If you previously tried to get into roguelike Caves of Qud only to bounce off its unforgiving exterior, the latest update from developer Freehold Games is here to make your adventures a little less harsh.
Caves of Qud’s new “Palladium Reef” expansion went live this week, bringing with it two new modes that soften the edges of the game’s permadeath gameplay loop. While both add checkpoints that can be reloaded upon death, the mode known as “Wander” further tweaks the experience by reducing the necessity of combat. I love the idea of leveling up as you explore the world rather than through cutting folks down.
Here are the full details:
- Checkpointing at settlements. When you die, you have the option to reload from the last checkpoint. Your checkpoint is automatically set whenever you enter or leave a settlement. You can also set your checkpoint manually while at a settlement by hitting Esc and then ‘C’.
- Checkpointing at settlements.
- Your reputation with every faction starts at 0 (or higher), meaning most creatures start neutral to you. Aggressive creatures of neutral factions will still attack you.
- You get no XP for kills.
- You get more XP for discoveries, completing quests, and performing the water ritual. This amount scales with your level.
Naturally, you choose your mode at the start of every new game and can’t change between modes once the adventure is underway.
Also included in the Caves of Qud update is the ability to pick from a group of preset characters rather than building one from scratch. The patch notes suggest that they’re to help new players get started, but you can always customize them to suit your needs, too.
Caves of Qud first entered Steam early access in 2015. It’s received several content and gameplay updates since, and has accrued “overwhelmingly positive” user reviews. While the game is largely thought of as one of the only true, hardcore roguelikes to gain mainstream recognition over the past decade, it’s great to see the devs also taking newcomers into consideration as the project continues to expand.