Friday, October 7, 2011

AVWW Beta 0.520, "Shields Up!" Released!

This one is packed to the gills with good stuff.  First off, the boring: boss stats have really been rejiggered again so that the difficulty isn't overblown like it has been the last couple of releases.  That's super important, but not that exciting.  There's also some changes to the amount of health you get depending on the Action Difficulty you choose, which aids in making the difficulties feel more different than before.

The first of the exciting new things in this release is four new shield spells that you can cast.  Right now they are identical except in visual effect, but each is tied to the elements of fire, air, water, and earth -- four of the six elements used by the game (light and entropy being the other two).  Later releases will include the last two elements of shields, and will also be including elemental damage and elemental resistance in general -- suddenly these "same thing except different element" spells will start making a lot more sense.

The shield spells in general fill a much-needed niche, in that they allow you to have a button that you can "block" with, compared to always having to jump out of the way of incoming projectiles.  I'll be curious what folks think of the MP cost on these -- it might be on the high side at the moment, but I wanted to strike a middle ground between having shields you can block with and not having it be something to spam the usage of. 

Also coming soon will be some element-less shield scrolls that will let you put a longer-term shield on yourself that simply has a certain amount of damage it can absorb before disappearing (the "certain amount of damage blocked only" is also true of these shield spells, but they still disappear after 1.5 seconds).

Next thing is a new "Warp To Origin Settlement" button in the escape menu while you are on the world map.  This button lets you move back to the 0,0 position regardless of your position on the world map.  It's possible to get trapped on the other side of vortexes that pop up, so this provides a means for you to get back on the correct side of things without having to suicide your character.

Lastly, but definitely not least, the way in which the world map is created and and explored is now 100% redone.  It's now faster, gives more interesting results, gives a more consistent difficulty curve especially at the start, and doesn't require you to "walk the perimeter" every time your civ level goes up.  There are dozens and dozens of individual changes with this one alone, so really I suggest giving the release notes a look if you want all the details.

There should be another release later tonight, I expect.  Enjoy!

This is a standard update that you can download through the in-game updater itself, if you already have 0.500 or later. When you launch the game, you'll see the notice of the update having been found if you're connected to the Internet at the time. If you don't have 0.500 or later, you can download that here.

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