Hello everyone, welcome back.
I’ve got 32 minutes of new video footage for you, to peruse. As we explore aspects of Beta 2B. You’re getting to see it, as I do. Exploring it, as I do. Should be fun.
Part 1 of 4.
Part 2 of 4.
Part 3 of 4.
Part 4 of 4.
As always, give Youtube a little time to fully process them so you can watch them in HD.
Another topic that I’ve been wanting to discuss and address.
People who are beta-testing are “Getting” worried that the game is going to be rushed out the door on August 24th, 2010. That some of the stuff were seeing right now in these beta’s is really a full aspect of the game. Or what it’s going to look like.
But really, those folks need, to calm a bit and take a breath. And here’s why I say this, with full real confidence.
Brad Wardell, the big Frog at Stardock, the owner, and mastermind behind it all. Has 16 years of game development experience. Using a process they’ve been using for.. these last 16 years.
This is a guy who demands his games meet a specific threshold, before they ever go public. Not just public, but live. See, this is like supporting an olympic athlete, who’s not gotten worse over time, but in fact is just starting to really hit his stride, as technology begins to actually catch up to his dreams. Now, before you start thinking, Fanboi. Put that tag back in your pocket.
I’m looking at MY personal Beta-testing experiences. Not just what’s in the video. But my actual beta-testing experience throughout the gaming industry over the last 15 years. Now, in many cases, a strong majority of games I’ve beta-tested were MMO’s. Getting in their private closed beta’s. Seeing the games before they went live, and experienced the success or failures. But I’ve also tested, other games besides MMO’s. And without failure, I’ve been able to tell almost immediately from what’s in the game, several things.
1. Whether the game will be able to go live on the time they are suggesting. While also NOT sucking.
2. Whether the company behind the game is actually listening to the input or simply using the testers as guinea pigs to test out system rigs, and find associated issues. (By the way this is ironic because in many cases, this isn’t just a case of being used, it’s more a case of making sure everything is working right on the broadest spectrum of equipment.)
3. To find out if the game bears any resemblance to fun. And also, ironically be able to find out really, whether the game has the legs to go live.
I’ve beta-tested, Ultima Online, Everquest, Anarchy Online, Asheron’s Call 2, Neverwinter Nights, World of Warcraft, Champions Online, Star Trek Online, Star Wars Online, Lineage 2, Warhammer Online, and the list just keeps on rolling, including several MMO’s that never made it past the beta stage as they were killed internally.
I’ve seen many of those games come and go. I’ve seen them rise and fall. I’ve seen the companies behind them not prepare for what’s really going to happen. I’ve seen companies panic and make last second changes when the game went live on Day 1. I’ve seen the grind be so over omnipresent in the beta that you knew, just knew it would be even worse when it went live.. and every single time I’ve trusted my instincts on these games. And I mean 100% trust in instincts and their actions. I’ve seen them ring true.
They’ve not been wrong yet. But that’s my experience, and really that’s all I can go off of. My experience, and assessing the game that’s presented, and what’s being held back in the internal beta’s, the private in office beta’s. The real game behind the presentation. There’ve been many shady companies over the years, who’ve been bought out or acquired, or had their name changed, so folks forget the travesty those games represent. But I haven’t. I remember, my first instincts, and what I was experiencing. And really, what I was doing and having fun with, and what I didn’t.
So after writing all of this, I’m going to point out my feeling on this game. Elemental: War of Magic. It’ll be ready by August 24th, 2010. We’ll be playing it before Civ 5. With all of this predicated upon nothing major with the remainder of the beta-process.
And what could that be? What would possibly hold the game until February before it’s released. Significant technical glitching, hardware issues. With the remaining “Pieces” being released.
That’s pretty much it. The AI? Will be very good, but it will also, get much better post release. But that’s not to stop it from going live. It’s going to be very good before it goes live. Why? Because Frogboy (Brad Wardell), the real DM of Elemental: War of Magic, will NOT put the game out without it being good. But now he’s got new technology that was designed with these ideas directly planned, from the get go. And he’s got a small army of coding monkeys (no disrepect to the code monkeys, you guys do the real behind the scenes building) that have been working on putting together the packages that Brad is using to write and teach the AI how to play.
Further, he’s recently discussed things they have to work on. June Flame Thread And he’s listing a bunch of things off in there, that a valid issues. But in there, he tells us the game will be released on August 24th, 2010. And lists a bunch of issues, they know and are working on enhancing not only in the External Beta (The one you and I may test in), but they are also working on their internal version first. And that game, makes this game look like someone is scribbling with crayon. While they are finishing up their piece of art. Adding the highlights and touches.
Folks who’ve not developed and built and tested and put to market, are going off of their personal experience. What they are seeing and viewing. And many are crying foul, that it’s not possible to fix the game in time. But it will be ready. And the army of people behind this game will have worked their asses off. And we’ll have a great game.
In truth, they could stop the beta right now, and just put out the game on the 24th, of August. And folks wouldn’t have anything else to say other than the usual hopes vs hype. And that’s valid. But in truth, when it’s all added up. The game will go live, people will be blown away, and the folks who just started following this, or who have little testing experience, or balance experience. Will forget about how they pulled out the incredible success.
But trust me, when I say. Barring tech issues, this game has dedicated hard workers who do NOT post on the forums. They just are putting in 100% to perform their part of the puzzle. To finish off this great task. And there are heads of each group clearly who are looking over each of their functioning domains, and that includes designers who’s job will be to balance the numbers so the software becomes a game. (Which it already is for them.)
See a lot of this is instinct, but a good part of it is experience. And paying attention to clues. If folks were really adding up all the clues, and debunking the claims of ghosts where there are squeaky pipes. Then they would be more confident. But they aren’t. I can tell you this though. Brad, is the most open, and direct developer you’ll ever encounter. He’s let the beta 1 testers, who worked with them for 9 long months, teach HIM what fun was. He fought hard, but like 9 months of pregnancy, the “Baby” grew stronger. It became more than what the father wanted, it added in the equivalent of functioning DNA in the way that nature does. It was a collective effort to get us to what we’ve got here. And it’s not been easy, for them. But that’s why they are so confident that things will happen on time.
The only thing they are worried about is anything odd like with Demigod, and the multiplayer issues. That’s the only thing that really, really will cause a delay.
How do I know any of this? Do I have some insider knowledge. Nope. Just paid attention to a superstar. This will not even begin to be Brad’s Magnum Opus. But this game, will in turn revitalize a modding community. And truly, allow armchair designers, the freedom to really turn their game into something else entirely.
So, to this all I say, it’s going to be fun, and what were getting here now, is again a hollow shell of a game. This beta just is to test the game, with minor tech tweaks. Were slowly getting a bigger picture, and they are doing it in a fashion that is logical and precise.
I trust the folks at Stardock. And I respect my fellow Elemaniacs, and their opinions, even the ones I disagree with. But I’m going to put my dice and trust behind a proven winner. And I urge you all to continue with your concerns, as it relates to what your seeing in the game. They do take notes on all of this. And maybe we’ll even get an internal music player so we can access our own music playlists. Or that’ll have to wait for an expansion if enough people care. (For the record, I do enjoy good solid music tracks, and use several in my weekly D&D games, that come from games, like Dawn of War 2 40k, Medieval Total War 2, The Witcher, and several others. As it is, I may even be able to use some from this one, when we get it live.)
Well I hope you enjoyed the videos, and I’ll have more coming out over the next several days as I film them.