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Default Elemental: War of Magic - Expansion & Paxton Dev Diary

January 12th, 2011, 17:14
Got a couple news items for you. The most important item is the official announcement for the expansion to Elemental. It will be called Fallen Enchantress. They're saying it will take Elemental in a new direction. It will be free to those who purchased the game in 2010 and for everyone else it will be sold at a reduced price. Here is part of the announcement:
PLYMOUTH, MI - January 11, 2011 Stardock released the details of the next chapter in its Elemental fantasy strategy game world. Elemental: Fallen Enchantress includes an all-new battle system, more sophisticated spell casting, an updated economic system, new game mechanics, more creatures, quests and much more.

Elemental: Fallen Enchantress will be released as a stand-alone game but will be free to all players who purchased Elemental: War of Magic in 2010 and will be heavily discounted for anyone who purchases Elemental: War of Magic prior to Fallen Enchantress’s anticipated Summer 2011 release.

Elemental is a strategy game in which players build a kingdom from the ground up in a shattered fantasy world. Players build cities, raise armies, research technologies, learn magical spells, go on quests, recruit heroes, negotiate treaties, learn spells, build a family dynasty and more.

In Fallen Enchantress players will be able to explore the world of Elemental and discover a wide range of unique locations, including dangerous wild lands that can’t be settled until they are conquered. There are areas like the Bhinadmi Fissure, a massive chasm that spawns demons and earth elementals, until a player goes to the edge and challenges the elemental lord that dwells within.

These undiscovered lands contain new characters and creatures: from the tragic Butchermen who wander the lands around Red Springs trying to pass their curse off to another victim, to Morian the Ruin of Summer, who was once a powerful nature elemental who has been driven mad by the Cataclysm and the destruction of his forests.

Derek Paxton, lead designer for Fallen Enchantress, said, “In Fallen Enchantress we wanted to focus on exploring the world outside your kingdom’s borders. The world isn’t empty and waiting to be settled, it is dangerous and needs to be conquered. There are unique locations with their own history and guardians; monsters settled in their lairs and vast wild land areas that offer their own challenges and rewards. There will be areas the player would do well to avoid for most of the game until he builds an army that is able to conquer them.”

To face these new challenges, Fallen Enchantress adds a host of spells and magical equipment. Sacrifice a champion to summon a powerful demon in battle, envelop an entire enemy kingdom in the icy grip of winter or open a gateway to a shadow world that dark creatures can come through. Players can also recruit champions who specialize in different types of magic and outfit them with magical equipment they create, recover from monster lairs or earn through quests.
The other item is Paxton talking about his design process. Here is a snippet:

I spent most of December working on design docs for the first expansion. I talked in an earlier Dev Journal about the phases of game development and how the high level design was created by the end of November. We had our stakeholders meeting and high level concepts were approved. December was spent turning those concepts into specific items and tasks.

I start by fleshing out the ideas in docs. Large lists get trimmed, ideas are improved, I try to make the most of every idea. After the list is down to the assets we want for the game they go into a spreadsheet. The spreadsheet serves 3 functions. First it is able to export the XML directly so we never need to touch XML files. Secondly it provides list boxes of all the common data types so we can’t mistype them (so if something requires a tech the listbox allows the designer to pick from all the current techs). And lastly it allows us to do some data modeling.
More information.
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January 12th, 2011, 17:14
Nice , kudos Stardock
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January 19th, 2012, 03:32
Just got this email:
__________________________________________________ ___________
Dear Stardock Customer,


If you're receiving this letter, it means you purchased Elemental: War of Magic before it was released.

Elemental: War of Magic was a game we had very high hopes for. Unfortunately, it was a disappointment both to us, as well as to many of our customers. Stardock's success in its nineteen years of existence has been because people know if they buy something with our name on it, it'll be excellent. With Elemental: War of Magic we failed that expectation.

For the past year, Stardock has been working on something new — Elemental: Fallen Enchantress. We went back to the drawing board to create not an expansion, but rather a new game in the Elemental universe.

Fallen Enchantress is currently in beta. Both the beta and the final version will automatically be added to your Stardock account free of charge.

Tomorrow, January 19, at approximately 3:00 PM EST you'll be able to download the beta version by visiting: download.stardock.com.

We hope you find Elemental: Fallen Enchantress to be a game that lives up to the expectations you had for War of Magic. We thank you for your support and look forward to your feedback.


Sincerely,
Brad Wardell - President & CEO
Stardock Entertainment
__________________________________________________ ____________

Overall that's pretty classy of Stardock. Wish D.W.Bradley was taking notes. (Yes, I'm still pissed about that.)
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January 19th, 2012, 03:40
I got the same email, saw some vids for the new version looks pretty good.

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January 19th, 2012, 04:31
I'm hopeful about this one. The first one I could tell would be a disaster before it was even released and I stayed away from it. But this one looks like it could have some real potential.
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January 19th, 2012, 05:57
I bought WoM a few months ago cheap but haven't even installed it. Has anyone played the latest version (1.4) yet? Just wondering if it's even worth trying…
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January 19th, 2012, 05:58
Originally Posted by fadedc View Post
I'm hopeful about this one. The first one I could tell would be a disaster before it was even released and I stayed away from it. But this one looks like it could have some real potential.
I'm hopeful also, unfortunately I didn't have your foresight on the first game and bought it, major disappointment. My expectations are a little lower this time around.
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January 19th, 2012, 06:00
Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
I bought WoM a few months ago cheap but haven't even installed it. Has anyone played the latest version (1.4) yet? Just wondering if it's even worth trying…
It's improved but still at it's core a very dull game.
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January 19th, 2012, 13:29
I also avoided the disaster of paying full price for this game, but in my case it was because I was waiting for a review copy and they messed up how they set it up in Impulse and never got it fixed and then were inundated with the fact that the game was a total disaster that should never have been released.

I appreciate that they are making a gesture for those they screwed the greatest … but I really think it wouldn't hurt them to make a move like Ascaron did with Sacred, and take the 'plus pack' and make it free for all owners.

Not saying this should be free for all, but I think the 'free for pre-orders' could be augmented by a larger discount for ANYONE who owns the game.

At this point they need to realize that they have lost pretty much all goodwill - the quality of their games has gone off the cliff since early releases, and they sold Impulse to the devil, making the money that folks invested in good faith a waste since we know Gamestop will find a way to screw us over …

— Mike
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January 19th, 2012, 16:16
I don't think it's fair to say the quality of all their games have gone off a cliff when the only bad one was Elemental. The new version I believe will be free to not only preorders but if you bought it before a certain date. Do you really think if you bought it for like 5 dollars you deserve it's sequel for free?

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January 20th, 2012, 00:00
Fallen Enchantress available. You need to go to the www.elementalgame.com website. Click on "learn more". Click on "Downloads". And click on the my account link there.

Thats how i did it.
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January 20th, 2012, 01:41
I haven't played very long but it looks amazing….the presentation is light years beyond the original.

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January 20th, 2012, 02:20
Originally Posted by rune_74 View Post
I haven't played very long but it looks amazing….the presentation is light years beyond the original.
Great to hear Rune! I'm going to wait for the full release, but keep us posted.
Still hoping for that amazing game I was expecting from WoM.
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January 20th, 2012, 02:26
Hmmm not sure how spoilerish this is….but I took out a darkling camp and found a half starved warg(wolf thing) that my hero can ride! so now my little army has my soverign on a warg! Thought that was a cool touch.

Oh and tactical battles now uses initiative now…so it isn`t one side going at a time each character(unit) gets a turn.

BTW Warmark, your just across the water, I`m in victoria

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January 20th, 2012, 08:30
Originally Posted by rune_74 View Post
BTW Warmark, your just across the water, I`m in victoria
Hey neighbor /wave, love Victoria, try to get over there as much as possible.
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January 20th, 2012, 13:24
Originally Posted by rune_74 View Post
I don't think it's fair to say the quality of all their games have gone off a cliff when the only bad one was Elemental.
Well, you go from GalCiv I & II and Sins of a Solar Empire … to Demigod and Elemental. THAT is pretty much a cliff in my book.

Originally Posted by rune_74 View Post
The new version I believe will be free to not only preorders but if you bought it before a certain date. Do you really think if you bought it for like 5 dollars you deserve it's sequel for free?
From the email: "If you're receiving this letter, it means you purchased Elemental: War of Magic before it was released."

So it isn't about ANYTHING but plunking down your money before realizing the game was a fetid pile of rubbish. If anything, I think that anyone who paid full price AFTER the release of the game is more deserving - they bought it when it was already clear that it was a total disaster!

As of now, Stardock is a company that has lost the one thing that small devs need most of all - the loyalty of their customers. They screwed us over based on past trust, and now anyone who would pre-order anything from them is demonstrably an idiot.

Exactly HOW they rebuild trust is up to them, but having a 'free for pre-orders, full price for everyone else' split feels almost like a EA-like ploy in order to manipulate people to pre-order in the future, thinking 'hmmm … I paid the same $49.99 two days after this guy yet HE gets the expansion for free …'

— Mike
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January 20th, 2012, 13:29
So it isn't about ANYTHING but plunking down your money before realizing the game was a fetid pile of rubbish. If anything, I think that anyone who paid full price AFTER the release of the game is more deserving - they bought it when it was already clear that it was a total disaster!
Huh?

People who actually have the chance to know what they're buying, deserve more because they buy?

Not sure I follow.

People who pre-ordered did it on faith - and whether that's smart or not, they should be compensated if this is about restoring faith.
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January 20th, 2012, 13:38
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
Huh?

People who actually have the chance to know what they're buying, deserve more because they buy?

Not sure I follow.

People who pre-ordered did it on faith - and whether that's smart or not, they should be compensated if this is about restoring faith.
I suppose it is splitting hairs - do we reward those who gave us $50 and trusted that we wouldn't give them a pile of shit, or those who KNEW it was a pile of shit and hoped that "citing Stardock's track record of post-release support" things would work out within … I dunno, a year and a half.

I really don't care, because as mentioned Stardock has royally screwed customers. First with Elemental, and then with Impulse. They deserve no loyalty. Period.

But as someone who ended up NOT pre-ordering simply because I was supposed to get a review copy - which THEY screwed up and were too damn incompetent to get resolved properly - and ended up buying after the fact …

— Mike
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January 20th, 2012, 13:53
Originally Posted by txa1265 View Post
I suppose it is splitting hairs - do we reward those who gave us $50 and trusted that we wouldn't give them a pile of shit, or those who KNEW it was a pile of shit and hoped that "citing Stardock's track record of post-release support" things would work out within … I dunno, a year and a half.

I really don't care, because as mentioned Stardock has royally screwed customers. First with Elemental, and then with Impulse. They deserve no loyalty. Period.

But as someone who ended up NOT pre-ordering simply because I was supposed to get a review copy - which THEY screwed up and were too damn incompetent to get resolved properly - and ended up buying after the fact …
Well, AFAIK - everyone who bought it within the first month or so should get a free copy. Have they changed that? Because if that's the case - they're being really lousy.

As for loyalty - that's not something I dole out casually. I would most certainly not give it to Stardock - because I think their games are boring and stale, and I can't stand Brad Wardell based on his public persona. SotSE was great, but then my loyalty would go to the people who developed it - not the Stardock name.

But people who profit from what they do deserve no loyalty unless they go above and beyond - working for the art. I have no interest in staying loyal to people who're not about the art.

Elemental was a travesty of epic proportions. I was here day one where I told everyone that it would never make a good game - unless everything about it was changed, and it would take AT LEAST 6 months - and more likely a year.

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January 20th, 2012, 14:18
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
Well, AFAIK - everyone who bought it within the first month or so should get a free copy. Have they changed that? Because if that's the case - they're being really lousy.
Ah - I guess I was confused. The PR quoted was over a year old, and the new stuff just talks about people who pre-ordered it. If they do the full 2010 thing I think that is a very fair approach - people who paid $5 were really just grabbing it to check out if there was any value, and really Stardock has to draw a line somewhere.

Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
Elemental was a travesty of epic proportions. I was here day one where I told everyone that it would never make a good game - unless everything about it was changed, and it would take AT LEAST 6 months - and more likely a year.
Yep, it is their 'Dungeon Lords' … and now is the opportunity to show they aren't DW Bradley

— Mike
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