and first of all let us thank all of you who shared their views regarding our planned priorities. We took that to heart and worked tirelessly to implement Companion Progression, which includes raising the Prowess cap from two to five, introducing Companion-specific traits that increase stats, and much more.
It is important to mention that the Companion loyalty storylines that will in the final game open up Prowess 3 and 6, are not yet in the game and not planned any time soon either. Our plan is to add those once all the planned regions are added first, so those questlines can be placed to their ideal location rather than crammed into the currently available territory.
We have also made various other improvements that make Companion combat more interesting:
- Diminishing returns will help against enemies with high Block or Evade stats, and though it is applied on the player side as well, some of the Companions have access to the Resolute perk now that allows them to ignore diminishing returns, meaning they can Evade or Block without getting a debuff.
- Thanks to some AI improvements, the enemies will now be much better at using complex skills instead of spamming a unit's base attack or even just skipping turns or swapping when out of position somewhat.
- The mechanics of many combat perks, like Channeling or Life Leech, that are available through companion progression or as gear effects, have been implemented giving even more Companion upgrade options.
Beside changes on the code side, we are opening up a new subregion in this patch for the first time, the salt basins above the Mines of Plenty. The area includes Salum, the headquarters of the Scythichnis Covenant as well as the Auguros Work Camp, a prison colony of the Empire.
Let's dive into the detailed list of changes:
Patch 0.5.16 - codename: Salty!
- Companion progression
- Prowess cap raised from 2 to 5
- Second level skill upgrades enabled (and can be boosted to third)
- New companion-specific Traits added that raise baseline stats such as VIT, ARM, ACC, etc.
- For an interim period, companions can be 'reset' during camping (via the 'brain' button on camp/rest screens)
- Companion Combat
- Diminishing returns on Evade and Block introduced
- New 'Resolute' combat trait available for certain companions; this trait makes the companion unaffected by diminishing returns
- AI improvements - enemies can now use complex skills and are less likely to skip their turn
- Skills involving movement or two phases now work as intended (their animation is split into two so that is still not final)
- Enemies may now seem to have gotten new skills whereas in truth, those just started to work properly
- Initiative order altered to accommodate enemies with multiple actions per round; also to properly remove/add characters losing or gaining actions (i.e: Stunned or Aided)
- New combat traits implemented: Arcane Leech; Blood Magic; Channeling; Durable Spells; Frenzy; Life Leech; Siphon; Spell penetration
- The salt basins region added with settlements, events, and a questline
- Gor'Goro has a new fourth combat skill
- Camp UI 'X' button added (the most requested feature ever) - goes inactive if any camp action is started, like banter, etc.
- Companion combat decal flips finally work for enemies used as allies, as well as some other decal effects fixed
- Animation and decal refinements
- Various smaller UI changes & Tooltip updates
- A bunch of Resourcefulness/Authority/Perk base/effect related bugs/potential exploits resolved
- Save/Load issues around camping resolved
- Companion combat skill effect resists against Impervious enemies now properly work (no Bleed status vs Specters, sadly)
- DOT damage kills now trigger companion combat victory when defeating the final enemy
- Wrong node-path taken bug fixed
- Various smaller fixes
- Scouting result crash - still unable to reproduce
- Crew combat looting does not work yet
- The visual presentation of companion combat skills with two phases are not final yet
'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.
We are eager to hear how you find these new changes. With Companion Progression added, we are refocusing on the most critiqued area - well actually two areas - of the game: crew combat and companion combat. Our first priority will be to implement our planned Crew combat looting design and depending on how long that takes, we might take a crack at Crew combat Actions, too, soon afterward. While Companion combat has received a number of feature updates, the visual representation is still far from what we imagined. Beside the generic goal of making it 'better paced and more impactful', we are planning to improve specifically how we visualize targeting and complex skills, and also explore adding turn/round announcements and initiative order animations - the list goes on. This may take a while, so no promises on the deadline but we thought it was important to share that we are working on it. In terms of content, our eyes are set on Deven and the surrounding area already. It's coming.
Stay tuned, stay alive, conquer the wasteland!
The Lost Pilgrims Team
P.s.: We are still receiving a high number of messages, bug reports, and improvement ideas via the various channels so we might not be able to respond to everyone but we're trying our best.
Our crowdfunding campaign is LIVE at Fig! Also, don't forget to wishlist and follow Vagrus on Steam and GoG!