Frustratingly hard!!!! - even on easy. Please fix

By on May 14, 2012 4:23:00 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums


Join Date 08/2010

Since 0.913 the game has been getting more difficult to play. I used to play on "normal" now I getting steamrolled on easy. I am finding it impossible in most games to create more than one city as there is no where to build. The strong monsters keep me pinned into a small area. However, enemy factions seem to build outposts right next door to strong monster lairs without any problems. SO they obviously do not suffer from same restrictions.


With just one city I cannot generate sufficient wealth or research to keep up with other players. Before you know it I start being found by other factions who then open up a dialogue  "you are weak pay us 300 gold to build a economic highway". I haven't got anywhere near that amount of money so the very next message is, prepare to die. Other factions quickly join in and my civ goes down the gurgler.


Now I can accept I am useless player. But I am playing this on easy, and I am playing this to be enjoyable and to have a challenge that I feel I can surmount. At the moment I am getting into frustration level quite quickly because I don't feel I have control over my own destiny -  My fun is determined by my placing on the map, the resources in the area and the existence strong wandering monsters.


I thought I could fix the problem by using a lush planet so that there would be more build areas, but no - I still cannot build anywhere.


Someone should write up a strategy guide because I haven't figured out how to excel at the latest versions of the game.


For me the builds before and including 0.912 gave me the greatest fun factor. Since then each of the two releases have had some fun sucked out.


ps: I love this game I have played more hours on this that Civ 5 and Civ 4 combined.

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May 14, 2012 4:44:27 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Just a quick tip: Get a warrior Sov and do all fighting with him. Don't add a champion to his army.

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May 14, 2012 5:12:15 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

To blow my own horn, check my After-Action-Report "No restores, Ridiculous AI, large map, dense monsters" in this forum.  You can see how a single city survives against ridiculous AIs and dense monsters.  The sovereign picked a profession when the point counter was at 0, but the profession is "Diplomat"  and he is not using it, so the strategies will work.

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May 14, 2012 5:23:56 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Hi Tuidjy

I will check out you AA report.

Usually what I do is:

1. build two pioneers (to either create outposts or cities if possible)

2. Keep my Sov by himself to run around collecting everything in sight and maybe unlock one champ.

3. the champ does same thing on their own

4. build to grow my city

5. research - shard mining

By then other civs are way more advanced and kick my arse.

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May 14, 2012 5:29:03 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Play on easy with dense resources and sparse monsters. It should help alot. I will see if I can get a video tutorial up at some point.

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May 14, 2012 5:46:07 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Sorry that you are finding it so difficult. I feel like every patch has come with a note that says "Made higher difficulty levels harder and easier levels easier." So I think they are looking to address just what you are talking about.

The monsters failing to agro against the AIs is a huge issue with the current game.  It essentially breaks the game, but I can't help but feel that what we're seeing is AI development in progress.  The monsters are eventually going to agro against everyone, but right now the AI cannot handle it.  So this is the alternative to having the game end on turn 10 because all the AI players were killed by monsters.

re: strategy

My experience so far is that, especially with the medium and higher level monsters, they wont agro unless you build on their nest.  So my starting strategy is to just to avoid messing with the big guys.  Unless I'm very unlucky, there isn't anything outrageously dangerous next to it.  And I just march my sov around looking for fights and running away from fights I cannot win.

The thing to keep in mind is that your sov, unless he's built as a fighter, cannot take much damage to start with.  You want to stay back and blast.  (That means that mana in the early game is precious.)  Until you have some meat shields (or good armor), you're going to want to avoid picking fights with armies with multiple units.  If you're having trouble with dieing early against low-level monsters, try the attribute that starts you with a couple bandits.

You should probably also be popping out a pioneer or two from your first city and going out and grabbing resources or founding a second city.  I drop my taxes down to zero (or "low" if I want some cash on hand).  That should speed up research and production.

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May 14, 2012 6:10:06 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I've found that normal can be tough for some sovereigns and starting locations. Both 0.913 and 0.914 force me to adapt my play style but I agree that the game got noticeably tougher. At times it is frustratingly so.

Now I only build 1 pioneer then I build a workshop to help boost production before building a second pioneer. Depending on the starting location it may be better to start by building militia.

The first thing I do when I found a city is cast the inspiration spell. It boost research by 2 point +10% for the cost of 1 mana.

I often research Civilization or Warfare techs before shard tech because they are more useful early game. Getting the wooden shield helps a lot early game. You can upgrade your militia to use a shield which significantly improves their survivability.

Depending on what mobs are around, I sometimes group my sovereign with a champion for a few kills before splitting them up

I think they have been slowly sucking the fun out of the game since beta 2. Champions and Sovereigns no longer feel powerful. Leveling up a Champion to the point where they are worth something is more of a chore that requires endless farming of monsters or another faction. Magic is anemic unless you have a key spells like Fireball and multiple shards.

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May 14, 2012 6:21:01 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I am loving these suggestions. I will have to give them a go tonight when I get home.

The game is in beta and I expect that it will continue to change however, I feel it is important that there is also feedback from players who aren't hardcore.  I play to have fun and want a certain level of challenge. At the moment I feel that, even on easy levels, you need to balance everything just right in order to get beyond a certain point.


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May 14, 2012 7:44:35 PM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

Well, happy to see that AI has risen from patches to patches. Truly, monster AI is getting good and they can sometimes rock me at the beginning. But still, I only play on challenging AI and faction AI is far from par. Actually, if I can pass the initial expansion phase without getting destroyed by monsters, it's easy to clear the map even in challenging. The big issue now is to improve faction AI. Challenging difficulty should be a real challenge. The other problem is that you have no other option then to destroy all factions on your path. You're right, there isn't a lot of place to expand most of the time, and I often find that taking enemy cities is the only way to get a third or a fourth city.... Factions should start with close borders too. That way, AI won't pass thru your territory to settle all around you, forcing you to an early war.These facts remove all the pleasure to conduct diplomacy with other factions. Why would I want to make trade with that friendly neighbourg when he builds an outpost in my courtyard.


Frankly, I like the way the game is evolving but won't play again before beta 4, when city changes and AI gets a major overhaul. Can't wait for the game to get gold: it's not that far seing the way it progressed in beta but lot of little and less little things need to be adressed before the game rises to the new reference of the genre.

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May 15, 2012 4:11:09 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Excellent Suggestions from Sweatyboatman (Reply #5), and Zygwen (Reply #6) ! 

I am also one of the folks who has been annoyed by how difficult it was to find any  *FUN*  on the Beginner and Easy levels, since v0.913 and v0.914 have come out.  The good news is, that of the two games I have completed (won) since v0.913, my second one went far better than the first one.  This was partly because I also discovered (by painful experience) several of the suggestions made by Sweatyboatman and Zygwen above.  A second reason, is that I really held out for a significantly better starting location in my second game -- something I previously never worried about.  After loading a new game, I now suggest hitting   [ctrl] [n] , as many times as it takes, to be confident that you have a solid starting point.  Of course, even that recourse doesn't guarantee a great location (because you can only see so far), but still, this has now become almost a must-do action. 

Two other thoughts:  At present you really have to throw out any pre-conceptions that E:FE is a traditional 4X game.  The first two X's have been seriously altered!  EXpansion (city spamming, and even my prefered course: outpost spamming) has been drastically crippled; and even EXploration has been significantly hampered.  You just have to pick and choose your early battles with extreme care; pretty much tip-toe around dangerous areas on the map; and expand only as fast as you can seriously protect your settlements, with garrisoning units.  Also, try to use the concept of "interior lines" in so far as possible; by shuttleing a fast champion (or cavalry unit) back and forth between vulnerable settlements.

The second thought is a paraphrase of something I read a while back in another thread (sorry I can't acknowledge the person who said it!)  That is: you really can't fall in love with any version of the Beta, during this process, because the very next update may remove/cripple/destroy the very features that you like best at a given point.  E:FE is evolving rapidly during this process, and sometimes altering drastically; and your own strategies will have to evolve just as rapidly and drastically. 

Whether or not you can find any  *FUN*  during this period is an open question.  Frankly, just as Galahorn is suggesting, you may want to take a break from the Beta, during the "worst" periods.  (I have done that once too!)  Finally, if there are any features that you just love at this point, I would urge you to identify them in the Discussion thread I started: on Features/Improvements that you REALLY LIKE in Beta 3.  Maybe, then, Stardock won't be as likely to ruin those aspects of the game, that you do enjoy ...  I still have faith Stardock will get this (mostly) right, by the end; but it is going to be an ugly/nasty/bloody process, before they get to that end-point  ...

Oh, yes, and Tuidjy's Discussion thread is excellent too!  (See his Reply #2, above.)    

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