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  #1  
Old August 18th, 2005, 06:38 AM
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PhilD PhilD is offline
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Default Just tried the demo...

I downloaded the demo yesterday night (about midnight), and decided to try a few turns. When I stopped, it was 4:00... so I guess it's at least a partial success

It's not completely successful for me, though, because I had some technical problems. The game seems awfully slow for such a simple program (my computer isn't exactly state of the art, but it does run "big" games from a few years ago like Morrowind and Neverwinter Nights - actually it was built with Morrowind in mind, and if LOL is more resource-intensive than Morrowind I think there's a problem); often response is sluggish, and that's too bad.

Also, from time to time the game will iconize and bring me back to the desktop, with no intervention from me. This might be a strange interaction with my antivirus, but it's still annoying.

At the moment, unfortunately, these problems are probably enough to stop me from buying the game - such a "light play" game needs to be responsive.

Other than that - the AI is rather weak, because it never gave me any kind of trouble and I'm not exactly a god of this kind of games (in all my games, the "flood them with the cheap units" strategy worked pretty well)... I guess I'd have to get trounced in multiplayer.

Oh, and for the record, even though I'm a past customer of Shrapnel (Dominions and Space Empires), I want to say I heard about LOL in a French mag, PC4War, in a preview by PDF - another die-hard Dominions fan. It's not an online mag, though, so it probably doesn't have to be included in the list of reviews/previews.
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  #2  
Old August 18th, 2005, 12:33 PM
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Hiro_Antagonist Hiro_Antagonist is offline
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Default Re: Just tried the demo...

Hey there,

I'm sorry to hear about the problems you've been having!

The game bringing you back to desktop is a problem we've never had reported, so I'm sorry (and surprised!) to hear that.

Our skirmish AI, unfortunately, won't give the toughest of challenges to advanced-level players, but the legendary campaign would definitely give you a run for your money. Also, our online features are intended to be a big part of the value of the game. I assure you, humans are far more devious than AI could ever be, and I find that the most rewarding style of playing the game.

I'm also sorry to hear about the performance issues you're encountering. The game is a bit of a workhorse, but it sounds like it's running even slower than I've traditionally seen it run for some reason. May I ask your machine specs?

Thanks for at least giving the game a whirl. =)

-Hiro_Antagonist
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Old August 18th, 2005, 03:01 PM

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Default Re: Just tried the demo...

Too bad you'll miss out on the online play. There's some stiff competition for tactical mastery going on, and I think the cheap unit horde is probably one of the best tactics. Although, there are some other players who find some combos of unit damage with bigger supporting units.
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Old August 18th, 2005, 07:26 PM
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Default Re: Just tried the demo...

Processor is an AMD 1800+, 512Mb of memory, GeForce Ti 4200 card, running Windows Me. Not exactly state of the art, but still way over the minimum requirements.

I tried it a little more, and while I still got the returns to desktop, I didn't experience the slowing down.

The "combat animations" are a nice touch at the start, but they start cutting the immersion after a few games. Is there an option to turn them off?
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Old August 18th, 2005, 08:17 PM
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Default Re: Just tried the demo...

Well, I'm glad the speed thing is addressed. The returns to desktop thing is very strange. So are you playing full-screen when it happens? Is it basically just minimizing the app?

There's no way to turn off battle animations, but you can click your mouse once they start to end them right away.

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Old August 19th, 2005, 02:46 AM

DarkStar DarkStar is offline
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Default Re: Just tried the demo...

I have almost the same problems. I'm running on Win 98SE with 768MB of RAM and I have a 933MHZ CPU.

The game runs VERY slow on my system. I get crashes to the desktop quite often. I have yet to play much of the demo before it crashes.

The biggest problem I have is that the buttons don't seem to respond to inputs all the fast. It takes quite a few clicks and time before the game detects that I have clicked a button.
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Old August 19th, 2005, 03:42 PM

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Default Re: Just tried the demo...

I downloaded the demo and had a good time with the campaign scenarios provided. I'll be picking this one up. Some thoughts:

1. Definately provide a download option if you can. Even better if you can provide the download link a bit sooner than the CD version. I feel like playing this weekend

2. I also like the option to turn off the battle animations.

3. An option to also turn off the highliting of units (I assume they are healing?) and the +$1000 that appears above the cities at the beginning of every turn would also be welcome.

4. I find myself counting tiles to try and determine where the enemy could possibly move and attack. I think someone has already asked for it, but it would be nice to be able to right click on the enemy unit to get this information. Or maybe something similar to the way you can determine what your own unit's attacks would be if they moved to a particular square. Or, if this is too difficult, how about a way to turn on the tile grid to make counting tiles a little easier?

4. An option to turn off (or a button to skip) the "flavor" text/descriptions that appear before each campaign scenario. I'd just like the scenario objective that appears at the end. I was afraid my wife was going to look over my shoulder and read some of them

5. Not sure about this one, but it might be useful. Currently, you can click on a unit to determine it's status effects (i.e. can't move for X turns, can't attack for X turns, regenerates for X turns, etc.). It might be cool to have small color coded icons (that you can turn on/off) next to each affected unit on the map itself so you could tell at a glance what is going on without having to click around. Say a green 3 for Regeneration 3 turns, a brown 1 for No Movement for 1 turn, etc. Just a thought.

6. In the full version, can you start with the Legendary campaign difficulty from the start? Does the Standard difficulty setting get more difficult as you progress through the game and the different races?

Good game and I look forward to the full version.

Thanks, Jeff.
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Old August 19th, 2005, 05:53 PM
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Default Re: Just tried the demo...

Jeffr -- here's responses to the things you mentioned.

1) That's completely up to Shrapnel. I get the impression they're aware of this demand and are exploring their options. =)

2) Right now you can skip them individually. It seems likely we'll put in a new 'off' switch for them in a future patch.

3) I'm not so sure about this. That informatoin is pretty important, but I'll explore options and see if I can find anything I like. Maybe I'll add an option to speed them up a lot.

4) Showing possible target squares is actually much tougher than it sounds. This is because units can have 2 different attacks targeting different units and/or at different ranges. Also, the attack range depends on where a given unit moves, and there are tons of possibilities for that. A grid option is far more likely for us to implement than some sort of targeting highlighting (except what we do now, showing potential targets when you move a unit.) (EDIT: I'm adding a grid option right now, so it will be present in the first patch.)

5) We played around with that, and the problem is that those icons would be very hard to read, and would obscure important information on the board. We do use a 'dots and arrows' system. A unit shows a dot for each status effect, and a green up arrow for a raised stat, and a red down arrow for a lowered stat. These are usually pretty helpful at reminding you which units are affected by status effects, and to a degree, which ones.

6) Yes and yes. The Legendary campaign is pretty uniformly hard throughout. The Standard campaign also gets more difficult as the game goes on. Players can choose to start w/ the Legendary campaign if they really want to, though that would probably prove frustrating for casual players.

I hope that helps!

-Hiro_Antagonist
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  #9  
Old August 19th, 2005, 08:35 PM

jeffr jeffr is offline
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Default Re: Just tried the demo...

Thanks for the detailed reply. I'm looking forward to the full version.
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  #10  
Old August 20th, 2005, 06:30 PM

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Default Re: Just tried the demo...

The upper level campaign scenarios, even in the standard campaign, can be really challenging. I had serious problems with several of them, even after quite a bit of practice with the game!
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