Update - More Story Mode progress and character ability balancing - August 6, 2019

It's been another two and a half months between updates on Story Mode progress. How has it gone? Slower than expected, mainly due to what this milestone consisted of. What has been completed in this time? A lot.

As mentioned in the previous Story Mode progress dev blog page, where all of the models were done up at once and completed, this milestone consists of all of the Story Mode maps being completed.

This does not mean that simply the models for the Story Mode maps were done up. This means that every map has had every collision boundary tested, had its navigation nodes tested and set up more effectively, set up every door and tested their connection to other maps, set up every NPC and tested every dialogue piece they have (if story progress would change what their dialogue was, that was tested, too), and filled each dungeon with battles and tested every single battle in those dungeons. The late-game Challenges have been set up and tested, as well.

World Maps (plural) are fully set up and undergoing their testing. As per the first dev blog page for Legends Corrupt, World Maps are handled through selecting a destination rather than moving towards the location.

Further balancing and testing were also made during this time. Some of the re-balance changes were needed based off of the last update's re-balance changes, namely that Jimmy's Ninja Knives had to change from longer Shuriken Fire Siphon Tag duration to Shuriken Damage (as his last update changed Smoke Grenade so it does not use Fire Siphon Tags, making old Ninja Knives' Fire Tag duration too narrow in scope and use for a weapon) and Cherry's Attack Chopper (a passive for Bladecopter) had to have its damage toned back down from its very recent update/buff, but kept its new trigger condition of triggering if inactive (too overpowered otherwise). Due to how trees (as in actual plant trees, not skill trees) for Story Mode were handled and drawn, Pound's Death Forest and Apocalypse Forest use foliage similar to the Story Mode trees (3D mesh rather than 2D quads, done also for better shadow mapping).

Other balance changes include Claire's Acid Rain (a passive for Toxic Gas which makes all pools of water in its area of effect poisonous) has been altered to make ALL pools of water in play poisonous, but requires the Water Siphon Field Effect to be active. Cook's Far Shot has had its damage reduced from Attack x 1 damage to Attack x 0.5 (it causes damage more frequently and effectively than Dragooned, due to smaller battle zones and more ricochets as a result, so it needed to have its power drop down to more original Demon Rush levels). The Devolved Viper enemy also no longer has a Viper Beam attack, as it was far too overpowered (a rapid-fire, long-range, can change aim direction) in the hands of a normal enemy, and now has a simple fireball projectile.

Nearly every character with a high-damage Body attack that has its damage doubled further by the Body Field Effect has been weakened (Cherry's Hyper Blade from Attack x 3.5 to Attack x 2, Alberto's Haymaker x5 to x3, Tara's Kill Chop x5 to x3, Pound's Claymore Crash x5 to x3, Cook's Viper Cudgel x6 to x4, Jimmy's Pressure Point x5 to x3, Brooks' Pickaxe x5 to x3). The reason for this is that these abilities were overpowered compared to the others, regardless of playstyle. Done up this way, the abilities are closer in power to others (though with higher cooldowns), but when the Body Field Effect is active (which is a high-risk/high-reward environment), they shine due to their massive increase in damage and play up the high-risk/high-reward style further.

While The Demon Rush: Legends Corrupt has not been released yet and the above listing of ability changes will mean little except for something to read at this point, it is meant to further illustrate how balancing has been shaping up. Currently, more balance changes are being considered, mainly heavily reducing cooldowns, but their implementation is on hold to see how they handle as is in Story Mode's tests.

What's left?

As of now, all that remains are Story Mode cutscenes (where almost all animations, dialogue and the event system are already prepared), Tutorial Mode, further balancing/testing and various administrative/miscellaneous tasks. Q3 2019 for release is a less likely at this point, due to how slow the past 6 months have been for creating Story Mode's content, but it is still a possibility if the crafting and testing of the Story Mode cutscenes goes smoothly, since they are the last major/lengthy task for The Demon Rush: Legends Corrupt.