We have just released a Major Update: The Perilous Bounty.
This packs in a bunch of exciting additions to Abandon Ship, and the post below explains these in greater detail.
We have also released a trailer showing the new features, which you can view here:
Before we look at 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 previous version and wish to continue it, then you may switch over to this older version of the game via the Beta Branches system and following these steps:
– 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 “0.5.8433 – Treasure from the Deep Version”
– Wait for the game to finish updating, you should see the branch name listed after the game name.
If you’re up-to-date on the Beta Branch (i.e you already have the items listed below) then your saves will be unaffected.
Sea Forts are a new type of enemy you can battle. As giant stone structures, they cannot be sunk, so you’ll have to defeat them in other ways.
They have an outer-ring section which can be damaged and repaired just like a ship. This can house up to 4 mortars and 2 Sick Bays.
The inner-ring section is a raised stone platform that houses a new weapon – the Mega-Mortar.
The Mega-Mortar is auto-fired and auto-reloaded from mechanisms within the Sea Fort. It cannot be mounted on a ship, as the recoil would tear the vessel in half! This weapon will continually fire at you, and as well as the devastating damage it causes, will also momentarily halt the movement of your ship.
You can disable the Mega-Mortar by damaging all 4 inner-sections, which cannot be repaired. Once the Mega-Mortar is disabled, the Sea Fort will surrender (although it should be noted that Cult-owned Sea Forts will never surrender).
Of course, you could always charge in, board the Sea Fort and slaughter the crew to win as well, but the Mega-Mortar will make it tough-going for you!
Sea Forts provide a slightly different challenge for Captains to overcome. Victory provides a high reward, but you will take damage trying to defeat one – so only attempt hostilities if you’re in a strong position. In our playtesting thus far, we’ve found that specialised builds are more effective, so make sure you’re able to either get in super-fast and finish the battle quickly, or are set up for anti-crew warfare, or are extremely powerful at long-range and can disable the Mega-Mortar before it causes too much damage (the new Catapult weapon is handy for this).
Sea Forts are immune to ‘Brace’ tests and cannot be rammed, so if your strategy is heavily reliant on those tactics, you’ll need to change things up. Also, the imposing structures rise above the highest waves, so Tidal Waves have no effect on them.
In exploration mode, the Sea Fort will open fire on you if it’s hostile. While they won’t sink you, they will whittle your hull health down. Also, if you engage in battle within range of a Sea Fort, an off-screen bombardment may come into play. This could be a help or hindrance depending on the combatants. For example, if you battle a Cult vessel in range of a neutral Sea Fort, the Cult ship will be bombarded. If you fight a pirate in range of a Cult Sea Fort, you’ll both be bombarded.
If you engage in lots of piratical acts (or attack neutral Sea Forts) then the new Wanted Level will rise. As it passes certain milestones, negative-effects will come into play. Previously neutral Sea Forts will open fire as you sail into their vicinity, and Bounty Hunters will be dispatched to bring you to justice. Depending on your notoriety, they may offer to collect the Bounty in money, or prefer to shoot first and ask questions later!
At Wanted Level 1 and above, neutral Sea Forts will open fire if you sail too close
You can reduce your Wanted Level by doing good deeds (either in events or liberating Cult-owned Sea Forts), or heading to the Magistrate in Port to pay your fine.
Side note: In order to fit in this new functionality, the old Magistrate menu has been changed to the “Explorer’s Guild”, just in case you’re looking to file your charts and use your Captain’s Log Saves.
Trade Routes snake out from ports, and little trading vessels sail along them to their destination. You can raid these by sitting on the dotted line and pressing the “Raid” button.
Doing so will increment your Gold, but will also raise your Wanted Level.
Trade Routes can be raided by Pirates – in which case they’ll appear yellow, or completely blocked by Cult vessels (where the dotted line will appear red). If you displace these ships from the Trade Route, your Wanted Level will decrease.
The dotted lines of a Trade Route are also a handy navigational point – you know one direction will always end in a port!
If you reach a high enough Wanted Level, Ports will close down and not allow you access. If you reach this position and need to get those pesky Bounty Hunters off your back, then find a Floating Outpost.
These neutral places act like mini-ports and are open to even the worst pirates. They don’t have the full range of options you’d find in port, but you’ll be able to boost crew morale, purchase supplies, patch up the worst of your hull damage and most importantly, pay off your wanted fines.
New weapons and upgrades
This update also includes 5 new weapons, and two new combat-upgrades.
Gargoyles spew flames onto vessels at boarding range, while Anti-Boarding Spikes damage crew as they leap between vessels. Perennial boarders beware!
The Catapult is an extremely powerful weapon that fits in your cannon slots, however it can only be fired at the furthest range.
The Timed Bomb is a Mortar whose shell sticks into the enemy deck, a fuse burning down. If the bomb is defused by crew, it is harmless – however if it goes off, it is quite devastating. Employ weapons that disrupt enemy crew to ensure a detonation!
Three new Swivel Guns include the Lightning Gun, which chains minor damage across multiple crew, and provides a small interrupt to their actions. The Web Gun traps crew in a cocoon that blocks the area they’re standing in. This is a great weapon for harassing enemy crew, as it’ll often drag in their companions to chop away to free them sooner. Finally, the Berserk Dart enrages crew enough to attack whoever is closest, even allies!
Passage of Time
All maps will now repopulate their events over the passage of time, so you’ll no longer revisit previously explored places to find them empty.
Repopulation is handled through transitioning between exploration maps, or by waiting. You can wait by pressing the new button on the right-hand side of the screen – but be careful, waiting can result in being ambushed.
The Kraken has received some love and attention. When it chases you throughout the game, it’ll now perform additional attacks on top of the standard hull-grab – so be prepared to deal with other things while you’re cutting those tentacles.
Several other attacks can disrupt your attempts to fight off the Kraken.
The Kraken will now ‘Aggro’ in the Boss Battle – once they reach a certain health they’ll play an aggro anim and from then on, attack more aggressively.
We’ve also improved the effect of the Kraken chasing you in exploration mode!
Expanded Crew Sizes, New Skills
This has been a popular request, so crew size is now dependent on the ship class and on the larger ships, goes up to 8.
We’ve also given the rest of the crew unique skills to differentiate them further:
– Captain: Leader. Provides a passive bonus to whatever action the crew on your ship are doing.
– Navigator: Evasive Manoeuvres. When manning the wheel, reduces the accuracy of enemy fire.
– Marine: Dodge. Reduces the damage received.
– Sailor: Special Repairs. Provides a bonus to extinguishing fires, repairing hull cracks and pumping water.
– Gunner: Accuracy. Increases the chance of hitting when firing cannons or mortars.
The Surgeon of course already has their ‘Heal’ Skill.
Autofire & Targeting
Another popular request: every single weapon in the game can now be toggled between manual fire and autofire!
Weapons set to Autofire will have a gold highlight that circles the Weapon Button. Right-Click the Weapon Button to toggle Autofire on and off. Targeting the enemy ship with cannons will now display a red highlight to show which section you are aiming at.
Cannon Targeting has now been visualised with a system which is much clearer to read.
You can now re-map your keys in the new Key Bindings menu!
Iron Captain Mode
In previous updates, we added Explorers Guild Saves; a way of manually saving if you found a rare Captain’s Log. ‘Iron Captain’ Mode is something you can select when creating a new game and means there are no Captain’s Logs in the game.
We’ve fixed a load of bugs and made lots of other improvements to the game.
We have also been re-balancing from feedback and the new features. In particular, combat should feel less attritional when targeting sections, the AI should be more aggressive, and we’ve made some big changes that should greatly reduce any leftover feelings of “I got a new ship and so did the AI”.
For the patch notes on everything that was changed, you can check out this post on our Steam Community forums here:
Of course, as we continue to improve the game we’ll refine everything even further.
Next, our focus will turn to unlocking a new region, including special gameplay associated with that area. The ETA for that is mid-to-late October.
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!
The Abandon Ship Crew
PS – Thanks to everyone who provided feedback from the Beta Branches 🙂