As quake expo comes to a close, I finally had some time to put into balancing. There was a quite a bit of weapon balancing to do as well as some very minor bug fixes. This will bring us up to an official version 1.0!
The bug fixes first, there were some really minor issues and I’m sure they were a little annoying to players. One such problem was needing to hold in right click to fire special attacks. Weapons like the axe blade would not fire unless the right click was held in for the entire animation. Most weapons animate fast enough that it is not noticeable. But the latest version brings this bug to a close. Similarly the vorpal sword would play the lightning sound even when out of mana. Also remedied in this version.
To balance classes a bit more there was another minor feature added. Now players will get natural armor based on their dex. Characters with 15 or more dex will slowly gain a minimum body armor value. This gives higher level characters, like a paladin, a better chance to soak damage against the ever increasing monster difficulty. Since the base armor system works entirely on 4 pieces of armor it’s a tiny bit hacky, but the end result is fun all the same.
Along with this balance, stats were standardized to have a specific effect. Intelligence affects what kind of magic is available, Dexterity affects natural armor, Strength affects melee damage, and wisdom affects magical damage. Since there is a randomization to stats this should make things easier to predict. Players who end up with higher wisdom can rely on higher magic damage and so on and so forth with each stat. There are also some specific stat based effects for each character to keep in mind.
Paladins and Crusaders now can only user their first ranged attack (vorpal sword and hammer throw) after reaching 14 intelligence. This is roughly level 2 for crusaders and roughly level 4 for paladins. It is not a major change for crusaders who also have an ice staff, but it does return some of the challenge to the paladin who will have to fight skull wizards and imps the old fashioned way at first. The necromancer uses intelligence to determine the number of lightning strikes made with the sickle attack as well as which monster is summoned with the raise dead spell. The assassin has nothing tied to intelligence, as all of her skills rely on tricks and cold steal, however she has one weapon balance related that needs to be discussed. The crossbow fires normal bolts or charged bolts. The normal bolts determine damage based on dex, and by default do more damage. The charged bolts use wisdom and are slightly less powerful. This helps to balance mana consumption, especially during later levels. A patient assassin can use less blue mana with single bolt shots.
While talking about stats, there was a big overhaul of that system. I have been heavily involved in a game called Amulets and Armor and surprisingly few elements of that game have made it into this mod. However, there is one genius little detail in that game that is borrowed. When gaining a level, players now receive a +1 in all stats automatically and then 4 more stats are randomly assigned. The randomization unevenly divides every stat by its size, so that primary stats will have a higher chance of gaining each point. This can make a given level increase every stat anywhere from 1-5, with 5 being rare and 2 being relatively common. If players pay close attention to their stats, they can find out how they are specializing in later stages.
Obviously there is a chance for levels to give points to unwanted stats, but this game was never forgiving in that regard. Every class has always randomized starting stats, starting health, starting mana, level gain mana, and level gain health. So getting a crappy roll on a level was always a part of the game and it’s intentional that it can still play a factor. Especially when starting a new player. Rolling up a new player at the start based on stats might be min-maxing, but it really makes the RPG elements more pronounced!
Since the latest changes have affected level progression, I recommend that players restart any old saves in order to see the new features in action. But if you have been following the mod so far, I’m pleased to call this the official version 1.0 of the mod and to call this qexpo experiment a success!
P.S. Before I close out the last Game of Tomes communication, I have to say that all of the other mods out there are beautiful and blow this one right out of the water. Great work people. This has been one incredible event!