Leveling and Augments Video

Happy Memorial Day to all of our supporters!

In this video we’re tackling some technical aspects of leveling, character progression, and buffs.  First, a brand new fire Devastator runs into some Prometheans.  Note that she is level one, but the Prometheans are level two and level three – their names are color-coded in yellow and orange to show the difference.

Devastators should be very careful around higher-level enemies.

In this fight you can also see that our hero, the Sorceress, has a new reaction animation upon being hit with ranged fire by the Prometheans.  This is a hard fight for the Sorceress, and she uses a defense infusion to help her out.  Notice that after her defense is improved, some enemy attacks do get a “miss” message.  Still, it is a hard fight for an unaugmented, level one character.  Fortunately, the Sorceress levels up during the fight, which immediately heals her to full health, allowing her to win.  Normally, she’d need some other advantage – augments, infusions, and teammates can all help.

The hero’s head is tilted slightly from the impact of an attack.

After winning, the Sorceress makes use of the SoH process for upgrading her powers.  To show off the system better, we level her up a second time with dev powers.  She can pick one new power at level two, and she selects Overheat, a damage buff.  Then, at level three, she gets to apply two new augment slots to any of her powers.  She chooses to upgrade one of her direct damage powers instead of Overheat, for now.

Note the tabs in the lower left for primary and secondary powers.

After that, the Sorceress adds damage augments to her powers, along with one energy reduction augment, and two efficiency augments to boost her self-buff powers.  The powers’ stats, both before and after the augments are applied, can be seen in the lower right.

It’s always fun to see the damage number go up.

Finally, the Sorceress activates one infusion and reactivates Overheat.  You can always see which buffs and infusions are active by looking directly underneath the character picture at the top of the screen. There is a small set of icons there, one for each buff power or infusion.  It’s important to know that all buff effects are additive in nature, giving a player enormous power to plan how powerful their character needs to be for a particular fight.  Management of buffs and infusions is a core skill of Ship of Heroes, especially for team content.  Just mashing the buttons is fine while you’re learning, but it won’t be enough to defeat bosses.

Fireball is much stronger after applying both a damage infusion and the power Overheat.

The final fight is a repeat of the initial fight.  The enemies are now color-coded white and blue because they are still level two and level three, but this time the Sorceress is also level three.  The Sorceress now has higher base stats, augments, buffs, and infusions all running at the same time, and they are all additive.  Her health bar is hardly affected by the enemies, because she has become much more powerful.  Normally a character would not need multiple infusions to fight enemies at or just below her own level, but we thought we’d show off the effect for fun.

Pictured: how it feels to get revenge on enemies that used to be frustrating.

Technical Notes:

  • Careful observers will note some subtle upgrades to the Fiery Blast powerset FX. Also, you’ll see impact animations playing on the Sorceress when she is hit with ranged attacks.  Her archetype is Devastator, so she has ranged damage and buff powers.
  • As mentioned previously, we are making some changes to our video production process so that more man-hours can be devoted to game development. As a result, we recorded the central part of the video, leaving a lot of time for the voiceover, and then discovered that we didn’t need quite so much time.  It was simpler to simply speed up the video to show the selection of a power, the addition of slots, and the installation of augments, than to re-record.  So if the standing animations seem a little frantic, that’s why.
  • Everything that we show in the video is exactly how it looks and behaves in-game, for us.
  • We think leveling up should be more dramatic, with more of a flash of light and an audio cue. Look for that in the future.
  • One of the key things to realize is that we have the powers and combat system working pretty much as we need them to. A viewer can see that character level, buffs, augments and infusions all stack, and have the desired effect.

Our new Devastator cheering her victory! Possible mainly because everything stacks in Ship of Heroes.

What’s Next:

As we have mentioned in our forums, we are currently working on several key projects in parallel:

  1. Finalizing leveling, progression, and character stats – more or less done in structure, with this video.
  2. Finalizing Superspeed after our internal assessment concluded that we needed one more round of improvements to the animations.
  3. Coding and testing improvements to our version of Replication Graph, a server and instance optimization technique developed in the Unreal Engine for multiplayer games.
  4. Upgrading the character faces and performing a final review of morph selection for the Character Creation Tool (CCT) in SoH. Hopefully we can get this done in June.
  5. Planning for a major CCT Beta, as soon as we can carry it out.

As a result, we think we will have a lot show, and a Beta to share with the community, in the next few months.  If you like what you see, please consider supporting us.  Your donations are the fuel for creating Ship of Heroes.