Previously, items that gave protection from damage had two relevant values: damage reduction (the amount by which it would reduce incoming damage) and defense (the item's "health"). As an item took damage, both its defense and damage reduction would lower in proportion to each other. After sustaining sufficient damage, it would provide no protection at all.
Enter the "Boolean Defense" system. Now, an item retains its full damage reduction until its defense is reduced to zero, at which point it is "broken" and no longer provides any protection. While I liked the complexity of the old, slow-deterioration system (which had been in place since the very first prototype!), I don't think it actually suited the game. The new system is much simpler and leads to quicker, smarter decisions. This is good.
These allow the player to tailor the game to their taste. Some are simply stat boosts, but others offer new mechanics or adjusted rules. At the outset, the player selects a few Traits that (hopefully) work well together and then begins the game.
Several traits were revised this week. Most of them were related to equipment and how it was used. There are quite a few of these and rather than go through them all, I'll just talk about one as an example. Ambidextrous used to allow you to equip two weapons instead of a weapon and a shield. It also granted you two attacks while wielding two weapons, effectively doubling your damage. Its utility has been expanded, allowing you to dual-wield shields as well as weapons. It still retains its two attack behavior, but the damage for each attack has been halved to prevent insane damage inflation; any "on attack" effects, however, still benefit from there being two attacks.
I also added 9 brand new traits this week, bringing the total up to 63. I don't expect all of them to make the final cut (and certainly many will need to be changed too), but I think it's good to work from a large pool and cull it as needed later. The new traits are a pretty random mix, but they do include 2 traits that build off of the recently implemented throwing weapons, which I really wanted to have.
Randomly generated names are used for enemies, items, locations, and some other things. These aren't critical, but they do add a bit of flavor and there's something fun about not seeing the same names every time you play.
The old name generator was perfectly adequate, but lacked variety, consistency, and, well, just created too much gobbledygook. So, it has been expanded from 3 "flavors" to 9, and uses a system that is more flexible, expandable, and produces more consistent results. The names are still gibberish, but it's largely pronounceable gibberish. Hopefully, this superficial change yields a more consistent and believable game world.