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Author Topic: Released: Alpha 11 - "Megarelease Mk. I"  (Read 3155 times)

Kyzrati

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Released: Alpha 11 - "Megarelease Mk. I"
« on: October 10, 2016, 07:15:39 PM »

Welcome to the mega release that is Alpha 11 :D. Within you'll find a ton of new content, features, and tweaks, making this easily the largest Cogmind update ever.

In short, Alpha 11 includes several new areas to explore, many more unique parts and mechanics to play with, a cast of dangerous new enemies (plus some great friends), and a really cool new UI feature.

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

For a visual sampling of some of what comes with Alpha 11, see the preview gifs and images posted recently.

Significantly Expanded Late Game

A majority of the new content is centered around the late game, where all those exits from the Research levels are now accessible. Logic will tell you that there is going to be some really nice (and really nasty) stuff hidden away back there--each of the new areas introduces new parts, mechanics, robots, and plot elements.

Rather than facing the end game relying solely on the items generally found lying around in the main complex, or those salvaged from hostiles, you can consider taking a detour to obtain some of the unique tools that will make the journey easier or more interesting. Of course, many of these tools are themselves acquired by facing new challenges!

As of Alpha 11, all remaining plot leads that were only partially implemented in the world up until this point are now complete. There are still more to come, but none of the existing ones are loose ends.

I'm sure we'll see a rise in survivability of the latter third of the game because 1) there are now additional routes to escape the main Research area and 2) all those fun new tools ;). But there are also numerous other balance-related factors at play, most of which are in the player's favor...

Balance

One of the deadliest ways that the RNG could make your day miserable (read: usually smash you into a pile of nuts and bolts if you stand and fight) has been adjusted: Garrison Access points are now generally placed fairly far from one another, whereas before their placement was completely random, meaning it was possible for multiple Garrison Access to even be within sight at once. One Garrison can be problematic enough, not to mention more than once I've been surrounded by three before... You still might have to deal with multiple patrols in close proximity if hanging out in / traveling through major thoroughfares (= bad idea), but at least they won't be calling in reinforcements from all sides all at once! (Note: This only impacts Factory and later main complex floors, because other areas only have 1 Garrison each anyway.)

Also on the plus side for combat builds, all armor has been buffed. Armor still provides the same amount of coverage as before (which is good), but will generally last longer due to higher integrity. This change affects regular armor, resistant armors, part-Shielding items, and even special armors.

Alpha 11 tweaks quite a few other utilities as well--see the changelog for the full list. It'll be especially interesting to see if anyone finally starts to use Thermal Generators, which, yeah don't work according to the laws of thermodynamics, but whatever, they didn't originally, and now they really don't :P

For flight builds we have a Swarmer AI nerf. When out of the player's sight, flying hostiles were previously allowed to jump each other at no extra time cost, which means that a... swarm of Swarmers often had a rather easy time catching even a fast player. It's going to be easier to shake them now, which could be a game changer for fast builds. We'll see how it plays out. In any case, having cheating enemies was not cool.

Hm, balance...

Oh, look out for Behemoths :P

New Mechanics

While there are quite a few new mechanics, most are considered spoilers so I can't talk about them. I can, however, cover a few which have broader implications for balance and can be found in many places anyway:
  • Weapon Cyclers. These reduce the amount of time it takes to fire all weapons in a volley. Great for basically any build that wants to shoot, though the benefits are even more obvious for heavy combat loadouts with a full array of weapons.
  • Quantum Capacitor. Similar to the cyclers above, this item (there's only one) cuts in half the time it takes to fire a single energy weapon (but not more than one). Snipe targets with something like a Lrn. Phase Cannon, and reposition easily before they have time to react.
  • Actuators. Like cyclers but for melee weapons. Using actuators allows you to put together a better melee-focused build that slices and dices faster than they can shoot you up. And these things stack.
  • Heat management via disposable utilities. Now a fairly common alternative to regular Heat Sinks and Cooling Systems, Disposable Heat Sinks and Coolant Injectors make it much easier to deal with heat spikes caused by firing thermal cannons. Melt them where they stand!
  • Momentum boosting. Previously the only source of momentum (which increases melee damage) was speed and cumulative movement in the same direction. While the amount of momentum that movement can provide is still capped at 3, some parts allow it to be boosted further beyond that. Maneuvering Thrusters now give +1 momentum as an additional effect, essentially meaning each point-blank melee attack (no charge) is carried out with an effective momentum of 2 rather than 1. A separate new category of parts also gives a much more significant boost to momentum. Slice through a Hunter core in one hit? Check.

QoL

While there is a good batch of little quality of life improvements for Alpha 11, like temporarily blocking movement when spotting hostiles (adjustable), confirmation required to attach known faulty prototypes, exit autolabels appearing regardless of means of discovery, etc., they pale in comparison to the main event. Even if you can't yet reach some of the new content, here we have something everyone can take advantage of right from the beginning: Item swap assist!

You can never have too many optional inventory management features...
  • Press '/' followed by an item's letter to get a list of all valid inventory items for that slot, then press a corresponding letter to swap in the new part.
  • It also works in reverse, with '/' followed by an inventory number to mark all slots valid for that item (just press the slot letter to attach/swap to there).
  • Mouse users have access to both features as well by ctrl-right clicking on an attached part or inventory item.
To see it in action, check out the first gif among the preview images.

So swapping is now possible without any Ctrl-Shift combos, and is also much easier for players carrying huge inventories that otherwise require scrolling for interaction.

Technically it's also not just for swapping two items, since it's possible to select an empty slot and get a list of what can go there, or select an empty slot as a target for a previously selected inventory item. (Note that this system, like even regular swapping, is not compatible with multi-slot parts--those must still be detached/attached alone.)

Files

There have been a few changes to the arrangement of the Cogmind directory you might want to be aware of:
  • The most fun is the new file that will appear in your /user/ directory: scorehistory.txt. As shown with the preview images, it includes a summary of all your previous runs in one place. That said, it's not backwards compatible in that it won't know about your runs prior to Alpha 11. It only records stats from your future runs.
  • You'll see this release includes a new empty directory: /bak/. Each day you play, it will make one new copy of your Cogmind /user/ directory contents. If for some reason you accidentally delete or can't find your regular config, game.bin (which holds your long-term meta progress for lore collection etc.), or whatever other /user/ data, you should be able to retrieve it from one of the backups. Only the most recent ten are stored (older ones are deleted). This optional feature is on by default (it takes up very little space), but can be turned off in /user/cogmind.cfg via the new disableAutoBackups option.
  • Also, when you hit the PrtScn key to take a screenshot, rather than outputting it to the base directory the game now drops them into /screenshots/.
Migrating from an earlier release is still the same: just copy your /user/ directory over.

Resolution Fixes

Swapping out monitors or changing the desktop resolution will convert font settings automatically (though it still requires a restart), and resolutions greater than 1440p (e.g. 4K) will now automatically select the correct font and map size (earlier this required manually editing the configuration).

To everyone: Due to internal modifications related to the above fixes, this build will reset your Cogmind font and map dimensions to the default for your screen. This is a one-time thing, and as usual your settings will be remembered properly for future versions after you set them this time.

The full Alpha 11 (0.10.161011) changelog:

* NEW: Branch map "Testing"
* NEW: Branch map "Quarantine"
* NEW: Branch map "[redacted]"
* NEW: 55 new items (total now at 739)
* NEW: 10 more alien artifacts
* NEW: 6 unique items
* NEW: 10 superweapons
* NEW: 13 prototype robots (including new classes)
* NEW: 1 new common robot class (2 variants)
* NEW: 1 major new NPC (unique robot class)
* NEW: 51 new machines
* NEW: Taking electromagnetic damage animates HUD window borders (scales with damage, and can be disabled via Corruption Glitches option)
* NEW: Item swap assist UI feature (Ctrl-RMB on attached or inventory item, or '/' followed by a~z/1~0)
* NEW: Part-based volley time manipulation mechanic
* NEW: Disposable heat sink/coolant injection mechanic
* NEW: Momentum boost mechanic
* NEW: Thermal cannons with a charge effect include a UI-draining animation while preparing to fire
* NEW: Access points discovered via terrain scanning, Layout(Zone) hacks, or drone spotters all now auto-labeled as if seen within FOV
* NEW: Movement blocked for a short duration after spotting a new enemy (adjustable via options menu)
* NEW: Inserting unidentified prototypes in a Scanalyzer automatically identifies them
* NEW: Equipping (or swapping in) a known faulty prototype requires confirmation
* NEW: Non-part item info includes general category description
* NEW: Non-part item info shows inventory slot count (now that some might require more than 1)
* NEW: Segregator and Tearclaws info includes explicit descriptions of their unique mechanics
* NEW: All Maneuvering Thrusters / Reaction Control Systems also provide automatic +1 to effective momentum for melee attacks and ramming
* NEW: State information available for items on the ground as well, where the info page reflects their non-functional or temporarily disabled status
* NEW: Option to completely disable manual hacking code assistance, added by request (cogmind.cfg only: see disableManualHackingHelp)
* NEW: Confirm ally command targets with KP5 or Enter (alternatives to 'o' and LMB)
* NEW: Score sheet meta data includes current lore and gallery collection percentages
* NEW: Score sheet includes breakdown of critical strikes
* NEW: Scores and basic stats from all local runs also recorded in /user/scorehistory.txt
* NEW: Tutorial message explains bump-to-talk mechanic for robots with dialogue on the first time spotted
* NEW: Messages for insufficient slots/inventory space on attaching/picking up items report size of item in question
* NEW: /user/ files (config, meta data, command buffer, save...) automatically backed up to /bak/ once per day for emergency recovery purposes
* NEW: All supporter names registered since Alpha 10 added to in-game list (see Credits menu)
* NEW: All item-attribution names registered since Alpha 10 added to the item collection gallery
* MOD: B-90 Cyclops buffed with new type of utility
* MOD: Fighter/Swordsman Duelist variants buffed with new type of utility
* MOD: Minimum volley time reduced from 100 to 25
* MOD: Increased Cold Fusion Reactor energy output
* MOD: Increased effect of Network Hub destruction by 50%
* MOD: Coolant Network dissipation effect +10 (=90), integrity +100
* MOD: Component Analysis Suite converted from duration-based to random application, effects much more frequent
* MOD: System Backup/Restoration utilities converted from duration-based to random application, effect frequency slightly increased
* MOD: Mining Laser/Welding Torch/Plasma Cutters converted from Special Weapons to Special Melee Weapons; enables bump-to-attack
* MOD: Weakened Hub_04(d) defenses
* MOD: Behemoths are more aggressive
* MOD: AI-controlled flying robots out of view can no longer jump other robots at no extra time cost (easier to shake Swarmers with a fast build)
* MOD: Lowered high-tier drone bay ratings, making them somewhat easier to fabricate
* MOD: Parts list integrity visualization always shows at least one bar, even where high-integrity parts are approaching 0
* MOD: Operators can no longer be stationed at unique named terminals
* MOD: Implicit bump-to-melee-attack works on all permanently disabled robots found in cave regions, rather than only some of them
* MOD: No warning shown when moving onto traps that will not trigger, e.g. treading into a stasis trap
* MOD: Signal Interpreters activated while adjacent to an exit can determine where it leads on the next turn without requiring a move
* MOD: State changes in sight range-modifying utilities update FOV on each new turn without requiring a move
* MOD: Garrison access points much less likely to be found near each other
* MOD: Important NPCs that follow player now stick closer by instead of running off to engage or chase down hostiles
* MOD: AI distress signals only go out to armed and active (or dormant) allies (excludes rebooting/disrupted/broken/unpowered/disarmed bots)
* MOD: Large heavy/blast door resistance against melee attacks increased
* MOD: Buffed Greatsword damage
* MOD: Falx better differentiated from Power Sword--slower but more damaging, and much higher critical chance
* MOD: Efficiency of all Thermal Generators more than doubled
* MOD: Non-resistant armors' integrity +50%
* MOD: Resistant armors' integrity +100%; also more rare
* MOD: Reflective/Insulated armors heavier
* MOD: Reactive/Reflective/Insulated armor naming scheme changed to types of "Plating"
* MOD: All part-Shielding integrity increased approximately 50%
* MOD: Stasis link color changed from green to purple to match newer stasis-related mechanics
* MOD: Stasis field strength around self/allies reported to log in dark orange instead of dark green
* MOD: Data Core description explicitly indicates base duration before expiry
* MOD: Molecular Deconstructor damage type changed to match effect description
* MOD: Cannibalization Unit effect description explicitly states that required duration is part-dependent
* MOD: Adv. Integration Mediator effect changed from -99% to -90%
* MOD: All Integration Mediators apply effect to energy costs of equip/unequip as well; also increased mass
* MOD: Sensor Array and Terrain Scanner effect descriptions explicitly state scans performed on a per-turn basis
* MOD: Zion generally contains some number of derelict logs
* MOD: Destroying unpowered and permanently broken robots no longer counts towards score/kills
* MOD: Fleeing combat robots rearmed by Mechanics will reengage hostiles immediately rather than continuing to original goal
* MOD: Evasion status summary hotkey switched from '/' to '\'
* MOD: Removed from options menu: "Auto-wait on Low EN" (still available via cogmind.cfg as "autoWait")
* MOD: Screenshots output to /screenshots/ rather than base directory
* MOD: Win speed bonus score formula now = (50000000/turns); previously ((8000-turns)*5)
* MOD: Score sheet excludes a wider variety of entries where their value is zero
* MOD: Hvy. Battle Rifle rating dropped from 5 to 4
* FIX: Failed to tally score on ending a game with no inventory items (regression fixed in earlier stealth update, credited here: [zxc])
* FIX: Crash while equipping a certain secret item from the inventory via swap command [zxc]
* FIX: Network Hub destruction alert reported old/incorrect efficiency value [Decker]
* FIX: Results of a particular major event (spoiler) did not propagate to all expected circumstances [Decker]
* FIX: A different particular major event (spoiler) could wipe some previously-learned manual hacking codes [Decker]
* FIX: Switching to a different monitor or changing the desktop resolution between games didn't perfectly resize the font and map dimensions [@phi6]
* FIX: Description for Motion Trail Duration option referenced older default value [Amphouse]
* FIX: Burnout entry in propulsion data listing displayed a faint 'N' in front of valid non-zero single digit values [Amphouse]
* FIX: Receiving Backup parts from a Repair Station or Mechanic didn't count as having attached them for gallery collection purposes [Amphouse]
* FIX: Exit positions forgotten to corruption would still show exit labels [Amphouse, magi163]
* FIX: All derelict class destruction counts were recorded incorrectly in score sheets (since Alpha 8 ) [Amphouse]
* FIX: Routes through through Waste or a Garrison caused score sheet to record incorrect core remaining percent [Sherlockkat, Amphouse]
* FIX: Analysis accuracy bonus as displayed in robot info was always +0 (but correct value was applied) [Kalkkis]
* FIX: Attempting to insert unidentified prototypes into a Scanalyzer revealed their true name [Kalkkis]
* FIX: Melee Analysis Suites provided 100 times the stated benefit [Kalkkis]
* FIX: Guided weapon waypoints could path through, but not be set to, wall rubble locations [Kalkkis]
* FIX: Weapons that failed to fire due to system corruption still applied their heat/recoil effects [Kalkkis]
* FIX: During a particular cave encounter a Sentry could request backup even while rebooting after a Datajack hack [Kalkkis]
* FIX: Mouse-scrolling a schematic list greater than 26 items before any selection, then selecting one via LMB, selected the wrong item [Kalkkis]
* FIX: Repair Station vAl.05a was the only interactive machine with a shape that that might eject an item to an unexpected location [Kalkkis]
* FIX: A stalled one-way network connection could hang the game on exit (now quits after 5 seconds) [Chad]
* FIX: Font and map dimensions not automatically set for largest size possible with resolutions above 1440p [veryfoodverygood]
* FIX: Part autoswapping to a different item of same category where there are multiple options might choose the one with less integrity [zxc]
* FIX: Long item names could cause truncation of output message for damage during Scanalyzer analysis [zxc]
* FIX: Incorrect word in component fabrication time context help message [Amphouse]
* FIX: Typo in manual section on Hackware [Amphouse]
* FIX: Typo in Stasis Canceller effect description [Kalkkis]
* FIX: Loading a game with a status-caused glowing UI border effect in progress (overheating/low integrity/stasis) would not resume the animation
* FIX: Thermal damage context help indicated incorrect amount of heat transfer (based on half damage, not full damage)
* FIX: Score sheet "Robots Hacked" total wasn't including all possible cases

(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, 03:07:39 AM by Kyzrati »
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Josh Ge, Developer - Dev Blog | @GridSageGames

Kyzrati

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Re: Released: Alpha 11
« Reply #1 on: October 10, 2016, 09:37:28 PM »

Oops, there was a little (okay, nasty) bug that prevented mouse users from auto-pathfinding, and another where the new screenshotting behavior was overwriting previous images rather than creating new ones.

It was a quick fix to the .exe, so any of you who downloaded within the first couple hours of release can either do so again, or just overwrite your .exe with this hotfix. Saves/runs in progress are compatible.

Thanks to magi163 and Sherlockkat for the quick report!

(If you downloaded after this post, you can ignore this message, as it was already patched into Alpha 11 as a stealth update.)
« Last Edit: October 10, 2016, 11:46:24 PM by Kyzrati »
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Josh Ge, Developer - Dev Blog | @GridSageGames