Lord Xia's Treatise on Elemental improvement, ver 1.1

By on December 29, 2010 11:58:19 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Lord Xia

Join Date 03/2006
+148

Some old ideas, some new ideas, both big and little that need to be considered to improve the Game.

Races need to be each unique either through appearance of armor and weapons, and/or through bonuses and penalties.  Each race should look different in their armor.  Having slightly different eye/skin/hair color among the 6 tribes of humans means shit under the armor, they all look alike.

When creating a custom faction, we need to be able to tell which bonuses don't work with Empire or Kingdom, seems simple, but apparently not.  Also, when I am choosing colors for my faction, I should be able to see it modeled on the...um model on the right.  Hard?  Think not.  Also, I should be able to change skin and hair color for my factions. 

I should be able to play agaisnt enemy factions ,and I should have the ability to design their AI like I was able to do in GalCiv2.

When starting the game, I should have the option of how many neutral factions there are, how many resources there are, and so forth, options, options.  Things that we had in GalCiv2.

Minor factions should be a little more active, and have a large diplomacy rating so AI doesn't just wipe them off the map for no gain.  Let them at least arm themselves, have a few spells, and maybe a few troops and send out caravans.  They should even be able to create a little army, and maybe have special troops that can help allies.  Like if the Orekeepers ones had troops with that pressed iron armor and longswords they make, they could at least protest themselves, and if they are are conquered, instead of them disappearing, that neutral city is special and can only produce their special troop and items, making them both valuable to keep alive or conquer, depending on how you play.  Also, non human factions would be nice.

Quest are too few, and  fairly pointless.  Why put the work into getting the Sovereign sword, when by the time I have it, I have better weapons?  Orthe Sov Shield I can buy.  Make quest items special for the whole game and unique.  More quest, and have them pop up randomly.  Also, maybe a random event that is centered around one of your champions and they have a quest.  "Viy, you must seek out the great Sage at Darkroot Mountain" and then Viy gets some special item or ability.  Something like that. 

When you take a tech that produces the resource, please make the fucking resource pop in my fucking area.  Great, I got darklings that showed up in Kraxis control, hope they pick the same tech and theirs shows up over here so I can use it.  Dumb people, really.

And Stop letting other factions create cities in your area of influence.  So stupid.

Sovs need to follow the int requirements of casting, or you need to make int more important to the damage that spells cause, otherwise, I will continue to make retarded Sovs.

Make allitems usable for everyone. Why can only humans of the race of men can wear the Azor quest armor or the the pressed iron armor and why can't Ambrose wear human armor?  Frustrating.

Add "wizardly" items to the game.  Maybe I don't want all my Sovs, champs, or children to be iron clad warriors.  How about magic robes that don't offer as much protection as iron armor, but add dodge bonus, and magic staffs that work like bows? 

We need separate light armor tracts and heavy armor tech paths, maybe I don't want to specialize in heavy steel armor, maybe I am a iron poor nation, so I specialize in armor that needs less iron, but provides more mobility and agility?  Add back in the scale and chain armor and make them an alternative to the heavier, more iron costly armors. 

Champions need to be more diverse and interesting.  They are all human now, they all have boring clothes or leather armor on.  Wow, boring.  They should be each of a race or nationality, and list it in their description, "Viy a Yoren", or Tarth, or whatever, and since every faction has a unique look to them, armor wise, they will stand out in your army, most likely as they have their own armor look and color scheme.  Neat, huh?  Also, a Champion with a city based profession, like farmer, should gain exp every turn he sits in a city that uses his skill.  They should have different personalities, and maybe form rivalries or enemies with other champions, they should have loyalty and a glory stat, if you are not giving them chances to gain glory, like combat then they get less loyal, or if you keep using a farmer to fight, then they lose loyalty.  Champions shouldn't be killed, they should be captured and put in prison and traded on the diplomacy screen.

Tactical combat needs a complete overhaul.  Units need ZOC, meaning that you can't just rush past the unit or through units.  Spells and Arrows need much smaller ranges, you should have to position yourself to land a good shot.  We need meaningful terrain.  3D terrain like in Final Fantasy Tactics battles, or at least rivers, mountains, forest, things that change movement, line of sight, and dodge bonus.  Movmentand positioning, make up, of your armies should be very important.  Unit types, like Heavy, light infantry and mounted should provide bonuses based on the terrain that the battle is fought and who they are fighting.  Look to Romance of the Three Kingdoms, Brigandine, and Final Fantasy Tactics for ideas.  They are old games, so don't tell my the new fancy game cant do it.

No reason to have the entire kingdom disapear like a fart in the wind when the Sov is defeated.  That should casue the faction to have a new leader rise up, either a child or a Champion, and maybe the remaining empire splits up into factions.  Also, see Romance of the Three Kingdoms. 

Need random events, like the ones that GalCiv2 had and FFH2 had.  Also, more interesting world places, like FFH2 had that trapped angel, that stonehenge thing that provided certain bonuses with some of the factions.  Or giant dragon bones, neat shit like that, that makes me think, oh cool, this part of the world is special, unique. 

 

Thats's it for now, sure I will think of more.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Locked Post 118 Replies +2
Search this post
Subscription Options


Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
December 29, 2010 1:20:04 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Good points for improving the game!

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
December 29, 2010 2:16:54 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I try.  I'm hoping some day it doesn't just feel like "Red Army vs Blue Army vs Green Army on the Fields of empty bland irregular map!".  I have played a ton of different strategy games, and I know there are a lot of ideas that could be pulled from them and molded to give this game a more fulfilling experience. 

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
December 29, 2010 2:31:48 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Unfortunately, we've all asked for the exact same things 100 times but Stardock hasn't said a word.  I know they're all sleeping over Christmas break so maybe in January they'll say something.  In the meantime, I'm just going to have to play some new games, old games, or get a new hobby.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
December 29, 2010 2:37:02 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I know, I've asked for most of this stuff 3-4 months ago, and not a word.  I guess I'm the asshole who keeps hope alive far after I and everyone else should move along. 

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
December 29, 2010 2:50:43 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Good points. I suppose that Stardock is working on stuff like this in the background while 1.1 is maturing. Kael said that more info would soon be available

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
December 29, 2010 3:27:43 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums
Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
December 29, 2010 3:45:58 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Lord Xia,
I know, I've asked for most of this stuff 3-4 months ago, and not a word.  I guess I'm the asshole who keeps hope alive far after I and everyone else should move along. 

There are a lot of tall orders floating around this forum. I'm sure some are being worked on, some will be worked on and some are being ignored. Patience is virtue.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
December 29, 2010 3:54:42 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Hi Xia - I like all the ideas you mentioned. I'm personally optimistic that they are working on it and will advise when they have the game plan finalized. I'd like to think all of these threads are read, good ideas make the roundtable Stardock discussion, and when the plan is decided they'll share with the community. It would be worse to commit to something and then not deliver. 

Based on Stardock's willingness to dialogue with the community, I'd like to think this is what's happening behind the scenes.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
December 29, 2010 4:12:58 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I'm still here and still talking, trying to get the game moved forward.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
December 29, 2010 4:42:27 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Lord Xia,
I'm still here and still talking, trying to get the game moved forward.

Yup. I see the potential this thing has like most other repeat posters. I'm really hopeful this will be a classic that can be replayed over and over again for years to come. In my opinion it's missing the magic, the hook, whatever you want to call it but based on where it's gone the past couple of months I think we're on the right path.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
December 29, 2010 4:53:08 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I'm guessing that tactical combat overhaul/upgrade is waiting for the expansion.  To do what it takes to be great, like you describe, would be on the order of a fully detailed tactical combat simulator.  Tactical combat is one of my favorite parts of any great turn-basted strategy game and I have high hopes for Elemental. 

From what I gather, the focus of the next patch (1.2 and betas therof) will be spells, AI, balance, and probably some UI tweeks (oh please give us a 'paper doll' and inventory in the shop screen).

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
December 29, 2010 5:18:41 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting hempire99,
.... (oh please give us a 'paper doll' and inventory in the shop screen).

For the love of Yahweh, this!

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
December 29, 2010 5:25:55 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Know what would also be cool?  Champions of unusual races.  Like Darkling, Scion, Ogres and such.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
December 29, 2010 5:56:36 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Lord Xia,
I know, I've asked for most of this stuff 3-4 months ago, and not a word.  I guess I'm the asshole who keeps hope alive far after I and everyone else should move along. 

I'm pretty sure they've taken into account many of these suggestions.  For example, they are reworking tactical combat and as of right now, Frogboy is hard at work trying to make the AI stop pioneer spamming/building poorly placed cities.

Other concerns, bland X vs Y vs Z have begun to be weeded out by the community.  See ExpandedFactions mod.  Its awesome.

Quests and weapons and armor have also been taken on by the community.  See ArtifactWeapons and kenta's weapon mod.

I also really like Murteas's Grimoire mod.  It makes magic much more focused in the beginning, giving you level 0 spells that require zero resources and a magical defender so you don't have to zerg rush warfare.

Elemental has room to improve.  But exactly like Neverwinter Nights, there are going to be things the developers just don't have the time/budget or don't like the direction a player wants to push the game.  Modders pick up the latter.  And as Frogboy mentioned something a week or so ago, that Stardock was bringing on board a mod specialist.  Someone that can make mods not only easier to create, but easier to install and swap back and forth, and more power to create - that's what this game really needs.  

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
December 29, 2010 6:09:20 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Where can I sign this petition?

 

What I would also like to see is "Auto resolve" using the same system as tactical battles, just in the background.

Then please get rid of caravan micromanagement. I would prefer to see them automagically rebuild after some cooldown time when destroyed, but something needs to be done here. Needless to say that cooldown time could be extremely long and some techs (or a souvereign trait) may reduce this noticeably.

Last of my three wishes would be a "God mode". I would love to watch A.I. fractions playing against each other while beeing able to have a look into every detail of what they are doing as the game progresses. This might also help modders to balance their work and to see how the A.I. adopts it. Some way to move forward several turns at once would be really godlike here, but don't invest too much development time into conveniance features for that special mode, as Lord Xia has much stronger points on his list.

Someone needs to kiss a frog now or was that another fairy tale?

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
December 29, 2010 7:12:00 PM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

Quoting puntarenas,
Where can I sign this petition?
Then please get rid of caravan micromanagement. I would prefer to see them automagically rebuild after some cooldown time when destroyed, but something needs to be done here. 

 

What about like the freighters in GCII? If they were destroyed another one would just automatically appear, but you would lose income.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
December 29, 2010 7:31:33 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

haha here I was hoping it was a mod resource and it's a wishlist.  Good points though! Having played GC and FFH2, I agree.  I also support RiFE (Think of FFH2 but more factions/spells/everything. )

 

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
December 30, 2010 10:54:56 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I think the race customization, with tech and appearance, is probably expansion fodder.  Look at what they did with Twilight of the Arnor, and the tech trees there.  I doubt they are ignoring it, and since those that have already purchased get a couple of free expansions, I'm hoping it will be there, too.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
December 30, 2010 11:41:11 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Good list, and I agree with most points. However:

Races need to be each unique either through appearance of armor and weapons, and/or through bonuses and penalties.  Each race should look different in their armor.  Having slightly different eye/skin/hair color among the 6 tribes of humans means shit under the armor, they all look alike.

I'm not sure that having different weapon\armor models is necessary. It takes up a lot of art resources coming up with new armor designs.

Perhaps instead have a major and minor color for armor for each race, and apply them to all armor? Should be much simpler to do, and provide a good graphical cue as to what kingdom\empire the unit belongs to.



When you take a tech that produces the resource, please make the fucking resource pop in my fucking area.  Great, I got darklings that showed up in Kraxis control, hope they pick the same tech and theirs shows up over here so I can use it.  Dumb people, really.

The other alternative is to make a preceding tech show the potential Darkling resource, so you know in advance whether it makes sense to go for the "Diplomacy with Darklings" tech.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
December 30, 2010 11:44:29 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Thats a good point about the Resources, but I disagree with the armor, I think unique armor looks would make a very dramatic difference in the feel of the factions and would be well worth the effort.  Its that kind of details and polish that the game is really ion need of to make it feel like a dynamic, exciting, and living fantasy world.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
December 30, 2010 12:32:21 PM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

Quoting Maksim42,

The other alternative is to make a preceding tech show the potential Darkling resource, so you know in advance whether it makes sense to go for the "Diplomacy with Darklings" tech.

Another option would be to make the resources discovered this way to only visible/usable by you. Then if another faction researches hidden resources the same resources will be usable for them.

I think unique armor looks would make a very dramatic difference in the feel of the factions and would be well worth the effort.

It would be nice, but the colour scheme would be a quick fix in the meantime. I think there's probably more pressing things they could be devoting the art resources to, like spell effects and improved UI, new equipment, real flames when I burn a city, etc.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
December 30, 2010 4:23:59 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

 

  All good suggestions.  We do have to prioritize all the things we want to do (and several of the issues Xia points out are already on the list) and figure out what the order is and where we should be focusing.  One of the biggest challenges for me is to figure out where to start and what to address first.  I'm sure 100 different people would start in a 100 different things (balance vs new quests vs global mana vs faction differentiation).  Not to mention the work done on the backend that isn't interesting from a feature list and invisible to players but helps us down the road.

  There is also an implementation cost of everything and that has to weighed against the benefit.  When it comes to things like race specific armor that a lot of time investment.  Under the current implementation that also means that we would need to have 10 copies of every piece of armor in the game which is a management headache.  Its also worth considering if its more important that my units are visually distinct from my enemies or that they be visually distinct from each other (ie: would it be better if i had differing armor design so i could make my archers look different than my swordsmen even if they were wearing the same armor).

  Also, would I rather have racial armor or the ability to attach particle effects to weapons and armor to make flaming swords, glowing crowns, etc.

  So though I hear you, and generally agree with everything you said, they are just a small sample of the coming features.  So please don't feel like we are dismissing or ignoring them if you don't see us jump to implement them.

  The only things I tend to disagree with is the custom faction stuff (not that its bad, just that it would be very low priority) and the ability to configure the custom factions AI.

  I'm undecided on the question of succession.  On the one hand it gives a very cool use to the dynasty system.  On the other it changes the focus of the game from the sovereign to the empire.  We are talking "psychology of gaming" stuff here (attachment and agency) but I tend to think that although I like the idea of succession, it robs Elemental of one of the things that makes it unique.  Unlike other games Elemental isn't a game about an empire (in Civilization you aren't playing Stalin or Washington, you are playing Russia or America), its about your sovereign.  I wouldn't mind a option (or faction) that didn't need cities at all, that just raided, camped and caused chaos.  Succession dilutes that focus on the sovereign.

  But succession is also a very cool concept, especially in considering your sovereigns bloodline (if it was in, I like the concept of being able to have your amazingly talented kid kill off his parent and assume the throne if you decide you like the kids talents better).  But at the moment I'm against including succession.

 

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
December 30, 2010 5:15:08 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Thanks Kael, I'm just glad to know that you guys read this stuff and consider it.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
December 31, 2010 10:45:18 AM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

Quoting Derek Paxton,
 

 

  I'm undecided on the question of succession.  On the one hand it gives a very cool use to the dynasty system.  On the other it changes the focus of the game from the sovereign to the empire.  We are talking "psychology of gaming" stuff here (attachment and agency) but I tend to think that although I like the idea of succession, it robs Elemental of one of the things that makes it unique.  Unlike other games Elemental isn't a game about an empire (in Civilization you aren't playing Stalin or Washington, you are playing Russia or America), its about your sovereign.  I wouldn't mind a option (or faction) that didn't need cities at all, that just raided, camped and caused chaos.  Succession dilutes that focus on the sovereign.

  But succession is also a very cool concept, especially in considering your sovereigns bloodline (if it was in, I like the concept of being able to have your amazingly talented kid kill off his parent and assume the throne if you decide you like the kids talents better).  But at the moment I'm against including succession.

 

 

Most of the conversations I have seen regarding succession are geared towards the opposing players and I don't feel that shifts the focus from sovereign to empire at all. It is happening to someone else, after all.

Also, is there any discussion among the devs about caravans, and if so, what might it be?

Thanks for your updates!

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
December 31, 2010 12:07:55 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

 

  In my opinion the first fix for caravans is to get a warning indicator in the game for when enemy units are in your lands.  By biggest problem with caravan attacks is that its a surprise that monster was there at all, requiring me to scan my lands every turn (not going to happen) or have monster attacks seem effectively random.

  If we still have problems after that fix is in then we will adjust.  But I think we can fix this without making caravan management automatic (and hiding it).  In fact I'd like to improve the caravan mechanics by making it more interesting and strategic, not deemphasize it.  

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
Stardock Forums v1.0.0.0    #108433  walnut3   Server Load Time: 00:00:00.0000578   Page Render Time: