Aug 212015

NEStalgia Podcast CoverLast week we received a great response when we asked players to submit questions for us to answer on a new episode of the NEStalgia podcast. Balzack and Spiff joined me on this week’s podcast as I answered many of those questions. We also discussed what we’ve been up to lately, and what our plans our for the KotE release. You can stream the podcast on this page or download the MP3:

We didn’t get to every question that was submitted, but I’m definitely open to doing another podcast again in the near future if there are burning questions that weren’t answered. If you have new questions then feel free to ask those in the comments as well; if there is interest in another podcast then we’ll make it happen. Enjoy!

Feb 042014

So how about that Steam launch? Well, the BYOND team is still working as fast as they can to get all of the Steam API stuff integrated into NEStalgia. Once that’s done, we’ll be finally be able to release the game on Steam (hopefully this month). In addition to lending a hand in that process when I can, my time has been spent preparation the long-awaited Key of the Exiles content expansion.

As we discussed in the last podcast, the content expansion is going to come along with a re-balance of all the character classes in the game, and you’ll be seeing many of those balance changes in the pre-expansion v1.68 update. Here is a look at of some of the major changes soon coming your way:

Skill Tree Redesign

In v1.68 I’ve overhauled the Skill Trees for each class. Although the contents and overall structure of the trees will be familiar to you, the look has totally changed:

Ranger v168 Nature Tree Ranger v168 Hunter Tree

When I set out to redesign the Skill Trees my goal was to build upon all of the stuff that has worked before, while fixing as many flaws in the system as I could. That sounds like a pretty obvious objective, but my point is that this isn’t a redesign for the sake of a redesign. These new trees are simply an improved evolution, and I think that players will be really happy with them.

You’ll notice that the Foundation tree has been completely eliminated. Skills that increase Max HP/MP etc have been absorbed into the regular trees for each class, while the Elemental Enchants have been removed from Skill Trees altogether (more on that below). The way that you invest your skill points has changed as well; you don’t always have to fully invest in a skill node in order to move on to the next node. There are also many skill nodes that you can reach via multiple paths.

The end result of all these changes is that players will have more freedom of choice when speccing, and each skill point will make a much bigger difference than it did before.

Character Stat Changes

The most dramatic change in this update is in the way Plus Fire, Ice, Storm and Heal work. Instead of working on a percentage basis as they do now (ex: 20 Plus Fire increases fire damage by 20%), these stats will now increase damage on a 1:1 basis. In other words, if you have 10 Plus Fire then all of your fire spells will do exactly 10 more damage. The same goes for Plus Heal; 10 Plus Heal will boost the power of all your healing spells by 10 points.

Another big change: there are no longer global caps on any character stats in the game. The maximum benefit that you can receive from Plus Fire, Ice, Storm or Heal is capped per Ability. This information is all displayed courtesy of an expanded Ability HUD:

New Ab HUD: Heal

New Ab HUD: Storm

While a low-level spell like Fireball might have a Plus Fire Cap of 15, a higher level fire spell could take that cap up to 30. The same logic applies to healing spells.

However, having more Plus Element than is needed for a particular spell isn’t necessarily a waste. The Resist Fire, Ice and Storm stats now also operate on a 1:1 ration to damage, and are deducted from the attack power of an Ability before the cap is calculated. In other words, if I have 30 Plus Fire when I cast a Fire spell that has a Plus Fire Cap of 15 and my target has 20 Resist Fire, I’ll receive a total Plus Fire damage bonus of 10 points on that attack. It’s all just basic addition and subtraction.

Alongside these big changes, the Spell Piercing and Resilience stats have been completely eliminated. All of the items in the game have been adjusted to accommodate this change; the stats on weapons/armor will be comparable or superior to what they were before.

Weapon Enchants

Elemental weapon enchants have been removed from the Skill Trees. Instead you’ll now find Fire, Ice or Storm elemental enchants that can add damage to any weapon. Like abilities, these enchants also use your relative Plus Element stat and have a Plus Element Cap.

v168 Fire Enchant v168 Storm Enchant

Each enchant is displayed in the bottom left corner of the new expanded Item Detail HUD. You’ll notice that the enchants are displayed with a “less than or equal to” sign; that number represents the Plus Element Cap on each enchant (the maximum amount of Plus Element damage that the weapon can do). This next bit is important: the amount of extra damage your enchanted weapon does is based solely on your relevant Plus Element stat. In other words, a Storm enchant on a weapon won’t do any additional damage unless your character also has some Plus Storm. Like Abilities, any Plus Element that you have over your weapon’s cap will first count against any resistance that the enemy has.

Enchanted Item Closeup

Many rare weapons now come pre-enchanted, and you’ll be able to find Enchantment Scrolls around the world to add or replace enchants on all of your weapons. There are two variables that matter with enchants: the element, and the power cap.


In this new (short) podcast we talk about some of these changes, the fundraiser results, and other stuff that’s been going on behind the scenes. We also explain the Steam delays more in-depth. Check it out:


We’ll probably do a bit of closed testing on v1.68 before it goes live, and all of the people who contributed to the fundraiser back in December will be invited to participate. Speaking of the fundraiser, I’m working on another big blog post to showcase our top donors and post the results. Look for that soon.

There are many more changes bundled in v1.68, and I’m posting an ongoing list on the wiki’s Version Notes page as I finalize everything. This update is a huge step towards the expansion, and I’m excited that players will be able to benefit from these changes in the near future.

Jan 112012

With a standalone installer and the flash client on the way, 2012 is going to be a big year for NEStalgia. As we work to exponentially increase the NEStalgia’s player base this year, the game itself will continue to receive lots of awesome new updates and content expansions. The next big update in the works is the previously announced Monster Companion expansion that will enable players to recruit almost any monsters in the game to be their AI controlled allies. For this week’s podcast we did a Q&A about this new companion system based upon player submitted questions:

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

Although lots of progress is being made, I won’t be making any big preview blog posts about Monster Companions (or the automated PvP Tournaments that Spiff is working on) until there is something worth showing off. As soon as I have something solid to report, all of you will be the first to know about it.

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 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.

Oct 262011

Spiff and I have been working on a v1.53 patch with various bug fixes and balance tweaks, and I’ll make a full post about that update here when it’s ready to go. In the meantime this week’s podcast features discussion on the communities’ reaction to the skill trees, the first round of changes that we’re working on, and a talk with Spiff about what new features are in the pipeline. Also, this weekend’s Halloween event!

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

Oct 202011

NEStalgia v1.52 was released yesterday afternoon as planned, but I neglected to announce it here on the blog. Although I’m sure that most of you have read up on it by now, you can find the release notes on the wiki. The release went very smoothly, and over the course of the next few weeks we’ll be making lots of small changes and fixes as necessary.

In other news, the NEStalgia Podcast is returning and will hopefully be back to its regular weekly schedule. Jared (Balzack) and I recorded a new podcast late on Tuesday night before the v1.52 release (so we may or may not sound like mellow late night radio talk show hosts), and I’ve just posted it on the Podcasts page. For those of you who didn’t notice, the NEStalgia Podcast is now listed on iTunes along with many other podcast delivery services. I’m no longer going to post these podcasts on YouTube; instead I’ll be providing embedded mp3s. Click to play today’s podcast:

Please post any request for topics that you’d like us to discuss or questions that you want us to answer on next week’s podcast in the comments section of this post. Thanks for listening, and enjoy v1.52!