It’s been a few days of silence on this blog, so what have I been up to? It turns out, quite a lot: first and foremost, the last few days I’ve been working on the vehicles update, largely focusing on the new mechanized siege armour the player can purchase and use. I’ve had some basic framework vehicle code in and running for months now, but I’ve not done much with it before now, as I couldn’t figure out what direction to take it in without things being overpowered. I’m happy to say that the new siege armour is working out great.

Demonstrating the new siege armour. Notice how comparatively little damage Sean’s critical hit did, barely grazing the armour.

Not only is this mechanized armour expensive, but while wearing it, the player can’t use items or special skills, trading off versatility for incredible firepower and massive defensive capability. In addition, the armour is very bulky and can’t get through smaller doorways or into narrow passages, limiting the areas where it can be employed. Despite its downsides, siege armour is tough as nails and can throw out brutal amounts of damage, making it well worth the investment. There’s code in place now to purchase as many suits of siege armour as you can afford, as well as buy and equip additional weapons, replacing the stock gear.

Another caveat of the siege armour is that it won’t heal itself over time like the player character can — instead, it must be repaired by the player, either with the use of repair kits (which can get expensive but are reliable) or attempting a kit-less field repair, which is far more risky and likely to cause additional damage if botched. This uses the new repair skill, which the Technician class naturally excels at, though using a repair kit is still usually fairly successful even with no training.

Another significant update has been a revamp of the minimap, as seen in the screenshot to the left. It’s now far more clear which paths full-sized vehicles (such as NPC cars) can travel along — the double-line links between rooms — as well as which paths may be traversed by the smaller-sized siege armour, indicated by a single line plus a dashed line. Of course, siege armour can travel happily along the double-line links too. This map revamp also makes the layout of an area a little clearer at a glance, with main roads and thoroughfares more clearly indicated.

Both arm weapons can be freely customized on siege armour, though they use special heavy weapons which you’ll have to purchase separately.

A fair minor feature that also got added in along with the vehicle code is something I call “room scars” — it’s temporary or permanent damage that can be done to an area, usually through combat actions, such as accumulating blood stains from combat, burns from explosive weapons, or discarded ammunition casings. It’s not a major feature and won’t directly affect gameplay, but I think it adds a little more flavour and character to the world, when you can really see the results of your rampant destruction beyond a simple pile of corpses.

Beyond this, it’s pretty much minor tweaks, bug fixes and such — skill caps now affect skill gains (so classes with a higher potential in a skill will also learn that skill faster, as well as having a higher maximum cap), you’ll now occasionally meet some randomly-generated NPCs who are non-binary/agender as well as the usual randomly-gendered NPCs, shop buy/sell messages have been tweaked a little, a bunch of internal code has been revamped to be more efficient, staves have been removed entirely (they were part of an aborted attempt to add a magic system to the game, before I decided it just wouldn’t fit at all), and the in-game wiki has a bunch more documentation added, though I need to slog away at some point and fill in the huge amount of empty space still waiting to be filled.

Where next from here? I’ve got an ever-growing to-do list full of ideas and plans, so we’ll just have to see what catches my fancy next. :3