Developing A Species | Part 3

Hunter: Welcome to part 3 of a discussion on how we’ve been developing each of our species for Iris: Adventure Game. If you’d like to catch up on either part 1 or part 2, go check them out.

So, Jared, we are talking about the Regund and the Taes, today. We spent one post per Achroite and Seti, but this will be a combination. These species haven’t gone through nearly as many changes as some of the others.

Jared: No, Taes haven’t even seen a major revision. Every change that has been made to Taes has been a reaction to some change elsewhere in the game.

Hunter: Yeah, when you wrote the Taes mechanics, you really nailed what their role is and how everything needs to be structured for them. They’ve had a few minor revisions so that certain ability effects match the rule updates made to other species, but the Taes have remained a bastion of consistency throughout the development process.

I’m sure the Taes would claim ownership of the lack of changes and say that you’ve merely reflected their already perfected existence.

Jared: It’s been fun to go back after each other major revision and look at the Taes abilities. An ability that might be supposed to synergize well with Achroite may have to be completely rewritten after a major Achroite revision, but the goal of the ability, to boost Achroite teammates, stays constant.

Hunter: Right, part of what has helped Taes mechanics to be so stable is that the combat role for them has always been grounded in changing how the game is played. Whereas, the other species have combat roles that specialize the details of what you’re doing, the Taes change the rules for what you’re able to do.

Jared: That’s why I always advise against having multiple Taes in a single party. If everyone is changing the rules, but no one is damaging the enemies, you quickly get defeated.

Hunter: As a GM, I have intentionally downed the Taes player to give some breathing room to the baddies. Things can get weird with a Taes character around.

And that fits nicely with their lore, right?

Jared: Of course, you almost get the sense that the Taes player is playing a completely different game that is on some higher plane of existence than the rest of the players. It gives that player a natural sense of superiority that is a standard quality of any Taes.

Hunter: We’ve finally given meta-gamers a class tailored to them -- and it’s still lore-appropriate. Go ahead and table talk, and try to break the encounter. Your Taes pride compels you to.

Jared: Also a prideful species, the Regund, our other featured species this week, have had very few major revisions, which is surprising for how long they’ve been a species.

Hunter: Regund and Achroite were developed simultaneously as the generalized “always have an answer” and the specialized “I’m the most powerful” aspects of similar systems. Both species have abilities gated by which color realm you’re in, but while the Achroite took a few rounds to find the nice balance of game mechanics, the Regund system found its niche quickly as the jack of all trades.

Jared: The only big revision that comes to mind was an early removal of two types of things from the Regund abilities. First, Regunds used to be able to counter roll abilities that were in a color they were particularly strong with. But counter rolling became an exclusively Taes ability. The second was eliminating another type of ability that let you defer some of your Source until the next turn so that you could have bigger abilities. Both of these were really slowing the game down. Regunds need to be actively engaging enemies.

Hunter: Right, Regunds are built for being in the thick of the action. They typically have higher-than-average base health and base barrier. Their passive bonuses are constant. They can activate an array of effects within a single color realm. They’re these cunning, strong species who come out swinging and are ready for pretty well any challenge.

I’ve seen Regund players consistently perform well. They don’t seem to have bad turns.

Jared: About the only way Regund players have bad turns is by getting too far away from their Source colors. If you play a broad Regund (3 or more Source colors), that problem vanishes at higher levels, and if you play a narrow Regund (Source in only 1-2 colors), you just have to make sure enemies and environment aren’t keeping you away from where you need to be.

Hunter: How does that look for Demosty Newilt in the free adventure THE CRASH OF PACKET CRUISER K748N? What should players focus on if they select the Regund as their character?

Jared: Demosty is a powerhouse if the player stays in yellow. Every ability can be activated. Outside of yellow, things get trickier, and if you find Demosty in purple, color shifting back to yellow should be a top priority.

Hunter: And one fight in particular really lets Demosty shine by being able to see a specific enemy hiding within yellow.

Jared: Absolutely, Demosty has a serious advantage in that encounter -- and in any encounter can provide strong barrier and health augments.

On the other hand, Almri Einhouse should focus on actions that enhance whatever the rest of the team is trying to do. That plays out very differently depending on who each of Almri’s teammates are.

Hunter: I actually got to play Almri recently when we played with some friends, and I found myself looking to buddy up with my teammates. Almri’s turns are not about what I want to accomplish but about what I want to empower others to accomplish.

If you’re playing Almri, always communicate with your team. Are they struggling with move? Do they want more damage? Does someone need an extra heal? Use your abilities to solve the challenges.

Jared: Several of the Taes abilities lose their potency if you wait too late into combat to do them. Brighten at the beginning of an encounter can be amazing, but Brighten near the end may feel like a wasted turn.

Hunter: We’ve used the analogy before that Taes are like flight planners: think ahead to where you want your team to be and what challenges are in the way; don’t just look at your current turn, because while an ability like Brighten may not help you immediately (or may even give the enemy a slight bonus), the benefit to your teammates over the combat’s full duration could be huge.

Jared: So if you had both Almri and Demosty on the team, how should they be working together?

Hunter: As much as possible, stay physically near each other so that Almri can use Request to get Demosty to activate additional barrier and health augments or additional damage. Also, we’ve been repeating the ability Brighten. It will greatly increase Demosty’s rolls within yellow (if Almri activates Brighten while in yellow and remains within yellow).

Also keep in mind, as Almri, that your color realm doesn’t restrict your abilities, but it is important to consider for how you can help your team.

Jared: That would make for a strong pair. For the non-Taes players, don’t forget to request a Request if there is something you really want to do. You may see an opportunity that the Taes hasn’t spotted yet.

Hunter: And protect that Taes! Once their barrier drops, they don’t take a hit well.

And that's it for now. Thanks for joining us. If you have any questions or feedback, please contact us, and if you’d like to see Demosty (the Regund) or Almri (the Taes) in action, go sign up for our newsletter so that you can get the free adventure THE CRASH OF PACKET CRUISER K748N.

We’ll be back next time to discuss our last two species: the Auroran and the Unysyn.

SpeciesHMSpecies, Regund, Taes