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Default Underworld Ascendant - Player Journey & Gameplay Improvements

February 15th, 2019, 21:27
Update 2 for Underworld Ascendant has been released.

Update 2 - Player Journey & Gameplay Improvements

15 Feb @ 9:04am - Question_505
Underworld Ascendant
Update 2 Build Notes

Thank you for your continued support of Underworld Ascendant!

We have been hard at work on Update 2 and have focused our efforts on the overall structure of the Abyss, the player journey, AI and other gameplay improvements. We believe these changes will significantly improve the overall player experience, especially when starting a new game.

We hope you enjoy this update and please continue to provide your feedback.

The Stygian Abyss renovated

  • The world is now a series of interconnected levels, accessible through The Grand Staircase. Updated quest flow now focuses on important narrative quests that highlight both new and refined story and content, while allowing the player to freely explore the environment and optional side-quests.
  • As a result of this major change, we highly recommend that you start a new game to experience it. That said, if you want to start from where you left off, your old save games will still work and you will start at a roughly similar place in the new story progression.
Player experience improvements highlights

  • Updated enemy patrol paths and lighting pass in all levels to enhance tactical stealth gameplay, and enemy population overhaul/refinements on all main quests.
  • New and streamlined story elements along main critical path, with supplemental story elements moved to explorable space.
  • The Vault of Nyx, the final level encounter, gameplay and clarity improvements.
Meta Game updates

  • The Doom Counter has been refined to better ramp the type and difficulty of creatures that appear, and now allows players to complete the game without having to set it back more than once in an average playthrough.
  • Players no longer need to gain Faction Favor or Influence to trigger the final encounter of the game, though Faction Favor still provides benefits in trade.
  • New games can now choose a difficulty level. All old save games will be treated as "Normal" difficulty.
Save Game System

We made some additional enhancements and refinements to the save game system based on your feedback:

  • Players can now use F5 to quick save and F9 to quick load said quick save.
  • Players are now asked for confirmation if they are about to overwrite an existing save.
  • Clarity pass on the text in the Save menu to improve usability.
  • Also a load game panel clarity pass. It will also now show difficulty of each save game.
AI

  • Updated enemy patrol paths and AI behavior models to improve their reaction to player actions
  • Enemies will no longer do more than one in-combat emote in a row, which makes them much more aggressive.
  • Enemies will flee less often than before.
  • Animuses now alert all nearby undead when they are being attacked.
  • Lizardmen casters will no longer cast while on the ground or getting up.
  • Lizardmen will now be more aggressive.
  • Better wandering for deep slugs and rats.
  • Skeletons will no longer attack torches that damage them. Also reduced torch damage radius for when creatures walk by them.
  • Enemies now have more personality in their idle time.
Loot and Items

  • Standard trunks are now smaller to reflect that they don't hold treasure on the level of the mighty Typhon chests. Removed the sparkly "treasure" effect when you open a trunk. Celebrations are for actual treasure chests.
  • Trunks that are too low-level to hold much loot will now (rather than being so empty) have more filler items such as pots, which will sometimes contain coins.
  • Clarity pass on item descriptions to make it easier to understand what they do.
  • Magical items now have a different color name so they stand out more in your inventory.
  • Player's speed percentage is now listed in the inventory screen so you can tell if items you have equipped are slowing you down (or speeding you up).
  • Item tooltips for equipment that improves the wearer's armor percentage now include a notation about that.
  • Updated Aelita's trade menu to make it easier to understand how much silver you will get for a trade, and how much silver Aelita has available to trade.
  • When you mouse over an item, it will be compared to the same type of item you have equipped, if any.
  • Right clicking on items in your inventory behaves the same as double clicking. This also applies to trade where it will move it to/from the offer table.
  • When moving a stack of items within their inventory, the player is no longer prompted to pick how many they like to move. To see that pop up, hold down shift and click on the stack of items.
[…]

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February 15th, 2019, 23:51
Anyone who tries it please report back if it’s worthwhile yet
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February 15th, 2019, 23:58
Originally Posted by ToddMcF2002 View Post
Anyone who tries it please report back if it’s worthwhile yet
It's the first time I haven't thrown up in my mouth while playing it.

That said, it still feels awful walking around and doing basic stuff. It's super floaty and clunky.

It does have some potential - especially now that they've changed it into a big cohesive dungeon instead of the terrible segmented one from before.

I really like the freeform skill system, where you can pretty much combine skills as you want. It's very flexible and bodes well for custom playstyles.

I guess some people like the art style, but I think it's amateur-hour. The enemies and NPCs in particular look like something out of a Bass Ranking cartoon.

Personally, I would steer clear for now.

If the next (and supposedly last) update is equally significant - then it might be worth a shot on a rainy day.

But it absolutely won't be the UU3 I was hoping for.

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February 16th, 2019, 00:58
Still waiting for my $200 boxed collector's edition… a bargain at twice the price!
UA and SotA will serve as a sad footnote to Ultima history. The bidding will start at $1.
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February 16th, 2019, 01:27
Originally Posted by Vindicator View Post
UA and SotA will serve as a sad footnote to Ultima history.
Don't forget "Lord of Ultima", and the "Ultima Forever: Quest for the Avatar" game from a few years ago. Ultima is rockin'.
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February 16th, 2019, 16:25
I'm really glad these folks didn't simply walk away from the absolute mess that the first release of this project was. I suspect a few more patches are incoming, so I'm not jumping in yet, but by the time I do I think it will be a game worth playing. As of now, based on the extra effort post-release, I no longer regret backing this particular project.
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February 17th, 2019, 14:41
Originally Posted by Vindicator View Post
Still waiting for my $200 boxed collector's edition… a bargain at twice the price!
UA and SotA will serve as a sad footnote to Ultima history. The bidding will start at $1.
I'm in the same boat… never got my boxed copy of SotA and so far haven't gotten the boxed copy for Underworld Ascendant. I don't really care about SotA at this point… that game is history as far as I'm concerned.
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