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To end the year on a high note, the developers over at Gamera Interactive have put together a new early access update for Alaloth: Champions of the Four Kingdoms. The update introduces a couple of extra challenging game modes, rebalances most of the game's encounters, adds some new monsters for you to fight and areas to explore, updates the world map, unlocks some new fast-travel options, and more.
Here's what this update has in store for you:
Here we are, Winter Update is live on Steam now! As we've already said here, plans have slightly changed on the way, so we are going to provide all the info you need to understand what's going on in the next weeks, leading to a glorious start for the new year! A massive changelog is available at the bottom but let's go step by step and let's begin with the latest news from Plamen!
HARDCORE MODE AND PERMADEATH
Here we are with two of the most requested features since a long time. We have set-up a survey to hear from you about this and, surprisingly, the vast majority of the players asked for these new options as in-game options instead than just tabs in a menu. So we tried to figure out a way in between what's already available in other games and something new as we like to do. We think to have found a good way to integrate both options at the best [nothing set in stone being in EA but still].
Both Hardcore Mode and Permadeath options will be available after a succesfull first run. Once you've done in Plamen for the first time, you can start a new character and you will be able to customize the experience. The initial flow has been changed so you are not going to end the tutorial and jump directly to the capital city. Since now on, you can take some time inside your stronghold before leaving for the capital city and with your second run, you'll have the chance to interact with a character in the training ground, allowing you to turn on Hardcore Mode. This means a few interesting things: all the mobs will increase their HP and PD by 75%, you and your party will start with -25% HP and PD and all the items equipped will be lost in case of death! The choice is not reversible, so it's something to be decided before leaving the stronghold for the first time. About Permadeath: a Martum Shrine is now available on the world map. Worth a visit if you want to bond yourself to the god of death: no resurrection if you die, game over!
COMBAT AND GENERAL BALANCING
We had a massive round of changes in values for almost every item in-game. Not the final one of course, but we've changed a ton of weapons, armors, etc, to slightly decrease the difficulty at the very beginning and to increase the challenge on the long term. Some of the mobs are now more resistent and hit for more HP, while players' resistance have been changed while fixing a number of armor/weapon sets still having wrong data from the previous iterations. Some FA have been reworked to give a better flow for combat in general, considering the environment and so on. In addition to these features, the update will also introduce new quests to the game, providing even more things to do and discover. Players can expect to encounter new enemy types as well, each with its own unique abilities and behaviors. And to top it all off, the game received a general polish, with various bugs fixed and overall performance improved.
A new round of balancing has been done. Not the final one of course, but we've changed a few values for enemy champions to make them more challenging and reworked rewards and the way they are rolled in the Competitve Mode.
NEW BOSS FIGHTS
First and foremost, we have iterated the abilities and tactics of the bosses to make them more formidable and engaging to fight. We have also increased the rewards that can be obtained from defeating bosses, including rare items and equipment that will help players progress through the game.
In addition to these changes, we have also made some adjustments to the difficulty of the boss fights to better balance them for players. We have taken into account the feedback we have received, and we believe that these changes will provide a more satisfying and challenging experience for all players. The Burning Feet tribe is now ruling Tyrant's Grave, which has been dressed from scratch, according to the game lore which was not perfectly fitting the mobs there. Amaya and Morana [with their gang, The Sandclaws], are now based in the old orcish fort of Krazurag, protecting an old port wiped by The Tempest and now turned into a cemetery for boats and cargos. The abandoned palace of Dham-Dhorun is now home for the dreadful Lord of The Rats, Rymzek and last but not least, a dangerous warlock is apparently leading the Circle in Larastir now, with The Elder Trees of the Elves in great danger
Drolnaks and Reapers! Drolnaks, once beautiful creatures that would pollinate Plamen, allowing nature to live on for the eras to come, now creatures of pain and suffering due to the corruption of Alaloth's Tempests. Slowly they transformed into deformed insects, their stinger deadlier than ever, and their mind knew nothing but death. Before they would stay out of a mortal's way, now they seeks them out, unafraid, in order to destroy what they once help to create.
Reapers are vicious tentacled plant-like life form, composed of six prehensile tentacles that allows them to move slowly. They lie still until prey comes within reach, then snags the victim, crush the life from it, then swallow it in their beaked maw. These monsters live a long time, and ithey often dwell in such foul, toxic conditions that the contents of their stomach and lungs are filled with horrid gases they can exhale on opponents, to stun or incapacitate them, to make feeding on them easier. Some can even spit these toxins at victims who stray too close for much the same reason.
WORLD MAP UPDATE
We thought that adding a few new areas would have been great. We were aiming to add 4 new FA and 4 new POI back in September but you know, things change fast in game development. So, yes, we've added 4 new FA to start but 31 new locations followed. We have worked on what you haven't seen yet of Plamen [The Outer World], so we had to connect dots considering the long terms and started doing things, development-wise. First of all, we had to dress the new region of Kalinglad while fixing the new fast travel options. So we created ports, we created griffin platforms, taverns for each small city to rest in, to avoid waiting outside the place, new POI and so on. Considering the whole thing, we ended up with more than 40 locations but the next bunch will be available in a while, along with a first overview on the whole continent, with new kingdoms and areas that will be playable with future content updates and DLC. Always consider that the new areas will be filled with contents in the next weeks and if you find an area which is not full of people and QG, it could be by design so pay a visit in different moments of your run, cool things can happen!
Griffin travels is a new feature in Alaloth that allows players to travel around Larastir using griffins as their primary mode of transportation. These majestic beasts are not only faster than any other method of travel but are heavily bonded to the immortal Elves, the only able to ride them in the sky. To use the griffin travels feature, players will first need to obtain the trust of the High Chancellor and of the Griffin Lord Khidell, the greatest rider of all eras. With griffin travels, players can easily explore the far reaches of the Republic of Larastir, and discover new areas and quests. The feature offers an exciting and dynamic way to experience the game world. The Griffin Keep can be found in Edhenen.
The kingdoms are surrounded by seas and from today, players will be able to sail the Sea of Solitude and The Shimmering Gulf, reaching The Treasure's Bay and the southern region of Kalinglad, a new area of the Blessed Kingdom of Edherest, ruled by many different houses once loyal to the royal family, Player can found a boatman in each port on the coastline, with the chance to travel to Windscar, Rockstarn and Na'Sharak in Baga. Travels are not free of charge but a safe way [at the moment] to avoid long dangerous trips on the road. In general, pawns will not be able to cross big lakes too and even reaching The Vanishing Keep and the Red Mage will be possible only with the help of a skilled sailor!
WAR ROOMS AND MILITARY CAMP
Players have now access to War Rooms, directly from the Throne Rooms in each kingdoms. Access to these rooms is set for race, this means that even if a champion could be useful in some way for rulers of other kingdoms, this area will be restricted [you can check guards answering in different ways to you, depending on the race of choice]. You can find new quests here at some point but in general, War Rooms are a first step for something bigger actually under iteration. Same for the military camp popped now north of Edherest. Consider these places as new points of interest in which QG can appear with the time passing, but hey...what about large scale battles in the future? More soon.
THE TEMPLE OF VIRTUES
This is one among the new FA available with the update and it's important for a few reasons. It's not a big area but we've used this as a sort of text area for things to come. Puzzles are in there, along with traps, levers and some narrative chronicles, directly connected with some new tech stuff we are on now. It is just squeezing something bigger in a small sized place but you can think about these kind of interaction [both gameplay and narrative related] for the next updates.
We are going to tell you more about localization next year [good news!] but in the meantime, we've added spot voice clips on vendors all around the world [not in all cities but it's a first iteration]. Even a few mobs and boss have now tailored voice over clips.
COMING UP NEXT
As we already explained, we had to change the plans we've shared back in September for many different reasons. Our team has been working hard to bring you the best gaming experience possible. We have decided to pivot slightly in order to better align with our goals for the game and ensure that it meets the high standards we have set for ourselves and our players. This change will allow us to deliver a more polished and enjoyable final product. We are not talking about nothing crazy, no worries! As you noticed, we started with 4/6 new areas in mind and set 35 new areas, with 10 more to come and we've added on features on request such as Permadeath and Hardcore Mode. We prioritized this considering the big picture but all the other features on the way will be available in the next weeks [give us time to have a short break for Xmas!]. You can already find The Bleeding of Hashak in-game, to set-up the Arena Mode that is in the work. You can find War Rooms and the first Military Camp in-game, to open the way to Battlegrounds [working title]. You are going to get new traits but we need some extra time to blend everything properly, with a new crafting system, new skills and professions and yes, we are focusing on magic and spells, always considering the game lore and setting. Sword & Sorcery than [working title]. Ton of new stuff is in the work, just remember we are a team of ten and sometime we need to plan things wisely to avoid burnout and crunch. To summarize: we'll be back at work after Xmas, we can consider this [huge] update as a first part of bigger one, that starts today to end in January when we are going to provide a brand new roadmap leading to 1.0 with all future contents, DLC and ideas we have to share with you all. More polls, activities, community related events and such will be real and we are going to announce big things with Spring, hopefully. As usual, thank you for your continued support and patience as we work to bring this project among the best. We look forward to sharing more updates with you in a while!
- 31 New cities, points of interest and misc locations - Windscar, Tanyard Footbrigde, Idaris's Shrine, Skull Rock, Na'Sharak, Arrowtooth, Vaizmil's Crossing, Rockstarn, Witch Waters, Mountain Hand, Martum's Shrine, Military Camp, Knife Ears Hideout, Griffin Keep, Griffin Platforms [Southern, Norhern, Western, Eastern], Path of the Damned, The Three Pigeons, The Hissing Shaman, The Moon Inn, The Wet Castle, The Stony Heart, Fal'Thalas, Boatman's Hut, War Rooms [one for each kingdom], The Bleeding
- 4 New Fighting Areas - Temple of Virtues [3 skulls], Tyl'Nar [3 skulls], Krazurag [4 skulls], Dham-Dhorun [4 skulls]
- 3 New Boss Fights - Tral'Motak, Jarek, Rymzek
- 2 New Mobs - Drolnaks, Reapers
- 9 New Achievements - Desert Surfer, Virtous, Gardener, Special Guest, Magic Mike, Troll Hunter, Skysurfer, Sailor, Pool of Radiance
- Hardcore Mode
- Permadeath Mode
- Griffin travels
- Boat travels
- VO SFX for vendors in selected areas [cities mostly]
- 10 New Quests - Soaring Skies, Lord of the Rats, The Burned Feet, Underground Infestation, Two Greedy Northmen, A Brother's Honor, The Warlock of The West, The Elder Tree, Lost Virtues, Pool of Radiance
- 9 New items - Glory of The Tribe [Rare], The Wolfmane [Epic], Spider Axe [Epic], Dragonhide Cloak [Epic], The Last Wall [Epic], Ehn-Hohn's Sentry [Rare], Heart of The Woods [Epic], Brooch of The First Era [Epic], Cold Memory [Rare]
- Revised and improved World Map to accommodate the newly added locations
- Crossing large stretches of water in World Map will now require the services of a boatman
- Replaced NPC Handeim model in Tale of Volkar the Brave quest
- Grandmaster Necromancer Julika will now spawn only after player has reached level 4
- Replaced Death Sisters in Tyrant Grave with the new boss Tral'Motak: because of this, Tyrant’s Grave has been now infested by desert creatures and trolls from The Burning Feet tribe
- Changed Jarzothan shield SFX
- Tweaked SFX for Spectral Circle and Imp mobs
- Imp mobs wrong texture fixed
- Headgear will now always be shown when in a combat area
- Headgear toggle has been reinstated in Equipment tab
- Revised runtime HP handling values for enemies
- Increased damage output for enemy Champions
- New UI featuring new Fighting Areas
- Changed values for weapons, armors, trinkets and more than 60 wereables
- Added ambient SFX in Fifth Kingdom’s wandering fighting area and Fifth Kingdom’s Cemetery.
Share the love and stay tuned!
- Special buffs against enemy types will now show properly formatted values in the item view
- Fixed some NPCs playing their idle animations incorrectly
- Fixed a bug causing skills to be unintentionally interrupted from movement actions of the character, and still play the skill animation
- Improved string input handling (i.e. name field) in Character Creation
- Improved formatting for attributes (i.e. racial bonuses) in Character Creation.
- Fixed a bug that prevented the cost of resting in taverns to properly take in account the relative innkeeper’s discount factor
- Fixed a bug that made the player spawn with no hair if headgear was disabled when in strongholds
- Dynora Delven-Keh will now unlocks her codex entry upon interaction
- Fozor Ferehk-Quas and Vulud Doh-Decah had their houses wrongly authored, now working properly
- Fixed a bug that could lead to a mishandling of a click input when clicking on equipment slots in CharacterUI
- Fixed missing portraits and missing descriptions in various items and loots