Legendary Miss Fixit
You've probably noticed that this set of Design Notes came out after the release, rather than before. (If you haven't noticed, go check it out - Snugglefest is live!)
This is quite different from how the Design Notes for AE's other games are done, but it's for a reason. You see, these are Dev and Balance Design Notes - and those are things where it will make a lot more sense if you can SEE what I'm talking about. You need to be able to see what it does, as well as what it looks like. We're starting by trying to release a postmortem of the quest - interesting features and challenges, anything odd we come across. This gives us a chance to talk about some of the behind-the-scenes details. We'll keep doing this if it's well liked
Most of Snugglefest this year is normal - the same as last year, with one new quest. You can already play the storyline, so I'm going to move right along to the new monsters and items. There are two new monsters and one new item. Naturally enough, the monsters both do Special Things - this IS snugglefest, and look at who the monsters are!
While they have a lot of abilities, including things like paralyzing or charming you, the only really new thing on the monsters is that we haven't seen the Control status used by a monster before. It was first seen on the Moglin Carolers, but that's you using it against the enemy. We've had multielemental enemies that can do Harm damage before ... they generally aren't very nice. Add that to the ability to Control you, and Amoria is quite the boss!
You can even learn to summon her!
But - that gave us a problem. You see, the more things a Guest does, the less well it generally does each of them.
A guest that attacks with Fire and Wind and Harm AND can inflict the Control status on the enemy - that's nasty in an enemy, but it's not all that helpful in a Guest because the Control and Harm will make her do less damage, and the multielemental nature makes her harder to find good situations to use. We talked about what we could do to her, and we decided that the first thing we could do was remove the chance of Harm damage. This simplifies the Guest immensely, without removing anything that is extremely attractive (a low rate of Harm damage is often less useful than if the attack just did the element you have the Guest out for; a high rate of Harm is completely different).
That left her with two attacks - a Fire attack and a Wind attack that can Control the enemy. So now we had to decide what to do with that. We looked at it, and realized that it works out for the best if the people who can talk her into attempting to Control the enemy are the people who deal with Guests the best - that is, people with high CHA. This is because we would have to drop the damage a LOT more to fit an attack with Control on it into a Guest if people without CHA could use it; in order to keep the Guest's damage as high as possible, it had to be more usable by people with CHA.
Amoria's chance to use her Wind attack is based on your CHA. She's pretty cautious about using it at all, so even with 200 CHA she will only use it 10% of the time.
This means that she's a multielemental guest ... if you have high enough CHA. Multielemental Guests normally get a boost to their damage to make them more useful. For her, this boost had to be 0 if your CHA were 0, and be higher if your CHA was higher. There were two ways we could do this - we could boost the entire spell a little, depending what her chance to use the Wind attack was, or we could scrunch all of the boost onto the Wind attack and use it to offset the damage penalty for her attempting to Control the monster (as it happens, this didn't require knowing how often the attack happened, just that it was happening; this was convenient).
The second one seemed to make more sense; after all, the damage boost is "because" of that attack - it might as well happen on that attack!
After making those decisions (and calculating the exact values of the bonuses and penalties), we were able to put Amoria together as a Guest. You will notice that scattered through here are decisions based on "this makes a better guest", "this makes sense for this Guest", and "this is required to balance the Guest". All of those are things we have to consider - we want items to be liked, we want items to make sense, and we want items to be balanced. We can explain why if there's interest - but that's a topic for a different Design Note, this one is getting quite long.
In addition to looking back, we can look ahead. There are a number of projects currently in progress. One of them is attempting to build up a good backlog of releases that are completely ready again; we lost what backlog we had for the WarpForce release and then lost what we had managed to work up again for the Assassin release. We're trying again - let's see if we can get there.
...until the next Class release or the like, anyway.
Speaking of working ahead ... did you know that there are two rewards for Bizarre Flecks Part 2?
< Message edited by Aelthai -- 2/10/2010 0:11:26 >