Author Topic: Valley 2 Beta .718 "Sightlines" Released!  (Read 2921 times)

Offline x4000

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Valley 2 Beta .718 "Sightlines" Released!
« on: January 23, 2013, 08:20:13 PM »
Original: http://arcengames.blogspot.com/2013/01/valley-2-beta-718-sightlines-released.html

This one comes just a day after a whopping large release, so it's understandably smaller.  However, I think that this release might be cause for no small amount of joy.

I decided to spend today just working on fixes and tweaks and polish, particularly in the area of general monster behavior (as opposed to any particular monster).  The overall experience is thus something that feels a lot better and more polished, and it actually helps quite a bit with balance when monsters aren't all stacking into inappropriate pits, too.

One of the big things that changes with this version is that enemies now require line of sight on you in order to start chasing you, or to fire on you.  After they lose sight of you they'll remember you for five seconds, and if you don't reappear in that time then they'll stop chasing you.  That right there really changes the feel of a lot of the sidescrolling bits of the game massively.

Really these sorts of changes were in the realm of what I was planning to start working on at the start of February once all the monsters are completed for the game.  Still 52 out of 116 monsters to go!  However, the issues here were largely significant enough that I think they were impacting our ability to properly work on testing and balancing the game, so I decided to accelerate them.

The two really glaring adventure mode things that have yet to be fixed are the henchman boss fights and the scaling of enemy attacks on higher difficulties.  Those are both things that I'm intending to look at tomorrow, and then I'll be back to mainly enemies aside from any other significant issues until I get the enemies all finished.

More to come soon.  Enjoy!

This is a standard update that you can download through the  in-game updater itself, if you already have any version of the game.  If you have the beta on Steam, it will automatically update for you.  When you  launch the game, you'll see the notice of the update having been found  if you're connected to the Internet at the time.  If you don't have the standalone game, you can download that hereIf you already own the first game, just use your existing license key to unlock the sequel for free!
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Offline MouldyK

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Re: Valley 2 Beta .718 "Sightlines" Released!
« Reply #1 on: January 23, 2013, 08:31:28 PM »
I demand Line of Sight be influenced by:

- Enemies: Bats and Machines have larger line of sight etc.
- Caves and buidlings: Reduced line of sight for certain creatures, but unaffected or heighted for Bats and other things.
- Time of day: At night time some enemies have more or less. Same goes for day-time.


Post-1.0 Thoughts for you to add pointless complexity to everything. :P -dives into this new beta-

Offline madcow

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Re: Valley 2 Beta .718 "Sightlines" Released!
« Reply #2 on: January 23, 2013, 08:39:06 PM »
I demand Line of Sight be influenced by:

- Enemies: Bats and Machines have larger line of sight etc.
- Caves and buidlings: Reduced line of sight for certain creatures, but unaffected or heighted for Bats and other things.
- Time of day: At night time some enemies have more or less. Same goes for day-time.


Post-1.0 Thoughts for you to add pointless complexity to everything. :P -dives into this new beta-

I can't wait for the inevitable post release invisibility spells.

Offline MouldyK

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Re: Valley 2 Beta .718 "Sightlines" Released!
« Reply #3 on: January 23, 2013, 08:48:07 PM »
I demand Line of Sight be influenced by:

- Enemies: Bats and Machines have larger line of sight etc.
- Caves and buidlings: Reduced line of sight for certain creatures, but unaffected or heighted for Bats and other things.
- Time of day: At night time some enemies have more or less. Same goes for day-time.


Post-1.0 Thoughts for you to add pointless complexity to everything. :P -dives into this new beta-

I can't wait for the inevitable post release invisibility spells.

Me neither! But they will be perks actually (or equipment when it is more common), but one hit and it is gone for the rest of the chunk. :P

Same with the Level 16 One-Hit Wonder Perk which allows you to get 1000% more damage dealt at the cost of being only able to be hit once. Combine these two new abilities together to make the "If Looks Could Kill" Super Perk where even being noticed by an enemy kills you. ;)

Offline Misery

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Re: Valley 2 Beta .718 "Sightlines" Released!
« Reply #4 on: January 24, 2013, 01:11:47 AM »
FINALLY this patch fixes the problem that had been irritating me the most all the time, those bloody monster clusters!   I also have to say, the line of sight thing was a very good idea.   It adds even more possible approaches to each fight without making the monsters less difficult.   Needs tweaking on certain specific foes (bats and mosquitos tend to just zoom away from you much of the time), but is very good as a whole.


On another note, I'm sure you'll be pleased to hear that crawlers are still super glitchy!  This time they came up with some new wacky tricks.  I'll set up a mantis thing for them later;  I've found numerous bugs with these guys already.


Other than that... very good update.   I think the spell balance also changes a bit with this.  I've found myself actually USING charge spells now, since they work out as a good opening strike against some enemies, getting in a quick heavy hit before they start firing.  Pretty situational, but useful. 


EDIT: After some more time with the game, I gotta say, this is one of the best updates yet.  I hadnt thought that the sight-line addition was going to make THAT big of a difference, but it really does.  It seems to rather dramatically increase the "tactical" nature of the combat, but it doesnt seem to reduce the challenge at all.   Just gives the players more options, and makes the terrain start mattering much more than it did.   The platforming sections are even better now than they were before!

Also, caves:  Much better now.
« Last Edit: January 24, 2013, 01:39:02 AM by Misery »

Offline x4000

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Re: Valley 2 Beta .718 "Sightlines" Released!
« Reply #5 on: January 24, 2013, 07:11:55 AM »
Hooray! As for the wall crawlers I'm a bit dismayed to hear that, though; I spent hours and hours on them yesterday and did not see any glitches by the time I was done, through several areas and levels.

Them going slightly into the air on angled slopes on ceilings is by design, by the way. That one thing is known and minor and unlikely to change. Beyond that I really wonder what you've found..
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Offline Misery

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Re: Valley 2 Beta .718 "Sightlines" Released!
« Reply #6 on: January 24, 2013, 08:26:13 AM »
Hooray! As for the wall crawlers I'm a bit dismayed to hear that, though; I spent hours and hours on them yesterday and did not see any glitches by the time I was done, through several areas and levels.

Them going slightly into the air on angled slopes on ceilings is by design, by the way. That one thing is known and minor and unlikely to change. Beyond that I really wonder what you've found..

Well, they get stuck on boxes, for one thing.   Every single time they've hit a crate, they get stuck.  They even stop animating.  Havent seen any actually crawl on crates from any direction.

Also, if you've got an incline that goes into a vertical wall, the thing goes up the incline, right, but instead of going UP the wall, it... sorta bounces off of it, goes backwards a bit, and then repeats this, over and over.  Can be a definite problem when some of the stronger crawlers get stuck like that.

They also can get really weird when dealing with a one block wide gap between somewhere that they're standing on, and another platform.   Theoretically they should just go through the gap, right, but relatively often they'll instead walk across the gap as if it were another block;  this could be in any direction at all, depending on where that nearby other platform is in relation to them.

There was a fourth glitch, but I suddenly cant remember what it was.

I'll copy/paste this into Mantis as well.      http://www.arcengames.com/mantisbt/view.php?id=10447



Now, on the note of the rest of the game.....

Since the terrible Monster Heap Glitches of Doom were finally removed, I sat down and had a nice long session with it tonight.   The platforming bits are coming along wonderfully;  the huge variety of enemies, and the huge variety of tactics you need to employ to defeat them, are going to be a big selling point for the game, I think.  There arent that many spells now that are genuinely useless, even the charge shots now have a decent use (really good for popping crawlers of any sort as they come around a corner for some quick heavy damage).   There is of course still plenty of balance issues with the different classes, mostly though that's all numbers that need tweaking and all of that fun stuff.   Whips are still too weak, and those exploding bomb types really need a much larger explosion sprite;  I can see them as being useful against a variety of ground foes, but they're REALLY hard to hit with, against all but the absolute slowest of monsters.  They should have their damage boosted as well.  Ammo spells all seem very useful, though I think some will need their costs tweaked a bit;  the Insect Orb one is one in particular I can think of.   Some ammo spells are a little hard to use, but still very strong.  No duds or useless spells among those.... at least, those that I've seen so far.

And the enemy designs really are excellent.  Both in terms of the way they look (the art is REALLY good on many of these), and also in the way they act and their attack patterns..... really not a dud among them.   I cant think of any that feel unfair currently;  though, I'm playing currently on Skilled;  Hero and higher are likely to still have the problem of some enemies becoming unfair (due to attacks being undodgeable) because they tend to just increase their fire rate rather than change up the actual patterns.   Bosses are still a mess.    I do notice that the Abandoned Town areas seem rather dramatically more difficult than most other area types.  Also those things that look like little airplanes, those might be the new Goddamn Bats now. 

The perk system is pretty much perfect, it's very definitely always worth going for perk tokens when you can (and caves are muuuuuuch better now, though still quite hard).   The Featherfall perk is the only one I never really use for anything, of the perks I've seen. 


And the strategic game is also coming along wonderfully.    Alot of depth here, and once again, every single tile on the map actually matters in some way.   I've no complaints about this.   And giving Demonaica other abilities was one of the best ideas of all, as was the whole thing with there being 3 classes of survivors.  Not only is there now good reason to GET more survivors in the first place, but there's good reason to choose carefully about just which ones you rescue, and when.  This has also made dealing with the, er, "wall" tiles alot more interesting.


I noticed one thing though:   Demonaica seems to be unable to stomp certain things?  Ran right over warehouses, a castle, and a pyramid without doing anything at all to them.


Oh, and about the survivors.... some things on their priority list of things that they do and in what order might need to be altered a little bit.  I had one point where I needed to get another clinic up quickly, and there was only one viable spot at the time based on where I'd purified, but once I got a guy heading up there.... it took FOUR turns before the thing was down and he was actually working it, this being because he did other stuff first.... perhaps if survivors are actually wounded, working the clinic becomes a higher priority?   I just know that it definitely was a bit of a problem there.
« Last Edit: January 24, 2013, 08:33:54 AM by Misery »

Offline Teal_Blue

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Re: Valley 2 Beta .718 "Sightlines" Released!
« Reply #7 on: January 24, 2013, 09:09:53 AM »
Was playing the update and it looks very nice!  It looked like the animations for Tiyi have been updated as well? They looked nice and smooth and looked to have some movements i don't remember... recently anyway! Very nice all the way around!

-T



Offline x4000

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Re: Valley 2 Beta .718 "Sightlines" Released!
« Reply #8 on: January 24, 2013, 09:15:42 AM »
Whew, running short on time, so just responding in brief, though I have read it all in depth:

- The animations for Tiyi haven't been updated yet, but they will be today.  You're clairvoyant, apparently!

- Thanks for the mantis reports on the wall crawlers; that's frustrating, but so it goes, heh.

- Very glad to hear the adventure and strategic games are coming together so well for you, too; thanks very much for the kind words as well as the useful feedback.  A lot of those comments are more in Josh's territory, so I'll let him respond in more depth on some of those balance-related things.

- I'm definitely aware the boss fights stink, and that's something that I redesigned yesterday and am actually implementing right now (well, aside from pausing to write this post).

- Regarding Demonaica not stomping certain buildings, he'll spare any building that you have yet to work.  It's not until you actually use a building that he then goes after it.  That may need some revision after the most recent versions of the game, we'll see.

- Regarding the priority order of the survivors in a situation like that, I'm not really sure if that's a problem or not.  On the one hand yeah, with a clinic in particular.  On the other hand, foresight is rewarded by clearing clinics early, and having it so that clinics can't be used because of being threatened by nearby tiles was something we'd intended.  We might need to just make that more clear, I dunno.  There's also the issue that if your survivors auto-work before attacking adjacent tiles, they'll never attack adjacent tiles.  But this is more in the territory of Keith, so I'll let him chime in on that.

Cheers!
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Offline Misery

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Re: Valley 2 Beta .718 "Sightlines" Released!
« Reply #9 on: January 24, 2013, 09:46:40 AM »
Whew, running short on time, so just responding in brief, though I have read it all in depth:

- The animations for Tiyi haven't been updated yet, but they will be today.  You're clairvoyant, apparently!

- Thanks for the mantis reports on the wall crawlers; that's frustrating, but so it goes, heh.

- Very glad to hear the adventure and strategic games are coming together so well for you, too; thanks very much for the kind words as well as the useful feedback.  A lot of those comments are more in Josh's territory, so I'll let him respond in more depth on some of those balance-related things.

- I'm definitely aware the boss fights stink, and that's something that I redesigned yesterday and am actually implementing right now (well, aside from pausing to write this post).

- Regarding Demonaica not stomping certain buildings, he'll spare any building that you have yet to work.  It's not until you actually use a building that he then goes after it.  That may need some revision after the most recent versions of the game, we'll see.

- Regarding the priority order of the survivors in a situation like that, I'm not really sure if that's a problem or not.  On the one hand yeah, with a clinic in particular.  On the other hand, foresight is rewarded by clearing clinics early, and having it so that clinics can't be used because of being threatened by nearby tiles was something we'd intended.  We might need to just make that more clear, I dunno.  There's also the issue that if your survivors auto-work before attacking adjacent tiles, they'll never attack adjacent tiles.  But this is more in the territory of Keith, so I'll let him chime in on that.

Cheers!


Hm, the bit with him not stomping the buildings might have a glitch, then.   The pyramid that he didn't smash.... he actually ended up standing right on it at the end of his turn (same turn that he ran over the castle without stomping it).... was one that had been being used for a good 3 turns or so before he got close and I moved my guys away.

Wont this also mean that he'll simply never stomp certain things?  Like the warehouses and castles.... you get benefits from them without having to work them.   Though he DID stomp a nearby amp tower right away. 


I will say one other thing for the strategic game:   Knowing EXACTLY how far he can move at any given time is a huuuuge improvement.   That always made things very uncertain before.  With that knowledge there's more strategy to the actual purifying as well.... waiting for the right moment to purify something like an amp tower or ivory tower so that you get maximum use out of them before he or one of his minions breaks it down.  Makes for better strategies with the survivors too, less uncertainty about how close they are to him.

I'm also noticing that there's more of the "basic" farm tiles now?   I'm still not THAT far into the game... I only just got to the second tier of spells.... but I've opened up a good 4 of those already (and of course he quickly wrecked one of them).


EDIT:  That reminds me of something, did the day/night switch after knocking down a wind thing get removed?   Hasnt been happening.
« Last Edit: January 24, 2013, 09:48:16 AM by Misery »

Offline x4000

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Re: Valley 2 Beta .718 "Sightlines" Released!
« Reply #10 on: January 24, 2013, 09:53:48 AM »
- I don't recall that you get a passive benefit from warehouses anymore, or even amp towers; not sure, but I think you might have to work those now.  Ivory towers and cold/heat dispersal towers are immune to him, though.

- We might need to take out the rule of him not stomping stuff that you haven't worked yet, because it's going to just lead to confusion with new players (why does he sometimes stomp and sometimes not, etc), and because it's no longer so needed thanks to the monsters being something you can block now.

- There aren't any more basic farm tiles or similar yet, though we've considered messing with that some.  Everything is just more densely packed so that it seems like there is more of that sort of thing.  There is less dead wilderness space.

- Not sure about the day/night switch, I may have messed that up.  I'll look into that, thanks for the note.
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Offline madcow

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Re: Valley 2 Beta .718 "Sightlines" Released!
« Reply #11 on: January 24, 2013, 10:00:21 AM »
Do all the monsters the overlord summons have the same logic as him?  It would be interesting if there were variants in them. Like one that prioritized attacking clinics. One for farms. One that goes after the weakest survivor. Etc.

Offline x4000

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Re: Valley 2 Beta .718 "Sightlines" Released!
« Reply #12 on: January 24, 2013, 10:01:45 AM »
They overall have the same logic, but they individually divide up the targets.  So they wind up with individual goals, not all converging on one thing.
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Offline Pepisolo

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Re: Valley 2 Beta .718 "Sightlines" Released!
« Reply #13 on: January 24, 2013, 10:03:17 AM »
Just a quick note, please fix the tutorial text still saying that you can't fire at an angle. Not a big issue for me, but I'm seeing Let's Players playing the game and they aren't aware that they can shoot at an angle. It's gives them a little bit of a bad impression on the game.

Offline keith.lamothe

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Re: Valley 2 Beta .718 "Sightlines" Released!
« Reply #14 on: January 24, 2013, 10:04:50 AM »
I don't think warehouses have ever done anything, and amp towers give a passive benefit.  I've thought about amp towers require NPC working, but I'm not sure I want it to be handled that way because either the amp tower wouldn't impact the first purify after the NPC was moved there (since can only move or act once per turn, not both) or it would function differently than everything else (in letting the NPC, conceptually speaking, move and act in the same turn).

Passive benefit stuff is considered stompable without you needing to work it; that's why housing (good-cover) tiles get stomped without remorse, etc.

But I agree that taking out the "only stomp what's been worked" rule would be good at this stage, if only because there's no clear indicator to the player what they've worked and what they haven't.

And the summoned monsters sometimes divide up and sometimes don't; it's not always a good idea to split up (defended targets may need more than one thing thrown at it).
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