Hello FE Community! I've been following the development of the Elemental Games since they were first announced. Disappointed with everyone else with WOM's initial release and reception. Tried it out myself (to my extreme consternation) was entirely lost. Just purchased FE the other day after watching some playthroughs on youtube and pouring through the posts. There's been some extreme overhauls!! I can actually see FE becoming what it was I imagined it could.
So, what am I doing here?
I'm not new to the genre by any means and I'm not completely an Elemental virgin. But I thought for the sake of development, that I would play my first game through the lens of someone that doesn't know any better. Placing aside as many inherent intuitive notions I've gained over the years and the collective insights I've gained from following this community, I jumped in.
And here's what I witnessed.
First thing in, I hit up the tutorials. Just for the sake of checking them out, and because WOM didn't have them initially. First impression: the UI was /significantly/ improved. Dare I say, pleasant to interact with (upon first blush). The directions were clear and straightforward. I did notice that the screen-captures that were instructing me where to click were outdated; I could see buttons in places that were not reflected in the tutorial. -- my only critical comment regarding this experience. I didn't play it all the way though -- I got too impatient to play! -- so I resigned after maybe 20 turns.
THE FIRST GAME
...was incredibly short-lived!
Allow me to explain.
Setting up the game was an unintimidating process. I liked that the deeper tweaking was hidden under the surface (in the realm of Custom faction creation) and that if I was a real noob, I could just click on some pretty pictures, click 'next' a time or two, and be on my way. I left everything on their default settings, because I imagined that this is what most introductory folks might do.
AAaaaand, POOF, I'm in the world! Oh, lots of stuff to read.... time to play! Oh, I was so excited! Awesome gfx, an untouched land ready to conquer! Sick. My sov was placed near a black widow, so, because I know I've gotta be pretty bad ass (I've got a beard!) and I should probably clear the area before I build a city (so I thought!) I attacked the thing.... I.... had been mistaken.
Gameover. ("Defeat by Conquest" -- lol)
Surprising to most of you, this was not something made completely explicit to me. (Warning -- I'm cheating by admitting I relied on previously acquired information!) I knew that Champions came back upon death in combat. Nothing anywhere told me that game over was when your sov got whacked! (Although I imagine for most any strategy vet, this would be expected, I'm pretending I'm not such a vet!) I feel that the tutorial should have at least said something to this affect.
Alright, you dust yourself off and get right back on!!
THE SECOND GAME
Spoiler: I'm not dead yet. I got better.
So again, default settings all the way, and POOF! I'm there again. Sitting on some greenish/purpleish land with stuff all around me. Got some iron, got some shards, looks like a champion over there. From what I've heard, unlike in Civ, you're supposed to have time to run around a little before settling your first city. So I did! Whacked some easy mobs, grabbed myself a nice hunk of Champion, looted some loot aaaaandd..... uh oh. I can't find any grain. Double uh-oh... what are those lines over there... ... that's an outpost! Hi, creepy-ugly-man! You sure got busy! So I rushed back and grabbed some (I think?) decent-enough land to settle right as another outpost went up nearby. From another creepy-lookin Empire thug.
Okay. So I guess there still is a bit of a land-rush that's supposed to happen. Now I know this!
My city is now level 2, but I haven't been able to level my sov much because all the baddies are only giving me like, 2xp each, and I'm too afraid to risk attacking much else because of my first game! I'm working on some better pokey-sticks to further my military to clear out the AIs that are near me. I'd like some breathing room plz! And I've got an outpost of my own now (woot!).
As I continue playing, I intend on updating this. But these are the thoughts that have arrisen thus far.
-- What land is good land?? (There's a good post out there already about this by MalSqueek here http://forums.elementalgame.com/420050)
-- I feel trapped by the sudden (within 20 seasons) abundance (3 empires in my vicinity) of land competitors on the default settings. Maybe tweak these standard settings?
-- What gives me more mana? My mana production increased when I built a temple on a shard, so I'm assuming there is a connection ( ) but there was nothing that told me this. Maybe when I mouse-over my mana supply, it could tell me where it's coming from? And also maintain an account of the spells that require mana-upkeep? More meticulous mana management, methinks might make more mighty men. Maybe?
-- I hope my wife learns to love me loving this game!
(I'm sure I've got more thoughts hiding around up there! But I gotta go!)
Your thoughts on my thoughts are appreciated.