It is with great pleasure that the ACE Team brings you a little Christmas treat… ACE Pre-Release version 0.9, dubbed “The Dwarves are Coming!.. Soon” is now officially out and linked to the base game!
From this point onwards, you’ll automatically subscribe to the ACE mod on the Steam Workshop when you first launch the game - and after that you can control if it will be active or not by using a very handy and cute button added to the Title screen by Team Radiant! Please note that the button will only show up after the mod is completely downloaded, so you might have to re-launch the game at least once before you can see it!
I’ve taken the liberty to write personally (and I encourage anyone that feels like to do the same on a reply to this thread!) and I’ll share this with you all
This is a huge milestone for all of us. It’s an interesting thing to see, now that we finally arrived at the shores of the sea - as Gandalf the White would put it - how the project evolved and developed over the last (very hectic) months. There were a lot of lessons learned and amazing (and also not so amazing) things, and I’m sure a lot could be said about many of these. Frankly, I’d say it is natural for such a huge project and effort to have a big hype at start but eventually settle down. And during that natural course we ended up not having the amount of hands on deck we initially assumed… That is not necessarily bad, however, since we did find a core group of very talented and amazing people that have made it all possible! It’s undeniable that - in a way - we sort of followed Team Radiant’s steps on their early days, by dreaming a bit more than maybe we should have, and for such reasons I must say that this first release is but the heart of the whole dragon we aimed for ACE to be… But it is a strong heart! And what is more important, thankfully this is not the end of the journey.
So think of this as the beginning of a new era of excitement and discovery in the amazing and beautiful world of Stonehearth that was given to us by Team Radiant. This has always been our strongest motivation and it is the dream of letting Stonehearth go on that has fueled and will continue fueling us onward!
For that we shall always be grateful! So… a huge and heartfelt THANK YOU! to Team Radiant and all its members and also a huge THANK YOU! to the incredible community around this game, all the great people that joined the ACE Discord server, contributed with ideas, chatting, funny thoughts, testing, development…
I would also like to personally thank some people - I’m not a big fan of personally thanking/naming individuals because I always end up forgetting some (Oops!) but I’ll try nonetheless because ACE did bring about an amazing cast of lovely people that deserve the thought Soooo! Huge thanks to the people that have been helping with organizing and communication as a whole, SnorrlaxZ did an awesome job at the beginning, Jay too (and is back now!), Maddy had his moments ( ) but also held the front for a long, long time… Cirdain who tested a lot and is now helping as a mod! & megashub with insightful appearances… As for the ACE dev team, I must start with Paulthegreat who really is great and has pretty much been a right hand in all of this; Amazing artists like my dear Nikita Atikin , Schnabeldoktor, Amnaa, Kitty, Pandemic (lots of good advice!), coasterspaul, Raze, Stmpnk, No Name, Michael… TheDarthDuncan, who’s basically soloing lore and writing but is a well of creativity; people working on different areas like translation (Wiese and Iviaca!), other great coders like drotten and Pawel who kindly helped with their original ideas and mods; bolune who recently started doing great work with AI. People that have contributed in different places but with great things, Bruno (a wizard, as always), Kai Monkey… Oh, and of course those that have been keeping the community active, been testing, been suggesting great things - even if they’re not getting their hands on much, they’re definitely a huge help: Wouter Sikkema, Nandalee, Agon, Findersword… Well, I probably forgot some already so let me skip to some very important and last but not least ones: All of Team Radiant, again, past and present, and particularly those that have been helping or supporting us so closely like Steph , Malley, Max, Linda, some that tested like Justin, Morgan, Angelo, Chris (I might have repeated myself ) and, of course, Allie with her inspiring art and for the beautiful title image she made us!
We sincerely hope that everyone will enjoy the “Pre-Release” experience and we look forward to continuing with our plans for the official release (Dwarves, the Order of Applied Equivocation Campaign, etc.) and whatever comes beyond! You can expect more information on all of that soon (™), but for now… We wish everyone a very, very amazing time for the end of the year holidays and happy town building!
The amount of new things, things changed and/or things added is huge! I’ve been working on an actual, item by item list of all the ACE changes - but until that is ready, I can mention some of the most notable changes.
Farmlands and other growables (like trees) can now be influenced by nearby water. When clicking a farm and choosing a crop, you’ll have access to all the relevant information - how much water a crop needs, how much it currently has, the visible outline showing where should water be, etc. Irrigating your plants will, obviously, make them grow faster!
Happy that you can irrigate your crops but unsure on how to do so? No worries! ACE adds a new set of tools to play around with water! Water gates and pumps will allow you to control exactly where and when you want your water running and even allow you to take water up or make fountains. Pro tip: with stacked pumps and a bit of engineering you can make a waterfall without wet and dry stones!
ACE introduces a fair amount of new resources that have come to change your game - literally. Bones, different types of clay and stone, or thatching are just a couple of examples. All the new resources are nicely integrated into the game - killing animals or digging will get you bones, certain types of clay will occur only in certain places (like ball clay on the bottom of lakes) and cutting grass or shrubs will yield thatch, useful for making that not-so-fancy bed that is at least better than the even worse bed we added!
You’ll notice that bodies of water will now be much more “living” with the addition of water objects (rocks, algae…) and animals like fish! There are still things to come but you can already explore and discover all the new things of this cold and blue world… Tip: You can’t really fish… But you can remove the water from around fish… Splash, splash, splash!
The home of the Dwarves is already in even though our chubby little friends are not in yet… Feel free to explore and colonize it with our known hearthling factions - and uncover the secrets of its unique features like Birch, Yew and Highland Pine trees, Marblesprouts and Moonbells - among other things… Get ready for a lot of digging though! The Highlands are not for the weak of heart, little building space will encourage you to go underground.
Variety, lots of Variety!
ACE also adds a lot of variety to the game by creating unique visuals and models for all the crafters from the Rayya’s Children and Northern Alliance, not to mention unique workshops and weapons and armor. Each faction now plays with their own visual style, bringing more life to the world (and making multiplayer games extra fun!). Yes, your dream of having Northern Alliance footmen with round shields and hand axes has finally been fulfilled!
Even moar Variety!
Variations extend to animals and some enemies on all biomes, too. Gazelles and scorpions in the desert, white foxes and wolves in the arctic, ladybugs and mountain sheep in the Highlands… There is now a lot to explore and discover on each biome! Playthroughs will be more unique and flavorful
The Blacksmith has been completely reworked and revisited following ideas and plans that Team Radiant had but also adding our own twists, of course! It is now a much deeper and complex industry - although not harder. The difference is that it will now feel longer and more meaningful, with a stronger progression and more choices of items to craft and ways to handle things! Added to that…
Fuel is now a big thing in Stonehearth! More than just randomly burning some logs every now and then, you have dozens of choices of fuel. They’re basically divided in three grades: lower, good and high. Different things will require different fuels - cooking can be easily done with peat or wood while using a forge to produce iron might require coal or charcoal. But to make up for the challenge you now have several ways of producing fuel: from cutting firewood to optimize your wood usage to burning that same wood into charcoal!
Military Gear Progression Overhaul
There is now a lot of new items and equipment for your military hearthlings - and they’re also better distributed among the 6 levels and more streamlined into a logical order. Basically, each class has a 3-tier progression that extends over levels 1-2, 3-4 and 5-6. For Footmen the tiers are Bronze, Iron and Steel while Knights will benefit from Iron, Steel and Silver, for example. But with so many choices…
Military Unit Control Improvements
You can now toggle equipment preferences for your soldiers: Shield and one handed, two handed weapons… Bow or crossbow, etc. And you can also order patrols and create patrol routes with the new patrolling banners! There are more to come, improved unit AI and guard zones are among our planned features - and soon you’ll be able to have your dream guard up and running!
Wilderness & Big Game Trapping
Trappers will now enjoy an extra bit of challenge by having to deal with wilderness! Wilderness is a measurement of how “natural” or “wild” an area is. The more natural it is, the more animals will spawn/live there. At the same time, building or clearing out areas will make them less wild. That means that your trappers now need to set up their zones in more wild areas otherwise they’ll have fewer catches. They also now have the ability of hunting bigger game (deer, boars, etc…) when they reach level 6!
These are probably the major highlights of this first version, but there is much, much more to discover… New crops, mushrooms, new animals, new types of weapons, plants, soldier training, new loadouts, some fixed issues and bugs, bone carving, landmarks, merchants… The list goes on!
For now, feel free to explore ACE and share your discoveries with your friends or here! Any nice or cool things that you find, things you dislike or issues you run into - all of these are very good information for us and we’d be very happy if you shared them! So please do so here or in our Discord’s respective channels!
It is very possible that many mods - especially older/outdated mods - might not work straight out-of-the-box with ACE. This is because ACE fiddles with pretty much every aspect of the game and mods that have no dependencies set (since it is a new addition) might overwrite or conflict with some ACE changes. Please report mods that might be conflicting with ACE and we’ll do our best to make compatibility better on our end!
Added to that, some mods have their functionalities integrated with ACE and are not necessary. You can still use their standalone versions if you prefer, but note that ACE has its own versions with interesting features that might be worth a try! These are:
- AutoHarvest Mod
- Box Selection Mod
- Smart Crafter Mod
- Tree Stump
And this is a list of mods that won’t really have compatibility issues but you might reconsider using them with ACE since they add very similar things or functions:
- Patrol Banners (ACE adds its own patrolling system with multiple invisible waypoints)
- Armis Maximus (some weapons and armors overlap)
- Better Storage (ACE does expand the filters but not as deeply as Better Storage. If you like control but broader/more simple, stick with ACE. If you want individual, item per item control over stockpiles, use Better Storage)
- Fortify (Some items overlap)
Although this version of ACE is stable and functional, there are some little hiccups, incomplete features or known issues. We’ll list them here!
- The Connections service is currently disabled due to performance issues. Because of that, planted vines will not expand and daisies will not spread. This should be fixed in the near future. [Fixed on 0.9.2]
- Marble and Bone Clay don’t currently have a use as a high-end furniture crafting resource. Their beautiful furniture sets are not yet ready - Porcelain is in the game but no recipes have been added yet. This shall be fixed soon. [Fixed on 0.9.2]
- Marble currently has no real use other than being stone.
- There is an animation issue with the “Decoy Trap” crafted by the Engineer that might cause crashes. Please be careful when using it! (Or don’t use it at all, for now)
- Pandas are… broken. Completely. They shouldn’t be in the game yet but can be obtained through Traders - be warned that buying them might be taking an Eldritch Horror or some other cosmic entity into your town!
- Recipes that require “edible nuts” as an ingredient can’t be crafted.
- Some items might behave a bit oddly with the new inventory filters. This is an exception that still remains for a couple of items that “escaped” treatment, so please let us know if any filters work weirdly!
- Sometimes the new Patrol window can glitch and you won’t be able to add new banners. Refreshing the UI (F5) usually fixes that!
- Hearthlings might, sometimes, run really far away to find a log to sit on and eat their meals. You can think this is a known issue, but they’re just really tired and like being in the woods. (We’ll fix that, I promise!) [Fixed on 0.9.1]
- Many of the new things still don’t have unique animations or sounds. These include, for example, dual-wield weapons and bears. Animations and proper sounds are coming at some point, but can’t give an estimate for these.
- The Bone Carving Studio and bone recipes for the mason are still only accessible to the Northern Alliance. The other factions will be able to get it through a simple quest that is going to be implemented soon, but is not in yet.
- There is an issue when trying to create compatible weapons/armor with ACE due to the way loading manifests work. This can be worked around if ACE provides mixins, which it currently doesn’t.
- There is an issue that makes Footman and other soldiers run back and forth to certain activities, sometimes, under certain contexts.
- The different weapon debuffs applied on enemies should not stack with their own different intensities (i.e.: Minor and Major Fracture, simultaneously) but that currently happens.
- Fishes might sometimes jump out of the water and die. Consider it involuntary fishing and enjoy their meat. You’re welcome. (will be fixed at some point!)
- When the Firepit/Hearth burns out, wood logs now become Charcoal. Other fuels are also becoming charcoal though (like peat, brown coal or firewood) while only logs should. [Fixed on 0.9.1]
- Sometimes the Archer (NA) won’t train on targets placed. Being investigated, should be fixed soon! [Fixed on 0.9.1]
- Wild Sheep have no drop if killed by normal means. Requires the usage of the slaughter command. Should be fixed soon. [Fixed on 0.9.1]
- Creating a Porcelain Fence Gate will cause a crash because a model export error.
If you find any issues or things you’d like to see improved, doubts, bugs, anything… Please report them! If you run into game breaking bugs or issues that are causing crashes or blocking you from playing, the more information you can provide - and save files - are very, very, very much appreciated!
You can report bugs in this thread, as a bug report in Discourse (we’ll keep track of these too since we’re trying to fix issues from the game as well) or in our Discord server! It doesn’t matter where - but please do! Reporting is a great way to help us make sure that ACE can be better and better over time
Also, we encourage you to - at least at first - try ACE without any other major mods! Not only because it will be easier to see all the new things ACE has brought but also because the high number of possible incompatibilities might create several “false alarms” of issues. If you do use mods, however, please make sure to list them when you report an issue!
This is all for now!
I will be updating this thread with further information as things advance over the next few days. Also, expect small updates in the coming days to fix minor issues and mistakes, polish things and even add a bit more of things that were already in the oven but not quite yet ready… After that, this version shall remain stable (and without updates) for a while and we’ll continue working on our GitHub/Discord should you wish to follow real-time news and updates! Upcoming versions and future plans shall be revealed only next year, probably. But look forward to it!
We hope you all enjoy it!
-Dani, on behalf of the ACE Team