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Mercenaries Patch Update v1.05 is up! Ravenmark: Scourge of Estellion on 50% sale!

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Hey guys!

The much awaited Arena is out on Mercenaries, along with the other bunch of goodies that we promised with the v1.05 patch update. The list of changes for v1.05 has been attached below for the benefit of those who have no idea of what I’m talking about.

Release Build v1.05

Notification
– A client update to v1.05 from all previous versions of the game is required to play Mercenaries.

Gameplay Changes
Divisions

      – Brigades may be added into multiple Divisions. Brigade locking has been done away with to promote more games.

Border Skirmishes

      – The difficulty and rewards of Border Skirmishes have been tweaked to be more rewarding to the player.

 

      – A larger repertoire of AI Border Defenders has been introduced. Tougher Brigades will start showing up as players progress during the week.

 

      – The “Hardened” buff is now only introduced after 24 Border Skirmishes victories.

Brigade Cooldown

      – Border Skirmishes and Multiplayer games no longer induce brigade cooldown.

 

      – Minor Contracts (and select Major Contract assignments) now induce a cooldown of 20 hours on the assigned Brigade. This cooldown only affects the Minor Contract eligibility of the brigade.

Minor Contracts

    – The veterancy of a Brigade now increases the completion chance of Minor Contracts by 3% per level.

*NEW* Stonewater Arena
– The Stonewater Arena has been opened to Commanders eager to draw blood!
– Arena rounds are limited to 15 minutes per turn. A countdown timer is shown above the Round Counter – be sure to make your turns swiftly.
– To enter the Arena, a wager of 500 silver is required. Victory earns you your opponent’s wager… after Stonewater’s cut.
– Players gain Renown based on an ELO rating system. This rating system matches players with similar Renown.
– The Arena Leaderboard ranks players according to their Renown. Tap the “Leaderboard” button in the Stonewater Arena page to display leaderboard rankings.

*NEW* Multiplayer ELO
– A hidden ELO rating now exists to facilitate matchmaking of Random multiplayer games.

*NEW* Herald
– The Herald allows players to quickly access on-going arena and multiplayer games.
– A summary of the player’s recent activity is shown in Reports.
– Announcements and news items are shown in the News section.
– A catalogue of gameplay hints is accessible from the Herald.

*NEW* Major Contract
– A Major Contract continuing Makkre’s tale may now be obtained on the Contracts map.
– Completing the enclosed series of missions unlocks the “Dies Irae” Brigade.
– Once completed, the contract will reset to its initial state, allowing players to replay the content.

*NEW* Traits
– 3 new set of Traits have been added. To accommodate these new traits, the commander level cap has been raised to 15.
– The new traits are:

      Level 11: “Strategic” – Increases the damage of Support Elements by 5%.

 

      Level 11: “Resolute” – Increases the HP of Infantry by 5.

 

      Level 13: “Fleet-footed” – Increases the Initiative of Ranged Elements by 1.

 

      Level 13: “Intrepid” – Increases the Movement Points of Infantry by 2.

 

    Level 15: “Venerable” – Increases the HP of your Standard Bearer by 10.

– The level requirement for the level 10 Traits “Regimented” and “Strong Willed” have been lowered to require level 9. Players who have already picked these traits will not be required to respec.
– The level 3 trait “Cunning Demeanour” has been redesigned. It now increases the completion chance of Minor Contracts by 5% instead of reducing Brigade cooldown.

*NEW* Brigades
– The brigade “Il Panello” can now be recruited via the Hiring Grounds.
– The brigade “Cat’s Pyjamas” can now be recruited via the Hiring Grounds.
– The brigade “Wretched Sons” can now be recruited via the Hiring Grounds.
– The brigade “Baintreacha Fir” can now be recruited via the Hiring Grounds.
– The brigade “Dies Irae” can be obtained by completing the Major Contract “Chasing Shadows”.
– The brigade “Hanson & Sons” will be awarded to players who have obtained all 153 Medals in Ravenmark: Scourge of Estellion.

*NEW* Elements
Nil Athair Grenadiers

      – Elite Sotran Infantry able to burst their way through enemy lines. They are able to fling grenades to damage and nullify the Armour Rating of their targets.

Runecasters

      – A Support Element, the Runecasters’ abilities are designed to disrupt defensive strategies.

Mortar Battery

      – A support Element, the Mortar Battery is able to shell enemies across a long distance with their “Mortar Volley”. This ability may only be used after 2 Rounds have elapsed.

Jackdaw Sapper

    – A support Element, the Jackdaw Sapper is able to erect Tellion Towers on the battlefield. The “Build Tower” ability may only be used after 2 Rounds have elapsed.

Balance Changes
– All Infantry Elements gain the ability “Assault”. Assault grants a manoeuvring Infantry Element an additional 10% critical hit chance on its move. This effect is only active during the battle phase.
– Braccian Elders HP reduced to 80, from 90.
– Braccian Elders have gained the ability “Lockdown”.
– Foxglove Skullslingers have regained 1 movement point, from 7 to 8.
– Foxglove Skullslingers now have 35 Ranged Skill, down from 50.
– Ulfsark Warband now have 10% Critical Hit Chance, down from 20%.
– The Earthshield Veterans have gained the “Shield Advance” ability. This ability is only usable in formation.
– Gralo now has the “Unbreakable” ability.
– The ability “Windwall” now has a Brace effect on top of its current effect.
– Tremithus Stavros has gained the aura “The Gilded Path”.
– Javier B’Elros has gained the “Punt” ability.
– Casca Argentus has gained the “Shield Bash” ability.
– The Veteran medal now adds 4 hp, down from 6.
– The Survivor medal now adds 2 hp, down from 3.
– Assault and Defence medals now add 6 Attack Skill and Armour Rating respectively, up from 5.
– The Combat medal now adds 8 Attack Skill and Armour Rating, up from 5.

Brigade Changes
– The Cardani Sunsouls in “Nisshonen” have been moved to the rear of the brigade.
– “Mallico’s Madmen” now have an Earthbound Windswept in place of one of its Ravenborne Light Cavalry.
– “Nettlesong Lurkers” now have an additional Primrose Pain Harvester.
– The core brigades “3rd Tellions”, “1st Varish”, “3rd Varish”, “3rd Sotrans” have been updated.

Gameplay Fixes
– Cainlaw Pikes are now required to be in Deuce Formation for the “Schiltron” effect.
– Braccian Phalanx are no longer required to be in Deuce formation to activate “Unbreakable”.
– The Wheeling command is now considered a move and does not grant the wheeling formation the “Schiltron” effect.
– The abilities “Unbreakable” and “Zealot’s Will” now grant immunity to the “Lob Skulls” Morale Broken effect.
– Ensnaring an already ensnared Element now refreshes the “Ensnared” status effect.
– Updated incorrect buff and debuff icons.
– An issue causing the miscalculation of initiative rolls on Round 1 of each mission has been resolved.
– Zone of Control is now correctly removed from a Formation that Wheels.
– A bug preventing Trines moving into a valid position has been resolved
– Crashes caused by abilities such as Acid Volley, Fix It Now, Battle Remedy and Molten Spray have been fixed.

Misc Improvements
– A countdown timer for random multiplayer games is displayed above the Round Counter.
– Destination markers are now shown on the battlefield when an Element that has been issued a movement command is selected.
– Abilities that inflict damage on tiles now display markers on the battlefield.
– When a formation is given the Break/Join formation command, it will now clearly show that Zone of Control is removed.
– The Codex has been updated with the latest gameplay changes. Screenshots have been added to better explain each gameplay section.
– Fixed an issue where the player is sometimes unable to close the codex.
– Updated several ability and buff icon and descriptions.
– Tutorial Slides have been updated to reflect new changes.
– Fixed errors in the Codex and other pages.
– Fixed a number of memory leaks and crashes.
– Everyplay now works on iOS7.

We’re mad stoked about the changes, and we’re sure it’ll be for the better – after all many of these changes came from the opinions of our players… so we’re putting Ravenmark: Scourge of Estellion on sale for a week, til 19th September 2013. It’s going off at 50% so if you haven’t gotten it yet, get it NOW.

SaleSOE

Cheers everyone, hope you lot like the changes we’ve made!

Warmest regards,

Khai

dudeguy

Launch week summary!

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Hey there all!

Khai here from Witching Hour Studios. Full launch finally happened and it’s been a flurry of activities since then! Well, with the week gone by, I thought I’d just summarize the launch for you folks and perhaps reveal a glimmer of what else we might have in store for you. Now, of course, first up we’ll start with the fact that Ravenmark: Mercenaries has gone worldwide. If you still haven’t gotten it yet, the link is here.

In tandem with the release of Mercenaries, we haven’t forgotten the new players who have yet to get our first title. We’ve slashed half the price off Ravenmark: Scourge of Estellion for a week, and it’s now available at USD $4.99. Quite a steal for over 30 hours of gameplay eh? Check it out here!

The reaction we’ve gotten this time around is much more encouraging than the firs time we released, and the fans of the game have much to do with that. Spreading by word of mouth and vouching for us. So much love! A big shout out to all those who have helped with the testing and everything else.

Oh! We released a book too! Makkre’s Travels is now available as an e-book. The novella, featuring the bard as its titular character, is a series of letters sent from the bard to his acquaintances around the world. You can have a look at the novella here! Alternatively, you can also read it on our blog here. The series of letters serve as a precursor to Ravenmark: Mercenaries, so it’s good to read up to have a glimpse of the lore!

Hmm, what’s next then… oh! Yes. We’ve been nominated on the Game of the Week Poll on Pocket Gamer! Still waiting for the results on that one…

There’s a tournament happening for Mercenaries as well on Pocket Tactics, you can check it out here!

We’ll be holding mini-tournaments in our forums as well, so please do look out for updates here.

That’s it for our summary!

Cheers guys!

Heya

Here we go!

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Hey everybody!

Lean in a little closer would you? I’ve got a little something to announce… Closer… Closer… Don’t be shy now… Just a little closer…

We’ve uploaded the soft launch build!

That’s right folks, we’ve uploaded the soft launch build up onto the app store. What this means is that we’re pretty much just waiting on Apple to approve it and we’re good to go. After months of testing and balancing, I can safely say that we have a really solid game on our hands. It won’t be long now until we release the full launch, so we can’t take our foot off the pedal just yet – but I am just as excited as anyone else, really.

As I said before, a handful of countries will be participating in the soft launch. We have on our list; Australia, New Zealand and Singapore! Moving forward, we are hopeful that we will receive a positive response from these markets, and that come July, we’ll be geared up and ready for an international launch.

Essentially, with Mercenaries being a multiplayer game, it really is all about the community. We are doing our best to build a competitive environment with the game mechanics, and we hope to foster healthy competition amongst our players. So spread the word! After all, the more players the better it is for everyone really, so we’ll need all the support we can get.

For those of you who can’t wait, I’ve taken a couple of screenshots for you. Check them out below!

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That’s all the news I have for now folks! You’ll be hearing from me again real soon! In the meantime, if you’ve anything to say at all, leave the comments below! I’ll reply as fast as I can. Take care all!

Cheers,

Khai

 

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Character Biographies: The Reiht, part one

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The Emperor's own- the Reiht

The Emperor’s own – Sergius’ handpicked hit men have always been somewhat of a motley crew of oddballs, and it might have seemed to some that the late Emperor was going out on a limb when he appointed them his personal guard. However, Sergius Corvius’ eye for talent far exceeds conventional wisdom. Throughout the Scourge of Esellion, Richard and his merry band of misfits have time and again, proved themselves to be worth far more than their weight in silver – which is saying a lot considering Olav‘s love for coin.

Having said that, the Reiht have always been very dear to me on a personal level- the characters were based off one of Ian’s D&D campaigns, and each represented friends I used to play with. Richard, played by my best friend Kevin T. (not to be confused with Kevin M., co-founder of WHS), was our leader and I played his mischievous confidante, Crumston.  Quintus, his half brother was played by our good friend Leonard who was a bit of a flirt in real life. It was pretty funny watching him walk into every bar and flirt with everything that walked by with a skirt… considering Ian was our dungeon master. Just reminiscing the times when the two of them were hitting on each other still gives me the giggles, as well as a shiver that runs down my spine. Oh, the bromance.

We had all sorts of folks who joined us from time to time, Jerome who joined is as Devlin… and killed a man by jumping on him because he pumped 20 points into the jump skill and the lecherous Christian, so deadly with the bow but had noodle arms in melee combat (he once got beat up by a disarmed guard who boxed him to oblivion). It got really silly at times. Lukas, who was played by our very own Brian- a mild mannered fellow, straight as an arrow (oh it rhymed!) and oh who could forgot our resident himbo, Guy! Not me. Especially since he’s used me as a human meatshield on more than one occasion. Crumston’s great rivalry with Jesse, Cierra‘s blistering romance (by blistering I meant uncomfortable) with Quintus – oh I could go on for days! We even scribed some of our adventures down… here! Really old blog, Varian (the guy who played Guy) scribed most of it, though we took turns. It’s a little Tl;dr but there’s one particular post in there that I scribed. It’s one that I’m particularly proud of, and it involves the members of the Reiht going head to head in a sparring match back in the days they were still training under the Bardic Academy. The only time we ever did in fact; Guy takes on Cierra, Richard takes on Quintus and Crumston faces Jesse in a grudge match. So if you ever wondered how these characters came into conception, go ahead and take a look.

We’ve all gone separate ways since then, but it’d be fair to say that the Ravenmark saga might not have existed had we never played Dungeons and Dragons together, which eventually led to Ian proposing a tabletop game in the same vein as Warhammer. The Raven was actually the banner that represented us in battle, bequest upon us of course by our dungeon master Ian.  For me, this was where it all began. In Ian’s dusty attic, around a ping-pong table with a bunch of friends.

So moving on from this week, I’ll be publishing a couple more write-ups for the Reiht – as homage to what they represent. Days of youth spent adventuring and exploring the imagination, of friendships forged and of dreams coming to life. So watch this space!

P.s: I really love the new piece our artist, Xin Wen, has done up for the Reiht. It’s lovely!

The lady in the Mask

Unveiled: The mystery of the masked lady

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Hi all!

I’m here again today to talk to you about Ravenmark: Mercenaries, as well as the teaser trailer we recently released for the game. For those of  you who haven’t watched it yet, you can find the trailer here, as well as read up more about our upcoming title here. For those of you who have watched our teaser trailer, as well as having played Raven’s Rise, you would have found this masked lady rather familiar. If not, then you might want to stop reading here, because I may have a couple of spoilers littered along the way.

Dame Galea; Leader of the Gorgons, Messiah of the Twin Cities.

The masked lady’s appearance at the end of the trailer, not to mention that her sigil has been plastered all over the place in the lead up to Mercenaries – has marked her as a central figure to our upcoming title. The question is how and why?

Some of you may recall her brief appearance – she shared a significant moment with Harper (Not what you’re thinking. Get your mind out the gutter folks.) that was pivotal to the storyline. Her official alias to the general public then was Dame Galea, leader of the Gorgons and messiah of the Twin Cities.

She was unmasked shortly after and found to be the Braccian mercenary known as Adrasta Tsepha. Personally, I was surprised as I hadn’t expected Adrasta to have made a comeback in such a fashion, thinking her to be somewhat more disposable than say, Dresius.

After Kaysan had gained occupancy of the Twin Cities, it was Dame Galea and her Gorgons who stood up for the people in place of the displaced Imperial Mark, although she only managed to wrest control from the Kaysan after Harper had made his march back into the city that caused him so much grief.

Ravenmark: Mercenaries centers itself around an era where there is a growing need for hired swords, and who better to head this era than a former mercenary herself? Adrasta has so far accounted for herself well, surprising me with  her leadership since stepping out from Harper’s shadow. Combining the level headedness of a veteran and sheer ingenuity, her feats during the Scourge of Estellion seem to be only a prelude to what she will mean to the grand scheme of things in Mercenaries.

All we know for now is that she leads the Gorgons, whom the people of the Twin Cities have put their faith in. The same people who have become disillusioned by Tellion rule, despise the Kaysan for their part in the war and have no ties with the Sotrans whatsoever. So perhaps, a question to answer your questions; where does that put Dame Galea and the Twin Cities then?

We will know for certain soon enough.

Throne BG

PAX East & GDC announcement!

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The Road to Roost: artwork for the Atium

Hey folks,

As some of you may have heard, Witching Hour Studios will be attending the upcoming PAX East and GDC, so to all the journalists and our fans out there, listen up! I’m sure some of you will be wondering what exactly we’ll be bringing to the table. Well for those of you itching to know what we’ve been up to, or are curious about our upcoming multiplayer title, Ravenmark: Mercenaries – fret not! This post will keep you updated on our whereabouts and give you a brief understanding of what to expect from our showing at PAX East and GDC.

What to expect

We’ll mostly be showcasing Ravenmark: Mercenaries, a multiplayer based on our first title, Scourge of Estellion. We’ll actually be bringing with us a playable demo build, and while not exactly the finished product, should be sufficient to showcase some changes we’ve made to the gameplay mechanics, as well as some new concepts we’ve come up with to enhance the multiplayer experience. We’ll have a trailer ready by then! So please do watch out for that!

Earthshield Veteran

PAX East

We’ve been allotted a booth at PAX East, which is wonderful news for everyone really- because it’ll be so much easier to locate us. It also means that poor Brian and Ian won’t have to lug around all the equipment and freebies they intend to hand out. That’s right; freebies! To tie in with the release of Ravenmark: Mercenaries, we have some promotional items we’d like to hand out to our fans and anyone else interested in hearing us rave about our latest game. I’ll attach the details of our location and dates available below, as well as our e-mail so you can contact us regarding any enquiries you may have for PAX East!

Date: 22nd to 24th March

Location: Boston Convention & Exhibition Center

Booth #128

E-mail:

enquiries(at)witching-hour.net

Note: Our booth will be opposite the PAX Merch store, so we shouldn’t be too hard to find.

The Sunset

GDC

This portion right here is more for the journalists than anyone else, but please read on if it interests you. We’ll be roving around at GDC so it’s going to be a little harder to locate us, but again, fear not! Brian will be getting a dedicated number, so just give him a call if you’re looking for us! If you can’t catch them at the convention, they’re also more than happy to sit down for a chat at their hotel lobby; you can either call Brian or fix an appointment with either of them through our e-mail, attached below. Zombie infection notwithstanding, neither bite, so don’t be afraid to get in touch with them!

Date: 26th to 30th March

Telephone Number: To Be Announced

E-mail/iMessage: press(at)witching-hour.net

Residence: Serrano Hotel,

405 Taylor Street, San Francisco, CA 94102

Thank you and we hope to see you soon!

Livia Lore

Character Biographies: Livia Cassianus

By | Concept Art, Featured, News, Updates | One Comment
Hey folks!
With the arrival of Ravenmark: Mercenaries around the corner I’m sure some of you have been wondering what some of your favourite characters as well as those key to the plot have been up to. As of this week, I’ll be revisiting some of these characters and shedding some light about them with regards to their character growth.

Magister Livia Cassianus

When I was first introduced to Livia in Ravenmark: Scourge of Estellion, I didn’t exactly find her likeable. The way she walked in and acted like she was in charge, especially picking on poor Calius, was simply overbearing in my opinion.

As the story progressed however, my opinion of her changed drastically. Here was a girl with a past, guarded out of necessity if more than anything. Slowly but surely, she discovered what it meant to be honest with herself in regards to her feelings for Calius and people around her. In that respect, she endeared herself to me, although the revelation of her lineage saw a role reversal and our dear Calius Septim beome the more reticent of the two.

*Spoiler Alert for those who haven’t completed Raven’s Rise*

The Scarlet Empress, Livia Cassianus

The ending of Raven’s Rise saw a tragedy that stunted her emotional growth. Angry and vengeful, this was a different animal from when we first met her. As the newly crowned Empress of the Obsidian Perch, Livia oversees the Empire with an iron fist. Her intentions are simple – to regain the Tellion lands that have been lost and to crush the Empire’s enemies. Her stubbornly raw scars that refuse to heal, coupled with this newfound harshness have earned her the name the Scarlet Empress.

 

As painful as it was for me, the death of Calius was pivotal in pushing both her story as well as the Ravenmark Saga and while she is only one of the many changed by the war, her change is perhaps the most jarring and extreme amongst them. It is still early days yet for me to say how I feel about Estellion’s new Empress but, I’ll say that things are certainly shaping up to be interesting.

 

Alison

Here we go!

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Brigade Commander: Alison L'Etainne

Hi fellas!

Just a short introduction of myself so we can all be better acquainted and get along. If you read our previous post, you would have noticed Ian introducing me as Khai, the new social manager. Perhaps those of you who have played Ravenmark would be better acquainted with my alter ego Crumston. As of now, I’ll be serving as Witching Hour’s community manager and taking over Ian and Kevin’s duties of giving you the latest updates and answering any queries you might have about Scourge of Estellion (SOE) or the upcoming Mercenaries. So yeah, we’ll be getting to know each other a little more intimately in the coming months. Don’t be shy, drop me a mail if you need to ask anything, have suggestions or even grievances to air. I won’t bite. Promise.

Having recently joined Witching Hour Studios, I was tasked with completing all of Ravenmark’s: Scourge of Estellion campaigns before I could embark on any work.  Having been part of the game’s early development you could be forgiven if you thought I was a master of the game by now. Nope. Life happened and I ended up working in the financial sector (I sold out). So imagine my surprise when I returned to find Ravenmark to be so… epic. Six splendidly glorious campaigns, and an ever expanding lore that makes it hard to believe that it’s an iOS game, much less put together by a team I could count with digits to spare. Kudos to them, they really have been hard at work (and still are mind you).

So now here I am, over a year since the launch of Ravenmark having just completed Raven’s Rise a couple of weeks back (personally enjoyed Deepwood Dragoons most) and finding myself involved neck deep in the production of Ravenmark: Mercenaries. The team have hardly taken a breather since then. In fact, they’re churning out content at an amazing speed and I’ve pretty much been caught up in the pace of it all. It really is exciting stuff.

Heck Ian, between the gameplay mechanics and the storyline you totally have me sold. Shut up and take my money man (seriously I skipped my bonus to join Witching Hour) To Mordor you say?  You have my x! (and every other letter on my keyboard).

Well so, before this post becomes in danger of being a Tl:Dr love letter, I’d simply like to thank all of you for supporting Witching Hour Studios and the Ravenmark Saga. You guys are every bit as amazing as the team are and none of this would have been possible without you. Reading the feedback we’ve gotten, I really am heartened to see that we have such lovely folk supporting us. Keep the love coming!!! Of course it’s not a one way traffic and we intend to give back as much as we’ve gotten, so stay tuned for more sneak peeks to Mercenaries!

Stay cool fellas!

Khai

khai(at)witching-hour.net