Civ V’s lead designer joins Stardock, hopes to cure Elemental’s ailments

Elemental: War of Magic

Last year, I got myself all worked up and excited about the release of Stardock’s newest 4X/turn-based strategy title Elemental: War of Magic. When the game released in August of last year, however, reports of things being broken and stuff generally not working left me hesitant to try out Elemental’s things and stuff. Thankfully, since the game’s rocky launch Stardock has apparently been hard at work fixing those things, tweaking that stuff and making the game as good as it promised to be.

Now it’s been revealed that Jon Shafer, lead designer on the excellent Civilization V, has cosied up to Stardock since leaving Firaxis (on good terms) a little while ago. In an interview with Big Download, Shafer said that he’s been hired to work on Elemental, as well as an unannounced project for Stardock. Stardock also hired Derek Paxton, designer behind popular Civ IV mod Fall From Heaven, in October last year to act as senior producer on Elemental.

Dave Stern, acclaimed fantasy author, is another person who’s joined Stardock’s ranks. Stern, who’s penned a number of Star Trek novels as well as the novelizations of the Tomb Raider and Blair Witch Project films, will work to enrich Elemental’s lore – which Stardock CEO Brad Wardell admits was “one of the things we felt was weak.” With two expansions already in the works for Elemental (where it’s said “lore implementation will be essential”), there are exciting times ahead for fans of the game.

All this news makes me think I should finally just dive in and give Elemental a go. Have any of you readers played it? How’s it working out for you?