In this week’s dev blog, we’ll discuss some of the improvements made to battles in Siralim Ultimate. Please note that this isn’t a definitive list – there are dozens of additional battle improvements to be found in this game, but it’s difficult to fit everything into a single post. There are many other additions that you’ll be happy to discover yourself after you play the game. With all of that said, I hope you enjoy this post!
Important note: the animations in this post contain outdated creature sprites. As I promised before, the final game will include all-new sprites for these creatures. Also, please note that these GIFs are rendered at 30 FPS which makes them look quite a bit worse than they do in-game.
Spells have always had their own unique battle animations to make them stand out from each other. But what about attacks? Up until now, attacking a creature simply caused their sprite to flash a few times. Needless to say, that’s kind of boring.
The first step toward solving this problem was to create attack animations that work just like spell animations. Nieve managed to draw an attack animation for every single creature race in the game. I’m sure it was a lot of work, but the result was definitely worth it. Here’s an example of my Berserker Fiend attacking an enemy:
The attack animations change colors based on the attacking creature’s class. For example, Berserker Fiends belong to the Chaos class, so their attack animations flash red and yellow. However, if you fuse your Berserker Fiend with a Dragon Soldier, the resulting Berserker Fiend’s class will be Sorcery. In that case, the creature’s attack animation will instead flash purple and pink to denote that it came from a Sorcery creature.
And More Animations
But that’s not all! Now, when your creatures attack, cast spells, defend, provoke, or take damage, their battle sprites will react accordingly.
For example, here’s what happens when a creature casts a spell:
Well, that was anti-climactic. It looks much better in-game – again, these GIFs are rendered at 30 FPS (half the game’s actual frame rate), so they don’t really do the animations justice.
While these animations will feel very basic, they do a great job at making it feel like your creatures are actually performing their actions in battle. As a result, battles are much more satisfying than before. Even when you’re fighting battles using Turbo Mode, it’s very satisfying to watch all the creatures on the battlefield (including your own) move around as they take action.
The battle UI now shows all kinds of useful information that will help you make better choices in battle. For example, when you’re choosing a target to attack, the battle selector will tell you if a target’s class is strong or weak against that of your creature. Let’s face it: none of us actually think it’s fun to memorize type strengths/weaknesses in monster catching games, and while it’s a bit easier for a game like Siralim where there are only 5 classes to memorize, a friendly reminder is always welcome.
As you can see, my Thrasher Fiend’s class is weak against that of the Skeleton Cannoneer that I’m targeting, so the “Attack” text appears in blue along with a sword icon followed by a minus sign. If I had targeted a Sorcery creature instead, the text would have been red with a sword icon followed by a plus sign.
Some creatures also come with their own, custom UI elements to help you use their traits more effectively. For example, creatures from the Reaper race have traits that kill enemies with 35% health or less. In previous games, these traits were difficult to use because it was hard to determine if an enemy was below 35% health or not. In Siralim Ultimate, an indicator will appear on the UI to tell you which creatures interact with your Reapers’ traits.
Action Queue… err, Timeline
The Action Queue is now called the “Timeline”. It just makes more sense.
In other news, you can now view all the creatures in battle on the Timeline rather than only the next 6 creatures.
The Mighty F Key
As you already know, Siralim Ultimate sports a brand new keyboard key for you to press: the F key.
While the F key is most often used to sort your inventory (and other interfaces) on the fly, it also helps out quite a bit in battle. For example, while you’re holding down the F key in battle, you can view the enemies’ “parents” that were used to fuse the resulting creature. Holding the F key also shows players the duration of all creature buffs and debuffs.
More Powerful Macros
I’ve added a ton of new conditions and actions to the Macro system in Siralim Ultimate.
Most interestingly, however, is the addition of the “AND” action.
Now, you can create a macro that looks something like this:
If this creature has < 50% Health AND…
If this creature has Berserk, attack a random enemy.
This means that you can link multiple conditional lines together to make your macros even smarter than before!
And yes, you can have multiple “AND” lines in a row and they’ll work exactly the way you’d expect.
One More Thing
Many players create some truly ridiculous combinations with their creatures’ traits, perks, and spells. In some cases, one creature’s actions might create hundreds or even thousands of instances of floating combat text, which makes some battles take a really, really long time. In Siralim Ultimate, after too many messages have been displayed, the game will automatically resolve the rest of the turn so you can move on with your life.
Buffs, Debuffs, and… Minions?
New Buff and Debuff Icons
Nieve drew all-new icons for buffs and debuffs for Siralim Ultimate. They’re much easier to read than before, and they also have uniquely styled borders so you can easily determine which of these conditions are buffs and which are debuffs.
Speaking of Buffs and Debuffs…
Most of the buffs and debuffs from previous games have been overhauled. Many of them are now much more straightforward, but more importantly, some of the less-useful buffs/debuffs are now far more powerful. Here are a few examples:
Berserk – Berserk creatures deal 50% more damage. [Previously, this buff also caused the creature to take more damage… so was it a buff, or was it really a debuff in the end?]
Blind – Blind creatures cannot choose their targets when attacking or casting single-target spells. [Previously, Blind gave attacks a chance to miss. It wasn’t very useful in general, and didn’t work with spells at all.]
Cursed – When Cursed creatures deal damage with attacks or spells, they take damage equal to 100% of their target’s Attack. [Previously, this didn’t work with spell damage.]
Taunt – Creatures with Taunt automatically Provoke at the end of their turn. [Previously, Taunt increased the chance for a creature to successfully Provoke. This buff should be much more useful now.]
Of course, there are plenty of new buffs and debuffs for you to discover as well…
Rebirth – Creatures with Rebirth are resurrected with 30% Health when they die. Then, this debuff is removed.
Bomb – At the start of a creature’s turn, its Bomb detonates, dealing damage to the creatures equal to 80% of the afflictor’s Speed. Then, this debuff is removed. [Remember “Bomb” gems from Siralim 3? It’s a debuff now!]
Disarmed – Disarmed creatures lose all benefits from their equipped Artifact. [Disarmed has always been a thing, but now it is considered a debuff instead of some arbitrary event that happens in battle.]
Debuffs, Bosses, and You
In previous games, bosses were immune to debuffs such as Stun, Scorn, and Silence. In Siralim Ultimate, bosses aren’t immune to debuffs at all – instead, certain debuffs will be much less powerful when applied to bosses. For example, Scorn doesn’t prevent bosses from attacking – but it does reduce boss attack damage by 50%. Bosses also have a much higher chance to break out of action-impairing effects, such as Frozen and Snare. This change will make debuff-oriented builds much more viable for all parts of the game.
Buff/Debuff Duration Consistency
Buffs and debuffs now have consistent durations. In previous games, one trait might afflict the Burn debuff for 6 turns, while another would afflict Burn for only 3 turns. This was unnecessarily specific, and wasn’t even relevant in most cases. In Siralim Ultimate, most buffs and debuffs last for 3 turns, while a few last for only 1 turn. You can still increase or decrease these durations using traits, perks, and things like that, of course.
If you’ve played Siralim 1, you’ll have a pretty good idea about what a “minion” is. Remember Dire Wolves? Spiderlings? Splinters? They’re back and better than ever in Siralim Ultimate!
Minions work a lot like buffs, except they’re not classified as buffs – they’re classified as minions, and they have a few subtle differences you should know about:
- Most Minions can stack multiple times. For example, if you have 3 stacks of Dire Wolves, they’ll deal a lot more damage than if you only have 1 stack.
- Minions don’t have a duration. Instead, each Minion stack has a fixed chance to go away at the end of your creatures’ turns. For example, each stack of Dire Wolves has a 25% chance to go away at the end of a creature’s turn.
- Typically, the function of Minions is much more complex than that of a buff.
Here are a few examples of the Minions you’ll find in Siralim Ultimate. Please note that these effects are not final and will very likely change before you get to play the game:
Dire Wolves – After this minion’s master attacks, each Dire Wolf deals damage to the target equal to 80% of its Speed. Maximum of 5 stacks.
Famine – After this minion’s master attacks, it decreases the target’s Maximum Health by 30% of the damage dealt. [Remember this guy, as well as the other three horsemen from Siralim 3?]
Doppelganger – All of this minion’s master’s actions are repeated an additional time.
While several traits and spells interact with Minions, there’s also a specialization that players can choose from called the Necromancer. Necromancers specialize in Minions, and the goal is for players to feel like they’re controlling a massive army in battle. I’ll dive a bit deeper into how specializations work, and I’ll start revealing the perks for these specializations in a future dev blog.
Please note that nothing mentioned in this blog post is finalized. I reserve the right to change or remove anything mentioned in this post at any time. If you’re reading this post after the game has already launched, your best bet is to forget everything you just read because very few of the things I write about will remain untouched in the final product.