Tuesday, January 3, 2012

AVWW Beta 0.556, "Urban Predatation" Released!

Happy New Year, everyone!  This one is our first update of 2012, and it lays the groundwork for a lot of new things to come.

Urban Predator
First of all, there's a cool new miniboss called the urban predator, and it's basically this big hovering spaceship-looking thing.  Flaming exhaust shoots out of the bottom of it as it moves around, and it fires both homing missiles and non-homing plasma bolts at you.  Working on this enemy also laid the groundwork for things like proper lava/water/ice falls, and other environmental hazards of that sort which will be coming soon.

Combat Improvements
The next big change here is in how the collisions work with melee attacks of enemies, and spells like launch rock, etc.  Previously, spells that were piercing or exploding could only damage a given enemy once. That meant that if you did something clever like fire creeping death into an enemy, then splash back the enemy to knock them into the creeping death again, the cleverness accomplished nothing. 

Now, piercing spells can hit each individual target once per second, so a single spell can hit a single enemy more than once. As another example, if an enemy is walking along inside a cloud of creeping death, the creeping death will keep damaging them once per second rather than them being immune to that cloud after the first hit.  All of this really makes things feel more natural, and opens up new avenues for player cleverness in the combat model.

We've also improved the swarm logic for things like the tiny fairies, the dragon breath, and the new missiles.  They'll actually look more like a swarm (and even take different paths quite a bit), rather than stacking up on one another so much.  This isn't just a visual thing, because it really makes them behave in a way that feels quite different when you're trying to attack them (splash damage is harder to hit the group with, for instance).

Balance Improvements
One particularly welcome change is that the effect of playing up on a +1 higher region level is now only 50% harder, rather than 100% harder. And on up 50% per level, rather than 100%. This should make it a lot easier to play up a region level or two.

Also, the way that hanging traps has been redone entirely.  You can't destroy them anymore at all, but they don't flood quite as much lava anymore and you can block lava with crates.  Also, they now have a randomized timing to each trap, so that you can learn the timing of the bursts of lava in a room, and then run through the opening of them if you prefer.

More to come soon!  Right now Keith is working on the first multi-part enemy, which will really open up what we can do with enemies.   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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