This week more interesting things are happening with the combat system and its skills! For one, we've upgraded the graphics of Blade Flurry, making the skill faster to use. Being rooted while casting a skill isn't exactly ideal, and Blade Flurry (especially at Gold Charge) has felt rather clunky to use as a result of that. Let's take a look at what the old version looked like:


And now, the new version:


As you can see, in the latter version your character finishes casting the skill almost immediately and is free to move after only a very short time of being rooted. Definitely feels a lot more nice!


We've also been playing around with Titan's Throw, which hasn't seen a lot of use very likely due to the fact that you throw your weapon away and won't be able to use it until you pick it up again! As mentioned in a previous post, we're adding the ability to get your sword back by holding the skill button for a short while (seen above).

We've also added a little bit of AoE damage if you do decide to pick it up manually, in order to make it more worthwhile doing so:


We also talked about adding an orb to magic weapons that deal a lower amount of damage but allows casters to stay further away from enemies. It's been implemented as well, and works quite well for those of us who prefer to keep our distance:


Again, if you're close enough to hit the enemy with your want, it won't unleash the orb but your want will do a bit more damage than the orb itself would. So whether you're into close combat or battling 'em from far away, there's pro's and cons to both options!

Finally, a closer look at a bunch of Fred's animations for these things (and some others):







Using the Aquarium as a base, I made another new building that hasn't been available in Arcadia before: The Bank. Here you'll be able to trade Essence for gold, or the other way around, something which might be useful in your quest to fully expand your town or get all unlockables:





And now the time has come to add another exciting building we're all looking forward to: the Arena! In this building you'll not only be able to battle your friends in a set of mini-games and challenges, you'll also be able to do practice runs against bosses and other cool things:





In Arcadia, we continue with adding new buildings! Here's another that weren't available in the old version of the town: the Aquarium. This place will help bring more inhabitants to your town, as well as housing a display of the fishes you've caught on your travels inside.





This week, the skill rebalance and Arcadia Rework continues!

Fred and Teddy are both hard at work getting new and reworked effects and mechanics into the game, and one of the possibly bigger changes have been coming together over the last week: the new chill and freeze effects!

The ice skills, or rather the Ice Nova and Ice Spikes, will both be able to chill and freeze every enemy on the game! Previously this was reserved for regular enemies, but now they'll affect bosses as well, drastically improving the skills which have been rather underwhelming against bosses before.

Because there was no way we could use the old effect on enemies as big as the bosses, we had to sit down and try to solve this issue by making an entirely new freeze shader instead. This was all done by Teddy and has had several steps of iteration, two of which can be seen below:



After some effects were added by Fred, we're left with the result seen below:


The difference between a chilled and frozen enemy is pretty drastic. A chilled enemy will have a slightly altered hue, snowflakes appearing around them and frost beneath their feet. Every once in a while, an enemy might be frozen, which makes it completely unable to move. If an enemy is chilled first, the chance of this happening doubles.

Visually, a frozen enemy is tinted blue and becomes shiny, the frost and snowflakes remaining around it. There's an increased chance of landing crits on frozen enemies, but they will only remain frozen for a short period of time or until you've hit it 3 times with regular-damage attacks or once if it's a hit with bigger impact (such as the final hit of a gold-charge Heroic Slam).
The skill rebalance is on it's way, and Fred has wasted no time jumping into refining and reworking the effects. One of the skills that's getting a visual and mechanic change is the Flamethrower, which as mentioned earlier won't deal damage as you move. This meant new smoke effects had to be used:


When we talked about this last, we decided that neither silver nor gold charge would deal damage when moving. However, upon seeing various players distress at the idea of making it that much less OP, we've decided to try to keep the damage-while-moving on the gold charge level (which also has new graphics, by the way!):


We'll balance this with a damage reduction instead, and if we still feel it's too OP we might still do the full nerf with no damage while moving. Our initial idea with Flamethrower was that positioning would be key to use it, and being able to move and do damage at the same time kind of takes away from that, which is the reason we wanted to make this change to begin with (aside from the skill being too OP, especially at silver level, compared to others). 

Hopefully this compromise will keep the fun feel of the skill while not making it too crazy good. It's always difficult nerfing skills in any game because when you're used to a skill being really OP, it typically also feels really great using it. Using such a skill after a nerf will of course cause some disappointment, but hopefully the game will be better and more balanced overall after some of these have been made. 

Next, there's been some additional graphics added to the Smash and its new ball!


Each time you hit the ball it changes color and does more damage. After three hits it'll disappear, so you have to summon it anew. We're still fiddling around with the arrow indicating which way the ball will go, and the graphic is likely to be changed again, at least slightly. 

We're listening to all of your feedback on our changes thus far, and it's no secret Smash is the source of a lot of discussion. We'll continue on this path for now, finalizing this version of the skill and uploading it with the rest once they're done. Once you can try all the rebalanced skills all at once we'll see how things turn out! There's still a possibility Smash might get scrapped altogether, it all depends on what you guys feel when it's all patched and ready for testing.

Finally, here's a bunch of the new and improved effects Fred has been working on:







Next there's another addition to Arcadia which weren't available before: the farm! This building will house a set of animals - once you catch them. You'll have the option to either let the animals roam free in town or keep them inside the pasture surrounding the farm, where no doubt Oak will be working:




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