Update 1.3 Design Notes - Part 1

A preview of the newest features and previous build notes.

Update 1.3 Design Notes - Part 1

Postby Lord_Venan » Wed Apr 04, 2012 5:14 pm

Hello Heroes!

It's been awhile since our last update, so I thought it would be nice to fill you in on what we've been working on.

There are a couple obvious things since our last game update. One was releasing the game on Android. This game was our very first Android project, and it certainly took some doing to get the game working on there. Now that it's done though, both iOS and Android will be updated at the same time going forward. So if you have a friend who wants to play, there is a pretty good shot if they bought a phone in the last couple years they can run Book of Heroes on it.

Another obviously cool thing is the forum you're reading this on. We're hoping this will provide a better way to talk to you, our players, and for everyone to communicate with each other in general. In our next release slated for the end of the month, there will be one touch access to the forums without having to leave the game.

So that's some of the things we've been doing, but there is more - a lot more. While I'd love to lay it all out there for you to digest, the truth is things change here at a rapid clip, and I want to make sure when I say something will be in the game, it's definitely going to be there. So over the next few weeks, while we put the finishing touches on this next patch, I'll be laying out some of the new features and changes you'll be seeing in the game, and give you our game design perspective as well. So let's get started by talking about a one of the new (bigger) features you'll see in the game.

Equipment - Re-imagined

Undoubtedly this is one of the biggest changes, so we may as well lay it out there now so you can start getting ready for it.

One of our biggest problems in BoH has been dealing with equipment. This has manifested in a number of ways. How do we create good equipment for monsters to drop? What equipment do we show in the store and how do we present that? What kind of equipment do we want to "sell"? What do we put in the Hero Store? How do we scale equipment across the different levels? And that's just the tip of the iceberg.

In general, the feedback has been that a lot of stuff in the store is useless, and in general most of it doesn't get purchased. Another has been that the equipment in the Hero Store isn't that great and there is nothing to spend Hero Tokens on. We get a good share of the drops from this or that monster aren't great or don't make sense, and why is it this item level instead of that one.

Most of this boils down to a basic desire though - that of the player to be able to obtain equipment that fits the style of play they have for their character. And to be honest there is no easy way to do that. There isn't even a moderately challenging way to do that. And that is a Bad Thing.

So coming in 1.3, we'll be introducing Augment Gems, a new gem-based enchant system that is completely customizable. While obviously inspired by other games that have done such a thing, our system is a bit different but should be easy to understand.

Instead of equipment coming with a pre-defined enchantment, all the new equipment going forward will simply be a shell. Their basic stats will change as they get better, but there will be no +Haste or +Dodge directly on the equipment anymore. Adding enchantments will now be done through gems that you find in the game and add to your items. For each basic stat e.g. Melee, Spell, Dodge, Haste, Health, etc. there will be a different gem that provides that particular bonus.

All the items will support up to four gems. In addition, the gems you use for a particular equipment slot, such as your helm, can be used in all your helms. They are not "glued in" and will automatically move to whatever piece of equipment you put in there. No charge!

However, you will not be able to put all of the same gem on each item. Why? Because gems have a color, and can only go in sockets of the same color. And enchantment types also are a particular color. Melee is Red, Haste is Yellow, Defense is Blue - you get the picture. The goal here was to make sure that player's aren't over-stacking particular gem types. It's really hard to make adding a single gem meaningful, if we have to balance for a worst case of have 40 of them. For those who wish concentrate on a particular stat, there is a fourth white socket that lets you insert any color gem.

The gems color will give you some interesting choices to make (and game designers love giving players interesting decisions). Do you want +Crit or +Dodge (they are both yellow), or +Defense or +Crit Power (they are both blue)? In addition, you don't get all the sockets unlocked initially. Only the first socket for each equipment slot will be free, the rest will cost some hard earned silver coin. Once unlocked, it will be unlocked for all items that use that slot. This bit is particularly important because the socket order is different based on the equipment slot that it is used in. Some may be Red-Blue-Yellow, others Yellow-Red-Blue, you get the idea.

You'll obviously now need to collect a number of these gems to get your character fully augmented. So where will you find gems? The usual places - drops and the store. Do gems get more powerful? Of course. Getting more powerful versions will put some pop in those old boots of yours. Overall, we think this new system will be much better for players and much easier to manage across the board.

And now the BIG question - What about old equipment?

The answer is - old equipment will continue to function just fine in this new system. This compatibility was a design requirement from the get go - we want to make sure people who spent a lot of time and/or money on a piece of equipment they like won't run the patch and find that their favorite equipment is now gone or doesn't work well. Or find that instead of finishing a battle they have to now go to the store because their character is naked and weaponless (although the monsters might have a chuckle.) So you'll be able to migrate to this new system at your own pace.

Old equipment will be deprecated though. It will no longer be sold and it will no longer drop. New characters will never see this equipment and will only be using this new system once the patch goes live.

The next BIG question - What is all of this super-customizable equipment good for when I'm already pwning Ice Lord Vallus with my current equipment? Well, you didn't think this is the end of new content for the game, did you? Oh no, much more is coming :D Stay tuned for more in our next installment!
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Re: Patch 1.3 Design Notes - Part 1

Postby Celestial_Cavalier » Fri Apr 06, 2012 11:10 pm

Whoa those gems are very Diabloesque!!! I like it very much and I hope it's the end of the month already!!! :D Better start hoarding those silvers.
Last edited by Celestial_Cavalier on Sun Apr 22, 2012 7:20 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Patch 1.3 Design Notes - Part 1

Postby japster » Wed Apr 11, 2012 2:30 pm

Totally looking forward to this. The last patch blew my mind away with the updates on Dragonmoor and the gambling system.

This gem system looks entertaining!
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Re: Patch 1.3 Design Notes - Part 1

Postby Th8rgoddess » Wed Apr 11, 2012 6:08 pm

I'm excited about the fix to the weapon system, but I have one large concern. Many players probably put a lot of time, effort, coins and money into the weapons that we have. It really bothers me that you're planning on devaluing them. This would make it much more difficult to upgrade to the new weapons because a portion of what is used to buy new weapons is the coin that we get from selling the old stuff. Why don't you allow us to exchange the old weapons for a random selection of the new stones based on the level of the weapon (1 stone for lvls 1-5, 2 stones for lvls 6-10, 3 stones for lvls 11-15, 4 stones for lvls 16-20 with an extra stone if the weapon is ancestral). This way we can at least sell the stones for coins to help us buy the ones we need.
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Re: Patch 1.3 Design Notes - Part 1

Postby Paramagnetic » Wed Apr 11, 2012 7:15 pm

Th8rgoddess wrote:It really bothers me that you're planning on devaluing them.


We have talked about it and want to make sure that we don't punish players for what they've already bought. We haven't decided how we are going about it, but it is very likely that we will allow players to sell back equipment for the full original price (at least for a short time).

There will be more on this when we get closer to the release.
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Re: Patch 1.3 Design Notes - Part 1

Postby Th8rgoddess » Wed Apr 11, 2012 11:03 pm

Thank you!
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Re: Patch 1.3 Design Notes - Part 1

Postby Paramagnetic » Thu Apr 12, 2012 4:42 pm

Th8rgoddess wrote:Thank you!


You're welcome! Let me just reiterate that the solution is still up in the air, we haven't made any final decisions as to how we end up handling it.
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Re: Patch 1.3 Design Notes - Part 1

Postby Th8rgoddess » Fri Apr 13, 2012 12:55 am

"We're working on the problem" is an excellent answer, it shows you're listening and looking for a good solution instead of just any answer.
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Re: Patch 1.3 Design Notes - Part 1

Postby Hai5 » Sun Apr 29, 2012 3:49 pm

Will the old equipment have slots to put the gems in? If not then when they become obsolete then the money spent becomes a waste unless we can auction the equipments. Maybe those of us who invested in heavily on the GS equipments should be grandfathered in and allow the old equipments to be socketed.
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