Highlights from Legendary Heroes

By on March 19, 2013 11:37:44 PM from JoeUser Forums JoeUser Forums

Frogboy

Join Date 03/2001
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Overall, we’re pretty happy with how Elemental: Fallen Enchantress turned out. It’s sold pretty well and it’s looking like it’s going to end up with an average review score of about 4 out of 5.

Obviously, there’s always room to improve. And that’s where Legendary Heroes comes in.  This expansion pack is a top-to-bottom revisit of Fallen Enchantress. We’ll have a full change list up soon (and it’s many pages long) but here are some of the highlights told in screenshot form.

 

The Legendary Heroes

In Fallen Enchantress, your ability to acquire champions (which led to your victory or defeat often times) was dependent on how the map placed the champions at the start of the game. You literally would find them camping out in the wilds.  This had the tendency of making victory less about how powerful your civilization was and more about amassing champions. In fact, some players were able to win the game without ever building cities.

 

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In Legendary Heroes, champions are earned through the fame your civilization has generated. This is done through the city improvements you build, completed quests and monster lairs that get cleared. 

New Leveling Systems

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There’s 5 paths a champion can take.  A new one, Commander, replaces the governor (and it hasn’t been fleshed out for beta 1 yet).

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In addition, rather than a randomly selected list of traits being available on level up, players can now choose a pre-set path. This lets players focus on their strategy towards victory rather than hoping that they get lucky with the random number generator.

 

Better tactical battles

 

LH-5

Be warned, beta 1 only has a smattering of these new maps. Don’t judge the final game (which is still months away) based on the variety. Our focus has been to nail down a few and then expand from there.  The overall goal is to make it so that melee units get into the battle pretty quickly and that ranged units are placed in the rear. 

The idea being that if you have only ranged units, you’re going to get slaughtered if you don’t have units protecting them. It also means that initiative matters a lot more because contact will often (but not always) be made on the first map.

The maps are much more varied (and will get more so as time goes on).

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Conquering cities now means fighting it out in the streets

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Zoomed out

 

Cleaner game mechanics

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We’ve reduced the number of variables on weapons and instead gave them special abilities in tactical battles. So we’ve done away with pierce vs. cutting vs. slashing because, as a practical matter, they don’t really make the difference between life and death in battle.

By contrast, a spear being able to impale multiple units with 1 hit and having multiple units swarm another unit does matter.  One thing on swarm, if a unit is surrounded by enemies, then when one of them strikes, the other strike too. But the effect is that the target enemy’s defense is lowered (the other units are, in effect, distracting it) as opposed to having other units getting an extra whack at them.

The Graphics are just plain better

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I know some people have said that they don’t care about graphics. But the fact is, graphics matter. They sure do to me.  I won’t give up game play for graphics but in the picture above, in FE, that dragon would have no shadow and it really takes some people (like me) out of the experience.

Better UI

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This one screenshot shows a number of things at once.

First, units now get a preview of their path before moving. Just mouse over where you want to go and a path will show up with how many moves it takes.

Second, the button button is now yellow if you have an idle city or units with moves left. We don’t force you to deal with all those things but you now have the choice.

Third, your relations with other players is now displayed at all times in the power list (see the smiley or frowny faces next to tehir names).

Much bigger maps

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This screenshot doesn’t really do it justice. I finally did the math and huge is about 50% bigger than large. So it’s pretty big.  Now, if you’re running 32-bit, we’re going to see how the beta goes. In the game pictured here, a 32-bit machine would have run out of memory.  There’s nothing more we can do about that.  This is a game that has thousands of units, each with their own unique equipment and that is, unfortunately, expensive.  But we want to hear from 32-bit players directly on what they experience on it.

More cohesive mechanics

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There’s no longer any reason to ever have a city idle (which is why it’s tempting to force players to assign a city to do something before ending the turn, we’ll see what the beta testers say). Technologies will let players access “Ongoing projects” which let them produce growth or research or wealth.

 

And lots and lots of other stuff

We also added a bunch of new monsters (skeletons, liches, brood hunters, to name a few). New quests. New Spells. Lots of new special abilities. And on and on.

Not too shabby for twenty bucks.  

The first beta is expected this Thursday. No promises though.  Just remember, IT IS A BETA. We have a lot of additional content coming in over the next month or so.

We expect to finish in May.

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March 19, 2013 11:55:27 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Sounds great and cant wait for the beta.  20bucks sounds great too!!

 

Edit HOly cow #1 post!!  Woot my first!!

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March 20, 2013 12:12:38 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

If there's any areas of the game you'd like us to focus our attention on more, just let us know.  I do look forward to having fun with the beta, but more than that I'd like to provide useful feedback and, most importantly, bug reports.

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March 20, 2013 12:18:29 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Cool!

 

Out of curiosity, how are you determining if a unit is a melee unit or not?

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March 20, 2013 12:26:40 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Looking great Frogboy. 

 

Commander sounds like a good replacement for governor. How about an automatic unit summons as a level up for that class. Battle starts and commander automatically summons a level dependent unit to help out. Had been thinking that would have been a nice idea for governor while in a city, but seems like it would go along with this class just as well. 

Can't wait. 

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March 20, 2013 12:41:53 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Dhuran,

Cool!

 

Out of curiosity, how are you determining if a unit is a melee unit or not?

Probably by the weapon that's equipped.

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March 20, 2013 1:03:28 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting mqpiffle,


Quoting Dhuran, reply 3
Cool!

 

Out of curiosity, how are you determining if a unit is a melee unit or not?

Probably by the weapon that's equipped.

 

Hm. . . What about mages with those non-ranged magic boosting staves equipped?

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March 20, 2013 1:14:43 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I'm assuming they're considered melee.  Not really sure.

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March 20, 2013 1:25:10 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I am loving everything except the loss of the defense differentiation.  This was always a subtle but accurate portrayal of the pros and cons to different armor types.  Leather and Padded armors are better against blunt weapons, chain is good against slashing, plate is good against slashing and piercing.  When I say good its about 50% more effective against that type of attack.  

Certain weapons are good at defeating armor in general.  Blunt weapons as they evolved Clubs => Hammers => Maces would focus their impacts into a smaller point to get through the thicker armors.  Axes were specifically used for armor destruction in combat, maybe you can't hit the person within the armor on the first blow but after a few blows there is no armor to protect the person anymore.  Eventually the crossbow with its low training requirement and high armor piercing effects reduced armors power but its wasn't until gunpowder that armor was fairly useless.  Then we have magic and fantastical materials that can be thrown into the mix improving armors and arms.  

I don't know maybe I am just ranting as I have been working on making an accurate armor mod off an on now for a while.  When I think I am getting close to finishing big changes show up on the horizon that make it that I have to alter my basic premises of what is to be done to be accurate.

Anyways besides this I love the changes to the game and love the predetermined sub paths idea within the paths.

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March 20, 2013 2:24:24 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Thank you very much for the great information. I think Legendary Heroes looks very interesting, but i noticed two strange things:

The Path of the Commander is a huge mistake in my opinion, because now we have two paths that deal damage (Assassin and Warrior), two paths that support other units (Commander and Defender) and one path that casts powerful spells (Mage). I think it would be better to keep the Governor, add another arcane path or reduce the number of paths to 3 (Assassin, Defender and Mage).

I hope that the swarm mechanic reduces the Dodge ability of the target, too ...

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March 20, 2013 2:32:41 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Governor: Thinking about the Governor/Commander path, having them provide benefits when they're in a city prevents them from leveling up, which has been often discussed in the forums.  What if, instead, the champion provided a much smaller benefit, but globally.  For instance, instead of -15% unrest to the city he's in, he gives -3% unrest to all cities (with Administrator giving an extra -1/-2/-3), like a walking Apiary.  The governor also provided +2 growth, and since growth is now based on food production, he could provide a global +1% food production.  Loremaster and Merchant were already global, and Road Building is used in the field.

I think this would make the Governor path appealing. Although, if I think about it, someone else must have suggested this already by now.


Damage Types: For the loss of physical damage types, I don't think they were implemented to the point where it really mattered.  It's a system that can work, and could work in FE/LH, but it would take some significant changes, and a lot of thought.  I don't think they'll be missed beyond the ideal that they could have worked out.  The new system sounds more interesting to me than properly implementing the old system.  


City Queue: Instead of forcing players to make a choice, which can be annoying late game when you really don't care anymore, how about having a city that's idle ninja the Continuous Growth option.  It would still show as idle, but it would have increased growth as if that option were selected.  You know, because if the people aren't getting busy with work, they're getting busy with each other.  The option to choose Continuous Growth would still be there, though, because sometimes you want to do that but don't have the city appear idle.  


Praise: I really like how much cleaner the UI is in some places. For instance, the event log is now restricted to its own space, and has a scrollbar.  That's much better.  I would still like to have a text-only version, even if it's not more verbose.


Screenshots: Frogboy, some of the screenshots linked are the low-resolution versions that appear in your post, so it's hard to make out the details in them.  Can you put up the high-res versions?  Some of them do link to the high-res versions.  I'm mostly just interested in the one in "Cleaner game mechanics".


Praise: I do enjoy finding things while stumbling around, but honestly, champions weren't so great in this area, so I really like the new system for recruiting champions (although for more reasons than just that).  I also really like the new leveling system for champions.  Choosing traits is much better than the random choices from before.  These changes will allow for a lot more strategy and magic usage.


Praise & Question: I'm also very glad to see the movement indicator before committing to the move.  I saw hot it will work in your video, but I was wondering if we can control how long we have to mouse over a tile before it shows up.  I would want to set mine to as short as possible, because I'll always want to see that.  I know I can just click to see it, but I also know that I'm very lazy.

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March 20, 2013 3:07:54 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Great!

 

Simply put...can´t wait:)

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March 20, 2013 5:03:02 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

After class I'll be ready.

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March 20, 2013 5:07:01 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I like the idea of putting the little smiley face / war icons next to the faction names in the ranking area.  Good one 

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March 20, 2013 5:36:40 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Awesome, looking forward to this

 

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March 20, 2013 10:29:03 AM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

I will buy now for access to "beta".  Put it up already!!!

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March 20, 2013 10:45:55 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

We expect to finish in May.

What ever you do, don't rush it out.

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March 20, 2013 11:09:15 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I am very satisfied overall with the direction that the game is taking. I found the random hero part one of the most annoying things, same with the random skills that made me end up taking potential on the first 2 levels.

I didnt really care about the shadows as well but well they dont hurt as long as they work.

The UI has undergone very positive changes, and I don't know if it is plausible, but it would be nice if we could see now the reasons the kingdoms like/hate us when we hovered over their names in a short popup list.

The removal of weapon types is also a big + for me as I am a more casual player and I don't think that anybody who hasn't actually went deep on the game mechanics bothered with those, for me it was usually 'EQUIP MOST POWERFUL WEAPON AND ARMOR'. Now the weapon abilities will help make combat more interesting and they are much more intuitive. 

Closing, as a WoM preorder, forum stalker and tbs enthusiast, I want to express my gratitude and my respect for the way you have handled yourselves towards the community and me as a part of it. With the freebies ending with LE I can say now that the game has reached a level of quality that I had come to expect of Stardock from playing GalCiv2 that pushed me to preorder Elemental. For me and for many others I am sure, this treatment has motivated us to be more willing to part with our cash for your creations in the future. I really hope that other corporations that have the habit of launching half done products that you have to buy a ton of dlc to make them a game, start following your example and show respect towards the consumers, which I am sure will end up bringing more money to their coffers long term. I am waiting for the beta now, hope it comes in time

 

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March 20, 2013 12:43:50 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

I'm intrigued by the new in-city tactical battle system.

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March 20, 2013 12:52:21 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Conquering cities now means fighting it out in the streets

Yes! This, and some of today's changelog stuff, has me sold.

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March 20, 2013 3:24:53 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

This sounds like a solid step forward.

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March 20, 2013 3:53:13 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I have been pondering the Path of the Commander and I think Path of the Leader would be more fitting as then it lets you have the two different sub paths of The Commander/General and the Administrator/Governor.  Also I was thinking the base bonus for this class would be equal to the total unrest caused by a city so each champion added would allow for one additional city to settle.

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March 20, 2013 3:56:40 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums


um...about the combat that exists in the streets, what happens if there is a WALL around the city to keep pesky conquers out???

 

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March 20, 2013 4:42:00 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

So will the game know if your champions are melee or ranged then depending on what they are using?  If they have a magical staff will they be put back out of melee range or will champs and your sov be put in harms way?  

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March 20, 2013 5:26:38 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting mqpiffle,

I'm assuming they're considered melee.  Not really sure.

 

As am I, and that's exactly why I'm asking. It would suck to build a sovereign for magic and have them thrown into the front line for every battle!

It would be cool if you could flag units for the ranged position or front line position to overwrite the automatically assigned position (having the option of front, rear, or automatic, perhaps defaulting to automatic).

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March 20, 2013 5:36:14 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Icons on lower strategy map UI should be better (icons for units in a stack), also, diplomacy UI is a mistery, noone says anything about it.

 

And, buildings Que should get better icons, those old ones were nasty to one's eyes....

 

I wish the fighting in the streets would show some modifiers as to the buildings surrounding units - line of sight, blocks, lightning spells passing metal armor between troops, electricity through metal parts of buildings, freezing spells freezing water on tqactical maps etc...

 

that would be nice....

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