Thursday, January 26, 2012

AVWW Beta 0.563 "Migratory Battlefields" Released!

This one is one that I think players will find very exciting.  It's not as massive as the prior one, but it does include a number of key fixes and two major new features that have been asked-for.

The first is... a new mission type!  At long last.  This one is a "battlefield" sort of mission, and plays out with you and your army of spawned minions fighting a horde of enemy minions.  The battles are pretty pitched, and as you unlock more enemy types they get quite a bit trickier.  See the release notes for details.

The Removal Of Monster Spawners
The second major new thing in this release is actually two features: the removal of monster nests and the addition of migratory patterns for monsters.  Monster nests have bugged a lot of people for a while, and the general consensus among players was that they were fun in boss rooms but not much of anywhere else.

So there's a completely new way of spawning enemies anywhere except for boss rooms, which matches more the experience that folks were looking for.  There are a few things we still need to do there, mainly handle monsters drowning properly again (rather than trying to warp out to monster spawners that no longer exist), and also to make it so that monsters don't jump off of cliffs so readily.

Monster Migrations
In terms of the migratory patterns, the idea is that as the tier of enemy forces goes up, the monsters start spreading out of their regions that they normally would be in.  This is something I've wanted to do for a long time, because the idea of (say) the dinosaurs escaping the lava flats over time and running amuck elsewhere in the world is really appealing to me (and no, there's no lysine contingency).

Until all the recent work with the per-continent tiers, I never had a way to handle this sort of thing, but now we have monsters migrating away.  That adds a lot of considerations to the world map that weren't there before, because now monsters from a harder region type will eventually migrate into "easier" region types that are nearby. 

Having one chunk hold monster types that normally wouldn't ever be seen together (robots and dinosaurs, hey) also really allows us to hit a high multiplicative complexity a lot sooner.  That was something that I've always liked about AI War -- the combination of the various ship types leads to unexpected results.  Having the segregation of not only 9 time periods in AVWW, but also indoor/outdoor/underground monsters, and region-type-specific monsters, really cuts down on how much we're able to have that happen. 

We'd have to have something like 36x as much content as AI War in order to get the same amount of combinations of enemy types, and as more region types are added that would only get worse.  We want to have a lot of content anyway, but we also want to make strong use of every bit that we add.  The migratory patterns really pull that off in an interesting way, I think -- they avoid the other end of the spectrum, where everything is too homogeneous because there's always all the combinations everywhere.

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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