Today after years of Alpha Test we are moving to Beta Test with Beta 1. The new version of the game not only has some new stuff like with every new launch, but also has some significant changes underneath.
We have announced some of them earlier, but let's go into details about everything.
After a long wait the story continues with addition of new quest location - Thornsville. Mysterious Mr. Thorn awaits you there. You will have to figure out who he truly is - an unexpected ally or someone who has his own goals in mind.
The Dungeons were highly praised addition to the game so we decided to add something similar due to popular demand. The Random Mines are a set of 9 side quest locations with randomized content - you will find new types of puzzles and activities in them. You will be able to return to them to mine purified ores and crystals just like you return to monster dens for experience. This is the first real work of our new level-designer so he will be very delighted to hear your feedback about mines.
Instead of global wipes of Alpha stages, in Beta wipes are individual so it is not punishing anymore to start later after launch, because you will have the same amount of time whenever you start. After start you will have 5 months of playtime in order to expand your country, reach significant place in the world, and reach one of the Victories. Otherwise, something evil, dangerous and seemingly unstoppable will come after you and destroy your whole country. You can learn more about cataclysm in the previous news post.
In order to explain why the cataclysm happens we have added some story bits, twists, and easter eggs. The biggest one is a whole new quest which also includes a totally new minigame. You will be playing that minigame and uncovering the ancient prophecy about the Doomsday.
The world map becomes even more exciting. Sometimes when your troops are marching on the world map, they can notice something interesting. They can notice it only when they walk past it, but if you see it by that time, you can interact with that bonus and receive some kind of reward. Different troops walking with different missions can notice different stuff, but all movement on the world map can uncover that bonuses, including reinforcements, attacks, traders, exporation, etc. Here is the list of possible entities you can encounter:
- Suspicious Bottle
- Training Dummy
- Scientific Scroll
- Magical Mushroom
- Hanged Man
- Shortcut Sign
- Crafting Table
- Food Cache
- Lumber Cache
- Stone Cache
- Iron Cache
- Lost Letter
- Smuggled goods
- Paper Boat
- Rum Barrel
- Fisher Boat
- Garbage Island
There have been requests to redesign the system of instant completion of 5 minute long building constructions. We have implemented it in Beta 1. We have reduced instant completion time down to 1 minute, but now it counts remaining time and not total construction time. Basically if your building has under 1 minute remaining, you can always complete it instantly. To make things better we have added instant completion to both units and technologies! For technology you can cut the remaining 5 minutes and for units it is last 15 seconds.
We are very grateful to players who support us with donations, that's why we are constantly looking for ways to bring them more value and make their play more convenient. However, we are trying not to give too much power so the game will remain balanced and noone is buying their way to victory. This the reason why we have recently added free gift items to the friends and alliance members and a free supporter keys to present to someone else of your choice. By introducing those gifts donators can also help their friends.
To add even more value to donators we are replacing discount system in the shop with a whole new thing - VIP system.
VIP system allows you to gain VIP levels by buying items in the Cash Shop which will unlock convenience features. The discount is not gone, it becomes part of the VIP system, but in addition the VIP will increase instant completion time from 1 minute for buildings, 15 seconds for units, and 5 minutes for technologies by the same amount per each level. Instant completion time will become 2 minutes/30 seconds/10 minutes for VIP level 1, 3 minutes/45 seconds/15 minutes for VIP level 2 and so on.
- The VIP effect is temporary and has limited duration, the maximum duration is 20 days but you can prolong the duration by making any purchase in the Cash Shop.
- Increasing your VIP level will add extra 5 days of VIP duration (but no more than 20 days total).
- If your VIP expires, you will loose all earned VIP levels and will have to start from scratch.
Zoryana and Diplomacy
Zoryana finally gets her advisor quest which will teach newbies to interact with other players, send resources and reinforcements and finally join an alliance.
The Winter that came late
The Arctic Tundra returns after 2 years, but in Beta we will be unlocking continents in different climates after previous one becomes fully populated, so even without wipes there will be some variety in climate too.
Smaller changes and additions
- The Beta 1 signals new beginning with new music track of the New Dawn Age by Massage (DJ MoHaX), it features light adventurous mood with a darker and mysterious bridge.
- Information Age has new building and units unlocked: Navy Base, Global Combat Ship, Nuclear Submarine
- Achievements has been reset except the ones which are given for the number of victories. Victory counters remain too.
- 30 day rule has been restricted to the point if both players are 100 days old, the rule no longer applies and they can interact with each other.
The wipe of progress and refund of items
Just like it was announced earlier - all items that were purchased with Enkord Cash that were consumed after 1st of February 2018 are returned to the respective heroes. They will remain there, so don't worry about rushing to re-create all heroes to get back items, you can do so later anytime and your items will be still there. There are some other wipe details:
- Any unspent Enkord Cash will not be lost and you will be able to spend them during Beta 1 without problems.
- All items purchased with Enkord Cash (those which have E sign) were transferred from Alpha 8, so you will be able to start a new hero with these items from the previous Alpha.
- 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.
- Like before - there are different bonus packages - Second Wind and Loyalist packages - so you will have a better start at Beta 1.
The deep changes will affect the way people play the game and we will be watching closely how the meta-game dynamics changed because of it. Those changes were necessary in order to focus on getting new players, because it is hard to drive players when the wipe is close - they will have limited time to fully enjoy the game and become fully hooked.
The new model will also allow us to work on the game with less pressure, focusing more on the story and adding features when they are ready, instead of rushing or postponing them until global wipes.
Overall this is a major milestone and we are really glad and would like to send huge thank you to all thse players who have been with us so far. I am sure there are a lot of exciting things to come so stick with us and get ready for something great!
However, I have to warn you - the early version of the new Beta 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 not just about Alpha 8 - which is over, but about all Alpha stages 1 through 8. It's been years since the very first Alpha came out and I am sure it was an exciting jorney for most people. We would love to hear about your journey through alphas, so please don't be shy and post your story in comments. Also post impressions about your early dive into Beta 1.