Hello everyone! It is my great pleasure to announce the upcoming second GoTA expansion, Fire and Blood! Fire and Blood will be coming to our players in late April, and features new dragons, new buildings, and the all-new Tales of Ice and Fire system!
A Quick Summary
- GoTA second expansion, Fire and Blood, is releasing in Late April.
- This second expansion has the next evolution of dragons into Young Dragons, two new buildings, and the spiritual successor to World Events, called Tales of Ice and Fire.
- Tales of Ice and Fire improves the core game experience, by giving you an exciting game mode everyone can play!
- More details on Tales, dragons, and buildings will be coming next week.
An Expansion Long In Coming
In my October Product letter, I said, “We knew we wanted to change our brand from ‘Well Meaning but Inconsistent’ to ‘Dedicated to Quality.’” I also said we’d be revisiting game systems to make them more exciting and fun to play. In my January letter, I said, “Our focus in 2015 is on refining and improving the core game experience for our players.” The Fire and Blood expansion, and Tales of Ice and Fire, is driven by those statements: to focus on quality, and to refine and improve the core game experience.
We send out surveys every month to capture how our players feel about the game, and what those surveys have told us over the months and years is that there’s a lack of things to do while your Sworn Swords are out, and your holdings are busy. Here are some quotes from our latest survey:
“Make more things for players to do. I mean, useful things. Meaningful things. I have 48 SS and feel bored with only quests, I don't like to interact with other players. Then I don't, so more reasons for continuing playing.”
“Make improvements so that when a player reaches higher levels with more talent points and more command points, the game still responds and there are additional aspects to the game to keep it interesting.”
“There are some periods where it seems like you're not doing much at lower levels. Quests are timing out, sworn swords are all busy, you're producing a few things and you can't afford to do anything else.”
Tales is focused on providing a fun game experience that anyone can enjoy. It’s a complement to Alliance vs. Alliance Combat, our quest and adventure systems, and gives our players a great system they can engage in while they’re also competing in AvA, questing, doing adventures, or producing items. It’s improving the core game experience for every player.
Tales of Ice and Fire
At the heart of Fire and Blood is the Tales of Ice and Fire system. A spiritual successor to World Events, it keeps the best parts of World Events while improving on every aspect, from the story, to the art, to the system itself. It’s fair to say you’ve never seen anything like this in GoTA before.
Importantly, Tales of Ice and Fire is free from command points and timers. They do require vigor, which recovers over time, but our goal is for Tales to complement the existing game - all you need to participate is to have five Sworn Swords. Tales only use your Sworn Swords stats, not your character stats, making them a challenge for both older players and newer players.
Like World Events, everyone can earn rewards in Tales. With Tales, however, you earn better and better items and rewards for greater and greater participation. As you complete Tales, you'll gain renown which, as it increases, will let you earn more rewards. Anyone can earn these “Threshold Rewards,” giving everyone a reason to participate.
Unlike World Events, there are winners in Tales! Using a ranking system, you can win rewards for how much renown you gain during that tale. And unlike AvA, these rewards are individual; only one person can win first. The player who wins first will get some truly amazing (and possibly unique) rewards!
Like World Events, you’re part of the Game of Thrones story in Tales of Ice and Fire. You’ll be part of the rich storyline and incredible events of Game of Thrones, pulled from both the books and HBO’s series. Follow Daenerys as she crosses the Dothraki Sea and becomes the Mother of Dragons. Or, set your party alongside Jon Snow and range north of The Wall, fighting off White Walkers and Wildlings.
Unlike World Events, you’re really there in Tales. Journey across maps of Westeros, Essos, or North of the Wall, and run through challenges at locations from those stories. Participate at the wedding of Khal Drogo and Daenerys, and be there when she burns his body upon the pyre!
And lastly, your World Event gear will be useful in Tales as well. Expect to see new stats added to your Hound’s Head Helmets, Dragonglass Daggers, and Seals of the Fourteen Flames change when we release Tales!
Here are some teaser shots to tantalize you until our more detailed video and blog post next week!
Evolving Your Dragon
The next age of dragons is here! While the Tales system brings blood, it wouldn’t be right without some fire from your dragons. With Fire and Blood, you’ll be able to evolve your dragons from Baby Dragons to Young Dragons! Using the new Dragon Pit building, you’ll be able to evolve your Baby Dragons (including your colored baby dragons) into Young Dragons! Young Dragons come in uncolored, Red, Tan, and Green variants.
We’ll go into dragons, including how they'll evolve and what they'll look like, in a future blog post!
New Buildings for Game of Thrones Ascent
It’s been a year since we introduced new buildings for GoTA, and with the launch of Fire and Blood, we’re adding two more: the Great Hall and the Dragon Pit!
The Dragon Pit gives players a way to hatch a dragon without reincarnating. Using the recipes in the pit, you’ll be able to craft the items needed to hatch a dragon. This isn’t without a cost, however; it’ll take more time and cost more items to hatch your egg from the Dragon Pit than from the Reliquary. Reincarnating players will find it much, much easier to hatch their dragons than those who use the Dragon Pit, but it’s important to us that we give everyone a way to get a dragon - though it may take longer for some than others.
The Dragon Pit is also where you’ll evolve your Baby Dragon into a Young Dragon. Your Young Dragons will be the best companion in the game, by far - but will also require plenty of work to evolve into!
The Great Hall is where you’ll be able to trade in special items earned from Tales, using all-new recipes. As you complete Tales, you’ll receive these new items, and at the Great Hall you can trade in your Tales items for all-new recipes. Unlike renown, these Tales items persist through different Tales, letting you gather many of them over several Tales, and then trading them in for some great items!
We'll go over the new buildings, including their art, stats, and recipes, in a future blog post!
Tales of Ice and Fire is coming very soon!
Next week we’ll be publishing a video playing through the Tales system, and posting a detailed blog going over the system and answering questions on the forums. Most importantly, we will let you know the date of the Fire and Blood expansion very soon!
Thanks for reading, and we can’t wait to show you more from Fire and Blood in the coming weeks.
Alex “Nod” Engel
Product Manager, Game of Thrones Ascent