The Hand of Merlin update released on PC (Steam). According to the Hand of Merlin patch notes, the latest update added Hard Mode and new metaprogression features.

Since the last patch, players are experiencing problems with the game. Today’s the Hand of Merlin patch will fix a few of these issues.

Check out more details below.

The Hand of Merlin Patch Notes – October 27, 2021

Hard Mode

One of the most common requests we receive from you all is to make the game harder. Well, we love a challenge, too, and Hard Mode is the result of our efforts! But what exactly does that mean? It means your runs are about to get a serious dose of abomination wrath!

To distinguish Hard Mode from the current player experience, the first step was to add more complex resource management and, of course, make your enemies tougher. Check!

More specifically, you’ll be introduced to Dire Units, which are super-buffed versions of the abominations you already know and love. Meaner and nastier, expect these baddies to radically increase the challenge thanks to higher HP, more armor, less cooldowns, and unique passive abilities, just to name a few upgrades

Curses & Blessings System

Don’t despair just yet, because we’re also adding new metaprogression features, which will help you grow stronger with each run! As you gain more and more Essence, you’ll need a place to spend it, which is where the new Blessings and Curses system will come in.

In Hard Mode, you’ll spend Essence in exchange for temporary benefits to your run. Blessings are positive benefits, such as increasing your maximum mana level or earning larger gold rewards. But there’s a catch… of course there is.

Spending Essence on only Blessings would make Hard Mode too easy, so to balance it out, you’ll also have to select Curses, which produce negative effects on your run, such as more Bandits or less gold.

Each benefit is assigned a Doom Value, and your Blessings and Curses must balance. Hate math? So do we, so allow us to simplify it: If the Blessings you select equal a Doom Value of 3, then you must also select Curses to go with it that equal a Doom Value of at least 3. MUWAH HA HA HA!

It’s Spooky Season

We’d be remiss not to acknowledge the fact that this update is releasing during Halloween week! To celebrate, enjoy explosions of pumpkin guts raining down on the battlefield between October 30 – November 1. Trick-or-Treat!

And more! Here’s a full rundown of everything included with this update:

Patch Notes – Early Access Build 675833

New features:

• Added a new Hard Mode, which greatly amps the difficulty and is tuned for Heroes with Prowess unlocks.

• Added Dire Bandits and Dire Abominations – bigger, meaner, uglier versions of enemies which have a chance to spawn in Hard Mode runs.

• Upon beating Hard Mode once, players unlock Hard Mode+, which allows adding Curses and Blessings to add extra challenges to a Hard Mode run.

• Added seasonal destruction effects. Covers and units will explode with pumpkin chunks between October 30th and November 1st, and candy canes between December 24th and January 1st.

General fixes:

• Fixed a crash with gamepad after opening and closing the in-game menu while in portrait tooltip.

• Fixed a potential crash when a unit is killed.

• Fixed a crash that could happen when an enemy unit would be reduced to zero Range.

• Fixed a bug where the difficulty settings in session weren’t restored properly when reloading the save game.

• Fixed an issue where the option to recruit Rumayla al-Qirqiyya would sometimes erroneously not be generated in her encounter.

• Fixed an issue on some skirmish maps where Heroes could spawn in invalid locations.

• Fixed a geometry error in the Tavern skirmish map, which allowed enemies to enter tables.

• Units that don’t end up moving from a knockback or a pull-in effect will no longer trigger reaction attacks.

• Fixed an issue with Warrior’s Gritting Slash skill where the Grit effect would sometimes not be applied to the Warrior.

• Fixed an issue with Warrior’s Staggering Bash skill (and its upgrades) where it could sometimes fail to impart the Staggered condition to the target if the knockback was interrupted.

• Fixed an issue with Warrior’s Judicious Cleave skill (upgrade of Cleave) where it could sometimes fail to disrupt prepared actions.

• Added a missing line in Warrior’s Bash skill description about its disruption capabilities.

• Alain’s passive no longer triggers Mesmerized when an enemy uses a non-damaging ability against a decoy (such as Redcap’s Gaze).

• Ranger’s Ensnare skill (and its upgrades) can no longer miss.

• Berserk Status effect and its derivatives, associated with the Warrior’s Rage ability line, no longer increase damage done to self.

• Alain no longer poisons himself when under the effect of Expurger (from the Mystic’s Expurging Totem).

• Thorntoad’s Leap skill now correctly triggers reactions like Archer’s Vigil and Stand Ready.

• Fixed various typos in encounters and tooltips.


• Reduced the polygon count of most meshes in the game, greatly improving framerates on low-end PCs, and without noticeable loss in visual quality.

Quality-of-Life improvements:

• Removed the gamepad controls legend from the game. Instead, individual UI elements have contextual control labels, which takes up less space and should be more intuitive.

• Action bar number hotkeys are now only visible when using mouse and keyboard.

• When using a gamepad, there is now a hover indicator to connect the disabled encounter option with the tooltip explaining why the option is not available.

• All heroes that have their Prowess unlocked will now by default be set to the first unlocked Prowess in the list in the Lobby.

• Tooltips for relics viewed in the Journal will now show formulas, since exact numbers can be inaccurate and uninformative outside of combat.

Gameplay balancing:

• Status effects that reduce damage (Heavy Armor, Resistance, Expurger, Shielded, etc) no longer reduce damage done from Spells. Spells, however, still benefit from damage-increasing effects, such as Vulnerable.

• Increased max stacks of Bleeding effect to 10 (up from 5).

• The Well Rested status effect now stacks.

• The Paladin status effect (Safir’s passive) now deals 1Power damage when using non-offensive abilities, up from 0.5Power.

• Morgan Tudd’s passive (Druid Physician) now also works on himself, rather than strictly other allies.

• Wilfred’s passive (Nonchalant) increased to +3 damage (up from +2).

• Warrior’s Coordinated Parry skill (upgrade of Parry) no longer costs AP to use, like the base version.

• Ranger’s Specialty Arrow skill (and its upgrades) have been buffed. Increased CDs (2->3 in most cases), but increased base damage (0.5x -> 1x), as to not make it so reliable on its conditional effect. Exploding Arrow (one of the upgrades) no longer needs to target unarmored targets to deal its explosive effect.

• Ranger’s Archer’s Vigil skill (and its upgrades) now deal slightly more damage. Also changed Defensive Vigil upgrade into Sharp Vigil, which grants Guard Down as a debuff.

• Slightly increased AoE of all skills in the Ranger’s Volley line (1.5->2, Wide 2.5->3).

• Reduced Ranger’s Quick Draw skill line’s accuracy penalty to 30% (down from 40%), making the ability more reliable.

• Slightly increased base Health and Armor in most rangers, bringing their average defenses (Health + Armor) to 30, up from 26.

• Recurve Bow blacksmith upgrade line (Balanced Ranger Weapon) now also grants +1 Evasion.

• Roland’s Horn relic now has a simpler and stronger design – it debuffs all enemies on the map, reducing their Power.

• Medicinal Bandages relic no longer costs AP to use.

• Added a starting cooldown on Wyvern’s Jump skill. This should make getting ambushed less punishing.

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