Thursday, May 24, 2012

AVWW Post-Release 1.030 "And Then There Were Nine" Released!

This one is another really cool and major one -- but I've learned my lesson.  We're releasing this earlier in the day, and then planning another release later tonight with smaller changes and fixes, so that if there are any issues with this one they don't go untended overnight (or keep me up when I'm trying to get sleep instead).

Anyway, this release has a ton of changes and improvements, many of them small but notable.  The list on the release notes is pretty long and varied, so I won't even try to summarize that here.  But I will highlight four specific major features:

Enchants View Filtering
Now whenever you click an enchant or an enchant slot, it darkens all the other slots/enchants that are not related to it.  Click an empty inventory slot to restore the normal brightness.  This makes managing large inventories full of enchants vastly easier!

Character Select Screen Improvements, And Re-Rolling Characters
There's a whole host of changes here, so be sure and see the release notes (or just check it out in-game).  But the basic idea is that there is no longer a scrolling list of 6-18 characters to choose from.  Instead it just always gives you a non-scrolling selection of 4 that you can more quickly compare, and there is a re-roll button that lets you get a different set of 4 if you don't like any of the ones you were first given.

Added to this, it also now has a filter for time period -- you can leave it on Show All, or just get 4 characters from a time period of your choosing.  If you know you want a character of a certain time period, this plus the re-roll option makes it incredibly, vastly, enormously, gargantuanly easier to get a character you are happy with without a lot of faffing about or suicides.

Three New Enchant Slots Take The Place Of Upgrade Stones
Upgrade stones are now gone, as they simply weren't working out as well as we'd hoped for a long litany of reasons.  See the release notes for all the gory details.

Taking their place are three new enchant slots: Health, Mana, and Attack.  Sound familiar?  It's basically the upgrade stone system you already know, just streamlined and moved into the enchants interface.  So now there are 9 overall enchant slots in the inventory, and these three new ones work a bit differently (having a budget that is shared between them, a few rules on when you can swap them out, etc).

The net effect of these changes is to give you more flexibility with your characters, and not penalize mistakes.  Also letting a single character switch roles more easily, although their base stats still play into what their ultimate role is likely to be.

Health And Mana Rebalancement
When it comes to mana, you can upgrade that more easily now -- base characters don't have any more of it, but it's easier to make a high-mana character via upgrades rather than being forced to use a time of magic character.

For characters in general, they all now have more health, making death hopefully less frequent and the upgrades to the first tier or two of the health stat (formerly via stones, now via the enchants) less vital.  The upgrades variance is now lowered somewhat in response to this, to make it so that there aren't thousands of percentage points difference between one character's health and another's.

Death is supposed to happen from time to time, but not be something that's constant.  It's also supposed to be something that is the culmination of a series of mistakes rather than one slip into the lava.  These changes help bring the balance back into line with those design goals, but I'm sure that more tweaks and refinements will be needed with time.

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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