In this Solasta Crown of the Magister Spring Update article, I’m going to talk about the major changes that were just added to the game in Early Access, which includes but is not limited to save file compatibility, revamped and new Feats, level cap increase, and Combat rebalancing.
Solasta Crown of the Magister Spring Update
The first thing we’ll cover in this breakdown article for Solasta Crown of the Magister spring update is the save file compatibility, which will be the only time that you will have to start your game from scratch in Early Access, and this is because of the Spring Update’s major changes.
Save File Compatibility
Solasta’s Spring Update will include a lot of significant changes, like the addition of reworked and proactive Feats, side quests to gain extra XP, as well as faster load times. Because of this, your saves prior to the update will no longer work. However, if you wish to continue playing your save files from the previous version, you can access these via a separate Steam branch, which is provided alongside the Spring Update. This is not typically done by developers, so Tactical Adventures has really gone the extra mile here.
Revamped and New Feats
When it comes to Feats, existing and new ones have been modified as well as added in order to make these proactive, therefore significant. Examples of adjusted Feats include Hauler and Powerful Cantrip. Hauler still provides a +1 STR bonus but instead of raising your carry capacity to 40 lbs, it will now be doubled. This means that the higher the base carry capacity, the better that capacity will be when you choose this Feat. Powerful Cantrip, which used to be known as Potent Cantrip, receives a buff thereby making your Spellcasters more menacing. With this Feat, your enemy receives half damage regardless of whether or not they dodge or succeed in their Saving Throw against the Cantrip you cast.
Moreover, new Feats are introduced, which further shakes up the way you play if you choose the Bonus Feat option starting at Level 4. Some Feats that I would like to try are Ambidextrous for the Rogue and Raise Shield for the Fighter or Paladin. Ambidextrous gives you a bonus of +1 DEX and allows you to dual-wield One-Handed Weapons that don’t possess the Light Property such as Rapiers which deal 1-8 damage per Rapier compared to using 2 Shortswords, which deals 1-6 damage each.
On the other hand, Raise Shield, protects you from Ranged Attacks thanks to your Reaction, as long as you have a Shield equipped. Because of this Feat, you will receive a bonus of +3 AC for the duration of your attacker’s turn.
Level Cap Increase
The level cap in Early Access is raised from 6 to 8 for all of the available Classes. When you reach Level 8, you can once again choose to improve your Ability Scores or pick another Feat. At Level 7 for Fighters, Paladins and Rangers, you will unlock additional Features that further customize and make the corresponding Subclasses you picked at earlier levels stronger. Comparatively at the same level, Rogues will gain Evasion, which allows them to dodge AoE Spells that require them to make a Dexterity Saving Throw. When they are successful with this Saving Throw, they will not take any damage. Otherwise, the damage they receive is halved.
For both Clerics and Wizards, you will be able to cast Level 4 Spells starting at Level 7. Some examples of Level 4 Spells that will be added to the game are Freedom of Movement and Ice Storm. Freedom of Movement lets your Cleric touch any of your party members to protect them from status and magical effects, that aim to reduce their Movement Speed or to cause them to be paralyzed or restrained. Ice Storm is an AoE Spell that lets your Wizard deal 2-16 Bludgeoning Damage and 4-24 Cold Damage if the target fails their Dexterity Saving Throw. Otherwise, they receive at most half of the total damages combined.
Ice Storm pairs well with the Shock Arcanist’s Arcane Fury Feature, because it is an Evocation Spell. Arcane Fury adds both the Shock Arcanist’s Proficiency Bonus and Intelligence Modifier to their damage output when they cast Evocation Spells for one minute.
Difficulty Curve Adjustments
You can now change the difficulty settings of the game at any point in time, even when in combat. Switching to a different difficulty setting automatically saves said setting. This means that if you set your current difficulty to “Cataclysm Mode” and you load one of your saves, the difficulty will still be Cataclysm regardless of what that particular save file’s difficulty is. There are 5 difficulty settings that you can choose from and I will go through the basics of each.
First is Story Mode, which is the easiest difficulty that allows you to enjoy the story by greatly reducing the damage your entire party receives. You are also automatically revived when you die in combat, you receive additional bonuses on your dice rolls, and you don’t have to roll Constitution Saving Throws to maintain your Concentration when hit by an enemy. This mode is good for you if you intend to focus on the story and if you prefer to learn the basics of tabletop RPG in bite sizes.
Next is Explorer Mode, which is essentially “Normal Difficulty”. You will still have some bonuses to your dice rolls in accordance with the SRD 5.1 ruleset and you will receive the full damage from enemies when their attacks land. I would recommend this mode the most if you are new to Solasta, because the combat encounters are relatively well balanced, and it helps you become familiar with the tabletop version of D&D on a gradient.
Now if you want to challenge yourself even further, then Authentic Mode might be the difficulty for you. This makes the game really difficult because you will not have any modifiers to any of your rolls so say goodbye to the bonuses you receive from your Equipment, Race and Class.
Next is Scavenger Mode, which cranks up the difficulty even further when facing enemies. They will often attack using debilitating and destructive actions and they will also attack your unconscious party members with the sole aim of killing them as soon as possible.
Finally, there’s Cataclysm Mode, which further makes your combat encounters against beefy monsters even more nerve-wracking, and you will receive 50% more damage. Note that these modes, especially those at higher difficulty such as Cataclysm, have not yet been properly balanced. The difficulty settings are not final so expect these to change at Solasta’s full release.
On top of completely changing the difficulty settings, you can also select “Custom Difficulty” to specifically adjust your party or the enemy’s rolls. So for example, if you wish to stay in the Explorer Mode but you find that a certain combat encounter is too challenging and the dice rolls are too random, then you can simply toggle the Ally Attack Roll slider to increase your chances of hitting enemies.
Preserve Random Seed Change
In relation to the difficulty curve, the Preserve Random Seed option will now be turned off. Preserve Random Seed is a setting that retains the results of your dice rolls. For instance, you are fighting an enemy and in that round, your hit doesn’t connect due to a low Attack Roll, say 5. If you were to load the same file, you will get another 5 for your Attack Roll, thereby missing again. When Preserve Random Seed is off and you reload the same encounter, the result of your Attack Roll will vary so it can be 18.
If you’re new to Tactical RPGs or if you’d like to familiarize yourself with the SRD 5.1 ruleset without stressing too much on properly positioning your party in combat together with the RNG factor of your rolls, then keeping the Preserve Random Seed off will make your Solasta experience smoother. But if you’re up to the challenge, then I suggest turning this on. You can do so by going to the Settings in the Menu, Game, Gameplay and then selecting “Preserve Random Seed.”
Spellcasting and Sorak Rebalancing
In terms of Spellcasting, monsters will no longer be able to attack you with 2 Spells in one turn and are now subjected to the same ruleset as your party. This means that after using a Bonus Action to cast a Spell, they can only cast a Cantrip instead of another Spell as their Main Action in that same turn.
After 2 hours of playing Solasta, you will have encountered Soraks, which are powerful Medium Humanoids due to their high AC and Saving Throws. What happens is most of your attacks will miss, prompting you to reload to try a more optimal approach in terms of properly positioning your party. In the event that you do hit them, the damage or status effect you inflict wouldn’t be as impactful due to their better Saving Throws, making it harder to defeat them. In addition, these defensive stats are further enhanced thanks to the Child of Darkness buff, which they gain in low-light conditions. Because of these issues, rebalancing the stats of Soraks was necessary. For example with Sorak Warriors, their HP is now increased from 20 to 32 but with a reduction of -1 AC. Their Ranged Attacks will also be weaker. Overall, Sorak combat encounters will be better balanced than before.
The Child of Darkness buff will also be scaled depending on the Sorak’s archetype. This means that the less challenging a Sorak is, the lower the buff will be. So for the Saboteur and Skirmisher, these humanoids will only receive a +1 buff instead of the previous +2 when situated in the dark. For more challenging Soraks such as the Acolytes, they will receive a higher buff in darkness with a tiny buff in low-light conditions.
What’s good about these changes is you can easily plan how reliant your party is on light-related Spells. Some party members can simply move near a Light Source in order to focus on immediately attacking these enemies rather than wasting it on casting Spells to illuminate unlit areas. I’m definitely looking forward to how these changes, together with the difficulty settings, affect the gameplay experience of fighting Soraks, especially since they are pretty predominant early on in the game.
Unlocking New Side Quests, Adventuring Board and Residence
I admit that while playing Solasta, I found the stories to be quite lacking because of the small number of plot lines together with the linear storytelling. However with the upcoming update, new side quests will be added, which you can go back to even after you have reached the end of the main campaign in Early Access. These quests are related to your chosen Background such as Academic, Spy or Philosopher, to name a few. So as not to spoil anything, these will be unlocked at different points in the game after finishing specific parts of the campaign. Note that the difficulty of these quests will also vary.
On top of this, there’s also an Adventuring Board, which is similar to The Witcher’s Notice Board in that these are small or extra work quests for you to complete in order to help people in each area. If you’re the type of player who enjoys doing side quests first before diving into the main campaign to gain additional XP and items, then the Adventuring Board will be a welcome addition to Solasta.
As previously mentioned, when you finish the campaign, you can still roam around the world to complete side quests. You will also be able to unlock your very own residence, which is sadly not customizable. I do hope that in the future we can decorate our home by displaying items and furniture, which can be obtained from completing quests or buying from Factions we’ve aligned our party with.
Obtaining More Arrows and Bolts
In terms of Ammo, there’s good news for Rangers and other Classes that use Bows for Ranged Attacks. Before the Spring Update, arrows and bolts used to be scarce resources, which could only be gathered as loot. After the update, you are now able to recover 50% of arrows and bolts from enemies at the end of combat, provided that you’ve hit them with it. Additionally, you can Craft more of these ammo with Smithing Tools.
Fixing those Bugs
There were also a lot of bug fixes, which include but are not limited to the full functionality of the Might of the Iron Legion Feat, removal of Ghoul’s Paralysis after succeeding in a Saving Throw, and finally, the use of Scrolls for Paladins and Rangers. For a full list of the bug fixes and known issues, you may refer to the Spring Update Patch Notes.
Introducing the Dungeon Maker!
The Dungeon Maker has been added to Solasta, and it is a map editor that allows you to share your customized dungeons, which includes monsters, traps, and adventures with other players. It’s like designing your own mod or campaign that can easily be accessed online or via the Steam Workshop later on. You will be able to create and to link together multiple dungeon layouts as well as add any monster from the main campaign.
The Dungeon Maker will remain in beta even after Solasta’s full release this year, but new features such as a possible Quest System, if there’s a lot of participation and enthusiasm from the community, will be added.
For those of you who enjoy keeping track of your accomplishments in-game, a full list of achievements has been added on both Steam and GOG. Some of the icons are still missing but expect these to be fully functional.
Discounted Price at a Limited Time Only
If you haven’t tried Solasta yet, now may be the best time, and it will be on sale until the end of March. Solasta is a fun and challenging game, which will be less RNG-centric given the balance changes I mentioned earlier. Its turn-based mechanics also capture the SRD 5.1 ruleset very well, making your experience much closer to that of the D&D 5E tabletop versus Baldur’s Gate 3.
Stay tuned for more Solasta Crown of the Magister content as we take a look at Classes and Builds, and be sure to drop by our Twitch channel if you have questions about the game. If you need something specific, check out our Solasta Crown of the Magister Wiki!