Although this week’s update is a little smaller than the last few, we’ve finally had a chance to get a few programmed features integrated. We’ve had these in the works for a while, and these new features are mostly just a tease of things to come once the village is properly in the game and you get a chance to see these features on a MUCH larger scale.
This week's additions
Revised Castor’s Rock Area
As usual, we’ve had our weekly area revision. This time it’s a significant revision to the Castor’s Rock area which sits on the northwestern edge of the Salis’da’coro pass area. The completion of this area leaves only Salis’da’coro Canyon to be revised.
Significant Landscape Texture Optimization
The textures used for the landscape were optimized this week, cutting down VRAM and hard drive requirements by quite a notable chunk. We were able to drop down are only 4k landscape texture down to 2k with no noticeable loss in quality. One of the landscape textures was also completely changed.
You can now buy a shield from Ka’tro. When equipped, a shield will significantly enhance your ability to block damage and parry. The animations are still a little off for this while walking, but the gameplay is functional. It’s decently expensive, but it’s twice as effective as using your weapon to block damage.
Added: Loot Items
Some additional items were added to the game, such as raw wood (in the form of sticks) and rustlumps. These mostly just exist to add more flavor to the loot game, and provide materials for crafting. Nothing will match your sense of disappointment when you crack open a millennia old container only to find a rustlump (Yep, we’re asshats)
NPC disposition is now in the game. You’ll see this in the form of a little meter under the NPC’s name in the conversation menu. This meter represents how much the NPC likes you, or more specifically how much your character gets the impression that this NPC likes your character. This base value will be adjusted by your character’s Charisma; and can result in better deals in stores, new conversation options and more. You can also drop this number by harming, insulting, or stealing from the NPC, so be careful.s)
Stealing was also integrated. There are now some items around Ka’tro which you can steal. Be careful though. If Ka’tro catches you stealing his items, it will significantly harm your disposition with him, which means his prices are going to be a lot less in your favor. When you look at items, both in the world, and in your inventory, you’ll be given a clear indication of which items don’t belong to you.
Integrated: Crime Bounty
The stats menu now also displays your crime bounty. Whenever you are witnessed committing a crime, you will have a price put on your head, in the form of a criminal bounty. The size of the price will be based on the significance of the crime. Stealing for example, is the value of the object plus a percentage. Assault is based on how badly you hurt the NPC, and so on. Your bounty will begin to decay after a few days as people gradually forget about your crimes. Currently this doesn’t have much of an impact, but once the village is integrated, guards will enforce the law by punishing, banishing, or killing you when you commit a crime.
We improved the system which plays footstep sounds and effects, which should result in much more consistent playing of these effects.
Improved: Stagger Animations
The stagger animations which play when the player takes a significant amount of damage (especially when unblocked) have been improved. Previously the player would be knocked down and snap back to their feet. This has been corrected and improved with the new animations.
Improved: Human Skin Textures
The skin textures for human skin were significantly improved. This won’t -really- have an effect on much of anything, as you can only see human skin in a few places; but this will mean that we’ll be able to bring back skin color selection, and more importantly, it will be much more realistic than it was previously.
Improved: Ka’tro’s chance of having better weapons
Ka’tro will now properly sell the “common” and “quality” levels of weapons, allowing you to improve the weapons your character uses. Previously the chance of Ka’tro selling these weapons was randomized, with the end result usually being that he didn’t sell the weapon you wanted. This was annoying, and has been vanquished. (If Ka’tro still doesn’t have these weapons, go on an adventure. He’ll have them when you come back.)
Fixed, Optimized, and Updated Map (Kinda)
The map will now properly render after it was (intentionally) broken last week. Full functionality has not been restored, as you’re still not able to click and pan. However the map’s graphics were updated to reflect the latest world changes, and the texture it uses was heavily optimized, resulting in less VRAM usage.
Fixed: Bodies clipping through clothing
Fixed a bug that was causing male and female bodies to occasionally clip through their clothing. The game was rendering the wrong body underneath the clothing. The game should also run a little faster now that this has been corrected.
Next week we’re going to focus on cleaning up the last of the fallout from the 4.11 update, and then hopefully get back on track with finishing up the code for the Village and it’s many NPCs – and after that, we’ll work on getting armor and outfits integrated into the game.
Once Salis’da’coro canyon is done being revised, we’ll likely spend one more week revising all the caves – and from there we’ll be focusing the many hours that would be spent on terrain on both finalizing the village and getting more quests and NPCs into the game. After the village is in and we have a good number of quests, we’ll go back to adding more terrain to the game.
Of course, once the village is fully done, we’ll be able to spend some time making art for quests as well, which will be very exciting, as we’ll be able to start doing more complicated quests.
There’s a lot of exciting stuff coming in the near future; and Vizaris is about to start taking some significant steps forward. We’ve got a hefty improvement to the launcher coming very soon, despite significant issues on that front in the past. We have a new group working on finalizing the work.