Why Master of Magic was a 'Balanced' Game and the Vision of Fallen Enchantress (Long Post)

By on February 1, 2012 5:08:27 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

CdrRogdan

Join Date 04/2009
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First off I just have to stop and apologize to the devs: They must be going stir crazy with all the feedback lately.

That out of the way... Master of Magic was (and arguably still is) a great game. It wasn't balanced in the sense that armies vs spells vs heroes were all equally weighted against each other, it was balanced in that there were mutliple viable methods of beating the game. Even if some of these were broken such as starting the game with stream of life, they weren't overtly stronger than starting with Torin the Chosen, covering the map with undead halfling slingers or doombolting everything with warlocks.

PACING in Master of Magic

Constructed Units were initially better than heroes, leveled passively, had a level maximum and could be trained at higher starting levels with better buildings. What all of this ammounted to is that units had a static inital worth that improved as the game went on, but retained a maximum level of power to prevent this from going out of control. Consequently when armies clashed, they tended to do so at relatively even levels.

Lairs and items always went hand in hand. If you could not clear a lair you could not improve your hero(s). The only lairs that were empty contained resources that would not ammount to an increase in unit strength. The difficulty of lairs and items were also directly linked to one another. Minor battles provided a chance at minor items. Major battles provided a chance at major items. It was controlled to prevent armies that were not already capable of amazing feats from acquiring amazing ammounts of power.

Technology was tied to Buildings in only those cities that contstructed them. If you had a cathedral and war college in one city it meant you could only produce paladins at that city and nowhere else. Additionally buildings took time to construct and pioneers took population, time, and resources setting up new cities. Therefore you could either design one technologically superior city or attempt to cover the map. Neither option was necessarily better than the other, but most importantly both took time.

Research was controlled by holding cities and territory (mana nodes) that grew as your armies became strong enough to clear additional areas, that in turn, tended to be easier as your research expanded to higher level spells.

Magic was controlled by skill levels that grew as your empire acquired new sources and required exponentially more of said resource to grow. Skill determined castable spells per turn, in combat, and was a seperate entity for heroes (that possessed their own). Higher level spells had higher upkeeps, which tended to be researched by the time you had a larger empire and more mana income.

Heroes were initially rare and came in different tiers. You would never obtain a random champion tier hero at the start of the game, and you would only rarely recieve a recruit tier hero in the later stages of the game. Heroes leveled passively, improved passively, took time to build to godliness, and had a level cap. As you had a limit to the number of heroes available you often had to chose to retire a hero (that could later join the enemy) if you wanted a new higher tier hero. New heroes always started at level 1, but you kept your items and could immediately deck them out at least somehwat maintaning a balance between enemy heroes.

All of this is not to say that the game was perfect. Eventually all you did was wander around the map with your 6 heroes of doom, but it took time to get there. As the maps tended to be large it was also near impossible to defend all your cities with a singular stack of units, forcing you to decide if you wanted to split up your heroes or construct units for defense.

The question now is, what is Fallen Enchantress going to do that is BETTER than this game. What is the vision this game is taking? Allow me to summarize what direction I feel this game is headed and areas for improvement.

This is not what the game is currently, just where it seems to be heading.

PACING in Fallen Enchantress

Constructed Units  improve with technology to possess better armor ratings, better attack, and more unique traits and are on par with champions of an equal level.

Problems with this current setup: Empires that fall behind in technology are very unlikely to be able to compete, even if by a single tech. Units are highly unlikely under this system to ever acquire levels that compare to a static adventuring group, making fighting battles only viable with a 'stack of doom'

Possible Solutions:

1. Constructed units recieve passive xp, have a level cap, and are trainable at (or close to) level cap later in the game, encouraging same level army clashes.

2. Unit Technoloy is:

A: Controlled by buildings

B: Achievable via different paths (such as spell enchantments, global morale, or simply more income) 

C: Limiting to the number of 'teched up' units fieldable at once

Lairs and items are better balanced with a risk and reward mechanic, providing minor gear for minor victories and major gear for major victories.

Problems with this current setup: There are limited 'goodie huts' scattered around the world making properly equipped heroes a roll of the dice. Eventually these huts become worthless as you acquire better gear from other sources.

Possible Solutions:

1. Champions start with appropriate, non-adjustable gear. What I mean is that if I hire a mage, he has clothes (and always clothes), an assassin, leathers, and a warrior, hides. Additionally they should start with appropriate weapons (staff, dagger,bow,spear, etc). Initially champions do not start out naked and are useful out the door but due to not being able to change weapons/armor do not advance at a rediculous rate.

2. Goodie huts (and other monsters) have a chance to drop upgradable gear pieces, that can be used to improve damage, defense, stats or whathaveyou a number of times based on current tech/magic level.

Research gets brought in line to correctly finish up the tech tree by the time the game is finished, allow for refinements to be researched, and maybe expand upon some of the available research options.

Problems with this current setup: The refinement technologies prevent the game from coming to a definitive halt, are too numerous, spread out oddly, and have imbalanced effects. The current method of research seems out of sync with itself (do I want to research armor techs from the warfare tree or do I want to research blacksmithing from the civics tree - wait what?) and doesn't lend much to the idea of specializing in any one tree.

Possible Solutions:

1. Remove refinement techs entirely or make them one singular tech with numerous small bonuses and an at increasing cost that requires -all- techs be researched first.

2. Research is:

A: Reduced to a single tech tree containing mutliple branches and links in appropriate places

B: Split into two trees (warfare and magic) that affect pacing by an equal ammount (though in different ways) and do not require one or the other to advance, but are capable of synergizing with each other in a manner that is balanced with researching one path exclusively.

C: A giant pinata that derek and brad kick until candy falls out ..

Magic is adjusted so that the production values are of multiples much higher than they are currently (allowing for maintainance of enchantments) and starts initially higher or with lower cast ammounts for mage soveriegns/champions. Casters have a limit to mana pool during combat based on intelligence and mana is a shared empire resource. Spellcasters use their own skill trats to determine castable spells.

Problems with this current setup: There is no limitation to the number of overworld spells that can be cast other than the number of capable mages. Mages that base their spells on their own traits are just as likely to imbalance the game as a warrior with an uber blade.

Possible Solutions:

1. Casters require the spell cost divided by their mana limit (possibly modified by buildings) number of turns to cast the spell, recieve and appropriate ammount of xp after casting ths spell and either

A: Must remain stationary

B: Consume their combat mana limit

2. Spells are unlocked (or reduced in mana consumption) via research

Champions are increased in rarity, gaurded by armies and/or found via quests, are initially balanced with trained units/armies and contain a much more varied and more controlled random set of trats on level up. Injuries are better balanced to be hindering but not devastating. Moves and tactical moves are adjusted to better fit the game mechanics.

Problems with this current setup: There are limited champions throughout the game world but an unlimited roster, unfairly biasing towards empires that rush across the map. Regardless of what starting point champions have versus other units, the ability to infinately level is game-breaking, especially on larger maps, meaning champion stacks of doom will still be the optimal route. Even if the traits are expanded to cover a more controlled range of abilities, it still means that luck is largely contributing to the success or failure of the hero. Additionally heroes that are designed from a random generic pool of traits are not memorable.

Possible Solutions:

1. Provide a more balanced distribution of champions by either

A: Imposing a Limit to the number of hired champions

B: Allowing a building/unit/someothermechanic to grant a chance to find a champion based on how many are currently employed

C: Allow a set of unique quests per faction to acquire new champions

2. Impose a (hard or soft) level cap on champions. This can be done in two different ways:

A: The level cap is the same as regular units, and each champion is roughly as strong as 1-2 equally leveled and equipped trained units

B: The level cap is higher than regular units and each champion is as strong as 2-3 level capped and equally equipped units, but if another equally leveled champion is in the opposing army, the morale boosts army units back to a value as listed in A.

3. Champions are all unique and possess their own rate of stat increases per level and at certain levels get to choose a trait that boosts what they are designed to do even better. There are no random draws and stats improve automatically. Traits are typically unique abilities rather than stat increases. -ALL- champions addtionally provide a 'morale' boost to the regular units of the army they are in that does not stack with other champions and is based upon their level. The champion is fully capable of taking any actions he/she would normally be able to at their full strength.

Lordy!!

Now then, the question comes down to:

How to make this better than Master of Magic?

The end game of master of magic was never balanced. After your heroes achieved godlike status (yes that was actually what the level was called) and had a rediculous plethora of items equipped there was nary that could stop them. Additionally there were only a few viable optioins in master of magic to compete with each other.

Fallen enchantress can be better by

1.  Making mutliple viable balanced routes to win the game all with a unique feel to them.

I want to be able to create a 'quick' 'tiny' faction that focuses on ranged units and have just as much a challenge going against a strong magic wielding faction focusing on champions. Caster soveriegns should not only be viable but competitive with melee and ranged. Standing armies and cities sprawls should be competitive with using summoned creatures casting spells from my single tower of doom.

2. Making tactical combats fun and varied using abilities from personally crafted units

Let me enter a forest square filled with impassable oaks and rough foilage, and jeer at the enemy using my archers with 'snipe' to bypass obstacle bonuses and my footmen with 'tireless' that ignore terrain penalties. Or let me stand my guardian unit in the middle of my city walls unnafected by the wall of fire because of his flame armor and fire resistance trait.

3. Making the world vibrant and alive

Create zones of control for various monster 'factions' that spawn in units far from civilized areas and slowly creep towards your empire as you gain confidence in your expansion. I love the neutral monster faction mechanic! Let's see more of these. Spread out tough monters farther away from player spawn points. Make me deal with the wolves and bandits before braving the shrill and fire elemental lairs.

4. Making the AI react to your victory (idea stolen from sean3w ^^

When you are coming close to reaching the goal line the computer players or the game world should react accordingly. As you ally with like-minded factions, neighboring factions might ally against you, but might be just as likely to attempt an alliance victory of their own (hey you aren't attacking them now right?). If you are attempting to cast the spell of mastery the AI needs to declare war and hunt out your shards to cancel the spell. If the victory conditions are meant to be unique, make the resulting responses to these victory types unique as well.

There are probably many more things that can be done, but the game in it's current state does not feel close to being ready. If this is at 77% I am worried =x

I suppose at the end of all of this I really want to know the 'vision' of fallen enchantress: What did you intend it to be?

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February 1, 2012 7:45:36 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I agree with a lot of your analysis and you have some good ideas here!

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February 1, 2012 8:17:23 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Very nice post with some excellent ideas. I think the research system is the biggest culprit ATM.

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February 1, 2012 9:02:11 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting ,



 

There are probably many more things that can be done, but the game in it's current state does not feel close to being ready. If this is at 77% I am worried =x


 

Version number is not related, at all, to the readyness of the game. Pnce could easily go to version 0.95 and then do 0.951, 0.952 etcetera.I mean, we produce software, and our current version is 4.12.01.99 . Say what? 4 for the 4th iteration of the software, 12 for 2012, 01 for month number 1, 99 for the "finished patch of month 1". The different with 4.12.01.03 ( internal patch only) might only be 0.5% software modification... the numbers mean nothing.

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February 1, 2012 9:33:42 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

You have many nice points especially about allowing you to achieve victory in mutiple ways.

Armies should be more than just getting high Dmg/Hp/Def and champions should be more than just a mage or warrior that gets better and better stat buffs.

It would be really nice if a dev could give us a clearer idea of where FE is heading and how much they will be adding to it. What they have said so far seems a little  vague.

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February 1, 2012 9:41:16 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

A single tech tree is what this game needed 2yr ago. Especially since awesome ideas like rare/common techs were dropped and we can see the entire tree(s) now civ/galciv style. I get the funny feeling that at this rate we will drop one tech tree each game until the 4th game comes out and we finally have a single awesome tech tree that makes sense.

 

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February 1, 2012 10:16:08 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Nice post.  I agree with most of your comments.  The single tech tree would be nice though I don't have a problem, per se, with the current setup, except that the Magic tree is completely horked.  I'd like to see spells somehow tied into research.  I also think the mana system, buildings, and traits need some rethinking (out-of-the-box style) and balance passes.

I think the game was built with the right "guts" it just need some "attitude adjustment" to reach it's ultimate goal.

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February 1, 2012 10:24:26 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

You have presented an excellent analysis.  I hope the developers incorporate some of your suggestions.  Especially the part about limiting the availability of champions.  They do not feel unique or special.

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February 1, 2012 10:56:39 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

 

Quoting CdrRogdan,
The current method of research seems out of sync with itself (do I want to research armor techs from the warfare tree or do I want to research blacksmithing from the civics tree - wait what?) 
 

Quoting Ratatosk7,
A single tech tree is what this game needed 2yr ago. Especially since awesome ideas like rare/common techs were dropped and we can see the entire tree(s) now civ/galciv style. I get the funny feeling that at this rate we will drop one tech tree each game until the 4th game comes out and we finally have a single awesome tech tree that makes sense.
 

BLESSED posts. I remember making similar arguments about the tech tree for WoM. Unfortunately we're still there. 

There should be one MUNDANE tech tree, since the nature of progress is such that ALL disciplines are interconnected one way or the other. See Civilization or Alpha Centauri for reference. THOSE are tech trees that make sense and are fun to "progress through". Then we might have a parallel research for specific spells, MoM style. That would be the perfect setup, imho. And no "quest unlocking" technologies, thanks. Unfortunately I realize that we're beyond getting something like this, at this point, so I'll just manage my expectations.

Incidentally, you've made me realize that if I fund a little software company to do just an update to MoM's UI and graphics, I'll make billions. (I know, I know... the rights are owned...  ) 

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February 1, 2012 10:59:03 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums
Very fine set of suggestions for FE. Passive exp gain for units, char, etc, as in Fall from Heaven mod(Civ4) has very great potential for enhancing the game. One additional suggestion for gaining 'heros' or increasing their level. Have a possibility of a hero / wizzy emerging when a unit / army / settlement survives a 'tough' battle. Military units that perform exceptionally well might find a leader emerge from among the ranks when under fire. Settlements might find an able administrator emerge when the city/settlement/etc succeeds in implementing a significant improvement. Wizzys might emerge either from combat, or/and from the completion of a significant magical accomplishment (finishing a magic oriented building). I think you get the idea.
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February 1, 2012 11:07:29 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

FE DEVELOPERS! TAKE NOTICE! This person has some SERIOUSLY GOOD POINTS. 

Either pick his brain or hire him. 

 

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February 1, 2012 2:21:52 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I commend you on structure and analysis. This will be a great post for discussion. We should designate you as [Discussion] manager. 

 

As to Making it better than MoM, I have been thinking about this. There are currently 5 roads to victory: Conquests, Masterquest, Diplomacy, and Research. The endgame is currently not that interesting. Conquest and Diplomacy are essentially the same thing. The only choice here is whether or not you turn on the weaker factions that have allied with you. Masterquest and Research also feel very similar. You have to go down to the end of the tech tree, which requires large research cities and you have to be the best at researching. Masterquest does require a certain amount of challenge once you research it, but it nonetheless requires the same basic strategy as research. Finally, Spell of Making is a third option that requires mastery of Magic to win. I think the focus has been on making different game mechanics to win, as opposed to offering a given strategy the ability to win. I will articulate.


The Endgame

The best thing this game can do is have a compelling endgame for the player. Once we have the devs' vision for strategies locked in place, thought should be given to how to give them a win in the endgame. There does not need to be a specific difference in the mechanics of how you win. The game only needs to make sure every road is fun for the player. This means challenge and avoiding repetition. I think it would be helpful to imagine the game as a board game.

I see victory as reaching a specific point on the board. There could any number of points, but each one would have a different road to get there. each player would choose a path and try to be the first one to get to their goal. The fun part is the journey to that goal. The hard part about translating that back into a video game is removing the inherent randomness in favor of strategy. I suggest something along these lines.

 

1. Conquest - Current vision is to have the player destroy or capture all other civilizations. The problem is that once you start to win a little, you soon become by far more powerful than all other factions.

   a) Events are triggered that acknowledge a faction's conquest and apply resistance to this goal.

      -Factions will begin uniting. First the opposing Kingdoms or Empires will band together. Then the side that you are on bands together to stop you. Then both of those sides band together to stop you. This can be done with several AI functions and with event triggers. Ex: An event that has a random chance to cause a new war, every time you conquer a city.

      -Killing an enemy Sov should reap great rewards and have some serious risks. Ex: You get prestige and magic bonuses for killing the enemy Sov, but in 100 turns an event may feature his return as a vengeance demon with a legion of hellhounds. This would be a very easy event to make. We just need more quest triggers.

 

2. Diplomacy - Current vision is to give bonuses to trade and how much other factions like you. Eventually if they like you enough, you can ally and become a more powerful force in the realm, eventually conquering all that oppose you.This is standard fare for Diplomacy. It is only really very useful to nullify a faction as the AI cannot coordinate with the player to attack. God I wish it could.

   a) Alliances cause an opposing faction to become more aggressive, creating a balance against powerful alliances.

      -The warlike nations should be afraid of powerful alliances. The game should be escalated as you gain allies. It would be the other side of the coin of Conquest.

    Events are triggered after an alliance that force you to complete quests in order to keep the peace.

      -This is really up to the devs if they like it. It would liven the game, but take a little extra work to add time limits to completing quests. I understand if it is thrown out. The quests could be triggered by the alliance or by the technology and simply look at each player for "Is_allied."

   c) Diplomatic advantages make conquest cause less animosity from other factions.

      -This would essentially be a way to slow the progression towards fighting a war on every front. A common tactic for any conqueror. 

 

3. Research - Currently you have to get a strong basis of research and hope to you can get to the last tech in a long line of expensive techs before someone else wins.  This is not a very compelling way to play the game. I did this often in GalCiv2 when the AI got too powerful to overcome. It is sitting and waiting. 

   a) Progression towards this goal causes the other factions to want to kill you for your technology.

      -Other factions would start to envy your advancement. A good defensive strategy would be required to hold out against increasingly powerful onslaughts. Tower defense!

    Advancement would have a chance to cause realm-shattering events.

      -You would always have a chance to discover some secret about the past. Experiments would lead to the rise of terrifying monsters, not all of which would be under your control.

 

4. Masterquest - The current vision seems to be to allow a less research heavy path with some story elements to win. The problem here is that every road to victory should have quest like story elements. Masterquest should be used as the mechanic to flesh out the other options. 

   a) Make Masterquest a game long task.

      -It would be alot more engaging to have a quests that spans the whole game. This would be the focus of an adventure minded player. 

      - Techs from the trees and a few unique techs should be offered as rewards for choosing this road. That way the could specialize here without being left behind in the tech game. They should be less advanced, but not overly so. Adventuring should be how they advance in the game. 

    Make the last few quests like LOTR. There is no need to explain that to the devs. 

 

5. Spell of Making - The current vision seems to be allowing the player to win once he has mastered enough magic to become all powerful. I love this concept, but seeing a screen telling me I am all powerful is less fun than making me all powerful.

   a) Make the Sov a god from the spell.

      -There is no need to end the game once the spell is cast. Allowing the player to rampage through the map with ultimate power would be much more engaging. This could even be optional. The player might just choose to end it there. I can't think of a player that would.

      -Total war would be implied.

    As a Sov gets close to casing this spell, magic in the realm should go crazy and all factions should team up to destroy this evil wizard. 

      -See MoM intro. Also, LOTR. Hell, I would settle for Narnia.

      -Events could be triggered that open portals to the other planes. Out of the portal would emerge chaos and destruction. The world would be devastated by unthinkable creatures. The player would be forced to close the portals in order to keep his nation safe long enough to cast the spell. Some might even be left open to defend a choke point or delay other factions from attacking.

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February 1, 2012 2:27:29 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting seanw3,
a) Make Masterquest a game long task.

-It would be alot more engaging to have a quests that spans the whole game. This would be the focus of an adventure minded player.

- Techs from the trees and a few unique techs should be offered as rewards for choosing this road. That way the could specialize here without being left behind in the tech game. They should be less advanced, but not overly so. Adventuring should be how they advance in the game.

This

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February 1, 2012 2:47:57 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

i dont agree mom was balanced

 

create artifact was too much op

 

yeah cave monsters and rewards were sort of balanced i agree (just cause of randmness tbh but ok) but after a bit you could just create from nothing items

 

that was much more op than FE is

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February 1, 2012 4:43:48 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

There was more than one viable way to break the game though, that was what kept it fun. And since the AI cheats on Impossible, that's the best way to play it.

 

And unless you were save-scumming, any non-flying hero (most of them) was only one Cracks Call away from death. I hated Nature for that one spell.

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February 1, 2012 5:24:14 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting seanw3,
I commend you on structure and analysis. This will be a great post for discussion. We should designate you as [Discussion] manager. 

Hahaha, what?

I do like many of your points. Especially about making victory conditions more interesting, but

Primarily: The AI or the world become hostile when you are winning the game. I'll just sneak this in the main post..

I'm not really a fan of the master quest allowing you to bypass research (or whatever system they chose to pace the game with), unless doing so at the same time carried penalties (like being forced to raze your own cities >.>)

Quoting Devon_v,
There was more than one viable way to break the game though, that was what kept it fun.

This is what I meant when I said 'balanced'. Actual balance requires repeated patches for minor elements - look at the starcraft patchlog! This is a single player game though and doesn't require as much attention. If doing a mix of champions with units is 10-20% better than all champions or all units it doesn't make the latter two options useless and adds replay value to the game.

 

 

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February 1, 2012 5:55:49 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

The Masterquest bit would require extremely good design to make it equal to the rest of the game. I often forget that there is nothing preventing two heroes from capturing an entire city. I always think that you would need catapults and army units to do so. In that case, an adventure minded player would not be able to take over cities to get research power and would need to get techs in some other fashion.

But if they can just oppress 1000 people by killing 12 guards, then there is no need for the tech idea other than unique techs. Unique techs should be in certain quests to give the player some, well, unique advantages in the game. Getting some slightly better armor tech or the ability to build a Giant Gargoyle in your city is exactly what we need to liven each game up. But at this point we are not talking about the released version, so I digress. 

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February 1, 2012 6:05:54 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums


@seanw3 Actually we are talking about what the game will be like when it is balanced out. ^^; I was referring to the notion that the mechanic used to expand and grow cities (and control the pacing) does not hinder an explorative route to victory.

I don't think it's right to assume that the reason that the nation is 'hindered' is because they aren't conquering other nations, as that in itself is another victory condition, and a serious issue right now is the lack of a risk/reward mechanic for capturing cities. Once that is in place it is doubtful conquest will be a guaranteed way to win the game.

Don't get me wrong, I like the effects you proposed, I just don't agree the champions/units you use to do it with should require any less power (or tech progression) than any of the other victories.

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February 1, 2012 7:00:56 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Excellent post and discussion. FE has made huge strides forward from WoM in making a fun game but the mechanics still aren't as balanced as MoM. And yes, I realise MoM had huge imbalances within it which meant some options weren't as good as they could be (although the community patches have helped) but there were so many options that there were often multiple good choices. And in any case I'm primarily talking about balance of the mechanics.

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February 1, 2012 7:45:07 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I wonder what MoM was like 77% complete? I'm still optimistic we'll hear something soon regarding the known issues and really looking forward to that next patch list (hint, hint Stardock!).

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February 1, 2012 7:46:35 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

We are a long way away from 77%. That would probably be .98a

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February 1, 2012 8:26:01 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Love number #2 and #3 by OP.  All ideas are good.

Mozo

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February 1, 2012 8:57:19 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Devon_v,
There was more than one viable way to break the game though, that was what kept it fun.

Not balanced. Not even "balanced." Also not fun. That's what made the late game unenjoyable, just as it is here.

In this respect MoM is really just like E:WoM, both have plenty of broken ways in which to win.

 

Anyway, on point: I respect the OP's points, even if I find them to be a little too biased towards the past. I personally feel that FE has an opportunity to be a unique game, and not just something that strives to be like a game that's over a decade old. I think seanw has hit the nail on the head with his idea of active quests/events. I'm just afraid that is too radical of a change to be considered at this point in development.

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February 1, 2012 9:45:15 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Those are some good suggestions, though in regard to champions i think adding in some RPG style progression would fix things

 

At level 1, champion isnt much of a hero yet, and should be considered an aspiring one, whom can only handle Rats and perhaps wolves (but not bears).  How is this different from now? In RPGs you wont find anyone really taking on groups of soldiers on the open battlefield LOTR style until at least level 10.  Perhaps scale heroes so basic troops start at a power level equal to 5, then the next tier at 10 etc so that only when a champion has leveled up enough and gotten enough equipment they will be powerful enough to mow down troops and tougher enemies.

 

Afterall, consider progression like this is standard in RPGs, in Skyrim for example it'll be awhile before your Dragonborn as epically powerful as s/he is will be able to fight Town guards let along Elite soldiers. Essentially I think some wild mobs should have Static levels ie Dragons level 50, goblins 5 etc, while Trainable troops should start off a rather a bit more powerful now to give them a head start. I think this would balance things out more. Heroes will still eventually be mowing down everything easily, especially in stacks of doom but at least at the beginning and middle of the game other things and troops will stand more of a chance.

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February 1, 2012 9:45:57 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Frogboy, Derek, PLEASE read the OP as well as seanw3's post in the same thread on Endgame. These truly are the elements that will make FE an instant classic. From the conversations scattered across this forum, this really is the essence of it. So much of these seems implementable within the excellent framework that you have designed. PLEASE! For honor; for glory; for the simple damn fun of it!

I am at this moment giddy with anticipation for the future of this game thanks to these upstanding members of the community. The fact that all of these features are implementable based on what we are working with now makes the potential for taking this game to the next level a reality.

CDRRogdan; Seanw3, +1 Karma to you both.

 

PIN THIS POST!

 


Heros versus Champions:


As in the OP and a thread elsewhere, the wandering heroes at the start should be the generic heroes, similar to those that we have now. Champions should each be custom-made and tailored to passively progress into unique individuals. We want to be able to look forward to our game, hoping to get Steve the Swordsman, or Marcus the Monk, or Waldo the Wizard, because that is our favorite champion. They need to be familiar, like old friends, and UNIQUE. Unique champions will also enable you to create dozens of "classes" or archetypes, rather than the basic handful that you have now.

Make the governor class much more useful in managing the empire, and make it possible for them to progress to higher levels while camping out in a city (make those XP-granting buildings specifically designed for these guys, or something).


Intelligence, experience bonus aside, is next to useless as it is now. The magic system needs intelligence as a moderating stat. There is really no reason to take the path of the Mage, at this point. Intelligence needs to regulate mana potential, ala skill points in MoM, and/or boost the effectiveness of spells (fixing those spells that quickly become useless, such as heal). Shards are great as boosts to magical might, but individuals need to have different power based on int. WIth incentive to put points into intelligence, the difference between mages, warriors, etc. will be that much more noticable. At the moment, it's all about strength and constitution, no matter the "type" of hero.


Unique endgames with reactions by your opponents and/or the world, ala Seanw3's post above. That is gold! Pure gold! An adventuring victory like Lord of the Rings?! FREAKING AMAZING! NEVER SEEN BEFORE! You already have some cool unique areas that are generated in the world. Some of these could randomly be the end goal, depending on the randomly-generated world (sometimes in the wild lands, other times in that ruined kingdom, etc.).


Spells unlocked and upgraded through research, please! MORE spells, please! Ability to specialize in a field of research and still win the game (take take a combination of the three branches while not progressing as far, but having a more generalist range of abilities).

 

 

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February 1, 2012 10:12:29 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Nice post. It really illustrates just how clueless the original design of Elemental was/is imo and really just points out how far it has to go to be truly a great game.

 

Sigh

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