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Author Topic: Released: Alpha 9  (Read 4312 times)


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Released: Alpha 9
« on: June 07, 2016, 06:33:35 PM »

Alpha 9 is ready! If I was naming our releases, "Epic Showdown" would be a contender for this one :)

We have quite a bit of new content: Like 8, Alpha 9 is another lore-heavy release, and you'll be able to learn even more about the world and its inhabitants, in many cases straight from those inhabitants themselves. At the same time you'll have the option to be a part of some big events. (Actually, there has been one similarly major event accessible for many versions now, but still no one has discovered it :P)

While much of the new content is found in a particular part of the game, Alpha 9 includes something for everyone (even those who can't yet find or reach that area ;) ) in the form of yet more UI enhancements, some significant improvements to machine usability, and changes to hover/flight propulsion stats.

Scroll down for the full changelog, or read on for the release notes.

For a visual sampling of some of what comes with Alpha 9, see the preview gifs and images posted yesterday.

New Map

Much of the new content is centered around "Warlord," a new branch map deep in the caves where you can meet, um, yes, that one. Stop by and give my regards.

For those of you who've already done plenty of spelunking:
Spoiler (click to show/hide)

With this release, all the primary cave content is complete, and going forward development will continue moving upward into the late-game branches.


Mechanics-wise, the main focus of Alpha 9 is to streamline the use of interactive machines. Aside from the standard Terminal, most machines have only sometimes been useful, generally more trouble than they were worth except under special circumstances. All machines are now better balanced with more desirable and accessible features that will keep you from so readily passing them up :D

Fabrication is the big one. I wrote a blog post explaining it in detail (no spoilers). In short, you don't need to worry about the matter, all you really need is a schematic and a little bit of time. You'll still have to hack it to start the process, but even with minimal to no hackware it's not that difficult at low-tier Fabricators.

Repair is even faster than it used to be (especially at higher-tier stations), so it's a good idea to take advantage of those when possible.

You can see other machine-related details listed in the changelog. Notice that item ratings no longer determine what can and can't be done with regard to item-related machines, an opaque system that was annoying at best. You'll now be able to scan anything anywhere, repair anything anywhere, build anything anywhere... basically do Anything Anywhere :P

Propulsion Stats

Flight component stats have changed significantly, with all prototype flight units supporting less mass than they could before, and all flight speed mods dropping from 5 to 3. This means you'll need to stack more flight units to reach the same old speeds, and can no longer rely on early-game prototypes to carry you through the game.

Note that this also means all flying robots in the world are now a bit slower, but not hugely so because they didn't generally have much propulsion to begin with, not like you can (thus the percentage decrease in speed will be less noticeable for them).

To help round out that balance, every single flight component now has the same hit on resources when mobile: 1 energy and 1 heat per move.

We'll see what kind of effect these changes have on speed runs, if any...

Hover has been changed to a lesser extent, getting a little slower (speed mod reduced from 5 to 4) with more advanced units providing somewhat better support to account for the increased heat/energy movement costs. Essentially hover is now a little tankier, so even more worth considering as the basis for a highly mobile combat build.

Miscellaneous Notes
  • You'll find that neutral robots in the main complex will be more proactive about responding to being under fire. Any damage taken is considered an attack, even if it doesn't specifically target them, so watch the collateral damage. Incidentally, this will make it a lot easier to scare away annoying robots when you need to (you know which ones they are). Even indirect explosions from machines, for example, will spook them.
  • Say goodbye to accidental removal/replacement of processors and hackware! Confirmation is now required for any inventory action that will have that result. Internally this was rather complex to figure out given the many different methods one can use to remove an item, but fortunately it turns out I'd written most of the code a couple months ago, it just couldn't yet take into account a couple of edge cases, so I resolved that last night and put it to work for us :D

The full Alpha 9 (0.10.160608) changelog:

* NEW: Branch map "Warlord"
* NEW: 9 special-purpose robot classes (8 with new art)
* NEW: 2 new NPCs (unique robot classes)
* NEW: 2 major plot events
* NEW: A central matter distribution network (allocated per map) supplies matter to Fabricators (no Matter Storage Units required)
* NEW: All Fabricators have a Network(Report) function to hack
* NEW: Disabling matter-related machines (those that spill matter on destruction) reduces local matter stores
* NEW: 3 more Trojan hacks (secret)
* NEW: 8 new non-interactive machines (2 explosive)
* NEW: Fabricators are also used by 0b10 robots for several purposes
* NEW: Fabricators and Repair Stations display on-map timer while processing
* NEW: Score sheet lists everything fabricated, and where
* NEW: Eighth damage type (secret), with new unstable weapon mechanic
* NEW: 10 new items
* NEW: More lore to uncover in dozens of terminal records
* NEW: Hundreds of lines of minor NPC dialogue covering lore, plot, and in-theme tips
* NEW: All unauthorized hacks (Trojans/brute force) can be learned/discovered in game
* NEW: +10% to hit immobile targets (includes disabled robots, as well as stationary non-robot targets)
* NEW: -20% to hit per "dynamic obstruction" (e.g. robot) between self and target
* NEW: Extension transfer network will respond to a persistent threat (e.g. those of you repeatedly intercepting Haulers)
* NEW: Investigation dispatches now reported to the log, as are reinforcements dispatched to aid busy engineers that come under attack
* NEW: Score sheet records exits discovered in each area (those with unknown destination appear in brackets; those approached marked with *)
* NEW: Explosions cause UI instability effect, varying by power and distance (optional, controlled by existing screenshake setting)
* NEW: Autosort parts list by subtype with a single command ( : )
* NEW: Deactivate part-sorting for weapons with new cogmind.cfg entry: partSortIgnoresWeapons
* NEW: Removal/replacement of processors and hackware (destroy-on-remove) parts requires confirmation
* NEW: Self-destruct by keyboard (Alt-F10) requires confirmation
* NEW: Resource (energy/matter) insufficiency messages for any action indicate the required amount
* NEW: Active Order/Intel modes have on-map reminder at top while using keyboard-based interface
* NEW: Inventory contents factor into score sheet "peak state" at a reduced value (10%); are also listed
* NEW: All supporter names registered since Alpha 8 added to in-game list (see Credits menu)
* NEW: All item-attribution names registered since Alpha 8 added to the item collection gallery
* MOD: Schematics enable construction at any Fabricator, regardless of tier (schematic info window displays time cost for each tier)
* MOD: All fabrication matter/time costs adjusted (Fabricator tier now a factor in the latter)
* MOD: Base chance of successful schematic loading at a Fabricator raised from 70% to 90%
* MOD: Removed Repair Station restrictions on part rating
* MOD: All repair time costs adjusted (repair station tier now a factor)
* MOD: Removed Scanalyzer restrictions on part rating
* MOD: High-tier Scanalyzers less likely to break parts or require repeat scans
* MOD: Reduced chance of investigation squads composed of Hunters, especially in late game
* MOD: Broadcast Trojan only needs to be installed once to take effect on all matching machines across floor
* MOD: Zhirov artifact analysis terminals moved into the rooms for their respective artifacts
* MOD: Manual and terminal record text updated to reflect new systems
* MOD: Robots less likely to immediately finish off disarmed hostiles instead of attacking more dangerous targets
* MOD: Reduced Mni. Drone Bay drone count to 3, changed art
* MOD: Removed matter cost (1) from Impact Mace/Kinetic Spear/Plasma Lance attacks
* MOD: Effect of mass support utilities reduced
* MOD: Stats for all flight and hover propulsion adjusted (see release notes)
* MOD: Doubled effect of Hub Network destruction
* MOD: All Behemoth/Marauder variants immune to critical hits, and the effects of Core Analyzers
* MOD: Neutral robots local to Caves now in various states of disrepair
* MOD: Neutral 0b10 robots more reponsive to being under fire, consider any damage an attack, even if not the intended target
* MOD: All Recycling Unit hacks are easier
* MOD: Renamed "Index(Repair Units)" hack command to "Index(Repair Stations)" for consistency
* MOD: Nearby Compactor attacks cause console window vibrations rather than screenshake
* MOD: ECM effect values in parts list info mode match those used in item description
* MOD: Swapped weapons and utilities inventory type-sorting order for consistency with parts list categories
* MOD: Motion Trail Duration option defaults to 2000ms rather than 0 (off)
* MOD: Better differentiated 'A'/'R' and 'H'/'K' pairs in all 17 variants of Smallcaps typeface
* MOD: Non-flying robots trying to get at player through a door less likely to be able to squeeze/jump past
* MOD: Seeds are no longer case sensitive
* MOD: Reformatted "weaknesses identified" text following analysis appended to robot info
* MOD: Score sheet Inventory list merged with Parts list, includes slot count
* MOD: Score sheet Parts/Inventory lists sorted
* FIX: Crash on accessing a rare category of Zion dialogue (fixed in earlier stealth update, credited here: [Sherlockkat])
* FIX: Continuous UI border effects like glow for critical core could prevent inventory drag-drop interaction [seafrank]
* FIX: Typos in "Epsilon Eridani System" and "Dirty Bomb Trap" terminal records [biomatter]
* FIX: One cave cache not fully embedded into walls [biomatter]
* FIX: Hunter analysis text referred to older variant loadouts [biomatter]
* FIX: EM disruption effect against robot cores (temporary deactivation) lasting far longer than intended
* FIX: Robot analysis hit/evasion bonuses didn't match stated 5% value (were significantly higher)
* FIX: Maneuvering Thruster and Reaction Control System effects not factored into melee defense calculations (regression)
* FIX: Prototype ID hack results not properly limited to standard Complex 0b10 prototypes
* FIX: Self-destructing part sfx could be heard anywhere on the map, regardless of player location
* FIX: Explosions completely out of view could not be heard, even if still within audible range
* FIX: Theoretical crash when displaying multiple simultaneously active Stasis Beam effects (not possible under normal play yet)
* FIX: Theoretical crash when accessing previous manual hacking buffer entry under a specific situation
* FIX: Manually changing .cfg-listed font to a non-existent typeface would reset it to another outdated now-invalid typeface
* FIX: "Power Chain Reactions" weren't tallied for score sheet, despite being listed

(As usual, if you haven't already, Prime Tier supporters and above 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.)
Josh Ge, Developer - Dev Blog | @GridSageGames