As we are approaching the final stages of development on our upcoming major update - The Nobility and Clergy - it is time to share with you details on what's coming! This marks our second major update and during the months since the launch, hundreds of you shared your thoughts, suggestions, praise, and criticism on Steam, Reddit, and Discord, which helped us understand how you see our game and what is the best way to move forward. This is the main reason why we are in early access and we are happy to see it is for the benefit of the game! We also understand that being part of early access is asking our players for a lot of patience as we continue to deliver on the promised features, balancing, and overall quality of the game, so thank you for sharing your support during this process and remaining patient! Let's see what the next update brings!
So far, you've been only responsible for the peasants. The feudal nature of the world they live in, which recognizes people primarily by their heritage and titles, makes it so that they don't have that many legs to stand on when it comes to fighting for their rights. This means your leverage as their lord is much higher. Whether you choose to have them live at the edge of poverty or uplift their lifestyle, is mostly in your hands, as they are all afraid of the consequences, should they disobey your rule.
But nobles are different. They won't simply accept what you think is right. And they put increased pressure on almost everything you do. A mere inn is not enough - you have to build a proper Tavern - a new zone with nice beds and sweet wine to serve, which will attract noble visitors to your settlement! Normal meals? Those are for peasants. You have to produce a variety of cooking ingredients and serve excellent meals. Taxing their zones is tolerable but you better be careful to not push it too far. Once you fail to please the nobles, they will leave your settlement and greatly harm your reputation!
You might ask yourself, why would you keep such a demanding and ungrateful class of citizens around? If not for the variety and fun of exploration, they bring luxury resources to your settlement. Nobles also receive regular supplies of money and luxury goods from their otherworldly endeavors and businesses, that can boost your economy. You can also propose marriage deals to other noble families, who will negotiate with you an exchange of partners and gold through the aristocratic practice of arranged marriage. Let's have a look at the new zones, that are managed by noble families.
Nobility is status and it must be known to everyone at the first sight. Turn all the precious ores and gems from the mountains into beautiful jewelry with the help of jewel crafters. Nobles will be happy to purchase them and wear them to satisfy their cravings of wealth.
It is being said that carrying a Philosopher's Stone is essential for long and prosperous life. Add some health potion and you are sure to outlast even the most healthy individuals. Or should you be interested in stamina potions or some potions of defense, alchemists are certainly your friends.
You might wonder what these potions actually do - they improve happiness and mood, slightly recover the energy of the villager and increase their defense, but if you want to know the truth, there is nothing magical about them. Just a good old-fashioned placebo effect covered up with fancy legendary stories from medieval charlatans.
Decorate the large halls of your manor with outstanding paintings and statues, made by the most skillful hands of artists, who travel to your settlement to share their talents with you. For a hefty price of course.
Actors and entertainers around the world will travel to your settlement and perform on the stage to entertain your noble villagers for a small entry fee.
Covering the spiritual needs of your citizens is an essential part of your responsibilities, but it is more intricate than you might have thought! Clergy understands well their position in society and they do not hesitate to exert their influence. Whether or not it is going to be for your benefit is up to you.
As you maintain your reputation amongst your people, clergy will also maintain reputation with you. Providing donations on a regular basis, supplying them resources through taxation, and developing your settlement with churches and chapels is a sure way to improve it. Let's have a look at each of these systems in detail.
Clergy will regularly demand monetary donations from you, but also from every other noble family in your settlement! This brings an interesting powerplay. Other noble families want to maintain good standing with the clergy and if they are not happy with your rule, they may decide to increase their donations and put pressure on you in order to undermine your rule through clergy's influence. There is only one way to fight back - improve relationships with the noble family and maintain higher donations. You can exile a noble family too, but this will make all other noble families dislike you even more! And it works both ways - your donations put pressure on other noble families, who might decide to leave the settlement, if they can not keep up!
Both socage - taxing a percentage of production - and fee-farm - collecting monetary rent - are now split into two parts. One portion is taxation, which will be provided to you. The second part is then donated to the clergy. While it is not necessary to tax every zone, you need to make sure, that clergy will get everything they need, to survive and thrive. A taxation is an ultimate form of supplying the clergy, as it does not increase pressure on donations from other noble families.
Sunday Service is where clergy exerts their influence on people. The appointed minister holds the Sunday Service at the local church for peasants, together with the bishop doing the same for nobles in the chapel. If your reputation with the clergy is good, you will see your ruler's reputation improve and vice versa. Building a church and chapel is also necessary, as your villagers will demand from you the ability to practice their faith.
Villagers may choose to join clergy voluntarily at an older age and since this decision is considered sacred, you will not have the power to prevent them from doing so. However, you may order them to join the monastery at any point in their life. They will leave their family and all of their possessions behind and devote themselves to service and practicing their faith.
All enlisted members join as novices and have to study manuscripts in the library to learn reading, writing, and consecration. Once they do, they can be initiated and become a bishop, minister, or monk. As monks, they can be assigned to various clergy orders, to perform different duties, while you manage how many people should be in each order. Each monk in the order then learns a new profession and operates in their designated clergy zone. Let's have a quick look at the new orders added to the game.
With the addition of a graveyard, your villagers will receive free access to a commonly shared area, where they can bury their loved ones. We are also adding Quarters that serve as a communal household for all monks in the monastery, where they can cook meals, sleep and eat.
The list of new features and improvements does not end there! We have also done a lot of smaller improvements and additions, that are definitely worth mentioning.
Balancing is also on the list of our priorities! Many of you have been reporting how difficult it is sometimes to maintain a stable economy in your village and how specific zones struggle for living or have difficulties maintaining production. We are aware of these issues and are striving to improve upon them in the next update. While having a stable and balanced game is a high priority for us, please keep in mind, that we are still in early access and due to the ever-evolving nature of the game, during stages where core game mechanics are still being added, it would be counterproductive for us to invest an extensive amount of time into maintaining the balance on the same standard of quality, as we will set for the full game. That being said, we will certainly bring several improvements during the next update, which should make the economy more stable and enjoyable and we've also focused on fixing several issues and bugs, particularly with our complex AI systems.
If you've got to the end of this article, surely you want to know, when we are releasing all of this amazing content. We are currently in the last stages of balancing and bug fixing and will need a few more weeks to finish it up, but if everything goes well, you can expect the update to go live at the beginning of February. Once again, thank you all for your patience. We have been blessed to learn how many of you are enjoying our game and we can't wait to share this next update with you.
We will be opening a closed beta for the new update soon, so make sure to join our Discord community, so you don't miss out on the chance to participate. Follow us on our socials to stay up to date and share your love for the game with your friends, if you wish to support us more! If you've missed our latest live Q&A, make sure to watch it on our Youtube, where we discuss also the longterm plans for the game.
Honestly Games Team