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Vagrus: The Riven Realms - All News

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Wednesday - June 09, 2021
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Wednesday - June 09, 2021

Vagrus: The Riven Realms - Crew Combat

by Hiddenx, 21:28

Learn more about crew combat in Vagrus: The Riven Realms:

Devlog #50 | The Fate of the Foe Post Crew Combat

As we teased in our latest devlog post about Mercenary Tasks, we have extended Crew Combat with a new feature: you can decide how to deal with the enemy from now on following a victorious battle.

The option appears on the Crew Combat UI at the end of the fight opposite your heal options provided that your enemy surrendered (remember, only humanoids can), fled, or retreated but you caught some of them while pursuing them.

Your options are:

Recruit: Depending on their willingness to join, this results in a few fighters, scouts, or workers to be added to your ranks. That, of course, will not sit too well with your existing crew who have fought them just moments ago, and the result is Morale loss. It's also considered to be a 'kind' action and certain companions may like or dislike it for the same reason.

Conscript: Somewhat similar to Recruit, except joining is not voluntary, and so in this case, neither your existing crew nor the newly added members are happy about it, leading to an even more significant Morale drop.

Enslave: Instead of joining as free crew members, all surviving enemies are pushed into slavery. As expected, a massive drop in Obedience accompanies this decision.

Release: Once you stripped the foe of their valuables, you set them free. It may sound kind but in fact, it's a relatively cruel decision given the dangers of the wasteland.

Execute: This is a drastic measure that is considered 'malevolent' and brings no benefits since the valuables of the enemy have been turned over anyway at the time they surrendered or got caught.

Imprison: The last one is an option that players will only see when they have an active Mercenary Task to capture such enemies (be them bandits or other faction rivals). Hence the timing of us implementing this feature alongside Mercenary Tasks.

These expanded options provide further incentive, strategic depth, and even immersion to Crew Combat encounters and we hope you'll like them and provide us with the usual valuable feedback.

Stay tuned, stay safe, and conquer the wasteland!

The Lost Pilgrims Team

Friday - June 04, 2021

Vagrus: The Riven Realms - More on Mercenary Task Design

by Myrthos, 08:21

In Devblog #49 for Vagrus, the information sharing on mercenary task design is continued.

In Part I. of our breakdown of Mercenary Tasks, we discussed what this new kind of gameplay element brings to Vagrus, how it works, and began describing the types implemented in the current build. Now it is time to delve into the rest of the Mercenary Task Types.

Escort

This type is a classical RPG task: take someone (or several people) to a location and protect them on the way there. There are simpler variants - usually lower level Tasks - where you have to take them between settlements. In contrast to most regular passengers, these have known enemies hunting them, so an attack during your journey is almost certain - with several attempts at higher Task levels.

Losing Crew Combat against the attackers fails the Task. A future update would change this so that certain passengers can be killed and then these Escort Tasks will indeed focus on keeping them alive in the fight.

A more difficult variant is where the passenger's destination is out in the wasteland and once you take them there, you need to wait until they finish their business, then escort them to their final goal.

Abduct and Rescue

These types are the opposites sides of the same coin in some respects. Both would have you find a location in the wasteland, win a battle there, be joined by a passenger whom you need to take to their destination. The biggest difference is that the passengers do not join you voluntarily in Abduct Tasks, of course.

Both types carry the risk of being attacked on the way to the final destination as the foe tries to recapture the passenger.

[...]

Wednesday - May 26, 2021

Vagrus: The Riven Realms - The Smolderbone Region

by Myrthos, 16:13

In Devlog #48 the new Smolderborne Region gets some attention.

One of the latest content updates (Patch 0.5.30 Codename: Brimstone and Bones) brought with it a spacious region to explore, the most prominent part of which are the Smolderbone Flats. Players who took the 'Pilgrims of the Wasteland' standalone story for a spin surely recognize this place, as it was an important location in that story. And yet you will find that much has changed since your last visit, with 10 years passing, allegiances shifting, and new threats rising.

Companionship

One of the most important additions is a new companion you can hire to serve in your comitatus. It is none other than Skornar, the kingpin and former marauder who ran a gang of smugglers in 'Pilgrims of the Wasteland'. What trouble did he get himself into? You will have to find out for yourself.

Skornar is a stout man who can take quite a beating despite his age, but he can also dish out one. His shield and armor allow for a defensive play-style enhanced by his ability to retaliate against attackers. He's also a veteran traveler, marauder captain, and lover of tall tales. He'll most likely fit right in.

Avernum

Avernum itself is home to the private army called the Avernus Legion and its master, the Prefectus. Although Imperial in name and culture for the most part, the city has always been fairly independent. And with the sources of attainable ore in this metal-starved world, as well as the blacksmiths to work it into weapons and tools, Avernum has become a power in its own right, overshadowing all but the greatest of Imperial cities.

Should you not be drawn to the metallurgists and forges, worry not. Avernum has other services and attractions for enterprising travelers, such as the Carpenters' Guild's headquarters, the Imperial arena, or the odd but certainly very powerful mage who set up shop here decades ago.

[...] 

 

Saturday - May 22, 2021

Vagrus: The Riven Realms - Patch 0.6

by Myrthos, 13:57

Patch version 0.6.0.0, codenamed Conquest and Dissonance, for Vagrus has been released.

it's been a long time coming but finally Mercenary Tasks are live in today's build. These not only add a ton of variation and replayability but also go a long way in softening up story content and allow the running of a combat oriented

comitatus

for players. Fair warning, though: just like none of the other income sources work by themselves, Mercenary Tasks do not either. Combine them with Trade Tasks, passengers, and stories, with an emphasis on whichever you prefer over the others.

Mercenary Tasks are received from factions. Each faction is unique when it comes to the ratio of Trade and Mercenary Tasks you can get from them as well as the type of mercenary contracts they hand out. Enemies in these missions can be almost any kind, from beasts to outlaws and Undead - even the mercenaries of other factions.

It's perhaps good to clarify here that major changes to Point of Interests on the campaign map (like razing a settlement) are always the result of an active choice by players in story-lines and not Mercenary Tasks. Mercenary tasks are similar to Trade Tasks: both are repeatable, procedurally generated options that influence Faction relations and serve as a way to earn money. Accordingly, they always involve locations out in the wasteland on unnamed nodes.

[...]

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Tuesday - May 18, 2021

Vagrus: The Riven Realms - Devlog #47

by Hiddenx, 17:19

In devlog #47 we can learn more about the mercenary task design of Vagrus: The Riven Realms:

Devlog #47 | Mercenary Task Design Part I.

The Riven Realms, the setting of Vagrus, is a harsh, violent place. Up until now, many players have felt that their ventures are the primary targets of this cruelty but with Mercenary Tasks, you will have the opportunity to return the favor. This facet of gameplay has been in the works since we began developing Vagrus
, and it not only adds a ton of variation and replayability but also goes a long way in softening up story content. Along with the branching story and trading, we consider mercenary work as one of the three pillars that hold up the game. Of course, we leave it to players which facet they want to concentrate on at times in each playthrough. Mercenary Tasks even allow for a completely combat-oriented gameplay, concentrating on forging a warband from your comitatus.

Mercenary Tasks are received from factions. Their orientation influences the ratio of Trade versus Mercenary Tasks with a given faction and also the type of mercenary contracts they hand out. Enemies in these missions can be almost any kind, from beasts to outlaws and Undead - even the mercenaries of other factions.

[...]

 

Monday - May 10, 2021

Vagrus: The Riven Realms - Devlog #46

by Hiddenx, 19:05

Some Quality of Life changes have been devoloped for Vagrus: The Riven Realms:

Devlog #46 + Project Update | QoL Improvements and Vagrus in the Finals!

There has been a number of Quality of Life changes to the game in the last couple of months and we wanted to collect them in one post.

Comitatus UI
The comitatus UI on the top left over the campaign map is one of the most frequently used interfaces in the game and we wanted to add several stats to make it more informative. To save space, we changed text to icons and now it also displays Nutrition and Obedience, as well as Combat Strength and Defense for Crew Combat.

Traverse
Another addition to the comitatus
UI is the button to use the Traverse Leadership Perk - the last one missing from that category. Activating it converts 3 March Movement Points to regular Movement Points, which can be done every 3 days for 4 Resourcefulness.

Deployment Autofill
When deploying your companions in Companion Combat, now you have the option to autofill the positions using the new button. The order in which they are deployed depends on their health (Wounded entities come later).

Formations
Similar to Autofill, this improvement helps with Companion Combat deployment. You can save and load three different formations. Especially since you can enter Companion Combat from Crew Combat, players have come up with their preferred setups so using Formations, they can access them very easily.

Chart Node Cards
These cards unify settlement and POI cards with quest and Task markers. Button mechanics are the same now and there is a significant visual tune-up, too. For settlements, Codex, Price History, and Mark buttons are available, while quest and Task markers have buttons opening the relevant Journal entry as well as Mark options.

Chart Markers
These were improved to show how many nodes fall into the area designated by the marker. They are color-coded to be easier to differentiate even at a cursory glance. Better yet, preview versions of these same markers are available for Tasks and Passengers (if the destination is unknown for your character), so you can better calculate travel times and risks.

We hope you'll enjoy these changes - we have put a lot of work into them.

Also great news
Vagrus has made it into the finalists in the Digital Dragons Indie Celebration competition!

Besides the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd places awarded based on the votes of the jury, there is also a Community Vote you can participate in here. The list is in alphabetical order, so Vagrus is the last one. ;)

By the way, the voting for Untold Games Awards' community award is still on, so if you haven't, head over there, too, and have your voice heard.

Words can not express how much we appreciate your continued support. Stay tuned, stay safe, and conquer the wasteland!

-The Lost Pilgrims Team

Thursday - May 06, 2021

Vagrus: The Riven Realms - Event UI

by Myrthos, 08:36

The Event user interface in Vagrus: The Riven Realms has been reworked to improve the reading and playing experience.

In this short article we've collected the recent changes to the Event UI in a more detailed format. This is something that's been a long time coming and we believe that it improves the playing- and reading-experience considerably.



Dependencies

What you have and what you need to make choices are called dependencies (a fancier name for 'requirements' really) and from now on, these are much better differentiated. Each category has its own icon and detailed tooltips. Optional dependencies are now signified as such, and many hidden, story-related dependencies at least show up to inform players that they are lacking something for that choice.

[...]

 

Wednesday - April 28, 2021

Vagrus: The Riven Realms - Beast Types and Trade Offers

by Hiddenx, 14:54

In devlog #44 we can learn more about changing the types of the beasts of burden of a comitatus and the mechanics of trade offers:

Devlog #44 | Beast Types and Trade Offers

This time, we come to you with a double feature of sorts, combining two topics into a single devlog post: changing the types of the beasts of burden of a comitatus and the mechanics of Trade Offers.

Beast Types

The vagrus's ability to change the type of beasts their comitatus uses has been planned to be added to the game from the beginning but it had to wait until recently for a couple of reasons. The first being that there were a number of other - more important - things to be added before and also because changing between only two types would have been a bit lackluster, but the third type was locked behind content that we got around to just lately (and is available since the addition of Larnak).

Of the three types of beasts, two are accessible in most settlements in-game. Mammals are slightly more common, which means that you can buy them in greater number in mansios, except in the deep deserts where reptiles are more common. Neither of these two types are better than the other in all respects. For example, reptile beasts of burden carry more cargo and move a tad faster but march less effectively and have a much larger consumption. Reptile mounts are slightly better at combat but less effective on long journeys than horses. Mammals are cheaper and so make it easier to scale up your comitatus but require more animal care, thus more work. The third type, insectioids, work as an upgrade in basically every aspect and cost a lot to obtain. This type is meant for high-end comitati in general.

Changing the beast type of your comitatus happens in the mansio and it changes both your beasts of burden as well as mounts to the selected type at once. From then on, you buy beasts and mounts for the new, active beast type, meaning you can never have mixed beast types in your comitatus.

Trade Offers

Commerce in the Riven Realms is held in the iron grip of Trading Houses through official monopolies or the control of locations that produce valuable goods. A simple merchant who deals in smaller quantities of wares can not begin to imagine what profit these factions work with, especially compared to what the actual manufacturing or harvesting costs. Yet there are considerable expenses involved in these operations, too. If the hardships of travel over the accursed wastelands were not enough by themselves, factions regularly wage bloody wars for resources, mostly in the shadows but often openly as well out on the frontier - and these are astonishingly expensive.

In accordance with the above outline, we have always wanted players to only have access to large quantities of wares through factions. We had a lot of the feature in place, including UI elements, but we needed dynamic pricing to work before being able to add Trade Offers. Until it could be implemented properly, the temporary solution was to control stocks through the market of settlements, but it was less transparent in many ways - a lot of players neglected to check back to depleted or markets with a seemingly low goods density, believing that it will never change.

The concept of Trade Offers is not complicated: factions that have presence in a settlement post bulk offers for buyers and sellers alike. The content and quality of these offers depend on a variety of factors, including the faction's interest in and the supply-and-demand of the wares in question, the extent of their presence, as well as the player's unlocked Trade Offer tiers (from I. to III.).

Trade Offers can only be bought and sold in full stacks, and beside the normal price, vagri can get a better deal when spending faction reputation. Although factions do not sell their wares cheaper (except at higher standing with them on the source nodes of the goods), each unit of the offered stack costs the same, which is a great advantage over the dynamically changing market price even though it may seem that the initial couple of units cost less at the market than the offered ones. The result is that large scale trading is mostly viable through faction Trade Offers.

Apart from fitting the setting of the game, the point of this design is to keep smaller comitati more viable through normal market trading while to upkeep larger ones you would have to progress through factions. This is only true of course if the player wishes to delve into the trading aspect. Trade Tasks remain for those who mostly care about a fixed, certain profit without risking their coins.

We hope you will like these new additions - they certainly add new levels of depth and strategy when it comes to comitatus management.

The Lost Pilgrims Team

Thursday - April 22, 2021

Vagrus - Equipment Design Changes

by Myrthos, 13:33

In a new video the Vagrus development team shares information on the changes in equipment design.

The new mechanic allows players to use these items in more diverse and specialized ways. New types of equipment, like armaments, tools, and animals were added while we ironed out the older ones as well to make it more consistent and interesting. Many pieces of equipment are available for several slots, so you can mix and match in more ways than one.

Another change is that Deputies are now linked to equipment in a new way - they will open up extra slots for certain types when assigned to their post, further deepening the system. Now you'll be able to make use of more equipment at the same time and come up with combinations that better suit a large variety of situations in game. We also added a lot of new pieces of equipment with the last several patches, making the list of available ones fairly long by now, including some unique ones only acquirable through questing and faction reputation.

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Wednesday - April 14, 2021

Vagrus: The Riven Realms - Faction Rewards

by Hiddenx, 15:16

In dev-update #42 for Vagrus: The Riven Realms we learn more about faction rewards:

Devlog #42 | Faction Rewards

A devlog post about the state of Vagrus - The Riven Realms

With the arrival of Factions to Vagrus, you guys got a new way to specialize your comitatus. Up until the addition of Faction rewards, however, this meant some obscure (albeit very welcome - we're looking at you, road tax) boons and perks but then with claimable rewards, Factions quickly became our players' new best friends.

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The Name of the Game

In its core, the system is well-known in video games: build more reputation by doing repeatable, procedurally generated Tasks as well as unique stories, unlock higher tiers of Standing with a Faction by doing so, and receive your rewards. The higher the Standing, the better the rewards - it is that simple. Or is it? Of course, staying friendly with a Faction might be a challenge of its own, seeing how they tend to hate each other so passionately. This means that gaining reputation with a Faction will reduce reputation with their enemies, albeit not with the same intensity. It was deliberately implemented this way so that you can not get all the goodies in a single run - a balancing act, a tool of immersion, and a factor in replayability.

[...]

 

Monday - April 12, 2021

Vagrus: The Riven Realms - Patch 0.5.30.

by Hiddenx, 17:16

Vagrus: The Riven Realms got a new patch:

A New Build is OUT - Patch 0.5.30. - Codename: Brimstone and Bones

Hey Folks,
the time has come to revisit the region that featured in Pilgrims of the Wasteland, the tutorial/prelude of Vagrus. We opened up that very zone for the open-world campaign, albeit we are 10 years in the future compared to that prologue story, so expect some changes. There was a bit of a switcheroo involving several patches in the works and eventually the choice fell onto pushing this out in part to fix a game-breaking bug from the previous patch. For this reason, expect a smaller update in the near future that irons out a few things regarding the currently added content, although we might end up merging that with Mercenary Tasks, the next larger addition.

Important Note
Considering the extent of these improvements there is little to no chance that we broke nothing in the process. Assume that we did not want to make anyone's life harder. If you see something amiss, please flag it to us using the usual channels, like the inbuild reporting tool (F1 button), forums, and our Discord server.

Now let's jump into the details:

Patch 0.5.30 - Codename: Brimstone and Bones

New Content

  • The Smolderbone region is finally open, as well as a new part of the Searing Plains
  • They include five new points of interest: the city of Avernum, Omphalat Outpost, as well as the tribal settlements Vitrar and Utvorar, plus the dreaded Writhing Oasis.
  • A number of stories and quests that lead to this zone continue, and a lot of new ones begin here, too.
  • A new companion , the veteran warrior and former kingpin Skornar can be recruited in Avernum.
  • New/Updated Features
  • Defender, Diehard, and Marksman Perks implemented.
  • Skill dependencies implemented for Burrow, Eviscerate, and a number of other enemy Skills. In some instances, these Skills appear as new (like Eviscerate) but mostly they got more restricted in their use by the tweaks.
  • Considerable changes to market prices.
  • A number of fixes/design changes to Trade Offers.
  • Enemy Mounts and Beasts gained through Crew Combat are now turned into supplies when your comitatus uses the Yrg beast type.
  • Enemy combat resistances nerfed all across the board.

Bug Fixes

  • Most Event UI crashes/bugs fixed - not all of them, though
  • Various smaller fixes and Event script tweaks

Known Issues:

  • Skornar's Guard Stance retaliation attack upon successful block may not always trigger. We are investigating the reason.
  • Load times are getting higher and higher. We plan to address the issue closer to the final release.

'Is Vagrus properly balanced now?'
- Nope.

'Was it a step in the right direction?'
- We think so. Please let us know how you find it.

Friday - April 02, 2021

Vagrus: The Riven Realms - Patch 0.5.29.

by Hiddenx, 07:08

Vagrus: The Riven Realms got a new patch:

A New Build is OUT - Patch 0.5.29. - Codename: Perky

Hey Folks,
this next patch is a bit lean on content but that is because we are gearing up to the next one that has a huge new region with tons of adventures awaiting - and it is coming sooner than you think! That said, this current update contains a pile of new features and Quality of Life improvements that will hopefully make you happy - like a completely reworked Event UI, Test boosting that allows you to use Resourcefulness to improve chances in Events, additions to Chart markers that makes it easier to find things in the wasteland (but still keeps it a challenge most of the time), new Hirelings, combat Skill tweaks, and a lot more!


Important Note
: Considering the extent of these improvements there is little to no chance that we broke nothing in the process. Assume that we did not want to make anyone's life harder. If you see something amiss, please flag it to us using the usual channels, like the inbuild reporting tool (F1 button), forums, and our Discord server.

Now let's jump into the details:

--------------------------------------------------
Patch 0.5.29 - Codename: Perky

New Content

  • 1 new Venari and 3 new Oquo Hirelings became available at their respective headquarters
  • New Deputy Perk options now available on most companions (most of these you have to unlock via Prowess progression)
  • New SFX for a few enemies


User interface improvements

  • Event UI revamp including buy-sell icons, hover effect, the whole choice box clickable, dependency icon improvements, and tooltip improvements,
  • Test chance boosting is now available (normal & advanced with the 'Enhance' Perk)
  • Revamped Mini-comitatus UI (campaign view top left) with more information
  • Revamped Node & Marker cards on the Chart
  • Chart markers are differentiated by colors and icons from now on
  • Added the use of preview markers: this allows you to check the destinations of Tasks before picking them up
  • Enemy banners added in Crew combat for flavor and categorization
  • 'Ready' sub-header added under Journal Tasks


New/Updated Features

  • 'Enhance' Perk and functionality enabled (allows you to raise Test chances further in Events).
  • 'Traverse' Perk and functionality enabled (allows you to convert MMP to MP every few days).
  • A shedload of balancing changes to Companion Skills.
  • Tasks no longer automatically grant the settlement destination on the chart. Instead, they spawn a marker similar to quest markers that can be used to locate the settlement.
  • Passengers also get a marker. Their destinations also is now clickable in the mansios (so you could preview the direction they are heading to).
  • Several tweaks to market prices aiming to make cheaper goods a bit more profitable while curbing the effortless riches on expensive goods (let us know how you find these).
  • Trade task commissions got a ~8% increase to make them more worthwhile

Bug fixes

  • Faction offers no longer accumulate the available offer quantity infinitely (hopefully that puts an end to the 1k bross rounds)
  • Sand Wyrm burrow got an interim fix - a proper fix will come at a later time
  • A number of smaller bugs squashed
  • Can no longer poach Yrgs from Crew Combat
  • Crew Combat offerings no longer disappear when clicking 'Back'
  • Event occurrence tweaks regarding the frequency of wind and dream events
  • Another round of infinite insight exploits closed off

Known issues:

  • The initial Loading time might have gotten even higher as we had added the new nodes for the upcoming content patch (hidden from players for now)
  • Is Vagrus properly balanced now?'
    - Nope.
  • 'Was it a step in the right direction?'
    - We think so. Please let us know how you find it.

Coming up next
Meanwhile, we keep working on two major patches simultaneously. On the content side, the Smolderbone region has been coming along nicely, while the development of our single largest outstanding feature, Mercenary Tasks, is progressing well, too. We are not sure at this time which one will be ready for release first. Let us know in the comment section which of them you are waiting for the most.

Stay tuned, stay alive, conquer the wasteland!
- The Lost Pilgrims Team

 

Wednesday - March 17, 2021

Vagrus: The Riven Realms - Hirelings

by Hiddenx, 19:41

Learn more about the hirelings of Vagrus: The Riven Realms in devlog #41:

Devlog #41 | Hirelings

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Hirelings

Hirelings are a new kind of ally we have recently added to the game. They are in effect companions but can only be hired for a limited time - and for a steep price. They have no story of their own because they are only meant to represent nameless mercenaries, rounding out the abilities of your companions or making up for something you are missing in your comitatus. You always hire these henchmen from certain Factions.

[...]

Wednesday - March 10, 2021

Vagrus: The Riven Realms - Last Year Summary

by Hiddenx, 19:49

A summary of last year's development of Vagrus: The Riven Realms:

Devlog #40 | Last Year Summary

A devlog post about the state of Vagrus - The Riven Realms

Hey everyone,

2020 has been a challenging year for us at Lost Pilgrims as much as for anyone else but it also brought a number of things that we really appreciate.

One of these is a gingerbread Vagrus fan art. Yes, that's a thing! Besides the Krawag we also received orc marauders and three replicas of the pilgrim with the lamp from our logo. Those have not survived long enough to be part of the final photoshoot, though.

The First Open-World Region

But let's rewind for a bit - to the start of 2020, in fact. It was a year we entered with big hopes, albeit with a lot of uncertainty. In January, we were in a frantic push to share the first open-world region of the game with our Fig and Patreon Backers, finally revealing our true vision for the game. We were all very excited to hear what people thought about it.

On March 26, the time has come to taste the pudding as they say. It was yummy but the crust was a bit too hard: new players struggled with the strategic aspects of Vagrus. After a few weeks, we knew that the game was not ready for an Early Access release in May as we had originally planned. We needed to implement Trade tasks first, along with a number of improvements in other areas.

COVID Impact

Soon after publishing the open-world patch, our team opted to work from home-office. An interim measure, or so we thought at the time. It took some getting used to but eventually, we got the hang of it. The occasional scare that one of us got the virus was not helping our mental health, and we had a storm gathering on the financing side. The private investment round we planned for spring tanked as one by one our candidates pulled out due to the global pandemic. We had to pull our belt in a few notches while working hard to get ready for Early Access and start generating some income. In the end, we held a smaller round of investment the same week that we released the game into EA. It wasn't fun but it bridged the gap until our first revenue share payment.

Early Access on Steam

After some shuffling around due to the Steam Summer Festival and Summer Sale date changes, we set a course to release the game at the end of July. We knew we were developing a niche game with a lot of reading from the start, so we set our expectations accordingly. Compared to that estimate, our debut ended up being a huge success (while remained modest in the grand scheme of things, of course). Most importantly, it was enough to keep us going.

The amount of initial feedback quite frankly overwhelmed us. At a certain point, we were over two weeks behind with processing our bug reports and other forms of communications we received but gradually worked it down to an acceptable threshold.

From all that insight from players, we gleaned new truths on how we should prioritize the upcoming features and fixes. It quickly became apparent that crew combat needed some additional love first. The good news was that there were plenty of people enjoying the game even in its Alpha state, which gave us hope and strength to march forward.

A Growing Team and Game

We got to know Laci, who joined Lost Pilgrims as a programmer, back in February and kept in contact, with the turbulent times of COVID ever-delaying our target-date for joining forces. His commitment to safely hand over his previous project to his replacement was something we admired a lot and proved that we picked the right person to join our team.

We added new content and features one after the other. Most recently, the largest content drop to date opened up the Deven region with a lot of new things to do. Looking at Steam, one can find many players with 60-70 but some over 150 hours of playtime. It's hard to grasp for how long some folks might play Vagrus when all the content will be added and finalized.

At the end of summer, the team decided to make home-office permanent and we canceled our office rent. With the second wave of the pandemic hitting not very long after, it proved to be a wise decision.

Social Numbers

It's been a while since we shared our progress in numbers. The trends have been similar to previous years. Traditional social media platforms grew a little but not significantly while the number of our following on gaming portals has more than doubled - a clear sign that most people follow their gaming news where they play.

The good news is that since Vagrus's Early Access release on Steam and other platforms back in July 2020, the revenues coming from those places cover the cost of our small development team, which means we can safely continue working on the game, adding new features and content with each patch to the great satisfaction of our existing player-base who come back to play and see more of Vagrus.

Perhaps the most significant news of 2020 for our team was that from our Early Access revenues we could expand our crew and so Laci joined us later in the year. He has proven himself an excellent and fitting addition to our team and we have high hopes as to our reinforced ability to deliver a great game during the course of 2021.

We still have a lot to do, of course. First, to add all the regions we plan to include in the final release, then to build on that and develop mid- and end-game content that connects all the places like a web. On the game design and code sides, the biggest ticket will be implementing Mercenary tasks, a feature that is much more complex than the already existing Trading tasks. As it stands, Exploration tasks will likely be added in a post-release patch only but who knows. We have an incredibly long list of other improvements we plan to cover until the 1.0 version, ranging from visual enhancements through complete User Interface revamps to Quality of Life features requested by our players.

We very much look forward to this new year and we'll see what it brings.

Thank you all for everything and cheers,

The Lost Pilgrims Team

Friday - February 26, 2021

Vagrus: The Riven Realms - Patch 0.5.27. - Codename: Luminous

by Hiddenx, 18:22

A new patch for Vagrus: The Riven Realms has been released:

A New Build is OUT - Patch 0.5.27. - Codename: Luminous

 [...]

Patch 0.5.27 - Codename: Luminous

New/Updated Features

  • Faction Offers / Access to Faction reserves
  • Faction Rewards (gained for each tier of standing)
  • Buy Market info via your Faction connections
  • The third beast type enabled (attainable via quests)
  • Mount-Up (though not quite feasible yet, more enablers to come)
  • Companion Combat formations (save and deploy your fav positionings)
  • Hero Select autofill and remove (filling order based on health rate)
  • Venari hireling characters (expensive professionals to hire)

New/Updated Content

  • The Larnak-Ash region
  • Venari HQ in Larnak
  • Oquo HQ in Drusian Quarry
  • New Companion: Nedir
  • Dread Reavers on the road again (though technically this time you are on the road for them)
  • Three new music tracks [Deven, Larnak, and an alternate Jaggest Waste]
  • Brand new enemies, as well as new versions to existing ones

Updated Game Mechanics

  • A great number of changes to the effects of existing and new equipment/gear/statuses
  • In many cases, changes to the availability of equipment and gear (now often available as Factions Rewards only as opposed to the market)
  • Stronger versions of equipment added - sometimes the original ones nerfed a bit to make the upgrade noticeable without breaking the balance completely

User Interface Improvements

  • Indicators added on both the Crew Combat and the Companion Combat side to better indicate which unit participates in them, and also if they were Elite or Leader units
  • Market prices and quantities now shown in stacks when the 'mass trade button' is pressed
  • Tooltip improvements all across the board

Friday - January 29, 2021

Vagrus: The Riven Realms - Patch 0.5.25. - Codename: Beasty

by Hiddenx, 15:52

The Early Access title Vagrus: The Riven Realms got a new patch:

A New Build is OUT - Patch 0.5.25. - Codename: Beasty

This patch brings new features and a lot of changes to existing mechanics

Hey Folks,

this patch is a beast in all sense. So many new features and changes have been added that if you ever considered starting a new play-through, this might be the perfect time for it. A shedload of tweaks has been applied to make the early game a little more forgiving (without making the late game easier), and we look forward to your feedback on the direction of these changes.

Important note: considering the extent of these improvements there is little to no chance that we broke nothing in the process. Assume that we did not want to make anyone's life harder. 😀 If you see something amiss, please flag it to us using the usual channels, like the inbuild reporting tool (F1 button), forums, and our Discord server.

Now let's jump into the details.

Patch 0.5.25 - Codename: Beasty!

[...]

Wednesday - December 02, 2020

Vagrus: The Riven Realms - Patch 0.5.20

by Hiddenx, 18:53

A new build for Vagrus: The Riven Realms has been released:

A New Build is OUT - Patch 0.5.20. - Codename: Plunder!

Hey everyone,

a few weeks ago we published a long post on the changes coming. Today, we are happy to share that the changes are live as of posting this! Better yet, we have included two additional features that we managed to implement in the meantime.

A quick recap of what we have added:

(Skip ahead to see the bonus additions)

New Content:

  • The Deven region with one major settlement, Deven, and a smaller one, Sun Rock, as well as a lot of new ground to explore.
  • The Church of Ahskul faction is fleshed out in all its macabre glory.
  • Try your luck at tomb robbing in the Valley of Sleepers - if you dare.
  • The Ratharnak Alliance's headquarters were extended and moved to the Mines of Plenty.
  • Your journey with the Dread Reavers continues!
  • A lot of new (shorter and longer) storylines you can follow through.
  • The Dark Elf companion Renkailon can now also be recruited through story progression.

Crew Combat Improvements:
Looting in crew combat

  • Destroy the enemy or make it flee and get all their valuables
  • Gather/Harvest items, money, and goods from fallen enemy units
  • Catch - with a small chance - the surviving mounts of your Outriders who fell in battle
  • Extract supplies from mounts that did not survive

Of course, the Riven Realms remains a dog-eat-dog place, so none of this loot is available if you lose or are forced to flee. Also, 'immersion is king' even when it comes to looting. Do not expect desperate lowlife tugs attacking your comitatus carrying heaps of valuables. Now, in case you are the aggressor and ambush their camp with all their possessions... that is another story. Provided that you are okay to prey on the weak. Will your companions approve? Will you provoke the Empire's ire?

Combat preparations

  • You can mount Fighters or dismount Outriders right before crew combat (except if you are ambushed)

Goal (objective) selection changes

  • Now you select a goal on the defensive side as well, so you can choose what you defend the most (crew, beasts, cargo)
  • The main target of the enemies is only revealed in the second round
  • You can change your objective at the end of each round
  • Added the option to flee or retreat even during ongoing crew combat (albeit at potentially heavy losses)

New 'defense' stat introduced

  • It better reflects how easy or hard it is to take out certain enemies and characters (ie: Outriders are much harder to damage for example)
  • You can improve your crews' combat strength and/or defense stats with equipment and properties separately

'Actions' in crew combat (tactical commands)
Giving more tools to the vagrus, we are now enabling 'Actions' in crew combat. These can significantly influence the outcome of crew level combat encounters. Our ultimate goal is to enable entering Companion combat directly from Crew Combat but even until then, players can choose from a number of actions (more to come), like:

  • 'Launch a mounted attack' that increases the effectiveness of Outriders for the round
  • Form a 'Shield Wall' to increase the defense of your Fighters
  • 'Insult' the enemy to increase the chance of them making a mistake

Impervious crew combat enemies
Specters, Haunts, Living Shadows. Horrors that are immune to mundane weapons. Improve your companions, gain the blessing of Gods, gather rare magical items to defeat them. Alternatively, do the only thing you can if you come across these deadly enemies... FLEE!

  • Impervious enemies are marked with purple borders and their defense stat is colored as such, too
  • Only your Enchanted companions and/or crew can damage Impervious enemies in crew combat.
  • Enchanted combat strength is highlighted - the axe and the CS value are colored purple.

Miscellaneous Changes:

  • Event UI performance updates to ease the jittering
  • Higher Authority now reduces Companion loyalty penalties
  • Outriders now automatically dismount to create cargo space in case the throw-out screen is (or would be) triggered

[...]

Friday - November 20, 2020

Vagrus: The Riven Realms - Development Update

by Hiddenx, 19:20

A quick development update for Vagrus: The Riven Realms:

What's coming in the next patch?

Hey Folks,

we just wanted to give you all a quick development update. We are pushing hard to publish the next big release still this year. Here's what's coming if all goes according to plan:

New Content:

  • The Deven region with one major settlement, Deven, and a smaller one, Sun Rock, as well as a lot of new ground to explore.
  • The Church of Ahskul faction is fleshed out in all its macabre glory.
  • Try your luck at tomb robbing in the Valley of Sleepers - if you dare.
  • The Ratharnak Alliance's headquarters were extended and moved to the Mines of Plenty.
  • Your journey with the Dread Reavers continues!
  • A lot of new (shorter and longer) storylines you can follow through.
  • The Dark Elf companion Renkailon can now be recruited through story progression.

Crew Combat Improvements:
Looting in crew combat

  • Destroy the enemy or make it flee and get all their valuables
  • Gather/Harvest items, money, and goods from fallen enemy units
  • Catch - with a small chance - the surviving mounts of your outriders who fell in battle
  • Extract supplies from mounts that did not survive

Of course, the Riven Realms remains a dog-eat-dog place, so none of this loot is available if you lose or are forced to flee. Also, 'immersion is king' even when it comes to looting. Do not expect desperate lowlife tugs attacking your comitatus carrying heaps of valuables. Now, in case you are the aggressor and ambush their camp with all their possessions... that is another story. Provided that you are okay to prey on the weak. Will your companions approve?

Combat preparations

  • You can mount fighters, dismount outriders right before crew combat (except if you are ambushed)

Goal (objective) selection changes

  • Now you select a goal on the defensive side as well, so you can choose what you defend the most (crew, beast, cargo)
  • The main target of the enemies is only revealed in the second round
  • You can change your objective at the end of each round
  • Added the option to flee or retreat even during ongoing crew combat (albeit at potentially heavy losses)

New 'defense' stat introduced

  • It better reflects how easy or hard it is to take out certain enemies and characters (i.e.: outriders are much harder to damage)
  • You can improve your crews' combat strength and/or defense stats with equipment and properties separately

Actions in crew combat (tactical commands)
Giving more tools to the vagrus, we are now enabling 'Actions' in crew combat. These can significantly influence the outcome of crew level combat encounters. Our ultimate goal is to enable entering Companion combat directly from Crew Combat but even until then, players can choose from a number of actions (more to come), like:

  • 'Launch a mounted attack' that increases the CS of Outriders for the round
  • 'Form a Shield wall' to increase the Defense of your Fighters
  • 'Insult' the enemy to increase the chance of them making a mistake

Impervious crew combat enemies
Specters, Haunts, Living Shadows. Horrors that are immune to mundane weapons. Improve your companions, gain the blessing of Gods, gather rare magical items to defeat them. Alternatively, do the only thing you can if you come across these deadly enemies... FLEE!

  • Impervious enemies are marked with purple borders and their defense stat is colored as such, too
  • Only your Enchanted companions and/or crew can damage Impervious enemies in crew combat. Enchanted Combat Strength is highlighted - the axe and the CS value are colored to purple.

Miscellaneous Changes:

  • Event UI performance updates to ease the jittering (still not 100% but we are committed to fix it as soon as we are able)
  • Higher Authority now reduces Companion loyalty penalties
  • Outriders now automatically dismount to create cargo space in case the throw-out screen is (or would be) triggered

We are looking forward to all of you getting your hand on the new update and hearing about your experience. In case you like the game and/or the direction we are taking with it, please consider leaving a review. It's a huge help. Thanks and see you around, vagri!

The Lost Pilgrims Team

Wednesday - November 04, 2020

Vagrus: The Riven Realms - Companion Progression

by Hiddenx, 17:01

In devlog #38 the companion progression of Vagrus: The Riven Realms is explained:

Subject: Devlog #38 | Companion Progression

One of the most requested additions by our Early Access players has been Companion progression for a while now, and it's no surprise. Being a party-based RPG at its heart, Vagrus has a roster of unique Companions that are your most trusty lieutenants with their own backstories, skills, and personalities. It is only natural that they can become stronger with time and effort - and we have naturally designed this progression system in the beginning, but we held off on adding it because there were a lot of specifics to work out and the EA experience functioned fairly well without it.

Now, however, the time has come to introduce the progression system to see what our players and fellow vagri think about it. 

Prowess and Insight

Character levels (exclusive to Companions) in Vagrus are called Prowess. You unlock new levels of Prowess by spending Insight - the same Insight you can spend on your vagrus. Once you gain a level, you can spend Proficiency points on your Attributes, Professions, Combat Traits... and now the all-new Companion Traits and revised Combat Skills, too. These round out progression with the ability to make your Companions much stronger in combat.

The Prowess cap will be 5 for the time being, as we are still testing higher-end progression (and mostly lack high-end content), but it is more than enough for a significant rise in power.

Combat Skills

You have seen them already but the Combat Skills now have fully developed second and third (maximum) levels. These level ups potentially change the Damage, Accuracy, Critical Chance, and effects of the Skills, often quite drastically. A good example is Garrik's Gas Bomb that covers more and more ground with level ups.

Additionally, several of the Companion Skills were revised to be more desirable in certain situations. A ton of enemy Combat Skills are also now working as intended, but more on that in another post.

Companion Traits

Each Companion now has a set of unique Traits that raise several baseline stats like Vitality, Armor, Resistances, base Accuracy, Power, and more. This is the only way to change these stats apart from Gear, so you will have to think hard about what to pick. Especially because most of the Trait levels - as well as Skill levels - have requirements.

Requirements

We've planned to include Attributes (Mighty, Savvy, Tough, etc.) one way or the other in the progression from the beginning but we did not want to assign incremental stat increases to them directly. The way it works now, most Combat Skill levels and all Companion Traits have Attribute requirements you need to unlock before being able to purchase them. This means that with each Prowess level, you need to consider what build you are going for, what your desired Trait is, and plan accordingly when it comes to purchasing Attributes.

This also means that no Companion will be able to unlock all their Traits and Skills by reaching Prowess 9 (the absolute maximum), so you'll have to plan builds.

As ever, we are very excited to see how the community reacts to the progression system. We hope that we can build on this system from now on and we'll be able to round out Companions fully in the future based on this. Even now, though, the system's depth is intriguing, and every Companion can focus on certain things ahead of others to specialize according to your needs.

Let us know what you think!

The Lost Pilgrims Team

Wednesday - October 14, 2020

Vagrus: The Riven Realms - Patch 0.5.16.

by Hiddenx, 20:55

A new patch for Vagrus: The Riven Realms has been released:

A New Build is OUT - Patch 0.5.16. - Codename: Salty!

Hey everyone,

and first of all let us thank all of you who shared their views regarding our planned priorities. We took that to heart and worked tirelessly to implement Companion Progression, which includes raising the Prowess cap from two to five, introducing Companion-specific traits that increase stats, and much more.

It is important to mention that the Companion loyalty storylines that will in the final game open up Prowess 3 and 6, are not yet in the game and not planned any time soon either. Our plan is to add those once all the planned regions are added first, so those questlines can be placed to their ideal location rather than crammed into the currently available territory.

We have also made various other improvements that make Companion combat more interesting:

  • Diminishing returns will help against enemies with high Block or Evade stats, and though it is applied on the player side as well, some of the Companions have access to the Resolute perk now that allows them to ignore diminishing returns, meaning they can Evade or Block without getting a debuff.
  • Thanks to some AI improvements, the enemies will now be much better at using complex skills instead of spamming a unit's base attack or even just skipping turns or swapping when out of position somewhat.
  • The mechanics of many combat perks, like Channeling or Life Leech, that are available through companion progression or as gear effects, have been implemented giving even more Companion upgrade options.

Beside changes on the code side, we are opening up a new subregion in this patch for the first time, the salt basins above the Mines of Plenty. The area includes Salum, the headquarters of the Scythichnis Covenant as well as the Auguros Work Camp, a prison colony of the Empire.

[...]

Wednesday - September 23, 2020

Vagrus: The Riven Realms - About Fleeing

by Hiddenx, 20:29

Here's Devlog #37 for Vagrus: The Riven Realms:

Devlog #37 | Fleeing

Lately, we have been working on Crew Combat to further enhance its mechanics and the latest improvement is the 'Flee' feature. Let's check it out!

Flee!

Fleeing will now be added to a selection of Crew Combat encounters with the following considerations:

  • You do not always have the option to flee. It depends on the encounter.
  • While trying to flee, your combat strength is significantly reduced.
  • Your Flee value comes from your crew composition, equipment, and crew combat attributes among other things, resulting in a percentile chance.
  • The enemy's Chase modifier further alters the chance of fleeing.
  • Flee chances represent how successfully you can flee from combat. You will suffer damages even in case of a successful flee, albeit much less than you would by staying in a fight where you are outmatched.

Appease

Appease is an option that further changes fleeing when you can use it.

  • Sometimes you have the option to try to appease your enemies. Again, this is dictated by the combat encounter.
  • When you choose to appease, you offer to leave behind a variety of things for the enemy but depending on your foe's type and motivation (crew combat attributes), they may or may not appreciate them equally or at all. Some Perks increase the effectiveness of appeasing your opponents.
  • If you offer enough things to satisfy their craving, the appeased opponents will not chase you at all. In case of a partial offering, some of them might still do but the damage caused by them will be comparatively less.

You can see a demonstration of these mechanics in the video below.

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No need to die against a horde of Jhakrae or a throng of Undead (or to load your game...). Run away and live to fight another day! :)

We hope that these changes will significantly improve the WIP Crew Combat experience, making it less of a Load Game fest. Let us know what you think once you have tried it.

The Lost Pilgrims Team

Wednesday - September 16, 2020

Vagrus: The Riven Realms - Patch 0.5.15. - Codename: Flee!

by Hiddenx, 19:09

Fleeing is now possible in Vagrus: The Riven Realms:

A New Build is OUT - Patch 0.5.15. - Codename: Flee!

Hi Folks,

Thank you for all the feedback you shared with us in the last few weeks! This was immensely useful from the smallest bug reports to the super-ambitious ideas on how to turn Vagrus into a AAA title [thanks for crediting so grand a potential to our tiny team], and we appreciate you taking the time to help us with your insights.

One of the most commonly flagged missing feature was the option to Flee from Crew Combat encounters, and so after the first bundle of quick-fixes, we shifted our focus to that. Soon after starting to design Flee, we just felt that Appeasing enemies -bribing them to let you go without even having to run for it - was so tied to the Flee mechanic that it only made sense to implement both. And so we did.
We also made a number of tweaks, including the change that Tax collectors no longer factor in cargo from Trade tasks when calculating the tax amount.

It took a little more time than we originally planned and we wanted to make it available as soon as possible, so it has not been extensively playtested. The game might have become a tad too easy with these changes - please share your views about that once you had the chance to play a couple of hours with this new build.

[...]

Wednesday - August 05, 2020

Vagrus: The Riven Realms - Companion Healing

by Hiddenx, 17:25

In devlog #35 for Vagrus: The Riven Realms you can learn more about companion healing:

Devlog #35 | Companion Healing

We have always planned a fairly elaborate system of healing mechanics but when creating 'Pilgrims of the Wasteland', we first focused on getting the main features ready and implemented a more streamlined, placeholder set of healing rules.

Out with the Old

The PotW system simply had you use a relatively valuable resource - medical supplies - to fully heal one Companion at a time during camp. This is not only too 'gamey' but also very obtuse and not what we intended for the game or the setting.

The old healing system did have hidden statuses, however they were not used for anything really:

  • Hurt: Received after losing 50% Vitality, limits Maximum VIT to 80% until removed.
  • Wounded: Received after Downed, limits Maximum VIT to 60% until removed.
  • Mortally Wounded: Received after falling Out of Action, limits Maximum VIT to 30% until removed.

In spite of these elaborate statuses, healing remained the same: the use of a medical supplies item healed Companions up to their Maximum VIT right away.

In with the New

When Crew Combat was added, we implemented an elaborate system that was used to heal up your wounded Crew and Companions at the end of each skirmish. It was based on rolls stemming from the Healing Perk. Now that we decided to rework Companion healing, we basically use the same principles for natural healing.

During camping, you roll for natural healing for each Companion that is not at Maximum VIT. The heal roll chance comes together from the following factors:

  • Major impact from Heal Perk levels (from Companions, the vagrus, gear, etc.)
  • Minor impact from Herb Lore Perk levels
  • Major impact from settlement accommodation if any (second or third Rest tiers only)
  • Major impact from taking it slow with the comitatus (spending less MPs before camping)
  • And most importantly: from medical supplies (item) if you choose to use them

Even without many impacting factors, Companions recover VIT more often than not, except if the natural healing roll is a Critical Failure and in that case can even lose VIT but only until it reaches 1, so Companions can not die but their condition can worsen.

The statuses from the old system still exist, and if a Companion reaches the temporary limit (for example, 60% of Maximum VIT when Wounded), a successful natural healing roll removes the current status and applies the next 'higher' one (for example, a Wounded Companion then becomes Hurt). A Critical Success results in a two-stage jump.

Medical Supplies

Using Medical supplies provides a huge advantage, as it removes the status even if the Companion has not reached the associated temporary VIT limit. It also increases the chance of status improvement and VIT recovery greatly.

Previously, one full healing required one medical supplies item with a 100% result. Now, there is a chance on the result and hence these healing items can be lost or retained based on a chance with each usage. Normally, this depends on the roll, like treating a Wounded with a success roll has a 10% chance to use up the item, while rolling a fail increases that chance to 20%, and so on.

We implemented the natural healing part already but left the Event heal option in too for the time being, at least until the changes on the Camp UI can be implemented, allowing the players to decide on the usage of medical supplies each time they strike camp. This new system is much better-suited to what we were planning from the beginning, and is also more fair, although healing will be slower and so you'll have to think twice before jumping into combat too soon.

The Lost Pilgrims Team

Thursday - July 23, 2020

Vagrus: The Riven Realms - Early Access Version released

by Hiddenx, 14:45

The Early Access version of Vagrus: The Riven Realms has been released:

Vagrus - The Riven Realms enters Early Access! 

Early Access Announcement for Vagrus - The Riven Realms

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Thanks to all the insights you have shared with us during Vagrus' Open Access period, the game has grown and improved massively in the last twelve months. We are proud to share that we kick off our Early Access journey with over fifty hours of available content that we look to expand further during our EA period, which is expected to last until the eventual full release sometime in 2021.

We have come very far but if you dive in for the first time and play the current build, please keep in mind that the game is in no way finished yet - see bugs and less polished areas for what they are: potential to make the game even better. Your help by reporting those using our in-game tool (F1) and sharing your experiences on our Discord server (discord.gg/vagrus) will continue to be the key for learning about and prioritizing focus areas in our development process.

Check out our game and if you like it, spread the word, and don’t forget to leave a review on its store page!

The Lost Pilgrims Team

Thursday - July 02, 2020

Vagrus: The Riven Realms - Early Access Version: July 22

by Hiddenx, 19:19

Vagrus: The Riven Realms will enter Early Access on GOG and Steam on July 22:

Vagrus enters Early Access on Steam and GOG.com on July 22

We promised that we would bring Vagrus - The Riven Reams to you in Early Access on Steam and GOG.com when we felt the game was ready for it. Today we are proud and exhilarated to announce that the time has come, and now we know the exact date.
Vagrus - The Riven Realms enters Early Access on Steam and GOG.com simultaneously on July 22, 2020.

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[...]

 

Thursday - June 18, 2020

Vagrus: The Riven Realms - Demo on Steam

by Myrthos, 10:21

The demo for Vagrus: The Riven Realms can now be played for free during Steam's Editon, but also after that.

The time is upon us! As we have previously announced, new versions of Vagrus' free Demo are coming to Steam.

There are going to be two iterations of the Demo on Steam:

  • Up until and during the the Steam Game Festival, the Demo is downloadable from the Summer Festival Page (any only from there).
  • As the event ends, Steam will automatically remove the Demo for users' libraries. Fret not though, the demo will continue to exist in the form of a separate Prologue app. It will be available here not long after the Game Festival, releasing on July 10. The Prologue will also include a set of achievements.


In both cases the The Demo will be available for Windows, macOS, and Linux

 

Friday - May 29, 2020

Vagrus: The Riven Realms - Free Demo

by Hiddenx, 18:41

Vagrus - The Riven Realms: Prologue is available for free at GOG until June 15:

Vagrus - The Riven Realms: Prologue

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Thursday - May 14, 2020

Vagrus: The Riven Realms - Manual Save, Hunting and Foraging

by Myrthos, 20:35

In a new devblog for Vagrus, information is provided on manual saves, and hunting and Foraging.

We have thought long and hard about how to deal with manual saves in Vagrus, because there are a lot of complications stemming from certain game elements. Do we let players choose mid-combat? Do we let them save mid-Event? Is there a point to Event tests if manual saves scumming works? These are just a few of the many questions that have arisen.

Eventually though, we could not imagine Vagrus without being able to save manually. We never set out to make a rogue-like and the Riven Realms can often slay even the best vagri quickly and cruelly. You might also want to replay certain quests differently and you should be able to load your game in such cases. So now that so many things are changing before the release of the Open World campaign, the time has come to implement manual saves and so you will see it pretty soon. That said, we will later add an Achievement to those crazy folks who can play through the game without ever saving manually.

Thursday - April 30, 2020

Vagrus: The Riven Realms - Companion Combat AI Improvements

by Silver, 12:24

A new update for Vagrus: The Riven Realms talks about the improvements made to AI companions during combat.

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Initially, we built Companion Combat without too much focus on the combat AI, knowing full well that it would be a massive task to code and having most of the combat features locked before we do so would make it overall a more efficient undertaking.

Thus, vanilla Companion Combat AI was 'equipped' with nothing more but brute force, running thousands of random choices without any direction that were then evaluated in the back end by a not-too-sophisticated point system spiced up with a dash of random generation aiming to make the AI choose sub-optimal scenarios too from time to time. Otherwise it would have been much too strong.

That unfortunately had its share of drawbacks. It was either extremely slow (too many iterations) or dumb (not enough iterations). After some tuning, we went for the middle ground with a rather slow and occasionally irrational setting. Truth be told, it felt awkward every time we saw someone stream the game like that and initially planned to return to it earlier but our players felt more concerned about other areas of the game, so we moved it behind other open-world features on our priority list.

Now that the first open-world region is in the hands of our backers and patron testers, we finally got around to improve AI, too.

First Objective: Increase Speed

We introduced a number of new attributes for all characters to drive their behavior, such as:

  • Row preference: Melee or range preference, or being versatile in both. That allowed to eliminate all simulations from non-preferred positions on the battlefield.
  • Tactical level (TL): Only characters with higher tactical awareness look for high certainty of their available options, while the ones with lower TL could drop the iteration numbers in the simulation drastically.
  • Expected damage: It is calculated based on the characters' average damage. Characters finding a 'good-enough' option stop the simulation and look no further. The higher the TL of a character is, the higher that imaginary bar of expected damage is set.


Second Objective: Optimal Positioning

When an AI - in any game - makes a dumb move, most of us feel lucky, even happy for a moment but then we immediately start to resent it. We want to beat the game with our superior strategy and not because of the AI's inferior tactics. Thus, we added new priorities for the AI:

  • Row preference: It was already mentioned above but beside helping with efficiency it also increased the effectiveness of the AI as enemies naturally priorities moving into their preferred rows allowing them to use their most impactful Skills.
  • Use cover: It is much harder to hit characters in cover with ranged attacks, so it only would make sense for the enemy units to use that advantage (even if only on higher TL).
  • Use swap: Why spend two actions on shuffling around each other when you can swap? The players can do it, and so can the enemies now.

[...]

Thursday - April 23, 2020

Vagrus: The Riven Realms - Patch 0.5.0.4 Live

by Myrthos, 15:53

A new build of Vagrus is live now, which brings the following most important feature:

Most importantly, the Companion Combat AI improvements, about which we will release a separate post in the near future here. Also, various tweaks to the trading background systems to make the early game a bit more forgiving until we add Tasks. Beside those, we made a metric ton of typing and script corrections, squashed bugs, and added some smaller quality of life features.

For all the other things that have been added/changed, check out the link.

Friday - April 10, 2020

Vagrus: The Riven Realms - Currency Changes

by Myrthos, 12:19

The latest update for Vagrus: The Riven Realms is about currency in the game.

The Riven Realms has been around for over two decades now for us who created it for our tabletop campaigns, and the setting has quite a lot of currencies, even if one only considers the continent of Xeryn. When we set out to develop Vagrus, we picked three coin types not to overcrowd the UI: the Lyrg, a copper coin; the Bross, a silver coin; and Draka, a rare and very valuable golden coin. These are all coins that are used fairly often in large-scale commerce on the continent, and they are also fairly easy to identify as the copper-silver-gold trio of currency is fairly common in historical and fantasy settings.

Problems arose soon from the fact that a lot of common, everyday things are bought and sold for a smaller currency called Changers. For example, food for a day typically goes for around 2-3 Changers, or the daily wages of a worker are also typically around that sum. However, we had no Changers, so we implemented Supplies to represent 10 points of Consumption each. Individual crew wages were raised to 1 Lyrg - the absolute minimum - but this started an internal inflation that led to the rise of a lot of goods and services to make ratios match the world and to allow vagri to earn enough to pay upkeep. Unfortunately, this led to a situation where Drakas became very common, even in the beginning of the game, which in the metal-starved world of the Riven Realms goes against the lore and atmosphere, eroding immersion.

Recently, us Lost Pilgrims decided that Changers have to make a return, and they have to do so before the Open World campaign launches (otherwise the change would mess with saved games later).

At first, you might think this is a simple decimal shift, but it sent ripples out that shook most areas of the game in one way or another.

...

Friday - March 27, 2020

Vagrus: The Riven Realms - Open World Prototype

by Myrthos, 12:32

The open word prototype of Vagrus: The Riven Realms has been made available to Fig backers.

The Open-World Prototype of Vagrus has been released to all our Fig Backers. It is a major step towards getting the game ready to eventually bring it to here on to Steam for all of you to enjoy.

What It Brings

A ton of stuff, really. This is the game we've been working on, compared to which 'Pilgrims of the Wasteland' was only a small appetizer. That said, this large segment is only the beginning, and areas (with their content) will be added later on at intervals. We have discussed this an other details of the Open World Campaign here.

In short, a gigantic area with

  • dozens of settlements and points of interest to explore,
  • six Companions,
  • over 20 new enemy types,
  • five new soundtracks,
  • character creation,


and a ton of story content for you to discover are coming in the build.

We are very excited to see and hear your reactions, how long it takes you to find all the content, and of course to find out how difficult it is to stay alive for players in the cruel wastelands of the Riven Realms.

See you soon on the dark continent!

Thursday - March 05, 2020

Vagrus: The Riven Realms - Character Creation

by Myrthos, 11:27

Devblog number 31 for Vagrus: The Riven Realms is about character creation.

One of the last big additions to Vagrus' Open World Campaign that is now coming very close to being released is the character creation sequence at the start of the game. That is the feature that allows you to customize and set up your own vagrus by selecting a variety of options in subsequent steps. To give a quick idea of the many amazing options, here's a little rundown:

The first such choice is Race. The Riven Realms is home to a lot of unusual creatures - some may be found in other fantasy games though probably quite different from their counterparts on Xeryn - while others are quite unique. Initially, you will be able to choose from six Races and we'll be adding new ones later on.

Another way to spice things up a bit is character background. These are former professions or occupations (for example, aristocrat, veteran, criminal, scholar, or priest) and they provide additional Perks and resources to your character. Of course, not all combinations are possible - you won't see an Orc Slaver, nor an Imperial Savage.

Trader, Mercenary, or Explorer. Though there are only three options here, this choice has a much greater impact on your starting crew, Leadership Perks, and some other stats. You are by no means locked in such a game-style later on, however, as character progression for your vagrus is very open-ended.

This choice sets your victory condition for the game. Initially, you will only be able to start freeplay (no victory condition) but later on you'll be able to choose from Wealth (you win by becoming rich), Knowledge (you win by learning everything possible from the Riven Realms), Renown (become well-known), and finally - towards the end of the dev cycle - a story-based Ambition.

With all starting Perks calculated (deriving from Race and Background), you will now be able to spend your starting Insight on rounding out your character further.

At the end of character creation, you will be able to customize your character by giving it a name and selecting a portrait (later on also a banner to represent your comitatus).

The article comes with screenshots for each of the character creation parts, but you can also watch this video:

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Thursday - February 20, 2020

Vagrus: The Riven Realms - Crew Combat

by Myrthos, 11:43

In a new devblog for Vagrus: The Riven Realms crew combat is discussed.

Disposition

Each Crew Combat encounter identifies the two sides as either the Attacker or the Defender. The player's comitatus can typically be the attacker when they raid small settlements or prey upon other travelers, while they are often found as the defender when getting accosted by monsters, outlaws, or worse.

Ambushes

When you are the defender, a hidden test is made based on your comitatus' vigilance against the attackers ability to ambush (various stats govern this test). If you are ambushed, there are serious penalties on your Combat Strength, representing your inability to set up your fighters properly. Other than that, you will be restricted in the use of Combat Actions when they are added later to the game.

Whether you are ambushed or not, a fight is about to go down.

 

Appeasing the Attacker

In the current builds, the only option is to fight. At a later stage, we intend to add a Flee option, though it will not be a reliably successful option. You can increase the chance of success with offering what the attackers demand, like offering 'bribes' to bandits, or leaving supplies for monsters. Appeasing the enemy will not always be an option: mindless Undead or motivated bounty hunters can not be bargained with.

Nevertheless, fleeing results in losses, but - in most cases - less so than trying to defend yourself in an unwinnable fight.

[...]

Tuesday - February 04, 2020

Vagrus: The Riven Realms - Videos of Delivered Mislestones

by Myrthos, 15:31

Three videos for Vagrus: The Riven Realms have been made available, which show what has been delivered for chart exploration, hero selection, and hidden stash and contraband.

we've been busy implementing the milestones backers unlocked on Fig in the last few months but thought to give a heads-up to those of you primarily following us here on Steam. In the following collection of short videos we demonstrate some of the many recently added features to the game. Stay tuned, for we'll soon return with another round of short vids about a whole other set of features.

Chart Exploration

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Your chart is one of your most important tools in Vagrus, and we keep adding to and expanding on it with subsequent builds. Milestone 10 unlocked what we referred to as 'chart exploration', which really means that from now on, Rumors, Passengers, and Codex entries you gain of locations also reveal them on your Chart, adding a whole new depth to hunting for information and mapping out the region.

The short video above shows how the player purchases a Rumor on a certain quarry and gains its location on the Chart afterwards.

Companion Select

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This video showcases the feature we refer to as 'heroselect', though the people you are selecting from are rarely heroes. Rather, they are your Companions, and you will often be asked to select a certain number of them to take on ventures or on segments of missions.

In the video, you can see the arena fight Event ask you to select four Companions you take into the fighting pit. After selecting your Companions (and before rejoining the others), Perk tests, combat deployment, and all other effects only calculate with the selected Companions' stats.

Hidden Stash and Contraband

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This video demonstrates the difference between showing up to the gates of a major city with contraband in your cargo hold and contraband hidden in your stash. In the first case, you can try to bribe or con the guards but it's a difficult (and often expensive) venture, which can end in fines, faction reputation loss, or worse.

Contraband tucked away in the hidden stash - a piece of equipment you can get from certain places - hides the goods from the inspection however, and you can safely take them into cities and hope to find buyers.

Hope this gave you a rough idea what we've been working on. We'll soon be back with more!

Thursday - January 09, 2020

Vagrus: The Riven Realms - Patch 0.4.9 Live

by Myrthos, 11:57

Last year in December patch version 0.4.9 for Vagrus: The Riven Realms went live. The New features are these:

 MS 6: Crew Combat Alpha
- MS 14: Unrest and Obedience Mechanics (Partial delivery): Liberate or Discipline Slaves to
gain Obedience. Unrest will be added in a later update.
- Butcher beasts or mounts for supplies
- Warning triggers if an action would result in cargo loss

Additional milestones delivered that will only appear in the main campaign

- MS 10: Chart Exploration
- MS 11: Companion Select during Events
- MS 13: Hidden Stash and Smuggling Contraband

New / Updated Content or Game mechanics

- New sound effects for a number of creatures
- Camping without guards decreases Obedience
- Radial menu icons automatically pop up on the campaign map
- Node sizes increased for Point of Interests to better indicate them
- Goods tooltips now show more trade information
- Merged a few perks to make them more impactful

And there are several bug fixes.

Below you can find the video showing crew combat.

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Friday - January 03, 2020

Vagrus: The Riven Realms - Two Years Project Summary

by Hiddenx, 21:52

The Lost Pilgrims Studio looks back at two years of Vagrus: The Riven Realms development:

Lost Pilgrims is 2 Years Old

It is hard to believe that we founded the studio two years ago - who would have thought that time was going to fly so quickly. We have achieved many things and learned a LOT about game development. We lived through highs and lows alike, but the most important thing is that we persevered. Just to give you an idea, here are a few highlights:

  • Founded Lost Pilgrims in 2017 December
  • Hired Szonja in March 2018
  • Published the demo of Vagrus in December 2018
  • Show-cased Vagrus for the first time in Dubrovnik in April 2019
  • Since then we attended: DreamHack Summer (Sweden), PlayIT (Hungary), GameDevDaysGraz (Austria), and most recently AdventureX2019 (United Kingdom)
  • Kicked off our crowdfunding campaign at Fig in May 2019, and since then raised over $50,000
  • Our narrative designers have written close to 400 thousand words of story and lore
  • Our graphic designers created hundreds of amazing art assets
  • Nobo has written approximately 113 thousand lines of code
  • We released six patches for Vagrus, the content and improvements of which our Fig Backers and Patrons can enjoy via the Discord library

It sounds quite exhausting even just to think of all the work that was involved. Therefore, a HUGE THANK YOU is definitely due to the team. So, what comes next?

Open World Patch Scheduled for Q1 2020

We worked really hard to get the first Open World region of the game ready by the end of 2019 but truth be told, we are not happy enough with the overall experience just yet. We did know that it would not be as tested and refined as the Pilgrims of the Wasteland story was (which is currently included in the available Alpha build) but wanted to reach a similar level of polish. Achieving that is going slower than expected, however. It is partly because even just this first region is over twice the size of Pilgrims - in terms of narrative and content -, and way more complex due to its open-world nature. Thus, reaching the same level of stability and gameplay experience has proven to be a task that needs more time and effort.

We want it to be a positive experience right away, so that even if players encounter bugs and incomplete features, the overall look and feel of the game would be very much to their liking. We want them to feel that the available content and gameplay holds so much potential that they just have to come back and play again, or better yet, tell their friends about it.

[...]

Monday - December 23, 2019

Vagrus: The Riven Realms - Obedience and Unrest Machines

by Myrthos, 18:47

In the 28th developers blog for Vagrus, there is talk about the obedience stat, to keep your slaves in check and the unrest mechanic.

Obedience is a stat describing how disciplined (or disgruntled) the slaves owned by the comitatus are at a given time. It was implemented to give a rather fluid drawback to owning slaves: they might provide a free workforce but keeping men and women enslaved does have its risks even if it is 'part of the system'. You typically lose Obedience if you do not guard your slaves well enough (too few fighters to look after them), if you get or buy a lot of new slaves, if you do not feed them enough, if you arm them in Crew Combat, or keep choosing options in Events that endanger or embolden them.

With a high Obedience, your slaves over-perform and you can end up with some small surprise Events (with a positive outcome). This is in addition to the fact that you won't get a headache thinking about what can go wrong.

Low Obedience is where it all goes from bad to worse. Slaves start to steal, escape their bonds, or even commit more serious crimes. You can try to punish all the slaves in this case in the hopes of raising Obedience but it can backfire.

So how can you keep slaves in check? Well, a thoughtful vagrus might consider liberating slaves from time to time, which raises the Obedience of others to a great extent - if there is a chance of becoming free, they will work more diligently towards it. Nevertheless, it is a very expensive route to take, as slaves cost a lot of coin. Then there is the Deputy role of Slavemaster, who generates Obedience, making a critically low score very unlikely (and also can punish unruly slaves more reliably). Some equipment also has similar effects. Additionally, certain Events can positively affect Obedience and it behooves you to pay attention to those.

There is also a video:

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Also their Fig crowdfunding campaign is still going on.

Friday - October 18, 2019

Vagrus: The Riven Realms - New Build is out

by Hiddenx, 20:07

A new build of Vagrus: The Riven Realms has been released:

New Open Access build is OUT! - Includes FIVE Milestone Deliveries

The Story Behind the Patch

We have had a busy two months: we got through a Unity upgrade (always fun), overhauled how we store and calculate stats in the game (Property System), added character idle animations, while of course continued to spend significant time with promoting Vagrus through various channels. A good example of this is when we showcased the game in Graz (AT) at GameDevDaysGraz. It was an amazing event, and the greatest moment of course was when RPG dev legend Josh Sawyer came to our table and played the game himself.

As the lead designer of many great RPG titles (Neverwinter Nights 2, Pillars of Eternity I-II, Fallout: New Vegas), Josh is a role model for us and his works are very important sources of inspiration, so him playing Vagrus and talking about RPGs was a dream come true. Our team was beaming when he joined us for a team photo, too.

[...]

Thursday - September 19, 2019

Vagrus: The Riven Realms - Enduring Effects

by Myrthos, 10:15

In devblog #24 for Vagrus, more information is given about enduring effects in the game.

We are actively working on what we call Enduring Effects for the game. What are these? Well, in short and to put it simply, these are all buffs and debuffs that last for several in-game days or are permanent (until removed somehow). They come in a variety of types and can be used for a lot of things to enhance gameplay and narrative alike.

Challenges and Results

The challenges of implementing such a system are more complex than one would think simply based on how they are supposed to work. We had to create a property system and make it compatible with a huge number of stats and attributes across a variety of in-game entities. Though it involved some heavy lifting (mainly from coding) and it is almost impossible to demonstrate, we are very satisfied with the results. The goal was to have a system that allows content creators to go wild and expand indefinitely, to keep adding stuff wherever the story or the gameplay requires it.

Enduring Effect Types

Apart from the simple distinction of positive and negative effects (that aid and hinder the player, respectively) we identify a number of parameters that set Enduring Effects (EEs) apart into neat little categories.

Leader: This type of EE affects your character, the vagrus. Typically it'll modify stats like Resourcefulness (or making certain Leadership Skills cheaper or more expensive), or alter Perks your character might have.

A good example is Inspiration, which raises the maximum Resourcefulness temporarily, or Blessing of Bal Ur Kaal, which raises the level of social Perks like Charismatic, Con, and Persuade) as well as providing a boost for faction reputation rewards.

Crew: EEs of this kind affect your crew and only your crew (meaning they don't affect Companions for example or your character). Crew-related stats are typically altered by these, such as Vigor or Morale.

Examples include Favor of Irafons, which gives MP to your comitatus, or Hangover, which lowers maximum Vigor for a day.

Companion: This type of EE affects a specific Companion or all of them. Since these characters have a wide range of abilities, combat skills, and Perks, these EEs tend to be complicated more often than not.

The Blessing of Sergorod, for example, gives a Companion some Accuracy and Critical Hit boosts, while the Wrath of Sergorod makes it so that enemies are more accurate and score criticals more often against your cursed Companion.

Comitatus: EEs that effect your whole comitatus can be more complex, modifying a wider variety of stats and mechanics. They tend to have a Companion-related EE counterpart that is automatically assigned when the parent EE is assigned.

Black Rot, for instance, is a dreadful disease that is very contagious. When your comitatus receives this EE, it is transferred to all Companions currently in your employ as well - and keeps killing your crew and Companions until you can rid yourself of the horrid sickness.

Disdain of Ahskul affects the whole comitatus, making it more common that Undead show up as random encounters as well as buffing Undead type enemies against you.

Hope this allowed a little glance into what goes on behind the scenes and gives you all an idea of what to expect from this feature package. Next up, we'll probably talk about animation. See you around, dear Follower!

Tuesday - September 10, 2019

Vagrus: The Riven Realms - New Milestones and GOG

by Myrthos, 10:29

The Fig campaign for Vagrus has been updated with additional funding milestones, an extra funding they received and that the game is coming to GOG as well.

Back in May when we kicked off our crowdfunding campaign here on Fig we said we were in talks with GOG about potentially publishing Vagrus there. Considering GOG's curated approach with probably the highest standards from within the top gaming platforms, today we are extremely proud and happy to announce that we signed a distribution agreement with GOG for Vagrus - The Riven Realms.

Thursday - August 08, 2019

Vagrus: The Riven Realms - Devblog #23 - Trade System

by Myrthos, 14:24

The trade system in Vagrus has been developed to be elaborate and dynamic. In this devblog they explain why and how it is implemented.



Ever since we came up with the idea of Vagrus, a game where you manage a comitatus, we knew we needed to develop an elaborate, dynamic trade system that would serve as one of the major features of the game and would also aid in fleshing out a living world.

Basic Premises

While trading was always to be one of the main sources of income for the player, we also wanted to avoid creating a pure trading simulator game. It's not that those are not fun for the right people - stories about Gabor dominating the Auction House on our server in World of Warcraft for a period of time still surface in conversations among friends - but because our strengths lie elsewhere. Our unique setting, The Riven Realms, and telling stories with memorable characters was the first and foremost motivation to create Vagrus, so it was also much more likely to excel in that rather than in a simulation - which we knew relatively little of.

For the same reason, our goal was to come up with a game design for trading that supported story-telling and wasn't gonna overshadow it. Hence, trading in Vagrus is just profitable enough to keep you going, to cover the upkeep and consumption of your crew but not much else, making the player look for additional opportunities in the form of Events, carrying passengers and news, or taking on contracts or tasks (a feature we plan to add later on).

Many players highlighted how deep yet consistent the lore and general workings of The Riven Realms felt to them. With a setting so strongly established and transmittable, the challenge of game design is how to integrate other more 'gamey' features into it without breaking immersion too much. With trading, the idea was to create the feel of a natural flow of goods from where they produce them to where others consume those.

More at the link and in this video:

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Friday - July 26, 2019

Vagrus: The Riven Realms - Devlog #22 - Narrative Design

by Myrthos, 13:38

This devlog for Vagrus: The Riven Realms is about Narrative Design and the implications on gameplay.

As we are getting closer and closer to releasing the first playable build of the main campaign of Vagrus, it is perhaps a good time to talk a bit about the differences between the open world campaign and 'Pilgrims of the Wasteland'. The focus of this is going to be narrative design and stories but there are going to be implications on gameplay as well.

Encounters of a Random Kind

One of the most noticeable differences between the standalone story and open world (thought the second part of Pilgrims has this to some extent) is the frequency and importance of random encounters. These Events appear while you are traversing the Riven Realms. The longer it is you haven't come across an Event or encounter, the more likely it is that something will come up.

Part of the encounter Events are unique to each location (regions or sub-regions) while others are more generic and thus can appear in a wide variety of locations. The intent was to give interesting (and dangerous) things to do while en-route to some place and of course, to keep players from becoming careless while 'just traveling'. 

There's a Right Place for Everything

Another significant part of Events in the open world part are fixed in location. You can find them by the use of Scouting (or by happening upon them on their node) and interact with them by using the Explore button. 

A much more elaborate form of these fixed Events are settlement and point of interest Events. We like to call these persistent Events, though many will disappear upon completing them due to narrative reasons.

Have Anything for Sale?

The aforementioned settlement Events are also mostly persistent; many of these you can repeat again and again, as these represent facilities, shops, tasks you can take, or activities you can do in cities or villages. The selection of these Events gives character and utility to settlements; it also makes players travel between them a lot when certain functions are only accessible (or are only profitable) in certain places.

A Tale for the Ages

The meat and potatoes of content when it comes to Events are of course quests and storylines you can take part of. These are typically started in settlements, though some are accessed through random Events, too. Such storylines come in all sizes and varieties. A certain part of these will be dedicated to Companions' personal questlines. These don't only give backstories to your heroes but are also tied into their progress: Prowess levels 3, 6, and 9 are unlocked by reaching certain points of their questlines.

The impact of quests and stories on the world and the player vary as well but many influence one or the other. Tone also plays into this: Vagrus is low key for the most part but sometimes the player does have an influence on things, for example, in deciding which Trading House wins a rivalry to dominate a settlement. Or if a camp of outlaws get to thrive or be ousted by the Empire.

Challenge Accepted

As you can guess, writing and testing all this complexity is quite a task: the challenge to judge and balance the size and difficulty of Events grows exponentially as more and more content is created. Another tough part is to find the sweet spot of the frequency of random Events, as well as their distribution spatially and even in a timeline (would a story activate only in certain season or at a given point of time?).  We have our work cut out for us but the intent is to create a living and changing world that feels dangerous but certainly one you'd want to explore.

We are eager to share the Open world prototype with our Alpha Backers to get feedback about all this and to see what you think of the branching, layered narrative. There are still many things to complete beforehand but we are progressing well, so you can probably expect an announcement about it in the next few months.

Thursday - June 20, 2019

Vagrus: The Riven Realms - Devlog #21 - Scouting

by Hiddenx, 20:11

Devlog #21 explains scouting in Vagrus: The Riven Realms:

Devlog #21 - Scouting (Game Design Post)

At long last, Scouting is making its way into Vagrus. It is a vital feature in navigating and surviving the many wastelands of the continent of Xeryn.

What is Scouting for?
Scouting has two main uses. First, it can give you an indication of what to expect when moving onto specific neighboring nodes on the campaign map. Though these are given in percentages (what are the chances of a fight, and event, or that nothing happens) it still gives a rough idea of risks so that players can make informed choices. Second, Scouting can indicate if there is something fixed on a specific node (either a fixed Event or a Task objective for a faction). This is immensely helpful when looking for something out there in the wilderness with only vague directions to go on.

How do you use Scouting?
You can use Scouting when standing on a node. When you do so, you will have the option to select which neighboring nodes you wish to send scouts to - more than one route costs Resourcefulness for each additional node scouted. Naturally, you'll need scouts to even initiate this action. Scouting costs Movement Points: you have to pay half the highest route MP cost. The chance of success for each scouted node depends on how many scouts you send that particular direction and a Scout Master deputy provides further bonuses.

What are the risks of Scouting?
Apart from spending the Movement Points (and potentially Resourcefulness), your scouts have a chance not to return (having fallen prey to one of the many dangers of the wasteland) when you roll a critical failure. This makes spamming Scouting a bad idea, even with a Scoutmaster whose presence reduces the chances of a negative outcome.

Success vs Critical Success
A successfully scouted route provides percentage chances of an Event, combat encounter, or nothing happening. A critical success provides exactly what is going to happen (Event, encounter, nothing) and in case of an event or an encounter, it gives a relative idea of what to expect (obstacles, boon, chance for combat, the challenge rating of a fight, etc).

Scout Master
One of the deputy roles, the Scout Master is extremely useful when it comes to Scouting (as expected). When this role is assigned, it provides flat bonuses to critical success, reduces the chance of a critical failure, as well as makes it so that Scouting costs less MPs. Additionally, you can send scouts to a second node without paying Resourcefulness.

We are very excited to be able to now test Scouting and see how it impacts exploration in the open-world part of the game. We are even more excited to be able to include it in the game builds soon and see how players react.

Thanks Sztaszov!

Friday - May 31, 2019

Vagrus: The Riven Realms - Devlog #19

by Hiddenx, 22:09

Here's devlog #19 for Vagrus: The Riven Realms:

Devlog #19 | Passengers (Game Design Post)

Throughout your journeys as a vagrus, you will come across many people who want to get from one place to another on the broken continent of Xeryn. This might seem trivial but travel over the accursed wastelands of the Empire a perilous venture which makes most people try to avoid it whenever they can.

Those who that do undertake journeys often pay comitati such as yours to take them where they want to be. In-game, this provides an optional source of revenue to help you keep afloat but one that requires you to plan your path ahead considering several factors, including where your passengers wish to go and how long you have to deliver them there.

Passengers are available at mansios (and are randomized) or sometimes in events (where they are specific). You do not only have to feed them on the way but also have to protect them as attacking monster or outlaws can easily slay them. Mind you, some of them can even give you a hand in defending your comitatus (more on that later).

You can see the statistics of passengers related to crew on the Crew Pane, while other information can be observed in your Journal (redesigned to include a Passengers Page).

We feel this system adds another layer to planning and risks during travels in Vagrus, one which also has the potential to tell tiny stories of people who risk a lot by venturing forth with you.

Thanks Sztaszov!

Tuesday - May 07, 2019

Vagrus: The Riven Realms - Fig Campaign Live

by Myrthos, 20:23

Sooner than expected, the Fig campaign for Vagrus: The Riven Realms has gone live. It is an open access campaign, which is similar to the early access of Steam.

If you want to join this campaign, you can get a $5 discount by using this link.

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Embark on a perilous journey across a realm forsaken by the gods and devastated by an arcane cataclysm. Accompanied by a hardy crew, you must trade, fight, and explore your way to success as the leader of a traveling company in Vagrus, a post-apocalyptic fantasy RPG-strategy hybrid.

With Vagrus, we are aiming to revisit the classical turn-based RPG experience with an emphasis on narrative and exploration. Our unique setting, the Riven Realms, is a cruel, forsaken world that is quite different from most high fantasy settings, and the game builds heavily on immersing the player in its dark atmosphere.

As a backer you get the following:

As a backer, you are immediately added to our Discord channel, where you can provide feedback, see all the latest patch notes, get updates, and hang out with us!

Open Access gives us the opportunity to get more involvement from the community as we expand Vagrus. We want you to be a part of the development process and help the game reach its full potential.

As we reach additional milestones, Open Access backers will automatically receive additional content through-out the campaign (check out our development roadmap).

The current build of the game features the introductory story 'Pilgrims of the Wasteland'. Below is a more detailed outline for the existing build as well as content developed during this Open Access campaign. We can’t wait to continue expanding Vagrus - The Riven Realms with your help and hope you love playing it as much as we love making it!

And this is their motivation to run the campaign like this:

We have always planned to run a crowdfunding campaign, not only to gain support for going faster and further with the project but also to engage with players about certain aspects of the game. When we heard about Fig’s new Open Access model we figured it was a match made in heaven. Combining the best traits of a crowdfunding campaign and traditional Early Access within a positive environment just felt right immediately. Additionally, we are in a good place from a feature and content perspective: we have a strong Alpha build that players can already enjoy right away.

Funded milestones and hence all the content developed during the campaign will become part of the final release of the game received by backers on all tiers.

Monday - May 06, 2019

Vagrus: The Riven Realms - Fig Campaign Coming

by Myrthos, 10:31

Next Wednesday on the 8th of May, Vagrus: The Riven Realms, will start a crowdfunding campaign on Fig.

We are bringing this news to you now, because as an extra benefit to our RPGWatch community, you are eligible for a $5 discount and we don't want you to read about it somewhere else first next Wednesday and miss out on the discount. The discount is only available when using a specific link (different from the one above), which will be made public shortly.

Thursday - May 02, 2019

Vagrus: The Riven Realms - Devlog #18 - Rumors

by Hiddenx, 19:05

Here's Devlog #18 for Vagrus: The Riven Realms:

Devlog #18 | Rumors (Game Design Post)

Another crucial game mechanic that is being added to Vagrus as we are writing this is a system of Rumors. Rumors are short entries in your Journal that are meant to guide players to content and unlock locations on their Chart in order to help them plan journeys and find places. We have come to the conclusion during playtesting that not only do we need to differentiate these Rumor entries from your Objectives in the Journal but we also need to separate them entirely and move them to a different pane. As evident from this, Rumors have undergone quite a lot of change since their original conception.

Acquiring Rumors

Rumors can be found in Events sometimes or can be bought in settlements (in mansios, specifically) from a semi-randomly generated list. You will be able to discern from the list what each Rumor can grant you but not the specifics. We are still tweaking the way they generate but a certain randomness is going to play into it, so expect to rarely see the same set of Rumors in different playthroughs.

Types of Rumors
There are several types of Rumors we are planning to add:

Unlocks a Chart Item
This type of Rumor unlocks a settlement or point of interest location on your Chart. Apart from running into such places by wandering around, this is the only way to discover map locations.

Provides Information on a Storyline
This kind of Rumor points the player in the direction of a potential storyline or quest and gives hints on how to initiate it. Though the text is short, players may have to consult the Chart or explore a bit to find the exact place.

Provides Information on a Settlement
Information on a settlement's trade opportunities (what goods sell there for a good price), unique inhabitants, or important characters (such as the rare blacksmith or a powerful mage). Some of these might end up being generated to match the ebb and flow of markets around the Empire.

Gives Information on Encounters
These Rumors inform players about the dangers of a certain region or even provide hints on creatures and their habits that dwell there.

There might be other types added later but these four we would certainly like to appear in the game eventually.

Archive
In order to avoid keeping track of a huge amount of already obsolete Rumors, players will have the option to 'retire' a Rumor, that is, to move it into a searchable archive section of the Rumors list. This will be necessary to do from time to time for transparency's sake.

We feel that Rumors will play an important role in how players manage their goals and objectives, as well as in the way they explore the unknown and perilous reaches of the Riven Realms, so we will most definitely keep expanding on the concept as development goes along.

Monday - April 01, 2019

Vagrus: The Riven Realms - Second Teaser

by Myrthos, 11:08

the Vagrus team has made the second teaser of the game public.

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We are very proud and excited to finally release the second Teaser for Vagrus!

This one is focusing more on delivering a gist of the game's feel and atmosphere than showing off gameplay elements systematically like the first teaser did. Also, it will be used - in part or in whole - in our upcoming​ Fig.co crowdfunding campaign​. 

We can't really express how much work went into this - not only into the video itself but also into every single game system and art asset that is shown (or heard) in it. A very special thanks to everyone involved in its creation and also to you guys who continue to follow us through this journey.

Watch, share, and tell us what you think!

Thursday - March 14, 2019

Vagrus: The Riven Realms - Delivering News

by Myrthos, 11:32

In a new blog post for Vagrus: The Riven Realms, more information is provided on how news is being delivered in the world of Vagrus.

This time we would like to introduce a brand new game mechanic to you that you will see quite a lot in Vagrus: the acquiring and delivering of news across vast tracts of wasteland. Carrying news between settlements not only makes sense from a gameplay perspective but has its foundations in-world, too, that is, *comitati *are known to have a vital role in distributing news and taking messages all over the continent of Xeryn.

Acquiring News

News are tied to settlements: each settlement, however small, has its own News entry. You will acquire the entry for the given settlement when you enter the mansio in it. Alternatively, if you already have the entry in your Journal, it is reset to the freshest state when you enter the mansio. Sometimes you can also find News entries through Events as well - these often give you entries from faraway places.

Delivering News

You can deliver news by turning them in at the [cur]mansio[/cur] in settlements. Doing so will grant you coins depending on the number of entries, their freshness, and your current distance from their source. Note that News entries are not lost when you turn them in but you can not turn them in at that settlement again for a while. Entries can only disappear from your Journal when they lose all their freshness (but this can be reset by acquiring that same entry again).

Tuesday - March 05, 2019

Vagrus: The Riven Realms - Companion Combat Guide Pt. 4

by Hiddenx, 18:27

In part four of the companion combat guide the developers of Vagrus: The Riven Realms explain the different kinds of movement effects available for the characters on the battlefield:

Devlog #16 Companion Combat Guide - Part 4: Movement Effects

In the last part of the Combat Guide we took a look at defenses and their importance. This time, we'll delve into effects that involve movement or its restriction in one way or another.

Many Combat Skills in Companion Combat deal some kind of additional effect; some of these involve forced movement on the target or the denial of movement.

Push and Pull
As discussed before, positioning in Companion Combat is paramount, stemming from the fact that many Skills can only be used from either the front or back line. It thus follows that Skills that can change the position of an opponent are very useful as they can deny them an action by making them spend their turn to reposition. These effects are resolved immediately.

Push is the most common of such effects. When a Skills that has Push connects with a front row target and causes damage (even if the damage is mitigated to 0), the target is pushed to the back row if the Resist roll is failed. If there is another opponent that occupies that position, they both lose 1 Vitality.

Pull does the opposite, that is, when connected (and dealing damage as well as not resisted), the effect pulls a back row target to the front row. This can be used very effectively to pull squishier or dangerous ranged opponents to the front where your melee squad can punish them severely.

Control
Certain Skill effects allow you to control the actions of your opponents, though these almost always allow you only to move with the opponent, not to use their Skills. Still, if done well, this free movement can very effectively disrupt the enemy's plans, positioning adversaries into vulnerable places or denying them actions.

Immobilize and Stun
There are also effects that outright deny movement and even actions in general when applied (after the Skill that has this effect connects, causes damage, and the effect is not resisted). These effects can last several rounds at a time.

A successful Immobilize denies the target the use of their Move action. They can still use their Skills available from that position but this may severely limit what they can do. Certain characters - when immobilized in the right position - can be forced to pass their turn as they can no do anything. A successful Stun forces the target to pass its turn, thus denying them all actions. Stun is a powerful effect that is usually costly to use and is thus limited.

Overwatch and Obstacles
There are other effects that can alter movement and positioning. Overwatch is a Skill type that allows a character to set an attack on an empty position: when an opponent moves onto (or is moved onto) such a position, the attack is triggered. Though the opponent does not see which empty position is overwatched, fear of triggering it may result in avoiding movement altogether.

Obstacles occupy a position but do not act. They have Vitality and can be targeted. When defeated they simply disappear from the battlefield. Some Skills spawn Obstacles that can be used either to give your back-row characters Cover or deny certain positions on the enemy side (by placing the Obstacle there).

As you can see, these movement-influencing effects can be useful in a large variety of situations. Keeping select enemies controlled in such ways is a very viable tactic to achieve victory even against unfavorable odds.

We hope this was interesting to some of you and even useful for learning the workings of Companion combat in Vagrus. We might return with further Combat Guides in the future.

Thanks for reading and following us,
The Lost Pilgrims Team

Thanks Sztaszov!

Thursday - February 21, 2019

Vagrus: The Riven Realms - Companion Combat Defenses

by Myrthos, 11:29

In the most recent development blog for Vagrus: The Riven Realms, the defenses of comabt companions are discussed.

In the last part of the Combat Guide we took a look at Companion Actions, including moving, Skills, and their combinations. This time, we'll delve into defensive stats and their importance.

Companion combat is cruel in Vagrus and in general you can not heal during it. Your defenses are your main way to mitigate damage, so understanding how they work is very important.

Basics

Vitality (VIT) is the stat that your fighters lose each time they are hit. When depleted, the Companion falls into a Downed state. When Downed, they can not act (they do not receive their turns) but can be targeted and damaged. They have their Downed Vitality for when they are Downed. If that, too, is depleted, they are Out of Action, which means long-term wounds and potentially death. Therefore, it behooves the player to protect Downed Companions as best they can. That said, there are a few methods to bring back Downed characters into action but none of these are easy or cheap.

More at the link.

Friday - February 15, 2019

Vagrus: The Riven Realms - Character Design

by Myrthos, 10:16

On IndieDB the complete character design development blogs (four in total) have been posted for Vagrus: The Riven Realms.

The vast majority of the characters you see revealed are enemy characters, even if sometimes they can be allies in the game for short periods of time (or versions of them, anyways). Although Events will involve these enemy characters often, you will mainly see them as shown in the artwork in turn-based combat. All of them have their unique combat skills and synergies with other enemies.

The other category is Companions. Companions in Vagrus are full-fledged, named characters with varied backgrounds, skills, alignments, and personalities (for example, Javek or Sedarias). Each of them can join your comitatus and do various things for you:

  • They can fight for you in combat. Each of them have combat skills that you can use to defeat your enemies. Their stats and skills can be upgraded using your own Insight, essentially levelling them up. With each level up, you can give them new perks and improve their combat skills.
  • Each companion has their own personal storyline you can follow. These stories can go in different directions, eventually upgrading the companion and driving the overall narrative. You can also talk to them at camp and learn more about them, their goals, dreams, past, and so on.
  • Companions can also fill special roles in the comitatus, becoming what we call Deputies. Essentially, Deputies are your officers and most trusted traveling companions. Each of these positions can be filled by a single available Companion and the filled position provides you with passive and active boons. For example, having a Companion as a Scout Master gives you bonuses to Movement Points, raises the chances of successful scouting and improves the quality of information gathered from scouting.
  • Each Companion and Deputy position also allows you additional choices in certain Events you come across, widening your chances to successfully navigate these stories.

Thursday - February 07, 2019

Vagrus: The Riven Realms - Companion Combat Actions

by Myrthos, 11:26

In the second installment of the Companion Combat Guide for Vagrus: the Riven Realms, more information on the companions actions in combat is provided.

Movement 

All characters can Move to any adjacent position on their side of the battlefield. If they move into a position that is occupied by another character, that character is pushed out of the position it occupies and has to be moved into an adjacent free position (even to the position the moving character has just left).

Melee Skills, of course, can only be used from the front row. Additionally, not only do characters in the front row prevent melee attacks against characters directly behind them but also make them more difficult to hit with certain Ranged Skills (those that have the Line of Sight property), so moving and positioning is paramount in Companion combat. By extension, Combat Skills that move enemies can be extremely useful to get to pesky support or damage-dealing enemies in the back line or to prevent melee-heavy enemies from using Skills.

Targeting Basics

Skills vary vastly in what or who you can target with them. Some skills target an enemy (or several enemies even) while others your own Companion or Companions. There are also certain Skills that target empty positions and leave some kind of delayed effect on it (for example, a hail of arrows to strike anyone entering the position). Finally, some Skills only target the user, typically self-buffs.

Melee Skills can only be used from the front row. They can only target front row enemies that are adjacent to the attacker’s position or back row enemies if no front row enemy stands in the way.

Ranged Skills can target anyone on the given side of the battlefield. A subset of Ranged Skills have the Line of Sight property - these receive a flat penalty to Accuracy when targeting an opponent behind another enemy or an obstacle (thus gaining Cover).

Saturday - December 22, 2018

Vagrus: The Riven Realms - The Prologue is now available

by Hiddenx, 12:12

The Prologue section of Vagrus - The Riven Realms is now available for download on Game Jolt as 'Pay as you want' for a limited time.

Vagrus - The Riven Realms

The Prologue is the narrative exposition for the setting of the Riven Realms and also serves as the tutorial of the game, so it starts off leading you as through a very narrow path and then gradually opens up both in terms of features and narrative choices. It reaches a point a few hours in after which you are free to lead your group to almost any direction you want. Of course, success is far from guaranteed, so you need to carefully plan your trips considering all the information available to you, lest your journey ends in disaster, be it a deadly confrontation, financial ruin, or your own crew leaving you due to bad morale. Are you ready to try it yourself?

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The story awaits you: Conquer the wasteland!

-> Game Jolt Page

Sunday - December 09, 2018

Vagrus: The Riven Realms - Pre-Alpha Combat Video

by Silver, 22:11

Vagrus: The Riven Realms has been making progress with its combat system.

Companion Combat Improvements

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During the first wave of Alpha testing just recently, we've received a lot of useful feedback, especially on the UI (and Combat UI specifically). We've been keenly aware that these elements needed a rework and labored hard on improvements. We are happy to report on how far we've got:

Targeting and Active Turn

For many who played the game, a common grievance was the relatively clunky nature of target selection in Companion combat, as well as deciphering the sequence of actions. This was mainly due to yet unimplemented UI elements. We have since then added an improved targeting UI scheme which highlights everything better: 

  • There's more indication as to whose turn it is
  • Also who/what the available targets are
  • We've added hover highlights on target positions
  • And confirm states after target selection

In the next sprint or so we're planning to add more textual guidance and sound effects to combat as well (round counter and announcement before a round, display of the entity that begins its turn, and so on). 

 Combat Log

There's been a bunch of improvements to the combat log, too, which now has easier-to-understand templates and more informative texts in general. We believe the overhaul had a great effect on usability.

Tooltips

This might seem trivial but adding a ton of new dynamic tooltips (especially in combat) makes combat much smoother and easier to understand. In a stat-heavy game such as Vagrus, we felt that this change brought a lot of clarity and usability.

We're super-excited as we're nearing a more public reveal of the Prologue with each successive build. Thank you so much for helping this come to life!

Sunday - November 11, 2018

Vagrus: The Riven Realms - Character Design

by Hiddenx, 10:33

The devs explain the character-art-design of Vagrus: The Riven Realms:

Character Design - Part 3

In the last part of our character design series, we talked about what goes into conceptualizing and designing characters and touched upon how Bazsó came up with distinct the art style for characters and how Szonja raised the bar when working with the majority of them.

Now it's time to discuss what actually happens after the initial phase of concepts and moodboards. Mind you, this will probably have information that is well-known by any graphic designers who work on 2D character art; yet others may find it intriguing.

A Sketch
Often - but not always - Geri prepares sketches for the individual phases of a character. Other times we take photos where one of us poses as the character and these can be used as references. The sketch or photo is then taken by Szonja who makes several improved sketches and concepts before she gets down a primary that we decide to roll with.

Linework
Working in Photoshop, Szonja does the linework for the 'idle' position of the character. There are usually several iterations of this until everyone is happy with all the aspects of the sprite. This is also the phase when a lot of detail gets placed and parts get more definition.

Coloring and Shading
The idle phase image then goes through coloring. This is usually not something we iterate much, as most of the time the color scheme is already set during the concept phase. This is where a lot of surfaces get details, like textiles. Everything is done with hard brushes, no texture brushes are used.

Shading is the last step, following the guidelines set by Bazsó in his initial character art direction to achieve that specific comic-book look. This involves applying a shadow layer first and then subtracting parts of it being hit by directional light. Finally, contact shadows and highlights are added.

Further Phases
This above process is then repeated 4-7 times (once for each pose), depending on the number of poses. Short review rounds are between each phase before the poses are accepted. After all that, the character's base art assets are done. Except...

Finishing Touches
Once the images are finalized, they are exported to .png format and are plugged right into Unity, where pivot points are set, placements are tweaked, and effects/decals are added, which is a whole, complex process in and of itself.

Challenges
Currently, the most challenging parts of this process are encountered when a character - due to variations in apparel and paraphernalia like the elemental shamans or tribesmen - has to have overlapping layers in the source files, matching perfectly with the other layers.

The other source of considerable headache is that the idle poses have to be ready to be skeleton-framed and animated later, so we have to think about that and draw 'behind' the future moving parts.

In the last part of our character design series, we'll talk about how we design character stats and combat roles, as well as how we implement them. Be sure to check that out, too!

Saturday - October 27, 2018

Vagrus: The Riven Realms - Announced

by Hiddenx, 09:55

The Strategy/RPG hybrid Vagrus: The Riven Realms is currently in development by Lost Pilgrims:

Vagrus: The Riven Realms

Embark on a perilous journey across a realm forsaken by the gods and devastated by a cataclysm. Accompanied by a hardy crew, you are free to discover a dark fantasy world and its secrets. Trade, fight, or explore your way to success as a leader of a traveling company in Vagrus, a post-apocalyptic fantasy RPG-strategy hybrid developed by Lost Pilgrims.

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EXPLORE A DARK CONTINENT
A vast continent is yours to explore, filled with unique locations, strange factions, lurking dangers, and a slew of characters you can interact with.

EXPERIENCE A BRANCHING NARRATIVE
A range of longer and shorter stories make up the game’s narrative in the form of events and quests. The choices you make in these affect the characters and the world around you.

ENGAGE IN TURN-BASED COMBAT
Take part in turn-based, tactical combat that involves your characters and a large variety of enemies, both humanoid and monstrous. Use a range of character skills and abilities to succeed.

MANAGE YOUR CREW
Most journeys have to be planned and prepared for carefully, lest they end in disaster. Manage your supplies, cargo, and crew effectively to survive.

ENCOUNTER A COLORFUL CAST OF CHARACTERS

The player can recruit fully-developed characters to the caravan to serve in versatile roles, such as scoutmaster, quartermaster or guard captain. Each of them comes with their own background and personal quests line.

Information about

Vagrus: The Riven Realms

Developer: Lost Pilgrims

SP/MP: Single-player
Setting: Post-Apoc
Genre: Strategy-RPG
Combat: Turn-based
Play-time: Unknown
Voice-acting: Unknown

Regions & platforms
Internet
· Homepage
· Platform: PC
· Expected at 2021-10-01
· Publisher: Lost Pilgrims