Friday, March 30, 2012

WazHack beta 4 released - You've got Talent!

Beta 4 is now live on!

The big new feature of this release is the Talent System, which lets you improve your character in many different dimensions as you level up. I looked over all the wishes that the Guild Members have voted up in the Wish Council, and I found a great use for almost all the good ones.

The Talents are:
  • Anatomy - you extract more food from monsters you kill.
  • Battle Magery - metal gear has a reduced affect on spell casting.
  • Dual Wielding - allows you to usefully wield multiple weapons.
  • First Aid - allows you to heal faster.
  • Magic Precision - gives you more critical hits with your magic.
  • Shield Parry - protects you against receiving critical hits.
  • Weapon Knowledge - gives you knowledge, ultimately a Dwarf's knowledge, of weapons.
  • Weapon Precision -  gives you more critical hits with weapons, even more for two-handed weapons.

As you can see, each talent helps in different ways, and which ones you choose will depend on your playing style and what your immediate problems are. If you find that food is the biggest problem you have, get a little Anatomy. If you can never work out which weapon to use, go for Weapon Knowledge. Or if you just plain die a lot from being slowly beaten down, go for First Aid. Some talents are useful generally, while others more so if you want to go for a specific type of character (such as a Battle Mage).

There are 3 levels to each Talent, with the top level being extra potent. For example, if you have Dual Wielding Level 3, you can wield two weapons and each one attacks 60% faster. Of course, you need two good single-handed weapons and no shield, but wow, do you feel like a ninja!

Weapon Knowledge will reveal information about your weapons. This can save you a lot of Identify scrolls and helps you ensure you're fighting with your best weapon. Note that weapon knowledge does not take into account your current skills, merely the intrinsic quality and enchantment of the weapons.

Regardless of your Weapon Knowledge, unique "artifact" weapons now reveal their might as soon as you wield them. A few shopkeepers sent in bitter complaints about that change.

Critical Hits were in the earlier betas, but they were just a guaranteed hit based on a 1 in 20 chance (a "natural 20" on a d20). Now they also do double damage. Watch out though: monsters get them just as much as you do (but they can't get Talents to help them).

Performance of the default "Good" graphics setting has been tuned to work well on lower-end machines, but if you have a more powerful machine, be sure to turn up the graphics to "Fantastic" in Options -> Graphics.

There are many other improvements in beta 4 (like more arrows... but watch out: monsters can use them now too). I hope you enjoy the update - keep sending me bug reports, no matter how minor.

As always, you can play WazHack online at If you've played very recently, you may need to use Ctrl-Reload to clear your browser cache.

-- Waz --

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Chuck some potions!

The third beta of WazHack just went live on!

What is it?

WazHack is a 100% twitch-free relaxing hack and slash single-player dungeon game. Don't understand how that is possible? Play it. You'll see. The idea is that you can spend all the time you need contemplating what you'll do in any situation - and with over 250 different types of items to be found, there is no shortage of solutions to problems. With over 100 different types of monsters, there is no shortage of problems either.

All in a game that loads in just a few seconds.

It's not a game of winning (though it is winnable), it's about experiencing the attempt... and learning lessons that will help your next attempt. Every game is very different. Only 1 out of over 2500 games played over the last week has ended in victory (see the global high score list).

What's new in beta3?
Potions can now be thrown - so now you can toss a potion of paralysis at a big fat ogre to stop him - and  the horde behind him! Or try one of the other potions you thought where only useful for flushing in a fountain and blessing in a temple. To get into the groove, play this video close-up of potions smashing - just some fun I was having while I fine-tuned it.

Hunters have gotten a clean-up with better bow animations and throwing in general. Arrows bundle together like coins do, and they are a bit easier to see. And remember: double-F to pick up quickly - keep your arrows, they are still in short supply.

You can now see your character dice rolls while you're still choosing your character, so you can just keep clicking until you get what you want (no, you will never get all 18s!).

There are also more new items to find and use, but I wont list them - I want to try to add cool new stuff faster than you can find it!

All sorts of weird bugs have been fixed. Seen a dwarf suddenly go bald? Fixed. Wondered why a dwarf wearing a -2 cloak seemed immune to magic? Fixed. Nymphs and Leprechauns don't know when the ladders ends? Fixed.

Seen that a Valkyrie had a better armour class by stripping down to her dainties? Fixed. Sorry.

Half the bugs were reported by players - thanks! Especially to the Guild Members who keep the server running!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

One Kilogame and other factoids

We've now past 1000 games of WazHack played!

In these first four days of the beta, that is more games than was played by the 6 people who played it online during the entire alpha testing period - for nearly a year! Many obscure bugs have been reported (and all the reproducible ones fixed - go Waz!).

7% of players are on a Mac. Wow! I've never even been able to test it on a Mac. I'm happy! (I'll get it to Linux one day too, I promise).

How Bobey managed to score over 100000 points, I have no idea, even though it was me, personally, who prodded the corpse with my fiery greatsword. I've added extra logging to learn more about extreme possibilities (10 artifacts weapons?).

Basalt and his comrades have weeded out all sorts of bugs that the rest of us will never now experience. Basalt was twice as deep as any current player when that Hellhound pup got in a lucky bite, and in fact he used his inventory to teleport around the deepest bug ever reported!

Friday, March 16, 2012

WazHack beta2 is up - Join the Guild!

Whoa! You exceeded my Google App Engine free quota on the first day of the beta1 release.

Beta 2 is now up on, with loads of bug fixes, and some gentle game-balancing.

If you get quite deep in the dungeon (about 800ft), you'll meet someone. He will offer you membership in The Hackers Guild. Take the offer, it's only two bucks during the beta. Or join from the Game Options menu. Thanks!

Thanks also for everyone posting articles, videos, and pictures. Every single one has been truly hilarious (I watched the whole of Etalyx's video, laughing all the time, and not just because he spent 5 levels accidentally fighting barehanded).

I hope no-one is bothered by a $2 price tag. It's about as low as I can go without giving everything to PayPal.

The best thing about this new WazHackers Guild is that now you can play as any character name you like and it will be linked to your guild membership on the global high scores! Anyone on the top-ten today, feel free to email me (waz at this domain), and I'll link your old games up to your Guild account (no cheating, any disputes and I'll pull out my fiery greatsword again! ;-)

I'm off to work on beta3 now - another bug report is already sitting in my mailbox!

Monday, March 12, 2012