Elemental: July 2013 Status Report

By on July 30, 2013 7:42:24 PM from JoeUser Forums JoeUser Forums

Frogboy

Join Date 03/2001
+1469

Greetings!

So here we are! July 2013.  Next month will mark the 3 year anniversary of the launch of the first Elemental game!

2010: Elemental: War of Magic

2012: Elemental: Fallen Enchantress

2013: Elemental: Fallen Enchantress – Legendary Heroes

Could we worse. Could be like Star War: Episode 2: Attack of the Clones! Smile

So where do we stand?

Legendary Heroes v1.3

We are still working on v1.3.  The AI got a major overhaul for v1.3 and so there’s a lot of play testing in this.  In hindsight, redoing the monster behavior and the player AI for the same version probably was a bad idea. But in the long run, it’s better to get this out of the way so that players can feel like the world makes more sense.

One nice little touch in 1.3 is that the AI will inform you when it’s cast an offensive spell (see below):

image

A lot of the AI updates in v1.3 have to do with handling path finding and massing of troops.  There’s been some new internal APIs programmed in that have made it a lot easier for the AI to put together more effective armies.  The AI will also interact more with the player.

For those who play on below normal difficulty levels, have no fear. While the AI will be more “intelligent” we are lowering the resources that they get a bit and making them make fewer decisions per turn so that they aren’t so overwhelming.

Next up for Fallen Enchantress

We have some stuff in the works but it’ll be awhile before we’re ready to announce it.  Fallen Enchantress will continue to go forward with meaningful updates that we’re funding with the DLC purchases.  The DLC system turns out to be a good system as players are able to get more optional content which in turn lets us keep adding new features to the game itself.

v1.4 will probably focus on some UI and performance related items and v1.5 will (I hope) be the big diplomacy update. 

Beyond Fallen Enchantress

There’s a lot more we want to do with the Elemental world.  We debate regularly about what we should name future things.

I.e. Elemental II? Fallen Enchantress II? Elemental: Something New? Or a completely new series?  Tell us in the comments what you think.

Multiplayer

We have a lot of requests for this.  Here’s the basic issue.  The tactical battle system in the Elemental games was not written in a way that allows for multiplayer. All the actions in it happen within its own box. The short version is that all the tactical battle stuff would have to be rewritten, from scratch, to have the tactical battles happen in multiplayer and that’s just not going to happen. That would be extremely expensive for us.  It’s not that we don’t think there should be multiplayer. It’s just a cost/benefit ratio (not just in terms of dollars but in terms of human assets that would have to be taken from other projects). It’s not something I’m happy about either.

More DLC

The DLC has been doing extremely well. Thank you for your continued support! We have more on the way.  The next one we have in mind is called the “Loot pack” which is just adding a ton of new items to the world.  If that does well, there’s more spells and equipment that could be added to the game world as well. 

It would be amazing if we could keep making free Fallen Enchantress updates for years to come with optional DLC paying for it. Talk about a good deal for players.  I’d like to see the kinds of feature improvements to Fallen Enchantress: Legendary Heroes that you’d normally see in an expansion.  The biggest problem then comes down to naming (i.e. do we need to come up with Fallen Enchantress: Infinite Edition or something someday? Give us your opinions there).

Anyway, we are just beginning still with the Elemental universe! Stay tuned!  We would love to hear your thoughts on the game name issues (in terms of making it straight forward to new players).

Locked Post 86 Replies
Search this post
Subscription Options


Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
July 30, 2013 8:02:52 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums


There’s a lot more we want to do with the Elemental world.  We debate regularly about what we should name future things.

I.e. Elemental II? Fallen Enchantress II? Elemental: Something New? Or a completely new series?  Tell us in the comments what you think.

How about Fallen Enchantress Elemental Lord of the Rings? (no just kidding, go with the fallen stuff, probably better for trademarks either way ^^ )

So are you considering a second expansion? What I feel could use some love, is the "Civ buildings" game. At the moment you build troops from fortress..  and thats it. Conclaves and Towns could use some love to make them viable troop buildings. (magic troops from conclaves, zergs from towns etc.) The old "going tall" strat could use some love too, since spam cities everywhere is too good atm either way. If you make simcity a good effort along with army and sovereign leveling, the game would be awesome. 

(just my opionion obviously )

 

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
July 30, 2013 8:09:03 PM from Little Tiny Frogs Forums Little Tiny Frogs Forums

Galactic Civilizations 3?

Star Control?

I enjoy Elemental, but not nearly as much as GC2 and Star Control.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
July 30, 2013 8:35:59 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

More meaningful updates and DLC is just what I was hoping to hear! Now I know I'll still be playing this game a year from now.

Personally, I don't mind about the multiplayer. I don't tend to enjoy multiplayer with TBS games in general.

As for what comes after Fallen Enchantress, I would suggest you start a completely new series based on the world of Elemental. There's too much "baggage" with the existing titles. Start fresh! You can always tag the phrase "based on the world of Elemental" to keep the link.

 

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
July 30, 2013 8:41:57 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Way to early for a sequel. I think we need another expansion that just adds cool stuff and content. The expansions we have got have been good but they have mainly reworked the way the game works instead of adding new dimensions to it, although they have added some content. Just find something really cool that is too big to add in a DLC like sea travel, Dynasties, flying mounts, or a underground map.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
July 30, 2013 8:53:57 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Tonight's check-in:

+ Improved algorithm that allows AI to detect different types of threats to its cities and units
+ AI prioritizes pioneers more when there is good land its LOS (and less when there isn't)
+ AI prioritizes maximizing its army size before going into battle
+ AI more willing to sacrifice non-champion led armies to soften enemies before sending in champions/sovereigns
+ AI now makes use of a "ready for battle" flag to determine which armies it should send where
+ AI is less paranoid about distant monsters and more cautious about nearby monsters
+ AI has less ADD when it comes to targets of opportunity
+ AI generally less cautious about taking on battles as long as its armies are deemed ready for battle (i.e. AI is less cowardly)
+ Fixed AI bug where an AI would target a quest in unfriendly territory and then abort destination because of that and get stuck in a loop (result: AI sovereign would just sit there)
+ Some AI personalities won't try to build improvements early on so that they can focus on expansion while others will do the opposite in order to build up their capitals faster
+ Improved the AI's decision making for deciding how many units should stay in a city to protect it
+ AI generally smarter about when to build pioneers vs. other types. SOME AI personalities will create more pioneers than others depending on what strategy they are employing
+ firxed AI bug where AI would sometimes not train units because it had improvements in the queue
+ Fixed AI pathfinding where the AI units could not "find" their rally point and as a result would no be able to concentrate their power.
+ AI will generally notify player when they've cast an offensive strategic spell on them (complete with snark).
+ Increased odds of AI interacting with player regarding world situation events
+ Improved performance of battle engine for autoresolve (makes AI vs. AI battles faster)
+ More AI weighting if players aren't geographicaly near each other (+1 to +2).

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
July 30, 2013 9:13:36 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

sounds very interesting, any idea when we might get to test your work?

Quoting Frogboy,
+ firxed AI bug where
, BUT what is firxed?

harpo

 

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
July 30, 2013 9:21:40 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting ,

Multiplayer
We have a lot of requests for this.  Here’s the basic issue.  The tactical battle system in the Elemental games was not written in a way that allows for multiplayer. All the actions in it happen within its own box. The short version is that all the tactical battle stuff would have to be rewritten, from scratch, to have the tactical battles happen in multiplayer and that’s just not going to happen. That would be extremely expensive for us.  It’s not that we don’t think there should be multiplayer. It’s just a cost/benefit ratio (not just in terms of dollars but in terms of human assets that would have to be taken from other projects). It’s not something I’m happy about either.


 

So this is the official death of MP for FE then, correct? Will there be any possibility of multiplayer in FE2? Or will you be using the same code?

 

 

 

I vaguely remember when FE was announced that the code wasnt going to be written with multiplayer in mind and it would then make the future possibility of making the game MP almost impossible. It boggles my mind that this decision was made when you said yourself you wanted MoM with upgraded graphics and multiplayer. All these AI problems would be solved for me if I could simply play with friends, but alas I shall give up hope. Thanks anyway, though.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
July 30, 2013 9:37:42 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Just like DsRaider said:  sea travel, Dynasties, flying mounts, or a underground map.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
July 30, 2013 9:39:06 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Frogboy,
(complete with snark).

How I cannot wait for the Snark...

I think you could do avoid the Fallen Enchantress title (unless you are going to continue that story line), and title the next on to be what you like with the elemental as prominent as it was with Fallen Enchantress.

Shame to hear about the multiplayer though.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
July 30, 2013 9:50:38 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Look's Amazing! Looking forward to the update. As far as MP goes, would have been cool but no worries. Thanks for the constant updates. Will continue to support.

As far as whats next. Again I may be alone here and I have said things in the forums. I think there should be an option for perm death of Heroes and even the Sovereign after so many Deaths.I thought it worked in EWOM and with the current system of how you obtain heroes, it would work even better here. and again it could be optional. I know for some it might deter them from using heroes, which would not be the point of doing this. Because heroes can make or break a fight and making them mortal would change more or less how you engage with them, not whether or not you use them.

I'd also Like to see the Dynasty system again. That was literally what made me pick up Elemental: War of Magic 3 years ago. I have always loved turn based strategies. The game is amazing as is now but it's just a thought, especially when it comes closer to some diplomacy love. Nothing more diplomatic that Marrying off your Daughter or Son to an opposing faction.

Again I really do appreciate all that you guys do, and thank you again  for the updates.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
July 30, 2013 11:14:50 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

 

Quoting Kazriko,

Galactic Civilizations 3?

Star Control?

I enjoy Elemental, but not nearly as much as GC2 and Star Control.

 

This is a concern of mine, though I suspect what you guys have intended for DLC requires less work than full-fledged new game development. 

 

Also, I suspect that your future games will be better than the Elemental series, as Elemental had some fairly massive growing pains, but those growing pains will help in future.   I'm extremely curious how a certain future game strongly hinted it will take elements from its predecessor and from Elemental and combine it into a better package.

 

In that regard: I'd suggest the loot pack for LH, maybe minor stuff that adds new toys but isn't massive coding work, but I'd rather see more efforts come to the upcoming game you strongly hinted at and GalCiv3.  I'm ready for something new from you guys.

 

One AI suggestion: when the AI is using a sacrifice army, have its goal be the elimination of units over winning the battle.   Prioritize taking out non-champion units.

 

As for MP: I understand why Elemental doesn't have it, but I'm hoping future titles are built to work with MP.   I may never use it, but you never know.

 

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
July 31, 2013 12:22:23 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Hire me... I will code the tactical combat for you with fully functional multiplayer (I have done it before). I am willing to have my job title be "miscellaneous human asset" as well.

As for what to call the content... it makes sense for standalone stuff, especially new story based content or heavy revisions to the strategic map, would have a new subtitle. Elemental:New Version.

Elemental 2 in my mind is if you wanted to release a game that is very similar to Fallen Enchantress and just have major tweaks and fixes to everything across the board, without adding/removing the core systems of cities, heroes, spells, and resources. You could change the systems, just not replace them with something else like removing magic entirely and putting in a Civ style tech tree.

 

 

 

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
July 31, 2013 1:08:19 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I honestly think staying away from the name Elemental is still a good idea. FE:LH is successful in part because of this IMO. Stick with Fallen Enchantress as the prefix to sequels; Fallen Enchantress: Frogboy's Doom, Fallen Enchantress: This one has Multiplayer, etc

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
July 31, 2013 1:59:13 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting sjaminei,

 
go with the fallen stuff
 

 

I doubt this is what you meant by that, but it got me thinking that starting each title with "Fallen" in the same way as the "The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo" books all start with "The Girl", might be a catchy idea. Titles like:

Elemental: Fallen Kingdom

Elemental: Fallen Virtue

Elemental: Fallen Continent

Elemental: Fallen Hero(es)

Elemental: Fallen Prince

Or whatever makes sense for the story of that game.  A lot of book series use that approach, and it seems to grab peoples attention, so now that I think about it, it's kind of weird I don't see it very much in video game series.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
July 31, 2013 2:40:10 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Elemental: Fallen Enchantress: Legendary Heroes 2: Attack of the Colons

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
July 31, 2013 5:00:18 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I'd like to go back to the Elemental name and have an Elemental II made. It's a far better and telling name then Fallen Enchantress (which is more a thypical XP-pack name). A new Elemental 4X TBS where well working multiplayer is planned and well executed from the very beginning in all coding processes.
 
The team has so much experience now in making good 4X fantasy TBS, and it would be very intresting to see you start from scratch with the Elemental/FE concept + adding multiplayer. This game would be totally supremely cool to play with 2-12 humans, simultaneous turns. For me it would for sure  beat even Civ5 multiplayer TBS fun. The biggest shame about the Elemental/FE franchise of today is that a so great masterpiece of a game is missing MP....

 

NB! Remember worker/pioner road building this time arround, with upkeep per road tile. Reward for connected cities to Capital: trade income based on city size, city type, and perhaps a slightly bit based on distance from capital.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
July 31, 2013 5:02:23 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Doubble post.....

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
July 31, 2013 5:14:10 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I agree that the game should stick with the Elemental name.

If you are starting from scratch, I'd really like to see a game with the interesting lore (like religion!!!)and faction and unit differentiation of "Fall From Heaven 2" combined with the city building and hero exploration game play of "Legendary Heroes".

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
July 31, 2013 8:32:28 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Things I'd like to see:

  1. Legendary Heroes with more depth.  Deeper quests, more tactical battle options, deeper diplomacy, deeper hero system, deeper loot/item creation, deeper maps (dungeoneering? multi-level?).  Really I want a Legendary Heroes 2 that stays true to what makes Legendary Heroes Legendary Heroes but adds meaningful depth to all of LH's systems.  I want the empire portion of the game to feel grander and more strategic and, in the same game, I want the depth of the hero system to be greater, more rpg-lite than it already is.  That might be an impossible request, but LH grabs both of those and, at times, is brilliant at both. 
  2. Galactic Civ 3
  3. Star Control Reboot
  4. A SD Elemental-themed rpg with some of GalCiv2's humor

And I'll continue to by content for LH, even though the things I really want in the game are more sequel/xpac related.  Content is good too. 

 

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
July 31, 2013 8:38:53 AM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

1. Legendary Heroes 2

2. Multi-player is not an issue for me.

3. Please keep coming out with new DLC packs.  The ones so far have added to the enjoyment of the base game.  A loot pack sounds great!

 

 

 

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
July 31, 2013 9:03:24 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I want GalCiv 3 or new Star Control before a new big Elemental.  FH DLC or expansion, that's fine, but the next big game should be in space!

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
July 31, 2013 9:27:42 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I ll agree with Lord Xia, the next big thing from SD should be in space but ofcourse if you can continue supporting FE:LH with more DLCs that would be great. A DLC i would like to see in the future is Race Item Packs. Something like Ironeer Item Pack that will include tha same weapons and armor you research from tech tree but with more "Ironeer" style. 

Some new races would also be welcomed.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
July 31, 2013 10:30:11 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Reading the tea leaves, but I think Stardock has expanded in size to the point where they can actually develop multiple games at one point.  So when Frogboy says

Fallen Enchantress will continue to go forward with meaningful updates that we’re funding with the DLC purchases.

He means that they're making enough money from DLC sales to continue investing money in development for the franchise.  They can keep staffing the game, and putting resources into it, because doing so makes money.  And it doesn't take away from their efforts on other franchises like Star Control or GalCiv3 or whatever weird game Jon Shafer is making.

The question for me is what value does a full-fledged sequel provide that you can't deliver with more modest DLC?  Unless you're updating the engine or tearing out and replacing huge chunks of code (which you've made clear is not an option), I don't know how you're going to price the next entry at $30.

So I think for the near future, the naming question is moot.  Everything is going to be Legendary Heroes DLC in which case [Name of DLC] is sufficient.

If you do figure out a way to package up a new stand-alone sequel to LH, I think you should follow the pattern you've been following since FE.  [Name of Previous Game]:[Name of New Game].  So if the next iteration is focused on micro-managing the economy, you could call it "Legendary Heroes: Caravan Tycoon"

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
July 31, 2013 10:33:29 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Lord Xia,

I want GalCiv 3 or new Star Control before a new big Elemental.  FH DLC or expansion, that's fine, but the next big game should be in space!

I agree too. 

GC3!

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
July 31, 2013 10:34:22 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting sweatyboatman,

Reading the tea leaves, but I think Stardock has expanded in size to the point where they can actually develop multiple games at one point.  So when Frogboy says


Fallen Enchantress will continue to go forward with meaningful updates that we’re funding with the DLC purchases.

He means that they're making enough money from DLC sales to continue investing money in development for the franchise.  They can keep staffing the game, and putting resources into it, because doing so makes money.  And it doesn't take away from their efforts on other franchises like Star Control or GalCiv3 or whatever weird game Jon Shafer is making.

The question for me is what value does a full-fledged sequel provide that you can't deliver with more modest DLC?  Unless you're updating the engine or tearing out and replacing huge chunks of code (which you've made clear is not an option), I don't know how you're going to price the next entry at $30.

So I think for the near future, the naming question is moot.  Everything is going to be Legendary Heroes DLC in which case [Name of DLC] is sufficient.

If you do figure out a way to package up a new stand-alone sequel to LH, I think you should follow the pattern you've been following since FE.  [Name of Previous Game]:[Name of New Game].  So if the next iteration is focused on micro-managing the economy, you could call it "Legendary Heroes: Caravan Tycoon"

I think Brad has explicitly stated that they have multiple game-related projects going on at once right now, but I could be mis-remembering that. 

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
Stardock Forums v1.0.0.0    #108433  walnut3   Server Load Time: 00:00:00.0000703   Page Render Time: