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Face the Blight infestation in Blight Fighter Update

Jul 21, 2022

Greetings Viceroys!

To celebrate the 20th Early Access update, we’re sharing our secret recipe for the Blight Fighter Update.

Ingredients:

  • New mechanic: Blight
  • New buildings: Blight Post & Hydrant
  • New occupation: Blight Fighter
  • 2 new resources
  • 6 new perks
  • 2 new Prestige levels
  • And more!

How to prepare:
All production buildings emit pollution which causes Blightrot Cysts to grow. The Cysts are harmless at first (or even beneficial), but once the Storm starts, they will open up and plague your settlement. Appoint Blight Fighters to destroy the infestation.

Message from the chef:
If the Blight was food, it would be that thin crust pizza with your favorite extra ingredients, spiced up with some flamy hot pepper oil. You’ll see yourself longing for another bite, but have one too many and you’ll instantly regret it.

Bon appétit!

P.S. Despite that culinary intro, we’re not a restaurant, but you can still rate us (via Metacritic). It helps a lot!

DEVELOPER NOTES

Until now, you probably only associated the name “Blightrot” with one small event found in Glades. For us, however, it was always an essential element of the world and lore of Against the Storm. It emphasized the notion that the Rain is a double-edged sword. You can use it to your advantage with rainpunk technology, but it can also wreak havoc in your settlement. That’s why we decided to give Blightrot a new coat of paint and introduce a brand new system dedicated to it – the Blight.

Blight Fighters purging Blightrot Cysts.

This new system is an additional, smaller challenge the player has to overcome in every playthrough (in some sense similar to Forest Mysteries). It starts off as an interesting oddity on lower difficulties and becomes a real problem to solve on Prestige runs. Here’s how it works:

Every Recipe in production buildings has a Blightrot Footprint. This indicates how much pollution is emitted by creating a given good. This pollution accumulates, and by reaching certain thresholds, Blightrot Cysts start appearing on the building. The exact amount of accumulated Blightrot can be seen in the Blightrot tab in a given building’s UI panel.

Each Cyst lies dormant at first and brings some positive side effects with it (like a chance for extra production). But during the Storm, Blightrot Cysts wake up and start to corrupt the Ancient Hearth (indicated by a progress bar above the Hearth and in the Hearth’s UI). Once the progress bar reaches the end, a negative effect will trigger, killing a number of your villagers. The more Blightrot Cysts are active, the faster the Corruption progresses.

To combat the spread of Blightrot, you need to build Blight Posts and create a resource called Purging Fire. Blightrot Cysts are impossible to destroy for the majority of the year, but during the Storm, they open up and become vulnerable. That’s when Blight Fighters will go around the settlement and burn them down. 

The Ancient Hearth can also be reinforced to withstand more Corruption by building and upgrading other smaller Hearths in your settlement.

Our main goal with this system was to introduce a new layer of challenge for experienced players, as well as add a new tool for balancing recipes (powerful recipes might now have a higher Blightrot Footprint). Additionally, we wanted to expand the game’s lore and strengthen the core themes by giving Blightrot and Rainpunk technology a bit more attention. In terms of balance, this system is by no means designed to be game-defining. It shouldn’t overwhelm new players (it can even be ignored to an extent on Normal or Hard difficulties), and shouldn’t be the main focus of every Storm.

Ancient Hearth panel with Blightrot tab open.

At this point, it’s important to tell you a bit more about our plans regarding Against the Storm. The Blight, just like any other system in the game, is by no means final and will go through some balance changes and improvements in the coming weeks. We are also aware that it adds more mental load and challenge to an already complicated game.

However, this system is one of the last big features we want to add to the game before the Steam and GOG release in Q4 2022 (outside of the things still left on the Roadmap: achievements, leaderboards, and tutorial). In the coming months, we want to focus primarily on the new player experience, UI/UX improvements, tutorials, optimization, polish, balance, and bug fixing. We will still release updates every 2 weeks (of that you can be sure!), but some of them are going to be a bit smaller in scope.

Before/after: Blightrot cysts closed and open.

As always – we hope you enjoy these new additions. Let us know what you think about them (Discord might be the best place for that). And if there are any features you’d like us to consider in the future, create a suggestion via our official feedback tool and vote for other ideas that matter to you.

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

CHANGELOG

Number of changes

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Inspired by community

Changes marked with ⚡ were inspired by community.

New content and features

  • Added a new Blight mechanic to all production buildings. 
    • Production buildings in Against the Storm use Rainpunk technology to help them produce goods. Rainpunk makes use of the everlasting rain’s extraordinary properties, but it also comes with a caveat – it spawns Blightrot.
    • Every recipe in production buildings has something called a Blightrot Footprint. This parameter indicates how much pollution is emitted when creating a product. The Blightrot Footprint grade is visible in the recipes panel, next to the star rating. 
    • Each completed production cycle increases the Blightrot level of a building (based on the Blightrot Footprint).
    • When the Blightrot level reaches certain thresholds, Blightrot Cysts will spawn on the building.
    • At first, Blightrot Cysts are harmless. They even give some beneficial effects to the workers assigned to a building (more production, additional goods). But once the Storm starts, they open up and corrupt the Ancient Hearth.
    • The Ancient Hearth now has something called resistance (basically HP). Once the Corruption process begins, a progress bar will appear on the Hearth and grow based on how many Cysts are open (each Cyst gives +X to Corruption per minute).
    • If the Corruption amount exceeds the Hearth’s resistance (1000 by default), a negative effect will trigger, killing 3 villagers. The process then repeats until the Storm ends.
    • To combat the threat of the Blightrot, you have to build Blight Posts. There, you can produce Purging Fire – a special resource dedicated to burning Blightrot Cysts.
    • Blightrot is only vulnerable during the Storm, so this is when Blight Fighters working in the Blight Post take the Purging Fire they made earlier and walk around the settlement, burning down Cysts.
    • Each burned Cyst stops corrupting the Ancient Hearth and subtracts 50 points of Corruption once it’s removed. 
    • Blightrot Cysts that were not burned during the Storm become dormant at the beginning of Drizzle. They will open up again during the next Storm.
    • Blight Fighters will go back to the Blight Post to restock on Purging Fire, but you can also build Hydrants to shorten the travel distance. Hydrants share storage with Blight Posts.
    • The Hearth’s resistance can be increased by leveling up hubs in the settlement.
    • The Hearth and all production buildings now have an additional tab dedicated to Blightrot. There you can see a summary of the effects, the rate of corruption, and additional explanations.  
    • The Blight doesn’t influence gathering camps, houses, service buildings, the trading post, decorations, farms, greenhouses, and clay pits.
  • Added two new types of resources
    • Sea Marrow – serves as a fuel type in both the Hearth and production recipes. Its deposits can be found in the Royal Woodlands and Scarlet Orchard.
    • Purging Fire – a specialized good used for burning Blightrot Cysts. 
  • Added 6 new perks related to the Blight system:
    • Blessed Flames – Blight Fighters use the Hearth’s Holy Flame to ignite their flamethrowers. Burning a Blightrot Cyst takes 5 seconds less, but the Hearth’s Corruption grows 30% faster.
    • Burnt to a Crisp – Gain 20 Coal for every 3 burned Blightrot Cysts.
    • Baptism of Fire – Every 2 burnt Blightrot Cysts lower Hostility by -10. Sacrificing resources in the Hearth is blocked while it’s being corrupted.
    • Golden Marrow – Some fossils contain valuable surprises. Gain 2 Amber for every 20 Sea Marrow produced.
    • Blight Extractor – A curious invention used for extracting Amber from Blightrot Cysts. Every completely infected building (100% Blightrot) generates 3 Amber per minute, but also adds +5 Hostility.
    • Firekeeper’s Armor – Allows Firekeepers to combat Corruption more efficiently. The Ancient Hearth’s Corruption progresses 10% slower.
  • Added a new type of gathering camp – the Harvesters’ Camp. It collects Plant Fiber and Reeds (previously collected by the Scavengers’ Camp). 
  • Added two new essential buildings tied to the Blight system
    • Blight Post – a building producing Purging Fire (the resource used to fight Blightrot) and stationing Blight Fighters who burn Cysts during the Storm. 
    • Hydrant – a small (1×1) fuel stockpile connected to the Blight Post. Blight Fighters will use this to restock their supply of Purging Fire. 
  • Added 2 new Prestige levels. There is now a grand total of 20 levels to progress through. The new Prestige difficulty effects are:
    • Sinister Blight (Prestige 2) – The Blightrot’s impact is stronger. Cyst generation rate is increased by +100% and Hearth Corruption rate is +50% higher than normal.
    • Direful Blight (Prestige 10) – The Blightrot’s impact is significantly stronger. Cyst generation rate is increased by +150% and Hearth Corruption rate is +100% higher than normal.
  • Added 2 new Deeds tied to the new Prestige levels.

Balance

  • ⚡ Increased the amount of Parts at the start of each settlement.
  • ⚡ Training Gear recipes will now be influenced by all metal production effects (like Corrosive Rainfall). 
  • ⚡ Pack of Trade Goods recipes will no longer be influenced by metal production effects.
  • ⚡ The Dangerous Lands and Forbidden Lands modifiers will no longer spawn near the Marshlands due to them conflicting with the unique mechanic of this biome. 
  • Changed the unique biome effect for the Royal Woodlands. Instead of speeding up farming, Gift of the Woodlands now causes trees to yield more Wood with each production cycle.
  • Scavengers’ Camp now collects Eggs and Roots (instead of Plant Fiber and Reeds).
  • Removed Roots from the Stonecutters’ Camp. It now collects Sea Marrow instead.
  • Renamed the Blightrot Cyst Glade Event to Living Matter. The effects are unchanged (aside from names and some descriptions).
  • Added the new resource, Sea Marrow, to multiple events, orders, and to all recipes using some type of fuel. Also added Purging Fire to some order and event rewards. 
  • Added the option to sacrifice Sea Marrow in the Ancient Hearth.
  • Replaced Planks with Sea Marrow in the Hearth’s Allowed Fuel.
  • Increased the construction time of the Forsaken Altar.
  • Added a chance to bring Parts to the settlement by two traders: Old Farluf and Xiadani Stormfeather.
  • Reshuffled some Prestige modifiers due to the addition of the two new Blightrot effects. All effects were basically moved up by 1 or 2 slots to account for Sinister Blight and Direful Blight on Prestige 2 and Prestige 10.
  • The Leviathan in the Marshlands (the almost infinite Meat deposit found in Forbidden Glades) now has a chance of dropping Sea Marrow instead of Coal.

UX/UI improvements

  • ⚡ Changed the “Constrain Cursor” option in the settings menu to “Constrain cursor to window”.
  • ⚡ Added a warning to blueprint choices when a building is given as a reward from an Order the player picked. 
  • Added a new entry to the Atlas describing how Blightrot works.
  • Added a new overlay showing a global summary of Corruption levels in the settlement. You can activate it by pressing the [Z] key by default. 
  • Added a Blight Footprint marker to recipes in the Atlas.
  • Added an alert that warns the player about a very high Blightrot level. It appears when there is enough Corruption to trigger the Hearth’s negative effect at least once during the next Storm (there’s also a dedicated checkbox for this in the settings window, as with every alert in the game).
  • Added a “allow burning cysts” checkbox to building panels. It’s on by default, but if you want a certain building to stay infected, you can toggle it off.
  • Added the option to re-open the “updates” popup in the main menu by clicking on the magnifying glass icon on the news panel.

Bug fixes

  • ⚡ Fixed an issue with some newly created profiles not being saved correctly.
  • ⚡ Fixed an issue with Impatience not being added when calling a trader after winning a game.
  • ⚡ Fixed a bug that required you to restart the game for FPS options to properly be applied.
  • ⚡ Fixed a bug with the Exploring Expedition Cornerstone description stating that the effect lasts 3 minutes instead of 5.
  • ⚡ Fixed a bug with the Dangerous Glades Daily Modifier not working correctly.
  • ⚡ Fixed a bug with the Bed and Breakfast Cornerstone causing an unnamed effect to appear on the game’s HUD.
  • ⚡ Fixed an issue with the Bed and Breakfast Cornerstone displaying its progress as a normal number instead of a percentage.
  • ⚡ Fixed an issue with the Disturbing the Dead effect not removing Hostility after the Glade Event related to it has been cleared.
  • ⚡ Fixed a bug with the Influential Friends Cornerstone not displaying progress correctly.
  • ⚡ Fixed an issue that caused Trade Route Orders to be drawn even if the feature itself wasn’t yet unlocked in the Citadel. 
  • ⚡ Fixed an issue that caused Trade Route Cornerstones to be drawn even if the feature itself wasn’t yet unlocked in the Citadel.
  • ⚡ Fixed a bug with the Prayer Book Cornerstone not displaying its progress correctly (same goes for the Stormforged variant). 
  • ⚡ Fixed a bug that caused workers in the Rain Collector to not transport resources when the Sparkdew recipe was turned off. 
  • ⚡ Improved the hitboxes for the up and down arrows in the Hearth’s sacrifice panel. 
  • ⚡ Fixed a typo in the Trade Route entry in the Atlas.
  • ⚡ Fixed a typo in the Polish description of the Devil’s Bargain Deed.
  • ⚡ Fixed a bug with the Altar panel displaying 4-digit resource numbers incorrectly.
  • ⚡ Fixed a bug that caused the “no farm fields nearby: alert to appear twice. 
  • ⚡ Fixed a bug that caused removed buildings’ UI panels to appear on screen after clicking on a worker death alert.
  • ⚡ Fixed a bug with the game breaking after canceling building construction in screenshot mode. 
  • Fixed a bug with locked decorations being visible in the Atlas.
  • Fixed a bug with the “unlocked at level X” text in the atlas displaying a wrong number.
  • Fixed a bug that caused Makeshift Hearth ruins to spawn in some Glades.
  • Fixed a bug with some prestige stats effects not being adjusted to the higher difficulty,
  • Fixed an issue with the Forsaken Altar’s scaffolding being placed too low.
  • Fixed a bug with fire particle effects in the Makeshift Hearth being visible while the building is under construction.
  • Fixed a bug with roads overlapping incorrectly with range indicators. 
  • Fixed a bug with some overlays being positioned incorrectly. 
  • Fixed an issue with texture seams being visible on rainpunk assets.

Other

  • We updated the game’s rendering pipeline. There shouldn’t be a very stark difference when it comes to the visual fidelity, but we finally added more real-time lighting to the scene and readjusted post processes in all seasons in all biomes (and we even added some bloom in one or two places). Overall, lights and shadows should now look more natural. This change will allow us to make more visually pleasing environments in the future (glowing lamp decorations finally someday, maybe?).
  • Updated the flame effect in the Hearth.
  • Updated the ground textures for the Scarlet Orchard.

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.

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