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.