Today we launched Alpha Test Stage 8. This new version of the game features the addition of a new Culture Victory, a whole new Information Age, totally new world map exploration mechanic, new minigame and a lot of smaller additions.
Let's go into detail about everything step by step.
Up until this Alpha only War Victory and Wealth Victory had been implemented - only two victories out of a total of six. Now we are presenting a third victory type - Culture Victory. In order to achieve this you will need to build the Pantheon (unlocked in Medieval Age) and then fulfill special tasks that will increase your country cultural prominence. When you do so, special characters will begin to appear in your town. These characters are of cultural professions and have their own troubles and doubts which you will need to dispose of so they could join your country in Pantheon to boost it's culural greatness - and eventually reach the Victory.
As always, the new Age adds a whole lot of new buildings, units, technologies, upgrades, and so on. We had previewed some of the stuff earlier, but I will describe the key ones:
- Energy! Information Age adds a sixth and final basic resource - energy. Energy is required by a number of things in Information Age. Oil still plays a significant role in this age, but energy is taking over as well. It also requires a power grid to transfer it between towns.
- Atom bombs and Nukes! Now it's time for some serious destruction if you can reach this far. Beware though - your own people won't be too happy about it. You will also need a global resource Uranium, which is extremely rare.
- Helicopters - better delivery and exploration.
- Stealth Fighters and Bombers - now you can deliver some powerful ambush attacks!
- Aircraft Carriers - allow your planes to reach further.
- Highways - even better than railroads!
Places of Interest on the World Map
Apart from regular quest locations, global resources, and towns of other players now you will find some new places of interest on the world map. These places of interest do not require your hero, but do require some action on your side in order to claim a reward. For example, there is a desloate mine where you can send traders and they will salvage some resources. Furthermore, you can find multiple places of interest of the same kind so they are basically endless - you will be finding more and more of them as long as you keep exploring, unlike the quest locations which are limited.
Land places of interest:
- Desolate Farm
- Desolate Felling
- Desolate Quarry
- Desolate Mine
- Country Fair
- Auction House
- General Store
- Climber Camp
- Plague Village
- Kung Fu Master
- Black Widow
- Thieves Guild
- Blacksmith Guild
- Razed Village
- Druid Drove
- Desecrated Temple
- Artisan Workshop
- Old Graveyard
- Precursors Lab
Naval places of interest:
- Fish Market
- Message in a Bottle
- Treasure Island
- Pirate Ship
- Savage Island
Three previous minigames were popular enough among players to warrant the addition of a fourth minigames - about Billy Bonkas and his Candy Factory. Will you be able to help him find an apprentice?
World Map Changed
This time the world map was slightly redesigned to separate regions from each other by sea, so naval travel from one part of the region to another will be faster. Also this time you are playing in Jungle climate.
The wipe of progress and Enkord Cash refund
Just like it was announced in previous news post - all Enkord Cash spent since the 1st of June will be refunded. Needless to say, any unspent Enkord Cash will not be lost and you will be able to spend them during Alpha 8 without problems. Additionally, here are some other things worth mentioning:
- All items purchased with Enkord Cash (those which have E sign) were transferred from Alpha 7, so you will be able to start a new hero with these items from the old Age.
- You can take up to 3 equipment items from the old hero to the new one, so your best artifacts can be kept! Heroes who have completed the game with Victory before can take more items.
- Last but not least - there are different bonus packages - second wind and loyalist packages - so you will have a better start at Alpha 8.
- Appearance items were removed from Cash Shop, so now you can only use previously purchased items or get a unique appearance by inviting new players to the game.
All existing heroes and countries are wiped, because the changes in Alpha 8 are too complicated to allow us keep your progress. We apologize if it causes you inconvenience, but don't forget that this game is still in an early stage of development. Such progress losses were expected and announced in advance.
The rankings are wiped for everyone as well - but achievements are kept and can be continued in Alpha 8.
We will start the deployment right away. But as always, the early version of the new Alpha stage might be extremely buggy. Critical bugs might even require us to reset the progress again. Plus, it will be extremely crowded at launch. If you want a relatively smooth experience you might decide to wait a few days or even a week. If you can't wait - welcome, but expect bugs, crashes, and a tight map.
In the comments below, let's reminisce about Alpha 7 - which is over - and also post impressions about your early dive into Alpha 8.