Brad Wardell's site for talking about the customization of Windows.
Published on November 16, 2014 By Frogboy In Sorcerer King Dev Journals

 

For Sunday I spent the day doing lots of various little things.  I’m not sure where to even start.  One thing I can say is that we still have a long way to go. Not just in terms of bugs but just balance and feel.

The mid-game has a death-lull in it.  That is, where you’re well into the game, you think you have a pretty good handle on things but there’s nothing exciting happening.

In a traditional 4X game, this is where diplomacy/world council type mechanics come into play.  That is, you’re having to make sure your primary objective isn’t derailed by other forces (people ganging up on you, someone building a nuclear weapon, someone gaining control of the United Planets/United Nations, having your technology obsoleted, etc.).

Sorcerer King doesn’t address the death lull yet.  As enjoyable as it is to research new spells, leveling up heroes, crafting items and such, it is a very linear progression.  There is nothing forcing me (or encouraging me) to put resources and effort into a secondary direction.

In Sorcerer King, this is where the Dungeon Master comes in.  However, as a player, I’d like to see more levers for the player to control how the Dungeon Master is going to affect the world (i.e. I don’t want it all quest based). 

If you’re part of the Early Access, please feel free to comment on levers you’d like to see.

Screenshots from today:

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The tactical maps are getting more and more interesting as the sovereign spells come in.

 

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Random large maps are really cool.

 

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Painful programmer art but the end game is very different based on your previous choices.

 

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Huge end game battle.

 

Check in:

+ Most city improvements are slightly cheaper
[7:32:41 PM] Brad Wardell: + Fixed bug with icelords first contact
[7:33:13 PM] Brad Wardell: + Fixed display issue with Grisly politics
[7:33:38 PM] Brad Wardell: + Added conversation quests with each minor that come at you if your'e allied with them.
[7:34:11 PM] Brad Wardell: + Various fixes to Do the dead even need respect quest and traits added
[7:34:25 PM] Brad Wardell: + hole in the ground quest ends successfully
[7:34:47 PM] Brad Wardell: + About a dozen quests updated to support giving traits, enhanced loot
[7:35:12 PM] Brad Wardell: + Fixed Procipinee's crown quest to put lairs around 4 tiles away
[7:35:38 PM] Brad Wardell: + Fixed bug where a player could use persuasive option even if they didn't have the trait
[7:35:50 PM] Brad Wardell: + Updated the shadowlands stamp
[7:36:14 PM] Brad Wardell: + Life ability added (only priest has it right now) which will tell the AI in tactical to focus on buffing
[7:36:48 PM] Brad Wardell: + Guardian now starts with Sleep, Mass SLow, Soothing Melody, Obstruct Tile, Harvest Shadow land, and awkard movement spells
[7:37:20 PM] Brad Wardell: + First attempt to have more varied encounters with monster lairs
[7:37:34 PM] Brad Wardell: + Fixed typo for persuasive
[7:38:09 PM] Brad Wardell: + New craftable items: Aspects. Give units +1 damage of a particular type.
[7:38:33 PM] Brad Wardell: + Added a bunch of new recipies including ones for bows (not testeD)
[7:39:02 PM] Brad Wardell: + Unhide a lot of spells from the hiergemanon. This will introduce spelsl that are buggy but we'll fix them. Just want to get them in.
[7:39:25 PM] Brad Wardell: + Cleric given a Cleric's staff making it a rangeed unit. Also given life ability
[7:39:50 PM] Brad Wardell: + Champion death penalty increased to 25
[7:40:13 PM] Brad Wardell: + Procpinee Crown quest monsters nerfed
[7:40:51 PM] Brad Wardell: + Raise and lower land sound effects reeadded to spell
[7:41:12 PM] Brad Wardell: + Changed colors of healing and mana potions
[7:41:34 PM] Brad Wardell: + Crafting nag quest added (will need balancing)
[7:41:52 PM] Brad Wardell: + Fixed karma dice bug (now rolls karma dice for every possible event rather than just 1)
[7:42:19 PM] Brad Wardell: + Minor races greatly enhance their military strength once they're at war with the SK (allied with the player)
[7:42:39 PM] Brad Wardell: + Minor races build up more interesting military forces
[7:43:00 PM] Brad Wardell: + Minor race interaction with allies added
[7:44:00 PM] Brad Wardell: + Sorcerer King now will cast spells into battle. However, we need the game to do a better job at indicating that the sovereign cast (some sort of...something to communicate to the player that the SK has interveneeD)
[7:45:00 PM] Brad Wardell: + First (crappy) attempt at making auto resolve mroe satisfying if you have an overwhelming advantage (i.e. less random)
[7:45:24 PM] Brad Wardell: + SK Spells given their own class (for use later when we list what spells teh SK has)
[7:46:21 PM] Brad Wardell: + Player can now begin conversations with minor factions by clicking on their capital building
[7:46:59 PM] Brad Wardell: + Tactical battle window now indicates how much mana and attention the SK is willing to dedicate to a battle with his forces
[7:47:18 PM] Brad Wardell: + random map controsl enables
[7:47:58 PM] Brad Wardell: + New stamps to support new spells
[7:48:04 PM] Brad Wardell: + Nymph egg, creature added
[7:48:28 PM] Brad Wardell: + Lots of debalancing little tile modifier spells added (will balance as we go forward, enjoy them while you can)


Comments (Page 1)
on Nov 16, 2014


Sorcerer King doesn’t address the death lull yet.  As enjoyable as it is to research new spells, leveling up heroes, crafting items and such, it is a very linear progression.  There is nothing forcing me (or encouraging me) to put resources and effort into a secondary direction.
In Sorcerer King, this is where the Dungeon Master comes in.  However, as a player, I’d like to see more levers for the player to control how the Dungeon Master is going to affect the world (i.e. I don’t want it all quest based). 
If you’re part of the Early Access, please feel free to comment on levers you’d like to see.

SK by design is very linear. Your sole objective is to build a SOD and defeat the SK before his forces and any minor faction overwhelm your city. There is no time for secondary distractions, as you can't afford to take your eyes off the finish line for a second.

 

As for a lever:

 - Relative strength. That is if the player is getting too strong relative to the SK, the DM will toss in a roadblock.

 - Crafting powerful items. If the player crafts certain items, the DM will intervene.

 

on Nov 17, 2014

"In Sorcerer King, this is where the Dungeon Master comes in.  However, as a player, I’d like to see more levers for the player to control how the Dungeon Master is going to affect the world (i.e. I don’t want it all quest based). "

I would like to have control in the game setup over the dungeon master settings! absolutely!

Also another idea:

I would like to see at least the option to have uh - "major minor sidequests". For example, The Frozen Realm realizes the SK is their enemy, but they get it all wrong and prepare and set out to destroy the Shards, so the SK can not gain control over them. You have to deal with them now. SK does try to hold you off, because even if the freezies and you have now the same enemy, they need to be persuaded that they use the wrong method to deal with the SK threat. So basically SK is on hold looking at your actions, and you both focus on the Frozen Realm for now. Your goal is to persuade them, prove them they are in fact helping the enemy, SK is trying to convince them they are hurting him if they destroy shards. Of course you could just use your military to obliberate the faction, but you lose an potential strong ally and probably up the doomsday counter alot. I would prefer a chain of (good) quests to achieve that. With drama. Lose a shard in the process. Give a champion to player and make him die heroically. Give player an ridiculously overpowered item and make him sacrifice it under tears (bwahah).

Just a wild example, I don´t even know if that would be lore friendly or plausible. I just would like to see the minor factions be more "alive", and something like that could help both give the minors some meaning and add some randomness to how the gameplay evolves. Even if technically, that´s not changing the game to anything different as it is now, because now you ALSO either win the minors over OR fight them if SK does, it adds life to the whole thing.

 

Thanks Brad & Team,

keep up the good work

on Nov 17, 2014

I personally would like the bugs in the ".79 Bugs" thread addressed before we start brainstorming more content. 

Bugs that have been around since World of Magic are unacceptable at this point.

on Nov 17, 2014

As someone enrolled in the early access and a new person to stardock, please fix/acknowledge existing bugs please.

on Nov 17, 2014

XWerewolfX

I personally would like the bugs in the ".79 Bugs" thread addressed before we start brainstorming more content. 

Bugs that have been around since World of Magic are unacceptable at this point.

I agree...carryover bugs should in no way be present in the game at this point...not to mention the final build. I haven't been here since the beginning, but my friend has FE. I have FE:LH and Sorcerer King so I have seen bugs repeated through three games and I must say that seeing the same bugs repeating over and over is very disconcerting. I can only imagine the annoyance felt by folks that have been seeing these bugs since the first game...

on Nov 17, 2014

Well I guess this lets me off the hook on working on weekends if this is the response.

on Nov 17, 2014

Cool some nice stuff there.

on Nov 17, 2014

Frogboy

Well I guess this lets me off the hook on working on weekends if this is the response.

I hope you are taking off at *least* one weekend a month. No need to get burned out!

on Nov 17, 2014

Frogboy

Well I guess this lets me off the hook on working on weekends if this is the response.

I think you might be misinterpreting the song 'Everybody's Working for the Weekend'? 

on Nov 17, 2014

Frogboy

Well I guess this lets me off the hook on working on weekends if this is the response.

NO YOU'RE NOT OFF THE HOOK!

We're just hoping that the bugs that have been present a while can get knocked out finally.

on Nov 18, 2014

I really appreciated the 'check-in' section. It's the most transparent list of changes I've seen in a Stardock game. Much more useful than 'lots of fixes'. I'm also looking forward to more spells (as I mentioned there are currently far fewer spells than FE/LH)... but I can imagine it'll cause some chaos to throw in lots of untested/unfinished spells. Bows will be very nice, will anyone be able to equip them or only Peregan? Random maps is such a large addition I'd say it deserves to be in bold, underlined and glowing.

Concerning the response to you working weekends. I think part of the annoyance (for me) comes from the fact that you used 'not working weekends' as an excuse for slow responses... yet over the weekend you were actually working on the game and active on the forums. So the 1-2 working days was actually 3-4 working days. Also adding an emoticon to a response doesn't make the words any less aggravating to those hoping for a response to long-standing bug issues. Perhaps even an apology.

 

on Nov 18, 2014

Ahem. Thanks for the new features.

on Nov 18, 2014

Dr Franknfurter

I really appreciated the 'check-in' section. It's the most transparent list of changes I've seen in a Stardock game. Much more useful than 'lots of fixes'. I'm also looking forward to more spells (as I mentioned there are currently far fewer spells than FE/LH)... but I can imagine it'll cause some chaos to throw in lots of untested/unfinished spells. Bows will be very nice, will anyone be able to equip them or only Peregan? Random maps is such a large addition I'd say it deserves to be in bold, underlined and glowing.

Concerning the response to you working weekends. I think part of the annoyance (for me) comes from the fact that you used 'not working weekends' as an excuse for slow responses... yet over the weekend you were actually working on the game and active on the forums. So the 1-2 working days was actually 3-4 working days. Also adding an emoticon to a response doesn't make the words any less aggravating to those hoping for a response to long-standing bug issues. Perhaps even an apology.

 

While I don't think it would be fair of me to expect people to understand what parts of the game I work on (read: generally not bug fixing), I do think it's a lot aggravating for people to kvietch that I didn't spend my weekend fixing bugs.

Also, if you think this is the most transparent checkin, then you just haven't been on our forums very much over the years.  During GalCiv, LH, Sins, etc. we've had much much more detailed lists posted on what we're doing.  Usually it's post-release (because there's just too many things to document).

 

on Nov 19, 2014

     I didn't see any "kvietching" about not fixing bugs on a weekend. I know I certainly took no stance on what you do with your weekend because, frankly, I don't give a damn. Your weekend...your business. But to answer snark with snark...it is apparent that little work has been done by anyone for years by on these persistent bugs, weekend or otherwise. I am not a developer, nor do I play one on TV or in internet forums. All I am and should be concerned about is the end result of the products that I purchase. If anybody's tone is hotter than necessary it's because many of these persistent bugs have been ignored...or worse, discussions about them have been deflected by shifting the tone and direction of a thread...as occurred with this thread. And besides, your tone was no better.

     I have kept my fingers off the keyboard concerning many irritating community relations issues on these boards...No more. As a lurker on the Arcen games forums all I see is a tiny dev team on a microscopic budget saying a lot of "yep we can do that" and "we can certainly try that" and then following through. All I see on these boards is we can't do X because we don't have the budget or we can't do y because our team is too small. Arcen games could likely fit their operation in an executive bathroom at Stardock and they can program how many vastly different types of AI that are capable of controlling thousands and thousands of ships? And what do we get here when some folks suggest different types of AIs for the Sorcerer King? Not enough people...not enough money. Fine...I am not a dev. Maybe I have no clue what I am talking about. Maybe Arcen only seems like it can do much more than Stardock with vastly less resources. So until now I have kept my fingers off the keyboard and my opinions to myself. I was content to shoot for something much smaller...much more doable...age old bug fixes. Looks like that was too much as well...

I fully expect you to swing the ban hammer Brad, and that is likely for the best. Given your response to bug concerns I really don't want to have anything to do with these forums anyway. No good ever comes from a clash of words between an "entitled" gamer and an "entitled" developer. I leave it to others to determine which of us seems more "entitled."

on Nov 19, 2014

I'll say this- I am glad that you're doing stuff, and SK is a game where this is absolutely necessary.

 

However, not fixing ancient bugs has been a huge problem with the Elemental series throughout the years.  This is something that I feel has been underprioritized.  

 

I know this isn't Brad's job, and I don't expect Brad to work on that.  That said, it's not being worked on enough for some reason.

 

 That said, there are opportunity costs when you develop, and Stardock's big limiter to me isn't so much the budget but the manpower.  A company like Arcen is probably more limited by its budget.  Each of those presents different problems.

 

 

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