No Multiplayer in Fallen Enchantress.

By on January 18, 2012 8:03:25 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

goodgimp

Join Date 12/2003
+21

I'll be blunt. I can understand the reasons for not including MP, based on time, budget, or a combination of the two. What is really, and I mean really rubbing me the wrong way is how the information regarding the complete removal of MP was just kind of dribbled out two days before beta. I would not have purchased Elemental without MP, and while that game was a bust I've been patiently waiting for a year as Stardock has stated they would like to make things right. It's not an issue of money for me, it's the fact that I feel that I've been strung along for years now.

If Fallen Enchantress was an attempt to "make things right" with the customer base, it has certainly had the opposite effect for me. I fully acknowledge that, as a TBS gamer who gets the most enjoyment from coop with friends, I'm in the minority. I get that. But I feel I've been lied to and strung along and it's left me more than a little pissed off.

I honestly and sincerely wish the people working on FE the utmost success, but I think I'm done with Stardock. I'm not going to do anything silly like a boycott, it's not that, it's just that I don't feel like I can trust a damn thing they say, so why bother following their game development? 

Anyway, this isn't some righteous crusade or anything, I just wanted to make my voice heard. Don't worry, I'll let myself out and make sure the door doesn't collide with my backside. For the majority of people who were only interested in single player, I hope FE turns out to be everything you hoped!

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January 20, 2012 4:39:30 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting PurplePaladin,

For those enjoy all aspects of MP, and are confused by the near hostility of some towrds you:  There are a lot of people that are "game loners" out there.  For many, the games they play are their lives.  They don't have or don't want others around when they play.  When you hear/read things like "it will take too long", that's loner talk for "real people will be in the game, and I don't like it".

To them, you are doing a direct attack on them when you sussgest MP.  In their minds, it might take something away from their precious hermit game time, and that scares and upsets them.  To them, you are actually tring to steal part of their game.

Fact is, great MP in turn based games has been around for over a decade.  As was written above, Age of Wonders did it; did it GREAT; and did it over 10 years ago.  And anyone who does not see that MP and Co-op are loved by most who have friends/family and wish to share the experience of a great game, or take on a challenge that no AI could ever hope to duplicate, either has blinders on or does'nt play well with others in the first place.

I won't say I/we are boycotting, or anything like that.  But sadly, I'm going to have to tell my friends FE has no MP, and that means none of us will be getting it.  Which is sad. 

MP for this type of game can and has been done.  Stardock said they were going to take as long as it takes to get the game right.  No MP is not "right".  I have no doubt that FE will get much better reveiws than WoM, but, every reveiw you read on FE  when it comes out will most certainly contain something like "FE has no MP".  And they won't be writting that to show how they upped the score, by why they lowered it. . .

 

This is absolute  horsesh*t. No other way to put it. If you are trying to drum up any sympathy for including MP, you've failed miserably by insulting a vast amount of the people on these forums. Implying that most of the people on these forums are social deviants  does your multiplayer lobby absolutely no favours.

 

Sorry to break it to you but I prefer single player and yet I:

 

a) Have a life

Like to have others around when I play. Some of my best memories playing were with a good friend. While he played, we'd talk, joke and figure out the game together.

c) Have a firm grip on reality and am not scared of "real people".

 

Complain to Stardock if you think your gamer's rights have been violated but stop insulting me and others who like single player.

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January 20, 2012 4:42:51 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

You are all ignoring the fact that even if it had awesome MP, the number of people who purchase the game that will really use the MP system is a very low % of the user base.   Simple fact, most people  never play these type of games in MP.   Doesn't mean it isn't fun, or that Stardock shouldn't add it in, it just means you have to factor that in your decision on what to work on.   

Purple Paladin, no need to attack people by calling them game loners and implying people hating tendencies.   If that were the case, many of us that released mods would have just kept them to ourselves.   I'm not against MP, I am against MP taking resources away from the SP part of the game.  We were told that would be the case if they fixed MP to have tactical battles which most in the MP group would like, I assume.

In any case, to each his own, and I support the decision and understand why it was made.   I hope for those that are disappointed that E:FE will get MP at some point. 

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January 20, 2012 4:46:27 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting PurplePaladin,

No MP is not "right".

Clearly Brad and Derek disagree with you.

 

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January 20, 2012 4:58:02 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Kantok,

Quoting PurplePaladin, reply 75
No MP is not "right".

Clearly Brad and Derek disagree with you.

 

Because they disagree dosen't make it 'right'. Brad himself seemed to be part of the group that would like to have coop MP included in the game.

And just like someone else said, they said that they would take all the time necessary to do FE. I guess all the time necessary didn't include MP. Which seems to be backed by the very low # of people having played MP. Which brings me to a joke analogy I made a few times now on this forum, which is about the fact that if you make poor car design and no one uses it/buys it. It does not necessarily mean that the people don't want cars.

I'm a bit taken aback because it seems that even veteran forum dwellers have forgotten some of the hyped features for EWOM were. And now act as if we are spoiled brats wanting to have our cake and eat it too.

If there wasn't ever any MP flaunted for EWOM, I would have most likely not bought it, and furthermore, I wouldn't be here poking at the "officially" dead horse.

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January 20, 2012 5:55:20 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I think the key thing to understand is that EWOM != (does not equal) EFE, so despite EFE improving on several things that EWOM did, it does not do everything that EWOM did nor was it ever intended to improve upon everything that EWOM was.  It is a completely different game that you get for free for having  bought EWOM.   Because EWOM had it doesn't mean EFE must have it.   Simple fact, and MP is not the only thing that has been left out for the sake of simplicity or improvement.

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January 20, 2012 7:00:03 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

The first MP 4x game I played was Moo2.  Last time I played mp with it was 3 years ago, and we only stopped because new windows OS no longer have ipx protocol that moo2 needs.

MP really adds a lot to the longevity of a game.  I am glad that Stardock is not giving up on it yet.

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January 20, 2012 7:12:21 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Man, these forums have become lively yet again!

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January 20, 2012 7:36:20 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I have to agree with the OP here, and I am not going to write a book explaining why as it has already been said 10 times. The truth is that to make a game good you pretty much have to have MP now-a-days. I played Civ 4 for ages without MP and then when I discovered MP in the game I got addicted to the game all over again. It is what you do after you have played all of the factions and exhausted the fun out of the AI. It adds another element and should still be there and shouldn't have to be bought through and expansion, because that would be shame. 

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January 20, 2012 7:50:18 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting AlLanMandragoran,
Man, these forums have become lively yet again!

It's like a presidential debate in here: all talking points, hyperbole, and emotional "logic."  Me, I'm going to go back to playing the awesome beta of the game I've been waiting for for 2 years.

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January 20, 2012 7:58:32 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Meh.. many of us had the opinion when Looking at E:woms Multiplayer that they should either do it right or not do it at all. They decided on the latter.. which is fine since choosing to do half arsed multiplayer only leads to A resources being wasted that could be used to improve the single player experience and B a crappy multiplayer experience.

 

Would anyone here be happy with the half arsed multiplayer mode thats in E:wom to be included in FE? I wouldn't.. and I would likely complain more about a half arsed multiplayer mode than I will that they left out multiplayer. Of course my preference is a full featured, fully functional multiplayer mode.. but that's not going to happen since they decided from day one to program tactical combat in a way that wasn't multi player mode friendly.

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January 20, 2012 8:04:44 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

The WOM box also talked about dynasties which aren't in FE.  

Let's face it, WOM <> FE.  We weren't promised multiplayer in FE. 

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January 20, 2012 10:00:12 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Bellack,

Ok why would you have to rewrite TC if you had two players fighting? All the rules and such should be the same as if you were playing the NPC. And personally the MP expereance should be excatly the same as SP. No short cuts to make it faster for the ADD kids I would like the full SP game in the MP.

When they are talking about having to rewrite TC for MP, they are not talking about re-designing it.  As you say, from a end-user perspective all the rules and such _should_ be exactly the same as playing the NPC.  The problem is that the *underlying code* is not set up to handle multiplayer and would need to be gutted.  This is what takes a lot of time.

 

As a quick example (and this might get teccy, sorry), I imagine currently, when CREATURE_A hits CREATURE_B it rolls, a dice and directly removes the health from CREATURE_B and then immediately process any knock on effects, end of story.

If it was to work in MP, lets imagine you have CREATURE_A belonging to PC_A and CREATURE_B belonging to PC_B. On PC_A, you tell CREATURE_A to hit CREATURE_B.  What would have to happen was PC_A would send a message to PC_B to say that this attack had happened and then wait around for the responce.  PC_B would then have to process that message and decide that it took damage.  PC_B would then have to calculate any knock on effects, relay this back to PC_A, which then makes it happen on his machine.

As you can see, in the MP case the code has to sit around a lot more waiting for messages from the other PC, which involves a very different style of coding than just processing everthing right there and then.  And then that not to mention having to worry about making sure the TC's are kept in sync and handling any cases where they aren't (due to messages being lost, etc).

 

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January 20, 2012 10:18:03 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

On a side note, some quick back-of-an-envelope maths:

 

From the credits (1), it looks like there were about ~23 developers (2) on E:WoM. 

The development time was roughly 39 months (3).  Thats a grand total of 897 "Man Months".

If 30% of these were spend on MP, thats ~269.1 "Man Months" (or ~22.4 "Man Years") spend just on MP.

That's a _lot_ of time that could have been spent on ... well ... anything really!  Now the real number will actually be lower than this because I doubt that they had 23 people for the duration of the entire project (ramp up/down at beginning/end).  But on the other hand, those Man Years would probably be skewed towards programmers as they normally have a lot more work getting MP to work than say, an artist.  And as anyone who's worked in game dev knows, programmers time is gold dust...

 

(1) http://www.allgame.com/game.php?id=67398&tab=credits

(2) By developers, I'm meaning people actively involved in creating content, ie, Artists, Designers, Coders and Producers

(3) http://www.polycat.net/1425/elemental-war-of-magic-announced/ <-- This indicates development started approx may 2007.  It was released in Aug 2010.  This seems an _incredibly_ long dev schedule to me, but then I'm used to having to get projects done in 9-12 months.  Sigh.

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January 21, 2012 6:38:43 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Frogboy,

 


At GDC, friends of my from Firaxis told me that only around 4% of the Civilization IV user base had ever played a single MP game (not finished a game, simply tried it).

 

that doesnt high tbh

 

also do you know games in this  century are like "parfumes" ?

i know LOTS of ppl who buy DOZENS of games on steam or get gifts etc and NEVER EVER play them

 

i mean they download and install and play 5 min and then its over

lot of ppl do so

 

for a good statistics you should for example cut those ppl who played less than X hours total, who cares if someone played civ for 5 hours in his life and never attempted a online game? he just isnt a civ 4 player at all

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January 21, 2012 7:17:53 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting seanw3,
Finally, I am part of the 1%.

 

That is the illusion to draw you in....   

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January 21, 2012 7:29:20 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums


I'm just very glad Brad wants multiplayer, and that he hasn't given it up. Hopefully we will see it in the next expansion already: Elemental FE; Play the World!

This game is already shaping up to be one of the very best games ever made, It's already on my top list among games like The Civilization-series, MoM, GalCiv, Europa-Universalis-series and Heroes of Might and Magic 4 (My favorite Heroes game, after that the series has been garbage.... But anyways, the Heroes series are more for children).

A game in this category should have multiplayer, and I'm sure that it would bring some extra costumers too. Just me, one person, could recruit at least 10, perhaps 30-40 over time through the multiplayer groups of strategy games I'm a member of, and through friends I play hardcore strategy mp with on LAN. (I have done this with Europa Universalis 3; recruited alot of newcomers interested in playing the game with me in MP.)

When I find a perfect strategy game, and that's seldom, I want my friends and online friends to buy it asap, so I can experience it in MP with no irritating quitting players.

 

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January 23, 2012 1:45:24 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

To say it clearly,

i was a huge fan of Master of Magic and by far my greatest Wish was a Game like MoM with Multiplayer, specially a Hot-Seat Mode.

Games like HoMM or Civ got Hot Seat and it is by far the best thing can happen to a turn based Game.

I was more than disapointed to see that War of Magic has only Online-Multiplayer.

At the Moment i play the old Age of Wonders with friends at Hot-Seat.

So if you cannot afford a Full Multiplayer, plz code at least a Hot Seat Mode.

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January 23, 2012 2:32:30 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Luke_strider,
When they are talking about having to rewrite TC for MP, they are not talking about re-designing it.  As you say, from a end-user perspective all the rules and such _should_ be exactly the same as playing the NPC.  The problem is that the *underlying code* is not set up to handle multiplayer and would need to be gutted.  This is what takes a lot of time.

This is true.  Also, the turn can't advance while there are battles are being fought, so players would have to wait for all battles to be fought or auto resolved before the turn could advance.  You'd still be able to change units destinations and things like that, but no units would move, no improvements would be built, etc.  So most of the time players not in tactical battles would be waiting on the players that were, and that's not ideal.

Quoting Tellimtor,
So if you cannot afford a Full Multiplayer, plz code at least a Hot Seat Mode.

Honestly, this would be almost more work than regular multiplayer because of all the interface changes we'd have to make, and because all players move at once.

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January 23, 2012 4:18:42 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting CariElf,

Quoting Luke_strider, reply 87When they are talking about having to rewrite TC for MP, they are not talking about re-designing it.  As you say, from a end-user perspective all the rules and such _should_ be exactly the same as playing the NPC.  The problem is that the *underlying code* is not set up to handle multiplayer and would need to be gutted.  This is what takes a lot of time.

This is true.  Also, the turn can't advance while there are battles are being fought, so players would have to wait for all battles to be fought or auto resolved before the turn could advance.  You'd still be able to change units destinations and things like that, but no units would move, no improvements would be built, etc.  So most of the time players not in tactical battles would be waiting on the players that were, and that's not ideal.


Quoting Tellimtor, reply 92So if you cannot afford a Full Multiplayer, plz code at least a Hot Seat Mode.

Honestly, this would be almost more work than regular multiplayer because of all the interface changes we'd have to make, and because all players move at once.

 

With all due respect, are we living in an ADHD-only universe where if something takes longer than a few seconds it's deemed to be too long? I mean I'm so fed up of hearing people at SD using 'wait time' or 'tac battle length' as a argument against MP. It's almost infuriating!

Obviously the COD, Starcraft & E-Sport bunch won't be jumping all over slow paced TBS game like Elemental. So why even worry about such things? I mean I've played Axis & Allies countless times, and do you have any idea how long turns can get late in the game?

When working on a TBS game, which in my opinion is ALREADY a niche market, why would you take a 'generalistic' view of MP in a TBS game? I mean, what's next? Are we going to add Quick Time Events in the Singleplayer game mode to keep things more "dynamic"? (Don't you people at SD get any ideas with that! ) Of course it's going to be long, if someone does not have the patience to sit through a Tac battle, or another players turn, then why the hell would they have the patience to play a game that will most likely require numerous weekend sessions and drawn out over perhaps the course of month?

That would be like Blizzard worrying about it's leveling system because you can't reach level 90 in a single weekend. "We have to think about our casual players too, mom & pops don't like the fact that they would have to play so many hours to catch up with their son's level 90 toon."

Some things you just have to take for granted, like the fact that TBS + MP = It's going to take a while.

I know that at this point it's just beating a dead horse, but I really can't stand all these out of whack opinions on what TBS multiplayer should be and what constitutes 'too long'. Whoever thinks waiting for a tac battle to be resolved takes too long to resolve probably never played Axis & Allies, any of the Grand Strategy games from Paradox, and most assuredly never seen the likes of Bells Of War. Or even better yet, I remember the days were waiting for the AI to finish a turn in my overly huge maps on Civ 2 took longer than a tac battle ever would in Elemental.

Anyways, like I said, I'm just beating a dead horse. And I'm an old geezer that doesn't mind to watch paint dry I guess...

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January 23, 2012 10:23:42 PM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

Wow, I've attempted or briefly played turn-based games in MP before. Didn't know I was in such a small percentage. Thanks for laying out your reasoning Frogboy.

If I want a fun multiplayer experience, turn-based doesn't even get considered. You have FPS, Action RPGs like Diablo, MMOs, RTS games to chose from. If I want something with hours of calm thinking, then I play something turn-based.

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January 23, 2012 11:21:43 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

As one of the 1% who played WoM MP, it was fun but bugged to hell from lack of development and autobattles were a buzzkill. The core game needs to be there in FE in Sp before MP is added. Boats should probably be in this version but I just don't really like them that much in TBS. Any MP should have a long petition list of users that see MP as the main draw to the game. Honestly I would love MP, but it wouldn't be very moddable most likely and I have been playing this game for so long I think it would be less fun for my opponents. I seem to be owning people in the beta when I compare game experiences. 

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January 24, 2012 3:51:48 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

First of all, i'm in the MP camp, a game survives much longer / sells much better if it has decent multiplayer, especially if it's linked to an online service where you need to login to play multiplayer aka Starcraft / Anno  2070.

Quoting CariElf,

This is true.  Also, the turn can't advance while there are battles are being fought, so players would have to wait for all battles to be fought or auto resolved before the turn could advance.  You'd still be able to change units destinations and things like that, but no units would move, no improvements would be built, etc.  So most of the time players not in tactical battles would be waiting on the players that were, and that's not.

Isn't this solvable by letting players not in tactical combat still move their units on the map? If a third player attacks someone already fighting, queue the fight until he's free to engage. Another option is to "lock down" all armies engaging with eachother and then play out the tactical combat at the end of the turn, but that takes away some of the strategy movement directly after the fight.

I feel AoW:SM worked fine with simultaneously movement but they didn't solve the "simultaneous" tactical combat in a nice way... the other players had to wait for a fight to resolve.

 

 

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January 24, 2012 4:26:16 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Vhorthex,
With all due respect, are we living in an ADHD-only universe where if something takes longer than a few seconds it's deemed to be too long? I mean I'm so fed up of hearing people at SD using 'wait time' or 'tac battle length' as a argument against MP. It's almost infuriating!

I'm not using it as a justification against multiplayer. I'm saying that just on top of making the entire game work in multiplayer, we'd need to add in handling for what happens when some of the players are in tactical battles and others aren't.

Quoting Nichlas,
Isn't this solvable by letting players not in tactical combat still move their units on the map? If a third player attacks someone already fighting, queue the fight until he's free to engage. Another option is to "lock down" all armies engaging with eachother and then play out the tactical combat at the end of the turn, but that takes away some of the strategy movement directly after the fight.

I feel AoW:SM worked fine with simultaneously movement but they didn't solve the "simultaneous" tactical combat in a nice way... the other players had to wait for a fight to resolve.

As long as you had moves left, you could move units.  I'm just saying that the turn wouldn't advance until all battles were fought or resolved, so you wouldn't be able to get new moves until the new turn if you were out.  

We already have a battle queue that prevents a player from being in two different battles simultaneously, so that wouldn't require any additional work.  

We could maybe let other players not involved in battles watch tactical battles. I think at the very list, we might want to have some kind of feed keeping people apprised of what's going on, even if we only give you that info for your allies.

It's not that we're against multiplayer in principle, it's just that we don't want the single player experience to suffer or release a substandard version of multiplayer.  While the entire team needs to be able to program in the multiplayer paradigm, you still have to have one or two people in charge of making sure that the mulitplayer is working, and those two people really don't have time for anything else.  On a small team, even one or two people make a huge difference.  

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January 24, 2012 4:44:33 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Vhorthex,
Because they disagree dosen't make it 'right'. Brad himself seemed to be part of the group that would like to have coop MP included in the game.

The "right " thing to do is to stick to their design plan for FE, which doesn't include to have MP. This is not Homer Simpson designing his dream car.

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January 24, 2012 5:06:54 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Wintersong,

Quoting Vhorthex, reply 79Because they disagree dosen't make it 'right'. Brad himself seemed to be part of the group that would like to have coop MP included in the game.

The "right " thing to do is to stick to their design plan for FE, which doesn't include to have MP. This is not Homer Simpson designing his dream car.

 

LOL, what an apt analogy!

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