Update 1.5 Design Notes - Part 2

A preview of the newest features and previous build notes.

Update 1.5 Design Notes - Part 2

Postby Lord_Venan » Fri Nov 30, 2012 12:07 pm

Well, there went November!

It's been a busy month here at Venan getting ready for 1.5. We've been busy (very busy!) working on all the new features, but before I get into that, I thought I'd share some news. A date to be precise.

December 6th.

That is our target App Store submission date. That puts us at having a build live sometime in the Dec.13th-20th range. Depending on Apple. So it's close! Really, really close! One week away. Eeek!

For those of you patiently awaiting 1.5 (more than patiently really), we'd just like to say Thanks for sticking with us! We really hope you like all the new stuff we're working on. We're just finishing up the last of the big client changes we need before we can submit (incidentally also the feature I'll be discussing in this post.) Then we'll be doing testing to make sure everything is working properly and to make any last minute adjustments.

So, next up in our discussion of 1.5...


One of our focuses for this patch was to increase the variety of options available to characters. The gem system certainly provides a great deal of that, but we wanted to create some deeper options that were more interesting. Also, there are some issues with the system that were going to cause problems once we get to PvP.

We've seen a lot of feedback aimed at getting more "interesting" equipment, but for a lot of reasons, doing a straight infinite-loot style game isn't the way we decided to do things in BoH. So instead of that, we're going to be adding a new level of equipment customization that will be the gateway to all these new stats. Enchanting!

Around Level 15 or so (exact level TBD), players will be able to gain access to a new area called the Workshop, where they will be able to add an enchantment to their gear. There are currently 18 enchantments, and certain enchantments can only go on certain gear. Right now these are broken up into three groups.

Group A: Head, hands and weapon.
Group B: Chest, legs and feet.
Group C: Ring, amulet and cloak.

(At some point before this ships we'll have better names for this stuff, but we tend to get stuck on nomenclature a lot, so we typically leave working names in until the last minute.)

Some notes on how enchantments work:
  • Enchantments will grant one new ability per enchant. It can be something like +2% Nature damage, or +10% Healing, etc.
  • There are 18 enchantments that will be available initially.
  • Enchantments will be an investment - you can't just go to the store and buy them (at least not typically.) Adding an enchantment will require having the recipe and materials, as well as a real-world time investment to craft it.
  • Enchantments have ranks. Once you place an enchantment on the equipment, you can empower it further to increase its efficacy.
  • Unlike gems, enchantments will be stuck on gear. As such, it is more of an endgame mechanic, when getting new pieces of gear will not be something that occurs very often.
  • Although enchantments are "stuck", you can take an existing enchantment and create a Transfer Scroll, allowing you to move it to a new piece of gear. Mechanics and costs around the Transfer Scroll are still being finalized.
  • Enchantments can be Disenchanted to recover some of the materials used in the original enchantment.
  • All slots except for the Off-hand slot can take enchantments. This limitation was to deal with 1 and 2 handed weapon users having different slot counts.

An astute observer may notice that Enchanting is very much like... Crafting. To which I say "Yes, yes it is!" Essentially, that is exactly what it is. But for now, the focus will be on enchantments. But more will be coming, rest assurred.

We're pretty excited about crafting, and the next observation I expect from anyone reading this is something along the lines of "It would be great if we could trade or have some sort of marketplace to sell enchantments or materials". To which we again say, "Yes!" That is made of win. But it's not something that will be in 1.5, or we'd never get it done. As such, we've had to content ourselves by designing the system in a way to accommodate such a feature in the future. But we do foresee a time where enterprising individuals can buy and sell materials and scrolls and perhaps other items as well!


A less glamorous but also substantive change is fleshing out the consumable system. Consumable is how we refer to anything you use once and is then "consumed", such as health potions or runes.

In addition to what you currently see, almost everything in the game will become "consumable". This includes things like our current blessings, as well as new things such as Energy!

Making this change allows us a lot more possibilities for rewards for our various contests, as well as creating some interesting rare drops to add to various monsters in the game. It also allows you to control when it is applied to your player, something that we've been wanting to remedy for awhile now. And finally, once we flesh out crafting more, there is really a limitless set of possibilities there.

What Else?

Once we get the submission into Apple, we'll get some more info out on the new Ability changes as well as some other bits and pieces we haven't mentioned yet. So look for another update end of next week.

Comments welcome!
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Re: Patch 1.5 Design Notes - Part 2

Postby LadyKincaid » Fri Nov 30, 2012 12:39 pm

Look like a lot of interesting stuff!

True or False: new monster/encounters will be included in 1.5

Great game - thanks!!

Lady Kincaid
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Re: Patch 1.5 Design Notes - Part 2

Postby Irondrizz » Fri Nov 30, 2012 12:44 pm

I just want to say thks to all the staff for the incoming update and for all the work you done to make us like this amazing games. Thks
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Re: Patch 1.5 Design Notes - Part 2

Postby SДПКД » Fri Nov 30, 2012 1:01 pm

Looks very interesting, and very vague. Very much looking forward to the moment when the entire pot of beans is spilled! One thing is for certain, if this crafting business means that we will no longer all look exactly the same, then it gets a BÏG thumbs up from this WÃRRÏØR! xD
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Re: Patch 1.5 Design Notes - Part 2

Postby japster » Fri Nov 30, 2012 1:19 pm

Thank you Venan! This looks like the perfect Xmas gift. I know you guys have yet to release information on skills but I really hope you guys balanced things out this time.

While the gem system was awesome to promote customization it ended up, arguably, failing. Almost everybody gems in the same way, maxing haste magic/melee crit and crit power. Defense and health is literally ignored by most high might players.

This is in part due to the monsters and also due to the way skills are made. Offense is the best defense. I really hope we don't end up being mere carbon copies of one another with enchantments. It would really suck if all shadow walkers, for example, end up enchanting poison damage on every slot simply because it's the most efficient way to play.

Please please please I hope we are actually given real variety in v1.5 to customize our characters into more than one viable build instead of being turtled into one standard build. The options we get from all these enchantments and gems would be a false choice.

Another peeve I have is about the weakness of one handed weapons and shields. Pretty much every Justicar and Mage is going to tell you 2h is the way to go except for perhaps in onslaught (which really isn't a prevalent raid style right now). There has to be more balancing done to make one hand weapons and shields more attractive. I would have thought allowing enchantments to go on an offhand or shield would be a good way to tempt people to give up the raw damage of 2h weapons but alas you guys seem to disagree.

Basically I hope to see more variety in terms of weapon choice configuration, skills, and gems/enchantments. Let's hope 1.5 can address some of these "customization" issues and give us real variety instead of forced (false) choices!
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Re: Patch 1.5 Design Notes - Part 2

Postby Demitra » Fri Nov 30, 2012 1:53 pm

Can't wait to see what sort of new goodies will be unleashed in the upcoming patch. The notes here are a nice appetizer, but nachos do not satisfy a steak-sized hunger.

I'll second the above about making shields viable. When I started BoH way back when I resolved to be a shield-toting Justicar. I stuck with it through the Soldier tier, but I couldn't justify it past that. There were allusions to making defense more desirable in the last set of notes, so fingers are crossed that I'll have cause to dust off my shield for 1.5
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Re: Patch 1.5 Design Notes - Part 2

Postby HerpesFreeFreddy » Fri Nov 30, 2012 1:57 pm

Awesome stuff, cant wait for 1.5 to go live (hey, that rhymes!!!). Any news about expanding the # of people you can have in a guild. One of the issues I see constantly is officers having to kick lower level alts from the guild inorder to make room for mercs. Any plans on increasing the # of people to a nice, round, even number, like mabey Infinity?!?! Good Stuff. ~(8^(0) Xx
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Re: Patch 1.5 Design Notes - Part 2

Postby Bbbb » Fri Nov 30, 2012 3:34 pm

Adding an enchantment will require having the recipe and materials

Just shoot me now. Recipes and materials. Ugh! I can't think of a RPG "feature" I hate more except equipment fatigue. I have deleted RPGs for putting me into a recipe tutorial. it is needless complexity and tedium with no payoff.

I was excited about the Passive Buffs, but you managed to just suck that out of me. I will give it a chance. If you make it not suck, it will be a first. I've played probably 50 different RPGs that had recipes over the years and in every case, it made the game worse and less fun.
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Re: Patch 1.5 Design Notes - Part 2

Postby AmyLoo » Fri Nov 30, 2012 3:52 pm

I'm so excited! I'm sure I'm not alone in saying I've been hanging on waiting for this patch because I love it so much. Thank you Venan for all your hard work.
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Re: Patch 1.5 Design Notes - Part 2

Postby Bbbb » Fri Nov 30, 2012 4:03 pm

TCG_japster wrote:Another peeve I have is about the weakness of one handed weapons and shields. Pretty much every Justicar and Mage is going to tell you 2h is the way to go except for perhaps in onslaught (which really isn't a prevalent raid style right now).

That's funny because most knowledgable Justicar/Mage I know will tell you to avoid 2h except for the gem cost savings (which sucks BTW). The speed penalty outweighs any damage you gain. Yes, the shield is basically useless though. I almost deleted my mage because I was taking way too much damage until someone convinced me to give a sword a try. Made tons of difference.

The changes for 1.5 I have heard so far will tilt things ever more towards 1h because it has been hinted that defense will have more value.
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