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Ink Stains Games brings us a new development update for their turn-based RPG Stoneshard that highlights some of the features we can expect from the game's upcoming Rags to Riches early access update. The chief among them are Settlement Outskirts that are a new kind of point of interest where you can interact with NPCs and pick up some extra contracts.
The update also showcases the overhauled backpack system aiming to make the game's inventory management more involved and granular. And finally, we get a sneak preview of the new Armor ability tree the developers are currently working on.
Here are the text bits:
The last couple of months our team has been working on lots of new content: the long-awaited Caravan, the previously highlighted rework of the Dungeon Generator, and dungeon and settlement modifiers that will be a part of the upcoming Contract System rework - speaking of which, today we’d like to elaborate on some of its elements, namely Outskirts locations.
Outskirts are a new type of Points of Interest that will be introduced to the game with the next major update, “Rags to Riches”. Located a few tiles away from settlements, they still act as their continuation of sorts
Their main purpose is to add more variety to the basic contract loop and facilitate early game exploration. Most Outskirts will usually offer you the following things:
It’s fair to say that granting alternative access to contracts and rewards is perhaps the Outskirts’ most important function. After “Rags to Riches”, village Elders won’t be the only ones in the contract business, the following three new NPC types - Officials, Captains, and Couriers - will be able to participate as well.
- A spot to save your progress.
- Access to one or more traders and craftsmen who will sell vital consumables, fix your gear, etc.
- A chance to interact with new NPCs who can offer you contracts or give rewards for their completion.
Their main difference from Elders lies in the rewards they will offer:
Additionally, contract rewards can be received from any of these NPCs regardless of your initial quest giver, thus breaking the routine of walking the same roads over and over again. So instead of having to stick to the “settlement-dungeon-settlement” route, you’ll be able to receive a contract in a village, clear out its dungeon, get your reward in a nearby Outskirt, grab a new contract there, sell your loot and replenish supplies (optionally), then head straight to the next dungeon.
- Captains won’t pay as much, instead providing extra Reputation with settlements you complete contracts for.
- Officials will split the Reputation boost between all settlements of their faction (for instance, completing Osbrook contracts will slightly improve your standing with both Brynn and Mannshire).
- Couriers won’t actually hand out quests, instead giving rewards for completing contracts that require you retrieving certain items. Bringing those directly to a Courier will earn you extra gold.
All Outskirts can be roughly split between these three categories:
To better illustrate the system, here are some of the new Outskirts:
- Military Camps and Outposts. This is where you’ll find Captains and, most likely, someone to fix your gear and sell you medicine and ammunition.
- Trade Posts and Production Sites. Their main role is selling special goods that can be transported to other settlements via the Caravan and sold at a profit. An example of such a site would be the Osbrook Mill or the Mannshire Winery, which many of you are already familiar with. This is where you may also encounter Officials, who are tasked with overseeing the production.
- Homesteads and Roadside Inns. These locations will offer a hearty meal, a place to catch some shut-eye, and a chance to meet a Courier, should the need arise.
Osbrook - Roadside Tower
Not wanting to be caught off guard if the Council suddenly breaches the truce, the Magistrate took it upon themselves to restore the web of outposts and signal towers that now covers the entirety of the Brynn March.
Osbrook - Drunken Woodsman Inn
The Drunken Woodsman is a safe haven for any hunter whose trade brings them close to Osbrook.
Mannshire - New Orchard
The war gave the best cidery in Aldor little time to react: its previous owners couldn’t save neither themselves nor the flourishing gardens, taking the ancient recipe of their specialty beverage to the grave. But not all hope is lost: the new proprietors of the New Orchard are determined to do everything in their power to restore this place to its former glory.
Mannshire - Southern Outpost
This encampment was originally established by Duke di Berro during his brazen counterattack against the Council army. It’s not nearly as large as it used to be, but it still plays an important role in bringing order to the Magistrate-controlled lands.
It’s worth mentioning that the existence of Brynn contracts and dungeons is only temporary (in the future there’ll be an entirely new way of gaining city Reputation), so it won’t have Outskirts in the gameplay sense of the word. At the same time, you can expect a certain other location to receive its share of Outskirts POIs…
Let’s move onto the next addition planned for “Rags to Riches” - a wide selection of new bags and their overall rework.
Right now the game features just one backpack type that offers as many slots as it occupies in the inventory - this was done to prevent exploits associated with carrying multiple backpacks.
In “Rags to Riches”, all bags and backpacks will become much more capacious. As a tradeoff, you’ll have to equip them first before storing any items, and they’ll have to be emptied before you can place them in the inventory. These combined tweaks allowed us to create a bunch of new backpack configurations:
Medium Backpack grew in capacity and received sizable side pouches.
Small Backpack isn’t particularly roomy, but it’ll be much easier to obtain than other bag types.
Field Surgeon Bandolier - a solid choice for anyone who wants to carry lots of meds and other consumables.
Herbalist Satchel allows you to not really worry about precious inventory space while transporting large amounts of potion flasks and other vessels or gathering important herbs.
Hunting Backpack is meant to easily fit a few pelts and can be used to comfortably carry a bedroll.
Treasure Seeker Backpack will greatly improve your carrying capacity, although its bulky frame will do no favors to your agility and finesse.
On top of all that, it will also be possible to store single cell treasure items in common Purses.
And finally, here’s a teaser for the much-anticipated Armor ability tree that we’re currently working on as well:
That’s all for now. Until next time!