Tuesday, November 6, 2012

0.5a changelog and download

  1. Updated the dungeon. See this earlier post for more spoiler-y details.
  2. Most species have had their starting attributes mixed up some.
  3. A lot of new stuff.
  4. Sneak attacks now deal 1d6 extra damage in addition to the accuracy bonus (also 1d6).
  5. I'm playing with different color schemes. Please don't hate me.
  6. Weapons are slightly easier to identify from afar: ranged weapons are all cyan and melee weapons are all orange.
  7. Fixed the speed system. It is now easy to run away from enemies that are a lot slower than you and very challenging to escape fast enemies. This was technically true before, but it was very opaque and took several turns to be noticeable. 
  8. Most of the mini-bosses got a balancing pass.
  9. Removed the "holo recording" consumable. 
  10. Improved general usability! Highlights include no more option to toggle ranged targeting (both "f" and left-mouse-button always work now) and most keys that required a modifier (e.g., shift+2 for character sheet) now work with or without the modifier. 
  11. The game is now centered around 4-way movement. This means you can play entirely with the directional arrow keys and not be at a disadvantage. Numpad keys still work, as well. Enemies move like you do, except when they approach a hallway from a corner, which causes them to move diagonally into the hallway. This is an intended feature to lessen the effectiveness of hallway humping (though it is still generally a good idea).
  12. Weapons effects have been simplified. Every weapon can have one effect and all weapons can critically strike for 1d6 bonus damage. Some weapons effects are still triggered by critical strikes (e.g.,  one-handed melee).
  13. Strength no longer increases melee damage. For the sake of realism and also in theory, this was a really cool idea. But in practice, it is extremely difficult to balance with the way accuracy currently works. Raw damage dice are arguably the most important stat in the game right now. I think this seriously narrows the ability for players to switch over to a melee play style suddenly. Having low accuracy is manageable (to an extent), but having low damage with no way to improve it is simply not manageable.
  14. Strength now gives 3 HP per point instead of 2. Reflexes and Perception still give 2 HP per point.
  15. Strength no longer reduces Armor Penalty.
  16. Armor Penalty now reduces movement speed, but no longer impacts your accuracy or dodging abilities. 
It's been a while since I've published one of these fancy "release" posts.

If you've been following along and/or read through the changelog, you've probably noticed that one of the major goals with 0.5a is to improve the accessibility of the game. The game is much more laptop friendly, its far less punishing to roll a low Strength character (if you want to melee), the controls are a little less arbitrary, and the color scheme is changing (hopefully for the best). There's other things too, like simplified weapon abilities and a less absurd speed system. And, of course, there's the big one: 4-way movement. While its almost inevitable that some players will dislike these changes, I think the game is currently in the best state it has ever been in.

As always, feedback is incredibly useful. You can tweet mepost in the Rogue Temple thread, e-mail me, or leave a comment on a blog post.

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