The game is too easy (challenging)

By on October 30, 2012 2:51:14 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

ntino

Join Date 10/2012
+2

unlike most players, I think this game is too easy, or at least it seems to be easy to abuse the system, while the only way for the AI to overcome player abuse is by insane bonuses that might make the game frustrating on further difficulties.

I have not played any Beta.

I started my first game challenging/challenging because I read in a couple of games this was a difficult difficulty and the rest are even harder. No custom race -  Tarth was used, I think medium sized map and 4 opponents? I didn't know how to play at all so at first I didn't understand what was going on other than using heroes - I watched some u-tube video that explained resources in cities - I was set after that.

I realized that this race is considered overpowered by most - after reading some posts but at the same time its not as good as making a custom race which is what most power players will do.

The problem with the game stems from the fact that while making cities and developing them as well as building pioneers - the only use I found for them so far is ROADS - which are way overpowered! especially with Tarth. You can sneak in a pioneer somewhere and have an instant elevator into enemy territory!  I didn't realize how to build roads at first but having them pop automatically is just silly.

On to the problem - I was able to steamroll the AI easily without making a single unit, just from recruiting heroes, quests and taming a couple of beasts. There is just no balance between units you can recruit - already leveled up and units you can build and have to research many techs to build - I am on turn 88 and The AI while having built up its cities with everything available had very poor units that were no match for mine.

I never researched anything in the military tree and never recruited high level heroes - I only have 4 one out of which is a merchant sitting in my capitol. 

I dont think it makes sense to continue with this game - I only met 2 AIs one has a score of 22, other HAD a score of 60 - now 20 after losing their stuff to me.

I must say I did play with saves and reloads but did not abuse the system - simply because I did not know how strong units are etc.

Before I get flamed - I understand that I did not perhaps play on the right settings, but at the same time I really did not understand much about the game so I don't think I did well at all given the 88 turns  (first pioneer I built was just wondering around while I was desperately trying to understand why I cannot settle anything - among the 100s useless popups, couldnt they have one pop up when you build your first pioneer saying something like "you must look for new lands to settle, most cannot be settled, etc" 

On to the things that are just wrong:

*this game is totally not intuitive for a new player, could just be me though.

*Map is big but "empty" simply because all these lairs are "just another lair". Individual tiles dont matter  - if you have a game that allows stacking, you should make every tile in the game count! - I really dont see why make everything be 1-2-3-4-5 on one tile - that gives you either very poor or every overpowered cities - this could seem relatively minor but at the same time the game experience suffers from that - you just dont get that feeling "MY CITY IS BADDASS" because you know the AI always gets a 5-4-2 location(at least it did for its cities in my game) - you could take cities out, replace them with forts that can be enchanted and can purchase units for gold and do away with the city mess the way it is now, leave pioneers for outposts and improvements!

*if this is you vs environment type game then why the hell no one attacks your cities for the first 70 turns- AI understandably cant get to you, and once you clear out the NPCs(and you really want to do that since you need the xp, items,gold)

*Also, whats up with all the useless artifacts and why you never get gold as victory spoils? its totally useless having all those 100032 items non of which feels special - wolf/bear pelts to sell?! come on, why make it more complicated.

*Combat feels unbalanced simply because they are trying to balance it within a huge system of units having anywhere from 2 to 200HP. Why not make things a little more simple akin to civ or MOM? - you can have a lot of fun with unit design even if a unit is never more than 30hp - just make it more varied with abilities and perks not stupid meaningless numbers. 

I dont think combat is totally bad but rather than being focused, its all over the place - feels like 2-3 different people worked on this separately and then just meshed up their ideas.

*I almost did not use any magic even though I have magic casters - the balance of mana cost to easy of getting manage to spells to benefit in combat is just not right. You want to have spells in the system and you want people that play a mage use them every battle- just make the caster weaker in other ways - you simply cannot use spells that cost 15 mana every battle when your income of mana is 1-5 a turn.

*City buildings are very "stat-oriented" rather than flavor oriented - you just have 5 buildings all doing the same thing for one of the stats with different names to them !?

*I really like the fact that you have techs that unlock abilities - thats very good in a game like this BUT I feel some are not well balanced in the grand scheme of things.

*it is completely and utterly stupid that should you want to play a military faction or a magic oriented one you still need to research a lot of the civic techs right away simply to be able to research the other stuff - this is not CIV. There should be different research points for the different tech trees based on how you play - shard/mana based research for the spell stuff, civic based research for civics, military/civic for military.. That way you could play as a magic caster or warrior ignoring some of the other stuff.

*if this game is supposed to be mostly player vs environment (this is what the game design/balance leans to it seems) then the game should take note from other great games such as HOMM and others with many monsters of different strength guarding various sites close and far - this is very different than the current situation of easy monsters close to player, bad ass monsters far away. It makes for no incentive to come back and even restock in your cities.

*if some of these are because I was playing Tarth - their bonus should be taken out of the game.

*FYI I did not lose a single unit in the game(I think, if I did I don't remember that) - there is no incentive in getting into fights that would make you lose units - this is bad. and of course the AI should present enough of a challenge and rewards to make you lose units - but as of right now you just gain useless cities that are unhappy and cannot produce anything that you couldn't before

To sum this up - it feels like this game suffers from bad design choices where there was no coherent vision of what the game was supposed to be. I think a lot can be changed with balancing though to make it a much better game.

I will try to start another game with a different race - I have no intention of finishing this game because while there are other quests(with dragons) and other AIs I dont feel that it will be very interesting to play on. - If that doesn't go well I will just consider this unplayable till mods/further balancing patches come out.

 

Please feel free to suggest more fun settings to play on, or suggest why my analysis might be wrong.

 

 

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October 30, 2012 3:10:06 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

On to the problem - I was able to steamroll the AI easily without making a single unit, just from recruiting heroes, quests and taming a couple of beasts. There is just no balance between units you can recruit - already leveled up and units you can build and have to research many techs to build - I am on turn 88 and The AI while having built up its cities with everything available had very poor units that were no match for mine.

This is one of the biggest problems with the game I think.  In almost all of my games, simply focusing on a small party of superheroes is enough to never need to research, build cities, get magic, or build an army.  It just feels like too big of a cop-out to go all in with a party of heroes to mop the enemy up with.  I love that we have options to do different things, but the champions feel too strong to me.

*City buildings are very "stat-oriented" rather than flavor oriented - you just have 5 buildings all doing the same thing for one of the stats with different names to them !?

Agreed.  I honestly don't feel like I'm making many meaningful decisions at the city level.  Each city feels cookie-cutter to me, even with the city-types.  Sure, you can specialize a settlement to be a Fortress, City or Conclave, but there's still nothing stopping me from constructing buildings that deviates from my specialization. When I have a fortress settlement and there is nothing left to build, but gardens, farms, and inns, that fortress either becomes a jack of all trade or sits idle.

What the game needs is the ability to upgrade or repeat-build existing buildings AND limit you on slots. This way, I can build 7 barracks in my fortress and get my troops uber-trained and uber-specialized. When I have 1 barracks to my 1 garden, it means the city is not specialized, it's the same as the one down the road.

*if some of these are because I was playing Tarth - their bonus should be taken out of the game.

Kind of agree with this.  It's BORING playing Tarth because there is no fear of ever being attacked by anything in the wild.  This goes beyond being a cool ability and just becomes a bore to play.

*Also, whats up with all the useless artifacts and why you never get gold as victory spoils? its totally useless having all those 100032 items non of which feels special - wolf/bear pelts to sell?! come on, why make it more complicated.


Disagree.  You DO get gold as victory spoils, quite often.  And the more items and artifacts the better IMO.


 

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October 30, 2012 3:20:02 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I wish I did not agree with you about so much.  You are wrong about a few things, but you are smart enough to realize that many of them are due to your choice of race. 

Do you actually care to hear what you're wrong about?  Because if you are going to keep playing, and try to improve the game, it's worth it...  I really think that this game has a ton of potential.

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October 30, 2012 3:27:41 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting ,

Please feel free to suggest more fun settings to play on, or suggest why my analysis might be wrong.

Fun settings? Sure. Large landmass, 10+ opponents. Difficulty level -- Ridiculous, both for the World and the competition.

Race? Doesn't matter. 

This should be fun.

Now if you're not looking for fun, but rather to gimp your gameplay, then I suggest the following:

Insane Difiiculty for both the World and the opponents. Never settle more than one city, do not recruit any heroes and do not cast any spells. Oh, and play as the Kingdom of Paridan.

 

I guess my point is that the game is what you make of it. It won't force you to have fun if you don't intend to have fun.

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October 30, 2012 3:35:35 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Well, your experience is VERY different of mine. Your approach of the game is very different of mine also (deductions from reading)

Because of this, my text may be useless to you.

But still, here is what i can tell you:

Start settings are very important and at the game offers a good number of settings.
So i think, 1/3 of your problem comes from settings. You may like the additions made in [eMOD] Stormworld 1.5b for FE 1.00
but in terms of balance, in the way you seem to look at it, it'll maybe not fit you. I recomend you to try it anyway x)


The map difficulty (monters) challenging suits me. Not too hardcore for early game, not too easy at mid-game.(Caus i rarely have the time to send enough ppl on killing them)

In my vision of what the map should look like, i choosed Ecomental - Map Mod with max map size almost doubled.
I'll not write 498465498 lines about why i choosed this mod. It'll take you 2 min to check the features.

After testing, i found the number of monsters too high, breaking the feeling of "uniqueness" of each lair. Put them on sparse.

As long as i have almost always around 15 cities, champions on dense.

Quests on plenty (that makes them pretty repetitive, but due to the number of champions i have, they're very useful.)

Ressources and shards on sparse (they're spammed enough even that way//my opinion).

And random events on "more than often".

Ah, forgot, game pace on epic (on normal the AI feels more confortable)
On epic pace, the start will be very turtle but at mid-game it works fine.
I use the first turns (on epic) to lvl the heroes and spam pioneers.
During this time your civ tech allows you to start building units "quickly" (for a turtle pace).
And then it begins....

 

Also, i use 18 AIs, to be sure some will be strong enough to oppose me (cauz AI is "poor" on Epic pace.)
There almost enough place for all of us in the end. (If no, tamed beasts just take out 1 AI or 2 ^^, makes no difference)

I'm not describing the race i use, cauz i think in with this slowmo giant size settings, it's secondary.
Your effectiveness depends on the developement style and lot of luck(luv random).



PS:Some strange things you talk of, like roads, are a pain, yep.
Dunno if you've ever modded a bit, but i think it's obvious: FE is very rich in various mechanics and moddable.
Time will bring some rebalance and other up.

Even if it's not perfect, this game has also been made for players, not only for the wallets of some lololo buisness makers.
That's rare now days x)


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October 30, 2012 3:48:27 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Tuidjy,
I wish I did not agree with you about so much.  You are wrong about a few things, but you are smart enough to realize that many of them are due to your choice of race. 

Do you actually care to hear what you're wrong about?  Because if you are going to keep playing, and try to improve the game, it's worth it...  I really think that this game has a ton of potential.

I did not know what Tarth meant when i chose it - (btw, if the developer cares - to balance this race just make the attack fail %50 of the time with the attacker pushed back 4-5 tiles or frozen for a number of turns). But even so - I killed most of what was there when I saw it, other than the guardians which from what I understand dont go after you. The rest are pushovers, and only start to randomly appear around turn 30-40.

I do care otherwise i would not post. I dont want to start another game and be disappointed - I will keep playing if its fun.

Its a shame this game was so long in development  so well tested with the betas the alfas, etc (I actually think this is part of the problem - too many people asking too many things and contributing too many ideas) - you need good QA/Gameplayer testers. I used to be a top ranked age of empires player and was invited to work for ensemble studios that was making the game - knowing some QA testers I know that good QA testers make games especially when it comes to balance but often design - a game is not the sum of it parts - its what works and whats fun. 

Keep in mind that I think you could easily make this game into one of the best x4 games - you just need a bit of vision and qualified people testing/balancing it. I am not sure the designers of this game are suitable though, clearly many simple design choices dont work as well in practice as they should in theory - I think this is both due to general lack of polish as well as some deeper game play design faults - some of which I outlined.

To conclude it feels like this game is like butter spread over a piece of bread too large, with some pieces of sand in the butter

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October 30, 2012 3:59:46 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting rvgr,

quoting post
Please feel free to suggest more fun settings to play on, or suggest why my analysis might be wrong.


Fun settings? Sure. Large landmass, 10+ opponents. Difficulty level -- Ridiculous, both for the World and the competition.

Race? Doesn't matter. 

This should be fun.

Now if you're not looking for fun, but rather to gimp your gameplay, then I suggest the following:

Insane Difiiculty for both the World and the opponents. Never settle more than one city, do not recruit any heroes and do not cast any spells. Oh, and play as the Kingdom of Paridan.

I guess my point is that the game is what you make of it. It won't force you to have fun if you don't intend to have fun.

 

Sorry I disagree - a game should be fun on basic settings - if its not then these should not be the basic/default settings. If these are the default settings then by default this is what the developer thinks should be fun.

A game such as this should be fun on simple settings such 1x1 vs the AI - if its not then something is wrong.

I see some people are playing vs 10 or 18 opponents - do you ever finish your games?! erratic diplomacy would mess everything up - then you would really need to start reloading and saving your games if the AI is any challenge.

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October 30, 2012 4:14:27 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting ntino,

I see some people are playing vs 10 or 18 opponents - do you ever finish your games?! 

Certainly. And I have fun doing it.

erratic diplomacy would mess everything up

Not in my experience

- then you would really need to start reloading and saving your games if the AI is any challenge.

That's just not true. There's no need to cheat in order to win.

 

Also, most games can be exploited in one way or another: for example, Jagged Alliance 2 (a great game) can be beaten in about 10 minutes using completely legitimate means. If you play it that way every time, then yeah, it's no fun. The question is, WHY play it that way?

 

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October 30, 2012 4:18:54 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting ntino,
Its a shame this game was so long in development so well tested with the betas the alfas, etc (I actually think this is part of the problem - too many people asking too many things and contributing too many ideas) - you need good QA/Gameplayer testers.

No, the game was not well tested.  I think the testing process was a train wreck, and I was around for a big part of it.  The engine, the mechanics, the cities, those were very well tested, and I think even polished. 

Most of the problems right now are, as yours are, with difficulty.  Difficulty has been changing widely in September and October.  Everything before .82 is more or less irrelevant.  And there was no time to test balance since.  Speaking for myself, I was too busy enjoying the settings that worked for me to actually do my job as a beta tester, and play on the easy difficulties. (but hey, no one is paying me)

The problems are that there are many overpowered traits, people were abusing them, and the developers were balancing for these traits.  Now the game is still too easy with the right traits, and too hard without. And way too random.

An example.  Right now, I win about 50% of the time on ridiculous and insane in Ironman, with a custom race (Enchanters, Master scouts, Defensive, Lucky, light plate) and a wealthy sovereign with Death and Water.  I do not enjoy it much.

I enjoy playing on Expert with some standard races, or with custom races that are balanced to my liking. The one above is a juggernaut, and certainly not an example.

But if you play on Challenging, without stealth, you will see that whether you win or lose will be too much based on luck.  A good player, and you sound like one, will figure how to beat the manageable challenges (AIs, lairs)   The problem is that some monster programming results in impossible fights: the AI wakes up a dragon, it decides to go for you, instead for the AI, and you have your cities razed.

So... my advice is, play between Challenging and Expert for a while, with custom races you consider fun and thematic.  Avoid stealth, it is the worst game changer.  Enchanters, scouts, lucky and defensive are very powerful - too powerful if you minmax, but fine as you are learning the ropes.

Do not bother with ridiculous and insane.  You sound like someone who will be able to beat them, but if you enjoy it, you're very different from me - it's grueling, in a bad way.

 

 

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October 30, 2012 4:25:57 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting ntino,


I see some people are playing vs 10 or 18 opponents - do you ever finish your games?! erratic diplomacy would mess everything up - then you would really need to start reloading and saving your games if the AI is any challenge.


Yep, it lasts just many, many hours and it's full of rise n fall moments x)

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October 30, 2012 4:33:55 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

its very simp

Quoting rvgr,

Quoting ntino, reply 7
I see some people are playing vs 10 or 18 opponents - do you ever finish your games?! 

Certainly. And I have fun doing it.


erratic diplomacy would mess everything up

Not in my experience


- then you would really need to start reloading and saving your games if the AI is any challenge.

That's just not true. There's no need to cheat in order to win.

 

Also, most games can be exploited in one way or another: for example, Jagged Alliance 2 (a great game) can be beaten in about 10 minutes using completely legitimate means. If you play it that way every time, then yeah, it's no fun. The question is, WHY play it that way?

 

Well, because if the AI is good, and the game is well designed then at the appropriate difficulty level you should have a hard time beating 1 or 2 AIs, therefore you should stand no chance against 5 ais at war with you. I just read one of Tuidjys posts according to which the AI gangs up on the player on higher difficulties, therefor if you are able to still win the game is not balanced well. Either that or they dont gang up - I'm just assuming they do.

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October 30, 2012 4:42:18 PM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

Some background: I've never played the beta, but have played elemental for a few hours around release (before I immediately uninstalled), and also is a veteran civ player that still occasionally plays civ4 (because civ5 ai is terribad) on emperor/immortal.  I'm a staunch believer in never reloading the game barring crashes and what not, as I believe living with your choices adds an additional element to the game. 

I've got this game for 2 days so far, and played basically 2 full games (almost) of it.  First one on normal with Oracle on the default map, 2 AI enemies, Second one on Challenging with Relias and 3 AI enemies on a slightly larger map.

First game, I really didn't know what I was doing.  I knew the basics of the basics from the 2-3 hours i played Elemental, kinda had an idea what the skill trees were (or at least the directions and what type of stuff are in them), but I was completely oblivious to a lot of stuff.  I totally forgot about city enchantment and global spells (didn't cast a single one until I was nearly at the end), forgot about the tax slider thingy, built like maybe 2 basic city units that were terrible, didn't build a single city or outpost of my own (other than the first one, did take a bunch though), and basically just ran around conquering everything with my squad of heroes + a few elementals.  Researching stuff provided minimal benefits, because they were largely unnecessary due to how overpowering my 1 squad was.  

Second game, playing Relias on challenging, this more or less ran in a similar vein except I did pay more attention to city building stuff & global spells in general.  Directing researching a bit more, but I'd say 80% of the game was still me running around with 1 squad cleaning up everything (including wildlands) with all recruited units/heroes.  I did eventually started making some units I designed that proved to be useful (mounted spearmen, seemed like the most logical choice based on the stats), and can see that I would probably need this in the later difficulties.  Still, the difficulty was painfully easy, and provided a little challenge. Couple of things attributing to this might be:

1) Relias' trait - free hero recruiting, are you serious? Free is ridiculous, lets you run at no tax forever since you really don't need any money for a looong time.  This is by far the single most overpowering trait between the 2 leaders I've played so far, nothing else comes remotely close to this. I can just beeline for hero recruiting in the research tree and go take all the cities I want for free, how silly is that.  They really should fix this trait by making it at least 50% recruiting cost, and combined that with delaying some of the hero techs to a bit later in the tree. lvl 5/7/9 heroes should not be where they are in that tree.

2) Kitty quest - uh, that kitty is completely unbalanced for how early you can get it.  I think it came as lvl 7? lvl 8? I forget, but it has a HUGE movement/initiative + a rather beefy attack for how early you can get it (without really any danger in the quest either).  That kitty basically ran around killing all the mobs for me for my first few lvls.    The kitty should scale properly (maybe it scales, but definitely not properly) with the # of turns or the lvl of your hero, not, oh, here's a free high lvl monster for you now go kill everything in sight. 

While I agree that the easier difficulties should be there (for people that have never played the 4x genre before), it does still need to be slightly more difficult than its current stage.  You should not be able to beat the game on "normal" settings while ignoring a large majority of the tools like I did.  Challenging, same thing, I think even without those 2 unbalance i pointed out, the game would have still been very much a walk in the park. At least in civ, when I first get a new civ game, the prince lvl was at least a decent test at first.  

 

That said, I do look forward to this game on the next couple of difficulties level, i think I'll find the right difficulty to play in eventually... hopefully it's not another civ5 for me  

Please do some faction/trait balancing in the next patch! I really don't want to have to limit myself to playing certain factions as that really hurts the replayability factor of games like this.  

 

 

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October 30, 2012 5:16:44 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting ntino,

Well, because if the AI is good, and the game is well designed then at the appropriate difficulty level you should have a hard time beating 1 or 2 AIs, therefore you should stand no chance against 5 ais at war with you. I just read one of Tuidjys posts according to which the AI gangs up on the player on higher difficulties, therefor if you are able to still win the game is not balanced well. Either that or they dont gang up - I'm just assuming they do.

You have played one game, where you picked a faction that you knew to be unbalanced, picked a very favorable favorable setting for that faction (reduced landmass and the number of opponents), ignored the bulk of what makes this game interesting (taming the wildlands, questing, etc), didn't even finish the game, and now you're posting here about how the game is too easy. How about you win the game first? Post your ridiculously high score and ridiculously low number of turns it took you to beat the game, then let's talk about how easy it is.

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October 30, 2012 5:19:48 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I think heroes are WAY too cheap for what you get - building units/buildings costs a lot more WHY?! make heroes expensive then people will start building units. DOH. 

Also, for flavor, make other requirements for recruiting heroes, such as techs of building some building or only can be recruited by a hero of a certain kind of certain level

 

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October 30, 2012 5:31:37 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting rvgr,


You have played one game, where you picked a faction that you knew to be unbalanced, picked a very favorable favorable setting for that faction (reduced landmass and the number of opponents), ignored the bulk of what makes this game interesting (taming the wildlands, questing, etc), didn't even finish the game, and now you're posting here about how the game is too easy. How about you win the game first? Post your ridiculously high score and ridiculously low number of turns it took you to beat the game, then let's talk about how easy it is.

What the heck are you talking about? please re-read my post. IT WAS MY FIRST GAME EVER. I picked Tarth because the bows looked cool and it looked like a non-complicated race. (I think I would have done better with the first faction on the list with some kind of adventuring bonus - as I killed almost everythin on sight) I did not know anything about factions AT ALL.

I picked the default settings within the game - Medium average everything other than difficulty - challenging for both. 

I specifically said that I DID NOT think I was playing well - simply because I wasnt even familiar with most of the mechanics of the game.

I did not finish because it was NOT FUN anymore with no challenge. My post did NOT claim I was good at this game, in fact I surely suck because I have only played it a couple of hours compared to Tuidjy who as I understand it the authority on this and has probably thunk many many hours doing free beta testing for Stardock. More than that - I will NEVER be good because i dont have the time. I tried to outline glaring problems with the gameplay, if you dont agree be constructive and tell me why - dont tell me I did everything wrong and its my fault for picking the standard settings. 

A games merit is not how stupidly hard it can be if I play it on insane.

I realize that my original post is longish. If you dont have time to read and dont care to understand what I wrote please dont reply.

Thanks.

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October 30, 2012 5:55:34 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I was drawn to this thread because it showed up in the list right next to one about the game being too hard on challenging. I also saw a post the other day about it being too hard on easy...

A few perspectives I think are worth adding:

1) The more complicated a game, the harder it is to have the "defaults" fit a player. I believe your desciption showed a great deal of experience in games like this, you may not be the average player. Many other players find it too hard. Having a game provide a good tutorial to teach you the game is a reasonable expectation, but predicting what difficulty will be appropiate for a player is a bit much to ask. I can figure out where I stand in a couple playthroughs, so the burden being on me to self-assign difficulty doesn't seem unreasonable.

2) Why worry about balance? The game is easier with "Stealth" than with say "slave lords", however it is also easier if you set the difficulty on "easy" than "expert". I think it's neat to have "stealth" and "slave lords" as though they are unbalanced they change your playstyle. Some things are inherently unbalanced or exceedingly difficulty to balance, which usually results in them being removed, and playstyles being baselined and losing diversity. You have the power to know how much easier "stealth" is and change other difficulty levers to accomodate that or makes something more thematic than powerful and reduce difficulty. Also, inbalance of factions tends to help difficulty. Equally balanced factions will stalemate more, weakening each other and making it easier for the player to win. Overpowered factions will tend to gobble other factions, giving you a stronger leader of the pack to contend with. 

3) Worry about the engine not the paint color. I hear the mod "Master's Affliction" is pretty tough, been meaning to see it myself. Yes, you had to use a mod rather than vanilla, but if the end result is something fun, then everyone wins. This game blends RPG and Strategy, if that appeals to you then it's a matter of finding the mod, or tweaking it yourself till it's how you like it. That is my intention (specifically changing cities to add more depth to them and creating a tradeoff between few powerful cites or many weaker cities). I don't see how Stardock could create the perfect blend for people since we all have different tastes.

I guess as a software consultant I spend too much time listening to clients talk about all the enhancements they want to make an application fit thier unique needs that its a sore spot for me to hear people expecting perfection out of the box. And before you say civ or other games did it, look at how long that game has been perfecting itself, and with how much resources.  

 

TLDR version

Be happy, between the settings and mods, you'll probably be able to find a challenge. "Balance" isn't the solution to replayability. Modern games are very complex, and unless you want the same huge studios making the same game for 20 year, have patience for the little dogs like stardock. Stardock has shown more interest in building a good relationship with their customers than most of the bigger studios have.

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October 30, 2012 6:18:47 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting ntino,
What the heck are you talking about? please re-read my post. IT WAS MY FIRST GAME EVER. I picked Tarth because the bows looked cool and it looked like a non-complicated race. (I think I would have done better with the first faction on the list with some kind of adventuring bonus - as I killed almost everythin on sight) I did not know anything about factions AT ALL.

I'm talking about this:

I realized that this race is considered overpowered by most - after reading some posts but at the same time its not as good as making a custom race which is what most power players will do.


I did not finish because it was NOT FUN anymore with no challenge.

No challenge? The challenge is to win the game, which you have not done.

 

I tried to outline glaring problems with the gameplay, if you dont agree be constructive and tell me why - dont tell me I did everything wrong and its my fault for picking the standard settings.

There is no wrong way to play this game. It's a single player game after all.

A games merit is not how stupidly hard it can be if I play it on insane.

So, Challenging level is too easy and Insane is too hard. So, why not pick something in between? Different people enjoy different difficulty levels, maybe a higher difficulty level will be tailor made for you.

You are bashing this game based on a single incomplete game session.

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October 30, 2012 6:29:20 PM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

While most of what you said is true, I disagree with 2 points - 

1) Modern games are not more complex than older games.  Most of the modern games in the last couple of years tend to be more dumbed down to accomodate the "console crowd" and not increasing in complexity, this is why I applaud and support companies like stardock, paradox, etc. for continuing to make complex games for those of us that like complexity.  Some of the most complex games I've played in the past 20-25 years are from the 90s, not the 2000s.  

2) Balance is most definitely a factor in replayability.  In Civ4, I can play any random everytime, and get relatively similar difficulty in terms of challenge. A game with Persian today will usually be quite different than a game with Persians a week before.  There is also nothing that is so unbalancing in your starting traits that would dictate how you play the game.  The method of play in civ4 depends more on the rolled environment than anything else. Having completely unbalancing traits ruins this because there will be a dominant strategy for that particular faction.  Being able to make different combinations of different strategies and factions is a key to replayability.  Sure, I can handicap myself to not exploit the trait, but then I might as well be playing a race without that trait altogether.  I don't expect total balance, that is not achievable, even in civ4 there are some minor imbalance between the uniques and certain traits, but it is at least not to the point where it is so dominant that the AI cannot really counter without ridiculous amount of cheating.  

Just so this doesn't come off as a rant, I do like this game so far, and I'm trying to provide constructive criticism and hoping that it develops into a game that I can replay over and over again. While I understand no game is perfect from the game go, we should also not just take the stance of "accepting it for what it is" when changes could be made to improve it.  Cheers.

 

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October 30, 2012 6:48:12 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I think a lot of people play one game of FE then post all the things that are wrong with it.  What they don't realize is that they are reporting their findings based on playing 1 of 8 very different factions not to mention a randomly generated map that may or may not have had the resources, monsters, quests, fertile lands, opponents, etc., to your liking.  In addition, and this is important, the AI will use your unit designs against you in future games.  Therefore, you must play the game several times and create a bunch of really cool units.   Then the AI will steal those designs and use them in future games against you making the AI much more competitive.

In summary, play the game 20 more times then come back and post and I'm sure we'll all agree that the following still needs work:

1.  Diplomacy

2.  UI

3.  strategic AI

4.  Pariden and Resoln

5.  cheating AI

6.  bugs

 

 

 

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October 30, 2012 6:58:50 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Ahem, sounds like some people need to check out a mod for advanced players.

 

The Master beckons...

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October 30, 2012 6:59:11 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Trojasmic,
I think a lot of people play one game of FE then post all the things that are wrong with it.  What they don't realize is that they are reporting their findings based on playing 1 of 8 very different factions not to mention a randomly generated map that may or may not have had the resources, monsters, quests, fertile lands, opponents, etc., to your liking.  In addition, and this is important, the AI will use your unit designs against you in future games.  Therefore, you must play the game several times and create a bunch of really cool units.   Then the AI will steal those designs and use them in future games against you making the AI much more competitive.

In summary, play the game 20 more times then come back and post and I'm sure we'll all agree that the following still needs work:

1.  Diplomacy

2.  UI

3.  strategic AI

4.  Pariden and Resoln

5.  cheating AI

6.  bugs

Bingo.

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October 30, 2012 7:00:18 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Well, I have to agree with some of the posters here that your comments seem a little off while at the same time a little quick on claiming that the game is too easy. You demonstrate one specific game with one specific setting in order to deduce your opinion about the game as a whole. In the middle of the text and in the very last sentence you claim that you would be happy to learn about different settings that might increase the joy of playing the game. Several people gave you several ideas for that but you responded by saying that it should not be the case that you would have to change the settings accordingly.

The problem with your posts and with a lot of gamers in general is that they show a rather solipsistic view when it comes to the difficulty levels of games. They expect games to naturally fit their play styles and challenges and if it takes tweaking the settings on their part they think it is a sign of unbalance. No game can accomodate every individual challenge and play style, which is even more difficult when it comes to 4x sandbox games, but Fallen Enchantress still offers quite a lot of settings to choose from and to be experimenting with. So why don't you try experiementing a little bit more before forming a premature conclusion?

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October 30, 2012 7:51:29 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Trojasmic,
I think a lot of people play one game of FE then post all the things that are wrong with it.  What they don't realize is that they are reporting their findings based on playing 1 of 8 very different factions not to mention a randomly generated map that may or may not have had the resources, monsters, quests, fertile lands, opponents, etc., to your liking.  In addition, and this is important, the AI will use your unit designs against you in future games.  Therefore, you must play the game several times and create a bunch of really cool units.   Then the AI will steal those designs and use them in future games against you making the AI much more competitive.

In summary, play the game 20 more times then come back and post and I'm sure we'll all agree that the following still needs work:

1.  Diplomacy

2.  UI

3.  strategic AI

4.  Pariden and Resoln

5.  cheating AI

6.  bugs

 
 

Sorry but I dont have time to sink 80 hours into this game while its not fun to play only to find out its so much more fun on the 21st replay?

I also dont think I have to play 20 games to be able to post on these forums.

Its not about being to my liking, its about the fact that the game is totally out of balance and no cohesive. The reason why it wasn't challenging on challenging is not because I know hot to play this game, but because its got some issues where half the game is essentially pointless. If i was to play on a higher difficulty I will do the same things - it might be more difficult to win but the same points are valid.

Most of my post was not about the fact that its easy - it was about the fact that being a total idiot in the game and not knowing research or city building mechanics (didnt even know how to build roads - not that the game helps you know btw) I was able to steamroll one AI and surely do the same with the others given the chance - the problem here is not that I was playing some "forbidden" race, the problem is that half the game mechanics dont even apply to win - thats a bit silly!

AND while the AI had built cities and clearly has all his cities with great resources fully built up (I dont know how he does that, but obviously cheating because it was so bad at actually playing), he totally sucked at everything else, no aggression, no army, bad heroes, etc. 

Gonna try a new game on expert, what race do I play?

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October 30, 2012 7:52:46 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Don't even start on the idiotifcation of strategy games that is making the compatible for the console market.      Sooo Angry!!! To me that's an attempt to maximize cashing in on title, or just a bad idea that somebody needs a good smacking for. I haven't enjoyed any stragegy game on console since C&C Red Alert.

/End tangent

I conceed to your point about not all games getting more complex, but perhaps we can agree that *this* game is very complex, and in less tried and true ways than other games like Civ.

I think your point on "Balance being a factor in replayability" can be achieved with a Balanced faction rather than balancing all factions. If you create one or more fairly balanced factions, you end up with a more flexible playstyle that drives your replayability. Having unbalanced options allows some players (myself included) options that bring them out of their comfort playstyle, and drives their replayablity. Again though, I think unbalanced opponents *should* provide more variety in what you face, and thus drive replayability. That is dependant on the AI though. 

Ultimately though, I think we might need to man (or woman)  up and play Seanw3's mod... he's kinda calling us out, and its not really reasonable for us to complain about balance, difficulty and depth when he has put a lot of work into those things...but between his creepy dark jedi face and the playthrough logs I've read... I've got to admit I'm intimidated.

 

 

 

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October 30, 2012 8:00:05 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting phazonfreak,
Well, I have to agree with some of the posters here that your comments seem a little off while at the same time a little quick on claiming that the game is too easy. You demonstrate one specific game with one specific setting in order to deduce your opinion about the game as a whole. In the middle of the text and in the very last sentence you claim that you would be happy to learn about different settings that might increase the joy of playing the game. Several people gave you several ideas for that but you responded by saying that it should not be the case that you would have to change the settings accordingly.

The problem with your posts and with a lot of gamers in general is that they show a rather solipsistic view when it comes to the difficulty levels of games. They expect games to naturally fit their play styles and challenges and if it takes tweaking the settings on their part they think it is a sign of unbalance. No game can accomodate every individual challenge and play style, which is even more difficult when it comes to 4x sandbox games, but Fallen Enchantress still offers quite a lot of settings to choose from and to be experimenting with. So why don't you try experiementing a little bit more before forming a premature conclusion?

 

I made that title to draw attention to what I think are real problem in the game and a real experience I had playing my first game.

I will try another one but at the current state of play it was not fun - there was no point in building all those cities, developing them, claiming resources - I dont even know why I need metals or crystals

(btw, if someone can tell me what their use is? I imagine building stuff later on or what?)

I played 80 turns, this is a lot of turns and I totally missed on half the gameplay.

Shall we talk about the horrible battle AI, insignificant battle maps and a few other things? little things like using collars that you have no idea what to do with unless you played the beta and the hundreds of useless trinkets you get as spoils that are total clutter. Spells early in the game?

 

I want everyone to know that I realize that a lot of the people on here have spent time with the beta and perhaps even played the first game, and have a certain vested interest in the game because they have spent a lot of time on it.  You are possibly used to the little quirks and the other game mechanics. But to anyone else picking up the game it  - they are very apparent.

 

I will go play another game and see what else I can conclude. I will play on expert this time. different race, default settings.

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October 30, 2012 8:00:20 PM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

While I agree that most of you probably know the game better than I do as you have much more games under your belt, this whole attitude of "go play 20 games then come and comment on what needs work" is silly.  You do realize that the majority of the people buying a game like this may never get past the 5-10 game mark, let alone 20? The value of a criticism from someone that's played 2 games is as valuable as someone that has played 20 games for a game developer, at least for one that is interested in growing their fan base.  You can get a good enough grasp of the game after a few games to what can be improved in the game. 

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