Favoring Update is here!
Today, as we reflect on the past and look into the future of Against the Storm, please allow us to be a bit sentimental and dedicate this intro to each of you who joined us on this wondrous adventure. Thank you, Viceroys, for helping us shape this game!
And how here’s what’s new:
- New logistics functionality
- Lighter Treatment cooldown
- Altar of Decay event
- 5 new Cornerstones
- and more!
Let’s delve into the changelog and the results of the 5th Species Community Vote.
But before, if you’re not tired of surveys yet, please let us know what characters from the game you’d like to see turned into merchandise!
We’d love to create physical items from the world of Against the Storm one day and we’re curious to know who are your favorites!
COMMUNITY VOTE – RESULTS
The time has come for the big reveal! The 5th species in Against the Storm will be…
With 11,197 votes (~57% of total votes), Foxes won against Frogs (~31%) and Bats (~12%). We will dedicate the upcoming weeks to working on the new species while delivering the usual (although a bit smaller) bi-weekly updates. Below, you can find the first concept art of some of the building modules.
We plan to add the 5th species to the game sometime in April this year. Keep your eyes open for sneak peeks!
In today’s update, we bring you a small yet significant change to the favoring mechanic, some improvements to logistics, a new event, new perks, the reworked Noxious Machinery event, and quite a lot of balance. Let’s get straight into it.
First of all, let’s talk about favoring. We decided to take a closer look at it in this update because it started to become problematic for the balance and long-term health of the game. It was one of the first mechanics introduced to the game around 3 years ago.
Favoring in Against the Storm’s 2020 Demo
At that time there weren’t really any other tools to combat Resolve drops. It was added for two main reasons:
- As a way of dealing with low Resolve values near the leaving threshold (as there were no other mechanisms to help with that outside of perks and complex needs).
- As a tool for boosting a given species’ Resolve in situations of bad resource/recipe RNG (when players weren’t able to support one of their species in any other way).
Favoring served these purposes for a long time, but as the game evolved and changed, it started to stick out more and more. Several problems became apparent:
- Favoring had no consequences, it could be turned on and off without any implications.
- There were no bad decisions when interacting with this mechanic. It could simply be turned off or redirected to another species in a split second. And there not being bad decisions meant there weren’t any good ones either.
- Favoring obstructed other mechanics (clothing, complex food, rain engines, specializations, hubs) and made them less significant (because it was easier to press one button without consequences).
- It allowed “juggling” (quick switching between species favoring to prevent them from leaving).
- It didn’t make much sense in terms of flavor (every 10 seconds a different species could be favored).
For a long time now, we kept all these problems in mind and tried to figure out a way to fix them. At the same time, we tried to lay the groundwork for a potential favoring nerf, by gradually introducing new tools that would help players manage Resolve drops and alleviate some problems with the RNG (for example: sacrificing, resolve bonuses in rain engines, consumption control and the ability to stockpile goods, essential camps, specializations, hubs, etc.). And with this update, we finally feel confident that there are enough alternatives to make a favoring change less painful than it would otherwise be.
After a long design process and multiple discussions, we arrived at a set of criteria the new favoring mechanic had to meet:
- It should add a consequence to the mechanic (even if it’s a minor one).
- It should remove juggling.
- It should keep the mechanic simple and understandable at a glance.
- It shouldn’t disrupt other systems.
Based on that, and with the help of the community, we came up with a few possible solutions, from which we then tested two on the experimental branch. One of them was a 60-second cooldown for favoring, and the other was a change to how Resolve regenerates after it dropped (basically equalizing the rate at which Resolve falls and rises). After some extensive rounds of testing and discussion (for which we are very grateful to all the players who tried this change on the experimental branch), we finally decided to go with the 60-second cooldown, because it fits all the criteria, and didn’t require a big rework and/or rebalance of core systems (as opposed to the other idea with equalizing Resolve rates).
We hope that the change to favoring will shift the meta into a more healthy place in the long run, and allow us to introduce new mechanics and challenges that won’t easily be invalidated. And of course, as always – nothing is final. We will keep an eye on the game’s balance after this change and adjust if needed.
Now let’s move on to the second big change coming in this update – logistics improvements. From now on, workers in production buildings will be able to get ingredients from other nearby buildings (in a limited range), instead of having to go all the way back to a warehouse. There is also a handy visualization of connections when selecting a building. The main goal of this change is to support the fantasy of placing certain types of structures next to each other because they are linked thematically and/or production-wise (like a mill next to a bakery). It should also provide a slight efficiency boost to players for constructing specialized production zones.
Other additions and the new species
Altar of Decay
Logistics and favoring aren’t the only things coming in this update. There are also multiple smaller additions in this update – a new glade event that can be converted into a decoration (Altar of Decay), 5 new Cornerstones, UX improvements to the hub system, some event and perk balance (Living Matter nerf, yay!), numerous bug fixes, and a new music track in the Scarlet Orchard.
Lastly, we wanted to briefly talk a bit about the progress we’ve made on the new species. We are hard at work behind the scenes, mostly focusing on the art style and characteristics of Foxes, and how they fit into the overall structure of the game. We are happy to share that we already have a visual style for their architecture, as well as an early version of needs and buildings in place. In the coming weeks, we will focus on specializations, perks, orders, final assets, and a lot of testing.
Foxes building modules concept art
Unfortunately, this means that some of the updates in the near future will be less packed with content and focused more on quality of life, balance, optimization, and smaller features (but they will still come every two weeks!). We hope that you’ll enjoy what we have in store for you, even if its scope is somewhat reduced, and that the next species will be worth the wait.
Thank you for providing us with feedback and suggestions for the new update. If you’d like to share your ideas for upcoming updates, here are some useful links:
May the storm be gentle on you,
Number of changes
Inspired by community
Changes marked with ⚡ were inspired by community.
New content and features
- ⚡ Added new logistics functionality to the game.
- Workers in production buildings can now take resources directly from internal storages of other nearby buildings.
- Workers will take resources only from buildings in a small radius around the workshop.
- When placing or selecting a building, animated lines will appear on the screen, showing connections to buildings that are in range. Only buildings capable of producing goods used in active recipes are marked. The nearest warehouse is also marked.
- Workers will still take resources from warehouses if there are no resources in nearby internal storages.
- ⚡ Changed the way Favoring (Lighter Treatment) works.
- When you stop favoring a species, a 60-second cooldown will prevent you from favoring another species right away.
- When hovering over the favoring button, the Resolve values near the species portraits will change, giving you a preview of the effect before clicking.
- Added 1 new Glade Event.
- Altar of Decay – A sinister stone structure created to worship the Blightrot. Cultists have engraved the inscription: “Nothing escapes death”.
- The Noxious Machinery Glade Event has been reworked.
- It now no longer pumps rainwater into the settlement’s tanks and kills villagers when the limit is reached. Instead, it now “steals” rainwater and generates a small number of Cysts every 120 seconds.
- Added 5 new Cornerstones.
- Alarm Bells – The Brass Order’s newest invention – an intricate system of sensors that can detect Corruption before it spreads too much. Workers have a 15% higher chance of producing double yields when Hearth’s Expected Corruption Rate is 200% or higher.
- Royal Guard Training – The Crown sends two Royal Guards to your village. Instead of simply brawling, villagers will now train under them. Fulfilling the need for Brawling grants an additional +5 to Resolve, but attacking a trader will result in you getting 2 extra Impatience Points.
- Industrialized Agriculture – +50% to the number of goods produced in the Forester’s Hut.
- Advanced Herbalism – +50% to the number of goods produced in the Herb Garden.
- Large Baskets – +50% to the number of goods produced in the Plantation.
- ⚡ Rebalanced the Sacred Flame Rituals Forest Mystery and changed its description to avoid confusion. Previously, it was worded as if every villager that wasn’t paid for, would die (but in fact, only one would be killed per year). Now it clearly states that the consequence for not paying only applies once per year, and the number of victims was increased from 1 to 2.
- ⚡ Moved the Field Kitchen unlock from the Dim Square Level 8 upgrade to Level 7. The Packs of Provisions Embark Bonus from Level 7 was moved up to Level 8.
- ⚡ Rebalanced the Living Matter Glade Event. The working effect (Decaying Food) should now consume less food (around 17% less on lower difficulties, and 33% less on Viceroy).
- Rebalanced the Petrified Tree Glade Event. It now has an additional working effect (fewer spots in every house), but the woodcutting speed penalty was nerfed.
- Slightly increased the spawn rate of the Petrified Tree Glade Event.
- Cysts can now spawn on warehouses. The Main Warehouse can have 6 cysts, and the small Warehouse can have 3.
- Lowered the carrying capacity boost from the Ancient Strength upgrade in the Archaeologist’s Office from 10 to 5.
- Rebalanced multiple Cornerstones.
- Safe Haven – changed the rarity of this perk from Epic to Legendary.
- Woodpecker Technique – no longer gives 1 Insect for every 2 trees. Now gives 2 Insects for every tree cut during the Storm.
- Reinforced Axes – lowered the woodcutting speed bonus from 40% to 35%.
- Worker’s Rations – lowered the chance of double food consumption from 25% to 20%.
- Counterfeit Amber – now requires 75 water used instead of 100.
- Urban Planning – removed the downside (construction time increase).
- Improvised Tools – now gives 10 Simple Tools (instead of 5) per glade and no longer decreases woodcutter Resolve. But glades must be discovered during the Storm.
- Force of Nature – now gives a +1 bonus to Storm Water production every 2 woodcutters (instead of every 3).
- Overexploitation – lowered the amount of Hostility given by this perk by 33%.
- Overexploitation (Stormforged) – increased the bonus to newly discovered glades. It now adds 15 charges to small nodes and 50 charges to big nodes.
- Removed 5 Cornerstones
- Advanced Fuel – removed from yearly rewards, only available in orders/from traders.
- Religious Settlement – removed completely.
- Cosmetic Specialization – removed completely
- Chicken or Egg? – removed completely.
- Exploration Training – removed completely.
- ⚡ Added all three levels (Encampment, Neighborhood, District) to the Hearth UI, to make it easier to know where the player currently is.
- ⚡ Changed the wording of multiple UI elements referring to hubs. Most of them now simply refer to “Hearth levels” and “upgrading the Hearth” to make it easier to understand and not feel lost when orders are asking for “advancing hubs”.
- ⚡ Added a “(Level X)” text to every Hearth stage, to make it easier to identify the different upgrade levels at a glance.
- ⚡ Updated the “Shortcuts” entry in the in-game Encyclopedia with new keybinds.
- ⚡ Added a tooltip trigger (“i” icon) to the UI panel of all unconstructed buildings, explaining how construction priority works.
- ⚡ Added information about Reputation Points lowering Impatience to all Reputation tooltips (rewards, the Reputation bar).
- ⚡ Added an error message with instructions on how to proceed when an autosave fails.
- Changed the description of the Prestige 10 modifier (Sinister Blight) to also include information about increased Blightrot Cysts spawns from sources like glade events, etc.
- Updated Prestige names in the difficulty tooltip to use Roman and Arabic numerals based on the language selected in the options menu.
- Rainwater tanks are now visible on the HUD before unlocking Rainpunk Technology in the Smoldering City.
- ⚡ Fixed a bug with the Living Matter Farmer Deed not completing after meeting its requirements.
- ⚡ Fixed a bug with the penalty from the Ghost of a Scared Firekeeper not applying correctly.
- ⚡ Fixed a bug with mines being impossible to destroy.
- ⚡ Fixed a bug with some glades having two dangerous events instead of one.
- ⚡ Fixed a bug with Favoring still being active after two species left the settlement/died.
- ⚡ Fixed a bug with production boosting effects (like Force of Nature) not applying to Geyser Pumps.
- ⚡ Fixed an issue with Wildcard search boxes not accepting special/non-latin characters.
- ⚡ Fixed a bug with Wildcard effect being available in the tutorial.
- ⚡ Fixed an issue with incorrect consequences being applied after attacking Sahilda.
- ⚡ Fixed a bug with resources vanishing when a worker is interrupted before starting a production cycle.
- ⚡ Fixed a bug with the Rainpunk Panel not refreshing when installing a Rain Engine through the Rainpunk Overlay.
- ⚡ Fixed an issue with the Rainpunk Overlay being active for players who haven’t unlocked Rainpunk yet.
- ⚡ Fixed an issue with some converted structures (from glade events) displaying construction costs in their tooltip.
- ⚡ Fixed an issue with tooltips of restored Haunted Ruins missing information about rainwater.
- ⚡ Fixed an issue with the internal storage UI in some buildings not having enough room for all produced/gathered resources (like the Woodcutters’ Camp in the Coral Forest).
- ⚡ Changed the layout of Blightrot Cysts on Shelters to make it easier to see them at a glance (especially when placing Shelters right next to each other).
- ⚡ Fixed numerous translation errors, and improved the overall quality and clarity of the Simplified Chinese localization of the game.
- ⚡ Fixed an issue with some Japanese characters having an incorrect typeface.
- Fixed a bug with Resolve tooltips still displaying “time to leave” when hovering over a Species that is already gone from the settlement.
- Fixed a bug with Prestige descriptions being scaled incorrectly on the difficulty tooltip in the Embark View.
- Fixed an issue with the Archaeologist’s Office sound effects not stopping when the game is paused.
- ⚡ Added a new music track to the Scarlet Orchard (Clearance).
- Added new unique sound effects for traders arriving and leaving. These should help you identify who is currently visiting your settlement.
- Improved the overall performance of the game (especially when rendering a lot of complicated UI elements).
- Changed the entrance icon when placing a building.
Check out the latest community memes on Steam:
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