Both Spiff and I have been hard at work this month on different tasks. While Spiff has been tackling an automated PvP tournament system, the majority of my time has been devoted to Monster Companions.
The automated PvP tournament system will allow us to schedule regular weekly tournaments for both brackets (20s and 32s). The brackets are generated based upon the teams that sign up during the week (and show up on time), and then the tournament takes place without the need for Moderator supervision. Members of that week’s winning teams will be rewarded not only with Colosseum Badges, but with statues of themselves displayed inside the Colosseum (Spiff’s idea!).
The new tournament system has been in open testing all month long and is very close to completion. Yesterday we also hosted our very first closed beta test for Monster Companions, which went incredibly well. Everything is looking very solid, including the Companion battle A.I. (which let me tell you was no small task to create).
Although you won’t be able to directly control your companions, you will be able to set each companion’s battle tactics via the new Tactics menu in battle. The tactics themselves are fairly self-explanatory (Balanced, Offensive, Defensive, Conserve), and can be changed on the fly at anytime during battle.
In the overworld players have full control and will be able to cast their companion’s spells manually. Companions won’t be able to equip gear or carry items, but they do have slots for Stat Seeds and their own version of Skill Trees called “Milestone Boosts”. These boosts allow the player to choose between one of two skill options for the companion every 5 levels. What’s more, every companion has a unique set of Milestone Boosts specifically tailored to its breed.
You’ll notice that the companions either use MP, Will or Rage to power their abilities (Rage is identical to the Merchant Credit system). The type of resource a companion uses to power its moves has a big impact on how it handles itself in battle. The earliest healing companion in the game (Blue Slime) actually uses Rage to power its abilities, which makes for a decidedly different type of healer that can’t always burst heal but will never run out of MP.
As usual I’m not going to give out release projections for this stuff until it’s much closer to being finished. I’m very happy with where we’re at though, and I’m also getting excited to dive right into content expansion work as soon as companions are done. As testing continues over the course of the next couple weeks I’ll be sure to share many more details and screenshots
Very interested. Not what I had expected at all. I’m pretty excited for this to become the norm.
Looks fun! I’m excited to try it!
Looking really good, actually. I’m super pleased that the milestone system returned for this. A good number of choices to make. And it’s nice to see some pets bringing utility like Outside or Recall.
Also super neat that they use different resource systems. I lol’d at the idea of “Rage” based healing. I’M SO MAD I JUST NEED TO HEAL SOMETHING! GRRR!
Is the timezone for the tournemants fixed from now? Hours like 5PM EST will prove troublesome for players from Europe.
The tournament time is displayed in terms of Pacific time, but the actual time a tournament held is variable.
We don’t schedule stuff to accommodate players in distant timezones. Most of our players are from North America and both of our current servers are run on a Pacific time schedule, and as such the tournaments have been/will be scheduled at times most convenient for players in US timezones.
It’s a bummer: I liked Sos so much because it was majority EST… Oh well it isn’t that big of a deal. Anyways, I can’t wait to get the sprites I designed as my companions! (I’ve seen the terwasp in a few screenshots <3)
I’m going to neglect many other hobbies and activities when monster companions arrive.
I would like to know more about the bonuses pets are going to give people when your not using them. Will they be a big bonus and hurt people who don’t want to hunt for monsters? I’m guessing your going to explain more about this in a later post or did you decide to take that out?
Well, I can say that I am extremely looking forward to this companion system. I am also glad you brought back this milestone system, and it looks fairly interesting to build up your companion upon. As far as the auto tourney goes, I think it would be rather cool, but I probably won’t participate in it as much as PVE and such. Either way, both items will be great to have! 😛
The only monsters I will catch are slimes.