Last week we talked briefly about our decision to make our move towards Steam Early Access. This brings a lot of positive things with it, and one of the shiniest additions is the Steam Networking.

One of our main features for Secrets of Grindea has always been the online co-op possibilites. Sadly, evil routers all around the world have made this difficult to setup for a lot of players. With access to to Steam’s own network systems, the days of failed port forwarding and stubborn Hamachi clients will soon be over!

Teddy has spent the entire week working on said networking features and have got it up and running smoothly. Now you’ll be able to simply invite players from your Steam Friends and get a multiplayer game up and running in no time!

Steam

The Steam Networking features might do a pit stop in the Frontline beta for some good old bug hunting, before we shuffle it into the Stable beta. We’ll give a heads up before it happens!

Besides multiplayer, the skills have stayed in the spotlight for this week. Besides adding the Gold Charges, we are also reworking some of the skills that have been considered over powered/under powered/just lame overall by ourselves and our player base.

The summons of the game have been in need of buff to amp up their usability. Both the Summon Plant and Frosty Friend skills (Not the Cloud. We all love the Cloud <3) have been reworked to some extent, to hopefully juice them up a bit!

The Summon Plant skill still has the same base mechanics as before (Time based, invulnerable summon that dish out damage) but we’ve done some changes to the charge levels.

PlantLineup2

The Silver Charge (previously just a beefier version of the basic plant) now has a ranged attack. This small but still significant change hopefully will make the plants more useful later in the game.
The Gold Charge (as of now, things always change) works as a Commander, buffing the rest of the plants in an area around it while being able to dish out good damage on its own.

Unlike the Plant, the Frosty Friend has received some actual changes to its base mechanics. There was not much you could do to avoid losing it during bosses and crowded Arcade Mode rooms, which deterred most players from wanting to spend any skill points on it. In an attempt to help with this, we’ve introduced a Command Menu, giving players some more control over their summon!

snowman skills

Once the Frosty Friend have been summoned, pressing the same button again will no longer desummon it, but instead bring up the Command Menu.¬†From the menu you can give your summon simple commands, with more unlocking as you reach new Charge Levels. Activating the commands will not cost any EP, instead we’ve chosen to go with a Cooldown system. Using a command will render it unusable for a short while.

In the mockup above, the commands visible are Defensive, Aggressive, and Desummon.

Desummon does exactly what you think it does. The Aggressive command puts the Frosty Friend in a aggressive stance, boosting attack damage but lowering defense. Usable for when you find an opening to attack during a boss encounter!

The Defensive command gives Frosty a huuuge defense boost and makes him immobile for a while. You could use this when your summon is in i tricky spot and needs to soak up a lot of damage (an annoying boss attack for example). We’ve talked briefly about giving it Perfect Guard mechanics (maybe it could reset cooldowns!?) but we’re still on the fence about it. What do you guys think?

ProtectSide2