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RPGWatch Forums » Comments » News Comments » Elemental: War of Magic - Development Update

Default Elemental: War of Magic - Development Update

September 16th, 2010, 01:05
Here's Brad Wardell's latest blog post, explaining the current situation. Interestingly, the imminent update will bring multiplayer but Brad says "while Elemental supports multiplayer, it is not a game designed for it", which I hadn't picked up previously:
They’re staging v1.08 tonight with the hopes for a general release tomorrow (no promises). The bulk of the team’s efforts have been on taking care of compatibility, performance, memory and stability both single player and multiplayer.

In the near term, multiplayer is on the box so this has to be delivered and we apologize for the delay. After the initial launch of Elemental: War of Magic, we went back and did a post-mortem on how things could be done better and through this has emerged an updated QA policy. This has in turn meant that the multiplayer launch, which was originally going to be just a flip of a switch has gone through considerable more QA (and will continue to go through more QA) to improve the general quality going forward.

That said, I want to emphasize that while Elemental supports multiplayer, it is not a game designed for it. It’s designed primarily to be played in a sandbox single player. We are interested in feedback though from the multiplayer community on things they’d like to see.

In terms of single player, we have made a number of changes to balance that should make things more enjoyable and make the computer players more challenging. The spells and such have gotten a work over to make sure they are behaving as we intend them to.

Also, we have a poll up for users based on what areas they’d like to see us enhance going into the future the most;

http://www.elementalgame.com/journals

We don’t have a specific time for v1.08 tomorrow other than “sometime tomorrow, EST”. Stay tuned.
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September 16th, 2010, 01:05
I'd actually prefer if it didn't have multiplayer. There are more than plenty of multiplayer strategy games, but few single player ones.
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September 16th, 2010, 04:42
Originally Posted by wolfing View Post
I'd actually prefer if it didn't have multiplayer. There are more than plenty of multiplayer strategy games, but few single player ones.
Yep and imo the biggest problem with multiplayer is that you have to balance everything, so that all fractions, schools of magic etc are equally powerful. That means you can't have a lot of cool stuff because it would fuck up the balance. Only strategy games like the Hearts of Iron series don't have that problem, because people accept that some countries are weaker than others for historic reasons.

Originally Posted by magerette
I'm so tired of marketing hype, marketing slang, marketing priorities and general marketing BS that it tends to have the opposite effect on me. (Jaded is the word I'm looking for here.) I can't even read through a whole press release from any AAA title company without wanting to turn off my computer and learn to cross-stitch.
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September 16th, 2010, 08:37
Supports multiplayer but isn't designed for it?

That's like being an idiot twice.

This kind of game has been screaming for multiplayer since Master of Magic, and a monkey with a keyboard could design a turn-based strategy game for multiplayer. It worked in Age of Wonders, Master of Orion 2, Alpha Centauri, Warlords, Heroes of Might and Magic, Colonization, and Civilization.

So, here's the thing. Open your eyes, look at how those games play - and see if you can pick up a few tricks.

It truly boggles the mind, that he would openly make such a statement. I mean, why - EXACTLY - would you respond to multiplayer fans who have been lamenting the lack of MP since GalCiv 1, by simply implementing it without thought?
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September 16th, 2010, 15:36
MoM would have been a major fail at multiplayer because some races/units/magic books sets were obviously more powerful than others. Halfling slingers anyone?
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September 16th, 2010, 17:58
Originally Posted by BillSeurer View Post
MoM would have been a major fail at multiplayer because some races/units/magic books sets were obviously more powerful than others. Halfling slingers anyone?
Ehm, no.

Games have been unbalanced since the dawn of time. It's about overcoming that.

Some people seem to blame their own failure on imbalances all the time, but it doesn't necessarily make a lack of balance a huge issue.

That's the kind of thing you deal with, if you like multiplayer.

But that's with friends.

You can simply agree to a few house rules about what you can or can't do - and all games with a certain level of complexity will have imbalances. That's why they're still rebalancing WoW after 6 years - and it will never stop.

You can either adapt, or whine about it - but to not include multiplayer because flavor means imbalance - is about as moronic an excuse as I can imagine.

This is blown way out of proportion, way too often. It's more about PERCEIVED imbalances than actual imbalances that will automatically break the game.
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September 16th, 2010, 22:28
Reading Wardell's latest comments "… That said, I want to emphasize that while Elemental supports multiplayer, it is not a game designed for it… " has me greatly irritated and feeling cheated — even more than I feel cheated by the DA-Witch DLC. This latest comment is just all wrong on several different levels, and for the first time in a looooong time I want to drop any effort to provide an objective view and see both sides — and rather just throw out words like reprehensible and borderline criminal.

I guess I should be pleased. Afterall, I have no interest in MP play. The area of Elemental that attracted me is Sandbox mode — which seems to be getting a lot of (overdue) effort. But the blooming SD website STILL touts MP play and a single-user campaign. The campaign is so weak that it does not even meet professional standards for a $10 indie. And MP, which before this latest blog was a critical part of the offering, is totally broken. Now, it has become something Wardell and SD are downplaying as they warn us it will not be up to what they led us to expect.

I recommended people hold off on this game until they fixed the bugs. If I rewrote the review now, I would change that to a strong "… don't waste your money…" statement. Paying $50 for this game is a joke — even fully "fixed" it is, at best, a $ 35-40 offering. And that figure is assuming it offers the strong MP capabilitythey advertised (and STILL advertise on the SD site) for those who like MP.

Sorry folks — I have to eat humble pie. I warned you not to get this yet until fixed, but even I totally misread my crystal ball. I thought it would be worth buying in the future once sandbox and MP were fixed, and would then become just an overpriced "good" MP and sandbox game. Now I think it will become, at best, a VERY overpriced sandbox game with a poor campaign and an MP so weak the developer is already degrading it.

Making a launch mistake was unprofessional, but it happens and they looked to be trying their best to dig out of the hole they made. But after-the-fact changing the description of what they promised is reprehensible. They offered a Mercedes, delivered a broken-down old Ford, then announced that the old Ford would really be a lot better if we removed the windows. "I need to emphasize that while the Ford will support having a windshield, it was never really designed to have glass …"
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September 16th, 2010, 23:22
Too bad. I was REALLY looking forward to this one.
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September 17th, 2010, 00:21
Come on Voxclamant, tell us what you REALLY think!
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September 17th, 2010, 03:59
Yea, let it rip son. Don't hold back.

Sounds like Brad is filling the hole he dug, with bullshit and back pedaling. My view of them has been forever tarnished.
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September 17th, 2010, 08:43
Have to agree with the Ford/window issue.

Guess your latest succes or failure is what counts for the future coming…
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September 17th, 2010, 10:54
Am I the only one who knew about this since last fall? They were open with that they would add basic multiplayer, but almost all the focus would be on single player. At least that's how I remember it.

I agree the advertising is misleading, though.
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September 17th, 2010, 12:23
That said, I want to emphasize that while Elemental supports multiplayer, it is not a game designed for it.
This is nothing but a fact that the loud and overwhelming MP-supporters have won. Globally.

SP games are going to die out.

“ Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius – and a lot of courage – to move in the opposite direction.“ (E.F.Schumacher, Economist, Source)
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September 17th, 2010, 15:18
Originally Posted by Alrik Fassbauer View Post
SP games are going to die out.
I think they are going to (mostly!) die out because there is more money to be made in MP games. Specifically MMO games.

Well, until the developers realize that there are only so many hours to go around and that they are all cannibalizing off each others and the MMOs all start to fail too. Wait, that's already happening…
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September 17th, 2010, 15:22
BTW, I downloaded 1.08 last night and gave it a whirl. It ran quite well actually so they seem to have solved some (if not all) the stability problems. That said their tweaking may have screwed up the course of the game. I ran out of money right off with only 1 city, my original 2 heroes, and building only a few basic buildings and 1 defender in that city. They cut back on the numbers of wandering critters and adventure sites DRASTICALLY so there wasn't any way to get money that way either (which is how you used to be able to get past this).

Oh well.
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