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Today I want to go over Native Skills (NS). I apologize in advance for all the abbreviations I'm about to use. :)
So what are NS? NS are skills that you start with and require no points. Each character will have one Native Elemental Skill (NES) and one Native Class Skill (NCS). There are 5 different NES, one for each elemental. The NES you end up with is determined by the character's native element. They are kind of like a racial traits but instead of being based on the character's race they are based on the character's native element instead. The NCS on the other hand is the same for every character. You'll see why in a moment.
All NES are ranged direct damage skills, there's no projectile and not based on your weapon, it just instantly hits. They all have a some sort of duration based effect (e.g. DoT, Buff, etc) and are stackable up to 5 times, each time increasing it's effects and renewing the duration. It's also worth noting that these skills can be used on allies as well. Also, NES are unique in that they are able to generate elemental charges around your character. These charges can be used various ways which I'll explain later.
Here's a list of the NES and how they are currently set up:
Fire: Sets your target on fire causing it to take continuous damage and increasing it's Fire Attunement
Water: Douses your target with water causing it to be continuously healed and increasing it's Water Attunement
Nature: Binds your target with nature causing it to be immobile for a moment then continuously healed as well as increasing it's Nature Attunement
Light: Empowers your target with light increasing it's Physical and Magical Power as well as increasing it's Light Attunement
Shadow: Inflicts your target with shadow decreasing it's Physical and Magical Defense as well as increasing it's Shadow Attunement
As a reminder, attunements are a unit's resistance and effectiveness with each elemental's skills.
Now for the charges. For every NES use that character will receive a charge of that elemental type. So since the NES is linked to your native element it means that characater can only produce that type of charge. Every character can hold up to 5 charges each charge increases the characters attunement corresponding to the type of charge. So if it's a fire charge, it'll increase your fire attunement, etc. The charges are consumed by Finisher skills (FS). These skills require at least one charge but will consume whatever charges you currently have stored. Each charge will increase the FS power to varying degrees depending on the type of the FS and the type of the charges consumed. So for example, if you have 5 fire charges and you use a fire FS it's power will be boosted a lot. If you have 5 water charges and you use a fire FS you won't get much of a boost at all because water counters fire.
There's one FS with the exception to this rule and that's the NCS all classes start out with that I mentioned earlier. The NCS is a FS that lets you transfer whatever charges you have available to another unit. So now you can have a character with one native element holding the charges of another element, it just requires some team work. This also means that you can have a mix of charge types on a character since you can hold up to 5 charges.
This brings up one other point. Say you do a charge transfer and the receiving target goes over the limit of charges they can hold, or perhaps they already are full and you transfer for to them, what happens? Well, first it will check to see if there's any charge spots available and fill those then whatever are left will do a type check against the other elemental charges and either replace them or get countered. Here's a couple simple examples:
1. You transfer 5 water charges to a character with 5 fire charges - all the fire charges get replaced by the water charges. So the target ends up with all water charges.
2. You transfer 5 water charges to a character with 2 fire charges and 2 shadow charges - one water charge gets added, the two fire charges are replaced by two water charges while the 2 shadow charges remain because shadow counters water. So the target ends up with 3 water charges and 2 shadow charges.
I sounds more complicated than it actually is but these NS are meant to be important and used strategically and not just as a "Click skill, do damage" type of move. At the very beginning you'll be using them constantly just because you won't have many other moves to choose from but their importance will remain high throughout the game. This also allows for some interesting stuff to do with strategies for general attacks, boss encounters, level objectives, etc so expect to see some fun things going on in the future.
Well that was a bit long but fun to write! On a side note we're all working hard to have as much ready for the upcoming release as possible. However, I've said it before and I'll say it again just to keep everyone on the same page. This release is basically a prototype of what we have physically developed so far. Design and concept is the majority of what we've been doing so far and so we've only just begun to start physically developing the game into something. But we promised to give you guys something as soon as possible and we want to hear your feedback every step of the way so we're showing you what's essentially a just-started, pre-alpha, v0.0001, right-out-of-the-gates release. So just keep that in mind please. :D
Kevin also has a new poll up on his blog, KXN @ HTD for choosing Male Hairstyles so head over there and be sure to cast your vote!
As always, let us hear what you have to say in the comments and thanks!
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