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After a few delays, City of Gold, the next major early access content update for Ink Stains Games' turn-based RPG Stoneshard, is scheduled to go live on November 18, 2021. Together with the update's release date announcement, we're treated to a look at some of its new features that include new enemies, new throwable items, and swimming.
Here's what you can expect to see:
Let’s start with the release date: as many of you might already know, the City of Gold update was moved to November due to a number of reasons. And today we’re ready to announce its exact release date - November 18. This date is final, so make sure to set up a reminder!
Now to the latest news. We’re currently working on bringing the city to life, setting up NPCs and implementing side quests, many of which will have multiple paths and long-term consequences. Even though we would be happy to give you details, it’s not possible without getting into spoilers, so we’ll let you discover the secrets of Brynn streets by yourself.
Here’s a teaser just to get you started. And in return we’ll tell you about many other things that will be added with the City of Gold[...]
The bestiary of Stoneshard will see many new additions: other than mid-tier Proselytes (this topic deserves its own devlog), there’ll be a few other dangers to watch out for when exploring the world.
“Deathstingers are the scourge of the local woods. A large enough swarm of these sizeable insects can make short work of pretty much anything or anyone”
Deathstingers are large and very aggressive insects that form swarms around their hives in certain points of interest. Their primary strength lies in numbers - until a Deathstinger hive is destroyed, it will periodically spawn new swarms, maintaining their number.
But even a single Deathstinger swarm can cause a lot of grief: these things are hard to hit, and even successful strikes don’t deal much damage. On top of that, the less Health a swarm has, the higher its chance to dodge future attacks, although its own attacks will deal less damage as well.
“Crawlers make their burrows in deep woods, where they hunt small wildlife. Other predators do their best to stay away - crawlers' blood and bites are venomous, and their ability to almost instantaneously heal their fragile carapaces turns any encounter with them into a battle of attrition”
Needless to say, we had no choice but to introduce giant spiders into the game - therefore, meet Crawlers. You’ll be able to encounter them in the woods, but fortunately for you they won’t stray far from their burrows. Crawlers are dangerous predators for quite a number of reasons.
First of all, they are capable of spitting liquid webs, immobilizing and weakening their victims. Just as with Mancatchers’ nets, it will be possible to untangle yourself from them by skipping turns.
Crawlers’ huge size makes them rather frail - to compensate for this shortcoming, they have an ability to quickly regenerate any damage done to their chitinous carapace. Each turn Crawlers restore some of their Armor Durability, which also grants them additional Resistances. At the same time, they don’t have much Health, so the best weapon for hunting Crawlers is something with good Armor Damage and Penetration.
And finally, their blood is corrosive. Fighting Crawlers in melee will get you sprayed with it, dealing Caustic and Poison damage. This damage is also increased by each Injury or Bleed affecting a Crawler.
“Initially, harpies inhabited only the ridges of Aldorian foothills, but now they can be encountered across the entire realm. Their habits haven’t changed in the slightest though: these perpetually ravenous beasts are still the source of constant nuisance, attacking livestock and lonely travelers”
Harpies are enormous scavenger birds that can be found across most of Aldor. Hunting them requires a strategic approach: make sure that you bring a net or two with you or have a way to quickly cripple their wings - Harpies get significant combat bonuses while they are in the air.
Upon spotting their prey, Harpies swiftly close in to intercept it, so archers and mages will have a hard time keeping their distance - until a Harpy’s wings are injured, their mobility skill has no cooldown. Harpies usually attempt to intimidate and confuse their victim with deafening screeches, then surround it from all sides, trying to peck out the eyes. Harpies’ heinous stench also doesn’t make fighting them any easier, causing coughing and the urge to throw up.
Despite all that, Harpies are incredibly cowardly: when threatened by defeat, they immediately try to take off and fly away a few turns after beginning their retreat, leaving you without valuable feathers and other trophies.
No one expects you to face new dangers without new tools, so we added a few bombs with different effects.
Nistrian Flame Flask
“The recipe for Nistrian flame, the flasks of which occasionally find their way to Aldor, still remains a secret despite the efforts of many talented scholars. Alas, no one has yet invented an alternative that burns at least half as well”
“The only reason why this deadly weapon is barely ever used is that any attempt to encase a swarm of enraged insects in a fragile container is incredibly dangerous”
Spider Blood Flask
“Certain alchemical procedures can prevent crawler blood from curdling, allowing it to be stored in glass containers for prolonged periods of time. This creates many new possibilities ranging from using it in further alchemical experiments to throwing it in combat”
BODIES OF WATER
And finally, the first look at rivers and lakes:
Bodies of water have a whole lot of mechanics tied to them, ranging from the basic option to fill a waterskin to swimming, combat, and special interactions with some abilities. When your character is in shallow water, moving to another tile takes two turns. The distance of dashes is affected as well.
Upon entering deep water, the character begins to swim. The main thing to keep in mind is that swimming requires Energy - each traversed water tile will consume some of it. If Energy reaches zero, your character will drown, dying instantly. Swimming Energy Cost is affected by many factors: certain active effects, Injuries, and also whether you have heavy armor equipped.
On top of that, you can’t use weapons when in deep water - all attacks will count as unarmed, stats like Block and Counter chances will be disabled, and taking damage will burn Energy.
The same rules will apply to your enemies too. Some of them will be unable to swim at all, actively trying to avoid entering deep water.
Once we get closer to implementing Alchemy and cooking, we also plan to add a fishing system, but for now it’s way too soon to get into any details.
That’s all for now. Until the next devlog!