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Thu 9 March 2023

Game News - posted by Infinitron on Thu 9 March 2023, 23:00:00

Tags: Solasta: Crown of the Magister; Solasta: Crown of the Magister - Palace of Ice; Tactical Adventures

After three DLCs including an additional campaign and five new classes, I was sure that Tactical Adventures were through with Solasta: Crown of the Magister and that they would be moving on to a sequel. Well, it turns out I was half right. Launching this May, Palace of Ice is a high level sequel DLC that will continue the story of the original Crown of the Magister campaign. The Kingdom of Gallivan has suddenly declared war on the Snow Alliance and apparently those dastardly Soraks are responsible, so it's time for the heroes of Caer Cyflen to return to the fray. Besides increasing the level cap to 16, Palace of Ice will also add Gnomes and Tieflings to the game as playable races. Plus, as a free update to the ever-improving dungeon maker, content creators will receive the ability to add companion NPCs and a world map to their campaigns. Here's the announcement post:

Palace of Ice DLC coming up May 2023
As Caer Cyflen rejoice over the Soraks' defeat in the Badlands, the Snow Alliance cries for help. With the Kingdom of Gallivan suddenly declaring war on their neighbours, there is little doubt that these insidious creatures have agents everywhere – and that they always had contingency plans well prepared.​
The Palace of Ice DLC is a high level 10 to 16 campaign that will take your party into the frozen lands of the Snow Alliance. The allies of Caer Cyflen need your help now more than ever, for Soraks are not the only foes that have been sighted lately. Other ancestral creatures have joined the battle, and there is little hope for victory without experienced adventurers to face them.​
This adventure features:
  • 2 New Ancestries. The Gnome and the Tiefling will become available in the Character Creator!
  • A continuation of the Crown of the Magister Campaign. Unveil the Soraks’ master plan and put an end to this threat once and for all!
  • Returning faces. Import your save file from a previous campaign to continue playing your previous party at higher levels, and meet characters from both CotM and the Ruins of Telema demo! Note that you can also create new characters if you so desire, as they will start at level 10 in Palace of Ice.
  • High-level encounters. Ready yourself, for you are not facing just goblins anymore! Get ever stronger up until level 16 to defeat the mightiest of foes!
  • Co-op with up to 4 players! Just like the two other official adventures, Palace of Ice is ready to be tackled solo or with friends.
New Dungeon Maker content:
  • Four new environments: Mountain Caves (indoor), Dwarven City (indoor), Dwarven Settlement (outdoor), Snowy Hills (outdoor)
  • New monsters: Monsters from Palace of Ice will be available to use in the Dungeon Maker
  • [FREE] New World Map System: Place your locations on one of the three existing World Maps (Crown of the Magister, Lost Valley & Palace of Ice), link them together and add some spice with Random Encounters during travel!
  • [FREE] New NPC Follower System: Create follower NPCs who can join the party (controllable) to give them a hand during combat!
Free content update for all!
  • Humans, Elves, Dwarves, Halflings and Half-Elves will all be receiving 6 new faces to choose from for free (3 Male / 3 Female)
  • Level 12 - 16 will be unlocked in the Dungeon Maker! Note that the Crown of the Magister and Lost Valley campaigns are still locked to level 12 max due to balance reasons.
Fantastic. I expect we'll learn more about Palace of Ice's various new features over the next couple of months. Hopefully everybody kept their old saved games.

There are 25 comments on Solasta: Crown of the Magister Palace of Ice sequel DLC announced, releasing in May

Wed 8 March 2023

Game News - posted by Infinitron on Wed 8 March 2023, 22:00:00

Tags: Bethesda Softworks; Starfield; Todd Howard

We haven't heard much about Starfield since the big gameplay reveal last summer, other than a couple of short Q&A videos on Bethesda's YouTube channel. The game was previously delayed to the first half of 2023, but apparently that was still too optimistic. Today they announced that it'll be launching on September 6th. The brief 2001: A Space Odyssey-esque trailer is followed by a special message from old man Todd.

We can expect to see more of the game at the Starfield Direct event this summer on June 11th.

There are 41 comments on Starfield releasing on September 6th

Tue 7 March 2023

Game News - posted by Infinitron on Tue 7 March 2023, 23:00:00

Tags: Owlcat Games; Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous; Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous - The Last Sarkorians

Owlcat released The Last Sarkorians DLC for Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous today, kicking off the game's second season of content. It sounds like it's a bit more than just a simple companion DLC. The announcement post describes it as the game's largest expansion yet, and the one that's most deeply integrated with the original campaign. Here's its launch trailer, which formally introduces the new companion, rowdy Sarkorian shifter Ulbrig Olesk. Apparently he's been away from his homeland for a awhile.

Greetings, Pathfinders!​

The time has come to go on a new adventure! The Last Sarkorians DLC for Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous is finally here!​

If you’ve been looking for a reason to roll a new character and challenge the forces of the Abyss once more – look no further. Start a new game and try the new Shifter class or its archetypes. Grow claws and wings, turn into animals or mythical creatures, and discover new ways to defeat foes old and new.​

Meet Ulbrig Olesk, a new shifter companion with the unique griffonheart archetype, who will be available from chapter 1. Travel with him to the places that were once dear to his heart and uncover the secrets of his past. And if you like Ulbrig enough, let him know, and see where your feelings take you!​
To see all the content this DLC has to offer, we recommend that you start a new game or load a save from before your first visit to the Blackwing Library in Kenabres. Or, if you’re not interested in kindling a romance, you can load a save from chapter 3 or 5, wait for Ulbrig to appear in your throne room, and follow him on his personal quest.​

The DLC is available on Steam, GOG, the Epic Games Store, and also on Xbox, PlayStation, and Nintendo Switch. We have also decided to celebrate the release of the new DLC with a discount of up to 70% on the game itself and additional content. The sale starts today on Steam, GOG, and Xbox, and on March 9 on the Epic Games Store.​

This is the biggest DLC we have created for Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous so far and the one that’s most deeply integrated into the main story. So please let us know what you think of our approach once you’ve completed the DLC! We hope you enjoy it as much as we loved working on it!​

Happy shifting!​

As mentioned, The Last Sarkorians is available on Steam and GOG for $13.

There are 10 comments on Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous - The Last Sarkorians DLC Released

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Game News - posted by Infinitron on Tue 7 March 2023, 22:00:00

Tags: Obsidian Entertainment; The Outer Worlds; The Outer Worlds: Murder on Eridanos; The Outer Worlds: Peril on Gorgon

We all thought we'd heard the last of The Outer Worlds after the release of its final DLC in 2021. Well, Obsidian's polished but mediocre corporate space colony RPG is back for one last hurrah. Apparently Private Division needed to fill a hole in their release schedule this year, so they put together The Outer Worlds: Spacer's Choice Edition, a next-gen remaster featuring a variety of visual improvements and a greatly increased level cap. Naturally it includes both of the game's expansion DLCs. Here's the trailer:

The Outer Worlds: Spacer's Choice Edition is available on Steam and GOG for $60, with a 20% launch discount for the next two weeks. Unfortunately it's not a free upgrade for existing owners, but if you also own both DLCs you can get the upgrade for $10. Although judging by the reviews on Steam, perhaps you won't want to. It seems these next-gen remastered editions rarely turn out well.

There are 53 comments on The Outer Worlds gets Spacer's Choice Edition remaster

Wed 1 March 2023

Development Info - posted by Infinitron on Wed 1 March 2023, 22:00:00

Tags: Owlcat Games; Warhammer 40,000: Rogue Trader

We didn't have to wait too long for the next Warhammer 40,000: Rogue Trader dev diary. This time, it's an overview of the four main factions present in the Koronus Expanse region: the Imperium of Man, the Craftworld Eldar, the Dark Eldar, and the forces of Chaos. The video is interspersed with concept art and snippets of in-game footage.

It'll be nice if they continue releasing these on a monthly basis.

There are 10 comments on Warhammer 40,000: Rogue Trader Dev Diary #4 - Factions of the Koronus Expanse

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Tue 28 February 2023

Game News - posted by Infinitron on Tue 28 February 2023, 23:00:00

Tags: Brace Yourself Games; Phantom Brigade

We first posted about Phantom Brigade, the dynamic mech tactical RPG from Crypt of the NecroDancer developer Brace Yourself Games, some four and a half years ago. No doubt few people remember that the game was originally conceived under a different studio two and a half years prior to that, or that it was originally turn-based before switching to a more novel Frozen Synapse-like combat system. After over two years on the Epic Games Store with no fewer than twenty-one updates, the game finally launched out of Early Access today. Its launch trailer is pretty similar in tone to the original Early Access trailer.

Phantom Brigade is a hybrid real-time and turn-based tactical RPG, focusing on in-depth customization and player-driven stories. As the last surviving squad of mech pilots, you must capture enemy equipment and facilities to level the playing field. Outnumbered and out-gunned, lead the Phantom Brigade through a desperate campaign to retake their war-torn homeland.

  • Cinematic spin on the turn-based genre – Predict enemy movements, orchestrate precisely timed countermeasures, and hit “execute” to watch the physics-based action unfold in real time.
  • An exquisite arsenal – Railguns, beam weapons, missiles, energy swords, and more! Rain destruction down upon your homeland’s invaders with weaponry salvaged from each enemy mech you defeat.
  • Strategy – Make high-level tactical decisions on the world map, manage your mobile base, and decide how to apply your limited resources.
  • Tactical combat – Take command of your squad in varied missions ranging from sabotage of enemy equipment and convoy ambushes to liberation battles and challenging outpost onslaughts.
  • Customization – Featuring a rich customization system, Phantom Brigade enables you to fine-tune the performance of your mechs, install a wide selection of equipment, and access a wealth of cosmetic options. Prepare your squad for any challenge - in style.
  • Highly moddable – Phantom Brigade has been designed from the ground up to be highly player moddable. Mix things up by playing the game with a community mod enabled, or try your hand at creating your own modded masterpiece!
  • Destructible environments – It's not a proper game about giant mechs without destructible buildings! Phantom Brigade allows every square meter of each battle map to be destroyed. Shatter your enemy’s cover and collapse buildings on top of them!

According to the reviews at PC Gamer and Rock Paper Shotgun, Phantom Brigade has an impressive combat engine, but is let down by a bare-bones and repetitive overarching campaign. That seems to be a dealbreaking flaw to them, but perhaps some Codexers will disagree. If you'd like to give it a shot, the game is available on Steam for $30 with a 20% launch discount until next week.

There are 22 comments on Phantom Brigade Released

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Game News - posted by Infinitron on Tue 28 February 2023, 22:00:00

Tags: Hibernaculum; Victor Pflug; Wormwood Studios

Hibernaculum is an upcoming sci-fi survival horror-themed single character dungeon crawler set aboard a gargantuan generation ship. Inspired by titles such as Eye of the Beholder, Lands of Lore, Elvira, and Waxworks, the game is the personal project of Wormwood Studios artist Victor Pflug, who has been working on it for over a year now. Today he launched a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter to fund its further development. The campaign page is extremely detailed, with an art style that will be instantly recognizable to Primordia fans. Here's the pitch video and an excerpt:

Hibernaculum is a retro inspired dungeon crawler that sets out to recreate the engrossing labyrinthine experiences of the classics of days gone by, whilst also building a modern, deeply unique & explorable world of survival, mystery and macabre intrigue.

The Basics
  • Hibernaculum is a first person sci-fi/horror role playing game with survival horror roots.
  • Create a unique character to explore the depths of Hibernaculum & have the experience you want to have. Choices only matter, if they matter to you.
  • Non-linear gameplay allows for exploration at your own pace, and in your own fashion. Forge ahead and risk calamity or riches. Conversely, pace yourself and avoid harm.
  • Navigate decayed industrial Realms through environmental storytelling and a unique, brooding atmosphere.
  • Hibernaculum is being developed in C++ for PC (Windows) Mac & Linux with immediate plans for porting to Steam Deck, iOS & Nintendo Switch.
  • Hibernaculum will initially be available in English, German, French & Spanish.
  • Hibernaculum will be released DRM-free & available on Steam + GoG.

To revisit the dungeon crawling experience of games such the Eye of the Beholder & Lands of Lore first and foremost, while secondarily blending in the gloomy shock of Horrorsoft's Elvira & Waxworks series and thereby building a game that pushes past these more elementary beginnings. Also borrowing ideas from later cRPG titles such as Baldur's Gate and Fallout for it's RPG elements, and looking to games like System Shock 2 and Resident Evil 2 for it's more survival horror-like elements we hope to essentially turbocharge the old school dungeon crawler genre into something more open, less rigid and more conducive to non-linear & emergent gameplay.

Hibernaculum was initially inspired by pre 1990's era science fiction/speculative fiction novels, notably Robert Heinlein's Orphans of the Sky and Brian Aldiss' Helliconia series, among many others. However, the story telling and development structure of Hibernaculum is largely modular in nature allowing for a wide range of influences, ideas and variations on themes & motifs that really explore the depths of the imagination as well as the darkest depths of the Ship.

This is a mode of story telling we think is more akin to the likes of filmmakers such as David Lynch, at least certainly compared with larger AAA game development companies.​

Victor is looking to raise 70,000 Australian dollars (which is about 47,000 regular ones) towards the development of Hibernaculum. A basic copy of the game will cost you 45 AU$ (or about $31). There don't appear to be any beta or alpha access tiers, just increasingly more physical and digital goodies. The estimated release date is October 2025, so this is definitely a long haul kind of thing.

There are 32 comments on Hibernaculum is a sci-fi horror dungeon crawler set aboard a massive colony ship, now on Kickstarter

Mon 27 February 2023

Game News - posted by Infinitron on Mon 27 February 2023, 22:00:00

Tags: 11 bit studios; Fool's Theory; The Thaumaturge

Back in December 2019, we learned that Polish studio Fool's Theory, developers of the underrated isometric stealth RPG Seven: The Days Long Gone, had begun working on a new title in partnership with Frostpunk developer 11 bit studios, codenamed Project Vitriol. Fool's Theory would later be hired by CD Projekt to develop the remake of the first Witcher game, but clearly that project will be on the backburner while they work on Vitriol, which was finally announced today at IGN. The Thaumaturge, as it's called, is a story-driven isometric RPG with turn-based combat set in a low fantasy 1905 Warsaw. You play as the titular thaumaturge, a summoner of demonic spirits that grant various psychic abilities both in and out of combat. The game's cinematic announcement trailer depicts the summoning of one such entity, which I'll post along with the description from its store page.

The Thaumaturge is an isometric, story-rich RPG with a unique take on turn-based combat, character development features, and investigation mechanics, facing you with morally ambiguous choices – set in a world teeming with mysterious powers and strange ethereal beings called Salutors.

The year is 1905. Warsaw lives under the yoke of imperial Russian tsardom. Its inhabitants constitute a diverse group of different ancestries, views, and beliefs with often conflicting interests: Russian soldiers, Jewish merchants, Polish townspeople, and more. Despite the circumstances, the city is a buzzing metropolis, where one can attend a breathtaking party with the high society, and later get robbed in one of the dark alleys of the Praga district. A city of great hopes and dreams on one hand and dark desires on the other.

In this world, a force that cannot be ignored are Thaumaturges – individuals versed in taming spirit-like beings called Salutors, used for manipulation of the temperaments and affinities of other people and even ultimately in combat. The devil is in the detail - only Thaumaturges are fully aware of the Salutors’ nature and only they can perceive them in their true essence. Their capability to influence others significantly and demonstrably increases their ability to change the surrounding world - however, Thaumaturgy is a power that should be used with caution.
  • Shape your story – as a full-fledged RPG, it allows you to alternate your choices and make you deal with the aftermath.
  • Develop your character – creating your own version of the Thaumaturge will allow you to approach situations in different ways.
  • Experience unique turn-based combat and defeat your foes using human attacks and skills as well as psychic strikes delivered by Salutors.
  • Influence and manipulate the temperaments of other characters to bend their will to your liking.
  • Tame the power of Salutors – use the unique set of their skills to gain an advantage while exploring the world and when bringing your adversaries to their knees.
  • See the world that’s inevitably gone – explore the uncommon, heavily researched historic period of the early XX century Warsaw, where crime and luxury are often two sides of the same coin. Meet historical figures and learn about their involvement in the story.
  • Created in Unreal Engine 5 to deliver a detailed & beautifully crafted world.

The Thaumaturge seems like it's well on its way to release, but it doesn't have a launch date yet. Perhaps we'll learn more after the game appears at GDC next month. In the meantime, you can wishlist and follow on Steam and GOG.

There are 18 comments on The Thaumaturge is an upcoming turn-based RPG set in a supernatural early 20th century Warsaw

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Fri 24 February 2023

Game News - posted by Infinitron on Fri 24 February 2023, 18:00:00

Tags: Baldur's Gate 3; Larian Studios

Larian announced that Baldur's Gate 3 would be launching in August during the Game Awards event last year. The exact release date of August 31st was revealed yesterday during Sony's latest State of Play event. Yes, that means the game will be launching on PlayStation consoles, with the requisite controller support, split-screen and cross-saving features. Larian were equally excited to reveal that they'd enlisted the talents of famed character actor J.K. Simmons to voice General Ketheric Thorm, a necromancer lord who is one of the game's three main antagonists. You can see more of him in the behind-the-scenes video that they produced alongside the release date reveal trailer. The accompanying community update has more details:

Hello and howdy, dear readers!
What’s it called when the long-awaited third installment in a beloved RPG series finally gets a proper release day announcement? That’s Baldur’s Date.

Baldur’s Gate 3 releases on August 31, 2023 for PC, Mac, and PS5.

Earlier today we unveiled a brand new gameplay and story trailer during Sony’s State of Play livestream. Fret not, our PC-focused friends, as you will still want to see this trailer:

Meet General Ketheric Thorm, a seemingly invincible necromancer leading an army of the dead towards the city of Baldur’s Gate. Ketheric isn’t the antagonist, but one of three main antagonists that your party will need to contend with if you ever want to get those tadpoles out of your head (maybe even if you decide you don’t ).

Ketheric’s plans for the people of Faerûn are as complex as his motivations, and so we knew his role would benefit from the kind of depth and gravitas that renowned character actor J.K. Simmons could provide. One take at the recording booth and we knew we’d made the right call. Take a look behind the scenes:

We’ll introduce you to two more antagonists over the coming months, so keep an eye out (but close them if someone approaches with anything… wiggly).

Those of you who prefer to navigate the world using analogue sticks and buttons may have caught a glimpse at what full controller support for Baldur’s Gate 3 will look like for launch. With split-screen co-op, too, you’ll be able to experience the entirety of your adventures in Faerûn with another player on the same device!

Baldur’s Gate 3 will also support cross-progression between PC, Mac and PS5, allowing you to transfer your saves between platforms and continue your adventure wherever you purchase the game. Personally, we’ll be taking our experience on the road with the Steam Deck, and then venturing home to enjoy the cinematic experience of interrupting an ogre’s horizontal tango from the comfort of our sofa. Don’t forget the popcorn!​

Larian are putting together a Digital Deluxe Edition of Baldur's Gate 3 with the usual assortment of soundtracks, artbooks and in-game bonus items (including a set of equipment inspired by the companions of Divinity: Original Sin 2). Early Access owners will be automatically upgraded to the deluxe edition on launch, which is pretty cool.

There are 217 comments on Baldur's Gate 3 Community Update #18: Baldur's Date - August 31st

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Sat 18 February 2023

Community - posted by felipepepe on Sat 18 February 2023, 11:29:30

Tags: GOTY 2022

Here we are again, ready to see the best RPGs of 2022!

This year we went back to a Codex-only vote. Also to a 1-5 scale, because I forgot to ask to change it to 1-4 lol. In total, we had 364 voters, who rated 157 RPGs that came out last year.

For those of you who just want the TL;DR, here are the winners:

#1 - Elden Ring
#2 - Knights of the Chalice 2
#3 - King Arthur: Knight's Tale

For the full results and fancy graphs, just follow the link below.

Read the full article: RPG Codex GOTY 2022: Results & Cool Graphs

There are 304 comments on RPG Codex GOTY 2022: Results & Cool Graphs

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Sat 11 February 2023

Community - posted by felipepepe on Sat 11 February 2023, 00:24:16

Tags: GOTY 2022

It's that time of the year again! (kinda late this year, actually)

The voting for the RPG Codex's 2022 GOTY poll is now open - VOTE HERE: https://rpgcodex.net/goty_vote.php

This year Twiglard was kind enough to make a Codex-only poll, so you can only vote when logged in. The downside is that all games are listed together - GOTY, Tacticool and Ports/Remasters. I'll split them for the results.

It's a long list, about 150 games, just like last year. More than just deciding the GOTY, the goal of poll is to help us parse all these new games and help find some hidden gems.

The poll will run for a week until next Saturday, don't know the exact hour since Twiglard has to close it. And, to avoid alt spam, only pre-2023 accounts can vote.


There are 301 comments on RPG Codex 2022 GOTY - VOTE NOW!

Wed 8 February 2023

Game News - posted by Infinitron on Wed 8 February 2023, 23:49:17

Tags: Geneforge 2 - Infestation; Jeff Vogel; Spiderweb Software

Spiderweb Software's 2021 remake of the original Geneforge was easily the most well-received of their titles in recent years. Despite his attempts to play coy about it, it was always obvious that Jeff Vogel would return to the Geneforge series following the release of Queen's Wish 2 last year. As per Spiderweb Software standard operating procedure, he's launching the development of Geneforge 2 - Infestation with a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter. Jeff seems more gung-ho about adding new content and features to the game this time, including a weapon-based combat system called "Battle Shaping". In an accompanying post on his Substack blog, he explains that he's learned not to attempt to change the mechanics of his classic titles, but instead to simply add more. The pitch itself has more details:

The Geneforge games have had a cult following for decades, but they are very old.​
Our tiny little company worked on the five parts of the Geneforge Saga from 1999 to 2008. They were truly unique games, with a strange and fascinating world, complex characters, tough moral choices, and a blend of fantasy and science fiction unlike anything that had come before.​
However, they don't run properly on modern computers, and they don't exist on mobile devices at all. These games were huge successes and developed quite a following, and it pains us to see them disappear from the Earth.​
Thus, this remaster. We are going through the Geneforge Saga, one game at a time, and giving each a massive, ground-up remaster. They will always be scrappy, retro indie games, but now they can be that in a bigger, funner, more modern way. We already made Geneforge 1 - Mutagen, and it was a big success. (Playing Geneforge 1 is not at all necessary to enjoy Geneforge 2.)​
It is time to return to Geneforge 2, first released in 2003. We want to create Geneforge 2 - Infestation.​
And we'd like your help.​
The Remaster
Spiderweb Software spends a lot of time remastering our old games. We've learned a lot over the years. When a game gets too old to run, we like to use our new skills to not just get it to work again, but to make it shine.​
With our backers' help, we remade Geneforge into Geneforge 1 - Mutagen, resulting in an expanded, improved game which got a great reception. Now we want to give the same treatment to Geneforge 2. We want to release the new game in early 2024, for Windows, Mac, and the iPad!​
We plan to respect what our fans loved about the series. The world, the characters, the story, the game system, they will be mostly the same. We will also expand the world, adding new characters, storylines, abilities, game mechanics, and other ways to go crazy with your mutant monsters.​
We also have exciting plans to add something the series has always lacked: A fully developed system for melee and missiles. The new art of Battle Shaping will provide an entirely new path through the game, giving longtime fans a fresh way to experience it.​
Spiderweb are looking to raise at least $30,000 to fund the development of Geneforge 2, a goal they've already reached. As with his previous remake, at $40,000 Jeff will add a new creation to the game, and at $60,000 and $80,000 he'll add new quests. A basic copy of Geneforge 2 can be yours for $20, with beta access once again available to superfans at $200. The game is scheduled for release next year in February.

There are 58 comments on Geneforge 2 - Infestation remake now on Kickstarter

Mon 6 February 2023

Game News - posted by Infinitron on Mon 6 February 2023, 23:53:14

Tags: 68k Studios; Adventure Awaits; Archmage Rises; Brace Yourself Games; Coldwild Games; Dark Envoy; Defiance Game Studio; Drop Rate Studio; Event Horizon; Ludus Mortis; MocaJet; Phantom Brigade; Prometheus Wept; Steam Next Fest; Stories from the Outbreak; Timeslip Softworks; Urban Strife; Wantless; White Pond Games

Demos for hundreds of upcoming titles will be available on Steam until next week as part of the latest edition of Steam Next Fest. The February installment of Steam Next Fest is usually less interesting than the other two, but this year a good number of anticipated RPGs are participating for the first time. These include vaporware mage simulator Archmage Rises, which is finally entering Early Access in April, guns n' sorcery real-time tactical RPG Dark Envoy, undead ancient Rome dungeon crawler Ludus Mortis, simultaneous turn-based tactical mech RPG Phantom Brigade, which is finally leaving Early Access on February 28th, and Prometheus Wept, the post-technology RPG from Vigilantes creator Daithi McHugh.

As usual, developer livestreams for some of these games are scheduled over the course of the week, the details of which are available on their Steam pages. Feel free to post your impressions of these and any other interesting titles you discover during the event.

There are 31 comments on Steam Next Fest, February 2023: Demos of upcoming RPGs available from February 6th to 13th

Sat 4 February 2023

Game News - posted by Infinitron on Sat 4 February 2023, 21:59:53

Tags: Colony Ship: A Post-Earth Role Playing Game; Iron Tower Studio

Due to the unexpectedly long time it took to finalize its latest systems update, it's now been six months since a new location was added to the Colony Ship Early Access build. To Iron Tower's credit, today's location update was released only a few days behind schedule on the game's updated roadmap. Players will now have access to the area known as the Heart, home to the ship's fusion reactor and the cult of mutants that tend to it. Here's the announcement:

You can now travel to the mutant town known as the Heart in search of a reactor-grade fuel cell and recruit a mutant companion (one of two mutually exclusive party members) to your cause. Your adventure continues and we take one step closer to the release.

Living and working in the radioactive umbra of the damaged reactor greatly increased mortality rates for the outcasts, but many generations of shortened lives, afflicted with mutations both minor and severe, have resulted in a people fully adapted to the toxic environment.

In the mutants’ earliest days labor was by necessity divided, the men tending to the engines while the women tended to the men as they inevitably sickened and died. Much was asked of these mothers and sisters, and from the beginning they adopted the faith to augment their strength.

Many mutants credit their people's survival on this belief, that another world awaits them after death, a counter to the hellish reality of the reactor. Due to the inescapable radiation poisoning of engine work, only the females lived long enough to take on the role of elder, and to run those aspects of life beyond the perimeter of the engines.

Thus did necessity evolve into tradition, and tradition into law. The females sustain the priesthood and all the sacred duties of religion, while the engine work and protection of the enclave have fallen to the males. Those who aren’t happy with such an arrangement leave the enclave, becoming true outcasts, welcome in neither the Habitat nor the Heart.

What's left to do:

- Hydroponics, Yellow and Red Zones (simulated Proxima environments).

- Mission Control lower levels (that you couldn't explore before). There are two ways in, one's the eye you stole from the Church's vault, the other involves baiting a giant worm known as Ol' Bub as in Beelzebub.

- The Ship's Bridge

- The Endgame

Hydroponics and Mission Control are easy to do as we'll be expanding the existing locations. The Bridge is small by definition, so the hard part is behind us now. Once these locations are done, the level design (a major chunk of work) will be finally done as well and we'll be able to fully focus on the endgame events.

Here's to light at the end of the 6-year long tunnel.​

As mentioned, with the release of this update, the only new locations left to implement are relatively minor in scope. The next update, which will add new content to the Hydroponics and Mission Control areas, is expected by the end of March.

There are 35 comments on Colony Ship Early Access Update: New Location - The Heart

Wed 25 January 2023

Development Info - posted by Infinitron on Wed 25 January 2023, 23:00:00

Tags: Owlcat Games; Warhammer 40,000: Rogue Trader

The Warhammer 40,000: Rogue Trader alpha build has been out since December. Despite the usual griping, by most accounts it appears to be fairly decent. As we wait for the beta launch sometime later this year, Owlcat continue to publish brief lore updates and developer diary videos. The latest dev diary is about their process for designing and implementing enemy characters in the game. That includes deciding which enemy types from the Warhammer 40k universe to use in the first place, modeling and animating them, and adding visual effects and sound. This process is demonstrated in the video using the Helbrute, a psychotic Chaos Space Marine Dreadnought enemy type.

The other development updates published by Owlcat over the past several months have once again been helpfully summarized in their latest contest digest.

There are 0 comments on Warhammer 40,000: Rogue Trader Dev Diary #3 - Enemy Creation

Sat 21 January 2023

Game News - posted by Infinitron on Sat 21 January 2023, 16:44:57

Tags: Caves of Lore; Red Plume

We learned about the classics-inspired pixel art RPG Caves of Lore back in November, but the game has been in development for many years. Developer Michael Robins had to teach himself how to program and draw pixel art in order to create it. Despite this, the game was released today on schedule. Following requests from users on our forum, Mike even found the time to modify the engine to display the entire party on screen during exploration. You can see that and more in the game's launch trailer:

Caves of Lore is available on Steam for a mere $10. A fine first RPG release for 2023.

There are 56 comments on Caves of Lore Released

Thu 19 January 2023

Game News - posted by Infinitron on Thu 19 January 2023, 22:00:00

Tags: Owlcat Games; Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous; Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous - The Last Sarkorians

Owlcat formally unveiled the second season pass for Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous back in October. Today they announced the release date for its first piece of DLC, called The Last Sarkorians. As previously revealed, The Last Sarkorians will add a new companion to the game - Ulbrig Olesk, a surviving tribal chieftain of old Sarkoris with shapeshifting powers. The DLC will allow you to play as a Shifter yourself and will also include some new areas, presumably related to Ulbrig's companion quest. I wonder how he'll react to a certain prestigious backer content area. Anyway, here's the teaser trailer and announcement post:

Greetings, Pathfinders!

It’s been over a year since the release of Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous, and we know a lot of you have now spent hundreds of hours fighting demons in the Worldwound. It may seem like all the mysteries have been solved and all the treasures found, and that this land has nothing left to surprise you with. But there’s still something we don’t know—what was Sarkoris like before the disaster turned it into a haunted wasteland? Our new DLC—The Last Sarkorians—will allow you to peer into the past of the fallen land, and give you the power to shape the future of its people!

Meet Ulbrig Olesk, a strange man with the unique ability to transform into a majestic griffon, who remembers Sarkoris as it was before Areelu Vorlesh opened the Worldwound. Take him into your party and experience the crusade through the eyes of the last surviving tribal chieftain of old Sarkoris. Explore new places, unravel the mystery of your new companion, and, perhaps, win his heart?

And if you like Ulbrig’s abilities, you can select the new Shifter class for yourself as well! Choose from one of six available archetypes, fight as a humanoid armed with sharp claws, or transform into a mighty beast—or both! The choice is yours. We’ve also added a number of new spells to make shifting more fun for you.

The Last Sarkorians DLC will be available on March 7, 2023. But you can wishlist and preorder it right now in Steam, GOG, and Epic Games Store.

Or, if you already have Season Pass 2, it will unlock automatically on release day.

Happy shapeshifting!​

As stated, The Last Sarkorians DLC will be launching on March 7th.

There are 26 comments on Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous - The Last Sarkorians DLC releasing on March 7th

Sat 17 December 2022

Mod News - posted by Infinitron on Sat 17 December 2022, 17:17:36

Tags: Beamdog; BioWare; Luke Scull; Neverwinter Nights; Neverwinter Nights: Siege of Shadowdale

Back in 2019, a completed version of the unfinished Tyrants of the Moonsea premium module was released as a DLC for Beamdog's Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition, thanks to the efforts of original creator Luke "Alazander" Scull. Working on Tyrants seems to have motivated Luke to revisit some of his other early work in the NWN modding scene. Last summer, he announced on his blog that he intended to create a new episodic module series called The Blades of Netheril as a sequel to the original Neverwinter Nights campaign (and more broadly to the official expansions and Luke's own modules as well). Such an ambitious undertaking has naturally taken longer than originally expected, so in September Luke decided that he would start out by producing enhanced edition remakes of the first two modules in his original trilogy, 2002's Siege of Shadowdale and 2005's Crimson Tides of Tethyr. After a couple of missed deadlines, Siege of Shadowdale: Enhanced Edition was finally released on the Neverwinter Vault last night as a free module for NWN:EE. Here's its trailer and description:

"Like a tide of darkness they came, butchering the folk of the Dale with wanton glee. Many are the foes I have battled in my long life but were it not for the actions of one brave adventurer I fear even I would have been undone that fateful day..."​
Elminster of Shadowdale, 1372 DR.​
20 years after the original release, author and game designer Luke Scull is delighted to present a remake of the classic Hall of Fame module Siege of Shadowdale for Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition! This new version features rewritten and expanded dialogue, new quests, new areas to explore, and the addition of several henchmen, as well as a new world map and completely overhauled graphics.​
A huge thank you to all the folk whose generous contributions helped make this module possible! Please visit https://www.patreon.com/lukescull to keep up to date with development of The Blades of Netheril: an epic, seven-part campaign that serves as a mega-sequel to all the game's official content including the original campaign and expansions.​
Good stuff, and another new record in revisiting old Neverwinter Nights content (Tyrants of the Moonsea was a mere 13 years old in 2019). Additional details about Luke's plans for the Enhanced Editions are available here. Naturally, the original version of Siege of Shadowdale for legacy NWN remains available as well.

There are 81 comments on Neverwinter Nights: Siege of Shadowdale module gets an Enhanced Edition after twenty years

Wed 14 December 2022

Game News - posted by Infinitron on Wed 14 December 2022, 23:00:00

Tags: Baldur's Gate 3; Farhang Namdar; Larian Studios; Nick Pechenin; Swen Vincke

Larian unveiled the ninth major patch for Baldur's Gate 3 today during a special Christmas edition of the Panel From Hell. As expected, the highlight of the patch is the Paladin class, which at character creation comes in two flavors: the nature-oriented Oath of the Ancients and the classically lawful good Oath of Devotion. Uniquely, paladins who stray from their oaths during the game can obtain a third subclass, the Oathbreaker, who has the power to summon the undead. Just as importantly, the patch increases the Early Access build's level cap to 5, unlocking a host of new spells and abilities for all classes. Fans of Solasta should also be glad to hear that Larian have finally implemented a reaction system similar to the one in that game.

As for the panel itself, it was even sillier than the usual, involving a fireball-lobbing Geoff Keighley, an Astarion cosplayer and a paladin Santa Claus, with no fewer than three on-screen deaths. Most notably, after a brief fakeout Swen revealed that Minsc is being voiced by prolific voice actor Matt Mercer. There was also a behind-the-scenes style video with the game's writing team. The panel's gameplay session was fairly straightforward, taking the the party through a sequence of battles with owlbears, tieflings and a squad of githyanki to showcase some of the patch's new features. It's much easier of course to just read the accompanying community update:

Critical Roleplay: Introducing Paladin

A hybrid between cleric and fighter, Paladins are marked by the ability to unleash formidable and devastating blows on enemies while providing support to their team in the form of actions like Lay on Hands, their classic Paladin heal. While they progress more slowly through their spell slots than other spellcasters, they also pack extra damage thanks to their specialised Paladin feature Divine Smite which imbues weapons with a holy radiance and does massive damage.

Building on the direction of this class in 5th Edition, Paladins in BG3 are distinct from our other divinely inspired classes. Their powers are channelled through the Oath to which they have sworn -- one that they choose at the start of character creation.

Patch comes with two Paladin subclasses. Take the Oath of the Ancients and fight on the side of light and the natural world. Like Arthurian Green Knights in plate armour, these Paladins vow to preserve the sanctity of life and the beauty of nature, using Healing Radiance to let nature heal all nearby allies.

Take the Oath of Devotion and uphold justice in the pursuit of the greater good. These are your classic Knights In Shining Armour, Paladins who follow a code of honour and virtue both in and out of battle – the kind of guys who’d probably do their taxes early just because it felt like the right thing to do. Their signature feature, Holy Rebuke, lets them call upon their Oath in combat to envelop an ally in an aura that deals 1d4 Radiant damage to anyone who hits them with a melee attack.

Paladins are very much a roleplaying class, and those who take this path will have the opportunity to explore their character’s moral code and, depending on the choices they make, discover what it means to be an

Oathbreaker is our third, hidden subclass that is triggered if a Paladin goes against their moral code. Once that Oath is broken, say by killing an innocent or selling out the Druids to the Absolute, you’ll lose your previous Oath-inspired actions. But in turn you will gain darker ones like Control Undead – a Level 3 spell that lets you enlist an undead creature to fight for you. This is a subclass for those eager to explore their character's motivations and beliefs in dialogue, who seek to define justice for themselves.

Powering up to Level 5

We’ve raised the level cap! D&D players will recognize Level 5 as a big power boost for many of the classes, and in Patch #9 you can now reach those same heights in Baldur’s Gate 3. To wet your appetite, here are a few examples: Spellcasters gain access to powerful 3rd-level spells like Fireball, Counterspell, and Animate Dead. Clerics receive Spirit Guardians, a spell that deals heavy radiant or necrotic damage to foes around them, while Sorcerers and Wizards get Haste, giving their character an additional action point, movement, and more AC. Fighters, Barbarians, Rangers, and Paladins also receive the extra feature at Level 5 allowing them to make a second weapon attack for free.

Level 5 also unlocks the Fly spell, which is ideal when positioning for a death-from-above ranged attack or just to escape the grasp of your pitiful gravity-bound enemies.

A Reactions System fueled by your choices

This update includes one of our most requested features: a revamped Reactions System. The Reactions System refers to the way that certain combat actions can be triggered by various combat circumstances. For example, if you have Counterspell prepared and an enemy casts a spell at you, the game can now pause and ask if you want to use your Counterspell to block the enemy’s spell.​

The full patch notes for the update are available here. According to Swen, this will be the final major update for the Baldur's Gate 3 Early Access build before the game launches in August. That seems like a lot of time to go without any updates. I wonder how they plan to promote the game from now on.

There are 25 comments on Baldur's Gate 3 Community Update #17: Patch 9 - Holy Knight

Fri 9 December 2022

Game News - posted by Infinitron on Fri 9 December 2022, 20:00:00

Tags: Baldur's Gate 3; CD Projekt; Cyberpunk 2077; Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty; Larian Studios

The latest installment of Geoff Keighley's annual Game Awards show aired last night. I won't even pretend to care about everything that happened there. As a Codexer, the main reason to watch was the new Baldur's Gate 3 trailer. Having already teased the return of Minsc earlier this week, Larian's new trailer revealed that Jaheira will be a character in the game as well. Most importantly, it announced that the game will be launching in August 2023. Later on during the event, CD Projekt unveiled a new teaser trailer for the Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty expansion. The main point of the trailer was to reveal that actor Idris Elba has joined the cast, playing a federal agent named Solomon Reed. CP2077 seems to have gained a new lease on life since the release of the Edgerunners anime series in September and I guess it makes sense to try to follow up on that with more mainstream celebrity promotion. The first sentence in the trailer is pretty funny, though.

In related news, a new Baldur's Gate 3 Panel From Hell event is scheduled for December 14th, during which Larian will most likely release the game's ninth patch featuring the long-awaited Paladin class. Stay tuned, Geoff Keighley will be there too.

There are 77 comments on The Game Awards 2022: Baldur's Gate 3 and Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty

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