the trolls raze the city to revenge their brothers and sisters. The Diplomacy tech tree could unlock different options for the Diplomatic Capital:

- Persuade wandering monsters to move away from own cities (basic)

- Persuade wandering monsters to attack enemy cities (upgrade)

- Persuade wandering monsters to join the player (upgrade)

   Interesting sub branch for the diplo tree. I see it fitting in nicely for kingdom factions, but for an empire faction lets go with...

- Misderect wandering monsters with live "bait" to move away from town (basic)

- Instill Fear in wandering monsters to attack enemy cities intead of your own (upgrade)

- Demand total capitulation of wandering monsters to join player or face extinction (upgrade)

   Yarp~ Its pretty much the same as yours, like the idea. Though in practice i doubt i would let them get away, rather melt their bones for the  xp. ^^ Also having the action still cost gilder or pop would make it more of a tactical decision than a player enduced monster spam.

   But i did have 1 more thought as well. In late game play... if the high lvl wandering spawn works then having the opertunity to send stacks on wandering Dragons or Demons at your enemies would be wild... & if you had to 'pay' or 'bribe' the wandering monsters then it could possibly be an aditional gilder/etc sink.

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December 5, 2010 11:10:26 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

All the feedback here is neat to see and read.  My only comment is really on the goodie huts and resources that Ive seen(or not seen).  Since the new beta and its patches, ive now seen in my games, almost the complete disappearance of resources and goodie huts.  I get my 1 land and some shards around my main city, and then after that, good luck finding anything.  Im not saying that is a biad thing in a shattered world, but once you start unlocking the techs to find more resources, shouldnt they appear somewhere?  They dont in my games.  I did manage once to find a ventri mine and literally weeped with tears of joy, that now I can stand up to the AI, who seems to have masses of peopls at 27 attack and 27 armor.  I have no idea what they are getting to get that darn high, but in a game at turn 150, that is darn scary.  Still, Im not saying we should be awash in resources, but in my games, I simply dont have them.  Horses, never see them.  Gold, ya right...no gold mines anymore.  Other food tiles, nope only the 1 fertile that comes by my main city.  I did find one, scenic overview i think, that gave me diplomatic capital, but that didnt matter to the AI, when I tried to use it. 

 

Of course, maybe my game isnt typical, but I also get a bit ticked, when I cant find a female unit to marry, but the AI seeems to just start with them automatically.  I mean seriously, I get notifications of children being born, before Ive even seen a female unit!!  Again, maybe im just unlucky(though I do have a hot gamer wife in RL so maybe this is karma that in games i cant get a wife!)  Still im pleased with the progress of beta and hopefully they keep going and making improvements.

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December 5, 2010 11:40:51 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Buildings ideas:

Instead of constructing 12 of the same building in one settlement, limit production to one building per settlement.  Allow the buildings to upgrade in level allowing more citizens to work there.  This can be fun in a few ways:

  • If a player wants the building to upgrade they must physically plan their city so the building can grow.  (ie level 1 - 1 square, lvl 2 - 2 sq, lvl 3 - 4 sq, lvl 4 - 6 sq, lvl 5 - 9 sq, etc)
  • Then as a building grows make it optional to add more citizens to work the building, and then for each citizen working to building the player gets a bonus to that building.  This way the player could tailor their buildings for what was necessary at the moment (ie need more materials, take citizens from library system and put them in the workshop system, or if an army is needed send them off to war.)
  • Each building upgrade should cost resources and have a higher upkeep.  Also, buildings should have materials upkeep - I really don't understand why this is not part of a buildings upkeep.

The city center should not level up automatically.  It should cost resources and have an upkeep as well.  There should be more options for the settlement bonus as the city grows.

 

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December 5, 2010 12:08:01 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Wizard1200,

I think the trolls could be persuaded that the people of the city have already killed many trolls and it would be only fair if the trolls raze the city to revenge their brothers and sisters. The Diplomacy tech tree could unlock different options for the Diplomatic Capital:

- Persuade wandering monsters to move away from own cities (basic)

- Persuade wandering monsters to attack enemy cities (upgrade)

- Persuade wandering monsters to join the player (upgrade)

 

This right here is a fantastic idea!

All you have to do is differentiate between  "sentient" and "non-sentient" creatures, and then allow a small diplomatic window where they could either make or respond to demands.

Not that this is in any way a priority, but it would be pretty cool if about halfway into the tech tree you got the capacity to "hire" bandits to go and hassle another sovereign (aka "here is 200 Gold, leave my lands and move over by Magnar").

 

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December 5, 2010 3:37:09 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Malsqueek,

Quoting Wizard1200, reply 12
I think the trolls could be persuaded that the people of the city have already killed many trolls and it would be only fair if the trolls raze the city to revenge their brothers and sisters. The Diplomacy tech tree could unlock different options for the Diplomatic Capital:

- Persuade wandering monsters to move away from own cities (basic)

- Persuade wandering monsters to attack enemy cities (upgrade)

- Persuade wandering monsters to join the player (upgrade)
 

This right here is a fantastic idea!

All you have to do is differentiate between  "sentient" and "non-sentient" creatures, and then allow a small diplomatic window where they could either make or respond to demands.

Not that this is in any way a priority, but it would be pretty cool if about halfway into the tech tree you got the capacity to "hire" bandits to go and hassle another sovereign (aka "here is 200 Gold, leave my lands and move over by Magnar").

 

 

Have to agree here, it would really add some much needed flavour.

Brad envisaged a Sauron type sovereign being possible when the game was being designed. If you add neutral factions that can be swayed/influenced or even made to swear allegiance, it would go a long way towards making that play-style possible.

If you didn't want to add neutral factions, you could make it possible for the standard AI opponents to be dominated and become subserviant. This could also be another victory condition if you manage to dominate all surviving players.

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December 5, 2010 4:41:04 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Things I've noticed: 

  • Loading a save game still makes for some weird inconsistencies. Namely, cities "change" ownership (not really, but they're colored differently and look to belong to another faction).
  • Loading a save game sometimes resets my standing with other factions. 
  • The EMPIRE TECH TREE seems to be all out of whack. Can someone confirm this? I almost never play Empire, but did today and all of it seemed weird and out of place. 
  • Still a lot of English issues. Lack of period there, weird punctuation here, etc. 
  • Stability is better than 1.09n, but still not awesome.  
  • Pacing is getting better, but still not perfect.
  • THE COMPUTER SENDS OUT WAAAAAAAAAAAAAY TOO MANY PIONEERS. LIKE, DOZENS SOMETIMES!
  • Don't know if this has been mentioned, by why are there so few (none?) Empire NPC's? I don't think I've ever seen one. 
  • AI's still expand at an insane rate. I don't know how they do it. Seriously. 
  • AI still doesn't adequately defend their cities as they expand. Still easy to steamroll their new cities. I ALWAYS send units out with my pioneers and they NEVER do. 
  • I'll think of more...

 

So, I played pretty much on and off all weekend and I have to say, this is certainly the best build yet. It still doesn't feel COMPLETE yet, though. There are some key issues that have already been mentioned in this thread and others (diplomacy still feels a bit weak, the lack of uniqueness among factions, the lack of really interesting factions (Look to Age of Wonders: Shadow Magic for some inspiration or even your own GCII!), stability still isn't up to par, I WANT SOME UNIQUE ITEMS! AND UNITS!, give me more interesting terrain, etc.) but honestly, this game is still headed in the right direction. I've never felt compelled to get as involved in any game as I do this one, as I've never seen so much potential and I've never seen a developer as interested in making the best product possible as you all are, Stardock. Let's keep making this better!

 

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December 5, 2010 4:48:41 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

What happened to the unique factions, by the way? Did they go away? I forgot or didn't read something, maybe?....

Also, while I'm thinking about it, can I suggest that every faction gets some materials and some food to start with? Those first few turns doing NOTHING with your city really kinda suck. 

I will also agree that armor still seems unbalanced. It's getting better, but it's not there yet. 

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December 5, 2010 5:48:33 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Okay, I've tried tweaking some values a bit. With base HP at 25 (+standard level bonuses), and weapon damage sent upwards (spears at 15 or 16, mace at 18, shortsword around 13, broadsword at 22, warhammer at 24, etc.) while reducing Master Heavy Plate and Legendary Armor (so that they each provide an increment of 1, not more), the game ends up a lot more fun. You might want to reduce light armor so that the leather -> light plate transition doesn't end up being such a huge jump in armor values; that would require lowering all the other armors as well (except leather and padded, of course). 

Anyway, no more one-hit kills at low level, no more units becoming obsolete too fast, and a rebalance (neologism?) between quality and quantity. Combats last somewhat longer (major, long combats last 8 rounds, 4 for each side, which I believe is the sweet spot for a climatic battle) , which allows for better tactics. And now, I can kill light-plate armored enemies with maces, although it's going to require having more dudes than the opponent. It even works with spears, although it proved to be rather difficult... as it should be.

 

Oh, an important comment: I haven't seen any command post in the enemy territory. Or Barracks. Or Siege Workshop. Or Archery Range. And they all have the same AI tag in the XML, so... hey, maybe that's where the issue with the AI NOT producing squads comes from.

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December 5, 2010 8:22:09 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums
Few more things: The different screens for "New Spell Learned", "Your City is Idle", and technology map will always pop up one right after another without giving me the chance to address any of them first. Once the last one has popped up, I can finally address them going backwards. This is pretty annoying cause I'll go to choose whatever it is that pops up first and another screen will pop up! Also, the initial city orders screen always pops up before you see the "Found Settlement" animation! Boo!
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December 5, 2010 8:29:09 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums
Sorry to keep going like this, but more things occur to me! I think the city growth/level numbers are screwed up! My cities go from level 2 to level 3 WAY too quickly (like, 4 or 5 seasons sometimes!)..............Okay, that's it for a few minutes, at least.
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