Brad Wardell's views about technology, politics, religion, world affairs, and all sorts of politically incorrect topics.
Published on July 30, 2010 By Draginol In Elemental Dev Journals

As we move towards release many of the assets in the beta make their exit. We shall miss them (well, maybe not).

The finished quests start to get put into place, the finalized notable locations begin to be inserted and the unreleased spell books and special abilities start to get implemented.

The beta program has largely been about testing out systems and mechanics. Some mechanics, like the per city level building limiter, didn’t survive. Others, like influence based resource control, replaced them.

Memory Problems

The area we need the most help on right now has to do with out of memory issues. This is something we’re very concerned about because it’s not easily repeatable (but very easy for those who run into it).  So we’ll be asking users who run out of memory to get us their debug.err and their saved games so we can look at it. It could be as simple as some building in the game taking up some crazy amount.  It shouldn’t be hard to track down something that eats up over 100 megabytes per turn (or so you’d think anyway).

The other area we’d like to hear from you are all your ideas, suggestions and wish lists.  We want to make sure Elemental is something really special on day 1 as well as set the game on the path to evolving over time.

New Quests

One of the types of quests that I’m enjoying are the ones where you have to collect various items and bring them back to someone to get them made into a special item.  I’m looking at adding the ability to trade these items between players so if the AI players have found Midnight Stones (for instance) and you need one more to get the boots of eternal dodging then you can trade with them for that midnight stone (and vice versa if they need something the AI can come to you and try to trade for it).

Special Abilities

Here’s a sampling of some of the special abilities we’re putting in:

Poison Shot
Tangled Web
Deadly Bite
Rain of Stone
Flame Strike
Savage Strike
Drowning Strike
Crushing Blow
Searing Attack
Agonizing Fear

But if you have your own special abilities you’d like to see, go ahead and post them and explain what they do. Keep in mind, the more convoluted they are, the less likely they are to go in (e.g. Moonlit Dance – if full moon, target unit has a chance of doing a special dance that causes adjacent units to mimic dance draining them of their will to live if they have an intelligence less than 8 but greater than 4).

Anyway, we’re pleased with how the game is turning out. The only thing we’re sweating right now really is the out of memory issue.

Comments (Page 2)
on Jul 30, 2010

Guard - Unit can take incoming damage for an adjacent unit; however, the guarding unit will take 150% of the original damage.  Hello Secret Service.

Skirmish - I like units with thrown weapons (e.g. spears) with limited uses

Charge - Mounted units do additional damage based on the number of tiles moved

Disarm - Chance to cause an enemy to drop their weapon

Fight Dirty - Trip or kick dirt to disable opponent

Rage - Increase damage/armor penetration at the cost of defense

Spear Wall - spend x# of turns to establish an immobile defense against mounted charges

Throw Ally/Enemy - Especially strong units can throw normal sized units

Parry - Full defense stance (i.e. no attack) with a chance to deflect incoming melee attacks w/ counterattack after successful parry

Sweep - Attack friend & foe in a 120 degree arc

Spinning Strike - Attack friend & foe in a 360 degree arc

Shield Bash - Knock the opponent backward and apply damage based on the quality of the shield

Sprint - Increased move with an applied penality to attack and defense

Rally - Increase the moral of nearby troops  - Decrease defense while rallying troops

Flank - Adds 50% to the damage of adjacent ally attacks

Brother in Arms - Adds to the defense of adjacent allies

on Jul 30, 2010

Maybe it's just me, but the only quests I've seen so far are the ones that are like: Go here to win.  Go to another witch's house.  Moving to location X is hardly what I would consider fun.  In any way.  Every single one of those quests should die a fiery death.  

Somewhat agreed ... although King Arthur: Roleplaying Game mastered the fun parts of "moving to location X to win"

on Jul 30, 2010

Forgot two..

Taunt - Force an enemy to fight for x # of turns based on skill level

Heal - We need field medics (limited charges) in addition to spells

on Jul 30, 2010

I would like to see the following stuff.

1. A spell that alows you to put a ring of ice,fire,earth,ect around your city for defence if your being attacked. Nobody can get in for a couple of turns. It could allow yo enough time to build some units to fight with.

2. Boulder Smash- A rain of boulders from the sky.

3. Dragons Breath- Instead of the common fire breathing dragon, how about a bad breath dragon that emits green death fog from its mouth.

4. Kamikaze- allows you to sacrafice one of your pawns for a greater then normal HP.

5. Tornado toss- throws an ememy a couple tiles away and damages them

 I will add more later.

on Jul 30, 2010

Charge: (passive) if the unit has moved at least 2 squares this round of combat, attack is multiplied by 1.5

Shield wall: Unit cannot attack this turn, but gets 2x defense

Berserk Rage: Half defense added to attack, defense set to 0.

Spear wall: Unit cannot move, but attack multiplied by 1.5 versus mounted units


Basically, I'd like to see abilities available for mundane units. I'd imagine them being added through equipment. Polearms give spear wall, mounts give charge, etc.

on Jul 30, 2010

1.Corpse rain. Causes a rain of corpses to fall on the enemy causing panic and poison damage. 

2.Ressurection, revive your fallen units.

3.Plauge summon a plauge on your foers that reduces their population and spreads from city to city.

on Jul 30, 2010

Some ideas...

Cleave-  When a successful attack causes damage has a % chance of attacking a unit next to the one hit.

Whirlwind-  Attacks all units in a full circle

Charm-  Causes unit to join up with the unit that charmed it.  % chance that after combat unit will remain with the unit that charmed it

Walker (ForestWalker, Desert Walker, Jungle Walker etc)-  Units in either the tactical or main map will not be visible if they are in their favored terrain

Invisibility/Hide in Shadows-  Unit is invisible

Dirge of Doom-  Causes enemy units morale to drop

Song of Inspiration-  Causes friendly units morale to rise

Entangle-  Causes terrain to hold units in place

Sniper-  Allows ranged unit to be invisible, fire a missile, and go invisible again

Seige Breaker-  Unit can cause damage to city walls, or other defensive terrain

Horse/Worg Master-  Additional movement or attacks when riding on a chosen mount.

Immunities-  Unit is immune to a specific type of damage (Piercing, Fire, Earth), or progressive based, where Immunity I gives you a 25% chance of ignoring the damage and Immunity II gives you 50%, etc..

Disease-  Causes units to lose HP per round and healing spells are not as effective until cured.  Continues damage into the main map after tactical battle is finished until it is healed

Incorporeal-  Only magic weapons or magical attacks do any damage

Levitate/Fly-  Able to get past walls or other defensible positions in order to attack enemies.

Berserker or Rage-  Attack and Hp's rise while Defense drops

Inspired leader-  Raises friendly stats.  Could either be variations of this such as Charismatic leader (where all Charisma is buffed), or a progressive  based version
where at level one you get one stat increase (HP +5) at level 2 you get 2 stats (HP +5 and Attack +2), level 3, etc...

Swallow Whole-  Unit is destroyed in X number of rounds unless unit is killed..Gives benefit of extra HP's or some additional powers based on what unit was swallowed.

Mimic--Allows you to mimic a power of another creature you are fighting

Shapechange--Makes your unit look either like another unit showing false info, or actually allows you to mimic that creature completely.

Putrid Stench- Nearby creaturs suffer a penalty to attack/damage and defense.

Cone of Vomit-  Causes minor acidic damage, and lowers defense of creature...perhaps has a chance to cause additional effect (blindness, slow, sickness)

Armor Master-  Brings up the defense of the unit, can also scale such as Armor master I gives you +2 to Def while Armor Master II gives you +4 to defense

Weapons Master-  Same as above but uses attack/damage Values

Sacrifice/Retributive Strike--Causes unit to die a violent death, but causes major damage to all nearby units

on Jul 30, 2010


Once the unit is damaged, it gets +1 to move, combat speed and attack, and halves defence.


Drops the morale of all enemies within a 2 radius (where can we see morale?).

Death Touch

Damage dealt is permanent.


Part of damage dealt is added as health to the attacker.

Antimagic Aura X

Prevents the casting of spells of X level or lower being cast on the battlefield, unless the caster has a shard of that type.


on Jul 30, 2010

Okay, I can't resist, here are a few more that could be used for late-game bosses or such:

Holy Shield - The boss is surrounded by a holy shield, negating all damage but dark damage, which it recieves a penalty to.

Dark Shield - The boss is surrounded by a shield of shadow, negating all but holy damage, which it recieves a penalty to.

I also really like the idea of the elemental rings blocking off the town from attack for a few turns, but make it so that they have a penalty associated with tem, or at least a very high mana cost, so that they aren't spammable.

on Jul 30, 2010

Lots of cool ability names in there.

on Jul 30, 2010

New Quests

One of the types of quests that I’m enjoying are the ones where you have to collect various items and bring them back to someone to get them made into a special item. I’m looking at adding the ability to trade these items between players so if the AI players have found Midnight Stones (for instance) and you need one more to get the boots of eternal dodging then you can trade with them for that midnight stone (and vice versa if they need something the AI can come to you and try to trade for it).

This is great. The game needs more "persistant" quests. The one I'm actually making now in spare time is from a Leatherworker to collect pelts from (wolves, currently) and turn them into leather armor for my Sovereign/Champions. Mostly proof-of-concept stuff while I figure out how stuff works. These kinds of quests are great.

Also please consider quests that are not guaranteed to appear. Quests that begin from a rare item drop from a rare monster, or quests that begin by finding a rare monster, or very rare adventuring tiles (it's not every game that you'd find a dragon lair or a portal to some demon dimension).

Furthermore, consider varying what can be awarded or required by quests. Quests that require a specific unit ("sacrifice this guy to get <x>"), quests that reward technologies (like a tile for wargs, but you have to do a quest to learn how to tame/ride them to unlock the research that allows you to build the improvement and harvest them for unit mounts), etc.

on Jul 30, 2010



(on giant like units)

STOMP cause minor dmg on all enemies in 3 4 tile range

ROLLING STONE deal dmg on all units in a row

PUSH deal minor dmg and push unit away 2 tiles


(on hunters like )

PLACE TRAP, place a invisible trap on the playground dealing minor dmg and preventing the unit who f irst walk on it to move for 2 turns

SLOW SHOT unit hit by this shot has its CP reduced to 1 for 2 turns

MULTI SHOT ranged dmg is reduced by 50% but hits all nearby target too


(warrior kind)

DEFENSIVE STANCE the unit takes 75% less dmg for 2 turns but cant retaliate

TAUNT force the unit to only attack the caster for next turn

THROW WEAPON attacks at 3 tiles of distance but cant attack next turn


on Jul 30, 2010

I'm thinking some 'class' specific passive abilities that effect groups or stationed cities.

  • Adventurer- Discount- 20% cheaper items for sale from merchants (for history_adventurer)
  • Bard- Entertain- +20% to city prestige
  • Merchant- Trader- Generates +1G and adds +10-20% more G in city
  • Inventor- Research- Generates +1 research and adds +10% more research in city
  • Loremaster- Arcane Research- Generates +1 arcane research and +10% more arcane research in city
  • Administrator- Govern- Generates +10% more G and +10% more research in city
  • Farmer- Farming- Adds +1 food
  • Miner- Mining- Generates +.5 metal per turn or +10% metal in city
  • Swindler- Diplomacy- Used on another civilization's city and slowly adds diplomatic relations with their nation.

The objective is to give you a bonus for keeping these specialist inside your cities. However, its a small bonus and, most of all, optional. You can continue to send them out and exploring and fighting.


Could go into each history and add another little bonus too.

  • Royalty- Royalty- +10% prestige and +10% G
  • Assassin- Stealth- Unit can hide/go invisible.
  • Thief- Rob- Unit can rob enemy cities of 10% of the cities Gildar/turn.
  • Warlord- Military Training- Units in city are trained 20% quicker (better then Warrior).
  • Warrior- Training- Units in city are trained 10% quicker or Security which adds +10% to city/fortified defense bonus.
  • Hunter- Hunting- Passive combat bonus against animal units.
  • Dungeon Master- ??- NO idea here.

Something to make each class, history, and ability more unique, meaningful, beneficial, and fun.


Can we make abilities already or not?

on Jul 30, 2010


 liked the special abilities from Panzer General 2 


Devestating Fire- Attacker geta an extra attack per turn

Elite Recon- unit gets can see +1 square further

Recon movement- unit can attack, then move (and attack again if they have any attacks left.) (if you havent already changes this limitation)

Ferrocious defense- defensive bonus

Ferrocious attack- attack bonus (to hit and dmg)

Superior Manuver- unit gets + 1 movement

Combat support - all adjacent allies (or within 1-2 squares) gain bonus to attack and defense

Overwatch-  allied ranged (archers, etc.) units fire back(as a defense)  at the attacking ranged enemy during enemy's turn (with no loss of attack on next turn)




on Jul 30, 2010

I think the Dragon needs Devour.

Giants could use Hurl - attempt to pick up a unit and throw them

Trample - Additional attack made while charging an enemy. Intended usage: for mounts trampling over infantry, etc

Knockback - knocks an enemy back one tile, if possible. If not possible, extra damage from colliding with whatever is behind them!

Blood Rage - unit gains HP every time they attack a unit. The ultimate in beserk fighting.

Harvest of Souls - unit gains HP from killing a unit. Ohhhhh, nasty wraiths.

Crippling Strike - attacks drain AP, preventing counter attacks

Hideous Visage - This unit is so terrifying even hardened souls dare not engage in combat with it. Morale penalty just for attacking it.

Brutal - every time this unit kills, it does so in a barbaric, brutal way designed to inspire fear in enemy soldiers. Morale penalty for each kill it makes, relative to the combat rating of whatever it just killed.

Acid Blood - units attacking this monster risk getting hit with gouts of acidic blood whenever they melee with it.

Rend - attack shatters armour, reducing defense