Teddy and Fred have kept busy this week as well! Most of the talents are already implemented in some shape or form, and Fred has for the most part returned to working on completing the desert enemies by cleaning up their animations (specifically the Solem who he had to abandon to make new graphics for a bunch of skills): 



He's also been working on new visuals for the bow, each a new upgrade (exactly how much powerful each step will be compared to the last has not yet been decided):


Meanwhile, we've made a decision to make chain buffing easier. Instead of having to bring up the interface again for each new player you want to buff, you'll now be able to cast the buff on all of your teammates in one go:


Just a small thing that will hopefully make playing a support a little easier on your fingers!

Today we continue on with the next batch of Talent icons, focusing on those for the general tree!


In order of appearance, starting from the top and moving to the right:

Unknown - An as of yet unknown armor talent. We had one remaining general talent to come up with, and Teddy half-jokingly asked me to come up with an icon and we'd come up with the talent based on that. I don't know if this will actually end up being a real talent, but I decided to rise to the challenge! Seeing as both the Melee and Magic pages have an armor talent each, I figured it was only fair to have one in general as well, using the icons from those pages as a base.

Our ideas for it range from having increased armor while battling bosses, starting off new fights with increased armor and a bunch of others. But again, this may not even end up being an actual talent, we'll see!

Utility Flow – Chaining Utility skills lower their EP cost (the more utility skills you use in a row the cheaper their cost in EP, up to a maximum percentage). A talent designed with the true support players in mind, who need more EP to buff a full team! This was a bit of a challenge to come up with, but after discussing what kind of icon to use for this talent, we came up with having an increasingly bigger ball to illustrate the chaining of skills.

Efficient Counter – Perfect Guarding lowering the EP cost of the next skill. For this icon, I used another perfect guarding talent icon as base, but changed the colors and details around to better reflect it's EP bonus.

Got You Covered – Increase buff duration. An hourglass with an arrow up. Perhaps one of the more descriptive icons out there!

Health Insurance – Increase healing from health orbs. A bunch of health orbs against a (finally appropriately used) green background!

Kinetic Energy – Get EP from blocking attacks with your shield. Once more, a shield with our signature EP color: purple.

Lady Luck –  Introducing a low chance of enemy attacks missing your character. At least for us, the most well-known symbol of luck is a four-leaf clover, and so that became the base for this icon.

Metabolism – Increase EP regen. Not much to say about this icon: some EP against a blue background.



With the layout out of the way, it's time to start looking at creating icons for the new batch of Talents being implemented. First up though, a slight update of the Arcadia perk icon "Smart Start", as you'll now get the wand seen below rather then the green rod:


Okay, onto the Talents. We'll begin with the Magic talents, which I've managed to put into a single long gif with the power of Photoshop (wohoo):


In order of appearance:

Concentration – Increase resistance to having the (magic) spells channeling interrupted by enemy hits. For this icon I made an eye, as it feels like you often focus your eyes when you concentrate. Or maybe that's just me? 

Fast Talker – Increases castspeed. And yet I used an open mouth to make a play at the name of the Talent, rather at something relating to speed. To make it more readable I first wanted to show some of the person's face, but ended up changing it around to showing their neck and some clothing instead. 

Soul Siphon – Hitting an enemy with a wand projectile will grant the user some EP. My idea here was a slime which oozes of EP. My first version of this wasn't very readable so I changed it to small orbs instead of a crazy ooze. 

Specialist – Increase damage depending on how many skillpoints you have in the same magic tree (as an example, the more fire skills you level, the stronger your fire skills will be overall). Supposed to be a magnifying glass on top of four colors representing each elemental skill tree. 

Wand Master – Icreased damage from wand projectiles. And here we have a wand, and an arrow pointing upward! Might change the color from green, as green, as always, tend to make people think about healing. We'll see!

Final lineup:


And as always, these are subject to change as we come up with better ideas or hear your feedback!

Okay! Time to take a break from Arcadia stuff and dive into the next big thing (or patch) that we'll get around to in the next couple of weeks. I'm of course talking about those new talents! And you already saw the mockup we made of how we'd like the General talent page to look:


The above design was originally thrown together by Teddy, but it's my job to make sense of it and turn it into something that actually works in reality. To do this, we first need to make a new mockup using the maximized version of each talent, as that graphic is significantly larger then the unleveled ones used above.

Then comes the exciting issue of what to do about the shield! With so much going on in the page, it can't remain exactly as it was before, or it'll be covered by a bunch of talents. As such, we spend a lot of iterations trying out various layout ideas until we found one we liked:


As you can see, the shield is a lot higher than it was before, but though we experimented with reducing its size, in the end we stuck with the large one:


Meanwhile, the Magic and Melee talent pages didn't need as much editing, as their icons were of less height - however they are also quite a bit higher in the layout to match the shield of the General page. These pages will have fewer talents altogether, so there's a lot more whitespace in these layouts compared to the General page as well, but hopefully that won't be too annoying on your eyes as you move between the pages:



One week has passed since we got back to work! Teddy's main focus since then has been bug fixing galore, as the previous patch introduced a bunch of bugs (as they tend to do) and brought some old ones up to light as well.

The talents we decided upon now have names (though some are subject to change):

Knowledge is Power - MATK gives ATK
Riposte - Perfect guarding within x range of an enemy deals some damage to the enemy you guarded against
Blood Thirst - Killing an enemy grants increased attack speed for a short duration
Combo Starter - After a normal attack, your melee skills have increased critchance for a short duration

Fast Talker - Increase Castspeed
Soul Siphon - Hitting an enemy with a wand projectile will grant the user some EP
Concentration - Increase resistance to having the (magic) spells channeling interrupted by enemy hits
Specialist - Increase damage depending on how many skillpoints you have in the same magic tree (as an example, the more fire skills you level, the stronger your fire skills will be overall)
Wand Master - Icreased damage from wand projectiles

Got You Covered - Increase buff duration
Metabolism - Increase EP regen
Health Insurance - Increase healing from health orbs
Lady Luck -  Introducing a low chance of enemy attacks missing your character
Utility Flow - Chaining Utility skills lower their EP cost (the more utility skills you use in a row the cheaper their cost in EP, up to a maximum percentage). A talent designed with the true support players in mind, who need more EP to buff a full team!
Kinetic Energy - Get EP from blocking attacks with your shield
Efficient Counter - Perfect Guarding lowering the EP cost of the next skill

We're currently experimenting with a melee talent that increases the attackspeed of your next normal attack(s) when you've been out of combat for a short while. In the general tree, there will also be at least one talent relating to the bow.

We're also considering increasing the number of talents in the general tree to 21 (as opposed to the planned total of 20). The reason for this is that we'd like to fit all talents in a single page, without the player having to scroll down. Our idea is to go for something like this (super early mockup WIP, obviously, we'll have to adjust all of the graphics to make this work):


It's a bit cluttered, but with a few adjustments we hope it won't be too messy on the eye. We believe, at least, it will be better this way than to introduce scrolling. In the Magic and Melee talent sections, things won't get as cluttered either, as they won't have as many talents: at least for now, our max total is 15 each. 

And to end things this week, I'll throw in a brand new portrait!

Since I got back I wanted to try a slightly different rendering style for the final sprite (particularly for the eyes), which I think turned out alright:



Moving on to the Arena, we decided to make it larger (and in turn, more detailed)...

...So we made the top part of it higher, and the whole thing wider. For decoration, we added a few posters showing upcoming challenges or fights to take place in the arena. I mean if they don't advertise what kind of stuff goes on there, how will the NPCs of Arcadia ever get interested enough in going? Gotta sell those tickets!

And here's the new and improved, slightly bigger arena:

We're also preparing the Aquarium change(s)! First by moving it and the bank to align with the cinema, and next filling the top part of the Aquarium's roof with water. In the water you'll see fish silhouettes once it's properly added to the actual game:


Finally, increasing the size of the map:



It is rather a lot bigger now, but most of the extra space will be covered in trees and only serve to not make it feel like the map is cut off too close to you. It does feel a little more epic if you can imagine the vast forest expanding around the town, after all!
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