The Astronauts’ immense patch delivers a calamity redesign, plus new classes, enemies, events, weapons, spells, and features to explore.

Today The Astronauts launched the first major feature update for their dark fantasy first-person shooter, Witchfire. The Ghost Galleon Update includes a host of new content, including player classes, fearsome foes, new events, weapons and spells for the preyer’s arsenal, as well as a shop vendor offering novel items. The update’s name refers to a newly minted Calamity event: a spectral ship infested with demonic minions of the Witch. The Witchfire update is available now on the Epic Games Store; curious witch hunters should check out the latest gameplay trailer for a preview of the game’s fresh new content. 

Alongside the new features available in today’s patch, The Astronauts team has implemented careful redesigns of Witchfire’s level progression and Calamity systems, based on Early Access feedback. Players will begin the game with souls-style classes, granting boosts to certain stats and unique gear. Classes include Slayer, Berserker, Hunter, Shadow, Saint and Penitent— this final class is for Witchfire veterans seeking an extra challenge. A new feature, called Gnosis, will allow players to “over-level” (slightly) without a corresponding uptick in enemy difficulty. Gnosis is the preyer’s understanding of dark magic. As this occult knowledge expands, players gain power and uncover hidden paths and events in the game. The update also adds a Calamity Meter on the HUD, which calls attention to player actions (and missteps) that make Calamities more likely.

“I like when gameplay matches lore,” said Adrian Chmielarz, Creative Director and Co-Founder of The Astronauts. “The Witch launches Calamities at preyers as they venture further and further into her realm. The threat of a Calamity is immense, but so is the reward. The witch tends to launch these assaults when players are wounded, at their weakest— which hasn’t always been well-received by players— but this design still feels exciting to me. So we’ve kept the soul of it, but redesigned it to feel more fair. It’s a feature that both teaches you how to play by pointing out mistakes, and motivates you to do better. Yet it’s also an element great players can abuse: trick the Witch into thinking you’re losing, then strike back and reap the rewards. This supports two main pillars of our design philosophy: Competence and Autonomy.”

The redesigns in the Ghost Galleon Update aim to ensure players have agency and understanding of gameplay mechanisms, while still maintaining the intense challenge at Witchfire’s core. 

Content available in today’s mammoth Witchfire patch includes: 

  • 3 New Calamities (including the Ghost Galleon)
  • New Activity: Vault Raiding
  • 6 New Classes
  • 5 New Weapons
  • 4 New Spells (plus 4 redesigned spells)
  • New Shop Vendor
  • 7 New Magical Items (fetishes, rings, relics)
  • 10 New or Variant Enemies
  • 5 New Events
  • 6 New Traps
  • Calamity Redesign
  • Gnostic Knowledge & Level Progression
  • Quality of Life Updates & Bug Fixes
  • And more…

Full patch notes for the Ghost Galleon Update are available on the Witchfire website and Discord— players can buy the game and/or download the free update today from the Epic Games Store.
From the creators of Painkiller and Bulletstorm, Witchfire is a first-person shooter set in a grimdark fantasy world in which a deadly war rages between powerful witches and the Church. The Astronauts is an independent games studio in Poland with a team of only 15 developers, all of whom are dedicated to Witchfire. The game launched to Early Access in September of 2023; Chmielarz confirmed the team will continue to work closely with players as the game approaches its 1.0 launch. For further details on Early Access development and upcoming Witchfire news, follow the team on FacebookX (formerly Twitter), and join the conversation on Discord