Empires of the Undergrowth – Fire Ant Update Patch Notes

It’s finally here, and we can’t be more grateful for your patience. We hope you enjoy it!

Patch Notes to Fire Ant Update

The Fire Ants Invade!

Fire ants are nothing if not adaptable to new challenges. These swamplands that young queens, fresh from their nuptial flight, have landed in are not in their native range. The changing, often-flooded environment will test their flexibility to the limit.

  • A whole new formicarium tier, featuring 2 new documentary scenarios:
    • 4.1 Cold Blood: a newly-settled fire ant queen must deal with the threat of the amphibians & other denizens of the green swamp.
    • 4.2 A Bridge Too Far: use the fire ant’s abilities to traverse water and reach all the resources you can, whilst an ominous shadow looms overhead.
  • New focal ant species: fire ants (Solenopsis invicta) which come in two soldier variants:
    • Pervasive fire ants will respawn for free after a while.
    • Vigorous fire ants will have a buff to their stats for a time after spawning.
    • The tiles of both variants can support 2 ants at a time at level 3.
  • Fire ants introduce several new ant skills:
    • Bridge building: fire ants can build floating pontoons over water to reach resources previously unplundered, but beware of changing water levels!
    • Aphid relocation: relocate yellow aphids from distant milkweed plants and bring them closer to home for a reliable source of honeydew, but other colonies may not like that!
    • Titan climbing: very large new enemies can be climbed for extra damage!
  • New auxiliary ant species:
    • Big-headed ants (Pheidole morrisii) have an ancient genetic variant waiting to be awoken.
    • Little black ants (Monomorium minimum) use a chemical threat display called gaster flagging.
  • New swamp environment.
  • A menagerie of new swamp-dwelling critters with unique stats & abilities.
  • New voice acting from the narrator & scientists.
  • New music for our dynamic conductor system.

Formicarium Challenge 4 Awaits!

Once you’ve completed the documentary scenarios and are back in the formicarium with your rewards, the fire ant soldiers will make a fine addition to your collection. Add them to your formicarium to help you with the challenges ahead! They have 4 formicarium upgrade options:

  • Surefooted: gains extra attack damage when mounted on an enemy.
  • Evasive: gains a small chance to take no damage from a hit.
  • Last Stand: at zero health, will survive for a short time longer with reduced attack speed.
  • Last Laugh: upon death, the fire ant will deal high damage to its closest enemy if in range.

After you’ve completed your upgrades and stocked up your resources, the scientist has an idea – and he’ll take the opportunity to put it into action. As always, Formicarium Challenge 4 will be a climactic test of your colony’s prowess and your own skills as a player, so be prepared.

Other Changes

  • Buried creatures (! & ? icons underground) will now display on the minimap.
  • Additions to the minimap & more consistent minimap pings.
  • Woodworm & woodlice will now appear as food on the minimap.
  • Escape key will now close the in-game menu.
  • Made Formicarium Challenge 3 a little easier on Hard & Insane.
  • Holding Insert & PageUp keys now rotates the camera view 90° left & right respectively.
  • Added a quick build / upgrade tool which detects nearby tile type to use, thumb mouse button by default.
  • Delete tool can now be used on tiles where building has not yet started.
  • Added an entirely new set of icons for the Formica ereptor adaptations menu.
  • Added a check for progress file corruption on game startup. If detected progress file is wiped and a new one made.
  • Added victory & defeat images for Beetle Rise Up! & the Hungry Spider levels.
  • Power-scaled creatures will have a star next to their health overlay displaying their scale level (currently only used in freeplay and some extra levels).
  • Creatures will now correctly display the status effect they are currently experiencing.
  • Renamed worker “evasive” ability to “nimble” to avoid confusion with fire ants.
  • Formicarium level setup rewards on gateway levels now appear as zero before difficulty select.
  • Clicking an active underground minimap tab will now take you there from the surface.
  • The Promised Land demo level reinstated.
  • Moving buried creatures will now throb on the minimap.
  • Dead harvestable creatures in the Battle Arena will now not sink for 2 seconds.
  • Credits updated.

Fixes & Optimizations

  • Colony rehousing will now give the correct jelly amount for level 3 tiles (previously it was counting level 3 tiles as level 2).
  • Fixed an issue where wood ants could get stuck in a deployment animation when a line-of-sight check was failing.
  • Huge improvement to render times for all 2D overlays (upgrades, health, food, etc).
  • Numerous optimisations to swarming, pathfinding & movement.
  • Numerous optimisations to rendering for many individual assets.
  • Fixed an issue in Battle Arena where some ant levels weren’t working.
  • Fix for a rare pheromone marker crash.
  • Fixed a rounding error causing incorrect number of creatures to spawn in battle arena.
  • Fixed an issue where creatures dying mid-air had their food collection point far from their corpse.
  • Fixed an issue causing underground tile highlighting to stick on some tiles.
  • Connecting bridge in the interlocking formicariums will now load correctly.

Localization

  • Updated, fixed and changed many interface & game narration lines in existing localisations.
  • Various menus & UI elements adjusted to allow for translations that were the wrong size for them.
  • Font changes for CJK languages.
  • Added 7 new officially-supported localisations. These are:
    • Czech / Čeština
    • Spanish / Español
    • French / Français
    • Korean / 한국어
    • Japanese / 日本語
    • Dutch / Nederlands
    • Polish / Polski

Known Issues

  • Extra level Extremis is currently crashing on launch (caught this one too late to re-package the project in time; will be fixed for the next patch).

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