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Author Topic: Cogmind Beta 5 "Zionic Revolution"  (Read 1157 times)

Kyzrati

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Cogmind Beta 5 "Zionic Revolution"
« on: January 23, 2018, 05:48:08 PM »

Beta FIVE brings us interesting changes to your potential Zion allies, new NPCs, items and mechanics, and color customization along with lots and lots (and lots) of QoL.

It's another big one.

Cogmind Beta 5 "Zionic Revolution" (0.10.180124) changelog:
  • NEW: 9 new unique named NPCs
  • NEW: 13 more unique items
  • NEW: 1 new wheel variant
  • NEW: 3 new types of resupply dispatch
  • NEW: 1 new 0b10 terminal record, along with several random lore dialogues available in the usual places
  • NEW: 25 new score sheet entries (total = 662)
  • NEW: Several additional special encounters
  • NEW: 3 new optional map styles for ASCII mode players at size 16: Terminus, Verite, Kaypro (see manual under Advanced UI > Fonts)
  • NEW: Some methods for tweaking colors/brightness/saturation/etc (advanced.cfg for now: renderFilters, see manual under Color Customization)
  • NEW: Roster dispatches potentially include allies from a new category
  • NEW: Mechanic for automatically locating nearby terminals (spoiler)
  • NEW: Operators reset their terminal under a certain condition (spoiler)
  • NEW: Special animations for connecting to Z-hack-capable terminals
  • NEW: First connection to a Z-hack-capable terminal gives instruction regarding intel retrieval
  • NEW: Added EM damage spectrum class "Fine"
  • NEW: Enforced projectile spread mechanic for certain weapons
  • NEW: Line-of-fire for volley including a spread-enforced weapon highlights entire potential spread area
  • NEW: Option to always display the edges of the current map (advanced.cfg only: showMapBorders)
  • NEW: Option to completely disable the standard printing/text sfx (advanced.cfg only: muteTextSfx)
  • NEW: All Launcher Guidance Computers prevent launcher misfires otherwise caused by system corruption
  • NEW: Robots sending distress signals to alert nearby allies display the range of that signal
  • NEW: Effect description for matter/energy storage utilities explicitly states their ability to collect resources while in inventory
  • NEW: Active Particle Accelerators show modified damage values for applicable weapons in inventory and part list info mode ('q')
  • NEW: Effect of current momentum on melee weapon damage is shown directly next to applicable weapons in inventory and part list info mode ('q')
  • NEW: Discovering exits purely via Terrain Scanners in easiest difficulty mode reveals their destination as if sighted
  • NEW: Advanced quickStart option also available in easier difficulty modes
  • NEW: "Trapped" challenge mode prevents gaining trap knowledge from hacks, Zionite intel, 0b10 Decoders, and friendly Operators
  • NEW: Prototypes and other unknown parts identified by attaching them accompanied by explicit log message
  • NEW: Component Analysis Suite identification effect log message also specifies name of utility doing the identifying
  • NEW: Manual includes additional subsection explaining overload mechanic for some power sources and energy weapons
  • NEW: It's safe to hold a wait key while a nearby Fabricator or Repair Station is processing (autoblocks command for two seconds on task completion)
  • NEW: Manual includes additional subsection on Key Holding, under Key Commands
  • NEW: Starting position in Scrapyard will never overlap with an item
  • NEW: Map areas discovered via Terrain Scanners and other methods but never actually seen displayed in greenscale rather than color
  • NEW: Active Garrison Access dispatch countdown timers now visible on map when using a Signal Interpreter
  • NEW: Heat transfer damage may outright melt struck part of an already overheating robot (chance matches weapon's heat transfer value)
  • NEW: Filter mass item labels by applying an integrity percentage cutoff via itemLabelIntegrityPercentCutoff (advanced.cfg, currently defaults to 26%)
  • NEW: Filter mass item labels by applying a minimum depth-relative rating cutoff via itemLabelRelativeRatingCutoff (advanced.cfg)
  • NEW: Known faulty and broken items not labeled on map when using mass item labeling (can change behavior via advanced.cfg)
  • NEW: Mass labeling items a second time within 5 seconds ignores all label filters
  • NEW: If exiting a map will fail to bring some allies due to their distance, shows dedicated warning message and puts a longer block duration on the move
  • NEW: All Alpha supporter names registered since Beta 4 added to in-game list (see Credits menu)
  • MOD: Imprinting prevents direct and indirect hacks at most 0b10 terminals (special manual hacks okay)
  • MOD: Z-hacks can no longer be detected, traced, nor blocked across an entire floor
  • MOD: Some items may appear in more than one type of resupply
  • MOD: Cave seal disengage behavior different if imprinted
  • MOD: Mak. Sword uses regular melee impact sound rather than heavier sound
  • MOD: Updated color of Centrium wheel variant art to match other items of same material
  • MOD: Potential cave-in areas on map are always highlighted (tactical HUD mode not required)
  • MOD: Rocket Arrays and Scatter Rocket Arrays significantly improved, though can no longer be focused via targeting
  • MOD: Hero class renamed to Knight, ASCII changed from 'O' to 'K'
  • MOD: Hvy. Hardcell Cannon resource costs reduced
  • MOD: AM-PH4 propulsion tweaked
  • MOD: Behemoth cannot appear on top of cave exit stairs, and much less likely to be too near any cave entrance
  • MOD: "Trapped" challenge mode trap count multiplier upped from 5 to 10
  • MOD: Hack given by the so-called "annoying derelict" in caves causes the victim to follow instead of remain stationary
  • MOD: "Armor Coverage" best state entry in score sheet refers to raw total coverage of attached armor instead of percentage value
  • MOD: "Suicide/Restart" button on Game menu renamed "Self-destruct"
  • MOD: Robots sending distress signals to allies out of view only reveal that ally's position in easier difficulty modes
  • MOD: Robots calling for help or reinforcements from a garrison only reveal that garrison's position in easier difficulty modes
  • MOD: Removed Game menu, Save/Restart/Quit buttons now appear on Basic commands page
  • MOD: Removed tutorial message explaining how to save and exit
  • MOD: Removed "Show Non-FOV Color" from options menu, always on by default
  • MOD: Removed Ctrl-` command for toggling non-FOV color display
  • MOD: Weapon Cycler and Quantum Capacitor effect descriptions reworded for specificity, no longer refer to "projectile weapons"
  • MOD: Alarm Traps in Garrisons no longer trigger an investigation, they simply alert any nearby hostiles
  • MOD: Mechanics that clear robot memory (e.g. the Reconstructor) now also clear off-turn partial spot records
  • MOD: Melee momentum damage bonus applies to all melee weapons, not just I/S/P damage types (piercing still gets its double bonus)
  • MOD: Melee damage type modifiers on Status page merged into a single "Melee" value (extra piercing damage bonus only displayed by the weapon)
  • MOD: Only non-zero values are listed under the Status page's resistances and damage modifiers
  • MOD: Data Miner dispatch redirects no longer occur during late-game wars
  • MOD: With Label Supporter Items option on, the few items not applicable for gallery collection show standard description at bottom of info window
  • MOD: Easiest difficulty mode puts Med. Storage Unit in Scrapyard, rather than Sml.
  • MOD: A certain Exoskeleton's overweight penalty reduced from 30 to 20
  • MOD: Robot core damage popups in Tactical HUD mode default to showing actual remaining integrity rather than as a percent
  • MOD: Replaced advanced.cfg preciseCorePopup option with its opposite, percentCorePopup
  • MOD: "No X in view" message displayed when there is no applicable object for the given label type instead shows "No X to label"
  • MOD: Targeting will not autosuggest a previous target whose relation with you has changed since you last attacked it
  • MOD: Super Gauntlet challenge mode keeps the lone target Garrison Access available even under high security lockdown
  • FIX: Crash on right-clicking directly into second robot info while analysis or traits of first robot still open [Valguris]
  • FIX: Overloaded weapons did not apply damage bonus again walls [Valguris]
  • FIX: Walls/doors not applying damage resistances correctly [Valguris]
  • FIX: Schematics for items only available by special means did not display fabrication info when opened via fabricator/schematics list [Valguris]
  • FIX: Credits list contained some duplicate supporter names [zxc]
  • FIX: Insufficient energy for overloadable propulsion upkeep might overload the propulsion instead of autodeactivating it [zxc]
  • FIX: Typo in options.cfg (fix resets your calculation log setting; if you want a non-default option you'll need to redo) [zxc]
  • FIX: Penetration values missing from gallery export data [Raine]
  • FIX: While on-map combat log active, any visible messages could partially overlap an open Status window [Raine]
  • FIX: Typo in screenshot tags and filenames for game over screen [johnicboom]
  • FIX: Advanced quickStart option could also be activated in tutorial mode despite lack of Storage Unit in that layout [Zoticus]
  • FIX: New corrupted AI misfire mechanic could in some cases affect player UI target recall [Happylisk]
  • FIX: Could continue hacking record queries at a locked terminal prior to closing window by using number keys if keyboard mode active [neutral]
  • FIX: Pressing 'f' during the exact frame a major NPC enters view and opens dialogue window blocked commands once window closed [nuzcraft]
  • FIX: STAY command issued to ally with a previous destination allowed them to reach it before returning to intended stay location [GJ]
  • FIX: Subatomic Replicator used without effect then dropped into inventory remained unidentified until inventory redrawn due to another interaction
  • FIX: A certain type of derelict log could reveal exit to Zhirov's location, which they shouldn't know
  • FIX: Moving multi-cell robot sensor scans not displayed correctly in tiles mode
  • FIX: RMB on robot then opening Analysis or Traits and closing again prevented further right-clicks on other robots until info window closed
  • FIX: "Max Gunslinging Chain" entry in score sheet was not being tallied

Zionic Revolution

Our namesake feature for this release has some major implications, and got even more fun.

Getting "imprinted" has always been a great power boost, and at its inception was intended as such--basically a low-effort way to make a run both easier and more interesting by offering a wider array of tactical options, especially for combat builds which generally have no significant hacking capabilities. But that 1) made it feel like this option has way too much potential to pass up when planning a route to the surface (even more so for extended end-game runs!), and 2) is a pretty big waste of a design opportunity :P

I've been planning to revisit it for a while, and now that the rest of the experience is pretty balanced, its time has come!

(Note: If you have no idea what this section is talking about, dare to venture deeper into the caves and you shall see :))

Whether or not you imprint is now a long-term strategic choice rather than a pure no-brainer bestowing permanent benefits. It's true imprinting carried some minor drawbacks before, but these only came into play at a couple plot points that an imprinted player in particular probably wouldn't need quite as much anyway.

On the downside, being imprinted now removes the ability to use 0b10 terminals in a regular fashion. In fact, you won't even be able to hack open doors! (of course there are still the usual number of alternative ways to get through them)

Beta 5 is not, however, a straight up nerf. While lack of terminal access is a big change, yet more varieties of \\ZION hacks were added, some quite powerful, and they can no longer be detected, traced, or blocked, among other new imprinting benefits. That you had access to them was also somewhat easy to forget about before, whereas now there are three different types of reminder instead of just one. You won't forget :P

In short, rather than an occasional "get out of jail free" card, z-hacks now enable (and in a way, enforce) other unique ways to play. This makes imprinting a much more interesting decision, and it's not always going to be the right choice for every build or style!

Some imprinted-related gifs:







The "Zionic Revolution" is not just mechanics, either--it also comes with some new personalities, and new special items. For example:





No more details there because it's all quite spoilery and best discovered on your own one day :D

Distressed Robots

For December's Beta 4 I added the mechanic revealing locations of non-visible combat bots receiving distress calls from visible non-combat bots:



This is a great feature for new or struggling players, basically a way to learn how robots are reacting even without any sensors of your own, so I think it serves a good purpose in easier difficulty modes. But in the default Roguelike mode it removes some of the suspense and tactical challenge, unnecessarily lowering the difficulty of the average encounter. This is why I was on the fence about adding it back then, but instead of letting the feature incubate for a while and testing it out on my own, I thought I'd put it out there as an experiment for everyone to try out.

So now, as prior to Beta 4, you'll know victims alerted a hostile, but won't know where they are or precisely where they're coming from (other than what you can inference from map knowledge and other factors, or outright sensor data). Instead, the distress call now animates the range at which a given robot can alert allies. This was something you could figure out via meta knowledge over time anyway, and counting cells is annoying so adding this is more of a QoL feature to make it explicit and save on that time/effort.

Seeing a Watcher emitting its signal in Beta 5:



On a similar note, garrison location pings during reinforcement calls have been removed from the default difficulty mode, though there is no range shown there because it actually depends on the garrison itself and can even occur at longer ranges. That will continue to be a challenge to players who don't have relevant intel.

Mechanics

Beta 5 comes with a range of new or slightly adjusted mechanics.

Back in SITREP #9 I introduced an "enforced projectile spread," a weapon characteristic that can't be overcome by simply stacking more targeting computers. See the SITREP for more notes on this feature, but basically you'll now see this reflected in the targeting display for the few weapons that are affected by it:



This mechanic also meant I could rightly buff rocket arrays to allow them to come into their own as a cool niche weapon:



One of the other bigger mechanics changes is that all melee weapons benefit from momentum damage bonuses (not just impact/slashing/piercing), as the system is now handled by weapon category rather than damage type. So where damage modifiers are concerned, the Status page only needs to list a single "Melee" entry:


(notice another change: that page also only lists non-zero resistances and modifiers)

While we're at it, in 'q'/INFO mode both the parts list and inventory display melee weapon damage as modified by bonuses from current momentum. This helps make it much more clear just how much damage you can do without requiring extra calculations, especially when considering whether to try chopping through a stubborn door.



While it probably won't come into play all that often, overheating robots hit by thermal weapons now may have their parts melted.



Launcher Guidance Computers now block launcher misfires caused by corruption. Being able to more safely keep a launcher equipped while corrupted could occasionally come in handy.



Also, it might take a while to discover but there is now an EM weapon out there using a new "Fine" spectrum with a 100% chance to set off engine explosions :)

Color Customization

By request, Beta 5 gives you a way to adjust visual attributes like brightness, saturation, contrast, and more.

There are also some presents that change multiple variables at once, like the low-contrast mode "SLEEPY":



ASCII combat in Sleepy mode:



UI interaction in another low-contrast mode, "AUTUMN":



There are other extreme modes like the "SWAP" filter:



Combine multiple modes and filters, like SWAP + AUTUMN:



For the details on how to get the most out of this set of features you'll want to check the latest manual, under the new "Color Customization" section, which explains all eight of the render filter functions and how to apply them to the UI or map.

See additional demo images on my dev blog here.

Although I try to encode as much information using additional methods beyond color, there might be some areas where I could allow further adjustment to benefit certain players' needs. If you have some type of color blindness or other color-related request that I might be able to solve via a filter or some kind of correction formula, let me know and I'll see what I can do.

Q... O... L!!!

Our favorite category :). Lots of feature requests fulfilled with this release, plus just more ideas I had to make your [Cogmind's] life easier.

Terrain revealed via scanners or other means before visiting it now appears in a monochrome "greenscale" rather than color like all other areas outside your field of vision.



This helps remember where you've actually been. And looks cool :D

Like the real-time melee momentum damage calculations mentioned above, 'q'/INFO mode also also displays which weapons are affected by an active Particle Accelerator and how:



There are now a number of ways to filter on-map item labels, described in the manual and adjustable via the advanced config. By default broken and faulty items won't be labeled, and you can also opt to exclude items below a certain integrity or relative rating threshold. Without any changes to the settings, Beta 5 automatically skips items with only 1~25% of their integrity remaining.


(Notice the repeat command at the end there which then includes all items in the labeling, regardless of filters.)

This is a first step of potentially several on the road to an even more effective label system.

Map edges can now be revealed via a setting, but this is recommended only for advanced players who are already familiar with most of the world since it can be somewhat spoilery. It's also somewhat immersion breaking, but it's decent QoL because without it those who really do know how all the systems work will pan around and find the approximate borders in advance anyway.



This feature uses a different style if you're playing with a swap filter:



Don't go looking for the "Game" menu buttons on their own page, since they've now moved right under the Basic commands and are accessible as soon as you press Escape!



quickStart (the option that automatically attaches and collects all items in the starting area for you) is now available in easier difficulty modes as well, with the easiest mode starting gear getting upgraded to a Med. Storage Unit:



Active garrisons now display their dispatch timer countdown directly on the map as long as you have a Signal Interpreter.



There's now a log message specifically for identifying unknown parts. This'll help both when you're reviewing a log later, and perhaps more importantly when that faulty prototype melts on you and you're left wondering what it actually was xD



When attempting to exit a map, the confirmation specifies how many allies you will be leaving behind if you leave immediately.



Potential cave-in areas are always highlighted, even without Tactical HUD mode. I originally thought it was active in all modes, but apparently not and I think it should be both obvious and helpful to even beginners to know what areas will collapse. It's an important mechanic to learn early on, and will seem more fair if those areas were marked to begin with rather than requiring a mode used by experienced players :P



The precise core integrity popup feature added in the last release is now the default behavior in Tactical HUD mode, with an advanced option to revert to percentage displays.



There's even more QoL listed in the changelog, so read through that to catch them all.

MAP_ASCII

I'm continuing to add optional map ASCII styles by request, where I can put together something suitable, and Beta 5 in particular comes with three more size 16 options.



The above example is the new size 16 Terminus option, and you can see the others in the last SITREP. This brings Cogmind's total number of custom font bitmaps to 112! Don't worry, it's not a magic number or anything and I won't be stopping there ;)

Setting these currently requires an edit to the game files themselves, as described in the manual's Advanced UI > Fonts section. For now that also means this feature is incompatible with Steam cloud, and you'll also have to repeat the same modification manually if you update to a new version, as it's not a part of the regular user settings. I'll be doing something about this later, but it's rather involved and requires a number of changes as deep as the engine level, so it can't happen too quickly/soon and I'd like to combine the related adjustments with other new features we'll be seeing down the line.

Beta 5 saves are not compatible with previous versions, but even if you're on Steam and have autoupdates enabled, Beta 4 is still available via its own branch and you can roll back to finish a run in progress first if you like.
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Shadowfury333

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Re: Cogmind Beta 5 "Zionic Revolution"
« Reply #1 on: January 23, 2018, 09:21:40 PM »

I noticed that the commands.cfg commands are all synced up again. Does that mean that, barring commands being removed, the commands.cfg will just work for future versions without rebuilding?
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Kyzrati

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Re: Cogmind Beta 5 "Zionic Revolution"
« Reply #2 on: January 23, 2018, 09:44:45 PM »

Yeah that should pretty much be the case, was just that one bug that happened when I removed a command and most of them desynced. Of course, it's possible that a future change could mess it up again if I'm not careful, and there will probably be some new additions, but in theory it should be okay.

As we talked about earlier I also still want to look into changing the hjkl run key implementation to a modal toggle rather than holding the key, to open that up for remapping.
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Re: Cogmind Beta 5 "Zionic Revolution"
« Reply #3 on: January 23, 2018, 10:57:44 PM »

AFAICT adding new commands wouldn't break anything, and neither should removing commands not related to movement or basic interactions, given that the commands.cfg file I include with the WASDRL release only contains the keys it replaces and no more.
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Kyzrati

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Re: Cogmind Beta 5 "Zionic Revolution"
« Reply #4 on: January 23, 2018, 11:00:01 PM »

Yeah it shouldn't, I just haven't done extensive testing with this particular "experimental" feature so I can't say that with 100% confidence :P
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Re: Cogmind Beta 5 "Zionic Revolution"
« Reply #5 on: January 23, 2018, 11:41:31 PM »

Thanks for the update, I didn't know about b4, I was playing with b3 :D

Even if it wasn't possible, I'd like to remember this if you see a chance to implement it anyway: I think the best QoL for me is having a sense if I hitted or damaged the enemy, without look at the console, with images and/or sounds. Example: if you don't hit, as it's now. If you hit but you don't do any dmg: blinking the enemy, returning the fire in any random direction, doing more brighty the adjascent tiles to represent the impact wave. If you deal some core dmg, same that when you don't do, but more drastic.
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Kyzrati

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Re: Cogmind Beta 5 "Zionic Revolution"
« Reply #6 on: January 23, 2018, 11:51:47 PM »

It's true there's no reinforcement there, and I guess there's room for at least some options in that regard. Currently as long as you're watching it's pretty easy to tell, though: If you see the projectile stop in the enemy's square, you hit it, period. And if you hit them, then you almost definitely did some damage. But if you didn't hit the core then your attack doesn't matter so much, unless you actually destroyed a weapon, in which case its name pops up as well.

Cogmind enemies generally aren't very resilient, so the finer parts of combat aren't too important since that particular target will be dead before long anyway.

I'll take it into consideration though and see if there are some methods that work.

Thanks for the update, I didn't know about b4, I was playing with b3 :D
Hehe, oops. If you're playing while connected to the internet and have News Updates activated in the options, it'll always remind you if you have an older version.
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Re: Cogmind Beta 5 "Zionic Revolution"
« Reply #7 on: January 24, 2018, 10:39:10 AM »

Thank you Josh. I'm not very eye trained to know if a quick ballistic projectile stop in the enemy square or in the next one (where there is a wall), sometimes I'm right others I'm not. That's why I usually play with slowwwww grenades or similar. I have the same problem with melee. If you find a proper way to implement it would be super! I had few ideas if you want. Don't try to hard, after all I'm just one customer :P
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Kyzrati

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Re: Cogmind Beta 5 "Zionic Revolution"
« Reply #8 on: January 24, 2018, 05:40:16 PM »

Well I'm sure I'll come up with something, especially if it's something even one player just really needs it might turn into something everyone ends up wanting, too, like the green terrain scanner reveal from Beta 5 :). It was just one player that needed it, and now it's great!

You mention melee--what's the issue there? It's right adjacent to you but if you miss it both plays a separate sound effect and shows a '?' over the target to indicate that you didn't hit.
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Re: Cogmind Beta 5 "Zionic Revolution"
« Reply #9 on: January 25, 2018, 09:07:30 AM »

Yes, sorry, it was a missword. I wanted to mean when you charge without weapons against another character. Melee weapons works great.

btw: when you charge against an enemy robot placed in an exit, you exit - I'm not sure if this is a bug or something desired.
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DDarkray

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Re: Cogmind Beta 5 "Zionic Revolution"
« Reply #10 on: January 25, 2018, 10:09:20 AM »

missword = miss sword?  ;D

Ramming doesn't miss at all, so you can be sure that you'll always hit something.

When charging at a robot on top of stairs, it's not a bug to push it out of the way and ascend immediately. It's pretty useful sometimes.
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Kyzrati

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Re: Cogmind Beta 5 "Zionic Revolution"
« Reply #11 on: January 25, 2018, 04:22:17 PM »

DDarkray's got the answers :)
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