Hey everyone! We’re very excited to talk about the first major content update for UnderMine. A word of warning though, this write up contains major spoilers. So, if you want to experience this new update for yourself you should stop reading now. But, if you’re too excited and want to see what is coming next then read on.
In version 0.2.1 the peasant will be able to meet Griswold, the Collector. Before that though they will need to find a dusty tome in the UnderMine and return it to Arkanos’ library. There they can set it back in the bookshelf and discover the secret passage to the Collector’s room.
Griswold can hatch hatchlings for the player. Hatchlings are a schematic like blueprints or recipes, and are unlocked using Thorium. Once hatched, the hatchling becomes a familiar that can accompany the peasant on their journey.
Familiars are small creatures that each specialize in something different. The design goal was to make sure each had a distinct flavor and supported a different kind of build. For example: the Canary is the first familiar the player will play with. Like in the current version of UnderMine, the Canary helps the peasant collect gold. The Canary’s theme and abilities revolve around gold and how it is used.
Familiars gain experience by performing certain actions, as well as by diving deeper into the UnderMine. For example: the Canary levels up by picking up gold. Each familiar has 3 levels, and every time they level up they gain a new ability. At level 2 the Canary will increase the gold income for the peasant.
When the peasant dies and the run is over the familiar will revert back to level 1. We didn’t want these levels to be permanent because we didn’t want to encourage grinding to increase power. We also wanted to make leveling up a familiar feel like completing part of a build.
Familiars were a feature planned for the Early Access release, but they were also much simpler. Late in development we decided we wanted them to be a more significant system, and came up with the leveling idea. So, they got pushed out of the initial release. The reason we want familiars to level up is because it allows us to create abilities that will really support certain builds, but would be very underwhelming as a relic.
For example, the Firebird and Thunderbird increase the peasant’s fire and lightning damage at level 2. We felt this would make a terrible relic since if the player has no fire or lightning damage it pretty much does nothing. Each of these familiars’ level 1 abilities though, has them attacking using their respective elemental damage. Therefore their level 2 abilities are guaranteed to do something regardless of whether you have the right relics or not. But, because the birds increase their own and the peasant’s elemental damage they also combo with relics like Bottled Lightning and Salamander’s Tail.
The Canary helps the peasant earn and collect gold
The Djinn is crafty and helps the peasant discover secrets
The Spirit allows the peasant to carry and use more potions
The Phoenix protects the peasant by healing them when they take damage
The Sylph allows the peasant to pray more often and at reduced cost
The Thunderbird attacks the peasant’s enemies with bolts of lightning
The Firebird attacks the peasant’s enemies with large fireballs
Nikko punches the peasant’s enemies and increases the chance for critical strikes
Other Content, Changes, Balance, and Bug Fixes
In addition to the Collector and Familiars we are adding a whole truck load of other stuff. There will be additional content such as the “Big Chest” which has a high cost to open, but contains some very valuable items. We’ve added nearly two dozen more encounters, several new options, and a couple of new items. In addition to this new content we have also fixed a couple dozen bugs, some of which were at the top of players’ high priority lists. And also another highly requested change:
Modifier System Overhaul
Okay, players weren’t literally saying “overhaul the modifier system,” but they kind of were. Before, the way we did multiplicative modifiers meant that each new modifier was changing the peasant based on every modifier that came before it. This meant that if you found something that increased your health by 10% it was changing whatever your current health was by 10%. Now we have the idea of base stats and modifier stats.
Base stats are modified by having stats added to the peasant. For example, the Pickaxe Upgrade increases the peasant’s base damage by 4. Percent modifiers take a percentage of the base stats and then add them afterwards. Demon Ring increases the peasant’s swing damage by 15%, which means it calculates 15% of the base stats and adds that on afterwards. This leads to modifiers being much more predictable and solving one of the main issues brought up by players.
Blessings and minor curses now (almost always) modify base stats, so they are critical to how the peasant’s stats scale. They also now perfectly cancel each other out. Got one level of Toughness and one level of Frailty? Your health will now be whatever it started as, instead of some unpredictable number.
In addition to this modifier change, blessings and curses have been unified. Blessings for the most part grant the equivalent of upgrades from Wayland or Dodson. Minor curses are equal to blessings, and major curses that modify stats are equivalent to 2 levels of their minor counterpart.
Overall this new modifier system should help stat gains and losses be far more predictable and fair. It also means major curses across the board are much weaker, and hopefully not so debilitating for a run.
There is a lot coming in this update and this write up only covers part of it. We’re currently testing all these changes and waiting for our new localization. We’ll announce a release date soon, along with a complete set of update notes for you to pore over. If you would like to discuss this update more with us be sure to join our Discord.
— Clint + Derek