Thanks for all the death-penalty feedback from the last post! I’ve decided to heed a couple of suggestions:
- I’m removing the XP rewards, so now there’s no tangible benefit to being Hardcore. That removes any chance of people perceiving Hardcore mode as “mandatory” (in order to be optimal). I’ll still add rewards, but they’ll be in the form of unique weapon and armor appearances — so you can show off, but you won’t be able to level faster.
- I’m dropping Casual. It’s too stigmatized a label, and the Normal death penalty is already the industry standard “casual” death penalty.
- For the pre-alpha, I’m going to KISS — keep it simple, stupid — and just implement one new death mode, so there’ll be Normal and Hardcore. Hardcore is where you drop 25% of your items on death. I’ll see what people think of that and then decide if we need more tiers.
- I’ll eventually add Perma-death, too, for the insanest of the insane players — but I don’t really want people playing perma-death characters during a pre-alpha. It doesn’t really help me get feedback if you’re constantly dying and restarting at level 1!
Thanks again, and if you have more thoughts feel free to share them, here or on the previous post. I’m still readin’.
Status Update: Targeting
One of the big complaints in the last test was that it was hard to target some creatures. This turned out to be a whole bunch of issues, and it’s taken a long time to get everything working well. But it’s in pretty good shape now — you can click on things to select them now, just like you’d expect. You can even click on them if they’re dead! Fancy, I know.
I also made the mouse cursor change into a hand when you’re over something you can interact with (in addition to the “highlighted” graphical effect on the item itself). Finally, I’ve been experimenting with new selection indicators. Here’s what I’ve got at the moment, a sort of full-body wrap around the selected item:
Still experimenting with all that.
Status Update: New Skills
I really need to improve group combat mechanics, but it’s really hard for me to test that right now, because I don’t have people I can jump in and playtest with. So I’m going to do lots of the group-combat development during the pre-alpha, where I can playtest and iterate each day after getting feedback. In the mean time, I’m adding a bunch more skills and systems, because those are much easier to test on my own.
I’ve added Skinning (which works about like you’d expect: skin a corpse, get a skin), and am working on Tanning. I also have Leathercrafting and Leather Enchanting in various states of construction. For the next pre-alpha, I’m hoping you’ll be able to craft and enchant leather armor, from start to finish. Lots more content is needed before that’s possible, though, so we’ll see how far I get.
The most complex new game system for pre-alpha 3 is Animal Taming and the related skills of Animal Husbandry and Genetics. I’m still neck-deep in genes at the moment, trying to figure out how to make an easy-to-understand genetics system that lets players really have fun breeding and selling unique combat pets. This is not as easy as it sounds. Most games’ “breeding” systems are opaque — you can’t really understand what the hell is going on when you breed two pets together. That’s because it’s very hand-wavy: they just roll some dice behind the scenes. I don’t want hand-wavy! I want expert geneticists to be able to see exactly how each gene is set, and what it means!
Of course, husbandry is only half the equation — the other half being the actual combat with your pets. So there’s lots of complexity that I have to chew up into simple chunks.
I’m doing some more prototyping this week, and will post more about animal taming soon!