The Home Stretch: Have we succeeded?

By on September 28, 2012 11:13:46 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Frogboy

Join Date 03/2001
+1491

Greetings!

Yesterday we released Elemental: Fallen Enchantress BETA 5-C.  This build is our first pass at balance and UI enhancement.  

Next week we will have a BETA 5-D which will focus almost exclusively on bug fixing and balancing as well as some new AI counter-strategies so those of you who have posted your game play strategies online (foolish humans! <g>). We are reaching the home stretch.  We will also have a Beta 5-E. After that, we'll see where things stand.

Many of you have been in the beta for a very...very long time. I can't imagine the challenge it is to evaluate the game from the perspective of a typical PC gamer.  But we're going to ask you, once again, to try to do just that:

Please go to: http://www.elementalgame.com/journals and vote on your impressions of the game in your hands.

We are very excited to see what players think. 

These past two years have been wonderful. The community we have built together has been amazing and on behalf of the Stardock team, we really have enjoyed listening to your ideas, impressions and suggestions.

Like all Stardock games, 1.0 isn't the end of our journey. Even as I type, Sins of a Solar Empire: Rebellion v1.1 nears completion. Ideas and code snippets for FE expansions and successors float around. And there's some exciting things we hope to announce in the coming months.

We look forward to your opinions: 

http://www.elementalgame.com/journals 

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September 28, 2012 11:22:15 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Yep, it's excellent... er will be by release time... right? 

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September 28, 2012 11:30:30 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

If you polish up the bugs, of which there are plenty, and fix the UI issues, of which there are a few but important ones, you have an excellent game. Mechanics, content, lore/immersion. That the AI needs work with macro strategy is no surprise as the game has continuously changed up until now.

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September 28, 2012 11:35:22 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Looks very good to me, I hate the fact I am at work and not home playing it.  Bugs and balance is really all, plus game pacing.  I need to play more fo the current patch to see how that is going, but so far so good.  

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September 28, 2012 12:13:43 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Still can't stand in all the minor tedails about balance all over

So I will vote good, especially with less bugs it will be nice.
Compared to other games. (And not just comparing it to be a game in beta which I voted upon last time).

Sincerely
~ Kongdej

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September 28, 2012 12:23:28 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I think this game is great and I look forward to a more polished AI. I now have to carefully consider engagements from time to time as the outcomes are not always obvious anymore good job there. Can't wait to play the game with some of the tool that you have hidden and locked away.

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September 28, 2012 12:23:47 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Good.  Although I don't feel truly comfortable voting yet, needing more time with yesterdays update.  The base game is brilliant, and shaping up exceptionally fast as we near launch.  A few mechanics could be tied together for a much more cohesive gameplay experience, and the UI definitely needs polish.  Unfortunately these issues and a few outstanding bugs are what the general reviewers are going to notice most, as they contribute to an overall feeling of incompleteness about the game.  First impressions are everything, especially in this industry, and with this particular game.

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September 28, 2012 12:26:12 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I have been playing the latest build and I'm actually quite surprised how balanced the game is. Is it perfect, definitely not. Would someone new to the game really care, no. Good enough I guess. I mean a few more patches would be a good idea balance wise and loading still makes me crash 50% of the time, however it's pretty good. As much as I would like to see more content, and well everything, it could be released after 1-3 patches. When you get right down to it except for the crashes new players will enjoy playing this game. The AI is competitive, the world is interesting, and there are no huge game breaking balance issues. Although as an experienced player I have tons of issues with balance, new players wouldn't care about them too much.

Good Job Stardock, and keep up the good work!

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September 28, 2012 12:32:32 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

My opinions come very near those of Heavenfall's.  The game mechanics are very solid.  The presentation is imaginative.  It all holds together well, and the strategy and RPG elements don't fight one another.  I look forward to getting my hands on your modding tools.

I think one important thing to still include would be a pass-not gate to the AIs.  Either a non-aggression pack that also means no trespassing at all, or an auto-notification when it's not being honored, so you can stop it.  I'm more than a bit tired of AIs dropping cities and outposts inside my closed lines, because they can sneak past without my being aware while I'm attending to a dozen other things.  Just my point of view, mind.

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September 28, 2012 12:38:26 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I voted excellent for the first time.

 

I do think you might have slightly overdone the champ nerf, but it's slight.

 

You do need to fix up a ton of bugs and glitches, but that sounds managable right now- and I think the core game is good enough for release.

 

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September 28, 2012 12:41:42 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I can't vote and won't say.  I will say that I have a long list of things that I hope to try out after release.

The AI will always get better, especially once more players are putting up their strategies because like any game, we get better the more we play.

I also have a long list of UI requests for future updates.  Rally Points, Governors (tied into the path of the governor), etc.  

I noticed in beta 5C that you can now easily go between cities from their context window. Was happy to see that.  I'd like to see it where I can assign units a general strategy to perform in tactical (I like auto resolve but I want a bit more control over how that will go).

It's all very much like Galactic Civilizations II.  Back when we released GalCiv II, I wanted rally points, I wanted asteroid belts, I wanted more AI interaction, more tech tree differentiation, etc.  The success of Galactic Civilizations II paved the way to keep down that path.

We have a rich world here to play with here. I can't way to see what directions we, as a community / development team take it in the years ahead.

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September 28, 2012 12:48:49 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

The game truly is great.  It is awesome enough that I've devoted a lot (!!) of time to making the quest wizard.  This is a game I plan on playing for a long time (well, that and it's expansions and sequels).    

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September 28, 2012 12:49:00 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Frogboy,

We have a rich world here to play with here. I can't way to see what directions we, as a community / development team take it in the years ahead.

 

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September 28, 2012 12:51:28 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Brad, I think that this game is (a) fun, and ( much closer to complete than many games that have been released in the past, so bravo to you and the whole team...

Please however look at my "wishlist" thread to see which ones of these could possibly be implemented within the next betas...

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September 28, 2012 1:14:09 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

One thing I'll say- the better a game, the more I often complain, because going from ok to good really isn't that big of a deal, but going for great to greater is, as the number of comparables keep slipping.

 

 

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September 28, 2012 1:30:42 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

The world is a lot more dangerous in the new version. THANK YOU!! You have made it!!!

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September 28, 2012 1:37:04 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Some of the bugs and balance issues are icky, but even with them, I find myself staying up late playing 'just one more turn'. I voted good, but it is a darn fun game to play.

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September 28, 2012 1:39:02 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I dunno - Xia never got his pony. I'm gonna have to rate horrible... I jest!

I think it's great. Been around since Sep '10 and diligently following the forums ever since. All the drama around EWOM, the bug reports, etc. The product as it is today is awesome. Still some final things to wrap up but minor. Enjoy the dev interaction with the community, the extremely dedicated modders, etc. All around cool experience and the wait has been worth it. Cool community around here which keeps me around.

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September 28, 2012 1:43:38 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I have to deduct a few points for losing Umber on the way

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September 28, 2012 1:51:57 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Umber is still in there, I have Kool-Aid Khan leading an army agisnt those trog bastards right now. 

 

And yea, where the fuck is my pony?  I'll take a unicorn now.  Interest. 

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September 28, 2012 2:00:47 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

But Umber should be one of the main races. THE MAIN RACE actually. Guess they are too cool to be balanced....

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September 28, 2012 2:11:34 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting joasoze,
But Umber should be one of the main races. THE MAIN RACE actually. Guess they are too cool to be balanced....

 

It's bound to be modded in.  You know that.

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September 28, 2012 2:11:47 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

still quite a way to go with the betas to be honest:

 

  • Border drawings has a lot of bugs especially if you loose cities
  • Heroes might have a slightly more difficult starting, but you can still play without the 4x completely (i am playing a game at the moment where i just run around with my sovereign and my empire does nothing to contribute, i.e. no items bought and no combat units trained)
  • monster behavior is really strange, often you can settle next to lairs but sometimes monsters will walk from the other side of the map to destroy one of your cities.
  • too much backtracking when questing
  • starting positions need much less randomness and food is pointless in the early game (production/essence is much better)
  • the ai might be good at the 4x aspect (can not judge) but it is terrible with the rpg aspect of the game (i have a lvl 30 sov, and they have lvl 8 or so) and since the rpg aspect is so much more powerful the ai is a pushover (on challenging)
  • lots of early tactical spells are useless (besides just making heroes even more powerful), wheres some late tactical spells make any enemy army obsolete, especially with the amount of items/traits that give +x% spell damage.
  • militias are pointless
  • experience from monsters is much higher than from armies

 

i would like to have a testing beta where you remove sovereigns and champions so we could see if the 4x aspect of the game is decent. currently i play a rpg where the only threat/challenge are monsters and wildlands.

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September 28, 2012 2:14:02 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums


The team has done a wonderful job getting this game ready for release.  Beta 5-C is heads & shoulders above were things were just a month ago.

Please take the time to eliminate as many of the bugs reported in the forums before release as possible.

I would also like to second Heavenfall's comment about the importance of UI. 

IMHO the number one thing that has kept me from buying/enjoying games is a UI that gets in the way of the fun.

 

 

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September 28, 2012 2:34:24 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I make my own Umber.  And I use the Capitar peoples, Mancers, as my Yoren nation race.  Although I have a hard time not picking Men since they get henchmen.  

Urxen race has that bonus for having groups of 5 or larger.  Not sure if it's useful or not.

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September 28, 2012 2:36:09 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I have voted Excellent, because i am sure that as soon as the spells are balanced the game will be amazing

I lost four games on expert today, because i tried to win them with a single melee Sovereign. Great work

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