Lichdom: Battlemage

Lichdom: Battlemage

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Apothecary  [developer] Jun 15, 2014 @ 6:44pm
Alpha Early Access Release Notes
What’s new in the Alpha Build

New level: Maelstrom
At the end of Grey Teeth you transition down into the Maelstrom. Ages ago when the moon broke this massive vortex in the ocean was frozen solid. Evil undoubtedly lurks below.

New boss: Fr*******
See, I told you. Evil, lurking below. It is a fun fight but we still have some polish work to do.

New magic class: Lightning
Play the new sigil design by the four volunteers we subjected to our Dev Day at Xaviant Headquarters in Atlanta. It is pretty awesome but might be a tad OP. But hell, we let players design it so it should be OP for at least a little while, right?

New enemy types:
  • Cult Alchemist
  • Cult Witch
  • Demon Vex

New feature: Synergies.
Synergies are special, legendary spells that can only be cast after charging them through casting two types of magic. Three synergies are available in the Alpha build: Ice Storm, Singularity, and Lightning Elemental. To use them you have to find the Legendary Shape with the Synergy, then craft and equip it. The mechanic for charging it is a tad confusing and a placeholder. For now, if you have it equipped, just kill stuff and it will eventually work. I promise!

New feature: AMD TressFX technology
If you have one of the new cool AMD cards you can enable this option and the Gryphon will have some cool flowing hair. If you enjoy 3 fps then enable it with non-AMD hardware. (Ok, don't really do this last part.)

Sigil rework (all Sigils).
We rebuilt the system that determines how a spell behaves based on its crafting components. The first augment used in creating a spell now determines whether it is focused on Destruction, Control, or Mastery. The spell’s focus determines its behavior and how its attributes affect that behavior. The Journal contains full details for each Sigil. -- Note this is some really cool changes here.

Balance is still a work in progress. Mastery is still being balanced and seems really UP right now. We will get this fixed though.

Synthesis / loot rework
Synthesis had some big changes too. This is rooted in the basic changes we did for loot creation. The way loot is created now, if you Synthesize something from pure White all the way to Legendary, that Legendary will not be as good as a Legendary you find naturally.

The way loot is created is different as well. Players should not see the hard TIer 1 / Tier 2 difference. For example, you can have a 2 augment slot Tier 1 loot piece, but it will likely have very few affixes.

You no longer Synthesize spells to get a Sigil upgrade. Instead you can use the Synthesis process to deconstruct a spell and get back your shape.

Shields Reworked
There are now three distinct versions of shields. In addition, shields now get their own augment drops. Each type of shield is expected to support a specific play-style. If your play-style is here give us some feedback and we can entertain tweaks during the Alpha period. Each shield type has some bonus and some trade-off.

Tactical Shield
This is the shield formerly known as Quick Shield. Fast regen, very low regen delay but the smallest of the three. Made for people with really big balls (like me). If you want to run away like a 3rd grader, I suggest another shield. I wanted to call this the Apothecary Shield but Marketing wouldn't let me.
  • Increased Galvanize time
  • Larger Nova area on an aimed blink
  • No Quick-Blink (because running away is for 3rd graders)

Agile Shield
This is based on the Normal shield. Made for Ninja-Mages.
  • Infinite Quick Blink
  • Faster charging targeted spells (forced crits)
  • No Aimed-Blink (meaning no Nova on blink, only on Block)

Strategic Shield
This is used to be called Stout. Big hitpoints, slow regen. Made for Nukers (aka 3rd graders)
  • 60% damage reduction on held block (a 20% increase over the standard 50%)
  • Quicker charging AoE spells (forced crits)
  • No Galvanize (so you only Nova on a Blink, not on a block)

New Spell Shapes
There are now additional ways to shape spells. All of you guys that said we shouldn't add them just got pwnd. Oh wait, I said we shouldn't add them. Ok, well I just got pwnd then.
  • Lob - An aimed shape that tosses a ball which hits with splash damage. You need to be good to hit with it as there is no aiming assistance to help you. Damage is a bit higher than Missile (formerly called Targeted) since it is harder to hit with it.
  • Ray - Some people call it cone, but it is really thin. Right now you can rotate at full speed. Enjoy it while you can because that is going to slow down a lot.
  • Trap - Like AoE, but it waits for enemies to trigger. Traps align intelligently when they pop to get as many enemies as possible. Pretty cool, to be honest.
  • Pool - Like AoE, but persists.

Not every Sigil has the new shapes implemented. I know Fire does. As more come online we will let you know. For now it was about hammering them into place for Alpha or they would have been cut. Now that we have them they will be refined/fully implemented over the coming weeks.

Known issues in the Alpha Build

  • Resuming a saved game is sometimes noticeably slow.
  • Blinking into an NPC approaching the player can cause unexpected knockback.
  • The player can currently trigger the “galvanized” block effect against DoT effects.
  • Backtracking within a level may re-trigger some encounters and loot rooms.
  • The player can sometimes continue casting while the death effect/transition is playing, which in specific cases can trigger other issues.
  • Some Boss attacks blur the player’s view; in rare cases this blur effect does not go away.
  • Restarting the level will work around this.
  • In rare cases, being subjected to knockback can push the player through the green barriers around specific encounters.
  • The “Tormentor” NPC animations and actions are occasionally out of sync.
  • Progress towards charging Synergy spells is not persisted across play sessions.

Animation, Graphics & Sound
  • UI text can crop or overlap in some places.
  • Spamming quick blink can cause camera issues in some areas.
  • Lob spells for Sigils other than Fire/Ice/Lightning may be missing sounds and have placeholder visuals.
  • Many NPCS have cosmetic-only animation issues when subjected to Kinesis spells.
  • Some NPCs will not visibly “cower” when affected by Delerium Mastery spells, however the effects are functional.
  • Enemies killed by burning effects sometimes leave visual artifacts and may not be fully engulfed.
  • Terrain in some areas may appear white when viewed at specific angles.
  • The lighting in the ice levels may occasionally flicker or toggle into an unintended state (“disappearing snow”).
  • Placeholder visuals:
    • Player character’s shadow
    • Player, Gryphon, and Roth animations
    • Most animations in the “Ghost Echo” scenes
    • Most character/NPC lip-sync
  • TressFX
    • There are some visual issues with the Gryphon’s hair with TressFX enabled.
    • If you toggle the TressFX feature, you need to restart the game for the change to take effect.
  • Audio levels are inconsistent in some areas.
  • NPCs hit while emerging from underground may replay their emerge animation.
  • The game may not start on machines with certain AMD CPUs if Avast Anti-Virus is installed.
  • Uninstalling Avast and restarting the machine will work around this; please take appropriate steps to keep your machine protected.
  • When tutorial videos are disabled, the screen may still fade when walking over the areas that trigger the tutorials.
  • If you revisit a Reliquary you’ve previously accessed, Roth may reappear (no gameplay effect).
  • When the camera position is locked for cinematic purposes, gamepad/joystick controller input will only move on the X-axis.

Edited to add an additional known issue: The "Fast Travel" feature which is available from the Vortex Pool checkpoints and is meant to allow you to replay sections of the game you've already beaten does not appear to reset combat encounters properly, meaning you cannot use them to grind areas unless you quit the level and resume your save game.
Last edited by Veezi; Jun 17, 2014 @ 7:50am
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Showing 1-15 of 57 comments
ArsArcanum Jun 15, 2014 @ 7:04pm 
FInally, I get to use synergies :D. I also can't wait to see how op we made lightning. Looking forward to play this when I ge the chance to
Linc Jun 15, 2014 @ 7:38pm 
Thank god I beat Pre-alpha 2 in time for this! :)
Apothecary  [developer] Jun 15, 2014 @ 7:58pm 
Originally posted by Linc:
Thank god I beat Pre-alpha 2 in time for this! :)

If by that you mean you are glad you get to pick-up where you left-off, unfortunately we wipe save games between each phase. You will have to start again from the beginning again.

F3TTST3R Jun 15, 2014 @ 9:44pm 
This sounds incredible! I just finished my second complete run through the game, and I can't wait to try out all the new spell shapes, and the lightning sigil (as well as the new level and enemy types of course). New shields sound really intriguing; not sure whether I'll go with the agile shield or the tactical. I love the low health, high regen, short delay shields right now, but I basically never charge a blink. I could definitely see myself quick blinking around indefinitely with an agile shield.

One note on Mastery being underpowered: It does feel like it isn't worth it at low levels (2 high Destruction spells can be cast faster and for more damage than 1 Mastery spell followed by 1 Destruction spell). Once you get to the point where you can have 2 augment slots and +3/+4 Mastery augments though, the damage boost combo'ed on a Destruction hit is insane. (upwards of 1500% Mastery debuff on an ice AOE and 1000% Mastery debuff on corruption bugs is an incredible boost). Case in point, I took down the final boss in 3 good hits after stacking a bit of mastery on him. Hit 1: 17297, Hit 2: 17297, Hit 3: 9716.
Apothecary  [developer] Jun 15, 2014 @ 11:20pm 
We changed the way Mastery is consumed now. You don't consume 100% of the mastery on a target. Instead you consume an amount based the level of mastery of the consuming spell. This will continue to be tuned.

In addition, the Elemental spells now have an extra affect for the Mastery version. Fire applies Molten, which burns everyone near the target, Ice applies Frigid, which slows everyone nearbly, and Lightning applies Charge which can shock nearby enemies. All of these affects also propagate Mastery to these other targets.

We will definitely need some feedback on these effects.
Cyony Jun 16, 2014 @ 12:05am 
No sign of NG+ as of yet i suppose?
Levitos Jun 16, 2014 @ 1:05am 
Also, I really have to stop and pat you guys on the back. The way you decided to handle the sigil system is really freakin awesome. I thought it really needed some work before, but i think we'll all be much happier with the newer system.

I understand the changes to the crafting system, but would it be possible to add in a system to reward players for intelligent crafting choices? Kind of like leveling up your "mage forge" or something cool. Might make for some interesting gameplay mechanics.

Edit: What about having sigil drops? Sort of how augments drop, have almost a "talent tree" kind of setup for your sigils with slots you can put your sigil augments into. Might help let the player make dynamic choices about spell behaviors without affecting balance TOO much.
Last edited by Levitos; Jun 16, 2014 @ 1:09am
Extinox Jun 16, 2014 @ 2:19am 
Originally posted by Apothecary:
What’s new in the Alpha Build
Strategic Shield
This is used to be called Stout. Big hitpoints, slow regen. Made for Nukers (aka 3rd graders)
Listen, I need to have some HP if I'm gonna stand there and stack Mastery for 3 hours.

Now, give me my patch.
Last edited by Extinox; Jun 16, 2014 @ 2:19am
Monoclebear Jun 16, 2014 @ 2:29am 
Yeah, when excactly does the patch drop?
Veezi  [developer] Jun 16, 2014 @ 4:39am 
Patch will likely go live late morning or early afternoon Eastern time. We need to coordinate the release of the patch with Valve since our price bumps up a bit with the Alpha release.
Null Jun 16, 2014 @ 4:45am 
I can't wait for this.I'm embracing the wipe with open arms, my damage was god awful.
Linc Jun 16, 2014 @ 6:25am 
Oh yes! I don't know if they've always been there, but I see achievements, plaguesmith, pestilincesmith, and psychosmith! Bring it on!
@Apothecary, Just glad that I beat it as a personal accomplishment before the wipe and the chance is gone forever. Pre-alpha (x), pre-alpha 2 (x) alpha (?).
Apothecary  [developer] Jun 16, 2014 @ 6:44am 
Originally posted by Extinox:
Listen, I need to have some HP if I'm gonna stand there and stack Mastery for 3 hours.

Stacking Mastery forever isn't as efficient as it was before. When we implemented the last phase's system we knew right away that consuming 100% of mastery from the target was a mistake. You can (and should) still stack it, but you can only consume an amount proportional to the Mastery rating of the Destruction or Control spell that consumes it.

Monoclebear Jun 16, 2014 @ 6:51am 
So control spells also can consume mastery? I thought only destruction?
Last edited by Monoclebear; Jun 16, 2014 @ 6:51am
Linc Jun 16, 2014 @ 6:55am 
Possibly how the new form of control is going to work for mastery. For instance fire control is normally burn. Fire control on mastery = magma? Will need to try this right away.
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Date Posted: Jun 15, 2014 @ 6:44pm
Posts: 57