Was off on vacation and the old Android phone doesn't like letting me post on these forums.
I voted "Good", but with reservations.
First I need to say that FE is currently an entire galaxy distant from the "Proof of Concept" that was E:WoM. The game as is, is functionally sound. Aside from a handful of straggling bugs, there is nothing technically "Wrong" with the game, and it is fairly entertaining in short bursts in its current iteration. Everyone at SD has clearly worked very hard to get the game where it is today
However, I still feel like the main content that we were sold on this one, ie: Tactical battles, RPG via Customizable Characters, and a 4x Game with Magic, is still really lacking. None of the issues with these are new, and very little of them has changed since FE's beta opened.
- Sovereigns and Champions are largely identical in form and function with the exception that you get to specify what your sovereign does.
- No real "RPG" elements with your characters other than taking them on quests. I have seen precious few champions that I would consider "Unique"
- Magically identical
- largely gear-dependent for their power (leveling doesn't improve them as much as a new sword does)
- No significant reason to care more about my sovereign than a chanpion.
- The character "customization" system is bland. Two entire classes are really flat in terms of play enjoyment (Mage and Governor), and the other three are incredibly similar in both form and function. Do you want Hps, Attack, or Crit? whee!
- Between Warrior, Defender, and Assassin, I have noticed very little long-term significant difference. They all kill things well, just in different ways. They just don't really do anything else.
- Traits should really mean something.
- Your leveling skills should be COOL, you should improve significantly when you get these skill regardless of whether you have a club or the +1000 Sword of Awesome. You don't really.
Concerning Tactical Battles;
- I realize that "custom troops" is a fundamental piece of the identity of this game, but it makes effective balancing near impossible.
- I still feel like there are too many clear "build your units like this or they will suck" choices in the game.
- Get "Groups", because they are significantly more powerful then a far better equipped smaller group.
- Get "Chainmail" because a group with chainmail and a few levels worth of HPS is near invulnerable with a middling caster backing them up.
- Get some form of 2nd tier weaponry so you can do damage to other units.
- It's old, it's tired, you've heard it from me before, so I'll keep it short.
- The magic system is fundamentally mechanical in form, predictable in process, erratic in acquisition. There could be 12,000 spells, and the way that they are attained in this game would still be stagnant and predictable.
- Shards are erratic and impossible to plan for, but comprise a significant portion of magic's usefulness.
- Magic levels always always always give you the exact same set of spells. Boring.
- When you level a champion, you do not always get the option to level any school of magic, even if you qualify for them, and when you do, you do not always get a school that is at all useful for your current strategy.
FE is "fun enough" as is. However, I do not think that the above major selling points of the game are up to snuff, and while I do think that the capacity for Modding adds years to the life of a really good game, I sincerely feel like the above core mechanics have been made "good enough" so the modding community can come along afterwards and are not able to stand the test of time without said modding.
I anticipate a 75-77 meta critic score for this game as I'm certain that there are people out there who will be very happy with it as sold, and there are motivated and devoted members of the community like Heavenfall and Seanw who really get a kick out of twisting the knobs of games like these. They will be the drivers that get Fallen Enchantress recognition. As it currently sits, I will probably dust FE off a couple times a year for the next few years, but I sincerely doubt that I'll be playing FE "as-is" until the shine has come off both Torchlight 2 and X-Com.