Okay, so, the last time I listed some thoughts it was appreciated, so here goes for the new version. Was intending to play a bit more but off to Scotland tomorrow so its either now or in a week and a half. As in the last thread its a mix of general honest thoughts, big and small, with some suggestions thrown in.
1) Sovereign equipment at the start. I would never buy any – the pointage can be far better spent on other things. I can get my sov equipped basically pretty quickly at the start, even if it means I have to avoid fights for a bit at first. It makes the choice of starting with a equipment not a choice at all, there are far more long term things to buy that will serve me far better. A separate point count for equipment would be nice, perhaps with an extra trait option to be able to boost what you can start with. This would let me start with equipment, whereas now I simply don't.
2) Building cap. In my notes for this I wrote “why show building cap cost if there is no building cap” followed by “building cap confusing” - as I hit the building cap. I couldn't find the building cap. By building cap I am referring to tiles. I found myself looking for things to destroy in my capital in order to be able to build things – this hidden cap was far more annoying than the old old X tiles available per city level. Basically not sure what's going on here, or if its even done, so finding it hard to comment. However, it does relate to...
Out of town upgrades. 3 points here -
4) The difference between in town and out of town upgrades. I saw there was a tile cost for building the upgrade from the town, but decided to pay it so it counted as inside the walls. Was also unsure as to whether bonuses from other buildings would affect it if it was out of town. Again too many question marks here to be able to properly comment, however if out of town upgrades do function identically to in town ones, a removal of tile cap cost would make sense, so we can keep our pretty town walls intact without nerfing our settlements.
5) Cant delete out of town upgrades. My town reached one, I wanted to get the wall around it, instead of running through it. Luckily, bandits attacked at that very moment and destroyed it. Me and my wall were very happy at this development, but it did make me realise that...
6) No feedback when out of town upgrades get destroyed. I found a few others bandits ganked too, so was not a one off.
7) I miss watchtowers. It would be great to have them back as standalone structures out in the wild. I have lots of blind spots in my territory currently, and I tried to place scouts there, but it got annoying having my auto turn being messed with by them. Which leads me onto...
8) No guard/sentry setting for units. GalCiv2 has this, I used it quite a lot. I would line my fleets up along my borders to watch them, and they wouldn't mess with my turn changing. I miss it. Also those fleets looked imposing.
9) A party is not 3. This one actually annoyed me – which is an odd overreaction to such a tiny change. It just feels wrong. A party is 4 to 6, 3 is a trio. Perhaps I have been playing MMOs for too long, but it just feels like someone pointed at my dog and shouted “CAT!”. On a saner note, I usually like having lots of men with me, not sure why the sizes have been reduced. If I have thousands of people under my banner, I want more than a handful of soldiers.
10) Training/building panel when switching cities. I want it to stay open if I click on a different city. Lots of the time I switch out to cloth map and go city to city, managing each at the same time, or recruiting the same unit in each. Having to reopen the panels each time is just an irritation.
11) Not enough expenses. This is quite a big one really – Each game its a bit slow at the start, waiting for resources. Then BOOM, I have every resource coming out of every orifice. By the time I have one large city and 2 small-medium ones, I have 30000 gold, a bunch of adventurers in steel plate and a bunch of guards with all of them. Gold is the main one, I could spend the rest on even more men, but if I did I would still have 20000 gold or so remaining and nothing to do with it. I believe the city upgrades to be a big part of this – a few gold producing buildings in each and a few +% gildar income upgrades and it just gets a bit mad. I would much prefer to have too few resources than too many – else it gets boring.
To start I looked at unit wages – they seemed to be a flat 0.2/turn. If I give a guy a club, then give a guy a full set of light plate, and some amulets, and some rings, and a big sword, and a horse, and a bunch of packs – and then pay them the same – the guy overloaded with stuff is going to get really annoyed at being paid the same as the measly peasant with the club and either stab me or piss off into the distance on his new horse. The point? The more powerful the troops, the more they should be paid for their service.
Additionally to be considered is the possibility of having other resources cost to gather. Why am I not paying my workforce?
I don't much want to do many GalCiv2 comparisons, as this is meant to be a completely different beast, but there my ships cost, my settlements cost, my research cost, and it was interesting to balance it all. I do get the impression Elem is trying to be a bit more accessible than this, but I do think its something that needs to be looked at. Every game so far I could win just by drowning my enemies in money.
12) Where are all the adventurers? I have adventurer techs researched, I have scouts all over. I am seeing nobody. Nobody to recruit anywhere. Is this right? If it is, what exactly are adventuring techs for, other than the quests/master quest/unlocking goodie sites?
13) I want to change my cities exit point. Minor annoyance, units seem to be able to move through cities for free, but somehow my units always come out in the exact wrong direction to where I want them to be.
14) Where do rumours come from? I keep being told about monsters escaping and other adventurer-y events. But who is telling me this? How did I find this out? It feels a bit too convenient – I haven't had to research Rumour Mill, or Innkeeper Relations, or even The Next Round Is On Me to be able to find this information, it just sort of arrives. My point? If there's interesting stuff going on, why don't I have to work for it? If I have to research to be able to loot a long dead drake for a crappy short sword, why not flesh out adventurer techs with some info-gathering?
15) I want to sell things directly from inventory. I seem to be able to drag these items already, if I could drag them onto a little shop icon it would save me from having to go back to the shop I just came from to sell old stuff again. Or just redo the entire shop/inventory interface. Its a bit bad.
16) Monsters don't have parties? I may have simply missed them, but the wildlife seem to be lacking grouped units. Makes them a bit easy to beat once you have some trios on the field
17) Arrows move too slowly. My only tactical battle thought, fairly self explanatory. I don't have much to say on tactical battles because they honestly feel a little barren, and the way to make them better would simply be to add more stuff. And that can go in any direction.
18) Unit cards don't tell me if this person is a family member. When I have family members and hired folk in my city, I have to go to the dynasty page to see if they are blood or simply hired. A little icon on them to show if they are a child or a spouse would be handy.
19) I can buy a ton of medical packs. My daughter had like 200 health at level 1. It was amusing. Likely needs looking at – but while on the topic of what can be worn, I am unsure as to the limits of jewelry and packs. I seem to be able to just put a ton on and go with it – some interface feedback on this would be appreciated.
20) Combat speed on unit design page needs to show decimal. Its annoying having to mouse over it to see the info I want. Hopefully a very easy modification.
Okay, that's the end of my notes. I hope some of these thoughts are useful. In closing I would like to add my hope that Elemental goes its own way. I notice a lot of things that remind me instantly of GalCiv2 and NormalCiv. While not necessarily bad, a few things and messages and such are starting to feel “I read/did this years ago in a previous game”. I am being vague, as it's just a general feeling right now. Just please don't be afraid to fix what isn't broken – I think when attempting to progress the genre with a totally new series you need to keep things moving onwards.
This turned out quite long, didn't it? Thank you for reading.