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Shigure
03-04-2010, 07:00 PM
EDIT: I know it is a huge pile of text, not alway completly correct since my english isn't perfect, but I still believe I have some pretty valid points, if you bear with me and read this:



Alright, I know there will be some people will disagree with me, but...

DO NOT BUY SPELLFORCE 1!

It is not that it is a _bad_ game, it's just that it is NOT a good game AND steals too much of your time in order to finish it. It is ridiciolous how many hours I spent just in order to complete the first campain, and the gain from it is.. zero. Basically, all you do is spam towers (heaven forbid if you don't have them), because if you don't, your army will be overrun by an enemy that doesnt know ressources (they just "spawn"). You, on the other hand, are very limited - once a ressource is completely used up, it will only regenerate very, very, VERY slowly.
That alone makes the game challenging enough, fight an "infinite" hoard of enemies with your limited ressources. But hey, if everything goes wrong, you can still get your hero out, right?
Well, I sure hope you've specialised enough, and NEVER misclicked - the game wont let you undo changes to your character without a reload from a former save. Oh, and the item system is crap, too - in order to USE an item (not to use it good, just to USE it), you have to meet very specific requirements regarding your skills. If you feel like this is an RPG-game and "ho-hum, lets make a bit of this and a bit of that", then good luck - you will need it. This game punishes you extremly for not specialising to that ONE DARN THING (ok, lets be honest - two darn things).

So, we had the thing with the ressources (which your enemy doesnt need), but other then that - building bases is SLOW. It doesnt help that you have to build a new one on almost every map, and that gathering ressources is a really slow and tiresome process, to be repeated each and every map, until you realize how much time you have spent just watching those little grey/blue/green guys whacking that same tree to get those 40-50 wood you need to build the first building (which is always the building to get more wood).
Then, after likely 20-30 minutes of base-building, one can finally begin to build an army. You NEED to have the base state-of-the-art first, because... if you actually build the "weaker" ones of your units, like guys wearing leather armor, they only way to replace them (and you need to, because the later enemies dont care much about that pesky little peasant with his knife) is to send them somewhere in the enemy base.
A simple kill-key like DEL would have solved that problem. Too bad the developers didnt bother.

They actually didnt bother about a lot of things, like telling you exactly what your spells do. It may just be the RPG-blood in me, but when I see "Aura of Healing 1" and "Aura of Healing 5", then thats just great! But most of the spells lack precise information of how they function and detailed description of the effect. The most ridiciolous thing is the one with your "heroes".

So, speaking of these - there are certain maps in which you can summon your "heroes", from 1-5 of them. You can equip them like YOU want to, and their skills are pre-determind. I actually enjoyed that most about the game - it made those situations look like an adventuring group is playing the game. But it is just UNBELIEVABLE that you are unable to find out what the certain things and skills of your heroes actually do! You usually look YOUR skills up in your spellbook - to bad your teammates dont have those. I still don't know what "shelter" actually does, and why "raise dead" wont actually raise dead, even though there are plenty of corpses arround! Good luck finding that out!

That beeing said, heaven forbid you not controlling your avatar. That guy is a pothead - he doesnt do ANYTHING unless you force him to. Most of the other units are only semi-braindead: If they see an enemy guy, the look. If they come closer, they still look. If that bad guy starts beating up one of your guys, oh well, then its time for payback! Sounds fine. The AI is nothing to really brag about in this game - once you realize most of the NPCs just aim at your workers or, for no apparent reason, always at that 3rd tower from the right in the middle of your towers, then you can send them into deep despair by simply moving along the workers in the colony of towers - they will follow, or die trying!
But your avatar beats all that. Thats right, he beats that guy who is struck by 15 arrows, and still tries to catch that pesky elf thats now running backwards again!
He just does nothing! For gods sake, dont give him a bow! He stands there, watching his army fight and die, and does nothing! For surely, if you would really need it, you'd command him, right? Thing is, most of the time you are busy coordinating your ARMY instead. So that one guy, with all his epic gear and stuff, stands arround, holding a magical lvl 11 bow, doing nothing. Its not worth setting him on a target either. As soon as the target is dead, he will immeadiatly cease fire, until ordered to shoot at someone else.
This leads my to the believe that your "avatar" is just missing a brain, but whatsoever, still has a spine that tells him to melee back when assaulted. I also felt shocked and betrayed when I saw how much dmg that character did, smashing the face of a golem with a staff - good 150% of what he does with the bow, and at a much, much higher speed. That while he is completely untrained in melee. Why would they put a skill as useless as that even in the game, without telling you that it'll be no use later?
So yeah, raising "bows" does not actually improve your handling of bows, but rather gives you the option to equip higher-lvl bows. Weird enough. Overall, I felt betrayed for not beeing given a dps and hitchance, as it is usual in most games by now (and even back then).
You are not told much about what you are doing, so you better find out by doing it, AND are unable to switch back once you've done it. This is completely unacceptable, let alone enjoyable.

Lets come back to the AI. It's pretty much not existant. But they tried to implent something "cool", and that thought appealed me - scouts. Of course, an occupying force would send out scouts once in a while, and if they find your base and are not killed, they inform headquaters. Brilliant - in a good way! That is entirely realistic, as well as, once you killed a scout, the headquaters will send out a search party. Alright, so this time, you'll have to kill 2 scouts.

However, at some point, the "scouting" gets into ab unbelievable assault of sheer masses. So everytime you kill an enemy "wave", the next one gets bigger. This leaves you with no option but to spam even MORE towers while preparing an army to wipe the enemy out in one quick swoop. I hope you like that idea, because if you buy this game, you'll have to use that strategy a LOT.


To the graphics: They are actually pretty good. I mean, really, some eye-candy here, ice-arrows shot by elven archers look great too, nothing serious to complain, oh look there it is.... me?
Yeah, thats right. You are almost certain to, at one point, run into an NPC that is using your head. The character models take "repetative" to a whole new level - so, you stand before Hokan, the GREATEST NECROMANCER of ALL TIMES - just a moment! Why does he look like a PALADIN? AND like the guy I talked to 2 maps earlier? Who also looked like a paladin, but was really, really not?
This is a faux-pax not easily forgiven. Using the same models over and over again, even for important npcs is just destroying whatever athmosphere this game tried to create.

So, we came to important characters - and here I give this game some credit: Most of them "would" feel real, in a well fleshed-out background. I say "would", because the voice acting is probably done by the 2 most depressed guys the development team could found, working for minimum. If the male main character speaks, you can virtually see him in front of you, reading the lines!
And just as you thought the voice-acting got better with the dwarves, you encounter one that READS OUT "har-har". He doesnt laugh. He doesnt even giggle. He reads "har-har". With a pause between what he is saying, and the should-have-been-a-laugher-but-was-lost-in-translation-only-that-it-was-not-translated. At that part, I fell out of my chair, deseperatly looking for a way to turn of voice in this game.

Why only voice? Because the music is GREAT. The music is a real jewel in what I am describing as a pile of... something, here. However, like 30% of the time, your character may be standing in a spot that makes the music turn off, leaving you with only the sound-effects of woodchuckers and stonecutters. That is really sad, because the music is what I honestly enjoyed in this game.

So long story short, by the Spellforce 1 OST, but for the love of god, don't buy the actual game!

Cufflink
03-04-2010, 07:35 PM
I really hope your not right man, I bought this game during the sale last weekend and I think the beginning of it is pretty fine. The prologue really got me too! Shoutout to the proglogue, but I digress.

now I really have to play this game to see what your talkin about cuz I already bought it so I might as well....

Shigure
03-04-2010, 09:44 PM
I really hope your not right man, I bought this game during the sale last weekend and I think the beginning of it is pretty fine. The prologue really got me too! Shoutout to the proglogue, but I digress.

now I really have to play this game to see what your talkin about cuz I already bought it so I might as well....


If I recall, it was 3 bucks back then - even if you won't like it, that's not an amount to be depressed about.

You can keep playing it for hours and days. But ultimatly (for me), it turned out not to be worth the time I spent with it. I'd rather have those 60 hours of my life back and spent with a game that actually made me feel joy. Or doing the laundry. Or taking a 60-hour-sleeping marathon.

Come to think of that - one point I forgot:

It IS possible to have fun while playing the game during the "build up base, gather ressources, wait for your workers to spawn, build up army"-phase. All that requires is to walk away from the PC. Unfortunatly, at some point the "scout parties" get to serious to do that. But I ultimatly put up my laptop next to my PC and browsed webcomics and the like while spellforce was running.

Also, I had the feeling that any intended "achievement" during the gameplay was swallowed up by how linear the game is. Sure, there are some sidequests, but they dont actually impact anything besides your EXP and Items - plus they're mostly "run there and kill that/talk to that"-quests. Footwork truely worthy of an hero. And you don't even feel good when having completed those, since even the slightest hint of RPG-reward (a verbal pat on the back) gets ruined by the terrible voice acting.

Your character has, if I recall right, exactly 1 option during conversation in the whole game, where you can decide wether to spare or kill the guy you just cornered. Of course, it doesn't further impact the story.
The ending makes it even worse - you feel like you've achieved nothing at all, nor had you the chance to ever achieve anything. So you don't achieve anything by going mainstream, but you neither had the choice of doing things "your way".

_Budweiser_
03-06-2010, 01:09 PM
You cncentrated on one kinda playstyle:

1) 'spamming towers' ather than consider using strategies with your units to overcome challenging encounters.

2) Buidling / collecting resources consecutively rather than simultaneously (time-management).

Also, it seems your perspective is biased according to more recent (i.e. not nearly 10 years old) developments in pure RPG style games, AI improvements for instance (I had no trouble with the AI, so long as I ensured, reasonably, that the units could see (by facing) and reach their intended targets). As for non-linear gameplay, even the mos modern RPG's from leaders in their field, such as Bioware leave little actual freedom or results of player actions. An occasional side-quest, changing alignment leading perhaps to an alternate ending or two isnt so special. You should realise that Spellforce is not a pure RPG, nor RTS and neither is it partiicularly 'hardcore' in either, widening its availability and accessibility to a greater demographic. This wouldnaturally decrease its specific trueness-to-form for either, but ultimately enhances an overall novelty of the blend of 'genres'.
yes, it's linear, but consider that most games are, and that's not a fault either. Especially when according to the storyline/setting/mythology of SF, you aren;t playing the part of 'a typical RPG character' whom you define and decide their abilities and persona through play, but in fact define certain featrues of a Rune-Warrior. The story is narrative, so naturally freedom of choice is limited, be thankful there are the occasional options.

As for achievement, consider the RTS side of the gameplay, the progression is liekned to say, Command & Conquer or Warrior Kings. The storyline proceeds and develops in a belieable manner and rewards of useful items and such are typical of RPG's. I don;t really see what you expect of the game compared to its peers?

in.meinem.turm.
03-06-2010, 02:14 PM
I completed the retail version twice. Yes it's a huge timestealer and that your base gets destroyed after you change the map is a major pain in the butt.

But there is only 1 mission where I really have to fight with the resources in this game and it's quite near the end so this is actually okay because it is still doable.

Shigure
03-08-2010, 04:33 PM
You cncentrated on one kinda playstyle:

1) 'spamming towers' ather than consider using strategies with your units to overcome challenging encounters.

2) Buidling / collecting resources consecutively rather than simultaneously (time-management).

Also, it seems your perspective is biased according to more recent (i.e. not nearly 10 years old) developments in pure RPG style games, AI improvements for instance (I had no trouble with the AI, so long as I ensured, reasonably, that the units could see (by facing) and reach their intended targets). As for non-linear gameplay, even the mos modern RPG's from leaders in their field, such as Bioware leave little actual freedom or results of player actions. An occasional side-quest, changing alignment leading perhaps to an alternate ending or two isnt so special. You should realise that Spellforce is not a pure RPG, nor RTS and neither is it partiicularly 'hardcore' in either, widening its availability and accessibility to a greater demographic. This wouldnaturally decrease its specific trueness-to-form for either, but ultimately enhances an overall novelty of the blend of 'genres'.
yes, it's linear, but consider that most games are, and that's not a fault either. Especially when according to the storyline/setting/mythology of SF, you aren;t playing the part of 'a typical RPG character' whom you define and decide their abilities and persona through play, but in fact define certain featrues of a Rune-Warrior. The story is narrative, so naturally freedom of choice is limited, be thankful there are the occasional options.

As for achievement, consider the RTS side of the gameplay, the progression is liekned to say, Command & Conquer or Warrior Kings. The storyline proceeds and develops in a belieable manner and rewards of useful items and such are typical of RPG's. I don;t really see what you expect of the game compared to its peers?


As to "use cunning strategies", I think I made a statement over producing non-state-of-the-art units. Also, if you go elemental mage, you surely can do some stuff while your base is under construction. If you go, melee, bow, or white magic, for example, you'll most likely be grounded to your base until the first towers are up and the first parts of the army produced. Then you can try to make a small push, only to realize that you'll constantly need to replace your fallen warriors due to the sheer size of "scout parties" (yeah, even with tactical use). So, the logical solution is to "spam" towers until your army is powerful enough to face the "scouts".

As to "biased" regarding the "freedom of choice", I give you no more then 2 dates:
18. Juni 2002 - Neverwinter Nights 1 release
28. November 2003 - Spellforce release
As you can clearly see, even older games offer a huge buttload of MORE choices then you can make in Spellforce. It doesnt even slightly compare. I don't see you point saying "one or two alternative endings is nothing special" - because ultimatly, even regarding that spellforce is 100% narrative, it ultimatly lacks any purpose in the end. Your entire "role" lacks any real influence at all. It's repetetive gameplay, much like a bad RTS, which tries to be seasoned up by RPG elements, but fails for disregarding the main thoughts of any RPG "actions do have consequences" and "the world moves on its own".

I do realize spellforce tries to combine both RTS and RPG, and I really do like that idea! But, the way spellforce 1 is, it just fails to deliver both genres, as for beeing repetetive and regarding what I said about RPGs earlier.

Sidequests are 100% "go there and talk to him, then go there and kill that, then take his head and bring it back to me". That is a shame, regarding how many options a game like that could've had.


EDIT: Well, off to play spellforce 2 I go! I really hope they fixed up what I disliked about 1, because if they did, it's gonna be an awesome game awaiting me.

in.meinem.turm.
03-08-2010, 11:22 PM
18. Juni 2002 - Neverwinter Nights 1 release

This is the worst p.o.s. that ever got into my collection. I hate every second of this game. Why mentioning it here?

Shigure
03-09-2010, 05:12 AM
This is the worst p.o.s. that ever got into my collection. I hate every second of this game. Why mentioning it here?

Since it supports my point in regard of beeing biased about "freedom of choice".

But it is really sad I had to explain that to you, since it gives me the feeling you just scrolled down the thread, picked a random sentence, read it, and then posted a statement totally disregarding what this thread is about.

CannibalBob
03-09-2010, 04:31 PM
While I sort of agree with a lot of your points (eg. the game being a battle of attrition and so on), yet I disagree that SF1 should not be bought/played and is a bad game.

I played through the first campaign and personally had an awesome time. True, the RTS aspect is probably the weakest portion of the game, but I thought the RPG aspect was quite well done. I get the impression that your complaints about the RPG aspects are merely nit-picking. If you do not know what a spell does - look it up! There are plenty of resources online, including the official website, that describe everything.

As for the RTS aspect, you were sort of spot on. The truth is this type of game is similar to most other RTS' (except for the "nu-RTS", where resources are infinite). All other RTS' have limited resources and you need to spend them wisely - if you screw around too much, you'll run dry and eventually lose or stalemate.

Building a lot of towers to single-handedly stave off the enemies is a common strategy - you do that in pretty much every other RTS in existence. Here's the thing, though; it's not like that for all races! Elves can literally build infinite towers since Elves can grow trees (hence infinite wood) and towers only cost wood. All other races use finite resources, so you must be aggressive and take out those spawns!

The issue is that you were not aggressive enough and your attack strategies/micromanagement were weak. If you take out the enemy spawn points, then the waves will stop (from that point), also typically granting more resources. You also need a good mix of units - healers, ranged, melee and so on. If you sit back doing nothing, the waves get larger and larger and you eventually run out of resources by building more and more towers. You need to get an army and push out! Do it early to avoid the larger spawns.

Since resources are limited, micromanagement is very important. You do not want units dying, since that literally means you lost X resources forever. You need to be constantly moving units out of range of fire if they're getting injured so the enemies focus on someone else. edit: If you built a food store, then all units regenerate health. Keep rotating units to make use of the regen.

Here's a tip: For the missions where you need to take out towers (towers are quite difficult to take out without Dwarves), then you must send a fleet of workers first to absorb damage. Workers are free and merely cost time to hire. If you send just your normal military units, then some will get killed and you permanently lose some resources.


I mentioned above that the RTS aspect is the weakest part of the game. Here's what I mean: Units are too similar to each other. Unit portraits are difficult to differentiate between. Some units are quite similar to each other - such as the Elf Ranger and Elf Wanderer. There need to be more unique units. Luckily, they realized this in SF2 and added flying units and mounted units.

Breakey
03-11-2010, 10:41 AM
1 point is VERY important.

You don't need different unit types.

You need Archers (or units that can attack from distance) and that's all if you got a melee hero.

If you got any other hero you need 5:1 archers:Swordman. (Melle warriors to destroy buildings)

Believe me, that's the best. Forget the mages (on most maps) or healers.

Try it out. It works great.

Shigure
03-11-2010, 11:31 AM
CannibalBob, I appreciate your long and thourough response and the friendly tone it is written in. Keep it up!

But I cannot help but feel insulted for accusing me I never tried out the strategies you mentioned / have weak micromanagement. I tend to be very good at the later point due to long w3 experience.
Also, I never said it was a _bad_ game. Truth to be told, my exact words were the direct opposite!
I employed any attack strategy I could think of (even though archers not shooting down from cliffs made that a lot harder) and was very careful to never even loose 1 unit. My hero was an archer/whitemage, healing specialist. Area healing, Aura of healing, all the good stuff so noone ever dies. Bad part about that is - you can hardly take anything alone. That beeing said, it was never longer then 30 seconds that my army wasn't on full health, and I used to employ a solid mix of creatures to tie the enemy up and decimate their numbers from afar. That worked pretty well until I got to the dark elf part ~_~

However, regarding towers: My hero always took those out alone/with summoned wolf. It's not only way faster, but you don't loose any part of your army, which you'd have to repoduce and move into the "cell" to asign a hotkey, usually taking too much time.

I agree with looking things up online. That is what I did a lot! But seriously? Alttabbing every time you get a new hero, a new unit, a new building, a new item? Then opening firefox, asking google, scroll through spam sites and finally find out that wanderers do slightly more damage then windarchers, while having a better armor? Then searching for each individual skill your heroes might or might not have? Then searching for... you can do that forever.
Point is, if this game was supposed to have any "rpg-flow", then alt+tabbing is a death-sentence to that. Why didn't they bother to put the information IN THE ACTUAL game? It must've been out of sheer laziness! The exact same thing as with the kill-key! They just didn't bother!


Breakey, thanks for the tip, but I don't see that as a useful strategy for anything but zerg or tyranids.

Personally, I enjoyed playing elves the most, since the druids would heal any wounded member of my army, the protectors would tie the enemy in melee and fending them off while freezing them, while the windarchers would freeze the enemies, further slowing their dps and damaging them. If you are 2:1, you don't even take any damage at all (everything gets healed up instantly with awesome mana regen on the druids side - they dont even run out).

Also, was anyone else then me really frustrated at the AI regarding automatic heals/buffs?

Round 1: 7 Paladins buff the SAME cleric.
Round 2: 4 Paladins buff a paladin, 3 others buff another paladin.
Round 3: Battle. Casted buffs: 14. Buffed units: 3.

Its even worse with healers! If I would be on that battlefield, I'd charge just to get firstblood, because all healers in range would instantly start a unified mega-heal. Not to mention all those units that die during the heal animation.

CannibalBob
03-12-2010, 09:19 AM
Shigure,
Sorry if I have insulted you. You can never be too careful on the internet; never know if the guy you're talking with is just frustrated due to lack of skill or strategy!

Yeah, you're correct with a lot of those points. I have barely played SF2 but hope they fixed a lot of those issues in it; for example, Healer AI is pretty poor since they will all heal an injured guy at once. Huge waste of mana.

The interface isn't very good either, as I agree that certain info should be in-game, such as what spells do or unit information.


If you want to know an interesting quirk in this game - enemies will NEVER spawn as long as you do not activate a monument (elf, human, dwarf, etc. monuments). This means you can literally take down an enemy base by yourself - it'd take a lot of time (since you'd constantly have to retreat and heal up), but it's an interesting challenge.

Personally I played as an ice mage / necromancer with lots of summons as well as ice spells. Ice spells were pretty overpowering since you can one-on-one a single enemy who is 5-10 levels higher than you. He'll keep getting frozen, while taking damage.

Summons (http://screenshot.xfire.com/s/80436042-4.jpg) can (http://screenshot.xfire.com/s/80436015-4.jpg) also (http://screenshot.xfire.com/s/80435990-4.jpg) be (http://screenshot.xfire.com/s/80435969-4.jpg) powerful (http://screenshot.xfire.com/s/80435940-4.jpg)

ninjikiran
05-10-2010, 03:45 PM
Your units are fairly weak(especially orc fighters imo) even with the best strategies your going to loose them. Tower defense is just the easier course of action and generally the most logical.

Late game if you grind enough early on you can solo just about every map and still hit 30 by sharrow dale. It takes time but it works.

Breath of winter(at least in the earlier stages such as where I am at) strips that tower need right away since I haven't run into a single tower plan. The campaigns are generally more intense and challenging to pull off without any defensive crutch. They are more varied and interesting as well imo.

After breath of winter, need to play both Shadow of the Phoenix campaigns(for each end save) before moving to SF2.

I am genuinely enjoying the game though. Already been playing for 116 hours and I am not even half done with the second campaign.

As much as I am enjoying it, everything about the interface screams rushed. There are many problems with it that I hope were fixed in SF2 like spell descriptions.

Shigure
05-19-2010, 03:54 AM
Is it just me or has my post (the title, in particiular) been altered by someone?

renguiTo
05-21-2010, 10:17 AM
Hey... i read your post but i would like to try it anyway ...

I have the original game but its on german ... can I fix it into English ? if u dont know, u know a site where i can download any spellforce game ?

Ty :D