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Features in the Gameplay Revamp:
In early June, we begun development of a new fork of the Forumwarz code base,
with the goal of making the core gameplay more varied and interesting. For
a long time we’ve been happy with the storyline and textual content of the
game, but the gameplay just hadn’t scaled up as quickly.
While role-playing games are notorious for repetitive gameplay
(there’s a reason it’s called grinding), we had a lot of room for improvement.
We started with a long list of enhancements that was built from community
suggestions and our own gameplay ideas, and drilled through it until we’d
gotten a lot done.
At every step, dozens of players helped bug fix each feature, and at this
point they’re more or less stable. There will still be a second and
third phase where we integrate the new features into the game properly before
they’re open to the public, but we’re comfortable enough now to announce
exactly what is going to be available to all players.
At the end of every battle right now, you are told that people noticed what
you did and it affected your cred, but then these so called fans of yours never
In the upcoming update, you will gain a certain amount of fans based on how well
you pwned the forum. The fan mechanic will replace the speed run mechanic
currently in place. Instead of being based on time (something which is annoying
if you play on a slow connection), fans are based on how many turns you took to
beat a forum, and how how much damage you dealt and took while doing it.
Fans are also somewhat finicky, you’ll lose a certain amount of them over time
even if you’re doing well. But you can lose fewer by pwning forums with more
diversity. Of course, there will be a leaderboard to keep track of who has the
most fans at any given time.
The leaderboards for fans are also split up by class. Previously, some less
offensive classes had a difficult time competing seriously for lemon scoops.
Now you’re judged against your class, not the entire game.
Threads can hit you with status ailments (known in some other games as de-buffs).
While the status ailment is active, your player will feel a penalty on each turn
in the battle.
Status ailments can be removed by consuming items.
Threads can do special attacks that can throw off your strategy. For example,
Line Noise causes all your abilities to require a refresh, effectively rendering
you offensively useless for a turn.
These attacks can be prevented by taking consuming a particular item (in this
case, a routing script, in advance.)
Each forum can now react differently, depending on which abilities you use against it.
There are 5 basic types of elements: Misanthropy, Narcissism, Antisocially,
Aggression and Incompetence. Each ability in your toolbar will be assigned to one of
Depending on which ability you use on which forum, you will find it works somewhere
on a scale from (immune -> very strong -> strong -> neutral -> weak -> very weak).
Hence it will be important to tailor your abilities to the appropriate forum in order
to beat it effectively.
To keep track of the various forum sensitivities, you will be given an item you
can refer to in battle that will automatically log your findings.
There’s a new ability called ‘AFK’ which allows you to skip a turn. This is useful
in combination with some of the new status ailments and preventable attacks a thread
can do to you.
The Battle Log
There’s a new window during battle that gives you a line-by-line update of what
is going in the forum. It’s useful if you miss a turn for whatever reason, or
are curious as to what happened a couple of turns ago.
Expiring Consumable Items
In order to keep things challenging, virtually all consumable items now can expire
if you keep them in your inventory for too long. The dates at which each consumable
type expires is variable, so certain items are better to purchase than others.
Instead of vanishing, when the items expire, they morph into brand new items, which
can still be sold at the ppwn shoppe so the financial loss is not so great.
Note: When you choose to consume an item, it will automatically consume the item
that’s closest to expiry.
In some threads, you might be unlucky and a moderator will appear. When this happens,
they will clean up your nasty posts, and the thread will lose some of the pwnage
you’ve already inflicted on it (read: it will heal the thread.).
We’re happy with what we’ve come up, and the tester feedback was enormously
useful. We don’t have an exact date for the launch of these new features since we have
to make sure they are balanced within the game, but we’re targeting within the next
Unlike our episodic content, this large-ish update will be FREE to all players, and
we’re hoping it’ll help pass the time until Episode 3 is ready.
(Speaking of Episode 3, we’ve got a ton of awesome stuff in the pipeline for that too, and
we’ll start divulging more shortly.)
It’s been a while since our last post. That’s mostly because a) we now have a Twitter feed for everything we do and b) we’ve all been up to our asses in work — to serve you better.
Nevertheless, I’m sick of my seeing that same stupid Zunecast post of mine! So, here’s an extremely vague and unsatisfying meta-update for those of you curious as to what’s happening with your seventh-favorite browser-based Internet culture RPG and Twilight fang-fiction repository (see what we did there?).
- The Apprentice thing is moving along nicely. About half the original team picked for the Apprentice has been fired or downgraded to Auditor status, keeping the creative team small, tight and shaved. To keep things tasteful, we’ll keep the details behind the scenes. But your remaining Apprentices are: Bashy, blahquabats, crayoncakes, kraigu, PhineasPoe, plk and Shii. A hearty congrats to them all for making it this far.
- You know The Secret Thing that Invariel was hired to work on? That’s also coming along well. He recently ran his first testing thingy on the codesy stuff [NOTE TO SELF: FILL IN TECHNICAL DETAILS LATER] and it actually worked! He’s also been knighted an official Crotch Zombie recently, noticeably lengthening his E-Peen™. Kneel before him in shame and arousal.
- Meanwhile, Evil Trout is busy working on the gameplay tuneup, which many of you are already involved in. Basically, without blogging you down with details (see what we…aw, fuck it), it’s going to change the way you pwn forums forever. And as far as we can tell, it’s not completely broken (yet)!
- Contrary to popular belief, BINGEBOT 2015 is not dead. He’s alive and kicking and healthier than ever, now that he’s taken Auser’s advice and gone on Atkins. He’s got an overhaul plan for Domination in the works, but we’re putting it on hold until the gameplay revision and Episode 3 are ready to roll.
- Finally, with all this stuff going on, here’s another one: Crotch Zombie is going to release a hip, new iPhone application soon! Because you haven’t pressed “1, 2, 2, 1″ until you’ve done it on a touchscreen.
Until next time!
It’s been a long time since we’ve had a Zunecast (yeah, I’m calling it a Zunecast, wanna fight about it?) and last time I was unable to participate thanks to technical difficulties.
Since we have some major features coming up (Episode 3, Forumwarz Apprentice), and I love the sound of my own voice, I figured now’s a good a time as any to answer some of your questions using a medium other than my keyboard.
UPDATEZ0RATION: You can download the ‘cast here!
Jalapeno Bootyhole is looking for a summer intern: a brilliant, talented wordsmith whom he can mold into the next great writer of online parody role-playing games — a very in-demand career choice, we might add.
Does this sound appealing? Check out the ridiculously long application on our Flamebate boards and then decide if it’s right for you!
This could be a fantastic opportunity and a chance to help make Episode 3 even more awesome than we assume it will be. Good luck to all applicants!
I’m happy to announce that greasemonkey superstar Invariel is joining Crotch Zombie over the summer to work on a game extension to Forumwarz. Invariel caught our attention by writing a useful script to make Forumwarz raiding easier.
He’s also going to be sitting in on our Episode 3 meetings, so I’m sure he’ll get his fingerprints all over that too!
More details on what he’s working on will come in the future!
It has been about 6 months since we launched Forumwarz Episode 2!
The initial plot for Forumwarz was written quite some time ago. Based on a few meetings where the team discussed what we’d like to have in the story, Jalapeno Bootyhole wrote up an outline. (At the time we were planning on releasing the entire game in one go, where half way through you’d be forced to pay to finish the storyline.)
As we got into the development and writing we figured out that it would be a lot more work than we thought to finish the whole story before we ran out of money. We decided to split the game into Episodes. Three made the most sense, so we found logical end points and adapted the story accordingly. Reviewing the document now reminds me how far we’ve come:
You get a popup message, that refers to whatever search term you came up with.
Bottom corner: Dr. Mysterion/Johnny Anonymous/HornySanta24/AnonImus/Shallow Esophagus has added you to his IM list!
Some presence (Sentrilion? Googhole?) adds itself to your IM list. I know you were searching for pictures of monkey snatch, but: Can I talk to you for a minute? Yes/No, doesn’t matter. Singles you out for never having done anything in your life. Says you can change the world forever, just have to listen to instructions. “Why me?” etc. Not important. Asks you to destroy this forum. He’ll make it worth your while, and if not, you can block him.
Hah, part of me wishes we went with Dr. Mysterion now!
Throughout the design stage, I referred to the overall storyline as the mythology. In other words, the story that glues together the entire universe. We also introduced a lot of side missions, which are basically interesting characters with a gripe that want you to help them out for money.
Episode 3 is the last piece of the mythology, as far as we’ve written it. People keep asking me what we have planned for the game after that. Well, just because this particular storyline ends doesn’t mean we can’t create others. We aren’t about to abandon the franchise just because what we initially wrote runs out!
We are committed to working on Forumwarz as long as it is viable to do so. I’m not sure what form that will take, because we’ll likely want to take some time to imagine our options, but it might be a new storyline split up into episodes, or single one-off episodes that have shorter but self-contained storylines.
In a little while, Jalapeno Bootyhole will enter the heavy lifting aspect of the writing process. We’ll work together to create a detailed outline of the events in the game, the actor dialogue, the forums, the gameplay, etc. It will take some time, but once the ball is rolling you’ll hear a lot more about it and what’s contained.
But first, the combat revamp!
While Jalapeno is fleshing out the writing, I plan to spend some time beefing up the existing gameplay. In Episode 1, you spend so much time learning about the different aspects of the game that time flies quick and before you know it you’re finished. In episode 2, the storyline is much longer, so the limitations with the existing combat engine are more evident. It ends up playing too much like World of Warcraft, where you hit the same combination of keys on the keyboard over and over.
I have some good ideas on how to improve combat and make it more intelligent, and I want to spend some time implementing them into the existing game. I’ll need a bunch of volunteers from every class to help test the new mechanics, and there will likely be some speedbumps along the way, but in the end I think it will be worth it.
Look for more on that in the coming weeks.
The three most common question:
These are what I get asked most frequently about Episode 3.
When is it coming out?
We aren’t giving a release date because we’d rather launch it when it’s stable than push it out too soon. Based on our previous history, a release towards the end of 2009 is likely. Episodes 1 and 2 were both released in October.
How much will it cost?
We’re not sure yet. It’ll depend how long it is and how epic it feels. We are certainly not out to gouge people so it’ll stay affordable like Episode 2 was. Last time the pre-order was successful, so we’ll probably offer that again when we have a release date in sight.
Can I beta test it?
Last time the beta tester feedback proved to be invaluable. However, we made some mistakes about letting everyone into the beta at once. Once most people had finished it, they had little reason to start again and test it fresh. This time I plan to have multiple beta sessions, staggered from each other.
We’ll probably be hand picking most testers based on their feedback of the game (we even like harsh criticism) and based on their ability and willingness to spend time playing an unfinished game. However, we might end up doing a random selection of people. If we create a sign up list for random selection, you’ll hear about it on this blog!
As part of the continuous effort to introduce more players to Forumwarz, we have coded up a Beta system for running affiliate ads. We’re looking for people who have sites and are trying to monetize them.
Basically here’s how it works: We give you ads to run on your site. We then give you a percentage of the revenue earned from any users you refer to us. We also give you a special tracking page to see how many people clicked on the ads, signed up for Forumwarz accounts, etc.
Right now we’re only interested in sites that get a reasonable amount of traffic. If you are the curator of one, contact me and we’ll talk about getting you set up. In the future, we might allow anyone to run the ads regardless of the level of traffic their site gets, but for now it’s very much beta and we want to figure out all the kinks.