Elemental Expansion Is “A New Game”

By Jim Rossignol on January 17th, 2011 at 7:52 am.


Stardock have had some more to say about Fallen Enchantress, the recently-revealed expansion for their fantasy strategy game, Elemental – War Of Magic. The game, which will be free to everyone who bought Elemental before 2011, will be a standalone title, and should, Stardock have said, be regarded as a new game. Not least because it has a new team behind it: “Fallen Enchantress gives us the opportunity to have a very different fantasy strategy game than War of Magic. While the original intent was simply to eliminate an unnecessary SCU (we can simply have Fallen Enchantress with an upgrade price for people who have War of Magic), in this case, it lets us make an even bigger break from War of Magic because it has a new Lead Designer (Kael instead of myself) with Jon Shafer helping as well as we begin pre-production of Jon’s new game along with many other changes. It’s still Stardock but it’s a very different Stardock than what made War of Magic (or GalCiv II for that matter).”

More here.

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43 Comments »

  1. SquareWheel says:

    I’m still mad at Stardock for making me download and install Impulse just to uninstall Fences.

  2. heretic says:

    early morning post ftw!

  3. willfarb says:

    Damnit! My bedtime down here on the opposite side of the world is “When RPS starts posting for the day”, so I don’t forget to sleep. Now I have to go to bed early!

  4. Lightbulb says:

    I’m not sure you can calculate the amount of damage this game did to Stardock. I mean I know it doesn’t matter because its only a small slice of their revenue but still…

    Really does show why beta testing is important though.

    • P7uen says:

      Props to all for admitting and rectifying it though.

      I’m not interested in the game but from following the coverage on RPS, the chap seems to have perspective. Which is nice.

    • AdrianWerner says:

      “Really does show why beta testing is important though.”

      No, it doesn’t. Elemental had very long and extensive beta testing. What it shows is that you can’t put absolute trust in your beta tester’s ability to tell you if you’re doing it right or not.

    • Hallgrim says:

      I’ll believe it when I see it.

  5. Kato says:

    I’m confused. Is the original game being overhauled, with new designers and whatsit, or not?

    • Archonsod says:

      They’re splitting it. War of Magic is going to continue on one path, Fallen Enchantress is going to be another.

      The question is whether Fallen Enchantress is going to be War of Magic + or something completely different. They were originally wanting to do an RPG set in the Elemental universe with the Elemental engine, so it could be Kael and his team are going to work on that while the original team continue with Elemental. Or it could be FE is going to be WoM with additional content. Until they actually start talking about FE nobody knows.

    • jonfitt says:

      So for people who were holding off buying anything until Elemental is comparably as good as GalCiv2, should I be looking forward to future War of Magic updates, or Fallen Enchantress?

      BTW I did read about the latest WoM update and while it sounds good, it still sounds like not quite the game I want it to be.

    • Zenicetus says:

      “They’re splitting it. War of Magic is going to continue on one path, Fallen Enchantress is going to be another.”

      While this is nice for those who bought before 2011, it’s maybe not a smart strategy to attract those of us who have been waiting to buy Elemental until it passed a certain quality threshold. So, now Stardock is asking us to consider buying two of their games instead of one? Each at full price?

      All I can say is… there had better be demos. And I’d still wait a while after the FE release to see what the player reactions are like.

  6. DeepSleeper says:

    Great! So when are they going to make the first game properly?

    • subedii says:

      Absolutely! They haven’t been doing ANY work with Elemental since it released, and they certainly aren’t continuing to work on it now, how dare they do this.

      I’m seeing a lot of comments complaining about how they’re now abandoning the first game to split the sequel. Man, even on the presumption that is true, Stardock have already said that everyone who bought the game is getting the expansion pack for free. They aren’t getting abandoned regardless.

  7. RegisteredUser says:

    ” but it’s a very different Stardock than what made War of Magic (or GalCiv II for that matter)”

    So there is now actually a remote chance the game coming from it might be bearably good they mean to say?

    Now they just need to hire a new team for QA and beta-testing / bugfixing and actually open their eyes and ears to community input, lock frogboy in a room without access to communication to the outside and MAYBE they have a shot this time around.

    In 3-4 dozen games down the line. Maybe.

    • SanguineAngel says:

      To be absolutely fair here, they’ve owned up to the problem, they have adjusted their methods, brought in help and there’s every chance they can turn out a good game here.

      In addition, the support that they’ve given the original post release is commendable. They could have dropped it like a stone. It’s still not what they envisioned though so instead of just saying sorry they’re going to give those people who bought the original the new game for free.

      If they didn’t listen to the community none of this would be happening.

      “So there is now actually a remote chance the game coming from it might be bearably good they mean to say?” Are you saying they have yet to produce a good game? GalCiv was a great game. Stardock have proved they have got some quality chops. niche perhaps but quality.

    • RegisteredUser says:

      I’ve once attempted to play GalCiv, though admittedly not with real heart…

      I can tell you right now that I spent around 20-50x more time on Distant Worlds than on GalCiv 2, and most of the management interfaces / macro control for DW are atrocious to nonexistant.

      I might attempt GC2 again, but so far it has failed to wow me..and I have been desperate for a good MOO successor since MOO2, the last MOO game to come out. Though SEIV Gold was fun for a playthrough as well.
      (Repeat after me: There never was a MOO3. There never was a MOO3. There never was a MOO3.)

  8. GreatUncleBaal says:

    I’ll keep my fingers crossed for this expansion – I picked up Elemental early enough that this will be free for me. I felt that the game had potential – I liked the art style, the zooming map and the promise of the editing tools, but the game, for me, just lacked that “one more turn” appeal, and I never really felt engaged with it enough to play it for very long.
    It was a game that I bought despite reading several reviews saying it was horribly broken (before v1.1), because there still seemed to be potential for cool little stories to rise out of it (plus the wizard wandering the map summoning creatures had a Lords of Chaos vibe). But as it stood, despite knowing that at some point I might be able to summon fire giants or dragons, I just couldn’t be bothered to get there.

  9. DrazharLn says:

    Anyone know what SCUs are?

  10. Delusibeta says:

    Can’t help feeling that they’re abandoning War of Magic here. From my understanding, it’s functional but not very good.

    Pity that the Elemental name alone will ensure that this will be dragged through the mud as well, regardless if it deserves being dragged through the mud.

    • Sorbicol says:

      This seems a very winded way of saying “It is an expansion but it so utterly changes the gameplay that it might as well be a new game” to me. Looking at the pre-release notes for FE ( terrible name!) though they are changing pretty much everything fundamental to it though, the magic system, tactical battles, resources etc. WoM is / was going in the right direction though, I can’t see what they are trying to achieve developing 2 games in tandem. Oh well, be interesting to see if Jon Shafers “new” game really is something original.

  11. Deano2099 says:

    In other words, whatever you do, don’t buy the first game now, as you won’t get all the fixes this brings in on launch, and nor will you get it for free. Hmm.

  12. getter77 says:

    Looks like the next expansion will also be “a new game” as well, though nobody knows if it is building off the WoM core or whatever new stuff this FE entity is gonna have going.

    2 “free” games for my original pre-order, time’ll tell if it’ll shape up better than one massive game would’ve.

  13. pakoito says:

  14. ts061282 says:

    Bold claims – credibility = Nothing

    • sebmojo says:

      You forgot (x Kael, project lead on the unspeakably awesome Fall from Heaven 2)

  15. sneetch says:

    Hmmm… I remember him saying that they wouldn’t be trying to get re-reviews of EWOM after they patched it to playability because the game should be reviewed as released and it should be their punishment for releasing a game in such a state (I’m sure it’s all self-flagellation and nothing to do with the fact that most review sites would have been of the “re-review after a patch? No way in hell!” persuasion).

    The cynic in me thinks stressing that “it’s a new game” is related to that.

    Hope they add some more fantasy to it this time… the races in EWOM seemed a bit more like “different coloured humans” rather than fantastical races.

    • scottossington says:

      @sneetch sounds like the star trek syndrome where every “alien” creature is humanoid with a different weird thing sticking off of their forheads.

  16. MrWolf says:

    So…this is good, right?

    Right?!

  17. Andy_Panthro says:

    So…

    Is it worth getting Elemental WOM, or this new game?

    Also, why call it an expansion when it is really a stand-alone new game?

    also, how am I typing too quickly??

  18. amandachen says:

    Is it worth getting? Well, I am going to wait and see. I want to see some reviews first.

  19. Grape Flavor says:

    Lemme guess, Jon Shafer’s new game is GalCiv III. If the unfinished, unbalanced, unstable Civ V is anything to go by, Jon Shafer would have a legit shot to ruin both the premier land-based TBS and the premier space-based TBS, within a year.

    Congratulations Jon. You have a chance to be the most disastrous designer in the history of the genre!

    • RegisteredUser says:

      I will agree on Civ 5 being unfinished(utterly lacks proper macro-management systems/proper interfaces and surveys / charts etc pp) and unbalanced(Egyp = serious imba benefits), but it has performed admirably stable even when windowed + alt-tabbed to death in the highest detail level on DX11 mode here on an AMD card.

      Unlike, from everything I read, Elemental.

    • amandachen says:

      He was lead designer on CIv 5. That doesn’t mean he designed the engine. It’s nothing to do with software design. Game design and software design mean two different things.

  20. Nick says:

    Is it wrong to have so much more faith in Kael than in Jon? Either way, the release of this will finally make me reinstal the bastard game for the first time since it launched.

  21. weizur says:

    As soon as Stardock can release a game that has more working code than buggy code I’ll take news from them seriously.