Sunday, February 19, 2012

AVWW Beta 0.579 "Secret Daring Rescues" Released!

This one is The Release that a lot of players have been waiting for.  Where to even begin with this one...

Secret Missions
You can read about these in even greater depth in the release notes, but the general idea is that as you explore around the world you find missions that you can do if you wish.  They come with a lesser reward than the world map missions, but they also don't raise Civilization Progress (CP) which is useful in its own right.

And if the random number generator on the world map isn't being kind to you... well, this is another way to circumvent that.

NPC Rescue Missions
Rather than just getting NPCs as a random reward from world map missions, you now have to actually go in and rescue NPCs from dangerous situations and escort them to safety.  These turned out to be really fun, at least in our opinion.

NPC rescue missions are found as secret missions underground or in buildings, or you can use the Seek Survivors guardian power to spawn a whole bunch of rescue missions on the world map.  But otherwise there's no way to get NPCs on the world map missions -- this being a great example of the game requiring both freeform exploration and world map missions in order to really succeed.

Put Up That Wind Shelter Yourself!
Same with the NPCs just having been rewards for random missions on the world map in the past, that really wasn't very satisfying.  It was just a placeholder! 

Now the only way to put up a wind shelter is via a guardian power that spawns one of these new kinds of missions, so in order to push back the wind the guardian powers are something you need to cultivate.  And where you place the wind shelters has some strategy to it, since you get to choose and since there are so many fewer of them you can put down.

The mission itself is also really fun, and also much faster to complete than the other missions.  It's more or less a gauntlet you have to run through some interesting outside chunks.

Stealthy Assassinations
The third new mission type has you sneaking through either a cave or a building, looking for a hidden miniboss that is unusually weakened (just takes a few shots to kill).  However, there are very few lights, and even your own light sources provide only weak illumination.  And to make matters worse, the guard enemies that roam around are really powerful and will do enormous damage to you!

But on the bright side, the guards are practically blind until you damage them.  So stealth is the order of the day, as you explore to find where that boss is so that you can put an end to him...

New Spell: Healing TouchTransfer a bit of your health to another character (player or NPC).  Very handy for co-op and for the NPC rescue missions.  Going along with this, the health drops from enemies now work much better in both contexts, too (pursuing better targets, rather than just whoever is closest).

Beta Phase 3 Approaches

This release marks the last of the really major game-wide new mechanics that we're adding prior to 1.0 (that new mechanic being secret missions).  From here on out it's polish, lots more missions and enemies and spells and such, and then smaller features that impact only a part of the game. 

For instance, we still need to get the mysteries-to-solve in place, but that's not something that has a wider effect on the balance and flow of the game.  It is, in effect, just an optional subsystem that adds variety and interest.

This is a really an exciting time period, because that means we can really start cranking out the missions and things like that.  If you like these, we have lots more cool ones in store in just the next couple of days alone!

More to come soon, more along the line of missions next time.  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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