Dev Diary #9 for Age of Wonders 4 focuses on Ancient Wonders.
Dev Diary #9: Ancient Wonders
Greetings future Rulers, welcome to another Development Journal! I'm Bas, a game designer at Triumph Studios. I'd like to give you some glimpses into the grand structures called Ancient Wonders that can be found in the realms you conquer.
Each Ancient Wonder is a monument from the great ages of the past, with several ties to the old Age of Wonders lore. They make the lands more coherent and mysterious as you encounter an ancient Mother Tree guarded by vengeful Entwined, a Secret Temple desecrated by evil cultists summoning a demon or a Lost Tower of ancient wizard horribly transformed by the Astral Sea.
Ancient Wonders are, next to being monumental landmarks in the world map, also filled with adventures and the promise of loot. They are the evolved versions of Treasure Sites in Age of Wonders 3 and Landmarks from Age of Wonders: Planetfall.
Discovering an Ancient Wonder
When you first uncover an Ancient Wonder on the World map, you already get a glimpse of what's to come through:
The name, which hints at the adventure that awaits inside.
The tier, which indicates the difficulty but also the value of the Ancient Wonder and its rewards!
The background lore, indicating what the Ancient Wonder's original purpose was and what might still lurk inside
Beware though, that trying to enter and capture Ancient Wonders, while a dangerous ordeal in itself, also have diplomatic repercussions, other players gain grievances if you try to explore Ancient Wonders that are close to them. No one likes nosy neighbors stealing the loot.
To take you on an adventure, we're following Wizard King Cinren Toliath of the Ashborn Hedonists.
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Diablo 4 No Plans for Xbox Game Pass, Remnant 2 The Handler Class - Top RPG News MAR 19, 2023
0:00 - Top RPG News of the Week
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1:21 - Wayfinder Endgame and Itemization Interview
2:29 - The Last Spell RPG, Roguelite and Strategy Tactics
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4:32 - Top PlayStation Downloads
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7:06 - Diablo 4 Xbox Game Pass?
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The Black Grimoire: Cursebreaker is a medieval fantasy adventure RPG inspired by the 'oldschool' atmosphere of adventure games of the past. Journey through a sprawling open world, converse with its many inhabitants and unravel the story of Rothar Aercrest - the cursed lord to the remote woodlands of Imberthale. Increase your power by advancing your skill levels and acquiring powerful items, unlocking special attacks and spells which will aid your way in defeating the worst monsters that lurk in the remote corners of the world. Choose your own playstyle and take your place as the most powerful adventurer to walk the lands!
Variety of quests with deep writing.
Numerous weapons and spells to employ in strategic combat.
Permanent choices that affect gameplay.
Large open world that rewards exploration.
Skills & Crafting systems that offer freedom of playstyle.
Customizable player houses to rest your weary bones.
Social multiplayer - meet other players in towns, taverns etc.
Tired of 'epic tales' of 'world ending proportions', Cursebreaker offers stories of human pettiness, revenge and greed - all the good stuff. In this game you're not yet another 'chosen one' destined to save all life from impending doom and gloom. Instead, you're Lord Rothar Aercrest - the feudal ruler to the remote woodlands of Imberthale. Or at least you used to be...
One fateful day your path crosses that of a dark wizard, Gabrius, who appears to be both tremendously powerful and frightfully malicious. Consequently you soon find yourself caught within a mortal feud between two powerful wielders of magic, all the while bound by a curse you desperately need to break free from.
If Lord Rothar is to know peace again, Gabrius must surely die. That might not prove to be such a simple task. After all, what is death besides a mere nuisance to the master of the Black Grimoire?
In Cursebreaker there's no loading a save from a previous point in a playthrough, so the choices you are presented with tend to be permanent and can't be taken back. Should you die in combat, you will simply continue at the nearest resurrection point, potentially having lost some of the valuables you may have been carrying. However, under normal settings dying should be relatively effortless to avoid - there are plenty of potions and other tools to guard against it. You may also find scavengers out in the world, who might be willing to sell any lost belongings back to you.
Character progression in Cursebreaker is tied to the various skills you can advance. Every interaction in game tends to give experience in some skill area and gaining higher skill levels will unlock appropriate interactions and abilities. While fighting enemies in close combat, for example, you might expect your Offence and Defence skills to increase. As they do, you unlock new passive and activated abilities, can wield more sophisticated weapon and armor pieces and gain access to new traits from the appropriate trainers.
The spellbook offers a large variety of both combat and non-combat utility. Finding and learning new spells may prove a challenge in itself, and casting more demanding spells will require preparation, such as gathering specific ingredients. Feel free to create your own playstyle by using any combination of ranged and melee weapons and spells!
Chopping trees not only gives you crafting materials but also increases your skill in Woodsmanship, which may give you access to hidden areas in the wild and help you fight beasts. Similarly, you can advance Alchemy by finding and picking special herbs and crafting simple potions, but you will also be able to make bombs, poisons and more.
Every skill should provide you with something unique and be worthwhile to practice. Advancing skills may also unlock hidden options when interacting with objects and NPCs in game. Available skills currently in game include Attack, Defence, Archery, Sorcery, Smithing, Crafting, Tailoring, Alchemy, Mining, Woodsmanship, Fishing and Cooking.
We aim to provide what we call social multiplayer in Cursebreaker; this means you will be able to see your friends and other adventurers online in some areas of the game, but the interactions are limited to social functions only. You'll be able to chat with them and inspect the equipment they're wearing, but you won't be able to trade with them or otherwise engage in gameplay-related activities with them. You can also opt out of the multiplayer in settings if you don't care for it.
Citizen Sleeper - Episode: PURGE arrives March 30.
The third and final free episode completes the DLC sequence.
Wake up, Sleepers! Citizen Sleeper's third and final DLC episode will be released on March 30 for all platforms as a free update.
Citizen Sleeper will also launch on PlayStation (for PS4 and PS5) the following day, complete with all DLC content!
With the release of Episode: PURGE, Citizen Sleeper's three episode post-launch DLC expansion is now complete and the game has even more to offer players, with a thrilling late game storyline that introduces additional characters, lore and new locations. Players returning to Erlin's Eye might even find themselves running into some familiar faces!
The tactical RPG Showgunners will be released on May 2:
In a dystopian future where corporations rule, a brutal reality show is the hottest entertainment property in town! You play as Scarlett Martillo, a contestant out for revenge. To win, you must navigate dangerous urban arenas packed with lethal traps and face off against hordes of heavily-armed psychopaths.
Pure turn-based tactical combat
Each stage in Showgunners has been hand-crafted to create a curated, turn-based tactical gameplay experience, heightened with the inclusion of a diabolical show director that can hinder Scarlett or help her opponents depending on your performance. This dynamic level design ensures that no two levels play the same way and keep players thinking tactically. Showgunners has been built to challenge and delight players, whether they're a turn-based tactical game initiate or a long-time fan of the genre!
Fight alongside unique characters
Scarlett won't be fighting alone. As the story progresses, players will recruit new partners that can turn the tide of battle in all kinds of exciting ways. Upgrade your characters by spending talent points in their unique skill trees and outfitting them with weapons bought at a shop or earned during battle. Hidden challenges within each chapter can unlock more allies, legendary weapons, and helpful items, so be sure to keep an eye out!
Face the competition
Players will need to navigate an obstacle course of deadly traps and lethal puzzles in real-time, but be prepared for an ambush at any corner. Psychopathic enemies like the Ogre and the Ronin aren't the only deadly elements you'll need to overcome. Combat scenarios are peppered with unique environmental hazards, from ticking time bombs to runaway trains. There is never a dull moment in Showgunners!
Become a star of the show
Gain fame by avoiding death, surviving rounds, and eliminating your enemies with gruesome panache. The more you succeed, the more fans you earn; your growing fame will yield increasingly beneficial sponsorship deals.
If you've ever wondered what the Yakuza series protagonist Kazama Kiryu would have been like as a samurai in the late Edo period of Japan, then boy have I got the game for you! It's Like a Dragon: Ishin!, a remake of the PlayStation 3/4 title Ryū ga Gotoku Ishin!, which sees you playing as real-life samurai Sakamoto Ryōma, who happens to look and sound exactly like Kiryu.
As with the Yakuza series, Like a Dragon: Ishin! is a third-person action RPG, which sees you wandering around doing tons of side quests, getting into fight after fight, and playing mini-games for hours on end. Oh, there's also a really great story, but I'm not going to lie, this review would have been out weeks ago if I'd concentrated on the story.
My only issue with Like a Dragon: Ishin! is in how it sometimes feels like one of the older Yakuza titles. Enemies will straight up disappear if you interact with something, rather than just disengage their pursuit. NPCs will get latched onto level geometry and just run in one spot even after I collide with them. Though very rare, I noticed hitboxes during fights not always being where they should be, either because an attack missed or hit when I shouldn't have. In one cutscene the camera had been placed behind a wall for one angle, so it kept just showing a close-up of blood-stained wallpaper.
These tiny issues don't detract too badly from an amazing game, and Like a Dragon: Ishin! is definitely something that series fans need to play. Newcomers might have an easier time getting into it since the faces won't confuse the names they already know, and the combat has more variety. Overall, it's great fun and makes me hope for a Western release of Ryū ga Gotoku Kenzan! and remakes of both Kurohyō titles.
When Octopath Traveler released back in 2018, it was an immediate hit. Fans were blown away by this love letter to classic JRPGs, with its striking blend of HD lighting and environments and 2D pixel art graphics. Sure, it had some issues, with some storylines not being as good as others and the eight characters never having any intersecting quests, but overall, Octopath Traveler was met with favorable reviews. When news came out about a sequel in the works, fans were elated. Now with the time finally upon us, it's time to see if Octopath Traveler II is as good as the original. Spoiler alert: it's even better!
I cannot praise Octopath Traveler II highly enough. It took an already remarkable game and improved upon it in every single capacity. The visuals are even more eye-catching and dramatic, thanks to the 3D camera perspectives and enhanced graphics. The soundtrack is just as amazing as the first game, but still different enough to set itself apart. The developers proved they listened to their fans by including more travel banter and all-new companion sidequests, giving them believable reasons as to why they would be traveling with each other. All the new features enhanced an already great concept, making Octopath Traveler II a true masterpiece of a RPG.
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