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Dev Notes, November 3

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The big update arrived on Saturday morning, and it's gone reasonably well! There are some bugs with the new gear and abilities, and while those are easy to fix, I still haven't done a hotfix. The problem is that I didn't anticipate how tired I would be after two months of 90 hour work-weeks. So damned tired! On Saturday morning I watched the bug reports come in, and when I was confident that the servers were stable, I found myself doing the most astonishing thing on a patch day: I went back to bed. Been resting on and off ever since. I'm slowly getting back to work now, but I'm still not going at full speed. I'll need another day or two before I'm back in the swing of things. But I do expect to put up a hotfix of ability and gear fixes tomorrow evening.

While I slept, the rest of the team kept working hard. srand has been cataloging and prioritizing all of your bug reports, and Silvonis put the finishing touches on our IndieGoGo campaign, which is live now! He's also putting the finishing touches on the new forums.


"Pre-Legacied" New Gear

In between sleeping, I've been fixing reported treasure bugs, like gear buffs that only last a few seconds and fire mods that ignite you instead of the enemy. Not much to say about those, but I figured I'd talk a little bit about one bug that's kind of interesting: some newly-made loot is being marked as Legacy as soon as it's created. What's going on there? From the examples I've seen, the problem comes from weapons and off-hand items that have mods for unlikely skill combos.

An example is the easiest way to explain things. First, you kill the monster, and the monster's loot profile determines what items drop. Let's say a hammer drops, and let's say it's a Legendary hammer with 5 mods. Nice! But you're using Unarmed+Mentalism, so this is an Unarmed+Mentalism hammer. The game easily finds three mods for Mentalism, but when it tries to add two Unarmed mods to the hammer, there's only one mod that's eligible. So you get that one. Then it fills in the remaining slot with a generic mod because there's nothing else for it to do. Then the legacy item detector immediately flags the item, because it has 3 Mentalism mods and 1 Unarmed mod... its two skills aren't balanced.

The bug here is that there is one Unarmed mod that can be applied to hammers. In actuality, there should be zero! When that one mod stops being applicable, the game will fill both remaining slots with Generics. Then it's a one-skill item with an even balance of generic mods, and that's fine.

In this particular example, it's easy for me to decide what to do because it's not likely that a player actually wants a hammer with Unarmed mods. It's still theoretically valid, because you can still punch with your other hand, but in practice any hammer with Unarmed mods is going to be considered junk anyway. So after the hotfix, hammers will never have Unarmed on them.

But in other cases it's harder to decide what to do. A necro orb with Sword mods? Well... hmm, yeah, okay... that's viable. You could be a Necro+Sword player and want to wield an orb in your off-hand... I guess. So in that case, the fix is to make sure there's plenty of Sword mods that are eligible to be put on necro orbs.

I have to take it on a case-by-case basis, and I don't even know what all the cases are, so that's where you come in. If you find a pre-Legacied piece of new gear, please report it! I need to know what kind of item it is (claw, shield, etc.) and what two skills are on the item. I can usually figure out the problem with that info.

(There is another known Legacy bug: if you use Shamanic Infusion on an item it will become Legacy. That bug will be fixed in the hotfix, and those items will un-Legacy. No need to report them.)


Halloween Pt 2

After the hotfix tomorrow, the town invasions will end. They're fun, but there's such a thing as too much of a good thing... and we're getting close to reaching that point.

However, for people who didn't have much time to play last weekend, I want you to still have a way to get replacement loot, so the Halloween keys (and other Halloween special items) will continue to drop from ordinary undead like skeletons and ghouls. But there'll be a slight change to the keys after the hotfix: there will actually be several tiers of keys. What I'm worried about is high level players going into the Serbule crypt and just blasting all the newbie skeletons to bits, leaving nothing for actual newbies. (Most of our alpha players are very considerate about stuff like that, but the temptation will be too great for some.) So newbie skeletons will drop keys that only work in the 10-20 chest. Mid-level skeletons drop mid-level chest keys, and so on.

If you still have Halloween keys from before the hotfix, they will continue to work -- they will be able to unlock any chest, just like they do now. But new keys will only work for one specific level of chest.

After the next round of skill updates (for the skills I didn't have time to fix yet, like Hammer or Cow), we might bring a new version of these chests back, but tie them specifically to the updated skills. I'm not 100% sure of the details there -- I have some other ideas that might work better -- but the point is that you won't be forgotten: when your skill is revised, we'll make sure you have a chance to get replacement loot in one form or another.


Please keep reporting bugs, that's very helpful! And please check out the IndieGoGo campaign. If you didn't get a chance to back our Kickstarter, this is the last chance to get special rewards. If you DID back us already and want to help us out, it's hugely helpful to share the link to our campaign in your social media circles. Thanks for all your help, and I'll talk to you next week!



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