Hey Heroes and Travelers!
It’s been awhile since we really opened the doors and let you in on what’s been cooking at the studio. While we’ve been heavily focused on the Towers of Olympia patch, we wanted to give you an outline of some of the bigger features we’re developing for both Orna: the GPS RPG and Hero of Aethric in 2023.
To give you a better sense of when these features are coming this year, we are going to be breaking this blog down by time periods: Now, Soon and Later. It’s important to note that while we’re setting out to accomplish these goals, game dev can have unexpected twists and turns. Keep in mind that anything we discuss may change in both timing and implementation over the development cycle.
With that out of the way, let’s dive in!
Daily Mission System Rework
In early 2023 we are going to recreate the daily mission system from the ground up.
In its current form, the system encourages you to find different types of monsters to defeat and you are rewarded with Orns, gold and experience. Often, we see that players don’t think that the current rewards are worth it, asking, ”why hunt for 10 of an enemy when a single boss will reward you more?”
We’re looking to motivate players to be excited to do their daily quests by making the rewards have more of an impact on your gameplay. To accomplish this we are changing both the type of daily quests that you will receive as well as the rewards they offer. Each daily quest you complete will now earn you a tiered reward, including a boost to experience, an increase to movement speed and more! Look forward to updates on this soon.
The Towers of Olympia
Our upcoming patch, named The Towers of Olympia, is our biggest content release yet! With 22 new alternative classes, 5 new superbosses, an overhaul to inventory management, huge quality of life fixes and more, we can’t wait for everyone to get the chance to play it.
The patch is currently in beta for our subscribers over on Patreon, but we will soon be opening this up for all players to test out! We are aiming to get this into the game in February, so there’s not much time left for players to wait to play the new content.
The biggest inclusion in this patch will be the titular Towers of Olympia. We have talked about this new type of dungeon in our previous blog post so today we will instead talk a little bit about what we learned while developing this.
Towers of Olympia is a great example of a system that can be adapted for both Orna and Aethric, utilizing the strengths of each title to engage with the gameplay in different ways.
In Orna, Towers is an opportunity to bring GPS gameplay back to the forefront. The excitement of walking through your city and discovering a tower is truly something special. Within Aethric, Towers brings an entirely new endgame zone and the opportunity to bring some visual lore to Olympia.
For the studio, it was a really great example of how each of our games can benefit from the other. Towers marks the first time that Orna: the GPS RPG players are able to move their character in-game via tapping rather than moving themselves in real life – something we would not have explored in Orna: GPS without the creation of Aethric.
It was Towers that proved the concept for us, but only late game players T9 and above will have access to these, leaving out a good portion of the player base. It was from seeing Towers in action for the first time that really gave us the confidence to explore a new gameplay system bringing us to the Soon™….
Towers of Olympia provided us with the framework to develop a new explorable dungeon type that could provide more immersion to the player.
It’s important to note that we are not aiming to take away from the ability to quickly and efficiently farm dungeons in their current state. Instead, we want to offer an alternative to dungeon play that has players feel a sense of exploration and mix up the gameplay with collection, battle and a touch of lore.
These new explorable dungeon types will have players collecting materials, fighting (or sneaking past) tough battles and seeing just how deep they can make it. Put on your mining gear and get ready for some spelunking later this year.
This one has been on our to-do list for quite some time (you can thank Covyn and Dangy for this). Pristine Weapons offer players the chance to receive a resprited variant of a weapon if it drops above 195% quality.
For the collectors among us, these Pristine weapons will serve as bragging rights and something you can show off with pride.
Chat System Rework
We aren’t shy about it, our chat system needs a bit of TLC. This is a system we aim to rebuild from the ground up, including real time chat notifications, badges and the inclusion of broadcasts – when a Pristine weapon is dropped, all players within the global chat will get to see and celebrate!
In addition to this, we hope to implement chat in a way that makes the game feel more alive. This includes chat bubbles appearing over the players head when in towns.
Additional Action Based Abilities
For those who want to get the most out of battle we’re looking to add an additional component to add a little more excitement to our battle system. It’s important to note that this feature is still very early in development.
Inspired by modern turn-based RPGs that implement a small additional active component to their battle systems. We want certain abilities to include a timing based reaction that will lead to bigger damage, higher % chance of status effect or provide mitigation for incoming attacks.
We’re going to be implementing this system in a way that brings a freshness to combat for those who seek it, while ensuring we don’t change the farming experience for those who would rather not engage with this system. We are players of the game and understand how the initial fear is how this will impact longer battles or efficient farming – these will be top of mind as we flesh out this new addition!
It’s time for Kingdoms to become a place where you can join in with your friends and work together to accomplish goals. We’re going to be reworking the Kingdom system from the ground up to feel a little less menu driven and have you interact with your Kingdom mates in new ways.
One of the ways we’re going to accomplish this is through Kingdom housing! We’re going to offer up Kingdoms a customizable area in which they can see and interact with Kingdom mates in real time. Which Kingdom will reign supreme as best home designers in the world? Only time will tell!
To truly give the feeling that you’re exploring the world alongside other players. We’re looking to implement live events throughout the lands of Aethric.
These events will see players alerted to a community goal that must be met in a particular zone. The players in that area will then have to accomplish a goal together in order to spawn a menacing boss that will take hundreds of players to take down.
Mounts & Trails
Speed and style is the name of the game here. It has been requested a lot since we launched Aethric and we’re happy to announce that mounts are coming to the game this year! We want to offer players a way to express themselves while also having the functionality of increased movement speed as you make your way through the lands of Aethric.
In addition to this we are launching cosmetic options that will add visual flair to the movement of your character. These player trails will also affect your waypoint markers bringing some more excitement to the player interface.
Everyone’s favourite gaming pastime will find its way to the Ornaverse later this year. We’re looking to create a system that focuses on both fun and functionality. Expect new mini-games that are closely linked to your goals from the main game, including the hunt for rare seeds within the new deep dungeons.
Keep it Coming
This list doesn’t cover everything we’ve got cooking for you at Northern Forge Studios. For instance, we’re looking ahead to create new monthly events as well as modernize some of the older ones. We’re aiming to create some new, high-quality merch so you can represent the Ornaverse. We’re revisiting base-game content and making sure to think of how we can revitalize and improve on what we’ve done in the past. Finally, we’re going to be creating follower sprites so that you can have the functionality of a Chimera, with the cuteness of a Dog.
Thanks for joining us on the journey so far, we’re excited to bring all of this and more to you in the new year!
- The Northern Forge team