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Elemental Patched, Savaged

This Elemental Forum Post announces the release of the promised Day 0 patch for Elemental: War of Magic, updating Stardock's just-released 4X turn-based PC game to version 1.05. There's also a post on PC Gamer that tears into it, saying while it is "one of the most exciting game ideas for a long time," it is "a mess," saying "it’s been shoved out months too soon." They report persistent bugs and crashes on two different computers, and don't mince words, saying: "The game you actually get in the box, or in the initial download if you bought it digitally before today, is riddled with bugs. You should not buy it." They also point to a thread on the Quarter to Three Forums where Stardock's Brad Wardell responds to a complaint saying: "Also, to anyone, like you Ben, saying the game is like an 'early beta' then well, please stay away from our games in the future. I consider it ready for release and if others disagree, don't buy our games." The PC Gamer article concludes with an update that followed the game being patched: "The problem where tactical battles just show a white screen and are unplayable is now back, even though the interim patch had fixed it. Before last night’s patch, the game was working other than the every half-hour crashes. It hasn’t crashed since the patch, but not being able to fight is worse. Others are already finding the same." The notes from the day 0 patch and word on what they are doing next follow.

* Gameplay / Balance *

  • Several new spells added
  • Boats will no longer disband due to dissertion
  • Absolute elimination of duplicate NPCs
  • Vigilant Demon now has mana
  • Combat Speed can only be increased 0.25 per level
  • Shop values for weapons lowered
  • Elementium description added
  • Outposts and such now provide +HP to units stationed
  • Fewer resources are spawned at the start of the game
  • Summoning spellbook no longer available at start
  • Tech trees can now reach level 5 notable locations and quest locations
  • Fixed issue that would prevent people from completing the Old Enchanter quest (a.k.a. the midnight stone quest); it wasn’t checking the items of the unit that reached the quest destination, rather those of the unit that started the quest, which could be a different unit.
  • Random quest locations should no longer spawn on hills.
  • Snathi now has a new, non-Drake leader

* AI *

  • AI manages ships better
  • AI Sovereign’s spouse will seek the safety of a friendly settlement rather than travel with their spouse
  • AI more effective in establishing strong armies prior to going on the offensive
  • AI better at determining whether it is in their best interests to declare war
  • AI will notify player of tiles they should be using and how to use them.
  • Janusk provides a lot more useful information
  • AI difficulty levels tweaked for more challenge at higher levels
  • AI tweaks to XML

* Battles *

  • Added "Auto-Move Camera in Tactical" which is OFF by default
  • Clarified some language for the hurl boulder spells (that it does non-defendable damage).
  • Auto resolve draws will now favor the defender.
  • Added message boxes to tactical battles when action points are too low to do some action.
  • Added the ability to bring message boxes up as forced popups (always on top).
  • Added checks in auto resolve to be sure a unit can counter attack and its target can be counter attacked.
  • Added more robust checks to see if tactical actions can be done.
  • The tactical action check will now return a string if the action cannot be done.
  • Casting a spell will now properly check action points for special abilities and ranged attacks.
  • Moved the logic to refresh troop numbers to happen when a unit's health changes.
  • Updating troop numbers should now be a bit more logical.
  • A unit's max health is now properly based on the maximum amount of troops they have (not their current troop number).
  • In tactical battles units that have no spell can no longer open the spellbook.
  • Fixed a few temporary cursors in tactical battles.
  • Added sound effects to all the spells that were using FlameBurst1 (which doesn't exist)
  • Added the IsSpecialAbility tag to SpellDefs. Enabling this makes the spell cost 1 ap instead of 2 ap to use
  • Updated all the core ability spell defs with the IsSpecialAbility tag.
  • Casting spells in tactical battles costs 2 action points now.
  • Using special abilities in tactical battles costs 1 action point now.
  • Shooting a ranged weapon in tactical battles cost 2 action points now.
  • The tooltip for a unit’s hit points in the tactical battle window will now show any bonuses applied to the health.

******
* UI *

  • added ESC key support for closing common popups.
  • new tutorial messages added to the campaign, explaining the basics, including: camera movement, unit selection and movement, founding a kingdom, tapping a resource, visiting an item shop, etc.
  • Added a bunch of new shortcut keys
  • Fixed unit shortcut keys while in a city (now clicking on a unit portrait in the city will do that unit action instead of overriding to the city keys)
  • Fixed cases that you could click a unit, then click a goodie hut (for example), and still use the previous units shortcut keys
  • Enabled shortcut keys for items that don't belong to the local player (details, propose, recruit, etc.)
  • Fixed the hiergamenon resource breakdown page to include houses under construction for food
  • Added code to reset minimap for new game
  • New game tray implemented (now has next unit and next city buttons)
  • Added shortcut keys for next unit and next city (shift+u and shift+c, respectively [shift+s already jumps to sovereign so consistent])
  • Tool tips cleaned up
  • hooked up new for when disband unit action is disabled
  • Faction Editor “Faction Creator” hooked up
  • Mod Library button added to workshop
  • clicking someone without a soundpack uses a UI sfx, not a grunt/yes/ etc (less annoying)
  • Champion Lorebook/Context area Tweaked, adding ‘Equip’ button that brings up EQUIPMENT, remove list of items
  • unit context: removed equip icon on medallion (redundant...button directly to the right had same functionality)
  • Map Notifications now display HUD icons on the map, event icons on the side, and when you click the event list icon it’ll take the player to the event they need to see

* Engine *

  • LOD levels on main map are now back to what they used to be for better performance
  • New shard effects, both dormant and tapped, that over 1/2 as intensive as their older versions (the joys of beam particles over billboard particles)

* Impulse Overlay *

  • Support for swedish, finnish, icelandic and spanish keyboards which have the @ symbol on an alt-gr modifier key. It is also now possible to enter some more unusual symbols too!
  • Wheel scrolling in friends list.

* Bug Fixes *

  • Fixed issue that was preventing quests from placing locations with their preferred type (CQuestDef wasn’t saving the preferred type, so when the data zip was loaded, it would be null).
  • Fixed some crashes on load from if a unit type was retired while a unit of that type was in a training queue, since the unit type would be removed from the global vector but some things would still be looking for it on load. Now the function to remove a retired unit type checks the training queues of all the cities, too, and when the AI retires a unit type, it removes it from its list of designs.
  • I think this also fixes some crashes on load from the testers downstairs, where I would see units looking for AI designed unit types that weren't in the unit type list anymore, as well as the loading in of the AI designed unit type vector, but I'm just making an educated guess based on the fact that the AI automatically retires unit types it designs itself. This does fix a reproducible crash related to training units at least, though.
  • Campaign: AI cities named correctly to match lore
  • Lost Library and Ancient Temple now using proper cloth icons for their built versions (lost library used to like ancient temple)
  • Fixed bug where using a soverign for a race not their own (ex. Relias with Capitar) then playing against the race you would have led (Altar, in this example) the random sovereign would retain your name (2 relias’ talking to each other)

Known Issues

  • We did find a crash bug where monsters attack the player, the player survives and a bad thumbnail causes the game to crash. We have fixed this internally. But it wasn’t in time for tonight’s build. It should be a rare scenario. Next update will add this fix in. [update, it has been decided to release that fix tonight rather than wait, you may [probably] won’t be affected by it so you won’t need to re-update unless you feel you need to].
  • We are going to add an event so that if the user clicks on a global resource it will remove the notice.
  • There are a number of AI improvements that were checked in for the next build. [Editor’s note: Brad always has AI improvements he wants in right now now now. ].
  • The Sand Golem token may need to be nerfed (quest item).

What’s next?

  • After the team gets a day of rest, we’ll be back to put the final touches on the MP servers. Those involved on it have used the extra time to get more multiplayer maps in, add better custom game support, etc. MP should be turned on early next week.
  • If you have an ATI card with Windows 7 64-bit, make sure you have updated to the latest drivers. We have verified with AMD that the pre-July cards had a memory issue.
  • As some of you know, starting in October I will be going on a sabbatical from my day job at Stardock (President & CEO) for a month or two so that I can spend my time making mods, getting better at Python (so that we can expose the AI APIs and Gameplay APIs to modders via Python) and focus on new AI ideas I’ve had while playing the game these past couple months (these updates to the game will be free of course).
  • The book, Elemental: Destiny’s Embers is available at most bookstores now. We are releasing a series of goodies for those people who buy the book.
  • The Stardock team will be releasing a free Quest Pack for Elemental in September. If you have any requests for quests, please feel free to share them on the forums.
  • In general, we welcome your ideas and suggestions. You bought the game, we consider release day the BEGINNING of our support, not the end. Please feel free to post any requests you’d like to see in future updates. We can’t promise we’ll be able to implement them but we’ll do our best to do what we can.

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7. Re: Elemental Patched, Savaged Aug 25, 2010, 12:59 Verno
 
The game is so finished that multiplayer isn't even turned on yet. Well done Brad.

I agree btw Theo, I felt Demigod was a gaggle of excuses. At one point he blamed the company who sold them a multiplayer networking library even despite them having much larger scale deployments of that code in the world working just fine. I'll give this game a wide berth since it appears he hasn't learned any lessons.
 
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    Date Subject Author
  1. Aug 25, 11:30 Re: Elemental Patched, Savaged SBlat
  3. Aug 25, 11:35  Re: Elemental Patched, Savaged nin
  11. Aug 25, 14:08  meh Com
  13. Aug 25, 14:21   Re: meh Verno
  15. Aug 25, 14:40    Re: meh ASeven
  14. Aug 25, 14:39   Re: meh Jonny
  19. Aug 25, 15:16    Re: meh Verno
  20. Aug 25, 15:17   Re: meh Jerykk
  26. Aug 25, 16:00   Re: meh w34sl3
  28. Aug 25, 16:10    Re: meh Prez
  2. Aug 25, 11:35 Re: Elemental Patched, Savaged Creston
  4. Aug 25, 12:01 Re: Elemental Patched, Savaged Ozmodan
  5. Aug 25, 12:08 Re: Elemental Patched, Savaged Verno
  6. Aug 25, 12:41  Re: Elemental Patched, Savaged Theo
  9. Aug 25, 13:28   Re: Elemental Patched, Savaged w34sl3
  10. Aug 25, 13:31    Re: Elemental Patched, Savaged Verno
  23. Aug 25, 15:43     Re: Elemental Patched, Savaged w34sl3
  24. Aug 25, 15:49      Re: Elemental Patched, Savaged Kxmode
  27. Aug 25, 16:09       Re: Elemental Patched, Savaged w34sl3
  29. Aug 25, 16:12        Re: Elemental Patched, Savaged nin
  31. Aug 25, 16:46         Re: Elemental Patched, Savaged w34sl3
  32. Aug 25, 16:50          Re: Elemental Patched, Savaged nin
  30. Aug 25, 16:33        Re: Elemental Patched, Savaged KFC fuckin rox!
  37. Aug 25, 21:50    Re: Elemental Patched, Savaged D_K_night
  22. Aug 25, 15:34  Re: Elemental Patched, Savaged jdreyer
>> 7. Aug 25, 12:59 Re: Elemental Patched, Savaged Verno
  8. Aug 25, 13:18  Re: Elemental Patched, Savaged Darks
  12. Aug 25, 14:08 Re: Elemental Patched, Savaged Tumbler
  16. Aug 25, 14:45 Re: Elemental Patched, Savaged Dev
  18. Aug 25, 15:02  Re: Elemental Patched, Savaged Kajetan
  17. Aug 25, 14:59 Re: Elemental Patched, Savaged Silicon Avatar
  21. Aug 25, 15:30 Re: Elemental Patched, Savaged jdreyer
  25. Aug 25, 15:55 Re: Elemental Patched, Savaged Wallshadows
  33. Aug 25, 16:52 Re: Elemental Patched, Savaged Verno
  34. Aug 25, 17:33  Re: Elemental Patched, Savaged Creston
  35. Aug 25, 19:23 Re: Elemental Patched, Savaged Verno
  36. Aug 25, 21:41  Re: Elemental Patched, Savaged D_K_night
  38. Aug 25, 22:44 Re: Elemental Patched, Savaged Silicon Avatar


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