After last week’s introduction of a new opponent to get crushed by, this week is about a new building found only in the southern city states, new alchemical contraptions coming with the ‘Blazing Deserts’ DLC, as well as changes to existing potions. There’s a lot to cover, so let’s start!
Travel south as far as your feet can carry you and you’ll come upon a strange land where the sun reigns eternal. These lands are not ruled by houses of nobility, but dotted with magnificent cities that govern themselves. Here, the rulers are patrons of art and of science. And because alchemy is an important science of the medieval ages, it is here and nowhere else that you’ll find the new Alchemist building.
Naturally, the Alchemist feels right at home with decoctions, philters and elixirs, so if you own the ‘Beasts & Exploration’ DLC, he’ll have a varying selection of potions to sell you without you having to craft them. More importantly, however, the Alchemist has several things on offer that are entirely new to the game. One of them will be introduced with its very own dev blog in the coming weeks, while the others are what we’re taking a closer look at today. They’re essentially throwable bombs.
The Fire Pot
A fire pot is highly combustible liquid inside a ceramic pot, intended to be thrown, that will shatter on impact and set an area of seven tiles ablaze with searing flames for several turns. It works similarly to the ‘Miasma’ tile effect of Ancient Priests in that everyone ending their turn inside the burning area will take damage. Unlike ‘Miasma’, however, the fire doesn’t ignore armor but melts first armor and then flesh. It can also inflict entirely new injuries, such as burnt hands or legs.
Wood burns pretty well, so Schrats take double damage from fire, but Ifrits, being living rocks forged by the fire of the eternal sun, are unaffected by it. Not only are Fire Pots effective against tight formations of opponents, but they can also prove an effective way to deny access to tiles or funnel opponents towards a particular part of the map. That being said, some select opponents will make use of Fire Pots themselves!
The Smoke Pot
A smoke pot is throwable pottery as well, but instead of fire it quickly creates a dense cloud of thick smoke on impact. Inside this cloud of seven tiles, zones of control no longer work, and all characters can move freely without incurring attacks of opportunity. Useful for repositioning during battle, but also to cover retreat when you’re already engaged.
Additionally, the thick cloud of smoke also protects against ranged attacks. Anyone inside the area covered with smoke is harder to hit, but also has a harder time seeing clear and hitting any targets outside the area themselves with ranged weaponry. The Smoke Pot can thus provide valuable protection against ranged-heavy enemy compositions for a limited time, but at the cost of limiting the effectiveness of your own ranged characters as well.
The Flash Pot
The flash pot is filled with mysterious powders that react violently on impact to create a bright flash and loud bang, dazing anyone not immune within an area of seven tiles. Because the ‘Dazed’ status effect was already a bit too dominant even before the Flash Pot, it’s going to be slightly weaker with the 1.4 update, but applying it to a whole group of opponents at once can still make for a huge swing in how the battle goes. Careful, though, as all these alchemical marvels can affect both friend and foe alike!
Introduced with the ‘Beasts & Exploration’ DLC, the Taxidermist allows the player to craft various items from beast trophies, among them potions. With the upcoming 1.4 update, many potions are going to work a bit differently.
In their current incarnation, many potions tend to be somewhat hard to use because of their restrictions; they can only be used in combat, they can not be used while engaged in melee, they cost action points to use, and their effects only last a couple of turns. We’re changing them to be strategic tools that are used on the world map and no longer during combat, and their effects to last for the whole next battle. Imagine you’re about to engage an enemy at night – part of your preparations for battle could now be to have your archers drink a ‘Night Vision Elixir’ before battle starts in order for them to be deadly even under the pale light of the moon. If you’re about to engage Geists, you might want to have a key character drink a ‘Lionheart Potion’ instead in order to bolster their resolve. Preparation is key!
At the same time, antidote now not only removes any stacks of poison, but also grants immunity to poison for several turns. This means that you’ll no longer end up in situations where you spend your antidote to cure a character only to end up poisoned again the very next turn. You can choose to make preemptive use of it, or you can wait to use it until you’ve actually been poisoned, just as before. Unlike potions, however, it’s still usable in combat, because you can neither know beforehand who’s going to need it most, nor can you be expected to inoculate every single one of your characters. The full list of changes to potions and other consumables will be part of the changelog posted once the update is released.