Devlog #13: Runes

Development of Siralim 2 is still progressing very nicely. At this point, I really don’t know when the game will be ready for beta testing, but I’m still hoping for early January. I’m definitely not going to rush development though, because I want this to be the very best game it can be from the onset. The goal is to not have to release anywhere near as many re-balance/re-polish/bugfix patches for this game as I did for Siralim 1. With that said, the graphics for the new realm environments are almost done, so hopefully I’ll be able to show off some screenshots of some of these new realms soon. I’ve also received some music from our composer already and I’d like to share a few of these tracks with you in the near future.

Anyway, today we’ll talk about a new type of item called Runes. A rune can belong to one of the five classes: Death, Chaos, Sorcery, Nature, or Life. Players can only equip one rune for each class at a time. So what do they do? Runes change the way certain buffs and debuffs work in the game. It’s probably best to show a few examples:

Dun Rune (Nature): Your creatures with Taunt automatically provoke at the end of their turn.
Ime Rune (Sorcery): Your creatures with Invisibility have a 30% chance to remain Invisible for an additional turn after the buff wears off.
Uyi Rune (Chaos): Enemy creatures with Blind have a 50% chance to attack their allies when they miss.
Nis Rune (Death): Enemy creatures with Taunt take 100% additional damage while they’re provoking.
Aru Rune (Life): Your creatures with Ward shake off their debuffs twice as fast.

You can find runes from several different sources. Some runes are found only in treasure chests, some are given as rewards from the gods, and others are rewards for completing quests. The game will launch with a total of 40 runes, and more will probably be added over time.

There will also be a new NPC for you to recruit called the Runemaster. This character offers three main functions: 1) you can buy a few basic runes from him, 2) you can combine three identical runes to get a different rune at random, and 3) you can grind your runes into Granite.

The goal of runes is to allow you to further customize your party composition, and to incentivize players to create synergistic team builds. There is a rune that enhances the potency of the Burn debuff, for example, so you’ll probably want to use that for an Intelligence-based damage-over-time party. Similarly, runes also allow you to counteract troubling buffs or debuffs that your enemies might have. For example, if you find that your party is particularly vulnerable to Frozen or Stun, you can equip a rune that makes these effects much less threatening.

You might be wondering what the difference is between a rune and an ability; after all, they both simply provide passive effects. However, in Siralim 2, abilities won’t passively affect buffs or debuffs quite as often as they did in Siralim 1. The goal for abilities in the sequel is to make them feel much more active, rather than just a boring stacking bonus. Instead, these old passive abilities are translated into runes for Siralim 2.

Glad to hear development continues to go well.

Based on what you have revealed so far, the level of party customization in Siralim 2 seems pretty incredible.

To build a party, I need to:

  • Pick 6 creatures
  • Pick 1 artifact per creature (6 total)
  • Pick X spell spheres per creature (?? total)
  • Pick 5 Runes

That is a pretty insane number of potential party builds! (In Siralim 2, are you still planning to have Legendary artifacts that provide creature abilities?)

That being said, I don’t envy you the job of balance tweaks. (I.e., avoiding a situation where 30+ of the 40 runes are ones that no one ever consider using … is definitely challenging.)

Yeah, there will still be legendary crafting materials that work pretty much the same way.

I think the game will be “balanced enough”. Since this isn’t an MMO and there aren’t any multiplayer functions like PvP, there’s no need to get everything within 1% of each other. I think a lot of people enjoy trying to break the game anyway, while others can probably exercise enough self control to forgo breaking it if they have a problem with anything. Plus there’s the ban list, so that’ll hopefully help a lot :slight_smile:

Wow you keep coming up with stuff that get me more and more hyped for the sequel. :slight_smile: Wait that means 5 runes total just one of each class, nothing to do with your own class.

Not to mention that party build planning will potentially incorporate breeding, gods, and the repentance system. Trying to break the game is always my last goal after exhausting interest in a game’s intended mechanics, and it’s sounding like I’ll probably never make it to that point in the sequel.

So many ability slots were wasted on duplicating overpowered passives in Siralim, this change sounds rather brilliant.

Sounds like a good plan. As long as there aren’t a small number of choices that are “obviously correct”, the balance certainly doesn’t have to be perfect in a PvE game. Indeed, there can be a lot of fun to be had trying to find the hidden gem build that gets you 10% further with the same stats/creature-levels/whatever.

In any case, Rune system definitely sounds cool … definitely wasn’t expecting anything like this.

This is probably obvious (my apologies if I am just a bit slow here ), but Runes seem to have the potential to make a wider variety of highly specialized builds more viable.

For example, healing-focused builds are fun, but they run into serious problems against Blight. (Which is fine, you want all builds to have certain types of fights that are particularly challenging for them.) However, Runes might be a way to partially mitigate that weakness. Maybe there is a Rune that makes Blight a bit weaker against my team … and another Rune lets my creatures with Ward shake off de-buffs more quickly. So I invest in those two Runes, and then I invest in a creature (or spells or artifacts) that provide Ward. This takes up resources that could be used elsewhere, but it would allow my healing party to have a better chance in fights where the enemy inflicts Blight on my creatures.