Hey, everyone! VS Dave here.
The Cataclysm threat is too much for Merlin to bear alone, and the celestials have taken notice…
The Gathering of the Gods update is here, and those pesky abominations won’t even know what hit them! We’ve added two new unlockable Guardians, 18 new spells, 5 new relics, but sadly, still no partridge in a pear tree.
There are a lot of goodies in this update to unpack, so let’s dive in!
The Hand of Merlin
The Gathering of the Gods
Titled ‘Gathering of the Gods,’ the latest update introduces new features to the game including two new Guardians to aid you in your quest to stop the Cataclysm: Oberon and Atlantes.
As the king of faeries, Oberon communicates only through an emissary, but watches the battlefield closely. Treating the flora and fauna well gains his favor and raises your Faerie Reputation. The value of which can produce either a blessing or a curse upon the party later on.
Atlantes is a cosmic being like Merlin himself, but one who is not particularly bothered by the fall of each world. Amused by Merlin’s desire to save worlds, Atlantes provides aid to the party, but conceals his true motivations.
Each Guardian bestows a unique benefit upon the party, and gives you access to an array of powerful new spells to thwart the invading abominations.
The Gathering of the Gods update also adds a brand new Nourishment system, an upgrade to the current Supplies resource. You will now get stacking buffs (or de-buffs) based on how long you travel well-stocked or poorly stocked. These attributes will affect Heroes’ combat stats in a significant way!
New Relics are also introduced in the update along with sound effects for encounter events and improved visual effects for several existing spells.
In addition to these new features, the latest update will also include various small bug fixes, optimizations, and balancing:
Full Patch Notes – Early Access Build 676569
- Added two new unlockable Guardians: the scientifically-minded Atlantes, and Oberon, king of the Faeries. And between the two, 18 new Spells total!
- Added the Nourishment system. Players will now get stacking (de)buffs based on how long they travel well-stocked, or poorly-stocked. These (de)buffs will affect Heroes’ combat stats (health and armor) in a powerful way.
- Added six new Relics: Jade Statuette, Orpheus Set, Giant Cauldron, Irish Gorget, Selkie Medallion and Tudwal Whetstone.
- Added sound effects for encounter events, such as the bells tolling during Faerie encounters.
- Improved the visuals of several existing Spells.
- Fixed a rare crash in combat, related to ground effects.
- Fixed a bug causing Windows Mouse Keys to not work correctly with the game.
- Fixed a bug where Safir’s Paladin passive would pick its target in a deterministic way, rather than randomly (as is the intention).
- Fixed a bug where enemy “prepared shot” abilities could be started while under the Staggered status effect.
- Fixed a bug which could allow the “C-Combo” achievement to be awarded when not intended.
- Fixed a bug where the camera would not focus on the unit being selected (such as when pressing the Tab button to cycle through units).
- Fixed a bug where the tooltips in the Journal could flicker in some cases.
- Fixed a bug where relic and spell abilities on the Action Bar would show keyboard hotkeys even when using a gamepad.
- Fixed a bug where the map legend could show its tooltip if the currently visited node was underneath it while using a gamepad.
- Fixed an issue with the Man’s Best Friend encounter where the options/outcomes could potentially loop indefinitely.
- Reduced the memory footprint of various combat maps, which also improves performance.
- Added an option to confine the mouse to the game’s window, available in the in-game menu.
- Removed the unit fill/outline buttons from the Action Bar and added them instead into the Gameplay tab in the Options menu, to help reduce combat UI clutter.
- The Lobby and Journal UI now fully support navigational-style control when using gamepads, which should feel more intuitive to players accustomed to console dashboard UIs.
- Removed various references to mouse/keyboard controls from hints (and embedded images) when using a gamepad.
- Added display of player’s name (Steam profile name) to main menu, options and in-game menu.
- The undo operation in combat should now work with a broader selection of movement skills and movement-interacting effects, such as Tariq’s Bladedancer passive, Ranger’s Sprint skill tree, and various relics.
- Changed targeting rules for Ranger’s Volley skill (and its upgrades), so it’s more in line with similar skills for different classes.
- Hero passives (and some other non-scaling effects) no longer have stacks associated with them, to clarify their static nature.
- Slightly increased enemy stats in Marca Hispanica and Al-Andalus as counter-balance to the overall buffs of the Nourishment system.
- Hard Mode no longer requires 3 Supplies per character per node jump. Instead, the Dread Marches modifier is reworked to increase the amount of Supplies required per jump.
- Redcap’s tooltip should now better describe its ooze effect.
- Dire Redcap no longer restores health from its own oozes.
- Ranged bandits should now slightly prefer to shoot decoys over Heroes (but it’s still not a guarantee).
- The Reflex Bow, a blacksmith upgrade option for Rangers, no longer relies on a conditional damage effect, now being a flat increase to Power.
- Warrior’s Lunge skill (and its upgrades) now only costs 1 AP, but has reduced movement range.
- Warrior Heroes should now only gain 2 Health per level up, down from 3.
- Heroes hired during encounters will now use a random unlocked prowess, assuming at least one prowess for the hero is unlocked.
- Effects associated with Mystic’s Martyrdom skill now only affect allies, not the caster.
- Grail of Piety. Instead of reducing Cooldowns when healed, it now increases all healing by 40%.
- Grail of Honour. Instead of a refresh effect when killing the last hitter, it now uses a “duel” mechanic, where the target of your last attack deals less damage to other units.
- Circlet of Gold. Increased cost to 60 gold (up from 50).
- Increased the cooldown of Morgana’s Sacrifice spell to 4 turns (up from 1).
Since entering Early Access in May 2021, The Hand of Merlin has had five major updates on its path to 1.0. These updates have added a wide range of new features designed to improve the overall player experience, including new heroes, passive skills, Hard Mode, controller support, alternate maps, meta progression and more. We’re so happy with how the game has progressed since the EA launch, and are excited for what’s still to come as we near the release of 1.0!
As always, if you have any content to share or questions for the team, please feel free to reach out via our socials. You can stay in touch with me and the rest of the Versus Evil team by joining our Discord and following us on Twitter, Reddit, and Facebook.
~ VS Dave