Tacticular Cancer: We'll have your balls

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Dev Log #48: Veteran Levels

Discussion in 'Underrail' started by Styg, Oct 25, 2016.

  1. Styg Stygian Software Developer

    Styg
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    Hey guys, it's time to start revealing some concrete info on the expansion. Some new game mechanics stuff, to be precise.

    [​IMG]

    First, let's talk about leveling. Once your character levels past level 25, they become a "veteran" character. To gain veteran levels, a character will require significantly more experience (both oddity and classical) than for regular levels. Player can gain a maximum of 5 veteran levels, so the new level cap is 30.

    Veteran characters no longer receive base ability or skill points during leveling and their derived stats such as health, detection and so on do not scale with levels anymore. However, they do get to pick a feat every level and, in addition to regular feats, they can also pick from the veteran feat pool.

    Veteran feats, at least in this expansion, tend to be more general in nature, but they can also give you some important bonuses that you cannot otherwise obtain. Here are some examples (in addition to the one on the screenshot):
    • Fight Response - When starting a turn below 25% of your maximum health, your action points are increased by 10.
    • Improved Dodging - Increases the chance you'll dodge a melee attack by 5% (additive).
    • Tempered: Acid/Cold/Electricity/Heat - Reduces all X (depending on feat) damage taken by 30%.
    • Major Supplier - Increases the amount of money the merchants are willing to use when trading with you by 2% per mercantile skill.

    Keep in mind that these feats might be altered, pending testing.

    The reason I decided to prevent certain aspects of character from scaling beyond level 25 is to avoid having the character outscale the content at his current main storyline progression just by raw character power. Because we'll be expanding the game horizontally in this expansion (and probably in the future) we need to take special care to still provide adequate challenge to the player while also allowing them to improve some aspects of their character.
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2016
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  2. HoboForEternity Magister

    HoboForEternity
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    sounds like a pretty good solution. in pillars, after white march, and having to kill the final boss again, everything becomes too easy as everything just scales up (plus hell lot of useless abilities to pick. the extra points are useful for magic users for extra spells, but otehr classes doesnt benefit much from them.)

    anyway what do you mean by expanding the game horizontally? like allowing more playstyle for veteran characters because of extra feats? or literal horizontal by adding more areas to explore?
     
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  3. Mac_Orion Stygian Software Developer

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    both
     
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  4. Styg Stygian Software Developer

    Styg
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    As Mac suggested - both new game mechanics and content (areas and quests) that are available in the original campaign, usually from a fairly early point or from the very beginning.
     
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  5. HoboForEternity Magister

    HoboForEternity
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    i see. how are the new enemies in expedition scaled then? i get the goal is to make the vanilla end-game still challenging despite reaching the veteran level(s), but how would you design the enemies in expedition without making compromise (like the new enemies are more or less as tough as end level enemies in vanilla)
     
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  6. Styg Stygian Software Developer

    Styg
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    When we're gauging difficulty, we look at the combat encounter as a whole, not just the stats of individual enemies. We are able to make a difficult encounter using creatures that on their own might not be that difficult to handle. In Expedition, we plan to have the encounters be in mid to late game difficulty ranges, with the mandatory stuff gravitating towards the former.

    The late game stuff should not change in difficulty much, because, as I explained in the dev log, your combat stats do not scale past level 25, except through feats. And you won't be able to level indefinitely, only to level 30 with this expansion (I guess I forgot to mention that :P).
     
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  7. HoboForEternity Magister

    HoboForEternity
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    Sounds Difficult to pull, but i trust you guys :salute:
     
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  8. Heretic Learned

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    I understand that it's a problem to balance the game with the new expansion(s?!), but this solution sounds quite boring.
    The feats just add a modest and frankly meaningless percentage here or there.
    Why not let the character get overpowered if they worked for it? Offer new, crazy actions that alter the gameplay?

    The character is a veteran at this point. Does "veteran" really mean "5% higher chance of dodging a melee attack"?
    Look at for example the Grandmaster bonuses in Might&Magic - they were something that altered the game (long-term invisibility, flight), but they were hard to reach, you had to plan for them in advance, and you earned them.
    To this day they are something people look forward to when they start a new MM game.
     
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  9. ghostdog Prestigious Gentleman Arcane Patron

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    Yeah, I agree, I'd like to be able to get something special at level 30.
     
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  10. hilfazer Educated

    hilfazer
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    I don't need Styg to make me an ubermensch intentionally.
    I'll be happy if i'll be able to munchkin my way into becaming one and not get 'rewarded' with nerfs.
     
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  11. Styg Stygian Software Developer

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    You should take those nerfs as compliments to you munchkining abilities. ;)
     
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  12. I'm With Her oneself for prison Liturgist

    oneself
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    Those feats are quite bland.

    Are you holding out the good stuff on us or you have plans for further updates therefore do not want to introduce the good stuff just yet for power-level reasons?
     
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  13. Make America Great Again roshan Arcane

    roshan
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    Well the biggest problem with the game currently is that it's already too fucking easy. If you build a decent character, by the time you are level 14 or so, you are a killing machine. Once you get to Core City and take out Carnifex there's nothing left in the entire game remotely tough enough to challenge you. And you idiots are bitching about wanting further character development, uber perks, speshul abilities at level 30??? What's the fucking use of all that crap?

    One of the few decent challenges in the game, the Junkyard mutants, has been nerfed into a pathetic and boring mess. The character development system is great as it is, but the game needs to add some challenging content behind the systems to make them fun and interesting.

    Here's my wish list:
    - Revamp all current enemies, down to the rathounds, scorpions, suckers, beetles. The enemy design is good, everything provides some sort of unique challenge. But, in dungeons further off the early areas or main trails, give them additional abilities to make them tougher and add new variety to the game.
    - Go through existing areas, and add several Carnifex-style "boss characters and monsters" in hidden locations and far off obscure areas that give unique rewards when defeated.
    - Areas off the main or critical path should be given a general difficulty and challenge upgrade.
     
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  14. I'm With Her oneself for prison Liturgist

    oneself
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    Try holding out a few waves at the faceless blockade. Its pretty challenging.
     
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  15. Sykar Arcane

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    Advanced PSI Empathy is something I'd never take, not even on a pure PSI character.
     
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  16. Jazz_ Scholar

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    How many times have you replayed Underrail? As a clueless first-timer with a less than optimal build (wasted some points in merchantile and other useless social skills, also didn't invest in any crafting) I don't find it such a walk in the park at all. I had quite a challenge in Depot with the mutants, with the faceless in Rail Crossing and with the lunatics in Upper Underrail (I'm doing the quests at Foundry now). Of course if you know the ins and outs of the game after multiple playthroughs it becomes too easy.
     
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  17. Make America Great Again roshan Arcane

    roshan
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    I am playing Underrail for the second time.

    The first time I played, it was with a pistol build, and the build was incredibly gimped. You need to invest feats in rapid shot, quick shot and other seemingly useless stuff just to get more attacks per round or simulate burst fire that you get free with other weapons, and take gunslinger for a minor reduction to the AP cost that doesn't even affect the energy weapons. And aside from the .44 Hammerer, the pistols only do 10-15% more damage than equivalent SMGs while taking 3x the AP. But the game was good, I thought the mutants in the depot was a tough challenge (pre nerf), the lurkers were tough, as well as some other encounters. Other things I thought was way overhyped, warehouse defense (pre nerf btw) was a simple affair, lairs of zaman and crazy woman in foundry were easy, balor and the ironheads was too easy, etc. And of course, this was all on normal mode.

    However, even then, there was too much fluff to the system, and by that I mean tactical options you DON'T need to exploit because the combat system was already too easy to bother trying them out. I never used energy pistols, chemical pistols, drugs, special bullets, grenades, etc. I never even used energy shields.

    Now I am on my 2nd replay, and I just picked up various knife feats upon leveling, playing hard mode this time. But I am just chopping everything up. There's absolutely no challenge at all. I guess the best way to extract some kind of fun from the game is to look for gimped character builds?
     
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  18. epeli Erudite

    epeli
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    Hmm...

    http://underrail.com/forums/index.php?topic=2757.msg15938#msg15938
     
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  19. YES! Hi, I'm Roqua

    YES!
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    Any timeframe on expansion release?
     
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  20. HeatEXTEND Educated

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    It said somewhere it's gonna be a while :argh:
    Show Spoiler
    :negative:
     
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