Hi all! Alright then, the second new Olb of Olvand rose: poison! Let's stick to this 'why', 'how', 'in combinations' format, because it allows me to tell everything I want:
The idea behind poison in almost every game with combat is simple: instead of dealing all damage at once, the damage is dealt over time. That is, as players, you don't immediately see the full consequences of a poison attack. Although a simple idea, the non-transparency this creates can lead to very different behavior.
Let me explain with an example. Say an opponent has 100 health, and we hit him with an attack that does 95 damage. Logically, the player will get scared (only 5 HP left!), and will run away before your next attack has cooled down. Now imagine we also do him 95 damage, but with a poison. Instead of removing all the HP in one go, we do it slowly, over time. Most players are so used to trusting their healthbar, which still looks relatively filled, that they won't fully realize the danger of the situation... so they will stay, giving us enough time for another attack that will remove that last 5HP.
I love how this simple difference allows a bunch of new strategies, so you can imagine I'm kind of eager to get it in the game quickly.
The basic poison Olb will work as follows: if you get hit with a poison Olb, you won't lose any HP, but you will get the new 'poisoned' status. There is no way to show this status in the current GUI, by the way, so I've made a whole redesign for that as well - more about that later. If you use the Olb in its bare form, it will bite three times over the period of 30 seconds, deleting the same amount of HP every time. After that, the effect wears off.
This is what the Olb looks like:
It represents a snake tooth, which I think (or hope) is a lot more intuitive than the question mark for invisibility.
As for any Olb, the real fun only starts when you start to combine it. Three examples:
* Combined with the heal Olb, you get the exact opposite effect: instead of losing health, the 'victim' gains health. This can then be used for a strategy that is the exact opposite of the strategy above: if you would approach a near-dead enemy with full health, s/he is very likely to run away. If howeveryou have even less than s/he has, s/he might in fact stay... only to find out that you gain health over time when it's too late.
* When combined with fire, it creates a fire that goes out, and then goes on again after some time, which repeats three times. A thing that I often notice is that people and monsters hide when it's bright somewhere, and reveal themselves in the dark. This would be smart counter-attack to them: the enemies reveal themselves and poof! the light goes on again.
* Combined with the invisibility Olb, you get invisibility that wears of and then returns three times. While this might not be that useful when used alone, it can be very poweful when used as a whole team. Imagine being the enemy of a team using this effect, and seeing the opposing players appearing, disappearing and then appearing at another place again constantly. I would panick :).
And, as usual, there is much more, as this Olb too combines with every other Olb in the game. Play the game to find out!