More To Explore Is Renowned Explorers’ DLC, Duh

With its charming aesthetic and intriguing gameplay, Renowned Explorers [official site] has been one of the pleasant surprises of last year. Since its launch, devs Abbey Games have been showing love and support to their creature and the community around it, with regular patches bringing in improvements, fixes and small additions as well as weekly competitions.

May 31st will see the launch of the game’s first paid DLC, More To Explore, bringing more content in the form of new places to explore, but also more gameplay interactions and new storytelling mechanics. Form a party with a couple of unlikely friends to explore south of the break.

Wait: before embarking on new adventures, it’s good to review what we already know. Renowned Explorers is a strategy game set in the 19th century, in which you can scare, charm or fight your way through hundreds of procedurally-generated adventures. Think FTL meets Indiana Jones at a masked party, with both getting happy-drunk and sharing absurd stories of their adventures. Adam certainly seemed to enjoy it.

The new DLC will have three types of new content. First up are two new expeditions, set in Ancient Incan territory in the Andes, and on the mysterious Lost Island, hiding treasures and foes under fashionable pink mist. Secondly, the introduction of campfire chats (surely a nod to Darkest Dungeon) will let players explore the backstories of their ragtag crew. It’ll be interesting to see how a lady luchador, a pirate captain and a scientist interact.

Campfires will expand the narrative as well as the gameplay: as your people share memories and personal ambitions, their personalities will change, altering the way they fight or negotiate and requiring new strategies on the part of the player. To top it off, new treasure means new powers.

More To Explore is coming out on Tuesday, May 31st, through Steam, Humble and GOG. No word on pricing quite yet.

We haven’t run a proper WIT of this one, so let me ask you: have you been playing it? What did you think? Have you participated in any of the weekly gameplay or fanfiction competitions?

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7 Comments

  1. Premium User Badge

    TehK says:

    Oh, this is great news. Really loved that game and I always felt, it kind of slipped under the radar a bit. I’m very glad to see that they can continue working on it.

    Well done, Abbey Games!

  2. zsd says:

    I have enjoyed RE a fair bit, and I applaud Abbey for the love they continue to put into it, but the DLC sounds like a band-aid that can’t solve the problem cooked into its DNA, which is that there just aren’t (and will never be) enough campaigns to keep the experience fresh.

    Saying there are “hundreds of procedurally-generated adventures” to have is [i]extremely[/i] charitable when there are a tightly limited number of scenarios with a fixed number of nodes in each scenario. Hard-coded difficulty tiers make the situation worse because you can’t even shake up the order in which you do things.

    Having two more campaigns is nice, but frankly it needs two dozen, and based on Abbey’s previous announcements, that’s not remotely doable.

    • Zindaras says:

      To be fair, Renowned Explorers has more content and variety than FTL, where you would also consistently run into the same nodes. The variety brought by the different captains and teams just adds to the possibilities. Where FTL had me bored after about 14 hours, RE is still going strong thanks to its varied strategies and stories.

      This DLC is great news for RE fans, with more gameplay content coming. It’s great that Abbey is still supporting this game.

      • Kitsunin says:

        I agree, and I love RE, but I have to admit, FTL does a much better job at presenting the story text you’re going to see over and over and over in such a way that you can get used to and ignore it. RE presents itself in such a way that seeing the same story happening again feels like reading the same passages of a book over and over.

  3. Kryzn says:

    I really really love this game. It is one of my sleeper hits, and I really wish more people would have played it.

    It is just such a nice combination of charming presentation, interesting systems, and plenty of replayability, too. I am glad to hear that they keep adding to the game.

  4. jgf1123 says:

    I played Renowned Explorers a lot when it came out, maybe 1-2 campaigns per day for a couple weeks. I think I got the first major patch, but I stopped playing before a lot of the new content since release, so I can’t really speak about its current state.

    The reason I stopped was because my campaigns started to feel the same. While each expedition is procedurally generated, they are pulled from a fixed bag of encounters. Furthermore, many of the stat checks on the encounters are very similar. For example, a common one would be Attack Power plus a bonus for Athlete perk or maybe Fighter class. Several encounters use this same stat check, though they’ll have different text.

    Such a stat check is built for a Fighter. Early in the campaign, if you have a Fighter, it’s pretty much automatic; if you don’t, it’s chancy, but the penalty isn’t too hard if you fail. Late in the campaign, if you have a fighter, you’re pretty likely to pass; if you don’t, you’ll almost certainly fail and carry an onerous penalty into the boss fight. Other stat checks are built for Scouts, for Scientists, etc. While there may be a couple dozen specially designed event chains (end-of-expedition adventures; special dungeons), many generic stat checks use one of maybe twenty such stat checks, but with different flavor text.

    Now there are 4 classes but only space for 3 people on your crew. This is good because a team that can cover any base would be kind of boring. However, unless you’re hunting for an achievement, you probably want 3 different classes. Also, because there isn’t a great variety of stat checks, my build for each class looked very similar. The Fighter would boost Attack Power and gain perks related to Fighter stat checks (e.g., Athlete, Tactician). This is exacerbated by the fact that the shops are not random.

    So while I did adapt my campaign to what I encountered a bit (for example, if I get a treasure early on that gives me a bonus every time I do X, I’ll do X more during the campaign), I didn’t adapt much. I found myself making the same builds, picking the same options, and having pretty similar campaigns.

    Again, I can’t speak about the current state of the game. If I didn’t own it already, I’d probably put it on my wishlist and wait for a sale because it was fun, just diminishing returns on replays.

  5. CMaster says:

    I like RE:IS, I’ll be buying this DLC pretty promptly.
    That said, there’s definitley some issues with balance and variety. Still, people should play it.