May 15 2015


Steam development continues. In the meantime, I’ve been working through feedback on The Tower and I’ve got some fixes ready!


There were a few exploitable things that needed fixing, like a bug in “Polymorph”. There were also some major balance issues. The Alchemist’s “Tinkerer” talent and Paladin’s “Consecrate” stood out as particularly strong builds for long Tower runs, with other classes barely able to keep up. I’m introducing a new feature to fix this:

Every time you clear a block of 20 floors in The Tower, you’ll get a free skill point and many of your skill tree’s limits will rise—allowing you to spend more points on them.

So, for example, you’ll be able to spend a second point—and eventually a third, and fourth, and so on—in the Thief’s “Shadow Master” talent, reducing the cool-down of Shadow Mastery. The raising of other limits will also allow your Thief to spend even more skill points in Speed or Stealth. If you play a Wizard you’ll be able to raise Inspiration to even higher percentages, allowing you to repeatedly cast spells more often, or put extra points into Leech to drain more and more health.

My hope is that these rising limits will give every class a chance at the higher floors of the Tower and enable some really cool game-breaking Tower builds. Give it a spin and let me know what works. There’s a lot I can do to tweak these expanding skill trees, so I hope I’ll be able to enable lots of viable builds soon!

Anyway, that’s the big stuff. I’ve also fixed several bugs, adjusted some game-breaking stuff and tweaked a few skills. I’ve put the patch up on Kongregate and will be deploying it to iOS and Android within the next few weeks.

Here are the full patch notes:


  • Points in Speed will now give diminishing returns above Speed of 25.
  • Damage-over-time effects like Fear, Poison and Bleed no longer break Fear, break Sleep, or trigger Destrid’s Ax.


  • Skill tree limits now rise after each block of 20 floors.
  • Free skill point awarded after each block of 20 floors.
  • Scavengers will now sell weapons, armour and spells for slightly less.


  • Thief’s health reward from “Job Satisfaction” increased by 50%.
  • Ranger’s “Poison Arrow” now deals regular Bow damage as well as poison damage and speed debuff.
  • Ranger’s “Blood Link” now also gives Dog +8 HP. Limit increased to 2 points. (Dog’s basic HP reduced slightly to compensate.)
  • Pugilist’s “Unarmed”: slightly increased damage at maximum.
  • Pugilist skill “Sweep”: slightly increased duration of stun effect.
  • Alchemist’s “Gunslinger” perk now reloads Pistol in one turn.
  • Alchemist’s “Powder” talent now has 3 tiers and increases damage faster.


  • “Polymorph” now generates a monster of the correct tier in The Tower.
  • Fixed crash when using Ranger’s “Animal Bond” on Dog when there’s no-one around.
  • Fixed Ranger’s “Sense Danger” on Tower floors 21+.
  • Dog’s stats now increase properly after XP level 9.

25 Comments on “CARDINAL QUEST 2 PATCH 1.12

  1. I was worried about unlimited talents, but this is completely different. Nicely done.

    I’m still wondering about one small thing.. Why don’t bushes in the tower give +2 Stealth – 2 Defence?
    In the higher floors, where you end up with 40 defence it doesn’t really change anything, but it is inconsistent with the rest of the game.

    I would love to see more of scenery bonuses in the future (They don’t necessarily have to be helpful, it is still a nice small strategy aspect). Water, reducing speed and maybe increasing stealth, and so on.

    Do monsters receive a penalty (-2 defence) while they are in the bushes?

  2. Thanks! And your comment got me thinking along these lines, so thank you 🙂

    Bushes not giving a buff in The Tower is a bug; thanks, I’ll look into that. Yes, monsters get a -2 defense penalty in bushes (which is why they’ll avoid them on higher difficulties!)

  3. Here’s the thing, though- at a certain point, if I don’t constantly increase my health with every level-up, I’ll get killed pretty quickly. I don’t have the opportunity to fill out the other skill limits because the damage scaling makes it increasingly dangerous to boost anything other than HP. For instance, I never put more than 2 points into precision.

  4. This update is interesting, the Gunslinger perk has potential now, Fighter is powerful with rank 2 Enrage now and the 3 ranks to Impact makes me interested to try it with maces.
    I’m going to try all the other classes but do the paladin and alchemist last.

    I see the succubus got skinnier, but was there any other minor changes?

  5. Bug report:
    Killed a Scavenger that dropped a tome my pug could use, on the same floor my pug found a tome that he normally couldn’t use.

    The Ranger gear perk that gives you a axe shows 1-5 damage (it’s a tiny issue but lol)

    Good news is that every class seems to have potential in the tower if built right.
    You should make “Increased skill tree” pop up above the character as he enters a new tower tier, for the newer players.

  6. With the new gunslinger perk, the second act on suicide difficulty was a breeze. Maybe it’s too much? Maybe there should be a level requirement for the powder talent? ‘Cause doing 7-9 damage (or something like that) at level three feels a little bit too much. Anyways thanks for your work on this great game!

  7. Ryan: That’s fine! Upgrading health is a good way to keep going, especially if you focus on healing skills and items. I hope you’ll find that most classes get some other useful talents now though!

    Kris: No, I think that’s everything 🙂

    knosh: thanks for the bug report, that shouldn’t happen! I’ll make Scavengers drop the right Tomes.

    haloa92: OK, sounds like I went overboard there! I thought Gunslinger would still have its downsides… I’ll have another look at Gunslinger and Powder and see how I can balance them better.

    Do you think Pistol and Powder talent are balanced right now if you don’t take the Gunslinger perk?

  8. I can say ya they’re balanced but its a combo I never tried before.
    I know without the perk you would use pistol as a final attack against tanky enemies, kill ranged enemies, or kite the academy guardian when they use stone skin so it should be balanced.

    Also I have a idea, since attack has 2 properties as in hit rate and critical hit rate when you have very high attack, why not make defense also gain a chance to half damage when it’s very high? The chance can range from 5% to the max being 40%.
    Nobody really builds high defense or uses the heavy armor due to defense being overshadowed.

  9. “Points in Speed will now give diminishing returns above Speed of 25.”

    So what does this mean?

  10. Well, having completed 3 times in a row the third act with the gunslinger perk (the tird time without buying a single thing from the scavengers and killing them outright), maybe it is too much. One turn spent recharging almost never felt too much. But maybe that’s because I always used the alchemist with pistol even without the perk (I’m kinda new to the game so I didn’t unlock everything yet) so not being able to use a weapon was a minor downside. I think that making the powder talent available only at a higher level (6 maybe? Like Shadow Mastery for the rogue or other top tier talents like that) would make it a little harder to survive the first parts, especially when the first heavy hitters come around (ogres, spiders, academy guardians). Or maybe giving the pistol a chance to miss? Don’t know, just some ideas 🙂

  11. Changing the defence attribute could affect the game too much. While it might seem interesting, it wouldn’t bring anything original to the game. Also, keeping basic attributes as simple as possible makes it much easier to balance a game.

    “Points in Speed will now give diminishing returns above Speed of 25.”
    It means, that every point to speed after 25 will not be as useful.

    It might be easier to explain on a different attribute (these values are the ones that the game uses, just trying to explain diminishing return):
    23 attack: 75% chance to hit
    24 attack: 80% chance to hit
    25 attack: 85% chance to hit
    26 attack: 87% chance to hit
    27 attack: 89% chance to hit
    28 attack: 91% chance to hit
    After 25, it advances much slower, which means that “attack has diminishing returns above 25”.

  12. Ok the Powder passive is too strong at just level 2, so why not make it available at level 5? Or even take out Craft and Combine when using the perk. I just steamrolled act 3 suicide mode with only the speed cloak, hermes, and magic resist gloves and jewelry.

    It’s veeerrryyy fun but was it intended to be this overpowered?

  13. So Judgement now heals from 15% of the enemy’s health or does the 15% mean something else?

  14. Gunslinger perk might be more balanced if the 1-turn recharge were balanced by a 50% reduction to pistol damage which only applies when using the perk. The justification for this could be that the Alchemist, in order to have such a short recharge, is using two smaller guns instead of one big gun (this would also conveniently explain why he can’t take melee weapons – both hands are already holding pistols).

  15. Another idea I had is that the thief should be able to get experience for stealing stuff (whether from chests or pickpocketing monsters) without getting seen. I don’t think it makes sense to encourage the thief to kill everyone he can. It might be sort of like the Paladin’s noncombatant but he has to acquire stuff.

  16. I took a closer look at the new pistol. Just wanted to give some numbers about QuestComm’s suggestion:

    1 turn cooldown, 50% damage:
    Attack (50% damage)
    Attack (50% damage)

    3 turn cooldown, 100% damage:
    Attack (100% damage)

    This means almost exactly the same. You deal 50% damage twice in the same time you deal 100% damage once. In the first option, you also alert nearby enemies twice, which actually might not matter because they already learnt about your presence two turns ago.

    However we must not underestimate something that is called OVERKILL. With tons of enemies running at you, it will be easier to take down 4 low-health wolves when having the perk. You also get to start the game with it, which is a huge benefit (in acts).

    The tower? If you want to be successful, you will pick the tinkerer anyway, it is the best option in the long run.

    I like QuestComm’s suggestion a lot. The perk makes it SLIGHTLY DIFFERENT. Take a look at other perks for other classes.
    “+1 stealth/def, bow takes longer to reload”
    “+1 int, -1 faith”
    “recharge X twice as fast, -1 base speed”

    Perks do not have to make your character more powerful. It’s enough if they make it a bit DIFFERENT.

    With this patch you just increased the damage of the pistol and gave it a 1-turn cooldown (perk), which means over 100% damage increase.

  17. In addition, the above could be negative against high-health creatures. For example if you have 10 damage and are fighting a 6 health creature:

    3 turns:
    Deal 5 damage
    Deal 5 damage

    1 turn:
    Deal 10 damage

    It’s probably safe to say that 50% damage with 1 cooldown is more useful though (in acts). And you also get 1 talent point out of nowhere.

    +Whenever you use that funny book that resets your talents, you lose ALL talents, including the pistol talent granted by the perk, pretty sure it results in losing one talent point, which you have to spent manually again. I didn’t focus enough to be 100% sure though.

  18. tofu: yes, it heals you roughly 15% of the enemy’s current HP. This is how it always worked, I just changed how it’s displayed.

    Thanks for the feedback on Gunslinger/Powder everybody! Reduced damage is a good way to tackle it. I’ve got a few ideas now; I’ll give them a few days to take shape.

  19. How about instead of reducing pistol cool down to 1 turn, it instead still has the 3 turn cool down but you can get a second pistol from leveling attach and pistol like you normally would. This would nerf the early powder upgrade but still work as a buff to gunslinger being able to have 2 full damage pistols with 3 second cooldowns

  20. On the Gunslinger perk ideas: I once got two pistols from spellbooks as a Wizard, and it was a lot of fun. Didn’t seem overpowered, but then again, since I wasn’t Alchemist, I couldn’t upgrade their damage. On the other hand, the low-cooldown half-damage gun also sounds like a blast. Either way, good luck with your game, Randomnine! I’ve really enjoyed playing it.

    An suggestion : Some sort of “trap” skill– a non-class-aligned physical skill, like Vital Strike (probably recharging with XP to discourage setting a bunch of traps and just sitting around) that could be used to set a trap (or three, before having to wait for the XP cooldown) that deal(s) a small amount of damage (or a very slight amount, and slow / lock the monster that trips it/them in place.) I think a trap skill would go well with both Ranger and Thief.

  21. In reply to Potato: the reset item thing does indeed remove your pistol, which means you not only have to spend a point on that to get it back, but another on Precision to actually unlock it, a skill which is completely useless with Gunslinger. So you really lose 2 skill points, unless you seriously want to spend points on being more likely to hit your enemies for 0 damage.

    I also definitely agree with Ryan on a Thief perk similar to Noncombatant – it’s actually quite fun to try and sneak around and avoid combat if possible. The Paladin doesn’t have any stealth-based skills though, so I feel the perk is somewhat wasted there, as it inevitably becomes just a mad dash to the exit.

  22. I hope when the game hits Steam, you can work on a monster manual so that we can see the health range of any monster and have more adventure in collecting their data.

    (Yes I know we have a guide but it doesn’t show the health range, and it’s not like a monster manual would be cool).

  23. OK, I’ve changed Pistol to add recoil, and Gunslinger now adds an extra Pistol – so you can unlock two Pistols from level 4. Feels good! I’ve also done some nice things to items and enemies in The Tower after floor 20. Patch should go up tomorrow.

    Thief definitely needs some attention when I get round to new perks. Something that rejigs XP would be great, I’ll try it out!

  24. I think the Paladin noncombatant could be improved if A. He starts out with Glide and B. He has some special skill allowing him to pacify monsters without hurting them… call it “Preach” or “Proselytize” or something. It could be like enslave except the monsters don’t fight, just block other monsters from the Paladin. And maybe it only works on monsters whom the Paladin has allowed to hurt him.

  25. Hey, I have a little suggestion regarding the Speed stat in relation to the Fighter class. Fighter is my favorite class and my usual play style with it is to build as much defence as possible and make myself practically a wall to enemies. Building the Fighter to have very high attack is also a very solid option. Lately though, I have been experimenting with Fighter builds where you consentrate on making speed the focus. Because of the fighters reletively low base speed, it makes it very hard from the get go to make this stat reach at least 10 when playing the Acts.

    My suggestion to make speed a more viable option for fighters is to increase the base speed stat bonus you get from “Constant Bubbling Rage” bumping it up to +3 speed rather than just +1 speed.


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