Friday, June 18, 2010

General Balance and Multiplayer

City Takeover - One thing I was surprised by was my first city takeover. I realized, via inner-monologue, that I could just waltz right into any city and take it over with just one unit. I asked myself, "Wait, you're telling me I can take this place over with one guy, even with the weak, inane merchant over there???" while looking at my 100-strong full-plate armored army. It was a bit surprising, and I find it a bit unbalanced. I think there should be a minimum takeover cost in terms of battle, and I figured with the AI improvements that shouldn't happen.

Pace - I like to care about every turn, which wasn't happening in the later portion of the game when I was established. This is also an issue with AI that will probably be changed, but I would just skip turns to build my city or research, endlessly.

Multiplayer Experience - I tried to play a game online tonight, but to no avail. I couldn't even tell whether or not anyone could read my messages in the lobby #elemental. I could not play 1 vs. Player, or 1 vs. AI, so I can't comment much on it. I'll try later.

That's all for now, I'll comment on the Empire and Event Trees later.

Monday, June 14, 2010

I'm Out Beta'd

I've played this game pretty fervently lately. Here's what I've got to say to the developers. I know Mr. Developer that you're reading a ton of these, so I'll try and make it as dense as possible.

Computer Specs -
AMD Athalon(tm) II X4 620 Processor 2.59 GHz
Nvidia 8800 GTS 640 MB Graphics Card
A790GXH ASRock Motherboard

Very Typical Errors:

DX Error - Invalid Call. Occurs when I alt-tab back into the game every time without fail.

Event - Dark Concoction - Full text can not be seen and I was given the option of Will I ------------------ Incomplete text. I said yes and now I have some awesomely powerful potion that does something, but seems pretty evil. I just have no idea what it is or what I should do with it.

Money issues - Sometimes I'll notice I'll have enough money for a purchase, and I'll agree to the purchase, and it might send me into the negatives.

Things become invisible. If I'm lucky it'll will appear again when I move to a different city and back.

Loaded up an old game: I had no tiles to build on, so I deleted a garden, and replanted one somewhere else, deleted another garden, and it froze. This problem only happened once though.

The HUD: It seems great, I like the openness and the fact that the buttons don't clutter my screen like old school Starcraft does, what with taking up about a fifth of the screen. That said however, I don't find some things intuitive. My city and people tabs in the upper left hand corner especially - About this particular topic: Sometimes my cities will pop up and show their growth, seemingly at random. I don't understand why sometimes it's highlighted and why sometimes it's not. Perhaps it's my lack of understanding.

Another thing I'd like to see more of in the HUD - Going back to the city and people tabs, I would really like to see a rollover text of the name, or keep a name next to it, in fine unobtrusive text. Once I've got 5 cities or so going, it can be a task of going to the one I've been focusing on developing, and to deal with it I find myself going through each city to get back to the one I was looking for.

Gameplay Issues - Grouping characters and attacking big enemies, like the bone golem: It seems like everybody at the farther end of the group gets killed, while some don't even get a scratch. Just seems a big unfair to see General C. chillin' in the back as his soldiers charge a massive golem, leaving him last man standing to give a quick finishing blow and claim all the glory.

I'll be commenting on other portions of the game later. Good luck with the fixes and updates.

Thursday, June 10, 2010


I know I should probably mention something about the fact that I got a job offer, might be moving to El Paso Texas, might end up as a project manager and supervisor on a military base for at least 8 weeks, but instead I'm going to talk about Elemental: War of Magic. Mmm Magic...

In all my gaming experiences, never have I been so cracked out excited about what is to come with Elemental: War of Magic. I will be testing out the beta and providing the company with my own perspective on how to improve the:

1. The HUD

2. General Balance

3. Multiplayer

4. The Empire & Event Trees

5. Performance, Stability, Bugs

AND YOU CAN PARTICIPATE TOO!!! Just tap the inside of your elbow a few times, pop up a vein, and head on over to to grab a fix.