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Author Topic: AoD October update  (Read 6019 times)
Vince
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« on: October 31, 2012, 05:59:54 PM »

It’s time for another update.

This month was mostly about the beta and alchemy. Lots of tweaks, lots of issues discovered and fixed, lots of improvements. The game looks and feels better and better, so hopefully you’ll enjoy the upcoming release, even if you’ve already played the demo.

Shields:

So, if you recall from the previous update, we changed the shields’ mechanics and added DR to allow some damage to go through. It worked well for approximately 15 min until the combat-savvy testers realized what it means – you always hit, either for full or partial damage. They started brewing berserker potions (bonus to damage, penalty to accuracy – you put more power into your attacks, but you don’t aim) and using power attacks to do massive damage. Who cares if your THC is 10%? You will still hit the shield and no DR will be able block all that raw damage.

To fix it, we changed the passive effect from “chance to counter-attack” to “chance to block all damage” and added a modifier to take the attacker’s THC into consideration: 75-THC.

If your passive chance is 30%, and your attacker's THC is 90, then your chance to block completely is 30 + (75-90) = 30-15=15%.

If the attacker THC is 25, then your chance to block is 30+(75-25)=80%.

We’ve also disabled special effects as hitting a shield isn't the same as hitting a person behind the shield, which put an end to aimed attack: torso exploit. If you aimed at the torso but hit the shield, you didn’t the torso, so DR remains the same.

It works well now, we tweaked DR values and the testers seem to be happy with the balance.

Alchemy:

Seems to be working well, but we won’t know for sure until we release R3 and get hundreds of opinions rolling in. Here is what the testers think so far:

* * *

Opinion #1:

[Alchemy] is very situational. In places where you go into one fight followed by another, like the Militiades encounter, the Aurelian Mine, etc... Healing is really useful. In all other circumstances it's useless. Acid is excellent against heavily armored enemies. But it makes you lose 7 AP (3 to throw, 4 to switch weapons, unless you're using a one-hand weapon and no shield, which is an unusual combination), takes time to work, needs the throwing skill and is not THAT helpful against multiple enemies. Gunpowder and oil flask have very small range, requiring enemies to be bunched together, although both have interesting effects (oil flask is good to separate enemies and gunpowder can knock people down, it seems). Not only that, but alchemy is a one-time use that depends on the ingredients, while other skills have more stable bonuses.

Overall alchemy can be very useful or very useless and it varies wildly, depending on the encounter. Crafting, for the sake of comparison, feels a lot more consistently useful throughout the game. I'm not saying that I don't like alchemy, mind you. Quite the contrary, it's fun to play with and trying to find uses for all those things.

Opinion #2:

It's most definitely not underpowered, though I think it's still going to need a bit of polish. Also the actual availability of ingredients in the final game is going to be important factor on its usefulness. I like how all the effects are very minimalistic, but can still completely change the perspective of a combat encounter.

I've yet to play a very high (50+) alchemy skill character to know whether you can actually dish mortal damage with things like oil flasks or bombs (by my observations thus far, not really), but the ability to break enemy placement can really change the tide of the battle, especially as they tend to attack you in ideally small, tight formations.

Actually the poison flask, being the only pure damage based effect, feels like the most insignificant in its functionality. I hope you could at least use all of the 3 drops on one enemy, stacking the poison damage.

Against blockers, the berserk potion also feels too weak now since the drop in THC is so large, and your attacks get blocked away for the most of the time.

Opinion #3:

1. It's not on par crafting by any means and that is a wasted opportunity. I thought that a high level alchemist would be a person to be feared, but it's nothing like that.

2. Crafting improves your durability, damage and defense skill without any cost to AP and the outcome is always stable. With alchemy it's nothing of the sort. When crafting increases damage it is also multiplied by STR modifier, attack type modifier and CS modifier that considerably increase its utility.

While poisons it's for three hits, so you have to be surrounded for it to have an affect, but most of the time being surrounded means that you're or soon will be dead. It doesn't stack and has no multipliers, but it adds a chance to fail to the equation.

The main weakness is the share amount of AP you need to accomplish anything with it. You need to reapply poisons every three hits, or 7 AP to use different potions. I just don't make use of most potions even if I did brew them before battle."

* * *

We didn't want to make alchemy every bit as good as crafting, it was supposed to be weaker when it comes to per strike damage. Why? First, alchemy can do group damage and separate enemies, which is an invaluable ability, if you use it wisely. Second, it has unique abilities like stripping DR from armor, more AP for dodgers, more raw damage (berserk) that makes fast attacks very useful, etc. Third, it's the most versatile skill, useful in and out of combat in many quests. Crafting is also used out of combat but a lot less.

Basically, they play different roles. Crafting improves the player's combat stats only, whereas alchemy improves stats, introduces new combat abilities, provides new quest solutions, etc. So, if you compare (or care only) about the effect on the player's combat stats, crafting is definitely better. Overall though, if you consider everything that alchemy does, it's a very handy and versatile skill.

R3

Almost there, should be released within a week.

Notable characters:

The last guildmaster of Maadoran is Levir – the boss of the Forty Thieves. Now, as you probably noticed, the Thieves Guild isn’t really involved in the struggle for power. They tend to mind their own business and don’t really care who sits on the throne, but the events that started in Teron begin to draw them in.

We wanted to show how a relatively minor event in a small town grows like a snowball rolling down a hill, affecting more people and factions as it does so. As you can see, Maadoran’s factions are mostly reacting to what happened and their actions are determined by their interpretations of what happened and what it means for everyone.

We also wanted to make the gold heist not a single quest (done and moved on), but something that would have a longer effect (a LOT will happen with this gold in Maadoran and many people will end up dead because of it).

Also, because the Thieves Guild isn’t involved in politics, they are the best choice to branch out into the mysteries of the olden days. It’s an optional path and will require INT and Lore to unlock and follow (after and if you steal the jar).

Unlike Cado, who was the equivalent of a small time gang leader, Levir is a “proper” kingpin. He’s older, wiser, and much more powerful. He is a reasonable man and he understands his place, but when Gaelius sends the assassins to hit the Slums (see the previous update), things will get out of hand very fast and will call for a response. After all, there are insults you neither forgive nor forget, even if they come from the Lord of the city.

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SPACEMOOSE
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« Reply #1 on: October 31, 2012, 07:29:28 PM »

how many romance-able npcs have been implemented so far
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Niektory
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« Reply #2 on: October 31, 2012, 11:37:34 PM »

You can romance them all with your sword.
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Absinthe
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« Reply #3 on: November 01, 2012, 12:33:59 AM »

Hm, the kingpin's throne doesn't look like wood to me. I'm guessing that's going to be fixed?
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Vahhabyte
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« Reply #4 on: November 01, 2012, 12:37:16 AM »

Cool, my current prime build is a 10-Int Mercenary that joins the Forty Thieves.
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pianistamoeba
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« Reply #5 on: November 01, 2012, 07:01:25 AM »

New public beta! A christian to the lions, the innocent baby girl to the witch-hunting mob!
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l3loodAngel
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« Reply #6 on: November 01, 2012, 07:40:06 AM »

I think you made a little too much gold. It feels more like a dragon's hoard, maybe you could reduce it a bit.

Everything else is good.  Salute
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pianistamoeba
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« Reply #7 on: November 01, 2012, 01:42:09 PM »

The availability of gold and the economy overall definitely needs some kind of an overhaul. For example,
(click to show/hide)
There's no need for detailed medieval market simulator, of course, but the setting and its many political elements ask for more coherent depiction of the economy.
I suggested scaling buy/sell values more strictly by the trading skill and making merchants collections much more scarce/randomized on another thread, for example. Vince, what do you think? Any secret plans?
« Last Edit: November 01, 2012, 01:48:26 PM by pianistamoeba » Logged
Vince
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« Reply #8 on: November 01, 2012, 02:02:16 PM »

We'll fix it. The "economy" made more sense originally, until we've discovered a crafting loophole and had to raise prices. It was fucked every since then and there were always more important tasks to fix.

It's on the list and will be done before the release.

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pianistamoeba
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« Reply #9 on: November 01, 2012, 02:11:01 PM »

Now that R3 is almost finished, might I ask what's next on the list? (more specifically, any big plans/system changes for R4, apart from possible feedback caused changes from the public R3?)
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Vince
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« Reply #10 on: November 01, 2012, 02:17:33 PM »

Yes, but it's too early to discuss them. We'll make the changes, let the testers play, and then we'll discuss it.
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pianistamoeba
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« Reply #11 on: November 01, 2012, 02:37:16 PM »

 Salute
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MidnightSun
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« Reply #12 on: November 01, 2012, 03:07:45 PM »

Something feels off about thieves' riches. If Gaelius wanted gold he should have attacked thieves anyway, they have a shitload. Why is everybody freaking out about a few chests anyway, when there's a lot more?

This much gold in one place.. it's useless, it's not doing anything in economy, not buying you power, nor new friends. And why does guildmaster send you to recover the vase? You'll likely to fail and make future efforts more difficult. Also, with this much gold, you could just flush limitless resources and recover it pretty easily, no?

I'm nagging, I know, but I'm trying to make sense of all of this.
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Vince
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« Reply #13 on: November 01, 2012, 03:35:04 PM »

As it says in the opening text, the gold is just lying there to show Levir's disregard. There is only so much he can have in the Slums and he has no desire to live a double-life, buying himself a nice house in a better district.

The city is wealthy, the thieves steal, and what they take ends up in that room. While it seems like a lot, it's the result of decades of work (so a couple of chests wouldn't have been enough).

The difference between Levir's gold and what you took from the Commercium is simple. Nobody knows about Levir's gold and how much he actually has (this is his inner sanctum), while everyone's heard about the Commercium's gold thanks to Linos, who exaggerated greatly to make sure that whoever took the gold won't get away with it so easily.

Gaelius doesn't want the gold. He wants to prevent riots and open warfare. No gold - no riots.

As for the jar, the Commercium won't sell it as they are a lot wealthier than the thieves guild (i.e. they don't *need* money and thus they won't sell something they value just to add another chest of gold to their stash) and Levir won't give them everything he has.

« Last Edit: November 01, 2012, 03:38:39 PM by Vince » Logged
callehe
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« Reply #14 on: November 01, 2012, 09:56:56 PM »

Few dialogue nitpicks:
"No but your hands will wither and become just as dead" [as dead as what? Suggest: "your hands will wither like dead branches of a rotten tree, and become just as dead." ]
"And if it doesn't?" [does "it" refer to the hands?, I suggest something like: "what if my hands don't wither off"]
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