Fallen Enchantress, a new game

By on January 12, 2011 12:39:00 PM from JoeUser Forums JoeUser Forums

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“Expansion Packs”

AirShrineSceneIn the time before digital distribution, you had “expansion packs”. It is a concept that has survived well into the digital distribution age.

You’d release say Galactic Civilizations II: Dark Avatar as an expansion for people who had the game and then Galactic Civilizations II: Gold Edition for new buyers.  Similarly, we released Sins of a Solar Empire: Diplomacy and Sins of a solar Empire: Trinity for new buyers. 

So why was that done? The answer is, in the old days, there was no sure fire way to tell if someone had the original game. So you had to offer a second SCU just for those people.  On the business software side, all kinds of efforts have been made to try to get new editions down to a single SCU including installers that sniffed for the original version, send in a copy of your manual, you name it.

A New Team

Fallen Enchantress gives us the opportunity to have a very different fantasy strategy game than War of Magic. While the original intent was simply to eliminate an unnecessary SCU (we can simply have Fallen Enchantress with an upgrade price for people who have War of Magic), in this case, it lets us make an even bigger break from War of Magic because it has a new Lead Designer (Kael instead of myself) with Jon Shafer helping as well as we begin pre-production of Jon’s new game along with many other changes. It’s still Stardock but it’s a very different Stardock than what made War of Magic (or GalCiv II for that matter).

I’m still filling the role of studio lead developer and Executive Producer but we’re actively seeking out industry veterans to take over the role of lead developer of Stardock Entertainment.

A New Game

There is also another advantage to Fallen Enchantress being its own game rather than an “expansion pack”. And that is, it frees the team to make radical changes to the basics of the game while allowing War of Magic to still be updated on its own source tree.  A user of Fallen Enchantress won’t have to have War of Magic to play it and can treat War of Magic as a separate game.

This will be the same case for the third entry in the Elemental world which won’t be out for a long time still (but will be free for people who got War of Magic before the end of October 2010).  It’ll be its own game as well not requiring War of Magic and Fallen Enchantress but be available at a sharp discount to those who have the previous entries in the game world.

The Changing Market

A few years ago, this wouldn’t be possible. Retailers would have refused to carry just stand-alone expansion. There were exceptions and the Company of Heroes series did a lot of good for our industry by paving the way here. Supreme Commander’s “stand alone” expansion helps as well. 

Of course, no one has brought more attention to the changing digital model of PC games more than Blizzard with its recent release of Starcraft 2: Wings of Liberty which will have two additional stand-alone games in the Starcraft 2 universe. 

Will this be a good thing for PC gamers? I think it depends on how it’s handled. Personally, I’d like to see people get discounts if they have other chapters in the series. That’s going to be our model for the foreseeable future but part of that is because we have our own digital distribution platform (Impulse).

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January 12, 2011 12:52:39 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

(aeligos...clears his throat...)

Super!

-.-

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January 12, 2011 12:53:18 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

The stand alone expansion is very fitting in this case.  The Elemental saga needs a clean seperation from its base, and this is a good way to do it.  I really hope that you guys do make radical changes to the game.  I feel like critics would blast Stardock for releasing minor content additions, but something a bit more out there (maybe even closer to the crazy differences in Colonization for Civ IV) could really get people to turn their heads and give Elemental a fresh shot.

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January 12, 2011 12:55:20 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Would you say Fallen Enchantress is to Elemental like Entrenchment is to Sins of a Solar Empire?

 

As in it added a lot of content but also fundamentally changed the game play as defense became more of a possibility than just having a single fleet of death mowing down everything in its path. Some people might prefer the more aggressive style of vanilla Sins, while others prefer the additional layer of strategy that advanced defensive techs added.

 

If this is how it is will patching continue with War of Magic after Fallen Enchantress is released? From the looks of the expansion I won't be one of them but some might prefer War of Magic's gameplay to FE's. These fellows will probably expect continued support.

 

Also, will the 2nd expansion also be a stand alone game based on War of Magic or will it continue to expand from the new content introduced in Fallen Enchantress such as the Diplomacy expansion to Sins?

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January 12, 2011 12:56:45 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

So..... Are we not getting our 2 free EWOM expansions any longer, or will these "expansions" be superficial?

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January 12, 2011 12:56:46 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Speaking as a modder, how is the source tree going to be kept separate from the flavour of the new game?

I'm wnodering this because, as a modder, it would be pretty cool if one mod would work for both versions of the game. However, obviously, the mod should not provide the cool stuff to users that they may find in the new game.

Hang on, this is difficult to explain. I'll draw a picture.

 

Case 1: Each different game requires its own version of a mod. Speaking from my slight experience, keeping separate versions of a mod updated is a pain in the *ss. But if the original game keeps updating, mods for that game will also have to be kept updated.

Case 2: One mod works for both versions. There is a tag or something that identifies files/variables that will not work with the original game.

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January 12, 2011 12:59:52 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

So, what does SCU actually means here? Scoville Units, Single Compilation Units or Scottish Cyclist's Union?

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January 12, 2011 1:02:11 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

double post.

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January 12, 2011 1:04:33 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Ephafn,
So, what does SCU actually means here? Scoville Units, Single Compilation Units or Scottish Cyclist's Union?

I thought he meant Stock Keeping Unit, or SKU, which is used in stores to do inventory.  But now that I see he used SCU, I have no idea what the actual acronym is for. 

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January 12, 2011 1:04:36 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

So here's my question: Will we be able to uninstall War of Magic once we have Fallen Enchantress installed?

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January 12, 2011 1:05:04 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Company of Heroes and Dawn of War alike, actually, with Dark Crusade. Relic Entertainment, then (who are also excellent game creators, and the loss of Brian Wood is a huge one indeed).

 

Also, Guild Wars Factions/Nightfall ?

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January 12, 2011 1:08:43 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting IBNobody,
So..... Are we not getting our 2 free EWOM expansions any longer, or will these "expansions" be superficial?

Fallen Enchantress is the expansion.  Now how you could complain about getting that plus one more for free I really don't know.

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January 12, 2011 1:09:05 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Awesome, yay!  Great.  Three games for the price of one!  Can't bitch about that!  Just kidding, of course I can, I will find a way, I always do.

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January 12, 2011 1:09:11 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Ratatosk7,
Would you say Fallen Enchantress is to Elemental like Entrenchment is to Sins of a Solar Empire?

 

As in it added a lot of content but also fundamentally changed the game play as defense became more of a possibility than just having a single fleet of death mowing down everything in its path. Some people might prefer the more aggressive style of vanilla Sins, while others prefer the additional layer of strategy that advanced defensive techs added.

 

If this is how it is will patching continue with War of Magic after Fallen Enchantress is released? From the looks of the expansion I won't be one of them but some might prefer War of Magic's gameplay to FE's. These fellows will probably expect continued support.

 

Also, will the 2nd expansion also be a stand alone game based on War of Magic or will it continue to expand from the new content introduced in Fallen Enchantress such as the Diplomacy expansion to Sins?

Entrenchment was a micro expansion pack to Sins of a Solar Empire. 

By contrast, Fallen Enchantress is a radical change.

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January 12, 2011 1:09:52 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Mtn_Man,
So here's my question: Will we be able to uninstall War of Magic once we have Fallen Enchantress installed?

 

A New Game

There is also another advantage to Fallen Enchantress being its own game rather than an “expansion pack”. And that is, it frees the team to make radical changes to the basics of the game while allowing War of Magic to still be updated on its own source tree.  A user of Fallen Enchantress won’t have to have War of Magic to play it and can treat War of Magic as a separate game.

-.-

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January 12, 2011 1:10:40 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I`m now confused ? I thought we were fixing the original game ? I understand the concept of a new game. Lets make the first group of purchasers happy. I`m one of those people. Make me happy that I bought your game in the firstplace. I will then consider making another purchase from Statdock. If I`m wrong in my thinking please let me know. Just for the record, I do feel that Stardock is heading in the right direction. Having great co-workers is going to be a plus. I see great things happenning at Stardock. I just want a complete follow thru before we start asking for another purchase. Thank you ...........

Freebird out of the birdcage for the moment.

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January 12, 2011 1:13:29 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

What always bugs me about stand alone expansions is that it always makes me feel buying the original was a waste of cash. Since the newer standalone pretty much includes all the goodies + new stuff so its like buying the damned game twice. Now since I get both coming expansions for free its rather a moot point in the instance. But in general as a consumer i dislike standalones for the reason mentioned above, a discount to purchase it for an expansion price for those who own the original rather than the price of a brand new game is certainly a step that would reduce that distaste imho.

 

Afterthought: Its good elemental doesn't have an online multiplayer following.. since standalones tend to splinter the multiplayer base so that both games are impossible to find a decent amount of players(i'm looking at you arma 2 and Operation arrowhead)

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January 12, 2011 1:20:42 PM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

Does this mean War of Magic is done, finished, pushed to the side, placed in dustbin for Stardock?  AI development will stop, so we are stuck with a game that is not as good as you can make it.

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January 12, 2011 1:23:37 PM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

Brad did say that War of Magic will be updated in its own source tree independently of the expansion. But I would imagine the large bulk of their effort will go into the expansion(s).

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January 12, 2011 1:27:30 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting nammafia,
Does this mean War of Magic is done, finished, pushed to the side, placed in dustbin for Stardock?  AI development will stop, so we are stuck with a game that is not as good as you can make it.

I imagine some things will crossover.Any major work that isn't directly effected by new game dynamics will probably be seen in a patch. And other things will be independently worked on.

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January 12, 2011 1:28:38 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Sounds good

Just hope we still get the free expansion if you purchased Elemental before the end of 2010. From a lawyer/word type perspective this news could be used to explain that such an expansion does not exist and will not exist and therefore the promise of getting the first expansion will not be kepted because such an expansion does not exist and instead it was replaced with a new game that was based on the code of the old game. Which then could potentially lead to fraud but I leave that for another day. I am just curious were you guys plan on taking this. Elemental is a fantastic game and I had allot of fun but I stoped playing it after the second day I bought it cause of the OOM error.

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January 12, 2011 1:29:07 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

When should I expect my invite to beta this?  I imagine I would be the first contacted.

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January 12, 2011 1:36:29 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Mtn_Man,
So..... Are we not getting our 2 free EWOM expansions any longer, or will these "expansions" be superficial?
---
Fallen Enchantress is the expansion.  Now how you could complain about getting that plus one more for free I really don't know.

The title of this journal is "Fallen Enchantress, a new game".

 

From the Journal...

There is also another advantage to Fallen Enchantress being its own game rather than an “expansion pack”. And that is, it frees the team to make radical changes to the basics of the game while allowing War of Magic to still be updated on its own source tree.  A user of Fallen Enchantress won’t have to have War of Magic to play it and can treat War of Magic as a separate game.

 

Yes, they mention that you can get FE for a discounted price if you already own EWOM. But it's not exactly clear that FE is now an expansion. It's a standalone expansion, which does not equate to "free standalone expansion".

 

Will FE be free for people who owned EWOM in the free period, even though it will be standalone?

 

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January 12, 2011 1:38:40 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Ok, I understand what you will be doing and it will be really great to have some sort of "different" world to play in, but like nammafia said, will it be actual "expansion" to EWOM to add some flavor or more stuff or you'll only have "3" games to play in the world of Elemental OR will you be able to combine the Fallen enchantress and the second game witn EWOM like an expansion?

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January 12, 2011 1:38:45 PM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

Sounds ambitious. I hope the dev. team pulls it off cause the results could be amazing then.

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January 12, 2011 1:42:37 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting IBNobody,




This will be the same case for the third entry in the Elemental world which won’t be out for a long time still (but will be free for people who got War of Magic before the end of October 2010).


Will FE be free for people who owned EWOM in the free period, even though it will be standalone?

 

 

If the second one will be free, than I guess the first will too

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