it's been a long time coming but finally Mercenary Tasks are live in the latest build. These not only add a ton of variation and replayability but also go a long way in softening up story content and allow the running of a combat oriented comitatus for players. Fair warning, though: just like none of the other income sources work by themselves, Mercenary Tasks do not either. Combine them with Trade Tasks, passengers, and stories, with an emphasis on whichever you prefer over the others.
Mercenary Tasks are received from factions. Each faction is unique when it comes to the ratio of Trade and Mercenary Tasks you can get from them as well as the type of mercenary contracts they hand out. Enemies in these missions can be almost any kind, from beasts to outlaws and Undead - even the mercenaries of other factions.
It's perhaps good to clarify here that major changes to Point of Interests on the campaign map (like razing a settlement) are always the result of an active choice by players in story-lines and not Mercenary Tasks. Mercenary tasks are similar to Trade Tasks: both are repeatable, procedurally generated options that influence Faction relations and serve as a way to earn money. Accordingly, they always involve locations out in the wasteland on unnamed nodes.
Another big change that comes with this build is Dissonance Mode, which you can select when starting a new game from now on. While based on our statistics (thanks to everyone for ticking the box!), the vast majority of players gets the hang of the game after a few botched trials, there are others who are looking for a more relaxed experience. Dissonance Mode is still not 'easy', so we try to avoid calling it an Easy Mode, nor is it a Story Mode since it is the cruel story itself that is left unsupported by the more lenient gameplay, but still, it's something along those lines, easing up on the management and combat mechanics so that you are less likely to be wiped out during a playthrough. Note that Achievements will be disabled in Dissonance Mode.
Just like for Mercenary Tasks and the Dissonance Mode, we will have a detailed design post about all the combat changes that are rolled out in this release but in short: skills involving movement or push-pull mechanics now switch around enemies making the tactical aspect of the companion combat more challenging and - hopefully - more exciting. You can find additional information on the exact improvements below.
Important Note: Considering the extent of these improvements there is little to no chance that we broke nothing in the process. Assume that we did not want to make anyone's life harder. If you see something amiss, please flag it to us using the usual channels, like the inbuild reporting tool (F1 button), forums, and our Discord server.
Now let's jump into the details:
Patch 0.6.00- Codename: Conquers and Dissonance
- Mercenary Tasks were added to the game
- Wasteland and Dissonance Modes are now selectible upon New Game
- 'One More Day' option to continue your playthrough after the 10 year mark added (alas with Achievements disabled)
Companion and Crew Combat
- Push/Pull now switches the characters behind each other. Both roll Resist & immunities apply (Stunned, Immobilized, and Downed combatants can also switch place this way)
- Move +Action Skills no longer need an empty space but auto-switch with the other party member occupying the target position
- Downed Companions can now be dragged away to switch places with an active Companion using a full Move action
- Combat Skills with multiple phases are presented in the same camera zoom
- Garrik's 'Salvaged Rune' Skill now works as intended: it randombly draws a rune from several possible ones - each affects the enemy in different ways
- 'Acrobatic' Perk now available (you can select where to Evade!)
- Decide the fate of the foe if they surrender in Crew Combat or if you capture them as they flee or retreat - they can be let go, enslaved, and more!
User Interface Improvements
- Passengers and Trade Tasks now have chart markers by default
- We have also added a selector that allows you to filter which markers you want to see
- Inside a settlement, you can see the destinations of all available tasks and passengers with the filter turned on
- Factions - Active tab filter buttons added
- Equipment filter buttons on the Market added
- Event choice hover SFX added
- Boosting Chain Lightning now works as intended
- Some end of the day exploits prevented
- Various smaller fixes and Event script tweaks
- Load times are getting higher and higher. We plan to address the issue closer to the final release.
'Is Vagrus properly balanced now?' - Nope.
'Was it a step in the right direction?' - We think so. Please let us know how you find it.
Coming Up Next
So we said that the Smolderbone region was the last one... but yeah, let's go for one more! Then that's it, promise. :)
Stay tuned, stay alive, conquer the wasteland!
The Lost Pilgrims Team
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