Ancient Hearth Update is now available!

Sep 15, 2022

Greetings Viceroys!

It’s the new-update-time-of-the-month, so let’s unveil the exciting new features:

  • Hearth redesign
  • Recipe Limit save/load
  • 27 new Forest Mysteries
  • Ethereal Cornerstones
  • New icons

We also released a new trailer that depicts the essential changes from the previous 20+ Updates. Although many of you might be well familiar with the latest changes, we hope you’ll enjoy it as a farewell to the previous Hearth design.

If you liked the video, we encourage you to give it a thumbs up and follow our channel for more content.

Now let’s move on to proper developer notes, changelog, and the community corner.


In today’s update, we bring you quite a lot of balance changes, a few UX improvements, and some fresh new content. Most notably – a rework to the Hearth, 27 new Forest Mysteries, a nerf to the Cursed Royal Woodlands, and an improved tutorial.

Let’s start with the Hearth revamp. To some extent, the Hearth is the most important building in the game – it’s the heart of the colony, a symbol of the Holy Flame, a mysterious remnant of a long-forgotten era, and a meeting place for the villagers. And yet, until now, it looked a bit underwhelming. That’s why we decided to replace the old model with something more impressive and better suited to the world of Against the Storm (it finally has a roof, yay!).

Ancient Hearth – Basic

Ancient Hearth – District Level

But this is not the only change to the Hearth. We also decided to update the Makeshift Hearth’s model (or “Small Hearth”, as it is now called), and introduce a new type of resource dedicated to this building – the Wildfire Essence. It’s a limited and rare material, used to construct Hearths, and can be acquired from Orders, Glade Events, and bought from Traders.

We also introduce 27 completely new Forest Mysteries and a thorough rebalance of most of the existing ones. We felt that a refresh to this system was long overdue, as it was not only too spiky at times (some effects were just too devastating too soon) but also had some technical limitations (some high-end effects were almost never drawn).

One of new Forest Mysteries – Forgiving Crown

Speaking of balance – we also took a closer look at the Cursed Royal Woodlands. After the last update, some of you correctly pointed out that this biome was overall too punishing. We decided to tune the difficulty down a bit and lower the requirements of the ghosts found in this region. We still want the Cursed Royal Woodlands to be a bit more challenging than other biomes but Restless Spirits should be more of a rewarding side-quest than an annoying obstacle.

Lastly, a rapid-fire list of some additional changes – we improved the first tutorial game to give new players a better experience when first launching Against the Storm, we added a new Ethereal status to some Cornerstones and Timed Orders (a forced pause when picking them), we changed how traders arrive in the settlement (no more repeats), changed the recipe for Crystalized Dew, improved the Blightrot Overlay,  added a save/load function to the Recipe Panel, replaced over 90 icons with new custom assets, and much, much more. 

Recipes Limit Saving

We hope you’ll enjoy the new changes. And if you’d like to share your ideas for upcoming updates, here are some useful links:

Have fun and may the storm be gentle on you,
Eremite Games


Number of changes


Inspired by community

Changes marked with ⚡ were inspired by community.

New content and features

  • Revamped the Ancient Hearth. 
    • Changed the Ancient Hearth’s model, animations, and hub stages. 
    • Changed the Makeshift Hearth’s name to Small Hearth. Also changed its model, animations, and hub stages to be more similar to the Ancient Hearth. 
    • Building a Hearth now requires Wildfire Essence – a new resource acquired from Orders, Glade Events, and bought from Traders.
    • Players start with Wildfire Essence in their Storage, so early expansion shouldn’t be a problem, even if RNG isn’t on their side.
    • Added a custom visual effect around the Ancient Hearth that appears when resources are sacrificed in it.
    • Parts are no longer needed to build Hearths.
  • ⚡ Added 27 new Forest Mysteries. 
    • Greater Threat – Each discovered Dangerous and Forbidden Glade gives -2 to Global Resolve during the Storm. (the effect is added retroactively)
    • Leakage – The cover of the Ancient Hearth was damaged due to an exceptionally strong Storm. The Hearth’s resistance is decreased by -200.
    • Blightrot Mutation – Blightrot begins to mutate, creating a more invasive strain. Production in buildings now also generates Blightrot during the Storm.
    • Flooded Roads – As a result of heavy rainfall, the travel cost of Trade Routes during the Storm is higher by 2.
    • Unearthly Element – The Firekeeper’s power weakens in the face of an otherworldly force. The maximum amount of Sacrifice stacks in the Ancient Hearth is lowered by 1.
    • Faint Flame Strong gusts of wind strike the Holy Flame. Resources you sacrifice in the Ancient Hearth burn 40% shorter.
    • Hunger Storm – Missing even a single meal in this harsh climate can be deadly. If villagers don’t have anything to eat during a break, they will gain two stacks of the Hunger effect.
    • Under an Open Sky – Lack of shelter in such a malevolent Storm is gross neglect of villagers (applies Soaked Clothes effect if housing is not provided).
    • Absorption – Blightrot Cysts consume the Storm’s energy and become more resilient. Burning Cysts takes 5 seconds longer.
    • Aura of Fear – The dark skies above the settlement awaken a primal fear in all villagers. During the Storm, all species’ Resolve drops 100% faster.
    • Rotten Rain – Rotten rain infects farm fields with Living Matter that feeds on leftover crops. Living Matter will spawn on one Farm Field every 50 seconds.
    • Spreading Contamination – Blightrot contaminates everything you send to the Citadel. During the Storm, the Queen’s Impatience grows 5% faster for every Blightrot Cyst in your settlement.
    • Horrors from Beneath – Strange voices call from the depths. Villagers working in Mines get -10 to Resolve during the Storm.
    • Cloudburst – Even the hardiest villagers need some sort of cover in this weather. At the beginning of a Storm, every villager in your settlement will take 1 Coat from the Storage. If you can’t provide the goods, Global Resolve will be lowered by -10 for 3 minutes.
    • Regrowth – Plants seem to grow exceptionally fast after the Storm. All buildings using Fertile Soil produce +50% more goods during Drizzle (crops collected during Clearance also benefit from this effect). 
    • Untapped Wealth – Gatherers have a +50% chance of collecting additional resources when harvesting resource nodes.
    • Exposed Resources – The ground is soft and soaked with the Rain’s essence. Mines produce 50% more goods during Drizzle.
    • Gentle Dawn – New year, new challenges. Gain 3 to Global Resolve for 3 minutes every time you discover a new Glade (stacks duration).
    • Soil Reclamation – The soil becomes saturated with the Rain’s essence during the Drizzle. Resource nodes depleted during the Drizzle spawn Fertile Soil.
    • Forest Offerings – It seems some inhabitants of the Forest are grateful for your efforts. During Drizzle, every solved Dangerous or Forbidden Glade Event will give you 30 random raw food.
    • Finders Keepers – After each Storm, caravans find numerous scattered goods along their routes. During Drizzle, every completed Trade Route will give you 5 random Packs of Goods.
    • Aura of Peace – After each Storm comes a time of peace and regrowth. Gain 0.5 Reputation Points for every Dangerous or Forbidden Glade Event solved during Drizzle.
    • Forgiving Crown – Gain one free Cornerstone Reroll for every Reputation Point gained during Drizzle.
    • Soft Stems – Grain stalks are soft because of the air humidity. During Drizzle, workers in the Harvesters’ Camp can gather Grain from Grain nodes.
    • Marrow Growth – Small pockets of bone marrow form in the ground and on trees. Gain 5 Sea Marrow for every 5 Coal produced during Drizzle.
    • Salty Breeze – The salty air makes it easier to preserve food. Food production speed is increased by 50% during Drizzle.
    • Fermented Rain – The rain is sticky and tastes like wine. During Drizzle, Wine can be produced in the Rain Collector.
  • Introduced a new type of status – Ethereal. It applies to some Cornerstone choices and to all Timed Orders.
    • Cornerstones and Orders marked as Ethereal will pause the game and force you to pick them or dismiss them right away.
    • You can still close the Cornerstone/Order window and look around in your settlement. The Ethereal Cornerstone/Order pick will only disappear if you unpause the game.
    • If you try to unpause the game with an Ethereal choice active, there will be a warning popup asking you to confirm.

Small Hearth – Basic

Ethereal Warning


  • ⚡ Rebalanced numerous Ghost encounters in the Cursed Royal Woodlands.
    • All Angry Spirits now have a timer of 30 minutes instead of 20 (and some have even 45 minutes).
    • All Calm Spirits now have a timer of 30 minutes instead of 12.
    • Extended the required time for need forbidding in some Ghost Requests from 5 minutes to 10 minutes.
    • Changed the objectives for Hub-based Requests from 2 hubs on the Encampment level to 1 hub on the Neighborhood level.
    • Lowered the high Hostility requirements in some Ghost Requests from 10 to 5. 
    • Lowered the requirements for all Resolve based Requests. 
    • Lowered the requirement for Dangerous Glade discovery Requests from 3 to 2. 
    • Lowered the requirements for need-based Requests (Leisure, Religion, etc.) from 30 to 20. 
    • Requests centered around rebuilding or salvaging ruins now require 1 ruin instead of 2.
    • Requests centered around starving villagers now require less of them.
    • Some Angry Ghosts will now destroy fewer Parts in the Storage if their Requests aren’t fulfilled.
  • ⚡ Changed season durations and Hostility values for the Cursed Royal Woodlands. This biome now has a normal Storm duration and the same amount of Hostility from Glades as all other biomes. 
  • ⚡ Rebalanced multiple Forest Mysteries. 
    • Improved Forest Mystery generation and rebalanced the RNG and requirements of almost all effects.
    • Removed Cursed Rain.
    • Removed Resisting Flora.
    • Removed Thunder.
    • Hailstorm was moved from Hostility 1 to Hostility 2.
    • Vassal Tax was moved from Hostility 2 to Hostility 3. 
    • Changed the Lightning Forest Mystery to now only destroy buildings if the player can’t pay a fee (Copper Ore).
    • Changed the Rich Branches Forest Mystery to Fruitful Season (instead of increasing production yield, it now speeds up production in camps).
  • ⚡ Seasonal Effects no longer activate right away. They are instead “Charging” for a few seconds after the Storm starts (illustrated by an animation on the icon).
  • ⚡ Most Orders with the objective of building Shelters have been redesigned to now require the fulfillment of the Basic Housing need (the only exception being the Housing Estate Timed Order).
  • ⚡ The default resource slot in the Purging Fire recipe has been changed from Sea Marrow to Wood.
  • ⚡ Changed the Crystalized Dew recipe. It no longer has Oil/Pigment, and instead uses Clay/Stone.
  • ⚡ Cornerstones with an instant drawback (like losing resources) are now Ethereal.
    • Back to Nature
    • Woodcutter’s Prayer
  • ⚡ All Timed Order choices are now Ethereal instead of giving you a 20 seconds window to pick them.
  • ⚡ Reshuffled some upgrades in the Smoldering City. Added two new ones: +1 Embark Vision and +1 Embark Range. Removed two +10% Farming Speed Upgrades. In effect, you will now be able to venture further at the start of a Cycle, and all vision/range upgrades are in one branch of the upgrade tree, so this part of the game will progress linearly (range > vision > range > vision).
New Rewards
Pioneer’s Gate Level 4
Embark Range +1
Villager Speed +2%
Pioneer’s Gate Level 5
Citadel Vision +1
Villager Speed +2%
Pioneer’s Gate Level 7
Embark Range +1
Villager Speed +2%
Pioneer’s Gate Level 8
Citadel Vision +1
Villager Speed +2%
Obsidian Archives Level 7
Impatience Rate -2%
Obsidian Archives Level 8
Daily Expeditions
Impatience Rate -2%
First Dawn Headquarters Level 2
Additional Caravan Goods
Bonus Yields +1%
First Dawn Headquarters Level 3
More Fertile Soil
Bonus Yields +1%
First Dawn Headquarters Level 4
Additional Caravan Goods
Bonus Yields +1%
Old Rewards
Pioneer’s Gate Level 4
Villager Speed +2%
Pioneer’s Gate Level 5
Embark Range +1
Villager Speed +2%
Pioneer’s Gate Level 7
Additional Caravan Goods
Villager Speed +2%
Pioneer’s Gate Level 8
Additional Caravan Goods
Villager Speed +2%
Obsidian Archives Level 7
Daily Expeditions
Impatience Rate -2%
Obsidian Archives Level 8
Citadel Vision +1
Impatience Rate -2%
First Dawn Headquarters Level 2
Farming Speed +10%
Bonus Yields +1%
First Dawn Headquarters Level 3
Farming Speed +10%
Bonus Yields +1%
First Dawn Headquarters Level 4
More Fertile Soil
Bonus Yields +1%
  • ⚡ Rebalanced the trader arrival system. 
    • Traders will no longer be repeated one after the other. The next trader will always be different from the previous one (as long as there are at least 2 traders available/alive).
    • The player now starts with 2 unlocked traders, and the third is awarded for leveling up to level 2 (after the tutorial). 
    • Improved the RNG of different traders arriving in different stages of the game. Overall, the system is now more lucrative and will allow more traders to arrive sooner. The only exception is the end game, where the three weakest traders have a lower chance of spawning.
  • Reshuffled traders unlocked through leveling.
Unlocked from the start
Old Farluf
Unlocked at level 3
Sothur the Ancient
Unlocked at level 6
Vliss Greybone
Unlocked at level 9
Sir Renwald Redmane
Unlocked at level 12
Unlocked at level 15
Unlocked at level 3
Old Farluf
Unlocked at level 6
Sothur the Ancient
Unlocked at level 9
Vliss Greybone
Unlocked at level 12
Sir Renwald Redmane
Unlocked at level 15
Unlocked through Deeds
  • Changed the rewards for a few Deeds:
    • Prestigious Expedition 1 – removed the Moss Broccoli Seeds Cornerstone, added the Pipe Elbow decoration.
    • Prestigious Expedition 3 – removed the Pipe Elbow decoration, added experience points.
    • Prestigious Expedition 5 – removed the Steel Mattocks Cornerstone, added the Moss Broccoli Seeds Cornerstone.
    • Prestigious Expedition 15 – removed the trader Xiadani, added the Steel Mottocks Cornerstone.
  • Changed the Wildfire Glade Event’s Working Effect. It no longer decreases the burning time of fuel in the Hearth but instead removes a small amount of Fuel from the Storage every 15 seconds.
  • Changed rewards in multiple Orders:
    • Need for Timber – removed Berries, added Wildfire Essence.
    • Stonecutter’s Trial – removed the Reinforced Tools Cornerstone, added Wildfire Essence.
    • Forest Fascination – removed the Reinforced Tools Cornerstone, added Wildfire Essence.
    • Building Rush – removed Parts, added Wildfire Essence.
    • Time of Courage – removed the Rich Branches Cornerstone, added Wildfire Essence.
    • Advanced Cuisine – removed the Flavor Enhancer Cornerstone, added WIldfire Essence.

UX/UI improvements

  • ⚡ Replaced more than 90 icons in the game with new custom assets (resources, orders, needs, UI elements).
  • ⚡ Added the option to save and load global production limits in the Recipe Panel.
    • There are now two new buttons on the right side of the window (save and load). 
    • Global limits can be saved between games on the same profile.
    • There is also an option in the settings menu to automatically load global recipe limits in each game.
  • ⚡ Changed the wording for most effects and objectives mentioning Dangerous Glades to more clearly reflect that Forbidden Glades also count as Dangerous. 
  • ⚡ The Cycle End animation now respects the “no screen flash” option in the game’s settings. 
  • ⚡ The Creeping Shadows effect no longer appears on the HUD if it isn’t active (if no glade was discovered and the debuff wasn’t applied). 
  • ⚡ Improved the UI in the Blightrot Overlay (the [Z] keybind) and the Blightrot summary in the Hearth’s UI. 
    • The overlay now displays how many Cysts there are on a given building.
    • The overlay now displays the total number of Cysts above the Hearth, and a forecast of how many % of the Corruption bar will be filled during the next Storm.
    • In the Hearth UI, there is now a clear calculation of how many Cysts the player has, how much Corruption is generated per minute, and how many % of the Corruption bar will be filled during the next Storm. 
    • The Corruption bar now has an additional red background which shows how much of it will be filled during the next Storm. 
  • ⚡ Added an alert when Scouts are working on a Glade Event but don’t have the resources for it. 
  • ⚡ Added the recipe comparison footer to building tooltips in ruins and to blueprints sold by traders. 
  • ⚡ Deposit indicators are now displayed above the UI.
  • ⚡ Improved the wording on the Furniture Cornerstone. It now states that the effect is applied after a break. 
  • ⚡ Improved the wording on the Worms After the Rain Forest Mystery. It now states that the effect allows Scavengers to collect Insects from nodes. 
  • Improved the UX of Goods categories on the HUD. They are now animated when hovered over and highlighted when selected. There’s also an arrow pointing to the resources in a given category.
  • Changed the position of the “move” button in the building UI. It’s now on the left instead of the right.
  • Improved the first tutorial game.
    • Improved the triggers for multiple alerts. Some old alerts are now cleared if ignored.
    • Improved the first map’s Glade and resource layout. 
    • Changed what events can be found in the forest during the tutorial.
    • Added a highlight to worker slots the first time the player opens up a building’s UI. 
    • Improved some order descriptions to make them more understandable.
    • Improved the interactiveness of alerts – added sound and visual effects drawing the player’s attention.
    • Added highlights to alerts in the tutorial.
    • Added an alert warning the player about discovering the Dangerous Glade too soon.
    • Limits in workshops are disabled for the duration of the tutorial.
    • Changed the “abandon” button to “skip tutorial” for the duration of the tutorial games.
  • Improved the balance and the dialogue boxes in the second tutorial game.

New icons

Bug fixes

  • ⚡ Fixed a bug with incorrect level-up rewards being given to the player (rewards for level 2 were given for level 2, and so on).
  • ⚡ Fixed a bug that prevented the player from solving the Starved Harpy Ghost Event in the Cursed Royal Woodlands.
  • ⚡ Fixed a bug with the Stormforged version of the Dye Extractor Cornerstone giving too many Insects.
  • ⚡ Fixed a bug with the Stormforged version of the Generous Gifts Cornerstone having the same effect as the regular version.
  • ⚡ Fixed a bug with the Bread Peels and Rain Pumps Cornerstones being offered even if the player didn’t have a Bakery or Brewery.
  • ⚡ Fixed a bug with Mushroom nodes in the Marshlands not having any secondary resources.
  • ⚡ Fixed a bug with Cornerstones tied to Sea Marrow being offered in the Coral Forest biome. 
  • ⚡ Fixed a bug with the Stormforged version of the Back to Nature Cornerstone having the same effect as the regular version.
  • ⚡ Fixed a bug with the Firelink Ritual tooltip not tracking progress correctly.
  • ⚡ Fixed a bug with the Rebellious Spirit Cornerstone not working correctly when given as a reward from Ghosts in the Cursed Royal Woodlands. 
  • ⚡ Fixed a bug with the Peasant Supplies Cornerstone working retroactively, even though it’s not supposed to.
  • ⚡ Fixed a bug with Embark Goods bonuses not being applied right after buying them in the Citadel. 
  • ⚡ Fixed an issue with the Hearth’s range being inconsistent.
  • ⚡ Fixed a bug with Corruption-based Cornerstones being offered even if the Blightrot mechanic was disabled.
  • ⚡ Fixed a bug with the Cursed Battlefield biome effect not being displayed in the [Esc] menu summary in Cursed Royal Woodlands. 
  • ⚡ Fixed a bug with a missing Cornerstone description in Russian. 
  • ⚡ Fixed a bug with the missing “building rotation” keybind option in the settings window.
  • ⚡ Fixed a bug with trees changing their model after reloading the game.
  • ⚡ Fixed a bug with the Rainpunk Foundry Glade Event not counting as a ruin for Orders and Cornerstones. 
  • ⚡ Fixed an issue with the “highlight recipes” option being duplicated in the settings menu. 
  • ⚡ Fixed a bug with the dialogue in the Forsaken Altar not being localized into languages other than English.
  • ⚡ Fixed a bug with the Motivated Resolve Effect not displaying how much Resolve is added.
  • ⚡ Fixed the value indicator below the Back to Nature icon. It now shows the correct number. 
  • ⚡ Fixed a bug with some 3D game objects picking up mouse clicks through the UI.
  • ⚡ Fixed an incorrect value in the Special Discount Citadel Upgrade.
  • ⚡ Fixed a bug that caused the game to crash when some background applications were running. Improved overall client stability.  
  • Fixed a bug with missing explosion visual effects in multiple Glade Events (such as the Mole Earthquake or the Rainpunk Foundry Explosion). 
  • Fixed a bug with the World Map tutorial continuity, where exiting the game in the middle of tutorial animations would break the tutorial’s flow.
  • Fixed a bug with controllers connected to the PC breaking the game’s input.
  • Fixed a bug with the Copper Extrator’s tooltip being displayed out of bounds.
  • Fixed a bug with “read more” notifications for Consumption Control and Trade Routes being displayed on the World Map.
  • Fixed a bug with missing UI frames around Impatience Points in Glade Events.
  • Fixed z-fighting meshes in multiple buildings. 
  • Fixed a bug with some existing Forest Mysteries never being drawn.
    • Death and Decay – This damp and rotting landscape is the perfect breeding ground for sickness. Villagers dying during the Storm instantly turn into Living Matter. 
    • Devastating Storms – The rampaging storm stifles the spirit of all living creatures (-20 to Global Resolve).
  • Fixed a bug with the “skip tutorial” option in the settings menu not working correctly. 
  • Fixed a bug with incorrect UI layout in some gathering camp recipes. 
  • Fixed a bug with some incorrectly localized text in Polish. 
  • Fixed the rotation of the 3D model of the Haunted Forest Modifier.
  • Fixed an issue with some Modifiers and Forest Mysteries having incorrect frames around icons (or lack thereof).
  • Fixed an issue with text scaling in the Player Feedback panel.


  • ⚡ Renamed Bloodthirst to Brawling.
  • ⚡ Changed the names of the initial 4 difficulty levels. It’s now Settler, Pioneer, Veteran, and Viceroy.

We want to thank you for all your contributions to this update. Your translations, suggestions, and reports are extremely appreciated! You can always track the progress of reported issues on our Public Bug Tracker.


If you’ve made it this far, you’re clearly in need for some lighter content. And the community is here to deliver!

Although Dangerous and Forbidden glades are not marked on Cursed Royal Woodlands, Arbitrarius had a bad feeling about this one.

Skull Glade by Arbitrarius.

AI art generators are getting more and more popular lately. We even received some fan art made in midjourney!

Beaver art by placetwo (midjourney).

Beaver art by placetwo (midjourney).

We’re always happy to receive fan art in any form (who remembers both fanfics?), so if you want to share yours, Discord or Reddit would be the best places to do so!

Let’s also congratulate Polychrome for beating Prestige 20! 

Prestige 20 by Polychrome.

We also keep our fingers crossed for DreadCanary who started his climb towards Prestige 20:

And here are some additional recent videos worth your attention:

Thank you for reading and have a splendid weekend!


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