Author Topic: Exile Princes Closed Beta Testing  (Read 5095 times)

Jubal

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Re: Exile Princes Closed Beta Testing
« Reply #45 on: May 30, 2020, 05:30:00 PM »
OK, crossing the sea has changed! Now instead of searching for a ship, you just try walking onto the water and it asks you if you want to search for a ship and tells you roughly how long it will take to look for one. I don't like the feel of this as much (I quite like the feeling of having impassable areas on the map that the map actually tells you that you can't cross, it makes the map feel more physical to me), but I do have to admit that it's overall a better system as you no longer have to do a billion searches when stuck on a small island before finding a ship.
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Jubal

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Re: Exile Princes Closed Beta Testing
« Reply #46 on: June 07, 2020, 11:20:25 PM »
I've now got the first rudimentary version of a new quest running. This is the potion making quest, which sets you three randomly selected flowers and asks you to go and get them. Once you have all of them, you make the potion and can choose whether to use it as instructed or not.

There's a lot still to do on it, both adding additional complications for finding the flowers and adding a lot more outcomes at the end of the quest (currently there's only one potion type and it always makes sense to drink it, but I'm thinking some may have more mixed effects and some of the complication moments might allow you to get some hints about what those might be).
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Jubal

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Re: Exile Princes Closed Beta Testing
« Reply #47 on: July 04, 2020, 11:16:31 PM »
Today's work has been fleshing out the companion ability roster. Tomorrow's will likely be the same.

New skills implemented are:
  • Combat stances. An attack and defence skill that allows someone to shift between their standard attack, a mode with +1 attack -1 defence, and a -1 attack +1 defence mode. Given the game's system where you basically have one "defender" and one "attacker" in play at any given time, this is pretty powerful as it means you can shift the unit to specialise in whichever of those 2 roles it's needed in. I might cut this in two and make the "shift to attack stance and back" and "shift to defence stance and back" skills separate, but I quite like how they work together. Currently these stance switches don't cost any resilience points and the skill is available for the minstrel, sergeant, and squire, though I might change that?
  • Trample. This is a squire only skill that gives a damage bonus based on the number of enemies. Good for stomping big blocks of lower grade enemies.
  • Engineer. Your siege times are reduced by a week (min of 1) for each siege engineer you have. Sergeant skill, will also be available for scholar companions if I get round to implementing those.
  • Calm beasts. A defence skill that only works on attacking beasts, for the minstrel and ranger. Reduces your resilience by 1 and the enemy unit's resilience by 2.

I'm struggling with three aspects of implementation for this stuff.

Aspect 1 is simply making up the skills in ways that aren't just "sacrifice a resilience point for a better attack/defence round" - it's easy for me to create skills that are technically different but which the player will just realise are the same trade-off: delivering an automatic critical hit and getting an attack score bonus, for example, technically do have different effects but as far as the player is concerned both just equate to "they hit harder". So I'm going to be experimenting with other things the player can sacrifice to get those sorts of bonuses - their level of control over their troops, and other stats than resilience, for example.

Aspect 2 is the skill lists - do I make them overlap more to make them broader? Overlapping lists mean more possibilities for each individual character, but also make each class of character less unique and make it more likely that there will be redundancy and overlap in some skills. Currently I'm treading a bit of a via media with this, but we'll see where I end up.

Finally, testing, especially in how the AI tries to use a lot of these skills - it's going to be very rare that AI units have these skills so maybe it's not a problem, but the AI process that decides when to trigger skills feels a bit random to me at the moment and I don't have a way of just booting up arbitrary longer battles that would allow better tests. I can generally test that something doesn't crash the game, but whether it works right is harder to say. Testing is easier for the player of course as I then get to trigger the skills myself as needed.

Also every skill makes the code a touch more unwieldy - I'm trying to make them concise, but because each skill has its own separate effects on the combat calculation, they pretty much all need some tweaks made to the "fight a combat round" function, plus the trigger code, etc.
« Last Edit: July 04, 2020, 11:28:41 PM by Jubal »
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Jubal

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Re: Exile Princes Closed Beta Testing
« Reply #48 on: July 18, 2020, 04:33:16 PM »
More skills!

  • Critical Strike if the opponent has higher defence than the attack unit's attack, the defence is treated as being basically the same as the attack unit's attack value. No help against low level troops but extremely useful against monsters and other high defence enemies.
  • Counterattack works similarly to the pikemen's schiltron skill in that it deals damage to the enemy attack unit when they attack, though unlike schiltron the damage is based on standard attack and defence (while schiltron "reflects" a percent of damage done back at the enemy).
  • Stand Alone is an interesting one - the unit gains a +2 defence bonus, which also affects its defence minimum, so no matter how tired it gets, it won't got below def 3. However, there's a catch: once activated, the unit won't move out of position, so you're stuck with it being your defence unit until you win or it dies/flees.
  • Camp espionage is a nice simple bard skill that just gives you a run-down of the enemy force's composition, useful in bigger late game battles when you want to plan how to use up your valuable skills.
  • Entertainer is a noncombat skill that allows a minstrel to occasionally give a +5 morale boost to your forces.
  • Panegyrist is a noncombat skill, also for minstrels, that gives them a percentage chance of giving you an extra +5 relations with a city upon quest completion as they sing a song or give an oration or whatever about your deeds.

I think that's rounded out the minstrel and squire's skill lists quite nicely. I need to add one or two more ways to actually find those character types, I think, and then I've got one more quest to write and then that's my release line :)
The duke, the wanderer, the philosopher, the mariner, the warrior, the strategist, the storyteller, the wizard, the wayfarer...

Jubal

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Re: Exile Princes Closed Beta Testing
« Reply #49 on: July 19, 2020, 10:32:16 PM »
Right, a start made on the "landmark" quest, which will be a very varied one as it basically comprises of "spawn a mysterious landmark, something will happen when you get there".

I've done some of the more complicated first half today which is spawning landmarks, though currently I have a system that will break badly if the game generates ten thousand or more of them - but I think that's pretty unlikely, I'd expect that to take about 5000 hours of playing time on a single world, in a game that is usually winnable in under five hours of playthrough time on a given run.
The duke, the wanderer, the philosopher, the mariner, the warrior, the strategist, the storyteller, the wizard, the wayfarer...