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Blog Entry - Duende - 9/18/15 & 9/24/15


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#1 Duende

Duende

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Posted 24 September 2015 - 03:19 PM

I forgot to do a blog entry last week because i was tired, and forgot.  We've had a pretty productive week, hard at working QAing stuff and adding random bugfixes.  We (Iyara, really) finished QAing a bunch of new items that we added for Adventurers of all levels, which I teased a few weeks back.  
 
Numerous weapons were recommended for many classes, which reduced both the diversity of weapons at low levels, and commensurately at high levels because who wants to start attempting to master crappy maul at archon when you already have a bunch of decent weapons mastered?  So, to combat that, we switched out a few generic weapons (dagger, sword) for underappreciated weapons (hooks, scythe) and added some neat powers to them.  The powers will probably range from the 'huh, weird' to 'that's grossly overpowered, wtf', but should be kept in check by level ceilings, and the fact that those weapon types are typically limited by implicit downsides (two-handed mauls, low-damage whips, etc).  We'll see how they play out, but I'm excited to let people play with them soon.  
 
To facilitate that, here's where you'll be able to find them upon reboot:

 

    +---------+----------+------------+----------+-------------+
    |         |1st       |2nd         |3rd       |4th          |
    +---------+----------+------------+----------+-------------+
    |Maul:    | Lasler   | Mandrake   | Takhtin  | Hellbent    |
    |         | Lasler   | Xaventry   | Muldar   |             |
    |         | Xaventry | Dorathon   |          |             |
    |         | Palamire |            |          |             |
    |         | Riga     |            |          |             |
    |         +----------+------------+----------+-------------+
    |Nunchaku:| Lasler   | FGK        |          | ToA         |
    |         | Lasler   |            |          |             |
    |         | Sumter   |            |          |             |
    |         | Thorn    |            |          |             |
    |         +----------+------------+----------+-------------+
    |Hook:    | Lasler   | Eanoss     | Maldra's | Sumter      |
    |         | Lasler   |            |          |             |
    |         +----------+------------+----------+-------------+
    |Scythe:  | Lasler   | Winterborn |          |             |
    |         | Rune     | S. Castle  |          |             |
    |         | Sigil    |            |          |             |
    |         | Verity   |            |          |             |
    |         +----------+------------+----------+-------------+
    |Whip:    |          | Gypsy Vil. |          | Underground |
    |         |          |            |          | Arien'dyth  |
    |         +----------+------------+----------+-------------+
    |Lance:   |          | Arcane     |          |             |
    +---------+----------+------------+----------+-------------+

 
The design philosophy around a lot of these items is unchanged from the newer, more impressive archon equipment that's been coming out for the past year, but now available for lower levels.  The game should be just as fun and interesting at lower levels as it is at higher levels, with the potential for additional interesting combinations because second class characters are not as well-rounded due to multiclassing.  
 
A number of the new weapons grant +skillpower or damage every combat round; or possess +skillpower; or reduce an opponent's resistance to an associated skill or element to increase complementary benefits.  
 
Old design documents, which were more or less obeyed for the better part of the past 15 years, made the world out to be a much less magical place than it really is.  There was a disconnect between what was expected to happen, and what was actually fun and interesting.   The Immortal Manual (Significant updates: 1998, 2001, 2004, 2007) dictates that while the majority of content is built by Immortals level 242-245, certain attributes are so powerful they can only be approved/toggled by level 250 immortals.  These attributes include any +hp bonuses, shocking weapons, and any stat bonuses greater than 1.  All equipment that grant spells must be approved.  Furthermore, there was a maximum number of items per area that were even permitted to exist; something like 3 'good items' (ring of power) and one 'really good item' (yourban soul) were allocated per 500 rooms of area.
 
Suffice to say, these guidelines have gotten more fuzzy and more ignored as time progressed.  
 
Items became more dynamic, more powerful, more niche, and more interesting as our options for doing so grew with our abilities to make them.  However, for some reason, the mandate that powerful items be restricted to high-level players was almost universally adhered to.  With few exceptions, items below archon are relatively unscripted, straightforward, and not terribly interesting.  This may have been out of a concern that lower levels weren't capable of dealing with advanced complexity or the implicit knowledge advantage that would be conferred by smurfing low-level characters, or even that you would have to work (towards archoning) in order to be worthy to wear awesome stuff.  
 
I don't agree with those assessments, and think that the game should become more interesting and fun (hopefully stemming from being able to wield interesting powers) at all levels, and adding these new items will be a good step in that direction.  They won't be available until reboot, but when you find some, let us know how you feel about them.  We're looking forward to the returns on this experiment.  
 
                                --Duende