It's been an interesting journey for the Diablo-inspired action-RPG Wolcen: Lords of Mayhem (opens in new tab). It was announced, with the title of Umbra, all the way back in 2015, enjoyed a very successful Kickstarter (opens in new tab), went into Early Access in 2016, and then finally launched in early 2020 to decidedly less-than-great reviews (opens in new tab). It was supposed to be "a grand evolution of the genre," we said (opens in new tab) the day after it came out, but ultimately proved to be "a bog-standard ARPG propped up by deeply complex character progression and highly-mobile combat," and worse, was riddled with technical issues.
Several updates have been released since then, and today developer Wolcen Studio announced that the first free content update, Chronicle 1: Bloodtrail (opens in new tab), is coming soon. That update will include "gameplay improvements and new content," and more importantly, "a complete reset of the economy."
As a result of that reset, "characters created before the release of the Chronicle will be moved to a separate Game Mode called Legacy, and they will not be able to interact or trade with characters created after the release of Bloodtrail," Wolcen studio explained. "They will, however, still be able to interact or trade with the other Legacy characters."
The developers said the update "is only the beginning of a new Wolcen’s journey," but based on the reaction in the Steam comments (opens in new tab), not everyone is quite so enthusiastic. There are plenty of messages of support, but also a good deal of frustration with the state of the game. Several posts characterize this as potentially the last chance to turn its fortunes around, and there's no arguing that it could use the boost. Wolcen hit a peak concurrent player count of over 127,000 when it went into full release in February, but that quickly tailed off to a peak of just 560 (opens in new tab) over the past 30 days.
There's also considerable unhappiness with Wolcen Studio's lack of communication over the past several months regarding its plans for the game—including, ironically, information about what exactly is coming in this update and when it will arrive: Wolcen Studio said that more details on all that will be shared "as we approach its release."