Hello there dear backers.
It is way past the release date. Sadly we have to announce that we need more time. We need at least a few extra months. We don’t want to release an unfinished product. Balrum has to be polished!
There is good news too! Balrum is getting much bigger and we are adding extra features along the way. The remaining chapters are coming along nicely and we have a big update for you right now.
We would like to ask you guys something. What do you think about an open beta for all backers? The beta version has been out now for a long time. We are way past the release date so we think that we should at least give the beta to those who bought the game but had no beta access.
The beta does not include backer specific and backer created content. The content created by you will be in the final product.
The new beta is available now at the usual place!
Crafting has been rewritten and redesigned from the ground up. Now we have multiple craft panels for each crafting stage/element as opposed to everything being in one large panel. All crafting systems are more comfortable to use and all remaining crafting related features have been implemented. Now you are informed via a tooltip when something is not right about your custom recipe.
Now you have a chance for a critical craft! Items will receive a minor bonus if a critical craft has happened. You can increase the critical craft chance with a few items.
All those previously unusable items are now usable in at least one of the crafting systems.
Some weapons now have special on hit effects.
A few new items worth mentioning:
You should check out the trinket that Grandpa gives you! It might help you out in certain situations, but be prepared for a few surprises when using it!
Building your house has also received a big update. Now you are only able to build in a certain place (see what Grandpa has to say) but you are not restricted in any way. No more distance restrictions and other unnecessary things. You are able to build lots of things this time around (almost 4 times more than before). Also you will find special schematics for statues, paintings, trophies all around Darkwood.
Now you are able to build pig and spider troughs. You can release your bought/found pigs or spiders near the appropriate trough. Your livestock will produce “goodies” in the nearest barrel. If your animals are fed regularly they might produce offsprings.
All remaining disabled quests and unfinished quests are now completed. You can except quests that have radical outcomes if you choose your path loosely.
Spoiler ahead! For example: You discover the true origins of an NPC and if you decide to cruelly inform him about this new knowledge the consequences might be dire. This might even put other NPC’s lives in danger.
There are a number of new traps in the game including the “Taming trap” which enables you to capture a new pet if your Hunting skill allows it. Try out the frost trap, it can quickly change the outcome of a fight.
There are new areas that you can only enter if you…
Your plants now have a chance to be infected. To fight the infection use a “Cure Plant” potion!
Every skill has been reimagined. Skills are now a bigger part of the game. If you lack a certain skill you might find some things to be harder or even impossible. Skill tooltips now inform you about what the skill does and what will it do at higher levels.
There are more instantly combinable items that require no crafting facility. For example: Wood, oil and linen will result in a simple torch.
The number of items that can be found in the world has been greatly increased. Now you can find exotic and special items that have various uses. For example: Spider Web trinket: When used this trinket will entangle your target it in sticky spider web for a few turns.
Trading has been also heavily altered and should be much more usable now. Traders have persistent inventories. This means that after reloading the game their inventory won’t reset. Traders also have money now and some of them might buy your goods at a better price than the others. Also traders wont buy anything, only items they are interested in.
Lore texts are now in the game. You are able to find old documents and letters that the previous inhabitants of Darkwood wrote. Some of these documents might help you in amongst other things, in solving puzzles or finding information on how to open specially locked chests.
There are a number of new spells in the game. Those of you who prefer to play a hunter/archer will be pleased to hear that Fox and the others now teach a few new abilities that require a bow.
Some of the new spells are only usable once. Like the “Forget Crime” spell. Once cast, the spell will disappear form your spellbook. You can always find a new scroll!
We have redesigned most of the base game mechanics. You have to pay close attention to what kind of spells/abilities your enemies are using to survive. Eating and drinking has beed rebalanced. Not all items are fully stackable any more. Those of you who like to explore every part of the map are now rewarded with random items that your character spots while exploring. There are new AI behaviors for the residents of Darkwood.
The traps in the game are now pre determined. This means that you cannot simply reload the game if you fail to disarm a trap to try again because it will fail again after you load. (when you gain a new level in the Traps skill traps will reset and recalculate)
Pets are finally in the game! Whenever you catch a new pet its abilities will be in you spellbook. You can drag these abilities onto one of your hotbars and select one for your pet to use next time it attacks. You can command your pet to walk to a given place with selecting it and clicking in the world. If your pet is blocking your way, simply push it in the way you would like to walk and it will try to get out of your way. If all fails you can dismiss your pet and recall it afterwards.
Your pet and your tent both have inventory space and now your tent won’t disappear after you slept in it.
There are two new buttons next to your hotbars. These are the recipe button and the pet button.
Now it is not wise to always skip nighttime because you will find things that are hidden during the day. Most NPCs now go to sleep at night.
During your adventures you will find secrets and elaborate traps. The maps now offer more for those who love exploring. Some of these secrets will require you to think differently. There are special crafting recipes scattered around the world for you to find.
Every complicated part of the game GUI has an information “i” tooltip to help you understand how to use it.
Item sets are now in the game. These sets when worn will grant you extra attributes if the set requirements are met.
Autosave and quicksave are implemented. When entering a new map the game will autosave.
A small but useful addition is the ALT button function. Now if you press the ALT button the game displays the names of nearby friendly NPCs.
The engine now defaults to 60fps mode. This can be forced to 30fps on older systems. 30fps mode is recommended on old netbook computers (use the netbook mode checkbox in the video options to force on the 30fps mode). Texture streaming has been improved eliminating stutters while in fullscreen mode. The sound system has been improved. Now distant sounds are properly played at lower volumes. Memory usage has been lowered and overall performance has been improved.
We put a huge amount of effort to make the game more enjoyable. We polished nearly every aspect of the game. You will find a lot of changes in almost everything. We are much closer to a quality product than we were a few months ago!
Colorblind mode is experimental. The new overall color modes are also experimental. (both of these features are available with video cards that don’t have proper shader support: GMA 950)
In the next update cooking will be adjusted to have base materials much like armor creation. Also in the next update we will introduce items that are only usable if you chose a certain path. (being kind to others and being helpful is one path, or being a liar and using others for your own interest is another one) Floating texts will be adjusted in the next update. Important floating texts will remain on the left side of the screen until you decide to delete them. Input handling will be rewritten so icon dragging and other things will be more comfortable. Also in the next update Balrum will have much more sound effects!
If you are experiencing weird behaviors please try some of the new switches located in the config file. (the config file is located at “/files/saves/config.xml”)
Three switches to be aware of:
-glFinish (true or false) (if you are experiencing texture corruptions)
-slowerTextureUpload (true or false) (if you are experiencing texture corruptions)
-forcefullsw and forcefullsh (forces the given resolution in fullscreen mode, this only works if your monitor/os supports the given resolution in fullscreen mode)
If you find a bug and your time allows it, please post about it on our forums.