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Sat 23 October 2021

Game News - posted by Infinitron on Sat 23 October 2021, 15:50:33

Tags: Kerberos Productions; Sword of the Stars: The Pit 2

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Sci-fi roguelike sequel Sword of the Stars: The Pit 2 launched into Early Access last night. Kerberos weren't kidding when they said it was coming soon. Here's the announcement, including an updated feature list:

Vancouver, Canada - October 22nd, 2021 - Kerberos Productions has launched Sword of the Stars: The Pit 2 - a sequel to Sword of the Stars: The Pit, the science fiction Roguelike which many players still list among the best of the genre - into Early Access today.

In beta, The Pit 2 has moved from 2D to a full and vibrant 3D environment. Instantly clear to players will be new features, such as mini-bosses, and player advancements such as the ability to break down items into components which can then be re-used to craft different items. Alongside the perspective shift which allows for full camera control, and the more flexible approach to crafting, players get a preview of the variety of weapons, armors, and scavenged items that Kerberos fans have come to expect from the original game and its DLC.

The halls of the alien facility have a menagerie of creatures bent on bringing players down. "I am most excited about the opportunities we have to make the Pit smarter, deadlier and more detailed," said Kerberos head and lead designer Martin Cirulis. "Lieutenant-class monsters, floor-organized enemies, secret levels... We have so much more 'necessary sadism' to dispense!"

First released in February of 2013, Sword of the Stars: The Pit grew over the years with many expansions that added new player characters and their powers. A steady parade of game updates included new content along with bug fixes and game tweaks. Through years of developing the original game with a supportive fan base, Kerberos has learned a lot about what their players want.

"This sequel is being tailored to the needs and wishes of its players–the people who spent hundreds of hours in the original game over the past decade. That support has earned them the right to be part of the game's development," said Cirulis. "We invite fans to join Early Access not only to support the game, but to give direct input and shape the future of the franchise."

Like its predecessor, The Pit 2 will allow players to dive deep into an alien lab facility. The sci-fi setting is drawn from the lore of multiple Sword of the Stars games, a franchise that Kerberos has been building for eighteen years. Players start with only their Character's skills and gear: as they explore, they must seek out new supplies and improve their skills in order to survive the ever-increasing dangers of The Pit.

"Ultimately, my goal as a designer is to go beyond the first Pit. First we'll bring the old Roguelike up to modern standards, then we'll push beyond its original limitations," added Cirulis. "There is a whole universe of mad science dungeons out there, just waiting for rogues brave enough to explore their depths!"

Initial Early Access Features
  • 4 Characters to choose from; Marine, Scout, Engineer, and Drill Sergeant, with more to come throughout Early Access.
  • 20 Levels of ancient evil science for you to dive into!
  • Turn-based combat lets players plan their way out of tight spots and deeper into The Pit.
  • Improve your character by increasing your skills to help you survive the depths.
  • Many enemies drawn from the Sword of the Stars universe!
  • A wide variety of weapons and armors.
  • Over 150 items to discover, ranging from the familiar to ancient exotic tech.
  • Crafting lets you make special items from bits and pieces of your enemies.
  • Dozens of room types containing a host of exotic devices to help - or maybe hinder - your progress.
  • Decipher hidden messages, crafting recipes, and pieces of Sword of the Stars lore!
  • Many fiendish ways to die including poisoning, disease, traps, radiation, starvation.
  • NEW player camera controls!
  • NEW disassembly feature lets you break up items into craftable components!
  • NEW hero-class enemies add mini-boss encounters as players descend into The Pit
Kerberos lead designer Martin Cirulis provided some additional details about their plans for The Pit 2's Early Access build in this forum post. The game is available on Steam for $15 with a 15% launch discount until next week.

There are 5 comments on Sword of the Stars: The Pit 2 now available on Early Access

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Fri 22 October 2021

Game News - posted by Infinitron on Fri 22 October 2021, 23:55:48

Tags: Disciples: Liberation; Frima Studio; Kalypso Media

Disciples: Liberation, the unexpected revival of the Disciples franchise from little-known developer Frima Studio, was released yesterday. The release trailer is focused on those aspects of the game that have been emphasized since it was announced back in February - choice and consequences, factions, all that stuff.

Disciples: Liberation has gotten a few reviews and its scores aren't even that bad. However, thanks to the demo that was released for Steam Next Fest earlier this month, they aren't too necessary. In contradiction to the serious tone of its trailers, our users found that the game contains some remarkably silly dialogue. Its gameplay does have some interesting aspects, although it's not the greatest either. If you want the professional reviews as well, here they are:

GameSpace 7.5/10
GameSpew 8/10
Player 2 B​

Disciples: Liberation is probably doomed to fall even flatter than King's Bounty II did, but if you are curious, the game is available on Steam for $40.

There are 28 comments on Disciples: Liberation Released

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Game News - posted by Infinitron on Fri 22 October 2021, 20:59:16

Tags: Charlie Oscar; Spire of Sorcery

Spire of Sorcery is a turn-based strategy RPG where you lead a party of mages who have fled from civilization and made their home in a magical spire deep in the wilderness. Originally announced back in 2017 by Lithuanian indie studio Charlie Oscar, Spire of Sorcery attracted some attention due to the involvement of Alexey Bokulev, creator of cult strategy title Eador: Genesis. However, when the game was released in late 2019 in an unusual "Limited Early Access" capacity, it quickly became apparent that something was wrong. Over the next two years its design would be massively overhauled, leading to the departure of Bokulev. During this time, the game was also rebranded from strategy RPG to "survival strategy game" and then back to an RPG again. Yesterday it was finally released as a conventional Early Access title. Here's its trailer and description:

Spire of Sorcery as a turn-based party RPG where you use spellcasting, alchemy and a bit of equipment to explore the world full of dangerous encounters. Engage with creatures from the realms of life, death and chaos to help the sentient citadel mend the broken world!
  • Explore the original world of Rund to discover creatures, resources and recipes
  • Cast spells, including combos, to affect opponents and trigger environmental effects
  • Concoct substances that range from curative to explosive
  • Prevail in encounters by combining the effects of spellscasting, alchemy & equipment
  • Manage your party, considering mood and personal traits of its members
  • Find new party members and increase their stats to reach their true potential
  • Taste any resource that you find to modify the looks of your party members
  • Collect resources to cook food that may taste great (or horrible)
  • Expand the Spire with new rooms that offer new mechanics
  • Break into ancient barrows, dispel cursed weepers & battle infection-ridden gigglers
  • Resolve mini-stories that pose moral choices, affecting the mood of your party
The world is larger than just one play-through and every challenge has alternative solutions. Try and succeed – or adjust and replay!
A demo of Spire of Sorcery was available during Steam Next Fest back in June and wasn't too popular. It may end up the way most games with such troubled development cycles do. But if you'd like to give it a try, the game is available on Steam for $20, with a final release planned before the end of 2022.

There are 9 comments on Spire of Sorcery is a strategy RPG where you lead a party of runaway mages, now on Early Access

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Game News - posted by Infinitron on Fri 22 October 2021, 16:29:10

Tags: Prometheus Wept; Timeslip Softworks

Last year, Vigilantes creator Daithi McHugh announced that he'd begun work on a new game called Prometheus Wept, a turn-based RPG set in a post-technology Earth. There have been a few development updates since then, two last year detailing basic design goals and a more recent one that revealed that the game will feature cyberspace hacking in the style of Shadowrun Returns. But for the most part, Daithi has been quietly working to make Prometheus Wept presentable enough to release a demo followed by a Kickstarter campaign, which he launched yesterday. The campaign's pitch offers a brief but comprehensive overview of the game's premise, its various gameplay mechanics, and even details about its storyline. Here's the pitch video and an excerpt:

Prometheus Wept is a turn based RPG set on a near-future earth where the majority of our digital technology and digitally stored information has been destroyed. The game offers hardcore squad-level combat, with simultaneous battles between cyberspace and the physical world, meaningful choices, deep character progression and an advanced crafting system.

It also has the distinction of likely being the only game where you can incapacitate an enemy by dropping a shark on them! Prometheus Wept is the third game by Timeslip Softworks and is available for Windows, Mac and Linux.

The goal is to create a relatively short, 10-16 hour experience, with an emphasis on design, variety, story-telling and quality over quantity.

Imagine a near future earth where technology has become increasingly integrated with daily life. Imagine the sudden corruption of all this technology, in less than a day, by a potent computer virus. A virus which affects everything from the smart kettle in your home to communications systems, automated agriculture, manufacturing and the transport network. Imagine the widespread loss of life, generations of chaos and conflict, the loss of knowledge, and the fragmentation of nations into insular city states.

The events of Prometheus Wept occur some generations after the Event, in a strange, depopulated, low tech world where human communities huddle in the ruins of the mythical mid 21st century, wary of old world technology and surrounded by chaos.

Not all digital technology was destroyed by the virus. Simple devices experienced software corruption and hardware failure. A small number of more complex systems were modified through their contact with the virus, gaining the potential to evolve. These first true AI are beginning to emerge, resulting in conflict with nearby human communities whom the AIs cannot understand, nor be understood by.

  • System infiltration: Transfer your character's consciousness into the treacherous environment of a corrupted computer system, while allies protect you from physical world threats. Employ a range of scripts (abilities) to overcome corrupted system security, and commandeer physical world systems like defenses and doors from within the machine.
  • Party and AP turn based combat: Battle it out with a variety of melee, ranged and explosive weapons, with aimed and special attacks, cover, powerful perk-based abilities, attacks of opportunity and more. Destroy cover to leave enemies exposed, and exploit interactions between the primal forces of fire, water and electricity to your advantage.
  • Deep character progression: Build your team using the ADAPTER character system, which comprises 7 stats, 17 skills and a huge variety of perks. Meet and ally with exceptional individuals, each with a unique set of perks.
  • Meaningful choices, little and large: Will you pay an odd, roadside priest for a blessing or ignore him? Will you help overthrow a questionable oligarchy, or cement their position against growing unrest? In Prometheus Wept, the vast majority of decisions you make will affect the difficulty of each act's finale.
  • Deep Crafting System: Create a large variety of weapons, armour, explosives, gadgets, combat stims and medical supplies, at multiple quality levels based on skill, component quality and the blueprints you possess.
Daithi is looking to raise €7443 to fund the development of Prometheus Wept, a very specific number that happens to be the exact amount he got for Vigilantes back in 2016. If you find his pitch convincing, you can secure a copy of the game riht now for just €10. That includes the Early Access release, which is scheduled for late 2022. The final game should be out in early 2024.

There are 10 comments on Prometheus Wept now on Kickstarter

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Wed 20 October 2021

Game News - posted by Infinitron on Wed 20 October 2021, 23:22:11

Tags: Solasta: Crown of the Magister; Solasta: Crown of the Magister - Primal Calling; Tactical Adventures

Tactical Adventures have been fairly quiet since releasing the Sorcerer update for Solasta: Crown of the Magister back in July. However, they were forced to tip their hand about what they were working on when they asked the community to come up with subclass ideas for the Barbarian and Druid classes back in August. Today they formally revealed the Primal Calling DLC, coming November 4th. In addition to barbarians and druids, it will also add Half-Orcs to the game as well as a new Wanderer background. Even if you don't get the DLC, the accompanying patch will include plenty of good stuff. That includes an increased level cap, a more challenging final encounter, and most excitingly, an expanded dungeon maker with the ability to create full-fledged campaigns with towns and outdoor areas.

Primal Calling DLC available on November 4th

For those of you who've not been around Solasta for the last few weeks, here is what you can expect from the Primal Calling DLC:
  • The Barbarian Class, with its 3 subclasses: Path of the Berzerker (SRD), Path of the Magebane (Solasta), Path of Stone (Community)
  • The Druid Class, with its 3 subclasses: Circle of the Land (SRD), Circle of Kindred Spirit (Solasta), Circle of Winds (Community)
  • The Half-Orc Ancestry
  • The Wanderer Background, with its brand new background quest located in Copparan
What's this "Community" Tag you may ask? Well, both Druid & Barbarian were part of the Wishing Well Event where everyone could submit their own archetype that they'd like to see implemented in-game. We then sorted through all those wonderful ideas and created Community subclasses from them!

Free Content Update Incoming!

Adventuring hasn't been kind to you lately and you don't got no gold to buy them goods? Worry not, we've got you covered. With the Primal Calling DLC also comes a fat content update - and everyone gets it for free! Aside from the usual bug fixes, here are some of the large changes or additions you can look forward to:
  • You can finally skip the tutorial. Dry your tears of joy, serial rerollers, it's time to jump straight into the adventure.
  • Max level 10? How about max level 12, how does that sound? With them level 6 spells and all.
  • Our characters' faces may not be the prettiest around, but you'll now be able to add scars and face paints. Some more customization can't hurt!
  • Was the final encounter of the campaign a little too easy? We made it harder for you.
  • The Campaign Creator is here. What is the Campaign Creator? A new feature that allows you to bundle custom dungeons together, create custom monsters, items, NPCs and merchants. It's still in development though, so not every parameter can be tweaked yet.
  • The Dungeon Maker now has a Town Interior & Exterior environment! Custom campaigns can now have main hubs where your party can safely rest, trade, and chat with NPCs in-between dungeons!
Nice! Primal Calling already has a Steam page and I expect we'll learn more about its various features over the next couple of weeks.

There are 32 comments on Solasta: Crown of the Magister Primal Calling DLC announced, releasing on November 4th

Game News - posted by Infinitron on Wed 20 October 2021, 22:16:13

Tags: King Arthur: Knight's Tale; NeocoreGames

NeocoreGames' dark fantasy tactical RPG King Arthur: Knight's Tale was rather light on content when it went into Early Access back in January. The game has received several major updates since then, but it's clear that the developers were a bit optimistic about its final release date. It was no surprise when they announced today that Knight's Tale will be launching next year on February 15th. Along with this announcement, Neocore have released a new dev diary video, following up on a previous dev diary published in August. The rather cheerful narrator provides details about the game's combat mechanics, choice & consequence, character development, classes and more.

Looks pretty cool. Knight's Tale will also be participating in Steam's Digital Tabletop Fest event this weekend, with a panel about Arthurian myth.

There are 10 comments on King Arthur: Knight's Tale releasing on February 15th

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Mon 18 October 2021

Game News - posted by Infinitron on Mon 18 October 2021, 23:33:20

Tags: Iceberg Interactive; Poetic; Sacred Fire

Poetic decided to release their Ancient Caledonian psychological RPG Sacred Fire into Early Access today, a day earlier than originally announced. The Early Access build includes the first of the game's three acts. According to the FAQ, it will remain in Early Access for six to nine months. The Early Access launch trailer is actually identical to last month's release date trailer, but I'll post it anyway:

Why Early Access?
Sacred Fire is an innovative role-playing game experience, modeling how emotions influence our choices. We were fortunate to build a patient and dedicated community over the years and several playtesting rounds, and have really benefited from our public demo. The feedback we received from events such as Steam Next Fest in 2021 has been invaluable, offering important insights into how the players experience the game so we can make fundamental improvements.

It’s only natural that we’d like to continue with this on a grander scope, so an Early Access release will help us to better understand who our customers are and how they experience the game.

Approximately how long will this game be in Early Access?
We plan to stay in Early Access for 6-9 months.

How is the full version planned to differ from the Early Access version?
The Early Access version contains character creation and the first of the three acts of the story, or roughly 40% of the branching content with full voice-over.

The full version will contain 2 more acts to complete the story, more character and location variety, as well as more ambient sound effects. We also expect the full version to be much better balanced and so even more immersive.

What is the current state of the Early Access version?
All of our game mechanics and features are complete. We’ve had 1 round of bug fixing and re-balancing based on external QA reporting. We’ve also implemented full voice over on all scenes, and have completed a significant portion of our planned character art and effects.

Will the game be priced differently during and after Early Access?
We do plan to raise the price when we exit Early Access, but this decision will also factor in feedback and our general sales performance in the meantime.

How are you planning on involving the Community in your development process?
Players can report suggestions and bugs with an in-game tool as well as via the Steam forums and Discord. Even for our demo at Steam Next Fest this was super helpful, and has shaped multiple demo and game updates - so we’ll be hungry for more feedback!

As player immersion is so important to us, qualitative feedback will also be something we ask for often. Already the community has supported us and helped to improve our tutorial, tooltips, bonuses and penalties, with clearer notifications and prompts. We want players to have a premium experience, so their input during Early Access is critical to achieve that.​

The Sacred Fire Early Access build is available on Steam and GOG for $18, with a 10% launch discount until next week.

There are 34 comments on Sacred Fire now available on Early Access

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Game News - posted by Infinitron on Mon 18 October 2021, 22:27:10

Tags: Expeditions: Rome; Logic Artists; THQ Nordic

In their eighth dev diary for Expeditions: Rome, Logic Artists give us an overview of the game's item crafting system. It appears that crafting is a major gameplay element that works approximately the same way it did in Expeditions: Viking, although of course in Rome it'll be your legion's smiths who do the actual work. Crafted items are generated with a random affix, which can be further customized in exchange for additional resources. Interestingly, unique items found in the game world can be dismantled and reforged at a higher tier, with their abilities becoming available for general use.

In roleplaying games, there are typically three ways to acquire new equipment: you can loot it off dead enemies, from treasure chests etc., or you can purchase it from a shop with your hard-earned gold, or you can roll up your sleeves and craft it yourself. Each method serves a slightly different purpose: loot drops are rewards for combat or exploration but are typically completely random. Item shops offer you some choice from a randomised menu. Crafting gives you full control over what item you’ll get, but you’ll have to invest resources, time, and effort.

We always thought there was too much overlap between these three methods – that the differences between them weren’t quite significant enough to justify their existence. When we were fleshing out the item system in Viking, we wanted to eliminate one of these ways to get items, so your items would only come from two systems. We had to keep loot of course – exploration is a core pillar of our series, and as a viking, why shouldn’t you be able to kill people and take their stuff? This left us with the choice between crafting and item shops, and crafting was clearly the more interesting system: it’s more different from loot drops than item shops are in that it gives the player much more agency with less randomness, and in terms of the fantasy, it felt more right for a viking to forge their own weaponry rather than purchase it from a travelling sword salesman.

In Expeditions: Rome, we knew from the start that we wanted to keep crafting, mostly because it gives you – the player – more control over what equipment you’ll have access to. The next question was: how does crafting fit our new player fantasy? This was a question we had to ask with regards to every system in the game, since there is a big difference between being a viking chieftain leading a group of raiders, or a Roman legatus in command of a legion.

When it came to crafting, we knew we didn’t want your character to make their own equipment. You’re not a smith, after all, but a patrician – a Roman noble, with access to the resources of the legion. Thus, when you wish to craft an item in Rome, you will visit the legion’s armoury, queue up the items you want, and assign one of your most trusted people to oversee the project. Each item takes a certain amount of in-game time to make, and once the smiths have had time to work their way through your order, you can just come back and collect the whole lot.

You can’t just craft whatever you want to craft right from the start of the game, however. First you must learn the techniques involved, in the form of acquiring crafting schematics. Common schematics are found on slain enemies or in chests or crates throughout the game, while more rare schematics can only be acquired if you encounter particular worldmap events or search specific locations.

Second, you must of course have the necessary resources. Salvage is dropped as loot or taken as tribute when you are victorious in battle, but you will get most of your salvage by dismantling equipment you don’t need. Since we have no item shops, dismantling is your only way to get rid of unwanted items. Each item type also requires a special material – for example you must have a sword blade to forge a sword, or an armour plate to forge a chest plate. These materials are also acquired by dismantling unwanted items of the corresponding type.

One of our main goals has been that crafted items should be the best items in the game. Collecting loot from chests or fallen enemies is something that just sort of happens as you play the game, but crafting takes some time and thought, and so it needs to be worthwhile. As you learn the intricacies of how the item system works, you’ll be able to make full use of the crafting system – and that involves modifying your crafted items to better suit your purposes.

Any item can be altered in one of two ways: you can upgrade it to a higher tier, increasing its stats as explained in our previous DevDiary, or you can customise its affixes. When you craft an item, you don’t control which affixes it rolls with. You might be hoping to make a bow that has a bonus to piercing damage, but instead you get increased critical hit chance. In such cases, you can pay some extra resources to swap that crit chance affix for a piercing damage bonus – assuming you have learned how to craft that affix onto your items, that is.

But what about those unique items that you receive as quest rewards or find during your travels? Will you have to throw them away when the game’s power curve outgrows them? Not in Expeditions: Rome! Unique items can be dismantled to extract unique crafting materials, which can then be used to reforge the items at a higher tier so you can keep using it if you like how it looks. Dismantling a unique item also automatically teaches you the schematic for how to reforge it. Furthermore, if you don’t care so much for its appearance but you like its unique abilities, you can use its unique material to imbue another item that you craft with its special properties.

Sometimes you might even find a unique item as a material that can be used to reforge the item in question. We hinted at this in our DevDiary about side quests – acquiring the schematics that teach you how to reforge such an item can be a small quest unto itself, and those quests are rarely listed in the quest journal.

We’re not just throwing all of this at you right from the start of the game. To unlock crafting in the first place, you have to build an armoury in your outpost, and the level of your outpost determines the tier of items you can craft as well. The crafting doesn’t really unlock its full potential until almost half-way through the game, once you’re really familiar with the way combat works and you can be expected to understand what the different affixes might do. Once you unlock the ability to upgrade your favourite items to a higher tier, you really feel that you’ve reached an important threshold in your power progression curve.​

The usual devstream about this update is scheduled for October 20th. What do you think, crafting haters?

There are 1 comments on Expeditions: Rome Dev Diary #8 - Crafting

Sat 16 October 2021

Game News - posted by Infinitron on Sat 16 October 2021, 20:19:16

Tags: Artefacts Studio; Dear Villagers; The Dungeon Of Naheulbeuk: Splat Jaypak's Arenas; The Dungeon Of Naheulbeuk: The Amulet Of Chaos

During a Naheulbeuk festival that was held today in the city of Nîmes in southern France, publisher Dear Villagers unveiled the next DLC for The Dungeon Of Naheulbeuk: The Amulet Of Chaos. In Splat Jaypak's Arenas, the party of adventurers will have to face a series of combat challenges in the arenas of goblinoid game show host Splat Jaypak. Here's the announcement trailer:

Splay Jaypak's Arenas is launching on December 3rd. The trailer also reveals the title of Naheulbeuk's third DLC, Back to the Futon, which will presumably be out sometime in 2022. These guys do take their time.

There are 14 comments on The Dungeon of Naheulbeuk's next DLC is Splat Jaypak's Arenas, coming December 3rd

Fri 15 October 2021

Game News - posted by Infinitron on Fri 15 October 2021, 21:35:08

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

Larian released their sixth major patch for Baldur's Gate 3 yesterday. The release was accompanied by a new Panel From Hell event during which Swen Vincke and Nick Pechenin introduced its various features in a live two hour playthrough. The centerpiece of the new patch is the addition of the Sorcerer class, including the Wild Magic and Draconic Bloodline subclasses. Furthermore, a major new location has been added to the game's Underdark region, an ancient Sharran ruin known as Grymforge. Other features of the patch include a new set of weapon-specific active abilities and a substantial graphical overhaul. During the stream, Swen and Nick made their way through the Underdark to confront a drow cultist who has occupied Grymforge with a band of Duergar mercenaries. With the help of a clan of enslaved deep gnomes and some high explosives, they actually managed to win this time. Here's the trailer Larian put together for the patch and an excerpt from the accompanying community update:

Unleash your inner magic: Baldur’s Gate 3 gets a powerful new Sorcerer class

Sorcerers aren’t your typical magic-wielder. Unlike your bookish Wizards or soul-selling Warlocks, a Sorcerer’s abilities come from within. This class taps into their own latent power to wreak havoc in battle.

Sorcerers receive five new spells in this update. Horrific Visage is a Tadpole Action that makes your enemy bleed and allows you to leech a Sorcery Point from them for your benefit. Chromatic Orb is a powerful single-target nuke that lets you hurl a sphere of energy at whoever deserves it most. Cloud of Daggers can be cast by Sorcerers for defense, surrounding them in a protective blanket of flying daggers. Crown of Madness, as the name suggests, sends an enemy mad and can cause them to attack their nearby allies. And finally, Enlarge/Reduce alters the size of a character while also affecting their physical stats, which is likewise what my body has been doing throughout the entirety of lockdown.

But a Sorcerer’s foremost ability is Metamagic. This is their signature skill which allows you to modify your spells in battle, making you a dynamic and unpredictable force to be reckoned with. With Metamagic, a Sorcerer can increase their spell’s range or duration, hit two enemies at once, or purchase other powerful spell variations using Sorcery Points gained as they level up. And just imagine the kind of devastation you can unleash when applying this ability strategically toward spells cast by other magic-wielders.

As any D&D fan worth their dice knows, Sorcerers are available in two flavours: Wild Magic and Draconic Bloodline. Both subclasses have their own particular set of strengths, abilities, and visual look.

The Wild Magic Sorcerer is a manipulator of chance and magic. Using their Tides of Chaos ability, they swing the battle in their favour by gaining advantage of attack rolls, ability checks, or saving throws. But with every swing there is also a roundabout. And for every successful gain a Wild Magic Sorcerer receives, they also have a chance of being on the receiving end of a random effect. Some positive – like gaining teleport as a bonus action – and some, ah, less good – like setting everyone on fire.

Draconic Bloodline Sorcerers on the other hand possess spell-casting abilities passed down through their dragon ancestry. Each Draconic Bloodline Sorcerer reaps the benefits of their dragon lineage, and can harness the damage-type possessed by their ancestor: Fire, Acid, Poison, Lightning, or Cold. Was your great-grandma a Red Dragon? If so, you’ll be able to wield Fire abilities like Burning Hands. Additionally, this subclass gets an extra hit point with every level gained, meaning they’re quite the powerful adversary in combat. And as you can see in the image above, you will be able to customize the look of your Draconic Bloodline Sorcerer with a variety of dragon facial designs so scaley not even the heaviest of moisturizers can soften them.

New weapon actions - combat just got a lot more interesting

But Forging the Arcane isn't just about magic.

In this patch, we wanted to ensure that fans of melee and ranged combat gain even more tactical agency during fights next time they jump back in to BG3. Thus, we've introduced new Weapon Actions.

So what does that mean exactly? Well, characters who are proficient in a particular melee or ranged weapon will now have up to three signature moves at their disposal, giving you new ways to eviscerate any nearby Goblin who happens to look at you funny. The aim here is to ensure players will experience melee actions closer in line to those dreamt up during a tabletop D&D game.

Smash an enemy's chest to damage and potentially reduce their actions by one with the new Heartstopper move, target an enemy's hands with a non-lethal Weakening Strike attack to give disadvantage on Attack Rolls, or hit an enemy with all your might for a chance at dazing them with a Concussive Smash. But please do not use these new moves on the Owlbear as our hearts can't handle it. For the full list of new Weapon Actions, have a gander at the patch notes at the bottom of the page.
Larian exhibited the new version of Baldur's Gate 3 at EGX last week, so in addition to all of this there's also a new batch of press previews. The full patch notes for the update are available here.

There are 42 comments on Baldur's Gate 3 Community Update #14: Patch 6 - Forging the Arcane

Wed 13 October 2021

Preview - posted by Infinitron on Wed 13 October 2021, 23:58:27

Tags: Avowed; Obsidian Entertainment

There's been no real news regarding Obsidian's Skyrim clone Avowed since the game was announced last summer. Between that and the various high-profile departures from the project over the past year, it's widely believed to be languishing in some sort of development hell (a belief that a certain Chris Avellone has only been too happy to encourage). One person who pushed back against that perception was a writer for Windows Central named Jez Corden, who appears to have inside information about Avowed's development. Yesterday he published a rather fanboyish impressions piece based on footage from an early build of the game.

Sources familiar with internal plans have reached out to us in recent months offering details on Avowed, moving through pre-production towards a playable alpha state. Indeed, Obsidian is likely close to having a working early version of the game, with many mechanics and core gameplay pillars already implemented. I can't be sure how old some of the footage I've seen is, and there's a good chance it's far further along.

For those who don't know, we've only seen Avowed in a pre-rendered CGI trailer thus far. The game is set in the Pillars of Eternity universe, known as the World of Eternity, and utilizes a first-person viewpoint similar to Obsidian's The Outer Worlds.

The Outer Worlds fans already have plenty of reasons to be excited about Obsidian's upcoming slate, given that The Outer Worlds 2 has been confirmed. Avowed seems to be based on a similar, albeit enhanced engine from The Outer Worlds, complete with action-oriented first-person combat and deep RPG exploration and narrative systems. We were told Avowed will feature multiple class playstyles and borrow from Skyrim's two-handed combat system. You could wield two daggers and be a stealthy rogue, or dive into archery with a two-handed bow. You could use a combination of swords and magic, or go full two-handed magic, which is required to wield some of the game's more potent spells and abilities.

Avowed will feature many elements Pillars of Eternity fans will be familiar with. Wizard spells like Jolting Touch, which can fry enemies with forks of lightning, will be present. Two-handed spells like Fireball are conjured using complex-looking hand gestures, but decimate enemies in a storm of magma and fire. I also saw status effect spells like Fetid Caress, imbuing enemies with corrosive poison. Weapon enchantments seem to be a big feature too, with magically enchanted swords and frozen arrows, as examples. Pillars-style guns may also appear in the game, similar to the muskets and arquebuses found in the original two titles. Familiar creatures such as the lizard-like Xaurips will appear, alongside much larger and deadlier threats, all the way up to wyverns and drakes.

The combat seems to be more loadout-based than The Elder Scrolls, which gives you mountains of spells in a gigantic list. Warriors will get access to more physical attacks like swordplay, powerful kicks, and shield bashes, while casters will be given a range of spellbook options to customize and tailor their combat style, with attacks bound to specific buttons.

I am a huge Pillars of Eternity fan and seeing stills of Avowed's early builds filled me with a ton of excitement. As much as I love the tactical combat of Pillars, seeing the classic CRPG add new dimensions with action-oriented combat is undoubtedly going to bring in a whole legion of new fans to the franchise. I think fans of The Outer Worlds should be particularly excited, too.

If The Outer Worlds was Obsidian's take on a Fallout-style game, Avowed is undoubtedly Obsidian's take on The Elder Scrolls. The two-handed, first-person combat style is unmistakable, but there are obvious differences in early documentation.

At least directly compared to the likes of Skyrim and Oblivion, Avowed seems to be a far more colorful game, reminding me far more of The Outer Worlds. Luminescent cave mushrooms, verdant forests awash with gigantic flora, and hulking sunlit temples complete with skeleton-infested depths and tombs are plentiful. It came as a bit of a surprise given the game's original trailer, which seemed like it was trying to strike a much darker tone, save for the neon spell effects.

Pillars of Eternity does seem to take environmental interactivity a bit further than The Outer Worlds too, complete with swimming capabilities. We've even heard of destructible environments, using lit torches and fire spells to burn down blocked entryways too. Fire spells leave areas coated in flames too, which cascade against walls and floors.

The content I saw does represent a pre-alpha state with certain aspects like lighting and textures not fully implemented, which is one reason I'm not sharing the documentation I've been shown. The finished art style is expected to elevate what we saw in The Outer Worlds, though, with a brighter, more lively color palette, although it could end up looking a bit darker akin to the debut trailer. I only saw a couple of areas, although it could represent the diversity of locale styles Obsidian aims to deliver.

As for the story and layout, I can only speculate. I'm not sure whether it will go full-blown open world like the modern Elder Scrolls games or utilize something more like The Outer Worlds' hub system, which connects large areas with an overworld map, complete with interior areas and dungeons. I'd expected it to be the latter, as it gives Obsidian greater control over the pacing of the narrative, which is one of the studio's biggest strengths. There is some evidence that it may go fully open world though, given previous job listings (thanks for the tip, Camonna Tong).

Even in its pre-alpha state, Avowed looks like it plays extremely well, with refined action RPG combat set in a vibrant, medieval fantasy world I cannot wait to explore.
Based on what he's seen, Jez believes we will get to see Avowed gameplay footage at next year's E3 at the latest. Perhaps there'll even be a glimpse of it The Game Awards this December. I guess we'll see.

There are 81 comments on Avowed early build impressions at Windows Central

Fri 8 October 2021

Game News - posted by Infinitron on Fri 8 October 2021, 23:57:00

Tags: Elston Studios; Guile & Glory: Firstborn

Guile & Glory: Firstborn is a tactical RPG made by an Australian fellow named Daniel Elston. The game appears to be set in a Conan-esque heroic fantasy world, in which the hero and his party must defeat their immortal foes by using the environment against them in puzzle-like encounters. It's also got an early 90s pixel art aesthetic with sound effects straight of an old arcade game. Apparently the game has been in development since 2016 including a year in Early Access, but it only came to my attention when Codex newsbot cyborgboy95 posted a thread about it earlier today. Well, better late than never. Here's its trailer and description:

A lone warrior enters the Drowned Lands, seeking revenge for the family he lost to an unimaginable foe. His quest takes an unexpected turn when he meets two other travellers, each drawn by desperation to the ancient land of gods and monsters.

Amidst the ruins of a long-forgotten empire, the companions find themselves swept up in events that will shape the fates of mortals and demigods alike. Legends come alive, and three heroes rise to challenge an ancient darkness from the earliest days of the world.

The Battlefield is Your Weapon

Master natural hazards and deadly traps as you make your stand against the darkness in turn-based tactical combat. The enemies in Firstborn may be immune to mortal weapons, but they can still die.

Cut a swathe through the hordes of nightmarish immortals by pushing, pulling or maneuvering your opponents into the path of lethal hazards.

Your Legend Awaits

Gather and lead a party of unlikely heroes as they rise from humble beginnings to become humanity's greatest champions.

Choose how your heroes grow and develop, and create the ultimate team to battle the ancient legions of the Firstborn.

Vanquish Mighty Bosses

Ferocious beasts haunt the forgotten corners of Firstborn's world, waiting to unleash their earth-shaking fury upon unwary travelers.

Wield skill, patience, and courage to prevail against impossible odds as you cast down nightmarish titans from an age long forgotten.

A Savage World

Take up the mantle of Aspirant and face the challenge of Guile & Glory's campaign head on; or assemble your perfect team to explore the furthest reaches of the Drowned Lands. As you conquer ever greater challenges, you will unlock powerful Boons of Divinity that offer new ways for your heroes to face their foes.

Each new region you explore will bring its own challenges and unique enemies to test your mettle as you lead your heroes on a quest for revenge across an ancient world of gods and monsters.
Guile & Glory: Firstborn is available on Steam now for just $10. Seems potentially interesting, I'd say.

There are 35 comments on Guile & Glory: Firstborn is a tactical RPG with puzzle encounters and an oldschool arcade aesthetic

Development Info - posted by Infinitron on Fri 8 October 2021, 19:08:30

Tags: Owlcat Games; Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous

As the game continues to receive minor updates on a weekly basis, Owlcat have published another post-launch dev diary for Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous. In this installment, lead game designer Yulia Chernenko describes the new aspects of the game's camping system. Namely, the corruption mechanic and the implementation of potion brewing and scroll scribing.

Good stuff. More dev diaries are on the way.

There are 11 comments on Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous Dev Diary #8 - Setting Up Camp

Interview - posted by Infinitron on Fri 8 October 2021, 17:48:13

Tags: Feargus Urquhart; Obsidian Entertainment

Obsidian studio head Feargus Urquhart appeared in a prerecorded interview yesterday at GamesIndustry Live, a business-oriented event running concurrently with EGX in London this year. The topic of the interview was developer-publish relationships, something Feargus has had a lot of experience with. He spoke about the Microsoft acquisition and about his experience working with publishers when Obsidian was still an independent company. While mainly positive, Feargus points at QA support as something that many publishers struggle with. For example, for Neverwinter Nights 2 Obsidian ended up having to recruit their own full-sized QA team. Publishers were also not always good at marketing the studio's smaller titles, such as Square Enix with Dungeon Siege III. Later on in the interview, Feargus also reveals that Obsidian once lost access to a particular license because of a small change to a contract that he missed.

I believe this is Feargus' first major public appearance since The Outer Worlds was in development. I wonder if that means anything.

There are 22 comments on Feargus Urquhart talks about working with publishers at GamesIndustry Live

Game News - posted by Infinitron on Fri 8 October 2021, 00:34:52

Tags: Kerberos Productions; Sword of the Stars: The Pit 2

For the past fifteen years, the folks at Canadian indie studio Kerberos Productions have made a living releasing various games set in the universe of their debut sci-fi strategy title Sword of the Stars. One of these was the traditional roguelike Sword of the Stars: The Pit, which achieved a minor level of popularity when it was released back in 2012. Last month, Kerberos announced that they were developing a sequel, called simply Sword of the Stars: The Pit 2. In truth, it might be more accurate to call it a 3D remake rather than a sequel. It has the same premise as the original and will eventually include all of its features, including the DLC. In the long run, Kerberos hope to create some new content as well. Here's the game's trailer and the description from its Steam page:

"A deadly plague ravages your world. Your last hope: a legendary alien facility dug deep into the Feldspar Mountains...a massive Pit, built by the ancient Suul'ka."

After the success of our Indie, Roguelike hit Sword of the Stars: The Pit in 2012, it's time to celebrate its 10th anniversary in 2022! Sword of the Stars: The Pit 2 is an update of the fun, fast, and light-hearted turn-based original, taking the game from its 2D retro-roots and into a fully 3D game world.

While we begin by updating The Pit for the present, join us as we take The Pit series to a whole new world!

Initial Early Access Features
(this list will be updated along with the game build)
  • 5 Characters to choose from... Marine, Scout, Medic, and Engineer, and Gunny, a character hidden in the original game!
  • 25 Levels of ancient evil science for you to dive into!
  • Improve your character by increasing your skills to help you survive the depths.
  • Dozens of enemies drawn from the Sword of the Stars universe!
  • A wide variety of weapons and armors including guns, blades, flamethrowers, rocket launchers, and more!
  • Over 150 items to discover, ranging from the familiar to ancient exotic tech.
  • Crafting lets you make special items from bits and pieces of your enemies.
  • Disassembling lets you break up certain items into craftable components
  • Dozens of room types containing a host of exotic devices to help - or maybe hinder - your progress.
  • Discover and decipher hidden messages, crafting recipes, and pieces of Sword of the Stars lore!
  • Many fiendish ways to die including poisoning, disease, traps, radiation, starvation.
  • Rotatable player camera.
Lead Designer and CEO of Kerberos Productions, Martin Cirulis, discusses The Pit 2 and our plans for its future.
Sword of the Stars: The Pit 2 should be getting an Early Access release "soon", with the final launch planned four to six months afterwards. I don't know if those graphics are going to work, though.

There are 29 comments on Sword of the Stars: The Pit 2 is a 3D sequel to the sci-fi roguelike

Wed 6 October 2021

Game News - posted by Infinitron on Wed 6 October 2021, 23:18:04

Tags: inXile Entertainment; Wasteland 3; Wasteland 3: Cult of the Holy Detonation

The next release of the month is Wasteland 3: Cult of the Holy Detonation, the second and final expansion for the RPG Codex GOTY-by-default for 2020. For inXile, this expansion is not just the conclusion of their work on Wasteland 3, but also a belated capstone for the era of crowdfunded roleplaying games developed by relatively high profile American studios. From now on their games will be very different. The expansion's release announcement post hints at that, but first the launch trailer:

Wasteland 3: Cult of the Holy Detonation is now available for PC, Xbox, and PlayStation!

Cult of the Holy Detonation brings together years of experience developing Wasteland 3, allowing us to create some of our best environments, creatures, weapons, and designs, and put them all into the subterranean, mutant-infested government stronghold of Cheyenne Mountain. It’s a blast.

The Desert Rangers will once again need to dive into a messy situation, sort out the major players and their motivations, and if necessary, take them to task. In true Wasteland fashion your decisions can have wide-reaching repercussions, and the decisions you’ve made up until this point can and will impact how the events within Cheyenne Mountain play out. This expansion also introduces objective-based combats, which are marquee events that require you to use your squad in new and unexpected ways. It’s going to put even the most battle-hardened among you to the test. For an extra challenge, try it on Supreme Jerk, with difficult skill checks and permadeath turned on, while being level 16. We dare you.

We’re excited to see players jump into this final piece of the Ranger story in Colorado and are eager to hear what you think.

Cult of the Holy Detonation is also available in the Colorado Collection bundle, which includes the base game, The Battle of Steeltown, and Colorado Survival Gear bonus items all for a single low price—and it’s on sale! The Colorado Collection is 30% off until October 19, making this an incredible time for new players to jump into post-apocalyptic Colorado.

With the release of Cult of the Holy Detonation, the story of the Desert Rangers in Colorado has come to an end, and we’d like to thank our original crowdfunding backers for making this possible, our Microsoft partners for elevating the Wasteland 3 experience to new heights, and our publisher Prime Matter for bringing these experiences to the masses.

What’s next for inXile? You’ll have to stay tuned. But in the meantime, there are some cultists to deal with. We’ll see you in the wasteland, Rangers.
Cult of the Holy Detonation is available on Steam and GOG for just $7, which is half the price of Battle of Steeltown. It's not clear whether that means the expansion is even smaller than its predecessor or if inXile just decided this was a better price point. I guess we'll know soon enough.

There are 18 comments on Wasteland 3: Cult of the Holy Detonation Released

Game News - posted by Infinitron on Wed 6 October 2021, 00:19:04

Tags: Lost Pilgrims Studio; Vagrus - The Riven Realms

Vagrus - The Riven Realms, the intriguing post-apocalyptic fantasy sandbox RPG from Hungarian studio Lost Pilgrims, was released today after four years in development. During its time on Early Access, Vagrus attracted a small but dedicated following on our forum thanks to its well-crafted setting and uncompromising complexity. In fact, the game is so complex that Lost Pilgrims were unable to finalize all of its planned features and plan to continue updating it over the next year. Their announcement post has all the details, but first the launch trailer:

The day is upon us! Vagrus - The Riven Realms is out now!

And by Ahskul what a journey this has been so far. Speaking of which, there is a bit of a parallel here that could be drawn between caravans trudging across a barren, post-apocalyptic dark fantasy world and a tiny studio scrambling to deliver a huge open world game but we let's not go there on this fine day!

What's truly important in this whole journey is that it would not have been possible without the continued, constructive, persistent support of so many of you, the players. Everyone who spent hours and hours delving into the Early Access, everyone who dropped a few kind words or a review of the game, shared posts, talked to friends about Vagrus, sent bug reports, pointed out typos, and of course, bought the game - you are what made all this work worth it. If you could keep this up by playing the game and sharing this post we would be eternally grateful.

Size and Content
With companion questlines, a new companion, and a new region, the game grew by about 30-35% compared to the last public Early Access build, with a lot of UI and feature improvements. Because of this large amount, there are certainly still glitches here and there but the team is ready and eager to address those as they rear their ugly heads. We also have some unfinished business regarding the Wealth victory path and the adding of new playable races, which we'll get around to presently.

For a detailed description of what is to come, check out the previous devlog post here. Below you will find the full patch notes, which is basically the same in a bullet point list.

The Future
Because the Riven Realms have been part of our lives in one form or another for 30 years, rest assured that we have no intention of abandoning the game now that 1.0 is out, of course. On the contrary, our plans involve improving mechanics, adding content, and creating DLCs if there is a demand. We'll share more detailed plans when the tumult of the release abates somewhat.

And again, thank you for coming along for the journey with the Lost Pilgrims!
Vagrus - The Riven Realms is available on Steam and GOG for $30, with a 15% launch discount until next week.

There are 17 comments on Vagrus - The Riven Realms Released

Fri 1 October 2021

Game News - posted by Infinitron on Fri 1 October 2021, 22:59:31

Tags: Blacktorch Games; Disciples: Liberation; Frima Studio; Mechajammer; Skullstone; Steam Next Fest; Urban Strife; Whalenought Studios; White Pond Games

Compared to summer, there aren't nearly as many noteworthy demos for upcoming RPGs in this autumn's edition of Steam Next Fest. Since titles that participated in the event back then are ineligible now, that does mean we have an all new batch of demos to check out. The most notable of these is zombie survival tactical RPG Urban Strife, which is available to play publicly for the first time. Its final release has however been postponed to 2022. Anyway, here's the list:

These and the hundreds of other demos released during Steam Next Fest will be available until October 7th, along with the usual schedule of developer livestreams and Q&A sessions. Have fun, Codex.

There are 21 comments on Steam Next Fest, October 2021: Demos of upcoming RPGs available from October 1st to 7th

Game News - posted by Infinitron on Fri 1 October 2021, 16:33:39

Tags: Big Bad Wolf; Nacon; Vampire: the Masquerade - Swansong

After an unexpectedly long pause, Nacon have released the next character trailer for Big Bad Wolf's upcoming narrative RPG Vampire: The Masquerade - Swansong. The game's third and final playable character is the sultry Toreador Emem, who teaches a would-be assailant that cornering a vampire in a dark alley is a very bad idea. The trailer concludes with a few more glimpses of beta gameplay footage, including a few scenes showcasing some sort of environmental traversal ability.

Swansong is still scheduled for release in February. I wonder what comes next, now that all three protagonists have been introduced.

There are 33 comments on Vampire: The Masquerade - Swansong Emem Trailer

Game News - posted by Infinitron on Fri 1 October 2021, 01:43:44

Tags: Complex Games; Frontier Developments; Warhammer 40,000: Chaos Gate - Daemonhunters

Many of our users have been understandably skeptical of Warhammer 40,000: Chaos Gate - Daemonhunters, the Gray Knights tactical RPG announced earlier this year with two cinematic trailers in a row. Today's gameplay reveal thus seems to have been a particular revelation, because it doesn't look bad at all. The game looks like a violently gory cartoon but in a good way, with environmental destruction and a strategic space travel layer. The accompanying press release has more details:

Cambridge, UK – September 2021. Frontier Foundry, the games label of Frontier Developments plc (AIM: FDEV, ‘Frontier’), today offered players a first-look at gameplay for its turn-based tactical RPG Warhammer 40,000®: Chaos Gate - Daemonhunters, coming up on PC in 2022 in partnership with Warhammer 40,000 creator Games Workshop®.

Assemble your squad, shaping their abilities through an in-depth skill tree and class system, and customising each Knight to a level worthy of the Emperor’s blessing. Not only will your team build experience from each bloody encounter, but you will also invest resources into the advancement of your Strike Cruiser, ‘The Baleful Edict’ as you hunt the plague from system to system, severing the tendrils of Chaos before they can spread their foul corruption.

Set across a multitude of evolving maps including crumbling gothic cathedrals and daemon-infested factorums, utilise the battlefield itself to your advantage. Target plasma generators to throw enemies from their hiding spots in the darkness, or bring a crumbling pillar crushing down upon them. Whether you choose to strike down the warp-spawn up close or from afar, Warhammer 40,000: Chaos Gate – Daemonhunters adds a variety of new mechanics to the turn-based tactics genre.

Developed by Complex Games, Warhammer 40,000: Chaos Gate – Daemonhunters places players in command of a squad of Grey Knights, humanity’s greatest weapon, as they battle the forces of Chaos. In an epic new story composed by New York Times bestselling author, Aaron Dembski-Bowden, players will purge the daemonic in brutal turn-based combat as they seek a cure to a mysterious plague sweeping the worlds of the 41st millennium.

In October, players can expect to find more information on the source of this galactic threat, as the bloom begins to take hold...

Warhammer 40,000: Chaos Gate - Daemonhunters will release on PC in 2022 on Steam and the Epic Games Store, published by Frontier Foundry, and is available to wishlist now.

Follow the game on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube. Visit the Warhammer 40,000: Chaos Gate - Daemonhunters official website at www.chaosgate.com.
What do you think, Codex? As mentioned, the next Daemonhunters update will be in October.

There are 30 comments on Warhammer 40,000: Chaos Gate - Daemonhunters Gameplay Reveal Trailer

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