ToME: the Tales of Maj'Eyal

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 09, 2016 2:50 pm 
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Uruivellas

Joined: Tue Mar 01, 2016 9:50 pm
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Hello all! Time for another update! :D
So, what does this add-on bring in terms of "unique combat"? Well...


*** A more "survival-oriented" approach
As we often know, the best defense is a good offense-- Especially in the case of ToME. There are very few constitution-related talents, likely because gaining power from your survivability would produce an optimal strategy (that is, you would get the best of both worlds at no expense). After careful examination, a balance has been struck, and you will now find "Constitution" to be a powerful offensive ally as well as a defensive one.

*** Elemental combat and combos
Before it was retuned, there were amazing damage-conversion combos that could be achieved via the Alchemist's various "Infusion" talents. Overall, this created somewhat of a "single-element mage", which was definitely something to behold (and my first "winner", if I recall). This idea is recreated, but in a much more "controlled" fashion, creating damage-type specific effects and combos, adding more strategy to your interaction with the elements.

*** Status effects as a weapon
Often times, temporary status effects are treated simply as that: Temporary effects. However, you will now think more carefully about who has what, and where. If done correctly, a bleeding enemy could become a boon-- A burning one might become a conduit to produce further flames. Now you will not only think with your weapons and talents-- But your foe's present conditions as well!

*** "Size Category" will play a... "bigger" role
This has mostly been a "tell-but-don't-show" parameter (with the odd exception like Grapples or "Colaryem"). Now, this becomes far more relevant, modifying the properties of talents, standard attacks, and even the nature of the world itself!


In summary, you'll be finding "specialists"-- Characters that excel in certain natures of combat, emphasizing on that greatly.

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 10, 2016 3:38 pm 
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Uruivellas

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Hey everyone-- For this update, I'm going to be VERY upfront about what you're going to see-- No vagueness whatsoever!

*** Life is power
This add-on is going to introduce talents that use-- Yes-- Your very own life force as a means of attack. No-- I don't mean like using the Vim I sapped from enemies around me or something-- I mean you might just end up spending 300 of your life in order to deal 200 damage. What's that? That doesn't sound like a good trade? Okay, what if I said 3000 life to deal 2000 damage, but you are life stealing 50% of the damage you cause?

*** Forbidden arts
A concept I rather like when it comes to magic is chaotic, highly volatile spells that put even the caster's life at risk. You'll be seeing very powerful spells that not only obliterate your enemies, but will most likely obliterate yourself in the process! Huh? You don't like the sound of destroying yourself with dangerous magic?? Okay. What if I also mentioned that you were semi-immortal, and wouldn't really die from it anyways?

*** Are you alive?
A rather whimsical thing explored in ToME are the living and the dead. Think about it: The living usually have a beating heart, a soul, a warm body and whatnot-- But the dead are usually animated by magic, or powered by circuit boards. The dead don't have beating hearts, a soul, or even a warm body (usually). Hm?? Why does any of this matter?? Well, now it's going to be very important to differentiate between the living and the dead. You can't dead what's not alive, right?

*** Secrets and discovery
One of the things that make a roguelike experience most exilarating is knowing that something utterly OP might just be around the corner, alleviating the burden of your adventures. On the flip side, you might just be unlucky enough to encounter something so awful, you will curse your misfortune and give in to despair. With this in mind, I intend to place as many secret elements as possible, turning your exploration, knowledge, and discovery into power that will offset the onset of dangers that come your way.

(Yes, that's right. I'm being upfront about all the secrets I intend to keep from you :D )

But seriously though-- We're getting very close to "that day". I intend to be less and less opaque as we get closer, so stay tuned!

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 10, 2016 6:50 pm 
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Graphical God

Joined: Wed Jan 05, 2011 8:05 am
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w00t w00t! 8) sounds very nice indeed.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 11, 2016 4:15 pm 
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Uruivellas

Joined: Tue Mar 01, 2016 9:50 pm
Posts: 619
Alright, time for the hints that will finally reveal the true "nature" of this add-on :D


*** Rely on "yourself"
The nature of these new classes will no longer allow you to use Inscriptions. Does this sound shocking? That is because you will get something so much more powerful in return that might just make the writings feel like old news. However, as we know in nature: Nothing goes to waste! Those infusions and runes you find will still come handy-- But now, in an entirely different way...

*** Ephemerality/Time-Sensitivity
If you are patient and have made no investments in any recuperative objects/talents whatsoever, you could find that a whole entire year has passed between the time you stepped into Dreadfell and later stepped out. This is a rather ignored thing in ToME, so this is something I wanted to explore. Now, you will look at the passage of time with a little more care and interest than before...

*** Decision-Making
Choosing whether to save the girl... Deciding if some woodsmen are worth the trouble... Protecting some ancient, magical place... Decision-making is an important game element that begs the question of the player: "Are you prepared for this?". This is something I like because it allows a designer to put the player into a less rigid environment. So, I create more of these situations: The player must gauge their aptitude, deciding whether they're up to a task or not (though, let's be serious: Sometimes, you'll just have no choice!)

*** "Danger" by a different name
The cuts and wounds we suffer are oft shrugged off. We say "yes, I almost died, but I'm not dead, so I can go on living", then rest to full, completely forgetting about the last encounter. Though you are a rugged, disciplined adventurer, there may now be some looming threats that go beyond a bleeding wound or singed flesh. What I intend to do is create dangers that will have you worrying about things other than your "Life" meter. Much like the bottom floor of the "Cultist Crypt" or an Escort quest, I intend to have you worry a bit more about things other than how hard the next Bulwark Unique is going to hit/stun.


To sum it up: This add-on attempts to remove difficulty from pushing/pulling stats/talents and, instead, invests it into more "tactical" combat. If you understand the game's mechanics well, you will adapt to this add-on very quickly!

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 12, 2016 4:14 pm 
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Uruivellas

Joined: Tue Mar 01, 2016 9:50 pm
Posts: 619
Four days to go-- We're getting close to that day... I'm working hard to press out bugs, remove neglected errors, and do some quick playtesting. You know... Mostly clean up at this point!

But, I always find some time to chat. Come, sit down and let me tell you a story... A bit about what inspired the idea for this add-on:

Quote:
The concept came from playing as a Wilder/Summoner. I'd always had an affinity for playing as Summoners in video games after being one in Final Fantasy 11.
For this reason, I magnetized to the "Summoner" class as soon as I had unlocked it. To my pleasant surprise, playing a Summoner in ToME was surprisingly faithful to how Summoner are treated in most other games-- You keep your distance and send your pets after opponents-- And if your opponents start wanting YOU dead-- You need to keep them from reaching you because you're not much of a fighter anyways.
... In any case, I eventually got bored of the overwhelmingly powerful nature of Summoners, in that they seemed nigh unbeatable, since they were capable of throwing as many meatshields as they wanted at any time (and could just hide around/behind corners).
... This got dull and boring after a while-- Until, I started using the "Summoning Control" ability. This changed EVERYTHING.
One of my favorite things to do became entering a floor-- Finding a good hiding place-- And continuously summoning a single Fire Drake or Hydra-- Then, controlling it, and piloting it through the dungeon, one fight at a time. Of course, it was always a buzzkill when the timer would run out, and whatever I was fighting would start bulldozing its way towards me, magically aware of my position.

... Well... Not anymore.
Gentlemen... I present to you the title of my add-on: "Odyssey of The Summoner"

The focus is turning Nature Summons into playable classes with their own story/plot. Each also has their own very special mechanics that make them unique from one another. The "goal" is to expand the customizability of ToME to not only human characteristics, but monster characteristics as well. This will help to satisfy the craving of those who like playing as a good "Monster" class and the like in RPGs :wink:

Anywho, the "scheming" process of this add-on didn't start until after I had done a lot of futile experimentation:
Quote:
Desperate to play as one of these beasts (WITHOUT the time constraint), I started making Adventurers with a VERY STRICT set of talents whilst using a special custom tile that looked like the creature I wanted to play.
... However, it just wasn't the same-- Nor did it make sense in a lot of situations (the Ritch's "Firespit" is a VERY particular ability, for example).

Finally, I got fed up. It was time to face the facts: ToME is usually VERY good about supplying anything I was looking for-- But this time, it was missing something-- And I knew I could supply it.
And so, this was the beginning. I embarked on an endeavor I NEVER thought would become so large and so expansive...


*Looks at watch* Oh! Time's up! I'll continue this story tomorrow... Same time, same place!

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 13, 2016 4:20 pm 
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Uruivellas

Joined: Tue Mar 01, 2016 9:50 pm
Posts: 619
Image
Displayed: The add-on image

Hello everyone-- It looks like the cat is finally out of the bag, so let's talk about the fun stuff this add-on intends to... Well, ADD.
... But first, the end of that story, right?

Quote:
At first, I tried to make a bonafide "Hydra" character, complete with its own set of talents, generics, icons, and mechanics. This character would revolve highly around the use of Poison, Acid, and Lightning elements, as well as utilize its advantage of having several heads/appendages-- And of course, finally, its super regenerative abilities would make it a real "headache" for opponents to bring this tenacious thing down.
I essentially wanted to make a Brawler-Wilder class that, "naturally", WOULD NOT die-- And was VERY, very good at that. Of course, I didn't intend to make something invincible-- But rather, something with the novelty of being ever-so resistant to dying.

And so, my first creation was the Hydra class.

Quote:
After my first accomplishment, ideas were already starting to really invade: "Drakelings"-- Little helper versions of yourself that would grow, learn, and fight alongside you. It was a mindblowingly cool idea-- And who else could do it at the time other than me? I couldn't resist. Before I knew it, I found myself splitting my attention into creating the "Fire Drake" class.
It was then around this time that I started searching for a justification behind all of these wandering, masterless summons... And so, the answer came quite naturally: The granddaddy of ALL summoners... He would be "THE Summoner"-- And HE would be the reason why YOU can walk around right as you do.
It all came "naturally": The plot of this story begun writing itself.

Next, I made the Fire Drake class-- And this one was a doozy! Even now, I'm still ironing out some things with its mechanics...

Quote:
Finally, it was around the time I'd started creating lore that it became canon that "The Summoner" hated immobile creatures. This meant he refused to use Slimes or Rimebarks. This meant there was only one ranged summon class left: The "Flamespitter Ritch". This time, I wanted to strike a different flavor of "Natural Combat" gameplay, moving away from tanky brawlers-- An aggressive, bloodthirsty one!
This was also the point that I had begun contemplating bringing this to the world. A fully-playable campaign with modified events and new situations (and even a new ending), this was something I realized people might want to see: "Playable Summons"-- Or more importantly: A new "Wilder" classification!
The size and scale of the add-on was evergrowing-- And eventually, it became so large, I was ready to call it "an unofficial DLC".

The 3rd and last of this trinity of classes: The Ritch. At this point, I had the experience of two classes on my mantle.

So, what are some of the "details" about these three new classes-- The Hydra, the Fire Drake, and the Flamespitter Ritch...? What about the plot...?

... Hah! Look not hither, but yonder! The details are ALREADY out! Each of my previous posts... There's a bit of a "correlation"... :D
Keywords: "Hydra", "Fire Drake", "Ritch", and "Story/Plot"

Double back and go take a look!

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 13, 2016 11:51 pm 
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Sher'Tul

Joined: Mon Jun 23, 2014 11:50 am
Posts: 1439
:shock: this... looks amazing!

playing as a summon!

that means there will eventually be a jelly too right? RIGHT?! :D pls say there will be jelly too eventually!

also, a question.
if i chose drake, can i chose a different element, or am i forced to have the firedrake, because that's what summoner uses?


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 14, 2016 12:21 am 
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Sher'Tul

Joined: Sun Jun 15, 2014 12:19 am
Posts: 1148
Location: Yeehaw, pardner
Radon26 wrote:
also, a question.
if i chose drake, can i chose a different element, or am i forced to have the firedrake, because that's what summoner uses?


Considering the class is called fire drake, my guess is no. But maybe an update for later times, after release.

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 14, 2016 2:51 am 
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Uruivellas

Joined: Tue Mar 01, 2016 9:50 pm
Posts: 619
@Radon26
A Fire Drake will obviously focus on using Fire-- But who knows? With all of this world's magic, you might find a way to become something completely different. Though, Fire Drake's true focus is on family, lineage, and company-- So maybe you'll discover your "Venom Drake roots" or something along the way...? :wink:

@Micbran
There is DEFINITELY more to come-- But I'm ready to take a short break while I buffer out some of the add-on's current "problems". This add-on is otherwise quite functional-- But believe me... I'm aware of at least 20 ways to break it at the moment, and I need your help finding them while I fix it (that's where YOU, my early play-testers, will come in!) :lol:

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 14, 2016 3:46 pm 
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Uruivellas

Joined: Tue Mar 01, 2016 9:50 pm
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Image
Today, I bring to you the driving engine of Avatars and "Odyssey of The Summoner's" new scheme of gameplay: "Nature Taught" classes.


*** The motive...
In ToME's Inscription/Potion system, one can choose preset slots of abilities that can provide utility effects-- Abilities that are not limited by race or class; they're available to everyone. However, there is a loophole with a system of free healing and regeneration: In truth, it becomes like an extension of life... "Artificial Hitpoints", if you will. If there is no "quantity" on how many times I can heal myself for 500hp... Doesn't that just mean I essentially have 500 extra hit points?

Grasping this shortfall, I came up with an idea that would challenge this: Cutting out the middle man... And indeed, it has made for an interesting new experience in ToME...

Imagine, if you will... Your character has FAR more life than a standard, humanoid character... But the trade-off is that you can no longer access these convenient healing mechanisms. What has this done in the long run...? It has made you more efficient in short-term battles, but less resilient in long-term battles...-- Or, that is what you might think.


*** Enter: "Wild Power"
You gain 1 point of this new statistic for each point you place into the Natural Combat talent tree. It represents your "savagery", or your attachment to nature. For this reason, humanoids start with 10, while "Avatars" (summon classes) start with 30. The "Wild Power" cap is 100.
Each point of "Wild Power" increases your maximum life, your physical power, and of course, your equilibrium drainage rate.

-- But wait... Let's finally talk about what each of these different icons actually DO!


*** What is "Natural Combat"...?
As you can see, they each have 0/10... You can invest up to 10 points in each of these talents and there are no restrictions on how many different ones you could invest into.

Now, here's the really cool part: In becoming "Nature Taught", you have given up the usage of Inscriptions and conventional weaponry. This is okay, because you are probably a monster that can't swing a sword around anyways!
What you get in return is ONE EXTRA GENERIC POINT PER LEVEL, such that you would have 50 extra spending points by the time you reach level 50. Now, I'm sure you might be thinking about all the things you would rather spend your generic points on than... WHATEVER is inside this tree-- But remember: Your wild power is DIRECTLY linked to how many Natural Combat talents you know-- And thus, your general survivability and performance in battle!

Oh! The effects of each of these talents? Hold that thought!


*** Passive/Actived Talents; Pseudo inscriptions
Each Natural Combat talent is an Activated talent with passive effects upon putting points in (much like the various "<Dragon> Aspect" trees for Wyrmic). However, these point increases are VERY EXPONENTIAL. You WILL NOT see great returns until you reach HIGHER talent levels!

Now, finally, here's the cool part: Each Natural Combat talent can be activated to temporarily disable the passive effect and provide a new effect that scales on Wild Power, NOT talent level! This puts ALL Natural Combat talents on cooldown, however.

I'll give you an example-- Just one! Wouldn't want to spoil the discovery too much, would I?

Quote:
"Eagle Eyes" (top-left icon)
"Passive: [X] Accuracy and [Y] Critical Hit Power (scaling on Talent Level)"
"Activated (6 turns): [Q] See Stealth and [P] See Invisible (scaling on Wild Power)"

This talent's activated effect attempts to fill the "Sun Infusion's" niche.


*** Conclusion?
Because of the vast variety of stat-boosting pseudo-inscriptions that Natural Combat gives, the need for equipment/armor is (almost) removed. Now, you customize your savagery and create the beast of your liking with any of the qualities you could ever want! Will you be a tenacious hydra, or a slippery one? A tough fire drake, or a clever one? A deadly ritch, or an elusive one? The fun lies in figuring out what works best for you-- But more importantly: Figuring out what works best against the world of Eyal!

... Oh, so what are all the objects and equipment you find in the world going to be useful for then...? I suppose we can cover that next time. Release day is soon! :wink:

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 14, 2016 4:34 pm 
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Sher'Tul

Joined: Sun Jun 15, 2014 12:19 am
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Location: Yeehaw, pardner
nekarcos wrote:
*** Conclusion?
Because of the vast variety of stat-boosting pseudo-inscriptions that Natural Combat gives, the need for equipment/armor is (almost) removed. Now, you customize your savagery and create the beast of your liking with any of the qualities you could ever want! Will you be a tenacious hydra, or a slippery one? A tough fire drake, or a clever one? A deadly ritch, or an elusive one? The fun lies in figuring out what works best for you-- But more importantly: Figuring out what works best against the world of Eyal!


So, what you're saying is that your equipment choices and inscription choices are non-existent... But in return you have a plethora of generic choices that essentially replace both? Sounds interesting for sure.

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 14, 2016 4:40 pm 
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Uruivellas

Joined: Tue Mar 01, 2016 9:50 pm
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@Micbran
Not useless! Noooo... Not at all! Avatars STILL have equipment slots, but not ALL of the ones that humanoids have.
Patience! We'll cover this later! :)

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 14, 2016 5:12 pm 
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Uruivellas

Joined: Mon Jan 27, 2014 10:40 am
Posts: 698
Okay, now I'm kinda hyped. :D


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 14, 2016 6:03 pm 
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Sher'Tul

Joined: Mon Jun 23, 2014 11:50 am
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well, i have clearly seen ritch having the weapon slots on that image earlier, with dagger of the past and acera, so that's something, but also, again, hydra had like 12 of the same slot, and another one of different kind, so there are also new types of equipment.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 15, 2016 10:31 am 
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Uruivellas

Joined: Tue Mar 01, 2016 9:50 pm
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Image
Quote:
There are tales of a Hoarding Beast...
It possessed greed untold, collecting a vast trove of treasure.
However, it became so paranoid about its wealth...
... It spent the rest of its days counting it all up, buried within it.

This is the story that the "Hoarding Beast" talent tree will tell you as you unlock portions of it in the game.
However, here's the part of the story you won't hear from anywhere else:

Quote:
Being a creature of such darkness, it found appeal in shine and lustre, envious of its magnificent properties. Truly, it was not greedy... It was simply envious.


*** The Motive...
You are no longer human. As such, you don't have little intricacies like fingers, a waist (that can support belts), or even feet that can wear boots.
You are, by no exagerration, INCOMPATIBLE with most objects you will find during your adventures-- And thus, all the treasure you find lying around you.
... Does this mean everything is going to be useless now? Will it all just be Transmogrification Fodder...?!

Not quite.

Enter: The "Hoarding Beast" talent tree!


*** "Treasure Hoarder's Will"
Let's be weird and start by going backwards-- The fourth talent in this tree is called "Treasure Hoarder's Will".
This talent grants you various passive bonuses based on how much valuable treasure you've accumulated. Depending on the treasure's properties (Nature Powered? Antimagic? Made by a master?), each object will provide you different bonuses. Also, each object has a rarity rating. The object provides greater bonuses the rarer and heavier it is!
... However, there is one caveat behind all of this... You can't truly feel like your treasure is safe... Unless it's somewhere nobody can possibly touch it...


*** "Consumable" goods
Remember earlier when I said objects will be "consumable" now...? :D
This talent tree will give something called a "Stomach" inventory. This inventory is not accessible through "normal" means. Instead, you use your various "Hoarding Beast" talents to "store" your treasure away in a safe place and "access" them at a later time. This involves some strategic juggling-- But don't worry! At least they're all safe! :D


*** "Clasping" objects
Because you aren't using weapons anymore, your character will now resort to "biting" instead of "punching" when unarmed.
As powerful as a beast's jaws may be at time-- They are useful for MANY other things-- Particularly, "holding" onto objects.

Much like the Psionic's "Beyond The Flesh" talent, you can clasp objects in a mouth slot, gaining ALL of its "wielder" benefits WITHOUT actually having the equipment slot it requires. Additionally, if the object is a Mindstar, you will attack with that INSTEAD of biting!


*** In conclusion:
Weapons and equipment are NOT useless to Avatars. Treasure is still treasure; precious is still precious-- Even if you can't use them to their fullest, you can still admire them proudly-- Albeit within the confines of your stomach...

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