Patch Notes 1/22/23 - Focus Mode
Twenty-two years ago, I created a new toggle called Condense. My idea was to minimize the amount of text in combat to make it easier to see what was going on in a big fight. Condensed mode was a big hit, and many still use it to this day.
In the decades since, its usefulness has been eroded by a steady influx of lengthy procs, area spells, powers, dragon combat, and more.
Today, I'm taking another crack at it with a new condensed mode. I call it 'Focus', because the goal is to cut through all of the text and let you focus on your own actions in the game.
BETA: This is a work in progress. It's really difficult to test this myself without other players around to generate messages. I'm relying on everyone's help in sending feedback to Discord or GitHub to help me improve this feature.
Opt-in: Focus mode is controlled by a toggle and is entirely opt-in. If you want to keep using condensed or normal mode, go right ahead.
No configuration: There's no settings for focus. Just toggle it on and let it work.
Adaptive: Focus mode adapts the level of filtering it does based on how much fighting is going on in the room. If it's just you fighting a kobold, you'll still see a lot of messages to maintain the atmosphere. But if you're rolling through Tiamat with a large group, it'll adapt and suppress as much as possible so you can do your job effectively.
Selective filtering: Much of what's shown to you is determined by whether it affects you or not. You'll see your procs go off, and your spell damage. And if you're the target of an attack you'll see it. At high focus levels though, you're not going to see your fellow player taking kicks to the solar plexus, their weapon procs going off, their dodges, etc.
Melee: Combat messages are greatly reduced. You'll see what's happening with your own attacks, and attacks against you. Most melee attacks that don't involve you are not shown. Special messages will summarize what's going on with others in the room so you can see when allies or enemies are tanking a lot of targets or taking a lot of damage. Think of it a summary of the classic combat messages that still give you the information you need to make a decision, but in far fewer words.
Powers: Melee powers and spells are shown as needed. At low focus levels, you'll see a lot of powers getting used. With more people in the room, other people's spells and powers that don't affect you will start getting filtered out. You'll always be able to see mobs casting spells, and there's a little more information in the cast messages too.
Procs: Weapon and item proc messages are also covered under focus, and use very similar rules as powers. You'll see much, much less proc messages in busy combats. Some high traffic procs have also been edited down to one line in focus mode. Procs have to be converted manually though, so I've focused (no pun intended) on the most used procs to start, and will add more as needed.
New prompt: Focus also comes with an optional new prompt that condenses the information in the prompt and shows hit point percentages instead of raw numbers. It's a separate toggle and can even be used outside of focus mode.
Misc spam: Subtle changes have been made here and there to reduce extraneous spam. You won't see other people bleeding as much, mobs won't "slump to the ground" twice when they die spell cast messages are more succint, and more.
There's so much variance in the focus mode output that it's hard to give a real idea of how it looks from a few pasted examples. I urge you to go play with it to get a feel. That said, here's a very simple example.
Solo melee with 10+ mobs
The Watchful Shield Square Exits: - North - East - South - West Corpse of the watchman is lying here. The watchman stands here, fighting YOU! The watchman stands here, fighting YOU! The watchman stands here, fighting YOU! The watchman stands here, fighting YOU! The watchman stands here, fighting YOU! The watchman stands here, fighting YOU! The watchman stands here, fighting YOU! The watchman stands here, fighting YOU! The watchman stands here, fighting YOU! The watchman stands here, fighting YOU! The watchman stands here, fighting YOU! The captain of the watch stands here, fighting YOU! < HP: 98% Pos: std |su +|bh +|hs +|bf +|vs +|vf +| |3|3|3|3|2| [Target: watchman 100%] > The captain of the watch sends you sprawling. You're hit in the solar plexus. Wow, this is breathtaking!! The watchman knocks you backwards several feet with a powerful kick! Ouch! The fighting in the area rages on. You attack the watchman one time, landing one hit. You are attacked by twelve enemies, landing three hits. < HP: 98% Pos: sit |su +|bh +|hs +|bf +|vs +|vf +| |3|3|3|3|2| [Target: watchman 63%] > The fighting in the area rages on. You attack the watchman one time, landing one hit. You are attacked by twelve enemies, landing five hits.
The same fight, from an onlookers perspective
< HP: 100% MV: 100% > The fighting in the area rages on. Ashek deftly counters an onslaught of attacks from twelve enemies. The watchman's wounds look very serious as he staggers from Ashek's attacks.
- Focus mode: Toggle
focusto see the new evolution of condensed mode.
- Focus prompt: Toggle
focus-promptin or out of focus mode for a stripped down prompt with health percentages instead of raw numbers and words.
- Power Consumables: Consumables will no longer use charges if all of the powers on it fail. If just one works it will consume a charge. You are no longer required to stand, and when you are stunned you won't be able to attempt to consume at all.
- Powers: Lots of updates to the powers engine in preparation for... something?
- Wolfsbane: This potion will no longer let you drink it if you're not infected with Lycanthrophy.
- Beautify: This is now illusion instead of enchantment.
- Skullport: The rain of coins from the heavens has been halted, somewhat.