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Soulstone Survivors: Prologue update for 20 September 2022

Critical Update v0.7.022d

Share · View all patches · Build 9555513 · Last edited 20 September 2022 – 20:09:25 UTC by Wendy

Patchnotes via Steam Community

Hey everyone!

This minor update is a hotfix to version v0.7.022c, where a few skills were causing the game to stop when you level up, due to localization errors. In addition to that, we have reverted the changes to the attribute names, which are now mostly the same as they were before. In short, the changes are:

  • Fixed Options menu popup not opening properly if using the Keyboard hotkey;
  • Changed attribute names back to percentages and their old names mostly, adjusting all necessary labels and texts;
  • Fixed localization of skills that were causing the game to freeze when levelling up in certain languages;

We have addressed the wording on all relevant power-ups to still make it clear that upgrades are now additive, instead of multiplicative.

I wanted to comment on the controversial changes from the last update in a bit more detail:

1) About the attribute renaming: the reason we even touched on this, is the change from multiplicative to additive. I will speak about that in the next paragraph, but we wanted to move away from percentages, because even though those are nice when looking in isolation, they are not nice when you have to increase them. If you have 200% extra critical damage, and you get a power-up that says "Increase extra critical damage by 50%", are you left with 250%, or 300%? This was a very common question and issue as players start getting more into the game, and we thought of moving into a "rate" system, where this logic is clearer. We heard you that this was not well received, so we reverted the naming, and for the power-ups to maintain the correctness, we changed texts such as:
"Increase extra critical damage by 50%" -> "Increase extra critical damage by an additional 50%"

One of the exceptions of attribute names is attack speed -> cast frequency modifier. This change was kept since attack speed was confusing for a lot of players, which thought that attack speed may only apply to their basic attacks or weapon-related skills. We hope that with these changes now we will be able to keep the messaging clear and attributes easy to understand but also communicate the inner working of the game more clearly.

2) About the multiplicative vs additive: Up until the last update, if you had 200% extra critical damage, and got a power-up for an extra 50%, you would go to 300% extra critical damage. This was the case for all attributes in the game, and while it can be fun to over stack a single attribute and get to crazy high values, it also makes any other strategy that is NOT accumulating a single attribute feel much much worse. In addition to that, the multiplicative scaling causes direct problems with future features, such as the Affixes system in which matches will last longer due to the increased difficulty, and other game modes such as the Endless mode. The issue is, with multiplicative scaling, your power increases exponentially, and to compensate for that, everything else would need to scale exponentially, enemy health, damage, etc, which would lead to a balancing problem where unless you stacked just ONE attribute, you would not be effective.

This change was necessary for the health of the game in general. We are keeping an eye on the current values and how they feel, on the power levels and how the game plays, after all in the end what matters is that it is fun to play. We can always boost numbers back up and come up with different strategies for faster scaling, so bear with us for now, though from our testing and early feedback, it does not seem like values are too small.

Also important to note, the current game can be seen as easy by a lot of the players, especially after you have some Skill Tree progression, but remember, this is not the final challenge of the game, rather the opposite, this is the "easiest" setting in the game. And once again, with multiplicative stats, we would need to scale everything based on multiplicative scaling, which would mean that unless you focused heavily on one attribute only, you would be at a disadvantage. Our main goal with Soulstone Survivors is to make sure that as many builds as possible are viable and fun to play with, and Multiplicative scaling goes directly against that since it benefits focusing on a single skill, on a single attribute, much more than variety. And of course, you still CAN focus on a single attribute and skill, it is still a VERY good strategy, it is just more on line with playing more varied builds.

3) About the Skill Tags name changes: we are aware of your concerns for these changes as well. The issue here comes exactly from attaching Tags, to skill descriptions. With hundreds of skills coming to the game, having over a hundred sharing the "projectile" or "ranged" or "melee" tag, makes it so focusing your build on THOSE tags is optimal. If we changed the tags to describe the actions of the skills, for example, Swing, Slam, Thrust, Blast, Projectile, Bomb... we run into another issue. If we create a skill that we think would be an amazing synergy with "Bomb" type skills, but the skill itself is not "a bomb", say it is a buff, or a summon, or firing a net, or a melee strike... suddenly this skill will suffer in the synergy because it cannot share tags and make sense at the same time.

We can always return to the previous format and think of ways to change them in different directions, but we truly believe his will come at the cost of build variety and differentiation between play styles. The tags serve the purpose of grouping skills together, but also of the purpose of separating skills. One thing, for example, we were not happy with, and still need more work to address, is that most of the time having "mixed element" builds is not ideal, you are incentivised to focus on a certain tag. With skills-sharing tags like they did before, this was exacerbated, and we are taking steps (not only the renaming but new power-ups, runes and effects) to make sure that mixed-element builds are as good as single-element builds.

We will keep an eye on how these changes continue to develop and might revert this change, or at least change the names into more logical groupings.

To finish this way too long message, I just wanted to say that we are listening, and I hope that by now you know we are doing our best to create the best game we can. We are bound to make mistakes, and we are not afraid of going back and fixing them. We want what is best for the game and we always count on your help, feedback and support to move forward.

Thank you all for your attention,
Best wishes,

  • The dev team
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