hings have been a bit slow due to work, but I’ve been able to finish the first full series of modifiers, related to Stamina and SP Costs. Here’s a few sample brands involving some of those modifiers that I think are interesting, or at least suggest interesting possibilities.
Basic enemy AI for selecting Brands to use is up and running.
Demons that spawn on a floor (other than those associated with an enemy summoner, which are handled differently) can spawn with any Brand that has spawned on that floor. Demons consider their abilities, stats, and other factors when deciding which Brand to use.
For example, consider these two Malingees who spawned on the same floor (and thus, had the same Brands to choose from):
The first Malingee, modified with Blessed, has gained the relatively high SP cost abilities Protect and Focus. As a result, it has chosen a Brand that, while weakening Vitality, gives it increased SP regeneration. (The reduced Vitality is also deemed to be less of an issue since, now that it has support magic, it will spend less time in direct combat.)
The second Malingee, on the other hand, modified by Solid, has no SP costs worth having SP regeneration to help with, so it has chosen a Brand that trades some Magic (which it does not use) for increased Agility (which it does use.)
Enemy summoners and their demons receive Brands in a similar fashion, but they choose from a large number of Brands generated specifically for that summoner, representing the Brands the summoner found during their hypothetical career.
Still a ways to go, but we’re getting there. Until next time, good luck in the Tower!
While I finish designing how the AI will evaluate brands when constructing summoner parties and roving demon packs, I’ve been making some small improvements to Brand-related UI to help make it more clear when they’re active or not active, and why:
For example, when you’re considering applying or replacing a Brand, the tooltip for the new brand will indicate if the requirements are meant or not with green checkmarks or red x marks. If one or more requirements are not meant. the effects will be greyed out to help underline the fact. In character sheets and party views, brands that are equipped but cannot be used are colored yellow as well.
Not a super exciting update, I know, but getting close to being ready to show some usage of Brands by AIs, which should be more interesting… well, if I can find an effective way to show it in a blog post.
As previews go, this won’t be much, but I wanted to show at least *some* kind of progress.
Up to this point, I’ve been working on the base system for generating random Brands. Happily, that system is now working enough where I can show you some of the Brands it is generating.
I should stress: I have only made a VERY limited number of possible boons, banes, conditions, and requirements up to this point. It’s generally a bad idea to go making a lot of content for a system until the system’s complete and has been tested: otherwise, you risk finding out you need to change something about how you made your content, and now you have a ton of content to redo instead of a little.
Also: No numbers are shown on these because Brands, like characters, have levels: the actual numerical values would be based on the level (and, in the case of the Boons, how many and which Banes, Requirements, and Conditions were present, since each of these strengthens Boons.)
But, even with only that very limited number, you can start to see some at least slightly interesting results.
This first set has four brands, from top to bottom:
1st: Requires Agility, then boosts Agility and Magic if the requirement is met.
2nd: Just raises Agility and Magic straight up. Notably, the bonuses would be less than the 1st since there’s no Agility requirement.
3rd: Only a Magic boost here. It would be more of a Magic boost than the 2nd however, since it isn’t also boosting Agility.
4th: Only an Agility Boost. Like the 3rd, it’d be a better boost than the 2nd since it’s just the one stat.
Four in this set (the fifth is incomplete in this screenshot) too:
1st: Requires Magic, but boosts Agility and Vitality. Good defensive boost for your magic users.
2nd: Simple increase to Vitality and Magic.
3rd: Simple increase to Agility and Magic.
4th: Simple increase to Strength and Agility. It’s worth noting that Banes, Conditions, and Restrictions are, at least currently, somewhat rarer than Boons, but that could very easily change before release.
Last set of 3 (ignore the topmost one, it was in the 2nd set), and it’s here the RNG decided to make things a bit more interesting.
1st: Increases Strength and Vitality, but decreases Cunning. Could be a good defensive or melee boost for any character not planning to use status effects.
2nd: Now we have a tricky one: Requires Strength, and only functions when HP = MaxHP, but increases Strength and Magic. The bonuses to Strength and Magic granted however, would be considerable due to the present of both a requirement and a condition. A little unfortunate it is Strength + Magic as the bonus pair, since that usually requires melee to take full advantage of, an obvious problem with HP = MaxHP as a condition… but the size of the bonuses might be worth trying to find a way to make it work.
3rd: Another tricky one: When HP = MaxHP, it raises Agility and Cunning while decreasing Strength. As with the 2nd Brand, the bonuses will be considerable since both a bane and dondition are present. Seems ideal for a character who uses ranged attacks to inflict status conditions and isn’t quite as concerned with the damage.
I should stress again: this is nowhere near the complete set of modifiers I plan on supporting in the release, just a test set that is enough to run the system through its first paces with. That said, I think even with this incredibly limited set there are some interesting results coming up. I can’t wait to see what sort of things pop out once I’m further along.
Not much of an update, but I try not to go too long without posting. Still here, still working on Brands, not quite ready to show yet.
The next feature I’ll be working on is Soul Brands!
I’ve written about them briefly here and there, but I’ve rarely gone into any detail before, so allow me to give a brief explanation here.
But first, the usual disclaimer: This all reflects current planning of a feature VERY EARLY in development. Plenty of this could still change, but it can still be regarded as a good first draft of where things are headed.
With that out of the way, here’s what I’m thinking so far:
- Soul Brands function as “equipment” for summoners and demons.
- Characters can have one Brand equipped at a time.
- A summoner’s relic can store a small number of Brands at a time. Credits can be spent to copy a Brand onto a character: this consumes only the credits, not the Brand. Thus, a single Brand can be copied to any number of characters.
- Players will probably find roughly one to two new Brands per dungeon floor on average.
- If you later discard a stored Brand (to make room for a new one), this does not remove that Brand from any character(s) it was copied to.
- Enemy summoners will of course utilize Brands as well. Like a player can, they may have Brands equipped to demons that they no longer have stored in their Relic, reflecting the total selection they have found in their careers.
- Even demons not affiliated with summoners may have Brands. The chance of this increases as you advance up the Tower, eventually becoming almost certain. However, non-affiliated demons on a given floor will only be able to choose from a very limited number of Brands (possibly only a single one.)
- Of course, Relic Wraiths and their demons will also use the Brands they had found before the unfortunate summoner’s first death.
So, what does a Brand do, and how do they work? Brands are made up of up to five components:
- Level: The level of a Brand determines the size of the bonuses, penalties, and requirements it has. Brands you find in the dungeon will usually have a level roughly matching the character levels of the demons found on the floor in question.
- Boon: Boons are the reason you want to equip a Brand in the first place. Boons are bonuses of some kind, the intensity of which is usually based on the level of the Brand.
- Bane: Banes are penalties of some kind… but their presence on a Brand increases the bonuses provided by Boons.
- When: Whens are a short-term condition that must be met for a Brand’s Boons and Banes to be in effect; generally these are conditions that you may or may not meet from turn to turn. For example, “HP <= 50%”, or “Last ability was a movement ability.” Whens also increase the bonuses provided by Boons.
- If: Ifs are a long-term condition that must be met for a Brand’s Boons and Banes to be in effect; generally these are conditions that check things that are hard or impossible to change, restricting who can use the Brand. For example, “Weak To Fire”, “Base Strength > 50″, “Must be Unique”, etc. Ifs also increase the bonuses provided by Boon.
- Every Brand has at least a Level (of course) and one Boon. The other components are optional.
- Brands are procedurally generated using lists of Boons, Banes, Whens, and Ifs.
- I will probably rename Whens and Ifs.
That’s it for now. As I said above, this is pretty early in development, so it may be a bit before the first screenshots or more details are ready. Cheers!