Thursday, December 22, 2011

AVWW Beta 0.555, "Headshotting, Kneecapping, and Ice Pirate Patrols" Released!

This one is a really substantial release, so it took us a couple of days.

Enemy Weakspots
First of all are the new enemy weakspots, which really add a lot to the game -- shooting spells into a skelebot's head now does 2x damage, while shooting it in the legs slows it down, for example.  Not all enemies have weakspots, but most of the larger enemies do.  This really gives you a lot more tactical options in some respects, and also rewards skillshots in a much more substantial way.

In the future we'll be expanding this system to include things like "strong spots" where the enemy counterattacks you when you hit it in a certain area, etc.  With that sort of functionality, plus the coming multi-part enemies, we'll really have a lot of interesting things going.

New Enemies
In order to make compelling missions for players to complete, first we really need... more spells and enemies!  So that's what we're working on at the moment.  A lot of that has also involved expanding our engine's enemy-design capabilities themselves, which is pretty cool.  Already the work from the last two days makes a lot of new kinds of enemies possible, such as for instance the new Ice Pirate Patrol Ships.

The Ice Pirates actually can't be damaged by you directly, as they have this massive flying airship in the background and they shell you with big blocks of ice from a distance.  The only thing you can do at the moment is avoid the ice.  However, there will be missions available that specifically allow you to destroy the ice pirates as a result of the mission, which will be one of those opportunity costs to consider when selecting missions in the future.

We've got another half dozen enemies in the works now, too, most of which already have their art in place but not yet their code.  Keith and I are both working on this sort of thing for the time being, so we're able to really push into territory that is new for the game, enemy-wise.

New Spells
There are two new spells in this one. 

Summon Tornado is our second summon spell (the other being summon rhino), and this one is really different.  It doesn't do a whole lot of damage to enemies, but it does fling them into the air while damaging them moderately.  It also follows you around, versus just running off into the distance, so that can be really useful and fun as well.

In order to make summon tornado really work very well, we also had to completely redo the whole knockback immunity system.  Now enemies have varying degrees of knockback resistance, rather than a black and white "vulnerable or completely immune" system.  This breathes new life into the existing splash back spell, and makes a lot of other interesting things possible as we move forward.

The second new spell in this version was a really complex one to add, but again it adds a lot of new functionality for us with spells for both players and enemies.  This one is called Gold Boomerang, and it works much like you'd expect.  The cool thing about it is that it can be used to hit multiple enemies in a line, or even the same enemy more than once.  Thanks to Dizzard for suggesting this one all the way back in October!

Ow, Shrapnel!
This version also has barrels that explode, harming any players, enemies, or NPCs that are near to them.  Expect to see a lot more of this sort of thing with various background objects, which will help to make the terrain a lot more of a tactically-dense environment.

More to come soon.  Just as forewarning we'll be closed during the week between Christmas and New Years, but we should be able to squeeze in one more release before the holiday break.  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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