The New Open Access Build (v0.5.11) is OUT!
Based on the ton of feedback concerning initial difficulty and learning curve, we have listened to you, our players, and implemented Trade Tasks to make the initial experience smoother in the open-world campaign. While there, and because they are deeply intertwined, we also decided to include the brand-new Factions UI and the faction tier system. We were happy to see that everyone who tried it in the preview build loved it and we are also satisfied with the result. To top it off, we also have a long list of adjustments, fixes, and tweaks (see patch notes at the end of this post).
So what's in the current patch?
According to players currently testing the open-world campaign, it is hard to make a living as an independent comitatus in the Empire. That was an intended design choice because almost all the trade is controlled by factions on the continent, be they Trading Houses, religious organizations, or criminals. With their Imperial trading monopoly licenses or their raw negotiating power, factions buy and sell at significantly better prices. With that in mind, we have planned to include a Task-system from the beginning and now we finally implemented it.
What we call Tasks now in Vagrus are essentially procedurally-generated contracts offered by factions. If you fulfill the Task, you get rewards and reputation with these factions. At this time, we are concentrating solely on Trade Tasks, though there are going to be other types later on. The main goal of the Task system is to allow players to ease into the open-world part without having to have an extensive meta-knowledge of what can be bought or sold for a good profit in the different parts of the Empire. While completing these Tasks for a fixed commission, players also earn reputation points with factions, gaining access to higher tier Tasks, better market prices, and one-time rewards. The design considerations and building blocks we are using for Trade Tasks are as follows:
- Many Tasks have a time-limit to complete.
- Early delivery increases your reputation reward.
- If you failed to deliver in time, you lose reputation. It does not matter if you just tarried too long, lost the goods due to unfortunate circumstances, or sold it elsewhere like a true swindler. To make it less appealing, you lose significantly more reputation than you would have gained, and can not get a new Task from the given faction until you either complete the delivery or pay for the 'lost' goods.
- There is a limit to how many Tasks you can accept at any given time (though if it is in general or per faction is yet to be decided).
- Parameters for Tasks (like destination, cargo type, etc) are generated procedurally, though typically within certain boundaries depending on the faction that offers it.
- Tasks are intended to be expanded in future milestones with Mercenary and Exploration type commissions, too. We are hyped as a Jhakra in heat by the prospect of adding this feature set to the game, as we think it makes it much, much deeper, and provides a ton of things to do for players.
We have long been talking about improving the experience with factions in Vagrus. They are currently in the game and can be interacted with one way or the other but there is no UI to track your standing with them, nor is it possible to claim rewards for each unlocked reputation tier (although there are already a lot of implicit benefits and rewards for high reputation with almost every faction). With Tasks being implemented and so intimately intertwined with factions, we thought we'd give you a rundown of what to expect from this next large addition to the game.
In short, factions are organizations you can gain reputation with. Enough points unlock tiers of faction standing that award the player with all kinds of goodies: discounts, items, equipment, and better-paying Tasks, to name a few. Factions are often at odds with each other, so gaining reputation with one might lower reputation with another or two. You can lose standing, which results in losing the passive benefits of that tier (although not the already possessed rewards). Most factions also provide quests and other content with the right tier unlocked.
There are several places where you can find factions on already existing UI elements. First and foremost, factions appear as a separate UI tab under the Leader main UI (since faction relations belong to your character the vagrus). You can check your standing with all factions here as well as what each tier provides, read about factions, and check on their allies and enemies. Apart from that, factions also appear on the settlement UI, where Tasks can be taken, turned-in, and rewards are redeemed, provided the faction in question is present in the given settlement. Faction presence is also varied, with headquarters allowing for the most interaction. Most factions have a presence in large cities, though.
The Factions of the Riven Realms
There are 11 factions currently in-game, though several of them are partially implemented and will be fleshed out more with upcoming content patches. Some of them you have already encountered when playing the Open-world campaign, like the Church of Sergorod, the Ratharnak Alliance, the furtive Abolitionists, or one of the Imperial Trading Houses.
PATCH NOTES v0.5.11
Milestone 20 — Trade tasks are now available in the open-world campaign
- Take tasks from factions to deliver goods from one settlement to another, earning reputation and coins on delivery
- The better your standing with a faction the higher tier Tasks you can get and you can take on more Tasks at once
- Beware: failing to deliver on time or losing cargo will have severe consequences
Milestone 21 — Brand new Factions tab on the Leader UI
- Track your progress with factions
- Learn more about them (including their locations, allies and opponents, etc.)
New / Updated Content or Game Mechanics
- A lot of Event and other texts revamped in the early parts of the game
- New Chat heads added (Narbo and Skornar) in the PotW story
- New sound effects have been added
User Interface Improvements
- Passenger task UI design refreshed to match other tasks (now include Workforce / Workforce need details)
- Loads of character and clash positions have been adjusted in Companion combat
New or Tweaked Game Mechanics
- Massive Buy and Sell price differences on the market now BUT as you earn reputation with Factions the margins shrink
- Equipment gained during vagrus creation are now automatically equipped when starting a new game
- PotW and Vanilla scenarios now have separate New Day and Left Settlement automatic saves
- Faction presence actions added so event chains concerning Faction rivalries have an actual impact (for example in Crystal)
- Supercargo related Throw out UI bug fixed
- Fixed crashes and other "Continue" button related bugs
- Understaffed status effect stacking fixed
Coming Up Next
- Hunting and Foraging, Odd Jobs, and a new Healing System
- Faction rewards
- More Sound Effects
- Companion Level Up and Progression
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