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Dune: Spice Wars - Early Access Recap

It's been a long year and a half for Dune: Spice Wars, with Early Access seeing the arrival of numerous updates bringing new factions, multiplayer battles, system overhauls, new biomes, systems, features and so much more to the game before leading us here: just 2 days away from our launch out of Early Access and into 1.0!

So in this article we're going to take a look back at all of the major updates that have come to the game over the course of the Early Access campaign and remind you of anything you might have missed!

Dune: Spice Wars' first update after launching into Early Access, "Community Update #1", was led mostly by community feedback and suggestions, bringing new faction-specific bonuses, an improved queue system, and immersive combat views. Players were given the opportunity to explore new regions, expand their Underworld Headquarters, and enjoyed a more balanced and polished gaming experience, allowing us to get to work on our first major content update…

In the highly anticipated Multiplayer Update, we invited players to join forces in 2v2 matches or engage in intense free-for-alls with up to four players. Commanding the Atreides, Harkonnen, Fremen, or Smugglers.

But that's not all. We completely revamped every development tree, emphasising synergy between factions, and added an array of new political resolutions, events, regions, and a slew of other improvements. Our aim was to fully realise the universe and themes of Dune, delivering an experience of grand machinations, subtle political plotting, and epic reversals. With multiplayer, the potential for these grand narratives soared as players vied for dominance in every stage of war.

In our second community update, the Spice tax system was reworked, balancing the game dynamics across factions, while Fremen received a starting supply boost. Unit movement and military supply consumption were optimized, and stealth units became day-night cycle-sensitive.

Balancing efforts mixed up numerous unit stats, Command Points, and more. Development trees underwent a massive overhaul, along with revisions to spying missions, resolutions, and agent traits.

Multiplayer introduced 'Kanly' mode, bringing a faster experience in a 1v1 setting, while quality-of-life improvements, visual enhancements, and bug fixes refined the gameplay.

The introduction of the House Corrino Update to Dune: Spice Wars was a game-changer, bringing the illustrious Imperial House Corrino into the fray. Led by Shaddam IV, House Corrino's arrival marked a significant milestone in the game's development.

With this update, players could now unleash the imperial powers of House Corrino. Their faction bonuses, including the ability to gain Hegemony through Guild Fees and manipulate Landsraad resolutions with the Imperial Edict, introduced numerous new ways to approach the game and vy for domination over your opponents. House Corrino also boasted a distinct roster of Councillors and units, each with their own special abilities and advantages.

The "House Corrino Update" expanded the diplomatic landscape by revamping diplomacy mechanics, introducing binary relations, and enhancing treaty systems. The AI was upgraded to better adapt to these changes, making for a more engaging and challenging experience.

And alongside all of that, the update brought significant improvements to the overall gameplay experience. It featured reworks of existing systems, the addition of new developments, and various quality-of-life enhancements. The CHOAM Market, Hegemony changes, and economic adjustments were among the notable additions, creating a richer and more immersive world on Arrakis.

The Accessibility Update brought in a variety of accessibility options, including colorblind modes tailored for different types of colorblindness, and the ability to adjust the intensity of colorblind corrections. A magnifier feature was also introduced, allowing players to zoom in on specific areas of the game with customizable zoom multipliers. For those sensitive to certain visual stimuli, a photosensitive mode was included to remove flashes and reduce visual intensity in various game elements.

The Accessibility Update also addressed issues related to readability and user interface clarity. Players could now adjust chat text size and opacity, enhancing the overall readability of in-game communications. Additionally, an overlay system was introduced to help distinguish between ally, enemy, and personal units, providing greater clarity on the battlefield.

The Air and Sand update introduced a variety of exciting additions. Aerial combat was introduced and each faction acquired two new spaceship units, allowing even more strategic options.

New resources, Guild Favors and Machine Scrap, added depth to gameplay. A revamped projectiles system improved the overall battle visuals, while The Renegades, a new neutral enemy faction, introduced a new challenge to be faced on the sands in order to earn valuable Guild Favors.

Exclusive major buildings like the Spacing Guild Branch and Recycling Plant gave players new advantages. AI and multiplayer received improvements, while quality-of-life enhancements were introduced to improve the overall experience.

In the Line in the Sand update for 'Dune: Spice Wars,' we introduced significant game-wide improvements to enhance the experience and answer the requests of our community once again, with the addition of end-game statistics for evaluating your performance and the history of the game, more visible military alerts, and the ability for military units to hold their positions being some major additions.

Economic adjustments were made, such as increased Plascrete production with Solari upkeep, reduced manpower cost for Harvesters Crew, and balanced starting resources. Hegemony gains were shifted away from votes on resolutions, focusing more on spice contracts and gradual gains from the Emperor Monument.

The military side saw some significant changes in unit command points, expanded aura ranges, and reworked Fremen units specializing in debuffs. The supply system was simplified, dividing units into mechanical and non-mechanical categories, leading to various ability adjustments.

Spaceships, gear, village traits, and buildings all underwent balancing and changes. Spying operations were reworked, and developments saw modifications in knowledge generation. New regions, events, and Landsraad improvements added depth to the gameplay, rounding out the update.

The Conquest Update finally saw the introduction of the much requested campaign mode to Dune: Spice Wars!

As they took charge of one of Dunes major houses (Atreides, Harkonnen, or Corrino) players would have to fight through a number of unique scenarios and situations in order to stand victorious as the ruler of Arrakis! With Conquest, each map is randomly generated, customizable perks create unique play styles and each playthrough offers a different experience and challenges to overcome in every run.

In addition, Tutorials were introduced to teach the game's basics, and factions, characters, and economics were heavily rebalanced. The political landscape shifted with changes to Landsraad Standing and treaties, and the CHOAM Market received new bonuses and a Nuclear Silo was added for the more warmonger-y among us.

Spying missions and operations were rebalanced, units were improved, and map generation was enhanced. The user interface received updates, including a new developments window and victory progression cards.

The update also delivered nine new music tracks and introduced numerous bug fixes.

And with all that now behind us, there's only one update left to go before we launch out of Early Access! Introducing House Ecaz, new tutorials, major system overhauls, improvements, and a ton more, we can assure you that the 1.0 update is going to have been worth the wait!

Thank you all for joining us on this journey. Developing the game alongside you all has been an incredible experience and we can't wait to hear your thoughts when the game launches into 1.0 this Thursday.

See you then...

- Shiro Games

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