The action-RPG Lichdom: Battlemage fared not too badly in our August review, but developer Xaviant has continued to work on it since. Today the studio announced the release of the game's first major patch, which adds a new "Smart Crafting Interface" designed to help new players successfully immerse themselves in the game's combat.
"Within each of Lichdom's eight magic schools—called Sigils—players can craft spells from components collected on the battlefield that focus their arcane arts in one of three areas: a targeted range attack, a defensive magical shield, and an area-of-effect spell," the review explains. "Inside each of these subgroups is an additional layer of specialization—destruction, control, and mastery... The various Sigils interact with each other in mysterious and surprising ways that reward experimentation and risk-taking."
It sounds intriguing, but also potentially intimidating. That's where the new Smart Crafting Interface comes into play: It will automatically upgrade spell components, craft new spells, and deconstruct old ones based on the equipment the player is currently using. The new interface prompts players to upgrade any eligible components when they access their inventory, and also shows which current spells can be improved; new spells may then be previewed and compared before the upgrade is completed.
The intent is to make the game more manageable for newcomers, but the studio said that experienced players are making good use of it too, writing, "We’ve found through testing that many veteran players appreciate this streamlined approach to inventory management that gets back into the thick of combat as quickly as possible." The interface also adds new tutorial videos explaining how Sigils worth with Attunements, and can be toggled on and off at will.
The patch features other changes, including to the pacing and composition of enemy encounters in the first act, the addition of a new Pitlurker boss to help players get a better handle on Mastery, better controller support, fixes to the UI and Necromancy Sigil, and various bug fixes and bits of polish. The substantial (6.4GB) update is live now on Steam; full details are up on the Xaviant forums.