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Abandon Ship

Platform(s): PC
Genre: RPG/Strategy
Developer: Fireblade Software
Release Date: 2018

About Rainier

PC gamer, WorthPlaying EIC, globe-trotting couch potato, patriot, '80s headbanger, movie watcher, music lover, foodie and man in black -- squirrel!

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'Abandon Ship' Early Access Update Unlocks 3 New Regions And More

by Rainier on Feb. 1, 2019 @ 7:53 a.m. PST

Abandon Ship is a game where you take command of a ship and her crew, exploring a diverse, procedurally generated world, engaging in tactical combat.

Taking on quests and dealing with random events, you will end up engaging other ships in combat, having to employ their best tactics in order to out-manoeuvre and out-gun the enemy. The game focuses on “Age of Sail” ships in a Fantasy setting, framed in an Art Style inspired by classic Naval Oil Paintings.

Life on the seas is surviving on the edge; battles are hard fought, death is permanent and the world reacts to your actions. But you are the Captain; Ship destruction is not the end of your story. As long as the Captain is alive, there is always a way back to the top.

In the Shattered Empire update you can venture into three regions that have been unlocked:

  • The Howling Seas, an Arctic region constantly battered by blizzards. In battle, crew must shield themselves from being knocked down by the fierce winds.
  • The Forsaken Seas, a geologically strange area where the mountains spew toxic fumes into the air. Fighting in this poisonous fog obstructs vision as well as continually saps crew health.
  • Shattered Empire, a once prosperous region in decline. Fight ghost ships and lift the curse on a beleaguered port, choose sides in a battle over a fallen monument or break the blockade to reach a plague colony, which is the only location to acquire the new Plague Dart weapon.

In the update, you can also utilise the new ship’s compass and discover Lighthouses to aid your navigation through the world, although be wary in your choices, as the new ‘Friends and Enemies’ system may make characters return at a later point to aid you, or seek revenge for your misdeeds.

Abandon Ship is now available on Steam Early Access ($19.99 / £14.99), currently 33% off as part of a Steam Daily Deal.

Here's what you'll find in the latest update:

3 New Regions Unlocked

We’ve unlocked 3 new regions to explore:
  • Forsaken Seas
  • Shattered Empire
  • Howling Seas

These are just off the Great Founding, the region you move through to fight the Kraken.

All of these regions exhibit our ultimate goal for every map in Abandon Ship. Which is for each map to have a unique island to discover, plus a unique event / side-quest. In some cases, there will also be a modifier to combat gameplay as well. Below is a brief description of these regions, we’ll let you discover what’s in them for yourself!

Note - These regions aren’t accessible until Act 2, but don’t forget there are two quick-starts that put you at Act 2 and beyond, so if you just want to check out these regions, you can easily do so.

The Howling Seas

This arctic region is constantly battered by blizzards. Wight’s Embrace is the only port here, and the harsh environment contains some strange islands and events to discover.

In combat, blizzards will occasionally ramp up their intensity. When this happens, the crews on both ships can do nothing but shield themselves. If they pass the brace test at the apex of the storm, they can continue as normal, otherwise they’ll fall to the deck or risk being knocked overboard.

Forsaken Seas

The Forsaken Seas have always been a geologically strange area, but one fateful day the mountains began spewing toxic fumes into the air. This had a catastrophic impact and the region is largely abandoned. Although the air is something you can now survive in (for a few days, anyway), it is still a very inhospitable area. Only those wishing to pass through to other regions in a more direct route, opportunistic looters or those under the employ of the Sweethook Barons tend to be found here.

In combat, this poisonous fog obscures visibility and will continually sap the health of both crews until it reaches the red portion of the health bar.

The Shattered Empire

Bordering such hostile areas as the Forsaken Seas, Spider Islands and Cannibal Islands means this once-prosperous region is under siege.

Your intervention can have a lasting impact on the areas in this region. When you find the broken monument to the Empire which two factions are fighting over, will you help rebuild or destroy it?

Duskvale is a cursed map, haunted by Ghost Ships. Will you lift the curse or fulfil it?

You can visit the Silk Keys, the gateway to the Spider Islands, and finally there is a Plague Colony with blockades guarding each exit. Will you break through the blockade, or is there another way? Once you visit Rotholme, will you be merciful with your much-needed supplies, or turn a swift profit?

Plague Dart

Speaking of the Plague Colony, this is the only place in the world where you can acquire a new weapon – the Plague Dart.

Crew infected by this swivel gun instantly have their health capped at 66%, and anyone standing within close proximity will be infected. We’ve had great fun hitting a crew member running past their colleagues, infecting the whole ship. Combining this weapon with other anti-personnel weapons can be especially effective.

New Biome

Originally, we had 5 biome types: Arctic, Sub-Polar, Temperate, Sub-Tropical and Tropical. As my thoughts turn to the more Southerly regions in the game, I felt that Sub-Tropical and Tropical didn’t offer enough distinction from one another. We’ve therefore merged these two island types into Tropical, in order to make room for an “Arid” biome. This offers a nice visual difference from anywhere else, and has a hot, Mediterranean vibe to it.

You’ll notice this region just south of the Temperate areas.

Exploration Systems

We’ve added a couple of new systems that aid navigation and provide more of a sense of purpose to general explortation.

Lighthouse

The first of these is the Lighthouse. These Empire-era buildings not only provide a high vantage point, but they are also stocked with maps of the local area.

Visiting one of these will uncover the fog of war in that map, and due to their height, are clearly visible from afar.

This means when you enter a map, the fog of war around them is already revealed, so by checking the pulled-out map view and spotting a lighthouse, you can sail directly to it.

Compass

No Captain would take to the sea without a compass, and this acts as an arrowhead around the ship that points to undiscovered points of interest.

That means even without a lighthouse, you’ll have something pointing you toward points of interest you haven’t yet discovered, so no more hunting down that last icon hidden in an unrevealed corner!

Friends and Enemies

As you play Abandon Ship and make decisions in events, you’ll now notice some will display a new piece of UI, explaining that you have made a Friend or Enemy.

Life on the seas is tough, so people live their lives by one mantra: A debt must be repaid.

If you go around helping people, they will eventually come back and repay the debt by their own act of kindness. Similarly, being more piratical and not helping those in desperate situations will earn enemies that could return for revenge.

Once created by your actions, these acquaintances will be in the world, and if they return the message box will provide the context to help you recall the choice that led to this particular encounter.

Of course, not all will return. For example, not picking up a Castaway may make them an enemy, but they may also not survive the situation – as in real life, you won’t know, unless of course they one day crop up for revenge.

Equally, you may make decisions that create friends or enemies without you knowing about them – perhaps liberating a port from the Cult resulted in a locals loved one being killed, and they blame you for it?

New Languages

Our team of community translators are busy working through the text, and the first languages have been implemented: Russian, Spanish and Brazilian Portuguese.

To activate them, follow these steps:
  • Right click on a game from the Steam game library and choose Properties.
  • Go to the Language tab
  • Select the language you wish to use from the drop-down menu

Not every line has been translated yet, but we’ll keep updating them to get full coverage.

German is likely to be the next language ready. Simplified Chinese, French and Dutch are in our plans but no ETA on those yet.

In case you were wondering, we choose our languages through a combination of willing translators and Wishlists + sales we get from specific countries.

Building for the Future

After we visited The Haunted Seas in our last update, we took the opportunity to make some infrastructural changes, because the more content we added, the more pressure this was putting on minimum spec machines (like mine!). Something that would have only got worse with future updates. This work is crucially important, as it’ll put us in a good position for adding everything else in the game. You should see memory usage come down, and it should be faster to get into the main menu when you boot the game.

As mentioned near the start of this post, this work included huge optimisations to our save file system. This will be useful for implementing Cloud Save support.

Other Stuff

We've done a bunch of other cool stuff as well, which are encapsulated here:

End of battle Improvements

Crew now cheer when they’ve won a battle, which helps positively reinforce your victory, and there are multiple new ways enemy ships will now sink. We added this last one because it’s something you see a lot, so we felt variety helped keep it fresh.

Exploration Improvements

A raided or blocked trade route will now increase prices at their connected port – so you’ve got a choice when spending money there. Do you take care of the trade route to save money, or if you’re desperate for repairs, do you take the financial hit?

Similar to the gold chests floating in the sea, we now have “Hull Repair” flotsam. These repair your ship hull a small amount when you collect them.

Major Balancing

We’ve generally made it faster to get through maps by making actions that didn’t previously count towards gate opening now do so. This is stuff like dealing with pirate discount ships, Sea Forts and ships on trade routes.

Alongside this, we’ve nudged down the amount of events needed to get through Region 1 maps, so in general the game moves along at a faster pace now.

Old Crew

Each crew member can have an “old” variant. There’s no gameplay difference (yet, it’s something I’m considering) but it was a fun way to give your crew a bit more character.

Technical Stuff

We’ve added support for 5:4 and 4:3 aspect ratios. Previously this only allowed the choice of 16:9, resulting in lower resolution choices for people with 5:4 or 4:3 monitors.

We’ve also added Discord Rich Presence, so your Discord friends should see details of what you’re doing in-game.

If you want to join our Discord server, the link is here.

Key Features

  • Tactical and Savage Combat. Each battle is hard-fought, always on the edge of defeat. Your only chance of overcoming the odds is to employ every advantage you can and utilise all the tools at your disposal.
  • Ship Destruction is not the End. Life in the world of Abandon Ship can be brutal. Death is permanent. But the game doesn’t end if your vessel is destroyed. You are the Captain, and as long as the Captain is alive, there is always hope. By escaping to a Lifeboat, or even being stranded, alone in the water, there is still a chance to survive and fight your way back to the top.
  • Explore a procedurally generated world from Tropics to Arctics. Engage in quests or deal with incidental events on your journey to save the world from a Doomsday Cult.
  • A Personal Adventure. Customise and upgrade your Captain, Ship and Crew. Build yourself to be worthy of any foe, whether that be human or otherwise. But be prepared to make moment-to-moment life-or-death decisions for you and your crew.
  • Take on adventures in a world that reacts to your actions. Quests may drastically change the environment. Make decisions that create friends or enemies that may later come back to help or hinder you.

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