Elemental: Fallen Enchantress: Legendary Heroes: May

By Alec Meer on April 23rd, 2013 at 11:00 am.

Leggy Heroes more like, amirite? Phwoar, check out the pantaloons on that eh, lads?
Last year’s sequel-cum-remake* Fallen Enchantress went some way to redeeming the troubled launch of Stardock’s Elemental, but Adam still came out of it thinking that “Elemental feels like it’s a few steps sideways from where I’d like it to be.” The journey to make Elemental the strategy-roleplaying accomplishment we’d always isn’t over, however – next month sees the release of expandelion Legendary Heroes.

While May 22nd is the official release date, Legendary Heroes has actually been available as paid public beta for a little while now. Hopefully that’s been fruitful from a bug-squashing, balance-adjusting point of view. Prices are fairly high – $40 on its own, or $20 if you own Fallen Enchantress. Hopefully that speaks to SUBSTANCE, but we’ll find out. Stardock will also be honouring their pledge to make it a freebie for anyone who bought the original Elemental: War of Magic before the bottom-presents hit the fan, though you should already know that (and have had access to the beta) if it applies to you.

What’s in Legendary Heroes, then? Well, some legendary heroes, obv. Can’t you read or something? There’s no big, swooshy, logo-tastic trailer for the expandalone, which is unusual in this day and age, but what Stardock have done instead is post their own lengthy Let’s Play. Here’s a half hour of a very early version of the game:

As the title of the pack suggests, this is a hero-centric addon. Primarily that means player-selectable traits as your dudes level up, rather than the previous random selection, and the addition of non-human champions, some of which are unlocked via play.

Also in there are “new tactical combat options”, more spells, monsters and whatnot, and a new scenario. You know, expansion stuff. More details, and buttons that Stardock would very much like you to press in order to give them your money, over here.

* Important point: I feel as though I’m being objectionably filthy whenever I write ‘something cum something’, and would like to apologise to anyone offended. But honestly, blame the damn Romans.

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30 Comments »

  1. elexis says:

    FYI If you were one of those people who preordered Elemental:WoM ages ago, and as a result were given Fallen Enchantress for free, you will also have a free copy of Legendary Heroes waiting for you in the depths of your email account. If not then nag stardock for one.

    • Frosty840 says:

      I got a free copy of Fallen Enchantress, but all I got for Legendary Heroes was an advert…

      • daemon23 says:

        I got an email telling me I would get a Steam code for Legendary Heroes by email but never did. However, when I logged into the Stardock store site, I found the Steam code there.

  2. Pofruin says:

    Romans be damned then.

    • Michael Fogg says:

      Not sure if Alec used this correctly. ‘Cum’ is ‘with’ so E:FE would be ‘sequel with remake’. Is that what was intended to be said? It makes sense to say, for example, that it is a strategy-cum-rpg game.

  3. theleif says:

    I must say that so far I’m very pleased with the game during beta. A big step forward from FE and finally I’m really enjoying myself.

  4. Choca says:

    Haven’t had the time to try the beta yet but FE was already a nice (if flawed) step in the right direction so I’m hoping this will finally turn Elemental into a real good (and desperately ugly, the art direction is seriously messed up) game.

  5. Dubbill says:

    I’ve been enjoying Legendary Heroes a lot but I’m struggling to see how it’s an expansion. Rather than adding to the original it replaces a lot of bad mechanics with better ones. It feels much more like a generous patch than an expansion you’d want to pay for.

    • Shaun239 says:

      Agreed.

      A definite improvement, but last I played the Beta I didn’t really feel like there was enough content to call it an expansion, it’s mostly just refinements – more like a Fallen Enchantress 2.0.

      It might be enjoyable but I’m glad I got it for free, wouldn’t pay much for it. I know that makes me sound ungrateful but I’m just being honest.

      Not as bad as the ‘expansions’ for Endless Space though…

      Also, any idea what Civ 4′s Soren is working on over at Stardock? Really seems like they’ve assembled an all-star 4x dev team over there recently.

    • Joshua Northey says:

      The idea that you shouldn’t have to pay for patches and that the only acceptable reason to give more money is if they add in a bunch of new art (regardless of whether art is the problem with the game) is perhaps the single most destructive mode of thought in the PC gaming community.

      Fixing the AI or making game mechanic improvements is often MUCH MUCH MUCH more time intensive and and difficult than slapping together a few new units races/scenarios. Hell modders can usually do the above.

      The PC gaming community’s belief that they are only willing to shell out $20 for the latter an not the former is why strategy games are a mess. They never get balanced or fixed, developers just add in more and more broken garbage until eventually it is a bloated unbalanced mess.

  6. wu wei says:

    NEON GENESIS EXPANDELION

  7. Donkeyfumbler says:

    I bought Fallen Enchantress and I’ve tried it a few times, but I just can’t get into it, despite the fact that I’ve played hundreds of hours of Age of Wonders, Master of Magic, Civilization and similar. It seems to have all the right ingredients – tactical battles, city building, exploration, diplomacy – but it’s missing whatever kept me playing all those other games into the early hours, though I damned if I can put my finger on it exactly.

    Maybe the races are all too similar (still), maybe it’s just a bit too lifeless, the city-building seems so inconsequential, the tactical battles too basic. I invariably end up traipsing all over the map with my heroes and a few other units looking for something interesting to do while occasionally choosing pointless buildings for the cities (which never seem to get attacked by the monsters wandering by, even though they are undefended). I then run out of quests for my level in the surrounding areas and then finally lose interest all together.

    Shame really – it all looks so good on paper.

    • Joshua Northey says:

      Play on a higher difficulty level…

    • twilightusk says:

      I noticed towns never getting attacked….on the easiest difficulty. I upgraded to the middle difficulty and was met rather rudely with the fact that yes, monsters WILL attack your towns at higher difficulties. Quite often in fact, if they’re wandering around nearby.

      Based on that detail, the rest of your comments are in the lens that you were certainly playing on the easiest difficulty, which rather discredits your comments that the game is so easy as to be boring. I’m not saying the game is perfect by any means but the proper response to “the game is way too easy” when you’re on the lowest difficulty, is to turn up the difficulty. Stardock is actually pretty good about difficulty levels being more than just “how much is the AI cheating”?

    • Donkeyfumbler says:

      I wasn’t complaining that it was too easy, just that it was dull (if you read the entire post rather than just concentrating on part ot it).

      I was playing my games on easy at first (the default level), and then upped it to normal difficulty for the most recent couple to see if that made any difference and my cities were still hardly ever touched, but to be honest, even if my cities were attacked it wouldn’t make any difference to the other problems I have with the game.

  8. Noburu says:

    Just wanted to say I had quite a chuckle having my morning coffee when I read “bottom-presents hit the fan”.

  9. SkittleDiddler says:

    Why do I get the impression that Stardock are doing nothing here but releasing paid patches for a game they flubbed up years ago?

    I didn’t buy Elemental for obvious reasons. I did, however, buy FE based on positive output from players. That was a mistake — what I got was a severely unbalanced, glitchy game that randomly freezes and crashes and does weird shit with the campaign map. Worst of all, it’s not very fun.

    I suppose I should be grateful that Stardock were kind enough to send me a discount for Legendary Heroes (20% off, woot), but screw them in their greedy eye socket if they think I’m going to pay any price for a glorified patch.

    • Joshua Northey says:

      What is wrong with paid patches? I would much rather pay for patches, than pay for a bunch of factions or scenarios or maps I will never play and could make myself if I wanted to.

      • Soulstrider says:

        Because patches should be free, why the hell should I pay for them to fix the game that I already wasted my money in?

  10. Captain Joyless says:

    Any updates on the sexual harassment and retaliatory termination lawsuit from his former employee?

    #1 reason to what, again?

    • Baines says:

      I don’t believe anything more was ever reported after Wardell out of nowhere and seemingly contrary to his previous defenses of the game’s state at release counter-sued that she had sabotaged Elemental.

    • Om says:

      Yeah, I’d quite like an update on that before I consider giving Stardock my hard-earned monies

  11. DarkMalice says:

    Just give us Galactic Civilisations 3 already, damnit.

  12. Thurgret says:

    I’ve played some Fallen Enchantress, and a bit of Legendary Heroes too. Legendary Heroes feels like they’ve fixed some of the more egregious issues, especially with the sovereigns and champions. There are other balance issues I’ve yet to really have a look at. The sheer power of dragons comes to mind — upon finding dragon altars, I would quietly hide away from much of the world, when playing against AI, only to appear, late on (when they have vastly more points than me, and with the weaker ones obliterated or assimilated by the strong) and roll over them with dragons.

  13. mr.black says:

    That’s the way to do it, other media outlets!
    I just had to click on the link to read what was up with the asterisk. And I wasn’t dissapointed and got to be entertained by the actual article as a bonus!

  14. Canisa says:

    Teeheehee; “bottom-presents”!

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