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Default Stardock's Elemental Revealed @ Edge Online

November 4th, 2008, 21:19
We recently had a newsbit on Stardock's Master of Magic-inspired project and today, it was revealed at Edge Online as Elemental: War of Magic -
The developer recently revealed to Edge the turn-based fantasy strategy game Elemental: War of Magic, a city-building, "4X" PC title loosely inspired by J.R.R. Tolkien's The Silmarillion.

"Elemental is set in a world devastated by cataclysmic war magic from 100 years before, and now life is starting to return," explained Brad Wardell, CEO of Stardock.

Stardock is aiming for a February 2010 release, with a public beta arriving this coming spring. The game has been teased very mildy for several months, with Stardock fans referring to the game as "Not-MOM," or "Not Master of Magic," a reference to the classic fantasy turn-based game from 1993 that influenced the game.
We probably won't continue to follow this title because it seems to fall squarely into the strategy genre.
More information.
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November 4th, 2008, 21:19
Sounds interesting. I always found Stardock titles very solid and good games. They kinda lack the esteem they deserve IMO.
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November 5th, 2008, 15:40
Bah! If it's anything like MoM I'd have thought it'd be of interest to quite a few on here, but I suppose you've got to draw the line somewhere
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November 5th, 2008, 16:01
I reckon I can role play taking over the world with magic pretty well - so I'm fine if you want to keep reporting on this game.
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November 5th, 2008, 16:12
I hope the tactical battle is more "classic" than "new" ala GC. If it doesnt have any tactical battle then I might just skip it. I allready have the civ4 fantasy mods.

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November 5th, 2008, 17:37
Originally Posted by Benedict View Post
Bah! If it's anything like MoM I'd have thought it'd be of interest to quite a few on here, but I suppose you've got to draw the line somewhere
We shall have an ongoing thread in Non-RPG. Nay, we shan't be denied by the dictates of wanton authority. Verily, the masses cry out with Elemental hunger!

Just because Dhruin's right doesn't mean we can't have some fun with it, eh? Anyway, I figure we'll end up with a thread for info over in Non-RPG kinda like we have recently with some other games.

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November 5th, 2008, 17:37
I find it interesting that it's inspired specifically by The Silmarillion rather than LOTR. Does this mean we'll get brooding heroes who end up impregnating their own sisters?
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November 5th, 2008, 22:28
Originally Posted by Essaliad View Post
Does this mean we'll get brooding heroes who end up impregnating their own sisters?
More likely they wanted to compare it to Tolkien, but the only parts that fit were the bits where people regularly fight balrogs and giant spiders.

Glad to finally get some details Until this is released, I'll be playing the Fall From Heaven II mod for Civ4…
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November 5th, 2008, 22:58
Pity, because in that case citing Tolkien is pretty redundant: if you're going to crap out generic fantasy #2542526526, everyone knows you're probably copy-pasting Tolkien or copy-pasting Tolkien derivatives anyway. The mention of the Silm made me a little hopeful, because it's a much less mainstream book than LOTR, what with mostly being long historical info-dumps and shorter stories that aren't always cohesively connected.
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November 5th, 2008, 23:10
Some games are closer to Tolkien than others.

I found Age of Wonders 1 remarkably close - and still in an own world.

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November 5th, 2008, 23:15
Hey, if there's enough interest, we'll cover it. Looks like there is…so, yea or nay?

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November 5th, 2008, 23:16
Originally Posted by Alrik Fassbauer View Post
Some games are closer to Tolkien than others
You say that like it's a good thing.
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November 5th, 2008, 23:38
Originally Posted by Dhruin View Post
Hey, if there's enough interest, we'll cover it. Looks like there is…so, yea or nay?
I was just goofin'. It's well outside the charter of the Watch, and even the historical link doesn't tie it in (remembering Bioshock -> System Shock). We'll get us a thread in the non-RPG forum. If that spawns a hundred posts or a dozen threads, maybe the ruling gets a second look. Not my decision, but that's my answer, FWIW.

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November 6th, 2008, 11:54
Originally Posted by Essaliad View Post
You say that like it's a good thing.
I don't know. I don't know whether this is bad or or good, but I have AOW1 in good memories, yes.

I found some hints towards the Tolkien's Universe in other games, but there they were rather hints, and didn't fit too well into the gameplay.

I must also say that I haven't play the EA "Battle of Middle Earth" games.

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November 6th, 2008, 19:48
Originally Posted by Essaliad View Post
You say that like it's a good thing.
The inspiration is secondary to the implementation.

Tolkien's work is considered the most generic overused fantasy trope by most readers/gamers alike these days. That is only because his works were the first mass market as well as critical fantasy success post WWII (It was much bigger then the Narnia books). So everything tries to imitate it, and most still do. Even so, it is one of the only fantasy works universally accliamed to be a work of true literature, not pop fiction. It sits along with Melville, Dumas, Hemigway, Conan Doyle etc. on the lists of classics. Even though its main themes are cliched, they are based on universal and timeless themes extruded from the depths of human mythology based on nature-mostly the Finnish Kalevala, and some the Norse works. Universal timeless themes will always strike true with the majority of people, overused as they are.

As a result thousands of inspired imitations have followed, and some dozens have even been really good. We of course would like to see more unique, original, imaginative settings, but they are harder to find in the mass market and mainstream. It will always be the job of the independents to cover that part of the market, until the major publisher invest/finance them like they now do in the film industry.

So in essence, we don't see enough unique/original settings used or inspired from mostly because the game industry is still so new compared to the seasoned industries of novels and film, which know how to provide success commercially for al of their niches.

You have to be able to find the greatness in Tolkien, as well as lets say China Melville's Perdido Street Station, both great, but in completely differnt styles and design.
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November 7th, 2008, 06:39
Originally Posted by buckaroobonzai View Post
Even so, it is one of the only fantasy works universally accliamed to be a work of true literature, not pop fiction.
It is not universal. Unless the academia has changed significantly in the last few months, Tolkien's place in the western canon's not exactly a sure thing. There're still plenty of scholars who don't take him seriously, and even some of those who do don't consider him a great writer in terms of style and language (and rightly too, because his style is nonexistent).

It sits along with Melville, Dumas, Hemigway, Conan Doyle etc. on the lists of classics.
And then you go right and mention Conan Doyle, who didn't even take a great fat lot of pride in his Sherlock Holmes stories. I quite like those books, but it's not the best example.

Even though its main themes are cliched, they are based on universal and timeless themes extruded from the depths of human mythology based on nature-mostly the Finnish Kalevala, and some the Norse works. Universal timeless themes will always strike true with the majority of people, overused as they are.
Anti-progress pastoral nostalgia with a not-so-subtle dash of Catholic complacency and self-righteousness, some ethnocentricism, and a good bit of classism. Yeah, you're right: timeless. If I want anything Norse, I'll go right to the source and read the Eddas or assorted materials. They take themselves so much less seriously, and are much more exciting to boot.

You have to be able to find the greatness in Tolkien, as well as lets say China Melville's Perdido Street Station, both great, but in completely differnt styles and design.
Have to? Either you're terribly myopic or you're being condescending. Neither is particularly becoming. And yes, I'll take Mieville any day, who not only writes wonderfully weird stuff and cool monsters, but also doesn't try to get on fantasy readers' good side by repeatedly fellating Tolkien's corpse.
Last edited by Essaliad; November 7th, 2008 at 06:47.
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November 7th, 2008, 06:55
Originally Posted by Essaliad View Post
It is not universal. Unless the academia has changed significantly in the last few months, Tolkien's place in the western canon's not exactly a sure thing. There're still plenty of scholars who don't take him seriously, and even some of those who do don't consider him a great writer in terms of style and language (and rightly too, because his style is nonexistent).

Any scholar that doesn't consider Tolkien a great writer shouldn't be considered a scholar.
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November 7th, 2008, 07:27
Good thing the academic world couldn't care less about the opinions of strident, fanatical Tolkien fans.
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November 7th, 2008, 10:56
Or those who grossly exaggerate.
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November 7th, 2008, 11:59
One may dispute Tolkiens literary ability (with some justice, as mentioned above) but there is no sensible deniying of his enormous importance for the development of western (pop) culture since. So "taking serious" may have different connotations and depends on context. In that sense Doyle is actually an excellent comparison. Not high literature either, but hugely influential and genre defining as well.
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