v1.63 Preview: Reputation and Recruiting Companions

The slog continues, and I’ve designated the forthcoming companion update as v1.63. I still don’t have a release timeframe, but we’re getting close. Today’s preview should fill in most of the remaining blanks about how companions are going to work.

Reputation Ranks

One of the big new changes in v1.63 is the reputation system. Reputation is basically a new type of experience that is accrued by winning battles and completing quests in a region (regions generally meaning a town and its local area). As your numerical reputation increases, your “reputation rank” in a region levels up. There are a total of five ranks, each of which requires more reputation to achieve than the previous rank.

New daily quests with large reputation bonuses have been added to every region in the game. As of the initial release of v1.63, reputation will only be used for two major systems: seed slot boosting and companion recruiting. In the future it will likely factor into many other systems.

Recruiting Companions

Monsters aren’t captured Pokemon-style. Instead, every time that you fight a particular type of monster there is a chance that it will ask to join you. Whether or not you’re eligible to recruit a monster is based upon your regional reputation rank. Generally speaking, the stronger or rarer the monster the higher reputation rank that it takes to recruit it.

Almost any monster in the game can be recruited to become a companion, and every single species is unique. No matter what type of monster you recruit, they will always join you as a level 1 companion. Therefore, recruiting a monster from a higher level region does not necessarily give you a more powerful companion. An Ice Slime from the Arctic doesn’t have any statistical advantages over a Mage Slime from Bedoe; they’re just different.

The Companion Ranch

Every region in the game now has a Companion Ranch, the place where your extra companions are stored for safekeeping. Companions can be deposited or withdrawn anytime, and your stored companions are shared between all of your characters. However, only subscribers can actually withdraw companions stored by their other characters, and you can’t withdraw companions that are a higher level than your current character.

Every Companion Ranch features a regional Bestiary that shows which monsters are in the area and what reputation rank is required to recruit them. In order for a monster’s information to show up in the bestiary you first need to beat it in battle, otherwise its entry will contain minimal information. Like the ranch companion storage, the bestiary entries are also shared between all of your characters.

Seed Slot Boosting

In order to expand your Stat Seed slots in the current version of NEStalgia, you must to purchase expensive Seed Boosters from a late-game vendor. As of v1.63 those Seed Boosters are going the way of the dinosaur, although all existing Seed Boosters and/or their resulting extra seed slots will still function.

In v1.63 stat seed slots are automatically opened up by raising your reputation to “Honored” in a region (rank 3). Because reputation is not shared between characters, you’ll have to do this on each character separately (the grind up to Honored isn’t that time consuming and can generally be accomplished by completing most of the quests in the region). Although there are currently seven regions in the game, you’ll still only be able to open up a total of six extra slots.

Other Notes

Although I had previously talked about allowing solo players to have only one companion fighting alongside them in non-boss battles, I’ve changed things up and solo players will now be able to utilize both of their companions in all encounters. Partying up with other players will always make for a much stronger team, however, as companions are comparatively weak and don’t always make the best strategic decisions in big fights. Furthermore, any companion who is with you but not in your active party when you group with other players will give you a substantial “Reserve Bonus” in the form of a stat boost or some type of extra skill or ability.

If you have any additional questions about how this stuff works the please feel free to ask in the comments. We’re at the point where most of the implementation is finished, so I can now give plenty of details about what all of these changes entail.

I know that development is moving much slower than anyone had hoped (including myself), but please bear with us just a bit longer. The standalone installer is almost ready to go, meaning that we could theoretically be launching v1.63 alongside the standalone installer, which will mean a massive exposure boost for the game right as we turn our focus over to regular content expansions. Everything is falling into place in just the right way, and I’m very optimistic that all of this hard work and waiting is going to pay off in the near future.



, ,




38 responses to “v1.63 Preview: Reputation and Recruiting Companions”

  1. gamekrazzy Avatar

    lol. 500 Internal Server Error took place just before this…

    I can say I am definitely looking forward to everything here so far! 😛

  2. raven Avatar

    Looks great! Super excited.

    A few questions:

    If we have already completed all the quests in an area before the companions are released, will we already have some reputation for that area? Or are we defaulted to zero regardless?

    Additionally, will the Bestiary be full already for those of us that have already completed the game?

    Will any of our previous battles in an area have an impact on our reputation for an area?

    1. Silk Avatar

      You will receive reputation credit for all of the non-daily quests that you’ve completed, but apart from that you won’t receive any other bonuses from previous battles fought. Your bestiary will also be a blank slate.

  3. TalZahn Avatar

    Raven already asked the big question I had (first one), but i did have other questions.

    Is it possible for players to “catch them all?” Like, is there enough room at the ranch for all the monsters that are pettable?

    Will the bonuses the companions give be based on the level they are (so it may make it worth it to train them in order to get a better bonus or bonuses)?

    1. Silk Avatar

      Yup, there is enough room to recruit one of every type of companion. Your ranch starts out with the capacity to store 12 companions, but you can purchase additional pages worth of storage slots.

      A companion’s reserve bonus is currently static and doesn’t increase in power as they level up, although that may change.

  4. deadfool Avatar

    Happy to hear about this, I have been recently finding myself with lack of thing to do in NEStalgia.

  5. lordrith Avatar

    This is really exciting stuff.

    One question.

    Will it be possible in the future for dyes to change the colors of certain monsters?
    Changing a GREEN slime to any other color would be stupid.
    But What about Bandits changing their clothing colors? Or Other monsters that this could apply too.

    1. Silk Avatar

      Nah, the appearance of companions will remain static. There is a huge variety of companions to choose from, however, so I’m guessing that everyone will be utilizing lots of different combinations.

  6. luxuria Avatar

    While I dig the concept of seed boosters being associated with reputation I’m not entirely the monster ranch is a fitting place to have it take place. Why not have an NPC near the ‘Leaders’ of each location that offer them as a benefit of achieving good karma in that particular region?

    1. Silk Avatar

      You don’t have to trigger the seed slot boost manually; it happens automatically when you hit “Honored” in a region. Also, the NPC portrayed in this screenshot who informs you about the seed slots won’t actually be located at the ranch.

  7. uzumaki360 Avatar

    First than nothing….

    ….Happy St.Patrick Day!

    And this preview is more than enough reason to celebrate until dawn!

    Good sir, you did a great job with companions and rank system, i truly can’t wait to play and enjoy what Silk’s team (your team) did with Nestalgia V.1.63.

    I’m glad to hear that news. My best wishes and support from Baja!

    Uzumaki360 (Nenkov)

  8. xiamae Avatar

    Thank you for the progress report Silk 🙂 This post actually made me a lot more excited for the companions, considering I was sort of indifferent as a whole. I especially liked the part about there being no inherent advantages to getting a companion in the Arctic vs. getting one in Bedoe, it makes it a lot more interesting than just “well, go straight to the level 30 areas”. And the standalone installer is also great news too 😀

  9. nasca Avatar

    Is it silly that I am more excited about that one picture with a new map area ? xD

    1. Silk Avatar

      Because I’m adding new quests and already altering many of the maps to add the new Companion Ranches everywhere, I’m also taking this opportunity to improve the existing content with small touches like that. It’s not going to be a brand new game or anything, but the 1-32 experience will be much tighter and more refined in v1.63.

    2. Sonix Avatar

      I am fairly certain that MIGHT be a redesigned Ennar. With a Bridge separating the Areas with the Stronger Monsters, since new people tend to flock that direction and die.

      1. hanta Avatar

        That’s actually a really good idea 😮

  10. lordrith Avatar

    I also notice that in this post it says Companions.
    Is this limited to monsters only?

    Could we hire Mercenaries or Balzackian Guards, Verity Rangers or other Non-Monster Type Creatures.

    I assume that it’s certainly possible, and if not now in the future maybe. Figured I’d ask to see!

    1. Silk Avatar

      No, this system will be limited to non-boss foes that you fight in battle. I’ve never called companions “pets” because they are much more than that; the pet moniker has come from players.

      1. TalZahn Avatar

        Non-boss foes… does this mean the trap chests will not be eligible companions? Last I noticed, they were of boss property.

        1. DinoTurtle Avatar

          I think it was in a podcast that Silk mentioned the chest monsters wouldn’t be marked as bosses anymore so that they could be recruited. They have overworld sprites now too, so yeah.

  11. evilinuyasha Avatar

    The reputation system sounds like it will indirectly promote the future idea you have of getting rid of the ability to transfer soulbound items in the shared vault. After all, you’re going to have to play your character to get reputation for that character. In the same manner, the inability to transfer soulbound items means that you will have to play the character to get gear for that character.

    In other words, it sounds like your entire system promotes playing more. A lot more. I like it.

  12. zool Avatar

    I know you are always reticent to try and predict times, but would it at least be possible to narrow down roughly to a day, weeks, or months estimate?

    Need to plot gearing a new level 1 to try this throughout 🙂

    1. Silk Avatar

      The problem is that there is absolutely no upside for me to give estimates, and lots of downsides. Once I’m confident in a release date I’ll have no problem getting the word out to everyone who wants to know it, but all that a general estimate will do is give the douchier members of the community yet another thing to complain about if the estimate isn’t correct.

      With such a small development team, lots of unexpected stuff can pop up that brings all progress on the game to a halt for days or even weeks at a time. The vast majority of indie devs suffer from this reality, so that problem certainly isn’t exclusive to NEStalgia. The fact that even many huge companies like Blizzard and Valve are constantly delaying their games speaks volumes to the fact that game development is both slow and difficult to create a reliable timeline for.

      1. d3adm0nk3y Avatar

        I’ve Noticed that Silk doesn’t like to announce stuff until its already done, i.e. on release. so we probably won’t know it will be released until it’s actually released 😛

  13. josh Avatar

    I know you’ve talked about this before,but I forgot what you said about it. So can we capture the boss minion monsters? I really want to get one of those annoying cyclops healing drakes.

    1. Silk Avatar

      You cannot recruit bosses or boss adds.

  14. magistross Avatar

    How does the companions partying and regular partying mix together ? Can you have one PC party member and one companion ? Can a full party of 3 PC have 6 different “reserve bonus” active at a time ?

    1. Silk Avatar

      You can have 2 players with 1 companion – the leader just chooses which companion to bring along.

      You only receive boosts from your own companion’s reserve bonuses, not those of other players in your party.

  15. saro Avatar

    Will there be new BYOND medals to go along with these changes? Some ideas could be one for getting the highest reputation rank in all regions, recruiting all recruitable monsters, etc.

    1. Silk Avatar

      Most likely, although I’m revamped BYOND Medals to be less BYOND-oriented when I get a chance. They’ll eventually become “NEStalgia Achievements”. As part of the standalone client stuff we’ll be breaking away from the BYOND website.

  16. lordrith Avatar

    Silk thanks for answering everyones questions. It’s not something you have to do. Just letting you know we appreciate it.

    1. Silk Avatar

      No problem, happy to do it.

  17. TalZahn Avatar

    I’ll try this as a fresh comment since my reply-in was overlooked it seems.

    You mentioned boss-type monsters and their summons won’t be included as companions. What of Trap chests? Last I heard, they were boss type monsters (Can’t confuse, essence, instant death, or blind them)

    1. hanta Avatar

      He did mention at some point that we are able to recruit mini-bosses though, so I’d imagine that this is allowed. He might have even answered this question before, but it’s always good to bring back up.

    2. Silk Avatar

      Chest Traps will be recruitable, but not in the usual fashion.

      1. TalZahn Avatar

        Ooh, sounds like fun! Thanks! 🙂

  18. hanta Avatar

    Besides a shared-vault-esque function with the monster ranch, do subscribers get any more benefits (perhaps related to storage space, etc.)? I know you usually don’t try to make the differences too huge so as to keep the game fun and fair for all, but it was a topic brought up a while ago that I’m not sure recieved enough closure.
    On that note, you may want to get a staff member to post a FAQ on the forums regarding all these things, so anyone with questions can be redirected there. I know it isn’t on your priority list, especially with such a large delay from the original estimated date, but it’s something that might be nice.
    Also, will individual species have different recruit rates?

    1. Silk Avatar

      I’m not sure what other subscriber benefits you’d expect.

      I’d prefer to keep all of the discussion related to what I cover in blog posts here rather than on the forum, that way it’s all in one place for people to read.

      Recruit rates will be the same for every species, although monsters such as Metal Slimes will obviously be more difficult to recruit because they don’t appear very often.

Leave a Reply