Fallen Enchantress - March BETA FAQ

By on March 6, 2012 3:26:40 PM from JoeUser Forums JoeUser Forums

Frogboy

Join Date 03/2001
+1484

Greetings!  We haven’t done a FAQ in awhile so here we go:

S_DestinysGift_PaintingQ: Is Elemental: Fallen Enchantress an expansion pack to Elemental: War of Magic?

A: No.  Elemental: Fallen Enchantress is a stand-alone game. It exists in the same world and is a 4X strategy game, but beyond that, they are very different.

Q: How much does Elemental: Fallen Enchantress cost?

A: It’s $39.95.  You can pre-order it now and join the BETA. We plan to provide some additional goodies for those who own a copy of it prior to release.

Q: What kind of goodies?

A: Additional quests, monsters, and items.

Q: I have Elemental: War of Magic already, is there a discount for Fallen Enchantress?

A: Yes, if you registered War of Magic in 2010, you get Fallen Enchantress for free.  If you bought it in 2011, there is a discount.

Q: When will Fallen Enchantress be released?

A: When it’s done.

Q: No, seriously, I hate when people say that. Do you have any sort of time line?

A: This Spring we plan to release a BETA 3, in Summer we expect to release BETA 4. During Beta 4 we’ll evaluate where things stand.  But we still view the game as being in a good place but still months away from release.

Q: How much will the final game be different from the current game?

A: Probably quite a bit. We get into a lot of debates on this subject with beta testers because there is often a disconnect between what is part of Fallen Enchantress’s design principles versus what a user thinks “needs” to be in the game.

Q: Ok, that was pretty vague. What do you mean by design principles?

A: This would require a separate journal entry but broadly speaking, we mean that Derek Paxton (Kael) has a specific vision for Elemental: Fallen Enchantress which falls under a number of broad design principles. A common request is that the tactical battles be much more complex than they currently are. But one of the design principles of FE is that tactical battles should not decide the outcome of the strategic game. That is, no matter how good someone has mastered the tactical part of the game, it shouldn’t enable them to turn what would normally be a loss strategically into a win.  This is an intentionally vague concept since we want tactical battles to be meaningful but we don’t want someone to be able to win against 10 to 1 odds because they’ve mastered that aspect of the game.

Q: Does this mean tactical battles won’t be changing?

A: We have a number of changes planned. We just can’t commit to anything specific until we’ve had time to play through it via iteration.

Q: What areas of the game do you consider furthest along?

A: The general flow of the game is fairly far along in terms of having a solid core.  It’s not any particular feature. We are in BETA 2 presently, Beta 1 was to make sure the game was compatible (hardware wise). Beta 2 is designed to allow us to create a very tight core from which we can expand upon.

S_Domination_PaintingQ: What areas should we expect to see the game expand on?

A: Our recent poll confirmed that our beta group seems to be on the same page as us.  Making each faction be very different matters a lot to us.  Secondly, the city management is an area with a great deal of work ahead for it.  Not on the poll but diplomacy is an area we want to expand on.

Q: What is the future of multiplayer and why isn’t it planned for initial release?

A: 90% of the multiplayer features are in.  The issue is that we don’t want to split our resources between supporting multiplayer (from a bug testing / stability point of view) while also trying to do the same for the single player game.

Q: What can you tell us about the campaign?

A: It’s been designed and created by Jon Shafer (designer of Civilization V as well as having worked on the Beyond the Sword expansion for Civilization IV) and written by fantasy author, Dave Stern. Voice overs are being done by some of the people involved with Fall From Heaven and music provided by a team up musicians who worked on Civilization V and Galactic Civilizations II.

Q: I have heard that Fallen Enchantress is a different development team than War of Magic?

A: Yes. After the sale of Impulse, developers who had previously worked on Galactic Civilizations II were brought back from the Impulse team to the Games group to work on Fallen Enchantress. It is led by Derek Paxton (Kael) who had previously worked on the Civilization IV mod, Fall from Heaven and as previously mentioned the campaign was designed by Jon Shafer formerly of Civilization V fame.

Q: What is your role on Fallen Enchantress vs. War of Magic?

A: On both projects I am the Executive Producer.  I wrote some of the strategic AI for War of Magic.  In Fallen Enchantress I am the lead developer and am writing both the strategic and tactical AI. This is only possible because we sold Impulse so I have more time to devote to our individual projects.  Kael has the final word on design. It’s his baby.

Q: When will we see a trailer?

A: It’s being worked on.  Since Sins of a Solar Empire: Rebellion is coming out sooner, its trailer got the art team’s attention first. Now they’re onto the Elemental related work.

Update #1:

Q: How much will tactical battles change between now and release?

A: It’s too early to say. We have the broad requirement that someone should not be able to turn a clear strategic defeat into victory through “massive skillz” at tactical battles. But there are a lot of areas we are looking to expand on and enhance. We’re more inclined to find ways to make them more fun without them becoming more complex. Think MOO or MOM for what we’re looking for.

Q: Do you plan to use Steamworks in FE?

A: There are no plans to use Steamworks with Fallen Enchantress.

Q: When is the next beta?

A: We expect to release Beta 2-B this month.

Locked Post 122 Replies
Search this post
Subscription Options


Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
March 5, 2012 7:45:51 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Again, another quality update on where things are at. Thanks for keeping us in the loop!

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
March 5, 2012 7:51:38 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Goodies for pre-orders is tempting... though usually those end up dissapointing me. Also, theres also the people who buy later and are angry they can't get the pre-order content. Will it be available as DLC for a couple bucks later? Will it be something inconsequential that I don't even care about having? Its a fine line to walk.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
March 5, 2012 8:03:08 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Enjoyable read. 

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
March 5, 2012 8:12:41 PM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

Thanks!

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
March 5, 2012 8:42:27 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums


Great!!!!  I can't wait for more on the campaign.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
March 5, 2012 8:53:59 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Nice work.

Can I just say this beta process has been soooooooo much better as a tester that WoM. Very enjoyable and the feedback has been awesome from Stardock.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
March 5, 2012 9:13:29 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Thanks for the heads up Brad! Wow this betas going longer than I thought. Very good! Take your time.

Glad the poll turned out the way it did. I loved faction variation in GCIITOA.

I hope I get my replacement mouse this week. I want to play Sins beta badly and report stuff too.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
March 5, 2012 9:18:09 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

..there is often a disconnect between what is part of Fallen Enchantress’s design principles versus what a user thinks “needs” to be in the game.

Ok, that was pretty vague. What do you mean by design principles?

A: This would require a separate journal entry

 

Looking forward to this. When I read the forums there seems to be many ideas that would require major redesigns...sharing a clearer idea of the ultimate vision for the game might be helpful so people know where to spend their energies dreaming. 

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
March 5, 2012 9:33:58 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting enoeraew37,
..there is often a disconnect between what is part of Fallen Enchantress’s design principles versus what a user thinks “needs” to be in the game.

Ok, that was pretty vague. What do you mean by design principles?

A: This would require a separate journal entry

 

Looking forward to this. When I read the forums there seems to be many ideas that would require major redesigns...sharing a clearer idea of the ultimate vision for the game might be helpful so people know where to spend their energies dreaming. 

Yea, I think it'll have to be an entry that Derek and I collaborate on since there are technical vs. design principles that come into play.

For example, the people who want really involved tactical battles. They're not going to happen. Not because we don't have time or budget but because we don't want the game to revolve around tactical battles.  That doesn't mean we won't add other elements to tactical battles, but it'll be carefully evaluated as to whether it's causing tactical battles to deviate from their relative place in the game experience.

On the other hand, something that would seemingly be a "big" change to gameplay like adding a third resource (food, materials and X) could potentially be done because that would be part of the existing design philosophy -- as long as it can be balanced because building up your civilization is a major part of the game and features that enhance that part of the design are definitely considered.

In the forums, players themselves have already discovered how much better they can make the *current* beta just by playing around with stuff.  It'll become more extreme once modding starts up (probably beta 3).  I made wholesale changes to the game this weekend just by opening up a text editor and playing with values.

Other players have observed how much better the AI suddenly becomes when it has more units to choose from to train -- i.e. the AI gets smarter the more you play the game because it makes use of what you make.  Each update we ourselves add more and more units to the game but we also want to encourage players to make the game theirs too. 

 

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
March 5, 2012 9:52:11 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums


One small correction:

Jon Shafer was not the designer of Beyond the Sword, he only worked on a component of it: Espionage. Please correct.

 

About the beta, my daughter is happily playing it (b2), but complaining about the crashes. She just loves FE, pre-ordered it with her own money because she could not wait to try it. Any chance that a new beta comes out sooner than spring (or maybe early spring)?

 

Thanks,

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
March 6, 2012 2:08:19 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting frogboy,

Q: Ok, that was pretty vague. What do you mean by design principles?

A: This would require a separate journal entry but broadly speaking, we mean that Derek Paxton (Kael) has a specific vision for Elemental: Fallen Enchantress which falls under a number of broad design principles. A common request is that the tactical battles be much more complex than they currently are. But one of the design principles of FE is that tactical battles should not decide the outcome of the strategic game. That is, no matter how good someone has mastered the tactical part of the game, it shouldn’t enable them to turn what would normally be a loss strategically into a win.  This is an intentionally vague concept since we want tactical battles to be meaningful but we don’t want someone to be able to win against 10 to 1 odds because they’ve mastered that aspect of the game.

See information like this I would really like to hear because then I would know what feedback I could provide that would be useful to you guys. If I had a better idea what the design principles were I would be more inclined to spend more time giving feedback.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
March 6, 2012 2:34:24 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

A thoughtful and transparent post. Appreciate it.

Seeing City Management on the list gives me back hope.  

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
March 6, 2012 4:09:28 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Very nice Q&A. Thx a lot Brad.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
March 6, 2012 4:34:01 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting ,
A common request is that the tactical battles be much more complex than they currently are. But one of the design principles of FE is that tactical battles should not decide the outcome of the strategic game.
So Kael is committed to making sure that tactical battles are never interesting or important? That's not exactly new information but it's still very disheartening to hear said outright.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
March 6, 2012 4:35:14 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

The tactical battles news does honestly make me a little sad. I guess I shall reserve judgement until I know precisely what these 'other changes' will entail, but I would like to put forward that:

  If the goal is to make the tactical battles so basic that they don't affect the outcome vs. automatically resolving, don't include them. I would much rather deal with Civ style auto resolve as the only option, than knowing there is this 'tactical' system tacked on for no other reason than to include it in the feature list.

  That is based primarily around how it stands now though, and I am curious to see what changes are yet to come for it, but I must also point out that even in the current iteration of the battle system I think it has failed in the stated goal of making no difference whether you do or do not use the tactical system. Consider a new player who rushes his units across the board -- without being able to reach the enemy for an attack of his own; yet putting his own units in reach of theirs -- vs. a more experienced player who moves just out of the enemies range, ensuring they will get first strike.

 

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
March 6, 2012 4:49:43 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I think you are reading too much into the tactical battle comments.

 

I believe he just wants to point out that the battles should not take too long, not be overly complex and one should not be able to rule the world just by being great at tactical battles alone. If it was possible to win battles against far superior enemies on a regular basis, then the rest of the game would have no importance. You need to gather good units on the world map to win tactical battles. 

A good gamer will win a battle against the odds on a regular basis, but not against any enemy all the time.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
March 6, 2012 5:07:40 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting joasoze,
I think you are reading too much into the tactical battle comments.

I believe he just wants to point out that the battles should not take too long, not be overly complex and one should not be able to rule the world just by being great at tactical battles alone. If it was possible to win battles against far superior enemies on a regular basis, then the rest of the game would have no importance. You need to gather good units on the world map to win tactical battles. 

A good gamer will win a battle against the odds on a regular basis, but not against any enemy all the time.

Hm, you may be right. Reading what Brad said again, I can almost convince myself that you are.

Ah well, what I said essentially still stands albeit with a much heavier emphasis on the reserving final judgement until such time as these additional changes are revealed. The worrying point in the statement above -- which has been repeated in another thread; I think the voting one although I unfortunately didn't see it until I had already cast my vote -- is the reluctance to add additional complexity to the system. This I would assume would also cover things like dealing with counterattack for first time a unit is attacked per round and other such things which increase the need to think about what you're doing and when with whom.

I don't wish to suggest that a player should require some sort of mystic codex to understand the workings of the tactical battle system, but some additional complexity would be muchly appreciated and highly engaging. If it is going to stay in a state much similar to the current; don't bother.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
March 6, 2012 5:16:17 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

This is starting to feel like what we experienced a year ago. Your plate fills up and everything slides to the " Short Fix" side of things.

The game is looking good, do not lose focus this time !!!. Windoblinds or whatever can wait. Screw this up and I know you lost one forever. all aspects of your software business will receive my greatest scorn !!

 

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
March 6, 2012 8:33:19 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

How much are you willing to play with the lore, now that you have hired fantasy writers? I was one of the people that feel the races need to be more distinct and different. But honestly, that goes beyond abilities. The races, especially for the kingdoms, all look the same. It is boring and difficult to tell them apart. I wish you would strongly consider redo all of their art, giving them things like different height (dwarves, gnomes, halfings), pointed ears (elves), tails, body types, and whatever you can dream up. This could also extend to race specific clothes. For example, the Ironeers, as master smiths, may have armor that looks different from Precipine's faction.

 

I realize this may be difficult, since you have already published books about this world. But I think making a good game is more important. Is this a change that could be considered within the scope of your "design principles"?

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
March 6, 2012 9:11:02 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Interesting...

Though tactical battles are already a part of the game I don't want to play because it's broken right now :/ 

Tactical battles should help you win Though, you can't either be a master of strategy without any tactical skills, killing main armies of a player in tactical should be an open path to victory. But if you still have the possibility, without any armies, you should be able to reverse the current of the strategic play with powerful spellif if available to you ! I.E. Making the path to your main city inaccessible with walls of earth (I still hate the stupid create mountain spell !) or by teleporting the army back to their own capital, making them much weaker to be able to defeat that marching city, etc. same for computer player.

I'm curious as to what will be done to balance both strategically and tactically.

Differencing the races can be done in many different way and again, curiosity come over me when I think about what will be done.

Finally, city management... Well, I really don't know why should city management change that much except including a "food" resource and poeple starving / working better following the amount of food available, I don't see what else can be done? Maybe extension of the territory ? I don't know, city mangement seems pretty good, what's hard to manage right now are the different research trees, because as of right now, I dont see how anybody can win without first spending a lot of seasons in the city building tree, if you don't expand that research, you just go nowhere by focusiniron magic or warfare only... Maybe it's my playstyle, I don't know, but managing the research trees is way too hard without researching city developement :/ I feel like you just go nowhere by researching warfare or magic only and it's too hard! Shouldnt the player be able to make a choice and stick with it until the tree is complete ?

In master of magic of course, you dont have that problem, you have spells to research and it stops there ! In civ, as far as I remember, didn't play civ for decades, you have one giant tree and you just research following a Path. Again, in ascendancy you have one giant tree and you go one way or another but most the time you come back to research Smth you would like to have for your race to advance. In SOASE, the research works very well, many trees, you build stations to unlock them and it's totally possible to go one way or another without worrying too much about the other tree if you have a good playstyle following your research... But FE... WOM it was easy, magic was useless so you could just forget about researching magic, never succeeded anything with it anyway and when I tried it was WAY underpowered and useless even with the patches... Is FE the same ?

Here I feel totally lost :/ you're just forced to go in city management tree and stay there for a loooong while before thinking about going to the other trees. I don't know, research is an aspect of the game I just can't seem to master at all... Unless its the city development one.

Anyone agree ? Or can anyone help ?

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
March 6, 2012 9:12:39 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

The reason you pick tactical battle now is if you wish to use magic.  I wonder if the AI follows the same rules.

 

 

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
March 6, 2012 9:43:59 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Do you plan on adding a lot more monsters, goodies, spells, etc or is most of that already in?

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
March 6, 2012 9:50:56 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums


Will there be Steamworks support for this game too like the Sins: Rebellion?

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
March 6, 2012 10:09:06 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums


Excellent information, particularly enjoyed reading about where YOU (B.W.) stand.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
March 6, 2012 10:18:35 AM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

Quoting Frogboy,



Quoting enoeraew37,
reply 8
..there is often a disconnect between what is part of Fallen Enchantress’s design principles versus what a user thinks “needs” to be in the game.

Ok, that was pretty vague. What do you mean by design principles?

A: This would require a separate journal entry

 

Looking forward to this. When I read the forums there seems to be many ideas that would require major redesigns...sharing a clearer idea of the ultimate vision for the game might be helpful so people know where to spend their energies dreaming. 



Yea, I think it'll have to be an entry that Derek and I collaborate on since there are technical vs. design principles that come into play.

For example, the people who want really involved tactical battles. They're not going to happen. Not because we don't have time or budget but because we don't want the game to revolve around tactical battles.  That doesn't mean we won't add other elements to tactical battles, but it'll be carefully evaluated as to whether it's causing tactical battles to deviate from their relative place in the game experience.

On the other hand, something that would seemingly be a "big" change to gameplay like adding a third resource (food, materials and X) could potentially be done because that would be part of the existing design philosophy -- as long as it can be balanced because building up your civilization is a major part of the game and features that enhance that part of the design are definitely considered.

In the forums, players themselves have already discovered how much better they can make the *current* beta just by playing around with stuff.  It'll become more extreme once modding starts up (probably beta 3).  I made wholesale changes to the game this weekend just by opening up a text editor and playing with values.

Other players have observed how much better the AI suddenly becomes when it has more units to choose from to train -- i.e. the AI gets smarter the more you play the game because it makes use of what you make.  Each update we ourselves add more and more units to the game but we also want to encourage players to make the game theirs too. 

 

 

I'm not liking what I'm hearing about the Tactical battles. They should be just as important as the Stratigic part of the game.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
Stardock Forums v1.0.0.0    #108433  walnut3   Server Load Time: 00:00:00.0000343   Page Render Time: