Dev Update #16: Experiments, Creations, and Dreams
Posted on December 8th, 2022 08:12 AM EST
Welcome, Vampires, to another peek inside the Stunlock Studios crypts! Today we drag to light a bit of what we’re working on and give you a taste of some of the patchwork creations we’re assembling for our first big content update, a free expansion that will be released in 2023. No date has been set, and we still have many months of work as some of these features require major re-works. We know your hunger for new blood and content is strong, and we want to thank everyone for being patient and believing in us. Your trust in V Rising will be well rewarded! Further down, we get into some game design talk, directly addressing some community suggestions we’ve observed over the Early Access so far.
Keep in mind these are only going to be some of what we’re working on, not everything! Also, know that all of what you read is subject to change. We feel it’s crucial to remain flexible and have the ability to let go of our precious pet projects in favor of ones that will ultimately be better for the game and the players.
An idea bubbling away, hoping to be born.
By far, the most requested feature in the game has been multiple floors. The vision of a dark silhouette on the cliff-side, tall and spearing the sky with towers, easily takes a Vampire’s imagination to an entire world of possibilities. One cannot help but dream of a mansion, a maze of rooms stacked atop a maze of rooms, opulent and seemingly endless.
A dream, certainly, but a difficult one to achieve in Vardoran! The technical limitations have proven challenging, and as a result, Vampires are confined to sprawling castles that get their height from building uphill, but it isn’t quite the same. The vertically challenged nature has also led to some design issues. If every castle needs to be spread flat and wide, they take up quite a lot of room. This makes it harder to fit more castles into the map and also populates the landscapes so that it’s more choked with castles.
If castles could be a bit taller instead of wider, it would allow more castles; or maybe it could let us set up castles to have a bit more distance between them, allowing them to feel more unique and secluded. This would better meet the vampire fantasy and allow players to grow just that much closer to making the stronghold of their dreams. It would allow for more creative building, variation, and ways to make your castle unique from your contemporaries. With this in mind, we’ve been dreaming of a future with a bit more verticality.
Or, well. We’ve been experimenting.
Those experiments have been… fruitful so far. Early prototyping of Castle floors.
It’s taken a lot of hard work, dark sorcery, human sacrifices, animal sacrifices, and the third kind of sacrifice that I am not legally allowed to disclose, but we’ve made a lot of progress in making this vision tangible.
The castle is such an important part of the V Rising experience and, in so many ways, reflects our journey in their quest to conquer Vardoran. Adding a new axis to this system offers a radical change to building and spending time in your dark domain. We’re excited to keep pushing the bounds of what we’re capable of in V Rising so that we can put it in your hands so you can unleash your creativity.
Will we see multiple floors in the upcoming expansion? That’s our goal, and we’re doing our best to make that happen! Even if it’s still a bit too early for promises, we’re now much more confident that you will be able to build the castle of your dark dreams in 2023.
Our vision of Vardoran is greater than its current incarnation, and there’s plenty to do in terms of expanding the current world and player journey. We’re excited to give some love to the areas you’re already familiar with, bringing them to life by adding things like new enemy types, visual updates, and interesting variations to the terrain.
Visual updates! The Quartz is shining stronger than ever.
New areas with heavy Quartz deposits.
Work in progress: A master glassmaker artisan in her shop.
We want the areas to feel more distinct and alive, and there’s plenty of room to keep iterating to make them better and more interesting in ways that are both cosmetic and tied to gameplay. On your journey to the new biome, you will also stumble into a couple of newly arrived and highly dangerous V Blood bosses in existing areas.
New V Blood to hunt! New powers to grow!
New mysterious enemies are luring behind the corner.
New challenges await. Concept of a new foe.
We’re making changes to the current zones, some in smaller ways, some very noticeable. One concept we’re working on and hoping to introduce is the “Marketplace,” which will be a series of trading stations present throughout the settled zones that serve as hubs for Vampires to spend their hard-earned coins.
A first idea and early concept of a Wagon Vendor.
Expanding on trade functionally and adding markets gives an option for players to be able to spend their coins on a host of ever-changing goods, allowing them to find other avenues for acquiring rare goods. This could be something as simple as gems that haven’t been dropping or something as rare and complicated as a weapon recipe. Or maybe you just really want drapes! Who doesn’t love a good drape?
While the function of these marketplaces serves the same purpose, you need to approach them differently as a creature of the night. In Farbane, nobody cares how strangely pale you are as long as you don’t start any trouble, while in Dunley, you need to disguise yourself to get a deal done.
We’re also working on a very exciting system, currently called “Jewels,” to improve our gameplay depth and combat. Players will be able to find or craft Jewels to unlock new perks for their spells, making ability customization even more personal. Jewels will allow players to create stronger combos when pairing spells by allowing you to apply and consume various spell-school-specific effects into even stronger effects or triggering explosions, novas, forking projectiles, and more.
With the addition of jewels, we are also updating and working on all spell schools. Every school will have a unique effect that is more consistently tied to the school - Blood spells will be able to place a life-leech debuff, Unholy will allow you to summon more undead creatures in various ways, and so on.
You can expect updates and tweaks across the board on all spell schools. Our ambition is to create a more dynamic and varied spell system allowing for more combos and different play-styles while also adding a slice of randomization to new item types to make equipment more dynamic and varied - and thus creating more incentive for looting, trading, and raiding! Not only are we adding customization options for existing spells, but we’re also adding a brand new spell school, more about this in a future dev blog!
Work in progress Jewel system and UI updates!
Maybe you are more of an adventurous Vampire. Maybe you’re interested in exploring something totally new. Something unique that we’ve not even seen a hint of yet in Vardoran?
Through the wilderness, ways are being opened to new lands! In the expansion, we will be enlarging the world and giving you new soil to tread, unlike anything you’ve seen in the world of V Rising. Prepare to be tested in new ways, explore new technology, and tap into the blood memory of a whole new area to add to your vampiric repertoire of talents, magics, and so much more. We will reveal more about this region and its wicked secrets in the coming months!
V Rising is a large game with many overlaying systems. With a combination of player feedback and our observations, we’ve set sights on a plethora of improvements for the upcoming expansion. From quality of life to quality of unlife to raw gameplay, we’re doing our best to cover as much as possible, making sure this will be a massive update more than worth the wait.
There are still ideas and concepts we’re unsure will make it into the game. Some of these we’re taking steps towards implementing already, but others are still very much in the incubation stage. With that in mind, we’re more than happy to crack open our heads so you can get a little glimpse into what we’re thinking about…
One of the things we’re targeting is inventory and inventory management within your castle. There has been a lot of feedback regarding frustrations and ideas around what you can carry on you and how to efficiently store your goods, especially in relation to crafting stations. This is completely natural for a survival crafting game and a huge part of the gameplay.
I know I put my potions in one of these.
We’re now looking at a host of improvements! Still, it’s important that we not simplify or dumb down the sorting and organization of your inventory to the point of making it irrelevant. For many players, it feels great to arrange everything into the perfect place and create elaborate and extensive systems to organize it all.
We do have a long list of “wishlist features,” things we wish to resolve with time but not sure if it will make it into the first content patch. Things like seeing your clock in your coffin or giving more benefits to the coffin-like health recovery! Not being able to see through enemy walls with the fade-out system is on the fix list, as well as reworking the way servers tell time so that time can pass while your private servers aren’t running, allowing vampires to log off while their servants go on fetch missions.
There are also lots of smaller improvements on our wishlist to add to the immersion of the game, little feel-good things like being able to sit in chairs, turn your lights on and off, name your castle, place signs, and being able to interact with your servants in more casual ways. We also hope to look into fun things like interesting building diversity, secret doors, and passageways! There’s a heck of a list, and we’re adding to it all the time! We’re always looking for opportunities in production to slip them in where we can around the larger-scale content we’re focused on.
I will make you KNEEL, Gerald.
Everyone must understand that with such a massive swath of changes to the world of Vardoran, it will be impossible to update an old save with the upcoming patch and remain consistent. For this reason, we want to make sure it’s understood that to play on the newest version of V Rising after a huge content update like the one we’re planning for 2023, it will require being played on an entirely fresh world.
A New Dark Beginning.
This means that regardless of PvE or PvP, Official V Rising servers will have to wipe and reset to apply the new patch. Servers that did not wipe before will continue to only do so for major patches, but it needs to happen at least once to update the new map and all the changes that come with it. This will be the case for your private servers as well if you want to play on the latest version of the game.
We hope you enjoyed a little taste of what’s in the works and planning for the future. With multiple floors revolutionizing the way building work in the game, a new and expansive biome to explore, improvements and new experiences in every region, a horde of new enemies to slay, more weapons and abilities to master, and more systems to enhance and advance the way you play, 2023 is looking like an excellent year to be a Vampire!
Let us know what you think about what’s coming, as your feedback has been essential to fine-tuning our vision for the future of V Rising. To keep up to date with V Rising and our ongoing development, as well as share your thoughts with us, follow us on our socials below!
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Lots of love and a pint of blood,
/The Marketing Team