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Author Topic: Fallen Enchantress  (Read 2978 times)
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ydejin
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« on: January 23, 2012, 12:44:00 PM »

So the new Fallen Enchantress Beta is out, designed by Derek Paxton (aka Kael).  Derek designed the Fall From Heaven Civ4 mod and is a long time Octopus Overlords community member.

Someone out on Qt3 asked for early impressions.  After spending a fair amount of time writing them up, I thought I'd post them up here too.

I'm actually enjoying Fallen Enchantress quite a bit.  It took me a while to get in to it, but the more time I've spent with it and the more I've gotten to know the game mechanics the more I'm liking it.  I'd really love to start another game tonight and do an up all night playing move but I have to remind myself I've got a meeting tomorrow morning.

Things I like about it:

  • It does a good job highlighting the role of heroes.  Leveling them up, the perks you choose for them each level, the equipment they earn from questing (or purchase at exorbitant cost from the shopkeeper if you've managed to research the appropriate technologies) all make a huge difference in how the heroes turn out.  They also all start out quite differently, with a wide range of different abilities and specialties.  Plus they all have cute little stories you can read about if you're in to that -- I usually am not, but some of them are actually pretty neat and really make the heroes feel more personal.
  • It does a good job making questing in the world meaningful.  Sending out your heroes to explore the world early on is of key importance.  Partly to scout out the land, partly to find heroes to join your cause, partly to destroy heroes of the opposing alignment before they get recruited and leveled up by your enemies.  The experience points you earn and the equipment you find while exploring and questing makes a big difference in your heroes effectiveness long term.
  • Magic makes a huge difference in the game, yet there is only a limited supply of it.  You'll need to decide how and when to use your limited supply.  Do you use it to enchant your cities, enchant your units, or store it up for direct use in combat.  Even within these categories there are lots of options -- do you buff your cities for research, casts spells on them to improve the units they build, or use it to defend your cities (surrounding them with a wall of fire, for example).
  • In contrast with the original Elemental game where the spells all felt very similar to each other, all the spells are quite different.  Fire magic is used for direct strikes, Water magic can be used to slow opponents or speed up friends, Death magic curses and blinds opponents, Earth magic toughens your units.  There's a small bit of overlap, for example Fireball and Earth Shockwave both do area damage, but Shockwave is centered around the caster whereas Fireball is ranged.  To make up for Shockwave's limitations it does more damage, but it also costs more mana. 

    There are all sorts of interesting magic spells out there.  Obscure fog makes your units harder to hit.  Shrink makes your enemies smaller, which halves their attack value, but makes it much easier for them to dodge your attacks.  Growth makes your unit big, which means they hit hard, but can't dodge.  One neat one I ran into last game (on an opponent ...) was Mana Shield, instead of taking hits to health the enemy's mana pool is depleted.  Because the global mana pool is usually pretty big, that one is crazy good, because it makes whoever it is cast on nigh un-killable, but the downside is that if your mana supply gets chewed up, you're going to be hurting long term.  Another neat one is Crusade which is super-expensive (340 mana) but gives all trained units +1 level.  Unfortunately I think it's currently bugged, or they decided it was overpowering and it just gives all units XP but not a full level.
  • The game changes a lot depending on your starting location.  If you don't have a lot of mana, you'll have to figure out another way to play.  If you don't have metal, you won't be able to equip troops with chainmail or plate armor.  If you don't have horses, you won't be able to build cavalry.  Sometimes the heroes in your starting area will seem to make better casters, whereas other times they're more suited to act as warriors.  Sometimes they'll even act best as administrators reducing the building costs and training costs of units in cities in which they are stationed.  The game also changes up depending on what types of magic your heroes have (Fire, Water, Life, Death, etc.).
  • As your heroes level up you'll make meaningful choices.  Do you level up this hero's ability to go toe-to-toe with monsters by increasing their strength, do you take that perk which lets them stun an enemy for a turn, or do you take a perk that gives a slight bonus to your entire army's defense, or do you want to do something entirely different like take a perk that increases your faction's prestige (generating more fame and bringing more people to your cause)?  Each time they level up they can choose one of 5 perks, all of which are good.  The perks are rated as common, uncommon, and rare, and some of the rare ones are really great!  But sometimes you'll have to choose between two rare ones, or maybe there's a common one that matches what you're trying to do with that hero, but oh boy that rare one sure does look nice, maybe I should make this guy more of a caster/warrior instead of a straight warrior -- hmm choices, choices.
  • I really love what they've done with the perks in the unit designer.  You can create scout troops which improve your army's speed and visibility on the strategic map.  You can create troops that are specially trained to fight larger monsters.  You can create troops that provide a defensive bonus to others in the army.  There are traits to fight harder when your strength is below 50%, there are traits where your unit gets all bloodthirsty when the enemy is damaged.  For evil players there's even a trait that gives you mana each time someone in the unit gets killed.  Each unit gets up to three perks, most of them do increase the cost of the unit, but two actually decrease the unit cost.

    To provide you with an example of how a unit design might work out, I designed a fast Light Lancer cavalry unit.  I wanted them to move as quickly as possible to get across the map, so I gave them fast (+1 movement, +1 initiative), scout (+1 movement, -20 carrying), and charge (+3 movement, +3 initiative on first turn of combat).  Not only can these units move quickly across the strategic map, they can also charge across the tactical battlefield in a single turn to take out enemy casters and archers.  On the other hand, I wanted to create some heavy duty knights, these guys I gave Ironskin (+3 defense), Constitution (+2 constitution), Potential (+25% xp).  These guys act entirely differently than the Light Lancers.  Even though they're on horseback, they can't cross the battlefield in a single turn.  They have a lot more staying power though.

    The equipment on each is different.  My Light Lancers started out with leather armor and a spear and I later upgraded them to chainmail and a spear.  The Knights used all plate armor and shield.  But in addition to the equipment the perks definitely make a big difference in how they're able to operate.
  • There's all sorts of dangerous stuff out in the world.  At the lower levels, you'll definitely want to watch your step.  Even at the higher levels there are some really tough monsters.  I ran into this massive multi-square beast in this special desert area.  He was kind of a giant armadillo named Torax.  I had a heck of a time taking him out, but when I did, I was rewarded with his head, which I could place as a trophy in one of my cities, where it provided slight bonuses to growth and revenue (unfortunately it's currently bugged, IIRC it was supposed to give me a 10% growth and 10% revenue bonus, instead it give me the growth bonus, but actually gives a -100% to revenue -- ouch).
« Last Edit: January 23, 2012, 12:46:38 PM by ydejin » Logged
Enigma
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« Reply #1 on: January 23, 2012, 03:36:56 PM »

I am trying not to get excited about this one.  I really was disappointed with EWOM and lost interest in it after they tried in vain to fix it.  But from feedback like this, it's hard not to think this one might be great.
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ydejin
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« Reply #2 on: January 23, 2012, 04:06:50 PM »

Quote from: Enigma on January 23, 2012, 03:36:56 PM

I am trying not to get excited about this one.  I really was disappointed with EWOM and lost interest in it after they tried in vain to fix it.  But from feedback like this, it's hard not to think this one might be great.

It did take me a while to get into it.  My first thought on playing it was "this is just like Elemental."  But the more I've played it the more I like it.  It's got a lot more character and it makes everything much more personalized.

There are still decisions I'm not thrilled with.  Having to place city improvements is IMO a needless annoyance.  I also wish they'd stuck with traditional fantasy races.  The factions don't feel very different from each other -- especially now that the two tech trees seem like they are exactly the same.  The Fallen do feel a bit different in that none of their heroes have Life magic and vice-versa for the Kingdom player.  But mostly the factions play out like different Civ nations, rather than different MoM races.  Playing as China is not that different from playing as Rome and that's the way FE feels, whereas playing as Dwarves is quite a bit different from playing as Halfings or Elves or whatever that Bug race was Klakkons (or was that MOO).
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« Reply #3 on: January 23, 2012, 10:31:15 PM »

Been playing the heck out of this beta as well, and since there is so little I disagree with in ydejin's post, I will just say this:  It's got "Kael" written all over it - and it is very, very good.  

A monstrous thumbs up (so far).
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« Reply #4 on: January 24, 2012, 01:46:09 AM »

I put a few hours into the game over the weekend and came away pretty happy. I never really bitched that much about Elemental, I liked the game and played it quite a bit. I really got into it after they released the 'final' patch.

That said, this game is still Elemental but the mechanics are so much more ... epic. I'm not sure what other word to use. The game just feels like you are in charge of a fantasy kingdom where things can go bad very quickly. I love all the huge creatures that roam the land and keep you from exploring certain sections.

One of the downsides are the crashes. I have been deep into a few games when it crashed to the desktop. This is a beta so I understand there are bugs.

Overall I am really impressed with the game. In fact - off to play some right now.
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« Reply #5 on: January 24, 2012, 01:59:17 AM »

I'm apparently out of the loop.  How do we get access to the beta?  Do we get in if we're getting FE for free due to the Elemental snafu?
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« Reply #6 on: January 24, 2012, 02:04:54 AM »

I think you had to have pre-ordered it. Login here and see if you have it: https://store.stardock.com/myaccount
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« Reply #7 on: January 24, 2012, 02:13:50 AM »

I didn't preorder, but I thought we were told we'd get FE free if we owned Elemental before a certain date (which I did and it was registered and is on my Stardock list)
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« Reply #8 on: January 24, 2012, 02:18:08 AM »

I don't know the ins and outs - but I believe the beta opens up for people like Hark (got the game relatively early, but didn't pre-order) very soon.  As in days from now.  I don't remember the details.
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« Reply #9 on: January 24, 2012, 02:34:53 AM »

Just got this today from Stardock:

Customers who had pre-ordered (prior to August 24, 2010) War of Magic are eligible to receive the first beta of Fallen Enchantress.  Customers who purchased War of Magic between Aug 24 and Dec 31, 2010 are eligible for the second beta.  You happen to fall in the second category so you will receive access to the second beta when it becomes available, which should be in about one monthís time.

<sigh>
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« Reply #10 on: January 24, 2012, 06:15:39 AM »

did they ever patch elemental up to a decent state?
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« Reply #11 on: January 24, 2012, 07:13:45 AM »

Quote from: Caine on January 24, 2012, 06:15:39 AM

did they ever patch elemental up to a decent state?

Indeed, its Fallen Enchantress - Seriously, its what this game is. A more refined version of what WoM was supposed to be.
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ydejin
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« Reply #12 on: January 24, 2012, 09:02:31 AM »

Quote from: Crusis on January 24, 2012, 01:46:09 AM

I put a few hours into the game over the weekend and came away pretty happy. I never really bitched that much about Elemental, I liked the game and played it quite a bit. I really got into it after they released the 'final' patch.

That said, this game is still Elemental but the mechanics are so much more ... epic. I'm not sure what other word to use. The game just feels like you are in charge of a fantasy kingdom where things can go bad very quickly. I love all the huge creatures that roam the land and keep you from exploring certain sections.

One of the downsides are the crashes. I have been deep into a few games when it crashed to the desktop. This is a beta so I understand there are bugs.

Overall I am really impressed with the game. In fact - off to play some right now.

I think that's a good description of it.  It's like Kael sat down and thought "What would make the player feel more heroic?" and then added that all into the game.
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ydejin
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« Reply #13 on: January 24, 2012, 10:08:05 AM »

Quote from: Caine on January 24, 2012, 06:15:39 AM

did they ever patch elemental up to a decent state?

My impression from people who kept up with it is that the game was patched to a state where it was okay, but not great.  It got to the point where it would have been one of the many "also-ran" titles that come out, enjoyable for some, but not really something that really puts a gleam in most gamer's eye. 

Of course the type of people still following Elemental a year or so after release were probably the gamers who liked it most in the first place.
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« Reply #14 on: January 25, 2012, 01:43:32 AM »

I was going to wait until the game was released, but this thread encouraged me to download the beta.
  
The game has already impressed me more in an hour than Elemental did in a week.
  
I'm still just scratching the surface, but there is something happening that I can't figure out.
  
I completed an early quest and received a mace as a reward. The mace served me well in battle. When I started the next battle, though, my hero was missing (not causing any damage) on every attack she attempted. When I examined her profile, the mace was gone and she was fighting empty handed.  Then, I finished another quest and received a nice battle axe. I equipped it and won a battle, with her doing some nice damage. Then, a couple turns later, some bears jumped her and, voila, she's fighting empty handed again. No sign of the new axe.
  
This also happened with her starting bow after another battle.
    
I'm sure I'm missing something obvious, but where are my weapons going? Are they breaking in battle?
  
I've checked the other hired champions in the trade option, but they don't have the mace or axe. They weapons have just vanished into thin air.
  
I realize it's still beta, but wondered if there's something I should be doing (repairs, etc.) to keep my weapons equipped/maintained.
  
Also, I can't seem to find a way to examine my equipment in the battle screen. I can open the hero, but not access her inventory. Do I have to make all my equipment choices before battle begins? Or am I missing a button to access inventory mid-fight? For example, I have a sand golem that I can theoretically summon, but I can't find a way to access my inventory to call him during the battle screen. Do I have to summon him before battle?
  
I'm sure I'll learn more as I go, and I'm thrilled that the game is finally closing in on a good state, but I'm a little confused at the moment.
« Last Edit: January 25, 2012, 01:46:05 AM by Qantaga » Logged

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ydejin
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« Reply #15 on: January 25, 2012, 02:30:10 AM »

Quote from: Qantaga on January 25, 2012, 01:43:32 AM

I completed an early quest and received a mace as a reward. The mace served me well in battle. When I started the next battle, though, my hero was missing (not causing any damage) on every attack she attempted. When I examined her profile, the mace was gone and she was fighting empty handed.  Then, I finished another quest and received a nice battle axe. I equipped it and won a battle, with her doing some nice damage. Then, a couple turns later, some bears jumped her and, voila, she's fighting empty handed again. No sign of the new axe.

Definitely sounds like a nasty bug.  At this point I've got many hours of play in and have not seen any behavior like this.

Quote from: Qantaga on January 25, 2012, 01:43:32 AM

Also, I can't seem to find a way to examine my equipment in the battle screen. I can open the hero, but not access her inventory. Do I have to make all my equipment choices before battle begins? Or am I missing a button to access inventory mid-fight? For example, I have a sand golem that I can theoretically summon, but I can't find a way to access my inventory to call him during the battle screen. Do I have to summon him before battle?

There does not appear to be, which is kind of sad for changing between bow and melee weapon.  Any items in your inventory that are not equipable, but can be used in battle will show up as buttons along the bottom of the screen just as the spells do.  So for example if you have a healing potion, that will show up alongside your spells.

The sand golem should be summoned before battle, you can do that using the standard "Equip" window while in Strategic Map mode.  Once you summon him he will join your group and will stay with you and join all your battles until he dies.  One thing about sand golems, they hit pretty hard but they don't hold up very well and will die in one or two hits (I suppose that makes sense given that they are made of sand!)
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« Reply #16 on: January 25, 2012, 04:07:34 AM »

Thanks for the reply ydejin.
   
I started a new game and did not have the issue with the missing equipped items. Hopefully, that bug will be quashed before release.
   
Thanks for confirming the lack of access to equipment changes during battle. Seems a strange choice, but I can adjust for that.
   
It definitely is a big improvement. I'm actually looking forward to getting further in the game and learning more about it, unlike the initial release when I felt like I was trudging along, just to justify my purchase.
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« Reply #17 on: February 07, 2012, 05:27:24 PM »

Hmm, wonder why I never got an beta invite for this?  I preordered and bought Elemental on Impulse.
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« Reply #18 on: February 07, 2012, 08:05:28 PM »

log into download.stardock.com and you should see it available for download.
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« Reply #19 on: February 10, 2012, 03:01:26 AM »

Quote from: hepcat on February 07, 2012, 08:05:28 PM

log into download.stardock.com and you should see it available for download.

Thanks I got it.

Played the tutorial for about 30 mins and quit.  Reloaded the tutorial and now the objective is back to "Settle a city"  wtf?
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« Reply #20 on: August 16, 2012, 06:52:59 PM »

Fallen Enchantress Beta 4 is now available for download.
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« Reply #21 on: August 16, 2012, 07:55:27 PM »

How is the game in it's current state?
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ydejin
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« Reply #22 on: August 16, 2012, 09:43:56 PM »

Quote from: greeneggsnham on August 16, 2012, 07:55:27 PM

How is the game in it's current state?
Heading off to work, so I can't write a long post right now, but it's quite good.  I'll try to remember to post more later today.
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« Reply #23 on: August 16, 2012, 10:19:48 PM »

...and if you don't remember how to get the update (which would be me, every single time):

1. Go to the Stardock site:   https://store.stardock.com/
2. Click on My Account  or  My Downloads if it's visible.
3. Click on My Downloads  (unless visible in step 2)
4. Update Beta under FE

at least, that's how I always end up doing it.   icon_neutral
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ydejin
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« Reply #24 on: August 18, 2012, 08:35:58 AM »

Quote from: greeneggsnham on August 16, 2012, 07:55:27 PM

How is the game in it's current state?

Okay, I've had a chance to play a fair amount.  The game mostly seems quite stable.  I haven't had any straight out crashes.  I had a massive slowdown in Tactical Combat at around turn ~250, but a quit and restart seemed to fix it.  I also had a time it wouldn't come back from alt-tabbing out.

There are a few User Interface niggles, but they are generally rather minor.  For example, if you reorder a city's build queue, the city information on the main map view doesn't update until the next turn.

The AI seems quite a bit better.  I'm playing on Challenging, which IIRC means the AI is playing its best but doesn't get bonuses.  The AI kicked my butt the first few games I tried.  I seem to be hanging pretty close to it in my current game -- the remaining AI opponent killed two AI opponents, but that gave me time to build up my Kingdom, I'm within about 20% of his score, so this could go either way.  I'm assuming though I'll get much better once I'm familiar with the tech trees and everything.  I'm not positive, but I think the AI has been beating me because it's better at managing its economy rather than any brilliant strategic management of armies.

One thing I do like about the AI is that in contrast to Warlock, I feel like the AI and I are playing the same game.  In Warlock, I feel like the AI (which I've been playing on one of the top two levels) mostly needs to cheat and spams out massive amounts of troops, but manages them badly.  So my game is how best to take advantage of a few troops to fight off massive hordes.  The Fallen Enchantress AI, on the other hand mostly seems to be doing the same thing I'm doing with the same tools I've got.  It just expands better than I do and manages it's economy a bit better.   This is all preliminary though.  I'm currently on my third game, and the first two did not last long.

Overall, I think it's generally in pretty good shape.  It's fun to play.  They did a great job differentiating the different kingdoms.  I've played several different races and they play very differently.  I still would have preferred if they had gone the traditional fantasy route (e.g., Elves, Dwarves, and Orcs).  The spell books are in decent shape, with lots of different types of spells, all meaningful.  They seem to have toned down the heroes and the number of quests available (fewer heroes and quests available and the flashier hero feats not showing up much on level-up, with a lot more "Common" feats and fewer "Rare" ones), I'm not sure I like that.

I'd definitely give it a thumbs up for final purchase (assuming you aren't getting it for free from having purchased Elemental  icon_confused ).  Whether or not you want to mess around with the Beta is a bit harder of a decision.  At this point it is quite playable.  But I'm sure it will only get better in Beta 5 (assuming there is a Beta 5, and Brad Wardell says he's pushing Kael for it, but I think it's really up to Kael), and it should be even better at release.
« Last Edit: August 18, 2012, 01:17:04 PM by ydejin » Logged
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« Reply #25 on: August 18, 2012, 12:07:30 PM »

Played a couple of hours with Beta 4 the other night. Really enjoyed it.

Each faction now has a special ability that the others do not. For instance one faction is able to recruit Iron Golems, another can recruit 'Henchmen' that do most of the things a hero does (get abilities at level up, use items, etc). These require researching the proper tech to get, but, can make for a much different play experience.

I am really impressed with how far the game has come, and it is still improving.
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« Reply #26 on: September 21, 2012, 10:47:38 PM »

Probably not big on anyone's list right now with GW2, TLII, and BL2 all out now.  But Beta 5 was released yesterday for Fallen Enchantress:

Fallen Enchantress Beta 5 Released
By Island Dog on September 20, 2012 2:01:31 PM from  JoeUser Forums
Stardock has released Beta 5 of its upcoming PC game, Fallen Enchantress!  Along with numerous AI, Balance, and bug fixes, Beta 5 also introduces several new features.

Highlights of Beta 5:

Many new spells including the Despair spell, Delinís Breath spell, and many more.
New Choose World and Choose Opponents screens with new options
Added 12 new achievements
New random events like "Return of the Titans", "The Lost Protector", "The Syndicate Responds", "Unearthed Treasures"
And much more!
Full list of changes can be found here -http://forums.elementalgame.com/431613

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« Reply #27 on: October 23, 2012, 11:34:14 AM »

Fallen Enchantress (actual game, post-beta) is being released at around 1pm Eastern Time this afternoon!
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« Reply #28 on: October 24, 2012, 06:53:02 PM »

Yep, it's out.  Please post your impressions, I'm curious of what you think of it. smile
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« Reply #29 on: October 24, 2012, 11:08:03 PM »

My impressions so far are: It doesn't install. Not inclined to redownload a 3.x gig file multiple times, have the installer slow my entire computer to a crawl, to the point that it takes 5-10 minutes to log out or shut down, and hope that THIS time it will work.

Unfortunate, as I enjoyed the beta a fair bit.
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« Reply #30 on: October 24, 2012, 11:54:40 PM »

Is the combat turn based?
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« Reply #31 on: October 24, 2012, 11:58:59 PM »

Yes.

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« Reply #32 on: October 25, 2012, 01:08:25 AM »

Loving it so far.  There's a lot to take in though.  Think I need to rtfm.
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« Reply #33 on: October 25, 2012, 02:07:16 AM »

Early impressions:  It's great.  I've even tried the campaign! *gasp!*  It's actually pretty good!  ...so far.

I haven't hit late game in sandbox yet, which will tell us a lot.  But so far, so good.
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« Reply #34 on: October 25, 2012, 10:30:18 AM »

Quote from: Jarrodhk on October 24, 2012, 11:08:03 PM

My impressions so far are: It doesn't install. Not inclined to redownload a 3.x gig file multiple times, have the installer slow my entire computer to a crawl, to the point that it takes 5-10 minutes to log out or shut down, and hope that THIS time it will work.

Unfortunate, as I enjoyed the beta a fair bit.

this happened to me as well, then it warned me that too many 16 bit applications were running... I'm running 64 bit Win 7
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« Reply #35 on: October 25, 2012, 11:49:23 AM »

Quote from: Harkonis on October 25, 2012, 10:30:18 AM

Quote from: Jarrodhk on October 24, 2012, 11:08:03 PM

My impressions so far are: It doesn't install. Not inclined to redownload a 3.x gig file multiple times, have the installer slow my entire computer to a crawl, to the point that it takes 5-10 minutes to log out or shut down, and hope that THIS time it will work.

Unfortunate, as I enjoyed the beta a fair bit.

this happened to me as well, then it warned me that too many 16 bit applications were running... I'm running 64 bit Win 7

You guys need to use a better browser. slywink Also, try disabling your antivirus for the duration of the download. Don't try to download two files at once from Stardock's site.
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Island Dog
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« Reply #36 on: October 25, 2012, 12:51:41 PM »

Yeah, the demand has been great so the servers were being hammered.  A download manager would be advisable or you could also try using Stardock Central to download.

If there's a specific issue coming up though, let me know so I can pass it along.
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Island Dog
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« Reply #37 on: October 26, 2012, 05:10:43 PM »

One of the team posted this today, and I thought it was cool to share in case you didn't see it.



More here: http://forums.elementalgame.com/435036
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Jarrodhk
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« Reply #38 on: October 27, 2012, 02:50:41 AM »

Quote from: Island Dog on October 25, 2012, 12:51:41 PM

Yeah, the demand has been great so the servers were being hammered.  A download manager would be advisable or you could also try using Stardock Central to download.

If there's a specific issue coming up though, let me know so I can pass it along.


I actually downloaded it off the website once, then again through SDC. It did not work either time. Finally I grabbed 7zip and just unpacked the game to a directory manually. This worked, although I expect patching to be a bit more annoying.

Will probably try dowloading through SDC again next week sometime.

On a positive note, the game is really good. Do get crashes (goes non-responsive) every so often. It tends to be after a large number of turns, and the autosave works, so just mildly annoying.
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Island Dog
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« Reply #39 on: October 27, 2012, 08:30:44 PM »

Glad you got it working.  I know they have found some issues they were working on, and SDC got an update that should resolve any problems there.

Well keep enjoying at least. smile
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