Superbly blending monster taming, team building, and metroidvania exploration, Monster Sanctuary proved to be a welcomed indie gem at the end of last year.
Now, as had previously divulged by developer Denis Sinner in a Reddit AMA, Monster Sanctuary Update 1.1 is officially on its way.
Set for launch in March, the first post-launch update to the Team17-published game will include enhancements to the PVP mode as well as introduce some brand new features.
Monster Sanctuary 1.1 to deliver improved matchmaking
After completing the story of Monster Sanctuary, there’s still plenty to do, such as bolster the monster army to stack cash, defeat all of the hidden champion monsters, and perfect your team.
It’s at this point that many players want to test their team’s ability against other Keepers, which is why the game has a PVP feature in the Keeper’s Tower.
However, the Online Arena hasn’t been as smooth or consistent as it could be in a modern title. Long queuing times and mismatches have been the main issues, but Monster Sanctuary 1.1 seeks to remedy these problems.
The PVP updates will focus on balancing changes, with the matchmaking attempting to match players of a similar monster level and rating in the Online Arena.
To help streamline this process, players will be able to customise their matchmaking settings, as detailed in the announcement on Steam. The customise options allow you to select how long you’d like to wait in the queue before the search expands the matchmaking criteria to find a Keeper to battle.
Monster Sanctuary 1.1 introduces NewGame+
NewGame+ comes to Monster Sanctuary as a new post-game feature. This 1.1 update allows you to start a new game while drawing from the data of your existing game.
By loading a NewGame+, you’ll keep all of your monsters, items, and much of your equipment, with the monsters keeping their shifts but reverting to level one.
However, you won’t be able to explore ability-unlocked areas sooner than before, with those explore abilities remaining locked until you find the monsters in the wild again.
Once you’ve completed the main story at least once, you’ll be able to select NewGame+ from the opening menu. Initial information would suggest that you get to choose a team of six to join you in the new adventure of increased difficulty – as detailed below.
While little more information has been divulged concerning the NewGame+ addition to Monster Sanctuary, the full details about the game mode will be revealed when Update 1.1 launches in March.
Change difficulty in Monster Sanctuary arrives in March
Another key gameplay feature coming to Monster Sanctuary 1.1 is the inclusion of easier and harder difficulty modes.
With the game currently set as ‘Normal,’ which will be the default selection, after Monster Sanctuary’s first update, ‘Casual’ difficulty and ‘Master’ mode will come into play.
The new Casual mode has been designed with fans of more traditional monster-catching RPGs in mind. It slightly reduces the difficulty to enable playthrough without such close attention to detail to the skill trees and team-building elements.
Master mode has predominantly been designed to add more of a challenge to the Update 1.1 feature NewGame+. With just about any six monsters being available from the start, along with key pieces of equipment, the developers found that it was too easy, so Master mode was forged to up the ante.
The new difficulty modes in Monster Sanctuary will be available from the Options tab of the pause menu on any playthrough after the March update, and Master will be the default setting of NewGame+.
Additional announcements and more Monster Sanctuary updates to come
Along with the matchmaking improvements, the inclusion of a new playthrough mode, and more difficulties, Monster Sanctuary has announced two physical products alongside the Update 1.1 content.
The hardcover Monster Journals offered as a part of the game’s Kickstarter are to be sent out soon: expected to arrive with backers by early March. For those who didn’t follow the crowdfunding, some will be made available for purchase online, but where these will be available has now yet been detailed.
Furthermore, Monster Sanctuary will be getting a physical release, with a Nintendo Switch cartridge being produced by Limited Run Games. Launching on an undisclosed date later in 2021, Keepers will be able to get their hands on a regular and Collector’s Edition.
According to the Monster Sanctuary Roadmap, after Update 1.1, the developers will be looking to add in even more features, including: Keeper customisations, mini-map marker options, monster sorting, speedrun options, and other quality of life tweaks.
As you can see, the first Monster Sanctuary update, which arrives in March, won’t be the final wave of enhancements made to the already superbly entertaining creation from Moi Rai Games.