AVWW - Post-Launch Series 2 Release Notes

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AVWW - Post-Launch Series 3 Release Notes

Post Launch Series 2 Statistics And Extended Thoughts

Post Launch Series 2 spanned from June 15th through July 10th, and it was quite a transformative period! 242 distinct changes were made as part of 17 different releases over the course of 25 days.

43 Players are thanked in this series. Some of the most common names this time around are:

  • lavacamorada - 18
  • jruderman - 17
  • Misery - 9
  • ZCaliber - 7
  • Benmiff - 6
  • NyQuil - 6

Here's what's new:

  • New, fleshed-out citybuilding system that plays on the world map and utilizes NPCs
  • New procedurally-modified spells added to crafting framework and as loot
  • Vastly better intercontinental level progression
  • Added the incinerator for getting rid of inventory clutter
  • Added peaceful retirement to select a new character without killing your old one
  • Added ghost copies of inventory items for assigning the same item to multiple ability bars at once
  • New NPC features including dispatch missions, gifts, and unique attributes by time period
  • Reworked enchant system
  • New mystery: The Story of Jinsiek and John
  • Improved mystery clues seeding
  • 100 new rooms
  • New underwater buildings
  • New unlockables
  • New music track
  • Improved intro mission
  • Improved encyclopedia
  • Improved tooltips and help popups
  • Multiplayer tweaks and improvements

Also of interest to you may be:

Official 1.200

(Released July 10th, 2012)

  • Fixed a deserialization error that could happen in recent versions.
    • Thanks to GauHelldragon for reporting.
  • In recent versions, the shadow bats have not actually been causing shadows around themselves.
    • Thanks to SerinityFyre and Kio for reporting.
  • The Escape menu has been reorganized a bit.
    • The "Abandon Character" and "Inventories" buttons have both been combined into a single "Your Character" button with those as its sub-section.
    • The character attributes and portrait of your character now only appear when you are in the "Your Character" section, since that information is superfluous most of the time (you already know this information, generally; and so having it all the time in your face in the escape menu just distracts from the actual useful information there).
    • Similarly, the three difficulty levels have been moved under the character stats rather than the chunk/continent stats, so that they are more out of the way given that they hardly ever change.
    • Thanks to AlexxKay for inspiring these changes.
  • When you are in the escape menu, the level of the overlord is now shown next to the overlord's name.
    • Thanks to AlexxKay for suggesting.
  • Reverted to the old "pick up item" sound effect, since the new one seemed to bug a number of people.
    • Thanks to BobTheJanitor, Hyfrydle, and Ulrox for weighing in on this.
  • The various kinds of monster spells that act like monsters (miasma snakes, dragon breath, etc) now are no longer serialized to disk; meaning that if you leave the chunk for 10 seconds and come back, you'll find them gone (which is only fair, given that's when the monsters that spawned these things are back to full-health, too).
    • Thanks to jruderman for reporting.

Beta 1.116 Another Balance Pass

(Released July 9th, 2012)

  • The chance of finding covered farms (or in general the basic world building structures) has gone up substantially compared to other guardian power rewards.
    • Thanks to SerinityFyre for suggesting.
  • Secret missions will now absolutely not seed the same guardian power more than once in the reward list.
    • This won't impact already-generated secret missions, fyi.
    • Thanks to vadatajs for reporting a case of getting the same personality building power twice from the same mission.
  • Fixed a bug where blacklist/whitelist items were not being serialized to disk in singleplayer mode, causing them to not be there in multiplayer mode.
    • A notable example is that if you create a world (which is always done in singleplayer) and pick up the startup enchant containers in the settlement (which are blacklist items), and then save and load that world in server mode then all the startup enchant containers will be gone for new players.
    • Thanks to many players for reporting the lack of startup enchant containers in MP (some thought it was intentional, it was not).
  • The sound effects for the GUI button click, item pickup, and drop item have all been improved.
    • Thanks to Stg for originally suggesting this, and then Yurka_Maku, TyberZann, and zebramatt for weighing in further.
  • The maximum survival percentage for attacking the overlord has now improved from 60% to 85%. For ice pirates, the rate has gone from 80% to 95%.
    • This makes the need for mood gift items a lot lower, and also makes it so that it doesn't feel like you're sending NPCs to their death on a whim unless you're simply not getting them happy enough.
    • Thanks to jruderman for suggesting.
  • The opal guardian store has a new "Gifts For Survivors" section. This lets you buy any profession book, or a "silver ring" mood gift, for 2,000 consciousness shards.
    • This is yet another overflow valve for "if the random number generator hates you."
  • "Public rooms" and regular-sized "evil rooms" no longer count as mazes for purpose of being disallowed from being stash rooms (and they really aren't mazes).
    • So now it's just the giant evil rooms and the giant maze rooms that are disallowed from being stashes.
    • Thanks to lavacamorada for reporting the various issues this was causing.

Co-Op Improvements

  • To prevent people falling behind in multiplayer, now when a player that hasn't been in the world for a while (30 minutes of the world running; paused time counts, but time not loaded does not) now has their spellgems upgraded to the world level.
    • Thanks to omegajasam for inspiring this change.
  • Added "Drop One" buttons to the player crafting stockpile to allow players to give crafting ingredients to other players.
    • Thanks to LayZBoy, MouldyK, and other players for reminding us of the importance of being able to do this in some way.
  • Fixed a longstanding bug where dropping multiple items into a bag in MP and then picking it back up (without having left and reentered the chunk first) appeared to only give you back the first item dropped to create the bag. In fact the server gave you back all the items but it didn't look like that and your inventory would thus be out of sync with the server until you disconnected/reconnected.
    • Thanks to LayZboy and ZCaliber for reporting.

Mysteries Restructured

  • Secret missions now always seed guardian power rewards, and those that have mystery clue rewards have that in addition to those powers.
    • Thanks to jruderman for the suggestion.
  • "Puzzle rooms," which at one point were the only way to get mystery clues (and which still recently only give mystery clues) have been removed from the game.
    • These were really unpopular with a lot of players due to their being a bit fiddly and tedious, and not much of a puzzle once you figured out the mechanics of them the first time (and quite hard until you figured out those mechanics).
  • The two basic mysteries (the ones that have been around since version 1.1 of the game) are now unlocked right from the start of the game, so that you'll start seeing mystery clues as soon as you start doing any secret missions.
    • Too many people were missing the fact that there were clues at all, and thus assuming there was no backstory or explanation for all the strange things in the game.
  • There is now a 100% chance of mystery rewards coming up as a secondary reward for a secret mission when there is a secret mission in progress.
    • Before the chance was 15%. The logic behind this change is to make it so that a lot more people actually encounter the mysteries and clues at all, unlike in past versions.
    • Note that this doesn't mean that all mysteries are going to be handed out easily; but it just means that the collecting of the individual clues once you've unlocked the mystery is less of a chore. This way some of the more involved and secretive mysteries-to-come can have very difficult unlock conditions, and yet at the same time there can be easier/lighter mysteries that people gain access to more easily. This way we get something of the best of both worlds, whereas before it was always just very hard to find the clues to even the "simpler" mysteries.

Beta 1.115 The Story Of Jinsiek And John

(Released July 7th, 2012)

  • A new unlockable "Destroy All Monsters In Surface Chunk Of Craggy Highlands >= Level 4" has been added, and now unlocks our longest mystery yet.
  • "The Story Of Jinsiek And John" has been added as the latest mystery, and it clocks in at a whopping 41 clues; it's basically a short story.
    • By contrast, the other two mysteries of the game had 18 and 10 clues, respectively.

Beta 1.114 Nobody Lives On That Blue Submarine, Actually

(Released July 7th, 2012)

  • Fixed the in-game text to better reflect the recent changes to the game. Lots... and lots... of changes.
    • Thanks to several players for point out specific references, including Pyrrhic, jruderman, lavacamorada, and Guenwhyever.
  • NPC Rescue missions will no longer seed randomly as secret missions; only the specific rescue missions that give you one chance to rescue somebody now let you get new NPCs.
    • Thanks to ZCaliber for pointing out how over-prevalent these had become.
  • Fixed a bug in recent versions where the fix to enemies/players doing 2x damage had then broken the environmental threats and shrapnel doing the proper amount of damage. Now both sides work properly.
    • Thanks to vadatajs for reporting.
  • Fixed a longstanding bug where the one-shot-rescue-NPC mission entrances were not displaying mission info when you walked in front of them.
    • Thanks to many players for reporting and ZCaliber for the save that finally helped us find the problem.
  • The following achievements have been clarified to note that they apply only to bonus structures and not to the basic ones as well:
    • More Than A Hole In The Wall
    • Real Estate Development
    • This Is Getting Ridiculous
    • Thanks to vadatajs for reporting.
  • When you use the incinerator, it now pops out a chat message confirming both what was incinerated and how many shards you got for it.
    • Thanks to SerinityFyre for reminding us that we hadn't done this.
  • Previously, there was a bug where dead NPCs were still being counted for some of the things like average skill levels on the continent, etc. Fixed.
    • Thanks to PurelyApplied for reporting.
  • The "drop spellgems here to incinerate" message has become multi-line to make it more visually distinctive as well as to make it a lot less likely to overlap your open inventory.
    • Thanks to SerinityFyre for reporting.
  • Fixed an issue with both small and large urban mech guns where they would see you before they could shoot at you.
    • Note that the entire mech can still see you before its individual guns can shoot at you, and this is by design, but the individual guns can't move and so having them see you before they can shoot you was misleading and pointless.
    • Thanks to Pyrrhic for reporting.
  • Previously there was old logic preventing you from seeing or using your "shape matter" guardian power scrolls to place bonus structures when you were on the world map. Note that these structures get placed in the settlement anyhow, but there was no reason to prevent you from seeing or using them from the world map (and in fact that was more than a bit confusing).
    • Thanks to Pyrrhic for reporting.
  • Two new buildings have been added to the game: floating underwater vessels of mysterious origin.
    • These appear in the oceans, and give you something new to scout for in the ocean tiles. These are particularly useful for finding sea essence and other ingredients that otherwise were particularly scarce until you got to continent 3 (when swamps appear).
    • Thanks to ZCaliber for inspiring this addition.

Beta 1.113

(Released July 6th, 2012)

  • Fixed a bug in the prior version that had some of the NPC time-period-based stats increasing the chance of success when they should have been increasing survival, and then they were pushing the success chance over the success chance cap.
    • Thanks to PurelyApplied for reporting.

Beta 1.112 Collect Yer Incineration Bonus

(Released July 6th, 2012)

  • Fixed a bug where the get-legendary-elven-boots achievement was not visible in the in-game list (though you could get the achievement and it was visible on steam), and added some debug messages to make sure the developers won't miss if the same specific error is made in the definitions of future achievements.
    • Thanks to Yiab for the report.
  • Fixed a bug with the maze-rooms-may-not-be-stash-rooms logic not being applied in one of the branches that can add the stash flag.
    • Thanks to Ipkins for the report.
  • The covered bridge in the settlements now show a minimap yellow blip like the other workbenches do.
    • Thanks to vadatajs for suggesting.
  • The shard cost of covered farms has been reduced from 20k to 15k.
    • Thanks to ZCaliber for suggesting.
  • The "average skill" that is used for calculating how NPCs feel upon returning from missions is now profession-specific and includes all the bonuses from the profession buildings.
    • The "average number of dispatches" is still cross-profession, however, which helps to maintain some pressure to keep all your NPCs improved rather than just leaning on adventurers or similar.
    • Thanks to BenMiff for suggesting the changes to the average skill calculation.
  • Fixed a bug where some ongoing conditions (mainly just the shields) were not being properly cleaned up before removal during chunk transitions, which could lead to the shield visual effect coming back and lasting forever if you went back to the chunk you just left before it dropped to disk.
    • Thanks to Nanashi for the report.
  • Fixed a bug where the find-internet-games grid was not wide enough to fit all the columns (and thus couldn't show the version column) in some cases.
    • Some smaller resolutions still won't get all the columns, that's intentional; the problem was that even very wide resolutions weren't getting all the columns.
    • Thanks to ZCaliber for the report.
  • Fixed a bug with the gift interface trying to wordwrap a label to zero width.
    • Thanks to NyQuil for the report.

The Incinerator!

  • Added a new object to each settlement: the Incinerator.
    • Dropping a spellgem while next to the incinerator (it will show a little walk-by message if you're close enough) will cause that spellgem to be permanently destroyed and give you some consciousness shards back (100 for a common, 400 for an uncommon, 800 for a rare, 1600 for an epic, 3200 for a legendary).
      • This has a confirmation step, but you can click the opt-out toggle and it will automatically confirm future attempts.
    • Thanks to many players for the suggestions leading to this addition.

Bonuses To Structure Placement And NPC Time Periods

  • Structures that are built on the world map now get bonuses to their production depending on what region types you build them in.
    • Adventurer Barracks: +50% skill points on Junkyards
    • Apothekinesis Tower: +50% skill points on Grasslands With Groves and Abandoned Towns
    • Aquaurgists Well: +50% skill points on Ocean Shallows
    • Center For Technozoologicalism: +50% skill points on Ice Age Snowy Plains and Thawing Plains
    • Forgical Arts Workshop: +50% skill points on Lava Flats and Desert
    • Lumbermancy Focal Station: +50% skill points on Evergreen and Deciduous Forests
    • Stonebinder Tri Tower: +50% skill points on Craggy Highlands
    • Covered Farm: +2 food production on Grasslands and Grasslands With Groves
    • Thanks to PurelyApplied, BenMiff, Misery, and wyvern83 for suggesting.
  • NPCs now get bonuses based on the time period that they are from, like player-characters do:
    • Medieval characters get a 10% bonus to chance of survival on Attack dispatch missions. (Lots of armor, plus being used to having big unpleasant things around, having survived in their harsh time period.)
    • Time of Magic characters get a 10% bonus to chance of success on Attack dispatch missions. (High magic means they have the heavy spells that can destroy important defenses easily.)
    • Bronze Age characters get a 10% bonus to chance of survival on Capture Arcane Ingredient dispatch missions. (Fast in, fast out.)
    • Pre-Industrial characters get 25% bonus mood from Mood Gifts (this is the most cushy and refined period, after all, and they like luxuries).
    • Industrial Revolution characters get a 10% bonus to chance of success on Capture Arcane Ingredient dispatch missions. (Ties into the scouting nature of the character.)
    • Contemporary characters get 25% bonus skill from Profession Books (this ties into the information-age ideals of eduction and learning).
    • Ice Age characters get 10% bonus skill from profession buildings (Ice Age characters are comfortable with large structures.)
    • Time After People characters no longer consume food (robots don't eat).
    • Wild Garden Age characters are only 80% as affected in their mood by mission results (Draconites tend to be more interested in immediate concerns than past issues.)
    • Thanks to BenMiff for suggesting this almost exactly as we implemented it -- talk about specific!

Beta 1.111

(Released July 6th, 2012)

  • Fixed a bug in the previous version where ALL secret missions would try to give mystery clues as a reward, instead of only a relatively small percentage of them.
    • Thanks to BenMiff for the report.
  • Fixed a bug in the recent post-1.1 versions where ranged attacks (of both the player and the enemies) were doing roughly 2x the amount of damage they should have been. This was causing players to feel like they were constantly low on health (as, naturally, they were), and causing enemies to really be something you could chew through way faster than expected.
    • Thanks to lavacamorada for reporting.
  • In some older worlds, there was a bug with how the ice pirate patrols were added to their continents, meaning that a copy of them was added to every continent. This was wasteful in a variety of ways, but it also made the attacking of ice pirate patrols in these worlds really ineffectual. Fixed.
  • Fixed a bug where clinging fetor was not actually stopping and damaging enemies.
    • Thanks to ZCaliber, Misery, Pyrrhic, and logorouge for reporting.
  • In recent versions, when you crafted an uncommon or better version of a spellgem, it would say that it had crafted a higher level than it actually did. Fixed.
    • Thanks to FrancisWyvern for reporting.
  • If you are upgrading an older version of the game to the new version, then each of your settlements has the 7 basic buildings stripped out (as noted in a prior version).
    • Now, however, when it does this stripping-out it gives you back the guardian power so that you can choose where to plop down those buildings in the world map.
    • If you've already upgraded your world then this won't help you, sorry about that -- but honestly it's not going to set you back much in _most_ circumstances. It just wasn't something we thought of until it was suggested.
    • Thanks to wyvern83 for suggesting.

Beta 1.110 Dispatch Missions For NPCs

(Released July 5th, 2012)

  • It is now possible to get a mystery clue as a reward for a secret mission (if no unknown clues are defined for unlocked mysteries, it won't try to do this).
  • Fixed a bug where unlocking a mystery clue in multiplayer could result in different clients seeing different clues unlocked.
  • Changed some leftovers from the previous citybuilding system that were preventing personality building powers from seeding as secret mission rewards.
    • Thanks to vadatajs for the report.
  • The Warp To Settlement button has been moved from the Escape menu to the region-detail-window that displays in the bottom-left corner of the world map interface.
    • Thanks to Cinth for the suggestion.
  • Previously, removing a health enchant during a journey-to-perfection mission would result in a loss. This was because the game was detecting a decrease in current health, but it has now been changed to detect an increase in lost health, so removing a health enchant should no longer cause loss in a JtP mission.
    • Thanks to tomsomething for the report.
  • Fixed a bug where placing an ocean buoy was not causing the recalculation of distance-into-windstorm for that continent's regions.
    • Thanks to jruderman for the report.
  • Fixed a bug where some old logic was being used to compute the maximum number of lieutenants allowed on a continent during continent-generation, rather than capping it at 4.
  • Halved the number of projectiles generated by an insanity burst canister to bring the total damage a direct hit can do down to a level that is more... sane? Hmm, maybe it was working as designed...
    • Thanks to Nanashi for the suggestion.

New Citybuilding System, Part 3

  • The feature of NPCs of starving to death has been pushed back until 1.3, because there's no time to get that implemented and balanced for 1.2. So, for 1.2 the hunger stat "only" affects NPC mood -- which of course is still hugely important, since if they are in a terrible mood due to hunger they won't be able to do anything productive for you at all, regardless of their skill level.
    • So this doesn't make farms any less important, actually; it just makes it so that there isn't an extra penalty on top of the existing penalty. Maybe that's how we should leave it for good, I'm not sure -- but something just "feels" better about knowing that NPCs could starve to death if you let things get too out of hand, mainly from a thematic standpoint. We shall see -- that's a design point to mull later, during the 1.3 timeframe.
  • Fixed a couple of bugs in the NPC mood calculations in the prior version, most specifically relating to tiredness.
  • Fixed another mood-related bug in the prior version of the game that was causing some strange moods to get set incorrectly based on the anger/calm internal scale.
  • In previous versions of the game, each player could pick up a copy of profession books and mood gifts; that was consistent with crafting materials, but makes no sense with NPCs, whom are centrally managed.
    • Now only one player can pick up these particular items, but of course all players get the benefit of those items when they are used on whatever NPC.
  • A new button is now on the Character Details screen for NPC survivors: Give Gift To Character.
    • This allows you to gift them either a profession book related to their profession (increasing their skill at that profession by 20), or to gift them any mood gifts you've picked up (increasing their mood by 40).
    • Any gift given to an NPC who is not homesick and who is on a different continent from their home continent will cause their home continent to change to the new continent on which the gift was granted.
  • Fixed an issue from the prior version where the positive/negative mood scale was actually being inverted for all paired moods except anger/calm. Oops!
  • Jade Guardian Stones (formerly labeled Hearth Guardian Stones, inconsistently with the other guardian stones) are now once again visible in the settlement, and now provide you with access to the dispatch missions interface.
    • There are two overall categories in the dispatch menu at the moment: Capture Arcane Ingredient and Attack Strategic Target.
  • NPCs of specific professions get a bonus to their skill check when being considered for various mission types.
    • Each profession currently has at least two mission types that they get a bonus from, and a few of them have three.
  • When looking at the available dispatch missions, it now shows their difficulty, danger, and how much bonus what profession gets to the skill check. The idea being that you can much more easily plan your exploits with this information in hand from sooner rather than just when you try to actually attempt a dispatch mission.
  • The citybuilding difficulty level now affects both the danger and the difficulty of survivor dispatch missions.
  • Each lieutenant that is still alive on the continent greatly increases the difficulty and danger of "attack the overlord keep" dispatch missions.
  • Each lieutenant that is still alive on the continent increases the danger of "attack the ice pirates" dispatch missions.
  • The citybuilding difficulty now affects the number of extra levels overlords have which can only be destroyed by dispatch missions.
    • Village: 0 extra levels.
    • Town: 2 extra levels.
    • District (default): 5 extra levels.
    • Metropolis: 10 extra levels.
    • Empire: 15 extra levels.
  • The extra levels that overlords now have if you play on citybuilding levels higher than Village can only be removed by sending NPCs on dispatch missions.
    • The dispatch missions in question remove a single level from the overlord when successful.
    • Same as it has been for a while now, for each lieutenant that you kill yourself, you still remove 2 levels from the overlord.
    • One change is that the minimum level of the overlord is no longer simply 5 higher than the starting level of the continent. Instead it is 5 + the number of living lieutenants remaining.
      • This way if you crank the citybuilding difficulty down to Village, you can't then exploit that to defeat the overlord too easily by just running a lot of dispatch missions (which would be so much easier on those lower difficulties).
  • The NPC details window now shows the number of successful and failed dispatches that the NPC has been sent on.
  • The concept of NPC moods varying by how tired they are (and that varying by time of day) has been removed.
    • For one thing, that was annoying if it happened to be night when you wanted to do a dispatch. It didn't really add anything.
    • For another, it could cause severe problems if you happened to open the dispatch menu during the day (for example) and then sent out NPCs after it had transitioned to night, their chance of success or survival might have dropped severely thanks to suddenly being tired without your having seen this.
  • NPCs no longer have to recover after going on a dispatch mission. Having anything that is realtime-waiting-based is something we've tried to avoid at every stage of the design process, and there are better ways to handle serial missions from one NPC here anyway.
  • If an NPC has lower than a 20% chance of surviving a dispatch mission, they'll simply refuse to go on the mission.
  • Profession buildings now actually confer the skill bonuses to the NPCs of their respective professions; that wasn't fully in place last version (not that it mattered until now).
  • Profession books now grant 50 skill points to NPCs, rather than 20.
  • When an NPC successfully completes a mission, if they are dramatically over-skilled or under-skilled compared to the continent average, they will get bonuses or penalties to their mood (along with flavor text noting what is happening).
    • Game-mechanics-wise this is one of many mechanics to encourage sinking gifts and profession buildings into many NPCs rather than just a few, and then it also adds thematically-appropriate reactions of course.
    • Also, if they are sent on way more missions than other NPCs, they start to get penalties and complain about that, too. Again to prevent leaning excessively on one NPC to do all the adventuring.
  • Mood gifts now increase survivor mood by 100 instead of 40.
  • The maximum chance of both success and survival now vary by dispatch mission type, and are shown in the tooltips.
    • That way you're not banging your head against the wall wondering why your character can't get a better survival chance than the maximum, for instance.

Beta 1.109 Of A Moody Temperament

(Released July 3rd, 2012)

  • The overlord level has been increased by 1. For the explanation of why, we'll just let lavacamorada explain in his own words:
    • "This would force you to deal with a region full of level (5n + 1) enemies before making the whole world that level, much like the lieutenants currently do - preventing players from increasing the world level before they're ready. It would also compensate for the fact that you can use spells that are one level above the world level when fighting the overlord, which was impossible under the old tier system."
    • "In the event that this makes the overlord fight itself too difficult, the overlord's stats could be reduced."
    • Thanks to lavacamorada for the suggestion.
  • Items of higher rarity now automatically upgrade themselves to higher levels as you level up (so that you get longer use out of them). They'll never be more than your level + 1, however.
    • Uncommon items get upgraded one extra level.
    • Rare items get upgraded two extra levels.
    • Epic items get upgraded three extra levels.
    • Legendary items get upgraded four extra levels.
    • Older worlds will automatically upgrade the spellgems (in player inventory, not on the ground) accordingly. Though if the game is in trial mode, spell level is still capped at 2.
    • Thanks to lavacamorada for suggesting.

Improved And Additional Modifiers To Procedural Spells

  • Changes to spell modifiers that cause debuffs on hit targets:
    • Movement-speed-decrease:
      • No longer stacks.
      • Magnitude from 10 => 20.
    • Shot-speed-decrease:
      • No longer stacks.
      • Magnitude from 10 => 20.
    • Cooldown-increase:
      • No longer stacks.
      • Magnitude from 20 => 30.
    • The prior stacking behavior was intentional, but (as originally suspected) would be extremely hard to balance properly, and was certainly way OP as it was.
    • Thanks to Misery and others for inspiring this change.
  • Added 7 new spell modifiers:
    • On-hit-debuff: +40% vulnerability to Water.
    • On-hit-debuff: +40% vulnerability to Earth.
    • On-hit-debuff: +40% vulnerability to Entropy.
    • On-hit-debuff: +40% vulnerability to Fire.
    • On-hit-debuff: +40% vulnerability to Light.
    • On-hit-debuff: +40% vulnerability to Air.
    • On-hit-debuff: +30% vulnerability (all elements), but this one counts like two normal effects (and thus won't show up on commons, and would be the only modifier on an uncommon, etc).
    • FYI, none of these stack; might change that later but this is easier to avoid balance problems with multi-shot projectiles, etc.
  • Fixed a bug where target-debuff spell modifiers were being counted in the same totals as projectile-buff spell modifiers; it was only for display purposes, but good to have fixed.
    • Thanks to lavacamorada for the report and save.
  • Spellgems now occasionally get a negative modifier that increases the "budget" it has for positive modifiers.
    • These "normal" negative modifiers are now possible:
      • -30% Projectile speed (note, this can actually be used as an advantage in some cases).
      • +25% Cooldown.
      • -30% Projectile Lifetime.
      • +25% Mana Cost.
    • These "double" negative modifiers are now possible, but only on Rare and higher spellgems (or uncommon +1 spell-rank spells like ice burst, or common +2 spell-rank spells, which is just meteor shower right now) :
      • +50% Cooldown.
      • +50% Mana Cost.
    • A spellgem cannot have more than one negative modifier, and most of the time will have none.
    • A spellgem can only take a negative modifier if it will actually allow more positive modifiers.
    • Examples:
      • A common fireball gem would normally only get one positive modifier, but if it takes (for example) +25% cooldown it gets an extra positive modifier to compensate.
      • A common ice-burst gem normally gets no positive modifiers (because of its overall power class being one step higher than normal), but if it takes (for example) +25% mana cost it gets to pick one positive modifier to compensate.
  • Fixed some bugs with the "forbidden modifier types" logic that prevents fire-touch from getting +shot_speed and that sort of thing. It was working to that extent, but could also prevent it from getting a -shot_speed enchant or a shot_speed target-debuff.
  • Fixed a bug where a high-power-class spell (like ice burst or meteor shower) would get no rarity icon if it had no modifiers at all, but would jump to a uncommon (or rare, in meteor shower's case) icon as soon as it got any modifiers at all. This wasn't a real problem before but would have been with the negative modifiers.
  • Added higher-power versions of the +shot_speed, +shot_lifetime, -cooldown, and -mana_cost positive modifiers, these "cost" more and so won't show up on a common gem unless that common gem also has a negative modifier to give it more budget.
    • Note: a gem cannot get two different magnitudes of the same effect, but a couple of the effects have a third tier which is basically the first plus the second in terms of power.
  • Added +damage and -damage spell modifiers of various intensities (and costs).
  • Added "Critical Hit Chance" spell modifiers, of varying intensities (and costs).
    • Critical hits are a new mechanic, and this is the only way to get them; each time a projectile with this modifier hits an enemy it rolls a number from 0 to 99 and if the result is lower than the chance on the modifier it doubles the damage of the hit and displays a little floating message (a bit below where it displays elemental damage multipliers to avoid overlap).
  • Added two more negative spell modifiers:
    • Only Works During The Day (6am-6pm)
    • Only Works During the Night (6pm-6am)
    • Thanks to BenMiff and c4sc4 for inspiring these.
  • Added a positive spell modifier that increases your mana regen by 20% for 3 seconds after you use the spellgem. This effect stacks; we'll see if that's balanced or if it needs to be made non-stacking. Naturally, this is a nicer modifier on the more rapid-fire/lower-cost spells.
  • Added a negative spell modifier that makes you catch fire for three seconds after you use the spellgem.
    • Special thanks to Saxton Hale for inspiring this change.

Enchant Reworking

  • Enchant quality no longer depends on how many of that base enchant type you've picked up, and now depends solely on the world level:
    • All enchants will have at least one random modifier in addition to their base modifier.
      • This makes sure the set of possible enchants is always large enough to avoid duplicates.
    • During world levels 6-15 (before continent 3 is won), all normally generated random enchants will have 2 random modifiers.
    • During world levels 16-25 (before continent 5 is won), all normally generated random enchants will have 3 random modifiers.
    • During world levels 26+, all enchants will have 4 normally generated random random modifiers.
    • None of this impacts the chance of enchants being uncommon/rare/epic/legendary; which controls how many modifiers are drawn from the "elite" list instead of the normal list.
  • When generating an enchant, if it turns out to be an exact duplicate of one in your inventory or equipped on you, the game discards that enchant and rerolls to get another one. It will try this up to 100 times before just giving up and not giving an enchant at all (this should be extremely unlikely).
  • Seeker Enchants are now 100% effective at making sure you get something that matches the seeker.
    • Thanks to many players over the months for expressing their consternation that seekers weren't doing as much as they thought they would (the effect was actually fairly substantial in many cases, but too subtle from the player's perspective).
  • Element-specific seeker enchants have been removed from the game. With the other rule change they would have made it possible to 100% guarantee getting a specific single enchant base type from a random enchant container, which really flies in the face of the meaning of a random loot system and would have posed significant balance problems.
    • You can still use the right-arm-seeker to have a much higher chance than usual of getting the +element enchant you want.
    • You can also still buy specific +element enchants direct from the opal guardian store.
      • The developer is receiving absolutely no kickbacks from the opal guardian store for thus increasing the value of said goods.

Glyph Retirement Spell Scroll

  • Added a new spell scroll: Glyph Retirement Scroll
    • Allows your current character to peaceably give up their glyph, letting you choose a new character without anybody having to die. Only works in settlements.
    • There is a low chance of finding these in any stash room.
    • Thanks to jruderman and others over the months for suggesting.

New Citybuilding System, Part 2

  • The "Settlement Structures" section of the continent status menu within the planning menu is now further subdivided into two parts:
    • "Bonus-Granting Structures" now shows what were previously called "personality buildings." Given that these all have some continent-wide bonus, that bonus is also now shown directly within the sub-menu, saving you from having to click into each individual item.
    • "World Map Structures" is new, and shows all your various constructed buildings on the world map aside from buoys and wind shelters.
      • These also now show how much of what resource is produced by each group of buildings; so how much total food from farms, how much total skill for each profession from each profession building, etc.
  • The kinds of professions that your starting NPCs will have, and that you'll find in the world, are now both randomized and include adventurers directly.
    • The purpose of this was previously to make sure that you had all of the most important professions first; but now none of the professions are more important than any others, and the extra randomization is actually more interesting in terms of providing you with different tactical options.
  • Doing a glyph transplant with an NPC no longer changes them to the adventurer profession (or affects any of their stats at all, actually).
    • The purpose of this was previously to prevent NPCs from being carried across continents too easily, but we'll have a different way to deal with that now.
  • NPCs now have one of 29 different temperaments, ranging from impulsive to calm to lazy to adventurous to romantic to melancholy.
    • These temperaments affect how the NPC is prone to feeling at any given time as their base state.
    • These temperaments play into one of seven internal scales that you don't need to know the details of that affect the end mood of the NPC after various events have happened to them.
    • Those 7 internal scales (plus two others for tiredness and hunger) get combined into a general-purpose mood index that will affect dispatch missions involving the NPC in question.
    • Depending on which of the 16 internal states is most predominant at the time, the NPC will be shown as having one of 105 named moods.
    • If you're curious, the 16 internal states are: anger, calm, anxiety, apathy, shame, pride, boredom, excitement, sadness, happiness, jealousy, gratefulness, restlessness, contentment, hungriness, and tiredness.
  • The first purpose of the citybulding difficulty has now been implemented.
    • On Village, Survivors only have temperaments >= 200 internal points. In all, this is 9 temperaments.
    • On Town, Survivors only have temperaments >= 100 internal points. In all, this is 15 temperaments.
    • On District, Survivors only have temperaments > 0 and <= 300 internal points. In all, this is 16 temperaments.
    • On Metropolis, Survivors only have temperaments > -100 and <= 200 internal points. In all, this is 12 temperaments.
    • On Empire, Survivors only have temperaments <= 100 internal points. In all, this is 17 temperaments.
  • Each NPC now has a starting emotional state that, combined with their general temperament, might make it easier or harder to get them to do what you want on dispatch missions right when you first rescue them.
    • Overall the stats are balanced out so that there is very little actual variance in terms of how long it would take to get one dispatch-ready in a basic sense, but the unknown triumphs and traumas of their past dictate their mood as much as their base temperament does.
    • THAT said, their base temperament causes extreme fluctuations in how easy or difficult they are to get dispatch-ready. For instance, someone who has the "overly optimistic" temperament is going to be really gung-ho for a lot of missions in a row before even their weariness overcomes them too much. Someone who is melancholy is going to need some gifts to cheer them up before they can even give their first dispatch mission a go; and of course they then might either find triumph or trauma, leading their mood (once their energy levels recover) down the path to a better mood or back to their more melancholy nature.
  • NPCs are now granted a starting profession skill that is inversely proportional to their happiness roll.
    • This makes it so that the NPCs who start out with a lower base mood (unrelated to temperate) are correspondingly better at their profession, and vice-versa.
    • Again this isn't something you really need to know or keep track of, but we figured people who read these sort of release notes might be interested to know how this balances out.
  • The various screens that show NPC survivor statistics now show their mood and temperament in addition to their profession and profession skill.
    • Their temperament is randomly assigned just like their profession, based on the citybuilding difficulty level as noted above.
    • Their mood is entirely a calculated statistic, equating to both a number of points (which are shown, and which will be relevant for dispatch missions) and an actual mood name (which equates to the strongest positive or negative emotion they are feeling at the moment out of the 16 underlying emotions that war within each of them.
  • The various time periods now have their mood vary by whether it is day or night.
    • Robots don't care either way.
    • Draconites have lower mood in the day.
    • Humans have lower mood in the night, but the degree to which their mood lowers depends on what time period they come from and thus how pampered they would have been in their original time.
    • Note that this doesn't affect the adventuring gameplay, only NPC survivors, so this stat isn't shown on the character select screen for your own characters.
  • The "Home Continent" of NPC survivors is now shown on their stats along with their temperament, etc.
    • NPC survivors who are away from their home continent now get homesick depending on how skilled they are in their profession.
      • This is basically how attached to the community in which they had put down roots and grown as a professional person -- the more growth they experienced in that community, the more attached they are to it and the more unwilling they are to leave.
    • Survivors with a profession skill > 20 will be Homesick on other continents, which caps all of their individual internal positive emotions at 25.
    • Survivors with a profession skill > 40 will be Very Homesick on other continents, which caps all of their individual internal positive emotions at 10.
    • Survivors with a profession skill > 80 will be Extremely Homesick on other continents, which caps all of their individual internal positive emotions at 0.
    • Normally the cap on a per-internal-positive-emotion basis is 200. This is referring to the 7 internal scales, so normally a "perfect" mood score (which would be ludicrously hard and pointless to achieve) would be 1400. When the character is homesick, that falls to 175, and so on down from there.
    • The purpose of this is to replace the older logic that prevented players from ever bringing useful NPCs between continents.
    • Their level of homesickness (if there is any) is shown next to their home continent in the stats.
  • The caps on NPC survivor mood are now also affected by how hungry they are. It's not a huge effect, but their maximum score per internal emotion is dropped by 5 for every unit of food shortage there currently is in the continent's settlement.
    • The actual moods that arise from this will vary. If they are really hungry, their mood may well turn out to be "hungry" or something to that effect. Or they might just become grouchy or morose or similar, depending on their temperament and what else has been going on with them lately.
  • The caps on NPC survivor mood are now also affected by how tired they are. They get tired depending on the time of day (as already described) as well as how their overall mood compares to how recently they last did a dispatch mission.
    • Here again, the degradation in their mood could lead them to be "tired" or "exhausted" or similar, or they might just become irritable or something else based on their temperament and circumstances.
  • If an NPC survivor is tired or hungry, that now shows up in their stats with the rest of their profession stuff. If they aren't tired or hungry, those fields are simply omitted as irrelevant at the time.
  • The "View Character Details" screen has been greatly updated in format to present the information in a more organized fashion.
    • Also, the ability to right-click characters in the character listing to rename them has been removed; instead there is now a "Rename Character" button in the character details screen.
  • When there is a food shortage, a warning message is now shown while you are in the settlement or on the world map.

Beta 1.108

(Released June 30th, 2012)

  • Removed some code that may previously have been causing secret missions to just always spawn rescue missions in the prior version; however, if you already have all the personality buildings on a continent that's mostly what there is to seed anyhow (aside from wind shelters or ocean buoys).
  • Made it so that covered farms and the various other profession buildings can be seeded as secret mission rewards again; though the glyph amplifier towers are still invalid as a secret mission reward and will remain so.
  • Fixed up the offsets on item pickups so that they are far easier to see now both inside and outside.
    • Thanks to Hyfrydle for suggesting.
  • Flash of Light now costs 160 mana rather than 120, but lights up your way for 30 seconds rather than 10.
    • Thanks to Misery for suggesting.

Beta 1.107

(Released June 29th, 2012)

  • Previously, the construction guardian power scrolls for world-map structures other than ocean buoy and wind shelter were seeding as secret mission rewards. Fixed.
    • Thanks to jruderman for reporting.
  • The wording for the level up message has been improved to be more clear that your health and shielding have gone up (reflecting the recent changes better).
    • Thanks to lavacamorada for suggesting.
  • Fixed a bug in the prior version where if you had too many crafting materials where you could craft literally every spell, then the game would act like you couldn't craft anything. Oops!
    • Thanks to lavacamorada for reporting.
  • Fixed a bug from the prior version where the "by material" section of the crafting grimoire was always showing as blank.
    • Thanks to jruderman for reporting.
  • Fixed an issue where in the previous version it was possible to create a building structure in a region that already had a mission. You're not supposed to be able to do that (a tile has only one thing on it, or is supposed to).
    • Thanks to jruderman for reporting.
  • Fixed a localization missing error in the prior version when you tried to build a building inside a windstorm.
    • Thanks to lavacamorada for reporting.
  • Previously the amount of healing that healing orbs would do was not properly increased with the world level, leading to very low healing amounts once you got substantially far into the game.
    • Thanks to lavacamorada for reporting.
  • 19 unlockables (mostly relating to number of missions completed, but a few related to large numbers of enemies killed) were made obsolete in the prior couple of versions of the game. They have now been removed.
    • Thanks to jruderman for reporting.
  • In the prior couple of versions of the game, Storm Dash did not properly identify what percentage it would increase your speed by (instead just showing {0}.
    • Thanks to jruderman for reporting.
  • Fixed a bug in the prior few versions where shrapnel, environmental threats, and meteor storm meteors were not having their damage scale upwards properly with the level of their chunk.
    • Thanks to lavacamorada for reporting.

Beta 1.106 Construction Sometimes Starts With Demolition

(Released June 29th, 2012)

  • Fixed some longstanding bugs where the game would rely on knowing which players were connected even in multiplayer-client mode (when it doesn't have that info).
    • One recent manifestation of this was that the mission-reward spellgems were being properly granted on the server but not on the clients (so you could log out and back in and you'd have the gem, but not before).
    • Thanks to Aklyon for the report that led to this discovery.
  • Fixed a bug where dying and picking a new character would give you six new "starter" spellgems in advanced or expert worlds.
    • Thanks to LayZboy for the report.
  • In the prior version, the descriptions of granite and cedar logs said they were still related for guardian powers when in fact they are now used for crafting.
    • Thanks to lavacamorada for reporting.
  • Fixed a bug where the spell modifier section of spellgem tooltips was trying to display actual-current data from your currently equipped enchants, which was confusing as all get out.
    • Thanks to Penumbra for the report.
  • Made the spell modifier section of spellgem tooltips far clearer when explaining that a particular modifier wasn't impacting the spell's stats but "Causes Condition On Target Enemy".
  • Added some additional checks to make sure that the "causes condition on target enemy" spell modifiers were not impacting the projectiles caused by the spell.
  • Added a new spell modifier: -10% mana cost.
    • As an example: leafy whip normally costs 110 mana, putting it out of reach for an unaugmented character with 100 base mana. If the leafy whip gem has this modifier, however, its actual cost (in the tooltip and in practice) is 99 mana, allowing that character to just barely cast it.
  • Rather than getting up to the point where there are up to 40 missions on the world map, all of which last for 7 in-game days each (70 minutes), there are now only up to 8 missions at a time on the world map, and they last for 2 in-game days (20 minutes) instead.
    • We'll see how this works out, but the idea is to reduce clutter while at the same time not making players stuck with missions they don't want to do for a very long period of time. Missions don't expire while you are in them or even in the same region with them, so there's not exactly a huge amount of time pressure unless you see several missions you want to do all at once. If that turns out to be too negative, we can always go back to 7 days for the missions.
    • Secret missions remain on a 7 day timer, however, and those created by guardian powers remain on a 14-day timer.
    • Thanks to @B0FH for inspiring this discussion and Bluddy for suggesting the change.
  • Death touch, ice burst, storm fist, circle of fire, and ice cross are now all not allowed to get procedural modifiers to their time to live or shot speed (same as fire touch is not), since those have no effect on the performance of the spell whatsoever.
    • Thanks to jruderman for suggesting.
  • Magma is now almost 3x more common in deserts than it was before, because it is needed for so many spells and was too scarce.
    • Deep magma is still rarer in the deserts and requires going into the lava flats to get it reliably; but by the time you are needing that, you're on continent 2 anyhow.
    • Thanks to MouldyK for suggesting.
  • In the prior version, "Spellgems Missing Some Resources" was accidentally including spells that you had all the resources for. Fixed.
    • Thanks to NyQuil for reporting.
  • When starting a world with an expert or advanced start, or joining an existing world that is already higher than level 1, new players are given both fire touch and storm dash in addition to their 5 "catch up" spells that they were already getting.
    • Thanks to Misery for suggesting.
  • The ice cross spell that was supposed to be appearing in the tutorial at the bottom cave with the green gems was not doing so. Fixed.
    • Thanks to Cinth for reporting.

New Citybuilding System, Part 1

  • Note that it's going to take us several prereleases, hopefully not past Tuesday, to finish off the new citybuilding features that we intend to have as part of the next official version (1.2). During this time some of the NPC-related stuff is going to be blatantly pointless -- please bear with us!
  • Previously, there were 51 guardian powers that gave "continent wide buffs." These were never all that popular with players, or that clear on how to be used; even after we extended the time that the buff would last, these were kind of a "meh" feature.
    • These have therefore been removed, now that we're embarking on a completely new style of citybuilding for the game that should be a lot more fun and which will put your NPCs to different use anyhow.
  • Guardian power scrolls no longer have anything whatsoever to do with NPCs: you cast them instead, directly.
    • This makes the process 2-step rather than 4-step: 1) find scroll; 2) use scroll.
    • Previously it was: 1) find scroll; 2) ensure you have NPC of right profession; 3) ensure you have NPC of high enough skill in that profession (which could mean many sub-steps); 4) use scroll.
    • The old process was just too convoluted, and -- paired with other changes coming to citybuilding -- you'll soon have enough else to be doing with your NPCs that is also lower in direct complexity.
  • 7 new "profession books" now seed in stash rooms occasionally; these all correspond to the specific professions in the game, including adventurer. They will be used in near-future versions to improve the skill of specific NPCs in their profession, but for now you can just collect them.
  • 12 new "mood gifts" now seed in stash rooms occasionally. They will be used in near-future versions to improve mood of specific NPCs in your settlement, but for now you can just collect them.
  • In the interest of clarity for new players, the green guardian stones are no longer shown in the settlement. Having so many guardian stones made it less likely for people to find the opal guardian store.
    • We were going to hide the blue one as well, but players in the forums were sad about this so we thought we'd keep them -- after all, they do have some nice tips. ;)
    • And in the future, we'll be doing more with guardian stones of all sorts, most likely, but for now the focus has just been elsewhere.
  • The covered bridges once again are visible in the settlement, and when you interact with them they will take you to the continent status screen. This is a bit superfluous since you can get to this screen from the planning menu at any time, but it's about to be a lot more important of a screen and so encouraging players to find it faster is not a bad thing. Also showing the covered bridge, since that is the icon on the world map, should help to tie the idea of the settlement to the world map visually.
  • NPCs no longer have their skill levels raised from the construction of any buildings in the settlement.
  • The 7 "basic" kinds of structures for settlements can no longer be constructed in settlements: in other words, the residential and storage tower, plus the 6 former main profession buildings are all gone.
    • The "personality" structures can still be constructed just as before, however they are now simply for the benefit of both cosmetic appearance and the small continent-wide bonus that they provide.
  • The "Residential And Storage Tower" has been replaced by an "Adventurer Barracks," which looks the same but has a different name and which now serves as the profession building of adventurers (who previously did not have a profession building since they were a late addition and at the time of lesser importance than the other professions -- no more is that the case either).
  • All of the 7 kinds of profession buildings are now able to be constructed on the world map (like buoys or wind shelters) and show up there directly rather than showing up inside the settlement itself.
    • Coming up soon, you'll be able to see these buildings (and wind shelters) from the side view inside the regions they are placed on, but that's not in place yet. Just figured we'd mention it, because we know that's what people would immediately ask. ;)
    • Currently these also serve no gameplay purpose, but that will also be coming in the next few working days.
  • There are additionally three new kinds of structures that you will be able to gain as guardian powers and construct on the world map:
    • Covered Farms, Glyph Amplifier Towers, and Graveyards.
    • Currently you can purchase covered farms at the opal guardian store.
    • Graveyards won't be implemented until after 1.2, because their ramifications on the vengeful ghosts need more playtesting time than we'll have for 1.2.
    • Glyph Amplifier Towers will only be something that you can find in stashes, but you can't find them just yet.

Beta 1.105

(Released June 29th, 2012)

  • Removed a debug message that got left in in the last version that specified what the item level was being upgraded to when older worlds were upgraded to the new version.
  • Fixed a pretty hefty bug in the prior version where it wasn't even trying to save and load your personal stockpiles past saving and loading. Sorry about that!
    • Thanks to lavacamorada and Misery for reporting.
  • Fixed a bug in the prior version where consciousness shards, snowsuits, heatsuits, and command flares had spell-type levels and were not stacking with one another properly.
    • Thanks to Nanashi, Misery, NyQuil, and lavacamorada for reporting.

Beta 1.104 The Victorious Return Of... Levels!

(Released June 28th, 2012)

  • 100 More rooms added thanks to Benmiff!
  • An awesome new music track has been added for desert interiors and undergrounds. This one is really lively and is a "classical Spanish/Moorish style of music, with obvious modern elements" in Pablo's own words.
  • The term "piercing" has been replaced throughout the game with the term "cleaving" instead. With some other in-progress changes we felt that this would be clearest. Spells that are cleaving are able to pass through enemies to hit other enemies behind them, same as before.
  • Maze type rooms can no longer be stash rooms (as that was incredibly annoying to then try to find all the stuff in question), however basements and attics at the moment can still be stashes.
  • Some changes/additions to the opal guardian store regarding purchasing the 7 core settlement structures:
    • The shard cost of buying a residential and storage tower from the opal guardian store has been reduced from 20,000 to 10,000 (the shard cost for lumbermancy focal stations, aquaurgists wells, and stonebinder tri-towers remains at 20,000 shards).
    • It is now possible to buy centers for technozoologicalism, apothokineticit's towers, and forgical arts workshops from the opal guardian store for 30,000 shards.
    • Note that the usefulness of the buildings is inversely proportional to their cost. This makes it easier for players to get up and going if they have to, while at the same time providing the option for them to spend large amounts of game currency to get the buildings they need less if the random number generator is simply being unkind to them.
  • The event log entries for when a continent's tier goes up have been removed, as they now had a 1:1 relationship with the death of lieutenants and thus were just pointless clutter in the event log.
  • Previously, bosses of a different tier than you would not drop different numbers of shards based on your relative levels (unlike regular monsters). Now the bosses work consistently with the regular monsters.
    • Thanks to jruderman for suggesting.
  • The crafting menu is now split into two sections: Spellgems Ready For Crafting and Spellgems Missing Some Resources. The former category was previously all that existed in the game, and you'd have to go to the Grimoire to see any spells you were missing any ingredients for.
    • Now the new Spellgems Missing Some Resources category shows you any spells for which you have some of the ingredients but not all.
  • Previously if you were playing as an industrial age character, bosses would blend in with other monsters on the minimap rather than using the normal boss minimap icon that is used in other ages.
    • Thanks to lavacamorada for reporting.
  • Infestations are no longer allowed to seed during rescue missions, as that was far too tough to keep your NPC alive through.
    • Thanks to Misery for suggesting.
  • Splashback is now considered purely a defensive spell and does not have tiers.
  • All underground cavern systems now go between 8-12 levels deep rather than 3-8 levels deep.

Ghost Copies Of Inventory Items

  • Added new in-game keybind: "Create Ghost Copy Of Usable" (this defaults to left alt)
    • If you click-and-drag a usable item to an empty slot in your inventory and hold this key while releasing the item, then instead of moving the usable item to the empty slot it will create a "ghost copy" of the item in the empty slot that can be used to trigger the ability without moving the original item. This can be very useful if you want to use a particular ability from multiple distinct ability bars.
      • If your inventory ever has a ghost-copy item but no identical non-ghost-copy item, the ghost copies will automatically disappear.
      • If you try to drop a ghost-copy, it will be destroyed.
    • Normally when you are looking at ghost copies on your ability bar, they look just like the thing they are a ghost of. However, when your inventory is open you can easily tell the copies because it just says "Copy" under them.
    • This is particularly powerful because it also works on things like wooden platforms; previously it was possible to have a copy of a spellgem in each of your inventory rows, but it was never until now possible to have a copy of your platforms in every row.
  • The help text for the usables inventory and enchants inventory has been greatly improved to reflect the current state of available keybinds in the game.

Tiers Overhaul, Including Rename To Levels

This is a pretty large change, so to really understand the full implications (which we think you'll love), you have to digest the entirety of the written information in this tiers overhaul section and all of its subsections. Unless you're very new to the game or have only played it very casually, in which case you can pretty much disregard all of this -- you'll hardly notice the difference, except that thing will be smoother and more fun. And more like you expect.

One immediately obvious change is that now "tiers" have been renamed to "levels." This may seem like a silly superficial change, but given the style of mechanics shift we are making the mechanics are now a lot more like levels in other RPG-like games and we felt it would be confusing to continue calling them by a nonstandard name. Additionally, the shift in name should signal to existing players immediately that something is different even if they haven't read the release notes. And lastly, the entire point of our using the word "tiers" previously was to set ourselves apart from RPGs, since we were diverging so sharply from that genre at the time. Now that there's a bit more of a meeting-in-the-middle, the preferred moniker returns.

Relating To Characters, Settlements, And Per-Continent Stuff

  • Previously, tiers were always per-continent and this had a number of drawbacks; it meant that you very much felt like you were on a treadmill when you moved to a new continent, since you were starting over and having to craft the same gear again and again.
    • Now there is an overall world level that never goes down, and which matches the level of the highest available continent at the current time.
    • However, older continents won't continue increasing in level along with the rest of the world.
      • In other words, continent 1 goes from tier 1 through 5, using the same mechanisms already established in the game. When you reach continent 2, the world tier jumps to 6 since continent 2 goes from tier 6-10.
  • Missions (and their rewards) always match the world level. This means that you can continue to do missions even on an old continent to improve your character and get better gear, etc, which is pretty cool.
  • The concept of a "settlement stockpile" has been replaced by a "crafting stockpile" instead. These look pretty much identical except for the name, but in fact are very different.
    • The first difference is that these are cross-continent. So if you've collected a lot of something on continent 1, you don't have to re-collect that on continent 2, which was just plain annoying.
    • The second difference is that these are now per-player. Previously this was global for all players, and each player could spend a "copy" of each ingredient that anyone else picked up. This was confusing in many ways, and many players didn't even realize that was the case.
    • Now if you pick it up, it goes into your personal crafting stockpile just like any of your other inventories, and that's that. You can use each such item once, and any other players will have to pick up their own materials.
  • Upon upgrade into the new version of the game, your personal stockpile will get all of your unspent resources from all continents put into one. So essentially it's just combining the counts of what you'd have seen if you went to each continent and opened up the settlement stockpiles and added those items up.
  • Previously, some guardian power scrolls required you to spend resources such as cedar logs or granite in order to cast them. That has been done away with. Now if you have the scroll and an NPC of the appropriate skill level and profession to cast the scroll, you can cast the scroll.
    • Among other benefits, this prevents players from having to scrounge around for a lot of granite at the start of each new continent.
    • This means that granite and cedar logs will be just treated like any other common crafting ingredient, rather than as separate building ingredients.
  • As a reminder, ingredients were previously grouped into three categories: common, building, and arcane. Now it's just common and arcane, since the building ingredients (consisting solely of cedar logs and granite) have been moved to instead be common crafting ingredients).
    • Common ingredients are found through freeform exploration, just as they always were. They use a whitelist system: any player who is in the chunk at the time the tree is felled or the granite outcrop is broken can pick up a copy of the ingredient.
      • This is the new way of preventing "ninja loot stealing," since the old way -- having a common store of materials from which all players could spend -- has now been displaced.
    • Arcane ingredients, historically, have always been rewarded by completing missions. Now instead these are only found in stash rooms (which of course raises the question of what you get for completing missions, but that will be covered further below).
      • Arcane ingredients, like most other things in stash rooms, use a blacklist system: any player can pick up the item once, and they don't have to have been in the room at the time of its spawning in order to do so. This has always been the system for items in stash rooms, and now arcane ingredients simply follow that established pattern.
  • The strategic difficulty, which now did nothing thanks to the removal of the tier orbs (see further down), has been removed.
    • A citybuilding difficulty, which currently does nothing but which portends things to come soon, has been added in its place.
  • Previously, caverns could never go higher than tier 10 no matter how deep you went. This restriction has obviously been removed since it no longer fits.

Procedural Spells And Rewards From Missions

  • World Map missions previously used to give you rewards that were a mix of tier orbs, arcane ingredients, and/or guardian power scrolls. These all went into the global settlement stores for that continent.
    • Now world map missions only give you spells, rather than any of that other stuff. The spells are always the current world level + 1.
    • Only players who are actually in the mission at the time it is completed will get the spell that is being rewarded, but all of them will get it.
  • Secret missions were recently working exactly like world map missions. Instead, secret missions now only seed guardian power scrolls -- these still go into the global settlement stores for that continent, since guardian power scrolls (like NPCs) are now the only remaining per-continent continent-wide (as opposed to per-player cross-continent) resources.
  • Previously, guardian power scrolls did not appear in the game until you had won 4 missions. Since those are now exclusively the domain of secret missions anyhow, they are now unlocked right from the start of the game.
  • Note that the one-shot rescue survivor missions still exist, just as they always have, and aren't affected by this.
  • The "diluter" head-slot enchants, which have always been a source of confusion in the game, have now been removed as they are no longer needed.
  • Spells that are not level-less -- ie, most combat spells -- now have a procedural component to themselves. The core spells that you know are unchanged, but there are essentially some built in spellgem-specific enchant-style modifiers attached to specific spells now.
    • This is really interesting for a number of reasons. For one, it lets players specialize even more. For another, it adds yet another kind of procedural loot. But most of all, it prevents there from ever being "optimal builds."
    • Since the bonuses on the spells themselves stack with the bonuses from your worn-on-the-body enchants, you can still have a good amount of sway over what spells you want to use. However, a particular spell that you might normally overlook can now easily be a really cool and useful spell for a few levels' time at least as you play.
    • Overall we were finding that players were playing in far too small a niche in terms of spells that they used, and that made the game feel shallower since they'd fall into some tactical habits and never have much reason to deviate. You can still do that if you like, by always crafting your favorite spell each tier or doing the missions that reward you with it. But we're using the carrot rather than the stick to entice people to sample more widely than they previously would have done.
  • Previously, flash of light and lightning rocket and ride the lightning got cheaper in mana to use with each tier that they went up. That model has been removed now that levels go up indefinitely (and thus this is unsustainable).
  • The "Scan For Resources" guardian power scrolls have all been converted into a new "Look For Trouble" guardian power scroll.
    • The functionality is the same now as it always was, except of course missions give you a different reward (a spellgem rather than ingredients) so a re-theme was needed.
  • Spells that only have a single level can no longer be granted as mission rewards. They can only be crafted, or in some cases (like battlefield command flares) found out in the world.
  • Now that spellgems are unique instead of something you can equip ad infinitum, when you drop a spellgem it doesn't destroy it -- it instead just drops it.
    • Thus you can share spellgems with other players directly, although unfortunately the minor cosmetic issue of clutter is something that has returned. We'll probably make an incinerator that gives you consciousness shards or something sometime in the future.
  • The first character of each player account will be given 6 offensive spellgems at random (avoiding giving the same type of spell more than once) if one of the following is true:
    • The world was started as Advanced or Expert (no intro mission).
    • The world level is greater than 1.

Relating To Crafting

  • Spells no longer have crafting prerequisites, but now instead have "spell power classes" which are able to accomplish much the same thing (ie, establishing that launch meteor is demonstrably and intentionally better than launch rock).
  • For the first time, spells are now able to be unlocked directly rather than relying only on their crafting materials to keep them locked.
  • All craftable spells have had their crafting costs completely redone. In many cases they are similar to what they used to be, in many other cases they bear little to no resemblance to what they once were.
    • There is now only a single crafting cost for spells regardless of level. As the world level increases, any spells that you craft or otherwise acquire will be given to you at World Level + 1.
  • Previously, the crafting interface of the game was split into two subsections: Equip Known Spell and Learn New Spell.
    • This was needlessly confusing, but it had the benefit of letting you learn a spell (of a tier) once on a continent and then equip it as many times as you wanted to forever after.
      • That also easily let you equip multiple copies of that same spell into different ability bars, which many players found handy. In our new approach we're going to accomplish the ability bars thing in a different way that will be more flexible anyhow; letting you do the same with wood platforms and so forth, which under the old system you could not do.
    • Anyhow, now the crafting interface just has one section: learn new spell. Any spell you learn here will automatically be at the world level + 1, and the cost is always the same.
    • There is now more physicality to spells: when you craft a spell it goes into your inventory and that's that. It has a specific level, which will never change, and if you drop it the spell will remain wherever it was that you put it. Before it was more like you had a press for printing infinite money once you had learned a spell, but now spellgems are clearly a more physical object that you don't want to lose (if you want further use of it, anyhow).
  • Tier orbs are no longer needed (indeed, no longer make any sense), and so have been removed from the game.
  • Four new "rarity" orbs use altered graphics of the old tier orbs and have now been added to the game:
    • Uncommon Orb
      • Can be used at the crafting workbench to directly craft an uncommon quality spellgem. Occasionally found in stash rooms of buildings in any region with a level greater than or equal to the world level.
    • Rare Orb
      • Can be used at the crafting workbench to directly craft a rare quality spellgem. Much less occasionally found in stash rooms of buildings in any region with a level greater than or equal to the world level.
    • Epic Orb
      • Can be used at the crafting workbench to directly craft an epic quality spellgem. Sometimes dropped by slain lieutenants of the overlord.
    • Legendary Orb
      • Can be used at the crafting workbench to directly craft a legendary quality spellgem. Always dropped by slain overlords.
    • The higher the rarity of the spellgem that is produced, the more random procedural bonuses get applied to that spell.
  • Killing overlords now gives a 100% chance of dropping a legendary rarity orbs.
  • Killing lieutenants now gives a 50% chance of dropping an epic rarity orb, and a 1% chance of dropping two epic rarity orbs.
  • Design Notes to explain the above:
    • Crafting has become relegated to somewhat the secondary way of getting new spells, now that world map missions give you spells directly (as opposed to giving you arcane ingredients).
    • This also means that all ingredients (common and arcane) are found the same way: free exploration. Common ingredients might sometimes be found as part of a mission, but generally arcane ingredients are just in stashes outside of missions.
    • That said, the crafting is still very important to the game because it's a way to take control of your own equipment if the random number generator hates you. It's also a great way to get rarer versions of various spells by crafting a spell with a rarity orb added in.
  • The Crafting Grimoire subsection "By Tier" has been removed, since that no longer has any meaning with the new way of crafting spells (and their new partially-procedural nature).
  • An important new section has been added to the Crafting Grimoire: Spells That Can Only Be Found By Crafting.
    • This is slightly a misnomer since some of the spells can be found in the intro mission (storm dash, for one), but those are rare exceptions.
    • In the main, the 16 spells in this category don't have levels and thus don't show up as mission rewards ever (since they would be kind of a raw deal, eh?). This is out of the 53 total spells in the game at the moment.

Relating To Character/Monster Stats And Attacks

  • The level of your character (and by implication the world level) is now shown in the escape and pause menus.
  • Previously, there was a very confusing concept called "Shielding From Continent Tier" that most players didn't even know existed but was in the stats in the escape menu. Now we don't even need to bother explaining it to you, because it's gone!
    • It was something for players and NPCs only, and in fact was probably not working properly with summoned monsters or other allies (again, leading to various problems at higher tiers that are now inherently solved).
  • A new stat, "Shielding," has been added to both characters and monsters. The shielding stat is higher on higher-level entities.
    • For monsters, if you are playing on combat difficulty 6 or 7 then they get a little extra shielding.
    • For characters and their allies, if you are playing on combat difficulty 6 or 7 then they get a little less shielding.
  • A new stat, "Attack Penetration," has been added to both spellgems and monsters. The AP stat is higher on higher-level entities.
    • For monsters, if you are playing on combat difficulty 6 or 7 then they get a little extra AP.
    • For characters and their allies, if you are playing on combat difficulty 6 or 7 then they get a little less AP.
  • As the level of characters, allies, and enemies increases, so too do their stats increase in minor ways.
    • In the case of monsters and allies this manifests in terms of both gradual health increases as well as gradual attack power increases.
    • In the case of characters this manifests just as health increases, since the gradual attack power increases manifest in spellgems of higher levels instead.
    • By "gradual," at the moment we mean a linear 5% increase per level. This gives a standard-RPG feel to the progression of stats as the world level goes higher and higher, but without the exponentially-ballooning stats that we had troubles with early in beta.
  • That's where the Shielding and the Attack Penetration (AP) come into play: each level is supposed to be about 1.5x harder to fight against if you are a level lower than that -- but of course if the base stats of health and attack power reflected this, then by the time you reach level 100 on a boss with 10,000 health they instead have around 49 trillion health. Uh, yeah -- exponential gets big FAST.
    • Shielding and AP are a linear system just like the actual base stat increases are, but by working together they are able to achieve both goals:
      • The goal of the RPG-style visible increases in stats (that don't shift around their numbers as you level up -- we tried that before, too, where spells would degrade in power over time in terms of their visible stats and that was not fun either).
      • And the goal of the Metroidvania-style "the next area is substantially harder than I can handle until I level up" type of feel. Which is very fun, and has been working just great in the game, but which was not compatible with infinitely-increasing levels or the idea of stats ever going up for the player in general.
    • Basically, Shielding and AP are a representation of the relative level of your character and the enemy. Whoever is higher-level gets major bonuses against whoever is lower-level, or if they are both the same level then the Shielding and AP cancel each other out and mean nothing. It's as simple as that, for practical purposes.

2 New Unlockables And Changes To Ingredients

  • Previously, White Witch Hair was unlocked when you progressed to continent 2. Now there is a new unlockable that requires you to kill all the monsters in an ice age (woods or plains, but not thawing) surface chunk of level 3 in order to unlock it.
  • Previously, Deep Sea Essence was not used at all. Now it is used by Ice Burst, and a new unlockable has been added which requires you to reach depth 5 in an ocean region -- which is a lot more reasonable with the new level system rules, but still is going to take you until about continent 2 unless you are very wily.
  • The following unlockables have been changed to make more sense in the new level system:
    • Find Stash In Tier 5 Deep House is now Level 10 instead.
    • Find Stash In Tier 3 Lava Tower is now Level 8 instead.
  • Clay, iron ore, copper ore, cherry, plums, sea essence, earth essence, cat's eye, and coral are now unlocked from the start of the game rather than being tied to unlockables that you must complete first.
    • This makes the variety of the spells you can craft and find via missions right from the start a lot higher, and it also means that you don't run into problems where you visit all these areas that would have common ingredients only to have them not appear due to your not having yet unlocked the ingredient -- and then potentially getting stuck wihout a source of that ingredient until the next continent.
  • The spell "Summon Rhino" now requires that the unlockable "destroy all monsters in level 2 grasslands chunk" be completed.
  • The spell "Water Shield" now requires that the unlockable "reach depth 4 in ocean shallows" be completed.
  • The spell "fire Shield" now requires that the unlockable "reach depth 4 in desert" be completed.
  • Copper Ingots must now be unlocked by reaching depth 6 in a desert, rather than depth 4.
  • The spell "earth Shield" now requires that the unlockable "reach depth 4 in evergreen forest" be completed.
  • Iron Ingots must now be unlocked by reaching depth 6 in an abandoned small town, rather than depth 4.
  • The spell "air Shield" now requires that the unlockable "reach depth 4 in abandoned small town" be completed.
  • The spell "lesser teleport" now requires that the unlockable "destroy all monsters in level 3 abandoned small town" be completed.
  • The spell "douse monster nest" now requires that the unlockable "find stash in level 4 ice age building" be completed.
  • The spell "flash of light" now requires that the unlockable "find stash in level 1 townhouse" be completed.

Intro Mission Improvements

  • Rather than creating the minor living fires to chase the player around the red slimes and the red/yellow slimes in the tutorial now hit them with a fire whip instead (and actually the red/yellow one uses a lightning whip just to make it clear that it is even more different from the first slime). This gets the message across that "hey this is dangerous" without making the entire screen suddenly dangerous because of fire chasing you.
  • In one of the lower tutorial caverns, there is now an ice cross spellgem to let you get past the last slime without having to craft anything.
    • And this also has the added benefit of letting new players experience a more unusual spell (compared to a straight-shot spell) earlier in the game.
    • Oh, and this particular spell also would help them accidentally discover granite outcrops if they have not already.
  • The tutorial signposts in the caverns about gem veins have been updated to be a bit more specific about how crafting works.

Change To Scaling Of Monster Health In Multiplayer

  • Previously, monster health went up by 1x the largest number of players who had ever been together in the chunk of the monster (since the chunk was last loaded from disk).
    • This made it so that, player per player, the same amount of damage needed to be dealt as if there was one player. However, the perception has repeatedly been that it is better to journey solo rather than together, despite the fact that it is numerically identical and indeed tactically advantageous to stay together (given that you can flank monsters and they can often only shoot at one of you at a time).
    • As a concession to the perception, the multiplier is now 0.85x the largest number of players who have ever been in the chunk (only when the largest number of players is greater than 1), so that now it's numerically advantageous to stay together as well as tactically so.
    • Thanks to MouldyK for reminding us about this at the moment, and to TechSY730 for repeatedly reminding us about it.

Official 1.103 Hotfix

(Released June 21st, 2012)

  • The pursuit range of jellyfish was incredibly larger than it should have been (8x larger), and has now been reduced to its proper range.
    • Thanks to Cinth for reporting.
  • The way that light works is now more natural/fluid. The light sources illuminate their surroundings close to immediately now, so the lights no longer seem to lag behind. Simultaneously, the way that darkness creeps back in after a light source has passed is now a little slower than before, making it so that light trails are left a bit more and it all feels better to play in.
    • Thanks to Cinth for reporting.
  • The "What's New?" link in the game now points to this page rather than to the older beta series 1 page.
    • Thanks to NyQuil for reporting.

Beta 1.102 Stop Wiggling!

(Released June 20th, 2012)

  • Fixed a "screen shudders when paused" bug in the recent fix that helped the screen scrolling keep you on the screen even if being blown around by windstorms, knockback, etc.
    • Thanks to leb0fh for the report.
  • Fixed a bug from a recent version where placing an ocean buoy would not provoke the recalculation of whether each region on that continent is connected via land or non-turbulent-water to a settlement or non-stormy-port. This was causing the "marooned" message to show in some cases where it should not have been after placing an ocean buoy.
    • Thanks to lavacamorada for the report.
  • Fixed a bug where the underwater mission portals could not be entered and would not display the "press E to enter" text when you walked in front of them.
    • Thanks to lavacamorada for the report and save.
  • Fixed a bug where the game could fail to properly insert a settlement NPC into a settlement chunk because it thought its remembered position was valid when it was not.
    • Thanks to Misery for the report and save.
  • The "Douse Monster Nest" ability is no longer usable in an NPC-rescue mission.
    • Thanks to jruderman for inspiring this change.
  • The base shrapnel damage has been adjusted for the following entities as follows:
    • Mossy Barrel from 22 to 8.
    • Urban Crawler from 22 to 8.
    • Thanks to CodexArcanum, Cinth, jruderman, Ipkins, AlexxKay, Lancefighter, CodexArcanum, Omosh, and Ghost Matter for suggesting.
  • The frequency of how often the minimap updates is now based on how big the chunk in question is; in order to avoid lag, we previously had it set to 1 second between minimap updates. However, in smaller chunks (actually most chunks) that really was excessive.
    • The new logic makes it so that in most chunks it will update more like every half second, and in smaller chunks it will update every quarter second if need be. Only the really excessively large chunks still update on a 1-second interval.
    • Thanks to jruderman, TechSY730, and NyQuil for suggesting.
  • For all chunks, the minimap now updates as soon as you enter the chunk, regardless of how long it has been since the last time you entered a chunk.
    • Thanks to jruderman, TechSY730, and NyQuil for suggesting.
  • Previously, the collision profile of explosive bear traps was completely wrong; such that it seemed to float above the ground, and its collision box was very tiny. Fixed.
  • Previously, NPCs and monsters would shoot at dangerous background entities that they could not hit anyway (like mossy barrels). Fixed.
    • Thanks to lavacamorada and Gemzo for reporting.
  • Previously, summoned monsters and even sometimes players could step in bear traps and get hurt. Fixed.
    • Thanks to jruderman for reporting.
  • In recent versions of the game, bear traps were not being triggered by monsters. Fixed.
    • Thanks to GauHelldragon and Misery for reporting.
  • In recent versions, deploying regular bear traps (as opposed to explosive bear traps) did not even work. Fixed.
    • Thanks to jruderman for reporting.

Previous Release Notes

AVWW - Post-Launch Series 1 Release Notes

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