With 1.15, the iOS and Android versions are getting several patches at once… so there’s a whole load of new stuff to find!
The biggest change by far is the rise in skill tree limits in The Tower. In short: Every time you clear a block of 20 floors in The Tower, you’ll get a free skill point and many of your skill tree’s limits will rise—allowing you to spend more points on them. Cool!
Besides that there are now five new Legendary items to find, better equipment scattered throughout the Tower, and a whole bunch of other tweaks and fixes! Here are the full patch notes for 1.15:
Every time I fix the Alchemist Destrid’s Ax/Tinkerer combo, someone finds a way round the fix. That means I have to fix it again (but better).
The problem is, I don’t like doing patches that just nerf stuff. So to Zelnaught, Fat__Tony and others, as a reward for breaking the game and making me patch it, here’s a handful of new Legendaries and some adjustments to where they show up!
- Adjusted effect of “Tinkerer” and other +1 buffs on percentage-type item stats.
- Expanded the range of items Scavengers can drop on death.
- Legendaries are now less rare on Normal and Hard.
- Scavengers may now forgive transgressions (eventually).
- Adjusted drop rates of different Legendaries in the Tower.
- Added five new Legendary items!
- Fixed a bug where very high Willpower could make enemy magic resist go very high.
The Tower has been a lot of fun to make! I always wanted it to take the game a bit further, take things over the top. With the patches of the last few weeks adding rising skill tree limits and bonus enchanted gear on higher floors, I feel that’s starting to happen.
My goal has always been to make Floor 60 really difficult to reach and Floor 100 next to impossible, but it turns out a few things I overlooked have had the potential to take players much further—often making the game a bit dull in the process. The Alchemist’s “Tinkerer” talent is the main such problem, easily scaling your gear and turning certain items into permanent invincibility.
I don’t like changing cool powerful things, I much prefer adding new toys and making weak things stronger, but it’s become clear that Tinkerer will keep breaking the game without a fundamental change. So here we go: a little medicinal balance patch to fix things.
Now it’s back to work on new stuff.
CLASSES AND SKILLS
- Tweaked Alchemist’s skill tree.
- Alchemist’s “Tinkerer” will now only enchant to a maximum of +1 per skill point invested.
- Adjusted bonus from Whetstone on high damage weapons.
- Fixed spellcasting on Magic Mirrors.
- Altered some things that could be easily exploited by “save-scumming” (reloading a save for a better result).
The last patch was a shot at balancing The Tower, addressing the few truly broken builds and making many more builds viable. Some things worked; some didn’t. The skill tree limits rising went a long way, but builds dependent on found equipment and melee combat were still struggling while spell-casting builds dominated.
Here’s another package of changes to fix that and make The Tower more interesting! I’ve made enemies a little more dangerous, especially to spellcasters, but hugely improved the gear you’ll find as you climb and revamped weapon damage in general. I hope you’ll enjoy the results.
As ever, the patch is up on Kongregate right now (with a new Highest Tower Floor scoreboard) and will be making its way to iOS and Android shortly.
- Chests are now more common in higher floors of The Tower.
- Equipment will now appear with extra enchantment levels (+1, +2, +3…) from Floor 21.
- Enemies are now slightly tougher, more aggressive and more magic resistant in higher floors of The Tower.
CLASSES AND SKILLS
- Alchemist “Pistol” skill now has recoil. Damage adjusted.
- Alchemist “Gunslinger” perk now replaces “Craft” with an extra Pistol, allowing you to acquire two Pistols from level 4.
- Alchemist “Tinkerer” will now affect weapons as well as other gear.
- Upgraded Restless Blade and Weeping Katana (slightly).
- Whetstone now has a larger effect on high damage weapons.
- Improved spell targeting.
- Fixed buff on bushes in The Tower.
- Scavenger will now drop correct Tome for Pugilists.
Steam development continues. In the meantime, I’ve been working through feedback on The Tower and I’ve got some fixes ready!
SKILL TREE LIMITS
There were a few exploitable things that needed fixing, like a bug in “Polymorph”. There were also some major balance issues. The Alchemist’s “Tinkerer” talent and Paladin’s “Consecrate” stood out as particularly strong builds for long Tower runs, with other classes barely able to keep up. I’m introducing a new feature to fix this:
Every time you clear a block of 20 floors in The Tower, you’ll get a free skill point and many of your skill tree’s limits will rise—allowing you to spend more points on them.
So, for example, you’ll be able to spend a second point—and eventually a third, and fourth, and so on—in the Thief’s “Shadow Master” talent, reducing the cool-down of Shadow Mastery. The raising of other limits will also allow your Thief to spend even more skill points in Speed or Stealth. If you play a Wizard you’ll be able to raise Inspiration to even higher percentages, allowing you to repeatedly cast spells more often, or put extra points into Leech to drain more and more health.
My hope is that these rising limits will give every class a chance at the higher floors of the Tower and enable some really cool game-breaking Tower builds. Give it a spin and let me know what works. There’s a lot I can do to tweak these expanding skill trees, so I hope I’ll be able to enable lots of viable builds soon!
Anyway, that’s the big stuff. I’ve also fixed several bugs, adjusted some game-breaking stuff and tweaked a few skills. I’ve put the patch up on Kongregate and will be deploying it to iOS and Android within the next few weeks.
Here are the full patch notes:
I’m pretty much done with the raw, messy business of simply getting CQ2 to run as nicely on Windows, Mac and Linux as it does on phones or over on Kongregate. That means moving on to the next big thing!
The next big thing right now is that CQ2 on Steam won’t be free-to-play. That means no Morale system, which means it’ll need a different unlock scheme. Currently I’m linking each Perk/Gear to a corresponding achievement you’ll have to clear to unlock it. I’m finding there are some cool things I can do here, like requiring you to unlock one perk (eg. Paladin’s “Noncombatant”) and do something hard with it (clear an Act using Noncombatant!) to unlock the next. It should be fun!
I’m not completely happy with the perk system right now, honestly. There are several perks to choose from, but once you’ve found and unlocked your favourite, there’s little reason to explore further. I’m playing around with ideas for how to fix that, like tracking which loadouts you’ve cleared an Act with—and maybe giving each class a permanent bonus perk that activates when you’ve unlocked all its other stuff. (Would that be weird?)
Given those fixes, the game could totally use a few extra perks! I may well add another thing or two for each class in the next patch. I’m hesitant to discuss what the new perks might be, since that’d be spoiling the fun of everyone finding out for themselves… but one I really want to try out is a perk that gives the Wizard a mana bar. This’d mean spells cost mana instead of having a cooldown, but you’ll only be able to refill your mana by changing level or picking up Mana Orbs from fallen enemies.
I’m also wondering how I can balance a starting loadout for the Thief that’d involve Shadow Walk and Teleport, so you could be everywhere at once. But I’m getting ahead of myself…
Work remaining until Steam release: new unlock system, desktop graphics fixes, Steam integration, new trailer and stuff for Steam store, add more Legendary items & perks & Tower bosses in a cool update (all platforms)
I’ve started getting the game ready for Steam. There’s a fair bit of work involved in this. I need to add support for Steam achievements and leaderboards, I’m going to strip out Morale and add a new progression system… but the biggest job by far is updating the Flash UI to look nice at higher resolutions. It may be silly to want a game using 16×16 pixel art to look really nice and clean on a big screen, but I’m going to try anyway! Who knows—maybe I’ll find a little time to work in some subtle OpenGL shader effects too.
iOS and Android builds are in the queue, waiting for a good release window. For now, I’ve uploaded a stealth patch to Kongregate to tweak the Tower balance slightly based on feedback and fix a few bugs. Here are the details:
The Flash version of patch 1.1 is live on Kongregate!
This update introduces THE TOWER and THE ALCHEMIST—two big chunks of content that’ve been in the works for a while. The Tower is our new Endless mode, a world you can keep climbing indefinitely until it kills you; the Alchemist is a new seventh class who specialises in crafting scrolls and potions. Each brings new achievements and new stuff to fight for!
The iOS and Android versions will be updated shortly, likely next week. For now, here are the broad, spoiler-free patch notes! I hope you enjoy exploring the new stuff, and I look forward to seeing how far in the Tower you can get.
- Added The Tower, an Endless Mode accessible once you’ve unlocked 15 Achievements.
- Each Achievement Rank you’ve earned now gives you a bonus chest in that floor of the tower, so you can have bonus items up to floor 50.
- Added The Alchemist, a brand new class who specialises in crafting and combining items and inventing new technology.
- Added Sampling Vials, new items that appear within the Acts and the Tower. To unlock the Alchemist, you must find and use Vials on five bosses to collect blood samples. Alternatively, you can unlock the Alchemist immediately for $5.
- Consumables (potions, scrolls, etc) can now stack up to 2 per inventory slot.
- Each class’s “Toughness” talent is now uncapped.
- Added Alchemist skills “Craft”, “Combine” and “Pistol” to Spellbook.
- Added six new consumables. Two of them are legendary.
- High score achievements altered to only trigger on the Acts, not the Tower.
- “All six classes” achievements for clearing Acts changed to “all classes” (including the Alchemist). However, if you’ve already unlocked these, they’ll stay unlocked.
- Added six new Alchemist-related achievements.
- Added five new Tower-related achievements.
- Invincibility Potion now protects against magical damage (e.g. Fireball).
- iPhone: Fixed Retina support on iOS 8 (and possibly iOS 5?).
Developing for multiple platforms can make things interesting. It’s not just the different hardware capabilities, incompatible backends for standard features and differing expectations: there are also different platform philosophies to deal with.
Apple like to vet apps and updates that go on the App Store. This lets them make basic assurances that apps won’t brick your phone and steal your identity. Unfortunately, the delay on vetting apps and updates can be a week or two. This has an awkward side-effect: if an update that passes contains a critical bug, it might take a week or two to get a fix out. Builds need to be tested much more thoroughly first.
Patch 1.1 is feature complete. It just needs testing and bugfixing now. That means it will be coming out this month across iOS, Flash and Android. I’ll then be immediately starting work on the Steam version for Windows, Mac and Linux.
It’s taken me a while to recover since I posted about burnout in October. Since then I’ve been trying to get my passion for cool games and cool stuff back, playing loads of interesting games and putting together neat little projects like New Year Stories and a Harry Potter/Neuromancer computer mashup and some new EDM sounds.
That eventually brought me back to working on CQ2 in January, but I wasn’t sure if it’d stick… so I tried to avoid making promises in case I flaked out on them again. Now that I’ve finished work on the update, though, I feel like it’s okay for me to talk about it again! If you’ve been following CQ2, thank you so much for being patient
The two big things in 1.1 are The Tower and The Alchemist. I’ve touched on the new class previously, so here’s the main stuff to know about The Tower: it’s Cardinal Quest 2′s endless mode. It’s one big remix of everything, with a few new rules to mix things up.