Concerns about Fallen Enchantress

By on July 29, 2011 5:26:41 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Das123

Join Date 05/2003
+79

I want Stardock to do well and I want Elemental to be a great game but where things currently are I am really concerned about the various decisions and releases over the last 12 months.

If past history is a good indicator of what to expect in the future, what are the most likely outcomes:

1. FE will be a little different than WoM but still suffer from the same game-breaking choices regarding the underlying game mechanics.

2. Decisions will be made affecting FE without really having a grasp of the big picture and the impact it has on long-term replayability,

3. We'll be playing catch-up for yet another 12 months going through the same flawed rinse cycle.

A year ago, before WoM was released, many people on the forums expressed concern about the game and they were unceremoniously shot down in flames. It's true that I have no real idea of where FE is in its development but the big difference between now and 12 months ago is that we have a very flawed game that is the older sister of a new game that both share much of the same development decisions and advances (at least - that is what we were told when given the promise of what to expect regarding the pending release of WoM1.3).

If FE shares any of the development process we've seen with WoM1.2 and WoM1.3 then I'm sorry to say I'm not really going to be expecting a lot from Fallen Enchantress. Basically it makes no sense what-so-ever to release something like WoM1.3 if all the issues have been ironed out in FE. Surely if the products are being developed concurrently then any lessons learned would be applied where possible to the other - and I'm talking about the underlying game mechanics - not the surface veneer.

I was really disappointed when FE was announced given the state of WoM and thought it was a strange decision to split the development tree at that point before the main issues had been sorted. If it was part of a bigger decision to abandon War of Magic and allow Fallen Enchantress the opportunity to distance itself and hopefully enjoy a more favourable launch then that would make sense. But instead we are told that FE is awesome and that WoM will borrow many of the advances so players have a choice between the two. Before WoM was launched we were similarly told it was awesome and we just had to trust that it was all going to come together - and that the development team were playing a very different game than the beta testers were. And so on and so on. Based on past dealings with Stardock I believed the spin at the time but I don't believe it this time around. I trusted that the right decisions would be made to make the game great last time but that trust has eroded away with the last 12 months.

I've rabbited on longer than I wanted to but please, if anyone from Stardock is reading this, please don't even release the beta of FE until it works. WoM has done a lot of damage to your reputation over the last year and this one really needs to be as close as possible to hitting the nail on the head. For all I know I may be completely off the mark and WoM and FE may have completely different teams that work in isolation of each other - but I wouldn't be prepared to money on that horse.

Sorry for this being a negative post but I really think there is an awful lot riding on FE now as far as Stardock and community trust is concerned. Just really trying to say - don't rush the beta out the door!

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August 3, 2011 2:58:34 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Exactly. See why others and I remain skeptical: denial goes on.

Crashes and removed features I could have lived with - to an extent - IF the surviving mechanics made for a fun game. The real problem was never the engine: almost every single design choice in Ewom is flawed, poorly executed and disjointed from the other ones. This is why patches are helping little and in some cases making things worse.

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August 3, 2011 8:05:46 AM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

Quoting BlackRainZ,
I am going to be honest with you Brad but I would have rather have had the option of thousands of units on the battlefield than the option of customizing units. In my opinion, having the ability to customize units obviously killed that idea of having thousands of units but it also killed the individuality of factions. If you had several unit types for each faction rather than customizing units, each faction could have been more unique and you could have kept in those thousands of units running around. I think people would have been much happier that way.

 

I on the other hand perfer the ability to customize units instead of having thousands of units. But both would have been nice.

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August 3, 2011 8:14:48 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Not only did I want thousands of units on the battlefield, AND customizable units - I also wanted a real-time strategy game filled with so much content I couldn't play it in a lifetime if I tried. Also, the graphics should dynamically adjust themselves to my graphic card, so that whatever equipment I have it should always look like I just bought the game.

</sarcasm>


I, too, prefer customizable units over thousands of units.

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August 3, 2011 8:31:36 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I prefer customized units when customization matters. AoW 2's non-customized units have far more diversity and variety then WoM's customizable ones ever can.

Hopefully FE addresses that and lets us make some more unique units.

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August 3, 2011 8:37:32 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

True!

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August 3, 2011 8:37:59 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

If we must have customization then factions need to have access to different special abilities for units as well as different physical look. Of course some abilities can be common, but many need to be faction exclusive.

I love how in AoW:SM I can customize my heroes abilities through magic items. And in that game I do not care at all that other units cannot be customizable. I would prefer a similar system for FE as well.

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August 3, 2011 10:26:59 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Heavenfall,
Not only did I want thousands of units on the battlefield, AND customizable units - I also wanted a real-time strategy game filled with so much content I couldn't play it in a lifetime if I tried. Also, the graphics should dynamically adjust themselves to my graphic card, so that whatever equipment I have it should always look like I just bought the game.

</sarcasm>


I, too, prefer customizable units over thousands of units.

 

I hope this wasn't in reply to me. I never asked for all of that, I said I would prefer having thousands of units on the battlefield and more diversity in faction units than customizable units. This doesn't mean I do not like customizing units, but there is absolutely no difference in units from faction to faction and I would have much more enjoyed the game with more units on the battlefield. This would have helped me believe I was building up civilization again from nothing and eventually (after perhaps a couple hundred years) was able to develop a flourishing and thriving nation with a relatively large army. You have to remember that years fly by in elemental. It makes no sense for 300 years to go by and you have healed up the land all around you and you have a dozen cities and you still field an army of 100 men, its stupid. In 300 years you should be able to grow a population of a couple hundred to easily tens of thousands if not in the hundreds of thousands if the land is being healed and food being provided, etc. Of course if the land remains a blighted hell hole than the population wouldn't grow as quickly but with the land healing, food being provided and security and order being established there should be no reason why it can't happen and for a population that large you should easily be able to field a few thousand soldiers.

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August 3, 2011 10:29:05 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

One issue with EWOM was the differentiation among the fractions was minor/irrelevant. Giving each fraction unique weapons, spells or magical books, and a unique AI would have made the game more interesting with tactical battles that vary dramatically different based on the race that you fighting.

Example:

  1. Trogs are stronger than humans, so give them unique weapons, a unique military technology branch and have their AI focus on building melee units. When you fight trogs let it be a different type of battle - perhaps they favor large armies poorly trained units that are prone to morale checks.
  2. Altarians are magically inclined - so give them access to a unique spell book and have their AI focus on magic use during tactical battles.
  3. Ironeers may prefer trained armies lead by champions that are immune to panic.
  4. Tarthans are of the wilderness - let their AI focus on Archer units and give them access to an unique expert spell book at game start: Nature. Fighting Tarthans gives you a different battle where the forests become your enemy. 
  5. Wraiths worship death - let their AI focus on Magic but give them a unique spell book that reflects this: Darkness. Other races must research Expert SpellBooks > Darkness to cast these spells.
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August 3, 2011 2:46:59 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Mistwraithe,
When Winnihym said "I know you don't mean what you said in your post, or at least I hope you don't" my feeling is he was referring to this sentence in particular.

I'm neck deep in the software industry so I entrely get what you say about the engine and its limitations. But I think a strong case can be made that the fundamental problem with WoM is that it is just a very very thin layer over the engine. And I don't just mean when it first came out, I mean now too.

The key point being that the game part needs to have a great deal of depth to it, both conceptual and implementation. That means an overarching design which includes limited competing resources which are applied to try to achieve multiple competing goals with many meaningful and hopefully interesting (read fun!) choices along the way.WoM has a very disjointed resource model, there are many resources but most of the time only one (or none) of them is limiting and there are few meaningful choices in managing resources. Conversely on the goal/choice side there are few meaningful choices because certain strategies are so much more powerful than the alternatives that you would only choice the suboptimal choice if you are trying to gimp yourself. And of course the lack of depth and fun factor in the available fluff is a topic covered in many other threads.

FE clearly has a more overarching design so I am cautiously hopeful that it will be decent. But I fear they are not going nearly deep enough at balancing these core mechanics. I am confident it is a difficult thing to get right BUT it is also the sort of thing that distinguishes mediocre games from brilliant gems.

BTW for what it is worth I feel that this is where they went wrong with Civ 5 compared with Civ 4. I find myself having to make much more difficult decisions about resource allocation (primarily trade and production, but also settling and improvements) in Civ 4 than in Civ 5. This is because in Civ 5 your gold income/happiness/research/culture rates are largely preset based on choices you have already made whereas Civ 4 you have that but also the big lever of how much of your trade you allocate to gold/research/culture. Similarly in Civ 4 almost any building or unit is semi-viable to build at any time (depending on your overall and regional goals) while in Civ 5 due to the much higher maintenance costs of both buildings and units there is almost always just one or two obvious choices. These things don't seem like much but they make all the difference (of course there is also the core problem that the Civ 5 unit AI just can't run a decent war on the hex grid but that is a separate discussion!)

I could not agree with this post more. Honestly, I'm surprised that Mistwraithe is the only one saying it. Let's set the limitations of the engine aside, for a moment, because the topic has really been discussed quite a bit. Imagine that the team was able to implement the game in such a way that the engine wasn't a concern.

I know that I, for one, would still have been disappointed with the game. Why? Like Mistwraithe mentioned, it's not very strong conceptually- and this is not the fault of the engine. Think of the strategic considerations you make during the first 20 turns of Civ 4. Now, think of the strategic considerations of the first 20 turns of WoM.

There's no need to adapt your strategy in a meaningful way to your starting position (and this is not an engine limitation), there's not really any hair-pulling over getting your economy up and running (and this is not an engine limitation), and there's no real need for serious thought about the development of your technology (and this is not an engine limitation).

The last point about the tech tree is probably what frustrates me the most. You have a unique setting for a unique game, and just endless opportunity for an imaginitive tech tree that draws you into the game, but the opportunity is just wasted. It feels more like an Enable Feature 1, Enable Feature 2, etc. system than anything else. There could be serious early-game choices about developing an agrarian or hunting-based society that could have implications for your military development, but there's not.

TL;DR: It's easy to blame limitations of the engine, but this is not the whole (or even the greatest part) of the problem. Also, the post might sound more negative in tone than it was meant to be. Imagine that it is being read by a gigantic cartoon smiley-face.

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August 3, 2011 4:16:03 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

One thing I'd like to see in a customizable unit is a scale-able cube.  You apply a source image with the right size and file type and each face of the cube would show that image (probably much easier than projecting the image so it is always facing the user.  It would work as a place holder.  Say you want to add a chimera, a minotaur, some freaky floating eye thing, a slime monster or any of a number of things that don't have a model in-game that would be remotely similar or representative.  You could just use the the image source, the cube, scale and the xml file to get the unit in the game.  It wouldn't work for character props or some other things but could deffinitely help with beefing up the world bestiary.  Perhaps a color set on it to be transparent?  Or a simulated cardboard piece to represent on the board?

Even if that idea is a long-shot, the trait system looks promising for cusom unit creation.

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August 3, 2011 4:46:10 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Hell, I could do that in a minute if you really want one crystlshake.

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August 3, 2011 5:22:21 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I'm in 100% agreement with the various comments about the problems other than engine limitations. The game mechanics are flawed no matter what the problems with the engine brings. As has been said, there is no real strategic choice and there is no differentiation. This is really what underlies the concerns for FE if they haven't been solved in WoM.

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August 4, 2011 12:05:47 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I think the concerns are about using the engine, the game mechanics are an easy fix (programatically). It's just a matter of having the right design, and that you can map out on paper. The limitations within the core engine regarding random map creation and problems with random terrain generation are the real problem. Heck river's weren't linking up with the ocean properly and they just took river's out. There are some real fundamental problems with building FE on the WoM engine and those are the things I am truly wondering if they will get fixed.

If FE is the seeded, non-random, bland maps of WoM then I'll probably just cry a little and never look back at Elemental again.  To me the entire point of the game is having a kingdom builder where there is a whole ton of unexplored and unsettleable land with cool interesting features, thats unique every time I hit the new game button. 12 or so maps without rivers or terrain that makes logical sense kinda blows the suspension of disbelief aspect cruicial to these types of replayable strategy games.

And just to emphasize the point go take a hard look at civ4 vs civ5 rivers, it is an understandable opinion that civ4's rivers are better. Rivers are hard to code into a map generator and with civ5 hexes might have gotten the best of them with edge matching. Here in WoM with a ground up written engine using squares they haven't even gotten basic rivers right. Let alone complex algorithm's to radomly generate entire maps that have some form of logical flow to the terrain. In other words they had a true core software engineering failure, not testing, release management, project management, just plain old straight up we don't know how to code this and cant figure it out. And referencing the Civ issue above it's not like stardock is alone, bigger dev shops with larger brain trusts have fundamental problems with complex map generation.

The other funny thing about that is LDiCesare one of the best map modders from Civ 4 came over and pointed out a ton of problems with the maps and actually offered to help, I don't think he ever got heard from again. Would have love to have seen someone like him brought on board.

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August 4, 2011 2:41:42 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Right, the map issue. I won't even try FE if it doesn't come with a true map generator. I don't care about engine limitations or whatever. And really, I can understand the engine has given its share of problems, but, I mean, just look at the GUI. Is that the engine's fault, too?

We would react much more friendly (I, personally, would) if it weren't for this ongoing full-scale-denial thing.

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August 4, 2011 3:15:14 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Frogboy,



With Fallen Enchantress, we already know what the engine can and can't do and can design based on that. That's why is it so different from WOM in gameplay. It was designed from scratch with the engine in mind.  When WOM was designed, there was no engine yet. There was a list of capabilities we assumed the engine would have.

 

 

Thanks for all the insight.

 

However, this is the part that keeps tripping me up...there isn't much about FE that is being designed from scratch, not as far as we have been told or shown. Maybe the final product will prove me wrong, but it still seems like it is largely building on WoM, with significant changes to certain areas. I haven't seen anything that has led me to believe that anyone sat down and said, "ok we have an Engine, now lets design a new game from scratch." What exactly is going to be so different about the gameplay? It will still be a strategy RPG and will continue many aspects of WoM.

 

Ultimately it doesn't matter as long as FE turns out good. I don't care if it is a  whole new game or just a better realization of what WoM could and should have been. As long as it is fun, polished, and stable, I'll be happy. I still argue that the core of WoM is good, so if FE improves on that, I'll be pleased.

 

 

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August 4, 2011 5:47:11 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Putting my software developer hat back on, there's not as clear a line between "the engine's fault" and "not the engine's fault" as people would like. Why? Because when you have a project design that calls for the engine to do X and then it takes you twice as long as planned to build the engine and it can't do X (because 3d engines are actually pretty hard when you don't have experience dealing with the quirks of Direct3d hardware), you need to redesign other stuff on the fly.

The stuff you have to redesign because the engine can't do it has a ripple effect on the stuff it can do, in terms of how the game pieces interact. It also has an effect on the time you have to build everything else, because the schedule was just blown out the window. Either you have to try to redesign the entire game halfway through the project, or you just assemble it as best you can and hope it works out. We know which one was tried with WoM.

FE is a chance to do what needed doing (a redesign based on what is now an already built engine). So there's a reason to think they can get it right there whereas patching WoM hasn't managed to do so, because there was never an attempt to redesign WoM.

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August 4, 2011 1:07:32 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I think they probably have a board up in the Stardock labs that says: Things we need to add!

 

-Unique units and factions

-Interesting environments

-Scary monsters

-Balanced combat

-Interesting combat

-Magic

-Spells (Well 25 or so is fine I guess)

-A well functioning tech tree

-A well functioning economy

-Competent AI

If they have the board up I am sure FE will be at least a passable game for the genre. I mean AOW was fine, but those oldie games are dated. We need to raise the par quality even if recent games in the industry have become facile and redundant. For 50 dollars I expect these things to have a very high quality. As a side note, I would be willing to pay ten times that for an original concept game that was well made and fun.

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August 5, 2011 10:53:04 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Jam3,
I think the concerns are about using the engine, the game mechanics are an easy fix (programatically). It's just a matter of having the right design, and that you can map out on paper.

Well, we disagree then. "just a matter of having the right design" is the part which stops 95% of games made from being classics. I see designing a GOOD game as a very difficult task and I also see it as the core problem with WoM. The engine no doubt got in the way of them adding more fun and so on but I don't think the disjointed nature of the core gameplay mechanics can be blamed on the engine (and if it can then that means Stardock basically wrote completely the wrong engine for the game they were trying to make, not just an inadequate engine, but the wrong engine).

Quoting Tridus,
Putting my software developer hat back on, there's not as clear a line between "the engine's fault" and "not the engine's fault" as people would like. Why? Because when you have a project design that calls for the engine to do X and then it takes you twice as long as planned to build the engine and it can't do X (because 3d engines are actually pretty hard when you don't have experience dealing with the quirks of Direct3d hardware), you need to redesign other stuff on the fly.

I agree in part with this and I can certainly see engine limitations screwing up all sorts of things BUT you only need a relatively small number of core mechanics to make a coherent game design. The game design will take collateral damage from a poor engine but one should still be able to see the potential of the core mechanics. In WoM's case I can't see that potential and to further support my case I point to the many changes which have been made to the core mechanics since its release. It seems more like design by trial and error rather than performing serious in depth planning and game design in advance and then building to that design.

To put it another way if you have a strong coherent game design before you work on the engine then you shouldn't really run into engine limitations on your *core* mechanics because your engine will have been built targetting that game design. I'm pretty confident that in WoM's case the plan was to come up with the core mechanics while the engine was being finished and if you look back at the various posts during the beta's you will find plenty of posts by Stardock to support that, including many posts discussing and asking for input on a wide variety of mechanics which IMO should have already been well locked down by then.

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August 5, 2011 11:19:14 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Mistwraithe,

I agree in part with this and I can certainly see engine limitations screwing up all sorts of things BUT you only need a relatively small number of core mechanics to make a coherent game design. The game design will take collateral damage from a poor engine but one should still be able to see the potential of the core mechanics. In WoM's case I can't see that potential and to further support my case I point to the many changes which have been made to the core mechanics since its release. It seems more like design by trial and error rather than performing serious in depth planning and game design in advance and then building to that design.

To put it another way if you have a strong coherent game design before you work on the engine then you shouldn't really run into engine limitations on your *core* mechanics because your engine will have been built targetting that game design. I'm pretty confident that in WoM's case the plan was to come up with the core mechanics while the engine was being finished and if you look back at the various posts during the beta's you will find plenty of posts by Stardock to support that, including many posts discussing and asking for input on a wide variety of mechanics which IMO should have already been well locked down by then.

I don't think we're actually that far apart in what we're saying. Yes, you need solid core mechanics, and yes you can do a lot of that independent of the engine. And certainly some stuff should have been sorted out on its own. I always go back to the economics discussion because it was the single best thread this forum has ever seen, and also because essentially nothing from it made it into the game. They probably should have known before starting that thread if the game was going to have global resources since the entire discussion was predicated on local resources.

But originally the design of this game was for RTS combat. It was designed with that in mind. When suddenly they decided that they weren't doing that anymore (original explanation was because it "wasn't what people expected in a TBS game", but now I think the engine was also a factor) and had to redesign it for TBS combat, that has a knock-off effect on other stuff. At that point you can go back to the drawing board and redesign things, or you can try to adapt on the fly.

Another issue is that when you're redesigning the whole combat system on the fly, you've lost time that would have been spent on iteration of the other systems. Games that have well tuned mechanics also have something in common - those mechanics were built, tested, and iterated on a lot to get them just right.

Not all of it is the engine's fault. But more then none of it is the engine's fault, I guess is what I'm trying to say.

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August 5, 2011 12:27:11 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting seanw3,
I think they probably have a board up in the Stardock labs that says: Things we need to add!

 

-Unique units and factions

-Interesting environments

-Scary monsters

-Balanced combat

-Interesting combat

-Magic

-Spells (Well 25 or so is fine I guess)

-A well functioning tech tree

-A well functioning economy

-Competent AI

If they have the board up I am sure FE will be at least a passable game for the genre. I mean AOW was fine, but those oldie games are dated. We need to raise the par quality even if recent games in the industry have become facile and redundant. For 50 dollars I expect these things to have a very high quality. As a side note, I would be willing to pay ten times that for an original concept game that was well made and fun.

The whiteboard also says:

- Rare/Uncommon/Common/Unique/Set Item Types

- Skill Trees for Champions

- Better Quest System (i.e. quantity, quality, UI)

- Improve the Minimap

 

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August 5, 2011 2:56:22 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

From where I stand, interesting combat starts at interesting choices for unit design.  And interesting choices for unit design starts at interesting choices of city planning, which arise from interesting, flexible choices in economy planning, which arises from interesting, diverse, unique technical and magical research trees.  One faction should be allowed to research "religion".  That lets them build a church, which prohibits slavery as a technology from being available, whiich means that my ore production will suffer for the rest of the game.  However, my church can be upgraded with more squares, more citizens working it, and more technology to allow for the spell "heal" to be incorporated into units, which allows me to field the designable unit "priests", providing I choose to train my citizens with 18 intelligence, with one point being gained per turn, until that unit is trained to cast that spell.  If, instead, I followed religion down a tech tree of "nature worship", I will be allowed to build a grove in my city.  The grove will reduce the output of the city's materials by 2/turn, since we don't cut down trees in our grove, now do we?  Upgrading the grove to give it more tiles and citizens eventually allows me to incorporate the spell "entangle" into units, provided their charisma is above 16.

On the other side of the world, the trogs have just discovered "alchemy", and are faced with a choice; research towards transmutation, or towards potions.  Potions are for the weak (I'm looking at YOU, Wraithes), so the trogs go for transmutation.  This reserach allows them to uproot a forest tile in the city radius, and put in a smelting pit, that allows for the conversion of base metals to gold (-1 ore/turn, +5 gold/turn, and a tip of the hat to Isengard).  As they improve the smelting pit, they eventually lose the -1 ore/turn, and in fact gain +1 ore/turn with enough upgrades to the smelter (We can call the top level "Mr. Fusion"), and allows units to be designed that have metal armor, provided they have a 20 strength; no problem for the 18 base strength trogs, which can crank those out in 2 turns.  The wraithes, in the meantime, have spent THEIR effort on the diplomcacy tree, and have understood enough of the pre-cataclysm runes to be able to speak with the creatures guarding a nearby ruined temple, which they believe to hold an ancient device that, when placed in a city (takes 1 square), increases the output of all the shards within the city radius by +1 mana/turn, and enables the spell "firebolt" to be placed on a unit.  The wraith warmaster thinks they can just take the ruined temple by force, if necessary, but the negotiations seem to be going well, and the creatures seem to be willing to let the wraiths have the artifact for just a simple sacrifice of 10 population.  A bargain...

The point of my little daydream is that this is possible, but it requires a game design; a detailed, comprehensive game design that shows how all the pieces work together.  What limits this game design is what the engine can do (ie, if the engine doesn't allow me to pay population in a diplomatic negotiation, then I can't do what I just said).  I get that.  Presumably, the designers have a design that works within the current architecture of the engine.

I'm not getting the sense of what that game design is.  I'd like to see that design document.  It would go a long way towards allaying fears.

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August 5, 2011 3:43:36 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Winnihym,
From where I stand, interesting combat starts at interesting choices for unit design.  And interesting choices for unit design starts at interesting choices of city planning, which arise from interesting, flexible choices in economy planning, which arises from interesting, diverse, unique technical and magical research trees.  ...

 

Well said.  Your post does a good job of showing the benefits, importance, and possibilities of tying together the elements of the game. Elements that should be tied together to make a good game in this genre, but which are almost completely disparate in WoM.

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August 5, 2011 3:48:41 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Trojasmic,

The whiteboard also says:

- Rare/Uncommon/Common/Unique/Set Item Types

- Skill Trees for Champions

- Better Quest System (i.e. quantity, quality, UI)

- Improve the Minimap
 

 

Yay skill trees!  That said, I have the horrible impression that we'll actually get a simple semi-randomized list of traits to choose from.  A step forward, but still depressingly uninteresting in comparison to a real skill tree where you have to make long-term meaningful plans for development.  Not to mention the graphical flair and ambiance you can place around a skill tree (vs a list).

 

Also, can anyone say paper doll?

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August 5, 2011 3:59:42 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting TorinReborn,
If we must have customization then factions need to have access to different special abilities for units as well as different physical look. Of course some abilities can be common, but many need to be faction exclusive.

 

This. If you design your own units (and we do), then they will (of course!) all end up playing the same (which is boring) unless there are unique, desirable options for different factions.  Not just kingdom / empire, but tarth / capitar / pariden / magnar / etc.  Mind you, I expect nothing less with Kael in charge of FE, but it never hurts to toss out a reminder.

 

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August 6, 2011 3:19:42 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Frogboy,
It's almost tempting to retrofit that into WOM but there'd be riots (because N% of users could simply no longer play the game)

Can you conditionally test for Shader 3 and use if available?

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