tjashen, I fundamentally disagree with almost everything that comes from your head.
Quoting tjashen, reply 62
As I remember, the #1 issue with Dynasties wasn't that they didn't work (they worked fine), but that the kids had really wild/OTT stats, something that with some work could have been brought into line. Also, Dynasties make a great basis for advanced Diplomatic options. NOW, the only reason I bother with diplomacy now is to make some cash and keep people off my back (non-agression pacts and selling tech for gildar) for as long as possible. I still use it, but it's hollow at it's core. Brad has commented already that this could be better, and IF we get another go/Elemental 4 maybe we will see something. But giving up on Dynasties is a perfect example of an unfulfilled promise in this game.
Dynasties flat out did not work. They were broken as all hell, not just mechanically, but conceptually. I could go into detail on how horrible they are in so many different ways, but I think that would be a waste of time. Plus Medieval Total War 2, released 2 years before E:WoM, implemented dynasties almost flawlessly, which made E:WoM's dynasty system stand out as an even bigger turd than it would have otherwise. Giving up on Dynasties is a perfect example of reconciling the game into something reasonably coherent.
While I'm not going to question whether they worked flawlessly in M:TW2 (never played that game), saying they didn't work at all isn't true. They produced offspring, which gave you more generals/spellcasters for your armies. My kids saw a lot of action in Elemental, and made great combat spell platforms. Sure, a lot of the other uses for dynasties was neglected, no one is disupting that, but again this could have been addressed with continued work on the concept, rather than just abandoning it. As Brad has said, Diplomacy is his one nagging issue he'd love to improve somehow, and Dynasties just happen to dovetail into this nicely.
Quoting tjashen, reply 62
LH is great for stability. by comparison even E:WOM 1.4 had stability issues. This is the #1 reason people don't play that game. I recently, within the last month, re-installed E:WOM 1.0 and played it for a bit. The frequent crashes were very annoying (all hail the auto save!), but the game plays differently. The pacing is different, and there more of a sense of mystery in the game, partially thanks to not knowing/seeing where most things are at the start of the game (goodie huts, some resources, heroes), which changes your approach to things completely.
Wrong. Well, we could take a poll, but most likely very wrong. I don't hate E:WoM because I had to restart frequently. I hate it because it sucked bad. I will grant you that there was more mystery with things being revealed later in the game. I did find that interesting. It would have been a pain to make it work though, so I'm not sorry to see it go.
Just go back to the original EWOM threads, and note all of the 'OOM/game is broken/I quit threads'. Not questioning that YOU hated the game, but others really wanted to love it, but expected better from Stardock quality/bug wise. #1 could be an exaggeration on my part, but based on the I quit threads, I don't really think so.
Quoting tjashen, reply 62
The current design is great if your only goal is to build armies and go conquer (which, incidentally, take twice as long to build now since you have to build your city up OR build armies, which slows down pacing considerably). In E:WOM, well how you built your cities was a much bigger deal, with a lot more decisions to consider IMHO. Oh, and this incidentally magnifies the 'stack of doom' problem further, as having multiple stacks is now harder to do, especially in the early game.
What are you smoking? In E:WoM you built EVERY city EXACTLY the same way: to completion. There were no decisions.
I specifically remember building multiple libraries, or multiple workshops, or arcane libraries, and having to decide on some balance for these. Each provides +1 to their repsective discipline, plus there was the whole 'Hosten's Library adds 25% to Lore' and other structures thing, which factored into those +1's. So many buildings to build, so little time... Now, you build just one and maybe upgrade it later.
Mind you, I like the lumber mills in LH, but again you build just 1, and you are stupid not to build one if you can. With population caps, well you might not even have the population to man said lumber mill, but we don't have those anymore. Not sure if that is a late E:WOM or early E:FE innovation though, but I loved the population pool concept (with appropriate balancing of course).
Quoting tjashen, reply 62
Oh, and Global Mana Pools? Lazy. I put a LOT more thought into hero upgrades and spell casting when individual mana pools were in the equation..
I think people who like individual mana pools are lazy, and don't want to analyze the benefits and costs of using a particular spell. For me, that's engaging as hell. And it took more effort to implement this and remove the old system, so it's hardly due to laziness.
All global mana does is encourage you to make one huge mana pool. Once the mana gravy train is rolling, the only thing I worry about is if I have some huge 500 point spell (read: cure plague) to cast, as I can generally cast any spell I need to. Under the Old system, whether a hero could even cast a spell depended on the size of his individual mana pool, plus they took time to regenerate, so I found myself having to think about whether a given stack had any mana to use, or if I should send a different stack/caster, who had more mana available.
AND, you had a 'mana cap' based on the total size of your individual mana pools. We have no mana cap whatsoever anymore...
Do note the multiple 'I have thousands of mana points' posts in the LH discussion. These generally go 'I bank mana until the end game, and then go hog wild with spells as I devastate/cripple opponents with effectively unrestricted spellcasting'. When we had individual mana pools, this never happened, as you had to regenerate said individual mana pools between bouts, or go in short of mana.
Global Mana augments the stack of doom (makes it even more OTT), as one or two spellcasters in the back can go spell crazy if they want, as long as the pool is large. In the old system, they only had their own mana to work with, which while said pools could get rather large at higher levels of experience, weren't anywhere near the size of pools I'm seeing now.
As far as global spells and individual mana pools, I've covered this already. The developers already had the 'send mana to another caster' mechanic implemented for expensive global spells with channeling, although said global spells were fairly cheap so usually a Sov could handle it on his/her own, but with balancing this intended result could have been brought to fruition. Plus, these days in LH, I don't find myself casting many combat spells, as combat units are so effective. Bow armed Sovs work well as fire support in the early game, except against Bacco of course, but that's a minor issue. They do need screening units, but as you can make some pretty powerful units, again spells aren't as important/have as great an influence as they used to be. While I do use a few ranged spells in LH combat from time to time, they aren't the order of the day, and I used them A LOT in E:WOM 1.0.
Sure, the formulas for individual mana pools needed some tweaking, but we were 80% of the way there, but tossed the concept instead because 'Using Channeling for global spells was weird'. The one change I'd make is a 'use or lose' philosophy for channeled mana, and a 'Strategic Use Only for channeled mana' requirement, but that's just me, and there are other solutions.
Quoting tjashen, reply 62
Oh, and SINCE you brought up Encumberance, AGAIN, even though I said this WASN'T the core reason behind the letter, requiring a trait to wear armor is just lazy. Especially when this can be addressed with penalties very effectively. There are other very good ways to balance armor, that do not require soaking up valuable trait slots, using modifiers. And, as has been pointed out, Elemental remains a game of Glass Cannons in many people's eyes, and armor isn't as effective as it could be thanks to things like swarm. And, it is just stupid to say 'well, we know that you could just pull that chain shirt over your head, but you don't have a chain shirt license so you can't do that'. But that's a topic that has been beat to death in another thread, and as I'm not focusing on LH at this point, but looking forward, the point is moot.
Again, removing a system to implement something else is NOT lazy. If you can reduce complexity without reducing depth (that is, decision making), then you should always do that without exception. ALWAYS. However, I do feel there are other higher priority changes to be made, and that such a change was very poorly timed.
Before, I had issues to face r.e. encumberance. I specifically remember having to balance weight issues so I could use that really heavy double axe with Bacco, and taking a pass on heavier armors just so I COULD use said axe. Plus augmenting his carrying capacity accordingly to help with the defensive situation (full plate was still out of the question though). While the item in question (double axe) was unique, this forced me into an 'Offense versus Defense' quandry with this particular unit.
Encumberance accomplished this nicely, and gave players flexibility as to how they would deal with it (lighter armor bigger weapon or vice versa?). Again, we still had balancing to to, but we were mostly there. And with all of the traits already in the game, soaking valuable slots up with armor traits was a step backward IMHO, especially as you haven't addressed the fundamental question 'why can't you just put the chain shirt on anyways?'. As to my lazy comment, Encumberance had multiple values associated with it, a trait has considerably fewer. So going the trait route was the 'easy way out', and we lose out on an interesting game mechanic in the process, that incidentally WAS working and influencing unit designs and what each Champion/Sov could pack around with them. Remember that Encumberance focused on more than just armor...
If encumberance flat out didn't work, I'd agree with you. But it worked quite well, and while it could always be better it was just another implementation that made Elemental cool, and more immersive. Traits aren't immersive. Weighing the pros and cons of how heavy something is versus the benefit? That's a thinking man's game...
With your wish for free mana, no traits for amor, etc. I'm seeing a recurring theme: you hate limitations on what you can do while playing a game. I love them, since they make me think.
Can't agree with you at all there, I had a LOT of thinking to do in E:WOM. Do I want more speed for a unit, or more Essence? What about attack strength? I want another spellcaster, how do I accomplish that and where do I find another Essence potion to get him started? Sure, some of these things were item related, but stat points and where to apply them had a direct and immediate impact on how units functioned. And mana wasn't any more free than it is now. Sovs and other spellcasters still relied on shards for their mana regeneration rate, and again had to choose between spells (mana) and martial disciplines for their stat points. LOTS of stuff to think about right there.
Do I risk sending units out to track down new heroes, and perhaps conquer an enemy empire or two, or will powerful hordes of monsters show up while they are gone? Sure, we still have powerful stacks of monsters in E:LH, but you KNOW where they are... and in E:WOM, this was never a given. Plus, large enemy stacks had this annoying tendency to show up unannounced, which I don't see as much in E:LH (the unannounced part)
Do I risk sending my heroes halfway across the world trying to recruit champions, and leave my cities undefended? Sure the teleport mechanic helped with this, but Mana wasn't as readily available with individual mana pools, and many spellcasting heroes didn't have enough mana to cast this spell in the first place, or the ability for that matter. AND, the enemy empires also had teleport, so (if the AI had been buffed) they could have reacted in a similar fashion (teleport home when the empire was in danger). Was teleport a 'cheat' of sorts? Probably. But it made E:WOM unique, and added another strategic problem to consider, as there were only one of you and 8-10 opponents that could use the same tactic simultaneously against you...
The only question I think about with Global mana is whether I have mana available or not, instead of which units have mana and how do I get them to where I need them? And E:WOM had limitations for sure, just as E:LH does. But you aren't thinking in the proper context. E:WOM was never balanced to the degree that E:LH has been combat wise, so if you lift some of the values we've arrived at, and drop them into the E:WOM setting, well you'd see a much better balance game than the one you experienced back in the day.
Also remember that I took advantage of several mods back then, thich took Elemental from a nice game to a fun game. Kenata's weapons mods, Heavenfall's stuff, and a number of other mods completely changed the E:WOM 1.11 experience, not to mention later iterations (their mods came out during the initial patch flurry), which made Elemental a fun game. Incidentally, some of the weapon abilities you guys now have in E:LH? Thank Kenata and the other modders for creating some of them, as said modders introduced them in E:WOM...
And remember Elemental's roots. You'll note that in Galactic Civilizations, how you build your empire is as intriguing and intricate as building your fleet. With E:LH, the focus has shifted from Empire/Kingdom building to Unit design. Sure, this is a 4x game, but Empire building is what a LOT of us love about these games. Combat is fun too, but city design decisions are a huge deal to us. And I'm sorry, we lost a lot of that with E:LH. As I said before, I doubt I'll ever have that 'how to I get this city to level 26' moment in Elemental, because cities only have one way to go (once the Conclave/Fort/City route has been decided, which you can't change later btw). Sure, that initial decision is important, but again, your path is chosen for you before you begin once you've made it.
And, again, I don't know why you are bothering. You obviously have the game you want in LH. Knock yourself out. I'm sure I'll be playing it too. But my work is still ahead of me, that being convincing the team to give a good number of us the E:WOM game WE want to see. You don't have to come along for the ride, and you certainly don't have to play this other game I'm shooting for. It's a free world, after all!