Friday, December 16, 2011

AVWW Beta 0.552, "Parallax And The End Of The World" Released!

This one includes a number of new things, including various balance and bugfix items that players noted from the prior version.  The changes to fire touch and the way that the class-based spell cooldowns work should be particularly welcome.  And the reference info and other in-game text is now up to date with all the recent changes from our powercoding period, too.

Parallax Backdrops
The most striking thing about this release visually is no doubt the new parallax backgrounds.  This provides a welcome sense of depth, as well as really visually differentiating the outdoor areas to a degree not seen prior to now.  Making some of the forest-y areas really feel heavily forested has been a struggle ever since the switch of the game to side view, but the parallax backgrounds really let us nail that and more.

End Of The World (Well, Continent)
Mechanically speaking, the biggest change in this version is the addition of the Overlord's threat against the continent.  Every period that passes (ie, every mission that you do) brings the continent one step closer to destruction.  In a few releases, when missions are the only source of EXP beyond the overlord and lieutenants themselves, this will really come together into some interesting choices.

Each continent is essentially a cage match between you and the overlord, and the average completion time that we're expecting per continent is around the 13 hour mark once we finish with getting the missions where we want them -- in other words, about the same average as a campaign in AI War.  Some people will obviously be faster or slower, and there's no particular time limit. 

The destruction of the continent comes after a certain number of periods, but you can take your time as much as you want, and think as long as you need, between each mission you choose to undertake.  The impending continental destruction is very analogous to the AI progress in AI War, drawing a lot of parallels in terms of the sort of choices it presents to the player.

If you don't find that sort of thing fun, you can turn the strategic difficulty down to 1 or 2.  If you want it to be harder than the default, you can crank it up to 4 or (god forbid) 5.  Playing on strategic difficulty 5 means that you need to be prepared to take out the overlord while being barely the same level as him, or even being lower-level than him if you're doing any secret missions or dealing with any threat.  That's... really rough.

We may have to add some more difficulty gradations in there for the strategic side, but we'll decide that later once we're getting testing feedback on a fully-implemented mission system.  Right now this is still sort of the extended preview.

More to come soon.  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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