Our first major update focuses on feedback from the community, and we’ve added some big systems that substantially improve the game. These concentrate on the following areas:
– Implementing an alternate solution to insta-killing crew in events
– Offering ways to get out of the ‘downward spiral’ that could occur if things were going badly or recovering from ship destruction.
– Supplementing the save system outlined in the Roadmap.
– Adding a “Quick Start” option that skips the opening section.
These issues often compounded each other and could prove frustrating. The post below describes our solution to these problems, and there is also a short video that explains some of our changes here:
Before we dive into the latest changes, some important house-keeping: Because we’ve had to change the world to accommodate these new systems, your saves from previous versions will not work with this latest update.
If you are mid-playthrough on the original 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 “Launch Version (0.5.8082)”
– Wait for the game to finish updating, you should see the branch name listed after the game name.
Events no longer insta-kill your crew! Instead, they will make them “Badly Hurt”, which means they are unavailable in combat until you have revived them in an Apothecary.
This removes the feeling of unfairness while still making player choice important – and crucially, recovery is under player control.
Crew Traits System
There is now a Traits system, which gives your crew more character. Traits can be either Physical or Mental, and Positive or Negative.
When crew become Badly Hurt, they will gain a Negative Physical Trait. They will also gain one if they become Incapacitated in Combat.
Traits provide a small bonus or penalty to actions in Combat and stack up in ways that can affect your tactics in battle.
We’ve had a lot of fun coming up with Traits, and we’re sure the community will have plenty of fun ideas too 🙂
If your crew member is Badly Hurt, you’ll want to head to the new Apothecary in Ports to revive them.
Apothecaries can also cure Negative Physical Traits.
If you’ve survived Ship Destruction or escaped a battle with barely any crew, it could be extremely tough to work your way back to the top. Now, if you’re down on your luck, head to a Prison.
Here you’ll be able to get cheap crew by paying their fine so they can serve on your ship. Prisoners are base-level and have several negative traits – one Mental Trait means they will never gain experience, so while Prisoners can get you out of a tight spot, they’re unlikely to hold a permanent spot on your ship.
Magistrate & “Magistrate Saves”
Accessed via the Tavern option in Port, the Magistrate offers you the chance to create a manual save (what we call a “Magistrate Save”). To perform a Magistrate Save, you must use a Captain’s Log. These are finite items spread throughout the world that you must find.
Your Magistrate Save and Autosave are tied to the same playthrough. If you die, you no longer have to resume from the start of the game, but can now continue playing from your last Magistrate Save. You have one Magistrate Save per playthrough, so performing a new Magistrate Save will overwrite your previous one. Your moment-to-moment progress is still constantly autosaved as it has always been.
We feel this method retains the danger of loss should you die, but takes the extreme edge from having to restart the entire game, potentially losing so much playtime that it became frustrating. Now, you have a decision to make: Do you expend these rare items to create a Magistrate Save, or keep going and risk losing more progress?
The Magistrate is where you can also submit your charts of the local area and be paid Gold in return. This is a low-risk way to earn money, particularly helpful if you’re recovering from ship destruction.
Shipwrecks and the Diving Bell
There is a new upgrade available from ports: The Diving Bell. This can be used to gain access to new events scattered around the world: Shipwrecks.
Aside from the more common standard shipwrecks, there are rarer, former Empire flagships to find. If the player uses the Diving Bell on one of these “Golden Shipwrecks”, they can obtain a Captain’s Log, which is required to perform a Magistrate Save.
Golden Shipwrecks are rare. You’ll find one in an entire region, or two in the largest ones. Some regions have none. If you’re lucky, you may happen across one, otherwise you’ll have to go looking for them.
We’re aware that some players starting a new game wish to just dive straight into the action, so we have created a Quick-Start option. When you commence a new game, tick the appropriate box to be spawned in a place where you can immediately get going.
In order to teach all of the new mechanics in this and the previous update, we have made some adjustments to the start of the game. Now, once you leave the area where the Cult attack the Port, you will be funnelled to a map where new players will be taught everything. We’re also expecting to use this map as an opportunity to teach systems we have planned for the future. Outside this new port in the fourth map is where a Quick-Start game commences.
While some of the changes in this, plus previous updates, have made the game less frustrating by removing friction points, we’re aware that some players find the game too easy.
In this update, we’ve made Hard mode spawn tougher enemies in combat. Throughout Early Access we’ll be continually tweaking the difficulty, plus adding options and systems that offer a tougher challenge for those that want it.
We’ve added two new Ship Classes to fill the gaps in the roster: The Corvette and Cruiser. This smooths out some of the sudden jumps the AI make in ship size.
As part of our roadmap plans, we’ll be offering more ship variety that affects gameplay and player choice in what they upgrade to.
There are of course a whole host of other bug-fixes, polish and quality-of-life improvements included as part of this update, and you can read the list of these here:
This update is just one step along our voyage through Early Access, and we’re already working on both improving what is already there, as well as adding some really exciting things.
We’d love to hear your feedback, so please join us in our Steam Community Forums, and thanks to those who have left us a Steam Review. If you haven’t done so yet, please do!
Thank-you for the support, Captain. It is much appreciated 🙂
The Abandon Ship Crew
PS – For those players that stay up-to-date with the Beta Branch versions, thank-you for your assistance and feedback while testing the above.