Big thing I'm trying to finish now for the big update is the Wizard level progression to level 5; the next update is already huge, but it kind of feels like leaving something undone to have one of the four original core classes languishing behind the other ones for so long.
It's not just that the Wizard has fewer levels defined than the other classes, but the three level version of the wizard that just gets more of the same spells is very much a lazy placeholder compared to the actual design vision for the class.
The revised War Mage sub-class now gets a selection of different attack spells with different effects instead of just spamming magic missiles. You can go with cold spells for control, fire spells for greater damage, etc.; you choose spells individually from the War Mage list, so you're far from stuck with a single element.
The revised Shifter sub-class is proving tricky to integrate with the expanded world, though in a way that's making me believe I made the right choice expanding the world and re-doing the Wizard now, as the improvements it's forcing me to make to the world architecture are necessary and will be easier to put in now than later. The basic issue is that right now all maps are procedurally generated in a way that is consistent for each generation, but each map follows from another one.
The Shifter at tiers 3 and 5 has the power to "skip ahead", revisiting a map they've visited before in a previous session or even a level they've never visited if they know its name and the coordinates to pop to. This is fine if someone has been to the map or a neighboring one on the current session, but it breaks if a Shifter tries to teleport to the third level of a dungeon located inside a town on a continent that hasn't been generated yet for this session.
All of this means that I'm going to have to add some persistent metadata to the world (so it can generate each map as if it had budded off from an unloaded map) or--and this is more likely--institute true map saving and loading much earlier than I'd anticipated.
Ah, well. That means I can add player property/building to the game sooner than I'd expected, too.
All that being the case, I think I'm going to put the test server with the current (old) version of the game back up tonight. I've been leaving it down with the idea that I'll have the next version ready any time now. But needing map loading/saving to precede the Wizard being finished means it's going to be a few days at least, likely mid next week.
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