Character Customization - Soul Triad, Weapons and AI - October 14, 2018
The Soul Triad System
In the original The Demon Rush, character customization consisted of gaining Stat Bonuses as characters gained experience, and these Stat Bonuses could be used as is or converted to other stats. Whenever a character leveled up, they would gain access to a new ability (as well as gain more Attack/Defense so far as the battle forumlae went).
In The Demon Rush: Legends Corrupt, the Soul Triad system is used to customize characters, particularly to provide them with stats, Active Abilities and Passive Abilities. Each character starts with 6 specific Active Abilities unlocked (2 of which are always Pushback and Knockdown), and as enemies are defeated, Soul Triad Points are gained (similar to Experience Points of most games) and can be used to unlock nodes that boost stats or provide abilities.
A lot of nodes have pre-requisite nodes that need to be unlocked first, and each character's Soul Triad layout has 45 Augmentor gates, where an Augmentor is required to unlock a gate (Augmentors can be found as the player advances through levels in Endless Dungeon, and during Story Mode, are obtainable by progressing through the game and clearing optional side dungeons). A maximum of 20 Augmentors can be obtained in either Story Mode or Endless Dungeon Mode, sticking to the guideline of "roughly 40% give or take" of a character's full customization (the Skylight series has this guideline when preparing characters' Competency Skill Trees).
The Soul Triad was originally part of the original The Demon Rush's lore, and Jimmy, a Necromancer, has dialogue that sums up the setting's view on the Soul Triad: "The Sages believe in the Soul Triad, where body, mind and siphon form one's soul. The Necromancers believe that the siphon is a mediator for the body and mind, and changes relatively. They manipulate and merge siphons to change body and mind, as well as the soul."
As a result, the Soul Triad system was added as the main customization system in Legends Corrupt to better bridge gameplay and story, and is why ability sets are divided into Body, Mind and Siphon, and since the Soul Triad can apply to anything with life, the planet included, the Field Effect was added as a major part of combat (with Body, Mind and Siphon Field Effects). To quote Jimmy again (in order to show the connection of Soul Triad and Field Effect better), "The planet is always attaching stray siphons to itself. ... My Vital Shot ability works along these lines, as I use part of the planet's siphon to attack, and when it is done, the siphon merges back with the land.".
Each of the 9 playable characters can obtain up to 8 weapons. While only one of their weapons boost Attack (always their default weapon), the other 7 apply various effects that often greatly benefit specific builds (these weapons can all be viewed on each character's respective dev blog pages). The player can expend money (Mez) to level up a weapon and make its effects more pronounced, with its maximum level being 10.
Each character also has at least 1 weapon that boosts the damage of the elemental Siphon ability attacks by up to 2x damage at max weapon level, as well as a weapon that provides them with immunity to an elemental Siphon Field Effect and adds to that Field Effect (this weapon will always be different from their innate element).
There are 4 AI setups available in The Demon Rush: Legends Corrupt, with 3 being dedicated to ability sets of Body, Mind and Siphon, which are all preset as the character learns abilities.
Most importantly, there is a Custom AI setup (which ideally should be used so that the character acts as the player wants), as the other 3 AI setups are more of a "quick choice" for a character's setup or for diving into the action faster without having to focus on a lot of setup.
Similarly to the Skylight Freerange series, the AI-controlled allies go down the list of AI commands, and if that command's requirements are met, they will use that ability. If no AI commands are set or no requirements are met, the character will rush and attack the enemy (or hang back and shoot in Brooks' case).
A lot of AI commands have options so that some abilities that interrupt enemies (such as Pushback or Knockdown) only trigger if a nearby enemy is targetting a Stunned or Knocked Down ally, as a form of protecting the character when they need it most. Healing abilities can apply to any ally or a specific ally. Jimmy's Vital Wave also has the option to trigger during certain Field Effects; if the player wants to run only the Fire Siphon Field Effect, for example, Jimmy could be set up so he will only trigger Vital Wave on the other 5 Field Effects (but not Fire Siphon).
[EDIT: As of 2019/05/21, there are no longer 3 AI sets dedicated to Body/Mind/Siphon, and there are now 4 custom AI sets, with one being filled out on new game in Story Mode or Endless Dungeon]