As the Stygian Empire slithers ever deeper into the Exiled Lands, blades quiver in anticipation of spilled blood.
Age of War – Chapter 2 arrives on September 21, with a ground-up revamp of the purge system, improved loot across the entire game, a new Battle Pass, and a bunch of other improvements and bug fixes.
In today’s deep dive into the new purge revamp, we’ll walk you through a purge from start to finish and show you everything you need to know to head into the new update with your weapon swinging.
The Path to a new Purge
For those new to the feature, a purge, currently, is when a group of NPCs attack your base when you reach certain thresholds of activity in the game. In Chapter 2, we’ve completely redesigned and significantly expanded purges.
We’ve had our eyes on this feature for a long time, knowing it didn’t live up to its full potential. But to truly do it justice, we needed more than a single update. To improve purges, we needed to introduce additional new supporting features.
With the Age of War, we saw our chance. In Chapter 1, we introduced clan hoards, an integral part to the purge system. For a primer on clan hoards, you can take a look at the blog we released on the subject.
War on Demand
Your personal trove serves as the centerpiece to the purge. It’s entirely up to you when you want a purge to begin. By speaking to your treasurer and proclaiming your wealth to the world, you attract the attention of the invading Stygians. The bigger your hoard is when you make your proclamation, the more challenging the purge will be, which will in turn improve the potential rewards.
Threat level currently ranges from 1 to 10, but we might expand this in the future. Other factors, such as how many players are defending and how many followers you have, also have an effect on difficulty, but won’t be reflected in the threat level. In harder difficulties, you would do well to bring allies into the fight.
Before you go proclaiming your wealth, you may want to consider your base defenses. Build strong walls, funnel attackers into a kill zone, shoot at them from parapets, lay traps... it’s all up to you, and we’ve added some new tools into the mix. For the truly wicked among you, use the new burning siege cauldrons near gates and doors to give attackers as a neat skin-sizzling surprise.
We’ve also added a new type of thrall placement, making them guard a gate or door. The benefit of this is that they will no longer run off and leave the area unprotected. In Chapter 3, we plan to expand this to allow you to station archers on top of walls, effectively turning them into turrets.
Once you’re satisfied with your defenses, it’s time to spill some blood.
The Stygian Wave Rises
As soon as you’ve proclaimed your wealth, a Stygian war camp will form in the vicinity of your base. Since this camp is rather large, keep in mind that certain base placements may prevent purges from working, such as configurations which don’t have the necessary space for a nearby camp to form.
Waves of attackers will immediately charge from the camp. Thanks to the Stygian invasion of the Exiled Lands, purges now have a narrative foundation. In the lower difficulties, you’ll see more troops which have been forced into battle by the Stygians, such as Khitan Headhunters or even pirates. It’s only once you reach the higher difficulties that you’ll see more elite Stygian troops get involved.
With clan hoards introduced, purge attackers now have a meaningful purpose: your hoard. Should any of them reach it, they will pick it up and try to carry it to their camp. An armful of treasure means they aren’t prepared for an axe to the head however, so cut them down quickly and bring your treasure back before you are overwhelmed. Should they steal enough to be satisfied, the purge will be lost.
Although their goal is to plunder your hoard, they will still destroy anything and anyone that stands between them and their prize. Stay on the lookout for those that carry battering rams as they will make short work of even the stoutest of walls.
The waves won't stop until they steal enough, or you cut off the head of the snake. After defeating enough waves, the Hand of War emerges from the camp and challenges you. He’s not one for honor, so the waves will keep coming as you try to deal with him.
If you can defeat the Hand of War, victory is yours.
The Spoils of War
During the purge there is no loot, letting you focus on the battle instead. Looting comes only with victory. Make sure to get the key from the Hand of War and unlock the chests in their war camp. Overall, the rewards for defeating a purge are significant, and with higher difficulties, they only get better.
Keep a lookout for Stygian prisoners, those who refused to fight for the empire. Among them is Isscar the Sellsword, a new NPC vendor that takes treasure as payment. Stock up on valuable traps, arrows, explosives, and more for future purges. Most notable is the new mercenary banner, a consumable item which lets you summon various mercenaries to temporarily fight for you wherever you place it.
Giving You Control
Thanks to these changes, purges can now be triggered when and if you like. They are entirely optional and their difficulty is adjustable. Overall, they are now an entire reward loop, a source of valuable loot and thralls that you can repeat whenever you like.
The goal is for purges to be an activity you want to repeat, for two reasons: they’re consistently fun, and they have compelling rewards.
Chapter 2 and Beyond
We haven’t even released Chapter 2 yet and we’re already excited about Chapter 3. We briefly mentioned stationary archer placements on walls, and we also plan on introducing more siege equipment, variety, and other features which weave into both clan hoards and purges.
Purges are only part of the Chapter 2 update coming September 21. We’ve also improved loot across the entire game, making it more immersive, logical, and rewarding. We’ve sprinkled in several additional improvements, such as a smoother combat experience with improved stagger consistency and fluidly adjusting the direction of your attacks.
We also have a brand-new pyramid building set and a boatload of other cosmetics coming in the Battle Pass and Bazaar.
We look forward to seeing all sorts of crazy base setups and desperate defenses when the update comes out on September 21.
Until next time, Exiles