Valley 2 - Beta Release Notes

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Valley 2 - Post-Launch Release Notes

Valley 2 Beta Period Round Up

The Beta Period for Valley 2 spanned from December 20th through February 18th. 1110 distinct changes were made as part of 38 different releases over the course of 60 days.

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

  • Misery 73
  • pepisolo 47
  • madcow 38
  • zespri 23
  • khadgar 16
  • Aquohn 13
  • windgen 13
  • Gemzo 12
  • Mick 11
  • MouldyK 11
  • theqmann 10
  • Acetyl 8
  • LayZboy 8
  • Nanashi 8
  • Professor Paul1290 8
  • Ashnal 7
  • Billick 7
  • isil 7
  • Penumbra 7
  • Vatticson 7
  • c4sc4 6
  • nas1m 6


Official 1.000 Game Launch!

(Released February 18th, 2013)

  • Greatly improved the camera handling on the y axis; you now see a bit more of buildings and sky and backdrops, rather than staring at so much ground. However it's still enough that you can see down slopes, etc.
    • Also, when you duck the game now lowers the view, which then slowly rises back up after you stop ducking. So it's possible to look beneath you if you find yourself in a place where you can't see down as much as you'd like.
  • Added a "Align Camera Closer To Vertical Center Of Player" settings option which makes the camera work like it used to if you don't like the new settings.
  • The graphics for the deepwoods toad, elephant snail, green forest dragon, and highlands toad have all been finalized.
  • Added 50 new achievements to the game: one each for killing 50 monsters as each of the 50 mage classes. How many times can we say 50 in one sentence?
  • Fixed a log message where clockwork seekers were noting that they "got stuck and self-destructed."
    • Thanks to Penumbra for reporting.
  • The strategic overview topics for the overlord and for world map monsters now mention that the red-glowing-tile effect marks which tiles the overlord (or monsters) passed through last turn.
  • The end-of-game cutscene is now complete!
  • Fixed several typos throughout the game.
    • Thanks to pepisolo and others for reporting these.

Beta .902 Wait, Listen -- I Hear Something!

(Released February 17th, 2013)

  • After going through several hundred slices, we've finally managed to fix the 1300 or so errors we started with that sometimes caused things like monsters being shrunk. If you see anymore of this from here on, please let us know.
  • Final piece of object art from Heavy Cat is now being seeded into the game.
  • Fixed typos in some of the new story text.
    • Thanks to pepisolo for finding them.
  • The ground graphics for the ice age and thawing biomes have been finalized.
  • The background ground graphics for the abandoned town, deciduous forest, and future junkyard have been finalized.
  • The graphics for the player character Tybalt have been polished and are now finalized.
  • Fixed a bug in some of the default input bindings sets where the strategic overview wasn't always being mapped to blank on the gamepad, leading to it not overwriting some of the base settings if they were already there. This really only affected configurations that predate version 0.800 or so, but still was good to fix.
    • Thanks to Pepisolo for reporting.
  • Laser spiders were already capped at 10 per spawner being out at one time. Now the following caps have been put in for other monster types that come from spawners:
    • 10 for giant leeches and swamp gaslets, 20 for tiny bats.
    • Thanks to Vatticson for reporting a 3-rows-deep pit of writhing leeches.
  • Fixed a multiplayer bug where mines/bombs were not exploding.
    • Thanks to Pepisolo for reporting.
  • Fixed a multiplayer bug where a number of spells were doing inconsistent amounts of damage depending on how many players were connected and compared to single player.
    • Hopefully we did not introduce any new bugs with the fix for this, but it was a really involved fix.
  • Fixed a multiplayer bug where some spells that detonated would happen at really the wrong place on the server, and thus things like rockets would hit players standing near each other rather than the intended target.
    • Thanks to Pepisolo for reporting.
  • The overlord and henchmen now do vampiric melee attacks, where they take the health from you that they do to you. Given that it's unlikely you'll be in close this makes little difference, but still.
  • The slug fiends now have a slowing attack.
  • Touching a fire walker, scourborg, flameball, or flame mummy now sets you on fire.
  • The sound effects of all the monster melee attacks are now in place (and that was what was lacking in terms of monster sounds, so we're now done with sound work!).
  • The +Movement Speed I and +Health I perks have been moved from level 1 to level 2, and the +Attack (Ammo) I and +Attack (Secondary) I have been moved from level 2 to level 1.
    • The reason for this is that we want the movement speed to be consistent for new players, and then let them customize as desired once they get used to it. Having your character sometimes randomly be faster at the start was disconcerting even for the developers.
    • Secondarily, having the health perk on the second level means that the first part of the game doesn't randomly get easier (leading to a potential need for re-rolls if you don't get that perk but hoped for it). It also solves what looks almost like a bug: when you select a character with, say, 4 hearts -- and then immediately have 5 as soon as you start the game because of a perk.
  • Fixed a textural error late in the game where it was referring to the old mechanics of using mana or whole survivors to power your respawns.
  • Now it says "to consume life energy from the survivors nearest the keep to respawn," which is the correct explanation for what happens.
    • Thanks to Platypus for reporting.

Beta .901 Now We Are Twelve

(Released February 16th, 2013)

  • All of the treasure chest graphics are now finalized, and in fact there are now two new variants.
  • All thirteen of the crates have had some fairly substantial polish done to their graphics, and are all now finalized.
  • The graphics for the urban blockades have been completely redone, and are now finalized.
  • Fixed a bug in the prior version where the GUI said that when you had 0 concentration it was giving you 160% caliber. However, the GUI was mistaken, the underlying numbers were correct.
    • Thanks to Aquohn for reporting.
  • Rocket shrapnel is meant to damage players, even when players fire the rockets. However, it was also damaging player spells, which seemed odd. Now the player rocket shrapnel doesn't interfere with player spells.
    • Thanks to Pepisolo for reporting.
  • Now when world-map-monsters are summoned (either pre-overlord lair spawns, post-overlord-emergence lair spawns, normal overlord summons, or deep gate spawns) they never get summoned directly to a tile with a resistance member and thus can never get into combat immediately after being summoned (the check for monster movement has already happened at that point).
    • Thanks to Misery for pointing out how deep gates could become impossible to close due to it summoning more monsters per turn than a 9-power soldier could survive.
  • Some minor graphic updates have been made to the exterior of the evil overlord's keep, which is now finalized.
  • The snowy plains, thawing forest, and thawing plains have had their backdrops finalized!
  • Fixed an exploit where you could equip an ammo perk for extra ammo, then de-equip it and retain the extra ammo until your current total fell below your new (lower) cap.
    • Thanks to Cinth and Aquohn for reporting.
  • Bosses are now hyper-aggressive once you damage them: they'll keep up a steady stream of shots rather than waiting to have line of sight on you. This avoids certain exploity situations where you could hit them without them really firing at you at all, or firing shots to block your shots.
    • Thanks to windgen for reporting.
  • The position of charge shots being held would be over your face as you ran, which looked bad. Fixed.
    • Thanks to Pepisolo for reporting.
  • The bombs and mines for players only now take 2.5 seconds to blow up instead of 1.5. This is slightly less slow than the original 3 seconds, but still more useful for striking from cover than the 1.5 seconds.
    • The enemy bombs remain at 1.5 seconds before blowing, and the player "Energy Bomb Burst" spell remains at 1.5 seconds as well.
    • Thanks to Misery for suggesting.
  • Fixed a typo on the description of the impasse tiles.
    • Thanks to Winge for reporting.
  • Fixed a bug where the Swamp Castles were not actually letting NPCs move any farther on the world map!
    • Now it lets scouts move an extra 4 tiles per held castle, skirmishers an extra 3, and soldiers an extra 2.
    • Thanks to Winge for reporting.
  • Fixed a bug with crawlers where they would still see destroyed crates as being there for 30 seconds after the crate was destroyed.
    • Thanks to Winge for reporting.
  • A couple of players felt like we were being too nice with our recent changes to the robotic hacking escapes, so we've upped the meanness again:
    • The big room in the middle is now twice as long (still way shorter than it used to be with 5 rooms, but should be a good size now).
    • There are now more vertical segments in these rooms, there are now segments with traps, and there is now a single segment with some dangerous water.
    • Large swimming monsters now spawn like normal during the hacking escapes.
    • The budget for monsters pre-existing in these chunks is now 50% higher during your escape.
    • Thanks to Misery and Winge for unleashing this new woe. ;)
  • As you may have noticed a few releases back, we silently updated the Desert, Abandoned Town, Deciduous Forest, Evergreen Forest, Future Junkyard, Grassland, Ocean Shallows, and lava flats.
    • We've now added yet some more entries to these, and these are now sequential -- as are the boss fight dialogues.
    • This lets us tell a concerted story in a proper order, and in the case of the "just entered region" text, it also lets us STOP telling the story once it's done -- in other words, no more repeats with these. After your character muses on a few grasslands, they just shut up and let you play from then on when you go into grasslands, heh.
  • Fixed a bug where the "None Shall Pass" achievement was not actually possible to get.
    • Thanks to Oralordos for reporting.
  • Finalized the future junkyard backdrop graphics.
  • Fixed a case where "attack" was being referred to as "spell strength," confusingly.
  • Fixed a fairly major oversight where we never specified which spell slots were considered Primary, Secondary, Special, or Ammo anywhere in the game! Now the mage class selection window and the window in the escape menu both show this.
    • Thanks to Cinth for reporting.
  • It was pointed out to us that there is no way to see your perks if you're not on the world map or in the armory! There is thus now a "view my current perks" button in the escape menu that shows you a nicely-summarized display of all the perks you currently have equipped.

Three New Playable Characters

  • Added a new female playable character to the game: Farel.
  • Added a new playable character to the game: Hinge.
  • Added a new female playable character: Kyo.
    • That's the last of the 12 characters for the game!

Beta .900 Tell Me A Story

(Released February 15th, 2013)

  • The end-turn-report scrap-category section now tracks scrap spent on converting tiles.
  • The end-turn-report overlord-forces-category summary now has a different line (that shows in green) after the game has been won and the overlord destroyed.
    • Thanks to Aquohn for reporting that it was still saying the overlord was on the move.
  • More object art added to the game.
    • We're almost done with this now, having one more piece of art to add, once it comes back from the artist with a small correction.
  • The text interjection for the spell calibers has been rewritten to reflect the new mechanics better.
  • The combat section of the help menu now gives more detailed information on the new calibers system.
  • Found a double jump slice that didn't really require double jump. Fixed.
    • Thanks to Vatticson for the save file.
  • Fixed an issue where on low framerates players would be slightly short of being able to make some required jumps (about half a tile).
    • As part of this, the jump height in general even at the better framerates has been tuned to not make this such a frustratingly close thing when you need to jump to something that is five tiles above the floor. Before you would just barely scrape onto the surface, but now you clear it by about half a tile. In general this should help make these jumps feel more intentionally-designed.
    • Thanks to Oralordos for reporting.
  • Fixed an issue where text interjections would not always be cleared properly in multiplayer, meaning they would come back from the grave on a future session sometimes!
    • Thanks to Llakard for reporting.
  • When a text interjection is showing, the game no longer gives you the little under-your-character prompts for things like "Press E to go through the door." Pressing E at that time doesn't take you through the door, it advances the text interjection.
    • Thanks to zespri for reporting.
  • Previously there was an issue in the "insurrection room" that you go into as the third room in the game where sometimes the NPCs would stop just out of range and not talk to you unless you knew to move closer. Fixed.
    • Thanks to zespri for reporting.
  • Added the following text to the end of the text interjection that happens the first time you pick up a perk token:
    • "It's never a bad thing to pick these up. Even if I don't have any missing perk slots yet, tokens I pick up now will make it so that more slots are open from the start next time I level up!"
    • Thanks to GigaClon and zespri for suggesting.
  • Updated Demonaica's game intro avatar so that he literally only has one frame. There were several reports of him shifting frames at random, which we couldn't duplicate, so this was a brute-force way to fix it!
    • Thanks to AmatsuDF, Penumbra, and saveyourself007 for reporting.
  • Fixed up the resistance burrows so that they are now fully functional.
    • The NPCs no longer blindly run against the wall in these.
    • Also, the NPCs will properly talk to you.
    • Also, the burrows themselves are vastly smaller as fits a single NPC rather than the groups the older burrows were originally designed for.
    • The burrows are just a minor bit of flavor, but they're the only way you can directly speak with your troops, so it's not something we wanted to just take out.
    • Thanks to theqmann and zespri for reporting the issues with them.
  • Water dash now works differently: rather than granting you infinite jumps while in water, it constantly resets your elapsed-time-this-jump to zero while you are in the water. That way you can do a single jump of infinite length while in the water, culminating in a full-sized jump off the surface of water.
    • This prevents some strange issues with jumps in very shallow water being half-height when you had water dash on, and things of this nature. It also makes water dash a lot more interesting/powerful in watery areas. And even lava areas!
    • Thanks to Pepisolo for reporting.
  • Fixed a longstanding bug where giant leech nests were unable to properly spawn leeches "in the wild" (aka out of our testing room). This actually goes back to as long as the giant leech nests have existed.
    • Now leeches. go. everywhere.
    • Thanks to Misery for unleashing this woe on the world. ;)
  • Fixed a bug where fighting henchmen in regular game-world tiles would lead to the henchman starting wounded (how wounded depended on the difficulty level).
    • Thanks to Misery and Pepisolo for reporting.
  • Fixed a bug in prior versions of the game where the seekers spawned by clockwork blockades could get stuck in the ground or ceiling.
    • Thanks to Misery and windgen for reporting.
  • The eight "flying fist" spells that do negative status effects on the enemies (plus having awesome high calibers) have been toned down into having a 1-second cooldown.
    • Thanks to Penumbra for reporting the imbalance that they had created.
  • The maximum movement speed on the world map has been reduced in order to keep that feeling more natural while still being fast enough to get around the size of continents we wound up having.
    • Thanks to AragonLA for suggesting.
  • The giant roach graphics have been completely redone from scratch and are now finalized.
  • Fixed a bug in the past version or two where the burst spells accidentally had their cooldown time doubled.
    • Thanks to Pepisolo for reporting.
  • The graphics for the level up totem, the robotic mainframe (including active/deactivated states and portrait), and the windstorm generator have all been polished and finalized.
  • The graphics for the shadow creature have been finalized.
  • Giant leeches are no longer allowed to drop health and ammo (their nests still do, though).
  • Cleaned up a couple of smudges on the collapsed skyscraper group.
    • Thanks to Ashnal for reporting.
  • The flame mummy graphics have been redone from scratch, and are now finalized. They went from fairly terrible to pretty darn awesome.
  • All of the henchman dialogue has been redone from scratched, except for their death soliloquies (which are coming). A lot more of the backstory of each of them is now revealed as part of that.
    • You may also have noticed a lot of changes to the region entry text lately, too. More's coming there, too.

Beta .809 Concentrating On Calibers

(Released February 15th, 2013)

  • Fixed an issue in prior versions of the game where the characters really did not have appropriately-themed names for themselves, and in some cases even had a female name for a male character!
    • Thanks to Nanashi for reporting.
  • Fixed a bug in the prior version that was causing the charge shots to not be able to charge at all.
    • Thanks to Nanashi for reporting.
  • Updated the description of the charge shots to mention that their caliber goes up with the last two charge levels.
  • Fixed a minor visual thing in the escape menu where the text from some of the mage class descriptions could run out of the window.
    • Thanks to zespri for reporting.
  • Fixed a typo in the description of Water Whip.
    • Thanks to aquohn for the report.
  • The time to live on the spell mines and bombs (both player and enemy) have been reduced from 3 seconds to 1.5.
    • Thanks to Mick for pointing out how slow the other timing felt, we hadn't quite realized how much it was bothering us too.
  • Fixed a bug where the mercenary coin pickup achievements were not being triggered properly.
  • Fixed a bug when displaying the lower-left region-details window while on the world map, where if the region both had a perk-tokens count to show and a recruitable survivor to show that the latter would be drawn some weird place in the middle of the window.
    • Thanks to Aquohn for the report.
  • All eight of the "flying fist" type of status-affecting spells have been made consistent to affect both enemy cooldowns AND enemy movement speeds, rather than some doing one and some doing the other. Now all do both.
    • Also, when you have hit enemies with these status-debuffs, the enemies now start letting of thick black smoke to let you know that you've gotten them.
    • Thanks to Pepisolo for suggesting.
  • Fixed a bug that was preventing a controlled (resistance member present) Swamp Belltower from attracting the undivided attention of the overlord and world map monsters.
    • Thanks to Aquohn for the report.
  • Fixed an issue with the Anne running frames where there was a small black line at the top of some of them.
    • Thanks to Pepisolo for reporting.
  • The blast spells have had their attack power increased by 50%, but their range shortened by 33% (from 600 to 400).
    • Thanks to madcow for suggesting.

Concentration And Caliber Tuning

  • Previously, the concentration bars were increasing your caliber at a flat 10% per concentration tier.
    • This led to "number of shots to break a higher-caliber spell" of 10/5/4/3/2/2, which was a rather extreme progression.
    • The new progression in total percentages is now 25/30/40/55/60.
      • This leads to a "number of shots to break a higher-caliber spell" progresion of 4/3/3/2/2/2, which is a lot more interesting-feeling sooner without being unbalanced.
    • Thanks to Misery for inspiring these changes.
  • Previously, the concentration bars were increasing your outgoing damage at a flat 25% per concentration tier. This has been buffed to 35%.
    • Thanks to Misery for inspiring these changes.
  • The caliber perks were definitely underpowered in the prior build. They were each giving a flat 12% boost each to your power, but now they give you 30/25/15 instead.
    • Before the progression was 9 shots to kill an enemy spell, then 5 shots, then 3 shots to kill an enemy spell.
    • Now the progression is 4/3/2 instead.
    • That third perk is particularly useful when combined with concentration.
      • If you have all three caliber perks, that means that you have no concentration perks. In that case, your caliber increase is a flat 70% without any concentration. When you hit 1 bar of concentration that goes up to 95%, which doesn't change much. But as soon as you hit two bars of concentration or more, suddenly ALL of your spells are instantly a caliber higher. That's a pretty wicked bonus while you can maintain it, which of course requires not taking any hits.
      • Note that it's not possible to get the one-shotting of enemy projectiles without taking all three caliber perks and having two bars of concentration. If you take one or two caliber perks and then combine those with some concentration perks, then you can get into the two-shotting enemy shots territory more easily, and then you also get the increased damage output of the concentration system (which you don't get from the perks system). So there's some interesting choices here.
    • All in all these should make the advanced play with the calibers and concentrations a lot more interesting than in the prior release.
    • Thanks to Misery for inspiring these changes.
  • The various status-affecting spells, largely called "flying fist" of some sort, now also have a High caliber. These are thus the sole ranged, non-ammo-based spells with that sort of a caliber.
    • This makes them a lot more interesting tactically in general, as well as more effective at actually inflicting status impediments on enemies.
    • Thanks to Mick for inspiring this change.
  • The "mass" spells of the player now have a normal caliber instead of low -- this makes them more useful and distinct when set next to their burst counterparts.
    • These are slow enough, and wind up just canceling out enemy spells rather than actually traveling through them to damage the enemy, that this should be reasonably balanced.
    • Thanks to Misery for inspiring this change.
  • Improved potion shot, which has long been one of the lamest early spells, to now have normal caliber instead of low.
    • Thanks to Mick for inspiring this change.
  • The "launch" and "heave" spell projectiles that the player has are now all Normal caliber, rather than low. This really does feel more appropriate for them.
    • Thanks to Misery for inspiring this change.

Beta .808 The Sound Of Violence

(Released February 14th, 2013)

  • Fixed a bug from the prior version where the "snake" spells were not behaving properly when fired horizontally.
    • Thanks to Pepisolo for reporting.
  • Fixed the description of summon glacier, which was vague to the point of being pointless.
  • Fixed the description on kinetic pillar, which was mildly inaccurate.
  • Rescuable survivors no longer spawn within 2 tiles of the overlord keep to avoid work-schedule collision early in the game (which could lead to unintentional rescues and thus messing up early-game food balance, etc).
    • Thanks to windgen for the suggestion.
  • The minimum caliber shown on the interface for spells is now 0.
  • Fixed a longstanding bug where the end-turn-report's summary of scrap on the category button would not factor in scrap produced at a factory (it would be listed in the details, but not reflected on the category total delta).
    • Thanks to Mick for the report.
  • Added support to the end-turn-report for a more graceful handling of detail lines that would run over the page size.
  • Fixed a bug where, while the skip-tutorial option was properly selecting 2 tiles to purify, it was not also purifying any corrupted tiles adjacent to those two targets.
    • Thanks to Prismwind for the report.
  • Fixed an issue where some of the shacks did not have entrances on them.
  • During robotic hacking escapes, the feat tablet no longer floats strangely around you in a circle, but instead hangs behind you right under your oblivion crystal, which looks much better.
  • The graphics for Sericipterus have been finalized.
  • Sleepy Tree graphics finalized.
  • Slug Fiend graphics finalized.
  • Hover Guardian graphics finalized.
  • Perimeter Guard graphics finalized.
  • Small Tentacle graphics finalized.
  • Snow Wererat graphics finalized.
  • Sphinx graphics finalized.
  • Submersible Suppressor finalized.
  • Triceratops Mage finalized.
  • Urban Mech finalized.
  • Urban Tackle Droid finalized.

Balance Changes

  • Storm fist was way overpowered in the prior version. Fixed.
  • Fixed a serious balance issue with splashback, blinding flash, upthrust, updraft, and thicket flash, where they could strike a single enemy many times because of hitting them with multiple pieces of shrapnel, thus doing far too much (and inconsistent) damage.
    • Also, the attack powers on these were WILDLY out of balance in general, given that these are supposed to be utility spells for knocking back enemies rather than directly offensive spells. These have been nerfed into oblivion on the attack front, but this release will also see the knockback becoming far more effective. Also, their ammo costs have been dropped across the board.
  • Fixed a serious balance issue with hydroburst that was allowing it to hit monsters more than once and do huuuge amounts of damage from that.
    • In general its damage was far too high anyhow, and has now been reduced to about 1/3 of its former value.
  • Fixed balance issues with the shattered spells and the heave spells where multiple pieces of shrapnel could strike a single enemy, doing way too much damage.
  • Fixed the balance on kinetic pillar, which was incredibly overpowered on its initial hit and then too weak on ongoing hits.
  • Feather flight now only costs half as much ammo.
  • Doom Crescent has been completely rebalanced. Its cooldown is now six times longer, but its attack power is now four times stronger. This thing is pretty deadly.
  • The amount of time you can hold a charge shot at full charge is no longer limited to 5 seconds.
    • Thanks to Nanashi and Pepisolo for suggesting.
  • Whips and tridents no longer only fire on the first keypress.
    • Thanks to Misery for suggesting.
  • Intrusion repeller robots are no longer able to go into the water.
  • Fixed another interior slice with a really difficult jump due to a low overhead.
  • The health of monsters no longer rises at a faster rate on higher difficulties; that was making monsters too damage-spongey on those sorts of difficulties. The health scaling is still smaller on the lower two difficulties, though.

Knockback Rework

  • Entropy mass, gale mass, energy mass, and sea mass now fire much slower and have knockback capabilities. This further differentiates them from the burst spells that they are paired with.
  • None of the player spells have knockback anymore except for the reckless spells, the specifically-for-knockback spells, and the Mass spells that are paired with the burst spells.
  • All of the monster knockback resistances have been re-evaluated, as have all the knockback strengths on the few player spells that retain the ability. The net effect of all these changes is that those spells that have knockback are now far more useful against almost all mobile monsters, and the effects of the knockback is enough to make these tactically interesting in terms of actually knocking enemies away from you so that you can have more time to fire on them.
    • Thanks to Misery for starting us working on this rework, which really is quite an improvement for this mechanic.
  • Finally solved the knock-forward problem by making it be based on the angle between the firing player and the monster at the time of impact of the spell, rather than anything to do with the spell itself.
    • Thanks to BobTheJanitor for suggesting.

Calibers Rework

  • Previously, the calibers of spells were based on their size in most cases, but plus or minus various bonuses. This was confusing and led to some exploits. A simplified version of the caliber system has now been implemented, which is a lot easier to understand, not prone to the exploits discovered in the old system, and which emphasizes tactical combat just as much (or more) as the old system.
    • Rather than there being a numeric system for calibers (more on that below), there are now four calibers: Low, Normal, High, and Ultimate.
      • Two spells of the same caliber that collide will cancel each other out and both die. A lower-caliber spell that hits a higher-caliber spell will be canceled out and die (as before).
    • The caliber assignments are as follows:
      • Player Spells:
        • Except where noted, all player spells are Low caliber.
        • Normal Caliber: Whips, Tridents, crescents, jetpacks, smashes, bolt implosion.
        • High Caliber: All ammo-based spells except where noted, Campfire.
        • Ultimate Caliber: Reckless spells, Blinding Flash, Flameout, Updraft, Upthrust, Splashback, Thicket Flash, Summoned Molten Mesa, Gravity Well.
        • Energy bomb burst is an ammo spell that is, unusually, low power.
        • Special note about charge shots: all charge shots have four stages. Stages 1-2 are low caliber. Stage 3 is normal caliber. Stage 4 is high caliber.
      • Monster Spells:
        • Except where noted, all monster spells are Normal caliber.
        • Except where noted, all henchman spells are High caliber.
        • Except where noted, all overlord spells are Ultimate caliber.
        • Low: Monsters do not have any low-caliber spells.
        • High: Monster thorn cross (swamp thing), monster whips (dark imp, highlands toad, etc), monster energy spray (missile post).
        • Ultimate: Lilith's counterattack leaves, thrown rhino axes, armored golem shots.
      • Environmental stuff:
        • Except where noted, all environmental stuff is Normal caliber.
        • High: Small fireball shrapnel, small miasma shrapnel, giant fireball shrapnel.
    • Thanks to Nanashi and Pepisolo for the suggestions that led to this change.
  • Above I stated that the calibers are now non-numeric, but that's only partly true. The way they are presented to the players is now non-numberic. However, they do have numeric values "under the hood" as follows:
    • Low = 1
    • Normal = 100
    • High = 10,000
    • Ultimate = 1,000,000
    • As you can see, each caliber has a numeric value 100x the value of the previous one.
    • Any time two spells collide, they deal damage to one another that is consistent with their underlying caliber number. When a spell has taken enough damage to equal its own caliber, it dies.
      • Thus 100 low shots being fired into a normal shot would collapse the normal shot -- of course this is ridiculously impractical to ever happen, so the underlying numbers don't really matter for a casual understanding of pure calibers.
      • The reason for these numbers at all is solely to do with the three caliber-increasing perks, and the caliber-increasing nature of having concentration bars.
        • Previously, the three caliber-increasing perks granted 10/15/20 extra caliber percentage per perk. Now it's a flat 12% per each perk.
          • More specifically, it's 15% of the next tiers, value. So if you have one such perk and it is applied to a low-caliber spell that normally has an internal value of 1, it will make it so that spell has a value of 16 instead. Thus instead of it taking 100 shots to kill a normal caliber spell with your low caliber spells, it will take 7.
        • Similarly, each bar of concentration attained still an extra 10% per bar. The manner in which this works is identical to what is described above.
          • So at full concentration with all the concentration perks, it takes two shots to kill a normal caliber shot with a low caliber shot, rather than 100.
    • Minor addendum: it is not possible for a spell to be boosted above the internal power of ultimate. In other words, if you have an ultimate spell against an ultimate spell, they will always cancel each other out rather than one ever winning over the other from any perks or concentration bonuses.
    • This all may sound complicated, but it's really as simple as "you can damage enemy shots to shoot them down, but instead of using the spell's damage stat it goes by the caliber," to quote Gemzo, who came up with the base concept behind this.
    • Thanks to Gemzo for suggesting the underlying health numerics behind spells as a solution to what to do with the perks and concentration levels.
  • Fixed a race condition in multiplayer that could sometimes result in inconsistent caliber detections between spells.
    • Thanks to Aklyon for reporting.
  • Updates to the position of some of the perks:
    • Both the first Muse and Caliber perks were on level 5, so those were fine.
    • The second muse perk has been moved from level 8 to level 10, switching with an ammo attack upgrade. Now it and caliber are again in the same level.
    • The third caliber perk has been moved from level 11 to level 16, switching with a primary shot speed upgrade. Now it and caliber are again in the same level.
    • This way it's impossible to overbalance the caliber of your spells in an exploitatively-stacking way.
  • Previously, the armored golem had to be struck by a caliber of at least 1000. Now it has to be struck by a naturally Ultimate caliber spell instead.
    • Also, rather than showing a text interjection explaining this the first time you attack an armored golem, it instead now tells you to do this in the floating BLOCKED! popup. The idea is still to use its own weapons against it.

Monster Respawning/Despawning Changes

  • All of the regular monsters in a chunk (aka, not bosses) are no longer saved to disk when a chunk saves. This means that all new monsters in the original positions are loaded the next time you load the chunk off of the disk.
    • The benefit of this is that you can't walk back through a door and find yourself in the middle of a monster who had chased you right to the door and was lurking there, or things of that nature.
    • Thanks to Misery for suggesting.
  • That rule from Valley 1 where you had to stay out of a chunk for 10 seconds before you would be invincible upon entering has finally been repealed.
    • Now the monsters and spells in that room reset, and you regain your invincibility immediately, if you leave the room and come back in.
    • The way that invincibility is added when you go into a room in multiplayer is also now different: if you go into a room where other players are invincible, you'll be invincible too. If you go into a room where they have already started playing, and are within 2000px of your location, you won't be invincible. This avoids exploits of running in and out of rooms in multiplayer for invincibility, while still retaining the flexibility of not having to do the whole 10 second rule for coming in and out.
    • Thanks to Misery for inspiring these changes.

Robotic Hacking Escape Difficulty

  • Fixed an issue where the stationary floor and swimming were still spawning in the robotic research facility escape sequences when they were not supposed to be. This was making those sequences harder than intended.
  • The time between spawns during robotic hacking escapes no longer varies upwards with the combat difficulty; the monsters that are spawning are already varying enough! However, the easier two difficulties still are easier than default.
  • During robotic hacking escapes, the attack strength and health of monsters is now suppressed compared to normal; this helps it feel like you are being oppressed just as much as before, but without it actually dealing as much damage. Basically using some of the boss fight psychology from other modern games.
  • Scout Drones, Intrusion Repellers, and urban tackle droids are no longer allowed to seed in the robot research facility regions. Clockwork tumblers now seed instead.
  • During robot hacking escapes, crates no longer reappear in your path.
  • Previously, a robotic hacking escape required you to go through two interior chunks, an underground chunk, a surface chunk, another undergroudn chunk, and two more interior chunks.
    • This was too much! It now just takes you through three interior chunks, period -- however, the middle one is really a marathon.
  • Generally speaking, these changes make the robotic hacking escapes not quite so difficult, especially on higher difficulties.
    • Thanks to Misery for pointing out the discrepancy in how much harder these became in the higher difficulties.

Sound Effects Work

  • Fixed the Forest Slider having the same impact and firing sound effects.
  • The "blast" group of spells now has their proper sound effects.
  • Fixed the miasma whip sound effect.
  • All of the player spells up through tier 3 now have their proper sound effects.
  • The meteor storm spell now uses proper sound effects.
  • The "rebound" spells now have proper sound effects.
  • All of the player spells up through tier 4 now have their proper sound effects.
  • Thorn smash and radiant smash now have proper sound effects.
  • The sound effects for the "shattered" spells are now in place.
  • The sound effects for heaved boulders, glaciers, and magma hitting targets are now in place.
  • The sound effects for molten mesa smashing into things are now in place.
  • Stepping into lavafalls, waterfalls, etc, now has a sound effect when it hits you.
  • Fixed up the sounds on kinetic pillar.
  • There is now a proper sound effect for feather flight.
  • The sound effects for bolt implosion have been fixed up.
  • Fixed an issue where Shattered Doom had far too long of a range on its primary canister.
  • Doom Crescent now has an extremely freaky sound effect.
  • The sound effects for absolutely all of the player spells are now finalized!

Beta .807 Melee Deux

(Released February 13th, 2013)

  • The overlord keep had object art of things that were supposed to be hanging on a wall floating where there was no wall. Fixed.
    • Thanks to windgen for the report.
  • The graphics for IceFish have been finalized.
  • The Heavy Cat Studios logo has been added to the main menu.
  • A new character has been added to the game: Anne.
  • The graphics for the Jellyfish have been finalized.
  • The landshark art has now been finalized.
  • The pigman graphics have been finalized.
  • The Procompsognathus graphics have been greatly improved, and are now finalized.
  • The intrusion repeller graphics have now been finalized.
  • The graphics for the mechanical spider have been finalized.
  • The graphics for the insect fiends (regular and small) have been finalized.
  • The graphics for the rhino warrior have been finalized, with them becoming more painterly rather than cartoony now.
  • Fixed a bug where the last release had deep gates at 1/8 strength instead of 1/2.
  • Added a start-of-turn-4 text interjection to explain world map monsters, NPC combat against them, and (briefly) deep gates.
    • This timing seems to make the most sense, as the first batch of monsters will have emerged from the lair at the beginning of that turn.
  • The riser spells now have proper impact sounds.
  • Fixed a bug where sine spells could bounce off the top of crates without damaging them.
  • Added strategic advisor sections for "Inactive Deep Gate" and "Active Deep Gate" when those are present in the visible area of the map.
  • Equipment that gives the "Extra Shots" bonus now never gives fewer than 1 extra shot.
    • Thanks to windgen for the report.
  • Fixed a really longstanding issue with the acceleration of spells and flying monsters at angles, that had a number of side effects. Among these were things like the fusillade spells becoming more accurate if fired at an angle!
    • Thanks to Nargasse for reporting.
  • Added new "Start Giving NPC Movement Order" keybind (defaults to M on the keyboard; no default gamepad binding).
    • If you are on the world map and on a tile with an NPC and not in give-move-order mode, this emulates the "Order (survivor name) To Move" button on the interaction menu. This keybind is useful if you want to save the keypress needed to open the interaction menu.
    • If you are alreayd in give-move-order mode, this emulates the Confirm keybind that tries to actually complete the movement order.
    • Note that this will only work when that interaction menu button would be both available and usable. So it won't work on turn 2 when it's waiting for you to build the clinic (tutorial action), or when the NPC has already moved, etc.
  • Bumping into the four kinds of impasse on the world map now only shows the text interjection the first time you do it in a world, not the first time each session in a given world.
  • The resources bar on the world map now shows the value for food, scrap, morale, and population with the following colors:
    • For Food and Scrap:
      • If last turn's change was -100 or less, or negative and at least 10% of the new total: Red.
      • Else, if last turn's change was 100 or more, or positive and at least 10% of the new total: Green.
      • Else: Yellow.
    • For Morale:
      • If last turn's change was -3 or less: Red.
      • Else, if last turn's change was 3 or more: Green.
      • Else: Yellow.
    • For Population:
      • If last turn's change was -1 or less: Red.
      • Else, if last turn's change was 1 or more: Green.
      • Else: Yellow.
  • Added following cheat buttons to the L menu:
    • Smite Non-Overlord World Map Monsters
    • Add New Resistance Member
      • Creates them on a square near the overlord lair
    • Fully Heal All Survivors
    • Free Mass-Purify Amp Pulse
      • Just like an amp tower's special ability.
  • Inside buildings and caves, non-swimming monsters are now barred from spawning too close to doors (within 5 tiles in any direction from the door center). This should help to eliminate the unavoidable sneak attacks from dinosaurs and such.
    • Thanks to Misery for suggesting.

Balance Changes

  • All charge spells now have higher calibers when you let them charge up.
    • Each charge spell has 4 levels to it. The first level (and fastest to fire) is unchanged, but, the caliber of this spell goes up more for each successive level.
  • Miasma Slider has had it's caliber dropped just a bit.
  • Cleft Smoglet has been nerfed slightly.
  • Fixed a bug with the bomb and mine spells where they could deal inconsistent damage to enemies based on hitting them more than once with multiple pieces of shrapnel from one explosion.
  • Fixed a bug with death explosions from enemies that could deal far too much damage to other enemies based on there being way more shrapnel hits than there should have been.
  • Feathery Debris Field now hits a little harder, even though it's cost is cheap, it's hard to hit something consistently with this.
  • Ocean Spray now has a cost of 10, and does slightly less damage.
    • Thanks to pepisolo for pointing out that this one was pretty cheesable against bosses.
  • Clockwork Pigeon is now a bit easier to kill, and waits a bit longer between shots.
  • Ice Flare, Bolt Flare, and Dark Flare all now light up the room they are in like they are supposed to.
  • Eels now only fire off three rings instead of four.
    • Essentially, this means they can't hit you from quite so far away.
  • Completely redefined the Energy Globe attack from the Staminist class, which was a pretty boring straight-shot attack in a class with a riser and a rocket already in it. The new description:
    • A floating globe of watery capsules bursts forth around you to hit potentially many enemies at once. Not too powerful individually, but supremely easy to hit many enemies with -- or fast-moving enemies that are otherwise hard to hit.
  • Spells should no longer prevent other spells from firing after the .2 second global cooldown.
    • The only exception to this are the intentionally paired Mass and Burst spells.
  • Fixed an issue where Land Octopi, Swamp Things, and Landsharks were not able to go in and out of water freely despite intending for that to be the case.

Melee Rework

  • The prior style of "cannot be hit except by melee and ammo spells" protection that some enemies had has been removed. It was fiddly and really made for frustrations on the part of some players. Instead, the following has been implemented:
    • A new system now makes it so that certain enemies can only be hit when a player is standing within X range of them. In multiplayer this can be a different person than the one firing the shot, so that one player can tank while another launches ranged attacks if you wish.
    • The idea here is that this still emphasizes close combat, which was the original point, but without making you have to use certain spells or certain mage classes. Some mage classes are still better than others for the ocean shallows, of course, like with any region type -- but it's no longer so stark a contrast.
    • Thematically, these creatures have shielding that they only let down when they think they're about to be able to attack you.
    • Also, rather than having text interjections pop up when you fail to attack these, the blocked message that floats out of enemies has simply been expanded to say "BLOCKED! You'll have to come closer than that!" This keeps the flow of the game from getting annoyingly slow in these areas.
    • The following enemies have a range of 250 that you have to be inside to hit them: Landshark, Swordfish, Sphinx.
    • The following enemies have a range of 200 that you have to be inside to hit them: Jellyfish, Bubble Mass, Ancient Ocean Stone, Leaper Crab.
  • The spell Water Punch has been replaced by a new spell Flying Water Fist:
    • Low-power utility spell that causes enemies it touches to have their movement speed reduced by 75% for five seconds.
  • The spell Draught Reversal has been replaced by a new spell Draught Throw:
    • Low-power utility spell that causes enemies it touches to take twice as long between firing ranged attacks at you.
  • The spell Fire Punch has been replaced by a new spell Flying Fire Fist:
    • Low-power utility spell that causes enemies it touches to take twice as long between firing ranged attacks at you.
  • The spell Ice Punch has been replaced by a new spell Flying Ice Fist:
    • Low-power utility spell that causes enemies it touches to have their movement speed reduced by 75% for five seconds.
  • The spell Thorn Punch has been replaced by a new spell Flying Thorn Fist:
    • Low-power utility spell that causes enemies it touches to have their movement speed reduced by 75% for five seconds.
  • The spell Solar Punch has been replaced by a new spell Flying Solar Fist:
    • Low-power utility spell that causes enemies it touches to take twice as long between firing ranged attacks at you.
  • The spell Entropic Touch has been replaced by a new spell Flying Entropic Finger:
    • Low-power utility spell that causes enemies it touches to take twice as long between firing ranged attacks at you.
  • The spell Storm Fist has been replaced by a new spell Flying Storm Fist:
    • Mid-power utility spell that causes enemies it touches to have their movement speed reduced by 75% for five seconds.

Sound Effects Work

  • The sound effects of the "crescent" spells have been improved.
  • The hit sound effects of the bomb and mine spells have been improved.
  • Improved the sound effect that plays when a turn is advanced.
  • The riser spells now have proper impact sounds.
  • The feather and ocean spray spells now have proper firing impact sounds.
  • The slider spells now have proper firing sound effects.
  • The remainder of the sine spells now have proper impact sound effects.
  • The debris field spells now have proper impact sound effects.
  • The jetpack spells now have proper sound effects for firing and impacts.
  • All of the tier 2 mage classes now have their full sound effects now.

Beta .806 Balancing Well With Others

(Released February 12th, 2013)

  • Background objects now seed in the overlord's keep and the level-up towers.
  • The last 15 buildings have now been finalized by Heavy Cat!
  • The image for the thawing towers on the world map has now been updated, since the side-view thawing towers design is finally in place.
  • Fixed an issue with the Deep Mausoleum having a bit of a border around it.
    • Thanks to windgen for reporting.
  • The graphics for all three of the "ancient stone" variants have been finalized.
  • The floating bone mass, which was an uncharacteristically ugly enemy in the game, has been completely redrawn and re-animated and is now one of the coolest-looking ones.
  • The graphics for the machinegun sentinel have now been finalized.
  • The graphics for the wall probe have been finalized.
  • The missile post, which previously used some placeholder graphics that were clearly based on a 3D model, have now been completely redrawn and reanimated to this really cool crystalline moving structure instead.
  • Previously, the "harsh breathing" sound effect for low health would keep playing even after you had died. Fixed.
  • The enterable area for cavern doors has been made smaller to avoid situations where players could get stuck in caverns.
    • Thanks to Pepisolo for reporting this.
  • Desert Plants art assest has been fixed so it doesn't look like it's floating anymore.
    • Thanks to Acetyl for this one.
  • There were still a few references to "skelebots" in the help and interjection text. Fixed.
    • Thanks to WhiteSeraph and windgen for pointing them out.
  • Fixed a bunch of in-game text, including a number of typos and a few oddly worded items.
    • Big thanks to Pepisolo and Aquhon for these!
  • Redid the Load Game menu to also provide functions for "Create Backup" and "Delete", so that those extra menus could be removed.
  • Fixed a longstanding bug where the Cancel keybind would not close the Settings window.
  • Fixed a longstanding bug where the Cancel keybind would not close the License Key window.

Multiplayer Improvements

  • Fixed the bug in multiplayer with the sine spells not moving properly.
  • Vastly reduced the network load of using most spells.
  • Took AWAY a couple of intended "efficiency improvements" on the network syncing of monsters and characters. The way this was working, it was often causing jerkiness and stutters for players or monsters who paused in their movements remotely.
    • This does increase network bandwidth requirements some, but it should be offset by two things: 1) the fix to bandwidth being wasted by most spells; 2) the changes that were made earlier in the life of Valley 2 to make it not even simulate monsters that are too far out of your range in the current chunk. All in all it should roughly even out and wind up giving a better networking experience based on our testing.
  • Fixed several issues with the stance of the other players showing up fairly wonky in multiplayer. It should now remain properly synced.
  • Fixed the playback of the drone and magnetic spells on remote multiplayer clients, which required the addition of a whole new sub-branch of the multiplayer model for local simming of some spells to be propagated out over the network. Seems to work fine, though, at least.
  • Made a number of hefty internal changes to how the enemy movement playback is handled between the clients and the server. This seems to have fixed a number of subtle issues while letting it work with our new model for syncing certain spells better.
  • Fixed an issue where wall crawlers moving in certain directions in multiplayer would walk backwards.
  • Fixed an issue where missiles and similar would not rotate properly to where they were heading in multiplayer.
  • Fixed an issue where a number of projectiles fired by enemies would not properly explode against walls as they do in single player (for instance, clockwork missiles).
  • The wall crab falling water was not properly spreading out when it hit the ground in multiplayer. Fixed.

Adventure Refinements

  • Previously, the lava-falls were not being used anywhere in the game! Now the lava flats uses them properly instead of water (which looked really odd), and for good measure the future junkyards also now use the lava instead of water.
  • Fixed an issue where all of the "debris field" spells that the player could use were harmless to monsters.
    • Thanks to Vatticson and others for reporting.
  • Feats are now automatically applied to all players in a world unless the feat is specifically disabled. This saves considerable fiddling. Double-jump is now automatically disabled as soon as you get triple jump, which replaces it, as part of this.
    • Thanks to madcow for suggesting.
  • Fixed a bug where the non-ammo-based clinging spells were damaging melee-or-ammo-only enemies when they should not have been.
    • Thanks to Panopticon and Misery for reporting.
  • Fixed a bug where feather spray, the reckless spells, and a few others would not strike enemies like bats.
    • Thanks to madcow for reporting.
  • Fixed a bug where the player debris field spells were not colliding with enemy spells, and thus were not making use of their nice high calibers.

Balance Changes

  • Insect Explosion has been buffed by about 1/3rd.
    • Thanks to Misery for inspiring this change.
  • Stone Shot has been buffed.
    • Thanks to Nanashi for this one.
  • Eels are now easier to kill.
    • Thanks to Panpoticon for pointing out they were a bit too tough.
  • Fire Flare now actually lights up the room, like it's supposed to.
    • Thanks to Pepisolo for reporting this one.
  • Flame Mummy's shots have had their caliber lowered significantly, to be more in line with their actual size.
    • Thanks to Zezarict for bringing this one up.
  • Shots that explode on death now no longer die from hitting something that has just been killed by another shot; this was affecting things like the clouds of homing particles in the "clinging cloud" spells, for instance."
  • The "clinging cloud" spells" now use different AI from their "single clinging" cousins: instead of all going for the nearest target enemy, they divide up in-range enemies at random, making them a lot more effective. They also now last for 3 seonds rather than the single-clinging's 2 seconds.
  • The Clinging spells now have separate cool downs in addition to the global cooldown.
    • This means that while one of these spells can only be fired once every 1.5 seconds for example, other spells can still be fired in a more reasonable time.
  • Fixed an issue with the highlands toad not actually having a reasonable range on its attacks anymore.
    • Thanks to Misery for reporting.
  • The tiny bats spawned by the sleepy trees are now disallowed from dropping health and ammo.
    • Thanks to windgen for suggesting.

Strategic Refinements, Round (TKO)

  • Now while you stand on a tile you could purify (meaning it's corrupted but still can be entered) all tiles that would be purified (including autopurification) by that are highlighted.
  • All Auto-purify tiles (caves, deep gates, level-up towers, etc) are now automatically scouted if they are adjacent to another tile that is has been scouted.
  • Deep Gate Rebalance:
    • Are now only activated by being purified.
    • But are now auto-purified when adjacent to a purified tile.
    • As mentioned above, these are now automatically always scouted if they are adjacent to another tile that is .
    • Now generate 1/2-strength summons instead of 1/4 (since there's now generally far fewer turns you have to deal with their spawns before you can take them down).
    • Thanks to Misery, Billick, and others for inspiring these changes.

Beta .805 Warehouse District

(Released February 10th, 2013)

  • Found a slice that was only possible in one direction.
    • Thanks to Prismwind for reporting that it didn't work when the game flipped it around.
  • The game now only does the popups for picking up a piece of equipment if the current turn is less than turn 3. This is referring to the pieces of equipment that pop up every time, not the one that comes up the first time only.
    • Thanks to Mick for suggesting.
  • The little floating comments that happen every 12 seconds when your stuff is being blown about by a windstorm now only show up on the first three turns.
    • The other ones about gravitational forces keep showing up throughout the game both because those are rarer, and because they are so unexpected (and have no other visual cues, unlike the rain/snow/ash lashing the screen in the case of wind).
    • Thanks to Pepisolo and Mick for inspiring this change.
  • Fixed a longstanding chunk-gen bug in caves that could lead to some windows to the outside sky!
  • Fixed another chunk-gen bug that could seemingly lead to small ceiling clingers (and definitely led the ceiling above them sometimes being angled in caves or exteriors when it should not have been.
  • Updated a slice in some caves that was causing a rather strange formation of completely inaccessible area most of the time.
  • Fixed an issue where the new food and scrap caps were being applied too early in the turn and thus making it so that you could never have more than (cap - consumption) food stored. Now you can actually store up to the cap.
    • Thanks to Ashnal for guessing we might have made that mistake. ;)
  • Updated the turn events display to show how much food and scrap could not be kept due to lack of storage.
  • The effect on food reduction of the warehouses is now able to stack, but cannot take the survivor consumption below 1 food per turn.
  • While you control warehouses -- usually a temporary thing -- your food and scrap caps are increased by 200 per warehouse.
    • Thanks to Ashnal for suggesting.
  • Fixed a minor issue where the text of the dispatch mission for building an ocean shallows covered farm would stick out over the side of its button.

Beta .804 The Angst Of A 360 In Search Of Its Control Node

(Released February 10th, 2013)

  • The lava backdrops have now been finalized.
  • The font used by the various minor text popups like health/damage and blocked messages and so forth are all improved.
  • Yet more slices cleaned up. Down to about 500 issues now (out of the original 1300+).

Adventure Refinements

  • With all the various changes that have been made in the last month, the balance for the late game adventure game had gotten quite out of hand in terms of the spell power increases.
    • Basically, players now play fewer strategic turns to get to the end of the game, and get the mage class tiers more frequently as well. As such, the base balance numbers needed to be adjusted for this; even moving to tier 2 spells would suddenly make things feel too godlike.
    • The change we've made for now is to make it so that each spell tier's basline is now 1.7x more powerful than the tier that came before, rather than 2x as powerful as the tier that came before.
    • The baseline powers were previous 75/150/300/600/1200, but are now 75/128/218/370/629.
      • As you can see, because of the compounding effect, this makes it so that tier 2 is still quite a jump from tier 1 like it was before, but by the time you hit to tier 5 it is now barely stronger than tier 4 was in the old system. We'll see how this balance feels in practice, but it should be a lot closer to the mark in terms of having an interesting end-game.
  • The fusillade spells now have twice as many shots that come out of them, and a cone of firing that is twice as wide. This may make them OP for the moment, we'll see, as no other values have been changed.
  • Mercenary coin improvements:
    • The angle at which the mercenary coins pop out of bosses has been adjusted to no longer be quite so wide, so you don't have to run around so far to pick them up.
    • The mercenary coins now have proper friction with the ground and don't just slide away endlessly.
    • Thanks to Misery, Ashnal, and Billick for reporting.
  • Underground caverns previously had their surface area, plus 2-3 fully-underground caverns, and then their reward room. This was definitely on the long side.
    • Now caverns have their surface area, plus 1-2 fully-underground caverns, and then their reward room.
    • Thanks to Billick and Misery for suggesting.
  • Reckless shots no longer give you flashing invincibility and also no longer cause your concentration to go down.
    • Thanks to Misery for suggesting.
  • Being on fire (from any source, include the equipment) no longer gives you flashing invincibility, now strikes you even when you ARE still invincible, but also does not affect your concentration.
    • Thanks to Ashnal for suggesting.
  • The skelebot towers regions have been vastly shortened, from 380 width to 200 width. This also reduces the number of towers you're likely to run into there substantially.
    • Thanks to lots of players for suggesting this in no uncertain terms. ;)
  • When the player's spells are being driven off course by either a windstorm, a repulsor field, or a gravitational field, the player's character now remarks on this in a little floating/rising text popup as soon as it starts happening, and then every 12 seconds after that if it keeps happening. Each popup lasts for 3 seconds to allow for the player to actually see them.
    • Thanks to Prismwind, nas1m and Ipkins for reporting the confusion that this was causing.

Strategic Refinements, Round 10

  • Farm rebalance:
    • Ice age covered farms previously cost 80 scrap to build and produced 105 food. They now cost 240scrap and produce 80 food.
    • Grassland farms still produce 80 food and cannot be constructed, only found.
    • Ocean shallows covered farm previously cost 120 scrap and produced 80 food. They now cost 240 scrap and still produce 80 food.
  • The Abandoned Town Warehouses were previously accidentally indestructible to Demonaica, which was also contributing to the way-too-much-food-too-easily problem. This has been fixed.
    • Thanks to Ashnal for reporting.
  • The amount of food and scrap that you can store is now sharply capped at 999 each. As we discovered long ago with AI War, not having caps of this sort can simply lead to players getting into situations where they cannot lose. It's also thematically fitting that they could only store so much in this game, too.
    • These caps may feel like they are on the lowish side, and it's true that they sort of are, but the "use it or lose it" mentality is something that fits better with the game in general. Also, with the rebalanced farm scrap costs, there shouldn't be quite such excesses of food anyhow.
    • Thanks to Ashnal for inspiring this change with his 25,000 food stockpile on the default difficulty.
  • The "Know Your Allies: Power" help text had some out of date information and has been fixed. Note that no classes except for soldiers get any extra power at the end of their turn except for from clinics.
    • Thanks to zespri for reporting.
  • The "Know Your Allies: Classes" help text did not mention the free heals that soldiers get. Fixed.
  • The help text and clinic descriptions now makes it clear that multiple clinics can heal each NPC per turn.
    • Thanks to windgen for suggesting.

Sound Effects Work

  • The little sound effect that plays when you find a multiplayer server is now a lot nicer.
  • When you get low on health, there is now a low, harsh breathing sound effect that plays in order to give you an auditory cue. Hopefully this is of such a nature as to not be annoying like the Zelda heart beeps -- we're certainly not a fan of the heart beeps of yore either, but this seems okay to us.
    • Currently the rules are:
      • If you are below half a heart of health, the breaths come very rapidly, at 1 second intervals.
      • If you are below one heart of health, OR you are below 10% of your total health, the breaths come pretty rapidly, at 1.4 second intervals.
      • If you are below 20% of your total health, the breaths come at 2 second intervals.
    • Thanks to Mick for suggesting.

Default Gamepad Controller Improvements

  • Integrated Pepisolo's keybinding sets for the following:
    • Xbox 360 Controller Defaults
    • PS2 Dualshock 2 Defaults
    • WASD Keyboard Controls
    • Huuuuge thanks to Pepisolo for creating these and testing them extensively on multiple controllers!
  • Fixed an issue where if you were closing out of a menu using a keybind that also mapped to a spell, it would fire the spell.
  • The default gamepad controls are now Pepisolo's "Xbox 360 Controller Defaults" set, since more players have 360 controllers than any other controller.
  • The interface for selecting default input bindings has been moved onto its own window so that it can be more clearly expressed just what it does. There is now a much clearer button on the input bindings window that lets you set the defaults the way that you want.

Beta .803 Just Give It To Me Straight, Okay?

(Released February 9th, 2013)

  • Fixed a bug in the last couple of versions where windstorms would crop up at the end of tiles where there were no windstorm generators!
  • Monsters are now barred from moving while there are no players nearby who are not invincible.
    • This means that when everyone is stopped in order to read a text interjection, or is sitting in the middle of invincibility lightning in general, the monsters don't seem to be threatening you.
    • Thanks to lots of people for requesting this in some form or another!
  • Corrected the farms, chateau, and city hall, which were reporting that there were three perk tokens to be found in their tiles when it was really only one. The pyramids have three, but they are the only tile with more than one.
    • Thanks to zespri for reporting.
  • When enemies who are stopped by the "freeze and shake" effect of taking damage are stopped, they now properly lose all their momentum as well. Before they could continue gliding on their previous movement track (usually toward you).
    • Bear in mind that some enemies are perfectly capable of moving through their shaking, and those ones continue to do so.
  • Fixed a bug in all prior versions where clockwork avians and swamp gaslets would stop chasing you after you passed level 8.
  • In the spell descriptions in the escape menu and the mage class selection window, the game now specifies if a spell does knockback, and what the ammo cost for ammo spells are. Incredibly, the ammo cost was never specified anywhere in the game before!
  • Completely redesigned the fonts and font sizes in the mage class window, as well as the width of the window itself, for easier reading.
  • Reworked the display of the character portrait and some of the stats on the escape menu to be more compact, as well as removing some really useless information that was actually from the first game.
  • Reworked the display of the fonts and font sizes in the mage class spell descriptions in the escape menu -- they were incredibly tiny before because we didn't have room for larger, but now we've made room even on 1024x768 screens for them.

HUD Improvements

  • The way that life hearts are represented in the game HUD is now handled completely iconically, with no numerics. In other words, each life heart is shown individually in rows at the top of the screen, rather than having a single larger heart with a number by it at the bottom of the screen.
    • As part of this, it also shows empty heart capsules for hearts that you have lost (plus a shrinking heart for the one you are currently on), so that now you can actually tell what your current health is out of your max health (which was not really possible before).
    • Thanks to a lot of players for bringing this up since beta started.
  • Ammo spells now show their cost directly on the HUD below their ability bar icon, which is super helpful information!
  • The actual current ammo display on the HUD now has a header that says "Spell Ammo," so that it's clear what that little icon means!
  • The equipment and concentration indicators on the HUD have had their positions improved a bit so that there is more spacing between everything now that health has moved to the top of the screen.
  • The way that the game handles showing both messages in the message log and dialogue is now much better; it will move the dialogue down to not be overlapped by the messages log as needed.
  • Improved the readability and the character set of one of the main fonts; now it can actually draw tildes, backquotes, underscores, and 13 other characters that it was lacking before.
  • Fixed some font offsetting issues from the last couple of versions with buttons and so forth.
  • The font used for dialogue text is now larger and clearer, and no longer has funny font things like capital letters that look like lowercase letters (and thus look like typos bur really are not).
  • The concentration meter has been much improved; its visuals are a bit better, and it now shows as an actual meter that shows the amount it has filled so far out of the total it can fill. By default this is 3, but with perks you can get that all the way up to a max of 6.

Refinements For New Players

  • Renamed "Strategic Overview" to "Strategic Advisor".
  • Added an additional note on how to open the Strategic Advisor in the first bit of info that mentions it (it happens when you first reach the world map).
  • The Strategic Advisor menu now no longer shows the buttons for the list-of-NPCs or the danger-to-NPCs overlay, since they appeared to new players to be more emphasized/important than the actual advice topics below them, which was not the message we wanted to send.
  • The three mandatory tutorial steps (move NPC to clinic site, move NPC to farmland, build clinic) now also show in the message window.
  • Fixed a longstanding bug that was preventing the display of the "after you dispatch the NPCs, it's your turn to go do something" text interjection on turn 1.
  • Added a couple "what to do now" lines to the message window on turns 1, 2, and 3 when not showing a mandatory-tutorial-step message.
    • Doesn't show on quick-start worlds, even though that starts on turn 3.
  • Now when you use the mouse to click on a perk in the perk menu, it highlights (as well as chooses) the clicked perks so you can see the description of it.
  • The end-of-turn report section for the overlord's forces now tells you how many turns left until the overlord emerges (and that he emerges on turn 14), if he's not out yet.
  • The end-turn-report records for scavenging are now split into separate records for food and scrap, so that the food section isn't also showing how much scrap was collected and vice versa.
    • Old worlds will still have the joint records for the last turn, but the next turn played will have the split-out records.
  • There's now a text interjection the first time you purify a level-up tower, to make sure that you know about what it lets you do and that there really aren't any downsides to levelling up.
  • Switched the resource bar on the world map to having a vertical orientation along the left side rather than having a horizontal orientation at the top left.
    • The purpose of this is to keep the top part of the screen less crowded when there are things like the message log with items in it, AND it's to let us put on some more resources if we wish.
    • The resource bar now not only shows the four main resources, but it also shows coins as a regular coin icon (so that you can tell what they are more easily) and it shows an individual count of your three different classes of NPC, with their respective icons.
      • The icons for the NPCs is also our way of teaching players that the icons actually show what class NPCs are, and giving them a handy always-onscreen key to that, too. This lets players look at the board at a glance and understand what is going on, without having to open region windows in a lot of cases.
  • Now when you pick up a mercenary coin for the first time there's a text interjection telling you about them and what they do.
  • The game no longer offers quite such extreme starting builds. Two of the points that would normally be randomly rolled between hearts, attack, and ammo are now automatically allocated to hearts. Thus you cannot ever have a character with fewer than three hearts starting the game anymore.
    • Of course, if you want to pursue an extreme low-health game as you continue, you're free to stick with the three hearts from there on in. This is mostly about making it so that new players don't accidentally shoot themselves in the foot.
  • The following text has been added to all of the "first time I attacked melee-only monster X with something other than a melee spell:
    • "Not every mage class even has melee weapons, so avoidance would be another strategy in that case..."
  • The text interjection from when you open your first chest was wildly out of date and really misleading at this point. It's been corrected to reflect the current game mechanics.
  • No wonder some folks were confused at the start of the story! A key bit of dialogue was being left out when you go into the first room with all the crates. This is because the dialogue was attached to the old freefall room that was there instead of the crates room. This has now been fixed, and the intro is now substantially more clear.
  • The description on the second sign in the crates room has been improved to better explain the mechanic of locking into place while firing at an angle.
  • The first sign in the crates room now also mentions that you can press the escape key to read about what your spells do.
  • The dialogue of the second insurrection member in the overlord keeps third room was confusing because it implied that the NPCs were going to come with you. Now it makes it clear that you're to go on ahead without them.
  • One of the signposts in the armory now has a brief note about how ammo works, since that is not explicitly discussed anywhere else.

More Cheats

  • When cheats are enabled, players now have access to press L and get a number of the debugging tools that we use internally. Specifically, this menu allows you to:
    • Change to any class at any time, from a dropdown.
    • Unlock the new mage class tier at any time.
    • Unlock the next perk or feat at any time.
    • Increase the world level at any time.
    • Purify the region you are standing on on the world map.
    • Advance the turn without purifying a region.
    • Get a random piece of equipment.
    • Smash the oblivion crystal immediately.
    • Smash a stratospheric citadel immediately.
    • Jump to the last chunk in the current dungeon.
    • Murder all bosses in the current chunk.
    • None of these are remotely new to the game, but they are new that we're exposing them to players through even the cheats.
    • Thanks to Gemzo for suggesting that more debugging tools would help players who are working on giving balance feedback.
  • When the player enters an unknown command, the game now says so rather than just sitting strangely silent.
  • Admin rights changes:
    • In single player mode, if the player uses the claim_admin_rights command, it no longer requires a password for them to have that happen successfully.
    • Futher, in single player mode, the solo player automatically becomes an admin, meaning that they can do things like enable cheats without first having to take admin rights.
    • In multiplayer games, the admin rights mode is completely unchanged.

Sound Effects Work

  • There is now a low-pitched, non-annoying text scroll sound effect for dialogue like old-school games generally had, emphasizing the old-school roots the game has.
    • Thanks to Pepisolo for suggesting.

Beta .802 It's Dangerous To Go. Read This

(Released February 9th, 2013)

  • Fixed a bug where the destroyed versions of chateaus, pyramids, adn city halls were not properly reporting the perk tokens available in them.
  • Corrected it so that the grassland farmland now properly reports that there are 3 perk tokens inside that you can find.
    • Thanks to Mick for reporting.
  • Improved the description of the region danger levels to be better.
  • The "this region has X% danger for you" text on the world map now has a display-only internal modifier based on region type to help new players understand which regions are implicitly harder (like lava flats are always harder, for instance, regardless of what else is going on like evil outposts and what turn it is). The initial modifiers used are here, but are still being discussed on the forums to get them refined:
    • Overlord Keep: 150%
    • Level Up Tower: 150%
    • Lava Flats: 300%
    • Desert: 100%
    • Deciduous Forest: 125% (during the day, anyway)
    • Ocean Shallows: 150%
    • Swamp: 125%
    • The Deep: 250%
    • Evergreen Forest: 125%
    • Craggy Highlands: 200%
    • Grasslands: 100%
    • Abandoned Town: 150%
    • Ice Age / Thawing: 125%
    • Future Junkyard: 200%
    • Robotic Research Facility: 300%
  • Fixed a bug from the prior version where if you were playing on Rook strategic difficulty the descriptions of tiles on the world map would be blank. All other difficulties were fine.
    • Thanks to Professor Paul1290 for reporting.
  • Fixed a bug with some button text overlap on the escape menu when you're trying to exit the game.
    • Thanks to MouldyK, Aquohn, Penumbra, Zezarict, and Acetyl for reporting.

Character Work

  • Solved Marty's case of giantism.
  • Improved the coloring/contrast of all three martys.
  • Solved the animation hitches with Marty; he's now considered finalized.
  • Solved Tiyi's case of giantism, and an ugly white outline on part of her black dress version. She is now finalized.
  • Tybalt had a minor case of giantism going on as well, and that has now been corrected. His contrast and sharpness have also been improved some. He's still a bit too muddy, but is getting close.
  • Added a new character to the game: Drugo. He is finalized.
  • Added a new character to the game: Hanly. He is finalized.

Beta .801 Oh, Sorry About The Shrapnel In The Face, Jim

(Released February 8th, 2013)

  • Fixed a crash bug in multiplayer where the game would not properly show the "You May Not Take This Because You Already Have Equipment And Another Player Is Here Who Does Not Have Equipment" message.
    • Thanks to Llakard for the save that helped us finally find this, and MouldyK for initially alerting us to it.
  • Fixed a bug that could cause erroneous missing-loca errors for the names of the fortification tiles.
    • Thanks to windgen for the report.
  • Added in a combat tip to explain the Concentration system.
  • MP in-game tips are now updated.
  • One of the winners of the recent "What Most Needs Done For The Strategy Game?" poll: added a "Skip Tutorial" option to the start-new-world popup.
    • Please remember, if you're playing to help us test, that we want folks to test the tutorial too. Not every single time, but remember the lonely tutorial!
    • Specifically, using this setting:
      • Starts the game on Turn 3, to skip the tutorial.
      • Starts you on the world map.
      • Puts one of your soldiers on the initial farmland tile.
      • Puts your other soldier on the initial clinic site tile.
      • Converts the initial clinic site tile to an actual clinic.
        • And deducts the scrap cost from your scrap stockpile.
      • Adds 1 turn worth of farmland production to your food stockpile.
      • Adds 4 turns (2* 2 NPCs) worth of grassland-shack food and scrap scavenging to your food and scrap stockpiles.
      • Adds 1 morale (for building the clinic).
      • Does two random purifications.
      • As a result of the above, this skips a lot of first-time-blahblah info messages, but most of the ones that would normally happen on turn 3 or later will still happen. Those are much easier to skip using already-available means than the actual 2-turn tutorial.
    • Thanks to chemical_art, Misery, Pepisolo, Penumbra, and the poll voters for inspiring (and, in some cases, capital-letters-demanding) this change.
  • Four more buildings from heavy cat have now been finalized.

Adventure Refinements

  • Fixed an issue where monsters would continue to melee you or have shots explode against you, and you would have all the sounds and effects as if you were being damaged, but really you weren't because you were still flashing after taking other damage. It made it sound like the damage was just piling on, which was not accurate.
  • Updated the flashing-time-after-invincibility logic to no longer just be a flat 1 second, but instead to vary by difficulty (so that on lower difficulties, and even the default difficulty, you're no longer so much at risk from being swarmed by a lot of things at once).
    • Featherweight: 4 seconds.
    • Apprentice: 3 seconds.
    • Adept: 2 seconds (this is the new default, twice what it was prior release).
    • Skilled: 1.5 seconds.
    • Hero: 1 second (so no change here).
    • Master Hero: 0.8 seconds.
    • The Chosen One: 0.6 seconds.
  • The description of whips and tridents have been improved to note that they can bypass certain enemy blocks.
  • Whips and tridents are now considered melee spells.
    • Thanks to LayZboy, Misery, Panopticon, and Pepisolo for suggesting.
  • Draught Reversal is now called Draught Touch, and hits in front of you rather than behind you.
  • All of the touch/punch spells have been updated to note that their high caliber is great for blocking enemy spells.
  • Fixed a bug in the reckless spells where they were sticking on the wall improperly because their cleaving was defined incorrectly.
  • Fixed a bug where cleaving spells could not properly hit bats (and presumably some other enemies as well).
  • The way that monster and character damage and healing popups are handled is now vastly better. Before it would be 1.5 seconds or more before the popup would show up, leading some players to wonder if they were even hitting their target. Now the first damage popup is immediate on hitting a target (or a target hitting you), and subsequent ones have the delay. There are some other subtle tweaks in this as well that just make the whole thing feel more responsive.
  • Fixed some instances of friendly fire (even SELF friendly fire being possible in the last couple of versions due to some other fixes we had put in.
  • Fusillade shots no longer have any knockback power.
  • Previously, when you beat part of a henchman boss battle and they warped away, it was still playing the death sound effect. Now it plays the teleport sound effect and shows the teleport particle effects so that it's really clear what just happened -- because it definitely wasn't clear before!
  • Fixed a bug from the prior version where a number of the melee spells were not having their particles move properly with their collision box, making it look like they were just sitting on you when they were not.
  • The speed of the HighlandsToad's whip has been reduced, as it was too hard to dodge before.
    • Thanks to misery for pointing this out.
  • Fixed _numerous_ bugs with splashback, blinding flash, upthrust, updraft, and thicket flash that were causing these not to spawn reliably in tight quarters, when standing against a wall, when ducking, or even sometimes just standing on the floor!
    • Also made it so that they no longer pick up your horizontal momentum, which makes them easier to use while on the run (more predictable, anyhow).
  • Fixed up the crosses, rockets, monster explosions, and other spells to have the new fixes that prevent them from being fiddly against walls or in tight spaces.
    • Thanks to Misery for reporting the issues with the rockets.
  • Fixed an issue where ricochets and rockets and so forth would not damage level-up totems properly.
    • Thanks to Smiling Spectre, Cinth, and theqmann for reporting.
  • Windstorm generators and level-up totems now do damage popups like monsters do.
  • Player cross spells and melee spells no longer have knockback.
  • The campfire spell has been improved so that it no longer burns out as soon as a monster touches it. It now does half as much damage as it previously did, but it's likely to hit a given enemy well more than twice now.
  • Whips and tridents no longer have knockback.
  • Fixed a bug where none of the "slider" spells would work in multiplayer, and instead would throw exceptions on the server.
    • Thanks to MouldyK and Llakard for reporting.
  • Fixed a bug where player debris fields were hurting the player, and firewalker debris fields were hurting the firewalker.
    • Thanks to Pepisolo, Misery, Professor Paul1290, and Aquohn for reporting.
  • A maximum density of 3 wall crawlers per 30x30 square in a chunk is now enforced. Below turn 5, the enforced density is 2 per 30x30 square in a chunk. This is applied before the normal monster budget calculations, which then may or may not seed wall crawlers versus other monster types.
    • This helps to keep caves and other places like that from getting too crazy dense with the wall crawlers, while also letting plenty of other stuff still seed. Should lead to better balance in general.
    • Do let us know if these numbers don't seem right in practice, though -- if it's still too many, or now too few, etc.
    • Thanks to Misery for suggesting.
  • Fixed the scale that you switch to when miniaturized: from the Valley 1, it was still setting you to a size of 25%, which is just way too small given the revised character sizes here. Now it sets you to 50% size instead.
    • This solves the issues with you getting stuck on slopes when walking, but still lets you go through one-tile-high sections.
    • Thanks to madcow for reporting.
  • Updated the miniature feat description to explain that you take double damage while miniaturized.
  • The giant scorpion has been completely rebalanced:
    • Instead of doing a linear fire circle attack, it now does a fire circle attack that has a really cool delay and circular motion to it -- far easier to dodge, and actually a lot more interesting in general.
    • Also, the attack power of the scorpions has been dropped by half. These are supposed to be more easy than hard; they are in the desert after all.
    • Thanks to Misery for reporting how out of balance they previously were.
  • The urban droids have been majorly toned down. They no longer have a counterattack (it was really hard not to hit their eye), and their health has been halved. Their shot is still really hard to dodge in general.
  • The health of flying eyeballs has been thirded, since they are so hard to hit.
    • Thanks to Misery for suggesting.
  • Clockwork Avians now give off a much brighter glow so that you can know they are coming in caves and buildings where there is otherwise not enough time for reaction time.
    • Thanks to Misery for suggesting.
  • Sphinxes are now swapped out in favor of leaping/crazy monster types in caves, given the near impossibility of dodging the sphinxes otherwise.
    • Thanks to Misery for suggesting.
  • Auroch Warriors have had their shielding hitbox updated so that it is only where the shield visibly is, on the back of them. To compensate (given that these are for the ice age, where it's supposed to be more difficult):
    • They now have 50% more health.
    • Each of their fusillade shots now does 5x more damage.
    • They (and the Dark Auroch) now both shoot 7 fusillade projectiles instead of 4.
    • Thanks to Pepisolo for suggesting they get reworked.
  • The Robot Pirhana water fusillade attacks now have a far higher caliber than before.
    • Thanks to Misery for suggesting.
  • The Elephant Snails now do a 50% longer telegraphing time so that you have more of a chance to hit them. The Floating Slime Mass telegraphing time is 3x longer.
    • Thanks to madcow for suggesting.
  • Swamp Gaslets are now disallowed from dropping ammo or health, since they were so easy to farm. The same was already true of laser spiders.
    • Thanks to Misery for suggesting.
  • The cooldown on the medieval trap spike shots (both the flag variant and the ceiling variant) has been tripled to give you more time between volleys.
    • Thanks to madcow for suggesting.
  • The speed at which C4 Fliers have to be moving before you can shoot them has been increased back from 350 to 400, since their adjusted deceleration speed already was apparently enough.
    • Thanks to madcow for suggesting.
  • The electric eels have been given a completely new attack in place of the much-hated static discharge attack from the first game. Their new attack is also electric, but it's another fun variant of the new "unwinding circle attack" that the scorpion also now uses as of this release. The timing and sizing and such is different here, though.
    • Note that if there are any eels that were created in past versions of the game, they may still have the static discharge ability on them. This isn't a bug, but once you kill those eels and run into fresh ones, you won't see that anymore.
    • Thanks to madcow and Gemzo for championing the eels hate front.

Major Refinements To How Buildings Are Handled

  • Previously, pretty much all buildings you would encounter you had to go into in order to progress through a region. This is no longer the case -- instead, a lot of these small buildings are now just little side bonuses where you can get some good treasure instead. Specifically, this applies to the following region types:
    • Grasslands Shacks, Grassland Homes, Ice Age, Abandoned Town Warehouses, Abandoned Towns in general, deserts, both kinds of forests, and the swamps.
    • Those that DO still include blockages include the deep, lava and thawing towers, robotic towers, ocean shallows ships, etc.
    • All in all the goal of this is to make most of the game turns go faster on the adventure side, keeping them short and sweet but with interesting side divergences if you're hunting equipment. This makes more of the turns equal in amount of time taken, rather than some being SO long. It also makes most of the buildings into bonuses, rather than penalties.
    • Thanks to Misery, Prismwind, and Acetyl for suggestions on the abandoned towns in particular.
  • The stratospheric citadel regions no longer contain buildings at all, and are larger on their surface than before. They will have something else in the future.

Strategic Refinements, Round 9

  • Post world-gen, but before you actually see the world, the strategic difficulty now controls the maximum number of warp points in the world (2/3/4/5/7, according to difficulty) since that's such a big factor in how dangerous the overlord is.
    • Thanks to Acetyl for inspiring this change.
  • Fixed a fairly serious bug where the overlord's "free" overland area-spell on an active stratospheric citadel could actually wind up targeting wherever it would hit the most NPCs. Since this could happen every turn (unless the citadel had an area spell active on it), and for each of the two citadels... well, ouch. Really big ouch.
    • Thanks to Acetyl for the report that led to this discovery.
  • One of the winners of the recent "What Most Needs Done For The Strategy Game?" poll: Now when on the world map looking at the details on a region (either in the lower-left window or the interaction menu) that can have perk tokens (caverns, city hall, chateau, and pyramid), it will tell you "Collected X of Y Perk Tokens"; where Y is the most that can seed in that region and X is the number you've already picked up there.
    • Note that old worlds won't have recorded the tokens already picked up, so the display will be off for regions where you've already picked up perk tokens before updating to this version or later.
    • Thanks to madcow, Mick, Misery, nas1m, and the poll voters for inspiring this change.
  • Clarified the text on the housing tiles of all types to be really clear that a survivor does not need to be present on them for the benefits of that tile to be active.
  • Added notes on a variety of other tile types to clarify what doesn't need a survivor stationed on it to function. Castles, Cold/Heat Dispersal Towers, Warehouses, etc.
  • The second soldier that you start the game with is no longer at power 1 instead of the default power 4.
    • Previously we needed a "wounded" NPC to justify making you build a clinic, but as of a bit ago a clinic is needed for all the starting NPCs anyway.
    • This also avoids some minor confusion: previously the four starting NPCs had power numbers of 1, 2, 3, and 4. It made them look like unique identifier numbers or something like that.
  • Added "Undo (name)'s Move" button to region interaction menu.
    • It shows up when there's an NPC in the region that:
      • Has moved that turn.
      • Did not hit a monster during that move.
      • Did not do any other action since the move (the only thing we're aware of is that if you have a thawing military industrial complex and leverage its building-fortifications-is-a-free-actions to move and then build).
      • Previous location does not have an NPC already in it. (button will still show in this case, but will say the previous location is occupied and won't work).
    • When used, this reverts the NPC back to their previous location and un-sets their has-acted flag.

Sound Effects Work

  • Whips and some other cleaving shots no longer have a bad-sounding energy noise when they pass through targets. In the case of whips in particular it was wholly unneeded.
  • Lumber shot and some other straight-shot projectiles now actually have a sound effect for when they explode against something, giving more auditory feedback there.
  • Clinging spells now actually have a proper impact sound when they hit an enemy, rather than being eerily silent.
  • Charge shots now have an appropriate impact sound.
  • The fusillade spells now have an appropriate impact sound.
  • All of the sliders now have appropriate impact sound effects.
  • The drone spells now have their proper firing and impact sound effects.
  • The magnetic spells now have vastly more satisfying sound effects for both firing and impact; now they sound like wrecking balls, too!
  • Player bombs and mines now have proper deployment and explosion sound effects.
  • Rockets now have their own proper sound effects for firing and exploding, and it's very menacing!
  • Snakes now have their own sound effects for firing and hitting.
  • Blinding flash, upthrust, and similar all now use proper sound effects.
  • The flare spells now have emit and hit sound effects that make sense.
  • The player touch spells now have a second layer of sound effect for when they actually hit monsters.
  • Campfire and ember shot have had their sounds finished up.
  • Flameout now has its sounds finalized.
  • Whips and tridents now have a proper impact sound.
  • The explosion ammo spells have been updated to have a much more satisfying sound effect.
  • The cross spells and the cleft spells now have vastly better sound effects.
  • The burst and mass spells now have much better sound effects.
    • As of now, all of the tier 1 mage classes have all had their sound effects finalized! Many of the upper-tier mage classes have also had huge amounts of their stuff replaced as well, but there are also gaps there. Tier 1 is gap-free at last, though.

Beta .800 Soundscapes

(Released February 7th, 2013)

  • Seven new buildings have had their art finalized by heavy cat.
  • All of the portraits of the overlord and his henchmen, plus the mercenary operator / mysterious voice, have all been improved.
  • Fixed a longstanding bug where saving while a player entity had an active text interjection AND an active cooldown would result in a world file that would fail to load.
    • This won't fix files thus corrupted (just prevent the corruption from happening in the future), but it was a very rare bug due to the necessary coordination of events.
    • Thanks to MouldyK for the report.
  • Added in 35 new pieces of object art from Heavy Cat.
  • Corrected the world map animation of the Archaeopteryx from being a bit overbordered.
  • Vastly improved the mastering on the vocal title track.
  • Continued the slice error project, updating something on the order of 150 slices. More tomorrow.
  • Six more buildings finalized by heavy cat.
  • The final sprite graphics for Elder have now been integrated into the game.
  • Fixed a rather serious and apparently longstanding bug where if you left your game when you had lost more health than was represented by your character's base health, you'd be dead when you reloaded the game!

Interface Tweaks

  • Greatly improved the readability of the region details window by making the font clearer and larger.
  • Improved the readability and attractiveness of the message log text.
  • The text on regions in the world map has been made more readable and larger, as well as more attractive in general.
  • Text interjections no longer display or respond to input while the end-turn-report window is showing.
  • Made the text in the lower left portion of the screen larger and more readable, and the resource bar in the upper left corner got the same treatment as well.
  • When NPCs have acted, they now show up with their icon red as well as faded out, rather than just with it faded out. This makes it a little more obvious what their status is compared to other NPCs.
  • The final graphics for Elder are now on the world map after Demonaica retreats into his keep when the oblivion crystals are smashed, making this whole thing a lot clearer!
  • Fixed up the draw depth of some of the icons (like graves and overlord spells) on the world map so that they integrate better.
  • Fixed an issue with Deinonychuses on the world map looking like they were on a different tile than they really were due to their image offsets.
  • Also improved the Ice Bats and the Auroch Warriors on this score.
  • Improved the attractiveness of the monster power numbers, and the placement of them as well.

Adventure Refinements

  • Equipment can no longer have negative effects that reduce a stat by more than 80%. Specifically, these negative effects are now capped at no-lower-than-negative-80-percent for equipment:
    • Jump Height
    • Movement Speed
    • Outgoing Damage
    • Shot Time-To-Live
    • Max Health
    • Max Ammo
    • Thanks to zespri, Psyren, madcow, Misery, MouldyK, and LayZBoy for inspiring these changes.
  • The ocean shallows buildings tiles no longer include blockades that require you have water dash.
  • The regular ocean shallows wilderness tiles no longer include ships that you have to travel through.
  • There are now ocean shallows ships wilderness tiles that require you to have water dash, and which have ships you have to travel through. They also have more of a general danger to NPCs compared to normal wilderness.
  • Whenever a grave or world-map region description mentions that you need a feat to pass, it now mentions how you get feats, too.
  • The explosions from mines and other similar things now have a caliber that is smaller than any spell, meaning that they neither block enemy/player spells nor cause the spell caliber explanation message to be shown when you're in the crates training room.
    • Thanks to zespri for reporting.
  • Laser spider rebalance:
    • Laser spiders are now limited so that no more than 10 at a time can be present from a single camera (the oldest ones self-destruct in these cases).
    • The cooldown time on surveillance cameras spawning more laser spiders has been doubled.
    • Thanks to Misery and zespri for suggesting.
  • Completely reworked the Elder henchman boss fights:
    • He nows pursues you, rather than flying around aimlessly (often sticking near the ceiling).
    • Periodically the fire that he emits now shuts off, giving you a chance to run under him.
    • Thanks to Misery for suggesting.
  • Updated the henchmen version of magma blast so that its beam is not nearly so tight, making it so that it's actually possible to dodge in tight quarters!
    • Thanks to Misery for reporting.
  • Previously, lightning fusillade was shooting straight rather than in a spray. Fixed.
    • Thanks to madcow for reporting.
  • When a boss dies or retreats, the mercenary coins now come flying out of them in a satisfying arc rather than being in a little pointless clump under them. ;)
  • All of the player melee spells have been upgraded:
    • They now have a small projectile arc that starts at the player's center of mass and moves to the target point. This makes it so that it's now actually possible to strike enemies that are physically on your person with a melee spell, whereas in prior versions it would just miss!
    • Thanks to Panopticon for reporting the difficulties here.

Strategic Refinements, Round 8

  • The overlord now does not emerge until turn 14, but on turns 4, 6, 8, and 10 he sends monsters out to keep your life from being too boring (each summon is more powerful than the previous, too).
    • Each spawn has 1/2/2/3/4 monsters in it, based on the strategic difficulty level.
  • The three pyramids have been moved farther away from the overlord's keep (two of them have been moved MUCH farther away).
    • This is partly to counterbalance the overlord coming out later, but it also just needed to happen in general.
  • Now when Demonaica emerges from his lair, there's a one-time 20-point hit to resistance morale.
    • Chris suggested this. He's a meanie.
  • The end-turn-report sections for food and scrap now tell you about NPCs on tiles where they could produce/scavenge but aren't yet ready (just arrive, other things ahead of it on the work schedule, etc) and how much they _would_ produce when ready.
  • The "Interact With Region" menu was getting so huge that it was pretty overwhelming. The following changes have been made:
    • The colorization has been improved throughout to make key words pop out at you more.
    • If you don't have enough mercenary coins to hire mercenaries, it shows that as grayed out so that it doesn't look so in-the-way all the time.
    • A new "Manage Your Character" section has been added, and the following sections have been folded into that: Change Your Mage Class, Change Your Perks, Enable/Disable Your Feats, and Change Game Difficulty For All Players.
      • This items are important to have, but are done so much less frequently that they don't need to be making the central list giant.
    • The "show and hide overlay" for risk function has been moved under the strategic overview.
    • The top three items in the strategic overview are not tips, but rather are functions pertaining to general status -- View Results From Last Turn, View Resistance Member List, and the show and hide overlay thing -- so these are all now colorized specially, whereas the tips are not. That helps to make it a lot clearer which is which, something that is important for someone only glancing through it.
  • Added a new "What To Do Until Demonaica Emerges" strategic-overview item that shows before the overlord emerges.
  • The escape menu now has a button for viewing the end-turn-report.
  • Previously, there were six overall Deep Gates on the world map, in four clusters. Now there are only four Deep Gates, so two are never together at the same time. That was just way too intense before.
  • The max number of deep gates that the overlord can use for "free summons" per turn are now capped at 1/1/1/2/3 (according to strategic difficulty level), so that somehow activating multiple is not so much of a death sentence on the lower difficulty levels.
  • The evil overlord's keep is now always surrounded by a ring of grasslands shacks, which keep more valuable buildings or building sites from being right next to the keep -- and in turn, this keeps players from parking their NPCs on those tiles and then unexpectedly having a monster suddenly burst out and land on them.
  • Reduced the morale gained per monster kill now that there are more of them in the early game.
  • Changed morale gained per level up from 5 => 6/5/4/3/2 (by strategic difficulty).
  • Changed morale gained per rescued survivor from 5 => 4/3/3/2/2 (by strategic difficulty).
  • Many wilderness tiles that had no chance of having rescuable survivors now have a 1% chance, and several others have had their chances increased somewhat too.
  • Now, once the overlord has emerged, the lair spawns a new 1/2 strength summon every 8/7/6/5/4 turns (by strategic difficulty), to keep that part of the map from feeling too safe.
    • Also, Demonaica's direct summons can no longer target the lair, they have to target his tile.
  • The deep gate and post-emergence lair summons can now only pick from the lowest 3 summonable types.
  • Reduced farm production to account for the extra turns in the early game that you can farm without effective resistance (you can fairly easily get an extra farm or two up if you're feeling enterprising).
  • Updated the rescuable survivor icon to be a bit more to the side so that you can still see it when you put a survivor of your own onto that region.
  • The end-turn-report entries for food consumption and shortage have been condensed into summary lines instead of one line per person.
  • Destroying Stratospheric Citadel and Deep Gate tiles now gives a morale boost.
  • There's now a morale hit when the overlord or a world-map-monster smashes a clinic, farm, chateau, city hall, amp tower, desert pyramid, focal tower, military-industrial complex, ivory tower, salvage yard, or swamp castle.
    • It's 1 for the farm/clinic tiles, and 2 or 3 for the others depending on rarity.
  • Fixed a few npc-killed-by results not showing in the morale section of the end-turn-report.
  • The total number of farms that you can find in the game has dropped from 5 to 3 -- you now have almost no chance of finding more than one ready-made farm right at the start of the game.
  • Added two more Deep Gates to the world map, each of these next to the outer two farms around the periphery of the board. Now they have an appropriate guard!
  • Added a second and third chateau to the game, along with a bit more grasslands, over with the other two pre-existing deep gates.
    • This makes it far more likely that you can actually use their ability for any substantial length of time, and it also makes an incentive to go over near those deep gates.
  • The two amp towers have been moved to the outer edge of the map rather than being more on the inside, and they go in two new little pockets of desert out there.
    • There are two new deep gates in the far reaches of the map, one with one of the amp towers and one with one of the pyramids.
  • The end-of-turn-report now includes any strategic-relevant events that happened during the turn (mainly morale changes from leveling up, dying, etc).
  • Building a clinic, farm, factory, watchtower, or salvage yard now causes a 1-point morale gain.
  • The move-NPC order is no longer available on turn 2 until after you build the clinic (previously it would let you start giving the move order, but then refuse to allow you to confirm it).
  • When you're standing on a tile with a monster or the overlord/elder, the bottom-left window on the world map now shows the number of moves that enemy has.
  • All Craggy-Highlands tiles (not just the stratospheric citadel) are now immune to the amp-tower pulse.
  • Deep Gates now have overlay text so it's easier to tell where they are at a glance, and also to tell you whether they're currently active or inactive.
  • The number of total survivors seeded during worldgen is now considerably less random (it tries pretty hard to give you 80/75/70/65/60, based on strategic difficulty level during worldgen), though the actual distribution of that quantity is basically the same as before.
  • Pawn (the lowest strategic difficulty) is now... well, very, very easy. The idea being that if you don't want to have to worry about the strategic game, this is the option for you. You still have to pay attention, but that's about it.
    • Cover-roll-modifier from -40 => -70.
    • Survivor production multiplier from 1.2 => 2.
    • Food consumption per survivor from 6 => 2.
    • Starting stockpile base amount from 200 => 500.
    • Starting morale from 70 => 90.
    • Overlord spellpower multiplier from 1 => 0.2.
    • Thanks to madcow for inspiring these changes.

Sound Effects Work

  • 120 new sound effects have been added to the game's sound banks.
    • These will be replacing the temporary sound effects on player and monster attacks and spells as we go through the list and fix everything up. First step was just getting them all edited and into the game.
  • 20 unused sound effects from Valley 1 have been cleared out of the game's sound banks.
  • 17 sound effects from Valley 1 have been updated with replacement sound effects that are nicer.
    • Among these are the "player gets hurt" sound effects for men and women characters -- instead of being individual character grunts and groans that are very quiet, now it's an unhappy chorus that is male or female when you take the hits. It's a fitting sort of compound sound for someone who bears an oblivion crystal. We're pretty surprised how much this one change alone improves the aural landscape of the game.
    • Also changed were some of the most grating and over-used sound effects carried forward from the first game, like the fireball sound, the toss object sound, and the old skelebot sniper attack sound. This really gussies up things, too.
    • Also of note is the death sound; we've heard that so many bajillion times with the first game, and it represents something different here. It's now a darker, more dire orchestral sound, rather than the slightly cartoony sound it was before.
    • There are also other changes to pre-existing sounds, but these are the most notable examples.
  • There are now proper sound effects for opening an equipment chest, absorbing floating ammo, picking up a perk token, and picking up a merc coin.
  • The sound effect for all the clinging spells and clinging cloud spells have been updated.
  • The reckless spells now have their own new sound effect.
  • If you can't cast an ammo-based spell because you're out of ammo (and/or, in the case of reckless spells, health) then it now plays a clicking sound like a shotgun with no cartridges instead of the buzz sound.
  • The charge shots now have their own unique sound effects both for starting charging, going up a charge level, and then finally for actually firing the charge shot.
    • It's AMAZING how much more usable this makes the charge shots, because you don't have to watch the particles, you can instead just listen for the charge levels and release when you are ready.
  • The fusillade spells now have a new sound effect that is lower-pitched and quick so that it doesn't get annoying with repeated use.
  • All of the player melee spells now use a deep drum-like sound to accentuate their strikes.
  • The sine spells now have their own new sound effect.
  • The water ring spell now has an appropriate water splash sound effect rather than the fire puff sound effect.

Beta .728 What A Horrible Night To Be In The Forest

(Released February 5th, 2013)

  • Text interjections now longer show while most other windows are showing.
  • If the Cancel keybind is pressed during a text-interjection without the cancel-ends-interjection setting enabled, it now just opens the escape menu (which suppresses display of the interjection, but doesn't end it).
    • Thanks to zespri for inspiring this change.
  • Fixed a bug where the monster fusillade spells were not working properly to be offset off their centerline -- they were all just lining up way too neatly!
  • Fixed a bug in prior versions where if line of sight was trying to be calculated between two points that were on the EXACT same X or Y coordinate, then it would fail.
    • With most enemies, this wouldn't really happen. But with a few that happened to be right on your exact height, it would make them curiously unwilling to fire until you jumped.
  • In the description text for the deciduous forests, the game now warns you that its suicidal to go there at night. People will still try anyway, and that's part of the fun -- a few times -- but in general these are now no-fly zones at night, heh.

Nine New Monsters: This Brings Us Up To Our 1.0 Goal Of 125!

  • Added a new "stationary flying" monster type: Storm Trap.
    • This is actually the last of the stationary flying monsters, and it's used in both the desert and the deciduous forest. All in all there are 8 unique stationary fliers.
    • This monster doesn't really do much to you directly -- it will melee you if you jump directly into it, but that's it. However, it makes life interesting by working like a localized windstorm generator and causing the wind to blow around you and your shots (and those of enemies) when you get near it.
  • Added a new "ceiling clinger" monster type: Dark Auroch.
    • This is basically a dark version of the auroch warriors who hides on the ceiling and fires the same sorts of lightning fusillade down at you, but in a much wider arc and with more damage.
  • Added a new "ceiling clinger" monster type: Shadow Creature.
    • This creature made of shadows hangs from the ceiling and sprays a very wide array of insect bursts at you in varying crazy patterns. It's quite an intimidating foe, and best generally to run in and hit it and then run away before the next burst.
    • This marks the last of the ceiling clinger enemy type, of which there are 11 unique, and the last of the The Deep biome's monsters, of which there are 9 unique.
  • Added a new "small walking" monster type: Flame Mummy.
    • This fiery-looking mummy tromps around the desert and shoots a really interesting pattern of embers at you when you get too near.
    • This is the last of the small walking monster types: there are 10 unique types in all.
  • Added a new "large flying" monster type: Diamond Stalker.
    • This actually goes in the stationary floor slot of the deciduous forest, making this the last stationary floor monster even though it's not really a stationary floor monster.
    • What does it do? Well... during the day, it's a pretty boring enemy indeed. At night... well, the deciduous forest is a completely different place at night with the stalkers about.
  • Added a new "large flying" monster type: Neutron Stalker.
    • This is the last of the large flying monsters!
    • What does it do? Well... during the day, it's interesting but not groundbreaking. At night... once again, the stalkers make this a pretty suicidal place to be.
  • Added a new "small flying" monster type: Floral Stalker.
    • This is the last of the small flying monsters!
    • What does it do? Well... during the day, it's not all that different from the owls, really. At night... these are your ghostly tormentors. Seriously, you should plan to do missions in the deciduous forest in the day.
  • Added a new "small swimming" monster type: Stalker Spitter.
    • These are something of a cross between a fire spitter and a generalized stalker.
    • These actually go in the large swimming slot, making these the last large or small swimming monster, depending on how you count it! Also, these are the final monster in the deciduous forest biome, which now has ten unique monsters in it.
  • Added a new "large walking" monster: Pigman.
    • He's not only the last large walking monster, and the last desert biome monster, but he's also the 125th -- and final -- monster for version 1.0 of the game!
    • He has a cool pebble spray with a bit of an unpredictable pattern than nonetheless gives you time to react to whatever the pattern is.

Beta .727 Mercenary Food

(Released February 5th, 2013)

  • Windstorm generators now affect the physics of your and enemy spells, as well as your jumping in the air.
    • This is rather like in the first game, although only about 3/4 as strong of an effect. It's also only something that comes on as you get closer to the end of an un-purified level and the visual windstorm effects actually come into play.
    • Thanks to Pepisolo for suggesting that this would make the end of each region more interesting, like a mini boss almost, rather than just a simple checkpoint.
  • Strategic Food/Scrap rebalance:
    • Food/scrap gains from production/scavenging are now determined by only two factors: the type of the tile being worked/scavenged, and the strategic difficulty.
      • The only exception is that controlling a salvage yard doubles scavenging results (as it has for some versions now).
      • The numbers for food production were also adjusted upward in this process.
        • Scavenging in Grassland Groves, in particular, is a lot better than it used to be.
    • Since the numbers are much easier to know ahead of time, each region's description lists how much food/scrap can be produced/scavenged per turn there, making it easier to plan ahead.
    • Previously if the initial farmland tile was adjacent to any impasses tiles you would effectively lose a turn of food production due to needing to knock those down before working the tile. Now any such impasse tiles start the game already-destroyed (this doesn't impact old saves since it's such an early-game thing).
    • Initial food stockpile from 150/125/100/75/50 => 200/175/150/125/100.
    • Initial scrap stockpile from 250/225/200/175/150 => 300/275/250/225/200.
    • Food consumption per survivor from last version's 4/6/8/9/10 => 6/8/9/10/11 (on each of the five strategic difficulty levels, respectively, compared to the original 8/9/10/11/12).
    • Thanks to Misery, khadgar, and others for feedback leading to these changes.
  • Fixed a bug where the Desert Salvage Yard tile wasn't correctly performing its function of doubling scavenging output when controlled (purified + NPC on it).
  • Fixed a longstanding bug where the Abandoned Town Warehouses tile wasn't correctly performing its function of reducing food-per-survivor consumption by 1 when purified.
  • Fixed some typos in the farm/factory/groves descriptions that still claimed tiles could produce food/scrap on their own each turn.
  • Morale now cannot go below 0 (instead of being able to go all the way to -100).
    • Thanks to khadgar and others for inspiring this change.
  • Fixed a bug where defeating Elder would not give an achievement if the first time you did so was after the oblivion crystal was smashed (also fixed a similar issue with Lilith).
    • Thanks to Aquohn for the report.
  • Made the "free overlord spell" features of the Deep Gate and Stratospheric Citadel activate at a different distance-to-purified-land based on strategic difficulty. Previously they always activated within 3 tiles of purified land; now they activate within 0/1/2/3/3 tiles distance. So on Pawn they only activate when actually purified, and on Knight they only activate when purified or directly adjacent to a purified tile, etc.
  • Fixed a slice that was only passable sometimes.
    • Thanks to acetyl for reporting.
  • Mercenary coins are back:
    • Henchmen now drop 5 mercenary coins when they die.
    • Coins are tracked globally, not per-player like before.
    • You can now spend 100 coins to hire mercenaries to purify a region for you. This still causes a strategic turn to elapse, and isn't available for stratospheric citadels, but it lets you skip a side-view segment if you like and can let you purify a square that you normally couldn't due to lacking the environmental resistance (i.e. purify an ice age tile without having the cold tower already purified) or related feat (i.e. purify a swamp/ocean-shallows tile without water dash).
    • Also fixed a bug that was interfering with getting the merc-coin-related achievements (Capitalism, Ho!).
  • Fixed a bug in the prior two versions of the game that would cause an exception to be thrown when elephant snails or floating slime masses were shot.
    • Thanks to Panopticon, Acetyl, and Zezarict for reporting.
  • MP: Fixed about 20 other homing spells that weren't hitting in MP.
    • Thanks to LayZBoy for reporting a few of these.
  • Monster spawning no longer happens as soon as you destroy a windstorm generator; a number of players commented on how that was odd.

Beta .726 Hold Still, You!

(Released February 5th, 2013)

  • Completely redesigned the attacks of the Clockwork Automaton:
    • It now uses a straight-shot horizontal-only attack that is firing a row of accelerating some cogs at you.
    • This is a vastly easier enemy, as it's supposed to be the basic enemy in the easiest area of the game, and I got carried away before. ;)
  • Players no longer collide with monsters; rather, they just take melee damage when the monsters and them are touching.
    • This is something we'd planned for a long time, and somehow forgot. The reasoning:
      • In Valley 1 we added the collisions to make it so that players couldn't just run through a big corridor of monsters while absorbing a bunch of hits.
      • However, that game is very different because you have far more health. This game already encourages you not to take lots of hits by the fact that you have very limited amounts of health.
      • To make matters worse, in this game we made it so that when you are flashing invincible after just having taken a hit (which happens in this game but not Valley 1), you are able to move through monsters anyway. So the whole thing with colliding with monsters was pretty pointless because it wasn't stopping you from running through them in the first place.
      • And to add insult to injury, if you came out of your temporary invincibility while still overlapping a monster, it would teleport either you or the monster due to it detecting an invalid position. Bleh!
    • All in all, this doesn't really affect the feel of the game since you're avoiding damage so much anyway. But it does solve the teleporting issue. Incidentally, Cave Story also has you not being solid to monsters, and possibly Super Metroid does as well, so we're not alone in this, heh.
  • The slots that the monsters go in in the evergreen forests have been shuffled around. Bats now go in the Small Flying spot, Owls now go in the Large Flying spot, and the new Green Forest Dragons now go in the Stationary Flying spot.
    • Elsewhere (overlord keep and level-up towers) the owl and bat are both considered small flying, and the green forest dragon is considered large flying.
  • Fixed an issue introduced in the prior release that was causing enemies to teleport around when hit by many spells.
    • Thanks to Misery and madcow for reporting.
  • The amount of food consumption per turn has been dramatically reduced for different strategic difficulties:
    • Pawn: 4 food instead of 8.
    • Knight: 6 food instead of 9.
    • Rook: 8 food instead of 10.
    • Queen: 9 food instead of 11.
    • Overlord: 10 food instead of 12.
    • Thanks to khadgar for reporting the difficulties here.

Three New Monsters

  • Added a new "large walking" monster to the game: Clockwork Giant.
    • This monster tromps around and uses a revised version of the clockwork missiles that the clockwork automaton previously used. They have a lower turning radius as soon as they get within 250px of you rather than 100px, which makes them far easier to dodge and thus a lot more fun.
    • This is the last monster of the grasslands biome! All in all there are 10 unique monsters in the grasslands now.
  • Added a new "large flying" monster type: Green Forest Dragon.
    • These dragons are slow-flying and melee-oriented, but have a lot of health and a lighter-weight version of the mirror cube's deflection shield around them.
  • Added a new "large walking" monster type: Rhino Warrior.
    • He walks around slowly with his big axe, and periodically chucks two axes at you in interesting arcs.
    • This is the very last monster for the evergreen forest biome! There are now 9 unique monsters for that biome.

Beta .725 Seaside Fistfight

(Released February 4th, 2013)

  • Dangerfalls were unaccountably tame because they were still using damage numbers from the first game that also assumed that players did not get on-hit invincibility:
    • Previously, the damage from waterfalls was only 3/100ths of a heart. It's now a quarter heart.
    • Previously, the damage from lava falls was only 17/100ths of a heart. It's now a whole heart.
    • Previously, the damage from miasma falls was only about 1/3 of a heart. It's now 2/3 of a heart.
    • Previously, the damage from the ice falls was only 6/100ths of a heart. It's now a half heart.
  • Elephant snails now attack you far more commonly, making it easier for you to find the window to shoot them in.
  • The distance that Water Punch is from your body when you use it has been shortened a slight bit, so that it feels more natural.
  • All of the melee, whip, and trident spells no longer use knockback on enemies at all.
    • In the case of the melee spells, it's mainly because this caused knockforward instead in some cases, but also because the enemies are being stunned anyhow.
    • For the whips and tridents, it's just favoring the stun and weakspot-piercing over the knockback.
  • The large flying monsters are no longer allowed to pursue you into the water or lava (as was already the case with the small flying monsters).
  • The land octopus, sky octopus, giant leech, moss monster, landshark, and swamp thing are all now allowed to go in and out of the water or lava at will, given that they are all basically amphibious in design.
  • Six more awesomely finalized buildings from heavy cat!
  • The graphics for the sky octopus are now finalized with actual proper wings (the prior image was a bit temporary to say the least!).
  • In game text no longer claims that equipment is not droppable.
    • Thanks to zespri for reporting this.
  • Found a slice that was probably too tricky to pass. Fixed
    • Thanks to zespri for pointing this out.
  • Found a water dash slice that was too easy to pass. Fixed.
    • Thanks to vatticson for reporting this.
  • Fixed a bug where The Deep Gate regions were not generating their chunks properly.
    • Thanks to stephanreiken and nas1m for reporting.
  • The ammo drops no longer explode if you don't pick them up -- that was just a bit odd, and was something that really turned out not to be needed in the end.
  • Laser spiders are now barred from dropping health or ammo, because that was too exploitable.
    • Thanks to Misery for reporting this.
  • Fixed some bugs in how the overlord AI handled warp points in still-corrupted regions.
    • Thanks to Misery for the report and save.
  • MP: fixed a bug where one player entering a chunk with another player could cause erroneous attempts by the second player's client to add the invincibility status to the first player's entity (this would fail, but generate error messages).
  • Amended the description of the Military Industrial Complex tile to make clearer that it only makes building fortifications a free action, not building anything.
    • Thanks to windgen for inspiring this change.
  • Now the overlord token on the map says when his next overland spell will be cast.
    • Thanks to x4000 fo... wait a second, he works here, nevermind. Thanks to madcow for inspiring this change too.
  • The number of tiles covered by one of the overlord's overland spells has been reduced by roughly 40% (note that this still goes up as he gets more powerful).
  • Stratospheric Citadel tiles can no longer be "indirectly" purified by the amp-tower special ability.
    • Thanks to windgen for pointing out that this could happen.
  • Fixed a bug where the Stone Ricochet's shrapnel wasn't loading an image (and thus would function in the game but be invisible).
    • Thanks to Misery for the report.
  • Removed restriction against binding the 4 attack buttons to a mouse button (this doesn't impact aiming at all, fyi). This had been intentional, but things have changed since then.
    • Thanks to Billick for inspiring this change.
  • Fixed bug where the display of equipment effects would not reflect the 80% cap on damage reduction (the game was already using that cap during actual damage computation math).
    • Thanks to windgen for the report.
  • Replaced the "Featherweight" perks with "Caliber" perks that increase your spell caliber and thus make it easier to punch through enemy shots with your own.
  • Fixed one place where the text about Ivory Towers still referred to lighting.
    • Thanks to zespri for the report.
  • Made the world map controls respond to the Confirm keybind instead of the Interact keybind, to be more consistent with other menus.
    • Thanks to Pepisolo for the suggestion.
  • It's no longer possible to go back to the intro room with the resistance members in the overlord tower from the room after it.
    • Thanks to Aquohn for reporting that one could get back there via the transform-into-bat spell.
  • More than 100 slices updated and fixed to remove errors.
    • Still a bunch more to go, but, we're almost done with the exterior slices.
  • Eight more buildings finalized by heavy cat, and one more improved but not yet finalized.
  • Three more backdrop sets finalized, and one more improved but not yet finalized.
  • After MUCH ado, fixed some issues that was causing some projectiles to not properly collide with one another.

Fifteen New Monsters

  • Added a new "wall crawler" monster type: Wall Crab.
    • These show up in the ocean shallows, and walk around letting off water that falls off of them and then runs along the floor once it hits.
    • This marks the completion of the very last of the 12 wall crawlers! People who were getting a bit over-tired of the Elephant Snails being so common should be quite relieved.
  • Added a new "small swimming" monster type: Jellyfish.
    • These are mostly unremarkable except that they have magical shielding that protects them from anything except melee-based attacks and ammo-based attacks. This means that either you have to get in close to them (which works out well because they move a bit slower), or you have to waste your ammo attacks on them.
      • This is actually going to be the major theme for all the monsters in the ocean shallows, really giving that section a completely different combat vibe from the rest of the game and giving a reason to use a class with a melee specialty when you go there.
      • This is a development we're particularly excited about because it really gives the melee spells their own important niche, which they've mostly lacked until now. It also lets us sneak in a bit of Zelda-II-style close-quarters combat (or early-Castlevania-style if you prefer) in some parts of the game while leaving the bulk of the game not with that sort of mechanic.
    • Also, the jellyfish represents the last of the small swimming monsters, making for yet another category now complete: There are 8 unique small swimming monsters in all, making it one of the smallest categories of monsters in the game.
  • Added a new "leaping/crazy" monster type: Leaper Crab.
    • This enemy is a simple melee one, but it jumps in slow, low, wide arcs unlike any of the other enemies. It also is immune to everything except melee and ammo-based attacks, making it an interesting challenge due to its low profile.
  • Added a new "small walking" monster type: Landshark.
    • These tentacled amphibious sharks are kind of like the raging bulls of the ocean shallows. They'll charge after you, and then wheel around when they pass you. You can only hit them with melee or ammo-based spells, so you'll have to time your jumps and strikes well if you want to take them on with melee without getting any wounds yourself.
  • Added a new "small flying" monster type: Bubble Mass.
    • These guys are basically... a bit insane. They bounce around quite randomly not unlike a certain Zelda II enemy, except with sudden course corrections that make these even more dangerous.
    • These also are only vulnerable to melee or ammo attacks, and they have a fair bit of health. They have three saving graces:
      • 1. They do very little damage to you if they hit you.
      • 2. They don't actively pursue you like most enemies.
      • 3. If you can hit them just once with your melee spell or ammo spell, then they will freeze and shake for a full two seconds rather than the usual half-second that most monsters do. This gives you time to pile on the damage while you have them trapped!
  • Added a new "stationary flying" monster type: Sea Opal Mass.
    • This wasn't in the original spec either, so here we go with yet another monster added..
    • This floating mass of flashing opal colors is something you run into in the ocean shallows. It throws off the smaller Sea Opal monsters periodically in larger bunches, and throws off smaller bunches in counterattacks when you attack it.
  • Added a new "small flying" monster type: Sea Opal.
    • Again, not from the original spec.
    • These bound about at high speed, smashing into players until they are struck down. They don't do a whole lot of damage, and don't seek the player, but they sure bounce around at extremely high speeds.
  • Added a new "ceiling clinger" monster type: Water Elemental.
    • This monster is a recolor of the earth/snow elementals that also hang on the ceiling, and it flings a triplet of water sliders down at you.
    • This marks the last of the monsters for the ocean shallows biome!
  • Added a new "stationary floor" monster type: Sphinx.
    • The sphinx is the last of the monsters that will use the new "can only be hit by melee or ammo spells" mechanic that was introduced this released; 5 out of 127 monsters is plenty, and this is the sole one that belongs outside the ocean shallows biome.
    • The sphinx will do melee attacks on you in return, and it casts ice cross at you when you get too close. Watch for its arm coming up and then get out of the way before you return to attacking it. It's not a super difficult monster, but the desert area is one of the tamer (and earlier in the game) biomes.
  • Added a new "large flying" monster type: Giant Shadow Bat.
    • These move vertically only, and have a version of cleft smoglet that they can fire at any angle. They are also literally impossible to see against a pure black background, so you have to look for them against lighter colors -- or see them when they glow purple as they fire at you.
  • Added a new "leaping/crazy" monster type to the game: Swamp Ring.
    • This is actually the last of the leaping/crazy monster types, and the last monster in the swamp biome! Overall there are 14 unique leaping/crazy monster types.
    • It's a relatively simple monster, as the swamp is one of the easier biomes in the game. It jumps after you in low floaty arcs, and melees you if it hits you. On death it only ever drops ammo, but it drops 3x the normal amount.
  • Added a new "small walking" monster type: Procompsognathus
    • These hop around, spewing a variant of ember sines that go down instead of up first, meaning that the height that the compy is at when it fires the sine leads to really different results, which is pretty cool. There's definitely a very "lots of tiny fireballs everywhere" vibe going on with the lava flats, which the compys continue.
  • Added a new "large flying" monster type: Flying Griffin.
    • These flying desert creatures let off a dangerous spray of bone snakes that go bouncing around under it as it continues to pursue you.
  • Added a new "ceiling clinger" monster type: Velociraptor.
    • She is indeed a clever girl.
    • This also marks the last of the monsters for the lava flats biome!
  • Added a new "small flying" monster type: Clockwork Avian.
    • This monster takes big flying charges at you, and then has to wheel around slowly and come back for another pass if it misses.
  • Added a new "small walking" monster type: Clockwork Automaton.
    • These clumsy steampunk oafs live in the grasslands, and fire homing missiles at you that will miss if you dodge them close enough (they lose turning radius at that range). The missiles explode if you shoot them or if they hit the ground, leading to situations where the clockwork automatons will actually suicide themselves and/or other enemies with friendly fire if you're clever about popping in and out of cover.
    • That said, if you don't take cover properly and a clockwork missile gets out of sight and looping up into the sky, they can be extremely hard to dodge. Best run for cover at that point if you can. These aren't meant to be super challenging monsters because they're for the grasslands, but they are still pretty interesting.

Beta .724 Keep Running When You See That Triceratops Mage

(Released February 2nd, 2013)

  • A bunch more hugely updated buildings in the side that look absolutely amazing this go-round. Something like 28 buildings are finalized as part of this release, and they are vibrant and detailed and hugely full of character.
  • Fixed some visual issues with the region debuff visual animations not looking quite right in previous versions.
  • Made it so that clinics can now be built in the rubble of junkyard robotic towers and the rubble of thawing towers.
    • This gives players more options on where to put their all-important clinics, but it isn't too easy because typically those towers are in really dangerous places that have to be cleared out first. Still, more options than before.
    • Thanks to madcow and Misery for suggesting.
  • Fixed a bug with the escape music not playing properly in the robotic research facilities.
    • Thanks to Professor Paul1290 and misery for reporting.
  • Updated a number of the backdrops art from heavy cat.
  • The evil overlord's keep exterior finally has non-placeholder graphics!
  • The earth elemental whipper now belongs to the craggy highlands instead of the deciduous forest, to separate these things out better by time period.
  • Water Fairies have been made darker so that they are more visible.
    • Thanks to Misery for suggesting.
  • Another bunch of slices updated/fixed.
    • Still a ton more to go, but we'll get there.
  • C4 Fliers now decelerate slower, and don't have to be moving quite so fast for you to be able to hit them.
    • Thanks to madcow for reporting the troubles here.
  • Hacking escape changes:
    • When playing through the robotic research facilities, monsters that you have previously encountered are no longer saved to disk. This means that if you run through once and don't kill all the monsters that are chasing you, you don't have double the amount when you go back.
    • When you are in the midst of a robot hacking escape, going into rooms you will find that the stationary floor, swimming, and ceiling clinger monsters are all absent. This is to facilitate an escape that keeps moving, rather than one where you have to keep stopping and starting so much.
    • Thanks to Professor Paul1290, Misery, and madcow for reporting.
  • Previously being on fire was only doing 1/100th of a heart's worth of damage to you per second, which was so small people thought it wasn't hurting them at all!
    • Now it has been fixed to do 1/4th of a heart's damage per second.
    • Thanks to Misery for reporting.
  • Added a "Drop Equipment" button to the escape menu when you have equipment (just below the poison pill button; this one has a similar confirm since it's not undoable).
    • Thanks to Gallant Dragon for inspiring this addition.
  • Fixed a typo in the achievement for entering the overlord lair region.
    • Thanks to ShaggyMoose for the report.
  • Corrected the description for the "There's Magic In The Air" achievement; those regions no longer produce mana but do have special strategic powers.
    • Thanks to Aklyon for the report.
  • Fixed a longstanding bug where a region that changed types mid-game (by being destroyed by the overlord, for example) would not update its name on all parts of the display.
    • Thanks to jruderman for the report.
  • Added a new toggle to the settings menu: "Ask For Confirmation Of Move Orders".
    • This (quite pointedly) defaults to off, since having the confirm step does significantly increase the time it takes to issue move orders.
    • But it's a fair point that if you're playing a serious game and aren't careful you can really mess something up with a misclick, so this is now available if you want it.
    • Thanks to Aquohn for inspiring this addition.
  • Fixed a bug where the keyboard/gamepad couldn't be used to confirm the choice of mage class during initial character creation.
    • Thanks to Dash275 for the report.
  • Both the new Scourborg and the new Intrustion Repeller (see below) from the ice age now show up in the robotic junkyard escapes as well.
  • Fixed a bug that's been in for a few weeks where occasionally "create game" worldgen would fall into an infinite loop.
  • Found a slice that was impossible to traverse due to it's low ceiling. Fixed.
    • Thanks to Professor Paul for reporting this.
  • Fixed the base attack power of the ceiling asps, which was a mere 4/100th of a heart, to be a proper half-heart.

Key Multiplayer Bugfixes

  • MP: Fixed a longstanding bug where text interjections would not work at all in multiplayer unless the application had already been run in singleplayer mode (during that run of the app) and encountered the specific category of text interjection in that mode and thus actually loaded the entries off disk. Any interjection category run into in MP that hadn't been loaded would result in a bunch of strange behavior like permanent invincibility and/or not being able to do anything on the world map.
    • FYI, the first time you join a particular world that was started before 0.724, you may be bombarded by a long sequence of queued up text interjections that hadn't been able to play previously. This will look odd but is harmless.
    • Thanks to Gemzo, MouldyK, LayZboy, Pepisolo, and others for various reports leading to this discovery.
  • MP: Fixed the player homing projectiles (Clinging-Nettles and Nettle-Cloud and their variants) not actually doing anything when contacting a monster in MP.
    • Thanks to Boonshniggle, MouldyK, and LayZBoy for the report leading to this discovery.

Eighteen New Monsters

  • Added a new "stationary floor" monster type: Dark Idol.
    • This is actually seeded as the large walking slot in the craggy highlands, but it doesn't move.
    • This statue is invincible and doesn't block spells or the player, and doesn't harm the player when the player walks in front of it. However, it shoots periodic very-fast-moving fusillades of ice at the player, which the player has to avoid when passing these.
  • Added a new "leaping/crazy" monster type: Miasma Crab.
    • These dark crabs live in the craggy highlands, hopping around extremely highly and dropping miasma as they do.
  • Added a new "stationary flying" monster type: Dark Imp Mass.
    • This floating mass of dark imps is a swirling vortex of evil that infests the craggy highlands, and it spawns swirling vengeful thoughts that come after you when you get near.
    • As with the floating bone mass, however, this is an exceedingly fragile monster; the slightest touch to it and it dies -- bursting apart into four fully-grown and armed dark imps that then pursue you with their fire whips.
      • Dark Imps were already a hugely powerful enemy in general, but having FOUR at once is extremely trying. With normal straight-shot weapons these are almost impossible to take down in a group like this, so be sure to either a) not shoot the dark imp mass in the first place; or b) have some area of effect spells to take them down in a group far more easily. With a lot of the explosion spells, these can be quite easy. Tactics!
  • Added a new "large flying" monster type: Insect Fiend.
    • This monster actually gets seeded in the stationary flying category in The Deep.
    • It uses a circle of ice attack against the players, and when it is killed it splits into four Small Insect Fiends.
  • Added a new "small flying" monster type: Small Insect Fiend.
    • These never seed directly, but only spawn when an insect fiend splits. However, they are full monsters that remain after you exit an area and come back if you don't kill them.
    • They also use circle of ice attacks, but smaller and weaker ones. They individually have half the health of their larger counterpart, but move almost twice as fast as the large version.
    • Thanks to vadatajs for suggesting a splitting enemy along these lines back for Valley 1!
  • Added a new "standing floor" monster type: Glacial Pillar.
    • This tall, thin pillar blocks your way and aggressively fires fusillades of small chunks of ice that are not only damaging, but also slowing.
  • Added a new "large walking" monster type: Triceratops Mage
    • However, he doesn't actually walk around, he just stands there and casts very powerful fire mass spells at you that are reminiscent of the homing dragon fire from the first game.
    • He spawns huge numbers of these, but shots with cleaving or with area of effects should take them out easily, then letting you get at the dastardly trike himself.
  • Added a new leaping/crazy monster: Feral Chicken.
    • Fear the chicken, who livst in deepest wood. They do hold a grudge for all chickenkind, and will stick to you like glue if you let them get close.
  • Added a new "small flying" monster type: Ice Jumper.
    • This is actually seeded in the small walking slot of the ice age areas, making them heavier on flying creatures compared to most areas.
    • The ice jumper doesn't chase you, but fires icy shots at you as it flies around. The catch is that whenever one of these shots explodes -- from hitting the ground or hitting you or whatever -- the jumper teleports to the location of the shot!
    • Thanks to lavacamorada for suggesting a teleporting enemy like this for the first game!
  • Added a new "crazy/leaping" monster type: Hopping Locust.
    • These dog-sized insects from The Deep are able to leap just as high as their miniscule cousins -- meaning that they can jump two or three screens high. They chase you pretty relentlessly, but they float down slowly enough that you can dodge them and shoot at them as they are coming. They chase you from very far range, so tend to come out of nowhere when you pair that with their jumping ability. Sine spells are certainly your friend with them.
  • Added a new "crazy/leaping" monster type: intrusion repeller.
    • This futuristic robot from the ice age is really more of a glider than a jumper. It rockets way upwards and then comes gliding slowly in, making course corrections to try to knock into you and hurt you. Similar in some ways to the hopping locust, but with a really different feel to it.
  • Added a new "stationary flying" monster type: Scourborg.
    • This one isn't fully stationary, but rather moves horizontally side to side like a horizontal blade trap does.
    • Unlike a blade trap, these move quite quickly, hit quite hard if they run into you, and let off lots of falling ice as they pass over you.
    • And with this, the last of the monsters for the ice age biome is now complete!
  • Added a new "crazy/leaping" monster type: ???.
    • I'm not going to say what these do, you'll find out on your own. They are in the desert.
    • Thanks to LayZboy for suggesting this monster idea for Valley 1!
  • Added a new "wall crawler" monster type: Giant Scorpion.
    • These are found in the desert, and do the smaller two sizes of circle of fire that the ceiling asp also uses.
  • Added a new "wall crawler" monster: Giant Roach.
    • These inhabit the deep, and are the weakest wall-crawler by far -- they are easy to one-shot. However, they have an offensive variant of the small tentacle's reactionary miasma sine attack, making them something you definitely want to kill quickly!
  • Added a new "small flying" monster type: Hungry Ghost.
    • This actually occupies the "small walking" slot, however.
    • This monster is a slow, translucent blue ghost that comes for you. It doesn't have any ranged attacks, but takes a bit of a beating to subdue it. When you do, it turns into a harmless, slowly-wandering vapor for five seconds. After that it turns back into its full ghost form and will be after you again!
  • Added a new "wall crawler" monster type: Deepwoods Toad.
    • This is a very simple wall crawler with just a melee attack, like the snow were-rat is. It's got slightly different stats and is used in different circumstances, however. Not all the wall crawlers need to be crazy spell-spewing monstrosities!
  • Added a new "wall crawler" monster type: Highlands Toad.
    • On the other hand, sometimes a crazy spell-spewing monstrosity is just what the doctor ordered. This is a color-variant of the deepwoods toad, but it also sports a pretty mean leafy whip.
    • With this monster, the Craggy Highlands set of monsters is now complete!

Beta .723 Clinical Study Of Laser Spiders

(Released February 1st, 2013)

  • Fixed a couple impassible slices.
    • Thanks to zespri for one of these.
  • Found a waterdash slice that didn't really need water dash. Fixed.
    • Thanks to martyn_van_buren for finding/reporting this.
  • Fixed a slice that didn't have any connector hints.
    • Thanks to pepisolo for reporting this.
  • The henchman Fanzara now has her actual graphics rather than placeholder ones.
  • The henchman Wordrak now has his non-placeholder graphics, so that's all the bosses! None of them use the "dark avatar" graphics anymore (that was the placeholder knight-looking thing from early in beta and from the first beta trailer).
  • Fixed an issue where visually the urban tackle droids seemed to hide in the ground whenever they got too near to slopes.
    • Thanks to Pepisolo for reporting.
  • The "Deadly Leadenness" equipment type has been toned down substantially so that it no longer causes you such a huge loss of jumping ability or such a huge amount of added recoil. It was way over the top before.
  • In the prior version, the "of Leprosy" and "of Weakness" equipment were actually reducing your outgoing damage rather than increasing it like they should have been.
    • Thanks to Pepisolo for reporting.
  • All mentions of "skelebots" have been excised, and instead are now referring to "Robotic" instead. The skelebots aren't actually in this game, but there are tons of other kinds of robots.
  • The Robotic Research Facilities are now their own region type that is sort of a cross between the abandoned towns and the future junkyard. They have a mix of the monsters from both, as well as a mix of the backgrounds of both.
    • This gives these special areas a different feel from the regular future junkyards, and also lets us control balance differently here.
    • Perimeter Guards and C4 Fliers are no longer included in these regions as they just made the escapes far too hard. But instead you have some other new threats to deal with, from the abandoned town areas.
    • Thanks to Panopticon and others for helping to inspire this.
  • C4 fliers are no longer able to pursue you into water or lava.
    • Thanks to nas1m for reporting.
  • The final polish for Demonaica's graphics has now been applied.
  • Demonaica's token on the world map has been updated to use his new graphics rather than the old silhouette.
  • Some more of the Time After People Future Junkyard objects are now seeding, including some of the interior stuff (though not all of it).
  • Some of the Ice Age objects are now seeding (Exterior and interior, but not all of either, no underground yet).
  • A variety of updated art from heavy cat on 20 different buildings.
  • The swamp backdrops have had a seam that was in them fixed up.
  • Previously when standing on an incline, you could fire at different heights based on which direction you were facing. Fixed.
    • Thanks to madcow for reporting this.
  • The reliability of spells like Circle of Water and Explosive Crescent has been improved MASSIVELY.
    • Thanks to many players, including Gemzo and Misery, for reporting.
  • Previously, spike traps were blocking spells in a really strange way. Now spells just fly right past the spike traps as you'd expect.
  • Previously, there were a number of situations in which rocket explosions, and the explosions of enemies that explode on death, would be really unreliable and not happen as they should when against solid walls. Fixed.
    • Please do let us know if you find any other cases of this sort of thing and we'll sort them out!
    • Thanks to Misery and others for reporting.
  • Previously, for equipment that has simple "on/off" abilities like "granting storm dash," if the modifier to that was less than 50% poor, then it would not give you the ability even though it would tell you it did. This has been fixed to just always give you the ability.
    • Thanks to Aquohn for reporting storm dash shoes that didn't give storm dash.
  • The collision boxes of sea burst and sea mass were vastly off, making them really difficult to use in tight quarters. All of the other burst and mass spells have been checked and were okay.
    • Thanks to Misery for reporting.
  • There is now a bit of an animation from the center outwards on things like area explosions and cross attacks used by both players and monsters.
    • This not only looks a bit nicer, but it also gives a bit more reaction time when you're dealing with monsters like the Swamp Thin in particular.
  • Found a slice with a ceiling clinger on the floor. Fixed.
  • Built in some automated and on-demand unit testing for testing for slices with things defined poorly in them. Hoo boy have we thus found hundreds of issues we're now able to relatively quickly fix thanks to that...
  • Based on the automated testing for slices, there have been a BUNCH of slices fixed/updated. Not only for problems, but in some cases, more enemies have been added and more treasures have been added.
    • Note that there is a procedural cap on enemy density, so our adding more enemies really affects the amount of variety and making sure that things don't fall below that density (which gets boring), rather than it being a matter of monsters being packed in like sardines.
  • The players are now effectively immune to knockback, because getting knocked around just isn't terribly fun. And leads to glitches.
    • Most of all, it's the sort of thing that can cause you to take several shots in a row rather than making it so that you are able to precision dodge some even if you take one hit. This is a game about not taking hits, so not getting knocked around seems to make a lot of sense with that!
  • The "deadly leadenness" equipment now increases your special attack power rather than giving you recoil. The recoil never felt quite right, and was not really useful anyhow.

Thirteen New Monsters

  • Added a new "large swimming" monster type: Submersible Suppressor.
    • These lurk in the waters of the abandoned towns and skelebot research facilities, and periodically spawn new Suppressor Bots enemies.
  • Added a new "stationary floor" monster type: Mounted Suppressor.
    • These actually weren't in the original design, but the idea for them fit really well and we had the art, so we added them.
    • They are one of the rare stationary floor monsters that is hostile without your actually having to attack them, and they show up in the junkyards and robotic research facilities mixed in with the missile posts now.
    • They periodically spawn new Suppressor Bots enemies.
  • Added a new "small flying" monster type: Suppressor Bot.
    • These don't spawn directly, but rather are spawned by a few other monster types: the Mounted Suppressor and the Submersible Suppressor.
    • However, these are full enemies with AI and attacks of their own, and if you leave the chunk and later come back, they will still be there.
    • These little bots are extremely fragile, and fire mid-power red laser blasts at you that are mildly homing. The bots themselves don't track you, but just wander around aimlessly, filling the room -- this can be quite a challenge when there are a ton of them spawning at once!
  • Added a new "large flying" monster type: Sky Octopus
    • This was another one that we hadn't planned on creating, but we had land octopuses spawning in the sky and acting pretty crazy when they did so, and thus having something else in this niche that was actually meant to fly turned out to be important.
    • The sky octopus works kind of like the land octopus except that it, well, flies. And it also shoots waterfalls of water out of the bottom of itself as it comes after you.
    • Thanks to nas1m for the bug report that made us realize we needed this.
  • Added a new wall crawler monster type: Prehistoric Wall Croc.
    • In the world of Environ, as on the world of Earth, crocodiles have been around since prehistoric times -- and were far meaner in the distant past than even they are now.
    • These reddish cousins of the wall crocs you already know not only move so fast that they sometimes go flying off of walls, but they also frequently breathe slow-moving fireballs at you.
  • Added a new "stationary floor" monster type: Sleepy Tree.
    • These are yet another rare stationary floor monster that is hostile without your actually having to attack them; these show up in the evergreen forests.
    • These periodically spawn swarms of tiny bats that fly after you -- the tiny bats are really easy and satisfying to kill, but they come five at a time so it's still pretty interesting especially when the sleepy tree is a bit out of your range.
  • Added a new "small flying" monster type: Tiny Bat.
    • These don't spawn directly, but rather are spawned by the sleepy trees.
    • However, these are full enemies with AI and attacks of their own, and if you leave the chunk and later come back, they will still be there.
    • These little bats are extremely fragile, and do 10x less damage than a regular bat, but otherwise pretty much behave like their larger cousins.
  • Added a new "ceiling clinger" monster type: Surveillance Camera.
    • When these see you, they sound the alarm by summoning a swam of the new "laser spiders" noted below.
  • Added a new "crazy/leaping" monster type: Laser Spider.
    • These don't spawn directly, but rather are spawned by the surveillance cameras.
    • However, these are full enemies with AI and attacks of their own, and if you leave the chunk and later come back, they will still be there.
    • These little mechanical spiders are SCARY. They jump around in their red exoskeletons, firing red lasers at you. Luckily they are quickly dispatched and do very low damage, but a swarm of these can certainly obliterate your concentration bonus if you're not careful!
  • Added a new "stationary floor" monster type: Small Tentacle.
    • When you attack it, it responds with a deceptive pattern of miasma sines. You'll see what we mean by deceptive when you try it...
  • Added a new "stationary floor" monster type: Leech Nest.
    • This is actually seeded in the small walking monster slot, but it doesn't move. Instead it sits there pulsing on the ground and spawning a steady stream of giant leeches that grow into existence (some faster than others!)
    • Thanks to Terraziel for suggesting a monster like this actually for Valley 1!
  • Added a new "small walking" monster type: Giant Leech.
    • These are not directly seeded, but rather are spawned by the giant leeches. However, they are full monsters that remain if you load and save the game, etc. They have really low health and a simple melee attack, but they make up for that in numbers.
    • These are perhaps the quickest way to max out your concentration, though, for sure.
  • Added a new "stationary ground" monster type: Urban Blockade.
    • This is the last of the monsters for the contemporary abandoned town biome, so that's our second biome complete!
    • The blockade is tall, but absolutely harmless unless you touch it or shoot it. In those circumstances it immediately does a very damaging and high-range ground shockwave attack against you. It's the same basic attack that the forest elemental uses, but 10x more damaging. As long as you're careful with your stray shots and make sure you're in the air when attacking these guys, you'll have no problems.

Strategic Refinements, Round 7

  • The "Rescue Survivor" action is now always the first one on the work schedule, if it is applicable to the tile. Previously the "attack enemy building on this tile" action would be checked first.
  • Removed the now-irrelevant start-of-turn text interjections for Ivory Towers and Mana that would play at the beginning of turns 17 and 29 (respectively).
  • Fixed some obsolete text about the ivory towers that still talked about them impacting lighting.
  • Fixed a bug where regions with farms, factories, or clinics would still describe how good they were for scavenging food/scrap, when it's not been possible to scavenge in those regions since several regions ago (the "produce food", "produce scrap", and "work clinic" actions are always checked before "scavenge resources").
  • Strategic purpose for the Military/Industrial Complex tiles has been implemented:
    • When you control this tile (by leaving a resistance member on it) building fortifications on tiles becomes a "free action", meaning that it can be done without consuming the resistance member's move/action for the turn and/or after performing another move/action.
  • Strategic purpose for Chateau tiles has been implemented:
    • When you control this tile (by leaving a resistance member on it) rescuing a survivor becomes a "free action", meaning that a resistance member moving onto a tile with a survivor will always rescue that survivor at the end of the turn rather than having to wait to the end of the following turn.
  • Strategic purpose for Salvage yard tiles has been implemented (previously it said it increased all survivor scavenging skills by 1 but this ceased to be true after skills were removed) :
    • As long as you control this salvage yard (by leaving a resistance member on it), all scavenging yields are doubled.
  • Strategic purpose for the City Hall tiles has been implemented:
    • When you control this tile (by leaving a resistance member on it) then every 3 turns a survivor will wander in out of the wilderness and sign up to work for the resistance.
  • Junkyard Shacks now have roughly the same stats as other small-housing tiles (though it isn't strictly speaking small housing).
  • Building structures no longer increases morale (since recruiting, killing world-map-monsters, and activating the one-use tiles do it now, and are less susceptible to repetition-just-to-increase-morale).
  • Updated the "Resistance Members" list screen under the strategic overview to stop displaying successful/failed dispatch count (which has been irrelevant for a long time) and to start displaying the semi-recently-added class and current/max power values.
    • Thanks to zespri for pointing out that the display was out-of-date.
  • Added actual tooltips for the strategic-difficulty-selector on the start-new-world and change-difficulty windows.
  • Rebalanced the strategic difficulty levels to be somewhat further apart and more suited to their target levels of challenge.
  • The overlord's spell power increases more rapidly now on all difficulty levels except the lowest.
    • Thanks to Misery for inspiring this change.
  • Clinics and healing in general have been reworked in light of the recent removal of the wound system:
    • The "all resistance members automatically gain 1 power at the end of each turn" rule now only happens for NPCs of the Soldier class (previously they were special by being resistant to wound-state, but that's gone now and this is their new special).
    • Clinics:
      • Turns out that they weren't doing anything in the last version; they were supposed to add 1 power to the weakest resistance member, but they're not supposed to do that now anyway.
      • Instead they will add 1 power to all resistance members at the end of each turn (when worked, of course).
      • To compensate for this considerable increase in power, they now cost 100 scrap (abandoned town ones used to cost 50, and ice age ones already cost 100). Should be enough of a counterbalance between that, the "cost" of having to work them, and the overlord's ability to destroy them.
  • Factory build cost is now 50 (was 100 in abandoned towns, 200 in ice age areas, and 180 in desert areas).
  • Added new world map tile type: Swamp Belltower
    • Whenever it is controlled (purified and has a survivor on it), the "bell is ringing" and all monsters (and Demonaica) must target that tower until it is destroyed.
      • The monsters still destroy whatever they land on that's destructible (and purified) but don't target them specifically until the belltower is down.
    • These are only found, not built.
  • Added new world map tile type: Abandoned Town Watchtower
    • Any monsters (not Demonaica) that are within 5 tiles range of it have their movement speed reduced by 1 until it is destroyed. It doesn't have to be manned.
    • These are only built, not found.
  • Added new world map tile type: Deep Gate
    • While this tile is intact and within 3 tiles of purified land (including when it itself is purified, of course) Demonaica gets a smaller "free summon" at this tile each turn.
    • Can be destroyed like evil outposts, by resistance members.
  • Added new world map tile type: Junkyard Industrial Tower
    • Basically a factory, but in the junkyard "biome".
    • These are only found, not built.
  • Demonaica will now try to protect the Stratospheric Citadels by:
    • If the citadel is within 3 tiles of purified land (including when it itself is purified, of course) and doesn't currently have one of Demonaica's "region debuff" spells active on it, one will be cast upon it (following the same availability and intensity rules as the normal casts).
  • The world map design has gotten another substantial overhaul:
    • Previously, there were many small groups of objects that would come in heavily randomized (but weighted) specific values: such as a group of desert, desert caves, and desert buildings.
      • Now all of those sub-group specific values are fixed in ratio, which keeps the game from having huge fluctuations in difficulty from the RNG (the positioning of the elements can still matter enormously, of course, so it's not that all fluctuation is gone or even desired to be gone).
    • There have been a number of tweaks to exactly how many buildings of a given sort are in some of the groups, and exactly what is where. Most of the tweaks to these existing tile groups were pretty slight, but help to fine-tune things.
    • Around the periphery of the continent, there are now two more grasslands clumps as well as two new The Deep clumps.
      • The grasslands provide some farmland paired with shacks in one case and homes in the other.
    • Six of the new "Gate From The Deep" enemy building tiles now seed on the map. There are two that go in various of the more outer reaches singly, and then two other pairs that go in the outer reaches in pairs.
    • Two of the new Swamp Belltowers now seed in the outer swamps on the map.
    • Three of the new Junkyard Industrial Towers now seed in the outer junkyards where the robotic research facilities are also located.
  • The activate-special-power menu now shows the description of the power (if it's eligible for use) even if your mouse cursor is not over the item. Previously it could only be seen via mouseover tooltip.

Beta .722 Concentrated Reports

(Released January 30th, 2013)

  • The non-placeholder graphics for Demonaica have now been added to the game.
  • Fixed numerous more issues with wall crawlers not really handling certain things right, getting stuck, etc.
  • Found a slice that didn't have enough room at the top for the player to continue on. Fixed
    • Thanks to nas1m for the report.
  • Fixed a terrain generation issue that could put two angled grounds (top and bottom) on top of one another creating a point. This was problematic for physics of the player and enemies in general, for monsters not walking off of edges, and for wall crawlers being able to crawl over the edge.
  • Completely redid the overlord keep area ground graphics, to make them a lot more attractive.
  • The design for new world maps has been updated so that there are another 50 tiles around the periphery of the 680ish tiles that were already in place. All of these 50 tiles are construction-site type tiles, including abandoned town city blocks, desert towns, ocean shallows buildings, and ice age buildings. You can find caches of them out at the farthest reaches of any world, and these thus provide some extra options in the late game (though these are never on the main path to anything else, so these are really just about capturing building sites as-needed).
  • The actual art for the henchman Vorgga is now in place.
  • Several buildings have had their art updated.
  • The thawing plains backdrops have been updated.
  • In what is truly a miracle for the ages, wall crawlers finally seem to be fully correct in their behaviors in all the possible scenarios we could throw at them. This includes walking on angled ceilings properly and so forth.
    • There are some cases where they will hop from one close surface to another, but this looks fine and only happens when there is an angled overhang within one tile of a vertical climb. Beyond this one thing, which we're declaring to be acceptable behavior, we're not aware of anything else.
    • This has been an extremely arduous process, involving around 50ish hours of work between Keith and myself (at minimum) get these stupid wall crawlers crawling correctly. To say that it is a relief to have these done -- knock on huge amounts of wood -- is quite an understatement.
  • Fixed a bug from recent versions where your health would still show 0.1 even after you had died.
    • Thanks to Pepisolo and zespri for reporting.
  • Moved the size and location of the "invincible" and "perished" text on the HUD to make room for some new additions.
  • A revised menu panel background has been added to the game.
  • The health display on the HUD has been upgraded:
    • The icon itself is now better.
    • The text of the health number is now much larger.
    • The icon pulsates 90% less, making it so that it's now much more apparent as the heart is getting smaller when you get progressively lower on life.
  • Fixed a number of bugs with tree and bush seeding that were causing the seeding to be a lot sloppier and in many cases more plentiful and uniform than desired.
  • Fixed the scale on all the treasure chests so that they are not so hugely oversized!
  • Fixed a bug where treasure chests could be floating in the air over angled slopes sometimes.
  • The Scout Drones have been hit with the nerf bat (and there was much rejoicing: they no longer do knockback to you, and they now have half as much health.
  • Fixed a bug from recent versions where the character would not flip their facing properly on the world map after it had flipped once.
  • A construction sound effect is now played whenever you give NPCs build orders.
  • Ivory towers no longer have an adventure-mode purpose (they used to make the light your player emits get stronger).
    • Instead, the amount of light your character emits is now based on the region itself.
    • A light scale of 1 is like having no ivory towers. A light scale of 3 is like having 2 ivory towers, and so on.
    • The default light scale is now 3, so most of the game now works as if you had 2 ivory towers.
    • Grasslands areas have a light scale of 4.
    • Abandoned Town, Swamp and Craggy Highlands areas have a light scale of 2.
    • The Deep and the Overlord Keep have a light scale of 1.
    • This only applies when it is dark, of course; at night, in caves, and in buildings.
    • Why this particular shift?
      • 1. Early in the game, running around in the near-complete dark a lot isn't that fun. (Whereas doing that just in a couple of key areas makes them more tense, but only when they are more rare).
      • 2. This was the sole thing from the strategic side that gave a nice-to-have benefit on the adventure side. In other words, it's not something critical like feats or level up towers or what have you. The lights were just conveniences, and thus "optimal" play would always have players ignoring the ivory towers at high levels. Making those players run around in the dark ALL the time for the sake of "playing optimally" is a trap we didn't want people to be falling into.

New Main Menu Scene

  • The new intro scene for the main menu is now in place.
    • We hadn't planned on doing this quite yet, but it lets us resolve some flicker that was occurring on monitors larger than 2048 pixels wide with the old main menu.
    • Thanks to Vampyre, Penumbra, and jonaswashe for reporting the flickering at the large resolution.
  • The story bits have been removed from the intro credits scroll. It was difficult to read them, especially if we did any substantial parallax scrolling of the background behind them. Instead, now when you first are creating a world, it gives you an abbreviated version of the intro story there; just enough to get you to the first conversation with Demonaica.
    • We had considered doing an intro cutscene, but have decided against it; instead we've gone for a really kick-butt opening vista when you first start the game.
  • The credits scroll for the start of the game has now been into two columns rather than one -- the left column has the Arcen credits, while the right column has the community credits. Both scroll up at the same time, which means that player contributors no longer have to wait forever and a day to see their name in the credits.
    • The credits scroll also now only goes up about 300px on the bottom of the screen, so that it no longer blocks so much of the scenery of the title screen. Now that it's just credits and not story as well, this is more than enough space/time to handle this function!
  • The order in which the community credits lists players is no longer alphabetical, but instead is randomized. This seemed like the fairest way to make it so that anyone could see their name near the top of the list on a given startup of the game.

Background Objects (Furniture, Etc) At Last!

  • We're FINALLY getting actual background objects other than trees and bushes seeded into the game. We've done a lot of cleaning up on the logic for getting that in place, and all that's now fully functional -- now we just need to go group by group and get those added to the game, which we're working on this week.
  • The Bronze Age Desert objects (interior, underground, and surface) are all now seeding.
  • The Lava Flats objects (interior, underground, and surface) are all now seeding.
  • The Industrial Revolution grasslands objects (interior, underground, and surface) are all now seeding.
  • The Deep objects (interior, underground, and surface) are all now seeding.
  • The Medieval Swamp objects (interior, underground, and surface) are all now seeding.
  • The Pre-Industrial Craggy Highlands and Evergreen Forest objects (interior, underground, and surface) are all now seeding.
  • The Abandoned Town objects (interior, underground, and surface) are all now seeding.
  • The Time of Magic Ocean Shallows and Deciduous Forest objects (interior, underground, and surface) are all now seeding.
  • Some of the Time After People Future Junkyard objects are now seeding (just surface and underground, and not even all of those).

Goodbye Combos, Hello Concentration

  • The old "simple combo system" that almost nobody really knew was in place (and seemed like a bug rather than a feature to those who noticed it in practice) has been removed.
  • To compensate for the old combo system being removed, the attack power of all the player spells has been reduced to 75% of their former values.
    • If an enemy took 1 hit to kill with a specific spell in the prior system, this is actually a 25% nerf.
    • If an enemy took 2 hits to kill with a specific spell in the prior system, this does not change the balance at all.
    • If an enemy took 3 or more hits to kill with a specific spell in the prior system, this is a buff that increases the more shots it took, gradually approaching a 50% buff (but never quite reaching it, just getting asymptotically smaller).
  • Updated the help text to no longer reference mercenaries or the "simple combo system."
  • The "Repeat Offender" perks at level 5, 8, and 16 have been replaced with "Muse" perks.
  • Added a new "Concentration" system.
    • When you are at full health, and an enemy dies in the chunk you are in (you don't have to be the one to kill it in multiplayer), then a concentration bonus meter appears.
    • The meter tells you how many more monsters have to be killed before you can go up to the next concentration tier.
      • On the lowest two difficulties this is only 1 per, on the middle three difficulties it is 2 per, on master hero it is 3 per, and on the chosen one it is 4 per.
      • Killing bosses (or causing them to retreat) counts as three enemies rather than 1.
    • Normally you can only get up to three tiers of concentration. However, the new Muse perks each add 1 to your max concentration, for a total maximum of 6 if you go all-out.
    • For each tier of concentration you have achieved, you get an extra 25% damage on all your attacks, and an extra 10% to the caliber of all your spells.
    • Every time you take any damage, you lose one tier of concentration, however. If you die, you lose all your tiers.
      • Note that it is quite likely to be at less than full health with still having some concentration remaining, if you had more than one tier of concentration and then took a hit.
        • In those cases you can't start building back up your concentration at all until you get back to full health, but you won't suffer any futher loss of your concentration tiers that you already have until you take another hit.
    • The idea behind this whole mechanic is to create an interesting subsystem for advanced players to reward not taking hits from enemies.
    • Thanks to Professor Paul1290, madcow, and Pepisolo for suggesting.

Major Equipment Improvements

  • The display of the equipment name when you are considering picking it up from a chest, plus when you are looking at what is equipped, has been vastly improved to include the explicit function of said equipment rather than making you have to infer and guess.
    • This should make equipment a lot more tangible, rather than something that you just inherently skip.
  • The "How Do I Decipher Equipment Names?" section of the Equipment Help section has been removed, since that is now pointless -- rather than you having to do the deciphering yourself, the game now just tells you!
  • When you are currently wearing equipment, it now shows right in your HUD down at the bottom of the screen. It's to the right of either the health, or if you have some concentration going on then it's to the right of that as well.
    • This again shows not only the name, but also the function, of what this equipment does.
    • There is also a new treasure chest equipment icon that shows next to this.
  • Equipment sturdiness is now handled completely differently.
    • Previously, any time you took a hit, no matter how small the scratch, the sturdiness would go down by 1.
    • Now it keeps track of how much damage you've accumulated while wearing the equipment, and it goes down by 1 each time you take 1 heart's worth of damage.
    • This keeps equipment from breaking so darn fast.
  • Pretty much all of the equipment types in the game have gotten a moderate to a major overhaul:
    • The effect of the equipment is now much more pronounced in general, for one thing, so that it gives you more substantial advantages or disadvantages while you are using it.
    • Also, previously each piece of equipment only did one thing to you, but now the equipment does two things in well over half of the cases -- so for instance, something that sets you on fire doesn't just set you on fire, it also gives you something like 800% outgoing damage (depending on the attributes applied to it; that's the base, but it could be 1600%) while you're burning. So that actually makes the self-immolation equipment interesting to pick up in certain circumstances, because it gives you a rampage that you can use before it burns out.
    • In many other cases, there are other tradeoffs that give you things like reduced health in exchange for higher firepower, or reduced ammo in exchange for increased damage from ammo shots, and so forth.
    • Some of these may need further balancing to really make them ideal, but these now feel much more like powerups, and you're no longer running into 60-70% of items being just negative effects on you. Instead everything is at least moderately positive despite whatever drawbacks might be attached to the equipment, and the question is instead if the costs and benefits of the equipment fit into your current tactical plan.
  • Fixed bugs where the multipliers to health and max ammo from equipment were not working properly.

New Monster

  • Added a new "large flying" monster type: Hover-Guardian.
    • This is actually seeded in the stationary flying niche in the future junkyards, so these are pretty rare and fill that powerful centerpiece role.
    • They move very slowly, dropping fiery exhaust out of the bottom of themselves as well as firing patterns of six fiery shots that move slowly but have a very high caliber.
    • This marks the last monster for the Future Junkyard biome, which also makes Future Junkyards the first to have all 11 of its monster niches filled with the final monsters it will be using!

Strategic Refinements, Round 6

  • The end-turn report has been completely redone to give a better "at a glance" of what happened when the turn ended, and to not just be a wall of little text.
    • Note that if you load an existing world it won't have any data on the last turn, due to the change in schema. So the last-turn-events display will look a bit weird until time advances another turn.
    • Thanks to zaaq and others for inspiring this change.
  • The Mana resource has been removed from the game because it only did three things (add a small extra cost to destroying enemy structures, add a second way of paying for respawns after the oblivion crystal was gone, and annoy players who couldn't collect as much of it as they wanted) and there was a stronger mechanic we had in mind to replace it (the special class abilities mentioned in the next note).
    • So now once the oblivion crystal is smashed your respawns are only powered by the other resistance members. Previously this would just kill one of those members every time you respawned, but now it deals 3 damage to the resistance member nearest to the overlord lair.
      • The higher the strategic difficulty level, the more members get hit (in order of their proximity to the lair). The min is 1 on the lowest difficulty level, the max is 5 on the highest. If there aren't enough resistance members to spread out the hits it starts back at the nearest one and goes from there.
      • So your dying at this stage can still be pretty lethal to the resistance but you can generally recover the lost "health" by playing some strategic turns, etc.
  • Added some special class abilities for the resistance that are used just like the "build structure" action. For description, the in-game strings:
    • Activate Focal Tower: Reveal World
      • A resistance member of the scout class may trigger the ancient magic of the focal tower to gain a brief vision of the entire continent. This will result in the destruction of the focal tower (the scout will survive), but will reveal all unscouted map tiles.
    • Activate Desert Pyramid: Smite Demonaica
      • A resistance member of the soldier class may control the power of the desert pyramid to blast Demonaica with an enormous magical strike. While this will destroy the pyramid (the soldier will survive) and is nowhere near enough to actually destroy Demonaica, it will prevent him from taking any action for two full turns.
    • Activate Amplification Tower: Mass Purification
      • A resistance member of the skirmisher class may harness the ancient technology of the amplification tower to send a massive energy pulse across the continent. This will destroy the amplification tower (the skirmisher will survive) but will purify all corrupted tiles around the "border" of the currently purified area.
    • Thanks to Billick, madcow, and LaughingThesaurus for inspiring these.
  • The previous effect of the amplification tower (increasing amount of tiles purified by each destroyed windstorm generator) has been removed.
  • The "wounded" state that resistance members could be in (from taking any damage, and the member that starts wounded on turn 1) has been removed as it tended to result in unnecessarily frustrating situations.
    • Working a clinic now adds an extra point of power to the NPC with the lowest power (that isn't at their max).
    • The result is a significantly easier game and clinics being substantially less important, but once the overall balance impact of all these various changes becomes clear there are plenty of other ways we can put the screws to you ;) And clinics still matter, particularly when your resistance members are taking a lot of damage.
    • Thanks to Misery and others for inspiring this change.
  • Rescuing a survivor now increases morale by 5.
  • The "Infighting" mechanic where low morale could directly cause damage to resistance members has been removed, and morale now affects cover rolls fairly substantially. At morale=50 it's basically the way it was before; at morale=100 all npc-danger levels now have 50% subtracted from them, etc. Very low morale is still a pretty quick way to lose, but this way is easier to understand and allows more nuance in how you respond to it (as well as giving an additional bonus to having high morale).
    • Cover rolls can now do more than 2 damage; previously it would roll once and if you failed you'd take 1 damage and it'd roll again and if that failed two you took 2 total damage. Now each failure does one damage and subtracts 5 from the failure chance before rerolling. So extremely bad danger levels could do a lot of damage.
    • Thanks to Acetyl for inspiring this change.
  • Added the ability to "fortify" most of the base terrain types through the "Build Structure" action. This basically just spends 20 scrap to create the equivalent of small housing (minor cover bonus, better than rubble and significantly better than open terrain) on the tile. The fortifications are not targeted by the overlord or world-map-monsters and thus are permanent.
  • Converting a tile to "large housing" now only costs 20 scrap. The old costs were from when housing capacity was a thing, etc.
    • Thanks to Misery for pointing out how the old costs were so out of whack with the utility.
  • Ivory towers have been completely reworked from their previous function:
    • Once purified, and while intact, suppresses Demonaica's spell power as if it were 20 turns earlier in the game. Multiple ivory towers can stack.
    • The overlord can now destroy ivory towers.

Beta .721

(Released January 25th, 2013)

  • Fixed a bug in the prior version where crates could not be destroyed.
    • Thanks to timebomb, Jab2565, madcow, and Pepisolo for reporting.

Beta .720 Treasure Swap

(Released January 25th, 2013)

  • 29 slices added.
    • Thanks again to c4sc4, zebramatt and Coppermants for these.
  • Previously, selecting the water dash feat was disabling double or triple jump. Fixed.
    • Thanks to ShaggyMoose for reporting.
  • Fixed a couple bugged slices.
    • Thanks to pepisolo and madcow for reporting these.
  • The missile post energy spray now passes through walls and grounds, so it works just as well in cramped quarters as it does out in the open.
  • The abandoned town tiles with homes or city blocks could be just ridiculous in terms of their length with how many buildings they had. This has been toned down substantially.
  • Fixed an issue with monsters still attacking crates they were standing on when they should not have been.
  • Fixed an issue where sometimes the boss would start on the wrong end of a boss room when you entered it.
    • Thanks to madcow, Aquohn, and Misery for reporting.
  • Made it so that monsters won't melee crates if they aren't chasing someone or firing at someone.
  • Previously, when wall crawlers reached the edge of a ground level chunk, they would just hang out in the edge there and shoot at you rather than turning around like other monsters. Fixed.
    • Thanks to Misery for reporting.
  • Fixed an issue with wall crocs being unable to fit through spaces thanks to their collision box being erroneously large.
    • Thanks to madcow for reporting.
  • Vastly increased the acceleration for all wall crawlers -- having that be low for some of them caused all sorts of issues with them floating in the air a little bit or a lot, etc.
    • The top speed of the wall croc has thus been reduced from 400 to 150 since its acceleration is so much higher now, and the wall probe has gone down from 150 to 125. All the other wall crawlers remain at 100 top speed.
  • Fixed a bug from the last couple of versions where wall crawlers were unable to properly climb over crates.
    • Thanks to Misery for reporting.
  • Fixed a number of issues with wall crawlers properly navigating very narrow spaces; we seem to have gotten them all now, but let us know if you still see something (a save file would be ideal).
    • Thanks to Misery for reporting.
  • The gradient fonts have been toned down substantially, to allow for easier reading. We had several reports of headaches with the font the way it previously was.
  • Fixed a bug from the prior release that was causing players to fall jerkily through top-solid platforms when they were pressing down.
  • Fixed an issue where often wall crawlers don't load back from disk well and then seem to be stuck.
  • Redid some of the internals of the animation frame lookups; hopefully this didn't introduce any glitches, but if you see characters or monsters looking funny, let us know!
  • Integrated the revised art for Marty and Tiyi, previously the two worst-looking characters.

Farewell Mercenaries, Hello More Treasure Chests

  • Mercenaries and mercenary coins have been removed from the game, as have mercenary hotlines.
    • You may still find a few coins in old chunks in existing worlds, but you won't be able to pick them up. You may also find some mercenary hotlines in old chunks of existing worlds, but again those will be non-interactive now.
  • In new chunks in new and existing worlds, where you would previously find a mercenary coin you will now find a treasure chest with equipment instead. Where you would find a mercenary hotline, you'll now find either a treasure chest room or the building will just be smaller than it previously was (yay on either count).

Broadly speaking, the reasons for this change are mainly that: a) Mercenaries were kind of extraneous to the game; b) They weren't all that fun; c) They were rather glitchy in their current incarnation. Working on improving them would just be diverting attention from other parts of the game that weren't extraneous and un-fun. Rather than doing that, we opted simply to cut them; this also solves another problem of equipment being far too rare to really work as intended.

There are presently still some achievements that reference mercenary coin collection, but we'll have to rework those sometime prior to 1.0 (we have some larger priorities in the meantime, but it will get done).

  • The special "treasure chest rooms" that you occasionally encounter now have a plethora of treasure chests densely packed together: five within easy space of one another. Each player can only take one at a time of course, but this lets them choose what they want out of a random pool.

Farewell Arbitrary Blockades, Hello Predictable Ones

  • The arbitrary blockages that sometimes required you to get a specific feat, but showed up rarely, have been removed. Additionally, the arbitrary blockages relating to a feat that would show up after you had the feat have been removed.
    • That said, non-arbitrary always-there blockages have been retained or added as follows:
      • Water Dash: Ocean Shallows Buildings tiles, Swamp Pagodas, Swamp Hovels
      • Double Jump: Ice Age Forests and Thawing Forests
      • Triple Jump: Stratospheric Citadels and later parts of the Overlord Keep.
    • Miniaturize is not required in order to traverse any main-path sections, however it is useful for taking many shortcuts or easier routes through main sections, and for getting to various side bits of treasure.
    • Thanks to Dash275 for inspiring these changes.
  • The various world map tiles that have specific blockades in them now include that information in their descriptions.
  • The miniaturize feat now includes a description of what it is useful for in the feats window.

Beta .719 To One Who'll Stand And Fight

(Released January 24th, 2013)

  • 63 more slices added.
    • These are from Coppermantis, zebramatt, and c4sc4.
  • Fixed three bugged slices.
    • Thanks to kaydiv and MouldyK for reporting two of these.
  • Wall crawlers are now all immune to lava, so when they crawl into lava they no longer die.
  • Non-boss monsters are no longer blocked by the invisible barriers that keep the bosses into their prescribed parts of their boss rooms.
  • Fixed a bug with some wall crawlers (every other wall crawler, to be exact) not being able to climb up vertical walls properly from on top of a slope in particular.
    • Thanks to Misery for reporting.
  • Previously if you happened to get really low on health -- less than 0.1 hearts remaining -- but not quite all the way down to zero, it would show 0 hearts on the interface despite your not being dead. Now it will show 0.1 in those cases to avoid confusion.
    • Thanks to Pepisolo for reporting.
  • The powerslide feat was removed in a prior version, but older worlds still have it and it could lead to bugs if it was on. This has now been marked as deprecated, and changed so that it does nothing now.
    • Thanks to ShaggyMoose for reporting.
  • There is no longer a health bar shown for the overlord when you can't actually hurt him (such as at the start of the game).
  • A signpost in the first tutorial room was mistakenly reading "You cannot fire at an angle, so you'll want to take care to position yourself well when fighting enemies to make up for this."
    • This was out of date, and has been replaced by the following:
    • To aim at an angle, simply hold both directions and then fire a spell. Doing this while on the ground will lock you into place until you let go of one of the buttons for easier barrages.
    • Thanks to Pepisolo for reporting the confusion this was causing new players.
  • Fixed a bug where the music was being interrupted by the onset of windstorms when you get near to a windstorm generator.
    • Thanks to ShaggyMoose for reporting.
  • When you are outside during the day, the lighting model now pretty much cuts off so that you're not getting over-saturation of colors where you can't see.
  • The distance you have to go down away from sunlight before the darkness kicks in has been increased, so that you aren't tripping into the lighting model in every shallow puddle you go into.
  • Slug fiends are too large to comfortably be able to ascend slopes, and so are now barred from doing so.
    • Note that in old chunks you might see some of them stuck on slopes temporarily.
  • The starting mage classes available to you when you first start the game was supposed to be a random selection, but it turned out that forgician was always in there no matter what, while the rest were truly random. Now they are all properly random.
  • Completely reworked the internal layering of secondary objects (not players and monsters and spells, but basically everything else) so that it's a lot better organized for the specific setup of this game (as opposed to Valley 1). As part of this, the issue with signposts going up into trees should be fixed, as should a number of similar issues that might have cropped up.
    • Thanks to AmatsuDF, LaughingThesaurus, MouldyK, LayZboy, and zeussalmighty for reporting the issue with the signs.

Soundtrack Complete: New Vocal Title Track

  • The final music track of the game is now complete and integrated, and it's an incredible one: a new title track with full vocals sung by our composer Pablo Vega and his wife Hunter Vega.

Commentary from Pablo Vega, the composer:

Here's the long awaited new theme. I'm SO excited about this track, and it took a long long time to create it. There is a full choir of voices that sing in it. Luckily, I got the vocal parts back after having not heard them for 2 weeks, added some more vocals lines of my own, and BAM, we have a kick-butt warrior man chorus. There are 12 different voices in the man chorus (basically me dubbed over again and again).

The middle section has actual lyrics. I'm singing the melody faintly (and off towards the left speaker), but what it really needed was a female voice for the solo. So, my wife Hunter is singing the main melody. The thought I had for this was to have an almost haunting voice that is split in two with a higher and lower end. Sort of like when Galadriel freaks out over the ring and starts speaking in multiple voices -- that kind of feel. I wanted the song to have a lot of hope, and it worked out well. The main idea is that the world was once beautiful, then darkness crept over, and now there's someone who will fight for the world to be how it used to be. Here are the lyrics to the verses in the center of the song:

  • Long ago, when skies would brightly show
  • The stars that glow above a blue horizon
  • I'd stand below them, and though the wind would blow,
  • I'd wave hello, and always fix my eyes on


  • Those lights that grow, with moon up high and sun down low,
  • No rush to go, the dawn would always rise on.


  • But darkness grows, and light now flickers low,
  • And shadows roam, and hope has passed
  • To one who'll stand and fight.

That last line "stand and fight" is then the main chorus, and the melody lays on top of the repeat of the warrior man chorus. I'm so excited to have worked with multiple live tracks, I think it sounds pretty awesome!

Balance Changes

  • Embershot was buffed a bit too much last time, so it's been dropped a bit.
  • The mines and bombs that the player have now have vastly larger explosion radii, thus making them a lot more useful.
  • Potionshot has been buffed. Both it's damage and caliber have been increased.
  • Balance shifts for higher difficulties:
    • The way that monster shot speeds increase on difficulties higher than the default has been nerfed somewhat.
    • The way that monster cooltown times decrease on difficulties higher than the default has been nerfed enormously.
    • Hopefully these help to make the higher difficulties actually feasible if you have the appropriate skill, but do let us know how things are feeling! Also, if the lowest difficulties don't decrease things enough for you if you prefer to play there, do let us know that also!
    • Thanks to Misery for reporting.
  • WaterPunch has had it's caliber increased by 60. It's supposed to be more defensive than offensive, and now it's caliber reflects that.
    • It's power was boosted a bit too.
  • Entropy Burst has has it's caliber dropped some, due to it being the same as Entropy Mass.
    • To compensate, it's damage has been increased slightly.
  • Entropic Touch now has a slightly larger caliber.
  • Explosive Crescent's caliber is now a tad lower.
  • The following ammo-based spells now have a caliber that is 1000 higher than it previously was (letting these block almost everything:
    • Flameout
    • All three reckless spells.
    • Water Ring
    • All five magnetic spells.
    • Energy Spray
    • Blinding Flash, Splashback, Updaft, Upthrust, and Thicket Flash.
    • All six explosion spells.
    • All five cross spells.
    • Ocean spray.
    • All five debris field spells.
    • Meteor Storm
    • This makes the ammo spells far more useful for blocking, now.
  • Urban Tackle Droids now hit for a lot less.

Completely Redesigned Henchman Boss Fights

  • The henchman boss rooms are now completely redesigned. They contain other monsters as well as traps and so forth, as well as long stretches where there is not the henchman you are actually fighting.
    • They are now more of a gauntlet, in some respects, making them more interesting and varied; in other words, the boss fight doesn't JUST consist of you and the henchman anymore.
    • The henchman sections themselves come in two sections on Featherweight, three sections on Apprentice through Skilled, four on Hero and Master Hero, and five on The Chosen One.
      • Each section where there is a henchman fight in a boss room is PART of the fight. You fight the henchman for a brief bit, then after you've wounded them enough they retreat to the next section and have completely different behaviors and spells there. Once you defeat them at each section, you've won the boss fight and they go away like they always have.
    • The game DOES remember what section the henchman was last at if you die or leave and later come back to the room, so you don't have to complete the entire fight all in one go in quite the same manner that you used to.
  • The henchmen and the overlord were still getting randomized stats for extra health and attack power, which was really throwing their balance out the window. This was basically old logic from Valley 1 that we had pared down, but then didn't reevaluate properly until now. It's been removed.
  • Boss fight frequency reductions:
    • Previously, there was a 20% chance of meeting a boss somewhere in a cavern. That chance has now been reduced to 5%.
    • Previously, if there was a mercenary hotline or similar in a building (of which there is generally a 3% chance), then there would be a henchman guarding it 100% of the time. That chance has now been reduced to 20% chance of a henchman.
    • In Deep Mausoleums, Salvage Yards, and Grounded Ships, there was previously a 20% chance of a boss. That has been reduced to 3%.
    • In Skelebot Watchtowers, there was previously a 20% chance of a boss. That has been reduced to 2%.
    • In Collapsed Skyscrapers, Lava Towers, and Thawing Towers, there was previously a 100% chance for a boss. That has been reduced to 5%.
    • Skelebot Research Facilities previously had a 100% chance of a boss room, and now they have a 0% chance.
    • Note that level up towers, evil outposts, and the overlord keep still have boss fights 100% of the time. But this makes it so that they are far less common and less likely to get tiring. It's more fun if they are rarer and thus more special and interesting, rather than being something that slows you up at every turn. That's actually what we had intended from the start, but we were a little too free with our random percentages!
      • Thanks to misery especially for inspiring this change.
  • The henchmen now put off more light than before.
  • Elder can still fly (and does so all the time), but none of the other henchmen can jump or fly/float at all, now. Lilith no longer moves around at all, but simply stands there -- she's THAT good, thematically, and she gets some other abilities to differentiate herself now.
  • Elder and Lilith now have complete knockback immunity.
  • Now only Elder emits the fiery exhaust that all of the henchmen previously had. The others will be using different things.
  • The range on a lot of the henchman spells have been increased so that they are always at least equal to any spells you have, and thus there should never be a case where you can just sit out of range and snipe them, ever. If you run into any cases like this, do please let us know!
  • The henchmen no longer pursue you constantly; rather, they'll move around and attack you as you get near to them, letting you take the initiative a lot of the time. This makes it so that you can't lead them into traps or predictable easy corners, and have to actually go fully into their arena to engage them.
  • Elder now has 1.5x as much health as the other henchmen, all of whom appear more frequently and have lower equivalent health than in past versions of the game.
  • The art for Lilith is now finalized and looks really awesome; additionally, she now has a smaller form-factor than the other henchmen, making her a bit harder to hit despite the fact that she does not move.
  • Lilith now has a dangerous counterattack that she uses whenever you land hits on her, which causes an eruption of leafy attacks in a circle around her.

Strategic Refinements, Round 5

  • The overlord now has 5 new overland spells to pick from (at various degrees of overlord spell power, which is mostly based on how many turns have elapsed). Each of these 5 applies a debuff to a cluster of tiles. The 5 debuffs are:
    • Snowstorm: Makes region cost 2 moves to enter for resistance members and deals 1 damage to any resistance member in the area of effect at the time of casting or at the end of each turn. Lasts 4 turns.
    • Meteor Shower: Deals 2 damage to any resistance member in the area of effect at the time of casting or at the end of each turn. Lasts 4 turns.
    • Firestorm: Makes it impossible for a resistance member to work in the tile (can't attack stuff, rescue survivor, build stuff, or work/scavenge) and deals 1 damage to any resistance member in the area of effect at the time of casting or at the end of each turn. Lasts 4 turns.
    • Lightning Storm: Makes cover rolls far more difficult and deals 1 damage to any resistance member in the area of effect at the time of casting or at the end of each turn. Lasts 4 turns.
    • Glacier: Completely prevents resistance members (other than you) from entering or passing through the tile and deals 1 damage to any resistance member in the area of effect at the time of casting or at the end of each turn. Lasts 2 turns.
    • Note that none of the damage from these can cause the wounded state.
    • If the overlord has more spell power than necessary to cast a spell, its area of effect increases in proportion to the extra. So late in the game the overlord might cast a relatively small glacier or an enormous snowstorm, etc.
  • Fixed a bug where a wounded NPC failing a cover roll would be treated like it had been freshly wounded again (causing morale loss and showing up in the end-turn-report as newly wounded, etc).
  • Fixed a bug where the overlord and summoned world map monsters would not try to move around each other and thus waste moves if another enemy piece was directly in the shortest path to their target.
  • Working a clinic now has a 100% chance (rather than simply a very high one) to remove the wounded state from a wounded resistance member, if there are any at the time the check is made.
  • The overlord and summoned world map monsters no longer leave farms/factories/etc alone until they've been "worked"; once it's purified it's considered fair game.
    • Thanks to Misery for bringing to our attention that said recently-added rule led to significant confusion.
  • The region details pane (shown when interacting with a region) now:
    • If afflicted by an overlord spell, shows the debuff icon, name, and description.
    • If there's a resistance member there, includes class and current/max power in that section.
      • Thanks to Billick for pointing out that the game hadn't really made that info clear at all.
  • The region details pane is now shown on the right side of the screen while you're in the process of giving a resistance member a movement order.
    • Thanks to lavacamorada for the suggestion.
  • Fixed an obsolete comment in the turn-5 text interjection where it still talked about the overlord's movement rate increasing as more of the world was purified.
    • Thanks to MouldyK for the report.

Interface For Changing The Difficulty During Existing Game

  • The difficulty level of the game can now be changed mid-game, as with the first game. You can now do this off the world map at any time from the "interact with region" menu.
    • As is noted in the instructional text on the change difficulty interface, the game keeps track of the lowest difficulty levels that have been used during any given playthrough; any difficulty-related achievements are granted based on that. So you can't play through on a very low difficulty and then bump it up at the end for cheesing achievements, for instance.
    • This is something that a number of players expressed a desire to see, based in particular on the difficulty of finding the perfect difficulty to play on via trial and error -- it's annoying to have to restart your world just because you suspect your current world is too easy or too hard. Now you can adjust as needed and find your ideal difficulty without that sort of hassle.

Beta .718 Sightlines

(Released January 23rd, 2013)

  • Fixed several slices that were blocking passage.
    • Thanks to zeussalmighty and theqmann for reporting these.
  • 12 new slices added.
    • Thanks to c4sc4 for these.
  • Previously, holding the down button while jumping would cause you to jump lower -- these "low jumps" from the first game were actually a feature, but given the way aiming works now that's no longer a desirable one. Plus, it's plenty possible in this game to do low jumps simply by tapping the jump button less, given the revised physics here compared to the first game. Fixed.
    • Thanks to Professor Paul1290, madcow, isil, and Pepisolo for reporting.
  • Previously, there was a curious bug where holding the down key while jumping, and then letting go of the jump key and pressing it again before you hit the apex of your jump, could let you jump again and gain a little extra height. Fixed.
    • Thanks to khadgar for reporting.
  • Fixed an issue where the urban tackle droid could sometimes jump or fall right through the terrain if it hit an angled slope just right.
    • This may also have affected some other enemies, but it should be fixed for all of them.
    • Thanks to Pepisolo for reporting.
  • Fixed an issue where mercenary coins underwater in caves would be showing with the water not filled in properly.
  • Tuned the caverns so that their monster density is now about 3/4 of what they previously were, to compensate for the fact that quarters are tight and you're fighting in the dark.
    • The fact that monsters don't fall off platforms right and left also helps to even out the difficulty here in the vertical shafts in particular.
  • Fixed an issue where you would not always lock into place when you were trying to hold down and to the side while firing on an angled slope.
    • Thanks to Smiling Spectre for reporting.
  • Cold dispersal and heat dispersal towers no longer have to be surrounded by purified tiles (which could be impossible at worst, and was annoying at best). Now they are purified as soon as you get other tiles purified next to them, like caves and such.
    • The big reason for this is that you can't directly purify these regions without dying of cold or heat in order to do it!
    • Thanks to theqmann, kaydiv, Dash275, and madcow for reporting.
  • Fixed a bug where the names of the henchmen and overlord were not showing properly in dialogue, instead being things like "OverlordDemonaicaGameIntroPassive."
  • Fixed an issue where Entropic Touch was throwing sound errors when used.
    • Thanks to Aklyon and Pepisolo for reporting.
  • Fixed an issue where the rockets, ricochets, and a few other groups of spells were coming out of the character 64px higher than they should have been.
    • Thanks to Misery for reporting.
  • Fixed some bad overlapping of the help tooltips that could happen on the escape menu when you are in the starting screen of the game or the armory.
    • Thanks to zespri for reporting.
  • Finally fixed the way-too-slow falling-in-water-or-lava in freefall rooms bug that we originally thought was fixed in 0.713.
    • Thanks to theqmann for the savegame that helped us fix this.

Generalized Improvements Applying To All Enemies

  • Fixed a longstanding bug that could sometimes lead to enemies flipping around like crazy in terms of which direction they are facing. Now they won't change facings more frequently than once every 0.4 seconds even if they find themselves trapped and thus are looking frantically for a way to escape that isn't available to them.
  • Fixed a bug where monsters were really reluctant to melee certain obstacles, like crates, that were in their way and clearly needed to be attacked.
  • Made it so that wall crawlers will never melee crates at all, since they just crawl along them instead.
  • Non-boss enemies, and non-"sentient shot" enemies, now must have line of sight on the player in order to start chasing them.
    • Additionally, if they don't have line of sight on the player for five seconds, then they'll stop chasing them.
    • Line of sight consists of being able to trace a line between the center of the monster and the center of the character without passing through any solid ground/wall tiles. Mobile cover and crates are NOT considered to block line of sight, and enemies will continue to plow through these to get at you.
  • Line of sight is also now required for monsters to fire at targets; this actually makes them much more effective, as they hold their fire until they can actually hit you!
  • Completely redid the logic for how enemies avoid falling off ledges and into water or lava.
    • All of this is now precalculated when the chunk is loaded, rather than being calculated in realtime, and this makes for much easier behavior as they simply treat these as solid barriers now. This was always the intent for how we'd have things work with Valley 2, but it was simply a matter of it using the older Valley 1 logic until now.
    • One thing that bears noting is that when you are using knockback on regular walking enemies, you can't knock them off of ledges or into lava anymore with this. This is a minor side effect, but something that actually helps a lot of fights from becoming too trivial if you can just knock the enemy out of the way and keep going on.
  • Fixed a number of issues with certain walking enemies not really being able to ascend slopes properly!
    • Thanks to Misery for reporting.
  • Fixed numerous issues with wall crawlers still acting a bit bonkers and not climbing on certain walls right -- mainly getting stuck over angles, but also a variety of other things.
    • At this point we're not observing any more problems with them at all, but as usual if you see anything else please do let us know!
    • Thanks to Itchykobu, isil, Misery, Pepisolo, and Smiling Spectre for reporting.

Beta .717 Strategory 64

(Released January 22nd, 2013)

  • Fixed a few impassible slices
    • Thanks to pepisolo, ipkins, theqmann and others for this.
  • Fixed two slices with the connector hint in the wrong spot.
    • Thanks to theqmann for reporting these.
  • Fixed two slices that were throwing errors.
    • Thanks to theqmann and Nanashi for reporting these.
  • 90 slices added to the game
    • Thanks to c4sc4 and Coppermantis for these.
  • Robot Piranha is now spelled correctly in-game
    • Thanks to lavacamorada for reporting this.
  • Small grammatical error fixed in one of the death text interjections.
    • Thanks to Siegfoult for reporting.
  • Fixed a slice that would block you only if it appeared in a lava area.
    • Thanks to theqmann for reporting.
  • Fixed a bug where steam achievements were not being logged until your next login after achieving them.
    • Thanks to mrhanman for reporting.
  • The amount of time that the BLOCKED! text hangs around before disappearing is now much shorter.
  • Fixed an issue where the "death shrapnel" from various enemies was not scaling up in toughness appropriately with the rest of the enemy's attacks.
  • Fixed a bug with the ricochet spells that was causing their first stage to not damage enemies that it bounced off of (this applied to monsters shooting players and players shooting monsters).
  • Fixed some issues with monsters sometimes doing too much damage to you because they had a series of shots that were under the threshold for applying the flashing invincibility period. Thus fusillades from monsters could sometimes be fatal if you absorbed the whole thing. This has been fixed to no longer have that happen.
  • Fixed a bug where area of effect shots that were overkilling monsters could cause "infinity" damage to be displayed, rather than it stopping sending a bunch of abilities and just reporting what actually killed the monster.
    • Thanks to Gemzo, Oralordos, madcow, and Lthesaurus for reporting.

Balance Changes

  • Clockwork Avian, Miasma Bat, Urban Sniper, and Scout Drones have all been nerfed. They have all had their health dropped significantly.
    • Also, their speeds were adjusted a bit just to add some variety. Please let us know if they are too fast or too slow.
    • Nobody wants to be having to hit these 8+ times to kill them.
  • Clockwork Man, Urban Droid, Skelebot Gunner are all a bit easier to kill now.
  • The WallCroc has had it's health dropped, but it's still one of the hardest "Wall-Crawlers" to kill.
  • All of the "clinging" spells have had their attacks dropped by about 20%. Their calibers have also been reduced.
  • All of the Charge shots have been buffed, with the exception of the first level. We'd really be interested in what players think of this change.
  • The ricochet spells for both players and monsters have been fairly heavily redone; they now can ricochet twice rather than once, and they no longer slide along walls but rather ricochet or disappear immediately on hitting a wall.
  • The cooldown time of the UrbanSniper and the Steam Flyer has been increased.
    • Thanks to Nanashi for pointing out it was too hard to dodge some flying enemies.
  • Light Flare now creates a LOT more light.
    • Thanks to Smiling Spectre for reporting this.

Improved Support For Multiple Gamepads

  • Updated the "axis handling" for the game to now treat up to three gamepads separately, versus allowing input from any of them to overlap each other. Thus if two gamepads are plugged in and one has some sort of drift or other interference, that should no longer interfere with setting the other gamepad up properly.

Twelve New Monsters

  • Added new "large flying" enemy type: Sericipterus
    • This cousin of the Dorygnathus flies around after you, breathing slow-moving fireballs and coming in for collisions. Considerably less explosive than its cousin.
  • Added a new "large walking" enemy type: Urban Mech.
    • These fire a pair of lasers that have very slight homing as they come after you in very broad loops and swirls.
  • Added a new "large swimming" monster type: Clockwork Submarine.
    • Lets off periodic bursts of green lasers that are very mildly homing but swerve in large loops after you out of the water.
  • Added a new "small swimming" monster type: Crag Spitter
    • These are found in the craggy highlands, and are a recolor of the Fire Spitters from the lava flats. They chuck shattered mesa attacks at you that are fast-moving in their initial particle, and then slow-moving in their spawned particles, which makes for a pretty interesting pattern to dodge.
  • Added a new "crazy/leaping" monster type: C4 Flier.
    • As the name implies, this monster actually flies rather than leaping or running at you, but it still fits the mold of "crazy/suicidal" monsters.
    • This monster uses a new mechanic whereby it is only vulnerable to attacks when it is moving at a certain fairly-fast speed. It has a very low acceleration but quite a high speed, and it wheels around when it passes you. You have to hit it while it's charging right at you, and then dodge its explosion, if you want to destroy it (otherwise you can just dodge it).
  • Added a new "large flying" monster type: Urban Predator.
    • This large robotic flier accelerates towards you fairly slowly, but gaining in speed, and wheels around as it passes you. It shoots fusillades of water rebound shots, which in turn are affected by the speed of the predator itself -- when it's moving faster, so do its shots.
  • Added a new "large swimming" monster type: Swordfish
    • This is a simple melee enemy, but it is another enemy with very slow acceleration but an even higher top speed. That makes it pretty much a pushover in tight corners, but quite dangerous in more open waters -- where it is often found.
  • Added a new "small flying" monster type: Scout Drone.
    • This tiny plane flies at you at a rapid pace, but with slow turning ability, making it come after you in big loop-the-loops in a lot of cases.
  • Added a new "stationary flying" monster type: Air Superiority Platform.
    • This one uses some graphics from AI War tied into this universe in a new way and animated in a different way.
    • It has heavy armor plating on its sides, and uses plasma fan attacks against you as well as being explosive on death.
  • Added a new "large walking" monster type: Armored Golem.
    • The AI War favorite makes a crossover appearance in Valley 2! It's found in the far-future robot apocalypse of Environ...
    • It's also animated for the first time, moving along the ground in its shell. It has a cool new mechanic whereby your shots can't directly penetrate its shell -- but perhaps you can use its own firepower against it somehow...
  • Added a new "crazy/leaping" monster type: Mirror Cube.
    • This monster actually goes in the "ceiling clinger" spot, but it is properly designed for the size and shape and general positioning of those sort of spots; it's another example of changing things up a bit in the monster mix in certain areas of the game.
    • The mirror cubes are a robotic artifact that again take graphical pieces from AI War (this is a common theme in the far-future part of Valley 2, you'll notice; we've had fun tying the universes together at least a bit).
    • These are physically weak, and just bounce along and melee you... but they are also really hard to hit because of the repulsion field that they exert on any projectiles that are sent their way. You can kill them with something like Ember Shot, but it's far easier to tackle these foes with things like Explosive Crescent, which the repulsive field doesn't have a chance to impact.
  • Added a new "small walking" monster type: Perimeter Guard.
    • This is another robot from AI War, although here it's been given animated robot-spider legs to carry it around.
    • In a lot of respects, this is the opposite of the Mirror Cube -- rather than repulsing shots away from itself, it pulls all nearby shots strongly toward itself. This makes it one of the easiest enemies in the game to hit, but it's got an above-average bit of health to compensate for that. The tricky thing is that it makes it hard for you to hit _other_ enemies while it's still alive; you'll have to use non-projectile spells like Explosive Crescent to hit them, or make sure that they stay between you and the Perimeter Guard so that your shots hit them while trying to hit the guard.

Strategic Refinements, Round 4

  • Each resistance member now has a "power" level, basically health, so we can have some more granular mechanics for them getting hurt by stuff and so on. Pre-existing things that wounded/killed npcs now simply do damage (overlord contact is still instakill). For a more in-depth description, here's the new "tips" entry for it (it refers to classes and world-map-monsters, which are described further down in these notes) :
    • Each member of the resistance has a level of "power" shown as the number next to their world map icon. This shows how strong each member is against enemy attack. Remember:
      • Each member's starting level of power is determined by his or her class.
      • Each member gains 1 power at the end of each turn, up to a max determined by class.
        • This power-gain does not happen if the member is in the "wounded" state or was damaged by infighting or failing a cover roll during the end of the turn.
      • Infighting and failed cover rolls can cause damage to a member. Damage is deducted from the member's power level.
      • If a member lands on a tile with a world-map-monster or such a monster lands on the member's tile, then the member will take damage equal to the monster's power and the monster will take damage equal to the member's power.
        • Note that Demonaica has effectively infinite power and thus cannot be damaged and will kill any resistance member (regardless of power level).
      • If a member (or world-map-monster) is reduced below 1 power, it dies and is removed from the game.
      • If a member takes any damage, he or she also enters the "wounded" state which prevents movement or action until healed by someone else working a clinic (if the member is on a clinic tile, they have a chance of healing themselves at the end of the turn). Members with the Soldier class do not become wounded by 1-damage attacks, but do still lose the point of power.
  • Each resistance member (and potential resistance member) now has a "class" so we can have some distinctions (but not unwieldy ones) between members. For a more in-depth description, here's the new "tips" entry for it:
    • Each member of the resistance has one of three "classes": Scout, Skirmisher, or Soldier, reflected by their world map icon. Each class has advantages and disadvantages compared to the others. Specifically:
      • The Scout can move fastest (12 tiles per turn) but has the lowest max power (4).
      • The Soldier moves slowest (6 tiles per turn) but has the highest max power (9) and can "shrug off" an attack that does only 1 point of damage (still losing 1 point of power from the attack, but not getting the "wounded" state that prevents further movement or action until healed by a clinic).
      • The Skirmisher has a moderate speed (8 tiles per turn) and a moderate max power (7).
  • The overlord now has overland spells; right now only summoning is implemented but we have a few more planned. For a more in-depth description, here's the new strategic overview entry for it:
    • After Demonaica moves, he may summon monsters that attack resistance members and tiles useful to the resistance on the world map. Remember:
      • The frequency of this varies with strategic difficulty, it's every fourth turn on default.
      • The number of monsters summoned depends on the size of the monster, how late in the game it is, and the strategic difficulty.
      • The summoned monsters can move further each turn than Demonaica's 3 tiles per tun (more on this below).
      • But the summoned monsters are not invincible: you can't attack them directly, but resistance members can attack them by entering the same time.
      • Whenever a summoned monster winds up on the same tile as a resistance member, the member takes damage equal to the monster's power and the monster takes damage equal to the member's power. This means that at least one of them will die, and the survivor (if any) will be weakened.
      • Smaller monsters consume the remainder of their turn's movement when they destroy a tile, but larger monsters can keep moving and potentially destroy more than one tile per turn.
  • Overlord movement speed has been dramatically reduced: he can now only move 3 tiles, period.
    • Previously he could move more tiles based on how much land area you'd purified, and what the strategic difficulty was. This made him basically an "unstoppable steamroller" that was only so interesting to interact with.
    • Now he's more of a "two stage rocket" for anything that isn't close by to him -- paired with the overland spells described above, in particular the monster summons, he's now able to project force around the continent without moving there personally.
    • Most importantly of all, these other monsters are mortal: in other words, as described above, you can use your resistance members to actively block and destroy monsters; this is something that was never possible (and still isn't possible) with the overlord directly. This adds a lot more nuance into the strategy game, and actually lets you defend your territory rather than having things get destroyed with nothing you can do about it.
    • Oh, side note: the overlord is able to move AND cast a spell on the same turn, but he's got a cooldown on spells so that he can only do one spell every so many turns (as described above, again).

Beta .716 Control Freak

(Released January 16th, 2013)

  • 93 various slices added.
    • Thanks to c4sc4 and zebramatt for these!
  • Updated the world map generation logic pretty heftily to move a lot of the level up towers away from the center of the world and out to the further reaches.
    • With the world maps having gotten so much smaller a few releases back, the logic of where the level up towers were seeded really needed another looking at; as players were pointing out, it was possible to have tier 2 or 3 spells before Demonaica even emerged. Now that is exceedingly unlikely.
    • Thanks to Misery for reporting.
  • Fixed a bug where danger-to-npc values of tiles was not being computed properly on multiplayer clients (the server still had the right numbers, but it was showing wrong on the clients).
    • Thanks to Gemzo for the report.
  • Fixed a bug where it was possible to make moves during the tutorial that were incompatible with what the tutorial was telling you to do, resulting in getting stuck.
    • Thanks to madcow for the report.
  • Fixed a bug where it was possible to move to a tile and build a structure on it on the same turn (NPCs are supposed to be able to either move or act on a given turn). This was making it possible to get stuck in the tutorial.
    • Thanks to Misery for the report.

Gamepad And Aiming Improvements

  • Previously, the maximum noise canceling on an axis was 75% (which, it turns out, was internally 65%). Now it goes all the way up to 95% for greater flexibility.
  • Previously, the default noise canceling indexes for all axes was 50% (really internally 40%). Now for the up and down keys, the default is 95%; and for left and right the default is 85%.
    • This seems to work out extremely well for this sort of game; the old axis canceling defaults were actually more for things like precise aiming with a second stick in a dual-stick shooter. But what we're really wanting is more the classic D-pad experience, and that is what this level of axis canceling seems to provide on at least our test gamepads; let us know how it does on yours!
  • The game now only locks your character into place for angled firing when you are actually holding down one of the angled-firing buttons OR the walk button.
    • This keeps people on gamepads from "inexplicably" stopping moving if their axis noise canceling is not quite right or they are using an analog stick and have a drifting thumb, but it retains the functionality of these folks being able to lock into place to shoot at an angle when actually firing (and then they can actually see what has happened, if they're a new player, because not only does their character stop, but the shots are going in that direction, so it just immediately should make sense rather than being "why does my character keep stopping moving!?"
    • However, the ability to lock yourself into place while NOT actively firing is actually useful. At least, I certainly think it is. This is where the walk button comes in; when holding that and an angle, it works like it used to, letting you lock yourself into place in preparation for firing rather than actually firing. I think this is definitely the minority case of needed functionality, so it makes good sense to me to make this the thing that requires an extra button press.
    • Thanks to Billick for suggesting that players only stop when they are actively moving.

Beta .715 Gimme Shelter... From Monsters

(Released January 15th, 2013)

  • Mouse support has been added for all the menus in the game, and the mouse cursor is now visible whenever any menu is open.
  • A huge number of improvements have been made to the wall crawler logic, including making the wall crawlers now handle slopes properly (ground slopes, anyhow; ceilings ones don't matter for running into).
  • Fixed a longstanding bug where the last shot to kill an enemy would not do a damage popup.
  • Made it so that on the last shot to kill a non-boss enemy, it now pops up the name of the enemy as well as the damage; that way players can actually learn the names of enemies, and it's a bit of a minor visual reward for the kill as well.
  • The graphics for being a Deinonychus are now fully in place. Rather than looking like a Utahraptor from the first game (that was placeholder art), you now look awesome -- like a feathery modern version of this particular raptor.
  • The swamp backdrop has been finalized.
  • Pretty close to all 33 interior wall backgrounds have been updated, many finalized.
  • When the player is transformed into a Deinonychus, they can now exit doors properly without getting stuck!
    • Thanks to khadgar for reporting.
  • Swamp gas has been turned into the "large flying" category instead of "large walking."
    • This makes room in the large walking category in the swamp for a different monster (we had to do some shifting because we wound up with some extra cool art that we wanted to use), and it also changes the behavior of the swamp gas so that it now does indeed fly.
  • The falling miasma graphics are now a lot more attractive, and the particles of miasma are also a lot smaller and more discrete (rather than being a waterfall-like thing, it's more like pellets now).
  • The physics of the shots from the Missile Posts have been adjusted so that they are actually now a threat indoors (and more interesting even out of doors, too).

Twenty New Monsters

  • Added a new "small walking" enemy type to the game: Urban Droid.
    • These cheeky little robots are capable of putting on quite a fireworks show. And if you shoot them in their large eye, they tend not to take that too kindly, either.
  • Added a new "crazy/leaping" enemy type to the game: Urban Tackle Droid.
    • These spidery robots are really tiny but really fragile. They hide in place and then come running and leaping at you when you get close.
  • Added a new "crazy/leaping" enemy type to the game: Clockwork Tumbler.
    • These crablike automatons go bounding around like crazy, making them quite hard to hit, although somewhat easier to dodge as they blow past you and then try to turn around. Try to get them when they're slowed by turning.
  • Added a new "large flying" enemy type: Dorygnathus.
    • This flying dino is actually seeded in the slot for the "stationary ground" enemy type of the lava flats, but that's one of those things that helps to make the various areas feel more unique; sometimes they mix things around like this, meaning that slices created for one purpose then serve another. But the monsters are always designed with the way that the slices are designed in mind.
    • At any rate, Dorygnathus is fast, mean, and... uh, explosive. Don't let them close.
  • Added a new "ceiling clinger" enemy type: Earth Flinger.
    • Earth bombs! First time enemies are using bombs like you get.
  • Added a new "ceiling clinger" enemy type: Earth Elemental.
    • Looks just like the Earth Flinger, so there is some uncertainty as to which you have just encountered when you near them. These have a completely different attack and generally show up in different areas (aside from the level up towers and overlord keep, where all monsters mingle).
  • Added a new "crazy/leaping" monster type to the game: Deinonychus
    • Yes, these are deadly. Proceed with caution in the lava flats and bring something to mow them down quick -- they are extremely fast.
    • These work very much like the Utahraptors from the first game, except with a bit of altered physics and more speed.
    • As a general note, not all monsters are meant to be created equal; some areas are meant to be harder than others (like The Deep and the Lava Flats), and even the monsters within an area are meant to vary in terms of which are most threatening (the stationary flying are extremely threatening in many of the areas, but not so in the lava flats, for instance; the crazy/leaping are less threatening most areas, but are a hotspot in the lava flats).
  • Added a new "ceiling clinger" enemy type: Snow Elemental.
    • This is actually just a recolor of the Earth Elemental, but it's such a cool graphic anyhow. These snow variants show up in completely different areas and use a snow sine attack, though, so facing them is a very distinct proposition.
  • Added a new "wall crawler" enemy type: Mechanical Spider.
    • These use a lightning rebound attack with different timings and distances from the other monster rebounds.
  • Added a new "wall crawler" enemy type: Wall Probe.
    • These use a lightning ricochet attack with different timings and distances from the other monster ricochets.
  • Added a new "small flying" enemy type: Owl.
    • Everybody's favorite concept sketch ("he looks so unimpressed by the world," etc) makes his debut. He may be unimpressed, but he's a zippy little fellow with an interesting insect fusillade attack that gets more challenging on higher difficulties (of course).
  • Added a new "large walking" monster type: Swamp Thing.
    • This one has a pretty crazy cool pattern-based attack that it uses on you as it scoots quickly across the ground and then pauses.
  • Added a new "large walking" monster type: Forest Elemental.
    • These freaky, massive, tree-like creatures use their clubs to create an earthquake shockwave that strikes any players near them who are standing on the ground at the time of their attack.
  • A new "small swimming" monster has been added: Icefish.
    • This fish inhabits the ice age areas of the game, and works rather like a cross between a robot piranha and an ice bat; it lobs snowballs at you like the bat, but otherwise works like the robot piranha.
  • Added a new "small flying" monster type: Miasma Bat.
    • These are like regular bats except a bit more hardy, and they also act as something of a mobile miasma dangerfall as they fly around.
  • A new "small flying" enemy type has been added: Flying Eyeball.
    • These fly past dropping barrages of miasma bombs at you, then eventually wheel around and make another pass for you.
  • Added a new "stationary ground" enemy type: Clockwork Blockade.
    • Normally this is completely passive, but if you touch it or shoot it, it will create a cross of "clockwork seekers" that come after you.
  • Added a new "small flying" enemy type to the game: Mosquito.
    • These are definitely the smallest, weakest, but also fastest enemies in the game, by far. They zip around like crazy, and won't harm you directly; but they let off slow-moving fire embers from unexpected places. They're hard to hit with straight shots, but other weapons can work quite well against them. They live up to their name of creating distraction and so forth, but they do really very little damage even if they do get you.
  • Added a new "small swimming" monster type: Fire Spitter.
    • This little amphibian swims around rather like a carp, but lobs slow-moving embers at you periodically.
  • Added a new "small swimming" enemy type: Water Fairy.
    • Yes, these are very much like the fairy minibosses from AVWW1 -- the much-hated, overly-familiar red and green fairies. But we are not insane! The inclusion of the water fairies, which are blue, is actually cathartic. These are very ordinary enemies, in Valley 2, not minibosses; and they are rather pushovers here. They do produce some interesting threat and tactical scenarios as well, so it's not just a gimme either way, but we didn't put these here just to torture people who loved the first game but grew to hate the fairies.

Strategic Refinements, Round 3

  • There can now only ever be one resistance member on a given tile. We have some other mechanics coming soon that will still give you a reason to keep each one in "mutual support range" of a few others, but for now this vastly helps us make the interface smoother.
    • Food income from farming has been roughly doubled since you can't turbocrop a single farm with a bunch of dudes anymore, we would increase it more but some other changes are planned to handle the rest of this.
    • Any situation which would otherwise cause multiple resistance members on the same tile (loading an old world with a multi-NPC stack, or rescuing a survivor) causes the others to be displaced to a nearby tile that is no closer to the overlord (or origin, if overlord isn't out yet) than the original tile. In the rescue-survivor case, the new resistance member is always the displaced one.
  • You now no longer move resistance members through "Rally Survivors" but by:
    • 1) Move to the tile of the resistance member you want to move.
    • 2) Press enter to open the region-interaction menu.
    • 3) Press enter again to select the "Move" option (it's always on top if there's a resistance member present, and thus quick to select).
    • 4) The interaction window will close and the world map HUD will reflect that you're giving a move order; walk to the target square you want the resistance member to move to (you won't be able to walk into any tiles that are out of range or corrupted).
    • 5) Press enter again to make the move happen (cancel can be used to cancel out of the order).
    • This is much faster and more intuitive than the previous system, at least in our experience. We hope you agree :)
  • Resistance members can no longer use warp points, since it's already pretty easy for them to get away from the overlord and it's harder to present a reasonable interface with them using the warp points.
  • Now that there's only one resistance member max per tile, the world map icon for the resistance member is:
    • If the player is currently in the process of giving that NPC a move order, it is a blue-ish version of the normal icon.
    • Otherwise, if the NPC is wounded, it is a red-ish version of the normal icon.
    • Otherwise, if the NPC has already acted that turn, it is a semi-transparent version of the normal icon. (would have done orange and made the normal icon green, but that wouldn't work for red/green colorblindness)
    • Otherwise, it is the normal orange-ish icon.
  • The dispatch-mission button on the region-interaction menu now simply says "Build Structure", because that's the only dispatch mission that's given that way anymore (all the others are still in the game, they're just attempted on a resistance member's own initiative based on where they are, or they're the rally-survivors mission that was rolled into the new movement system).
    • Further, since there's only ever at most one resistance member on the tile where you can build the structure, it no longer asks you who you're sending to do it when you pick the building to build, it just goes ahead and tells that one NPC to build the building.
      • But the region-interaction menu now shows the NPC's portrait next to their name, in case you might miss looking at their handsome mugs with the npc-selection screen no longer in the loop.
    • Since you can't have two NPCs on the same tile anymore, the rule that you only have a 75% chance to succeed in building construction with only one NPC has been removed.
  • The region-interaction menu now displays a "work schedule" of what an NPC would do there, in what order, including the time consumed by moving there (unless an NPC is already there and hasn't acted that turn; then it lists the first thing that will be done as the first item).
    • We hope this will resolve some of the information-opacity issues that the move to "NPCs act based on where they are" logic initially involved.
  • The end-turn check for “free healing” (not requiring a clinic) of a wounded resistance member is now only done on the lower 2 strategic difficulty levels.
    • But a wounded NPC actually on a clinic tile has a very good chance (depending on strategic difficulty level) of being automatically healed.
  • Clinics now only function (and get their heal roll) when a resistance member (who is not wounded, and has not already acted that turn) is on the clinic tile at the end of the turn.
    • But each clinic roll now has a much better chance to heal someone and is not so adversely affected by low morale.
  • The housing “population cap” mechanic is now gone as it felt very weak in practice and didn’t make a lot of sense.
    • In its place we have implemented a “shelter” mechanic where each resistance member is in danger at the end of every turn, which danger can be increased or mitigated by the tiles around them.
      • Housing tiles are the best shelter, along with the more special positive tiles (chateau, amp towers, etc).
      • More mundane positive tiles (farms, factories) are also good shelter, but not as good.
      • Multipurpose tiles that haven’t been built into anything are mediocre shelter.
      • Rubble of any kind is poor shelter, but it doesn’t add to the threat either.
      • Wilderness areas are low-level threats; caverns are actually somewhat positive, forests are slightly negative, open areas are moderately negative.
      • Evil outposts and impasse tiles are very negative.
    • Each tile impacts all tiles within 3 distance, with the impact halving at each step. Accordingly being in the middle of an abandoned town area (that the overlord hasn’t rubble-ized) is generally pretty safe, but being in the middle of a bunch of evil outposts is exceedingly dangerous.
    • If the NPC fails its “shelter roll” at the end of the turn, it will be wounded. If it was already wounded, it will die.
      • The strategic difficulty substantially impacts how hard this roll is.
      • Having one or two other (non-wounded) resistance members within 2 tiles improves the NPC’s chances of not being hit. Having more than 2 other resistance members in the area does not provide further benefit.
      • Already wounded NPCs get a further bonus on this roll that varies substantially by strategic difficulty level. Generally speaking they’re much less likely to die than they were to get wounded in the first place, unless they’re in a really bad place.
    • The game displays the chance of an NPC failing the roll (assuming no support from other NPCs) as “Danger To NPCs”; this can be seen in a number of ways on the interface, including a new world-map-overlay that can be activated from the region-interaction menu.
  • The end-turn check for an NPC naturally dying of wounds no longer happens. So now wounded NPCs are now simply out of commission and will wait for healing, unless the overlord catches them.
  • There is no longer a morale penalty when the overlord destroys a useful building.
  • Instead of losing 1 morale per turn automatically, you gain 1.
  • The overlord’s number of moves per turn has been scaled down (the world is generally smaller now than it was some patches ago, and the shelter mechanic adds a lot of threat).
  • The overlord now comes out one turn later than before (otherwise on the highest difficulty he was going to kill the wounded survivor before the clinic could heal them).

Boss Updates

  • The boss rooms have been adjusted so that not only do they no longer have water, they also generally won't have the little traps areas in them.
    • This keeps the boss fights more focused, and avoids some of the particular pitfalls they were common to.
  • The physics of the henchmen in how they jump and fall after you, and when they generate magma exhaust, has been altered fairly substantially. They now pose a much more interesting challenge.

Beta .714 Monstercopia

(Released January 11th, 2013)

  • The sprite graphics for Elder are now in place, although there is still some work to be done on them.
  • The Warehouse interior wall graphics are now in place.
  • The eels now use a "moderate static discharge" instead of the "major" one they were previously using.
  • Fixed a number of bugs for wall crawlers that were all relating to the fact that they could not decelerate fast enough to make certain turns, and so would go sliding into walls or open space or other things.

Eleven New Monsters

  • A new "wall crawler" type of enemy has been added to the game: Elephant Snail.
    • These have an occasional ranged attack, and are only vulnerable to your attacks at certain times, too.
  • Added a new "small walking" type of monster: Firewalker.
    • These are pretty different, for sure. Fairly easy to kill, but dangerous even in death, even at a distance.
  • A new "large walking" enemy type has been added: Swamp Gas.
    • We'll just see what folks make of it, we won't say anything here.
  • Added a new "ceiling clinger" monster type: Medieval Ceiling Trap.
    • Watch out for the streams of darts!
  • Added a new "stationary floor" enemy type: Medieval Flag Trap.
    • Again, watch the darts!
  • Added a new "small flying" enemy type: Archaeopteryx
    • Don't worry about finding these -- they'll find you. ;)
  • A new "stationary floor" enemy type has been added: missile post.
    • Careful attacking these!
  • A new "ceiling clinger" type of monster has been added to the game: Ceiling Asp.
    • Given these are desert creatures... watch out for fire!
  • A new "large flying" monster type has been added to the game: Dark Imp.
    • Lurking in the highlands with their eerie dark forms and whips of fire... yeah, you'll want to be killing these as quick as you can when you see them.
  • A new "wall crawler" enemy type has been added: Clockwork Pigeon.
    • These mechanical birds crawl along the walls, flinging bursts of feathers at you that shattered into multiple bursts after a while or on contact with the ground.
  • Added a new "wall crawlers" enemy type: Wall Croc.
    • These are speedy little guys, for being so pudgy!

Beta .713 Scatter And Gather

(Released January 10th, 2013)

  • The "individual specials" on characters have been removed.
    • This was something that mostly messed with the feeling of balance in invisible ways, or more particularly messed with the feeling of the controls (usually not for the better).
    • The perks are all still there of course, but those are things that the player gets to decide on and experiment with AFTER starting the game, and change at will. Generally we like to avoid making players have to make crucial decision about their character before they even start playing, but that's what the individual specials were doing.
      • These were a holdover from Valley 1, where it wasn't a big deal because your characters die all the time and you get new ones, anyway. But here your characters are permanent, and the physics of movement are a lot more fine-tuned anyhow.
    • Thanks to Professor Paul1290 for suggesting.
  • The characters in the pick new character menu now show their actual attack animations rather than just standing still in their first frame of their attack animation.
  • In the first room with Demonaica at the start of the game, the game controls now show up even during the conversation you are having with him, rather than waiting until after that conversation is done.
    • Thanks to madcow for suggesting.
  • Fixed an error in a chunk slice that would throw up exceptions when loading it.
    • Thanks to isil for reporting this.
  • The game no longer pauses for the local player when they are in a text interjection; that led to all sorts of bad behaviors, like animations being a bit stuck and odd, and in general just feeling rather jarring.
    • Instead, what now happens is that the invincibility lightning turns on for the player whenever they are somewhere where there are monsters, and this thus signals that they are safe (which was why we had it pausing before).
    • Overall this leads to a smoother experience while still making it clear the player is safe (which they are).
  • Fixed a bug that was preventing the last page of multi-page text interjections from showing.
  • After the oblivion crystals have been smashed, Demonaica retreats to his keep. On the overworld, Elder takes his place in harassing you, since Elder is the one henchman who does not need an oblivion crystal to remain immortal.
    • This was always the plan, however since we don't have the Elder graphics finalized yet we couldn't really implement this properly. However, this was leading to some confusion evidently, so we've used the "Dark Avatar" graphics that are currently a stand-in for all the Henchmen, so that it's clear that something has changed on the overworld after the oblivion crystals are gone.
  • Inside freefall rooms, your falling rate is no longer slowed when you are in water or lava; that was making them untenably slow.
    • Thanks to jruderman and theqmann for reporting.

More Angled Aiming Refinements And Controls Updates

  • You can now fire downwards at an angle while standing on the ground and by holding down and forward or backward. Normally when you hold down and no direction and fire, you do low-shots, which are still possible as long as you don't hold forward or backward.
    • Thanks to Pepisolo for suggesting.
  • When you have locked your character into place and then fire behind yourself at an angle, it now turns your character around to face that direction so that things look more sensible graphically.
    • Thanks to Pepisolo for suggesting.
  • The contextual aiming on slopes that was added a couple of releases ago has now been removed since the manual "deployed aiming" has come back and does a better job at this sort of thing.
    • More to the point, the contextual aiming was interfering with a couple of different kinds of other aiming (the ability to fire over the edge of a slope from cover, and the ability to do low-shots horizontally while on a slope), so removing this retains all the flexibility of the manual controls without ever making the game do something you didn't intend in an automatic contextual fashion.
    • Thanks to Pepisolo for suggesting.
  • The "Open Menu" and "Cancel" functions have been split out into separate keybindings so that there is more flexibility with how you map them on gamepads. So have the Confirm and Interact functions.
  • Thanks to Nypyren for suggesting.
  • The "Interact" and "Confirm" keys now default to E instead of S, making them consistent between Valley 1 and Valley 2 again.
    • The only reason we had changed this was so that Q and E could be used for the aim up/down in this game, but since those have been phased out we can now go to something that makes for less of a jarring difference between the basics of the two games.
  • The "Use Secondary Ability" default keybind has moved from W to S, again for the sake of simplicity. The keys thus all line up as ASDF rather than AWDF for the spells.
  • The gamepad button and gamepad axis settings section in the input bindings windows have been combined into one to prevent confusion.
    • Now it checks for either a button or an axis input when you click the gamepad button panel, and then it switches to showing the axis and the axis noise canceling options only when you choose an axis.
    • This should prevent all the confusion people were having with sometimes "not being able to map" certain buttons that were actually axes, etc.
    • Thanks to Itchykobu, isil, and zaaq for suggesting these changes.

Cheats! Plus An Easy Way To Test The Strategic Game Only

  • Added new admin command: cmd:set_cheats_enabled (followed by a 0 for false, or a 1 for true)
    • When this is active, you can use a new "Cheat: Purify" button on the interact-with-region menu to purify from the world map.
    • If this has ever been active in a world, achievements cannot be earned in it.
    • Thanks to madcow for the suggestion.

Strategic Refinements, Round 2

  • There is no longer a limit to the number of dispatch missions that can be launched each turn. However, each NPC can still only act once.
    • The idea here is that this reduces the incentive for blobbing your NPCs together all in one group, and -- when paired with some other changes to be detailed below -- encourages a very different style of play where more NPCs are deployed more distinct places, but you're not HAVING to move them all each turn.
    • Obviously one big concern with a mechanic like this is if players wind up getting very grindy in later turns with giving orders to dozens of NPCs -- how tedious. That was something the previous dispatch mission limit was intended to solve. However, we've found a more organic way to solve the same issue, which you'll read about below.
  • The concept of individual survivors having different skill levels has been removed, for a variety of reasons.
    • This was one of those things that sounded good on paper, but in practice it hasn't been too useful to the game mechanics; it adds the bad kind of complexity and encourages players to "optimize" their play in un-fun ways such as sending key survivors on long treks all over the place rather than using everyone more equally.
    • Also, because the change to letting the player give each one an order each turn is increasing the complexity of play a fair bit, and the value added by the skill mechanic was somewhat dubious to us in the past.
  • The "convert region to (whatever)" success chance is now 75% if you send 1 resistance member, or 100% if you send two (or more, but there wouldn't be a lot of point in that).
    • The rest of the mission types have a 100% chance of success now, given the lack of skill levels.
      • We may dial the complexity back up some here in a future version (we have some ideas on this front), but honestly we're going for depth of mechanics rather than breadth. With this new release the strategy for winning the game is actually a lot more complex and interesting despite the streamlining that we've done, which is something we're really proud of. There are more interesting choices with less obvious answers.
  • Now, only Rally and "Convert Region To (whatever)" missions can be given directly through the dispatch interface; all the others are still possible but are done by moving a resistance member to the target square and giving them time to get it done.
    • The first turn after the move they won't do anything (their action that turn was moving) but at the end of the following turn they will check for doing the following:
      • If there is an attackable enemy structure in the region itself, attack it.
      • Otherwise, if there is a recruitable survivor in the region, rescue it.
      • Otherwise, if there are any eligible adjacent targets for the attack-adjacent-enemy-structures mission, do that.
      • Otherwise, if the region can be worked (farm, scrap factory, etc), work it.
      • Otherwise, scavenge for food and scrap.
    • So if there's a tile where you want to do more than one of the above, either send multiple resistance members, or just let the one member stay there enough turns to get it all done.
    • The idea here is to automate things a little bit more, certainly, and not make it so that you have to hand-hold your NPCs each turn so much. The idea is to let you express your will as quickly as possible and then just get on with the game, so that you can manage more NPCs doing more things without that bogging down the game in an un-fun way.
  • The end-turn report now shows:
    • One line for the amount of mana spent attacking buildings.
    • One line for the number of buildings that could not be attacked due to lack of mana.
  • There is now a text interjection for the first time an NPC could not attack a building due to lack of mana.
  • Map tiles no longer ever produce food, scrap, or mana on their own -- in other words, just passively by your holding them. They now all have to be worked by resistance members.
    • Desert Pyramids and Magic Focal Towers can now be worked in this way (to produce mana), though as with the other production missions you won't actually give that order directly. Just move them there and they'll get to it.
    • This is the lynchpin in the revised strategic design:
      • Having to deploy NPCs around the world to gain resources means that they are now a lot more useful than just for rebuilding structures (which they used to do, but cannot do anymore), building structures, or going on dangerous missions. This greatly increases the complexity of the resource management simulation by the late game in particular, particularly on higher difficulties.
      • It's also the reason why you could have dozens of NPCs without it being a hassle to manage all of them every turn. It's actually to your advantage to leave most of them where they are most turns, since most of them are working for you. And then your decisions come in as to when to move them where, and when to capture what buildings for use.
  • Convert Tile to (whatever) missions now can only be performed by resistance members actually on the tile.
    • So now missions either move a resistance member, or have them do something, but never both at once.
  • The initial "tutorial" logic that affects the first 2 turns has been updated to reflect the above changes:
    • On the first turn, you must first move a single resistance member to an abandoned town city block tile (potential clinic site) and then move a single resistance member to a grassland farm tile.
    • On the second turn, you must first build that clinic, and then you're free to do as you please.
    • Also, the instructions you get on the third turn are now updated to reflect the above changes.
  • The overlord will now not target or destroy buildings that have never helped the resistance. A building is considered to have helped the resistance if:
    • It provides a passive benefit (housing, clinic, city hall, etc).
    • It was built (converted from a multi-purpose tile) by the resistance.
    • It has ever been worked by a resistance member to produce food, scrap, or mana (scavenging doesn't count, but the resistance never scavenges in a square that can be worked).

Strategic Interface Improvements

  • When sending survivors on dispatch missions, it now properly sorts them so that the ones who can't participate (for whatever reason out of the many possible reasons) are at the bottom of the list.
  • NPCs that have already acted this turn now show up in the strategic interface, but with the explanation that they have already acted that turn (versus just being invisible like they previously were).
  • In the dispatch interface for specific survivors, it now doesn't allow keyboard selection for those who are unable to act the current turn; this saves you a lot of skipping around manually for people you can't interact with anyhow.
  • In the "interact with region" menu on the world map, the "Dispatch Survivors On Mission" line item is now the topmost item, as it is the thing that you'll be selecting most frequently.
  • In the "interact with region" menu on the world map, the "Dispatch Survivors On Mission" line changes to "Rally Resistance" if that's the only type of dispatch mission that is available at the region in question (which is what happens quite a lot of the time). This is basically a convenience to save you an extra click.
  • "Rally Resistance" has been renamed "Move Survivors Here" so that it's more immediately clear what it means without any extra explanations.
  • When a mission that you are sending NPCs on has a 100% chance of success, it no longer asks you for confirmation that you wish to send them on this mission.
    • That was an extra two keypresses that were superfluous for movement orders in particular.
  • After a move survivors mission, previously it was showing an emoty results window. Now it just skips that, saving you yet another button press.
  • The text interjections have been moved down 40px on the screen so that you can actually see your resource bar on the main menu while the text interjections are playing past.

Upgrades To Several Spell Groups

  • The "Magnetic" spells have gone from being pretty lame to being some of Chris's very favorite spells in the game now. We think you'll agree.
    • They no longer die when they collide with the ground, for one thing, which makes them much longer-lived.
    • But they also now mirror your movement sort of like a drone, while at the same time seeking back toward you. The overall effect is much more like what we were going for at the start with these -- a mobile wrecking ball that you swing around yourself, smashing through enemies in an extremely satisfying fashion.
  • The Tridents all now have 2.5x as long attack lengths. This makes them much more useful for hitting things above or below you without having to get too close to them.
  • The striking distance of the whips have all been reduced by a fair bit, but they have given a powerful new ability that lets them cut right through enemy shields as if they were not there.
    • This makes whips really useful in close combat, but of course close combat is riskier than just firing at weakspots from range.

Three New Monsters

  • A new "stationary flying" monster has been added to the game: Steamship.
    • This is another steampunk enemy that is heavily armored in interesting ways.
  • A new swimming monster has been added to the game: Eels.
    • These are mainly a melee monster, but if you get too close to them they have big bursts of electrical current that can also strike you.
  • A new "stationary flying" monster has been added to the game: Floating Bone Mass.
    • This is definitely the easiest enemy in the game to kill... and at the same time, one of the more dangerous ones. It certainly adds some spice to the lava flats areas, heh.

Beta .712 Chipping Away Everything That Doesn't Look Like An Elephant

(Released January 9th, 2013)

The Welcome Return Of Angled Aiming

  • Angled aiming by holding two arrow keys has been added back in.
    • However, the problematic "lock in at a fixed upward angle" and "lock in at a fixed downward angle" will not be coming back, as there was just too much negative feedback on those. We're trying to find better and simpler ways to solve those same goals, such as the (so far well-received) control additions in the last release.
  • When you are standing on the ground and holding up or down plus forward or back, it now stops you from moving and lets you fire shots in either direction.
    • This makes it easy to do precise unloading of a barrage into a target without needing special keys like we used to have.
    • This also allows you to aim up and behind you without turning around, actually, which was not something that was ever possible before.
    • Thanks to Professor Paul1290 for suggestions that led to this.

So, when you combine this with the changes from the prior release, what you've got is the complete return of angled aiming -- as many have been clamoring for -- minus the fiddly bits that were requiring finger ballet -- which many were complaining loudly and often about before we removed the angled aiming. The new system is a lot more contextual, and it also really gives a different feel when you are in the air versus on the ground, which is also interesting. When you are jumping, you have complete freedom of movement and can aim in any of the 8 directions with ease. On the ground you lock into position when you aim at an up-angle or down-angle, which means you have less mobility (obviously) during that period, but a greater ability to deliver concentrated barrages into specific locations. I think that this duality is pretty useful, because it lets us do away with a couple of keybinds in favor of basically "deployed" and "mobile" modes of operation.

  • Thanks to Misery, among others, for helping us to reconsider this and come up with more creative solutions.

A Tale Of Morale: The New Death Penalty

  • In the prior version, the scaling of monster strength had not been adjusted for the fact that there are now fewer levels between mage classes, and thus fewer turns overall. That is now fixed, making the monsters ramp up difficulty more like they used to.
  • As of a few releases ago, a death penalty was imposed where every time you died the monster aggression would go up some.
    • As players rightly pointed out, this just led to more stalemate sorts of situations rather than actually causing you to lose.
    • The suggestion from several quarters was to instead have a hit to morale, which makes thematic sense as well as causing the appropriate damage to your prospects.
    • Now on Adept through Hero, there is a morale hit of 1 every time a player dies; on master hero there is a morale hit of 2; and on the chosen one there is a morale hit of 3.
    • Thanks to madcow, LaughingThesaurus, and Misery for suggesting.
  • The game has had the concept of "monster aggression" as distinct from "game turn" removed. That was only added so that the old death penalty could increase aggression without increasing the game turn. Now it's back to just being based on the game turn like it had been prior to that release.
    • Additionally, the monster scaling no longer includes an extra 3 turns' worth of extra space in the scaling algorithm for player deaths; that was making it harder if you died a lot, of course, and easier if you didn't die much at all.

Farewell Powerslide

  • The Powerslide feat has been removed from the game.
    • This was another thing that was kind of just for show, and really very useless. All it really provided was something for players to get themselves into trouble with.
    • There was lots of complaining about this feat from all quarters, most people viewed it as serving no point, and most people left it off. We really don't want to have stuff like that in the game, and part of the purpose of a beta period is to identify things like that and either excise them or improve them. It varies which approach we take, depending on how central the mechanic is and if it really adds anything. With powerslide, it doesn't really serve a gameplay purpose and so was an obvious candidate for excising.
  • Previously, the feats list was: Powerslide, Double Jump, Water Dash, Miniature, Triple Jump.
    • Now the feats go: Water Dash, Miniature, Double Jump, Triple Jump.
    • If you pile on the jump height increases, it's possible that you might be able to win the game without Triple Jump (just having Double Jump), which is pretty interesting.
  • New world maps now only have 4 skelebot research facilities rather than 5, since there are now 4 feats rather than 5.
    • This seems particularly fitting because it makes the skelebot facilities a little more rare than they were, and thus not something as repetitive. Now you definitely have to complete three, possibly/probably have to complete four, to win the game.
  • This also shrinks the baseline world size from 695 to 688.

Beta .711 Trimming The Fat

(Released January 8th, 2013)

  • The character Limon has now been integrated, complete with his new art.
  • Fixed a pair of rounding issues that were likely causing a number of inconsistencies in multiplayer.
    • One that was definitely being caused was that Auroch Warrior shots were all right on top of one another rather than spaced out like they should have been.
  • The graphics for the ocean shallows ship background wall have been added to the game.

Limited Context-Based Auto-Angled Shots

  • Limited context-based angled shots have been added back into the game.
    • If you stand on a slope facing into the slope, and fire your spell straight forward, it will angle up instead (firing directly forward would accomplish nothing, after all).
    • If you stand on that same slope facing away from the slope, any shots you fire go forward like normal. However, if you duck, then your shots will go down the slope at an angle instead of doing your normal low-shot.

Strategic Refinements, Round 1

  • Desert Buildings, Ocean Shallows Buildings, and Abandoned Town City Blocks can no longer be destroyed by the overlord.
    • Same with cold dispersal, heat dispersal, and ivory towers.
  • Now when the overlord destroys tiles it's permanent, no more rebuilding the stuff to kite him around infinitely by rebuilding stuff just outside his reach but nearer than anything else, etc.
    • But now the cold, heat, and light towers are indestructible, since they're needed to access certain areas in side-view.
  • The second turn's mandatory dispatch objective has been changed from "rebuild destroyed farmland" to "work farmland", since rebuilding it would now be impossible.
    • New worlds will now seed intact farmland instead of destroyed farmland for that, and old worlds will automatically purify a path to a farmland tile if none is currently purified.
  • The overlord can now move through corrupted tiles normally.
    • But he won't destroy anything on a corrupted tile since it isn't helping you (yet).
  • It is no longer possible to select the world size.
    • We were finding this impossible to balance around, as the world size really means something different here than in a standard RTS or similar. Normally in an RTS the world size means how far you have to travel to meet your enemy, but here you start at the same place as your enemy. So really world size was just affecting tedium and the ability to kite the overlord over long distances, etc.
    • Now everyone plays on the same size world -- same as you get the same size board in Chess or Triple Town or Tetris or whatever -- and we find this should be a lot more straightforward to balance, and to provide a consistently fun experience for everyone.
  • The baseline size of worlds has shrunk from 1300 to 695, so it's basically slightly more than half the size of what a Normal map used to be.
    • Going along with this, the actual composition of the worlds has changed quite a bit. There's a lot less empty wilderness space, and a lot more density of the things that matter. The idea is to keep things moving without there being stretches of downtime, which has always been a goal for us with this game.
    • Additionally, there are now far fewer warp points -- only 5-7 on average, rather than a couple of dozen. This makes it substantially more difficulty for the overlord and your survivors to just jet around the whole world.
    • There are also five fewer level-up towers; the maximum level is now 16 rather than 21, which again is in the interest of somewhat shorter games that do not overstay their welcome and encourage replay.
  • The points at which you can invade the overlord's keep now come at levels 3, 6, 9, and 12 rather than levels 4, 8, 12, and 16, given the new level cap of 16 instead of 21.
    • Again, this is going for faster, more vicious games.
  • The assignment of the perks in relation to what level you find them at has been massively altered.
    • In general, there are now 10 fewer perk tokens to find since there are 5 fewer levels. And in all, there are 20 fewer perks.
      • Most of the perks removed were the critical hit chance increases, which have been completely removed as perk options.
      • There is also one fewer heart (100 health) available to you, but the chances to select hearts/health to add to your character now come earlier and more frequently.
  • Pre-existing worlds will upgrade into the new version fine (though let us know if you find any problems), with the following caveats:
    • If your level was higher than 16, it will be dropped to 16.
    • The perks you had assigned may be wildly out of joint compared to what they were, since everything moved around. You may need to reassign those upon upgrading.
    • The balance of the game might be a little bit easier or harder than intended given your larger or smaller map with more warp points than are now expected. But this shouldn't be vastly off in most cases.
    • That's about it.

The Rationale Behind The Strategic Changes

While we do feel that we have a solid strategic game here, we do think that it can also be better. More engaging, more challenging (on higher difficulties), more streamlined (in terms of how easy it is to express your will), and more thought-provoking (in terms of how many things you must consider at an advanced or semi-advanced level of play when deciding what actions to take).

Additionally, we're really trying to streamline the game itself a little bit more -- it was already extremely streamlined in the main, especially compared to the first game, but this is trimming off some of the last of the fat. The last thing we want is for any particular game element to overstay its welcome; we'd rather you were hungry for more and play a second game of it. All in all this is leading to a game that is a bit shorter than it previously was, but also one that is going to be substantially more intense given many of the overlord's actions are now not possible to undo (you can't just rebuild what he knocks down).

There are more changes planned -- or rather, we have a variety of ideas that we think might work well to continue to bring this from being a good strategy game to a great one. These will be something we experiment with throughout the course of January before settling on final mechanics by February. The game isn't far off, and it's just a matter of getting all of the existing pieces we have to fit together in the most ideal way possible at this point. Right now we're just taking the first steps with the strategic game, and then reassessing from here (thus to better inform our further changes).

Beta .710 More Monsters At Last

(Released January 7th, 2013)

  • Fixed a slice that had an invalid character in it.
    • Thanks to Smiling Spectre for hunting that one down.
  • New background wall graphics for the elizabethan rural interiors, pyramid interiors, swamp hovel interiors, time of magic building interiors, the deep general interiors, and the deep mausoleum interiors.
  • Fixed a number of bugs where players would sometimes continue moving in their current direction (or continue moving through the arc of a jump) while paused/pausing in multiplayer with another player in the chunk. This could result in the player becoming stuck in the terrain due to the suppressed collision rules during the paused state and the local client's authority over the local player's movement.
    • Thanks to isil and Gemzo for the reports leading to finding this.
  • Rather than just writing an empty lock.dat file to prevent multiple openings of the same world at one time, the game now generates a unique GUID for each process run, and writes that into the lock.dat file. This way it can never accidentally lock itself out of a world file, it will only lock other copies of the valley process out of it.
    • Thanks to Tyr for reporting a strange issue on OSX that this hopefully will solve.
  • All of the player rocket spells (there are 7 of them) are now more dangerous: the actual explosive shrapnel that happens when the rocket hits a wall or an enemy is damaging to everyone -- players, enemies, allies, etc. The rocket itself, which doesn't last long, won't hit players or allies; just watch out for that blast.
    • This helps to differentiate rockets more from other spells that can be used at close range; these really do have to be used at some range from yourself, and helps prevent them from being overpowered.
    • Thanks to madcow for inspiring this change.

Five New Monsters

  • A new "small flying" enemy has been added to the game: Urban Sniper.
    • This one is a re-imagining of the monster of the same name from the first game. In other words, it's sort of inspired from the first game, but a whole new monster in other respects.
  • A new "large walking" enemy has been added to the game: Auroch Warrior.
    • This monster walks along slowly, dragging its shield and trying to keep behind it. Very little of it is exposed, and it shoots deadly fusillades at you periodically (fortunately, these have a very low caliber, but it's still an interesting fight because of how they get angled).
  • A new "large walking" enemy has been added to the game: Slug Fiend.
    • This monster crawls slowly along the ground, rearing up when you are in range and firing masses of insects at you in curving arcs. These have exceptionally high caliber, so you have to dodge them.
  • A new "small swimming" enemy has been added to the game: Robot Piranha.
    • This robotic fish works a lot like the carp, except that it moves slower and hits harder. But, more notably, it also has a ranged fusillade sort of attack that it can use at you -- so for the first time you now face threats from in the water when you are out of the water. Expect to see more of that, based on the enemies that we've designed but not yet implemented.
  • A new "large flying" enemy has been added to the game: Rocket Sentinel.
    • This floating orb-like machine haunts some of the more technological areas, and fires very slow-moving miasma rockets at you. If you attack it, it responds with a volley of more rockets.

Beta .709 Water And Wind

(Released January 4th, 2013)

  • The "What's New" button on the front menu used to point to the alpha change log. Fixed.
    • Thanks to zespri for the report.
  • Fixed a few slices that were causing issues where players couldn't actually travel up.
    • Thanks to Khadgar for finding/reporting that one.
  • Fixed a few more boss rooms to give players more room to fight.
  • Added 26 slices.
    • c4sc4 and zebramatt were largely responsible for those.
  • Added a bit of graceful error handling in response to some recent strange serialization behavior (chunks writing with a lone minus sign where it should have just written 0 or something like that).
    • Thanks to isil for the report and save that helped us find what we've found thus far.
  • On the world map, when you walk up next to a tile that is an impasse type (that has to be destroyed), it now says "Impasse" in red text.
  • No more talk of angled shots in the help section.
    • Thanks to zespri for reporting that one.
  • The background wall of the evil overlord's keep has now been finalized, as has the background wall of the ice age interior wall.
  • Fixed a slice that would only let you pass through in one direction. Fixed.
    • Thanks to jruderman for reporting that, and for the save.
  • Fixed a slices that was causing fish to spawn in little water pockets above ground.
    • Thanks to zespri for providing the save that finally let us find this one.
  • The way that the windstorms and windstorm generators are handled are now completely different. As you approach the windstorm generator in a given chunk, then clouds start to roll in (covering the moon and sun, even, which is cool). Rain or sandstorms or snowstorms or whatever pick up, and the wind starts howling. When you destroy the windstorm generator, the storm visibly abates.
    • Thanks to Pepisolo for suggesting something pretty close along these lines, and then pushing us to actually think of something interesting here. It turned out to be one of the more visually stunning bits with the sky, I think.
  • Fixed an issue with certain overlord keep rooms causing the player to have to swim through lava in an impossible way.
    • Thanks to lavacamorada for reporting.
  • Storm dash is now completely deprecated, and does nothing even if you already have it.
    • Additionally, in new worlds that are generated, there will now only be five skelebot research facilities in existence rather than six.
    • Why the removal? Well, it didn't really add anything except balance problems and control issues in this game, to be frank. It was a remnant from the first game that just doesn't apply here.
    • Thanks to Itchykobu for inspiring this change.
  • Water Dash now works completely differently, and allows you to jump infinite times while you are in water rather than giving you any speed movement abilities.
  • Previously, in Tiny maps you would wind up with two fewer skelebot research facilities on the map than you actually needed in order to get triple jump and win the game. Mea culpa! We've fixed that now.
    • Thanks to Oralordos for reporting.
  • Fixed a bug from the prior version where several kinds of underground caverns led back to the world map instead of where they really should have led -- affecting grounded ships in the ocean shallows, as well as mausoleums in the deep, and a couple of others.
    • This fix won't fix existing chunks that are messed up, but it will prevent future chunks from being messed up even in the same world.
    • Thanks to jruderman and Cinth for reporting.

Balance changes

  • Light Snake and Entropy mass have had their damage cut.
  • Sea Slider is now a smaller caliber spell.

Beta .708 Aggressive Angles

(Released January 3rd, 2013)

  • Fixed a slice that was causing players to get stuck in the ceiling.
    • Thanks to madcow and isil for reporting this one.
  • Fixed a slice that was causing an issue where players couldn't actually travel up.
    • Thanks to Khadgar for finding/reporting that one.
  • Fixed a "Triple Jump" slice that was actually a "Double Jump" slice.
    • Thanks to Oralordos for the save/report.
  • Fixed several slices that required mini, but were actually completely blocking the player's path.
    • Thanks to Lauro for this one.
  • Fixed a couple slices that could cause you to get stuck in water without warning.
    • Thanks to zespri for the save that led to this.
  • 54 new various slices added to the game.
    • Thanks to Coppermantis, c4sc4, gemzo and zebramatt for these!
  • Fixed a couple Windstorm Generator slices that had some funky land placement that made them look odd. As well as a couple Water Blockage slices that weren't exactly blocking. :)
    • Thanks to lavacamorada for reporting this.
  • Fixed the game to no longer try to initialize steamworks when it's running in server mode.
    • This may or may not help with an OSX issue reported by Tyr, but here's hoping!
  • One of the Ice Age buildings didn't have a door! Fixed!
    • Thanks to LayZboy for reporting this.
  • Evil outposts are now properly automatically purified when they are next to an adjacent un-purifed tile. Basically, like caves and city halls and such, and anything else without a windstorm generator in it.
    • Thanks to Vatticson for reporting.
  • For some freefall nodes -- but not all kinds -- the viewport offsets were still being improperly applied even after the .707 update.
    • Thanks to Vatticson for reporting.
  • Previously, the logging of player death was not happening properly, which meant that the death-related achievements were not being logged properly. Fixed.
  • Fixed a bug in the mercenary coin pickup achievement checking that was checking the wrong stats and thus never logging the related achievements (though it was counting merc coin pickups properly internally).
  • The rate at which the date changes is now a bit different. Every other turn is still day vs night, but now it also jumps the date forward at around 20x the rate it previously did.
    • The net effect here is for the game to actually progress through the stated seasons in a reasonable amount of time in one game, versus not really having time to.
  • At the bottom of caverns, rather than having a tunnel that leads back to the bottom of the surface tunnels (some of which can't be climbed out of without double or triple jump anyway), it now takes you all the way back to the world map. This solves the need for suicide pills after going for perk tokens, as well as saving some time.
    • Thanks to tauposaurus, among others for inspiring this one.
  • Fixed an design decision that was causing the "which corrupt tiles can I enter?" logic to be needlessly confusing. It wasn't a bug per se, but some older logic that we'd put in that sounded good on paper really led to some confusing cases in practice.
    • Thanks to ShaggyMoose, LaughingThesaurus, and zespri for reporting.
  • Previously there was a bug where various entities would serialize to disk and then come back to life even if they had already been slated for destruction.
    • This was only really apparent in perk tokens and merc coins, since those don't lose their health when they are consumed; with enemies or objects, their health would still be at zero after being consumed, and thus they would get discarded as soon as they were deserialized back from disk. But the tokens and coins would just pop back into existence.
    • This was something that would happen as long as you left the chunk (or exited the game) within 30 seconds after picking up the item in question. If you took more than 30 seconds, it was just gone even under the last version.
    • Thanks to madcow, Gemzo, and Itchykobu for reporting.
  • Previously, when you bumped into an impasse on the world map it would only tell you the first time, period.
    • Now it tells you the first time during each play session, helping to avoid confusion about what's an impasse and what is not without being annoying with every little bump into them.
  • Previously, when you hit certain levels it would stop letting you blow up windstorm generators until you went and took some other action.
    • For the case of the mage class tiers this was just mildly annoying, and really it was warning the players about this late because they could have gone into the castle a level earlier to get the cache if they wanted.
    • For the level 21 situation, it actually could be game-halting. If you got to level 21 without destroying both stratospheric citadels, you'd just be stuck and that was that.
    • Now the progression of letting you blow up windstorm generators is never halted no matter what (aside from when the trial expires), but instead the following happens:
      • When you can get the mage class tiers 2, 3, 4, and 5 it starts telling you that every 5 turns (resetting itself when you log out and back in).
      • Same for when you have mage classes of tier 5, but have not yet gotten both citadels.
      • Same for when you've gotten the citadels but not yet the oblivion crystal, and when you've got that but not Demonaica.
    • Thanks to MouldyK, khadgar, Lauro, and Boonshniggle for reporting.

Balance changes

  • Updated many of the boss rooms to give players more head room to fight in.
    • Thanks to Charlotte Mays for the save which showed how much trouble not being able to dodge could cause.
  • Previously, the sturdiness of equipment would be random ranging from 1 to 11, but with 1-5 far more likely than the higher ones.
    • As players pointed out, this made the equipment far too brittle to be used for very long in most cases. Now the equipment will always is random ranging from 5 to 16, with 5-11 being far more likely than the higher ones.
    • Four achievements related to equipment sturdiness have been removed, and 5 have been added, to reflect the new equipment sturdiness ranges.
  • Hytelist changes:
    • Reckless Ocean has become more powerful, as well as costing less ammo now. It also has a higher caliber. Yeah, this spell was kinda weak...
    • SeaMass now hits for less, and has a slightly smaller caliber.
    • SeaBurst has a significantly smaller caliber.
      • Thanks to Gemzo for inspiring these.
  • Forgician changes
    • Embershot's damage has been more than doubled.
    • To compensate, Explosive Crescent and Flameout have both gotten just a bit weaker.
      • Thanks to Charlotte Mays for pointing out that this class just didn't have the strength to hit anything at range very hard, most notably, bosses.
      • Please let us know if this class needs further tweaking.

Monster Aggression On Death

  • A penalty for dying has now been introduced, since it was rightly pointed out that there was literally none before now.
    • Rather than having monster aggression be inextricably bound up in the specific turn you are on, these are now tracked separately. So on the world map it now shows both the current turn and the current "monster aggression."
    • On Adept difficulty and up (the default combat difficulty), there is now a monster aggression increase of 1 (on the default world size; it's larger of a penalty on smaller maps, and less of one on larger maps) whenever a player dies.
    • When this happens, one of your survivors from the resistance now chides you about dying and mentions that monster aggression was just increased via a one-liner text interjection.
    • However, the scaling for monster aggression based on turns has also now been relaxed by the equivalent of about three deaths per level.
    • The idea is for death to be something of a penalty when it happens, but actually a reward when you don't die.
      • If you don't die at all, the game is now actually easier by about 50%.
      • If you die an average of three times per level-up, the game is exactly the same as it was before this change.
      • If you die more than three times per level-up, the game will get progressively nastier to you.
    • More fundamentally, the idea here is not simply to make the game harder. Really, it's not to make the game harder at all. However, it is to make sure that players aren't being careless with their character's life, and to make it so that you can't play on a difficulty that is much too hard for you and just grind away at it with tons of deaths and no consequences.
    • Thanks to Bluddy for suggesting the turn penalty, which morphed into this.

Retirement Of Angled Shots

The "Vastly Helpful New Control Option" in the prior release turned out to really just underscore some of the more fundamental issues with angled shooting: namely, that it's really difficult and fiddly to do, no matter how you cut it. I (Chris Park, lead developer) remember feeling the same way when I played Super Metroid, honestly; despite the presence of those shoulder buttons to aim at an angle, this was something I rarely did in that game. Too much "finger ballet," while at the same time it really wasn't needed in order to play well.

We've had enough players here in Valley 2 that didn't know about the angled-shooting options, and have still been able to play just fine. To me that says that the entire angled-shooting mechanic is superfluous, and that any enemies that require angled shots (none of which I'm aware at the moment) need to be redesigned. I might point out that the great Metroidvania title "Cave Story" does just this -- there are no angled shots in that game, either, and now I fully appreciate why. And why there have been so many complaints about the angled controls during the beta for Valley 2.

It boils down as follows:

  • 1. On the one hand, if a game has functions for all sorts of complicated aiming, but you find those functions difficult or fiddly to use, those are "bad controls." It seems like the game expects you to do some finger ballet that you are not capable of doing. This is how some people have been feeling about the controls in Valley 2 because of the complexities that angled aiming brings into play.
  • 2. On the other hand, if a game has limited functions for aiming, and that makes hitting enemies difficult unless you find ideal positions for yourself, then that's part of the gameplay. "Hitting enemies is hard" is not a bad thing inherently -- if hitting enemies is trivial, then in order for enemies to be a challenge it has to be a matter of your pumping shots into them like crazy. Boring. But if hitting enemies is hard, then lining up fewer skillshots to take them out can be quite satisfying.

All in all I think it's the difference between something that is simple and designed well, and something that is complex and feels fiddly to play.

Anyhow, the bottom line is that we've removed the ability to shoot at angles at all, except for for the shots that inherently move at angles (like the sines).

Related: A Reminder Of Why The Game Does Not Have Mouse Aiming

That whole mouse+keyboard thing in AVWW1 was really a bad idea, as some players pointed out to us. That sort of freedom of aiming really kills the classic Metroidvania style of a game like this, and makes it so that keyboard-only players and gamepad-only players are at a huge disadvantage. This is why we've moved down to two streamlined control schemes that are equivalent with one another: keyboard-based and gamepad-based. And yes, the tab-targeting from the first game is gone since that basically acted like a cheat at this point without free-aiming of the mouse.

Please note! We're not just taking away control options for kicks, or because we think people were "doing it wrong." But the fact remains that generally a game is built around its controls, especially as an action game. We're trying to maintain as much flexibility in the controls as we can while not making it so that people are playing fundamentally different games that we can't make universally fun. Placing wooden platforms was trivial with the mouse, and so is killing a bat. But it's incredibly frustrating with any other sort of input. When you get right down to it, what we're trying to make is a Metroidvania game, and I don't personally know of any of them that use a mouse-style of control. Hence we're going a bit more standardized with that.

The same thing applies with not having angled shots in general -- when you're trying to kill a bat, you need to first align yourself on its horizontal axis, and then fire a shot or shots into it. That's where the skill comes in. Bats (and enemies in general in this game) move far slower than they did in the first game, largely so that you have time for this sort of maneuvering. Whereas before you might have just quickly aimed your mouse cursor at a bat and pressed the "you die now" button, I don't think that this is particularly rewarding gameplay. For this kind of genre, anyhow.

Losing the mouse controls and the angled shots both have an enormous impact on balance (same with not having the shield spells that were so popular in the first game). You could argue that these things are a matter of taste and customization, and I'd have to agree -- that's why they are in the first game, and why they remain there. But these were one of the biggest ongoing challenges to balance in the first game for me, and they are things that really put large segments of the player populace at a disadvantage if they don't use them.

Here again, it comes to getting back to the roots of what we were trying to do. Yes, Terraria uses the mouse controls -- so do numerous other PC action-adventure games with a 2D sidescroller view. So do a lot of MMOs and RPGs.

In the first game we were really enticed by the allure of all those things, and so we let our design drift and become unfocused. In other words, the design tried to become all things to all people, and Environ became a world that you could come and do whatever you wanted in. That's pretty fun! But it's very difficult to make a truly compelling game that way. What we needed to do with this sequel was really focus, and make the original game we set out to do.

In terms of Mario Bros. games, what if Mario had a rocket launcher he could aim in any direction? What if he had a force field he could toggle on and off periodically at will? That might be entertaining for a bit, but that would fundamentally make a different game, I think. And I don't think a better game -- for Mario, all the enemies are designed around him not having abilities like that. So to give him those abilities means the levels would be crazy easy and hollow.

On the flip side, the game Intrusion 2 uses mechanics like aim-anywhere firing, and it's a brilliant game. All the enemies are designed around the powers that your avatar has, and so everything fits together just right. But of course the character there doesn't have the movement abilities that Mario does -- if the character there had that kind of speed and jumping ability, then I suspect its mechanics would really start to break down -- in the same way Mario would if you gave the wrong weapons to him.

What I'm saying is, games are additive in nature -- you can't just throw any old thing in there and expect it to be the same game. If you add a single new piece to Chess, you've dramatically changed that game. It doesn't matter what the piece even does.

In the case of AVWW1, we had the movement speed of Mario 3 or so, and the aim-anywhere nature of Intrusion 2. We also had control schemes that did not support aim-anywhere, and that made it so that players were playing two different games. And that meant that enemies really couldn't be balanced around either, since in some cases could aim super-precisely and in others they could not aim remotely that well. What a mess.

Again, I still think that really worked out pretty well in the main, but it's definitely a more niche experience and a bit rougher around the edges because of that. By focusing on specifically the kind of game we're actually trying to make, and not dragging in stuff from other unrelated genres if it doesn't really complement it well, we have something that's a lot tighter and more fun. It's not about taking options away from players; it's about creating one game at a time rather than a whole soup of games.

Beta .707

(Released December 21st, 2012)

  • More slices
    • c4sc4 and zebramatt are again responsible.
  • Fixed bug where dispatch mission interface couldn't be successfully used to work with more NPCs than fit on a single page.
    • Thanks to khadgar for the report.
  • Fixed a bug where loading a world could result in it purifying a path to a destroyed farmland and/or abandoned town block tile. This logic was intended for loading earlier worlds but there was no version check; now there is.
    • Thanks to Nanashi for the report.
  • Fixed a bug where the game would display the larger of the two distances (just walking, and walking+warping) instead of the smaller when showing the range-to-mission-region for an NPC who could not reach the mission region by either method.
    • Thanks to khadgar for the report.
  • Fixed a bug where multiple copies of a mercenary could wind up in a particular chunk, and generally would all trail the player in a superstack of doom.
    • Thanks to khadgar for the report.
  • Fixed a bug that was causing equipment effectiveness to apply to all ongoing conditions on a player, which meant that their perks and inherent bonuses and anything affecting them from a general environment (freefall room, etc) were all getting messed with horribly.
    • Thanks to Ipkins for the report that helped us find this.
  • Fixed an issue with freefall rooms where if you had too many fall speed reductions you could actually wind up flying upwards uncontrollably when you jumped!
    • Thanks to Ipkins for reporting this!
  • Fixed a bug where the Rocket spells were still hitting monsters with multiple pieces of shrapnel, because they were spawned on death of the original projectile and weren't really linked to it (since it was already gone).
    • Thanks to madcow for the report.
  • Fixed a bug where achievements were not being properly logged to Steam.
  • Put in some error checking code to hopefully fix the bug where perk tokens and mercenary coins would sometimes respawn after you had collected them and then left or died. Please do let us know if you see it again, though!
    • Thanks to madcow, Gemzo, and nekobaron for reporting.
  • Fixed several keyboard-navigation bugs/inconveniences with the perk selection window.
    • Thanks to khadgar for reporting.
  • Fixed an issue where monsters killed by certain kinds of "shrapnel" (such as from rockets) would not drop anything (health, ammo) for players to pick up.
    • This was basically because of the "has this enemy been damaged by a player" logic check, that was really more appropriate in the first game. Now enemies don't take damage from any source ASIDE from players, so there's no reason to even check that anymore.
    • Thanks to madcow and khadgar for reporting.
  • The freefall sections no longer adjust the camera so that you're up near the top; that was untenable on a lot of screen resolutions.
    • Thanks to khadgar for reporting.
  • The text in conversations popups is no longer so visually spaced out; the line spacing is now 20% smaller than it was before, leading to more natural reading.
  • Fixed a bug in the previous versions where the fireballs from mines was instead showing up like the blue ammo explosions. Oops!
  • Monsters now do a damage popup when they are killed in one blow, or on the blow that killed them out of a multi-blow series (this was not previously the case).
    • Thanks to khadgar for reporting.
  • The "where are you going?" message was mistakenly being applied to some kinds of evil outpost, though not all of them. Fixed.
    • Thanks to MouldyK for reporting.

Major Infusion Of Updated Music

  • All of the music tracks except for the main title theme have now been finalized.
  • A second Lava music track has been added to the game to provide yet more variety in the lava areas.

Vastly Helpful New Control Option

  • Along with the existing control options, the following new behavior has been added:
    • If you are standing still on the X axis (you _can_ be jumping or falling, in other words), then all you have to to is hold or tap upwards, then release, and you will fire in an upwards 45 degree angle until you next move on the X axis.
    • If you are standing still on the X axis, and are not ducking (so you _must_ be jumping or falling, in other words), then all you have to to is hold or tap downwards, then release, and you will fire in a downwards 45 degree angle until you next move on the X axis. Even after you land.
    • The idea is that this is a quick way to do angled shots while stationary without having to use the angled-shots button. Positioning yourself where you want to be, then just tapping the up key and then laying loose with a barrage of shots at an upward arc is really really easy. We didn't do it quite the same way with the downward shots (you have to be jumping/falling for this to apply) because that would have eliminated low-shots.
    • This isn't an option to toggle on and off simply because it's so unobtrusive the way that it's been implemented. But if that later seems needed, we can certainly add a toggle.
    • Thanks to Chemuel, zaaq, and khadgar for suggesting.
  • Added in explanation of the new controls option in the "first crates" room in the start of the game.

Beta .706

(Released December 20th, 2012)

  • Fixed a bug in the generation logic that could allow certain rooms in the overlord keep to become horizontally-flipped and thus impassible when you need to get the next mage class in order to proceed (thus preventing any further progress in the game at that point). Sorry about that!
  • 70 more slices added.
    • Thanks to Zebramatt and c4sc4 for these.
  • Fixed a pretty bad bug in the previous version that was causing all vertically-oriented chunks to behave rather wrongly, and in all cases give TellTheDeveloper messages among other oddities. A piece of testing code had been left turned on by mistake.

Previous Release Notes

Pre Beta Release Notes


A Valley Without Wind 2 aka Valley 2

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