Fallen Enchantress Beta 1 impressions

By on January 19, 2012 4:47:28 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Istari

Join Date 05/2001
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We have a poll up for those of you who would like to vote on your experiences overall with FE Beta 1:

http://www.elementalgame.com/journals

 

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January 19, 2012 4:57:58 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I guess we can discuss initial impressions here. I managed to play about half an hour before a crash, but I can already say that my first experience with FE is excellent. Everything about the game is way more polished than anything in WoM ever was.

The very first impression I got was from the main menu. I loved the music in it, and all the graphics in the menus before getting into the game created the atmosphere well.

The game itself feels really good from the first couple of turns I managed to play. A lot of stuff feels like beta, such as battle attack icons that don't update when you attack a stack and the turn changes into the next unit, or not being able to see movement paths before giving orders to units, but it's fun to play regardless.

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January 19, 2012 5:06:45 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Pretty much agree with what Sir_Linque posted. The polish really shows, the UI is a lot more responsive in general and all sorts of minor improvements really shine.

We'll hopefully get some more UI improvements in the upcoming weeks/months, there are lots of little things that can be done to improve enjoyment. But I have to say I loved trying the beta! I never, ever had that feeling with WoM.

Plus I really like the feel of the new economic system so far. Grain -> food, materials -> production. It just feels right.

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January 19, 2012 5:16:08 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I tried another game even though I should be asleep already, which says a lot about the game. However, I crashed again really soon after starting. Which is good because now I can go sleep.

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January 19, 2012 5:18:19 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Hey! You're from Finland too?

Go to bed already, it's really late here

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January 19, 2012 6:10:43 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums


I'm having trouble even getting the darn thing to install

 

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January 19, 2012 6:56:45 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums


Hmmm, I played the tutorial and all I have to say is...wow, this is what I expected of the original game.  Very impressed with the feed back and presentation alone...seems very polished.

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January 19, 2012 7:10:46 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

My initial impressions are that this game is freakin' awesome.

The tutorial is perfect. Just enough to get you going without being bogged down - and it does a good job of introducing concepts. Extremely impressed with the tutorial and videos.

The research tree looks great on initial glance and you can tell that a lot of thought has gone into the progression. Haven't checked to see if the research tree is unique for races. But this is a massive improvement.

Units look a lot better as far as abilities are concerned than WoM but I haven't played enough yet to comment in any depth on this aspect.

The structure of the world also works very well. It looks like tiles really matters now.

The game is looking approachable and easy to play but difficult to master - as great strategy games should be.

Loving it so far. Well done guys.

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January 19, 2012 7:43:55 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Has a nice feel to it. Can't say excellent yet since it still shows its a beta and rough around the edges here and there (crashing in Main-Menu, one really long lag right before an Ebenwolf tries to eat my champion while being able to click other things giving me a short impression of a lock up which luckily didn't materialize).

But I'm into playtests and games which are still rough around the edges. So I'm all for it. (Especially if the glitches are not game breaking but give the playtest some character which is true for most things encountered so far.)

Certainly fun and at the same time certainly not a fully finished product (didn't expect that anyways). The Equipment lying around really is meaningful while not being overpowered. Leveling up is non-trivial right at the start of the game making each Level feel like an accomplishment.
Making the Spellcaster-Perks a bit more common might be wise though for Heroes who picked Way of the Mage at least and Sovereigns (Having at least 1 possible Spell-Pick and/or strongly spellcasting-related perk each 1,5 levels on average seems more reasonable than what I experienced, may be just empiric but it sure felt to rare. Thanks to the faster moves, smaller map-size, a longer range for spells might be more reasonable. Burning hands feels quite weak the way it is.).

Most glaring thing in the short game I had so far was the battle AI.
While its certainly way better than in WOM (and Frogboy has told he barely touched the Battle AI, so it wasn't a huge suprise) the AI still seems to have some kind of Tunnel-Vision in certain moments (not all the time luckily) allowing to get quite a bit much of millage from tactical retreats (more than should be possible). Being able to finish the twin Wolf-Fight from the Level 2 Quest with my Souvereign and 2 Heroes with mediocre equip felt quite an accomplishment but realisticly I shouldn't have won that fight and with hindsight it felt like fighting an able bodied person with their hands tied behind their back...

initiative-based-system is a big boost to Tac-Battles. Just what they needed. That aspect has already surpassed the MOM-Tac-Battle-System by being the way more interesting / fluid way to approach it.

An User Interface Issue in the Shop which needs addressing imo is having a question before selling stuff at least as an opt-in, better probably an opt-out. Or at least not having an Auto-Select next item after a sell / when entering the screen, had to reload thanks to by accident hitting the sell button. (Sure user error and maybe its just un-familiarity with the GUI, still seems like a little receipe for frustration)

World seems alive with lots of stuff going on (Huge boost for a Single Player TBS. If the world is vibrant enough Multiplayer isn't missed all so dearly. With me being still in favor of feature-equal MP but first please make this game great. Then if you do go the Multiplayer-route dedicate yourselves to it like you hinted it with an add-on or expansion.). Certainly creatures running around one doesn't want to mess with right from the start... Good times (and certainly evokes Memories of MOM with the really dangerous lairs roaming Monsters)

All in all a good game which evokes fun and gives good hope for a very nice finished product to come while still having a while to go.
Thanks for handing the reigns over to the rabid fans of the genre and letting us rip the game apart at our leisure...

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January 20, 2012 12:06:33 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

What they said!  

Very impressed. 

The thing that really stood out for me are the faction attributes and icons.  For the first time I 'Get' the difference between the factions without reading pages of text and comparing stats etc etc.

That and the mouseover detail views for just about Everything! Trading equipment around and seeing how it would affect various stats and how they're derived is just freaking elegant. 

Too bad I'm moving this weekend because I'd rather be testing FE..

Big Kudos to the team.

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January 20, 2012 12:48:43 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Blackmantle_,
Has a nice feel to it. Can't say excellent yet since it still shows its a beta and rough around the edges here and there (crashing in Main-Menu, one really long lag right before an Ebenwolf tries to eat my champion while being able to click other things giving me a short impression of a lock up which luckily didn't materialize).

But I'm into playtests and games which are still rough around the edges. So I'm all for it. (Especially if the glitches are not game breaking but give the playtest some character which is true for most things encountered so far.)

Certainly fun and at the same time certainly not a fully finished product (didn't expect that anyways). The Equipment lying around really is meaningful while not being overpowered. Leveling up is non-trivial right at the start of the game making each Level feel like an accomplishment.
Making the Spellcaster-Perks a bit more common might be wise though for Heroes who picked Way of the Mage at least and Sovereigns (Having at least 1 possible Spell-Pick and/or strongly spellcasting-related perk each 1,5 levels on average seems more reasonable than what I experienced, may be just empiric but it sure felt to rare. Thanks to the faster moves, smaller map-size, a longer range for spells might be more reasonable. Burning hands feels quite weak the way it is.).

Most glaring thing in the short game I had so far was the battle AI.
While its certainly way better than in WOM (and Frogboy has told he barely touched the Battle AI, so it wasn't a huge suprise) the AI still seems to have some kind of Tunnel-Vision in certain moments (not all the time luckily) allowing to get quite a bit much of millage from tactical retreats (more than should be possible). Being able to finish the twin Wolf-Fight from the Level 2 Quest with my Souvereign and 2 Heroes with mediocre equip felt quite an accomplishment but realisticly I shouldn't have won that fight and with hindsight it felt like fighting an able bodied person with their hands tied behind their back...

initiative-based-system is a big boost to Tac-Battles. Just what they needed. That aspect has already surpassed the MOM-Tac-Battle-System by being the way more interesting / fluid way to approach it.

An User Interface Issue in the Shop which needs addressing imo is having a question before selling stuff at least as an opt-in, better probably an opt-out. Or at least not having an Auto-Select next item after a sell / when entering the screen, had to reload thanks to by accident hitting the sell button. (Sure user error and maybe its just un-familiarity with the GUI, still seems like a little receipe for frustration)

World seems alive with lots of stuff going on (Huge boost for a Single Player TBS. If the world is vibrant enough Multiplayer isn't missed all so dearly. With me being still in favor of feature-equal MP but first please make this game great. Then if you do go the Multiplayer-route dedicate yourselves to it like you hinted it with an add-on or expansion.). Certainly creatures running around one doesn't want to mess with right from the start... Good times (and certainly evokes Memories of MOM with the really dangerous lairs roaming Monsters)

All in all a good game which evokes fun and gives good hope for a very nice finished product to come while still having a while to go.
Thanks for handing the reigns over to the rabid fans of the genre and letting us rip the game apart at our leisure...

 

I really enjoyed reading this, I am glad you came out the game in sort of a skeptical way because I was afraid some people have been here so long that anything they were tossed they were going to devour.  I am super pumped now, and it is only a week!

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January 20, 2012 4:20:17 AM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

Yeah, after playing for only 90 minutes its clear this game is so much better than Elemental.

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January 20, 2012 5:21:27 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I have to say, this turned out better than I had let myself expect.  I was prepared for slight improvements across the board, and even after looking at Brad's posts and seeing all of the UI improvements I was still a little skeptical, however FE's Beta is really terrific stuff.

A lot of what makes this so much more involving is also the same reason why Civilization IV is my favourite turned based strategy game - the atmosphere and the emotions it invokes.  Right from the title menu, this reeks of a quality product that is an honest labour of love.  Everything is cohesive - the music, the icons, the art style, the small UI flourishes; Fallen Enchantress has a unique and interesting heart that has - even at this stage - endeared itself.  It can only get better from here.

In terms of gameplay, everything - everything - is better laid out, explained, detailed and more logical than War of Magic.  As a result, it plays smoother, feels more refined and ultimately is just simply more fun than I ever had with War of Magic.
There are still a few issues, and after some more time with the game I'll be posting about them in significant detail, however there is literally nothing here that I can't see being patched out before release given the nature of the Beta crew.  It's not 100% perfect, and it's not the best TBS I've ever played - however, if the Beta guys and gals really stick their hands up, we have a chance of getting the game we've always wanted.
I'm sceptically optimistic at this point - which, I think, is a positive sign being War of Magic left me lukewarm to the entire Elemental franchise.

The only honest reservation - and I really do mean the only one - I have is the memory/stability situation.  The game is still chewing through more memory than I feel it should be, and I feel this is leading to some of the crashes I've seen so far.  This was ultimately never fixed in WoM, and if it's not locked down here it's going to result in a lot of rage.  Nothing worse than dedicated four hours to a solid strategy, and BOOM - a crash highlights the fact you haven't saved in 100 turns.
If the stability can be locked down, I see no reason why Fallen Enchantress can't be the next big TBS to come along.  Shit, the Beta right now is better than the release of War of Magic.

On an unrelated note, I'm apparently now carrying four new diseases that my doctors have never seen before.  Strange.

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January 20, 2012 5:35:56 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

For a first beta release, it's magnificent. As a game, it still has a way to go.

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January 20, 2012 5:45:01 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I have played for about 6 hours now, and my impression is that this is a very. very good game already, and unusually polished for a beta. This is going to be what WOM was supposed to be; I might even have to shelve MOM after this. Congratulations, Stardock, you really pulled this off big time.

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January 20, 2012 5:52:23 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

with 46 votes, one vote = more than 2% ?

and 1% think that beta is terrible?

well, i got fever, and i am bad at math...

 

 

oh, btw its nice to see finns in here, our faction is nerdy but alcoholic

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January 20, 2012 5:54:32 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Massive improvements, and the core of a great game is here, but still plenty of work to do, but it's work with a light at the end of the tunnel if things are handled correctly.  I don't see the fundamental flaws that were in WOM.

 

 

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January 20, 2012 6:04:31 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

There appears to be a fundamental deep design of the game behind everything in FE, exactly what was missing from E:wom. I'm particularly concerned about how the AI will handle spells at higher levels.

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January 20, 2012 6:27:30 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums


I managed about 5 minutes before I had to go to work, my sovereign attacked a bear cub first turn.  Once I saw

1) I could see when I would get 2 attacks together, and manoevered so that thay would be when i reached the bear

2) when the bear attacked me and the word Maul flashed up and he kept attacking until I dodged

I realised I was in a proper tactical combat.

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January 20, 2012 6:55:49 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting ZehDon,
  Everything is cohesive - the music, the icons, the art style, the small UI flourishes; Fallen Enchantress has a unique and interesting heart that has - even at this stage - endeared itself.  It can only get better from here.

Very well put, totally agree with you there. The game's got a heart and soul. Bugfixing, balancing and improving the AI can all be done during betaphase, but you can never add a heart and soul if it isn't there form the beginning.

Glad to see the (partially new) team avenged themselves!

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January 20, 2012 7:10:37 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

So far, so good.

Clearly a beta, but already more fun that WoM ever was for me.

Love initiative! Thank you!

Love creating my own faction.

Honestly, I played for nearly three hours last night which is more than I played WoM at any one stretch of time.  Oh, and it didn't crash once (I probably have a machine similar to the devs.. yippee!)

AI seems to expand pretty quickly...well, more likely I'm really really slow.


Love the variety of equipment you can pick up. It was nice to have to pick between the sword that gave me +initiative and Dex vs. staff that gave me spell mastery +2.

Love that I lost my ear after I lost a battle. Though I must say that game got tough pretty quickly, so there's incentive to pump out troops.

really like the enemies so far (graphics and variety wise)

Love that caravans, even after being attacked, continue to spawn and start going again with only temp loss of whatever bennies you were getting instead of having to build another caravan.

Haven't really done anything diplomacy wise and I was going broke from simply building anything/everything.

Love random map

Though, to be fair WoM was soooo bad that this inevitably will look amazing, so I'm trying to tone down my exictement. But hell, it's already fun and I'm looking forward to playing it tonight and take it seriously.

As long as they keep polishing it and keep adding more and more content.. it's already something I can see myself playing for a while seeing as I'm not even close to a powergamer and could care less about exact and perfect balance. I just want something that's fun and stable and mostly balanced. 

 

Oh, and I got syphilis from the game (trying to avoid using cancer like everyone else! )

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January 20, 2012 7:46:42 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I have now spent 45 minutes ingame, and all I can say is "WOW"... well, of course, I can add a lot more to that, but there's just so many options... and I have researched leather armor and that's that. But with the traits there's a lot of stuff you can do. I see poisoned glass cannon archers, I see Shieldwalled warriors who buff each other, I see...

 

Well, sorry, wish I could type more but I am too busy playing. This is FUN!

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January 20, 2012 7:49:54 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Just look at em... Pyranna's Guard, dresse dup in scrummy leather armor, with a spear... and Ironskin, and Shieldwall, and Bloodlust, and 2 poison damage per round... now, whilst my researchers research mining, I am going to find me someone to stab.

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January 20, 2012 8:03:46 AM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

Well My 4 friends and I uninstalled WOM after playing Fallen Enchantress. Even the beta is far superior to WOM that there was no need to keep WOM around. Loved the many changes and improvements to the game.

One question. I noticed that during the regular game play there were a lot of Tutorial movies that did not work. Is this because they have not been turned on for this Beta phase?

Also in tactical battle is there not a way to retreat from the battle? Last night this spider destroyed my Army and I was not match for it (very refreshing from the no challange combat of WOM) but I could not find a way to escape. The spider hunted me down and ripped me apart. Had to recover in my citiy for a couple of turns.

The only real complaint I have is that I hate the art style of Elemental always have. Looks like a 6th grader drew it. However I know this is the style they chose to use and it will not be changing. At least FE has taken this horrid looking art style and made it look a little better than WOM.  But game play is more important to me than graphics (at least most of the time) and the game play in FE so far is pretty solid and fun

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January 20, 2012 8:59:06 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

My first impression: Wow, I'm really sursprised how good the game runs now.

 

Its really really good! I like the different perk system to make cities, heroes better. I like the research system, I like the world, I like the new tactical combat, in moment with 2-3 hours game time I don't have any point what I dislike (I don't count bugs)!

 

I played hardest difficult and postivly surprised that I was destroyed by the AI very soon (completly far away from stats point on the end but I tried out a lot without playing "to win")! Good job. Keep it up!

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January 20, 2012 10:05:26 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

You guys keep comparing FE to WoM. It's natural, but what about MoM, AoW, HoMM, etc.?

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