Thea 2: The Shattering

Hey Nesrie glad to hear from you! I may pick up Thea 2 some day. The first was a little rough but had enough interesting bits in there for a couple play throughs.

@Nesrie, what are your overall thoughts on the game? Like it? A classic for all time? Terrible? Something else? :)

I’d like to hear from @Nesrie as well. In the meantime… there is a demo if anybody didn’t know.

I’m up to about turn 60 in my second game, having lost miserably in my first, and I’m really enjoying it.

There are lots of improvements over the first game of the series. The seasons and time-of-day are more interesting and relevant to game play; they affect my decision-making more than I expected. The new combat system is more intricate and fun, especially with the inspired auto-resolve system, which previews the result for you (in general terms), giving you a chance to resolve manually instead. The world is more interesting too, with multiple islands instead of one big mass. As Nesrie said, gathering is tougher now. Everything seems a bit more challenging, in fact. I like that.

With possibly one minor exception: level-up decisions? Maybe @Nesrie or someone else can help me with this. When asked to level up, you get to choose one of three attributes to increment. One of the 3 can always be incremented by 2, whereas the others can only be incremented by 1. Is there ever a reason not to choose the +2?

Overall, though, I’m really enjoying this. I’ve only got 5-6 hours in it, so I can’t rate it or declare whether it’s a candidate for “Game of” something, but I like it. Will report back after I’ve played more.

Steam says I have 108 hours played for this game. I’ve completed 2 games so far and really do like the game a lot. I finished the 2 main quest lines in the first game I played and then ended it. In the second game I did all of that and then continued to play until I got a Domination victory.

Despite all of that, I’ve managed to unlock a grand total of 2 additional gods to play. And that’s my biggest issue with the game right now. I’m not going to put in 1000 hours to unlock all the gods and other options.

Particularly frustrating was the fact that it said I had unlocked a god in my second game that I had already unlocked in my first game. So, I basically ended up only unlocking one that game in spite of it saying I had unlocked 2.

So, over 100 hours and I still haven’t unlocked the gods I’d like to try out. It’s a really, really fun game but the unlock scheme is a bit nuts.

As far as I am concerned, there still isn’t really another game like Thea or Thea 2 out there. To me it has the one more turn qualities of the earlier Civilization games combine with the randomness of a story based game that also changes based on measures of chance and just choices you’ve made. I mean if you play with an elf character, suddenly the same event you’ve seen a dozen times before just feels different and you know it’s because of the elf because an option shows up that makes it clear that you are getting a choice here that you didn’t get before because you an elf, or a dwarf, or a demon or a ghost…and you’re wondering what kind of neat outcome there will be. 2 is hugely flexible when it comes to difficulty. I play at 139%, but it can be easily tweaked to be a lot harder or significantly easier.

I think Thea was a sleeper classic that Thea 2 builds on well. There will definitely be a segment of the gaming population that will find it repetitive. It’s designed to play again and again and again and get just enough chance, whether it’s your characters, your gods, the resources you get or choices you make to make it feel not entirely the same path. It’s also a game you’re meant to lose, like give up and start-over which some will hate, like really hate… but starting over still gives you those points for gods so it’s not really a waste at all.

Now Thea 2 does have a design flaws that might make it seem less worthwhile than 1.

I think the island approach was actually a mistake. The idea of building varying levels of rafts and tying it to weight makes the nomad option feel kind of… meh to me. I mean there is a fair amount of chance in the game and there was such excitement to find a rare resource early on in 1, even if going for it that early often wound up being a mistake. I just dislike this designated island stuff so much but… a couple of steps back doesn’t detract too badly from the game.

They’re still changing stuff, and if they support it like the last one, maybe a few new voices will be heard and they can make some shifts.

It really is a game you learn via playing, doing it right and wrong, learning for the next time. I think I am at around 170 hours now (400+ on the last one), and 90% of that is an MP experience which means molasses speed but… I get excited every time I see a new quest, every time I see an old quest with a new option, every time a kid grows up

some minor notes.

I don’t consider the auto-resolve a cheat, especially in MP. It speeds things up so much, especially for groups you know you will win, the easy ones. Even if I get a good result with auto-resolve, I often do manual if it’s not the best, especially for yellow. I still feel it’s off for yellow challenges (intellect/wisdom). If it’s a new group, it’s best to learn what you’re up against.

Most of the time, the +1 is a primary attribute and the +2 are secondary.

Leveling, not children, is usually focused on their class. Warrior can benefit from strength, primary, and perception, secondary. Hunter meanwhile is mostly focus on precision although sometimes I beef them up on yellow too and they wind up being heavy hitters there too (but sadly not too much life). And then it can be a little situational. I’ve given a hunter strength just so they can carry some armor, and a +2 Wits is often exciting to me. Getting my people upfront to bring something down fast can be the difference between a total wipe and victory.

Keep in mind your gear should show you what is being used to attack which can help you choose what to pick too… like the witch might be using destiny or mysticism depending on what item she is using.

Thanks for your thoughts, and thanks for your thoughts on level-up decisions. Okay, I thought the primary/secondary thing might explain the choices. I’ll think about them more carefully.

I haven’t played far enough to have an opinion on the islands. My first impression was “oooh fun,” but yes, there might be downsides. I doubt it will affect my enjoyment of the game much though. I agree with you that Thea is a unique experience; I really like it.

I am not sure if this was posted yet or not but…

With a slight delay, but here it is :)

  • Added Steam Cloud Saves
  • Added Steam Achievements
  • Added the first stage of Steam Workshop implementation - this one is for Database files. More information in this guide
    > - Improved group strength evaluation and difficulty scaling - this should reduce the difficulty of Lightbringers on the starting islands (among other things)
  • Added missing sound effects to several buttons
  • Added morale per turn gain info to various screens
  • Changes to UI to ensure support for ultrawide (i.e. 3840x1080) screens
  • Fixed music not being played in a loop
  • Fixed VO being played before the fight was concluded
  • Fixed Load button’s hit area on Load Game screen

This update will not break your saves :)

Emphasis mine. Those lightbringers were a hurdle I thought I was getting close to solving. Since they fixed them perhaps it was higher than intended, so I feel better about that. I can’t wait to see how different it plays once that particular difficulty wall should be lessened.

Looks like good stuff! Will fire it up tonight. :)

Finally started playing this; I like to give games a month or so to patch up these days before I dig in. Glad I finally got around to it as I’d been in a gaming lull and this is keeping me engaged nicely.

Does anyone happen to know if luck does anything other than what it says it does? It says increased xp and better luck in the growing up events. Increased xp seems pointless if I’m only using it to get more luck. After having my warrior offered a choice of skills at level up between “lucky sod” and “good luck” I was rather irritated. They have slightly different descriptions, but the listed effect for both is simply +luck. Does luck really need 2 different skills?

Anyway, what is the average level you’re going to reach if you actually manage to finish a game? I noticed one of the domination options (iirc) requires 6 level 20 characters. If I’m only going to reach level 20 it seems like it’ll be quite hard to get any skills to their max level 5. It’s likely not needed to finish the game, but it’d be nice to see some of my favorite skills maxing out.

I’ve been reading that luck might not actually do what it says it does, and it might just be a coincidence that my best adults had high luck as a child… so I just sent them an inquiry to see if I can get an answer. My sample size is pretty small and they’ve updated a number of times since those posts on Steam. They’ve responded in the past, and have been very nice about that sort of thing. Of course they weren’t quite so close to release then, so we’ll see.

I’ve not completed a full Thea 2 game yet. MP can go very, very slowly, and a good chunk of my playing time had been in the pre-release versions.

Thanks very much. I do hate having stats in games whose impact is too vague. I don’t necessarily need exact numbers to enjoy a game (though I do prefer it) but I at least want to know the general effects.

I got an answer, very quickly!

Hi there,

Luck Sod and Good Luck change Luck attribute value for a character. If a child has any of those skills, some of Growing Up Events will be taken into consideration. Luck will affect other events as well and will provide a bonus to the Experience Points.

Hope I help.
Have a nice day!

I think the arguments on Steam may have been accurate, once, but this is straight from Muha.

I have been using luck on my last few games, purposefully, and that group wound up with a demon, zerca and witch… not sure how much luck had to do with it but in my early play throughs I test stuff like this. I had to start at zero with the release version though because they changed a lot right at the end… which I don’t mind too much. It just means I will experiment with newer releases. If they nerfed those lightbringers… my whole approach will probably shift too. I gambled a lot early on trying to get some purple strength.

Fairly close to finishing my first game now, probably via domination unless I find some events soon.

I was thinking the game was just too easy to turtle on a middle difficulty island and win until I remembered I have some type of control over that and this game is only at 100%. I also save scummed a bit while I learned the game which certainly affected things.

Will probably go slightly harder and no save scumming next time around.

I wonder a bit how auto-resolve works; the computer is much better at some encounters than I am. I went pretty much hard yellow with a bit of purple backup and some of the fights would auto-resolve perfect but when I tried them myself I would barely win, badly injured. Not sure if auto-resolve has bonuses or I’m just bad! I did get better later on so it was probably me, but I’m not sure how the computer won those fights with my poor shielding and few pets early on.

I play at 139%. It was 140s but they added the coal options after that, and i left that on the default. It’s been pretty good so far, losses though.

I only use auto-resolve to quicken battles I am hugely familiar with. I manually battle anything that looks knew so I learn their skills, range, and damage levels for when I manually face them. It’s still rare for me to do a yellow auto. It often has me taking a hit, and I know I can do better than that!

I was about to ask you guys to explain to me all the stats for weapons etc., and then I found that @FinnegansFather already posted a great link for newbs like me. Reposting in case anyone needs it:

Unfortunately I found my first stupidly overpowered combination. If you don’t want the game to be too easy don’t use anything with Drain Vigour until it gets nerfed. I checked the discord, it’s been mentioned by a few people so they must be aware of it. Maybe you can use it on a character with low enough mysticism and not break the game.

My wraith with a drain vigour item can reduce any type of encounter to zero challenge in the first round. It’s truly impossible to lose any encounter that allows your team to participate (I could still lose a chosen only battle). Put out anything to soak damage for one point, spend your other 3 actions casting weakness with the wraith. I took an enemy from 121 dmg to 3 dmg in the first round.

This was at 133%, so maybe at a 200% run it wouldn’t be completely broken but I suspect it still is. Looking to finish this game up quickly as I don’t want to stop using what I planned my game around but it has definitely lost the thrill of victory.

Interesting. They are still making changes and are likely to fix something like that. Unfortunately, right before release they made a lot changes so I am still learning some combos.

One of the complaints your’e likely to see on the Steam forums is the frequency of updates, but again they tend to take care of their game even if it means waiting a little longer to address these issues.

Loving the game, but a couple questions:

  1. I’ve researched a couple terrain artifacts, and I’ve been rewarded with entries in the lore book. Is there any gameplay advantage to doing this research? I saw a dev post that mentioned earning RPs doing this; I assume he/she meant research points? Is that the only benefit?

  2. I understand that eating a variety of food increases morale, as in the first edition. But do different cooked foods have any other benefits? I have a dim recollection that cooked foods had some other properties in the first game. If not, why bother cooking cooked foods? Is it because you get 1.5x as many cooked goods as ingredients you use? E.g., 8 berries makes 12 jam?

  3. Finally, I have no idea when I want to leave the first island, or when to make a village. I’m on turn 132, still exploring the first island. I guess other islands will have higher-tier resources, but I’m still gathering nifty tier-2 resources I’ve found here.

Thanks!

As far as I know the Research Points are the only benefit to actually doing the research. It is however a massive chunk of RP.

Partially it’s the 50% increase in quantity. Other benefits are that in some places cooked foods sell very well so can be used to get more advanced items or crafting materials. I also usually end up using a lot of them for recruiting in taverns.

The other thing is that you ideally want 10 different food types available. If you have veggies and mushrooms you have 2 types. However, you can combine those into at least 2, maybe even 4 different cooked items. Now you’ve created up to 6 different food types with only 2 base types. That’s a massive difference in morale.

As for leaving the starting island, I’ve done it as early as turn 70 and as late as 250. I haven’t yet tried a completely nomadic game with no village but it should be fine, and you’d get 2 of the “other ring” to really boost your combat potential.

As for when I do found a village, I try to wait until I have the necessary materials to be able to build a village that gets +2 gathering radius (for 3 radius total). That makes it much easier to find a suitable spot on the tougher islands. Ideally I do this with 32 obsidian as that gives by far the biggest village gathering and crafting bonus for a t3 material. Sometimes it’s easier to do it with dragon bones though as they’re much easier to trade for. The obsidian I generally have to upgrade myself and I play with coal turned off on the starting island so that can be a slow process sometimes.