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Endless Legend – First Design Documents

By on December 3rd, 2013 10:04 am

Endless Legend - First Design Documents

Amplitude Studios has recently released a series of design documents for their upcoming 4X fantasy title, Endless Legend. As of now, four documents have been released covering the following topics:

If you’re interested in learning more about Endless Legend, I certainly recommend reading these documents. There is far more information in them than I could outline here. Still, I did find some key things unveiled by these documents that were of interest to me.

Some key things unveiled by these documents are (not an official feature list):

  • 8 pre-set factions and 16 minor factions are planned. Custom factions possible.
  • Minor factions can be assimilated granting access to unique units and skills.
  • Endless Legend, will use a FIDS system (food, industry, dust – money, science) similar to Endless Space.
  • Anomalies, strategic, and luxury resources are present, but work differently than they did in Endless Space.
  • Endless Legend expands FIDS to FIDS-P with the inclusion of a new element called Prestige. It is said to be used for diplomacy, assimilation, and other high level empire decisions.
  • Seasons will play a role and will last a fairly random, though unknown, length of time. The dark season sounds like it will remove roads and reduce food production (and growth) at the very least.
  • Heroes will be able to serve as administrators or as adventurers. When adventuring, heroes can uncover new items and other surprises in a manner similar to many 4X fantasy games. They can also uncover and trigger quests.
  • Quests are designed to get factions involved with one another early on, even before they have actually met. They also provide unique technologies and allow the hero to improve himself and his army.
  • Combat will be more hands off in a similar style to Endless Space. You will assign plans to your units and they will execute them. There are new elements at work here though, as you will have to worry not only about unit quality/equipment and counter-units, but also terrain and height which can also influence the battle. Armies will be led by a general.
  • Diplomacy includes an option to perform coordinated attacks, even allowing specific orders like attack target X in Y turns.
  • Eight victory conditions.

Endless Legend is poised to take some unique steps that should help differentiate it from the other upcoming 4X fantasy titles. Their choice to use similar combat to Endless Space was at first disappointing to me, but given some of the new tactical elements and perhaps, hopefully, the introduction of spells and other elements to spice up battle, I think this type of system could work pretty well in a fantasy game. I’ve also been waiting for a game that allowed more detailed organization between alliances. It sounds like their diplomatic options are going to allow for more devious and devastating coordinated strikes.

Based on my disappointment with their latest release, Endless Space’s Disharmony expansion, I am forced to remain somewhat skeptical. Make no mistake though, this isn’t to say I am disinterested. Their proposed offering is certainly intriguing and has me interested to learn more, which I suppose was the intent of releasing these docs. There is no denying Amplitude’s desire to improve and balance their games, so I am certainly rooting for them and look forward to continuing my coverage of this game.

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  1. Craig says:

    Sounds interesting defintiely. Really nice to see 4x and turn based games making such a big comeback these days.

    Now where’s that Pandora review? ;-)

    • Keith Turner says:

      Haha, I am waiting on that as well. Adam will be writing that one. We do our best to do very thorough reviews, so they take a bit of time. I’m sure the wait will be well worth it though.

      • Craig says:

        Yes the reviews here are some of the most detailed I’ve ever read, so they’re always worth waiting for. :)

        I was convinced to buy both Brave New World and Distant Worlds by reading the reviews on this site and both those games/expansions were excellent and well worth the money.

        I get the general impression (from reading around) that Pandora is a very solid game but maybe doesn’t have the depth or variety of others in the genre. Maybe a game that will benefit from some expansions etc, but I’m waiting to see what Adam has to say.

        Thanks for the reply.

  2. Lens Flares Suck says:

    ‘Endless’ is a misnomer, should be ‘soulless’.

    • hakkarin says:

      Agreed. Endless space felt like playing a spreadsheet.

      EDIT: Also, when are the reviews for Pandora and X Rebirth comming?

  3. SQW says:

    Wouldn’t touch Amplitude’s titles with a barge pole. Endless space was a huge disappointment. Great visuals but with gameplay as shallow as a kiddie pool during a drought and lacking any ability to code a decent 4X AI.

  4. Jeff P says:

    What’s with Amplitude’s fascination with card games for combat? That was the most unpopular aspect of Endless Space, and they have received no end of criticism for that design decision. I guess they aren’t listening to their customers.

    • SQW says:

      Their team is full of graphic artist, judging from their game, instead of actual gameplay designers. An actual combat mechanic as oppose to a hand-off card based video replay is a LOT hard to code.

      Treat Amp’s titles as a mobile device game instead of a serious PC title and you’ll do fine.

  5. AndyDandy says:

    This game looks extremely promising I must say, and I like the focus on strategy.

    Refreshing to see focus on strategy before tactics. This one will be bought as an early adaptor, no doubt.

    • Janek says:

      Endless Space was promising too, but the appalling combat mechanic made it unplayable for me. I fear EL is likely to be the same,

      • AndyDandy says:

        I was not the biggest fan of Endless Space, but it was a hugely popular game. It wasn’t the combat mechanic that put me off, tactical combat don’t add to space strategies for me. I Like it in fantasy strategy/RPG though, with magic and strong RPG elements.

        I prefer a system like for instance in Galactic Civilizations 2. Tactical combat always takes away from the strategical part, and always makes AI easier exploitable.

        What put me off was just the fact Galactic Civilizations 2 was better for me, and had huger atmosphere, not that Endless Space was a bad game, because it was not.

        When it comes to Endless Legend I love all their ideas and talk about game design so far. Seems like this will be a game with a huge weight on strategy before tactics. We have too few of those in the Fantasy 4X Strategy/RPG category. I forsee huge success for this game if they can pull off their plans.

  6. JohnR says:

    I fully agree with the wary comments people have about this upcoming Amplitude Studios game on account of their very weak and lackluster Endless Space. That was definitely $30 I wish I could get back.

    That said, for sword and sorcery 4X games there are two I’m eagerly anticipating. One is called Sovereignty: Crown of Kings by Lordz Studios. I’m guardedly optimistic about this one because Lordz has had a pretty good track record thus far. The other of course is Age of Wonders 3. IMHO AoW2 is still the best sword and sorcery 4X on the market despite its age, and I fully expect AoW3 to retain the top spot for Triumph Studios.

  7. Menelon says:

    IGN has posted a first video with gameplay footage:

    • SQW says:

      IGN…not the most authoritative site on PC games. Amplitude has always been very strong in UI and graphical presentation…and nothing else.

      The voice over guy lost me the second he started gushing about Endless Space. If this game is anything like ES, I wouldn’t waste the disc space even if it is given to me for free.

      • Keith Turner says:

        As someone who found myself quite disappointed with Endless Space, especially as I re-evaluated and reviewed it post-Disharmony release, I am approaching Endless Legend with an open mind. I’ll be providing a different viewpoint in my preview however, since I was clearly not as enamored with Endless Space as the IGN previewer was.

        There are some aspects of Endless Legends I find appealing and unique. If they are well executed, I think the game could really differentiate itself from its competition.

        The only real issue I had with the IGN preview of Endless Legend was calling the notification system “ingenious”. From what I can see in the preview, it looks the same as nearly every other turn based strategy game released these days.

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