Almost time for a new build…

Getting very close now to being ready to release the next build now: most of what’s left is some polish and testing. Network stuff’s new to me, so I’m being a little extra cautious on this one. :)

The next build will also include some other changes, such as the ability to name characters (necessary for the high score list to make any sense!), and some balance/gameplay changes including but not limited to:

  • T:1 and T:2 have been adjusted to be a bit less of a meat grinder and a bit more reliably sane. In particular: Will O’ Wisps and Freybugs have swapped locations (Wisps now appear on T:2 instead of T:1, and Freybugs take their place as a T:1 monster), and Raicho are now weak to Slash, Impact, and Pierce (in addition to Body and Mind, which they were weak to before.) I want a tough-as-nails roguelike, not an unfair one. :P
  • All trait-based requirements/restrictions on recruiting monsters have been removed. Frankly, these weren’t a lot of fun and were making balancing a pain since it meant you could find yourself excluded from large numbers of ¬†abilities unless you were willing to completely rewire your party around getting them.
  • Hitting any key to “speed up” turns in progress will now automatically skip message log “more” prompts that are related to lots of messages coming in at once (though it will still pause and make you clear “next” prompts, which occur for very important messages, usually related to immediate danger.)
  • Light and Dark “smite” abilities have been adjusted, based on how common their condition is, and how easily the condition is averted. As a result, some got stronger (Agony), some didn’t really change (Blight), ¬†some got a little weaker (Punish), and some now act completely differently (Exorcism and Bane now do damage based on the target’s remaining HP, for example.) Also, Easg Saint now get Humble instead of Punish, so that the first introduction to smiting is one that can’t be fatal. :)
  • Made the friendly demon indicator a bit easier to see (it’s now almost-neon green instead of a subtle blue.)

3 responses to “Almost time for a new build…

  1. Just found this after searching for a monster collection roguelike on Google. Played the 4/26 build, definitely thinking this build will be a good change. My biggest complaint is that though it might be similar to SMT, you can’t steamroll like SMT games. The biggest plus to the SMT battle system was being able to get loads of extra damage/turns to keep pounding and kill the enemy before they can kill you, and that really doesn’t seem to be the case here. It feels much more like a generic roguelike with SMT flavorings. I do want to keep playing and learn better combinations, but I figured first impression feedback is still moderately useful.

  2. I don’t know why it didn’t let me post before, but have some feedback from a relatively new player. This definitely doesn’t feel like SMT, mostly because of the battle system. SMT (at least, newer entries) plays off of being able to smash weaknesses before the enemies can smash yours, but this is just kind of overwhelming. I also seem to have a problem with not finding any demons until I find basically every demon that has been spawned on the floor. I’ve only encountered 2 slimes by themselves, and every other time it’s a part of 3 that quickly grows into 10 demons following me on T:1. Kind of frustrating.

    Dungeon generation is also not my favorite, because you’ve blocked off a very important strategy from other roguelikes: funneling through a small hallway. There’s no way to take on demons by yourself in the beginning because of this, kind of ruins the mood.

    My last complaint is for linking, the demons only ask for health or healing items, or sacrificing a partner. Do they ever ask for money or just ask questions? Maybe I haven’t just found the right demons yet.

    I’d complain about the keyboard bindings but they’re really not that bad. And the commands make sense.

  3. Oh, hey! Gah, I had a feeling the spam filter might be too aggressive. I’ll see if I can figure out why it was tagging you as spam. :( Sorry about that!

    The new 5/30 build (which is actually already up, but I found these when going to write the post and wanted to stop and respond first) should address the swarming issues: enemy groups used to communicate with each other about your location if they were in sight of each other, so it was very easy for them to “chain” together if they were already semi-close by and any of them spotted you.

    Demon’s smallest hallway is 2-wide, as you identified. I was hoping that would serve the same purpose as the 1-wide hallways in other roguelikes, adjusted for the fact that most of the time, you’ll have a party of 4. I could experiment with 1-wide hallways, but I’m not sure there’d be a good way to utilize a party of 4 in those.

    It’s true Demon doesn’t have the full strength weakness-smashing bit. This is in part a concession to permadeath: one mistake or even just being outranged by one group of enemies could lead to more or less unavoidable death if weakness-smashing was at say, the Shin Megami Tensei IV levels. On the other hand, I agree there may need to be more here… I’ve been considering following the Persona Q model instead perhaps (after hitting a weakness, you can use abilities at 0 SP cost next turn… might also allow bypassing of lesser cooldowns like Breath, Light, Dark, etc.)

    There’s no money in Demon, so demons don’t ask for that. As for questions… I’ve been thinking about that recently. Initially I skipped those because I felt like they would either have to be largely or entirely random, or risk being something you just dealt with by spoilers. In SMT games this is less noticeable because you can always just grind for another shot at a demon, but Demon doesn’t have infinite respawns and also lets you recruit bosses, so some deals are once in a game. That said, I agree some of the flavor of negotiation has been lost by not having questions, so I’m trying to think of a fair way to work them in.

    Thank you again for the feedback! :) Sorry again about the spam filter, until I figure it out, I’ll keep a much closer eye on the comment queue.

    EDIT: Think I fixed the spam filter. :P It was apparently filtering any comments with “.com” in the e-mail address. :X