Untamed Tactics

Dev Diary #7 - The Great System Overhaul™

What is happening with your soon-to-be favorite rogue-like?

Dev Diary #7 - The Great System Overhaul™

With the many things that have happened to and with Untamed Tactics, the last few months I’ve sadly not spent enough time writing these little updates.. But we’re back! This time, we’ll discuss some of the many HUGE changes to the game’s systems, as well as upcoming improvements.

Turn Order change

By far one of the most impactful changes we’ve made is changing the turn order from the free-form ‘player unit turn > enemy unit turn’ to a traditional character Speed-based turn order. We lose the feeling of destroying a single enemy in one turn (and your characters being similarly destroyed in a single turn), as well as the feeling of total control in your turns. This was proven to be very hard to design around, especially since our game has grown more complex with its systems. Before, players often had the feeling they were just choosing an ability for the sake of it, always going for high damage and surrounding opponents. Now ganging up is much harder and often undesirable. Having a clear turn order forces players to be far more careful with their movements, ability choices and power expenditure. Moreover, the game has become far easier to parse, with enemy turns being shorter and it being much clearer who is acting when. The turn order can also be manipulated in various ways, allowing a whole new level of tactical play and abilities that opens a lot of design space for cool effects and abilities. 

Weakness, Resistance and Attributes

The previous damage type system was too complicated to understand at a glance, which has Attack and Defense values for all three damage types (Physical, Magical, Mental). We’ve simplified this, while at the same time bringing the various damage types more to the forefront. There are now only single Attack and Defense attributes, however each enemy type can now have a Weakness and a Resistance to specific damage types. These Weaknesses and Resistances are clearly indicated in the battle scene. Dealing damage versus enemy with a Weakness or Resistance deals 50% (half) or 200% (double) damage respectively to that enemy. This way, enemies have more unique ways to be played against without overwhelming the player with unnecessary math whenever seeking to choose an enemy to attack.

Camp visual update

The Camp has received a huge facelift and looks MUCH better. Gone are the placeholder assets and the (yes this is true) screenshot of a group of tiles serving as the background. Finally our heroes have a proper place to rest from their battles!

Rune system overhaul

The Rune system has been completely revamped, and merged together with Passives. Runes can now have far ranging effects that impact your playstyle and build more strongly, such as “60% chance your first Ability this turn is a guaranteed Critical Hit” or “Whenever you walk on Water tiles, gain a stacking Attack buff”. 

Passives weren’t on the forefront enough, and the old Runes (e.g. boring stat increases) weren’t interesting or impactful to get. By combining the systems, and slightly modelling their effects after the Relic drops from Slay the Spire, a more dynamic and impactful system emerged where your Rune choices actually matter. 

Runes can still be found at vendors, looted and rewarded by events, however now also are gained through leveling up. All characters now start with a single Class Rune. 

Enemies can now also have Runes, which allows them to have more special effects and differentiates them further.

Shattered Coast

The environmental assets for the Shattered Coast region are finally complete and implemented! A hauntingly beautiful region awaits the players, filled with the ruins of an ancient civilization. Now to get some enemies in there..

Difficulty increase

The difficulty of the game has been severely increased. Enemy health is much higher, as well as their damage. Moreover, enemies now have specific playstyle counters based off of their Runes and Reactions. Enemy scaling has also been improved in a first attempt to not have enemies scale bizarrely much while still slowly ramping up the challenge.

The game was far too easy to overcome for various reasons, most of which have been addressed in the last few updates. The low difficulty prevented players from ever NEEDING to make tactical choices, since most choices were low impact. Each choice is now much more meaningful, as the consequences are much higher, which leads to a far better gameplay experience. 

Simplifying the run structure

We’ve simplified the previously mentioned day/night cycle. Giving players the feeling that there are two totally different games/situations to play makes our lives that much harder since having ONE mode stand out is already a complex thing. Now, Greycoat’s Room is still the hub of your runs. Talking to him allows players to start a run, whereas checking the new Trophy Case allows you to (re)play Memories, the special story missions now unlocked by exploring the World Map.

New challengers appear!

Murkfall now has the Darkfeather Magus and Malevolent Butcher as new enemy types. 

The Darkfeather Magus deals high damage and increases its own Attack whenever it deals damage. Moreover, getting hit increases its Speed; defeat these threats as fast as possible!

Malevolent Butchers are very hard to take down, and inflict huge chunks of damage that often causes Bleeding. Their slow Move and Speed can be used to your advantage to keep them at bay. Dealing damage to them also decreases their Defense, meaning consecutive attacks can quickly take care of them. 

Stranglevine Ridge now has the Toad Dartblower enemy type, a poisonous enemy that emits poison around it at the end of its turn. 

Moreover, our art team (hi Joe) has finished several more enemies to finish off these regions in style, however I’ve been too lazy (read: busy) to animate them all. More to come soon!

All characters have been resized to better fit their appropriate size as well as making them more easily recognizable.

Next time

Currently we’re focusing on a big polish and balancing patch, with many aspects of the game being left slightly unbalanced after so many huge changes. Moreover, in preparation of several large additional systems and revamps, such as the new Companion System and the rework of the World Map, we want to clear out as many bugs as we can and polish the new systems first.

I’ll try to not wait as long with publishing a new developer update!

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~ Milan

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