I'm honestly not sure if I love this game or don't like it. Impressions from a NEW player.

By on November 1, 2012 1:29:59 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Parogar

Join Date 06/2009
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So, my initial impressions to this game were very good. I played one game to victory. After that, I had about four or five very unsatisfying experiences where I ended up restarting the game. What I've determined from my (granted) very short time so far--at least when compared to how much time many of you have played--is that one of the biggest weaknesses of this game, as it stands, is the early-game. Put simply, it's just not that much fun and far too luck-based.


Again, this is all just my opinion, and I don't wish to turn this into a flaming war. I just feel as if the game is incredible when you get that really nicely generated map, you establish some cities, and from then on it's an enjoyable 4X ride.

... but then sometimes you get just a cluster-F**k of high-level monsters EVERYWHERE, few places to settle, and the monsters are so many and so numerous, that I forget I'm playing a 4X game and not Final Fantasy Tactics. I usually don't like to "cheese" and load saves, but when I lose my pioneers and both my heroes die on turn 6 to some pack of mystical god-wolves, I am that load-game button--then I feel guilty and start a new game, because I hate having to resort to that.

If I were to give this game a score, it would be either be between an 8 or 9, or a 3 or 5, depending solely on the map generated. I know many of you are forums veterans, and so I'm merely offering my perspective as "fresh" blood, not yet tainted by all the arguments already having taken place here. Without having been involved in many of the debates, I'll state that I believe the game should work on making sure every play through is just as fun as the last. Namely, not so many monsters cluttering every available tile. I get many of you say that this is part of the game's "lore," but at the end of the day, let's be honest--who here is playing this for the story? Don't we all really imagine our own? I know I do when playing 4X games.

 

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November 1, 2012 1:37:33 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Thanks for posting.

I agree with your view.  This is one of the challenges of having a lengthy open beta. Over time, the beta testers get so used to the game that there is a tendency to slowly change the baseline of what is considered "too hard".

The monsters, during the beta, were considered "too tame" so we turned them up.  In v1.01, we're doing more work so that their behavior is much better controlled by the difficulty levels.

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November 1, 2012 1:39:25 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

The randomness of starting positions is an issue, most people will agree with this, however there are ways to address the issues that you're having problems with.

For example, you can turn down the world difficulty, and turn down monster density to sparse... that would make the world a lot less threatening, and you'll have more of an empire building game. Or you can do the opposite turning the world difficulty up and dense monsters for more of an RPG game. If you already know what you like, and it sounds like you do... then adjust the game setting to fit it. I'm not sure where the problem is?

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November 1, 2012 1:42:05 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

My forum posts, and a long going (11+ hours thus far) gameplay video I think show that even with a lousy starting position, you can persevere.  I play as a 'Beastlord' profession, which enables me to essentially assimilate a military through Beastlord's special 'Tame' spell given to my sovereign, which is a spell that can (if not resisted; it works as a spell so costs mana and can be resisted) permanently convert an animal to your side.

I've made a serious of serious and costly mistakes in my game thus far.  I myself was only able to settle and hold onto three cities ... I settled a third, but Obsidian Golems seemingly generated by and wandering free of a Wildlands area keep meandering about my eastern frontier and one destroyed my easternmost city ... there are a lot of areas to settle over there, but unfortunately two AIs on my western flanks declared war on me and I have been forced to keep my forces over there, unable to clear those areas to the east.  Still, I have persevered ... even with only two cities, thanks to being able to assimilate animals thanks to Tame into my armies, I don't have to rely on having a lot of high-production cities to train units nor focus my research on military tech to fight wars with the AIs nor bring down powerful dragons.  There was a low point about halfway into how far I am now where I was very tempted to call it quits, after I made a stupid and costly mistake, but I made a comeback.

Fallen Enchantress is not a Facebook 'social' game.  Its not meant to be easy.  I enjoy it for the challenge.  Trying to dedicate myself to continue the video I've been making has forced me to stop "jeez I just blew this game in this one fight, I should start a new game" and I am realizing even I was falling into that 'the game is too hard' mentality.  I am doing Ironman style as best I can (there have been some times I have had to reload from my last save due to recording failure) and find there is some enjoyment in the challenge that's been missing from a lot of games recently.  FE's early game makes Raging Barbarians on Civ V look like a cakewalk ... but that's not necessarily a detriment to the game, I don't think.

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November 1, 2012 1:48:20 PM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

Quoting ,
I just feel as if the game is incredible when you get that really nicely generated map, you establish some cities, and from then on it's an enjoyable 4X ride.
 

Give this mod a try; it changed my enjoyment of the game completely.

http://forums.stardock.com/433981

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November 1, 2012 1:50:25 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

One of the best features is the ability to make so many different types of games.

Lately, I have started games like your 3 to 5 ratings on purpose.  After picking my sovereign, I change the world to sparse resources and sparse magic, and then I make monsters dense.

It is the best way to make the world more broken.  It is a lot of fun trying to scrap your way out of that mess.  I like the broken world that is hard to even get going.  Progess is very slow and tedious.  Although last night I did discover that the Hammer that does extra damage to elementals is awesome.  In the game I am playing it was a gift from the gods.  My two cities are completely surrounded by earth shrills and crag spawns.  So far that hammer has been the difference maker--until I ran into a cave bear with my other army and took a wicked beat down.

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November 1, 2012 1:57:56 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

If you're a new player I'd strongly suggest you play the first few games as Tarth (Lady Irane) because the monsters won't target your units. Then once you get used to the game pacing try some of the other factions.

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November 1, 2012 2:01:58 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Das123,
If you're a new player I'd strongly suggest you play the first few games as Tarth (Lady Irane) because the monsters won't target your units. Then once you get used to the game pacing try some of the other factions.

I am not sure I agree.  Playing as Tarth teaches really bad habits.

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November 1, 2012 2:02:20 PM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

The randomness about the start location is one of the things that was troubling me too.  I've played about 6 games so far, and there are some starts that were just ridiculous compared to the others.  One start I started fairly close to some dragon shrine thing where once I built a monument (was still really early in the game) it gave me an ashwake dragon every x turns, up to 3... those things are ridiculous. I ended up clearing the master quest in a relatively short time after that.  My small party of 2 heroes + 2 ashwake dragons mauled just about everything in their paths with the firebreathing spell.  The only ones that stood up to more than 2 fire breaths was the big monster mobs.    3 of my other games were pretty lousy starts, but I found myself enjoying those more because I actually had to make use of the towns, technology trees, etc, other parts of the game basically, hah.  

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November 1, 2012 2:04:17 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Frogboy,
The monsters, during the beta, were considered "too tame" so we turned them up. In v1.01, we're doing more work so that their behavior is much better controlled by the difficulty levels.

Well in our defense "God Wolves" are a very recent addition. In particular the Howl ability of Great wovles is rediculous, especially if you tame them...

 

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November 1, 2012 2:18:28 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I tend to agree with you that the early game is frustrating. I have been restarting the same midgame save where I made it through the early going to get to the different endings, since I just dont want to play the beginning portion of the game again. I will say that I quite enjoy the late game, and like having tough monsters to kill at that point. It might be nice to have some tougher monsters and quests spawn as the game gets going, since those are the things that give this game flavor in the end game.

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November 1, 2012 2:30:13 PM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

 One of the features I really like in this game is the Random start locations. But then I always play "Ironman"  (If by Ironman you mean not using the save cheat when something does not go your way)

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November 1, 2012 3:44:39 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Martimus,
I tend to agree with you that the early game is frustrating. I have been restarting the same midgame save where I made it through the early going to get to the different endings, since I just dont want to play the beginning portion of the game again. I will say that I quite enjoy the late game, and like having tough monsters to kill at that point. It might be nice to have some tougher monsters and quests spawn as the game gets going, since those are the things that give this game flavor in the end game.

 

That actually sounds like a really good idea. Both things, actually. The first one (loading a midgame save) I will try. The second idea is also really good. I like the idea of monster spawning more as time passes, instead of overwhelming you at the start.

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November 1, 2012 4:31:56 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Frogboy,
Thanks for posting.

I agree with your view.  This is one of the challenges of having a lengthy open beta. Over time, the beta testers get so used to the game that there is a tendency to slowly change the baseline of what is considered "too hard".

The monsters, during the beta, were considered "too tame" so we turned them up.  In v1.01, we're doing more work so that their behavior is much better controlled by the difficulty levels.

 

I disagree with this.  I like the monster difficulty right where it is now.  If you don't like the early part of the game against the wilderness, then turn down the monster population to sparse.  I love the crowded wilderness and that each game is different.  When I get a starting location that sucks, it means I get to challenge myself to overcome the odds stacked against me.  (Besides, how do you know the AI didn't get a sucky starting loc as well?)  Please don't tone down monsters in 1.01.  They're great!

It pisses me off that people generate "random" maps only to reload it about 5 times to get a good starting position.  Folks, it's called RANDOM for a reason!  If you don't like the starting position, use a static map.

Here's another piece of advice:  When you get an equal amount of people complaining the game's too hard with those claiming it's too easy, you've succeeded.

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November 1, 2012 4:53:13 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Actually the complete randomness of each map makes it enjoyable for me. I like starting off on a "desert island" with very few options and tools to survive. So in some ways elemental feels like a survival game. And being underpowered and the underdog - only to rise up and conquer and tame the land, is one of the most enjoyable game experiences I have ever had, and elemental delivers that.

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November 1, 2012 5:04:44 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

The monsters are still too tame, because they don't fight each other nor the heroes on the map. That contributes to the sterile, lifeless feeling of the map - just a set of goody/evil huts for the player to pop open, not a living, dynamic world.

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November 1, 2012 5:07:43 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Kamamura_CZ,
The monsters are still too tame, because they don't fight each other nor the heroes on the map. That contributes to the sterile, lifeless feeling of the map - just a set of goody/evil huts for the player to pop open, not a living, dynamic world.

 

They don't fuck either.  I should round a mountain and see a couple cave bears double teaming a skath every now and then, that's real, that's a living world.  

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November 1, 2012 5:15:43 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting GaelicVigil,

It pisses me off that people generate "random" maps only to reload it about 5 times to get a good starting position.  Folks, it's called RANDOM for a reason!  If you don't like the starting position, use a static map.

Here's another piece of advice:  When you get an equal amount of people complaining the game's too hard with those claiming it's too easy, you've succeeded.

In regards to the restarting thing that would suggest, to me at least, that the starting positions badly done if people feel the need to restart the game over and over until they get a suitable one.  Random starting positions aren't a bad thing but when the randomness causes people to restart then it is done badly.

Instead, an option would be to have the ability to 'set' the starting position or perhaps to point buy it would be better for players.  Leave in the option for a pure random starting location for the players that like that amount of randomness but for players who are looking for something in particular when starting a game they should be able to get it without restarting over and over.

One should not get upset as to how other people play single player games since it doesn't impact your own gameplay.

As to the latter comment about people complaining and saying it is easy I agree with that.

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November 1, 2012 5:27:28 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Prian,

Quoting GaelicVigil, reply 14
It pisses me off that people generate "random" maps only to reload it about 5 times to get a good starting position.  Folks, it's called RANDOM for a reason!  If you don't like the starting position, use a static map.

Here's another piece of advice:  When you get an equal amount of people complaining the game's too hard with those claiming it's too easy, you've succeeded.

In regards to the restarting thing that would suggest, to me at least, that the starting positions badly done if people feel the need to restart the game over and over until they get a suitable one.  Random starting positions aren't a bad thing but when the randomness causes people to restart then it is done badly.

Instead, an option would be to have the ability to 'set' the starting position or perhaps to point buy it would be better for players.  Leave in the option for a pure random starting location for the players that like that amount of randomness but for players who are looking for something in particular when starting a game they should be able to get it without restarting over and over.

One should not get upset as to how other people play single player games since it doesn't impact your own gameplay.

As to the latter comment about people complaining and saying it is easy I agree with that.

 

I don't think you understand what random means.  Random (in this case) means that you are just as likely to get a result that you like as you are to get one you don't like.  Like flipping a coin and getting heads 50% of the time and tails 50% of the time.  If I weighted my coin so heads came up more often, that's not random any longer.

You're asking the same thing by wanting to "weight" the maps to come up with good starting positions more often.  THAT IS NOT RANDOM.  If you don't like random maps, use a pre-built map in the cartographer. 

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November 1, 2012 5:29:02 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Prian,
In regards to the restarting thing that would suggest, to me at least, that the starting positions badly done if people feel the need to restart the game over and over until they get a suitable one. Random starting positions aren't a bad thing but when the randomness causes people to restart then it is done badly.

I know people who will restart the game until they get a 4 3 2 starting position next to some forests and a river. the starting positions already default to a value around 4 2 1, which is acceptable for an overall game of the difficulty chosen.

The next stage to this that people don't like once they get a suitable settlement is that there are not close enough city positions, so for each start you must create these settleable areas for the people. But then you have to make sure that the AI doesn' t get too close to these spots and are far enough away to give players time to settle some of these areas.

Next thing you know you have created a standard map. I for one don't care that people use ctrl+N. The whole point of random map choices. The other thing is when people start making stamps for the game, we can create these standardized random maps.

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November 1, 2012 5:39:10 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting GaelicVigil,
Here's another piece of advice: When you get an equal amount of people complaining the game's too hard with those claiming it's too easy, you've succeeded.

Not if the ones who are complaining that it was too hard are the ones stomped by a dragon that an AI awoke on turn 50, and the ones that are complaining it's too easy are the ones who played Tarth and overwhelmed the AI.

Because both sides had bad experiences which were due to polish and balance.

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November 1, 2012 5:52:48 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting GaelicVigil,



Here's another piece of advice:  When you get an equal amount of people complaining the game's too hard with those claiming it's too easy, you've succeeded.

 

Not neccessarily true. As has been pointed out above and acknowledged by Frogboy things can be a little out of wack from one extreme to the other resulting in people complaining or praising.
Many people post after a few games and therefore might have only experienced the one end of the spectrum. 

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November 1, 2012 5:54:02 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting GaelicVigil,


It pisses me off that people generate "random" maps only to reload it about 5 times to get a good starting position.  Folks, it's called RANDOM for a reason!  If you don't like the starting position, use a static map.

Now Mr. Dynasties and Sea Travel is going to tell other people how to enjoy the game? 

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November 1, 2012 6:02:47 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

We should have a preset maps for begginers. Maps with cozy setup places,

as well as time dependant number and spawning agressivness..

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November 1, 2012 6:06:19 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Looking at this thread reminded me of how bad a game elemental is even though i absolutely loved it!

 

random map = bad

 

build your own map = brilliant!

 

You do need the patience to learn the map editor and how to build a map that YOU like, but once you achieve that, Elemental is vastly better than you could ever have imagined without learning the map editor. I do not know about building maps in this game, but am assuming the same?

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November 1, 2012 6:23:55 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

To me the critical factor on this topic is pacing. WoM, for example, was too slow and I'd often lose interest in the first quarter of a game. I'm only now into my first game of FE at normal difficulty and monster density, etc. I've played for a couple hours, thereabouts, and have 3 cities and one outpost, along with two champions to support my sovereign. My exploration has found other places to develop new cities, but there are dangerous beasts lurking in those areas. I'm not sending pioneers there until I can develop more troops and/or better tech and magic. Perhaps this is unnecessary. It's not like the beasts have gone after my cities. I haven't played enough yet to know. I do worry I'm falling way too far behind the AI players. They have built wonders while I'm building a well, lol.

I very much like FE's graphics, sounds and gameplay. I'm sticking with this first game as I'm enjoying the challenge. There have been a good number of turns in which I'm just hitting the end turn button, waiting for units to be developed or healed or buildings to be built. Maybe it's because it's so early in the game or that I'm just not good at this yet. Units do seem to heal fairly quickly, which is nice. And I like the way champions suffer wounds.

I'm not making any judgements on FE pacing yet; fingers crossed. But as for this discussion, to me this is what is critical. If my first city or two are surrounded by tough monsters, that's OK if I can make the right decisions and take the right steps to produce units at a good clip to throw at the beasts. If I lose a lot of troops, well, it's a tough wilderness out there and that's epic and fun. Hopefully I'll still have enough troops gaining experience. If I'm sitting there ending turn, ending turn, ending turn and not doing anything because the monsters are too tough and I don't have enough troops...then I begin to lose interest. 

Frogboy's comments sound right on target. It doesn't mean the existing difficulty levels need to go away, just make sure the game can be made easier for those who want that, and all at a good pace.

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