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Author Topic: AoD September update  (Read 8040 times)
Vince
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« on: September 28, 2012, 04:38:11 PM »

Best gift ever.

Yesterday was my birthday. Today is my first day as a 42-year old guy and my first day as a free man. I quit my job. No, it's not a mid-life crisis, it's about commitment. I want to spend the next 6 months (or so, it's not a deadline) being focused on nothing but the game and thoroughly enjoying each day. Yes, I'm well aware that the game probably won't sell a lot.

Alchemy

The alchemy is almost ready. We'll be starting a beta test next week. Crafting was about adding numbers to weapon's and armor's stats. Alchemy brings something very different to the table and it will give you different ways to approach combat. I know that many of you have grudges against the Aurelian guards who killed you a dozen or so times with extreme prejudice, which made you feel small and angry. Imagine how good it's gonna be to come, holding a black powder clay bomb, throw it at them and yell "Konichiwa, bitches!"

Changes to the system

We're also fucking around with a lot of things we probably shouldn't. The list of things that bother us is long. These things reflect various mistakes made during development, ideas that we thought were good at the time, or just give fixes that sorta worked and thus went down on the priority list.

Normally, we leave these things alone as we don't have time to revisit everything, but every now and then the feedback we get pushes an item to the very top of the list, where it gets immediate attention. The item of the month was shields.

Originally, the basic combat design was "hard to hit, easy to kill dodgers vs easy to hit, hard to kill heavy armor guys". It was a decent idea on paper, but it required a skill to balance Dodge. I don't recall now why we didn't go with Armor (maybe because it doesn't make much sense), but we went with Block instead. Sort of worked, but not quite. Heavy armor guys would block many attacks and the armor would absorb a chunk of what gets through, which made them much harder to kill than was envisioned originally.

Shields gave you a bonus to Block, which made sense, as it's easier to hide behind a tower shield than to block with a buckler. It made shields too powerful though and so we added the splitting mechanic and, eventually, replaced the Block bonus, with a vsSplitting stat. Of course, the problem is that splitting is only a factor when you run into an axeman, and since we can't have axemen everywhere, we added a chance to split to two-handed weapons. Of course, without the bonus to Block, large shields have become sort of useless, adding insult to injury.

Now, kids, this is a good example of how a small mistake gets patched and patched, until it grows into a half-assed feature, like a snowball of bad design rolling down the hill. You can ask "How did you fuck it up? Didn't you guys see it a mile away?" The answer is, it's very easy to miss things when you're working on ten things at once. It's much easier to patch things up quickly than trace the problem all the way back and consider all possibilities.

Anyway, as long as we're willing and eager to fix our mistakes, it's all good. Right?

So, the main problem was that shields were absorbing all damage. You could be hit with a big-ass two-handed hammer, but as long as you managed to get your buckler under that hammer, you were fine. But not anymore. Now, shields get their very own DR stat, which will be added to your armor or helmet DR on a successful block. The bonus to Block stat is back, because *now* it works. Heavy armor blockers will no longer be too powerful. They will still enjoy superior protection but they won't be nearly invincible at high levels.

This change will too be rolled out in R3.

What's next on our list of tweaks? Something that Oscar and I are *very* excited about. Not changing it has been my biggest regret about the game for the last 2 years. I would have left it alone, but there's been a lot of complaints about it, so we're exploring it at the moment, but so far it looks really, really good.

Maadoran quests

Finished tweaking them, thank God. It was a massive amount of work, but the quests are a lot more complex and interesting than Teron's quests. Everyone's scheming. Teron is a sleepy little place by comparison, which makes sense considering that Maadoran is the equivalent of a capital city. Ganezzar is somewhere between Teron and Maadoran. Less intrigue, more religious fanatism.

Also, finished extra content to match what we added to Teron, which includes everyone's favourite son of a bitch - Miltiades. I did two drafts but didn't like them and then I got it - it was beautiful, vicious, and perfect. You guys gonna love it.

Guest of the month

Our guest of the month is Darista, the guildmaster of the Boatmen in Maadoran. Unless I'm mistaken, she is the first (but not the last) female character (that has a well defined role and her own portrait) in the game. Since AoD is not a politically correct game, it makes sense that in that setting women don't enjoy equal rights and only the hardest bitches get to a position of power.

She brought the guild to the service of Lord Gaelius, which creates an opportunity for a conflict within the guild itself (on top of all the usual scheming and plotting), so if you feel that only a man should lead the guild, you'll be given an opportunity to work toward that outcome as well, you chauvinist fucking pig, you.

I'm posting two dialogue sequences - an intro to the first quest and a "background" conversation from another quest briefing.



That's the new and improved arena, btw.











The second sequence:

























Well, that's about it, folks. Thanks for your support and your patience.
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John Yossarian
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« Reply #1 on: September 28, 2012, 04:52:47 PM »

Best gift ever.

Yesterday was my birthday. Today is my first day as a 42-year old guy and my first day as a free man.
Well, happy birthd .d.. d.. 
Quote
I quit my job.
WTF what?  Panic

Otherwise, improvements sound good, can't wait for betatesting. And that girl is just lovely.
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Resch
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« Reply #2 on: September 28, 2012, 05:06:35 PM »

I'm at the first sentence, man, and let wish you happy birthday. Hope you're not dying or some shit to be making such decisions, and that your decision pays off. Since you didn't write more about that, I won't bother you with asking for details. For what it is worth, I really, truly look  up to you guys Salute
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Vince
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« Reply #3 on: September 28, 2012, 05:13:54 PM »

No, nothing as dramatic as dying or some shit. The most honest and straight-forward answer is that the job lost its meaning to me. There was a time when I couldn't even dream of getting that far, there was a time I wanted it and was overjoyed and proud when I got it, and now... now I don't give a damn about it and my biggest fear is was doing it for the rest of my life just because the money's good. This kind of chains is the hardest to break.
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Pol Vetosh
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« Reply #4 on: September 28, 2012, 05:24:30 PM »

I'm happy for you, Vince. Wish you all the best. And I can't wait to play the finished game Smile
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Starwars
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« Reply #5 on: September 28, 2012, 05:37:07 PM »

Good on your for quitting the job Vince. Everyone needs to move on to other things at one point or another, even if it seems like you're in a good situation at the time! Approve

Update sounds exciting. Will be fun to check out the changes!
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l3loodAngel
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« Reply #6 on: September 28, 2012, 05:56:41 PM »

Best gift ever.

Today is my first day as a 42-year old guy and my first day as a free man. I quit my job. No, it's not a mid-life crisis, it's about commitment.

Seen that in action.

Step 1. I don't need money I need creative freedom. I don't enjoy my work it's only money.
Step 2. The "artist" becomes broke.
Step 3. Denial and trying to tackle the problem from other angle (read: another try at it).
Step 4. OK, I want Bentley and I need money, fuck creative freedom.

Happy B day and hope you didn't quit with a fuck you...

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Vince
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« Reply #7 on: September 28, 2012, 06:47:23 PM »

^ Doesn't apply at all.

« Last Edit: September 28, 2012, 06:59:01 PM by Vince » Logged
PrzeSzkoda
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« Reply #8 on: September 28, 2012, 06:59:22 PM »

Whoa man.

The job thing - I understand completely, actually. I've just done the same thing recently (it's sort of related to why the Pollack AoD localization project is in its zombielike state - was meaning to PM you or something, but guess I'll come clean in public.)

So, yeah, I basically quit professional translations last week. And it used to be THE dream job of mine since I can remember. My most loyal client (I've been working with them all my adult life, ffs) is dissolving, and I'm burned out on this crap. I thought I might use the AoD thing to setup my own company or something, but my heart is not into it anymore. The money was good, but it was a constant struggle to get 'em well-paid jobs in a saturated and shitty market, where bottom feeders, most of them incompetent or sloppy, constitute at least 70% of the available freelance workforce at any given time (no kidding.)

And the jobs have been getting progressively more boring over time.

I've been trying to do everything in the project so that if anyone wants to pick it up, they should be able to - all the necessary data and basic groundwork should be there. If anyone decides to do so, I'd be glad to help out, doing some translations or reviewing perhaps (or quality control in general, should anyone care to have something akin to that in a fan project.)

What I'm quitting for is opera singing. I've been doing it intensely for the last year and a half, had a sucessful stage debut, now it's time to get serious.

Sorry VD and the bunch (and all the potato AoD fans out there) for letting you down, but given the news I think you should understand.  Salute

BTW damn you for cutting the dialogue off. I WANT TO KNOW HOW SHE SURVIVED.  Commie
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陈瑞思
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« Reply #9 on: September 28, 2012, 07:22:45 PM »

As always, your candor is appreciated, Vince.

I can't wait to try out alchemy, and strangely, the new shield changes even more so.  I've been wanting to take a few more trips through the combats.  Will these changes be publicly beta tested?
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Vince
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« Reply #10 on: September 28, 2012, 08:14:55 PM »

Of course. We'll beta-test to find the right balance (we don't want to make the game too easy, do we now?) and release it. We'll probably be releasing updates to the demo, trying different things, until the game is ready to be released.
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Plalito
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« Reply #11 on: September 28, 2012, 10:06:24 PM »

I quit my job. No, it's not a mid-life crisis, it's about commitment. I want to spend the next 6 months (or so, it's not a deadline) being focused on nothing but the game and thoroughly enjoying each day.

Lot's of respect.

...and happy birthday!
« Last Edit: September 28, 2012, 10:21:44 PM by Plalito » Logged
Niektory
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« Reply #12 on: September 29, 2012, 12:16:21 AM »

Happy birthday Vince!
You deserve nothing less than a double brofist.
   

Exciting update too. Can't wait to get my hands on it.
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Vahhabyte
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« Reply #13 on: September 29, 2012, 12:40:26 AM »

Happy birthday, mate!
You're about to join the pantheon of Trve RPG creators!
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Elthosian
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« Reply #14 on: September 29, 2012, 01:00:10 AM »

Happy birthday Vince, you're truly one of my game development idols  Salute

Can't wait to see what is that change you guys are excited about!
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