Nov 302011

The previously discussed v1.55 patch (full notes) will go live this Saturday. Things have gone really well on the test server and I’m excited for all of you to check it out. From the wealth of new features to the much improved user interface design work, this is a great patch.

Whether or not v1.55 will include the balance changes that I’ve been meaning to implement is kind of up in the air at this point. I don’t want to delay the patch any further just so that we can include those changes (which are related to Ninja improvements, better itemization for all classes at various levels etc), so they may be relegated to a v1.56 update that would be released sometime next week. As a developer it’s very easy to fall into the trap of trying to cram everything that you want to do into one patch, and I’m going to try and avoid that for v1.55.

v1.55 also includes a complete revamp of the game’s long neglected F1 Help files.

No new podcast today, but we’ll be back next week with another one. There is also another official PvP tournament this coming Sunday, this time on Zenithia.

Nov 272011

As I prepare to spend the next few hours browsing Amazon for all of the big sales, I’m super excited to be able to offer my very own Cyber Monday sale on NEStalgia subscriptions. From now through tomorrow at Midnight PST all NEStalgia subscriptions are Buy One Get One Free. The prices for subscriptions are as follows:

In order to take advantage of this offer you need to purchase a subscription before midnight tomorrow and shoot a quick email to with your BYOND key and the key of the person whom you’d like to gift the free subscription to. You’re also welcome to give the free subscription to yourself, meaning that a one year subscription could cost you only $9 instead of $15. Head over to the subscriptions page on the NEStalgia website to make your purchase.

Whether you’re a dedicated veteran or an oldbie who lurks the forums waiting for the new content patch to drop, thanks to all of  you for your ongoing support of NEStalgia development!

Nov 272011

Just to let everyone know, I had to post a hotfix for an unexpected bug this morning and along with it I put in some of the minor fixes from the upcoming v1.55 patch. These fixes previously slated for v1.55 are now live:

  • Ranger Bug Fix: Quickness was calculating a percentage increase to Agility rather than a straight increase.
  • Cleric Bug Fix: Seeing Red was not impacting attack or defense as it should have been.
  • Warlock Bug Fix: The base cost of Leech was still being calculated incorrectly.

Because this isn’t a full version number update, in order to register the effects of these bug fixes you’ll need to simply equip or unequip a piece of gear for your stats to recalculate.

It’s also important to note that I’ve taken this opportunity to finally disable the free respecs. I let those go on for way longer than I meant to, and my original goal of getting lots of numbers and balance feedback from players has been fulfilled. Respeccing your character will now cost gold, and the price increases every time you do it (but maxes out after 3 respecs):

  • 1st Time: 40 gold
  • 2nd Time: 400 gold
  • 3rd Time: 4,000 gold
  • 4th Time+: 40,000 gold

I get this question a lot, so here is the answer once again just in case:  Yes, whenever I make significant changes to the skill trees for a particular class with an update, that class will have its skill points refunded.

I hope that all of you enjoyed your Thanksgiving weekend! Don’t forget about the tournament later today on Sosaria.

Nov 232011

Although this is the shortest podcast we’ve ever recorded, it is crammed with lots of new information about the v1.55 update that I didn’t cover in yesterday’s blog post.

You can find this and previous podcasts on the NEStalgia Podcasts page and also on iTunes.

PuppetShowJustice has scheduled an official PvP tournament for this coming Sunday at 4:00 PM PST on Sosaria. That should be the first of many to come this December, as tournaments will be scheduled on Algol and Zenithia soon.

Nov 222011

The next NEStalgia patch has grown into a bit of a monster. Spiff and I had a pretty decent sized list of goals for the post-skill tree patches, and somehow almost all of those ambitions have ended up coming to fruition simultaneously in this single massive update.

First and foremost, Gamepad Mode is finally here. Courtesy of Spiff, you’ll now be able to play NEStalgia using a gamepad/keyboard exclusively. This new option is a simple toggle from the expanded preferences menu in v1.55, and it comes along with its own interface setup specific crafted for mouse-less navigation:

You can click the toggle in the corner to disable Gamepad Mode anytime

Pressing the "A Button" brings up this navigation menu

Notice that the Main HUD itself looks a bit different as well, and most those changes aren’t relegated to Gamepad Mode exclusively. The old Party HUD and Invite/Attack buttons are completely gone, replaced with a much more intuitive setup. You can now see all of your fellow party members’ information on the Main HUD at all times:

…but the real treat is the new player interaction setup. I’ve created a short video meant to serve as a tutorial for new players in the future that also serves to show off these new features. In addition to demonstrating the new player inviting/attack interface, this video gives you a glimpse of the new Auto-Heal and Auto-Refill functions in action!

Last for today but certainly not least, Spiff has also prepared another highly-requested change: battle backgrounds. Those of you who read the forums might remember this topic in which the community helped us to explore the many possibilities for giving battles some sort of scenery. What we settled on are Lufia-style faded overworld backgrounds in battle, and they look great. If there are any NES purists out there, you’ll be able to disable these backgrounds and stick with the classic black void via a toggle in the preferences menu.

In this post I covered many of the new features and refinements that are coming, but it’s important to note that v1.55 will also include many balance changes for the skill trees. I’ll talk about those changes soon, but for now I hope that all of you enjoy your Thanksgiving holiday (or 4 straight days of Skyrim for those of you staying home this year). I’ll be back next week with a release date for v1.55 and perhaps even some juicy details on the forthcoming companion/content patch that is in the works.

Nov 162011

After a two week hiatus we’re back with another podcast, in which Balzack and I briefly talk about what the development team is working on. As you’ll hear me discuss in the podcast, my short term goals are to get some PvP Tournaments scheduled and to start posting some previews of the Monster Companion update. Meanwhile Spiff is hard at work on bug fixes, Gamepad Mode, and the unique naming system. Lots of updates are incoming, so check back soon for more information. For now though you can listen to this week’s podcast:

You can find this podcast and others on the NEStalgia Podcasts page and also on iTunes.

Nov 012011

The v1.54 update is now live on all servers (version notes). It address a handful of minor bugs (thanks Spiff!) and also delivers some substantial improvements to the Ranger skill trees. My goals with the Ranger tweaks were A.) to boost the power of Storm spells for most types of builds, and B.) to significantly increase the viability of “jack of all trades” Ranger builds.

As far as other tweaks go, multi-target (AoE) damage received too much of a boost in v1.53 so I’ve brought that down a tad. Although I mentioned this a few days ago, I’ll reiterate: the free respecs will remain in effect until I’m done making major tweaks to all of the skill trees. In the meantime keep the feedback rolling in because although I can’t personally reply to every single post, I do read everything written on the suggestions board.

Next on my agenda is a review of the Ninja skill trees. Although I feel like their trees offer lots of utility, they lack the excitement or the sense of growth found in other classes’ trees. My other goal for the near future is to improve the selection of available gear for classes that currently encounter equipment dry spells for certain portions of the game.

We’ll be recording another podcast later this evening so if you have questions or just a general topic that you’d like for us to discuss then please let us know in the comments. We’ve been getting a ton of listeners each week but not a whole lot of feedback, so I’d really like to know what our audience does or doesn’t like about the podcasts so that we can continue to improve on the formula.

Enjoy v1.54!