Fallen Enchantress - Faction Differentiation

By on March 12, 2012 8:38:04 PM from JoeUser Forums JoeUser Forums

Frogboy

Join Date 03/2001
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The Beta 2 series of Fallen Enchantress is where we begin to introduce the bread and butter differences between the different factions.  Beta 2-B, which, I’m sad to say, won’t be out until at least the 22nd, will reintroduce players to Magnar and Gilden.   We’ll be talking a lot about the differences in an upcoming journal.

Broadly speaking, each faction will receive unique equipment, weapons, armor, items, improvements and abilities.  While most of our focus will be on making each faction distinct in how you play, we will be working to make them visually different as well. A Wraith city will look different from a Trog city which will look different from a Krax city and so on.

In the meantime, let us know which faction you tend to play as the most and how you would like to see them differentiated from the others. What would make them feel special to you?

Vote here:

http://www.elementalgame.com/journals

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March 13, 2012 11:29:46 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

You know... I was going to vote but I realized, I have no idea who is who. I play "evil blue girl", but I cant remember the faction name. That's how uninteresting they are.

Put elves and orcs into the game, there's your 90+ metacritic imo.

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March 13, 2012 11:36:53 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I play a custom faction 100% of the time, but I use Magnar as the base for my favorites.  I think that visual differences will be a significant benefit, but also the different equipment/summons/buildings are important to really cement that each faction is unique.   I for one will always play a custom faction as that just appeals to me the most, but I love playing against the distinct factions and "knowing" what they bring to the table.

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March 13, 2012 11:36:58 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Galwinganoon,
I think you refer to them as Resolyn if you're trying to be diplomatic and not say "those crazy, magic-fueled monsters from the east."  

We are USA-ians.

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March 13, 2012 11:39:10 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I dispute Gilden as being lawful good unless they bribed their way into the corner.  Since when have bankers ever been good at anything besides taking your money?

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March 13, 2012 11:40:23 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting BernieTime,
I dispute Gilden as being lawful good unless they bribed their way into the corner.  Since when have bankers ever been good at anything besides taking your money?

 

+1 

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March 13, 2012 11:41:24 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

That pic really makes me wish there were 3 alignments, including neutral. Instead of the black and white approach with life/death. That's a choice I don't like since I would choose a neutral faction most of the time.

Neutral could get some utility from both life and death but without their most powerful stuff.

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March 13, 2012 12:38:51 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Frogboy,
We are USA-ians.

I'm not taking that bait...  The Department of Homeland Security would probably come after me.  

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March 13, 2012 12:43:10 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I'm not sure I am entirely pleased with this whole change of heart. I've read Frogboy stating several times that kingdoms vs. empires wasn't good vs. evil (it sounded more like 'idealism vs. pragmatism', 'survival values vs. tradition values', etc.); The relationship between Capitar and Tarth was interesting in that it showed there was no correlation between faction and morality.

Having the kingdoms occupy the upper-left half and the empires occupy the lower-left one is a strange decision, and a big step backwards. It also has the sort of unintentional unfortunate implications that Extra Credits spends so much time criticizing, and that makes me quite uncomfortable...

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March 13, 2012 12:54:51 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

People seem to think that Gilden are the "bankers" of Elemental. In fact, they are the miners and builders. A society based on order. They are also ravaged by greed. They are the True Lawful from my perspective. That level of production and architectural mastery is something only a very ordered society could achieve. And yet, the thirst for ore, not gold specifically, is almost a compulsion for the Ironeers. They have a history of aggressively attacking their neighbors in search for iron and gold and crystal. Maybe they have a negative relations with close borders to emulate this? They should be the most efficient at all kinds of mining. I also think it would be nice to give them especially powerful bows, the best weapon for defensive battles on high castle walls. Obviously they are a tall builder. Slow growth outside of a few cities makes the most sense here. They should be skilled at attacking neighbors and capitalizing on an already large population if they want to expand past a few large cities. To Gilden, ore is power, everything else is merely a road to ore.

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March 13, 2012 1:55:52 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting seanw3,
People seem to think that Gilden are the "bankers" of Elemental. In fact, they are the miners and builders. A society based on order. They are also ravaged by greed. They are the True Lawful from my perspective. That level of production and architectural mastery is something only a very ordered society could achieve. And yet, the thirst for ore, not gold specifically, is almost a compulsion for the Ironeers. They have a history of aggressively attacking their neighbors in search for iron and gold and crystal. Maybe they have a negative relations with close borders to emulate this? They should be the most efficient at all kinds of mining. I also think it would be nice to give them especially powerful bows, the best weapon for defensive battles on high castle walls. Obviously they are a tall builder. Slow growth outside of a few cities makes the most sense here. They should be skilled at attacking neighbors and capitalizing on an already large population if they want to expand past a few large cities. To Gilden, ore is power, everything else is merely a road to ore.

Agree.  I think Gilden's pros and cons should be something like this:

Techs:  Civilization +20% research times, Warfare +10% research times, Magic -10% research times

Resources:  Mines +20% production, Camps -10% production

Weapons:  weapons created by Gilden do +1 damage or 33% more ignore defense

Armor:  armor created by Gilden provides +1 defense or weighs 33% less

Cities:  +10% faster build times, -10% growth, can build walls starting at lower city levels

Battles:  armies have -1 initiative, -10% magic resistance

Shops:  allow you to sell ore for gold

Unique techs: 

Goldsmithing: allows creation of gold-based weapons and armor

Metallurgy:  shops provide ore in addition to gold when selling weapons or armor

Unique buildings:

Mint:  mines produces +1 gildar

Engineering Hut:  visiting champions can learn/upgrade the Administrator trait one level

Unique traits:

Thickskinned:  troops have +1 defense per unit, +1 constitution

 

 

 

 

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March 13, 2012 2:19:50 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums


I pictured Pariden as Lawful Good.

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March 13, 2012 2:24:38 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

At last a good news for FE since a long time IMHO.

This was much needed, I like the direction it's going thank you for this idea and update Frogboy

I personally play resoln and I like the way it is going with them

I still hope for different mounts for each race and general creature associated with the race anpossibility monsters who will join only a certain alignment like they will join only neutral or only chaotic. Just an idea.

I hope youll continue on this path ! Great job !

After this and a big fix for crash, I hope you guys will make sure tactical Battles are great (dreaming of city battles)

Then I really want to see more with spells and how they affect a battle and how they affect the world, to be able reshape it correctly.

Anyway, thanks a lot for your dedicated work !

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March 13, 2012 2:29:21 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Growth needs to be handled more delicately. The optimal solution I have found is a Capital Bonus of +4, Making Tower of Dominion +3, and making Inns and Pubs be replaced with faction specific buildings that do not increase growth. So now Gilden is forced to rely on Prestige and Tower of Dominion for growth. You can have one city get to level 5 in the early game or two cities get there by the midgame. But trying to expand past that means cities that will never grow; mining colonies if you will. Now, because they will have so few production queues, they should get huge multipliers for both production per material and production per population, as mqpiffle was telling me he has been experimenting with. That should increase the base production.

Their unique faction buildings should reduce the labor costs of units and buildings. In my mod, Lumbermill and Mason each do -25% labor for buildings. Perhaps the maximum reduction for Gilden should be -80%, meaning their faction building reduces labor by 30% for units and buildings. Of course it all depends on the max amount of reductions that are currently available in the core game. This is why I find the administrator trait intrusive to the game balance. It takes up 25% of building time reduction, preventing balanced buildings from a total of 45% of bonuses, assuming that the devs want no more than an 80% reduction. Anything more and the buildings become freebies. 

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March 13, 2012 2:45:35 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

In the lawful / chaotic spread, wouldn't "pragmatic" be a better term for the in-between than "neutral", especially since 'neutral' is between good & evil.  Then Resolin could be "pragmatic neutral" instead of "true neutral" (which I assume the chose because "neutral neutral" would be too tacky).

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March 13, 2012 2:47:17 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Please add two more things to your differentiation of factions: faction-specific units and faction-specific magic. I feel that those two things will do more to differentiate the factions than all the stat bonuses and buildings in the world.

 

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March 13, 2012 3:11:01 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I guess I've semi-accepted that due to its nature FE can never really have the depth of faction differentiation other games in the genre have. The problems are:

1. FE is based around a paper-doll unit design system and to have visually unique units for factions would be a hell of a lot of work creating art assets. Personally I would have preferred to drop the unit design system and just have a selection of units to choose from for each faction - but that aint about to happen now.

2. The world lore is not instinctively known. We all know how to play elves, orcs, werewolves, vampires, undead etc and we can immediately accept and empathise who and what they are without needing any other information. In FE the factions are really just different shades of the same race with the differences not part of our cultural heritage. This makes differentiation all the more difficult. I agree with Magog's comments above about adding known races but once again that isn't going to happen now unless modders like Heavenfall or Seanw3 mod them in.

3. The tech tree with its unit grouping levels and new armour and weapons makes underlying personalisation much more difficult and changing this would make balance exponentially difficult. By this I mean that the real personalisation in FE comes via the tech tree as specific items. Most other games have stock equipment and tech advances add to the stats for weapons and armour rather than adding new items. Once again, I'd have preferred a game where the tech tree was ditched or much simpler.

 

I guess the only real possibility for dramatic personalisation, the type that means something and defines the factions, will come via unique buildings for factions that add unique higher-powered fantasy units that circumvent the above three underlying causes. This would allow a selection of unique units, similar to the current mechanic of Ogre Camps etc but they would need to be made for each faction and should be available relatively early on as buildings as cities level up.

Brad, is this what you mean when you want suggestions?

For example:

Tarth Hunter Hall: City level 2 building: Allows unlimited troops of 7 Lizardmen skirmishers armed with Javelins (range 5) and swords. Move 2 through swamps.

Tarth Serpent Pit: City level 3 building: Allows 3 troops of 3 serpents to be built at the city. Moves 4 and 4 through swamps. Poison 3.

etc.

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March 13, 2012 3:45:17 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I thought Capitar seemed like Lawful Evil bankers and slave owners to me.  I think Gilden are miners, right?  Are they bankers too or is that idea from their flag?

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March 13, 2012 4:20:33 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Stupidity10,
Strange lack of people talking about their favourite faction and how to make them great. Strange because there is like 10 posts just about that.

Instead everyone is obsessing over Frogboys fun little picture, which I assume has no real impact on the game at all.

 

Its probably because they don't know HOW to make them great. Currently there is not enough to go on with faction back story or elemental lore in general, and gameplay wise they all play and look similar. Diplomacy and relations between the factions are also very poor, with the exception of Kraxis whom are reported to be traitorous. So other than that its another "blank data point".

I think currently people are waiting to see where stardock takes faction differentiation before they can truely put in their ideas on how to make their faction truly "great". I am certainly waiting to see where SD goes witrh this before I try to generate any ideas as well, since I like to base my ideas off canon material.

I generally play as Altar, Pariden and Resolyn. And currently I don't know I would make either three of these better. And I use Altar as a base for my custom faction.

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March 13, 2012 4:44:19 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Nathikal,
I feel the greatest differentiation comes from the domains. Each sovereign, each faction, has its own views on what the land should look like. Not all of the empires would want to make the world a blackened wasteland, not every kingdom a land of ponies and rainbows. Let some factions spread icy tundras, horizon-spanning deserts, cover the world in trees, create vast swamps, sweeping plains, chaotic nightmares, etc. The domains can be purely cosmetic, but it would be cool for each faction to have its own domain - let us truly shape Elemental to be in our image.

Altar would be the default kingdom, I think. Snowy Pariden, tree-covered Tarth...perhaps Ceresa and her death-worshippers live in a twisted nightmare-world that drips molten darkness, and Magnar thrives in the default empire. Krax would be barren and harsh, while Gilden would thrive with mountains and hills.

 

  Because I am such a visual person, I would most prefer to see the faction differentiation.  To alter the cities or surrounding land for each faction would be awesome.  While the kingdom versus empire land and building differences are already a start, I would ideally like to see some differentiation in the city's buildings.

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March 13, 2012 5:17:14 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Polistes,
Its probably because they don't know HOW to make them great. Currently there is not enough to go on with faction back story or elemental lore in general, and gameplay wise they all play and look similar. Diplomacy and relations between the factions are also very poor, with the exception of Kraxis whom are reported to be traitorous. So other than that its another "blank data point".

Fair point, in my post I mostly talk about my vision of Umbar as a team.

Even if people don't want to go into specifics they can still outline bonuses and strategies that they believe their favourite teams should be good at.

For example I use the existing lore about the Urxen to show my vision of Umber as a savage and populous nation, a race of survivors with a well ordered internal scoiety but always looking for room to expand at the expense of their neighbours. Lacking in physical strength and research they use numbers, unique monsters, poisons and curses to bring down powerful foes like elite Troggs, Gilden knights or Altair champions.

Quoting Gammit10,
Because I am such a visual person, I would most prefer to see the faction differentiation. To alter the cities or surrounding land for each faction would be awesome. While the kingdom versus empire land and building differences are already a start, I would ideally like to see some differentiation in the city's

I would much rather we see a difference in thier playstyles, units and strategies than in the looks of their land and cities.

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March 13, 2012 5:23:00 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting KingHobbit,

I pictured Pariden as Lawful Good.

Pariden is lawful good as long as you do as they say.  They are definitely lawful. Good, Neutral and evil are points of view obviously.

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March 13, 2012 5:26:01 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Gammit10,

 

  Because I am such a visual person, I would most prefer to see the faction differentiation.  To alter the cities or surrounding land for each faction would be awesome.  While the kingdom versus empire land and building differences are already a start, I would ideally like to see some differentiation in the city's buildings.

 

You're going to get both. SEE and PLAY.

For...example...ONE of the faction gains population by defeating people on the battlefield. That is, non-champions who fall on the battlefield (who are sentient) become slaves and are added to their population.

Another faction can claim land via magic rather than having to build outposts.  

We''re not looking to pepper each faction with a hundred little things but rather have a handful of big obvious things. 

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March 13, 2012 5:41:15 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

First: I am very happy because of the goals.

 

And some idea:

Yes, these nations are new. So it is very difficult to distinguish between them. We don't know them. But if they were elves, orcs, dwarfs . . . the developers wouldn't inquire about our ideas. With the ideas of the community i hope they will make very interesting factions. But in this case they can't miss an important thing. They have to make a story for each faction which explain their culture, behevior, history, lore. We need this to feel them realy unique. Maybe a short intro video for each faction would help (and a description of course).

 

So about my conceptions:

(We got some lore in WoM and I try to follow that impressions)

Gilden: Do you know the massive stone buildings of Dragon Age 2, or the Skyrim dwemer style? I could imagine similar architecture. The armor and weaponary could follow the viking style mixed with the heviest medieval armors.

Altar: I feel them the most typical highmedieval kingdom in a fantasy world. The original kingdom architecture was for them. The armystyle must follow this as well. Heavy knights and peasants with spears. Plumes on helmet and lances for charge. They could use crossbow as well. (Heroes V - Haven faction)

Capitar: Are they the snobs? I think they can be missed out if the goal is 9 faction. They can be mixed into Pariden.

Pariden: They are the most educated and the most talented at magic (good side). Their buildings could wear the mark of the ancient greek architecture, or could be very airy. They could have use units with limited magic (for example healers). They could mix the medieval and ancient greek style military.

Thar: Their strenght is their adaptatibility to the nature. They live in wooden cities. They prefer light weapons and armor. 

Kraxis: I feel them close to the byzantines with some dark flavour. The military could have some roman influence. 

 

And i have to sleep. 

 

 

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March 13, 2012 6:08:12 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums


Yes, these nations are new. So it is very difficult to distinguish between them. We don't know them. But if they were elves, orcs, dwarfs . . . the developers wouldn't inquire about our ideas. With the ideas of the community i hope they will make very interesting factions. But in this case they can't miss an important thing. They have to make a story for each faction which explain their culture, behevior, history, lore. We need this to feel them realy unique. Maybe a short intro video for each faction would help (and a description of course).

+1 I completely agree with this, and the suggestion.

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March 13, 2012 6:27:04 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Istari,

 The main area that designers get into trouble in, is where they try too much to equate abilities between factions. For example, good factions get horse mounts, whilst evil factions get wargs. While this is not necessarily bad, when it is over done it just makes the player feel like they're playing the same factions but in different colours. The way it should be done is, for example, let one race build 'sky-bridges' between their cities, but don't try to give any other faction an equivalent 'teleport' or 'quick transport' option to balance it out. Instead, give each race their own non-equivalent advantage that the other races don't get, such as a remote 'nuke' type option for one race, a city forcefield for another, in-map and in-battle cannibalism to create stronger units for another race, every unit has a default magical ranged attack for a particular race, etc. etc.


There should be numerous unique advantages such as the above mentioned for each race. I think this more than anything else will keep players coming back for more, as they experiment with combinations and tactics that can only be employed uniquely by each race.
 Cheers.

thats very well said, and the best way to make differentiation fun, in short: very powerful and different abilities.

allthough id like to add that different units do wonders in terms of diffrent feel (even if they dont add a ton to different gameplay), its about immersion, getting sucked in, and in that matter we just need very diffrently apearing arsenal. Just think MoM..gigantic turtles, gloomy dark elves, short halflings...

battle realms may be one example, anotherone would be Starcraft: extremely different abilities, blanced out by finetweeking (this sort of thing does require alot of balancing wich is probably the biggest downside, but hey, u have lots of beta testers, and finetuning can be done after release aswell )

aaaand, good vs eutral vs evil IS a very good thing in my opinion , so keep that idea

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