The forthcoming free-to-play action RPG, Ascend: Hand of Kul, continues its quiet march toward an inevitable launch date. Since early July, players who were fortunate to score a coveted spot in the closed beta have plummeted the depths of Signal Studios’ impressive landscape, and clashed against one another in the name of their respective gods. As we previously reported, plans are well underway to roll the beta into open release, starting with the latest content update.

Signal Studios’ President D.R. Albright III took to the developer’s blog to announce the update as version 1.1, the changes/features/fixes therein, and outline the future of Ascend. “The 1.1 phase will be released to those who have already been playing first,” he wrote. “Within a few days after release, we will be expanding the beta in larger groups, approximately 15k players is the goal.” If you’re not yet involved in the beta, the next round of invitations could remedy that – head over to official registration site to toss your name into the hat.

For those already engrossed in the ongoing Crusade for total dominion, you’ll be happy to know the playable world has now been expanded, including a long-awaited crack at one towering titan. Additional considerations aimed at improving player experience include: lowered repair costs, spells automatically receiving legacy status, pre/post invader status screens, increased difficulty during boss engagements and additional stats to pore over with each new item acquisition.

“We also fixed over 800 bugs since we last met and probably introduced a few hundred more :)! Let’s all hop on this beta and report any issues to the forums to help improve the public release,” Albright added. “Rest assured, back at the mothership we are already working diligently towards the next phase of Ascend, which is the full public release!” The full collection of changes can be found in list form – everyone’s favorite form – right after the jump.

New Features:

• Added 3 new regions and 16 levels including Forest, Lakes, Graves, and the Titan battle!
• Transcending is in. Once a player has hit level 60 they will have the option to Transcend. Players who Transcend will retain their souls, ascension emblems and also receive a special badge. Game progress will reset and you will start the game over at Level One. All enemies in the game will level up.
• Invader load screen allows players to see the name, gear and stats of the invading champions.
• Players can now assign their Ascended Champions to invade specific dominion points on the map. Turn the tide of the battle.
• Boss fights are significantly more challenging.
• Added a post invasion stats screen.
• Added weekly challenges and awards for winning alignments.
• Added more dungeons.
• Invasion retreats. If the fight is too tough, you have an option to warp back to your previous progress.
• New items should unlock more consistently throughout the game.
• Added per alignment rune resists.
• Added 3 more Apex bosses and the Titan as well as 7 common enemies.
• Players can now purchase multiple runes and crusade spells from the UI menus.
• All stats are now displayed, allowing players to know what modifiers are impacting their character.


• Reduced repair costs.
• Alignment bonuses have been updated and your alignment choice has more statistical meaning. Dark is stronger, Light is faster, and Void magic is more powerful.
• Fixes for the 2nd Apex fight
• Spells are automatically Legacy’d when players Ascend, no more losing your spells!
• Tripled the amount of alignment specific armor.
• Reduced costs of spells dramatically.
• Large number of combat fixes. Damage and balance changes across all weapons and types.
• All Light and Dark emblems have been restructured.
• Fixed many bugs with player boss stats, runes, and abilities.
• Fixed many human issues.
• Capped amount and level of Cursed enemies.
• Better rewards for changing alignments upon Ascension.
• Updated the balance of the game to better account for late-game leveling.
• Adjusted item costs across the board.

Source: Signal Studios