Thursday, May 3, 2012

AVWW Post-Release 1.008 "Windy Boomstick" Released!

This one is focused squarely on the things that most annoy players who like the game.  There's more to come on that score hopefully tomorrow, but this release addresses a lot of the major complaints that we've gotten so far.  That doesn't sound very exciting, but actually I think it is.

First of all, there's a new enchant category called "Boomstick."  It causes all of your spells to knock you backwards in shotgun-like fashion (hence the name), but also do more damage.  This is something that is very much a taste-specific sort of enchant, so not everybody is going to love it.  But we had a lot of players wanting this sort of playstyle, and so we did what we did with the "power sliding" ability: made it optional!

Boomstick enchants are particularly interesting underwater, because they can help you "swim" in a pretty different sort of fashion than was previously possible.

Multi-Monitor Support Improvements
With both AI War and AVWW, there's been ongoing annoyances with Unity 3D's inability to capture the mouse to the game window.  It only affects people with multiple monitors, but that describes a lot of our fanbase (hey, including us).  Thanks to the hack we figured out last week, we've now been able to improve our multi-monitor support despite the underlying engine not really supporting it; these features will be coming soon to AI War as well.

So, windstorms -- and particularly wind shelter missions -- have been the bane of a lot of players' existence.  Hard barely begins to describe them, as they were near-impossible if you didn't use tricks like turning yourself into a bat.

We've listened to a lot of player feedback, and come up with something that wraps together a lot of the more interesting suggestions along with ideas of our own.  The wind is now life-sapping from you rather than something that buffs monsters, and it gets worse the further into windstorm territory you go on the world map.

The life-sap won't outright kill you, though; so it's not a true timer.  It won't take you below 1 health, and it also gets smaller and smaller in the effect it has on you the lower your health gets.  So it's this constant drain on you that requires you to kill enemies to keep your health at reasonable levels, but it's not something that just ends you outright if you dawdle around or take your time.

Going along with this, ports now work differently in windstorms, the wind shelter missions themselves have been fixed up substantially to be better balanced, and turning yourself into a bat now comes with severe consequences in the storms.  See the release notes for the details.

Anachronism Missions, Take Three
The reflected damage wasn't popular with these.  It was an improvement over the older way of doing things, I think, but it was still too easy to kill yourself accidentally.  The new system  is more forgiving of stray shots, and instead penalizes you with two newly-spawned monsters if you kill the wrong kind of monster.  We'll see what folks think!

Note that we know this wasn't the most-hated mission type -- that belonged to the supply depot missions by a longshot.  I'd hoped to have my changes in for that mission type today, but the windstorm changes really were more involved than I expected because I kept finding new things to improve.  So the supply depot mission improvements should be hitting tomorrow instead, knock on wood.

Multiplayer Stuff
New admin commands, bug fixes, and some new keybinds to make sharing your goodies with allies easier.  Nice!

Consciousness Shards
Substantial changes here.  Rather than there being six colors, there is now only one.  They also aren't used for guardian power scrolls anymore -- in fact, for this release they are temporarily pointless.  They also aren't stored in the settlement stockpile, but rather go inside your main inventory now.  Curious, eh?

We have some cool stuff planned for these that I think everybody will really like, and our hope is to get that in place tomorrow... but we'll just see how the schedule goes because people are constantly asking us for stuff and that can kind of throw our anticipated schedule out of whack as we adjust on the fly.  One way or another it's coming soon, anyway.

As usual, there was a variety of random other tweaks and fixes in this one; we didn't get to remotely everything we had hoped to pack into this release, but so it goes.  There's always tomorrow!  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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