• Add Review
  • Subscribe
  • Nominate
  • Submit Media
  • RSS

No Pain No Gain - Progress Report 10

  • Strak
  • 02/28/2024 06:22 AM
So it's been a pretty productive month. I managed to implement several new systems and do some overall balancing, so let's dive in and see what's new, shall we?

First off, I've started work on the next major dungeon. I don't want to spoil too many details, but I may make a video about some of the mechanics here soon, since I had to get a bit creative with the eventing for this one. I won't say much more yet, so moving on.

I noticed that I made a mistake with the calculation of status resistances on armors, so I went ahead and did some balancing. I also buffed a few passive skills for some party members, but nothing worth going into detail over.

I did get pretty creative about a week into February though, and I've added a host of new consumable items. First of all, the Spectral Pepper item that allows you to walk through walls was reduced in rarity, and will appear more often. In addition, I added the Pure Water item, an epic rarity consumable that allows you to create a custom save point anywhere in a dungeon except for boss rooms. Using this item does destroy all monsters on that floor and locks unopened chests, so it cannot be used to save scum, but it does allow for a breather if you need one.

Now, aside from those changes, I added a few new Legendary items. Four, to be precise. Introducing gemstones!

These are one-time consumable items that have a very rare chance of spawning in any suitable loot source. Using these items has a neat effect: they will replace the elements on ALL equipped weapons! Ruby for Fire, Sapphire for Ice, Amethyst for Shock, and Emerald for Weak! So if you use one gemstone, you can give an element to even exclusively non-elemental weapons, and you can even get creative with the unique effects of certain Legendary weapons if you decide to change their elements while equipped to certain characters. Replacing the element will also change the attack animation to match!

But okay, now we get into the real fun stuff. I did one more thing this month that I'm really happy with. Introducing the Pain System!

I've made a video describing this, so check it out under the "Developing Systems" media page, but I'll also go into detail about it here. What is this system? Essentially, it's a way of modifying the difficulty of the game in fun and unique ways, similar to how Hades handles difficulty with the Pact of Punishment and the Heat system, but much simpler and a bit lower stakes.

First of all, why was this necessary? Simply put, the previous method of handling difficulty was ineffective. The current demo uses a simple but functional difficulty slider. Turn it up to make enemies harder, turn it down to make them easier. That's it. Plain, simple, boring, and no one used it. Bethesda is not a good inspiration for figuring out difficulty settings. While I liked how the slider got implemented, I never really liked the concept for this style of game.

So, to that end I created the Pain system. I turned down the base difficulty by reducing enemy stats, but with this new system you can turn the difficulty up by affecting various modes of play. Enemy stats are one of the things you can modify, but there's other things you can do such as grant enemies new techniques to use, or give them temporary invincibility at the start of a battle, or reduce the amount of HP that healing items restore. With these settings, you get to choose how hard you want the game to be, and how you want the challenge altered.

But higher difficulty isn't much good if it doesn't come with a suitable reward. To that end, I've created four different rewards that will increase for every Pain level you increase. Gold drops will increase by 10% per rank, monster loot drop rates will increase by 1%, and monster loot rarity will increase by 2% per rank. Those are all well and good, but aren't anything you can't find from just opening enough chests. I needed something more, something unique, something exclusive to this system. So...

I've added Shards. When Pain is turned up to five ranks or higher, Shards will start appearing as Epic rarity loot. These are consumable items that will permanently increase the stats of one equipped weapon! Red increases DMG, Green increases DEX, Blue increases ACC, and Purple increases CRIT! You can only augment a weapon with a shard once, so use them wisely, but it is also the only method of increasing item stats in the game. The percentage that stats are raised by is increased by 1% per Pain rank. With all 30 Pain settings in place, you can have items that increase your weapon stats by up to 30%!

I may look at creating more Shards to increase armor stats as well, but for now I'm happy with this. At any rate, the boring and useless difficulty slider is now long gone, and the Pain system is in place, and it works perfectly. More challenges, more rewards, and more fun await with this system.

And that's about it for February! I made some other UI and system changes, such as changing the window cursor (see above), but nothing else really worth talking about right now. So with that, I'll see you all again next month!