Brad Wardell's views about technology, politics, religion, world affairs, and all sorts of politically incorrect topics.
A walk through Fallen Enchantress
Published on February 22, 2012 By Draginol In Elemental Dev Journals

Greetings!

This is a play through of version 0.85 of the upcoming PC strategy game, Elemental: Fallen Enchantress.  For Fallen Enchantress, Stardock reunited the Galactic Civilizations II team and brought in the Fall from Heaven creator, Kael to design a new strategy game that exists in the Elemental game universe.  The game’s campaign is designed by Jon Shafer, the lead designer of Civilization V.

Tomorrow, February 23, beta 2 of Fallen Enchantress will be unleashed on the unsuspecting public.  Anyone who has pre-ordered Fallen Enchantress will have access to it as well as anyone who purchased War of Magic back in 2010.

Fallen Enchantress is about you. Or more specifically, the world’s most powerful sorcerer who is played by you. It’s about the kingdom you build and the challenges you face.

Once upon a time…

I created a custom sovereign and allied him with one of the included factions, Altar.  Altar is the faction made up by men who fear the rise of the Empires of old who would enslave and ruin the world if they have their way.

My character, DL, is a scholar. He gets an extra 2 research per turn. The large, randomly generated map I’m playing on has 10 others players on it.

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Now, immediately I have a few challenges to face.

There’s a Mite infestation. And I don’t mean the good kind of mites….ok, there are no good mites but still. They’re small, they have sharp teeth and they’re mean. 

I also have an unusually good start position. (pro tip: you can press Ctrl-N to have it regenerate the map until you get a random world you like). I have metal and crystal.  Metal is good for making good mundane weapons (swords, armor, etc.). Crystal is good for making arcane items. It’s rare to see both near a starting location.

There’s an exiled Wilding Warrior hanging around an abandoned caravan (no doubt, he being the source of said abandonment).  There’s also a champion I can recruit near by – Ralle.

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Ralle has 5 useful abilities (and eventually we plan to have even more specific abilities for champions).

When I try to sneak by the Wilding to get to that caravan, he attacks…

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This goes poorly for me. Lesson learned, don’t get too close to the nasties. No problem though, my sovereign is practically unkillable and returns to Athica, capital of Altar to rest and heal.

Act I: Explore

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While DL recovers, my first set of pioneers have been trained and sent out.  Pioneers are great as they allow you to construct new cities and outposts.

Outposts are kind of a new concept in 4X as far as I can tell.  Basically, rather than having to have lots of cities, you can construct outposts who capture nearby resources who then feed into your cities.  There’s a shard of power relatively nearby that I am going to have them go get so that I can start accumulating mana.

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and then…

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Not only is there a shard near by but there is a scenic view.

Scenic views are special places in the world that once had a great deal of prestige in the old Empire. Controlling these allow you to accumulate diplomatic capital which allow players to buy favors from other players as well as recruit various kind of mercenaries from the world. 

If metal is the path to traditional soldiers and crystal is the path to arcane minions, then diplomatic capital is the path to recruiting monsters to be your armies.

In this pleasant example, I have all three which will give me a lot of flexibility.

The first meeting

On turn 21, I encounter the first emissaries of Yithril.

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Yithril is home of the Trogs.  It’s not just the killing they do. It’s the eating that really gives them a bad reputation.

It is…unfortunate that they are so close to me.

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What’s really unpleasant is that he’s quite powerful already. He’s level 2 (I’m only level 1). He’s upgraded his armor.  Verga isn’t terribly bright but he makes up for it with brute force.

The Trogs are very often the worst foes a Kingdom will face.

Act II: Expansion

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Just as there are champions I can recruit, there are champions who are allied with the Empires.  I consider it important, especially with an Empire (the Trogs) near by, to eliminate as many imperial champions as possible, early on.

Narthyssa is particularly unpleasant because she is a berserker and will cast wither. I just know it.

Let’s see a video of what happens: http://screencast.com/t/OUWjphkZ1US

No Wither but 2 vs 1 isn’t really fair. Life isn’t fair either.

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Now my next set of pioneers is giong to head over to claim some resources in this area.

The path ensures that they won’t come too close to that troll.

Athica grows

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Athica has become a level 2 city. When a city levels up, it can choose a special improvement to be built.

The next faction

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We’ll see how that goes…

Meanwhile, after fighting off a wolf scourge, DL has finally made it to level 2 where he can choose a new trait to add.

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I was torn between strength and fast.  Fast is an uncommon trait to show up in the options here so I went with that.  Strength increases the damage melee weapons do. 

Technology

Fallen Enchantress has 3 technology paths:

Civilization – good for building up your economy, knowledge, and diplomatic abilities.

Warfare – good for building up your mundane warfare capabilities

Magic – good for building up your arcane related abilities.

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The First War

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I could avoid this war but realistically, the Trogs are never going to be friendly. They’re the Mongols of Elemental.  Better to deal with them now than later.

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Wars, however, are expensive.  Soldiers have to be paid and so my normal rate rate will have to go up.  Increasing taxes will increase my unrest which will decrease how much research I do as well as decrease my production some.

I do have some advantages – magic.

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I control 3 Elemental shards which generate mana. This in turn allows me to “buff” my army considerably.

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Let’s watch the battle…

http://screencast.com/t/gD3bhMqqEXcX

My Pet Dragon

Well technically my pet Drake.

Yithril had a secret weapon they were working on.  They had captured a Drake nest and were in the process of training a drake. Which…I now own.

No wonder they declared war on me. If they had gotten this thing hatched before I arrived it would have been bad.

Now it’s good. For me.

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DL and “Mazy” the Drake.

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Time to have some fun..

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They have a lot or soldiers.

I have Mazy.

Let’s watch…

http://screencast.com/t/Ng1g2gdKJ3h

(heh, I just showed this to Derek, he says it’s a bug that that lair was supposed to be guarded, sorry guys)

A better person wouldn’t use the drake for the rest of this example.

I’m not a better person.

I bet Verga wishes he hadn’t threatened me.

http://screencast.com/t/G7BnqD7nCQD

And so goes Yithril.

Into a dark place

One of my favorite features of the Master of Orion games revolved around Orion. That is, a super powerful planet that, if you conquered, it gave you a big advantage. Of course, conquering it was very tough.

In Fallen Enchantress, we have the Wild Lands. A part of the map so horrific that few survive that enter.

Those people…the un-surviving (yea, I made that up) didn’t have Mazy.

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And so into the deep desert I go.

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This is definitely a bad place.

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Ut oh, will Mazy live?

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Oh wait. That’s right, Mazy’s a Drake. Fire and all that.

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And she can sweep her tail.

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Now for the show down.  Torax. The living mountain tolerates no unwelcome guests.

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Rotax seemed…more reasonably sized on the strategic map.  Now, when put to scale, this is looking…less promising.

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This may come in handy. I hope.

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Maaaazzzzzyyyyy!!!!

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Hello…Mr. um. Mountain…guy.

Heh. You know, no hard feelings right?

And I’m down in 1 hit.

Fair weather friends

My diplomatic relations WITH Mazy

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and soon after Mazy’s passing…

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Bums.

Act III: Exploitation

After a couple hours of play, here is the known world…

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And this is the world total:

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So I’ve barely scratched the surface.

Thus far, I’ve founded a Kingdom, recruited a champion to my side, conquered an Empire and took their Drake hatchling and turned it into a formidable weapon…who then died when I ventured too deeply into the endless desert and came face with Torax.

It is now I have to decide what is the best path to victory.  Conquer them all? If so, how? I have good relations, perhaps I should try a diplomatic victory.  I don’t think I can get the Epic Quest victory here because I haven’t encountered the location of any parts of it. It’s a big world.  I could probably go for the Spell of Mastery. I have a lot of mana. But could I survive long enough to cast it?

…To be continued…


Comments (Page 2)
on Feb 23, 2012

Sarudak
It is the 23rd now! Lol

 

Soon™

on Feb 23, 2012


Just posting to 2nd what Vallu751 (post 11) wrote - taxes don't make much sense at the moment

 

Looking forward to trying out this next beta later

on Feb 23, 2012

Bellack
Just make this an option so that we can turn off if we don't want it. I for one like to be suprised

 

My problem isn't so much the surprise element (though I don't much like that either), it's the "who the f-ck are you" element.  There's just not enough information on the screen to inform me who this person is. 

 

The only information is the picture of the person and the "A Message From [Faction Name]" title.  Since it's a random popup, there's no connection to the game map or the flow of the game, so I don't even know geographically where this message is coming from.

 

On a map with 10 other factions, that's going to be very difficult to keep straight.  Especially if you play in fits and starts like I do.  It's very common for me to save a game and come back to it 3-4 days later.  There's no way I am going to remember who is who in any effective way.

on Feb 23, 2012


Looking very much forward to 0.85. Much promise in the patchnotes and gameplay examples. With a bit of luck the patch will out just when my daughters are put to bed.

on Feb 23, 2012
There are descriptions of each race in the Hiergamemnon. I think this is one of those instances where the user should learn from experience and their own intelligence. You can also check the diplomacy screen to see how they feel about you at any given moment. But keep in mind that Brad is just starting on the diplomacy AI now. Beta 2 will not have a complicated system.
on Feb 23, 2012

I wonder why Gilden's 'freindly' meter didn't move after Mazy's death, are you still stronger than them or do they love you due to past deeds or other treaties so much that they don't care about your strength? I had a hard time getting others to like me if I was 'weaker' than them no matter what I did, frustrated me that I couldn't get an ally, even though I was giving them gifts of all shaps & sizes.

 

oh, & if someone tells you to give them money or die, perhaps giving in would knock back there diplomacy meter a ways to buy you some time before the 'treaties' bring it back down to 'it's time to pay up' again

on Feb 23, 2012

Gave us tribute (+3) for 20 turns.

on Feb 23, 2012

seanw3
There are descriptions of each race in the Hiergamemnon.

The Hiergamemnon is not accessible from this dialog.  So I'd have to make my selection here and then uselessly check the Hiergamemnon to figure out if I'd just paid off the weakest player in the game or declared war on the strongest. 

Not everyone has a photographic memory or wants to use that memory to bone up on the statistics of every random faction in a computer game.

 

on Feb 23, 2012

Good Point. You should be able to access the Hiergamemnon from that screen.

on Feb 23, 2012

I've played only a handful of games up to now and not very far off.

 

I just realised that the world is really really really really big that's just crazy!"!!!  It will take me months just to start  a game never mind win one... WAY COOL!!!

 

Thanks mr Frogboy these little trips into the game is really nice.

 

Almost finished my half day after that I am loading the game

on Feb 23, 2012


Is there a keyboard shortcut for the Hiergamemnon?

on Feb 23, 2012

As noted above, Civ 3 had pretty much the exact same mechanic as outposts.  GalCiv II's asteroid mining and resource collection were also somewhat similar to outposts.

on Feb 23, 2012

How long would it take to recruit an army of Mazzys?

on Feb 23, 2012

sweatyboatman
The Hiergamemnon is not accessible from this dialog.  So I'd have to make my selection here and then uselessly check the Hiergamemnon to figure out if I'd just paid off the weakest player in the game or declared war on the strongest. 

Perhaps, an advisor box to click on when you such a dialog box pops up. The Adviser would ask;

What do you wish to know my lord?;

1. Tell me about the [Mancers]

  • [Mancers] are...........................

2. Are the [Mancers] our friends or enemies.

  • [Mancers] are [allied/close/hostile/friendly/indifferent] to us.

3. How strong are the [Mancers]?

Our agents report that [Mancer] armies are [larger] than ours and equipped with [stronger/weaker] armor and [stonger/weaker] weapons.

4. Where are the lands of the [Mancers]?

  • The realm of the [Mancers] are [to the east] in [explored] lands.
  • The realm of the [Trogs] are [faraway] in [unexplored] lands.
  • The realm of the [Wraiths] are [far to the south] in [explored lands].
  • The realm of the [Mancers] are [a short distance away] in [unexplored] lands.
on Feb 23, 2012

[/quote]
Perhaps, an advisor box to click on when you such a dialog box pops up.

The Adviser would ask; What do you wish to know my lord;

1. Tell me about the [Mancers]


[Mancers] are...........................

2. Are the [Mancers] our friends or enemies.


[Mancers] are [hostile/indifferent/allied] to us.

3. How strong are the [Mancers]?

Our agents report that [Mancer] armies are [larger] than ours and equipped with [stronger/weaker] armor and [stonger/weaker] weapons.

4. Where are the lands of the [Mancers]?


The realm of the [Mancers] are [to the east] in [explored] lands.
The realm of the [Trogs] are [faraway] in [unexplored] lands.
The realm of the [Wraiths] are [far to the south] in [explored lands].
[/quote]

 

 

This sounds like a GREAT idea!

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