Work’s still extra-heavy at the moment, so unfortunately no significant new progress to report as of yet, but I did want to lay out what I want to finish before the first test build release:
[/] AI Summoners using Brands properly. (/ = partially complete)
[/] Stat-based and HP-based Brand modifiers
[ ] Relic Wraith support for Brands
[ ] Tooltips for Brands on Demons
[ ] Limit on Brand capacity for player
Notably, this is not a full list of what will be in the final build: just what I want done for the first test build. Other features (like some method to view old message log messages) will come during testing.
Work should let up a bit after this week and I’ll be able to make faster progress after that. Thanks for your patience, and good luck in the Tower!
Zyalin was kind enough to let me share another awesome piece of Demon fan art he made recently, depicting several Homunculi (Homunculuses? I think it’s Homunculi? Anyway!) being prepared for new Summoners.
If you want to see more of Zyalin’s art, you can check it out over on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/zyalin_art/
I’ve got some examples of what Ability-related Modifiers look like on Brands, but before we get to those, a quick announcement.
Given the magnitude of the changes Brands mean for Demon, I want to do a test build series again before a wider release. Same policy as before: I’ll make a thread on the forums with links to the test builds, and post here when new ones are posted. You won’t need to register for the forums or anything to see or download from the link, just go and grab ‘em. I do this only to increase the odds that everyone who downloads them understands they *are* test builds, and thus, may have moderate or even serious issues that would normally not be present in actual releases.
No precise ETA on this other than “sometime next month”: between work picking up unexpectedly earlier… and, if I’m being honest, the impending release of Etrian Odyssey Nexus next week… it will probably be a little bit yet.
With no further ado, the Ability-related Brand examples
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.