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Aug 30, 10 at 9:13pmchautemoc

After ages in beta, we finally get a look at Stardock's strategy RPG. Does it live up to the studio's name?

Psst: you can check out our full gallery of high resolution Elemental screenshots here (taken by myself).

Elemental: War of Magic (PC) Review

Thread Recap (last 10 posts from newest to oldest)

Sep 3, 10 at 10:54pm

Dunno about before, but since Mass Effect BioWare has been good with releasing a few smaller patches per game.

Sep 3, 10 at 9:20pm


Ok, everyone, I think we all know where this is going. I kind of feel ashamed by my part in it, tbh. We've all spent enough time on the internet to know that nothing constructive is going to come out of arguing about this anymore.

Granath doesn't like the game and therefore assumes that anyone that does is a fanboy.

The rest of us do like the game and so we assume that Granath is just being a troll.

Is there some truth to both sides? Probably. Yes, he came across as a bit abrasive to anyone that liked the game and to chautemoc in particular, but there was nothing that said we had to respond the way we did (my self in particular).

For myself, I did find Elemental to be a tad disappointing, mostly due to balance issues and bugs. However, I still like it, not because I'm some blinded fanboy, but because I know that the game will continue to be tweaked in the weeks, months, years to come. The thing I like best about Stardock is that they actually continue to support and improve their games long after release. Gal Civ 2 is a great example: It was good when it came out (better than elementa, tbh), but by the time they were finished tweaking and expanding it years later, it was easily twice as good as when it was released. I'm betting that the same will happen with elemental.

Basically, put it this way: If BioWare (easily my favorite developer) released a game in a similar state to elemental, I'd be upset, because they don't have a history of after release support. Stardock does, so therefore, I'm not upset.

So can we please put this useless argument to rest.

Sep 3, 10 at 1:23pm

quote Granath
Now perhaps Neoseeker should pull the review and assign it to someone a little less emotionally invested in Stardock.
Why? He mentioned being in the beta (and creating "press" about it) in the first paragraph so everyone with a double digit IQ can figure out that he had weeks and months to get used to the bugs and what passes for an interface.
It's a lot easier when you know that the fly-poop sized ornament is an important button.

Even so, I can play the game just fine. I can deal with the few "issues" I encounter. Or I restart. It's just a game.
But I realise that I'm not a casual gamer while the review advertises the game in it's 1.06 state to all kinds of gamers.
That is the one questionable point in the review.

Sep 2, 10 at 11:41pm

quote chautemoc
It's not going to happen, so you can stop trying.

I feel differently than he does, at least in part.
It's not that there's room for other opinions, but yours is so far outside the norm that it just reeks of favoritism. Given that even the CEO/Owner of Stardock doesn't agree with your assessment of the game, I think this discussion can end here because there's nothing more that needs to be said. It must be a small comfort to you to misrepresent the game to the public just so long as you get to defend your favorite studio.

Sep 2, 10 at 10:53pm

It's not going to happen, so you can stop trying.

I feel differently than he does, at least in part.

Sep 2, 10 at 10:29pm

quote chautemoc
Interesting. Got a link for that?

Now perhaps Neoseeker should pull the review and assign it to someone a little less emotionally invested in Stardock.

Sep 2, 10 at 9:20pm

Interesting. Got a link for that?

Sep 2, 10 at 9:17pm

And lest anyone think I'm trolling, let's hear from the developer himself - Brad Wardell

quote Brad Wardell
I don't think people yet fully realize the completeness of Stardock's fail on Elementa's launch.

I'm going to write more about this but not only did we think v1.05 was ready for everyone but we felt v1.0 was too. That's the level of disconnect/poor judgment on our part we're talking about.

If the game had come out in February, it would still have been a disastrous launch because lack of time wasn't the issue. It was blindness, sheer blindness. We felt the game was finished. And I speak of v1.0, not v1.05. Blindness.

There will be massive consequences for Stardock's game studio. I'll be talking more about this when I get back. But the game wasn't released early. The game was released poorly. Head in the sand syndrome imo. I've read the reviews as much as possible given my hideous internet access up here and I agree with them. We just didn't see what they were talking about. We thought any complaints would be about polish points or something.

The point is, the issue here is far far worse than many of you think it is. I wish it was an issue of the game being released too early. That's an easy thing for a company to "fix". Elemental's launch is the result of catastrophic poor judgment on my part.

EVERY competent software developer knows that the programmer must never be the one deciding whether the program is done. Yet, my love of Elemental broke my self discipline and I began coding on the game itself in vast amounts and lost any sense of objectivity on where the game's state was. I normally only program the AI on our games so I can keep a level of distance from the game itself to determine whether it's "Ready". On Elemental, I was in love with the world and the game and lost my impartiality.

We'll do better.
It seems even the developer disagrees with the review score.

Sep 2, 10 at 3:03pm

quote Krantos
They went for a different, storybook art style and you call that drab? You're going to be in the minority there.

Also, the secondary (or maybe primary) reason for the art style is two fold:
1. It makes the game a lot friendlier to lower end machines, making it, in turn, accessible to more players.
2. This is an Indie developer. They don't have a massive budget, so they chose to cut out one of the biggest time/money drains - HD graphics.
Not seemingly. Read virtually every other review. Many don't like the art style. It's most definitely an opinion, just one shared by many people including most critics.

quote Krantos


Really, you should do you're research before sticking your foot in your mouth. The multiplayer servers are going online this week. Given the choice of having less than good servers active on day 1, they chose to delay it a week so they could finish bug testing. I promise you're not going to die just because you had to wait a week.

The complaint I do have is that there is no Hot-seat, because 4X games work best multiplayer when you can play with someone in the same room.
Raving fan boy much? Did the promised multiplayer launch with the game? Nope. Is it in the game over a week after launch? Nope. Is it delayed yet again? Yep. As such, the only person who stuck their foot in their mouth is you because a promised feature upon release still isn't there. As of today, right now - there is no multiplayer. That's what I was referring to and thank you for proving my point.

quote Krantos
Really and honestly Granath, troll much?
That term doesn't mean what you think it means. Ironically, your post is a prime example of trolling.

quote Krantos
Sure, I don't think that the game, in its current state, warrants a 9/10, but really, you couldn't have come across as bigger ass if you'd tried. Pull your head out of your rectum, grow up and act like a big boy, because right now you sound like a pre-pubescent troll with an overblown sense of you're own importance attempting to sound intelligent.

You don't like the game, fine. Move on. It's not your business how Neo does their reviews, and just because you disagree doesn't mean they're wrong.
Thanks for your post, in which you just made an entire ass of yourself by trying to take something personally which:

A. Was entirely factual
B. Wasn't directed at you or any other person, but a computer game.

Now go back on your meds because it's obvious you need them.

And back to the original review - talk about an outlier! The next best score is currently 65 on Metacritic. As for the other reviews? C on Gameshark. 2/5 on GamerNode. 6.5 on GameInformer. 2/5 on G4. 58 on 1Up. 5/8 on OutofEight. 6/10 on GameEnema. 57% on iPon. 6.5 on Merristation. 30 on GameKult. This isn't a cherry picked list, this is the entire list!

So it's quite obvious that the poorly-written review on this does not reflect the general sentiment of virtually every single other professional review out there. I guess some people liked Battlefield Earth too.

Sep 2, 10 at 2:59am

Yeah I think I heard that, but I mean, maybe that's just a biproduct of building for low/mid-range hardware? Here is the interview -- Brad talks about how games requiring high-end hardware is the biggest reason they don't sell great on PC (versus the common conclusion: piracy).

I really like the focus on gameplay versus graphics anyway, it's refreshing (though I do love games with great gameplay and great graphics too, of course). I just appreciate the simplicity.

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