Nothing to look forward to to entice "just one more turn."

By on December 14, 2010 7:05:35 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

SapSnark

Join Date 08/2003
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I started playing the beta just before the release, and v.1. Then, I put the game down for a while, and have recently picked it back up with the beta builds leading up to 1.1.

There are a lot of improvements, and I like the improvements – they do make it better. But the feeling I get now is how I felt after playing through version 1.0 the first two times – there’s nothing to look forward to, to entice "just one more turn."

In MoM, there were cool spells (I know, the spell book is being revamped). But there were also cool creatures – Sky Drakes, Archangels, Giant Spiders with their damn webs. I always looked forward to getting those beefy high end creatures – paladins, warlocks and the like. In HoMM there were Titans and Black Dragons. In MOO2 I got to build death stars. In Elemental, I get to look forward to Lord Hammers and Full Plate Armor – it’s less than thrilling.

In Civ4 with every tech advance I get to hear Leonard Nimoy recite a succinct yet profound bit of wisdom – and it’s thrilling even after hoards of games of Civ. In Alpha Centauri I always found the tech advance descriptions/movies interesting (even after playing it dozens of times over). In GalCiv there was always some goofy or nerdy reference in there (though I probably only read the techs every 5 or 10 games). Elemental doesn’t have much life in its tech advances – I find myself just crunching numbers to determine what boosts I need most right now.

In MOO2 I always loved getting those high level governors, and sending large fleets to destroy those massively powerful guardians (essential boss fights), and then colonizing and pumping up those beautiful planets they guarded. In MoM there were those nodes guarded by 8 Sky Drakes or Great Worms that were savagely difficult to win and had massively powerful goodies. In Civ4 I had my towns that slowly grew up over dozens of turns, that couldn’t simply be replaced if pillaged.

The battle animations are great. The detail of the town when zoomed in is great. The way borders expand, and how caravans build roads and travel back and forth, and how monsters and heroes band together over time – all great. But those are all aspects to be taken for granted. They’re the background of the game, and they make it gorgeous – they’re just nothing to look forward to. There’s no motive for “just one more turn.” There’s nothing to look forward to*.

 

*(Except, maybe, dragons – but they’re such a pain on the battlefield they’re more frustrating than fun).

 

*Edit – A short summary of this thread. I have by no means included all of the ideas, thoughts and opinions put forth in the 55 posts below (as of the time of this edit).

First – Much of this thread is a reply to Frogboy's comments in post 4 (it's short - scroll down a bit and read it).

           I may be interpreting his comments wrong, but what his proposal seems to me is parallel to what Blizzard did with Starcraft. In TBS, 4X, we're all playing the same game - we research the same techs, build the same buildings and units, pursue the same resources. What changes from game to game is our strategy. What I read in the idea of streamlining to three tech trees is the creation of three wholly separate, but (eventually) balanced games (Compare Magic, Civilization and Adventure to Zerg, Protoss and Terran). Someone focused on rebuilding a shattered world through cities, kingdoms and empires would entirely different needs from someone seeking to rediscover lost magic, or treasure hunters looking to uncover pre-Cataclysmic ruins. In theory, it's an idea that would change 4X gaming entirely, similar to what Starcraft did with RTS. It's a fascinating idea. Or I'm just reading too much into it.

In post 19, Nonjin has offered a thoughtful commentary on how he feels about the state of the game.

In post 28, Tanafres puts forth an idea that I find very interesting. Summarized:

  • Assuming 3 tech trees, each tree would be researched by different means.
  • Civ and Warfare would be lost technologies researched in (for example) libraries.
  • Magic would be researched in (for example) mage towers (or arcane towers).
  • Adventure would be researched by adventuring (I imagine something similar to Great General emergence in Civ4. Great Generals had an experience meter that filled up whenever the player fought a battle. Then, after so many GG XP had been accrued, it would level up and a Great General would appear. Similarly, every time someone “adventures,” the adventure bar would get a few points. After it filled up, the adventure tree would advance, with the next level being more difficult to attain.)

In post 31, Vinadil offers in the third paragraph a different perspective on why 4X games appeal to him/her.

In post 33, WhiteElk, a long time 4X player, offers a detailed explanation of why version 1.09e had greater “just one more turn” appeal, along with his/her thoughts on what makes 4X a great genre. The post is long, but is well formatted for skimming/scanning.

In the 40s posts – A discussion arises regarding monster lairs. This idea has been around since pre-release, and (I think) is still a pretty cool idea.

In post 53, quoting Sir_Linque “Yes there are special units you can research up to, but the total customization of human troops feels too much like a game of Excel.”

To reiterate, the above is NOT a comprehensive summary of this thread. It is just a quick synopsis of what caught my attention. *

*Edit 2 - 69 replies.

In the 60s, Several comments on lending a more RPG-esque nature to heroes, where the Adventuring tree would unlock more "Different weapons, armors and kits" for different types of classes (Rogues, Wizards, Clerics, Sword Saints etc...), and also abilities. It seems an interesting concept as it could effectively segregate the RPG elements, allowing the player to spice his 4X experience however he/she might choose (Perhaps taking a healthy dose of warmongering with a side of RPG, or vice versa).

Post 69, TarlSS asks for "an end to building spam," proposing instead that each building should have multiple levels. I say keep both the building spam as an option, but also allow for leveling up buildings. Some kings are messy, sprawling their nations across the wasteland; others are meticulous magekings building tidy enclaves.


[Digression - Having just played a game of Civ5 (new patch, large map), I was thrilled to win a game having only built three cities. My capital was able to produce higher research, culture and production than any other civilization.] *

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December 14, 2010 7:28:32 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

yep agree... we still have a long way to go to get to that "just one more turn" hook.  v1.1 is bug free tho.  does that help? 

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December 14, 2010 7:32:50 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

a lot of it is that a lot of the content is either always unecessarry to meet the objectives (adventuring, or recruiting creatures) or not competetive numbers wise (no effective end game damage spells). in another words a lot of it is numbers still i think. it could use a bit more OMG content, but that will have to come later.

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December 14, 2010 7:41:24 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Yea, it is still really bland. 

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December 14, 2010 7:49:51 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Elemental has demons, dragons, drath, etc. that one can research up to.

That said, I think there's a real pacing issue that needs to be addressed in the future.

I am not convinced that we need 5 different tech trees.

I could almost imagine it broken down to 3 like:

Civilization

Lore

Magic

where Warfare, Diplomacy, Adventure and Magic get split into these areas.

Or put another way, the 3 basic means to victory should be the paths like Mundane, Magic, Adventure.  Win via Lord hammers, win through devastating spells, win through powerful creatures and allies or some combination.

Right now, you have a pretty solid civilization and warfare tree while the other 3 are kind of meh.

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December 14, 2010 7:57:43 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Trojasmic,
yep agree... we still have a long way to go to get to that "just one more turn" hook.  v1.1 is bug free tho.  does that help? 
Quoting Frogboy,
Elemental has demons, dragons, drath, etc. that one can research up to.

That said, I think there's a real pacing issue that needs to be addressed in the future.

I am not convinced that we need 5 different tech trees.

I could almost imagine it broken down to 3 like:

Civilization

Lore

Magic

where Warfare, Diplomacy, Adventure and Magic get split into these areas.

Or put another way, the 3 basic means to victory should be the paths like Mundane, Magic, Adventure.  Win via Lord hammers, win through devastating spells, win through powerful creatures and allies or some combination.

Right now, you have a pretty solid civilization and warfare tree while the other 3 are kind of meh.

 

Might be interesting to swap some magic techs into the other trees and rest into spell book. Seems wierd that we have arcane researchers working on spells but the engineers are the ones discovering all the neat magic stuff. Then you have some strategy with arcane research, for example do I research the  next best boom spell or should I research magic artifacts to enhance my troops.

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December 14, 2010 7:59:00 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Yea, and you took away my scale and chain shirts, when you should update them to have more powerful, light armor. And they gave me more options in appearance than other armors.  Now all my units look exactly alike.  Boring.

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December 14, 2010 8:00:01 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Frogboy,
Elemental has demons, dragons, drath, etc. that one can research up to.

That said, I think there's a real pacing issue that needs to be addressed in the future.

I am not convinced that we need 5 different tech trees.

I could almost imagine it broken down to 3 like:

Civilization

Lore

Magic

where Warfare, Diplomacy, Adventure and Magic get split into these areas.

Or put another way, the 3 basic means to victory should be the paths like Mundane, Magic, Adventure.  Win via Lord hammers, win through devastating spells, win through powerful creatures and allies or some combination.

Right now, you have a pretty solid civilization and warfare tree while the other 3 are kind of meh.

Just get rid of adventure. I seriously don't understand why we need to "research" creatures into existence. It makes zero sense and doesn't (IMO) improve the game in any way.

from another post:

"I'd personally love for most of the adventure tech tree to be re-worked around the concept that high-level monsters (and low level monsters), generic loot (as well as powerful artifacts) and quests (both simple and epic) exist from the start. As in, all that stuff is out there, visible and available from the get go.

All the loot, monsters and quests could be scaled so that the more one travels inwards from the coast, the more exciting and dangerous things he/she is able to stumble upon. This would also give the game a sort of "unexplored wilds" feel, as players would be forced to stick to the coasts and nearby areas until sufficiently strong enough to travel inwards.

The actual adventure tech tree could be dynamic: once the player discovers an ancient relic for example, he / she must then research how to use it. Other techs could involve "lore research", where the location of important dungeons, monsters or loot is awarded to the player. Note: The location is given, the actual content was already there and could have been discovered manually if the player had wanted to risk wandering around in-land."

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December 14, 2010 8:00:04 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Frogboy,


I am not convinced that we need 5 different tech trees.

I could almost imagine it broken down to 3 like:

Civilization

Lore

Magic

where Warfare, Diplomacy, Adventure and Magic get split into these areas.

Or put another way, the 3 basic means to victory should be the paths like Mundane, Magic, Adventure.  Win via Lord hammers, win through devastating spells, win through powerful creatures and allies or some combination.

Right now, you have a pretty solid civilization and warfare tree while the other 3 are kind of meh.

 

That's... actually a very solid idea, there.   I think the important part is that each tree you go down has the potential for contributing to you winning the game, or is otherwise critical to a given strategy.   The current problem is this clearly is not the case right now.

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December 14, 2010 8:01:59 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I think more magic - including more magic trees are needed - not less.   That's where a lot of the flavor of the game needs to come from.  More spells - especially more diverse spells like the ones you just mentioned in your post on the spell contest - would help a lot.

The additon of more magic items that can be found, won or made would also be a help to add to the "just one more turn" feeling.

More quests - more difficulty levels and more fighting over items.

I suggest you don't make it a simplier game - add more depth and variety.

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December 14, 2010 8:03:43 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Frogboy: That's a good idea in general, I think, and I like how the three main aspects of the game are explicitly three major things in that model, but I also fear that it would interact poorly with the way tech research works in Elemental. In that three-tiered system, one would presumably be rewarded for specializing. As it stands, increasing research costs discourage that. It could work fine with a more traditional tech system (and Fall From Heaven II's religion/magic/mundane split proved this) but I wouldn't want to lose Elemental's current tech system, which frankly makes more sense and is otherwise better in a lot of ways. Possibly this could be fixed by rebalancing, but possibly not.

Also, I'm not really sure what Lore means - presumably it's stuff that folks have forgotten since the old days, but what types of technology would fall under that banner? I can imagine a feel to mundane and magical techs of that origin, but as far as I can figure, they'd still just be mundane and magical things, or things currently in the Adventure tree.

I am tentatively in favor of this idea, but there's a good bit that needs to be figured out before it can become a reality. (Unless of course you guys have that figured out in the privacy of your offices already)

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December 14, 2010 8:03:57 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Personally I think difficulty is a great gameplay extender. You'll need to find a way to appeal both to the RPG and the RTS aspects of the game.

Or, put in other words; I don't just want to build those epic cities and train those legendary champions; I want to see the world burn in glorious war.

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December 14, 2010 8:08:33 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Well, one of the things I'm looking forward to starting in January is having two of the top industry designers on hand to address this.

As you guys know, I'm an AI guy. Not a designer. I just want to play the damn game.

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December 14, 2010 8:09:35 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

i'd personally move all the magic research into the spell system, and instead of researching individual spells, research spell levels and the books (and add a lot more books, like Greater Fire, Greater Air, Wild Summons, Dimensional Summons, make Terraforming not a starting book either)

then merge diplomacy and adventure.

that would seem like the easiest immediate solution that doesn't involve scrapping separate spell research buildings, or redesigning concepts like how monsters and resource spawning work. not to say that isn't worth considering.

i'm also in favour of simply allowing the player to do more fun stuff at the start. i'm not sure it's fun to force players to research basic equipment, the ability to cast ANY spell whatsoever, the ability to buy decent mundane equipment etc. if it was up to me i'd enshrine the principle that a starting sovereign should get a free weapon and be able to defeat a level 1 bandit on his own, and the such like.

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December 14, 2010 8:10:30 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Frogboy,
Elemental has demons, dragons, drath, etc. that one can research up to.

That said, I think there's a real pacing issue that needs to be addressed in the future.

I am not convinced that we need 5 different tech trees.

I could almost imagine it broken down to 3 like:

Civilization

Lore

Magic

where Warfare, Diplomacy, Adventure and Magic get split into these areas.

Or put another way, the 3 basic means to victory should be the paths like Mundane, Magic, Adventure.  Win via Lord hammers, win through devastating spells, win through powerful creatures and allies or some combination.

Right now, you have a pretty solid civilization and warfare tree while the other 3 are kind of meh.

 

I think the adventure tree could be buffed up.  The magic tree obviously could.  The diplomacy tree has always seemed a bit stupid to me in comparison.

 

The creatures side should go to adventuring, the rest of it to civilization.

 

Magic just needs more spells/spellbooks/magical items.  Quantity and variety is what is needed here.


Adventure needs to be more self-explanatory, revamped (at a minimum, on resource spawning techs, have them not spawn stuff in your opponent's influence), and have more interesting and powerful/unique heroes/quests.  Throw in the lairs you can recruit from, and you'd  have a fully fleshed out tree.

Warfare needs more variety in what is best to research.

 

Most of the Diplomacy options, making them tech-locked just means no one uses them.  Diplomatic Capital needs to have different uses also.

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December 14, 2010 8:13:24 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Frogboy,
Well, one of the things I'm looking forward to starting in January is having two of the top industry designers on hand to address this.

As you guys know, I'm an AI guy. Not a designer. I just want to play the damn game.
Even with designers, do please remember to listen to users. Professional designers are great, but part of the appeal of Stardock games, at least for me, is that I can suggest things and, as long as they're reasonable, they'll be seriously considered. Furthermore, people who actually play a game tend to have a better idea of what actually effects the game than do people with fancy degrees but less interest in the game itself (not that I think that's the sort of person you'd be as proud of hiring as you seem to be with these incoming designers).

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December 14, 2010 8:15:32 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Cruxador,

Quoting Frogboy, reply 12Well, one of the things I'm looking forward to starting in January is having two of the top industry designers on hand to address this.

As you guys know, I'm an AI guy. Not a designer. I just want to play the damn game.Even with designers, do please remember to listen to users. Professional designers are great, but part of the appeal of Stardock games, at least for me, is that I can suggest things and, as long as they're reasonable, they'll be seriously considered. Furthermore, people who actually play a game tend to have a better idea of what actually effects the game than do people with fancy degrees but less interest in the game itself (not that I think that's the sort of person you'd be as proud of hiring as you seem to be with these incoming designers).

Oh I don't think that'll be a problem.

You know, this touches on an interesting topic that most people outside our communities don't understand.  Stardock is privately held. This is a crucial distinction in that our motivations are different than say a publicly held company. Specifically, we are in this for you guys.

The analogy I tell my friends is this, imagine if the guys at CivFanatics.com got together and made a company to make games. That's effectively Stardock -- good and bad.

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December 14, 2010 8:16:53 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Frogboy,
Well, one of the things I'm looking forward to starting in January is having two of the top industry designers on hand to address this.

As you guys know, I'm an AI guy. Not a designer. I just want to play the damn game.

More walking the talk! If you hire Chuck Norris after all of this I'd call it a day. Solid.

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December 14, 2010 8:17:09 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Frogboy,
Elemental has demons, dragons, drath, etc. that one can research up to.

That said, I think there's a real pacing issue that needs to be addressed in the future.

I am not convinced that we need 5 different tech trees.

I could almost imagine it broken down to 3 like:

Civilization

Lore

Magic

where Warfare, Diplomacy, Adventure and Magic get split into these areas.

Or put another way, the 3 basic means to victory should be the paths like Mundane, Magic, Adventure.  Win via Lord hammers, win through devastating spells, win through powerful creatures and allies or some combination.

Right now, you have a pretty solid civilization and warfare tree while the other 3 are kind of meh.

No offense- I certainly appreciate the work you all are doing on the game, and have said so many times, but I think the problem goes a little bit deeper than this.

To me, what makes this game less than classic is that there is really very little depth. So, comments like this concern me. As a general rule of thumb, I would suggest that for future development, any design decisions that remove strategic elements are bad, and any that add it are good.

Just my personal axe to grind. I may be misunderstanding the intent of your post, and if that's the case, I apologize.

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December 14, 2010 8:27:35 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I guess I'm alone in liking the current tech system. I like being able to control, for example, the strength of monsters at least partially through my own research. I like control over the pacing, in general. The game implies multiple ways to play through the tech trees....and while you'll eventually want all of them, how you get there I thought was supposed to be part of game play.

The description of "lord hammers, master spell, or master quest" basically kills it for me, because it's reducing Elemental down to three core components: overwhelming military force (easily done as of now), sitting around waiting for the master spell (already possible, still boring), and doing the master quest (has the potential for engaging the player.)

I understand the desire to reduce the scope of the game, for a lot reasons. It's not an encouraging idea to me though. Pacing is an issue, but cramming all the interesting parts of the game into three tech trees basically sounds like what little faction differentiation we have in game is going to go away entirely. While some factions focusing on certain techs hasn't played out the best so far, I believe you guys can address that with time. Compacting all the tech trees down will certainly make your lives easier...I don't know if it will result in games that are more fun though. They may be quicker, but that's not ultimately addressing the problems some people have. It's just getting many to a point where they hit the "don't care anymore" wall faster.

Not trying to be harsh, but this is one instance I don't think the game needs anymore streamlining. (Also who really wants to have ~15 entires per tech tree at each tier?) What circumstances the world throws at you dictating your tech path is, I think, an interesting part of game play and creates the "just one more turn" thing, if you have enough research. Just rolling on the civ tech tree for 50 seasons to get 90% of the functional goodies (because magic is ultimately not necessary to the game, at all, nor is questing) gives me less reasons to play a new game, a new faction, or any of that.

There was a time when you could play Elemental and not get everything without putting in some serious overkill. Now it's starting to feel like, once you hit the sweet spot, you can max out pretty much everything in reasonable time. That's just going to become more true if the trees are merged, I think.

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December 14, 2010 8:29:50 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Frogboy,
Oh I don't think that'll be a problem.

You know, this touches on an interesting topic that most people outside our communities don't understand.  Stardock is privately held. This is a crucial distinction in that our motivations are different than say a publicly held company. Specifically, we are in this for you guys.

The analogy I tell my friends is this, imagine if the guys at CivFanatics.com got together and made a company to make games. That's effectively Stardock -- good and bad.
This is true. But Stardock continues to grow, and as more people enter, it ceases to become necessary to turn to the users for ideas. I know that you value player input at a philosophical level, but I still worry that as Stardock grows, that input will cease to be sought.

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December 14, 2010 8:51:12 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

 

I agree that the adventure & diplomatic trees could very well be presented in other fashions, but I would hate to see 'options' dwindled down in the name of 'streamlining' things. It seems that many games are going that route now and gone are the days of games you had to learn and explore (Morrowind is my best example for just being kicked off the boat and having to go figure the rest out. LOVED IT)

I personally enjoyed the large tech tree in Gal Civ II and the choices that I had to make and live with. I loved focusing on trade and using my hard currency to manipulate those around me. I would hate to see my choices in Elemental reduced down to Tree A, B, or C; spam Studies; victory? Perhaps going instead to a Warfare, Civilization (with adventure added), Trade/Merchant, and Diplomacy (+ things like hardened negotiations, prisoners, age old alliances, calling in favors, a way to play the game without warfare but still win through cunning charisma).. . perhaps even going so far to have some techs that allow you to train some of your recruited heroes/champions as Governers for your cities, which would impart bonuses for these now non-combat characters.

Just my two cents I guess.

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December 14, 2010 8:52:25 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Frogboy,
Elemental has demons, dragons, drath, etc. that one can research up to.

That said, I think there's a real pacing issue that needs to be addressed in the future.

I am not convinced that we need 5 different tech trees.

I could almost imagine it broken down to 3 like:

Civilization

Lore

Magic

where Warfare, Diplomacy, Adventure and Magic get split into these areas.

Or put another way, the 3 basic means to victory should be the paths like Mundane, Magic, Adventure.  Win via Lord hammers, win through devastating spells, win through powerful creatures and allies or some combination.

Right now, you have a pretty solid civilization and warfare tree while the other 3 are kind of meh.

 

This must be why you guys aren't listening when we tell you to clean up the text in the Adventure and Dominion tracks.

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December 14, 2010 8:53:11 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I think the five tech trees are good.

Think about the possibility of using the Adventure (or Lore, or what have you) tree for training sovereigns and champions to become questors.  What I mean by this is whereas the warfare tree should be used basically for sieges, creating armies, training cavalry and/or archers from the populace, the adventure tech could be used for acquiring skills for your adventuring party: scouting, dungeon delving, dragon slaying, etc.  While I have no problem with discovering resources through researching ancient lore, perhaps the actual uncovering of new resources in the world could require a high level champion unit, like a ranger for instance.

 

 

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December 14, 2010 8:58:08 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Good post, I have to say I agree. So I just researched an armor tech, big whoop. I'll just click end turn a few more times and I'll have something better.

[quote who="Frogboy" reply="4" id="2846179"] Elemental has demons, dragons, drath, etc. that one can research up to. [/quote]

I think that part of the problem is that most of this stuff only shows up in your own or an enemies army, and if you're 'lucky' as a random spawn somewhere. It all has very little flavor. There is no ancient castle with a demon gate in it that, after some adventurers accidentally activate it, starts spawning hordes of demons until you (or an other faction) seal it, destroy it, or take control of it. Just like there are no Drath villages on the map, demanding some form of tribute before they will allow you to hire some of their soldiers.

That said, I think there's a real pacing issue that needs to be addressed in the future.

I am not convinced that we need 5 different tech trees.

I could almost imagine it broken down to 3 like:

Civilization

Lore

Magic

where Warfare, Diplomacy, Adventure and Magic get split into these areas.

Or put another way, the 3 basic means to victory should be the paths like Mundane, Magic, Adventure.  Win via Lord hammers, win through devastating spells, win through powerful creatures and allies or some combination.

Right now, you have a pretty solid civilization and warfare tree while the other 3 are kind of meh.

I agree that the 5 tech trees could/should be reworked. Ratatosk7 raises a good point though, how can the guys who are working out how to do things like trading, building ships, and forging armor, suddenly able to research a new spellbook? That seems more like a job for the arcane researchers. And while we're talking about those;how come these ordinary people, who are according to the lore completely unable to do any magic at all, capable of discovering how to cast a fireball or draw more mana from a shard?

One of the things that Elemental has that has a lot of potential is the fact that it has two different research mechanics, the 'technology' research and the spellbook. I think however that it is not used towards its full potential, with the spellbook being dependant on magic research in the 'normal' tech-tree.

I would propose making them totally independent from each other*. Have one tech-tree be about the 'mundane' stufffrom planting potatoes to constructing castles, and have one tree deal with all the magical stuff. The magic research could be devided into a few trees, like combat magic, creating magical items, enchantment of people and places, and shard manipulation (drawing more mana from shards, changing the alignment of shards, giving shards some other effects...).

*This doesn't mean certain techs can't work together; creating a magical sword could require both the technology to craft a sword, and the knowledge of how to enchant it.

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December 14, 2010 9:08:37 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

 I like the 5 pronged tech tree because it emulates the elements (civ=earth, war=fire, adventure=air, diplo=water) plus magic, the traditional fifth element of pure energy.  Please keep the five tech trees just rework them.  Also some advances like better weaponry should be left to the type of citizens one employs.  Also the tech trees ought to interact with each other, because not everything is black and white withing a single tech tree.

I propose a more abstract tech tree system, wherein each tree contains 9 levels, and the advances occur whenever  the appropriate prerequisite tech levels, and even perhaps other prereqs like buildings or resources, are met.

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