November 7th – All the things!

What a week it’s been. There’s been such a wealth of small changes and fixes across the board it’s hard to keep track with everything I’ve been doing!

My overarching goal of updating the dungeons with shield generators hasn’t changed, but for some this necessitates a measure of restructuring. For example, the one I’m currently in the process of updating is the Avian temple. This dungeon was typically dark, save for a few chambers, and the player was expected to place torches to light their way. With a shield generator in play, that option ceases to exist.

One pleasant side effect of this change is that it gives players more incentive to use their flashlight, flares and glow stims, however it does necessitate some changes to make it a little more accommodating for the not-so-well-equipped. To that end, I’ve been revisiting the many chambers and peppering them with more lights. The catch is that the player is the one who has to light them. The blasters used by the temple guardians have also been updated to shoot energy projectiles so at the very least you should be able to see where you’re being attacked from, even if you’re completely in the dark.

As our food system is currently undergoing a rework, I’ve been regularly pulled away from dungeons to assist with configuration. At this point it looks like we’ll be doing away with the hunger bar altogether, and rather than punishing the player for failing to eat every now and again, we’re pushing to make food more inherently rewarding by making them provide extended duration buffs. Upon eating however, you gain the “well-fed” status effect, which restricts you from eating any other food until it wears off. As an example, eating a piece of cooked alien meat will now give you a subtle healing buff that restores 50 health over 30 seconds (that’s about 1.6 health per second).

On the flip side, healing items are being buffed to restore the player’s health over a much shorter duration. The starting bandages for instance apply the full 30 health heal over the course of a single second, instead of five, so you’ll be able to heal more rapidly in an emergency, but not to a point where you can simply instant heal your way out of trouble. It bears mentioning that just like food, you will not be able to use more than one type of bandage at a time, and their durations get a little bit longer the more potent their healing effects are.

There are a multitude of other changes, but here’s some of the ones I can actually remember!

Recipe requirements on tier 1 gear have been significantly reduced.
For most of these items the cost has been reduced by over 50%! This means you shouldn’t have to mine for so long to get that starting set of armor and weapons.

Randomly generated weapons found during the early stages won’t be quite so powerful.
This change is for a couple of reasons. First, players finding crappy broadswords that set monsters on fire during the very first stage often made it laughably easy to get through unscathed. It also tended to eliminate any incentive the player had to craft their racial weapons. That said, they’ll still be better than your initial starting weapons and monster health values for the first tier have been dialed down too to make it a little easier on new characters.

Experimental: Nerf DPS on one-handed guns.
As guns are something we intend to make a bit easier for players to get their hands on, it’s important we pay more attention to their balance. Allow me to explain.

Right now, given a choice between two identically levelled guns, a one-handed machine pistol and a two-handed assault rifle, their average damage output was typically the same. With this being the case, why would anyone ever use the assault rifle? This is rather glaring when you consider that players can wield shields, flashlights, healing items and the like while using the single-handed gun. Furthermore, they don’t even suffer the range limitations of their melee counterparts, the dagger and shortsword.

I’m currently experimenting with the balance on the novakid revolvers. Right now I’ve got their overall damage down to about 75% of their two-handed counterparts. This might seem like a large reduction, but when you consider the tactical options this leaves open, most critically the fact that players can dual-wield such weapons, that 75% damage potential becomes 150% of what the two-handers can typically do. Whether or not this becomes the new standard will require further testing.

I hope you guys found that interesting. Night everybody!