Thursday, June 28, 2012

AVWW Post-Release 1.104-105 "The Victorious Return Of... Levels!" Released!

This one is as ginormous as they come, even for us here at Arcen.  Where to even begin?

Out With Per-Continent Tiers, In With Global Levels
At the broadest level, the idea here is that it's more of a traditional RPG flow now.  None of that "New Game+" stuff when you get to a new continent and are kind of starting over except for your enchants.  People found that annoying, and we finally figured out a better way to handle that than the alternative we'd been using prior to November in the beta.

Procedural Spells As Loot!
World map missions now give spells instead of anything else.  And each spell has some procedural bits to it now, giving it extra bonuses or whatnot.  This means that even two different copies of "Fireball 2" might not be equal to one another.

This isn't exactly a new idea, as both Diablo and Borderlands and many other games do this sort of thing.  And we already do procedural loot with the enchant system, too.  But now we have more procedural loot.  In this case that's particularly important because it encourages players to sample more widely from the selection of spells in the game rather than trying to find "optimal loadouts" that are global for every continent on every world.

If the stats vary, then the optimal loadouts are by extension also going to vary.  So far we only have 6 different modifiers for spells, so that's actually kind of underwhelming compared to where we're headed with this.  We'll be working on more of those this week and next, along with some... other unrelated exciting stuff yet to be disclosed.

Keith wanted me to make sure you wouldn't be disappointed with just 6 modifiers on this first release, though.  Just getting all this framework stuff converted over and all the new systems balanced as best we can tell has been quite a job in itself, and I kept distracting him from adding more modifiers like he had been wanting to do.

Bunches Of Changes To Spells
Spells are still crafted, but that's now only one of two ways to get them.  For most spells -- some spells can only be found via crafting, actually.  And the most elite versions of spells still need to be crafted using the new Rarity Orbs that the release notes explain in greater detail.

But anyway, we wound up having to redo all the crafting costs for all the spells.  And the unlock conditions for a lot of the arcane ingredients, and the unlock conditions for spells themselves (which can now have direct unlock conditions, at long last).  So... yeah.  There's a lot of shifts here, designed to get you up to speed and playing and having fun with a unique world of your own as quickly as possible.

Multiplayer Changes
First of all, the way that the resources are captured and stored has been changed around.  There may be some things we need to do regarding resource trading or similar (some players already have concerns about that), but we'll see what people think when they have their hands on it.  The old system was actively (though unintentionally) rewarding players for playing co-op in a "everybody goes their own way in the same world and we therefore get max resources from this" fashion.

The new system allows for people to go off and fend for themselves if they wish, but also makes it just as fruitful for them to stay together (which would seemingly be the point of co-op play, eh?).   Also the much-discussed enemy health multiplier has been reduced in multiplayer, despite our logical arguments and objections, because the perception was that you were losing out if everyone was in the same chunk fighting enemies together.  Now even the most casual of math and logic will show that it's in everyone's favor to be together, but you aren't punished for going off on your own either.

Ghost Copies Of Items In Your Inventory
Something people have wanted for a long time is the ability to take one item in your inventory (say, as stack of wood platforms) and make a copy of that so that you can have it on multiple ability bars at once.  Well, today is the lucky day that this now has been implemented!

Other Stuff!
There's a really awesome new desert music track that now plays sometimes when you're indoors or in caverns there.  A couple of new unlockables and a number of reassigned ones. 100 new rooms courtesy of BenMiff once again (if he keeps this up, half the rooms in the game are going to be his before too long!).  Also along for the ride are some miscellaneous bugfixes, intro mission improvements, and encyclopedia improvements.

More to come soon.  Enjoy!

UPDATE: 1.105 is now out to fix a couple of bugs, one of which was rather critical -- your crafting inventory would not survive save/loads in the prior version because apparently we forgot to hook that up to even try to save.  Very sorry about that!  Hopefully people either have backups from prior to 1.104 or had already spent most of their resources anyhow.

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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