Was E:WoM ever truly finished?

By on March 21, 2011 5:08:17 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

blueparrot1966

Join Date 03/2011
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And if so, what do players of the game think of it now? I was really looking forward to this one last year, and disappointed when the feedback and reviews came out.  I followed all of the hoopla at the time, about how incomplete it was, etc. 

But it's been a few months now, and though I know work has continued, and it's been patched, what do the folks here think?  Is it worth buying now, or still a work in progress?

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March 21, 2011 5:10:15 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

better w8 for 1.3 its stabel now but 1.3 promises alot

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March 21, 2011 5:12:32 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

If you like fantasy 4x, the game is definitely in a playable state, and considering you can buy it at a Walmart or Best Buy for around $20, it really is worth the entry price. Add to this that the mod community has produced several good mods that extend that experience in a lot of cool ways, it is a steal at that entry price.

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March 21, 2011 5:33:55 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I'm in the same boat as you are parrot, but I'm still going to wait.

 

Wait for FE and see what the reviews and issues are with that.

 

I could jump in, and the price may be entirely justifiable, but meh, I know that FE is around the corner, so if I waited this long, I can wait a little bit more.

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March 21, 2011 8:49:19 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Thanks for the replies.  I'm kind of itching for a new game right now, but even at $20, I think that feeling of it being a half baked thing is going to get to me.  Maybe I'll check again in a few more months...

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March 21, 2011 9:00:00 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Yeah, it's finished, fairly interesting, and different than the few other games in the genre. But... it's kind of strategy-lite. It doesn't really have much character and ambience, either. It's good if you want a quick fix without thinking too hard.

That said, the sequel should be a good deal better from everything we've seen, and buying now will get you a discount on it.

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March 22, 2011 9:59:54 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

1.3 might do it.  I still have faith.  I still believe! 

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March 22, 2011 10:46:59 AM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

I played 1.1 for a good while, and played the 1.2 RCs for a few hours the last few days

It's easily worth more than $20.  I wouldn't say it's my favorite thing to be doing, but for those who like some variety it's good to have.

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March 22, 2011 10:57:24 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Yea, easily worth $20 right now, and it's only going to get better and if you buy it now, you get a big discount on FE.  For $20 it's really a good deal.

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March 22, 2011 11:35:05 AM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

Quoting ,
But it's been a few months now, and though I know work has continued, and it's been patched, what do the folks here think?  Is it worth buying now, or still a work in progress?

I don't remember where I first heard it, but one of my favorite quotes is: "Art is never finished, it's just abandoned".  That said, I personally think it's worth buying now.

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March 22, 2011 12:00:57 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Haldur,

I don't remember where I first heard it, but one of my favorite quotes is: "Art is never finished, it's just abandoned".  That said, I personally think it's worth buying now.

Leonardo Da Vinci is attributed to that phrase.  Every creator of everything since then knows it all too well to be true 

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March 22, 2011 1:52:37 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Stardock games are never "finished" per se.  They are constantly being worked on and improved.

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March 28, 2011 6:52:47 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

From my point of view, you can perceive it as finished, because it's fairly stable (for me), it's playable, and I really like its artistic style.

However, it tries to do many things at once and IMO fails at most of them. 

- It fails providing interesting system of spells - Dominions 3 IMO succeeds here much, much better with really wonderful synergy. Even the old MoM offers much more varied and interesting. 

One example - in Dom3, you can cast a global Eternal Darkness that makes all the world go dark - creatures with infravision and other means of orienting gain advantage, humans are terrified and blind. Vow.

In Elemental, most spells are like "blablabla, you get +1 bonus for this and that".

- It fails providing an interesting combat system mainly because it forgets to acknowledge lessons other games learned the hard way in the past. Again, games like Dominions 3 or Age of Wonders are much better here. Biggest flaws here - unit facing is not taken into account, so flanking has little value. Unit attacked by multiple enemies has no penalties to defense, hence formations and local superiority concepts are not useful in the game. The weapons have one simplistic "strength" which creates a linear scale from better to worse, abolishing all interesting choices - in other games, you have multiple types of damage and armor, and synergy between units that offer combo opportunities. Finally, there are no interesting combat abilities to speak of. Other games offer ethereal, magic, immolating creatures, various auras with effects, special effects on attacks, etc. You won't find it here. Unit design seems flat for the same reason.

- There are features that feel unfinished, like the family tree. IMO it has negligible gameplay impact. There are seas, you can build one type of ship, but that's it. Seas in the game are boring. In Dominions, you have whole undewater empires (Rylegh), monsters that creep from the see and terrorize the coasts, and also artifacts that will enable you to enter the seas with conventional armies and bring the war to them.

- The factions are uninteresting - they are mostly people dressed in different colors with various +1/-1 bonuses. Sure, there is a background story, but somehow it feels so bland you won't be able to remember. For players - just try to name most interesting events in Capitar history. I bet you can't remember.

- The towns look like hives. I know that there is detail when you zoom in, but it still looks like bug colonies for me.

- The interface, though really pretty, is not very intuitive. The key info is always somewhere unexpected. Usually not all at once on one screen. Some bits of it are missing.

If you like somewhat flat, simplified, accountant-style gameplay where you optimize mundane tasks, go for it. But IMO you won't find anything captivating, deep, thought-provoking inside. It's pretty, though. 

Sorry devs, that's just how I see the game after those months I tried to play it. 

 

 

 

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March 28, 2011 7:37:21 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

The game is playable.  Some of the mods make it better.  But there is a small percentage of us that still can't play a complete game without CTD. This game has gotten the least play time out of any Stardock game I've ever owned.

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April 2, 2011 7:19:36 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I'm a lurker who's lost faith in Elemental. I decided not to buy the game: Here's how it looks to me:

Just because your game is the first fantasy 4X game in years doesn't mean it's also a good one. Master of Magic, Master of Orion and similar were one of many. There was competition, and some games were better than others. Now there's basically no competition and it's silly to assume Elemental must be a good game just because it's retro. Clearly, there can be good and bad retro games.

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I think the biggest problem of Elemental isn't that it is (or was) buggy, or badly balanced. It wasn't bad graphics (because graphics are not that bad - some artwork is awkward, some is brilliant, but it's all forgiven because it has unique style). It isn't the lack of multiplayer. The problem is Elemental has no soul.

People tolerate buggy, imbalanced games if they're fun and well designed. Unnoficial, reverse-engineered patches are created for Master of Magic in 2010 and 2011. Master of Magic was criticized for its graphics at the moment of release - and rightly so. Heroes of Might and Magic IV had design blunders and bad balance (vampires, level3, on par with most level4 creatures). Yet people patched HeroesIV, and Equilibris mod has very extensive list of changes. The game is a rough gem. Dwarf Fortress has bad interface, bad graphics (by far the ugliest use of ASCII I've seen, and I play various roguelikes), no goal, serious bugs, terrible micromanagement. But many people love Dwarf Fortress.

None of the games mentioned above came with decent editors. Elemental comes with several editors, even for particles. How come people haven't used them to create outstanding balance mods ? Equilibris, Insecticide (for Master of Magic), Wake of Gods (Heroes3) are mods of such renown that you hear about them even if you don't play the game. The games were mostly okay, they had consistent design(mechanics). It was easy to extrapolate. In contrast, Elemental: War of Magic is a shapeless mass and no one knows what it is supposed to do. People are very confused and don't know where they should start fixing it. Game mechanics of Elemental are fundamentally uninteresting, they don't add up. Unless a modder has a strong vision, he won't accomplish anything if fundaments are broken.

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In my opinion it's a mistake to make Fallen Enchantress an add-on. It should be standalone. Speaking of new and potential gamers, almost no one wants to own Elemental: War of Magic. Don't force it on people. When it's out, it will probably cost around $50, so you're asking new players to pay $20 + $50, or even more (depends how much the base Elemental will cost at that point). No single game is worth that much. Two bad games don't make a good game. One bad and one okay game don't make a great game. I just want to play the best of the two, not both. They are substitute goods, not complementary goods. Once you make Fallen Enchantress standalone, with a reasonable price, you can still make it free for owners of War of Magic. Let's be honest, it's not very likely Fallen Enchantress will be a very good or great game. This time around, Kael has to succeed despite Elemental. Civ4 was a solid foundation to build on.

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April 2, 2011 7:46:37 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

FE is a standalone game

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April 2, 2011 8:49:42 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Well said b0rsuk (other than missing that FE is already a standalone game). Hopefully FE will turn out differently.

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April 3, 2011 10:07:39 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

You're not too good of a lurker if you don't even know that FE is a standalone game. And let's be honest, there is no comparison between making a mod for Civ IV and making a new game based on an engine. There is very little reason to think that FE would be a bad game because of elemental.

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April 4, 2011 10:44:40 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

It's finished in the sense that it's stable, all of the features work as intended, and you can play a complete game from beginning to end.  Whether or not you'll find it an enjoyable experience is subjective.

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April 5, 2011 11:31:31 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

If FE doesn't feature Fantastic Breasts, I'm not interested

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April 6, 2011 10:04:16 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Well said BigTitties, well said indeed.

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April 7, 2011 10:06:07 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Not sure who I want to hug more, B0rsuk or big titties.. oh, who'm I fooling, I will always hug the big titties, but you, B0rsuk, get a +1. Well said!

PS Mtn Man, not sure you can say "it's stable" with 100% absolutism.. some of us still get OOM crashes mate.

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April 7, 2011 12:41:59 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

"Standalone" is good news.

Sir_Linque:

What I was trying to say is: assuming Civilization 4 is a decent game, it's very easy to create a mod that will be about as decent. That's because core mechanics are arguably fun*. Unless you introduce a stupid change, the worst case is you end up with a strange Civilization 4. I guess Fallen Enchantress will be closer to a Total Conversion. It won't be a successful game if it merely cuts short sword speed bonus in half.

There are two ways to go from Elemental:

- conservative approach, backpedal and make Elemental more like other games

- bolder approach, try to sort out bad decisions from good ones and fix only bad ones

Frankly, we don't know which way Fallen Enchantress is going, but I'm optimistic and hope for the latter. If I wanted to play an old game, I would play an old game.

Two days ago I played Magic Carpet 2 (via dosbox) and had a surprisingly great time. It's wonderfully surreal and has fun fast action. Graphics are stylized so low resolution doesn't bother me much (for some reason I can't play in higher resolution, the game becomes unstable). And amazingly, it's a 1995 game which has effects like reflective water, highly deformable terrain (Create Castle spell !), shadows, dynamic lights. More importantly, it has very good sounds and these age much less. It's a shame high hardware requirements, including then rare network card for multiplayer, prevented it from gaining traction. Oh right, EA  ! EA ! Cthulhu ftaghn.

Games like that make me think hard about improving my technical skills and applying for a job in GOG, which is located in my country.

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April 7, 2011 6:56:49 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

@OP go spend $6 on Master of Magic over at GOG.com and you'll definitely get your moneys worth until 1.3 comes out. Just stay clear of Age of Wonders except the first one as the ai in that series is horrible.

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April 8, 2011 2:33:20 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

After much anticipation I bought this game on day one and have been patiently waiting for Stardock to polish it up.  I've not been critical that it wasn't ready for prime time upon release, most games aren't these days.

But after months of intermitent playing, and waiting, I just think this game is dull and I am not playing it anymore.

Swing and a miss but no hard feelings.  Spring is here and time for some real games that can be played outdoors.

Cheerio, friends.

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April 8, 2011 11:40:40 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

If I have my way, WOM won't ever be finished or at least will be worked on until I can't compile it anymore (see my angst on tryign to do new builds of galCiv II).

As much as I wish WOM had been a critical success, the fact it wasn't frees me to tinker with it without the same kind of crazy that would happen otherwise.

In GalCiv, I hated the economic system but couldn't really change it because it has such a larger player base.

WOM, by contrast, will eventually have a very small player base as people move to FE and that means only us hard core people will be playing and doing things with it.

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