News/Dec 16 2021

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Definitive Edition Announcement


News | December 16th 2021

The following information was shared by developer Gheeyom in the Outward Discord on December 16th, 2021. Small editing changes have been made.

Gheeyom's Announcement

Ok, I've been ACHING to talk about the definitive edition, you have no idea. It hurts in the soul to keep all those things secret and before I start answering questions, I'll start by giving you a bit more info.

First off. The Definitive Edition will not be as big in new content as the DLCs, so you need to keep your expectations in check. No new regions, sorry! We can't do all the regions from the Aurai map, and honestly, neither do we want to. Elder Scrolls is much better by focusing on a few areas at a time compared to including everything. It leaves things open to interpretation. I believe that a world should always be bigger than what is presented. it's good for potential sequels, and it's good for immersion. There will be new features/new content though, but most of which I can't talk about just yet.

I will give you the bad news first, so we can then focus on the good stuff to come. The Definitive Edition will be available on Steam, GOG, Epic Store, Playstation 5 and Xbox Series. It will not be available on Stadia, PS4 or Xbox One. The reason for this is simple: our studio is too small to focus on all those platforms at the same time and preserve quality. Moreover, there are things we wanted to correct that was made easier with better hardware (such as fixing the map holes in the terrain in some areas).

However, people who bought the game and its DLC will not have to buy the Definitive Edition again. You guys have supported us so much already, and it wouldn't be fair to ask more of you. So if you bought the PS4 version with DLC, you will have the Definitive Edition on PS5. It's been a bit of a bitch to set up to be honest, but I found that it was important to do that and Koch Media agreed with me. (Koch Media = Prime Matter which took Deep Silver's place as a publishing label). So yes, the graphics on consoles and performance are improved rather noticeably, and console players will have an experience that is pretty close to what the PC version offers. That is something we couldn't have achieved if we had done the older gen of console too.

Another thing of note: The studio that was doing the new console ports for Outward, Blitworks, was bought by Larian and we were without any porting studio anymore. That was a complete surprise to us and made things very complicated. This is why we did the PS5 and Xbox Series port ourselves, and partly why things are taking so much time. We've never done ports like this in-house and we are learning as we go.

I can't tell you the release date yet as it's subject to change, once again because we are doing this for the first time, so it's harder to estimate when we will be done with techical certifications with Sony and Microsoft.

So what I wanted to talk about was mostly the new quality of life changes, because that's the stuff that most directly coincide with the feedback we've received over the years. The DLC was super gated and made some features harder to tinker with outside of the DLC regions. Some players here mentionned that a few times and it's something I agreed with to a painful degree. So corruption, enchantment ingredients, special arrows, heck even workshops to craft totems will be found in multiple regions.

Some other things we worked on were adding a bit more feedback where it made sense without breaking immersion too much. For example, it will be easier to detect what enemies are strong against or weak to, with some UI changes that are not too jarring.

We also did a change that affects the game structure quite heavily: how stash works. Now, when you join a game as a guest, you will be able to access your own stash when in the host's world. That means that players can't interact with the content of each other's stash. Also, and this is a big one, the stash will be shared between houses. This one thing is the most immersion breaking change we did, but I feel the gain is pretty high for the experience. It sucked to run back to cierzo to get an armor set that fits Abrassar.

We also added some notifications that better explain what happened. For instance, when you got a defeat scenario, you will get a notification that tells you if items were broken, how much time has passed, etc. So now the age long question of "did I lose something due to being a noob or was there a bug" will be answered. We also improved the UI in some places. The most notable example would be the crafting recipes, which couldn't be accessed without the proper station. Now you can look at all your recipes whenever you want.

Also, we did something that will make EVERYONE happy. The samples - we reduced the luck required to get what you want. So what we did is we got a way to trade in a certain number of samples to get a specific one. So you won't be stuck forever trying to get that one chromium shard or amethyst.

Oh and you'll finally be able to remove plant tents and camp fires. One thing that might not be unanimous: stuff left in towns can now disappear. So it won't be as "free" to live in your hobo camps.

Another thing that we did, which was more of a personal pet peeve than something players complained about - we did a lot of changes to enemy difficulty. So in general, I'd say the game is now a bit harder when tackling monsters that were meant to be more late game. For instance, taking down the Voltaic Hatchery will be a lot harder now and it's unlikely that a new player will finish it without leaving Chersonese.

Now keep in mind a few things: making this Definitive Edition free for the players who already bought the game and its DLC also limits the maximum potential revenue. So keep that in mind when thinking about the scope of the version! We aren't being cheap at it either, don't worry, but the DLC we did were MASSIVE work for us.

Now, on top of those quality of life changes (and I didn't name them all), there will also be new content. That, I leave for later when we'll have a more proper announcement. But know that we wanted to add enough new stuff that there would be a good reason to do a new playthrough in Definitive Edition.

Questions and Answers

Q: Is DE a 2022 thing or more likely later?
A: Definitive Edition will definitely release in 2022.

Q: Can you tell us if our current saves will be compatible with DE?
A: Save files won't be compatible, in part because of the stash change.

Q: Will Dev Diary come out when you have a release date or earlier?
A: The Dev Diary will be released next year and will contain more info than what I disclosed today.

Q: Will Definitive Edition reach 60fps on Consoles?
A: Yes.

Q: Do we get the free upgrade on PC too?
A: Yes.

Q: Rather than ask for a release date, will it coincide with Elden Ring's release? Would rather that not be the case.
A: Indeed, Elden Ring is a rather direct competitor we wouldn't dare to confront head on. I did say marketing, release date and such was difficult 😉

Q: What sort of price will the game be if you dont own all the DLC?
A: I can't talk about price points yet.

Q: So the new content will be present on the current maps?
A: That is correct.

Q: Are tweaks and balances to skills being added in the DE?
A: Some of them yeah, I don't think there's any area of balance that we didn't touch on at least in some places.

Q: Will you change music?
A: Music is untouched.

Q: (In response to UI feedback on enemy weaknesses) Are we talking different coloured damage numbers here or splash effects when they're strong enough to not be hurt?
A: The life bar will flash with appropriate effects to convey resistance or weakness.

Q: (In response to enemy balancing) Did you also adjust their poise/stability? I felt like those values are very defining for the difficulty of certain mobs.
A: Yes, that's part of what we changed.

Q: Will DLC enemies also be in vanilla zones, like Arcane Elementals?
A: Specifically for arcane elementals, yes, to make enchanting less bottlenecked within a single region.

Q: Has coop been improved besides the stash?
A: That's pretty much it for coop. Don't expect a new mode in which there are shared rewards for quest stuff for instance; this will stay as it is for multiple design reasons.

Q: Will the whole game be voiced?
A: Voice over will not be changed. That would have been too expensive and also very complex to do, having to track down and re-hire every actors to re-do their role while they might not be available, especially during covid that makes studio recording more difficult, is just too much. Personally I don't even like fully voiced games, I just skip through as soon as I read the line.

Q: Will there be modding support for Definitive Edition?
A: Yes, we plan to have a mono branch for modding the Definitive Edition.

Q: Is this the end of Outward... ?
A: After the definitive edition is released, we will move on to new projects, confident that the Definitive Edition will be worthy of the name.

Q: Can you talk about any aesthetic changes? Graphics, sounds, etc?
A: You will hear it when it rains XD

Q: Can you travel to Antique Plateau on foot?
A: No, the way to travel to the Antique Plateau is unchanged. Those pesky soroboreans want all your silver SilverIcon.gif!

Q: Will we get to filter the stash?
A: Hmmm, good one and I am not actually sure of the answer.

Q: Any changes to the skill tab? Sorting, favourites?
A: I don't know if the skill tab was changed. I don't think so.

Q: Can enemies still shoot projectiles behind them?
A: I'm not sure of what you refer to. But a lot of bugs were fixed for the definitive edition and I don't have the list. It's pretty exhaustive but it doesn't mean it will be entirely bug free.

Q: Will there be a patch for PS4 that fixes the problems with trophies the same time as the DE drops?
A: Hopefully that will be patched earlier than that!

Q: Will there be a complete changelog?
A: Hmmm, good question. I don't know if we'll have a complete changelog. Maybe? Probably? It's weird because it's not exactly a patch, but a new product. It's divided in tasks, bugs in a database, design documentation, stuff done on a whim in between tasks sometimes, etc. It can be hard to track it all.

Q: What is Nine Dots working on?
A: Can't say much at this stage, but right now, we have 3 projects in pre-production and very pre-preproduction aside from the Definitive Edition. Most of the work on the definitive edition is done already. Now it's all about packaging it right on various consoles, and finding the right timing and marketing strategy to optimize sales.

Q: Where is Outward MOBA game?
A: GoD Factory: Wingmen has hurt us enough that we won't be making a MP only game in a looooong while XD

Q: How many devs are there?
A: Nine Dots has 17 employees. During most of Outward's development pre-launch, we were between 8 and 10 devs actively working on the game.

Ok, so. I've been here for over an hour already! I hope that for many of you, this makes the definitive edition exciting! I'm really looking forward to how people will react once it gets out! And everyone here, don't underestimate how much the team is listening. I might be the most vocal dev in here, but lots of others are lurking. We care a whole lot about you all 🙂

See Also