In What Age of Wonders is Superior to EWOM

By on February 9, 2011 6:06:59 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Black-Knight

Join Date 09/2009
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elements that make aow superior to elemental:

1 Movement: units MOVE in that game! they don't just go by 2 or three squares. in one turn one has the  impressin to accomplish something and there isn't that horrible frustration to keep clicking over and over on that end of turn button. For example a hero with 30 movement points can move by 10 hexes  on a road (one road hexe costs 3 points). Boats too can move by 10 hexes, since their speed is 40 and one hexe of waters costs 4 movement points. A decent speed also allows the AOW community to have a succesful Play By Email mode. While in EWOM it would make no sense to keep sending turns to the other players after having just moved by a couple ofd squares and done nothing most of the time. In fact the whole ratio between movement and speed of unit creation is different and more fun. One can move and actually accomplish something during a turn, AND units can be built much faster. That is another element that nerfes heroes, since armies are really built by the dozen in AOW and no hero can possibly hope to take one city single handed. Heroes are still very useul, but they are not invincible as they are in the latest EWOM versions, and armies can quickly become huge!

(to be honest I yet have to understand how movement works in elemental! entering a wood tile should cost 2 movement points, I believe; yet with the last one movement point left, a player always seem to be able to enter a wood (another bug?)... Units "eject" from cities... (EJECT? What are they falling airplanes?)  jumping a few tiles away... hey they do "eject" after all ahahaha!)

2 Not just any spell can be researched. One is forced to research only the spells that the whimsical book is in the mood to offer every day. that forces players to make compromises and adapt to the situation, thus forcing to vary one's strategy. That gives variety to the game experience since you cannot just research in every game the same sequence of spells, but you have to make a strategy (sometimes researching stuff you don't need just to make space on the book). In AOW spells are very useful, so a strategy can really vary a lot depending on what you can get.

3 MULTIPLAYER God I pity those people who consider themselves players of strategy games but have never experienced a turn based game against other human players. The excitement to open your turn every day (in Play by email) and see what the enemy has done! In AOW there are units that move faster through woods, other than can pass mountains, others that are very weak but can fly high and explore the enemy territory, and some that are invisible in woods! All that is useless against the AI, but when you are playing a person, the spirit of competition gets very high and there are lots of tricks one can apply to win a war! Also each race has specific abilities, like the elven cities that are invisible in the woods and finding them can simply drive you crazy. The fact of seeing the enemy is so important in warfarewhile gainst the AI that is useless! But in AOW sometimes I reached an enemy capital by moving through thhe enemy blind sposts, calculating the view range of each enemy towers and approaching by stopping my armies each turn is some blind corner. SEEING THE ENEMY IS ESSENTIAL IN WARFFARE!
Of course the teleport function would spoil all that, since in Elemental any lousy player could just teleport back is ubestack even at the last second. But in AOW teleport is optional, so we can have a realistic warfare experience, in which visibility movement and speed are often more important than sheer strenght!

I have recently re installed AOWSM and I'll keep you posted on other things that I find so exciting in that game. Maybe that will be of some help to the Stardock team, who don't seem to know that game too well...

 

 

 

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February 9, 2011 6:38:52 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

1 Movement: units MOVE in that game! they don't just go by 2 or three squares.

Try the Teleport spell. I think you'll like it.

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February 9, 2011 6:46:26 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Try the Teleport spell. I think you'll like it.

I think you missed his comment on teleporting;)

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February 9, 2011 6:49:00 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting LightofAbraxas,

1 Movement: units MOVE in that game! they don't just go by 2 or three squares.


Try the Teleport spell. I think you'll like it.

Awesome, just awesome.  Well done.

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February 9, 2011 6:51:29 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

AoW > EWoM

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February 9, 2011 7:19:51 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

To be fair, city building in AoW is just as brain-dead as can be. That's one thing that EWoM does better, at least.

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February 9, 2011 7:50:11 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I just can't get past the bad graphics in AOW.  What am I missing?

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February 9, 2011 8:29:44 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting LightofAbraxas,
To be fair, city building in AoW is just as brain-dead as can be. That's one thing that EWoM does better, at least.

Not sure I agree with you there. Its been a while since I've played, but if I recall correctly it has a few options. Most buildings allow you to build new units, some increased general productivity, some generated mana, there are a few mutually exclusive shrines that provide unique bonuses, if you build a wizards tower it opened up a new range of upgrades, you could build wood and stone walls, and if you weren't building something or training troops you could either make the town grow faster or generate more gold. Maybe when looking at civ-type games, the selection isn't that big, but for the game that it is (more of a war game than a empire building game) it's more than enough. Building everything in every town was eventually possible, but hardly useful. You had to specialise towns, and in harder games when my finances where tight and I was under heavy attack I had to make some though choices. Can I afford to upgrade this town now, making me unable to train new units for a few turns, or do I keep training units for defense? Can I even afford those units, or should I try to make to with what I have?

In elemenal on the other hand, if you're not continuouslybuilding new buildings as much as you can you're doing something wrong. The fact that you can infinitely spam research buildings is just wrong in so many ways. Not to mention that after a while your cities are so monstrously big they cover the majority of your lands, making everything else seem insignificant.

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February 9, 2011 8:40:56 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Trojasmic,
I just can't get past the bad graphics in AOW.  What am I missing?

Age of Wonders Shadow Magic? I am not talking about the first AOW, but the 2003 version of the game: I really wouldn't call that bad graphics, it is 2D, yes, but it's actually pretty sweet. I do agree that EWOM has a better graphics: 3D with a full zooming support... But the way AOWSM works is amazing. That game is just as complex as this one and it is pretty much bug free, other than offering a thousand strategic tricks to overcome other human players: stealth movement, incredible spells, flying units for scouting.

Even AOWSM, though, in single player gets a little boring after a while. But guys, believe me this kind of games more than anything deserve to be played against people, the are REAL strategy games, not RTS! No AI will never be able to compare to a human opponent. Besides the level of competition and adrenaline you get after you play a game each day for months against other passionate players, man you have to try that!

Also I wouldn't say the city system is brain dead. It is less pretty than EWOM, yes, but it is very effective and the overall experience of the game gains a lot from its speed. Also battles are a lot more entertaining than in EWOM, you don't have to hit an enemy a million times to kill it.

Overall there are more units, they fight more often they die more easily and that helps the overall epic feeling, since you actually have massive armies (all adjacent hexes are involved in the same battle). In EWOM they seems to believe that slowness gives an epic feeling, but in fact that only bores you to death. besides what kind of army needs 9 seasons to be create? (9 seasons is more than 2 years to put together 3 guy dressed in rags?)... In the end you are bored you have no army and the few armies present in the battlefield just don't die unless you hit them a million times.

Also that makes heroes too much of a surrogate for armies, since you can just buy them anywhere by the dozen.

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February 9, 2011 8:56:15 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Satrhan,

Quoting LightofAbraxas, reply 5To be fair, city building in AoW is just as brain-dead as can be. That's one thing that EWoM does better, at least.

Not sure I agree with you there. Its been a while since I've played, but if I recall correctly it has a few options. Most buildings allow you to build new units, some increased general productivity, some generated mana, there are a few mutually exclusive shrines that provide unique bonuses, if you build a wizards tower it opened up a new range of upgrades, you could build wood and stone walls, and if you weren't building something or training troops you could either make the town grow faster or generate more gold. Maybe when looking at civ-type games, the selection isn't that big, but for the game that it is (more of a war game than a empire building game) it's more than enough. Building everything in every town was eventually possible, but hardly useful. You had to specialise towns, and in harder games when my finances where tight and I was under heavy attack I had to make some though choices. Can I afford to upgrade this town now, making me unable to train new units for a few turns, or do I keep training units for defense? Can I even afford those units, or should I try to make to with what I have?

In elemenal on the other hand, if you're not continuouslybuilding new buildings as much as you can you're doing something wrong. The fact that you can infinitely spam research buildings is just wrong in so many ways. Not to mention that after a while your cities are so monstrously big they cover the majority of your lands, making everything else seem insignificant.

 

I Agree 100%

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February 9, 2011 9:51:39 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Hm, well different strokes, I suppose. The one thing I DO wish was in EWoM is a shared building/training queue. I always liked the tradeoff that went along with that.

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February 9, 2011 9:54:37 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting LightofAbraxas,
Hm, well different strokes, I suppose. The one thing I DO wish was in EWoM is a shared building/training queue. I always liked the tradeoff that went along with that.

 

Nooo!!!!!!

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February 9, 2011 9:59:26 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Nooo!!!!!!

I have it on good authority that Brad is putting this in just because you don't like it.

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February 9, 2011 10:06:10 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting LightofAbraxas,

Nooo!!!!!!


I have it on good authority that Brad is putting this in just because you don't like it.

That would be a reason for him to do it...

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February 9, 2011 10:18:18 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Armies need to be mass produced somehow, in fact I am moref or a system like the one in the new Total War Series (Napoleon Total War) where you can not only produce building and  armies, but if certain conditions apply to that specific city, you can also produce more than one army simultaneously each turn.

With heroes nerfed and kept under control in terms of the magic items they can carry, and mass produced armies that die a lot more easily, things will start picking up some speed and be more fun.

Still without multiplayer this game is doomed to stay in an obsolete league.

 

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February 9, 2011 10:24:41 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Eh, I'm in 4 MP Dom3 games right now.  they take months and months to finish, I think a game of Elemental, the way it is would take about 37,3 years to finsih.

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February 9, 2011 10:37:56 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Lord Xia,
Eh, I'm in 4 MP Dom3 games right now.  they take months and months to finish, I think a game of Elemental, the way it is would take about 37,3 years to finsih.

If you notice the first thing I mentioned is that stuff must go faster, units produced faster but also movement!

One rider in Age of wonders has between 32 and 40 movement points, which divided by 4 (one hexes costs 4 movement points) would be the equivalent of moving between 8 and 10 tiles in EWOM (ON REGULAR TERRAIN) - (Streets cost 3 movement points, while wood cost 8)

Armies take between one and 5 turns to be produced, depending on city size and their velue. You see why you don't need teleport: you have enough stuff to organize your strategy in a fun realistic way!

Truth is in EWOM everything is already there but to organize all that stuff in a functional, fun, way lots of tests should be made!

What I am sure of is that those numbers work, at least in AOW, and that game for now is far superior to what we have here.

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February 10, 2011 12:16:55 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Try fheroes2 for HOMM II.  It is going to have a Battle Only mode soon!  And with all the features it has already, and better balance thanks to the HOMM II mod, it's a great play.  I don't think there are any useless units any more - for example, peasants at one extra square movement per turn makes a huge difference and in really big stacks they can do a lot of damage if used carefully.  Also standard zombies are sped up one square too.  And Knight troops have that little extra durability (hitpoints) to enable them to resist some ranged attack without dying, especially the Cavalry/Champions and Paladins/Crusaders.  And if you get morale boost/s in your first turn (which is reasonably likely), then you don't have to worry about having to absorb a full ranged attack!

See this thread, or the fheroes2 homepage.

Best regards,
Steven.

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February 10, 2011 12:26:17 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting StevenAus,
Try fheroes2 for HOMM II.  It is going to have a Battle Only mode soon!  And with all the features it has already, and better balance thanks to the HOMM II mod, it's a great play.  I don't think there are any useless units any more - for example, peasants at one extra square movement per turn makes a huge difference and in really big stacks they can do a lot of damage if used carefully.  Also standard zombies are sped up one square too.  And Knight troops have that little extra durability (hitpoints) to enable them to resist some ranged attack without dying, especially the Cavalry/Champions and Paladins/Crusaders.  And if you get morale boost/s in your first turn (which is reasonably likely), then you don't have to worry about having to absorb a full ranged attack!

See this thread, or the fheroes2 homepage.

Best regards,
Steven.

I am old enough to remember when that game came out, I must still have the box somewhere ehehe.  Sure the Heroes series has such a complex and sophisticated magic system that I can see why they can just concentrate on the battles. Maybe that is a little too much for this game, but  why not, better than how it is now.

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February 10, 2011 12:39:00 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Well, I'm not saying make Elemental like H2 (which is not possible, considering that units never command from the sidelines, and there are not big stacks of creatures which grow every week).  But fheroes2 is heaps of fun, and because the core of HOMM II was so solid, improving balance and adding features that were thought of later makes it even better and more fun.   fheroes2 now has a wait system like H3 and garrison and visiting heroes, although all heroes still count to the hero limit.  But in future there will be new game modes, bigger maps, a better editor, plenty more customization abilities (including AI) and maybe even diplomacy for larger maps.

Give it a try if you want.  If you don't have the game back from when it was first released, you can buy H2 Gold from GoG.com for US$9.99, which, even though it is the DOS version, has all the data files that fheroes2 requires.  See the thread I linked in my previous post for more details.

Best regards,
Steven.

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February 10, 2011 4:58:14 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

While I agree that the 2 move points in EWoM is a bit too slow for my tastes, I think your other points about AoW:SM are less than on point. To this day, I feel like AoW:SM is the weakest of the AoW series. Honestly, the random spell thing was super annoying, and while you may have a point that it forced you to tailor your strategy, it was also possible to find yourself severely outmatched simply because of luck. Comparing Elemental and AoW:SM seems a bit unfair to both games as they are really two very different titles which simply share a common ground. The AoW series are war games first and foremost with all other aspects being simply tacked on for good measure. This is vastly different that EWoM which attempts to be more of a fantasy simulator than a strict war game. Thus, any comparison is basically a matter of gamer taste.

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February 10, 2011 7:42:35 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting kenata,
While I agree that the 2 move points in EWoM is a bit too slow for my tastes, I think your other points about AoW:SM are less than on point. To this day, I feel like AoW:SM is the weakest of the AoW series. Honestly, the random spell thing was super annoying, and while you may have a point that it forced you to tailor your strategy, it was also possible to find yourself severely outmatched simply because of luck. Comparing Elemental and AoW:SM seems a bit unfair to both games as they are really two very different titles which simply share a common ground. The AoW series are war games first and foremost with all other aspects being simply tacked on for good measure. This is vastly different that EWoM which attempts to be more of a fantasy simulator than a strict war game. Thus, any comparison is basically a matter of gamer taste.

 

. I feel that AOW is a pretty good standard to hold Elemental up to. Elemental as a Fantasy Sim? It's nothing of the sort. The majority of the work clearly went into the warfare aspects of it. It breaks down to 99% galciv with wizards  fantasy war game, and 1% fetch quest. I'm hesitant to even call it a fantasy kingdom simulator/wizard rancher because of how weak the diplomacy options are, and how little dynasties play a role.

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February 10, 2011 7:01:05 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I feel that AOW is a pretty good standard to hold Elemental up to. Elemental as a Fantasy Sim? It's nothing of the sort. The majority of the work clearly went into the warfare aspects of it. It breaks down to 99% galciv with wizards fantasy war game, and 1% fetch quest. I'm hesitant to even call it a fantasy kingdom simulator/wizard rancher because of how weak the diplomacy options are, and how little dynasties play a role.

You are expressing a fairly shallow analysis of Elemental. Elemental features a complex resource and infrastructure management system, a diverse city management system, and a complex multi-staged research system. While some on these forums may debate the relative complexity and diversity of these systems, they are systems which do not have direct corollaries in the AoW system. AoW:SM does have resources and basic city management, yet they are fair more simplistic and not readily comparable. Most aspects of AoW are built in such a way as to facilitate and augment the basic war game, whereas most aspects of Elemental only impact the war portions in so much as the player has decided to focus primarily on this portion. AoW is more or less akin to something like War Hammer FB or Axis and Allies, whereas Elemental attempts to be closer to the Civ series or MOO.

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February 10, 2011 8:35:46 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting kenata,

I feel that AOW is a pretty good standard to hold Elemental up to. Elemental as a Fantasy Sim? It's nothing of the sort. The majority of the work clearly went into the warfare aspects of it. It breaks down to 99% galciv with wizards fantasy war game, and 1% fetch quest. I'm hesitant to even call it a fantasy kingdom simulator/wizard rancher because of how weak the diplomacy options are, and how little dynasties play a role.

You are expressing a fairly shallow analysis of Elemental. Elemental features a complex resource and infrastructure management system, a diverse city management system, and a complex multi-staged research system. While some on these forums may debate the relative complexity and diversity of these systems, they are systems which do not have direct corollaries in the AoW system. AoW:SM does have resources and basic city management, yet they are fair more simplistic and not readily comparable. Most aspects of AoW are built in such a way as to facilitate and augment the basic war game, whereas most aspects of Elemental only impact the war portions in so much as the player has decided to focus primarily on this portion. AoW is more or less akin to something like War Hammer FB or Axis and Allies, whereas Elemental attempts to be closer to the Civ series or MOO.

 

The problem is that with all that the gameplay ends up being boring, so the system is broken somewhere. I do agree that AOW tends more toward the wargame, but then Elemental if it doesn't want to privilege the wargame aspect has a real problem when then expect us to play battles that can sometimes last an hour!

I believe that the apparent simplicity of Age Of Wonders depends on the fact that everything seems to go so freaking smooth in that game. No bugs, the system works, battles are fun, the magic system is brilliant, you still get to customize your wizard quite a bit. Also the cities are quite well thought, and everything is FUN! Elemental for me is superior only for the graphics of the units (the map I am not even sure), but hey AOWSM is almost 10 years old.

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February 10, 2011 9:12:56 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

The problem is that with all that the gameplay ends up being boring, so the system is broken somewhere. I do agree that AOW tends more toward the wargame, but then Elemental if it doesn't want to privilege the wargame aspect has a real problem when then expect us to play battles that can sometimes last an hour!

I believe that the apparent simplicity of Age Of Wonders depends on the fact that everything seems to go so freaking smooth in that game. No bugs, the system works, battles are fun, the magic system is brilliant, you still get to customize your wizard quite a bit. Also the cities are quite well thought, and everything is FUN! Elemental for me is superior only for the graphics of the units (the map I am not even sure), but hey AOWSM is almost 10 years old.

I have never played a battle in Elemental that has lasted a hour. This was something found more regularly in the AoW series when you could have 50+ units in a single battle. Honestly, this type of protracted encounter was one of the things that put a damper on AoW for me personally, and I have yet to have such an encounter in Elemental. In general, these types of mega encounters do not seem expected in Elemental, as you have the option like in AoW to simply auto-resolve the encounter.

To say that AoWSM has no bugs is fairly amusing to me. Play a game where you start with no cities and only pioneers, wait that is just silly since the AI won't build more pioneers. Now, as Frogboy has pointed out so frequently due to its true, AoW:SM had 2 previous iterations to balance spells and units ( though it was still fairly unbalanced in SM ), to clean up the UI, and to rework city management.

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February 11, 2011 2:03:38 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting kenata,



To say that AoWSM has no bugs is fairly amusing to me. Play a game where you start with no cities and only pioneers, wait that is just silly since the AI won't build more pioneers. Now, as Frogboy has pointed out so frequently due to its true, AoW:SM had 2 previous iterations to balance spells and units ( though it was still fairly unbalanced in SM ), to clean up the UI, and to rework city management.

Can you mention any one bug in Age of Wonders Shadow Magic version 1.3? Because I have played it A LOT for 10 years and I couldn't... But it is true that the AI doesn't build pioneers and is unable to use boats either in a strategic manner (neither does the AI in EWOM). Those things would be nice but since there is no need to spam pioneers like in EWOM that is really not  a big deal.

Regarding the two previous installments of AOW, in terms of gameplay they weren't perfect yet, but their systems worked. And bugs were very rare. Anyway I am not writing this post to put down EWOM in any way. Any ambitious and original project like that needs to be commended, I just believe that by observing certain aspects of AOW we could get a better game.

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