You Sir are Called

Choice?

By on January 5, 2011 3:24:15 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

RolandTGunner

Join Date 08/2008
+2

I've written three posts ever.  Not 3 Elemental Posts, but 3 Posts ever on the internet.  I don't waste your time often, but if you have gotten this far please read on.

 

My first post about Elemental talked about my parents getting divorced.  Possibly not a big issue for you, but the single biggest issue in my life.  I compared the early squabbling between the development team (Brad) and fans of the game to my parents fighting.  I saw both sides but realized I was going to lose no matter how it worked out.  I wanted Ice Cream... in fact I told both sides I was willing to go for Ice Cream when the were ready to take me. 

 

Now if you have gotten this far and you are just realizing this is boring, don't forget I warned you, I've only written three posts (that works both ways) but I'll try to get to a point here shortly.

 

Elemental will be the the best PC game ever.  It will.  The very best PC game of all time is sitting before you.  The number 1 game ever made..  in fact the number 1 game on any format ever.  It will be the best game ever.  

 

Elemental currently stinks.  1.1 stinks.  Elemental 1.1 is a bad game.  If you told your friends to buy Elemental, if you told your family to buy Elemental, if you purchased Elemental yourself you just might stink.  If you think Elemental is good in its current form, take a sniff test.  Yep, you stink.  

 

You Sir are Stinky.  Stunk.  Ripe Cheese.  You Reek.  You have an Elemental Stank about you.   

 

Don't fret...  do not worry...  do not hang your head..  Many are chosen, few are called..  Tomorrow has not come... yet..  it is coming...  Elemental is 2011..  Elemental is not 2010..  If you are living in 2010, if you are posting about 2010, if you can feel 2010, tomorrow is on the horizon...

 

If you make a living telling others how or where to game, then warn them of Elemental.  But if you game, if you dare to explore, if you dare to be hurt then adventure on.  Elemental is not easy.  Elemental suffers few fools.  Elemental doesn't want you.  Elemental doesn't need you.  Elemental brokers no peace.  Elemental is not your friend, yet it might be your only friend. 

 

Elemental is awakening.  Can you handle that?

 

R.

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ArcElement2002
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January 5, 2011 3:32:01 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Elemental is awakening indeed. 

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January 5, 2011 4:18:17 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Well said sir.

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January 5, 2011 6:37:36 AM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

I wonder how drunk he was when he made this post.

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January 5, 2011 6:51:01 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting dragoaskani,
I wonder how drunk he was when he made this post.

 

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January 5, 2011 11:10:33 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Elemental will be the the best PC game ever.  It will.  The very best PC game of all time is sitting before you.  The number 1 game ever made..  in fact the number 1 game on any format ever.  It will be the best game ever.  

What tells you it will be, aside from a bound-to-fail attempt at divination ? The odds are against it, even with a few of the most talented people in the industry on board. I believe Stardock has lots of competent people, Frogboy included, but I agree with the journalist who tested this game in the French video gaming magazine Canard PC: it probably won't matter how much work they will do on Elemental, the basics are too unsound to have any amount of patching transform it into a very good game. I really hope they'll succeed, I just don't think they will and there isn't any evidence saying they ever will. It's not because they lack talent, because they don't, it's just that it's probably not possible.

I think that predicting that Elemental will be 2011's best PC game (or best game ever) is complete wishful thinking. There are many good titles coming in the first half of the year, also made by talented people...

(yum, Deus Ex 3 and DoWII Retribution... )

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January 5, 2011 11:26:48 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

That is a pretty unlikely wish, but I think that a lot of the problems with the game can be fixed with some hard work and determination.  The only area I am really concerned about it the tactical battles, since they are so fundamentally flawed, you can't just remodel that house, you have to rip it down and build a new one.  It can be a fun, good game I think with everything else fixed or improved, but unless they truly redo the tactical battles, it will never be great, IMHO.

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January 5, 2011 11:35:59 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Lord Xia,
That is a pretty unlikely wish, but I think that a lot of the problems with the game can be fixed with some hard work and determination.  The only area I am really concerned about it the tactical battles, since they are so fundamentally flawed, you can't just remodel that house, you have to rip it down and build a new one.  It can be a fun, good game I think with everything else fixed or improved, but unless they truly redo the tactical battles, it will never be great, IMHO.

 

 Well, according to Frogbrad, they're getting done in the first expansion. Initiative based combat. He compared it to FFT.

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January 5, 2011 11:55:23 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

That he did, and if that is what we get, than I will be one happy fat geek.

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January 5, 2011 12:39:22 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

You called? What's up.

 

EDIT: Sorry for all the bad jokes I've been posting today. It's one of those  days.

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January 5, 2011 12:46:13 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Sir_Linque,
You called? What's up.

 

EDIT: Sorry for all the bad jokes I've been posting today. It's one of those  days.

 

Bad jokes and puns are sacred to geeks, it is acceptable.

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January 5, 2011 12:57:48 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

When I read crap like this I can almost hear the pained voice of the 11 year old that wrote it.

 

Is that strange?

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January 5, 2011 1:07:00 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Even if I thought any of Elemental's systems were too fundamentally flawed to be fixed through patches (debatable, I honestly think balancing the numbers, making more use of existing mechanics, adding content, etc. is enough for most of the game's problems), I'd hesitate to say so - I mean, look what they did with the magic system. It got changed in a very fundamental way, something you don't expect to see in any kind of patch. That should give anyone pause before claiming "this system is just unsound, there's no way they can fix it with patching" - not to mention expansions.

Stardock promised a lot with their patches, and as far as I'm concerned, 1.1 delivered on those promises - I'm not saying 1.1 Elemental is great, or that it's even good, but it is a vast improvement over 1.0 (for what it's worth), it proves their willingness to rework fundamental systems from the ground up and simply put a lot of effort into improving the game post launch. If 1.1 is any indication, we have a lot to look forward to in 1.2, the two expansions, and so on - it's hard to predict where the game will end up after all that, but it's too soon to rule anything out by saying that it just can't be fixed.

I do agree with Xia that tactical combat is one of the few things that needs to be reworked from the ground up, and like the game itself, it's hard to predict how combat will turn out after drastic changes. But I have no doubt that Stardock is going to try, they've shown already that they're willing to make those drastic changes most companies wouldn't bother with in a game already released.

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January 5, 2011 3:16:02 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

But I have no doubt that Stardock is going to try, they've shown already that they're willing to make those drastic changes most companies wouldn't bother with in a game already released.

 

Thats i believe too, Stardoc devs really know how to work out a good game and then make it better.

If only Jon Shafer wasnt there. Ok I was joking now But still i am a little worried about this guy hired ^^

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January 5, 2011 3:59:47 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Lord Xia,
That he did, and if that is what we get, than I will be one happy fat geek.

 

Exactly how fat are you? Is it chubby mama's boy, Peter Griffin, or Bonnie Grape?  

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January 5, 2011 4:02:45 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

More peter Griffin than Bonnie Grape, that bitch is a Twinkies box away from Jabba the Hut, nobody is going to need to burn down my house around me when I die.  About 6'1 and 260 lbs.

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January 5, 2011 4:18:15 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Lord Xia,
More peter Griffin than Bonnie Grape, that bitch is a Twinkies box away from Jabba the Hut, nobody is going to need to burn down my house around me when I die.  About 6'1 and 260 lbs.

Those units are less relevant and thereby incorrect when dealing with people more than 50 lbs overweight. A more accurate measurement would be in number of chins and belly rolls. For grossly underweight people such as myself, we refer to our weight class in pasta units (i.e. Spaghetti No2), and paper density, with another good measure being what class of street lamp post we could potentially hide behind.

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January 5, 2011 4:32:34 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I so am seriously underweight that I don't cast a shadow when I turn sideways.

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January 5, 2011 4:47:47 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I used to be without shadow, but have built up to a single chin and roll

harpo

 

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January 5, 2011 4:52:17 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Bah! Young people with high metabolisms!

Age will fix that.

Hee hee...

 

 

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January 5, 2011 4:54:10 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Over 40 now so I keep waiting for the slowing metabolism. Actually it's my wife that's waiting...

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January 5, 2011 4:59:43 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting gmot,
Over 40 now so I keep waiting for the slowing metabolism. Actually it's my wife that's waiting...

 

I have a theory that my metabolism is tied to my libido, as I'm over 30 now, and neither have decreased below age 14 levels.

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January 5, 2011 5:02:50 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

thermodor, can you send me some of your lobsters,

I used to have no shadow when living on a farm, but after moving to town gained the chin and roll, and to me YOU are a baby.

harpo

 

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January 5, 2011 10:11:27 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Stardock promised a lot with their patches, and as far as I'm concerned, 1.1 delivered on those promises - I'm not saying 1.1 Elemental is great, or that it's even good, but it is a vast improvement over 1.0 (for what it's worth), it proves their willingness to rework fundamental systems from the ground up and simply put a lot of effort into improving the game post launch. If 1.1 is any indication, we have a lot to look forward to in 1.2, the two expansions, and so on - it's hard to predict where the game will end up after all that, but it's too soon to rule anything out by saying that it just can't be fixed.

But here's the thing: soon, Elemental will be 5 months old. They managed to do more with it than I though could be done, but it's still so, so far behind games like Age of Wonders 1, 2, Shadow Magic !

And I think the guilty party is the high number of completely unsound basic mechanics. The resource system, for instance, has at its core a problem due to how bad those resource-spawning techs are. Until they change the way those techs work, there will be issues, no matter how they "balance" them by changing the distance from your cities those resources will spawn. Even if they don't, it's a no brainer that it should never, never spawn in an enemy territory. Same thing for diplomacy recruiting techs. 

Another example is the armor kit system. It sounds like a good idea on paper, but when looking at it in details, it's unnecessary. But not just unnecessary: it also made the game almost impossible to balance. Look at all those weapons/armor balance complain threads (I participated to a fair number of them, actually). And the real issue is: since you can't give fractional armor to armor parts, every armor tech level will result in a huge leap in power that's entirely gamebreaking, unsound (dodge is useless since armor plays the role of a total damage avoidance system a lot of the time), and basically unfun. And what does having the ability to chose what armor will cover your loin, pinky, and toes ? Nothing really necessary: it's fake customization, because in reality it doesn't add any depth or meaningful choice to the game. I have yet to see plans to ditch this entirely.

Ditching all those flawed mechanics that underlay the rest of the game is necessary if you wish to have a coherent end product that works well. There's a reason why D&D switched from 2nd to 3rd edition in the early 2000s, and why Mark Rosewater from Magic the Gathering ceased making these core-mechanics changing cards: because when the basics of a game are flawed, whatever you build upon it will not compensate for them, and risk making things worse.

 

I could list a fair number of other systems which should *not* exist in a strategy game. Reinventing the wheel is only good if you're building a plane, not if you're making your wheels square.

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January 5, 2011 11:51:06 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Werewindlefr,
But here's the thing: soon, Elemental will be 5 months old. They managed to do more with it than I though could be done, but it's still so, so far behind games like Age of Wonders 1, 2, Shadow Magic !
I dunno man, AoW2 was pretty bad.

And regarding your other complaints, I agree that it's important to have good core mechanics, but looks like I disagree on every point you've raised about what good mechanics actually entails.

Quoting Werewindlefr,

And I think the guilty party is the high number of completely unsound basic mechanics. The resource system, for instance, has at its core a problem due to how bad those resource-spawning techs are. Until they change the way those techs work, there will be issues, no matter how they "balance" them by changing the distance from your cities those resources will spawn. Even if they don't, it's a no brainer that it should never, never spawn in an enemy territory. Same thing for diplomacy recruiting techs.

Eh, a lot of people don't care for that stuff, but I'm personally quite pleased to have an element of randomness involved.

Another example is the armor kit system. It sounds like a good idea on paper, but when looking at it in details, it's unnecessary. But not just unnecessary: it also made the game almost impossible to balance. Look at all those weapons/armor balance complain threads (I participated to a fair number of them, actually). And the real issue is: since you can't give fractional armor to armor parts, every armor tech level will result in a huge leap in power that's entirely gamebreaking, unsound (dodge is useless since armor plays the role of a total damage avoidance system a lot of the time), and basically unfun. And what does having the ability to chose what armor will cover your loin, pinky, and toes ? Nothing really necessary: it's fake customization, because in reality it doesn't add any depth or meaningful choice to the game. I have yet to see plans to ditch this entirely.
More choices are never bad. It's not quite as easy to balance, but they'll do it anyway, so as a consumer I'm not to worried about that. And it may not be necessary, but if you strip away everything that's not necessary, you'd be left with no game and would be forced to go spend your time on something constructive instead. Games are inherently not necessary things.

Ditching all those flawed mechanics that underlay the rest of the game is necessary if you wish to have a coherent end product that works well. There's a reason why D&D switched from 2nd to 3rd edition in the early 2000s, and why Mark Rosewater from Magic the Gathering ceased making these core-mechanics changing cards: because when the basics of a game are flawed, whatever you build upon it will not compensate for them, and risk making things worse.
Man, the core mechanic changing cards were fun. They were another victim of too many people wanting to be "competitive" and get rich and famous playing cards instead of just having fun.

I could list a fair number of other systems which should *not* exist in a strategy game. Reinventing the wheel is only good if you're building a plane, not if you're making your wheels square.
Elemental isn't purely strategy. It also has RPG elements, because RPGs are fun. With a bit more expansion, it could also be a city-builder. Elemental is a game that wants to be better than just strategy, and so it has things that a strategy game doesn't really need. Saying they should cut tons of features because it doesn't agree with your notion of what a strategy game should look like is not constructive advice to anyone.

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January 6, 2011 12:01:07 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Thank you for your post, it's good to see some optimism here 

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