Have you been waiting for the price to come down? If so then now is the time. M.EXE is now $6.99 on Steam! Come try out the game and become part of its development.
Have you been waiting for the price to come down? If so then now is the time. M.EXE is now $6.99 on Steam! Come try out the game and become part of its development.
In this video I’m just explaining the new highlight and circle effects during battles that are available in the latest patch.
Abilities now have a longer delay between when you give a command and when the monster begins to react. This includes reactions to Block and Dash commands. In general, being defensive and countering will take a bit more prediction and require more caution rather than being able to react to almost any offense right away. This doesn’t change the speed at which abilities are executed, just the delay before your monster begins to react to a command. The delay is present in AI without trainers as well so it’s all fair.
Blocking has changed a lot. I really loved how simple blocking was to understand since you only had to subtract your block rating from the enemy’s attack to know exactly how much health you were going to lose. There was a real problem with the way blocking worked though. Because it subtracted from the damage, low damage attacks like Scratch and Fist Attack became really weak in comparison to higher damage attacks. Even monsters with the lowest block ratings would be able to block weaker attacks with no problem.
In this patch blocking will be percentage based rather than subtracting from the damage directly. The way it works is that first penetration will be calculated. If the penetration is greater than or equal to the target’s block rating, then it will still be as if the target had never blocked. If there is no penetration or if it’s lower than the block rating, then automatically 1 damage will be subtracted from the attack. This ensures that it’s still always better to block a weak attack, since a percentage of very low damage is often less than 1. Then afterwards, the damage is reduced by a percentage based on your block rating.
Overall, it means that all attacks will get to do some damage when blocked. It also means that all monsters will still see a decent damage reduction when blocking higher damage attacks, but only monsters with high block ratings will actually see a good reduction in damage from blocking weaker attacks. You can now safely stack points on block without fear that it will go to waste. At the same time, you no longer have the safety of 4 points in block reducing Fist Attack to 1 damage for each hit. It also gets rid of the weird hump between having 3 points on block and 4 points on block(4 would make 5 damage attacks do the minimum 1 damage, while only having 3 block would double the damage to 2).
With more damage going around, I needed to up the starting health a bit to compensate and make matches last a little longer. This also helps make higher health monsters have a little less of an advantage as before, since more minimum health makes the health attribute points worth less, though they are still pretty strong.
Stamina is proving to be a challenge to get right. It has changed a lot but I will be watching it closely. It now recharges at the same speed as you recharge Mana, assuming your Mana Regen stat is the same as your Stamina Regen. However, Stamina now takes more time to begin recharging than before, which should leave opponents with a good window to attack you if you are drained. This makes it so running out of Stamina isn’t quite as punishing as before since it can currently be very hard to recover once out of it. This should also make it less stressful for monsters that run out of Stamina quickly while still leaving them vulnerable for running out. Stamina taking so long to recharge made Stamina abilities less favorable since Dashing was so important. With Dashing having a longer delay, and Stamina recharging faster, it should encourage more use of Stamina attacks. This also helps since matches may last a bit longer with more health going around.
Recharge now has a bit more of a delay before your monster actually begins getting some mana back from it. The delay is slight but it’s there which helps it match up more with all the standard abilities in the game.
KOs almost always benefited the aggressor who would be regenerating Stamina while their enemy struggled to get up. This often lead to too big of an advantage since after dealing 25+ damage you now also had a decent Stamina lead as well. The way Stamina works now also doesn’t really allow for this to work the same way, and it always bothered me how unpredictable this could be. If the defender was KO’d close to their battle start location, then they would be in a bigger Stamina disadvantage than if they were KO’d far away from their battle location since they would gain Stamina while moving into position. It also meant slower monsters had a slight advantage there too, since it would take them longer to get there… It was just really funky, so for now I have removed this feature. KOs now simply reset the fight while granting all participants full Stamina. In many ways, KOs favor the defender now since it prevents the aggressor from following up with more damage after the initial hit, but it really depends on how much Stamina both players have available when the KO takes place.
The Move command is useful for getting your monster in better range for melee attacks, but it would also leave your monster vulnerable to attack during the movement which made it a bit of a risk to use. I wanted to get rid of this risk in order to encourage getting closer to your enemy. In this patch the Move command is cancelled when you give your monster another command. This means you can move your monster forward and during the movement you can give a Fireball command or a Dash command and your monster will immediately stop moving and begin processing the new command.
Dodging Melee Attacks
Dashing away from a melee attack felt very inconsistent sometimes. Since the attacking monster will track their target, you could sometimes dash away and still have the enemy keep tracking you during the initial movement of your dash, which felt a bit unfair. To combat this, melee attacks now create an invisible target for your monster when they begin winding up. This temporary target will spawn in the same location as the enemy monster’s location but will not follow the enemy monster. As a result, dashing away to avoid melee attacks should feel a lot more consistent as long as your monster starts their dashing movement during the windup.
Larger Monster Collisions
Many monsters have gotten their collision sizes increased a bit in order to prevent monster models from getting too close to each other during battles which would result in things like heads overlapping. As a result melee attacks should be in range a bit faster than before.
Added Some Effects for High Graphics
The game now has some motion blur, lens flare and depth of field effects. You should only see these if you have your Post Process settings up to 3. I’m still playing with these settings so it might need to be toned down.
Shield Effects When Blocking
The Block shield effect has changed a bit. It looks a bit different but the main change is that is visible as long as you’re blocking instead of only when receiving damage while blocking. Taking damage while blocking will shortly change the color of the Block shield to give better feedback that damage was blocked.
Outline and Ground Circle While Performing Abilities
It should now be very obvious when a monster is performing an ability. I’ve been working on making it as clear as possible and I think I’ve finally done that. Monsters who are performing abilities now have a white outline. The outline will be yellow if the ability being performed has armor.
I have also added a white circle effect on the ground that starts large and grows smaller as the ability is being performed. This circle serves as a visual representation of how much longer it will take for the ability to finish casting.
New Battle UI
The battle UI such as the abilities available and the health bars have all been upgraded. The life bar has been changed into a circle progress bar that also displays your current hp as well as your max hp in numbers.
Fire Projectile Effects
Upgraded the fire projectile effects to now look more like a ball of flame. The fire projectiles now also leave a trail of smoke as it travels and this smoke persists after the projectile is destroyed. This sets up the base code for other projectiles to also have persistent effects and more effects will see some upgrades over time.
New Look for Computers
The model for the computers has been changed so they look a bit sleeker now.
There were lots of changes to abilities in order to help balance the game a bit more after all the changes listed above. I won’t list all the changes because after so much testing and so many different dev versions I’ve honestly forgotten… Sorry about that. I’ll try to keep better track of numbers once things become a bit more settled in development. But I’ll try to put some of the important things out there.
Takes a bit longer to charge, same for EX so they both have matching charge times
The speed at which the Fireball projectile travels has been increased to match the travel speed of EX Fireball
-Scratch and Fist Attack
These abilities are now much stronger since blocking doesn’t make you almost immune from them. With the added Stamina going around, they had become more spammable. In order to combat this, the Stamina cost for these abilities has gone up.
Stamina cost has gone up from 15 to 24(8 per hit)
-EX Ice Chomp
I wanted to reward landing this ability a bit more and make it more unique
Now does 15 damage instead of 25.
Now instantly applies Freeze to the opponent, consuming all Chill stacks.
In this patch I’m introducing 3 obstacle abilities. Not only are these new abilities but they are the first of their kind. These abilities spawn an obstacle into the battlefield that you should be able to use to your advantage. I will be watching these abilities closely.
Energy Barrier is a psychic ability that creates a wall in front of your monster that blocks only enemy projectiles. It does not block monsters however, so you are still vulnerable to melee attacks. It can be destroyed through enough damage.
EX Energy Barrier
This version of Energy Barrier will reflect projectiles back at the opponent and cannot be damaged.
Creates a solid wall between your monster and their opponent. This wall blocks monsters as well as all projectiles. Monsters performing melee attacks who come in contact with a wall will use their melee attacks to damage it instead of their opponent. It is an obstacle for both you and your opponent, so its main use is to block an incoming attack when you don’t want to use Stamina, or to buy you time to regenerate some energy. It can also make an aggressive enemy dash to get around it, consuming their Stamina. It can be destroyed through enough damage.
EX Rock Wall
Creates a wall of fire that damages and pushes away enemy monsters but does not block projectiles.
EX Fire Wall
I’ve been working on a lot of things, mostly ironing out some kinks but also adding in lots of new stuff.
One of the things I’ve changed recently is the battle UI.
As can be seen, the health bars are no longer like the stamina and mana bars. In an effort to help differentiate health from mana and stamina, as well as to make it more clear to players and spectators, health bars are now circular bars that also display in numbers how much health monsters have available. They are also quite large so it’s always really easy to see without having to strain your eyes.
The UI that displays the ability command text as well as the bar that fills up as the ability is charging up have all been incorporated into the health UI. No longer will the ability charge UI overlap with your health bar. In the image you can see that coming from the top of the health UI is the now attached ability charge UI showing that Flareball has recently completed for Brydon.
The UI for the abilities has also been going through changes, though this is a bit more WIP. But right now the ability icons glow white in the center when the ability is available for use and become dark when the ability is not available.
As always, this is all WIP and changes are being made daily.
I’ve made a bit more progress on Obstacles since my last post.
The Fire Wall ability felt a bit lacking since it doesn’t block projectiles. This leaves your monster vulnerable while casting for very little payoff. The only real reason to use it would be on reaction to an incoming melee attack, but that seemed too situational for me.
Luckily a viewer on YouTube(Bleck Jimtarters) suggested to me that Flame Wall could combo with friendly projectiles in some way. I’ve taken his suggestion, and currently Flame Wall will buff Fire type projectiles by increasing their damage +10. Non Fire Projectiles will gain the burn effect but no damage buff.
There is a visual effect on the projectile after it passes the Flame Wall to let you know that it has been buffed, though it may be a bit hard to tell since projectiles move pretty fast.
Flareball passing through Flame Wall. Yellow ring added to projectile as well as a size increase to let you know the projectile has received a buff.
For EX Flame Wall, the damage buff on Fire projectiles is upped to +20 and it replaces the Burn effect with the Ignite effect. Non Fire Projectiles just gain the Ignite effect.
Flareball passing through EX Flame Wall. Blue ring added to projectile and a larger size increase.
I still don’t know how much use Fire Wall will see but it’s at least strong on paper now so we’ll have to see once the patch is out.
I’ve also been working on an Earth type obstacle, Rock Wall. Rock Wall is an obstacle that does block projectiles. Also, unlike Flame Wall, Rock Wall does no damage to enemy monsters. So it’s really a more defensive move. When you throw out Rock Wall, you know you are safe until the Rock Wall is destroyed or the enemy dashes out of its way. It’s also a useful way to trade vs expensive enemy projectiles. It should be useful to cast and buy some time to regenerate Stamina.
While Rock Wall might seem pretty straight forward, it has been a lot of trouble to get it to work properly. First I had to be careful to not make it too cheap, because you could infinitely delay the game. But if made too expensive then it wouldn’t really serve its purpose as an ability that let you regenerate resources.
This became a big problem because Earth abilities all had a Mana and Stamina cost. The combined cost was something I felt made Earth monsters more unique, but in the end it’s causing a lot of problems.
So for now I’ve made Earth abilities like the other types, where they only cost Mana unless it’s a hybrid ability like Rock Punch. With Rock Wall costing only Mana, it can now be used to regen Stamina.
Terram Spawned a Rock Wall. Art is temporary.
The Rock Wall has 25 Health, so it will block 2 Flareballs, but only 1 Fireball.
Another big problem I had was dealing with incoming melee attackers. One way to handle it could have been like Flame Wall, where enemies take damage for running into the wall. But that also meant your own monster would run into it when doing melee attacks, and it also made it feel less like a defensive obstacle and more like a Flame Wall.
Right now the way it works is that any monster performing a melee attack that comes into contact with the wall, will target the wall rather than trying to go through it. So If the enemy performs a Haymaker and they run into a Rock Wall, they will stop and Haymaker the Rock Wall.
Here is an example of Terram using Haymaker on its own Rock Wall.
I feel like this is more appropriate since it keeps it very different from something like Flame Wall while also not making your monster look too dumb running into the Rock Wall and taking damage. Taking some damage might be more appropriate for charging attacks like Tackle so I might work that in later.
So this is some progress I’ve made with Obstacles. There are so many cool things I can still make, like force fields that slow projectiles or shoot them back. Maybe an Ice Mine that freezes opponents on contact. Make sure to leave me some ideas if you think you have any cool ones.
I’ve been working on getting obstacle abilities into the game. Recently, I’ve been making some good progress.
This should serve as building blocks for many more abilities to come. Hopefully these types of abilities find their use in the game.
After a lot more testing, I realized that the cooldown system was causing a lot of problems and ended up not feeling right for the game. While I enjoyed how precise the system was in letting you know when an ability would be available again, the current resource system lets me quickly glance at my Mana and Stamina bar as well as my enemy’s and I know more or less what we are both currently capable of. With the cooldown system I had to look at each of my 4 abilities individually, my cooldowns and charges, as well as look at my enemy’s.
I thought the cooldown system would make it easier for players to know when an ability is available or not. It instead created more instances of players attempting to perform abilities that weren’t available. What’s nice about the resource system, is that as long as you have the mana and stamina available, you can perform any ability. Should have been obvious I guess. Looking at 2 things is easier than keeping track of 4.
I’m glad I experimented with this though. It would have still been in the back of my mind if I hadn’t. I will now work on ways to refine the current system. I also really like the circular progress bars I came up with. Maybe I can use them for something else?