Post by hynreck on Oct 16, 2015 14:37:36 GMT
The changelog for book 6... kind of a big deal. I edited some stuff, but mostly this is what has been posted on the Kickstarter page:
If you haven't played the books, you might not want to read this next section
I thought book 6 had a great premise and lots of neat writing. It's still earned criticism. The flowchart has errors: it persistently forgets whether Foxglove is with you, for one thing. And many have argued that the book is only fun if Foxglove accompanies you anyway (including Mark Smith himself).
When I first played it, I bumped into a related issue: I beat the book first try with a blank Character Sheet. Not even one fight. So not only is there a "best route" that bypasses most game content, you can bypass the "climactic battle." In an action game!
How do we make it better?
The flowchart must be corrected, hands down. And why is the book 424 sections long instead of the usual 420? Clobber excess sections and clean it up while you're at it.
Now what about the "best route" thing? If that's just how the book works, then "correcting it" could get agonizing. Someone (me) would have to rewrite to give a different reward system for route choice, putting little fights and stuff in every single subroute, and creating a new game balance. It would be like replacing the book!
Better, I think, to leave the essential thread as it is and just make it the best example of "this type of book" it can be: so this is a book where a smart player teases out the "best route." If you personally want a different experience, like bringing along the adventurers and/or Foxglove, you can choose to make the routes more complex. And soon your various options for book 6 will get resolution in the new book 7, so hopefully you'll find them more rewarding.
Still, if there were one thing I could change, it would have to be the "climactic battle." What's the point of abilities like Inner Force if you literally can't use them? That means a few new sections to expand the content (with Mark and Jamie's approval, of course).
So two updates ago I photographed some hand sketchings on paper; at the top you see the disentangling effort for a nasty flowchart area (when you meet Vespers and company). At the bottom, new sections!
Now, I want to post a changelog, but it could get unreadable. There are too many details. So I'll start with a summary of big changes, then go into some specifics that old readers might recognize. If I mention a section number, it's a reference to the OLD location: you can look it up in your copy from the 1980's but it may have moved by the time I was done with the flowchart. Here we go . . .
Book 6 error correction and enhancements
Warband scene. Cassandra is introduced exactly once, she is never named before then, and you do not forget her thereafter. The infinite Escapology loop is no more. Force-Lady Gwyneth does not teleport.
"Decision." All locations where you could waste time saying "Nah, I don't feel like playing this game" are edited or deleted.
Surface guard scene. Foxglove no longer dies an unusual number of times.
First tier. You can no longer summon Foxglove from the grave with Poison Needles.
Sacred Vault scene. You no longer change your clothes without notice.
Lord Sile scene. You no longer change your clothes without notice. The Charioteer fight now has martial arts choices and therefore tells you what Modifier to use. (The difficulty is unchanged.)
Cavern of the Spider scene. The sister of Nullaq is no longer seen, unseen, disabled, and in control all at the same time. Foxglove's consciousness status does not toggle without notice, nor does she sleepwalk.
Third tier. You can no longer make a risk-free bypass of the adventurers and the entire third tier. Instead, if you try to bypass, you face a traditional battle and only afterward proceed out.
Adventurers scene. You and the adventurers are introduced to each other exactly once and without time warps. Same with their gods. And their lightning bolts. You can no longer free yourself from enchantment by succumbing to enchantment. You no longer stutter reality by playing or skipping book 2.
Final fight sequence. Foxglove no longer appears without reason, does in fact appear if she had been Cassandra's prisoner, and controls only those people she enchanted. The climactic final fight sequence is now unavoidable, longer, and more climactic. (More people get beaten up. Shh . . . )
As with other books, tidied various combat mechanics, clarified shuriken use, and so on. There wasn't much need to edit Endurance restoration or gold use, but extra need to edit Inner Force loss and its implications.
As with other books, standardized the capitalization, spelling, and phrasing.
Flowchart errors and crashes
109. Eliminated the impossible option to go to 319. (If you had the proper disguise to go to 319, you would have been forced to go there before now.)
241. Added the normal combat links to sections 211, 221, and 231. (You no longer are stuck in limbo if you fail to disarm Cassandra.)
420. In first draft, corrected to send you to 424 (the end of the book) instead of 423. (It is now possible whatsoever to complete the book.) After overhauling the flowchart, this section is moved and the whole book ends at 420 as all other books do.
Text problems from taking an unexpected route
18. You are no longer described as having been cured of plague, as there is no actual check for that occurrence.
71, 333. Cassandra and Foxglove are no longer described as using their hands for anything, as you might have gotten here with them in chains.
2, 105, 210, 359, 393. Moved the enchanted disguise of the Torch of Lumen back to when you first pick it up, as it's rather odd to be told halfway through a stealth mission, if ever.
197. The behavior of the Dwarf-Trolls as you walk past is described differently, as they might or might not have tried to give the alarm before you got here.
291. The moment where you "sieze the opportunity with fullness, as a ninja should" is now rephrased, as that particular phrasing is unique to the secret Litany of the Ninja Grandmaster.
372. Revised the creepiness, as it's similar to later creepiness if the player goes to 390.
Conflicts and logic errors
52. Changed the "arrows," used to indicate the direction of attack, into a general description of how these bodies fell. (The adventurers who attacked here use no arrows.)
103. Revised Cassandra's speech about how "unimportant" she is to the Dark Elves, since all other text says that detaining her will anger the Dark Elves.
230. Added a Defence value of 5 so now you know how to use a shuriken on the Orc.
294. Edited Defence values for Tyutchev and yourself to be like section 334 instead of 254, matching how distracted he is.
362, 382. Kwon's Flail is not a throw. (Really.)
5, 253, 313, 355, 363, 383, 403. Revised all discussion of your debt to Glaivas. Now it emphasizes how your god would have been incarcerated in Inferno (woo, the title of the book!) if not for him. (Irsmuncast is much less important than, say, launching the entire book series.)
9, 176, 236, 390, 410. Added notes about eating and sleeping. This journey is supposed to be long.
15, 35. Added the implication the Foxglove uses her enchantments on both men and women, as implying the gender of the main character is to be avoided.
71, 264, 284. Added some elaboration as to Doré le Jeune's disposition in the Rift. (In the original, he is given little attention. Story threads need to be sustained so they can be picked up again in book 7.)
83. Revised this "death" scene to include your actual death. (In the original, you don't really die here and instead survive beyond the end of the book. We now have book 7 to reference, so we can kill you right and proper.)
105, 393. You now heal to maximum Endurance before leaving Irsmuncast. (In other words, you now heal for once in the entire book.)
140, 257, 330. Clarified that you were only "spotted" if the book explicitly told you to make a note. (For example, running away from the dumb surface guards doesn't count.)
211, 221, 231, 241. Half-clarified, half-revised so that you may continue regardless of your remaining Endurance. (You are told that you should be dead but are spared the killing blow, so this is appropriate.)
243, 335. Added the option to give Cassandra back her sword no matter what route you took. (Those who've played this book know why.)
306, 326, 410. Got you back out of any disguise before the end of the book. (This way there's no question of whether it should impact your gameplay. And, also, it fits with book 7.)
400. Demoted this potion to heal only the traditional 10 Endurance, not maximum. (That was pretty powerful for a zero-risk item. The Elixir of Health at 19, which requires risk, still heals you to maximum.)
424. Made small revisions to the last text in the book. No major changes were needed, and old versions of book 6 still will flow into book 7. (And, again, this section has been moved so the whole book ends at 420 as all other books do.)