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Blog Post - 11/7/19 - v4.999 - New Imms, PK changes & Weapon Finalization


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#1 Duende

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Posted 10 November 2019 - 01:00 PM

Reboot is approaching, and 4.999 should be here within the next week.
 
NEW IMMORTALS
 
For most of the past 5 years, the immortal staff has pretty lean, consisting
primarily of Iyara, Rowan, and myself.  Vassago was around for about a year
at the beginning, and Slackie has been our beloved sysadmin ever since.  A
lot of the changes that I've made since I took over the codebase have been
in the service of creating features, but lots of things that you've seen as
mortals have been more proofs of concept of those changes working, rather
than the those changes flexing their full potential.  5.0 is all about
exercising potential, so we've been increasing the size of the immortal
staff to build new areas and quests and to QA new changes. 
 
We're starting our big push by focusing on new villages, bosses, marks and
quests, as well as QAing the many new features which are ushering in 5.0. 
 
WEAPON FINALIZATION
 
First: plans for how weapons will change have evolved a bit since we last
talked about them in NEWS 354.  Weapons will continue to have Damage and
Accuracy characteristics, and are gaining two additional characteristics for
5.0.  Weapons will have Critical Chance (not Speed) and Range.  All weapons
have a chance to critically hit for 2x damage, at a rate (currently) between
2% and 18% of all hits.  Bosses and bards's chances to critically hit are
doubled.  Critical hits can be resisted passively, by your equipment.
Whenever a critical hit would trigger, a random piece of the victim's
equipped items will be checked, and there is a chance corresponding to the
hardness of the checked item to resist that critical hit.  For example, if
the checked item is made of palladium, there's a 16% chance to resist the
crit; if the checked item is made of ice, there's a 99% chance to resist the
crit.  To see a full list, see HELP MATERIALS. 
Range is slightly different- while damage and accuracy and crits are
offensive, range is a defensive characteristic.  Range is slightly more
complicated, but manipulating it to your advantage will always pay off.
Range takes into consideration your position in the room relative to your
opponent's.  If your weapon's (or fists') range is equal to or greater than
your opponent's, you're great and nothing changes.  If your weapon's range
is greater than your opponent's, your opponent will suffer reduced accuracy.
The penalty starts small (being 1 distance short incurs a 1 acc penalty) but
accelerates as the distance grows.  If an axe-wielder goes up against an
archer for a distance penalty of 9, the axe-wielder's accuracy will be
reduced by 30.  Range doesn't change in combat, but should be sufficient
incentive to invest in a variety of different weapon types. 
 
The way that distance is calculated works with both formed and solo
fighters.  If both fighters are solo, and one wields a throwing spear (8
range) and the other wields a staff (4 range), then the spear-wielder sets
the distance and the staff-wielder suffers a 4 distance penalty for -5
accuracy.  If both fighters are formed, their distance is calculated not by
their weapon but by their position within their formations as they square
off.  If formation #1 is Sylvaer and Ardrigh in the Snare structure, and
formation #2 is Eros and Raja in the Shield structure, their fight looks
like:
 
[   ][   ][   ][   ][   ]
[   ][   ][---][   ][   ]
[   ][---][Syl][---][   ]
[---][   ][   ][   ][---]
[Ard][   ][   ][   ][---]

[Ero][Raj][---][---][---]
[   ][---][---][---][   ]
[   ][   ][---][   ][   ]
[   ][   ][   ][   ][   ]
[   ][   ][   ][   ][   ]

 
 
The two formations are facing each other, with their respective structures.
Sylvaer is in position [cc]; Ardrigh in [ffl]; Eros in [ffl]; Raja in [fl].
Both Ardrigh and Eros are in [ffl] in their respective forms, and face one
another.  Positions are mirrored, rather than rotated.  To determine the
distance between two people, count the distance between them, including
their own spaces.  Ardrigh and Eros are adjacent, so counting their own
spaces, their distance is 2.  Raja and Ardrigh are 1x1 apart from each
other; the square root of (1^2+1^2) is 1.4, so they are also 1 apart from
each other.  Eros's position is 3 to the left and 4 below Sylvaer, so the
square root of (3^2+4^2) sets them 5 distance apart from one another.  This
will all take a little getting used to, but clever combatants will leverage
range to destroy opponents in ways previously unimagined. 
 
For a full printout of the current weapon settings, see HELP 2468 after
reboot.  Please keep in mind that this is a dynamic system that will
significantly change all combat in Alyria- so let us know if you find
anything weird or unfun, and we'll continue updating things to make them
more fun. 
 
---
 
We wanted to reboot a month ago, but this obviously was a large, complex set
of changes which wanted and needed to be fine-tuned and really thoroughly
tested.  We spent the past month polishing weapons and we're happy with how
they've turned out.  For 4.0, 10-20% of weapon types were viewed as worth
using, with large disparities between the most and least favored weapons.
With this overhaul, we estimate that all 30+ weapon types are within 10%
power of each other.  This will open up a ton of interesting itemization
options, and we're excited to see what you figure out to do with it.  On our
way there, we're excited to start adding more weapons to 5.0 content which
focus on bolas, throwing weapons and yoyos and such. 
 
LPK and CPK
 
PK is changing at both ends.  The game, and its players and the expectations
for both have changed a lot since LPK got added.  LPK should be viewed more
as training and grounds for experimentation, and maintaining lifetime stats
of LPK performance hinders that spirit of experimentation.  To that end, LPK
and Arena kills/deaths no longer display in Score or Pktalk Stats.  If you
want to get better at PKing, you should have a venue to do so, and LPK and
the Arena are ideal places for that. 
 
At the other end, CPK is also changing, but for similar reasons.  Games were
more punishing and bloodthirsty in early 4.0, and the hardest runs were an
evening or two's obligation in a game with many bosses being run
simultaneously.  In 2019, the best equipment is considerably harder to get,
and the rate of people acquiring that equipment is lower.  The worst case
scenario is too costly now, which results in many people being too afraid
for their equipment to risk it.  This makes the game less fun and your
equipment less valuable and interesting, if most of the contexts in which
it's most useful are also the ones where it's too risky to actually use.  We
want the worst case scenario for CPK to be less worse- if something terrible
happens, at worst, it can maybe ruin your day, but not ruin your character's
life. 
 
In 4.999, if you die in CPK, your equipment drops- maybe.  For every piece
of equipment in your inventory, it is assigned a gold value based on its
classification.  Your equipment's inventory is visible in the third line of
item lore.  Gold valuation starts low, at 20 and 80 gold for class 1 and 2
items, and increasing geometrically.  Class 8 items are 'Archon items,
suitable for PK', such as the bracelet of elements, which are worth 81k.
Class 9 items are 'Powerful archon eq', such as Redemption from the
Darkness, and valued at 327k each.  Class 10 items are the most powerful
items in the game, such as the corrupted living armor of Jhepp, and are
valued at 1.31M.  If you get CPKed, each item's value is checked, and if
your default bank account's value is greater than the item, that much gold
is withdrawn from your account.  This repeats for every one of your items,
and if you have enough gold to cover all of it, none of your equipment
drops.  Your onhand gold drops, and a treasure worth 90% of the gold value
of your items are left in your corpse.  The treasure has your name on it,
and advertises its value, which should make it more convenient to reunite
CPKed form-mates with their items. 
 
If you don't have enough gold to cover your items, they'll drop in CPK as
they always have.  There's now a line in 'equipment' displaying the gold
valuation of everything you would drop if you got CPKed right now.  For an
explicit breakdown of all of your items and their respective values, you can
do CHECK EQUIPMENT VALUE. 
 
CLASS BALANCE
 
Obviously, class access to different weapon types will impact a lot of
gameplay.  Beyond that, paladins, cavaliers and druids have some changes to
look forward to.  * Life Evocation requires a combined cast level of 480
instead of 600, so 2 heroes can cast it.  * When Lay Hands removes a
debuff from a form member, it also heals its caster.  * More than
doubled the healing conferred by Raise White Flag, and increased the number
of white flags you can carry from 1 to 7.  * Fearless now has a
skillpower which, when activated, significantly decreases your opponent's
damage. 
 
UPDATES
 
We hope to accelerate the reboot schedule as we head into 5.0, and plan on
rebooting at least once a month for the foreseeable future.


#2 Moragar

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Posted 13 November 2019 - 09:10 PM

Interesting changes. Thanks for the continuing development. :)

 

A few questions, since I haven't been able to find the answers in the help files yet (I may just be looking in the wrong places):

  1. How do +accuracy items factor into things now? Previously, we could see the impact directly when looking at a weapon's accuracy percentage. It doesn't seem to affect any stat that I can see at the moment. (It does still show up as a bonus under "affect all".) Is HELP 1747 (accuracy entry) still applicable?
  2. Is the weapon bonus line (e.g. +10 strength & skill bonus) strictly a damage bonus or does it influence other characteristics, too?
  3. For low accuracy/low range weapons,will they always be outclassed by a bow/etc. or is the higher damage and crit chance meant to balance the fewer hits? Maybe that's obvious and is the answer, since we want all weapons to be good. NEWS 354 seems to refer to this gamble. In your example of bow vs axe, is the axe user going to be completely hopeless??
  4. Is there any chance we could see the exact numeric damage/accuracy added back to the readout when looking at a weapon or using the "equipment" command? :)  Or maybe this doesn't quite make sense with the new system. I can see the base values in HELP 2468.