Hey everyone, welcome back to the Thylacine Studios podcast. Last month, I released patch 0.4.0 for Siralim Ultimate. This massive patch includes nearly 1700 achievements, a new type of currency that can be spent at a new shop offered by the gambling dwarves, a loot display filter, tons of new prophecies, quality of life improvements, and much more. The patch also includes a balance pass on all the traits, spells, relics, perks, and status effects in the game. In total, the patch notes were around 400 lines long.
The next patch will be a bit more focused. I’ve already implemented most of your suggestions, and all the most time-consuming things are done now. The codex, tutorial messages, and achievements are by far the most time-consuming things to add to the game, especially compared to how impactful they are in terms of content, so now I can finally focus on adding some real content to the game. That’s what I want to spend the rest of this episode talking about.
The highlight of our next patch includes Nether Bosses, and here’s how they’ll work. After you finish your main story quests – that is, after you’ve defeated the boss at depth 63 – every 5 realms you visit, you’ll be guaranteed to receive a realm quest that asks you to defeat a Nether Boss. To do so, you’ll need to find a portal in that realm that will take you to the boss’ chambers. Many of the Nether Bosses you’ll encounter are “remixed” versions of the story bosses you’ve already fought, while others will come from Siralim 2 and 3. You’ll definitely see some familiar faces in the mix. For example, Shackler was a fan-favorite boss from Siralim 2 – everyone agrees that it is the most well-designed boss in the series and provides countless hours of fun on his own, so I wanted to bring him back for one final round in Siralim Ultimate.
In total, there will be 35 different Nether Bosses for you to encounter. They won’t be chosen randomly – you’ll fight each one in a certain order until you’ve killed all 35, and then you’ll be asked to fight the first one all over again. So, because you’re only able to fight one every 5 realms, you’ll need to fight your way through 175 realms to see them all. But it doesn’t end there. Each time you re-fight a boss, its trait will grow more powerful, up to a maximum of 3 times. As an example – and I’m just making this up for the sake of demonstration – imagine you fight Kiichi for the first time. Her trait might be “Enemies always have Bleed”. The next time you fight her, her trait might read “Enemies always have Bleed. Enemies take damage from Bleed twice”. And then the third time you fight her, her trait might read “Enemies always have Bleed. Enemies take damage from Bleed twice. Enemies’ Bleed damage is based on their highest stat rather than their Current Health”. So, the point is that each time you re-fight a Nether Boss, a new challenge will be added to the mix to keep things interesting. So, as I mentioned earlier, it’ll take 175 realms to encounter each boss, but since there are three “tiers” for each boss, it’ll actually take 525 realms to truly see everything there is to see with this system.
As far as rewards go: after you defeat your first Nether Boss, you’ll receive a new decoration for your castle – actually, it’s an NPC. This NPC will serve as a new shop where you can buy legendary crafting materials for your artifacts. After you defeat a Nether Boss, a new material will be added to this shop. And each consecutive time you defeat the same boss, a new material will be added – so in other words, each Nether Boss has a total of 3 materials for you to unlock in this shop. Since there are 35 Nether Bosses, you can unlock up to 105 new legendary crafting materials.
But that’s not all! Remember when we unlocked “Creature Skins” as a Kickstarter stretch goal? I’m going to add those to the next patch as well. All the story bosses and Nether Bosses will have a unique skin, and after you defeat the Nether Boss enough times, you’ll be able to purchase their skin from the Nether Shop.
Of course, there will be tons of other skins for you to unlock outside of Nether Bosses. It’s simple: sometimes, while traveling through a realm, an enemy might have a skin equipped to it. When you encounter one of these enemies, an animation will play to show you that this isn’t just a normal creature. After you kill it, you’ll unlock that skin, and then you can equip your creatures with that skin whenever you want. The only restriction for skins is that they can only be equipped to a creature that belongs to that skin’s race. For example, if you unlock a skin for the Familiar race, you can’t equip it to one of your Fiends, but you can equip it to any creature that is a Familiar.
One more thing I wanted to mention about Nether Bosses: Nether Bosses will drop keys that can be used to challenge the gods at the Gate of the Gods. I’m not actually going to implement the Gate of the Gods in the next patch, but you’ll still be able to earn these keys for now. The higher your Realm Instability, the more keys you’ll earn – that way, players will have an incentive to crank up their Realm Instability. Otherwise, you’d probably turn it to zero when you knew you’d be fighting a Nether Boss. If you don’t know what the Gate of the Gods is, don’t worry about it for now – you’ll learn more about it soon enough.
Oh, and if you’ve been playing Siralim Ultimate for a long time, you’re probably past realm depth 63 by now. It would be really boring for you if you’re able to take on enemies at realm depth 1000 right now, but then your first nether boss starts at depth 70, so to alleviate that issue, you’ll simply start encountering Nether Bosses every 5 realms starting at your highest-ever depth. For example, if your highest depth is 1002 after the patch is released, you’ll encounter your first Nether Boss at depth 1005, then another at 1010, and so on.
I also have an idea in mind to make some content a little more difficult. It’s not some mind-blowing idea that will totally change the game, but I want to start experimenting with giving hard enemies like Nether Bosses more health. It’s not really fun if you can enter a battle and wipe out an enemy in one hit, thereby allowing you to ignore their trait entirely. So, I’m going to try to give Nether Bosses enough health that you’re probably going to need to endure a few hits from your enemies and actively try to counter their traits. I can extend this idea to all future content as well, such as the Rodian Creature Masters, World Bosses, god fights, and much more. I would also like to go back and re-visit the story bosses and adjust their health accordingly to make the difficulty curve a bit more smoothly. Now, I know this sounds like a simple change, but if I simply increase enemies’ health and leave it at that, certain traits and other effects will be extremely overpowered. Most players know that they could just use the Bleed debuff and pretty much ignore this health increase. So, I need to go through all traits, spells, perks, and other effects to make them work with a creature’s health *before* it’s adjusted with this new difficulty system. That’ll take some serious work, so this is a surprisingly big change, but I think it’ll make the game a lot better in the long run.
As you can imagine, all of the things I’ve mentioned in this episode will take a lot of time to implement – after all, I have over 200 traits to implement for Nether Bosses and their corresponding material rewards, and adding skins won’t be an easy task by any means. But, I’ve also been hard at work on this patch for the last 3 weeks… So, right now, I’m hoping to have this patch released by late October – hopefully in another 2 weeks. But of course, it’s always hard to estimate things like this, so don’t take that as a definite release window. Much like with the last major patch, I’ll probably have this one up on the test branch before it’s fully released.
That’s all for this episode. See you next time!