Hey guys, this is Zack from Thylacine Studios. In today’s episode, I want to reveal some more details about one of our Kickstarter goals: Nether Stones. Nether Stones are a brand new type of item coming to Siralim Ultimate.
Before I get started, for those of you are new to the series, I’ll start with a quick explanation about how Artifacts work since they’re closely related to Nether Stones. In short, an Artifact is an item that can be equipped to a creature in order to make that creature more powerful. Artifacts can increase a creature’s stats, as well as give them all kinds of other interesting bonuses. For example, Artifacts can increase the number of Spell Gems that a creature can equip, or give that creature a chance to afflict an enemy with a debuff when it deals damage. Some more interesting Artifact effects include the ability for a creature to automatically cast spells at certain times during battle, or even to gain powerful traits, which are passive effects that change the way you’ll approach battles.
In previous Siralim games, there were two ways to acquire Artifacts: you could either find them in treasure chests and other sources of loot, or you could craft and upgrade them. Unfortunately, since there are so many possible properties that an Artifact can have, finding a good Artifact in treasure chests was practically impossible. In other words, the only realistic way to find a decent Artifact was to craft one. This meant that players ended up with a bunch of useless Artifacts in their inventories that they’d never use. This created a lot of issues for players after they amassed hundreds of these useless Artifacts, and some players even hoarded thousands of Artifacts which caused some performance issues to occur with the game.
In Siralim Ultimate, you’ll only craft your Artifacts and you can no longer find them from loot sources. This is great news because it solves the problems I mentioned earlier. However, this also takes away a huge element of randomly generated loot, and honestly, treasure chests just weren’t that exciting to open anymore. Nether Stones solve this problem, and I’m going to spend the rest of this episode talking about how they work.
Nether Stones are extremely rare items. You’ll probably find one every 10 to 20 realms. They’re so rare that I’ve added a pity timer to them so that each time you open a treasure chest or find loot in some other way, your chance to find a Nether Stone will increase slightly until you finally find one. That way, you won’t go through a horrible dry period where you don’t find any for an extremely long time.
Nether Stones can have all the same properties as an Artifact: they can boost a creature’s stats, add various procs and effects to their attacks and spells, grant them new traits, and even give them the ability to cast spells automatically at certain times. Each property has a certain rarity, so you’ll most commonly find simple Nether Stones that boost your creatures’ stats, while rarer Nether Stones will grant traits and more complex effects. You can socket a maximum of one Nether Stone into each of your Artifacts. My hope is that the extremely rare Nether Stones will be so powerful that you might re-think your entire party composition and build your team around one of these items.
If you’re familiar with games like Diablo, Path of Exile, and Grim Dawn, Nether Stones are meant to act like the loot found in those games. Even though they’re extremely rare, knowing that you have a chance to find one each time you open a treasure chest is sure to make your dungeon crawling experience even more fun than before.
In order to help players understand how rare their Nether Stones are, the user interface will display a numerical value called “Rarity”. The higher the number, the rarer that Nether Stone is. So, if you find a Nether Stone with 10 Rarity, it probably only has one property and that property is probably something basic like a boost to Attack. If you find a Nether Stone with, say, 500 Rarity, that probably means the Nether Stone grants a creature a new trait (or even two, or three!) or gives them access to a new spell.
I recognize that some people might dislike the completely random nature of Nether Stones – after all, there’s no way to add, remove, or modify a Nether Stone’s properties and there never will be – but the fact is that a huge chunk of our playerbase (myself included) enjoys a never-ending loot hunt, and Nether Stones should be exactly what we’re looking for. Nether Stones are by no means required to progress in the game – think of them as a nice bonus to make your team more powerful.
Earlier, I mentioned that I didn’t like how Artifacts cluttered players’ inventories in previous Siralim games – so what makes Nether Stones different in that regard? Well, your Nether Stones will all have an “Age” component associated with them. Obviously, the Nether Stones you’ve recently found have a “younger” age than those you’ve had in your inventory for a long time. After you have too many Nether Stones in your inventory, you’ll receive a warning that your oldest Nether Stones will disappear if you acquire any more. This will give you the opportunity to hold on to any Nether Stones you don’t want to be deleted, while also automating the process of decluttering your inventory. You can also lock Nether Stones to prevent them from ever disappearing. The goal of this Age system is simply to prevent players from needing to manage their inventories too much.
I’ve been so excited about Nether Stones that I’ve managed to find some extra time in my schedule this last week to work on implementing them already. In fact, I’m pretty confident that I’ll have them ready for alpha access, so you’ll be able to start hunting for them as soon as you get your hands on Siralim Ultimate in late July!
I can’t tell you how excited I am about Nether Stones. They add an insane amount of extra excitement to the game, and I think even the most hardcore of players will continue to enjoy this system for a long time to come. I hope you enjoyed this episode and are as excited as I am about Nether Stones. That’s all I have for today – see you guys next time!