A Reminder: FE will be terrible and give you a disease

By on January 17, 2012 8:27:19 PM from JoeUser Forums JoeUser Forums

Frogboy

Join Date 03/2001
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Just want to keep people's expectations in line.

We are talking about a beta so let me walk you through some of the pain you can expect:

There will be crashes

The team has been working hard on making FE the most stable beta release we’ve done before.  However, it will crash as this is the first build that will get widely tested in “release” mode as opposed to “debug” mode.

In particular:

(1) Loading games within games.

(2) Starting a new game within a game.

I spent today recoding parts of this and it “works on my machine” but accounting won’t let me ship my machine with the game.

Balance Balance Balance

We have a long list of balance changes that still need to be made. And let’s face it, a little balance change can change the game dramatically.

Performance

Anyone coming from War of Magic will be happy but we still have a lot of areas to go. If you want to maximize your performance, you’ll want to turn off pedestrians (the little people in the cities) and disable outlines. Those two cosmetics eat up a lot of frames.  However, if you have the horsepower, you’ll be good.  Make sure you update your video drivers just to be safe.

Anti-aliasing will definitely also slow things down horrendously depending on your config and resolution. The game is going to default to your desktop resolution. So if you’re like me at 2560x1440, think twice about turning on 8x anti aliasing.

Graphical Glitches

Anyone who has bought a PC game in the past few months knows this is an issue that has gotten a lot worse in recent times. Until we all jettison DirectX 9 (this is likely going to be our last DirectX 9 game, sorry XP users) you’re going to have a lot of people with unusual issues that we hope we’ll nail down with this beta as opposed to with WOM when the first “release” mode distribution was the release version (the beta versions all had debugging code which covered up various issues).  With FE, the betas are going to all be release mode distributions which means it’ll be like you just got the “real” version. It’ll be harder for us to debug but we’ll manage.

MEMORY

This is a tough one but we really want to keep an eye on memory use.  If you can keep task manager up and look at committed memory in the process list, we want to make sure it stays under 2GB so that people running Windows XP don’t have problems (if you’re running 64-bit the game will use 4GB).  The game is large address aware.

Content

DO NOT judge the final game based on the content of the beta.  New spells, monsters, goodie huts and quests get added in every day.

However: We absolutely want to reduce the number of city improvements in the game. Fewer, more interesting city improvements is the goal so feel free to suggest how we can consolidate what we have to improve on city differentiation.

PLAYER differentiation

The tech trees are pretty similar between different factions. As modders can tell you, this is a content issue, not a game issue. Right now, the objective of the base game is to keep both sides reasonably balanced and let modders go nuts if they want.  However, we do plan to provide more tech tree differentiation as long as it makes sense (i.e. no different for the same of different). This has been one of Derek’s battle cries that he has convinced me on over the months.

The AI

The AI plays the game 100X better than say what it did in WOM.  But I’ve barely touched the tactical battle code (which is still enough to make the tactical battles 10X better than in WOM since they were totally horrible in that game imo).

What we’ll need help on is strategies you’d like to see each player take.  Like in GalCiv, each player in FE has its own strategy.  We’ll be talking a lot about how to make it so Altar plays differently than Pariden in a way that players will easily observe.  If armies end up similar on all sides, we did something wrong and will have to work at it.

There will be NO multiplayer

While internally we have multiplayer, we’ve turned it off. The release game won’t have it either.  The reason is that tactical battles would have to be rewritten to support it (MP code needs to be message based but the tactical battles all call directly to internal variables which makes it easier to have greater performance but it means no MP).  We decided it would be better to have no MP than gimpy MP for FE.  Don’t bother arguing this point as it’s already been hashed out endlessly internally and it’s decided.  We may bring it back in some future expansion but no promises because rewriting tactical is a non-trivial endeavor.

Lots of UI stuff is not in still

We have a victory screen still to go in that’s a pretty big deal. There’s a bunch of other stuff that will go in but by all means, if you have a UI request, post.

Modding and Campaigns are disabled

The beta is a sandbox beta.  You will have to have an Internet connection to play the beta because we plan to be updating the XML data online so that players don’t have to download an update to the game just to get a balance tweak. It is not copy protection or anything like that. It’s for our convenience.  The end result though is that modding won’t work because it’ll be using our online data.

Beta Reporting will be provided

We will be providing how to report problems here: http://forums.elementalgame.com/forum/1010

There is no NDA

The fate of the game is in your hands in the most literal sense.  Because Elemental: War of Magic got such a bad rap (fairly or unfairly is irrelevant), we realistically cannot do a lot of marketing because every article is going to start with “After the ‘disastrous’ Elemental: War of Magic, Stardock hopes to make up lost ground, is it too late?” type stuff followed by comments like “Elemental? Stardock should just give up and make GalCiv III!”  The only hope FE has is for people who actually have the game to spread the word IF THE GAME IS GOOD.

There’s no NDA so you can do whatever video you want or post about it or whatever.  Do with it what you will.

Now, gotta get back to trying to figure out why particle effects are showing up in the FOW. Smile

See you Thursday!

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January 17, 2012 8:47:24 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Elemental... I wish I knew how to quit you.

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January 17, 2012 8:53:59 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I'm vaccinated with WOM. Bring on FE.

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January 17, 2012 8:59:58 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

There’s no NDA so you can do whatever video you want or post about it or whatever.

Yay! So people, we (non-beta fans and all the internet!) are counting on you. But listen to askjosh

The point of this is that while anyone can make a Lets Play video, it really does take some skill to create one that is enjoyable to watch and those that do create really good Lets Play video's should be rewarded while at the same time we don't want every tom dick and harry to flood the market with poorly made videos that don't show the game the way it should be shown. [...]

The Professional series is generally much more enjoyable to watch especially if the author puts a lot of humor into they way he presents the video. 

Better nothing than crap!

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January 17, 2012 9:01:10 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums


*trembling* Awesome is an understatement!

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January 17, 2012 9:05:32 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

The only thing that made me sad is no modding now heavenfall can't put in all those great factions! And I have to wait another week to help you guys kill the bugs!

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January 17, 2012 9:20:07 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Ah, beta pain.  May we have another please!

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January 17, 2012 9:31:11 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums


I think we are ready.  Bring on Mom 2 ...........



 

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January 17, 2012 9:37:43 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Lack of multiplayer, and maybe in the future. For myself, huge dissapointment, as the game was always promoted as MP ready and I really wanted to play it with friends. Huge blow for me did not expect this at all... Well I guess it all looked too good to be true and something had to go wrong.

It is sad to see that in a age where all games trying to go online and add online functions and features we get game which do not even support it. I know that turn based games and not really made for MP, but I am social gamer and I do enjoy playing with others much more, then playing alone. And also I do not believe that AI will be enough challenging to keep me interested in the long run. 

Anyway, I think you are doing great job on sequel and eventualy get it right and make it great if you take your time and spend enough time with polishing. Still feeling very sad


Also, I think you could tell us earlier about no MP part, as I was telling several of my friends about sequel and wanted to play with them. I think you had to make this decision long time ago, as you were coding combat part several months ago.

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January 17, 2012 9:42:32 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Omnax1,
Lack of multiplayer, and maybe in the future. For myself, huge dissapointment, as the game was always promoted as MP ready and I really wanted to play it with friends. Huge blow for me did not expect this at all... Well I guess it all looked too good to be true and something had to go wrong.
It is sad to see that in a age where all games trying to go online and add online functions and features we get game which do not even support it. I know that turn based games and not really made for MP, but I am social gamer and I do enjoy playing with others much more, then playing alone. And also I do not believe that AI will be enough challenging to keep me interested in the long run.
Anyway, I think you are doing great job on sequel and eventualy get it right and make it great if you time and spend enough time with polishing. Still feeling very sad

They didnt say it wont have multiplayer they arent going to have it during beta and maybe early launch. It was the same with WOM. I dont think multiplayer came out until a month after launch or something like that.

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January 17, 2012 9:46:57 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Illauna,

Quoting Omnax1, reply 8Lack of multiplayer, and maybe in the future. For myself, huge dissapointment, as the game was always promoted as MP ready and I really wanted to play it with friends. Huge blow for me did not expect this at all... Well I guess it all looked too good to be true and something had to go wrong.
It is sad to see that in a age where all games trying to go online and add online functions and features we get game which do not even support it. I know that turn based games and not really made for MP, but I am social gamer and I do enjoy playing with others much more, then playing alone. And also I do not believe that AI will be enough challenging to keep me interested in the long run.
Anyway, I think you are doing great job on sequel and eventualy get it right and make it great if you time and spend enough time with polishing. Still feeling very sad

They didnt say it wont have multiplayer they arent going to have it during beta and maybe early launch. It was the same with WOM. I dont think multiplayer came out until a month after launch or something like that.

Sadly, MP in WOM was never in a good shape. And from what I have read, it will not be in beta and at launch and might be in in future expansion, not in the patch. Which is very uncertain, so rather then hoping and waiting I read it as, 90% no.

I still get game for free as I have pre ordered WOM one year before release. However, I was really excited about MP part. I know, most people do not bother about it, this is just me and I always thought it will be in and working.

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January 17, 2012 9:47:50 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

If you aren't being allowed to get in on the beta because you never bought WOM, does the fact you want to get in on the beta mean that you actually want to get cancer?

 

Just a question....

 

Also, though I see you have a beta forum, what I don't see (perhaps because you haven't unveiled it yet) is a known issues area. Otherwise you're going to have a lot of people just repeating the same obvious issues (likely already identified by you and your staff) again and again. It might be worthwhile to have a public defect tracking system, with notations on priority for revision so that not only do you have lots of beta testers trying repeatedly to divide by zero, that they're effective while trying it.

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January 17, 2012 9:54:30 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Curious and unrelated- does jettisoning DX9 mean that 64-bit capable OS's will be required to play future Stardock games?  If so, and you go 64-bit, that's great news for the future.

 

One suggestion on tech tree: maybe give Kraxis the ability to use horses but not wargs, or allow them to use both.  Maybe give one of the kingdom factions (Tarth most likely) the ability to use wargs perhaps?

 

 

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January 17, 2012 9:57:43 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I believe i have several ideas already on how to thin the herd of improvements. The real question is how much rewriting can be done to make improvements different. This seems like a good place for me to go after I go over the unit traits and faction traits. 

A basic idea I have been thinking about is the random improvement we get from leveling a city and the magic card look of the old spell design system. I want to see the beta before I overthink any details, but It would be a space saver to allow one improvement have several structures that can be added to that tile. The Disciples games used this as the sole way to build in a capitol, but I believe it would be good to let some buildings do this to merely save space. 

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January 17, 2012 10:01:40 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums


Personally on the multi-player topic I'm fine if it is not even in the game. I prefer the AI be developed to the point that it was in GalCiv2 and could beat you down without cheating. Although I sorta understand the complexities since there are a lot more complexities on a world based game vs a space based game. Couple things I hope to see at some point. Pardon me if some of these are already covered i'm still pooring over all the FE details.

* Music - Higher Tempo for battles. Possibly a built in event triggered MP3 player. Sometimes the music in WOM was decent but could Lull me to sleep

* AI moddable at least to some extent.

* Hadouken animation for fireballs . Or an animation editor.

 

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January 17, 2012 10:22:40 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Haohshokens > Hadokens

 

Sorry, couldn't resist. 

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January 17, 2012 10:44:23 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Alstein,
Curious and unrelated- does jettisoning DX9 mean that 64-bit capable OS's will be required to play future Stardock games? If so, and you go 64-bit, that's great news for the future.

Silly, they're jettisoning DX9 because FE is terrible and gives you cancer and makes your eyes explode.  After the Beta release, which will be so horrific that hundreds from years from now tales of our suffering will be part of the oral tradition, the FBI, the FDA, and the NTSB will jointly prohibit Brad from even thinking about designing games.

There wont be any 64-bit games, because Stardock is getting out of the game making business.

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January 17, 2012 11:33:41 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

No multi wow, surprise there. Oh well game will be better for it but I wouldn't mind down the road on another expansion for adding multi. Can't wait to pla... I mean cancer.

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January 18, 2012 2:09:39 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

If the game is good, I will tell everyone I know.

I'm rooting for you Frogboy. I really, really want to tell all my friends this is the new best TBS fantasy game out there. Of course, currently all I can say to them is that it will give them a terrible disease.

 

 

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January 18, 2012 2:26:13 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I'm glad you're not wasting resources on MP. No offense to anyone, but you're in a vocal minority if you keep asking for it. True MP support should have been in the game from the ground up to cover everything in the game, but it wasn't. Not having tactical battles is just one of the things missing. Quests and events, mods and custom sovereigns, local hosting on our own servers. To mention a few.

 

No mods in the beta? Although... that's been said before, always found a work-around...

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January 18, 2012 2:35:01 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

TBH Heavenfall, I get the feeling we are a minority anyway, just because we are here on the Fallen Enchantress Forum.

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January 18, 2012 2:41:36 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

How much RAM does the game use when compared with War of Magic? Since I defaulted to my previous PC, this is a bit of a issue for me currently. If it's about the same, then it's OK. And since I've already got a cold that I think is related to the plague, I've got everything covered.

Looking forward to the beta, after I get a few sessions into it I'll try to write an article about it at the place where I write stuff and make funny voices. 

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January 18, 2012 2:48:58 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

There will be NO multiplayer .The release game won’t have it either. We may bring it back in some future expansion but no promises because rewriting tactical is a non-trivial endeavor.

 

 

you cant seriously mean FE wont have multiplayer once it comes out of beta, right?

 

 I mean, the main reason to play a MoM "spiritual succesor" instead of the real MoM is to play vs our friends.............

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January 18, 2012 2:57:01 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

There's no real ambiguity, is there?

There will be NO multiplayer .The release game won’t have it either.

Ps. Your reasons for playing FE are your own, and not necessarily shared by everyone or anyone.

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January 18, 2012 3:02:54 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums


Ditto. I'm so sad. Wish I could play this brilliant game with my friends, and the people from the "No Quitters" Civilization Steam site. Guess I could have made at least 30-40 more people to buy this game only among among the 580 members there.

Well, well; the game itself looks brilliant. But if sp only I wont play it as much as if it was mp. I hoped for an alternative for Civilization 5 (that game I only play multiplayer, and I play it alot; 1500 h since release.) GalCiv2 is a brilliant game in the same category, but I hardly play it anymore due to lack of mp. If it had MP I'd play it as much as I play Civilization 5..... Say no more.

OK, one more thing: If you make mp an option later, please don't make the mp version different from the sp game. I love long, challenging mp games. I am a member of groups that play 100 hour Europa Universalis games, and 12-15 hour Civilization 5 games. No probs at all if well organized with non quitters, and playing dates. And of course I have some friends I play LAN with, then saving game for the next great LAN-night.

My God, I'd like to experience this with the brilliant game concept of Elemental too! Nothing beats the challenge and suspense of human opponents (and some very hard AI's here and there in between when needed to fill the map for epical moments).....

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January 18, 2012 4:09:00 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting LightofAbraxas,
Elemental... I wish I knew how to quit you.

Lol this completely fits how I feel

Even with crappy WoM I spent years coming back to this board at least once per week and was hoping the next patch will be "The One".

And now with FE I got a good feeling but if it is better then WoM but not The One I will be stuck here forever waiting again.

 

And I am going through the same ordeal in Path of Exile beta, waiting for the The One

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