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  #41  
Old August 17th, 2010, 06:06 AM

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Default Re: OT: Starcraft II and Elemental

Elemental is a worry. I have the beta and so far have been... largely unimpressed. It promises much that I should like but I ask myself will it deliver considering release is a few days away?

Ultimately I think that it will be brilliant with time.
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  #42  
Old August 17th, 2010, 07:12 AM
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Default Re: OT: Starcraft II and Elemental

sector24, can you give example links to the threads you mention?- If what you describe is true then I think I'll avoid elemental altogether.

You know, I now recall making a two suggestion posts that got, well, ignored. No wonder...

You can check for yourself:
http://forums.elementalgame.com/329075
http://forums.elementalgame.com/330349
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  #43  
Old August 17th, 2010, 08:45 AM
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Default Re: OT: Starcraft II and Elemental

Another facet to this 20-sided dice would be this post from usenet.

A person asked about the game saying it was due soon but he hadnt seen much chatter on it. One of the response posts was this....

Quote:
I've been doing the beta testing and I am a little concerned.

The game is still very unstable (frequent CTD, extreme slowdowns,
running out of memory on a system with 16GB, ...) and incomplete as of
the last (beta4) release and they have been making huge changes in each
"beta" release. It is waaaaay late to be making such big changes with
release immanent instead of just ironing out serious bugs and balancing
things. I suspect the initial release is going to be in very rough shape.

That said it is a lot of fun and if they stick with it and keep cleaning
things up it will eventually turn out to be a great game.
On the one hand this does support the statement that the release date might be something to avoid.

On the other hand it does not give me the impression that new ideas are being ignored. If anything, quite the opposite. So if one or two ideas seem to have gotten no attention except flamage from fans Id suspect they did not meet the criteria.
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  #44  
Old August 17th, 2010, 12:12 PM
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Default Re: OT: Starcraft II and Elemental

http://forums.elementalgame.com/389642

http://forums.elementalgame.com/389083

http://forums.elementalgame.com/388766

http://forums.elementalgame.com/388747

I didn't have time to do too much digging, but this is the general gist of things. There are a whole lot of threads talking about how the tactical combat is awful, how the spells lack distinctiveness, how the research is overly simplistic, etc. They don't all get locked but the "promise" that release will be awesome while all evidence is to the contrary is a bit disingenuous.

I believe the fanatical side of the fan base is sometimes a hindrance as well. I have a difficult time getting objective information out of their forums because there's a ridiculous amount of blind praise and bashing of any contrary viewpoints. That is of course not Stardock's fault per se, but from my (cynical) viewpoint they condition the forumites to tow the party line for "karma" or the slim chance that "Frogboy posts in my thread" kind of stuff.

I'm wasting altogether too much time talking about Elemental. But I guess I'm overly harsh simply because it's almost worse to come so close to success and still fail than it is to just come up with crap in the first place. I guess I set my standards a little too high.
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  #45  
Old August 17th, 2010, 04:10 PM
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Default Re: OT: Starcraft II and Elemental

Good examples.

Frankly, I don't understand SD's attitude.

As a dev I highly value potential customers inputs. It doesn't matter if it's "constructive" or plain *****ing (in case of *****ing I just filter the facts from the noise). Comments are good, criticism is good since at end of the day the product is developed for the costumers not for the devs.

SD seems to be pretty resistant to external influence, the threads give the impression that they know what they're doing, all the comments are already in their ToDo list and the beta version is nothing compared to that hidden version they plan to release.
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  #46  
Old August 17th, 2010, 06:15 PM

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Default Re: OT: Starcraft II and Elemental

Elemental will be great, it may need more time but the engine for a fantastic 4X game (in whatever guise the modders wish to take it) is there.
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  #47  
Old August 18th, 2010, 02:41 AM
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Default Re: OT: Starcraft II and Elemental

I dont think it will be that great. Just ok.
The graphics look good, but combat mechanics looks very simplistic.

Once I know the mechanics of Dominions 3 then some of the other games looks worse somehow.

Just attack and defense? I remember playing Warlord 2 tough where the units just had Strenght. I doubt they will use an open dice so it will be the strongest unit wins always.

And other thing I noticed in the videos is that buildings are finished in just a couple of turns vs Master of Magic where a granary took like 35 turns to complete. I dislike the spam of buildings just dislike the spam of techs of Gal Civ 2 where you had laser, laser II, etc. Master of Orion tech tree is ok, just laser and you can modify it later when you get more tech (auto fire, A Piercing etc.)

And finally, even if Frogboy gets angry, the factions looks lame.
Good guys and bad guys. You get to design your won tough. I think i would.
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  #48  
Old August 18th, 2010, 06:04 PM

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Default Re: OT: Starcraft II and Elemental

I'll probably write some impressions once Elemental comes out and I've had a few days to see how it plays. I'm a bit hesitant with the game from what I've seen in the beta, but it's still the beta so it's not fair to judge quite yet. I liked a couple of the attributes of the game, but there's some notable glaring shortfalls that need to be addressed too before I'd recommend it to anyone. (eg. combat has been bare-bones so far, so no one other than the devs has seen how it'll play out with unit special abilities or all the graphical effects). Stability has been poor for me as of beta 4 as well, so hopefully they do end up ironing out the crashes by release.

I agree with poster above about the factions; they all look bland and kind of the same.. just tan-skinned humanoids, gothic humanoids, some red-skinned humanoid and a blue-skinned humanoid. The concept art looked a lot more stylistic and seemed to accentuate differences in the appearance of the races, but the in-game units just don't have an appealing look so far.

Also, the faction capabilities are poorly documented. For example this is the strength and weaknesses of one of the factions, Umber, in beta 4:
Strength- caravans build roads faster
Weakness- -20% tech knowledge

That's all. I don't know about anyone else, but I can't say I'm excited about building roads faster as a racial/faction ability. I'd hope the factions will be a lot more unique than that. I'd prefer to see factions to be as varied as the races of Master of Magic, or Dominions, or Heroes of Might & Magic town types versus difference among Civilization games. At least Civilization had the excuse that it isn't a fanstay-era game and all Civs are human so they couldn't have factions that regenerate, or fly, so I can be a bit more lenient with a game like Civ having similar faction capabilities.
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  #49  
Old August 19th, 2010, 04:20 PM
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Default Re: OT: Starcraft II and Elemental

I had a bad feeling about elemental when I saw the factions were like Kingdom of Galdor, Kingdom of Minos, Kingdom of [insert generic fantasy sounding name]. And I am making those up b/c I don’t feel like looking to see what the actual ones were but they were just as bland and indistinct. By way of contrast take a look of the old map of the World of Greyhawk for some inspiration – Hold of the Sea Princes, Caliphate of Ekbir, Bone March, Abbor Alz, etc.

And I am guessing in Elemental one will have some generic trade bonus, one will have a generic research bonus etc. Stardock is like a soulless robot. I like the flavor and eccentricity of games like AD&D (1st edition) or Dominions, with all the weird rules and exceptions that make it difficult to reduce everything to numbers. Stardock games feel like spreadsheets with shallow-cliched themes pasted on.

I pre-ordered elemental and cannot get it to run on my laptop so I am the first to admit I could be wrong. But hearing these reports seem to confirm my fears that it is going to have as much flavor as a rice puff.
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  #50  
Old August 19th, 2010, 05:11 PM
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Default Re: OT: Starcraft II and Elemental

Elemental BETA4 Review: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly
The Good:
1) Extensive modding will allow the game to become more evolved, balanced, and even more game content such as items, spells, creatures, quests, etc.,.
2) Good Diplomacy in the game for AI and human players
3) Randomly generated worlds where very rare technologies, creatures and resources will only appear in some games.
4) Custom design of sovereign and rumor is the final version will allow custom design of your nation.

The Bad:
1) The map editor was half broken thus the final version being released will not have much beta testing. It seems the map editor was designed by someone who's never used map editors... so creating a large terrain area is time consuming, no method for editing existing stuff placed on maps, single letters used for resources,creatures, etc., instead of an actual name/image, no method to assign creatures/buildings to a player, and so on and so on.
2) No 64Bit version... it's been tossed on the shelf for "later". This means limited map size until who knows.
3) Races/Nations are all human... some with different colored skin. I really didn't recognize any personality/behavior differences so all opponents are just clones of each other.
4) The community provided many topics of advice, but I can't seem to locate any ideas which were actually merged into the game. The Elemental ideas forums is a treasure trove of creativity and the BETA4 seems to only have basics of a game included many which copy a civilization game.

The Ugly:
1) Multiplayer requires an umbilical cord thru the internet into Stardock. Stardock developers are calling this LAN gaming which has stirred a huge argument of complaints from multiplayer gamers. The same as Gal_Civ_2 the multiplayer complaints will be generating some of the largest threads. More here: http://forums.elementalgame.com/390801
2) The BETA4 had major bugs such as saved games not loading, crash to desktop bugs, brain dead AI opponents, and heavy memory/performance trouble. I'm sure many of these will be fixed, but like all previous version releases I expect some major game breaking bugs in the official released version.

========
========
Overall I'm somewhat disappointed\bored with the gameplay and battles. No stealth, no black markets, most terrain has no difference on the map, quests are basic, races(all_human) with very minor differences, not much spell creativity/uniqueness, battles lack excitement, and its lacking real character skills such as druids, clerics, assassins, etc., . The battle for good multiplayer seems like a losing battle.
I believe the game can evolve into something great by the community because of the modding.
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