Elemental: Fallen Enchantress Takes Franchise In New Direction
Stardock admitted Elemental: War of Magic's many failures in its 2010 Customer Report, released today, and gave a peek at the next Elemental game – which will be free to anyone who bought War of Magic in 2010.
Fallen Enchantress shares some art assets and the fiction backstory with War of Magic, but the design is brand new. Derek "Kael" Paxton, the author of the beloved Civilization mod Fall from Heaven who was brought in full-time by Stardock last year, is leading the project. The game has entirely different combat, character creation, economics, and other mechanics, and is not tied to War of Magic in any meaningful gameplay sense.
Fallen Enchantress is a standalone expansion for War of Magic. The Customer Report implies that the planned direct expansions for War of Magic have been canned in its favor, though it doesn't say so in plain language.
As mentioned, it will be free to anyone who bought Elemental: War of Magic in 2010 and heavily discounted for gamers who have purchased War of Magic since then. Fallen Enchantress will not have a retail release "in order to keep its schedule as flexible as possible." To that end, Stardock has yet to give any indication of when it expects the game to be done.
As disappointed as I was with Elemental: War of Magic, I'm on board with Fallen Enchantress. Paxton did wonderful work on Fall from Heaven, and I am extremely interested to see what he can do with a whole game engine at his disposal instead of working with modding tools.
I also salute Stardock for giving Fallen Enchantress away to War of Magic purchasers. A lot of gamers rightfully felt burned by that title's poor quality. If Fallen Enchantress is solid, that could win the company a lot of goodwill back.