Sifting even harder

Week 32 is over. In the the vein of last week‘s handling of smaller issues, I’ve continued to update everything else that was still on the table. Not finished yet, but we’re getting closer to a stable release, and hopefully a new round will soon follow.

Hardware migrations

I’ve re-purposed an older machine to serve as the primary Dominance host. Its name is V8, as in the last of, being the last System x tower IBM has ever made. Still, with its 8 Xeon cores at 3.5GHz and 72 gigs of RAM, it already crunches faster than the newer but lower-clock server Dom resided thus far.

This took a better part of 2 days, as every reboot cycle takes (as expected) ages, and there have been a host of reboot cycles due to lockups – the server simply refused to boot into Xen hypervisor with Stretch’s fresh install. Apparently new Xen refuses to work with new GRUB on this machine and also has issues with direct UEFI booting. So forget it, back to Jessie for Dom0, and the Dominance DomU runs Stretch without issues. Oh well, they will probably fix these by the time Stretch is released.

If you didn’t understand these few paragraphs, TL;DR: Everything is fine. Dominance is now fast.

Teaching Neayas

A Dozaya can now tutor one of their neayas, giving access to knowledge for free:

This option eats up the 5th research slot, so it’s a calculated decision Dozaya needs to make – whether to increase own knowledge or bring their Neayas up to speed for long-term gain. You can not teach a Neaya spells they don’t have access to, and the knowledge transfer rate is limited to tendency points of both teacher and student. However, teaching costs nothing and the Neaya can easily save 50+ mana/tick this way, assuming they are in their Dozaya’s good graces.

Avatar tweaks

The bloody avatar ETA has finally been fixed. Now it calculated ETA on the fly, at the same time as generating the pathing solution (yellow hexes). Thus, it’s dead-on and will no longer display nonsensical numbers (often caused by curving paths and beta6 distance/jump based movement). Huzzah!

Furthermore, now avatar abilities in combat scale exponentially, with an easy level^2 / 10 calculation in stead of the old level. This means, in short, at level 1 the avatar will kill nothing, being 10 times less effective than previously. At level 4, when you usually exit trial, the avatar will be about 3 times as incompetent at before, but after level 10 they will gain more power exponentially and at level 20 they will do double individual damage, summon double amount of wraiths, influence double amount of units etc.

Spell pump / skill

We’ve revised the ages-old spell skill / 10 = mana you can put into a spell:

Now the skill is divided by 20, but multiplied with your tendency. This means, for tendency 2 nothing will change, tendency 4 will allow for double mana investment, and tendency 1 will make you utterly incompetent in a plane.

Combat (annihilation) recovery

While combat recovery is not technically a spell, it’s still listed in the active spells form because it’s an active effect. Combat recovery only triggers if the avatar is zeroed through spells or combat and is teleported home. It’s not long – maybe 10 ticks, but getting zeroed again while in recovery stacks ever increasing penalties. While in recovery, an avatar in combat will do nothing (aside from granting bonuses to troops) – they won’t engage in melee nor will use their special abilities.

This should prevent 1-unit Wud assassin avatars from repeatedly smacking into much larger forces, losing nothing.

Spells damage ALL armies

With the introduction of the follow mechanism, players in the last round complained about large inconsistencies concerning spells that dealt direct damage such as Lava Storm. When attaching a dry avatar to the army lead by another avatar, a single spell would knock the dry one back home. This is no longer the case.

Spells that deal direct damage now target entire hex and ALL avatars on that hex. To clarify, you still target a specific avatar, but once the spell lands, it will distribute its damage across all avatars sharing the same hex as the one you targeted. This will water down LS and WB a bit, as they splash their damage across more targets, but Tuna has become much more potent as 5% is 5% of all avatars, not just one! Affected avatars with 0 units, or those zeroed by these attacks will not be teleported home, as long as any avatar with units remains. Yes, now your dry attachments have nothing to fear – except combat itself.

Once an army is defeated in combat, all avatars of that army run home, and those that were dry will still be teleported home (as before).  I might change this as well so they don’t break formation, but have to ponder the consequences first.

This is all for now. Upcoming is the long awaited spell reshuffle, implementation of new spells (Ungrow Monolith for one) and whatever else I manage to fit into this week.