First beta version release
Finally, after months of hard work the beta release is here!!! So.... what is different from previous alpha releases?
Switching to beta means all mayor features are already implemented. From now on, focus will be put on bug fixing, balancing, cosmetics and the much needed content (active skills, passive skills and bosses). Some new features may be still introduced but they will be minor. Instead of a change log, let me review all mayor features and basic gameplay.
You are a keeper of the world tree (very original :P) and are tasked with the re-sealing of the elemental energies that emanate from it. At the roots of the tree, 5 areas represent each of the game elements (Wind, Fire, Earth, Ice and Water) on where elementals roam around collecting the energy that leaks from the seal crystals. To accomplish your goal as a keeper, you will have to face this elementals and their evolved forms (bosses) to reclaim their energy and part of the crystals that were stolen before they leave back for their realm.
Main Interface, pick your battle
This is the main interface, here you can rotate through the 5 areas and pick battles, design towers and control the current status. Describing some elements by number:
- Normal battles: this are the normal portals which open by themselves when enough energy has leaked from the seal in a zone.
- Boss battles: this will spawn with a certain chance despite the amounts of energy leaked.
- Seal Crystal: this is the crystal that normally seals the elemental energy, which you need to fix to win the game.
- Resource bar: this are your current resources, from left to righ, energy, fire fragments, wind fragments, water, ice and earth fragments.
- Zone status: this indicates the energy leaked from the seal that roams freely in the hand of the elementals or just dissolved in the air. This quantity grows after each "turn" (battle) and you loose if it reaches very high values. Defeating elementals during a battle captures their energy, decreasing this value and adding it to your resources.
Fully customizable towers
In Terra Elementa, the focus is always on user decisions. Finding a shortcut to the goal or diggin your onw grave, you have total control.
Interface elements description:
- Active skills: this icons represent the active skills the player has available to assign to the tower.
- Passive skills: similar to active skills but this ones doesn't need to be "activated".
- Element: pick the tower's element. Each element adds a little bonus to the main parameters.
- Main parameters:
- Charge: the internal energy of the tower. Each attack consumes a certain amount and needs to be recharged during battle.
- Damage: how hard the tower hits.
- Speed: an abstract representation of how fast the tower fires.
- Range: the maximum distance a projectile can travel.
- Obstruction: how big is the obstruction field of the tower (this will be explained later).
- Name: type a name for your new tower.
- Scale diagram: just a visual helper to understand the proportion between range and obstruction.
- Creation cost: how many resources are needed to build the tower, given its current parameters and skill selections. The cost for the element matching that of the tower will be halved, while the cost of the opposing element will be increased by 50%.
Into the battle
When a battle starts a new terrain is generated and the elementals will lead towards a big portal (black-hole like thingy), allowing them to scape to their plane. As in any tower defense, your work is to stop them by carefully placing and managing towers and other skills.
Sub-portals and sealing
Most battles have only one big portal (black-hole in the center with the fiery aura) you must care for, but the instability caused by it will start opening small fissures in the near space. Although the elementals can't sense this small portals, they will continue to grow, engulfing any elemental that walks by it, allowing them to scape to their plane.
But fortunately, this small portals can be stabilized and sealed by using the Seal button on the bottom bar and then clicking on them. Bear in mind though, that sealing a portal consumes a full star.
Tower obstruction and responsive enemy paths
Elementals (the enemies) will always try to reach their goal though the shortest and easiest path. Your powers as a Keeper allow you to sense the elementals intention when it becomes stronger (near the portal). This means you can actually see their paths (green lines on the ground).
To prevent them from just rushing to the exit, your towers come with an obstruction field (red sphere). This spherical field can block elementals from entering it (but has no effect if the elementals are already inside) so they will react to your actions and adjust their paths whenever a new tower gets deployed. This means tower placement can't be taken lightly. A well planned tower disposition can lead elementals to a deadly trap, but a single error can backfire leaving your defenses out of range.
Procedural terrains, working with the environment
In Terra Elemental, each battle features a unique, procedurally generated terrain. This terrains have a full 3D geometry, include a variety of objects like trees or rocks and feature water and lava lakes. Elementals have their limitations and preferences to pick a path, they will try to avoid elevations and can't walk over liquids. Working with the environment is essential to maximize your defenses and avoid unwanted deviations.
Charge and Tower skills
Charge is a form of usable, low quality energy that is generated and spent during battle. Each second a certain amount of charge is added to your reserves up to a maximum of 5 stars (500).
Deploying a tower costs one star. Towers come fully charged into the battlefield and each attack uses a certain amount. When a tower's reserves are depleted, it ceases fire until recharged. To recharge a tower you must click the recharge icon on the bottom bar and then click the tower itself. This process will consume half a star (50) but fully recharge your tower.
Additionally, each tower may be equipped with a passive ability and an activable skill. Passive abilities work by themselves as a constant effect to the area or the tower's attacks.
From self recharge to burning all enemies, activable skills must be manually activated after a cooldown period after by clicking the icon over the tower. This skills work instantly or for a few seconds and enter cooldown again.
Boss fights are meant to be a completely different challenge. Each boss has it's own, unique behavior and defeat conditions, making it necessary to develop special, out of the box strategies to fight them. They drop the stolen crystal parts and skills, in addition to elemental fragments and energy. There is current only 1 boss implemented but other 3 are already in the design phase.
Winning the game
To win the game you have to re-seal the 5 zones. By clicking on the zone crystals you can see the conditions needed for the sealing ritual. This ritual involves infusing a lot of energy back into the crystal to form the seal, but all this activity will lure a huge number of hungry elementals. When all conditions are met, a special time survival battle will begin. The objective here is to protect the crystal from the elementals during some minutes by all means you can think of, either defeating them, blocking their paths or cripple their movement with slow skills, the choice is yours.