4X

Thea 2: Development Update

We haven’t updated our fans about Thea 2: The Shattering since September of last year, so we figured it was about time let everyone what’s going on with Muha’s development.

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New Deities

Among the new content under development for Thea 2 is a revised pantheon. The original game had eight gods and goddesses including  Svarog (sun god), Horos (god of night), Perun (god of thunder), and Lada (earth mother). So far, we have already been introduced to several new gods in Thea 2.

First, Horos is getting a makeover and slight name changes to Horz which is a more common spelling of the deity in slavic nations. In Thea 1 he was almost goblin-like with grey scaly skin and a dogface snout. In Thea 2 he’s far more animalistic, almost like a demon-possessed wolfman.

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We’ve also seen a new wind god, Stribog. Unlike most of the deities in Thea 1, Stribog is barely humanoid in shape. His amorphous body reflects the whims of the earth’s breezes, blowing where they may across the blasted landscape of Thea. He resembles more of an elemental being rather than a paragon of Olympian descent.

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Next, I’d like you to meet the friendly and affable goddess of death: Nyia. She’s been lonely for quite some time following her multi-century banishment from reality. If you’re looking for a divine protector and patron, you could hardly do better than Nyia… You know, if you want to spend the rest of eternity as her undead slave.

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At last, we have Lada. She is carried over from the original game and has kept most of her former powers and personality. Guarding nature and promoting fertility among the wretched people of Thea, she shepherds those who love life and want to restore the land. Among all the deities revealed so far, she seems the most interested in helping mortal kind make their way through the horrors of their shattered world.

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Research

Recently, we got an update on the research system in Thea 2. In many respects, it doesn’t deviate much from the original. You must spend research points to unlock new materials, new implements, and (presumably) new buildings for your village.

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One of the more interesting developments I could glean from their update is that the resource tree will allow you to take multiple paths to the top materials on each branch. This is a fantastic innovation. One of the aspects of research in Thea 1 that I felt limited my exploration of it was that you HAD to research certain materials to be able to do well, especially on the higher difficulties. So there were plenty of times I didn’t research Elven Wood or something because I really needed to focus on getting Mithril. Now, it looks like I’ll have a lot more flexibility in progressing through the tech tree.

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New Features

One of the most requested features players made for Thea 1 was Pets. Having an animal familiar has become a staple of fantasy games from RPGs to MMO’s to RTS’s. They add a lot of character to a game and enable the heroes to accomplish more than they could alone. Well, Pets never made it into Thea 1, but they are in Thea 2! In the latest update, Muha shows off a horse Pet that improves a character’s movement and massively upgrades his or her carrying capacity. Also, it looks like you can level up Pets, which is fantastic. I can tell I’ll have hours of fun exploring all the possibilities this new mechanic holds.

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Another new feature in the works is a seasonal resource that might only be available during specific seasons. For instance, mushrooms might be gathered for only one or two seasons during the year which will be different from mined resources. Mined resources may be depleted once their original source runs out. Both of these examples are attempts at providing players opportunities to make strategic choices about where they want to focus their expansion and manage their resources. But since Thea 2 is still early development, all of this is subject to change of course and may be subject to such things as player settings and difficulty levels. 

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Card-Based Combat

One of the more controversial aspects of Thea 1 was its card-based combat. There have been plenty of negative experiences with this style of resolving conflicts in the past (see Apollo4X). However, Muha pulled it off wonderfully in their game, even if it took players time to acclimate to it.

Thea 2 retains card-based combat but ups the sophistication in a major way. For one, you can play a character card multiple times. This is a major change from the first game and lets you leverage your most powerful characters in a devastating way. However, should a character die early in combat, the remaining instances of that character’s card are removed from combat. It’s a high-risk, high-reward situation that will make resolving conflicts more engaging and strategically challenging.

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Also, cards now have a “casting cost” associated with them. Whereas in Thea 1, each card cost only one action point to play, Thea 2 assigns cards all sorts of costs. Your pool of points diminishes as you place cards, so eventually you’ll run out of cards you can play. This prevents you from playing the same card infinitely. It’s a well balanced system, at least I feel it is in my limited experience with it so far.

New UI

The user interface for Thea 2 is getting a major overhaul. The world map is much cleaner with plenty of icons to help players navigate the various screens. The crafting UI, which was rather cumbersome at times in Thea 1, is likewise improved. How much improved? It’s hard to say at this point, but from the looks of the screenshots we’ve gotten so far, I can say that I’m excited to try it out.

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Where Will It Go From Here?

That’s all great, but I’m sure you’re dying to know when we’ll be able to play it. Well, the developers have stated their intention to have a playable alpha sometime in mid-spring this year. Muha will be bringing its new game to the Digital Dragons convention in Krakow, Poland this May. If you are able to go to that event, perhaps you’ll have a chance to play it (and make the rest of us totally jealous!). There is no word yet on a publically available alpha, but you can count on eXplorminate to keep you posted. Until then, may the world provide you with exactly what you are searching for.

8 replies »

  1. I’m not going to lie – the art is a total turnoff to me. It’s just too divergent from the charming, characterful, and original art from the first game.

    Of course, a part of my trepidation could also be that once I figured out the trick to winning in the first game it killed any replay value for me. My second playthrough took me all of an hour – I got like no XP towards unlocking a new god that way, but at the same time I didn’t care because I was not eager to play again any time soon.

    I’m really trying to be positive about the game because I love the company and I really did have an absolute blast with my first playthrough of the first one, but try as I might I just can’t get excited.

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    • We will do Mac and Linux if we’ll be able to, but our main focus is PC-Win. Testing these platforms is a bit of a problem, so we might do the same thing we did with Thea – release a free build and ask people to test it on different systems.

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