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Major Update

I've been hinting here and there about wanting to update A Very Long Rope, and I finally got off my ass and did it. I made quite a few changes, and I'll list them below, but I want to talk about the most major one in depth. When I made A Very Long Rope, my goal was to make a game with a strong story, and a lot of the other aspects got brushed aside. This was going to be my way to segue into the community and hopefully find some other people interested in working together. Since then, I've shifted my perspective and focused more on things like design and aesthetics, which this game doesn't really care much about, unfortunately.

So, the update. The chief annoyance I've been hearing about A Very Long Rope is the dungeon design--mainly, levels are way too big, and the random encounters serve to make things worse. So, this update adds an item to your inventory that toggles enemy encounters. This item was available in the game before, but the only way to get it was to beat the game (players who have done this know I'm talking about the saecelium shield). Now, this item is given to the player at the very beginning, meaning you don't have to fight a single random encounter anymore.

Of course, since bosses exist, you'll still need to gain experience. In order to incentivize getting a good amount of experience before each boss, I've made several treasure chests need a currency called "victory points" in order to open them. Basically, you get a single victory point for every enemy you defeat in a battle (other than bosses). Victory points are dependent based on the dungeon, so the ones you earn in the first dungeon will only work in that dungeon. The cost of opening chests is higher depending on what's inside the chest, so you might need to spend between 2-6 points in order to open each of these special chests.

I've also doubled the experience, gold, and item drops from monsters. The net effect here is that if you open every single locked chest, you'll end up fighting about half of the encounters that you would have if you just left random encounters on. I did a full playthrough and felt that these locked chests provided short-term goals that kept me more interested while exploring; I hope they do that for you, too!

Here's the full list of changes:

-Reduced crit damage from triple to double
-Stat cap increased to 9999 (will mainly affect buff stacking)
-Berserk no longer sucks
-One-touch Sprint
-First agricultural upgrade requires three people instead of five.
-Escape rate now a flat 60%
-Added a way to get out of the Goddess Tower if you don't have a portable transceiver
-Fixed a few typos/graphical glitches/small things I don't remember
-Rare drop rates have been increased significantly
-Gold/XP/Drop Rates doubled
-Findable equipment that could be used in recipes is now sold as recipes in your town along with the regular recipes.
-Saecelium Shield now added at the beginning of the game. Players can use their old data and find a Saeclium Shield in a number of places within a blue chest (such as the entrance to your town, on the world map, or next to the save point in Old Town); the blue chests will disappear upon opening one.
-Most chests are now "locked." Gain Victory Points from defeating random mobs in a dungeon to open locked chests. Victory Points are specific to each dungeon.
-Locked chests are weighted based on how good the item is. 2 VP is a potion, 3 VP is gold, a good potion, or monster mats, 4 VP are great potions and large sums of gold, 5 VP are stat-boosting items or rare monster mats, 6 VP are equipment.
-Chests that aren't near easy grinding spots (e.g. chests in certain puzzles, chests in towns) will never be locked. Several other random chests in dungeons will also not be locked.
-Arena fights now give experience
-Can now use saecelium shield during soul tear scenes
-Only need to find the wolf four times instead of nine (what was I thinking?!) in Marina's soul tear scene.

That's it! Oh, and make sure to subscribe to my new project: Jimmy and the Pulsating Mass.


New Game!

If you've been poking around the site lately, you've probably heard that there's a competition going on. I just submitted a game to it. A little about it: it's a short (1-2 hour) rpg about a witch, mud golem, and talking crow that climb a giant tree. Like always, I tried to put the story first, but this time I really wanted to stretch my capabilities as a developer. Expect good storytelling and a great soundtrack (my best to date, for sure), but also expect some much stronger, tighter gameplay mechanics, art, and mapping. I think it's the best game I've made so far by a good margin in terms of overall package.

Play it here: http://rpgmaker.net/games/6541/

Subscribe if you like it, and, feel free to vote for it once the voting opens up (which I'm thinking will be here in a day or two). Here's its submission page: http://contest.rpgmakerweb.com/game/view/id/404#.U7DVuLGmV0o

Hope you guys enjoy! I've been spending 12+ hour days on this one on month, so I'm pretty proud of it!


Bug Fix

There was a game-breaking bug in Solomon's Trail in which walking through a door would teleport you to big, black nothing, so I've updated the game client. Make sure to update your version to the latest one and move your save file over.

Also in this update:
-Added a ring to Beriall Brymme's item shop.
-Nerfed Silhouettes' hp.
-Nerfed the first Rutger's hp and attack.
-Nerfed the Burrowers' attack, agility, hp, and changed some of their behavior.

Edit: I did a little nonessential stealth update, so I'm not going to make a new post. If you're having trouble with any of the listed areas, though, feel free to download the new file. Here's a list of changes:
-Added soldier next to Magnus in the Avishun castle raid who will sell you equipment and items.
-Added shop option to Oliver's dialogue in Balfur and a certain tower.
-Added a merchant in that same tower.

These are all levels that can't be teleported out of, so this should give you a place to restock items and buy equipment if it's not up to date.

Double Edit: I made another stealth update. In Solomon's Trail, if you go in a certain room, it's possible that the screen will fade out and won't fade back in. The latest version fixes this. If you don't want to download the new client, though, you can avoid this as long as you don't switch the first puzzle in the level to normal; either go with fast or slow (fast is probably the best option, anyway). If you DO happen to run into this glitch anyway, if you move left as if you were returning to the hallway and then right as if you were going back into that room, the screen should fade in--weird, yeah, but that'll solve it. Again, though, the latest version will fix this issue altogether.


Hey, Another Update

I just updated the download again. The changes are basically nonessential, but there's been a few quality-of-life updates. Here's the list:

-The fire puzzles in God's Temple operate the same way, but when you reach the end of the puzzles, you're given numbers in addition to hitting switches. The numbers correspond to a code for the door to the boss room, so if you're having too much trouble with the puzzles, this gives you the option to fudge your way past them. The switches now turn the fire puzzles off so you can walk back and look at the number without having to go through the puzzle again.
-The final switch puzzle in the opening cave no longer has the truth/lie component; you just have to determine which switch opens which door to solve the puzzle. This way, it takes less time to solve the puzzle than just brute forcing it.
-Amos's math problem has one variable removed. It's still difficult where it counts, though.
-The time chambers in Solomon's Trail no longer have random enemy encounters, but there are evented monsters that pace around the map. The size of the rooms has also been reduced. This should make it engaging instead of a chore.
-In the optional item trading quest in Silver Spring, the person who has Gerard's "something sublime" now stands out much more.
-The merchant who was once at the blocked entrance to the mine has been moved to a location where you can't possibly miss him.

I think that's about it! Also, this came out a few weeks ago, but I'd like to thank Dora for her review on jayisgames. Here's the link:

A Very Long Rope Review


Quick Nonessential Update

I've been getting some feedback on rpgmakervx.net about the fire puzzles in God's Temple being too difficult, so I've made a quality of life update that should make them a bit easier. The puzzles are beatable without the update, but if you're having trouble with them, you might want to download the latest version.


Yeesh, Another Update

There's a potential glitch in Nox's trial that I thought I had fixed a while back, but it turns out I made a dumb mistake. Basically, when you walk off of one of the ropes, your character will continue facing up and you walk around like a hermit crab. This glitch will only appear if you fail the trial and reenter, and it's potentially game breaking if you try to jump over something while your direction is set. I've just updated the download so that this glitch is fixed, but this isn't an essential fix as long as you're aware of the issue. The new version also:

-Lowered the encounter rate in Polaris and the ruins of Old Avishun.
-Fixed the mp/hp absorb text so that it's clear who's being drained.
-Added signs to each floor and messages to the locked doors in the Flying Mountain to make navigating it a bit easier.


Emergency Update

When I made the previous update, I edited a few of the maps down a bit, which created an unforeseen game-breaking glitch. I've updated the file, so please download it and move your save file over to avoid the glitch. Sorry about this!


New Music, New Features, Oh My!

I just updated the download. Here's a list of the changes from coolest to most banal:

-When you lose a boss fight, you're now given the option to retry (with a complete restore). This doesn't work on some special boss fights, such as the arena battles.
-I've added a second battle theme that plays after a certain point in the story. If you're past that point and you update the file, the battle theme will change to the new one after a boss battle. If you've beaten the game, you can change it either through the fourth fight in an arena or by fighting one of the boss battles again through Mort.
-The boulder puzzle should no longer glitch out and it's also slightly easier, but I haven't tested it on a really old computer. My computer is pretty crappy though, so I think it should function well across the board.
-The lights-out puzzle is a bit easier.
-I've added a staircase in the nested flame puzzle in God's Temple so you don't have to backtrack as far if you mess up.
-I've changed a part of the ending dialogue--nothing worth beating the game over again, but it should make the ending a bit stronger.
-Some minor npc dialogue has been changed in Attis.
-A few annoyance glitches that you may or may not have run into have been fixed.



I just made a quick quality-of-life update to a few of the puzzles. Here's a list of the changes:

-No more monster battles in the final switch room in the first dungeon.
-The final lights-out puzzle has been trimmed, as has the area beneath it, but the difficulty (of getting the treasures) is about the same.
-In God's Temple, the warp point connected to one of the fire puzzles has been placed much closer to the staircase.
-In the same level, the second floor fire puzzle has been made much easier.


Launch and "Ask Mint"

I figured it was about time I posted this game here. A Very Long Rope to the Top of the Sky is a project I've been working on for I guess over two years now. To be fair, I finished the initial build in about a year and a half of really dedicated development, and the past several months I've just been tweaking it off and on. I like challenging games that make me think, both in terms of gameplay/difficulty and characters/story. I dumped a lot of my heart into this, and I really just want as many people as possible to enjoy it.

Also, I added a section called "Ask Mint" that's meant to act as a FAQ, but I also wanted it to be a sort of "Dear Abby" column. I figured if there wasn't any interest in it, it could still serve as a FAQ, but I'd love to see what kinds of questions Mint can respond to.
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