BLOGCAST

A rusty cast-iron mermaid drowns in lakeshore mud. Bleached wooden swings clack in the wind. A cracked neon sign snaps and hisses, but never illuminates. Are these relics from the park’s halcyon opening? Or are they tawdry reproductions from its doomed nineteen seventies remodel?

A voice cries out from beyond the veil. Pillars arise, and the council approves a new arena for the Duel! Introducing the Midway Pier, where Spellcasters clash in a vacant lakeside amusement park. The Pier layout is designed with a low sheltered home pedestal, two forward mid-height flanking pedestals, and two high-elevation pedestals. Skilled casters weave their spells through the metal scaffolds of dormant rides to banish their adversaries.

Night falls after the second round, and the park comes alive with novelties:

  • Moving obstacles. Attractions lurch and spin; the swinging ship creates dynamic cover for skilled magicians.
  • Neutral pillars. Two non-aligned purple pillars are accessible by either spellcaster. They offer advantages in the form of:
  • Mystic concessions. A strength game manifests offensive fireworks; a concession stand offers healing deep-fried manna.

As motors whine, the Summon Orb appears. Breaking it shatters the other-dimensional shackles that bind an ancient guardian to its Ferris Wheel form. The Midway Spider looms over the park, coating pillars in its sweeping spectral webs. It will drain your life-essence as it drains electric power from the grid.

Cheap flashing lights distract unworthy magicians. These amusements are fleeting, but the status earned here lasts until the slate is wiped clean. Maintain focus, and stay hidden!

Ever Watching,

theunspoken-hand-wt

 

Arcane Update 4.0 introduces a new way to play The Unspoken: Spar Mode!

In Spar Mode, arch-mages battle for points in timed matches. Matches are unranked, so the stakes are lower. It’s a great way for new players to hone their spell casting skills, and a great way for seasoned players to experience a new facet of the Chicagoland underground.

We developed Spar Mode as a direct result of some great feedback from our community. We heard loud and clear that many players want a chance to learn the game in a more forgiving environment. That makes sense, because much of The Unspoken explores new ground—casting spells in VR is a brand-new player experience, and we’re learning the finer points of training a deep Touch game with a high skill cap.

You’ll perfect your technique in a deathless match, without the threat of near-instant obliteration at the hands of an ascendant adversary. You’ll earn points by targeting your opponent—or by targeting Orbs that spawn in the arena. You’ll auto-collect Embers, and you’ll gather Artifacts during the match by breaking Orbs. It’s a modified ruleset, built with the same fun interactions.

We set out to create a mode that’s inviting for players of all skill levels. A mode that helps new players close the skill gap and prepare for the ranked game. And ultimately—we hope!—a mode that gets high-ranked players into Duels faster by drawing from a larger matchmaking pool. We want Spar and Duel to enjoy a beautifully symbiotic relationship.

More modes are on the way in 2017, including the still-secret most requested thing ever. In the meantime, what do you think of Spar Mode? Let us know on our channels. We’re listening! And… Ever Watching!

Full Update Notes

Season 1: The slate is clean; the leaderboard is reset. Ascend the ranks–top players earn rewards at the end of the season.

New Content

  • Spar Mode: Battle for points in timed matches in this new unranked mode! Master the art of spellcasting with lower stakes and an all-new way to play.
  • Midway Pier Arena: Duel for supremacy in a long-vacant amusement park. The concession tents glow once again with electric light.

New Features

  • Tournament Cloaks: It’s time for The Unspoken Tournament at Microsoft Stores across North America! Celebrate with new crimson tournament cloaks.
  • Friends Leaderboard: How do you rank against your Oculus friends? Find out here!

Tuning and Fixes

Anarchist

  • Plate Glass: Increased the health of all Plate Glass charge tiers.
  • Plate Glass: Reduced the duration of a minimum charged Plate Glass.
  • Plate Glass: Reduced size of fully charged Plate Glass.
  • Chaos Skull: Added speed boost immediately after being cast.

Kineticist

  • Force Bubble: Added new behavior. Enemy spells entering the bubble now stop for the entire shield duration.
  • Mass Drop: Added new behavior. All cars now travel to where the player is looking if no car is already there.
  • Mass Drop: Added a Cooldown between successive volleys.

Blackjack

  • Disc of Blades: Reduced the max speed of both a minimum charge and curved Disc of Blades.
  • Disc of Blades: Increased the visibility of Disc of Blades.
  • Spectral Cloak: Increased the number of Spectral Crystals formed by a minimum charged cloak.
  • Spectral Cloak: Increased cloak health.
  • Wild Cards: Reduced projectile speed.
  • Spectral Knives: Changed the number of charge states to three.

Drifter

  • Celestial Dome: Increased the health of a minimum charged Celestial Dome.
  • Celestial Dome: Reduced the duration of a minimum charged Celestial Dome.
  • Vermin: Increased flight speed.
  • Shatter Mine: Increased the health for both charge tiers.
  • Shatter Mine: Reduced the fuse time for both charge tiers.
  • Shatter Mine: Reduced the damage for both charge tiers.

Artifacts

  • Infernal Contract: Further reduced the health penalty for signing the contract.
  • Aerogramme: Increased the health of each plane.
  • Dispelling Censer: Reduced the size of the dispel AOE.
  • Dark Tag: Triggering Dark Tag no longer removes the other traps.

General

  • Map Table: Renamed tab headings for clarity.
  • Map Table: Added an arena selection context.
  • Primal Shields: Increased the recharge delay.
  • Primal Shields: Reduced shield damage taken from primals when blocked with shield center.
  • Voice Chat: Enabled voice chat by default.
  • Progression: Added checks to ensure that unlocked items remain accessible.

***Note: In the rare event that previously unlocked items are locked–and the game defaults to the starter loadout and Anarchist–please immediately force-close the game and reload. You MUST force close (do not exit via the menu) to avoid overwriting your save file. We are currently investigating this bug.

Have you heard about The Unspoken Tournament at select Microsoft Stores? If not, you can find out more information here. If you haven’t signed up yet… what are you waiting for?! Simply go here, find your local store and sign up! No purchase necessary and you have a shot at a trip to NYC for the finals, a PC with Rift + Touch AND cash money. Check your local store for practice times. Round one begins on Saturday, May 13th! Do you have what it takes to be the supreme arch-mage?

Join us in Durham

If you’re in or around North Carolina, we’ll be at the Durham Microsoft Store (located in the Streets at Southpoint) on May 13th! Matches start at 5pm EDT, but we’ll be there a little early to hang out– watching local participants play in the tourney, mingling with fans, signing autographs, and giving away some The Unspoken posters! Internet personality CaRtOoNz is joining us as well, so it’ll be a great time! Come join us. Play, spectate, chat or just hang out!

Can’t make it to Durham?

That’s ok. With local events happening at 80 Microsoft Stores around North America, you can still join in the fun. Select stores in Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco and Seattle will also have some of our favorite streamers and internet personalities making an appearance. Stay tuned in to our Twitter for more details on that.

Loadouts?

For those who have signed up or are waiting to sign up, we have some more details on the preset loadouts you can expect during Rounds 1 and 2. Remember, the Finals will allow for custom loadouts (limit one of each Artifact type–no duplicates!).

Offensive
Aerogramme
Infernal Contract
Burner

Defensive
Dispelling Censer
Cthulhu’s Grasp
Clockwork Imp

Balanced
Dispelling Censer
Spear Forge
Dark Tag

How are the 8 finalists determined?

Per the rules, the winners of each store (x80) will move on to Round 2. Round 2 will be structured into regions (based mostly on time zones). There will be 8 total regions and the winners of each region will be the 8 finalists flown to New York City for the Finals!

Here is a breakdown of the regions:

WEST A REGION
0001 – Scottsdale Fashion Square
0002 – Shops at Mission Viejo
0003 – Fashion Valley
0006 – Bellevue Square
0007 – South Coast Plaza
0009 – Century City
0013 – University Village
0015 – Valley Fair
0017 – Stanford Shopping Center – Palo Alto
0042 – Ala Moana

WEST B REGION
0030 – Corte Madera
0031 – San Francisco Center
0043 – Pioneer Place
0049 – Fashion Show
0062 – Topanga – CA
0067 – Los Cerritos
0069 – Chandler Fashion Center
0071 – West Edmonton Mall
0072 – Metropolis at Metrotown
0091 – Vancouver Pacific Centre

CENTRAL A REGION
0004 – Park Meadows
0005 – Mall of America
0008 – Oak Brook
0011 – The Domain
0012 – Houston Galleria
0020 – La Cantera
0021 – City Creek
0025 – Oak Park Mall
0036 – Woodfield Mall
0074 – Chinook Center

CENTRAL B REGION
0035 – Fashion Mall (EST)
0041 – Penn Square Mall
0047 – St. Louis Galleria
0054 – Stonebriar Centre Mall
0057 – Woodland Hills
0059 – Northpark
0061 – The Woodlands
0064 – Baybrook
0068 – Lakeside
0053 – Mall at Green Hills

EAST A REGION
0014 – Lenox Square
0018 – Danbury Fair Mall
0019 – Rockingham Mall
0022 – Bridgewater Commons
0024 – The Westchester
0026 – Walt Whitman
0027 – Florida Mall
0029 – Prudential Center
0037 – Burlington Mall
0038 – Beachwood Place

EAST B REGION
0034 – Kenwood Town Center
0039 – Dadeland Mall
0040 – Mall at Millenia
0044 – Roosevelt Field
0045 – Natick Collection
0046 – Somerset Collection
0048 – Willowbrook Mall
0051 – St. John’s Town Center
0056 – Perimeter Mall
0063 – Montgomery

EAST C REGION
0010 – Tysons Corner
0016 – Christiana Mall
0023 – Freehold Raceway
0028 – Fashion Centre at Pentagon City
0032 – Yorkdale Toronto
0050 – Westfarms
0052 – Walden Galleria
0055 – Garden State Plaza
0058 – Destiny
0060 – Aventura Mall

EAST D REGION
0065 – Streets at Southpoint
0066 – SouthPark
0074 – Square One
0075 – Toronto Eaton Centre
0077 – University Town Center
0078 – International Plaza
0082 – Town Center at Boca Raton
0083 – King of Prussia Mall
0084 – Easton Town Center
0085 – 5th Ave – NYC

This episode of Moonlighting tackles the question of education vs talent – which is more important.

View ALL current Job Openings here!

Subscribe to Insomniac HR on YouTube
Follow @InsomniacHR on Twitter
Follow Insomniac Games on LinkedIn

Moonlighting with Insomniac is the twice-a-month show where we answer YOUR questions about recruitment and HR at Insomniac Games. We’d love to hear your questions. Leave a comment below!

We hope everyone is enjoying the latest Arcane Update 3.0! How are you liking The Drifter? Like we do each month, here is a look at when we will be jumping online to play Ranked with you all. Look for our “insom_” usernames.

April Play with Dev Events

Wednesday, April 12 @ 4 pm Eastern / 1 pm Pacific / 9 pm UTC
Thursday, April 20 @ 5 pm Eastern / 2 am Pacific / 10 pm UTC
Wednesday, April 26 @ 6 pm Eastern / 3 pm Pacific / 11 pm UTC

Livestream

Our monthly livestream on Twitch will be before we are ready to go live with Arcane Update 4.0! Look for more info on that soon. Check out our last stream below:

Greetings Spellcaster,

The city is annotated. There are glyphs on every sidewalk, in every alley, and beneath every overpass—an other-dimensional scrawl visible only to the preternaturally aware.

Look hard enough, and you’ll see the future. The doors of perception are open wide for The Drifter!

The Drifter is a galactic wanderer with the unique ability to see a city that no other Spellcaster can see. These Primal Spells keep you one step ahead of your adversary:

  • Peer through the Evil Eye to see Embers before they manifest. Or use the Evil Eye to ward off enemy spells.
  • Draw back the two-handed Galactic Slingshot to charge an explosive microcosmic projectile.

Channel Embers to perform these Gesture Spells:

  • With a Volley Gesture, call Vermin to harass your foe from beyond the veil. These spectral crows fly up toward the heavens before diving at your opponent’s position.
  • With a Guard Gesture, surround yourself with a Celestial Shelter. This full-dome shield travels with you and conceals your actions, even as it absorbs damage.
  • With the new Conjure Gesture, raise a deadly Shatter Mine on an enemy’s pedestals—or right beneath their feet.

Dominate the physical space. Move to position before an Ember exists. Remove your opponent’s Embers at the exact moment of their inception. Herd your opponent across the arena with Shatter Mines, and then pick them apart with Vermin. Deceive them by concealing an Artifact with your Celestial Shelter.

Attune yourself to the cosmos and shrug off this terrestrial plane. But remember, you may well lose a direct battle. Your success hinges on foresight and subterfuge. Keep to the shadows.

Ever Watching,

theunspoken-hand-wt

New Content

  • The Drifter Class: A galactic wanderer has pierced the veil and is now selectable for battle. The Drifter wields a cosmic Slingshot and uses powerful foresight to stay one step ahead of adversaries!
  • The Burner: Call an unlisted number to summon a demonic ally. Long distance charges may apply.
  • Celestial Mirror: Teleport up to your bedroom, then customize your appearance with new Cloaks, Auras, and Hands.

New Features

  • Primal Shields 2.0: Defend with style! Primal Shields reward skillful defense; reflect enemy projectiles back at the opponent by blocking with the center of the shield.
  • Class Training: Learn the secret arts! Classes now include training sequences, accessible through the class orbs in the Curio Cabinet.
  • Astral Learning: Glean valuable tricks while you wait! Target orbs drop gameplay tips in the Astral Plane.

Tuning and Fixes

Arenas

  • Elmhurst Ave: Adjusted the round 1 layout; the fire escape pillar rises at the start of the match rather than during round 2.
  • Astor Garden: Improved post escalation performance on low settings.
  • Lockport Bridge: Improved post escalation performance on low settings.

Anarchist

  • Pyrotechnics: Adjusted fireworks behavior; multiple firework volleys leave the same safe pillar.
  • Pyrotechnics: Increased the cast time to fall in line with the cast time of other volley spells.

Kineticist

  • Telekinesis: Normalized the large objects spawn rate across all maps.
  • Telekinesis: Reduced the number of large objects that spawn if there is only one Kineticist in the match.

Blackjack

  • Disc of Blades: Adjusted the disc to persist after colliding with Telekinetic objects.
  • Wild Card: Increased the cast time to fall in line with the cast time of other volley spells.

Artifacts

  • Infernal Contract: Reduced the health penalty for signing the contract.

General

  • Progression: Reduced the amount of experience required for leveling.
  • Post-Match: Updated the post-match UI with various quality of life improvements.
  • Embers: Lowered the spawn time for Embers in round 3.
  • Friends Match: Selecting Random Arena will now change to a new random arena when you Rematch.

This episode we talk briefly about how Insomniac approaches international applicants.

View ALL current Job Openings here!

Subscribe to Insomniac HR on YouTube
Follow @InsomniacHR on Twitter
Follow Insomniac Games on LinkedIn

Moonlighting with Insomniac is the twice-a-month show where we answer YOUR questions about recruitment and HR at Insomniac Games. We’d love to hear your questions. Leave a comment below!

Find out how to apply, What kinds of roles are available and What the interview process at Insomniac is like.

View ALL current Job Openings here!

Subscribe to Insomniac HR on YouTube
Follow @InsomniacHR on Twitter
Follow Insomniac Games on LinkedIn

Moonlighting with Insomniac is the twice-a-month show where we answer YOUR questions about recruitment and HR at Insomniac Games. We’d love to hear your questions. Leave a comment below!