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MASSIVE CHALICE Update #58 - hybrids Hybrids HYBRIDS!

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Hey MASSIVE CHALICE backers!

“We’ve talked about it” long enough! We’ve been digging into the Hybrid Class system and we’re just about ready to unveil it!

But first… we’ll just give you a quick reminder that we are in Steam Early Access RIGHT NOW.

http://store.steampowered.com/app/246110

If you backed the game at $20+ and haven’t received your code for MASSIVE CHALICE then please email us at support@doublefine.com or you can contact Humble directly to get your code!

https://support.humblebundle.com

State of the Game

We’ve issued multiple patches to the game since we launched our Premium Backer Beta back in November. And right now we’re in the middle of our biggest patch yet! We’re prepping a big update that features the long-awaited Hybrid Classes!

Hybrid Class Overview

Starting in the new patch all heroes will have a Primary Class and a Secondary Class. Your initial batch of heroes will be Pure Classes - Caberjack, Alchemist, Hunter. These are the Classes that are in the game now with no changes! For the sake of this system, a Pure Class is a character that has the same Primary and Secondary Class.

Hybrid Classes are created when two heroes with different primary classes have a kid or adopt one. The Regent’s Primary Class becomes the baby hero’s Primary Class and the Partner’s Primary Class becomes the baby’s Secondary class.

Here’s a totally sweet graphic that shows how the system works!

HybridMatrix.PNG

Note that this generates 6 unique hybrid classes. Why did we choose to do it this way? With the way relic weapons work we wanted the Primary Class to determine the weapons and armor of the hero. So this way if your Regent was a Caberjack/Hunter and you are a Caberjack/Alchemist (because your other parent was an Alchemist/Alchemist) then we want you to end up using Caberjack armor and fighting with your Regent’s Caber.

Hybrid Skill Trees

For each hybrid we started with the Primary Class’s tree. Then we worked in as many abilities from the Secondary Class’s tree that made sense. After that we started brainstorming brand new abilities that felt like cool variations of the Secondary Class being applied to the way that the Primary Class operates.

The simplest example is the Hunter/Alchemist. We removed the ability of this Hunter flavor to use the Follow Up shot and replaced it with the Flask Shot. This ability lets the Hunter/Alchemist fire an arrow tipped with an explosive Alchemist flask at a target to deal AoE damage. It feels significantly different than an Alchemist flask throw. You can fire it at a much longer range than an Alchemist throw, but you can’t shoot it over walls and you lose the ability to position the explosion exactly where you want - it always has to be centered on the target that you’re aiming at. This opens up a lot of additional strategic depth where you can breed a Hunter to become an AoE threat capable of killing multiple Seeds at once!

FlaskShot1.jpg

FlaskShot2.jpg

Alchemist/Caberjack Hybrid Deep Dive

The Alchemist/Caberjack is turning out to be one of my favorite Hybrid Classes in the game. We wanted to take the Alchemist and focus much more on the melee aspect of the class.

For starters we decided to remove the Free Throw ability from this class. That ability is all about Flask Throwing so taking it away opens up space on the tree and allows us to create new things. In its place we added a double melee attack called Hack n Slash. This ability has similar rules to the Hunter’s Follow Up ability and lets you deal out two melee attacks on the same target if the first one hits. It really stresses the melee ability of the Alchemist!

We also wanted to get more of the Caberjack’s abilities into the tree. So we took the standard Alchemist Flask and replaced it with a custom Knockback Flask. This explosion only knocks characters 1 tile away and doesn’t guarantee a stun, but if you position your bomb just right you can knock enemies into walls or each other to get a stun. This turns the Alchemist/Caberjack into a much more controlling character.

At lvl 4 we replaced the Alchemist’s Spirit of the Dart Falcon (again, another Flask-focused ability) with the Caberjack’s Fury skill. This skill encourages you to get your Alchemist up into the action taking some damage so that they get a big damage boost on the next turn.

At lvl 6 we replaced Throw Items with the Caberjack’s new AoE Prime Target. I thought this would be especially sweet on an Alchemist that’s wearing the Cadence-fueled Volatile Carapace. Taunt a ton of melee enemies, get a defensive buff, and watch them rush you and trigger multiple explosions!

At lvl 8 we replaced the Fertilizer Flask with a brand new AoE Claw Swipe ability. This is another melee-focused move that lets you deal AoE damage at close range. It’s great to have an AoE option for when you run out of flasks!

We’re leaving all of the lvl 10 abilities unchanged, so the Alchemist/Caberjack will still have the Mad Bomber skill, allowing them to carry a ton of Knockback Flasks into combat for maximum control!

KnockbackFlask.gif

Did I fail to mention that there are a ton of other changes in the patch like increasing the base Alchemist Flask to a 3x3 explosion? :D!

We’ll have an in-depth look at the rest of the hybrid trees and abilities during the Teamstream! :D!

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MASSIVE CHALICE Update #58 - hybrids Hybrids HYBRIDS! (cont.)

Hybrid Class Armors

Geoff had a sweet idea to do custom armors for all of the Hybrid Classes. He did a custom set for the base, refined, and advanced armors for all 6 of the hybrids. This is a TON of art but it’s looking really close to being finished! Here’s a sweet shot of some of the heroes with their upgraded hybrid armor! :D!

In this screen you can see the 3 Alchemist flavors with their Advanced armor together. Alchemist/Hunter left, Pure Alchemist middle, and Alchemist/Caberjack right.

HybridArmor.jpg

Relic Art

Chad, Geoff, and Jeremy have cooked up a sweet system to give the Relics of MASSIVE CHALICE some unique visuals. Geoff and Jeremy have modeled a bunch of Throwers, Cabers, and Crossbows based off of Derek’s designs. These weapons are all split into two pieces. When a Relic is created, two of these pieces are grabbed at random and assembled into a Relic weapon. This should give a lot more personality to Relics. It’s also backwards compatible with old saves so if you load up an old game that has Relics they should all get unique visuals applied to them! :D!

Check out Whiskeybreath with the Atkinson Relic, The Fleeting Smile! :D!

RelicArt.jpg

Initial Bloodline Selection

Silvio, a new programmer on team MASSIVE CHALICE, has completed the Sigil Picker! This screen is used to select your Core Bloodline when starting a new game. It’s really rad to see all of the sigils that were created by the backers of the game. Thanks again for your creativity and hard work!

SigilPicker.jpg

The Future

We’re not done yet! Here’s our original Early Access list of things that we’re still jamming on!

Difficulty Modes.

IRON Mode.

Controller Support.

EFIGS Localization. (French, Italian, German, Spanish)

We’re looking forward to the continued balance tweaks in future updates. Thanks for all of the feedback on the forums!

Teamstream #30 Friday December 12th!

Our next Teamstream (number 30!) is set for this Friday December 12th at 4pm Pacific. We’re going to go through the rest of the hybrids and discuss our thoughts on each of them while showing off their unique skills!

Come join us at twitch.tv/doublefine if you can! :D!

Back This! Thimbleweed Park!

Our old buddy Ron Gilbert has a new Kickstarter! It’s called Thimbleweed Park and it looks amazing. It’s intended to be a true return-to-form for old school Adventure Games! Complete with big-ass chunky pixels! :D!

I totally love this mockup of the game on a 5 ½” floppy!

ThimbleweedFloppy.jpg

If you were into Maniac Mansion back in the day then you really owe it to yourself to check out Thimbleweed Park! Here it is straight from Ron’s pixelated mouth:

RonGilbert.gif

Check out the Kickstarter here! https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/thimbleweedpark/thimbleweed-park-a-new-classic-point-and-click-adv

Share Your Feedback! Report Bugs! Get Involved!

Make sure to check out the official bug forum here. That’s the place to check if a bug you’re experiencing has already been reported or to report a bug of your own. And if there’s anything you want to talk about MASSIVE CHALICE in general, feel free to start a discussion right here on the forums! In case you can’t make our live broadcasts you can find all our Twitch streams on the Double Fine YouTube channel here. You can always check out the MASSIVE CHALICE blog for the latest updates from various team members.

Thanks so much for supporting MASSIVE CHALICE!

- Anthony

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I like the sound of all of this! Look forward to catching the teamstream on a replay since I won't be able to attend it live I suspect... Great work.

Smiles

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Nice. I look forward to finding out what the Chaos Slinger does now that you've given it's special ability to all Alchemists. Even bigger explosions? /Torgue

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What's that skill I see on Caberjack/Alchemists?

"Beebound"? Well I can guess what that does, although I'd LOVE to see the look on the parents' faces when their child runs into the throne room and excitedly tells them of their idea to pad their armor with live hornet nests. :snake:

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Looking at that animated gif, are there a few new graphical effects? I don't remember the edge of the rupture goo being animated, before, but I could be wrong.

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Hmm, that's a lot more skills being changed by the hybrid classes than I expected. I hope it doesn't end up being to hard to just have a straight hunter when that's what you want.

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Really interesting that this is going in now in this incarnation. I see very clearly how they might've had to take a different path if earlier they had gone with 4 or 5 classes, because the number of hybrids grows like n^2 (n being the number of classes) if they're all unique and still like n(n+1)/2 if the order of primary/secondary doesn't matter.

There's a LOT of stuff being passed down now. Class, traits, and relics. I wonder if there's been any thought about the bookkeeping complexity becoming too large.

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Hmm, that's a lot more skills being changed by the hybrid classes than I expected. I hope it doesn't end up being to hard to just have a straight hunter when that's what you want.

If I understand the system right, you can always get more pure hunter-classed heroes by breeding any heroes who both have Hunter as their primary.

IE a Hunter/Alchemist and a Hunter/Caberjack would make pure Hunter babies? And that will always be valuable, if there are specific combinations of class skills you wouldn't want to trade for any of the new hybrid-class alternates.

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Hmm, that's a lot more skills being changed by the hybrid classes than I expected. I hope it doesn't end up being to hard to just have a straight hunter when that's what you want.

If I understand the system right, you can always get more pure hunter-classed heroes by breeding any heroes who both have Hunter as their primary.

IE a Hunter/Alchemist and a Hunter/Caberjack would make pure Hunter babies? And that will always be valuable, if there are specific combinations of class skills you wouldn't want to trade for any of the new hybrid-class alternates.

That's true but after the second generation the game will have to be biased toward hybrids as maintaining pure classes requires 2 bloodlines of the same class at least until later when 2nd cousins start cropping up. That or constant recruitment. So to get pure hunters your Kingdom build would have to be very Hunter focused. I wonder if this is a concern.

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Hmm, that's a lot more skills being changed by the hybrid classes than I expected. I hope it doesn't end up being to hard to just have a straight hunter when that's what you want.

If I understand the system right, you can always get more pure hunter-classed heroes by breeding any heroes who both have Hunter as their primary.

IE a Hunter/Alchemist and a Hunter/Caberjack would make pure Hunter babies? And that will always be valuable, if there are specific combinations of class skills you wouldn't want to trade for any of the new hybrid-class alternates.

That's true but after the second generation the game will have to be biased toward hybrids as maintaining pure classes requires 2 bloodlines of the same class at least until later when 2nd cousins start cropping up. That or constant recruitment. So to get pure hunters your Kingdom build would have to be very Hunter focused. I wonder if this is a concern.

Yeah, that would be my concern. In the one game I played (holding off until release to play again) It was at least year 150 before I had enough keeps to reliably have more than one family of the same class. I never got to the point where I had multiple families of all three classes.

It would be interesting if there was a chance of becoming pure class, an equal chance of becoming a hybrid class with the spouses's class, and maybe a tiny chance of becoming a hybrid with either the regent's or spouse's secondary class. This would also provide more variety to children so it would be easier (or more complicated, more interesting maybe) to pick whom you wanted to use when a particularly prolific couple has 15 kids.

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It would be interesting if there was a chance of becoming pure class, an equal chance of becoming a hybrid class with the spouses's class, and maybe a tiny chance of becoming a hybrid

I like this also and its what I assumed would happen for hybrids: majority chance of being the Regent's class, minority chance of being a hybrid with the Partner's class. Maybe even a tiny chance to be the Partner's class. 100% all hybrid all the time seems kinda not as good. Can't wait to try it and see

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I like this also and its what I assumed would happen for hybrids: majority chance of being the Regent's class, minority chance of being a hybrid with the Partner's class. Maybe even a tiny chance to be the Partner's class. 100% all hybrid all the time seems kinda not as good. Can't wait to try it and see

So the problem here is that the class heredity system has to mesh well with all the other heredity systems, primarily traits and relics (not sure how stat heredity works and I don't think XP is relevant here). Obviously, certain traits are more beneficial to certain classes than others. So if you've got a regent and a partner, you probably want to KNOW what class the children will come out as. If you have to randomly get/not get some traits AND you have to hope that the child comes out the correct classes, that changes the ratio of heroes with good/excellent traits for their class to those with average/bad traits for their class. I think it means you either have to be more flexible in your regent choice or you just get more bad/average heroes and fewer excellent ones. Also, you have to remember that relics are primary class specific. If you have a small chance of picking up the partner's class as your primary and it's not the same as the regent's, you've screwed yourself out of all the relics and armor and such that would be waiting for you otherwise.

It won't be that bad to get pure classes will it? You don't have to have an entire second bloodline, you just need to recruit a partner, right?

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That's true but after the second generation the game will have to be biased toward hybrids as maintaining pure classes requires 2 bloodlines of the same class at least until later when 2nd cousins start cropping up. That or constant recruitment. So to get pure hunters your Kingdom build would have to be very Hunter focused. I wonder if this is a concern.

What I would like to see is a choice (e.g. when offspring comes of age)

Choice one: Specialise/train under the Regent (i.e. pure class based off Regent's primary class; perhaps with greater chance of inheriting the Regent's personality traits)

Choice two: Balanced training (i.e. hybrid class)

That would give you more control over the distribution of classes.

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