Tuesday, October 4, 2011

AVWW Betas 0.515-0516, "It's All Relative," Released!

This one is yet another really huge release, and yet again it was sparked by player commentary.  The work on new spells and enemies and such got pushed back a day, but this release basically marks a complete rebalancing of all the enemies and spells and player stats, and most importantly how they progress over time.

There was a big discussion about this on the forums, and I decided to make that my priority for the bulk of today.  The game was starting out at its hardest at civ level 1, and then getting progressively easier as you played more, thanks to the linear algorithms we were using.  Now I'm using a relative algorithm that makes things a bit easier at the start, then keeps the difficulty consistent or rising.  The change in difficulty from playing up region levels is also now a lot more severe a lot faster.

Also in this release are fifteen new boss room templates, which really adds a lot to the variance of the boss battles in things like rare commodity towers.  Going along with that, a number of enemy jumping logic tweaks have been made, as have a number of water-in-hole seeding algorithm changes.  The result is skelebots, rhinos, and so on that can get out of shallow holes, and which will more frequently meet a proper watery grave in holes that are not so shallow.

The other really big thing in this release is the new Consciousness Nodes in the macro-game side of things.  These are strategic assets that you can capture and "link" to, to get an income of consciousness shards per turn in the strategic mode.  However, this stirs up the overlords and rampaging monsters more, so there's definitely a give and take with this.

Oh yes, I almost forgot -- you can now hover over entities while you have paused the game (P or Pause keys on your keyboard) to see their name and some stats about them.  So if you're wondering how much an enemy will damage you if they hit you, you don't have to wait until they land a blow to find out.

I can't stress enough how much the balance has changed in this version, honestly.  If you're accustomed to playing up a ton of region levels, or if you're accustomed to just having it be a cakewalk now that you're level 30 or whatever, there's going to be a ton of whiplash all of a sudden.  On the other hand, if you're just starting out, things just got easier -- hooray!

In general this release brings the balance of the game incredibly closer to a final state, but it's had only me to test it so far, so I'm sure there are some oversights.  The one current known balance issue is that the fire from the fire bats is still incredibly too damaging, but that was also the case prior to this release, so that's not really new.  That's on my shortlist for tomorrow.

In addition to all of the above, there was also a pretty solid array of other fixes and tweaks; see the release notes for details.  More coming tomorrow, including finally some new spells and enemies unless something else critical comes up in the morning -- fingers crossed that that doesn't happen, unlike the last two days!  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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