13th May – A Path Wrought With Danger!

Hey guys!

Work on the Avian mission has continued along at a steady pace, and I’m really pleased with how it’s shaping up so far. You can look forward to some branching paths, each with their own obstacles to overcome. I’ve been making sure there’s some secrets sprinkled here and there as well. Here’s a glimpse of what you can expect!

A path wrought with danger!

Continuing to expand our options for mission design, Metadept has added another bit of wiring functionality since my post last week; a delay logic gate which, as the name implies, causes a signal passing through it to be delayed by a short time. This has allowed me to do some pretty cool stuff with our new traps!

In other news, Metadept and George spent some time today improving the graphics on planets in the celestial interface; chiefly making ocean and non-ocean worlds more visually discernible from one other. Gas giants also have more colour variation.

Planet Changes

That’s it from me. Enjoy your evening folks!

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6th May – Turning up the heat!

Hey guys! It’s been a while!

I’ve been hard at work on the Avian mission for our campaign for the past couple of weeks. There has been a bit of a learning and transition period in coming to grips with Tiled, the editor which you may recall we talked about a few weeks ago. It represents a significant change in how dungeons and missions are built, and while it’s got its quirks, it has made it a lot easier to build these larger missions, especially with regard to setting up wired contraptions and puzzles.

In the past couple of days, Metadept took the time to implement two very useful wire object types; a countdown timer and a projectile shooter.

The countdown timer works more or less how you would expect it to. You are able to set a duration from one to five seconds, and the moment it stops receiving input, the timer will start to count down and will deactivate on hitting zero. This will in turn disable any devices that were receiving input from it. For those worried that a one to five second timer is too limited a window, fear not, you can easily daisy chain them to form much longer durations.

With the addition of countdown timers I feel it is prudent to mention the changes that are coming to the standard timer in the next update. There are two key changes for your consideration: First, the timer now actively alternates when in the “on”, rather than the “off” state, bringing it in line with all the other wire objects. Secondly, when a timer is deactivated, it will no longer retain whatever state it was in at the time, but instead will go to the “off” state, as intended. This has facilitated us making some pretty cool obstacles using the new projectile traps.

In any case, that’s it from me for tonight. You fine folks enjoy the rest of your evening!

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December 12th – Balance in all things!

Evening folks!

When Starbound’s overall balance structure was first established, humanoid NPCs weren’t really a primary consideration at the time, nor was PVP, so the game was largely balanced based around the damage between players and the monsters. While this system was fine at first, it has been the root cause of much difficulty in balancing humanoid NPCs who were primarily balanced to fight against the player and got absolutely trashed by monsters, which was a problem, especially with our growing focus on missions. This necessitated a rethink of how everything was balanced.

To that end, Tiyuri and I, have gone over almost everything with a fine-tooth comb. Here’s a brief overview of the biggest changes.

– NPCs now use armor, so damage inflicted on them is reflective of their armor. Additionally their health now scales on a curve similar to the player’s.
– Damage values across the board have risen. Monsters now die more easily, but they can also kill the player faster too. Fight carefully!
– The energy scaling curve on guns has been completely reworked for a more gradual and consistent climb.
– Tiered armors have been completely rebalanced to suit the new armor and energy scaling levels.
– Players now start off with access to two weapons from the offset, with most races gaining a one-handed shortsword in addition to their broadsword. The novakids gain a two-handed rifle.
– Generated weapon values now typically sit somewhere between the tiered weapons. Rare weapons may still potentially be more damaging, but this should help to keep tiered weapons useful all throughout the game’s progression.

It might not seem like much but these changes have involved a frankly exhausting amount of configuration, but it has transformed the game feel quite significantly. A pleasant side effect of this humanoid-centric rebalancing is that the game is largely balanced for PVP too, provided all parties have suitably leveled equipment.

Guns are more dependable weapons overall, but melee inflicts monstrous damage for those willing to take the risk. In our testing, we found ourselves having heated 1-on-1 exchanges, rapidly alternating between ranged sniping and clashing swords when our energy reserves were locked away. It was both frantic and fun! I’m looking forward to seeing what you guys make of it.

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