In this release we have some fantastic new creature spells, a beautiful new terrain rendering system, a much improved line-of-sight system - and league rankings with monthly seasons! Here are the league ranks you can strive for, starting from a lowly Rat Runner and ultimately ending up as a Mighty Wizard with a world ranking position and a chance to win medals.
Here is a summary of the additions, improvements and fixes for version 0.25:
- The league ranking system is implemented, allowing you to play ranked games and win medals in each monthly season. See below for more details.
- New creatures spells have been added, but are incomplete - the Hellhound, an undead 3-headed beast that has a paralysing stare ranged attack - the Lion, which has the ability to leap up or down 2 terrain levels - and the Pegasus, which is a flying mount with a sacrifice ability. Animation is missing for the Lion and there are no sound effects for any of these new creatures.
- A fantastic looking new terrain rendering system has been implemented, which uses a technique that blends textures on edges and creases in the terrain hexes. It does not currently work on iMac/Linux, but we are working on a fix for this.
- Subsequent players in the turn order start with some mana points. In a 2 player game the 2nd player gets 12 MPs. In a 3 player game the 2nd player gets 6 MPs and the 3rd player 12 MPs. In a 4 player game the 2nd player gets 4 MPs, the 3rd 8 MPs and the 4th 12 MPs.
- Mana Sprites have 5 sets of deployment positions of which one is selected randomly at the start of battle. This adds variety to the game play for each of the existing maps.
[*]Maps have been tweaked and there are several new 2 player maps.
- The turn order is now randomised (except for 2 vs 2 matches) and does not depend on the order that players joined the lobby. A rematch will cycle the turn order as usual (if you were the 1st player, you would be the 2nd player in a rematch, and so on).
- Undead creatures are less formidable. The Vampire and Skeleton have reduced Magic Power, and the Vampire is a little bit more difficult to cast. Wizards now have the ‘Undead Slayer’ ability. Magical attack spells are more likely to be included in decks.
- A new line of sight system has been implemented which uses deterministic rules allowing you to determine LOS in any situation. See below for more details.
- There are various improvements to the AI. Illusion casting and disbelieving are managed more sensibly. Trees, blobs and tangle vine are used more effectively. There are some other general improvements.
- The law/chaos values of spells have been reduced to avoid the more extreme swings in the law/chaos balance. This makes neutral creatures less undervalued.
- The basic bodygear system is implemented, giving wizards different values for the basic attributes and deck size. This is randomly allocated at the moment. The different wizard models are not yet implemented.
- Some new visual effects have been added for summoning law and neutral creatures, teleport, and the magic bow.
- There are a few minor interface upgrades. The Wizard icon display on the top left of the battle screen now more clearly shows Victory Points, and the wizard level is also displayed in a small diamond. It is also easier to recognise dead wizards.
- Some bugs are fixed with the magic fountain.
THE LEAGUE SYSTEM
The league competition has monthly seasons with gold, silver and bronze medals being awarded for the 3 top ranked players, and 7 runners up medals for the next 7 places. At the start of a season you have to earn stars by winning games and ascending ranks from the lowest (rank 9) to the highest (Mighty Wizard). The ranks and stars needed to reach the next rank are:
- Rank 9 - Rat Runner - 3 stars
- Rank 8 - Goblin Poker - 3 stars
- Rank 7 - Dwarf Hobbler - 3 stars
- Rank 6 - Skeleton Rattler - 3 stars
- Rank 5 - Manticore Master - 4 stars
- Rank 4 - Vampire Hunter - 4 stars
- Rank 3 - Giant Stomper - 4 stars
- Rank 2 - Hydra Hustler - 5 stars
- Rank 1 - Dragon Defier - 5 stars
- World Rank - Mighty Wizard
Stars for winning are awarded based on the number of wizards in the battle - 1 star for a 2 player game, 2 stars for a 3 players game and 3 stars for a 4 player game. If a 3 or 4 player game is drawn, a star is awarded for each wizard kill. Additionally, a bonus star is given for a win streak if you have won the previous 2 ranked games. At rank 5, Manticore Master, a star is lost for losing a battle and you can go down ranks. When you reach the Mighty Wizard rank you are given a world ranking and no longer earn stars, and can no longer be demoted. This ranking is based on an Elo rating system designed to reflect players’ skill.
At the end of the season rankings are reset, but not completely to the lowest level. You start the next season with 1 star for each rank achieved during the previous season.
Asynch ranked games can be played, and the results are implemented when the game is over, even if it goes into the next season. They use a 2 day per turn timer.
All ranked games are 'Survivors draw' games with a game turn limit dependant on the number of players: 20 turns for a 2 player game, 23 turns for a 3 player game and 26 turns for a 4 player game.
THE NEW LINE OF SIGHT SYSTEM
- Line-of-sight is traced from the centre of the attacking hex to the centre of the target hex
Any intervening hexes are checked for obstructions (higher level terrain, creatures, trees, rocks,etc.)
- Line of sight traced directly along a hex side can be blocked if either hex sharing that hex side is blocked.
Obstructions are considered to fully occupy the hex (i.e. no shooting between adjacent hexes containing creatures).
The relative heights of attackers, targets and obstructions are then taken into account.
Everything has a height level.
Creatures have a height 1, 2, 3 or 4.
A wizard riding a mount has the height level of the mount.
Terrain hexes have height levels of 0 (ground level), 1 or 2.
- Terrain obstacles also have a height level - rocks and mana sprites are 2 and trees are 4
- The actual height level of a creature = creature height + hex height
- The actual height of terrain objects = terrain object height + hex height
- If an intervening obstruction is at least the same height or higher than the average height of the attacker and the defender then line-of-sight is blocked.
Example: A 2 level hex sits between a dwarf standing on a level 1 hex and a giant. The dwarf can attack the giant - his height is 2 (1 for the hex + 1 for his height), the giant’s height is 3 making an average of 2.5, which is higher than the intervening 2 level hex.
Example: An elf standing one level 1 hex cannot shoot at a wizard at ground level if there is an intervening hydra. The elf’s height is 3 and the wizard’s 2, making an average of 2.5, which is not higher than the Hydra’s height of 3.
When you select a creature or entity the info box on the top right of the screen will display the entity’s height, the terrain height and the total height.