This week I have added two new awesome abilities and began tweaking game difficulty.
Since the new combat test release last Sunday, combat test version has been downloaded about 50 times!
However, only few people have given me feedback about new combat system.
This is what information I have received:
I have decided to make combat faster and by doing so, made combat much harder.
Now even I have problems passing the introduction mission.
Since I began to mess with the game difficulty, I have stumbled upon old problem.
The picture above shows how game difficulty depends on the amount of the weapons you have on your spaceship.
Red is too hard, green is too easy.
Since player starts with two sockets, it's hard to pass the first mission.
The weapon problem is very old, it's there since the beginning of the game.
Game is very hard, if you don't have enough weapons, but it instantly becomes too easy, if you add more weapons to your spaceship.
Also, there's another problem that comes with it.
About 50% or more of parts received from the part safes aren't weapons, which means that they are pretty much useless.
This vastly reduces fun of getting new parts.
So, the solution is to limit how much weapons can be added to spaceship, to keep difficulty between too hard and too easy.
My idea is to make ability cooldowns 100% longer, if your spaceship has more weapons, than non-weapon parts attached to it.
For example, since at level 1 part limit is 7, you can only equip 3 weapons. If you equip another weapon, ability cooldown will be doubled.
For those, who are skilled enough, that can fight with reduced amount of weapons without any problems, in future there will be modular difficulty system.
It will replace current hard mode.
When you will choose mission in map grid, you will be taken to mission overview interface.
There you'll see detailed information about the mission, enemy types that will appear during the mission, lore about the region and other things.
But the most important part of that interface will be difficulty modules.
The more modules you enable, the harder game becomes.
Here are the examples of difficulty modules:
And so on!
Obviously, some of those might never appear in game.
To make things even more interesting, there will be rewards!
They will be based on amount of modules selected.
For example, if you will enable all modules and to win, you'll receive Radiari circle!
It will contain mythical/etalon grade parts and access to hidden Radiari region.
As you probably have noticed, there are no screenshots in this echo.
This is because my computer screen didn't turned on this morning, so I didn't took screenshots.
I hope I'll get my screen back soon, because newest Sector Six version is stuck in computer without screen, so I can't work on it.
But, because I couldn't work on Sector Six, I have managed to write this long and, hopefully, interesting echo.
So, until next week!
New combat system test version is now available!
I've been working on new combat system for a month now and I feel like it's time to show what I've done, before continuing combat overhaul.
It's an early version, a mere prototype of a new combat system, so beware of unfair difficulty, poor balance, unfinished graphics, unfinished abilities, wrong sound effects and glitches!
So, what is exactly different in test version?
I'm trying to make combat more interesting, more complex and, automatically, more difficult.
Enemies now can use really powerful abilities, that could easily destroy unprepared player!
Right now game is very hard, even unfair, but I intend to lower difficulty at least a little in future.
Now you move spaceship using arrow keys and activate abilities by pressing or holding 1-9.
Now player and enemies can activate shields. Shields soak all the damage, which means that while shield is active, you don't take damage!
Activate your shield by pressing 3, when enemies fills screen with more missiles than you can avoid! To remove enemy shields, press 4. This ability is also useful for destroying probes.
Now abilities have chance to be unleashed, if they are upgraded to level 5 or higher.
When ability is unleashed, it's behavior changes, for example, your basic attack ability will release additional missiles, doubling or even tripling damage dealt by that ability! Currently only 2 of 5 abilities can be unleashed. In future every ability will have unleashed form! This is like critical hits in other games, just more interesting.
Attributes work like uncapped passive abilities. They increase damage, reflect chance, unleash chances and armour.
Destroying breakable enemy segments matters.
Destroy them to weaken enemies.
Abilities now have cooldowns instead of ether cost. In future abilities will also use ether, but for now cooldowns are enough.
New part properties.
Parts now can increase ability unleash chances and attributes.
Use ability 2 to deal a lot of damage to enemies. Keep it for hard enemies, because it has long cooldown.
Ability 5 repairs your spaceship, use it as often as possible.
Use shield ability only if necessary!
It protects you only for 3 seconds, so you don't want to waste it on attacks you can avoid.
And that's all!
Don't forget to tell me what you think about new combat system, because it's the main reason why I started this combat test! Especially if you played Sector Six before.
PS.: You cannot do tutorial and most of the missions in the test version. Simply because they are incompatible with new combat system yet.
Combat overhaul is going very well!
This week I have modernized veteran and implemented shielding ability.
New veteran has six breakable segments - two small cannons in front and four side protrusions.
Cannons fire missiles and soak damage, while protrusions are veteran's weak spot.
Destroying protrusions is hard, but it's worth it, because every destroyed protrusion removes 10% armour from veteran.
And that is needed, because veteran is very hard to destroy!
Veteran is able to attack player from above, direction from which player has never been attacked before in Sector Six.
It has lots of armour.
Every 18 seconds it releases seeking crush ram, which deals massive damage.
The only way to prevent being hit by crush ram is to use shielding ability.
Right now there's only one shielding ability.
If used, it creates shield around player's spaceship, that lasts 3 seconds
If enemy projectile hits shield, it gets destroyed and player spaceship takes no damage from it.
That's what needs to be done with crush ram!
In future there will be more enemy abilities like crush ram, so shielding abilities will be very important.
Anyway, I got good news for everyone waiting for new combat system!
I am going to release new combat system preview soon!
I am not sure yet when exactly, but probably next Sunday.
The reason for this is that I want to see if players like the new combat.
If not, I can quickly abandon this direction and try other ways to make combat more exciting.
I don't want to waste months, since I am trying to finish game this year =]
I also expect to get some feedback.
So, until next echo!
This week I have began to work on attributes!
Sector Six attributes aren't traditional RPG attributes, because what's the fun in making system that was made million times before?
Current Sector Six version has two passive abilities.
Attributes work like passive abilities, players have to spend technology points to upgrade them.
Except that unlike normal passive abilities, attributes will not have level cap!
Also, attributes will have two effects, primary and secondary.
There will be four attributes and only one of them will be able to have active secondary effect.
Attributes are tied to classes.
Sector Six abilities are divided in four categories, four classes.
Since Sector Six is not class locked RPG, spaceship class is defined by how much points are spent on each class abilities.
If, for example, player has spent most points on nomad abilities, spaceship becomes nomad class spaceship and nomad class is considered dominant.
Every class has one attribute.
If class is not dominant, attribute will only grant you primary effect.
Secondary effect is only given if class is dominant.
Apocalypse class has aggression attribute.
Effect: +x% damage.
Dominant bonus: +x% to all unleash chances.
Goliath class has resistance attribute.
Effect: +x% reflect chance
Dominant bonus: +x% to maximum armour
Nomad class has mastery attribute.
Effect: +x% to all unleash chances.
Dominant bonus: +x% reflect chance.
Carrier class has capacity attribute.
Effect: +x% to maximum armour.
Dominant bonus: +x% damage.
x is attribute level.
Hopefully this system will help to make game more complex and interesting!
Another thing that I've done, is the implementation of ability unleashing and unleash chances on parts.
That is the end of this week's echo, until next week!
First echo about combat overhaul!
It wasn't easy to start updating combat...
I wasn't sure about control scheme, enemy armour pieces and other things.
Decisions were hard to make and codes were hard to write.
But I've spend many, many hours and everything worked out.
I've broke my personal development length record!
New control scheme is mouse free, like promised.
Abilities are activated by pressing 0-9 and movement is controlled arrow keys.
I don't know how it works for right handed people, but it works for me.
Anyway, players will be able to customize controls, so I hope it won't be a problem.
Dialogues and alloy container controls didn't change, it's still E and Q.
I have replaced lasers with missiles.
This is just because I decided that missiles look better than these small odd red flying stripes.
I have reworked heavy, now he uses three abilities.
First ability is normal attack, which launches large missile.
Second ability releases two mines that makes avoiding aforementioned large missile harder.
Third ability makes heavy move faster and reduces cooldowns of other abilities for few seconds.
Also if you don't break heavy's side armour it will barrage your spaceship with missiles!
That's pretty much all I did this week.
Next week I am planning to add new player abilities, new enemies and maybe even ability unleashing/critical hit system.
PS: How's version 0.3.5? Does save system work?