Experimental Update (Sealed Forest, Ancient Seal)

Aug 9, 2023

Greetings, Viceroys!

We’re excited to invite you to the Experimental version of the upcoming Sealed Forest Update. It will introduce the proper Sealed Forest biome with unique visuals and gameplay mechanics.

This Experimental Update features only the mechanical aspects. All the visual assets are placeholders that will be replaced when the proper update goes live.

Important: as with any other Experimental Update, the upcoming changes are not localized, there can be bugs, and the balance is likely to feel off. If this doesn’t sound fun to you, we recommend skipping this experiment.

You can find more information about the Experimental Branch in our guide:


We finally have a solid release date for the Sealed Forest Update. It’s going to be available on the main branch on August 31.

It’s going to happen later than we teased during our Twitch livestreams but we made this decision for a few reasons. Mainly, our team is going to the gamescom fair in Cologne only a few days after the update would go live. We’re worried we wouldn’t be able to properly support the update post-launch and fix the issues that might occur.

Nevertheless, we hope it will be worth the wait!

Now, let’s dive into the changes introduced in the update.


So far, the Sealed Forest was just a placeholder biome with placeholder effects. Now, we’re introducing a fully-fledged Ancient Seal mechanic that is unique to this biome. Your goal is to find the Ancient Seal and collect Guardian Parts necessary to summon the Ancient Guardian.

The Sealed Forest

Somewhere in this thick and dark forest, an ancient seal is hidden. Even the Ancients, with all their might and glory, could only contain the creatures slumbering below, so they just imprisoned them. Over millennia, their sinister power gradually seeped to the surface, infecting the fauna and flora of this region. Viceroys don’t embark here to establish settlements or gain reputation, their main goal is simply to find and close the Seal.

Sealed Forest trees

The flora in this region is bizarrely mutated. Overgrown trees with a lot more resource charges can be found in the forest. Abyssal trees (regular) contain 2 charges, while overgrown trees (large) contain 20 charges. By chopping the trees, you can acquire:

  • Wood (100% chance)
  • Meat (10% chance)
  • Sea Marrow (10% chance)
  • Leather (10% chance)

But beware! Your woodcutters don’t increase Hostility but every 10 felled trees add 2 Hostility points (scaled based on the difficulty level).

A broken Ancient Seal is hidden somewhere in the Sealed Forest. To find it, you must first look for clues in the surrounding glades. Every glade contains a Destroyed Guidance Stone that points to the location of the Ancient Seal.

Destroyed Guidance Stone pointing south-west

The Ancient Seal

Evil has survived. The Sealed Ones enter our realm through the broken Seal. Terrible plagues are sent to destroy us. Collect the lost fragments of the Ancient Guardian to summon it and close the Seal.

Ancient Seal

This game can’t be won by earning Reputation Points. To succeed, you must find and close the Seal. You can still get Blueprint Bonuses and Forsaken Altar activations for reaching certain Reputation thresholds, but reaching the limit won’t finish the game.

Ancient Seal panel

The Ancient Seal panel consists of different elements:

  • The Seal Keeper dialogue box.
  • Plague description and countdown.
  • Ancient Guardian parts progress
  • Part variants and conditions.
  • Part rewards.

Let’s take a closer look at them.

The Ancient Guardian parts

To reforge the Seal you must rebuild the ancient guardian by obtaining its bones, blood, heart, and life essence.

Four parts are necessary to summon the Guardian:

  • Heart of the Guardian
  • Blood of the Guardian
  • Feathers of the Guardian
  • Life Essence of the Guardian

There are three different variants of each part. To acquire one of them, you must prove your proficiency in a certain area.

For example, here are three variants of the Heart:

  • Heart of Amber – Sell goods worth at least 100 Amber in a single transaction.
  • Heart of the Forest – Earn 3 Reputation Points from Events.
  • Mechanical Heart – Install at least 6 Rain Engines in production buildings.

You only need to obtain one of them to progress the Seal and uncover the objectives of the next Guardian part.

After acquiring each of the Guardian’s parts, you will receive a choice of Epic Cornerstone from the Seal Keeper.

By collecting all four Guardian parts, the Seal will be reforged! The Blighstorm comes yet again, but the future looks a little brighter. You will receive extra Citadel Resources, the Cycle will be prolonged (only once per each Seal level), and new Seals will appear on the World Map.

The Plagues

The mere presence of the Ancient Seal summons foul plagues on your settlement.

Every year, during the Storm, one of 14 plagues will be unleashed upon your settlement. Some exemplary ones are:

  • Plague of Malady – The Sealed Ones have inflicted a mysterious disease. Villagers take longer rests and have a higher chance of consuming twice as much food during a break.
  • Plague of Darkness – Some say this is the beginning of the end. The Storm season is longer and sacrificing goods at the Ancient Hearth is blocked.
  • Plague of Blindness – When they lost their sight, they lost all hope along with it. All villagers move slower and have a chance of destroying a production yield.
  • And others.

You can check what’s the Current Plague and then what the Next Plague will be (and how much time you have left before it starts.)

The Plagues will activate every year, even if you haven’t found the Ancient Seal yet. Finding an Ancient Seal allows you to check which Plague comes next.

The Beacon Tower

A powerful ancient structure that allows you to summon aid directly from the Citadel.

Beacon Tower

The Beacon Tower

A powerful ancient structure that allows you to summon aid directly from the Citadel.

The Beacon Tower is a new building, available only in the Sealed Forest biome. You must spend 2 Planks, 2 Bricks, and 2 Fabric to build it.

The Beacon Tower allows you to select up to five, free abilities at any time during the game. They’re divided into three categories: Supplies, Bells, and Miracles. They range from one-time packs of supplies to effects that are active for one season.


The proper Sealed Forest Update that releases on August 31 will include plenty of new visuals and audio:

  • Sealed Forest biome (unique trees, ground, and ambience)
  • Ancient Seal building
  • Animation of reforging the Seal
  • Beacon Tower building
  • Destroyed Guidance Stone building
  • Custom icons
  • Improved Ancient Seal panel
  • New music tracks
  • New sounds

In the meantime, we will also monitor your feedback and adjust the balance where necessary.


To play with the new features, you need to switch to the Experimental Branch (click here to learn how to switch to the Experimental Branch).

The Experimental Branch includes a developer console that provides various useful commands. You can open the console by pressing the ~ key on your keyboard.

Useful commands:

  • debug.worldMap 1 – Allows you to place finished settlements on the World Map by holding Shift and clicking on a tile. 
  • game.win – after embarking, in the city-building mode, this command wins the game.
  • meta.addEarly – unlocks early Smoldering City Upgrades (up to level 4), completes the Silver Seal, and advances to level 4.
  • meta.addMiddle – unlocks middle Smoldering City Upgrades (up to level 9), completes the Platinum Seal (Prestige 5), and advances to level 9.
  • meta.addLate – unlocks late Smoldering City Upgrades (up to level 14), completes the Titanium Seal (Prestige 15), and advances to level 14.
  • meta.addAll – unlocks all Smoldering City Upgrades, completes all Seals, and advances to level 18.
  • worldMap.addSealFragments – add Seal Fragments.
  • worldMap.addModifiersRewards – adds Royal Resupply.
  • worldMap.addAllMC – adds 777 of each Citadel Currency.

You can find the full list of commands here.

Important: We recommend playing with at least the early meta (meta.addEaly) as the Bronze (Settler) and Lead (Pioneer) Seals require additional balancing work.

How to report bugs?

If you encounter any issues, please let us know about them:

  • Describe the issue and frequency of occurrence.
  • (If possible) include a screenshot or a video of the issue.
  • Include the zipped contents of your entire Experimental saves folder:

%userprofile%\appdata\locallow\Eremite Games\Against the Storm – Experimental

You can send the report with files on Discord or via email: support@eremitegames.freshdesk.com


If you decide to play the Experimental Update, please share your thoughts with us!

Primarily, we are interested in your answers to the following questions:

  • How do you feel about the new Sealed Forest mechanics? Are they fun?
  • How would you rate the challenges posed in this biome? How did the difficulty feel when compared to other biomes?
  • Is there anything that stuck out? Any moments that were especially memorable for you (good or bad)?
  • Is there anything about these new mechanics that makes the gameplay feel worse (especially more repetitive) or better (especially more diverse)?

We can’t wait to hear your impressions once you give the new Experimental Update a try!

May the storm be gentle on you,
Eremite Games


The Experimental Branch is an alternative version of the game dedicated to testing new features. Upcoming changes are not localized, there can be bugs, and the balance might feel way off. The experimental version has extensive logs and assertions enabled which means degraded performance. It has a separate save file from the main version and your progress can’t be transferred from the Experimental Branch to the main version. You have access to the developer console but you won’t be able to unlock achievements.



Switching to the Experimental Branch will require you to opt into the Beta branch on Steam. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Open Steam
  2. Right-click on Against the Storm in your library
  3. Select Properties
  4. Go to BETAS tab
  5. Choose “experimental” from the drop-down list
  6. Wait for the game to update the files
  7. Launch the game

In order to switch back to the regular version, please repeat the steps above but choose “None” from the drop-down list in step 5.

Epic Games Store

The Experimental Branch on Epic Games Store is a separate product in your library. In order to play it, follow the steps below:

  1. Open Epic Games Store launcher
  2. Search for Against the Storm – Experimental Branch
  3. Install it
  4. Launch Against the Storm – Experimental Branch

If you want to launch the regular version, simply install and launch Against the Storm.


Switching to the Experimental Branch will require you to configure the Beta channel. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Open GOG Galaxy
  2. Right-click on Against the Storm (or use the Options button)
  3. Select Manage installation
  4. Select Configure…
  5. In the INSTALLATION tab, click on the drop-down list next to Beta channels
  6. Select Experimental
  7. Wait for the game to update the files
  8. Launch the game

In order to switch back to the regular version, please repeat the steps above but choose “Disabled” from the drop-down list in step 6.


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