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What's next for Tales of Maj'Eyal! A lot, and then some!

Hello my minions!

Recently I was surprised to find some people wondering if Tales of Maj'Eyal was dead (as in not developed anymore). I was like "WTF??" because I knew it was not, quite the opposite in fact, but then I pondered some more and realized that I'm utterly bad at regularly communicating that fact! So let's try to improve on that with a Grand List Of What Is To Come (Possibly).

As usual I never give dates unless I'm sure. So always take this kind of things with a grain of salt, they may come in two days or two years :)

Release of patch 1.6 with huge changes

1.6 is the next free big (huge) patch for Tales of Maj'Eyal. I have already delayed it far too much as such it has grown into such a monster patch that I likely won't be able to list everything going in without forgetting many others. Still, here are a few of them:

  • Deep rework of early game balance, main goal being to reduce startup tediousness. This includes changes to difficulty, scaling, shops, drowning, items, ...
  • A ton of cosmetic options for all playable races (including the expansion ones). From many shades of skin colors, to haircuts, beards, tattoos, ...
  • Hugely improved NPC AI, smarter, better pathing, and so on. For MOAR GLORIOUS DEATHS!
  • Update of Doomed, Cursed, Wyrmics, Antimagic, Shadowblades, Prodigies, Corruptors, Reavers
  • Update to many randart powers and ego powers
  • A complete revision of runes, inscriptions and charms
  • Fixed bosses can now levelup in specific classes to keep the challenge up at higher levels/high difficulties
  • Revision of many debuffs
  • Melee weapon scaling revision to reign in on late game ultra high damage stupidity and buff early game low damage stupidity
  • A ton of misc changes, updates, revisions, ...
  • And the usual slew of bugfixes (and NEW bugs :) )

Embers of Rage free update with a new class: Annihilator

So you thought that when an expansion is released it's the end of its life? THINK AGAIN! After 1.6, Embers of Rage will get an update with a whole new class for you to slaughter poor creatures with: The Annihilator! As its name suggests this is a class for peace-loving orcs!

Annihilators use steamguns and new heavy weapons (flamethrower, shockstaff and boltgun) to destroy their foes all while deploying automated steam turrets and even riding around in a mecharachnid suit!
A force to be reckoned with for sure!

Note to be clear: this is NOT the very next update to Embers of Rage, that one will be released at the same time as patch 1.6 along with an update to all expansions, just to update their systems for 1.6. Annihilators will come a little afterwards.

DarkGod turns evil: Microtransactions, but the good kind!

Don't go screaming bloody murder just yet please ;) So let's say it upfront: no pay2win to be seen in there!

Now that this is said let's get into more fun details. So if there is no pay2win, what will there be?
Many things! Mostly fun and/or cosmetic stuff as could be expected:

  • Additional Online Item's Vault space. Any purchase of the game, expansions, donations, ... already provides vault space, but this is for even MOAR!
  • Various cosmetic themed packs. These will include shimmer appearances for most items, plus sometimes/usually additional cosmetic options for playable races. "But DarkGod, I want to have racial cosmetic options without giving you more money!" Well, fear not for 1.6 does bring in a ton of those for free anyway. The more, the merrier!
  • Community events! Now for something a little different. In Tales of Maj'Eyal community events are temporary stuff that are sent by the server to any currently playing character. The server randomly sends two of those, called the Bearscape and the Lost Land of Poosh, to players automatically. There are many more, like seasonal ones, or ones only I can push when I feel like it. Now players will be able to acquire the ability to trigger either the Bearscape or Poosh themselves, in addition to the random server pushes that are not changing. But wait there is more! They are still community events, so whenever somebody buys and triggers one, all players currently online will benefit!
  • I don't like pay2win. I really really don't. So instead of doing pay2win, I've decided to add a pay2die system instead! If you think your character is too strong, that nothing can kill you as you stride effortlessly through the toughest of foes, just buy this option and get a few level 500 god-level horrors randbosses summoned on you! Death is guaranteed! You can even boast online by showing off what horrible horrible creatures are about to kill you!

As for why I'm adding this now; well this is less fun but I prefer to be honest as for why I'm doing it so...
In last October Steam had a glitch in their algorithm, which effect lasted for months and for many can still be felt today. Basically the algorithm suggesting games had gone bonkers and unless your game was an AAA or super indie it sank to the bottomless depths of hell. Many indie devs, including me, had their revenue cut by like 50+% (sometimes much more).
Valve told us this was not intentional and I truly believe them; they've always been very nice people when I needed them so I have no reason to doubt their word. But still, it made me realize that I am so dependent on Steam. This kind of made me enter panic mode, I was mentally unwell for some time I must admit. Maybe I'm too fearful, a scared little boy or whatever but still that's how I feel/felt.
So I've pondered about additional revenue streams and I remembered about some players that kept asking to be able to buy more vault space and cosmetics. So finally after many years I caved in and the rest is (future) history!

And to be perfectly clear: this is just a way for people who want to support the game to do so while getting a few cosmetic/fun stuff out of it. The game itself is free/cheap and will keep on being so because making my game accessible to more people is something I truly believe in. Also I'm an evil god of darkness, thus I want to reach as many minions as possible; you know to eat their souls and stuff... :)

Next expansion announcement: The Lost Land

And last but certainly not least... A new expansion! And not a small one at that. For a long time now I've only announced expansions when they were very nearly finished. This time I'm trying another way and instead I'm teasing it early on. As you can see on the teaser, no ingame art exists yet but many sketches. The lore, zones, foes, stories, ... are all roughly defined and being implemented. The new races and classes are already half-way done. Still it'll be a long way until release, which will obviously happen in exactly 1DGTU!

"But DarkGod, you didn't tell us what it is ABOUT!" Fear not my brave minion, I'm coming to that!
I can not yet reveal too much about it, and keep in mind anything can change, but here are some key facts for your pleasure:

  • It is set on the continent of Tar'Eyal, to the south of Maj'Eyal, which you can already glimpse at the shores on the southern point of Shaloren lands ingame.
  • Two prominent forces on the continent: the Great and Bountiful Undeath Empire and the Saupur Imperium
  • The continent has been shielded from the outside by a mysterious shield for millennia
  • It features a "half-campaign". It happens at the same time as Age of Ascendancy, the player starts on Tar'Eyal and it replaces the first half of the normal game.
  • About 15ish zones planned, perhaps more
  • At least two new classes: Dust Mages and Gravelords. It is very likely at least a third one will be added.
  • At least six new races: Risens, Vessels, Vampires, Exarchs, Saurpurs (two kinds, reptilian and draconic). And possibly more!
  • The usual tons of new lore, artifacts, npcs, achievements, quests, ...

To be on trend

So it seems like every single content creator is on Patreon but me. Well, I suppose I need to fix that then!
Joking aside, I've been asked many times if I could provide alternatives to Paypal for donations because well, some (many?) people are not fond of it at all. Lately Patreon announced they'd change their fees, except for people that got on before May, so I thought "Hey, I suppose it's as good as time as ever".
Now this is a bit of a different Patreon page than people are used to. In the spirit of always trying to keep things fair for every players, no matter where they buy the game/donate, I've decided that all the different pledge tiers would never entail players to anything special. Instead the system will simply count all the money that has been received from a pledge and add it to the voratun coins on te4.org. Just like any other donations. Patreon pledgers will get a blue name in the chat like any other recurring donation setups.
I know this is likely to lose me some pledges, but I think being fair to everybody is more important.
You can find the Patreon page here: https://www.patreon.com/darkgodone

The Future: new rendering engine

For a very long time now I've had a side project: upgrading the display code used by T-Engine4.
When I started making the game it was my very first OpenGL project, so as you can imagine the code sucked royally.
It has gotten better over time but it still follows the same principles I first implemented, and frankly, they suck.

Some time ago I spoke about porting the game to tablets & phones, this presents a lot of UI challenges as Tales of Maj'Eyal is just a wee bit more complex than your usual phone game. But it also presents code problems as the current way of doing OpenGL just does not cut it.

The new rendering code is meant to alleviate this problem. It's a very long project because it means rewriting so much code and because the new code is not the same even in concept. The worst part about this project is that, on the surface, the user will see very little change from all of this. Apart from a somewhat better font handling and some smoother animations, the primary changes will be a new particle system, and a visual editor to implement them.

Still it's a lot of thankless invisible work, but it is needed to ensure the future of the game :)

The Other Future: translation?

This is even more hypothetical but something I've also worked on a bit, adding a translation layer to the engine to make it available in multiple languages. This is a huge undertaking and unlikely to come fast, if at all, but it would be so nice, wouldn't it?

Final Words: the DarkGod has spoken!

And there you go, you know of some of the projects being worked on/thought about. Do note that those are only the relative short-term stuff, ideas are certainly not something I lack ;) As I have said many times, Tales of Maj'Eyal is my baby, I love it and I do not plan on stopping as long as the community supports me with love (and sadly, money too as this is the real world :/ ).

Thanks to all of you and I hope you'll love what comes next, and then what comes afterwards and ... and ... well you get the idea :)

The Pikataclysm is upon us! RUN FOR YOUR LIVES!

What could be terrifying about little cute bunnies and eggs?
Nothing you say? Well, think again for the Pikataclysm has arrived to Eyal and will stay active until May 1st!
Beware of what lurks in this strange place, for sometimes, bunnies have big teeth.

The Pikataclysm is a yearly special server event, triggered every 10 minutes by the server to all players currently logged in. There are others such events, come find them all during the year!

New DLCer Problems

Thanks to some luck, I was able to get the DLC for this game. Unfortunately, I can't actually start a new game. Major bummer. If anyone could help me get started with the DLC, I'd be most grateful.

Read the log!

Just a small reminder to read the logs when fighting foes that won't die. Took me a while to realise that I healed the radiant horror when attacking him with my fire-gauntlets :D

Chicken Dinner? Kinda

First time writing on here, only just discovered this option.

I've been playing ToME on and off for about 6 years now and Exploration Mode is the only thing that keeps it fun for me. I don't really care too much about the roguelike experience, and while trying my best not to die, its not fun for me to repeatedly bang my head against a wall in order to make it budge. I'm a super casual player and it is immensely fun for me that this game got past roguelike elitism and offers something for all kinds of players.

There is so much variety in builds and what you can do and while the tactical angle is great, what kills most roguelikes for me is that you need a razor sharp attention span over hours and hours of play. There just are lapses of concentration for me, this game is hard enough to kill you at any point where you stop paying close attention, so my ADD brain is very thankful that this kind of misstep doesn't spell the end for my run anymore. I play this game similar to any normal RPG and after finishing my first run, I'm already itching to try it with a new character (or maybe do some postgame stuff first).

So yeah, my character was Rall, the Dwarf Berserker, first winner on this account. I know she wouldn't have made it in Adventure Mode (let alone roguelike), but I'm still very happy I managed to pull through with her. What killed me most of the time was just curiosity and some very brutal situations (I learned that having high resistances doesn't mean you can't take over 1000 damage in one turn). Aside from these lapses, I am very proud I managed to kill the 7 Multicolor Wyrms without a death on this character, which I attribute mostly to how you can kite them out of the room 1 by 1 (most of the time).

My goals are now to unlock all the classes and races and get a few more wins in with more advanced/weird/fun classes.

Cheers!

A newbie first memorable death.

This is the first in what I hope are many posts from me, to this amazing game and community. I have only been playing for a week or two, and this the first character who died that I feel regret for. Even if, from what I have gleaned, I was not even a fourth into the campaign, this is still pretty cool so far

Today Ilegon, Cornac Shadowblade, falls on some god-forsaken blighted ruins on the middle of nowhere. I guess the game saying something along the lines of "you heard horrible, scary things and feel terrified just standing on the entrance" should've tipped me off. In my defense, that character had already survived things he had no business ever living through by sheer grit, obstinacy, dirty tricks, and luck (I guess halfling foot do bring luck, eh). If I had been on some of those fights on the other side, I would've been like "Die already you cheating bastard!" But alas, his luck had to run out someday. https://te4.org/characters/246697/tome/642a66d3-1385-476d-8ade-e7b62a3527a9

I'll miss that guy. It was only these last few days that I was marveled with the synergy the Stealth and Ambush trees had. Before that it was mostly Stealth tree and Shadowstep. There is really nothing quite like using a shadow clone, charging into the fray worryless and combining shadow dance with a shadow veil. That was cathartic. Or, if it was an ass with 100 dark resist, just debuffing and petrifying him to soft him up.

But man, he seriously had quite some luck.

Now, after talking a bit on the chat this morning (and realizing that I'm, in fact, very far away from unlocking Necromancer) I have started a Higher Summoner to satisfy my craving for unleashing a horde of monsters on my enemies. So far, it kind of feels like I'm playing roguelike Pokemon. A very cool roguelike pokemon. I died already at level six, but since that was just me being stupid against the Assassin Lord on the ambush I started it anew.

It's a bit strange suddenly being "the leader" instead of "the lone knife that stabs things on the back". Kind of refreshing. A mind beam of sort I've acquired has helped me feel less useless towards my summons, though it doesn't help that I'm killing them too sometimes. Poor turtle, holding the line only so I can blast my foes together with him. He deserves a raise or something. It's probably because I'm such a terrible boss that my Treant likes to freeze me. But don't worry, I'll get better.

Gotta catch em all!

RNG vol 4 Two for one

My Rogue is out at level 12. I focused on getting my crit percentage as high as possible and two weapon fighting. I outright ignored stealth, as I don't know how this game's stealth mechanics work, but know that in many turn based games stealth is kind of useless. It is either too random to be relied on until it is almost maxed out or just allows you to avoid fighting and thus exp gains.

I really underestimated bleed effects and died almost exclusively to bleeds. I never really had to deal with it much before as I usually had high con on my characters before this or they just broke in two hits so bleeding didn't matter.

The Rogue died three times to The Shade and once to a vault boss. The last death was to a randboss spawned from a chest. A thief with a nasty bleed and brain locked me so I couldn't heal until after I bled out. Here is my rouge's character sheet: https://te4.org/characters/246275/tome/992a66d1-ffda-40f0-a022-17bd1ed957a8

On the positive sieve I unlocked Reavers this time.

I then rolled a Yeek Possessor. I found the class fun but made the mistake of not giving myself a default attack skill, instead focusing on making my self able to steal any body and make them a good as I could. I even felt like I was getting the hang of it by the time I needed to head to the mainland but Subject Z stopped me flat. I quickly cleaned out my vault and have nothing to fight him with, and lack the health to go toe to toe. With both starter dungeons cleared out, my Possessor is done despite having lives left.

Here is her character sheet: https://te4.org/characters/246275/tome/e1f2c10c-51b9-40b4-95cc-9ffb5dd9a201

As for what is next I don't know. Maybe a Higher or Shalore Spellblade or a Thalore Archer. I'll figure it out.

RNG vol 3: Alchemist goes splat!

Well I'm back and it didn't take to long for my Halfling Alchemist to bite it. A fair amount of it comes down to the fact that compared to the other Classes I have played so far the Alchemist has the most unique gimmicks. Namely controlling to characters at once, each with their own specialized role, equipment, and AI management. The other part is I had a one month gap between play sessions so I had to relearn and remember the class all over again.

I had read the guides on the forums to get a basic handle on things, but dispite them telling me to dump every point I can into Magic for both characters, I found halfway though Trollmire that I REALLY needed that golum to be a better tank for me so I had to split my stat points so I could put heavy and massive armor on it. This in turn slowed down it growth, but seemed to be working... Mostly.

I had my first three deaths in Vol's tower, two from the golum charging into large groups and pulling them onto the Alchemist himself, and the third was to the Zone boss as I was stupid and had the Alchemist take the lead when they stepped into the boss room. He was then quickly frozen in a narrow hall, blocking the golum from helping, and stood helpless as the boss bolted him to death.

The last few deaths were to the Horror guarding the tower after the lake dungeon. I may have been under level or the golum under equiped as the golum died in only a few turns, no matter what i did, then I couldn't seem to damage him fast enough before he'd pop an infusion and heal most of the damage I did to him.

Here is the link to his Character page: https://te4.org/characters/246275/tome/1d75def2-b71d-455d-b723-21771cfcb0db

I was able unlock the Poison skill tree for Rogues and Archers, so at least it wasn't a complete waste of a run.

My next character will be a Halfling Rogue. I want to see how a crit monkey plays like.

Site "Track"

What a mysterious feature. It seems like some users have it displaying all posts they comment in as well as their addon/module uploads, but it's not doing that for me. Might as well see if a blog post at least displays in it.

Update: So it does. That's a relief... or is it?

Update 2: Upon further investigation... Well, for starters, something weird is going on with the tagging system. The website is capable of adding doppleganger tags that group items separately from the originals, and there's no way to remove them or automatically added tags. Moving on, I believe that the tracker is leaving my addons out because they're uploaded through the game, which may not have been the procedure for veteran ToME modders. Jury's still out on how comments work.

Is this thing on?

Day three... ish... of Tales on Steam, and I've somehow managed to hit 21 on a Shalore archmage (Brother Badass!) on normal adventure. He died somewhere in the middle of Dreadfell to a certain acid-scarred dwarf who bore the same initials as my character. I have now resolved to play on exploration mode to learn a bit more about the game; the first thing I learned was that it's important to ensure you actually select exploration mode as opposed to adventure when you start out with the intention of playing an exploration mode character. Rest well, Explorio Cheatymage. Apparently, this is an easy mistake to make off the back of losing a beloved level 21 Archmage to a dwarf who spent an entire turn spewing up on the tower floor before striking the fatal blow. Easy for me, at least.

But hey, live and learn!

Uncle Whippy, Shalore archmage explorer extraordinaire, has now arrived to fill up the gaping holes in my knowledge of Eyal. At the time of writing, he has died more times than any other character so far (infinite lives, see) and not entirely because I was curious about how he'd fare against certain newly-encountered bosses. No, this time I seem to have gone about the early game in a way that's just different enough to throw off my expectations of what I was just becoming used to; Uncle Whippy was last seen tearing across the countryside trying to find a *nice* dungeon after having various pieces of himself handed back to him by a large red dragon somewhere in the Daikara. I could have sworn that volcano wasn't there last time I looked.

Onwards!

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