Guys, the point was over there.

...I'm afraid you missed it.

By on November 8, 2012 4:24:01 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

David Meacham

Join Date 03/2003
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When I came by two years ago and said that Elemental was too bland, I did so because it was a game solely involving differently-hued humans fighting over some huts.  It didn't really have anything to do with the AI or bugs or the core gameplay, it was the setting that needed the most help.  That's exactly what people were hoping that Kael would bring with him from Fall from Heaven.  We wanted a game where a race of fire-breathing golems were fighting against a kingdom of sentient spells in a floating castle while dragon people marched in from the sea to escape the deep ones in their underwater cities.  After two years and Kael's involvement we got... another game where differently-hued humans were fighting over some huts.

A fantasy 4X is the perfect opportunity to be, well, fantastic.  Weird and amazing and more variety than one could shake a stick at.  Kael nailed that with FFH2, so we know he's got it in him!

Of course, it's not too late to add the weird and amazing and variety.  I wouldn't have any complaint about buying addons for extra races, units, and features like flying, subterranean, or aquatic cities, because those things add the variety the game so desperately needs.

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November 8, 2012 4:41:00 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

There are mods that already address those kind of things.  I agree to a point that the factions are not quite "fantasy" enough.  I wish that 5 of the 8 nations were not just medieval European humans,  but I think the nations have gained a lot of flavor in FE.  My personal taste fall somewhere in between I think.  I like a plethora of fantasy races, but I want them to be unique to the fantasy world and I don't want them to be over the top(fire breathing golem race or cat/lizard people). I think they were limited by technology, not using sprites limited their options a bit.  I think FE has gone a long way from WoM in terms of faction differentaion, but I can easily see it not being enough for a lot of players.  I am hoping that they add a couple other races in the future from the lore.  Edar are something like fire magic sasquatch people, and Iru are beautiful Life magic fallen with glowing tattoos like swirls on their bodies...and the Drath are also a race from this world and only briefly in the WoM.

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November 8, 2012 4:43:53 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Meh, play Stormworld then. I like to humanize my victims before I burn their villages. Personal taste.

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November 8, 2012 5:01:05 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Stormworld's temporarily down, but I suspect it will be back up again, soon.

 

 

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November 8, 2012 5:05:23 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I don't think there's a problem with the lore - I strongly believe that not every fantasy setting needs dwarves and elves and orcs and goblins (although I do love Tolkienesque races). But the art doesn't quite bring across the differences in races sometimes; wraiths should look like, well, wraiths; yithril should be inhumanly strong brutish orc-like humanoids. Right now they're both just grey-skinned human models, and once you stick some armor on them you can't see any difference at all. The Quendar are the only race that stand out as distinctly inhuman, currently, and even they could be a little more dramatically different.

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November 8, 2012 6:03:55 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Austinvn,
I don't think there's a problem with the lore - I strongly believe that not every fantasy setting needs dwarves and elves...

And yet, really, this game has them.  I mean look at Tarth for example, a bunch of humans dressed in green who specialize in bows and fancy chainmail and do well fighting in small groups.  Gilden are a bunch of miners and smelters who are really stout and don't use magic very well.  I mean they may not have point ears or be three feet tall, but c'mon, these are elves and dwarves.  Hell, look at what the website says about Gilden -- "They are often called Dwarves by outsiders...".

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November 8, 2012 6:18:33 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I appreciate that Elemental is creating its own lore, it's just not enough for me personally (hence Stormworld is created).

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November 8, 2012 6:27:07 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I am somewhere between liking high fantasy, but getting annoyed at the heavily repetitive use of it in games. Stormworld has the best lore from many a stories. It's a great melting pot of high fantasy. 

In contrast, I am going for a more humanistic approach to factions. I want to cut out every bit of the usual tropes. My Tarth, recently freed slaves. A whole nation of gladiators with a chip on their collective shoulder. My Gilden, a highly ordered hierarchical caste system. My Trog, axe wielding naked barbarians. It doesn't to be fantastic as long as it is interesting.

The core lore falls short in being an intrinsic factor in gameplay. Factions do play differently, but we don't always get enough to make strong distinctions. There certainly is not enough follow through on the lore being interwoven into a faction's abilities.

But I would guess that people are either okay with that or they will play mods to get more of it. Hoping so actually.

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November 8, 2012 6:33:35 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

To be honest, I wish you two would somehow provide a mod-meld and combine the high fantasy flavor--the factions, the items, the champions, etc--with the retailored tech trees, reconfigured city buildings, new champion traits, etc.  Just a thought.  I know there's great peril of the sun collapsing into a white dwarf if this happens, but still.

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November 8, 2012 6:41:46 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

i wish for yet more faction differentiation. But am pleased with what we have already (knowing that modders and devs will be adding more). For now i got enough different types of toy soldiers to play with. i mix em all up depending on the story i create for them. Like Tarth, is Huntsmen or Ranger at some times. Brigands and Mercenaries others. Sometimes i create a faction and sovereign whose more ethereal than physical. Sometimes brain dead beasts, reanimated dead, much more. i do seek greater tools to better express these "homedreamed' creations, but for now i got loads of options. i've yet not played any mods cuz i'm still finding fresh options with the default.

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November 8, 2012 6:44:42 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

FE lore is pretty good, the problem is that after FFH any other lore pales in comparison to that...

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November 8, 2012 6:57:44 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I think the main reason why all the factions felt bland / almost the same are :

 

  1. Too little units and buildings differentiation provided by Stardock. For the example, generic Mage can be differentiated to Necromancer (access to Summon Skeleton spell), Druid (access to Entangle / Charm Animal), Warlock (bonus on elemental dmg) etc.
  2. The customization processs still provide too little differentiation for each faction, imho. Once you get the same techs, you will be able to build sam units regardless your faction is. I think it will be cool if I can design Resoln cavalry units without access to horses/wargs, and have them mounts spiders, for example.
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November 8, 2012 7:18:43 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I agree to OP.

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November 8, 2012 7:43:22 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting athelasloraiel,
I agree to OP.

Me 2, kind of bothered me, the custom units like juggernauts and golems where a step on the way, but wasn't implemented with enough separate units.

Sincerely
~ Kongdej

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November 8, 2012 8:15:48 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I don't know if I particularly care about what the original 3D models looked like, but my god, with all the richness that the stats system gave Stardock, what a pity that certain factions didn't have armors that didn't increase defense, but increased init, or factions who didn't use weapons, but all had traits that allowed them to cast spells, or units that levelled at 1/4 the normal rate, but doubled their attack with each level.  So much opportunity, such a pedestrian implementation.

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November 8, 2012 8:23:26 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Winnihym, stop talking about my mod! I don't want to become too vanilla.

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November 8, 2012 8:32:16 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I personally like how Game of Thrones has done it. The series is about political intrique and war on a human level. It's low fantasy and I appreciate it. I mean there is still some magic and dragons and such but you don't see a hoard of Urk-hai running in to battle. I love Tolkien, but I love it because it was original to Tolkien. Now every game that says it's fantasy has to have orcs, goblins, elves, and the like or people just aren't happy - high fantasy tropes are just played out but high fantasy people are the most hardcore of hardcore fanboys. Now I would like to see more model differences on the current races, but I don't want Brad and the team wasting time on putting elves, and goblins, and dwarves into the game when they could be working on putting dynasties back in - in an interesting way or making the lore richer and deeper or new game mechanics.

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November 8, 2012 8:39:03 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Emperor_Nero,
I personally like how Game of Thrones has done it. The series is about political intrique and war on a human level. It's low fantasy and I appreciate it. I mean there is still some magic and dragons and such but you don't see a hoard of Urk-hai running in to battle. I love Tolkien, but I love it because it was original. Now every game that says it's fantasy has to have orcs, goblins, elves...

 

Minor correction.  Tolkien was a very well read man, and greatly influenced by the fantasy of Lord Dunsany, who wrote about elves, goblins, terrible evils, great swords, etc, and in exactly the language Tolkien copied.  This doesn't lessen Tolkien's accomplishment, but it's only fair to Dunsany to point that out.

 

And some of his stuff is available online, for comparison.

 

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November 8, 2012 9:02:58 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Now that is a great tip, Glazunov1!  I just read the Bride of the Man-Horse at http://www.sff.net/people/doylemacdonald/l_wonder.htm and enjoyed it immensely.

I had never heard of him before and will enjoy reading his work. Cheers!

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November 8, 2012 9:34:07 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Should almost do a poll on this:

Would you be willing to give up player designed units to have a greater visual variety in the races?

Basically, the limitation is that each body type / skeleton requires its own set of clothing, armor, etc.  

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November 8, 2012 9:46:41 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Honestly, player designed units are kind of a pain. Designing a unit, while it has strategic implications, is one of the less fun items. I'd rather see a bunch more (as in, probably 4x as many) premade units that become available as I level up technology and offer similar options than customizing unit traits/weapons. I totally understand if others disagree, but the lure of the game for me is exploration and expansion, just not as much the fine details of each unit's traits. Seems a bit too micromanagement/cheese-oriented.

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November 8, 2012 9:47:12 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums


I like my player designed units. That was a huge feature FE.

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November 8, 2012 10:18:58 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Frogboy,
Should almost do a poll on this:

Would you be willing to give up player designed units to have a greater visual variety in the races?

Basically, the limitation is that each body type / skeleton requires its own set of clothing, armor, etc.  

 

No.

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November 8, 2012 10:19:44 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Frogboy,
Should almost do a poll on this:

Would you be willing to give up player designed units to have a greater visual variety in the races?

Basically, the limitation is that each body type / skeleton requires its own set of clothing, armor, etc.  

Hell No.

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November 8, 2012 10:20:40 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting NaytchSG,
Now that is a great tip, Glazunov1!  I just read the Bride of the Man-Horse at http://www.sff.net/people/doylemacdonald/l_wonder.htm and enjoyed it immensely.

I had never heard of him before and will enjoy reading his work. Cheers!

 

Glad to find someone else who discovers a liking for Dunsany.  Good reading to you!

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November 8, 2012 10:32:01 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Frogboy,
Would you be willing to give up player designed units to have a greater visual variety in the races?

No freaking way. One of my favorite parts of Stardock TBS are these.

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