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Thank You!

  • Strak
  • 02/01/2022 03:55 PM
I was going to just comment on the game page, but this is too important for that, and ultimately there's way too much to go over for just a simple comment.

I just wanted to thank everyone who nominated and voted for Bloodstained Hands in the 2021 Misaos for the Everlasting Journey award! I honestly never expected a nomination, and I have no idea what the votes will look like when tallied, but I genuinely appreciate the support that this game has garnered over the last six months! I'm not at all expecting to win the Misao, there's some stiff competition and some far more deserving games in my opinion, but I'm humbled and honored nonetheless.

To show my appreciation for those of you who have played, reviewed, nominated, voted for, and given feedback on this game, I've decided to release one final RMN exclusive update. I won't be releasing this particular update on any other hosting sites, this one is just for you guys. I know I said I wouldn't be releasing any more game-changing updates, but I've been inspired by the community here, and I wanted to acknowledge that. I was planning on fixing a few minor bugs anyway, so why not throw in a bunch of cool stuff along the way!

So without further ado, here it is! Bloodstained Hands v5.9.1, an RMN exclusive. I've made a ton of changes with this update, which I will also list in the Bug Fix and Update Log (check the blog section), but I'll go over why I made these changes in this blog post. I'll hide them in a tag to condense the post size, but there aren't really any spoilers ahead.

First and foremost, combat has been significantly balanced. In most of my testing, I realized that I wasn't fully testing all the ATB modes. This was a huge oversight, because I realized that I had made most enemies way too fast. The agility of almost every enemy has been decreased by about 25%, and some bosses by more than 50%. In addition, enemies will give more EXP, since I had reduced the encounter rates several updates ago without balancing the level grinding. Certain bosses will have more HP, but their AI is fixed so they won't immediately heal every time they reach critical health. The overall result is that combat should feel like less of a grind, and is more playable on all ATB modes.

Along that same vein, I've also simplified the ATB modes in the System Menu. Where before there were four ATB wait modes, there are now only three. The first two were nearly identical, and there wasn't really any benefit to having the first one, so I eliminated the first mode. In addition, I made the names of each mode a little easier to understand. Instead of Attacks, Skills, Actions, and Full, there are now only three modes, Active, Moderate, and Full. If you want a more detailed breakdown of how they all work, the in-game guide has also been updated with plenty of new information, including the new ATB modes. I've also made the default mode for starting a new game set to Moderate, since this is by far the most playable mode from my own experience.

I've also modified the damage of almost every Overdrive skill. They will deal considerably more damage now, and some of them even have a critical hit chance.

There are three new cutscenes that take place upon entering Cyana (after the first mission), Amethyne, and Topale. Note that the new cutscenes may take place if you're already past the point in the game they would normally occur if you are updating from a previous version. In addtion, characters will appear on screen during cutscenes where they have dialgoue. Pacing of cutscenes has been modified.

The Status menu has also been modified and re-arranged to display the actors current Overdrive gauge.

I added a Target Selection window for skills that only target the user, or for skills that target all. The purpose of this was to resolve a bug that sometimes happens when selecting a skill while someone takes slip damage. What will happen is that the skill window will refresh, causing the cursor to return to the skill that was used previously. With bad timing, this can cause you to select the wrong skill, and if it doesn't have target selection, you're hooped. The skill will automatically trigger, and you won't have an opportunity to back out and re-select your skill. That's somewhat resolved with this fix.

The monster log has been updated to display that yes, there is in fact a gallery mode. The text says to press the X button, but don't be fooled. That's the X BUTTON. Not key. The default key on the keyboard to open the gallery mode is A. The gallery mode has also been updated with a rather unique feature. When gallery mode is entered, the elemental resistances of the monster you are viewing will be replaced with Status Ailment resistances. Now you can fully view exactly what ailments affect which enemies and bosses, so you're not guessing and you can strategize around their weaknesses.

Battle music for random encounters was sort of shoehorned in on the last update, so now it's a little more fleshed out. If you have battle BGM enabled, the battle theme will be randomly selected from one of three different themes, instead of playing the same one over and over.

The random encounter algorithm has been re-written. Before, if an area had an average encounter rate of 30 steps, that meant you'd encounter a monster every 1 - 61 steps. That sucked. So now, that same area has an algorithm where you'll encounter a monster every 22 - 38 steps. You won't encounter two monsters within two steps of each other, but you can't walk across the entire world without an encounter either.

The Forge has been updated to actually show the stats of the weapons and armours you are crafting, and the Alchemy Kit has been updated to show item effects and hide the 0 gold cost for crafting potions.

The Tome of Leveling in New Game Plus has been highlighted, and given a new feature. You can now transfer EXP from one party member to another. Worried that one of your party members is getting over leveled, but you don't want to sub him out? Worried that the one party member you never use will be practically unplayable before long? You can donate some EXP from your higher level characters to your lower level characters. You cannot have the receiving party member surpass the giver, but you can balance them out. Also, level 99 characters still gain EXP, but can donate the extra EXP without losing any levels as long as they stay above the threshold.

I've added several more character sprites, including some custom ones around the Sanctuary. The civilians of Ilythea will be a little more diverse now.

I updated the BGS files with some more high-quality sounds, so it's not just a 3 second loop of waves, or wind, or rain. Hopefully that'll be a little less monotonous.

I've included a secondary option to open the menu. Instead of the D key, you can now also use X, esc, num-0, or whatever you have the B button assigned to on your keyboard.

Combat items such as shuriken, toxins, and smoke bombs are way cheaper. So is Bait, and Stimulants.

Dashing is properly disabled in certain areas where it wasn't before now, namely the Tower of Bestia.

And a plethora of other minor bug fixes and graphical enhancements!

Thanks again to everyone who played this game, I look forward to seeing what this next year brings! If you discover any new bugs with this update, please let me know and I will happily fix them. As always, this update is compatible with previous saves, simply move your save files into the root folder of the new game. Thank you, RMN community, and happy playing!