Many seasonal greetings, everyone!
I missed writing one of these…
It’s finally time for a Stonehearth ACE ACE update! And guess what - it’s even bigger than the last one. (I hope this isn’t a standard )
I don’t even know where to start with the highlights for this version… But if you haven’t been following the Preview Thursdays and all the juicy news, I guess you can probably expect things like… The Brewer, a new class responsible for awesome beverages and drinks - or a huge herbalist overhaul with a whole new system of herbs, very dangerous but exciting wounds and treatments, a complete rework of certain systems like fishing traps, new visuals for the Arctic, exciting and immersive new weathers and ambient sounds, lots of combat changes including new types of equipment and a new role for the Cleric, new animals like ducks and oinkers and much, much more!
We super-strongly recommend that you start a new game for this update. It’s serious, and we’re going to stress this more than once! This update changes a lot about everything and is very likely to cause dozens of issues with existing saves! This only - unfortunately - makes bug reporting more complicated because of lots of false alerts that we can get of all the old games exploding. So, please, start a new game or download an older version of ACE to finish/reembark your current game! Also, be patient with other modders - many of them will need to update their mods to properly work with this version of ACE, so we recommend you all to only use the mods that are ready for this version!
So be ready because this update is here to completely change the game!
And there is a reason it is so thorough and complete… And the reason is because - as said before - this is the last update before our planned Release 1.0 and Dwarves! Woot!
(This doesn’t include this version’s hotfixes and incremental patches, of course)
This was a long and complicated year for everyone, and we’re really, really sorry we haven’t released an update in so long… But that is because we’ve been working hard to get all these things and features ready, and hopefully you’ll all think it was worth the wait!
Maybe we can help you have a slightly better end of the year, to compensate for all the sad things we’ve all endured - and maybe as a sign that everything will be better if we stick together!
And as this message goes off, we’ll already start working on more awesome things for all of us, because it is the passion and the great community that we have that keeps this project running and, hopefully, will keep it going until we’ve gone through all the ambitions, dreams and ideas that we’ve been nurturing together to have an awesome experience with this beloved game! So, as always, a big thank you to all of you, to (and from) ourselves at the ACE Team and to the original Radiant team members for this little gem!
That’s it, now let’s get practical!
Pre-Release 0.9.5.4b - THE MASSIVE UPDATE
This version of ACE is massive and touches a bit of everything, on every sphere of content of the game. We genuinely, strongly recommend that you START A NEW GAME for enjoying the most of this update. Existing saves are likely to burn, explode and cause injury.
Although we have worked close to many modders and most of them already have “almost finished” or “finished” ACE 0.9.5 versions of their mods, many of them still don’t so please be careful when using mods - don’t try dozens of them at once and remember to point out you’re using mods (and which ones) when you report an issue!
If you are still playing a 0.9.4+ game and is really invested on it, you may continue by downloading the older version by following the link above!
So, with all that out of the way… if you’re mentally prepared for it…
(Please note, if you’ve read the “Changelog” that was made available on Dec. 2 in our Discord Server, that version was slightly incomplete and full of jokes please refer to this one for the official changelog!)
View Patch Notes
IT IS THAT TIME OF THE YEAR AGAIN…
- Frostfeast is back!
- The “Holiday Cheer Cap” recipe is once more unlocked for the Weaver.
- The “Decorated Frostfeast Pine” recipe is once more unlocked for the Herbalist.
- And just like last year, you may also craft presents (small, medium and large) with all basic crafters (Carpenter, Potter, Mason) using gold!
- This time, however, all these recipes are under a new crafter category: “Frostfeast”
- Presents contain all sorts of goodies, from valuable items and high-level equipment to a huge assortment of Frostfeast-themed decorations, foods and drinks.
- Frostfeast foods will now provide health regeneration buffs.
BREWING HAS COME TO THE HEARTHLANDS
- Please welcome the Brewer! This new professional will be responsible for bringing into existence all the flavorful, delicious drinks that your town shall consume! The Brewer is an advanced job (it requires a level 2 herbalist) with multiple tools and techniques for preparing beverages at their disposal.
- The Brewer has 4 crafting stations: the Brewer’s Table (level 1), the Treading Vat (level 2), the Brewing Kettle (level 3) and the Copper Distillery (level 5). Additionally, they can also use - although not exactly crafting stations - Wine Casks (level 2), Fermenting Carboys (level 3), and Fermenting Vats (level 4)
- Brewers can’t craft bee skeps but are able to take care of them.
- The Brewer can craft several simple drinks like juices, some prepared drinks like teas and alcoholic beverages, which include a wide range of options - from strong, directly crafted spirits and liquors to weaker but more artisanal goods that require some time like ale, beer and wines.
- As you expect, this means there’s a whole bunch of new drinks like fruit wines, a new type of tea (Pine Needle Tea) and more.
- Many beverages have a new type of placement - similar to how tea works - and can be crafted by the Brewer. All of them require a serving keg, crafted by each basic crafter (Carpenter, Mason, Potter) and provide your town with a more efficient (and good looking!) way to distribute drinks. These special drink containers have a new stockpile filter for them.
- With the addition of the Brewer job, the Herbalist and the Cook have now been released of all their brewing roles and recipes. They can still produce a couple of useful ingredients for brewing, however - the Cook can malt grain while the Herbalist can bundle gruit. The levels of all these recipes have been rebalanced.
- Also because of that, many items that were previously crafted or handled by the Cook or Herbalist - like fermentation vats or carboys - have been redefined and will disappear and cause errors upon loading a new game where they existed. We’re sorry about that - we recommend starting a new game to enjoy the most of this update, as usual!
- Also because of the new job and related resources, there’s a new food ingredient that is actually crafted by the Brewer: Vinegar. Not only used in some foods, vinegar is also now necessary for cheese-making and also for certain types of medicine. The Brewer can make vinegar from any of the fermented drinks (mead, beer, ale, wine).
- Finally, like foods, Brewers of different factions have some unique recipes. Ascendancy Brewers can craft Sage Water and Buttered Beer, Rayya’s Children Brewers can craft Golden Gourd Juice and Almond Liqueur, and Northern Alliance Brewers can craft Sweet Potato Juice and Northern Spirit.
MORE DYNAMIC HERB RESOURCES
- The herbs in the game have been re-organized to make crafting with herbs more interesting. Instead of being able to just hoard a single herb for all your herbal needs, they are now divided into different types that will be required to mix and match.
- The two major groups of herbs are “Aromatic” and “Bitter” herbs. As a general understanding, think of aromatic herbs as fragrant, usually edible plants; and of bitter herbs as possibly toxic, more dangerous or simply unpleasant ones.
- Beyond that, herbs are also divided in six color groups - red, blue and green (analogous to Body, Spirit and Mind) and yellow, white and purple, which are rarer.
- Different combinations and matches of these qualities (for example, “red aromatic herbs”) will be the new requirements in recipes, giving the player an incentive to cultivate many types of herbs.
- Most of the recipes that use herbs in the game have been tweaked.
- Because of these changes and to provide a more diverse array of options per biome, many new herbs and plants have been introduced in the game. Go out there and discover roses, chives, daylilies and much more! Just be careful to not eat the ominous nightshade berries…
- Finally, all the existing herbs in the game have been tweaked and streamlined over all. Descriptions of fully grown herbs, resources and seeds have been adapted to inform the player of their properties; models were centered and fixed; sizes were all fixed as well (for example, no more the Brightbell herb will be really tiny while the grown flower is really big)
- Plants that had “Wild” on their names have been renamed to simply their actual names.
PICKED THE LAST FLOWER? FEAR NOT AND GRAB A BASKET!
- You can now give “Foraging” orders under the Harvest menu. (The icon is a basket)
- Foraging utilizes the same Wilderness mechanic that Trapping does - and requires a relatively large patch of terrain to be selected. Because of that, you’ll likely need wild, forested areas of the map for foraging.
- Foraging is not an efficient way for acquiring resources. The animation for harvesting a foraging node is slightly longer, the odds of actually getting something are not the best and, when you do, most times it will be a single seed or a bundle of thatch. There are, however, some interesting uses for Foraging:
- Although the chances vary according to the season, Foraging allows you to actually find any resource from a certain biome. This means that if the player, for some reason, runs out of a certain type of herb, tree or bush, they are able to get seeds or herbs through foraging.
- It can also be used as a supplement for acquiring other resources that can be slightly difficult to obtain more of, like mushrooms or lily flower seeds.
- Foraging tables are defined per biome, however custom biomes that are not adapted for it will still have a base table of simple drop that they can obtain.
- Combined with the new herb mechanic that turns all previously renewable herbs into simple resource nodes, Foraging arrives not as a reliable gathering mechanism but as an option for when you’ve ran out of certain resources or they’re too far away from you.
THE HERBALIST: FROM ZERO TO HERO
- The Herbalist and their mechanics have been completely reworked! After a long time serving as the most Internet Explorer of all jobs (for many players, its only useful purpose was to promote a Cleric) the Herbalist is now ready to prove their worth with expanded and improved capabilities on all their areas: Herbalism and Healing.
- Wild herbs and flowers are not renewable anymore and will disappear upon harvesting. (the foundations of Stonehearth start shaking), but fear not…
- Herb Planters have arrived to save the day with a new and renewable way to obtain herbs. Tended by Herbalists, they replace flower farms which are now available only as decorations. (More on that later, fasten your seatbelts!)
- Herb Planters require seeds to work. Once planted, a planter will produce herbs without ever needing seeds again.
- Because of that, seeds have also been changed. They still decay over time - however only if left outside/in the wilds. Any seeds you bring into your storage (chests, stockpiles, etc…) will not decay! This applies to all seeds in the game, tree seeds included.
- Every once in a while the Herbalist will tend to a planter. Tending has a chance - based on several things like the Herbalist’s level or active buffs - to increase the plant’s quality.
- There are many types of planters; window-boxes have been adapted to the system and will allow you to customize their contents (yes, you can now have any flower on window boxes!), there are also ground planters, pots, tree-planting pots for farming saplings and water planters for algae or lilies. Rumor has it that even mushroom planters might exist, but this is a secret that only a dwarf would know… Will they share it, though?
- Finally, herb planters are not based on town knowledge (like farming) but on seed availability. All kingdoms can plant all herbs - as long as they have seeds.
- Other than herb planters, Herbalists can now be promoted to a Brewer on level 2 - as mentioned above - giving them another specialization route.
- There are also some new tonics with novel and interesting properties: Creativity Tonics, Curiosity Tonics, Refreshing Tonics, Warmth Tonics, Hydrophobic Tonics, Nightsight Tonics; and enhanced versions of all the existing tonics, crafted in a new and improved “Herbalist Metal Cauldron”. Tonics have been completely redefined and will mostly feel very new and exciting!
- Additionally, certain tonics will have small negative effects when they wear off… Consider it an exchange - or a price - for their amazing benefits!
- They can now craft most seeds in the game, including wild carrots, sweet potatoes and golden gourds or seed boxes for all nut trees and fruit trees, among others.
- That said, they’re also able to craft consumables of different qualities now - which will have different effects like increased healing or improved (or longer) buffs and effects. High quality tonics will also prevent the aforementioned negative effects.
- They can also craft new “equippable potions”. These consumables are carried by hearthlings and used when needed. More on that in the “GEAR UP WITH SOME NEW COMBAT STUFFS” section of the log!
- Last but not least, the Herbalist is back to claim their rightful place as a healer with the Herbalist Beds, a very useful new piece of furniture that will be the preferred choice for wounded hearthlings to be taken to (that way you can keep them close to their curatives!) and an expanded selection of new healing items that are being introduced to deal with…
WOUNDS & NEW HEALTH MECHANICS
- Wounds are new, special debuffs that hearthlings can acquire under several conditions. Most wounds will come from combat - but there are some wounds that might be encountered elsewhere - like frostbites.
- Wounds have a very specific coloring and descriptions giving you all the needed details. As a summary, however, wounds are conditions that can only be removed with proper treatment (or, sometimes, over time) and will hinder the hearthling’s health while present - literally lowering their maximum current health points.
- In simpler words, what that means is: Clerics will only be able to heal hearthlings up to a certain point, a limit determined by their wounds. After that, the wounds must be removed by a Herbalist before they can reach full health again.
- You will be able to quickly tell a hearthling is wounded because their maximum health will be displayed in red numbers. Their unit frame health icon will also change to a damaged purple heart.
- In the long run, what that means is that hearthlings with unattended wounds will grow weaker and weaker, reaching a point where their maximum health will be so low they won’t be useful in combat anymore - unless they get proper treatment.
- The maximum amount of health that can be reduced by wounds is limited by the game’s difficulty setting. Wounds in Peaceful games will be a nuisance at worst; wounds in Hard games can be lethal. The description of each game mode has been adapted to reflect this.
- Combat wounds, probably the most common wounds, are divided in three categories: cut, pierce and impact. Each category has lesser (bruises, scratches, etc…) and major wounds (slashes, broken bones, incisions…) Categories have specific medications and within these types of items, specific levels. For example, the Coarse, Light and Heavy Bandages are now the three levels of medications for cut wounds.
- Lower level medications of the same type can still be used for higher level wounds, however they will require multiple treatments. For example, an ugly rend (the maximum level of the “Cut” wound category) can be completely removed with one application of Heavy Bandages or with multiple applications of Light or Coarse Bandages. That means that it is very easy to treat most wounds even without many resources, however the disabled time for the wounded hearthling (the time they’ll be in bed waiting for treatment) will be much longer when they don’t get the proper medications.
- Hearthlings that are in bed because of wounds (recovering) will now spend resources (energy, hunger, thirst) three times slower. Combined with the fact that most medicine also have a certain nutritional value, this should allow well cared for hearthlings to be able to stick to bed for the entirety of their healing process.
- The “Recently Treated” cooldown was increased to 12h. While “Recently Treated”, wounds will not be able to develop worsening conditions (like infections)
- Medications for poisons and for infections will not apply the “Recently Treated” buff.
- Obviously, major and more challenging wounds will only come later in the game - while early enemies shall rarely inflict light wounds.
- There is also a new gameplay setting (toggled on by default) that allows you to let the game automatically queue crafting orders for the healing items your people might need. It works by queueing the order every time a new wound or negative effect is added to a hearthling. This will alleviate the micromanaging of the system a bit for those that would prefer to not think too much about it!
- Some wounds can cause collateral effects (more general debuffs) like High Fever or Infections.
- Additionally, when healed or otherwise removed, certain wounds have a chance of leaving a permanent effect on a Hearthling. Not all of these are necessarily bad - scars will definitely make them more menacing to enemies, right?
- In summary, this system means that Clerics are no longer capable of keeping your town perfectly healed but will instead function as “combat healers” - what they’re meant to be. Proper, long term maintenance of your town’s health and your soldiers capabilities will require physical and material investment - and the correct professional, the Herbalist.
- But fear not - there is actually something that the Cleric can still help with. Starting on level 2 and getting upgrades on level 4 and 6, a Cleric will be able to heal a hearthling’s wounds with magic. This ability has a long cooldown, however - and is probably not the most reliable way to stay alive - but it can be helpful for situations where you’re completely unable to obtain a certain medicine!
- Finally, balancing difficulty-related mechanics is always a challenge so please share your experiences so we can always strive to find a better spot!
GEAR UP WITH SOME NEW COMBAT STUFFS
- As mentioned above, there are now equippable consumables that can be carried by your soldiers to give them a slight edge in combat! There are basically two types of consumables at the moment: healing potions and anti-toxin potions. Healing potions, as suggested by their name, will work as a single use “healing” ability that they can perform on themselves when needed. Anti-toxin potions will also heal them but with the added benefit of cleaning (and protecting) them from toxins!
- Added some new toxins. Toxins are similar to poisons but with a very short duration and a special effect other than damage over time. The only toxin in the game so far was the “Sleeping Toxin”, inflicted by the goblins with blowpipes… There are now five new toxins with multiple severities (from weak to strong) for you to find out! Get those anti-toxin potions ready!
- The description of all the equipment swap/combat role commands has been edited to include some pointers on the benefits of using this or that, preferring bows or crossbows, etc.
- A new weapon type has been added for the footman (alongside a new weapon debuff). This new weapon is a shorter polearm option that can be used with a shield. These weapons fit somewhere in-between basic hacking main hand weapons (like axes) and the swords (with the hamstrung debuff).
- The new debuff type is called “Flanked” and it reduces the enemy Menace stat and also lowers their received healing value.
- The “Hamstrung” debuff caused by cutting Footmen weapons has been slightly improved and will now slow down the enemy a bit more.
- These same weapons also had their damage values slightly increased to compensate for the addition of the new, equivalent weapon type (main hand footman weapon)
- There is also a new type of armor, Ring Mail, which can be worn by archers. They’ll slightly improve their defensive capabilities. As usual, it comes with Northern Alliance and Rayya’s Children variants.
- The Archers combat logic has been improved and they’ll no longer use bow skills or play bow animations when using Crossbows. Which means they’ll actually respect the longer crossbow reload times now, attacking less often.
- To compensate for their now (actually) slower speed, their damage per second was improved by reducing the cooldown, and the “Using Crossbows” buff armor penetration has been doubled.
- Finally, the origin of the Crossbow projectile (bolt) has been fixed and should look nicer.
- The Cleric now has two roles - similar to the other combat jobs. They are “Tomes” and “Scepter & Shield”. Each role has their own characteristics, basically acting as two sub-jobs.
- Additionally, there is a new type of armor for the Cleric. This new and reinforced outfit will boost your cleric’s defensive capabilities, and also enhance their stats.
- When preferring Tomes, Clerics will act as support/healers and will focus on keeping some distance and healing your soldiers. They’ll also have some new abilities and healing skills provided by the new enhanced Tomes the Herbalist is now able to craft:
- Fine Tome of Healing adds a new spell that is very fast to cast but will only heal a small amount. It will, however, add a buff that provides some healing over time.
- Ornate Tome of Healing adds the same spell above and also a really powerful - however with a long casting time - single-target healing spell that will heal between 4~5 times more.
- The Legendary Tome unlocked by the Tier 3 shrine will add both spells and also a third one, Divine Intervention, that creates a shield of light around the target, protecting it from damage for a while.
- To compensate for the new and powerful healing spells (and the items that can improve healing power), the basic healing spell has a small cooldown now. It’s not long, but it will prevent the cleric from being able to spam healing spells repeatedly.
- Finally, the cleric will now use a weak ranged attack instead of hitting foes with their sacred texts. The range is somewhat short so their aura can still be useful.
- When preferring Scepters and Shields, Clerics will be able to use any Footman (Light) Shield up to the Light Iron Shield and will fight enemies up close, debuffing them with multiple abilities meant for lowering the enemies’ capabilities.
- When in this role, Clerics won’t be able to heal as efficiently. They will have no access to any of the single-target healing spells, providing only their passive aura as a small support.
- They will, however, emit a new aura that will weaken foes. This aura replaces the Muscle Aura.
- Their secondary weapon, scepters, come in three levels (Bronze, Silver and Gold) and are weak melee weapons when compared to Footman weapons.
- They inflict a new debuff, however, called Rebuked. Rebuked enemies will have their healing received and their courage reduced.
- The Silver and Gold scepters also have a chance to Turn and Smite Undead, respectively. This may only happen to undead enemies - but it will harm them greatly, if not destroying them right away.
- Finally, the player weapon inflicted debuffs (Open Wounds, Flanked, Fractured, Hamstrung, etc…) are now restricted to being applied on enemies only. This is how it has always supposed to have been - and enemies being able to inflict these by using craftable weapons was an overlook from our part. This is now fixed and these can’t be inflicted on player characters anymore.