News

EMERALD… and STEEL

July 30, 2014 · Sunless Sea

Whoof! What a month! On 1st July, we launched Sunless Sea in Early Access on Steam. It did, by the standards of an indie studio’s debut videogame, really very well. This was great – and thank you all for your support – but it also meant we spent weeks struggling to deal with support issues, press, and infrastructure work. We’re back on top now, but it cost us a chunk of development and writing time

So EMERALD is a slimmed-down version of what we originally planned. But we’re determined not to go too long between major updates, so we’re getting this one out of the door. It’s in final testing now – you can expect to see it drop in the next few days.

Here’s what’s coming…

  • MAP SHUFFLING. This is the headline feature. The Unterzee now feels properly uncertain on each new career. We’ve gone beyond what we originally said we’d do – not only is the map shuffled between each replay, but also you’ll see variant forms of some tiles and islands. It’s working smoothly and we’ve been careful about what gets shuffled where, but expect weird and wonderful balance stuff until it settles down.
  • NEW LANDS! We didn’t manage to get Rattsey or Visage in – those will come later – but you’ll see the Salt Lions, the Mangrove College and the Sea of Autumns, and especially the Iron Republic.
  • SHIP NAMES. You’ll begin the game with a random ship name, but you can now rename it without buying a new one.
  • ZEE-BAT. This now works properly, and comes with a Mark On Chart feature to make it easier to navigate to newly spotted islands.
  • CHART IMPROVEMENTS. It’s much easier to wrangle the chart, and it’s now way prettier.
  • NEW SOUND EFFECTS. Liam’s been working on making the zee much more audible. I particularly enjoy the bats, myself.
  • NEW CONTENT. If you’ve been using Get New Stories regularly you’ll have seen a lot of this, but look out especially for the Overheard on Deck events, the Nephrite Quarter in the Khanate and the unusual trading options in the Iron Republic. (The word count in Sunless Sea has officially passed 100,000 words with this release.)
  • We were hoping to get enhancements to Legacies in too – but that’ll have to wait, sorry.

AND THE FUTURE. So we’ve been listening carefully to feedback. The two biggest problems with the game are

(i) combat – too long, too frequent, not fun enough

(ii) rewards – too hard to get started and too random

  1. As we’ve said, this is going to improve over time. But we’re going to shift the priority away from filling out each island with random events, and more towards systems and interconnected stories. It’s mostly the same content implemented in a different order – but you should find that you’ll start to see more plot arcs and routes through the game, even though the islands look a little emptier for a while.

COMBAT is a different matter. We knew it needed work – you can see it’s marked as about 65% on our progress plan – but the feedback has been very clearly that it’s the weakest part of the game right now. So our current plan (TBC this week) is to

  • relabel it as 50% complete
  • focus the month of August, and an extra release – STEEL – on combat, beastie pathfinding, and related issues
  • slip the other releases by a month.

That’s a pain for us – and we know it’s not great news for people eager for the final release  - but there’s no point us listening to feedback if we don’t respond to it. We want to make the best game we can, and all of you are helping us do that. So – thank you all! We’ll see you on the other side of EMERALD.

49 Comments

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The Grouch Aug 28, 5:59am

First, the bad news. This game is not finished, its missing a lot. You guys are forward about this, but I personally am finding the echo/terror mechanics preventing me from confirming this myself. At this point in time, the terror system is overly simplistic, and a bit oppressive. Now, to be fair, my personal take on this game going into it was sort of a "heart of darkness" sort of thing, which the game delivers. Where the problem really lies, is that this game feels a lot like a free to play game, only its missing the feature where you pay for the echoes via CC. Its not just the low rewards that gives this the feel, its the low rewards to removing terror, and the game's reliance on this currency to remove it. For the record, I'm not accusing you guys of anything. I'm just saying, that's how it looks, and it needs changing ASAP. After all, this is a game about a journey and a story, and nobody likes reading redundant stories, just so they can get on with the new stories. Which leads us to... The Good News Wow did you guys create a cool game or what?!? Seriously, this was a game I just HAD to play, and it really delivered. The stories were certainly horrifying, intriguing, and well written. The art is excellent, audio is superb. But hey, you guys have heard all this before, huh? So what's there to take from this? I may not be alone in this, but there's a good portion of us who are playing for the stories, the tough choices, and multi-linear replayability of the game. What do I mean, I mean playing the story again, but choosing the other options. Most of us won't mind reading the same stories over again, just so long as its been awhile. It'll be even better once there are suitable options for the classes of character you've included in the game. Which leads me to the last bit of this wall of text... The Advice Be careful who you listen to when it comes to re-developing your game. Who do you want to listen to? Who do you want playing your game? Is randomizing the map and re-evaluating combat really the best use of your time? I think it isn't. Look at the initial problem you're having with randomizing the map: your quest texts now need to be adjusted to reflect a constantly changing geography. Look at all this trouble, just to appease people who weren't content because they'd become bored. You guys have made a great game here, just make sure you stick to what makes it such an awesome buy: The scene, the art, the music, the ambience, the story.

Ricardo Hayes Aug 16, 6:26pm

I loved the game so far but i think you really need to improve the quest tab... sometimes it gets a bit confusing apart of that the game is good and very fun to play. Can´t wait to see new content coming!

Andee Aug 14, 9:06am

This game is looking great, except for the combat, and certain things should be more intuitive and easier to use - look at the information architecture / UI to improve that area. COMBAT: Yeah someone else mentioned FTL being the gold standard of ship-management fights, if this game could have that style of combat I would never stop playing!

Cody Aug 12, 2:50am

The more combat can seem like a Moby Dick tale the better. Each encounter should be enmeshed with story. There could be 100 different possible stories that could pop up on a crab encounter. One crab could have a weakness -- blindness in one eye -- to be exploited in the story. Another could have a cracked claw. Another one might just stupidly expose its belly in the story. Another could be acting ill and be thrown some spoiled fish to finish the job. Etc, etc, etc. "The great beast has bent our rudder, sir. If we fire a harpoon and then pull really close to the beast and circle around it we may be able to wrap it in our cables and trap it, but this maneauver caries significant risk to life and limb. What should we do?" This was implemented very well in King Of Dragon Pass. The combat might also need larger tactical differences between gun types and such, as well as tactically different enemies. Games like Star Control 2 do this really well from the top down perspective.

Les Aug 7, 4:09pm

May I suggest to have some sort of trade route jobs that are assigned in london that are regenerated every time you complete the job, and have sorter routes? just a way to get started a little faster. Possibly have the player have a option on distance (like give him 3 islands to choose from) and pay based on distance and amount of danger? tomb colnmists are getting old, and barley able to cover fuel costs.

Dave Aug 6, 7:42pm

Hi there, congratulations on this interesting game, i already got it on Steam and i already enjoy it but i have only ONE major suggestion: ship inertia! once you stop the engines, due to its initial speed a ship can float for long distances, this doesn't happen in this game; here after you stop the engine the ship stops imediatly dead in the water like a car on land (i know its not a SIM and all) but it would be a nice(and more realistic) feature related to fuel consumption, navigation and overall feel of the ship controls...

Riddich Aug 5, 12:35pm

Very pleased with how active the devs are with updating the game according to the audience. Keep up the good work.

Forgetful Scientist Aug 5, 12:01pm

I really just want to say you guys are awesome and I love the characters and the writing and the art and the mood and the music and everything. But in order to make this comment even marginally constructive I' give you some feedback: I think it would be cool if there was a little bit of flavor around trading between settlements. Maybe if in the shop(ing?) tab there was a bit of text subtly implying what this group might want to buy at a profit, or produces and sells? I don't pretend to know anything about game design but that could be cool.

a Madman Aug 5, 11:44am

just thought I'd add a few things: >Terror even at 100 doesn't do jack shit, I think I've seen one event where terror was relevant >The Area around london should be well lit and less terror inducing, seriously 5 seconds out of London & my terror bar is already filling like why? >Pathfinding on monsters MUST be fixed, if I have my lights off in pitch black I don't think pirates would or should be chasing me accurately or into port Thats it I await the next terrifying update

Simon the Mad Aug 4, 11:59pm

OH! Some spelling errors, and I'm not talking about slang words or accents, either...

Simon the Mad Aug 4, 11:58pm

The map changes? Wow, I have a hard enough time navigating... Sounds fun! Although... Downloaded the game today, and for some reason I just ended up running into an area of the map that popped a message up telling me that this area is not yet finished. Is that going to be tackled in a later update? ALSO: I am not sure if its meant to be that way, but the fear system seems a bit based on luck... FIRST VOYAGE: fear went up like crazy, despite my attempts to stay close to ports and buoys. I knew I probably wouldn't make it, so I crashed my vessel into a rock. SECOND VOYAGE: Went far up on the map and found the coffin colony (That what it's called?) and came back to London with 9 fear. I even had a longer voyage than the first time. Did the bats help that much? COMBAT: I don't understand how you could possibly make the combat better, besides... Well, I suggest a look into the Tradewinds game series.

esb Aug 3, 6:13am

the combat really does need work, and it feels like its just a little disconnected from both some of the other elements, and the general mood of the game itself. its also very very... streamlined. theres only the one way to kill things, really. FTL is sort of the gold standard of ship-management-fights, but i feel like your team needs to study roguelikes in general a bit more. not that i regret buying sunless sea one bit, you do the atmosphere magnificently, and the exploration is fun, but its too grindy, and the combat is... well its there. i havent started a new game since the emerald update, but if youre going more random with permadeath, maybe take some really thorough notes on FTL:faster than light(which also happens to be the gold standard for micromanaged ship-ship fights, but it may also have some tips for you on progression and iteration)/risk of rain (valuable advice for both how to and how NOT to on iteration, scaling, and randomized exploration. keep an eye out for artifacts.)/rogue:legacy(for the iteration). maybe also look at rhythm combat systems, like sequence? the combat as it is feels very rhythmy, just in a very haphazard sort of way. the big thing though is. alternative modes of combat. they would be so very welcome (which is i think why people point to FTL so much). enabling players, rather than just specializing in a sort of target, to specialize in different TYPES of combat. i would love to be able to get rewards (and get screwed over) by means as varied as those in FTL. that would please me immensely. or just add a 2x/3x/4x/5x time button for combat so i can rush through it and enjoy the good bits.

Robert Carroll Aug 3, 2:01am

You guys have hit the nail on the head with the combat improvements. It's already a very good game. Take the time you need before final release and make it an awesome game. Loving it. Zee-Captain Forever!

Chris Aug 2, 1:23am

Great to hear and always glad to hear about QA testing during the development (gee, am I a Software QA? What made you think that? ;-) ). I am always a proponent of doing it right the first time and taking what time you can to make it right. Grats on all you have done, so far, and best wishes on STEEL and the other "expansions" later this year. All in all a very fun game to play and I'm looking forward to it getting better as you go along.

jeffp Aug 1, 9:01pm

All in all, the is EXACTLY the kind of response that I had been... ...HOPING to hear from the Sunless Sea devs. This will be a month well-spent. Thanks Failbetter!

nick rambo Aug 1, 5:07pm

love the vibe of this game and cant wait to see it completed! glad to see clear and open communication from the devs, always a good sign. also glad to see combat is getting a ton of attention, as i think its one of the main factors that had me put the game down. one thing i havent seen mentioned (though admittedly havent looked hard) is discussion about stats. there was no explanation provided in game for the function of any stats - this could be solved by a simple mouse hover popup window explaining what each stat does and the benefits of increasing said stats.

Kris Aug 1, 4:21pm

Hi, haven't had a chance to play the new update yet but just noticed it's out and came here for a read. Loving the game so far and don't really have any "issues" as I know it's a work in progress but there are a few little niggles that other people seem to share as far as the balance of everything(terror, combat, difficulty, reward and grind etc go) and I have a few different ideas that I think would come together and help. Not sure if others have suggested similar as I haven't read all through everything or even if they'd be possible but here goes(I may drone on a bit but you'll hopefully see where I'm coming from by the end lol). Firstly Scale/distance to terror. I sometimes find I feel terror builds too quickly but I also see that it keeps me on edge and I think it's just about right really not to make things too easy. I want to limp back to port "just in time" but not after it seems I've only been for a quick sail. I think this may be because though the map is huge, things could be huger, not the islands, but maybe the distance between them, if you made the open water say 3 times bigger and reduced the speed that terror builds by 3. Then maybe make the reward for travelling somewhere proportionately larger to the time so it was worth your while, and also this would allow for more random events and combat at sea, making a mission to somewhere more exciting and needing you to return to port rather than grinding other locations to bring in more bacon. This would also make other places more exciting as you wouldn't visit everywhere as often and would get more excited when sent somewhere you haven't been for a while. At the minute I'm grinding the same route around 7 islands to save up for my next big purchase and it can get a little tedious. Which leads me on to my next point, combat/difficulty and legacies. At the minute I've reached a point where I can beat pretty much anything I come across with ease, which to be honest is fine as I'm currently working towards getting my mansion, and I'm about halfway so I don't fancy dying too easy after all the work as it's frustrating. But the mansion is a goal to motivate me and after that I feel I'll end up bored sailing round unbeatable, so why not introduce a levelling system for the difficulty based on legacy items(and possibly ships so you can't just outgun everything but not too much as there's no point upgrading if it provides no benefit) such as heirlooms that are bought(not inherited ones, I'll get to why in a sec) lodgings and the ironclad will. That way you can get to a comfortable ish point between each, say where I'm at now so I wouldn't be scared of losing all my progress constantly, but when I get the mansion the game will ramp it up for me so I find it more of a challenge once again. Maybe even make the will intensify the difficulty more so than anything else so it makes people take more of a gamble and risk not purchasing one until later even though it's cheap. I think all this would make things interesting and challenging without being constantly frustrating too. Also then when you die, your new character would still have a bit more of a proportionate challenge against the fancy lodgings they'd inherited but also as they wouldn't have the ship and its difficulty plus would be starting over so would not have the difficulty from the heirlooms. I think these together would make for a more fun experience as you set out with a sense of risk, but not to the point it makes it not fun, on a longer journey that seems like you're exploring more, to somewhere you haven't been for a while to get a worthwhile bounty.

Insignus Aug 1, 2:32pm

I see a lot of potential in this game. Some suggestions I would have for combat: Create a two mode system: The option to have a completely turn-based system, Or modify your current system to be actually real-time, with positioning and the like (Some suggestions I could make would be to go and look at the old Cutthroats PC game, which was an Iso-metric piracy simulator) or more appropriately, Space Pirates and Zombies, which also used a 2D top-down system. This would be accomplished through either Chart-zone specific battle arenas (Coral backgrounds with shoals for the Corsairs forest, random ice packs for the northern reaches, etc.) Players would prepare for battle by selecting a toolbar preset of what abilities they want (Ammunition loads, harpoon and torpedo prep, etc). As far as combat equipment, some revamp could be productive. Torpedos should take less time to sight and fire then guns, however they should decrease one's distance to target (Launching torpedos generally requires one to point at the target. Unless using a side rack, but I'm not sure you want to simulate that). Also, more different and varied types of ships would obviously be appreciated. Further, ammunition loadings would be very useful, particularly if you plan to add boarding. Given the time period and level of technology, having canister and solid shot choices are very good fits. Also, from a strategic standpoint, it would be nice if there were an "Emergency sails" equipment item. Even in the golden age of steamships, many still carried sails or other emergency propulsion equipment (Oars or pushing equipment). Furthermore, it would be very useful if, within sight or bat distance of a port, an option to "Signal desperately for a tug" option were available. This tug would then charge a hefty fee or demand some price for the inconvenience (This could be based on distance. If one would completely out of sight from a major port, this price could be as high as a random non-equipped item). Finally, when engaging an enemy, it would be nice to have one of your officers or men pipe in about the potential difficulty of the foe.

Medicine Man Aug 1, 2:33am

Sounds like you folks have a good development plan going forward. Thanks very much for sharing the details with us.

EXET Jul 31, 7:24pm

I really love this game! You have created something very Special!!! Thanks for that. When it Comes down to the combat of the game, I didn't find it too boring or otherwise annoying. Once you get the hang of it, it makes perfect sense. Some Monsters are very hard to beat, but that's how I have respect for anything new. I always Play with the save game Option, so it doesn't really matter if I do get killed, I can always re-load a save game. I know some People are having great issues with combat. All I ask od you is, don't change to a much higher difficulty! It would destroy the smooth game play and relaxing experience the game has. If you do want to make it much harder, I would suggest different difficult levels to choose from the menu. Just saying, I don't want to get stressed out while playing this game. So just a thought! Anyways, you are doing a great job and I am very happy that I bought into this game. Keep going . . .

Sarah Jul 31, 5:34pm

Love, love, love the whole aspect and 'vibe' the game gives off. One of my favorite story lines (so far) is the Salt/Stone/Storm events and any other superstitious Zailor stories, in which I hope to see more development in the future!

nurgle523 Jul 31, 5:07pm

You put in some of my favorite features in. I just wish there was a Fallen London benefit for buying the game, like perhaps the exceptional friend gifts and perhaps 2x candle lighting? I really like Fallen London and the pacing, I just think for buying Sunless Sea such a free gift. I've come to love Fallen London ever since buying the game.

Einar Jul 31, 3:57pm

Being someone who just bought the game couple of weeks ago, I can say that it's been a blast learning the ropes of the game and it didn't take me long at all to figure out ways and exploits that allowed me to build up my stats and win every battle, relatively quickly. If you (Failbetter) want me to list the various exploits that I've discovered, feel free to contact me. Looking forward to checking out the new update and seeing what has changed.

Jimmie Jul 31, 3:29pm

Whoof. Map shuffling is, at least early on, completely maddening. Now, not only do I have to grind through stories and such I've seen a dozen times already, I have to hunt all over the map for those basic story building blocks each time, which makes the grinding take even longer. I'm not exploring the map so much as I'm wasting time looking for stuff I've already seen a bunch of times, so I can see the cool stuff I haven't seen yet. Not a good feeling at all.

Herm @suitov Jul 31, 10:21am

Rattsey? If that was contributed by Spacemarine9, I'm going to lol throughout my visit.

Alfonsus Zeus Suryawan Jul 31, 7:44am

Pretty nice updates, kinda love the steam ship sound, all of the new updates… But I prefer the old map interface… It's feel more eerie and mysterious than the new map interface.

Zenkal Jul 31, 6:28am

May Salt release a confounded Mog upon your Zee-cursed soul. Was in Gadier's Mourn before before logging and sleeping, awoke, updated, now I can't leave the port. Neither pressing the launch button or selecting "E" will let me leave the harbor with my ship. I have a Maenad Class Frigate with Mantacore #4 engines. Plenty of food and fuel. All should be Zee-Worthy.

Ghost Dog Jul 31, 6:15am

Sounds fair to me. If you stick to your plan this could be an epic game.

John Evans Jul 31, 4:32am

I had an experience where I got to the Khanate with one of the Khanate ships chasing me. (this was a couple weeks ago) I figured I'd be safe once I made it to port, but it kept hanging around. I couldn't quit the game, of course, because I'd already done a bunch of trading and stuff at the port, so that would all get lost. And with the ship blocking the exit, I ultimately had to fight it. Turned out it's impossible to flee; I could get to maximum distance but never actually leave. So, it eventually sank me. Very frustrating.

The Farlander Jul 31, 3:47am

I love the game so far. I don't really have any major (or minor) criticisms beyond what's already been said. I will say that the feel of the game is just perfectly eerie, strange, and unsettling, without being so stressful that I can't enjoy it for very long. Onward and forever downward, friends.

ZEErgio Rojas Jul 31, 12:19am

Wonderfull news guys, keep up the great work!!!

Revisionary Jul 31, 12:18am

I disagree with some of the other posters who feel you earn terror too fast. I think it is just about perfectly balanced. The game I thought I was buying was one where you will undoubtedly die, and that "winning" is an uphill climb, with the game being more about the journey than counting money in your mansion. I feel the devs have met my expectation, and I really hope they don't water down the difficulty.

Salamander Jul 31, 12:10am

I like the map shuffling. It adds to the eeriness and and to the replay value of the game. After playing on the same map over and over, it's scary and exciting to have to re-explore and re-learn where things are. One thing you needed to fix though: the Admiralty Commissions are giving bad info now. I got a commission to collect strategic information from the Iron & Misery Co. Funging Station "located north-east of Fallen London." Only now it's to the south-east on my map, so it took me a good while to find it. I suggest you fix this problem soon so that new players aren't totally bewildered by the bad directions.

Escator Jul 30, 11:04pm

I agree with most everyone else in that the pace of the game is definitely off. A new player needs to invest at 30-45minutes running the same trade route between FL and Venderbight just to get the supplies and capital required to set out and try to find Palmerston -- which typically ends up being a net loss because of the terror you gain in the exploration process. In general I think exploration needs to be looked at in greater depth. Either the cost of setting out and exploring needs to be reduced (supplies, terror, crew) or the rewards need to be far greater. It's incredibly tedious (dare I say boring) running the same route back and forth for an hour, only to explore and lose virtually all of your profits and the next 30 minutes of game time trying to reduce your terror through inadequate in-game means. You should be able to sit down and play for an hour and achieve something in-game, and that just isn't really possible at the moment as I see it. Chaosgerbil had a good idea with the concept for dynamic trade, with rumours and player actions determining what resources are needed where, and care to follow the hints should provide greater profits. There is a balance that needs to be struck, but right now the cost of just about every action in the game needs to be re-evaluated. Combat, as I remember was something that I always avoided. There was no real financial or RP gain to be had, at least not enough to offset the risk. As above, the cost of exploration is high enough, without needing to consider ship repairs. I understood that it was a work in progress, but spamming a choice of three buttons is only fun if you have 'Devil May Cry' style combo mechanic. It doesn't seem as if the mechanics allow an underpowered vessel to triumph through cunning or strategic play, or even RNG within a single combat event. I've found that if I won the combat, I was always going to have won it -- which raised the question: why have the event at all? With the system as it currently was, you could initiate combat, and tell me the result without the button spamming and the effect would be the same. I appreciate that you are taking another pass at this, but setting it to 50% complete is optimistic in my opinion. On the positive side, I love the story elements and the thematic of the game. It's fantastic to find a game that puts such an emphasis on story and universe development. The audio is spot on and has a great feel to it and the graphic assets and lighting round out the vibe perfectly. I look forward to coming back to the game in a few months when it is a completed product and giving it another chance. Until then i'll keep track of the updates and hope.

Chaosgerbil Jul 30, 10:00pm

The atmosphere, writing, and art are wonderful, but before Emerald the gameplay and balance were severely lacking. I'm a two year vet of Echo Bazaar so I appreciate the extension of the game world. It's really one of the best IPs out there. Now for the constructive criticism. Many voyages ended in a net loss of resources, which reduces fun for a 45 minute session. Add in frequent deaths, and it's almost impossible to advance far. For combat, I suggest you emulate Sid Meier's "Pirates!" combat, but not change the scale or jump to a new map, but be able to fire cannons on the move. Maybe have different buttons for different cannon batteries / special weapons, with reload times that vary based on Iron skill and equipment. Since this game seems designed to be a little bit crunchy and detailed, ammo / powder / harpoons could be another thing to keep track of and potentially run out of. If you can't do real time combat, balance out effects so it isn't either the enemy is harmless or they sink you in one or two hits. For most enemies when you have decent Mirrors and Iron, you can just spam flare, flare, attack, attack... and if you don't do the same 4-6 moves over and over you are taking a huge risk. That's not fun if you have to spam just to survive, it makes every encounter repetitive which is boring. Terror is really out of control. If the game is about exploration, why are punishments so harsh? Just sailing for a few minutes can be enough to get a mutiny, which is either a career ender or cripples your ship to speed 1, setting you up for either a slow dull voyage or another mutiny. Carousing is incredibly overpriced for the amount of terror it reduces, even in Fallen London. Lighting should matter more, even at full lights on next to a buoy terro jets up sometimes. And why would my crew be terrified in home waters right next to Wolfstack docks? It should be based more on what is seen in the water, like a tentacle coming out, a storm on the horizon, or pirates approaching. Then, terror should reduce if you get away from the threat unscathed or if you win in combat without too much damage. As it is, you just heavily suffer for sailing and your gameplay actions have little effect. Speed should go up to 3 for forward movement, but use up more fuel and slightly degrade the hull over time. Pressing F (often accidentally, it's right next to a turn button) is basically the ship catches on fire button, even if you only burst for a split second and go to zero engines, you still catch on fire. It's incredibly harsh and punishing. Why include it at all if it just wrecks you? The Khanate is incredibly unforgiving. Why do I have a quest that can only be solved if my rep is high enough, that blocks further advancement in the quest chain, and I can only repair my rep with essentially random and rare drops? Why can't I bribe with echoes or goods that I can buy? Trading is barely thought through and needs to be much more profitable and varied. You should hear rumors of what islands need what goods, and have shortages and excesses partly due to player behavior. This will encourage less repetition as profit margins will drop for repeating trips back to back. Look at Escape Velocity Nova for an example of trading done right. Best of luck Failbetter folks! The Overgoat is watching!

Faroszek Jul 30, 8:05pm

IMO the game is now fully playable product. I enjoy every session soooooo much every time! Great job guys, I hope you will make this game way better, but it will be hard quest fo ya :) Good luck!

LetumComplexo Jul 30, 7:45pm

You guys are doing great, keep up the good work!

Delicious Friend Jul 30, 6:38pm

My biggest complaint besides combat becoming tedious is that terror raises too bloody fast. There's few ways to mitigate terror levels besides heading back to London or some other city for shore leave (which is bloody expensive after a while). I guess I could farm angler crabs for hunting trophies but that's pretty dangerous for such a menial reward.

Smurf Jul 30, 6:28pm

Glad to hear that the combat is getting a rework, as I'd stopped playing, as I just keep getting killed lots. Are there any hints and or tips (or am I missing them). And where is the trade, I didn't know I could do that !! Smurf

Cody Jul 30, 5:53pm

Bravo on interconnected stories and more meaningful plot arcs. In my opinion this is what ultimately has the most potential to grow your audience even further. Player-driven large and medium scale stories have wide appeal, in part due to their hefty dependence on immersive world building. This type of thing might also be possible on a different scale in SS than it is for a F2P based game like FL.

Hergieburbur Jul 30, 5:36pm

I am not disappointed to hear about the changes at all. Combat definitely needed work, so improvements are welcome. My top three issues with the game were: 1. Combat 2. The slowness of getting started 3. The lack of sound/music in the game I know all three are being addressed, so any update that improves them is a good thing in my book.

Trodgmey Jul 30, 5:31pm

The game is already wonderful. It does need improvement, but that's to be expected. The biggest problem I have with combat is that for a lot of monsters, it's extremely high risk, fairly low reward, at least until you've had a chance to boost your stats with some Secrets or some upgrades. (On the other hand, it may be considered a bug, but I've discovered that Lifeburg whaling in the Boreal Reach is a really good way to get a new character on his or her feet, as a pattern of consistent fleeing and firing/observing from a distance makes it a fairly safe and lucrative means of acquiring some wealth for a patient player.) That said, getting consistently waylaid by zeebats gets really old after a while. One issue I've discovered is that after compiling an almost completely comprehensive chart and leaving this as a legacy, it meant that the subsequent character had a very difficult time acquiring fragments, as none are given for points already on the chart, even if the new character had never visited them. That may be by design (you get a great chart, you don't get fragments), but it did significantly decrease the overall value of the chart. Map shuffling may shake that up, but if an inherited chart comes with errors, then you REALLY should get fragments for hitting new points on the map.

Ellixis Jul 30, 4:56pm

Combat being reworked is not bad news at all! It will make the game more fun, and I for one am really happy to know that not only are you listening to player feedback but that you're taking it into account and actively working to correct problems. Thanks for being a responsive and flexible team!

KapKabul Jul 30, 4:29pm

Hi Sunless Sea Dev Team, The news about revamping the combat is not bad news, it's good news actually. Combat and Trade needed to be redone and it is actually good news that you admited it and working on it. Thats all that matters, i saw many devs not doing what the people demanding and falling flat on their faces on release (Tortanic anyone?). So you are on the right track. A month more or less doesn't matter as long as the end result is better than now. Greetings Kabul

Jim Jul 30, 4:19pm

Alexis (or any developer reading this), TRADE! What about trade? Please more commodities and options regarding trade!

Blue Eclipse Jul 30, 4:11pm

Glad that I bought this game !

Tristan Jul 30, 11:59am

Thanks for all the hard work! I am enjoying your game a lot and i hope for more scary events in the future^^ ps: new sound effects? great! can you add some shark-music when one of them is chasing you? bb

Dashael Jul 30, 11:27am

Love you guys, keep up the great work, but by all means continue at your sensibly measured pace. As rabid as we fans can and will get at times, we'll always inevitably appreciate the polished work more for it.

HybridHalo Jul 30, 10:28am

Wonderfully comprehensive and acknowledging of every concern I had with the game in it's current state. You've really put your ears against the damp limestone wall of the internet and listened. I look forwards to what becomes of Sunless Sea as a result.