Anomalies and artifacts
The first part of our diary is devoted to important components of the game: anomalies and artifacts. According to the original concept, anomalies were required to illustrate several important game functions in various locations. The first function is being the source of artifacts. Players can find and pick up the artifact that gives them passive bonuses and powerful bonuses that you receive when you activate the artifact. Of course, to find and pick up the artifact, the player needed equipment with protection from abnormal exposure. The second function is being a dangerous barrier covering a shortcut route through the map.
During implementation we encountered several problems. One of the problems was associated with the balance of damage from anomalies. At different locations anomalies have different sizes. However, we tried to balance the damage for when an anomaly reaches a player, or when a player enters anomalies. In practice, this has resulted in some anomalies causing too much damage per second and some too little. In the end, the players refused to enter the anomaly again after experiencing it. From a tactical element anomalies turned into a place where it’s enough to just run into it 1-2 times and pick up an artifact.
This anomaly role does not suit us, and we are going to introduce major changes designed to strengthen the impact of anomalies on gameplay. First of all, we remove (or leave it purely as a visual element) most static anomalies. Anomalies will now appear randomly, blocking routes and changing the topology of the level. The size of the anomalies will be small, about 6-10 meters in diameter, but they will deal very high damage, capable in seconds to kill a player without protection (running through an anomaly will not work). Moreover, the appearance of anomalies will occur in several stages and is closely associated with the artifacts.
The first stage of the anomaly is the generation stage. It is absolutely not dangerous for the player and is most likely an indicator that this place will soon be an anomaly. The second stage is "growing up" of an anomaly. It starts to deal damage. The third stage is the stage of maturation. In the center of the anomaly an artifact appears that can be picked up by the player. If someone will be able to take the artifact - the anomaly loses its power void and disappears. The type of anomaly is associated with a type of artifact that appears at the end. Thus, looking at anomalies you clearly say what artifact will appear there and what damage it causes. We expect that such a change in anomalies will increase as the impact of anomalies on gameplay and the importance of the players in a team with anomalous protection. This is because now they will have an extra function - clearing of important passages from anomalies.
A few words about the damage and how to protect from it. It is easier to protect against anomalies that affect the respiratory tract. A distinctive feature of such anomalies is fog or smoke. For protection you can wear a respiratory mask, a gas mask or oxygen tank on your back. Other anomalies cause damage throughout the body. Regardless, if it’s radioactive damage or thermal effects, you will need to efficiently protect all exposed skin. Of course if leaving no protection for the hands you will suffer less overall injury than not protecting the torso for example. But for maximum protection you need to wear all items with high anomalous protection.
An important addition to the described changes will be the third branch of character Skill Tree, dedicated to the treatment of anomalies and artifacts. So, let's briefly go through abilities that will be available in the branch "Knowledge of the Forest" Draw your attention to the fact that that the description is consistent with our vision for the current stage of development and there can be significant differences between these and the final version!
All skills are divided into five ranks. First rank is available immediately and each subsequent rank opens after investing a certain amount of skill points in the branch of "Knowledge of the Forest". In the first rank of the player two skills are available: one helps to get the artifact from the center of the anomaly and the second passively reduces damage from anomalies.
On the second rank four skills are available. The most noticeable is the use of artifacts. Now players will be able to activate the artifacts only after learning this ability. The second available skill increases passive effect, which artifacts give you. The third ability reduces damage from firearms shooting at you while you are in the anomaly. And fourth is the ability to protect you from death from anomalous damage. That is, the anomaly will not kill you, but leave you with minimum health.
In third grade there are two skills. One of them reduces the charging time of the artifact, with this ability you will be able to use the active effect of the artifact more often. The second ability increases your chances to survive in the anomaly: the longer you're in the anomaly, the less damage you get from it, to the extent that you can get full immunity from certain anomalous effects. However, this bonus is lost when your character dies.
On the fourth rank there are three skills. The "Neutralization" skill allows your character to not take damage from the anomalies, if you happen to have an artifact of the same type as the anomaly. The second ability allows you to increase the duration of the active effect of artifacts. The third ability allows you being in the anomaly to get a passive bonus from the artifact of this anomaly.
On the last rank there are two skills. Synergy allows you to boost your passive artifact bonuses depending on quantity. Roughly speaking, each artifact increases the passive bonuses of the other. The second ability allows you to see anomalies and artifacts on the mini map. Even if other players possess them, so you will see them also.
I want to reiterate that this branch of the upgrade tree is still in development and in the final version things may change.