Once you have installed the game and get it running you'll get to the main menu which looks like this:
- New Game - Sandbox mode in which you select attributes of the world, your sovereign, your faction, and other factions in the world.
- Campaign - This is where you can play through the campaign mode, currently there is one campaign (Book 1: Relias) in which you play as Relias and create the kingdom of Altar.
- Continue Game - If you return to the main menu while in a game/campaign, this allows you to return to playing.
- Load Game - Load saved games.
- Achievements - Shows a list of achievements you have earned through playing the game, as well as those yet to be earned.
- Multiplayer - Play a multiplayer game online after choosing from the in-game sovereigns and factions. (Have not explored fully).
- Workshop - Allows for you to design tiles in the Builder's Forge, design maps in the Cartographer's Table, design spells in the Particle Cauldron, design factions in the Faction Creator, and design/view/download mod's in the Mod Library.
- Options - Change in-game options.
- Exit - Exits the game.
First we'll see an example of creating a new game.
In this screen you can change several things that have a pretty significant impact on the way the game will play out. First you can change the randomly generated name of the world by just typing in a name in the box or you could click the arrows to the right of the name to have another name be generated.
There are several options that can be changed in this screen and they are as follow:
- World Size - Determines the amount of hexes that will make up the game map, which goes from Tiny > Small >Normal >Large.
- Difficulty - This difficulty has nothing to do with other faction's AI, instead it refers to the difficulty of the "Wilds". The areas that aren't under control of any faction are considered the Wilds and in them monsters can spawn periodically making it very important to spread your control and influence as soon as possible, as to avoid monsters spawning all around you.
- Victory Conditions - Determines the rules that determine how you can win the game you are about to create.
- Conquest - Slaughter everyone else, claim the world for yourself. Yummy.
- Diplomatic - Forge an alliance with all the Kingdoms/Empires in the world.
- Master Quest - Complete the quest to build Forge of the Overlord
- Spell of Making - Cast the Spell of Making. This requires you to produce a vast amount of Arcane Knowledge.
- Random Events -
- Spawn Monsters - Enabling this allows monster units to randomly spawn in the wild.
- Pacing - Changes the rate at which technologies are researched.
- Fast - Techs are researched in half the time.
- Normal - Normal rate of research.
- Epic - Techs take twice as long to research.
Now that you've dealt with the world variables its time to choose your character.
In the Who Are you? screen you get to choose who you will play as, this character is also known as the Sovereign of your kingdom (or Empire depending on which Faction you choose). You can choose from the 10 preset Sovereigns that come straight out of Elemental's Lore, or you can choose to create your own on the fly by clicking on the Create Sovereign. Creating Custom Sovereigns is explained in more detail in this page Custom Sovereign.
Ok so the always difficult process of selecting your character is done, in my case I went with my custom sovereign, now you get to choose which faction you will actually lead.
Here you can choose which factions you'd like to play as or lead. These factions have their unique bonuses and weaknesses and their theme colors and character models as well as their skin sets. Just like when choosing your Sovereign, you have 10 preset Factions to choose from. You can also create a faction to your liking at any time and choose it here by using the Faction Creator. Keep in mind that you can only see 5 factions of the Kingdoms or Empires at a time, and you will need to scroll to the right to reveal your already created Factions by clicking the silver arrow shown in the screen above.
*NOTE*: You need to create a faction prior to selecting "New Game" in the main menu. You must first go to the Workshop Menu and make your faction using the before mentioned Faction Editor and save it, then it will appear in the list of factions.
The final screen is where you choose your opponents. You can add and remove factions as you like, and you can individually change their difficulty.
When you press the play button, this will finalize the setup, and the game will then create a world and take you to it.
Next up we explain the The Main Map and what to expect when starting a game.