I'll throw in a few not map editor related remarks while I think of them, sorry for the mess.
0. The Modding Guide. Should probably be stickied in the Beta or General forum rather than only in Dev Journals. Very hard to find when you look for it.
1. Why do all default sovereigns start with at least 10 everywhere? Stat-wise, they are mostly bland and similar to each other, except for Procipinee. All the others have too similar stats. Hardly any other sovereign has a 15. None has a 9 or less. It looks like the proposed sovereigns are all in the same niche, and none of them excels at anything except for Procipinee. Give a 15 or two to those brutes and lower their intelligence. Make the leaders stats interesting!
2. Map editor: Terrain Tools. Using right click to put land is unintuitive. It's actually awkward because you can't drag and paint a lot of the area with your land. It looks like you have to click, click, click and click again. Really painful. Where do you change the size of the brush? Where do you change the shape of the brush? Click is also not very fast to respond. So it's too slow to be enjoyable. Map-making alone in civ or wesnoth is fun. It should be in Elemental too. Speed is a very very real issue here.
3. Map editor: Terrain Tools. To put a forest somewhere, you must first put land. That's way too long and awkward. If I plant a forest in the sea, please put some land under it without requiring me to first put the land and then change the tool and then put the forest. The way it works right now, you more or less have to have drawn your map beforehand and copy it into the game if you want to draw it without too many wasted moves and clicks.
4. Map editor: Object Tools. Apparently does something when I type key x. Contrary to Terrain Tools, these shortcuts aren't explained in the tooltips and must be guessed.
5. Map editor: Selection wand and selection cursor: Both of these seem to do nothing. Get rid of them? Particularly if you never use the wand?
6. Map editor: New Game trigger etc: Icon is below the rest of the icons. Look ugly.
7. Map editor: Beaches can be created inland. Same for cliffs. I can accept that for cliffs, though they'd be hills or mountains, but beaches? They are very hard to make out and differentiate from flatlands on the cloth map, meaning a mistake will likely be very hard to find.
8. Map editor: New stamp. Missing a name or something. No idea what it is supposed to do. How do I define the stamp?
9. Map editor: River tool. Manage to create a river by clicking once. Subsequent clicks make it impossible to put a river again in the tile. No idea how to get the river to run into the sea. Unable to do so with cliffs. I guess there's still some work scheduled there.
10. Map editor: Road tool: Quite nice actually. If river tool was like that it would be great. Drawing by dragging the mouse would be nice too.
11. Map editor: Environment tool. Hardly usable with such a small selection size.
12. Props. I think these should be removed from the game as an option because when you get near one, you don't know what it is, have to zoom out to the cloth map, realise it's just fluff. Add an option to remove them.
13. Map editor: When clicking New map, you should keep the kind of map (islands,...) that was selected in the field below rather than reset it.
14 Map generation: Seriously, you should open up this to modders. Importing maps from a text format will allow to write fast map generators as external tools, but it would be nice if you explained the format. I'm just guessing at what the figures between the comas mean. I'm probably going to crash the game soon by putting tentative figures there.
15. Map editor: When you have named the map (saved it), the name should appear on screen.
16. Gameplay: what about X-Y Wraps? Playing on a cylinder feels more earthlike and better for quite many players. Lack of corners which are easily defended make for more strategic/challenging games.
17. Map generation: New blank map generation is slow. It's pretty bizarre. It should feel mostly instantaneous.
18. Map editor: why does adding a mountain remove all the land tiles around it? If you click 1 tile to create land, you get a land tile with cliffs around. If you want to put a mountain in the middle of the cliffs, the cliffs disappear. Actually, the tiles are still cliffs, but they don't show except maybe as reefs. Quite strange. I still don't get how I can create a mountain surrounded by cliffs that are visible.
Suppositions about map file format. I don't care about NPCSpawn and the like for the moment, just tile data.
First figure = number of tiles (listed in rows).
2nd = ? 1 for water, 0 for land, 2 for mountain, 3 for forest, 5 for cliff as far as I can see.
3rd = ? Always 0 in my first checks.
4th (float) = altitude???
5th = ? Always 0 in my first checks.
6th = Terrain type from list above.
Props are MapObjectDatas. Forests have their own tag too but also change two of the figures in TileData.
Rivers are RiverTileData.
So 2nd and 6th figures seem to mean the same thing, and they're likely not to work well if you don't also put other tags like ForestData a bit farther.
An explanation of the format would be great.