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Alpha Access LAUNCHED! Buy Now! (Trailer)

Author Topic: Released: Alpha 10 - "Collect 'em All!"  (Read 4517 times)

Kyzrati

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Released: Alpha 10 - "Collect 'em All!"
« on: August 08, 2016, 07:25:41 PM »

Alpha 10 is complete, and with it we are officially entering late-game branch territory! While the new content is mostly focused on the upper parts of the world, there's definitely something for everyone considering all the new UI features and quality of life enhancements.

Alpha 10 introduces less new lore than the previous two releases, though what lore has been added is incredibly crucial to tying the story together, and is also very secret and difficult to access ;). And to help organize it all there's the whole new meta interface for lore collection, described below.

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

For a visual sampling of some of what comes with Alpha 10, see the preview gifs and images posted recently.

New Maps

Anyone rampaging (or zipping) through the upper parts of the complex has probably at one point or another come across an entrance to the Armory. You can now opt to go in that entrance and find out what that place is all about. As one might expect, it's probably quite dangerous if you're not heavily armed, but... you could get lucky!

There is another new map.

It's entrance is not easily found.

And even once you get in...

That is all that will be said about that map :)

Lore

The lore collection UI, accessed through the game menu as button #9 and demonstrated in the first gif among the preview images, is a new way to automatically record and review how much of the lore you've explored. It remembers all terminal-hacked lore-related entries as well as most dialogue across all runs.

Half of the lore is found in dialogue, so for that you'll have to seek out and talk to the NPCs, not all of which are in every run, so it could take some time to meet them all. And to help determine which terminal lore you haven't yet hacked, the subject name is followed by a '!' indicator right in the machine interface. (If you don't care about lore and the exclamation points really bother you, you can also turn that feature off by changing the markUndiscoveredLore value in /user/cogmind.cfg file.)

When examining lore in the new interface, note that you can skip straight to a given topic simply pressing the key for the first letter of its subject, rather than scrolling there. (Of course all the usual buttons work for interfacing with it as well--arrows, numpad, mouse wheel, home/end, and more.)

The system is fully backwards compatible, meaning when you update to future versions, even when new lore has been added, it will continue to store all your old discovered lore, but don't forget to migrate your /user/ directory if you aren't doing that already! (If you want an easier time piecing the story together, that is.) So feel free to start collecting away with Alpha 10! Also remember that "lore" doesn't just include story bits; there are a lot of tips and strategy, and some opaque mechanics, explained therein.

Note: Anyone looking to add something to the wiki, know that the dialogue reference numbers are assigned dynamically, and will change when other topics are added to the same category, so those numbers don't really have any long-term/permanent meaning.

QoL
  • Gallery Indicator. In addition to the lore, the art gallery collection process has now been made easier with a new option available from the options menu: Label Supporter Items. This was in the cfg file earlier, but now has elevated status to the proper options menu and a secondary function. It still shows at the bottom of the item info which early supporter was chosen to own that "randomly assigned personal item," but next to that it now also tells whether you've attached that item before, and includes an indicator in the item label popup itself, too (as a '!'). Note that this is off by default, so be sure to activate it if you're trying to fill your gallery (like the lore, that is also backwards compatible).
  • Hacking Code Recall. As shown a couple days ago, unique (randomized) hacking codes, the ones that start with "\\", are now automatically remembered for you. No more jotting them down on paper or scrolling back through the log to find one! When you start to manually hack a machine or robot, a list containing the relevant type of code will open automatically. Mouse users can just click on the one they want, while keyboard players can type \\ to put the list in focus and hit a corresponding letter. Note that only four-character codes are stored, so it excludes the (currently one) longer code which remains static through every run anyway. You know what I'm talking about if you've found it before :D
  • Fabricators Again. Fabricators have gotten even friendlier since they'll remember the last schematic you hacked in, even after disconnecting. In fact, when you first find them they may even already have a schematic there that isn't yours, but you can use it to initiate a build all the same!

Evasion Window

The main UI's volley window, which wasn't super useful unless in combat anyway, has been replaced with the brand new evasion window (as long as not in combat). It contains a summary of all defensive modifiers to the chance to be hit by an incoming projectile.

The evasion window assumes the standard base hit chance of 60%, and cannot take into account the many attacker-sourced and situational factors, thus it is not generally an accurate representation of the actual chance to be hit, instead serving to demonstrate the relative defensive value of certain circumstances and part configurations. Hovering the cursor over the window (or holding '/') opens the full details, which lists each component by name and will also indicate why a given value is grayed out (i.e. inapplicable).

I imagine this window will be more useful for non-combat builds, where projectile avoidance is key (well, without it you kinda become a smoldering wreck :P), but for all new players it will also help learn a lot of the defensive-related mechanics without reading the manual, like being hot makes you easier to hit, no flight dodging bonus while in stasis or overweight, etc.

Difficulty

Surprise! The mid/late-game just got slightly more challenging. There are several factors at play here.

Firstly, alert level used to drop by a static percent simply based on whether you were entering a main complex map or a branch map. This worked okay early on when the world layout was relatively simple, but now we have so many different pathways and destinations, as well as a better understanding of how challenging various parts of the game are, so it's about time to begin fine tuning that difficulty by more specific amounts depending on what maps are being exited and entered. As part of that process I've adjusted the alert level reduction percents, generally in a downward direction, not by much at all in the early game, but especially closer to the surface you'll notice that if you've caused a higher alert level it won't drop quite so easily just by heading to a new area.

Also as part of those changes, entering Waste doesn't have quite the same special impact on alert that it used to.

Combat heat mechanics are another factor. A number of the most dangerous robots were overheating too easily due to an oversight in my robot testing suite where I can analyze their overall effectiveness (it wasn't merging regular utility-based heat generation with volley-produced heat during simulated attacks). All those problems are solved and some of the mid/late-game nasties are going to be that much nastier since they no longer overheat and have to pause firing so frequently.

Don't let the difficulty changes discourage you, because there are an increasing number of methods and strategies for dealing with the late game, so it will balance out in the end. Hacking to purge threat records from the system will also likely become somewhat more important now, like it used to be before the game's difficulty gradually came down over the past year.

The full Alpha 10 (0.10.160809) changelog:

* NEW: Branch map "Armory"
* NEW: Branch map "[redacted]"
* NEW: 2 new alien artifacts
* NEW: 9 new special items
* NEW: 1 more plot-related NPC encounter
* NEW: Two dozen more location-specific lore records
* NEW: Twice as many Assembled variants
* NEW: Assembled announce their entry with a new sound effect
* NEW: Completely new mechanic which can change the way the end game is played (any more info would spoil it)
* NEW: Unique type of interactive terminal (secret)
* NEW: Evasion status summary, replaces volley window except in firing mode (hover or press '/' for full details)
* NEW: Lore-related terminal records and dialogue remembered between runs
* NEW: Lore review interface for exploring previously discovered information (game menu 9)
* NEW: Part/inventory data visualization now includes seventh mode: "relative matter consumption" (toggle via info 'q' command/button)
* NEW: Discovered manual (randomized) hacking codes shown in new selection menu along with source and target when hacking machines/robots
* NEW: Force-trigger chute traps by using them as you would stairs
* NEW: Fabricators may have a random schematic preloaded
* NEW: Reconnecting to a Fabricator with a previous build in progress still shows name of object being fabricated
* NEW: All direct hacks that don't make sense to repeat are grayed out after successfully hacking them and reconnecting to same machine
* NEW: Several additional useful message types accompany Warlord-related plot events
* NEW: Option to invert map panning (available in options menu)
* NEW: Option to mark previously undiscovered lore directly in terminals, active by default (cogmind.cfg only: see markUndiscoveredLore)
* NEW: Part info visualization data preceded with a '+' when you have a schematic for that attached/inventory part
* NEW: Parts list autosorting further orders multiple same-type items by integrity, high to low
* NEW: Several more score sheet entries
* NEW: Score sheet inventory lists both for final parts and peak state are sorted by item type
* NEW: Hack-linking a target with a datajack reduces their accuracy by 15% on top of the existing benefits
* NEW: Hack-linked victims display glowing "(linked)" indicator in their info window, include a "(+)" in their label and scan window
* NEW: Advanced commands list explicitly specifies keys for setting guided weapon waypoints, also adding KP5 to that list
* NEW: Label Supporter Items option also indicates whether you've collected the item for your art gallery yet (see description)
* NEW: Most key commands also listed in the text manual itself, rather than only in game
* NEW: Several more tutorial messages
* NEW: Art gallery may also be scrolled via numpad
* NEW: All supporter names registered since Alpha 9 added to in-game list (see Credits menu)
* MOD: Updated robot variants with poor heat management, including Behemoths, Programmers and others, to reduce excessive overheating
* MOD: Waste somewhat less likely to contain prototypes (parts still generally out of depth, though)
* MOD: Hub_04(d) may now contain prototypes and matter among random items (originally was common items only)
* MOD: Infested traps, garrisons, etc. closer to surface include more deadly Assembled variants
* MOD: Remote Datajacks have built-in targeting assistance
* MOD: Rescaled/boosted bonus points for fast wins
* MOD: Traveling through Waste no longer has quite as significant an impact on alert level
* MOD: Tweaked alert level changes on moving to a new map; more variable and closely tied to the specific areas both exited and entered
* MOD: Item/robot schematics loaded into Fabricators remain until overwritten, allowing repeat builds without a new load hack
* MOD: Chute-chaining/farming no longer possible in Factory (only the first time each depth is visited will that area have access to Waste)
* MOD: Force of two "explosive plot events" reduced by 25% due to explosion overlap fix in Alpha 7
* MOD: Hyphen inserted into terminal-reported alert level designation to avoid misinterpretation of letters in some fonts
* MOD: Score component "Alien Tech Identified" changed to "Alien Tech Recovered" (must attach rather than simply identify)
* MOD: LMB on a hard target (robot/machine/door/wall) fires a guided weapon rather than setting another waypoint
* MOD: Refined parts list utilities auto-sorting order to better group parts with related functionality
* MOD: Manual hacking code entry can no longer be exited by clicking outside the window
* MOD: labelSupporterItems value originally in cfg file now accessible via options menu
* MOD: Part mass visualization colors switched from purple scheme to brown and yellow
* MOD: Brightened console border color effects for overheating and low core integrity
* MOD: Updated explosion damage context help to include more info from manual regarding damage spread via chunks
* MOD: Removed map dimension selection from in-game options menu (still accessible via cogmind.cfg)
* MOD: In-game supporters list change from menu 9 to 0
* FIX: Traveling through Proximity Caves recorded incorrect core integrity to score sheet [Happylisk]
* FIX: Typo in random Zion dialogue [Happylisk]
* FIX: Parts list autosorting converted reference letters to lower case in some fonts
* FIX: With square map dimensions in 4:3 mode, manually hacking a robot to far west via Remote Datajack causes partially offscreen text box
* FIX: Score sheet never fully tallied Traps Triggered
* FIX: Scan window still showed utility effect data for common parts lost from the database
* FIX: In rare cases multiple Workers actively pushing disabled robots might get stuck in a traffic jam in a narrow corridor
* FIX: Typo in score sheet for "Fabrication Network Shutdowns," name also too wide for column

(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.)
« Last Edit: May 08, 2017, 03:07:30 AM by Kyzrati »
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Josh Ge, Developer - Dev Blog | @GridSageGames

Kyzrati

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Re: Released: Alpha 10
« Reply #1 on: August 09, 2016, 11:57:41 PM »

I've just done a stealth update to Alpha 10, meaning no new version number, but anyone who has download the latest release during its first day (any time before 00:49 AM EST, Aug 10) should download again, otherwise if you die without any items, the game will crash instead of producing a score sheet (or showing your score or uploading it if you have that option activated.) Sorry about that!

Alternatively, you can also get the hotfix by simply downloading this file and using its contents (a single file) to overwrite the one in your game directory.

Note: Existing Alpha 10 saves are compatible if you have a game in progress you'd like to copy over!
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Josh Ge, Developer - Dev Blog | @GridSageGames