Coarse Tuning for Auro
Hello everyone! The Auro release has gone great so far, we’re really happy with the press we’re getting and the reviews are incredibly good! Remember: if you like Auro, tell someone! We really need word of mouth for this thing to take off.
Today, I wanted to write some stuff about some pretty broad balance changes that will be coming to Auro in the coming months. One interesting thing about how development has gone is that for the past eight months or more, we’ve been barred from making significant balance changes, because we were “so close to release”. So now that we actually *are* released (for real!), we have kind of a back-log of changes that are past due!
High Rank Pacing Problems
There are a lot of big changes coming down the pipe, but the biggest one we have to tackle is the issue of score goals scaling. The problem with score goals scaling, especially indefinitely as they do for Rank 11 and higher, is that eventually it just means the game is getting longer. The game takes on a generally slow and defensive pace, and it becomes more about just getting a few kills per level and then moving on.
The number of knobs involved in fixing this is pretty huge, and actually we’re making some big architectural (I still mean gameplay, by the way, not programming!) changes to make it happen. Suffice it to say that Master Mode and Hard mode will get significantly harder, actually, despite having lower score goals.
One big thing I can tell you for now is that we’re soft-capping the number of stages in a match. Stages 1 through 3 are normal stages that escalate in difficulty, and then stages 4 on are like… crazy, honey-call-the-fire-department! hard. You shouldn’t be living through the fourth stage; if you do, it will be just barely.
Of course, with that, we’re re-calculating the score goals so that they’re achievable. But rest assured: we think score goals of 100 or more are way too high.
Tutorial: Too Much Up Front
While the above changes affect high skill players, we’re also conscious about the barrier of entry in the current game. 31 tutorial levels were just too many. We’ll be cutting this down by a significant amount, because we don’t want players to get stuck there. We want players to be able to dive into Play Mode as quick as possible. We’ll be reducing the number of tutorials, but doing some other stuff to allow new players to get into the basics of the game quicker as well. More details on this later!
Oh, and while we’re here, we should also mention Kissy Rats – upcoming Easy Mode monsters that kiss you (instead of dealing damage) and then shyly run away. Get back here, you!
Other Fun Stuff
This actually doesn’t even describe half of the changes we’re working on. There are a bunch of new rules, spell improvements, monster improvements and more, making every facet of the game more balanced and more interesting.
As a minor preview of what’s to come: Yetis no longer instantly kill Auro. We felt like that was too much of a “brick wall” on the possibility space. Instead, they now SUPLEX Auro, throwing him two tiles in the opposite direction.
Even cooler: the Abomination bounce-freeze attack is now a freeze SUPLEX attack. In our internal testing, it seems pretty great and opens up whole new kinds of strategies.
Big changes are on the way for Auro. If you want, you can come weigh in on them either as a beta tester (which you can do by PMing me on the Dinofarm Forums), or just read about them and give us your thoughts. It can all be found over at the Dinofarm Forums, and I hope to see you there.
Stay tuned for more big news!