Devlog #15: Nether Creatures

We’re long past due for an in-depth devblog update, so here it is! I’ve finally nailed down all the details about how the Nether Creature system will work in Siralim 2. I’ll warn you ahead of time that this game’s Nether system will be radically different from that of its predecessor, so try to read with an open mind!

Flaws in Siralim 1’s Nether System

When I first began designing Siralim 2’s Nether System, I started by picking apart Siralim 1’s implementation. I wrote down some notes about what I thought could be improved, and quickly realized that the situation is worse than I first realized. Below is a summary of my findings:

  1. The biggest problem with the game’s Nether system is that eventually, non-Nether creatures become obsolete. What’s the point in summoning a new creature when you should be working toward obtaining a full team of Nethers anyway? After you start making Nether Creatures, you’ll never touch the Summoning Brazier ever again.

  2. This obsolescence even extends to your own party of creatures early on. What happens when you hatch your first Nether Creature and it’s 10x more powerful than all your other creatures? Battles tend to get pretty boring. When it’s not your Nether Creature’s turn, you’re just waiting around for its next chance to attack.

  3. Furthermore, Nether Creatures are nothing more than a normal creature with inflated stats. They’re not particularly interesting - just really powerful and maybe a little game-breaking. But eventually, they’ll also become obsoleted by new Nether Creatures that you hatch, and that just feels bad. You invested a lot of time and effort into hatching those older Nether Creatures, so why should you have to send them to your stable to rot forever?

  4. Lastly, the system is way too complex. To me, complexity is not necessarily a flaw in game design, and it’s something I wish developers weren’t afraid to explore more often. Complexity can be good as long as it encourages learning through experimentation, and I think that’s exactly why players enjoy Siralim so much. But I didn’t realize just how flawed the system was until someone asked on reddit to explain the Nether creation process at a more basic level. I began typing a response before I realized that no matter what, there are no shortcuts to explain this system. It’s a long, tedious, and sometimes confusing process for players. The system isn’t just complex - it’s unnecessarily complicated.

Addressing These Flaws in Siralim 2

The last thing that I want to do is “dumb down” the system in Siralim 2. I simply want to move the complicated parts of the system into areas that make more sense. Let’s start by addressing solutions to the flaws listed above:

  1. In Siralim 2, you will only be able to have one Nether Creature in your party at a time. The other five creatures must be non-Nether Creatures. Keep in mind that you can still pump up your party’s stats through breeding, so you can still have a team of absolute powerhouses like you did in Siralim 1 - the process will just be a little different this time around.

  2. If you’re only allowed one Nether Creature in your party, you’ll still find yourself waiting around for it to be your Nether Creature’s turn. After all, who cares about all the little guys when your one big guy can one-shot all six enemies at once? To address this, Nether Creatures will not be able to obtain significantly higher stats than normal creatures. On average, your Nether Creature will probably have 20% higher stats than normal creatures, but that’s about it. This means that you’ll still need to rely on your entire party to work together to defeat your enemies, and Nether Creatures will no longer be immortal. On a side note, Nether Creatures will now be just as easy to level up as normal creatures - they no longer require 10x more experience to level up.

  3. As mentioned in #2, Nether Creatures will no longer have super high stats. So what do they actually “bring to the table” now? What makes them so special? Well, a lot of things, actually:

[ul][li]Nether Creatures can have more mana and spell slots than normal creatures.[/li]
[li]Nether Creatures have access to Nether-exclusive abilities. When you create a Nether Creature, you can choose a Nether Ability for it to learn. This will be its primary ability. These abilities benefit your entire party, such as by giving your other creatures some of its stats. Nether Abilities can be upgraded infinitely to make them more powerful![/li]
[li]Nether Creatures can permanently learn new abilities that belong to other creatures. This will be explained toward the bottom of this post.[/li]
[li]Nether Creatures do not belong to any of the five classes. This means that their attacks are not strong against any other class, but they are also not weak to any class either. Most importantly, Nether Creatures can equip spells from any class in the game.[/li]
[li]Nether Creatures’ stats scale automatically based on the other creatures in your party. This means that if you breed your other creatures and make them more powerful, your Nether Creature will immediately become more powerful as well. This helps to keep Nether Creatures relevant even if you do a lot of breeding. Keep in mind that, under this rule, your Nether Creature will also grow weaker if you swap out some of your creatures with weaker creatures.[/li][/ul]

  1. To create a Nether Creature, you’ll simply deliver a Core and a special item to a certain NPC in your castle, and in return, you’ll receive an egg. Hatch the egg and viola - you have a Nether Creature! Simple enough, right? Nether Orbs and Gems will work much differently in Siralim 2, and these are not how you’ll create a Nether Creature anymore.

With these changes in mind, you’ll notice that Nether Creatures will now take on more of a supportive role in Siralim 2 compared to the “burst the enemy down” mindlessness that is sometimes found in Siralim 1.

Upgrading Your Nether Creature

Your Nether Creature can be upgraded by giving it items. These items are created at a new crafting station in your castle. The components for these items include resources, Nether Orbs, and rare items that are only obtainable by appeasing the gods or by exploring the Nether Realms. Here are a few examples:

Item: Catalyst of Wrecking Ball (Consumable)
Description: You can use this item on a Nether Creature to grant it the Wrecking Ball ability. Nether Creatures can have a maximum of 3 abilities at a time, excluding its innate ability and abilities granted by its artifact.
Recipe: Enormous Maul Hilt (legendary crafting material that grants Wrecking Ball) + Nether Orb

Item: Potion of Forgetting (Consumable)
Description: You can use this item on a Nether Creature to remove an ability from it. This item cannot remove innate abilities or abilities granted by artifacts.
Recipe: 10000 Brimstone, Crystal, Essence, and Granite + Mind of Yseros (obtained from the God of Illusion)

Item: Tincture of Refinement (Consumable)
Description: You can use this ability on a Nether Creature to make its innate ability more powerful.
Recipe: Nether Orb + Vulcanar’s Conniption (obtained from the God of Fire) + Surathli’s Adornment (obtained from the God of Light) + Shadow of Erebyss (obtained from the God of Darkness) + Wit of Zonte (obtained from the God of Knowledge) + Smile of Meraxis (obtained from the God of Bliss)

There will be tons of different items you can craft, but hopefully the three mentioned above do a decent job at explaining how you’ll upgrade your Nether Creature in Siralim 2. I’ll leave you with an example of a Nether Ability:

Nether Tenacity: Your creatures have additional Defense equal to 20% of this creature’s Defense.

This ability doesn’t seem particularly powerful, but consider that the 20% can be increased indefinitely by giving the creature lots of Tinctures of Refinement (as mentioned above). This ability will be very powerful for parties that heavily rely on the Defense stat. Obviously, this is a basic example, so please look forward to more interesting Nether Abilities than this one!

Awesome! Two dev blog posts in three days.

Unfortunately, hearing about great improvements in Siralim 2 makes it hard to find motivation to continue achievement hunting in Siralim 1.

Mmm wonder if with the new additions it will be possible to create a team that could win against the best teams from Siralim 1 at the same levels… Aside from that… A nether creature with maybe five different abilities sounds awesome. (Innate, 3 learned from crafting things, the one from the Artifact.)

My biggest problem with nethers in Siralim is definitely that they became irrelevant quickly due to the progression system incentive to switch to a %-based party instead of wasting time crafting them to possibly push another 20 levels. This post plus the new stat-based progression seem to fix that nicely. I do fear a bit that your 3) concern is still relevant though given the tincture of refinement. If I have spent a lot of time loading my nether up with tinctures, I know I’ll be far less likely to experiment with other party setups using a different nether’s innate ability. Making it easy to create nethers does help offset that, I’m thankful that gem grinding is dead. Also, I assume nethers will not be able to be bred? I guess it wouldn’t make sense to breed them since the base stats will stay the same relative to normal summons which increase with level.

Yeah, you won’t be able to breed them. You’ll also have an easier time completing missions (https://forums.thylacinestudios.com/t/1108) if you have a Nether Creature in the party you send out, so it’ll definitely be worth creating multiple Nether Creatures if only for that.

So whats the difference for Nether Demons in Siralim 2 or is that going to be revealed later?

Still not 100% sure on those details yet, and it’s possible they won’t even be included at launch. The base Nether system is deep and fleshed-out enough to where demons might not be necessary.

Cool. Just thought of it as you mentioned that demon dust has an equivalent in Siralim 2 already picked out.

Just realized something, do Nether creatures give up their original trait for their nether trait?

Yes. Nether Creatures can gain up to 3 additional traits of your choice, though.

Ah gotcha. So… there is no real benefit to picking which creature to become a nether except the tribal stuff to make it count for those effects I guess.

Correct. For now, your choice of Nether Creature is more about aesthetic preference than anything else. We’ll see if that changes throughout beta testing though :slight_smile:

Hmm depending on whether the Thycaline ability gets in as well I am curious as to how that would react to one of the hounds that would be merged was a nether… Or if that creature would be ignored for the merger, either way it would be interesting.

It would be included in the merge. Only base traits are copied (in this case, the nether aura trait), though, so I don’t think that would be extremely beneficial.

How would the nether aura trait work in that situation? Would it be a complete waste?

Yes, it would be useless. With that said, I guess your nether creature preference might also change if you’re using a team of “tribal” creatures that benefit from having multiple creatures of the same race in your party, such as Diabolic Horde or Griffons.

Thanks Zack! :slight_smile: Really looking forward to Early Access!