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Milestone #1: Preview Beta 0.14.2

Rutger

Abbey Games Developer
Developer
774


Hey there Young Gods!

Rick is away on a well deserved holiday, so I'm filling in for a bit :)

One of our big goals during Early Access is to make the religions you create feel more unique. While the full release of the next milestone is still some weeks away, we'd like to give you all an opportunity to get a first sniff at the direction we're taking with this first Milestone update.

The big feature of this Milestone is Developments. These are ideological choices you can make about about what values your religion promotes (or forbids!) within each Commandment. Every Commandment will have a bunch of unique choices and directions that you can work through by gathering more Followers. Every Development you complete will grant you a gameplay bonus, as well as some flavor to make your religion more unique.

Limitations of the current beta:
  • Only Peace and Lust are available at the moment
  • We don't have the content at the moment to support a full playthrough, so you might get stuck somewhere after the first island
Some questions to ask yourself while playing this beta:
  • What kind of god do you want to be? Does the game let you do that? What topics do you think are missing?
  • Does picking a new Development feel interesting? Do you look forward to it?
  • Were there any specific Developments or Commandments that felt more or less interesting than the rest? Why?
Things we don't need feedback on at the moment:
  • Balance is mostly the same as the current live version outside of Developments and God Levels, so there might be some unbalanced stuff going on.
  • Existing game mechanics outside of Developments. We are very aware of existing flaws in those mechanics, and we'll be integrating some of those changes in the coming weeks. Stay tuned :)
  • This is not a QA beta: we're mostly interested in what you think about the new mechanic. We're very aware of all the small little loose bits, bugs and typos!
Some tips for playing:
  • Challenge yourself! The game balance is a tad on the easy side, so you'll have a lot more fun if you try to get to the end while doing as little nodes as possible. We are currently working on a more systemic change to bring this challenge out :)
  • Try to look for synergies between the effects of the Developments and your regular strategies
  • Depending on how fast you play, expect roughly an 30 minutes to an hour of content
This beta will run for a few weeks until the release of the full update, and will likely be updated a few times with iterations on the design of the Developments system and fixes for mechanics other than Developments. To access the beta, please go to either Steam or GOG Galaxy, to the 'betas' tab, and use the password 'ImHereToHelp'.

Let us know what you think!
 
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Tadziomencel

New member
Ok played with Lust Godess that pretty much focused on Pleasure and Extasy side of things and I have unlocked all the developements from that part of the tree. I have also scouted the Peace tree.

First off I would like to say that I really like the direction that the update is heading. Already it adds plenty of customization options that the game was lacking before.

Now on to addressing the actual questions you posed:
I think that already some of the commandments can be offering quite a nice choice of Deities. I do think that it could be good to develop the third main branch to the commandment.

When it comes to already unlocked commandments I think the Lust is better fleshed out. However with the selection between passion and pleasure it is already quite diverse there is some niche with the more fertility related, beauty and health and motherly affections and caring for children and some family related topics that Deities in general connected with Lust filled. Of course these could be more of a necessity in actual religious situations and less of a reliable flavour and gameplay pick. Quite often people wanted to simply be fertile, have offspring, not die during childbirth and have their babies not die before reaching adulthood - and some lust related social practices like having concubines/ harems/ 4 legal wives were only steps in that direction. However there is still some room to grow.

I was somewhat disappointed with the Peace religion though. When I created my first God for this beta he was called The Sleeping One and wanted to champion the religion of Peaceful Slumber. The God of chill, introspection, non-action. Going with the flow, listening to the universe, distancing from feelings, maybe even acknowledging that the whole reality is fake and only what is on the inside that counts... However this type of path is noticeably missing from the peace path. Since both main branches were somewhat pro-active (either go and talk, protest, discuss or go help others - this one could be developed in this direction but it was a little bit too pro-active for that God. I ended up scrapping that Deity for now. I think that even if the entirety of this idea is hard to implement, there are some parts that should be good to improve that type of God.

So to sum up: I really like the change and the new dynamic of religious growth. In general more choice is always good, so I think the more is put into this one the better.
 

RVWinkle

Member
Kickstarter Backer - Elder
I followed Blackvision's lead and recorded a video and I added some audio commentary too! Anyway, my run ended up with a crash right before the first initiation where I would have met my first new initiate type. Most of my time was spent learning the new progression mechanics and I don't really feel like I saw much of the new content outside some stat bonuses. I was going to type up some more impressions but I decided to spend time reproducing the crash and sending reports instead.

The video hasn't finished uploading as I type this but it's past my bedtime!

 

Rutger

Abbey Games Developer
Developer
Thanks for the recordings! Just published a hotfix that fixes some crashes in the lust commandment. Looking forward to your thoughts on the development mechanic :)
 

RVWinkle

Member
Kickstarter Backer - Elder
Thanks for the patch Rutger! I was able to proceed so I recorded the second part of my play through up to the first god level. I think my mic sounds a little better this time and I'm starting to get a handle on the new mechanics. I spent the last 10 minutes of the video sharing some rambling thoughts so you can forward to the end if anybody is interested.


 

RVWinkle

Member
Kickstarter Backer - Elder
  • What kind of god do you want to be? Does the game let you do that? What topics do you think are missing?
  • Does picking a new Development feel interesting? Do you look forward to it?
  • Were there any specific Developments or Commandments that felt more or less interesting than the rest? Why?
This took some time for me to put together with testing and thinking about the changes. I haven't experimented with all of the developments yet but I think I have a pretty good foundation to respond to your questions and I tried answer each of them to the best of my ability. Sorry in advance for the wall of text!

I feel the game does a pretty good job with different god archetypes. I think there’s room for things like divine intervention but I know that has been demonstrated previously so I assume it’s in the works. Personally, I’m more interested in strategy and incrementing numbers within a pleasant atmosphere and I think Godhood does a good job of that. Overall, I feel that this game is more about your disciple’s interactions with the world rather than what kind of god I want to be. The Commandment bonuses, for example, aren’t really about me being a god of war but moreso a reflection of how the disciples will spread their religion in my name.

The idea of picking a new Development is interesting and it’s a great feature that can add quite a bit of depth. I like how it’s a tech tree that leads to levels which is the opposite of traditional game progression where you gain levels and then pick something on a tech tree. I’m not sure how I feel about picking a Development and then not being able to change your mind. You’re basically making a decision 3 sacraments in advance and hoping that the RNG will agree with that choice.

I wonder if it would be better to gather enough followers before picking a development. The Development would then be immediate instead of something to look forward to which I think would help with understanding the impact of your decision. This also might be better for pacing in the early game since it only comes into play after you set up all the resource buildings.

The Developments themselves don’t seem very significant since the bonuses are seemingly minor. In my opinion, tech trees tend to be more impactful in other games where they grant something new like an ability as opposed to a stat bonus. Anything that affects initiates are limited to initiations that only occur every 20 turns. Even then, they aren’t always useful unless the stats line up and you need a specific class. The 5% critical bonus to 3 miracle sites makes for a 1 in 20 chance that it will do something and only if you use those specific sites. There’s also a Development that only occurs at the beginning of an age, which is, what, once every 100 turns?

I’m finding that the only Developments that are truly useful are at the very bottom of the tree. This means that I’m really only looking three Developments ahead as opposed to each individual step along the way. The new initiate types don’t seem to have any significant differences compared to the basic initiates until you get a second development that adds bonuses. I think it would be better stack both of these things into a single development so that the initiates will be useful right away.

I think the Developments that grant a temple are by far the most impactful because they give you the ability to perform super miracles. These have no materials cost and are a great second level option for any disciple. This effectively prevents me from selecting the left side of the trees for the first Commandment. I would like to suggest that the trees all merge at the end so you always have the choice to pick the temple.

The current progression also adds a god level simultaneously with the third Development. This results in a huge stack of bonuses and benefits all rolled in with the reward gained from the bottom of the tech tree. I’d like to suggest that some of the god level bonuses like additional assignments and roster slots could be inserted into the tech tree in a way so they’re always accessible no matter which path is chosen. This would help to spread things out and make individual Developments more important. You could then face decision points like if you want to add an additional roster slot or to add a bonus to existing disciples.

If we’re comparing Commandments, I have run through both of them and while I would like to perform more testing, the right side of the Peace tech tree seems to be the most compelling and practical compared to Lust. This mainly boils down to the excellent relic and temple combination. I had a hard time leveraging the initiate bonuses in the Lust tree mainly because they’re limited to specific classes.
 

AbbeyAdriaan

Abbey Games Developer
Developer
Abbey Games Developer
Thanks RVWinkle! Noted. :)

First, did you know the crit chance stacks? (Up to 15%) Does that change your view on it?

Second, I agree that the super miracles are definitely the most powerful developments. The initiates need an immediate boost as well, good point. Although I think you'll only feel the need for better initiates as you progress further in the game... Something we'll have to balance out! I don't think anything will come near the amount of power a new super miracle gives... we'll have to find something for that!

What do you think of this idea?:
Initiate upgrades can occur on all new initiates, but have a much higher chance of occurring in the associated Source.
e.g. Protect the Weak will have 25% chance to happen to any disciple, but 75% on the Altruists.

Have you noticed that the amount of Miracles is now capped by the quality of the Totem? Any thoughts about that?

Good thoughts on the God Levels, I think we can make that work.

For All Testers
Lastly a question about the buffs, like +10% damage on Zealots. I'm trying to walk the tightrope on giving something that matters, something that stacks, and something that doesn't pidgeonhole your strategy too much. For example, I'm afraid that with +25% damage on Zealots, the Zealot becomes too core to your strategy: You would be best just to have 3 Zealots (Except vs. those pesky nature guys)! But than 10% might be a bit too weak. Do you have any ideas on that? Some starting thoughts:
- Limit the number of class copies to 1. You can have 1 Zealot, 1 Chieftain, etc.
- 20% is a fine bonus.

Whaddayall think?
 

Blackvision

Well-known member
Kickstarter Backer Community Member for 2 years
I certainly wouldn't limit the class copies - there's more than a few times I want two of the same class that're built completely differently - and with particular elements getting a buff from relics/god power/etc it'd be hard to actually take advantage of those bonuses sometimes: if you want to run physical/nature build, you're basically limited to Beastwalkers currently. Take that away and you've got... well... Druid. Who isn't physical :p

Not to mention that limiting to 1 *at all* means you have a total roster of 10 (or the total number of classes), so you need to change up your playstyle with every single sacrament to account for you you can/can't bring - which might be fine except that it instantly removes all personality from the religion. If you limit it to 1 of each class per battle, you make every 2nd/3rd/etc of each class effectively only a redundancy fall-back one, so pretty much the same effect.
 

Blackvision

Well-known member
Kickstarter Backer Community Member for 2 years
Adding to this:
Maybe add a in-sacrament debuff for having more than one of a class? That way if they're overpowered together it tones it down but doesn't limit your overall options - and if you can overcome the downsides, great, cause you're having to work for it. Something like them interfering with each other by accident cause they both think it's their job or something - be that a chance to miss or chance to prevent the other disciple of that class having a turn this time or something?

Maybe could even have a totem/personality thing where they *don't* get that so you can use them with another of their class without worries. Could make for some fun interactions.
 

AbbeyAdriaan

Abbey Games Developer
Developer
Abbey Games Developer
Hmm interesting thoughts!
Do you think strategies with 3+ of the same class are fun and should be supported?

I mean, Nature Physical is indeed pretty narrow - it means Beastmaster + maybe Lust Priest.
Is that a fun thing to focus on so broadly? Or can we see it as a strategy where nature and physical overlap you're the strongest, but you still have some good/decent weird/divine/other backup. More like a Venn diagram, where you have a strong center, and options around it.
 

Blackvision

Well-known member
Kickstarter Backer Community Member for 2 years
Yeah, tendency is to power up along one/two options or concepts, etc. Having to spread across the whole board makes every run generic, cause you're doing the same thing each time, etc.
 

AbbeyAdriaan

Abbey Games Developer
Developer
Abbey Games Developer
Yeah, tendency is to power up along one/two options or concepts, etc. Having to spread across the whole board makes every run generic, cause you're doing the same thing each time, etc.
Do you mean you like strategies with 3 beastmasters and 3 lust priests?
 

Rutger

Abbey Games Developer
Developer
The beta build (0.14.8-beta.1) has been updated with Tenets. These are mini-commandments that let you customize your religion even more. We also added some more apparent appearance changes between different commandments. The caveats of the opening post still stand, we'd love to hear what you think! :)

Side note: there's a rather annoying bug in the current build which makes saving, loading and switching between game states very slow. We're looking into it!
 

Game

New member
UPDATE: This playtrough was on the public version of Godhood, by accident. NO BETA at all.

Time for another wall of random rambling by me:

After a long, long time I played a play through of Godhood again. In the mean time I only booted up the game to look at some updates, but never really sat down and played it with my full attention. I think my last game was played when EA was released. I always skim these threads and the discord, so I know what is changing. I am not a tactical or strategic gamer at all, so my comments might feel basic and I may have done some very unlogical stuff during my playtrough; but here's my feedback in no particular order:

The game has changed a lot! There is much more content now, and where the EA release kind of had the vibe of 'assign, assign, next, next, sacrament, repeat', this time the game kept me busy. I had just not enough time to do everything I wanted, and I mean that as a good thing. It kept me entertained and looking forward to the next steps. The visual feedback that every step gives you (cutscenes, transitions, interactions with disciples and villagers, etc..) gives the whole game a much better vibe and a much more polished feel. Some reviews wrote about the 'phone-game' feel of the EA, and I think that the amount of content there is now takes care of that for a big part.
The game just kept me interested way and way more then it did before. The leveling of your god has a nice and high tempo in the beginning, this keeps giving you stuff to do without overwhelming you with information. That's really good because you don't get a chance to get bored at the very start. Which IMO is very important, since that is the part of the game where you have had minimal time to give your village your own character to it. Then when you get further into the game you are in the middle of managing your game AND sculpting your religion, so then there's way less risk of it getting boring.

I played a peace religion, and my town had a peace vibe going on. My disciples did so too, my acolytes; not so much, they used hammers.. I know it's because they don't have a class yet, but its still a bit strange. I like that disciples give you requests sometimes and that it gives a meaningful bonus if you answer their prayers. More of this kind of stuff! The world-map also is improved, and it got me more curious about discovering! RE:IS vibes there.

I lost, pretty hard, pretty early on (still the first age). I know this should not be about balance, but it's just a note so you know I didn't get far. I played maybe two hours and took it all very slowly. I didn't play tactical at all. I'm not a tactical gamer and normally don't play a lot of strategic stat-heavy games. I kind of just did what felt right. That didn't work out well, but the blame is on me mostly for not paying any attention. I know there's more options to customizing your religion later (like developments and tenets), but after a (slow) playtrough of 2 hours, I didn't get to that yet.. That seems a bit late for your first customization. It might be good to leave those things to mid-to-late game; but at least tease the ability to customize early on. For new players on a first playtrough, it might be good for them to know that the customization and the nuances in your religion will come in the mid-to-late game. It's something to look forward to, I guess.

What I liked about losing, is that the disciples left my religion after being angry with me! I could choose between 'let them think' and 'Blasphemy!', which is a fun choice to make; but it felt like the result was the same.. Maybe add in a third option, a god power with some risks attached, or more consequences. The final time this choice came it did have consquences, they left. That was pretty nice! When you get on a lose-streak the whole game changes and that is good! Everything you do during a lose-streak is different than what you do during a win-streak. However, I was on a lose-streak for quite some time and it's hard to get out. It starts to feel hopeless and you can't really improve, but it still takes A LOT of turns before you finally lose. Maybe this is good, because in the mid-to-late game you might have more options to save the situation, but for me this was a lot of turns of things getting worse very slowly.

The building part kind of felt like just plopping buildings everywhere. It didn't stimulate placement in any way. I'm not sure how to fix that; maybe give the village some kind of infrastructure, so it looks more village-like? Or maybe add some value to placement; in terms of proximity to nature or other buildings. A market surrounded by other buildings is more valuable than a market in a forest (?). If you're not the type that builds a nice village to please your own imagination, then there's no use in thinking about it at all (unless Im missing something).

Small detail: I noticed that I missclicked a lot when assigning my disciples. I often clicked on the characters to assign them. Then when I unlocked the miracles I kept clicking on the other assign button (and I still clicked on the characters pretty often, to try and do this). I got used to it, but it took a surprising amount of missclicks to get used to it.

Things I didn't even experience yet:
- Disciples dying of old age
- Meaningful ways to use relics (only got a small one)
- Developments
- Tenets
- A whole lot of stuff I probably don't even know exists

This leaves me with a feeling to go and replay and try to get there. I assume that is *exactly* the goal ;)

I would love to tell you more, but I can't think of anything more right now. You can always ask me questions! I hope this helps! I will try to get further into the game when I find some time, soon.

end of rambling

Good luck and keep this kind of development up!
 
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Wendek

New member
Okay, after a few playthroughs in the Live build and one in the latest beta, I feel like I should be able to give some feedback, which you guys will hopefully find useful.

  • What kind of god do you want to be? Does the game let you do that? What topics do you think are missing?
    Overall I like the added customization that the development update brings to your religion, as well as the tenets. I will admit that I was slightly disappointed in the low number of animal worship possibilities for the Animism tenet, especially since all three are mammals. I really wanted my religion's animal to be a cute snek, but alas it's not possible. Not sure if more of these are planned or not, since all of those should also be equal from a stats perspective.

  • Does picking a new Development feel interesting? Do you look forward to it?
    To be perfectly honest I was mostly looking forward to the first three developments because that's when you get your Temple. The later ones were more of an afterthought, in part because the required number of followers gets extremely high so at one point I knew that the game would be over or close to it before I could realistically get to the next development.

  • Were there any specific Developments or Commandments that felt more or less interesting than the rest? Why?
    To me it seems a no-brainer to always get the Temple building, which immediately makes the other branch kind of useless. Those special miracles are both very strong and reliable, whereas in the other branch the final tier development is a building that grants you a temporary buff for 1 mission (which is a 50% of something too, so it could very well have no effect at all and then you wasted both the resources and the disciple's job for the season), and which presumably costs offerings to use. In general I personally consider all those "Gain an unreliable buff for 1 mission" buildings to be not worth their cost since the amount of offerings you can get in one game is finite, but it may be my hoarding tendencies in videogames that speak for me. In this case though, I do think that the Temple is infinitely better than this, which sounds like a tier 2 development at best.
    Now that I think about it, it might be better to move the Temple building to a God-tier unlock (preferably the first one, now that it takes a bit to get to that point) in order to make the Commandment decision between the two branches more interesting. Because short of nerfing Temples into oblivion (at which point they'll never be used probably) I don't think you can really balance the two branches if one has the Temple and the other one has something else, especially an unreliable buff. I guess it would also be possible to make it a Tier 4 commandment that is available to both branches.

Another point I want to talk about though, is how expendable the disciples feel. I understand why you added the new miracle limit, but the end result is that disciples with a common totem are basically not worth anything. If one gets broken in a sacrament, or gets his faith to "Down", it's simply better to dismiss them and hire a new one, since with only two miracles they'll never be really good anyway except maybe the ones that you get after 5+ folklores. (at which point your run is going to be over soon anyway, so you're not going to train new disciples) By contrast, in the Live build the common disciples that you get early can still eventually be quite good and remain part of your main sacrament team for a long time - eventually you'll still try to hire only good ones, but a 35 years old common disciple with 3 miracles is still a very good asset worth keeping, because at 3 miracles you start getting those very good passives like Wither and Ancestral Peace, and it compensates for the lower stats potential.

In addition, the very quick rate of Faith decay seems to punish you for having too many disciples. This is more relevant for the Live build, where a good chunk of the worshipper support that I get ends up wasted because I don't want to go above 5 disciples for most of the game, 6 at most. This is another reason to limit the use of common disciples since it's hard enough to keep everyone happy in the first place.

Last thing, you're probably aware of it but just in case: in the beta build, I never unlocked the Farmlands or the Hunter's Lodge (might be wrong on the exact name). After the first 3 developments I unlocked a few more miracle buildings but the Market was among those eventhough a Peace religion already starts with it. (Nothing special happened, I couldn't build a second copy of it)

Good luck with the development, I look forward to trying out the next beta build.
 
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Game

New member
Ok, this is pretty embarrassing; but it proves the fact that I didn't play a lot.
I looked at my save file and I noticed that I wasn't on the beta branch. I thought I did the right steps before playing; but apparently it didn't work well.. It was quite different to my previous playtrough so I was fully convinced I was playing the beta.

That explains the fact that I didn't get to any developments and tenets. So the entiiire post I made is actually about the public branch of Godhood. Hopefully I can write another one about the actual beta.

Whoops
 

AbbeyAdriaan

Abbey Games Developer
Developer
Abbey Games Developer
Thanks Game & Wendek! Good points!

Good one for pointing out the quick Disciple replacement. I think I can solve that by just making it a bit tougher to get new disciples up and running with your older ones. :) I also changed the Llama to "any other animal" since making all animals is madness, and I think you're right that cats and dogs get too much love. ;)
 

Wendek

New member
Maybe I misunderstood your post, but if leveling up is more difficult and/or costly, it might make common disciples feel even worse. If there's a higher opportunity cost for leveling up newer disciples, the most optimal way to play might end up being just 3 or 4 Good disciples. The type bonuses are good, but apart from a few very specific cases (such as Nature disciples being really awful against Wither) they're not worth having an expanded roster that costs more ressources and whose faith is harder to manage.
Newer disciples being weaker also indirectly reduces the strength of folklores, and may incentivise players to try and finish earlier if they feel like they're actually losing ressources by doing a longer run. I don't think it would be good if players felt like they had to keep using the Prophet until the end of a run.
 

RVWinkle

Member
Kickstarter Backer - Elder
I had the opportunity to try out the latest patch and I really like the Tenants. You’re adding some truly interesting customization as well as quite a bit of personality to religions. I'm really excited by the potential of Developments and Tenants!

Have you noticed that the amount of Miracles is now capped by the quality of the Totem? Any thoughts about that?
Thanks for listening Adriaan and it was great talking to you in Discord last week. I have been thinking about your questions for a while now but I keep on coming back to balance and how the late game will turn out. Because of that, I put off responding as I'm not sure how constructive it is to discuss at this point. In that context, I'd still like to make a few observations based on what I have experienced.

Currently, it’s difficult to test miracle limits as I'm not seeing enough of the higher quality totems in my runs. I'm stuck with a bunch of capped disciples past the first island and that seems pretty boring if most of your roster isn’t gaining experience. God level 2 is the point where you can start growing and improving your roster but I seem to only get one green initiate every 20 turns resulting in this transitional purgatory that takes a while to overcome.

Since I see so few high quality totems, I have to accept whatever RNG hands me in terms of disciple attributes when a good disciple shows up. I may need a divine character but if the attributes favor a life character, I’ll have to decide whether to pick a sub optimal class or leverage a less beneficial class. Right now the strategy seems to dictate replacing one initiate every 20 turns and RNG determines what class you will end up with.

I'm expecting that you’ll need to replace your entire roster once or twice through the course of the game and that seems to be difficult to manage and slow to transition. Even after you’re able to add a higher tier disciple, you still have to level them up. In addition, The miracle cap pushes back when you can leverage passive abilities and it seems like you’ll be well into the mid game before they come into play. By that time, you’ll be near God level 3 and back to square one with leveling purple initiates. I probably don't have a good picture of the end game though and I'm only looking at it based on what we have presently but passive abilities are looking like they’ll show up late and infrequently.

I think it would be helpful if initiations had more green initiates after god level 2, maybe something like a random chance of 2 or 3. I also feel that upgrading your roster slows the game down too much. Finally, many of the cool things like higher tier abilities, passive and active, are too infrequent and I think it would be more fun if they came into play earlier.
 
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