Congrats, Kael!

Fistalis

Prince
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373
This is the Gamespot headline and it seems to be echoed by most of the bigger sites (i.e. those who have more to lose by giving a false review than they have to gain by buttering up a producer). I'm therefore unsure why there is any love for this game, given the response to Civ V. Could the lovers enlighten me?
Elemental gets more leeway from me cause its actually a brand new series.. Civ V has had 20 years of history to build on.. just because the designers decided to toss the majority of that doesn't mean i give them more rope. I would give them more leeway if they would have started a brand new series but "rebooting the series" doesn't count to me.

Elemental on the otherhand is a brand new game on a brand new engine.. It takes alot of elements from MOM but it doesnt claim to be a sequel. Also stardock doesn't make me download steam. Civ V is just an amalgam of little annoyances that have made me fed up with it. If it were just bugs or just steam or just removed features or just balance issues i could deal.. but all of the above.

Not to mention they are giving away the first DLC to everyone.. and the first 2 DLCs for those users who had to deal with the terrible launch.and the CEO takes part on the discussion of issues etc.. actually shows people he cares (even if he does get pissy sometimes)
 

Jharii

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This is the Gamespot headline and it seems to be echoed by most of the bigger sites (i.e. those who have more to lose by giving a false review than they have to gain by buttering up a producer). I'm therefore unsure why there is any love for this game, given the response to Civ V. Could the lovers enlighten me?

You mean, since Stardock doesn't have a big enough budget to advertise in their magazines or on their sites?? Sorry, hoss, but big name developers are always favored on the big sites and in the big mags because of the almighty $.

And you are unsure why there is love for this game because... you haven't experienced it for yourself and you rely on others ("big sites" who make decisions based on the $) to make decisions for you.

Regardless, this thread is about congratulating Kael, not bashing or championing Elemental.
 
Joined
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Messages
714
This is the Gamespot headline and it seems to be echoed by most of the bigger sites (i.e. those who have more to lose by giving a false review than they have to gain by buttering up a producer). I'm therefore unsure why there is any love for this game, given the response to Civ V. Could the lovers enlighten me?

Quite apart from Civ 5, Stardock has always struck me as a genuinely nice group of folks trying very hard to make good games. Whether they succeed or not is obviously a matter of taste. I would say that if you like Civ 5 and haven't already checked out Galactic Civilizations 1/2 you should do so - because they are pretty much the model for turn-based empire building with a wargame tint. The AI is actually genuinely clever since the rules are simple and there is no terrain to speak of (battles are in space). Now there is no multiplayer and the city (excuse me, planet) building aspect is very simple; there can also be a lot of slider twiddling etc. But as a game they earned a strong following.

The game people also engage all of the time with the customers, they are vigorous about patches, added goodies, updating the AI, etc. So there is a lot of goodwill in the community towards them which is reflected in the reviews.

Elemental looked to me to be a disaster of an idea and everything that I've seen since then confirms my instincts; it doesn't play to Stardocks' strengths (simple design, complex strategy.) But I hope the background above helps explain why the company itself has a surprisingly strong reservoir of sympathy and patience.

To be honest, the treatment of Civ 5 on the various fan forums would have been blunted if the designers engaged with people instead of ignoring them. Quite apart from any problems/features of Civ 5 that is a surprising public relations failure on their part.
 

Jharii

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To be honest, the treatment of Civ 5 on the various fan forums would have been blunted if the designers engaged with people instead of ignoring them. Quite apart from any problems/features of Civ 5 that is a surprising public relations failure on their part.

The same can be said for just about any game ever released over the last 10+ years. There is one constant. Whenever a title is released, you can rest assured that an angry mob wielding torches and pitchforks will be raising hell on the forums.
 
Joined
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The same can be said for just about any game ever released over the last 10+ years. There is one constant. Whenever a title is released, you can rest assured that an angry mob wielding torches and pitchforks will be raising hell on the forums.

It's quite different if people feel as if they have developed some sort of relationship with the design team; the edges get sanded off. It's unconditionally worse to simply not be there.
 

tupisac

Chieftain
Joined
Sep 26, 2010
Messages
45
This is the Gamespot headline and it seems to be echoed by most of the bigger sites (i.e. those who have more to lose by giving a false review than they have to gain by buttering up a producer). I'm therefore unsure why there is any love for this game, given the response to Civ V. Could the lovers enlighten me?

Elemental is a good idea but poorly executed. Civ V is a bad idea executed nicely.
- I've red something similar to this somewhere and 100% agreed. Bugs are patchable. Balance is tweakable. But the core idea behind the game cannot be easily changed. In case of elemental this idea is 'old-style complexity'. In case of civ V - 'new and fresh simplicity'.

I've played the 1.08 and 1.09 versions of Elemental, now I wait for 1.1. patch. It looks pretty promising and gave me a lot of fun just to explore it as is. Sure, fractions lack personality, lots of stuff is unbalanced, some ideas don't work as intended, some don't work at all, AI is bad and you've got this beta feeling all over. But the world itself is challenging, so you don't feel AI stupidity this much at least at the beginning. There's a lot to do, tech tree feels properly long and maps can be really big. Let me put it this way:
Took me 70 hrs and two games of Civ V to explore almost all of it, win it twice, see all the wonders, kill all the guys, check all the policies and get bored. Most of the time it was just dumb clicking "next turn" button anyway.
First game of elemental took me around 100 hrs, most of it was fun and in each turn I was occupied with something. There was a lot of 4x fun, lot of HoMM-like fun with bits of RPGish character design fun and immersion fun as well. And I'm still looking forward to 1.1 patch to play it some more.

I'm really pleased to hear that Kael have joined the team. Now I'm looking forward to 1.1 even more.
 

Thormodr

Servant of Civ
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Elemental is a very ambitious project for Stardock. It certainly had a near disastrous launch but for a game having a new engine and starting a new series and being such a small company, it was somewhat predictable.

The big game reviewers tore it apart and actually acted honest for once. Of course the lack of advertising $$$ probably played a big part in that.

They are a small indie company that doesn't have to rely on computer game sales so much. They sell other software and that makes up most of their profits so really, computer games are just a sideline or hobby for them. :)

With the PC gaming industry on the decline, they are a breath of fresh air.
I love the fact that they are trying to make a game that is supposed to at least loosely resemble Master of Magic and Age of Wonders. Two truly classic games that I spent countless hours playing.

Stardock doesn't require Steam which is a bonus and free DLCs rewards people that put their faith in them. They also gave refunds for dissatisfied customers.
Does anyone honestly think Firaxis or 2K Games would do this???

Kael is just going to make that company better. A Fall from Heaven mod for Elemental would absolutely rock and he could very well make it happen. He'll make Elemental great and ensure that it is extremely mod friendly. :goodjob:

I've actually really enjoyed playing Elemental so far. It certainly has its flaws but its challenging, fun and its going to get a lot, lot better. Patch 1.1 is going to really help.

Basically, score one for the little guys. :)
 

JDexter

Prince
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Stardock doesn't require Steam
...because they started their own distribution platform called "Impact".
Is it better? No. Just another name with the same problems, limitations and risks for customers. And, last time I checked, with less additional value (like achievements, for those who like that kind of thing).
 

Jharii

King
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...because they started their own distribution platform called "Impact".
Is it better? No. Just another name with the same problems, limitations and risks for customers. And, last time I checked, with less additional value (like achievements, for those who like that kind of thing).

It's actually called Impulse.
 

zafyro

Warlord
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spain
Well, i did buy elemental and tried it. Thoroughtly. And being sincere, i felt i have been cheated. The game was awfull, full of bugs and with a lack of depth that scared me. and I'm a huge fan of stardock and this kind of games.

Everything was wrong, all the fantastic mechanics that looked so amazing in the dev blogs were useles, the tech path just wrong and flavorless, the magic mostly disapointing and the tactical combat, a complete bluff.

How did they dared to publish that game after so much talk about the Open beta testing phase...

Just say I asked my money back.

And about kael... I just hope they let him do what he does best, but its a huge, really hard work what lies in front of him
 

andrewlt

Prince
Joined
Jul 27, 2004
Messages
473
This is the Gamespot headline and it seems to be echoed by most of the bigger sites (i.e. those who have more to lose by giving a false review than they have to gain by buttering up a producer). I'm therefore unsure why there is any love for this game, given the response to Civ V. Could the lovers enlighten me?


I don't understand it, either. I've played both and Elemental is a much bigger wreck than Civ 5 is. Civ 5 is actually playable upon release and it's going to take much fewer balance changes and redesigns to fix its problems compared to Elemental's. I'm in the middle of my 5th game of Civ 5 now. In contrast, I had my only game of Elemental screwed up because of patch incompatibility and I won't even touch it again until next year.

Civ 5 could be fixed by a few balance patches. Elemental needs at least a year before even somebody like Kael could make it decent. The only advantage Elemental has is Stardock's customer service. Even World of Warcraft's designers have a more personal touch with their customers than 2K/Firaxis and they have over 12 million customers.
 

Thormodr

Servant of Civ
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I don't understand it, either. I've played both and Elemental is a much bigger wreck than Civ 5 is. Civ 5 is actually playable upon release and it's going to take much fewer balance changes and redesigns to fix its problems compared to Elemental's. I'm in the middle of my 5th game of Civ 5 now. In contrast, I had my only game of Elemental screwed up because of patch incompatibility and I won't even touch it again until next year.

Civ 5 could be fixed by a few balance patches. Elemental needs at least a year before even somebody like Kael could make it decent. The only advantage Elemental has is Stardock's customer service. Even World of Warcraft's designers have a more personal touch with their customers than 2K/Firaxis and they have over 12 million customers.

If you think Shafer 5 is going to be fixed with a few balance patches then I'd say you are overly optimistic. It's going to take a lot more than that.

Sorry that the patching screwed up your save game for Elemental. I recommend trying it after patch 1.1. If it still doesn't appeal to you then can it until they put out the free expansions that they promised.

For me, the game I am currently playing with Elemental has recaptured that one more turn feeling again. It reminds me a lot of Age of Wonders and I absolutely loved that game. Master of Magic too. They are not close to being as good as those classic titles but they are definitely on the right track.

I give Stardock a lot of leeway because they actually have good communication and they really listen to their fans with excellent support. I like supporting the little indie companies like Stardock and Paradox Interactive that dare to bring out niche titles and don't dumb them down for the mass market.
 

jpinard

Martian
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Enceladus, Saturn
Well, there ARE a lot of similarities given our lake-effect blizzards. :)

And yeah, I didn't realize there were so many other Michigan peeps up in here. Apparently we should get together and take Kael out for a beer or six to welcome him to the Mitten. :goodjob:

That would be awesome fun! I bet Brad might even be up for it.
 

tupisac

Chieftain
Joined
Sep 26, 2010
Messages
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I like supporting the little indie companies like Stardock and Paradox Interactive that dare to bring out niche titles and don't dumb them down for the mass market.

That. There's no much left for dads raised with games made by nerds for other nerds.

God, I really hope Jagged Alliance 3 won't follow Civ V footsteps...
 

Drakarska

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That. There's no much left for dads raised with games made by nerds for other nerds.

God, I really hope Jagged Alliance 3 won't follow Civ V footsteps...

Me to. That one has been on my "wary hopeful" list since I first saw the announcement. :) Isn't the Dad nerd tradition great? Loved passing that on to my 3 oldest boys. Unfortuneately, my youngest is a die hard console fan... I'm trying to convince him to come over to the dark side.
 

Fistalis

Prince
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...because they started their own distribution platform called "Impact".
Is it better? No. Just another name with the same problems, limitations and risks for customers. And, last time I checked, with less additional value (like achievements, for those who like that kind of thing).

First its called impulse.
Second it doesnt require you to have it on to run games.
third its only required for updates or Downloads if you purchase the game through impulse.So if you buy the DVD copy of an impulse game and don't have net connection you can install and play your game you just can't get updates.

It doesn't have the same limitations. If it did i would dislike it as much as I do steam. Please in the future do a little research if your going to make claims about something.
 

jprc

My dog is smarter than me
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Sep 22, 2006
Messages
498
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Mozambique and far-far East
Kael hired at Stardock ??!!

I have purchased Elemental right now on Impulse ...


Ah... and regarding Impulse versus Steam, I would add:

1- located in Mozambique, I still can buy games with Impulse but not with Steam, i.e. pay for my games. My bank account is in France, but I work in (deep) Africa. Impulse's system allows you to purchase an item if your IP does not match your billing address ... and Steam rejects your payment. If your are not in your billing country (ex. soldiers assigned in another country, travellers, retired people enjoying a sunny paradise, workers from NGOs, etc...), beware !!!

2- Impulse allows you to archive in your hard disk the software you just bought (it is compressed in a 7z format, with a key). You can OFF LINE re-install this archive and play it, provided that you (re)install Impulse (yes, you can stay off line) and have the original registration key (used for internally producing the archive key). Can you archive the full copy of your software with Steam and re-install it later off line ???

3- When you install a game with Impulse, you can choose where to install it (I like to put ALL my games under C:\Discover\...). With Steam, ALL games MUST be stored under the Steam folder/system (C:\(your program or game folder)\STEAM\steamapps\common). Much less user-friendly for those who, like me, like monitoring how files/folders are organized.

4- Moving to another continent (I move between Europe, Africa, far Asia) ? With Impulse, your game will work ANYWHERE ! With Steam, if you connect to internet/steam in some countries, it will say: "sorry, but you are not authorize to play this game in the country you are currently located in..." (or something like that...)

I use Steam, I am not against it, but it has limits that Impulse does not have, and is far more intrusive than Impulse in term of privacy (by instance, you know how many minutes a "friend" has played a game. and default settings - probably untouched/unknown by many - automatically connects you in the background to their "client" database...).
At the opposite, I have not found yet a big issue with Impulse, so ... if 2 games are avai8lable on both platforms, I will always go for Impulse, even if there is a (reasonable) difference of price.

However, to be fair, concerning good offers, Steam makes sometimes incredibly cheap offers (just bought letf4dead 1 & 2 for 10e on steam), and they can be better than Impulse on this area as they are a big company, and can apply more pressure upon publishers. And users....
 

Dale

Mohawk Games Developer
Joined
Mar 14, 2002
Messages
7,445
I like supporting the little indie companies like Stardock and Paradox Interactive that dare to bring out niche titles and don't dumb them down for the mass market.

Sorry, but Stardock is no longer Indie. They also outsource designs to other companies (eg: Dominions) and act as publisher for other Indies. They have placed themselves (on Brad's words) in the same domain as the "big boys", and have the aspirations of the "big boys".
 

Dale

Mohawk Games Developer
Joined
Mar 14, 2002
Messages
7,445
Congrats Derek. Glad to hear you've finally gotten your chance. :)

I do fear that you will not be able to save Elemental, but good luck.
 

Krall

Warlord
Joined
Sep 16, 2007
Messages
106
Location
in central NY
Well, i did buy elemental and tried it. Thoroughtly. And being sincere, i felt i have been cheated. The game was awfull, full of bugs and with a lack of depth that scared me. and I'm a huge fan of stardock and this kind of games.

Everything was wrong, all the fantastic mechanics that looked so amazing in the dev blogs were useles, the tech path just wrong and flavorless, the magic mostly disapointing and the tactical combat, a complete bluff.

How did they dared to publish that game after so much talk about the Open beta testing phase...

Just say I asked my money back.

And about kael... I just hope they let him do what he does best, but its a huge, really hard work what lies in front of him

Lack of depth?
 
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