Elemental Multiplayer This Week; Patch Road Map Detailed

By Brian Leahy, Sep 08, 2010 11:00am PDT

Though the studio was hit with layoffs last week, development continues for Elemental: War of Magic over at Stardock. This week, the company expects to release version 1.08, which will enable multiplayer in addition to a "weapons balance pass, bug fixes, AI updates" and more.

Additionally, CEO and lead designer Brad Wardell has outlined the plan for future patches and content in a "drama cleansing thread" over on the Elemental forums.

For the immediate future we're going to go down two paths. First, the v1.0x versions will continue to focus largely on compatibility (crashing or weird video issues) as well as bugs and turning on multiplayer.

Then, we will work on v1.1 which will serve as our answer to player feedback. Enhanced AI, improved UI, a tutorial, updated quest system, new magic system, numerous other tweaks. This version will serve as the basis to make a demo version of the game.

Two additional "player feedback" patches--v1.2 and v1.3--will be released in October and November, respectively. This presumably puts v1.1 up for a September release. At this point, if Stardock is "satisfied that the game has met reasonable expectations" it will proceed to creating the game's first expansion pack, 'Book 2, Cerena.'

This expansion pack, which will be "free to everyone who owns the game at the point of v1.3" and include "more far reaching game mechanic changes and begin to add in the multiplayer modes we have long been thinking of (from custom servers that yes, will work on your LAN that has no Internet connection) to tactical-only modes."

"Elemental is the finest game we've ever released. Ever," says Wardell. "However, I have come to the painful conclusion that we will have to dedicate more effort to making the game live up to the expectations of our customers as a whole."

Those that purchased and are sticking with the game definitely have a lot of changes to look forward to over these patches. A demo will also be made available after version 1.1 is released and should allow curious folks to see what the game has to offer.

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  • Meh... I was a huge fan, participated in beta, but am now a bit sick of all of this.

    Brad basically placed all of the blame on issues around his "Kumquat" engine's problems. He then went on to say that the AI didn't come up to the expectations of "some customers".

    Um.... considering the worst reviews I've read, and my own feeling, is that while the bugs were bad, the main issues were the AI being absolutely terrible for hardcore gamers like me, and the UI being among the worst I've ever seen as far as being opaque and impossible for more casual players to understand.

    Since he personally did the AI and mentioned several times that he was personally overseeing the UI improvements, it just felt like another shifting of responsibility on to others... this time, others in his own company.

    He has now locked all of his blog threads in what feels like a childish fit: especially considering the feedback that he locked them over seemed extremely repectful and honest.... to honest for his how desire to go back into denial, apparently.

    Sorry Brad, I was a fan, but now I'm simply another customer who wants the product he purchased to reach the most base level of merchantability. With the busted AI, it simply isn't.

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