Tuesday, May 15, 2012

AVWW Post-Release 1.019-1.020 "Streamlined Continental Progression" Released!

This one is definitely our largest post-release update so far in terms of how it affects the overall feel of the game.  The loot drops from enemies plus the opal guardian's store was also pretty huge, but this is bigger.

First off, the smaller stuff: a variety of bugfixes and tweaks, and some new graphics compression options that may or may not be of interest depending on how much RAM you have and if you tend to play for hours and hours at a go.  And a few other neat things like "Small Rare Enchant Containers" that you can find out in the wild.

The larger changes are all noted in detail here.  Essentially, what we've done is removed "Civilization Progress (CP)," and instead made it so that you kill lieutenants in order to increase the continent tier.  In short, we took out one mechanic that was a bit superfluous and complicating things needlessly, and are now making better use of a more interesting mechanic (lieutenants) to accomplish the same thing.

Another way to look at this is focused around missions themselves: you no longer have to worry about world map missions accidentally making the world arbitrarily harder (through CP) by completing too many of them.  And the secret missions are no longer so grindy by giving you fewer rewards than the world map missions -- both kinds of missions now give you the same, higher, resource rewards.

Yet a third way of looking at this is in terms of overall game structure: previously you would bounce back and forth between missions and free exploration, then eventually kill all the lieutenants and the overlord pretty much in one long string.  Now you bounce back and forth between missions and free exploration for as long as you like, then take on the lieutenant of your choice, then keep improving your stuff until you are ready to take down the overlord.  Much better flow, that.

Strategic Difficulty Returns
Right now the strategic difficulty setting only affects one thing: how many tier orbs of each tier you can accumulate per continent.  However, as we go further into post-release content there will be other things we do with this.

One of the cool things about CP and tier orbs being tied to one another in the prior system was that it forced an opportunity cost on you: you had to be efficient.  The downside was, not everybody wants to play that way.  And for those that do, it was not forcing that difficult of choices, really.

The strategic difficulty setting lets you choose how constrained you want to be: how much you want each unlocked spell to matter in terms of your overall strategy to defeat the overlord.  Just like players have differing feelings on how hard the platforming and combat should be, so too has it become clear that players have different feelings on how hard those long-form decisions should be.  This lets you set it to whatever is most fun for your particular tastes.

More to come soon.  Enjoy!

UPDATE: 1.020 is now out with a fix to the anachronism missions spawning crazy numbers of enemies in the prior version.  Part of why I did the 1.019 release in the middle of the day was in case there were some severe issues that people found; I didn't want them going overnight if I could help it.

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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