After a hiatus comparable to the ones Miura takes constantly with Berserk (Miura why), I've finally gotten back into the groove with Grave Story.
It took a little bit of debating as to whether I was going to continue it or not- after putting out Prepare to Die, I only know of about 2 people that have even touched it, so the dilemma came up of "Should I even bother making it if nobody will play it in the first place?" At the end of the day, I don't like to leave things unfinished, and at most, I can have fun with it and learn things. But, I played through Forum Fantasy and did all the quests (except beating Felix Falora, because even I struggle greatly with that), and it gave me a lot of much-needed motivation to do stuff.
At the moment, it's difficult to do much, as I don't have internet. I can visit the public library to download resources, but that means I have to know what I need beforehand. Which sucks.
But, as far as things I've done? There's been some changes done, and things planned.
1) Yolanda, the third character and default fighter of the group (as previously mentioned in this post), has been replaced with a different character. My big problem with Yolanda was that she really didn't fit in with the other characters. Xiralv is a wraith hellbent on revenge, and everyone thinks he's insane because he can talk to Death where the others can't. Lilith is a succubus conned into helping Xiralv due to a favor she owes a town guard for some sexy time gone horribly wrong. The fourth character is evil as hell, and only joins them because "The enemy of my enemy is my friend." Yolanda? She was kinda just there. She was really just a one-trick pony by being 'a sassy black woman who don't need no man'. Given the rest of the cast, she was very much an outsider. So, her character has been altogether scrapped. Thankfully, I came up with a new one very fast that I very much like, and her dialogue wasn't difficult to replace.
2) Dungeons will not have random encounters. Quite personally, I find random encounters infuriating. So I've opted to set it so enemies will roam dungeons freely as events, similar to the enemies mentioned in this post a few years back. It gives me a lot more control over encounters that I like.
You can escape from these encounters. Upon doing so, you have 3 seconds to get away from them before they start moving again and will trigger an encounter if you touch them. You can either run in the opposite direction or through them.
Provided they are not a unique enemy, they will respawn in a set amount of time. Currently, I have the respawn timer set to 1 minute for each encounter for testing reasons. This may vary depending on the area and enemy. I want you to be able to grind if you want without the irritation of possibly walking five steps just to end up in yet another random battle.
3) The class system is getting a bit of an overhaul. Several major things happening here:
-Individual class levels are being done away with. Most of the reason this was done was because advanced classes relied on a previous class' level. So to become an Assassin, you needed a certain level of Thief to unlock it. However, I've got a few ideas of how to get around that.
-I'm making use of Subclasses, currently referred to as "Proficiencies". Most classes can be used as a Proficiency, meaning you'll gain use of that class' weapons and skills, but not the stats; armor is still up for debate. So if you're class is Fighter and you equip Mage as a proficiency, you'll become a Fighter Mage, and the stats will be based off only the Fighter's stats. This helps balance it out a bit as it ensures that characters don't become too powerful- Fighter Mage is certainly useful, but will suffer greatly when it comes to inflicting damage with spells, let alone the reduced Mana.
At the same time, there will be some classes that are only Proficiencies- Gunner will likely become one of them. Mage Gunner? Hell yeah.
-As you can tell from the previous point, I really like the customization options.
4) I'm thinking of changing Xiralv's name. Obviously, it is Vlarix spelled backwards, and was a joke on the fact that Vlarix in Forum Fantasy died horribly at least 10 times for his sidequest, in which you had to visit each of his tombstones to obtain Ghostception. Of course, this reference is lost outside of anyone that didn't play Forum Fantasy or anyone not from the now-dead Chaos Theatre. On top of that, it's not exactly an easy name to pronounce either, so a more fitting name is likely in order.
5) I switched the resolution to as high as it can go (640x480.) It helped out a couple of scripts, but this resulted in a few problem areas with the lighting system.
6) I wrote a lot of lore. As mentioned in one of the updates many moons ago, there is a codex in which you can read any obtained books, or to gain insight from the characters. A lot of this is because I wanted a place to compile any collected lore in the game for players to read if that's something you're into. One of the things I was proud of with Forum Fantasy was that your knowledge of the game's events was determined by how much you did- a trend I'd like to continue. Lore books and whatnot can help with that.
7) Decay was changed to Necromantic; I think it better describes what the damage type is, as it's literally the power of death itself, not the power of rot. It's similar to Dark, but not the same; there's a lore entry differentiating those as well.
8) Passives are now a thing, which is something I've wanted to do for a while. Not many details on them yet, as I only have one at the moment. They'll be obtainable in a couple ways- learning them using AP (formerly JP), or items,such as the one seen below:
Fisting yourself with an interdimensional fist to harm ghosts... how I've missed putting horrendously stupid shit in games.
Won't bore you with a bunch of little details, but some things have been done, at least. Perhaps re-experiencing the nightmare I put together called Forum Fantasy was what I needed.