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Elemental: Fallen Enchantress Officially Out Today

By on October 23rd, 2012 10:53 am

Elemental: Fallen Enchantress

Stardock’s turn-based fantasy 4X game Elemental: Fallen Enchantress has been on beta for quite a while now. Today, it was officially released, and is now available for the PC on GamersGate, SteamGamestop/Impulse and at Stardock’s store for $39.99/€29.99 (the game is free – or for a discount – for those who purchased Elemental: War of Magic back in 2010 or 2011, see the details here).

System requirements as in Stardock’s site:

Minimum requirements:
Windows XP SP2 / Windows Vista / 7 / 8
2 GB Available System Memory
512 MB DirectX 9.0c Compliant 3D Video Card (GeForce 6800 / Radeon X1600 or Better)
DirectX Compatible Sound Card
DirectX 9.0c
2.2 GHz Dual Core or better Processor
Internet connection required for activation and to play.

Recommended requirements:
64-bit version of Windows
256 MB DirectX 9.0c Compliant 3D Video Card (GeForce 7900 / Radeon X3800 or Better)
2.2 GHz Dual-Core Processor

Fallen Enchantress was built on top of the unsuccessful Elemental: War of Magic title, released by Stardock on Aug, 2010. Surely not pleased with the turn of events, the Galactic Civilizations creator and Stardock’s CEO Brad Wardell hired Jon Shafer (Civilization V lead designer) to team up with Derek Paxton (lead designer of the popular mods Fall from Heaven for Civilization 4) in order to revamp the title. Fallen Enchantress is the result of such process.

Fallen Enchantress allows you to choose a sovereign and found an empire on randomly generated maps with 10 unique factions. You will train armies and fight tactical battles, use spells and embark in quests in a story-driven campaign or on an open sand-box gameplay. The game also includes substantial modding support.

In the meantime that Keith is working on the review let me recommend you his fine Fallen Enchantress hands-on beta preview, to get you warmed up :)

For an overview about the game check out the video below.

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  1. Ermdog says:

    Awesome, thank you for the breaking news! Now its time to play!!

  2. Lobo7922 says:

    Really hoping this turn good this time.
    Waiting for that review :)

  3. t1it says:

    It’s a great game! Not on par of AoW2 or CivIV in my opinion but it has potential to be with some expansions (or even mods).

  4. Kordanor says:

    No Multiplayer unfortunately. :(

  5. Soki says:

    On the Stardock site it does not say anything about Steam. Does anyone know if you need Steam when you buy from there?

    • catwhowalksbyhimself says:

      No you do not. I am one of those who bought WoM early and thus got FE for free from the Stardock Website. Not only is Steam not required, it does not come with a Steam Key at all. You just download the game directly, or using Stardock’s own download manager if you prefer, install it, input your key, and you’re done. Quick, simple, painless, and easy.

      And the game itself is quite fun so far. Much better then WoM, easy to get into, challenging, and in short, sure to redeem Stardock.

  6. Kuschelwampe says:

    Don’t think so. I pre-ordered from them. Downloading the 3,5GB right now from my account

  7. Smoking Robot says:

    Well this is a huge problem – from their website:

    ‘Internet connection required for activation and to play.’

    I have no problem with an internet activation on install. But always-on internet required to play? I don’t buy that crap from Ubisoft and I won’t buy it from Stardock.

    If that’s a mistake on their webpage it’s alarming they are that sloppy about posting their specs.

    • salvo says:

      I’ve been playing the beta and I’m pretty sure the game does not require an internet connection to play

    • Alex Ryden says:

      I think it means that you have to activate the game before you can play it. I have not heard anything about an always online requirement. It would be a first for stardock.

      • Smoking Robot says:

        Um, yes, you have heard something. It’s right there on the Stardock website:

        Internet connection required for activation and to play.

        What part of ‘AND TO PLAY’ is not clear?

        • Adam Solo says:

          Maybe the part where salvo says “I’m pretty sure the game does not require an internet connection to play”.

          It may well be a mistake or misunderstanding in the requirements. Maybe they mean: “You need an internet connection to play because you need Steam and you need Internet to download and install the game from Steam”, dunno.

          I would be surprised if Stardock would release a game with an “always online” kind of DRM.

        • BBR91 says:

          Stardock does not use and never has used any kind of DRM, ever. It’s probably a reference for Steam users. I think you have to be logged in for achievements to work but I’m not sure.

          Anyway, stop being paranoid, there’s no DRM of any kind, and no internet connection required. The game doesn’t even ask you for a serial number.

        • Smoking Robot says:

          I can read.

          When the game creator/publisher says something I BELIEVE IT.

          Stardock says the game requires internet connection to play.

          Some jerk in a forum does not over-ride the MANUFACTURER.

        • Alex Ryden says:

          It has not been mentioned in any previews and nobody on the forums talks about it. I have not seen it mentioned on the devs blog. I think it just means you have to go online and activate in order to play. Again, Stardock has never done an always online DRM. Maybe they are and I just don’t know about it, but I doubt it.

        • Fimbul says:

          I really don’t know where you read that. but i DOES NOT need internet connection to play. this was the CASE IN EARLY BETA!!!!!

          you can buy it directly at stardock and you will have a DRM FREE version!

        • killias2 says:

          “What part of ‘AND TO PLAY’ is not clear?”

          Maybe the part where people with the game say an internet connection isn’t required? That part seems.. I don’t know.. a lot more telling.

        • zigzag says:

          I purchased the game from Stardock (well, I received it for purchasing Elemental War of Magic) and can confirm that you do not need an internet connection to play the game.

        • AstralWanderer says:

          BBR91 : “Stardock does not use and never has used any kind of DRM, ever.”

          See for Stardock’s official policy on DRM – they were DRM-free in the past, but was several years ago.

          Assuming that they are using a similar system to GalCiv2, the game may require activation on install (if the game doesn’t, any updates certainly will) but there should be an option to activate by email (giving you a key that you can use to subsequently install offline, on that hardware setup only).

          If you install on a new system, or change hardware “significantly” on your existing one, you’ll need to get a new key (directly or via email) from Stardock.

  8. salvo says:

    I’ve been playing the beta, the game still has a few minor issues, but it’s already a very good game and I’m sure it will get better and better.

  9. FE-Betatester says:

    You DON’T need an internet connection to play! i played the beta and i didn’t need the internet. maybe for registration, but certainly not for playing. you can also disable “auto login” in the game settings!

    the same question was asked in the forums and the people from stardock said that you don’t need one ;).

  10. stian says:

    Dam still busy with exploring x-com.. Guess i have to put this on the “to do list” down the road :)

  11. Smoking Robot says:

    Then they need to update their web page.

    If they can’t do that no wonder their games have SO MANY BUGS.

    • Adam Solo says:

      Bad day? :)

      Does anybody here has bought the game (not beta, final thing) to calm this guy down? :) And anybody else with the same doubt of course.

    • Adam Solo says:

      Ok, I started the game, had to register the Stardock account as FE-Betatester and others said. Then I set “Auto login” ON for Steam achievements I guess, but I could have chosen otherwise. Then I quit the game. Switched Steam to offline mode and disabled my internet connection. Then I started the game (with Steam in offline mode and no internet connection) and was able to play the game. Happy? :)

      Of course, this is the Steam version, I don’t know if there’s a non-Steam version available. And, this is with a review code also, don’t how if it’s completely the same but I imagine it is.

      Hope this helped.

      • Ermdog says:

        I bought this off the Stardock website, not through steam or gamestop. I know u have to sign in to get achivement points but I dont think you need internet to play

      • salvo says:

        yep, the only requirement being the creation of a stardock account

    • Fimbul says:

      Hey Smoking Robot! Did you play the game? If so you would know that there is no connection needed, but how do you know about the bugs? so please don’t talk about something you don’t know!

    • killias2 says:

      Smoking Robot.. you need to go outside and have a smoke.

      Come back after you’re a bit more clear-headed, ;-)

  12. Serge says:

    To any1 who played beta/rel – is it a new MoM or more like AoW?

    • Fimbul says:

      well i didn’t play MoM, but i guess FE is more like AoW. but in FE do you can customize your troops, you don’t put your “Wizard” in your town, but you go fighting and questing and leveling up. battles are in some way simpler than in AoW, even you can customize your troops is the diversity smaller, the same with skills of your troops, the sovereign can just cast his tactical spells in the battles he’s involved with, even they are on own territory, there are no walls and gates in battles, so no cool siege or defense battles like in AoW for cities or towers, there are also no different world layers, so no underground or shadowplan, but you have a nice tech tree.

      i really like FE and it’s the best “new generation fantasy 4X” in my opinion, but honestly i still like AoW:SM and it’s mods more, especially because of the battles, planes and troop diversity

  13. lammaer says:

    Ah, perfect timing… just reinstalled AoW2 shadow magic, because I wanted something complex with fantasy settings. AoW is abit outdated now for my taste (understandable, several years old), but here is the replacement… :)

  14. Towerbooks3192 says:

    I think fallen enchantress wont let me play the game. Chose new game and then picked lord markin and clicked next and then boom! it crashes

  15. Cyber says:

    Is it “Space” or “Sci–Fi” theme ?

    • Adam Solo says:

      No, it’s fantasy themed. Fantasy is not far from sci-fi, but still a different thing. We also cover other strategy themed games than space or sci-fi from time to time. Fallen Enchantress qualifies to enter in our radar sort of speak. It’s a 4X game, and we like 4X games in, a lot :)

    • JD says:

      Cyber, it’s what most folks would call fantasy, as it has magic and supernatural beings etc.

      I always try to descibe fantasy like so: StarWars is actually more fantasy then sci-fi. Star Trek on the other hand is more sci-fi then fantasy. Hence my argument that StarWars is actually a fanatasy series and not a sci-fi epos such as battlestar galactica.

      • Adam Solo says:

        Oh the never ending fantasy vs sci-fi discussion … :)

        We could be here all day discussing this but in the end I tend to see fantasy and sci-fi as the two sides of the same coin: speculative fiction. Which actually it is …

        Fantasy is more about things that are considered far-fetched, not “attainable” by today’s or any other future’s technology. Therefore the magic, spells, supernatural beings and that sort of non-plausible, although quite interesting things. Sci-Fi is for things that although may not be a reality today they may be in a distant, or not so distant future (therefore the science part in the name but still fiction).

        There is no de facto definition for what’s fantasy or sci-fi but I find these quotes interesting when you need to understand the difference:

        “Fantasy is the impossible made probable. Science fiction is the improbable made possible.” ~Rod Serling, creator of The Twilight Zone

        I also like this one:

        “A rustic setting always suggests fantasy; to suggest science fiction, you need sheet metal and plastic. You need rivets.” ~Orson Scott Card

        • JD says:

          Haha, I wasn’t trying to stir anything up, just that when I explain things that way most folks seems to get what I mean.

        • Serge says:

          I’m all for 4X fantasy here :) We can think of fantasy as a differnt sector of space-time landscapes, so it’s arguably fit the spacesector :)

        • Ermdog says:

          I think Sci-Fi and Fantasy are very close together and would assume most people who like one like the other. Each have similar aspects that make them almost the same like you said above. It is also a turned based 4x lol

        • Ermdog says:

          Oh and Orson Scott Card is a great author. I loved the Enders Game series

  16. Keith Turner says:

    Hey guys. I just want to reiterate what Adam said in the original post. My review of the release version is currently in progress. There were a few changes made in the final days as well as the release of the campaign to consider, and I wanted to make sure I had experienced all of these things before finalizing a review. I am in the process of doing this now as my time allows.

    I will try to fit some comparisons in (where appropriate) to other titles that a few of you have referenced in the comments. I played MoM quite a bit back in the day, as well as AoW I and II (though not as much AoW2:SM). I’ve also got experience with other TBS fantasy games including the Heroes of Might & Magic series and Disciples (II, I haven’t played III).

    • JD says:

      Great, I eager await your opinion on the game. Alhtough I haven’t played Elemental, I did play a lot of MoM and AoWI and I really like those games. I am actually getting a cup of tea and read your preview, which I completely missed for some reason.

  17. Ermdog says:

    I played some of the Beta and have been playing this game since it came out. It is a love/hate game for me. I think there are a ton of things they do so well in this game and it is truly an original game that is fun to play. My only gripe is the slow starts to the game. Now I may just be a very crappy player but I have been playing these types of games forever and know my way around.

    When playing a new game I always seem to be limited to where I go, and Scouts are almost pointless since mine are always being killed off just after a few turns of exploring. Medium to Strong enemies are always close to the starting zone so if you wander in that direction you have a chance of getting attacked and your champions getting killed. You really can’t build a strong army right away until you have researched decent weapons and armor and I only seem to find 1 other champion in the area and 2 if i’m lucky. I end up fighting what monsters I can that are in my path of exploration but as said earlier, there are Strong ones and I dare not get close, so I have to retreat back. I find myself exploring what I can without jeopardizing my army and then have to sit back and keep ending my turn until I can research better stuff for an army.

    By this time I have met other factions and am always last in points, or faction prestige I think. When I do see other areas that I can Settle on the ones with Essence usually have Strong Monsters on there and it will take me forever to get a powerful army to take down the monster. Eventually the AI will come in and take over that land and now I am screwed.

    I am just curious if any other players experience the same thing. Just a very slow start to the game it seems and very limited to what you can do unless you have a good army early.

    • Stupid Space Lizard says:

      Same, I like the gameplay, but the pace of it is just so glacial. Plus there’s the unshakable feeling of WHY AM I NOT PLAYING XCOM RIGHT NOW

      I’ve been playing as Yithril, and so far the only way I’ve been able to keep up with challenging AI at all is to focus entirely on production and military tech. Otherwise, like you said strong neutrals are a pain in the ass to deal with, your expansion stalls out, and you start falling behind.

      I really hope there’s other opening strategies, because if the first 100 turns play out the same way every game that’s some pretty bad design.

      As far as scouts go, I’ve found that their usefulness really depends on the map. On smaller maps your hero can easily scout on his own, but on larger map having a few scouts is actually very useful. I wish they had a larger sight range though.

  18. Towerbooks3192 says:

    Wow, I think I am not meant to play this game. I tried to play it then it always crashes after choosing a starting wizard (or whatever its called in this game. LOL) then I tried to redownload and reinstall on steam and now my internet connection is going awry (I don’t know why but steam download is crawling while I could play guild wars 2 without a problem).

    I hope this game is worth the wait. I am hungry for something like Master of magic or age of wonders

    • Adam Solo says:

      Better wait for Keith’s review next week.

      In the meantime play more XCOM for example :) Have you tried Ironman yet? Just a few minutes ago I survived what I thought was the death of my secondary squad. 3 Mutons appeared, shot my Assault Major (didn’t kill him fortunately and I could revive him just in time) 2 guys panicked and I was left with 2 rookies and a green support guy.

      I’m convinced that XCOM is meant to be played in Ironman. You can really feel other juices flowing than when playing without that mode on. You certainly get more from the game when you KNOW you can’t load. Not loading on purpose doesn’t work as good, you need to know you can’t load under any circumstances. I’m delaying the story objectives and having a blast.

      • Towerbooks3192 says:

        I heard that even classic is player friendly. Player friendly? When sectoids are pretty ruthless and my men panics when they get hit compared to panicking only when someone dies in normal. I am waiting for steam to finish and download and now it says 20-50 mins since my connection is turning from 7-10mb per sec back to a decent 100-300mb per sec.

        I think I need my time away from Xcom as of the moment. I will be sure to fire it up once I have the urge to kill aliens. In the meantime I am trying to get over my fear of MMOs and I am trying to give guild wars 2 a chance.

        And now my brother tries to tempt me to get pokemon black and white 2!! :(((((

        • Adam Solo says:

          XCOM:EU Classic without Ironman is easy because you may not be man enough not to load :) However Classic Ironman is ok. I lost three important soldiers, more on the beginning, and that hurt my progression a bit. I survived my first terror mission but it was my best experience with the game so far, very intense and real (yes, even better than my first playthrough), so there you go, you do have replayability value.

          I believe Impossible/Ironman will be my kind of difficulty. It’s hard, especially because countries start with way more panic in the beginning, and maybe a few other surprises. People are saying that Impossible also has a word to tell on the tactical side and not just the strategic, even if you take out the fact that your soldiers have less hitpoints than on Classic.

          This is the beauty with XCOM. You have plenty of difficulty levels to play with depending on who you are and what your record playing these kinds of games is. We veterans start on Classic and try on Impossible Ironman. Newbies will have a good time on Normal and then find a challenge on Classic. The real reaplayability of XCOM is not on the maps, and definitely not on the story, but on the difficulty levels. I believe there’s room for having at least 3-5 good playthroughs (from start to end game) before you put it aside. This will certainly be >100h. Now, you tell me that it’s not enough for a $50 game!

  19. KB says:

    Back to the article… Are you sure about Derek Paxton’s track record? As far as I know, he was the lead designer (sort of) of “Fall from Heaven”, a fantasy mod for Civilization IV (that may well be better than the original game). But “Fallen Enchantress” is his first professional work in the game industry.

  20. csebal says:

    I must say I was amazed how much the game balance has been changed since even just the last beta.

    For those still wondering about it, the game requires no internet connection to play.. In fact you do not really need a stardock account either, game works perfectly fine with you not logged in to their system, its just that you will not get any achievements that way.

    It is hard to compare the game to MoM or AoW, as in some aspects it is “simplier”, but in others it is much more advanced.

    It is already a fun game and interesting game but that alone is not why I have high hopes for it. It is the degree to which it can be modded. Basically everything in the game is just plain text XML data files. You can add new spells, abilities (even visual effects for the abilities), item types, quests, you name it.

    All the minor complaints I have about the game right now (not enough potential abilities for military units, or the lack of interesting spells) can be fixed quite easily through mods and I imagine that spell variety and skill variety mods will be among the first to appear.

    Not to say that the game requires those mods to be fun or anything, but you can never really have enough options.

    Oh and as far as public relations go.. the fact that they give the game as a free upgrade to anyone who bought elemental back in the days when that came out.. I think it is a winning move sure to bring them a few more supporters on the long run.

  21. csebal says:

    Um.. a minor correction to the article though.. there are only 8 unique factions in the game. :) One for each of the 8 races. You can however create your own faction at any time in game when creating a new sovereign and can even use those sovereigns as opponents in your games.. I have had several games during beta, where I played against my own – exploitative – creations thanks to the random selection of opponents. :P

    Point being.. 8 races, 8 unique factions.. not 10 :)

    • Adam Solo says:

      Are you sure about the races number? In this post Derek describes 10 … aren’t they unique? Or … are they not all in yet?

      • t1it says:

        Capitar and Umber are “unique races” but can only be chosen in custom races; they can’t be selected along with the standard 8 races.

      • Keith Turner says:

        I’m not in front of my PC right now, so I am answering from memory, but my understanding is that the following pre-designed factions (sovereign + race) are in the game: Resoln, Altar, Pariden, Yithril, Tarth, Magmar, Gilden, Kraxis.

        Umber and Capitar were removed from the main faction list quite a few months back when all of the races were re-designed. There was a time when races were very similar to one another (pre Beta 4 or Beta 3) and they were re-designed with more unique features. This is when things like Yithril’s Juggernauts, Resoln’s spiders and elementals (and no armor policy), and Tarth’s ability to avoid fighting monsters were introduced into the game. Umber and Capitar are no longer primary factions.

        That said, with the unique sovereign and race generator, you can essentially spend points to design a race with whatever features you would like. You can then play these factions in game, or you can assign them to the AI in future sandbox games. Csebal kind of touched on this.

        Great to see all the discussion here. It is helping me direct what I want the review to touch on.

      • catwhowalksbyhimself says:

        There were originally 10, but 2 were pulled later in beta because they wanted to make each faction feel more unique and they did not have time to do so for all 10 factions. Those two races still exist, and you can use them as the basis of a faction, but a race is simply the trait attached to all units created by a faction with that race. It’s a relatively minor component of a playable faction. There are only 8 actual full factions.

  22. Evil Azrael says:

    Does anybody know if a retail version is planned?

    • Adam Solo says:

      No, they do not envisage a retail version for Fallen Enchantress. Brad clarified this some time ago.

      Brad Wardell (Draginol)

      Sorry gang,

      I decided to not allow our next two titles to be available at retail (Sins rebellion and Fallen Enchantress).

      The cost/benefit ratio just isn’t there at this time.

      It is cool to tell people your game is at the store. But as a business, until the retailers adapt, it doesn’t make sense to deal with them at this point.

      However, Brad also said that he was not going to make a retail version for Sins Rebellion, but then they decided to launch a collector’s edition. But … it’s a limited edition and looks like they ship these by themselves.

  23. Evil Azrael says:

    Okay, then for my personal cost/benefit ratio i will wait with my buy until a nice price drop ;)

    Any clarification on the DRM stuff? After skimming the discussion i am not sure what buying at the different shops means. For sure steam means steam DRM, but what about GamersGate?

    • Adam Solo says:

      As catwhowalksbyhimself said earlier, and if I understood correctly, Steam is not a requirement to play FE, if that’s your concern. At least when you buy directly from the Stardock store it seems.

      The GamersGate version seems to require Steam though.

      “DRM:Steamworks (Requires a third-party download and account)”.

      • catwhowalksbyhimself says:

        All versions require Steam except for the one from Stardock’s own web site. That one is completely and wholely Steam free. It requires you to activate it once to play, and that is it. You may optionally keep it logged in for the purpose of some kind of scoring system which I don’t know much about, but it does not impact your game play in the slightest.

    • Keith Turner says:

      I own/play the Stardock version of the game that I received for free due to my early War of Magic pre-order. I can confirm that once installed and activated, I do not have to login or launch any additional services to play the game. There is an option to auto-login when launching the game to your Stardock account, but this is primarily for achievement tracking based on my understanding. Fallen Enchantress does not use Steamworks, so the copy you purchase from Stardock does not require Steam at all.

  24. lammaer says:

    I tried this game, and somehow I didn’t understand why I always give up and restart.

    Then it turned out – the wandering monsters basically don’t attack the AI cities, pioneers, but alway attack my pioneers and sooner and later my cities. Every single game I tried, ended the same: a deadly monster (dragon) just started to stomp my towns sooner or later. Even all of my heroes and armies were not able to stop such monsters, I even switched back to easy, but it is the same. Thats unacceptable that monsters exists from the beginning which cannot be defeated until the very endgame, and these monsters are stalking randomly and kill/destroy the player’s troops and cities.

    While the AI empires may claim ANY places to build a town, their towns were never harassed. Their pioneers could go anywhere, even settle next to the deadly monsters (what is prohibited for the players) and were never attacked. My pioneers are ALWAYS attacked, even by the lowest monsters.

    So overall, the game is great, everything is well developed except one thing – the monsters DONT attack the AI (or very-very rarely). This kills the gameplay for me – I’ve put aside the game tilll they dont address this.

    • Stupid Space Lizard says:

      Yeah, it’s especially annoying since one of the AIs favorite (not sure if it’s intentional) tactics is to sneak in a pioneer to build an outpost next to one of the strong neutrals in your territory, causing it to completely ignores the outpost and wander off to smack one of your cities.

      Pretty harsh awakening when you try to get your revenge by using the same tactics on the AI.

      • lammaer says:

        Yeah, thats the other problem – the pioneer spam. But that could be countered, if the monsters would treat the AI pioneers the same way as my pioneers :)

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