Game updates/2015-03-16

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March 16 Update:

This update changes many things! If there are bugs or insane things, please do not despair. I'm expecting to do several bug-fix updates this week, so just report whatever insanity you find! And a reminder: during alpha testing, bug reporting is mandatory. If you exploit a bug without reporting it, we will have to ban you. And we really don't want to do that.

"Out of Combat" Rule Change

The game previously just used a timer to see if you were still in combat. But that left players "in combat" for too long. Now the game checks to see if there are any monsters that want to kill you, and quickly ends combat when there are no more monsters. This lets you regenerate much sooner!
This is a tricky bit of code with a lot of potential for screw ups and exploits. PLEASE be watchful of when combat ends. If it ends when you're still fighting, I need to know that! If it doesn't end and you don't understand why, I need to know that, too! (The most common cause will probably be your pets: you are "in combat" if your pets are "in combat" and vice versa. And yes, some pets are jerks and start fights you don't want them to. Improvements to pet AI will be coming soon!)

Boss Changes

Bosses no longer use regeneration as a defense mechanism. Instead they have tons of health. (There are a few exceptions: slime bosses still have some regen, but not nearly as much. Some bosses still have heal effects also.)
In general bosses should be tougher. But they haven't all been hand-tested. If they're INSANELY tougher, let us know!
ALSO: PLEASE TEST THE NAMED MONSTERS IN SERBULE AND GIVE FEEDBACK! (e.g. Elzehatl, Old Fangsworth, Salmpo, etc.) These are tougher but now have better treasure. The idea is that they're supposed to be pretty lethal to newbies, but yet soloable after you gain a few more levels. This is a hard balance to pull off!

Rage Reduction Fix

- Fixed a big bug that caused rage-reduction abilities to still generate rage based on their damage. (They aren't supposed to ever generate any rage no matter how much bonus damage they do.) The affected abilities are: Jab, Parry, Riposte, Precision Pierce, Heart Piercer, Fast Talk, Soothe, Smell Fear, Redirect, Suppress, Snare Arrow, Disrupting Bash, and Delerium.
- Also, most de-rage abilities and equipment have been buffed in their efficacy. (They may now be TOO good at reducing rage when combined with de-rage equipment. But we'll see.)
- Note for Unarmed fighters: if you use a combo that ends with Punch and you substitute Jab for the final move, the entire combo effect won't generate Rage. (This isn't true for 100% of combos, but should be true for any effect that just adds damage.) This wasn't a planned feature, but it's kinda cool so we're rolling with it for now.

New "mez protection":

If you mesmerize a monster (that is, if you successfully use Tell Me About Your Mother or Snare Arrow on it), you and your party members will not be able to attack the creature during the first half of the mesmerize duration. After the effect is half over, you can attack the enemy again. This was done to help protect people from accidentally "breaking the mez" in the heat of battle.
In addition, pets will not attack mesmerized creatures.
This mez protection extends to all the members of your party and their pets, but people outside of your party can still attack creatures you mesmerize. (This is to avoid abuse scenarios.)
Note that area-of-effect attacks can still hit mezzed targets and break the effect. (That's an intentional down side of using area-effect attacks.) This change only prevents direct attacks.
Oh, and the Psychology ability "You Were Adopted" can always cancel a mez immediately. (It's designed to combo with "Tell Me About Your Mother".)

Shout "Blocking"

- Normally when a monster is attacked, it shouts for help from nearby allies. That's unchanged, but now certain abilities don't let the monster shout. This applies to: stuns, mezzes, fears, and knockbacks.
- (Monsters within visual range will still attack if they see you and you're close enough, but monsters won't be alerted if they don't have line of sight.)
- Also, there's a new particle when a monster successfully calls for help. For now it looks like a floating exclamation point. Note that this only appears when the monster is SUCCESSFUL in shouting for help, so it always means there's backup coming!

Aggro Changes

Healing now causes aggro for the healer. When you heal X, it's as if you did X damage to each angry monster in the vicinity. Heal-over-time effects do NOT generate aggro. Over-healing (e.g. using a 500 heal to heal 10 health) doesn't generate extra aggro: it only generates as much aggro as you actually heal.

The aggro modifiers (both increases and decreases) from loot have been improved, and some aggro-boosting abilities have been boosted also.
Other misc. changes were done to aggro abilities and treasure effects. For instance, all Pig (Skill) effects that boosted aggro have been redone, because pigs don't want aggro, they are not tanky. Psychology now has Ridicule 3 available at level 52. Cow has new taunting tools, and Shield has better taunts.

Treasure Effect Changes

Tons and tons of treasure effect changes, and more to come! Many treasure effects are more potent than before. Some problematic effects were completely removed and replaced. Please check your gear to see what it does now. Some things worth noting:

- Werewolves in particular have many new treasure effects. These new treasure effects help flesh out their options. For instance, "See Red" can now be a useful restorative aid; "Smell Fear" can now be a much better Rage reducer, etc. These will hopefully allow for some interesting new builds.
- Sword treasure has been refined and is undergoing further refinement. Note that Precision Pierce is no longer a synonym for Parry. (But Riposte still is.) Thrusting Blade is now a synonym for Sword Slash. Thrusting Blade is also now considered a "Basic Attack" for the purpose of equipment and curses that affect Basic Attacks.
- Also, to clarify for newer players: you can only have 3 "stacks" of any given Mentalism wave on you at a time. So if multiple Mentalists are together, they should each use different waves! (This is not a new thing at all; it's just been the source of some confusion.)

"If Armor is Zero" Rules Changed

- Treasure effects that did things "when your armor is 0" now activate if your armor is below 33% of your max
- Abilities like Cobra Strike and Pouncing Rake that did stuff "when the target's armor is zero" now work when the target has less than 33% of their armor remaining

Crafting Changes

- Improved the chances for higher Rarity levels of crafted equipment. Previously there was a 1-in-3 chance of getting something better than Uncommon; now it's almost a 1-in-2 chance

Crafting XP Curves

- Normalized the XP tables for picking flowers, fruits, and mushrooms. The changes weren't too dramatic, except that some high-level flowers accidentally gave HUGE amounts of Foraging XP, and don't anymore
- there are a lot more apples spawning in Serbule now to make it easier to level Foraging (and Cooking, etc.)
- FISHING NOTE: the recipes for filleting fish now have the same level requirements as gathering that fish. (They previously required Fishing level 0, meaning anyone could learn them.) This is a good thing, because it means higher-level filleting recipes earn you more than 10 xp per use! If you already bought these recipes but don't meet the new level requirements, you won't be able to use them until you reach the right level.
- Revised the XP curves for corpse-activity skills (Butchery, Skinning, Pathology, Anatomy). You now earn partial XP for a failure if you're relatively close in level to the monster. This should let players get started in these skills much more quickly without having to hunt down just the right monsters. On the other hand, it will now take longer to get from the 30s to level 50, because that part of the level curve was too fast.
- (Note that the Anatomy skills still stop giving out XP if the monster's level is lower than your anatomy skill level. Anatomy is intentionally harder to raise than the other corpse skills like Butchering and Skinning.)

Arrow Sticking

Arrows now have a chance to stick in the corpse of their attacker when fired. The chance is a flat dice-roll based on the particular ability used:

- Basic Shot: 80% chance
- Aimed Shot: 60% chance
- Long Shot: 60% chance
- Poison Arrow: 50% chance
- Acid Arrow: 50% chance
- Fire Arrow: 50% chance
- Heavy Shot: 30% chance
- Blitz Shot: 85% chance
- Hook Shot: 25% chance
Other Archery abilities have no chance of leaving arrows. This includes Multishot, Heavy Multishot, Snare Arrow, and Bow Bash.
Also related: the rarely-seen ability Organ Displacement now has a 33% chance that the consumed Aquamarine will end up in the corpse.
Arrows (and aquamarines) that end up in the corpse are treated as global corpse loot, which means anyone in your party can loot them, not just the archer. This is due to technical limitations, but for now we'll just consider this a "Social Communication Dynamic", so this is technically a feature, not a bug.

Other Changes (the stuff that managed to get written down, anyway... expect many minor changes)

- lowered the rate of equipment drops on insane cultists a bit
- the Louse Comb is no longer considered a bone
- Infinite Legs is now correctly marked as a Kick
- Tweaked a handful of gift values for things that were way too valuable for their rarity
- Oritania fixed
- Reduced particles on fire-burst effect from Droach fire-burst
- Mother Snail did not have group-statted loot
- New monsters in the back half of the Dark Chapel