Thea 2: The Shattering Preview
Thea 2: The Shattering is the sequel to Thea: The Awakening and introduces several new elements and changes, but it remains to be a turn-based isometric hybrid role-playing/survival/strategy/card-game.
In contrast to the first Thea game, you will start without a village and you not required to have one either. You still get to grow your party of characters and explore with multiple teams and do all that without a base. You can however have a village if you want and can even have a couple of villages, but it will not be like Civilization where you get to build an entire empire.
There will be factions and every faction can provide you with quests and trade opportunities as long as you haven't made an enemy out of them. For this there is a friendship counter with each of the factions that determines how they feel about you and can change, based on your actions.
As the world of Thea has been shattered into pieces (hence the name of the game), there will be a number of islands that you will need to travel to and for that, you are able to travel by boat now. The islands will have different biomes, where you can harvest the materials matching the biomes of that island.
In Thea: The Awakening, children were items that grew over time and came available at some point in time as a member of your village. This has changed and children are now characters, who can be assigned to tasks. They are however limited in what they can do and what you can equip them with. They could participate in challenges but they can carry not that much armor and use only a sword and shield. They can also be assigned to gathering resources. The developers are thinking about giving them a specific skill that is specific for children, but that is not defined yet. As children they will grow up, for that a counter is used, which is seeded randomly, so that the children will become adults at different times. Just like in Thea, becoming an adult involves a ritual which has a chance for the child to die, or become stronger.
Another change is that Thea 2 will be a co-op game from the start, although it is optional, so you can play it completely solo. At the moment they think it will be probably 3 people that can participate in a co-op session, but that has not been determined yet. This allows you to explore and quest the world of Thea 2 together with others, but also the card-game that is used in challenges can be played together. However, as none of that was available at of this time, I don't know how that exactly works.
The challenges have changed quite a bit. There are now three types of challenges: mental, physical and spiritual and they still use a card game, but the card game itself has become more tactical and after using it, I must say that I like it a lot more compared to the card game in the first Thea game (which I skipped at a certain time and just auto-resolved most of the challenges). For me it made more sense now and the challenge was more tactical as well, giving the new options that were available. In combat you get 4 preparation phases and in each phase it is shown how many actions points you get for this phase (which is either 1 or 2 as far as I can see). You have a card for each of the characters in your team. Each card will show what the action point cost is for using that card and what skills are available, some of these skills will need additional action points in order to use them. Once you played your card and used up your actions point you end the turn and the opponent will play. In a next preparation phase you can play a new card or you can play the same card as you used in a previous phase. However, a card remains to represent a single person, so it doesn't matter which of the cards of the same character is later on attacked by the opponent, it will damage the same character. What you get from playing a card twice, is that the character can do two attacks in one round.
This repeats itself until all phases are completed and the actual challenge will start and the battle begins. The battle is played in two phases. After the first phase you can define again which card will attack which card of the opponent.
As mentioned, there are three type of challenges. If you have a spiritual challenge, the fighter in your group isn't going to be of much use and if you have a physical challenge your shaman has less use. Even though some characters might not be good at a certain type of challenge, a shaman could offer supporting services, like summoning a demon, or in another situation a character could offer buffs to the characters in the field, which makes them supporting characters.
What remains the same is that you get experience even if you don't win a battle, so you will always end a playing session with more experience. Also unchanged is that you have to select a deity from the start, which will level up as you play. When leveling up you get access to god skills and once you reach a certain level other deities will become available as well for you to choose.
You now get to level up characters in your team and select which one to level up and what new skills that character will learn.
The complete user interface had a complete overhaul and while using it when playing the game, it did look a lot better, even though it took some time to find everything, but it is definitely a much cleaner design.
There are various changes that can be found while going through those screens, like additional resource materials, new equipment and the option to design your own recipes using resources you might not even have at this point in time.
Despite the changes in the user interface, the exploration part of the game is for the most part the same as Thea: The Awakening. What is different now though, is that if you really don't want to bother with villages, you and your characters can become a band of nomads instead. If you do want to have a village you will need a god object, which will allow you to start a village. It has not been decided yet if this will be given to people from the start, needs to be found, or needs to be crafted. Once you have the object you can choose where to locate the village. For a second village you need a second object that you can craft, but it will cost a lot of resources to do so. The developers could not say much more about this as the village part was not done yet and some things have not been decided yet, but what they did say is that they are trying to reduce the micro management of a village.
Encounters in the game are still preceded by choices you can make on whether or not you want to start a fight. But now in Thea 2, you can, in some cases, decide what kind of fight (physical, mental or spiritual) it will be. Sometimes you can also have the option to flee the fight or use one of your abilities to convince the other party to not fight (which will work if your levels are good enough).
Thea 2 will allow you to create your own encounters and there will be modding tools as well, so you can change the behavior of the game.
In November 2018 the game will be available in Early Access, with a planned release of the first quarter in 2019, where they want to incorporate the feedback of the fans. Personally I think Thea 2: The Shattering promises to be an improvement over its predecessor and is certainly a game I look forward to playing to find out if it indeed fulfills that promise.
If you want to have a feeling of how the game plays, you can check out the following gameplay demo:
Information aboutThea 2: The Shattering
Developer: MuHa Games
SP/MP: Single + MP
Regions & platforms
· Platform: PC
· Expected at 2019-02-15
· Publisher: MuHa Games