I see some of you guessed, if not this exact thing, then at least what the general function of the encapsulated nodes off of each orb might be. As for what each specific power might be…

As the stinger suggests, I like passives. Well, it depends on the game, but I tend to like them when they’re not lame like “1% Better Chance to Block.” There are a few different kinds of Passives, and the ones that extend existing abilities aren’t really what I think of when I think of Passives. You know, stuff like “10% of damage inflicted is Vampiric,” or “Do 50% extra Damage to enemies below 25% health.”

The stuff I like are passives that grant new abilities, but without any of the management overhead. They’re quality of life improvements. “5 meter automatic loot radius,” or “Reflect an attack that would have killed you – 5 minute cooldown.”

Then there are the ones that “proc” (an acronym for a Programmed Random OCcurrence – I didn’t know that until just as I was writing this and looked it up). Basically you get an unreliable power. “20% chance to dodge incoming ranged attacks,” et cetera. I’m less excited about those. It honestly depends of the proc rate. See my previous rant about lame upgrades.

Some Passives functionally take the place of attribute points. If you think about it, “Strength” in a game doesn’t do anything by itself. Strength is what’s used to calculate Carrying Capacity or Melee Damage or Jump Height or whatever. But if you could buy “Increased Carrying Capacity” or “Improved Melee Damage – Level 3” or “Hardiness – 1 Extra Health Pip,” you’re effectively acquiring the end result of buying attribute points. It could be suggested that it’s designed to be a more engaging manner of character advancement than just dropping a point into an attribute.

A lot of games RPGs have Too Many Powers in my opinion, and you only have so many hotkeys, so cynical game design analysis aside, I tend to gravitate toward passives. Give me a big hit for bosses, an AOE for swarms of things, a fun traversal ability, maybe some stealth/backstab options, and a lot of quality of life passives, and I’m happy.

The new vote incentive is up! Some of you got sort of invested in Lapha and Garamm, so her she is testing out her new duds. I don’t know if or when they’ll show up in the comic again, (probably more a question of ‘when’) but we’ll have to see if she got any other options besides the tail. Personally I’d go for retractable, venomous fangs, but presumably if you get those, you also have to get a special upgraded pancreas or liver or something, in case you accidentally bite the inside of your own cheek with your fang.

As usual, there are a few variants over at Patreon, and as is becoming more common, a little follow-on comic.

Double res version will be posted over at Patreon. Feel free to contribute as much as you like!