Immerse yourself in a medieval fantasy world in this classic top-down single player adventure RPG. Journey through a seamless open world and progress through dialogue options to uncover the story of Rothar Aercrest – the cursed Lord of Mistywoods; a rural and peaceful land that rests mostly forgotten in a world otherwise rich with great kings, queens, sorcerers and intrigue. At least, that is the way things used to be.
Greetings again, adventures!
Summer has come and gone, we're a little behind on many of the features we originally envisaged in our spring roadmap, but we do have a new content update for you! This update brings with it quests and environmental changes to the forests southwest of Thornhill City, as well as a number of gameplay additions and changes.
It also kicks off a prequel quest for the haunted Greywall Dungeon we're working on, which will offer separate story content and layers of incrementally more challenging enemies, culminating in a boss fight with the 'Ghost of Greywall'. We're aiming to release the dungeon in our next autumn update, accompanied by achievements-system we've also been working on.
But for now we wish to deliver a content update involving a mix of ghosts, trolls and lumberjacks. In our usual fashion, you'll find a showcase of the major features included in this update below, as well as more exhaustive patch notes at the very end.
Quests and Environment
Environmental changes, the 'Prowler's Thicket'
We're rebranding the forests southwest of Thornhill City / south of Harshwind Village as the Prowler's Thicket, leaning heavily on its troll inhabitation, while at the same time we've made it accommodate our new Thornbark Sawmill woodcutting minigame - more information on that below. The emphasis is once again on improving the sense of exploration; running into this forest you'll find new quests and things to interact with, new resources and items to hunt, where before it was all quite barren.
New quests introduced in this update are the following:
Quest: Echoes of Suffering
Prequel Quest to the upcoming Greywall Dungeon
Following the shockwave from Gabrius' magic that sent tremors across the land, some among the mining village of Ratcliffe face a disaster. The nearby Sallowstone Mine has caved in, causing all workers within to perish. The prospector Phillip Arden is the lone man who survived and the player may find him in the chapel building contemplating the fate of his friends.
It is not only their deaths that trouble him, though, as he claims the spirits of his friends soon sprang up as ghosts haunting the mine. The old prospector appeals to the player for help, to find a way to bring peace to the ghosts of his fellow miners, to allow them to pass into the afterlife where they belong...
Quest: A Daring Rescue
Entering the small Harshwind Village, the player now encounters a woman in distress. Her father, who also happens to be the mayor of the village, has failed to return home from a hunting trip into the woods. Instead the rest of his hunting party who managed to scramble away claim that they were ambushed by the forest trolls.
In the scuffle the poor mayor was lifted by one the trolls and hauled deeper into the woods, no doubt to one of the nasty lairs the trolls inhabit, to await his fate. Are you willing to go look for him?
Quest: Logging Issues
Before getting the Thornbark Sawmill churning, the player must first aid the sawmill foreman with a slight hitch that has seized the operations. The sawmill's access to the clearing where they acquire all their precious logs of Wildsfir has become blocked by a suspiciously large tree trunk. Seems like a simple obstacle to break through, yet the foreman seems reluctant to send his own men...
The Thornbark Sawmill & the Shaman
Much in the same vein as Shearston Ranch in our previous update, the Thornbark Sawmill offers an alternative way to gain woodcutting experience while also offering a range of unique rewards. The sawmill processes a new type of wood called Wildsfir into planks, rewarding you with tokens you can spend at the foreman on a range of new items, such as Deep Forest garments.
Sometimes while splitting the logs you may find a strange blue gem, the Mystic's Amber, also found on the forest trolls. These are desired by the reclusive shaman Thor Ganesh, found some ways off from the sawmill.
Quest: Staple Foods
Talk to a stablehand anywhere, do them a small favor, and they'll reward you with Horsy the Pack Mule! Besides offering companionship, Horsy serves the very important task of carting items cluttering your inventory at inconvenient times to your bank / storage. Simply 'use' any item on Horsy to quickly store it away for later.
Quest Rework: The Foreign Raider
This was a quest we pushed a few updates back and we were never fully satisfied with it. Then in our last update it appears to have been disabled half accidentally. So this time we rewrote the quest and added a few additional phases to it.
Assuming you're on a save where you haven't yet completed this quest, upon entering the newly improved militia camp west of Haywind, you'll encounter Deputy Rieler who's looking for help in taking down high value bandit targets. He'll want to know you're up to snuff first though...
In this update we again continue our never ending quest to flesh out the trainer traits system. This time we've focused on including the base "tier" traits with desirable bonuses beyond the placeholdery experience gain increases that they've previously offered.
Woodsmanship tier traits now for example buff you with "Pathfinding", which increases your movement speed outside of combat, while cooking tier traits unlock options to learn local cooking recipes (with unique buffs) at various taverns in the world.
Equippable items you create with smithing, tailoring and crafting can now gain a 'critical success' from trainer traits, producing an exceptional quality of that item. Exceptional items have increased stat bonuses and earn you more coin when sold.
Combat skill trainer traits will reward you with various base stat bonuses outside of items, while alchemy traits increase the duration of your beneficial potions.
Mining and fishing tier traits still remain in the works, but will be coming soon™...
Random NPC Encounters (making the game world feel more alive)
We have added a number of background conversation that play out between NPCs in the world as the player draws near. These have basically always been in the game, but previously they have been few and far between. We've worked on better, more efficient ways of implementing these and we're aiming to plant a lot of them around the game world, as they do wonders for immersion and making the game feel more 'alive'.
At best they can also inform about the environment or story and where effort can be spared, they can evolve as the player progresses through quests. This is in fact how the background conversations already worked in quests in our previous update (Shearston and Aurfield) and this trend continues in our latest quests 'Echoes of Suffering' and 'A Daring Rescue'.
We'll also be implementing more of what we call "aggro barks" from now on, which potentially give hostile npcs something to say when engaged in combat.
It's possible to sink quite a few of these into an open world as large as we're working with though, so this will be an ongoing process for the future as well.
Achievements Sneak Peek
Our achievements system still needs to bake, but for now we can offer a sneak peek into what we've been designing. Various feats you complete in the game will net you your usual Steam achievements, but in game the system goes beyond that. We wanted achievements to offer a way to track content in game, so we've created a window to do just that, where achievements and progress are listed under varying categories.
As an example, looking under the categories of Story / Haywind you would find achievements relating to side-questing in the Haywind area.
As you may notice, we've made it possible to include rewards within the achievements, which can be collected at your leisure. We could for example include small tasks from villagers etc. you encounter, which don't constitute as fully fledged quests, but could still be rewarding to do in this way.
The achievements could largely reward with achievement tokens also, which may be spent at an "achievement shop".
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