Northgard - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Matt Cox)

The Clan Of The Snake DLC is out for Northgard, and yep, they’re bastards. For 4, you can now make the viking-starvation RTS even more miserable for your opponents by stealing their lore and burning their homes. Classy stuff, Snake clan.

This first dose of DLC from Shiro Games arrives alongside a hefty free update, which adds a new stealthy military unit and some sweeping balance changes. They’ve made colonising tiles use up even more food, the monsters. (more…)

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Northgard - Brioche [Shiro]
Ohoï Warchiefs!

Today, we finally bring you our first clan update since the release of the Boar Clan! But first, let's go through the changes we made to the game! Please note that you won't need to get the Clan of the Snake DLC to get these changes!



This patch introduces a new melee military unit available for free and for all clans: the Skirmisher!



Skirmishers are very special units that can travel all around Northgard! In neutral tiles, they are invisible to wildlife and their movement isn’t limited by the presence of adversity..
You can choose to attack wildlife whenever you want by right clicking on a Wolf, Draugr, etc...



They can run faster than other units (+20% movespeed) but be careful: the Skirmishers’ armor is made of light leather and they are more vulnerable than the rest of your army!

You can recruit Skirmishers through their Skirmishers Camp. This building is a basic military building, you do not need to have a Training Camp to build one. Skirmishers are the cheapest military unit.








Coming with this patch as a DLC, the Clan of the Snake will add a new way of playing Northgard. Lead by Signy, the Spear Maiden, Svafnir’s followers are among the most roguish vikings on Northgard!



No Honor, no Fame

Unlike other clans, the Snake’s progression isn’t reflected by the Fame they’ve reached. Cunning and deceitful, the Snake has little regard for fame or honour. Members of the clan prefer working in the shadows and using guerilla tactics rather than open warfare. Its pride depends mainly on its warchief, Signy, who is already available at the beginning of each game. During the game, Signy will grow up and gain new abilities:
  • Age 15: The Cunning (start of the game).
  • Age 16: Pride of the Clan. Signy is now more powerfull, she gains 20% move speed and the ability to attack at range.
  • Age 18: Tears of the Earth. Again, Signy’s power is increased, she gains the ability to walk freely among Northgard’s wildlife (like Skirmishers) and she can use her special ability: Scorched Earth.



If she falls on the battlefield, Signy will be available for rehiring in the Skirmishers Camp for 150 Krowns (no Iron needed).
In terms of battle statistics, Signy starts with a light advantage in comparison with a basic warrior. She will get stronger and stronger with every passing year.

Her Scorched Earth ability will prove itself to be very useful. Signy charges to the center of a tile (any tile except for TownHalls and Victory Tiles) and prepares herself to scorch everything around her. After 5 seconds, Scorched Earth is launched:
  • Available every 3 months
  • Effect lasts 3 months
  • If the effect is cancelled during Signy’s preparation time, there is a 1 month cooldown
  • Signy cannot be interrupted by anything other than the player(and her death of course)

Scorched tiles have the following effects:
  • +50 attack power the Snake’s units & buildings
  • -50% for any production in this tile

The Snake's Lore tree

As most of the other clans, the Snake can acquire specific knowledge:
  • Black Market replaces Coinage:
    • Merchants produce +10% Krowns
    • Gain 75% more Krowns when trading with enemy clans, degrading diplomatic relations.
    • You can trade even when at war
    • Enemy clans get no ressources from Black Market trading
  • Rapacious Exploitation is the ultimate Lore of the Wealth branch:
    • Bonus of special tiles (Geysers, Thor’s Wrath) is doubled
    • Ruins and Shipwreck in your territory grant +2 happiness
  • Under Pressure replaces Weaponsmith:
    • +20% attack power for Skirmishers
    • +2 happiness and +2 food for each enemy pressured by the Snake
    • An enemy clan is pressured if one of the Snake’s military units is on an tile adjacent to or inside his territory
  • Guerilla replaces Military Strategy: Military units gain +2% attack power per enemy civilian killed (max 40%)
  • Stolen Lore is the ultimate Lore of the Ressource branch: Steal a Lore from another clan’s tree:





The arrival of the Clan of the Snake in Northgard forced us make some moficiation on the curent clan balance. Here are the changes!


General Lore Modification
  • Recruitment now gives a 25% bonus (instead of 30%). This rate is increased to 50% during 6 months after the death of one of the player’s unit
  • Sharp Axes bonus has been increased to 20%
  • Defensive strategy bonus has been increased to 30%
  • Monster Slayer bonus has been increased to 50%
  • Negotiation bonus has been increased to 50%
  • Legendary Heroes now gives +25% attack power and +25% defense to Warchiefs

Clan of the Wolf
  • Fame 200 is now Dominion, with a cooldown of 12 months
  • Fame 500 is now Advanced Assault: +15% attack and reduces Dominion cooldown to 6 months
  • We added an animation when using the Dominion capacity
  • Field ration bonus has been increased to 80%
  • Plunder healing has been reduced to 30% of the unit’s max health
  • Veiled Threats bonus has been increased to 75%

Clan of the Bear
  • Harpoon bonus has been increased to 25%
  • Winter festival now reduces the food production loss by 50% during winter and grants +3 happiness

Clan of the Stag
  • Great Deeds now gives +2 krowns per active skald
  • Eradication now also reduces the cost of upgrading silos by 50%

Clan of the Raven
  • Journeyman max bonus has been decreased from 8 to 6 happiness



We also changed a few things with the Victory Conditions:

Fame Victory
  • The food required to colonize new tiles has been increased
  • The number of tiles required to win Fame Victory has been changed:
    • Small & Medium map: 12 tiles
    • Large & Huge: 14 tiles

Lore Victory
  • The Lore requirement for later techs has been increased

Trade Victory
  • Ships now bring ressources to the player when reaching certain steps:
    • 500 Commercial Influence: 100 Wood, 100 Food, 50 Lore
    • 1000 CI: 150 Wood, 150 Food, 5 Iron
    • 1500 CI: 200 Wood, 200 Food, 20 Stone

Yggdrasil Victory
  • Food required to colonize Yggdrasil has been lowered from 2000 to 1500 food
  • Colonization now takes 6 months

Gates of Helheim Victory
  • Players now have to defend the gates of helheim during 8 months




We changed a few general aspects the game, adding a few things you asked:
  • Ruins revenue scaling is now based on the distance between the ruin and the closest ally Town Hall
  • Draugar, Valkyries and Kobolds had a (very) small increase of their HP.
  • The AI now has better military micro management
  • It is no longer possible to destroy a building in a tile occupied by military units
  • Warchiefs no longer consume food and do not use a population slot
  • There is no longer a cooldown when slaughtering sheep
  • You can now press “x” to stop your selected unit’s current action
  • There is now an option next to the chat window that allows you to mute channels and/or other players (does not affect pings yet)
  • Every villager now has its own name!
  • The Story Mode chapter completed with all secondary objectives are now distinguishable
  • The Profile tab now displays information about the player’s progression in Story mode
  • The Berserker and Signy’s abilities are now located in their description window



Finally, a few modifications about the Ranked system:
  • Balanced maps are now available on 2v2v2v2
  • A player who hasn’t been able to connect to a game won’t lose any points
  • In the lobby, players cannot change teams when the timer has started


We trully hope you'll enjoy playing with the Snake! As we mentionned before, this clan and the new features are just the beginning of a lot of new features that we cannot wait to add to the game :)

We'll be back very soon with news about the next update, which will change a LOT of things in the way you fight in Northgard ;)

Have fun!


Northgard - Brioche [Shiro]
Ohoï Warchiefs!

We thought we'd share a few details about the upcoming Clan of the Snake and more precisely on its exclusive Warchief: Signy, the Spear Maiden!



Coming with this patch as a DLC, the Clan of the Snake will add a new way of playing Northgard. Lead by Signy, the Spear Maiden, Svafnir’s followers are among the most roguish vikings on Northgard!


                                                Signy, the Clan of the Snake's Warchief

Unlike the other clans, the Clan of the Snake’s progression isn’t reflected by the Fame they’ve reached. Cunning and deceitful, the Snake has little regard for fame or honour. Members of the clan prefer working in the shadows and using guerilla tactics rather than open warfare.
As a consequence, the Clan of the Snake does not get any Fame from its actions in Northgard.

Its pride depends mainly on its warchief, Signy, who is already available at the beginning of each game. During the game, Signy will grow up and gain new abilities:
  • Age 15: The Cunning (start of the game).
  • Age 16: Pride of the Clan. Signy gains move speed and the ability to attack at range.
  • Age 18: Tears of the Earth. Signy gains the ability to walk freely among Northgard’s wildlife (like Skirmishers) and she can use her special ability: Scorched Earth.


Note that each year, Signy will grow stronger and stronger.

The lore tree of the clan will be centered on its abilities to harrass and pressure other players.



As a reminder, next update will bring into Northgard:
  • The Clan of the Snake
  • The Skirmisher, a special melee military unit, available for all clans
  • Balance changes to the Clans and the Victories

IMPORTANT
The Clan of the Snake is a purchasable as a DLC, the rest of the update, including the Skirmisher, is a free update available to all players!


As our main concern is to be sure the community isn't devided, players who do not own the Clan of Svafnir will be able to play with and against players who do!

The Clan will be purchasable for 4.49€.
Finally, we have a release date for you: July, the 19th!


We trully hope you'll have a lot of fun playing with this clan! As we already mentionned in previous announcements, we still have A LOT of things to add to the game in terms of new Clans, new game mechanics, foes, neutral factions, etc...

We'll be back soon with more news! ;)
Northgard - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Brendan Caldwell)

darksburg-1

The axe-weilding pillagers of Northgard ought to be used to the seasons changing by now, considering it’s the crux of the wolf-killing strategy game. But a particularly harsh winter now befalls them, because all their programmer daddies and mummies are off to work on another game. Darksburg is a top-down action game for up to four players in which you ll be killing zombos instead of befriending Norse giants. We don’t know much about it, but we do know there’s a friendly, playable werewolf. (more…)

Dota 2 - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Alec Meer)

biggest-steam-games-2018

We’ve just passed the half-way point of 2018, so Ian Gatekeeper and all his fabulously wealthy chums over at Valve have revealed which hundred games have sold best on Steam over the past six months. It’s a list dominated by pre-2018 names, to be frank, a great many of which you’ll be expected, but there are a few surprises in there.

2018 releases Jurassic World Evolution, Far Cry 5 Kingdom Come: Deliverance and Warhammer: Vermintide II are wearing some spectacular money-hats, for example, while the relatively lesser-known likes of Raft, Eco and Deep Rock Galactic have made themselves heard above the din of triple-A marketing budgets. (more…)

Northgard - Brioche [Shiro]
Along with the Clan of the Snake DLC, the next update will also bring major balance changes AND a new military unit: the Skirmisher!



Available for all clans, Skirmishers are a very special melee unit that can travel around Northgard unimpaired! In neutral tiles, they are invisible to wildlife and their movement isn’t limited by the presence of adversity...
You can choose to attack wildlife whenever you want by right clicking on a Wolf, Draugr, etc...



They can run faster than other units (+20% movespeed) but be careful: the Skirmishers’ armor is made of light leather and they are more vulnerable than the rest of your army!



You can recruit Skirmishers through their Skirmisher's Camp. This building is a basic military building, you do not need to have a Training Camp to build one. Skirmishers are the cheaper than other military units.



We hope you'll have fun playing with the Skirmishers! We designed this unit to allow players to innovate and create new military tactics!

We'll be back soon with more information about next patch!
Northgard - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Matt Cox)

Northgard

The ambiguity in that headline has got me thinking about how great it’d be if Northgard‘s new clan revolved around earthworms or slugs, but sadly it isn’t to be. Along with a free update, the money-costing clan of the Snake DLC will land at some point in July. In a shocking example of stereotyping, they’ve been typecast as “the most roguish clan in Northgard’. When I was seven I couldn’t understand why everyone gave snakes such a hard time, so I wrote a story where every animal except the snake protagonist was a prick. It saddens me that society can’t seem to move on.

This update will also add a new military unit, and developers Shiro Games have been teasing their plans for future updates too. (more…)

Northgard - Brioche [Shiro]
Here is the transcription of what was said during the last AMA, hosted on Northgard TV by the very dedicated and talented Weihn8smann!



Q: Will each clan get a unique Warchief like the Wolf and Bear in the future?

Shiro Games: Some of them will have unique Warchiefs, but not all of them! I already can tell you that the Clan of the Snake will have one! Her name is Signy, and she’s got her very own way of gaining new abilities!


Q: Will each clan get a 800 (or even more) fame bonus in the future?

Shiro Games: With the release of the Clan of the Snake, we're changing a few things about the Fame Victory to rebalance it, in comparison with the Lore and other special Victories! In addition, the clan of the Snake has a particular relationship with this Victory!


Q: Who are clans balanced the most for? Casual or high level players?

Shiro Games: That’s a very interesting question! The main responsibility of our Game Designers is to find a perfect balance between casual and hard-core gamers. For example, the Clan of the Snake has very interesting gameplay mechanics that makes it very cool to play for beginner players. In parrallel, the depth of those mechanics will allow the most skilled players to experiment entirely new tactics!


Q: Make each clan more standout and unique with its own unique abilities. (Let each clan has its slogan animals as free roamers in the battlefield)

Shiro Games: Each of Northgard’s clan already have unique ways of reaching the different victories. With the already existing 6 clans, we feel like we have a well established variety of gameplay types. This allows us to focus on innovation when designing the new clans!


Q: Are you working on a spectator mode?

Shiro Games: We already started designing a spectator mode. As the game was not originally thought to include such a mode, it’s quite a challenge to integrate it! But we’re working on it! Do not expect to see it anytime soon though...


Q: Are you gonna change the improve tools mechanic?

Shiro Games: That’s a possibility! We’re going to change a lot of things in the update that will follow the Snake Update, this may well be part of these changes!


Q: Are you going to implement new building types? (for example advanced economy buildings like a bakery)

Shiro Games: Not in a Settlers king of way. We’re going to have new buildings in the future, with dedicated mechanics, but we won’t create this kind of resource transformation gameplay loops.


Q: Are you going to implement maps that are even bigger than huge maps?

Shiro Games: I don’t think so, we already have some technical issues with huge maps on lower end computers, I’m not sure adding even bigger maps would be such a great idea!


Q: Are you working on advanced chat features? (like muting people, adding them as a friend after a match)

Shiro Games: We’re working with Steam to integrate more social features into the game! Regarding the mute option, that’s completely doable, and should be available pretty soon!




Q: When can we expect a higher AI difficulty?

Shiro Games: With the Clan of the Snake, we worked a lot on the AI to adapt it to the new features we included in the game. But we also change its behavior, and more specifically while fighting. This new AI will have a more intelligent way of attacking. For example, the AI will position its Shield Bearers in the frontline to tank the Watch Towers arrows!


Q: Thoughts on adding an attack move command or other hotkeys?

Shiro Games: The attack-move button will come with the Clan of the Snake update! in addition, we’ll add more hotkeys to the game with the different updates we’ll release!


Q: Is the current Supply Lines system permanent going forward, or will there be nerfs?

Shiro Games: The Supply Lines mechanic has been created to prevent players from doing Early Rush tactics, and so far, it served its purpose. With the arrival of the next patch, this feature will be more important than ever ;-)


Q: Will unit collision become a thing in Northgard?

Shiro Games: Unit collision isn’t planned at the moment!


Q: Are you going to implement more types of units?

Shiro Games: Yes, of course! For the clan of the Snake update, we’re releasing a new military unit, the Skirmisher! This is a melee unit with high move speed but low defense. In neutral tiles, they are invisible to wildlife and their movement isn’t limited by the presence of adversity.
You can choose to attack wildlife whenever you want by right clicking on a Wolf, Draugr, etc… With this unit comes of course a new building, the Skirmisher’s camp, which is a base military building (you won’t need a training camp in order to build it)! We'll be giving you more information on this new unit in a few days...




Q: Will there be any new resources added to give the Snake clan something to be good at considering all over resources have a clan that's good at getting it.

Shiro Games: Like the Clan of the Wolf and the Clan of the Bear, the Snake does not have a particular affinity with a ressource but its gameplay is linked to its backstory! After the aggressiveness of the Wolf and the winter resistance of the Bear, the Clan of the Snake is the most roguish clan on Northgard! They’re cunning and deceitful with no regards for fame nor honor!
We tried to build the mechanics of the clan around these thematics! We’ll be unveiling this clan in the next few days!


Q: Is the new clan going to be a paid DLC?

Shiro Games: Yes, the clan of the Snake will be a paid DLC. However, the rest of the update, including the Skirmisher, will be completely free for everyone who already owns the game!




Q: Are you going to add more neutral factions, like the Jotnar, that you can befriend?

Shiro Games: Of course!


Q: What do you think about a playable non human clan? Maybe in a special gamemode?

Shiro Games: Also something we’re thinking about! it would be fun to play something else that Vikings!


Q: Any thoughts on neutral factions, both future and present, giving other bonuses/resources than Kröwns?

Shiro Games: The next neutral faction, that will come just after the Snake Update, will have a very different gameplay that what we currently have with the Kobolds and Jotnars! We also plan on changing those two factions’ gameplay mechanics at some point!



Q: Trade victory is pretty unrewarding, are you going to work on that by any chance?

Shiro Games:Yes! Trade victory is going to be improved in the Clan of the Snake update! ;)


Q: Are you planning to add more map specials or events in the game (like blizzard / earthquake / maybe rework Wyvern a bit)

Shiro Games: Of course! We already have a bunch of new event planned for future updates! Positive events are also something we're thiking about!




Q: Was Northgard Trials successful by your standards?

Shiro Games: Yes it was! We had a huge shift in our single vs multiplayer games ratio: we went from 80% single and 20% multiplayer to a close 50%-50%!


Q: Can you arrange a matchmaking system for ranked games?

Shiro Games: Matchmaking isn’t a simple thing to design, especially for a game like Northgard. We’re still not sure it’s worth the investment as we feel that the way people join games at the moment works quite well!




Q: Why is the game incredibly laggy on Mac OS? Do you have someone to test it there?

Shiro Games: We know there are a lot of issues for Mac users and we’re trying to deal with them! We’re going to add resources into solving these issue especially regarding the map generation in solo game mode. We're trully sorry about these issues :-(


Q: Better optimization to support lower end computer

Shiro Games: Northgard already run on 6 to 7 year old computers but we’re always trying to find new way to make it more optimized!




Q: Is Northgard ever gonna be free to play? Maybe separate single- and multiplayer.

Shiro Games: It’s not really an option for us at this point, as Northgard is our only running game!


Q: Is Discord Support going to be implemented? (Showing lobbysize/ time in game on discord and such)

Shiro Games: We’re working with both Steam and Discord to add more social features in the game!


Q: Are you going to support more languages? (italian and korean have specifically been asked for)

Shiro Games: We select the different languages that we add into the game depending on the potential market they represent, as localisation isn’t the cheapest thing when talking about video game development! Right now, Italy and Korea cannot be considered as the strongest potential markets…


Q: Are you going to implement a solo endless mode?

Shiro Games:That’s something that could come in a few updates!



Q: What direction do you guys want this game to go? Just a relaxed/chill game, or more in the direction of esports (fast paced)?

Shiro Games: We were always clear with the community about Northgard and eSports! The randomness that makes Northgard what it is will not be removed, and even if the balanced generation adds to the equality between player, Northgard cannot get into eSport without major changes. However, since its release in Early Access, Northgard has gained more and more Multiplayer features, and we’ll not stop investing on this aspect to make your games more fun and competitive!

Q: Is there any chance of an alternate faster-paced game mode?

Shiro Games: That’s something we’re thinking about!


Q: Is the clan of the Snake going to be the last clan added to the game?

Shiro Games: Absolutely not! We already have a lot of other clan concept that we think would be very cool!


Q: Are you guys going to introduce some new mechanics like scouts using poisons, diplomacy, water combat or religion?

Shiro Games: Poison will soon be part of the game ;)
Regarding religion, we already explored the idea and we may introduce a God worshiping clan, but I don’t think religion will ever be part of Northgard as a “resource”. Diplomacy is an aspect of the game that will be the subject a major update at some point. We feel that it’s one of the aspects that really deserve to be developed in Northgard!
Finally, regarding water combat, we would love to see that coming into the game, with multiple islands, special water tile, etc… We already tried to design something like that but right now, we still have troubles finding a true purpose for such a feature. We need to find the right way to integrate this feature!


Q: Are you going to implement more monsters or animals?

Shiro Games:Of course! The update that will follow the Clan of the Snake update will add a lot of new features, including monsters ;)


Q: Are you going to implement more islands that are part of Northgard?

Shiro Games: I fell like this would come with the “water combat” extension, which we’re thinking about!


Q: Any mythic creatures to train or control in plans? Maybe minor or major gods?

Shiro Games: Possibly!


Q: Will you consider adding whales or other creatures of the deep as a resource / fightable enemy into the game?

Shiro Games: That’s something we’re thinking about ;)



Thanks for reading this :) If you have any question about Northgard and its development, I strongly advise you to join our Official Discord [/b]
DEFCON - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Alec Meer)

An entirely objective ranking of the 50 best PC strategy games ever made, now freshened up to include everything from 2017 and 2018. From intricate, global-scale wargames to the tight thrills of guerrilla squads, the broad expanse of the genre contains something for everyone, and we’ve gathered the best of the best.

The vast majority are available to buy digitally, a few are free to download and play forever. They’re all brilliant.

(more…)

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