I’ve got some more news to share about v2.2.0. I have decided to split the release of the new caves quest into two updates.
v2.2.0 is now going to include just one variant for the new quest: The crystal caves. The following update, v2.3.0, will include the other two quest variants. While this does mean a slight delay in getting all of the quest variants to you, it also means that v2.2.0 can release much sooner, in about a week in fact!
This beta for Shattered v2.2.0 is live right now! You can get it:
- On Google Play by opting-in to betas
- On the App Store via TestFlight
- On Steam, GOG.com, or Itch.io, via their beta branches
- On Github for Android or Desktop.
Why the Change?
It’s now been a bit more than 4 months since v2.1.0 was released. At the current pace of development, the full caves quest will need another month of development at least, which would put its release around mid November at the earliest.
Those of you who’ve been reading these posts for a while might remember that I’ve consistently been disappointment at how long it can take to make large updates, and I’ve often regretted not splitting them up where possible. Here’s a little chart illustrating that, with two updates I wish I had split up, and one significantly larger update that I actually did split up:
|v0.7.0 alchemy system
|v0.8.0 enemy/boss overhaul
|v0.9.X talent system
With 3 quest variants that each have unique enemies, bosses, and terrain, it is really starting to feel like v2.2.0 is another good candidate for being split. So, I’m going to take my own advice and split the new caves quest into two updates. This way everyone can enjoy the first variant very soon, I can work on the next two variants under a bit less time pressure, and I can get a wider breadth of feedback on the new quest sooner.
v2.2.0 also includes a bunch of other content in addition to the new quest, which I’m eager for players to get their hands on. You can read more about that in the previous blog post Here.
So what’s the quest variant that’s actually coming in v2.2.0 then?
The Crystal Caverns
Note that most of the visuals here are still WIP. I plan to improve them before releasing v2.2.0.
As I’ve mentioned before, the new caves quest tasks you with exploring a new sub-level, mining out gold ore, evading hazards, and defeating a boss. Unlike the rest of the dungeon, the player can dig through walls, which creates a bunch of interesting gameplay opportunities. Each quest variant has its own terrain, enemies, and boss. The first of these variants, and the one releasing in v2.2.0, focuses on Crystals.
This crystal quest area has unique crystalline terrain that’s as colorful as it is fragile. Crystals can be broken easily, and will even shatter if terrain next to them is mined. however, you might want to think twice about doing too much crystal mining, as some of the locals won’t take too kindly to it.
You’ll encounter Crystal Wisps and Crystal Guardians in this area. The wisps can move through crystals, but can’t shoot their ranged attack through them, which makes the crystals ideal terrain to hide behind. Meanwhile, the guardians are incredibly tough, but are slow to move and won’t wake to attack you if you leave the crystals around them undisturbed.
The boss of the region is the Crystal Spire, a towering ultrahard crystal which you’ll have to defeat via mining. Steadily picking away at it is bound to attract a lot of attention though, so be prepared to deal with all the other crystalline enemies while you’re fighting the spire. The spire is also capable of defending itself, although smart players can use these attacks to their advantage.
The Other Variants
As mentioned, v2.2.0 won’t include the other two planned quest variants, so I’ll talk a bit more about them later, but here’s some early information to give you a general idea:
The second variant is an unstable gnoll encampment. The gnolls have taken to trying to mine out some gold themselves, but are preferring to use earth-moving magic with little care for cave stability. Expect a lot of closed in walls and fallen rocks, as well as gnolls that’ll be able to use those rocks against you.
The third variant is a mushroom forest. A large mycellium network has grown in this area, creating lots of hostile plant life. The abundance of tall vegetation isn’t just pretty tough, you’ll want to use it (or the cave walls themselves) to keep out of sight from the powerful, yet stationary, mushroom sentries.
If all goes well then v2.2.0 should release in about another week. I’ll give an estimate for v2.3.0 then. As a reminder, I am not longer posting to Twitter, Reddit, or Facebook. If you’d like some more incremental updates about what I’m working on, you can subscribe to the Shattered Pixel Newsletter, or follow me on Mastodon.
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