Version 1.26 Patch Notes

Discussion in 'Auro: A Monster-Bumping Adventure' started by keithburgun, Jan 31, 2015.

  1. keithburgun

    keithburgun Administrator, Lead Designer Staff Member

    General
    • Tutorial Mode added - For a long time, we've had concerns about Auro's ability to teach itself to players. It's not a hard game to learn, but it is a real, serious tactics game, and you do actually have to learn some rules in order to play. We came up with the "idea" - if you can call it that - to do a fairly straightforward series of levels, each of which teaches a specific lesson about the game. We recently wrote a blog post about this, which you can read here.
      For launch, there are 31 of these levels, teaching everything from how spells work, what each monster does, and of course, the mechanics of bumping. We'll probably improve some of them and maybe add more as needed, but we think the game is massively easier to learn now than it was for version 1.0. With that said, we'll be paying attention to your feedback for the new Tutorial mode - let us know what you think.
    • Story Mode Removed - Once the game was adequately teaching itself through the Tutorial Mode, it put the relevance of our Story Mode into question. Story Mode really tried to do three things all at once: teach the game, introduce the setting, and be a fun mode to play. I would say, and most of our testers agree, that it gets a pretty low rating on all of these fronts. It was annoying to play due to the forced early tutorial levels and some unskippable cutscenes. It only taught a random handful of lessons about the game, but at the same time it actually taught some incorrect lessons about the game: that it was about "completion" for instance. Story Mode's gameplay was generally "Auro at its worst", and yet because there's this big "End Credits Sequence", it's reasonable for players to assume that Story Mode is what Auro really is all about, and Play mode is maybe just some side thing, like a "time trials" or something. Ultimately, Story Mode was more of a liability than anything else.
      By the way, removing the Story Mode also means removing the old "interactive" (i.e. PUT YOUR FINGER HERE NOW) tutorial, which is no longer necessary now that we have a non-horrible tutorial.
    • Intro Movie Added - The *best* thing Story Mode did was introduce the setting, although it needed to be more of a "setup for Play Mode" and less of a self-contained story. Further, it was too long and contained "somewhat crappy gameplay parts" that don't contribute to the goal of introducing the setting. For these reasons, we've also added a quick, two-minute Intro Movie (watch it here on YouTube) that sets the stage for what Play Mode is all about. Let us know what you think of it!
    • Swapped positions of How to Play and Records buttons - it's more important that players see and recognize the "How to Play" button than it is for them to see and recognize the Records button. Now, it says in bright text right on the title screen, How to Play. On top of "Tutorial".
    Gameplay
    • +1 Cooldown at Level End
    • Master Mode difficulty curves harder at stage 3 and up
    • 10% fewer Power Tiles per level - This and the above two changes are working together to fix a specific problem. In general, we've been having a slight problem with high level players (~Master 3-4) playing really defensively. We have some more dramatic fixes that we're looking at for a future patch, but for now these more conservative changes should at least temper, if not fix, the issue.
    • Bats' ability now start "on cooldown" (both types)
    • Win streaks of 3 or greater now are worth a bonus of 18 points, up from 12
    • Master Mode can now get win streaks
    • Placement match stage 3 and 4 toned down a tiny bit
    • Placement match rankings tweaked a bit for more accuracy

    :powertile: "Our once great people have been decimated! In the original meaning of the term!"

    :bat: "Starting *on* cooldown? I didn't even know that was a thing in this game. Seems bad."

    :licoricebat: "Yeah, well, I'm on cooldown from
    birth. I spend those first formative turns of my life completely unable to even conceive of a world where my ability wasn't on cooldown."


     
    Disquisitor Sam likes this.
  2. keithburgun

    keithburgun Administrator, Lead Designer Staff Member

    I'm particularly interested to see if the defensive play issue has been solved by the balance changes here. I generally intend to pursue the "combo for cooldown" plan either way, because I think it will probably just improve the game, but it would be good to know what the effects of these changes have been on the highest levels of play first.
     
    Lemon likes this.
  3. Lemon

    Lemon Well-Known Member

    Been looking forward to this patch, downloading now.
     
  4. rhotacized schwa

    rhotacized schwa New Member

    Was this patch supposed to clear my rank? I'm back at placements.
     
  5. blakereynolds

    blakereynolds Administrator Staff Member

    @rhotacized schwa ,
    Yeah since this version overhauls the software a lot, including the saving/loading architecture, it's possible that you lose your save if you're not a new user. But fortunately that's not so bad since we don't have leaderboards yet. As soon as we do, we'll make sure it's a super high priority that players don't lose their saves for huge updates like this one.
     
  6. Senator

    Senator Moderator

    It would probably be best to warn players of this in the patch notes on the Play and Amazon stores. Also, if the ranking is deleted, it becomes a lot more important to get the placement match right.

    (I don't see any reason to change the ranking even if you do need to delete other data, e.g. game-in-progress data.)
     
  7. vivafringe

    vivafringe Well-Known Member Staff Member

    So far my only comment is that having streak bonuses on Master is great!
     
  8. keithburgun

    keithburgun Administrator, Lead Designer Staff Member

    Can anyone notice the increase in difficulty on Master mode?
     
  9. Ryu

    Ryu Active Member

    Just some initial observations. The placement match system consistently places me in rank 10 now. If that is what you were aiming for, given my usual playing rank, then it's working just fine. Ideally I would like some way to place above rank 10 as well, so the system is not perfect. However, this is easily the most accurate it's ever been.

    I will also second the positive comment on win streaks at and above rank 10. I think negative streaks should be put in sometime soon as well. I'll also add that - right now, at least - Rank10+ seems a little more difficult; mostly because of the decreased number of tiles. The decreased number of power tiles are not immediately apparent, but it starts to hurt when you go about playing ring-around-the-Yeti. It's really minor, though, and I think you have to make some major changes(and no extra licorice monsters, please) if you properly want to make the later ranks more difficult.
     
    keithburgun likes this.
  10. keithburgun

    keithburgun Administrator, Lead Designer Staff Member

    It's funny, and I guess not surprising, but I originally intended Master 1 to be like "super hard mode", like that mode that only fanatics play. I guess I'm probably getting a top-heavy bit of feedback in general from you guys, but it seems like staying at Master 1-2 isn't quite as hard to achieve as I expected. Anyway, will keep an eye on it. Maybe the Hard levels need to be made a bit harder and master significantly harder.
     
  11. Lemon

    Lemon Well-Known Member

    I'm curious what rank you are Keith

    I remember when I was learning the game, from rank 6 up I had to start genuinely trying to improve, and the gaps between levels were pretty good. I think Auro is just a game that has more than 10 'kyu's at this point. And I suspect as you continue to improve the game, the number of viable ranks will increase.
     
  12. rhotacized schwa

    rhotacized schwa New Member

    I'm working my way back up to Master 5, which has been going quicker than anticipated because of the (welcome!) streak bonus, but I haven't had much time to devote to it. I haven't noticed too much of a difference in higher Master stages, since you can clear early Masters without getting too far in to level 3, but I don't really like the +1 Cooldown on level end change. It basically amounts to having to step on one fewer power tile after clearing a level, and in that regard, it isn't much more valuable than a segment. It might even end up being a noob trap, encouraging players to start the next level with a spell or two on cooldown when the right play is to backtrack. It is a nice little windfall when it does help out (e.g. you happen to be a step away from the teleporter with a few spells on CD 1, with no power tiles nearby), though.
     
  13. vivafringe

    vivafringe Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Master mode difficulty ramps up nicely now. I doubt defensive play is *completely* fixed but I am definitely taking more risks than before.

    For some not-so-top-heavy feedback, my wife played and I think the tutorial levels are too hard right now. Like, probably if you added +1 barrier to every stage, it would be an improvement.
     
    keithburgun likes this.
  14. keithburgun

    keithburgun Administrator, Lead Designer Staff Member

    Some of the missions if I gave +1 barrier, it wouldn't force the player to use the thing the tutorial is trying to teach them. It'd be better if you could tell me specific stages she got hung up on.
     
  15. vivafringe

    vivafringe Well-Known Member Staff Member

    She died a lot and gave up on level 8. I think the issue is the level design, maybe. It's just super not obvious how you're supposed to use Dash. Here's a more handholdey Dash level. Auro has Dash and 2 Dash Scrolls (no Snowball):
    Dash.png

    I would stop giving Snowball on every level, BTW. People just instinctively use whatever spell they know first. So my wife would snowball a thing FIRST and then try to use this new dash thing.
     
    Kdansky and Lemon like this.
  16. Lemon

    Lemon Well-Known Member

    You could do something similar for floe, forcing you to make a bridge to the mainland. Then you could push a heavy or have it crash through.

    Also, level 31 is way, way too hard for a newbie.
     
  17. Erenan

    Erenan Well-Known Member

    There is no link, and I can't find it on YouTube. Is this a lie?
     

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