The Settlers: New Allies' free Festival of Flowers content update is now available, bringing a new themed community challenge, a new production building, two new maps, and more to the game. In The Settlers: New Allies, you play as one of the three factions, the Maru, Elari, or Jorn, each with their own unique strengths, and build a thriving settlement and economy from scratch. The Festival of Flowers is designed to be a celebration of community and nature and, according to Creative Director Christian Hagedorn, is largely inspired by the Maru faction, who live in harmony with the land and sea, and value peace and altruism.
"The story told in The Settlers: New Allies is one of togetherness and friendship, and we wanted to show how the factions have come together by sharing their good times with their new friends," says Hagedorn. "The Festival of Flowers is an entry into the Maru lore, and for our players, it's a way to celebrate together how far we've come."
According to Hagedorn, the team noticed that the Maru faction weren't being used as much as the Elari or Jorn. In hopes of encouraging more players to play as the Maru, The Settlers: New Allies team chose to use the Maru's connection with nature as the inspiration for Festival of Flowers. The Festival of Flowers update adds the Berry Press to the game, which converts harvested berries into a potion that in turn is used to recruit Brunn initiates. The two new maps, Mau'Torin and Moh'Ali, reflect the Maru's appreciation of nature, offering well-preserved ruins and ancient gardens to explore, respectively. There will also be three new Hardcore missions, which implement additional constraints on gameplay, two of which will take place on the new maps. Players will be able to work together in a Festival of Flowers community challenge, and everyone who takes part will get a themed reward when the goal is reached.
Festival of Flowers isn't only bringing new content to The Settlers: New Allies; a number of quality-of-life improvements have been made to the game as well, which should, according to Hagedorn, "make sure new and old strategies shift and grow." In terms of settlement economy, harbor prices have been adjusted so that all items have the same sale and purchase price, and those costs will not adjust with usage; furthermore, the Forester building cost has been reduced and Fish regenerate at faster rates. Towers and bastion costs and damage have been changed, while bandit bosses and faction unit abilities have been rebalanced.
"We always use data to determine if certain elements are not playing as we intended. Balancing is not about achieving a state of no change, but rather helping the ebb and flow of player interest and tendencies," says Hagedorn. "For example, we've seen players favor the Jorn faction over the others by a large margin. The goal isn't to make the Jorn faction weaker, but make the other factions have new, appealing factors."
The Festival of Flowers event comes to The Settlers: New Allies less than a month after the game's release onto consoles. According to Hagedorn, the console launch created a whole new audience of players for the game, and the team has noticed an uptick in players learning new shortcuts on the new platforms, sharing tips and tricks with new players, and organizing a new cross-platform tournament.
"We were very happy to see how quickly the community received new players," says Hagedorn. "We put a lot of effort in making the console version of the game equally accessible and competitive to the point where it shouldn't matter which platform a player is on, they'll always be able to stay on par with their PC counterparts."
For more on The Settlers: New Allies, check out the console launch announcement. The Settlers: New Allies is available on PC, Xbox One, PS4 (as well as Xbox Series X|S and PS5 via backwards compatibility), Switch, and Amazon Luna, as well as with a Ubisoft+ subscription, and both the Standard and Deluxe editions are available on the Ubisoft Store.