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Likes & Dislikes of Gemfire
Sniglefritz
#1 Posted : Friday, September 26, 2014 2:59:52 PM(UTC)
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I don't like to start with the negatives, but chances are most people tend to focus more on dislikes than likes when weighing their decision on a game.

Dislike

1. AI - I think everyone would agree AI has to be the key thing to this game. One thing that was always an annoyance about the AI in Gemfire, is no matter what they would ALWAYS attack you with an even strength army. I very rarely found them coming at me with an overbearing army when they would attack one of my lands. Battle AI was also predictable in their strategy. Within the first turn you knew how you could take them out.

2. The Search (for items) system - Use a turn to randomly search and find gear. I felt they just threw that in there because they didn't want to develop something more interesting, like bringing your army to caves or dungeons that might be in the providence.

3. Providence improvement/maintenance - While the game itself was basic, I felt it could use just a little bit more depth than just develop cultivation, protection, etc.

4. Diplomacy - Very limited and weak.



Likes

1. Diverse characters - Loved picking different characters and working to advance them. It's because of Gemfire that many of the names from the game ended up being my character names in MMO's.

2. Aging and Death - Gave the world a real life feel.

3. Mother Nature events / magical/ghostly events - These added to the world and made it feel like a living planet. While areas were static (snow in the north) ... it still helped enhance the world. Black death/plague use to make me always pray I didn't get hit with it.

4. Mercenary units - Always kept trying to find those Wyverns!

5. Sabotage and Stealing - Liked it, just wish it was a little more detailed or expanded. Nobunaga's Ambition had a little bit better system sending ninja's out and you could pay for the amount you wanted to send and it would take some time before you found out if the job was successful or not.

Options I always thought might be interesting if they had them

1. Marriage / Children (For long sessions) - Marry within your Kingdom, or someone from an "Allied" Kingdom - Could make for interesting diplomacy features.

2. Dungeons - To search for loot.

3. Equipment slots - For the hero / leader characters.

4. Ability to fight with the leader hero's if they were leading an army or set as a vassal to a providence.


Thanks for reading.
Tyson
#2 Posted : Monday, September 29, 2014 12:13:48 PM(UTC)
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I think you covered the bulk of pros/cons to Gemfire, but I'll respond to yours before adding a few of my own.

Dislike:
1. Yup, the AI is absolutely horrible. You could beat an army 4 times your size and lose very little in the process. I read on gamefaqs a couple of weeks ago about people winning the game in the second year! That's crazy, that's just enough time to march your starting army across the land. That's not just bad AI, that's a broken game!

2. Seach was so unpredictable and mostly a waste of time since the items really didn't make much difference in the long run. A more robust item system would have been awesome although it is a bit tricky to find a way to put it into this type of game. I'm not sure how SoL will do items, if at all because it adds quite a bit of complexity to the game.

3. I do agree that there is room for some enhanced ways to develop, but I also think that the simple way to develop your province was what made the game accessible and fun.

4. Diplomacy was pretty much pointless as well. It's also another one of those very complex things to implement.


What I didn't like:
1. I liked the mercenary units but I didn't like that the majority of them were pretty much useless. I also didn't like that you really couldn't keep them around for very long (too expensive or they will leave) which makes them mostly useful only offense and getting them as defenders is tricky.

2. This kind of goes back to AI, but the game basically falls apart once you control half of the provinces. You end up being far to powerful to stop and it ends up being just a matter of time before you win. Gemfire works best in the early game when you have 2-5 provinces. There is very little entertainment or challenge mid and late game.

3. Automation of provinces. Again, pretty much AI, but setting vassals to automatically take care of provinces didn't work well. You really couldn't give them direction (it would be nice to say focus on protection, or economy, etc) and they usually did a horrible job at developing the province. (Gemfire did have this right? Or am I thinking of ROTTK?)

4. I didn't like how fragmented and hard to find the story was. I found most of the story in forums online from people who played the games a million times to glean everything out of it. It also frustrates me that the story doesn't actually make much sense in a lot of ways. I want to know about the world and it's characters more and the game doesn't give you that.

Likes:
1. I LOVE the characters, it really is one of my favorite things about the game.

2. I don't even remember the game having this! Lol I wanted to be able to do this with SoL but it got too complicated. Maybe for the sequel? (if there is one!)

3. Yeah, the events are one of the primary ways in which the game communicated details about the world. My brother and I used to constantly curse "pixies" and even blamed pixies for bad things that happened in real life.

4. I loved the idea of mercenaries but I thought they could have been better (as per above).

5. Advanced sabotage would be pretty neat. The game really ends up being about developing, sabotage, and attacking for 90% of what you do.


My Likes:

1. Music. It has great music that just never gets old.

2. Local coop. My brother and I played the hell out of this game together but we always played together. You could throw this on to the dislike pile though: no ability to trade or help each other out.

3. Fantasy setting. I played a lot of Romance of the Three Kingdoms quite a bit but honestly the China settings isn't as appealing as the fantasy one in Gemfire. Plus, I couldn't pronounce the names or cities in ROTTK which puts a bit of a barrier between you and the world.


Options:
1. Marriage / children would be amazing! This fits in great with the aging aspect. I would love to play Gemfire with family trees.

2. I haven't thought about this one but it sounds super interesting. How did you visualize this feature working? Would you actually go into tactical view to fight creatures? Or would it be a separate game mode?

3. This would be really neat. I think ROTTK did this eventually but it was never really exactly how I wanted it to work.

4. Yes, having the characters actually appear in battle would be sweet!

My options:

1. As suggested above, having more ways to interact with other players. Sending resources, fighting together, maybe even assigning an officer to help develop an ally province.

2. Character growth. There was really no way other than special events or an item to change a character's stats. It would be neat to have options to develop characters themselves.

I'm sure there is more if I thought about it some more...but I think that'll do for now!
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