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 3)
on Feb 23, 2012

I'm slightly surprised the game 2nd Beta hasn't been released yet.

on Feb 23, 2012

Still targeting today for Beta 2, tweaking some things. No, it didn't make it out by 3pm EST.

Kris

on Feb 23, 2012

Why oh why would you use Sunder?

Fireball @ and Blizzards are the way to go! These creatures are so huge that they'll be hit more than once from aoe spells, so a fireball can hit it 9 times! Burn to crisps muhahaha.

on Feb 23, 2012

Raledon
Why oh why would you use Sunder?

Fireball @ and Blizzards are the way to go! These creatures are so huge that they'll be hit more than once from aoe spells, so a fireball can hit it 9 times! Burn to crisps muhahaha.

because:

+ Fixed an issue causing multi-tile creatures to be hit multiple times by spells with a radius

http://forums.elementalgame.com/416958

on Feb 23, 2012

Yea ... AOE is 9x as effective against those large things

 

I used my scroll of blizzard to reduce Torax to half health once   (I figure no point in saving scrolls like that if I'm not going to use it in a super-mega battle like vs Torax)

 

 

Edit: Ninjaed ... I thought it was a FEATURE!

on Feb 23, 2012

Its almost closing time. Is the Elemental team going to work a little OT? I understand there might be 8in of snow tomorrow stopping them from making it in. Maybe they get the day off tomorrow if they can get the game out tonight?  

on Feb 23, 2012

Tasunke
Edit: Ninjaed ... I thought it was a FEATURE!

Fortunately, it is not.

on Feb 23, 2012

its up now!!!

 

on Feb 23, 2012

The build is up on the store download page (https://store.stardock.com/myaccount/products). The first link is a full install of 0.85 for new users. Anyone with previous versions of Beta1 can use the Beta Update download to get the patch installer (~200MB). 

Kris

on Feb 23, 2012

@Mazy ownage

 

DAMN NATURE, YOU SCARY!

on Feb 24, 2012

Should old save games work with the new patch? If not, when the final version is released, will that be the case for future updates?

on Feb 24, 2012

juryal
Game looks awesome. I'm enjoying the mini-AAR's.

Quoting Alstein, reply 2
One question: can you actually conquer the wildlands in .85?  I never could place the monument to conquer them in .77, even when I defeated the guardian. 

I hope it is in. I was very disappointed when I beat the serpent in the giant canyon and couldn't take full advantage of his demise.

Also, do things like drakes and other recruitable creatures count as champions for purposes of experience? In other words, would experience be split between DL and Mazy when they fought in the same battle?

I have conquered a couple of the wildlands.  In the game I am playing now, I have taken the Curgen's Tomb and Ice Lands (Vetrar).  In previous games I have taken over the Fire Lands and the Lombard Desert.  Curgen's Tomb, you get the Dragon and the 3 Crystal air shard.  Fire you get the 3 shards of fire, and the ice you get the 3 blue shards.  Lomabard Desert you get a the library thing--600 points of research i think.

The Ruins of Imperium seem to be broken.  I went through that place with a fine tooth comb and never could get to place out posts in it.  I have never run into the Bhindami Fissure or the Swamp place.  I have seen The Shroud, but I was busy get thumped by Verga and never did make it back into that place.

 

My current game I did recruit a dragon from Curgen's Tomb.  I had a great army of heroes, with my sovereign, and my dragon.  Unfortunately, I had cast Firestorm several times on a choke point to keep Relias at bay while I finished off Gilden.  Apparently the fires were still burning even though I couldn't see them on the map (big glitch).  I had even dispelled them (same glitch).  I walked through that tile with my army.  The screen went crazy.  Each one of my heroes in the group died four or five times.  None of them had any injuries prior to walking through and then all of the sudden they all had 4 or 5 of them.  That sucked.

on Feb 24, 2012

Lord Reliant
Should old save games work with the new patch? If not, when the final version is released, will that be the case for future updates?

Updates usually break save games which I would suspect will continue to be the case after the beta is over. My suggestion is don't update the game if you are in the middle of a long saved game already. 

 

on Feb 24, 2012

ZombiesRus5

Quoting Lord Reliant, reply 41Should old save games work with the new patch? If not, when the final version is released, will that be the case for future updates?

Updates usually break save games which I would suspect will continue to be the case after the beta is over. My suggestion is don't update the game if you are in the middle of a long saved game already. 

I imagine updating would break old saves. I just have two issues:

1. If that's the case, it should say that on the release notes.

2. At some point in the future, backwards compatibility would be good. Since this is a TBS, some people could have protracted games and not want to jeopardize losing it all from an update. It's fine in beta because I expect that to happen, but once it's released others may not be as forgiving.

on Feb 26, 2012

Wow, I've been absent for a long time because I got so disgusted with the first elemental.  This.  Looks.  Great. Kind of regretting returning the first one.  Now I might have to order this.

Finally get to see my MoM again after all these years... I thought she was dead!