Stardock Calls Elemental: War of Magic a Complete "Fail"

 Pages PREV 1 2
 

It's amazing what a few patches will do in the hands of a dev team that gives a crap about making the game right. As evidence, I provide:

- Rome: Total War. Didn't become the greatest game of all time until the 1.2 patch fixed the release-day issues.

- Europa Universalis 2. Johan Andersson, the lead designer, was also the game's most avid player and he patched on the fly things he noticed when they went wrong. 1.09c (the final version as far as we know) is completely different from 1.00.

- Victoria. Wasn't really playable until 1.03 (although you could make a hell of a fine argument that it wasn't finished until the Revolutions pack, which started Paradox's unfortunate "buy the x-packs if you want the complete game" trend.)

- Empire: Total War. It took 'em until 1.5 but they did finally get that game right. The AI still has major issues but it's a Creative Assembly game. The AI always has issues when they do the development (except Napoleon, which has superb AI.)

- Darklands. If you're old enough to remember it, you know exactly what I mean.

I'm sad to hear that I liked Masters of Magic.

The game IS a failure at the moment.

I love what it's supposed to be, but not what it is. At the moment, it's literally barely a beta of a game. I played it for a while at a friend's house and a part of my brain sent me pleasant memories of Master of Magic and Age of Wonders while the other kept pointing out that this wasn't a good game.

Perhaps I'll look into it again in six months. By that time they might have brought it to a playable state.

Some might call this humility a PR stunt, but I call it awesome. It's hard to not take seriously since it's Stardock and not Ubisoft.

Mad props to Stardock for having to balls to make a statement like that. If only all developers were this chill.

SL33TBL1ND:

Hammer_Wizard:
I haven't heard anything about this game. Is it on Steam?

No, my guess is that it's on Impulse, basically Stardock's steam.

There's a retail release in the US and Australia I believe. OT, I'm glad they've endeavoured to work 'til this is a complete game. What's there shows a lot of great ideas. It has the potential to be great.

It is a poor release.

But its way more fun than any other game I've played this year. By a LONG shot.

All of you that claim to hate DRM and huge corporations which squelch creativity? You should make a purchase. Period. From release version to current 1.07, theres been huge improvements, and problematic parts are being reworked-- and support is going to continue, because its stardock and not going under next month.

Actually, despite all the little problems with crashes on weird systems... its a really nice game. Imagine Civ but you are a king and you are hunting monsters on the main map the whole time, while casting spells on your cities.

Its pretty cool.

Ah Stardock, your history is hit and miss but you're so damn honest it's impossible to hold it against you.

Galaxy613:
Considering that this article is the FIRST I HEARD OF THIS GAME. Yeah, yes it is a complete failure. -.-

I sincerely hope this is a joke. But if you're serious, you should probably learn the simple fact of life that not all games are made with multi-million dollar marketing budgets.

I'm confused. The only thing I know about this game is that it is meant as a MoM successor, that the lead person in charge (programmer, ceo, producer bla-bla-bla), the big chief, said it's a failure.

And now I want to buy and play the game, when I can only buy 2 games per year (the other being sc 2).

I LOVE Stardock. They have always cared about their products and the people who play them.

You would never see something like this from... Oh, I dunno... Activision, EA, or even Blizzard!

I may be buying Elemental because I know how Stardock works. They will patch it until it is functioning correctly, and then they will supoprt it for a good long time after that. Hell, I think they are still patching GalCiv4!

Capo Taco:
And now I want to buy and play the game, when I can only buy 2 games per year (the other being sc 2).

How does that work?

sleepykid:
Humility? In my developers!?

*pinches sleepykid and himself*

My god! it REALLY is true!

Has the date suddenly changed to 2012?!1

It just makes no sense.

They are they're own publisher. What we're they thinking releasing the game in such an unfinished state?
Way to invite poor reviews for no good reason.

Anyone else would have kept working on the game atleast until november, to have it on the shelves before xmas.
Stardock have lost their minds.

I've never heard of these guys, but a CEO who is also a lead designer and an AI programmer? That is awesome.

veloper:
What we're they thinking releasing the game in such an unfinished state?

The apostrophe! It burns!

Capo Taco:
I'm confused. The only thing I know about this game is that it is meant as a MoM successor, that the lead person in charge (programmer, ceo, producer bla-bla-bla), the big chief, said it's a failure.

And now I want to buy and play the game, when I can only buy 2 games per year (the other being sc 2).

If it's a failure, it's a glorious failure and the drama going on the Stardock forums is it's own entertainment, and seeing how and if they will be able to recover from this will be an interesting story to follow.

Second, I can sympathize, I played through the Starcraft 2 campaign and as much as I was looking foward to the game... when done I was not particularly enthusiastic about it. I mean it was fun, but as well crafted and polished as it is I didn't fall in love with it. I am actually feeling more connected with Elemental than StarCraft 2, and when it works as it should am probably having a better time while playing it.

Thirdly, if you have a hard limit of two game per year, I recommend waiting on this one and get it when/if it is fixed from the bargain bin. But I think a fixed Elemental will offer long-term replayability that will last you.

oktalist:
I've never heard of these guys, but a CEO who is also a lead designer and an AI programmer? That is awesome.

Yeah, well, as we can see, it is like a novelist publishing a book without an editor. But what we see now is like George Lucas agreeing that Jar Jar Binks, and a little kiddie Darth Vadar, were two really dumb ideas.

I'm sorry, it's nice that he admitted screwing up, but he ran off to a cabin THEN laid off several employees. Any good will I might've had towards him vanished with that act. I can't respect anyone that has to run off and hide and let underlings do the firing, especially when it was their bad decision making that necessitated the firing in the first place.

Tom Goldman:

Elemental: War of Magic is meant to be a spiritual successor to 1994's Master of Magic, a fantasy turn-based strategy game that pitted wizards and their armies against each other in a quest for domination. War of Magic follows much of the same path as Master of Magic, but those that have played the game have come up with a list of complaints, saying it's unpolished, over-ambitious, and that it has poor documentation.

Unpolished, over-ambitions, and with poor documentation? Sounds like a successful spiritual successor to Master of Magic.

May it become the game Master of Magic was in its heyday! IE- One of the best games ever made. (Eventually)

This game isn't even that bad at launch. I had fun with it, and since then, a rigorous patch schedule has fixed things up tremendously.

That being said, this game is on track for the biggest post-release modification of any game i've ever witnessed. A complete revamp of one of the critical elements of the game-- magic-- is pretty serious, and hints of what I've read so far mean this change is quite welcome.

HOWEVER, this game is dope. Its like having civ in a classic high-fantasy environment-- with critters roaming the environment. Fan mods and actual mods will breathe serious, long-lasting life into this game.

carpathic:
Pretty awesome to see someone man up and accept a mistake.

Would be even more awesome if he'd admitted to it a little sooner, rather than denying that the game was in the poor state that it is for a good week+ after a release. Not so impressive when it takes days for you to finally cave and admit to seeing what everyone has been shoving right in your face.

oktalist:

veloper:
What we're they thinking releasing the game in such an unfinished state?

The apostrophe! It burns!

You missed a more terrible apostrophe. Look at the post again.
Feel the pain. :-p

Fearzone:

oktalist:
I've never heard of these guys, but a CEO who is also a lead designer and an AI programmer? That is awesome.

Yeah, well, as we can see, it is like a novelist publishing a book without an editor.

Incidentally, Brad Wardell is now a novelist as well - he released a book (Destiny's Embers) set in the Elemental world at the same time as the game. He did have editors at Random House, but dedicated QA teams are considerably more expensive.

veloper:

oktalist:

veloper:
What we're they thinking releasing the game in such an unfinished state?

The apostrophe! It burns!

You missed a more terrible apostrophe. Look at the post again.
Feel the pain. :-p

I didn't miss it. I just thought it was less terrible, somehow.

Grammar Nazi complaining about the wrong form of there/their/they're is so clichéd. But typing we're instead of were is just insane. ;)

Wow, Stardock just earned a lot of respect in my book. I don't mind mistakes, as long as you man up and admit when you screw up. I think I'll go support them by buying a copy, knowing how good they are about patching.

Oy.... This thing is an absolute mess. I was playing the Beta in August (yes I shelled out $50 early) and wondering how on earth they'd turn this wreck into a game by the end of the month. I'm still shocked that they didn't. This game needs a lot of work in pretty much every area.

Code-monkeys make bad managers? It's more likely than you'd think.

Oh for god sake...

Masters of Magic was a great mix of civ and fantasy, huge spell lists, mutations, racial abilities....

And they had to screw up the one time a great game i remember gets a update. Thanks a lot guys...

It's also nice to see that they're backing this up financially. Stardock is giving the first expansion (and Stardock's expansions are BIG) free to anyone who owns the game before version 1.3 is released (sometime Oct - Nov).

*slow clap*
*slow clap*
*slow clap*
*slow clap*
*slow clap*....

I must be playing a different game than most people.

Either that or 1.07 is just huge changes.

Because I play it during my Lunches at work and have a great time. I'm roleplaying as an "Ogre" with the stoneskin looking guys and basically dropping boulders on the heads of dumbasses who try to invade my main city.

I've been slowly branching out on epic and a large map with the hopes that by the time I DO meet one of the enemy CPU's I'll be able to just China them to hell and back with mass numbers.

It's a fun game, not the best game, but still better than basically everything I've played this year and part of last year. Though I REALLY liked SC2 (I'm a sucker for quality cinema in games).

Pretty much on my scale of fun lately.

Minecraft
Elemental
Dwarf Fortress
Starcraft 2

But I fear that once Civ 5 hits I'm going to vanish from the very fabric of life itself till I drain every last ounce of essence from that game. That's what happened with 4.

cefm:
Code-monkeys make bad managers? It's more likely than you'd think.

I'm a "code monkey" (BS/MS Comp Sci) and I'm the head of software dev for a fairly large national company. I'm a great manager.

Brad's failings here have nothing to do with *his* myopic view. I know he's positioning himself as the sole arbiter of quality at Stardock, but frankly nothing could be further from the truth - there *are* other people who work at that company, on the same software, and spend just as much time with it as Brad does. The thing is - why did none of these people make a stink? Or if they did, why didn't it get actioned on?

This, in my opinion (and experience) is the key. If you want to put out quality software, you have to have an environment where people are encouraged to invest in the project and take ownership of their work and the entire project as a whole. That means, if you see something is not working, or stupid, *you say something*

As a boss, at that point, your only job is to listen.

My guess is, that the problem Brad has is an interpersonal one. Either he ignores the people he pays to do work on his behalf, or he has created an environment where they either can't or don't want to speak up. That has nothing to do with being a "code monkey", because you can see that in almost every business with any type of manager. It has everything to do with frankly, being a bit insecure.

It looks like quite a fail

Hm, at least he admitted he made a mistake and they're actually going to try and fix it. Even after this horrendous mess they STILL have a better track record than my other favorite strategy game makers. I'll never forget the time I logged on to their IRC with a complaint about a bug, transferred my save file and dev that was there looked at it and said they'd have a fix in with the next patch. ;_; my love for that will never dry up, no matter how much of a dick Wardell can be every now and then...

Paradox has never released a game that worked without at least two patches post-release. Still can't play Crusader Kings 1 for more than an hour without a crash that happens for no reason.

And even after over ten e-mails and multiple complaints, the AI in Age of Empires 3 can't seem to figure out how to successfully attack a player who settles an Island. Come on guys, this was a problem RTS games fixed after WARCRAFT TWO. The list goes on.

JEBWrench:

Unpolished, over-ambitions, and with poor documentation? Sounds like a successful spiritual successor to Master of Magic.

I laughed pretty hard at this.

 Pages PREV 1 2

Reply to Thread

Log in or Register to Comment
Have an account? Login below:
With Facebook:Login With Facebook
or
Username:  
Password:  
  
Not registered? To sign up for an account with The Escapist:
Register With Facebook
Register With Facebook
or
Register for a free account here