Major Update 05: The Spider Islands

Ahoy Captains!
We’ve unlocked three regions for you to explore in our latest Major Update, alongside a load of other cool new stuff.
Check out this video of the latest additions to see them in action:

 

 

Before we delve into The Spider Islands, some important house-keeping: 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 “0.5.11395 – Shattered Empire 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.

Here’s what we’ve added…

3 New Regions

The regions we’ve unlocked are:
– Spider Islands
– Cannibal’s Lurk
– Peril’s Cauldron

 

Head south to gain access to them, and they’re unlocked once you defeat the Kraken – the second and third Quick-Starts commence with these areas accessible.

Ports are few and far between in these areas, so only enter them with a well-supplied ship with a full crew!
All of the new maps contain a wealth of unique events and islands to discover. We won’t spoil everything, but here are some examples of what you can expect…

Spider Islands

Stemming from Mother’s Grasp, arachnids of all shapes and sizes have gradually spread out, taking over the entire region. Tales of treasure and the availability of rich silk draw people to the region, despite the danger it poses.
Web permeates the skies, obscuring visibility, while thick strands connect the islands.

 

If you’re forced into combat in this region, the disturbance draws the attention of the larger spiders. These periodically drop down onto both ships and attack. While individually weak, they can overwhelm weakened stragglers and the red spiders explode into a pool of acid, so be sure to stay on top of any infestations.

 

The strong winds of the Wild Sea, and poisonous gasses of the Forsaken Sea stop the spiders from expanding beyond their region. The Silk Keys had none of this protection however, and it fell to Aldous Spiderbane to stop their encroachment, pushing them back to near extinction. Unfortunately he was unable to complete his task, and in the years since the spiders reclaimed the territory they lost. You can visit Aldous and undertake a special quest for him in the Silk Keys, which lie in the Shattered Empire region.

 

We’ve added a handful of new weapons in this update, none are available in ports and can only be obtained by completing quests. If you want to get your hands on the Spider Egg Launcher, you’ll have to go looking for it somewhere in the region.

 

Also, beware of strange vessels with spider iconography that can be found in the area. The crew only utter the words “Mother knows best” and are seemingly ignored by the arachnids.

 

Cannibal’s Lurk

The second of our new regions has a different kind of infestation: Cannibals.
These natives wear imposing masks designed to intimidate their prey, and will paddle out to battling ships, boarding both at the start of combat. If you can dispatch them quickly, you may gain some advantage over an enemy still distracted by them.
While it’s easy to assume the locals are savages, the settlers drawn to the region are not blameless, drawn by misguided rumours of cities of gold. One event in the bottom of the area sees you responsible for determining the fate of both factions.
In this region you’ll once again team up with Sigismund, the explorer you encountered in the Howling Seas. He’ll reveal what was at the centre of the imposing mass of Ice before joining him on another one of his adventures.

 

 

Peril’s Cauldron

Our third region contains a broad selection of maps to explore.
Head to the Sea of Serpents and explore the Writhing Atoll. Strange people who live in harmony with the snakes patrol the area in custom vessels. They are capricious, just as likely to attack unprovoked as provide you with a gift.
It is in this region that you have a chance to gain the Snake Venom Gun.

 

One of the other maps in the region may contain an island familiar to those who have braved the Haunted Seas. It is here that you’ll obtain the Ghost Mortar:

 

This weapon was previously only found on Ghost Ships. Now, should you complete the associated quest you can unlock it and use it against your foes.

Ship Visual Blueprints

The community have often asked if they’ll ever have the chance to take control of the cool-looking ships available to the other factions, and now you can!
The Visual Blueprints system is available from the Ship Management menu in the Journal, and once you’ve acquired a Blueprint you can swap over to it as long as you own the same class vessel.
You have to earn the Blueprint however, and you can only do so by capturing it intact. Your blueprints are not tied to a save game, so once you’ve unlocked a blueprint you’ve unlocked it in any of your games.
We intend to add many more Ship variants for each class before full release, and in this update we’ve added two more to find (we’ve given hints on where to find them in the region descriptions above)

 

Ship Weapon Layouts

You can swap Weapon Layouts at any time in the Ship Management section of the Journal.
Accompanying the Visual Blueprints is another ship-based system, and this one allows you to select a different weapon layout.
By choosing a Strike, Bombard or Heavy Bombard you can choose to forgo your cannon batteries and replace them with more Swivel Guns or Mortars. The Heavy Bombard can gain even more Mortars by losing the Swivel Guns on the ship.
This opens up a wealth of new customisation options with your ship and weapons, and there can be some potent combinations. It takes a while (and sufficient booty) to find everything you want, but it’s fun trying different setups and testing their effectiveness.
Of course, anything you can do, the enemy can do too – so be prepared to be on the receiving end to some of these deadly combos.

 

AI Ramming and Boarding

The AI will now ram and board you. Some ships will be more aggressive in this than others, but even defensive-minded ships may decide a quick “ram-and-run” may be an efficient way to stop you once you chase them down.
This, combined with the Weapon Layout changes mean that existing players should be on their toes when engaging in combat, as there are many new ways the AI can hurt you.

 

Anti-Ram Upgrade

To help you keep ramming AI ships at bay, we’ve created the Anti-Ram.

This one-shot-per-battle-per-side upgrade can be equipped into the side-slot on your ship (the same space Gargoyles and Harpoons go) and, once an enemy attempts a ram on you, the button will light up. Pressing this in time will fire out the Anti-Ram, which is stuffed with explosives. Upon impact, it will halt the ramming vessel, inflicting damage on it. This will allow you to either move out of range, or attempt a counter-ram.
We’re also conscious that ramming is something some players do frequently, and wanted to give the AI something to counter that with. If they have it of course, but it’ll give Rammer-Spammers pause before going in for the kill!

 

Coastal Defences

Coastal Defences are like Sea Forts, but are land-based. You’ll find these scattered throughout the world, and they’ll open fire on you if you’re at Wanted Level 1 or above. If you engage in battle in range of a hostile Coastal Defence, it’ll bombard you in combat, too.
We plan on doing a lot more with Coastal Defences in a future update, so consider this their opening salvo.

 

Surrender

Sometimes in battle the AI may now plead for mercy, which you may choose to accept, or fight to the bitter end. Likewise, if you’re at deaths door, the AI may offer clemency if you’re prepared to give up some of your hard earned loot.

 

Massive Optimisations

We’ve done a huge amount of work optimising the game, so those players with Integrated graphics can now run the game much faster with the correct settings.
If you previously weren’t experiencing high enough framerates, we advise checking them again. You can switch via the in-game settings menu and see the difference, so it’s simple to achieve the right visual quality and framerate sweet-spot.
If you’d been running the game on Low quality previously, you may wish to see how the game runs on Medium settings with this update.
On our test machine with an Intel HD630, combat (which is the most-intensive part of the game) is running at a steady 30fps at 1920×1080. Lowering the resolution gives a hefty speed boost, too.

 

Take on a mission with The Syndicate when you visit the port in No Yonder

Patch Notes

If all that wasn’t enough, we’ve done a load of bug fixes, quality-of-life improvements and polish, too! Head to this post for the full details:

https://steamcommunity.com/app/551860/discussions/9/1642038659010595314/

Our last update was huge, and this one is even bigger – we can’t wait to show you what we have planned for the next one, too!
If you find any issues, please report them on the forums, and if you like it, let us know by leaving a review 🙂
Thanks for the support.
The Abandon Ship Crew.
PS – Thanks to all our Beta Branch testers, your feedback was invaluable.

 

 

 

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