News

Sunless Skies: the Wayfarer Update is here!

By Adam Myers, April 9, 2019 · Sunless Skies

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The Wayfarer major update for Sunless Skies is now available! Here are the key features:

  • A completely reworked Albion
  • Many new story events for the gods of the sky
  • Officer secondments
  • New story content for spectacles
  • Consequences for some attacks outside of battle
  • Petrichor, the food of the Dead
  • Balancing adjustments to Terror and Crew recruitment
  • Many small fixes and improvements

Albion

We’ve fully reworked the game’s second region, Albion. It’s now significantly smaller than before, while still being a lot more open than the Reach. We’ve also worked to make the possible encounters more varied.

We hope these changes will make it more interesting and enjoyable to explore and traverse – please let us know your thoughts! We may do further work on encounter variety in Albion and other regions, especially if people feel it makes a difference.

Our artists have also been working hard on the look and atmosphere:

ormswold clockwork

You can learn more about the Albion rework in our last Steam update.

Gods of the Sky

In the Wayfarer update, the capricious gods of the sky will tease, torment, and occasionally reward skyfarers.

New story events will fire while you are traversing the heavens, granting opportunities to earn the gods’ attention or their wrath. Once the gods have noticed you, further – more perilous – events may occur.

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Manage your crew’s superstitions. Deal with a frost-fingered visitor. Negotiate with the Whisperwinds. At all costs, do not call at the Empty House.

Officer secondments

A number of your officers have found new ways to be helpful. If you can bear to part with them, establish them at a port and let them make themselves useful. Perhaps they will establish an exclusive salon, or a handy workshop!

You will have to do without their counsel in the meantime, of course, but officers on secondment may be able to furnish you with story items, advantages at port, or new Prospects and Bargains.

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In this update the Inconvenient Aunt, Incautious Driver, Repentant Devil, Felined Eccentric, Captivating Princess, and Fatalistic Signalman all have secondment opportunities. Talk to them to learn more.

Spectacles

The heavens are replete with wonders and horrors. Originally, skyfarers could only marvel at them, and thrill or lament at their effects on your crew’s Terror.

But now, a number of spectacles can be interacted with. Come! Approach! Disembark and explore some of the skies’ most enigmatic mysteries. Visit the last vestiges of the Kingdom of Hours. Join the dead in their observances. Excavate the corpse of the Silent Saint.

Here is the full list:

  • The War of Fossils
  • The Grave of the Silent Saint
  • The Rotting Celestial Behemoth
  • Skyhenge
  • The Avid Horizon
  • The Horologion

Let us know what you think – if people like them, we may add more!

Critical damage

Sometimes, attacks will do more than just damage your hull. They may now trigger story events shortly after the battle. Perhaps you will suffer damage to your engines, or find an unexploded shell lodged in your plating!

Fortunately, you can repair critical damage at each region’s central station. Usually, repairing your engine’s hull will sort it out, but some damage may require more dedicated treatment.

Petrichor, the food of the dead

Ports in the Blue Kingdom no longer sell Supplies. Instead, they sell Petrichor, the same spun-sugar delicacies on which the dead subsist. Living captains and their crew may consume petrichor with what we are assured are only trivial side-effects.

Survival balance adjustments

We’ve been listening to people talk about their experiences and watching streams, and we’ve come to the conclusion that the balancing for some of the survival mechanics is currently not creating the best experience for most players.

These mechanics both have very important roles to play in shaping the experience, and we feel it’s important to get the balance right. For this update, we’ve made some adjustments: somewhat increasing the rate at which Terror goes up, slightly reducing the amount of Terror removed when returning to a hub or discovering new ports, and reducing the number of Crew available at hub ports.

We think these changes might be controversial, and we’re not certain yet we’ve got the numbers quite right. We considered putting these particular changes on an opt-in branch so we could watch people play and gather feedback, but we were concerned that might result in misleading feedback since we might disproportionately hear from particularly skilled players.

So we decided it would be better to include it in the main Wayfarer update. It’s possible we’ll make further adjustments in smaller updates before the next major one. And it’s likely we’ll make further changes in future – for instance, to provide more potential solutions for captains struggling to maintain more than a skeleton crew, or to rebalance easily exploitable methods for managing Terror.

As always, we’d love to hear what you think, especially once you’ve spent a few hours with the update – please let us know on the Steam forums.

Follow development

We’re still not done improving the game. We’ll be ready to talk about the next major update in a few weeks, after we’ve had time to read and discuss your thoughts on Wayfarer.

To keep hearing about Sunless Skies development and updates, follow us on Steam or on Twitter. You can also talk to other skyfarers on the Failbetter Games Discord.

 

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