Reinarc

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Hey there :LZSgrin:

The icons are just a design choice I decided to go with. I think it still allows exploration while cutting out the “must press enter on every pot.” Now you know if a pot or crate will have some interaction. I know it may not appeal to everyone.

I fixed that image problem on my end already, thanks! I took the game down to fix a lot of minor things that were bugging me (plus whats been pointed out), and I’ll have the download up again tomorrow.

Yes the loiter thing is essentially gambling. You have a 10% chance to have a traveler arrive. You can battle to reduce the cost down to 10 marks. The items will never be mandatory to proceed, so I thought it’d be a fun mini distraction while in town. I am considering changing that system slightly so it’s not quite so luck based.


New rough draft of the world map. It will be added as an inventory item and be used for a short cutscene when you first meet the main characters in the forest. Still need the labels.
 

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kimo

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The 2 saves (#1 and #2) were put there as a courtesy so you didn't have to play from the very beginning if you didn't want to. KInd of a time saver. I took advantage of it, but I'll probably start a new game from scratch just up to the point of killing that hungry spider. Speaking of that hungry spider, did you notice the new text that was given to the skeleton so that dimwits like me can more easily figure out it's too late to save the witch? :)

I do like the icons, though I question the choice of a sledgehammer for closed doors. I'd prefer maybe a hand icon?
@Lady_JJ
I started again from the beginning and I think a lot of story and explanations have been added at strategic parts. Yes, I noticed the dead witch comment yesterday. There is now even a comment about noticing the row boat when reentering the spider cave.

Personally, I think a door event should always open (or a message be shown) upon player contact.

@Reinarc
There is one subquest (Mage Hunters) that I almost missed a second time because the conversation in the town implies it will be done by the party when they go back through the cave at a later point. But, it is considered "failed" if you wait until after the town is attacked. Luckily, I had a recent save and only lost 10 minutes. But, when I do something wrong twice, I have to think the process could use improvement.
 

Reinarc

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Easy fix, Kara now says "Let's take care of it now." ;)
 

kimo

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@Reinarc
The Quest log entry "Trouble in Aark" is telling me to "Find woman's house in Aark". There are 3 houses and that hammer appears above the doors, but no door responds to my use of and Action key. One house can be entered but there is nothing I could find inside.

I did find a body on the ground that prompted a comment about wondering if that was the person they were seeking and not being sure about the identification being posssible.

The feather icon still exists in the quest log and no further quest requirements are given. Is something missing? How do I activate the next quest objective?

I entered the tower door and still no change or comment from the party. What am I missing? The NPC who initiates this quest also has no real comment when first entering the town. I assume the quest initiates when all 4 party members are together. But, this is how I missed the quest during the first playthrough. I didn't go back to NPCs I had already talked with.

EDIT: I almost forgot about this. There are lightning bolts (Max FP) for everyone except Quinten. What des this mean?
 

Reinarc

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Hmm, I might have missed the icon on that door. After you talk to the woman in the house, you should get the next part “find abby in the tower” or whatever. If not I’ll adjust it. Unfortunately, my MZ ran out of cookies and the teleporter for that quest inside the dungeon had an extra event page that messed it up. So it’s not doable atm.

When I change that, it’s meant to be a quest you’ll have to explore in the dungeon more to figure out. It won’t be step by step in the quest log.

Lightning bolt is when your FP is maxed. It’s a placeholder indicator when you can activate your power. Mouseover the state icon for a description. It should only drain 10 FP from one character, but it’s doing it to the whole party currently (not intended)

I just tested it and it shows up for Quinten on my end. Weird.
 

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@Reinarc
Thanks very much for pointing me in the right direction ... literally.

I probably saw the dead body, but for some reason decided not to "talk" to another dead body and just exited the game to retry another house location in the village.

I'll check Quinten's stats later this afternoon. The only Focus skill he has right now is the "Learn Spell" skill. He had 2 skills before, but not now. Curioser and curioser.
 

Reinarc

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No worries ^_^

He should have Study Monsters (or Monster Hunter if you spec'd the passive), analysis during boss battles only, and then Power: Tactician after you enter the tower.
 

kimo

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For some reason, I thought Quinten had 2 skills much earlier in the game. Apparently, I remembered wrong.

The screen shot is after immediately after entering the tower. The lightning bolts didn't appear until this point in the game and that's what made me wonder what they indicated. I did use the mouse-over function to find out what they were, but since I did not see any FP costs for the Focus skills I was confused as to the purpose of maxFP being reported.

And Aarlin's "Shattering Throw" (from Manual: Warrior) is classified as an "Any Time" skill. Is that an oversight?

FP max .png
 

Reinarc

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Shattering is an oversight, yes.

If you take a few steps forward, you’ll start the tutorial battle with powers. Quinten probably did not have 10 FP when you entered. I believe I had the trigger switch to activate that state when you walk in. I can change the switch to once the battle starts instead.

Oh you may have gotten his power in an earlier release at lvl 9. I changed it yes.
 

kimo

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Okay, I just fought the tutorial battle. It was a bit confusing during the first round because I didn't start the battle with Aarlin's "Power". In fact, I didn't realize it was a tutorial until the enemies wouldn't die even though their HP bars looked like they were at 0 and the TP fully restored and the screenshot below displayed twice.

Yes, everyone got those Focus bolts after the battle started. Maybe @Lady_JJ might have some thoughts on this. She does think differently than I. I remember FP from my first playthrough, but the "Focus" skills acquired by equipping a Manual don't have a FP cost, so that contributed to my confusion. Will you be fixing the FP costs soon that causes every character to reset to Zero when only 1 character uses a Focus skill?

This message recurred twice until I "properly" started the battle using Aarlin's Power. I had already played 2 rounds the first time and therefore already "started the battle" in my mind and had already been using "Venom" and other powers.
recurring message.png
 

kimo

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So, I'm about ready for the "final" lower dungeon battle and I have a few questions.

Is the Abby quest currenty unavailable because of some transporter event issues which you mentioned in an previous post? Are the following 2 screen shots not possible to accomplish? I could swear I was able to get to the chest the first time and I am pretty sure that is Abby in the other screen shot.
I cannot find the access to this chest.
Chest Transfer Point.png

I cannot find path to this room.
Path to crystal.png

What is SP?
WoodlandRobe_plusSP.png
 

Reinarc

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Yeah I mentioned it yesterday or the day before. It’s unfortunately unavailable. I’m working on an updated version.
 

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Okay, my last comments until you release more game content in the future.

Essence was extracted from Death Dealer weapon, but nothing new shows up in character skills or items. Is that because an essence was already extracted from Splendor earlier in the game?

More rest spots (inns or similar) would be good. Even if party has to pay for full HP/MP restore at a crystal.


FP does not seem to be increasing as fast as Aarlin’s FP which is full and other characters are barely around 5-8 FP since entering the tower.
FP Pride Mage Battle.png


Pride Mage Battle – Party used 1 torch during battle, but was given the 5 coins. The challenge explanation given was to receive the boss battle bonus for using no torches.
Pride Mage Challenge.png

Nice touch with the explanations after leaving the tower for using Challenger Coins. I also noticed some of your mapping changes
 

Reinarc

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I'm such an airhead. Fixed!

You extract the essence and receive an item in your inventory to teach you the skill. You're capped at 2 essence skills per character, so this is the best way I could come up with to manage it. So you're saying you didn't get Essence: Death Dealer in your inventory after you extracted the weapon? I'm not seeing anything. I'll have to look more closely at the code. ^_^

Well if you buy the unlimited potion with your challengers coins in part 2 you won't have to worry about it hehe. I'll think about adding some restore points. Thanks (to you and everyone) for playing so thoroughly. <3
 

kimo

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Okay, now who's the airhead. I got the Death Dealer Essence and apparently I missed it because it was below all those manuals.

The game has been tight with money, but not impossible, which is why I mentioned places to restore HP/MP. It's certainly not necessary, just a thought.

The Pride Mage has been adjusted so that it woud be possible (with some luck) to not use the torches to suceed. Those coins are certainly worth the effort because of what they can be used to buy. Yep, I have my eyes on that bottomess potion.

I think we who have been playing your game see what it can eventually become so we have been willing to offer comments. Especially since you have made major changes/fixes to certain aspects fof the game in response to those comments. You are very welcome.
 

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A few updates (these are not live, I won't be updating for a few more weeks. But the update will be very big) of what I'm currently working on. Thanks everyone for giving my game a shot, and I'm working hard to make it worthy of your time.

TLDR Version


  • Installing word wrap to fix some of those annoying text box issues.
  • Treasure chests will have pop up text vs dialogue box.
  • Enemies will be given a visual animation when they are out of mana, so the player knows they will rest or brace on their next turn.
  • Aggravate Element status effects will now refresh on hit. This means if you get an Aggravate Element on the enemy on the last turn of their Expose, you'll get 3 turns of the status effect refreshed.
  • FP is gone completely. Powers will become Essence Skills you can unlock later (with reduced potency) See long version for explanation.
  • Focus renamed to Tactics. Tactics will hold any non-core skills that do not cost MP.
    • Rage state reworked. Rage disables Guard and Tactics, instead of reducing FP.
  • Brace/Guard majorly reworked. Now, it's just Brace. Brace is 100% guard, no matter if you have a targe or not. It will come with two caveats: it does not make you immune to Expose anymore (it does remove exposes on you in the moment), and it reduces your threat. See long version for explanation. Targes will offer % based defensive boosts.
  • Delefon Manor/Dusty Caves and two additional side quests are in the works (and almost done).
  • Optional boss and dungeon added with treasure monsters (more to come on these).
  • More connection between combat and story (including lore about Aggravate Elements).
  • Major change: Adding an "elemental heat/overload" system. Using the elemental system in certain ways can "heat" or "cool" a new gauge. When the gauge is full, Elemental Overload is inflicted on all enemies. I'm still playing with the specifics of this. See long version for explanation.
  • Major change: The entire intro of the game is going to be reworked. I'm not happy with it overall, I don't think it does justice for my story or characters. See long version for explanation.




Long Version

About Change to FP

I thought implementing a "Limit Break" system would be interesting, but after a lot of time sitting on it, it just doesn't feel like it really jives well with my element system. I really want every component of combat to feel cohesive. The Power skills will be available as an essence skill from optional quests later in the game, and will be toned down for balance. I think this change will reduce the "bloat."

About Brace/Guard Change

With the threat system, it was really easy to just spam a threat skill on your "tank" that had a Targe equipped, and then hit Guard over and over and have zero concerns about single target attacks. This makes designing bosses more difficult, as each one would have to have some sort of gimmick to overcome this strategy. In addition, having two forms of Guard feels like unneeded bloat. With the changes, the tank and spank strategy will be reduced.

The threat reduction is a flat number, so later in the game if you've established decent threat on your tank character then Brace really isn't going to hurt them too much. However, Brace will now no longer make you immune to Expose while defending, either. So if your tank is constantly being exposed, they'll have to keep using Brace, and keep losing threat.

About Elemental Overload

With FP gone, I wanted a separate system that did work cohesively with Expose/Aggravate. This is my idea. The specifics of it I still need to test, but this is a rough draft as of now:

10 part gauge

Elemental Exposes will reduce the gauge by 1 point. This keeps the elemental balance in harmony.
Aggravate Element will increase the gauge by 1, causing instability in the elements.

When the gauge reaches 10, Elemental Overload triggers. This is where I'm still testing out ideas.

Idea 1: All allies and enemies are hit with Expose All, causing 225% increased damage that cannot be removed by defending.
Pros: Increases strategy (you want to proc Overload under the right conditions, such as when the enemy is weakened or out of mana or when you're able to heal easily). I'm even considering allowing the enemy to manipulate the gauge in this scenario.
Cons: Could be frustrating because 225% damage could result in one shots on player characters.

Idea 2: Enemies receive randomized debuff called "reveals" (throwback to original term). These can be any element. During this phase (which will last 3 turns), expose and aggravate is disabled. Use the corresponding element to trigger an explosion. E.g. an enemy receives Water Reveal. Use a water attack on them to trigger an explosion. Enemy will receive a new reveal on the next turn.
Pros: Encourages diversity of your layout (you want all elements available)
Cons: Might be confusing for a while.


About Story Changes

I really think I have a great story to tell. I also think I did a poor job of introducing said story. The introduction feels disconnected, and this is where I show my novice. After some consideration, I am scrapping the entire Jardak/Vadaj section of the intro. Instead, the player will immediately control Aarlin in Alavon City. There, I will introduce you to some of the major players in the story, and set the stage for the fall of Aarlin's order. I want you to feel his emotion, and give you a reason to root for him. I will also be reworking some of his dialogue, because I'm not feeling his personality come through like I want it to. He's one of the only characters that I feel this way about (the other 3 main party members you meet I'm in love with, they all feel unique). But, since Aarlin is the protagonist, that's not good.

Vadaj's prologue will be told later in the story.

I am also making some other major story changes, but the demo doesn't tell you enough yet for it to affect you. Right now, a lot of work is going into reshuffling a lot of things. Learning how to tell stories via a game has been a challenge, but I'm not stopping yet.


About the LGBTQIA+ aspect

Not really necessary, but I thought I'd chime in anyway. I know this may turn a lot of players away, but I'm okay with it. I want to change something I see in many RPGs that I've played (JRPGs anyway): the gay characters are always over the top to the point where it almost feels cartoonish. Yes, it's okay to be that way. But LGBTQIA people can be your everyday joe, too. They have stories, likes, dislikes, struggles, and successes that have nothing to do with their sexuality. That's why I wanted to tell this story. Aarlin's gay, sure, but that's not the focal point of his character arc (it does play a major role in it, though). Instead, his quest to redeem his Order and find out what happened to them will determine the main character arc.


Thanks for coming to my TED Talk <3
 

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Whoa, that is a major update coming! :LZYshock: I am intrigued by all the changes so far, especially that Elemental Overload. I think the story change to begin on Aarlin is a good idea. Not that you can't start with a little segment on someone else, but as you said he is the main character so getting to know him first and foremost is probably a good idea.
 

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I saw part of the video review of your game on You Tube this afternoon. I didn't log into the site, so I could not make comments. But, I was hoping someone would bring up the use of hovering the cursor above a character/enemy to discover buffs/debuffs. Unless something happened after I stopped watching, this probably went undiscovered.

I made it until just after the village was burned, so I am not sure what followed. I thought the review was very complimentary overall, and his criticism was spot on. I know you will be watching it, but I wished you had been there to explain some stuff that has or will be changed.
 

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The hovering was explained in one of the battle tutorials. Most everyone there raved about the battle system (save their confusion re: the importance of the Cascade spell) and overall the spectators were very positive in their comments. Gameplay lasted until after the Jardak encounter, just before Aarlin and Kara would have met up with Quentin. I thought Steel did a great job with his critique and suggestions for improvement.
 

Reinarc

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I’ll be watching it tomorrow when I have better internet as I’m out of town.

I’m sure the story was a negative
point, which is why my introduction is getting scrapped and reworked (as I noted in the last update). It’ll get there!

Thanks for the update guys. Your playtesting helped me tremendously.
 

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