Post news RSS Update #16: Changelog 0.04 to 0.06, Normal mode is more or less done!

My thoughts behind the changes on changelogs 0.04-0.06, comments on balancing boss damage, hitpoints, and mana. Also a video featuring clan IBCE vs the Twin Frost Elementals!

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Merry Christmas/Happy New Year! I've been busy pushing out things for release, haven't had time to write, so let's catch up on the things we've missed.

Closed Beta build 0.04 changelog
- Can no longer reattempt successful encounters in ironman mode
- Taunting targets now works better
- Hero selection UI now shows abilities
- Reworked Balazar the Necromancer encounter, added 3 new abilities, Necrotic Mist, Summon Obelisk and Mist Shifting.
- Reworked Ji'loch the Imprisoned encounter, added 2 new abilities, Summon Flame Pillar and Diabolic Sweep, and reworked how binding works.
- The Great Oak Mother encounter: Added ability 'Nightzone'

- Fixed command queueing via shift-rightclick while using Ranger's Rapidfire ability
- Fixed replay desyncs and various bugs related to selecting units while the major selected unit dies.
- Fixed replay desync issues.

Thoughts: The ironman mode change is a no-brainer; I can't let people farm the same bosses continously for gear. I also tuned some of the encounters. In particular, Balazar's encounter now feels more dynamic when he disappears and reappears behind you.

User Posted Image
The Nightzone ability is an expanding black circle of death

Closed Beta build 0.05 changelog
Major Changes
- Boss damage rework. Bosses now deal more damage overall.
- Boss scripting sequences adjusted.
- Armor to damage reduction tweaked.
- Mana pools tweaked and increased for all heroes.

Hallowed Heal now takes 2 seconds channeling time, with 1 second cooldown.
Hallowed Heal now heals 1000 from 700.
Healing Spirit now heals 750 from 500.
Holy Nova now heals 800 from 600.

Boss: Ji'loch the Imprisoned
- Demonic Eruption ability now reworked.
- Fear Bomb ability now summons multiple fear bombs.

Boss: Twin Frost Elementals
- Blizzard now spawns 2 blizzards that move around the arena.

- Paladin: Fixed Protection Link armor gain.
- Fixed units being unable to follow commands after being stunned while casting an ability.
- Fixed Victory Text
- Fixed buying item crash
- Fixed Count Winkus script crash
- Fixed status effect stack restoration (Frostbite)

Item Changes
- Mana associated items have mana restored/maximum mana amounts increased
- Steel Cover: Health changed to 400 from 1000
- Grand Helm: Health changed to 200 from 400.
- Holy Cross: Heal Bonus increased to 100 from 75.
- Fairy Charm: Item bonus now reduces 1 second channel time from Hallowed Heal. Heal Bonus increased to 120 from 80. Item is now unique.
- Totemic Mask: Health changed to 500 from 800. Armor decreased to 5 from 6.
- Vindicator's Seal: Damage changed to 20 from 25. Removed ability damage, removed health regeneration. Attack speed set to +0.75 percent.
- Order's Sigil: Health change to 300 from 700, Health Regen set to +25, Armor set to +3, Attack Speed set to +0.75 percent.

Thoughts: So I missed on one crucial analysis to the game mechanics, and that is the damage that bosses can dish out. Forcing units to run from time to time, it's what makes things feel hard; the alternative would be a tank and spank. Big thanks to the data provided to me by my beta testers. The other big change is the heroes' mana pools. To ensure that the boss encounters can last a little longer without players feeling that they're being hard-blocked due to the lack of mana used for damage and healing, I also had to tune those numbers.

Tuning boss damage, healing and mana
A bit of thought went into this. I pretty much treated boss damage as the variable that dictates tension(how fast a hero's hp is reduced to 0) and how long the fight can last. Healing needs to feel like a losing game so players need to resort to running tactics eventually. Mana, for dps classes, needs to dictate the number of dp15s cycles the hero can do.

User Posted Image
Reworked pattern for demonic eruption - it's no longer just random

Closed Beta build 0.06 changelog
Gameplay Changes:
- Boss hitpoint balancing now accounts for attack speed.
- Gold reduction from pausing too much, up to -200 gold.
- Windblessed arrows health bonus set to 200 from 500.
- Camera limit tweaks
- DBM's Flame Charge ability now pushes enemy units.
- The Great Spirit Oak Mother's mass entangling roots ability now has a minor visual rework.
- Ji'loch the Imprisoned Demonic Eruption ability now follows a different pattern.
- New names for bosses!

Other Changes:
- Simplified Chinese is now available.
- Fixed crash when transitioning between replays
- Replays now record text and have a point-of-view system to look from the player's perspective.
- Some audio and visual updates.
- Fixed text input from IME keyboards.
- Many minor text changes.

Thoughts: Mainly a audiovisuals update plus simplified chinese translation. Given that Steam's audience is now 60% simplified chinese, it's something that you cannot ignore. Those 7 days spent translating 800+ phrases into simplified chinese seems to be paying off - I got a boost in wishlists once I released the store page in simplified chinese.

User Posted Image
That spike!

The future
So right now my current priorities are to focus on producing a good trailer, and do some more marketing. Hard difficulty is also on the list, but there's the guild bank that I haven't done yet that will have to wait for later. I'll leave you with a video on the Twin Frost Elementals encounter. Thanks Clan IBCE for helping with the beta test!

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