Why do players think that colliding with terrain in ANoW is a bad thing?

So here’s the thing. I’ve noticed a lot of people complaining about the fact that you can’t fly over terrain in ANoW, and I’m really confused by this.

The most common “reasoning” for this seems to be that because you are in an airship, and airships can fly, that you should just fly right over them. But as I’ve stated before, the game is not a slave to its setting. Hell, I could just put in one line of lore info to the game, say something like “The Airship’s altitude is locked to the Skyharbor as a result of it’s unique power source”. But even barring that, the fact you are piloting an airship doesn’t automatically mean you can fly over anything.

I’ve stated many times in the past that ANoW is a naval combat simulation. Part of naval combat involves dealing with terrain, and the game is better for it.

Originally ANoW did allow the player to fly over islands. I took this feature out for numerous reasons, but the biggest one was because it made combat boring, repetitive, and overly simple. When you allow the player to ignore terrain completely, combat devolves into flying away from the enemy in straight lines, whittling away their HP with your minigun or using your small reserve of mines to defeat them.

By forcing the player to deal with terrain in combat, you are now forced to change your combat style to suit it. You can still run away from enemies, using just the minigun and mines, but you also have to turn to avoid floating islands and reefs, so why wouldn’t you be using your cannons when you make turns?

In any case, I figure I might as well make this clear as day: You will never be able to fly over terrain in ANoW, or any version or sequel of ANoW I can foresee.

What I’ve been doing this weekend on ANoW.

Essentially, I’ve spent this weekend doing something I haven’t had the opportunity to do in awhile…actually play ANoW! Weird to say the least, I haven’t even beaten the game yet, I’ve been too busy working on it until now!

In any case, here are two things I’ve realized during play:

-Bosses need more HP. With the addition of the Wind Sprite and Mega Turrets, the bosses simply don’t have the longevity to be any kind of a challenge. For the most part they have the firepower to hold their own, but quite simply that doesn’t really mean a whole lot when they can’t survive even a minute. I’ll probably be drastically increasing their HP.

-On a similar note, the Wind Sprite and Mega Turrets are simply too good. I’ll be nerfing both of them significantly, the Mega Turrets damage output will probably be cut in half, and the Wind Sprite will probably see only 1/3 the damage she currently does.

Those minor issues aside, I’m really enjoying the game! It’s definitely hit that point where it’s fun from the beginning of a new stage all the way to the end. I feel like the difficulty of the game is almost perfect (bosses not withstanding). Early stages are all about using your Units tiny range to their, and really making use of your ship, and that stays true in harder stages even.

Another thing I like: Nautiloids are terrifying, especially in groups. An unexpected side effect of how slow they move is that they naturally tend to bunch up near maelstroms, this makes settlements near them VERY dangerous, and it can be very hairy attacking even 2 of them at once. Definitely enjoying them.

Question time!

Have any of you fought the final boss yet? If not, how far are you through the game? By that I mean, how many of the four Elemental Spheres have you collected?

A suggestion to the players!

For reasons I don’t fully understand yet, it would appear that a lot of the complaints about “enemy difficulty” in the game would stem from people not using anything but the Mini-Gun. Almost every video I have thus far seen of the game involves people using the Mini-Gun exclusively, or only sparingly using the Cannons, Mines, or Harpoons.

This is actually the opposite of how I had meant the player to use these weapons. Cannons are your bread and butter, you should be using them for practically every enemy encounter, trust me, even with the default ammo storage for the Cannons, you have more than enough shots that the average player should be able to take down any enemy they encounter with little problem. In between battles your ship passively restocks ammo by using up small amounts of stone resources.

The Mini-Gun is a support weapon first, last resort second. You can fire both the cannons and mini-gun at the same time, or if you really are out of ammo, use it to defend yourself.  But you should never be using it to solely defeat enemies!

Finally, Harpoons and Mines are situational weapons, Harpoons are perfect for getting a powerful first hit on the enemy, or attacking them when in a hard to reach spot (such as reefs). Mines are of course useful to take down enemies chasing the player, or you can place them and lure an enemy into them.

Trust me when I say that the combat is infinitely more fun if you simply use the cannons for all enemy encounters.

The Good, the Bad, and the (next) Update.

A couple of quick things before the weekend!

  1. I’m hoping to release beta 1.5 early next week, maybe this weekend. I’m trying to fix the problem of the old saves from 1.3.1 and earlier not working with 1.4. I think I’ve fixed it but I’m running more tests before I’m sure. I also plan to add the final shop item (MEGA TURRETS!), which means that there is only one more planned piece of content before the game is officially “done” (more on that later).
  2. I will be VERY busy next week. I have two potential job offerings, one is a freelance job where I would single-handedly be putting together an edutainment type game for a College, similar to Oregon Trail. The second is a full time job for a mobile/browser gaming company that would FINALLY pay me a salary to do what I’ve always wanted to do, art for video games! This means that I have to meet with the college and discuss the potential plans for their game next week, as well as do test artwork for the mobile/browser company.
  3. I’m listening to the pre-order of saskrotches “A Nation of Wind” soundtrack. It is glorious. This is not simply the music you hear in the game, these are much higher quality tracks, and almost every track you’ve heard in the game (and at least one I’m certain most of you haven’t) have been remixed to into actual tracks with beginnings and endings, not just the looped version you hear in ANoW.
  4. At some point, probably not until after the release of Beta 1.5, I want to discuss my possible plans for the future of ANoW. They involve kickstarter, additional areas, random loot, etc. Exciting stuff, but nothing I can commit to speaking about at this time. 

Beta Update 1.4

I’m hoping to have Beta update 1.4 out this weekend. It should have the aforementioned eggs, and maybe the final shop item as well. Stay tuned for more info folks, I hope youre enjoying yourselves with ANoW!