Elemental Beta Two, For Pre-Ordererers

We’re itchy for access to Elemental, Stardock’s massive 4X fantasy strategy with delicious and nutritious RPG bits. Why? Read this. Pre-ordering types can get access right now, thanks to the second beta of the game, which is detailed over on the mail site. Also this beta guide goes into some of the detail that wasn’t quite clear from Wardell’s epic twelve-minute ramble from earlier in the month, and it’s just making more desirous of the game. Release for all is August 24, a date which Stardock describe as “firm”. And we like firm.


  1. Jockie says:

    Ooh, much sooner than I’d realised. Anyone tried the beta yet?

    • alway says:

      Yep, I’ve been playing it for the past couple days. It is somewhat fun, but many of the features are disabled for beta 2A since from the sounds of it they still need to be worked into the AI. This beta has the 3d graphics in, and they are very stylized and look awesome.

    • LintMan says:

      I’ve been playing the beta for a few days as well. Looks really nice, lots of potential, but it still needs a lot of balance and refinement/polish. That’s what a beta is for, though so no surprises there.

      There’s also a whole lot of stuff still missing. (ie: There’s only like 2-3 quests, no tactical combat, less than half the tech tree, only a single map, no custom sovereign or faction, etc). That’s reasonable for a game in beta, but for an Aug 24 release, that’s an whole lot of stuff that needs to get in and tested and balanced and polished, beyond whatever the assorted issues that testers are finding with the stuff that’s actually in the current beta.

      Two and a half months doesn’t seem like a lot of time to do all that and get the game to the highly polished state it really deserves to be in at release. Fortunately, Stardock is excellent at post-release support, so I think it will get there eventually.

    • James Allen says:

      I think that most/all of that stuff is “done,” just not in the public beta because it’s not balanced or AI coded yet.

    • LintMan says:

      @James Allen: yes, but my concern schedule-wise is that the beta testing process being done to refine and polish the balance and AI and all the missing components won’t have enough time in that 2.5 months to really get the job done. It’s an interative process where changes and fixes have to be tested and then themselves balanced, fixed or tweaked, etc.

    • Archonsod says:

      The customisation options have been removed from this beta because they actually want people to test the stock builds. They were in beta 1 for a good few months, so I think you can safely say they’ve been tweaked, balanced and tested as much as they’re likely to be.

      The only things removed for AI purposes are the three techs which are currently unavailable. Again, they’ve already been in and been tested, that’s the entire reason they’re now being implemented into the AI (it being easier to set a tech tree and then get the AI to understand it than have to rebuild the AI every five minutes because you’ve changed something in the tree).

    • LintMan says:

      @Archonsod: Ah, I didn’t realize that the tech trees and customization had been in beta 1. That makes me feel better about the release date. Thanks.

  2. Tei says:

    What is the best way to experience this? enter now seems nice, but maybe pay to wait for the final release to have everything unlocked and on his final shape and power :-)

    • goodgimp says:

      Stardock betas are REAL betas, in that you’re actually testing a rough, unfinished product. It’s not a marketing tactic.

      Your best experience would be waiting for the actual release, unless you actually enjoy testing and want to provide feedback on trying to make it a better game.

      So again to reiterate… this is a beta, not a demo/sneak peek. The RPS article should probably reflect that.

  3. robrob says:

    This looks fantastic, it’s been far too long since Master of Magic. Looking forward to it coming out.

  4. Scroll says:

    The Beta certainly is a real one and not the usual commercial sense of the word.

    But there’s a crunchy filling in there and definitely showing promise. They’ll be unlocking more of Beta 2 as the weeks pass and the game should become fairly playable.

    It’s not currently for the faint of heart as there some fairly apparent problems with major bugs and balance issues, but if you would like to contribute to the finished product in a meaningful way then by all means, get involved.

  5. Acosta says:

    I have no interest on the beta (lies, I have, but I want to experience the final game ), but I just preordered the Limited Edition, and bought Master of Magic and Master of Orion I and II from GoG, so these are going to be a glorious holidays finished with a bang (if they finally release Elemental on August). Can’t wait.

  6. Antilogic says:

    Yeah the beta is basic, nowhere near the full level of content in the game, but its very enjoyable.

    Theres a good story here: link to forums.elementalgame.com 3500 turn game. Hopfully some more stories to come in that thread as well.

  7. Burningpet says:

    been following this closely and i’m really impressed by stardock’s approach.

  8. James Allen says:

    Now it’s not so much enjoyable (not supposed to be), but as things get enabled it’ll flourish into a pretty neat game, methinks.

  9. Turin Turambar says:

    Just remember, this is still a beta. A real beta, i mean, not a PR stunt. 3 of 5 research techonologies are didsbled, including magic and diplomacy, and also is disabled the customization of factions and your hero. And all the “evil” factions.

  10. Kyle says:

    Preordered. So. Hard.

    • Leelad says:

      In the “respond to our gibber box this read ” Preordered. So. Hard on” and i giggled.

      Hard on.


    • Grape Flavor says:






      GET IT


    • Psychopomp says:

      More like Sour Grape Flavor.

    • Grape Flavor says:

      Well yeah if you mean “Sour grape flavorED” condom on my PENIS


      EPIC RETORT!!!!!!!!!!

      GET IT



    • Grape Flavor says:

      *clears throat* So anyway this Elemental game looks pretty great…

  11. Longrat says:

    So I preordered, where is the beta?

    • James Allen says:

      You have to download it through Impulse by checking the “show pre-release versions” box in the upper left menu.

    • LintMan says:

      You might also need to register the game’s serial key in Impulse before the beta shows up. You should have gotten the key in an email. If you didn’t, go to this page to request it: link to stardock.com (That’s what I had to do).

    • goodgimp says:

      You need Impulse and you MUST go to preferences and check the box for Beta/Pre-release products.

  12. disperse says:

    At the end of that 12 minute gameplay video they mention a “part 2”. Where’s part 2?

  13. png says:

    I think preorderering is overrateded.

  14. snv says:

    This time i find it hard to not fall for the atrocious preordering scheme.

    It is: first sample, then pay, not the other way around.

    Now, i still have an Athlon XP and will have for some time (other priorities). Does this game need an SSE2 capable CPU?

    Just so you know: That old old piece still has anough processing power for several most games, and sometimes i can swap out a .dll and still play initially for SSE2 compiled games (like with Borderland and other Unreal Engine games) but often the SSE2 instructions are the hurdle. (Took me years to figure out why GRID wouln’t launch)

    • HYPERPOWERi says:

      I don’t think having access to a beta strictly falls under the buy before you try thing. It’s a beta, not a demo. The demo — I’m going to assume there will be one — will be free. Making people buy the game before participating in the beta makes sense to me. If you market it as a demo, people who download it expecting a demo will be turned away by the lack of functionality and bugs.

  15. DK says:

    August is way too early unless they pull of some kind of miracle. However, the next release date is somewhere in 2011 so I doubt they’ll delay it that long.

    • Archonsod says:

      Not really. Most of the game in terms of the actual system was completed in beta 1. The purpose of this release is to test the multiplayer code, and beta 3 will test tactical combat and diplomacy.

      The public build we receive for the beta is not representative of the current build, they remove anything which is not relevant to what they actually want to test. It’s also worth noting there’s already two updates planned post release where they’re expecting to add a lot (probably most) of actual content based on player feedback.

  16. Jeremy says:

    I want this game most of all.

  17. Choca says:

    This looks very promising, too bad it’ll be only on Impulse.

    • Antilogic says:

      You can buy it from Stardock on disk without using the Impluse program if you have something against it.

    • LintMan says:

      @Choca. If you buy on disk you won’t need Impulse to play, but if you want to download patches for the game, you very likely will need to use Impulse.

      But Impulse really isn’t that big a deal, IMHO. You use it to download the game and/or patches and then it gets out of your way. I’m pretty sure Elemental will have no DRM. Impulse doesn’t need to run in the background like Steam and you don’t need to be logged in to play the game.

  18. Chucrute says:

    How well will this game fare against Civilization V? I think it’s impossible not to compare two 4X Strategy games being release within a month. Maybe it’s not a fair comparison (fantasy x historical), but i’m pretty sure it will happen.

    So, what do you guys think?

    • Grape Flavor says:

      Hmm. I’m sure many people are going to buy both, but given the time-sucking nature of these games the close release could be unfortunate. After all, you only have so much life hours to spend.

      I never even thought of that, I really hope Elemental does well. Civilization V I’m not really worried about their sales.

    • HYPERPOWERi says:

      Getting both for sure.

      Civ V definitely has the brand going for it. I really hope it doesn’t stop people from playing Elemental.

    • Archonsod says:

      I’m not sure how much they’ll compete tbh. Civ is Civ, Elemental is going for a Master of Magic kind of vibe. The question for me is not which one to get, but how long after getting both I can expect to maintain any kind of social life.