Following discussions on the forum, email exchanges and RPGWatch's (fantastic!) review of Underworld, it was clear that part of the original intent - to provide a consistent tactical challenge throughout the game's combat encounters- wasn't met.
Players tend to level higher than I expected and in the end distortions come out. While I intended the sorcerer to be a powerful class, it quickly overshadows all the others.
Another issue that comes out frequently is the difficulty finding gold. That was intended but apparently instead of adding to the fun it really adds frustration.
V1.05 addresses these issues and several others by:
- scaling XP: each mob now has a level. When the party's average level goes beyond a mob's level the resulting xp from killing that mob progressively decreases until it reaches 1xp per mob in the encounter. Each mob's xp is added to determine the final reward for victory. Overall having replayed the game I found that the lower XP means slower levelling, and therefore less need for training gold, while keeping up with each level's challenges. (Level requirements remain the same).
- Spell efficiency: the sorcerer remains a powerful class, actually starting out more powerful than previously, but with slower progression. The sorcerer's power remains at par with the others but with its added abilities to immobilize, transport, deal with multiple enemies… Each spell's algorithm has been reviewed.
- New loot system: this allows for more flexibility in loot mapping, making each loot much more likely to be progressively useful.
- Reviewed monster power: Each mob's abilities have been edited to ensure a real tactical challenge in most of the game's encounters (random or fixed).
- Reviewed item efficiency: plate armor especially tended to protect too much…
More convenient saving system (offers previous save name as default when overwriting an existing save).
Hit space / click to make the combat aftermath stop.
- Killing the guard at Highnest & coming back to previous save didn't bring back the guard (using the 5 new save slots). The same went for fixed encounters and locked / unlocked doors, although that was less noticeable.
- De(m)oting a character disabled (N)ew character and (x) back, forcing a reload
- F1 kills the mouse cursor but it would deviously find its way back in combat.
Some differences in the game will be less noticeable if you already have a high ranking party (past level 15).In that case v1.05 may best be left for a future replay.