It turns out that there's some real people working at Stardock, they allow them to post on the forums, and they have a sense of humor?
Seriously dude, WTF? He posted a funny reply to your comment. What's the problem? Do you REALLY expect someone to come in here and give you a serious answer to a question like that?
Stuff like this is the reason why so many companies let nobody other then PR interact with the public.
I didn't ask any questions, I posted an opinion on the OP's commentary. It was fairly mild, given that this is a public forum and all. His comment also wasn't directed at anything I said, which sums up the "head in the sand" mentality going on; I believe another Stardock employee summed it up when they said, publically, that the CEO "ignores posts that say it isn't done" (I can dig out the full quotation easily enough).
http://forums.elementalgame.com/394060/ is a "bug fix mod" for the 1.06 release code. It is a player generated fix to huge gaping holes in the XML. #2 Of the gamer's bill of rights, read it. And no, commentary such as "All PC games have bugs in" does not let you pass Go or collect $200. There's a difference between "bugs" and "broken XML that doesn't actually work and is fundamentally imbalanced even if it is working". The memory leaks / scroll out = massive FPS slowdown on building a city / Alt-Tab crashing are "bugs"; I've not mentioned them as they meet the traditional criteria for a proper "bug" and as such will get fixed (shouldn't have been released in that state, but there we go). Badly written / imbalanced / poorly created XML is the content dev's job, and it looks poor at the moment.
Well, historically, the way it works is a game is released and if people don't like it, they're supposed to buy some expansion pack for it that "fixes" things that people thought should be in the original version.
This is pure horse manure, and a fairly weasely way to attempt to dodge the bullets flying around: historically, the industry didn't work like this. Even today, in the climate of the EA "Let's package DLC 'content' that really, really, really should have been in the first release but we think our customers are stupid and we plan to milk them dry, let's try it with Spore, it worked on the Sims", expansion packs don't work like this. I'll pull a random example out of my hat: Anarchy Online. Disastrous launch; perhaps the most infamous bad launch of all time. Full of proper old school bugs and game imbalances: Expansion pack "Shadowlands". Historically, the expansion had nothing to do with what should have been in the original version, it added an entire new world to the experience. Nor can, historical example here, expansion packs which "milked" the player base back in the 90's (I'm thinking here, of say, the Origin / EA 'expansions' to Ultima VII / VIII) be seen as fixing things that should have been in the original versions - these additions merely added OP gear / 'utility' items to the game & a bit of back story / lore. From memory, these were items such as rings that removed reagent costs, teleportation function, key rings etc: i.e. small short-cut modifications that didn't alter the play experience by much, other than to reduce inventory management.
Someone around here needs to start calling this as self-delusion, and fast. Employees making jokes on the forums are obviously not doing it. My advice would be to kick the content dev team up the ass, and fast, but there we go.
Any (and I really do mean any) experience of MMOs or just games in general tell you why "everyone" uses additive % multipliers, not stacking multipliers. The game using them is just insane, and stupid. "Everyone" uses additive % because the likelihood of accidentally creating massive imbalances either through your own creations or players finding inventive ways to stack multiplier % bonuses you didn't think of means your game will get broken, and fast. This should have been addressed in the first few months of development, and understood, and then followed.
-100 kudos to the person who didn't know this, and so was able to put content in game that reduced all build costs to 1. You really deserve a medal - just to make this plain: the error isn't in putting the content in and not noticing the effect (a fairly heinous one, but understandable during crunch and no testing) it is being able to add said content without automatically realising that it would be a massive game breaker before you put it in. This says whoever wrote that XML fundamentally just doesn't understand the basic core concepts the game is built on.
If you really "must" go with stacking % multipliers, you make sure that either 1) the bonuses themselves are small enough not to stack past a certain point or 2) you make each additional tier of % modifiers within the same function tree replace the last, not work in tandem with it. e.g. I build a "Pants Factory of semi-awesomeness", it gives +40% "<insert generic fantasy name for McGuffin production here>"; I then build a "Pants Factory of awesomeness" which gives me a +60%"<insert generic fantasy name for McGuffin production here>" that replaces the old 40% bonus, otherwise I've obviously just broken the game.
This is basic 101 stuff. Having content with multiple tiers of +25 - +50% bonuses that all work in tandem suggests the dev. team just didn't get it, and were using the traditional additive mindset whilst working under entirely different mechanics. I'm aware there's been a review of Elemental focusing on this, but it bears repeating ad nauseam - and the reviewer was too kind in his appraisal, due to his personal links to Stardock, imo. This is pure bad management and bad game design, there's no excuse for it.