What's new

Milestone #1: Preview Beta 2 (0.14.10)

Rutger

Abbey Games Developer
Developer
Pushed an update for the beta with, mostly, a looooot of balance changes, bug fixes and an expanded world map :)
 

Wendek

Member
Okay, played a game in the new version. Going to focus on what's new, since most of my previous feedback still applies to how I felt during this one.
Before that though, I do have a question - will the other development trees not be beta-tested, or is the release date going to be pushed back?
  • "Punish the Feeble" doesn't proc when enemies use the "Infatuated" action, eventhough the tooltip says that it's a clouded thought. Either it' a bug or that should be made more clear.
  • Rage Prophets seem stronger, probably not enough to get me to use one over a Chieftain (unless he got nerfed to death - can't check as Lust) but I don't think "free win" when I see them as enemies anymore.
  • The Lust bugfix has certainly made it a lot weaker, though whether or not it's overkill I won't say for sure. The longer fights do give you a reasonable chance of applying the debuff, but it often seemed to not really have any impact at all in the end. (If the penultimate hit applies the debuff and the next one overkills by 5+ points of damage, the debuff essentially did nothing unless Infatuated got triggered, which is rare)
  • I like that passive healing is back, you still have to essentially pay the 25 offerings per disciple once you're into the midgame fights but you can reasonably heal off the early game sacraments at least. It also buffs the repeatables (which I did use this time) by giving you an easy fight to get 3 more seasons of passive healing off.
  • The study building is in the worst state it's ever been (50 offerings for 1 point of XP), and makes hiring new disciples after the first island a terrible idea. I think it's only worth using if you're sitting at something like 14/15 for your next level, but it certainly can't bring up new disciples to a level where they can fight. Not that it really matters, I didn't see a single Green acolyte in that playthrough anyway.
  • I wondered if the preparation pop-ups were directed at me. :p And to be honest, I still didn't use them. Even with everyone focused on gathering as many offerings as I could I was still short all the time, so spending some for a vague buff didn't seem compelling. And judging by how badly I lost the final fight (more than 50 hps remaining in the enemy team), I don't think it would have made the slightest difference, I was simply too weak with no way to get stronger.
  • When you lose a sacrament one of the points mentions power-ups or ways to get stronger (can't remember the exact wording off the top of my head) and I have no idea what it's supposed to mean except maybe relics? Which are a very minor boost. (my Rare relic gave me Punish the Feeble for one acolyte, which had exactly zero impact - see my first point above though)
Overall, my feelings throughout this playthrough was that the game felt both too long and too short, and I know this sounds weird. It's too short because I still don't really feel like I got to develop anything - neither my religion (the Temple development is the only one that had any impact in my game, since the others are acolyte-focused and well, I didn't really get to hire them) nor my disciples (can't do much with 2 miracles, and with the Sun Stone being nerfed into oblivion the Disciples are the weakest they've ever been). But it was also too long because now you get to your strongest point (level 3 Prophet + 2 level 2 Disciples) in the mid-game and then you start dreading the age issue, since you know that you can't replace your Prophet if he becomes too old.
 

RVWinkle

Member
Kickstarter Backer - Elder
I had some time to try out 14.16 and here are my responses to your questions after playing. I think this is a very good improvement over the previous beta mainly because the resource cap was lifted. I felt like I had more control over how to develop the religion and roster.

Questions for you:

  • How many Crystal Skulls did you have left at the end of the game?
  • Do you feel more challenged?
  • Do you think the pacing and speed of the game improved?
  • Did you find success using a small number of disciples? Did you find success with a bigger amount too?
  • I failed the final sacrament but afterwards I had 3 skulls remaining.
  • I would say that it’s more challenging than the live version. I’m sure it varies based on team composition but I encountered two big spikes. Difficulty ramps up at the end of the first island and it feels good. The last sacrament is perhaps too hard and easily becomes a dead end. I’ll have to test more but I don’t think it’s possible to train up a green totem initiate in time to make any difference. The result is that your disciples cap out pretty early and you can’t really replace them.
  • The pacing and speed question is a bit harder to answer. Overall, a playthrough took several hours and starts to drag a bit on the second island. I think I would prefer a run that was an hour long. The pacing seems to slow down on the second island and then picks up again on the third. Materials are in extremely high demand early on but are completely unneeded after everything is upgraded. Offerings become the only useful resource by the end.
  • With the expanded content and increased difficulty, it was best to field 4-5 disciples.

Other notes

  • I tried using the preparation buffs but I couldn’t really feel the effects so I don’t know how useful they really are. They seem to only show up as icons in the village screen and it would be beneficial to have them exposed in the sacrament preparation screen. I don't think you see them during the sacraments either and I would like if they were one of the small icons below the disciple. Do they even have an effect on the second sacrament for the double encounters?
  • As mentioned above, I’m having a hard time rotating my roster because I can’t figure a way to level them up quickly enough to surpass existing disciples. I get the sense that this is tied to the slow down I experienced on the second island.
  • I would really like to see the upgraded active abilities come in to play more often. I suppose they’ll come into play later in the game but the sun stone was nerfed pretty hard. Suggestion: use materials to upgrade the Sun Stone so it adds more ability points.

Here’s some bugs I noticed:

  • Heals during a sacrament seem to subtract instead of adding HP but it’s difficult to test and demonstrate.
  • Sometimes the developments UI would show the number of followers as a negative value.
  • The village sometimes gets filled with strange lights like blurry orbs dotting the screen.
  • There’s a developer button on the summoning initiates screen, Debug: Refresh Acolytes.
 

Rutger

Abbey Games Developer
Developer
Before that though, I do have a question - will the other development trees not be beta-tested, or is the release date going to be pushed back?
To answer this specific question: the other trees will not be beta tested, but will be released with the update. To give you all something to look forward to ;)
 

AbbeyAdriaan

Abbey Games Developer
Developer
Abbey Games Developer
"Punish the Feeble" doesn't proc when enemies use the "Infatuated" action, eventhough the tooltip says that it's a clouded thought. Either it' a bug or that should be made more clear.
It does, or it should. Maybe your disciple was low faith? All in all, you two had a similar experience like mine. That makes it easier to move forward. :) Speaking off..
 

AbbeyAdriaan

Abbey Games Developer
Developer
Abbey Games Developer
Another beta version is out!
Yes, it's like we do this for a living. Crazy. Focus of this beta is character rotation.

Most importantly, we experimented with many rituals costing more time again. We removed it previously because it was very hard to know whether you would make it or not. Now we have the little doobliethingy on the bottom right, it makes planning ahead a lot more interesting. We also didn't like how later in the game you were just gathering resources like no tomorrow: 7 of those 9 choices were skewed and boring.

What will you find?
  1. Healing and Miracles now cost 4 seasons. That's right! Upgrading or healing will take someone out of the roster for 1 Mission!
  2. Resource gathering costs 3 days, but now also gives XP. Less small choices and filler to do. Gathering resource is a big action now (also gives more, ofc)
  3. Super Effictive modifier up to +100% from +30%. Get a bigger roster!
  4. Young disciples get double XP from Sacraments.
  5. Study gives +2 XP. First use per Disciple is free, but cost increases per use.

What did we find?
  1. Character rotation is much, much better. We hope you'll encounter that too!
  2. Because you have more rotation, choosing your disciples becomes much more interesting.
  3. Game is paced somewhat different, because you have more good choices for your skulls.

Let's see how it works out!
 

Wendek

Member
Maybe your disciple was low faith?
No, they were never below "Happy" in that playthrough. If the intention is that the passive triggers, then it's currently bugged. (It may also be bugged for the "Dazed" thought, I can't say for sure because I didn't get a way to inflict Dazed in that game)

Super Effictive modifier up to +100% from +30%. Get a bigger roster!
One issue about this change is when a character jumps in front of another one to defend them. If my Lust Priest jumps in front of a Condemn that was aimed at my Songsmith, he ends up taking a lot more damage than the original target and there's apparently nothing I can do to prevent it, except having low overall defenses which obviously causes its own issues. A character having a good stat (in this case, high defense) shouldn't be a liability imo.
 

AbbeyAdriaan

Abbey Games Developer
Developer
Abbey Games Developer
One issue about this change is when a character jumps in front of another one to defend them. If my Lust Priest jumps in front of a Condemn that was aimed at my Songsmith, he ends up taking a lot more damage than the original target and there's apparently nothing I can do to prevent it, except having low overall defenses which obviously causes its own issues. A character having a good stat (in this case, high defense) shouldn't be a liability imo.
The blocking now occurs pretty intelligently (only if you take less damage, only if you won't die) but I think I can improve a bit more. Do you have a specific thing you would like to see less?
 

Wendek

Member
Hm, well my major concern was the case where he'd take more damage, because in the previous beta there were several instances of the Lust Priest jumping to block Dark attacks that were aimed at a Life disciple, and with +100% that would be bad. So if they don't do that (or if their defense is so high that it still results in less damage taken) it should be fine, although sometimes if the original target is at full health and not the "defender" I may prefer to split the damage a bit to take more advantage of the passive healing. (especially if healing is going to take 4 seasons, which is more than what you get between sacraments) But I can see situations where doing that would lead to you losing the whole fight by taking too much awe damage so maybe it's best to not change it.
 

RVWinkle

Member
Kickstarter Backer - Elder
I managed to get run in 14.23 and it seems pretty tough but mostly fair. I liked the increased strategy and challenge overall. Actions have a real opportunity cost and it was a real balancing act between gathering, healing, and upgrading disciples.

One issue I encountered is the cancel task button was missing while disciples were gathering materials which made it difficult to recover from a failed sacrament or prepare for the final battle.
 

Wendek

Member
Super Effictive modifier up to +100% from +30%. Get a bigger roster!
Going back to this point: even ignoring the faith issues of a large roster, doesn't this idea run contrary to the very strict class limitations of the current version? For instance if I'm following Peace and have a Disciple with a high Charisma stat, there's not really any class suited for them (Druid uses three different stats which makes it unreliable since he might decide to only learn the Knowledge one for instance, and Songsmith uses Cunning a lot more than Charisma) unless I want to make a second Ambassador, which doesn't really increase the roster's diversity. With folklores you could "force" Disciples into non-optimal classes because of their higher base stats after a few of them, but in the current version you do have to lean on your Disciples' natural stat gain, and if the ones given to you aren't suited to your 6 choices,well too bad I guess?
 

AbbeyAdriaan

Abbey Games Developer
Developer
Abbey Games Developer
Going back to this point: even ignoring the faith issues of a large roster, doesn't this idea run contrary to the very strict class limitations of the current version? For instance if I'm following Peace and have a Disciple with a high Charisma stat, there's not really any class suited for them (Druid uses three different stats which makes it unreliable since he might decide to only learn the Knowledge one for instance, and Songsmith uses Cunning a lot more than Charisma) unless I want to make a second Ambassador, which doesn't really increase the roster's diversity. With folklores you could "force" Disciples into non-optimal classes because of their higher base stats after a few of them, but in the current version you do have to lean on your Disciples' natural stat gain, and if the ones given to you aren't suited to your 6 choices,well too bad I guess?
The other classes are unlocked at the second island, second node, right now. From that point on you'll have at least 2 choices per element. Maybe it's a bit late? I would, in someway, like to increase your talent pool actions. I like having an action that answers "looking for a Weaver!" but I don't know exactly what yet.
 

RVWinkle

Member
Kickstarter Backer - Elder
@Wendek I get what you're saying as stats and totems partially dictate disciple class but there is an opportunity to select a class that doesn't perfectly match up and it doesn't completely ruin a character in most cases. I will say that I have been focusing on charisma for most of my runs as it's shared among many classes.

For peace, I'll start with a Zealot and Songsmith or druid. I tend to avoid Chieftain but it fits as well. Once you unlock all classes you can select a Weaver. All of these classes use charisma to some extent so you get to save a bit on materials by sharing one miracle site. It should also be noted that the basic miracle stat bonuses are only 1-2 points so it's not a huge advantage. In addition, grey totem disciples mostly rely on basic level active abilities, which again, are often charisma based.

I still need to practice a transition strategy but I think min/maxing is better saved for the mid/late game with green totem disciples and resources are more abundant.
 

Wendek

Member
Maybe it's a bit late?
Well in this case it's mostly that I was going off what I remember seeing the last time, and I had not played yet on the latest version. I think unlocking the other classes after beating the Old City should be fine since that's really when you want to get better disciples - if you get them after the second island you won't have the time to level them up most likely, although I suppose the new "Young" buff should help with that.

@RVWinkle Chieftain feels bad when you're following Peace since one of his abilities has the Violent tag, and the Ambassador is supposed to be your go-to Ancestral class in this case. The Smitesword also has several Violent abilities, so that's two of the six starting classes that don't really go well with the Peace domain.
I agree that in general Charisma seems to be the strongest stat (except when following War, which incentivises you to go for Might), but in this case with the choices that were offered none seemed to really fit the stat really well, although I suppose the Sonsmith doesn't really have much scaling on his attacks so not going for Cunning probably doesn't matter that much to him even if it's the preferred stat. Druid has one attack on Devotion, one on Knowledge and one on Charisma iirc so it's really a class that I prefer to avoid tbh as it's impossible to give them a miracle that will feel right.

Edit : Also, new bug to report in the latest beta version: the "Unity" skill is currently hurting your Disciples, not healing them. Already not a huge fan of the skill (beating the opponent faster results in less damage taken than healing for a small amount but not attacking) especially when it triggers on the first turn, but with a bug it's downright negative.
 
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Rutger

Abbey Games Developer
Developer
New beta is out! More world map content, lots of balance changes, and game modes :)
 

Wendek

Member
Ok nice, didn't expect a new beta the day before release.
Trying out a new game and one thing I instantly noticed - Punish the Feeble does seem to not work at all. In the second challenge, my two unclassed Disciples both rolled "Nervous" and the opposing Weaver didn't attack any of them. I don't think the faith system applies to NPCs so it seems weird to me, but maybe it was changed to not always trigger on clouded actions? The tooltip does still say "Always" though.
 

RVWinkle

Member
Kickstarter Backer - Elder
It's looking pretty good and I'm sure there are a million things to prepare for but I wanted to bring up a couple of minor things I noticed.

  • I was initially confused about what happens when you run out of skulls. The first tool tip seems to imply that the game ends when actually you are in sudden death.
    • You don't lose the game when you run out of skulls.
    • 801
    • You lose the game if you lose a sacrament while having 0 skulls.
    • 802
  • The Miracle tool tip says that Miracles cost Ritual Offerings.
    • 803
  • When you turn the master volume or all of the volume sliders all the way down, there is still a faint sound when you mouse over buttons.
  • Skipping the intro appears to put you at a severe disadvantage with 45 fewer followers to start.
 

Rutger

Abbey Games Developer
Developer
Thanks! Fixed those :)

Last beta before launch is now up: you can now assign disciples to miracles through the same button as rituals. Also: saves older than 0.15 will no longer work, so watch out for that :)
 

copper-golem

New member
Hey there! long time fan but reccently joined the forums

  • how many Crystal Skulls did you have left at the end of the game? 0 it was quite tight for me! but it was my first time on the new beta
  • Do you feel more challenged? Yes, the game seems to discourage you from grinding e.g the more you grins the more cystal skulls you lose and older your followers get
  • Do you think the pacing and speed of the game improved? It's a bit short in it's current state i feel, I mean it's still fun but i think i completed it in 2 hours
  • Did you find success using a small number of disciples? Did you find success with a bigger amount too? Smaller, though it was an accident! i had this ideaa first time it was best to keep to the orginl crew, rather than getting news ones, e.g level them up... which is when i ran into the aging mechanic
This might be a little controversal but would you consider is later builds giving the option to turn aging off? even if only for the prophet, about 80% of the way into the game my prophet died just before a fight and err well the game got a lot harder (also made me sad :'( poor brutha.
 
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