The first week of the Sorcerer King beta has been both exciting and terrifying. On the one hand, the people who play the game seem to really like it. On the other, people who have only seen the screenshots think it looks like Fallen Enchantress which makes us very sad.
Update 1 = this week
We’re getting ready to roll out the first update. Lots of changes in it. A lot of performance optimizations have gone in that should be noticeable to everyone. There’s also been a lot of small polish improvements that will be almost immediately apparent.
What’s being worked on
So internally, there’s a lot of cool stuff in. And here I’ll talk about them:
Things you do in the game can now provide intangible resources that are acted on by the behind the scenes Dungeon Master. They also can affect the Sorcerer King.
The Sorcerer King’s goal is to destroy the shards so he can become a god. He doesn’t really recognize you at first. But as you do things, he starts to notice and you have to be really careful about how fast you want to be noticed because once he considers you a threat, he will start targeting you a lot more intensely.
Another part of the intangible resources are having consequences to your earlier actions. Here are examples of things that might happen depending on how much of a given intangible you have (the more you have, the more dice rolling starts to happen).
Are you really cruel? Well, the people may rise up against you.
Are you really indifferent? The people may flock to another kingdom or start a new kingdom entirely that shows up mid game! Suddenly it’s you vs. the SK vs. a new major player
Are you really compassionate? You may get help from unlikely sources when you’re in need
Do you have a lot of fame? An unexpected champion may join your cause
Are you really brave? You may find that certain new recipes start to show up thanks to your scholars looking in dangerous places by following your heroic lead.
Have you been a coward? Be careful, you may find some of your soldiers following that lead as well.
and so on.
When one of these resources get added, they show up in two places:
A. In the quest results screen (or in a dialog screen) that indicates that a change has occurred to one of these intangibles.
B. In the quest screen which will give you a running total of any non-zero character traits you’ve picked up on.
From a game design point of view, these are very interesting because we could eventually have certain types of spells or abilities that come at the cost of one of these intangibles.
Modders take note: Imagine making a custom unit (we don’t have in-game unit customization but it’s all XML still) and having abilities that require certain intangible resources. Intangible resources, code-wise are the same as metal or crystal. So if you’re heroic enough, you could have a special ability called “Heroic Strike!”.
The Minor factions
The minor factions are all very different both visually and in how they deal with the world.
It’s important to think of these minor factions as being the players you recently played Fallen Enchantress (or any other fantasy 4X). They weren’t your friends before and now you are coming to them to try to get them to help you. To be fair, some of them might be friendlier to you than others. But they may still hate each other. Being friends with Pariden, for instance, means life is much harder in dealing with Ceresa.
Maps Maps Maps
We will be trickling out more pre-made maps as we figure out which types of maps players enjoy the most. My personal favorite isn’t in the game yet, it’s an island map.
But we’ve been adding THE RED TILES OF DOOM to our editor to show tiles that ruin performance on the Intel 4000 cards. In the first beta, there were a lot of these tiles where too many textures were being put together in a small area and causing the Intel graphics card a lot of grief. So if you see one of these red tiles, let us know.
Red tiles of performance doom
More to come soon!