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Author Topic: Released: Alpha 5 - "Into the Unknown"  (Read 3160 times)


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Released: Alpha 5 - "Into the Unknown"
« on: December 16, 2015, 07:20:10 PM »

Alpha 5 is here, and with it... NEW BRANCHES! :D

Compared to previous major releases this changelog is a tiny bit shorter, but that's because much of the work is wrapped up in the branch maps, which are quite unlike anything that's been added so far, and which include plot events and new mechanics, none of which are detailed below. I do my best to keep you unspoiled whenever possible ;).

Before we get started, know that you can find a visual summary of some of the new features (= tons o' gifs) here.

Also, Cogmind made the Top 100 games of the year on IndieDB last week! Voting for the Top 10 is currently in progress.


We have three new maps in all, two of which belong to a three-map branch, Extension, which will be completed in Alpha 6. Don't worry, it's very much worth entering this branch as is, if you can find it. You've probably spotted the entrance before...

The third new map is behind that odd-looking locked door you always find in Storage, but there's no way to reach it without a special code. That code is supposed to be given to you by a random NPC in another part of the game, but that area hasn't been added yet, so you can either wait until they're added (possibly Alpha 7), or (recommended:) pretend I'm an NPC bot and let me just tell you how to get in.

So in these maps are several new NPCs (along with a familiar face), and even a way to trigger one of the world's major plot events. In terms of lore this particular event won't answer a lot of questions (probably creates more than it answers), but it does have a bearing on how the action plays out.


Rather unexpectedly, while Alpha 5 was intended to be primarily a content release, with just a few important mechanical and UI changes it turns out the entire game will have a different feel even when not experiencing the new content:
  • Vastly reduced time cost of large volleys!
One- and two-weapon volleys didn't really change, as that would throw the whole game off since most hostiles fall into those categories, but beyond that the numbers are very different.

For many reasons high-weapon builds were never very viable. At most you'd want around 4-5 slots, and even then only for a few situations such as alternative firing options against multiple types of targets, or one-shotting Behemoths ;).

Now there's a real opportunity to build a non-suicidal super tankish Cogmind that can mow down robot armies with a huge barrage of fire. The new volley cost progression is 200 > 300 > 325 > 350 > 375 > 400. Beyond six weapons everything is still 400. It used to cost 425 to fire only three weapons, so this is obviously a game changer.

Time will tell whether or how abuseable it is, but preliminary testing says it's 1) hella fun and 2) didn't seem so overpowered that it ensured success by any measure, considering what you have to give up to attach that many weapons. Since this is Alpha we'll let it stand at that.

We will definitely see new strategies coming out of this. *raises hand*
  • Attaching parts while slots are full attempts to smartly auto-replace existing parts.
Another game-changer, only this one on the UI side. You'll now tend to see far fewer "no free slot" messages, since attaching parts will automatically attempt to pick an existing part that is in some way inferior and replace it by first either putting it the inventory (if there's room) or dropping it to the ground. This feature works whether attaching from the ground or your inventory, so it can be a really easy way to swap in parts (especially for keyboard users) by essentially halving the number of commands required.

The system is even capable of smartly replacing Storage Units and resource containers without losing their contents. Have a damaged Hcp. Storage Unit and found a fresh one? No more inventory fumbling required, just press 'a' while standing on it and bam you're ready to go!

It will take some getting used to, but is definitely worth it :). See the end of the manual for the rules that determine what is swapped out.

Let me know if you discover any unexpected swaps, or can think of a new/better rule that might improve the system. I believe everything it does now is pretty logical. It's possible we'll introduce some options to fine tune this feature's behavior since it can be heavily preference-based in some situations, though for now you can always choose to ignore the automatic behavior by relying on the normal part swapping commands.
  • Allied Operator hacking bonus applies to robot hacking as well.
This one's not as big but worth mentioning for its representative value. Allied Operators giving you a robot hacking bonus brings the world another step closer to one in which you could theoretically spend much of the time playing a hacking and support role. We're not quite there yet, but with the addition of more branches and some adjustments to the hacking system I want that to become a reality. In any case, Operators now do a zillion+1 things for you. Consider using Trojan(Assimilate) to get one on your side :).

The full Alpha 5 (0.10.151217) changelog:

* NEW: Branch map "Recycling"
* NEW: Branch map "Extension"
* NEW: Branch map "(spoiler)"
* NEW: 1 major plot event
* NEW: 3 story-related NPC encounters
* NEW: 9 additional robots (excluding NPCs)
* NEW: 1 additional weapon
* NEW: Quantum Generators produce an ambient sound
* NEW: Various additional sound effects (total now at 702)
* NEW: Allied Operator hacking bonus applies to robot hacking as well
* NEW: Every Materials floor now includes a guaranteed cache of Storage Units
* NEW: Attaching parts (from ground or inventory) while slots are full attempts to smartly auto-replace parts (see manual for priorities)
* NEW: Shielding bonus from stasis traps now produces visual/sound effect akin to phase walls and remote shield generators
* NEW: Matter-specific machines release matter as they are destroyed (Matter Pump, Pressure Siphon, Matter Filter)
* NEW: Fabricators overloaded by brute force hacks have a wide EM spectrum when zapping robots, and can couple with power sources
* NEW: Firing overloaded weapons temporarily distorts the HUD, with a greater effect for higher level weapons
* NEW: Keyboard running stops for adjacent doors, corners, and corridors when moving cardinally
* NEW: Score sheet includes breakdown of bonus point sources
* MOD: Vastly reduced time cost of large volleys (fire 5-10 weapons in less time than originally required by 3!)
* MOD: Alert(Purge) effectiveness halved!
* MOD: Lrg./Hcp. Storage Unit mass increased, making them less weight efficient as an alternative to increasing their size
* MOD: Threat-priority targeting preference option's accuracy improved
* MOD: Tweaked resistances of some props, including special/locked doors
* MOD: Barriers (brighter walls) take half damage from all AOE effects
* MOD: EM damage to regular walls and doors halved; doubled against phasewalls
* MOD: AI no longer attacks disrupted or disabled robots
* MOD: Beamcasters (used by Derelict Thugs) have a new sound effect, and alternate faster animation
* MOD: Buffed Rocket Arrays and Scatter Rocket Arrays
* MOD: Allies wandering around your position will step on nearby known traps less often, when possible
* MOD: Non-combat robots no longer trigger responses from hidden doors
* MOD: K-01 Serfs no longer clean disabled machines
* MOD: Removed chance of standard doors with nothing on the other side once opened
* MOD: Allied Operator hacking bonus applies to all machines, not just terminals
* MOD: Allied Operator hacking bonus only given for those within 20 spaces (direct range, LOS not required)
* MOD: Minimum volley duration set at 100 time units, regardless of individual or cumulative weapon delay modifiers
* MOD: Storage Units immune to severing by slashing weapons
* MOD: Engineers rebuild damaged Sentry/Behemoth cubbies rather than fill them in
* MOD: Critical damage multiplier against armor reduced from x2.00 to x1.25
* MOD: Item selection for dropping due to inventory overflow is now random, rather than based on internal list order
* MOD: Auto-ascend option will pass stairs without ascending if auto-pathing to another destination via mouse
* MOD: Updated a couple manual and context help entries
* MOD: Increased bonus points for a win
* FIX: Stairs might rarely be found in narrow corridors [zxc]
* FIX: Propulsion batch cycling via ';' was overloading propulsion where applicable rather than deactivating it [zxc]
* FIX: Couldn't fly over inactive non-rewireable robots [zxc]
* FIX: Inactive robot encounter in Storage (and a similar more rare encounter) broken in Alpha 4; robots were becoming unpowered [MJWkr]
* FIX: Crash on attempting to mine beyond the edge of a map [MJWkr]
* FIX: Rare crash on entering Mines with cursor over map in which path locations from previous map are no longer valid [SquigglyJ]
* FIX: Rare crash when aiming at a target and unable to retrieve volley recoil data because a weapon was suddenly destroyed [karlnp, Enno]
* FIX: Swapping out of extended log or calc windows while readout sfx in progress continued looping until same sound played elsewhere [Star Weaver, zxc]
* FIX: Rare crash when system corruption triggers a trap against a robot which immediately evades the effects via thrusters
* FIX: Potential crash on some ambush traps releasing melee robots
* FIX: Allied Protector class robots were always appearing red in allies list, even when capable of carrying out their role
* FIX: Out-of-sight projectiles within audible range were playing at slightly louder volume than intended
* FIX: Automated output of squad enumeration hacks produced typos due to the Alpha 4 plurality improvements
* FIX: Scroll buttons for gallery and supporter pages stopped working (broken by Alpha 2's support for left-click exiting of modal windows)

(As usual, if you haven't already, remember to use the form linked in your original download email to provide the name you want to use in game. Attribution/names are added with each major release.)
« Last Edit: May 08, 2017, 03:06:28 AM by Kyzrati »
Josh Ge, Developer - Dev Blog | @GridSageGames