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 1)
on Jul 30, 2010

Dang, I like goodie huts, maybe just fewer of them.  Civ's implementation works.  Placed at the beginning and they don't respawn.

on Jul 30, 2010

I've got one, Thunder Guard. In combat when the unit is hit  there's a chance that whoever hit it will be struck by lightning.

The name isn't very good, in King's Bounty Armored Princess there was a spell, I think it was called guardian angel or something, but instead of a chance, there was a set number of lightning strikes that occurred on the enemy every time it hit the unit enchanted with the spell.

on Jul 30, 2010

Aura of Recovery - All allied units gain 1 hp per turn in battle.

Life Conversion - whenever a unit dies in tactical battle this unit gains 1 hp/mp.

Mass Spell - Next buff affects all allied units, 2x spell cost

Soul Link - Tethers life to Allied unit Unit share HP.

on Jul 30, 2010

Shadow Step

Flash Step

Flurry of Arrows

Precise Shot

Hide/ Reveal



Thunder Feet/ Trample

Aura of Fear (nearby enemy units quickly lose morale, -0.5 attack speed, -1 run speed ... nearby friendly units lose morale very slowly)

Aura of Valor (nearby allied units start at high morale, slowly increase morale, +0.5 attack speed, +1 run speed)

Crown of Brilliance (can see all nearby enemy units [2 tile radius?])

Hawkeye (+5 LOS, can see stealth, can see hidden, cannot see invisible)

Aura of Truth (cannot be dominated, charmed, or otherwise controlled by the enemy)

Impervious Aura (20% resistance to Spell Effects and Spell Damage)

Stone-Blooded/ Stone-like Constitution (immune to status effects, including but not limited to poisoned, blinded, and dizzy)

Regenerative Skin -> +1 HP per combat turn, +5 HP per overland map turn

on Jul 30, 2010

Some simple ones


dodge- Dex% chance of avoiding enemy melee blow

parry- % chance of avoiding enemy melee blow

spell slinging- has x% chance of reflecting enemy single-target spell back to caster

bash- can keep enemy from moving in tactical combat

whirlwind- can attack all units surrounding, but also friendly units

bandage/medicinal herbs- extra +n HP healing at end of turn to all in stack


on Jul 30, 2010

So wait.. cities will all be at the same level at release? I kind of liked how every city starts as like a backwoods town, and changes as it levels up. How are city levels going to work differently?


Also I like goodie huts. I mean it'd be nice not to need them, but finding random loot is fun

If you get rid of these at least make it so brigands and random monsters drop stuff more often. Goodie huts give me a decent reason to send my sovereign in any given direction.

on Jul 30, 2010

Cities still change (play the beta) ... but instead of building more buildings, you get more bonuses and more influence.

on Jul 30, 2010

So... you ARE taking out goodie huts? It's tine headline but I don't see a comment about it. It's going to make the game a LOOOT slower... isn't it?

on Jul 30, 2010

Summoner - all Summoned units gain INT/4 Atk/Def/HP

Huntsman - +5 atk against all animals, +5 attack with bow

Warlord - All allied troops gain morale at .1 per turn for each allied unit on map

on Jul 30, 2010

I've never been a huge fan of goodie huts, but I figured they were here to stay.  Interesting to hear they've been dropped.

Here are a few random ideas for abilities (though the names could use some improvement):

Immolate - The caster (probably only available to some fiery supernatural things) bursts into flames.  Any melee attack against them deals fire damage to the attacker.

Shockwave - Emits a massive concussive wave, with a chance to stun nearby enemies.  May also knock them back a square (not sure if that's possible with current mechanics).

Pull - Pulls a single enemy towards the caster into melee range (idea shamelessly stolen from Revenants in Dragon Age).  Good ability for melee-heavy supernatural things.  Again, not sure if it would be properly doable with current mechanics.

Silence - Removes all sound from an area (or maybe single target?), preventing spell-casting.

Shriek - Gives all nearby enemies penalties to attack, defense and morale.

Banshee's Wail - Deals damage to all nearby units, and gives them a penalty to morale.

Stomp - The unit (something big) stomps its foot on the ground, with a chance to cause all nearby units to be knocked off their feet.  Those affected lose their next turn (or lose some of their moves, or whatever).


on Jul 30, 2010

GC2 suffered from too many goodie huts IMO.


You need a few, but they should require adventuring techs, or adventurers to see.

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.  

on Jul 30, 2010

Assimilate (Empire only perhaps?) - You absorb a friendly soldier to gain a portion of health.

on Jul 30, 2010

Oh yeah, here's another cool one:


Aura of Death - The unit gains a percentage of attack/defence/health upon killing an enemy.

on Jul 30, 2010

A few more:

Mountain Shield - You and all units within a one tile radius become invincible for one turn, but cannot move or act.

Firewall (lol) - You create a barrier of fire that lasts 2 turns that does damage to every unit that passes through it.