Elemental's biggest problem...

By on December 16, 2010 12:08:14 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

GaelicVigil

Join Date 08/2010
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Listening to The fan-dumb

"Taking these fans too seriously is usually a mistake. Although they tend to be louder than the rest of the fanbase combined, they are usually a decided minority in almost every fandom (though they often claim to be a majority). Fan Dumb also tends to suffer from an extreme case of Fan Myopia, regardless of what kind they are; in any variation, they are often intractably convinced that the views of "the fans" (or perhaps more accurately, them) are both more widespread and more mainstream than in fact they are. If you're a producer, then pandering to them is usually a good way to make your show crash and burn. And to add insult to injury, they usually won't be very grateful that you were thinking about them, but will instead start whining about how you made the show crash and burn."

I noticed from the day Elemental was announced, that the community had way too much sway over the decisions that were made.  When you claim to be a developer that "listens" to everyone individual's opinion, you soon find out that every opinion gets added to the game.  The feeling I get from Elemental is that it simply doesn't know what it wants to be.  It's been pulled and yanked this way and that way so many times over, it seems to have forgotten what exactly what it started out as.

If there is one piece of advice that I could give to the guys behind Elemental, I would suggest that you stay out of the forums.  Or, at the very least, keep a layer between yourselves and the opinions of the masses.  Stone-walling your customer base like many big publishers do can be very bad, but there is the other extreme that can be just as bad as well.  When you try to ensure that "everyone" is happy, you end up discovering that, in the end, nobody really is.

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December 16, 2010 12:17:30 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Really? Do you seriously believe that?

Then tell us about these problems that you can directly trace to "fan" intervention. I mean, you must be thinking about specific problems with Elemental that were directly caused by the "fans", right? Not just making sweeping statements.

 

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December 16, 2010 12:25:16 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Ive got one.  People bitched about there being too many minor factions, and so now instead of getting the Yoren, Snathi, etc, we just get one single minor faction, the Orekeepers.  The minor factions were one of the few interesting things to find wandering the waste.

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December 16, 2010 12:28:04 PM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

Stardock has made lots of decisions in this design that ingore fan suggestions that are not in the direction of the overall view of the product.  They seem to only incorporate those that make sense.  I'm happy with the willingness to re-do a lot of things that appears to be "done" in order to fundamentally improve them.

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December 16, 2010 12:30:04 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

This thread includes a random poster telling seasoned developers with multiple successful games and an independent studio that their style of sales and community management is sub-optimal. I am sure it isn't either a troll or a bit stupid, and that it will go well.

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December 16, 2010 12:31:02 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

While this is certainly something to look out for, I don't think that's a problem here. Elemental has always been pulled in too many directions, and since release has begun to become a much more cohesive game. The opposite would have happened if the fan dumb theory held sway here. Much more people are happy now than were at release.

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December 16, 2010 12:33:05 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Elemental biggest problem - lack of AI. There is no challange, and there is no visible changes in AI since release. This is a good game, but its incredibly boring.

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December 16, 2010 12:35:12 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I think your fear is unfounded. I believe SD knows what they are doing vis-a-vis fan feedback and its implementation in the game.

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December 16, 2010 12:36:32 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting id_est,
Elemental biggest problem - lack of AI. There is no challange, and there is no visible changes in AI since release. This is a good game, but its incredibly boring.
It's because of the fans.

Wait, wat ?

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December 16, 2010 12:37:48 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Thats bull, the AI is very much improved since release.  It's far from great, but at release it was completely retarded.

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December 16, 2010 12:44:04 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I think the fact they have brought kael on board shows that Stardock realises that the game needed someone to help give the game a bit of direction and focus going forward. I have no concerns about stardocks ability to make their own choices on whats best for the game going forward.

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December 16, 2010 12:44:31 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Heavenfall,
Really? Do you seriously believe that?

Then tell us about these problems that you can directly trace to "fan" intervention. I mean, you must be thinking about specific problems with Elemental that were directly caused by the "fans", right? Not just making sweeping statements.

 

 

i agree. i'll happily take this seriously if some good examlples can be supplied. the minor factions thing is hardly that significant.

on the other hand i can think of plenty of things that people have been saying since beta, that have finally been acknowledged, like the paucity of stats and the flaws in combat speed and 1dN

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December 16, 2010 12:48:37 PM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

The game has improved, and the AI has improved as well, you can see that from the way the progress curves of empires keep up with yours. Having said that (Ive always wanted to say that), some AI's should be "fortifiers" which keep increasing their troop strengths and defend well.

And I thought Stardock released V 1.1 cause after 1.09w there were very few alphabets left.. suggesting the use of chinese or korean alphabet in version numbering, he he.

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December 16, 2010 12:51:18 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Lord Xia,
Thats bull, the AI is very much improved since release.  It's far from great, but at release it was completely retarded.

This is wordplay. Relativly, AI was improved, but there is no visible changes that change playability. 

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December 16, 2010 12:58:13 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

@GaelicVigil

If this would be a problem, we still would have an ongoing beta 1.09z, aa, ab, ac, whatever. Every new patch we would have a new direction and new features. And more and than less and than more and than a little less...and so on. But we haven´t. Maybe thats was a problem in the beta before release. I don´t know. I wasn´t here. 

But i wrote it before. This beta (1.09) feels very well organized and straight forward. I had the feeling, they knew what they wanna change and they knew what can´t be changed in THIS patch.

 

@id_est

Everytime the same statement. And this time i will give you the answer you get everytime before from other com.members. "Yes, the AI is far from very good or very challenging. But it gets better and better. There are very good improvments from release to now. And they work constantly on it."        

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December 16, 2010 1:42:48 PM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

  Evolution is fun & bloody at times, just like revolutions. I think its awesome they listen & ignore people all at the same time. It shows me 3 things about them.

  1. There human (heard a rumour some may be mutants & aliens)
  2. They have there own unique vision (just like everyone else^^)
  3. They like playing games (what sane person doesn't?)

  Now, I to feel as though I've been pulled & pushed in numerous directions, but you know, its been more fun that buying some of the trash games out there from other companies that never fully fix them, change them or improve them, while demanding that we give them our 1st borns soul to be allowed to play said game. It does feel better than ~only~ being a credit card number in there eyes.

   So, regardless that EWoM has had more than a few ups & downs allready I'm looking forward to seeing what it becomes down the road.

PS: Stifling the free flow of ideas & information is bad... better to be heard & ignored than never heard from at all. [e digicons]:karma:[/e]

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December 16, 2010 2:05:41 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

One of the reasons they made a new engine is for mods.  Its just absurd to make a game where one of the primary attributes is modifiability on one hand and the other hand saying don't listen to the fans.  I understand that trying to accommodate everyone ruins a coherent game, but elemental is as much a platform as it is a game.  If you want to see a game that ignored its community check out Final Fantasy XIV.

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December 16, 2010 2:30:40 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting id_est,



Quoting Lord Xia,
reply 9
Thats bull, the AI is very much improved since release.  It's far from great, but at release it was completely retarded.


This is wordplay. Relativly, AI was improved, but there is no visible changes that change playability. 

 

Hahaha what?  no visible changes?  do you know what ai is?  How the hell would you visually see changes.

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December 16, 2010 2:35:45 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

There are visible changes I think, you can see the enemy retreat from engaging in more powerful units, the Sov doesn't commit suicide like it use to or get stuck in corners.  They build better units.  It seems better to me.

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December 16, 2010 2:45:15 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Stardock should only listen to trolls which are obviously the only ones with a brain. The more they insult Stardock or treat them as ignorants without a personality, the better their feedback and more valid their points. (even if that includes saying that Elemental should be an FPS)

That's just my opinion as "higly experienced human being". (which means that you all should bow down to my wise words)

 

 

 

 

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December 16, 2010 2:47:10 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Can you pass the popcorn, please. I don't like pizza's.

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December 16, 2010 2:51:49 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I very much doubt that Stardock take all of our suggestions blindly and just throw them into the game without thought.

Don't forget that Brad is this games biggest fan as well as being the CEO, if he doesn't like the implications of an idea I highly doubt we'll see it in the game regardless of any amount of pressure from the community.

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December 16, 2010 3:00:09 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

The feeling I get from Elemental is that it simply doesn't know what it wants to be.

This is true, but the reason for it is that the game was released about one year too early. It just wasn't finished and it is still not finished (sorry Frog).

Edit: And the AI has changed a lot since release. Claiming otherwise makes me think you haven't played the game much at all...

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December 16, 2010 3:19:41 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Problems, as i see it, in order of how much it hurts:

Weak AI

Tech is only good for a few techs, most of the tree is useless or stepping stones to good techs. Also, poorly labeled.

Magic is only good for a few spells, the other 95% of the spells are junk.

Unit design is pointless, as max armor/weapons is best option in all cases.

Champs are all clones(bland clones at that) with tiny stat differences.

Terrain is bland. Its like a perfectly flat board with certain zones(mts and oceans) declared off limits, with an even distribution of goodie huts/resources across it. This makes every map feel the same.

Population/materials/gold become ignorable, typically in that order, as just playing the game naturally you get so much you could never spend it. While metal remains rarer than ancient quests sites that can win the whole game. Crystal seems totally random, starve or be buried in it, but never a reasonable amount.

 

 

There are a lot of other little things, but those are the things that jump out as me as really hurting the game the most.

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December 16, 2010 3:23:00 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Obvious troll is obvious.

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December 16, 2010 3:40:35 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

The team at Stardock take all suggestions made anywhere on the Interwebs and put them into a numbered list in the order they found them. They then implement every suggestion that falls on a prime number, and then every suggestion with a number that corresponds in any way with Mickelmas Tuesdays on the calendar.

Finally, they run all the suggestions through a shuffling algorithm so that the words interweave into new and more interesting suggestions, and then start the process all over again.

e.g.

Implement new bear-cavalry goodie huts with epic magic dynasty screens that rape shards and cast elemental city-spam on Frogboy after Janusk is black with specialists in raze-city research outside the ZoC including more MoM for scarce food cheerios refund shit.

 

So you see, Stardock don't just listen to the opinions of the fans, they even listen to opinions that don't exist. Pandering to fandumb? Bah! The only way to be successful is to try to be everything to everyone, some things to no-one, and nothing to someone. This may sound contradictive and maybe even impossible, but the fact is, this is the incomprehensible genius of Stardock at work, and it is what will inevitably make Elemental the GREATEST GAME OF ALL TIME spent between Procipinee's AI breasts in the Lost Library of boolean essence using a broken war staff dodging unit abilities from FFH balance issues.

 

[EDIT] Damn it Stardock! You can't use the shuffle algorithm on my post while I'm writing it!!

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