It has been a long year refining the dark arts of necromancy! With a constant flow of insightful feedback and reports, we fixed a lot of things that weren’t working and polished a lot of things that were rough.
Let’s look back at all the features that were developed through early access and see what The Unliving 1.0 now offers, which we finally released on October 26!
Throughout our early access phase, we've listened intently to your feedback, refining gameplay mechanics, improving the progression system of our PRG necromancer game, and tailoring the experience to serve our players' needs and preferences. Let’s dive into these enhancements.
The first major gameplay feedback we received was about how diverse our players wanted to be — some wanted the game harder, and some wanted it easier. So, adding a difficulty menu was our first step to making The Unliving more customizable and finely tuned for different playstyles.
After many requests for customization, Binding Crucible was delivered. This station in the Necromancer Citadel brought a new progression system and diversity of playstyles, letting you choose what you want, from world-shattering powerful spells, unstoppable mighty hulks of undead, or a one-man-army, Necromancer himself.
The Binding Crucible received a positive response from our community, bringing necessary progression to our necromancer RPG. In response to requests to expand its capabilities within the runs and to keep the gameplay dynamic and diverse, we introduced the Necromantic Power system. Now, by resurrecting enemies, the Necromancer receives upgrades that can shift the gameplay during the run, depending on the vagaries of fate and your mood.
With the Necromancer power curve increased, all enemies were revised and rebalanced. In response to your feedback, many spells that were deemed weak and sub-optimal were also rebalanced and buffed to match the overall balance properly.
Also, to ensure challenges remain in later stages, we introduced the Vow of Deicide. This system activates after defeating the final boss for the first time, offering increased difficulty levels with corresponding rewards and resource boosts for each new challenge.
Many of the suggestions we received were about horde behavior. Striking a balance for these undead creatures was a difficult puzzle to solve. It was a fine balance between making them tame enough to retreat when needed, aggressive enough to attack when needed, and, at the same time, avoid lagging when in high numbers.
We tuned them in every patch, added features like aggressive dash to melee units, and came up with the High Undead system.
This system became our way to let the Necromancer raise everyone in his way and accumulate unlimited power, but simultaneously keep the army on screen manageable and not so laggy.
Through the High Undead system, when the undeads exceed set limits, they automatically merge into a stronger unit. The strength and limit of these undead units can be altered during the Necromancy Power upgrades, in the Binding Crucible, and at the Throne of Ascension, where players can also choose between larger armies or a more elite, compact squad.
A lot of you communicated that some parts of the progress systems weren’t clear, and the usefulness of some upgrades was questionable. To resolve this, the most confusing parts were made to be achievement-based.
To address other cases of confusion, the interface of Throne of Ascension was remade, the description for a lot of abilities was rewritten, and loading screen tips and pop-up windows with information were added.
The top requested feature was to have easier navigation, and we provided a tool for it! With the Necromancer Divination, players can use a radar that displays points of interest around the Necromancer and their direction. This tool also provides a pointer to the main path leading to the location's boss.
In The Unliving 1.0, we focused mainly on making the game as bug-free as possible and finishing the story of the Necromancer. Let’s delve into the specifics of what this update brings.
To make the game more manageable on controllers, there is now a mode of aim-assist and auto-aim in the options menu.
There is also a final boss battle now, and everything that is connected to bosses:
And these are final spells, so they are of godlike power!
Necromancer will finally meet the ultimate foe, will have the opportunity to fix everything and become who he always wanted to be.
That’s not it! After the curtain falls — there will be more. For those most dedicated, where one is not enough, they can experience the second ending.
A plethora of narrative objects are scattered around the world and in the Necromancer citadel. Some of them contain flavor texts, and some of them can be useful tips on how the world of Unliving functions.
And a ghost-cat now lives there.
As dedicated fans of the necromancy theme, we always wondered — why is such a beautiful niche so empty? There are only just a handful of necromancer RPG games! Only after a tremendous amount of design and code challenges, we kind of understood why. It turned out that making a unique undead version to every living enemy is pricy, the attempt of making good, controllable and unlimited horde is geometrically impossible, and perfecting horde AI is just plain hard for a small team.
We aimed to make The Unliving the best necromancer RPG game there ever could be, and although it is not quite there, a lot of things can be more necromantic in theory. But I promise you — it is the most necromantic game that exists for now, and we are glad that we made this. We are extremely grateful for everyone’s support, and for those who stayed with us for the long journey, from early beta versions to the 1.0 Unliving we are releasing!