Renowned Explorers: International Society is one of TechRaptor's favorite games of 2015, even managing to sneak away with our pick for Best PC Exclusive of 2015. However, we weren't expecting much more in updates with it until the announced expansion comes out later this year, with Patch 11 being the end of their bi-weekly updates. Abbey Games, though, managed to dig up the time to put something together that not just fixes several bugs in Renowned Explorers but adds onto the game with some new adventures in a region and a lot of balance tweaks.
The Highlands, one of the three star adventures in Renowned Explorers, has sometimes been commented on lacking a bit in different events, as well as the pizazz that the other areas have. Abbey Games has added in some new events that will hopefully spice it up and add in some new checks into an expedition that was considered stale by some, and reliant on the treasures to get renown. Some of that comes from that the Highlands is the most grounded in reality compared to others, as most of your opponents are things like wolves and Scottish Highlanders compared to other regions where you have voodoo pirates, mummies, cultists, and more to deal with.
There are a couple of key gameplay tweaks that were implemented as well with Patch 12. The first is that when you revive one of your crew members the reviver gets a bonus to their defenses for 2 turns. This appears to be a large bonus, which will help justify taking the time out from working on other things to revive crew members and help minimize the times when a crew member going down can quickly chain out of control as you revive them and then the reviver gets knocked out quickly, creating an out of control situation.
The second change was to cause trinkets bought on the overworld to no longer be equippable during an expedition. The reason for this change is almost certainly to deal with the fact that many players used trinket juggling, passing trinkets between crew members to for whatever skill check or fight is upcoming. This will force players to commit to a trinket set essentially before going out and less mid-expedition, suddenly gaining and losing perks with the trinkets.
Some of Renowned Explorers UI got a tweak as well. The first is that emotion resistances, and presumably weaknesses, are presented more prominently. There also appears to now be a slight ghostly overlay that is ready to pop up when there is a resistance or weakness, and also draws the user eye early on so that they know where to look for that information. The other change is that the Gold, Status, and Research tooltips now show additional information about renown gain from their tokens. The reason for this was a community request from people wanting to have the information to easier understand the score and to know how the renown modifier applies to the various resources.
The balance changes and bugs are a pretty long list, but we'll hit on a few high points, though if you want more in-depth you should read their post. First is that most Shangri-La Treasures now give more renown to help make going on the 5-star expedition more tempting. Other Shangri-La changes include some tweaks to your rival Rivaleux, and tweaking the emotional Demon battles so that there is greater variety in play with the red, green, and blue demons. The Research tree of psychology got changed some, and some of the renown bonuses from research trees got chopped down to make the final score less reliant on them. Inevitably, Anna and Charles both saw some nerfs to their notoriously overpowered captain's perks and Anna's led to the Abbey Games writer saying this on balancing her ability out:
Anna's captain perk nerfed, AGAIN. If she's still that much out of line, I declare her a cockroach and unnerfable
The bugs were some from the Patch 11 changes, and also fixed an issue where the renown multiplier bonus for Gold wasn't working. There was also a slight change in the way stories are placed in expeditions, and a couple bugs that were score breakers with treasures were fixed. Notably, items no longer count as treasures when buying them and thus no longer trigger those research bonuses that trigger per treasure, and the spam click that sometimes could be done to get multiples of the same treasure was fixed.
Phew ... that was a lot! And that's only a part of all the changes they made to this game after saying not to expect any more than minor bug fixes until the expansion.
Renowned Explorers: International Society is available right now on Steam for $19.99, and if you have any questions about the game feel free to drop them in the comments below!