New Systems Preview:
Ah yes, the essence system. This system is the most important in Dark Eternal II. You could call it a cornerstone. A long time ago, as a young teenager, I was obsessed with two rpgs. Final Fantasy 6 and Final Fantasy 7. I cannot tell you how many times I beat both of these games.. Storyline, battle system, music.. Everything about it. However, there was one thing that linked both of them together in my mind; they both had AMAZING magic systems. I loved both so much, to this day I still think they have not been touched. Growing up, imagining the RPG i wanted to make someday and all the things I wanted for it, the VERY first thing I decided is that I wanted a magic system that combined my favorite parts of the Esper system from FF6 and the Materia system from FF7, whilst adding a couple twists of my own. I never thought this system was going to be possible, and thus Dark Eternal: Dissolution was begrudgingly gifted with the default magic system.
Then came Justin, and the rest, as they say, is history. The Essence system is everything I just described and more. Throughout DE2 you will notice you no longer gain abilities just by gaining levels. You now have a new stat you gain points in at the end of battles along with XP, called EP. 'Essence Points' are awarded to characters that have an 'Essence' equipped. Essence are glowing artifacts that you may equip to a character if they have an elemental affinity not opposed to the essence's elemental affinity.
-Every Essence is either Holy, Shadow, Fire, Water, Ice, Nature and Thunder.
-Each Essence affinity is weak towards another, and strong towards another.
-A character that equips an essence that matches his affinity will gain stronger abilities from the essence, but a character with an opposing affinity to the essence will not be able to equip it at all. Example: Zenogias' affinity is shadow, so he is completely unable to equip holy essence.
-Every essence has 3-4 learnable abilities, each ability is learned at a different rate of speed. Aswell, each essence has an "Essence Strike" which is a unique ability that requires half tension and usable ONLY when an essence is equipped. (Essence strikes cannot be learned permanently.)
-Essence affect your attributes, both positvely and negatively aswell as make you strong against the essence's affinity and weak against the essence's counter affinity. This makes strategic use of essences key to surviving certain boss fights.
-It is important to note that essence are fully reusable and once you have one, it is yours forever for any character that can use it.
There is alot of depth to this system, and way too many aspects to name. You can obtain Essence through many different means, including story events, side quests, boss fights, etc. Certain essence will be required to kill certain bosses, making optional dungeons that may seem impossible at the time you find them, much more defeatable later down the road. You will equip essence at the essence menu in the regular menu system, keep in mind only one essence can be equipped PER character. As the essences you recieve get more and more powerful, so too does the stat boosts/penaltys.
Of course, there are many details not listed here that you will have to play the game to find out. Suffice to say, this system is the most important aspect of DE2 and will make it stand out from the crowd in dramatic fashion.
Screenshots coming soon..
One of the more basic, yet crucial systems in Dark Eternal II; The Map/Teleport system. One of the first things you will notice as you begin playing DE2 is that you have a fully functional map at your disposal. By pressing the Tab Key, a map console will pop up showing the map of either the Living Realm or the Dormant Realm, depending on which of these realms you are currently in. The Void Realm is not mapped and therefore you will not be able to track your location while in this realm. A blinking cursor will show your current location on the map, and a box towards the bottom will say the name of the area you are currently residing in.
Now, that is the map side of the system. The more interesting feature of the map system, however, is the fact that eventually; you will be able to use this map (with the help of a friend you will meet somewhere in the game) to backtrack to areas you have already visited, effectivly teleporting back and forth between areas you may need to revisit. Now, although in Chapters 1 and 2 the game is still mostly linear, Chapters 3-6 will be much more open-ended and the teleport system will be a key feature in completing objectives that might have required a much longer journey.
Note: The Void Realm, being previously mentioned as unmapped, will not have teleporting available in it.
More info and screenshots to come...
Unlike most of the new systems in DE2, The transformation system does not have a large scope. It is probably the most complex in design, but has a very pointed purpose. Mid-battle transformations. Certain characters will have the ability to transform themselves into different forms for varying amounts of times. When transformed, the character will have a completely different set of attributes and abilities. Transformation abilities can either be innate or learned through various ways. Characters with transformation-type abilities will be rare and generally those characters are tormented by their gift and side effects of the use of their transformations could be severe.
Please note, the transformation system will likely not be implemented until chapter 3, due to time constraints and me wanting to get chapter 2 out in august. When it is implemented, it will be backloaded into chapter 1 and 2 aswell.
More info and screenshots to come...
Although one of the more basic systems of DE2 in complexity of design, The sanity system will have an extremely large impact on gameplay and replayability.
Whenever you have control of Zenogias, you will be struggling to keep him sane through a series of events that could drive anybody off the deepend. As with the original DE, you will make decisions. Your decisions can change the corse of your gameplay, and will effect Zenogias' mental health. There are two sides to sanity, Depression and Anger. By default, you are 0. Right in the middle, completely sane. The tough part is keeping it that way.
Every choice in the game will effect your sanity a little to a lot, depending on the severity of the choice. Certain choices will draw him further into depression, and other choices will make him grow more angry.. A Balance is key, but what if you lose balance? All events in DE2 are effected by Zeno's sanity. Ever wonder what it would be like if you entered a shop, and instead of a friendly exchange of words with the shop owner, you exchanged your blade for his vocal chords? That would be something that could only happen deep into the anger side of the sanity meter.
What if you are traveling through a mountainous area, and you come upon a cliff overlooking a lush valley. Usually, you would enjoy the view with your allies then move on.. What if Zeno just decided to.. Jump off? That is something that would only happen deep in the depression side of the sanity meter.
Basiclly, you are performing a balancing act between two extremes that both can prove deadly for Zenogias. Now, being slightly into either side of sanity will make it's effects less pronounced and less dramatic.. Small things might happen, like hallucinations, paranoia, strange conversations, etc. Only as you go deeper into either side of sanity will you start to see dramatic events unfold related to Zeno's mental health. If you fail to balance your sanity and reach a maximum level on either side, Zenogias will find some way to end it all. Depending on the area you are traveling through, the circumstances of his situation, anything could happen; but one thing is for sure.. It will be game over.
In addition, throughout the game you will see unique events depending on your current sanity level.. Certain things can only happen if Zenogias is within a specific range of sanity. Certain items, gear, essences, etc. may only be obtainable if Zeno is, say, 50 points into Depression, or maybe 25 points into Anger.. There may even be different endings based upon your sanity level at the end of the game, or certain dungeons that you can only get to if you are a certain sanity level.
Depression <================ ( (X) ) ===============> Anger
This is a rough idea of how the sanity meter will look. The "X" represents complete sanity, and the < and > represent maximum levels of both depression and anger. It is important to note that if you reach -95 or +95 sanity (-95 being depression +95 being anger), you have reached the point of no return and you will no longer be able to save. At that point, Zeno's fate is sealed and it is a matter of time before he finds a way to kill himself and/or others.
Also note, Nahla's party is not effected by Sanity, and you will only encounter the sanity system while in control of Zenogias.
More info and screenshots to come...