I just did a ton of updates. I added a few pages, completely redid the Character page, and added a banner for the webcomic, among others. But I also thought I'd officially set in stone what the stats are in The Descended, something I never did before. I brainstormed the concept one night on paper, and this is what I came up with:
-Intelligence: Controls both the amount of MP someone has and how much damage Magic-type attacks do. Reflex is given a small bonus. Raw brain power of someone; this is how smart someone is, their IQ, I suppose. The smarter they are, the quicker they can formulate complex plans.
-Wisdom: The counterpart to intelligence, wisdom is Soano's equivalent of real-world experience. (Someone lacking in Wisdom isn't stupid--just naive. Someone lacking in Int might be dumb, but experienced enough to have the knowledge necessary on how to act and when, despite that. Seems like the shortest way to describe the difference.) As such, it's one of the few stats which can be gained without either leveling up or drinking a potion (or wielding an item for that matter). It can be gained in that manner--you can invest extra points into wisdom--but it's not the only way possible to be earned. People naturally gain 1 Wisdom every time they level up and every time they have a birthday. This extra point can be traded for other stats (3 for level, 2 for birthday), though it's definitely not recommended.
Wisdom is totally separate from intelligence--it's possible to be the smartest person alive, but be naive due to inexperience, due to lacking wisdom. Similarly, if you're dumb as a rock, as long as you have enough wisdom, knowledge of what needs to be done, then you'd...be able to out-smart people with higher Int scores, due to your approach being more crafty.
-Instinct: For the sake of not having too many stats, this stat also includes something else I was considering making a stat, "sixth sense". People with a lot of Instinct are in tune to their world, able to do a lot without thinking much. (Yes, this makes them another counter to Intelligence: Instinct and Intuition are often called opposites for a reason.) While not a complete opposite to Intelligence (if you do it right, you can combine them, with side-effects often including instantaneous and perfect reaction to situations), they frequently are seen as clashing. As such, this stat also gives a Reflex bonus. (This bonus is tripled when combined with the Int bonus.) Another side-effect of combining Instinct with Intellect is a .25 Wisdom bonus per point in each (that is, 1 point of int+inst = +.25 Wisdom).
Instinct is one of the main stats used to shrug off status effects, making it the bane of Water, Darkness, and Wind Mages who specialize in magic which does as much. Intelligence and Wisdom both play a part, however. Endurance will not increase resistance to mental status effects like illusions, but will increase resistance to physical status effects.
-Dexterity: Skill with your hands. The better your DEX score, the better you are at parrying. High Dexterity is good for dual-wielding, sword-and-shield combos, two-handed weapons, and ranged weapons. It greatly amplifies skils such as pickpocketing, allowing them to be much easier. It improves Ranged-type weapon damage. Additionally, it also gives a slight Reflex bonus.
-Nimbleness: The opposite of Dexterity, Nimbleness is for the legs. The more Nimble you are, the better you dodge. You gain a balance bonus, as well as a +.5 strength roll to all kicks. Additionally, you also receive a Reflex bonus due to leg improvement.
*Reflex: Not a stat itself; it's a sub-stat of INT, INS, DEX, and NIM. Put simply, it's how fast you can react. Reflexes make you go faster, able to run quicker, react sooner, swing faster...it's really one of the most important stats for all classes (especially Rogues) to have, which is why so many stats give it a bonus. While this could also be called, "speed", speed is what I consider to be a kind of superstat for Rogue-type stats, which include Dexterity and Nimbleness.
-Luck: How fortunate you are. People with bad luck do poorly in life no matter how good their stats are and no matter how hard they try. (They get hit more frequently than they should, suffer constant Disaster Dominoes, can never seem to land a blow, etc.) Inversely, people with good luck can have horrendous stats, absolutely suck, and shouldn't survive any encounter at all. That high luck stat will make them win via Deus Ex Machina, Contrived Coincidences, basically, sheer dumb luck. People with higher luck scores receive bonuses on all rolls (when rolls are applied), whether those rolls are known or not. The most common way to see this is that someone with high luck improves the enemy's chance of missing, like DEX and NIM do.
-Charisma: How charming and persuasive you are. This is basically your ability to convince anyone and everything to do whatever you want them to. A good skill for Rogues, because it influences things like bluffing and whispering, among others. It also influences how they see you; better Charisma, better perceived appearance.
-Strength: Your raw power. The stronger you are, the more damage you inflict. (Gives an attack bonus, as well as a slight bonus to accuracy. The main accuracy-boosting stats are Dexterity and Reflex.) Melee weapons receive a strong damage increase. Ranged- and Magic-type weapons used in ways they were not meant to be (such as a staff as a club, an arrow as a dagger, etc.) receive a slight bonus from this stat, too. (At the cost of only receiving half the bonus from their normal type.) Strength also gives a .4 bonus to Endurance.
-Endurance: How much damage you can take. It both increases the maximum HP of a person and reduces the amount of damage they take when hit.
I think that nicely sums up what each stat does primarily. I might include a "strongest stat/weakest stat" in the character pages eventually, now that I have this worked out. :)
...Okay, so maybe a little. :P
Writer's block is a killer. However, I can use this time to reinvent the world. I've forgotten most of the details in Soano, 'cause I never got around to writing them; I rushed into the comic. However, now that I've hit a roadblock, I can continue on expanding. For instance, I am beginning to finalize the characters themselves. I also have the original document which has the info on them, too--what does that mean? I can name them, at last!
The Earth-user in the Elementals I remembered the name of, but I'm not sure whether I want to keep "Nira" as her name. All the other Elementals have been renamed. (The Water User is technically nameless, but is called "M".) So, she might become "Tyra", I'm thinking. The Light User was "Aersin", which I think with a simple rewording makes it sound more appropriate for her former element of darkness: "Sinaer". :P The Energy User was "Anarch". (An Arc. Energy. Electric. Get it? :P) I'm thinking "Enlec" or "Enlecar" for him. (Sanik was Arrow, Sarge was Sarph, "M" was Miyar [girl], Kinas was Jake Sunos, and Nathan Betrax was Sheila Summers [girl].)
So, my to-do list:
-Character Page. Finalize the details for all three teams, give them concrete personalities.
-Character Influences. Only after the above is finished, so you can appreciate how the characters have become unique despite being born from other ideas.
-World Rules. Soano already has some stuff laid out, but certain elements I never quite finished working out the details of.
Wish me luck! This'll take a while...
Basically, I found a format better than JPEGs: PNGs. That's how I'm uploading them, now. I also figured I'd make a modification or two while I was at it, so you'll note most Author's Notes will have an "EDIT" section describing the change, with an occasional comment outside of it, too.
I might someday incorporate the JPEG look--I mean, in some ways, it IS cool. But for the most part, the original is better, so that's what I'll leave. I still have the JPEGs any time I need them. ;)
For the most part, I've been dealing with other webcomics of mine. Why? Well, for multiple reasons. For starters...this is a really hard comic to manage. Quite simply put, I'm creating a whole world, for a simple webcomic. I've never done that before. Yes, all my webcomics have a setting--but none are like The Descended, because I have to make up a lot of stuff, and make a lot of rules. This is pretty much only half-done. I got something like two or three of the elements mapped out, for the MAGE class. I don't have any other class thought out, at all. Then comes the leveling up system. Basically, I know what I want: exponential growth from levels. Level 1 characters having 10 HP, going to 100 at level 10, but level 100 wouldn't have a meager 1,000--that'd be too low. It'd instead be something like 10,000. I think, anyway. There is a max, a cap to health, and that would be at level 999 (Any 900+ character ascends and becomes a god, so that means the max is only reachable by a deity). And that's just a single example. How about spells? I have an idea of how they work, but it's not concrete. Skills? Same idea. Skill points? I know the standards, but I'm not even sure I set down which to use! I mention a few games as inspiration, like Ratchet and Clank--yet I don't even remember how Ratchet and Clank was supposed to influence the setting. It had to do with a skill tree, I believe, but quite simply put, I started writing this webcomic before I had enough layed out in detail.
Then comes the characters. I know Argus, and have him down very well. How about Davos? I fluctuated several times, but I *believe* I have the answer down. I'm not positive it'll work, though. (Mentally and Physically, he's an adult, emotionally, still a child. That's the compromise I achieved between him being like a child and being super-mature. And explains why his abilities fluctuate somewhat. I believe, anyway. Like I said, I don't remember it that well!) How about Aria? I have her down fluctuating in personality a lot. Sasha? Don't even get me started. And in planned strips, guess what? Argus gets a lot of talking, but who else does? Normally, it seems to default to Aria, and if not her, Sasha. I need to lay down their personalities more concretely, so that I can figure out dialog better in future comics.
The Elementals and Latens are also tricky--I have a good idea for pretty much the entire groups what they are. One slight trouble area is Nathan Betrax, because I had to adapt a Ninja/Berserker into a world where neither Ninjas nor Berserkers are a class. And then there was his personality. He was supposed to be rather serious, and then, he ended up being one to hang a Lampshade in #4, right here: http://descended.thecomicseries.com/comics/4/
And suddenly, he became comic relief. Despite my earlier plans to have him a dead-serious rival to Sarge. Oops. I think I'm figuring out ways to compromise, albeit slowly. It'll take a long time to figure out fully, though. We'll see how that works out.
And, of course, there's the extra pages. Characters--what I've got is the index. I need to fill it out. I've got profile info for most of them, but for some, it's a little out of date. I can put it up, though. The About page is similar, but worse, in that while I have some of the info available, most of it has become lost or obsolete, and I'll have to type it all out. It basically describes how everything works in the world of Soano, to basically define how the world works. However, again, it'd be only about 20-40% complete if I did it now. Then comes the inspiration page, which should really be two pages: Character Inspiration (does not belong on the Character Page, because it's looooooooong...), and World Inspiration. Character Inspiration, I have to weave together something like five or six sources, organize them, and then, post them in an orderly fassion. The Outcasts aren't that bad; they all come from a single source. The Elementals and Latens are, though--they originally came from three different sources, blended into one. And that one has evolved multiple times. And the end result is a big, huge mess in need of sorting out. And the world? Well, that inspiration page relies on me having the About page done. It'd cover how some things have been influenced. (For example, Soano characters instantly have gray hair when they turn 60. This is a subtle Fable1 reference.)
There is some good news, though--I have an edited version of all six comics. They're higher in quality (fixing some of the mistakes I mention), and now that I've discovered the PNG format, there will no longer be a loss in quality for the uploads. Yay! (I, uh...just need to get around to actually doing it. Haven't done so, yet.)
As to why I haven't made a new comic? Remember when I said it'd be a while until I got writer's block? Well, umm...I did. :P Got blocked, bad. I know the entire arc we're about to begin, but am having trouble transitioning into it. Ah, well. Not like I can do much about it.
Anyway, that's my blog entry for today, to show you a little about The Descended. Hope it satisfies my non-existent fans. :P