I was going through some old posts regarding Elemental and found a bunch of ideas that didn't seem to make it into the game. These include:
"In Elemental, what we're doing is actually giving each item its own heft with its own physics. The trick is to find a way to do this that still lets it run on lower end hardware so it has to be done smartly. At the same time, you want the guy with that new Core i7 with the latest nVidia or ATI card to look at it and go DAMN that's cool.
"The example we have going is a knight that we've equipped with armor, a sword, a helmet, along with a horse with its own armor. When they move, each item moves as if it were real. That is, the armor on the horse when the horse is running moves like you would expect. The knight riding the horse moves on the horse as you'd expect and even the sword dangling from the side moves as you would expect."
I guess this proved too difficult to implement?
"On the map you give your units orders and those orders appear on the screen and they go and fight it out. You can zoom in and out as much as you desire on the map to see either the whole epic battle or down to seeing individual units fighting.
"Our goal is that if you want to see the whole “Battle of 5 armies” type thing you should see each and every soldier fighting if you want or you can zoom out and see it more abstracted.
"There will be quite a bit of skill involved in managing the battle in terms of where you place your forces and how you handle your hero. However, the AI (which I’ll be writing) will be designed to wage war as effectively as possible."
The idea of force placement is definitely something I would like to see return!
"One of the concepts we’re playing around with is a leadership ability. Leadership basically gives a general bonus to your side. The idea there being that players who don’t want to monkey around with the tactical battles can focus on having heroes who are also excellent generals (high leadership) who you can have confidence that they will fight a battle with maximum capability.
"The AI too will be allowed to invest in leadership skills to help their generals get better and better. Early on, leadership won’t mean much."
I still want this.
"In Elemental, one of your abilities will be the governing ability. The more cities under you control, the more overhead cost there is to run your ever growing kingdom. At some point, it may become advisable to turn some cities into vassals. A vassal state is a city (or group of cities) that is originally founded by the player but has been made independent by that player. It becomes its own independent faction controlled by the AI. Initially, as a vassal, it is allied to you. But being independent, all bets are off of what happens in the future. It may join up with someone else, combine up with other vassals to form a new kingdom, or even go on its own to try to become a major faction in its own right through a path of conquest.
"One could picture a large game where there might be dozens of vassals who form ever changing alliances throughout the game."
Can we have this?!? It would be something that would make city management soooo much more interesting!
From the Elemental for Dummies FAQ: "It'll have custom and dynamic coats of arms, but it'll be a visual thing for the Dynasty system instead of something to give various bonuses. As families marry and expand, you can imagine the parts of different logos being combined in various ways (or so Stardock's planning atm)."
There were the ideas that got me really excited about the game. Unfortunately, it looks like most of them never made it in. While the integrated physics might be impossible to implement any longer, I do hope these other facets find their way in at some point!