Elemental patch 1.2 released to 'stomp out' bugs

The fantasy strategy game's patch 1.2 has launched, promising UI and memory use improvements, and to "stomp out any remaining bugs."


The long-awaited patch 1.2 for Elemental: War of Magic has launched, bringing a whole host of fixes and improvements to Stardock's fantasy strategy game.

"The focus of this patch was to improve the UI, memory use in large games and stomp out any remaining bug," Stardock explained. 1.2 also brings an assortment of other tweaks and changes, along with four new maps.

Elemental was in a sorry state for its August 2010 launch, which was described by CEO Brad Wardell as "disastrous." The developer ended up laying off a number of staff, for the first time since 1998, as it had been counting upon Elemental selling well to fund future development.

Stardock has since hired Jon Shafer, lead designer on Civilization V, and Civ modding veteran Derek 'Kael' Paxton to whip the Elemental series into shape.

To make amends for Elemental's launch woes, Stardock has offered its first two expansion packs for free to all who bought the game before the end of October. All who bought Elemental after then, but before the end of 2010, will get the first expansion, Fallen Enchantress, for free when it launches this summer.

Here's the whopping great changelog for patch 1.2:

    New Features/UI changes:

    • Raze city no longer requires a tech and is available right off the bat for all of your cities.

    • Prestige penalty for multiple cities has been broken out in the Other category on the city screen (instead of being a part of the base prestige number).

    • In the city breakdown the amount of buildings is listed (so it will say Study x3 if you have 3 studies in that city).

    • Added a new game option to adjust Movie volume.

    • Removed the city idle dialog, replaced with a report item notification in the event list.

    • Pioneers/sovereigns cannot build/found cities in other people's territory

    • Since spells are capped at level 5, you are no longer given the choice to keep going up in spell level once you reach that max.

    • Custom sovereign starting appearance is randomized (so you don't start with the same model every time).

    • You are now able to select a tile under a unit without moving the unit.

    • Balanced resource placement (more variety, better distribution).

    • Added a blue highlight representing the range of a spell when in spellcasting mode on both the strategic and tactical map, so the user can see how far they are allowed to cast the spell

    • Added tooltips that hover underneath the spellcasting cursor that explain why a spell can't be cast on that tile (with no tooltip shown if it is a valid target)

    • The strategic map spellcasting mode now uses the same wand cursors (with support for an invalid cursor) that the tactical map mode uses

    • Removed the Refined Diplomacy techs.

    • Added gold as a tradeable resource for fallen and changed horses to wargs for them.

    • Added the champion ablity "Diplomatic" which gives +1 diplomatic capital per turn.

    • Hooked up a list at the top of the city HUD to show the enchantments that are currently on that city.

    • Added an info button where spellbooks are displayed (such as on the custom sovereign screen) that will show all the spells that spellbook gives.

    • When improvements are auto-upgraded they no longer make the upgrade noise (which can be deafening when a bunch do it at once).

    • Auto-upgrades won't spam the event list with the "new building" messages.

    • When casting a targeted spell on an army (such as imbue champion on a stack with more than one valid target) a dialog is presented to allow the player to pick the unit he wants.

    • Players can now earn achievements in single player mode if auto-login is enabled.

    • Min defense on armor has been removed. Previously armor never absorbed less than half the units defense value, now it has the possibility to absorb the full range (though weighted to the high end). So every attack can do damage.

    • Increased the casting cost for Return and Teleport.

    • When a pioneer founds a city, any remaining units in its army are now automatically stationed in the new city.

    • When a sovereign founds a kingdom/empire, the popup explaining what they are doing now includes a checkbox asking if the user wants to station their sovereign in the new city, where if they choose to not have it selected, the sovereign moves to an adjacent tile like before.

    • The events for "improvement built" and "unit finished training" start out temporarily expanded, for a short period of time.

    • Faction Power Wnd entries now have a tooltip telling you how each player feels towards you. (ex. At War, Neutral, etc..). Also, if you are at war with them, an AtWar icon will be displayed.

    • Unit info cards reworked to show more meaningful data, have the data fit better, etc.

    • Added an event list entry when there are enemy units in your lands. Clicking on the event will cycle through the enemy units in your lands.

    • Added a new tactical Air 1 spell, Wind Shield. Gives all allied units +5 dodge vs ranged attacks.

    • Removed the Blink spell.

    • You can now recruit Janusk directly from his opening dialog (instead of him talking to you and then sometimes running away).

    • Empire can now claim refugee camps.

    • In the default formula for calculating the hit point bonus from level and constitution (10 + level * .4 * constitution), made 10 data-driven, can be set with the tag in ElementalDefs.xml.

    • Changed the code that takes the A_Influence player ability into account for the max radius and influence power of improvements to not divide the ability value by 100 when adding a radius and power bonus, so that an ability of 1 now means a 1 tile increase in radius, instead of none (since it would be rounded down from .01 to 0).

    • Added 4 new maps.

    • When you select an army on the main map, it now only shows the spellcasting action if the leader can cast spells, and if selected, only the leader casts the chosen spell.

    • Improved ZOC performance – large map save game used to take 30s to update the ZOC at the end of a turn, now takes 4s. ZOC is no longer cleared every turn and re-calculated; now the objects update the ZOC nodes as necessary, but the graphics and environment do not update until the end of the turn. The ZOC Calculator now tracks which tiles have changed ownership so it only does the end of turn updates if something has actually changed.

    • The global resource pool in the main UI now reuses entries wherever possible, instead of recreating them for each refresh (performance improvement).


    • AI is more careful with their sovereign.

    • Fixed an issue that kept AI champions from being able to cast spells in tactical combat.

    • Fixed some bugs in tactical AI code that were causing it to think enemy units were friendly units.

    • Added code so that AI units will try to cast a heal spell on themself before resorting to trying to escape.

    • Added code so that the AI can determine the best spell to use based on AI xml weights in the spells themselves.

    • Added AIData and AIPriority tags to all spells, so we can tweak how much the AI cares about them.

    • Fixed an issue with the sovereign not going out to pickup goodie huts.

    Bug fixes:

    • Fixed memory leaks.

    • Reduced memory consumption (especially in the late game) by releasing unneeded textures instead of retaining them indefinitely.

    • Fixed bug where conquered cities that had caravans that called that city home would end up with messed up caravan counts.

    • Fixed a bug where player ability penalties on resource production weren't actually being taken into account.

    • Fixed the effect of the "Call of the Titans" spell, which gathers all your unstationed units and transports them to a specified tile. It will now skip units without an attack (ie. pioneers, caravans, boats).

    • Fixed bug where particle glow effect would remain on the map after getting a goodie hut until you hit the turn button.

    • Fixed delay in tactical battles with mounted archer units.

    • Fixed bug where sometimes particles would remain on the map from a destroyed factions cities.

    • Disabling Janusk advice does not disable his creation in the game.

    • You are now able to select a tile under a unit without moving the unit.

    • Limited improvements (like the faction specific Beacon of Hope) won't be counted as being built until they are completed.

    • Fixed Titan's Breath (thanks to Heavenfall and Kenata).

    • Fixed an issue that was keeping the AI from casting spells in tactical battles.

    • Fixed a bug in spellcasting where non offensive, defensive, or terraforming spells were now checking that the spell target was valid when deciding if the spell could be cast.

    • Fixed the Fallen Ambassador (so it now correctly gives diplomatic capital).

    • Fixed a bug in the main city context wnd where it would use the AI's cached version of the battle rank for display, causing it to often not match the city HUD and other screens.

    • Fixed a bug where dispelling Guardian Ward (and any other spells that involved a city-target summon modifier) would not kill the summoned unit.

    • Fixed a bug where killing a unit summoned on a city would not cancel the enchantment that summoned that unit, keeping the spell from being cast on that city again.

    • Fixed lighting on shields in unit design screens (so they won't appear black anymore).

    • Fixed an issue that caused units to lose their custom portrait after a few turns.

    • Units now fade out when they get killed on the main map.

    • Units now fade out when they get killed in tactical battles.

    • Fixed a bug where improvements in FOW still played their particle effects.

    • Fixed a bug with lifesteal that caused the caster to lose hit points.

    • Fixed a bug with units getting stationed over end turn not showing up in a cities context, and ensuring the new city founding behavior shows the most updated city context when all the shuffling of units is done.

    • Fixed bug where, when founding a city, you could see the pioneer either die on top of the city while it was being built, or the pioneer's graphic would stick around for a turn if in cloth map mode when the city was built

    • Fixed Grip of Winter and Greater Grip of Winter to correctly apply a chance of taking effect (previously they always caused the victims to lose their next turn).

    • Fixed the Arrogant weakness so it correctly makes recruiting more expensive instead of less expensive.

    • Fixed the custom faction tech granting abilities so they work correctly regardless of the factions allegience.

    • Fixed an issue that can cause massive recruit costs when the player has to many recruit cost reductions.

    • Min radius now takes into account the player's influence ability so that their influence zone won't shrink when going up to the next level.

    • We will allocate more memory before saving (so that you don't OOM while saving and corrupt the save).

    • Fixed bug where action entries used for a combat ability would always trigger that combat ability when clicked, even if reassigned a different action when being reused, caused by some entry info not getting cleared out.

    • Fixed bug where dragon breath effect (and any other attached spell effect that isn't a projectile) would play throughout the entire battle once triggered, floating on the tile where it was triggered.

    • Fixed bug where casting a spell from an army with a spellcaster leader on the main map, with the army selected instead of a particular subunit, would cause every unit in that army to cast the spell.

    • Fixed bug where, if you finished researching all spells and reached the max spell level, it would start automatically researching non-existent spell levels beyond the max spell level.

    • Fixed bug where the dragon's breath sfx would occasionally not play until the target unit took damage, causing the attack itself to be silent and the attack sfx to linger long after the attack.

    • Fixed bug where killing a unit in a tactical battle that had tactical modifier effects from spells on it would cause it's stats to get recalculated using a function with auto-killing logic in it, so that the parent unit would immediately be set to be destroyed, causing bugs like the sovereign dying and immediately ending the game, because no retreat or battle-finishing logic was reached.

    • Fixed a series of population and prestige-related bugs that conspired to cause cities to have negative population and huge power ratings.

    • Fixed crash on closing a game that had a tactical battle in it.

    • Fixed bug where some unit clean-up stuff in the player was not getting called when a unit died, so that the player-wide abilities of dead champions would remain until something reforced an ability value calculation, players would hold onto a pointer to the dead sovereign spouse, and military might and power rating wouldn't be recalculated.

    • Fixed a crash when exiting a game with any shards owned by the local player.

    • Fixed a potential deadlock when a unit is removed from a player, caused by some UI refreshes taking place while the unit critical section was being held onto.

    • Fixed crash when killing an enemy sovereign.

From The Chatty
  • reply
    May 4, 2011 8:30 AM

    Alice O'Connor posted a new article, Elemental patch 1.2 released to 'stomp out' bugs.

    The fantasy strategy game's patch 1.2 has launched, promising UI and memory use improvements, and to "stomp out any remaining bugs."

    • reply
      May 4, 2011 9:08 AM

      So does anyone on the shack play this now? I'd like to hear some opinions since all the patches.

      • reply
        May 4, 2011 9:10 AM

        Me too! I would also like to hear these opinions.

      • reply
        May 4, 2011 9:11 AM

        Actually this would be a great thing for a shack staffer to revisit. Do it before Eurogamer does!

      • reply
        May 4, 2011 9:14 AM

        I am looking at playing it again .... sometime ... might try tomorrow

      • reply
        May 4, 2011 9:22 AM

        I haven't tried the new patch, but since 1.1 it's been very playable and really fun. Not quite Master of Magic like I was hoping, but still really fun. It's pretty cool that you can just focus on gearing up your character (or characters if you want to have multiple) or you can go full on Civilization and conquer the world.

        It's not perfect, maybe 1.2 helps a lot, but I still think it's really fun.

      • reply
        May 4, 2011 9:55 AM

        It's fun enough for a while. I've played it enough I don't really feel like going back to it.

    • reply
      May 4, 2011 9:17 AM

      If there's ever a steam sale on this game I'll buy it.

      • reply
        May 4, 2011 9:24 AM


      • reply
        May 4, 2011 9:28 AM

        I don't see why Brad Wardell doesn't bring it to steam now. Oh wait, he hates steam.

        • reply
          May 4, 2011 9:34 AM

          When Stardock owned Impulse this made some sort of sense. Now that they don't, it makes no sense at all. They should be pushing this game out on as many different distribution methods as possible.

          I really want to try this game out, but I'm still just a bit gun shy.

          • reply
            May 4, 2011 9:58 AM

            Maybe they will someday. But they still created Impulse, use Impulse Reactor and GOO, and have some loyalty to the platform.

    • reply
      May 4, 2011 10:48 AM

      I guess it's time to try this out.

    • reply
      May 4, 2011 2:40 PM

      Alright time to install this soon!

    • reply
      May 4, 2011 3:11 PM

      hmm, I might have to reinstall it and try it.

Hello, Meet Lola