The Gameplay of Elemental

Published on Wednesday, February 17, 2010 By Brad Wardell In Elemental Dev Journals


Elemental: War of Magic is a turn-based strategy game set in a world of magic, warfare and intrigue. In it, players take on the role of a powerful sorcerer known as a “Channeler”.

Players found new cities, research new technologies, study spells, build a family dynasty, engage in diplomacy, fight wars, go on quests and much more as they strive to overcome all enemies and dominate the world.

Key Features

  • Randomly generated maps.
  • 10 Unique Factions (or create your own)
  • Design your own Sovereign.
  • Powerful Magic System.
  • Tactical Battles.
  • World Class computer AI.
  • A rich, story-driven campaign.
  • Strong single player sandbox mode.
  • State of the art, client/server multiplayer.
  • Low Hardware Requirements.
  • Extensive Modding Support.

A Guided Tour

EarthCrystal_Medallion_thumb[2] Basic Game Play
Players start the game with their sovereign placed in a land that has been completely devastated. In that ruined world, they must build a civilization – found cities, research technology, build an economy, train soldiers, learn spells, and much more. 

There are other factions trying to do much the same thing who have their own ideas on how the world should be ordered.  Victory can be attained through many different means: conquest, diplomacy, magic, or quests. The player decides which path in a given game has the best hope for success.


Warfare Kingdoms & Empires
When setting up the game, players choose a nominal allegiance to either the Kingdoms or the Empires. The difference between the two in Elemental is where they draw their magic from – life or death. The Kingdoms use life magic in conjunction with the elemental shards to cast spells. The Empires use death magic. This has a very explicit effect on the world that is quite visible.


Tomb_Medallion_Desert_thumb[2] Cities of Elemental
Only sovereigns can found new cities. When a city is founded, it is an outpost. Over time, as its population grows, it will be promoted to a village, then a town and then eventually to a city. Each promotion brings with it new structures that can be built, greater income and more resources to draw on.


Diplomacy_thumb[2] Quests
Players are not the only ones who can go on quests in the world. Across the lands, parties of adventurers are exploring dungeons, ruins, and abandoned castles looking for glory, treasure, rare items or all of the above. Some of these adventurers can be recruited. Other times the player, as the sovereign of their lands, must clean up the mess of these adventurers.


Keep_Medallion_thumb[2] Designing your Sovereign
Players can choose one of the 10 great Sorcerers of the world or create one of their own. When they do so, they can design how they look, what books of magic they carry, how powerful they are natively and even give them their own back story to share with other players via the Internet.


CityWalls_thumb[15] The Magic System
Depending on their allegiance, players build up life or death mana that can be used, in conjunction with the elemental shards that they control (earth, air, fire and water) to cast spells. What spells they know depends on what books of magic they have along with which of the spells in those books they have learned.  Spells require mana as well as control of a certain number of different types of shards.


Magic_thumb[7] Researching Technologies
After the cataclysm, much of the technological knowledge of the world was lost. While some of it is easy to restore (such as farming), other types of technology will take more effort to restore (advanced metal working for instance).


CreatureTame_thumb[2] Dynasties
As the sovereign of your Kingdom (or Empire) you will have the opportunity to get married and have children. In time, these children will grow up and potentially become great heroes for you to call on. Alternatively, players can marry their children off to other civilizations in exchange for an ongoing dowry (money per turn), a relationship bonus and a place in the line of succession in that faction.  Moreover, the off-spring of those children may return to you as adults to join your faction.


EbbenWolf_Medallion_thumb[2] Diplomacy
Conquest isn’t the only way to get what you want in Elemental. Players can also put time and effort to improving their diplomatic skills in order to obtain the technologies, resources and political outcomes they desire.


UnitDesign Unit Design
There is no such thing as a “knight” in Elemental. Instead, players create their own classes of units (that they can call knights if they want). Starting with a peasant, the player gives them equipment and assigns them training to turn them into a soldier.


Warfare Warfare
When two forces meet, players can choose to have those battles instantly resolve or go into a tactical battle mode to either watch the battle take place or control the action turn by turn. In battle, players can cast devastating spells, flank enemy positions, go for the high ground and much more.


Warfare Men & The Fallen
Elemental comes with 10 factions that are loosely divided between the races of men and the races of the Fallen. The races of men are humanoid beings that naturally evolved on Elemental. The races of the Fallen are beings that were ultimately bred by the Titans long ago are are considered unnatural.