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12/11 Update: Cooking and other changes.

Hi, everyone!

This is just an update to show the progress of a few features of the game that have been improved since the last release.

  • Cooking:

It always looked a little silly to talk to NPCs in order to craft potions: even if I added the option to create Disperdherb or Remedies, trying to adjust prices so that it would be convenient to craft them instead of buying them, it still looked like some sort of barter. I changed that, introducing Cooking. This is not a profession, recipes will all be given eventually, and all ingredients will be available either at the local market or to be looted from enemies. There is still food that can be consumed without being cooked first, like Chocolate (restoring 29% HP and MP), Cabbages (23% MP), Bread (31% HP) or Apples (12% HP and MP), but their effect has been slightly reduced. Instead, all recipes that involve cooking provide food that gives unique effects either in or outside combat, or both. Here’s an example:

All the items related to Cooking are burnt orange-coloured.

  • Menu & Quest Journal:

These are more changes of looks. You can see above the new Menu: all icons have changed, but that’s it. Instead, all Quests now reward money in addition to their rewards. The amount of money given for completing Quests will vary depending only on level. I have moved the static part of the rewards to the Description in the Quest Journal, and used colours to emphasize names.

  • Equipment:

The changes in the equipment have been a little bit more comprehensive. I have changed the slots available and made them the same for every character, which means that instead of “Shield”, the slot has been renamed to “Off-Hand”, every class can equip Gloves, and they should, I completely removed cloaks, and kept three slots for Accessories (rings, necklaces, chokers, amulets, earrings, etc.) The equipment is still related to class, meaning that all items will increase stats that are only useful to some: however, there are now 44 pieces of jewelry (up from 14) that give almost random effects, and they can be equipped at all levels by all classes. Casters have Off-Hands while melee classes have Shields, the former have Hats, while the latter have Helms. Gloves increase Defense and Elemental Resistance.

  • Behomazun, minor change:

I have changed the way Behomazun works. To have a spell that restores 100% HP and Status of the whole Party seemed like a ticket to invincibility, so now this Overdrive technique will restore 64% HP (down from 100%), but it will also grant Mending Status, like Hoimi. Mending restores 20% total HP over 2 turns.

  • States:

Since they were not working correctly, I removed Doom and Trouble Status.

  • Virannum:
I thought Virannum to be one of the centres of power in NORTHDELL, but it ultimately looked a little dull, so I edited some of Lunarea’s tiles to change the way it looks. You can watch the video below to see the before and after.
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1.3 Overall Preview (Part 3)

Part 3: Abilities

Updated 6/13/2011

This is how abilities will look like at level 60, which is the cap level for “Lemorn Sword” since vers. 1. 3. This is a level 60 Healer’s Abilities screen (outside combat):

You will see that all casters make a higher use of their Mana. The reason is that learning abilities quite early in the game progress made their Mana cost ridiculous at higher levels; the Healer’s Mana in particular was never-ending, which in turn made characters kind of invincible as long as Traben or Eilnys could heal. I wanted to make it a little bit more challenging.

I wanted all classes to make wiser, more efficient choices when using their abilities, to save their Mana, and to adjust Mana cost so that it wouldn’t become ridiculously low when reaching higher levels. I’m using KGC_MPCostAlter (written by TOMY, translated by Mr. Anonymous; you can find the script either here or here) to turn Mana cost into a percentage of the character’s base Mana. Except, it then seemed unfair that those who had higher levels of Intellect > Mana Points would suffer from higher costs for their abilities, and made it pointless to increase their Intellect parameter using Talent Points.

The tag <MaxMPCost> means that the ability in question uses an amount of Mana depending on the character’s Intellect > Mana Points, whereas the tag <PropMPDamage> means that the effectiveness of the ability is also influenced by the character’s Intellect: as a matter of fact, the effectiveness of the ability is proportioned to its Mana cost. In other words: the Mana cost becomes the real and only multiplier to determine the effective damage or healing of the ability. So, higher Intellect > higher Mana_Cost > higher damage or healing.

For instance, “Hoimi” will heal about 538 * 17% (Mana Points) + Spirit Bonus +/- 20% variance, which basically means results can change slightly. That’s about 2856 HP healed by a Lv. 60 Traben (3079 total MP, reasonably talented and equipped – no buffs).

The effectiveness of these spells is based on the assumption that all characters reaching Lv. 60 will spend some of their  Talent Points to increase their HP up to 11280 (and up to 14280 if they also manage to be well equipped). Obviously, players might not do so, but later on I’ll be making enemies dealing over 11.000 damage, meaning that it’ll be just impossible to survive those battles without reaching the maximum Stamina. Yes, if you have less HP, healing overall will feel more effective, because it relies only on Intellect, not Stamina: compared to 9999 HP, for instance, 2856 HP is the 28,5% of maximum HP, with an 8,5% increased effectiveness. Since I didn’t want players to sacrifice too many  Talent Points on Stamina, at the expense of other stats, I made it so that HP increases by 50 every 2 points. Now consider that you’ll earn 460  Talent Points when reaching Lv. 60, so if Lauron reaches 7075 base HP, it means he’ll spend 168~170 TP (={11280-7075} /50HP * 2TP) to reach 11280 HP. 168~170 TP, compared to 460 is low enough, so it doesn’t feel like sacrificing too many points. Also, consider that 460 are the TP earned only through leveling, excluding those Talents rewarded by Quests, my guess is around 714: see Quests Overhaul.

Running some tests, as intended, “Hoimi” should heal about 20% of total HP, which means that 2856 is the best to achieve. Mana cost increases for higher ranks of spells: for instance, “Behoimi” will spend 22% Mana with a base of 783 (results around 5712 – 40% of total HP healed), while “Behoma” will spend 28% Mana with a base of 923 (results about 8568 – 60% of total HP healed). Also, don’t forget that healing spells can produce critical hits (using Custom Damage Control  by Yanfly) since vers. 1.2.

Applying these changes and increasing Intellect, it became significant to add a few ways to recover Mana, both in and outside combat. Apart from potions and items consumable outside combat, Healers and Mages can cast “Mahotora”, absorbing Mana from their enemies, while almost every class has “Mana Restoration”. Some other classes (like Guardians) can use “Mahoageru”, which transfers 24% of the user’s Mana to one ally. Don’t forget that Mana Potions can be crafted and brought to battle.

The tag \CHARGE[…] adds cooldowns to the game (it’s Modern Algebra’s Recharge Skills, you can find it here). Every ability takes a specific number of turns to recharge and can’t be used before then, unless casting “Meditation”, which refreshes all remaining CDs at the cost of removing all beneficial effects from the target. Healers get a small discount, of course, so that they won’t run out of healing spells. It also means that there is no action that can be performed twice, apart from normal attacks, which makes battles more lively.

Later on in the game players will obtain some pieces of gear to wear that will reduce the time for abilities to recharge even more (see above: the tag “\RECHARGE[-1]”). It also means that a Lv. 60 Healer will be able to cast “Hoimiat every turn (although, see 6/13 Update). Now, spending 17% Mana at every turn, healing about 20% HP every time, means the possibility to cast “Hoimi” 5 times (100% HP), without recovering Mana in any way. For example, depending on the damage dealt by the enemies, Healers could simply cast “Hoimi” at every turn, on the most injured party member and then use “Mana Restoration” every 5 turns (“Mana Restoration” immediately restores 41% 32% MP, and another 22% over time). Obviously, 20% HP healed isn’t that significant, since enemies will deal more damage than that at Lv. 60, but then again, since Healers are also pretty strong on Haste, so they’ll very likely make the first move and be able to keep everyone alive.

Last but not least, you can see above the Lv. 60 Mage’s Ablities screen (outside combat). It works exactly in the same way: except, these are damaging spells, not healing. For instance, “Mera” will deal a base of 476 * 9% (Mana Points) + Sp. Bonus +/- 20% variance: that’s about 1559 fire damage at Lv. 60; “Merami” will deal a base of 634 * 18% = roughly 4657 damage for a Lv. 60 Mage; “Merazoma”: 1318 * 26% = about 11620, excluding the buff provided by “Greater Intellect”, the enemy’s weakness to elements, critical hits and critical bonuses.

The only CON to the system is the resultant uselessness of Spirit, which will no longer play any role in the process of calculating the amount of damage and healing, not even as a “Magic Defense”, like it used to. Of course I’m looking for a solution to this issue. I’m considering requesting a Script which will take a percentage of Spirit and turn it into Mana Regeneration after every turn.

So now Spirit will provide, instead, Mana Regeneration at the end of every turn. More precisely, 25% Spirit = amount of MP regenerated. You can read this topic to see how I’ve resolved the issue.

  • The Mana cost of all abilities, when equal to zero, is hidden (Hide 0 MP Cost, JFace, edited by modern algebra).

1.3 Overall Preview (Part 2)

Part 2: System

1) Scripts:

Leomorn Sword” is using 18 new Scripts since vers. 1.3. Here’s a quick list.

  • STRRGS2 Archives, and STR08STR14STR22STR27STR20 in particular. STR08 allowed me to make events that become visible as the player approaches them — they can’t be seen otherwise. STR14 let me input strings of text to be temporarily shown on the screen and to move from one side of the screen to another: particularly useful when adding tips to the game, like: “Hold down SHIFT to run” and so on. You can read this post: Messages, Quests, Items, Music 1.3 to see how I’ve used STR22STR27 and STR20 — then again, they changed a few visuals of the game, keeping the existing core;
  • Recharge Skills” (modern algebra), “KGC_MPCostAlter” (TOMY) and “Hide 0 MP Cost” (Jface). “Recharge Skills” (modern algebra) adds cooldowns to the game: there is no combat action, apart from normal attack, that can be performed twice, all abilities take a specific amount of turns to recharge and can’t be reused before then, unless casting Meditation first. You can see Abilities Preview 1.3 for a more detailed description of these features;
  • Speed Save Option Snippet” and “Set Actor’s Max Level Snippet”(Jet10985): the first one adds a hotkey (F7) to open the Save Menu quickly on the map, without entering the Menu. The second one sets the cap level you can reach, which is now Lv. 60 from vers. 1.3;
  • Adjust Shop Prices  Ver. 1” (MirnKaya): this Script let me modify Shop Prices. This change was needed to adjust prices according to the player’s level. As the player possessed more gold, later on in the game, some prices became obsolete;
  • Trickster’s Caterpillar” (Diedrupo) replaced Woratana’s Caterpillar that was causing that bug in vers. 1.2;
  • Weather Script VX” (CcoaAgckuu Coceg). This is a very popular Script right now: it adds a lot of weather options that are created automatically, like falling autumn leaves, floating ashes, emerging spheres of blue light, etc. or the possibility to add automatic thunders during storms;
  • KGC_ComposeItem” (TOMY): you can read the related article about how I’ve used this Script: Item Crafting (1.3);
  • Animated Title Screen” (Hanzo Kimura, Speed);
  • Added State Effects Options” (LoganForrests): it extends the State functionality to allow the creation of a diverse number of states that simply aren’t available in the database without relying on heavy event scripting in battles;
  • Update Action Orders Per Action” (LoganForrests): forces the turn order to be redetermined each time a battler makes an action. Thus, speed changes (such as via Haste/Slow like skills) will affect the order a battler makes their action during the action order execution process;
  • “Temporary Stat Boosts” (Shanghai): buffs are cleared after battle and everything returns back to normal;
  • Updated: Quest Journal (modern algebra).