Brad Wardell's views about technology, politics, religion, world affairs, and all sorts of politically incorrect topics.

We’ve got N resources and M things to work on. Based on your experiences with beta 2, where would you like N to go the most?

Vote here:

http://www.elementalgame.com/journals


Comments (Page 6)
on Mar 03, 2012

Grizzyloins

I think giving the 'neutrals' (ogres, trolls, bandits, mites, etc.) of the world, that have a certain lvl of intellegence, the ability to have diplomatic talks & the ability to create additional camps would add alot of 'sim' feel & flavor to the world.  I say we turn all these neutrals into 'minor factions' and give them some life rather than have them mindless beasts that can't be reasoned with. 

 

I think of a world where you could choose a large (extra large?) map with only a few major factions involved, giving plenty of room for these 'neutrals' to grow into a horde with multiple camps controlled by a common leader and with wars between the minor factions which one could gain their favor by joining the 'wildlings' against the 'ogres' of the northern lands.

sounds like a cool idea for an expansion/ sequel.

on Mar 03, 2012

There is a flow switch in the xml that decides how often a lair spawns new units. No expansion needed. You could just turn up the default value and then map size would naturally put factions in the way of neutral monster growth because we would kill the ones next to us. On larger maps, the empty areas would fill up with vast armies of uncoordinated tribes, rip for the conquering. So setting monster density would then determine how quickly they grew in number and how difficult the war would be.

I may just mod this in for my next game and report about it.

on Mar 03, 2012

 Faction differentiation.I never seen such dull factions in a fantasy game.Look at Illwinter's games and how they make those little sprites and factions come alive.

on Mar 03, 2012

Ya faction variation. Now in order of importance in my book,

 

1. Faction Variation

2. City Management

3. AI

4. Tactical Battles

5. More Spells

6. Quests and Random Events

7. Performance and Stability

 

on Mar 03, 2012

I voted for city management because, right now, cities are remarkably bland with no real character or sense of life.  They need a lot of work to feel like a fun mechanic.  However, I think everything on the list still needs a lot of work.  Top four for me:

1) City management - see above.

2) Tactical battles - right now, they feel less like battles and more like back alley brawls (or, even worse, a throwaway mini-game).  Where are the tactics?  Where is the art of maneuver?  The clash of steel on steel?  The breaking of morale? 

3) Faction Differentiation:  Nice progress here, but I still would like some starker differences.

4)Random Events:  Haven't seen any?

on Mar 03, 2012

I voted faction differentiation but City management was my second equal choice.

on Mar 03, 2012

seanw3
There is a flow switch in the xml that decides how often a lair spawns new units. No expansion needed. You could just turn up the default value and then map size would naturally put factions in the way of neutral monster growth because we would kill the ones next to us. On larger maps, the empty areas would fill up with vast armies of uncoordinated tribes, rip for the conquering. So setting monster density would then determine how quickly they grew in number and how difficult the war would be.

I may just mod this in for my next game and report about it.

 

This would help to have more monsters I guess (and would probably add much variety to the late game, as mid-late game there might actually be large numbers of monsters) ...

But the Neutral Strategic AI is just borked right now. I released Waerloga the Dragon lord, and instead of trying to capture cities and establish his own faction ... he just sort of sat there.

Eventually I could have killed 1 dragon at a time until he was finally dead. (would have probably taken about 6 or 7 armies of full knights, + possibly some extra armies of zombies to soften him before hand) ...

I mean, even if I just sat 1 tile away from him (directly adjacent to him) he would still just sit there.

He spawned next to one of my cities, and could have easily taken it, and perhaps another ... if he tried.

 

But what the guy was talking about wasn't just more monsters ... it was monsters you could do diplomacy with. It was intrigue between different monster groups (Butchermen vs Trolls vs Spiders vs the Pack Drakes) ... it was having each neutral beast-type of some intelligence act as a mini-faction once it reached a certain 'critical mass'.

It was an idea of a living world (with character), not just a mass of monsters.

 

(still, a vigorous and growing land filled with monsters might be nice to try out)

-> There is a small level of wildland growth as it is, but currently its too slow to be much of a threat on normal settings ... especially with beasts abandoning their lairs (especially elementals ... Bears and Spiders do a half-way decent job at guarding lairs, but elementals really suck at it for some reason)

on Mar 03, 2012

I'm sure that somewhere Frogboy said that the real enemies are the opposite factions and that "monsters" are "annoyances". Not that he cannot change his mind.

on Mar 03, 2012

Its complicated. Ultimately the Factions should be the real danger because of "better strategic AI" the ability to build, maintain, and improve cities, and of course all that juicy MANA!!!

Even a deadly army of pack drakes backed by a few fire breathers would eventually crumble to a united onslaught by a magical empire.

 

Still, its something that should have the potential for danger at any point in the game I think, not just as early game stepping stones.

 

Although .... this is probably just a different setting, or a different game/expansion that would cause this.

 

Its not my primary focus/concern though. Monsters as they are would be fine for Gold/Launch imho (other than LAIR guarding, better LAIRS in general- aka multi levels, and possibly Text Based adventuring ... which has everything to do with the Neutral Faction).

The only thing I REALLY want is for the Shadow Demons (from the Shadow Gate spell) and Waerloga's dragon army to spawn more as factions than as an army that does nothing.

^-those two epic end-game things are the only stuff I'd really want changed (as far as Neutral faction is concerned) for Launch/gold.

 

However, I'd still rate priority on Waerloga and the Shadow demons as only a 15 or a 20.

For me, Faction Differentiation is still a strong 98 or higher, and better AI is a steady 97 or lower.

 

---> If its true that "pioneer armies' are due to the enemy factions not having enough unit designs, then DESIGN TEAM BETTER GET ON THAT! I'd label that as a 75 importance as its a mix of AI (97) and Tactical Battles (45)

on Mar 03, 2012

On the topic of monster spawning:

Apparently increasing the world difficulty level will increase the rate at which lairs spawn new monsters. The values just need to be tweaked so that on normal a monster army spawns every 10 turns. On Challenging it should be 5 turns and on ridiculous it should be every turn with very high health levels. I would prefer the Monster Density slider to increase the spawn rate and defense radius of all lairs. On Challenging like minded tribal level neutrals like wildings and ogres should team up if left alone in far away area. The empty space is what I am mostly concerned about. Act II shouldn't mean an end to Monsters. Some places should be kept remote by blocking the way there with mountains or dragons.

RE: Wintersong

Act I is all about scouting the world and carving out a home for your people. The primary enemy is the world. 

Act II is expansion to scouted resources and overcoming the dangers of the wild. The primary enemy is the world. A secondary enemy might be first contact with new factions. 

Act III is the exploitation and utilization of those resources to win the game. The primary enemy is other factions. A secondary enemy might be extremely powerful world elements introduced in the endgame in various ways. 

on Mar 03, 2012

I was actually about to start a new Poll like I promised i would do back when i did the First poll.

But then Stardock took it on.  ( I voted for city management BTW )

 

Do you guys think i should still do an Unofficial poll along side?  It did have more options, the possibility to propose new categories and people had 3 votes instead of one so maybe its still worthwhile. If you guys would care about it, I would be happy to start a poll similar to the first one i did back then for 0.77.

on Mar 04, 2012

Where to focus on? 


Tactical battles!


Tactical battles!!


Tactical battles!!!

 

That's the area the game lacks the most and on top of it at least fixable by modders. Even as the majority votes on Faction differentiation - modders could do it just as easily. 

But the current state of tactical combat is really not that good (compared to other similar games). 

Quite a few core mechanics aren't well worked out. To name a few: uselessness of dexterity, the extreme nature of dodge and critical strikes (low probability and huge effect in one action - not a good pairing in a strategy game), the over-emphasis of striking first, the horrible oversimplified "Paper-Rock-Scissors" Balance approach (it works in non-tactical games like galciv but not for tactical combat games), most traits and equipment lacking clear tactical purpose and leveling issues (no level-caps..., some stats rise others don't) 

Another problem is: any change on the combat mechanics have to be taught to the AI or otherwise we won't have much fun battling it. And the longer StarDocks postpones the changes to make tactical combat interesting the more difficult it will be to adjust the existing AI code to it.

Compared to that actual faction differentiation can also happen quite late in the development cycle.

 

  

       

on Mar 04, 2012


Stability and performance shouldn't really be in that poll.  You have to attend to them, even if no one votes for them.  Releasing something that even has a 1% crash rate will likely cause a PR nightmare.  Same thing with performance, with a higher cutoff number.  So, without those in the poll, I'd say city management next.

on Mar 04, 2012

Winnihym

Releasing something that even has a 1% crash rate will likely cause a PR nightmare.

I agree with your first statement, but are you serious? There is not going to be any "PR nightmare" from a crash rate of 1%.

on Mar 04, 2012

@ Xadie ... I think that Tactical Battles currently 'feel' weak because of the strategic weaknesses inherent in Beta 2.

 

Currently I am playing a game with all "Challenging" AIs, and I used one of my Custom combos as a leader.

 

The custom combo uses default templates + the units I designed for him (I like this! )

Therefore, I am facing a Magnar IV with VERY high power due to mob spam.

 

Basically he and I are about double all the other AIs in power ratings ... and its very early in the game (our 40s to 50ish power compared to their power in the 20s)

I didn't take Endless horde for this game, so my units are infinitely more expensive ...

I did however take Lucky and Decalon. Decalon seems to be of some help, although given the circumstances I would have been MUCH better off with Endless horde rather than Lucky.

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