AVWW Post-Release 1.023-1.026 “At The Foot Of Urban Renewal” Released!

This one has some various small tweaks and improvements, including to the balance of shields and infestations.  Well, actually, depending on the player they might find those two balance things rather substantial (the former hopefully not too negatively, and the latter quite positively I’m sure).

More excitingly, however, are the two big features of this release:

Foot Enchants and Elven Boots
This stems from a lot of discussion about the jump-related leg enchants and how they basically made all other leg enchants obsolete by comparison.  At one point there was talk of nerfing the jump-related enchants, but we realized that would really impact the fun-factor more than anything else.

So what we’ve done instead is split out the jump-related enchants to no longer be leg enchants; they are now foot enchants instead, and occupy their own slot.  This makes it so that the various leg enchants now compete with one another on a much more even playing field, and the jump-related stuff just competes with itself on the foot slot.

But given that not all players are enamored of having double and triple jump (though those players are the minority for sure), we also added a new kind of enchant to the foot slot: elven boots.  These are kind of “jack of all trade minor improvement” enchants that give you a variety of boosts in exchange for not taking the awesome jump enchants.  We expect that most players will utterly avoid the boots, but some players have already stated their desire for them — so everybody wins.

Totally An Aside: The In-Joke Behind Elven Boots
“Elven Boots” play into the ending of the Tidalis story campaign in a funny way, so I won’t spoil that.  But I don’t think I’ve ever publicly told the story of what the joke behind Elven Boots is.

Back before my son was born, when my wife and I had time for 5-7 hour boardgame sessions, we used to play a lot of Descent: Journeys In The Dark with both her family and mine.  Really, really fun game, by the way.  Also really, really long.  I made some variant rules called “Fast Tactics” to shrink our play sessions from more like 9-12 hours down to a 4-7 hour range.

Anyway, I always play as the overlord in those games — basically, the DM.  Or Zargon, if you’re familiar with the also-awesome HeroQuest from way back in the day.  I loved that as a kid, and Descent is kind of the grown-up version of HeroQuest.

But I really digress!  We were at the end of about a 7-hour campaign through a dungeon, using the fast tactics variant rules.  The party was very weary and weak, and there was this massive skeletal dragon that they still had to kill.  It was looking slightly iffy, and everybody wanted to have a quick end to this because we’d already been playing so long and were getting pretty bleary.

Lo and behold, in this dragon’s room there was a gold treasure chest, which usually means some pretty wicked awesome loot — but it’s randomly drawn, so you never know what specifically it will be.

My dad was playing as a teleporting mage, and since the chest was on the other side of a pit of water he was the only one who could reach it without the dragon killing him en route.  So the party sends him over there: teleport across the water, then jump down in a pit (taking damage) and open the chest from out of the pit.  But at least he’s safe from the dragon in the pit (which would have probably killed him next turn otherwise).

He had to wait a turn to actually open the chest from the pit, though, so the suspense built as the dragon and the rest of the party duke it out a mild bit without the aid of their main wizard.  Finally my dad’s next turn rolls around and he opens the chest, fingers crossed for some sort of “Wand Of Nuclear Destruction” as he put it — though he’d have settled for some sort of Sword of Awesomeness or something that he at least could have brought back to one of the other characters for them to slay the dragon with.  Teamwork for the win!

He drew… you guessed it… Elven Boots.  These were something to let a single character move slightly faster — utterly and completely useless to someone who already teleports, I must add.  His anquished cries of “Eleven boots?  Elven boots!?” sent the rest of us really over the edge into laughter.  I think we pretty much called it a night at that point, and ever since any sort of disappointment in a game like that has been accompanied by the proclamation “Elven boots!?”

Probably a lot funnier if you were actually there (and a little punchy after 7 hours of straight play).  But that’s the meaning behind the term elven boots: that useless thing that you are so disappointed to get.

For most players who get these for the foot slot, that’s exactly what these are going to be because they certainly aren’t going to give up their jump enhancements.  On the other hand, for a few players these will actually be the awesome alternative they were looking for.  The great news is that basically all of the legs enchants were being viewed as elven boots by most players before, and now all of those powerslides and movement buffs and all that good stuff are actually relevant again.

That Other Big Feature I Mentioned: Two New Monsters
Yeah, sorry about the overlong side story there.  Anyway, the other big new thing in this release is two new monsters both for the abandoned towns.  And thus the withdrawal of espers from yet another region!  Hooray!  The ubiquitous espers just got less ubiquitous, as we’ve been working on for the last few weeks.

Oh, and of course I think the two new enemies are actually pretty cool — both are small and flying, to basically fill the same broad niche that the espers previously did in this region.  However, the feel of these and the way you fight them is really super different and I’m quite pleased with how that changes the feel.  I’m a little worried that they might be too hard for the start of the game, so let me know if we need to tone those down and then make some elites of them or something.

More to come next week.  Enjoy!

UPDATE: 1.024 has been released to fix an extreme slowdown problem with waterfall-heavy caverns.

UPDATE: 1.025 has been released to fix an issue where the player could not jump off top-solid platforms in the background in the prior version.

UPDATE: 1.026
has been released to fix one more performance bug, plus it also adds a couple of new abilities for neutral skelebots, neutral draconites, and the bronze age characters.

This is a standard update that you can download through the
in-game updater itself, if you already have 0.500 or later. When you
launch the game, you’ll see the notice of the update having been found
if you’re connected to the Internet at the time. If you don’t have 0.500 or later, you can download that here.

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