Looking inward on Outward’s “The Soroboreans” DLC

Outward is an open world RPG that was made by a small studio of 10 game developers. The vision behind the game was to subvert the trope of the player being some special hero from a prophecy. Instead, you start your story as a regular person under a crippling debt and forced out of the village to find a way to pay rent. The experience is focused on the spirit of adventuring rather than on endless power. The game was released a bit over a year ago and met a level of success that was completely unexpected. As a result, we were able to keep working on the world of Aurai and add more layers to our labor of love.

On Tuesday July 7, we will release an expansion for Outward called The Soroboreans. The expansion adds a lot of content: a new storyline, a new region to explore, new dungeons, new skills, new weapon types, etc. But there are also new mechanics that are added which will keep things fresh and bring back the sense of curiosity and exploration that Outward is known for.

One of the big changes is in how we’ve approached the level design for the main dungeons of the new area. This time around, the dungeon delver will really need to prepare for longer excursions as multiple dungeons are interconnected to each other. The order in which to discover and explore these dungeons is quite open, meaning that different players will have a much different story to tell. Part of the inspiration actually goes all the way back to an old Playstation game called Mega Man Legends, which had this exploration of ruins that felt a bit like a metroidvania but with its own sauce. The “ah-ha!” moment when you found your way in those different ruins left a mark on me when I was a teen and I wanted to bring a similar feel.

Another thing we are bringing with this DLC is a whole new dimension to equipment via enchanting. We like giving the players freedom in what equipment they can use, and offered plenty of viable weapons and armors at various progression stages. Enchantment in Outward allows you to revisit old pieces of equipment and make them strong enough to rival any end game equipment, but doing so comes at a hefty price. Not only is enchanting requires lots of hard to find materials, the process itself is purposefully made obscure to the player.

Experimenting with this feature should be enough to keep a player busy for hours and hours as they tweak their favorite build, from making your weapon explode on every hit to making tattered rags provide healing over time and uncanny level of protection. There is also a special type of equipment that is quite flexible to which effects can be added to them and even change appearance depending on the enchantment applied on it.

Outward is known for being more challenging than most roleplaying games and for rewarding preparation and patience. However, our more experienced players are now quite familiar with the game’s mechanics. It makes sense then that the new area should be more difficult than those in the main game. However, it wouldn’t be enough to just buff the stats of the new monsters and call it a day. We decided to also add a new obstacle: corruption.

Corruption is hinted at as a concept throughout the game’s story, but it was rarely affecting the player directly. In the new area, the ravage of corruption can be felt more directly. Some areas both outside and in dungeons are filled with noxious clouds that slowly but surely corrupts your character. Some enemy attacks also contribute to your level of corruption. After some level of exposition, your character gets tainted, then corrupted, then defiled. Every stage comes with heavy penalties, but can also make some of your attacks and skills more potent.

In simpler words, Outward is getting bigger and better. Whether this is the first time you hear about the game or you’re a hardened veteran in the world of Aurai, there has never been a better time to explore its vast world than once the Soroborean’s DLC is released. Thanks for your time and if you want to know more, feel free to join our official Discord server, where thousands of players will help you find your way.

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