Dev Update #23 - Winter Patch Preview!

Tactical Myzzrym
Level 14
Tactical Adventures Dev
Discord Link Steam Link Newsletter Link Developer Badge
11 months ago

Hey there folks,

Our Steam Early Access Launch has been a blast so far. We've spent hours upon hours reading your messages, comments, suggestions, feedback... and it's been great! This is everything we wanted from the Early Access period. Anyway, now that things have calmed down a bit, we're back with our scheduled Dev Updates - this time with a preview of the upcoming Winter Patch, which should drop in the coming months. But before that... Let's greet our newcomers with our usual ritual - a picture of one of our fluffy companions!

Say hello to Tallulah, our 3D artist's little buddy!


Winter is Coming

Grab your coat and fire up your computer, here's a little sample of what's coming next!

  • A new area and its set of quests, taking place after the Necromancy Main Quest
  • The Scavenger System - no more lugging around all the junk you see lying around
  • New combat features, such as hiding during combat and applying Poison onto your weapon
  • More customization options in Character Creation, and a bit of plastic surgery on some faces
  • Inventory and Shopping improvements, hand picked from your suggestions
  • Still under consideration, but we might be adjusting the lighting system following your feedback - potentially not in this patch!
  • And plenty of other additions, that we'll talk about in the coming weeks!

More content! With that, you should definitely be able to reach level 6 by the end of Early Access

Got a Light?

If you've been following Solasta for a while now, you might remember that the main criticism of our Demo (Ruins of Telema) was the camera - most people had issues moving the camera around without bumping into walls or other obstacles, making the experience slightly more painful than we originally envisioned. As such, we've worked quite a bit on that topic before the launch of our Early Access - and while we do still have a few hiccups here and there, complaints about camera control are now much rarer! 

The most common complaint of our Early Access version has since switched to our Light System which we've explained more than a year ago in an article... and not without good reasons. We've been reading through your messages and suggestions, and we find ourselves agreeing on quite a few of them. The largest issues being:

  • We've been saying that Solasta is faithful to the 5e Tabletop ruleset, but we've made changes regarding the lighting rules
  • This design change wasn't clearly explained in-game, leading many people to be disappointed after expecting their Darkvision characters to be able to see without light
  • Fighting in dark environments is frustrating due to often rolling with disadvantage, especially against enemies that like to stay at range

While we had our reasons to change the lighting rules originally (as stated in our article), we've come to appreciate how difficult it is for Tabletop players to adjust to that new set of rules - especially since everything else stays fairly close to the original Tabletop ruleset. So... we're going back to the drawing board to make it better! After all, that's what Early Access is for is it not? Gather feedback from the players, keep what people love and rework what people find problematic. 

A screenshot from more than a year ago! This old level named "The Crypt" sadly no longer exists.

For those who liked the challenge of playing around with the light during combat, fear not - light & dark, much like verticality, is a pillar of Solasta. We've been discussing about many potential options - one of them being to stop penalizing the player and instead buffing the monsters while in the dark. This way we can revert the lighting rules back to its original tabletop version, but still heavily encourage players to use light properly against monsters that benefit from the darkness. We're also discussing about adding ways to light enemies from afar, such as throwing torches for teams without spellcasters, or even adding a few homebrew spells.

That being said, keep in mind that all of this is still being discussed and tested - so we may not add everything I've been talking about above. We'll try to get a few changes implemented into the Winter Patch, but no promises!


Features and Improvements

Lighting isn't the only thing getting improved! We've made tons of little improvements here and there as well as adding missing features that we originally planned for our Early Access launch (that didn't quite make it due to time constraints). Here are a few of them that you can look forward to once the Winter Patch goes live.

AoE loot is finally a thing! Pick and choose items from the ground after combat, and switch who picks what up on the fly

Double click to loot & equip items, two quivers to easily switch between normal and magic arrows

The Hide Action is finally here. Rogues rejoice, sneak attack for everyone! You need to break line of sight first though

The Dash Action has also been reworked, a simple misclick doesn't eat your action anymore

Slowly working our way into increasing our characters' charisma by improving their faces, one by one

This is just a portion of what the Winter Update will contain. Hope you enjoyed today's little preview, we'll be revealing more in the coming weeks! Thank you for reading, and don't hesitate to drop by our Forums or our Discord Server.

Read our previous articles here:

Article by Tactical Myzzrym

Darzin
Visitor
11 months ago

Wow! That is all I have to say! The faces alone... impressive work! Keep it up! Any word on a campaign editor tool and multiplayer?

Alderbranch
Level 5
Kickstarter Backer
11 months ago

A few thoughts:

1. Crafting is not covered anywhere? Will crafting be implemented to such an extent that its doable. 

2. Will it be possible to actually get some more of the nice stuff from the merchants after the patch. 

3. Will teleportation and fly-issues be fixed? Like "no destination to path"-messages and the likes

4. Will there be a hard-mode??

5. When do I get to choose "The Church of Alderbranch" for my cleric. :)



Also; what if Tacitcal Adventures had had the BG-3-budget for Solasta. Food for thought. :)


Bow before me! Or d'ont. I'm not very picky about these sort of things.

11 months ago

Glad to see you're taking the lighting feedback seriously! With AoE loot coming, I'd love to see investigation checks be attached to loot table findings. This game is set to be the soul of D&D/BG3 that actual BG3 is completely missing.

I've over 100 hours in the game and wrote a large feedback after 80 of those hours. I really hope you've had the chance to take a look and consider the ideas (especially the missing custom background proficiency/language).

starkiller
Level 4
Kickstarter Backer
11 months ago

I will admit, I don’t have the time to read every article on the forum about all the decisions made in this game. The lighting one was a punch to the gut when I figured out what was going on and it sapped a lot of my interest. You mention how you wanted to make sure it didn’t result in lighting being a pain in the ass? Well it is. If I wanted the challenge of dealing with it, I would have made a party of humans. If you wanted to allow them to see in color, I think that would be a fine bending of the rules. As you say, seeing everything in black and white is boring and your poor art director would weep in the corner. Fixing dark vision to make combat suck less would go a long way towards improving my enjoyment of the game. 

The only other thing I hope you expand on are feats. I really miss the bevy of feats from the PHB. I know you can’t use them, but I wish versions of them would appear. They are so integral to how I define and enjoy my characters in tabletop and having so few unique and interesting ones was disappointing.

Otherwise, I thought the existing content was fun! I’m looking forward to enchanting being more of a thing and easier to find the tool to accomplish it! Made me sad to carry all this stuff hoping some prayer beads would appear and they never did. Thanks!

11 months ago

Good to hear all the great changes that are coming. Personally I understand you decisions with the lighting, dnd is very specific when it comes to lighting so it made sense. It does suck to have to worry about lighting as part of your strategy but that's what the game is. Personally my biggest thing with this game was the faces in the customize options. Some of those faces terrified me lmao, so it is good to see them being improved. I wonder if my correct character's faces will change automatically or if I would need to change them manually?

Cary Palmer
Visitor
11 months ago

please please please fix the wizard bug. If you use a party of more than one wizard, they lose ALL SPELLS upon level up. This happens 100% of the time. Sometimes at level 2, sometimes 3, sometimes level 4.

Kinkuma
Level 3
11 months ago

Very nice! Excited to play the next iteration.

exsonic01
Level 10
11 months ago

OK, I accept your change of plan, but could you also include an option of the current darkvision as well? Because I like and enjoy the current darkvision setting of the current EA version (0.3.3). IMHO the best solution would be freedom of choice to players: the custom option of darkvision & light between d&d 5e rule and Solasta homebrewed EA rule. 

Redglyph
Level 14
11 months ago (edited)

That's exciting! What I've seen so far of the game was just great, love it!

In the coming months... that left me less excited, let's hope it's not too long ;-)

We appreciate there's a lot of feedback to read. On our side, it would be great to know the rules of engagement. Lots of reports without knowing whether they've been seen or not, is not really motivating to report further problems. Is there a plan to at least tag the threads that have been seen, or have a better tools than those forums?

I'm thinking, bug tracker in r/o access, or modern forums engine to tag the threads or change their titles (and who allows the users to see what they've posted, at least). A simple [reported] on the thread title is enough, since a reply would cost too much time.

DiceWrangler
Level 7
11 months ago

Great news, thanks for the update!

If poison can be applied to weapons (in a future update) I am hoping that there will some poison RECIPES too; assuming that is what the Poisoner's Kit is for: crafting.

11 months ago (edited)

Interested in seeing your changes to current Lighting/Vision rules, as I think outright removal is the wrong decision. Happy to see that you're willing to revise the implementation as opposed to being held to the belief that everything needs to be "exactly" like its tabletop implementation; part of game development is about providing creative solutions after all.

Trazzm
Level 8
Steam Link Newsletter Link Kickstarter Backer Armorsmith (Gold)
11 months ago

Glad you listened to the feedback and continue to deliver great new features to flesh out the game! As a player that likes to use ranged characters, I am 100% behind the lighting changes, though I could have lived with changing their penalties from disadvantage to a -2. I just couldn't take that it was the same penalty as if attacking an invisible target.

Thanks for a great game and all the new content coming!

Jeftah
Level 2
11 months ago

Please, for the love of the Solastan gods let me continue playing with your light rules... it just needs some minor tuning (remove AC from sconces, more sconces in dark places, adjust verticality radius of some light generating spells, fire arrows that can light flammable surfaces and create more light, etc). 

Every single DnD PC game changes the rules to some degree... granted, Solasta has marketed on the promise to keep these changes to a minimum but the light rule is one of the most interesting I've seen, making gameplay more much more tactical, and keeping you on your toes in regards to resource management. 

Love this game and hoping the best for you guys!!!

Galadan
Level 7
Newsletter Link Kickstarter Backer
11 months ago

Good update, thank you.


This one hopes that Light and Darkness as a pillar does not go from a support pillar to a decorative one! :)


The update seems like everyone may win, although it does sound like a lot of work for the devs.


Hopefully that does not come at the cost of other cool features eg: Extra voice sets (so we can have an all one gender party), Graphics updates to faces etc., extra classes etc. as a lighting change seems like it could impact everything from graphics to encounter design to class balance.

Cheers


Miles to go before I sleep

ignernt
Level 4
11 months ago

Super psyched to hear about rethinking the lighting situation!  That change really did affect my ability to enjoy the game.

My suggestion (for what it's worth): whatever system you choose to adopt, please make it very very clear what the mechanics are for the new approach, perhaps with some way of indicating that "this square has disadvantage for you!" or some similar notification, so I can start to think tactically about these things more completely.

Also, a puzzle or two where color matters would definitely punish those people like myself who tend to go all darkvision, all the time :)