For this weeks post I thought I’d talk a little about ships and the cargo hauling system currently being implemented into Tales. Ships are already available for purchase in the currently released version, but they aren’t really that great. Next version, 0.1.8, aims to add a whole new level of complexity to the ships; cargo hauling. This means that you can purchase goods in one region, and sell it in another for more, or in some cases less, gold based on the demand and availability of the cargo. At the end there’s also some information about other new features coming in 0.1.8 that you can look forward to.
How do I trade?
Very simple. In most towns of a certain size you find near the coast, there will be a Warehouse which you can enter and talk to a trader.
Before you enter though, you must make sure that your ship is docked in the town you wish to purchase from or sell to. You can still browse what the have to sell, but you cannot purchase anything if the ship isn’t docked.
If you still haven’t purchased a ship, this can be done in Fiks right next to the Warehouse. Convenient, yeah? After 0.1.8 goes live, the price of ships will be increased, so you should get there as soon as possible to get it for cheap.
Buying and selling
Once you’re inside and ready to spend some gold, talk to the trader inside. This will bring up the following window.
On this screen you can browse the cargo available. Click an item to learn more about the value and its weight. Your ship can only hold a certain amount of weight, to prevent sinking. This can be upgraded at the Ship Brothers, a new workshop in the town of Clearwater east of Fiks.
Some items will be more valuable in other regions, such as Timber being very valuable on Ceth, and Wool in Usmor. You’ll have to experiment on your own to find the other combinations that work.
So far there’s 24 different items you can purchase, with more being added at a later time.
Another new mechanic for ships that’s coming in 0.1.8 is the ability to hire crew members to work for you on your ship. Crew members have jobs which they will fulfill, such as mate, cleaning, cook and cannon shooting. For 0.1.8 only the Mate job will be available, which lets you use your ship for fast traveling between ports that you’ve already visited. Without having a crew members in this job you have to sail there yourself. Planned for 0.1.9 is piracy mechanics, allowing you to board ships, take loot and gain notoriety as a pixel pirate. Yarr!
Crew members can be found in taverns and sometimes through quests. So far there’s only three that’s available. Same as with the cargo hauling, your ship needs to be docked in the port where the crew member you wish to hire is located.
What else is new?
It’s been a long time since the last post, and my activity on Twitter has been lacking a lot. I have however been working hard on systems for the game. Some of the new things you can find/see/do in 0.1.8 include the following stuff:
Do tasks, get XP, show your friends how great an adventurer you are. So far there’s 30 achievements you can unlock for doing various things. Explore all the capital cities, complete x amount of quests, cook some food, craft an item, rent a bed and so forth. Many of them are rather simple tasks, but unlocking achievements is still fun, right?
New map screen
We can all agree that the old map screen wasn’t all that good, using premade tiles in a grid with different graphics to display the type of map it is. Below is a very old screenshot of how maps used to be. Not really optimal for a huge world, is it?
Now instead, the map screen looks like this
The new map screen has several useful features, such as showing icons for shops and points of interest in maps you’ve explored, zooming in/out, custom markers and panning. The top right text is the current region you’re in, while the empty box next to it tells you the name of the town/area you’re currently hovering with the finder (dark brown circle in the middle). The map graphic isn’t complete yet, as you can probably tell, but it’s a nice indication of what to expect (just pretend it’s done).
As I mentioned, you can also place custom markers/notes on the map wherever you want with a unique color to it. Now it’s much easier to remember the position of those bandits that keep killing you or a dungeon you’re too low level for.
A new skill system is being implemented, allowing your character to get better at a variety of life skills such as Smithing, Cooking, Herblore, Archery and Mining. Currently only the skills related to Crafting and Gathering have been implemented, as the combat ones will take a bit more considering balancing and all that jazz. On the right you can see a small preview of the current skills in the game.
When you look at it you can also see that there’s 5 columns with Levels in them. Once you reach this level in the skill, a new perk is unlocked for it. These are still subject to be changed, but I’m happy with most of the ones that are currently in. As you can see, if you want to smith armor, you’ll have to increase your smithing skill rather high. Makes sense right, since it’s (probably) much easier to forge a sword than it is to forge armor. I haven’t done it myself, but it makes sense. Same goes for all the other crafting skills. You gotta crawl before you can walk.
As part of the bug smashing process, interfaces have received a complete overhaul. Performance in many cases have improved, and navigating them is much easier. Previously when scrolling down your item list, the selector would jump over to the category selector at the top, which is no longer the case. In all interfaces with a category selector (the thin buttons near the top of a list) can now be changed by using A and D (or whatever buttons you bind to move your character Left and Right), or clicked with the mouse. Gamepad support is also improved, taking use of the bumper and trigger buttons for navigating categories and interfaces.
The quest log has been broken for a while, but not any more. In 0.1.7 the names will often be wrong, and clicking a quest can bring up the wrong quest description. This is no longer a problem. How I even let this slip through I don’t want to think about.
Calling out for NPCs
Don’t you just hate it when you’re following an NPC and they keep walking faster than you or out of range so you can’t catch up with them? This is no longer a problem, at least in Tales of Astya. Now you can press the X key on your keyboard to shout for an NPC to stop and wait for you for a few seconds. This is still early, but it works. The plan is to make it a bit more context sensitive, so that if you’re calling for a guard your character says different things than he/she would to a regular person.
When is 0.1.8 coming out!?
Hard to say, but it shouldn’t be long. I have ironed out most of the bugs that I’ve been able to find and that have been reported. The one thing that has taken up the most amount of time and I’m not yet done with is updating the Uspya region to use the new dialog system with portraits and animations. It’s getting there though, and I reckon at least 80% of the dialog has been converted.
That’s all for now. To get the latest news, follow me on Twitter. I’ve also started streaming some of the development over on Twitch, you should stop by some time! It’s a good time and lets you see some of the inner workings of the game being made.