FreeHolder Alpha 7 Hotfix 10
I decided the combat system needed some bugfixing on this round, and made some headway into making it stable and reliable, and hence playable and, hopefully, fun. I did a lot of playtesting and I think the basic mechanics that run it are still pretty good, though adjusting the difficulty a bit may be in order. Once the whole thing is truly operational, I'm hoping you all can put in some time on it and give me some much needed feedback. Though I have a bit of a knack for these things, I will be unlikely to balance it properly without your help and input.
Dev Note 1: Status Effects in Combat
One thing I will be changing about combat, but not for this fix because it will require some more work, and I wanted a fix out today, is a recoding of the mechanics of how weapons inflict status ailments such as bleeding, poison, piercing, and so forth. My previous conception of how it should function has been somewhat obsoleted by new developments in the mechanics of the battle system. Furthermore, it was limited to inflicting one status ailment at a time, due to my design conception of ailments being rolled from a "special die" and I think we would all like to see the occasional time where you manage to pierce, bleed, and poison someone all in one attack. I surely know I would. The old mechanic can also rarely cause the game to glitch out and freeze, so rest assured it's pretty much next on my list of things to fix.
Dev Note 2: Patrol, Combat XP, Training Warriors
I also want to make combat more approachable for people who do not choose the Warrior straightaway but would rather train up Kaius or Lydia. The "patrol" mechanics that allows you to gain combat XP but sometimes results in combats and sometimes not is a little clunky and I think we can do better. For example, I was planning to add a "training yard" improvement at some point to the Factorium where players could train up combat XP in safety without the extreme risk of battling without proper gear or skills. I'll probably do this soon in line with making combat more integrated and unglitched. If this is implemented then patrols can always trigger a combat, although who you fight might be a little bit more randomized as a result. We can instead call it "Raid Bandit Camp" or something. Much less vague.
Dev Note 3: Improve Existing Armors, Add Lower-Tier Armors
Last note in line with making combat more approachable: it is a bit of a tall order to expect people to start crafting leather to get their very first armor, an armor which also, given the work it takes to make, is perhaps not as effective as it should be. So I think I will be improving all existing armors and adding a lower tier of hide armor that can be made straightaway. Is it great? No. Is it way better than nothing? Yes. Leather armor (and all better armors) will be improved to compensate for the extra effort and infrastructure it takes to craft.
Dev Note 4: Flax and Linen
Also, cloth armor was really a thing, actually a major thing, even back in Greco-Roman times, as I learned only recently. Multi-layered cloth armor, reaching its peak in the medieval gambeson, is actually fairly effective against most weapons, even arrows, much cheaper to make than other armors, and uses the same principles essentially as modern kevlar armor. However, this was not made from woolen cloth, but generally linen, grown from flax. It is late coming, but I have always wanted to add flax as a crop you can grow and process into linen cloth. This is very much in line with historical practices at the time. Wool cloth will be used for high-end, fancy clothing, and be worth considerably more than linen cloth, which will be used for work clothing such as cooling wear, cloth armor, and equipment like sacks and so forth. Adding flax and its associated mechanics will also take some time, but I should be able to get it in by the next hotfix. Flax will have some slightly different mechanics than food crops, but I will explicitly tell you what they are so there is no confusion when you begin to test it out.
Thanks, as always, for your patience and support.
-Added villa tutorial
-Fixed a bug where many different combat menu choices would not disappear properly when selected
-Fixed a bug where custom battle gear profiles would not load their name correctly, or empty correctly
-Fixed a bug where player combat skills would not be properly loaded when starting combat
-Fixed a bug where using Comet Strike would disable reaction attacks until a different action is selected
-Fixed a bug where special attacks would not consume reaction attacks, or be disabled by a lack of them
-Changed all references to "fall" to "autumn"
-Changed age for purchased mature animals to 3 years old
(! = Major feature)
Dark Gadgetry for Agent (requires addition/reworking of Use Items)
Muse's Song skill for Guildmaster (requires addition of art objects)
Journeyman Smith for Warrior (requires additional items and iron)
More battle gear (battlecapes, battlepack, sling pouches and special ammo)
-----alpha 8 (tentative)--------
More advanced classes and class skills
Remove studio action
Second factorium size upgrade