Face the River Kelpie in Update 1.3!

Apr 23, 2024

Greetings, Viceroys!

Prepare to confront the mythical River Kelpie as it emerges from the depths to challenge even the bravest adventurers.

Update 1.3 brings a tide of changes, featuring:

  • River Kelpie – new event
  • New perks
  • Increased zoom distance
  • Precision tree marking tool
  • Tooltips improvements
  • New icons
  • Balance changes
  • And more

Let’s dive in!

P.S. Against the Storm is now 35% off during Earth Appreciation Festival, so don’t let this opportunity drift away, and secure your copy or share the news with a friend:


As with all major updates, numerous systemic changes require us to close the ongoing settlements to avoid potential issues. As compensation, you’ll receive extra Citadel Resources and Royal Resupply.

(Steam only) However, for those of you who weren’t able to finish the settlement, we also prepared a separate branch on Steam where we’ll keep the previous version for an extra week.

To switch the branch, right-click on Against the Storm in your Steam library and select Properties. Then go to the Betas tab and select “Against the Storm version 1.2” from the drop-down list:

Once you finish the settlement on the Beta branch, select the “None” branch to return to the main branch.


Today’s update focuses a bit more on the quality-of-life features and overall game balance, but there is still some new content to spice things up. We’re also laying the groundwork in preparation for an exciting future.

Let’s talk about the new content first. With this update, we’re introducing a new dangerous glade event – the River Kelpie. It’s a legendary water demon that can mesmerize unsuspecting villagers and lure them to their doom. Along with this event, we’re also adding a new type of working effect and reward… but we won’t spoil anything here. It’s best if you find out for yourself.

Additionally, there are three new Legendary Cornerstones available – the Mark of the Sealed Ones, From the Shadows, and the Blightrot Pruner. All of them themed around a more corruption/blight-heavy playstyle. Our main goal with this addition is to increase variety and boost a slightly more corruption-heavy playstyle.

Speaking of which, we also took a good long look at all the Cornerstones in the game and tried to improve their balance, as a lot of time has passed and a lot of new content has been introduced since we last did that. The exact details are all listed in the changelog below, but in general, we took a more radical approach this time. We decided to not only tweak the numbers, but in some cases we revamped the way a specific perk works (like in the case of Alarm Bells, which now scales off of a different stat than before).

Overall, our goal with the Cornerstone balance was the same as always – to increase variety and encourage some underutilized playstyles. We did this mostly by buffing some underpowered effects and adding slight drawbacks to the most overpowered ones. However, these drawbacks are not meant to just punish or discourage you – it’s meant more as a trade-off. Our philosophy is that when you take a very powerful perk that pushes you into a certain specialization, you will naturally be weaker in another branch of your settlement’s development.

You might have already noticed that balance is a big theme of this update. One of the bigger changes coming in 1.3 is related to Hearth upgrades. A while back, we released an experimental patch with some big changes to upgrade requirements (our goal was to get rid of the housing/population micromanagement), but in the end, the proposed solution introduced some big secondary design and balance issues. That’s why in the end, we decided to go with a more subtle change – a redistribution of the +2 Resolve bonus from the first Hearth upgrade to all the other levels. From now on, you will be able to get a total +3 Resolve bonus from one Hearth (instead of +2), but it will be spread across all 3 levels.

This change may make the early game a little harder than before, and it does not completely solve the housing micromanagement problem, but we believe it’s a step in the right direction. It reduces the need for population micro and evens out the balance of Resolve. Before, two Hubs with 8 villagers each, generated Resolve comparable to infinite supply of Jerky, but required much less effort and resources to achieve.

There are also numerous other balance changes, both large and small, coming in this update. Probably the most notable of these is the rebalancing of the Blight Post upgrades. We changed not only the cost (which is now much lower), but also the way certain upgrades work (for example, the Alchemical Forge now increases crit chance instead of production speed).

We also tweaked the numbers in some of the Forest Mysteries and Embarkation Bonuses, and changed the layout of the World Map the player sees right after the tutorial – to make the first few hours of Against the Storm a little more exciting.

But enough about balance, let’s move on to UX. A very common pain point for many players over the past few months has been the tree marking tool – specifically, how hard it is to see marked trees in certain biomes and how difficult it is to select individual trees. That’s why we decided to add a new precision marking tool to the game and change the color and contrast of marked trees.

Precision Tree Marking

To access the precision marking tool, simply hold down the Shift key while marking trees. This will change the cursor from a flat brush to a 3D cylinder and snap it to the grid. We hope that this will allow you to easily control which trees to cut and which to avoid.

With Update 1.3, we are also trying to address another common request by introducing a new “housing status” tooltip when hovering over the “homeless” icon in the upper left corner of the HUD. This tooltip will show you how many vacancies you have in houses of each type.

There are also some significant changes to resources’ UX. Tooltips on consumables will now indicate which species like or use a particular resource. We also decided to change the structure of the tooltips, and the list of buildings that produce a particular resource is now separated from the plain text description. Finally, goods at the top of the HUD can now be clicked to open them in the recipe panel.

But that’s not all. There are also a number of minor UI changes, such as a new seal overlay on the world map (activated by holding Alt by default), icons in all tooltips mentioning dangerous or forbidden glades, a “hold to cancel” feature for events, description improvements, and some new settings in the options menu (return disabled ingredients to the warehouse, show house entrances, save warehouse limits between games).

You may also be pleased to learn that with this update, we took a closer look at the overall performance of the game. One of the biggest challenges in Against the Storm has always been the number of individual objects on the screen – this is why larger cities can tank FPS, and why we never really increased the zoom distance during Early Access. But thanks to a recent change in the way we group objects, we have finally been able to increase the max. zoom distance in settlements from 30 height units to 50.

All of these features have one goal – to make it easier for you to interact with the game and help you focus on the fun parts. And almost all of them are inspired by you – our amazing community.

Finally, as with every update, we are bringing you a number of bug fixes and a lot of localization improvements. We are also adding credits to the game and replacing some old icons with new custom ones.

Thank you all for providing feedback, reporting bugs, and giving us suggestions for new content. If you’d like to share your ideas for upcoming updates, here are some useful links:

May the storm be gentle on you,
Eremite Games

P.S. One of the best things you can do to help indie games is to leave a Steam review. If you’ve had a chance to play Against the Storm, we’d love to hear any feedback, positive or negative. Thanks!


Number of changes


Inspired by community

Changes marked with ⚡ were inspired by community.

New content and features

  • ⚡ Added a new Dangerous Glade Event.
    • River Kelpie – A legendary, shape-shifting aquatic spirit that lurks near water and mesmerizes travelers. It is said that whoever acquires the Kelpie’s bridle will be able to control it. 
  • ⚡ Added 3 new Legendary Cornerstones and one Rare perk.
    • Mark of the Sealed Ones (Legendary, yearly) – A faint image of an underwater landscape shimmers inside the ancient jewel. While the Ancient Hearth is being corrupted, resources sacrificed in it burn 50% longer.
    • From the Shadows (Legendary, yearly) – Confused, empty-eyed creatures emerge from the Hearth. Each time Voice of the Sealed Ones triggers after the Hearth reaches 100% Corruption, 3 new villagers appear in the settlement.
    • Blightrot Pruner (Legendary, yearly) – Blightrot spores aren’t technically eggs, but they taste the same. You gain 5 Eggs when a Blightrot Cyst appears in your settlement.
    • Long Term Contract (Rare, traders, orders) – Workers who are assigned to a workplace that matches their comfort specialization receive an additional +2 Resolve from the “Comfortable” effect.


  • ⚡ Changed the rewards for Hearth upgrades. The +2 Resolve bonus from the first level was redistributed to all other Hearth levels. Now the total Resolve gained from a fully upgraded Hearth is +3, but the first level only gives +1.
    • Encampment (Level 1) – Gathered around the blazing fire, folks keep each other’s spirits high. Global Resolve is increased by 1 and the Ancient Hearth’s resistance to corruption is increased by 150.
    • Neighborhood (Level 2) – Some viceroys say aesthetics don’t matter out in the wilds, but you know better than that. Global production speed is increased by 10% and global Resolve is increased by 1. The Ancient Hearth’s resistance to corruption is increased by 150.
    • District (Level 3) – The town is booming with activity and industry thrives. Workers have a 10% higher chance of producing double yields and global Resolve is increased by 1. The Ancient Hearth’s resistance to corruption is increased by 150.
    • This change was done so there was less need for micromanaging populations across multiple level 1 Hearths. We hope that this will make upgrading a Hearth to higher levels a bit more rewarding.
  • ⚡ Rebalanced some Embarkation Bonuses.
    • Additional Villagers – changed the cost bracket from 1 – 2 to a constant 2.
    • Royal Permit – changed the cost bracket from 2 – 3 to 1 – 2. The Royal Permit now gives 3 rerolls instead of 1.
    • Amber – changed the cost bracket from 2 – 5 to 3 – 5.
    • Wood – increased the base amount of Wood from 30 to 40.
    • Packs of Provisions – changed the cost bracket from 2 – 4 to 3 – 4.
    • Parts – changed the cost bracket from 3 – 5 to 3 – 4.
  • ⚡ Added two new items (Sea Marrow and Porridge) to the random item pool in Caravans in the Embarkation Screen.
  • ⚡ Increased the base amount of Oil in starting Caravans from 10 to 20.
  • ⚡ Changed the cost of Blight Post upgrades. 
    • Instead of a choice between Pipes, Tools, and Parts, they now always cost Pipes. 
    • The resource numbers have been significantly reduced and differentiated between the two available upgrade levels.
    • Level 1 now costs 2 Pack of Building Materials and 4 Pipes.
    • Level 2 now costs 3 Packs of Building Materials and 6 Pipes.
  • ⚡ Buffed most of the Blight Post upgrades.
    • Mobile Sparkcasters – increased the speed boost from 25% to 30%.
    • The Triple Ignition System – this upgrade now also affects Blight Automatons.
    • Alchemical Forge – this upgrade no longer increases production speed, but instead adds a 50% chance of producing double the amount of Purging Fire.
    • Manned Lookout – this upgrade no longer gives a flat global bonus of 25% slower Blightrot Cyst generation. Instead, it now gives a 10% bonus for every worker assigned to the upgraded building.
  • ⚡ Rebalanced several Cornerstones.
    • Alarm Bells – the chance for double yields is now based on Corruption per minute instead of the Corruption percentage.
    • Market Shift Plan – lowered the number of trade routes required to disable this effect’s drawback to 3 (from 5). 
    • Overexploitation – added a 30% gathering speed boost and lowered the node charge bonus slightly (from +15 to small nodes and +40 to large nodes, to +10 to small nodes and +25 to large nodes). Also changed this effect’s drawback – it no longer increases hostility, and instead spawns one Blightrot Cyst every time a resource node is depleted.
    • Queen’s Gift – this effect no longer gives 250 Hearth Resistance for every 2 woodcutters. Instead, it gives 150 Resistance for every woodcutter.
    • Counterfeit Amber – this effect no longer has a drawback of increasing the Blightrot Cyst generation rate. Instead, traders will now have 1 less blueprint or perk on sale.
    • Cannibalism – increased the amount of Meat gained for villager deaths from 30 to 40.
    • Cheap Construction – this Cornerstone has been removed from the pool.
    • Driving Water – this Cornerstone has been removed from the pool.
    • Trade Hub – this Cornerstone no longer slows down Reputation gain from Resolve. Instead, it decreases the Reputation gained from fulfilling Orders by 50%.
    • Crowded Houses (Stormforged) – this Cornerstone now increases the time between breaks by 25% instead of shortening the break time itself.
    • Prosperous Settlement – this Cornerstone now has a drawback. Scouts work 10% slower on Glade Events.
    • Protected Trade – increased the amount of Hostility reduction from 10 to 15. Added a drawback – this Cornerstone now lowers the amount of Resolve gained for fulfilling Complex Food needs by 1.
    • Because of these changes, some Stormforged variants had to also be adjusted.
  • ⚡ Tweaked the early Cornerstone drafting in favor of some early-game effects.
  • ⚡ Rebalanced two Forest Mysteries.
    • Forest Offerings –  now gives 40 food instead of 30 for every Dangerous or Forbidden Glade Event solved during Drizzle.
    • Leakage – now decreases the Hearth’s Resistance by 300 instead of 200 during the Storm. 
  • ⚡ Changed the balance of the Sadrath the Wise World Event. Players will now get 40 Food Stockpiles instead of 25 for 10 Artifacts.
  • ⚡ Faction upgrades will no longer appear after a certain threshold in the Smoldering City in the Queen’s Hand Trial mode.
  • ⚡ Rebalanced the Untapped Wealth Forest Mystery. It now doubles the amount of secondary goods gatherers bring back from harvested nodes. 
    • Previously, this effect was described as an increase in crit chance, but under the hood, it just increased the amount of secondary yields by a small percentage… which did absolutely nothing, as the numbers were too small. So this change is more of a bug fix.
  • ⚡ Disabling a recipe in a service building now automatically opens up the Consumption Control panel.
    • It’s no longer possible to disable a service while having the same need enabled in the Consumption panel.
    • Disabling a service need in the Consumption Panel will stop the service building workers from transporting goods related to that need.
  • Changed the first World Map layout after the tutorial. It now should have a few more modifiers and more biome variety.
  • Changed some level up rewards.
    • Level 9 – unlocks the Blightrot Pruner Cornerstone instead of Cheap Construction.
    • Level 12 – unlocks the From the Shadows Cornerstone instead of Driving Water.
  • The Forsaken Altar can no longer be demolished, but can be moved.

UX/UI improvements

  • ⚡ The max. zoom out distance in settlements is now 66% higher than before.
  • ⚡ Changed how the precision tree marking tool works (the smaller pointer activated by holding Shift).
    • Going into “precision mode” now changes the pointer to a 3D cylinder instead of a flat circle. 
    • The cylinder is the size of one tile and snaps to the grid, making it easier to select single trees.
  • ⚡ Changed the highlight colors and opacity for marked trees to improve their visibility in all biomes. 
  • ⚡ Added a “housing status” tooltip that is displayed when hovering over the homeless icon in the top left corner of the HUD.
    • This tooltip shows the number of homeless villagers, free spaces in shelters, and free spaces in advanced houses. 
  • ⚡ Changed the resource tooltip layout. The “produced in” building list was moved to a separate line to make the entire tooltip more readable.
    • “Flawless” building variants have been removed from the list to keep it shorter. 
  • ⚡ Added species names to resource tooltips for Complex Food and Consumable Items, so players will know at a glance how a good might be used.
  • ⚡ All goods on the resource bar in the top part of the HUD can now be clicked. Clicking a resource will open the Recipe Panel.
  • ⚡ The results screen at the end of a game now shows a summary of the attempted world event – whether it was completed or failed (plus the details like time and the exact objective numbers).
  • ⚡ Added a setting to auto return goods to the Main Warehouse if an ingredient was disabled in a recipe. To change this setting, simply go to the Gameplay tab in the Options menu.
  • ⚡ Added a Seal overlay to the World map (Seal icons pointing at the edge of the screen where a Seal is located). To enable them, simply hold Alt while on the World Map. The default keybind for this can be changed in the Options menu.
  • ⚡ Houses of species that are not yet present in a given run are hidden by default (until the first member of a species joins the settlement).
  • ⚡ Added a “show house entrances” setting to the Options menu.
  • ⚡ Changed the “use water” Order objective on the HUD to specify that the rainwater has to be used in engines.
  • ⚡ Changed the short version of the “complete trade routes with multiplier” order objective on the HUD. It now displays the required multiplier as well.
  • ⚡ Improved perk/effect sorting on the HUD. Effects with the same label should now be displayed next to each other.
  • ⚡ Perks and orders mentioning glades now have dangerous/forbidden icons in their description to make things clearer.
  • ⚡ All events that can be converted into a positive decoration now state the exact bonus (how much resolve, how many goods per minute, etc.) in their description.
  • ⚡ Added a separate icon to worker slots to distinguish the “going to take a break” action from other “going to” activities.
  • ⚡ To cancel an ongoing Glade Event, the “cancel” button now needs to be held (to make it impossible to do this by accident).
  • ⚡ Changed the time information in the Glade Event panel. It now shows “estimated time”, to make clear that the timer is not exact and can be influenced by random events or worker behavior.
  • ⚡ Added a “save warehouse limits” setting to the Options menu. Turning it off will reset the minimum values set in Warehouses at the start of every game.
  • ⚡ The wildcard panel can now be searched by descriptions (so also produced items or rainwater types) and not just building names.
  • ⚡ Changed the offer sorting in the trade route panel.
    • Offers are now sorted and displayed as available based on a base value (instead of the multiplied value after selecting a higher goods count).
    • The trade offer slot will now highlight why a given offer is unavailable.
  • ⚡ The Demanding and Decadent species attributes in the in-game encyclopedia are now displayed as plain numbers.
  • ⚡ Improved the wording in the tooltip for the Demanding species attribute in the in-game encyclopedia.
  • Added resource icons to a few perk descriptions that were missing them.
  • The last textbox of the first tutorial will now automatically disappear after a few seconds.
  • Storage limits are now automatically disabled in the tutorial.
  • Buildings added by biomes (such as the Archaeologist’s Office or Beacon Tower) no longer highlight the category they are added to at the beginning of the game.

Bug fixes

  • ⚡ Fixed a bug where moving a construction site in a game with the Corrosive Torrent modifier would permanently remove the delivered resources.
  • ⚡ Fixed a bug where the Cornerstone icon would disappear from the HUD when all other icons in the top right corner were active at the same time. 
  • ⚡ Fixed a bug where the upgrades panel in the Blight Post had an incorrect tooltip.
  • ⚡ Fixed a bug that prevented players from cycling between Dangerous and Forbidden Events.
  • ⚡ Fixed a bug that caused specialization bonus tooltips to not appear in the building UI.
  • ⚡ Fixed a bug with the Vassal Tax Forest Mystery not appearing in normal games. 
  • ⚡ Fixed a flow issue in one of the dialogue options with Aunt Lori (about Zhorg).
  • ⚡ Fixed a bug where searching the encyclopedia for various buildings and previewing ruin/reputation blueprints would sometimes show incorrect results.
  • ⚡ Fixed a bug that caused the tree selection tool to be slightly inaccurate under certain circumstances. Also, fixed a slight 3D model offset in the Scarlet Orchard trees.
  • ⚡ Fixed a bug that caused the time to incorrectly reset after reaching 24 hours in the History tab in Smoldering City.
  • ⚡ Fixed a bug where the Like a Machine Deed would be completed after losing a game.  
  • ⚡ Fixed a bug where the particle effect around completed orders was displayed in other UI windows.
  • ⚡ Fixed a bug that caused some small glades to not open properly.
  • ⚡ Fixed a bug where an incorrect footer was displayed under the Purging Fire resource tooltip.
  • ⚡ Added a cap of 20 housing slots to all houses to avoid UI size issues (e.g. when the Urban Planning perk is triggered many times).
  • ⚡ Fixed a bug with an incorrect label in the Vitality effect.
  • ⚡ Fixed a typo in the Forbidden Ritual effect.
  • ⚡ Changed the name of “Nauseous Spores” to “Nauseating Spores”.
  • ⚡ Changed the wording in the trader assault popup.
  • ⚡ Added some missing text  (“this effect is only active when the corresponding glade event is being worked on”) to several working effect descriptions. 
  • ⚡ Renamed the “Lumber Mill Efficiency Test” Order to avoid confusion.
  • ⚡ Fixed multiple typos and inconsistencies in the Simplified Chinese version of the game (Sealed Ones, Blight-related terms, Prestige, dialogue with Aunt Lori, Alarm Bells, Wild Growth, upgrades, perks).
  • ⚡ Fixed multiple typos and errors in the Korean version of the game (building names, profession names, tutorial text, world events, generic perk descriptions).
  • ⚡ Fixed multiple typos and inconsistencies in the Polish version of the game (species descriptions, perk descriptions).
  • ⚡ Fixed multiple typos and inconsistencies in the Japanese version of the game (Hearth Defect, Advent of Flame, upgrades UI, dialogue with Aunt Lori, From the Ashes, wiki, destruction tool).
  • ⚡ Fixed a few typos in the French version of the game (Secure Perimeter, gameplay settings).
  • ⚡ Fixed a few typos in the Turkish version of the game (order objectives).
  • ⚡ Fixed a few typos in the German version of the game (Tightened Belt, Forsaken Gods Followers).
  • ⚡ Fixed a typo in the Spanish version of the game (Forsaken Gods Followers).
  • ⚡ Fixed a typo in the Russian version of the game (Small Altar Box).
  • ⚡ Fixed a typo in the Traditional Chinese version of the game (Alarm Bells).
  • Fixed a bug with incorrect shading on some trees in the Sealed Forest.
  • Fixed a bug where players in the tutorial would get the Royal Resupply after an update.
  • Fixed a bug with missing spaces in building lists in resource node tooltips.
  • Fixed a bug that caused the tab buttons in the Trens panel to be inconsistently sized.
  • Fixed a bug that caused the Blight Post and Hydrant to be available in games without Blightrot.
  • Fixed a bug where Firekeepers would not have a status icon next to their worker slot.
  • Fixed a bug with a missing sound effect when opening the Consumption Control panel


  • ⚡ Improved the overall performance of the game, especially in settlements.
  • ⚡ Added new custom icons to multiple places.
    • Ghosts
    • Haunted ruins
    • Two Order objectives
    • Blight Post upgrades
    • The “comfortable” Resolve effect
    • Citadel Upgrades – factions
    • Converted Glade Events
    • Five Legendary Cornerstones
  • ⚡ Added an option to modify the game’s localization using a .json file.
    • To do this, simply create a .json file only with the string IDs and text you want to change.
    • The file structure should be like on the screenshot below (“ID”:”text”).
    • The file should be named with the language code, for example: de.json, cn.json, etc.
    • Then you need to create a “Texts” folder in the “Against the Storm_Data” folder in the game’s installation location. There you just put the .json file and load the game.
    • And done, the strings mentioned in the .json file will be loaded instead of the original translation.
    • For a more detailed guide, please refer to this document.
  • Added credits to the game. They are automatically shown after reaching certain milestones in the game, but can also be viewed after clicking the “credits” button in the main menu.

The current game version is 1.3.2.


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