KeeperRL will leave Early Access in exactly three weeks. The last major patch was released one year ago, so you can imagine that this will be a pretty huge update. In the August blog post I revealed the major features that will be introduced. Since then, my work was more focused on testing, balance, and adding content.
One of the many advantages of the new world map is that it adds lots of space for low-key content. You’ll stumble upon shops, stables, forges, cottages, and various mystery locations. Some of them can boost your game in a major way, some are there just for flavor, and others will get you killed. Overall they add a lot of excitement when you extend your influence and explore new areas.
There will be four new workshops available in the game: magma forge, magma jeweler, enchanted workshop and enchanted laboratory.
Building them will be restricted to certain locations: the magma variants will have to be built next to a magma tile, and the enchanted variants next an enchanted pool.
They are not intended as major upgrades, but rather add a small variety of things you can craft, and a bit of excitement when exploring deeper Z-levels. The magma forge and enchanted workshop will produce moderately improved equipment compared to their regular counterparts. In the magma jeweler you will be able to create basic glyphs to improve your weapons and armor. The enchanted lab offers potions of mutation that can be used to add an edge to your army’s power.
In addition to its new tier, the regular forge will continue to offer items made from the rare materials: adamantium, adoxium and infernite. Their stat bonuses will be greatly increased compared to Alpha 36, so finding the ores and craftsmen with appropriate skill will be one of the major quests on your way to world domination.
As the difficulty and power curve got much longer, the game needed to scale all the loot that you can find in high level areas. After all, finding a +5 armor is no longer exciting after defeating a dragon with +150 attack. Therefore I’ve added automatic adjustment of item power to the difficulty of the location. This includes shops, mentioned in the previous paragraph, to ensure that you’ll keep finding nice stuff even towards the end of the game.
Things that you will be able to find will include equipment made from all the available materials in the game, a new tier of longer-lasting potions, new rings and amulets, and a few new, powerful artifacts.
The last time I worked on sound in KeeperRL was almost eight years ago, so it was time for a bit of update. I’ve added UI sounds, ambient sounds made by various animals, as well as water and magma, workshop sounds, the sound of torture, and more. I’m very happy with these additions and hoping to add some more before in the coming weeks.
I’ve merged the adventurer and keeper modes together, so the adventurers are actually just keepers that start with a small house as their base. This lets them use more of the game’s features, such as buying horses at stables, and the auto-pillaging feature. They also have a place to come back to and heal, restock their gear, etc.
The old adventurer class was removed, and now you can play as an evil wizard, dark knight or white knight, known from the classic keeper bases.
To make things clear, the adventurer will continue to be a small part of KeeperRL, just an alternative way to experience its universe. Turning it into a fully fledged RPG is beyond the scope of the game, which I know may disappoint some players.
I’ve tweaked the population control mechanic of the White Knight to rely on horses, instead of farm animals. After steeds were introduced to the game, horses became almost a necessity for the White Knight’s base, so it made little sense to require two extra animals for every minion. This should reduce clutter and potential lag in highly populated bases.
I also added a simple promotion system to obtain knights. The immigration list now offers squire minions, instead of knights, which can be knighted, one per your Keeper’s level gain.
Even though I was more focused on balance and content, I couldn’t resist adding one fun feature. For extra entertainment of Your Evilness, some villains (namely – the Duke) will challenge you to a duel. The stake will be your lives as well as automatic conquest of the loser’s base. Accepting will spare you having to slaughter all of his knights, at the expense of the risk of losing your Keeper. Choose wisely!
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