The Iron Oath - Friends and Foes Update Available

Friends and Foes is the latest early access update for Curious Panda Games' tactical RPG The Iron Oath. This major update overhauls the game's attributes and its leveling system in general. It also increases the party size from 4 to 5 characters, reworks and adds new enemies, improves the UI, and more.

Now, the game's next update, currently scheduled for June 2023, is looking to make the dungeon exploration experience more varied and engaging, add a new class, and introduce a character job system. And in the meantime, here's more on what Friends and Foes brings to the table:

Hello mercenaries!

The Friends and Foes update is now live! We've received a lot of valuable feedback and bug reports during the last few weeks, and we want to give a big thanks to everyone who helped us playtest the update on the test branch. We also appreciate everyone being patient and supportive as we worked to get this update complete over the last several months. It was a big undertaking for just the two of us, and the amount of testing and tuning needed was comparable to when we were preparing to launch the game last year.

While there is still a bit of refinement to be done, we're happy with how it turned out, and we feel all the changes accomplished what we set out do: giving players a better sense of progression and choice with their characters, and making combat more engaging and less repetitive with new enemies and mechanics.

Before diving into all the changes, we want to address the feedback we've received on the update's difficulty. Players will be happy to hear that we've raised up Accuracy to be more in line with how it was prior to this update. While we do want players to have to work a bit make their Basic Attacks land (with Flanks, Staggers, Stuns), we realize that missing half the time by default isn't fun either.

With regards to overall difficulty, Battle-Hardened is now a bit easier than it was when the update first went onto the test branch. It may still be a bit too difficult right now for new players (or players who haven't played in a while), but we don't want to make any drastic changes right now since it would affect the other difficulty settings. For now, we've added the ability to switch your difficulty setting at any time in the pause menu, and we'll also be adding some new difficulty settings (and tuning existing ones as needed) in a future update.

Finally, we want to say a quick word on the state of dungeon exploration. Due to all the changes, dungeons are currently a bit barren right now. Our goal for the next major update is improving the whole dungeon experience by tweaking some mechanics, adding more event types, and also rewarding the player with better loot.

With all that out of the way, let's move onto the changes made with the release of Friends and Foes :)

Friends and Foes: Summary of Changes
  • Attributes Overhaul: Attributes have been reworked, and a new 'Mending' attribute has been added that increases the potency of Heals and Damage Shields (Power is now solely for abilities that deal damage).
  • Levelling Overhaul: On level up, the Attribute Points you gain can be spent towards ranking up attributes of your choosing. Overall, the increases are much more significant than before, and characters have a higher potential for growth.
  • Level Cap: The level caps have been adjusted. From levels 1-20 you will gain both Attribute and Ability Points on level up. Level 20 is the new softcap, and from 21-40 you will only gain Attribute Points (3 per level).
  • Class Abilities: We've adjusted the base function of a few abilities to make them a more attractive option.
  • Full Ability Trees: We've made adjustments to almost every ability tree, and the 3rd and 4th tier of ability upgrades are now fully implemented (totaling 252 new choices). They can be upgraded at level 5 and level 10 respectively.
  • Increased Party Size: The maximum number of characters in a party has been increased from 4 to 5.
  • New and Modified Conditions: We've added some new combat conditions and have tweaked a few existing ones. Conditions now last longer and play a much larger role in combat now, especially when dealing with certain enemies.
  • Reworked Enemies: We've reworked a lot of existing enemies, changing their stats, abilities, and passives. Overall, enemies are now more specialized in what they do, and are more statistically and mechanically different from one another.
  • New Enemies: We've added 30 new enemy variants into the game for more variation from fight to fight.
  • Enemy Traits: Elites and Bosses now spawn with Traits (from a pool of 50) that add an extra strategic consideration when fighting them, ranging from statistical increases to unique combat mechanics. You can view their traits by mousing over their portrait or sprite.
  • Combat Deployment: The deployment zones available for both sides are now more varied (it's no longer always left vs right!).
  • Line of Sight and Ranged Unit Mechanics: We've made some adjustments to Line of Sight, making ranged units less effective in certain situations when shooting through other units to hit their target. Ranged units will no longer be able to target and attack other targets when they have an adjacent enemy. They must either move, or attack the adjacent enemy (and deal 50% damage)
  • New UI Screens: The Manage Roster and Storage screens have been completely redesigned. Other screens now have their own dedicated windows (they will also be receiving a redesign in the future to match the style of the new roster screen).
  • Codex: We've added a Codex screen that contains information on all enemies, enemy traits, and combat conditions. To view the codex entry for an enemy, simply right click their portrait.
  • Combat Frequency: Due to increased party size and adjustments to enemy stats, fights now take a little longer on average. To compensate for this, we've lowered the number of fights in dungeons to 2, 3 and 4 for Short, Medium and Long dungeons respectively. Don't be afraid to be a bit more liberal with your ability charges!