#Alpha 19: Think of the Children!
In which the Rayya’s Children kingdom and the desert biome receive some long-overdue attention.
Welcome to Stonehearth Alpha 19! This release is focused on bringing some much-needed love to the kingdom of Rayya’s Children and their desert biome habitat.
In Alpha 17, we introduced the ability to “upgrade” your settlement to Township Status — provided you can satisfy a challenge provided by a royal herald. This upgrade has been — until now — available only for the Ascendancy. With Alpha 19, however, Rayya’s Children matches the Ascendancy in achieving Township awesomeness, in its own unique fashion.
There are (as always!) other notable additions for this release, including the initial steps in new hearthling interactions and our first iteration of a mod manager.
Here are some of the goodies you’ll find within:
##Greetings, worthy settlement.
Naryal Iskender is in the middle of an expedition to visit notable towns. The next printing of the Iskender Map of Hearth is on the horizon — and your town can be included on the map… if you meet some requirements. Naryal asks whether you want to be put on the map as a place renowned for its Trading Post, Monkey Shrine, or your Exotic Goods. Build a monument to stake your claim for renown — and achieve Tier Two illustriousness! When your settlement attains this exclusive tier you will receive a bounty of new goodness, including:
- advanced building templates
- upgraded and enhanced stores
- new traders
- new tier of background music
Wait — back up a minute. So it says above that a Rayya’s Children town achieving Tier Two status gets “new background music.” But does that mean… YES. Yes, indeed. Rayya’s Children now has its very own soundtrack, courtesy of Raj Mann (and our very own, albeit mysterious, Doug). And not just for Tier Two — across the board you’ll hear a rich musical tapestry worthy of this desert kindgom. Enjoy!
##Every day, in every way, building is getting better and better
We continue to work on improving your — and your hearthlings! — building experience with every release. Here are some enhancements you’ll find in Alpha 19:
- Hearthlings can now fabricate multiple blocks at once, greatly reducing the time it takes to construct buildings!
- Scaffolding and ladders no longer require wood to build! Though less realistic, these are quality of life changes that we believe make building more enjoyable.
- Landscape scars caused by encounter placement can now be filled in. After finishing the encounter, select the pile of dirt in the scar and press the button to restore the terrain.
- The custom tab in building templates is now always the last tab.
- Instabuild now destroys the scaffolding on the building.
- Fixes for a few issues related to multi-block building
Building eraser tool now works under water
Alpha 19 boasts the initial introduction of new features in two important areas.
You’ll notice that some hearthlings, in their downtime, now sport speech bubbles — this is step one in providing more social interaction for your hearthlings. Please note that — for now! — the bubbles are empty. This does not mean that your hearthlings are speechless; rather, we’re still considering exactly what form hearthling discussion ought to take. Your thoughts?
Also making its first appearance: The Stonehearth Mod Manager! This is accessed through the Settings menu on the launch screen. You’ll find the Mods tab as an option on the bottom of the Settings menu. Now, you can put all available mods in your mods folder, and use the Mod Manager to enable or disable the one you want (or don’t want) to use. No more pesky dragging mods in and out of the folder… your Mod Manager does the work for you. Also, if you have a mod that isn’t up-to-date, the Mod Manager will prevent you from loading it — this helps to avoid problems related to outdated mods.
We’re planning more for this feature, but we wanted to get it into your hands as soon as we could. Please let us know what you think!
(IMPORTANT NOTE: The Mod Manager is accessible only from the launch screen settings menu. You cannot access it from the in-game settings menu. This is because you’ll need to restart a game if you’ve made changes to your mod configuration; you can’t change the configuration mid-game.)
Additionally, we’ve made significant fixes to AI performance to address some idle/brain dead hearthling behaviors, as well as enhancements to further improve performance in large towns.
And yet more stuff:
- Disabled the Militia tab for now because it was causing bugs and the team did not feel it was a good solution for what it was trying to solve. We would like to come up with something better.
- Hearthlings and items no longer disappear from view when in slice mode if they are standing on a structure that is visible. Previously they would disappear from roofs even though the building was visible and potentially starve to death.
- Fixed mining and hearthling pathing visualization for slice and xray modes.
- The official Debugtools mod is now included with the game (but disabled by default). You can enable it using the settings menu in the title screen.
- Potters will now auto queue clay bricks when building, if auto queue is enabled.
- Herbalists now gain slightly more experience from crafting.
- Fix for strange camera movement when trying to move and rotate the camera at the same time. Rotating the camera using the right mouse button will now have priority over moving the camera
- Temporarily disable the ‘simple caravan’ trader event because it was causing bugs with reserving items (this is the caravan event that asks for an immediate trade with your settlement). We hope to revisit the entire trading system in the near future, so we should have a better experience for trading in general soon.
- Fix for mining error when connecting mining regions.
- Blacksmiths use their own hammer when smithing instead of the worker pickaxe/hammer.
- Added more flavor text for potter recipes.
- Mining regions now intersect terrain so they don’t encompass empty space
- Prevent goblin shakedown from demanding more than 10 of a certain item. This prevents cases of the chieftain demanding 69 tonics
- Improve performance of wandering stone golems in the world. They were thinking too hard when trying to find their next wander location.
- Fix hearthlings not detecting enemies that come into the area they are defending
- Fix lamp light effects not restarting correctly if the lamp is moved while lit
- Fix loading screen background stretching for large resolution monitors
- Fix collision shapes for Gongs
- Fix walk in formation error when party leader no longer has a party component
- Fix for hearthlings stuck in place in tall windows because of stacking movement speed modifiers
- Fix for a case where erasing a merged road will leave behind cut out terrain
- Myriad additional bug fixes
And so… on to Alpha 20! Enjoy your enhanced Rayya’s Children experience!
Final note: Yes, there is a poyo in the splash screen. Not hidden as fiendishly as in the past, but it is there….