Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Upcoming Magic Boomerang Changes

Hey friends. In an upcoming patch, we're looking to adjust Magic Boomerang's spell behavior (we're happy with its robe effect, this won't change). This would be the first time that we've made a change like this post-release, so we want to handle this change as carefully as possible and gather community feedback and have a discussion on the subject so we don't end up blindsiding players when the changes come.

What's wrong with Magic Boomerang?

The first problem with Magic Boomerang is that it has the potential to nullify the interesting gameplay potential of certain materials. For example, many players have discovered the powerful Ninja Sword + Magic Boomerang combination, which allows you to just summon a normally melee attack at any location on the screen- retaining the power bonuses that are normally granted for risking your HP bar by going into close range. A similar problem happens with Illusion Dust- normally to "shotgun" the extra projectiles for maximum damage, you need to pretty much be close enough to tie an enemy's shoes. With a sufficiently powerful Magic Boomerang, you can safely manifest 6 or so bolts directly in their face whenever and from wherever you please.

The second problem with Magic Boomerang is how its power rather awkwardly scales with your screen resolution. Since your resolution directly relates to how many tiles from the player you can see, and your cursor can go anywhere within your sight range, the potential benefit of Magic Boomerang gets really crazy on larger monitors. This is a really awkward way of obtaining power, completely separate from anything the player has control over in moment-to-moment gameplay.

The elephant in the room: The Steam Boomerang Achievement

Currently there's an achievement for defeating an enemy with a boomerang spell by directly clicking on them. If we change the functionality of Boomerang, we need to change this achievement too, which either means completely removing it (which may upset some people), transforming it into a different achievement (rendering the new objective unachievable for players who already completed its previous requirement), or adding a new achievement and making the old one unobtainable (which is pretty much the worst outcome). Any solution we come up with needs to address this subject, so we need your thoughts on the subject of 'chievos.

What is Tasty Stewdios doing about it?

Short answer, we're not 100% sure yet! We've discussed internally what we want out of Magic Boomerang and we have a few solutions that we're looking to prototype and experiment with, but nothing is completely confirmed. Here's what we're currently thinking:

Magic Boomerang:
On Spells: On collision with an enemy, the spell returns towards the wizard. If the player catches the returning bolt, a percentage of the mana cost is returned.

%returned mana scales with material grade, ignores spellpower, mana/health returned based on resource used.

This is so far the most attractive solution for a couple of reasons. One, it more closely resembles the behavior people expect from a boomerang- you throw it and it comes back to you. Secondly, it adds a skill-based mana sustain option. And third, it addresses the issue where Philosopher Stone spells are somewhat unappealing unless you have modifiers to your maximum MP.

Got a different idea?

Post your thoughts and ideas here so we can discuss solutions as a community! At the end of the day we're making this change to make Magicmaker a more interesting game for you all- the players. We'll be watching this discussion over the next few days and responding as frequently as possible.

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