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RPGWatch Forums » Comments » News Comments » Elemental: War of Magic - Day 0 Preview

Default Elemental: War of Magic - Day 0 Preview

August 25th, 2010, 02:59
Brad Wardell discusses the early patch they pushed out for Elemental and then goes on to explain the planned "Day 0" updates:
But tomorrow (or later today as I write this) is the big one. The official day 0 update that the team and I have been working on since Beta 4 (the beta group can go into more detail on this but in brief: After beta 4, the game tree was split in two. One version went on to be the gold version which is what those people who have it early are playing. The other tree went on to become day 0. These two trees were merged today already and will be going up tomorrow.
So what can you expect?
Here’s a few highlights:
  1. The UI is updated to be somewhat more intuitive.
  2. The campaign is significantly updated (though only for those starting fresh).
  3. Resources are treated more like units. This is hard to explain but essentially the game will let you know of what resources you’re not using and how to make use of them.
  4. There’s a lot of performance improvements the day 0 build, particularly for those with lower end CPUs.
  5. The “day 0” AI is in it.
  6. There’s been a polish pass to the spell books and tactical battles.
  7. There’s been a general polish pass to the main game UI overall.
There’s been a lot of balancing to monsters, units, etc.
More information.
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August 25th, 2010, 02:59
I hope the reviewers include all these changes before reviewing!
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August 25th, 2010, 03:05
Unlikely. They probably got the gold version.
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August 25th, 2010, 10:28
Definitely keen to get an updated campaign, I can see the game has a lot of potential but think the games are better than the campaign.

Still very much sucked in by it though, I can see it being a mainstay of my computer for a long while.
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August 25th, 2010, 11:02
Its quite genial idea by stardock.

They ship fundamentally broken gold version. With almost no pirate protection.

Than on first day launch a patch that only way to download is to have legal version of the game connecting to stardock client.

Pirates only care about 0 day version. So the cracked game is useless.

Its win win for Stardock

They are both very easy on user with DRM , and the game is essentially not pirated (properly)
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August 25th, 2010, 11:26
Originally Posted by Twotricks View Post
Its quite genial idea by stardock.

They ship fundamentally broken gold version. With almost no pirate protection.

Than on first day launch a patch that only way to download is to have legal version of the game connecting to stardock client.

Pirates only care about 0 day version. So the cracked game is useless.

Its win win for Stardock

They are both very easy on user with DRM , and the game is essentially not pirated (properly)
Matrix games has done that for 10 years now with their games. You simply have to buy the game or else you get partially broken game.

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August 25th, 2010, 11:43
The update (1.05) seems to be disastrous, breaks just as much as it fixes, people are very angry on the forums.

Sad that they got a rough start.. they really should have waited a bit more to get better reviews (thus better sales), ofcourse pushing the release date would make people really pissed too.. It must really suck to be a developer sometimes, i'm not jealous at them right now..
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August 25th, 2010, 12:03
I haven't really been following the details closely but if people are annoyed and/or/if reviews are poor, didn't they bring this on themselves?

They deliberately forked the code on an "unfinished" version and sent that Gold, then quickly pushed a series of updates that didn't have the benefit of public beta testing.

Taking a step back, why did a self-publishing company that has proudly proclaimed they don't rely on game income (being profitable on WindowBlinds etc anyway) rush the date? Why not beta test the Day 0 code before release?

Taking a further step back, why do people who would scream at the idea of - for example - initial online verification applaud Stardock for a system that is, in practice, a quiet form of online initial verification?

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August 25th, 2010, 12:11
Originally Posted by Dhruin View Post
I haven't really been following the details closely but if people are annoyed and/or/if reviews are poor, didn't they bring this on themselves?

They deliberately forked the code on an "unfinished" version and sent that Gold, then quickly pushed a series of updates that didn't have the benefit of public beta testing.

Taking a step back, why did a self-publishing company that has proudly proclaimed they don't rely on game income (being profitable on WindowBlinds etc anyway) rush the date? Why not beta test the Day 0 code before release?

Taking a further step back, why do people who would scream at the idea of - for example - initial online verification applaud Stardock for a system that is, in practice, a quiet form of online initial verification?
Well, its un intrusive , and it only requires you to log in when you download the patch.

As for the game itself. I can see it getting bad reviews.
But I also see it growing into a classic after some patches and mods.

What I would done differently ?

I would sell the game for 20-30$ straight off.

It worked for Torchlight. And it works for Indy companies very good.
Games that lack polish (only a big companies can bring) usually go for reduced price. But they sell twice the copies they would sell with full price. So the profits are same.

But they have twice bigger user base. And better reviews
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August 25th, 2010, 12:20
Originally Posted by Dhruin View Post
I haven't really been following the details closely but if people are annoyed and/or/if reviews are poor, didn't they bring this on themselves?

They deliberately forked the code on an "unfinished" version and sent that Gold, then quickly pushed a series of updates that didn't have the benefit of public beta testing.

Taking a step back, why did a self-publishing company that has proudly proclaimed they don't rely on game income (being profitable on WindowBlinds etc anyway) rush the date? Why not beta test the Day 0 code before release?

Taking a further step back, why do people who would scream at the idea of - for example - initial online verification applaud Stardock for a system that is, in practice, a quiet form of online initial verification?
"Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former."
Albert Einstein

And the pirates need only wait a while. They'll then be able to torrent a current version of the game. The only ones who really suffer from this debacle are fans who pre-ordered/ bought the game as soon as it came out and Stardock themselves.
Really disappointing.
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August 25th, 2010, 12:30
Pirates only crack 0 day version. After that they do not care. Thats how it works
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August 25th, 2010, 12:39
Originally Posted by Twotricks View Post
Pirates only crack 0 day version. After that they do not care. Thats how it works
Nah, only in a few cases. For GalCiv2 the latest patch is cracked, as an example.
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August 25th, 2010, 13:00
humans are never happy.

I think its a good idea the way they done it. Now you van familairise yourself with the game. Few days later you can make use of an extra polished game. SO you dont get a delayed game and still an extra polish.
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August 25th, 2010, 14:25
I think they misnamed the 'campaign'. It's more like a tutorial, as this type of games is not based on a campaign (like Civilization and Master of Magic). You just start a new game with different parameters and enjoy.
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August 25th, 2010, 14:43
Got weak, and I bought it, and I've played it for a number of hours.

There's a decent game in there, but it performs abysmally - considering how basic it looks, and there are bugs a'plenty.

I'm not personally bothered by the atrocious documentation, because I've found most things rather straightforward - so far.

Why they've opted to release it in this condition, I'll never know. It's exactly the opposite of what Wardell has been boasting for years - as in taking the time to finish something, since they have that option - being self-funded.

The game is definitely rough, and I advise everyone to wait 3-6 months before taking the plunge, unless you're a big TBS fan.

The multiplayer isn't even in yet, and it won't have full functionality for a long while.

The game in itself is very much like Master of Magic, but it's pretty clear Stardock isn't anywhere near SimTex in terms of design competence and the skill it takes to make features work together to provide a consistent gaming experience. Mostly, it seems like a mish-mash of stolen ideas - mostly from Civilization and Master of Magic. Not a bad thing, per say, but it's definitely not very impressive either.

The best thing I can say about it, is that it has potential - and it's significantly less "dry" than GalCiv 2. There's a bit of charm in there - but again, they really don't know what they're doing when it comes to games like this. It's not enough to just steal what works, as you also have to understand WHY it works. Spell design, for instance, is incredibly linear and boring. The same is true for quest design, and in general - it's just not anywhere near the same level as MoM. With the kind of potential they've had, it's really disappointing that they couldn't, at LEAST, reach the level of MoM - especially in terms of spell variety, hero skills, underground areas, flying creatures, and all kinds of other things. If you have the resources, and you have the game available - at least LOOK at what it provides and match it.

Campaign improvements? I'm trying not to be TOO harsh, but it's just about the worst and least inspiring campaign I've EVER tried in a strategy game. It's incredibly dull, at least judging from the couple of hours I spent before quitting.

I've been playing with the latest patch, and to be honest - I've yet to see an improvement. I was really looking forward to performance enhancements, but the game remains a total dog. I have no idea what makes the game so slow, because it doesn't look good - and it certainly isn't littered with detail.

The engine was a VERY poor choice for this kind of game. I honestly think 2D would have served it much better, or at least a less "flashy" engine - because they make absolutely no use of the flash. Incompetence, I'm afraid.

This is like a typical Paradox release…
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August 25th, 2010, 15:06
Originally Posted by Dhruin View Post
Taking a step back, why did a self-publishing company that has proudly proclaimed they don't rely on game income (being profitable on WindowBlinds etc anyway) rush the date? Why not beta test the Day 0 code before release?
I remember them saying at one point that (for some reason to do with publishing windows or something) they either shipped it this week or would have to wait until Q1 next year. So a heck of a long wait if they're only another few weeks away from getting it really tight.

Perhaps the fact that they don't need the game income came into play with it, in terms of ultimate sales they'd be best off getting the best day 0 reviews they can and waiting 6 months, but in terms of getting a game out there and playable and moddable they wanted to release this week.
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August 25th, 2010, 15:12
Originally Posted by ikbenrichard View Post
humans are never happy.

I think its a good idea the way they done it. Now you van familairise yourself with the game. Few days later you can make use of an extra polished game. SO you dont get a delayed game and still an extra polish.
But that can work with preview demos not the released version. It is a shame that you can't play with your preordered game because so many bugs, very disapointing IMO.
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August 25th, 2010, 16:26
Thanks for the mini-review, DArtagnan. This game certainly looks very interesting to me, but I've been waiting to hear some feedback. Unfortunately, it sounds like it was released far to early. I guess I will wait.

Kay
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August 25th, 2010, 17:24
The final release state is pretty much what I expected from the "beta" test releases: broken, buggy, unbalanced, unstable. Sigh.

What really hurts is that the quality has gone down with each patch. Argh! With 1.01 or 1.05 or whatever it was I was using last night the game crashes every few turns AT BEST and often several times a turn. Load, try something, crash. Load, do exactly the same thing, it works(!), then it crashes a moment later. I finally just gave up. They are just shoveling them out without testing because there's NO WAY you can test when shipping a release every day.

Now there is some hope because this has happened before like with Fallout 2 for those that can remember that far back. Albeit they broke things with patches more slowly. The question is will the users hang on like they did for Fallout 2 or abandon the game like they did for Darklands?
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August 25th, 2010, 17:31
The game play like a fantasy GalCiv 2.I think the engine is the same.
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