Major Update 06: Sword of the Cult

Greetings Captain,
We’ve released our 6th Major Update, titled “Sword of the Cult”.
If you’d like to watch a video of all the headline changes, you can do so here:

Before we go into detail on what’s part of the new update, some important house-keeping: As we now support Steam Cloud Saves, and in order to gain access to the new content, your existing saves will not work in the latest version – Don’t worry though, you can get a head-start by using one of the multiple quick-starts, the latter two have the option to customise your ship and crew so you can approximate where you were before.
If you are mid-playthrough on the previous version and wish to continue it, then you may switch over to this older version of the game via the Beta Branches system:
– Go to your Steam Library
– Right-click on Abandon Ship and select “Properties”
– Go to the tab marked “Betas”
– In the drop-down box, select the one called “0.5.12154 – The Spider Islands Version”
– Wait for the game to finish updating, you should see the branch name listed after the game name.
Here’s what we’ve added…

New Campaign

We already have the Main Story, the Combat Campaign and the Haunted Seas Campaign, and we’ve added a new one for you to enjoy: Sword of the Cult.
As I’m sure the name gives away, the focus of this is the Cthulhu-esque Cult themselves – but this time you’ll be playing as them.
If you remember very early in the main story, The Severed One knocks out two bodyguards, thus allowing their escape. You take on the role of one of those bodyguards, utterly betrayed by one you idolised.

 

After this, suspicion and blame were rife. You were demoted and dismissed to some forgotten outpost.
You however, had not forgotten. The sting of betrayal was replaced by a smouldering desire for vengeance.
Thus begins a story of climbing back up through the ranks of the Cult, serving Fathers Will and furthering Cult ambitions, putting you in a position to hunt down your nemesis.
This campaign runs concurrently with the Main Story, so you’ll see some interesting moments – such as how do the Cult react to the death of the first Kraken?

 

Not only that, but the events in the next part of the Main Story (more on that below) are a direct result of what occurs in Sword of the Cult.

 

Gameplay in Sword of the Cult

Things work slightly differently in the Cult. You can visit Cult Bases, where everything is available to you all the time. Access to weapons, upgrades and ships is determined by your Cult Rank.

You can gain promotions by establishing new bases, building shrines, destroying ports and eliminating factions.

 

Control the Kraken!

You’ll also be able to recruit Haliphron on your vessel, and at certain points be able to call on the Kraken. By gaining enough “Father’s Favour”, you can take control of this huge monster, decimating enemy vessels.
You can trigger the full swathe of attacks (and we’ve added an up-close vomit to the repertoire) by pressing the buttons along the top of the screen.

 

 

Campaign Length, Saving, Difficulty

This campaign lasts around 3 hours, and as well as the usual auto-saves, you start with a Captain’s Log, and can gain more. Father does not tolerate failure, so in this campaign, losing your ship means game over – no lifeboat or stranded modes to offer a reprieve. There’s also a quick-start to skip the opening story segment and get you straight into the action.

 

The campaign takes place in one of the new regions (again, more on that below!) – one that has thus far done very well at resisting Cult incursions.
Because you can return to base at any point to repair/replenish your crew for free, this campaign has been balanced so that each individual battle is tougher than in the main story. So be warned, and adjust your tactics accordingly!

Three New Regions

Another update, another three regions unlocked! That makes nine regions in three updates I believe. Alex has been an island-making machine (as well as all the other art in the game of course)!
The regions we’ve unlocked are:
– Land’s End
– The Wild Sea
– Northern Remnants

 

Land’s End

This is the region you conquer in the Sword of the Cult Campaign. The Redoubt is the capital of the region, a fearsome fortress protected by four islands with coastal defences.
By the time you reach this in the main story, the Cult have already achieved dominance – but you can get some payback by destroying the Shrines built in the area, and raiding the fortresses that were established. Land’s End is now an extremely hostile place to visit, so be sure to enter it battle-ready, and be prepared to retreat to repair before venturing back in!

 

The Wild Sea

Located in the bottom-right of the world map, the Wild Sea is subjected to perpetual gales. When the winds reach their apex in combat, not only will this trigger a brace test, it’ll also eat away at the health of your masts section – so if you like to control distance in battle, have crew on standby for emergency repair duty!
The furthest map houses a strange island that is only accessible through the deepest parts of the spider islands, or venturing through two other maps that have giant roaming waterspouts. These tornado’s will damage your ship if you sail into them, so be sure to navigate around them!

 

Northern Remnants

This region was the only place post-Fall where the Empire continued to flourish. That was until a huge earthquake decimated the region, swallowing entire ports.

 

Now, the region is infested by Cult and Pirate factions.
For those familiar with the story in the Combat Campaign, the Northern Remnants contains one area where you can meet a familiar (if not-so-friendly) face from the Skin Merchants.

Main Story Extended

We’ve been asked many times when the main story would be extended, and as the Cult campaign sets in motion some world-changing events, we’ve brought the main story in line with this.
Now, when you flee back through the ice sheet, ensure you are prepared for a tough battle – I’m sure those who have sailed those waters can guess what it is!

I’m renowned for blabbing all the story secrets, so I’ll resist saying anything else!

Factions System

As you’ll discover when exploring, there is a new factions system. When a faction occupies a map, it controls all of the Sea Forts and Coastal Defences in it, plus several guarding vessels which will move to attack should you stray into their territory.

 

 

Defeat all of those, and a boss ship (or beyond a certain point in the story a Kraken) will be dispatched. Eliminate that, and the faction is cleared.

Cloud Saves

We’ve added Steam Cloud support.
Because of this, and our work-in-progress Mac & Linux builds, the save format has progressed to the .abs3 format, and saves now appear in a sub-folder in the existing save locations. This shouldn’t affect you unless you’re specifically looking for the files.
You may find this link useful to track your Steam Cloud Saves:
https://store.steampowered.com/account/remotestorage
If for whatever reason your local saves and those in the cloud mismatch, Steam will ask you whether you wish to sync to one or the other.

 

Other stuff

We’ve done loads of other polish, bug-fix and quality-of-life changes, check out the patch notes if you want to see all the details:
https://steamcommunity.com/app/551860/discussions/9/3158631000004646666/
Some things worth calling to your attention are:

 

Weapon Spawning

On the new ship layouts has been tweaked so that no more than two instances of a swivel gun or mortar will appear – so no Heavy Bombards with 6 hull crackers spawning! We’ve also weighted the spawn rates of these layouts, so cannon-based vessels should be seen more often. Please keep providing feedback on stuff like this to help us further tune it.

 

Crew Levels

These have been added for the enemy (they used to be all basic level). As the game gets harder, enemy crew will be more skilled, which gives late game battles with the AI an extra edge. You can hover over their crew discs in the top-left to view their skill levels and make decisions about who to target/avoid. We’ve also made player crew skill levels take longer to earn on the higher levels – the game has got quite big now, so we wanted to avoid situations where you’d maxed out your crew by the time you reached Landfall 🙂

 

Differing Weapon Reload Times

These have been added (previously reloading was all the same) – their times are noted on their tooltips and in port. This takes the edge off some of the best weapons – unless you’re savvy with assigning the correctly skilled crew to them of course…

 

World and Campaign

We’ve streamlined the first section of the game, so it’s faster to get through. We’ve also ensured a lot more variety in these opening maps by adding unique islands and events, as well as weighting things like weather generation so you’ll be constantly encountering something new.
Supplies pickups are now scattered around the world.

 

 

Despite adding tens of thousands more words, our translators have done an excellent job of keeping up – Russian, Spanish, Brazilian Portuguese are all 100% translated with this update, and we can now add a new language to the roster: Turkish!

 

 

This is another gargantuan update, and we’d really appreciate any feedback – the best place to reach out to us is either on the Steam forums or our Discord:

 

https://discord.gg/abandonship

 

Major Update 6 will be our last before we go into full release some time this autumn. For those keen to play the latest, we plan on putting updates on the beta branch before then – and of course, hitting version 1.0 doesn’t mean we’ll stop improving the game either 🙂
Thanks for the support,
The Abandon Ship Crew

 

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