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Published on October 2, 2014 By Frogboy In Elemental Dev Journals

Q: What's the deal? There's a ton of awesome 4X fantasy strategy games to play. How is your game different?
A: This game assumes you’ve already played those games. And lost.

Q: Wait, what? I already lost? I haven’t even loaded up your game.
A: Yea, sorry about that.


Q: What the hell happened?
A: So to recap, in games like Fallen Enchantress, Age of Wonders, Worlds of Magic, Master of Magic, Warlock, Endless Legends, etc. you are trying to build an empire from the ground up. You compete against multiple kingdoms trying to do the same thing and win through a variety of means. Right?

Q: Right. And you’re saying Sorcerer King isn’t about that?
A: Exactly. All those things happened *before* Sorcerer King. And I have some bad news. The Sorcerer King won.


Q: So I don’t play as the Sorcerer King?
A: No. The Sorcerer King was the guy who won the previous game. He already conquered everyone.

Q: So what’s the object of your game then?
A: Well, having already built his empire and defeated everyone, the Sorcerer King wants outright Godhood and to do that, he must destroy the handful of remaining magical shards to capture their essence so that he can cast the Spell of Making.


Q: I’m familiar with that fantasy trope. So he’s capturing—
A: No, he’s destroying the shards. He’s not playing the same game you’re playing. We call that Asymmetrical 4X.


Q: Asymmetrical 4X? Is that even a thing? Sounds like a marketing thing.
A: Yea, probably. But it means that the player’s goals are very different than that of the other players.


Q: So in this game it’s not about a bunch of players building empires?
A: Right. Everyone already had their shot to build their empire. This game is what happens after the bad guy won.


Q: So what are you, the player, supposed to do?
A: Keep the Sorcerer King from destroying the shards and becoming a god.


Q: How do you do that?
A: First, you must build up and fortify your last remaining city.

Second, train new units to go out and protect the shards.

Third, you need to build up new cities to ensure you have the logistical capability of even taking on the Sorcerer King.

Fourth, find the remnants of the empires that were already defeated by the Sorcerer King and see if they can help you or at least keep them from totally surrendering to the Sorcerer King.

Fifth, go on quests, kill monsters to gather ingredients and items to use for crafting.


Q: Well that sounds like a 4X to me.
A: It is a 4X. It’s an asymmetrical one. The other players aren’t building up empires, going up some tech tree, negotiating treaties. They are all doing different things. Some are just trying to survive. Others want revenge. Some are just jerks. Seriously. Hate those guys. And the Sorcerer King himself wants to be a god. He’s already got an empire. Your job is to stop him by trying to convince the remnant empires that there’s still hope, building new cities, going on quests, finding ingredients for crafting, etc.


Q: Ah, so this game has crafting?
A: Sure does. You possess the Forge of the Overlord and can use recipes and ingredients to craft powerful equipment to give to your units.


Q: So what are the victory conditions?
A: Kill the Sorcerer King.


Q: And…?
A: That’s it. The fun is in how you go about doing that. Your means and strategy will differ from game to game based on map size, which quests come up, which minor factions are in there, what environments are available, which of the 6 different sovereigns you choose, which heroes you find, what resources are available, what spells the Sorcerer King learns, etc.


Q: What about Diplomacy? Can’t you ally with the other players and win that way?
A: Allying is indeed a victory condition – for the Sorcerer King. He will try to get you to ally with him.


Q: Wait? You can ally with the Sorcerer King?
A: Sure! Remember, he’s the one playing the traditional 4X game. He’s the one sending out settlers and building cities and conquering and trying to cast the spell of making or allying with the other races to win.


Q: What happens if you do ally with him?
A: You die.


Q: So why would I do that?
A: I don’t know. People like victory conditions.


Q: But it’s a victory condition for the Sorcerer King!
A: Well yea, it’s his game. I mean, it’s his name on the box. It’s not like the game is called Bob’s game.


Q: My name isn’t Bob.
A: And it never will be with that attitude.


Comments (Page 1)
on Oct 02, 2014

I am SUPREMELY intrigued!

Though I would say that at least in the 4X realm, AI War has done asymettrical empire building as well. I guess how does this compare/different/unrelated to AI War?

on Oct 02, 2014

LOL'd

on Oct 02, 2014

I'm confused, how does this fit into the release schedule mentioned in another thread:

Frogboy

Here's the release schedule (subject to change)

 

    1. 1Q2015: E2015
    2. 2Q2015: GC3
    3. 3Q2015: Unannounced RTS (biggest game we've done before)
    4. 1Q2016: OTC, GC3 - Major Expansion 1
    5. 2Q2016: Unannounced game, E2015 - Major Expansion 1
    6. 3Q2016: Unannounced game, Unanncounted RTS - Major expansion 1

Not counting Early Access of other unannounced games.

The steam page says Sorcerer King is on its "march toward its early 2015 release date". So does this mean SK = E2015?

on Oct 02, 2014

eviator

I'm confused, how does this fit into the release schedule mentioned in another thread:


Quoting Frogboy,




The steam page says Sorcerer King is on its "march toward its early 2015 release date". So does this mean SK = E2015?

SK is E2015.

on Oct 02, 2014

I'm slightly amused...

 

I'm supporting this game and the company.  However, there is nothing functionaly different from other 4Xs.  Everything "different" is story/description - ultimately I am building and expanding an empire, and the other players have different victory conditions. 

In fact, it does however sound like a limitation on what I can do as a player, not some fresh new approach. I apologise if this sounds negative, but I am merely sharing what the above description tells me. This doesn't mean it wont be a great game, I just dont see the appeal to having more options. I love the added item crafting and so on, and I would love to see that in Legendary Heroes for example.

 

Regardless, I hope it's awesome and look forward to playing it.

on Oct 02, 2014

Good questions.

Normally in 4X games (let's use Fallen Enchantress) you are competing with several similar players who have the same goal (typically conquer the world).

In this game, the world comes pre-conquered.  The Sorcerer King is trying to destroy the shards and is already casting a spell that, once complete, ends you (and the game).  The minor factions aren't building cities, they're fighting wars amongst themselves mainly. 

The SK gains magic and spells by destroying shards and gains access to new units through the Doomsday counter.

You gain access to magic and spells by capturing shards and gain access to new units by building up cities.

It's asymmetrical in that you and the AI are playing fundamentally different games.

on Oct 02, 2014

Thanks for the answers Frogboy. I look forward to playing it tonight. I have edited my post above as I did not like the sound of it. 

 

Final question, and perhaps not the right forum: Is this the next step in series or is it a parallel step with Legendary Heroes?

on Oct 02, 2014

Just saw this on Steam and thought, "I wonder if Stardock knows that there is a game coming out that looks just like Elemental."  Then I saw that is WAS Stardock.  Oh, this must be the new game announcement scheduled for today.    From the screenshots, it looks like a much crisper and cleaner (less muddy and washed-out) Elemental, which I like.  The new creatures and models look good, as do their animations.

I'll try and add this to my library in a week or two.  I'd do it now, but I've got some Battletech games already lined up for the next few days, and Grim Dawn just released their Arcanist class, and Styx comes out next week, and, and, and...

on Oct 02, 2014

I somewhat disagree Nerhesi. Asymmetrical gameplay like this is still fairly uncommon in most games and that alone makes it interesting to me personally.

 

You are not competing with other empires here...you are fighting THE empire and scrambling together a last alliance of races to fight it, provided the diplomacy is interesting and there is enough variance possible between different games and starter races so you don't feel railroaded I think that while perhaps not 'ground breaking' it is certainly different from what most games in the genre do.

 

EDIT: Took waaay too long on my reply here, Frogboy pretty much sums it up   haha

on Oct 02, 2014

This is just my thing!!!! This is what I have been asking for the last few years. Balance be damned....

on Oct 02, 2014

This looks awesome, I'll put it on my wish list.

on Oct 02, 2014

The asymmetry sounds interesting. However, the whole description sounds much more like a RPG with some management, then a 4x strategy title. Certainly there's nothing to know yet, and this is a vague guess based on a vague backstory pitch, but more RPG is not what I'd answer if asked "What about E:FE:HL should be changed?"

on Oct 02, 2014

lol

Elemental: War of Magic 3

Still no multiplayer, but "asymmetric" game play.

You all need new management.

on Oct 02, 2014

bullyellis

lol

Elemental: War of Magic 3

Still no multiplayer, but "asymmetric" game play.

You all need new management.

Don't you have a bridge that needs attending?

on Oct 02, 2014

bullyellis

lol

Elemental: War of Magic 3

Still no multiplayer, but "asymmetric" game play.

You all need new management.

Stop peeing in your own Cheerios and you might be less grumpy.

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