Against the Storm update adds spooky ships and new ghost encounters

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An Against the Storm update just landed, continuing to build on the Steam Early Access game that’s already shaping up to be one of the best city-building games of 2023. It’s only been a couple of weeks since the Sentinels of the Forest update brought Fox people, the fifth playable species, to Against the Storm, yet there’s already more content on the way. This latest update introduces a spooky shipwreck, new ghost encounters, and much more.

Developer Eremite Games remarks on the “very positive” reception to the Foxes, and notes that a feature spot on the Steam front page has helped dramatically boost the game’s popularity. While the release of Sentinels of the Forest marks the completion of “the majority of the early access goals on the roadmap,” Eremite Games says that there are plenty more things on the way, and that a new roadmap is incoming soon.

For now, though, the Merchant Shipwreck update kicks off with exactly that – a giant, destroyed ship that can be found in one of Against the Storm’s many forest clearings. Finding it will present you with two decisions, offers an effect tied to trading, and can have potentially nasty consequences if not properly dealt with. In addition to this, Eremite Games have added new decisions to some older events that previously only had one option available.

Elsewhere, Living Matter has been completely redesigned and is now replaced with the Blood Flower. Several other gaps have been filled in too, with new deeds corresponding to the recently added modifiers, new ghost encounters (including some tied to the Foxes), and several new orders that demand tasks of you such as completing valuable trade routes or making a rapid expansion effort across multiple glades.

Balance changes have been made in several spots, which Eremite Games say go beyond just simple numerical alterations. Standing for trade routes is now gained based on the amount of Amber traded, rather than the amount of transactions made, ghost spawns in the Cursed Royal Woodlands have been adjusted to lower the chance of repeat encounters, and Cysts will spawn closed during the Storm if the previous open one was destroyed.

One of Against the Storm’s strongest assets, as noted in our preview of the game, is its user-friendly menus and user interface, which does a fantastic job of conveying its far-reaching wealth of systems and information in a clean, easy to process manner. That’s also getting some polish, including ways to more rapidly adjust production limits and a colour-coding system to more easily read tooltips at a glance.

Against the Storm Merchant Shipwreck update patch notes

Here are the Against the Storm patch notes for the Merchant Shipwreck update:

New content and features

  • Added a new dangerous glade event.
    • Merchant Shipwreck: How powerful must the storm surge have been to carry this shattered wreck all the way here? Perhaps in the distant past, there was a sea in this place? It looks as if it had been lying here for centuries. Strange voices can be heard from below the deck…
  • Added 8 new deeds. All of them are tied to the new modifiers that were introduced into the game a few updates ago.
    • Frosts: Win a game near the Frosts modifier.
    • Abandoned Settlement: Win a game near the Abandoned Settlement modifier.
    • Untamed Wilds: Win a game near the Untamed Wilds modifier.
    • Land of Greed: Win a game near the Land of Greed modifier.
    • Petrified Necropolis: Win a game near the Petrified Necropolis modifier.
    • Gathering Storm: Win a game near the Gathering Storm modifier.
    • Overgrown Library: Win a game near the Overgrown Library modifier.
    • Ominous Presence: Win a game near the Ominous Presence modifier.
  • Added 6 new ghost encounters in the Cursed Royal Woodlands.
    • Ghost of a Lizard Elder
    • Ghost of a Lost Scout
    • Ghost of an Old Merchant
    • Ghost of a Murdered Trader
    • Ghost of a Fox Elder
    • Ghost of a Teadoctor
  • Added 7 new Orders. All of them make use of new objective types introduced into the game – completing trade routes with a given minimum value, and discovering glades in a short time span.
    • Profit Margin
    • Profitable Trade
    • Fair Exchange
    • Export Hub
    • Into the Unknown
    • Hasty Explorer
    • All at Once

Against the Storm Merchant Shipwreck update - two Blood Flowers, the replacement for the Living Matter event

Balance changes

  • Rebalanced the spawn rates of ghost encounters in the Cursed Royal Woodlands. The chances of coming across two identical ghosts on the same map should now be minimal.
  • Changed how cyst spawning during the Storm works. Previously, every Cyst that spawned during the Storm was immediately open. Now, after the last open Cyst was burned, subsequent cysts will appear closed.
    • This means that if you are in the middle of burning Cysts during the Storm, and a new one appears, it will be open. But if you burn all Cysts, and a new one appears only after the last one has been destroyed, it will lay dormant until the next Storm (or until awakened by an event, like the Infected Mole).
  • Changed the Land of Greed modifier effect. It no longer removes event rewards.
    • Land of Greed: The strange totem causes you to only focus on your wealth… And the Crown is worried. Impatience grows 50% quicker, but every ongoing trade route reduces Impatience generation speed by 20%.
  • Added new decisions to 5 already existing glade events.
    • Corrupted Caravan: with the option to either cleanse it or send contaminated goods to the Citadel (tagged as corruption).
    • Fuming Machinery: with the option to either tear it down or fix it (and be rewarded with a decoration with a special effect).
    • Withered Tree: with the option to either cleanse it or cut it down.
    • Petrified Tree: with the option to either cut it down or heal it (tagged as empathy).
    • Noxious Machinery: with the option to either cleanse it or tear it down.
  • If a player isn’t level 2 after the second tutorial map (because they skipped the tutorial, lost a game, or an update reset their settlement), they will be automatically promoted to level 2 after entering the World Map for the first time.
  • The size of the Newcomers caravan now scales with in-game years instead of scaling with the number of villagers in the settlement.
  • Changed the reward for the “fix” option in the Leaking Cauldron glade event. Instead of giving Reputation, it spawns fertile soil around.
  • Changed the way newcomer scaling works. Previously, the number of new villagers was based on the population of a settlement. Now the numbers are based statically on the number of years past. This change was introduced to allow players to recover more quickly after a negative chain of events wipes out a significant portion of their villagers.
  • Changed the way Standing levels progress when using Trade Routes. Previously, neighboring towns would level up after a fixed number of routes were completed. Now it’s the value of your transactions that counts. This change should introduce more variance into the system, and make it possible to gain Standing more reliably (with big transactions).
  • Increased the Complex Food requirement in the Vitality effect. It now requires 200 units (instead of 150) of complex food consumed to add the Resolve bonus.

Against the Storm Merchant Shipwreck update - a screenshot of the new-look trading post interface

User Interface improvements

  • The Trading Post is now movable. The “move” button can be found in the Trading Panel after selecting the building (you can also move the Trading Post by hovering your cursor over it and pressing M on your keyboard).
  • Added an option to rebind the “copy building” function in the Options menu.
  • Resource tooltips now show which buildings a player owns (they are highlighted in the list of all buildings that can produce said resource).
  • Tooltips for goods are now formatted differently. They display building names in a list and show the star rating of a recipe next to the building name.
  • Need tooltips now show which service buildings a player owns (they are highlighted in the list of all buildings that can fulfill said need).
  • Holding Shift when changing production limits will now change the number by 10. Holding Ctrl will change the number by 5.
  • The clickable area for Woodcutters’ Camp settings has been enlarged.
  • Resources in the “related goods” section of the Recipe Popup are now separated based on which slot they are assigned to in the original recipe.
  • Clicking on a need icon in a service building will now open the Recipe Panel and automatically search for the good required to satisfy the said need.
  • Changed the name and icon of the Obsidian Shovels perk to avoid confusion.
  • Improved scaling for almost all tooltips in the game. Tooltips should now be able to resize more easily in all directions.

Other

  • Added 2 new music tracks to the Cursed Royal Woodlands (during Storm).
  • Added a new officially supported language – Thai.
  • Changed the visual representation, name, and description of the Living Matter. The event (and its clone) is now called Blood Flower. This change was introduced mainly to get rid of the old Living Matter model (which was simply a particle effect) and to ground it a bit more in the game’s lore.
  • Improved overall stability and fixed a few instances of CPU crashes that occurred after the last engine update.

For a full list of additional bug fixes, you can check the Eremite Games update via Steam.

Take a look at more of the best strategy games on PC if that’s your bag, or browse the best indie games to see what other smaller games we’ve been loving in 2023.

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