Tonight's build has some important key new features and changes that I'm eager to see in action. First is a rework of the main HUD. All of the key information has been placed along the bottom of the screen and cleaned up. The gameplay now centers on the hero and not the dead center of the screen, so you should no longer have cases where the UI covers up crucial game content. You can of course hide the hud with H still. This IS a work in progress and it will be improved more over time but it's a big step!
Next we have level up bonuses. Previously, your core stats (Strength, Swiftness, etc.) rose slightly each level, between 1.3 to 1.75 points, based on your current job. Now, in addition to these bonuses, you can select a core stat to boost even more. This +3 stat boost is received on every level up. Over the course of even 5-6 levels this should help you customize your character further.
I'm also trying to make sure that you can't screw up your character. All stats are useful to all characters, and there should be no "dump stats". A melee fighter can still use Discipline for elemental resistance; a ranged fighter wants Spirit for powerup recovery and buff duration; a mage still enjoys the physical defense boost from Strength.
Lastly there is the Monster Corral. The visual implementation here (a single placeholder shark NPC) is VERY INCOMPLETE as the corral will be integrated into the entire new town expansion map, coming soon. But the basic functionality is done. Buy (or find) a Monster Mallet, weaken a monster to <15% health, then knock it out with the mallet and bring it to the Corral. Monsters in the Corral have their own charming interactions and personalities. They also grant you combat bonuses against those specific monster species and their family.
There's a lot more too but I'll just list the rest in the log!
* Rework of main HUD UI, which (mostly) no longer blocks gameplay. Camera centers on character instead of screen. Can still be hidden with "H" as needed.
* Improved text boxes / dialogs in opening and character creation
* New Paladin and Spellshaper run cycles!
* New vine wall/swinging vine art
* The "elemental kill" type rumor now allows for Physical damage. Also, it will ONLY give you an element that you have access to in your learned skills.
* The "no flask" rumor requirement now yields even more rewards if you can complete it
* Electrified champions use their lightning storm ability more frequently
* Slightly decreased penalties for dual wielding
* Reduced wandering monster spawn chance by about 55%
NOTE: Wandering monster chance continues to scale based on initial monsters in level and # of killed monsters. For example, if you haven't killed any monsters, new ones won't spawn. If you've only killed one or two on a level, the spawn chance is much lower than if you've killed a whole bunch of them.
* Goliath Beetles no longer have an armor break attack
* Plunderers no longer have a self dodge buff
* Guardian Sphere's "Self Destruct" now only triggers at 15% health (down from 35%)
* Champion Icedaggers uptime has been reduced another 2 turns
* (Visual) Casino text boxes now have borders
* Illusions of champions no longer drop powerups or item world orbs
* Champions should now correctly give more XP, JP, and gold
* Tornado Stance now only reacts to enemies in melee (as intended)
* You should now correctly auto-equip accessories to your second slot, if that slot is empty
* Fixed error with Floramancer's Bed of Thorns
* Fixed numerous issues with Spellshape abilities that I apparently introduced last build
* Fixed bug that was causing every floor to have (up to) 1 more champion than intended
* Obsidian Daggers and Warhammers should no longer drop from monsters at lower levels
* Sword damage has been reduced to intended levels
* Fixed bug with Item World Orbs and saving/loading
* The MONSTER CORRAL (v0.5) has been added to the game! This currently lacks any visuals, but the functionality is there! Talk to the shark (placeholder) in town to learn more. In a nutshell: The Monster Corral is a place where you can bring a monster you've knocked out with a Monster Mallet (new item). You can have up to 3 monsters in the Corral. For each monster in the corral, you get a bonus while fighting them AND their family (less damage taken, more damage dealt.) This persists from character to character as well, just like the banker.
* The BANKER will now store your money. It costs 200g per deposit, but you can store any amount above that for no extra charge (and withdraw for free)
* When you level up, you can give any main stat (Strength, Swiftness, Discipline, Guile, Spirit) an extra bonus. This bonus is permanent. ALL your stats still go up a bit every level (unchanged)
* Added 5th tier of weapons (this probably only drops from high level champions)
* Guardian Spheres now have a "Vortex" ability that pulls you closer
* Floracondas summoned by Verdigrizzlies now have a short-range heal
* ITEM WORLD: IW-only Knight's Shovels now also spawn at random
* ITEM WORLD: Added more ground and wall tiles in the ocean
* ITEM WORLD: There is now a chance that a floor will be full of monsters that are prone to attacking one another.
* NEW CONSUMABLE: Butler's Bell. Summons a random assortment of food.
* NEW SIDE AREA: Stalker Nest (mid-level)
* New monster: Guardian Arachnoid
* New monster (with placeholder art): Vine Stalker
* Improved engine code for dragging actors around
Besides the usual round of bug fixes and QOL/polish, this build offers some new buffs to the Floramancer, Budoka, and Gambler, plus new weird stuff in Item World. Rumors and Medium Armor are also better/more unique now. All good stuff I think!
Also, to expand on the reasoning for the wandering monster change I made last build: The issue with how I had it before was that players would destroy the crystal ASAP, because it was always the best option. There wasn't much decision making involved. This made it a lot easier to kite and hunt monsters one by one. This should be a valid tactic, but not one without risk, and if no new monsters spawn... there isn't a lot of risk involved.
Now, destroying the crystal is worth even more, but it makes life a little harder, too. The choice is yours. (Remember, if you're very high level, monsters will run from you, so eventually, each floor WILL become safe.)
* Stair directions reversed, because in Tangledeep you start at the bottom and you're going UP...
* Gambler's "two pair" Wild Cards hand now lasts 25 turns (up from 20) and gives an additional 5% crit chance
* Gambler's Wild Cards ability cooldown is now 2 turns (down from 3)
* Gambler now starts with 200g (other characters start with 100g)
* Gambler's "Snake Eyes" dice roll no longer does 50% max health damage to champions/bosses, but 50% current health instead
* Gambler's "High Card" ability now scales a little more with cards in hand (+5% dmg per extra card)
* Mint and Fat Herb Brews now heal more
* Rumors are now less expensive (60 + 15 per level)
* Rumors now reward more XP
* "Lightweight" weapon mod now reduces dual wield penalties when used in either hand - this effect stacks
* You now gain 3 max Energy per level (up from 1), and 3 max Stamina (up from 2)
* Floramancer's Photosynthesis now lasts 11 turns (up from 9)
* Floramancer's "Creeping Death" costs 400jp (down from 500)
* Floramancer's Bed of Thorns can no longer be stacked on the same square(s), and can only trigger once per turn (per monster). However, it now does more damage.
* Sword Dancer's "Phoenix Wing" now uses a 'burst' shape, costs 25 Energy instead of 30, and has a shorter cooldown
* Budoka: Reduced cooldowns of Hundred Fists, Palm Thrust, Iron Breathing, and Qi Wave
* Spellshaper now starts with a Simple Codex (offhand) instead of Chai Qi Cookies.
* Goldfrogs are jumpier
* The GUILE stat now has more impact on crit and parry chance
* Fixed bug where using elemental weapons would not count toward the "Burned Monster" type rumors
* Fixed game load error when saving/loading vs. fighting monsters using charge/pass turn abilities
* Hovering over a blank hotbar slot no longer pops up a blank window
* You can now blow up your advanced Summoned Floracondas with Detonate Vines
* Fixed bug where saving/loading in item world would return you to town (!)
* Probably fixed bug where monsters would sometimes push you (or themselves) into map edges
* Fixed bug where the sword crit special effect (auto-parry next attack) was not working
* Plunderer's weak venom proc should work again
* Budoka's "Iron Breathing" should work again
CONTENT & GAMEPLAY
* ITEM WORLD: Chance that a floor will have lots of fountains
* ITEM WORLD: Chance that a floor will have tons of food
* ITEM WORLD: Chance that non-champions will love you from the start
* Floramancer: New ability, "Grow Spitting Plant". These are stationary turrets that have a ranged thorn attack with a chance to poison!
* Floramancer: Improved Floraconda (1000jp + max unlocks) now has a Constrict attack instead of a ranged thorn. Constrict will root a target and cause damage over time.
* Budoka: Hundred Fists, Qi Wave, and Palm Thrust all grant you a stacking defense boost for a brief time when used.
* Medium Armor: While wearing this armor type, your dodge chance also applies to dodging many damaging abilities
* New armor mod: CONSTITUTION. Gives you a 20% chance to shrug off a negative status effect before it can be added.
* New weapon type: STAVES (Staff). These ranged weapons (range: 3, shorter than bows) scale off a mix of Spirit and Swiftness, instead of just Swiftness like other ranged weapons. The Floramancer's starting weapon is now this type. Two additional staves can be found in the world.
* Trimmed save files a bit
QUALITY OF LIFE
* There is now a short tutorial the first time you enter Tangledeep. Let me know what you think!
* "Sell All" menu options now sell gems too
* You no longer spawn in dangerous terrain in Item World
* In item world, the water is now displayed as "poison water"
This build has a major bug fix related to wandering monsters causing game errors, which is the main reason I'm pushing it out today. It also has a couple major gameplay-related changes and I'm interested in seeing how they play out. First, powerups have generally been made more useful and more frequent. You are more likely to find ones that you need, champions always drop them, and you can get two from a single monster. Also, you won't ever get powerups for a resource you're full on. These things should - in theory - make it easier for all jobs to use their abilities a bit more often.
At the same time I've adjusted the monster-attracting gem in a way that may make the game harder. Previously, destroying the gem was almost always optimal so you could make a floor safe. Now, there will always be wandering monsters. However, destroying the gem (which is now "Monster Surpressing Crystal") will yield a larger reward of XP, JP, and gold. The tradeoff is that future wandering monsters will be a bit harder - maybe by 10-15%.
Another key change is that destructibles can generally no longer spawn loot at the same level as the monsters you're fighting, with some exceptions (like gold chests). I think that fighting monsters should be the best source of loot to reward beating challenging encounters.
There are other changes coming up too but for now, I wanted to get these into the world!
* First pass on transparent overlay system - objects behind other objects should be dimly visible
* Appease monster / food delivery rumor is now done with just one piece of food instead of 3
* Limit HP damage requirement has been relaxed further
* Airacudas are now tagged "Flying" and will not take ground terrain damage/mud root
* Ice Daggers champion mod now has a brief cooldown period. Also, they now spawn and move over collidable tiles. Also, they die with the champion.
* Changed loot scaling for destructibles (chests, barrels, etc) and treasure sparkles - these now scale somewhat slower than monsters at the same level
* Champions are now less likely to get rooted in mud
* Champions now always drop a powerup
* All monsters now have a chance to drop a second powerup (half the drop rate of the first one)
* The type of powerup that drops is now influenced by your resources missing/remaining. Also, if one resource is completely full but the other one isn't, you will always get a powerup of the missing resource.
* Powerup drop rate up 10%
* Fixed display bug with hover/examine and the Keen Eyes perk (displaying some items in a multi-item tile as blanks)
* Possibly fixed error with wandering monster spawn
* Adjusted "Examine" mode behavior. This is now entirely keyboard-based. The mouse no longer moves the box: mouse in examine mode was redundant anyway, since hovering has the same effect...
* (Probably?) Fixed edge cases where trying to use an ability without enough resources would STILL trigger a cooldown
* Attempted fix at a rare bug where toggled abilities would be stuck on cooldown forever
* New Rumor type: kill a handful of a specific type of monster using a specific element.
* ITEM WORLD: Small chance of a special, particularly blinged out floor.
* Changes to the monster-attracting gem. This is now the Monster Surpressing Crystal. While the crystal is intact, wandering monsters spawn with light scaling as normal. If you destroy the crystal, you will get XP, JP, and gold, scaling with level. These numbers have been increased from what they are now. However once broken, the monsters that spawn from that point on will be somewhat tougher (higher HP, damage, mitigation)
* Added extra error checking for errors with spawning wandering monsters
* Added additional error checking in game load to track down some problems
QUALITY OF LIFE
* "Drop Item" is now a bindable hotkey, instead of being hardwired to "D"
* There is now an area on the EQ sheet where you can drag items to drop them on the ground
* Added text to Sharktooth Cleaver noting that it has lower accuracy
* Added easter egg related to Budoka's "Arrow Catch"