Category Archives: Story
It has been very long since my last update – in fact, almost a year: this post is meant to summarise the current changes to the Beta. Most of the features highlighted in this post are currently being tested: nothing is final as of yet. Although LS 1.6 was never released, I will still refer to it as the previous Beta, as I am heading towards 1.7.
Characters, Items, Weapons:
Players can no longer increase Intellect by spending Talent Points. The only way to increase any character’s Mana Pool is to use equipment (permanent), abilities (a set number of turns) and consumables (temporary, or until out of combat).
- The effectiveness of almost all spells depends heavily on the caster’s Intellect: that means that in LS 1.6 players could, hypothetically speaking, spend all of their Talent Points on this parameter, which ultimately resulted in ridiculous outputs of healing and damage, rather early in the game. Also, I could not predict any of these choices to keep encounters balanced and challenging at all levels.
- It seemed unfair that casters had to spend their Talent Points on Stamina, Intellect and Spirit, while other classes could concentrate purely on Stamina and Strength.
- By removing this possibility, casters will obviously retain a lot of unspent Talent Points, which should now converge to Spirit. This change also implies that casters will depend on their equipment more than they did before, as one of the fewer ways available to expand their Mana Pool.
- As a consequence, Spirit curves are now slightly lower than the previous Beta.
This is how the new Status Screen looks like. Bars are larger and more colourful. Also, only the parameters that matters are shown in here – Hit Rate and Evasion: Removed.
Experience curves are now even for all characters. Just like in many other Role-Playing Games out there, all characters need the exact same amount of experience to level up.
- Eilnys still benefits from Awareness (Passive), which doubles the experience gained from all encounters.
- Players can still choose to skip as many quests they want, as long as they are not primary – those involving the main storyline.
- Enemies have been given lower parameters of Spirit and Haste, so that players can successfully escape more easily.
Quest experience rewards have been adjusted so that, overall, they will allow players to advance within the level range of the current zone (5-9, 10-14, 15-19 and so forth). However, the experience gained from random encounters and Boss fights has been decreased. As long as the experience rewarded is concerned, aside from larger monsters, the rough proportion is now 10 Enemies = 1 Quest.
Potions have been removed and replaced by food. In addition to all usable items, which can be found or sometimes bought, I have recently added 32 new consumable items, 24 of which can be crafted using ingredients that will either drop after combat or be available at the shop.
Health Potions, Mana Potions, Apple, Cabbage, Edible Mushroom, Hot Bread, Remedy and Disperdherb: Removed.
- Added: 1) Acorn Cookie, 2) Chocolate Cream Roll, 3) Sweet Rice Cake, 4) Starlight Log. These 4 items cannot be crafted.
- Players will need to learn the corresponding Recipe in order to be able to create any of the 24 new items. Once learnt, the recipe will be available when using any Kitchen Table.
I cannot provide a comprehensive list as of yet, because this feature is being implemented right now. However, the effects granted by the new items will be fairly similar to those of the previous Beta.
Bows, Crossbows and Spears: removed. The only weapons available now include: Swords, Axes, Staves and Maces. There are currently 43 weapons increasing mainly Strength and 36 weapons increasing mainly Intellect – requiring L.4 to 50.
- It didn’t make much sense to have many types of weapons and few actual weapons to choose from.
When choosing Heroic Mode for Boss encounters, players will always be presented with a rare-quality item, which will often be just an improved version of the one dropped in normal mode.
2 new Quests added.
- “Some Coal”: Rune Milner in the village of Nossa asked you to collect some coal from Dorcliff Ridge. The cave lies to the NORTH-EAST of Northmill. This mineral substance can be easily found on the rocky ground of the southern part of the cavern (L.5-9).
- “Old Magic”: As your daily task, Belgeon asked you to read the draft of a chapter from his upcoming dissertation: “The Old Magic”. Chapter 4 is about NORTHDELL’s civil unrest, nearly 20 years ago. For the past century, the people of NORTHDELL had grown less and less devoted to the Gladomain family, and pressured the Council to achieve secularism, meaning that Eilmorel, the immortal child of Laenai, could not rule for ever. Having sworn a commitment of allegiance and protection to the Gladomain family, and to its last descendant Eilmorel, the Northdell Guardians were caught in a dilemma when some Council members formally asked Eimorel to appoint them as the true rulers of NORTHDELL… Because of the secrecy of its contents, you may read this chapter only inside Belgeon’s house, in Molenor (L. 10-14).
All enemies’ parameters have been adjusted. The experience rewarded by enemies has been lowered, the rough proportion is now 10 Enemies = 1 Quest. Even if Bosses have different growth rates, by default all enemies’ parameters increase by level as displayed below:
- Stamina: +58 per Level; Intellect: +19 per Level; Strength: (Database Value+1%)+7 per Level; Defense: (Database Value+1%)+6 per Level; Spirit: (Database Value+5%)+5 per Level; Haste: (Database Value+10%)+6 per Level; Gold: (Database Value+10%)+6 per Level.
- This means that, even if given “1” for every parameter in the Database, L.50 enemies will still start off with 350 Strength (1,400 Physical Damage), 300 Defense, 250 Spirit, 300 Haste. Of course, enemies will have their parameters set to somewhat higher than “1”.
All enemies will drop more than 2 items – usually around 3/4 each. These items will be mainly materials for cooking. However, some enemies will also drop uncommon items, like cooking recipes, or weapons and pieces of armour – obviously, the latter will have a rather low chance of dropping.
Classes, Abilities, Combat:
This section will be covered more thoroughly at a later time, possibly next week.
- However, I will say that all existing classes have been reviewed – new abilities have been added, both active and passive.
- The Necromancer Class is currently being tested.
- 8 classes are now available. However, Mystic, Warrior and Necromancer remain secondary, as they are meant to provide only variety and utility – the respective characters, Daruvial, Davian and Rudrin are also meant to be secondary.
- Lauron will be able to choose from primary classes only, Guardian, Priest, Acolyte and Thaumaturge, when reaching L.30 (no change here, same as the previous Beta).
The Aggro/Grudge System has been removed. It sometimes made the game crash unexpectedly and it didn’t add anything valuable to the encounters, especially in late game or against foes that would use mainly AOE abilities. Also, 1) it didn’t make sense to have an “Aggro System” in a game without proper Tanks (Davian is currently the only one, and he’s a secondary character), and 2) you cannot have proper Tanks in a game where Magic damage scales off the caster’s Intellect and thus cannot be avoided.
- As a consequence, Vanish has been removed.
- The Warrior’s core abilities now scale off Defense and – secondarily – Strength. Taunt and Escalation were both removed and replaced by Selfless Protector and Supplication: the former is a powerful damage-suppressor, which can only be applied to the Warrior’s allies, not to the Warriors themselves, while the latter is self-cast and increases all healing received by 12%.
Almost all animations have been redrawn – they are currently ~127.
New BGS and BGM according to zones: all villages and cities now have the same background music as long as they are in the same kingdom. The battle theme will only change for Boss fights and stay the same for all other encounters.
All maps are currently being redrawn, so that they will look more alike throughout the whole game. I am also adding specific features unique to each kingdom (NORTHDELL, ERIDEN, SOUTHSTON), so that players might “feel” they are in a different place, especially when moving from one kingdom to another – which should be rather common from L.30 onwards.
- Some places have been renamed. “Mallowley Crag” is now “Dorcliff Ridge”, “Aldlea Forest” is now “Lochway Wood”, “Esteredge Crags” is now “Highwynne Ridge”; etc.
- A new map feature has been added, called “Light’s Echo”. Health Regeneration stops at night, so that is when “Light’s Echo” will become available: sometimes, players will see a few sparks on the ground: by interacting with them, the whole party will be healed by 25% of their maximum HP. “Light’s Echoes” will disappear after healing the party, and each spark will only be usable once.
All Tiles have been upgraded: if you like, you may browse the gallery below.
That’s all for now. Thank you!
«We were too busy looking up,
when we should have looked down».
“High above the clouds our three islands
revolve around the abyss:
an ancient spell keeps them in the air.
There’s nothing underneath.
Six years ago Northdell was invaded by a demon
that nobody had seen before.
My brother saved us all: he forced it to fall down
with himself from the edge of Northdell.
Leomorn was a Guardian: an élite mercenary force
trained to keep the islands safe.
One day I shall become a Guardian too.
Right now, I’m but an apprentice, working under Lord Leoven.
I’ve been living in Nossa for the past nineteen years,
since I was born. I don’t know much about my parents,
Miss Rune Milner took me in when I was four.
My brother used to be my only family”.
The story takes place on three floating islands, flying over the abyss: they are NORTHDELL, ERIDEN and SOUTHSTON.
The “Council of the Elders”, in Virannum (NORTHDELL), is in charge of all the decisions made in NORTHDELL. As the game begins, it is more like an introduction of the life of Lauron Pegason, what it has been like so far, especially since Leomorn’s disappearance, its people, its places, its routines, and so forth. Shortly after that, something is going to change dramatically: Lauron will begin to realise what the world he’s been living in is really like. Some things that he firmly used to believe in will turn out to be false.
Panril Loyalar and Lauron have been working with Lord Leoven Arcanscape for about two months at the remains of Lochbrook Edge, near the place where Leomorn disappeared six years before (Dorford, NORTHDELL), when all of a sudden something is dug out, something that can’t belong to the islands. While Leoven, as a scholar and a researcher, is willing to see things clearly, the Council grows impatient to burke the matter, because the councillors think themselves to be the keepers of an essential dogma: there is nothing underneath the islands, no UNDERWORLD exists. Whatever it is that Leoven found out, it will not change their beliefs. The matter is even more delicate to Eilmorel Gladomain, not only because of her anxiety to show her worth to the Council, but also because those beliefs are the ones that her mother, before her, meant to preserve.
See also: Characters; Constants.
A) There should be a conflict: other than a threat to the system, I would prefer it to be a threat to individuals. It means that the antagonists are not menacing the world: their goal is just contrary to the protagonist’s.
A1) The hero is not willing to save the world, he is trying to save himself or the ones he care about from a threat. His actions will involve an act of rebellion.
A2) Anyway, it is likely that the conflict will expand, embracing more people or factions, so that the actions of the hero will ultimately be in harmony with the system. I just don’t want that to happen from the very beginning. This involving should also be as “accidental” as possible.
B) The conflict has to be motivated, to have a reason, to be understandable.
B1) I don’t want the antagonists to be too easily labelled as “evil”: their scope must be completely just and logical, from their point of view. I would like the players to identify themselves with the antagonists.
C) Coup de théâtre. Before the three quarters of the game some or all of these elements have to be achieved:
C1) A betrayal, which has to be conscious, meaning that the betrayer is not being manipulated;
C2) One of the antagonists joins the hero’s cause (C6);
C3) The passing or the disappearance of one of the main characters. It must not be the hero or someone too close to him; it should be someone who’s shared some of the game with the player (C7);
C4) Something which is expected to happen to “A” will happen to “B” (C1, C3);
C5) The enemy that the player believes to fight against is in fact another villain’s subordinate. Or: it is known that there is more than one enemy, but the player finds out before the very end which one is the greater threat (C4?);
C6) One of the antagonists, perhaps the one that will ultimately join the hero, will find out to have been a pawn of the enemy (C3?);
C7) Someone amongst the characters will be used as a scapegoat (C2, C6).