This is a pretty huge update for performance and optimization. There will be very clear improvements for all players, but especially those running on lower-end devices.
We’ve made a bunch of changes that you can see below, and all of these things come at a potential cost to stability. We’d prefer to have more testing on this version of the game, but we want to get this build out before the events of next week kick into high gear. We’d love it if you could take a look at this and let us know in the Discord if there are any major issues. If we find weirdness, we’ll roll back to the previous build and make sure we’re all ship shape for Monday. Have a good weekend, and thanks for your help!
Anyone with a MacBook Pro can attest to the sound of hurricane-force winds generated trying to cool down the system when running GU.
We’ve been working with this release to do our small part to fight global warming by further optimizing the low settings to improve the play experience and save the fans.
When switching to low settings the memory usage drops, framerate is capped at 30fps, and shadows are disabled. The framerate cap helps ensure that hardware isn’t straining to reach 33–35fps at great cost, and helps ensure a consistent experience.
With the addition of card pooling to the game we’ve also removed a number of client hitches which will help reduce the feeling of lag during many actions.
We’ve also added an option that allows players to turn off some of the more demanding post-processing effects. This reduces the memory footprint of the game and has a small impact on rendering overhead.
For those keeping Post FX on we’ve tuned in the bloom levels to avoid the blinding glare around the decks.
We’re still looking pretty good at the lowest possible settings, and the overall resource usage is lower. This is only the first step on the long road of optimizing the client for performance, and we’ll be continuing to work on this moving forward.
Until then the other big thing you can do to help performance is reduce your screen resolution.
When a spell or ability adds dynamic rules text to a creature it will now appear as a yellow tooltip at the top of the list. Cards with dynamic rules text will appear on board with a yellow highlight around the card art.
We’ve also updated how card titles behave, they will now dynamically scale to ensure all the title text fits within the title area. The body text has also been changed to a sanserif font to help with overall readability.
If you’re at all like me then you’ve experienced the disappointment of not being able to smack Thaeriel in the face when you have a weapon equipped. Well, good news friends! When you attack targets with a Relic your God’s portrait will now bring the pain.
We’ve added four new tribes into the game, and we’ve completed a full pass on assigning card tribes in anticipation of upcoming set releases.
The new tribes are:
- Wild — creatures that don’t live in the city, that are more than capable of ruining your day.
- Mystic — people that have something mystical about them (whether that happens through prayer, through ritual, or through charisma).
- Guild — the people you turn to when you need dirty deeds done quickly… for the right price. (We’ll have more details about what this Guild actually is in the future.)
- Structure — generally large machines and other non-living “creatures.”
We are also looking to rename the Amazon and Viking tribes in a follow-up release.
Card Name Changes
Speaking of name changes, several cards have received name changes as part of the work we’re doing to better bring the lore of Gods Unchained into a cohesive whole.
- Drider of the Depths → Cavern Arachne
- Spirit Animal → Primal Guidance
- Hotep the Embalmer → Anhotep the Embalmer
- Sobek → Sothek
- Shrine of Sobek → Shrine of Sothek
- Papal Bull → Holy Writ
- Ambush! → Ambush
- Sit Down! → Sit Down
- Raid! → Incoming Raid
- Apocalypse, Now! → Apocalypse Now
- Start of Match Changes
When a match starts we now wait for all critical assets to be downloaded before the game starts. This means in some cases you will wait longer than the previous version for a match to start.
Pro-tip: If you want to help avoid any post-patch queue blues you can take care of all downloading in a solo match!
- There is no penalty for leaving a match while waiting for your opponent. They will still finish their download and you can immediately rejoin the queue and match against someone else.
- Please let us know on Discord if you experience issues around asset downloading or slower than normal download speeds!
Wait what happened?
The era of nearly everyone having to say, “Wait what happened?” after their opponent played a spell should be coming to a close with this release.
We’ve addressed an issue that was causing them to disappear nearly instantly upon cast. They’ll now hang around for around half a second and should give you time to actually register what’s happening without slowing down the overall pace of the game.
The sandstorm is dead, long live the black abyss
Acting on some great player feedback we’ve blotted out the sandstorm, leading to better vignetting around the edges of the boards. It’s a small thing, but helps reduce overall eye strain during extended play.
When you’re playing this release you may also notice that the cards are richer and more vibrant in color. A small bug was causing them to be lit by the scene light, which was washing them out. Now they’re not!
A total of 47 bugs were fixed in 0.19. The most important fix is….
Server shutdown messages when you finish a game will now be suppressed.
- Dick Puddlecote changed from
6 mana, “Roar: Obliterate your hand, and copy your opponent’s hand.” to
3 mana “Roar: Obliterate your hand, for each obliterated card add a random rune to your hand.”
Dick Puddlecote was causing design space issues as the effect is something we wanted to be localized within Deception. We also wanted to support more exciting rune cards in Genesis. We’ve redesigned Dick Puddlecote to match that need.
- Dimension Looper changed from
3 health, “Roar: Deal 1 damage. If you’re holding an Aether, deal 2.” to
4 health “ Roar: Deal 1 damage. If you’re holding an Aether, deal 3.”
Dimension Looper was almost a strictly worse version of the core Neutral card Carthaginian Marine. Given that Dimension Looper is a class card that is reliant on Aether effects, we have increased the power of Dimension Looper to match.
- Laertes’ Vendetta changed from
2 mana Give an enemy creature “Your opponent’s relic has deadly.” to
4 mana “Give a friendly creature and your relic deadly until the end of the turn.”
Laeretes’ Vendetta was previously a very rarely used card with quite a few bugs. To increase its playability we’ve made this a relic based version of Uncanny Rogue that is capable of causing devastating two-for-ones.
- Nemris, the Unstable changed from
1 mana, 1/1 “Each turn this is in your hand, transform into a random legendary creature. It keeps this ability after the change.” to
6 mana, 5/5 “Roar: Transform each enemy creature into a random creature with the same mana cost.”
Nemris is a legendary that saw very little play and caused some game-breaking bugs. We’ve redesigned it so that it’s an effect which is capable of severely disrupting your opponents gameplan whilst developing your board. We’re interested in seeing this played in aggressive decks against large frontline based creatures to attempt to remove the frontline and and develop your board.
- Exoscout from
“Deal 4 damage to the first enemy creature summoned each turn.” to
“After an enemy creature is summoned, deal 1 damage to it.”
Exoscout was a card which was previously great against midrange but a lot worse against low to the ground creature strategies. We’ve redesigned the card so that it doesn’t just hit the first creature played but all creatures that are summoned (for instance, this includes things created off Undying Wish), and to compensate it deals less damage. We expect that this card will potentially become a common inclusion against Zoo based decks to help lock them out of the game.
This release represents the first time in Gods Unchained that 100% of all cards have been simultaneously live in the game!
- Arcane Transcendent
- Warp Engineer
- Assistant Alchemist
- Morgana’s Grimoire
Cards that belong to the new tribe Wild may display a tooltip with the title Wild and the body of the Confused tooltip. Wild is not Confused and does not have this effect, it’s just a tribe label.