Greetings! Over the next day, tens of thousands of new beta testers will be added to the Fallen Enchantress beta.
Elemental: Fallen Enchantress is a turn-based strategy game in which the player takes on the role of a powerful Sorcerer called a Channeler. As one of the very few beings in the world who are capable of channeling magic through the various elemental shards, you have become leader of a people who hope you to lead them to building a great civilization.
Here, I’ll walk you through the few turns and for those familiar with War of Magic, I’ll try to find some way to tie the two together (they’re drastically different but they’re both fantasy strategy games).
In the beginning…
The first question is, who are you?
You can choose amongst existing sovereigns or create your own. Balon is a character I made who is an adventurer gifted with magical power.
The second question is, where are you.
This is where you set up the world conditions for yourself. Maps are randomly generated so you will never see that map again. Ever. The World difficulty determines how aggressive monsters are and how powerful they will become.
You can also choose which opponents you will have to play against. Your opponents races include Trogs (think Urakai Orcs from LOTR), Urxen (Goblin like creatures), Quendar (essentially evil elves), Amarian (essentially good elves), Ironeers (dwarves), Wraiths, and more. This is a screen that is still a work in progress (since I’m having to explain in text here more about the factions than is displayed).
One criticism of WOM (which I agree with) is that the distinctions between the factions aren’t great enough. This is something we’re working on, particularly in helping make clear that the name of the faction is not the race. I.e. in LOTR, the Kingdom of Gondor doesn’t mean that they’re Gondorians, they’re men. So we have some work to do here.
You can have up to 32 players in a game regardless of map size. It all depends on what kind of game you want to play.
You can also choose what victory conditions that shall be active:
Conquest, Diplomatic (ally with everyone), Master Quest (complete the master quest), Spell of Making (cast the spell of making which requires a ton of mana and magic knowledge).
After that, you’re ready to go.
So the game comes up with a backstory for my character (since I didn’t type one in myself because I’m dangerously lazy).
When the player enters the world, they’re alone. When you decide to settle your first city, you’ll want to find a location that has good food and production potential. This is represented by grain and materials which are displayed either by mousing over the Settle button or clicking on the terrain detail button in the top right of the screen.
These numbers look at all nearby tiles to give a summary of just how much food and material are in the surrounding countryside.
Once I settle, I start to go out and explore the world, gather loot, recruiting allies, fighting monsters.
To be candid, the world wants to kill you. It will try hard to kill you.
For thousands of years, there were great civilizations across the world. But that’s all gone now. And various creatures have settled in to the places that civilized beings once dwelt. You will have to build your empire by making it safe for people to live in it.
The further you travel from your starting location, the more dangerous they get. Worse, the longer they hang around, the more powerful they become.
One of my personal favorite features of Fallen Enchantress is the loot. Exploring the world, going on quests, fighting monsters, etc. will result in you gathering a lot lf loot.
Here I got a skullcap from a ruin, an arctic wolf cloak from a traveling merchant, a telescope from a destroyed caravan I came across and a backpack from a the stomach of something I really don’t want to talk about.
And even though it’s a little thing, the things you equip will show up on the map even though this isn’t an RPG, it’s a strategy game. Hence, every unit in the game, and there can and will be thousands of them depending on the map, can look different.
Your Empire is more than your cities
One to emphasize is that it’s not as much about having lots of cities but rather having lots of territory. Anything in your territory can be made use of and will build up the closest city it is to (even if it were on the other side of the world). The goal here is so that late game, you’re not wrestling with dozens of cities but instead a handful of really good ones.
There are still advantages to having lots of cities too but it is very viable to have a few, very powerful, cities.
BTW, here’s what things start to look at if you wander too far away from your starting location…
Early on, battles are a pretty small affair. Most of our screenshots of battles are from early stages of the game. Later on, they get much bigger.
The battle system is fairly straight forward (at least to understand it) but has a lot of nuance.
First, you have initiative. This determines how often that particular unit moves.
Next, you have accuracy, this is put up against the other unit’s dodge. If your accuracy roll beats their dodge roll, you hit.
Next, is damage, Balon here has a War Hammer which does 11 Blunt damage. Luckily, Ash Serpent here has no particular defense against blunt weapons (but has a general defense of 4).
As a quasi-Fire elemental, he is very vulnerable to cold. Hence, if I had a weapon that did cold damage, it would be doubled against him. He is also immune to poison and fire which, this early on, means little since I don’t have anything that good to attack him with.
So I’m in a battle with the Ignys and I do have one decent spell…
But…unfortunately, it does fire damage. Feel free to cast it, it won’t do anything to the Ash serpent because it’s immune to fire.
But anyway, after killing the creature the old fashion way, I am ready to start getting my magic mojo going.
Magic comes from the elemental shards that are spread across the world. If you build a shard shrine on them, their power begins to flow into you (channel you might even say). You, in turn, can bind your champions to you by Imbuing them with some of your magical essence. Thus, what magical knowledge they have becomes yours to use and this is how you learn most of your spells.
Use your spells to buff your units, cities and wreak havoc on your enemies.
From here, it’s up to you. Feel free to ask questions in this thread. We still have months of work ahead of us.