I stopped playing beta 3 after one of the initial releases. At the time, I thought the core game mechanics were not working well together and was doubtful they could be improved enough to culminate into a good game. Thankfully, beta 4 has proved me wrong and has renewed my hope for a for FE. Now I'm going to start criticizing. After all, that's what forums are for! But, I just want to let you know I like beta 4.
I just found the item in the shop that spawns new quests. Great idea! I'd rather they spawn periodically though.
Beautiful Tactical Battle Maps
Has anyone ever seen a desert so beautiful in a game? Desert tile tactical battles are too damn pretty to look at! How can you make forests and green pastures look so ugly in comparison? Beautify them! Go full throttle on the particle effects! Show me some butterflies flapping about. Beautiful sandstorm? How about beautiful snowstorm! Show me a morning mist gently carpeting an open field. Let a drizzle nourish the hungry soil! Let heavy rain, accompanied by thunder and lightning pummel those who do not seek shelter. Let autumn leaves be carried off by a gentle wind ans the fall to the earth in a colorful blanket. If you can make a desert beautiful, imagine what can be done for other tile types.
Well, if you have time and money for such adornments.
Early Game and Monsters
At the start of a new game, I like the menace that monsters pose. They are tough little buggers alright, and force me to gather up a small army before challenging them. I am somewhat dismayed, however, at the thought of disregarding monsters once you can start training unit groups of five or more. This does not only affect monsters, but other single units as well that you can train, summon, or gain from a quest reward. I'd like to see them remain relevant and plausible threats after the early game.
Early Game and Physical Barriers
The crummiest feeling i get early game is when I scout about for new resources and settlement locations, but encounter a strong monster blocking my path at a choke point. I think the source of the problem is that the map generator spawns too many mountain tiles which, in combination with ocean tiles, create too many choke points on the map where monsters can impede progress.
Early Game and Production
Build and train times in a city starting with 4 materials feels 'right' without 'Enchanted Hammers'. A 2 material city takes much too long to build anything. I like the new city improvements and their build pace.. In contrast, training any good unit (with lots of armor) takes so long that I always feel tempted to build another improvement instead.
Initiative and Weight Capacity
I love how weight capacity limits how much armor you can stack, and how encumbering a unit with more armor reduces it's initiative. It makes sense and it punishes beefy units, which is good for balance. But what I absolutely despise are equipment that increase initiative. I do not mind the rings, but I do mind the weapons. One way of thinking about it is that it partially negates the penalty to armored units. Another way is to consider the notion of powerful wizards holding daggers and swords. I also think that the +weight capacity traits for champions should be changed to rare to make the champions who get it special.
I would like their to be more love for summoners. More technologies that unlock additional summoning spells and passive bonuses to + level of summoned units.
Odds and Ends
Edge-scrolling for tactical maps would be nice.
A visual aid to see if a tile contains one or several stacked armies.
Shouldn't all Explorers have the Stealthy trait (monsters less likely to attack) than Ironskin? It's more appropriate and it brings down the unit cost.
How do I check how many turns are left in a treaty that I signed? Good to know for non-aggresion pacts.
When offered several options for a quest reward, such as between gold or an item, I'd like to see what the item's stats are.