Dev Log

2 posts

Combat Behavior Preview

Greetings friends and fans,

It's been a while since our last update. Pandemics will hobble you like that sometimes. Still, we wanted to add something to the blog to let you guys know that, even when we're slowed, we're still working on Pharos.

With that in mind, let's talk about killing/being killed by things. Combat is one of the core experiences of our game and you'll be doing a lot of it by the time you reach your journey's end. However, the last thing we want to do is bog you down with encounters that don't matter; fleeting trash mobs and filler that show up only to be effortlessly beat down with a few taps of a button. Combat is somewhat avoidable in Pharos especially on the overworld as there's nothing worse than being stopped by random encounters when you're just trying to get a closer look at some point of interest you hadn't noticed before. We don't really promote grinding in Pharos either so what does our combat really represent?

Our enemies will need to be smart. We are currently building each enemy with a specific set of behaviors. Canines that rely on pack hunting tactics and follow the lead of a powerful alpha. Monsters that will sometimes devour other creatures in a combat encounter for a quick heal and a strong buff. Monsters that will shield themselves and panic if that shield is broken or explode when exposed to fire. Every encounter should be a fight but it should also be a puzzle to be deciphered and, eventually, exploited.

Just a preview of some basic behaviors one might encounter

Here's a throwaway example of what we mean. Currently, our Green Slimes will simply bite every adventurer they see. However, they prefer to eat beetles when they can. There are two types of beetles on Slime Island; one that is pretty normal and one that is entirely toxic. The Green Slimes don't discriminate; they will eat every beetle they see. So, if you find yourself in a battle with a slime and a few assorted beetles, simply kill the brown beetles and you'll enter your second or third round of combat with a host of poisoned slimes.

Sometimes you get lucky and the slime will poison itself!

Another example: our Red Slimes will "charge" themselves and "pop" as their main form of attack, dealing AOE fire damage every two turns. This can quickly bring your party down but you don't need to take this lying down. You can quickly disrupt a Red Slime with a water attack, dissipating its charge before it can attack. On the other hand, you could strike the same Red Slimes with fire, which causes them to immediately explode and deal damage to everyone in combat. This can quickly turn the tide of battle if you are facing numerous enemies and you are prepared to absorb the damage. However, if there are numerous Red Slimes in one battle, this approach can quickly turn into a deadly chain reaction.

Be careful not to use the wrong attack in this encounter...
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Equipment Preview

What better way to start previewing some game mechanics than showing off all the cool equipment you'll be able to collect as you explore each island in Pharos? Well, not ALL the items... that would be giving too much away 😁. For this post, let's first dive into what kind of equipment you'll be looking for and how to know whether it is worth keeping.

The Basics

In Pharos, each adventurer you recruit will be able to equip up to three items. These are grouped into the following equipment slots: weapons, armor, and accessories. Whereas weapons are your primary source of damage and armor is your primary source of defense, accessories can provide all sorts of stat bonuses depending on what you find. All adventurers will be able to equip the armor and accessories you find, however weapons will only be usable by certain adventurers depending on their combat class.

Nice gear! Though these look pretty basic...

To help you determine the relative raw power of a piece of equipment, each item will display its quality rating in the top right corner of the item panel. This can range from 1 to 5 stars, with 5 stars being the highest quality items in the game. This is also something you will see across all items in Pharos.

Advanced Equipment

The items shown so far are what you would call basic equipment in Pharos. Expect to find these at shops across the Frontier. Eventually, you may find yourself coming across what we like to call advanced equipment. In addition to the stats seen on basic equipment, advanced equipment also bestows bonus modifiers upon the user. Make sure to keep note of all the different kinds of modifiers you find on equipment while progressing through the game; you never know what might come in handy!

Okay now we're talking! But could there be something even better?

One of a Kind

The islands of Pharos are a dangerous place to make a fortune. One would think that there must be something to find that's worth risking life and limb for...well as it turns out, the wealth of the islands is not in gold or jewels, but in equipment! Scattered across the Frontier are items known as Relics. These items are powerful pieces of ancient magic or technology which have been fashioned into weapons and other equipment. No one living knows where they came from or how they were created, but everyone agrees that their power is definitely worth fighting and dying for.

What makes Relics so powerful? Well, each Relic has what is called a unique modifier; an effect that no other item has in the game! These modifiers can be quite powerful when used in the right situation; one can only imagine what potential you could unlock through their use 😉.

Wow! You know, this works really well with that other weapon...

When it comes to equipment in Pharos, knowing what is best for you will ultimately depend on who you are equipping and what you are fighting. Understanding how basic equipment stats, advanced modifiers, and even the unique modifiers of Relics play together will be a key to success in your expeditions across the Frontier.

While Pharos does not have a conventional leveling system through grinding XP, we are hoping the diversity of equipment and combat encounters will provide a challenging experience for those seeking it. Collecting all the Relics available in game is also another challenge worth undertaking. We'll be covering more on how equipment interacts with the different adventurers you can recruit in a future post, but for now I hope this has provided some insight into equipment in Pharos.

Until next time; thanks for reading!

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